Wow. Just, wow. The Slack Lines team did not have the best weekend.

Rich’s predictions snuck in at 2-3, and to write this week’s picks, he had to bite down on a pencil and type with his mouth. There was an unfortunate “accident” involving his hands and a car door. Many, repeated, accidents.

After going 1-4, I now owe my bookie the deed to my house. In other news, I don’t actually own a house. Yes, I am in trouble. Next week’s column may be filed from Mexico.

The good news is we brought our A game this week. We had to. So bet heavy, like, say, your life depended on it. (And pray for us.)

On to the picks!

Baltimore @ New England (-3)
Five games ago, the Pats had a home contest against the Ravens and were blown out by 19. Since that time, the Ravens have added Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and the Pats have traded away Randy Moss, and yet the Pats are now favored by three? Gotta love New England homerism. Nick’s Pick: Ravens

Miami @ Green Bay (Even)
If Aaron Rogers plays, I'm taking the Packers. If he doesn't, I'm retroactively taking whichever team wins. Rich’s Pick: Packers

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-14)
Last week, I figured no way could rookie QB Max Hall and the Cardinals stay with the reigning Super Bowl champs, let alone cover a seven point spread. Well, they went out and won the game outright, and now I’m forced to have friends I don’t really like start my car for me. This week, rookie Colt McCoy may make his first start with the sucktacular Browns, on the road, against a fierce Pittsburgh D. Similar scenario, double the points. Gun to my head (and it is)—Nick’s Pick: Steelers

Atlanta @ Philadelphia (-3)
This game was supposed to be about Mike Vick battling his old team. Instead, it's about Kevin Kolb battling his own ineptitude. But still, the Falcons are a somewhat fraudulent 4-1. They bite it in Philly. Rich’s Pick: Eagles

Kansas City @ Houston (-4.5)
Changing up the Picks from My Mom format, I emailed Mom her assignment a couple days in advance, allowing her to do some research before making a call. The return email is actually a fascinating little document showing how someone both clueless and incurious investigates football.

Mom’s email quotes odd websites like and people like Gerry Dulac from The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. How did she even find that? Then there’s the parenthetical notion, saying things like “I understand the words but not the numbers” and “Reminds me of the times at work when we reviewed the anticipated budget.” This woman could not be less concerned with the safety of her son’s thumbs. (Which will change once she remembers the deed to my parent’s house is in her name, and I used her as my emergency contact with Jimmy “Blowtorch” Gambini.)

In conclusion, Mom writes, “There are many, many other sites, but enough reading about what really does not interest me. If you had asked me to predict without research I would have said Kansas, so I'm sticking with that.”

Yes, after all the work, Mom chooses the state of Kansas. Nick’s Pick: Chiefs

NY Jets @ Denver (+3)
The Broncos should just go with Tebow here. I've always wondered how Rex Ryan's D would hold up against Jesus. Rich’s Pick: Jets

Oakland @ San Francisco (-6)
The Niners have been killing me all season, and I hold QB Alex Smith personally responsible. In a parallel universe, I’ve hired a contract killer and had him “erased.” Come on, quantum physicists, why have you not made inter-dimensional travel a reality? I promise, the world in which Alex Smith is no more is a world without war and where cars run on the laughter of children. Nick’s Pick: Raiders

Dallas @ Minnesota (-1.5)
One and a half points? More like one and a half inches!
/High fives imaginary friend
/Left hanging Rich’s Pick: Cowboys

Indianapolis @ Washington (+3.5)
1. I refuse to give Indy QB Fleshy McCinderblockface the satisfaction of helping me lose money. 2. It still astounds me that Washington’s NFL franchise is called the Redskins. This is a city that, wrapped up in its own politically correct BS, forced the NBA Bullets to change their names to the Wizards—which just a terrible name—and yet  tradition (or, more aptly, the fans/voters misguided sense of tradition) keeps a name like the Redskins around. When I’m wealthy—and with gambling skills like these, how could I not be eventually—I’m buying a minor league baseball team in the DC area and dubbing it the Crackers. My mascot will be a giant hand with the middle finger extended, like an angry Hamburger Helper. Nick’s Pick: Colts
Tennessee @ Jacksonville (+3)
Maurice Jones-Drew admitted recently that he selected himself with the first overall pick in his own fantasy draft. Makes me feel better about taking Mojo at No. 4. Finally, a bigger idiot than I am! Rich’s Pick: Jaguars