Every dog has its day. But why only one day? Why not offer our dogs every Sunday until the 2012 NFL season ends?
Last week I let my dog, Taz, pick my Lock of the Week, the lone game I more or less practically guarantee against the spread. I had picked only one Lock successfully the first eight weeks of the season.
Taz is one for one. He picked Detroit, a four-point favorite against Jacksonville, to cover. The Lions won by 17.
Twenty-six teams will play Sunday or Monday this week. I divided them randomly into groups of four or five, created a card for each, put the cards face down on the bottom step and stuck a small piece of whole wheat bread on top of each.
The greyhound would grab the bread. Id grab the card beneath. Six winners advanced into two groups of three.
The finalists were Minnesota (a one-point underdog at home against Detroit) and Buffalo (an 11-point underdog at home against New England). I wouldnt pick either of them. But the choice is not mine.
Last Week: 10-4
Lock: We love Detroit, or did.
Upset: I picked Carolina, without assistance, to upset Washington.
This weeks picks, with the home team in CAPS:
Denver 30, CAROLINA 24: Look at the NFC sack leaders. Carolinas Charles Johnson is tied for fourth, Greg Hardy 10th, Dwan Edwards 13th and rookie Frank Alexander 41st. It will be interesting to watch them go after Peyton Manning. Every time hes sacked its a surprise. Also, he becomes very sad.
The Panthers avoided turnovers in their victory last week at Washington. Twenty-one points were enough to beat the Redskins. More will be required against the Broncos.
I think wide receiver Steve Smith has a big game. Brandon LaFell or Greg Olsen will, too.
But this is what theyre up against. Manning has the NFLs best quarterback rating, the second best fourth-quarter rating and the fifth-best third-down rating.
Plus, he cheats. Manning was caught gossiping with his younger brother Eli, whose New York Giants pounded the Panthers two months ago, about how to beat Carolina.
The Panthers arent the team we expected, but theyre ready to be good. The Broncos moved beyond good four weeks ago.
PHILADELPHIA 23, Dallas 21: The Eagles are down to, like, one offensive lineman. They used to have two. But the Cowboys cant finish. They could lose a close game if they were on the field by themselves.
PITTSBURGH 33, Kansas City 17: I have this hunch the Steelers prevail.
Atlanta 31, NEW ORLEANS 27: The Falcons have won their four home games by an average of 4.2 points. Theyve won their four road games by an average of 15. They have the Saints where they want them New Orleans.
NEW ENGLAND 33, Buffalo 20
New York Giants 27, CINCINNATI 24
BALTIMORE 23, Oakland 16
TAMPA BAY 21, San Diego 20
MIAMI 23, Tennessee 17
SEATTLE 24, New York Jets 16
SAN FRANCISCO 27, St. Louis 17
Upset of the week
Houston (+1) 1 over CHICAGO
Double Dog Dare
Lock of the week
Minnesota (+1) 4 over Detroit: Woof.