Carolina Panthers

NFL picks: I had the NFC South of weeks, but I’ll be better

Last week was my worst week in this space, which I’m still leasing from Tom Sorensen.

I went 6-7 and I’ll own it. It was bad. It was trash. And I’m going to try to dig my way through it this week.

Speaking of digging out, how about those Buffalonians? In case you’ve been snowed under a rock, the Bills and Jets won’t be playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium this week because of disastrous snow. Literally, they have so much snow that a person of average height would be covered from head to toe.

I’m a lifelong North Carolinian, so I’m very curious how people deal with that. Do they enjoy it? Do they believe it builds character? At the bottom of this column, you can find my work number. If you’ve lived in Buffalo, I want to hear why you’re there or why you stayed so long.

We get one snow a year here and we’re set. But snow so bad that days before a football game being played they realize it can’t happen? It does not compute. You can also call to laugh at my terrible week.

Last week: 6-7

Season: 96-56-1

Lock: I should have taken my own advice when I said not to pick an NFC South team playing outside the division. The Saints failed me.

Season: 6-5

Upset: Arrowhead is back to being a great place to play a home game. Seattle has surprised me. I failed you.

Season: 6-5

This week’s picks, with the home team in CAPS.

PATRIOTS 28, Lions 17: The Pats are the best team in the AFC and possibly the NFL. We’ll know about the latter next week when they play at Green Bay. I don’t like betting against Tom Brady, and if this game took place in Detroit, I’d have a tougher time going with the Pats. But Brady in Foxboro when it’s getting cold is money.

Cowboys 35, GIANTS 21: This game is important because Fox reminds us every year that it is. No matter the records of these two teams, it will be a marquee matchup because it was a decade ago. The game is irrelevant this year with the Cowboys rolling and the Giants crumbling with Eli. But remember, you’re supposed to care.

The rest

Browns 24, FALCONS 22

EAGLES 38, Titans 10

Packers 30, VIKINGS 13

COLTS 27, Jaguars 3

Bengals 21, TEXANS 17

SEAHAWKS 21, Cardinals 20

CHARGERS 24, Rams 17

BRONCOS 38, Dolphins 21

49ERS 24, Washington 13

BILLS 14, Jets 10

Upset of the week

Ravens (plus-3) 24, SAINTS 17: The Saints are playing at home at night in primetime and will wear their all-black uniforms. Usually they win. They won’t. Baltimore is 6-4 with a tough AFC North division its trying to win. New Orleans is 4-6 with a bad NFC South division its trying to lose like everyone else. Any other year and the Saints win this game like they do all night games at home. But this is the 2014 NFC South.

Lock of the week

BEARS (minus-6) 35, Buccaneers 17: Notice a theme in this week’s column? I’ve picked against every NFC South team. The Panthers aren’t playing but I’m not sure I’d pick them if they were. .