Options very few when teams curse you

TREVOR BUNKE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Following Week 11, I swore (literally) off both the Vikings and Jaguars for the rest of the season.

You know, one of those, "I'm not taking those pieces of (poop) again this year."

No sooner had those words been blurted out when the realization struck me: The two pieces of (poop) play each other this weekend.

The Vikes and Jags are two teams (although there are others, believe me) that I can't seem to predict the outcomes for, no matter who they are playing.

Anyway, without further ado (read whining), here is the poop on this week's picks:

Baltimore (+7) at New England: While Ravens QB Kyle Boller managed to get by dreadful Dallas without RB Jamal Lewis, it gets a lot tougher in Foxboro against the Patriots. I mean, if the Chiefs couldn't pick apart New England's patchwork secondary, how on earth will Boller? PATRIOTS

Philadelphia (-7) at NY Giants: Giants rookie QB Eli Manning is more than likely to be 0-2 as a starter after facing the Eagles, but after losing his debut only 14-10 to the Falcons, who are the second-best team in the NFC behind the Eagles, he might just do enough to keep it close. GIANTS

Washington (+10.5) at Pittsburgh: Even when Steelers rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger plays like a rookie, the rest of the team picks him up and wins. So even if he has a rough day vs. a decent Redskins defence, his teammates will be there for him. STEELERS

Cleveland (+6) at Cincinnati: The Browns cut QB Tim Couch in the off-season and replaced him with Jeff Garcia, who will sit out this week's game vs. the Bengals. So now they have to turn to Kelly Holcomb, a guy many felt should have been given the starter's job in the first place. The Bengals might be down after their devastating loss last week to the Steelers. BROWNS

Jacksonville (+6) at Minnesota: Two teams I don't give a poop about ... but here it goes: Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich will return to the lineup after missing the last two games. The Vikings are 0-4 vs. teams with winning records. Jacksonville is 6-4. JAGUARS

Tampa Bay (-2.5) at Carolina: If it's all about comings and Goings, then the Panthers win easily. RB Nick Goings dashed for 121 yards in last week's 35-10 win over Arizona. It will be tougher to run against Tampa, but if Carolina wins ... it's -- improbably -- back in the hunt for a playoff spot. Hey, the Panthers did go to the Super Bowl last season. PANTHERS

San Diego (+3) at Kansas City: The Chargers have outscored the Chiefs 285-276 this season, so they have them there. They've allowed 190 points to K.C.'s 265, so they have them there, too. They're also 7-3 to the Chiefs' 3-7. San Diego is due for a letdown, but it's not going happen against the Chiefs. CHARGERS

Tennessee (-1.5) at Houston: The Titans have shown signs of the life the past few games and have starting QB Steve McNair back. It's too late for a playoff run, but a strong finish is possible. TITANS

New Orleans (+9.5) at Atlanta: The Saints can't stop anyone on defence. They are dead last against the pass and the run. That run part is particularly bad vs. the Falcons QB Michael Vick, who has led Atlanta to No. 2 run offence in the league. FALCONS

NY Jets (-3) at Arizona: The Cardinals have won their past three at home, where they're looking more and more comfortable. The Jets barely squeezed out a win last week vs. Cleveland. New York, it would appear, will be mediocre at best as long as QB Quincy Carter is at the helm. CARDINALS

Buffalo (+5) at Seattle: The Seahawks needed a last-minute interception return for a touchdown to beat the hapless Dolphins. In those cases, I can't give up a five-point spot -- not even to a Bills team that is playing poorly on the road. BILLS

Miami (+1) at San Francisco: Game of the weak. A battle of the NFL's two 1-9 teams. Sheer brutality. To the loser -- probably -- goes the first overall pick in next spring's draft. DOLPHINS

Oakland (+11) at Denver: The Broncos (or more importantly their coach Mike Shanahan) get to embarrass the Raiders on national television. And embarrassing it will be. BRONCOS

St. Louis (+6) at Green Bay: The way I look at it, if the Rams can't win in Miami (the Dolphins' only win of the season) and Buffalo, how can they compete at Lambeau Field? They can't. Another big night is on tap for Packers QB Brett Favre. PACKERS

Last Week: 7-8-1.

Season: 77-81-4.

Best Bet: San Diego.

Best Bets: 5-6 after 10-point favourite Seattle only beat Miami 24-17.

Suicide Pick: Denver.

Suicide Picks: 9-2 after Baltimore beat Dallas 30-10.


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