John Royal's NFL Picks, Week 14: Longest. Season. Ever.

Well, it’s Thursday again. Which means it’s time for the football picks. And yes, I still stink at this. I went 7-9 last week, which was better than the week before. And that puts me at 80-112 on the season. Will this season ever end?

Let’s get on with it.

1. The Redskins are favored by 3 points over the Bears. Gee, I don’t hear people screaming about this game being on the NFL Network. I wonder why? The key question is whether the Hall of Fame can rescind membership, because after last week, it’s real questionable about whether Joe Gibbs still belongs. Anyway, despite Rex Grossman being the QB, take the Bears.

2. The Bucs are 3 point favorites over the Texans. Matt Schaub might be out for the season. Ahman Green might be out for the season (not that it matters much), and Fred Weary’s out for the year with a broken leg. As if this team could be in any worse shape. Then again, the Bucs are without their star running back and QB Jeff Garcia has been injured and missing the occasional game. But Jon Gruden’s a better coach than Gary Kubiak. (Who isn’t, except for maybe Gibbs?) Take the Bucs.

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3. The Cowboys are 10.5 point favorites over the Lions. At one point, the Lions were 6-2. Now they’re 6-6, and sinking quickly. Take the Cowboys.

4. The Bills are favored by 7 points over the Dolphins. How much worse can it get for the Dolphins? Are they going to go 0-16 the same season the Patriots eclipse the NFL record, held by the Dolphins for a perfect season? The Bills are going to have any Joe Gibbs gaffs here to help them out. But they won’t need it. Take the Bills.

5. The Bengals are 6 point favorites over the Rams. I’ve got to confess, I don’t understand this one. The Bengals have a better record, but the Rams have Marc Bulger back this week and seem to be finally playing like the team so many people picked for the playoffs. Take the Rams to get within the point spread, if not win.

6. The Browns are 3 point favorites over the Jets. The Browns were cheated last week by some bad officiating. I say they’re taking it out on the Jets. So take the Browns.

7. The Broncos are 6.5 point favorites over the Chiefs. I just like pissing off my Bronco-loving brother, so take the Chiefs.

8. The Packers are 10.5 point favorites over the Raiders. The Raiders are bad. The Packers are good. But the Packs have some injury problems. Like Brett Favre who was injured last week. And backup Aaron Rodgers is out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury. And the Raiders have a decent defense. Take the Raiders to get within the point spread.

9. The Colts are favored by 9 points over the Ravens. I don’t think the NFL is biased in favor of the Colts like they are the Pats. So I don’t think we’ll be hearing any Raven conspiracy theories after this game. But take the Colts anyway.

10. The Jags are favored by 10.5 points over the Panthers. The Jags stayed close to the Colts last week. And the Jags have a really good running game. The Panthers have the whole David Carr issue. Apparently, Carr was moved to the third string last week because the coach was trying to protect him from the fans. Take the Jags.

11. The Vikings are 9 points favorites over the Niners. A Vikings staring defensive lineman was just suspended for four games for steroids use – funny, I haven’t seen a Richard Justice column condemning this guy for ruining the game. But it doesn’t matter. The Purple Jesus is healthy. Take the Vikings.

12. The Eagles are favored by 3 points over the Giants. Eli Manning looked good in the clutch against the Bears. Something must be wrong in the fabric of the universe. Take the Giants.

13. The Patriots are 10.5 point favorites over the Steelers. The Pats have struggled the past several weeks. But I don’t think it’s wise that one of the Steelers is going all Joe Namath and guaranteeing the victory. Still, I think the Steelers have been paying attention to what the Eagles and Ravens have done the past couple of weeks. The Steelers can win this game, but I’m not guaranteeing it. But I’m saying Pittsburgh will get within the point spread.

14. The Cardinals are 7 point underdogs to the Seahawks. Some weeks the Cards look good. Some weeks they look bad. Some weeks they have the help of the refs. Take the Cards.

15. The Chargers are favored by 1.5 points over the Titans. Quick, is Norv Turner still coaching the Chargers? Then take the Titans.

16. The Saints are 4 point favorites over the Falcons. So, what kind of trick play are the Saints going to try (and screw up) this week? I don’t think it matters because they’re playing the Falcons. (Can you believe the Texans lost to the Falcons?) Take the Saints. -- John Royal

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