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John Royal's NFL Picks, Week Eight: Take the Texans. That's Right. The Texans.

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After another disastrous weekend of picks, I return to once again make a fool of myself. Maybe I need to have a monkey make my picks or flip a coin, or something. But I don’t own a monkey, and I spent my coins at the Coke machine. So…

With a record of 41-62 against the spread, after going 6-8 last week, here are my picks for this weekend’s NFL games:

1. The Chargers are favored by 9.5 points over the Texans. These two teams will be playing a game at some point this weekend at a location still to be determined. As of this morning, it appears the game will be played in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on Monday night, but the Chargers and San Diego officials are still sorting things out -- the mayor of San Diego says the stadium is ready for the Chargers, but that the decision is up to the Chargers and the Chargers say that they're waiting for the mayor of San Diego to make a decision and that they'll do what he thinks is best. I think all of you know what I think of the Texans, but with all of the turmoil that's been going on in San Diego, I really think 9.5 points is a bit too much. The Chargers will win this game, and not even wild fires and Norv Turner's inept coaching can keep a talented team like the Chargers from beating the Texans, but I just don't see the Chargers winning by 9.5 points. I think the Texans get to within a touchdown, at least, so take the Texans.

2. The Bears are favored by 5 points over the Lions. I don’t quite know what to think about either of these teams. It was kind of shocking to see what the Bears can do with a real QB, as happened at the end of last week’s game; then again, God is on Detroit’s side. I’m going to take the Lions to get within the point spread.

3. The Browns are favored by 3 points over the Rams. Wow, who would’ve thought at the beginning of the year that the Browns would be so much better than the original Cleveland pro football franchise? (That’s right, the Rams played in Cleveland before moving to Los Angeles as the first major league sports franchise on the West Coast, then moved to St. Louis to replace the Cardinals who departed for Phoenix after having moved to St. Louis from Chicago.) What’s all of that digression mean? Nothing. It was just a little trivia. I’m taking the Browns.

4. The Colts are favored by 6.5 points over the Panthers. Did I see that right? Only 6.5 points? Did you people see what the Colts did to the Jaguars? And the Jaguars are better than the Panthers. The Panthers don’t even know who’s starting the game at QB. It’ll be either David Carr or Vinny Testaverde. Take the Colts.

5. The Patriots are hosting the Redskins and are favored by 16.5 points. I’m really conflicted here. I don’t like these huge point spreads. And the Patriots have just been destroying everybody. And I don’t think the Redskins can win this game. But there’s just something telling me that Joe Gibbs can find away to hold down the Patriot scoring machine. So, take the Redskins to get within 16 points.

6. The Saints are visiting the Niners, and the Saints are favored by 3. The Saints got off to an awful start. The Niners have just been awful. Take the Saints.

7. The Jets are favored by 3 points over the Bills. The Bills have been showing signs of life. Which they’re going to need to excite the people of Toronto in the future. Pick the Bills.

8. The Dolphins are 9.5 point underdogs to the Giants. Talk about London calling. This is the first regular season NFL game ever played off of U.S. soil. And it’s a home game for the Dolphins. The Giants have rebounded from a lousy start, almost as if Coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning are trying to tell Tiki Barber to shove it. Take the Giants.

9. The Vikings are 1 point underdogs to the Eagles. The Vikings have one of the best running backs in football in Adrian Peterson, yet insist on only giving him the ball about 12 times a game. Despite this, I say take the Vikings to win this.

10. The Steelers are favored by 3.5 points over the Bengals. I just have this feeling – and I’ve had lots of wrong feelings this season – that the Bengals are going to win. Take the Bengals to get within a field goal.

11. The Bucs are favored by 4 points over the Jags. David Garrard is injured and will not play for the Jags. Maurice Jones-Drew is injured and might not play for the Jags. I’m not enamored with the Bucs, but I’m taking the Bucs.

12. The Titans are favored by 7.5 points over the Raiders. I don’t see it. I see a Titans victory, but not by that big a score. So I’m taking the Raiders.

13. The Broncos are favored by 3 points over the Packers on Monday night. This could be an interesting night in Denver as Game Five of the World Series is currently set for Denver for Monday night. And while I’d like to do nothing better than piss off my Broncos-loving brother by picking the Packers, I can’t do it. Take the Broncos. -- John Royal

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