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Jimmy The Roman

. . . NFL Week 9 Analysis

Three things are very clear to me after Week 9 of the 2000 NFL season. The first thing is that the San Diego Chargers still suck. Though they played the Raiders well at home, it's clear they are the joke of the NFL. At 0-8, this is the worst start of a season for this franchise. Back where I

grew up, if an animal was in this much pain, we tied them up in a trash bag and attached the bag to the tailpipe of the Chevy pickup truck. Put them out of their misery already!

The second thing that is very clear is that the Cleveland Browns suck. Coach Chris Palmer thinks he can win games by playing Russian roulette with his remaining quarterbacks, as if either Doug Pederson or Spergon Wynn is going to rise above their ability to win. That's like asking Katherine Hepburn to climb into the ring with Mike Tyson. The Browns need help from the Chargers if they hope to repeat as the Number 1 pick in the draft for the third straight year.

The last thing that is clear to me is that Brian Billick is the most clueless coach in the NFL. As if touting the skills of Tony Banks weren't enough of a farce, now that the Ravens have entered a 5-game touchdown slump, Billick has decided that Tampa Bay flunkee Trent Dilfer is the answer. For a man heralded as an offensive genius, he sure is being "thick." Why hasn't it occurred to Billick that maybe there was a reason St. Louis and Tampa Bay didn't want either of those guys (Banks or Dilfer, respectively)? Hello!?!?! They suck! The longer Billick refuses to acknowledge that, the longer (I predict) this offensive slump will continue.

As usual, the following picks are for recreational purposes only. Don't use my vast skills to make cash wagers (although I kicked ass last week and made a bundle).

Tampa Bay at Atlanta: The Bucs are back on track after a big win at home against the Vikings to snap a 4-game losing streak. Atlanta just lacks all the power and finesse that made them so strong in '98. Pick: Tampa Bay

Indianapolis at Chicago: The Colts got a big win against the Lions. The Bears are back from a bye week without starting QB Cade McNown. Pick: Indianapolis

Baltimore at Cincinnati: It would be so easy to say that the Ravens would trounce the Bengals, but they can't do that if they don't score. Corey Dillon is in a groove with over 400 yards in 2 games. Pick: Cincinnati

New York Giants at Cleveland: Two of the most unimaginative offenses in the NFL square off. This will be a defensive struggle, but the patsy Browns will rollover, likely allowing the Giants to walk into the end zone via penalties. Pick: New York

Miami at Detroit: Dave Wannstadt has shaken off his tendency to drag his team further into the toilet after a big loss, and he did it by beating the Packers last week after a heart-breaking overtime loss to the Jets that embarrassed the Dolphin defense. Lions QB Charlie Batch is no Brett Favre, but the Packers didn't have James Stewart. Pick: Detroit

Pittsburgh at Tennessee: After a nifty win against the Redskins, the Titans return home against their Central division foe Steelers. Pittsburgh QB Kordell Stewart announced he is returning to his original pocket style . . . which basically means abandoning the pocket. Pick: Tennessee

Buffalo at New England: After knocking off the Jets with a last second field goal, the Bills appear to have straightened out their offensive woes with QB Doug Flutie at the helm. That Pats return from a bye week fresh and ready to win. Pick: Buffalo

San Francisco at New Orleans: The Saints are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NFL behind the solid play of RB Ricky Williams at the surprise consistency of QB Jeff Black. The 49ers boast the league's second-rated passer in Jeff Garcia, though their defense is woeful at best. Pick: New Orleans

Dallas at Philadelphia: A piece of advice to Cowboys GM Jerry Jones: wake up and smell the concussion. Troy Aikman should be on the bench. The poor Eagles can't seem to get it together minus Deuce Staley. Pick: Philadelphia

Washington at Arizona: This game couldn't come at a better time for the $100 million Redskins. If they can't buy their way into a win this week, perhaps they can auction off some of their high priced talent (and I use the term loosely) to help the Cardinals pay for their new stadium. Pick: Washington

Kansas City at Oakland: This could be a playoff game in the making for these two division rivals. Oakland is playing hot now that John Gruden and QB Rich Gannon have figured out how to get along. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are hot behind the outstanding play of their defense and special teams, and don't forget, they are the only team to beat up the Rams. Pick: Kansas City

Denver at New York Jets: After being arrested for DUI, the Broncos management has cut off the IV bottle of Jack Daniels that runs into QB Brian Griese's helmet. The Jets and QB Vinny Testaverde hope to bounce back from a tough loss to the Bills. Pick: New York

San Diego at Seattle: It's hard to root for either team here, simply because they both suck so bad. San Diego needs a complete housecleaning, but Seattle has the tools to win . . . they just aren't using them (hint: put John Kitna back in at QB). Pick: Seattle

Carolina at St. Louis: The only thing worse than playing the Rams is playing the Rams in St. Louis, where they OWN their opponents the last two seasons. The Panthers will try to bounce back from a close loss to Atlanta, though if they can't beat the Falcons, why bother showing up against the Rams? Pick: St. Louis

Minnesota at Green Bay: OK, so my "homeboy" isn't perfect, but the suspect defensive secondary of the Vikings clearly needs to regroup after giving up 3 TDs to second-year man Shaun King in Tampa. The Packers have made mediocre an art form. Pick: Minnesota

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the week off.

Last week's picks: 10-4 (Overall: 39-29)

Jimmy The Roman, a salute to the deceased sports journalist "Jimmy the Greek," is a periodic columnist at YourMVP.net

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