SB Nation suggested recently that I start doing an NFL picks column. "I will," I said, "but I really don't know much about the NFL. Also, I have a crippling gambling addiction."
They hung up—it must have been a bad connection, or else I wasn't talking on a real phone again. So here I am, doing some NFL picking; but I have to finish this post before the library kicks me off their computer for double-parking my shopping cart in the YA section. So here's NFL Picks, week 10, episode one: The NFC West Optimist Edition.
St. Louis Rams 10 at San Francisco 49ers 3. The San Francisco 49ers offense is one of the more inept operations in football. The Rams are pretty scoring-challenged, themselves—29th in the NFL in points per game, one rank ahead of the Niners—but they haven't decided to screw with their number-one pick's head by signing Chad Bradford for backup quarterback, which puts them out in front.
Troy Smith or Alex Smith or Bruce Smith struggles, Steven Jackson breaks the rest of his fingers while scoring the game's only touchdown on a ball that Sam Bradford throws a little too enthusiastically, and the Rams' defense continues its impressive run against one of the (other) worst offenses in football. Danario Alexander's wheelchair is crushed in the ensuing locker-room celebration as the Rams get back over .500 for the first time since somebody had to explain to me what a Hy-Vee was.
Seattle Seahawks 28 at Arizona Cardinals 34. Matt Hasselbeck is practicing again, which means the NFC West Optimist Edition will be without its much-desired Charlie Whitehurst/Derek Anderson quarterback showdown. I'm hard-pressed to call for fireworks in any game featuring Anderson, but the Seahawks have been blown out twice in a row and the Cardinals have one of the more porous defenses in football.
At home Anderson goes 11-for-25 for four touchdowns and two interceptions; the Cardinals sign him to a five-year contract and release Matt Leinart again. The Seahawks—I don't know how they score 28. Everybody in the stadium realizes they've lost five minutes' worth of memories, and suddenly Marshawn Lynch has 300 fantasy points.
Tennessee Titans 0 at Miami Dolphins 0. In the opening moments of the first quarter Randy Moss pulls off his jersey and pads to reveal a St. Louis Rams jersey and, somehow, an identical set of pads. He runs a fly route counterclockwise around the earth and arrives in St. Louis just before game time, having memorized Steve Spagnuolo's unpublished pillar-related memoirs.
St. Louis Rams-Prime 17 at San Francisco 49ers-Prime 3. I make a nearly identical joke about the 49ers having a lot of quarterbacks named Smith, but we can tell that we've entered a different time plane when Steven Jackson only breaks most of his fingers scoring his only touchdown of the game.
Randy Moss catches a touchdown and we're all really happy because Sam Bradford finally has somebody to throw to. Alex Smith-Prime asks Randy Moss to send the earth backward in time to the moment before he was drafted, and Moss winks at the camera, and the credits roll.