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(By Rice World Staff)

by None, Rice, Gerry

     Ah, yes. Last week was a good week. Yeah, I garnered the best record. So what if I am no longer ass anymore? What made Week 9 so sweet was that I actually bagged the Minnesota game! Heh heh... those that have been keeping track of the Rice World NFL picks know that week in and week out, when it comes down to choosing the Vikings game, I never get it correct. If I say Minnesota win, they lose. If I say they lose, they win. Doh! Except last Monday Night, thanks to the downfall of Dallas's major offensive weapons, I broke the cursed streak. Woohoo! Think the Vikes will screw me again this week? Read on to find out, dear reader:

Wins Losses Locks Back
None 82 46 6-3 ---
Rice 74 54 4-5 8
Gerry 73 55 4-5 9
kurupt 9 5 1-0 N/A


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Gerry 10-5 - 9-6 - 8-6 + 11-3 +
None 9-6 + 10-5 + 9-5 + 12-2 -
Rice 8-7 + 11-4 - 8-6 - 10-4 -
kurupt N/A N/A N/A 9-5 +
Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Gerry 7-7 - 4-10 + 10-4 + 8-6 -
None 6-8 + 9-5 + 10-4 - 10-4 +
Rice 7-7 + 5-9 + 9-5 - 7-7 -
kurupt N/A N/A N/A N/A
Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Gerry 6-8 - N/A N/A N/A
None 7-7 - N/A N/A N/A
Rice 9-5 + N/A N/A N/A
kurupt N/A N/A N/A N/A


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dolphinssmall.gif (1791 bytes)  vs  billssmall.gif (830 bytes)
Miami Dolpins @ Buffalo Bills
Gerry: Buffalo
None: Buffalo

Rice: Buffalo

None: This is a huge game for both teams. If Buffalo loses, they go to 6-4, Miami goes to 8-1, and the Bills remain in fourth place no matter what happens to the Colts and the Patriots. If they win, Buffalo's only a half game behind the Dolphins, plus they hold the 2-0 head-to-head edge over them in case of a tie. With all that said, the Bills need this game badly, and without Dan Marino, the Bills defense should instill the fear of God into Damon Huard.

Gerry: I can't believe this. I'm taking the Bills. If, I of all people, take the Bills, then you know they'll win. W/o Marino, the Dolphins will pay dearly.

Rice: Buffalo ought to be able to pull out a squeaker due to it's air-tight defense at home. Flutie's got Moulds back, and Jonathon Linton is a rising back capable of hard-nosed football. Reminds me of Mike Alstott. If it weren't for the leg of Olindo Mare, or Miami's #1 defense, Buffalo would blow 'em out.

vikingssmall.gif (1892 bytes)  vs  bearssmall.gif (1018 bytes)
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Gerry: Minnesota
None: Minnesota

Rice: Minnesota

None: Minnesota's finally getting back on track, with a nice comeback victory over Dallas on Monday Night Football last week. While the old adage that "Win on Monday, Lose on Sunday." takes effect here, I don't think the Bears can beat them. Take the Vikes.

Gerry: They only won last week because Aikman and Smith went down. The Cowboys were manhandling the Vikings during the 1st half. But something happened. Randy Moss became part of the offense again. The Bears have to watch out.

Rice: Woohoo! Last week was the first week that my pick for the Minnesota game came true! I do believe I broke out of that voodoo slump. Heh heh... Anyways, the Bears are thriving on all this parity bullcrap going arond the NFL, thus hanging tough in nearly every game despite having QB troubles. Their running game is stable though, but that won't be enough to beat the revitalized Vikings, led by Jeff George and Cris Carter.

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Indianapolis Colts @ NY Giants
Gerry: Indianapolis
None: Indianapolis

Rice: Indianapolis

None: Indy's the team to look for in the AFC East, and I think they can beat just about anyone in the playoffs. Manning and Co. need to learn to win on the road, and that's what's gonna happen this Sunday against a Giants team which seems to have finally gotten their defense on track. However, Indy's on a roll, and I can't bet against a team like that. And I won't.

Gerry: Edgerrin James has been my archnemesis the past 2 weeks, bringing my ranking down in my fantasy league. This week I'll give him his due. The Colts are for real. The Giants will naturally give the Colts good field position all day, and Manning will eat it up.

Rice: Although the Colts offense spearheaded by Peyton Manning and Edgarrin James is high powered, they CAN be stopped. We witnessed that from KC for about 2 quarters. After that they exploded for the win. Damn. Anyways, the Giants defense is certainly one to be feared if they can get in their groove. Michael Strahan... what a monster. This will be closer than many people may expect, but Indy is too efficient of a team to be stopped by the lowly Giants.

brownssmall.gif (1058 bytes)   vs  steelerssmall.gif (1522 bytes)
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Gerry: Pittsburgh
None: Pittsburgh

Rice: Pittsburgh

None: Tim Couch and co. are young and learning, and maybe a couple of years down the line, this Cleveland/Pittsburgh AFC Central showdown will become a war. However, with Kordell Stewart playing a lot better, I think this game should be no prob. for them.

Gerry: I hate the Steelers. If only the Browns weren't such gimps. What an embarrassment it was last week, getting slaughtered by the hated Art Modell's team.

Rice: No brainer here. Browns suck dirty balls, and this will show against a rising Pittsburgh team after it spent the early part of this season in the gutter. Expect the Steelers to use this game as a practice scrimmage. Heh heh...

49erssmall.gif (1436 bytes)  vs  saintssmall.gif (959 bytes)
San Fran. 49ers @ New Orleans Saints
Gerry: New Orleans
None: San Francisco

Rice: New Orleans

None: This is a pretty sorry game. Something inside tells me that the 49ers can outscore these pathetic Saints. To tell you the truth, Dikta's job is in trouble. I mean, what are they, 1 and 7? Geez... anyways, despite their horrific secondary (Who's gonna throw on them, Billy Joe or Billy Joe?) and the horrific offensive line (Oh, yeah...the Saints have a monster defensive rush....heh heh) , I just have this feeling. Go Jeff Garcia.

Gerry: I don't like the Niners at all in this game. The Saints shoulda won the last matchup, but they found a way to Billy Joe themselves to a loss. But now that Ricky is coming around, the Saints' attack should be opened up.

Rice: Does SF need Steve Young? Oh yeah... their first meeting was a 49er victory in a squeaker, and that was w/ a healthy Steve Young. Now the Saints are at home and they're hungry for a win. Under Mike Ditka's pounding run offense, Ricky Williams will run wild.

pantherssmall.gif (1186 bytes)  vs  ramssmall.gif (699 bytes)
Carolina Panthers @ St. Louis Rams
Gerry: St. Louis
None: St. Louis

Rice: St. Louis

None: To tell you the truth, if this game took place in Carolina, I might have changed my pick. The Rams, as good as they are, still have not proven themselves in a close game in front of a tough crowd. In St. Louis however, I believe they'll simply blow out the Panthers. Ha.

Gerry: The Rams will never get to the Super Bowl if they lose this game. And you know, I'm picking them for the Super Bowl. But this is a Detroit and Tennessee type game. The Rams must not let the other team get the lead early in the game. Because they still don't know how to crawl out of holes.

Rice: So... the Rams are capable of losing. First to Tennessee, then to Detroit. Now they are back home, and set to assert themselves as their conference champions.

chiefssmall.gif (1052 bytes)  vs  bucssmall.gif (1751 bytes)
K.C. Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gerry: Tampa Bay
None: Kansas City

Rice: Kansas City

None: As amazing as Tampa Bay's defense is, and despite Trent Dilfer's return to the starting lineup last week, I doubt he can put together two good games. Kansas City, while only 1-3 on the road, has what it takes to beat Tampa Bay. It's called an offense. Hell, all you really need is a field goal or two. I mean, KC should be familiar with this style of play; they got the Chargers in their division. Heh heh; I'm on a roll.

Gerry: I can't pick against the Bucs. They're too strong defensively, and Grbac has gotta start making mistakes one of these days. His rating's actually better than expected. But if Dilfer starts playing like he knows he's QB, then TB can't possibly lose.

Rice: I'm a sucker for the Chiefs. They play hardcore, consistent smashmouth football, but they seem to stumble a bit when the hit the road. However, last week's game at Indy was close until the end when Manning and James started getting hot. Dilfer can't play for beans. Last week was a fluke, and this week he'll show his true-self once more.

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Tennessee Titans @ Cincinnati Bengals
Gerry: Tennessee
None: Tennessee

Rice: Tennessee

None: Week in, week out, I make my claims that Cincinnati is the worst in the league. Week in, week out, they stink up the joint and get clobbered. Week in, week out, the other team builds up confidence and energy, looking forward to next week's big matchup with a NFL team. Week in, week out: What's going to change this time? Nothing.

Gerry: I don't think the Titans are an elite team at all. But damn, they're playing Cincy. How could they lose? I got a hunch about Cincy in this one, actually, but my sanity doesn't allow me to take the Bengals.

Rice: Not much to say here. The Bengals have a long way to go, and their future is muddy. The Titans are on the rise, and will probably make the playoffs. However, sometimes they play sloppy games. Doesn't matter. Cincy will lose.

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Wash. Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles
Gerry: Washington
None: Washington

Rice: Washington

None: Alright, so the Skins got clobbered by the Bills, which was something practically no one expected. (Props to Rice for his...foolish loyalty to the Bills) But this week, they face the mighty Eagles. Brad Johnson should be able to go wild on this weak secondary. The score will fly high like the mighty Eagle, but they won't be the ones scoring.

Gerry: I think Washington can lose this game as well. If you lose to Buffalo, then dang, you can lose to anyone! (Jab at Rice). But Brad Johnson and crew are too much for Philly to handle. Plus Stephen Davis is still getting his TDs.

Rice: Here's another no-brainer. Redskins look a little ugly sometimes, but the Eagles look perpetually ugly. Sure, they've pulled some surprises and upsets, but not this week.

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Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Gerry: Jacksonville
None: Jacksonville

Rice: Jacksonville

None: Damn, maybe there is no justice in this world. Art Modell's Ravens return to the city they screwed three years ago (Cleveland), and destroy them 41-9. Well, at least this week the Jaguars have a good defense. Hell, great d. Revenge is a dish served cold... uh... I don't know what that has to do with anything, but the Jags should handle the Ravens.

Gerry: I use the Haguars for Madden all the time. They're so awesome. Fred Taylor's back, and damn, he's making up for lost time. Baltimore's defense is also excellent, but not as good as Jax's. But offensively, it takes the Browns to bring the best outta them. This won't be pretty.

Rice: Fred Taylor's hot, and the Jacksonville defense is back in gear. Baltimore better not forget who they're playing this week. =)

chargerssmall.gif (779 bytes)  vs  raiderssmall.gif (1530 bytes)
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
Gerry: Oakland
None: Oakland

Rice: Oakland

None: In truth, this is the only game I hesitated on. While San Diego has lost their last three games, the Raiders are still unproven, not to mention inconsistent. This is basically the fight for the 6th or 7th spot in the conference, and this game could have huge playoff implications. Hmm....since the Chargers don't have an offense (Bring back Ryan Leaf!), and the Silver-and-Black are at home, I hesitate...but I'll take da Raiders.

Gerry: The Raiders will destroy the Chargers. It's in the forecast. They've gotten some time to heal, and they'll probably as sharp as ever. I think they're overrated, but the Chargers are just too foul.

Rice: Wow, do the Chargers blow chunks or what? Their magnificent defense has sputtered. They lost to a 3rd string QB against Denver last week. Not gonna win this week. Ugly season continues...

lionssmall.gif (559 bytes)  vs  cardssmall.gif (1052 bytes)
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals
Gerry: Arizona
None: Detroit

Rice: Detroit

None: Damnit, Detroit surprised me last week against the Rams. I believe 4th and 25 will stay in Dick Vermeil's mind for a long, long while. God. Anyways, this Arizona team has rolled over and played dead the entire season, and without the Snake, I doubt anything will change. The Lions have confidence, have momentum, and after this week, they'll have a 7-2 record.

Gerry: I don't know how the hell Detroit does it. They come out each week and win their games. It's astounding. They gotta be the worst 1st place team right now man. They'll beat the juggernauts but lose to the pansies. The Cards are pansies.

Rice: Detroit has definitely been the surprise team this year. Bobby Ross has done a good job w/ the team chemistry, and if it weren't for the surprising Rams and Dick Vermeil, he would deserve the Coach of the Year honor. 'zona will just keep on strugglin'...

packerssmall.gif (691 bytes)  vs  cowboyssmall.gif (794 bytes)
Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys
Gerry: Dallas
None: Green Bay

Rice: Green Bay

None: Heh heh, as bad as this Packers team is, the Cowboys are missing a) Troy Aikman, b) Michael Irvin, c) Emmitt Smith, d) their entire offense. If it wasn't for 52-17 and 30-13, I would actually feel sorry for them. (Bills fans know what I'm talking about) Actually, I kind of have some doubts about this game, because the Packers have played horribly, and the Cowboys have nothing to lose. Yet...without their big three...I doubt they'll get any points on the ground.

Gerry: I've never gone against Dallas, and I never will! My fondest memories are of sitting in Burger King watching the Cowboys beat the Packers. Brett Favre has been less than stellar, and the Packers are underperforming. Why should that trend stop this week against an obivious mismatch?

Rice: Do you realize the amount of times Green Bay has won in Dallas this decade? Zero. The buck stops here, however. I suspect a major internal reshuffling and team meeting before heading off to Dallas. Brett Favre is too much of a leader to let his team fall apart on him now. Win #1 for the Packers in Texas Stadium as the decade, century, and millenium come to a close.

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Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks
Gerry: Seattle
None: Seattle

Rice: Seattle

None: While Denver has played a lot better in past weeks, the Seahawks are just too good. What Joey Galloway's return will mean to the team's chemistry remains to be seen, but with this weak AFC West, the Seahawks can take advantage and earn a bye-week in the playoffs while the AFC East teams are beating themselves silly. I like Seattle.

Gerry: The Seahawks are my pick to win the AFC West and to play in the AFC Championships. Holmgren knows what he's doing, and they don't even need Galloway. But if he's as fit as he claims, then he should fit right in and start burning DBs left and right.

Rice: Watch out! Joey Galloway's back! Mike Holmgren has done a nice job putting the Seattle team together after a shaky start. Denver is rebuilding w/out Terrell Davis and Shannon Sharpe. Seahawks will win easily, as long as they put in adequate time for preparation.

jetssmall.gif (736 bytes)  vs  patssmall.gif (599 bytes)
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
Gerry: NY Jets
None: New England

Rice: New England

None: For this game, I have comprised a little poem for you.

Here in this matchup in the AFC East,
watch the Patriots of New England feast,
the Tuna returns to his stomping ground,
but the Jets don't match up pound for pound,
face it, New Yorkers, they suck,
and about this game, no one gives a f-ck,
so please, don't show it on CBS nor FOX,
this game will suck big cocks.

Gerry: I can't possibly top None's poem. =)

Rice: This is one game Bill Parcells will not win. Famously known as the Tuna Bowl, after Parcells left the Patriots following an AFC champion season, all Jets-Patriots matchups have gone nearly all to New England. Without Vinny, it's overs for the Jets before it even began...

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{ Bye week }

Rice: OVERALL ANALYSIS- Not a lot of discrepency between everyone's picks this week. I guess maybe, perhaps just maybe, that the NFL has settled down to a semi-predictable pattern in which most people can guesstimate the outcome of each game. Can't wait until the playoffs though... it'll be interesting to see if the surprising teams such as the Rams or the Lions can hang w/ the veterans of post season.


Gerry's LOCK OF THE WEEK: Tampa Bay -> Trent Dilder's gonna lodge himself in KC's vajoina. Warren Sapp's been a big time defensive player. But I dunno. This is exactly the type of game TB always loses. I'm pretty confident they'll pull this one out though.
None's LOCK OF THE WEEK: Buffalo -> I haven't had much success in my locks of late, and this is the second time I'm using it on the Buffalo/Miami showdown. Ah... it seems like the "Start Rob Johnson" campaign fired up Doug Flutie, and I think he/Moulds/Rheshersma will get it going. Yay Bills!
Rice's LOCK OF THE WEEK: New Orleans -> Damn it sure was tough picking a lock this week. Anyways, I know that the Saints got destroyed by the Bucs and lowly Trent Dilfer, but I think they'll bounce back, and w/ Ron Dayne breaking the NCAA rushing record, Ricky Williams will have to step up and prove he's worth the farm Ditka traded to get him.