In honor of my new bowling column, right now I feel like a 5-pin standing alone in the middle of a bowling lane, about to be sent flying by a 16-pound ball.
That's because I've got a great record in picking games this season, but most of it is due to just about every game that's been decided in the last seconds going my way.
Do I really deserve credit for picking Buffalo over Oakland just because the Bills managed to convert a fourth down with 15 seconds to go into the winning touchdown? Or the Vikings' collapse after leading by 17 points at halftime? Or the Cowboys, Broncos, Redskins and Falcons just eeking out victories last week?
That pass in the Buffalo game could just as easily have been dropped and the Raiders would've won. I know what I would be complaining about if that had happened.
So I'm awfully worried that all this luck will start turning on me - and soon.
Then I thought of two things that might work in my favor - bad luck killed me in Week 15 last season, the first week I took over this position when I went 6-10. Maybe the law of averages is just now starting to even out.
Secondly, I missed a half-dozen spares on Monday in Ishpeming that were of the one-pin-standing-alone variety. So maybe the football gods' will miss when they try to knock me, that lonely 5-pin, down.
Let's find out:
Sunday, 1 p.m., Detroit at Minnesota - A great place to start second-guessing, since this looks so juicy for the Lions. Their defensive front should be able to run down Donovan McNabb at least a couple times, making him look like Christmas mincemeat by the fourth quarter. No second-guessing here, Lions, 32-17.
New England at Buffalo - The wheat separates from the chaff for 2-0 teams. Patriots, 41-23.
Jacksonville at Carolina - The Panthers have already lost two defensive starters, so the Jags won't face the kind of defense they did against the Jets last week. Jaguars, 24-20.
San Francisco at Cincinnati - With the 49ers going on the road after a painful overtime loss, the battle of bottom feeders goes to the Bengals, 27-23.
Miami at Cleveland - Any self-respecting team should be 2-0 after playing the Bengals at home and the Peyton Manning-less Colts. The Browns are only 1-1. Dolphins, 19-12.
Houston at New Orleans - Though the Texans are much improved, the Packers may have done New Orleans a favor by adding an extra chip to their shoulders on national TV two weeks ago. Saints, 44-24.
N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia - Third-string Eagles' QB Mike Kafka looks more dynamic than the Giants' Eli Manning. Eagles, 28-17.
Denver at Tennessee - Two rebuilding teams, but one looks a little further along. Titans, 17-13.
Sunday, 4 p.m., Green Bay at Chicago - Too bad for the Packers that this is a game where you have to throw the records out. Nevertheless, Packers, 31-30.
N.Y. Jets at Oakland - Logic says take the Raiders, but they're experts at making less with more, while New York knows how to make more with less. Jets, 24-17.
Baltimore at St. Louis - Baltimore's loss to Tennessee will show that embarrassment is great fertilizer for motivation. Ravens, 26-6.
Kansas City at San Diego - K.C.: first to worst; San Diego: bad to good. Chargers, 45-7.
Arizona at Seattle - The Seahawks must be overrated because I actually heard someone say they're only the second-worst team in the NFL. Cardinals, 34-10.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay - Atlanta knows it's in a dogfight with New Orleans for the division. Falcons, 35-30.
Sunday, 8 p.m., Pittsburgh at Indianapolis - One of the greatest prime-time matchups ever! Until Peyton Manning got hurt. Steelers, 31-3.
Monday, Washington at Dallas - I so want to take Dallas, but when I read the Cowboys took an extra day off this week for injury rehab, I had to go with the Redskins, 27-23.
Record - last week, 15-1, 94 percent; season, 27-5, 84 percent.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.