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Sam Farmer's NFL picks: Week 9

October 31, 2008|Sam Farmer | Farmer is a Times staff writer.

Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher made the switch to quarterback Kerry Collins.

Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden went to Jeff Garcia.

San Francisco's Mike Singletary went to Shaun Hill.

And I went to Dorothy the psychic.

Yes, that's right. My NFL picks have been so lousy this season, I've decided to reach into the beyond for help with this week's selections. So I turned to psychic Dorothy Uwnawich, whose offices are in a small house in La Crescenta. The place is easy to spot; there's a human-sized wizard out front raising a glowing crystal ball. There's a witch too, but that's only a Halloween decoration.

Anyway, I called and asked Dorothy to make her picks -- she says she's not a football fan -- then stopped by her business to get them. She took me into a small room where the air was thick with incense, asked me to sit down, then pushed to me a list of her 14 winning teams.

"These were the ones I tuned into," she said.

Fair enough. I thanked her, and, before leaving, put her on the spot with a question: when is Los Angeles getting an NFL team?

"It's going to be a while," she said. "We're not ready for one yet."

Sounded legitimate to me.

Regardless, each Friday evening, I do a radio spot on 710 ESPN, on the Denholm & Long show, and they ask me to make a couple of picks.

For the last two weeks, they've pitted me against a screaming monkey named Bobo, who also makes picks.

We tied the first week, but Bobo beat me last week.

So what follows are the matchups, my pick and then Dorothy's.

And if she beats me this week?

I'll have her put a hex on that chimp.

New York Jets at Buffalo: After a hot start, the Bills have lost two of three, and Trent Edwards' play has slipped. Brett Favre has been sacked 16 times, one more than his 2007 total. Pick: New York/Buffalo.

Detroit at Chicago: The Lions have lost 28 of 33 on the road, and even though they've gotten closer to winning a game in recent weeks, they're still bad. Pick: Chicago/Chicago.

Jacksonville at Cincinnati: Every Jacksonville game has been decided by seven points or fewer. This could be the Jaguars' best chance for a blowout. Pick: Jacksonville/Jacksonville.

Baltimore at Cleveland: The Ravens have their offense rolling and have averaged 28 points in their last two games. The Browns have defeated Baltimore at Cleveland Stadium twice in the last three years. Pick: Cleveland/Cleveland.

Tampa Bay at Kansas City: Tampa Bay is 1-3 on the road and has won only five of 20 away from home since 2006. The Buccaneers should be able to run against the Chiefs, who are last in the league in rush defense. Pick: Tampa Bay/Kansas City.

Houston at Minnesota: The Texans have put together the first three-game winning streak in franchise history. The Vikings can roll up a lot of yards, but they're also prone to mistakes. Pick: Minnesota/Houston.

Arizona at St. Louis: Kurt Warner returns to where his legend was born. He has won both of his return trips to St. Louis, throwing for four touchdowns with one interception. The reborn Rams folded down the stretch at New England last Sunday. Pick: Arizona/St. Louis.

Green Bay at Tennessee: The Titans have a great rushing offense and a defense that has given up the fewest points in the NFL. This game will be a real test, though, because the Packers can get hot, and Tennessee is coming off a short week. Pick: Tennessee/Tennessee.

Miami at Denver: The open date came at a good time for the Broncos, who probably will have running back Selvin Young, receiver Brandon Stokley and tight end Tony Scheffler back. Miami's Ronnie Brown could have a chance for a big game against a soft run defense. Pick: Denver/Miami.

Dallas at New York Giants: Tennessee is the league's only undefeated team, but the Giants could be its best team. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are reeling and Brad Johnson is looking his age. Pick: New York/New York.

Atlanta at Oakland: Falcons running back Michael Turner has gone two games without a touchdown, and that drought could end against a Raiders defense that's struggling against the run. It would help Atlanta if left tackle Sam Baker were at full health. Pick: Oakland/Atlanta.

Philadelphia at Seattle: The Eagles have Brian Westbrook back and that instantly makes them one of the better teams in the league. The Seahawks showed a pulse last week by pounding San Francisco, but they don't have Philadelphia's talent. Pick: Philadelphia/Philadelphia.

New England at Indianapolis: The AFC's marquee matchup in recent years, Patriots-Colts, is now about teams struggling to find identities. Peyton Manning just doesn't look the same, whereas Matt Cassel is rounding into a competent quarterback. Pick: New England/Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh at Washington: Clinton Portis leads the league in rushing and has been the centerpiece of Washington's offense. He faces the NFL's third-best run defense and a coach, Mike Tomlin, who has won all three of his Monday night games. Pick: Pittsburgh/Washington.

Season record: 64-52.


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