Tampa Bay at Miami (-10)
Who needs it more: Miami. They're getting a lot of love as The Best 3-5 Team Ever, which is somewhat ironic because the team is run by Bill Parcells, who is famous for hating crap like that. You are what you are. Yeah, the Dolphins could've won their games against Indy and N'Awlins. They also could've lost both games to the Jets. Quit making excuses for them.
Mundane stat/observation: If you play in a nice weather city (like Tampa), can't there be a way to schedule all their road games in nice weather cities before November?
Fantasy hunch: Don't be shocked if Ricky Williams puts up some numbers in this one. His production has been similar to Ronnie Brown's most of the year.
Kinda feels like: Dolphins win, but sloppily. Usually happens when you play a crummy team after two tough divisional games.
Postgame chompin': Rookie QB in his building could mean big things for Jason Taylor. He seems like a classy guy, so good bet he hits up the Smith & Wo. He considers going with the NY Strip, but that makes him think of the Jets. Rib-Eye, it is.
New Orleans at St. Louis (+13.5)
Who needs it more: A loss wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the Saints - the Pats proved that the burden of staying undefeated is too much - but it can't be this week.
Fantasy hunch: Much like Williams in Miami, a backup RB like Mike Bell could get a bunch of carries, especially if this one is a blowout.
Kinda feels like: Saints win with ease, but a Rams cover wouldn't be shocking.
Postgame chompin': In an attempt to add some winning karma, Steve Spagnuolo hits up Mike Shannon's. Maybe he can get some of the Cards' mojo.
Detroit at Minnesota (-17)
Who needs it more: Vikings can't blow this one, particularly if they care at all about suicide pools around the country.
Fantasy hunch: If the Vikes jump out big (which they should), look for Chester Taylor to get some looks.
Kinda feels like: A painful day for Matthew Stafford. #69 in purple should be good for at least 2 sacks today.
Postgame chompin': After abusing the Lions o-line and burying Stafford into the Metrodome turf, Jared Allen will either hunt for his dinner, or hit up a Minneapolis Longhorn.
Atlanta at Carolina (+2)
Who needs it more: The Falcons need to keep pace in the Wild Card conversation. Panthers will play hard but the playoffs are almost out of the question.
Fantasy hunch: An outburst has to happen sometime for The Original Steve Smith, right?
Kinda feels like: Low-scoring, lots of running, sub-par QB play. The Panthers get the season split.
Postgame chompin': Because he's All Class, and because his head will be (temporarily) off the chopping block, John Fox will treat himself to the outrageous Au Gratins and succulent Porterhouse at Del Frisco's.
Buffalo at Tennessee (-7)
Who needs it more: All of a sudden, the Titans don't seem that bad, and Vince Young is playing for his future. Neither team is going to the playoffs, but Tennessee has more pride.
Mundane stat/observation: Prior to last week's game, half of Chris Johnson's runs added up to 0 total yards - 17 no-gains, 20 carries for a loss, 22 gains of 2 yards or less. The other half of his carries averaged 14 yards a pop.
Fantasy hunch: With Trent Edwards back in the lineup, Lee Evans might see some action. This would be the week to do it, facing the league's worst pass D.
Kinda feels like: Lots of Jeff Fisher fist pumps, numerous VY head nods and chest pounds, and plenty of blank stares from Dick Jauron.
Postgame chompin': Pondering the realization that he'll probably need a new home next year, Kerry Collins plops himself down at Morton's and makes a list of teams with shaky starters who could use a veteran backup.
Broncos at Redskins (+4)
Who needs it more: Broncos are reeling at bit with 2 straight L's, and a 3rd would put the city of Denver in full panic mode.
Mundane stat/observation: After losing to the Chiefs, Jim Zorn, at his postgame presser, said "We fight, because we're Redskins." LaRon Landry and DeAngelo Hall took it literally.
Fantasy hunch: Remember a couple years ago, when Clinton Portis got hurt and Ladell Betts turned into a force in the fantasy playoffs? We could be headed there again.
Kinda feels like: My buddy TiBo, an avid Redskins fan, likes them this week. I haven't heard of a 'Skins fan liking this team to win since the Rams game in Week 2. Maybe that means something?
Postgame chompin': The poor guy has been killed most of the year (possibly unfairly - Football Outsiders have Jason Campbell as a better-than-average QB this year), so a nice upset win deserves a chop from Charlie Palmer's. Maybe the Rib-Eye "Bone-In Cowboy Cut"?
Jacksonville at NY Jets (-7)
Who needs it more: Both are 4-4 and a loss probably means the end of playoff hopes, but the Jets can't drop a 3rd game at home.
Mundane stat/observation: The last time the Jags were in the Meadowlands, the Jets lost Chad Pennington and Jay Fielder to season-ending shoulder injuries on successive drives. Pennington actually came back in the game but the Jets lost in OT.
Fantasy hunch: Hopefully the game against Miami was a sign that Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller are developing a rapport. They've looked out of sync since the opener.
Kinda feels like: Coming off a bye, the Jets are gonna get off to a fast start. Sometime late in the 2nd quarter, the momentum will shift, and it'll be a tight game until late, when the Jets D forces a David Garrard mistake.
Postgame chompin': After stifling the likes of Randy Moss and Andre Johnson, covering Mike Sims-Walker aint a problem for Darrelle Revis, who saws away on a Prime NY Strip at Fleming's in Edgewater.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (-7)
Who needs it more: Steelers because they're home and don't want to be swept by the Bengals.
Mundane stat/observation: The NFL fined Chad Ochocino 20k for pretending to "bribe" officials with a $1 bill last week, once again pretending it has no affiliation with gambling in any way.
Fantasy hunch: Not really a sleeper, but somehow in one of my leagues, Santonio Holmes was traded for Jamaal Charles. Anytime you can give up the Super Bowl MVP for a guy who gets 7 carries as the starter on a bad team, you need to make that trade.
Kinda feels like: Steelers jump out early, and then defense dominates on both sides the rest of the way. Maybe Pittsburgh can't cover Ochocinco, but when they pressure Carson Palmer all day, it'll feel like they did.
Postgame chompin': He missed the first game against Cincy, so Troy Polamalu makes up for it by shutting down Ced Benson. The chop at Pittsburgh Rare afterwards is strong.
Kansas City at Oakland (-2)
Who needs it more: Does it really matter?
Mundane stat/observation: The Chiefs have won 6 straight in Oakland, which is pretty amazing when you realize that Herm Edwards was the coach for 3 of them.
Fantasy hunch: The return of Darren McFadden. About time.
Kinda feels like: The great Joe Posnanski predicts it'll be the worst football game ever. He's probably on to something.
Postgame chompin': Since Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steakhouse is riding high after being voted "best steak in the East Bay," they refuse to allow any Raiders inside.
Dallas at Green Bay (+3)
Who needs it more: The Packers are officially reeling. First, Favre rips their guts out. Then they blow a gimmie in Tampa. A bad loss here, and Mike McCarthy might need to start updating the resume.
Mundane stat/observation: Tony Romo has won 13 straight games in November.
Fantasy hunch: Paging Greg Jennings ... fantasy owners are getting impatient.
Kinda feels like: Either a convincing Packers win (10 points) or Dallas pulls it out late. In a close game, it's tough to back the Pack until they prove they can win a game that's decided in the last couple of minutes.
Postgame chompin': If the Vikings win the Super Bowl this year, does this place get burned to the ground?
Philadelphia at San Diego (-2)
Who needs it more: The Denver score will be posted, and the Chargers will know that a win either gets them in a tie for the division or keeps them a game back. Philly would prefer to not fall into a tie with the G-Men, but they usually wait until later in the season before showing a true sense of urgency.
Mundane stat/observation: So that was a Captain Morgan pose from Brent Celek? Sorta looked like he was mimicking a dog taking a leak.
Fantasy hunch: Looking like Brian Westbrook will be back, hopefully not at the expense of LeSean McCoy's touches.
Kinda feels like: Chargers big.
Postgame chompin': Nothing but Outback's Bloomin' Onion for Philip Rivers.
Seattle at Arizona (-9)
Who needs it more: Cards can't get lazy at home again and they want to keep that 2-game lead in the division.
Fantasy hunch: After missing last week, Anquan Boldin gets fed a lot.
Kinda feels like: Cardinals in a blowout. If it's not, we'll go back to thinking that they stink.
Postgame chompin': Looking for some classy advice, Beanie Wells asks Kurt Warner where he should chomp. As a prank, Warner suggests Rustler's Rooste. Welcome to the majuhz, rook.
New England at Indianapolis (-3)
Who needs it more: Too close to call, but the Pats can kiss home-field goodbye if they lose. Not that playing in front of comatose fans at Gillette is that much of an advantage, though.
Mundane stat/observation: If the Pats win a close one, you're guaranteed to see Tom Brady head-butting his linemen after a final kneel-down, and Bill Belichick rubbing it in with overly enthusiastic hugs and backslaps on the sidelines, followed by a slightly condescending "great job" to a disappointed Peyton Manning.
Fantasy hunch: If you're in a PPR league, hope that you have Wes Welker, who might have 15 catches.
Kinda feels like: Pats in a close one. Damn it.
Postgame chompin': Will the owner's of St. Elmo leave the joint open late for Manning if they lose?
Baltimore at Cleveland (+11)
Who needs it more: Ravens don't mind a gimme after getting pounded in Cincy last week.
Fantasy hunch: There's a good chance that not a single person is starting someone on the Browns this week.
Kinda feels like: Some possible Brady Quinn fiestiness, but ultimately an easy Ravens win.
Postgame chompin': Eric Mangini is longing for the days when he was enjoying a meal at Vesuvio and getting greeted by Tony Soprano.