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Amir’s Back -- Without Any Newfound Love for Cleveland

By Amir Mesarwi

SPORTS COLUMNIST

Just because I took a couple of weeks off, it doesn’t mean the NFL did. Here are the picks for week 10 of what is a really screwed-up season so far. There’s a rumor going around that in the couple of weeks I was out, the Browns won a game, but I don’t buy it.

Carolina at Rams: The Rams are for real even though they’ve lost a couple in a row. The Panthers aren’t. Look for Marshall Faulk to have a big game. Edge: St. Louis

Minnesota at Chicago: Minnesota embarrassed the Cowboys on Monday night. They are back on track since putting Jeff George in for Randall Cunningham in a quarterback controversy that could have occurred 10 years ago. The poor Chicago pass defense will have a hard time if the Vikings get their passing game on. Edge: Minnesota

San Francisco at New Orleans: Ricky Williams has shown that given the chance, he’ll make opposition pay (168 yards on 40+ carries in week 8). San Francisco is having a tough year, but they should still be able to beat the Saints. Or should they? Edge: New Orleans (on a gamble...)

Cleveland at Pittsburgh: If this is anything like week one, maybe Cleveland should just forfeit now. I admire anyone (well, almost anyone) who has stuck by Cleveland this long. Edge: Pittsburgh

Indianapolis at NY Giants: This will oddly enough be one of the best matchups this week with Indy’s potent offense going against the tough Giant defense. Do Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James remind you of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith? Just food for thought. Edge: Indianapolis

Kansas City at Tampa Bay: Dilfer and the Bucs are back on track, and the Chiefs still can’t seem to win anywhere except Missouri and Baltimore. Don’t let the 5-3 record deceive you, even if they do have Warren Moon. Edge: Tampa Bay

Washington at Philadelphia: The leading scorer in the NFL, kickers excluded, is not Terrell Davis, it’s not Ricky Williams: any other guesses? Stephen Davis. Stephen who? A small setback last week to the Bills won’ t stop them from destroying the Eagles. Edge: Washington

Tennessee at Cincinnati: The top three teams in the AFC Central play the bottom three. Who said life was fair? Just ask any Eagles fan. Edge: Tennessee

Miami at Buffalo: Gotta root for Flutie. If you have a heart, do it for his autistic son. If not, do it because the Dolphins beat the Titans last week. Edge: Buffalo

San Diego at Oakland: The Raiders could easily be 8-0 or 0-8, all their games have been decided by 7 points or less. The Raiders have home field. What the hell... Edge: Oakland

Detroit at Arizona: Detroit continues to play well. When I say play well, I mean play easy teams. Arizona will be no different. For an eight million dollar quarterback, Jake Plummer has been a tremendous disappointment. I, too, can throw more interceptions (14) than TD’s (3). Edge: Detroit

Green Bay at Dallas: Should be a good game. Brett Favre is only 1-6 lifetime against the Cowboys, but the boys will be without Emmitt, Aikman and Irvin. This does not bode well for Dallas fans. Edge: Green Bay

Baltimore at Jacksonville: See Tennessee vs. Cincinnatti. Edge: Jacksonville

Denver at Seattle: Something’s in the water in Seattle. No one picked them to be a good team, and now they appear to be headed for the playoffs. Denver has been on a roll lately; maybe a third stringer is what it will take to beat the Seahawks, though. Edge: Denver (on a whim)

NY Jets at New England: The top passing team in the league should have a field day with the Jets defense. Unless Curtis Martin has a monster game, the Pats should blow em out of the water. Edge: New England