By Justin Boylan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – All week I was preparing for Carson Palmer to kill me. I had my Carson Palmer armor ready to go Sunday morning, and was fully protected to face the wrath of the roadblock game that was thrown in the middle of the road. If I was going out, it would be because, when push came to shove, I put my faith in a worn-down Palmer rather than an up-incoming Case Keenum.
I was not ready for Jake Locker and the Titans to stick the knife in. I slowly bled out as the seconds ticked away with the sweet sound of Scott Hanson's voice being the last thing I heard. Why Jake, why?
I was far from the only person to pick Tennessee last week. Like the rest of you, I didn't care that the Jags had the previous week off, and I didn't care that the Titans could be caught looking ahead to a big divisional game against the Colts. Jacksonville was only 0-8, a team that bad wasn't due for a win for another three or four weeks.
The man with the blood on his hands is Mr. Jacob Locker (I know injuries happen and are blameless when they do, but on behalf of the 3,000 people knocked out, just let me vent).
Locker left the game midway through the second quarter after throwing nine passes, turning the ball over twice and leaving Ryan Fitzpatrick to deal with a 13-0 hole. Thanks Jake, you're a legend.
I very much appreciate Fitzpatrick trying his Harvard-best to keep me breathing. He threw for 260 yards, two touchdowns and was driving in the fourth quarter looking for the lead before that inevitable maybe-he-won't-of-course-he-will-he's-Ryan-Fitzpatrick turnover that sealed the deal for the Jags. Don't worry Ryan, this one's not on you.
So I'm coming to you from beyond the grave. My run has ended, but my picks live on.
Zombie Selection – Texans vs. Raiders
Maybe it's my bitter undead soul, but the slate of games this Sunday seems surprisingly weak. Besides, Chiefs-Broncos (SNF) and 49ers-Saints (4:25 p.m.) there isn't much to sink your teeth into. At least this means we can focus on the Eagles getting their first home win and jumping the Cowboys in the standings (remember, no booing).
This is one of those bad match-ups I'm glad I'm not alive to see. The Raiders flew to New Jersey last week to lose to the Giants, and now are facing Houston with an injured Terrelle Pryor. Gary Kubiak is expected to return to the sideline, which means get away from the play calling, Wade Phillips. The Texans' losing streak ends here.
Best Bet for Survival – Seahawks vs. Vikings
Christian Ponder in Seattle. Checkmate. Wait, Ponder got hurt last Thursday against Washington. Does that mean Matt Cassel? But they also have Josh Freeman. I would probably roll the dice with a one-armed Ponder. I repeat: checkmate.
Cheating Death – Panthers vs. Patriots
The Panthers have ripped off five straight thanks in large part to a Sean McDermott-coached defense that hasn't given up more than 15 points since week 6. This is Carolina's biggest home game since Jake Delhomme had them hosting a playoff game in 2008, which also happens to be the last season the Panthers played a Monday night game in Charlotte.
Tom Brady hasn't been all that golden this year, and the Pats have lost their last two road games.
Good luck to the final 400.
Stay alive, because it's dark on the other side.
Justin Boylan is a producer at 94WIP and graduate of Temple University. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @justintboylan.
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