Trout's Hott Games to Watch Sunday

I have nothing against gambling. Really, I don't. Well, except that I don't have the disposable income to gamble without seriously jeopardizing my ability to eat meals on a regular basis. And I hate the fact that Las Vegas exists. And sometimes looking at gambling lines for NFL games gives me headaches. And Pete Rose. I hate that douchebag (you hear me, Gage?). Other than that, gambling is cool by me. In any case, I'm officially done with the whole "Picks of Contrariety" thing; it was fun while it lasted, but I think I'll let Gage continue to play .500 ball on his own. Instead, I'm going to do something wildly different and exciting (read: not that wildly different or exciting): highlight a few Sunday games that have caught my eye--and should be catching your eye too.

San Diego at Cincinnati
This epic matchup of AFC powerhouses features Ryan Leaf battling Jeff Blake. Which quarterback will stake his claim to player of the decade? Tune in and find out. Oh, and in real life the Bengals should probably think about starting to win some games if they feel like making the playoffs this year. Just a thought.

Baltimore at Tennessee
This game will be ugly. But Steve McNair gets to laugh at the shitty team he left behind. That will be fun for him. Note to Vince Young: don't go running around in the middle of the field unless you're wondering what it might feel like to get decapitated by Ray Lewis. Just stay in the pocket, throw your 4 interceptions, and go home happy you're alive.

St. Louis at Seattle
Seattle is playing like they know they'll make the playoffs, they're just treading water until they get Alexander and Hasselbeck back (if they trusted Jesus, Shaun would've been back a month ago--obviously Holmgren is a gambling atheist). St. Louis is a 4-4 enigma that's on the road against their biggest division rival. Do they have enough to pull it out against Seneca Wallace and Maurice Morris? They fucking should, or they have some re-evaluation to do.

New Orleans at Pittsburgh
These teams are roughly in the opposite places that people expected them to be in at the midway point, I think. The Saints and Gage's man-crush, Drew Brees, have looked pretty damn good, but it's never easy playing in Pittsburgh. I think maybe this one has the makings of an upset. If the Saints win it, though, they've won me as a believer.

Chicago at NY Giants
Giants win, Chicago loses. Madden and Michaels fellate Tiki Barber all game. Rex Grossman realizes that neither he nor his receivers are that good. After two straight losses, people finally realize it is goddamned stupid to compare a Bears team to the '85 team, particularly when the season's barely half over. So fucking stop it, already.