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[Bills' decline has fans feeling buffaloed]

Race for the Nerf: Celebrity/Media NFL Picks week 12

Osmond, Savard continue to battle atop Nerf chase

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Comedian Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson poses during a cover shoot for LVM, March 28th 2011.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas
Sal DeFilippo

It doesn’t take long for outlooks to completely change in the NFL. In a 16-game season, three weeks can take you from playoff contenders to also-rans, or from hopeless to back in the hurt.

Case in point: After the first three weeks of the season, the Buffalo Bills were undefeated, had already beaten the Patriots, and were leading the NFL in scoring. All was rosy in western New York, so much so that the Orchard Park faithful were even thinking about a playoff berth after a 5-2 start to the season in which their only losses were each by a field goal.

As Chris Berman likes to say, “Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.”

Well, if that’s really the case—the wheels have fallen off and the wagon is in the shop.

Teams go through peaks and valleys throughout the course of a 16-game season, sure, but Buffalo’s recent collapse is mystifying.

In their last three games, the Bills have been outscored 106-26. To add injury to insult, leading rusher Fred Jackson was hurt in last week’s 35-8 shellacking at the hands of the Dolphins and is out for the remainder of the season.

When you’re losing by an average of four touchdowns a week, it’s easy to find problem areas, but this stat really sticks out: Last week, on third-and-fourth down conversions, Buffalo was 0-for-14.

Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos have won three straight, by running all over the Raiders and Chiefs and rallying to stun the Jets. Their path to success has been equally baffling as Tim Tebow has made a college-style offense work at the NFL level.

Tebow’s 21 completions for 297 yards doesn’t sound too bad—until you realize those totals are for three games instead of one. But Tebow has also run for 229 yards in those games, 20 of which provided the winning score that brought them to 5-5 and right back into the mix in the always-entertaining AFC West.

For now, anyway. Better check back in another three weeks.

***

The chase for the Golden Nerf continues has a new face in the crowd—Tara Palsha, principal dancer for Vegas! The Show at V Theater inside Planet Hollywood, went 3-0 against the number last week to move to 16-13-1 and into a third-place tie with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. Tied at the top of the mountain are Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond and comedy hypnotist Marc Savard. Fantasy lead singer Lorena Peril is two games behind at 15-14-1 as we head toward the homestretch.

Sal’s picks:A 2-0-1 mark last week puts me at 18-10-2 for the year against the spread. This week, I’ll take the Jets -8 vs. the Bills, the Broncos +6½ at the Chargers and the Redskins-Seahawks under 37.

****

The media/celebrity picks:

Anthony Crivello, star of Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular (12-18-3)

Texans -3 at Jaguars

Falcons -9 vs. Vikings

Saints -7 vs. Giants

****

Carrot Top, Luxor headliner (14-18-1)

Rams -3 vs. Cardinals

Giants +7 at Saints

Falcons -9 vs. Vikings

****

Terry Fator, Mirage headliner (14-18-1)

Steelers -10 at Chiefs

Falcons -9 vs. Vikings

Bengals -7 vs. Browns

****

Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas (17-15-1)

Bills +8 at Jets

Steelers -10 at Chiefs

Saints -7 vs. Giants

****

Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas ambassador (13-19-1)

Browns +7 at Bengals

Vikings +9 at Falcons

Panthers -3½ at Colts

****

Kevin Janison, KVBC meteorologist (12-19-2)

Bengals -7 vs. Browns

Chargers-Broncos under 43½

Falcons -9 vs. Vikings

****

Wayne Newton, "Mr. Las Vegas" (11-21-1)

Cardinals +3 at Rams

Raiders +4 ½ at Seahawks

Browns +7 at Bengals

****

Donny Osmond, Flamingo Las Vegas headliner (19-13-1)

Steelers -10 at Chiefs

Bengals -7 vs. Browns

Panthers -3½ at Colts

****

Lorena Peril, Vocalist, Fantasy at Luxor (16-16-1)

Steelers -10 at Chiefs

Falcons -9 vs. Vikings

Titans -3 vs. Buccaneers

****

Tara Palsha, principal dancer, Vegas! The Show at V Theater (17-15-1)

Steelers -10 at Chiefs

Falcons -9 vs. Vikings

Jets -8 vs. Bills

****

Marc Savard, Comedy Hypnotist, V Theater at Planet Hollywood (18-14-1)

Bengals -7 vs. Browns

Falcons -9 vs. Vikings

Seahawks -4½ vs. Redskins

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