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Celebrity NFL Picks: Paper Lions looking to pencil in a “W”

Sal DeFilippo

Celebrity Picks

Lance Burton, Monte Carlo master magician (24-21)
Jets -4 ½ at Seahawks
Browns -3 vs. Bengals
Packers +4 ½ at Bears
Anthony Crivello, star of "Phantom -- Las Vegas Spectacular" (25-20)
Vikings -3 ½ vs. Falcons
Saints -6 ½ at Lions
Chargers +3 ½ at Buccaneers
Carrot Top, Luxor headliner (15-29-1)
Buccaneers -3 ½ vs. Chargers
Dolphins -4 at Chiefs
Steelers -1 at Titans
Danny Gans, Encore headliner (24-21)
Cowboys -4 ½ vs. Ravens
Eagles -4 ½ at Redskins
Jets -4 ½ at Seahawks
Oscar Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas (23-21-1)
Cowboys -4 ½ vs. Ravens
Eagles -4 ½ at Redskins
Saints -6 ½ at Lions
Kevin Janison, KVBC meteorologist (21-22-2)
Buccaneers -3 ½ vs. Chargers
Steelers -1 at Titans
Eagles -4 ½ at Redskins
Wayne Newton, "Mr. Las Vegas" (28-17)
Steelers -1 at Titans
Dolphins -4 at Chiefs
Chargers +3 ½ at Bucs

It’s not often an NFL team has a chance to make history.

The New England Patriots did so last year, becoming the first team to go 16-0 in a regular season. Yes, the 1972 Miami Dolphins remained the only team to go through an entire season, playoffs and Super Bowl without a blemish on their record. But that was back when the regular season schedule only called for 14 games.

By reaching the Super Bowl, the Patriots became the first team to win 18 games to start a season. Of course, losing that one at the end hurts a bit, but it’s still a record.

This year, another team is on the verge of eclipsing an NFL record for consecutive decisions to start a season.

If the Detroit Lions can muster up a loss this weekend against the New Orleans Saints, they will become the first team in league history to start a season by losing their first 15 contests. The good news: They will have the home crowd behind them.

The previous mark for such futility is held by the 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who, like the Dolphins, took advantage of a shorter schedule en route to a perfect 0-14 mark. The Buccaneers began 1977 with an 0-12 start to extend their losing streak to 26, but the fact remains that no team has ever started a season 0-15.

Ironically, the team standing in Detroit’s path to history is the same New Orleans franchise that stopped the Bucs’ run 30-plus years ago. It’s a fitting opponent -- the Saints brought futility into the spotlight and mainstream in the ’80s with fans calling the club “The Aints” and showing up at games with bags over their heads. They take losing seriously down in the Big Easy.

So don’t expect New Orleans to just roll over and win easily this weekend – they have too much pride not to at least take a serious run at losing this game and ending Detroit’s streak. One thing is certain: If the Lions do set the record this weekend – they’ll have earned it.

After a week of personal futility, I rebounded with a 2-1 record last weekend to improve the season mark to a still-way-more-respectable-than-usual 27-17-1. This weekend, I’ll take the Patriots-Cardinals over 44, the Broncos-Bills over 44 and the Chargers plus 3 ½ at the Buccaneers.

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