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NFL going through adolescent stage

Remember when the NFL used to be about football?

This season, it feels like junior high, sorry, middle school. People are talking behind each other's backs. They're sending texts and tweets back and forth. Their parents are being mean.

And that's just the Vikings.

In Washington, Donovan McNabb must feel like the Democrats this week. In Philadelphia, Andy Reid is two-timing Kevin Kolb. And let's not even start with what's happening in Dallas.

Maybe the NFL will grow out of it in Week 9:

NEW ORLEANS at CAROLINA: I still think the Panthers will win another game this season. Just not this one. Saints 34, Panthers 13.

NEW YORK JETS at DETROIT: The Lions need one big win to reinforce their return to relevance. Is this the one? That would be giving the Jets too much credit. Jets 24, Lions 17.

MIAMI at BALTIMORE: The Dolphins are 0-3 at home and 4-0 on the road, which says they must be fond of room service. Enjoy the crabcakes. Ravens 26, Dolphins 10.

NEW ENGLAND at CLEVELAND: Yeah, right. Patriots 33, Browns 13.

SAN DIEGO at HOUSTON: These two teams are like overpriced restaurants - not as good as you think they're going to be. Chargers 36, Texans 28.

CHICAGO at BUFFALO: Upset alert: The Bills win before the first serious snowflakes fall in Buffalo. Barely. Bills 26, Bears 23.

ARIZONA at MINNESOTA: Who knew that Snooki and The Situation would have less drama in their lives than Coach Chilly? Vikings 32, Cardinals 20.

TAMPA BAY at ATLANTA: What does it say about the Bucs that their five victories have come against Cleveland, Arizona, Carolina, St. Louis and Cincinnati? It says no team in the NFC has more wins. Falcons 27, Bucs 20.

NEW YORK GIANTS at SEATTLE: To borrow a baseball reference, among the things the great Crash Davis believes in are:

Good scotch

Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Opening presents on Christmas morning not Christmas Eve.

He makes no mention of believing in the Seahawks despite their lead in the NFC West. I'm with him. Giants 27, Seahawks 21.

INDIANAPOLIS at PHILADELPHIA: Two weeks ago, Eagles' coach Andy Reid told quarterback Kevin Kolb thanks for playing but he's going with Michael Vick. If that doesn't work out, Donovan McNabb may be available. Eagles 26, Colts 23.

KANSAS CITY at OAKLAND: Let's take a moment here to appreciate this meeting. Years ago, back when Emerson, Lake and Palmer were popular and eight-tracks were all the rage, the Raiders and Chiefs were to pro football showdowns what the Colts and Patriots are today.

If you're old enough to have an AARP card, you remember Howard Cosell bellowing about "The great one, Otis Taylor..." and the real Raiders.

That went away, in part because Raiders boss Al Davis remains stuck in those days (hence the shiny sweat suits and medallions he still wears), but for the first time in ages, this game matters. And I can't believe I'm doing this but: Raiders 28, Chiefs 24.

DALLAS at GREEN BAY: Wade Phillips, meet John Fox. Packers 34, Cowboys 14.

PITTSBURGH at CINCINNATI: Keep moving. Nothing to see here. Steelers 20, Bengals 10.

Last week: 8-5

Season: 55-46