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Not much to cheer but draft pick

No one likes awkward moments.

You don't want to be the guy who has to tell another guy he has chicken salad on his cheek while he's trying to sell you insurance.

You don't want to be the person who walks in on the person who's singing "Delta Dawn" when they think they're alone.

And you sure don't want to be one who smiles during an airport pat down even if you haven't had a date in a while.

Well, the Panthers' season has reached that awkward stage now. They have the worst record in the NFL, which makes it hard to have a positive conversation unless you say something like, "Gee, they almost beat a really mediocre Cleveland team last weekend."

It's awkward to hope they lose every game from here out so they'll have the first pick in the draft because that's tacky (but I'm pushing Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck if the Panthers get the first pick).

Sometimes you just have to state the obvious: The Panthers are the best 1-10 team in the league.

CAROLINA at SEATTLE: According to the always reliable Internet, it's time to see what happens in Week 13: Either 2,288 air miles or 2,244 air miles from Charlotte to Seattle. I hope the pilots know exactly. Either way, imagine how far it seems when you're 1-10. Seahawks 27, Panthers 17.

BUFFALO at MINNESOTA: Week 2 in Leslie Frazier's on-the-job audition to be the Vikings' next coach.

Brett Favre, meanwhile, remains undecided if he'll play next season if Frazier gets the job. He probably won't but he might unless he decides to change his mind. Vikings 27, Bills 13.

CLEVELAND at MIAMI: And this one has nothing to do with LeBron. Dolphins 23, Browns 13.

JACKSONVILLE at TENNESSEE: If Titans coach Jeff Fisher loses the popularity contest with quarterback Vince Young and has to go looking for work, wonder how he likes Charlotte? Jags 27, Titans 14.

DENVER at KANSAS CITY: Not only will Chiefs coach Todd Haley shake the hand of Broncos coach Josh McDaniels this time, he'll write him a nice thank-you note for the easy win. Chiefs 33, Broncos 16.

WASHINGTON at NEW YORK GIANTS: The kind of game that makes the NFC East what it is - not quite as strong as the NFC South. Giants 31, Redskins 20.

CHICAGO at DETROIT: OK, I'm finally a believer in the Bears. But I have one question: Who was that guy who looked like Julius Peppers chatting it up with all the interviews after the Bears' win against the Eagles? Did he go to Chicago and turn into a sound bite? Bears 24, Lions 20.

SAN FRANCISCO at GREEN BAY: There's frost on the tundra. Packers 26, 49ers 14.

NEW ORLEANS at CINCINNATI: Terrell Owens had it right a couple of weeks ago when he said the Bengals "are terrible ... terrible. We may go 2-14 at the rate we're playing."

Buy that man a set of DVDs of the Ochocinco show. Saints 37, Bengals 17.

ATLANTA at TAMPA BAY: The best team in the NFC? Right now it looks like Matt Ryan's team. Falcons 30, Bucs 14.

OAKLAND at SAN DIEGO: It's that time of year again. Christmas lights. Presents for relatives you rarely see. The Chargers looking like they're unbeatable. Until the playoffs. Chargers 41, Raiders 20.

DALLAS at INDIANAPOLIS: I'm not sure which team this says more about: Cowboys 28, Colts 20.

ST. LOUIS at ARIZONA: From the We Are Not Alone Department: Less than two years ago, the Cardinals were a play away from winning the Super Bowl. Now they might be the bright spot in what's left of the Panthers' season when they visit Dec. 19. Rams 31, Cardinals 14.

BALTIMORE at PITTSBURGH: I feel a bruise coming on ... just from watching. Steelers 16, Ravens 13.

NEW YORK JETS at NEW ENGLAND: Tom Brady reminds us why he's Tom Brady. Nice hair, by the way. Patriots 31, Jets 21.

Last week: 9-4

Season: 97-59

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