We are two weeks away from the playoffs, and last week actually created more drama in the postseason race than expected. New England had the chance to grab the inside track for the AFC’s top seed, but they blew it. Cincinnati then had the chance to jump into the AFC’s second seed, but they also blew it. The Cowboys blew a chance to keep pace with the Eagles in spectacular Cowboys fashion, the Lions blew their opportunity to stay ahead in the NFC North, New Orleans blew their advantage in the NFC South, and Eli Manning just blew.
All in all there were so many things getting blown on Sunday that you would have thought I don’t know something about your mother sucking a lot of dicks or whatever. Because she probably does. Which kind of makes her a hero when you really think about it. You should give her a hug. Anyway, enough about sucking dicks.
You know what really sucks dicks? The fact that, as ugly and borderline unwatchable as most of this season has been, it’s only a month and a half away from ending. The worst football is still better than basically any other sport. This year sports fans will actually be luckier than most years, as football will transition into the Winter Olympics, then March Madness, then the NHL and NBA playoffs, followed by the World Cup. All of these events are well and good if you’re into that sort of thing, but they will struggle to fill the hole in our heart left by giant freaks of nature who are hailed as heroes for violently assaulting each other and then draw the ire of millions for doing a fun little dance. So savor what’s left of this season, because before you know it everyone around you will be saying “PITCHERS AND CATCHERS PITCHERS AND CATCHERS PITCHERS AND CATCHERS” and by then Obama may have taken away all of our guns.
Last week’s picks went 10-5. Wait, really?! What the fuck? I’m not even going to say anything…. on to this week’s picks. As always, the home team is in caps. (NOTE: Fuck Aaron Rodgers.)
BUFFALO +2.5 vs. Miami
Despite beating New England, Miami didn’t look particularly good on Sunday. They played strong red zone defense, but the Pats moved the ball well and should have scored more points. I don’t trust Ryan Tannehill on the road in the cold weather yet. I also think this is one of those let down games that can happen after the biggest win of a season. Have we decided if EJ Manuel sucks yet? I don’t think he’s played enough this season to really get a good read on him, so I guess this game will be as good as any for me to pass a final and damning judgment. *holds thumb sideways and starts to tilt it up and down, gets distracted, holds out pinky too and starts doing the Cowabunga motion*
New Orleans +3 vs. CAROLINA
Well where the fuck did you go last week, New Orleans? Common sense says to take the home team, especially since New Orleans has been terrible on the road. How terrible, you ask? They respectably beat the Bears, but other than that they barely won two tight games against terrible teams, they lost to three average-to-bad teams, and got trounced by the one good team they played. HOWEVER… in games following a loss (albeit all of them home games) New Orleans’ average margin of victory has been 22.7 points. So which trend is going to hold up? I like the Saints to bounce back after a loss and Rob Ryan to drink a handle of Jim Beam and disappear only to resurface three days later blabbering about alien abductions and the mermaids who stole his credit cards. What I’m saying is I wish Rob Ryan was my dad.
WASHINGTON +2.5 vs. Dallas
It seems like we’ve got two guys coaching for their jobs in this game. I don’t know that Mike Shanahan can do anything to save his leathery red hide, but smart money says that if he pulls off the win Jason Garrett is done in Dallas, despite Jerry Jones saying a thousand times that his job was safe. The real question here is, will the Cowboys lie down and die, or will they pull out a gritty victory this week only to abuse their fan base even further by killing their season once and for all in what would be a playoff game with the Eagles next week? Kirk Cousins actually looked good last week but he was playing a defense that also made Geno Smith and Mike Glennon look very good.
Although this week he faces a defense that made Matt Flynn look very good, so expect about 400 yards and 5 touchdowns out of the kid as Bobby Griffiths Jr. watches from the bench in his dumb socks. I hate this game, and you should too.
ST. LOUIS -4.5 vs. Tampa Bay
Hey look it’s a game that means nothing and nobody gives a shit about! St. Louis has played some pretty good games this year, and it’s looking more and more like maybe Sam Bradford was holding them back, seeing as how he did dick in his entire career as a starter, save for a rookie season that was just okay. If Washington ends up handing them the number two pick it’s going to be difficult to not roll the dice on a new QB. They’re in what has become the best division in football, and it’s going to take a quarterback and probably one more playmaker at receiver before they can compete. Luckily for Sam Bradford he already made $50 million and there are a bunch of other stupid awful teams that will give him a shot. He’ll probably end up starting at some point next year in a place like Minnesota or Oakland or Tennessee. Everybody wins!
NY JETS -2.5 vs. Cleveland
Well the Jets lost last week, so that means they’ll win this week right? Case closed, mystery solved, let’s go throw old cell phones off the pier.
KANSAS CITY -6.5 vs. Indianapolis
Jamaal Charles is a grown ass man. It’s nice that he finally has a coach that will give him the ball more than 8 times a game. Kansas City has more to play for than Indy this week, as they’re still technically alive for a division title and a number one seed. Now that their offense is finally starting to figure things out, they could be a really tough out once the playoffs roll around. Speaking of rolling around, I would like to tip Andy Reid over and push him into a crowd of dwarves like that girl who turned into a blueberry in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. I’m a simple man with simple dreams.
Minnesota +7.5 vs. CINCINNATI
Matt Cassel everybody! Finally playing up to that contract he signed with the Chiefs about three years too late. I don’t know what the hell is going on with either of these teams to be honest to you, but Cincy looked terrrrrrible in their loss to the Steelers, and if they keep playing that way it’s entirely possible they miss the playoffs altogether. This is an absolute must win for them, as Baltimore and Miami both have winnable games this weekend, which could turn their season finale against the Ravens into an AFC North title game that could potentially keep them out of the playoffs altogether. But don’t worry Bengals fans! Andy Dalton’s got this! *Andy Dalton tries to put on his jersey, his head gets stuck in the arm hole, he trips and falls into a well*
Denver -10 vs. HOUSTON
*Wade Phillips spends all week game-planning for the Indianapolis Colts* ASSISTANT: “Uh… Wade? That was last week. We have Denver this week. Wade?” *He taps Wade’s shoulder and Wade falls over, revealing that he has been a cardboard cutout all along*
JACKSONVILLE +5.5 vs. Tennessee
Oh no you don’t. I’m not falling for these past two weeks of competent offense from the Titans. Not buying it. Winning this game would do nothing to help the Jaguars in their quest for a better draft pick that would immediately help a flailing organization, so winning this game seems like a very Jacksonville thing to do. It’s kind of alarming that these teams are even in the NFL. What would happen if either of them ever won a Super Bowl? Would we cancel football? We would have to, right?
SEATTLE -10 vs. Arizona
I feel like Vegas is begging me to take the Cardinals in this one, but I’m not biting. Though VASTLY improved from last year’s team that lost by 58 points in Seattle, I still think the Seahawks run away with this one. I know like 90% of their drug abusing secondary has been suspended basically forever, but whoever they plug in seems to do the job just fine. At least when they have Eli Manning throwing to them.
This week, Pete Carroll’s name has come up in conversations about the coaching job at the University of Texas, and it makes a lot of sense. When you have a coach who fled one school due to impending violations and then cultivated an NFL locker room that condones rampant, unchecked drug use, that’s the type of man you want in charge of your program. Think of all the NCAA titles they could be vacating in ten years’ time!
NY Giants +9 vs. DETROIT
And we come to another coach with little to no control over his players. Jim Schwartz has enough talent to win the NFC North, and this should have easily been an 11 or 12 win team, but now he’s on the outside looking in for a playoff spot that he probably needs to keep his job. This has been the most frustrating team in the league, because they’re the one team that has struggled to meet expectations without any real excuses. I think they need one of their players to die so that they all have something to rally around and inspire them. People of Detroit: if you really love your Lions, you will murder one of them.
SAN DIEGO -9.5 vs. Oakland
Oakland played a lot better this season than I expected them to, but at this point it’s looking like things are finally starting to unravel. Philip Rivers is going to throw four touchdown passes in honor of the birth of Baby Jesus and then he’s going to brutally murder every person who greets him with “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” because that’s what the Infant Jesus wrote down in his coloring book which later became what we know today as “the Bible.”
BALTIMORE -2.5 vs. New England
Okay, so the Patriots are a mess. Joe Flacco is dealing with a knee injury, but that shouldn’t stop him from heaving the ball 40 yards down field and drawing pass interference penalties on Kyle Arrington and Marquise Cole. The Patriots also can’t stop the run, which would be helpful against a guy like Ray Rice who, despite a disappointing season, has the talent to take over a game. You like watching Tom Brady yell at receivers even though he kind of missed them with the pass and it sort of looked like it was his fault but nobody wants to say anything because he’s Tom Brady? Then this game is for you. Baltimore has done a better job at stopping Brady than any team in the league, and that was when he had talented and competent players around him. I’ll be at a family Christmas party on Sunday, and I expect this game will get out of hand and I will spend the entire afternoon swearing in front of children.
Chicago +3 vs. PHILADELPHIA
Pats/Ravens got flexed for this? I would have rather seen Seattle/Arizona here, but at least it’s not Washington/Dallas. Since I’m pretty certain the Patriots have no chance of winning the Super Bowl this year (don’t give me shit about this. They really don’t. Just watch them play.) I would love to see Chicago somehow pull off a miracle Super Bowl run, if only so they have to pay Jay Cutler Joe Flacco money for the next seven years. Seven years of Jay Cutler playing 10-12 games a season of Jay Cutler football at $20 million per? That would be a delight. Although I’m not sure Bears fans would even care since they’ve milked their last Super Bowl win for 28 years and counting. Good thing this team sucks and we don’t have to worry about that actually happening.
SAN FRANCISCO -12 vs. Atlanta
San Fran is my current pick to win the Super Bowl, because they currently have that feel of a team that puts everything together at exactly the right time. We’ve seen plenty of these teams in years past, where a somewhat forgettable season turns into a spectacular run through the playoffs. Most recently the Ravens, Giants (twice), and Packers played this role, and with the way parity has been working in the NFL this looks like the new championship recipe. All you need to do is survive the regular season, and get into the playoffs with a healthy roster that is finding its groove. The Niners have all of that right now, and it will be up to Colin Kaepernick to not fuck it up. Having said that, it will be interesting to see how Colin Kaepernick fucks this up.