Overall: 141-83
Last Week: 13-3

Titans @ Jaguars

Even fans of the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars must be rooting solely for draft position at this point. I can’t imagine either team truly wanting to win this game. What’s the incentive? With Clipboard Jesus taking the reins in Tennessee, the chances of a Jaguars win increased exponentially. The rule for Thursday Night Football is the home team holds an advantage, but greater priority is given to the team with a better quarterback. In this case, Blake Bortles is actually better than Chaz Whitehurst.

Win: Jacksonville Jaguars

Eagles @ Redskins

RG Knee is back in action for Washington, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. In the final weeks, teams with playoff implications on the line just have more motivation to win. Mark Sanchez has been floundering for Philadelphia, but Nick Foles is not walking through that door so Mr. Butt Fumble presents the only hope for the Eagles. Chip Kelly will certainly scheme around Sanchize and try to put him in the best position for Philadelphia to reach the playoffs. It’s unlikely they’ll conquer Dallas and the division.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Chargers @ 49ers

Jim Harbaugh doesn’t give up. But I fear the entire 49ers franchise has given up on Harbaugh and the rest of this season. Colin Kaepernick still has potential, but Harbaugh isn’t getting significant enough production out of Daddy Long Legs. Without a real home-field advantage in the Stadium That Denim Built, San Francisco will struggle against a competitive Chargers team. If this was a typical mid-Sunday matchup, I think most 49ers players would be comfortable laying an egg, but they’ll look to spoil San Diego’s playoff chances in a primetime game on the unusual Saturday night timeslot.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Lions @ Bears

Smokin' Jimmy

Chicago fans are pleading to fast forward through the end of the season. Smokin’ Jay has officially been benched and Marc Trestman is suffering through his final days as a head coach. It’s clear Marc Trestman could be a gifted offensive coordinator, but he probably doesn’t have what it takes to lead an entire football team. The dysfunction has definitely gone past the boiling point of a nuclear reactor, and there’s no going back to Jay Cutler now. Welcome to the Jimmy Clausen era! How loud do you think Linkin Park was playing in Clausen’s car on the way to Soldier Field? Detroit can ill-afford to lose such a juicy matchup.

Win: Detroit Lions

Vikings @ Dolphins

Minnesota and Miami are two competitive yet incomplete teams. This will be a woefully boring game with plenty of stalled drives due to competent defenses and inconsistent QB play. The Dolphins earn the advantage with a stronger supporting cast even if the Vikings have the better head coach.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Falcons @ Saints

Is this a mirage or might the Saints have actually removed their collective heads from their asses? Atlanta is aggressively mediocre, but the key to that aggression is Julio Jones. If Jones can play and move reasonably well, then the Falcons have a chance to once again salvage their season. But with all of the issues on Atlanta’s defense, New Orleans could just run the ball down the throat of the Falcons.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Patriots @ Jets

Would it surprise you if I predicted a New York Jets win? It would surprise me as well. It isn’t happening. Despite the strong Jets defense, Geno Smith is still at QB so there’s no way New York will stumble into another unwanted win against a Patriots team intent on keeping home-field advantage in the AFC.

Win: New England Patriots

Chiefs @ Steelers

Has Alex Smith thrown a TD pass to a WR yet? Pittsburgh is a fantastic destination for opposing QBs to enjoy the holidays, but the Chiefs don’t figure to be the type to take advantage. While I hate the Steelers, Le’Veon Bell is becoming an unstoppable force. As long as Rapistberger keeps plays alive and protects the ball, Pittsburgh should convert on enough 3rd Downs to limit any possible danger from Kansas City. Of course, this is also the same Steelers team that routinely screws up winnable games like this one.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Packers @ Buccaneers

Tampa Bay has nothing to play for while Green Bay needs to rebound and regain form before the playoffs.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Browns @ Panthers

Johnny Manziel’s debut didn’t go quite as planned. But were there any positives that indicate Manziel will do any better against another strong defense? This could go off the rails quickly for John Football. I don’t think Cam Newton will be anywhere close to 100%, but he’s capable of throwing from the pocket. It would not be shocking if Newton performed in similar fashion to Donovan McNabb’s broken ankle game. Carolina needs to keep Cam healthy, but Newton is the type of mobile QB that can be successful long-term because he’s a competent passer that uses his athleticism to extend plays and murder teams in the end zone.

It’s a weapon that’s more impactful as a threat that’s seldom used.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Ravens @ Texans

Welcome back, Case Keenum. Tony Romo’s gun-slinging cousin is back in Houston because the Texans can’t manage to keep a QB healthy. Baltimore doesn’t have the same stellar defense and Joe Flacco doesn’t air it out to the same degree, but the Ravens are at least average at every aspect of football. Against a defunct Texans offense, Baltimore’s well-rounded nature will serve them well over 60 minutes.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Giants @ Rams

Ugh, what an ugly matchup. I would like to submit a formal request that the NFL combines these two teams and moves the franchise to Los Angeles. It would be so much better. We can salvage the last few years of Eli Manning’s productive career, there’s someone worthwhile in that treasure trove of mostly average RBs, Odell Beckham becomes an even bigger star, and that defense would be unstoppable. As it currently stands, we have a Giants team that’s totally given up on Tom Coughlin and a Rams team that’s just not talented enough offensively to be a playoff contender. Side with the better defense when all else fails.

Win: St. Louis Rams

Colts @ Cowboys

No one can reasonably expect DeMarco Murray to be his usual force of nature. Without his ability to control drives, Dallas will need Tony Romo to hit Dez Bryant early and often. Indianapolis’ defense is ripe to be ripped open, but Andrew Luck will keep the game close. If T.Y. Hilton can outperform Dez Bryant, that will likely indicate an Indianpolis win. Never discount Luck’s ability to pull the proverbial horseshoe out of his ass, but Dallas has so much to lose with a defeat to the Colts. Dallas is a contender, not a pretender.

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Bills @ Raiders

Buffalo against Oakland is such a festering pile of shit matchup. I don’t know if the product gets more watchable if you merge these two franchises, but it wouldn’t hurt to get rid of one of these depressing wastelands of football. Buffalo is NFL Siberia while Oakland is NFL Alcatraz. You can survive the cold nothingness of Siberia, but you cannot escape Alcatraz and live to tell about it.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Seahawks @ Cardinals

Arizona is transforming even more into The Walking Dead with the injury to Drew Stanton (Carl). But the Cardinals do not have enough healthy bodies to fight off the swarming Seahawks. If this game was in Seattle, there’s a genuine chance it would be 50-0. Arizona has a distinct home-field advantage, but it doesn’t mean as much without the talent to make the noise matter. Arizona’s only chance is probably a punt return TD. If Seattle has a pick-6, then the spirit of the Cardinals will be broken.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Broncos @ Bengals

Jeremy Hill poses a serious threat to Denver’s defense. The Broncos do not have a stout run defense, and Cincinnati could do real damage pounding the gates with Jeremy Hill and attacking the walls with Gio Bernard. If Peyton Manning remains limited with an injury, Denver will need C.J. Anderson to carry the offense once again. I’d rather save those larger loads for the playoffs when the stakes are more important. Denver would do well to maintain the No. 2 seed, but the Broncos don’t have much hope to supplant the Patriots to make the AFC playoffs run through Mile High. Peyton can and will win on the road.

Win: Denver Broncos

Overall: 128-80
Last Week: 12-4

Cardinals @ Rams

I’ve made the comparison before, but the Arizona Cardinals being The Walking Dead is even more apt at this stage. In their last game against St. Louis, the Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (Gareth) and those vicious, roving lunatics incapacitated Carson Palmer (Bob) and ate his leg right in front of his eyes. Somehow Bruce Arians (Rick) has his gang focused and ready to attack in order to protect their own. Arizona can continue to try to do their best with Drew Stanton (Carl) lofting passes to Larry Fitzgerald (Michonne), but the offense is so limited that the Cardinals need their defense to carry them to the playoffs. Over the next few weeks, the biggest question in this comparison is whether or not the Cardinals have a Daryl. Arizona better win this game because Seattle’s swarming herd comes to town.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Steelers @ Falcons

Julio Jones won’t play today so Matt Ryan won’t have the mythical centaur to target. Pittsburgh dismantled the Cincinnati Bengals last week and the Atlanta Falcons are arguably a worse version of Cincinnati. Matt Ryan will post points even with Roddy White and Harry Douglas as his prime weapons, but Atlanta will struggle mightily to contain Le’Veon Bell. Whatever Rapistberger gives the Steelers moving the chains through the air will be whipped cream with a cherry on top. Expect Atlanta to try to mount a 4th Quarter comeback before ultimately falling short yet again.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Packers @ Bills

All the hype is building for a Super Bowl appearance for the Packers. Although Green Bay took care of business at home against New England, they’re peaking at the wrong moment. I would still take the Patriots over any team in the NFL because of their ability to run the ball with literally anyone combined with a great defense. In Green Bay, the Packers will struggle without Eddie Lacy and their defense is not up to elite standards. Buffalo has a legitimate shot at an upset if Kyle Orton doesn’t shit himself. But with enough momentum still in their favor, the Green Bay Packers should be able to outscore an Orton-led offense even if the game is on the road in Buffalo.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Bengals @ Browns

Finally, Cleveland has decided to give their offense over to John Manziel. It’s Johnny Clipboard no longer. The move is a week too late and it may very well cost Cleveland their chance at a playoff spot. I don’t know if Manziel is a better QB than Brian Hoyer. But I do know that Manziel’s dual threat ability makes the offense more dangerous by forcing defenses to account for that midget when a play breaks down. Indianapolis would have been a great opportunity to unleash Manziel because the Colts are vulnerable against the run. Similarly, Cincinnati does not do a good job containing opposing running attacks, which means Manziel could open up large running lanes for the Browns’ RBs as well as himself. There will be growing pains and expect at least one turnover, but it will take defenses a few weeks to gameplan against Manziel’s strengths. By that point, the Browns might be able to wrap up an elusive playoff spot.

Win: Cleveland Browns

Texans @ Colts

J.J. Watt’s MVP campaign will continue with end zone opportunities, but Houston’s best chance at a win resides with Arian Foster’s ability to shred Indianapolis on the ground. Likely without Andre Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be eyeing DeAndre Hopkins all game so the smart gameplan for the Colts is stuffing the box and bracketing coverage on Hopkins. Indianapolis’ defense is smoke and mirrors so there’s an opportunity for Houston to shock the Colts. However, Andrew Luck can look awful for an entire game before pulling a horseshoe out of his ass in the final moments.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Raiders @ Chiefs

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee (I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee) that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—can’t get fooled again.’” — George W. Bush

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Dolphins @ Patriots

While many thought the Arizona Cardinals were once again the 2014 version of the Arizona Cardinals, which is the best NFL team not to make the playoffs. But the 2015 example might very well be the Miami Dolphins. With a stout defense, Miami plays most teams competitively. However, the Dolphins are desperately missing an explosive element to their offense since Ryan Tannehill is busy doing his best Alex Smith impersonation. In this matchup against the league’s most dynamic offense, the Dolphins needs to use that desperation to score TDs instead of settling for FGs. Despite Miami’s strong secondary, Tom Brady will be blowing kisses to Giselle again after Gronk destroys 7 Dolphins defenders.

Win: New England Patriots

Redskins @ Giants

Coughlin's Red Skin

Remember when a Washington vs. New York division game garnered some attention? At this point, we’re just waiting for the final weeks of RG Knee in Washington. Since this is a December game in New York, Tom Coughlin will play his respects to the proud Redskins franchise with his weathered, bright red face prowling the Giants sideline with a scowl and those beady, Teddy bear eyes piercing the souls of his players. With Colt McCoy pretending to be a starting QB, expect New York to tee off by stuffing the line and daring McCoy’s BB-gun arm to hurt them downfield.

Win: New York Giants

Buccaneers @ Panthers

Cam Newton almost killed himself when his truck turned over, but people still expected him to have an opportunity to play this week. I don’t know if that’s just media ignorance or if Carolina even entertained the idea. Derek Anderson did a respectable job leading the Panthers to a win over Tampa Bay earlier this year in relief duty, but these aren’t the same teams at this stage. Without Cam Newton’s dual threat ability to dismantle opposing defenses, I can’t expect the same large gains available for Jonathan Stewart. In the crazy NFC South, it seems about time for Tampa Bay to step up and ruin someone else’s season for a change. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if Josh McCown could also be torn in half at the torso, but I have a feeling that Mike Evans could almost single-handedly win this game.

Win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jaguars @ Ravens

What’s the over/under on when Jacksonville officially give up on the season? Week 3 or 4? I can’t even pretend to conjure up a single reason as to why you should watch this abysmal matchup.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Jets @ Titans

Jacksonville vs. Baltimore should be a shitty one-sided game. But Geno Smith against Jake Locker will be a showcase of inept QB play where the sole highlight on SportsCenter will be a game-winning FG in the final moments. This is easily the worst game on the Week 15 slate.

Win: New York Jets

Broncos @ Chargers

Peyton Manning’s streak of consecutive games with a TD pass came to an end last week. But the easiest bet in NFL history is on Manning to start a new streak against San Diego. I’m not convinced Denver will move away from the ball-control offensive approach, which is a wise strategy to save the bullets in Manning’s gun while also conditioning the team to win games on the strength of their defense. Denver’s defense still isn’t elite and I wouldn’t put them in the same category as New England because they don’t have a secondary that completely dominates and shuts down the opposition. As much as I will yell at my TV screen, Philip Rivers will make plays on 3rd Down and have a fair share of connections downfield with the likes of Antonio Gates. While this be a more competitive opponent than Buffalo, the Broncos need to take care of business on the road with a workman-like approach.

Win: Denver Broncos

Vikings @ Lions

So Teddy Bridgewater probably isn’t the best QB from last year’s draft class. But the tools are there to be a competent QB for several years. At the worst, Bridgewater is a slightly better version of Christian Ponder. While Minnesota fans may never Adrian Peterson in a Vikings uniform ever again, Bridgewater brings a new face of the franchise. Unfortunately, the supporting cast isn’t in place yet for Minnesota to surprise a playoff contender like the Detroit Lions. Matt Stafford seems to have righted the struggling Lions ship with Detroit posting 30+ points in consecutive weeks. As long as Detroit plays their brand of defense, Stafford should be able to get away with a win even if the offense takes a step back.

Win: Detroit Lions

49ers @ Seahawks

It would be such sweet revenge for San Francisco and Jim Harbaugh if the 49ers shoved a stick in the spokes of Seattle’s season with a surprise upset. Unfortunately, Colin Kaepernick has regressed into a shaky scarecrow in the pocket. With the train back on the tracks for Seattle, expect the Seahawks to force Kaepernick to be successful from the pocket. If Daddy Long Legs can rewind the clock and be an elusive running threat again, then San Francisco has a chance in this defensive battle. But I hate Russell Wilson and I cannot be allowed to enjoy things so we’ll Seattle in the playoffs yet again.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Cowboys @ Eagles

Could Dallas truly implode and ruin their odds of making the playoffs? The increasing probability of the Cowboys sitting at home watching the playoffs instead of participating in them is so tantalizing. My mouth is watering at the thought? Would Jon Gruden finally return to the sidelines if that collapse happens? As interesting as a Jon Gruden-Jerry Jones marriage could be in Dallas, I think the Cowboys will run the ball more effectively with DeMarco Murray in this rematch against Philadelphia. Chip Kelly needs to bring the kitchen sink, and I surely have more faith in his coaching ability than Jason Garrett. But can I really take Mark Sanchez in an important game over Tony Romo?

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Saints @ Bears

Dysfunction in Chicago has reached a cataclysmic level. The radioactive poison in the locker room will cost Marc Trestman his job as head coach, but it’s yet to be determined if the Bears will continue to swing favor in Jay Cutler’s corner. At this point, Cutler is the type of QB he will always be—Smokin’ Jay isn’t changing. Despite New Orleans’ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine, the Saints are too strong on offense to fuck up this opportunity to squeak back into the playoff hunt with an upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons. Chicago rallying to win this one at home might be the shock of the season.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Bruce LaRussa

Bruce Jenner | Tony LaRussa

Lake Peet

Lake Bell | Amanda Peet

Overall: 116-76
Last Week: 6-7

Bears @ Cowboys

Marc Trestman may be maxed out as an offensive coordinator. Even in that respect, Trestman has been a disappointment this year by not orienting the Chicago offense around Matt Forte. Instead of feeding Forte a steady of diet of carries, the Bears have put all their offensive hopes on the back foot throws of Jay Cutler, which hasn’t helped Smokin’ Jay at all. On the defensive side, Chicago still has a largely Tampa 2 personnel even though the team is employing a different scheme. I’m sure most Bears fans would love to swap Trestman and new Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith. While that’s not going to happen, Chicago should probably fire Trestman and dump Cutler for draft compensation. The rest of this year is going to look ugly on the field and this game against Dallas doesn’t figure to be any different.

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Steelers @ Bengals

I never know what to think about these two teams aside from how much I hate them both. Rapistberger vs. Red Rocket! Cincinnati is sticking around as the division leader largely due to unlikely benefits of having a tie. Can this mediocre Bengals team hang around for the rest of the year? Gamblers all over the world are salivating at the thought of Andy Dalton in a playoff game. While I can see Cincinnati running all over Pittsburgh with Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard, it’s so easy for Andy Dalton to stall a drive by sailing passes or throwing it directly to the opposing defense. It pains me to take Pittsburgh.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Colts @ Browns

So much for all that Johnny Manziel drama. Although demoting Brian Hoyer would be quite the kick in the balls, Manziel’s frantic run for his life approach plays better against this Colts defense than Hoyer’s statuesque pocket presence. Indianapolis struggles mightily against the run, and Manziel’s dual threat ability could have caused true havoc opening running lanes all over the field. But alas, Johnny Clipboard will wait until the Browns’ limited playoff hopes are completely dashed. In order for Cleveland to beat the Colts, the Browns will need 30+ points because manchild Andrew Luck will certainly orchestrate an offense that will attack the weaknesses of Cleveland’s surprisingly strong overall defense.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Buccaneers @ Lions

Aren’t the Buccaneers still technically in the hunt for NFC South? That’s as pathetic as Tampa’s offense. Detroit will probably get burned once or twice deep by Mike Evans, but even the Lions can’t blow this opportunity at an easy win. Unless Matthew Stafford implodes and starts flinging passes sidearm again, Detroit’s defense should keep the Buccaneers on their own side of the 50-yard line for most of the game.

Win: Detroit Lions

Giants @ Titans

So many horrible games on the slate in Week 14, but this could be the worst. The New York Giants could conceivably be dead and put together the same performance on a weekly basis. Last week’s embarrassing choke job against the Jacksonville Jaguars is inexcusable. Of course, that just means Eli Manning will inexplicably throw 4 TDs against the Titans. It’s nearly impossible to trust Tennessee with an injured Zach Mettenberger. Can New York snatch defeat from the jaws of victory one more time?

Win: New York Giants

Ravens @ Dolphins

This will be the type of competitive game that is just unwatchable. In this matchup, we’re treated to Baltimore’s clone of Kerry Collins (Joe Flacco) verus Miami’s clone of Alex Smith (Ryan Tannehill). The Dolphins have impressed this season, but Miami is a team with too many deficiencies to be a serious contender. Meanwhile, the Ravens are mildly mediocre, and this squad seems like a poor fit against Miami’s stout pass defense. If Baltimore gets a huge boost running the ball, then the Dolphins will be in trouble. After last week’s late debacle against San Diego, I can’t trust Baltimore against a team that dominated the Chargers earlier this season. Miami desperately needs Ryan Tannehill to carry this team.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Jets @ Vikings

Geno Glue Hands

Will Geno Smith have more than 10 pass attempts? I think Geno’s hand is glued to the ball.

Win: Minnesota Vikings

Panthers @ Saints

Somehow, Cam Newton has become a complete fucking mess. No longer capable of carrying such an inept supporting cast, the ‘S’ on Newton’s chest has faded quickly. Carolina needs to get their shit in order and stop wasting the best years of Cam’s athletic ability. Out of all the running QBs, Newton appears to pose the best chances of long-term success since he’s built like Daunte Culpepper. As long as Cam can avoid a catastrophic injury, the Panthers will hang around in the lowly NFC South for years. But this is not their year. Expect today’s event to become a quite a bit Drew Breezy.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Rams @ Redskins

While it doesn’t make much sense, I would pay to see RG Knee on the Rams next season. Jeff Fisher embarrassed Washington as much as the team’s racist nickname. Hopefully Dan Snyder enjoys seeing all the defensive talent in St. Louis that he traded to the Rams. The skin on his face should be so red.

Win: St. Louis Rams

Texans @ Jaguars

What’s next for J.J. Watt? Against the Jaguars, Watt might throw, run, and catch a TD. I understand Houston wants Watt to win the MVP, but the gimmick of using him as a Gronk-esque weapon on offense is going to hurt them at some point. Hopefully we don’t see J.J. blow an MCL in his search for an MVP.

Win: Houston Texans

Bills @ Broncos

Last Sunday’s dominant rushing attack against Kansas City was quite the statement for the Broncos. With the Bills coming into Denver, expect the same sound strategy against Kyle Orton. Denver’s defense isn’t up to an elite level, but Peyton just needs the defense to hold onto one Orton interception to create enough point separation for a Broncos win.

Win: Denver Broncos

Chiefs @ Cardinals

Could the Cardinals fade and be the best team not in the playoffs for the second straight season? If Kansas City intends to stay in the hunt for an AFC playoff spot, then this game could be the death knell for Arizona. Carson Palmer is out for the year and Andre Ellington might be joining him very soon. Arizona’s offensive depth isn’t up to par with their defensive’s ability to play as a collective unit. While Kansas City has been experiencing their own adversity, the conservative approach of limiting Alex Smith seems like a smart play against an Arizona Cardinals defense intent on creating turnovers. Bruce Arians needs to develop his greatest game plan yet and Drew Stanton needs flawless execution.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

49ers @ Raiders

Oakland is an embarrassment. But at least Jim Harbaugh gets an opportunity to scout the talent on his future team. The cupboard is bare for the Raiders. Good luck finding a can of beans worth saving.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Seahawks @ Eagles

Perhaps I should have expected more out of Mr. Butt Fumble, but unearthing the image of Mark Sanchez running face first into his own lineman’s ass was well worth being wrong. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the Seattle Seahawks don’t have the same Swiss cheese holes on defense as the Dallas Cowboys. This matchup might turn into the week’s best game. Philadelphia is a team that rides the highs and lows like a rollercoaster, and Seattle’s improved play could be the impetus to cause the Eagles’ season to go off the tracks. I’ll quietly hope for Chip Kelly to silence Richard Sherman, but the Seahawks seem to have Ric Flair’s “To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man” mantra at heart.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Patriots @ Chargers

The only way I win as a viewer watching this game is if Tom Brady and Philip Rivers get career-ending injuries. As a Peyton Manning fan, I’ll settle for some serious injuries on both sides of the ball for each team. San Diego undeservedly pulled a win out of their ass last week against Baltimore, but the Patriots pose a considerably stronger challenge. Expect New England to rush for 300 yards with whatever C+ they pulled off the scrap heap most recently. This is the type of game where Brady won’t need to make more than a handful of throws, but the Patriots might just decide to log 50 pass attempts.

Win: New England Patriots

Falcons @ Packers

Atlanta can pretend to be a playoff contender all they want. The Falcons have as much of a chance of making the playoffs as the cast of The Walking Dead has of finding a cure in the zombie apocalypse. Unless Green Bay decides to hammer Atlanta with Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers has a fair shot to break the single game TD record. Julio Jones may burn the Packers, but Matt Ryan isn’t the same caliber of laser accurate passer. Expect a great performance from Rodgers and his ol’ starry blues.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Poster

If you take it for what it is, St. Vincent is a thoroughly enjoyable experience—even if it is a twist on the tired old man, young kid trope. A curmudgeon who hates most people is a character I can identify with, and there’s just so much rich interplay to be had with that type of dynamic. Bad Santa may be annoying overplayed on television during Christmas, but it’s still a great fucking movie with memorable laughs. In many respects, St. Vincent is similar to The Way Way Back—one of my favorites of 2013.

Bill Murray as Vincent is probably his best role and most impressive acting in a decade.

If you watch St. Vincent and don’t at least like the movie, then I question whether or not you have a heart beating inside your chest. Writer-director Theodore Melfi went to great lengths to get in touch with and convince Bill Murray to star in this movie, but those efforts were well worth the payoff. Audiences are often too stupid to recognize accents and I’ve heard many complain about St. Vincent, but Bill Murray does a spot-on Brooklyn accent that makes you believe the character from the outset.

Personally, I would have enjoyed just staying with Vincent’s Bukowski-esque dirty old man antics for the entire length of the movie. But then I wouldn’t have the experience of seeing Jaeden Lieberher in his feature film debut. Lieberher plays Oliver, who is the scrawny little runt next door that’s relentlessly bullied at school. The kid is awkwardly adorable. Lieberher holds his own opposite Bill Murray.

The duo has dynamic chemistry that makes you care about the characters and their relationship.

Lieberher

For the first time I can remember, Melissa McCarthy is actually tolerable as Maggie (Oliver’s mom) because she’s not ridiculously over-the-top in her mannerisms and delivery. Essentially serving as the straight woman to Murray’s comic relief, McCarthy gives a grounded performance as a struggling mom moving out on her own and trying to take care of a kid by herself. St. Vincent seems to take pride in being a realistic coming of age portrayal that’s carefully seasoned with comic relief equally throughout.

Even Naomi Watts as a pregnant Russian stripper named Daka (friend with benefits to Vincent) and Chris O’Dowd as Brother Geraghty (Oliver’s teacher) provide laughs in their supporting roles. The acting elevates the writing, which is a welcome surprise in a dramedy. Everyone brings something to the table.

I can understand why some may characterize St. Vincent as too sweet, but I’m a sucker for a well-crafted piece of movie candy. The twist that comes about halfway into the story hits like a freight train when you start to realize Vincent might not be full of shit after all. It’s an impactful shift in the story.

Instead of a one-dimensional asshole, Bill Murray makes Vincent into a living, breathing human being.

Bill Murray

I didn’t expect to like this movie as much as I did. Although the nature of the story isn’t as serious as the current slate of Oscar-hopefuls, St. Vincent deserves ample adoration and praise for almost perfectly executing a dramedy centered on an old man and a young kid. However, there’s one substantial plot hole that is completely forgotten in the latter half of the film. Since that storyline sets a major event in motion, it’s something that seriously needed to be addressed. Even a throwaway line would have helped.

With so many lackluster movies in theaters, you should do yourself a favor and lighten the mood by watching St. Vincent. It’s a celebration of all things Bill Murray, and it’s more tolerable since it’s not a Wes Anderson film. If you don’t like St. Vincent, you need to get over yourself. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet, smooth movie like St. Vincent—it’s as comforting as an ice cream cone in the summer.

Ice Cream

4 out of 5 stars

Poster

The Pyramid is very ungood. The smell inside that ancient enclosed structure is equaled only by the overwhelming stench of this pile of shit movie. How did this script get greenlit?

Under the guise that a documentary crew (just a chick and her cameraman) is following an archaeological team, The Pyramid is a very loose interpretation of a found footage film that focuses on the discovery of a new great pyramid underground in Egypt. With the same issues as End of Watch, The Pyramid spends too much time making sure the audience is fully aware that this is a documentary, but then it expects us not to notice when it inevitably breaks the very rules it meticulously created and emphasized.

Choose a direction. A found footage film shot from that perspective inside a pyramid could have been promising in appropriate hands. Grégory Levasseur is a first-time director that was not the right person for the job. After looking up his credits, it now all makes sense that Levasseur co-wrote the screenplay for Maniac, which is one of the worst movies I have ever watched. Maniac is a movie in which Elijah Wood plays a serial who kills women, staples their scalps to mannequins, then he presumably fucks said mannequins. That’s not a spoiler, that’s just what the entire movie is about—all 90 minutes.

If it’s a compliment, The Pyramid is slightly less excruciating so Levassur must be improving. A movie released earlier this year is As Above So Below, which is nearly identical in subject matter and relatively similar in execution as The Pyramid. This is not a groundbreaking story by any means.

Hinshaw

With such an uninspired story, The Pyramid does itself no favors with clumsy exposition that is supposed to set up the plot. It’s clear that Ashley Hinshaw was cast as the lead because she’s a blonde with big tits. Hinshaw plays Nora (the daughter of the father/daughter archaeology duo) and she is incredibly unbelievable as an archaeologist. Hinshaw butchers the dialogue with her stilted, stiff delivery. She didn’t make any mispronunciations, but you could tell those words were practiced and rehearsed to death.

Denis O’Hare did an acceptable job as Holden (the father and primary archaeologist), but there just wasn’t much for him to do. The same could be said for Christa Nicola as Sunni (the female filmmaker). The man behind the documentary camera was James Buckley playing Fitzie, who was the clear star of the movie. Most have probably never heard of James Buckley before, but he’s great comic relief in Charlie Countryman (a phenomenal film starring Shia LeBeouf) and he serves the same purpose in The Pyramid. Without Buckley as Fitzie, The Pyramid would be like Cloverfield without T.J. Miller as the cameraman, Hud.

While everyone is enthralled with understanding the hieroglyphics inside The Pyramid, Fitzie is the one character who truly wants to get the fuck out of this horrible hell hole.

Apex

Nothing seems as if there was any thought put into it aside from passages from someone’s 8th grade world history textbook. After uncovering a new great pyramid under thousands of years of dirt, civil unrest in Cairo or something like that causes the dig site to be shut down and evacuated even though it is literally in Bumfuck, Egypt. Despite several threats from a lone soldier (without any other military personnel in sight), our merry bands of fucktards think it is a good idea to go inside of this ancient pyramid to look for their robot that they already knew was destroyed. Does any of this make sense in any world? Of course not.

And I’m not spoiling anything when I say that everyone would have died instantly in the first instance in which the crew gets lost and faces adversity. Everyone surviving without a fucking scratch is ludicrous. It was an entirely unnecessary scene that should serve as a serious red flag for any hopes of realism.

Inside The Pyramid

The Pyramid has all of the horrendous clichés of typical horror movies.

Surely, there are scenes where our ragtag crew goes in circles and find themselves back where they started. Creatures pop out of the darkness to scare people. Only pairs of beady eyes can be seen in the pitch black. All of your usual gags are here. Unfortunately, there’s not much else packed in The Pyramid.

An unsettling score prompts the audience and attempts to tell you how to feel. But none of it works. The Pyramid appears as little more than a juvenile attempt at a found footage horror movie. We already have enough of those and The Pyramid adds nothing new to this floundering, overused genre.

The worst part about this movie is the end. With the entire runtime revolving around this mystery of why the pyramid was built, the final reveal is so ultimately unsatisfying and downright childish. I enjoy B-quality schlock, but there are better horror movies found on the SyFy channel.

Avoid this like a plague from ancient Egypt.

Opening

1 out of 5 stars