Last Week: 9-7
Overall: 143-80-1

Dolphins @ Bills

I have nothing interesting to say about this match-up. Ryan Tannehill has looked impressive (especially last week against New England), but I still don’t trust him. Buffalo always seems to pull off a last minute win whenever I give them no chance to win the game so be careful for another upset this week with Miami coming into town. But maybe, just maybe Mike Wallace has transformed back into a downfield difference maker again—or he could just lose interest because he’s that fickle.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Vikings @ Bengals

Again, I’m really grasping at straws for interesting angle on this boring game. The Bengals predictably bungled their primetime opportunity last week, but I just didn’t have the balls to call the upset because of my hatred for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cincinnati could even fall victim to the upset this week if Minnesota can match the intensity produced in last week’s upset of the Philadelphia Eagles. But the injuries continue to mount for the Vikings, which makes their season that much more unexplainable and perplexing. Leslie Frazier may still warrant losing his head on the chopping block, but I’m guessing he gets another year in Minnesota—particularly if the Vikings maul the Bengals in this match-up. The Ginger Gunslinger needs a win badly to prevent Cincinnati to start looking elsewhere for a QB solution.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Colts @ Chiefs

Who knows what to expect out of the Colts? Indianapolis could upset the Chiefs since they’re a quality opponent and the Colts play up to their competition. Unfortunately, this game is in Kansas City, which doesn’t bode well for the reeling Colts. Andrew Luck is dragging his teammates to the finish line like Peyton Manning has done several times for the same team. I’m shocked that Indianapolis has surrounded their superstar quarterback with a mediocre supporting cast on offense that’s miraculously elevated by the QB play and the team still has a wildly inconsistent defense that’s consistent in the fact they suck. I expect Indianapolis to limp through these last games and make the playoffs—where they’ll surprise a team in the first round with a very rough, rugged effort throughout the game.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Buccaneers @ Rams

Both of these teams have been playing for pride a while. This is a classic mirror game as Tampa Bay and St. Louis are playing without their No. 1 quarterback that started the season, which has forced a back-up into action paired with a cavalcade of competent running backs and sneaky good defenses. I think the Buccaneers and Rams could enter the next level of NFL in 2014 with improved QB play. In this match-up, the difference will be the result of the better defense. Tampa Bay has more playmakers, but I’ll side with St. Louis because of Howie Long’s offspring—with the benefit of home-field to boot.

Win: St. Louis Rams

Browns @ Jets

Cleveland has perfected the art of sucking. The history of the Browns is a remarkable register of shitty seasons, and this year is just another skidmark in their dark brown times. But this is a season where they needed to be bad in order to set up a brighter future of better days. Don’t worry, Cleveland fans, the light at the end of the tunnel is coming near and Brandon Weeden will never play quarterback for you ever again—if there are any Football Gods, then Weeden will back-up Andy Dalton to form the ultimate Ginger Gunslingers tag team. I’m sure Brandon Weeden will find some way to fuck up this game even if he never plays. Maybe he pulls a Mike Tomlin and interferes with a return from the sidelines. In any event, Cleveland will uncover a way to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

Win: New York Jets

Cowboys @ Redskins

Could the Dallas Cowboys really collapse here in the final weeks of the season again? And against the Washington Redskins? Granted, RGIII isn’t playing, but Kirk Cousins is competent enough (in Chad Henne territory and possibly even better) to move the ball in the air against the Dallas defense while Monte Kiffin is taking his mandatory mid-game nap. I just don’t know which dysfunction will win out. At this point, I don’t know if Mike Shanahan is indeed out the door. Jason Garrett looks like he’s as good as gone after displacing blame for last week’s debacle. With a flair for the dramatic, I think the Cowboys manage to hold onto a late lead this week to set them up for another primetime meltdown within the division.

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Saints @ Panthers

Did New Orleans lose their coach again? Are we sure Sean Payton is still with the Saints? I don’t know why the New Orleans Saints suffered defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Rams last week. Maybe the Saints just aren’t trustworthy on the road. But I don’t trust Cam Newton or the Carolina Panthers either. Since New Orleans has a better supporting cast, I’m going to hope last week was a hiccup. My faith is in your hands, Drew Brees. If the Carolina defense can make the new New Orleans LT into a turnstile, then the Saints will surely be making a Hail Mary at the end of the game.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Titans @ Jaguars

I really shouldn’t have to dedicate any time to this game. The Jaguars have been surprisingly spry in the second half of this season while the Titans have struggled mightily without Jake Locker—which could cost Mike Munchak (the dopey, fatter relative of Jim Schwartz) his job. Sadly, I like Chad Henne more than Ryan Fitzpatrick and that’s enough to make the difference in this match-up.

Win: Tennessee Titans

Broncos @ Texans

Last night, my gyros order was #18. And it was good. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is so look for Peyton Manning (#18) to topple the Texans and add to his TD total—rightfully reclaiming his record from Tom Brady. Denver suffered a hiccup last week against San Diego, but so did the rest of those teams chasing them for the No. 1 seed. Facing Houston and Oakland in the last two weeks, the Broncos shouldn’t need to rest their starters because these games should be the perfect level of uncompetitive—barring a monumental defensive collapse. Denver needs Wes Welker healthy for the playoffs on offense, and Jack Del Rio needs to finally figure out how to stop opposing offenses.

Win: Denver Broncos

Giants @ Lions

Everyone has given up on the Giants. Everyone on the Giants has given up. I’m just not sure if the same is true for the Detroit Lions. Even though the Lions still have playoffs hopes, Detroit has been inexplicably undisciplined and Matthew Stafford has fallen apart. The New York Giants could be the remedy they need. With Calvin Johnson open all day, this should be a must-win that the Lions actually win.

Win: Detroit Lions

Cardinals @ Seahawks

The playoff chances for the Arizona Cardinals are ungood. More than likely, Arizona will be the best team not playing in January. Currently, the margin of error for the Cardinals is about as wide as a thin wisp of cotton candy and it too will disappear like spun sugar if they cannot upset the Seahawks in Seattle. It would be very interesting if Pete Carroll calls a vanilla game to give Arizona every opportunity to stay close and win in order to put an obstacle in the way of division rival San Francisco. Ultimately, I don’t see that happening and the Cardinals will struggle to put up the necessary points in Seattle to pull off the improbable. It was a good run, Arizona. Just don’t fall in love with Carson Palmer now.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Steelers @ Packers

Flynn!!! For Cowboys fans, it’s Matt Fucking Flynn. Still without Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers will turn to Matt Flynn to save their season. It makes no sense, but I think Flynn does it again.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Raiders @ Chargers

Kudos, San Diego. I admit I did not expect the Chargers perfectly executing the standard “control the ball” running game plan against the Broncos. Don’t get me wrong, I still despise Philip Rives and San Diego remains an underachieving mess. Fortunately, the Chargers draw the Oakland Raiders, which out-smells the smelliest burning garbage barge. Little Al Davis could be looking for a new coach again as the Raiders struggle to find an identity. Did Oakland set itself back by firing Hue Jackson and trading Carson Palmer for nothing? With hindsight, it certainly seems so. Good luck to the new Raiders coach this offseason.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Patriots @ Ravens

Alert: New England isn’t the same team without The Gronk. I’m shocked! The Patriots shouldn’t be as good without Grendel playing tight end. But New England is still an above-average team with all the tools to make a late run into the playoffs despite losing several playmakers. Baltimore is clicking on all cylinders and they seem primed to make the playoffs and defend their title. Something just doesn’t seem right and I can’t ride the momentum that’s heading into this match-up. Tom Brady will find a way to win this game because the Patriots do not want to see Baltimore again in the playoffs.

Win: New England Patriots

Falcons @ 49ers

Jim Harbaugh is not letting the 49ers fall into a trap game. Atlanta has escaped with a few wins to spray an air freshener on their turd of a season. But the Falcons will not be able to surprise San Francisco this week. Look for the 49ers to punish the putrid Atlanta defense on the ground and in the air. Regardless of rain, sleet, or snow, San Francisco will outdo the Post Office and deliver on Sunday despite the conditions.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Bears @ Eagles

No Smokin' in the Bathroom

In the semi-finals match-up of Fantasy Football, I started Smokin’ Jay Cutler in his return (over the benched RGIII) to salvage my auto-drafted mess of a season. Like several others, I ran into the 51+ point buzz saw named Jamaal Charles. And so my ship was sunk. But I didn’t lose because of Jay Cutler. The Bears benefitted from the boom or bust play of Smokin’ Jay. After last week’s mysterious X-Files-esque loss, the Philadelphia Eagles may not even need to play their starters depending on how the earlier games shake out. Chicago’s stakes seem like they’ll be considerably higher, and I’m hoping for a Week 17 payoff in a potential Aaron Rodgers return against Cutler for the division title.

Win: Chicago Bears

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