Overall: 163-93
Last Week: 12-4

Last year, my record predicting winners of NFL games was 162-93-1. This year, it was 163-92-1. I’d argue ties shouldn’t count because ties shouldn’t exist in football. In the regular season, I improved my record by a measly game. The only week I’ve gone under .500 was the 6-10 Week 2 debacle this year. It all goes to show you that predicting winners of NFL games isn’t all that difficult if I can do so at a 64% rate for the past two regular seasons.

Cardinals @ Panthers

Now on their third-string QB, Arizona has had their legs cut from underneath them. Still, the Cardinals keep trying to scratch and claw to survive. Arizona’s odds of pulling off an upset would be much larger if Atlanta was their opponent. Cam Newton poses way too many problems for the Cardinals to handle. At best, Ryan Lindley will throw one touchdown, but it’s a toss-up whether that will be to his own receiver or a defender. With an amazing lack of awareness, Lindley could fall victim to a game-changing sack-fumble from behind if Arizona’s offensive line can’t hold up. My money would be on Cam Newton’s elusiveness extending plays and creating enough offense that the Cardinals simply cannot match.

Would you have any confidence in the Ryan Lindley Face?

Ryan Lindley

Carolina is also Carl’s Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week.

Win: Carolina Panthers, 21-16

Ravens @ Steelers

In this year’s Wild Card round, the most important continuing thread is who will not play rather than who will play. Without Le’Veon Bell, all of the focus for the Ravens will be on Rapistberger. While he proved to be Big Ben in their previous matchup, I don’t expect the same aerial performance with Le’Veon out of the lineup. But Baltimore sucks. As a mediocre all-around team, the Ravens probably don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. The Steelers could really do damage if they can escape the rival Ravens this week, but don’t discount the benefit of division familiarity. Expect a close, physical game with each team trying to hit the homerun that will change the game. Antonio Brown could be the difference-maker in the matchup, but Baltimore should shadow coverage to him at all times to avoid disaster.

Win: Baltimore Ravens, 26-24

Bengals @ Colts

The groundbreaking news in this wildly unentertaining Wild Card game is that A.J. Green is unlikely to play. While there’s a slight chance that may change within this next day, Cincinnati is preparing as if A.J. will not be available. For the Bengals, that translates to an even heavier reliance on Jeremy Hill’s pounding style. Considering the awful condition of an already embarrassingly weak Colts defense, Cincinnati could get away with running the ball 40+ times with Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard to break the will of Indianapolis. But then there’s the issue of Red Rocket. Andy Dalton on the road in a playoff game is a recipe for disaster despite Cincinnati’s superior talent on offense and defense. As pitiful as Indianapolis has appeared like a playoff pretender, I cannot accept Andy Dalton and his dog dick-red hair defeating Andrew Luck.

Win: Indianapolis Colts, 27-23

Lions @ Cowboys

Ndumbass Suh will suit up for this game despite the fact his dirty tactics were once again caught on camera as he tried to break Aaron Rodgers’ leg. As much as I hate the Cowboys and want the Lions to win, Suh should not be eligible for this game. Even with at least one nimble 300-lbs player sucking up space and pressuring the QB, the Lions are not a team operating on all cylinders. The head-scratching antics under Jim Schwartz’s reign have re-appeared at the worst time for Detroit. The Black Mannequin Jim Caldwell predictably brings a no-sense style instead of a no-nonsense approach. Matt Stafford needs to win from the pocket and connect with Golden Tate on man-to-man coverage while Megatron will likely see two defenders the whole day. With the onus on a gun slinger like Stafford, Dallas seems poised to continue controlling the ball with DeMarco Murray setting the pace and keeping the Cowboys defense off the field. As long as Tony Romo doesn’t lose his glass slipper eluding pressure, the Cowboys’ Cinderella season will continue.

Win: Dallas Cowboys, 17-10

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