Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Overall: 165-101
Last Week: 2-0

Panthers @ Broncos

Last Rodeo

Like Peyton Manning, this is my last game. I cannot imagine enjoying football without Peyton Manning.

This year was already a bitter taste of what is to come. The State of Quarterbacks in the NFL is pathetic. When healthy, Manning is still in the better half of those who “play” the position. For fuck sakes, we live in a world Johnny Manziel has been handed the reigns to an NFL franchise—before they finally realized his raging alcoholism. The problem is that Peyton Manning has only been healthy for a handful of games. Even that is relative since we’re talking about a man who cannot feel his fingers.

Yet, Peyton made the necessary throws against the Patriots while the Denver defense buried Tom Brady in his own ineptitude. Don’t give me any bullshit about New England not being healthy. Brady had the necessary weapons, but he was clearly flustered and incapable of making rudimentary decisions. If the positions were reversed, everyone would have been talking about Manning. Tom Brady embarrassed himself. It’s amazing how the tables are turned when one team has the superior defense. For the duration of his early career with the Colts, Manning played with truly horrendous defenses that refused to employ anyone over 300lbs on their line until Booger McFarland. It’s just unfortunate that it took the last year of his career for Peyton to finally have an all-world defense supporting him. Let’s never forget that Manning is 3-1 against Brady in AFC Championship Games. But I guess playoff records only matter when it supports the crafted narrative propping up Tom Brady. And Tom Brady has the luxury of heaving the football to the trained polar bear the Patriots employ at TE that they’ve named Gronkowski—easily and unarguably, the most dominant player currently in the NFL.

Everyone is picking the Panthers in this Super Bowl.

The case is simply that the Carolina Panthers are a better version of the Seahawks with a superior QB in Cam Newton—the second-most dominant player currently in the NFL. Pressuring an overrated Tom Brady is one thing, but good luck tackling Cam Newton when he’s bigger than most of Denver’s defenders. Oh, and Carolina will definitely design runs for Cam too. Not only do the Broncos have to sack Cam, but they also have to stop him from just running whenever he thinks a play is broken. The Super Bowl against Seattle went to shit early for Denver. In order for the Broncos to make this a competitive matchup (unlike the NFC Championship Game against the Cardinals), Denver needs to score first and sit on an early lead like they did against New England. While most have focused on Manning, I think the offense will be good for a few scores. The Broncos need to run the ball effectively, which is troublesome considering Gary Kubiak’s insistence on involving Ronnie Hillman—who looks like an 8th grader on a field with men when he tries to run between the tackles. Denver needs C.J. Anderson to dominate carries and act like a bowling ball plowing through Carolina’s defense. With Manning throwing less than 30 times, that’s the conservative game plan the Broncos must utilize.

Defensively, Denver’s ability to keep it close relies on stopping Greg Olsen.

Rob Gronkowski mauled the smaller defenders Denver tried to hang off him. Gronk shook them aside whenever he wanted. Greg Olsen and his third leg could swing the game for the Panthers rather easily. The Broncos just don’t have anyone to glue on Olsen for the whole game. While Aqib Talib and Chris Harris should cover Carolina’s receivers on the outside, all Cam needs to do is slide around (with the threat to run) and find Olsen in the seam a few times. There’s a reason the Panthers are the heavy, prohibitive favorite. Carolina nearly ran undefeated through the season.

But I have to have hope. In his final game, is there enough magic left in Manning’s arm?

Every time Manning throws the ball—even on the fucking sidelines—Peyton noticeably grimaces like he’s being stabbed in the shoulder. It doesn’t look good. The passes aren’t pretty, but Peyton can still burn someone the caliber of Cortland Finnegan. If the Broncos treat Josh Norman like Richard Sherman (avoiding him whenever possible) and account for Luke Kuechly on every play, I can envision a scenario where Peyton might have a chance to thrive rather than merely survive.

Does the old man have enough left for this game?

Win: Denver Broncos

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Overall: 163-101
Last Week: 3-1

Patriots @ Broncos

Red Forehead

Fuck Tom Brady. It’s infuriating to still see everyone credit Tom Brady when the clear difference-maker on the Patriots is Rob Gronkowski. Brady immediately regressed to mediocre when Gronk was hurt, but he’s back to being a world-beater who gets rid of the ball in less than two seconds when that monster is roaming the field. The New England Patriots trained a polar bear to catch passes. Gronkowski doesn’t need to be open to catch passes. Gronk will just maul whatever unfortunate soul is around him and grab the ball mid-air in his teeth. This isn’t Brady vs. Manning as much as it is Gronkowski vs. The World.

The Gronk’s Prayer is a thing that exists…

Our Gronk who scores in sevens,
Hollowed be thy brain.
Thy kingdom dumb.
Thy will mix rum,
On turf as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily meat spread,
And don’t forgive us our trespasses,
As we don’t forgive those who double-cover against us,
Lead us directly and repeatedly into temptation,
But deliver dat sexy body from evil.
For spikes in the endzone,
With great power, bring you glory,
Forever.
Way-men.

Rob Gronkowski is One Man Gang. There’s no question who the man is in New England. Gronk is the straw that stirs the drink—and then proceeds to pound that drink and drink everyone else’s. But I have to believe that Good finds a way. Everyone but Peyton Manning knows this is the last hurrah. How sweet it would be for Peyton to bring his record against Brady to 3-2 in the playoffs, and a shot at riding off into the sunset with a ring. A man can dream. Peyton is pulling out all the stops, he even rope-a-doped the Steelers last week by falling down (without being touched) only to get back up to throw and make the biggest play of the game. The Patriots are back at full strength while Denver is limping into the game with a still-injured Peyton Manning. In 2009, I was at the 4th and 2 Game in Indianapolis—the only NFL game I’ve ever attended. It’s not quite the same with Manning at the end of his career, but he’s the only player I’ve witnessed get in Belicheat’s head. Manning brought the Colts back from the brink, and there was no way the Patriots wanted to give him the ball in those final moments. Everyone in that stadium knew Manning was marching down the field to win that game. No question about it.

In order for the Broncos to win this game, it is going to take a similar heroic effort from Peyton Manning AND a monumental defensive stop to finish the game. Those odds aren’t great. But there’s a chance. Even if it is just for old times’ sake, I want to believe Good will triumph over Evil.

Win: Denver Broncos

Cardinals @ Panthers

The Nature Boy once said, “To Be THE Man, You’ve Gotta Beat THE Man! WOOOOO!!!!!”

WOO

The Panthers made Ric Flair (Carolina hometown boy) proud last week by beating the Seattle Seahawks. Carolina eclipsed the NFC’s Super Bowl representative from the last two years. But the Panthers aren’t alone on the mountain top yet. Arizona is coming to town as the last remaining obstacle in the Carolina Panthers’ path to the Super Bowl. Carson Palmer has been shaky since injuring his finger, and the Cardinals are lacking the depth—namely, on defense and running the ball—to finish out this final stretch. If Carolina contains David Johnson out of the backfield and puts the clamps on big plays, then Arizona is going to have a tough time hanging with the Panthers. As the best running team in this Final Four, Carolina has an advantage by being able to run the ball down anyone’s throat. Arizona has a chance because of Bruce Arians’ ballsy play-calling, but that also can backfire real quick if Carson Palmer turns the ball over. Last year, Cam Newton proved he could walk away unscathed after rolling his car. It’s going to take a lot more than a car wreck for the Cardinals to stop him today.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Overall: 160-100
Last Week: 3-1

Chiefs @ Patriots

Fuck Tom Brady. The Chiefs predictably pounded the Texans last week. But that’s where the improbable Alex Smith run ends. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see the Patriots choke a home playoff game away. I sincerely doubt the probability of that happening against Alex Smith’s Kansas City Chiefs as coached by Andy Reid. Since Jamaal Charles’ injury, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware have been running the ball. With Jeremy Maclin very likely out for this game, all Belicheat has to do is take Travis Kelce away in order to stifle Kansas City’s offense. Unless Alex Smith plays out of his mind, the Patriots will post too many points for the Chiefs to catch up to by kicking field goals.

Win: New England Patriots

Packers @ Cardinals

In terms of pure entertainment value, Green Bay against Arizona might be the sneaky best matchup of the week. The Packers are not a good football team. Green Bay wins and loses on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers. Their offensive line hasn’t given Rodgers enough room to operate, but the Packers looked vastly improved last week. I would not be shocked to see Aaron Rodgers create havoc for Arizona’s defense—particularly if Rodgers uses his legs to breathe new life into broken plays. The Cardinals are a good football team. But like all things Arizona, they are rather unspectacular. Bruce Arians will put the Cardinals in the best position to win, but I just don’t know if Arizona can survive if Green Bay bottles up David Johnson on the ground. A shootout favors Arizona with their penchant for big plays, but the Packers could pull off a mighty upset with another dominating running attack. The Cardinals (especially their annoying bandwagon fans) are still riding high after recently wiping the floor with Green Bay, but Arizona should be on red alert with Rodgers lurking.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Seahawks @ Panthers

Fuck the 12th Man. Hipster Michael Myers did it again. After being left for dead yet again, Seattle rose from their grave and continued their crazed murderous streak. The Seahawks had no business winning that fucking game. This team is so fucking insufferable. It’s torturous listening to Russell Wilson give generic athlete speak and credit God for all things good. He’s a soulless pod person. Since Seattle doesn’t deserve to be in this game, the Seahawks will continue personifying Michael Myers by stabbing Cam Newton in the chest on their way to claiming a victory in Carolina. You know it is happening. Collectively, everyone outside of the Pacific Northwest hates this boring team too much for them to not unjustly advance to another round. If the world is as cruel and unforgiving as I fear, we’re headed straight for a Super Bowl rematch.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Steelers @ Broncos

Grimace

If the Broncos beat the Steelers this week, Denver owes bounty hunter Vontaze Burfict his dues for taking out Le’Veon Bell ($10,000) and Antonio Brown ($8,000) and maiming Rapistberger ($2,000). We all deserve one last Brady-Manning battle before Peyton sets off in the sunset. Let’s hope that Week 17 wasn’t an aberration because it would be a shame to see Manning’s health break down yet again. Denver shouldn’t be sleeping on the Steelers. Rapistberger has a long history of over-exaggerating injuries to build himself up to hero status so don’t be shocked to see that happen again. If Pittsburgh is going to win, they need Big Ben to turn back the clock. The Broncos defense is susceptible to being passed on, but I don’t believe the Steelers will be able to put away Denver without their full complement of weapons. However, Mike Tomlin will surely pull out all the stops in a desperate attempt to upset Denver so all trick plays and onside kicks are on the table. I wouldn’t trust Gary Kubiak with anything mildly important, which scares the shit out of me when watching the final moments of any close Broncos game. We don’t know the true health of either QB so this could be a complete toss-up.

Win: Denver Broncos

Overall: 157-99
Last Week: 9-7

Week 17 wasn’t exactly a kind end of the season, but I still managed a 61% success rate when picking winners. I went 163-93 in 2014 and 162-93-1 in 2013, which (combined with this year’s results) puts me at a 63% rate. This proves any idiot can pick NFL games. With zero research or anything invested in the process, you too can be just like so-called experts. Now onto the playoffs!

Chiefs @ Texans

You know the patented Andy Reid faceplant is coming. Alex Smith and the ground game have been stellar in the second half of the season, but do not underestimate the ability of Kansas City to shoot themselves in the foot. With J.J. Watt as the only real legitimate threat to the Chiefs, they should run Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware right at him. What they shouldn’t do but probably will do is over-expose Alex Smith to hits by dropping back to pass too much. It’s an Andy Reid staple. However, I cannot root for J.J. Watt and this shitty Texans team to advance. Between Bill O’Brien and Andy Reid, gimme the byproduct of the Kool-Aid Man fucking a walrus every time.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Steelers @ Bengals

McCarron

Pittsburgh is the most feared team in the AFC due to their potential to post points. Without DeAngelo Williams, the Steelers will employ a rotating door behind Rapistberger. If Big Ben pulls off another unwanted penetration (of Cincinnati’s secondary…and all of their college-aged white women) successfully, there’s very little question whether the Steelers will win. The Bengals’ ability to win this game relies completely on their defense. All season, Cincinnati’s defense has bended but not broken. Considering A.J. McCarron is starting, even bending too much will result in yet another early exit. But being without a running threat is when Pittsburgh will be their most vulnerable these playoffs. I hate both teams, but I think we’re building to A.J. McCarron notching a playoff win before Andy Dalton. Then there’s the possibility of Andy Dalton returning if the Bengals manage to advance.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Seahawks @ Vikings

Weeks ago, I told you hipster Michael Myers wouldn’t die. The Seattle Seahawks are the worst nightmare for any respectable NFL fan. This team is awful to watch, but that didn’t stop them from squeezing into the playoffs again. I would love for the Minnesota Vikings to win this game. Yes, I’d rather root for a team that employs a man who beat his child with a stick than watch the Seahawks win another playoff game. I’m beyond sick of this stupid team. When you stab them in the chest, don’t just run away thinking you’ll be fine. This team will get up and continue haunting you. Please cut their head off and end it for good. Marshawn Lynch’s late scratch gives the Vikings hope. But I’ve watched this movie before and know the ending. There’s always a shitty sequel waiting.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Packers @ Redskins

Congratulations, NFL. We live in a world where the Washington Racial Slurs are back in the playoffs. Parity! I don’t know what black hole to an alternate universe I slipped into, but I want to go back to the place where Aaron Rodgers was playing like an all-time great and Kirk Cousins was a shitty backup to RG Knee. The Redskins were the fortunate winner of the no good NFC East—y’know, the division that just fired two coaches and the third is a ginger. If Mike McCarthy can’t get the offensive line to protect Aaron Rodgers long enough to unleash deep balls, then expect to see the Redskins in the next round. A loss may very well bring the guillotine down on Mike McCarthy’s fat neck and triple chins. But I’m hoping Rodgers still has another Super Bowl run in his right arm.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Overall: 148-92
Last Week: 10-6

Saints @ Falcons

All angry white people mad at Cam Newton should be bowing at the altar of the average Atlanta Falcons and their poster boy for mediocrity Matt Ryan. I figured the Giants had the best opportunity to knock off Goliath, but the division rival Falcons had other plans. Now Atlanta gets to play down to their competition and I wouldn’t be shocked if the corpse of Tim Hightower shuffles off this mortal coil for 100+ yards against Atlanta’s defense. Coming off their own personal Super Bowl, the Falcons need to prove they’re building something and it wasn’t a fluke. But then again, we all know it was just a fluke.

Win: Atlanta Falcons

Jets @ Bills

I don’t know whether or not to attribute the Jets’ improvement this season to new head coach Todd Bowles or offensive coordinator Chan Gailey changing the offense and bringing in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rex Ryan never had and still doesn’t have an offense as competently run as this system in the hands of Mr. Harvard. While the Bills might have some competitive teams in their future, I don’t think Rex Ryan is a coach capable of repeating consistent success. His teams always lack leadership and discipline. Although this might be a close affair with all that extra emotion involved, the Bills will find some way to Buffalo this game while their fans are far too busy getting blow jobs and powerbombing people through tables.

Win: New York Jets

Lions @ Bears

Ending the year with division matchups doesn’t always result in entertaining games. Detroit and Chicago should both agree to play this game electronically on PlayStation so no one has to waste their time freezing their asses off in the cold. I imagine it would end with Jay Cutler tossing his controller in apathetic disgust because he can’t help but throw careless interceptions even playing Madden.

Win: Detroit Lions

Ravens @ Bengals

You know your situation is dire if you’re hoping A.J. McCarron plays injured. But that’s the situation the Bengals find themselves in without their fiery (crotch) leader Andy Dalton. It’s too bad Baltimore brings in a traveling 3-ring circus of shitty QBs or else Cincinnati could be in major jeopardy. The Bengals should just run the ball on nearly every play—regardless of whether the Ravens can stop them.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Steelers @ Browns

Manziel

If Johnny Manziel hasn’t shit his career away yet, then it’s only because you cannot account for the craziness of Jerry Jones. A concussed Manziel gets this Sunday off so he goes to the logical place for rest and relaxation—Las Vegas. Someone needs to tell Manziel to fuck off. I can’t wait to hear all about the fantastic tales of John Gas Station Attendant because this whole Johnny Football charade is finally over. If it’s possible for a little brain trauma to help anyone, Manziel is the perfect candidate to get sense knocked into him rather than out of him. I bet he’s passed out drunk at some Vegas whorehouse right about now.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Redskins @ Cowboys

Dallas’ playoff hopes died when Tony Romo went down the first time. Since Jerry Jones is the Cryptkeeper, he wanted to punish Cowboys fans as long as possible by rushing an injured Romo back just so he can break his collarbone again. Washington will probably pull their starters at some point, but the Redskins should control this game against a Dallas team desperate for the season to end.

Win: Washington Redskins

Titans @ Colts

Zach Mettenberger vs. Any Healthy Body the Colts Can Find! I live in Arizona and I remember a co-worker enjoying a smug laugh after reading a few weeks ago that former Cardinals stand-in Ryan Lindley (you can hardly call him a QB) was hired at some business here in Arizona. A few weeks later and he’s getting a call from the Colts because Matt Hasselback is as old as dirt and no one wanted to resurrect Clipboard Jesus. I’m pretty sure the whole league has to lose in order for the Colts to make the playoffs, which isn’t going to happen even if Josh Freeman or Ryan Lindley manages to beat Tennessee.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Patriots @ Dolphins

Fuck Tom Brady. I don’t know if it’s even possible, but I would love to see the Patriots drop out of positioning for a first round bye. But alas, the Dolphins are the Dolphins for a reason.

Win: New England Patriots

Eagles @ Giants

The Charlie Kelly era is over! For the first time this season, the Eagles might actually be motivated to play in order to prove the irrelevance of Chip Kelly. On the other side, this should be the final farewell for Tom Coughlin. Giants fans need to be sure they dismember Coughlin’s body and bury them in separate graves or else he’ll regenerate and come back to haunt your nightmares. Expect Eli and Odell to send that angry, beady-eyed teddy bear with leathery, wrinkly skin off in retirement home style.

Win: New York Giants

Jaguars @ Texans

Brandon Weeden can’t possibly guide a team to the playoffs, right? The Jaguars still feel like a better team even though they perpetually underachieve. But I don’t care because Blake Bortles and a similarly ragtag group of aggressively mediocre players won my league in Fantasy Football.

Win: Jacksonville Jaguars

Chargers @ Broncos

Maybe it’s because of his vampire blood, but the Broncos keep getting additional chances at the end of games—from mistakes by officials and opposing teams alike. Denver needed to two fumbles from A.J. McCarron’s butterfingers in order to beat the Bengals. Brock Ock could faceplant in this season finale and make the Broncos seriously question bringing Peyton Manning back for the playoffs. But consider that highly unlikely against a Chargers franchise more concerned with moving to Los Angeles.

Win: Denver Broncos

Raiders @ Chiefs

Kansas City is swiftly on their way from being underrated to extremely overrated heading into playoffs. Oakland isn’t that far off and the Raiders will put up a fight as against a tough division rival, but Andy Reid should have the Chiefs clicking on all cylinders in this season finale. If Kansas City can’t secure this victory, then everything starts to point towards another first round exit in the AFC playoffs.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Seahawks @ Cardinals

Arizona is possibly the most entertaining team in the NFL. The Cardinals destroyed Green Bay last week and they have the potential to blow out any team, but Seattle is out for blood. With the division out of the picture this season, the Seahawks want to make a statement by wounding Arizona before the playoffs.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Rams @ 49ers

What a shitshow. I would never watch this game willingly and I’m only siding with the San Francisco 49ers because I want Jim Tomsula to be happy and keep being a head coach in the NFL.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Buccaneers @ Panthers

I do not envy those poor Tampa Bay Buccaneers who will feel the full force of Carolina’s frustration.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Vikings @ Packers

Let’s not forget that Minnesota is still Minnesota. Green Bay got embarrassed last week, but that’s not a reason to entirely jump off the ship. This is not the Titanic. As long as the Packers can figure out how to protect Aaron Rodgers, then Green Bay stands a chance—especially against a franchise with a long, tortured history of blowing prime opportunities. More heartbreak is in store for Minnesota this year.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Overall: 138-86
Last Week: 10-6

Chargers @ Raiders

San Diego just said their goodbye to the Chargers and now Oakland and the Black Hole assholes get to send off the Raiders on Christmas Eve. Yet one or both of these teams could still conceivably return to home next year. The Great Journey to Los Angeles, NFL-style! The Chargers has long been awaiting the end of the season as nearly everyone is hurt or at least playing injured. On the other side, Oakland has been feisty under new head coach Jack Del Rio and Derek Carr shows true promise. Give the Raiders the advantage with an emotional atmosphere as fans cry at the potential of never seeing Mark Davis’ haircut ever again.

Win: Oakland Raiders

Redskins @ Eagles

The Redskins are going to win this terrible NFC East division, aren’t they? As if it’s not bad enough for the NFL that teams are forgetting (on multiple occasions) to take players with concussions out of the game while Will Smith’s shitty new movie—very creatively called Concussion—is being marketed non-stop during games. Now the team from the nation’s capital that just so happens to be an awful racial slur is also gaining relevance again on the national stage because they’re going to the playoffs for the first time since the RG Knee debacle. Kirk Cousins and his similarly bland supporters are already insufferable.

Win: Washington Redskins

Panthers @ Falcons

If the Panthers were going down in the regular season, I thought the Giants would inexplicably be the team that knocks them off. Due largely to Odell’s mental implosion, New York fell short of that goal—OBJ catching that easy TD on the Giants’ opening drive might have completely changed the tone. Cam’s confidence wasn’t shaken and it’s seemingly shatter-proof. It’s hard to imagine the no-good, sorry, awful Atlanta Falcons giving the Panthers their first wound of the season.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Cowboys @ Bills

We’re not at the end of the season yet, but both the Cowboys and Bills are eagerly anticipating the sweet relief of this season’s death. Dallas is starting Boise State’s rejected offspring Kellen Moore while Rex Ryan is rolling with anyone who can stand on two feet—that he’s personally inspected with his tongue and a glass of milk. Buffalo has the better QB with Tyrod Taylor and that’s pretty much all that matters.

Win: Buffalo Bills

49ers @ Lions

Two sorry excuses for NFL franchises in the same shitty state of disrepair. These poor fans.

Win: Detroit Lions

Texans @ Titans

It’s Brandon Weeden vs. Zach Mettenberger! I can’t believe I’m taking a team relying on Brandon Weeden to move the ball, but Tennessee’s supporting cast is truly pathetic. This year’s playoffs will be populated with far too many miserable, undeserving teams like the Houston Texans.

Win: Houston Texans

Browns @ Chiefs

Cleveland has nothing to play for while Kansas City may backdoor their way into playoffs if the Broncos continue self-destructing. Alex Smith is making a killing throwing 5-yard check-down passes and handing off to whatever fast little running back the Chiefs are currently employing. Smith’s middling career is what Johnny Manziel ultimately aspires to so he can continue his day-drinking.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Colts @ Dolphins

Every part of Matt Hasselback’s broken down ass is injured or at least sore, but 17% of a 40-year-old Matt Hasselback is better than Chaz Whitehurst. No one wants to witness the return of Clipboard Jesus. Miami is a sloppy mess as well, but a healthy Ryan Tannehill gives the Dolphins the advantage.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Patriots @ Jets

Fuck Tom Brady. Todd Bowles has provided the Jets with a competent head coach for once, but these are largely still the same Jets. Ryan Fitzpatrick gives New York a puncher’s chance. However, this is the type of game where Fitzy throws 3 interceptions while the Jets offense settles for field goals.

Win: New England Patriots

Bears @ Buccaneers

If any team should know the secret to exploiting the Tampa 2 defense, it should be Lovie Smith’s former employer. I wouldn’t trust Jay Cutler to valet my car, but even he should be able to dink-and-dunk his way to success against a conservative zone coverage scheme. However, I probably trust Jameis Winston just as much as Jay Cutler at this point. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Crab Legs devour the Bears.

Win: Chicago Bears

Steelers @ Ravens

Matt Schaub, Jimmy Clausen, or Ryan Mallett? Which slow and painful death do you want?

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Jaguars @ Saints

Blake Bortles, Fantasy Football Savior. With a juicy matchup against the Saints, this could be a prime opportunity to nationally welcome Blake Bortles to the next stage in the NFL QB hierarchy.

Win: Jacksonville Jaguars

Packers @ Cardinals

Easily the best matchup of the week. I almost always support Aaron Rodgers in big games, but Green Bay has struggled all season. With the Packers on the road and still having difficulty achieving consistency, the Arizona Cardinals should be able to take advantage of a conference rival at home in the desert. Losing Tyrann Mathieu to another knee injury could do unspeakable damage to Arizona’s defense. Aaron Rodgers could win this by himself, but the Cardinals have a considerable amount of depth with rookie RB David Johnson invoking a new level of explosiveness into the offense.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Rams @ Seahawks

Jeff Fisher’s chinbelly is somehow surviving his perpetual mediocrity. In hindsight, he’s a perfect representation of St. Louis and that crumbling city of staunch conservatives. Please let the Rams put together an improbable performance with Case Keenum, Nick Foles, or whoever the fuck is handing the ball off to Todd Gurley. But I can never be happy so we’re assured of Seattle sleepwalking into the playoffs.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Giants @ Vikings

OBJ Think

No OBJ around to object to the end of the Giants season. This is the type of game where Teddy Bridgewater constantly maneuvers the Vikings offense into quality field position. Whether they can convert touchdowns or settle for field goals is a different story. With little reason for a motivated finish, Minnesota should wipe the floor with the Giants lacking their fiery emotional core and leader in annoyingly awful hair.

Win: Minnesota Vikings

Bengals @ Broncos

Brock Ock can’t stop from tripping over his own awkward feet. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning’s broken foot hasn’t healed, which likely keeps him on the bench even if the Broncos make the playoffs. Cincinnati is without Andy Dalton, but human douche nozzle A.J. McCarron squeaked out enough juice for a Bengals victory last week. Although Denver’s defense hasn’t performed to the elite level most seem to expect, the Broncos should be able to put together enough points to outlast Cincinnati.

Win: Denver Broncos

Overall: 128-80
Last Week: 10-6

Buccaneers @ Rams

This could and should be the last game the Rams play in St. Louis, which is a shithole of appropriate proportions. It’s not quite at the epic status of Cleveland or any other city in Ohio, but St. Louis is on the fast track to that fate if they publicly finance a stadium for this awful football team. The economic impact from a publicly financed stadium is negligible. With 8 home games a year, a stadium paid for by taxpayers isn’t going to suddenly bring in a boatload of money or create meaningful jobs. Billionaires are billionaires for a reason. Stan Kroenke and the NFL can afford to build their own stadium without having the public foot a large, substantial portion of the bill. It’s all about city pride. It will say a lot about St. Louis if they give in and let the NFL force them to finance an ugly new venue in their old ugly city. The Rams suck and have sucked for so long. Just let them go. You can’t convince me people truly care about this franchise.

Win: St. Louis Rams

Jets @ Cowboys

Have we seen the last of Jason Garrett in Dallas? You can’t blame the ginger for having Brandon Weeden as his backup QB (unless he campaigned in solidarity with his orange-haired brethren), but the Cowboys’ inability to play football without Tony Romo has been very apparent. After years of sticking with Garrett and reducing his responsibilities, Jerry Jones gave him Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassell as QB depth while also sabotaging the coach’s authority by signing Greg Hardy and making excuses every week for why he’s an asshole. Now Sean Payton is set to be a FA coach and a reunion with the Cowboys makes as much sense as anything else. I still think Payton will settle in popping pills on South Beach, but I wouldn’t be surprised by anything—including Johnny Manziel joining his hometown Cowboys.

Win: New York Jets

Texans @ Colts

Any time Clipboard Jesus has an actual opportunity to enter the game, then you know the Colts are in serious trouble. Indianapolis still doesn’t have Andrew Luck back and their defense continues to somehow get worse. Now there’s a realistic chance the Texans or even Jaguars could win the AFC South. What a clusterfuck of an NFL season. Can we just fast forward to the championship games?

Win: Houston Texans

Bears @ Vikings

Minnesota can’t upset the likes of Green Bay or Arizona, but the Vikings should pillage the village of Chicago and maul the Bears. When Jay Cutler sees his breath in the cold air this time of year, it just reminds him how he would rather be chain-smoking cigarettes than playing football.

Win: Minnesota Vikings

Titans @ Patriots

Fuck Tom Brady. Even in an alternate universe, New England is not losing to the Tennessee Titans.

Win: New England Patriots

Panthers @ Giants

Carolina is rolling and has a genuine opportunity to end the regular season undefeated. It makes no sense to select the Giants as the team to end the streak. But Eli can get hot and Odell Beckham could demolish everyone in the Panthers secondary—including semi-god Josh Norman. Jonathan Stewart is injured, which could seriously threaten Carolina’s ability to move the ball without Cam Newton. Of course, Black Superman could just punish New York on the ground by himself. It won’t be a popular pick, but I’ll go with dumb luck and hope this is the week where I catch the Giants on the winning side of the teeter-totter. Admit it, you would prefer to see that beady-eyed, tattered old teddy bear Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning in the playoffs than Jon Gruden’s fat, angry dysfunctional brother and Kirk Cousins.

Win: New York Giants

Bills @ Redskins

Washington is nothing special. They are a team made of Wonderbread—perfectly bland and boring, just like their milquetoast QB. The Redskins making the playoffs would be the worst thing that could happen for the NFC East. At least the Giants and Eagles are mildly interesting. Let’s collectively put our hopes into the Bills pulling off this road win against those Redskins. Of course, we all know this will end with Rex Ryan crying on the sidelines with his foot in his mouth while his team commits hari-kari via penalties.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Falcons @ Jaguars

In fantasy news no one cares about: I started the season with Tony Romo, Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Anderson, and Jimmy Graham—now I’m in the playoffs with Blake Bortles, DeAngelo Williams, David Johnson, and Antonio Gates. Blake Bortles has single-handedly carried fantasy teams down the playoffs stretch. It doesn’t matter if he’s actually any good. People will now give him a Philip Rivers-esque pass because he’s helped thousands of fantasy teams, which of course ends in Week 16 so even the end of the regular season doesn’t matter. The Jaguars could faceplant here against a surprisingly awful Atlanta Falcons team and no one would care unless Blake Bortles doesn’t deliver 20+ fantasy points.

Win: Jacksonville Jaguars

Chiefs @ Ravens

If Brock Osweiler continues to play like his evil vampire twin Robert Pattinson, Kansas City has a serious chance to win the division. The Chiefs just have to avoid the dreaded Andy Reid game where he falls over himself in crucial moments of time management. Meanwhile, the Ravens suck so much that they might put Matt Schaub behind center without being 100%. When the alternatives are Jimmy Clausen and newly signed Ryan Mallett, it’s simply a choice between which turd is the best. Just let each QB play a quarter and then the best performer takes the reigns in the last quarter. Beyond blind luck, I don’t give the Ravens much of a chance even at home in the cozy confines of Bal’more a.k.a. Murder City.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Packers @ Raiders

Oakland is as feisty as their head coach Jack Del Rio. But this is a game where Aaron Rodgers should dominate the Raiders defense for an easy victory. Green Bay’s defense isn’t exceptional by any means, but the Packers should post enough point for it to make no difference. I expect the greatest quarterback playing to perform better against this team than Twilight imposter Brock Osweiler.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Browns @ Seahawks

Well John Football fared substantially better than I expected, but can that continue in Seattle against the Seahawks? No fucking way. Russell Wilson will cheese his way to 30 points against this broken Browns team despite having no Marshawn Lynch or Thomas Rawls running the ball. Proving even further that Seattle did not need to lose one of their only good linemen for Jimmy Graham. They didn’t even have a clue how to use him properly anyway. Now this annoying hipster Michael Myers is coming back again.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Broncos @ Steelers

Brock Stop

Sadly, Peyton Manning might never return to football. With a busted foot (where the remedy for plantar fasciitis is breaking the arch), we aren’t likely to see a healthy Peyton capable of returning for the playoffs. And the Broncos may not be able to reach the playoffs anyway if Brock Osweiler continues to perform like dogshit. Could Robert Pattinson at least act like a better quarterback? Unlikely. Denver’s temperamental defense will be exposed this week for their lack of discipline against the Steelers. I fully expect Pittsburgh to struggle, but ultimately execute better than the Broncos on offense.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Dolphins @ Chargers

Ryan Tannehill against Philip Rivers. What a miserable watch. I’ve never trusted any San Diego running backs since LaDainian Tomlinson, but apparently Melvin Gordon hasn’t even scored a touchdown this year. Both of these teams are pathetic, but Miami has a slight advantage in terms of healthy talent. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rivers pulls a 3-TD performance out of his ass though.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Bengals @ 49ers

The Andy Dalton thumbs up photo last week was the mark of the beast. I just thought it was a funny picture. Apparently, it had the power to doom Andy Dalton and possibly the Bengals playoff chances by injuring his…thumb! I’m not getting enough credit for this voodoo. Cincinnati now turns to A.J. McCarron. While I don’t trust Blaine Gabbert, I would prefer to ride with my homeboy Jim Tomsula than trust that Alabama douche nozzle salesman. I bet Jim Tomsula has 100 different uses for douche nozzles. I’d love to hear the story about how he killed a bear with a douche nozzle.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Cardinals @ Eagles

Charlie Kelly cannot get out of his own way. The Eagles have no idea how to use DeMarco Murray and Kelly’s vanilla offensive scheme is useless without playmakers. The up-tempo pace has only proven to tire out the Eagles defense, which doesn’t need any help in terms of being bad. Arizona should dominate this game. In fact, if the Cardinals struggle, that should be indicative of larger concerns for Arizona’s hopes of a deep playoff run. Philadelphia is not a team that should pose a problem to a championship contender.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Lions @ Saints

What a great Monday Night Football matchup. Two QBs people used to think were good but are not any longer—for different reasons. A mishmash of generic running backs that you couldn’t find a great duo even if you combined the teams. Two shitty defenses and an overall lack of playmaking talent. Ugh, who would watch this outside of Detroit and New Orleans? Drew Brees is near the end of his line, but I’d put more faith in Brees than Matthew Stafford and his giant jaw.

Win: New Orleans Saints