Posts Tagged ‘Andy Dalton’

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

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Overall: 118-74
Last Week: 10-6

Vikings @ Cardinals

We all know who Minnesota is as a team and what you can count on them to do. The Vikings are competent against equal or lesser teams, but they cannot rise to the occasion against the elite. You know the Packers would beat them last week. You know the Cardinals will beat them this week. In big games, Minnesota turtles back into their shell with a conservative game plan. They’ll do something stupid like keep Adrian Peterson on the bench for long stretches of the game or run him out of the shotgun formation. Teddy Bridgewater is decent, but he can’t carry the Vikings without collapsing. Mike Zimmer and Norv Turner know that too and the imposed restrictions are evident. With the surprising amount of speed on Minnesota’s offense, it’s a shame the Vikings didn’t give someone like Tyrod Taylor a chance because their best asset (game-breaking speed) can’t be exploited with Bridgewater’s lack of an arm. Look at the Cardinals this game and salivate at how Bruce Arians takes advantage of guys like John Brown, J.J. Nelson, and David Johnson with Carson Palmer. It is a thing of beauty in the NFL.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Redskins @ Bears

I’ve lost track—or never tried keeping track in the first place—whether both of these teams are technically still in the playoff hunt. I believe the Bears have finally proven their middling status, but the Redskins are likely alive because of their dogshit division. Kirk Cousins is not a good quarterback, but he operates Jay Gruden’s shitty system at an okay efficiency. That’s enough for the Redskins’ racist fan base to proclaim him the greatest QB. Their motto should be, “Anyone but RG Knee!” This point in the season is typically when Jay Cutler can’t stop thinking about going home so he can drink himself to sleep and ignore his annoying wife and screaming kids. As always, Jay Cutler is a miserable prick.

Win: Washington Redskins

Steelers @ Bengals

Dalton Thumbs Up

In a slate of awful liquid garbage, this Pittsburgh-Cincinnati divisional matchup is probably the best game. Too bad I hate both teams. The Steelers are entertaining to watch offensively—even if they do have a rapist at QB. And the Bengals entrust Andy Dalton with their team’s welfare, which is why they’ve earned an early exit every year in the playoffs. I think this game will serve as evidence for yet another premature departure for Cincinnati. It’s mandatory for everything and everyone in Ohio to suck.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

49ers @ Browns

As I predicted last week, the Austin Davis Experience lasted all of one game. Cleveland lost a game of evaluating Johnny Manziel because they were too proud to backtrack after booting his ass from starting once that whole scandal hit. But in all likelihood, we know this shit doesn’t matter. Mike Pettine and the coaching staff made their evaluation of Johnny Manziel, and their opinion has been widely known for a while. Either crazy ol’ Jimmy Haslam fires yet another head coach and searches for a puppet regime to give John Football one more undeserved opportunity…or they trade Manziel to the Cowboys for a futile late future draft pick. I have no idea what the hell is going to happen, but there is no way that both Pettine and Manziel return to their prospective positions together next year. The Browns are actually making the 49ers look like a competent franchise. And they have a hobo as a head coach!

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Chargers @ Chiefs

Philip Rivers is sick with the flu. The diseased state of San Diego’s roster must have finally gotten to poor Phil. Or maybe one of his 17 children is sick and infected him. Regardless, the Chargers were not likely to come away with a road win at Arrowhead Stadium. Andy Reid delighted in killing fantasy teams with the timeshare between Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware. But they could probably pull Larry Johnson out of retirement and he could run for 100 yards—diaper and all. Alex Smith still sucks and Kansas City is an easy choice to bet against in the first round of the playoffs. We’ve watched this story before.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Lions @ Rams

Everyone seems to think this is the end for Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Perhaps. Have the Rams ever had a good QB since Kurt Warner? Marc Bulger doesn’t count—he was merely decent. Jeff Fisher should be held responsible for that most recent stretch of QBs with mediocre ceilings. But can you imagine St. Louis with a good quarterback? Although they’ve done it with some questionable character, the Rams have a solid roster and a huge potential star in Todd Gurley. Give them Matt Stafford and you might see a 10-6 playoff team. In fact, can we just combine these two teams? St. Louis would give them a great defense upgraded by Detroit’s playmakers and you put Todd Gurley on the Lions offense with Stafford and Calvin Johnson. I’ll take that team to destroy anyone in the NFC East. The Lions should devour the Rams who might be in the process of quitting on their coach and defensive coordinator—sleazy villain-looking Gregg Williams.

Win: Detroit Lions

Titans @ Jets

I picked against the Titans last week and they burned me again. Let’s go for two! I cannot predict what either of these two awful franchises will do. If I could predict a tie, I would because that makes perfect sense. The Jets at least have a willingness to spend even if it means they are still terrible. Look at them overpay to bring back Darrelle Revis—not so surprisingly just in time to experience his full decline phase. And then you have Antonio Cromarte and his 29 kids farting around the stadium. I’ll take that over Tennessee’s no-name roster. I think of them literally as Marcus Mariota and a CFL team.

Win: New York Jets

Bills @ Eagles

What would you do with a RB that led the league in carries and production last year who calls you up in the offseason and sells himself to you? It’s a hefty contract and the player’s style doesn’t fit with your offensive philosophy. When his production predictably slips and he personally pulls the owner aside to complain about you, how would you handle the situation? Well, apparently Charlie Kelly has decided to demote DeMarco Murray to 4th string for this prime matchup against his former RB who has publicly called him a racist. Good media relations is not Charlie Kelly’s strong suit. It has become abundantly clear that Chip is not long for the NFL. His team has given up on him because he treats them like cyborgs who should never break down or fail to execute his idiotic scheme that just wants more plays as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if those plays aren’t good and lead to losing possessions. More, more, more! Somehow, inexplicably the Eagles are still in the division race because the NFC East is just the worst. Benching DeMarco Murray and another back-breaking loss might finally lead to Philadelphia fans storming the stadium with torches and pitchforks. Unless the Eagles fire him, I expect Charlie Kelly to stick around for the paycheck. Like Marsellus Wallace said, “Pride only hurts, it never helps.” Enjoy what you deserve, Philly.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Saints @ Buccaneers

What a shit show. Brandon Browner is unjustifiably insane. Despite being terrible and getting burned on countless plays, he’s still convinced himself that he’s good. It’s sad. And last week, he had the audacity to get up in his defensive coordinator’s face. New Orleans probably still has more talent, but their organization is in shambles and everyone knows Sean Payton is orchestrating his exit—most likely, to pop pills in South Beach. Jameis Winston should just target whoever is being covered by Brandon Browner for the easiest 5-TD game he’ll ever have. They did put up a fight against Carolina last week as I thought, but New Orleans is on its last legs before the shitstorm hits this offseason.

Win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Falcons @ Panthers

Division opponents might be Carolina’s toughest test. But their divisional competition sucks. Atlanta has arguably regressed more with the firing of Mike Smith and hiring of Dan Quinn. The Falcons’ offense used to be special with the threat of big plays. Moronically, Kyle Shanahan refuses to take advantage of Julio Jones downfield. Atlanta’s defense hasn’t been impressive and they’re not suddenly transforming into the Legion of Boom just because of Dan Quinn. Expect Cam Newton to continue to play with a giant smile plastered across his face while he laughs in the face of opponents. You cannot touch this.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Colts @ Jaguars

This is just as bad as Saints-Bucs and Titans-Jets. When is Andrew Luck back? Last week’s Matt Hasselback injury gave everyone the friendly reminder that Chaz Whitehurst is still around. Yep, the Colts have Clipboard Jesus and it might be time to turn to him as your savior. Of course, that always means losing every game because Whitehurst is terrible. He loves churning out paychecks as an NFL backup. Being thrust into action exposes Whitehurst’s grift. As much as I enjoyed Blake Bortles’ offensive explosion last week, I don’t trust him to put together back-to-back good performances.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Seahawks @ Ravens

Jimmy Clausen Alert! Remember when Jimmy Clausen started against Seattle earlier this year and the Bears didn’t manage to do anything other than punt? And Chicago had offensive talent. Everyone intentionally broke something on the Ravens offense so they could go home and get the hell away from Baltimore. Matt Schaub broke his head last week! Watch out, we might see our first football decapitation live on TV this week. Would that make the Seattle Seahawks ISIS? Yes. Yes it would.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Raiders @ Broncos

I don’t trust Brock Osweiler and neither should the Broncos. For all the hullabaloo about how great Denver has been without Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler has been predictably mediocre. With the support of incredibly stupid officiating decisions and several chances, Osweiler showed up when it was important late against the Patriots and the supporting cast propped him up on their shoulders. Denver isn’t winning because of Brock Osweiler. While it would probably be an important development opportunity, I think it would be a mistake to continue to start Brock Osweiler if Peyton Manning is healthy. Maybe Manning never gets healthy and it’s not a factor, but Denver has a higher ceiling with Peyton in his final season. He can still make the throws and put the team in the best position to win. I question whether you’ll see the first big crack in Osweiler’s armor this week against the Raiders. But the defense should still be good enough to carry the team and limit the opportunities for Oakland.

Win: Denver Broncos

Cowboys @ Packers

I kinda miss Brandon Weeden. At least with Weeden, the Cowboys were laughably bad. Now it’s just a boring, bland level of suckitude for Dallas. It seems inevitable that we’ll see a Texas homecoming for John Football. Until then, we have to suffer through the comfortable mediocrity of Matt Cassell. Green Bay is a team with their own issues, but not at quarterback. Aaron Rodgers will continue to have his prime wasted by Green Bay’s inability to provide ample support—most importantly defensively, but offensively as well. Their insistence on sticking with Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers has resulted in the Packers only in position to win one Super Bowl. It’s the same thing the Colts did to Peyton Manning. At least Peyton had Edgerrin and Marvin. Aaron Rodgers has to win games by throwing a 70-yard hail mary to his distant cousin Roger Rodgers. He throws TDs to a homeless man wearing a hoodie under his jersey!

Win: Green Bay Packers

Patriots @ Texans

Fuck Tom Brady. Remarkably mediocre is how Brady looks without that monster polar bear manhandling everyone. Unfortunately, it appears Gronk has now been given the regenerative powers of Wolverine because he may be back already. Hopefully that polar bear bites J.J. Watt’s other hand off. With one broken hand, how will J.J. Watt masturbate to Victoria Secret’s supermodel runway show? Unless Brady gets snapped in half, there is no way Belicheat is losing to Bill O’Brien.

Win: New England Patriots

Giants @ Dolphins

The Giants must have buried Tom Coughlin in the Pet Sematary. He is an unstoppable killing machine that cannot be reasoned with—ever since he came back from the dead. Tom Coughlin is unnatural, which must be why his face gets so red and weathered when exposed to the elements. If Dan Campbell stormed across the field and invaded the New York sidelines to punch Tom Coughlin in the face, I’m pretty sure the old man would disintegrate into dust and transform back into his bodily form across the field to taunt Campbell. This year has been yet another underwhelming, disappointing season for the Giants with plenty of speculation whether this is the end for Tom Coughlin. Rest assured, we’ll see his ass again next year freezing to death and becoming a human popsicle like Jack in The Shining. A win down in Miami might actually help New York separate just enough from the rest of the NFC East.

Win: New York Giants

Overall: 52-25
Last Week: 8-6

Falcons @ Saints

There’s a common theme this week: some teams aren’t as good as they seem. Entering Week 6, there are a handful of teams who are due for a reversal in luck and record. Atlanta against New Orleans is one such scenario. As long as Drew Brees’ stapled shoulder holds together with some extra duct tape, the Saints should be in contention for the NFC South. The Saints are very flawed, but they have the ability to beat anyone. Atlanta struggled to overcome the Redskins last week. The Falcons simply aren’t this good. Adding Julio Jones’ injury concerns makes Atlanta ripe for an upset. However, the Falcons benefit from a fluffy schedule—facing the Titans, Buccaneers, and 49ers in the coming weeks before coasting into their bye—so expect to see Atlanta remain at the top of the division for a while.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Bengals @ Bills

Andy Dalton is not this good. I still don’t believe he’s actually good. Buffalo hasn’t been healthy at any point this year, but Orchard Park is not a fun place to play for opposing teams. Let’s see The Red Rocket put the Bengals on his back in this road matchup. The Bills struggle to score points even with their full arsenal, but it looks like E.J. Manuel is going to try to impersonate a quarterback and maybe LeSean McCoy can limp around for some yards. I don’t expect the Bills to win the game so much as I hope the Bengals (and Dalton) blow the game. If one thing is for sure, it’s that Andy Dalton blows.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Broncos @ Browns

Peyton Manning is getting in the Halloween spirit early this year by impersonating Frankenstein. It is difficult to watch Peyton playing right now, but it’s not because of his injuries. Manning’s ineffectiveness is partly his responsibility, but the Broncos have a terrible offensive line and their running backs have not been able to break tackles when the defense is already in the backfield. Denver is missing one of the best LT with Ryan Clady’s injury and their rookie LT Ty Sambrailo is now injured as well. Last-minute FA pick-up Evan Mathis is hurt and this patchwork piece of shit line is incapable of protecting and blocking. Even this prime scoring opportunity against Cleveland will be a difficult slog for the Denver offense. Fortunately, the Broncos defense has been the perfect safety net. Peyton needs to pull the team together to develop some cohesion if the Broncos are going to do anything in the playoffs. He remains their best chance to win, but it is such a damn shame he never had this defense in his prime.

Win: Denver Broncos

Bears @ Lions

Pink Jim Caldwell

Detroit sucks. The Lions also suck. All things Detroit suck. But can the Lions be this bad? After being robbed of a victory against Seattle, the Lions collapsed just like the city of Detroit. On the other side, Jay Cutler has brought some life back to Chicago, but these Bears aren’t coming back from the brink. Matt Forte could easily carry Chicago to a road victory by himself, but something tells me that the Lions find a way to finally win. The Black Mannequin is a figure of unwavering courage in the face of defeat.

Win: Detroit Lions

Dolphins @ Titans

Another painfully boring, uninteresting matchup. Muscle-bound meathead Dan Campbell wasn’t any good when he was playing and now he’s thrust into captaining the Titanic on its way down. The Titans should be able to take advantage of the reeling Dolphins who already want the season to end so they can go back to their regular jobs of enjoying South Beach. No one on that team gives a shit.

Win: Tennessee Titans

Chiefs @ Vikings

“Well, they finally did it. They killed my fucking car.” Kansas City has been successful because they rode that car until the wheels fell off. For the second time in the past few years, Jamaal Charles snapped his ACL. Good luck, Chiefs. Kansas City now has some guy named Charmander West running the ball. Of course, Charmander isn’t his name, but it’s just as ridiculous as his real name—Charcandrick. Naturally, I have Charcandrick West on my fantasy team now for the name alone. Minnesota is competent enough to hang around as an 8-8 team with the potential to win a few more—possibly entering the playoff picture. Alex Smith is incapable of carrying a Chiefs team without Jamaal Charles.

Win: Minnesota Vikings

Redskins @ Jets

Defeat is always lurking with one Kirk Cousins interception looming in the distance. The pressure from the Jets pass rush will force Cousins into mistakes. Ryan Fitzpatrick is Kirk Cousins’ ceiling, but he’s not even there yet. He needs to go through about 5-6 more teams before he enters his journeyman prime. New York has a nice foundation, but my faith in the Jets is more of a result of Washington’s ineptitude.

Win: New York Jets

Cardinals @ Steelers

Pittsburgh snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last week against San Diego. Michael Vick made maybe one great throw on the deep TD pass while the team lived and died with Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers almost lost on the last minute play when Bell’s momentum stopped, but Le’Veon leaped over a defender at his legs to get the extra push into the end zone. Until Rapistberger re-enters (willingly, this time), the Steelers best chance remains running with Le’Veon Bell. Arizona doesn’t need to push the envelope in order to win the game—just contain Le’Veon Bell and let Vick give the game to the Cardinals.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Texans @ Jaguars

Brian Hoyer vs. Blake Bortles! How do these teams have fans?

Win: Houston Texans

Panthers @ Seahawks

Cam Newton is a special talent. But Carolina isn’t this good. Seattle collapsed last week against Cincinnati, but the Seahawks have a track record of success against the Panthers. The defense doesn’t lock anyone down anymore with Cary Williams in the secondary and the offensive line can’t protect Russell Wilson to save his life. Jimmy Graham is and always was a horrible fit for this team because they never take advantage down the seam. Seattle seemed more dangerous with Luke Willson (not that Luke Wilson) running those routes and hitting a few homeruns on occasion because the defense didn’t expect it. The Seahawks have no idea what they’re doing on offense, but they’ll scratch out enough to win.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Chargers @ Packers

Aaron Rodgers is not losing to Philip Rivers at Lambeau. End of analysis.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Ravens @ 49ers

As much as San Francisco sucks, every 49ers game is watchable because of the many faces of Jim Tomsula. I never want this man to leave the sidelines. However, he’ll need to start winning games at some point or someone’s head is going on the chopping block. Is Jim Tomsula scared? Fuck no. Jim Tomsula doesn’t coach scared. But Colin Kaepernick plays scared. Unfortunately, Blaine Gabbert (yeah, that guy is still in the league somehow) is the 49ers backup. Please get Jim Tomsula a QB who doesn’t piss his pants in the face of pressure. Jim Tomsula only reserves that tactic when it’s really cold and you need to get warm real quick. The 49ers could probably pick up a better QB off the street. Literally, off the streets. Jim Tomsula really appreciates that type of courage in a man. Luckily, the 49ers have a punching chance with Steve Smith still sidelined and Baltimore trying to work with a makeshift offense. The Ravens should win unless Joe Flacco gets locked into Jim Tomsula’s steely gaze long enough for the 49ers to BLUDGEON!

Bludgeon

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Patriots @ Colts

Fuck Tom Brady. Andrew Luck might return for this game, but he’s not 100% and the Colts can’t compete with the Patriots when healthy. This game will get ugly even if Brady doesn’t throw the ball. Indianapolis cannot stop New England from running the ball down their throats and their secondary is burnable on every deep pass. Someone please step up and stop these insufferable Patriots.

Win: New England Patriots

Giants @ Eagles

Watch out, the Giants could threaten to take control of this division. But we can’t have that because that would fuck up this team’s 8-8 destiny and ultimate fate of knocking off the previously undefeated Patriots. Philadelphia is starting to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Not so secretly, I hope it fails. This is one of those classic boring matchups that might seem better in retrospect because of how close it is when in reality it is simply the fact that both teams are viciously mediocre in all aspects. Go football!

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Last Week: 10-6
Overall: 162-93-1

Chiefs @ Colts

Luck

Just two weeks ago, the Colts took a hammer to the Chiefs, which was indicative of each team’s season. Indianapolis routinely played up to competition and surprised a handful of quality playoff teams by pulling off the upset only to then suck against mediocre opponents. Meanwhile, Kansas City beat up on garbage all year to take advantage of a weak schedule, but the Chiefs looked consistently overmatched against good teams. Can Alex Smith win a road playoff game? Given the right circumstances, the answer is yes. Kansas City will need to pressure Andrew Luck and control the clock through Jamaal Charles and their running game. But the Chiefs will be in trouble if Luck launches a few bombs downfield because Kansas City is not a quick strike passing offense that can post 30 points. Something tells me that this will be a low scoring first half with Kansas City out to an early lead, but the Colts will adjust after the half and rely on the playmaking ability of T.Y. Hilton. Expect Trent Richardson to continue to look like a replacement level runner, but he could make a difference catching passes out of the backfield. Ultimately, I think Andrew Luck pulls another horseshoe out of his ass with a comeback playoff win to add to his resume.

Win: Indianapolis Colts, 27-23

Saints @ Eagles

A lot of shit has been said about the inability of the Saints to travel on the road away from New Orleans in the cold and still be productive at a high level. This script is eerily reminiscent of last decade’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into Philadelphia against the Eagles. New Orleans already has a Super Bowl pedigree, but the Saints have been inconsistent due to their lack of a running game—not the temperature. Without Reggie Bush on the roster anymore and an aging Darren Sproles, New Orleans is clearly lacking an explosive element from the RB position. Pierre Thomas was surprisingly effective when healthy but he’s injured and out so the Saints will need Sproles to break a few screens or bust a return. No one would be shocked if the New Orleans pulls off the road win, but the Saints will need to pressure Philadelphia into mistakes. The problem is that the Eagles have protected the football with Nick Foles at the helm instead of Michael Vick. Expect LeSean McCoy to slash and gash his way to paydirt. Even without a defense, Chip Kelly should be able to creatively scheme enough offensive production to just outlast a last-minute surge.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles, 31-28

Chargers @ Bengals

Do I have to pick a winner in this match-up? Neither quarterback is particularly likable or trustworthy. After last week’s evening slate of games, I was surprised to see the tie-breaker scenarios play into the favor of the San Diego Chargers. No one expected the Chargers, which makes them dangerous. Playing with house money, San Diego has nothing to lose and everything to gain. As a Colts fan and Peyton Manning supporter, I’m still scarred from the Billy Volek Game and the repeated lucky breaks that enabled the old Chargers to pull off surprising upsets. Although I don’t expect history to repeat itself on Sunday, San Diego has better playmakers suited for the cold weather and snowy grounds. If Danny Woodhead converts on 3rd down, the Chargers could exhaust the Cincinnati defensive line and control the intermediate to deep areas with Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen. Despite my reservations about Ginger Nation, the Bengals have a far superior defense and I still believe Gio Bernard will become a Ray Rice-eseque piece to relieve pressure and much-needed defensive attention from A.J. Green downfield.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals, 24-17

49ers @ Packers

San Francisco has owned Green Bay in every recent match-up. Right now, the 49ers are the hottest team in football after beating the Arizona Cardinals last week, which means logic dictates that the Packers don’t stand much of a chance even in Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers holds the only hope for Green Bay, but he’s just coming off a multi-week absence and none of his supporting cast seems completely healthy. In frigid temperatures, San Francisco’s strong running game with zone-reads sprinkled into the mix provide more explosiveness than Green Bay’s boom or bust passing attack. If Kaepernick turns the ball over, then the Packers could just jump onto Eddie Lacy’s ample posterior. But I anticipate Jim Harbaugh outsmarting Mike McCarthy by minimizing the responsibility on his young quarterback to instead battle the Packers with his strong defensive front. Ultimately, the linebackers for San Francisco will ensure success or defeat for the 49ers as they need to create pressure and cover the middle of the field to contain Green Bay’s gains.

Win: San Francisco 49ers, 20-13