1.20.2022

NFL Picks - Divisional Round

Last Week: 6-0



Saturday

 

Cincinnati at Tennessee

Both of these teams should have a chip on their shoulder. The Titans because nobody seems to take them seriously as a Super Bowl contender even though they’re a 1 seed. And the Bengals because they're playing their second straight Saturday afternoon game. The league clearly considers them the worst ratings draw in the playoffs. So what’s the solution? Keep winning, right? Well sure, that’s one tack, but I suggest they take a page of out of scripted television’s book. You want ratings, have a wedding. That’s right, I’m proposing that two of the players get married during the game. Preferably Cincy's two biggest stars. So if Joe Burrow and Jamar Chase decide to take their connection to the next level it could be exactly the spectacle that would cause the NFL to finally take notice. I just hope no one shows up to interrupt the proceedings. Like a past lover, or a celebrity guest star, or Derrick Henry. Or that’s right, Derrick Henry is back. I think that gives the Titans edge, nuptials or not.

 

Titans 27-24




San Francisco at Green Bay

I have to imagine that Aaron Rodgers is sick of losing in the NFC Championship game (he’s done it 4 times in the past 7 seasons). One way to get around that crushing disappointment would be to lose in the Divisional Round. Problem solved! And it shouldn’t be hard considering the QB he’s going against is 1-0 in the divisional round. That’s right, Jimmy G is unbeaten! However, he’s not unbeatable. In fact I’d say he’s the remaining quarterback I have the least confidence in. But to be fair, I’m only basing that on watching him play all season, and the past couple before that. Really it’s not fair to judge a quarterback until he has about 8 seasons as a starter under his belt. The jury’s still out on Blaine Gabbert if you ask me. Of course, Garoppolo doesn’t necessarily have to outplay Rodgers on Saturday night, he just has to avoid a catastrophic mistake. Is that asking too much? Yeah, probably.

 

Packers 31-23




Sunday

 

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay

Both of these teams are coming off of blowout wins in the Wild Card round. Now they meet for the second time this season with the first contest resulting in a 34-24 Rams win back in Week 3. Will the outcome be the same this time around? Or even similar?!? Let's check in with Cris Collinsworth to hear his thoughts on the matter.

Good and relevant point Cris. You gotta wonder, will Brady's own strange pee be his undoing? I think it just might.
 

Rams 24-17




Buffalo at Kansas City 

A lot of folks out there would tell you that this is the real AFC championship. There are three possible interpretations of that statement. 1: the person making it does not understand how the playoffs work, or has either ignored or forgotten about the other two remaining teams in the AFC playoffs. 2: the person making that statement thinks this is last season when these teams did meet in the AFC championship game. 3: the person making that statement believes that whoever emerges from this game will easily dispatch either the Bengals or Titans. The third interpretation is likely the correct one, but the first two can’t be completely discounted, especially if the person you’re talking to is dumb. But even the assumption that one of these teams is going to the Super Bowl isn’t necessarily a wise one. Consider that Kansas City is 0-3 against the remaining AFC playoff teams. Meanwhile, Buffalo lost to Tennessee earlier this season, and were so afraid to play Cincinnati that they left them off of their schedule entirely! None of that, however, should take away from the entertainment level of this contest. We’re talking non-stop fireworks! Which will make the stadium very hazy and result in game action that’s difficult to discern. Eventually, once the smoke clears, I’m guessing the home team will come out on top. But despite what you may have been told, they’ll still have to win one more to get back to the Super Bowl.

 

Chiefs 34-31 

 

 

1.13.2022

NFL Picks - Wild Card

LAST WEEK: 11-5

SEASON: 175-97-1


 

Saturday

 

Las Vegas at Cincinnati

Saturday will be just the second playoff game the Raiders have played since losing Super Bowl XXXVII in January of 2003. That was so long ago they were still playing Super Bowls in January! In the one other postseason trip since, the Oakland Raiders took on the Houston Texans following the 2016 season. Due to a Derek Carr injury, the Raiders’ quarterback was Connor Cook. Meanwhile, the Texans' signal caller was Brock Osweiler, however they had no injury to blame that on, he was just their starting quarterback. Even before it begins I can virtually guarantee that this Saturday’s game will be more entertaining. And if it isn’t, then god help us all. It's hard to believbe, but the Bengals may have the Raiders beat in terms of recent playoff futility. While Cincy had a number of postseason appearances last decade they haven’t actually won a playoff game in 31 years. A time when none of the players in this game were even born! And the most interesting part of that stat is that it might even be true! I haven’t had a chance to research it yet. The bottom line is that this Saturday recent history will be made one way or the other. Unless, of course these teams get ravaged by COVID and have to call in Connor Cook and Brock Osweiler to make emergency starts. Then it will likely be same ol’ same ol’.

 

Bengals 31-24




New England at Buffalo

There’s an old adage in the NFL that it’s hard to beat a team 3 times in one season. Luckily for the Patriots and Bills, they split the two regular season match-ups, so both squads are still fully eligible to win this one. Obviously the initial thought would be that the advantage belongs to Bill Belichick. With his resume that’s hard to argue against, even if he may have the inferior roster. But there’s one aspect I haven’t heard discussed much in the lead up to this game that I think needs to be taken into consideration. Now maybe this is silly, but is there any chance that Bill Belichick will get confused by a team of Bills? And sure this could be nonsensical, but will he think that he’s competing against a bunch of people with the same name as him? I acknowledge the possible absurdity of this scnenario, but will that cause an existential crisis for him? Or maybe even engender sympathy towards his opponent? I mean sure, Belichick has gone against Buffalo 40+ times as New England’s coach and had tons of success, but who knows, maybe prior to his first postseason match-up against the Bills will be the first time he dwells upon it. And if he does, the Patriots could be in trouble, especially because Sean McDermott’s name is Sean and not Pat.

 

Bills 23-13




Sunday

 

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is playing in his first playoff game, while Bucs quarterback Tom Brady is playing in his 302nd. That inexperience could be an issue. Another potential problem for Philly is that they’re 0-7 against this season’s playoff teams. So their quarterback has never been to the playoffs and they seemingly can’t beat any of the other teams in the playoffs. That means the Eagles can’t possibly win on Sunday, right? Wrong! Oh whoops, I meant to say “right.” They’re screwed. 

 

Buccaneers 27-10




San Francisco at Dallas

Taking into account the postseason history between these teams and the recent passing of a broadcasting legend who called many of their classic contests, I hereby submit that John Madden announce this game. Enough archival audio exists, especially from the Madden video games, that it would be possible to set up a soundboard and make this happen. Would it be seamless? Absolutely not. Would it be very confusing to casual and diehard fans alike? Almost assuredly yes. But would it be entertaining? Maybe! And that’s a trade off I’m willing to make. It would also open the door to a nearly unlimited catalogue of guest stars. Just imagine the following exchange:

Joe Buck: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the booth Mr. Humphrey Bogart.”

Humphrey Bogart: “Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”

Buck: “Bogie, what do you think of AT&T Stadium.”

Bogart: “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.”

Buck: “Who do you think will come out on top in this one?”

Bogart: “Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”

Buck: “Before we let you go, can we get a Super Bowl pick?”

Bogart: “Buccaneers by 20. Back to back baby. I love that Super Bowl. So slick. Here’s lookin’ at you kid."

Pretty amazing technology considering Bogart died in 1957.

 

49ers 26-23




Pittsburgh at Kansas City 

It's a rematch of Week 16 when the Chiefs beat the Steelers 36-10. Will this time around be any closer, or even the slightest bit entertaining? That's not for me to say. But one man who may have a better handle on things is Cris Collinsworth. Let's hear what he has to say:

 


I think Cris got a text there at some point.

 

Chiefs 30-16



Monday

 

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams

Both teams are coming off losses to end their regular season. I’m not sure either of them has what it takes to get to the Super Bowl. Then again, I’m not sure any team in the league does. But somebody has to. Or do they? Is it possible that every team loses before the Super Bowl? No. Right? Right. Then again, stranger things have happened. I can’t think of any right now, but I’m sure they have. The Cardinals have been nearly unbeatable on the road this season, and now will likely have to win three straight away from home to get to the Super Bowl. Despite their road dominance, I'm not sold on the Cardinals without DeAndre Hopkins, which is the main reason I'll go with the Rams here. Of course, it won't matter much when LA eventually loses like every other playoff team. Hey, it could happen!

 

Rams 20-16

1.06.2022

NFL Picks - Week 18

LAST WEEK: 13-3

SEASON: 164-92-1 (Which is a total of 257, so I mis-added at some point)

 

 

Saturday

 

Kansas City at Denver

After 17 weeks all the teams in the league have normal, familiar records. Chiefs are 11-5? Ok, sure, I’ve heard of that one. Broncos 7-9? A classic! So I guess that’s that, season over? Nope! We’re tacking on one more. I should clarify though, the season is over for Denver. It was over the minute they had to employ Drew Lock's services. KC is still plenty relevant though, and they actually need this win to have any shot at a first round bye in the playoffs. Typical millennials, wanting to take time off from work. Unlike typical millennials though, I’m guessing they’ll do their part on Saturday, because again, the opposing quarterback is Drew Lock. 

 

Chiefs 23-13




Dallas at Philadelphia

Last Sunday the Cowboys were defeated at home by the Cardinals, and depending on how things shake out, they could be facing that same match-up in the first round of the playoffs next week. A frightening prospect for Dallas to be sure. Then again, any game against a winning team should be worrisome for the Cowboys. They have only one win against a team currently in playoff position in the NFC. The good news? That win came against these Eagles! Still I have the feeling that Dallas is going to get to the postseason and be like, “Oh so all these teams are just good then? This blows. We’re outta here.” I don’t blame them, the playoffs are stressful. 

 

Cowboys 24-20




Sunday Morning

 

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

The Ravens need a lot of help. And I’m not just talking about getting into the playoffs. These guys are seriously messed up. I heard they own every volume of Faces of Death. That’s the level of depravity we’re dealing with here. On the flip side, the Steelers need less outside assistance to reach the postseason, but both there’s and Baltimore’s hopes rely on the Jags beating the Colts. So in other words, this will be the last game either of these teams plays this season. 

 

Ravens 18-17




Cincinnati at Cleveland

The Bengals seem to rise to the occasion when they play good teams. But they’ve also lost to the Bears and Jets. Add those performances to a 3 point win over the Jags, and a 25 point loss to these Browns, and there’s cause for concern. The good news is, none of those sucks are going to be in the playoffs. If Cincy can keep showing up for big games, they should go far this January/February(?). And I mean that in the most literal sense. If they’re showing up, I’m guessing that means that they’re scheduled to play that day, which means they haven’t been eliminated. 

 

Bengals 27-16




Green Bay at Detroit

The Packers are 13-3 for the third straight season, the first three of the Matt Lafleur's tenure as head coach. That’s very impressive. However, it hasn’t worked out for them yet. They’ve lost in the conference championship game each of the past two seasons, which shouldn’t be dismissed as a failure, but I have to believe that if that’s their fate for a third straight year Green Bay will start to be saddled with the reputation of not being able to win the big one. Fortunately for them though, that ending to the season would surely result in Aaron Rodgers departing and the team getting to start fresh with Jordan Love. Which, of course, would mean that they won’t be involved in any “big ones” for some time, causing that rap to fall by the wayside. 

 

Lions 23-16




Tennessee at Houston 

Surprisingly the Titans need only a win over the lowly Texans to capture the #1 seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the playoffs. That seems wrong. Gonna double check ... Hmm no. It’s somehow correct, despite the fact that Tennessee has the 6th best point differential in the conference it currently sits atop. Does that matter? Maybe to the analytic nerds, but not to tough asses like you, me, and Mike Vrabel. Also, there’s a chance the Titans will get Derrick Henry back for the playoffs, which means you can throw most numbers out the window. Including 2, 16, and likely even 39. I could go on, but I think you get the point. And if you don’t it would take too long to explain. Oh you have plenty of time? Uh ... err ... Well I don’t! Let’s move on!

 

Titans 30-20




Indianapolis at Jacksonville 

The Jags can all but completely spoil the Colts’ playoff hopes by beating them. The Colts can all but spoil the Jags' #1 pick dreams by beating them. Seems mutually beneficial if Indy just wins, right? There should be some sort of meeting at half time if Jacksonville is winning, just to get everybody on the same page and make sure things play out correctly. I mean can you imagine if Indy misses the playoffs because they lost to the Jags?!? And what if Jacksonville ends up with the 2nd pick and has to take Kayvon Thibodeaux instead of Aidan Hutchinson?!? On second thought, maybe it wouldn’t matter if the Jags just won. But ya know, they’re the Jags, so ... probably not worth consideration. 

 

Colts 31-13




Chicago at Minnesota 

With the extra wild card there are even fewer Week 18 games that don’t involve a team still in contention. This is one of two such contests. But just try telling the Bears and Vikings that! Seriously, we should see if they know that nothing’s at stake. A lot of players say that they don’t read their press. Who knows, that could include standings. It’s possible that these guys are clueless as to the situation. They say ignorance is bliss, and I can see that argument, but there’s nothing blissful about showing up to the team facility on Monday and finding out there are no more games. 

 

Vikings 28-18




Washington at New York Giants

Remember what I just said about meaningless games? This is the other one.  So I have similar questions about these players’ awareness. To help them out I’ve a hired a sky writer to scrawl the NFL standings above MetLife Stadium. And to be safe I also told the guy to spell out every possible playoff scenario. Now that I think about it, I could probably simplify the message and save some money. As it stands now I’m out $13,000. It’s a steep price, but certainly worth it if you ask me. Though it was slightly concerning that when I paid the skywriter he said, “Yippee! Me likey the up front payments, cuz then I don’t gotta do the actual job.” I told him how dope I thought that was, but made him promise that he’d actually do mine. He told me, “We’ll see ...” as he crumpled up my instructions and tossed them in the trash. So, long story short, if you hear a buzz in the skies above MetLife on Sunday, look up, because you’re about to get educated on the NFL’s playoff picture, courtesy of yours truly. 

 

Washington 23-16




Sunday Afternoon

 

Seattle at Arizona

The Cardinals need a win and a loss by the Rams to start the playoffs at home. But should they want to? They’re 8-1 on the road, with the one loss coming against the Lions, a team that I’m almost certain they won’t have to deal with in the postseason. If the Cardinals can simply continue to be undefeated everywhere but Arizona and Detroit they’ll win the Super Bowl. Easier said than done? Maybe. But it’s worth a shot. And the best way to ensure they’ll be on the road in the playoffs is to lose this game. Just do it Cards, it’s in your best interest. 

 

Seahawks 24-20




New Orleans at Atlanta 

The Saints have a real shot at the playoffs. They need a win and a Niners loss to the Rams. Neither outcome is unreasonable. In fact, on their own, they could both be considered likely. But when you need a combination of results things start to get tricky. Also, rooting for another team to lose is really mean-spirited. Is a playoff spot worth losing your compassion? That’s the existential quandary Saints players will be wrestling with during this game. If you’re watching at home keep an eye out for thousand yard stares from the entire New Orleans roster while the Falcons run for repeated 80 yard touchdowns. Or, of course, the Saints could win, and if they do we’ll all know that they’re a bunch of heartless bastards. 

 

Saints 20-16




New York Jets at Buffalo

The Jets franchise has reached a heretofore unrealized depth. They’ve fallen so far that losing to them can drive an opposing player to remove half of their uniform, walk out of the stadium, and possibly quit football forever. It’s the first time someone has hit rock bottom in MetLife Stadium since WrestleMania 29, when the Rock fought John Cena. If you ask me the Jets should take a certain amount of pride in that. Ok, probably not, but what else can they take pride in at this point? 

 

Bills 33-17




San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams

Niners and Rammers, er wait, that's not right. Rammer? I hardly nine her! But seriously folks ... It's possible that these teams will meet next week in the playoffs, then again it's possible that San Francisco won't be in the playoffs at all. A loss here would put the Niners' season in serious jeopardy. They'd need the Falcons to beat the Saints to stay alive. Having your season in Matt Ryan's hands is not ideal, so it would behoove San Fran to just go ahead and win. 


49ers 28-20




New England at Miami

Sadly there is no path for the Dolphins to the playoffs now. What an effort though. From a 1-7 start to the brink of the postseason. Unfortunately they ran into a competent team last week in Tennessee, and that was just too much for them to overcome. Miami would have a decent shot in a hypothetical consolation tournament as they do very well against lousy teams. Unfortunately for the Dolphins that hypothetical tournament is just that, hypothetical, and even if it weren’t it would be rather pointless. Maybe that’s why it’s hypothetical. Miami can put a tiny feather in their cap by ending their season the way they started it, with a win over the Patriots. I’m not sure they’ll achieve that bookend though, because New England is another one of those pesky, competent teams. As a result, the Dolphins’ books will be falling all over the place for the whole offseason. 

 

Patriots 31-17




Carolina at Tampa Bay

The Bucs are coming off an interesting Sunday. They nearly lost to the Jets and came home with one less player than they left with. What are the odds that we see a headline 8 months from now about Antonio Brown suing the Bucs for a Super Bowl ring? Id say fairly low considering that would require Tampa to win the Super Bowl again, and Antonio Brown to find legal counsel willing to represent him. The Bucs don’t have much to play for here as they’re locked into either the 2 or 3 seed in the NFC. That should allow them to sit some of their star players, which will provide them rest, and reduce the risk of them walking off the field shirtless. 

 

Buccaneers 23-20




Sunday Night

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas

Win and in. It's as simple as that. Or maybe not. Perhaps there are other possibilities. Let's turn to Cris Collinsworth to explore them all.


Chargers 35-27





12.30.2021

NFL Picks - Week 17

LAST WEEK: 11-5

SEASON: 151-89-1

 

 

Sunday Morning

 

Atlanta at Buffalo

The Bills are back on the inside track to win the AFC East. All they have to do to clinch the title is beat the Falcons and Jets. Seems easy enough, but so is walking, and I still stub my toe plenty. If Buffalo concentrates and keeps their head down they should have no problem winning their division for the second straight season. But if they lose focus for even a second they could be on the road to start the playoffs, and spend the rest of their time hobbling around their living room growling, “Fuuuuuuuuuhhhhgg” under their breaths.

 

Bills 34-24




New York Giants at Chicago 

The Giants have the Bears' first round pick in the upcoming draft, so losing this game would help and hurt New York’s positioning. What a catch 22! Speaking of, what are the odds that Giants players catch 22 or more balls in this game? You’d get fairly even odds either way, because in 9 games so far this season New York has completed between 21 and 24 passes. You might not hear a lot of buzz around that stat this week, but I for one will be tallying every Giants completion directly onto my wall. Do I have one of those chalkboard walls? Nope.

 

Bears 23-13




Kansas City at Cincinnati 

This is the type of game that the Bengals could actually win. Then of course they’d turn around and lose to the Jags next week. And they’re not even playing the Jags next week! That’s how ridiculous this team is. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are not ridiculous. They win every game they play. That’s completely sensible. Cincy should strive for that kind of consistency. But until they win all of their games, I’m just not sure I can trust them. 

 

Chiefs 30-27




Miami at Tennessee 

The Dolphins have won 7 in a row, and will get into the playoffs if they win their last two to extend the streak to 9. Unfortunately for them, the two remaining teams on their schedule are the Titans and Patriots. But fortunately for them, impossible is nothing for these Miami Dolphins. One thing that is really hard for them though is beating decent teams. They’re 2-5 against opponents that are currently over .500. If they double that total they’ll be sittin’ pretty come the end of the regular season. And if they don’t, they’ll be ... standing ugly, I suppose. Oof, nothing worse than that. 

 

Titans 19-13




Las Vegas at Indianapolis 

With their starting quarterback Carson Wentz in extended COVID protocol due to his unvaccinated status, reports have surfaced that the Colts reached out to Philip Rivers about a potential, temporary comeback. As much as I’d love to see that happen it begs the question: what makes Indy believe that Philip Rivers is vaccinated? From all I know of the guy, he screams unvaxxed. Come to think of it, he just screams everything, at all times. But as I already mentioned, I want nothing more than for Indy to sign Phil Rivers. Do I want him to then immediately get COVID upon setting foot into the team facility? Not necessarily. But it wouldn’t be unfunny.

 

Raiders 23-16




Jacksonville at New England 

The Jags are looking to lock up the 1st pick in the draft for another year. Back to back baby! Will they get shirts made? Hang a banner? Some of you may think that that’s nothing to be proud of, but consider this: the draft started in 1936 and a team has selected 1st in consecutive seasons only 5 times. There have been more back to back Super Bowl champs. See? This is rarefied air! Or rarefied err I suppose. Man, that’s pretty solid. Hello New York Post? I think I’ve got a headline for you. It’s regarding the Jacksonville Jaguars and how they ... Hello? Did they hang up on me?!? Oh no, I forgot to actually dial the number. Didn’t even look it up in fact. Ah well, I’ll get to that later. 

 

Patriots 35-14




Tampa Bay at New York Jets 

The Buccaneers have a .497 strength of victory, the best among current NFC playoff teams. Beating the Jets would only water that down. Should they consider losing then? I mean you don’t want to get a reputation as a bully. If you start beating up on poor saps like the Jets then you’re no better than the rest of those NFC meanies. Of course, if you lose to the Jets everybody will laugh at you. Can you really handle that? This is the type of conundrum that comes with success. That’s why I always tell kids to never be too successful. 

 

Buccaneers 31-19




Philadelphia at Washington 

The Eagles are now firmly in playoff position. Well, as firm as you can get in the seventh spot in the NFC. Which is to say, not very firm. Right now they’re a soft yes for the postseason, but can you come back and ask them next week? They’re waiting to see how a couple things shake out, but they should have a better answer by then. Two weeks from now at the latest. Do you know who else is going yet? Not that it matters or anything, the Eagles are just curious. The Cowboys? Oh. Hmm. Well Philly’s a definite maybe then. They’ll let you know. 

 

Eagles 23-20




Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore

After another shellacking from the Bengals, the Ravens are living on the edge. And if Lamar Jackson can’t come back pronto they’ll be even edgier. Not like in a cool, hip way. More in like a falling to their death kind of way. But do the Rams have the guts to give them that last shove? Perhaps. Especially if LA doesn’t have the added stress of knowing that winning this game will result in the Ravens’ literal death. 

 

Rams 27-20




Sunday Afternoon

 

Denver at Los Angeles Chargers

I imagine some Chargers fans prior to Sunday’s game against Houston saying, “If we can’t beat the Texans we don’t deserve to make the playoffs.” Then desperately trying to take it back following the game. Of course, this story assumes someone is a Chargers fan. After their disastrous performance in Houston, LA now needs help to get into the postseason. That aforementioned Charger fan needs help too. They’re desperately trying to bargain the Chargers way into the playoffs with anyone who will listen. Offering really depraved stuff too. Again, I should reiterate that this is a hypothetical person, but be that as it may, I’m very worried about them. 

 

Chargers 26-17




Houston at San Francisco 

The Niners are the best team in the league at looking unstoppable for one quarter then inept the next. Case in point their performance last week against the Titans when San Fran jumped out to a 10-0 lead and maintained the shutout until halftime, only to lose 20-17. They’re really good, until they’re not. And brother, that kind of inconsistency don’t fly in the playoffs. That’s why Vince Lombardi always called the playoffs: Where inconsistency goes to die. Did he really say that? No. But I didn’t really know how to end these comments. Just like the Niners, I’m having trouble finishing. 

 

49ers 38-20




Arizona at Dallas

The Cardinals have clinched a playoff spot, and they should be thrilled that they have, because at this point I wouldn’t be shocked if they finish 10-7 after starting the season 7-0. Arizona has been banged up in the second half of the season, but maybe that’s what you get when your quarterback is the smallest person on the field. Look, I’m not a sizest, but Kyler Murray’s a little pipsqueak that can’t hold up for a full season. If he was taller he’d be better! And I don’t just mean at football. 

 

Cowboys 24-17




Carolina at New Orleans 

Shockingly Ian Book wasn’t a great option at quarterback for the Saints on Monday in their 20-3 loss. In fact, the Dolphins torched him so bad that you could even call it a Book burning. Ian’s second pass of the game was intercepted by Miami’s Nik Needham and returned for a touchdown onn a play where one might say that Needham read him like a book. If New Orleans is forced to start their third string QB again, Saints fans should run in the opposite direction of the SuperDome. Or to put it another way, they should book it.

 

Panthers 16-13




Detroit at Seattle 

The Seahawks don’t have a first round pick in the 2022 draft. They have no reason to lose, yet they continue to. It’s actually kind of endearing, because you know there are no ulterior motives behind it. These are losses you can trust! Thank you Seahawks for your sincerity and humility in these fraught times. You are truly role modes for the rest of the league. I mean, not in terms of performance, but you get it, right? Yeah, you get it, you guys are cool. 

 

Seahawks 30-13




Sunday Night 

 

Minnesota at Green Bay

The Packers look to avenge one of their few losses of the 2021 season when they host the Vikings on Sunday night football. In fact, I heard they made it their new year's resolution. If you ask me, winning the Super Bowl probably would have been a better one, but oh well. But hey, you didn't come here to listen to me talk about this one; let's check in with Cris Collinsworth to see what he has to say:

Packers 34-25




Monday Night

 

Cleveland at Pittsburgh 

These teams met in the playoffs last season and both are still technically alive in the postseason race this time around. But does anybody outside of Cleveland or Pittsburgh care to see them there? They're both pretty snoozetastic at this juncture. If you ask me, these squadrons should do us all a favor by joining hands and walking out of the stadium and into one of the three rivers, never to be seen again ... until September.

 

Steelers 20-17



12.24.2021

NFL Picks - Week 16

LAST WEEK: 11-5

SEASON: 140-84-1

 

 

Christmas

 

Cleveland at Green Bay

The Packers are now alone in 1st in the NFC. Who can stop them? Themselves! Or possibly the Bucs. Maybe the Cowboys, Cardinals, or Rams, or perhaps even the 49ers. The point is, it seems like a pretty even field in the NFC this season. Anything other than a trip to the Super Bowl has to be considered a failure for Green Bay after consecutive conference title game losses. It’s like getting something pretty good, but not exactly what you wanted for the past two Christmases. Sure you appreciate the effort, but if Santa doesn’t get it right this time you might have to move to Denver. 

 

Packers 27-13




Indianapolis at Arizona

Do you think since it’s Christmas the Cardinals will put one of their running backs in at linebacker and have him rush the QB? What I’m saying is, will Conner be blitzin'? Probably not. More likely he’ll be a dasher or dancer or prancer. As long as Arizona is willing to comet to the run that is. And uh ... Cupid and vixen. 

 

Cardinals 26-23




Sunday Morning

 

Detroit at Atlanta

If last week was the Lions' Super Bowl, that means this week is their Pro Bowl. Assuming we’re on the old schedule, that is. So maybe half their players will skip the game. Perhaps I’m taking the analogy too far. But I doubt it. The Falcons are on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention, and there would be no more ignominious way to officially end it than with a loss to Detroit. Well, I suppose a loss to Detroit followed by all of the Falcons’ children saying they saw what happened and that they want to go live with the Lions would be more ignominious. 


Falcons 24-16




Baltimore at Cincinnati 

Last Sunday the Ravens once again lost on a failed 2 point attempt at the end of the game. That’s the second time in three weeks. And in between they lost a game by 2. A lot of people have questioned Harbaugh’s decisions to go for it, but I just question the Ravens ability to convert 2 pointers. Hey, if you’re good at getting two yards at a time, by all means, go for the win! But if that’s not your strong suit, then maybe know your limitations and don’t blindly trust analytics. You have to wonder if Harbaugh will go for it again if presented with the opportunity this week. Meatloaf would encourage him to do so, because two out of three ain’t bad! Hmm, except that would be two misses. I don’t think that’s what the Loaf was talking about. 

 

Bengals 28-21




Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota

You gotta think the Vikings are gonna have the roof at U.S. Bank Stadium open for this one against these SoCal softies. Hmm, you know what? I just remembered the roof at U.S. Bank Stadium isn’t retractable. I guess there’s only one option then, blow the damn thing off! I don’t care how many millions of dollars it costs, or how integral the roof is to the structural integrity of the building. The best chance the Vikings have to win this game is to welcome in the elements. If you can think of a better, less expensive, less recklessly destructive option, then fine, I’m all ears. Ok that was misleading, I don’t want to hear a damn word out of your mouth. The roof’s coming down and that’s final!

 

Rams 23-18




Buffalo at New England 

Notoriously unvaccinated Bills receiver Cole Beasley will miss this game because he contracted COVID. But as he tells it, he’s not missing this game because of COVID, but because of the rules! And to be clear the rule he is referring to is the one that says if you have COVID you can’t play in a game. Hmm, this is strange, but it seems like Beasley’s logic might be flawed, or that his perspective is warped somehow. Weird. Also surprising. Meanwhile, on the field, if the Patriots win this game they’ll clinch the AFC East title. But that won’t be because the Bills aren’t better than New England, it will just be because of the rules that say teams with the best record in a division are declared the champions.

 

Patriots 24-20




Jacksonville at New York Jets

Did the league put the Jags in some new lower division? Last week they lost to the Texans, now they play the Jets. Is Jacksonville facing relegation if they lose again? And if so is there a CFL team waiting to jump into the NFL? At the very least we deserve a game between the Jags and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with the winner granted entry into the NFL in 2022.

 

Jets 25-17




New York Giants at Philadelphia 

On Monday the Giants shut Daniel Jones down for the remainder of the season; just as NFL defenses have done for the majority of Jones’s career. As a result, New York will turn to Mike Glennon and/or Jake Fromm at quarterback the rest of the way. And in future news, the Giants have finished the season at 4-13. Also in future New York headlines: “Judge Faces Jury and Executioner; Giants coach tried for crimes against football ... and also murder.” Whoa! Stay tuned.

 

Eagles 23-12




Tampa Bay at Carolina 

The Buccaneers were shockingly shutout last Sunday night against the Saints. They’ll need at least one point this week if they want to avoid consecutive losses. Though judging by what I saw from Cam Newton last Sunday zero points may be enough to salvage a tie. His last pass of the game, which sailed softly into the hands of a Bills defender, was reminiscent of a grumpy child choking down the remaining vegetables on their plate before they’re dismissed from the table. Just let him sit on the bench honey, he’s done enough. No. He’s gonna play every last snap, and we’re not leaving until he does. Poor Cam. Just know that if you have to have two Christmases next year it’s not your fault. The interception probably didn’t help, but it’s not (completely) your fault. 

 

Buccaneers 30-13




Los Angeles Chargers at Houston

Brandon Staley’s aggressive fourth down philosophy was put to the test last Thursday against the Chiefs, and it failed, with the Chargers repeatedly unable to convert multiple red zone possessions into points. But hey, shooters gotta shoot. You think if Steph Curry were out there he would’ve stopped going for it? No way! Though Curry does shoot field goals, so maybe he would be partial to kicking it. And with his long range proclivity he’d probably attempt a field goal as soon as the team crossed the 50. So maybe that was a bad analogy. The point is, Staley can’t change his mindset now, otherwise the field goal-loving Steph Currys' of the world win. 

 

Chargers 38-17




Sunday Afternoon

 

Chicago at Seattle 

These teams have only played 3 times in the last 9 seasons. That’s the standard rate for intra-conference foes, but the fact that they haven’t lined up in terms of placement and played each other any extra is surprising. Especially considering they played every season from ‘09-‘12. Five matchups if you include the playoffs. It makes me wonder if something happened back in 2012. Did they have a falling out? Or maybe after trying to get it right so many seasons in a row they decided it was time for a break. But before they left each other they agreed that if neither of them were married in three years they’d meet back up at Christmas and give it another try. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the time it all works out.

 

Seahawks 23-9




Pittsburgh at Kansas City

The Steelers won another game by the skin of their teeth in Week 15. So did the Chiefs, but KC is like Will Smith to Pittsburgh’s Tommy Lee Jones, they make this look good. To make matters worse for the Steelers, they won’t be men in black this week as they’ll be playing on the road. Pittsburgh is only 2-4 away from home, with their last road victory coming on Halloween. Sorry Steelers, it’s X-mas time baby, not All Hallows’ Eve, and you ain’t scaring nobody. 

 

Chiefs 27-16




Denver at Las Vegas

If we’re talking about these teams' records it’s 7-7 7-7 in Las Vegas. What is this a slot machine? With four columns? I don’t think that’s the typical number, but there are so many different ones out there now that it’s hard to say. I saw one the other day that was based on Making a Murderer. So a 4 column slot machine certainly isn’t out of the question. One way or another, the loser of this game is out of luck. They’ll have to take their empty, over-sized coin cup and go home.

 

Raiders 20-16




Sunday Night

 

Washington at Dallas

The Cowboys are on their way to an NFC East title, but ca the reigning champs spoil their Christmas weekend? Cris Collinsworth lends us his expertise:

 


Typically topical CriColl.


Cowboys 24-14




Monday Night

 

Miami at New Orleans 

The Dolphins are on fire! Maybe! They’ve won 6 in a row, but those wins have come against the Jets (twice), Texans, Panthers, Giants, and Ravens. Maybe they’re just the kings of the lousies. But hey, there’s gotta be a sexiest man in Duluth. Don’t hate him just because that’s where he’s from and he’s afraid to move to a bigger city for fear that he’ll no longer be the most attractive man in town. Now the Dolphins get a COVID-depleted Saints squad. Looks like the fish will be residing in Duluth for at least another week.


Dolphins 19-12