NFL Picks Week 17

My picks have been very uneven the last couple of weeks. I'd blame myself, but that would just be ridiculous.

Sunday Morning

Carolina @ New Orleans

The Panthers have been hot down the stretch, meaning that they will most likely be a trendy pick to get to the playoffs next season. Well, I'll do you one better, I think they'll make the playoffs THIS year! What's that? Impossible? That's weird, I was under the assumption that a 7-9 record automatically gets a team in the playoffs. Fine, I'll just go with the safe pick then.

Saints 31-24

Buffalo @ New England

The Patriots need a win to clinch the #1 seed in the AFC, while a win for the Bills would put them in play for the #10 seed. In case you're wondering, no, the NFL has not expanded the playoffs to 10 teams per conference, but hey 10 is better than 11; unless, of course, you're talking about draft positioning, in which case it is much worse. Due to the motivation factor I'll take New England

Patriots 30-10

Chicago @ Minnesota

The Bears are kicking themselves that they waited so long to make the switch at quarterback from Caleb Hanie to Josh McCown. They should also be kicking themselves that they've waited so long to reveal that they can kick themselves. A bear kicking itself is a huge draw at circuses around the globe.

Bears 20-17

New York Jets @ Miami

The Jets' consecutive losses have left them with little to no chance of making the playoffs. But don't tell this group of dreamers that they can't lose in the AFC Championship for a third straight year! Unfortunately for them, they're going up against the Miami Dolphins, a team that loves nothing more than crushing people's dreams.

Dolphins 23-20

San Francisco @ St. Louis

The 49ers have a chance at a first round bye with a win in this game. Luckily for them, they have a bye this week as well. I know that that is the second time I've made the joke that playing the Rams is like a bye week, but c'mon, they just lost 27-0 to a team that started Charlie Batch at quarterback; I'd give these guys credit if they did anything to deserve it. Coincidentally that was the same motto when I went to film school.

49ers 20-3

Detroit @ Green Bay

The Packers have a chance to be only the fourth team in the last 25 years to finish 15-1 or better. Obviously that would be something a team would strive for, however, none of the last three teams to do it have won the Super Bowl ('98 Vikings, '04 Steelers, '07 Patriots). So, should the Packers really want to win this game? From the looks of it the answer is no, because they will most likely rest their key starters.

Lions 27-20

Washington @ Philadelphia

So the Eagles late charge to win the NFC East and salvage a respectable season has fallen short. DeSean Jackson must be pissed that he was convinced to try for the last three weeks. But was it all for naught? Yes, as I just explained they cannot make the playoffs and they greatly underachieved. You need to start paying attention asshole.

Eagles 27-17

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville

A win for the Colts would be their third straight to close out the season and seriously jeopardize their chances for the first pick in the draft. This approach to end of the season by Indianapolis is both admirable and foolish. They're like the Ulysses of the NFL (there it is, my weekly Greek mythology reference; a fun task for dedicated readers would be to go back and find the other 16 throughout the season, but beware, they are not nearly as overt).

Colts 17-14

Tennessee @ Houston

Lat week the Titans game finished with a score of 23-17 yet again. That makes 4 out of their last 6 that have finished with that score. The other two during that stretch ended up 22-17 and 27-13. The only explanation here is that someone is just writing Tennessee's season and they've gotten very lazy in terms of the scores. I mean, even 27-13 has all the same numbers. If the chips fall correctly we could see this same match-up next week in the first round of the playoffs, and if the Titans are involved I think we know what the score will be thanks to their season's unimaginative author.

Titans 23-17

Sunday Afternoon

Seattle @ Arizona

Last week seemed to be an accurate summation of the Hawks' season. Flashes of hope, solid defense for most of it, a stretch where the team seemed dead in the water only to come back to life, and Skittles. All things considered I've had a fun time watching the Hawks this year and I'm proud of the way they played in the second half of the season. They easily could have rolled over and died after starting 2-6 but they did the opposite, which I guess would look something like this. So in the end, does it really matter if they get the win this week in Arizona? Fuck yes. Let's get to .500!!!

Seahawks 24-18

Kansas City @ Denver

What has happened to Tebow? Is it possible that he doesn't have the magic anymore? I don't think so. It's more likely that he's just testing our faith before the greatest trial of all, the playoffs. Well I still believe Tim. But seriously, you might want to win this game otherwise the playoffs aren't necessarily a lock ... Oop, there I go again, not trusting Him. Teebs, you do what you have to do.

Broncos 16-13

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

The Bucs are on the verge of finishing the season on a 10 game losing streak after starting out 4-2. I'm not sure if that's ever been done before, and frankly I don't have the time to go looking something like that up, but it sure seems like an anomaly eh? So when it comes to picking this game, if it ain't broke don't fix it. And if it is broke (which it is in this case) then don't even try to fix it, it will just be embarrassing for everyone involved.

Falcons 26-14

Baltimore @ Cincinnati

This game will be Cincinnati's 2nd sellout of the season. Perhaps the Bengals should take a dive just to teach their fans a lesson. Of course, that may backfire on them considering that the fans weren't interested in the regular season games, meaning that postseason action would probably be something of a chore for the people of Cincinnati.

Ravens 19-16

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland

My Wacky Pick of the Week is that the Browns win. Not wacky enough for you? Look, I'm tired, so damn tired. I can't always just drum up something so wacky at the drop of a hat like I'm Willy fucking Wonka or something.

Browns 14-13

San Diego @ Oakland

Now that the Chargers are officially out of the playoffs look for them to be about as enthusiastic as this guy. Meanwhile, the Raiders will still be trying for the win and a playoff berth, but if my earlier pick is any indication (and it usually is) their effort will be pointless.

Raiders 31-20

Sunday Night

Dallas @ New York Giants

The Cowboys have been the worst Sunday Night team all year. And by that I don't mean that they are the worst team to play in a Sunday Night game (Colts, twice), I mean they have the worst record in Sunday Night games, at 0-3. That's the worst season on NBC since The Cape. If this Sunday Night match-up feels like deja vu it's because we saw these two play on a Sunday Night just three weeks ago. And if me saying Sunday Night feels like deja vu it's because I've now typed it six times in this paragraph. Will the result be the same as the last meeting? Hard to tell. You know what they say about trying to predict Sunday Night games: Sunday Night is Sunday Night.

Cowboys 30-27


NFL Picks Week 16

Christmas is here, but like the rest of you, I've already had my holiday and subsequent Summer movie season ruined by the sight of Hines Ward in the new Batman trailer. Before I start breaking my computer let's get to the picks.

Saturday Morning

Oakland @ Kansas City

I've been following the Raiders pretty closely this year, mostly due to the fact that they're featured prominently at the Shack (the bar where I watch games on Sunday, to clarify for everyone outside of LA). But I haven't really minded having them shoved down my throat, in fact, I even rooted for them in most games. Well, not anymore. Go to hell Raiders. These jerks managed to blow a 13 point fourth quarter, losing by 1 point after they neglected to try for a two-point conversion when they made the score 26-14 with 7:47 in the game. Nice work ya dildos. Of course, my vitriol comes as a result of the team that Oakland blew the lead to, the Detroit Lions, a team full of a-holes from who the Seahawks sorely needed a loss. Anyway, I've gotten over it.

Chiefs 20-3

Jacksonville @ Tennessee

The Titans lost to the Colts last week, giving Indy their first win. The good news for Tennessee? They get to play the Jaguars this week, who may be an even worse team.

Titans 20-10

Miami @ New England

As we all know, the Dolphins have been on a tear lately, not quite a Hawks-ian tear, but 5 out of 7 isn't bad, especially when they started out 0-7. Miami's new-found winning ways will be put to the test this Saturday when they visit the Patriots, and this will not be an open-notes test either. That's right, the Dolphins' players and coaching staff will not be allowed to look at their playbooks whatsoever during the game. This may seem unfair, and it is.

Patriots 30-17

Arizona @ Cincinnati

For as much as the Bengals have stumbled in the second half of the season (2-4 so far), they still find themselves with a decent shot of getting the last Wild Card in the AFC. When you look at their schedule though, Cincy has only lost to quality teams, which is bad news for them this week, because the Cardinals are now just that. How is Arizona doing it? Mostly through solid defense, good special teams and a healthy amount of luck down the stretch. In other words, they're the Broncos but without the help from Jesus, which makes their stretch all the more impressive. Unfortunately, the Cards have to travel to Cincinnati this week, a city devoid of any sort of luck; that doesn't bode well for them.

Bengals 20-16

Denver @ Buffalo

Early indications are that this game will not be a sell-out. A Stinger? With Tim Tebow in town? On the eve of Jesus's birth? Something doesn't add up here. On second thought, the Bills' 7 straight losses make the lack of ticket sales a bit more understandable. And when you factor in the fact that the defense has now given up 26 points per game on the season it's not hard to see why Buffalo is losing ... unless you live in Buffalo, where you can't see the games at all.

Broncos 27-20

St. Louis @ Pittsburgh

With both teams' normal starting quarterbacks highly questionable for this game we could get to see the Kellen Clemens/Charlie Batch match-up that we've all been clamoring for ever since Clemens came to the NFL. So, in other words, if you're not watching this game you must already have plans on Christmas Eve, though I can't imagine that they would be more entertaining or important than this instant classic. In the end it will probably be decided by which team is the Rams. Because the Rams are the Rams, they will most likely lose.

Steelers 20-6

New York Giants @ New York Jets

Ayyy ohhhh! Pass the pastrami and ya mamma mia's googatz, it's the battle of New York! My Wacky Pick of the Week is that the Giants score the game winning touchdown on a Statue of Liberty play (WIIIINNNNNNK).

Giants 24-21

Minnesota @ Washington

The Redskins managed to get their 2nd win in 10 games last week, ruining my two month long prediction that they would only win one of those ten. So congrats Washington, you proved me wrong by going 2-8. I actually watched a clip of one of the Skins giving a post game locker-room speech after their win over the Giants in which he opined that if "...they played like that every week they could be first in the NFC East ..." I have to agree with him, if Washington played well every week, they'd probably be doing better, but they haven't because they're not very good. That being said, they're better than the visiting Vikings ... probably.

Redskins 27-23

Tampa Bay @ Carolina

The Panthers are yet another late-bloomer team, having won three of their last four. One of those wins came at Tampa, a "team" who has lost their last eight, including a huge loss to Jacksonville that looks all the more pathetic after the Jags' major cream job loss in Atlanta last week. To snap their streak, the Bucs will need a Christmas Eve miracle, which as we all know is not as good as a Christmas miracle, but it's like at least you get to open one miracle ya know? It's better than no miracles at all, but man I can't wait till Christmas morning to see what that big miracle under the tree is. (NOTE: I may have briefly confused the words miracle and presents)

Panthers 35-20

Cleveland @ Baltimore

It's beginning to seem like Joe Flacco is actually afraid of playing a home playoff game. All the Ravens have to do is win their last two games to secure such a position, but if their effort against the Chargers from last week is any indication, they aren't necessarily motivated to do so. In a way it makes sense, playing road playoff games is all the FlacMan knows. Since coming into the league in '08 FlacMan is 4-3 in road playoff games, winning at least one every postseason. His record in home playoff games? 0-0. So what's happening here is akin to what happens when a man who was raised by wolves attempts to assimilate into human society. It will take time for FlacMan to learn that playing home playoff games is something natural and desirable to people, but until then all bets are off (NOTE: Never bet on wolfmen, unless of course you're talking basketball, a sport in which wolfmen and werewolves alike are dominant).

Ravens 23-10

Saturday Afternoon

San Diego @ Detroit

I've never rooted for Philip Rivers, a statement that I'm proud to make. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to say that after Saturday (yet another reason I'm pissed at the Raiders). It's a frightening proposition, but one that I embark on with great zeal and defiance. As for this game, get ready for some points ... You're just sitting there ... I said get ready asshole! Fine, forget it, but when this game turns into a shootout don't say I didn't warn you.

Chargers 38-35

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Most folks were shocked to hear that the Eagles still had a shot to win the NFC East even though their record is only 6-8, which is odd, because you would think that the ceaseless media coverage of that division would keep the nation fully abreast of every possible playoff permutation within it. Yet here we are. I honestly have no idea what to make of this game because these teams have been so maddeningly inconsistent throughout the season. One thing's for sure, we should see some serious fireworks ... or not; see previous sentence.

Cowboys 31-26

San Francisco @ Seattle

Marshawn Lynch has scored 11 rushing touchdowns in his last 11 games. The 49ers have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season. Now we will see what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object. That statement hasn't been used so accurately since this (3 things I love about this video: 1. Jack Tunney mentions that both wrestler's lawyers are present; shouldn't Warrior's legal council have advised him to not wear the face paint to that meeting? 2. The point-of-view shots; if they really wanted us to believe that this signing actually took place how the hell did they get those camera angles? 3. Hogan just saying, "Sign" after Warrior's nonsensical diatribe; he sounds more than a little fed up). Here's hoping that the CLink is fully stocked with Skittles, because Beast Mode wants to taste the rainbow. I wrote the preceding sentence solely to confuse a time-traveler that just got here from the start of the season.

Seahawks 20-13

Sunday Night

Chicago @ Green Bay

I understand that the Bears feel they are giving themselves their best chance to win by starting Josh McCown, but have they thought about the ramifications of their decision? Now we have to hear Chris Berman make his hackneyed (and lame to begin with) "tears of McCown" joke. Thanks a pant-load Lovie Smith. It's possible that the Packers will already have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs wrapped up by Christmas (take that Berman) but I'm guessing that they won't lay down against Chicago. And even if we do see Matt Flynn get the start, that will still be good enough.

Packers 27-10

Monday Night

Atlanta @ New Orleans

Coming into this game Drew Brees is only about 300 yards away from breaking Dan Marino's single season record for passing yards. Dan, your thoughts? Yikes. Having a little trouble with the teleprompter Dan? Ok, but seriously we better wrap this up before Marino kills us all.

Saints 30-20

Bark(ley)ing Up the Wrong Tree

The 2012 QB class took a bit of a hit today as Matt Barkley announced that he will return to USC for his Senior year. I wonder if he asked Matt Leinart for advice before making this decision.

Week 16 - Thursday Night

Houston @ Indianapolis

For a few weeks the Texans looked like a gutsy team that was winning despite multiple costly injuries. But after last week's 15 point home loss to the Panthers they seem more like a team that was hanging on by the skin of their teeth. And now that Andre Johnson is missing another game that skin might just be ripped right off, which sounds like a bad thing, but when you think about it, why would anyone want skin on their teeth? That would be gross. Would you even be able to chew properly? And don't even get me started on the problems it would present in terms of brushing. Meanwhile, the Colts teeth were kicked out long ago, but they managed to gum the Titans to death last week for their first win of the season. So which team will show more bite (ahhh thank you) in this contest? I don't want to rule out an Indy win, but why would they go and blow their draft position like that? (Though, being toothless makes them pretty good at blowing things)

Texans 16-9


NFL Picks Week 15

Saturday Night

Dallas @ Tampa Bay

After taking a four week (weeks 7-10) respite from playing terribly dramatic games, the Cowboys have revealed their true attention-whore selves again. Their last four games have been filled with lead changes, comebacks, smiles, occasional frowns, broken ankles, and the first ever icing of ones own kicker. Does this mean we're in for another suspense-filled match-up when Dallas takes on Tampa? Not so fast. We should also look at the pattern in the Bucs' schedule. One noticeable re-occurrence in the last seven weeks is the L next to all of Tampa's games. That's right, they've dropped seven in a row, and not one of them has been entertaining (and if any of them have been, no one's noticed). This makes the Cowboys the obvious pick, but I predict at least one lead change (and if I'm wrong and the game ends in a 0-0 tie, I'll be equally as happy, I've been praying for that score for years).

Cowboys 34-17

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Chicago

After his legendary run in last season's playoffs Marshawn Lynch has a lifetime free pass from me. Even if he were to play poorly I wouldn't be upset with him because of that run, everything from that point on is icing on the cake. So now that Marshawn has gone into prolonged Beast Mode, that cake has more icing than those ones that you get from Costco that really push the limits of how much is too much. But at this point, who cares, let's just keep piling icing on until the cake collapses. Er, no, don't collapse the cake. Damn it, I got lost in my own analogy. The point is this, Beast Mode is fully engaged, and Caleb Hanie sucks. A + B = Hawks win!

Seahawks 20-17

Carolina @ Houston

These teams had polar opposite performances last week. The Panthers had a 16 point lead going into the half and couldn't come away with the win. Meanwhile, the Texans were down 13 at halftime and came back to win in the final seconds. If we do some simple math it's clear that Houston will have a 30 point comeback victory. But math don't mean nothing in the NFL, and neither does proper English.

Texans 23-16

Washington @ New York Giants

Just when you think you can count the Giants out they win one game and are somehow back in first place. After a big win like the one they had last week, the Giants usually like to follow it up with a stinker. It would be like delivering an eloquent speech in front of a crowd of your respected peers and then unloading a giant fart into the microphone (which would be very similar to my final presentation in Public Speaking Freshman year). But, as much as I'd like to pick the Skins in an upset, this will be their 9th loss in 10 games, just as I predicted a couple months ago. I can't waver now.

Giants 28-23

Miami @ Buffalo

This is a very important game ... for bars that don't have enough TVs to accommodate all the morning games. This one makes it an easy choice as to what not to watch. The Bills have managed to lose six straight games after starting 5-2. Meanwhile, Tony Sparano has fulfilled his destiny and become an unemployed football coach. So who wins this abysmal match-up? As I said before, no one will turn the game on, so the world may never know.

Dolphins 19-16

New Orleans @ Minnesota

Joe Webb relieved Christian Ponder in the Vikings' last game and really turned some heads, including his own. That missed face-mask call was really a blessing in disguise for Minnesota, in that they remain in the hunt for the second pick in the draft. And as we all know, that second pick will get them .... ummm, someone not as good as Andrew Luck? He's really the only pro prospect I've heard of so far. Help me DGP! Speaking of help, the Saints should help the Vikings in their continued march toward what I trust will be a quality rookie.

Saints 35-20

Cincinnati @ St. Louis

After Week 9 the Bengals were 6-2 and the #1 seed in the AFC. Following that they've promptly lost 4 of their next 5. Clearly they got flustered when the expectations grew and the pressure was on, in other words, they looked a lot like this guy (that's the 2nd Ted Striker link this season, bonus points to whoever can find which week the first one was). The good news for Cincy is that they get a semi-bye week with this trip to St. Louis. The bad news is that their playoff chances may have already crashed and burned like so many a fighter jet over Macho Grande.

Bengals 20-10

Tennessee @ Indianapolis

It was a very emotional experience for me to watch Matthew Hasselbeck and Jake Locker team up to nearly upset the Saints last week. I gazed at the screen with such wonder as two Seattle sports legends played their hearts out for ... Tennessee? I guess that's the lesson here, when someone is forced to leave Seattle they lose the will to win. Sure they can get close to making amazing things happen, but ultimately they'll fall short. Fortunately for the Titans, beating the Colts does not qualify as an amazing thing, so whoever gets the go for Tennessee should be able pull a Seattle and get the win. By the way, the Titans string of 23-17 games fell short by one in last week's 22-17 loss to New Orleans. Nice try guys, I'm not fooled.

Titans 23-17

Green Bay @ Kansas City

Surely the Chiefs were shocked last week to find out that 10 points didn't get the job done for the second week in a row, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. Yes, it worked against the Bears, but most everything works against the Bears, except for running uphill, do NOT run uphill if a bear is chasing you (note: not advice for beating the Chicago Bears, just normal bears). In Tyler Palko's career as a starter the Chiefs have put up a combined 32 points. What's the point you may be wondering? The point is that Kansas City will need more points this week than Tyler Palko has been able to put up in six games. That won't happen. Say it with me everybody .... CREAM JOB! (you all shouted it right?)

Packers 38-14

Sunday Afternoon

Detroit @ Oakland

It's the league's dirtiest team (Detroit) against the league's most heavily penalized team (Oakland). The NFL should just throw out the rules for this one and make it a hardcore match. Anything goes! Chairs? Sure. Brass knucks? You bet. A steel cage around the field? I don't see why not. Two teams enter, one team leaves. The other team stays because they were playing a home game and they have no reason to leave.

Raiders 34-31

New England @ Denver

It took me a while to figure out what was happening in Denver, but I finally pinned it down. It's Angels in the Outfield. The Broncos clearly have otherworldly assistance in these games and I'm pretty sure I saw this guy in the crowd last week. I'm telling you, don't be surprised if John Fox adopts two orphans at the end of the season. One thing is bizarre though, if the angels were trying to be inconspicuous why did one of them decide to play for the team? And at quarterback no less.

Broncos 24-21

New York Jets @ Philadelphia

The Jets have won their last three after struggling to a 5-5 mark. So what's changed in the last few weeks? To find the answer we need to look at what put them at 5-5 ... they were Tebowed. Is it possible that merely being in His presence made them a better football team, and indeed better people? Foolish, right? Well let's take a look at other teams who have been, Tebowed. The Dolphins won 4 of their next 6 after Tebow (henceforth referred to as A.T.). The Raiders won their next three A.T.. And the Chargers have won back to back games A.T.. What makes it more amazing is that none of those teams had a winning record immediately A.T., yet they were able to reel off multiple wins in the subsequent weeks. Everything this guy touches turns to gold! His majesty knows no bounds! Because of the Tebow Effect, the Jets are the pick.

Jets 24-17

Cleveland @ Arizona

Is it possible that the Cardinals and Seahawks got together about six weeks ago and agreed that it would be more fun if their game in the last week of the season meant something? Probably not. It would be a real hassle for all 100+ players to travel to the same location just to agree on something. If anything they probably texted each other. Whatever the method of communication, the two teams have drastically improved and kept their playoff hopes on life support. Obviously the Browns won't be the one to pull the plug on the Cards.

Cardinals 21-16

Sunday Night

Baltimore @ San Diego

My Wacky Pick of the Week is that at halftime of this game Phil Rivers tries to pull a Johnny Moxon style revolt on his out of touch, inept, and possibly abusive head coach. The only problem is that it will have the reverse effect. Rivers will run out of the locker room and find that no one is following him. Norv Turner will then lead his team out to the field with their new starting quarterback Billy Volek, at which point they'll lose terribly. They probably should have followed Rivers. (Note: predicted final score does not reflect Wacky Pick, making it all the more wacky)

Ravens 25-22

Monday Night

Pittsburgh @ San Francisco

After starting out 9-1 the Niners have now dropped two of their last three causing Jim Harbaugh's chin to jut out further than Zack Morris's, post crotch-grab (one out of five people will get that, and that's not a ratio, one of the five people who read this will get that). Meanwhile, the Steelers have won 8 of their last 9 to match San Fran's 10-3 record. If Ben Roethlisberger plays, Pittsburgh has to be the favorite. If he doesn't, San Francisco is the favorite. I should point out now that I'm using that term strictly to mean the favored team. Let me make it very clear that neither of these teams is my favorite. Far from it, in fact, just having to write about this game makes me upset.

Steelers 17-13

Week 15 - Thursday

Jacksonville @ Atlanta

What a way to start the week. It's kind of like waking up Monday morning and rolling over to find a pool of your own sick. Will this game really be as bad as a pile of vomit? Probably not, but you'll have to tune-in to find out! There ya go NFL Network, you can have that one for free. Anyway, let's figure out what the pick should be: The Falcons have failed to impress all year. The Jaguars have failed all year.

Falcons 24-13


NFL Picks Week 14

At this point in the season it's becoming easier and easier to pick games. That is, until it gets harder. Just when you think you have a grasp on this league it wriggles out of your hands like Marshawn through a pack of Eagles. With that in mind, I've selected three big upsets this week. Readers with a keen eye should be able to catch them. Enjoy!

Sunday Morning

Kansas City @ New York Jets

The Chiefs' defense has been all over the place this season. In their last two games they've given up a combined 16 points, in their first two games they gave up 89 combined points. Sprinkle in a shutout of Oakland and a 31 point surrendering to Miami, and it's just downright confusing. So what to make of these jerks? Who cares, it's the Chiefs. My advice would simply be to ignore them, that's been my strategy, it didn't work very well for the Bears last week, but that's beside the point.

Jets 17-6

Tampa Bay @ Jacksonville

It's a battle of Northern Florida vs. Central Florida! Hold on to your butts, there won't be any fans sitting down for this one. In fact, they're probably won't be any fans standing either. These are two of the least popular teams in the league, especially in the cities where they play, so the attendance promises to be sparse at best. Both teams seemed to hit rock bottom last week with blowout losses to losing teams at home. Good news for one of these squads: you're actually going to get a win this week! Bad news for the other group: you're going to lose to a team that might be even worse than you.

Jaguars 22-16

New England @ Washington

Two Redskins, TE Fred Davis and OT Trent Williams, were suspended this week for positive drug tests and they didn't even have hyperactivity to use as an excuse. Clearly this is a team full of dirty cheats, and all of their wins up to this point should be forfeited. But since that probably won't happen I'll move on. The Patriots are the clear pick over the Redskins, said observers of the struggle for the "New World," and that statement rings truer than ever in this contest.

Patriots 30-20

Atlanta @ Carolina

Upset #1!!! The Falcons have proven to be shaky on the road this year. They're 3-3, with one of those wins coming against the Colts (shouldn't count) and another coming in an escape act over the Seahawks, a game in which a 61st minute really would have benefited Tarvaris and the gang. Meanwhile, the Panthers are coming off impressive victories against the Colts and the Buccaneers, and I see them getting their third in a row.

Panthers 27-24

Indianapolis @ Baltimore

If there are still any folks in Baltimore that are bitter about the Colts leaving town, this game should finally allow them to get over it. Seeing the Colts in their current state will make Baltimorans (Baltimorians?) glad that they left town. That being said, after his performance last week I don't think it's too early to say that Dan Orlovsky may be the future of the NFL. And apparently I'm not the only one, note these absurd QB rankings that have him at #23, one better than Tarvaris Jackson. Sports Illustrated, always good at lists.

Ravens 26-10

Philadelphia @ Miami

It might seem strange to you that at this point in the season one of the teams I'm most confident in is the Miami Dolphins. Well it's just as strange to me that I sit around typing football goofs for a readership of five. But hey, sometimes strange things make the most sense. Most of the time that is not true, so don't consider that advice, but just roll with it for now.

Dolphins 24-17

Minnesota @ Detroit

It should be noted that last week I correctly predicted the score of the Lions 31-17 loss to the Saints. Of course, the only reason I have to note it is because I didn't receive the flood of texts, phone calls, tweets or even re-tweets that I was expecting after such an accomplishment. But don't worry, I'm not too humble to pat myself on the back every now and then. As for this week, I predict that I nail the Lions' score again. Of course, that statement is redundant because if I'm picking a score I obviously believe that I'll be right, otherwise I wouldn't pick it. Understood?

Lions 31-23

New Orleans @ Tennessee

Upset #2!!! The Saints have already suffered disappointing road losses at Tampa and St. Louis this season, so it's not too far-fetched to believe that they'd drop one to the surging(?) Titans. Tennessee has won back to back games by the score of 23-17, and the game before that they lost to Atlanta by the same score. They're just making it easy on me here.

Titans 23-17

Houston @ Cincinnati

If you'll take another look at the SI quarterback rankings you'll see that T.J. Yates is sitting at the 21 spot. And why not? He flirted with a 50% completion rate and threatened to top 200 yards in his lone start of the season. I know what you're thinking, 21? This man belongs in the top 5! Well, hold your horses, this isn't a ranking of QBs with the coolest first names, so Teej will probably need another fantastic start before he can rise up the polls. Unfortunately, that fantastic start will not come in this game against the Bengals' stingy D.

Bengals 16-9

Sunday Afternoon

Chicago @ Denver

Three weeks ago, when the Bears started their stretch of consecutive games against the entire AFC West, they couldn't have imagined it turning out like this. It must be reaffirming though for the Bears front office to see that they had Caleb Hanie as the back-up quarterback for a reason, their evaluation of talent, and lack there of, is spot on. As if things weren't going bad enough for Chicago they now have to face ^$%&* (at this point it would be disrespectful to type the man's name as if he were one of us). This game can best be described as an irresistible force meeting a very movable object.

Broncos 21-15

San Francisco @ Arizona

Upset #3!!! It's time for us all to take a long look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves. Let's face it, these Cardinals are getting good! They've won 4 out of their last 5 with their only loss coming against .... uh oh. Ok, so it was only a few weeks when the Niners dominated the Cards 23-7. So what's changed? Kevin fuckin' Kolb, that's what. He was absent from the first match-up, and I think his presence in this game will make a huge difference (fingers crossed that it's a positive difference).

Cardinals 16-13

Buffalo @ San Diego

Two teams from opposite ends of the map with the same record. That is not an interesting anecdote, and fittingly, this is not an interesting game. The Chargers are still technically in the AFC West race, but with you know who playing quarterback for Denver, they might as well just give up now. I'd tell them to say their prayers, but once again, when you take into consideration the Denver QB, there's not much hope that God would listen.

Chargers 26-23

Oakland @ Green Bay

When debating whether or not the Packers will go undefeated, a lot of analysts argue that it will be impossible for another team to outscore Green Bay, they then go on to explain other ways in which teams might have a shot. What they should have done instead was stop talking after they said it would be impossible for another team to outscore Green Bay; if that's true, then Green Bay will not lose, this is just a fact.

Packers 38-21

Sunday Night

New York Giants @ Dallas

Why aren't we hearing more about how the NFC East sucks this year? The first place team is 7-5 and the combined record of the teams in the division is 21-27. If this were the NFC West the division would be cast aside by the national media, but instead we're talking about the East, so it's just as popular as ever. But not here! In fact, I care so little about this division that I barely even pay attention when these teams are playing. You might say that I'm neglecting my duties as a bona fide pick-meister, but the truth is that I don't really need to watch. When it comes to NFC East match-ups (and all other games) I just flip a coin and hope for the best.

Heads (whoops) Cowboys 27-23

Monday Night

St. Louis @ Seattle

Bum bum bum bum, Ba bum Ba bum! Get ready America! Just when I thought the national media didn't care about the NFC West they give us a chance to showcase this gem. Speaking of gems, well not gems, but gyms, The Rams may be starting Tyler Grandstander, well not Grandstander, but Brandstater (I have to check on the Tyler part too). A third stringer trying to succeed in the CLink? Do your research pal. Apparently Sam Bradford is "hoping" he can play, but it's clear that he also has a concussion in addition to his ankle problem, because if he was thinking clearly he wouldn't want any part of this shit.

Seahawks 24-0

Uh oh.

Go m's?

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Week 14 - Thursday

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh

On paper this appears to be a mismatch. Unluckily for us games are not played on paper so we'll actually have to watch the Browns play the Steelers. You're probably thinking, "But Erik, you don't have to watch every game." Nice try, but if I slacked off even for a minute I wouldn't be able to consider myself the preeminent football blogger in the nation. As for this game, I didn't have a lot of time to think about it, so I'll just go with the obvious pick.

Steelers 24-10


The Big "East"

Am I right guys? Sheesh.

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Are you ready for some Seahawk-less football?

Enjoying a Seahawk free RedZone football Sunday. Stay tuned for hilarious updates and anecdotes.

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NFL Picks Week 13

I went 14-2 last week, a nearly flawless performance. But as the old saying goes, nearly flawless only counts in diamonds and driving tests. So let's go for a perfect record this week, eh? And in case you didn't hear, I'm already 1-0

Sunday Morning

Indianapolis @ New England

Can you say cream job!? Seriously though, can you please start saying it? I'm trying to popularize that phrase, and it would help if my throngs of readers jumped on board. Thanks gang, you're the real heroes!

Patriots 45-7

Tennessee @ Buffalo

Last week, as if he were some sort of Kodiak bear, Chris Johnson finally emerged from his season long slumber to rack up over 175 yard rushing. And before you say anything, the Kodiak bear comparison is regarding the season long slumber, not the 175 yards rushing. That being said, are you going to try to tackle a Kodiak bear if he's carrying the ball at full speed? Me either, so who's to tell how many yards he could run for? I feel like I've gotten a bit side-tracked here. The Bills offense also came back to life last week, and in a battle of inconsistent teams I'll give the advantage to the home team.

Bills 24-21

Kansas City @ Chicago

In his season debut Caleb Hanie had an awful start, an ok middle, and an ultimately disappointing ending. With that in mind I will hereby be referring to him as the Star Wars prequels (Oh snap! Suck it Lucas! Just kidding though, Episode II wasn't even ok, so that analogy doesn't work. Oh shit! I just nailed your ass again Lucas! Do something, I dare ya! C'mon old man!) Meanwhile, against the Steelers Tyler Palko had an awful start, awful middle, and an awful ending. With that in mind I will hereby be referring to him as Jake Delhomme from the 2006 NFC Championship Game. A long nickname I know, but I think it has a ring to it.

Bears 20-10

Atlanta @ Houston

Speaking of Delhomme! That's right, the Texans have signed Jake after a rash of injuries. Coincidentally enough, Matt Leinart had both an injury and a rash. While Delhomme isn't likely to start this week his mere presence should signal the end to players and fans alike. The opportunistic Falcons will be more than happy to swoop in and collect the win, those assholes.

Falcons 21-13

Oakland @ Miami

The Dolphins narrowly missed winning their fourth game in a row on Thanksgiving. To what does Tony Sparano attribute the turn-around? During the broadcast of last week's game Phil Simms explained that Sparano decided to change up all of his normal routines and do the exact opposite in preparation for each week's game. If everything he was doing before was failing, then surely the opposite should be successful. If this theory sounds familiar it's because George Costanza did the same exact thing on an episode of Seinfeld. The real irony is that, much like George, in a few months Sparano will be able to walk up to a woman in a coffee shop and confess that he is unemployed and lives with his parents.

Dolphins 23-20

Denver @ Minnesota

It's become tiresome to talk about how Tim Tebow just gets the job done. It's also become nearly as hackneyed to point to the improved defense as the real key to the Broncos' success. So instead, let's focus on the Vikings. Uhh, Ponder, he's ummm, and Jared Allen ... How about Tebow!? That fucker is ridiculous!

Broncos 20-16

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh

The Bengals have become one of the more predictable teams in the league. They're good enough to beat bad teams, but they can't quite get over the top against quality squads (the only anomaly, of course, being their win over the Seahawks). The Steelers, like many of the viewers, seemed bored during last Sunday night's win over the Chiefs. This divisional match-up should be enough to inspire Pittsburgh to play with some energy, and if it isn't then surely Roethlisberger's pregame cocaine party will jazz everyone up.

Steelers 27-20

Carolina @ Tampa Bay

It's been a while since I've brought up Stingers, but just the very sight of this match-up aroused my Stinger senses. The fact that this game is being played in Tampa is enough to ensure that it won't be sold out, but when you throw in the fact that the 3-8 Panthers are coming to town and that the Bucs have lost five in a row to fall to 4-7, well there will probably be less people in attendance than there were at Spinal Tap's amusement park concert.

Panthers 30-27

New York Jets @ Washington

In my Week 8 picks I predicted that the Redskins, losers of two in a row at the time, would go on to lose nine of ten. Little did I know that their one win in that span would be against the Seahawks. It makes me wonder what would have happened if I had predicted that they'd lose ten in a row. What sort of power do I wield here? Clearly a shitload, and we'll see that verified when Washington loses their next three to make the prophecy come true.

Jets 19-16

Sunday Afternoon

Baltimore @ Cleveland

My Wacky Pick of the Week: Peyton Hillis does something productive. Ok, that might be too wacky. How about: Colt McCoy does something productive. Yeah, that's the appropriate amount of wacky. Obviously the Ravens will perform poorly because they're playing a bad opponent, but they should still be able to get the win.

Ravens 16-10

Green Bay @ New York Giants

Enough is enough, it has to be said: Aaron Rodgers has the worst celebration in the league. No, I'm not talking about the "title belt" which he saves for after long runs, I'm referring to his jumping fist-pump that he does after every touchdown pass (seen here at the :50 mark). It's painfully lame and totally contrived. And yes, those exact words have been used to describe these posts, but I don't have kids looking up to me as a celebration role model, it's not my responsibility to be a bad-ass. Anyway, it's clear that Rodgers likes doing it for some reason, meaning he'll probably throw a few touchdowns this week just so that he can do the jump and pump (ok, now that I put that name together I kind of like it).

Packers 35-24

Dallas @ Arizona

The Cowboys have lost the last two times they've traveled to Arizona, which makes historical sense, because these guys lived there, and they didn't take kindly to cowboys. The Cardinals have won three of their last four, but in all fairness two of those wins came over the Rams, so they've won one of their last two over normal NFL teams. On the flip side, Dallas has won four straight games, all over teams from outside of St. Louis, meaning they get the nod in this one.

Cowboys 30-24

St. Louis @ San Francisco

There may not be a more pathetic unit in the NFL (now that Brett Favre is out of the league) than the Rams offense. The fact that they managed to put up 20 against Arizona last week qualifies as a minor miracle. Hold it, upon further review of the box score (no video evidence of the game exists) one of their touchdowns came on a punt return, so they actually only put up 13; that seems more like it. This week doesn't look to be shaping up any better for St. Louis, losers.

49ers 21-3

Sunday Night

Detroit @ New Orleans

In response to whether or not he meant to stomp on an opposing player last week, Ndamukong Suh said that, "God knows the truth." If I ever get to Heaven now I know what my first question will be. Seriously though, I get that you're a man of faith, but how about you just be honest and tell us that you meant to do it. I have confidence that Suh can rebuild a good reputation, however, I mean just look at how highly regarded Albert Haynesworth is, and he stomped on a guy's face. With or without Suh this week against the Saints will probably look a lot like the Detroit's last game , which means they'll be over-matched by a better team.

Saints 31-17

Monday Night

San Diego @ Jacksonville

Does ESPN get the last pick of every week when choosing Monday Night Football games? I understand that they're scheduled before the season, but there has to be a way to come up with something better than this. The combined records of the four teams playing in the next two MNF games is 15-30 (but we all know that when the Rams and Seahawks get together you throw out the records ... and pick the Seahawks). The Jags will be playing their first game since being out from under the oppressive rule of Jacky Boy Del Rio, which is the perfect recipe for the Chargers to snap their own six game losing streak. After this game they'll be begging for Jacky Boy.

Chargers 17-10