NFL Picks - Week 17

Sunday Morning

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Congratulations to the Falcons who have clinched the top seed in the NFC. It's probably a good idea for them to rest their players this week to allow the team to get as stale as possible so that they come out and sleepwalk through their home playoff game. Of course, that's the nightmare scenario for every Atlanta fan, but it's ok because I've never met an Atlanta fan and neither have you, so if that does happen you won't have anyone in your life that you'll need to feel bad for. I expect the Falcons' starters to play for about a half in an attempt to keep some semblance of a rhythm going and maintain their undefeated record at home. And against a Buccaneers team that appears to be giving no effort, half an effort should be enough to get the job done.

Falcons 20-17

New York Jets @ Buffalo

Greg McElroy had a good run as the Jets starter, but after one week on the job he's back to the bench as the result of a concussion. Little did you know that McElroy gave himself the injury on purpose by doing this after experiencing life as the starting quarterback of the 2012 New York Jets. I can't blame the guy, in fact, I'm surprised Sanchez hasn't done the same thing yet, though  I guess running directly into your lineman's ass is in the same vein.

Bills 17-13

Baltimore @ Cincinnati

If everything shakes out correctly this could be a preview of a wild card playoff game. And if everything plays out incorrectly, the teams will come to the field and play baseball. But if I had to stake my reputation on one of the aforementioned scenarios happening, I'd go with the former. Coincidentally, the Bengals were involved the last time there was a Week17/Wild Card rematch, it took place in the 2009 season when it happened an astounding three times! It was such a remarkable repeat of the prior week that I, for one, remember believing that I'd traveled backwards in time. I attempted to warn my past self about the Lincoln assassination in an effort to prevent it from happening, but alas, I learned that one cannot change what has already happened, especially if it happened in 1865, and no actual time travel was involved to begin with. Cincinnati has nothing to gain with a victory, except for their pride ...

Ravens 19-16

Chicago @ Detroit

The Bears need a win to have a shot at the playoffs while the Lions need a loss to keep themselves in position for a top 5 pick in the draft. If Chicago agrees to throw in at least 108 yards receiving for Calvin Johnson to get him past 2,000 I don't see any reason that the Lions won't just roll over. Well actually the one good reason is that you've been training that damn lion for the last three months and he still won't roll over. Sure he'll sit, or speak, or even fetch you the morning paper, but for whatever reason that son of a bitch will just not roll over! Other than that though it should be an easy win for the Bears.

Bears 28-17

Jacksonville @ Tennessee

A more cowardly writer might be afraid to remind you that he picked the Titans to make the playoffs before the season started; well I'm not that writer! Though I should note that that more cowardly writer is much better than I am, I mean week in week out he's offering up fabulous insight about the game without fail, really a top-notch read. What went wrong for Tennessee this year is easier to figure out than what I thought might have gone right. But with a Jaguars team desperate for a loss coming to town the Titans should be able to salvage a 6-10 record, for which I would like to congratulate them mockingly. But when it comes right down to it, I'm the one who should be mocked for believing in them. They should throw a dunce cap on me and banish me to the corner where I'll be able to look up and see this game playing on THE CORNER SCREEN AT THE SHACK!

Titans 23-16

Houston @ Indianapolis

The Texans' playoff position within the AFC is still very much up in the air. If they win they're #1, but if they lose, look out. Wins from the Broncos and Patriots would leave Houston as the #3 seed and without a first round bye. It's safe to say that they'll need a better effort than they had last week when they lost 23-6 at home to the Vikings. The Colts, meanwhile, are locked into the #5 seed, so why would they bother to give it their all? For the game, damn it! For integrity! For every guy that didn't quite have what it took to make it. For every child who still dares to dream. That's why the Colts will come out on Sunday and give 100%. Anyhow, I'm going with Houston.

Texans 23-20

Carolina @ New Orleans

The fight is on for 2nd place in the NFC South. Who wants the slightly tougher schedule next year? We're going to find out on Sunday. My guess is that the Saints will come out on top to finish their season at an even 8-8, which this intrepid writer is not afraid to remind you is exactly what he predicted they would be before the start of the season. I can feel your pats on my back as I type; some of you are patting too low; seriously, knock it off.

Saints 34-24

Philadelphia @ New York Giants

The Giants are still clinging desperately to their playoff hopes, like a man overboard gripping a piece of wreckage just to stay afloat. However, I get the feeling that New York will somehow pull a Billy Zane and just force their way onto a lifeboat at gunpoint. A lot of things have to fall right for the Giants, but first things first, they must beat the Eagles in Andy Reid's likely finale as head coach. New York has the look of a team that's given up, but Philadelphia has the look of a team that gave up two months ago. So, with all due respect to the Giants, why don't you leave it to the experts on this one.

Giants 31-23

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh

The wheels have come off for the Steelers who started the season 6-3 and now sit at 7-8 with no hope of weaseling their way into the playoffs. A win on Sunday would get them to .500 for the year and save a little bit of face (maybe the nose? Yeah, they'll save nose). And that shouldn't be too much for Pittsburgh fans to ask considering the Browns will likely have to start Thad Lewis, a guy who doesn't even have a number listed by his name on the espn.com roster. Oh, and he also went to Duke, so c'mon.

Steelers 24-6

Sunday Afternoon

St. Louis @ Seattle

What happens when an unstoppable force meets a fairly movable object? We'll find out on Sunday when the Rams travel to the CLink to face the wrecking ball that is the Seattle Seahawks. Of course, after such an unreal three game stretch it might be natural to expect a letdown from the Hawks, but that would require Russell Wilson to let me down, which I'm just not ready to accept. The Hawks are in a full sprint towards the playoffs and they're only getting stronger

Seahawks 34-10

Oakland @ San Diego

Yuck, I just caught a whiff of this game and I could use a courtesy flush. I find it more than a little hilarious that when the Raiders' opened the season at 3-4 it wound up qualifying as a hot start. I'm really hoping that the San Diego fans don't sell this game out so that I don't have to bother looking at it.

Chargers 31-13

Arizona @ San Francisco

This week will really test the mettle of Jaw Sweatshirt and his 49ers. After a total, complete decimation in all phases of the game will they be able to look themselves in the mirror, let alone play a competent football game? Can San Francisco muster enough will power to fight back after they were utterly dominated last week in the deafening and poo-pants inducing noise of CenturyLink Field? No.

Cardinals 17-16

Green Bay @ Minnesota

Playoff implications abound in this NFC North finale. If the Packers win they earn the #2 seed and a first round bye. If the Vikings win they will be the #6 seed and probably be facing Green Bay again next week. Need some more intrigue? Jeez, you really like your intrigue don't you? Adrian Peterson needs 208 yards to break Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record. While that's a tall order, it should be noted that he amassed 210 yards in these teams' first meeting four weeks ago in Green Bay. If Peterson does top that you can expect a Vikings victory, however, I expect neither of these things to happen.

Packers 24-20

Miami @ New England

All of a sudden the Patriots seem off their game. They gave up 41 points at home in a loss to the 49ers two weeks ago and they eked out a win over the Jaguars last week. Most coaches would say, "A win is a win." But this team is coached by Bill Belichick who says, "A win is a win, I guess, you pussies." Clearly some things have to get straightened out for New England before the playoffs, but even a shaky effort should be enough this Sunday.

Patriots 27-17

Kansas City @ Denver

The Broncos are on fire. If that image of a burning horse isn't frightening enough, consider that they've won 10 in a row, with no game being closer than seven points. While it has been a fairly easy schedule for them, that kind of consistency is still impressive. A win here coupled with a Texans loss will give Denver the #1 seed and make them the prohibitive Super Bowl favorite, if they aren't already.

Broncos 38-10

Sunday Night

Dallas @ Washington

Who will win the NFC East? One of these teams, that's for sure. RG3 didn't seem to be at full strength last week, but even if he's 75% as good as he was during his Thanksgiving Day dismantling of the Cowboys it will probably be enough to get the win on Sunday night. I feel like this is the third or fourth time that Tony Romo's been involved in a win and you're in situation in Week 17, and if memory serves he hasn't been very successful in the past. There's no time to actually research that, so let's just roll with the lessons of my (mis)remembered history.

Redskins 27-20


NFL Picks - Week 16

Saturday Night

Atlanta @ Detroit

The Falcons need one more win to clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and for a team that's currently undefeated at home, that is quite the incentive to get a victory in Detroit. As for the Lions, their only incentive to win is to save Turbo Redface's (Jim Schwartz's) job. So in other words, the Detroit players will try their damnedest to lose, which is what they appeared to do last week against the Cardinals when they gave up 38 points to a team who'd averaged less than 11 over their previous nine games (all losses). So clearly there's something wrong in Detroit, and I don't just mean the city, because everything is wrong with that, no I'm referring specifically to the football team. I don't see things getting turned around now.

Falcons 30-17

Sunday Morning

New Orleans @ Dallas

The Cowboys have won five of their last six and are oddly close to being a consistent football team, which means they're due for a big letdown. And you know what they say, way too much, "Everything's bigger in Texas!" so this letdown will be one to behold. However, we should consider that they also say, "Don't mess with Texas," in fact they print it on giant billboards, billboards that are much bigger than ones in say, New Hampshire, because as we all know, everything's bigger in Texas. But if there's one man that can mess with Texas it's Drew Brees, a native Texan with a big arm, an arm so big it could only be from Texas, because everything's bigger in Texas.

Saints 38-35

Tennessee @ Green Bay

The Packers ground out another victory last week and now they sit at #3 in the NFC with a 10-4 record and a chance to get a first round bye when all is said and done. But would that be such a good thing? The Packers had a playoff bye last season and they were one and done, while the previous season they were the #6 seed and managed to win the Super Bowl. Now I know what you're thinking, could we see Green Bay purposefully lose a game to ensure that they get some first round action? "First round action?" Why did you phrase it like that? I get that it was supposed to sound slick, but you just came off like a real lame-o, I mean a first rate jerk, a bona fide dweeb. Anyway, the answer is yes they'll try to lose on purpose, but the Titans will see right through them and, in the interest of protecting the integrity of the game, try even harder to lose. Nice try Packers, but you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to lose to Tennessee, just ask Mark Sanchez, he got up at like 4:30 in the morning last Monday.

Packers 31-14

Indianapolis @ Kansas City

The Chiefs were shut out last week by the Raiders. That's like getting turned down by a prostitute, and not one of those high class numbers either, I'm talking real low-rent. Consider that Oakland had given up 31 points per game before last week. Now re-consider it. While you're considering you might as well consider that Kansas City only managed 7 first downs and 119 total yards in that game. In other words, the Week 15 effort from the Chiefs is getting my award for Worst Offensive Performance of the Year. Congrats Brady Quinn, you've finally won something.

Colts 27-9

Buffalo @ Miami

It's a divisional showdown being played in Miami, the southeast corner of the United States. Fitting, because this game will be playing on the Corner Screen at the Shack.

Dolphins 23-16

San Diego @ New York Jets

The Jets' season officially came to a merciful end Monday night when Mark Sanchez unfurled a masterpiece of futility. I'm sure it was made all the more uncomfortable with the judgmental eyes of Tim Tebow staring into his soul from the sideline. Hopefully Tebow makes Sanch realize that his carousing with various New York socialites has led him down a path of moral corruption and career destruction. If Sanch listens to him there's a chance he can return to a starting role next season. Just look at what happened with Greg McElroy, Tebow warned him that too much masturbating makes your hand grow scales, and now he's QB1.

Chargers 20-17

Washington @ Philadelphia

Look out for the Eagles, they've only lost one in a row. These days in Philly that qualifies as a hot streak. If you're looking for more of a real hot streak, look no further than the Redskins, who have won five in a row and seemingly can't go wrong at QB. But if you're looking for really hot streaks, just go back and watch any game Pam Oliver worked for the first few months of the season. P.O.'s 'do totally popped with some red highlights that really had to be seen to be appreciated.

Redskins 27-14

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh

This is the critical game in the race for the final AFC wild card spot. If the Bengals win they clinch a playoff berth, but the Steelers control their own destiny and all they have to do is win this game and their Week 17 match-up against Cleveland to get in. So it's safe to say that this is the critical game in the race for the final AFC wild card spot. In fact, I feel like I already said that. Yep, I just read over the last couple sentences, and I did, in fact, say it. Well good, it's a factual statement, I'm glad I brought it up and reiterated it. Pittsburgh is reeling, having dropped four of their last five while Cincinnati has won five of their last six. But if you look closer at the Bengals' hot streak four of their wins came against awful opponents, so I'm not sure it proves their mettle. Surprisingly the Steelers have the top defense in the league yardage-wise, and I think that will be the difference in a close game. So just to be clear, yardage will be the difference, which I guess means that the Bengals won't get into field goal range at the end of the game ... I guess.

Steelers 16-13

St. Louis @ Tampa Bay

The Rams are still technically alive in the playoff race, which is somewhat ironic because three players on their current roster graduated from ITT Technical Institute. To be fair, St. Louis is vastly improved over their 2011 incarnation even if it appears that it will take a minor miracle to get them into the playoffs. But hey, if there's one thing Jeff Fisher knows about it's miracles. Not only was he coaching the Titans when they pulled off the Music City Miracle, but his favorite movie is the 2008 Spike Lee joint Miracle at St. Anna. By all other accounts that was a mediocre film, but don't tell that to Jeff Fisher, and don't tell him his Rams can't still make it to the postseason. By the way, I'm picking the Bucs.

Buccaneers 20-16

Oakland @ Carolina

Cam Newton and the Panthers offense is on fire! And it only took until December. It's a classic case of too little too late. Actually it's more like too much too late. But let's just focus on the too late part, that's the operative phrase here. Hopefully for their sake Carolina can get things in gear a lot quicker next season or else it could cost Ron Rivera his job ... Just kidding, he'll be gone by New Year's.

Panthers 38-20

New England @ Jacksonville

The Jaguars are locked in a neck and neck race with the Chiefs for the first pick in the 2013 draft. Both teams currently stand at 2-12 (though I suppose 'stand' is too dignified a word to use for teams that are 2-12, maybe they lay at 2-12? Or better yet, cower! Yeah, both teams cower at 2-12) and with the next worst team at 4-10 it will almost assuredly be one of those aforementioned squads selecting first come April. Jacksonville gets a favor from Howard Katz this week as a pissed off Patriots team comes to town looking to get a bad taste out of its collective mouth; and for once it has nothing to do with Vince Wilfork farting on the plane ride, though I imagine that can only make the taste in their mouths worse.

Patriots 45-21

Minnesota @ Houston

This is the only morning game to feature two teams with winning records (way to go Katz). It's also a match-up of two of the game's top running backs, three if you include Toby Gerhart, which I would consider doing. Even though both of these teams need a win to improve their playoff situations the main storyline heading into this game is Adrian Peterson and his quest to break Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record. If he averages 147 yards per game over the Vikings last two he'll have it. Maybe it's not smart to doubt him at this point, but I don't think he'll get that against a Texans team who's 5th against the run and will hopefully be challenging Christian Ponder to beat them down the field. I say hopefully because it's always funny to watch Christian Ponder try to beat teams down the field.

Texans 27-19

Sunday Afternoon

Cleveland @ Denver

The Broncos are operating like a well-oiled machine, but sometimes a machine gets too oiled and ends up creating a huge mess. This is exactly what happened to Green Bay in the playoffs last year. They were an overly-oiled machine. I think Denver still fits into the well-oiled category but there's no telling when a spill might happen, and when it does it will cause problems for the Broncos; and not just for their offense, Peyton Manning's favorite duck will probably die too. When can the drilling stop? When will it be enough CalStar!? (Boy this one came off the rails pretty quickly, maybe I've become an overly-oiled machine!)

Broncos 38-17

Chicago @ Arizona

The Bears are in full-blown free-fall mode. Which, in case you're wondering, looks like this. But, much like that clip, this game against the Cardinals could provide something of a soft landing. Of course, it's only a matter of time before the Bears come crashing back to earth, just like that clip. For now they'll keep their playoff hopes alive because Ryan Lindley.

Bears 20-10

New York Giants @ Baltimore

Speaking of free-falls, the Ravens have dropped three in a row, however, free-falls aren't such a big deal for them because they're Ravens. The Giants have also come upon hard times, losing four of their last six, and if the playoffs started today they would not be involved. But isn't this exactly what they want? Now that we're all questioning them they'll inevitably sneak into the playoffs and win another Super Bowl. What a bunch of vondrukes.

Giants 24-21

Sunday Night

San Francisco @ Seattle

Let's throw out the analysis (What!? On this blog?). I've had enough of losing to the 49ers, it's official. The Seahawks need to put a stop to it Sunday night. And with Russell at the helm, now is the time. I've heard a lot of talk about people jumping on the "Russell Wilson bandwagon" over the last month or so; well there's no longer a Russell Wilson bandwagon, it's a fucking tank. Jump on or get flattened. KAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWW! (that was a Seahawk shriek)

Seahawks 23-19


NFL Picks - Week 15

Sunday Morning

New York Giants @ Atlanta

You know what we've got here? My favorite alliterative late-season cliche:  Possible. Playoff. Preview. We also have a definite playoff rematch. These two met in last year's Wild Card round with the Giants prevailing by the hilarious score of 24-2. Low scores with safeties involved make me happier than just about anything in this life, which you might find pretty sad; well I would agree, so screw off. The only thing that would have made that score funnier is if the Falcons had kicked a field goal to make it 5. Don't get me started on 5s, or we'll be here all day. Atlanta is coming off of what can only be described as a disappointing effort at Carolina, a game in which you could describe the Falcons effort as lackluster. Will that sub-par effort follow Atlanta into this game? I think not. They're playing at home, which means that after effing around for most of the day they'll probably find some way to pull it out in the end. That's the game plan at least.

Falcons 27-24

Minnesota @ St. Louis

Here we have two teams firmly situated on the fringes of the playoff picture. The Vikings had an impressive victory over the Bears last week, but that was at home, and the Vikings are a much different team on the road. I have no respect for teams that play well at home but can't duplicate their performance on the road, none ... er uh oh, forget I said that. Adrian Peterson is clearly having a remarkable season, but when it comes right down to it I just can't trust Christian Ponder away from home, and what's more is I don't want to and I don't have to. Of course, this might have something to do with my trust issues, which is a problem I've been working on with Dr. Berg for months now. It's a slow process, but I think we're making progress; I just ask you all for your patience and understanding as I see this through.

Rams 17-16

Jacksonville @ Miami

It's time to settle this once and for all: Who's the best team in Florida? The answer is Tampa. But hey, we've got a nice little battle for 2nd place here. The Jaguars have been competitive lately, which is actually an improvement over their normal status of lousy. Chad Henne will be looking for revenge against his former team, while the rest of the country will say, "Oh, Henne played for the Dolphins? Ok, yeah, I think I remember that now." Unfortunately for Chad I don't think he'll get his vengeance this week, which actually might work better because, as we all know, revenge is a dish best served cold. Cold like a frosty beer fresh from the tap at the Shack, where you can watch this game, on the corner screen. #CSATS.

Dolphins 21-13

Green Bay @ Chicago

The Bears' season is quickly slipping away from them, like a season slipping away from a football team. And while I may not know how similes work, I do know that Chicago is struggling, and a visit from the Packers at this point is about as bad as a pretty good team coming to town to play you in a football game. Green Bay hasn't been overly impressive in the last month or so, but they've won 7 of their last 8 and perhaps that's all that matters. It's just like famous Packers coach Vince Lombardi said, "Winning isn't everything, it's perhaps the only thing."

Packers 24-20

Washington @ Cleveland

Ever since Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that he was already looking towards next season his team has won four straight. What a master motivator! If I were him I'd say I was looking towards retirement or even death and see just how well the Skins would do then. My guess is they'd start beating teams by 50 (just kidding, only super azz-kicker teams do that). But the key question in this game is not how much longer Mike Shanahan has to live, but rather who will start at quarterback for the Redskins. Everyone and their uncle is hoping it's not Kirk Cousins. But even if RG3 plays, he won't be the weapon he normally is. At best he'll be semi-automatic.

Browns 19-17

Denver @ Baltimore

The Ravens have now been beaten in consecutive weeks by Charlie Batch and Kirk Cousins. To put it another way, things ain't so good. And to put it even another, more proper way, things are not so good. To make matters worse, Baltimore has to face yet another quarterback who didn't make an NFL start last season. And to make matters even worser, that quarterback's name is Peyton Manning. A lot of folks say the jury's still out on Manning, but I'm willing to state for the record right here and now, Peyton Manning is not a draft bust. The Ravens are normally unbeatable at home, but like I said earlier, Charlie Batch did it, so it's clear things aren't normal right now.

Broncos 23-17

Indianapolis @ Houston

It's hard to believe that this is the first time these teams are meeting this season. It's also stupid. Don't make me come after you again Howard Katz, I will if I have to. Because of this scheduling anomaly the Colts still have a realistic shot at winning the AFC South; all they have to do is win the two against Houston and beat the Chiefs in Kansas City in between. However, beating the Texans in Houston is easier said than done. For instance, I just said it, but I have not actually done it, so there's some proof for ya right there. The Texans may be a bit demoralized after a blowout loss to New England, but with a chance to clinch the division with a win I believe they'll come out inspired and get the job done. And if that's not enough inspiration for them they need to do no more than turn their TVs to HBO and watch War Horse, a movie about a horse that is above average pretty much across the board. There's this one part where the war horse jumps far; I know it gave me chills so I can only imagine what kind of fire it will light under this Houston team.

Texans 30-20

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans

It now appears that neither of these teams will make the playoffs, but hey, the Super Bowl will be played in New Orleans in February, so maybe this can be their own little Super Bowl! They can do a media day on Tuesday, wear special patches on their jerseys, and schedule an extra long halftime to accommodate a fantastic musical performance. It's short notice so the only musician they'll be able to book is Harry Connick, Jr.; but hey, it's not every week you're able to see the narrator of My Dog Skip belt out some tunes (I'm merely guessing here, there's a decent chance he actually does play at every Saints' halftime). All of this would provide the teams with the feeling of playing in the big game even if they won't be getting there this year. And wouldn't it just be a hoot to watch?

Saints 35-27

Sunday Afternoon

Seattle @ Buffalo

I'm willing to bet that the Bills coaching staff turned to Tarvaris Jackson this week to give them inside info on just how the Seahawks' offense operates. I'm also willing to bet that the Bills coaching staff will be shocked come Sunday when the Seattle O doesn't feature automatic check downs and ill-advised decisions late in the game
-"You lied to us T-Jack!"
-"Hey, that's what we did when I was there." 
But enough of the petty, uncalled for digs at Turdvaris, he's moved on and so have the Hawks. In case you haven't heard, this game is being played in Toronto, which means that it will be attended by tens of thousands of drunk hosers, and dozens of sober hosers. It's tough to tell if the ongoing NHL lockout will make the crowd extra rowdy or cause them all to weep uncontrollably. So tune in to Fox on Sunday around 3pm to see a full-blown riot, or hear the sound of 60,000 people crying simultaneously. Either way it oughta be interesting!

Seahawks 24-14

Detroit @ Arizona

Oh boy, what's left to say about the Arizona Cardinals that hasn't already been said? You know things are going bad when your QB and center are botching their practice snaps on the sideline (something that actually happened last Sunday). At that point they should have just looked at each other, nodded their heads and walked back to the locker room, they probably would have lost by less. The visiting Lions are also on a losing streak, having dropped 5 straight to sink to 4-9, however, they're hovering on the edges of respectability with their largest margin of defeat being only 10 points. Detroit has a little something to play for as Calvin Johnson continues his quest for 2,000 yards receiving, while Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald approaches 2,000 potential yards in incomplete passes that were intended for him. Both are truly astonishing feats that we should take a moment to celebrate ... like right now. I was referring to this particular moment.

Lions 28-10

Carolina @ San Diego

The Panthers and the Chargers are both coming off upset victories in Week 14, which came just in time to hurt their draft position. Just give up already! There's nothing left for you in this season! Go on, get out of here! As I watch both teams slink away with their heads down and their proverbial tails between their legs I get the sense that I may have been too hard on them, but I know it was necessary, they're going to a better place now.

Chargers 26-16

Pittsburgh @ Dallas

This classical match-up figures to attract even the most casual football fan. And while watching he'll probably make insufferable comments like, "This is one of the only games I watch every year" even though the last time the Steelers and Cowboys played was 2008. Or maybe, "Is this the Super Bowl?" I mean, I could understand if he were watching the Tampa/New Orleans game, for obvious reasons, but c'mon man, get your head out of it. Hopefully you avoid the company of such a dolt this Sunday, but if you're forced to endure his presence just kick his ass. Violence solves most things.

Steelers 22-21

Kansas City @ Oakland

Oh, really funny guys, what is this one of those goof games? No? They're actually going through with this? Well if there's one thing you can say about this game it's that the loser has a good shot at the 1st pick in the draft. If there's a second thing you can say about this game it's BAAAAARRRRRFFF!

Raiders? 34-24

Sunday Night

San Francisco @ New England

Tom Brady has the Patriots' offense rollin'. I'm not sure anybody could shut him down at this point, but could someone slow him down? Possibly. Could it be an NFC West team? Quite possibly. Tom Brady has thrown 4 interceptions all season, 3 of those came against teams from the NFC West. The Patriots have had 3 losses all season, 2 of those came against teams from the NFC West. The team that Tom Brady and the Patriots will face on Sunday night is from the NFC West. Of course, the 49ers defense isn't quite up to the standard of the Seahawks or Cardinals, but they're pretty solid in their own right, and New England's patchy record against their division this year suggests that this will be a close one. The aforementioned losses came in the first 6 weeks of the season, however, and since then The Patriots have won 7 in a row, averaging just over 40 points per game in the process. In other words it's hard to pick against them right now, so I won't.

Patriots 24-17

Monday Night

New York Jets @ Tennessee

The Jets made a large step towards the playoffs last week and they are now only one game out. This shouldn't be reality, but it is, and I don't blame the Jets, I blame us. If a team like this has a chance to make the playoffs it's time that we all take a long look in the mirror and try to figure out what we're really doing here, and what's really important. We can do better than this, we can be better; I'm gonna keep trying if you guys keep trying.

Jets 17-13

NFL Picks Week 15 - Thursday

Cincinnati @ Philadelphia

Just when you thought Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles were out of it, they pull off a dramatic road victory over Tampa. And now ... (hold on just checking the standings) ... oh, they're still out of it, by a good margin. Oh well, better luck next year Andy with whatever it is you'll be doing, I'm guessing less standing will be involved. The Bengals blew a good chance to beat the Cowboys last week and as a result they're still on the outside of the AFC playoff picture looking in (it would be weird if they were on the inside looking in, right?). Cincy should be desperate with only three games left to play, while Philly should be eager to play those last three games and get the hell out of this season. That adds up to a Bengals win.

Bengals 23-21


NFL Picks - Week 14

Sunday Morning

St. Louis @ Buffalo

The Rams are now 4-0-1 against the NFC West and 1-6 against the rest of the league. This shows that the Rams are only comfortable against familiar foes, they're afraid of anything new or different. It's a classic case of xenophobia. I wouldn't be surprised to see the whole team just shut themselves inside the Edward Jones Dome and refuse to come out. It would be interesting to see how the NFL would handle that, I'm guessing they'd either force St. Louis to forfeit all of their road games or simply make every other team on the schedule play in St. Louis. You might think that would be a decided advantage for the Rams, but that would only be because you've probably never seen nor heard the crowd at the Edward Jones Dome. Either way, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, which won't be this Sunday. The Bills aren't in the NFC West, so the result here should be obvious.

Bills 23-20

Dallas @ Cincinnati

Both of these squadrons are hovering on the precipice of a playoff berth. If football is a game of inches then these teams' postseason dreams may be slapped away by the space of a mere foot-long ruler, like the guilty hands of many a catholic schoolboy.  So tenuous is the grasp that one has on success in today's NFL that it makes you pause to appreciate it when it arrives. Though one should not linger in smelling those roses, for another hungry competitor will surely be nipping at their heels like an icy wind sweeping in off the Ohio River.

Bengals 24-17

Kansas City @ Cleveland

Don't look now but the Cleveland Browns have won back to back games! And you won't be able to look now, because there are 10 early games and only 8 screens at the Shack, which means this one won't even make Corner Screen. But in terms of the true spirit of the title this one has CSATS written all over it. Both teams won last week, which is an encouraging sign, but trust me this game will blow harder than an icy wind sweeping in off the Cuyahoga River.

Browns 28-16

Tennessee @ Indianapolis

Andrew Luck cannot be stopped! Well, he was stopped on 30 passes last week, going 24-54, but that's beside the point. The bottom line is that he brought his team back to win in a nearly miraculous fashion. Especially miraculous when you consider that he managed to do it after throwing 3 interceptions and completing only 44% of his passes, however those stats are inconsequential. A win is a win is a win. And when a win is won like the one the Colts won one week ago you have to take notice.

Colts 23-19

Chicago @ Minnesota

What happened to the Bears defense last week? This happened. When you take that into consideration it's tough to blame them for surrendering back to back long touchdown drives in the 4th quarter and overtime. This week they'll face another formidable offensive force in the form of Adrian Peterson. I phrase it that way because it's highly possible, perhaps even likely that Peterson is an alien or some sort of cyborg programmed to run the football and occasionally fumble. Remember when he tore his ACL last season? You guessed it: anterior cyborg ligament. Peterson has the ability to shred any team he faces, unfortunately for him his quarterback is Christian Ponder. CP, as I've taken to calling him, has averaged 144 yard passing over the last six games, and while he's apt to play much better in home games I just don't think CP will get the job done.

Bears 20-16

Philadelphia @ Tampa Bay

Will the Eagles win another game this season, or will they finish on a 12 game losing streak? It's a question that needs to be asked. And if you're not asking it then you're just not spending enough time thinking about the Eagles. What's your deal? Anyhow, the answer is yes, they will finish the season on a 12 game losing streak, and I'll be watching with morbid curiosity; pretty messed up huh? This game will give the Bucs' playoff push a push in the right direction, however, remaining road games against the Saints and the Falcons will shove the Bucs' playoff push back from whence it came, which is Tampa, so that's gonna suck.

Buccaneers 34-23

Baltimore @ Washington

The Ravens' defense is dropping like flies and the Redskins' offense is flying like drops. Hmm, that didn't work. Baltimore's defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered a torn biceps last week and now joins Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb on the sidelines, along with a lot of other people, like the sound guy who has that plastic dish and a bunch of little goobers who got special access passes. That dwindling defense could spell disaster for the Ravens as they head to D.C. to take on the red-hot Redskins. But the major question mark going into Sunday is Will the Ravens take a bus to get to this game? My guess is yes. It seems like it would be a waste to fly right? Maybe they'll all just meet up outside of their facility and call a bunch of van cabs. But that presents another question, Will the front office foot the bill? If not, those players better have cash on them because sure most taxis have the capability to take debit or credit cards but most drivers get real pissy about it.

Redskins 20-17 

Atlanta @ Carolina

When you look at the records for these two teams you might assume that this game will be a blowout. Well, sometimes records lie; like they say they'll be somewhere and then they don't show up. Look, I get it you're busy, but just call me and tell me you can't make it so I'm not standing outside the restaurant like an idiot. What's more is I made a reservation, they were holding a table for us that two other (honest) people could have used. So yeah, records aren't always so reliable. The Falcons have won repeatedly in close games this season but I think it might be time for their luck to run out in an upset loss.

Panthers 24-20

New York Jets @ Jacksonville

Somehow after all of the calamity of their first 12 games the Jets are only two games out of the playoffs. Of course, there's only four games left to go, so if they want to have a chance they'll have to win them all. That's a slate of @ JAX, @ TEN, SD, @ BUF, so a winning streak isn't out of the question ... for a good team, or even a decent team, neither of which is something I would refer to the Jets as. So yeah, they're screwed, I don't know why I spent all that time considering their chances, or why you read this, hopefully you didn't. Sorry old boy!

Jaguars 19-13

San Diego @ Pittsburgh

I know what you're all thinking: rematch of the 1995 AFC Championship Game! You just know that Stan Humphries and Natrone Means will be tossing back a few Molson's and talking about the good ol' days while watching this one. They'll probably leave out the part where they got pasted in the Super Bowl, because depression and Molson's is not a good combo, just ask millions of Canadians waiting for the NHL lockout to end. Word out of Pittsburgh is that Ben Roethlisberger will play which is good news for every player on the Steelers, especially Charlie Batch who won't have an opportunity to lead the team to a win and embarrassingly weep afterward. Just think, if every quarterback who beat the Chargers this year cried as much as Charlie Batch did last week we'd probably all be knee deep in saline right now.

Steelers 28-14

Sunday Afternoon

Miami @ San Francisco

The Miami Dolphins are visiting San Francisco  this Sunday, which is good news for the 49ers, because the Miami Dolphins are not the St. Louis Rams. Though I haven't seen those two teams in the same place since they played each other in Week 6, so can we really know that there isn't some sort of team swapping conspiracy going on? Look, I'm just saying we don't know that there's not. Assuming these Dolphins really are the Dolphins I don't give them much of a chance on Sunday.

49ers 23-9

New Orleans @ New York Giants

If you employ simple algebra to this game the New's will cancel each other out leaving us with a match-up of Orleans vs. York. And as we all know York owns Orleans historically. Coming off a 5 interception game Drew Brees should be eager to redeem himself, perhaps too eager. Expect to see the Orleans QB to force a lot of throws down field again this week, and while the results may be better than they were against Atlanta they still won't be good enough.

Giants 31-24

Arizona @ Seattle

Ryan Lindley has officially been benched by Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. Thanks a pantload! Man I was really looking forward to big Ry taking snaps at the CLink, unfortunately the Hawks will have to deal with John "Bones" Skelton instead. Will this, combined with the absence of Brandon Browner lead to Arizona ending their 8 game losing streak? Well there you have it. With the emergence of Russell Wilson as the most dominant force in all of sport look for a Hawks win.

Seahawks 28-10

Sunday Night

Detroit @ Green Bay

The Packers have played twice on Sunday night so far this season. The first time they gave the Texans their first (and, to date, lone) loss of the season, beating them by 18 in Houston. The second time the Giants blew them out by 28 in New York. So what should we expect from their third foray into Sunday night? Expect the unexpected. Of course, if the unexpected is what you expect then it becomes the expected, in kind the unexpected would become what one would normally expect; so I'll just tell you what I expect and then you can choose whether to expect or unexpect that.

Packers 31-20

Monday Night

Houston @ New England

Buckle up your chinstraps, we've got a good one here! And I have just one question for you: What are you doing with a helmet on? Is this how you always watch football games, or is it just for Monday nights? Either way it's pretty lame. The Texans have answered every challenge they've had placed before them this season, except for when they faced Aaron Rodgers. This week they have to face Tom Brady, another elite quarterback whom I expect to give Houston plenty of trouble. It's not likely that he'll match the 6 TDs that Rodgers dumped on the Texans, but how about 3? Does that float your boat you sick, helmet-wearing freak?

Patriots 28-17


NFL Picks Week 14 - Thursday

Denver @ Oakland

The Raiders have lost five games in a row giving up an average of 37.8 points per game in the process. But this week they get Darren McFadden back, which should help their defense. "What? He's an offensive player!" You most likely just exclaimed, while drooling all over your keyboard. Look, if Oakland can control the ball better with their running game it should keep their D from being on the field so much. Get it now? C'mon! Of course, I don't expect the Raiders' defense to spend a lot of time out there because Peyton Manning will be able to score in three plays or less on most drives. In fact, I say they'll have the ball for a total of 21 minutes and score double that amount in points. Pretty bold eh? No? Well how about this: Pretty bold eh?

Broncos 42-24


NFL Picks - Week 13

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Chicago

The Seahawks are playing on the road in this game. Normally that would be plenty of analysis, but perhaps it won't automatically spell doom for the Hawks as it has for them so far this season. The last two regular season trips to Chicago have resulted in Ws for Seattle, which has to count for something (NOTE: They counted as wins, one in '10 and one in '11 ... that's what they counted for). The Bears defense has made their name by forcing turnovers, especially Charles Tillman, who has become infamous for punching balls out of opposing players' arms. However, I've learned that the Seahawks have braced for the ball-punching by practicing with this guy all week. That added preparation should be enough to put them over the top.

Seahawks 20-17

Jacksonville @ Buffalo

These Jags are not going away, which is too bad for them because they already have 9 losses and no realistic chance of making the playoffs. If they did just go away they'd have a good shot at the first pick in next April's draft. Of course, that would require a Mike Mularkey team to give up, and you know what I have to say to that? Fat fucking chance. Speaking of Mularkey, he'll be coaching against his former team in this game, which is a storyline that no one seems to be talking about, and with good reason, it's just not that interesting. Even Mularkey's immediate family didn't seem intrigued when I discussed the matter with them on Skype earlier this week. As boring as that all may be it's worth noting that Chad Henne has done a markedly (Mularkedly?) better job running the Jacksonville offense than Blaine Gabbert, and I actually like their chances of getting the win at Buffalo.

Jaguars 27-23

San Francisco @ St. Louis

The last time these teams met there were no winners, except for the fans, all of whom love ties. Colin Kaepernick is now 2-0 as a starter, but to be fair those starts came against Chicago and New Orleans; the road gets a bit more bumpy with the Rams next on the slate. Good luck kid, you're gonna need it. Ever hear of the 12th Ram? You will on Sunday ... maybe. It's unclear if anybody is really in the stands, it might just be cardboard cut-outs.

49ers 24-16

New England @ Miami

One big question hangs over this game as we get closer to Sunday: Will Miami trigger their sprinklers at an opportune moment in an effort to gain an unfair advantage again? I say why not, it clearly worked the last time. As long as the NFL is doing nothing to discipline this blatant and egregious abuse of stadium facilities the Dolphins' grounds crew will continue to nefariously alter the outcomes of games. I expect Goodell to come down with a ruling before the weekend, so look for the Pats to win.

Patriots 38-21

Arizona @ New York Jets

When bald eagles mate they lock claws in mid-air and plummet towards the ground in a free fall. So in a way this game between the Cardinals and Jets will look a lot like bald eagle sex. Considering these teams have combined to go 2-12 since Week 4, to say that they're in a free fall is not an exaggeration. Which will pull out of their dive first? Tune in to find out! And then tell me what happens, because I will not be watching.

Jets 20-13

Indianapolis @ Detroit

As you all probably know by now Jim Schwartz cost his team on Thanksgiving when he challenged a touchdown that would have been automatically reviewed incurring an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and negating that review. What you may have forgotten is that Jim Harbaugh (Jaw Sweatshirt) did the same thing against the Lions last season at which point Schwartz could clearly be seen shouting across the field, "Learn the rules Harbaugh!" (LINK) Well well well, the flag's in the other pocket now isn't it Schwartzy? What a turbo (though it's important to keep in mind that Jaw Sweatshirt made the same mistake last year, never forget that). That being said, the Colts have been fairly poor on the road this season, so I'll take the Lions even though their coach is a hypocrite.

Lions 28-23

Minnesota @ Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers looked out of sorts last week against the Giants, resulting in him looking sort of awful. Though the blame for the Packers' sub-par performance mostly lies with their offensive line's inability to block, which is an important skill to possess if you want to be an effective offensive line in the National Football League. The home field advantage should help this week, and if it doesn't than the lineman should consider sewing all their jerseys together to make an impenetrable wall of mesh that may not technically be legal but surely worth a shot.

Packers 31-13

Houston @ Tennessee

With a 10-1 record it's hard to argue that the Texans have taken care of business so far, especially when you consider the fact that they've won in OT the last two weeks. So in other words, they're taking care of business and working overtime ... workout! Ba da na na na Na na na na na! Bow wow now now now Weow weow weow weow weow! And against the Titans shoddy defense Johnson, Foster, Schaub'll thrive.

Texans 35-21

Carolina @ Kansas City

Corner screen at The Shack, main screen in Hell.

Panthers 23-14

Sunday Afternoon

Tampa Bay @ Denver

The Buccaneers defense is first in the league against the run but last against the pass. "Awesome!" said Peyton Manning. The Broncos' QB has to be licking his chops in preparation for this match-up. Though ever sense he's been in Denver he's been licking his chops a lot more because he's at a very high altitude and the cold, thin air has rendered his lips terribly chapped, so it might have nothing to do with this game. Either way, expect big numbers from Manning on the way to a seventh straight win.

Broncos 31-24

Cleveland @ Oakland

Have you ever watched a cat hack up a hairball all the way from start to finish, from the first stomach spasm through the regurgitation? If you answered no, just watch this game, then I'll ask you the same question afterward and you'll be able to say yes.

Browns 24-21

Cincinnati @ San Diego

Neither of these teams managed to sell out their game last week, so what are the chances that the fans in San Diego show up for this one? Is it like when you multiply two negatives and it becomes a positive? I'll bet that it will be more like adding negatives, which makes for an even greater negative. Look, I'm not trying to be too negative here but if the Chargers' fans didn't show up last week, they certainly won't show up after their team blew a game in ridiculous fashion. The lack of home-field advantage should prove beneficial for the streaking Bengals.

Bengals 27-20

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

The outcome of this game could very well depend on whether or not Ben Roethlisberger plays. The Steelers most definitely have a better shot with him in the game, and conversely they have a much worse shot without him in the game, that's how that works. See that's what I was trying to say earlier when I said that "this game could very well depend on whether or not Ben Reothlisberger plays." Hopefully that's all clear to you at this point. Either way I think Pittsburgh loses.

Ravens 19-9

Sunday Night

Philadelphia @ Dallas

The Cowboys are hanging on to their playoff hope by a thread, a loose thread on a sweater that just keeps unraveling until they'll eventually be left with nothing. But this Eagles team may as well be a master seamstress capable of taking that thread and ... alright to hell with it, what I'm trying to say is that Philly sucks and they're showing no signs of stopping any time soon.

Cowboys 35-17

Monday Night

New York Giants @ Washington

RG3 put on quite the show on Thanksgiving in Dallas, well now he's taking his show to Broadway! Whoops, no he's not, this game is being played in D.C. Well in that case, I guess we could say that it's time that Mr. Griff goes to Washington ... for the 6th time this season. Meanwhile the Giants re-established themselves as a force to be reckoned with after a dominant win over Green Bay last week. It's highly possible that both these teams are peaking right now, which means that when they clash on Monday it may create some sort of magnificent light beam that will rocket into the sky and stay there for all of time. Or it could just be a pretty solid game. You should probably tune in just in case it's the former.

Giants 26-24 

NFL Picks Week 13 - Thursday

New Orleans @ Atlanta

The Falcons are 10-1, and we should all be impressed, right? Perhaps not. Consider this, their last seven wins have come by an average of about 5 points per game. Still impressed? The correct answer is yes. Look jerks, they're winning games on a weekly basis which is a heck of a lot better than losing them, right? Of course, their lone loss of the season came against the Saints, the very team they'll play on Thursday night in Atlanta. New Orleans won the previous match-up by 4 points, and this one figures to be close too, unless it's a blow out.

Falcons 30-28


NFL Picks - Week 12

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Miami

The Seahawks are coming off their bye week to take the longest road trip the NFL has to offer, unless you count the London games, but those are just exhibitions so I don't include them (Whoops! Just checked and it turns out those are real games, man I've been way off these last few years; to be fair though I don't watch much football ... yeeeeessssh, please forget I said that). At this point it's clear that any game away from home is a test for the Hawks, but tests were meant to be aced. Or flunked I suppose, that's the whole point of tests, to prove whether or not you can pass them. Speaking of passing, Russell Wilson! Go Hawks.

Seahawks 23-16

Minnesota @ Chicago

These teams will be meeting two times in the next three weeks, a scheduling anomaly that will occur a total of three times across the league this season. I don't remember this happening as often in the past, meaning that the addition of more Thursday games has to be the cause. I hope you're happy Goodell, I hope you're happy! (Just heard back from the commissioner's office, and he is indeed quite pleased). Obviously Jason Campbell is not going to get it done as the Bears' starting QB; sorry that should have said Jason Campbell is not going to get it done as a starting QB. Though it's also hard for me to believe that Christian Ponder can go to Chicago and get a win against the Bears' D.

Bears 17-13

Oakland @ Cincinnati

Ohhhh baby, it's time for some sweet sweet revenge for Carson Palmer, or maybe for the Bengals, wait who was at fault in that dispute again? I remember that Palmer simply refused to play, which is always admirable, and that the Bengals finally did trade him for an insane amount of high draft picks. On second thought I wouldn't be surprised to see the city of Cincinnati throw Carson Palmer a parade upon his return. It would be especially savvy if they held the parade right around kickoff time to distract Palmer, leaving the Raiders with Matt Leinart at the helm, which I think we can all agree would be a heck of a lot of fun.

Bengals 34-20 

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland

Is it fitting that in a week so known for food that a fresh Batch will be starting at quarterback for the Steelers? Or is it merely a lame, witless pun used as a desperate tactic by a hack writer that has an ever-dwindling amount of salient points to offer about his subject matter? You be the judge; but it's probably the first one. As apropos as his newly elevated spot on the depth chart may be, I don't see Charlie Batch getting a road victory, even against the Browns.

Browns 16-14

Buffalo @ Indianapolis

Andrew Luck seemed to come back to Earth a bit last week in a 59-24 blowout loss at New England, but don't tell that to anyone in the media. As that debacle was unfolding Phil Simms, the color commentator for the game, was endlessly slurping Luck as if he were the one leading his team to a 30 point win. To hear it from Simms nothing negative that transpired for the Colts could be considered Luck's fault. It's obvious that Luck is a promising quarterback, but right now he has 12 TDs and 12 INTs, can we slow down just a bit on anointing him the future of the position? I mean, maybe if he had a better ratio, like oh I don't know, let's say 15 TDs and 8 INTs we could have that discussion. That being said, I think Luck will dominate the Bills because he's possibly one of the type five quarterbacks in the league right now, if not ever.

Colts 28-21

Denver @ Kansas City

A lot of folks are saying that the Broncos are the hottest team in the NFL right now. Hmmm, maybe. If you ask me Peyton Manning's kind of weird looking and while Eric Decker's pretty dreamy that hair of his isn't doing much for me. Ok, now that I think about it a bit more they probably meant something else by "hottest team in the NFL," man is there egg on my face; and I don't mean figuratively, I just had a calamitously comedic kitchen accident. After taking all of this into account it seems clear the Denver will win easily.

Broncos 27-10

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

Playoff implications? Check. An intense divisional match-up between the top team in the NFC and a young up-start? Check. A football game? Check. That's three checks! And on this grading scale a check is at least equal to a plus. So in other words this game is a triple plus. The Bucs are looking to win their 5th in a row while the Falcons have an opportunity to all but clinch the division with a win. Neither team was terribly impressive in victory last week, but they survived, and in this world ain't that all that matters? Sorry I'm watching Walking Dead right now. This should be an interesting match-up but I expect the experienced Falcons to get the W.

Falcons 24-21

Tennessee @ Jacksonville

These teams' seasons are so dead that they need a coroner. Which is ironic, because this game will be in the corner ... SCREEN AT THE SHACK!. Honestly, there is no reason to watch this game, especially now that Matthew Hasselbeck is on the bench counting down the days until he will take his brother's job at ESPN. So who wins? No one, even the team that wins.

Jaguars 28-24

Sunday Afternoon

Baltimore @ San Diego

It's a bad sign for your season when losing to the Broncos by only 7 is considered an impressive outing. That's where we're at with the Chargers. San Diego started the season off at 2-0, now they're 4-6, meaning they've gone 2-6 in their last eight games. Fun fact: those two wins came against the Chiefs. The Ravens have amassed an 8-2 record by taking advantage of a weak schedule, and things don't get any tougher for them this week, meaning a 9-2 record and a sustained lack of belief is well within their grasp.

Ravens 24-17

St. Louis @ Arizona

It's well publicized that the Cardinals have lost 6 straight games after winning their first 4, so pointing out how hilarious it is would serve no purpose. No purpose at all. And as we all know, the Rams lost by double digits at home to the lowly Jets, so I don't really have to bring it up here. But it's important to note that both of these teams are struggling; struggling mightily. Normally I'd give the advantage to the home team, but normally the home team isn't starting Ryan Lindley, making the outcome of this game nearly impossible to forecast. It's coin flippin' time!

Rams 20-17

San Francisco @ New Orleans

Don't look now, but the Saints are .... Ok, sorry, you can look again ... but the Saints are back in the NFC playoff race. They'll face a formidable opponent this week when Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers come to town. San Francisco's new QB wowed in his first start on Monday, but will he be able to replicate that performance against the NFL's 31st best pass defense? Actually, yeah, I don't see why that would be a problem. However, it's Kaepernick's first road start and now the Saints have at least some tape to study in preparation for him. I keep going back and forth on this one, but I realize that eventually I'll have to make a pick. I suppose it would be cowardly to wait until Sunday night, right? Damn it, fine.

49ers 28-25

Sunday Night

Green Bay @ New York Giants

Last January the Giants waltzed into Lambeau Field and dismantled the Packers in the divisional playoff round on their way to a Super Bowl championship. So they've got Green Bay's number right? Think twice scumbag. Two important factors are working against New York: they're at home, and it's a regular season game; both of which mean that they probably won't generate a dominant pass rush nor will they give a shit. Expect Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to go Burger King all over their asses, meaning they'll have it their way (is Burger King still in business?).

Packers 31-23

Monday Night

Carolina @ Philadelphia

BAAAARRRRRRRRF! Eagles - Vick & McCoy + Foles & Brown = Loss.

Panthers 16-13


NFL Picks - Thanksgiving

Houston @ Detroit

The Lions game on Thanksgiving is a lot like the kids' table, it's almost a real part of the day but it still has a lot of growing up to do. T-Gives has been especially unkind to Detroit in recent years, they've lost 8 in a row on the holiday, and with the Texans coming to town a 9th straight seems likely. It would seem that the Lions really don't enjoy playing on short rest, either that or they love their families so much that they're super bummed to be working on T-Gives. Bottom line, it's a troubling trend that shows no sign of stopping in 2012 ("T-Gives" what do you guys think? Pretty cool huh?).

Texans 27-20

Washington @ Dallas

I'm sure Native American families across the nation will gather to celebrate a holiday commemorating their peaceful coexistence with the colonists and watch a football team that celebrates and honors their culture ... called the Redskins. Yikes.

Cowboys 23-21

New England @ New York Jets

If this game were being played a couple years ago on Thanksgiving it would have been more interesting for a couple reasons. First off, the Jets were much more competitive, and secondly, Rex Ryan hadn't had his stomach stapled yet, meaning there's no way he would have been able to restrain himself from eating a full turkey dinner on the sidelines. As the game progressed Ryan would have lounged in a recliner and eventually fallen asleep sometime in the 4th quarter. But alas, Ryan is a changed man so I can't make a joke about him eating a full turkey dinner on the sidelines. Rats!

Patriots 31-17


NFL Picks - Week 11

Sunday Morning

Arizona @ Atlanta

This game features two teams that got out to impressive undefeated starts and are now on embarrassing losing streaks. Granted, the Falcons have only lost one in a row, but after winning their first eight you just know they're ashamed of themselves. I mean, they increased their amount of losses by infinity percent. When you look at it that way it's really pathetic. In other words, Atlanta is a team looking to reclaim their pride. As we all know, the Cardinals have lost their last five after starting 4-0; look for them to lose number six here, but don't look too hard because it probably won't be worth it.

Falcons 24-16

Cleveland @ Dallas

A couple weeks ago when his ability to govern his team was questioned Jerry Jones said that he would "Always be the Cowboys general manager." Besides that sounding like a line from The Shining it must have instilled confidence in his team. It's rare to have that type of stability in today's NFL. Most GMs last only a handful of years, so to have the assurance that yours will be around for eternity has to be comforting. Dallas has a chance to make a playoff push with five of their next six games coming at home. Meanwhile the Browns have a chance to make a push for the #1 pick in the draft with all of their next seven games coming against NFL teams.

Cowboys 26-13

Green Bay @ Detroit

The Packers had won four straight heading into their bye week and they really seemed to be getting in a rhythm. So was it a good thing for them to take a week off? Well, I have it on good authority that fullback John Kuhn went out and crushed ass in the greater Milwaukee area for seven straight days, so good luck trying to tell him that it wasn't a "good thing." As for the break messing with their momentum, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I mean I wouldn't be worried even if they lost, so maybe that's not the best way to phrase it, but what I was getting at is that I think Green Bay will win.

Packers 28-23

Cincinnati @ Kansas City

The Chiefs leaped a major hurdle last week when they managed to get their first lead of the season. Unfortunately for them most races have more than one hurdle (except for races that don't involve hurdles, but I think we can all agree that when I mentioned the presence of a hurdle in that first sentence we were operating on the assumption that this was not one of those races). The Bengals are coming off an impressive victory over the Giants and seem like they might be on the verge of turning their season around. You know what that means: Chiefs in an upset! And we'll all be upset that we missed it because it'll be on the CORNER SCREEN AT THE SHACK!

Chiefs 20-17

Philadelphia @ Washington

I know I said that if the Eagles lost last week that it would all but end their season, well I'm glad I said "all but" because if they lose this game it will certainly end their season (NOTE: I didn't actually say, "all but" I said "most likely"; you readers are so vigilant that I didn't even want to attempt to slip this one by you, keep up the good work gang, you're the real stars). The Redskins also need a win to salvage any semblance of hope, not just for their season but in general, the mood has turned very depressive in the Washington locker room. Well cheer up Redskins, I think you'll get a win against the Eagles with Nick Foles making his first start. Of course, you should also realize that football isn't everything and that true healing comes from within, but those are more long term goals.

Redskins 23-20

Tampa Bay @ Carolina

Can anyone or anything stop these red hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Yes, fate can. Do I know something you don't? I guess we'll have to wait and see (I've just set up a scenario in which the only way I'll be wrong is if the Bucs win the Super Bowl; any other result and I'll simply slap together an explanation for the preceding, cryptic statement). In all seriousness though, Tampa has been on a roll lately, so why do I get the strange feeling that they'll blow it at Carolina? Maybe it's the fact that they have a home game against the Falcons next week, or maybe it's the fact that I've just snorted opiates. Either way, I'm going to pick another upset here.

Panthers 24-21

Jacksonville @ Houston

The Texans' win on a rain-soaked field in Chicago last week showed the rest of the league that they mean business, and that's really sad. You mean business? It's like, when did this become a job for you Texans? I remember when it was a game. When it was just about tossin' 'round the ol' pigskin with your pals in the backyard, and then someone attempting a punt and having it sail over the fence into the neighbor's yard and everybody being too big of a pussy to simply go ring another person's doorbell and ask for the ball back which effectively ended the game resulting in everyone having way too much free time on their hands leading them to experiment with cigarettes and God knows what assortment of hard drugs further down the line. So all in all maybe it's a good thing that Houston has taken a more professional approach to this season.

Texans 30-10

New York Jets @ St. Louis

A couple years ago, if you had told me that Rex Ryan cried in the locker room as a result of a loss to the Seahawks it would have thrilled me to no end. Now? It thrills me to an end, but that end took a long to time to get to. It's clear that Rex is extremely unhappy with his team's 3-6 start. So unhappy, in fact, that he cried in the locker room after the Jets' loss to the Seahawks, which I've already mentioned before, but it's certainly worth pointing out again. New York will look to start a turn around at St. Louis against a Rams team who tied with the 49ers last week. A tie in an NFL game? Some would consider that a crying shame. Rex Ryan, for example. As lame an ending as that tie was I think it's an encouraging sign for the Rams and will propel them to victory against the Jets. I know I've picked New York to lose plenty of times in the past, but trust me I'm not just crying wolf, nor am I crying like Rex Ryan did after his team's loss to the Seahawks last Sunday.

Rams 20-13

Sunday Afternoon

New Orleans @ Oakland

Expect the scoreboard to light up in this one! Of course, you should expect the scoreboard to light up during all the games this weekend because we live in 2012 and hand-ops are something of an antiquated notion, particularly in football where keeping up with the clock would be a real pain in the neck. But we're getting off track, what I was trying to say is that there figures to be a lot of points when these porous pass defenses and top 5 pass offenses go up against each other. It's possible that the Saints could experience a let down after their big win over Atlanta and before their playoff rematch with San Francisco next week, but the Raiders are just real crummy, especially without Darren McFadden (who would have guessed that he would get hurt?).

Saints 38-24

San Diego @ Denver

The Broncos have still scored 35 unanswered points on the Chargers dating back to their Monday night match-up in Week 6. Allow me to use this game as a platform to complain about one of my biggest announcer pet peeves. The term "unanswered points" is being grossly misused. For instance, let's say the Chargers score the first touchdown, then the Broncos follow with 21 straight points in the 2nd quarter, and San Diego opens the 3rd quarter with a field goal drive. More often than not I hear this scenario described as Denver having scored 21 unanswered points, well what about when San Diego answered!? They aren't unanswered points unless one team doesn't score for the remainder of the game, it's merely 21 straight points. Damn it I'm pissed! Anyway, Broncos will win.

Broncos 31-20

Indianapolis @ New England

This rivalry just got reignited! Expect Jim Nantz to say that within the first half hour of the broadcast. Here are some other things you can expect Nantz to say at some point during the game: "Touchdown!" "It's good." "Aaaand it's incomplete." "Out of bounds." "Fuck you Phil, I've had it with your shit!" Look for Andrew Luck to have a big day against the Pats' weak secondary, but it will most likely not be big enough.

Patriots 34-28

Sunday Night

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

It's Sunday night and it's Byron Leftwich time! This is much later than the normal Byron Leftwich time, which usually occurs at about 12:30 on a Wednesday when the 2nd team gets their reps in practice. Of course, this situation carries slightly more pressure, but if there's one man that can handle this type of pressure it's Joe Montana. That guy was just always cool. Unfortunately, Byron Leftwich is not Joe Montana, which is clear from the spelling of their names, but also their play on the football field; and I'm not even going to get into the whole race subject, because Leftwich is obviously not very fast and Montana in his prime would have clearly won that contest. The bottom line is that the Steelers needed overtime to beat the Chiefs last Monday; The Ravens pose a much tougher test, like that Bio midterm; hey what did you guys get on #3?

Ravens 17-10

Monday Night

Chicago @ San Francisco

Are you ready for some football? Jason Campbell I'm talking you specifically. I hope so for your sake, because it looks like you'll have to play a considerable amount of it as it appears Jay Cutler will not be active for the Bears. And if that does turn out to be the case I can't imagine that the Bears will have much success against the Niners defense. However, if Cutler does play, well I can imagine the Bears having success, but like I said before I've been snorting opiates, so I'm imagining some pretty weird stuff right now.

49ers 16-6


NFL Picks Week 11 - Thursday

Miami @ Buffalo

Joe Philbin proved to the world that he was a real hard-ass when he benched Reggie Bush for fumbling during the first half last week. But if you ask me, he proved he's a real fart-ass. If he was trying to prove a point he certainly did. That point being, after a 37-3 home loss to the Titans, that the Dolphins desperately need Reggie Bush on the field. The Bills have the worst run defense in the NFL, so Bush figures to have a big night, unless of course he accidentally loses the football at any point, in which case he'll fell the wrath of Ol' Iron Fist Philbin. This game seems like a toss up so I'm going to go with my gut and pick the Dolphins. And no, that does not mean that I just ate illegal, delicious dolphin sushi. It doesn't mean that at all.

Dolphins 27-24  


NFL Picks - Week 10

Sunday Morning

New York Giants @ Cincinnati

After a tough loss to the Steelers last Sunday the Giants are headed back on the road. And they couldn't be happier! That's because they're 3-1 away from MetLife Stadium, and they outscore the home team by almost 14 points per game. They're also really happy because any number of the players rampantly cheat on their wives, so going out of town is a real blast for them. Meanwhile the Bengals have dropped four in a row, but as we all know, in some cases appearances can be deceiving. This is not one of those cases, but it's still a valid point.

Giants 30-20

Tennessee @ Miami

It's the 'Phins versus the 'Tans in a battle of ... Ok, let's start over, 'Tans is a terrible nickname for Titans. I'm still a little new at this word processing, but from what I understand I just have to type delete and that will get rid of everything I just did. D-E-L-E-T-E.

Hey there sports fans, we've got a humdinger of a ...ugggh D-E-L-E-T-E

Mia-mi oh my, the Dolphins are D-E-L-E-T-E

Tennis-see anyone? "Bring 'em on," say the Dolphins, which in their language sounds more like, "Eeee-e-e-e-e eeeee!" K-E-E-P

Dolphins 27-17

Detroit @ Minnesota

The Lions have clawed their way back into the playoff hunt despite a 1-3 start and after this game they'll play 5 of their last 7 at home, which is advantageous, but it's also Detroit so they're probably not too thrilled. As for the Vikings, their playoff chances appear to be slipping away after 3 losses in their last 4 games and remaining contests against the Bears (twice), Packers (twice), and Texans. This is a tricky game to pick, but you know what? Tricks are for kids. Wait a minute, Trix are for kids, Yikes, now this game's even more confusing. I'll pick the Lions to stay hot even inside a dome with infamously powerful air conditioning.

Lions 27-24

Buffalo @ New England

The last time these two teams met the Patriots put up 45 second half points against the Bills, and you just know that Buffalo is itching for revenge. How do you know that? Seriously, how? Please reveal your source(s) in the comments section below. New England should be well rested after their bye week, but good luck telling Bill Belichick what his team should be, if anything he'll have 'em less rested just to prove a point. Man, what a genius.

Patriots 38-14

Atlanta @ New Orleans

In a town that loves to celebrate a funeral it seems appropriate that this might be the game in which the Saints' season dies. However, New Orleans is also a city that knows a thing or two about voodoo, meaning that even if the Saints do suffer a loss this week they may still rise from the dead later, much like the carcass of Bernie Lomax in the middling 1993 comedy "Weekend at Bernie's 2." I've picked the Falcons to lose their first game two weeks in a row, and they still haven't, so I'll give them a break and pick them to get to 9-0, which all but assures a Saints victory.

Falcons 31-28

San Diego @ Tampa Bay

The Bucs come into this game with the hottest running back in the NFL; Doug Martin has amassed 486 yards from scrimmage over the last two games. On a related note, the Chargers come into this game with the haughtiest quarterback in the league; Philip Rivers is just a real prick (ok, full disclosure, I had to look up haughty to make sure I was using it right, and to be honest it's still a stretch). Tampa's offense has been unstoppable as of late, averaging 36 points per game over their last four. San Diego has the number 4 rushing D in the league but until someone stops Doug Martin I won't bet against the Bucs. Then again, I don't actually bet on any of these games, so that really means nothing.

Buccaneers 28-21

Denver @ Carolina

The Panthers got their second win of the season last week, though when you think about it, isn't having the courage to take the field each week as good as a win? I say no. Not even close, in fact. This week the courageous Peyton Manning comes to Carolina with the Broncos riding a 3 game win streak. A horse riding something else? Yes! In today's National Football League it's possible. That streak will most likely grow to 4 games, which will make it easier for the Broncos to ride even further.

Broncos 24-20

Oakland @ Baltimore

It's tough to figure out what the Ravens are right now as they have been somewhat mediocre since losing Ray Lewis and Ladarius Webb. It's also tough to figure out what ravens are. I mean, it's just kind of a shaggy crow, right? Pretty lame. Teams should be more creative when they're picking nicknames. Don't just go with some lame bird, and if you do at least make it alliterative. Anyway, Baltimore should be able to hold off the wild and crazy Raiders. I call them that because their games always seem out of control, but also because they'll go anywhere and do anything to find football teams having fun.

Ravens 31-23

Sunday Afternoon

New York Jets @ Seattle

We all remember when Mark Sanchez announced his plans to leave USC after his Junior season and Pete Carroll, his head coach at the time, openly stated that he was against the decision. Well, this Sunday Sanchez finally gets the opportunity to personally show Carroll that he was right, another year of college would have served him well. Just look at Russell Wilson, that guy went to two colleges and he's kick-ass. I expect Russ to continue his ascension towards greatness this week while a sullen Tim Tebow sits on the sideline with a small grin. Why the grin? As upset as he is at his lack of playing time, nobody appreciates an ascension more than Teebs.

Seahawks 24-12

Dallas @ Philadelphia

It's become quite clear that these teams are just flat out mediocre, and another loss for either would most likely spell an end to their season. The news only gets worse from there, because it's most likely that either the Cowboys or Eagles will lose this game. The bad news for the rest of the country is that only one of these teams can lose this game, meaning we'll still have to deal with one of them for a few more weeks. I'll pick Dallas to get the win and stay in the playoff hunt with 5 of their next 6 games at home.

Cowboys 21-20

St. Louis @ San Francisco

I do not expect the Rams to score in this game, making it very difficult for them to win.

49ers 23-0

Sunday Night

Houston @ Chicago

It's a marquee match-up of 7-1 teams featuring what may be the two leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. The Bears' Charles Tillman has been taking balls away all season while the Texans' J.J. Watt has been knocking balls down, not to mention sacking quarterbacks, all while sort of reminding me of Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; I'm willing to bet that there's a brain in his midsection controlling him. This game may come down to which quarterback can maintain a level head in the face of relentless pressure. So the question becomes, can Jay Cutler keep his cool? Jay, what do you think? ... Me neither.

Texans 17-14

Monday Night

Kansas City @ Pittsburgh

My favorite stat of this NFL season is the oft-mentioned anecdote that the Chiefs have yet to lead a game all season. One aspect that I'm not thrilled with, however, is the fact that I picked them to make the playoffs. Uh oh! What a mistake! They're going to have to start getting leads and fast if they don't want to make me look like an idiot. Unfortunately I'm not sure that that's any concern of theirs at this point, and they have a tough match-up on the road. It looks like one more week without a lead for these sacks of poo.

Steelers 24-6

NFL Picks Week 10 - Thursday

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville

Andrew Luck has arrived! In Jacksonville! Because that's where this game is being played! He's also "arrived" on a much more grandiose scale with his tremendous play of late, leading the Colts to four wins in their last five games. Blaine Gabbert would love to arrive in much the same way, unfortunately he's yet to be invited. The good news for Gabby and the Jags is that their one win this season came against this very same Indianapolis Colts team that they are playing on Thursday. But this is not the same Indianapolis Colts team that they will be playing on Thursday. This team has matured, in fact, Indy's grown up so much that it's about time you stopped calling them Junior.

Colts 24-16 


NFL Picks - Week 9

Sunday Morning

Denver @ Cincinnati

The Broncos finally put together a complete game last week in their win over the Saints. But with the ever increasing importance of specialists in the bullpen, pitching a complete game just isn't as necessary as it once was. Hmm, wait, that's baseball. Well anyhow, Denver looks solid even if they do get behind early; with their big bats and ability to run the bases no lead is safe. Damn it. Sorry, won't happen again.

Broncos 28-20

Baltimore @ Cleveland

The Ravens defense has taken a large hit via injuries and it showed during their game against the Texans two weeks ago when they gave up 43 points. Baltimore had a week off to think about they did while Cleveland had a week on, beating San Diego in a 7-6 battle of wills that could be described as a matter of life or death. It can be described that way because whoever actually lived through watching that game wanted to die. The offenses figure to struggle in this game as well, but ultimately the Ravens will come out on top. The Browns may be on top at some point, but it will merely be penultimately at best.

Ravens 16-12

Arizona @ Green Bay

Much has changed since these teams last met in a thrilling playoff duel between Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner. Rodgers has become arguably the best player in the NFL while the Cardinals have employed the following people as starting quarterbacks: Derek "That's Fine" Anderson, Max "Blow the Whistle!" Hall, and John "Exo" Skelton. Guess which team won a Super Bowl since that playoff game ... If you actually had to guess it means you weren't aware that Green Bay won the Super Bowl two years ago, which also means you're not much of a football fan, which in kind means that you don't even read these posts for the football analysis, which can only mean that you come here for the irreverent and refreshing writing style. Thank you, that's a flattering compliment.

Packers 27-10

Chicago @ Tennessee

The Bears were unimpressive in their one point victory over Carolina last week. It was a surprisingly close game that only a true NFL expert could have expected ("I expect this one to be surprisingly close, but ultimately the Bears will move to 6-1" - NFL Picks - Week 8). I'd be willing to bet that Matthew Hasselbeck was watching closely and that he probably liked what he saw. I mean, Hasselbeck's a major football fan, so naturally he enjoyed watching a good game, but he also liked what he saw because he now knows exactly how to attack the Chicago D. And how is that, you might be asking? Oh right, I'm just going to say it right here and warn the Bears? Get real scumbag.

Titans 20-17

Miami @ Indianapolis

Were you aware that if the season ended today these two teams would be the AFC wild cards? Were you also aware that if the season ended today it would be the shortest regular season in NFL history? While that last rhetorical question made for an hilarious follow-up comment, it also illustrates the fact that while these teams have surprised many, the season is still young. However, when you look at the rest of the wild card contenders in the AFC it's difficult to find strong candidates, which means that the Dolphins or the Colts could very well make the playoffs. In kind, this game could prove very important down the road. The Miami defense has been able to keep opponents' scoring low which should come in handy against Indianapolis, or any other team for that matter.

Dolphins 17-16

Carolina @ Washington

Most people will draw a comparison between these two young starting quarterbacks. Well, in the words of Warren Moon, "That's racist!" These QBs couldn't be more different. For instance, Robert Griffin has been an active participant in the 2012 NFL season, whereas Cam Newton has not. I won't bore you with the full list of dissimilarities between the two but trust me it goes deep, all the way to the White House.

Redskins 24-20

Detroit @ Jacksonville

Is it a coincidence that the Jaguars traded WR Mike Thomas to the Lions the same week that they're playing them? I don't think so, and I think Detroit should be asking the same question. This is most likely a brilliant move by the Jacksonville Jaguars organization to infiltrate the iron curtain that normally shrouds the Lions' organization. What kind of secrets will Mike Thomas unearth as he delves deep into the inner workings of the mysterious cabal known as the Detroit Lions? We might not find out Sunday because this is more of a long con, but believe me the Jags will be reaping the benefits come Super Bowl Sunday.

Lions 27-16

Buffalo @ Houston

The Texans have become the team to beat in the AFC, while the Bills have become a team that you can beat in the AFC. When you combine the two it doesn't look promising for Buffalo as they travel to Houston. Is there a chance that the Bills could pull an upset? I wouldn't rule it out entirely, but that's just something I'm working on in my life, learning to be more open-minded. It's been very freeing for the most part, but now it takes me about an hour and a half to make each one of these picks.

Texans 28-14

Sunday Afternoon

Minnesota @ Seattle

The Seahawks return home to Seattle, which not only means they have a better chance of winning, but also that Fox cameras are picking up hours of B roll at Pike Place Market as we speak. Have you guys heard about this? They throw fish at this place! It's like one guy just tosses this big ol' fish to another guy and he catches it! Look, I can't blame you if you find it hard to believe, but after witnessing the broadcasts of hundreds of games played in Seattle and seeing the fish throwing during every single one of them I can vouch for it. If Russell Wilson displays even half the arm strength of the Pike Place Market fish mongers the Hawks have a good chance at winning.

Seahawks 23-13

Tampa Bay @ Oakland

The Raiders have won back to back games! And they did it against the Jaguars and the Chiefs ... Well hey, it's better than losing to those teams, right? Meanwhile, the Bucs are coming off a win over the Vikings that can actually be considered impressive. Both teams come in to this game at 3-4, which is important to point out because I have nothing better to say about this game.

Buccaneers 30-22

Pittsburgh @ New York Giants

Due to Hurricane Sandy rendering their booked hotel powerless the Steelers will have to fly to New York on game day. A fairly short flight before a game might not be a big deal for most teams but it's a good bet that Ben Roethlisberger will consume no less than 3 Red Bull vodkas before they land. While that will make him loose and energized at the start of the game he'll crash pretty hard come the 2nd half. By the final two minutes, when Pittsburgh needs a winning drive Roethlisberger's throbbing head will end up getting the better of him (which won't be the first time).

Giants 27-23

Sunday Night

Dallas @ Atlanta

The Cowboys nearly pulled off an unbelievable comeback last week against the Giants only to have Dez Bryant's fingers land out of bounds on what would have been the game winning catch. Bryant made a great effort and even got a little banged up upon landing which is causing many to overlook a crucial aspect of that play, if that wimp wouldn't have felt the need to brace himself with his hand his team would have won the game. The Falcons come into this contest at 7-0 even though I fearlessly predicted that they'd lose their first game last week. And guess what, I'm going to do it again. The possibility of falling to 3-5 is going to make Dallas the more desperate team, and if there's one thing I know, it's desperation.

Cowboys 28-25

Monday Night

Philadelphia @ New Orleans

Speaking of desperation, this game reeks of it. What does desperation smell like? Like butts. A Saints' loss would pretty much end their season while a poor performance from Michael Vick may force Andy Reid to make a change at quarterback. So clearly there's a lot riding on this game. However, there's not a lot of writing on this game ... because that's all I've got. Haha, I slay me!

Saints 23-20