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