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.
New Orleans @ Dallas
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.
Tennessee @ Green Bay
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.
Indianapolis @ Kansas City
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
Buffalo @ Miami
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.
San Diego @ New York Jets
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oakland @ Carolina
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.
New England @ Jacksonville
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.
Minnesota @ Houston
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.
Cleveland @ Denver
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!)
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.
New York Giants @ Baltimore
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.
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)
Before last week, the 9ers and Seahawks were the only two teams in the NFL to pitch a shutout this year. Could we be in fora 0-0 tie Sunday?
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