To the picks!
Atlanta over Detroit
-Detroit screwed up an easy win against the Cardinals by making the mistakes the Cards made against Seattle: turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers. Jim Schwartz expressed dismay and disbelief that his team forgot everything the coaches preached and planned during the week. Somehow that doesn't surprise me. I imagine Detroit's meetings are as effective as a gym teacher trying to teach 5th graders about cardiovascular health when all they want to do is run around and have fun because it's gym. The Lions are a mess, a total and absolute mess (except for Calvin Johnson who is awesome). Meanwhile, I continue to regret what I write about the Falcons every week. They shut out the Giants, a result I'll forget when I pick against them in round two. This game's on ESPN Saturday night because of Christmas Eve.
New Orleans over Dallas
-Dallas figured out how to win close games against Cleveland, and their season took off. Dallas fans should, and do, expect disappoint because they are not beating New Orleans. Just picture the last two minutes of the game, tied 35-35 and Romo throws a game-ending pick six as FOX cuts to a haunting shot of Jerry Jones in shadow. Marcus Hayes might eat his pencil if Dallas continues winning and clinches a playoff spot. Mr. Hayes wrote 800 insulting words about the team after they beat the Eagles. The Saints should be a dreaded opponent for any team with playoff hopes. Unless Drew Brees throws eight interceptions, they're always in the game. Brees throws five turnovers and it's still close in the fourth. Dallas will lose, and Jerry Jones will put coal and the fourth season of According to Jim in the players' stockings.
Green Bay over Tennessee
-Chris Johnson is going to stay with Tennessee. I thought the contract situation was resolved last season. Contract news is the most exciting news out of Tennessee. Green Bay's not the threat they were two seasons ago, and not even a season ago. I don't think they're an afterthought. I do expect Tennessee to be a pain in the ass to beat even though they barely beat a bad Jets team.
Indianapolis over Kansas City
-Houston shut down Reggie Wayne. Wayne and Luck are the only great players on the Colts. Perhaps shutting down Reggie Wayne is the way to shut Indy down, or at least beat them. They scored some points, but were never in the game. Wayne's had 60 plus yards in 13 of 14 games this season. His presence helped T.Y. Hilton emerge as a legitimate threat. Brady Quinn will not be The Future of the Kansas City Chiefs. Oakland shut down Quinn and the offense, which makes him the guy KC needs to replace.
Buffalo over Miami
-CBS showed their 'Gettin' Defensive' or whatever the hell it's called graphic early in the first quarter after the Bills sacked Russell Wilson. CBS jumped the gun by boasting the Bills impressive defensive stats in their last five games: 19.5 points allowed per, superstar play from the Williams' on the defensive line and from Jairys Byrd the free safety. Seattle scored 50 points. Arizona taught us to forget about blowout losses to Seattle. Harvard Fitzpatrick will deliver a Christmas miracle to the city of Buffalo, that is if you consider a wonderfully mediocre team beating an average team a Christmas miracle. I don't. Miami survived Henne's revenge, which was as non-threatening and limp as an Air Bud villain.
San Diego over New York Jets
-Chargers games have been blacked out in Southern California the last three home games. Do people of Southern California? I feel like people walk outside and remember, "Oh, yeah. I live here. What do the successes of the Chargers and Padres matter when the smell of the sea is in the air at all times?" Would you rather overpay to watch the Chargers or hang out on the beach and take in the coast? Hm. Not a hard choice at all. I'm surprised anyone attends the games and that every game isn't blacked out. The Chargers got owned by Carolina. Mike Tolbert said the front office basically screwed him, which is why he left. My jaw would drop if the front office did something nice for their players.
Philadelphia over Washington
-Washington's fun to watch, in first place, and will get better when they trade Kirk Cousins for draft picks. Dan Snyder's still the owner, huh? Huh. If Cousins starts and outplays Foles (which he won't, because RG3's starting), I'm going to deal with the 'Should the Eagles trade for Kirk Cousins?' question--this town has the attention span of a goldfish. In fact, it's ALREADY started on WIP. One caller said, "Mike Vick takes man hits," which implies Foles is a woman who runs around because he's afraid of getting hit but gets hit anyway. I have a 10 minute cap for listening to WIP each day. Since yesterday, I've not listened to the station. The Eagles defense has been fun to watch since the wide-nine went the way of The Cape. Tommy Brasher's line is awesome. They played great against Cincy. I'm really interested in watching the improved defense against RG3.
Cincinnati over Pittsburgh
-I don't think there's a major difference between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger's the stronger quarterback, but he's not 100%. The defenses are good on both sides. The running games for both aren't great. The receivers are very solid. Cincy's been better over the last month. Pittsburgh's been off because of injuries and whatnot. Pittsburgh won't hand Cincy a victory like the Eagles did last week.
Tampa Bay over St. Louis
-This will be a decent meaningless game to watch, though it's sandwiched in with 10 other early games. Peter King drank too much Allagash White and campaigned for Greg Schiano's Coach of the Year candidacy. The bar in Tampa was incredibly low after the last ten games of the Raheem Morris era. Schiano just needed to lose games by less than 20 and he'd be considered an improvement. Their loss against Philly totally derailed their momentum. The Bucs are like Ron Burgundy after he tells the people of San Diego to 'go fuck themselves,' because losing to Philly on the last play didn't seem so bad but then the realization hit that it was Philly and their worst team in the NFC, and Burgundy doesn't realize his grave error until his personal and professional life have gone to complete shit; and now they're eating cat poop and yelling that they have no heart.
Carolina over Oakland
-I'm going to defeat my friend in Madden this weekend with the Oakland Raiders because Coach Allen has them playing the right way. Oakland won, shut the Chiefs out, and probably inspired someone to state, "They won a football game." I tried watching NFL Game Day Final, but I couldn't do it. There's about 1-3 minutes of highlights versus an eternity of yukking it up and "I told you this Colin Kaepernick is a SPECIAL player" or "This defense can stop anyone." It's nonsense I've heard for years. Carolina's playing well in time for it not to matter for any coach that'll lose his job.
New England over Jacksonville
-The French legalized birth control for girls as young as fifteen. All Things Considered, a program on NPR, aired the report on Tuesday afternoon to contrast the French's contraceptive issues with America's. The decision was met with little resistance compared to the heated contraceptive debates in the states. The report is short, just shy of four minutes; it's informative and tinged with a naivety and sweetness, mostly because of the young girls interviewed. One girl, Maria, from Paris, came from an intensely Catholic family who thinks she thinks sex with guys is just sex with guys, when there needs to be love and feelings. Maria admits she has sexual activity with her boyfriend because she loves him. Her admission of love is sweet because she's embarrassed, her voice gets quiet, and it's like you can hear her blush; but she's genuine and sincere. Another girl, Sabrina, was taken to a clinic by her father for a virginity check and a virginity certification score, which was the most ridiculous thing I heard all week. It's something I'd think of for one of my nonsense movies. Sabrina's father would send her BACK to Morocco if her virginity check didn't clear. What the hell did she do to wind up in Morocco at all? Anyway, I bet the Jags will be sent to Morocco if they lose out.
Houston over Minnesota
-Jawn, the name of my 2012 fantasy football team, faced Adrian Peterson last week. Elimination from the playoffs happened swiftly for Team Jawn. Peterson's playing at an impossibly high level, on a team that's lost its best wideout and that starts Christian Ponder every week. Also, he's less than a year removed from ACL surgery. He's Minnesota's only strength, and he's as potent and devastating as a punch from The Hulk. What's stopping Adrian Peterson from winning this game? Houston's stock has dropped, despite a nice win against Indy that should be valued more than it is. The defense played its best game in a month, against a credible offense.
Denver over Cleveland
-Two weeks ago I complimented Knowshon Moreno. Naturally, he helped end Team Jawn's championship drive. Pat Shurmur probably will be fired because Joe Banner wants to bring in his own guy. No loyalty for former Eagle employees, Joe? Heckert's going to be fired, too.
Chicago over Arizona
-Chicago's going to end their losing streak. Arizona hands out wins like the Eagles do it, except for last week when Detroit said, "Here, have it, we insist--it's Christmas, the spirit of giving." Maybe team health doesn't matter for the Bears. Chicago's collapsing with despite relative health. Urchlacher told the fans to stop booing. Fans didn't respond well because fans can't take it. They can insult players with the most vile and disgusting things but if an athlete calls the fans on it, the player is the bad guy. Fans are assholes and athletes should tell them they are every now and again.
New York Giants over Baltimore
-Victor Cruz's visit with the Pinto family was incredibly touching and very sad. The Giants have been streaky for years now. Baltimore's problems have been discussed ad-nauseum. A win won't change the opinions of people for either team. Baltimore's pre-season hype is absolutely gone. Folk expect the Giants to start kicking ass now. They need to win the last two games to have a shot at repeating.
Seattle over San Francisco
-The 2011 Seahawks were one of my favorite teams. I'm the only Tavaris Jackson fan in America. Their success this season makes sense. The team went 7-9 last season and came on really well to end the season. They have 9 wins now, scored 50 points in 2 straight games, and the defense is lights-out. The team just needed a better quarterback to push them over. Russell Wilson's taken the media by storm. Middle-aged men fall over each other trying to get to the nicest compliment. Colin Kaepernick's another quarterback who'll receive candy hearts from the media. His poise in New England cemented his starting spot. I was into the game, but then I watched Obama's speech basically stopped caring about the result of a football game afterwards.
Happy Holidays, everyone.
Last Week: 7-9
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