Well, the Chargers outdid themselves this time. Even their dead-inside fans can’t believe they fell for the feels again. On the plus side, look what they put poor Steeler fans through.
Fans in Los Angeles/San Diego, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh all looked like this guy eleven different times Sunday. And that was just from doing the math. Or the meth.
The important thing is that we’ve finally sorted out who belongs where, including Kirk Cousins.
In the end, every team pretty much got what they deserved. A horrifying reminder that they all kind of stink.
Which brings us to the playoffs, baby! Let’s do this!
RAIDERS (+6.5) AT BENGALS
The Raiders have brought more than football to Vegas. They’ve brought crime and gambling, elements the city was sorely lacking.
They’re fun too. Basically, the Raiders are the Bellagio. And you don’t want to be around either when the winning stops. Unless you brought drugs, or stronger drugs.
The Bengals got a good draw here, despite their lazy effort against the Browns. But don’t get all cocky about Cincy, even Joe Burrow said there’s nothing to do there except pay for sex.
In unrelated news the Raiders have decided to arrive a few days early.
Look, the Bengals could blow this because, well, they’re the Bengals. But Ohio needs this. One state can’t have two versions of the Browns for more than 50 years. We gotta draw the line somewhere, this is on us. We let this happen. This and Tiger King.
Bengals are the pick. Because both teams can’t be exposed in the same game or it would end in a tie and the Steelers would have to move to London. The NFL has weird rules. Like quidditch, except that’s just a silly, made-up game. Wait…
PATRIOTS (+4.5) AT BILLS
These Patriots aren’t ready for primetime yet. Bill Belichick is still rebuilding the Death Star, and that’s why this season has a Return of the Jedi vibe in New England. Next year the Pats won’t fall apart at the mere sight of Ewoks. Except in Miami, or when anyone says “Candyman” five times out loud.
Barring anything fluky, like snow tornados or butt fumbles, the Bills will come out on top. But their window may be closing fast. All the pressure here is on them. Plus Tom Brady is still lurking out there, feasting on the flesh of former Bills to stay young.
Buffalo fans right now:
Bills are the pick. Because they may have to beat both Buffalo serial killers to win a Super Bowl. And Anthony Hopkins.
EAGLES (+8.5) AT BUCCANEERS
Speaking of Brady, he’ll begin his murder spree with the Eagles. Fitting, since he still owes Philly for that Nick Foles-sized dent in his Super Bowl record.
Of all the wild card teams, the Eagles are the ones that most qualify as the “We’re just happy to be here” team. The bar was low for them this year. Philly fans don’t even boo Jalen Hurts yet, or make him pretend Rocky V isn’t unwatchable.
Sure, Brady lost a couple of weapons. Have you seen the weapons he had in New England? He won Super Bowls with a butter knife and some fart spray.
Bucs are the pick. Because Tom Brady is Rocky. If Rocky liked to skin his victims alive and replace their hearts with clown horns. When doctors use a stethoscope on Matt Ryan, they hear this:
(Matt Ryan lowers head.)
49ERS (+3) AT COWBOYS
The Niners are trouble. They just won’t die. Give them a William Shatner mask and they could be the Halloween franchise.
This is a popular upset pick, with good reason as San Fran is scary. The Rams have already been signed to co-star in Halloween Ends (in theaters October 14, you’re welcome movie industry.) Supposedly Jamie Lee Curtis even agreed to teach Matthew Stafford how to scream less like a girl.
The Cowboys are erratic. They could blow the Niners out, or get blown out, or just watch the movie Blow Out starring John Travolta.
It has nothing to do with football. But neither will Dallas if they lose.
The real winner here is Amazon Prime, where you can watch Blow Out and then wonder if all of us were on heroin in 1981. And I’m totally not plugging Amazon just so Jeff Bezos lets me go into space.
I’m taking the 49ers. Because I’ve seen that murderous look before. Usually from my wife. Or Matt Ryan’s wife.
STEELERS (+12.5) AT CHIEFS
And after all that, the Steelers have to play the Chiefs, who just three weeks ago spanked them like a cartoon rooster.
This doesn’t end well for Pittsburgh. It’s hard to believe a team that played the Lions to a draw won’t make a deep playoff run, but here we are.
To be fair, since that Steeler beatdown, the Chiefs lost to the Bengals and should have lost to the Broncos. There’s a reason they’re playing in the wild card round, and apparently, that reason was they need to get their mojo back by beating the life out of the Steelers again.
Why is this even the Sunday night game? 60 Minutes will be more exciting, and everyone on that show is either over 80 or can’t wait to be over 80.
Chiefs are the pick. Because none of that Chargers/Raiders/Steelers drama will even matter in the end. But we fell for it. Because the NFL beats us like a cartoon rooster.
CARDINALS (+4) AT RAMS
These teams are both heading into the playoffs strong, huh? Like the guy wandering around looking for his arm in Saving Private Ryan.
I pronounced the Cardinals dead well before you noticed they haven’t blinked or moved in over four weeks. They were never quite as impressive as we were led to believe. Like fish tacos, or Will Ferrell movies.
LA is starting to realize there’s no difference between Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff. They look exactly the same, and when you see them it means something bad is about to happen. To you.
The Rams are at least still flapping around though, trying to warn the police about the knife-wielding Niners. But the police haven’t done much since a Greatest Hits album in the ’80s.
Rams are the pick. Because between dead and half-dead, you go with half-dead. It’s science. It’s also how my editor chose me to write this column.
And that should do it for Wild Card Weekend! Which now includes Monday for reasons that I’m sure have nothing to do with money. Or my impending divorce.
As always, thanks for playing!