10-6 against the spread last week (77-51-2 last nine weeks). Take that, Uncertain Times!
There’s a fine line between winners and wieners in the NFL. A few key plays in a game are often the difference between victory and being forever ridiculed on the Internet like Matt Ryan. Over the course of a season, the wieners eventually reveal themselves. But to see it early, you just need detective skills. Or at least pet detective skills.
All the evidence you need is out there. Sometimes the trail of futility even goes back decades, though there’s no need to call anyone out by name. Like the Jets. (I said no need, not desire.) This is how I knew the Cardinals were just pretending before they got creamed by the Lions because the villains on Scooby-Doo are better at hiding the truth.
(Browns, Chargers, Bengals, and Titans: “Ruh-roh…”)
On to the Week Sixteen unmasking!
49ERS (-3.5) AT TITANS
Remember those Titan losses to the Jets and then the Texans? Evidence. I said it back then. But no one ever listens to crackhead hippie Shaggy, do they? Whatever, enjoy Team Velma. The guy who voices Fred has been doing it since 1969, you know. Yeah, Fred is like 73 and still trying to thwart swamp monsters who scare people off property for painfully obvious reasons.
The Niners are troublemakers in the NFC. This could be fun. Not like Jimmy G in Cabo with his porn star girlfriend ATM fun, but still.
(Incoming text from Cabo…)
Um, I’m going Niners. Because I don’t believe the Titans are a real ghost.
They did try to steal the spirit of the Houston Oilers though. And they would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for some meddling kids and their hallucinogenic drugs that make it seem like they have a talking dog who lives with them in a van. It might be the greatest children’s show ever.
BROWNS (+7) AT PACKERS
Against the Raiders, the Browns had to go with someone named Nick Mullens at QB. Pretty sure Nick Mullens is just Michael Douglas’s character in Basic Instinct. This is what happens when you ask a fictional homicide detective to QB the Browns on short notice.
Either way he was getting an ice pick in the neck, so, dealer’s choice.
The Packers almost blew a big lead against the Ravens but somehow held on by a fingernail. Because that’s what winners do. When they act like wieners.
I’ll take the Packers here. The Browns will be desperate, which can be a good thing in football. But this is more the Tinder kind, so swipe left. Nothing special comes in brown.
COLTS (+1) AT CARDINALS
The Colts looked downright scary at first against the Patriots. But as the game went on they got less and less scary, needing Jonathan Taylor to bail them out at the end, or it could have gotten ugly. Like when the sun comes up in Vegas ugly.
The Cards loss to the Lions is inexplicable. Especially because Detroit wasn’t even trying to win. They had more to gain by losing! That win might cost the Lions the #1 pick in the draft. They don’t know how to win OR lose! Like everyone at a pai gow poker table.
I’ll take the Colts. I’m not sold on them, but the Cards are about to put a lump in your Christmas stocking. And you’ll wish it was only coal.
GIANTS (+10) AT EAGLES
The Giants have waved the white flag on 2021, much like the rest of us.
The Eagles are still taking advantage of teams that think they’re the Jets because of the green uniforms. Genius. Even the Jets fell for it.
Eagles are the pick. Because if they become relevant I can have a lot of fun with the name Jalen Hurts. I already can’t wait for the matchup against Jordan Love so we get Love/Hurts. Yes, I bet like I’m a small girl child, but look at my record!
RAMS (-3) AT VIKINGS
Forget the Bears game, I wouldn’t trust the Vikings with a kneel-down, let alone a 29-point lead late in the third quarter. I mean, how can we ever feel safe again after that? We’ve been played for fools by Kirk and all his girlfriend Cousins.
The Rams can win the division now that the Cardinals are off to cartoon jail. They’ve had their iffy moments lately too, but when you have more star power than the cast of The Expendables, at some point it has to pay off.
I know, Kelsey Grammer makes about as much sense in this lineup as he would with the Rams. Ted Danson pranked him into thinking it was a Cheers reunion. Which is also how he ended up in Transformers: Age of Extinction and the upcoming Magic Mike sequel.
I’ll take the Rams. With or without Frasier Crane.
BILLS (+2.5) AT PATRIOTS
What do the Pats DO during their bye weeks?? They always come back more lifeless than William Shatner when he did that weird “Rocket Man” thing after going insane in the ’70s.
This is a huge game. It’s winner or wiener time for both teams. The Bills are so good at being the latter they should replace the buffalos on their helmets with Oscar Mayer hot dogs. And if they lose this game, shouldn’t they have to?
I’m taking the Bills with the 2.5. Because I think they’ll be down seven, score a touchdown on the last play, and then miss the extra point.
Unless they’re saving that move for the playoffs.
BUCCANEERS (-10.5) AT PANTHERS
By the end of that Saints game, the Bucs had lost so many weapons they looked like most of Brady’s Patriot squads. All he had was Gronk and the ghosts of all the guys Aaron Hernandez murdered. Just like in New England.
Plus the Saints made him so mad he smashed a tablet and became a meme. You won’t like him when he’s a smash meme. Look what he did to Matt Ryan.
I don’t think you want to be the Panthers right now. Then again, who does? They literally pinned their season hopes on Sam Darnold being their savior. Sure, hindsight is 20-20, but foresight on that one had to be 15-15 at least.
Bucs are the pick. Because there’s an awful lot of evidence Brady has murdered many franchises already, including Carolina (ask Jake Delhomme).
JAGUARS (+2.5) AT JETS
Aha! We’ve reached the Wiener Bowl! Naturally the Jets are hosting and are favored to bring home the trophy/8-pack.
The sad part is both these teams actually have quality wins this season. That’s the real tragedy here. Like when you find out that super hot girl from high school actually would have gone out with you. And now married, you just stare at her profile pic wondering what could have been with Vanessa. Er, I mean, whoever.
Jets here. This is their game. Also, shouldn’t Vanessa be less hot by now? She should, right?
LIONS (+5.5) AT FALCONS
It’s the Wiener Bowl consolation game! The Lions got here by beating the Cardinals. The Falcons got here by somehow winning 6 games already, though to be fair none were even remotely impressive.
It makes for an intriguing matchup, as I have no idea what anyone involved is trying to prove. Like people who lip-synch on TikTok.
This person is singing into a baseball bat. I wish I could do that. (By the way, Netflix saw this and immediately greenlit Season 2.)
I’ll take the Falcons. Tempting as it is to jump on the Lions bandwagon, it’s kind of full already:
The elephant looks like he may be having second thoughts though.
CHARGERS (-9.5) AT TEXANS
It feels like the Chargers have been stuck with the bitter yet familiar taste of agonizing defeat from that OT loss to the Chiefs forever. Like, they’re getting the full 12 nights of Christmas treatment. There has to be a spring-loaded boxing glove as a present under their tree, right?
The best part is that LA should still make the playoffs, setting up the kind of skin-melting loss they’re really known for.
That clip (sent in by someone with the handle #TB12) was from the 2006 Divisional Round game against the Patriots.
So yeah, Chargers here. They should win this game easily. No sense toying with dark fate. That’s how you end up married.
RAVENS (+2.5) AT BENGALS
After winning about 19 games earlier in the season they had no business winning, the Ravens have lost their last three by a total of four points. Mostly in horrifying fashion. I told you karma would even things out. The universe hates asymmetry. And the Ravens. And Ray Lewis’ original sin.
The Bengals came out of last week looking just slightly better than the Broncos. They must feel as confident now as Spider-Man after eating a sketchy-looking burrito.
Bengals are the pick. Even though the decimated Ravens could easily be 12-2 right now the way they play. It’s just not sustainable. Like only eating bath salts.
BEARS (+6.5) AT SEAHAWKS
The Bears are so bad I had to pick the Vikings last week. Now I advance to the Seahawks in the Punishment Round. Then next week it’s Bears/Giants and I might just cut off my face.
Let’s talk about Seattle. Did you know the 1987 movie Stakeout took place there? Emilio Estevez plays like a 30-year-old cop, which felt weird because in 1985’s The Breakfast Club he was still in high school. And the only difference was a mustache.
And it totally worked. Genius.
Seahawks are the pick. And stop acting like I have a choice. I can’t even grow a goatee without looking like something from the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
STEELERS (+7.5) AT CHIEFS
The Steelers are like a zombie who manages to eat just enough brains to keep going. You see it coming but it’s so slow you don’t have to run away, you just kinda feel bad for it and offer to let it chew on Matt Ryan.
The Chiefs can smell that #1 seed, which is actually just the collective stench coming off everyone else in the AFC. No one else even wants it, even though it comes with a free bye week. (Hard pass from New England.)
Chiefs are the pick. That’s right, we went through all that crap just to put KC in the Super Bowl again.
BRONCOS (+1) AT RAIDERS
I mean, I guess these teams are still trying to make the playoffs? About half the teams get in now, so yeah, let’s do this! You know the story. When “Why not us?” becomes “Oh, that’s why.”
Wake me when either of these teams gets interesting again. Actually, don’t. Let’s rename the AFC West to The Chiefs and the Pretenders to simplify annual predictions.
I’ll take the Raiders. I like their whole apocalyptic vibe. Plus they just beat that guy from Basic Instinct. How much harder can this be?
FOOTBALL TEAM (+10.5) AT COWBOYS
Ugh, these two again? It feels like Basic Instinct 2. The sequel no one asked for besides Sharon Stone’s personal spending habits.
They even quoted me on the cover. But I meant it sarcastically. I’m beginning to think Hollywood marketing only cares about sales.
But enough about how Sharon totally isn’t airbrushed in that photo at all. I felt bad last time when I thought Washington would cover. Then I felt worse when they almost did. Then I wondered if they should just be called the Washington Stinkballers.
I’ll take the Cowboys. I expect them to play better this time. Not great, but better. The same phrase IHOP used to promote their new and improved dinner menu.
DOLPHINS (+3) AT SAINTS
Wait. Do the Dolphins have to play a halfway decent team this week? That just seems uncalled for. Like having an NFL franchise in Jacksonville, or names that start with the letter Q.
From now on he’s Scott Tarantino. Like a normal person.
Yes, the Saints defense ruined Tom Brady’s Christmas by breaking all his toys and smothering him in his sleep. But winning by 9 is less impressive when that’s your point total. The Jags beat the Bills scoring only 9 and where did it get them? A trip to the Wiener Bowl, that’s where.
I’ll go Saints here. Because I don’t expect the Dolphins to be ready for a team that can score 9 points at will.
And that will do it for Week Sweet Sixteen!
As always, thanks for playing!