Welcome back, football fans, to our quasi-professional football picks! Each week we will pick game winners based on Vegas over/under lines, and add some the greatest preview commentary in the world! That’s right, ESPN, we said it.
Now the only analyst that is over .500 is our British sportscaster Rob Wheatley, proving that Americans clearly know nothing about their new national past-time.
Thursday, December 22nd, 2012
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions
LINE: Falcons by 4
All this week, there has been a massive cleanup underway as the Giants’ bandwagon collided with the reality of the Falcons’ bad-assery. Matty Ice was [insert pun here referring to cold temperatures]as he dismantled the hapless Giants defense, and Eli Manning apparently went into an Aspberger’s coma sometime in the first five minutes of the game. Now, the Falcons set their sights on the “hey, we were supposed to be better than 4-10″ Lions. It is rumored that the Michigan legislature is discussing replacing the Lions head coach (whose name I can’t be bothered to look up) with an emergency manager. They are also expected to fire any players who are a part of the NFL player’s union and replace them with scabs. As such they are now only 4-point underdogs, rather than the 37-point underdogs they would have been with their original roster in place.
Rob Wheatley: Lions-LOSS
Steve Elle: Lions-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Falcons-WIN
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys
LINE: Cowboys by 1
If I was a Cowboy, I’d be one who dug out old tree stumps while smoking a big fat spliff, playing woodwind and ordering toasty lumps in my soup. I’d be a rootin’ tootin’ flutin’ crout’n Cowboy. I’d have to have a horse as well, I think Crapalot is a good name for a horse although I’d probably get letters from animal charities if I called it that: “Dear Mr. so called Wheatley, you have named your horse Crapalot which is an infringement of its human rights etc. Up yours faithfully, Mr. I Crapalot.” I don’t care, I’d just throw them in the bin with the others, like the one from Mr. Turdstring about my goldfish, or Mrs. Guanobuttocks on the subject of my bat. You think I’d learn, but I recently bought a rooster, so I’m expecting a letter any day now from Mike Hock.
Darby Shaw: Saints-WIN
Steve Elle: Cowboys-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Cowboys-LOSS
Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
LINE: Packers by 13
Evil Peyton Manning:
I guess the Chris Johnson jokes that were flying earlier in the season have finally been put to bed as he has amassed over 1,000 yards this season. He may get close to 1500 this year, considering it will probably snow in Green Bay, as it has for a millennia in December. Meanwhile, the Packers took the NFC North again and look to make as many other teams uncomfortable in the playoffs by forcing them to come freeze their butts off in Green Bay.
Rob Wheatley: Packers-WIN
Darby Shaw: Titans-LOSS
Steve Elle: Packers-WIN
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs
LINE: Colts by 7
Recently, our jerkface editor tweeted a comment about how not even the hapless Chiefs would take Mark Sanchez’s contract… which is the cruelest thing he’s said to me since “Hey, would you review this Deftones album?” I immediately went to the interwebs to prove that Matt Cassel has a worse deal. Thankfully, I found an article by Giant Head John Clayton explaining why Cassel’s deal was the fifth-worst in the NFL… and then noticed that he had ranked the Sanchez deal as the third-worst. It always sucks when you want to bitch about your team and somebody has one of those “Oh yeah?” responses. Which is why I never talk to Browns fans. At any rate, Colts win because they have a quarterback that doesn’t suck.
Rob Wheatley: Chiefs-WIN
Steve Elle: Colts-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Colts-LOSS
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
LINE: Dolphins by 4
In a fierce battle of teams with no playoff hopes, Chan Gailey tries to state his case for one more year in Buffalo. If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering why on earth anyone would want one more year in Buffalo. The Bills opposite in many ways are the Dolphins. First year coach Joe Philbin has had his ups and downs but his first year could be seen as a success and, logistically, Miami couldn’t be farther removed from Buffalo, much to the delight of Dolphins coaches, players and fans.
Rob Wheatley: Dolphins-WIN
Darby Shaw: Dolphins-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Dolphins-WIN
San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
LINE: Jets by 1
Evil Peyton Manning:
The idea of “the same old Jets” is finally laid to rest. Not because the Jets have done anything spectacularly well, but because they have become the 3rd amigo to the Chiefs and Eagles in NFL comic relief. This is, of course, a term that neither fans nor players would take pride in, but it’s much better than just being lulled to sleep by mediocre game play and management. Mediocre doesn’t make up an hour-long special of football follies. This special isn’t official, or even rumored, but if it did, the Jets would probably be featured with such players as Mark “Butt-Fumble” Sanchez, Santonio “Ow My Foot” Holmes, and Tim “Why the Hell Am I Here” Tebow. Unfortunately for Darby, that’s a lot for the Chiefs to overcome.
Rob Wheatley: Jets-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Chargers-WIN
Steve Elle: Chargers-WIN
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles
LINE: Redskins by 5
Evil Peyton Manning:
For the second game of the year, I will be in the stands, getting the feel of what it’s like to be a fan for another team, in another state. Unfortunately, I will be like a fan for another team in another state playing against a team in a state not too far away, which will probably have an equal amount of fans. This will probably be the case when the hapless Eagles take on the playoff contending Redskins in Philadelphia. I will be like most Eagles fans, reminiscing about the days of yore when even Randall Cunningham couldn’t get them a championship, but at least that team from the 90′s looked better doing it.
Rob Wheatley: Redskins-WIN
Darby Shaw: Redskins-WIN
Steve Elle: Eagles-LOSS
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
LINE: Steelers by 4
Bengal tigers used to seem quite impressive, but now there are new kids on the block. The Liger and Tigon are tiger/lion crossbreeds and grow up to about bloody massive o’clock, have two sets of teeth, an arse at each end and can only ever find half their kids in long grass. I’d like to make the most useless animal in the world. I’d make a Torish, cross a tortoise with a fish, and when you throw it in a river, it just sinks to the bottom and waits for lettuce. Or I could make a Salear. I cross a salmon with a bear and get an animal that jumps up and down in shallow water while swiping itself in the face, Youtube gold. Crossing animals with vegetables is more difficult, but I recently matched gibbon with some broccoli which was great because it picks your teeth after you’ve eaten it.
Darby Shaw: Bengals-WIN
Steve Elle: Bengals-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Bengals-WIN
St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
LINE: Buccaneers by 3
Ah, another now meaningless game to be played. But there is the proverbial love of the game (and the paycheck doesn’t hurt either) to play for as well. First year coach Greg Schiano has done a lot with the young Bucs. First year coach Jeff Fisher has also accomplished a lot with the Rams. Both teams have solid young QB’s and rosters dotted with talent. It will be interesting to see how the teams play on Sunday. I won’t be wearing a Steven Jackson jersey as I watch this game live, but I will keep my arm loose.
Rob Wheatley: Rams-WIN
Darby Shaw: Buccaneers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Rams-WIN
Oakland Raiders @ Carolina Panthers
LINE: Panthers by 10
If you’re already dead, then the Mayans were right, and we’re all dead, or you’ve just fallen head first into a drain and lost your glasses after drinking two bottles of whiskey and a dozen beers or so. Believe me , I know. I wasn’t always a Viking Historian and wildlife expert , I once had a life. Someone once said that if you could remember the sixties, then you weren’t there. I was only five years old and I remember it, it’s the eighties which is the biggest blur. Mind you, back in the eighties, you could go out with only five Pounds (UK prices) spending money, drink until your eyes filled up and buy a house on the way home. Nowadays, all a fiver will get you is a punch in the face from a homeless person. Sod the Mayans !
Darby Shaw: Raiders-LOSS
Steve Elle: Panthers-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Panthers-WIN
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars
LINE: Patriots by 15
Do you know what team you never want to be? The Oakland Raiders. But beyond that, you don’t ever want to be the team that plays against Bill Belichick the week after he loses. Dude basically just decides the beat the ever-loving-hell out of whichever team he faces following a loss. I mean, he aims to actively embarrass them. And let’s be honest, the Jags don’t need any help being embarrassed as it is. Gabbert has Kevin-Kolb-esque passing numbers, and I currently have more rushing yards than Maurice Jones-Drew. Plus I don’t have a hyphenated last name. So look for the Patriots to be throwing deep passes late in the 4th quarter while up by 30 points.
Rob Wheatley: Patriots-LOSS
Steve Elle: Patriots-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Patriots-LOSS
Minnesota Vikings @ Houston Texans
LINE: Texans by 9
Well, I think it’s safe to say that the focus will be on Adrian Peterson and his ability to rack up another 100 yard game in his assault on both 2,000 yards as well as the all time record set by Eric Dickerson. Good thing, because Vikings QB Christian Ponder makes Josh Freeman look accurate, and that’s no compliment. With the Texans having less to play for this will be a good opportunity for the Vikings to solidify a possible wildcard playoff spot.
Rob Wheatley: Texans-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Vikings-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Vikings-WIN
Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos
LINE: Broncos by 14
So. The Broncos have nothing to win, and the Browns have nothing to lose. This would be one of those stereotypical upset games… except that Peyton Manning is still in “Eff You All” mode, and the Browns are still the Browns. The Browns couldn’t pull off a victory last week against a team being led by the rookie quarterback who was second-string to the other rookie quarterback. Brandon Wheeden is actually older than RGIII and Kirk Cousins combined, and yet the cagey rookie-veteran couldn’t pull out the win. On the other hand, the Broncos have swept their way through the weakest competition since season 5 of Dancing with the Stars (I swear, I just picked a number at random for that joke, it’s not like I have an encyclopedic knowledge of all reality dance competition shows or anything). Short of Manning breaking his neck again, there’s no way this game isn’t over by halftime. Make sure you have lots of beer if you’re stuck watching this one.
Rob Wheatley: Broncos-WIN
Steve Elle: Broncos-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Browns-LOSS
Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals
LINE: Bears by 6
Just about this time of year we all need to give thanks to a very special person who was born about now and changed all our lives in ways we can’t imagine or appreciate until long after we’re all in the thereafter. KEEF !! Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was 69 years old last week. Only 69 ? What, 1769 ??. 69,000 leagues under the sea ? 69,000,000 parts per million ? 69% Alien from the film Alien ? 69 or 96, either end is a croaky old voice, distended skin and random clumps of hair but nobody cares, it’s KEEEEEEFFFFF !!! Go find some Stones on Youtube, crank it up and to hell with the neighbours, everyone just gets drunk at work this time of year anyway so it’s their fault.
Darby Shaw: Bears-WIN
Steve Elle: Bears-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Bears-WIN
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens
LINE: Giants by 1
Wow, this is a hard game to handicap (and the professionals seem to agree, hence the 1 point line). The Ravens have almost gone out of their way to play poorly and, for their part, the Giants have done the same thing. I keep going back and forth on this one but ultimately I think the Giants pass rush will get to Joe Flacco and create enough havoc to alter the course of the game. But that remains a definite maybe.
Rob Wheatley: Giants-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Ravens-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Ravens-WIN
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
LINE: 49ers by 1
Evil Peyton Manning:
It’s hard to believe that only two years ago, the Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 losing record as the 49ers lost to just about everyone at the end of the season. Now the Seahawks have a winning record, but just a little less winning than the 49ers. This game, in Seattle’s home of the 12th man, could decide who will take the NFC West crown, and who will be stuck in a wildcard slot. Whoever loses, the NFC West wins respect for the first time since Steve Young wore the red and gold.
Rob Wheatley: Seahawks-WIN
Darby Shaw: 49ers-LOSS
Steve Elle: Seahawks-WIN
Rob Wheatley: 123-116
Steve Elle: 119-120
Darby Shaw: 119-120
Evil Peyton Manning: 116-123