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. Now we’re into the final week of the regular season where playoff pick records may actually change the standings.

Sunday, December 30th, 2012


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons


Steve Elle:

Fun fact: the Bucs have 4 Pro Bowlers; the Falcons have 3. Hmm. Anyway, the Falcons have the proverbial “nothing to play for” in this game due to their having won the division and obtaining a first round bye. The Bucs can avoid another double digit loss season if they win this game. The Falcons have rested players in the past and have then dutifully lost in the first round of the playoffs. Hmm. The Bucs, with no reason to rest any players and no concerns about losing in the first round of the playoffs will, shocker, not rest any players. I remain unconvinced of the Falcons prowess.

Pick: Buccaneers-WIN

Rob Wheatley: Falcons-LOSS

Darby Shaw: Falcons-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Falcons-LOSS




New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills

LINE: Bills by 4

Evil Peyton Manning:

Tim Tebow continues to make headlines in Jets camp, even when he’s not playing. Rumors abound that he wants out of New York, while fact has dictated that New York couldn’t wait for him to leave after he became the most expensive replacement in the NFL for Brad Smith with none of his roll-out athleticism or throwing capabilities. Then there’s the contractual albatross of Sanchez. The Bills have their own problems, as they look at the draft to see who they can groom for the quarterback position while figuring out how they can get out of their contract with Fitzpatrick without moving the team to Canada. In a battle of contract issues, no-one wins.

Pick: Jets-LOSS

Rob Wheatley: Jets-LOSS

Darby Shaw: Bills-WIN

Steve Elle: Bills-WIN



Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

LINE: Bengals by 1


Steve Elle:

The Bengals are peaking at the right time while the Ravens are not. This bodes well for…come on, you can do the math: the Bengals. And you won’t hear me (or any other pundit) say that very often. The Ravens are a bit of a mystery. After firing that awful Cam Cameron due to an ineffective offense the offense has become…wait for it: ineffective. Playoff implications are on the line though, so this should be a good game.

Pick: Ravens-LOSS

Rob Wheatley: Bengals-WIN

Darby Shaw: Ravens-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Ravens-LOSS




Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

LINE: Bears by 3

Evil Peyton Manning:

Calvin Johnson unofficially joined Barry Sanders in a ring of honor reserved for Lions players who exceed the rest of their team by breaking Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards record in a season. Now the question is, will the Lions do what they did to Barry Sanders and keep him to give Detroit just enough joy to go to games without having the pressure of really winning? Meanwhile, Jay Cutler must still prove himself by helping Da Bears limp into the playoffs on a wild-card berth after they looked ready to take their division with ease earlier in the season.

Pick: Bears-LOSS

Rob Wheatley: Lions-WIN

Darby Shaw: Lions-WIN

Steve Elle: Bears-LOSS




Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans

LINE: Titans by 4

Rob Wheatley:

Pick: Jaguars-LOSS

Darby Shaw: Titans-WIN

Steve Elle: Titans-WIN

Evil Peyton Manning: Jaguars-LOSS




Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts

LINE: Texans by 7

Darby Shaw:

Proof that Roger Goodell hates the Texans: they play the only 1 PM game with AFC playoff implications. The Pats and Broncos can sit on their asses and wait to see if Houston hands them their playoff spots, or if they actually have to play against the patsy-ass teams that got scheduled for them the final game of the season. At least the Colts know that, whatever they do in the game won’t make a single bit of difference. Which is good, because that’s a lesson Andrew Luck will need going into his imminent first-round departure from the playoffs. In theory, both teams could play for pride and the fact that they’re FREAKING PROFESSIONALS, but the more likely scenario is they play just hard enough that the fans can’t actively complain and ask for their money back.

Pick: Colts-WIN

Rob Wheatley: Texans-LOSS

Steve Elle: Texans-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Colts-WIN



Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints

LINE: Saints by 5

Rob Wheatley:

Pick: Saints-LOSS

Darby Shaw: Saints-LOSS

Steve Elle: Saints-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Saints-LOSS




Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

LINE: Giants by 7


Evil Peyton Manning:

Part 1 of the NFC East intensity starts off with Michael Vick starting for the Eagles after rookie test-subject Nick Foles suffered a broken hand and an eerie resemblance to Curtis Painter with long, curly locks of hair. The main story, however, is how this is the beginning of the Giants’ hope to make the playoffs this year. With a win against the Eagles, a Dallas loss or tie against the Redskins, a Minnesota loss against the Packers, a Chicago loss against the Lions, and a partridge in a pear tree, the Giants just may back into the playoffs.

Pick: Giants-WIN

Rob Wheatley: Giants-WIN

Darby Shaw: Giants-WIN

Steve Elle: Giants-WIN




Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers



Rob Wheatley:

Pick: Steelers-WIN

Darby Shaw: Steelers-WIN

Steve Elle: Steelers-WIN

Evil Peyton Manning: Steelers-WIN




Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

LINE: Broncos by 16


Darby Shaw:

In case you were wondering how pointless the NFL’s all-star game is, the Chiefs are sending five players to the Pro Bowl this year. Five. From arguably the worst team in the league, if not the world. Then again, at least their punter is getting a nod; I’m shocked the guy’s leg hasn’t fallen off by now, as often as he’s forced to kick away. Then again again, Denver–the team who is about to whip Kansas City’s ass–is also sending five to the game, including Peyton Manning’s forehead (which gets its own roster spot). Normally I’d say “there’s no spread big enough!” for a game like this, but… every time I say that, the underdog covers, so…

Pick: Chiefs-LOSS

Rob Wheatley: Broncos-WIN

Steve Elle: Broncos-WIN

Evil Peyton Manning: Chiefs-LOSS




Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

LINE: Packers by 3


Steve Elle:

Adrian Peterson has put together perhaps the greatest comeback season of any NFL player, not just due to the fact that he came back successfully from injury, but he’s flirting with one of the most revered NFL records while doing so. It’s a near lock that he and Peyton Manning will split the Comeback Player and MVP awards in some way. Just imagine what the Vikings might be doing with a decent QB. The Packers in the meantime are now playing their best football of the year. I think they win this game but Peterson will get his yards, however it’s unlikely that he’ll get the 200+ he needs for Dickerson’s record. Though stranger things have happened; flashback to Mark “Sanchize” Sanchez giving his lineman’s butt a giant hug for instance.

Pick: Packers-LOSS

Rob Wheatley: Packers-LOSS

Darby Shaw: Packers-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Packers-LOSS



Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

LINE: Patriots by 10


Steve Elle:

The Dolphins have shown enough promise this year to convince me that they might show some more promise next year. They need some WR help and some help in the secondary. The Pats are also peaking at the right time however. Playing at home with possible home field playoff implications the Pats will try to deliver a victory heading into the playoffs. The Dolphins will play spoiler, a role they’ve become used to. The only thing spoiled though seems to be their playoff hope.

Pick: Patriots-WIN

Rob Wheatley: Patriots-WIN

Darby Shaw: Dolphins-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Patriots-WIN




Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers



Rob Wheatley:

Pick: Chargers-WIN

Darby Shaw: Raiders-LOSS

Steve Elle: Chargers-WIN

Evil Peyton Manning: Chargers-WIN




Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

LINE: 49ers by 17


Evil Peyton Manning:

Cardinals running back Beanie Wells believes that he will be auditioning for a role on another team with this last game of the season. This isn’t really a testament to his belief that he can do better than the Cardinals, since they benched him last week after 3 carries, one which was a fumble. Add that to the fact that the Cardinals are going up against a 49ers defense that is #6 in the league against the rush with an average of 96.8 yards per game, and Wells could be auditioning for the CFL if the 49ers play to win this game.

Pick: Cardinals-WIN

Rob Wheatley: 49ers-LOSS

Darby Shaw: Cardinals-WIN

Steve Elle: 49ers-LOSS




St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks

LINE: Seahawks by 11


Darby Shaw:

Rams: “We mortgaged our future on a first-round quarterback with all the measurables, we’re paying him $12M this year, and we suck donkey taint.” Seahawks: “We took a flier on a sub-six-foot quarterback in the middle of the third round, paid him $400k, and he would probably be the third quarterback on the NFC Pro Bowl roster if RGIII’s dad had used a condom. Oh, plus we’re going to the playoffs.” Rams: “Fuck you guys.” Seahawks: “Neener neener.”

Pick: Seahawks-LOSS

Rob Wheatley: Seahawks-LOSS

Steve Elle: Seahawks-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Rams-WIN





Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins

LINE: Redskins by 3


Darby Shaw:

Guess what kids? RGIII is the only rookie to make the Pro Bowl this year. Okay, yes, technically the idiot kicker from Minnesota is rookie, but kickers don’t count as players. Or people. Even better, RGIII presumably knocked perennial third-string Pro Bowler Tony Romo off the roster. Which would be a big motivator for Romo, except that in his mind he’s already playing golf and nailing hot chicks in the offseason. Sure, technically the Cowboys are in a “win and they’re in” scenario, but we all know what that means to the Cowboys: they’re one botched long snap from going home.

Pick: Redskins-WIN

Rob Wheatley: Redskins-WIN

Steve Elle: Cowboys-LOSS

Evil Peyton Manning: Cowboys-LOSS




Rob Wheatley: 131-124

Steve Elle: 127-128

Darby Shaw: 127-128

Evil Peyton Manning: 123-132




By FascistEditor

As the managing editor of The Inept Owl, Patrick has sworn to uphold the honor and integrity of hard-hitting journalism...but only on Sundays at 10am.