(Editor’s Note: Look for a detailed analysis of the season preview after Super Bowl weekend. Also, we hope to expand our reach of ignorant sports coverage into college with a preview of the BCS Championship game before Monday. Holy cow, this is an actual editor’s note and not an attempted joke. We’re either losing our edge or attempting to go legit or both. Personally, I hope it’s neither.)
A couple of years ago, I had the idea to pick the NFL playoffs. I went 9-2, missing the Broncos/Indianapolis game and getting within a Beastmode touchdown of getting the Super Bowl right as a preseason pick. I took that success and was going to pick the games for last season (or this or both) against a coin and compare those records to “experts”. Why a coin, you may ask.
Well, I’m glad you asked. When faced with the prospect of picking Wild Card games in those playoffs, I made the offhand remark that the teams were so close that you might as well just flip a coin. This year seems less random, which is always dangerous, especially when discussing the NFL. As most games are decided by one score or less, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Except, eff the Patriots. I can guarantee that. 100%. Every time.
Oakland @ Houston (-3.5)
This game has the potential to be the worst playoff game in the history of the league. Look, I get that we live in a time when everything is either the best or the worst ever and there is no room for nuance. However, I’m not one for hyperbole. Let’s look at the evidence.
Oakland is a surprise team by making the playoffs after a fairly significant drought. That rarely ends well for a team. Their quarterback–a big reason that they are relevant again–got injured and they’re now relying on a far inferior back up. About the only team that can (and has) survived such a tragedy is New England. Eff the Pats.
Houston is the perpetually underperforming team that they always are. It’s just that this year, Indianapolis decided to give in to peer pressure and stink like the rest of the division. Houston didn’t lose their starting quarterback, but they might as well have with Brock Osweiler under center. They did, however, lose JJ Watt and I’ve heard less imaginative people call him the quarterback of their defense.
When you take all of that into consideration, I see no compelling reason to watch this game. Heck, I’m having trouble focusing enough to pick it.
My pick: What to you mean I have to pick it? Does that mean I have to watch it? Dear God, I hope not. Okay, I pick the Texans to get annihilated by the Pats round 2. Eff the Pats.
Detroit @ Seatttle (-8)
This game promises to be bad, but in an entirely different way. Then again, maybe it will have some of the same awfulness. Detroit somehow made the playoffs, even though they stink like the Raiders. Okay, I guess that’s only one similarity. It still promises a terrible game.
Seattle is one of the elite teams of the last 5 years. Detroits bores us to death every Thanksgiving Day for some reason. Seattle has a Super Bowl winning quarterback. Detroit has…a quarterback, I assume. I mean, they have to have at least one on the roster, right? Seattle has a home field advantage that is so notorious that people think a 7-1 year is akin to 5-3. Okay, that last one is a bit of a stretch. I know of one person (Cousin Sal) that made that calculus, but quoting “people that know things” is part of this post fact world.
My pick: No matter how much of an exaggeration that last “fact” is, Seattle should roll in this game.
Miami @ Pittsburgh (-10)
Okay, Pittsburgh is my team. I know these guys and their tendencies because I watch them and pay attention. You’d think so, right? Nope. Similar to a trip to Pats (Eff the Pats) training camp a few years ago, I can only name 3 players on the team and one of them only because he inexplicably still plays for them (James Harrison). I’ve watched more college than NFL again this year and I was more excited about Pitt’s annual appearance in the Toilet Bowl than the Steelers making the playoffs.
However I did watch the “Christmas Day miracle” against the Rats. I kept saying during the game that they’d either lose that one and be eliminated or get destroyed by the Pats (Eff the Pats) in the AFC Championship. Recent events have diminished some of that optimism, but Vegas really likes the Steelers and other fans are afraid of them for some reason. I think it is all Antonio Brown and his fantasy prowess.
Okay, enough about the Steelers. The Dolphins are in the same situation as the Raiders with their starting quarterback. The only difference is that their starter is only minimally better than their backup. Also, they have the dirtiest player in the game, Ndamukong (I had to Google his name twice to spell it right) Suh. Okay, enough about the Dolphins.
My pick: I still think the Steelers will win this game, maybe even convincingly, but I’m much more worried about the Chefs round 2 than I was the Raiders 2 weeks ago.
New York Giants at Green Bay (-4.5)
Now we’re talking! This is a game that people are excited to watch. Not me, of course, but I’ve heard people say that it is the best game of the weekend. Eh, who knows. Maybe the social media hype will get me and I’ll pay attention to the game.
Chris and I were talking a few weeks ago and I said that it would be funny to see the Giants run the table again so that I could watch Pats fans poop their pants over losing to Eli once again because eff the Pats. He isn’t convinced that the Giants will make it that far, but I hold out hope. Apparently, the big news for the Giants this week is that Odell Beckham went to Miami or something? I have no idea. That’s all I could make out from captioned ESPN while I rode a stationary bike at the YMCA the other day.
As far as Green Bay is concerned, they have Aaron Rogers. He seems to have taken Peyton Manning’s place as the other guy to Tom Brady’s golden boy. He makes a ton of commercials and is still one of the best. Um, unlike Peyton, though, Rogers! seems to be doing it with duct tape and paper clips, MacGyver style. Other than Rogers!, I can’t name another player on the team, except for “blonde guy on defense who thinks he is Hulk Hogan, but isn’t Kevin Greene”.
My pick: I think I’ve picked all home teams, so I will pick this one as my odd ball. Giants in a close one. Start pooping, Pats fans.