Well, Christmas has come and gone...meaning we're another week closer to the end of the NFL season. The past week was a wacky wild week in the NFL, where several playoff favorites threw up on themselves, and nobody's arse got crowned. We had some teams back into the playoffs, and we have the real possibility that a 7-9 team could make the playoffs in the NFC...so yes, the NFC is terrible this year, despite all my protests.
So besides all that wackiness in the NFL, Christmas came and went. I just want to say a couple things about that, and then I'll get to my picks...
As you get older, Christmas loses some of it's luster. As a child, there's all that excitement, all that build up. You wait for seems like an eternity, and then the morning arrives, and you behold the wonderment of all these gifts. But as you get older, that all starts to fade. The gifts get lame..."Oh, new socks, great"..."Awesome, I always wanted a copy of Stripes on VHS, the DVD of it just doesn't do it justice"...and so you forget all that excitement you had as a kid.
Then you have a kid...
Holy crap. I gotta tell you, for those that don't have kids, Christmas is a total blast with them. My Daughter was just shrieking with joy as she opened her gifts, taking time to play intently with everyone of them. All I could do was laugh and smile...it was just great. It reminded me how fun it was when I was little, and why I looked forward to this holiday with such joy.
My final thought on Christmas...my Daughter got a baby doll and a kitchen set...both of which she just adores...but she gave big smiles and got very excited when she opened my gifts of a baseball glove and a nerf football. Hey, had to counter act the girlie things.
Finally, I have the unfortunate luck to have a birthday right before Christmas...but my wife got me NCAA 2007...she fed the addiction. I had gone cold turkey off the NCAA franchise after 2005...with my daughter entering the picture, I decided to take a break from video games...but I missed it. So now she's passed me the crack pipe back, and I'm hooked. I just finished my first season, and I'm totally hooked. I piloted the Illini to a 8-4 record and a victory in the Insight.com Bowl over Cal. Not bad for a first pass. Don't worry, you'll be hearing more about it.
Okay, on with the picks...
NY Giants at Washington
The last playoff spot in could get all the way down to the 5th or 6th tiebreaker...gotta love that. And the fact that the Giants are still "fighting" for a playoff spot, just cracks me up. I figured the only fighting they would be doing was with each other.
Meanwhile, the Skins are 2-4 under the guidance of Jason Campbell, but have been in every game, and have shown quite a bit of improvement over the Brunell era. They're going into next season with 1 fewer questions about their future, as Campbell looks to be the answer at QB.
Sharing my shock and awe that the Giants are still alive in the playoff race...Mr. Peeps promptly throws on a dress and hog nose, and parades around the room. Nothing like a crossdressing Chimp to get you excited about the Skins...wait, that didn't come out right...damn. Skins win, and the finger pointing reaches a new level in NYC...or should I say Jersey?
Seattle at Tampa Bay
Yep, no curse here. The Hawks have beaten the odds and made the playoffs after losing the Super Bowl...woohoo. And they did it in fine style...losing a gut-punch game to the Chargers, and backing in thanks to the Niners getting "crowned" by the Cards. Here's the thing...
I had to run to the store, and turned the game on in the car...I'm coming back, and the broadcasters are talking about how this is going to be a big win for the Hawks, all they have to do is run the clock down. Then Alexander gets stuffed.
Alone in the car, I said, "Ha, they're losing this one."
The broadcasters were still talking about it going to be a big win. The Charger ONLY had 2 minutes to score...the broadcasters seemed confident that it was in the bag. As I turned into the driveway, they went to commercial. I ran into the house, and got side tracked with a few things, so didn't get down stairs for a few minutes...when I did...game over, Chargers win. I just laughed.
Can anyone say "one and done"?
Sporting a jaunty eye-patch, and a cutlass...Mr. Peeps is savagely thrashing a Seahawks foamhead. Besides making a complete and utter mess of my family room, looks like he's picking the Bucs. The Hawks prepare for a quick exit from the playoffs by finishing 8-8.
St. Louis at Minnesota
In this crazy world, even the Rams still have a shot at the playoffs...although it involves like 3 teams losing...it's still a chance.
Meanwhile, can the Vikes offense get anymore pathetic? 20 points in their last 2 games...gotta love what Childress has done there. But hey, they have Chester Taylor...and that's about it as far as skill players go. Ouch.
Can't say either Mr. Peeps or I are very excited about this game...Ah, Mr. Peeps is dusting off his old Kurt Warner Bobblehead...from back when his deal with the devil was still valid...looks like the Rams O will be too much for the Vikes sad version. But the Rams still won't make the playoffs.
Carolina at New Orleans
I love things like this...
At the beginning of the season, had I said, "In this game, one of these teams will have already locked up the division a 1st round bye, and the other will be fighting for their playoff lives"...
You would of bet the house that the Panthers were the ones with everything locked up, wouldn't you? I know I would of. But that's the beauty of the preseason predictions, there is always a couple that just totally crash and burn.
Amazingly, the Panthers some how won with Chris Wanker at QB...how rare is that? In 20 starts, that was his second pro win...gotta love those odds. But the news is now that Delhomme might start. But the question for this game is really...
What level of effort are the Saints going to put forth? They already have the division and a first round bye...they can't get anymore than that. The biggest thing they need to b do is avoid injuries. So do they give away a cheap one to the Panthers?
Holy shnikies...damn it Mr. Peeps, how many times do I have to tell you, skin tight shirts DO NOT look good on you. Man, he's sporting a Hurricane Katrina shirt that is too tight for the imagination. Mr. Peeps seems to be thinking that this is one game the fans won't let the Saints lose, I mean, these guys are the conquering heroes...they'll win, and deal a blow to the Panthers playoff hopes.
Oakland at NY Jets
I'll make this one really quick...
Jets need a win to clinch a playoff spot.
Raiders need a loss to tie for the worst record, and #1 pick. They'll need help from Detroit though win a win, as they hold an edge in weakness of schedule.
Mr. Peeps doesn't need anymore jibber-jabber...he's just scrawling J-E-T-S on the wall with a sharpie. Good, needed to paint that wall for the 100th time this year. Oakland will be sitting back and watching the next game with sweaty palms...
Detroit at Dallas
Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Dallas was everyone's Super Bowl pick, the toast of the NFC, and Romo was the second coming of Brady? That was before they got pasted by the Saints, let a struggling Falcons team put up 28 against them, and then got run over by the Eagles. Did I mention how a lot of hype when it's not really deserved can do more harm than good?
Well, now the Boys are reeling. That's what happens when the world was supposed to be served up on a silver platter and then you throw up all over it. The question is, are they reeling enough to lose to a horrible Lions team? Well, let's think about a few things here...
The Lions offense has been pretty good, and managed 21 against the Bears. Plus, factor in the "Mike Martz is auditioning for a head coaching job" and the O is going to be running on high octane. That coupled with the fact that Romo has been playing more like a 3 year bench warmer than a pro bowl QB...and that spells real trouble for the Boys.
Finally, there is the ineptness factor. This is exactly the kind of game a Millen team would win...when the first pick is squarely in their grasp, they'll win.
Looking over at Mr. Peeps...good lord...if you're a decent human, turn away from this...he's got a Millen mask on, and he's got an effigy of a Lions fans, that he's...let's just say, "Millen is sticking it where the sun doesn't shine." The Lions get the upset, and screw both the Boys and themselves in the process.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
So both these teams threw up on themselves last week.
The Steelers managed to fight their way back into the playoff picture, only to get creamed by the Ravens.
The Bengals could of clinched a playoff spot, but instead botched an extra point, the easiest play in football, and now has to battle it out with a bitter rival to make the playoffs. It's a good time to be a Bengal!
This is one of those games that could easily slip away from the Bengals...but if they have any pride, they will be going balls to wall in this one.
Mr. Peeps has got his hands in hand cuffs, and wiping his feet on a terrible towel...looks like he's thinking the Bengals will walk all over the Steelers. While I don't think this game will be a cake walk, I have a feeling the Thugs in Cincy will win out in this one.
Cleveland at Houston
Ew...yuck. Man, what is the nasty taste in my mouth? Goddamn, this must be what failure taste like, something both these teams should be familiar with...who knew that failure tasted so much like monkey poop...not that I would know mind you.
Mr. Peeps has no idea either...he's just staring blankly at me...he then takes out a Tim Couch rookie card and David Carr rookie card...looks at them...then simply tears the Carr card in half. Cleveland wins, but no one cares or even realizes there is a game.
New England at Tennessee
Okay, since VY has taken over in Tennessee...
The Titans are 8-4
They've won 6 in a row.
Of their 4 loses, 2 were by a single point...the other 2, a shellacking by Dallas in VY's first start, and a steam cleaning by the Jags in Jacksonville, came in his first 5 starts.
VY just wins baby...I've said it before, and I'll say it again, some times scouting departments and GMs over and out think themselves. Vince Young was hands down the best player in college football last year. There were no physical concerns, and the only real concern was that of "mental ability"...but yet there was a huge mountain of evidence, his college career, that contradicted the fact that he scored poorly on his wonderlic test. To steal from Freud, sometimes a good football player, is just a good football player.
So now VY has his sights set on the playoffs, way, way earlier than anyone would have guessed. I know I'm tiring out your ears by continuing to harp on this, but we're watching a truly great player, and the real gem from the 2006 draft.
Meanwhile, the Pats have nothing more to play for right now. Always good, a young hungry team, playing for all the marbles...and a veteran team that is waiting for the playoffs.
Do you even have to ask what Mr. Peeps thinks? As I expected, he's got his Vince Young Fan club shirt on, and is strutting around like a peacock. Titans roll, but the playoffs will fall just out of their reach. Watch out for them next year...
Jacksonville at Kansas City
As stated last week...with the Jags, you never know what you're going to get. They range all over the board from electrifying, to mediocre to down right awful. Last week they were mediocre, losing to the Pats by a FG.
But this is the kind of game that is exciting this time of the year, 2 teams fighting for the playoffs.
Unfortunately, one of them is the Jags, who suck with a capital S on the road. And the other is Kansas City which is 5-2 at home, despite Herm Edwards utterly unintelligent clock management.
Something has to give here, right?
Before I go any further, let me say a few words about Herm Edwards...
He's a mediocre coach. He's guided teams into the playoffs, but it's always been a rollercoaster, and it always seems to be that he plays the end of every game with his hands around his throat. He's good enough to sneak into the playoffs, but he's a one and done after that. My question is, was he worth all the hemming and hawing this offseason? I mean seriously, was this guy worth a 4th round pick?
No. He's the type of coach that you hire after the first 3 choices turn you down. Or the coach you hold onto until that big name becomes available...he's not the coach you trade a pick for, even if it's only a 4th rounder. I have a feeling he's going to make a great college coach, once the NFL figures out he's not good.
Okay, back to the game...
Sticking with the crossdressing chimp theme...Mr. Peeps is dressed like Grandmama...damn it, that's the wrong Larry Johnson. Jeez...ah, well, that's the pick he's going with...the Chiefs run to victory, despite Herm's poor clock management.
Miami at Indianapolis
Since the "invincible" Colts were 9-0, and everyone was saying "They won't lose a game"...they have gone 2-4. In that span they've lost to the Titans and the Texans. The TEXANS. They haven't solved their problems on D, and their O isn't looking like it's self. I smell another one and done team in the playoffs...
Meanwhile on the other side of things, the Phins are 0-2 since Saban flirted with the Alabama job...it's a lot harder to listen to a demanding coach, when he's got one foot out the door. Listen, I've always believed that Saban was a smart and good coach...but this was just an idiotic move by him. He's lost his team now, and I wonder if he'll get it back anytime soon.
Glancing over at Mr. Peeps...he's got out his Sprint phone and his Mastercard...looks like he's taking Manning and the Colts. The Colts roll over the corpse that is the Phins, but will be going home early in the playoffs.
San Francisco at Denver
Which is whackier...
That the Niners had a chance to win the division, but lost to the Cards...
Or that after the loss they still have a shot at the playoffs?
I'm going with the fact that Shanahan has gone from "Mastermind" to Idiot back to Mastermind then to Idiot, and finally to Mastermind again...all in like 3 breaths. Either he's really just a normal coach, or all of us are totally nuts.
At any rate, this game is do or die for both teams...so it should be a good one.
Holy crap...Mr. Peeps is wearing a Vanderbilt jersey...folks, this is bringing a tear to my eye...Mr. Peeps swore he would never cheer for Vandy or any Vandy player, ever since the "experiments" at the Vanderbilt research labs back in 1996. Well, it looks like time heals all wounds...the Broncos ride all over the Niners.
Buffalo at Baltimore
I just realized that this will be the last regular season Picks post I do this year...
Sorry that long pause was me heaving a sigh of relief. I love doing these, but man they take a long time. Covering 16 games is a lot of work...and as Arthur has pointed out, I tend to write a lot...anyway, thank god the playoffs are here, I can bring my marriage back from the edge of divorce. But don't worry, around April of 2007, I'll be going nuts thinking about writing my picks again...as stated earlier, time heals all wounds....except for severed limbs, time won't do crap for those.
What was I talking about? Ah, yes, Bills-Ravens. The Bills just got knocked from the playoffs by the Titans...the Ravens are trying to shore up a first round bye...
Oh good lord...Mr. Peeps that's a bad monkey! Crap! OW! Stop that...that's my leg you feces flinging jerk...OW...my arm...okay, okay, I'll say it..."Chimps rule, Humans Drool". Whew...
Sorry about that, never refer to a Chimp as a Monkey...they don't like it...and it sends this particular one into a total rage. But if the little jerk wouldn't of been peeing all over my Buffalo wings...ah, what an arse. Looks like the Ravens win, and get their first round bye...while I get something different for lunch.
Atlanta at Philadelphia
So let the Ewing theories begin! Jeff Garcia leads the Eagles to the playoffs...what does that say about McNabb? Come on, there has got to be a little debate going on about this. Things like this shouldn't happen...you shouldn't lose your best player and leader, and then march into the playoffs...unless there was something else going on.
Did Donovan lose the team during the whole TO thing?
Is there more to the Donovan throwing up in the Super Bowl story?
Has Donovan become a prima donna?
Was Rush right? (and I feel dirty for linking this article...)
Or was Garcia just the right guy at the right time?
Anyway you slice it, it's an interesting story.
It looks like the Falcons are going to miss the playoffs again...so Mora is going to get canned right? If not, why not? Vick has regressed, the team can only play well in spurts...and they seem to crumble down the stretch...these are not good traits for a team.
I say fire the chump, and hire a college coach that knows the Spread Option offense...and adapt that Offense and it's principles for the NFL and Vick. Play up his strengths, and you can easily win with him.
Mr. Peeps!? Hey, where'd you go? Jeez...it's hard enough to write these things without your co-author disappearing on you...Mr. Peeps!! OH good lord...I did not need to see that...do that on your own time...you sick little Chimp.
Sorry, that's just gross, found him in the bathroom looking at pics of Jeff Garcia's wife...and well...you get the picture...looks like the horndog is picking the Eagles to fly away with this one...and into a Division title.
Arizona at San Diego
Even though the Chargers have everything they can locked up...there is no way they lose to the pathetic Cards...especially if Leinart is out. Sorry, just can't see it happening.
After cleaning himself off, Mr. Peeps simply pulls out the Sporting News with LT on the cover...I think that says it all...Chargers roll into the playoffs...and Denny starts screaming "Just crown their arse!"
Green Bay at Chicago
What a way to end the season...against the Pack on national prime time...on New Years eve...I love it.
A few things I'll be watching in this one...
How much does Rex play...and how much does Griese play...I have a feeling, Lovie is just priming the pump, so that if Rex has a Gross-man day, he'll have a quick trigger in the playoffs.
How does the Bears D perform with all the injuries? The Packers O is terrible, so the D shouldn't be challenged too much, but it is Favre on National TV...he tends to really stick it to the Bears in these games...if the Pack score more than 17 points, the Bears have some serious Defense issues. Hopefully, the couple weeks off will get people healthy, and get their schemes in order. I have faith in Rivera, give him some time to scheme out with the present personnel, and we'll be in good shape come the playoffs.
Finally, this will probably be the last game that Madden ever calls with Favre in it...be prepared for long, long, long, long monologues about how great he is...it's going to be a painful broadcast.
As always, I don't need a Chimp to help me with this game...the Bears roll against the sad Packers O, and the running game churns through the D. The real test comes in a couple weeks, will the Bears be ready for playoff football? We'll see...
Well, from Mr. Peeps and I, it's been a great regular season, and a lot of fun blabbing on about it. Don't worry, you'll have to put up with me for the playoffs as well...it should be a wild ride. So have a good New Years, don't drink too much, and if you do drink too much, before driving home, take your keys, open your trunk...I bet you can't fit in there...no all the way in...I bet you can't close the trunk from the inside...there. Now you can drive home. What? Don't have your keys? Ah well, sleep it off.
Happy New Years.