A Hater's Guide to NFL Week 14: Why Your Team Is Bound to Lose
Time out, guys.
Maybe it's time to give up all the hatred. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to turn over a new leaf. I mean, 'tis the season and all that jazz. Instead of harboring an intense hatred for each team, I could write a thing I love about each team. Then all the children of the world could join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace.
Wait, what's that? You say that Mark Sanchez was benched for his terrible play against (*snicker*) the Arizona Cardinals? Well, I'm sure he was trying his best.
Really though, all this hatred can't be healthy. I've aged like 20 years since this whole thing started, and dogs whimper when I walk past. Maybe I would finally get a good night's sleep again.
No, no, no...let me get this straight. You're saying Greg McElroy, GREG MCELROY, came into the game. Had he hit puberty first? Isn't that a prerequisite? Then he looked only slightly better than Sanchez (because how could he not) and then managed to split the Jets' front office?
I mean, maybe I don't have to give up the hatred; we could just take a little break, you know? Sing some carols, bake some Christmas cookies together, sit awkwardly posed far too close to a fireplace.
Carson Palmer just threw another mind-numbing interception, didn't he?
Screw it...on to the hate!
St. Louis Rams vs. Buffalo Bills
St. Louis Rams
During warm-ups, C.J. Spiller walks over to meet Steven Jackson at midfield. As they're talking about how much their bodies hurt and how little return they're getting for all of their tough play, they look over and see Sam Bradford firing passes directly into the ground and Ryan Fitzpatrick chewing on a football.
Deciding enough is enough, Spiller convinces Jackson to quit right there on the spot. As Jackson walks out of the stadium, he hears a click behind him. Turning around, there is Spiller, middle finger up and on the other side of a locked door.
Jackson shrugs and walks away. "He'll learn."
"So, wait," Marcell Dareus says. "This is the place Buffalo wings are from? I always thought they came from buffaloes!"
Immediately, Mario Williams realizes he's made a huge mistake, as his teammates had kept this fact from Dareus for his entire career. Hours later, having covered most of the town, the Bills find Dareus slumped over a bar in one of the seediest areas of town—mouth stained orange, belly bloated, taste buds nearly burned off.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Conditioned over the past month to just show up at the stadium and beat whatever semipro team showed up (usually the Eagles), Tony Romo is surprised to learn that the Bengals actually plan on trying this week and not just turning the ball over repeatedly.
How bad could it be, right? It is the Bengals, after all.
Fourteen sacks later, Romo has a permanent Geno Atkins-shaped imprint on his chest, and the Cowboys lose by 40.
Up by three after the first quarter, Pacman Jones goes out to celebrate. He is never seen or heard from again.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns
No hatred for this game in Week 14.
Instead, take the time you would have spent laughing (or constructing a voodoo doll in my likeness) to consider giving to support the New House Shelter, which provides "a new beginning for abused women" in the Kansas City area.
The thoughts and prayers of the Bleacher Report family are with Zoey Michelle Belcher, both the Belcher and Perkins families, and the Kansas City Chiefs organization.
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Shocked, utterly shocked, that the quarterback they drafted who had looked pretty good but never won anything is failing to win anything even though he looks pretty good, the Titans realize they need to shake up the quarterback position.
Then, shocked, utterly shocked to find out that Matt Hasselbeck found his way back from the home they put him in and that Rusty Smith is actually a real person and not just a character from '60s television, the Titans decide to turn to their only possible savior.
Vince Young leads the Titans to a 25-point loss and is cut the next morning.
Andrew Luck, worried that he'll have to show up to Christmas looking like a reject from the Geico caveman commercials, spends his entire week pestering Jerry Rice and Steve Young to turn him from Schlub to Swagger.
As much as Young tries to explain that "The Institute" isn't really real, Luck stands barefoot out front of the ESPN headquarters in Bristol until someone finally offers to help swagger him up.
Sadly, it is Tony Kornheiser.
The entire week wasted, Luck shows up to Sunday's game and spends most of his time deciding which of his new 30-year-old suit coats he will wear in his postgame presser.
Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
During a team-wide film session, Jay Cutler marvels at the skills of Adrian Peterson. Turning to his left and whispering, "Man, I wish we had a back like that," he doesn't realize he has just said that to Matt Forte. More accurately, he has no idea who Matt Forte is or what he does around here.
Forte decides to take out his frustrations on Sunday, plotting to fumble on every carry and "forget" to pass-block. Sadly, no one really notices the difference, as he doesn't get any carries anyway and the offensive line in front of Cutler refuses to block anyone either.
Leslie Frazier reaffirms his commitment to Christian Ponder one more time before the game, just to make sure everyone knows that Ponder is his guy. Ponder takes the first snap, rolls out and fires the ball directly into the waiting hands of Charles Tillman.
Ponder is immediately benched.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Every week, you guys come here and read some elaborately constructed, farcical reason why the Eagles will lose this weekend. Then, every single week, Andy Reid one-ups me by actually losing in more spectacular fashion. He's trolling me, and I'm sick of it.
Just watch the game. You know they're going to lose, and there's no fiction that I can create that would come close to the altered reality of atrocious play this team aspires to.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Having never been on a functional team before, Vincent Jackson sees that the calendar is winding down and that the Buccaneers only have a small shot of reaching the playoffs, so he assumes this is the time of the year everyone should start being jerks to one another.
His teammates are confused but laugh off his petulant pranks. They even remain silent when he starts calling them out to the media. The last straw falls, however, when Jackson moves something on Greg Schiano's desk.
Jackson is immediately cut and subsequently signed by the Patriots.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Redskins
I have no idea what's going on in that picture. Either Ray Lewis is legitimately stealing some of Ray Rice's youthful energy, or more likely, he is transferring some of his rage into Rice, turning him into a monster where once stood a man.
Sadly, none of that will matter since Cam Cameron is still a person and still has a job. He'll decide to run 20 straight swing passes to Vonta Leach.
RGIII still the Redskins quarterback? Yes? I can't see a single reason why the Redskins would...oh, that's still their defensive backfield? Never mind then, Redskins lose.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Is this not the perfect picture of these two quarterbacks? Matt Ryan is yelling but doesn't look entirely sure of where he is at the moment. You can assume he's saying something really fiery and inspiring, but shouting it directly at the goal post.
Meanwhile, Cam Newton can't hear a darn thing because he wears that towel over his head to mask the fact that he's got some earbuds in. Normally, he would have on his "Beats by Dre" headphones, but the Princess Leia hairstyle was distracting Ryan Kalil in some very disturbing ways.
So, while the rest of his team loses this game in hilarious fashion, Newton is rocking out to the smooth beats of Justin Timberlake.
New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
New York Jets
An ineffective quarterback? An impotent rushing attack? An offensive line that is more putrid and has more holes than a pair of hillbilly underwear? I'm not even sure which team I'm talking about any more.
The Jets have become indistinguishable from the Jaguars. Tim Tebow went to one team and it turned into the other. This is clearly a miracle and a signal of his displeasure. Garb yourselves in sack cloth and ashes, Jets fans, and perhaps his rage will subside.
Justin Blackmon, cocky after his stretch of good play, makes a crack about one of Antonio Cromartie's children. Now, neither Blackmon nor Cromartie has any idea which child, specifically, they were talking about. Actually, Blackmon can name three more of the children than Cromartie can, but that doesn't matter, as Cromartie vows to lock Blackmon down for the rest of the game.
Chad Henne, with all the game presence of a meerkat, continues to feed Blackmon (or, rather, Cromartie), and the Jaguars lose 3-2 to the mighty Jets.
San Diego Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
San Diego Chargers
A.J. Smith and Norv Turner are reportedly going to be fired at the end of the season. There is nothing, literally nothing, I could say that would make San Diego Chargers fans come down from the euphoria that report must induce.
The joke there is pretending that there are San Diego Chargers fans! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
All week, the Steelers' offensive linemen try to get through to Ben Roethlisberger. "No, Ben," they plead, "look! Charlie just stood inside the pocket and didn't get rushed or pressured at all! He just stood there."
Their calls unheeded, the line surrenders 10 sacks on Sunday as Roethlisberger is praised for his gutsy play and mobility.
Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers
Stephen Ross goes missing on Saturday night but is, thankfully, found the next morning sleeping on Jim Harbaugh's lawn with a boombox blaring Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" and a knapsack full of hundred dollar bills.
Taking the hint, Joe Philbin takes the first plane out of town, and Mike Sherman spends most of the game doddering around the sidelines yelling, "Darn it, Brett, just throw it down the field and Freeman will catch it!"
San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick, not wanting to become a distraction, decides to cover up his tattoos before the game. Sadly, being from a small school and having never really been around big-time athletics, he has no idea what an arm sleeve is. He shows up with his arms caked in some makeup he inexplicably found in Randy Moss' locker.
Sixteen fumbles later and embarrassed to tell his teammates what happened, Kaepernick benches himself. Rather than insert Alex Smith back into the lineup, Harbaugh just resigns and is seen leaving the stadium with a knapsack full of money.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
No, really, I'm sure the Cardinals totally have a chance against the Seahawks in Seattle. That totally makes sense, right? I mean, maybe there's some sort of reality-bending catastrophe that transfers the minds of Ryan Lindley and Russell Wilson like the world's lamest Freaky Friday knockoff.
It could happen, totally.
Pete Carroll, maven of all things social media, starts to get really depressed that people aren't talking about him on Twitter any more. He just doesn't seem to understand why people are talking about all these other coaches who are switching jobs and not retweeting his "song of the day" recommendations.
He reaches out to his best bro, Justin Bieber, who gives him this sage advice: "Look, old man, I'm not even sure who you are or how you got this number. Why aren't you wearing a shirt? Get out."
New Orleans Saints vs. New York Giants
New Orleans Saints
News broke on Friday morning that Sean Payton may be secretly communicating with the Saints. Because the NFL has specifically forbidden such communication with the team, he is removed by the league. Roger Goodell, when pressed for comment, simply says, "Got him."
Silver lining for Payton, however, as he is quickly tabbed to be the head of the CIA.
New York Giants
Eli Manning, shown above trying to humor Drew Brees after a terrible joke, has no idea what time of the year it is. After beating the Packers, he had assumed it was playoff time, but then "that RGIII kid" beat him, so it must be the beginning of the season.
Manning just decides to go out and play the best he can and let the chips fall where they may. Sadly, the Giants' defensive back seven does the same, and Brees is quickly named NFL Player of the Week following the game.
Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Uh, just sick of these guys.
[Insert absurd backstory]...[insert joke about Ndamukong Suh's terrible driving, petulant attitude or general lack of caring 90 percent of the time.]...[insert joke about Jim Schwartz's utter lack of control over his team, yet curious determination to look like a tough guy.]
Green Bay Packers
It's December, it's Lambeau, it's Aaron Rodgers...unless Calvin Johnson racks up 200 yards receiving and another couple hundred passing, running, intercepting and returning kicks. This is just another stop on the Packers' road to the playoffs.
Let's not even pretend otherwise.
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots
Recently, the Houston Texans were called "whiny" by B/R FC Chris Trapasso. Texans fans took exception to the article and proceeded to whine for like 48 hours about it. #BullsOnParade GUYS!
See that finger above? See that man pointing it? He's not pointing at J.J. Watt (no, no one is crazy enough to even acknowledge his presence or make momentary eye contact). No, he's pointing at the Texans secondary that's giving up 235 points per game.
What he's thinking: "Imma get twice that."
New England Patriots
J.J. Watt, always a gentleman, congratulates Tom Brady on the birth of his daughter, Vivian. Brady doesn't take the congratulatory message well, however, considering the fact that Watt does so lying on top of Brady's now broken ribs after his seventh sack of the game.
As his eyes roll back in pain, Brady catches a glimpse of Kareem Jackson running his pass back. Faintly, he hears, "Point at this, pretty boy!"
Michael Schottey is the NFL national lead writer for Bleacher Report and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff alongside other great writers at "The Go Route."