A Hater's Guide to NFL Week 17: Why Your Team Is Bound to Lose
A season of hate is almost over.
I'll miss you guys, really, I will.
More appropriately, I'll miss having this forum to tell all of you exactly what I think of you and your horrible teams. I'll miss the incredible feeling that washes over me as I get to pretend all of your teams have a chance to win as I dutifully predict all of them to also (rightfully) lose.
No more Ndamukong Suh bus throws. No more Matt Cassel or Blaine Gabbert jokes. No more anthropomorphizing of Jeff Fisher's facial hair. I'll miss it all.
Things I won't miss—your face, the sad feeling that washes over me when I can't punch that face, the horrible emptiness when half of your teams don't actually lose because the NFL doesn't allow every single team to lose on any given Sunday.
Don't cry, little baby birds, I will return. A new year will be upon us soon. Auld Lang Syne and all that jazz. You know you can't live with out me. You'll be back. They always come back.
For now, cherish this last full week of hate-fueled NFL commentary.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After the first couple of series, the Falcons' second team comes in with a 10-point lead and puts up 20 unanswered points. Not wanting to run up the score, the Falcons put in their third and their four squads until their water boys and training assistants are blocking for one of the season-ticket holders.
After the game, coach Greg Schiano will credit his team's effort and fire whoever made the wrong flavor of Gatorade.
Before the game, Matt Ryan overhears a group of reporters discussing whether or not he is elite. Hours later, his teammates find him locked in a bathroom stall with a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey.
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
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New York Jets
No, no...not after 16 weeks, I can't do it any more! The Jets aren't just a circus—they're a full-blown Barnum & Bailey, three-ring production. I can't keep up with this nonsense anymore. They're going to lose! Duh! But anything I come up with is going to pale in comparison with the reality that is the Jets' utterly hilarious descent to the bottom of Rex Ryan's own personal football hell.
I'm done here. You win, Jets...you win.
[This Comment Has Been Seized By Canadian Authorities While Trying Desperately to Get Across the Border.]
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
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Joe Flacco begins the game by successfully completing a five-yard out pass and spends the next five minutes screaming "that's what I'm talking about" and "all of you haters can step off." The refs finally just eject Flacco, as the delay-of-game penalties have pushed the Ravens back to their own goal line.
Meanwhile, John Harbaugh scrolls furiously through his iPhone looking for David Garrard's number.
Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown hold a joint press conference, apologizing for the season's efforts and promising a better year next year. Brown gives Lewis a vote of confidence and recommits to bringing a winning team to Cincinnati.
Upon being reminded that they're actually in the playoffs, Brown runs off and desperately tries to hide the Mayflower trucks that were packed up and running behind the stadium.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
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The Bears don't really lose this game as much as they just stop caring halfway through and saunter off the field, leaving everyone wondering what the heck just happened.
Captains walk out for the pregame coin toss, Ndamukong Suh calls "tails" and the Bears win the toss. The next thing anyone remembers is the ref sticking out of the ground 50 yards downfield with his legs bobbing up and down like an Olympic javelin. Suh later claims he was misunderstood and that he could see how it might have looked intentional, but he didn't mean anything by it.
Jim Schwartz is forced to forfeit and, in a fit of impotent rage, tears Lovie Smith's arm off in order to beat him with it.
Lions fans hail both men as heroes.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
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This game has so little to cheer for, care for or even watch. I could make some jokes about L.A., London, Tim Tebow or whatever. You know what, though, I'm feeling generous.
Here's a dude who kinda looks like Shad Khan and definitely looks awesome. Be more like him, Jags fans. Next time I tune into a Jaguars game (*snicker*), I want to see like 30 of that guy among the large swaths of empty seats you will later claim were just people at the bathroom.
Sorry, Titans fans, you don't get a sweet-looking dude with a mustache. I would try to find a find a picture that looks like your owner, but an image search for "Bud Adams" just turns up lots of sunglasses, single malt and bird-flipping.
Titans lose this game when that guy up there throws for 400 yards because he's actually better than any of the Jaguars QBs and the Titans defense is terrible. Bring on the draft!
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
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Halfway into the second quarter, the Texans are down by 10 but have already attempted 47 rushes to the tune of 1.2 yards per carry for Arian Foster. Every sideline shot of Gary Kubiak reveals a new level of creepy blank stare/half smile as he refuses to deviate from the game plan and may or may not have any idea where he is.
It "takes a village to raise a child," but the Indianapolis Colts are like a bunch of village idiots trying to keep up as Andrew Luck leads them to victory each and every week. Things go awry in this game when, after picking large pieces of turf and J.J Watt spittle out of his earhole, Luck pulls himself out of the game and the rest of the Colts team just collapses in on itself. Here is a visual representation.
Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
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Sometime in the third quarter, Drew Brees has already hung 500 yards passing on the Panthers' defensive backs, and most of the Panthers' starters have joined their quarterback on the sideline with towels on their heads. Ron Rivera is seen working furiously on some X's and O's concepts over on the sideline. No...no...wait, he's actually working on his resume.
New Orleans Saints
Shown: the New Orleans Saints defense doing their very best to stop Cam Newton. Not shown: the track marks Newton leaves over them en route to a bazillion total yards. Also not shown: Saints fans blaming Roger Goodell for it.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants
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Michael Vick is starting this game for the Eagles.
You want a joke? There's your joke.
New York Giants
The Giants lose this game by 30 points thanks to Eli Manning's six interceptions. Luckily, most Giants fans miss the performance, as they spend most of the game on message boards defending Eli as an elite quarterback and the Giants as legitimate playoff contenders.
This behavior continues well into the postseason, and the Giants are forced to release "2013 Super Bowl Champions" T-shirts to their fans who have no idea what is actually happening in the NFL.
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
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Well hello there, Mr. Browns-Fan-Who-Looks-Like-Oompa-Loompa-Rob-Ryan! What's that? You want to know how the Browns could possibly lose this game? Have you taken a look under center? That tiny guy with the hair that looks like your face paint is the quarterback of your team. Also, if you look slightly closer, you can see his knees quivering as he looks across at Troy Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons.
The Steelers win the toss and elect to kick. Three plays later they are forced to forfeit when the defense just refuses to let the offense take the field. James Harrison stands at midfield and shouts obscenities for 50 minutes. Everyone goes home.
Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers
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There are no words for what is going on in this photo. Yet even that scary man is more enjoyable to look at than the Raiders offense. Still worse is the Raiders defense. Down in the seventh circle of Raiders hell is the segment of the fanbase who still can't accept that this team has anything wrong with it except the current head coach.
Just win, baby.
San Diego Chargers
If the Chargers lose to the Raiders in front of an empty stadium and a blacked-out television audience, does it still get Norv Turner fired?
Yes, yes it does.
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
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I thought about photoshopping a picture of Larry Fitzgerald onto a milk carton, but the idea of working harder than any of Fitzgerald's teammates seemed like a level of irony I'm not hipster enough for.
But no, there's totally a chance Ken Whisenhunt is going to out-coach Jim Harbaugh, and Brian Hoyer is going to have a fantastic game as the first step to next year's Hoyer-led Super Bowl run.
Wanna try some of this peyote?
San Francisco 49ers
Alex Smith steps into the game at halftime with a slight lead in order to protect Colin Kaepernick from a Cardinals defense that has created little Kaepernick-shaped indents in the Candlestick turf all day long.
Playing with mostly second-teamers, Smith has the 49ers in position to win before ripping off his jersey to reveal a Cardinals jersey! Heel turn!
Smith doesn't know the Cardinals playbook, but he knows who Larry Fitzgerald is. Two hundred passing yards and a steel chair shot later, the Cardinals win.
St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
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St. Louis Rams
The game is about to begin when Jeff Fisher emerges, alone, from the tunnel with a note tucked safely into his mustache. He hands the note to the ref so he can read it over the PA system:
Dear Seahawks, we're not sure what the heck that noise is, but we know that we don't want to go anywhere near it. See you next season. In other news, any chance you want to play some neutral site games?
PS...sorry about the wet paper. Sam piddles when he gets frightened.
Following the Richard Sherman appeal victory, Roger Goodell adds Starbucks and Maple Bars to the banned substance list, and the entire Seahawks team is "randomly" asked to submit urine samples.
Ironically, Sherman is the only Seahawk who manages to stay eligible for this week's game, and he valiantly fights the Rams to a 3-3 halftime tie all by himself. He then fails a halftime "random" urine test when Goodell quickly outlaws "badass."
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
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Green Bay Packers
The Packers, still in the hunt for home-field advantage, roll into Minnesota with guns a-blazing and find themselves excited just to play in a stadium that doesn't have to be shoveled out beforehand. Three hundred fifty Adrian Peterson rushing yards later, the Packers are a footnote to history, and fans continue to call for Ted Thompson's head even as the Packers roll deep into the playoffs.
Early in the first quarter, Christian Ponder audibles into a pass play and is immediately cut by by a Vikings team desperate to get Peterson the rushing record. Fifty rushes later and with Ponder out of the way, Peterson finishes with 60 total yards, and the Packers get the victory.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
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That guy...that guy there is why the Dolphins lose this game.
New England Patriots
Shaking hands before the game, Ryan Tannehill jokes that Tom Brady should lend him a receiver or two. Brady laughs but realizes Tannehill is still holding on to his hand...really tightly. His hand now starting to hurt, the uncomfortable Brady looks up and realizes the skewed smile and crazy-looking eyes on Tannehill aren't playing around.
New Dolphins receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch combine for 300 yards receiving in the Miami victory.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
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Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs don't even board their flight to Denver and are forced to forfeit. They are far too busy planning their team-wide trip to Hawaii after every player on the team is either named to the Pro Bowl or as one of the alternates.
Meanwhile, one lonely Chiefs fan sits in his parents' basement with nothing to do now that Pro Bowl voting is over...
Peyton Manning's plan of spotting the Chiefs four interceptions backfires when Jamaal Charles catches fire and the Chiefs actually manage to score off some of those turnovers. Manning, clearly pissed off, begins what can only be described as a hate assault through the air against the Chiefs defense.
Broncos win, which isn't the point of this article, but one can only bend reality so much.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
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Down by a field goal at half, Jerry Jones decides to take matters into his own hands. Jason Garrett, like a good little puppy dog, tries to hand Jones the headset, but Jones walks right past him and demands Tony Romo's shoulder pads.
The scoreboard malfunctions while trying to add a third digit to the Redskins' final score, but many Cowboys fans actually find it refreshing to watch anyone other than Romo play quarterback.
Dan Snyder, reverting to his old ways, desperately wants to help the Redskins get into the playoffs and signs Terrell Owens to a $22 million contract. In order to fit Owens under the cap, Snyder cuts the entire offensive line and most of the defense.
Redskins lose, but Snyder would later remember that he makes a crapload of money anyway, so he just shrugs and tells Redskins fans, "You should be used to this."