It's been brought to my attention that there are 1,001 NFL picks columns posted on the web every week.
So why should you read mine? I've come up with a few reasons.
1) My picture: Located on the top right side of this column is my picture. Let's face it, I'm a sexy man. Worth the price of admission right there.
2) I'm right more than everyone else: Sure, I went 6-9 last week, but if the teams played the way they were supposed to I'd have gone 15-0.
3) The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy once called me a jealous sycophant. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure it's a compliment. Right?
In all seriousness, I know there are a ton of the other really good NFL Picks columns out there—for example, Liver's Picks, which are extremely entertaining—and I appreciate you taking the time to read mine.
Now, on with the NFL Picks Column, holiday edition:
Dallas (-10.5) At Carolina
Anyone else find it a little odd that every time you see Jessica Simpson these days, her father is following her around like a maniacal puppy dog?
Can't you picture him trying as hard as he can to convince her to date Romo?
"Look, hun...I know you're still hung up on that John Mayer guy, but Tony's the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys! Just hang out a couple of times, get your picture taken, maybe let him knock you up. It'll be great for your career. I smell another reality show!"
Jessica is one of the prettiest empty shells in the history of Hollywood. Personally, I would have either stuck with Carrie Underwood—or pulled a Tom Brady and traded up to a super model.
Point is, it's good to be Tony Romo.
Prediction: Dallas covers easily.
Cleveland (-3) At Cincinnati
Jamal Lewis has been fantastic for Cleveland down the stretch this season.
In his last four games, he's racked up 447 yards, 4.5 yards per carry, and two touchdowns.
In his last game against the Bengals, he picked up 216 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown.
It's time to clean house in Cincinnati. I'm talking new front office, new scouting department, new coaching staff, and most importantly, new players—especially on the defensive side of the ball.
There is no excuse for a team this talented to play this poorly.
Proof positive that character is important when building an NFL team.
Prediction: Cleveland wins and covers.
Green Bay (-8) At Chicago
Contrary to popular belief, the Bears need a heck of a lot more than a quarterback.
They need all of the following, in no particular order:
- Quarterback: Although I said they need more than a quarterback, they really, really need a quarterback.
- Running back: Unless the other Adrian Peterson morphs into the real Adrian Peterson in the offseason, they should make picking up running back a priority. Cedric Benson doesn't have what it takes, and Peterson is a part-time player at best.
- Defensive tackle: Someone who can help keep offensive linemen off Urlacher and company.
- Wide Receivers: lost in the fact that their QB stinks is the fact that their WRs have trouble catching the ball.
- Better coaching: Let's just say Lovie Smith hasn't had a stellar season.
The Packers need to win this game to keep their hopes alive for home field throughout the playoffs.
Prediction: Green Bay wins and covers.
Indianapolis (-7) Vs. Houston
Under normal circumstances, Indy would win this game handily.
Under the existing circumstances, the game should be a little more interesting—from a gambling perspective, anyway.
(Not that I gamble...or advocate you doing it...I'm not even sure what the "lines" mean...leave me alone!)
Mario Williams wasn't selected to the Pro Bowl—a slight he will take out on Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning.
Andre Johnson has never had a big game against the Colts. He's too good for that trend to continue.
Sage Rosenfels sold his soul to the devil for one last shot at becoming a real NFL quarterback.
The Colts have absolutely nothing to play for—and if history is any indication, they'll be resting people by the third quarter.
Prediction: Indy wins, but doesn't cover.
Detroit (-5) Vs. Kansas City
I'm only willing to discuss this game in the form of a haiku:
Detroit plays real bad.
Herm Edwards is a moron.
We will not watch this.
Prediction: Detroit covers.
New England (-22) Vs. Miami
Dear Don Shula,
I hope this letter finds you well. Please do not take this personally, as I have nothing but respect for you, your legacy, and your undefeated 1972 Dolphins team.
In the future, keep your mouth shut when it comes to the New England Patriots.
Do not show up in the Monday Night football booth and openly root against New England. Do not mention anything about an asterisk. Please, for the love of God, don't say their season is tainted.
I know, if they go undefeated, they'll be 1b in your eyes. This is fine to think, just don't say it to a reporter, a radio host, or out loud in a public bathroom. It's sure to get back to New England.
To the Patriots, this is the equivalent of poking them in the eye with a stick.
PS: And tell your ridiculous former running back to stop rapping.
Prediction: Patriots by 30.
NY Giants (-2.5) At Buffalo
It's hard to describe exactly how bad Eli Manning's play has been recently. It really can't be overstated how bad he's been.
His play has been abhorrent, atrocious, awful, beastly, contemptible, cursed, deplorable, despicable, detestable, disgusting, execrable, heinous, hellish, horrible, loathsome, lousy, nauseating, odious, offensive, reprehensible, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, stinking, terrible, very bad, vile, and wretched.
Other than that, he's been great!
If the Giants don't win this week, they may be facing a must win game against the Patriots next week. Good luck.
Prediction: Buffalo wins outright.
Jacksonville (-13) Vs. Oakland
Let me get this straight: The Patriots destroy the Steelers. The next week, the Jags hold on to barely beat the Steelers. Now everyone is convinced that the Jags are a huge threat to the Patriots' perfect season?
Are you kidding me?
Game managers not named Trent Dilfer do not win in the playoffs. David Garrard is a glorified game manager.
The only team that has a shot at knocking off New England is the Colts. Everyone else might as well be playing in the CFL.
Prediction: Jags cover.
New Orleans (-3) Vs. Philadelphia
Before I get into this game, I just want to say Brian Westbrook's play at the end of the game last week was both the most intelligent and unselfish thing I've ever seen an NFL player do.
Can you imagine T.O. giving himself up on the one-yard line to clinch a victory instead of scoring a touchdown? Or anyone else, for that matter?
The Eagles won their Super Bowl last week.
The Saints still have an outside shot at getting to the real Super Bowl. They need this game and they're playing at home against an inferior opponent.
Plus, after the win last week, the Eagles' bags are packed and off-season plans are already made.
Prediction: Saints win by seven.
Minnesota (-6.5) Vs. Washington
The Vikings' offense played poorly enough in the first half to cost me in one of my fantasy football leagues—I needed the Bears defense to score 10 points or less to stay alive in the playoffs—but well enough to pull out the win in the second half.
I've always considered it impressive when a team plays poorly and still finds a way to win (see Patriots-Ravens and Cowboys-Bills from earlier this year). Shows character.
In a weak NFC, the Vikings could be a serious threat in the playoffs. Do you really think the Cowboys and their defense (and I use that term loosely) want to see Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor and the Minnesota Vikings?
Prediction: Minnesota covers.
Arizona (-10) Vs. Atlanta
This game doesn't even deserve a haiku.
Prediction: Arizona wins, but doesn't cover.
Seattle (-11) Vs. Baltimore
I guess Seattle is a good team. I mean, they've won nine games already and they'll probably finish 11-5.
So they must be a pretty good team, right?
In the NFC, the Cowboys are the favorite, the Packers are the sentimental favorite, the Bucs are the dark-horse, and the Seahawks are the...afterthought?
If I put a gun to your head right now, would you favor the Seahawks over any of the following teams: Cowboys, Packers, Buccaneers or Vikings? Me neither.
On the bright side, they're solid favorites over the Giants....
Prediction: Seattle covers.
Tennessee (-9) Vs. NY Jets
I came up with a great idea for my "Best of 2007" article for Bleacher Report, but "SeanMC's Prediction that Vince Young Would Stink Comes True" wasn't accepted as an appropriate subject. Back to the drawing board, I guess.
Eric Mangini is going to set an NFL record for highest commercial-appearance-to-win ratio for an NFL coach.
I'm having trouble getting a read on this game. The Jets are bad enough to lose by 10 to the Titans, but Vince Young is bad enough to keep the game close.
I'm going to bank on Jeff Fisher being smart enough to pound the ball and not give Young a chance to keep the game close.
Prediction: Titans cover.
Tampa Bay (-6) At San Francisco
Tampa Bay didn't have a single player selected to go to the Pro Bowl. That's completely insane.
Look, I'm as confused as anyone at how this team continues to win, but when you win your division and are clearly the third best team in your conference shouldn't you have at least a token representative on the Pro Bowl team?
A punter or something?
Joey Galloway, anyone?
Ronde Barber, maybe?
I need Frank Gore to have a big day this week. I started with two fantasy football teams. Eli Manning killed one of them last week—which may have contributed a little to my colorful description of his play earlier. This week I need Frank Gore to help Jamal Lewis, Ben Roethlisberger (who did his part yesterday), and the Patriots defense get me into the Super Bowl.
I'm cautiously optimistic after last week's performance against the Bengals.
However, I am aware that it was the Bengals.
Prediction: Tampa covers.
San Diego (-8.5) Vs. Denver
I really wish the San Diego Chargers had hired a competent head coach. It'll be a shame to watch all of that talent go to waste come playoff time.
Denver put up a massive stinker last week. They have the look of a team that's ready to pack it in.
I'm expecting the Chargers to win handily, while keeping in mind that Norv Turner is still involved. So anything's possible.
Prediction: Chargers cover.