Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will.
If the world ends as it’s supposed to today, the last NFL play we’ll have seen will be a Tennessee Titans kneeldown to close out one of the most hilarious games in NFL history. The second-to-last play? Mark Sanchez fumbling a low snap, his running back accidentally kicking the ball away from him while trying to block, and the Titans recovering to seal a victory they’d almost kicked away with a terrible 19-yard punt from their own endzone.
But the world probably won’t end, so I’ll make this week’s picks anyway.
Last Week: 9-7
My Record So Far: 110-105-6
Saturday Night Football (12/22 8:30PM)
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Detroit Lions
Because Monday is Christmas Eve, Monday Night Football is now Saturday Night Football, but it’s still called Monday Night Football, because #branding. I’m sure at the beginning of the year they thought this would be a real studly game, but last week the Lions lost to the Cardinals of all teams. Perhaps the whole team is suffering from the Madden Curse. The Falcons are better at home than on the road, but they’ll be playing in a dome, and the Lions have absolutely nothing left to give.
My Pick: Falcons (-3)
Sunday Early Games (12/23 1PM ET)
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers (-11)
On Christmas Eve-Eve, my dad and I have a tradition of going to the Hooters in South County just outside of St. Louis before doing our last-minute Christmas shopping, to eat wings and hopefully have a waitress whose name is either a boy’s name turned into a girl’s name (a la Bobbi) or a normal name that is misspelled (like Mallisa instead of Melissa). Therefore, I may see none of these games, and it doesn’t seem like I’ll be missing much with this one.
My Pick: Packers (-11)
Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers (-8)
This is another game that can easily be avoided for Hooters and Christmas shopping. Weirdly, I thought both of these teams were going to be kind of good this year. Thinking that is the least of this year’s mistakes for yours truly.
My Pick: Panthers (-8)
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-4.5)
They really are doing all the guys who waited until the last minute for Christmas shopping a favor with today’s schedule, aren’t they?
My Pick: Dolphins (-4.5)
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
On second thought, I’d like to watch this one. The Bengals and Steelers are tied in the standings, and even when either team is bad they tend to play one another tough. The Steelers haven’t looked great lately, but they’ll come to play against the Bengals. I think it’ll be close.
My Pick: Bengals (+4.5)
New England Patriots (-14) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Is it a regional thing when people say “Jagwires” instead of Jaguars, or is it just like “nookyular” in that some people just can’t pronounce this word correctly? I guess I’ll take the Parotits.
My Pick: Patriots (-14)
Indianapolis Colts (-6) at Kansas City Chiefs
Andrew Luck is having a fantastic rookie season, but a lot of people are overlooking the fact that he has the most turnovers of any player this season. He’ll still win Offensive Rookie of the Year if the Colts make the playoffs, but what my column presupposes is, maybe he shouldn’t?
My Pick: Colts (-6)
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
The Cowboys are in a great position not to screw the pooch here, and possibly make the playoffs and save the jobs of Tony Romo and Jason Garrett. The Saints have nothing to play for, after their season was blewed, screwed and tattooed by Roger Goodell. That’s why I have to pick the Saints in this one.
My Pick: Saints (+3)
Washington Redskins (-4) at Philadelphia Eagles
It’s kinda funny that the Redskins have two rookie quarterbacks who are better than the Eagles’ rookie quarterback. Also, RGIII is incredibly popular in DC right now—if there’s anyone who can get the team’s brass and public behind a change away from their awful racist name, it’s Robert Griffin III. How about something less offensive, like the Washington Facebook Arguments About Gun Control in the Wake of Tragedy?
My Pick: Redskins (-4)
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
It sounds like Greg Schiano’s players hate him as much as players from other teams hate him. Go Rams.
My Pick: Rams (+3)
Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans (-7.5)
Because I am a Rams fan, I watched Adrian Peterson rip off runs of 80+ and 50+ yards against my home team and even though I didn’t really want to, was sort of rooting for him to do it. He’s that awesome, and I hope he breaks the single-season rushing record. He’s gonna need a heckuva game against the Texans to do it, but he is a man possessed.
My Pick: Vikings (+7.5)
San Diego Chargers at New York Jets (-3)
I wonder if these teams will play each other next year after they’ve traded head coaches lol lmao rofl smh.
My Pick: Chargers (+3)
Sunday Late Games (12/23 4:05PM ET)
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (-12.5)
You know what? This spread is too high and the Broncos will have to have a letdown game at some point. I’m doin’ it. I’m takin’ the Browns.
My Pick: Browns (+12.5)
Chicago Bears (-5.5) at Arizona Cardinals (4:25 start)
The Bears have Bearly (get it?!?!?!?!??!!!!1111one!!!) stayed alive in their run for the playoffs, but it’ll be nice for them to play the Cardinals, who still have yet to call me to play quarterback, though it’s only a matter of time.
My Pick: Bears (-5.5)
New York Giants (-1) at Baltimore Ravens (4:25 start)
Here we have the battle of teams that are good but sort of underachieving right now. The Giants aren’t missing anyone important but aren’t playing well, and the Ravens are missing half of their starting defense and are, as a result, also not playing well. When in doubt, go with whichever quarterback you think is more “elite,” and like I’ve said before, you can’t spell elite without Eli. You can’t spell Joe Flacco without Jaccof.
My Pick: Giants (-1)
Sunday Night Game (12/23 8:30PM ET)
San Francisco 49ers (-1) at Seattle Seahawks
An NFC West game flexed into the primetime spot, right near the end of the year. The last time this happened, the Seahawks beat the Rams and wound up making the playoffs with a losing record. I think they’ll make the playoffs again, but with a winning record this time around.
My Pick: Seahawks (+1)
In case the world doesn’t end, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and I’ll see you back here next week for the end of the season, if not humanity.