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.
Last week I wrote my picks in a haze of pre-Holiday depression and distraction, and as a result I went 13-3 for my best week yet, and would have to get every single pick this week wrong to fall below .500 for the year. Scanning the list of games this week, I very well could get every single one wrong, because a handful of these fall into the “crapshoot” realm. But it’s the final week of the regular season, so let’s do it big, one last time.
Last Week: 13-3
My Record So Far: 123-108-6
Sunday Early Games (12/30 1PM ET)
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-3.5)
You know when you have a friend who you never really get together with an occasionally you shoot them an email or they message you on Facebook and it’s like “hey, we should get together sometime soon” but you never do? I sorta think that’s what happened to Tim Tebow this year, except nobody was ever really his friend.
My Pick: Bills (-3.5)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
I had a couple of friends in town last weekend from Cincinnati, and we watched the Bengals-Steelers game because it was an important matchup, even though it was one of the ugliest games of the year and was won on a last-second field goal for the truly unmemorable score of 13-10. A football game ending 13-10 is like a forty degree day. This game will likely be just as ugly, but since it’s in Cincy, I’ll pick the Bengals to be the ugly team with the best personality. Those Bengals, they’re great dancers.
My Pick: Bengals (-3)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
At the time of writing, there is no line for this game, presumably because neither team has anything to play for and there are injuries galore on both sides.
My Pick: N/A
Houston Texans (-7) at Indianapolis Colts
Both of these teams have clinched playoff spots, so it’s hard to say what kind of effort will come out of this game when only seeding is still in play. Wouldn’t it be awful if since the Colts’ head coach came back from his cancer treatment they started sucking? Since the world is generally awful (proven by the past month or so) I sadly predict that is what will happen.
My Pick: Texans (-7)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-4)
I was going to line up key matchups and offensive and defensive metrics to find a definitive answer as to who would be victorious in this glorious matchup, but instead of doing so I cut my toenails over the toilet, carefully making sure each snipped nail fell in the water so as to be easily flushed away.
My Pick: Titans (-4)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-7.5)
The Giants can still make the playoffs through a combination of a win and several other teams losing in a scenario that requires a full geometric proof to understand. The Giants have been playing so badly that one might think they’d have no chance, but they’re playing this year’s biggest disappointment, the Eagles, playing their final game with a lame duck coach in maybe Michael Vick’s latest final game with the squad. 30-60-90 triangle QED.
My Pick: Giants (-7.5)
Chicago Bears (-3) at Detroit Lions
I was all high on the Bears and Jay Cutler a few weeks ago, and now I’m not so high on them anymore, but I am even less high on the Lions. Will I pick any underdogs this week? Not yet!
My Pick: Bears (-3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
There is also no posted line for this game, I suppose because it’s not yet announced whether or not the Falcons will be resting all of their starters in a meaningless game against the coach most likely to petulantly send his guys out to injure someone. I feel like Tampa’s coach is overcompensating and trying to be manly because his last name is pronounced She-onno.
My Pick: N/A
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-5)
The Saints can get back to .500 and somewhat salvage what has been a lost season by going out winning rather than losing, and doing so at home where they can then walk from the Superdome to Bourbon Street and get a crave case of Kristal sliders (not as good as White Castle) and take them into Hustler’s Barely Legal Strip Club (this is an actual thing).
My Pick: Saints (-5)
Sunday Late Games (12/30 4:25PM ET)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-10)
There was this kid I sort of knew who was friends of friends of friends in high school whose name was, I shit you not, Mike Dolphin. I wonder if he’s a character in a Pynchon novel. (Underdog pick woo!)
My Pick: Dolphins (+10)
Green Bay Packers (-3) at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings need this game to stay alive for the playoffs, and Adrian Peterson needs more than 200 yards to break the single-season rushing record held by Eric, the Son of One Who Dicks. Even if he doesn’t break the record, I think the fact that he’s doing this almost exactly a year from when his knee was entirely destroyed shows who the MVP and the Comeback Player of the Year should be, even though it will go to Peyton Manning (also deserving, just less so).
My Pick: Packers (-3)
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-16)
Underdog pick because the Broncos will probably start resting people and this spread is ridiculous!
My Pick: Chiefs (+16)
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
A third game with no posted line, this time because Carson Palmer is out. No posted line and no playoff implications? This game will be watched by no one, not even Philip Rivers’ 900 kids.
My Pick: N/A
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-16.5)
Apparently Beanie Wells of the Arizona Cardinals, mad that he got benched, issued a statement talking about how this game would be his “audition” for a job on one of the NFL’s other 31 teams. I’m guessing those other 31 teams will be really glad to hear that and be playing close attention to the man that I can’t help but refer to as Weenie Bells.
My Pick: 49ers (-16.5)
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5)
Since the Seahawks are going to make the playoffs, should Russell Wilson actually be the rookie of the year, even though he was the least hyped of the rookie QB bunch? He actually probably should be, but I’m still betting Andrew Luck will win, because he, like me, is white.
My Pick: Seahawks (-10.5)
Sunday Night Game (12/30 8:30PM ET)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-3)
The final game of the season has Robert Griffin III facing off against Tony Romo in a battle for a playoff spot. I don’t have much sarcastic to say about this one, because I’m actually looking forward to watching it, and will be rooting for the Redskins. I feel justified in doing so because I was born in Washington, DC, and I have never been to Dallas, nor have I watched the television show Dallas. I have looked at skimpy-dress pictures of baseball wife Dallas Latos, though.
My Pick: Redskins (-3)
Up next week: the best week of the football year, Wild Card Weekend. Playoffs? Playoffs!