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.
Many times, the end of the NFL regular season does not correspond with the end of a year, instead bleeding over into the first weekend of the next year. But this year, we reach the end of both 2013 and the regular season this week. I’ll miss one. I’ll probably not miss the other. And this is my final chance to get to .500 for the season and declare this season, if not a success, at least not a complete and total failure. In that respect, I’m sort of like my hometown St. Louis Rams.
Get your pick on, after the jump.
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time bets were made. Be sure to consult your very legitimate and legal sports book [cough] before making a bet of your own; lines move constantly due to the action on particular games. Also, gambling is illegal in many states. And watch out for those offshore betting sites, lest you end up like an online poker professional. Okay? Okay. Onward and upward.)
Last Week’s Record: 8-7
My Record So Far: 113-116-8
Sunday Early Games (12/29 1PM ET)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals -5.5
I like that the final week of the season now focuses on division rivalry games, so that even when there are no playoff implications, at least one team or another is playing for something. The Bengals and Ravens hate one another, and the Ravens are playing for a half-assed chance at getting into the playoffs, while the Bengals want to improve their seed. Men taking fertility drugs also want to improve their seed.
My Pick: Ravens +5.5
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers -7
The Steelers can make the playoffs if the Ravens lose, if Mars is in retrograde, and if Dr. Dre finally releases Detox, the Chinese Democracy of tentpole rap albums. The Browns cannot make the playoffs, but they can play spoiler. Yes, you read that correctly: they can play the extraneous piece of plastic on the trunk of a hoodrat’s car after seeing 2 Fast 2 Furious 2 many times.
My Pick: Browns +7
Carolina Panthers -7 at Atlanta Falcons
I really like Tony Gonzalez. I like him enough that I can overlook the fact that he took part in a PETA campaign. It really sucks that his final game will be this and not at least a playoff game, since the only reason he came back was to try and get a ring. I also declare that his other ethnicity/other sport twin is former NBA player Rick Fox.
My Pick: Falcons +7
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings -3
I think now that the Lions are officially eliminated, and thus have nothing left to choke off, they will win this now meaningless game.
My Pick: Lions +3
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans -6.5
You guys like meaningless storylines? The Titans used to be the Oilers and played in Texas. The Texans are Texan and thus play in Texas. Also Texan? Kinky Friedman.
My Pick: Texans +6.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts -11.5
If Andrew Luck were not a mobile, athletic quarterback (though people never call him that because of his lack of active melanin), I would call him Standrew Luck. But since that does not apply, I will refer to his say-the-right-thing-which-is-nothing postgame interviews and call him Blandrew Luck.
My Pick: Jaguars +11.5
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins -6.5
You remember that Will Smith song “Welcome to Miami”? I do. I still remember the words: Romma zomma damn omma heat is on, hah dooboo flip till the break of dawn. Welcome to Miami. Bienvenido a Miami.
My Pick: Jets +6.5
Washington Redskins at New York Giants -3.5
Spock Nephews will once again be under center for the Washington professional football team. He will throw FEWER interceptions than Eli Manning.
My Pick: Redskins +3.5
Sunday Late Games (12/29 4:05/4:25PM ET)
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots -9
Earlier this year, the Patriots were on the Sunday Night Football game and Chris Collinsworth was, as usual, overpraising Brady and Belichick. This time, the object of overpraise was the signing of Aqib Talib, because they got good value for him due to his personal problems. Collinsworth said something along the lines of “and the Patriots just get more out of these guys, and it doesn’t backfire.” Aaron Hernandez would beg to differ.
My Pick: Patriots -9
Green Bay Packers -3 at Chicago Bears
Those who Aaron Rodge will be back under center, and the Bears, coming off of a truly embarrassing primetime loss, will go quietly into that good night.
My Pick: Packers -3
Denver Broncos -12.5 at Oakland Raiders
Denver has nothing to play for, really, but I’m guessing Peyton Manning wants a few more touchdowns for that record, and the Raiders, starting Terrelle Pryor, are terrible.
My Pick: Broncos -12.5
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers -10
Why are the Chargers favored by ten?
My Pick: Chiefs +10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints -12.5
Winning this game could go a long way toward saving Greg Schiano’s job. I hope the Tampa Bay players realize this, because this would be a great time to lay an egg, for everyone’s sake. That guy just seems like an asshole.
My Pick: Saints -12.5
San Francisco 49ers -1.5 at Arizona Cardinals
Man I would really like the Cardinals to win this game. This pick is from the heart, not from the brain.
My Pick: Cardinals +1.5
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks -10
If the Rams win this game, they’ll be 8-8 and officially have improved upon last year, despite how awful they’ve looked at times throughout the season. I’ve watched all their damn games, so the least they can do is pull one out for me here. And by pull one out, I mean lose by less than ten. I’ll be happy with that.
My Pick: Rams +10
Sunday Night Game (12/29 8:25PM ET)
Philadelphia Eagles -7 at Dallas Cowboys
The winner of this game is granted the right to lose in the first round of the playoffs next week.
My Pick: Eagles -7
See you next year! For the playoffs I mean.