So ESPN has nicknamed December 16th “Showdown Sunday” because their need to label every week of the college football season (Example: “Non-Conference Road Test Weekend For West Coast Teams That Are Good but Not Great”) is starting to bleed over into the NFL.
My desire to make fun of that particular network aside, this is a historic slate of NFL games. Never in the history of the league have winning teams faced off in six or more games this late in the season. With that in mind, I thought it’d be a good week to bust out a cliché predictions post. Feel free to stop by Monday Morning and call me an idiot in the comments section!
Packers at Bears
This game has quickly turned into “The Shit Talking Bowl”, and Sunday it will be settled on the field. Chicago started out 7-1 and they seem to be inching closer to a historic meltdown every week. The Packers on the other hand are 7-1 in their last 8 games and are making a bid for a first round bye. Aaron Rodgers has been considered one of the best quarterbacks in football the last three years and the Packers have had one of the more dynamic offenses, yet over the last six games he has only lead Green Bay to a hair over 22 points per game against their Illinois rival. This defense always plays him tough, but the bad news for Bears fans is that the Packer defense has played Jay Cutler tougher. Over that same time period the Bears offense is only scoring about 13.5 points per game against the Pack. I think Cheese Nation wins a close one here, but the injured Bears defense will come to play.
Score:Packers 20, Bears 16.
Bonus Prediction: With both offensive lines giving up sacks left and right, one of the two teams will bring in their long snapper for a brand new “SUPER SHOTGUN” formation.
Colts at Texans
I’ve been drinking the Andrew Luck kool-aid since his junior season at Stanford, and I think he has played remarkable this year considering how often he has had to throw the ball, but eight touchdowns to ten interceptions in his last 5 games is not exactly stellar stuff. Add that to the fact that he is playing a pissed off Texans defense this week, and this one might get ugly. In blowout losses to the Bears and Patriots this year Luck looked like a rookie, and I expect that to happen again this week.
Score: Colts 14, Texans 38.
Bonus Prediction: After searching for something to make him feel better after Monday Night’s blowout, Matt Schaub will show up wearing a wig for one week only, and never discuss it.
Broncos at Ravens
The Ravens changed offensive coordinators this week, something teams that are in the top ten in most offensive categories usually don’t do at the end of week 14. I was never that big of a Cam Cameron fan so I’m conflicted on the move. If the issue was Cam wasn’t giving the ball to Ray Rice enough, you have to wonder how much control John Harbaugh really has over this team if he can’t get his coordinators to fall in line more. I’m getting off topic here, though. I think the Broncos are due for a let down game. They already have the AFC West sewn up, and this Ravens team needs a win to convince themselves that they aren’t as shitty as people say they are. Add in the fact that Denver’s best win of the season seems to be against the Bengals, and I’m not exactly sold on the road team here yet.
Score: Broncos 24, Ravens 30.
Bonus Prediction: Joe Flacco settles the debate by finally getting “ELITE” tattooed on his forehead.
Giants at Falcons
This is one of those games that will illustrate what kind of football fan you are. Do you have faith in the “scrappy team with the heart of a champion” or the consistent team with the better record? I tend to believe in the latter in most situations, because I think intangibles are generally overrated in sports. People want the NFL to be a Disney movie, where despite playing like poop for 3 quarters, the goofy looking country bumpkin QB can still lead the underdog on a last second drive to win. Unfortunately for me, as I have made no bones about completely despising New York and their incessant whining, I think the fucking Giants are going to win this fucking game because they win every big fucking game ever. Fuck.
Score: Giants 35, Falcons 27.
Bonus Prediction: All that talk of salsa dancing made Michael Turner hungry.
Steelers at Cowboys
No matter how bad it has looked for the Cowboys this season, every few weeks they manage to creep back into the playoff conversation. But there’s a reason why everyone gives up on them twice a month: they stink. Yes, I know they have a winning record, and I know they are only a game back in the division…but c’mon, they stink. Tony Romo is due for another head scratching game, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off one of the most embarrassing losses in the league this season. Big Ben will come out angry and assault (no, not that kind of assault) the ‘Boys secondary and I think the game will be more or less over by the end of the third quarter.
Score: Steelers 27, Cowboys 17.
Bonus Prediction: There will be as much grainy old footage of 1970’s Steelers vs. Cowboys games as there will be live action.
49ers at Patriots
After Monday night the Patriots seem to be everyone’s consensus pick as the #1 team in football, unfortunately this isn’t college ball so that isn’t going to get them much. They still run the risk of missing out on a first round bye, something that is more likely than people think. I think people forget how good the 49ers defense is until they see them live, and in the cold on Sunday night I think they will be the difference. I hate it when announcers say, “the key to beating the Patriots is rattling Tom Brady” because that’s like saying, “the key to winning the lottery is picking all the right numbers”. It’s easier said than done. But just the same, I think the 49ers will rattle Tom Brady. And while the Patriots can run the ball better than they used to, San Fran runs it better than almost anyone. Much like Packers vs. Bears, I think this will be a low scoring game. I’m going with the upset here.
Score: 49ers 20, Patriots 17.
Bonus Prediction: Alex Smith sneaks into the game, disguised as a Patriots safety, and sacks Colin Kaepernick.
What do you think about OMG SHOWDOWN SUNDAY WTF? Let us know in the comments section!