It’s that time of year again! For those of you unfamiliar with this little feature, I enjoy football. So each week, I attempt to predict the winners of NFL games, doing so with pop culture/geek references or other things I think might be funny.
Your mileage may vary on that last bit.
To kick us off this season, here are my playoff predictions, which I’ll revisit in week 9 or thereabouts to see how horrible I’m doing:
- AFC Division Winners: Baltimore, Denver, Indianapolis, New England
- AFC Wild Cards: Miami, Pittsburgh
- NFC Division Winners: Arizona, Carolina, Dallas, Green Bay
- NFC Wild Cards: Philadelphia, Seattle
- Super Bowl 50: Green Bay over Indianapolis
Of course, I could be very, very wrong. There are a lot of games. Here’s how my prognostication went over the last two seasons:
- 2014: 171-83 (.673) regular season, 8-3 (.727) playoffs
- 2013: 164-91 (.643) regular season, 6-5 (.545) playoffs
As you can see, I’m improving, and last season I did better than the majority of these guys, who are paid to prognosticate. Hey, ESPN…call me.
Without further adieu, on with the first picks of the 2015 season! (Winning pick is in italics.)
Pittsburgh at New England: It amazes me how a team with the track record of the Patriots can still carry a chip on its shoulder year after year. And the NFL handed it a doozy with DeflateGate. Expect Tom Brady to go full Madden-cyborg on the Steelers.
Green Bay at Chicago: Why does Jay Cutler always look like he’s come off a three-day Doctor Who binge-watch on Netflix? He seems confused and wibbly-wobbly every single moment.
Kansas City at Houston: The Chiefs have serious O-line problems, and the Texans now have Vince Wilfork — an amazing human being if there ever was one. He stops to help strangers on the road and mainlines barbecue. He’ll likely eat a running back before the day is out. I love Vince Wilfork.
Cleveland at N.Y. Jets: The three bumbling trolls from The Hobbit meet a passel of Stormtrooper scouts from Return of the Jedi. This game would be perfect if it ended in a 3-3 tie…and it might.
Indianapolis at Buffalo: I’m not buying the Rex Ryan mystique yet, though I hope to see him fall upon on a tray of wings and beef-on-weck at some point. There’s good eating in Buffalo, y’all.
Miami at Washington: I used to be a Redskins fan after interning down there during one of their Joe Gibbs Super Bowl seasons. They are now more inept than Dark Helmet in Spaceballs. They will lose so long as Dan Snyder is playing fantasy football with a real team.
Carolina at Jacksonville: I’m thinking of this as a potential upset, because I like to root for the underdogs, but I’m still going with Carolina. Until proven otherwise, this is Saber-Cat vs. Hello Kitty.
Seattle at St. Louis: Another potential upset, because Kam Chancellor is still holding out, and there’s something about the Edward Jones dome that gives the Seahawks pause. But Marshawn Lynch could run through walls like the Juggernaut, so they’ll be fine.
New Orleans at Arizona: At the rate Carson Palmer is going, he’ll be more machine now than man, though not necessarily twisted and evil. If the Cards can keep him upright, this could be a special season down in Phoenix.
Detroit at San Diego: This is purely a home-field advantage play, mostly because these two teams are somehow in the playoff conversation every year, yet never quite make an impact. Good but not great, kind of like some of the Star Trek films.
Tennessee at Tampa Bay: I can’t pick Tampa Bay right now. I just can’t. They have worn the pall of horribility so long that I’ll need at least a four-game winning streak before I can do it. I ain’t holding my breath.
Cincinnati at Oakland: Same thing, but I do admire Oakland fans’ fashion choices. It’s like being at a very angry ComicCon.
Baltimore at Denver: Hey! Look! A really good game! And I’m going with the Crows here. I can’t help but think that Denver’s watch has ended.
New York at Dallas: Jerry Jones’ mirrorshades were lifted from Men in Black and the coach looks like he was lifted from Archie comics. But the ‘Boys are at home, and I hate to admit it but…they’re not bad.
Philadelphia at Atlanta: Is Chip Kelly some kind of evil genius? Maybe. But right now, the Falcons have a lot more to prove than the Eagles. Too bad…I had fun in Atlanta at DragonCon. I like to root for fun cities.
Minnesota at San Francisco: I’m kind of glad that A) Jim Harbaugh got shipped to Michigan, and B) I don’t watch college football. I think that guy’s gonna have an aneurysm on the sidelines some day, and I don’t need to see that.