Are you going to see The Force Awakens? Of course you are. You and a billion other souls on this planet. I’m going tonight, in fact, because I’m that stoked.
But there’s still football going on this weekend, and unfortunately, the running backs won’t be carrying lightsabers. Still, the NFL remains pretty interesting at the moment. The Jets, Chiefs and Steelers are neck-and-neck for wild card spots in the AFC playoff picture, while Seattle and Minnesota need to keep winning to lock up their wild cards in the NFC.
Oh, and there are two dismal divisions — the NFC East and AFC South — in which 6-7 teams (and one 5-8 team) are vying for the division title. These divisions are like the battles between the droid army and the Gungans in Phantom Menace. They’ll be waged, and few will deem them worthy.
And now, in honor of The Force Awakens, I give you your Star Wars-themed picks. (Winners in italics.)
Tampa Bay at St. Louis: See, this is one of the (many) reasons I have tickets for tonight, because I don’t have to watch this one.
N.Y. Jets at Dallas: I think Ryan Fitzpatrick looks a bit like a Jedi rocking that beard. As a fellow beard-o, I approve.
Chicago at Minnesota: “It’s a trap” game! For the Vikings. The Seahawks creamed them last week, and Chicago is just sneaky enough to get the job done. Careful, Vikes.
Atlanta at Jacksonville: Like the Rebels fleeing Hoth, the Jags remain in disarray, but surprisingly still have something left to fight for.
Houston at Indianapolis: This is the exact game I described in that Phantom Menace reference. And if Andrew Luck isn’t healthy and good, he’s pretty much Jar-Jar.
Carolina at N.Y. Giants: In order to win, the Giants will need to fly down this trench and hit a target two meters wide…wait, doesn’t quite work that way. Point is, it’s tough sledding for the Giants in a must-win game against an undefeated foe.
Tennessee at New England: All too easy.
Buffalo at Washington: Is it weird that Washington is basically the Ewoks at this point? They’re winning battles they have no right winning, and stealing native stereotypes on top of it.
Kansas City at Baltimore: The Chiefs could be the Rebel Alliance of the playoffs — underdogs and scrappy enough to prevail.
Cleveland at Seattle: The Force is strong with Russel Wilson. Johnny Football, meanwhile, keeps flirting with the Dark Side. Wise up. Wilson’s a fine role model, Johnny.
Green Bay at Oakland: The Packers sensed a disturbance in their playoff chances, and took some smart steps last week to correct it.
Denver at Pittsburgh: I really want to turn Brock Osweilier into a Luke Skywalker/Chosen One guy, but Pittsburgh is too formidable right now.
Miami at San Diego: Hey, this is a fine time to catch an afternoon showing of The Force Awakens in San Diego or Miami.
Cincinnati at San Francisco: Without Dalton, the Bengals nonetheless remain strong. The 49ers remain bantha poodu.
Arizona at Philadelphia: A good game to watch. Better than Attack of the Clones.
Detroit at New Orleans: Wait. How is this a good idea? Go back to the movie theater.
Last week’s record: A respectable 11-5.
Season record: Looking good at 128-80, and now doing better than a majority of these guys. Finally!