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4th and Krol: Week 14 Picks!

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Week 14: You Know Who Likes Butter? Paula Deen!

Week 14: You Know Who Likes Butter? Paula Deen!

D.T.: We’re down to the home stretch. The playoff situation is solidifying: the Panthers are the first to clinch their division and look to land a first round bye, while the Browns are the first team officially eliminated from the post-season. We’re still a ways off from Santa Clara though, and here’s where shit starts to get really interesting.
BMK: I’m writing this on Friday night from a hotel in AZ.  I grew up here, and when I lived here the Cardinals were never, ever considered a good team. They had one playoff victory and when I left for good in 2004. Despite having a very prolific draft in 2004 under Denny Green, the Cardinals were years away from being competitive.  Because of this, Phoenix was a basketball town and the Cardinals were an afterthought.

Well, it’s amazing what ten years will do. This town is football crazy. It’s approaching the wild fanaticism I saw when I lived in Pittsburgh. When the Steelers had a down year, that is. (Seriously, nothing can touch the Steelers fanbase.) I’ve seen more Cardinals hats and shirts in the last five hours than I ever did when I lived here. It’s gratifying. As a long term fan, I’m not used to seeing this. It’s sort of freaking me out.

Anyway, enough autobiographical horse puckey. On to the picks!
———-

VIKINGS at CARDINALS

D.T.: Yet another prime time game for Arizona, they play host to the Vikings, currently tied with Green Bay for 1st in the division. Arizona’s got some room for error, but they’re playing for the second seed in the NFC, while the Vikings are in do-or-die mode, looking to hold on to at least the 5th seed in the NFC North. After their embarrassment against Seattle last week, look to see Minnesota come out swinging — however, with Bridgewater struggling as much as he is, this game will be Cardinals Defense vs Adrian Peterson all night. And as great a season as AP is having, one man does not a team make.

CARDINALS

BMK: If you read the intro you, a) know that I’m writing this after this game was played, and b) you now know more about me than you ever wanted to. Rest assured, constant reader, that I picked the Cardinals to win this week and I told DT.  So there’s no chicanery here! No, sir!

Anyway, the Cardinals won, but there’s cause for concern going forward.  The Cardinals have lost leads in the last four games. Somehow they won them all, but still, Super Bowl contending teams don’t blow leads.

CARDINALS

———-

BILLS at EAGLES

D.T.: Any given Sunday. That statement rings more true than ever after the Eagles tarnished the Patriots’ record yet again. It took injury to virtually all of New England’s receivers to do it, but Chip Kelly may live to coach another day in Philly. On the flip side, Buffalo’s offense looks pretty sharp, and their star receiver, Sammy Watkins, is poised to carve up that Eagles secondary. With Buffalo looking to climb above .500 and with a little more to fight for, I say they take it.

BILLS

BMK: Years ago, the “tough” kids at my school would wear No Fear T-shirts. Many of these shirts had little pithy sayings on them. My favorite was “Second Place is FIRST LOSER.” Why do I bring this up? Because the Eagles are in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East, and in that division, first place is still the first loser. I mean, can you imagine any of those teams taking on the Seahawks and winning?  So yeah, congratulations, you could win the division, Eagles.  That don’t mean you’re going anywhere, pal.

What’s really funny is the Cowboys are only one game out of first, AND they have a better in-division record.  This is with a seven game losing streak.  If that division was a building, it woud’ve been condemned years ago.

EAGLES

———-

SEAHAWKS at RAVENS

D.T.: The Ravens are done; a win against Seattle would be nothing more than a moral victory, but that shit just ain’t happening. Expect another Seattle blow out like last week against the Vikings.

RAVENS

BMK: What DT said. There’s no way Seattle loses this game. Especially if Jimmy Clausen is starting.

SEAHAWKS

———-

NINERS at BROWNS

D.T.: Another game that means next to nothing; the Browns are officially the first team eliminated from the post-season, and the Niners aren’t far behind. Johnny Manziel was let out of quarterback jail early out of sheer desperation (and possibly to get some more footage so they can trade him?), so it’s Johnny Fuckup against a Blaine Gabbert who showed some competency against the Bears last week. It’s safe enough to take the Niners here.

 

I had another joke in mind when I went Googling for Manizel photos. Then I found this. It's like the Mt. Rushmore of fucking douchebag assholes in entertainment. Sweet FUCKING Christ.

I had another joke in mind when I went Googling for Manizel photos. Then I found this. It’s like the Mt. Rushmore of fucking douchebag assholes in entertainment. Sweet FUCKING Christ.

 

NINERS

BMK: Good God, that picture is like a Murderer’s Row of Dipshits….

NINERS

———-

LIONS at RAMS

D.T.: The Lions very nearly beat the Packers last week, when an all-time highlight play was made by Aaron Rodgers to close the game in the final moments. The Lions have to be dejected after that loss, but they’ll be able to bounce back against the Rams this week. St. Louis found new levels of shame last week, as Jeff Fisher made concrete his removal after such staggeringly bad calls as faking a fake punt. That’s not a typo. The Rams are earning being called one of the worst offenses in league history. Enjoy your Sunday, Lions fans!

 

Dude, you got the Rams, Saints, Niners and Bears in the home stretch. Save that bullet for next year.

Dude, you got the Rams, Saints, Niners and Bears in the home stretch. Save that bullet for next year.

 

LIONS

BMK: A yes…the battle of the Fucked Up Franchises. The Lions can’t catch a break this year, despite having a very good QB, and the Rams can’t do anything right this year, because their QB situation is a Port-a-Potty fire.

In a battle like this, I usually go with the best QB.  Which is Stafford by a country mile.

By the by, Fisher is gone next year. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!

LIONS
———-

TITANS at JETS

D.T.: The Jets sit currently at the number six seed for the post season while the Titans are already looking at having January off, with a record of 3-9. Mariota showed once again against the Jaguars last week that with a better team and a real, honest-to-goodness coach, he could be great. Then again, it was against the Jaguars’ defense. Jets take this one to the bank. That’s a saying, right?

JETS

BMK: Mariota has shown some flashes of being able to play at the professional level. Which is all you can really ask for when a team has a high enough draft pick to select a top-tier college prospect.  Hopefully the Titans can get their act together and surround this kid with some talent.  It’s a shame to waste a perfectly good QB.  Also, it’s shame to throw away a perfectly good white boy, too.

JETS

———-

STEELERS at BENGALS

D.T.: We come to the great AFC North battle of this season. With this win, the Bengals can clinch the division, and to do so against pretty much their only real divisional rival is a serious priority. They enjoyed a nice practice scrimmage against the Browns last week, while the Steelers had their way with a Colts squad entirely out of Luck.
 

"I don't like to use swear words, but that was really fucking lame."

“I don’t like to use swear words, but that was really fucking lame.”

Can the Bengals defense contain a nigh-unstoppable combination of Cheeseburger and Brown? That’ll be key for them on Sunday. Expect a high-stakes shootout, and a gritty fight between these two teams. As for the winner? I take the Bengals at home to clinch the division.

BENGALS

BMK: This is probably the best game of the week. There’s a lot going on here. The Steeler’s defense isn’t doing so hot, but Roethlisburger and Brown are one hell of a combo.

My head’s telling me to take the Bengals, but the Steelers have so much more to play for, and Andy Dalton is due for his late year slide.  So I’m taking the Steelers in the upset.

STEELERS

———-

COLTS at JAGUARS

D.T.: The downside to the excitement of the last few weeks of football is the fact that for every desperate, thrilling battle for a post season spot, we have a game that means jack fuckin’ shit. Yeah, the Colts are sitting on the 4th seed in the AFC playoff picture, but they’re out of steam, and will be little more than wild card round fodder — an easy stepping stone for another team to squeeze their way in. The Jaguars are also playing in this game. That’s about all I have to say about this one. Colts, I guess.

COLTS

BMK: Last week, I watched the Cardinals game in a nice little bar called Chaplin’s in Union City, CA. Behind me were two—TWO—Jaguars fans, each wearing a Bortles jersey. It was like seeing the Loch Ness Monster. Wearing a Blake Bortles jersey.

Anyway, there’s no way the Jaguars are going to win this game.

COLTS

———-

CHARGERS at CHIEFS

D.T.: Last week, the Broncos beat the shit out of the Patriots, Brock Osweiler landed himself another win, and we got to see Rivers throw a fucking fit.

 

The most sourest grapes you ever saw.

The most sourest grapes you ever saw.

It was a pretty good day for Broncos fans, and fans of high comedy everywhere. And San Diego will take another loss this week in their shameful farewell tour as their last season known as the San Diego Chargers. Perhaps the Los Angeles Chargers will fare better…

CHIEFS

BMK: The Los Angeles Chargers aint going to fare any better.  This team is now in rebuilding mode, and they’re done. Rivers will never win a championship. He’ll have to be content collecting high-five figure speaking fees and doing television appearances and analysis after his career ends.

———-

REDSKINS at BEARS

D.T.: I didn’t bother watching the Redskins/Cowboys game on Monday night. I considered it for a moment, and then went about living my life. I can imagine how it went: a few field goals, both teams making stupid plays, probably a few seconds of talk about RGIII, lots of talk about Romo’s collarbone, and suddenly the game was over before anyone was aware anything had happened. I nailed it, right?

 

 Pictured: Two actual reactions to my spot-on estimation of last Monday's game.


Pictured: Two actual reactions to my spot-on estimation of last Monday’s game.

Expect this week to play out probably the same way, and the Redskins to take another boring, tired loss.

BEARS

BMK: I didn’t watch the game either, but Drew Magary (who’s my spirit animal) tweeted that the game was like watching a fish die. That’s the kind of simile I wish I had thought of.

Anyway…the game was awful, and now the NFC East has a logjam for first WHICH IS HILARIOUS.

I think I’m going to stay with DT’s prediction and go with the Bears.  Mostly because I can’t find a compelling reason not to. Cutler is a better QB than Cousins and the game is in Chicago.  So, yeah…why won’t the Bears win?  Beyond having an awful defense and no real offensive weapons…

BEARS

———-

FALCONS at PANTHERS

D.T.: The Panthers might take a loss before the post-season starts, but it sure as shit ain’t gonna be here. The Panthers are going to run roughshod all over their unfortunate divisional rivals.

 

I haven't forgotten about you, K-Ben. I miss you, boo.

I haven’t forgotten about you, K-Ben. I miss you, boo.

 

PANTHERS

BMK: I really hope the Panthers lose and soon. Cam Newton just irritates me. Anyway, like my colleague behind the Saguaro curtain says, there’s no way the Falcons are going to beat the Panthers. I mean, think about it. A falcon is just a large bird. There’s no way it can kill a panther. Even if that panther was a baby.

Yeah, I’m running out of things to say this week….so what?!?

PANTHERS

———-

SAINTS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: I’m sorry. I seriously could not care any less. It’s not because neither of these teams are any good, or that I wouldn’t like to see the Saints get one last divisional win after that grudge match of a loss against Carolina, but… this game doesn’t mean anything. It just doesn’t.

BUCCANEERS
BMK: You know what! This game means something to me.

Wait…no, it doesn’t.

SAINTS
———-

RAIDERS at BRONCOS

D.T.: Sorry, Raiders fans. Your team is on the upswing, and things look to be getting better. A decent draft pick in 2016 will help, so take the hit and absorb it with pride. Osweiler leads the Broncos to a modest win in Denver this week.

BRONCOS

BMK: People in the Bay Area were in complete denial about the Raiders. Some were even talking playoffs. Good thing DT and I were immune to that kind of crazy talk!

Anyway, the Raiders are on the upswing. Carr has proven that he can play at the professional level, Amari Cooper could be a pretty good receiver, and hopefully Kahlil Mack will take the next step sometime in the next five years or so.  If they can do that and keep drafting well, the Los Angeles Raiders will be in serious contention for a Superbowl…

BRONCOS

———-

COWBOYS at PACKERS

D.T.: The Packers backslide has been intriguing and often bewildering, but nothing compared to how fucking bad the Cowboys are with Romo injured. Remember what I said before about one player not making a full team? It still rings true, but Dallas has lost all will to live with Romo inactive. They’re done for, and I honestly think what’s happened to that team this season in terms of morale will reverberate through the next couple of seasons to come.

PACKERS

BMK: It’s true, that one person does not a team make, but the QB is the most important part of the modern football team. (Insights like that are why 4th and Krol are shooting to the TOP of the sporting journalism world.) The Cowboys without Romo is like a Ferrari with an El Camino engine.  If that Ferrari was owned by a weasel drunk with power and wealth.

PACKERS

———-

PATRIOTS at TEXANS

D.T.: It’s looking doubtful that Gronkowski will return this week against the Texans. That gives Houston some hope, after seeing what a defunct Philly team was able to accomplish when Brady is the only offensive name on the field. I’m making this my upset of the week, and saying that the Texans find a way to upset and land a win against a Patriots team both hurt by injuries and comfy enough in the standings to play a soft game.

 

 "I'm gonna make him call me Gisele."


“I’m gonna make him call me Gisele.”

TEXANS

BMK: Without Gronk this team is like Ferrari without any wheels.  Useless, but still a better car than your Hyundai.

TEXANS

———-

GIANTS at DOLPHINS

 

D.T.: Two teams with very little chance of making the post-season, dropped onto a nation of viewers who will watch for a quarter, then switch to whatever dumb sitcom or singing show is on at the same time. The Giants couldn’t secure a win against a Jets team with no cornerbacks, and it’s a toss-up this week, as well. Maybe NBC should just take one of the betterSunday games, and re-air it, instead. They’d probably get better ratings through the 4th quarter. Do I have to pick someone? Okay, fine. Giants, I guess.

"No Coughlin joke this week? This must be the disappointment my dad feels this season."

“No Coughlin joke this week? This must be the disappointment my dad feels this season.”

 

"Eli... just shut up."

“Eli… just shut up.”

 

GIANTS
BMK: This game is like a Ferrari that’s been blown up and buried under several tons of shit.

GIANTS
———-

D.T.: And there’s week 14 on paper, with no take-backs. The league desperately needs to reevaluate the way in which teams achieve the post-season. Teams with horrible records looking to actually contend and even host a fucking game in the playoffs is a terrible thing we’ve seen all too often. Maybe it’s time to do away with divisions and seed solely on conference. In another 10-15 years, football will be as overdue for change as baseball. And that’s sad and depressing because even with all the awful bullshit we fans have to deal with, it’s still the most exciting game on the planet. That said, I’m excited for the games we know will be great this week, and I look forward to enjoying them all in person over beers with Krol. Shit’s gonna get silly.

 

BMK: Thanks for reading folks! Like DT said, I’m in AZ this weekend and we plan on getting loaded and watching football. Maybe we’ll record the podcast in that state. Who knows!  Next week, we’ll be back and better than ever. Maybe I’ll even have a new metaphor.

 

No promises.

 

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Written by B. Michael Krol

December 13, 2015 at 11:23 am

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