The first picks of the new year, 2011, who'd a thunk it? Happy New Year everyone! Time for the New Years resolutions and all that. Let's have a look at the last week of the NFL regular season and also each teams New Years resolutions.
Panthers @ Falcons
Bear in mind the Falcons do actually have something to play for here. With that in mind, like every time Braylon Edwards opens his mouth, no thought required here. The Panthers got a head start on their New Year's resolution, firing their coach last week. The Falcons resolve to never call such a dull, boring game plan again, after last weeks snooze inducing 'offensive' game plan.
The pick: Falcons 38-13
Steelers @ Browns
Big Ben's New Year's resolution is to read the entire works of Germaine Greer in the offseason. Eric Mangini's New Year's resolution is to find a job, you know, right after he gets the sack. Probably right after this game. The Steeers actually do have something to play for here, and that matched with the Browns nasty little late season slump/slide should combine for a Steelers win.
The pick: Steelers 26-14
Vikings @ Lions
The Lions New Year's resolution is to be awesome in 2011. They will get things started here with rolling their three game streak into four. First rant of the day. How on earth is Matt Millen the face and voice of all things football now on TV? The Lions are only now slowly recovering from his stint as their president for eight years, from which he was fired in 2008. They were very definitely the eight worst years in Lions franchise history. He also called amiable Ron Jaworski a 'Polack' as recently as 2010. That's not cool. Why is this guy in our living rooms every Sunday?
The pick: Lions 24-20
Raiders @ Chiefs
The Raiders New Year's resolution is to be less confusing in 2011, they were almost impossible to predict this season. The Chiefs New Year's resolution is to wrap Matt Cassel in bubble wrap in the offseason. The drop off in quality to their backup is cliff like. Steep cliff, like. This game is somewhat meaningful to the Chiefs, who are pretty decent at home anyway.
The pick: Chiefs 30-17
Dolphins @ Patriots
The Dolphins New Year's resolution is to win some home games next season. No problem with their road record though, 7-1, that's just crazy. The Patriots New Year's resolution is to give Bill Belichick a lifetime contract. He earned it on the back of this season alone almost. Can the Patriots 'B' squad beat Miami? Probably.
The pick: Patriots 24-21
Buccaneers @ Saints
Massive 'trap' game. On first glance your initial inclination, well, most sane people's inclination would be to pick the Saints. However, assuming the Falcons get the job done against the coach-less Panthers, the Saints have absolutely nothing to play for. They will have their scrubs in by late in the second quarter. The Buccaneers can qualify given a set of crazy permutations, so they will be trying their little hearts out. Take the crazily high points spread and sit back and enjoy Josh Freeman's awesome afro.
The pick: Buccaneers 23-20
Bills @ Jets
The Bills New Year's resolution is to find some quality skill players for the surprisingly good Ryan Fitzpatrick to toss the pigskin to. The Jets New Year's resolution is probably just to mouth off, taunt, eulogize, verbally fabricate and basically bore us all to death with their own brand of soporific rubbish in 2011. Again.
The pick: Jets 20-17
Bengals @ Ravens
The Bengals New Year's resolution is to avoid reality TV like the bubonic plague. The Ravens is to find some young defensive players that talk less and tackle more. You know, to replace the second biggest mouth (behind the Jets collectively) in the NFL, Ray Lewis, who does way more talking than tackling these days.
The pick: Ravens 24-20
Chargers @ Broncos
Does Tim Tebow believe in New Year's resolutions? Or are they a sin? How on earth does he survive in the NFL, amongst a group of men famous for womanising, gambling, drinking and carousing at 'Last days of Rome' levels? Does he basically end up in the fetal position in a dark corner of whatever club they are in clutching his rosary beads rocking back and forth reciting scripture? Before the angry religious right start their angry commenting, Tim Tebow chooses to ram his religion down my throat (snicker), so I reserve the right to make fun of him. One question for you. Imagine a dark skinned, Muslim player, who painted passages from the Koran in his eye black, and answered every single question with 'I just want to thank Allah for everything' and rammed his religious beliefs down our throats, do you honestly think it would be accepted, in fact adored and adulated, by the US sporting media? Be honest. I don't think so. Hey Tebow though, mighty fine football player. What in blazes were we talking about? Oh right, Broncos, at home, playing for their fans and against a hated old rival. Plus Tim Tebow is awesome.
The pick: Broncos 33-30
Bears @ Packers
The bout to knock the other guy out. Believe it or not there is a chance this fine Packers team will not make the playoffs. The Bears New Year's resolution? I don't know, can they even think straight enough to make one, given how excited they must be in Chicago right now? Just a feeling, they come down to earth a little bit this week, The Packers might be getting healthy at just the right time.
The pick: Packers 28-24
Titans @ Colts
The Titan's New Year's resolution is to find some decent linemen and Tight Ends to block for Chris Johnson. They had one (Alge Crumpler) but he got away to New England, and all of a sudden Ben Jarvis Green Ellis looks like the second coming of Corey Dillon. The Colts New Year's resolution? Bill Polian is working on a rule change as we speak, that opposition players are not allowed physically touch Peyton Manning while he is in the act of passing. Not too long ago, after New England destroyed his Colts in the playoffs, Polian griped, whined, whinged and nagged his way to the rule changes that now mean you basically can't even look funny at receivers in the passing game. It is always good to bring that up and remember it. Please do not get fooled into backing Tennessee in this game. Don't do it. Step away from the computer, if that's what you were planning. The Titans are absolutely awful, and the Colts are the kind of team that, even while struggling, get on the field and play so well that you end up chastising yourself for backing against them, 'Damn, they are that good.' Plus they are playing for their lives here.
The pick: Colts 36-20
Cowboys @ Eagles
Michael Vick's New Year's resolution is to be kinder to animals, no, seriously, apparently it actually is. Is anyone else not buying this vapid, transparent 'transformation' or is it just me?
The pick: Eagles 35-30
Cardinals @ 49ers
If you find yourself gambling on, watching or anyway otherwise following this game, your New Year's resolution should be to read a book, visit an old friend or paint a wall somewhere, instead of watching this meaningless crap.
The pick: I refuse to pick between these two. Huh, I have to? Fine, whatever, Cardinals 17-14
Giants @ Redskins
Tom Coughlin's New Year's resolution is to be nice to kickers and punters. Donovan McNabb's New Year's resolution is to text Ricky Williams and find out what he's doing the next few months.
The pick: Giants 27-24
Jaguars @ Texans
Note to all those picking the Texans; The Jags are playing for their playoff lives, the Texans have less than nothing to play for, and their head coach is getting canned approximately 00:00:01 seconds after this inevitable loss.
The pick: Jaguars 24-17
Rams @ Seahawks
Can you believe the winner of this game is going to win a division title? That's the most shocking thing since I found out that Darth Vadar was Luke Skywalker's father, and that was pretty dramatically shocking at the time. I once saw Darth Vadar in the Dunlaoighre Shopping center, with two Stormtroopers flanking him. Not sure what he was promoting, can't remember, but, one of the best days ever.
The pick: Rams 24-14
Happy New Year, ya'll!
Other weeks to date
Week 16 (13-3)