Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: Week 16

For the first time ever, I’m in the final in two of three fantasy football leagues. That’s nuts. How did I do it this year? It all comes down to drafting well and choosing reliable players. There was no one on my team who ever hit the IR, so I was never struggling to replace a spot. Every week I went with the match-ups and picked players that were going to perform, regardless of whether or not I thought their team was going to win. When Vick Ballard was the starter in Indy due to injury to Brown, I picked up Ballard. Why? I knew he’d get all the carries, regardless of if he even hit the end zone. You get points for RB’s over 100 yards. Besides that, Matty Ice and the Atlanta defense were awesome this year. Good call me. However, there is one more game to go and in one league I’m up against Aaron Rodgers, so we’ll see. Second place is the first loser after all.

The NFC East is crap. Everyone thinks they are elite, knotted up at 8-6 (save for the Eagles) but c’mon, that’s either parity or they all are just blowing it. The Giants getting rocked last week, the Redskins beating the Browns? All three teams are fighting for the division. With the Vikings and Bears also at 8-6, and Seattle at 9-5, chances are only one of those NFC East teams are going to make the playoffs, the winner of the division. Right now, the Skins hold the tiebreaker, but there is still a little infighting. The Redskins have the Eagles this week, so there’s a win. They could very well be in the playoffs.

In other news, pending the end of the world tomorrow, there are only two weeks of the regular season left and then the playoffs. So that means that it’s almost time to ignore the pro-bowl. Not to be ignored, Adrian Peterson, who ran for a billion yards against the Rams (the Rams!) last week. MVP? Comeback player of the year? I’m still voting for Peyton. As for the picks, this time of year I start breaking down what went wrong, and next week I start ignoring the losers.

Atlanta at Detroit +3.0
Atlanta is heading to the playoffs, and hopefully Matty Ice keeps throwing. The Falcons have done everything right this year, let’s hope they don’t choke in the first round again. What went wrong in Detroit? This team was plagued by a terrible secondary all year long, double coverage on Johnson and WR injuries and bad time management by Swartz. The Lions were no where near where they were last year. Plus, their defense just loves spreading bad game karma (Suh). Falcons to win.

New Orleans at Dallas -1.0
Obviously, a must win for the Cowboys. We know what went wrong with the Saints this year. Losing a good coach can do that to a team that needs coaching. However, in the past couple weeks the Saints have woken the fuck up and every offensive player has become a defensive nightmare. Speaking about defensive nightmares, the Cowboys have not been terribly impressive on either side of the ball, much less the defense. I have the Saints knocking the Cowboys out of the playoff hunt.

Tennessee at Green Bay -11.5
What went wrong in Tennessee? CJ2K got that mad money, then forgot how to run. Jake Locker showed his growing pains and the defense lost a leader in Finnegan. The Packers, well, nothing went wrong. They just kind of were chilling the first half of the season. Packers to win by a good margin.

Indianapolis at Kansas City +6.0
The Colts are going to benefit from only six teams in the AFC having a winning record, as they seek a playoff berth. It’s going to be wild-card, but that’ll do. That’ll do. The Chiefs have had a terrible season, finally resorting to poor Brady Quinn who has managed to validate the Browns letting him go. You know you suck when the Browns feel good about losing you. The Chiefs would do well to lose out, as they are now competing with Jacksonville for 1st pick in the draft. Colts to win.

Buffalo at Miami -4.5 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
It’s like the Bills, Jets & Dolphins got together mid-season and said “let’s make sure the Patriots have an easy six games this year, and lets not win that much so they can make the playoffs.” Does Toronto even want the Bills playing there once a year? Poor Toronto. Dolphins to win. Who cares.

San Diego at NY Jets -1.0
What went wrong in San Diego? Easy. Norv Turner once again proved he’s a terrible late game play caller and the defense was just shredded in too many games late in the game. They got tired way too quick and Rivers just looked pissed all season. The Jets. Whoo boy. What else needs to be said? Sanchez is finally benched, but it’s too little too late. And why in the fuck did Rex Ryan take Sanchez out last week for a dumbass Tebow play when Sanchez was actually on a hot streak? Fire Rex. Fire Sanchez. Let Tebow go play in Jacksonville where he can be a star. For this game, Chargers to win.

Washington at Philadelphia +5.5
The Eagles. Another team where everything that could go wrong, did. Andy Reid made bullheaded decisions, fired people that were doing fine jobs to use as scapegoats and inexplicably kept starting Vick. That’ll be over soon as the Redskins, who have surprisingly done everything right this year, will beat the pants off them, prompting fans to run Reid out of town for good. Skins to win.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh -4.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
The Bengals have one game up on the Steelers, but still need to win one of two to make the playoffs. The Bengals are in a great spot, but it would be better if they won both games. That shitty loss to Dallas two weeks ago did not leave them in the best sort. So their destiny is truly in their hands and they get to play rival Pittsburgh to decide it. If they lose here, then next week is a must win for both teams if one of them wants to get in the playoffs. I predicted the Bengals rise up a few weeks ago, and I’m sticking with them. Dalton turns the ball over a lot less than the Steelers have been lately, and the Bengals defense has been lights out. Bengals to upset.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay -3.0
I predicted six wins this season for the Bucs and they are at six wins. The Rams are also at six wins, so I can see them winning this game. Both of these teams underperformed this year, but at least the Rams looked like their players and coach were trying harder. Schiano is a scumbag and that scumbag karma has come back and kicked him in the ass. The Rams have some offensive power, but they have to stifle Doug Martin otherwise he’ll do to them what Peterson did last week. I’m taking the Rams to win, but only if they stop the run.

Oakland at Carolina -9.5
I was honestly surprised at how bad the Panthers were this year. Their win/loss record does not mesh with Cam Newtons ego. Oh, could that have something to do with it? Don’t do the fucking Superman dance if you are losing dipshit. Just score, hand the ball to a ref and go back to work. You rookie fuckers could learn something from Tom Brady and other elite quarterbacks, something you’ll never be if you keep acting like egotistical asspricks. The Raiders blow. Carson Palmer will most likely retire in shame. Panthers to win.

New England at Jacksonville +14.5
The Jags really should have made a stronger play for Tebow. I don’t even know where to start with this team. Will they ever compete again? Who the hell knows. If the Patriots don’t put 50+ on ‘em I’ll be surprised. Pats to win.

Minnesota at Houston -9.5
The Vikings need a win to get lucky and land in the playoffs. The Texans need a win to secure a bye week. This should be an interesting game, because everyone was lauding AP last week for his huge day against the hapless Rams. Let’s see if he can do it against a defense worth their salt, especially against the run. J.J. Watt has a taste for QB blood, so Ponder better throw that ball quick. I’m taking the Texans to win at home and get that bye.

Cleveland at Denver -13.0
I don’t even have to talk about what went wrong with the Browns, they are the Browns. Us Browns fans know what went wrong, they exist. Ugh. Richardson was the one standout this year, but I don’t see him racking up the yards against a stout Denver defense. And now that Peyton has got his shit together with the O-line, forget it. I do foresee the Browns getting at least one or two picks off Manning, who has made a few bad throws this year. Broncos to win.

Chicago at Arizona +5.5
The Bears road to the playoffs goes through Arizona, who after getting trounced by the Seahawks beat up on the Lions. Go figure. The Arizona defense hasn’t been too shoddy, but the roundtable at QB has been a shame. The Bears couldn’t ask for a better match-up to grab a playoff spot though, if they lose this game they don’t deserve the playoffs. Bears to win.

New York at Baltimore +1.0
Baltimore has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, but would love to hold the Bengals at bay and take the division. The Giants are going to once again wait until the last minute to get into the playoffs and probably end up in the Superbowl. Eli seems to play better under pressure, and the wild-card round fares well for the Giants. Unlike his brother, who usually gets too much time off without facing a loss and then loses in the first round of the playoffs. The networks and everyone else is rooting for a Manning v Manning Superbowl, but that ain’t gonna happen. The Giants win here though, just cause I really hate the Ravens and Cowboys.

San Francisco at Seattle +1.0 GAME OF THE WEEK!!
And finally, the game of the week. Why? Because if the Seahawks win this game, they have a shot at the division, but that would mean the Niners would have to lose next week. Who do they play next week? The Cardinals. And the Seahawks have the Rams. So really, the winner of this game really matters for the division. Even though the Niners made the Patriots look bad at home last week, the Seahawks are coming in hot. Another big win, yes, over a struggling Bills team, but still a big win last week. They are scoring points and running up the score. That can be bad karma though, and the Niners have all the weapons and the number one defense. Come crunch time, it’s the Niners. Niners to win.

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Curtis Silver writes about sports here mostly. NFL, Golf, Baseball - whatever. Find him on Twitter @cebsilver, if you've got a bone to pick.

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