by Ryan Meehan and Jeremy Bellmyer
This week I am joined by a friend of mine that I don’t get to see as often as I’d like to – Bellmyer. He’s a die hard Bears fan and he’s from our area – one that’s currently not covered in snow. And, you wouldn’t believe this, but, there are some people here actually complaining about the lack of snow this winter season. I don’t know what’s wrong with people nowadays, but if it doesn’t snow until I’m in my fifties you’re not going to hear a peep out of me. And I would hope that Bellmyer feels the same way. Let’s take a look at what week sixteen has in store…
Thursday: Houston (10-4) at Indianapolis (1-13)
Meehan: So the Colts finally won their first game, and since the Rams and Vikings are both 2-12 it would be in Indy’s best interest to lose their remaining two in order to acquire the first pick. I’d be shocked if this game isn’t very close to what I’m picking because Houston needs to save face after last week.
Meehan’s Pick: Texans 25, Colts 10
Bellmyer: Indy’s defensive line is quick…Therefore, Houston has to do better here than they did against Carolina, you feel me? Still, Houston will run away with this one…Man, I wish both of these teams could lose.
Bell’s Pick: Texans 28, Colts 6
Note: All of the following are on Saturday, which is Christmas Eve day:
Denver (8-6) at Buffalo (5-9)
Meehan: Since Denver plays at such a high altitude, I don’t believe that the elements will have much effect on the outcome of this game. Tebow gets back down to business after a rocky second half against the Patriots last week, and Buffalo celebrates like they haven’t lost a game this year no matter what the score is.
Meehan’s Pick: Broncos 28, Buffalo 17
Bellmyer: Seeing as how Buffalo’s front seven is holier than Plaxico’s leg, The White Bronco should have no problem dissecting the defense. Not to mention Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil having their way with that less-than-stellar Buffalo offensive line.
Bell’s Pick: Broncos 27, Bills 10
Arizona (7-7) at Cincinnati (8-6)
Meehan: Where did all of these NFC West teams come from? I know the Cardinals weren’t this good all year…The Bengals are the seven seed at the moment so like I said earlier this week they are aggressively rooting for the Giants to beat the Jets on Saturday. But I’m taking the Cardinals because I think they have that element of surprise about them, you’re not really ready for it and then before you realize what hit you, it’s too late and they’ve beat you. Let’s not forget that Arizona is only thirty six months removed from being very close to a Super Bowl win. A few of the players are gone, but many remain and since they do play in a weak division any year could be their year.
Meehan’s Pick: Cardinals 21, Bengals 19
Bellmyer: I haven’t watched either of these teams play one minute of football this year so I have no idea. I heard Cedric Benson is solid, but I don’t know anything about Arizona’s defense….And that’s the way I like it, Ya friggin’ hear me?
Bell’s Pick: Bengals 23, Cardinals 14
Minnesota (2-12) at Washington (5-9)
Meehan: The only thing worse than the Vikings? The Vikings on the road. It would look as if the Redskins beat the Giants last week, if the Giants hadn’t beaten the Giants before the Redskins could get to them. Nevertheless, Washington might end up being somewhat impressive next year. I know that’s what everybody was saying when they started 3-0, but they do have the pieces in place to put together a playoff team.
Meehan’s Pick: Redskins 24, Vikings 13
Bellmyer: Grossman must only manage this game (which, let’s face it, is all he ever really does anyway) for the ‘Skins to win. Redskins D has at least 6 sacks on Ponder and…and…ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Bell’s Pick: Redskins 21, Vikings 3
Tampa Bay (4-10) at Carolina (5-9)
Meehan: Although these two teams are separated by only one win, they are in reality miles apart. On one hand you have Carolina, who is going to be a very good team next year now that they have found their quarterback, and on the other hand you have Tampa who I honestly believe is one of the worst teams we’ve seen in recent years. It’s funny to think about all of the hype that circled the Bucs before they began to tank. Look at them now, they can barely get into the end zone every other game.
Meehan’s Pick: Panthers 30, Buccaneers 18
Bellmyer: If that big son-of-a-bitch LeGarrette Blount can get inside on Carolina’s run defense, Tampa has hope. Steve Smith will catch at least one bomb of a touchdown, especially since Tampa has only Ronde Barber for a good matching cornerback and he’ll need help which will, in turn, draw safety coverage away from Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen. Also, Josh Freeman looks lost.
Bell’s Pick: Panthers 30, Bucs 17
Cleveland (4-10) at Baltimore (10-4)
Meehan: Who knows? Since it’s a bad team, it’s a very real possibility that the Ravens could blow this one too. But then again they blew the game last week, so from what we know about the games after they’ve lost, they should be expected to take care of business against a team like the Browns. Browns GM Mike Holmgren is likely looking ahead to the 2012 NFL Draft to see who is going to be the best player available when their pick comes up. Ravens pissed off and win big here.
Meehan’s Pick: Ravens 31, Browns 12
Bellmyer: Seneca Wallace? Colt McCoy? Who will be Cleveland’s QB? Who gives a shit – it doesn’t matter! Ray Rice is the shizz (again), the Ravens will run, run, run and the rest you don’t need me to write about.
Bell’s Pick: Ravens 42, Browns 10
Jacksonville (4-10) at Tennessee (7-7)
Meehan: The Titans lost to the Colts last week, which is great for me because now I have a legitimate reason to tell people that they were fake when all of this started. Tennessee is a perfect example of a team we don’t want to see in the playoffs: They have a confusing quarterback situation, don’t have a single explosive wide receiver, and anyone can score on that defense at any given time. And even though I’m feeling the same way about the Jaguars I’ll give them this one by a point. this is usually the part where I would explain why but I got nothing.
Meehan’s Pick: Jaguars 21, Titans 20
Bellmyer: Tennessee’s D is a nice mix of veterans and young bad-asses who are a stingy bunch that realize (like everyone else) where Jacksonville is going with the ball and so they can shut the run down. (I refuse to even utter the words, “MJD”, because I hate stupid nicknames…shit, I uttered!) Blaine Gabbert is a stupid name too.
Bell’s Pick: Titans 28, Jaguars 3
Oakland (7-7) at Kansas City (6-8)
Meehan: The only reason that I’m picking Oakland to win is because they truly have a gun pointed directly at their head. Since they couldn’t take advantage of the Broncos’ loss to the Patriots by beating the Lions, now they’re in a do or die situation. So it really just might end up depending on what mood Carson Palmer is in that day, as he’s changed a lot since he was drafted into the NFL. When he got out of college he seemed like a genuine dude who was aware that he was very lucky to get to play football for a living. Anymore it just seems as if he’s an ungrateful prick that has a problem with everybody around him. Given, he’s been surrounded by a lot of boneheads since he entered the NFL (Chad Johnson, Chris Henry, Mike Brown) but he hasn’t maximized his talent the way most fans had expected him to after an overwhelmingly successful senior year at USC. That being said, the Chiefs have stolen a lot of teams’ thunder this year (just ask the Bears and the Packers) so this game may end up in their hands after all. I guess what I’m trying to say here is, I don’t know shit.
Meehan’s Pick: Raiders 25, Chiefs 23
Bellmyer: Kyle Orton seems like a douche bag unless he’s on your team…and playing well. A breath of fresh air last week? A must-win for the Raiders if they want to see their playoff hopes realized. I just don’t really know how well Jason Valdeheer will do this week at left tackle when he has Tamba Hali opposite him. These are the shittily-played games that Kyle Orton wins.
Bell’s Pick: Chiefs 23, Raiders 17
Miami (5-9) at New England (11-3)
Meehan: Sometimes when I type “Patriots” I misspell the last part and it comes out “Patritos”, which sounds like something that would be delicious to dip in ranch sauce. The Dolphins played well after starting 0-7, but they will most likely get worked by the Patriots who can clinch a first round bye if they win and the Colts beat the Texans. In other words, it looks like they will have to wait until next week to find out their playoff destiny. New England wins big at home.
Meehan’s Pick: Patriots 37, Dolphins 17
Bellmyer: Same old, same old for the Pats, Brady will counter everything Miami’s solid D throws. Miami needs to keep ball out of Brady’s hands by putting it in Reggie Bush’s hands.
Bell’s Pick: Patriots 28, Dolphins 17
NY Giants (7-7) at NY Jets (8-6)
Meehan: This should be an epic struggle, but maybe not for the reasons that one might think. It’s going to go down to the wire because it’s a gut-check game for two teams that don’t have any guts. As a Giants fan, I’d love to see them win big but I’m not even sure it matters anymore. There was this bizarre photo on the New York Daily News of an oversized Eli standing over a miniature Mark Sanchez with some lame joke about “A Mann and a Boy” and it puzzled me a bit. I understand the Giants might be the bigger draw, but the Jets have a better chance at making the playoffs and it would seem to me that the New York Sports media would be more interested in seeing the Jets win this game which I believe they will.
Meehan’s Pick: Jets 24, Giants 23
Bellmyer: I really wish Rex Ryan was in a sinking boat in shark-infested waters every second of every day. His bullshit sideshow antics cover up the fact that he is mediocre at best. So I always want the Jets to lose. If they must win, they will have to do it with Shonn Greene; as we all know, Sanchez is not good enough to carry this team. If the Giants are to win, they should work around Ahmad Bradshaw. Last week’s debacle (at home, no less) made me wonder if Jerry Jones was paying people in East Rutherford off. A friend of mine’s dad is a Giants fan and he helped me with a DUI charge years ago, so I’m pulling for the Giants. It helps that Jason Pierre-Paul is a beast too.
Bell’s Pick: Giants 31, Jets 21
St. Louis (2-12) at Pittsburgh (10-4)
Meehan: It’s a shame that the Rams probably won’t get the first pick in the draft, because their roster is a complete disaster. Bradford isn’t their quarterback of the future, but after Luck, there isn’t going to be a lot of quality gunslingers available this April. Roethlisberger is recovering from that ankle injury that was very obviously bothering him in the San Francisco game Monday night, and since the Steelers finish against the Rams and the Browns I see no reason why they shouldn’t just start Charlie Batch. It’s not worth the risk and you’d much rather have Charlie Batch starting weeks 16 and 17 as opposed to divisional playoff and championship weekends should Roethlisberger get seriously injured. (And that’s assuming they’ll get that far in a very crowded AFC playoff picture.) Regardless, I have Pittsburgh winning easy and the Rams not putting up much of a fight, especially if the Colts can somehow end up winning.
Meehan’s Pick: Steelers 21, Rams 3
Bellmyer: If St. Louis gains more than 150 total yards of offense in this game I will eat my right hand (and that includes every finger and fingernail). Pittsburgh should rest Big Ben (God, that nickname sucks as bad as MJD) seeing how they have already locked in a playoff spot. I feel badly for St. Louis because it’s illegal to take the entire team behind the barn and shoot them. The end is only a few weeks away, Rams. Keep up the good wo…wait, bad wor…oh hell, just show up.
Bell’s Pick: Steelers 35, Rams 9
San Diego (7-7) at Detroit (9-5)
Meehan: I consider myself to be a believer in God, but I may change my opinion based solely on the fact that the Chargers are still in the playoff race and the State of California allowed Philip Rivers to have five children which is easily the most disturbing statistic I’ve heard all year. Between the Chargers’ defense and Matthew Stafford trying to exploit it, this should be one sloppy ass football game. I hate both of these teams but every game I’ve predicted to end in a tie hasn’t, so I have to take somebody here.
Meehan’s Pick: Lions 27, Chargers 21
Bellmyer: Depending on which Philip Rivers shows up, this could go either way. My gut is telling me Detroit because they have been known to get inside on the QB this year. Philip ‘Bitchy’ Rivers won’t enjoy himself here, because most of the time Ford Field is louder than those drunken douche bags on Jersey Shore. Find Megatron, feed him the ball, and Detroit should come away victorious. I hate Ndamokung Suh.
Bell’s Pick: Lions 31, Chargers 28
San Francisco (11-3) at Seattle (7-7)
Meehan: The Seahawks have been playing some very inspired football as of late but after watching the way the 49ers played defense against the Steelers on Monday, I find it hard to believe that an average (or slightly above average) team can perform well against that defensive front. San Francisco has so many ways to get to you, and they aren’t afraid to use them. Their defense is what a clean version of the Lions would look like.
Meehan’s Pick: 49ers 26, Seahawks 20
Seattle’s defense is actually really good, Marshawn Lynch runs with extreme power, and Seattle is a bitch of a place to play. This is no playoff warm-up for San Francisco. Two dominant defenses playing in this one. San Francisco needs to get after Tarvaris Jackson, and Seattle must give the ball to Marshawn & Company.
Bell’s Pick: 49ers 21, Seahawks 17
Philadelphia (6-8) at Dallas (8-6)
Meehan: It kills me to say this, but the Eagles are by far the better team. I don’t care about records or stats or any of that stuff here, Philly is better than Dallas is. And as far as constructing billion dollar stadiums goes, Dallas certainly doesn’t play well at home. (See below) The Eagles can play well anywhere providing nobody’s missing any team meetings or any of that nonsense. Even if by some miracle they do end up making the playoffs, I think Andy Reid’s going to be stuck spending all twelve months of the year making sure his sons can stay out of jail as he probably won’t have a head coaching position when the year’s over.
Meehan’s Pick: Eagles 28, Cowboys 24
Bellmyer: Philly’s offense must be“Ware” of the left side of the field. Mike Vick needs to lay it all on the line (for instance the $100 million dotted line he signed), not bite off more than he can chew, know when to sit, and when to run. (fresh out of dog jokes here) Basically, LeSean McCoy will have his looks, Dallas needs to be well-balanced, and I can’t wait to watch this game.
Bell’s Pick: Eagles 35, Cowboys 31
Sunday: Chicago (7-7) at Green Bay (13-1)
Meehan: I can’t envision a situation where the Packers lose two in a row. I also can’t envision a situation where the Bears’ offensive line is going to start blocking, so this one is kind of a no-brainer. Josh McCown will start this game for the Bears if Cutler cannot go. I heard a lot of talk this week about how maybe it was good for the Packers that they finally lost, and although I think losses are never a good thing it might be a bit of a relief and they can focus on the playoffs now. Plus so many Packers games have been close this year, they were bound to lose one somewhere along the line. But that doesn’t pertain to Sunday, because this won’t be a loss OR close.
Meehan’s Pick: Packers 32, Bears 13
Bellmyer: Okay! All of you nutsacks who were calling for Cutler’s head and wanted to replace it with Hanie’s before the season started, I hope you get run over by a car! By Sunday we will know if it’s even worth Cutler playing (if he can, that is) due to the Bears still – SLIM hope of making the playoffs. (And by slim I mean Calista Flockheart slim). I’m sure the Packers were embarrassed to lose to the Chiefs and only score 14 points. Now, who will they take it out on? You guessed it. My prediction for the Bears in this game can be best described in my Mr. T-from-Rocky III-voice, “Prediction?……….Pain.”
Bell’s Pick: Packers 45, Bears 13
Monday: Atlanta (9-5) at New Orleans (11-3)
Meehan: With all of this talk prior to last week about how the Packers were chasing an undefeated season, the Saints have really flown under the radar as a team that could easily be considered the best in the NFL. It’s a cliché, but sometimes the best defense IS a good offense. And although the Falcons can also put up big offensive numbers when they have to, they can’t do it to the level that New Orleans can.
Meehan’s Pick: Saints 31, Falcons 16
Bellmyer: It’s the game of the week and I have nothing to say about it! Anyone watching these two teams all year knows how good each of them is. Sorry to seem so blasé about this mega-game, but it’s literally going to be a prizefight. Drew Brees will beat Marino’s record, as if that meant anything to him at all. Basically, I’m tired of doing these predictions and just calling this one…
Bell’s Pick: Falcons 31, Saints 30
What to watch for this week: It’s always fun to see Jerry Jones get pissed when the Cowboys lose at home, and I’m sure they’ll have at least one camera on him drinking his Evan Williams and wondering where it all went wrong.
You could even count the number of Pete Carroll fist pumps!
And we’ll never see it, but someday it would be fun to see all of those “Merry Christmas” clips they do with the players and their families where the children are flipping out and refuse to shut up.
So Happy Holidays to everyone and enjoy the games. And remember: Don’t Drink n’ drive…Drink at home! And in memory of a legend…I thought I’d share this again because you can never see it too many times:
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