These are not “” I repeat, NOT “” NFL playoff predictions. They are inevitabilities. If you read this article then watch the games, you’ll think you’re watching ESPN Classic.
Spoiler alert, bro.
We’ll ring in Millard Fillmore’s 212th birthday with an afternoon treat of Cincinnati at Houston. This is by far the most underwhelming playoff matchup of any sport, ever, and that’s saying something since I went to elementary school with Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth. (Note: This will be the only gratuitous name-drop I’ll poop this month. I’ll leave gratuitous name-dropping to this magazine’s publisher. He can drop a name like a champ.)
Count on the Bengals winning this one easily. Why? Because when tens of thousands of Yats evacuated to Houston over six years ago, they took every imaginable football curse with them, turning the Texans into, basically, your dead, alcoholic great-uncle’s Saints. (He really shouldn’t have driven that night “” he got what he asked for).
After you and your stepfather nearly come to blows during an argument over whether President Fillmore was right to support the Compromise of 1850 (the old man was right, by the way “” Fillmore had his head up his ass), you will have already missed Ndamukong Suh’s ejection in the first quarter for intentionally punching Saints center Brian de la Puente in los testÃ¬culos. Saints win big over the Lions; Brees sits the entire second half.
On Wild Card Sunday, sleep in. When you wake up, just watch the inevitable Elvis movie marathon on AMC. (Don’t you dare lie to me and say that you’ve actually seen Pot Luck.) You’ve seen Matt Ryan be almost good enough too many times this year already, and you need rest. Giants beat the Falcons.
God didn’t like football enough to give Tebow the win over New England the first time, and God doesn’t change His mind very often. Pats win.
Then it’s off to Denver for an afternoon game between the Broncos and Steelers. There will be no surprises here. In the first 57 minutes of the game, Tim Tebow will throw 2-for-19 for 3 passing yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. In the final three minutes, Tebow will go 12-for-11 (he’ll find a way) for 167 passing yards and two touchdowns. A two-point conversion with 0:00 on the clock clinches the 15-14 win for the Broncos.
Tebow coverage will continue to be 10% Tebow coverage and 90% Tebow haters tweeting that they’re sick of all the Tebow coverage.
The Divisional round will bring twice as many surprises as the Wild Card round. That’s because 2Ã—0=0.
New Orleans opens the weekend up at San Francisco on Saturday, January 14. The Saints usually have trouble on grass, and this will be no different, but thanks to the NFL rules committee having come through in the clutch in the offseason, the 49ers will get flagged for five personal foul penalties in the second half, and the Saints win in a controversial game. (Even though it’s predictable, you may want to watch this one simply to see FOX try to bleep out all the instances of the crowd chanting “Bullsh””t” in unison.)
Cincinnati visits New England on Saturday night. It would be a lie for me to say that it wasn’t physically impossible for New England to not fail to lose this game.
You’ll get home from church Sunday, January 15, just in time to see Denver win in Baltimore. Here’s why, and it’s obvious: The Ravens, who were known as the Cleveland Browns the last time I wrote for this rag, have a defense that prides itself on holding opponents way below their passing average. The problem is that there is no such thing as “way below their passing average” when it comes to the Broncos. Against Denver, Baltimore’s defense is, therefore, nothing special. Broncos win, 6-3.
Green Bay will beat New York in the late game Sunday, of course, but you may want to tune in for a few minutes early in the fourth quarter, by which time Tom Coughlin’s once-again-frozen face will have begun to emit a wave of infrared that won’t be visible by modern telescopes for at least half a light-year.
Now we’re in late January, and it’s the AFC Championship Game. God didn’t like football enough to give Tebow the win over New England the first time, and God doesn’t change His mind very often. Pats win.
That brings us to the NFC Championship Game: New Orleans at Green Bay. The media will tell you that the Packers will be heavily favored, in part because they’re at home in the cold weather with which they are so familiar.
But here’s what those blowhards won’t tell you: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went to school at Berkeley, which makes him a hippie from the mildest climate in the United States. Saints quarterback Drew Brees went to Purdue and cut his teeth on icicles during his four seasons in West Lafayette.
So while Rodgers shows up late to the game after spending too much time at an Occupy Holmgren Way Rally, Brees will carve up the Green Bay secondary and the Frozen Tundra like a 2012 Polaris Adventure Switchback. (Note: this will be my last snowmobile reference this month.) Saints win.
Super Bowl XLVI will go exactly as expected. Saints punter Thomas Morstead will miss the flight to Indianapolis, but he shan’t be needed. Each Brees pass will be a kaiser blade slicing through the stalks of wheat in New England’s secondary. Each Tom Brady pass will also be a kaiser blade, but slightly duller than Brees’ kaiser blade.
Also, cutting through stalks of wheat is way easier than cutting through a field of sugar cane.
During halftime, we’ll all wonder why Madonna is doing the halftime show and not Lady Gaga and quip to ourselves, “This is like sleeping with Jessica Lange when Brooklyn Decker is outside your room begging for it.”
The Saints will score a touchdown each time on offense; the Patriots, all but twice. Final score: New Orleans 77, New England 63.
There. Now get some rest and catch up on Breaking Bad.