Let’s look at some positives from 2016. My beloved, goddamned Miami Dolphins made the playoffs for the first time in eight years. The Dallas Cowboys are back to being America’s Team, at least before they become “the bandwagon team” again (give it a year). The Cleveland Browns can get going on their next off-season rebuild. Former L.A. head coach Jeff Fisher can start watching 7-9 movies on Netflix per day now that he’s unemployed. The New England Patriots might win one more Super Bowl before they all go to Hell.
If you haven’t been following football this season — first, why are you even reading this? Second, shit happened. Let’s leave it at that.
Three of this weekend’s eight wild-card round participants are trotting out backups at quarterback – including the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans, who face each other Saturday. The Detroit Lions have hope, which is weird. The Seattle Seahawks have a mishmash offensive line and a running game that hovers someplace between “atrocious” and “sucks,” but you know what ELSE they’ve got?!
Possibilities are endless this weekend. Not since last year’s Wild-Card round has there been a Wild-Card round as exciting as this. It might be the weekend you watch football with your son, point at Aaron Rodgers, and say “That could be you someday!” It could also be the weekend you watch football with your son, point at Brock Osweiler, and say “This is why I don’t let you play football.”
You don’t know what’s going to happen this weekend, or any other weekend before season’s end, but I do! I’m going to lay it out for you right now, in the only way I know how: one sentence for commentary, one more sentence for picks. Of course I know what I’m talking about! My fantasy team won NOT ONE BUT TWO games this season!
Oakland at Houston Jan. 7, 3:35 p.m. CST
Rather than suffer a slap-fight between the Raiders’ third-string rookie and Texans megaflop Osweiler, why can’t Brett Favre come out of retirement for one day and play quarterback for both teams? Somebody has to win, and I think it’ll be Oakland.
Detroit at Seattle Jan. 7, 7:15 CST
I was kidding about Detroit having hope. Seattle flies off with the bread crumbs and craps all over the Lions’ bus roof.
Miami at Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 12:05 CST
One often forgets the Pittsburgh Steelers’ penchant for pissing their drawers against teams they ought to have crushed, and they ought to crush Miami on Sunday. Pittsburgh fans, urine for a heartbreak on Sunday!
N.Y. Giants at Green Bay Jan. 8, 3:40 CST
While the Packers are riding into the playoffs on a red-hot quarterback and an offense loaded at skill positions, the Giants are riding in on hopes that some random bullshit shakes out in their favor. Random bullshit shakes out for the Packers too, though, BUT NOT THIS WEEKEND IT WON’T!
Seattle at Atlanta Jan. 14, 3:35 CST
In Angry Birds, the blue bird splits into three birds who do no damage whatsoever unless you throw them at glass while the black bird is literally a bomb and you can usually explode an entire board with one if you place it right. It’s a run-on sentence, as in “the Falcons run on to the NFC title game”!
Miami at New England Jan. 14, 7:15 CST
The Dolphins blow one “upset New England” wad every year, and they were smart not to blow it in Week 17. They come to play this time, and send the Patriots home.
Oakland at Kansas City Jan. 15 12:05 CST
The Kansas City Chiefs have this knack for making the playoffs, even winning big in the playoffs, and having nobody outside Kansas City give a flying frozen salami. Nobody will care when they beat the Raiders, either.
N.Y. Giants at Dallas Jan. 15, 3:40 CST
Before the Cowboys can truly become a dynasty, they must be inexplicably vulnerable to the Giants. The Cowboys follow in the Patriots’ footsteps, and the Giants advance!
Miami at Kansas City Jan. 22, 2:05 CST
It could be anything – Andy Reid losing track of the game clock, Alex Smith simply not doing enough, every KC defender getting injured on the same play – but the Kansas City Chiefs will be undone by something very, very Kansas City Chiefs … or maybe the Dolphins will play better? NAH, but the Dolphins win anyway!
N.Y. Giants at Atlanta Jan. 22, 5:40 CST
The Atlanta Falcons can’t cover anyone in the passing game, and the Giants just happen to have someone. 800 yards receiving for Odell Beckham, Jr., and another trip to the Super Bowl for the Giants!
SUPER BOWL LI
Miami vs. N.Y. Giants Feb. 5, 5:30 CST
(Looks for any on-field match-up in which the Dolphins have an advantage) None whatsoever.
(Looks for an edge in big-game, crunch-time experience) New York has a bunch while the Dolphins have literally zero.
(Looks up head-to-head history) The Giants are 6-2 against Miami lifetime.
(Looks up greatest hip-hop artists) New York has Biggie, obviously, and Miami has … Pitbull?
(Looks up 2016’s word of the year) Post-truth.
There it is. Post-truth!
The statistics don’t matter! 6-to-2 doesn’t matter. A cold 16 doesn’t matter. This is a post-truth Super Bowl, and the Dolphins will emerge as its champions!
Believe it. We eatin’.