Puget Sound Pukes at Sexy Rexy's Pad: This is just the kind of game we love. Yeah, I'm lying through my ass. Starbuck's QB Matt Filarski leads an amorphous mass of nobodies and Shaun Alexander into historic Sojer Feeuld (which now resembles a Ferengi spacecraft landing on Lakeshore Drive) to get sprayed with semen by Rex Grossman. Both coaches are distinctive; one ate Andy Reid, and the other has the most ridiculous name in coaching history. Seattle is glitchy and prone to extremes. Chicago has a stingy defense and a quarterback who doesn't care about the color of the jersey worn by the man catching his heaving spurts. Alexander is a jinxed SEC product who believes in faith healing; Grossman is a jinxed SEC product who believes in his own manly fluids. Seattle got to this game on the strength of Tony Romo's propensity for not washing his hands after dealing lubricious handjobs to his coach; Chicago got to this game on the strength of a schedule more light in the loafers than this guy (thanks to With Leather for the nightmare).
Decisive Advantage: Ilse is a Bears fan. If the Bears lose, I will be ground into ground things and served for dinner. In addition, the Seahawks somehow manage to be simultaneously wretched, abhorrent, and boring. Go Bears.
In Reality: Despite multiple Seattle fangasms as the result of Sexy Rexy's propensity for pointing it wherever he likes, the Bears win close in a relatively low-scoring affair (50 points overall would surprise me, unless the Bears roll over and die and let Filarski light them up like the Navy Pier).
Da Iggles at Da Aints: A quarterback of dubious preference meets a quarterback who hates his mother. A coach with no name meets a coach who ate Mike Holmgren. America's Team For Now meets America's Tertiary Burden* Minus Don McNabb. An inexplicable juggernaut meets an inexplicable juggernaut. There is no beauty to this game; the Iggles are thugs on a roll, and the Aints have the ugliest unis north, south, east, or west of Baltimore. Garcia is an uncompelling quarterback, and Reggie Bush is just plain effing annoying. The luminosity of certain Aints receivers is dulled by the sparkle of the New Orleans Pity Machine, and the Iggles have cobbled together a desperate suckjob of a team that got hot at the right time (and the wrong time--the Iggles' awakening the moment McNabb dropped does not bode well for their metaphysical identity, not that I give a fuck about them having a metaphysical identity other than dog shit).
Decisive Advantage: Puh-leez. Even during an Iggles-Cowgirls game, I root for a planeful of nuns to crash into the field. I can't support the Iggles for anything except soup commercials.
In Reality: End of the line for the Iggles. The noise and mildew of the Superdome will stifle them, while the posterboy for dysfunctional filial relationships chews up their secondary and opens up the field for the ReggieBush. Aints by a lot, in a relatively high-scoring game.
NFC Implications: Aints walk out of Sojer Feeuld next weekend covered in Rexjizz, but maintaining a grip on the NFC championship trophy.
The Fucking Patriots at The Tomlinsons: The Chargers are on a pretty incredible rip. They haven't lost in weeks and weeks and weeks. And the number of blowjobs LT is getting from the media, bloggers, and fans doesn't appear to have sapped him at all. This? Is the way to spread your seed, in a relatively quiet and dignified way, matter-of-factly stomping to death your division rival for Biggest Running Back Balls In All Creation. Three things militate against an easy pick, though. First, Phil Rivers is a fucking pussy. Have I ever mentioned to you that, in his six-decade career at the North Carolina State University, Phil never once beat the University of Maryland? Never once. 0-4, accompanied by much dirt-eating and pick-throwing. And is Phil out there in the media, taking huge dumps over draft-class rival and unspeakably biggerer pussy Eli Manning? No, he is not. Phil Rivers is a fucking pussy. Second, Marty Schottenheimer is a cranky old dessicant who couldn't win a playoff game if it was the only thing standing between him and a legacy. Oh, wait, that is the only thing standing between Marty and a legacy. Third, there is the matter of Dreamboat and his propensity for sneaking up on your ass in the playoffs and knifing you in the fucking kidleys. The Patriots are an assload of suck this season--it took them five sixths of the game to decisively put away the Jets in their own fucking stadium last weekend, and they actually choked on the Fins twice this season. In fact, it's remarkable that a team that sucked so badly in division games in the second worst division in football this season is even in the fucking playoffs. But they're resilient, the Pats, and Dreamboat is one seriously sneaky motherfucker, as Bridget Moynihan's sniz will be happy to tell you. I wouldn't bet on this game if you gave me 20 fucking points.
Decisive Advantage: Shawn Merriman, he-man Terp and known steroid-gobbler, plays for the Chargers. That's all I got. Otherwise, this is a tossup, and despite my love for any NFL Terp, I may well spend this time spanking the monkey or Ilse, whichever is more convenient and available.
In Reality: Southern California. Part of the Patriots' ability to kidney-stick you in the playoffs derives from Foxboro, where no more games will be played this here season. I'm thinking that this will drive a Chargers win. I will be surprised by nothing in this game.
Baltimore Colts at Cleveland Browns: This is for real, a classic battle between two storied, original gangsta franchises. I think. I lost track of which model of the Browns this is. Yeah, I think they're the O.G.'s. Anyway, this is not the first time these two clubs have butted heads for the big money, and this is clearly the marquee matchup of the weekend. A lot of considerably less knowledgeable sports blogs are into hatin' on Charm City. This is an antiquated and uncharitable worldview spawned by watching too much television and taking it seriously, a worldview that accepts the epitome of Baltimore cool as H.L. Slaveraping Mencken. This is unacceptable. Baltimore is a fabulous city reeking of cool that's as Old World as North American cool gets. The O.G. Browns team that plays there is another matter entirely, and is a pretty good reflection of the face the haters want you to see; it's sad that they think this gives them a point. Mind you, I find the team--most especially its coach, The Brian--repugnant, but I will not stand for hatin' on the city itself, which got raped by another O.G. when the Baltimore team that plays in Middle America skipped town. To add to the insult in protoplasm that is The Brian, the O.G. Browns' roster is rife with actual criminals and low-grade pre-Apocalypse Borg. And as I mentioned, their unis are positively hateful--the O.G. Brownies look like fat artists without berets. I cannot recommend the competition, either. For my part, I do not like 6 foot 4, 230-pound quarterbacks with laser rocket arms, not when they're crawling out of my television set and dragging me kicking and screaming to whatever vendor penned them the cutest and most lucrative commercial, although that dislike is tempered by the knowledge of their manlove for hack C&W singers that got emasculated by scrawny, ugly, fuckawful actresses. Furthermore, I do not care for Tony Dungy, who really needs to get Peyton Manning's media agent. The Colts of Middle America are a vulnerable team this year, but for all his relentless presence on my television, Peyton does not deserve the "can't pitch after Christmas" horseshit that was piled on him during the Colts-KC game last weekend. Listening to that rap, you'd think the poor bastard hops into a wheelchair after week 17. And so we are stuck. Fat Beatniks versus the one-man franchise in what is easily the most watchable and potentially fun game of the set.
Decisive Advantage: As much as I loath The Brian, I gotta go with my former Emergency Backup Team. They're local, they hustled Tony Siragusa off into sweet (but not quiet) retirement, they give me a continuing opportunity to assess the results of the forever ongoing Breaking Steve McNair Project, and they're not the fucking Waves of Grain Colts (which I have despised in their O.G. incarnation since I was a kid, having spent my football-aware life around other O.G. teams that revolved around varying degrees of Colts disdain).
In Reality: Peyton's gonna have a frustrating day, but that's not gonna give the O.G. Browns an offense. Indianapolis in a game that will be sort of close, but reasonably comfortable for them.
AFC Implications: Who the hell knows who might be standing at the end of the Tombstone shootout that will be a Colts-Chargers AFC Championship game? The winner should waltz over whatever emerges from the NFC title game, though.
*Except during actual Redskins-Eagles games, the Iggles are surpassed in loathsomeness only by the Cowgirls and the Large Blue Persons of New Jersey.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE:
I love you more than...well, a lot of things. But you are one sad little bunny, honey.
SCIENCE UPDATE (For Jolene)
After gathering scientific input and performing mathematical operations, I have ascertained that you are partially correct. Using my rigorous data collection methodology, I compiled information on the relative douchebaggery of various NFL teams. I then organized those data by division, and I was quite surprised at the results:
*Gross Utility Douchebaggery Index is calculated based on factors that include both team and individual player/coach loathsomeness, pussification, whingery, and personal hygiene.
I was rather surprised after I conducted my scientific analysis of the resulting distribution. When I made my statement about the relative merits of the AFC East, I was assuming that the NFC East was by far the biggest sack of douchebags in the league. After all, the sheer out-and-out loathsomeness of the Cowgirls, the remarkably foul personal hygiene of the Iggles, and the unparalleled pussification of the Giants had to outweigh even the mathematical avatarization of the relative purity that is the Washington Redskins (calculated on a weighted basis assuming that Joe Gibbs does not exist, because he can't, because if he did I'd have to put one in the back of my own head, so he must not).
But I was surprised. Despite the menacingly awful results accrued by the other denizens of the NFC East, the consistent repugnance of the Patriots, Fins, Bills, and Jets (in that order) carried the day for the AFC East. Not even the Steelers, a pack of pussies quarterbacked by bag of rocks and (until recently) coached by a venereally diseased pussy, could push their division over the top. I was also mistaken in my instinctive impression of the NFC Central; its very blandness smoothed over the astonishingly horrible results achieved by the abhorrent sacks of shit that play in Wisconsin and Minnesota. While I truly grieve for my friends who represent areas that yielded unpleasant data, mathematics do not lie.
And so, Jolene? Science kicks your ass. So there.