I get it, Bill Simmons isn't serious about anything he writes. He just says stuff for fun. He's like a kid out there! Well, double for me then.
Broncos (+2) over Niners
Afterthought: You could call this game the "What Coulda Been Wouldn't Have Been So Great Either" Bowl. Had the Broncos kept Jeff George 2.0, things wouldn't have been any different for them. Had the Niners given up on Alex Smith and traded for Donovan McNabb last spring, same thing. Both teams were screwed either way. So ... yeah.
More like the straw-man bowl!
But for serious, you can't say that the Broncos wouldn't possibly be better with Jay Cutler (and Brandon Marshal who goes unmentioned). I'd say though that the Broncos should've been much better seeing as how they got a first round pick for Cutler, but they promptly wasted it on Tim Tebow.
As for McNabb, he's an older QB who's not surrounded by a ton of talent on the Redskins. Who the hell knows whether the 49ers would be better with him? Donovan McNabb is still ranked 8 places higher than Alex Smith by Football Outsiders, so that might've been worth an extra win or two.
Prediction: You will be flipping channels in 2015, stumble across some Division III playoff game on ESPNU and say to yourself, "Wait a second, isn't that Josh McDaniels?"
Chan Fucking Gailey still coaches in the NFL. I don't think we're going to be rid of Josh McFuckFace that easily.
Dolphins (+1.5) over BENGALS
The reason: A dream matchup for me. The Bengals are wildly overvalued; the Dolphins are wildly undervalued. You get five gambling gifts per year like this one. Crap, I hope I didn't just jinx it.
Vegas automatically gives the home team 3 points. Therefore, what Vegas is saying with this is that it thinks Miami is 1.5 points better than the Bengals. That doesn't seem like an outrageous evaluation of a matchup between Football Outsider's 13th and 19th best teams.
That being said, BET THE HOUSE ON MIAMI! VEGAS IS PRACTICALLY BEGGING YOU TO TAKE THEIR MONEY!!
CHIEFS (-7.5) over Bills
Prediction: In this year's NFL preview, I created the word "creeper" for teams that jump at least five wins and earn themselves a first-round bye. It's happened every year since the NFL went to four-team divisions in 2003. Well, I couldn't figure out this year's creeper before reluctantly settling on ... (gulp) ... San Francisco. Just because of its division. Did I have the right logic and the wrong team? The Chiefs have one of the creamiest-puff schedules in years. Maybe they don't seem like a 12-4 or 13-3 team, but again, EVERY season since 2003 has had a creeper. And they're the only candidate unless you think the Jets or Steelers can go 14-2.
Yes, what a shock that would be if the #1/#2 team (Steelers) according to Football Outsiders and every (bullshit) Power Ranking went 14-2 and won their division. I wouldn't be surprised if the Steelers went 15-1, despite the obvious attempts by the NFL to turn everyone against the Steelers. By gosh, we might have TWO creepers this year!
Afterthought: I liked Terry Bradshaw's quote about Dallas last Sunday: "The world is full of talented unsuccessful people." Every time he has a lucid moment on television, shouldn't the show be stopped as balloons are dropped from the ceiling?
Pot-kettle, people in glass houses, etc.
Afterthought: I couldn't be more excited that the Patriots have returned to the days of spreading it around, breaking out the bend-but-don't-break defense, having guys I've never heard of make huge plays, getting lucky breaks, coming up with huge halftime adjustments, making overly aggressive coaching decisions that somehow work out (note: I hated the fourth-and-1 call in San Diego, not that they did it, but because they ran such a crappy play when they hadn't been running the ball well all game, and yet, it worked out), and pulling out close games that make me feel sick afterwards.
Ha, yeah, that must be way better than when they had Randy Moss in 2007 and were blowing teams out en-route to being 2 minutes away from 19-0.
Afterthought: The Raiders went 29-83 from 2003-2009. Somehow, my Patriots have their No. 1 pick during the one year they'll probably finish 8-8. This makes me angry. Really, really angry.
Oh no! There'll only be 35 future Pro Bowlers left on the board!
Steelers (PK) over SAINTS
The Reason: Playoff game rules in effect because of the situation -- Halloween night,
I just really like the image of crotchety Dan Rooney giving his players a pre-game speech like "We're the Pittsburgh Steelers, we don't lose on fucking Halloween!" Oh also, I forgot to mention that Rooney would be wearing a Captain Jack Sparrow costume. Oops, that might've made that non-joke funny if I'd mentioned it at the beginning.
"We don't lose on nights when NBC couldn't cram in Jay Leno, a reality show, or the horrible Outsourced that in no way should be on TV instead of the awesome Parks and Recreation.*
*I really like the show that was created by Ken Tremendous who created the blog we stole our idea from. META!
the last two Super Bowl champs
"We don't lose in games that are no more or less meaningful than any other game!"
And also, there's this e-mail from Tom in New Orleans ...
"I remember when football was fun. You could tailgate, walk into the Dome with Bloody Mary in hand, and make comments like 'that Marshall Faulk sure is good' all the while having a great time while your team pissed away game after game. You never told me that winning the Super Bowl would ruin everything." Actually, I did. With this column.
If your biggest complaint about New Orleans is that your team won the Super Bowl and their stadium is the one place in the city you can't open carry alcohol, then your New Orleans lifestyle is pretty damn peachy. So get fucked, Tom.
Also, anyone who complains about their teams winning championships is a hipster and therefore and asshole. Thus, by transitive properties, we can infer that Simmons is an asshole.