Saturday Prediction Pick’Em: Mailbag Edition


Well, it has all come to this. Unfortunately, “this” is kind of uneventful. The only real drama is the Redskins-Cowboys game. All playoff teams are locked in on the AFC, the only thing that can change tomorrow is seeding. The NFC is a little more interesting. Atlanta is locked in as the top seed, but after that anything can happen. The Packers, 49ers, or Seahawks could get that first-round bye. There are two playoff spots open on the NFC side as well: one will go to the winner of the NFC East, and the other is the last wild-card spot that could be anyone from the Vikings who finished 3-13 last year or the Giants who won the Super Bowl last year. So, the regular season is done after tomorrow, but the drama this weekend is just a taste of what the playoffs will bring. The 2012 season will be remembered for lots of things: replacement refs, Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning, the “Fail Mary,” Calvin Johnson, J.J. Watt, the 49ers’ quarterbacks, the debacle that is the New York Jets, the “Butt Fumble,” the welcome reception of the real refs, Bountygate, and everyone turning on Roger Goodell. Yes, the 2012 NFL season will be remembered for a lot of things, but boring won’t be one of them. Here is my final mailbag of the year. Remember, these are actual emails from actual readers.

Buccaneers @ Falcons-

Yo Matt,

I’m sorry, man. I know that you were counting on me to have a great year and lead the Bucs as your sleeper team for this year. I’m sorry. I let you down.

Josh, Tampa Bay, FL.

It’s okay, Josh. You didn’t let me down. Yeah, your team got off to a slow start, and everyone1 gave up on you, but you guys came right back and made it interesting. I2 thought you were going to come all the way back too. Yes, your last couple weeks have been forgettable: 2 games, 1 TD, 8 INTs, but if you take those games away, you had a great year, one to build on for the future. Next year, buddy, next year. As for this game, Atlanta should be resting some players as this game means nothing to them.

Pick: Buccaneers

Jets @ Bills-

Hey Matt,

What’s a guy to do? I’m going to be out of a job next year. It’s not fair. Those guys play too rough. They mess up my perfectly groomed hair and my bear/5 o’clock shadow that is always just the right length that you know I spend hours manscaping look. It’s not fair. Rex is a meanie. He was really nice, but then would get mad when the other guys took the ball from me. It’s not my fault they took it, they are just mean. What should I do next year? I need a job where I’m not going to run into any stinky butts.

Mark, New York, NY

Well, Mark, I suggest you become a high school gym teacher. Then, you can scout for a new girlfriend.

Pick: Bills

Ravens @ Bengals-

Hey Matt,

I’m elliiiiiite! I’m elite, damn it! Why won’t anyone beeeliiive me!!!!

Joe, Baltimore, MD

Oh, Jesus. Not this guy again.

Pick: Bengals

Browns @ Steelers-

Hey Matt,

So, with nothing to play for anymore I’m thinking of going out and drinking this season off. I’m sick of my coach and offensive coordinator telling me “No!” when I want to run a play or go “no huddle.” I’m sick of all these injuries, too. Why can’t someone else get hurt instead of me? I get beat up all the time. I’m going out after the game tomorrow, drinking off this season. I’m not going to let anyone tell me “No!” ever again, and I’m going to make someone feel the pain I have been feeling all year with these injuries.

Ben, Pittsburgh, PA

Yeah, I don’t think that’s such a good idea…

Pick: Browns

Bears @ Lions-

Hey Matt,

Remember when you told fantasy owners to stay away from me because of the Madden Curse? HAHAHAHAHHAHA!

Calvin, Detriot, MI

Yeah, one of my gems of the year. Looking back on my NFL preview I had some good ones: I had Cam Newton having an MVP year3; Darren McFadden, Matt Forte, and Maurice Jones-Drew as fantasy studs; the new and improved Patriots defense was still bad; and totally whiffed on Adrian Peterson not even mentioning him among the top running backs4.

I got some stuff right too: I was right on with the replacement refs5, Peyton Manning6, rookie quarterbacks, AJ Green and Julio Jones, The Saints Sanctions, and the Giants being better than the Jets7.

Pick: Bears

Jaguars @ Titans-

Hey Matt,

Do you think Tebow is as cute in person as he is on TV?

Blaine, Jacksonville, FL

Uh….yes, I do, Blaine, yes I do.

Pick: Titans

Eagles @ Giants-

Hey Matt,

I got you right where I want you. You think we are eliminated from the playoffs, huh? Well, there is still an 8.3% chance we are going to make the playoffs and beat your Patriots in the Super Bowl, and if not us, then it will be Peyton in the AFC playoffs. How does it feel?

Eli, New York, NY

Not good Eli…not good. That 8.3% might as well be 100% with you guys.

Pick: Giants

Panthers @ Saints-

Yo Matt,

Remember when you believed in me? Thanks for that.

Cam, Charlotte, NC

We’ve been over this already!

Pick: Saints

Texans @ Colts-

Hey Matt,

If I do this one thing for you, beating the Texans so the Patriots can have a first-round bye, what are you going to do for me?

Andrew, Indianapolis, IN

If you do this for me, Andrew, I will make you number one in my Rookie QB rankings, and that’s a promise.

Pick: Colts

Packers @ Vikings-

Hey Matt,

So, you were wrong about my knee and my individual season, but you did pick the Vikings to make the playoffs earlier this year.. So, at least you could be right about one thing.

Adrian, Minneapolis, MN

Adrian, I have flip-flopped on the Vikings too many times to remember if I had them in or out of the playoffs. Anyway, run, Adrian, run!

Pick: Vikings

Rams @ Seahawks-

Dear Matt,

Well, I have been in the middle of your Rookie Quarterback rankings all year. You also had Ryan Tannehill ahead of me at one point. RYAN TANNEHILL!! Come on, Matt. You should also listen to Jon Gruden; he loves me. I have been in the middle of your rankings, but guess what? After we beat the Rams, I will have led my team to a better record than RGIII or Andrew Luck. Plus, I beat your Patriots, something Luck couldn’t do. So, you like apples?

Russell, Seattle, WA

I’m not stupid, Russell. I know you are setting me up for a Good Will Hunting joke. Anyway, listen, the Seahawks have far better weapons on offense than either the Redskins or the Colts. The Seahawks defense is far superior to the Redskins or Colts as well. I would even go as to say it’s one of the best in the league. So, don’t go taking credit for everything. Also, I don’t know if you forgot, but one of your TDs should be an INT and one of your wins should go as a loss. Ryan Tannehill was playing pretty good, and Jon Gruden loves everybody! So, how you like them apples!

Pick: Seahawks

Dolphins @ Patriots-

Hello Matthew,

So, here is the thing. My team needs full health, but here’s the thing: I never rest players. How do I find the happy medium here? We still have a chance at a bye and even home-field, but maybe I should just use this week as a bye.

Bill, Foxborough, MA

Hey, Mr. B. I think that you should just watch the Texans game tomorrow. They play at 1:00 and you guys play at 4:25. So, if the Texans win, then there is little chance of gaining a bye8. So, if the Texans lose, play your starters and win a bye. If the Texans win, then rest your key players to ensure full strength for the playoffs.

Pick: Patriots

Chiefs @ Broncos-

Hey Matt,

Tune to 45 Outlaw! You can kiss that bye good-bye.

Peyton, Denver, CO

Well, you are partly right. I think my hopes lie with Luck and the Colts. I don’t think the Chiefs are going to help out a lot. Out of all the teams in the AFC the Broncos scare me the most. Peyton is an elite quarterback, and if the Patriots secondary has shown anything over the past couple of years it’s that they are one of the best matchups for opposing quarterbacks. For this reason alone, I am afraid of the Broncos. I know the Pats can outscore the Texans, Ravens, Bengals, and Colts. I’m unsure if they can outscore the Broncos.

Pick: Broncos

Raiders @ Chargers-

Hey Matt,

So, you think I am going to be in the unemployment line next year?

Norv, San Diego, CA

Hey, Norv, I think there is a pretty good chance, yes. That is, unless you want to coach the Jets.

Pick: Chargers

Cardinals @ 49ers-


I hear you think I made the wrong choice changing quarterbacks.

Jim, San Francisco, CA

Yes, Jim, yes I do.

Cowboys @ Redskins-

Hey Matt,

I guess if you’re just going to give the top spot in your Rookie Quarterback rankings to Andrew, then I will just play out of my mind, beat the Cowboys. Then, the Bears and Vikings will both lose, allowing the Giants to make the playoffs, make an impossible run through the playoffs, wind up in the Super Bowl, and then beat your Patriots in the Super Bowl, breaking your heart, and forever ruining the legacies of Belichick and Brady.

Robert, Washington, D.C.

On second though…take it back.

Pick: Redskins


  1. Including me.
  2. Including everyone.
  3. Easily my most despicable offence. I know of at least two fantasy owners who can blame me for their teams not making the playoffs.
  4. This one is not my fault. If someone tells you they knew Peterson was going to come back better than ever, they are lying.
  5. Okay, so this was an easy one.
  6. This one was a little tougher. No one knew how Manning would return, and his early season noodle arm issues had people doubting, but he is Peyton Manning, and you can’t doubt an all-time great. Ever.
  7. This one was my easiest prediction to make.
  8. About as much of a chance as the Chiefs beating the Broncos. Yeah, so pretty much no chance.