It’s the end of the world regular season as we know it, and I feel fine. I guess. I don’t know. I’ve been in the advanced stages of football nihilism for a while now. Things seem to be looking up, though, so I still have a little bit of hope that I’ll be cured next season.

I say this all the time, but I think having week 17 be all division rivalry games is the best idea the NFL has ever had. Dolphins and Chiefs, we’re all counting on you to keep Tom Brady out of another damn year of home-field advantage in the playoffs. Or at least please let the Ravens win so that the Pats have to go there.

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I am a fan of a bad football team. The next paragraph is about them, so feel free to skip ahead.

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The first game of the season for the Broncos was against the Oakland Raiders, and it went almost exactly like the rest of the season played out. The Broncos got stomped in the first half, then showed signs of life in the second half and led a strong comeback that was too little too late. I knew we were in for a long season after our defense that was supposed to be so fantastic let the Raiders march quick down the field for a TD. Uh oh. And then the first offensive play was... a fucking jet sweep to a rookie tight end? Oh God, no. That was a total “look how smart I am” moment by the offensive coordinator. It looked exactly like all the dumb decisions made in the last two years by the previous staff. The first seven weeks were miserable to watch. And then Joe Flacco said what everyone was thinking after another close loss to the Colts, that the coaching staff was too afraid to go for anything. Then he went on IR. And then things started to change for the better. Brandon Allen came in and played ok in his first two starts. He didn’t look good against the Bills, but it’s clear now they were planning to play Drew Lock against the Chargers. Drew Lock. Oh dear God, it looks like we have an actual franchise QB now. I know it’s early, and I readily acknowledge that he might still flame out, but it doesn’t feel like that. They have an energy I haven’t seen since Peyton Manning was here. In that game against the Chargers they looked revived. Then they shook up the game plan against the Texans and it was brilliant. Yeah, they laid an egg against the Chiefs, but the Chiefs are an elite team and they were playing in a snownado. I’m starting to have hope again. The coaching staff has grown along with it too, though they’ll probably need to find another special teams coach in the offseason. They HAVE TO re-sign Shelby Harris and Justin Simmons. I’d love for Chris Harris Jr. to return too, and maybe Derek Wolfe, but I’d understand if those two leave. If they can pick up some more offensive linemen and a good receiver in the draft, they might have the start of something good here. Hopefully they’ll make the last ever game for the “Oakland” Raiders a loss today.

On CBS today, we in Denver get an all-AFC West slate. Chargers at Chiefs followed by Raiders-Broncos. Philip Rivers, we could all use some of your wonderful interceptions today. We get a Fox doubleheader too, starting with the Packers at Lions. That’s gonna be a yikes from me. The second game is GODDAMMIT I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE FUCKING COWBOYS! I’D RATHER GET CONSTANTLY PUNCHED IN THE DICK FOR THREE HOURS! Fuck it, I hope the Redskins crush them. SNF will be good, 49ers-Seahawks. I think the Niners are a more complete team and I’m betting they win a close one. And then after the game, a bunch of head coaches will be fired.

The rest:

Dolphins-Patriots: Come, let us all pray to the mighty Fitz-magic. Please beat the Patriots and force them to go on the road at least once in the playoffs. Amen.

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Jets-Bills: The Jets won 6 games? I guess I haven’t been paying attention. I’m pulling for the Bills, though. Just think, at this point a Bills-Vikings Super Bowl is still possible. One of them would have to win, right?

Saints-Panthers: I still think the Panthers will regret firing Ron Rivera. I wonder if Cam comes back to them next year, too. Crazy. Saints win.

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Browns-Bengals: Flexed to Fox, but should have been flexed to some digital sub-channel instead. Like Laff-TV. One of these teams will win, but Ohio loses no matter what.

Bears-Vikings: It’s hard to care about this game because it’s pretty meaningless for both teams. In that case, I’d say the Bears have a good chance to get an upset win.

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Falcons-Bucs: Of the meaningless games, this one might actually be fun to watch. Will Jameis Winston throw 7 interceptions yet still have his team in the game? Could be.

Steelers-Ravens: I hope the Ravens win, but they’re sitting starters so it’s anyone’s guess.

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Titans-Texans: The Titans have more to play for than the Texans do, so I’m leaning that way.

Colts-Jags: This is a game that is happening today.

Eagles-Giants: Please win, Eagles, so we don’t have to see the Cowboys in the playoffs. Giants, don’t ruin your tank!

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Cardinals-Rams: This is also a game that is happening today.

And that’s it! It’s over for most of us.  I don’t think my head coach is going anywhere, but lots of others will.  Who do you think will be a surprise keep among the coaches on the hot seat?

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