CRACKED's NFL Rundown: Week 16

Chargers 20, Seahawks 17
LaDainian Tomlinson, who single-handedly put half the teams playing for their fantasy league championships into the big game, did little to win them the title.  For the first time since week five, Tomlinson was kept out of the end zone, though that didn't do much to help Seattle, which seemed to be going out of its way to miss the playoffs, losing its last three games, before accidentally clinching by virtue of a 49ers loss. 

"I don't know what the big deal is," sighed quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who completed less than half his passes, threw for under 200 yards, and lost two interceptions on Sunday.  "My high school coach always said, 'Winning is like a light bulb.  You can just switch it on when you need it' regardless of how lazy you've been in the weeks leading up to the playoffs... or was that 'winning is not like a light bulb'?  'You can't just switch it on'?  Now that I think about it, that probably makes more sense...  Shit, I wish I'd paid closer attention!"


Packers 9, Vikings 7

CRACKED's plans to gloss over any games without playoff implications went out the window with Green Bay put itself in position to clinch a playoff spot next week with a win and a Giants loss.  "Are you kidding me?" asked Brett Farve, who vaguely remembers throwing a touchdown at some point this season, though not recently.  "I was all set to retire after next week.  Now you're telling me I might have to come back for another game?  Son of a—I have tickets to the touring
42nd Street that Saturday and they're non-refundable."

Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot empathized with Farve's dilemma.  "It's a shame to let tickets like that go to waste.  If only there was someone who loved touring Broadway productions and was on a team that defied all odds by actually being eliminated from the playoff picture in the piss-poor NFC, Brett could give those tickets to him."  Smoot then sang three verses of "Shuffle Off to
Buffalo" before giving up in frustration over teammates pointing out the Vikings would play St. Louis
next week.

Chiefs 20, Raiders 9

Kansas City honored owner Lamar Hunt's memory with a victory over Oakland, a memory they'd hoped to honor sooner but were unfortunate enough not to play anyone pathetic enough until now.  Despite the long-standing bitter rivalry, the Raiders were happy to give the Chiefs the cheery send-off to their owner. 

 "After all," pointed out coach Art Shell, "[Raiders owner] Al Davis can't stick around too much longer and we sure hope someone will give us a mercy win when he finally kicks."

Ravens 31, Steelers 7

With Pittsburgh now the first defending Super Bowl champ to miss the playoffs since the 2002 Buccaneers, Iron City fans have to shift their focus to the Penguins—no, best not to do that.  Well, there's always baseball's hot stove season.  Look, the Pirates picked up journeyman catcher Einar Diaz to back up Ronny Paulino.  Oh, and they signed a 38-year-old Japanese pitcher too.  Christ, if the rest of the NFL took a good look at the sports scene in
Pittsburgh, they'd just let the Steelers win the Super Bowl every year out of pity.

Panthers 10, Falcons 3

Carolina finally found a way to break Chris Weinke's streak of 17 straight losses when starting under center: by keeping Weinke separated from the ball as much as possible.  Carolina's quarterback threw only seven passes, completing four of them for just 32 yards.  In lieu of a passing game, the Panthers rushed the ball 52 times.  "A quarterback who can't throw the ball effectively and relies entirely on the running game," clucked Atlanta's Michael Vick.  "What an embarrassment..."

The win leapfrogged
Carolina
over the Falcons in the standings with both teams tied with records of one game under .500, yet still in the thick of the playoff hunt.  "It's exciting to think that if we can just pull off next week's win at Philly," smiled Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, "and the Giants, Packers, Panthers, and Rams all lose, we could be Super Bowl bound!"

Bears 26, Lions 21

Rex Grossman was benched for the fourth quarter when
Chicago, which clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs by virtue of having the best record in the NFC, was trailing "tied with Oakland for the worst record in the league" Detroit

Head coach Lovie Smith insisted the decision to give back up quarterback Brian Griese some playing time was planned all week and not a desperate attempt to find a quarterback who won't choke away an embarrassing home loss to the pathetic Giants or Eagles come playoff time, urging fans not to "put two and two together."

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