This weekend, the key to every game can be found in the coach’s photograph, as found on the ESPN coach ranking page. By looking at the photographs, we can see exactly how the game will go down:
Houston vs. Atlanta
Look at Gary Kubiak. Notice anything strange? His hair looks weird. That’s because he’s really Firestorm, freed up to follow his passion for football when the Justice League didn’t bring him in for their new series. ESPN’s art department has had to artificially darken his flaming hair and make it look normal. In case you didn’t know, his power was that he could manipulate matter at will. So do you really think his team’s going to lose to a bunch of sad sacks like the Falcons? I didn’t think so. Texans 31, Falcons 7.
NY Jets vs. Buffalo
Either Dick Jauron is actually made of football leather, or he’s wearing somebody else’s face like in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And that can’t be good for team chemistry, knowing the head coach might saw you to pieces to make furniture. Jets 31, Bills 14.
Baltimore vs Cleveland
Why is Romeo Crennel smiling? He’s the coach of the Browns, for heaven’s sakes! He should be weeping! I’ve no doubt that he’s a nice guy, but the fact that he can smile so widely while wearing Browns regalia casts doubt upon his sanity. Of course, we have to factor in that the Ravens essentially play without an offense. Ravens 3, Browns 0
St. Louis vs Dallas
I know the press can be brutal, but does Rams coach Scott Linehan need to wear a mouthpiece even at publicity shoots? Geez, things are really bad out there if he does. Of course, with college coaches now having freak-outs at postgame press conferences, maybe in the future everybody will wear mouthpieces at publicity shoots. Oh, and Dallas is pretty good this year, so there’s no hope for the Rams. Rams 10, Dallas 35.
Chicago vs Detroit
Lovie Smith is the greatest coach in the NFL. He looks professional, he has a good demeanor, he goes by Lovie but his players still respect him, and he made the superbowl with Rex Grossman as his quarterback. Don’t think the coach has that much impact? Ask the Chargers how their post-Schottenheimer experience is going. However, no matter which jersey he wears, Bryan Griese is pretty much always the same guy, so I don’t see any light for them at the end of the tunnel. Bears 14, Lions 24.
Oakland vs Miami
Even though he uses his yearbook picture as a coach’s photo, Lance Kiffin must be one heck of a coach. Or at least, he’s one heck of a coach compared to their old coach,
Green Bay vs Minnesota
Before coaching the Vikins, Brad Childress had a bit part on Elmo's World as Mr. Noodle's Brother Mr. Noodle. But he left it all for the glamorous life of party boats and all-night film study. In Green Bay news, Brett Favre said in an interview that he has decided this year to take less chances and throw less interceptions. Who said you couldn’t teach an old, stubborn, stupid, mule-headed dog who pronounces his name wrong new tricks? Packers 40, Vikings 20.
Tampa Bay vs Carolina
It’s nice to see Jon Gruden get back into coaching after taking the last 4 years off. What? He was coaching all this time? I don’t think you could find any evidence of that in Tampa Bay. As a side note, is it me or does this photo have a sort of “dreaminess” quality to it the others lack?Buccaneers 21, Panthers 20.
Seattle vs San Francisco
If he tweaks those eyebrows a little more, he’s ready to go be a Batman villain as Sorehead, the giant flaming reddish face of doom. Also, it looks like he’s eating shit in this picture. Smile, for goodness sakes, you’re an NFL coach! Seahawks 45, Forty-niners 12.
Pittsburgh vs Arizona
I’m sure that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is older than 20. But he sure doesn’t look it from this photo. But given their performance so far this season, Arizona is royally screwed, since they’re still Arizona. Turns out Dennis Green was only one of many symptoms. Steelers 85, Cardinals 3.
Denver vs Indianapolis
Halfway through the game, Mike Shanahan will use his hypno-powers to make Peyton Manning think his name is “Jay Cutler”. Denver will then storm to a great rally, almost coming back, before Tony “I don’t worry about anything because I’m easily the best coach in the NFL” Dungy overcomes the evil Shanarays to bring Manning back to the Colts’ sideline and, ultimately, a victory. Broncos 28, Indianapolis 31.
Kansas City vs San Diego
If you didn’t know who this was, and this picture ran in your Sunday newspaper, what would you think the most likely caption would be?
A) School janitor honored for 30 years of service
B) Arrested installing camera in women’s room at train station
C) Drunken Shriner wrecks minicar, ruins parade
This game gets my “Lock of the Week” award, because if you watch if you must be locked in a room without any way to shut off the television. Chiefs 14, Chargers 10, and another raft of columns devoted to “solving LT’s problems.”
Philadelphia vs NY Giants
“In a scene reminiscent of Ghostbusters, a giant Andy Reid billboard today came to life and smashed most of downtown Philadelphia, causing over 155 dollars of damage to the historic center. Residents booed the statue and pelted it with dung, but were powerless to prevent it ruining the Phillies’ chances to make the playoffs. The monster then escaped into the countryside, where police are still searching for it.” Even through all that, they’ll beat the Giants. Eagles 24, Giants 10.
New England vs Cincinnati
Using my top-secret spy cameras, I managed to capture a photo of Bill Bellicheck preparing for this week’s Monday night game. He looks pretty focused, doesn’t he? Although I’m a little bit concerned about him selling his soul to darkness for a petty edge he hardy needs against the dysfunctional Bengals. I’m pretty impressed, though, that the Bengals have upgraded from “futility” to “break our fans’ hearts by playing below our talent.” That’s a big step up. Maybe someday they can work their way up to “so-so.” Patriots 92, Bengals 24.