Arms Race, Treason, & The Stage Is Set.
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Monday, January 4, 2016
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Quick Hits From Over The Weekend

The Main Event
WHAT?
The NFL playoff picture is finally set.

WHAT ELSE?
Week 17, the final week of the 2015 NFL season, was a blast. Peyton Manning returned from injury to lead the Broncos to a 27-20 victory (and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs) over the soon-to-be Los Angeles Chargers, Pretty boy Tom Brady and the Patriots were upset by one the NFL's ugliest teams (Miami Dolphins), the New York Jets completely blew it against the Buffalo Bills, simultaneously costing New York a wild card spot while igniting a bromance between Buffalo (where Bills fans literally ignited themselves) and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who snuck in as the AFC's 6th seed due to the Jets loss, the Kansas City Chiefs won their 10th game in a row, and Jorvorskie Lane of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave us the most deliciously horrific leg injury we saw in the NFL all year (yum!).

THOUGHTS?
Cancel your plans next weekend, you have football to watch. Below are the matchups, along with our 100%-accurate predictions.

Saturday, January 9
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (Steelers, 28-24)
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (Chiefs, 23-10)

Sunday, January 10
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (Seahawks, 31-21)
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins (Redskins, 34-28... in overtime, because why the hell not. You like that!)

Good Sport
THE STAGE IS SET
After convincing Bowl wins, The #2 Alabama Crimson Tide and the #1 Clemson University Tigers will square off in the College Football Playoff Championship next Monday night. Alabama sealed their place in the championship game by making the #3 Michigan State Spartans look like boys among men in their 38-0 humiliation of Sparty in the Cotton Bowl, thanks in no small part to 'Bama running back Derek Henry, who set a new SEC single-season rushing touchdowns record (25). Clemson earned their spot by pulling the #4 Oklahoma Sooners' pants down with trickery, which included a catch by a 315-pound lineman off a fake punt, in route to a 37-17 drubbing of the Sooners.

Bad Sport
BLACK MONDAY
The regular season is over, which means NFL front offices are about to see more heads roll than a Mayan human sacrifice ritual. Mike Pettine (head coach) and Ray Farmer (GM) of the Cleveland Browns, Dennis Hickey (GM) of the Miami Dolphins, Jim Tomsula (head coach) of the San Francisco 49ers, and Chip Kelly (head coach) of the Philadelphia Eagles have already been given their walking papers. Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is next, and New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is expected to retire to save himself the embarrassment of a likely firing. As shitty as it is to be one of these guys who lost their job, the rest of us (fans) are the real victims here, as we're going to be force-fed the term "coaching carousel" a minimum of 100,000 times over the next few weeks.

G.O.A.T. of the Weekend (What is G.O.A.T.?)
Christian McCaffrey. The Stanford Cardinal running back, and human record book, added another notch to his belt this weekend, rushing for a Rose Bowl record 368 all-purpose yards, including a 75-yard touchdown reception on the first play from scrimmage, in Stanford's 45–16 thrashing of Iowa. Not even a drunken fan screaming "Heisman" in McCaffrey's ear (over, and over, and over again) during a post-game interview could spoil the running back's big day.

Honorable Mention: Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler set a franchise record with 40 second-half points during the Bulls 115-113 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Goat of the Weekend (What's a Goat?)
Ben Kline. The Penn State linebacker is officially bro king of all meatheads. He split his head wide open after he headbutted (sans helmet) five of his teammates (with helmets), while leading an expletive-filled, pregame pep talk. The Cro-Magnon display did not have the effect Kline intended, as Penn State fell 24-17 to the Georgia Bulldogs in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter, who was also the victim of a self-inflicted helmet injury. He was hit in the face with his own helmet after he slammed it to the ground in frustration due to a missed extra point attempt.

Quote of the Weekend
"Most of the black quarterbacks, they like running, because they're probably used to running from the law" - Dexter Manley

In a quote that surprisingly didn't come from Donald Trump, Manley, a retired NFL defensive end, carefully explained his theory as to why black NFL quarterbacks are prone to run the ball so often.

What to Watch (All Times Eastern)
NHL. Kings at Avalanche - 9pm on NBC Sports
COLLEGE BASKETBALL. North Carolina at Florida State - 7pm on ESPN; West Virginia at TCU - 7pm on ESPN2; Oklahoma at Kansas - 9pm on ESPN; Virginia at Virginia Tech - 9pm on ESPN2
WWE. Monday Night Raw - 11pm on USA
JIMMY FALLON. Sylvester Stallone mumbles his way through an interview to discuss Creed - 11:35pm on NBC
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