On a day like this one, I'd like to pretend football doesn't exist, that last night's misery was just a bad dream or a hallucination caused by refried beans and stale beer. Here come two games staring us in the face, though - one almost impossible to get excited about, and one with a storyline that has been beaten to death. It seems to be a day that has to be driven by gambling, because financial investment in one of these four teams is far preferable to an actual emotional one.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Seattle @ Chicago (-10). Suddenly, this is a battle to host the NFC Championship Game - just like everybody predicted, right? Two exceedingly average teams will meet this afternoon, and this game probably relies on a single player more than any of the other playoff match-ups. If Jay Cutler can keep his passes out of Seattle hands, it should be enough for a Chicago victory. However, as anybody who's watched Cutler over these past 16 months knows, that ain't a sure thing
And expect a closer game than the line suggests. Only four of Chicago's 11 wins were by more than double digits, with two coming against Minnesota and one Carolina - so those shouldn't even count. PICK: Seattle
Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
NY Jets @ New England (-10). Rex Ryan's most amazing achievement of this season? He actually has me rooting for the Patriots. A few months ago, during New York's run on "Hard Knocks," I sorta dug Ryan's brash, talky approach to his job - but man, that welcome wore the hell out. With every blowhard sentence out of his mouth, my New England fandom amps up a notch, and making me want to see Tom Brady win is Ryan's worst sin yet.
Oh, and Wes Welker is probably my new favorite non-Falcon - his multiple, straight-faced jabs at Ryan in this press conference is the stuff of instant legend. PICK: New England
Last Week: 1-3-0
Regular Season Total: 133-116-7
Lines via SBNation.