Rick’s Pigskin Piñata (Holiday Edition): Taking a Swing at the Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

Yes, sports fans, it’s here!  For the first time since 2011—which was the end of the Reebok Era, if you remember—Christmas is the NFL. The NFL is Christmas.

Finkle is Einhorn.

And so on…



Oh, hell yes!

Yep, you read that correctly.  And, whether you’re into the collective holiday spirit—Hanukkah, Kwanzaa (for the Monday Night game), Christmas, Beer-mas, Imus, whatever—or you look at the Grinch as somewhat of a Morgan Freeman to chauffeur your curmudgeonly Miss Daisy ways, there’s something astronomically special about the NFL season coinciding, in perfect harmony I guess, within a time frame in the galactic cosmos that just so happens to call for just as much drinking and eating and yelling at shit.


SOCKS? Are you f*cking kidding me?!?

Where’s the dreidel?!?

Where’s the Tylenol!?!

Chevy, take it from here:

It’s incredible, gang. I mean, this sort of calendar alignment is a witch’s brew of next-level chicanery that has me wondering if John Cusack is ready to save earth again when it splits at the seams because of world-ending gas…who knows, maybe the The Rock and Nicolas Cage—who just happened to star in a film called The Rock—could help him.

Thank you, John Cusack!!

But—hold the Budweiser horses—let’s not start opening your brother’s presents just because a) it’s a box and b) it’s close enough to you that reading the “Who’s it for” label is a waste of time.

Let’s just…let’s slow it down, now. Simmer.

So…maybe you harbor zero interest in knowing the ways of Clark Griswold. Or you look at Ralphie like the football he accidentally told that Mall Santa he wanted—the one damn football that must be punted over the roof and into the fast-moving creek behind the shed…gone forever, TBS!!

No problem-O.

To say it’s not your thing is something I totally understand…if you remember, as I said previously, the holidays are about squashing petty differences, navigating the salty waters of self-doubt and misery the same you would with the Pool of Happiness that all of the kids—and some of the adults, especially that one uncle and his…friend—have surely urinated in.

Still though, you must crack at least a Bill Belichick-esque smirk when considering the powers that are colliding with such precision you’d think it was orchestrated by the champion of the Operation game.


Or…perhaps you just aren’t familiar with the story.

You know, the story of Week 16 in the NFL!!

Ever heard of it?

(Puts on cardigan sweater)

(Adjusts Walter Brimley glasses)

(Sits in rocking chair)


Twas a Few Hours Before Week 16

By: Rick

Gather around here, folks, there’s plenty of space…and yes, this close to Christmas, there will be rhyming all over the place. So make room, you lads, make for him and her, make room for Steve Mariucci and the dude who looks like Anton Chigurh.

There’s room for everyone, sports fans, for the Steelers and the Jets, the Cowboys and Eagles, and even the most random of pets.

What do we know? Any power-ranking glory? Well, no, not really, but here’s my NFL holiday story:

Twas a few hours before Week 16, when all through the house…

32. Cleveland Browns: 0-14 (last week: 32)

You see, the Browns are the carrots, the rest of the NFL is that mouse.

31. San Francisco 49ers: 1-13 (last week: 31)

The 49ers have one win.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-12 (last week: 30)

The Yaguars have two…

29. Los Angeles Rams: 4-10 (last week: 29)

The Rams are a weird story, like when Matt Damon bought that damn zoo.

28. Chicago Bears: 3-11 (last week: 28)

The Bears hate the winter, Malort and hibernation be thy name …

27. New York Jets: 4-10 (last week: 27)

Maybe sometimes don’t Snapchat

26. Philadelphia Eagles: 5-9 (last week: 26)

Fighting Santa isn’t a game.

25. San Diego Chargers: 5-9 (last week: 24)

But hey, what about us? Phillip Rivers shouts while looking for a scuffle.

24. Arizona Cardinals: 5-8-1 (last week: 22)

The human head weighs closer to 11 pounds, Ray…

23. Cincinnati Bengals: 5-8-1 (last week: 21)

And here’s the Ickey Shuffle.

22. New Orleans Saints: 6-8 (last week: 25)

The Saints are finished, with zero beads for a tit-flash.

21. Carolina Panthers: 6-8 (last week: 23)

Cam Newton went #SagerStrong…


20. Minnesota Vikings: 7-7 (last week: 16)

And that’s using your hot ash.

19. Buffalo Bills: 7-7 (last week: 20)

The #BillsMafia are perpetually awake, offering jello shots for all!

18. Indianapolis Colts: 7-7 (last week: 19)

Andrew Luck went to a school that honors Christmas Trees…

17. Washington Redskins: 7-6-1 (last week: 12)

I had no idea Dan Snyder is not that tall.


16. Denver Broncos: 8-6 (last week: 10)

The Broncos have plummeted, even John Elway can no longer grin.

15. Houston Texans: 8-6 (last week: 18)

Who in the hell is Tom Savage?

14. Tennessee Titans: 8-6 (last week: 17)

You guys really did Santa in…

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-6 (last week: 9)

The Buccaneers tried their best, but the Cowboys were a tad bit better…

12. Baltimore Ravens: 8-6 (last week: 15)

The Ravens can ruin Yinzer Christmas.

11. Green Bay Packers: 8-6 (last week: 14)

And what the hell is that—cheddar?


10. Detroit Lions: 9-5 (last week: 6)

The Lions are anxious, but practicing hard in the den…

9. Miami Dolphins: 9-5 (last week: 13)

Matt Moore is a goddamn hero.

8. Seattle Seahawks: 9-4-1 (last week: 11)

Here’s a bad photo of one of the 12 men.


7. Atlanta Falcons: 9-5 (last week: 8)

The damn thing is crooked! shouts the Falcons from near and far…

6. Pittsburgh Steelers: 9-5 (last week: 7)

This is possibly the greatest holiday song ever:

5. Kansas City Chiefs: 10-4 (last week: 3)

Hopefully your wasted Santa wasn’t driving a car.

4. Oakland Raiders: 11-3 (last week: 5)

There’s makeup and shoulder pads, an ’80s look that was considered hot.


3. New York Giants: 10-4 (last week: 4)

Eli still can’t figure out who farted…


2. Dallas Cowboys: 12-2 (last week: 2)

Sometimes it’s OK to do pot.

1. New England Patriots: 12-2 (last week: 1)

And finally, gang, we’ve come to the end, so feel free to stretch and yawn.

Did you guys see who Tom was talking to last week?


What’s up with that, where’s Papa John?

With that, the story is over, and I wish you all the best…

There’s only one thing that rhymes well with Piñata, so I’m getting Miata off my chest.

I wish you a good night, and of course a tree not engulfed by flames.

Make sure to empty the shitter…

And until next week, I hope you enjoy the games.

(Closes laptop)


Happy Holidays!

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