And that’s a wrap on the season. Next up is playoffs. One final normal Chaometer before the annual Chaos Bandwagon Guide on Friday.I also plan to do a Chaos season wrap up and awards once the full season has ended.

As expected, the chaos wasn’t high this week, but we had a little bit of fun. Dallas, playing for the #1 seed, completely shat the bed. The Titans trapped the Jaguars into a textbook ugly Titans game until one silly fumble turned the game around. The Rams put up a fight in what might be Sean McVay’s final game until an unfortunate penalty on Ramsey set the Hawks up to…doink the shit out of the upright and then wait until overtime to win. Kenny Golladay caught a touchdown! It took him two years and till the final offensive snap the Giants had to do it, but by god, the man finally scored. The Broncos won! The Chargers decided to start everyone and play the game for real, only to lose anyway and possibly lose Mike Williams for the playoffs. The Lions did their damndest to ruin Aaron Rodgers’ day and possibly send his Packers career out on a sad loss to a disappointing season. I love it.

But I think CHAOS OF THE WEEK has an easy contender. Lovie Smith gives zero fucks, baby. The Texans started the year against the Colts and notably played for the tie in overtime, with a cowardly punt as time wore down. That Lovie is gone. Instead, the Lovie Smith who is probably going to be fired as the Texans once again try to figure out how to run a franchise decided to give everyone the finger and play for the damn win. He went for two with the game on the line, and you could hear the screams of millions of Houston fans as they converted. I understand why Houston fans didn’t want this to happen. Long term, getting that #1 pick would be ideal, as now the Bears can trade it away to a team like the Colts for the #1 prospect. But I don’t blame Lovie or Davis Mills or anyone else on that team for playing their hearts out. Why should Davis Mills roll over just for his inevitable replacement? These guys careers are all on the line, either here in Houston or for their resume elseware. A few may never play another snap. It honestly brought a smile to my face to see. Fuck the team that is about to scorn you, play some damn ball.

GIANTS CORNER: A lot of Giants fans wanted them not to rest anyone. The memories of 2007 are strong and we all remember how they put up a fight against the Patriots and the momentum carried into the playoffs. I’ve always kind of hated that narrative that the Giants did it for the honor of the sport or something. They didn’t have to play anyone! Their seed was set, but they still went out there and gave it their all! It’s bullshit. As much as it would be nice to believe, there was absolutely something to play for in that game: the chance to knock the undefeated Patriots off their high horse. That’s why Coughlin and company played all out that game, even if nobody wants to admit it. It wasn’t about the honor of playing hard with nothing on the line. Coughlin rested the starters the very next year when they were in the same position. I think the Giants 2007 game has generated this myth of playoff momentum and how resting causes sluggishness but I’ve never really bought it. I was fine with the Giants resting their most important players against the Eagles. On top of keeping the stars healthy, it gives the regime a good look at players on the bubble before the hard offseason decisions have to get made. Also, they put up a better fight against the Iggles than I expected.

MOST UNWATCHABLE GAME OF THE WEEK: Did anyone watch Saints/Panthers? Bless your soul if you did.

DISAPPOINTMENT DUCK: I mean Dallas takes this one by a mile. The chances they take the #1 seed and the division were always fairly low, but they didn’t even seem to try. Dak looked terrible. The entire team looked off. If there is such a thing as entering the playoffs with momentum, the Cowboys are doing the opposite.

PICS! Had a good week to close it out, and the Lions win is some of my finest work for the season

PLAYOFFS! As always, the playoffs are different. Each game gets a picture regardless of whether or not I get the pick right. My picks are irrelevant! Now is the time to root for the picture you want to see if you have no specific interest.

The Fish managed to squeak into the playoffs thanks to some tiebreakers and barely beating the Jets. While we are spared the spectacle of the Bills crushing Billy two years in a row, we got a potentially more interesting game. If everyone is healthy. The Dolphins hate Tua’s head but they already beat Buffalo once this season. Still, hard to pick the team that wouldn’t even be in the playoffs if we had the system from two years ago.
If the Dolphins win, I will draw Tua bodyslamming a flaming Josh Allen
If the Bills win, I will draw a dolphin leaping out of the water, with Josh Allen hurdling it

The Ravens get my pick this year for “Team that sucks and is hurt but won just enough games to sneak in and die in the wildcard round”. Does anyone have faith in these Ravens, who just this week lost to the Bengals already? We don’t know if Lamar is going to be ready by this weekend, and even if he is, he will likely be limited. The Ravens have spent the season giving up leads and the Bengals are playing angry after getting the short straw thanks to the NFL’s Hamlin situation management.
If the Ravens win, I will draw Edgar, Allen, and Poe (the Ravens mascots) as a k-pop trio
If the Bengals win, I will draw Joey the Tiger from the top rope

The Chargers are, as usual, overlooked. They are healthy…well, they were, before starting everyone in a meaningless game. But they are still mostly healthy. The Jaguars have been a very fun story over the second half of the year and they already beat LA once this season, so this might low-key be the best game of the weekend. I think the Chargers take this and force us to pay attention to them only to lose next week.
If the Jaguars win, I will draw Trevor Lawrence as Marylin Monroe
If the Chargers win, I will draw Justin Herbert as Pikachu and Joey Bosa as Electabuzz

Jason Garrett of all people alerted me to an interesting stat on a postgame show. The Cowboys are 1-4 this season on natural grass. One of those losses was to the Bucs in week 1. If a team is used to a certain type of turf and looks this bad when not on it, that’s a bad sign. I would personally be ecstatic if the Cowboys season was bookended by losses to the Bucs in the Bucs worst season with Brady. That would be *chefs kiss*.
If the Cowboys win, I will draw Dak Prescott as the “peace sign over a grave” meme
If the Bucs win, I will draw an ancient goat kungfu master

FRAUD BOWL! The Giants drew the one matchup in the wildcard round I think they actually have the best chance to win. They are healthier than they were in the late-season game. The Vikings are less healthy, namely on the O-line. I’m…cautiously optimistic the Giants could actually win this. Do I think they will? No. Do I think they should be favored? No. But this matchup was a great game just a few weeks ago, so hopefully, fraud bowl 2 pays off.
If the Giants win, I will draw Daniel Jones hoisting the Fraud Bowl trophy
If the Vikings win, I will draw Kirk Cousins hoisting the Fraud Bowl trophy

There is honestly a part of me disappointed that we aren’t going to get Aaron Rodgers getting crushed by the 49ers in the playoffs for the 5th time in his career, because this matchup is less interesting than that. The 49ers are my pick to win the NFC this season and the Seahawks barely made it. Geno, you did your best, but this team just isn’t built to win any playoff games.
If the Seahawks win, I will draw Geno Smith playing the drums, but all the drums are 49ers players heads
If the 49ers win, I will draw Kyle Shanahan dunking on Pete Carroll