My cat Leila is super adorable and uses a logic entirely unique to herself. In other words, she's a cat. This gives her a massive evolutionary advantage over your average NFL pundit, so naturally I call upon her feline instincts to pick football teams in the playoffs. She picks straight up, I pick against the Pro-Line spread, and last year she beat me even though we both did terribly. There, now you're all caught up.
Bengals at Texans
Leila: Cincinnati, obviously. Indeed, being the only cat-based team left, the Bengals are Leila's early pick to win the Super Bowl this year. I told her they were a dark horse and she started to correct me ("horses aren't cats") before suddenly getting startled and running upstairs.
Me: Houston at -4.5. Yeah, yeah, they peaked too early, they slumped down the stretch, they're up against a HAWT YOUNG TEAM who forced their way in against the likes of the Steelers and Ravens. But c'mon, look at those respective last quarter schedules. The Bengals didn't so much win as the Ravens lost (a whopping 189 yards! And Gradkowski had 65 of those!!) and anybody could beat the Eagles after such a horribly mind-numbing year in Philly. Meanwhile, the Texans were up against a Patriots team that wanted to humilate them, Vikings trying to stay alive in the playoff race, and a Colts squad avenging themselves for a loss from two weeks earlier. So they weren't desperate enough to go for the bye -- so what? Green Bay went for it and all it got 'em was a tired bench. Speaking of which...
Vikings at Packers
Leila: Among the events which transpired this year was the revelation of my cat's secret middle name: "Greymalkin". Very fierce, no? She thinks so. And Vikings are fierce too, so she's taking them.
Me: Minnesota at +8. Green Bay really did themselves a disservice by not taking care of business last week, and that always comes back to bite you in the ass. I just pulled that statement out of my ass, because I'm too lazy to go on wikip and see if it's actually true. But it sounds good, doesn't it? The Vikings know they can beat this team now, and all they have to do is put in their Lambeau-frequency heckle-resistant earplugs and give the ball to Adrian Peterson on eighty percent of their plays.
Colts at Ravens
Leila: is indifferent to birds (once again, she completely ignored the turkey on christmas) and thinks she would look majestic riding across the plains on a charging stallion. I think it would scare the hell out of her, but she's taking Indy anyway.
Me: Ravens at -6.5. I want to say I'm taking them because I think Flacco's got the experience and poise to make it happen, but really, I'm just looking forward to all the variations on "LUCK RUNS OUT" in the headlines on Monday.
Seahawks at Redskins
Leila: Because my old lady only buys FANCY FEAST GRASS-INFUSED EMERALD SUPER CAT MEAL in the multi-can package, we sometimes have to feed Leila chicken. And because my old lady is insane she assumes that Leila will be super-finicky and not eat it unless she calls it "land tuna". I just toss the dish on the floor and walk off; cats will eat anything eventually as long as you're not watching them. Point is, I told Leila the "Seahawks" were in this game and she got all suspicious and took Washington. I think she also thinks a "redskin" is like a red snapper or rainbow trout or something.
Me: Seattle at -3.0. Nobody seems to have noticed that nobody's noticing Russell Wilson, have you noticed that? Every single commentator has brought up Wilson just to tell us that nobody's brought him up. He's the most visible unnoticeable player in the league. The Seattle fanbase has been oddly quiet on the subject, though. Normally when you get one of these "unnoticed" stories, it comes with a glut of screaming tailgaters telling anyone who will listen how fantastic and underrated their guy is, even though everyone is saying nobody's talking about him. You know who's really unnoticed in all this? Pete Carroll, that's who. Coach Pete beat the Saints with this team when they were 7-9. You think he's gonna have any trouble outcoaching Shanahan? Better luck next year, RG3.