There are lots of ways to predict which football teams will emerge victorious every week. You could use "stats" and "analysis" and "actual evidence," but we've decided to use a different metric for predicting this week's winners. We're asking the extremely important question: "What would happen if their mascots fought?" What would happen if an actual Titan fought an actual Eagle? Now THAT'S entertainment:
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Although the Packers' name remains of the most meaningful and unique in the NFL, the gritty, fearless and relentless men and women in the meat-packing world would carry little weight against the fierce contingent of Scandinavian men.
Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos
Home-field advantage means everything when a bronco and dolphin square off. Can broncos swim? Can dolphins move on land? You can figure it out.
Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons
Cleveland Browns founder Paul A. Brown might have been a football revolutionary of sorts in the 20th century, but could the man who helped break football’s color barrier really defeat a species of raptor? This one's going to come down to whether Mr. Brown can use tools. If he has access to a spear? Give it to the Browns. But if he doesn't, and the Falcon is allowed to dive-bomb him? I dunno, I'd give it to the Falcons.
Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles
The Titans arguably boast the most historically complex nickname, as it’s derived from the term given to the descendants of primordial gods. So you'd think the Titans would be the easy winner over the Eagles, right? BUT CONSIDER THIS: Prometheus was a Greek Titan best known for giving man the gift of fire, and as punishment, the gods sentenced him to an eternity chained to a rock where an EAGLE ate his liver every day. You guys! This is literally a match of epic proportions! I'm giving it to the Eagles.
Detroit Lions at New England Patriots
It would be a waste of our time to debate whether or not a Revolutionary War hero would defeat an animal. America.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
This Jaguars-Colts matchup appears to mirror a hypothetical game between an unforgiving NFL team and a speedy, up-and-coming, and oftentimes sly college football team with loads of potential but simply cannot play with the big boys. It is unreasonable to expect a 3-year-old horse to go toe-to-toe with a muscular 200-pound jaguar.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Technically the Pacific Northwest is home to the Seattle Ospreys, but Seahawks just sounds cooler. The fish-eating species of raptor can have a ridiculous 6-foot wingspan and easily obliterate large fish in one swoop, therefore it’s unlikely that a 3-ounce cardinal would provide much of a challenge.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
Contrary to popular belief, a bengal is a not a massive and terrifying tiger but instead a unique breed of semi-domestic cats. What is the bengal’s only shot at defeating a Texan, someone who Houston Texans owner Bob McNair described as a powerful, courageous and hardworking individual (like Texan outlaw Clyde Barrow, pictured here)? Run far, far away. Or hope he's allergic, I guess.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are not named for a bison but instead for Buffalo Bill Cody, a former U.S Army Scout, Medal of Honor recipient and bison hunter in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His matchup with a jet presents a curious predicament in which we pit an honorable, selfless and heroic American against the likes of a Lockheed Martin Raptor or Boeing jet aircraft. Unfortunately for Buffalo Bill, he has fallen victim to the limited resources at his disposal in the 19th century versus the sheer magnitude of engineering power in the 21st century.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears
"Buccaneer" is inaccurately used interchangeably with "pirate," when, in reality, a buccaneer operated in much different fashion and in different geographical areas than a pirate. Buccaneers used aggressive tactics and nearly flawless marksmanship to attack Spanish ships and towns in the Caribbean Sea in the 17th century. Their attention to detail and commitment to stealth attacks leads one to believe the relentless and cruel savages would have little issue fending off one bear.
St. Louis Rams at San Diego Chargers
Frank Leahy, the San Diego Chargers general manager at the time of their inception, proposed the nickname to then-owner Barron Hilton, because he liked when fans yelled “charge” and sounded the bugle during Dodgers and USC games. The only charger we could think of is a phone charger, and let's be real, what's your iPhone cable going to do to stop a giant male sheep?
Washington Redskins at San Francisco 49ers
Two team names with more historical significance than most, the Redskins and 49ers present an interesting proposition. The 1849 California Gold Rush represented a major point in American history as loads of gold-seeking people converged, oftentimes violently, on the goldfields of Northern California and the Sierra Nevada. Despite being known as an unforgiving and relentless group, could they stand up to the powerful Native Americans? We’re taking the Redskins in a blowout victory, if only to settle a historic score.
Also, yet another compelling reason for Washington to change its name is how uncomfortable it makes this section of our lighthearted imaginary battles.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
The term "giant" remains ambiguous and widely open to interpretation. The same is true of "cowboy." An argument can be made that an enormous human with an endless repertoire of superpowers could defeat a quiet animal herder any day of the week, but could an oversized, overweight and shy man emerge victorious over a violent and unyielding vigilante? It appears we need Mike Cary to provide a rule interpretation. Until then, we're taking a cue from David and Goliath.
Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints
Edgar Allen Poe’s raven was known to be obnoxious, philosophical and kind of a bummer. Does this large bird present enough grit and tenacity to overtake a saint? Saints possess many different skill sets and empowering characteristics, and despite not arriving with a physically imposing presence, saints are best not messed with. I mean, they have a higher power on their side. In the battle of good and evil, good wins. This time.
Andrew Doughty is a writer for Next Impulse Sports