Heading into the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, we are down to just eight teams left with a chance to win the Super Bowl. There are plenty of ways to pick winners this weekend — Bill Connelly broke down each conference by the numbers, and we have the Vegas odds — but I have chosen to pick winners this weekend by a foolproof method.
I’m selecting the teams based on the quarterbacks with the best anagram names.
An anagram is just rearranging the letters of words to make a new word or phrase, and they can often delve into silliness. For instance, my name anagrams to “Heretic’s pen,” which considering this exercise is shockingly accurate.
Without further ado, and with the help of Wordsmith.org’s anagram server, here are the eight remaining quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs, ranked by their name anagrams:
8. Jared Goff
Goff is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, and at the helm of one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL. If the trends continue, just by his association with Rams head coach Sean McVay, Goff is probably a candidate to coach a dozen other teams, even though he is an active quarterback.
But his name is a short one, which limits the possibilities for anagrams. But at the very least, one can get some good cardiovascular exercise in by wearing headphones while going on a jog. In other words, a def, far jog.
7. Philip Rivers
Rivers is finally getting his due this season after an underrated career, and his Chargers are playing as well as any team in the league, on both sides of the ball. Though his anagrams are sparse, Silver-hip Rip sure sounds like a great nickname to me.
6. Tom Brady
Brady is 41 years old, an age at which many athletes’ careers are forced into a dry tomb, but the Patriots star is still going strong. Brady and his teammates head into the Divisional Round with their usual extra rest, having secured a playoff bye week for a ninth consecutive season.
If it seems inevitable that New England will beat the Chargers, it’s because the Patriots have been in the AFC Championship Game for an astonishing seven straight years. So forgive us if there is Patriots fatigue, with a tardy mob ready and waiting for New England to get eliminated at the earliest possible point.
Then again, Mr. Bad Toy doesn’t have five Super Bowl wins for nothing.
5. Drew Brees
The Saints are the No. 1 seed in the NFC, with home-field advantage through the playoffs just like they had in 2009 when they ran the table to win a Super Bowl. Should a team beat New Orleans, a mean person might use Dweeb errs if, say, Brees throws a few interceptions. Or, alternatively, one might use that phrase to describe my decision to write this post.
New Orleans was so good this season that Brees sat during the final week of the regular season. He finished with 3,992 yards in 15 games, snapping a ridiculous string of 12 consecutive seasons with 4,000 yards. Brees is still going strong in his 18th NFL season, and despite several concerns coming out of college about his height, accuracy and more, Brees is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards. Given some of those early online scouting reports on Brees, I guess you could say the webs erred.
4. Andrew Luck
The Colts rank 20th in the NFL in rushing yards, so their offensive game plan could be self described as, “We’d lack run.” But luckily that’s where Luck comes in, fully healthy again and looking every bit the superstar he was before his shoulder injury.
Indianapolis ranks sixth in the NFL in passing yards thanks to Luck and his 39 touchdowns. After a dismal 1-5 start, the Colts have won 10 of 11 games. Should they keep in going and win in Kansas City, Indianapolis could conceivably face the Chargers in the AFC title game. If Luck and company continue that run to the Super Bowl, consider the LA wreck dun.
Or, the Colts could be eliminated on Saturday with a wad clunker against the Chiefs.
3. Dak Prescott
For the Cowboys to beat the Rams, Prescott will have to throw pocket darts to Amari Cooper and the gang. Should it actually rain in Los Angeles on Saturday night, don’t worry because there is a tarp stocked at the Coliseum.
If you’re watching Cowboys-Rams from home and your dog or cat is a bother, you can tell them, “Scat, dork pet.”
2. Nick Foles
Sure, Foles threw two interceptions in the Wild Card Round against the Bears, so a fickle son might have turned on the Eagles’ unlikely hero. But the Foles postseason formula worked again, as he flicks one late to win again. Chicago was his fourth consecutive playoff victim.
Just think how bad things could have been for the Eagles, who saw MVP-candidate Carson Wentz go down late in 2017, an injury that could have turned any fan into a sick felon with not much prompting. But Foles stepped in to win a Super Bowl last season, and the nice folks of Philadelphia think he can do it again this year, starting on Sunday against the Saints.
1. Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes has been a revelation this year, with his 50 passing touchdowns and intense love of ketchup. If someone is ambivalent about football, just have them watch Mahomes — Mr. Mock apathies — and he’ll likely gain a new fan.
It’s been impossible to keep our eyes off this hot camera skimp all season, thanks to incredible hip karma comets like this no-look pass in Week 14:
Kansas City is the No. 1 seed in the conference, making players on the other AFC teams a homesick tramp for likely having to win in Kansas City to get to the Super Bowl.