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Falcons fans’ pettiest rooting interests guide and picks for NFL Week 15 games

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Don’t let the Falcons being terrible distract you from rooting against the Saints.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

This season is miserable, but it’s not over. If you’re petty, like me, you can still find a few ways to enjoy yourself over the next three games.

Even if you’re hate-watching at this point, it’s more fun when you feel like you’ve got a stake in these games. I’m here to help with this handy rooting interests guide.

When I send the Google form to the guys for their picks each week, they have to add their names at the top of the document. I’ve taken to putting something to the extent of “Name DO NOT FORGET, I AM NOT PSYCHIC” to get their attention, but someone always forgets anyway. Usually it’s Dave, but this week it wasn’t, and I don’t know who it was, so that’s our Mystery Picker.

Spoiler alert: Nobody picked the Saints this week. I enjoyed that.

Cardinals vs. Falcons

Some of us want the Falcons to lose as it’s an express ticket to a better draft spot. Others are tired of watching this team look like it forgot how to play football and would like to see a win. Just pick whichever outcome will leave you more satisfied at the end of the day, and roll with it.

Staff picks:

Cardinals: DW, Jeanna, Kyle

Falcons: Carter, Cory, Evan, Matt, Kevin, Adnan, Mystery picker

Buccaneers vs. Ravens

The Ravens are in the AFC so who cares? And the Buccaneers are a division rival. Always root against a division rival, even if they’re almost as bad as the Falcons.

Staff picks:

Buccaneers: DW, Cory, Kyle

Ravens: Carter, Jeanna, Evan, Matt, Kevin, Adnan, Mystery picker

Packers vs. Bears

The Bears are looking more and more like a team that could take care of business against the Saints in the postseason, and that’s really the only thing I still have the emotional energy to hope for this season. I’d like to see Chicago take as much momentum into the postseason as possible for that reason, so I’d roll with da Bears here.

Staff picks:

Packers: Kyle

Bears: DW, Carter, Jeanna, Cory, Evan, Matt, Kevin, Adnan, Mystery picker

Raiders vs. Bengals

This one is on the list simply because Jon Gruden has managed to make enough of a mess of this season to be Atlanta’s biggest rival in vying for draft position. If the Raiders wins, it clears a path for a higher pick for the Falcons. Nothing against the Bengals, but go Raiders.

Staff picks:

Raiders: DW, Matt, Kevin, Adnan, Kyle

Bengals: Carter, Jeanna, Cory, Evan, Mystery picker

Seahawks vs. 49ers

Are you still mad at Kyle Shanahan for Super Bowl LI and you want nothing but to see him fail? Are you an old school Falcons fan who despises the Niners from our old NFC West days? Or do you hope the Niners win and move back in the draft order while the Falcons move up to a higher pick? All are perfectly valid perspectives, so you can pick your poison here. I’m rooting for the Niners.

Staff picks:

Seahawks: DW, Carter, Jeanna, Cory, Evan, Matt, Kevin, Adnan, Mystery picker

49ers: Kyle

Saints vs. Panthers

This should come as no surprise, but Sean Payton is not my favorite coach in the NFL. I interviewed him once for a piece on the Saints’ first game back in the Superdome after Katrina, and he was actually very nice to me, so I offer that caveat in the interest of being fair. But he has this outrageous tendency to try to haze opponents, often with hilarious results. He trolled Devonta Freeman with a choking motion right before Deion Jones ruined Payton’s entire night by picking off Drew Brees in the end zone to seal a win. He taunted Vikings fans by mocking their “SKOL” chant, and seconds later, Stefon Diggs put a fork in the Saints’ postseason with the Minneapolis Miracle.

This week, the Saints sent a broom to the Panthers’ facility to taunt them about a sweep. Let’s hope that turns out to be yet another hilarious self-own. This feels gross to say, but go Panthers.

Staff picks:

Saints: Gross, no thanks

Panthers: DW, Jeanna, Evan, Kevin

A tie: Carter

A meteor: Cory, Matt, Adnan, Kyle, Mystery picker