Pigskin Pick ‘Em: How to dig out of an early hole

  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:31am
  • Sports

The early highlight of the NFL season took place in the opening game of week five when the Seattle Seahawks edged the Los Angeles Rams 31-30 thanks to Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein choking under the pressure of his game winning field goal attempt. Sad day for the Rams, great day for humanity. The rest of the week was less inspiring. Our struggles continued against the spread with another uninspiring week of games. Our season total sits at 30-45 ATS after a 5-8 effort last week. If I had a towel to throw in, I would strongly consider it.

Bad Beat of The Week: You have to feel bad for Pittsburgh backers. The Steelers had a victory, and a cover, snatched away from them when a Pittsburgh defender was flagged for roughing the passer on Baltimore’s game tying drive to end regulation. The Ravens would go on to win in overtime. The penalty was easily one of the worst in NFL history. Even CBS announcer, Dan Fouts, a retired quarterback, lamented the call! The NFL has to do something about these roughing the passer penalties, it’s gone too far in the direction of safety. Hits to the head are another matter, but hits to the waist, which is where contact was made by the Pittsburgh defender can’t be flagged! Thank you for listening to my Ted Talk.

GIANTS @ Patriots -17

Darth Belichick’s reign of terror over the NFL continues, but there are signs this year’s Patriots team may not be as strong as recent renditions. Yes, the Patriots are 5-0, but that record was compiled against the bottom feeders of the NFL. Three of Boston’s opponents have yet to win a game this season! We’re betting that the Giants, on a short week, can hang around long enough to keep things interesting. Patriots win 28-13

SEAHAWKS @ Browns +1.5

Can the 4-1 Seahawks match their rival San Francisco and get a victory over an inconsistent Browns team? Russell Wilson is playing the best football of his career and appears to be a serious MVP candidate and Seattle RB Chris Carson has to be licking his chops after watching the 49ers rush for 275 yards against Cleveland on Monday night. The Seahawks are getting this game on nine days rest, the Browns are on a short week. That will be the difference. Seahawks win 30-24

Panthers @ BUCS +2.5

The Panthers have won three in a row after losing starting QB Cam Newton to injury. Backup Kyle Allen has filled in beautifully, but Carolina owes its success to star RB Christian McCaffrey. The do-everything rusher leads the NFL in yards gained. Tampa has shown flashes this season behind a volatile passing game. If the good Jameis Winston shows up the Bucs will be hard to beat at home. Bucs win 24-17

Texans @ CHIEFS -4.5

Will either team force a punt in this game? Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes appeared mortal last Sunday in a loss to the Colts. Mahomes is visibly slowed by a lower leg injury. Could an injury to Mahomes be the Chiefs Achilles heel this season? Texans QB Deshaun Watson has alternated great and poor performances this year. Last week Watson threw for over 400 and five touchdowns. Anything short of that won’t be enough in KC. Chiefs win 40-28

REDSKINS @ Dolphins +3.5

Doormats of the ACC and SEC face off in this non-conference clash in Miami. Oh wait, are these professional teams? Playing professional football? The Redskins fired their coach on Monday, which gives them a decided advantage in this matchup, and nobody can out-tank the Canned Tuna. Redskins win 7-3

Eagles @ VIKINGS -3

This contest features a pair of playoff hopefuls with matching 3-2 records. The Vikings are always tough to beat at home and the internal squabbling that plagued the team earlier in the season appears to have subsided after last week’s victory over the Giants. This game feels like a coin flip and coin flips always favor the home side. Vikings win 23-16

Saints @ JAGUARS -1

It’s surprising to see the 2-3 Jags listed as a one-point favorite over the 4-1 New Orleans Saints. With a line like that Vegas knows it’s going to get hit hard on a popular Saints side and that’s always a red flag. Jags QB Gardner Minshew has been nothing short of spectacular, can the rookie passer pull off some more magic and knock off the Saints? Jags win 21-17

Bengals @ RAVENS -11

My friends’ cat, George Orange-Paws, is more vicious than the Cincinnati Bengals. The declawed and toothless Bengals travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens hoping to secure their sixth defeat in as many tries. Cincinnati can ill-afford a victory if it hopes to keep pace with the loser of the Redskins-Dolphins matchup. I never thought I’d see the day win NFL teams openly embraced tanking, but here we are. It may be time for the NFL to adopt a lottery system to determine draft position. Ravens win 38-14

49ERS @ Rams -3

The NFC west is shaping up to be the most competitive in football this season. The 3-2 Rams host the 49ers in what is as close to an elimination game for the Rams divisional hopes as there can be this early in the year. A loss on Sunday and the vaunted Rams would be three games behind the upstart 49ers. Fortunes can change quickly in the NFL! 49ers win 30-27

Falcons @ CARDINALS +2.5

The once high-flying Falcons wings have been clipped. Atlanta’s coach Dan Quinn is set to get fired at any moment. The defense, which he took charge of, appointing himself as defensive coordinator, is a complete disaster. This team just has the smell of a full-fledged dumpster fire. The Desert Bats are hardly good at football, but they’re coming off a win last Sunday, and get this game at home. Cardinals win 28-24

Titans @ BRONCOS -2.5

The Donkeys have been more competitive than their 1-4 record indicates. Denver QB Joe Flacco is still ageing terribly, but the team managed to earn its first victory last Sunday in LA over their rival Chargers. Tennessee has been incredibly inconsistent. I have no idea which Titans team is going to make the trip the Mile-High City, and this is the rare game on the Broncos schedule where Denver has an advantage at quarterback. Broncos win 26-17

COWBOYS @ Jets +7

Sam Darnold’s spleen is not expected to explode this Sunday, so the Jets passer has been given the green light to play against the Cowboys. Darnold may have survived Mono, but can he survive a pissed-off Dallas team coming off back-to-back losses? The Jets are terrible, Dallas is good, let’s not overthink this one. Cowboys win 31-13

Steelers @ CHARGERS -6.5

San Diego blew a golden opportunity last Sunday dropping a game against the winless Denver Broncos in LA. The Chargers, a trendy pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, can’t afford another letdown with the injury-riddled Steelers in town. Expect a bounce back performance from the Lightning Bolts. Who is going to take snaps for the Steelers this week? I can’t side with a team when I literally don’t know if they have a healthy quarterback on the team. Chargers win 21-7

Lions @ PACKERS -4

The Lions have played surprisingly good football, despite being severely handicapped by geographic location. I know a few people from Detroit, and they’ve done nothing but lower the towns already poor reputation. Green Bay looked fantastic last Sunday dominating the Dallas Cowboys in Jerry’s World. Expect more of the same on Monday Night when the Lions come to town. Packers win 31-17

By Nolan Rose

For the Peninsula Clarion

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