Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Houston Texans in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Houston Texans in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Pigskin pick ‘em: ‘You can’t kill a dead horse’

  • Thursday, January 16, 2020 12:21am
  • Sports

Everyone knows the NFL is shorthand for “not for long.” That saying is usually applied to the limited shelf life of football players.

Carolina’s Luke Kuechly is a recent example of the toll football takes on the body. Kuechly is considered by many to be the top linebacker in the NFL. Kuechly retired this week at 28 years old, leaving millions on the table.

Not for long can also be applied to the fleeting success franchises find difficult to sustain. The New England Patriots were the one team that defied the odds for almost two decades, but these playoffs have shown even the NFL’s best don’t stay on top forever.

The Baltimore Ravens were everyone’s favorite all season long. The Ravens won their last 12 games and posted a sterling 14-2 mark.

Baltimore had a top defense, but most of all the Ravens had Lamar Jackson taking snaps. Jackson’s combination of rushing and passing skills befuddled defenses all year.

The Ravens were so confident in Jackson’s ability to gain yards the team would routinely go for 4th down conversions, even on their own side of the field. With Jackson, Baltimore seemed like a team of destiny.

Jackson and the Ravens failed to win a single playoff game, falling 28-12 to a Tennessee Titans team last weekend that struggled to even make the playoffs.

Sports are hard.

You know what else has proven challenging this season? Picking winners against the spread! I’m reminded of another classic saying, “You can’t kill a dead horse,” so here we are, conference championship weekend and we’re still making picks!

Titans @ CHIEFS -7

Tennessee has bucked the odds, knocking off the Patriots and Ravens in back to back weeks. Can the upstart Titans make it three in a row in Kansas City?

No, no they can’t.

Titans passer Ryan Tannehill has gotten away with average performances the past two weeks behind a strong running game. It will take more than a strong running game this week to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes and the red-hot Chiefs offense.

Mahomes’ performance a week ago was shocking. Kansas City fell behind 24-0 early in the second quarter. It appeared like we were going to witness another AFC upset.

Five thousand points later Kansas City was advancing to next round. OK, maybe the Chiefs didn’t score quite that many points, but it sure felt that way. There’s just too much firepower on the Chiefs side. Chiefs win 35-17

Packers @ 49ERS -7.5

San Francisco has already defeated this Packers team once already.

That game was uncompetitive. The 49ers scored 29 more points than the Packers. That’s a big difference.

As painful as it is to admit, as a Seahawks fan, the 49ers have been the best team in the NFC all season long.

Aaron Rodgers, if he rekindles some old magic, can keep the Pack in the game for a while, but inevitably the more talented 49ers sided should pull away from a flawed Packers team.

Everyone excited for a Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl?! 49ers win 30-13


By Nolan Rose

For the Clarion


More in Sports

Homer senior Madison Story swims the breaststroke in the girls 200-yard IM on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 during the Kenai Peninsula Swimming Championships at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer’s Story stars at state club meet

Homer senior Madison Story won two individual titles Saturday at the Alaska… Continue reading

Moose are seen eating on the shoulder of Kenai Spur Highway on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Into the office

An ode to Kenai Spur Highway

A snowshoe hare in its white winter coat. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Refuge Notebook: The verge of winter

As the daylight hours seem to slip away, the temperatures are slowly… Continue reading

Soldotna High School head football coach Galen Brantley Jr. poses with former players Galen Brantley III and Aaron Faletoi. Brantley III and Faletoi helped Dickinson State in Dickinson, South Dakota, to an undefeated regular season. (Photo provided by Galen Brantley Jr.)
Brantley III, Faletoi help Dickinson State to undefeated regular season

Galen Brantley III and Aaron Faletoi, 2020 graduates of Soldotna High School,… Continue reading

Seward’s Lydia Jacoby races to victory in the girls 100-yard breaststroke final Oct. 27, 2018, at the Northern Lights Conference championship swim meet at Homer High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward’s Jacoby takes 2nd at national swim meet

Seward junior Lydia Jacoby, just 16, finished second in the 100-meter breaststroke… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Theo Thrun brings the puck up the ice on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, against the Minnesota Magicians at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears split weekend games with Steel

The Kenai River Brown Bears split a pair of North American Hockey… Continue reading

Kenai’s Rachael Pitsch swims the girls 500-yard freestyle on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 during the Kenai Peninsula Swimming Championships at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer girls, Kenai boys win swim meet

In their last competitive event of the season, the Homer girls swim… Continue reading

tease
CIA volleyball splits matches at Lumen

Staff report The Cook Inlet Academy volleyball team finished up its regular… Continue reading

wrestle
Ninilchik grad Vanderford moves to 10-0 in MMA

Austin Vanderford, a 2008 graduate of Ninilchik School, moved to 10-0 in… Continue reading

The author is seen here skiing a little easier at Trail Lake near Seward. (Photo provided by Kat Sorensen)
Tangled Up in Blue: Grooming the trail

During my first winter spent cross-country skiing in Soldotna, I often found… Continue reading

Basic Incident Command System organization chart. The ICS system has been used for many different types of incidents since its inception. (Chart from Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Refuge Notebook: Incident Command System adapts to record-setting wildfires

The August Complex Fire of 2020 on the Mendocino National Forest in… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Brandon Lajoie pulls up against the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears topple Steel again

The Kenai River Brown Bears moved to 2-0-0-0 in the North American… Continue reading