Pigskin Pick’Em: Rolling on to week 6

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2015 10:07pm
  • Sports

Ouch… After four comfortable weeks of positive results, the column began taking on water. Head shaking moments were easy to find. The Sultan’s beloved Seattle Seahawks blew a 24-7 lead in the fourth quarter before falling 27-24 in overtime. The Seahawks, a 2.5-point dog, failed to cover, in the most improbable fashion. Buffalo carried a one-point weight into its matchup with the lowly Tennessee Titans. I don’t know the exact percentage of games decided by a point, but the Bills covered by just that much to earn an unsatisfying push. Monday night? Yeh, that didn’t go any better…

The 4-9-1 mark in week five drops our season record to 40-33-3. The Fabulous Five is off to a slow start as well. With a 2-2-1 tally, the “Five” sits at 4-5-1 after two weeks. There wasn’t enough beer in the fridge for a salty Sultan of Sides. We can only do better this week. We hope!

The column would be a failure if the Sultan of Sides didn’t chime in on the upcoming Alaska State Championship game between the Kenai Kardinals and Soldotna Stars. The Stars came away with a 23-0 result at Kenai two weeks ago and certainly enters the game with earned confidence. Kenai has had a knack of turning the tables on the Stars in the post season, but not this year. Soldotna’s state record win streak lives to see another year, with a hard fought victory over the rival Kards. Stars win 28-14

ATLANTA FALCONS @
New Orleans Saints +3.5

Week six kicks off Thursday night with an NFC South rivalry game. The undefeated Atlanta Falcons, a 3.5-point favorite, look like the obvious play when the dirty birds travel to New Orleans to face the 1-4 Saints. Vegas will take a lot of action on the road side, which is always a concern, but the Falcons have too much fire power for a struggling Saints team to contend with. Falcons win 31-21

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ New York Jets -7

The Native Americans have been a positive side early in the year. The move to Kirk Cousins has obviously stabilized the team, and the defense has exceeded expectations. The Airplanes have been a similar surprise in the AFC. Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Geno Smith at the passing position and suddenly the Jets don’t lead the world in turnovers. It’s amazing how far simply possessing the ball can take you in the NFL. In what should be a low scoring, hotly contested affair, take the points. Redskins win 17-14

ARIZONA CARDINALS @
Pittsburgh Steelers +3

I would like this Pittsburgh team if Michael Vick wasn’t currently charged with completing passes. The Cardinals offense is flying, and head coach Bruce Arians is smart enough to limit Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell. Expecting Vick to keep pace with Carson Palmer on the scoreboard is fool’s gold. Cardinals win 27-17

Kansas City Chiefs @
MINNESOTA VIKINGS -4

The Chiefs are lost on the football reservation. Kansas City was expected to contend in the AFC, instead the team sits at 1-4, they’re without star rusher Jamaal Charles, and have Andy Reid for a coach. Things can’t get much worse. The Vikings are a team on the rise. Teddy “Bridge Over Troubled Water” appears to be competent and that might just be enough when paired with a refreshed Adrian Peterson. Vikings win 28-20

CINCINNATI BENGALS @
Buffalo Bills +3.5

The undefeated* Bengals are catching the Bills at a great time. Buffalo will be without its quarterback, its top two rushers, and possibly its top receiver. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. That’s true, but these wagons don’t have any wheels! I put an asterisk by undefeated because Seattle absolutely choked away that game last Sunday in Cincinnati. Bengals win 21-9

Chicago Bears @
DETROIT LIONS -3

The Fighting Simba’s aren’t going to go 0-16. Not this year anyway, and this is a classic Jay Cutler meltdown spot for Da Bears. Chicago has won two straight over AFC West opponents since Cutler’s return in week four. Things are calm in the Windy City. Even casual football fans know that as soon as you think Cutler might be a decent quarterback he posts a four-interception game. This is the week. Lions win 27-21

DENVER BRONCOS @
Cleveland Browns +4

Listen, I’m not a “Bronco Guy” by any means. John Elway ruined my childhood. For all you young Broncos fans parading around the Central Peninsula, the Broncos and Seahawks used to be in the same division. That didn’t go so well for the Hawks. Hate is a strong word, and I won’t use it here. I don’t hate any professional football teams. It’s a game after all, but man the Broncos are tough to stomach… Despite all that, Cleveland has no chance. Broncos win 30-14

Houston Texans @
JACKSONVILLE JAGS even

Are these professional football teams? I’m not convinced that this is even Toilet Bowl worthy. Better fit for an outhouse. Do I need to write anything here or can we just flush this stinker and move on? Texans lose 21-20

Miami Dolphins @
TENNESSEE TITANS -1

Another Toilet Bowl nominee! Back to back number two’s leaves the Sultan of Sides searching for the scented candle. The Canned Tuna replaced their old coach with a new coach during the team’s bye week. Will that move produce results? Who cares! Neither of these teams are going anywhere this season, but the nod goes to the home side for being an entertaining watch, with Marcus Mariota at quarterback. Titans win 23-17

CAROLINA PANTHERS @
Seattle Seahawks -7

I’m still convinced that this is a really good Seahawks team. Remember, Seattle was 3-3 a season ago before finding their rhythm and reaching a second consecutive Super Bowl. 2-3 is not the end of the world for this group, but man that loss last week really hurt my feelings. That game was over. It was 24-7 and Cincinnati has Andy Dalton at quarterback. Andy freaking Dalton! I still can’t talk about it. Even my dog was pissed. Seahawks win 14-10

San Diego Chargers @
GREEN BAY PACKERS -11.5

Travelling to frosty Green Bay, Wisconsin, a week after blowing a late lead at home in heart breaking fashion is not a recipe for success. Especially when it’s a short week. That’s the challenge facing a Lightning Bolts team that can’t quite find its groove. Aaron Rodgers is still the quarterback for the Packers, correct? Packers win 33-16

BALTIMORE RAVENS @
San Francisco 49ers +1

The Nevermores enter this contest at 1-4, desperately needing a victory to remain relevant in the AFC playoff picture. The Gold Diggers also enter at 1-4, but San Francisco has already secured irrelevancy in 2015 with their inept play. We’ll side with the road team, citing the Harbaugh Family Curse. Ravens win 20-17

NEW ENGLAND PATS @ Indianapolis Colts +8

Here’s some statistical knowledge for Clarion faithful. New England has outscored Indianapolis 189-73 in the last four contests between these two AFC rivals. In those games the Colts have committed 12 turnovers compared to just three for the Patriots. Not surprisingly the Patriots have won the last four meetings. Add a pissed off Tom Brady to the mix, looking to avenge the Deflategate saga, which originated in last year’s AFC Championship game when the Patriots faced, you guessed it, the Colts. Patriots win 41-14

NEW YORK GIANTS @
Philadelphia Eagles -4.5

Philadelphia righted the ship last Sunday against a sad Saints team. The New York Football Giants will be much stiffer challenge. Confidence on the road side hinges on star receiver Odell Beckham’s balky hamstring. If Beckham is healthy by Monday take the points. If Beckham doesn’t play or is limited, the Eagles may find enough room to fly towards an easy cover. Eagles win 28-24

*Fabulous Five of the Week: Patriots, Falcons, Cardinals, Broncos, Lions

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