Pigskin Pick’Em: Sultan of Sides is happy for his Seahawks, not for his picks

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2015 10:25pm
  • Sports

SEAAAA! HAWKS! SEAAAA! HAWKS! It’s that time of year again for Pete Carroll and the boys. The Seahawks looked down and out sitting at 2-4 a few weeks ago. Four wins in their last five, including 39- and 38-point showings the last two weeks against Pittsburgh and Minnesota, have left this Seahawks fan in a downright merry mood! Seattle absolutely destroyed the helpless Vikings last week, vaulting the Green Bay Packers back into first place in the NFC North.

If Minnesota fails to rebound Thursday night at Arizona (it’s hard to imagine Minnesota ever winning another game at this point), and Seattle tops a Flacco-less Ravens team, the Seahawks will be the fifth seed in the NFC with three weeks to play. The 5th seed gets the luxury of facing the NFC East champion in the first round. That’s right sports fans! For as bad as Seattle’s season began the Seahawks could be the hottest team in football entering the playoffs with a matchup against a 6-7 win NFC East team. Merry Christmas, Seahawks!

The Sultan of Sides, however, is not so giddy about his football fortune… Another less than prophetic week (7-8 ATS) has left the column at 88-93-6 for the season.

Minnesota Vikings @
ARIZONA CARDINALS -8

How can the Vikings possibly win a game after they were on the bad end of a 38-7 shellacking at home against Seattle last Sunday? Minnesota’s defense is beat up. Their best player at each level of the defense is likely to miss this game. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t scare anyone. The pass blocking is abysmal. Star rusher Adrian Peterson has to have a monster game for the Vikings to have a chance. Arizona’s coach Bruce Arians wasn’t born yesterday. Stop the run and this game will get ugly. Cardinals win 28-9

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @
Baltimore Ravens +6

We get the Seahawks for less than a touchdown!? The Seahawks offense has never looked as good as it has the past two weeks. Russell Wilson is on fire, Thomas Rawls runs like a bowling ball, and the fat guys are finally coming together under miracle-working offensive line coach, Tom Cable. Baltimore was having a miserable season with Joe Flacco. With Flacco lost for the year, is there anyone on the planet that thinks Matt Schaub can win a game against the Legion of Boom defense? Seahawks win 31-13

BUFFALO BILLS @
Philadelphia Eagles even

This is a tough one. It’s hard to know which Eagles team will show up. How do you get waxed in back-to-back weeks against Tampa Bay and Detroit, giving up an astonishing 90 combined points, and then defeat the New England Patriots the next time out? Both team’s playoff hopes are hanging in the balance, but Buffalo strikes me as the more stable team. A shocking statement considering Rex Ryan is Buffalo’s coach. Bills win 27-20

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ Cleveland Browns -1

You read that correctly. The Cleveland Browns are actually favored to win a professional football game. The Browns have been decimated by injuries and are turning once again to the mercurial Johnny Manziel to lead them at quarterback. That’s a recipe for disaster. The 49ers are terrible, but they’re not Browns level terrible. 49ers win 23-10

Detroit Lions @
ST. LOUIS RAMS even

Minus a miraculous Hail Mary, the Lions have been playing good football for about a month. The Rams have not. Nick Foles has proven himself incompetent and it seems like the league has figured out how to slow down a Todd Gurley-led rushing attack. Rams coach Jeff Fisher is the most respected bad football coach in NFL history. Fisher had a couple good Titans team back in the late 90’s but hasn’t won since. The Rams have been a “team on the rise” for almost a decade now, yet they never win. Yes, I basically laid out all the reasons you need to side with the road team, but we’ll still take the home side. Hey, I’m under .500 on the season for a reason! Rams win 23-20

New Orleans Saints @
TAMPA BAY BUCS -3.5

The Saints are a miserable road team (1-5) heading to play a surprisingly decent Tampa Bay team. Bucs rookie passer Jameis Winston has exceeded expectations, and Doug Martin has found the fountain of youth, rushing like he did when he was a rookie. I don’t think the Bucs have the experience to make the playoffs, but this isn’t the week the team falters. Bucs win 34-28

TENNESSEE TITANS @
New York Jets -7.5

Give me the magnificent Marcus Mariota plus the touchdown and a hook! Mariota looks like the real deal. The young passer’s 87-yard scoring scamper last week was a thing of beauty. His passing, 19 touchdowns compared to only 9 interceptions, and a 63% completion rate have been better than anticipated. The Jets have to win this game to live up to playoff aspirations, and I think they’ll get it, but not before Mariota puts a scare into them. Jets win 28-24

Pittsburgh Steelers @
CINCINNATI BENGALS -2.5

The 10-2 division leading Bengals are only a 2.5-point favorite at home against a banged up 7-5 Steelers team? What gives? This is an obvious red flag spot, but the Steelers are a traditional public play, so it’s possible the line is skewed to account for the road side’s popularity. I don’t think I’ll ever be a Red Rocket believer, but A.J. Green? That dude can play. Bengals win 31-24

Indianapolis Colts @
Jacksonville Jaguars (No Line)

I’m pretty sure Matt Hasselbeck is listed as questionable (old age) on the injury report.

San Diego Chargers @
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -11.5

Hate to give so many points in a divisional game, but these two AFC West rivals couldn’t be traveling in more opposite directions. The Chiefs have rebounded from a miserable start to reach 7-5, in position to make the postseason. San Diego should officially enter tank mode to try and land one of the top quarterback prospects in next year’s NFL Draft. Philip Rivers won’t play forever, and his future with the Chargers is dicey, in light of his distaste for a possible franchise relocation to Los Angeles. Chiefs win 35-10

Washington Redskins @
CHICAGO BEARS -3.5

Da Bears blew a golden opportunity to reach .500 last week, dropping a home contest the San Francisco 49ers in bizarre fashion. Fortunately, for Bears fans, the Native Americans are incapable of winning a road game. Literally. Washington is 0-5 as the road side this season. This game is in Chicago. We won’t make this more difficult than it is. Bears win 28-17

ATLANTA FALCONS @
Carolina Panthers -8.5

Atlanta has completely fallen apart after an inspiring start to year. A road contest at rival Carolina is the team’s last chance to turn their fading season around. I think the pressure of finishing the season undefeated caught up to the Panthers last week in New Orleans when the team narrowly defeated the Saints. Obviously it’s hard to go 17 weeks without losing. Everybody is going to give the Panthers their best shot down the stretch. Panthers win 28-21

Oakland Raiders @
DENVER BRONCOS -8.5

My effective Broncos curse has officially ended thanks to Brock Osweiler. I’m left dreaming of Peyton Manning’s wobbling ducks returning to the lineup just in time for his annual January collapse. I have continuously tried to like the Raiders this season, and with few exceptions they have failed to deliver. It appears that the Silver and Black are still a year away from a serious playoff run. Broncos win 27-14

Dallas Cowboys @
REEN BAY PACKERS -7.5

The Packers have been a poor side against the spread all season, but maybe the team found its mojo last week when a Rodgers-to-Rodgers Hail Mary saved their season. If any franchise deserved a last-second win on a chuck, it’s the Packers. Remember the infamous “Fail Mary” in Seattle a couple years ago? Packer fans are still reeling from that one. I’m not buying Dallas’ win at Washington as some sort of Fighting Jerry resurgence. Packers win 30-17

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ Houston Texans +3

I know the Brady Bunch is not the offensive force it was before injuries to Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, and Gronk dramatically changed their season, but does anyone really think the Patriots are going to lose three in a row? Especially when the opposing coach is a Belichick protégé? Patriots win 28-21

NEW YORK GIANTS @
Miami Dolphins even

I keep wanting to believe that the New York Giants are the best team in the NFC East, but they keep finding creative ways to lose games they should win. Last week it was an epic collapse versus their roommates, the New York Jets. The Giants have now lost three in a row and are mired in a three-way tie for first place with Washington and Philadelphia. Incredibly, the 4-8 Dallas Cowboys are only one game out of first place. Wow. Does Miami even want to win this game? Giants win 23-14

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