Pigskin Pick’Em: Sultan of Sides tanking?

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2015 11:16pm
  • Sports

The Sultan of Sides ship finally sunk with a bankroll busting 5-10 mark against the suits last Sunday. That effort drops the columns season total to an amateurish 93-103-6. It would take an incredibly hot finish to the season to get back above .500. The effort has been an embarrassment to alternate personalities across the nation.

The Seahawks are the lone bright spot in my football life. Russell Wilson is suddenly the best quarterback of all time. The stretch of incredible play won’t last forever, but right now Wilson is playing the position as well as it can be played. With home contests the next two weeks against the lowly Browns and Rams, Seattle is perfectly positioned to secure the five seed in the NFC. In other news, Denver lost, so all is not bad in the world!

Tampa Bay Bucs @
T. LOUIS RAMS -2.5

Tampa’s playoff hopes took a serious blow when the Bucs dropped a game at home last week to a struggling New Orleans Saints team. The loss dropped Tampa to 6-7, two games behind the sixth-seeded Minnesota Vikings. St. Louis finally got back into the win column last week hosting the Detroit Lions. The Rams will make it two in a row versus a young Bucs team not quite ready for a legitimate playoff push. Rams win 24-17

NEW YORK JETS @
Dallas Cowboys +3

This is less of an endorsement of the New York Jets as it is an indictment of the Fighting Jerry’s. Dallas’ goose was cooked in Green Bay last week when the Cowboys offense, behind the proven poor play of Matt Cassel, failed to participate in the contest. The Jets have a tough game next week against New England. If Gang Green has any hopes of reaching the postseason it would be wise to secure a win this Sunday in Dallas. Jets win 21-14

Cleveland Browns @
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -16

Why even play this game? What’s the over-under on Russell Wilson touchdown passes? Johnny Manziel turnovers? Will the Browns cross midfield at any point? Seahawks win 41-6

Chicago Bears @
MINNESOTA VIKINGS -5.5

Both longtime NFC North foes are fading fast entering a pivotal contest for the Vikings playoff aspirations. Minnesota has lost two in a row to cede first place in the division to the Green Bay Packers. Obviously, the Vikings can ill afford a third consecutive defeat. Apparently, Da Bears have quit on the 2015 season. Back-to-back home losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins is less than appealing. Trusting the Bears to right the ship in Minny is a tough sell. Vikings win 27-20

Atlanta Falcons @
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS -3

Atlanta has been so bad lately it’s impossible to side with these really dirty birds. The surprising Jaguars find themselves in the race for the AFC South lead with three weeks to play. That doesn’t mean the Jaguars are good at football. The division is just that bad. Jaguars win 33-20

Carolina Panthers @
NEW YORK GIANTS +5

Tom Coughlin and the Giants have a history of knocking off undefeated teams late in the season. Can we add Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers to the list this weekend? The Panthers are good, but they have to be the worst 13-0 team in NFL history. This just doesn’t feel like the team that can join the ‘72 Dolphins. At some point the Panthers will lose. This could be the week. Giants win 28-24

Tennessee Titans @
NEW ENGLAND PATS -15.5

I foolishly sided with the Titans last week playing on the road against an AFC East team. I won’t make that mistake again. With the mighty Gronk back in the fold the Patriots resembled their more dominant selves, but continued injuries have slowed the Brady Bunch. It won’t matter against a bad Titans team, but New England’s ability to win games in January is in jeopardy. That’s good news for the rest of the AFC. Patriots win 34-14

Buffalo Bills @
WASHINGTON REDSKINS even

These teams have been so up and down this season they’re nearly impossible to predict. When in doubt side with the home team that’s still playing for a division crown. The Bills have played their way out the AFC playoffs thanks to a league leading total of penalties. Not surprising considering Rex Ryan is grazing along Buffalo’s sideline. Redskins 22-17

Houston Texans @
Indianapolis Colts (no line)

Who’s on first? What’s on second? Who’s the quarterback? I have no clue. Both Brian Hoyer and Matt Hasselbeck are injured. Will the Texans turn to J.J. Watt to run the Wildcat? No, but that would be fun to watch.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @
Baltimore Ravens +7.5

Kansas City’s stretch of wins continued with an unimpressive 10-3 victory over a bad San Diego Chargers team. Can the Chiefs secure an eighth consecutive win in Baltimore? The Ravens were dismantled by a vastly superior Seattle Seahawks team last Sunday. The Chiefs don’t have the fire power to repeat Seattle’s feat, but the road side should win convincingly over an injury riddled Ravens team. Chiefs win 27-13

Green Bay Packers @
OAKLAND RAIDERS +3

Green Bay appears to have gotten back on track after a horrid stretch of play in the middle of the season. Appearances can be deceiving. Green Bay needed a miracle Hail Mary to beat Detroit two weeks ago. Last Sunday the Packers dispatched a pathetic Cowboys team that can’t wait for the season to end. Can Oakland finally put consecutive strong performances together after their impressive win in Denver last Sunday? Raiders win 31-27

Denver Broncos @
PITTSBURGH STEELERS -7

Denver is in real trouble. As good as the Broncos defense has been the offense has sputtered equally. Suddenly, Demaryius Thomas has butter fingers, the ground game has disappeared, and it’s clear that Brock Osweiler is not quite ready to lead a postseason charge. Then there’s the elephant in the room. What to do with Peyton Manning when he returns to health? The home side may be the hottest offense in football. Steelers win 27-20

Miami Dolphins @
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS -1

The canned tuna are ill-equipped to travel across the country on a short week and win a road game. Even if the opponent is as bad as the Lightning Bolts. Chargers passer Philip Rivers is probably counting down the days until he can force his exit to another NFL city. Poor roster decisions and the looming relocation to Los Angeles has ruined this franchise. Only Miami could screw this up. Chargers win 27-23

CINCINNATI BENGALS @
San Francisco 49ers +4.5

It will be interesting to see how the Bengals respond with Andy Dalton likely out for the season with an injured thumb. Can ex-Alabama star A.J. McCarron lead this very talented Bengals team to post season success? Something the Bengals never achieved with the Red Rocket under center? A road game will be a good test for Cincy’s new passer, even though the 49ers have been at times, atrocious.

Arizona Cardinals @
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES +3.5

Eagles are superior to Cardinals in the animal kingdom, therefore, prognosticators can deduce that the football version of this matchup will follow suit. It’s science. Eagles win 27-24

Detroit Lions @
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -3

The Saints are finally marching! Just in time to win a couple meaningless games late in the year to kill their draft position. This is how ageing teams continue to finish 8-8 every season. Of course Detroit is the counter argument. The Lions have perfected late season tanking and they’re still the Lions. Which isn’t good. Somebody has to win. Take the home side. Saints win 30-20

More in Sports

tease
Week 1 prep football preview: Getting back to normal

The five high school football teams from the Kenai Peninsula begin the… Continue reading

Some great examples of genetic diversity with Kenai River king salmon populations. (Photo by Ken Gates)
Refuge Notebook: Where have the big Kenai River kings gone?

Over the years, fishing for king salmon has provided many anglers with… Continue reading

Bradley Walters leads the pack up Angle Hill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the office: Race thyself

During the pandemic, I questioned the value of regular community racing and… Continue reading

Anchorage's Lars Arneson finishes third in the men's Mount Marathon Race on Monday, July 4, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Arneson sets new record at Mat Peak

Lars Arneson, a 2009 graduate of Cook Inlet Academy now living in… Continue reading

Anchorage's Will Ross rides to victory in the Soggy Bottom 100 on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Angela DiBeradino)
Anchorage’s Ross gets record back in Soggy Bottom 100

Anchorage’s Will Ross now has Alaska’s most coveted endurance mountain biking record.… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: Hints from Nick on catchin’ cohos

Silvers loathe direct sunlight and are spooked by shadows

tease
Hogue, Aldridge win Soldotna Cycle Series 5

Dylan Hogue and Morgan Aldridge picked up victories at the fifth Soldotna… Continue reading

Take a number. The "patients" wait briefly in the trap box before being seen and released upstream to continue their migration. (Photo by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Anatomy of a fish weir — Keeping a finger on the pulse of Alaska’s salmon runs

During a routine physical exam, your doctor checks your vitals: Weight, heart… Continue reading

Mt. Redoubt rises above Cook Inlet and the Anchor River drainage as fireweed is in bloom, as seen from Diamond Ridge Road on Friday, July 22, 2022, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Out of the Office: Take the long way around

“Slow Down. What’s the hurry?” reads an inscription on the Reuben Call… Continue reading

Most Read