Pigskin Pick’em: Things are looking pretty average

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014 10:15pm
  • Sports

The column got back on the winning side of things with a thoroughly boring 8-7-1 performance in week 14. Our season mark now sits at 111-95-2 against the spread. We have another weekend full of great games to throw darts at this week. It’s incredible that we’re already in week 15, just four weeks from the wild card round. What are we going to do this winter without football? It’s a sad thought. Better enjoy what little football we have left! Oh and by the way, don’t look now, but everyone’s favorite Seattle Seahawks are starting to find their championship stride.

Arizona Cardinals @
ST. LOUIS RAMS -4.5

The 10-3 Desert Bats head to St. Louis to face the 6-7 Mountain Goats Thursday night in a pivotal contest. It’s incredible how far the Cardinals have fallen in such a short period of time. Arizona has dropped two of three games since losing Carson Palmer to a season ending knee injury. Now, the once mighty Cardinals are more than a field goal dog against an under .500 Rams team! Arizona was talking Super Bowl a few weeks ago. Bruce Arian’s men are now fighting just to make the playoffs. That’s life in the NFL. Rams win 21-14

Pittsburgh Steelers @
ATLANTA FALCONS +2.5

Pittsburgh wants to be a good team, but every time you’re ready to jump on the band wagon the Steelers drop a winnable game. The 5-8 Falcons lead the NFC South and would host a playoff game if the season ended today. That’s embarrassing. At this point, it’s likely a six-win team will win the division. Inexplicably, Pittsburgh has already lost to two NFC South teams this season, the Tampa Bay Bucs and the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta might as well make it a third. Falcons win 30-27

Washington Redskins @
NEW YORK GIANTS -7

It’s time for the Native Americans to fold up the teepee. Washington is a mess and to make matters worse the Redskins may have to turn back to Robert Griffin this week. Griffin’s tenure in the Nation’s capital needs to end. The Giants haven’t exactly been a success story, but at least the team still has a pulse with star rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr making one incredible catch after another. In a battle of bad football teams the Giants are less bad. Giants win 30-14

Miami Dolphins @
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -7.5

The Patriots have only lost three games this season and one of the three was an opening week loss in Miami. Look for Darth Belichick to avenge that defeat this Sunday when the Patriots host the Fighting Tuna. Miami is battling for their playoff lives at 7-6, but New England’s motivation is just as strong. The Patriots are tied with the Denver Broncos in the race for the AFC’s top seed, but the Chowder Heads hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. With so much on the line the Patriots will give a virtuoso performance. Patriots win 33-17

Oakland Raiders @
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -10

Oakland’s roller coaster ride will continue in Kansas City this Sunday. The Raiders topped the Chiefs three weeks ago to notch their first victory of the season. The Silver and Black followed up that performance with a 52-0 drubbing at the hands of the St. Louis Rams. Unbelievably, Oakland parlayed that debacle into a riveting victory over their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, last week. A return trip to Missouri shouldn’t be hospitable. Look for a pissed off Chiefs team, losers of three straight, to return order to the galaxy. Chiefs win 27-9

HOUSTON TEXANS @
Indianapolis Colts -7

Houston has played good football of late. The Texas sized turnaround probably happened too late for the team to qualify for the postseason. What little playoff hopes the Texans have will evaporate entirely with a loss in Indiana this Sunday. There’s every reason to expect the Texans will give the Colts their best effort. Indianapolis on the other hand, hasn’t looked particularly sharp. As great as wunderkind quarterback Andrew Luck can be, he does have a penchant for throwing the ball to the other team. A costly interception or two will keep this game closer than you would expect. Colts win 23-20

JACKSONVILLE JAGS @
Baltimore Ravens -14

The Jungle Kittens have put themselves in excellent position to gain the number one pick in next year’s draft, and if you’re a Jacksonville fan, that’s all you can ask of your team. A road win in Baltimore would be devastating to both sides. Jacksonville would lose draft position, and the Ravens would likely be knocked out of playoff contention. There’s every reason to believe the Ravens will fly away with an easy victory, but this is the NFL, where the obvious rarely happens. Ravens win 28-20

GREEN BAY PACKERS @
Buffalo Bills +6

I’ve been saying it all year. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! Buffalo’s narrow defeat in Denver a week ago all but ended their playoff hopes. I expect Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to put the final nail in the coffin this Sunday. Simply, nobody is playing the quarterback position better than Rodgers right now, and that’s a scary thought for a Seahawks fan. Add star running back Eddie Lacy to the mix and the Packers offense is next to impossible to stop. The Bills have been a feel good story all season, but that story is about to end. Packers win 38-14

TAMPA BAY BUCS @
Carolina Panthers -3.5

My NFL Insider sources in Kasilof haven’t been able to reveal any news regarding the status of injured Panther quarterback Cam Newton. Newton was hurt in a car wreck earlier this week. With the passer’s status up in the air, I’m left with no choice but to side with the Buccaneer’s. Bucs win 20-17

CINCINNATI BENGALS @ Cleveland Browns +1

Is this the most anticipated game in Cleveland Browns history? The Browns have inserted Johnny Manziel as their starting quarterback for this Sunday’s contest against the rival Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns have historically been one of the most boring franchises in the NFL, rarely mattering to fans outside of Northeast Ohio. If nothing else Manziel makes Cleveland relevant. It’s either going to be a highlight reel or train wreck come Sunday. Train wreck is the safe play. Bengals win 23-17

NEW YORK JETS @
Tennessee Titans +2

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Jets don’t lose 7-3

DENVER BRONCOS @
San Diego Chargers +4.5

Lord Manning will continue his regular season mastery of the NFL when the Broncos’ trot towards the playoffs reaches the sunny shores of San Diego this weekend. You can almost read this book before it’s written. The Broncos and Patriots will both win out, resulting in an AFC title match between the two in Boston this January. The contest will be hailed as the last great battle between two of the all-time great quarterbacks. Of course, like previous renditions, Manning’s mysterious post-season failures will continue and Tom Terrific will stake claim to the quarterback crown. It must be this way. Why even play the rest of the games? Broncos win 28-17

Minnesota Vikings @
DETROIT LIONS -8

The Lions will take another leap towards the postseason with an easy victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota has improved this year under new coach Mike Zimmer, but struggling rookie quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, will find life difficult against a fearsome Detroit front seven. The Lions are the least talked about good team in 2014. Lions win 27-6

San Francisco 49ers @
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -10

Vegas could have made this a three touchdown spread and I still would favor my Seahawks. In the most heartwarming development of the season, the 49ers are done, cooked, roasted, kaput, and however else you want to say it. Seattle defeated San Francisco in Santa Clara Thanksgiving Night 19-3 leaving the 49ers in a precarious position. Harbaugh’s men needed to win out to have any realistic hope of reaching the playoffs for a fourth straight year. With 10 days to prepare for their next opponent, the pathetic Oakland Raiders, you would have expected a great performance from the team. Nope! San Francisco lost 24-13. Ouch. 49ers passer Colin Kaepernick more closely resembles a petulant baby than an NFL quarterback. Seahawks win 30-6

Dallas Cowboys @
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -3.5

I have no idea what to do with this contest. Both teams are vying for the NFC East division championship. Both are very dangerous, capable of beating any team in the league, but both have obvious flaws. The Eagles already hold a 33-10 victory over the Cowboys in Dallas. Oddly, Dallas is 6-0 on the road this season. So maybe the Cowboys are better off away from Jerry’s World, but you still have to side with the home team in a coin flip. Eagles win 26-21

New Orleans Saints @
CHICAGO BEARS +3

I really, really have no clue what to do with this Monday night affair. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I cannot pick a Saints game. I sided with New Orleans at home last week and the Saints fell 41-10 to a bad Carolina Panthers team. I’m taking the Bears this week, which of course means the good version of the Saints will show up. Fun! Bears win 30-28

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