Sultan of Sides has a turkey of a week

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, December 3, 2014 10:46pm
  • Sports

The column’s first losing week (7-9) in over two months has left the Sultan of Sides desperate for answers. Can I just blame the Turkey coma for my troubles?

How do you explain the New York Giants, three-point favorites over the utterly pathetic Jacksonville Jaguars, jumping out to a 21-0 advantage and not covering the spread? The Chicago Bears were healthy dogs in Detroit. Jay Cutler and company jumped out to a 14-3 lead before getting waxed 31-3 the rest of the game. Fun!

The capable canned tuna of Miami traveled to New York to face the Jets as touchdown favorites. The Jets threw eight passes the entire game and covered! Only Rex Ryan could pull off that feat. Our season mark now sits at 103-88-1 on the year. A respectable record, but not as good as we hoped after a brilliant beginning. With winter doldrums already setting in we can only hope for better results the last quarter of the schedule.

Dallas Cowboys

Thursday Night Football kicks off Week 14 with a battle of teams that find curious ways to lose. The 8-4 Cowboys are still in the thick of the NFC playoff picture, but sailing is never smooth for the Fighting Jerry’s. A couple of recent bizarre losses have left the Cowboys in a precarious position. Dallas cannot afford to drop this game. Thankfully, the scheduling gods have presented the Cowboys with a Bears team that has spent most of Jay Cutler’s career in hibernation. It’s a game Dallas should win, but history tells us that doesn’t mean a thing. Bears win 27-24

@ Cincinnati Bengals -3.5

Andy Dalton is terrible at throwing the football. In fact, the Red Rocket is a disgrace to rocket technology! His passes have the velocity of an empty can of silly string. Dalton has been so bad recently that I find it impossible to lay a field goal to side with the Bengals. This Pittsburgh team is full of flaws, but at least their quarterback has a pulse. Steelers win 20-17

St. Louis Rams

I always follow the Rams closely (they’re in Seattle’s division). St. Louis, in the Jeff Fischer era, has looked the part of a team turning the corner many times. The Rams are perennially on the cusp of being good at football, and every time you think they’re there, they lay an egg. That’s exactly what will happen this week. The Rams played Denver tough, barely lost a game in San Diego, and crushed the Oakland Raiders 52-0. St. Louis should roll the Washington Native Americans right? Wrong. Redskins win 28-20

@ Tennessee Titans +1.5

Puke. Giants win 2-0 via an unforced safety. … That’s the only way this game should end.

Carolina Panthers @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -10

I’ve said it all year. I have no idea what to do with this Saints team. Every time I think they’re good they lose. Every time I think, “Hey, maybe the Saints really are this bad,” they win. I have no clue! This week I’m siding with New Orleans. That’s your cue to bet the farm (including the chickens) on the road side. Saints win 33-9

New York Jets

My policy of always fading the Jets so long as Rex Ryan is coaching the team backfired miserably last week when Gang Green nearly pulled off the upset against a decent Miami Dolphins team. The safe money says the Jets won’t cover two weeks in a row. Not with one of the worst quarterbacks of all time under center. Jets GM John Idzik demanded Geno Smith be reinserted into the starting lineup to give the team additional time to evaluate the young passer. If you need “additional” time to evaluate Geno Smith you should be fired immediately. Any fat guy with a beer on the couch can see that Smith is horrendous. Vikings win 21-3

@ Miami Dolphins -3

The Ravens and Dolphins meet in sunny South Florida in what amounts to be a playoff elimination game. Both teams are 7-5, living life on the edge of the AFC playoff bubble. A loss this Sunday would be crippling. The edge goes to the team with an experienced, Super Bowl winning quarterback. Joe Flacco has his warts, but who do you trust more in a must-win game, Flacco or Ryan Tannehill? Ravens win 26-23

@ Cleveland Browns +4

The 7-5 Browns are rapidly returning to Earth. Quarterback Brian Hoyer was replaced in the second half of last week’s defeat in Buffalo by darling rookie Johnny Manziel, but Hoyer has been named the starter for this week’s tilt against the Colts. Hoyer has played miserably for nearly a month. The incumbent has thrown just a single TD vs. six interceptions in his last three games. That’s not good. It’s especially not good when you’re upcoming opponent is led by Andrew Luck. This game is going to get ugly, leading to Manziel’s promotion to the starting lineup next week. Colts win 35-14

Tampa Bay Bucs

Tampa Bay was surprisingly competitive last week when hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. What are the odds of the hapless Bucs playing good football two weeks in a row? The 8-4 Lions righted the ship last Sunday defeating the Chicago Bears 34-17. Oddly, Detroit’s offense has struggled for large parts of the schedule, but if they’re anything close to par this week, that will be enough. Detroit’s front seven on defense is fearsome. Tampa’s backup quarterback is in line to get a lot work. Lions win 30-7

@ Jacksonville Jags +6

If Houston’s J.J. Watt doesn’t win the Defensive Player of the Year Award then I’ll boycott the NFL. That’s not true. I love it too much, but you get the point. Watt has been electrifying. He stops the run, he sacks the passer, the bats down balls and scores touchdowns. There is nothing Watt can’t do. Reggie White is the last defender I’ve watched dominate offenses at this level. That’s pretty lofty company. As long as nerd quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, doesn’t turn the ball over excessively Houston is going to give the Jungle Kittens a problem. Texans win 27-13

Buffalo Bills

Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! Unfortunately, Buffalo’s season is about to end. The Bills are 7-5, still in the playoff hunt, but visiting the Denver Broncos and Lord Manning is not the best place to look for a necessary eighth win. Stopping Manning is an incredible challenge in itself, but now that the Broncos have developed something that resembles a running game, Denver will be next to impossible to defeat. Broncos win 31-17

@ Arizona Cardinals -1

The Desert Bats return to the dark, cold cave of mediocrity will continue this Sunday. After a series of improbable outcomes led Arizona to a 9-1 mark, the Cardinals have dropped two consecutive games. The first defeat in Seattle is explainable. Losing to the wingless Atlanta Falcons is a sign of impending doom. Kansas City has experienced issues of their own in recent weeks, but the Chiefs are the stronger, healthier, team. Chiefs win 21-17

@ Philadelphia Eagles -1

The Eagles have proven they can still fly against average defenses with Mark Sanchez at quarterback, but facing the top-ranked Seattle Seahawks defense is another challenge. Seattle has held consecutive division rivals to three points! The defense hasn’t given up a touchdown in nearly a month. Don’t look now (especially you Broncos fan), but the Seahawks are starting to resemble their championship self. Why? They’re getting healthy. The return of Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell in recent weeks has been the difference. Offensively, Marshawn Lynch has been on an absolute tear running the read-option with quarterback Russell Wilson. Winning in Philadelphia is a tough task, but the Seahawks are equipped to get the job done. Don’t forget, Seattle’s coach Pete Carroll was coaching at USC when Mark Sanchez was the Trojans quarterback. If there’s a defensive mind in the league that knows how to get to Sanchez it’s Carroll. Seahawks win 30-20

San Francisco 49ers

Let me get this straight. The Oakland Raiders, fresh off their first win of the season against the competent Kansas City Chiefs, got beat by the St. Louis Rams 52-0 last week? The NFL is so predictable! San Francisco got their hearts crushed on Thanksgiving by my beloved Seattle Seahawks, all but ending insane head coach Jim Harbaugh’s career by the bay. The 49ers, led by the thoroughly overrated Colin Kaepernick, have finally fallen apart. Raiders win 20-19

@ San Diego Chargers +4

The odds of Darth Belichick and the Brady Bunch losing two straight contests? Zero. After dropping a game they could have easily won in frigid Green Bay a week ago, there’s every reason to expect a strong performance by the beach. The Chargers are battling for their playoff lives, but a visit from an angry Tom Brady isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. Patriots win 35-17

Atlanta Falcons

I would side with Green Bay if this was a 20-point spread. Aaron Rodgers has officially claimed the title of best quarterback in the league. Rodgers has thrown 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions at home this season. That’s supposed to be impossible. Atlanta is the worst division-leading team in the history of the NFL. I’m prone to exaggeration, but that’s not far off the mark. Green Bay might become the first team to score 60 points in a game this season. Packers win 48-14

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