Sultan of Sides struggles to comprehend all this crazy NFL action

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2015 9:38pm
  • Sports

You can’t make this stuff up. The Cleveland Browns lined up to kick a game-winning, point-spread-covering field goal with seconds remaining on the clock. Their opponent, the injury riddled Baltimore Ravens, blocked the kick and returned it for a touchdown. Clock reads zero. Game over. Ravens win 33-27.

The Washington Redskins, excuse me, Native Americans, are 5-6 after narrowly defeating their rival New York Giants last Sunday. That’s good enough for first place in the ultra-uncompetitive NFC East. The 3-8 Dallas Cowboys are only two games back of first place in division! Somewhere, Jerry Jones is slobbering on some bourbon, muttering, “We’re still in it!”

A 7-9 mark against the suits in Week 12 drops our season record to a pedestrian 81-85-6. Time for Jerry to pass the bottle.

@ Detroit Lions +3

Detroit enters this contest riding a three-game winning streak. The first of those three wins was an 18-16 triumph in Green Bay over the Packers. Can the Lions repeat that result this weekend? Something is obviously wrong in Rodgers World. The Packers offense has been surprisingly average of the late, despite the re-emergence of running back Eddie Lacy. Still, it’s hard to envision a bad Lions team beating the Packers twice in a four-week span. Packers win 28-21

@ Minnesota Vikings even

It says all you need to know that Vegas posted an “even” line when the 6-5 Seahawks visit the 8-3 Vikings. In almost all circumstances, especially this late into the season, a home side with a better record will be listed as the favorite. Seattle has not won as many games as expected, but this is still a talented team that has won four of its last five contests. Russell Wilson has thrown eight touchdown passes in his last two starts. That’s good. Seahawks win 23-17

New York Jets

The Jets travel to New York to face the Giants. … Wait a minute, that doesn’t make any sense. The Jets are listed as the nominal road side this week, despite playing in their own stadium. I’m certain the Giants would rather play a “home” game against someone other than their co-tenants. A Giants win leaves each with a 6-6 mark. That feels right, doesn’t it? Giants win 30-24

Arizona Cardinals

Remember Clarion faithful, the Rams are good when you think they’re bad, and bad when you think they’re good. Something like that. … St. Louis is 4-7, and undoubtedly a bad football team. Arizona is 9-2, and undoubtedly a good football team. Therefore, in this wacky NFL season, we can be assured that the Rams will win. Does that make sense? I hope not. Rams win 21-20

Atlanta Falcons

Did you know that the Atlanta Falcons were good at one point this season? The Falcons started the season 5-0 and had the look of a NFC contender. That was a long time ago. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has the nickname “Matty Ice.” A spinoff from Natural Ice beer, with a nod to Ryan’s clutch performances. These days Ryan’s play more accurately resembles the taste of Natural Ice. That’s not a good thing. Bucs win 17-14

Houston Texans

Houston was bad and now they’re good. The Texans started the year 1-4, but four straight victories have them tied for first in the AFC South at 6-5. My head is spinning! Buffalo can be a nasty place to play in December. Especially for a road side from a much warmer locale. The Bills have dropped two straight to fall to 5-6. Obviously, Buffalo can’t afford another loss, especially at home, if they hope to reach the playoffs. Bills win 24-13

Baltimore Ravens

The Dolphins are odd fish. Since Week 2 Miami has just one result decided by less than 10 points. Think about that! Miami blows you out, or gets blown out. There’s very little in between for the Canned Tuna. Baltimore won a game it absolutely couldn’t afford last week against Cleveland. The Ravens’ fourth victory likely knocked them out of contention for next year’s No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Heads, Dolphins. Tails, Ravens. … It’s heads. Dolphins win 30-20

@ Cleveland Browns +10

The Browns are starting their 400th different starting quarterback in the last 10 seasons. That’s not true, it only seems that way. Austin Davis gets the call this week after Josh McCown went down with an injury. Only the Browns can lose a game on a game-winning field goal attempt. Late game drama won’t be a factor this week. Bengals win 35-10

Jacksonville Jaguars

This pair of powder puffs met two weeks ago, a 19-13 Jacksonville victory. The Jungle-Kittens don’t strike me as the type of team that can beat the same opponent twice in a three-week span. Of course, Tennessee is a terrible football team, capable of defying all logic. Still, I like the Titans in this matchup. In theory, because of the half-point hook, somebody has to cover. Titans win 23-20

San Francisco 49ers

Honestly, I don’t even know how the 49ers can score a point with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. San Francisco has been oddly competitive since it replaced Colin Kaepernick with Gabbert, despite Gabbert’s proven history of futility. The Whiners nearly beat the Arizona Cardinals last week! I just don’t see a scenario where I can say I’m siding with the team that has Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. No human has ever, or should ever, mutter those words. Bears win 33-17

@ San Diego Chargers +4

The Fighting Brockos pulled out an improbable win last week against the Patriots. The loss was New England’s first of the year. The question in Denver moving forward is what to do with Peyton Manning when old No. 18 returns to the field? Do you keep Osweiler in at quarterback, effectively ending Manning’s illustrious career on the bench, or do you give the veteran one more chance? It won’t matter this week. Broncos win 26-14

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City, in another marvel of the 2015 season, has followed five consecutive losses with five straight wins. The Chiefs are now 6-5, and if the season ended today Kansas City would be in playoffs. As the fifth seed. Oakland secured a crucial victory last week in Tennessee to remain in the playoff hunt at 5-6. This is a big spot for the Raiders. The play here says take the home side. Raiders win 23-17

@ New Orleans Saints +7.5

I’ve been operating under the assumption that the Carolina Panthers would lose a game at some point this season. It hasn’t happened yet and Carolina’s finishing stretch is a soft as a pillow. The Panthers could very well enter the playoffs undefeated. It sounds crazy, but it might happen. The Saints have completely fallen apart. They’re done, finished, kaput. … Panthers win 27-17

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles have quit on head coach Chip Kelly. There’s no other conclusion to draw. A team that has quit on its coach, traveling to New England to face a pissed off Tom Brady is not a recipe for success. Patriots win 30-9

Indianapolis Colts
@ Pittsburgh Steelers

In light of Ben Roethlisberger’s “might have had one” concussion ESPN has yet to post a line on this matchup.

Dallas Cowboys

The Fighting Jerrys head to the nation’s capital to face the first place Washington Redskins. That’s a real statement. I have no clue what’s going on. Who is Dallas’ quarterback? Are they back to Cassel? I can’t keep track. Go easy on the bourbon, Jerry. Redskins win 21-13

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