Last week’s opening volley in what will be a series of Football Friday rants felt a bit choppy as I was doing it. This week, the goal is for it to go from head-to-keyboard a bit more smoothly – – and hopefully with a better record for the Six-Pack. So, let me begin with those Six-Pack results from last week:
- College Games: 1-1-0
- NFL Games: 1-2-1
- Overall Games: 2-3-1
The Linfield College Wildcats opened their season in McMinnville OR with a convincing win over Simon Fraser University by a score of 56-20. The Wildcats go on the road this week for one more out-of-conference game on the schedule; Linfield will play in Redlands, CA against the University of Redlands Bulldogs. So far in 2021, the Bulldogs are undefeated having outscored two opponents by a combined 84-24 score. Go Wildcats!
I know the season is early and there is plenty of time for change to take place, but in my curiosity to track what I call the Brothel Defense – where all the opponents score at will – I found that there are two Division 1-A schools that are giving up more than 50 points per game this year:
- Georgia State has given up 51.0 points per game
- Akron has given up 52.5 points per game
In terms of Total Defense so far, those two teams are not at the bottom of the list. Three teams give up more yards than Akron and eleven teams give up more yards than Georgia State. Amazingly, Oregon – the team that upset Ohio State last week – has given up 12 more yards per game than Georgia State has.
Speaking of Akron football, the Zips host Bryant University – a Division 1-AA team from the Northeast Conference. If Bryant hangs “half-a-hundred” on Akron, I will consider Akron a strong SHOE Tournament candidate…
Back in Week 1, the University of Washington suffered an embarrassing loss at home to Division 1-AA Montana. Here is how Art Thiel reported on that happenstance at sportspressnw.com:
“In 2020, the University of Washington football team played in front of cardboard fans.
“In 2021, University of Washington fans watched a cardboard team.
“Unable and unwilling to muster the gumption to conduct business as a standard Power 5 conference team, the Huskies, attempting to celebrate the season-opening return of fans (64,053) to Husky Stadium, instead stunned them with a 13-7 defeat to a second-tier University of Montana team that played with an intensity absent in the big boys.”
There is no way to label that as “homerism” …
I mention that because Washington went on the road last week to play Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Huskies lost that game too by a score of 31-10. The stats from that game are interesting when juxtaposed:
- Michigan had 387 yards offense – – 44 yards passing and 343 yards rushing.
- Washington had 343 yards offense – – 293 yards passing and 50 yards rushing.
The biggest upset from last week was Oregon beating Ohio State 35-28. The Ducks were a 15.5-point underdog at kickoff and the game was in Columbus, OH where the Buckeyes had not lost a game since 2017. Those factors added to the fact that most folks had Ohio State penciled in as a CFP participant come January made this a huge surprise. Ohio State marched up and down the field amassing 612 yards on offense, but the Buckeye’s defense needs plenty of work. Oregon had a very balanced attack gaining 236 yards passing and 269 yards on the ground.
This week, the two teams face interesting games:
- Oregon will host Division 1-AA Stony Brook. Obviously, this is simply a payday for Stony Brook but how much of a letdown might Oregon suffer?
- Ohio State will host Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane lost its opener to Division `1-AA UC-Davis and then lost by only 5 points to Oklahoma State last week. [Edit: A reader pointed out correctly that I have confused Tulsa with Tulane. Please ignore this bullet item.]
Virginia beat Illinois 42-14. Unless Virginia emerges as one of the ACC’s power programs this season, that is not a good look for the Big-10 at all.
Rutgers won its second game of the season beating Syracuse 17-7. The game was scoreless at halftime.
Purdue beat UConn 49-0. It looks as if making the defensive coordinator the interim coach for the rest of this season at UConn might not have been a great idea. Look ahead to October 9th when UConn goes on the road to play UMass in what has to be The Stink Bowl Game of the Day.
Penn State beat Ball State 44-14. This was total domination from the start for the Nittany Lions. As a Big Ten East team, they probably want to study closely the Oregon/Ohio State film for their upcoming game against the Buckeyes on October 30th.
Nebraska beat Buffalo 28-3. My hunch that Buffalo could keep this one close was not a good hunch. C’est la vie! The Huskers will see a large step up in class this week when they travel to Norman, OK to play the #3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
Iowa beat Iowa State 27-17. Iowa is 2-0 for the season and both wins were over teams ranked in the Top 20. For the next two weeks, Iowa is at home against seemingly easy competition as Kent State comes to town followed by Colorado State.
Another big story from last week involves a team from “out west”. Stanford beat USC 42-28. Stanford was a 17.5-point underdog and won the game outright. The score looks a lot closer than the game actually was; the score was 35-13 at the start of the 4th quarter. I made a note to myself on my college football clipboard that said:
- “Find screeches from USC fanboys about firing Clay Helton”
About 24 hours after penning that note to myself, I learned there would be no screeches to find because USC had indeed fired Clay Helton just two games into the 2021 season. [Aside: USC is no stranger to firing coaches in mid-season. That happened to Lane Kiffin and also to Steve Sarkisian in the last 8 years.] The interim coach is one of the assistants named Donte Williams. Helton had been the head coach at USC for the last 5 full seasons; his record then was 39-19. For a coach that won 67% of his games, Helton was never “embraced” by the USC fanbase.
BYU beat Utah in The Holy War by a score of 26-17. BYU is now 2-0 for the season…
TCU beat Cal 34-32. Other than the Oregon win, it was not a great week for the PAC-12.
In SEC country, Auburn beat Alabama State 62-0, I guess that was an enjoyable game for some fans somewhere.
Pitt beat Tennessee 41-34. The Panthers scored 27 points in the second quarter alone.
Georgia beat UAB 56-7. The game was not as close as it looks…
Alabama beat Mercer 48-14. That game was a tune-up for Alabama who face Florida this week.
Florida beat USF 42-20. That game was a tune-up for Florida who face Alabama this week.
Arkansas beat Texas 40-21. The Razorbacks ran for 333 yards and 4 TDs in the game. Texas is destined for the SEC and Arkansas has not been one of the SEC powerhouses in recent years – – although it is ranked #21 this week after starting out the season with 2 wins. As has been the case at Texas for several years now, they need to shore up their defense significantly.
Texas A&M beat Colorado 10-7. “Strange game” does not begin to describe this one. The Aggies were held to 3 points until the final minutes of the game when their offense put together an 82-yard drive taking 5 minutes off the clock using 11 plays. Where was that offense hiding until that point? Absent that last drive, the Aggies only had 206 yards total offense.
Mississippi St beat NC State 24-10: I said last week that I was tempted to take OVER 55.5 for the Six-Pack. Glad I resisted that temptation…
Kentucky beat Missouri 35-28. Kentucky is 2-0 to start the 2021 season.
In ACC action, Notre Dame eked out another nail-biter of a win over what was perceived to be a lesser opponent. First there was a 3-point OT win over Florida State (see below) and last week there was a 3-point win over Toledo at home in South Bend. I know that a win is a win (Tautology alert!), but these are underwhelming showings by the Irish so far. They actually trailed Toledo at the start of the 4th quarter.
Jax State beat Florida State 20-17 on a 60-yard Hail Mary play in the final seconds of the game. Jax St is a Division 1-AA team from the Ohio Valley Conference. The Seminoles paid Jax State $400K to come to Tallahassee with the idea that the Seminoles could play a “feelgood game” for its fans and alums. That did not work out very well. However:
- Recall that Florida State took Notre Dame to OT in Week 1.
- So, did Florida State take this opponent lightly?
- Or is Notre Dame not that good?
Miami beat Appalachian State 25-23. Miami was pushed around by Alabama in Week 1 and just beat a Sun Belt opponent by 2 points last week. The Hurricanes were ranked in the Top 20 to start the season; that looks as if it was quite a reach. Too bad Miami is not a city in Texas; if it were, I could say they have been all hat and no cattle.
Air Force beat Navy 29-3 on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack.
Temple beat Akron 45-24. Both teams took a shellacking in Week 1; the Owls had a better time of it last week.
Coastal Carolina beat Kansas 49-22. Jayhawks beat South Dakota by 3 points in Week 1 possibly leading to “irrational exuberance” (h/t to Alan Greenspan) in Lawrence, KS. Now back to reality folks…
Boise St. beat UTEP 54-13. UTEP was 2-0 going into this game. Perhaps another “irrational exuberance” situation was set straight last week.
Vandy beat Colorado State 24-21. Both teams came to the kickoff having lost to Division 1-AA opponents in their opening game.
Games of Interest:
Michigan State at Miami – 6 (55.5): After the way Miami has performed in the first two weeks, I would not touch this game with a fork. Sparty is not the class of the Big-10 by any means, but this game is unpredictable.
UConn at Army – 34 (48.5): Army is a 5 TD favorite?
Va Tech at W. Virginia- 3 (50): I think the wrong team is favored here. I like the Hokies to win the game so I will take them plus the points as gravy; put it in the Six Pack.
Nebraska at Oklahoma – 23.5 (63.5): Many moons ago, these teams played each other, and the game was labeled as The Game of the Century. Nebraska won that game 35-31. If you think they can do that again, you can find the Huskers on the Money Line as high as +1150.
Cincy – 3.5 at Indiana (49): Indiana was disappointing in its opener two weeks ago against Iowa; they were ranked in the Top 20 to start the season. Cincy is not a soft spot in the schedule. This should be a good game.
New Mexico at Texas A&M – 30 (49): The Aggies scored all of 10 points last week against Colorado and the oddsmakers think this is a 30-point spread?
Nevada – 1 at K-State (50): Kansas State is tough at home…
Purdue at Notre Dame – 7 (58): The Boilermakers are 2-0 against marginal competition. The Irish are 2-0 and both wins were unimpressive (see above).
Ga Tech at Clemson – 28 (52): Clemson needs to win big when it can to stay in consideration for the CFP.
USC – 8 at Washington St. (62.5): Washington State beat a Division 1-A team last week; USC has a new head coach already.
- Memo to new USC Coach: If you lose this game, hire a food taster.
Alabama – 14 at Florida (60): I think this is the Game of the Week in college football.
Florida State at Wake Forest – 4.5 (62): Wake is 2-0 against very questionable competition so far; Florida State is simply an enigma.
Tulsa at Ohio State – 24.5 (61): Like Clemson, Ohio State cannot afford another loss nor can it eke out wins over ordinary opposition. I think the Buckeyes will be primed to kick ass and take names here. I know it is a lot of points, but I will take Ohio State to win and cover; put it in the Six-Pack.
Arkansas State at Washington – 16.5 (57.5): The Huskies have not come close to meeting expectations this year; they were ranked #20 in the country before losing at home to Montana and then on the road at Michigan last week. If they lose here, things could get very ugly in Seattle…
Auburn at Penn State – 5 (53): This would be the Game of the Week were it not for Alabama/Florida…
Virginia at UNC – 7 (67): The Cavaliers dispatched Illinois handily last week; UNC threw in a clunker in Week 1.
Stanford – 12 at Vandy (49): Is this the SAT Bowl Game of the Day?
Northwestern – 2.5 at Duke (49.5): Or is this the SAT Bowl Game of the Day?
Oklahoma State at Boise State – 4 (57): Cowboys against Broncos; why not?
Arizona State – 4 at BYU (50): Two good teams square off here…
Fresno State at UCLA – 10 (62): The Bruins beat up on Hawaii in the opener and then beat LSU two weeks ago. They had a BYE Week last week. Fresno St. clobbered UConn in the opener and then lost to Oregon by only a TD two weeks ago. They too had a BYE Week last week. I see lots of scoring in this game so I will take the game to go OVER; put it in the Six-Pack.
I learned something when I went hunting for something else. When the Jags lost to the Texans in Week 1, I realized that the Jags had now lost 16 games in a row. After they won the opener last year, they went 0-15. I could not remember how many consecutive games the Tampa Bay Bucs lost in a row when they entered the league with a roster of flotsam and jetsam, but I figured it would be an easy Google search. I entered:
- “longest nfl losing streak ever”
And that is where I learned that the Bucs only have the second-longest NFL losing streak. Here are the data:
- Chicago Cardinals lost 29 games in a row from 1942-1945
- Tampa Bay Bucs lost 26 games in a row from 1976-1977.
The Jags have four of their next five games at home against the Broncos, Cardinals, Titans and Dolphins; the Jags will be underdogs in all those games, but at least they are at home. Moreover, the only road game is at the Bengals which is not quite the same as visiting the Chiefs or the Bucs. Only two NFL teams have ever lost 20 or more games in a row. The Jags had better use this “home game cluster” as a way to snap their streak lest they join a list no team wants to be on.
Texans 37 Jags 21: The good news for Jags is Trevor Lawrence threw 3 TDs; the bad news for the Jags is just about anything else you might imagine. The Jags got bum-rushed by a bad team; such a bad omen. The Texans just signed Danny Amendola about an hour before game time and Amendola is not the second coming of Jerry Rice. Not to worry, even he diced up the Jags defense with 4 catches and a TD. I only saw the highlights here, but I could not find a lot to tell me that Trevor Lawrence is even remotely close to comfortable behind that OL. Jags’ failure to address a weak offensive line already looks problematic and they’d better find a way to keep the first-overall pick in downs and distances that aren’t conducive to him taking a beating. This is a potential Shakespearean tragedy.
I binged on NFL football in Week 1. Of course, I saw the Bucs/Cowboys on Thursday night. On Sunday, the games in my viewing area were Eagles/Falcons, Steelers/Bills, Packers/Saints, Chiefs/Browns; Sunday night was Rams/Bears and Monday night was Ravens/Raiders. Here are some positive impressions from the weekend:
- Jalen Hurts’ “escapability”
- Steelers’ defense
- Baker Mayfield’s accuracy – – until the final moments of the game
- Patrick Mahomes being Patrick Mahomes
- Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp being in sync
And, of course, here are some negative impressions from the weekend:
- Packers’ everything
- Chiefs’ defense in first half
- Bears’ offense – – particularly the OL
- Cowboys’ play calling – – 58 passes ? Really?
- Cowboys’ DL
When Cam Newton was released, there was no rush to sign him by teams who needed a backup QB and/or teams who were not thrilled by their current starting QB situation. In an interview, Newton said he was ready and more than willing to play NFL football saying ,”I still have a lot of football in me.” Given that he is in his early 30s, I can buy into that assessment.
However, here is why I think he does not have a job today – – even with Ryan Fitzpatrick going on IR in Washington where his former coach is in charge of football matters.
- Cam Newton is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
That is certainly his choice. The issue here is more than “ability”; it is the likelihood of “availability”. No team wants to find out on a Friday that their starting QB cannot play on Sunday for any reason on Earth. Given the NFL’s testing regimens and the protocols for isolation after “close contact” with someone who fails a COVID-19 screening, an unvaccinated player is at a greater risk of having to sit out a game. The probabilities here are not high, but they are higher for an unvaccinated QB than they are for a vaxxed one.
The same argument holds for backup QBs. A coach wants to have the guy he has invested in as the backup QB on the sidelines with him every week. Were that not the case, the coach would surely expend the time and effort it took for him to “find his guy” for that job. After all, backup QBs are not nearly as difficult to find as compared to “franchise QBs.” I am not remotely surprised that no one in the NFL has even hinted that Newton’s unvaccinated state is in play here, but I believe that it is.
Bengals 27 Vikes 24 (OT): the Bengals were the “disciplined team” here; that is not the label they used to wear in the past; the Vikes had 12 penalties for 116 yards in the game. Joe Burrow did not have any eye-popping stats but when they needed a clutch throw, Burrow delivered. Cautionary note here: the Bengals’ OL surrendered 5 sacks. That must not become a recurring game story for the season.
Niners 41 Lions 33: For backers of the Niners, this was a bad beat indeed. The Niners led 38-10 giving 8 points. The game wound up as a Push. The Lions did not quit; that game had the look of the Lions and their new coach opening the season giving up “half-a-hundred” or more. Deebo Samuel had a TD and 189 yards receiving in the game for the Niners. Nonetheless, the Lions are tied for first place in the NFC North because all four teams lost. On the other hand, the Niners’ defense gave up 33 to the Lions? Is that an ominous sign or what?
Chargers 20 Football Team 16: Washington’s defense gave up lots of yardage in the middle of the field but kept the Chargers out of the end zone in 4 of 6 trips to the Red Zone. That is the good news. The bad news is that Ryan Fitzpatrick was lost in the second quarter and that the Washington defense allowed the Chargers to covert 14 out of 19 third down tries. The WFT defense is good, but it ran out of gas in the second half. The Chargers held the ball for 21:11 of the first half on a late summer day, and Washington couldn’t get enough pressure on critical third downs against Justin Herbert.
Panthers 19 Jets 14: Sam Darnold got his “revenge” on his former employer. There. I said it. Such nonsense. The Jets’ running game was AWOL gaining only 45 yards on 17 tries. The most important point here is that Sam Darnold did not play like a stumblebum; he was efficient and effective even if he was not “All-Pro Caliber” in his play. Here is one of those NFL Facts that is not going to change any time soon:
- The Jets’ OL is a mess.
Cards 38 Titans 13: Kyler Murray threw for 4 TDs and ran for another, and Chandler Jones recorded 5 sacks and forced a fumble in this game. Imagine trying to pick a “Star of the Game” for a post-game local radio show… The Titans got their asses kicked; there is no polite way to put it.
Steelers 23 Bills 16: The Steelers won this game by playing excellent defense, efficient offense and efficient special teams. The Bills got into the Red Zone 4 times and managed only 1 TD. The Steelers’ defense is for real; if they can get that offense balanced and productive, they can go a long way in 2021.
Dolphins 17 Patriots 16: Neither team played well here. The Dolphins played “less worse” on this day…
Seahawks 28 Colts 16: Russell Wilson threw 4 TDs in the game – – two to Tyler Lockett. Seattle’s defense was even more impressive. From 5 minutes to go in the second quarter until 10 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter, here are the Colts’ possessions:
- Turnover on downs
- Lost fumble
- Turnover on downs
Broncos 27 Giants 13: Teddy Bridgewater was the “Star of the Game” here with 28 for 36 for 264 yards and 2 TDs as his stat line. As important is the fact that the Broncos were 3 for 3 on 4th down conversions. The Broncos’ defense also corralled Saquon Barkley who was held to 26 yards rushing on 10 tries.
Eagles 32 Falcons 6: The Falcons’ DL was dominated here; the Eagles averaged 5.6 yards per run attempt. The Falcons’ OL held its own in the first half but was worn down in the second half when the Eagles inside pass rush scored 3 sacks in the 4th quarter. The Falcons’ offense was productive until the red zone in the early part of the game. In the first quarter the Falcons held the ball for eleven-and-a-half minutes; they ran 29 plays; they gained 146 yards – – and that produced only 6 points. After that, the Falcons punted on the next six possessions and turned it over on downs on the next two possessions. This was a sloppy game with a total of 26 enforced penalties. The Eagles are alone in first place in NFC East. Jalen Hurts played very well here.
Saints 38 Packers 3: Here is an oddity of a stat line for just about any NFL QB – – and particularly for Jameis Winston who loves to “go long”:
- 14 for 20 for 148 yards and 5 TDs with 0 INTs.
Winston just picked apart the Packers’ defense on those occasions when the Saints’ running backs were not running through the defense to the tune of 171 yards. Meanwhile the Packers were a complete no-show for the day. The Packers’ running game was all of 43 yards in the game and Aaron Rodgers threw 2 INTs.
Chiefs 33 Browns 29: The Browns seemingly had this game in hand but three turnovers in the second half plus a miraculous 70-yard TD pass from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill cost them the game. Hill had 11 receptions for 197 yards and a TD for the day. Here is a big change I noticed for the Browns.:
- They have adult supervision on the sidelines; Kevin Stefanski is in charge and the players know it.
The Browns are for real; they will be a tough opponent week after week in 2021.
Rams 34 Bears 14: Let the chants for Justin Fields begin… The Bears’ offense was pedestrian here. Not all of that was Andy Dalton’s fault; the Rams’ defense is really good, and it played well as a unit. On offense the Rams had two TD passes of 56 yards or more in the game by Matthew Stafford. Try not to blame those plays on Andy Dalton…
Raiders 33 Ravens 27: The Ravens prefer to run the ball; the Ravens had better figure out how to do that without the presence of their top 3 running backs who are out for the season. Their replacements are clearly – – replacements. Derek Carr came up big in the 4th quarter with scoring drives to send the game to OT and then tossing the winning TD in that OT session. For the night, Carr amassed 435 yards through the air. Before the game started, Bruce Buffer welcomed the crowd to “the entertainment capital of the world”. Las Vegas? Really?
New Orleans – 3.5 at Carolina (45): The oddsmakers are obviously not blown away by the Saints 5 TD margin of victory over the Packers last week. The Panthers sacked Zach Wilson 6 times last week; I suspect they cannot match that number against the Saints’ OL. Nevertheless, the Panthers’ defense is a solid unit and should keep the game close.
Houston at Cleveland – 13 (48): This could easily be a trap game for the Browns. They had the Chiefs on the ropes last week and let them get away; now they have their home opener against the NFL’s rag-tag team. Meanwhile, the Texans – who have heard nothing other than how bad they were going to be – went out and won their opener. A buoyant Texans squad combined with an emotional letdown by the Browns could make this a close game. But make no mistake, the Browns are the better team by a lot.
Cincy at Chicago – 2.5 (45): This is my Dog-Breath Game of the Week. The only saving grace for this game is that it appears as if it will be a close game meaning it could be interesting and entertaining down to the end. Having said that, neither team is really worth watching unless the only option available to you is to watch reruns of My Mother, the Car. Here is something surprising to me:
- The spread has moved from 1-point to this level in the last day and a half.
- That must mean that there are lots of people betting lots of money on this game.
- If I met such a person, I would ever so politely ask, “WTF?”
Las Vegas at Pittsburgh – 6 (47): Both teams played well last week winning their openers. I was more impressed overall with the Steelers win on the road in Buffalo, but I was also very impressed by the resilience of the Raiders against a good Ravens squad. I think this is a defensive game; unless there are short fields presented to these offenses, I do not see a lot of scoreboard activity; I will take the game to stay UNDER; put it in the Six-Pack.
Buffalo – 3 at Miami (47.5): The Dolphins were the only AFC East team to win in Week 1. I suspect that will change this week once Josh Allen realizes that this is not the Steelers’ defense he is playing against.
Rams – 3.5 at Indy (48): The Colts did not look like a precision instrument against the Seahawks last week and the Rams’ defense is at least as good as the Seahawks’ unit. Moreover, the Colts’ defense did not look like an elite unit against Russell Wilson whereas Matthew Stafford threw for 321 yards and 3 TDs. I like the Rams to win and cover on the road; put it in the Six-Pack.
SF – 3 at Philly (50): This is two games in a row in the Eastern Time Zone for the Niners. There are plenty of question marks in this game, but I do think there will be plenty of points on the scoreboard. I was tempted to take the OVER – – but took my “OVER selection” elsewhere (see below).
Denver – 6 at Jax (45): This is two games in a row in the Eastern Time Zone for the Broncos. They won last week with their defense. If unit shows up and plays similarly here, they should come away with a win.
New England – 6 at Jets (43): Two QBs taken in the first round back in April will face each other in this game. I think the Pats have the better roster, but they made a crucial mistake late in last week’s game that cost them a chance to win. That is not the “Patriot Way.” I lean toward the Pats here but not enough to put them in the Six-Pack.
Minnesota at Arizona – 4 (51): I honestly do not know what to make of this game. The Cards were dominant last week in ways that they have not shown recently. The Vikes started out in a fugue state, then came to life to force OT and then stunk it out again.
Atlanta at Tampa – 13 (52): At least the Falcons’ defense will not have to worry about chasing Tom Brady all over the field here; that unit showed it was not all that good at chasing Jalen Hurts last week. However, the Bucs present a similar challenge that the Eagles exploited:
- The Eagles’ have several defensive tackles that pressure the QB well and they wore down the Falcons’ OL to get 3 sacks and more than a few QB hits.
- The Bucs have Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh at defensive tackle.
- Let me just say that Matt Ryan is not exactly “Mr. Scramble” …
This game could easily get out of hand quickly for the Falcons but I really hate double-digit spreads in NFL games so I will pass up this selection opportunity.
Tennessee at Seattle – 6 (54): The spread for this game is all over the place. I can find it as high as 7 points and I can find it as low as 5.5 points. This seems to be the middle ground there. The Titans were not impressive at all last week against the Cardinals and going n the road to play in Seattle is hardly the way to “get right”.
Dallas at Chargers – 3 (54.5): If you like offensive football, this should be the game for you. Dak Prescott and his receiving corps will move the ball against just about any team. Similarly, just about any team will be able to move the ball against the Cowboys’ defense – – and the Chargers’ offense under the direction of Justin Herbert should do it very well. I think this is a scoring fest so I will take the game to go OVER; put it in the Six-Pack.
(Sun Nite) KC – 3.5 at Baltimore (54.5): This is my Game of the Week in the NFL. Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes by themselves make this game exciting but there is an added angle here because the Ravens lost last week and surely do not want to start the season at 0-2.
(Mon Nite) Detroit at Green Bay – 11 (48.5): Last week, the Packers lost to the Saints by 35 points and were dominated in every phase of the game. The Lions also lost last week, and they found ways to yield 41 points to the Niners. But how many teams that lost by 5 TDs one week show up as double-digit favorites the next week. So:
- Is that a knock on the Saints dominating win?
- Is that a statement about how bad the oddsmakers think the Lions are?
- Is that a sense that Aaron Rodgers will not have two clunkers in a row?
So, let me review the Six-Pack for this week:
- Va Tech +3 against W. Virginia
- Ohio State – 24.5 over Tulsa
- UCLA/Fresno State OVER 62
- Rams – 3 over Indy
- Pittsburgh/Las Vegas UNDER 47
- Dallas/Chargers OVER 54.5
Finally, here is an observation by Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle:
“How many pages are there on that flip chart the 49ers’ quarterbacks wear on their left wrists? It looks like they’re getting ready to order off the TGI Fridays menu.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………