Football Friday 9/23/22

For years, Hank Williams, Jr, would ask everyone, “Are you ready for some football?”  The answer always was, “Of course we are, if we weren’t, we would not have tuned in to hear you.”

Analogously, I had better be ready for a Football Friday here simply because it is football season and today is Friday.  So, off we go…

Did I hear someone inquire about the results from last week’s Six-Pack?

Against the Spread/Totals:  College = 2-0-0  Season to date = 4-4-0

                                                NFL = 2-1-1  Season to date = 3-3-1

Money Line Parlays:  Last week = 0-2  Loss of $200

                                      Season to date = 2-4  Net loss = $119

 

College Football Commentary:

 

            The Linfield College Wildcats extended their season record to 2-0 last week on Homecoming Weekend.   The Wildcats beat the University of Redlands Bulldogs 21-3.  That concludes the out-of-conference scheduling for Linfield; their next 7 games between this weekend and November 12th will all be against Northwest Conference teams.  This week, the Loggers of the University of Puget Sound come to McMinnville, OR to take on the Wildcats.  The Loggers have a 1-2 record so far in 2022.  Go Wildcats!

The college football season is only 4 weeks old; there are 131 teams that compete in Division 1-A football, and one might look at the results so far and wonder if “parity” is coming to college football.  If I have counted correctly, there are 33 undefeated teams – – about 25% of the field which is to be expected at this point in the season because far too many schools have scheduled nothing but patsies up to this point.  Now that conference games will begin to dominate the schedule, some of those apparently gaudy records will have to play one another and the list of “undefeateds” will shrink.

One example this week where two teams arrive at the kickoff with 3-0 records is the Kansas/Duke game.  That’s right; both teams are undefeated in 2022.  I wonder what the Las Vegas odds on that happening were back in July…?

  • Kansas has scored 159 points in 3 games
  • Duke has allowed 51 points in 3 games
  • Should be interesting…

However, it is at the other end of the spectrum that I am a bit surprised.  Again, if I have counted correctly, there are only 6 teams out of the 131 Division 1-A schools that are winless going into the last week of September.  Those six teams are:

  1. Buffalo
  2. Colorado
  3. Colorado St.
  4. Georgia St.
  5. Navy
  6. New Mexico St.

There were two firings in the coaching ranks this week.  Arizona St. parted company with Herm Edwards after the Sun Devils lost at home to Eastern Michigan.  Edwards had an overall winning record at Arizona State (26-20) but there are supposedly significant NCAA investigations looming there.  Given the potential for NCAA trouble and a loss to a MAC team at home, it was more than the folks in charge there could accommodate.

  • [Aside:  Back in August, I did a College Football Preview rant.  In that rant I had 5 coaches on a hot seat for 2022.  Two of those five – – Scott Frost and Herm Edwards – – are gone even before the calendar flips to October.]

After Nebraska fired Scott Frost, it named Mickey Joseph as the interim head coach for the rest of 2022.  One of the frustrations with Scott Frost’s teams is that they lost about 90% of the one-score games they played; Mickey Joseph had no such problem in his first encounter; the Huskers lost to Oklahoma by 5 TDs.  So, what comes out of that mess?

  • Nebraska fired its defensive coordinator, Erik Chinander.
  • Lest you think that is some kind of over-reaction, consider that the Huskers’ defense gave up more than 1200 yards to its last two opponents, Oklahoma and Georgia Southern.

Brad Dickson – formerly with the Omaha World-Herald, had this Tweet about the coaching situation at Nebraska:

“The last four Husker coaches were all fired within one year of receiving a contract extension. That’s when you know your school is a mess. ‘We’re extending your contract…no, wait, you’re fired!’”

Here is an overview of action last week in college football; I’ll start with that Oklahoma/Nebraska game:

Oklahoma 49  Nebraska 14:  The Huskers scored in the first two minutes of the game, but Oklahoma ran up 580 yards on offense and dominated the game.  Best thing to say about the Nebraska effort here was that they presented a balanced offense:

  • Yards passing = 164 yards
  • Yards rushing = 163 yards

Southern Illinois 31  Northwestern 24:  After a comeback win over Nebraska to start the season, Northwestern has not shown well.  They lost to Duke at home by 8 points and now have lost to a Division 1-AA (Missouri Valley Conference) team at home by a TD.  Looks like it could be a long season coming up in Evanston, IL.

Army 49  Villanova 10:  Army had lost its first two games; what it needed was a confidence builder and Division 1-AA Villanova provided it here.  Army had ZERO yards passing and only attempted one pass in the game.  However, on the ground the Cadets ran up 472 yards of offense on 55 carries using a total of 12 different ball carriers.  Army had 9 possessions in the game and scored a TD on 7 of those possessions.

Georgia 48  So Carolina 7:  Congratulations to South Carolina.  They scored a TD against Georgia.   The Bulldogs had not given up a TD in its first two games; the TD here came in the final minute of the game, so Georgia’s defense went 179 minutes without allowing a TD.

Notre Dame 24  Cal  17:  Cal led 10-7 at the half and 17-14 at the end of three quarters, but the Irish pulled it out in the fourth quarter for Marcus Freeman’s first win as the head coach there.  The game was dead even on the stat sheet:

  • Total offense:  Notre Dame = 297 yards   Cal = 296 yards
  • First downs:  Notre Dame = 16  Cal = 18

UCLA 32  So Alabama 31:  Not a good look for the PAC-12.  Yes, Sun Belt teams have pulled some major upsets this year, but the Sun Belt Conference should not be mistaken for the highest level of college football.  This was another even game on the stat sheet:

  • Total offense:  UCLA = 428 yards   S. Alabama = 396 yards
  • First downs:  UCLA = 23   S. Alabama = 22
  • Penalties:   UCLA = 4   S. Alabama = 4
  • Turnovers:  UCLA = 2   S. Alabama = 2

Attendance was only 29,344 for this game.  The Bruins really need to up the quality of their out-of-conference home games to avoid having the crowd in the Rose Bowl rattle around like a bee-bee in a boxcar.

Oregon 41  BYU 20:  This was a big win for the PAC-12 against a ranked opponent who was undefeated coming to the game.  It is not quite enough to erase the memory of Oregon’s opening game debacle, but it makes West Coast Football a bit more respectable.

Washington 39  Michigan St.  28:  Here is another big win for the PAC-12; the Huskies dominated the game rolling up 503 yards of offense.  Washington led 36-14 at the start of the 4th quarter; some “garbage time” movement by the Spartans made the score look more respectable.  The Spartans entered the game ranked #11 in the country; that changed significantly after this result; the CBSSports.com poll for example now has Michigan State ranked 34th in the nation.

Minnesota 49  Colorado 7:  This was an embarrassing loss for the PAC-12.  Minnesota is not the class of the Big-10, but it wiped the floor with this PAC-12 doormat.  The Buffaloes have a carryover problem from last season; they just can’t score; the offense stinks.  In 3 games this year, Colorado has scored a total of 30 points.  Last season, they averaged 18.8 points per game and that ranked them 121st in the nation out of 130 teams.

Ole Miss  42  Ga Tech  0:  This game was a complete drubbing.  The Rebels had 542 yards of offense while holding the Yellow Jackets to 214 yards.  Ole Miss gained 2.5 yards for every yard on offense by Ga Tech.  On the Jackets’ first possession trailing 7-0, they ran three plays and then had their punt blocked leading to a short field for the Rebels and a 14-0 deficit in about the first four minutes of the game.  Then things got worse…

Penn St.  41  Auburn  12:  The game was in Auburn and that result cannot make an already antsy set of fans and boosters at Auburn any happier.  Auburn turned the ball over 4 times in the game.  The Nittany Lion’s defense held Auburn RB, Tank Bigsby to only 39 yards rushing on 9 carries.

Appalachian St.  32  Troy  28:  The Mountaineers suffered a bit of a letdown in the game as is to be expected after beating Texas A&M last week and losing to UNC by only 2 points two weeks ago.  To win this game, the Mountaineers needed a 50+ yard TD pass completion on the final play of the game to secure the victory.

Kansas 48  Houston  30:  Kansas is now 3-0 and Houston is 1-2.  Man, did I ever overestimate Houston in the pre-season…   Houston led 14-0 at one point but then surrendered 28 straight points to the Jayhawks.  Kansas ran the ball for 280 yards in this game.  This is the first time since 2009 that Kansas is 3-0 and the first time since 2007 that they won back to back road games.

Bowling Green 34  Marshall  31  (OT):  Marshall – – like Appalachian St. – – had a letdown this week after a big upset over Notre Dame last week.  Marshall outgained Bowling Green 577 yards to 377 yards in the game but the Thundering Herd also turned the ball over twice in the game.  More like the Blundering Herd …???

Virginia 16  Old Dominion 14:  Virginia dominated the stats gaining 513 yards on offense compared to 324 for Old Dominion.  Three Cavaliers’ turnovers kept the game close, and it took a last-minute rally and a field goal as time expired for Virginia to come out on top.

Texas A&M 17  Miami 9:  This was a good game if you like defensive football where every possession matters.  Miami won the stat sheet but never got to the end zone and went 3 of 5 on field goal attempts.

Fla St.  35  Louisville 31:  The Seminoles are 3-0 after their backup QB, Tate Rodemaker, led them from behind to win the game.  Rodemaker came into the game due to an injury late in the first half and led three long TD drives to secure the game; three Louisville turnovers did not help the Cardinals’ cause.

 

Games of Interest This Week:

 

Baylor at Iowa St. – 2.5 (45.5):  These are two of the better teams in the Big 12.  It should be an interesting game.

UMass at Temple – 9.5 (44):  These are two bad teams no matter the conference or any other consideration.  It will be interesting to see which team is worse than the other.

Notre Dame at UNC – 2 (55.5):  The Irish will present UNC with the best defense it has seen so far in 2022.  But it must be noted that as of this morning, UNC ranks 6th in the country in scoring offense averaging 51.3 points per game.

Maryland at Michigan – 17 (64):  Both teams are undefeated so far in 2022; you can think of this as a yardstick game for both teams because neither team has played a serious opponent so far – – unless you count SMU as a serious opponent for Maryland.

Georgia Tech at UCF – 20.5 (56.5):  Tech coach Geoff Collins was another one of the five “Coaches on a Hot Seat” I named in August.  The Yellow Jackets are 1-2 in 2022 with the win coming over Western Carolina (not a big deal).  However, in the two loses to Clemson and Ole Miss, Tech has been outscored 83-10.

Minnesota – 3 at Michigan St (50.5):  This game is interesting because the spread opened the week with Michigan State as a 2-point favorite.

Clemson – 7 at Wake Forest (55.5):  These are two of the better teams in the ACC; both teams are  undefeated and both teams are in the Atlantic Division of the ACC.

Wisconsin at Ohio St. – 19 (56.5):  The Wisconsin defense has only allowed an average of 8 points per game so far in 2022.  The Ohio St. offense had averaged 47.7 points per game.  Something’s gotta give here…

Florida at Tennessee – 10.5 (62.5):  The Gators already have a conference loss; in the SEC East that is a serious problem.  This is the first conference game for the Vols.  It is way too early to call this a must-win game for them, but they really do not want to lose it.

Buffalo at Eastern Michigan – 6.5 (60):  Why is this game interesting?  Buffalo is one of the winless teams in the country.  Eastern Michigan just went to Arizona St. and pulled an upset there getting Herm Edwards fired.  I doubt either team will play an interesting game next week, but this one might be fun to keep an eye on.

James Madison at Appalachian St. – 7 (59.5):  Do not scoff; these are two good football teams.

Iowa – 8.5 at Rutgers (34):  That Total Line looks as if it came from a game in the 1950s, but it is real and it is constant across about 10 sportsbooks.  Iowa averages 13.4 points per game on offense and it allows only 4.3 points per game on defense.   Fortunately, the weather forecast for tomorrow does not call for a downpour or this game might go on forever.

Duke at Kansas – 7.5 (65):  A titanic inter-conference battle of undefeated teams…  Of course this is a game of interest…

UCLA – 21 at Colorado (57):  The problem with the Buffaloes is very simple.  They do not score points.  As of this morning Colorado ranks 129th in the country in scoring offense with 10 points per game.  I don’t think UCLA is a juggernaut, but Colorado looks to me to be the worst team in the PAC-12 by a bunch; give me the Bruins to win and cover even on the road; put it in the Six-Pack

Hawaii at New Mexico St. – 4.5 (53):  These are two bad teams – – and perhaps both are very bad teams.  The Aggies are dead last in the nation in scoring offense averaging a meager 8 points per game.  Their level of ineptitude will be tested this week because the Hawaii defense is similarly bad yielding 45.5 points per game to rank 130th out of 131 teams.  This is probably The Worst College Football Game of the Week.

Utah – 15.5 at Arizona St. (53.5):  The “new guy” at Arizona St. gets a baptism of fire with Utah coming to town.  As of this morning, the Utes are ranked 13th or 14th in the country depending on which poll you prefer.

USC – 5.5 at Oregon St. (70):  USC averages 50.7 points per game and Oregon St. averages 45.7 points per game.  This could be exciting…  I am not ready to crown USC as the team to beat in the PAC-12, but I think they are much better this year than in recent years; give me the Trojans to win and cover on the road; put it in the Six-Pack

Oregon – 6.5 at Washington St (57):  If Oregon hopes to be “relevant” at the end of the season, it must not lose another game…

K-State at Oklahoma – 12.5 (53):  K-State is much better at home than it is on the road and Oklahoma looks as if they are pretty good despite the defection of their coach and starting QB from last year.

Vandy at Alabama – 41 (65):  The schedule algorithm for the SEC made this game a necessity.  It is easy to point a finger at Alabama for scheduling cupcakes, but this one does not count…

TCU – 2 at SMU (70):  This is one of the most under-rated rivalry games in the country,  The two schools are only about 30 miles apart in the Dallas/Fort Worth corridor and bragging rights in that part of the world are most important.

Arkansas at Texas A&M – 2.5 (48):  I think this is the College Football Game of the Week.  Neither team has a conference loss so far in 2022 but the Aggies have that loss to Appalachian St. on their ledger, so they have little margin for error down the road.  I think the wrong team is favored here; give me the Razorbacks plus the points; put it in the Six-Pack.

UNLV – 2.5 at Utah St. (62):  UNLV is 2-1 this year which is more games than they won all of last year.  Nonetheless, they are road favorites here…???  Very interesting.

 

NFL Commentary:

 

People have not let go of the strange decision made by Broncos’ coach Nathanial Hackett at the end of the Week 1 game against the Seahawks.  He chose to go for a game-winning field goal from 64 yards  in the final minute of the game instead of trying for a first down on 4th and 5.  He explained that his plan all along was to “get to the 46 yardline and kick from there”.  Here may be why people will not let go of criticizing that “strategery”:

  • Since 1961 – the year of the birth of the AFL – teams have tried field goals of 64 yards or longer a total of 41 times.
  • Those gigantic attempts have been successful 2 times; that is a success rate of 4.9%  [Hat tip to Yahoo Sports for these stats]
  • And that was his choice when it came to a play call?

Granted the first Thursday Night Football game streamed over Amazon Prime was a top-shelf game; the Chiefs and Chargers would draw a large audience just about anywhere.  But I am still impressed by the numbers here; Nielsen says that 13 million people streamed the game.  That number is a little more than twice the audience that last year’s inaugural Thursday night game drew on NFL Network.

About 10 days ago, I ran across this stat and did not make a note where I found it:

  • Kyle Shanahan’s record with Jimmy G as his QB = 24-9
  • Kyle Shanahan’s record with “Someone else” as his QB = 8-28.

Last weekend Trey Lance started the game but exited in the first half, so Jimmy G took over.  I don’t know where to put that game in those stats above, but it does not matter.  The fact is that the Niners – — and Kyle Shanahan – – have been far more successful with Jimmy G under center.  Yet, there is a constant effort out there to get rid of him.

It is far too early in the NFL season to make Super Bowl projections but if you let your mind wander, you can come up with some interesting situations.  I got a note from #2 son earlier this week with an interesting perspective on two NFL fanbases:

  • “Our nation simply doesn’t possess the infrastructure or domestic security systems necessary to handle a Bills/Eagles Super Bowl.”

I said in my pre-season analysis that Frank Reich was on a hot seat this year if things went south for the Colts.  Well, the team is 0-1-1 early in the season and that loss was a shutout pitched by the Jags.  Jim Irsay is not exactly a model of patience; the Colts need a significant change in vector heading and they need it quickly.  The Colts were supposed to contend for – – and probably win – – the AFC South Division this year.  As of today, they own a loss to the Jags and have earned a tie with the Texans – both of them division opponents.

Amon-Ra St. Brown was a fourth round draft pick; last weekend, he tied an NFL record with his eighth consecutive game with eight or more pass receptions, tying Antonio Brown and Michael Thomas. Moreover, he is the only player in NFL history ever to have six consecutive games with eight or more receptions plus a receiving touchdown.   Last weekend, St. Brown had nine receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns against the Commanders.

Giants 19  Panthers 16:    The game was close from start to finish.  At the start of the 4th quarter the score was 13-13; every possession mattered.  The stat sheet was equally balanced:

  • Total Offense for Giants = 265 yards
  • Total Offense for Panthers = 275 yards

Giants’ kicker Graham Gano hit two field goals from 50+ yards here; that was a big difference in the game.

Jags 24  Colts 0:  This was the 8th consecutive loss for the Colts against the Jags in Jax.  Are they allergic to something in the water there? The Colts managed only 218 yards on offense in the game and only ran the ball for 54 yards on 13 tries.  The Colts only ran 48 offensive plays in the game.  The fact that Matt Ryan tossed 3 INTs and was sacked 5 times did not help much at all.

Dolphins 42  Ravens 38:  At the start of the 4th quarter, the Ravens led 35-14 – – and lost the game.  That is not easy to do but it seems that “come from ahead losing” was the order of the day in the NFL last week.  Here are the Ravens’ possessions in the 4th quarter:

  • 5 plays and a TURNOVER ON DOWNS
  • 3 plays and a PUNT
  • 6 plays and a FIELD GOAL
  • 4 plays and END OF GAME

Meanwhile, the Dolphins scored TDs on their final 4 possessions to win the game.
Tua Tagovailoa had this stat line for the day:

  • 36 of 50 for 469 yards with 6 TDs and 2 INTs

BTW, do not try to pin this loss on Lamar Jackson in any way.  He threw for 300 yards and ran for another 100 yards in the game.  This one belongs on the Ravens’ defense.

Jets 31  Browns 30:  Here is another come from ahead loss last weekend.  Setting the stage, the Browns led the game 30-17 with 2 minutes and 2 seconds left to play – – AND – – the reason it was not 31-17 is that the Browns’ kicker missed a PAT on the TD that was scored with 2:02 left in the game.  Here is what followed:

  • Joe Flacco to Corey Davis for 66 yards and a TD with 1:22 to play; PAT is good.
  • Jets recover an onside kick but have no timeouts left.
  • Joe Flacco to Garrett Wilson for 15 yards and a TD with 0:22 to play; PAT is good.

Honestly, I thought only the Lions could lose that way…

Here is a stat I ran across at CBSSports.com that puts this performance by the Browns in historical perspective:

  • NFL teams had won the last 2,229 consecutive games when leading by at least 13 points in the final 2 minutes.
  • Last team to lose in those circumstances?  The Browns back in 2001.

And here is one more stat from the Washington Post:

  • Joe Flacco is 18-3 as a starting QB against the Browns in his career.

Cardinals 29  Raiders 23 (OT):  Yet one more come from ahead loss from last weekend…  The Raiders seemingly had this game in hand 23-7 at the end of the third quarter.  The Cards had the ball twice in the 4th quarter and produced 2 TDs with a 2-point conversion at the end of both scores to send the game to OT.  The Raiders also had two 4th quarter possessions producing 8 plays, 14  yards, 2 punts and less than 4 minutes time of possession.   Arizona won the OT coin toss but gave the ball away on downs; the Raiders drove to within field goal range when Hunter Renfrow fumbled, and it was picked up as a “Scoop and Score” for 69 yards and a Cards’ win.

Honestly, I thought only the Lions could lose that way.

Lions 36  Commanders 27:  Speaking of the Lions , they have scored 71 points in their first two games in 2022.  The Lions dominated the first half of their game last weekend and led 22-0 at the intermission.  Here is the result of the Commanders’ possessions in the first half:

  • 3 plays and a PUNT
  • 3 plays and a PUNT
  • 2 plays and a SAFETY
  • 3 plays and a PUNT
  • 3 plays and a PUNT
  • 6 plays and a PUNT
  • 6 plays and a PUNT
  • 1 play and END OF FIRST HALF

The total offense on those 8 first-half possessions was 39 yards.   Washington media decided to put a lot of blame on the Commanders’ defense for “faltering” in the game.  Let me be clear, the Commander’s defense played a not-very-good game but the blame for this loss belongs squarely on the Commanders’ offense for that first half showing.

Rams 31  Falcons 27:  This score is deceptively close; the Rams led this one 28-10 at the end of the third quarter.  The Falcons played hard for the entirety of the game; give them credit for that.  The potential for a great irony existed in this game.  The Falcons trailed 28-3 with about 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.  Falcons’ fans remember what that game situation has led to in the past – – and the Falcons came within 4 points of overcoming that deficit.  Had they tied the game and won in OT it might have been the greatest cleansing of a stain in the history of sports.

Bucs 20  Saints 10:  The score at the end of 3 periods was 3-3.  Then Tom Brady hit a 28-yard TD pass to put the Bucs up 10-3.  The Saints’ offense in the 4th quarter imploded; Jameis Winston threw 3 INTs – – including a Pick-Six – – in the 4th quarter and the Saints lost a fumble on another possession in the 4th quarter.

Niners 27  Seahawks 7:  The Niners dominated on the field and on the stat sheet; they outgained the Seahawks by 157 yards.  Geno Smith reverted to playing like Geno Smith in the game and the Seahawks’ rushing attack offered no real assistance gaining a total of 36 yards on 14 carries in the game.  The only score by the Seahawks came as a result of a blocked 20-yard field goal attempt that turned into a “Scoop and Score”.

Cowboys 20  Bengals 17:  It’s official.  The Bengals are suffering from “Super Bowl Loser Syndrome”.  They spent money on the OL in the offseason to better protect Joe Burrow this year.  Well, in this game that improved OL gave up 6 sacks.  Here is something else that is “official” and equally surprising:

  • Cooper Rush is 2-0 as a starting QB in the NFL over his 5-year NFL career.

The Bengals trailed 17-3 at halftime but rallied to tie the game late in the 4th quarter.  The Cowboys got the ball at their own 35 with 57 seconds to play.  Six plays later they hit a 50-yard game winning field goal leaving 3 seconds on the clock.  Almost a come from ahead loss but narrowly averted.

Broncos 16  Texans 9:  This game leads to an important question:

  • Did I overrate the Broncos, or did I underrate the Texans – – or both?

The Broncos’ offense has been disappointing at best even with Russell Wilson at the helm.  Granted it is only two games, but the offense has managed to put only 16 points on the board in both games.  Really?  Meanwhile the Texans’ roster is a bunch of no-names, but they have hung in twice against seemingly much better opponents.  The Broncos won the game despite this stat line from Russell Wilson:

  • 14 of 31 for 219 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.   Meh!

The Broncos were plagued with delay of game penalties and in the 4th quarter the hometown fans took to chanting the time on the play clock loud enough to be heard on the TV audio of the game.

Pats 17  Steelers 14:  The Pats outgained the Steelers by 133 yards; usually that leads to a victory by more than a field goal.  The biggest stat difference in the game was yards per pass attempt.  The Pats gained 7.2 yards per attempt and the Steelers gained only 4.2 yards per attempt – – and the teams tried about the same number of pass plays in the game.  If you want to try to characterize this win by the Pats, perhaps the label “businesslike” is appropriate.

Packers 27  Bears 10:  Obviously, Aaron Rodgers has not sold his majority ownership shares in the Chicago Bears; he still owns them.  The Packers gained 211 yards passing and 203 yards rushing in a dominating win here.  The Bears’ young QB, Justin Fields, had a very bad night; the Bears net offense passing for the game was 48 yards; that is not a typo.  The Bears got a TD on their first possession of the game and then the offense went into hibernation; their next first down – – not a touchdown but a first down – – came in the middle of the third quarter.

 

NFL Games this Week:

 

The Browns beat the Steelers last night.  The best thing about the game was that it was close for most of the game such that every possession was important.  Having said that, this game was not exciting; the best player on the field was Browns’ RB Nick Chubb.

Ravens – 2.5 at Pats (44):  Is Lamar Jackson hurt or not?  Will he play?  If you do not know the answer to that question, do not bet on this game…

Bills – 5.5 at Dolphins (53):  This must be the Game of the Week.  Both teams are undefeated; it is a division game; both teams have looked very impressive to date.  The Bills will play this one minus three starters on defense so I see this game as an offensive explosion as the Bills seek to keep pace with a Dolphins offense that should have success on its own.  I like this game to go OVER; put it in the Six-Pack.

Bengals – 6 at Jets (45):  I know it is only Week 3, but this looks to me to be a must-win game for the Bengals or their season will be toast.  The Bengals have lost two games by 3 points each, but the opposition was not elite in either game.  The Jets are hardly elite either – – notwithstanding Joe Flacco pinning that label on himself in days past.  I am tempted by the OVER in this game but will resist that temptation.

Saints – 3 at Panthers (41):  The Panthers have to be desperate at this point and the Saints showed last week how they can melt-down almost as if on cue.  Do not bet on this tame…

Lions at Vikes – 6 (52):  The Vikes looked great in Week 1 against the Packers at home; then they laid a giant egg last week against the Eagles on the road.  The Lions have been a scoring machine so far this year – – and they give up points in bunches as well.  I like this game to go OVER; put it in the Six-Pack.

Chiefs – 5.5 at Colts (50.5):  Frank Reich and the Colts cannot afford to start the season 0-2-1 – – but the schedule maker decided that this was the week for the Chiefs to visit Indy.

Raiders – 2 at Titans (45.5):  Both teams need a win no matter how they get one.  As noted above, the Raiders lost last week in a dramatic collapse; the Titans lost to the Bills on MNF so badly that they pulled starting QB, Ryan Tannehill, in the 3rd quarter and threw rookie QB, Malik Willis to the wolves.  A win for the Titans here could set them up for a season turnaround.  After the Raiders, here is the Titans’ upcoming schedule:

  • At Colts
  • At Commanders
  • Vs Colts
  • At Texans

That is a pretty cushy month of October…

Eagles – 6.5 at Commanders (47.5):  The Eagles played an almost flawless game last week beating the Vikes and making Justin Jefferson look like a mere mortal in the process.  If they carry over that level of play, this will be a blowout – – but I don’t think the Eagles are yet ready to play to that level consistently.

Texans at Bears – 3 (39.5): This is the Dog-Breath Game of the Week.  About the only interesting angle on the game is that you might want to call it a “Lovie Smith Revenge Game”.  My guess is that no one outside Lovie Smith’s nuclear family will tune in to the game for that reason.

Jags at Chargers – 6.5 (46.5):  Justin Herbert is dealing with a “broken rib cartilage”.  Until and unless you know what his status is and until you see him play with however they accommodate his injury, this is a game to avoid at the betting kiosk.

Packers at Bucs “pick ‘em” (42):  If back in June when folks were analyzing the 2022 NFL schedule you had suggested that the Packers/Bucs game in Week 3 would have a Total Line of 42 points, you would have been taken off for a drug test.  Well, here we are … and the line makes perfect sense:

  • The Bucs’ defense is very strong and should make Aaron Rodgers and company struggle to score.
  • The Bucs’ offense will be without Mike Evans and both Chris Godwin and Julio Jones did not practice on Wednesday.  The Bucs went and signed Cole Beasley off the free agent market for this game.

Falcons at Seahawks – 1 (42):  This game got a moment’s consideration as the Dog-Breath Game of the Week but the rancid odor that will emanate from Soldier Field took this game out of contention quickly.  The idea of watching Marcus Mariota match wits with Geno Smith is less appealing than a three-day-old chamber pot.

Rams – 3 at Cards (48):  Kyler Murray was spectacular in the 4th quarter last week against the Raiders, but these guys are the Rams, and they have better players on defense.  I like the Rams to win and cover on the road in this game; put it in the Six-Pack.

(Sun Nite) Niners – 1.5 at Broncos (44.5):  The spread opened with Broncos favored by 2.5 points; that is a big swing.  Fans in Denver will be looking for more than 16 points from the Broncos’ offense this week and if they do not get it, they could “lose their sh*t” on national TV.  The problem is that the Niners’ defense is really good and might be able to hold the Broncos in check even if that offense were hitting on all cylinders.

(Mon Nite) Cowboys at Giants – 1 (38.5):  This is an important division game; there are plenty of good reasons to watch it – – but I cannot think of even one good reason to bet on two teams that are as flawed as these two.  Questions:

  1. Can Cooper Rush make it three wins in a row and keep his record undefeated for his career?
  2. Can Daniel Jones actually win three games in a row?

Tune in to find out…

So, let me review the Six- Pack:

  • UCLA – 21 over Colorado
  • USC – 5.5 over Oregon St.
  • Arkansas + 2 against Texas A&M
  • Bills/Dolphins OVER 53
  • Lions/Vikes OVER 52
  • Rams – 3 over Cards.

And just for fun, here are three Money Line parlays:

  • [email protected] minus-180 / Niners @ minus-125     $100 wager = $180 profit
  • Texans @ +125 / Chiefs 2 minus-240     $100 wager = $219 profit
  • USC @ minus-245 / Oregon @ minus 245   $100 wager = $103 profit

            Finally, it has been too long since I closed with a comment from H. L Mencken:

“Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

 

 

2 thoughts on “Football Friday 9/23/22”

  1. Actually, the Browns choke was worse than you said – it was at 1:55, not 2:02, they scored. The Jets had no timeouts, not even the 2 minute warning. The 66 yard TD came when the receiver ran a seam, the corner made a vague look at him low… and the safeties ignored him completely. You could have completed the pass.

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