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-- This week is the first one since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger that there are no divisional games on the schedule. Not one.
-- Pablo Sandoval became 4th player to hit for cycle against Rockies, all four at Coors Field. Sandoval had cycle in sixth inning.
-- Last night was 105th time LSU-Mississippi State played football, but first time when both teams were nationally ranked.
-- What does ESPN see in Chris James as a game analyst? Jesse Palmer is surprisingly good; James is abrasive and hard to listen to. Plus, he had a college football coach fired because the guy didn't play his kid. Jerk.
-- Buffalo Bills have the most guys who weigh 300+ pounds-- 16.
-- ESPN reports that Justin Rose is leading a PGA Tour event after the first round for the 12th time, but won only one of previous eleven.
Friday's List of 13: Things I'm looking for this weekend.......
13) How will Michael Vick be received in Atlanta Sunday night?
12) Over the last decade, favorite is 8-0 vs spread in Baltimore’s next game after beating the Steelers, with Ravens 4-0 when favored, so they haven’t lost to lesser teams coming off their big win.
11) Auburn weaseled out two home wins when they looked dead in both games; now their inexperienced squad heads on road for first time, visiting a Clemson team that lost on the Plains by a FG LY. Should be fun.
10) How will the Lions do in a game they’re expected to win? Records I have go back 10 years; Detroit hasn't been favored to win a game by 7+ points since at least 2000. Restore the Roar!
9) UCLA thought they had a breakthrough win at Texas LY, but then the Longhorns fell apart, so the win wound up not looking so good. Now Texas is visiting Pasadena, and both sides might use three QBs. Its never good when a team uses three QBs in the first half.
8) All these new NFL stadiums are nice, but tickets are so expensive now, they’ve priced a lot of avid fans out of attending games, so wine/cheese crowd goes and they don’t make much noise. Winner of the Charger-Patriot game is the early favorite to win the AFC. Tom Brady has asked for better crowd support this week. We’ll see if the Foxboro faithful put their Cabernet down long enough to make some noise.
7) Cam Newton was off the charts in his debut last week, but was it his advanced skill, or Arizona’s hideous pass defense? The defending champs are in Charlotte this week, a much tougher test for young Mr Newton.
6) Can Tampa Bay win at least three of four in Fenway and keep the AL Wild Card race interesting? The two losses during week in Baltimore didn’t help their cause any.
5) Temple is only an 8.5-point home underdog against Penn State; this spread tells me the Owls have a chance to spring a huge upset. Nittany Lions aren’t getting good QB play, which you need to win on road, but Temple is stepping up way up in class this week after crushing putrid Akron last week.
4) Denver Broncos are 5-22-1 vs spread in their last 28 games as a home favorite; some of the crowd wanted Tebow to play in relief of Orton Monday night, so Denver needs to beat the Bengals, in a game that is probably the most points Denver will be favored by all season, and Orton needs to do enough to shut the critics up.
3) Can Notre Dame win a game? I mean, not like Denard Robinson is freakin’ Dan Fouts, but the Wolverine QB was 7-10/202 with three TDs against the Irish last week, in the fourth quarter alone. Michigan State’s senior QB Cousins is a way better passer than Robinson, though he doesn’t possess the running threat. This is an interesting game.
2) Raiders have a very short work and a very long road trip as Buffalo tries for a 2-0 start; Bills looked tough in crushing the Chiefs last week, but hard to tell how much of it was Buffalo’s improvement and how much was the Chiefs not being very good. Winner of this game will be a surprising 2-0.
1) Rams lost Jackson/Amendola to injury last week, but at least Bradford will play in the Swamp; St Louis has to stay close early, put ton of pressure on immobile Eli Manning and hope fickle Swamp fans turn on Big Blue. This is Rams’ first Monday night game in five years. Both sides are very hungry for a win.