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Wednesday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud.........
13) We know that most teams play one home game, one road game the first two weeks of the NFL season, but not everyone does that, so I took a day this summer, did a little research and looked up how teams who played their home/road opener after Week 2 did against the spread in those games.
This study goes from 1988-2010, except that we omitted 2001 numbers, since the Week 2 part of the schedule was played at the end of the season, because of there being no football on 9/16/01, five days after the terror attacks. I felt those were unique circumstances, so I left them out of the study.
12) Since 1988, Week 3 home favorites who played their first two games on road are 15-33, home underdogs are 5-11, for a total of 20-44 (31.3%) against the spread. Those are pretty strong numbers.
11) By way of contrast, Week 3 road teams that played the first two weeks at home are 44-31-1 against the spread, 10-9 as favorites, 34-22-1 as underdogs. There are several of these scenarios in the NFL this week.
10) Over the last 14 years, Detroit Lions are 0-7 against the spread as a road favorite; they last covered as a road fave at Tampa in 1996, under coach Wayne Fontes.
9) In two games, Dallas Cowboys have 10 sacks; they have a solid pass rush, but in those two games, Dallas opponents have only five penalties for 25 yards. Their opponents have dropped back to pass roughly 78 times and haven’t been called for holding once? Wow.
8) In their first two games, Chiefs lost the field position battle by 23/21 yards; its almost unheard of for a team to lose field position so badly two games in a row. Bills/Lions combined to start 10 of 27 drives in Detroit territory, scoring 55 points on those 10 drives.
7) Why don’t the Giants run the 2:00 offense the whole game? Seems to me that’s the only time Eli Manning looks comfortable playing football.
6) NFL trade deadline is Week 6. Bengals are asking for a #2 pick for Carson Palmer, whose value has to go down with each passing week. Mike Brown should realize that Joe Montana was a 3rd-round pick, cut his losses and compromise by trading Palmer for a lower pick, but still someone who could help his team down the road.
5) How much is Peyton Manning worth? Back in July the spread for all 256 games on this year’s NFL schedule. Colts opened in July as 1.5-point favorites against the Steelers this week; now, after two weeks of play, they’re 10.5-point home dogs.
4) In their first two games, Redskins were penalized six times for 40 yards; their opponents were flagged 18 times for 160 yards.
3) Eagles have allowed six touchdowns in two games, but four of the six came on drives of less than 50 yards.
2) Seahawks have been outscored 33-0 in first half of their two games; how soon before Charlie Whitehurst begins warming up in the bullpen? Would that help?
1) Interesting thing ESPN.com does is run an article by an anonymous athlete in each sport; today, NFL Player X pointed out that in an average offseason, he works out around 100 times between March-July.
This offseason, with the lockout, he worked out only four times, and he swears the lockout is responsible for terrible defense because blitzes have been dumbed down by defensive coaches. Interesting theory by someone who knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do.