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Seahawks (4-2) @ 49ers (4-2)—No love lost between HCs since they were Pac-10 rivals; Harbaugh’s Stanford team once beat Carroll’s USC squad as 41-point underdogs, but he is favored here, coming off 26-3 loss to Giants, his first non-cover (10-1) as home favorite with 49ers, whose four wins are all by 8+ points. Underdog is 6-0 vs spread in Seattle games this year, with five of six games decided by 6 or less points; Hawks were favored in two of three road games- they’ve scored only 15 ppg in three road tilts (1-2, with losses by 4-6 points). 49ers are 16-4-2 vs spread in game following their last 22 losses. Two SF losses came in games where they were minus in turnovers; they were -3 last week, are +2 for years, +30 in 22 regular season games under Harbaugh. Seattle has turned ball over eight times (-4) in three road games. Keep in mind NFC underdogs are 32-5 vs spread this year, 4-1 as divisional road dogs.
Titans (2-4) @ Bills (3-3)—Buffalo lost its last 12 pre-bye games (3-8-1 vs spread, 1-4 last five when favored); they’ve lost seven of last eight games with Titans, including last four in row by average (23-17 LY), with average total in those four, 50.3. Tennessee has extra prep time after upsetting Steelers last Thursday, but teams are 3-7 this year coming off Wed/Thurs games- since start of ’10, Titans are 5-10 vs spread in game following a win. Buffalo allowed 17-14-16 points in its wins, 48-52-45 in losses; favorites covered five of their six games this year (Bills 2-0 as favorite in ’12, 7-11-1 as home favorites since ‘08). Tennessee won three of last four visits here, where fans will be fired up with all four AFC East teams tied for first at 3-3. AFC East non-divisional favorites are 5-3 vs spread, 3-2 at home; AFC South non-divisional road dogs are 1-4. Three of last four Titan games, four of six Buffalo games went over total.
Cardinals (4-2) @ Vikings (4-2)—Larry Fitzgerald goes home to Metrodome, where Cardinals lost last seven visits (27-24ot/34-10 last two years); Arizona has injury issues at QB, with Kolb/Skelton both having been KO’d from games this year. Redbirds lost last two games, scoring one TD on 25 drives, after scoring nine TDs on 49 drives in 4-0 start. Dogs are 6-0 vs spread in Arizona games; Cards are 5-3 in last eight games as a road dog. Minnesota gave up total of 33 points in three consecutive wins, then goes to Washington and gives up 38 points to rookie QB in game where they outgained Skins by 60 yards, but did turn ball over three times. Vikings are 3-0 at home this year, winning by 3-11-23 points; they’re 2-4 vs spread in last six games as a home fave. NFC West non-divisional dogs are 9-1 vs spread, 5-1 on road; NFC North non-divisional home favorites are 4-3. Five of six Arizona games, four of last five Viking games stayed under total.
Browns (1-5) @ Colts (2-3)—Two rookie QBs and an interim coach in this game, good one to skip. Cleveland’s 27-19 win here LY was its first in six series games, with average total in last four meetings, 24.0; Browns are coming off first win of year, revenge win over Bengals where Cincy outgained them by 110 yards but turned ball over four times. Cleveland is 3-5-2 vs spread in game following its last 10 wins- they’re 0-3 on road, allowing 32.7 ppg in losses by 7-7-14 points. Indy is 2-3 with both wins by FG; they’re 2-1 at home, giving up 80-yard TD pass in last 2:00 in only loss. Browns need to make hay on ground; Indy allowed average of 192.7 rushing yards/game in last three games. Cleveland allowed 23+ points in each of last five games; Colts are 2-0 when they score 23+. AFC South teams are 2-2 as non-divisional favorite (they’ve been dog in 11 of 15 non-div games); AFC North teams are 3-3 as non-divisional underdogs.
Ravens (5-1) @ Texans (5-1)—Ravens won last two weeks by total of 5 points despite allowing 214-227 rushing yards, and having 10-yard deficits in field position in both games; Baltimore defense crippled with Webb/Lewis out for year, so expecting Ravens to become more of offense-driven team. Ravens won four games in row, with three of four wins by 3 or less points—underdogs covered their last five games. Houston got waxed in primetime Sunday night, as quality of opponent improved; since ’07, they’re 17-12-3 as home favorite. Since ’08, Ravens are 11-6-1 as road dogs. Texans are have never beaten (0-6) Baltimore, losing twice to them LY, including 20-13 in Charm City playoff game- Ravens are 3-0 here, winning by 4-28-6 points. Houston is 7-3 vs spread in pre-bye games; Ravens won three of their last four such games. Four of six Baltimore games, three of last four Texan games went over total.
Packers (3-3) @ Rams (3-3)—Third straight road game (historic weak spot) for Green Bay, which woke up bigtime last week and pounded Texans in primetime; defense had six takeaways (+6), after having total of five in first five games. Pack won last three series games by 19-19-21 points; this is huge upgrade in opposing QB for stout Ram defense, which faced three rookies/Kolb in first six games (Stafford/Cutler other two). Ram offense is awful in red zone (3.79 per trip, well below NFL average), and with shaky OL/Amendola out, they’re even worse, but St Louis is 3-0 at home, allowing 14.7 ppg- they’ve given up 11 ppg in last three games (three TD’s on 31 drives). Packers scored 28-27-42 points in last three games; they’re 1-2 on road, losing in Seattle/Indy by total of five points, but loss at Seattle was bogus. NFC West non-divisional home dogs are 4-0 vs spread; NFC North favorites are 4-7, 1-3 on road.
Cowboys (2-3) @ Panthers (1-4)—Dallas is 8-3 in this series, 4-2 here, with both losses in playoff games; Pokes won last four series games by average score of 25-18. Cowboys lost three of last four games, allowing 27-34-31 points (four TD’s on defense/special teams)- they’ve held foes to 17-10 points in wins. Carolina was held under 400 yards in three of five games; they scored 10-7-12 points in those games. Only one of five opponents (Bears, 360) gained more than 316 vs Dallas. Cam Newton hasn’t played as well this year; Panthers lost last two home games, scoring 9.5 ppg (1 TD/19 drives)- their only win was over dysfunctional Saints, but Carolina has won five of last seven post-bye games. NFC East non-divisional favorites are 2-8 vs spread, 0-4 on road; NFC South teams are 4-5 SU in non-divisional home games (favored in all nine). Garrett/ Romo combo under fire for shaky time management in last minute of LW’s loss at Baltimore- this is game they have to have.
Redskins (3-3) @ Giants (4-2)—Little bit of trap game for Big Blue, after convincing 49er win last week and with hated Cowboys on deck, but Redskins swept series (28-14/23-10) LY, after losing nine of previous ten series games, so Giants do have revenge motive of sorts. Redskins lost six of last eight visits here, but finally have franchise QB in rookie Griffin, whose offense has been held under 24 points in only one of six games- they’ve been plus in turnovers in five of six games (+9) and were even in 6th game. Skins won SU both times they’ve been favored this year, with no losses by more than seven points. Giants won four of last five games, covered last four- their last three wins are by 29-14-23 points. Big Blue is 1-2 as home favorite; road team covered five of their six games. Divisional favorites are 6-7 vs spread this season, 1-4 in NFC. Five of six Redskin games went over total; three of last four Giant games stayed under.
Saints (1-4) @ Buccaneers (2-3)—Saints are still scoring points; they’ve scored 24+ in all five games, but they’re not running ball well (83 or less yards in all four losses). Teams split season series last four years, going 2-2 in each park; Saints lost four of last six visits here. Bucs held three of five opponents to 16 or less points, but they also gave up 25 points in 4th quarter to Giants, and Brees’ offense is as explosive as that one. Tampa Bay allowed 10 points in both wins; 16-41-24 in losses- they should throw parade for Schiano if he holds NO to 10 points. Dogs covered four of five Buc games; Tampa is 2-1 at home, with only loss 24-22 to Redskins. Saints are 5-8 in last 13 tries as road favorite; they scored 27 points in both road games this year, but lost both anyway- they won/covered last three post-bye games, scoring 48-34-49 points, but those games were with Payton as coach, under normal circumstances. Four of five Saint games, three of last four Tampa Bay games went over total.
Jets (3-3) @ Patriots (3-3)—Way to beat the Patriots is thru air; they’ve allowed 7.2+ yards/pass attempt in each of last four games, one of only two teams (Titans) to do that. Brady was sub-par in red zone in Seattle, scoring one TD, three FG’s on six visits in 24-23 loss; NE averaged 3.79 pts/red zone drive in its three losses, 5.93 in wins—they’ll move ball between 20’s vs anyone. Jets are 6-8 as road dog under Ryan; they’ve allowed only one TD, three FGs in red zone last two games, after getting crushed 34-0 at home by 49ers. Since ’05, Patriots are 28-28-1 vs spread as home favorite, 9-12 in division games. Pats won 30-21/37-16 in LY’s meetings, also beat Tebow’s Broncos 41-23/45-10; after Sparano sprung Wildcat on NE and upset them in its debut, Patriots have learned to defend it. Last nine series games were decided by 9+ points; Jets lost three of last four visits here, with losses by 17-42-9 points, and win in ’10 playoffs. Last four New England games went over total.
Jaguars (1-4) @ Raiders (1-4)—Oakland hired Denver’s DC as its new head coach, so of course they stink on defense, allowing 31.5 ppg in last four games (14 TD’s on last 43 drives); since ’06, Raiders are 4-14 vs spread as home favorites, 0-1 this year- their only win was 34-31 upset of Steelers four weeks ago. In their history, Jags were underdog in only two of 17 post-bye games (9-8 SU), failing to cover either; they’ve played better on road this year, with both away games (1-1) coming down to last minute- they got smoked in all three home games. Jags are giving up average of 163 rushing yards/game, would expect Oakland to try and pound ball to take stress off defense. Jax won four of five series games, with only loss in first meeting (‘96); they’ve won two of three visits here, with average total in three games, 22.7. AFC South non-divisional road dogs are 1-4 against spread. Three of last four Jaguar games stayed under the total.
Steelers (2-3) @ Bengals (3-3)—Since 2006, Pitt is just 11-17-1 vs spread in games where line was 3 or less points; Cincy covered 11 of last 17 such games. Steelers won four in row, nine of last 11 series games, with average score in last four meetings, 27-13; they’ve won 10 of last 11 visits here, in what has been lopsided rivalry. Pitt has issues on OL; only once in its five games have they run ball for more than 75 yards. Steelers allowed 10-14 points in its two wins, 26+ in its three losses; they had three extra days to rest/prep here after damaging loss in Nashville last week. Bengals were 3-1, then lost to Miami/Browns last two weeks, turning ball over seven times; they’re now -7 in turnovers for season- if they don’t clean that up, this’ll be another long season. Cincy won three of last four pre-bye games, but since ’91, they’re 4-8 vs spread as underdog in pre-bye tilts. All three Steeler road games, and four of six Bengal games went over total.
Lions (2-3) @ Bears (4-1)—Chicago’s four wins are all by 16+ points; their only loss was on very short week at Lambeau. Bears are 2-0 as home favorites this year, beating lesser foes by 20-17 points- since ’05, they’re 8-6 as a divisional home favorite. Bears already have 17 takeaways this year (+9), trait of Smith’s better teams. Undisciplined Lions have allowed six TD’s on defense/special teams; they won at Philly last week despite being penalized 16 times for 132 yards. Three of five Detroit games were decided by 4 or less points, with two of last three going OT; dogs covered four of their five games. Chicago won seven of last eight series games, winning last four here by average score of 33-19; Lions ended long series skid with home win LY. Bears won five of last six post-bye games, including win as an 8-point dog LY. Bears are averaging 4.8 explosive (20+ yards) plays per game; Lions allowed a total of three in their last two games.
In case you missed the CFB thread here is a quick wrap up posted here on the NFL express
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a college football Saturday.......
13) I'm old enough to remember how helpless Kansas State's football team was before Bill Snyder came to Manhattan; the coaching job he's done with the Wildcats ranks up there with any in the history of the game. K-State went to Morgantown and crushed West Virginia 55-14. Could the national championship trophy be coming to the Little Apple?
12) Well, they'd have to beat Alabama to win the national title, and it does not look too likely that the Crimson Tide is losing anytime soon. Alabama went to Knoxville and methodically drubbed the Vols 44-13. All of this because Nick Saban chose Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees when he was coaching the Dolphins. Otherwise, he'd still be in Miami.
11) Congrats to the Duke Blue Devils, who scored a TD with 0:13 left to not only beat rival North Carolina, but to become bowl eligible for first time since 1993. Tar Heels lost in Durham for first time since 1988.
10) Baylor's defensive coordinator better start looking for a new job; Bears lost 56-50 to Texas, have now lost games this year when they scored 63 and 50 points. Either that, or allocate more recruiting assets to defense.
9) Unbeaten Rutgers was down 10-0 at half at Temple, but did what good teams do; they spanked the Owls in second half, and won 35-10. Knights and Louisville are a pair of unbeatens in the Big East.
8) Louisiana Tech is really good; they had a 56-21 lead at halftime of a 70-28 demolition of an overmatched Idaho squad. If Tech scored 57 points on Texas A&M last week, you know they're torching WAC defenses.
7) Northwestern led Nebraska 28-16 with 7:00 left, but collapsed down the stretch and lost 29-28 to the Cornhuskers, who threw the ball for 342 yards. Looked a lot like their late collapse in a loss at Penn State.
6) This happened Friday night, but it bears mentioning; SMU scored four TDs on defense in a bizarre 72-42 win over favored Houston. They ran back three INTs for scores and also ran a fumble back, as Cougars turned ball over nine times. Did I mention Houston was favored?
5) When San Diego State beat Colorado State last week, they didn't have a penalty, the first time since 1973 they went penalty-less in a game.
4) The new SEC schedule is creating scnearios where teams are playing three quality teams on consecutive Saturdays, which rarely happened until now. West Virginia/South Carolina looked awful this week, and that is a big reason why. Up until now, teams would put in a bye week before their bigger games. This is more like an NFL schedule.
3) Penn State had lost eight of its last nine games against Iowa, but they went to Iowa City and thrashed the Hawkeyes, 38-14, fifth win in a row for Bill O'Brien's club, after an 0-2 start.
2) You wait and see; if K-State QB Collin Klein becomes frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, NBC and other Notre Dame apologists will push for Irish LB Monti Te'o to become the first defensive winner of the award.
1) UL-Monroe did it again, winning 43-42 in OT at Western Kentucky; down 42-35 in OT, the Warhawks scored a TD, then went for the win and got it, adding another chapter in the story of what will soon become their first winning season at the I-A level.
Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday..........
13) Before this weekend's games, according to The Gold Sheet, which knows stuff, if Alabama played Oregon on a neutral field, Bama would be a 4-point favorite; if Crimson Tide played Kansas State on a neutral field, they would be a 12-point favorite (that figure will be lower this week after K-State's 55-14 win at West Virginia).
All of which would make Oregon an 8-point favorite over K-State (as we said before, that figure will be lower this week). We will keep an eye on these numbers as the season goes along.
12) In their three wins, Buffalo allowed 17-14-16 points.
In their four losses, Bills allowed 48-52-45-35 points. Heading into this week, was there a living human who thought the Titans would score 35 in a road win? Excellent comeback led by Matt Hasselbeck.
11) Redskins scored on a 30-yard pass with 1:31 left to grab a 23-20 lead at Swamp Stadium, in what would've been their third win in a row against their division rival Giants, but then they somehow allowed Victor Cruz to get behind their defense, and 77 yards and 0:19 later, Giants had pulled out a 27-23 win.
Washington had 242 rushing yards, 232 passing, but turned ball over four times and kicked FGs on both their red zone visits. Hands down though, Washington is great fun to watch this year with RGIII under center.
10) Dallas Cowboys are struggling on offense, scoring 19 or less points in four of last five games; their coaches are also struggling getting personnel in and out of games- they used a timeout late at Carolina, narrowly avoiding a 12-man-on-field penalty on defense (they had 14 or 15).
Giants visits Big D with a revenge motive next week; Dallas coaches need to have it figured out better by then. Daryl Johnston was working the game on FOX; you could tell by his voice he was a little exasperated.
9) Only two 4:25 games this week: Jets-Patriots and Jaguars-Raiders, not very attractive. Only two 4:25 games next week: Giants-Dallas and Chiefs-Raiders, a little better, but not really that much better.
8) This is Sam Bradford's third season with Rams; he's had 23 different offensive linemen block for him, 30+ players catch passes. Too many.
7) If you care about such things, all seven Bowling Green games stayed under the total; they're the only I-A team without an over this season.
6) Tampa Bay Bucs had a 95-yard pass from Freeman-to-Jackson, but didn't score on the drive, and didn't turn the ball over- they were stopped on downs at the 2-yard line. That doesn't happen very often.
5) A movie named Paranormal Activity took in $30.2M last week; Hopefully everyone that paid to see it had a great time.
4) Steelers got terrific win in Cincinnati Sunday night, their first cover in last six road games; they ran ball for 160+ yards after a rough start. Pitt has now won eight of last nine visits to southwestern Ohio.
3) Cincinnati Bengals didn't have plays longer than 17 yards Sunday night, making them the second team this year (Seattle, Week 4) not to have at least one play of 20+ yards. Pittsburgh had eight explosive plays.
2) Arizona Cardinals had ball six times in first half Sunday at Minnesota; four of the six drives started in Viking territory, yet Redbirds scored only seven points. Big reason why Minnesota won.
1) It is October 22; Cardinals have played one game outdoors.
Speaking of October 22, forty years ago today the Oakland A's won the first of three consecutive World Series titles; that was a 1:00 game. It was a pretty nice day for a 12 year old kid from New Jersey.
Imagine that though.....in 1972, Game 7 of World Series started at 1pm.
Mario Williams - OK, this Bills defense has to be the worst in the league. Exactly what are they paying him for? They were supposed to be good and instead prefer to give up 200 yards rushing to Chris Johnson's corpse.
Josh Gordon - It's hard to hate this kid too much since he is the lone weapon in the Browns pass game but that drop was brutal. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and blame the sun but still, that cost them a victory.
Pat Shurmur - There isn't a bigger pussy of a coach out there. 4th and 1 from the 40 with 4 minutes to go and you have Trent Richardson and you are playing a terrible defense so why not punt. Cowardly.
The Cardinals - Remember when they were 4-0? They're still terrible and always have been.
Schedule Makers - 8 early games and 2 late games? WHY? Makes no sense. Get rid of these garbage Thursday night games in which no team ever plays well because they are still beat up from the previous week.
Joe Flacco - Not ELITE. I am truly enjoying the complete destruction of this Ravens team. If you aren't as well then what is wrong with you?
Dez Bryant - DEAD! Thank God, too, because I'm growing tired of hearing about how good this shithead is when he just isn't.
Cammy Cam Cam - He's just a bad QB and a total fair weather athlete.
Vincent Jackson - Wow, I think that TB would have beaten the Saints if he wasn't slower than Brady. That was the complete opposite of SEC speed. That was Big Ten speed. You just knew that the Bucs were going to get beat when you saw that they wearing the orange cream uniforms because those threads NEVER win.
The Redskins Secondary - That fucking game was theirs. First place in the East was theirs. Eli was making dumb faces all over the field. And then they just decided to let Vic Cruz dance into the secondary for a game-winning touchdown with ease. I'm not going to say that they are better than the Giants, but they were yesterday. Stupid turnovers killed them.
Jason Pierre-Paul - Stop doing that Gangnam shit, fag. That was maybe cool a month ago but it definitely is not anymore. You're gay, JPP.
Chad Henne - HE'S BACK MOTHERFUCKERS and still just as shitty as you remembered.
Maurice Jones-Drew - "That's what happens when you hold out".--what an idiot would say. Expect to see Rashad Jennings hilariously vultured off the waiver wire this week followed by everyone complaining about why they wasted their priority on a Jags RB.
Mark Sanchez - That was an excellent football game by those two foes and I am being 100% serious when I say that. For a team with a horrible offense and Timmy Tens wasting everyone's time and energy and psalms, the Jets are a scrappy bunch and Sanchise was better than you would expect (which is not much). Yet the play of the week was his weirdo kick on that safety. That was tremendous. Stephen Hill's Greg Little impression was also ELITE.
That will do it for this week's NFL talk. How funny is it that ultimate tough guy, Roger Goodell, finally backed down from the Saints. WHAT A PUSS! I didn't even know that Paul Tagliabue was still alive. Apparently, yes, he is. Please make a note of it.