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49ers (1-1) @ Bengals (1-1)-- Since 1988, Week 3 road underdogs who played their first two games at home are 34-22-1 vs spread; 49ers were +4 in turnovers the first two games, and won field position by 16-7 yards- their special teams are improved. Week 3 home favorites who played first two games on road are 15-33 vs spread. Bengals didn't turn ball over (+3) in first two games, starting six drives in enemy territory; since 2007, they're 5-19 as a favorite, since 2008, 1-9 as home favorite. Cincy is 11-18 coming off a loss; since '06, they're 7-13-1 as favorite of 3 or less points. Niners were 12-4-2 vs spread coming off a loss uner Singletary; they're 3-11 in last 14 games decided by 7 or less points, 1-8-1 in last 10 games as an underdog of 3 or less points.
Patriots (2-0) @ Bills (2-0)-- New England is 20-1 in last 21 series games, with seven straight wins here by an average score of 30-8; Bills scored 10 points or less in seven of last nine series games, but this Buffalo team has started season on a roll, scoring 79 points (10 TDs on 24 drives, eight TDs, two FGs in 10 red zone trips). Patriots have nine TDs on 21 drives, six of which were 78+ yards; they've covered 23 of last 31 as a single digit favorite, are 27-13 in last 40 games as a road favorite. Belichick is 45-18-1 vs spread in his last 64 games on foreign soil. Since '03, home dogs are 20-27 vs spread in AFC East divisional games. Since '08, Buffalo is 2-8-1 as a home dog; they're 1-5 vs spread in last six home games vs divisional rivals. Huge game for Buffalo's credibility.
Texans (2-0) @ Saints (1-1)-- Houston is much-improved, with good balance on offense (305 rushing yards, 424 passing) and solid defense (allowed 5.1/4.8 ypa), but will be sorely tested by Saints squad that covered nine of last 12 vs AFC teams, and is 12-8-1 in last 21 games as single digit favorite. Brees got the first down on 17 of 31 3rd down plays so far in '11; Saints are 9-4 last thirteen games decided by 7 or less points. Houston is 13-18-1 in last 32 games as road dog, 4-8-1 coming off win, 10-15-3 vs NFC teams. Phillips' defense has allowed only five first downs on 21 3rd down plays; he used to work for Saints when his dad was their coach. Home side won both series games, with Texans losing 31-10 here in '03. Dare I say potential Super Bowl matchup?
Giants (1-1) @ Eagles (1-1)—Health of Vick key issue here; as I type this, he is expected to play. Philly won last six series games, with average total in last four 63.3. Giants lost last two visits here 40-17/27-17- they were dumped from playoff contention LY by big Eagle comeback highlighted by Jackson’s PR for TD. Philly is just 2-7 vs spread in last nine games as divisional home favorites (10-1 in non-division); since ’07, they’re 15-9 coming off a loss. Giants are 24-15 coming off a win, 25-16 in last 41 road games, but they’re 3-5 in last eight games as road dog and lost at Washington in road opener two weeks ago. Big Blue has been outscored 24-7 in second half this year, has converted just 6-25 on 3rd down but they do have four TDs in five red zone trips. Eagles have nine sacks in two games; four of six TDs they allowed came on drives shorter than 50 yards; this is their first home game- Week 3 home favorites that played first two games on road are 15-33 vs spread.
Dolphins (0-2) @ Browns (1-1)—Miami defense allowed Brady/Schaub to complete 68.8% of passes in pair of home losses, now major drop down in class vs McCoy; Fish have only four TDs, two FGs in 10 red zone drives, need more production there. Dolphins are 17-7 vs spread on road under Sparano, 18-8-2 as road dog, 8-5 as dog of 3 or less points. Since ’04, fish are 21-9-1 as road dog in non-divisional games, but they’re also 19-32-1 since ’05 when coming off a loss. Since 2008, Browns are 10-15 vs spread at home, 2-7 when favored; they’re 9-14 in games decided by 7 or less points (Miami is 17-10). Cleveland is 13-9 as favorite of 3 or less points, 14-8 coming off win. In two games so far, Browns have 14 penalties for 121 yards, their opponents 7 for 43. Since 1988 (excluding 2001) Week 3 road underdogs that played first two games at home are 34-22-1 vs spread. Miami lost last three series games, losing two visits here, 22-0/41-31, with last visit in ’07.
Broncos (1-1) @ Titans (1-1)—Surprising that Tennessee holding its own so far despite running ball 42 times for 117 only yards; you expect more from team with Johnson at RB and former star lineman as head coach. Titans allowed only two TDs on 21 drives so far, with no TDs allowed in second half; they’ve allowed only three FGs in three red zone drives in splitting games with Jags/Ravens. Titans are 7-12 in last 19 games as non-divisional home favorite, 2-6 in last eight games as single digit fave, but they’re 23-18-1 coming off a win. Denver allowed 23-22 points in splitting pair of home games despite foes converting just 6-25 on 3rd down; Broncos are 9-15 as road dog, 11-23-1 coming off win; since ’07, they’re 12-20 vs spread on road.. Denver won five of last six series games, with last loss in ’95 to Oilers in Houston; Broncos won two visits here, 37-16/26-20. Average total in last 10 games between these old AFL rivals is 52.7. Week 3 road underdogs that played first two games at home are 34-22-1 vs spread.
Lions (2-0) @ Vikings (0-2)—Upstart Lions battling historical demons here, having lost 13 in row at this site, with five of last six losses here by 9+ points; they’re 3-20 in last 23 series games overall. Since 1997, Detroit is 0-7 as road favorite, with last cover coming in Tampa in ’96 under Wayne Fontes, but Vikings are 9-15-2 in last 26 games as underdog, 2-7 in last nine as home dog. Lions have nine TDs on 25 drives; Stafford has thrown 73 passes and hasn’t been sacked yet. Detroit has now won last six games that counted, covering six in row coming off win and last four when favored- they’re already +6 in turnovers, with 8 takeaways in two games. Minnesota led Bucs 17-0 at half in home opener last week, lost 24-20; they’ve been outscored 41-3 in second half of first two games- opponents converted 13 of 25 on 3rd down. Vikings have been penalized 143 yards in two games, almost twice as much (79) as their opponents. Since ’05, Minnesota is 15-26-3 as single digit dog.
Jaguars (1-1) @ Panthers (0-2)-- Carolina has 807 passing yards, 145 running as rookie QB Newton has done unexpectedly well, with all five TD drives 74+ yards, but defense allowed Kolb/Rodgers 10.2/9.5 ypa-- McCown will be less formidable a foe here. Jaguars scored only one offensive TD on 22 drives so far in 2011, despite outrushing foes 275-144- they've been outscored 31-6 in 2nd half of games. Panthers are 11-6-2 in last 19 games as favorite, 18-7 in last 25 games coming off a win, but the last 8+ years, they're 26-36-3 vs spread at home. Last 7+ years, Jaguars are 19-10-1 as road dog, but they're 9-16 coming off a loss. Home side won three of last four series games, with last two played here decided by total of 3 points. Average total in last three series games, 44.
Jets (2-0) @ Raiders (1-1)—Oakland blew 21-3 halftime lead in Buffalo last week, or else they’d be 2-0 heading into home opener; they outscored first two opponents 37-3 in first half, but got outscored 52-21 after halftime, with both games decided by a FG. As usual, Silver/Black have been flagged a lot (216 penalty yards in two games), to point where Jackson is bringing in refs during week to call penalties in practice. Jets have seven takeaways in two games (+3); they’re 6-2 as road favorite under Rex Ryan, and 17-11 in game following their last 28 wins. Gang Green is 23-16 in last 39 road games, 13-10 as a favorite, 11-8 as single digit favorite. Since ’03, Raiders are 21-41-1 vs spread at home, but they’re 6-5 in last 11 games as home dog, after being 9-19-1 from ’03-’08. Oakland is Jets won four of last five series games, winning 38-0 in last visit here two years ago. Last two years, AFC East road favorites are 8-3 vs spread in non-division games.
Chiefs (0-2) @ Chargers (1-1)—Slow-starting San Diego trailed first two games by 10-13 points at half, hard to lay 14+ points with unreliable team; they held Minnesota to 28 passing yards in Week 1 and still didn’t cover (won 24-17, -8.5). Kansas City lost first two games 41-7/48-3 to Bills/Lions, going -7 in turnovers, losing field position by 23/21 yards; they’ve allowed 55 points on 10 opponent drives (out of 27) that started in their territory. Last 7+ years, San Diego is 22-10-3 in game following a loss; they were -4 in turnovers in losing winnable game at Foxboro last week. Chargers won six of last seven series games, with Chiefs losing last three visits here by 1-29-31 points (74-14 last two years). Since ’06, Bolts are 5-7 as double digit favorite; Chiefs are 6-8 in last 14 games as road underdog, but 8-3 in last 11 games as double digit dog. San Diego is 11-5-1 in last 17 games as home favorite in a divisional game. Chiefs have nine turnovers (-7) in two games, are just 5-24 on 3rd down.
Ravens (1-1) @ Rams (0-2)—St Louis on short work week after poor showing on Monday night (first MNF game in five years); young players are making critical mistakes causing turnovers- Rams are only team to give up a defensive score in both games this season. Baltimore gave up 358 passing yards in Nashville last week, which gives Bradford hope; St Louis outgained Giants 367-300 Monday, but they’ve lost last 39 games where they lost turnover margin, so mistakes must be eliminated. Ravens are 15-17 in last 32 games decided by 7 or less points- since ’08 they’re 5-4 as a road favorite, after being 0-8 in such role from ’05-’07. Last three years, they’re 9-7 in game following a loss. Home team won last four series games, with Ravens losing last two visits here by 15-11 points. St Louis coaches made poor game management decisions last week, causing loyalists to doubt their competence. Ravens have AFC showdown with Jets on deck, making this a legitimate trap game for them.
Falcons (1-1) @ Buccaneers (1-1)—Atlanta is 17-6 under Smith in games decided by 7 or less points; they’re 14-6-1 in games where spread was 3 or less points, but they’ve allowed 61 points in first two games this year, and would be 0-2 had Vick not been KO’d last Sunday night. Falcons won last five series games, with three of five decided by 4 or less points; Atlanta won last two visits here, 20-10/28-24- average total in their last five visits here is 35.6. Tampa Bay is 3-13-1 vs spread at home under Morris, as road team is 26-6-2 in Morris regime after Bucs rallied to win 24-20 last week at Minnesota, after being down 17-0 at half. Falcons started 16 of 25 drives 80+ yards from goal line; they’ve averaged 5.3/5.6 ypa, in part because Ryan has already been sacked nine times. Tampa has only two TDs, three FGs in seven red zone drives-they’re 18-12 in game following their last 30 wins, Falcons are 12-8 in last 20. Last three years, Bucs are 6-9-3 in games where spread was 3 or less points.
Cardinals (1-1) @ Seahawks (0-2)—Arizona defense allowed 932 yards in first two games to Newton/Grossman, but they’ve only allowed three TDs, three FGs in nine red zone trips- all five TDs they’ve allowed have been on drives of 73+ yards. Seattle won both series games LY, 22-10/36-18, first time in three years they beat Arizona here, but QB tables have been turned, with Arizona now having far superior signal-caller (Kolb over Jackson). Seahawks lost first two games 33-17/24-0, getting outscored 33-0 in first half, giving up 10 sacks while running ball 35 times for 95 yards (2.7) so OL is big concern, especially with Gallery out. Last 3+ years, Seattle is 4-7 in games decided by 7 or less points, Arizona 10-8. Redbirds are 5-2 in last seven games as road favorite. Since 1988, Week 3 home underdogs who played first two games on road are 5-11 vs spread. Last 4+ years, home underdogs are 8-12 vs spread in NFC West divisional games.
Packers (2-0) @ Bears (1-1)—Over last seven years, Chicago is 6-1 vs spread as home underdog in divisional games, but Green Bay won four of last five in this ancient rivalry, with average total in last six meetings 32.2; Pack won two of last three visits here, including win eight months ago in NFC title game. Pack scored 72 points in first two games (eight TDs on 19 drives, only one less than 76 yards), but they’ve also given up 800 passing yards in two games (Brees/Newton). Over last 3+ years, Packers are just 8-16 in games decided by 7 or less points- over last 5+ years, they’re 26-13-1 vs spread in last 40 road games. Since ’05, Chicago is 10-6 as home underdog; Packers are 14-10-1 in last 25 games as road favorite. Vutler has been sacked 11 times in two games, as loss of C Kreutz (to Saints) takes its toll on Bears’ OL; they’ve gone 3-out on 13 of 25 drives, converting only 8 of 28 on 3rd down, which has hurt their field position (-2/-12 in two games).
Steelers (1-1) @ Colts (0-2)—Pittsburgh won 14 of last 17 games in seldom-played (recently) series, splitting four visits to Indy. This is only fifth time teams have met since ’98, Manning’s rookie year. Steelers don’t have takeaway yet (-7); they’ve gone 3-out on nine of 19 drives as Roethlisberger still appears hampered by offseason foot injury. Of Pitt’s four TDs this year, only one was a drive longer than 68 yards. Dreadful Indy has two TDs, nine 3-outs on 22 drives with newly-signed Collins (35-69) at QB; they’re just 5-23 on 3rd down, have lost field position by 5-20 yards in losses by 27-9 points. Colts have only two TDs, two FGs in six red zone drives. Steelers are 19-22 vs spread on road last 5+ years, 11-16 in last 27 games as road favorite, 5-12 as non-divisional road fave, 21-25-1 in game following a win. Since 2002, Pittsburgh is 6-13 as double digit favorite. Colts are 7-17 vs spread in game following their last 24 losses.
Redskins (2-0) @ Cowboys (1-1)—Romo showed major guts in leading comeback win last week with busted rib/punctured lung, now he faces rival Redskins in Dallas home opener. Since 2004, Dallas is 4-12-1 vs spread as home favorite in divisional games. Cowboys won four of last five in series, with three of four wins by 4 or less points. Redskins lost four of last five visits to this site, with only one loss by more than five points. Four of last five series totals were 24 or less. Dallas is 9-12 in last 21 games as home favorites; they’re 9-7 in games following a win. Redskin defense allowed only 4-19 conversions on 3rd down, as Washington won field position in both wins, by 7-8 yards; they’ve got seven sacks and had defensive TD that put them ahead against Giants. Since 1988, Week 3 home favorites who played on road first two weeks are 15-33 vs spread; Week 3 road underdogs who played first two games at home are 34-22-1. One-dimensional Cowboys have 753 passing yards, only 109 on the ground.
Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday........
13) In their three games so far, Vikings led 17-7, 17-0, 20-0 at halftime, but they've lost all three games. Not sure this has ever happened before, but it ain't good, especially for a team with an old quarterback. Lions won in the Metrodome for the first time in 14 years, 26-23 in OT. Roar has been Restored!!!!!!!!!!!
Minnesota has outscored its three opponents 54-7 in the first half, and yet they're 0-3. Vikings are 1 for 15 on third downs in the second half this year while their opponents are 13 for 22- they were outgained 190-6 in the third quarter by Detroit Sunday. Getting consistently outplayed after halftime means the coaching staff isn't making good adjustments.
12) Detroit is now 3-0 for the first time since 1980; Buffalo is also 3-0, as they rallied back from down 21-0 to beat Patriots 34-31. Its good for the NFL when these previously downtrodden franchises get invigorated. Its even better for Spooky!!!!!! Both teams were my surprise picks this year as posted right here on the Express a few weeks ago. Fvck yeah!!
11) Bills had the ball 12 times Sunday; they started 10 of the 12 drives 80+ yards from the goal line- they had TD drives of 95/96 drives, but the four INTs of Brady, including one in the red zone, were also huge.
10) Very bad day for the Eagles, losing at home to the Giants, and losing Michael Vick to multiple injuries, including a broken right hand. Not sure how long a broken bone in his non-throwing hand will keep him out.
9) Anyone want to vent about the Rams yet, but lets say its pretty damn sad when I'm thumbing thru an NFL Media Guide on September 25 looking for assistant coaches who might coach the team next year. Their talent level isn't this bad, but the thing that has to irk you was punting twice in the last 7:00 last Monday, when they trailed 28-16. Never give up.
They simply were not ready to play against the Ravens Sunday. I'll let you decide whose responsibility that is.
8) Early in second quarter of the Jet-Raider game, there was a play when they called both intentional grounding and roughing the passer; pretty sure I've never seen those two things called on the same play before.
7) 85 pass attempts in Buffalo, no sacks. Bills are only team in the last 60 years to win in consecutive weeks, overcoming deficits of 18+ points in both games. In their two home games, they've been outscored 41-3 in the first half. Buffalo trailed 21-0 Sunday, but now they're in 1st place.
6) Bizarre weather just before halftime made Jacksonville-Carolina game a little weird; a monsoon blew thru Charlotte, making the field a quagmire, but Jaguars somehow went 76 yards in two plays in 0:17 for their only TD of the game. Field remained soaked the rest of the game, which made the footballs wet, giving the two rookie QBs even more trouble.
Cam Newton didn't have a great day (18-34/158) but he did what really good QBs do; with game on the line in cruddy weather, he led his team to the winning TD. It wasn't pretty, but it is his first NFL win.
5) As for home teams who played their first two games on the road, they were 2-2, with underdogs covering all four games. Road teams that played their first two games at home were 1-3 SU, 3-1 vs spread, with underdogs covering all four of those games too.
4) At 3:40 Sunday afternoon, with eight early games in the fourth quarter, all of them had a scoring margin of six or less points. Good stuff.
3) Over was 22-8-2 in NFL's first two weeks, but under made comeback Sunday, going 9-5. 14 TDs were scored in Week 1 on either special teams or defense, but since then, defenses have scored five TDs in 31 games, as two were scored in the Steeler-Colt game, with no special teams scores the last two weeks. My Rams gave up two of those five TDs in the last two weeks- their offense has allowed a defensive score in all three games this season. Terrific.
2) Teams that lost the turnover battle were 2-9 Sunday, as Chargers (-14) and Saints (-4) won close games at home (20-17/40-33), despite having turnover ratios of -1. Thru three weeks, the team with fewer turnovers in 28-6 SU. In the 12 games where turnovers were even, favorites are 7-5 vs the spread. Overall, favorites are 19-24-3 against the spread.
1) Five teams didn't turn the ball over Sunday; Minnesota was the only loser, but they played Detroit, who also didn't commit a turnover. Other three teams won their games by 6-10-13 points.
Onto the worst of the weekend as a means to waste time before tonight's most excellent Monday Night Football game.
Tom Brady - HAHAHAHA!!! You suck, Ugg Boy!!! That was awesome. Fuck New England. I just want to remind everyone to stop buying Patriots stock. They can't run the ball at all. But you should be buying Bills stock! GO BUFFALO!!! Remember who picked them to make the playoffs? THIS FUCKER! Bow down to a honky that's greater than you.
Ocho Stinko - Dropped a wide open touchdown...I love it. Man this game was just an assload of fun to watch. By the way, if you're a black guy in the Patriots offense, you probably suck.
Jerome Simpson and CedBen - Come on, who has pounds of weed MAILED to them? That's just bad smoking. Am I the only one that would love to hear Benson's appeal? I bet that it's hilarious. And the Bengals still suck.
Colt McCoy - Still sucks. The Browns are probably the worst 2-1 team ever. WTF Peyton Hillis? My son didn't draft you to get mouth herpes! The Madden Curse is now attacking dude's throats.
Chris Johnson - Pretty much blows at this point. He doesn't even have 100 yards rushing on the season yet. At least he got paid.
Leslie Frazier - Three straight weeks, the Vikings have blown double digit leads. My favorite play call ever was Minny going for it on 4th and 1, using Peterson as a decoy, and giving an unsuccessful attempt to a white guy named Toby.
Defenses down South - NE/BUF is going to get a ton of publicity, but the HOU/NO game was just as sick.
The "Dream Team" - 1-2, Ape, you faggot! Vick gets hurt again. You can't even beat a SHIT Giants team at home. Mike Kafka looked rightfully terrible. That OL is HORRENDOUS. I guess football isn't as easy as signing all the free agents available and telling them to win a Super Bowl. The Lions are better and sexier.
Weather in Charlotte - Cam vs. Blaine was going to be rotten anyway and the tsunami made it even worse. Whatever, it was the Panthers and Jags...no one cares.
Fuck Yeah, Jim Schwartz! - "There was a little confusion after the kick, with officials blowing their whistles and holding off the celebration. But this was a long time coming for the Lions, and coach Jim Schwartz could be heard over the referee’s microphone yelling “Learn the fucking rules!” as he jogged toward his handshake with the Vikings’ Leslie Frazier." I love Jim Schwartz.
That one guy on the Falcons that jumped offsides on 4th and 1 - The reaction of the ATL DC to that fuck-up was priceless. OH MY FUCKING GOD! A lot of drops by Hot Roddy White, too. That's not good. By the way, the Falcons are a concussion away from 0-3...that's not good.
The NFC West - Just stop televising these games. Please. How do these teams even get fans into the stadium. How many people actually said this week, "Yeah, I'm going down to Qwest on Sunday. The Cardinals are in town!"
Flashy celebrations - Call me old fashioned, but I prefer Larry Fitzgerald's celebration of "catch horribly thrown Kolb pass, hand ball to ref, and jog to bench". It's nice.
San Diego - Beating the Chiefs by 3...that's repugnant.
Jay Cutler and the rest of the Bears offense - The best part about this game? After every play in the second half, Soldier Field was nothing but boos toward Mike Martz's "offense". Cutler was awful. No one can catch. Dane Sanzenbacher still has a job for some reason. World keeps spinnin'.
Rex Ryan - Nice defense. There will be no goddamn snacks or toe suckings on the plane ride back to NYC. Are the Raiders good? I feel like they might be. I mean, they are about 20 seconds from being undefeated and their only competition within the division can only beat KC by a field goal. Yeah, I think the AFC Title game is going to be a rematch between the Raiders and Bills. I would watch the shit out of that game. And obvz, in the NFC it will be Tampa Bay at Detroit. Greatest Final Four ever?