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13) Coming into this week, NFL teams that were +2 or better in turnovers were 52-8SU; on a strange November Sunday this week, they were 6-3, as the three teams who lost in OT all led by double figures at one point. Jags, Browns, Panthers, all teams trying to learn how to win. It ain't easy.
12) Six teams didn't turn the ball over this week; they all won. If you're an underdog and don't create turnovers or score on special teams, how do you beat a superior opponent?
11) Falcons won one of weirdest games in recent memory, beating Arizona 23-19 despite turning ball over six times on 15 drives. Matt Ryan threw three INTs in first quarter, but Cardinals were so inept on offense they benched starting QB Skelton in favor of San Diego State rookie Lindley after he was 2-7 passing to start the game.
Matt Ryan is first QB since 1967 (Bart Starr) to throw five INTs in a win, with no TD passes. Green Bay won the Super Bowl that year.
Redbirds started five drives in Atlanta territory, and scored 13 points. On a day when the Falcons tried to give a game away, Arizona wouldn't take it.
10) New Orleans scored four TDs on nine drives, added a defensive TD in an easy 38-17 win at Oakland; Saints are now 5-5 after an 0-4 start. If I had a vote for NFL Coach of the Year and the Saints made the playoffs, I'd vote for Drew Brees. Seriously. No way he isn't the unofficial coach of this team.
9) Andre Johnson put up Arena League numbers, 14 catches for 273 yards, as Houston came back from 34-20 down with 21:00 left to beat the spunky Jaguars 43-37 in OT. Jacksonville is 5-0 vs spread on road, but 1-9 where it counts, in the overall standings.
8) Tennessee Volunteers fired Derek Dooley Sunday; not sure where they go from here. Coaching in the SEC is almost as bad as the NFL, because recruiting wars might be more intense than the actual games. Not enough good players in Tennessee to sustain an SEC program, so you have to hire a coach who is a nationwide recruiter. Not a lot of those out on the street.
Probably didn't help Dooley any that his dad is best coach in Georgia's football history; Vince Dooley was Herschel Walker's college coach.
7) Has a guy ever been MVP and Comeback Player of the Year in the same season? Peyton Manning has a pretty good chance this year.
6) Not sure why I thought of this today, but I did; best part of the HBO Hard Knocks series this summer was when Miami Dolphins traded CB Vontae Davis. GM Jeff Ireland call him into his office, tells him he's been traded, and all he wants to know is, "For who?" Isn't that the first question you'd ask, who did you trade me for?
Next thing he wanted to do was immediately call his mother, which was odd, but Ireland talked him out of it, fed him some BS lines that GMs do when they trade a player, then they sent him on his way to call mom. Good TV.
5) Speaking of Miami, two weeks in a row they haven't had an offensive play of 20+ yards; other teams had an average of 4.81 per team this week.
4) New England had Tom Brady throwing ball with a 52-24 lead and 5:40 left in the game; isn't that an invitation for someone to take a cheap shot? I mean, whats the point?
3) Teams that had a 10+ yard edge in field position were 7-1 this week; Buccaneers somehow had an 11-yard edge in field position, despite being -2 in turnovers. Arizona lost despite a 17-yard edge in field position.
2) Favorites are 7-6 vs spread this week, home teams 4-9, over is 5-8.
1) Three Thursday games on Thanksgiving this week, with night game on NBC for the first time. Good sports week, with lot of college hoop and a bunch of college football rivalry games.
The Worst Of Week Eleven in the Spooky world - one of the greatest posts ever
Being the total sheep that I am, commercials often sway my purchasing patterns. Now I don't care for Guinness, but I admit that their new black lager has me intrigued. Every time that those commercials are on, my interest is even more piqued. It helps that the actor guy looks so damn familiar. So I did some digging, and yup, that fella in those commercials is none other than Richard Harrow on Boardwalk Empire. Terrific. He is much cooler on that show than he is with that wiener voice and his allowance of a woman to steal his beer. Plus, half face is always better than full face. So whenever I can get my hands on a Black Lager, I will simply to put money in Richard Harrow's pockets. He's earned it for putting up with all of Jillian's whore nonsense. Onto the worst of the week which takes an extended tour thru Lions country this week
Greg Jennings - How annoying is it that Jennings is showing up in every other fucking commercial like he is some sort of superstar now when he hasn't played barely at all this season? Who decided that Jennings was a good product spokesman? FUCK GREG JENNINGS.
Matt Ryan - Atlanta needs to get their shit together because they are not winning anyone over with how they have been playing over the last month. Yeah, they won, but if their QB is going to launch five picks, they are going to go winless in January again. They barely beat Ryan Lindley AKA Ryan Lolzlol. Not good.
Browns Discipline - FUCK! These talent-rich losers should have won in Dallas yesterday but they blew it because they have no discipline. I saw the stat that they had TEN penalties that gave the Cowboys first down. Bunch of shit. Pat Shurmur is ass. And the Cowboys are terrible. Redskins are going to beat them on Thursday.
Fat Stafford - 22 incompletions...took 5 sacks...threw 2 picks and one got housed. Not good. Lions season = OVER. He fucking overthrew about a half dozen passes and 3 of them could have resulted in a touchdown. And when they have a chance to ice the game and score a touchdown and not leave the door open for State Farm Rodgers he fucking falls into the ground. I think Stafford and Matt Barkley should double date next week with each other.
Mason Crosby - He has the name of a plantation owner and he likes to miss easy kicks.
Chiefs, Rams, and Panthers - These losers lose all the time. No reason to dive any deeper. Although Carolina's loss was chock full of DERP. Josh Freeman sure is playing like a free man.
Nick Foles - Just by glancing at the box score, it looks like the Redskins PWNED the Eagles yesterday. AND THEY DID. RG3 was back to being TRANSCENDENT! The defense played well. Actually, it could have just been because Foles is so bad. Seriously, he is SO bad. Phillyfan is already talking about tanking out the rest of the season. I like that attitude. I am rooting for the DREAM TEAM to finish 3-13. Bring back McNabb!
Wade Phillips - Woof, how do you make Chad Henne look like Chad HENNELITE? I bet on JAX yesterday at +14.5 because I figured that Houston would mail it in with the Thanksgiving road trip coming up. I was right. I just didn't expect them to get torched by the King of the Forehead Flab.
Carson Palmer - No one owns garbage time more than the guy who hates Cincinnati the most. I like how when the Raiders lose, they get slaughtered. There is no in between with them. The Saints have battled back to .500 which is absolutely amazing. What I'm trying to say here is clearly that Joe Vitt is the greatest coach of all time.
Andrew Luck - Ouch. The goblin decided to defecate all over the memories of the Brady/Manning rivalry, I see. I guess that this will be a week where everyone talks about how great RG3 is instead of Luck. These stupid radio show segments seem to change every week.
The Chargers - I just can't watch this team. They are so boring. They do nothing well. When SD is on RedZone, my mind immediately wanders. To me, they are less interesting than Jacksonville. I wish that I lived in San Diego (for many reasons) simply because they are always blacked out.
That will do it for today. FYI, read the fucking Cool Blue post and help feed a homeless Gook. Gooks are people too.
Tuesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but........
13) Is it any wonder when you look at how Maryland is willing to shell out $50M to leave the ACC for the Big Dozen, that recruits/parents have their hands out during the recruiting process?
That’s how much money is involved in all this, yet the kids get a free college education and nothing else. The education is worth six figures, understood, but how much money is Johnny Manziel going to put into Texas A&M’s coffers if he stays there four years?
12) ACC commish John Swofford has ruined his league; he had the best basketball conference, but traded that in so he could cash in on the football cash bonanza, but he whiffed on that, and now he’s lost Maryland, one of the ACC’s charter members.
Swofford should go get Louisville/Memphis (use part of Maryland’s $50M to buy them out of Big East) so at least he has a premier basketball league.
11) If you missed our man Les Miles after the Ole Miss game Saturday, check it out on YouTube; Les went all Mad Hatter in his opening statement to the press right after LSU beat the Rebels 41-35. Its classic stuff, and a big part of why we like him a lot.
10) Readinghteplay.com is an interesting website with some good knowledge on it; they report that the pointspread affects only 15-18% of NFL games; the other 82-85%, the winner covers.
9) One of the hardest things to do in coaching is to turn a losing program around; the one thing a losing team must begin to do, as simple/obvious as it sounds, is to begin winning.
Effort has to be there, good practice habits help, team unity sounds great, but actions speak louder than words, and until you start beating the enemy more regularly, you’re still a losing team.
Instilling confidence that they can do that into a group of players takes time and often it means acquiring a lot of new players, people who have played for winning teams in the past and who expect to win.
8) Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby, who made only six of last 13 FGs, has been very good for the Pack since coming out of college (Colorado). Kicking seems to be like golf; you get the yips now and then. Crosby has built up some equity with Green Bay, but he’d be well-advised to get out of his funk fairly soon.
7) Walk-on WR AJ Barker recently quit Minnesota's football team in a dispute about how his ankle injury was treated. Not only did he quit, but the kid went public with his dealings with coach Jerry Kill—he wrote a long, spirited article that was at least a little interesting to read, even if I had never heard of the kid before yesterday.
Barker had gone from walk-on to team's leading receiver, but hadn't gotten a scholarship, which i part of this story. If you like college sports, its an eye-opening story, but I also wonder what was left unsaid by the player. Two sides to every story, you know?
6) Miami Hurricanes weren’t going to a good bowl this year anyway; they applied self-imposed sanctions for this year, hoping to shorten their long-term sentence from the NCAA, something Ohio State should’ve thought of couple years ago.
5) Linesmakers have Notre Dame -6 for their game at USC this week, with Trojans' QB Barkley (shoulder) out. Freshman QB Wittig is said to have a cannon arm, but he’s a freshman QB in a very big spot.
Side note: Matt Cassel of the Chiefs starts for an NFL team, but he never started a game at USC, having been Trojans’ backup QB for Palmer/Leinart, so chances are this Wittig kid is very talented, just extremely raw.
4) Rob Gronkowski broke his arm Sunday while blocking for a PAT that made the score 59-24. Why is he out there at that time? Seems like an interesting question.
3) Texas lost to Chaminade in the Maui Classic, making Rick Barnes first coach to lose to the Silverswords twice in this event-- he also lost to them when he was the coach at Providence. That not good.
2) Mets drew less fans than the Reds LY; since CitiField opened in 2009, their home attendance is down 28.9%. Interesting to see what they do this offseason, to spur interest/ticket sales in an increasingly negative fanbase.
1) I’m tired of listening to people bitch about football coaches; personally, I know next-to-nothing about in-depth football strategy and I watch hundreds of games on TV.
Time management and replay challenges are different, thats something that really isn't football-related, more common sense-related.
Blocking schemes, passing trees, different pass defenses, its not something I’m well-versed in, and I’m guessing 90%+ of average fans aren’t either, so let the coaches coach and be quiet. Guys with the most good players are winning most of the time, anyway.
Wednesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but.........
13) Cal Bears stupidly fired football coach Jeff Tedford, who leaves the program in much better shape than he found it. If I knew Coach Tedford, I’d tell him that George Seifert won two Super Bowls in the NFL, 12-15 years after he was fired as head coach at Cornell.
Sometimes a bad day can actually be a good day in disguise.
12) Dallas Cowboys had 30 first downs in their OT win Sunday, 10 of them via Cleveland penalties; I’d never seen that before, a team getting 10 first downs via penalty in one game. Am guessing the Browns’ coaches weren’t too happy, especially when you add in a close call on a fumble in OT led to the Dallas winning FG.
11) John Gibbons went 305-305 as skipper of the Blue Jays from 2003-08, now he gets a second chance in Toronto, only this time with a much better team. I wonder if Ozzie Guillen applied for the job, seeing as he managed 20% of Toronto’s team this past summer with the Marlins.
10) ESPN upgraded their college basketball studio crew by adding Bruce Pearl/Seth Greenberg; Pearl is a natural for TV, great talker. He’ll be back in coaching soon if he wants to be; the stuff that got him fired at Tennessee seems like child’s play with everything that’s gone on since then. Greenberg didn’t win enough, so he could be on TV for a while, but he’s good at it.
9) If Mark Turgeon had stayed at Texas A&M, he’d be coaching basketball in the SEC, but he went to Maryland, to what he thought was an ACC job, but now he finds himself in the Big 14 (previously Big 10, Big Dozen). Wonder if he could do over again, if he would’ve stayed where he was?
8) USC’s hoop team has 10 kids who started their college career either in JC or at another 4-year school. That’s an awful lot of transfers.
7) The conspiracy theorist in me says the NASCAR post-race “brawl” two weeks ago was staged for TV, to try and create interest in the last race of the season. Then you say no, it can’t be, until you notice that TV ratings for the last race were down 27% from LY, then you realize it very well could’ve been an attempt to jumpstart ratings.
Going up against the NFL on Sundays is deadly; they’d be better off running the last race on a Friday or Saturday night, or even a Tuesday, since it’s the last race. Make it a spectacle, like the BCS title game.
6) Air Force beat Hawai’I last Friday without throwing one pass; not sure I've seen that before. Seen teams not complete a pass, not sure I’d seen a team not even try one, and still win.
5) Steelers were working out free agent QBs Brian Hoyer (Michigan State/ Patriots) and Mike Kafka (Northwestern/Eagles) since they’ll need a backup for Charlie Batch this weekend in Cleveland.
Might wind up signing/dressing both guys Sunday.
4) I’m adamant that it hurts the NFL product not to have each team dress three QB’s for every game, just in case. Teams with two QBs dressed go into a shell as soon as the first guy gets hurt.
3) When they set up this year's Maui Classic, ESPN probably envisioned a Texas-North Carolina final. Longhorns are playing in 7th place game, and Carolina will play Chaminade in the 3rd place game, as upsets have ruled the day in Maui this year. Butler beat the Tar Heels decisively Tuesday night.
2) A lawyer in Toronto paid $5,300 for a toilet that was once in the home dressing room at old Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto; said hes going to put it in his home. Imagine what he would’ve paid for it if the Maple Leafs were ever any good?
1) I carry a marble and a small compass with me at all times, because I never want to lose my direction, and when the world gets crazy, as it often does, I’m reminded to just roll with it. Corny, but true. You pay $5,300 for a toilet, you know sometimes its a crazy world.
Texans (9-1) @ Lions (4-6)—Short week plus travel for Houston team that has 3-game division lead with six to play, but is also playing for home field in playoffs. Wade Phillips coached in Dallas, so he should know how to deal with short prep time for Turkey Day game. Schaub passed for 504 yards in dome last week (8.8 ypa) after they struggled to 13-6 win in elements in Chicago week before (88 PY), so home field means more to them than most. Texans are 4-0 on road, with all wins by 6+ points; they covered seven of last ten tries as a road favorite. Detroit lost last five Turkey Day games, allowing average of 40 ppg; they lost to division rivals last two weeks, allowing 34-24 points. Lions are 15-10-2 vs spread in last 27 games vs AFC opponents, 1-1 this year; since start of LY, they’re 0-2 as home underdogs. AFC South non-divisional favorites are 5-2 vs spread, 1-1 on road. Four of last five Texan games in a dome, three of last four Detroit games went over total.
Redskins (4-6) @ Cowboys (5-5)—RGIII returns to Texas (went to college at Baylor) with Redskin squad that snapped 3-game skid with 31-6 rout of Eagles last week; Skins are 2-3 on road, 3-1 as road underdogs, losing away games by 3-4-15 (Steelers) points. Dallas was gifted with OT win last week; 10 of their 30 first downs came via Cleveland penalties. Cowboys are 3-14 vs spread in last 17 games as home favorite, 0-3 this year; they’re 2-2 at home, beating Bucs by 6, Browns by 3. Pokes led at halftime in one of last seven games, but they’ve also only turned ball over once last three weeks (+2) after having 19 giveaways in first seven games (-11). Redskins scored 40-28-23 points in three games on artificial turf (1-2), with underdog covering all three games- they’ve run ball for 151-169 yards in last two games. Home teams are 1-5 vs spread in NFC East divisional games; home favorites are 1-3. Last three Washington games stayed under the total.
Patriots (7-3) @ Jets (4-6)—Key indicator for Jets is 3rd down conversions; they’re 41-87 (47.1%) on 3rd down in games they’ve played well (4-2), 13-53 (24.5%) in four stinkers they played, losing all four by average of 23 points. In three of Jets’ four wins, they had +3 or +4 turnover ratio; Dolphins are only team they’ve beaten (23-20, OT) without winning TO ratio. Patriots are just trying to outscore people; in last two games, foes converted 15-25 on 3rd down, scoring 31-24 points, but NE scored 37-59 points. Absence of Gronkowski (broken arm) is a problem. Jets are 2-3 at home; since ’08, they’ve covered three of four as a home underdog. Since 2003, Pats are 16-6-1 vs spread as road favorite in divisional games; they’re 2-2 in true road games this year (beat Rams in London), with both losses by point (Ravens/Seattle), wins by 21-24. Home teams are 2-5 vs spread in AFC East divisional games; home dogs are 0-2. Last eight New England games went over, three of last four Jet games stayed under.
Raiders (4-6) @ Bengals (5-5)—Carson Palmer was going to retire rather than play for Bengals; they finally traded him to Oakland, where he’s thrown five pick-6’s in little over a year; Raiders hadn’t thrown any from 2006-10. Oakland defense has fallen apart, giving up 45 ppg in last three games (16 TDs on last 36 drives); they’ve turned ball over 7 times in those games (-6), leading to two opponent TDs and field position deficits of 12-8-10 yards. Raiders are 1-4 on road, 2-2 as road dogs, losing away games by 22-31-3-35 points, with only win at lowly Chiefs. In opponents’ last 10 red zone drives, they’ve allowed eight TDs and a FG. Resurgent Bengals allowed only one TD (23 drives) in winning last two games; they’re 2-3 at home, 1-1 as home favorites, winning by 7-18 points. AFC North non-divisional favorites are 4-9 vs spread, 3-5 at home; AFC West underdogs are 5-11, 3-7 at home. Last five Oakland games went over total; five of last seven Bengal games stayed under.
Steelers (6-4) @ Browns (2-8)—37-year old #3 QB Batch gets nod for Pitt here; they’re working out backups (former Patriot Hoyer/former Eagle Kafka) as I type this; Steelers have dominated series lately, but they’ve scored only two TDs on 24 drives in last two games, averaging 4.7/4.2 ypa. Last time Pitt had positive turnover ratio was Week 4, but they’re defending well, allowing 6 or less 2nd half points in each of last five games. Browns got hosed last week at Dallas, getting flagged 12 times for 129 yards, giving Pokes 10 first downs, just on penalties; key call on OT fumble also went Dallas’ way. Cleveland is 2-3 at home, 3-2 as home dogs; since ’07, they’re 14-13 as home dogs. Steelers are 2-3 on road, 1-2 as road favorites; since ’06, they’re 13-21 as road faves, 7-14 in division games. Home sides are 3-2 vs spread in AFC North games. Last five Pittsburgh games, last five Brown games stayed under total.
Bills (4-6) @ Colts (6-4)—Indy was snapped back to reality by 59-24 beating at Foxboro last week, when Patriots scored three TDs on defense/STs; loss snapped 4-game win streak that has Colts as playoff contender- they’re 4-1 at home, but wins are by 3-4-3-3 points, so they’re winning by fine margin (one win in regulation by more than 4 points). Buffalo had extra time to rest/prep after Thursday night win over Miami, just their second in last seven games; Bills are 2-3 as road underdogs this year (4-8-1 in last 13), losing away games this year by 20-42-12-6 points, with wins at Browns/Cardinals. Colts are letting Luck be more aggressive on first down; seven of their last nine plays that gained 20+ yards came on first down (20 of previous 40 had come on 1st down). AFC South non-divisional favorites are 5-2 vs spread, 4-1 at home; AFC East underdogs are 7-5, 2-1 on road. Under is 3-1-1 in last five Indy games.
Broncos (7-3) @ Chiefs (1-9)—Bad teams have very little home field edge, especially late in season; lot of no-shows at their games. Hard to muster any enthusiasm at all for woeful KC, which benched QB Cassel for Notre Dame alum Quinn last week; Chiefs lost last seven games, with four of last five by 10+ points- they’re 0-5 at home this year, 1-3 as home underdogs (were 6-0 as home dogs in ’10-’11), losing by 16-17-3-10-22 points at Arrowhead. Denver won its last five games, scoring 30+ points in all five; they won last three road games by 11-8-22 points, but lost of RB McGahee (knee/leg) sets them back some. Chiefs have only 12 takeaways in 10 games, with -19 turnover ratio, as brooms ready to sweep front office, coaches out of power after season. Bronco defense is making Manning’s life easier; Broncos’ last six TDs were on drives of less than 60 yards. Five of last six Denver games went over the total. NFL-wide, divisional home underdogs are 8-13 vs spread, 1-7 in AFC games.
Titans (4-6) @ Jaguars (1-9)—Not often teams lose when they have +2 turnover ratio, but Jax has it done it twice this year, losing both times in OT, at Oakland/Houston. Jaguars are 5-0 vs spread on road, 0-5 at home, with all five home losses by 17+ points (average home score, 31-9); they’re better off right now with more veteran Henne at QB- he passed for 372 yards in last week’s OT loss in Houston, averaging 10.1 ypa. Tennessee’s 80+ year old owner Adams read team/coaches riot act after 51-20 home loss in Week 9; team responded with pre-bye 37-3 win at contending Miami; Titans won last two road games, scoring 35-37 points, after losing first three by average score of 35-10. Tennessee is 0-1 as favorite this year; since ’09, they’re 2-4 as road favorites. Home teams are 1-5 vs spread in AFC South games; home underdogs are 0-2. Over is 5-3 in last eight Tennessee games, 4-2 in last six Jaguar games.
Vikings (6-4) @ Bears (7-3)—In six-game winning streak from Weeks 3-9, Chicago scored 8 TDs on defense/special teams, masking a struggling offense; now that Cutler is hurt, offense has been exposed, scoring one TD on 23 drives in losing last two games- backup QB Campbell was beaten like a piñata at Candlestick Monday, sacked six times. After being +16 in turnovers first half of season, they’ve been -2 in each of last two games- teams that are -2 or worse in turnovers are 11-60 SU this year. Vikings lost their last two post-bye games 29-10/45-7; they’re 1-3 on road this year, with only win 20-13 at Detroit, when they didn’t score offensive TD but had two on special teams. Short week for Bears, who haven’t been same team since bye week (4-1 vs spread before bye, 1-4 after). Home teams are 2-4 vs spread in NFC North games this season. Four of last five Viking games, four of last six Chicago games went over the total.
Falcons (9-1) @ Buccaneers (6-4)—Red-hot Tampa Bay (won/covered last four games) finding ways to win; they were down 10 with 5:00 left at Charlotte last week, won in OT- they had TDs on defense/special teams week before vs Chargers. Bucs make opponent earn their points; 14 of last 16 TDs they allowed were on drives of 72+ yards, and other two were 64-65 yards- they haven’t beaten themselves, which is what Falcon s tried to do last week, turning ball over six times but somehow surviving at home vs Arizona. Falcons have run ball only 42 times for 104 yards in last two games, after averaging 98.5 yards on ground in first eight games. Six of last seven Tampa Bay games went over the total. Underdogs are 4-2 vs spread in NFC South games this season. Last week, Ryan was first NFL QB since 1967 to throw five INTs, no TDs in a win; good news is that Bart Starr was that QB, and Packers won SB that year. Good news for Atlanta; they’re 4-0 outdoors, with average score, 30-15.
Seahawks (6-4) @ Dolphins (4-6)—Couple of rookie QBs figure to combine for low scoring game, right? In Miami’s last two games, they have zero plays of 20+ yards, after having 32 in first eight games; league-wide, teams average 4+ explosive plays/game. Dolphins had three extra days to prep after tough loss at Miami (didn’t allow offensive TD); they’re 2-2 at home, scoring 17-3 points in last two home tilts. Long road trip for Seattle; they’re 1-4 on road (0-2 as favorite), with only win 16-12 at Carolina- last time they covered as road favorite was 2008 at St Louis. Over last 21 years, Seattle is 5-17 vs spread (4-5 as favorite) in its post-bye games, though they covered last two (lost 6-3, +3.5 LY). Since ’07, Miami is 7-13 as home underdog, 1-1 this year. NFC West non-divisional favorites are 6-5 vs spread, 1-1 on road; AFC East underdogs are 7-6, 2-1 at home. Under is 4-1 in Seattle’s road games, 5-0-1 last six Dolphin games.
Ravens (8-2) @ Chargers (4-6)—Sandwich game for Baltimore, which barely escaped Pittsburgh with 13-10 win Sunday night even though Leftwich played end of game with broken ribs; they play Steelers at home next week. Ravens won last three games but covered only twice in last eight; they’re 3-2 at home, 1-2 as road favorites- they’re 4-6 vs spread in last 10 games as road favorite, and scored 13 or less points in three of last four away games. Norv Turner regime is on life support after last week’s loss at Denver, though string of winnable games in December keeps Wild Card in sight; Chargers lost five of last six games- they’re 2-2 at home, beating Titans/Chiefs. Bolts are 4-6 despite being favored in 7 of 10 games; since 2004, they’re 5-2 as home underdogs. AFC West non-divisional underdogs are 5-11 vs spread, 2-4 at home; AFC North favorites are 4-9, 1-4 on road. Six of last seven San Diego games went over total.
49ers (7-2-1) @ Saints (5-5)—Short week plus travel for SF, but Niners pummeled Chicago Monday night, holding Bears to 143 yards after Rams put 458 up on them week before; 49ers are 3-1 on road, winning by 8-34-21 points, with only loss in Minnesota’s dome (1-4 vs spread in last five dome games). SF is 2-1 as road favorite this year. Brees has Saints on 5-1 roll after 0-4 start; now they get chance to avenge loss to 49ers in LY’s playoffs, with Kaepernick making first NFL road start. Saints won three in row, five of last six games; they’ve covered seven of last eight, winning last three home games while scoring 31-28-31 points. 49ers don’t beat themselves; they haven’t turned ball over in last three games, but defense isn’t forcing turnovers like they did LY (+28 LY, +4 this year). NFC West non-divisional favorites are 6-5 as favorites, 5-4 on road. NFC South underdogs are 9-3 vs spread, 0-2 at home. Six of last nine 49er games stayed under total; seven of ten Saint games went over.
Rams (3-6-1) @ Cardinals (4-6)—Only games Rams won came vs two rookie QB’s (Seattle/Washington) and a lame QB (Arizona); they sacked Kolb nine times in 17-3 (+2) win back in Week 5, but they haven’t won (0-4-1) since, in large part because they haven’t forced one single turnover in last five games (-8) after forcing nine (+2) in first five games. Teams with inferior talent cannot win with negative turnover ratios. Cardinals lost last six games after 4-0 start; they somehow lost in Atlanta last week despite a +5 turnover ratio- they picked Ryan off five times, started five of 15 drives in Falcon territory and still scored only 19 points. Rams are one of two NFL teams (Browns) without road win; they’re 3-2 as road underdogs. Arizona is 3-2 at home, scoring 16-3 points in losing last two (one TD on last 23 home drives). Underdogs are 4-1-1 vs spread in NFC West divisional games. Last four St Louis games went over; five of last six Cardinal games stayed under.
Packers (7-3) @ Giants (6-4)— Giants are 4-0 when game goes over total, 2-4 when it stays under. Last two Super Bowl winners meet; odd thing, they were both #6 seed in NFC when they became champs. Green Bay won last five games this year, forcing 14 turnovers (+8) after being -1 (5 turnovers) in first five games; Pack has chance to avenge home playoff loss to Big Blue LY- they’re 3-2 on road, but all three wins came in domes- they lost their only outdoor road game, 14-12 at Seattle on a Monday night with bogus last play with replacement refs. Giants scored 34.8 ppg in winning last four post-bye games; they’re 3-1 at home, 1-3 as home favorites, with wins by 7-14-4 points and loss to Steelers. NFC North non-divisional underdogs are 2-4 vs spread, 1-4 on road; NFC East favorites are 3-13 vs spread, 2-8 at home. Five of last seven Green Bay games, three of four Giant home games went over total.
Panthers (2-8) @ Eagles (3-7)—Not much to choose from here, with both head coaches possible lame ducks, but you have underdog with big edge under center (Newton over Foles). Carolina lost seven of last eight games, blowing 10-point lead with 5:00 left at home last week; they’re 3-0 as road underdogs this year, losing away games by 6-1-2 points, with only win in last road game, 21-13 at Washington. Visitor covered Carolina’s last eight games. Eagles lost last six games, giving up 31.8 ppg in losing all four games since bye, when they fired their DC. Shanahan had been 3-21-1 as home favorite before his Skins walloped Philly 31-6 last week, that’s how far Eagles have fallen, in what are obviously Reid’s last weeks running club. NFC South underdogs are 9-3 vs spread, 9-1 on road; NFC East favorites are 3-13 vs spread, 2-8 at home. Four of five Eagle home games went over the total. National TV audience should extract better effort than these teams have been producing lately.