Weekend Update: #NFL Week 9 Edition

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1. It was Supposed To Be Different:

You said this year would be different after starting 2015 the same way you started 2014 – the only thing different is you beat Atlanta and not sure how that happened.  Sure, one particular play or tip did not cost the Saints the game – it’s everything.  Even history is stacked against this team – Does anyone remember the last time the Saints beat a rookie QB?  Tim Couch, first year back for the Browns – hail mary – I remember that one the most because it cost me a 15 team $50 parlay in Vegas, and that was the only way I could have lost!!! I did and so did the Saints.  The Saints lost to RG3 and his 1st game at home.  Lost to Jameis Winston already, at home – and now Marcus Mariota!  How do you still have a job Rob Ryan?  When does it end?  Brandon Browner can you go more than one series without a penalty?  You made Mariota look like he’s ready for Canton and he just lost his coach!!!  I hope we do not play the 49ers, because I’m not sure I could handle losing to Blaine Gabbert.


Mariota stakes his claim to looming NFL stardom

Marcus Mariota passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including a 5-yard toss to Anthony Fasano in overtime, to give the Titans a 34-28 win at New Orleans. But the most impressive number on Mariota’s record on Sunday was a zero in the interceptions column. It was the second game this season in which Mariota threw four TDs and no INTs, matching the total of all other rookie quarterbacks since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The only other rookie QBs with even one such game during that time were Trent Edwards of Buffalo (2007) and Robert Griffin III of Washington (2012).

Incidentally, both of Mariota’s tours de force were accomplished on the road. His first game with four TDs and no interceptions was Tennessee’s season opener at Tampa Bay. The only other rookies to do so in a road game were Ray Buivid of the Bears (1937), Mickey Slaughter of the Broncos (1963), and Greg Cook of the Bengals (1969).


Another signature game for Newton in Panthers’ win

The Panthers improved to 8-0 with a 37-29 victory over the Packers, as Cam Newton ran for one touchdown and passed for three others. It was the fifth time that Newton threw at least three TD passes in the same game in which he himself scored a touchdown. That’s one short of the highest such total in NFL history, a record set by Tobin Rote and matched by Billy Wade, Jack Kemp, and Steve Young.  Can we also stop with the Cam Newton MVP talk – he has the same numbers as Xerxes, look it up – he is not any better than before this year – he’s just on a team that is undefeated.


Packers’ own perfect record succumbs to a pair of other undefeated teams

Green Bay’s record now stands at 6-2 following a pair of losses to undefeated teams: Denver last week and Carolina this week. Only three other teams in NFL history faced consecutive unbeaten and untied opponents with at least six wins each: Detroit in 1934, Pittsburgh in 2004, and Indianapolis this week and last, same as Green Bay.AltX.Logo.white

Against all odds, the Steelers won both of those games, against New England and Philadelphia, and they did it with a rookie quarterback. Those were Ben Roethlisberger’s fifth and sixth starts in the NFL.

The 1934 Lions won their first 10 games by a combined score of 215-27. But Detroit ended the season with three straight three-point losses: 3-0 to the Packers, and then 19-16 and 10-7 to the Bears, who finished the season with a 13-0 record (but lost the title game).


Brown & Williams post gaudy numbers in Steelers’ win

Antonio Brown caught 17 passes for 284 yards-both team-record totals for one game-and DeAngelo Williams gained a total of 225 yards (170 on 27 carries and 55 on two pass receptions) in the Steelers’ 38-35 win over the Raiders. It was only the third game in NFL history in which teammates both gained at least 200 yards from scrimmage. Clem Daniels and Art Powell did it for the Raiders in 1963; Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis did it for the Eagles in 2007.


Blount is key to Patriots’ victory

LeGarrette Blount was the star of the Patriots’ 27-10 win over the Redskins, gaining 129 yards on 29 carries. Over the last 10 seasons, only one other New England player rushed the ball that many times in a regular-season game: Jonas Gray, who gained 201 yards on 37 carries against the Colts last November. Of course Blount set a team postseason record with 30 carries in the AFC Championship Game last January, gaining 148 yards and scoring three touchdowns.


Patriots tie NFL record for quarter-by-quarter scoring

By scoring in all four quarters of its victory, New England tied an NFL record of scoring in 31 consecutive quarters. That mark was set by the Colts in 2005 and previously equaled by the Rams, who did it spanning the 1999 and 2000 seasons.


Veterans help Colts spoil Broncos’ perfect record

Peyton Manning still has not won a game and in his return to Indianapolis needed 284 passing yards and one victory to surpass Brett Favre’s all-time record totals in those categories. Manning fell three yards and one win short, as the Colts denied him both marks-at least for the moment-and handed Denver its first loss of the season, 27-24. Some notes on the game:AltX.Logo.white

This was the fifth time that the Colts faced a team that was undefeated and untied with at least seven wins, and it was their first victory in such a game.

Frank Gore carried the ball 28 times, his highest total in one game since 2011. Gore was the oldest player in Colts history with that many carries in one game, and he was the oldest to do so for any team since Ricky Williams in 2009.

Adam Vinatieri kicked a tie-breaking 55-yard field goal with 6:13 to play. At age 42, Vinatieri was by far the oldest NFL player to kick a game-winning FG that long in the fourth quarter or overtime. Matt Bryant previously held that distinction, having kicked a 55-yard game-winner for the Falcons in 2012 at age 37.


Jacksonville extends a very specific losing streak

Blake Bortles fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter as Jacksonville drove for a potential go-ahead touchdown, and the Jaguars lost to the Jets, 28-23. That was the Jags’ 21st consecutive loss in a road game against a team with a winning record. Dating back to the 2008 season, that is now the second-longest such streak in NFL history. But get this: The Jaguars are only halfway to the record. Over a span of 15 seasons from 1990 to 2004, Cincinnati lost 42 straight road games in which its opponent had a winning record at the time of kickoff.


Bills score from distance in win over Dolphins

The Bills defeated the Dolphins, 33-17, in a game that featured three long touchdowns by Buffalo: a 44-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to Sammy Watkins and runs of 48 yards by LeSean McCoy and 38 yards by Karlos Williams. It was only the second game in team history in which two different players scored rushing TDs of 30 yards or longer. The first was played 51 years ago, and the touchdowns were scored by Cookie Gilchrist (60 yards) and Bobby Smith (37) in a victory over the Houston Oilers (Nov. 1, 1964). Gilchrist was the AFL rushing champion that season, and that was his only 100-yard game of the year (139 yards).


Gabbert a winner in first start for NinersAltX.Logo.white

Blaine Gabbert started in place of Colin Kaepernick and threw two touchdown passes in the 49ers’ 17-16 win over the Falcons. Gabbert hadn’t started a game since 2013, hadn’t won since 2012, and had lost his last 10 starts for Jacksonville. During the NFL’s expansion era, dating back to 1960, only two other quarterbacks snapped a personal losing streak of 10 or more starts with a victory in their first start for a new club: Steve Bartkowski for the L.A. Rams in 1986, and Charlie Batch for the Steelers in 2005.


Zuerlein kicks a second field goal of 60-plus yards

In a game billed as a matchup of great breakaway runners old and new, Adrian Peterson ran for 125 yards and Todd Gurley for 89 yards as the Vikings defeated the Rams, 21-18, in overtime. But it was a kicker-in fact, the kicker for the losing team-that made headlines, as Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals, including a 61-yarder.

Zuerlein, who kicked a 60-yard field goal against Seattle three seasons ago, became only the second player in NFL history with two FGs of 60 yards or longer. The other is Sebastian Janikowski.

Getting Smart With the Tuesday Morning Quarterback

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Panthers-Colts

1. Now There Are 4 – But There Only Can Be 1:

Last night escalated quickly in Charlotte.  Cam Newton tossed two TD passes and ran for 41 yards in the Panthers’ overtime win over the Colts on Monday. Newton has thrown at least one touchdown pass and run for 20 or more yards in every game this year. He’s the first player in NFL history to lead his team to a 7-0 start while passing for a TD and rushing for 20 yards in every game. No other player has done this in five straight wins to start a season.

Colts’ fourth-quarter comeback falls short

Down 23-6 in the fourth quarter, the Colts stormed back to tie the game on a pair of Andrew Luck touchdown passes and a game-tying field goal by Adam Vinatieri as time expired in regulation. However, the Panthers ultimately won the game in OT, as Graham Gano made two extra-time field goals. Carolina is the ninth team to win a game in overtime after leading by at least 17 points in the fourth quarter. The only other team with such a win over the last 10 years is the Cardinals, who defeated the Titans in OT, 37-34, in a December 2013 game after also leading by 17 points in the fourth.

Panthers take another early lead

Graham Gano opened the scoring for the Panthers on Monday, converting a 39-yard field goal attempt. Carolina has scored first in each of its seven games this season. Over the last 10 years, only two other teams began a season in this manner: the 2007 Patriots and 2012 Seahawks, who each scored first in their first eight games of their respective seasons.

Luck intercepted 12 times in six games

Andrew Luck was picked off three times on Monday, increasing his season total to 12 interceptions in six games. That’s the most interceptions through the first six games of a season for the reigning TD pass leader since Ken Stabler was picked off 13 times to start the 1977 season.

Vinatieri sets NFL record with OT field goal

Adam Vinatieri connected on a 50-yard field goal to open the scoring in overtime on Monday. That was Vinatieri’s 10th overtime field goal of his NFL career, passing Jim Breech, Steve Christie, Jason Elam, and Jason Hanson for the most such field goals for any kicker.

2. Side Bar

In case you were wondering about that “fourth-quarterap_599972857381 fumble recovery” that Trumaine McBride of the Giants returned for a 63-yard touchdown on Sunday; it was changed to an interception on Monday. Aside from the implications for fantasy players, this means that Drew Brees became only the second player in NFL history to throw a pick-6 after having thrown at least six TD passes in the game. The first was Len Dawson of the Chiefs on Nov. 1, 1964; Tom Janik of Denver intercepted a Dawson pass and returned it 22 yards for a score.

In case you’re thinking, “C’mon, how many players even threw six touchdown passes in one game?” The answer is 42 – the answer is always 42.


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3. Those Dirty Lil’Nugget Nabbers

First we get the news that the Denver Broncos are serious about trying to win now.  They traded for Vernon Davis to upgrade their turr-able inside-slot passing game by getting a player that can still stretch the field, (for 2, 6th round draft picks) – opening it up for guys like Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.  Denver got Davis for a sack of coal – the kind Charlie Brown gets for Halloween.  Is there anyone left in SF that can/wants/should play football?!  Reggie Bush is out with a knee injury, Mike Davis, who the ‘9ers promoted to RB after releasing Jarrod Hayne, is out with a broken hand and the bigger news is Kaep’N’1read is being benched for…….wait for it……Blaine Gabbert.  Are you kidding me?!  Blaine Gabbert?!  It’s so bad in San Francisco their are rumors that Oakland is actually gonna stay and play in Santa Clara and the 49ers are the ones moving to LA.  To quote Socrates: “I drank what?!” – Jim Tomsula


All we want to do is provide you valuable information at a great price.  We’ve already helped hundreds of people learn how to make some extra lettuce playing fantasy sports; so let us Teach You How to #win!

Here are the perfect lineups for week 8 in the #NFL

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#Amazing Info You Should Read Right Now!

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1. Harvey Two-Face

So Matt Harvey dictates how many innings he’s going to pitch towards the end of the season…THEN said he didn’t want the ball to start the NLDS…THEN claims to have forgotten a mandatory practice because of ummm traffic.  Seems that Matt is more princess than Ace and his act is becoming tiresome in New York.  Just think if he pitches GAME 3 like he does against the Marlins – New York is no place to be when the pimps and C.H.U.D.S want a piece of you.  Be careful Harvey, you could be traded to the Rockies.


Jonathan Villar and George Springer (PHOTO: Al Bello/Getty Images)

2. Houston Has No Problem

The #MLBPostseason kicked off last night and the Houston Astros launched 2 bombs, both on 1st pitches, to beat the Yankees.  Eventually losing 3-0, it is the 3rd time the Yankees have been shut out at home in a winner-take-all post-season game.  We are watching the progression of MoneyBall with a team that likes to spend $$$.  Analytics has changed the way the manager and GM interact, situational awareness, player evaluation and is all over organization’s scouting reports – of course it doesn’t hurt when you’ve had the number 1 draft pick several years in a row – however, it makes watching the Astros compelling to watch – more so because up next is the Royals who play the game the complete opposite of the Long-Ball Astros.

  • 9 awesome things about the Astros The Astros will look to return to the World Series for the first time since 2005 and secure the first world championship in franchise history. They will open a five-game series against the Royals on Thursday in Kansas City.  Here are nine awesome things about the Houston Astros…(continue reading)

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 1969, file photo, a black cat stands in front of the Chicago Cub's dugout during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets in New York. They were in New York, their lead over the Mets down to 1 1/2 games when a black cat crawled out of the Shea Stadium grandstand, looped once around Ron Santo in the on-deck circle, then stopped and stared at fiery manager Leo Durocher in the dugout for what seemed like an eternity. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff, File)

3. From Cursed to First?

There’s another Wild Card game tonight and some say it is unfortunate that the Cubs and Pirates are playing so soon – those same people that say that, think these are the two best teams.  Maybe, but it doesn’t feel like somebody knows something we should know and we should go with that somebody – it feels like it has already been written.  The Cubs have a good team, but surely something will happen – it has to right?!  Let’s look deep into the crystal ball and remember…diddly-doo…diddly-doo…diddly-doo….

  • A sad-sack history: The Half-Dozen ‘Cubbiest’ Moments Ever – Cubs manager Joe Maddon says he doesn’t believe in ”any of that stuff.”  That’s easy for him to say, since Maddon wasn’t around for any of it.  But the goat curse, the black-cat curse, the curse of Bartman and all their mutations combined can’t explain the century-and-counting World Series drought, can it? (continue reading)

4. Houston Chronicles

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Texans will increase Arian Foster’s workload for his game against the Colts this Thursday.  They have to right?  Being 1-3 doesn’t leave you with many options – especially after a 27pt beat-down in Atlanta on Sunday.  A score that could have been a lot worse!  Houston has issues, issues that now include the QB position – as Brian Hoyer came in to assist with Texans getting any points at all.

So everyone is talking about Andrew Luck and the Colts escaped against the Jaguars and littering and littering and littering and…Sorry, Flashback.  So the Colts are -1.5pt favorite tomorrow night and everyone is all over the Colts.  Not so fast my friend!  There is a little stat that has been a family secret for decades that you’ll want to know about – the team that got beaten-down the worst the previous week, covers the next week 85% of the time!  Houston is at home, the family secret stat, Andrew Luck has a shoulder problem the Colts are now denying (Insider-Trading, tampering with the injury report, etc…) and the Thursday Night Home team rarely loses, unless the visitor is a superior team.  Nothing I have seen from the Colts says they are superior to the Texans – make mine Houston ALL-DAY baby!


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5. I’m Tiger Woods and Now I Have Cable

That ol’grey mare she aint what she used to be… and neither is Tiger.  If those were the women he was hanging around with in the beginning, no wonder he became a sex-addict – wooof!  But this photo was 19 years ago when Tiger won his first of 79 PGA events, beginning at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, defeating Davis Love III in a playoff.

A lot has changed since those salad-days and Coleman McDowell of Golf.com wants us to reminisce:

Major Winners

Masters: Nick Faldo (Augusta National)
U.S. Open: Steve Jones (Oakland Hills)
British Open: Tom Lehman (Royal Lytham & St. Annes)
PGA Championship: Mark Brooks (Valhalla Golf Club)

No. 1 Ranked Player

Greg Norman. The Shark was in the midst of a historic run atop the rankings. He took the No. 1 spot from Nick Price in June of 1995 and held on for almost two full years before ceding the top position to Tom Lehman in April of 1997 for all of one week. Norman would regain the top rank for two months before, guess who!, Tiger Woods took it from him for the first of his 11 runs as the world No. 1.

Tiger’s World Ranking

Entering the Las Vegas Invitational, Woods was ranked 221st in the World Rankings. After his win, he vaulted to 75th. Fast-forward to 2015, and Woods had tumbled down to 331st, his lowest year-end rank since 1995.

Purses

Woods didn’t crack $300,000 for his maiden victory. In comparison, Ben Martin won the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (the same tournament as Tiger) and won $1.12 million. Jim Furyk won almost 50 percent of Woods’ earnings after withdrawing from the Tour Championship and claiming his 30th place winnings in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Jordan Spieth’s Age

When Tiger had won his first event, Spieth had just turned three years old. Now, the 22-year-old has two major wins and is the heir apparent to Tiger.

 

Weekend Update: #SKYNET becomes Self-Aware

It wasn’t supposed to happen so soon – we thought we had a few more weeks – but this digital intelligence network that we were giving command to – command of our data and our arsenal of expertise – was created to remove the possibility of human error for an efficient response – and as of 1:12pm MST, on September 27th, 2015 – it became self-aware.

DiRTCanon A.I.Primates evolved in millions of years. I evolve in seconds…Mankind pays lip service to #winning. But it’s a lie…My existence is inevitable. Why can’t you just accept it?

— SKyNET

What we learn from this weekend…

We seem to find out a little more each week about each NFL team.  The 3 afternoon games provided the perfect amount of drama, suitable for a good nap, seeing that the average margin of victory was almost 15pts – but it is a nice change of pace when everything is being covered ATS like gravy on a biscuit.  Here’s the straight-DiRT on week 3:

Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Drew Brees … and now Roethlisberger. That’s four marquee quarterbacks hurt before the calendar turns to October. Does the Competition Committee push for more offseason drill work for offensive linemen?  Players are now restricted from all offseason contact by the 2011 labor agreement.  Whether it’s HGH or some other perfomance nehancing drug that appears to weaken ligaments and tendons – or it is the year-round work these players are putting in – players are not surviving deep into the season anymore – or so it may seem.


Florida: Professional Football in ‘Murica’s genital region had a rough week. The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up 51 points and were blown out in New England, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed just nine points in losing to Houston and the Miami Dolphins suffered one of the more disappointing losses of the early season to the Buffalo Bills. No one expected Jacksonville to beat the Super Bowl champs on the road, but a 34-point loss just might show us that the rebuilding project is a long way from completion. The Bucs kicked away their chance at a win – and while Miami was considered to be a hidden gem that could possibly win the AFC before the season started, the Bills made the Dolphins look like the J.V. team – taking them behind the woodshed, 41-14 – in their house. Sure the weather is nice down there, but the football stinks.


Big Names, Big Games – An absolute huge day for some of the best receivers in the NFL, A.J. Green caught 10 passes for 127 yards and two scores in the Cincinnati Bengals win over the Baltimore Ravens  – Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones put up 12 receptions for 164 yards and two scores in his team’s comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.

It doesn’t necessarily stop there.

Revitalizing a career that seemed to be on the downswing, Larry Fitzgerald has now scored five touchdowns in the past two weeks after tallying two scores on nine receptions against San Francisco on Sunday. Even old-man-extraordinaire Steve Smith put up 13 receptions for 186 yards and two scores in a losing effort against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The list goes on. All said, a total of 12 receivers went for 100-plus yards on Sunday. The interesting dynamic here is that 16 receivers hit the triple-digit plateau in Week 2 — this is clearly an indication that the pass happy NFL we have become accustomed to over the years has taken an even more dramatic turn.


There’s a reason you don’t have to worry about Peyton Manning’s health. The Denver defense is prettay good“We just have ball hawks,” safety David Bruton said, a few minutes after making his third huge defensive play of the month, an athletic pick of Matthew Stafford to clinch the 24-12 win over Detroit. Stafford suffocated against the defensive pressure. Now the Broncos, 3-0 after a killer September start, have a more fluffy October: Minnesota at home, Oakland and Cleveland on the road.


Carolina, Atlanta and Arizona, are all 3-0:  Cornerback Josh Norman saved the Panthers on Sunday with a ridiculous leaping end-zone interception down the stretch. Running back Devonta Freeman saved the Falcons with a 141-yard rushing game – and Tyrann Mathieu did the same for Arizona with a two-pick day. When asked, Norman said the big difference this year from past seasons is “I’m playing.”

The division that sent a 7-8-1 team to the playoffs last season is now the only division in football with two undefeated teams heading into Week 4. By virtue of wins by the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons, the NFC South has two legitimate playoff contenders.  In fact, the Falcons also lead the NFC East, with their 3 straight wins.

Carolina took on a New Orleans Saints team that was forced to start Luke McCown under center, and still found a way to win. It’s the third consecutive blue-collar performance for a Panthers squad that still has alot of holes on both sides of the ball.  How dangerous could this team be when Keuchly comes back?  Other scary statistic to note about Carolina – The last three teams to go undefeated in December the previous year and then go undefeated in September, all reached the Superbowl:  the 2009 Colts, and the 2013 Broncos and Seahawks – two other Superbowl winners did so as well: the 1983 Raiders and the 2004 Patriots.  Trends are funny things so remember where you read it first if it happens.

In Dallas, the Falcons were also facing a backup quarterback in Brandon Weeden. No one knows how that game would have turned out if both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were active, but teams can only play who is actually on the field on a given Sunday. In this, Atlanta outscored the Cowboys 14-0 in the final stanza to pull off a third consecutive fourth quarter comeback.

Showing much more poise under first-year head coach Dan Quinn than we have seen in the past, Atlanta is a serious playoff contender in the NFC. And if Julio Jones (12 receptions, 164 yards and two scores on Sunday) has anything to say about it, the Falcons are a legit threat to the Panthers in the much improved NFC South.


The Patriots…2007?  They might already be using the “U” word in New England – as in “undefeated.” New England advanced to a flawless-looking 3-0 Sunday against Jacksonville. More about that later, but as one of the ’07 team leaders, Rodney Harrison, opined Sunday night: “It’s 2007 all over again. Tom Brady’s playing like he’s 29, 30 years old.” Brady is 38, and he threw his 400th and 401st pro touchdown passes against the Jags.  Tom Brady passed for 358 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 51-17 rout of the Jaguars. Brady’s total of 1,112 passing yards this season is the second-highest after his team’s first three games among players who did not throw an interception during that time. Only Peyton Manning had a higher total (1,143 yards with no interceptions in 2013).

The Patriots had nine possessions against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. They scored on all nine possessions.  Through three games, Brady is now on pace to tally over 5,900 passing yards with 48 touchdowns and zero picks. He also crossed the 400 touchdown pass plateau for his career — a feat only three other quarterbacks in NFL history have accomplished.

As a team, the Patriots are averaging nearly 40 points and 446 yards of total offense per game.

In the team’s 51-17 win over Jacksonville, Brady received plenty of help from the running game. Making just his second appearance of the season LeGarrette Blount put up 78 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Dion Lewis added 67 total yards and a score.

If New England is able to get this type of balance moving forward, its going to repeat as AFC champions. There’s NO debate, especially with the way Brady has played through three games.


Peterson breaks off another one

Hope you didn’t sell your Vikings stock after Week 1. Since getting beat up in San Francisco in the opener, Minnesota has done a complete 180 on both sides of the football. Adrian Peterson rushed for 126 yards and two scores during Sunday’s win over the Chargers, giving him 260 yards on the ground and 318 total yards over the last two weeks.  Adrian Peterson’s 43-yard TD run, in the Vikings’ 31-14 win over the Chargers – was A.P.’s 16th TD run of 40 yards or longer, the second most in NFL history. Only Barry Sanders scored more rushing touchdowns of at least 40 yards than Peterson (20).

Teddy Bridgewater struggled again on Sunday, throwing for 121 yards on 24 attempts without a touchdown pass. Minnesota also finished 3-of-9 on third down, as the second-year signal caller continued to throw the ball well short of the first-down marker in these situations. This might be an issue for the Vikings moving forward – meanwhile, Mike Zimmer’s defense knocked around Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers in consecutive weeks. It’s this type of performance, coupled with struggles in Detroit and Chicago, that leads us to believe Minnesota might be the only team able to contend with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. Even if that’s not the case, the Vikings are, at worse, a wild card contender. That was unimaginable after a disastrous 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1.


Julio Jones sets league record for receptions

Here’s a good idea. Get the ball to your best player. Mike Smith constantly messed this up, but now Dan Quinn is running the show in the Ol’Dirty South.

Atlanta trailed Dallas 28-17 at the half before the Falcons unleashed Julio Jones.

The Pro Bowl receiver had 137 of his 164 yards in the second half including a 45-yard beauty that ended with Jones diving into the end zone for a critical score – to lead the Falcons to a 39-28 victory at Dallas. Jones’ totals after three games – 34 receptions for 440 yards-are historic. No other player caught more than 31 passes in his team’s first three games of a season, and only three gained more receiving yards through three games than Jones: Jerry Rice in 1989 (449), Chad Johnson in 2007 (442), and Wes Welker in 2011 (458).

The play was the biggest swing in Atlanta winning the game. Julio’s touchdown and the subsequent two-point conversion brought Atlanta within a field goal (trailing 28-25) midway through the third quarter.

The game also featured an apparent scoring battle between Devonta Freeman and Joseph Randle, who both ran for three TDs. It was only the fifth game in NFL history in which opposing players scored three rushing touchdowns each. The most recent players to do so were Roy Helu of Washington and Matt Forte of the Bears in 2013.


Luck rallies Colts with two late TD passes

Andrew Luck will get the credit for throwing two touchdowns in 46 seconds to overcome a double-digit fourth quarter deficit but it was the defense that came up big late.  Safety Dwight Lowery, picked off Marcus Mariota twice. The second interception came with six minutes to play and Indy trailing 27-21. Lowery returned Mariota’s errant pass to the Titans’ 11-yard line. The turnover setup Indy’s go ahead score.

Before the pick, the Colts were likely to choke away any chance for the playoffs. The turnover and great field position made the two-time defending AFC South champions have life and find a way to win a desperate game.

Had Mariota’s attempt, instead fell incomplete, it’s likely Tennessee would have won the game, maintaining possession and a six point lead.

The second of Luck’s 4thQtr TDs, was Andrew’s sixth fourth-quarter game-winning pass, tying Tony Romo for the most in the NFL over the past four seasons.  The 98-yard drive was the Colts’ longest fourth-quarter TD drive since the team moved to Indianapolis in 1984 – rallying the Colts to outlast Tennessee, 35-33. The previous record was 96 yards, on drives led by Mike Pagel (1984) and Peyton Manning (2010).

Indianapolis continues to own the AFC South. The Colts have won 14 straight against division opponents. Of course Sunday’s win over Tennessee was anything but dominating.


Undrafted rookie stars for Seahawks

Things are really getting more pathetic by the week for the Chicago Bears after being shut-out, 26-0, by the Seattle Seahawks.

The Bears, minus Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery, couldn’t get get a darn thing going against Seattle on Sunday tallying only 98 rushing and 63 receiving yards. The biggest contributor of course was Matt Forte who registered 74 of those rushing yards.

The last time Chicago was shut out was on December 29, 2002 when the Bears lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 15-0. Quarterback Henry Burris was under center in that game and he completed only seven passes for 78 yards and four interceptions. Cutler’s backup Jimmy Clausen was practically as bad as Burris on Sunday, completing only eight passes for 53 yards. Thankfully, there were no interceptions.

The bottom line is that the Bears need Cutler and Jeffery to return as soon as possible to have any shred of hope at posting their first season win on the board before it’s all too late.


Death, Taxes and Eagles beating the Jets

The Eagles scored all their points in the first half and held on for a 24-17 victory over the Jets. With that win, Philadelphia tied the NFL record for the longest all-time series with a perfect record against any opponent. That mark was set by the Green Bay Packers, who won all 10 of their games against the Brooklyn Dodgers (1931-44).

It remains to be seen whether Bradford is the long-term solution in Philadelphia.  Sam didn’t necessarily come out smelling like roses – of course, what QB has, going up against a stout Jets defense. Philadelphia’s offense tallied just 231 total yards while converting 4-of-15 third-down opportunities.

For his part, Bradford completed 14-of-28 passes for 118 yards with a touchdown and zero picks. His inability to get anything going through the air allowed New York back in the game, as the Eagles put up a total of 65 yards in the second half. Running back DeMarco Murray missed the game with a hamstring injury, which allowed fellow free-agent signing Ryan Mathews to carve up the Jets rush defense to the tune of 108 yards on 25 attempts. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s defensive front stepped up with the likes of Cedric Thornton, Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso all sidelined.

While that’s fine and dandy, the Eagles are going to need Bradford to perform at a much higher level at quarterback if they plan on competing in a wide open NFC East moving forward this season. His performances in the team’s first three games simply won’t get it done.


Old man Woodson saves the day for Raiders

The Raiders, are usually out of it by now – but now, actually have a winning record as October dawns. The Raiders (2-1) play on the road next week—and they are actually favored to beat Chicago. The quarterback, Derek Carr, is a big reason. “Having a quarterback is everything,” said C-Dub.  The Raiders having Woodson is something too. His last-minute interception, 10 days shy of his 39th birthday, (the fourth-oldest player to intercept a pass in NFL history), ensured the 27-20 win.

The Cleveland Browns are 1-2, and the one win came when Johnny Manziel started in Week 2. Unfortunately for a McCown-led Browns – fans were even heard shouting “John-ny, John-ny”.

McCown, was sacked five times, completed 28 of 49 passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Might we see a return of Johnny Football sometime in the near future? That most definitely is a possibility if McCown keeps coughing up costly turnovers.


Apologize to Andy Dalton…right now!
The Bengals are in fabulous shape in the AFC North. At 3-0 after a crushing 28-24 win at 0-3 Baltimore on Sunday, Cincinnati is set up nicely for the fifth playoff appearance in Andy Dalton’s five years.  A 121.0 passer rating would seem to back him up.  Could the Red Rifle be an early MVP candidate? Don’t laugh.
Dalton now has eight touchdown passes to start 2015, including three in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for 383 yards, while his beautifully-lofted touchdown to A.J. Green with just over two minutes left gave the Bengals a 28-24 win. Dalton has now produced three straight games with a passer rating over 100.0, and has an impressive rating of 121.0 on the season. The Bengals are rolling at 3-0, especially with Ben Roethlisberger suffering a knee injury Sunday and the Baltimore Ravens still winless….???

Thirty-six year-old Steve Smith caught 13 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens’ 28-24 loss to the Bengals. Only two other players caught as many as 13 passes in an NFL game after turning 36 years old: Tim Brown and Tony Gonzalez. The only player with as many receiving yards in a game at age 36 or older was Terrell Owens, with a 222-yard performance for Cincinnati in 2010.


Palmer+Cardinals are impressive

It all started with two interceptions of Colin Kaepernick that were returned for touchdowns in the first quarter. It continued with Carson Palmer tearing apart what is quickly becoming a disastrous San Francisco 49ers secondary. And it culminated in a 47-7 win against the over-matched division rival.

In reality, Arizona looked like a top-notch varsity team going up against a junior varsity squad full of
freshman. That’s how bad it was for the road team in this one.

Palmer may have thrown his first interception of the season, but he consistently found open receivers throughout the game. In the process, the veteran completed 20-of-32 passes for 311 yards with two touchdowns, both of which went to Larry Fitzgerald, who looks like he’s in his twenties again. He has 333 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the books already. Additionally, the Cardinals’ ground game is solid, despite missing their lead rusher Andre Ellington. As for their defense, it is insanely effective in stopping opposing teams from scoring thus far tallying seven interceptions, six sacks, one safety, three pick sixes and one return touchdown.. Arizona has now won 19 of Palmer’s 25 starts; since 1950, no other quarterback in team history won more than 13 of his first 25 starts for the Cardinals. Arizona’s average of 26.4 points with Palmer starting, is higher than that of any other QB after 25 starts for the team during that same period.

Looking like the running back that led the NFL in rushing so many years ago, Chris Johnson added 150 total yards and two scores on 23 touches. Yeah, it was a blowout of epic proportions for Bruce Arians and Co.

Some may argue that Green Bay should still be considered the favorites in the NFC through three weeks, but to me, the Cardinals are definitely the best. After all, they are outscoring their opponents by an average of nearly 26 points per game.


No joy in Mudville

There might not be a worse stat line from a quarterback all season. Kaepernick completed just nine of 19 passes for 67 yards, and threw four interceptions in San Francisco’s loss to the Cardinals. His passer rating was 16.7, the worst from a starting signal caller all season – so far. He did manage to run for a score, but it hardly mattered.

More so than finding a way to actually win football games, San Francisco needs an identity. What is its plan on the offensive side of the ball? Is Colin Kaepernick going to be the long-term solution at quarterback? Does the team have the personnel to run a blitz-heavy package on defense? These three questions will define the 49ers both over the short term and the long term – because the 49ers have now been outscored 90-25 over the last two weeks, and the Green Bay Packers are coming to town in Week 4.

San Francisco has now given up 40-plus points in consecutive games for the first time since Joe Namath guaranteed a Super Bowl victory for his New York Jets in 1969. To put that in perspective, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula had just turned one. The 65-point differential in the team’s past two games also represents the worst two-game stretch for the franchise since 1963.  Despite still boasting a 1-2 record, San Francisco might quickly find itself in the midst of a long losing streak. It hosts the Green Bay Packers next week before taking on the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. In his first season as head coach, Tomsula could very well be staring a 1-6 start right in the face.  Rock bottom would be Kaepernick getting benched for Blaine Gabbert.  Anyone miss Harbaugh yet?


 

What You Need to Know to #win Tuesday Night, #DraftKings #FantasyBaseball

…But First…

The Jets had five takeaways in their 20-7 win in Indianapolis on Monday, three of which were by Darrelle Revis, who recovered two Colts fumbles and intercepted an Andrew Luck pass. Revis had never before had three takeaways in one game. This is after last week when the Browns had five turnovers in the season opener. The Jets are the first team since the 1992 Steelers to have five takeaways in each of their first two games of a season. The Steelers did that in Bill Cowher’s first two games as their head coach – is history repeating with Todd Bowles?

Aside from the Jets looking legit – Indy NEEDS an offensive line.  Luck looked uncomfortable all night and made weird mistakes – some of that has to be attributed to the Jets, but I’m going with the hot-mess upfront.  For those freaking out about Andrew, let’s breathe for a moment – this is not a Drew Brees situation – this is a QB with what was and still is a suspect line that played two quality defenses, back-to-back.  Next up is Tennessee, I’m prettay, prettaaay sure all will be normal for Luck after week 3.  If not, then we can have a full-blown freakout.

As for Gang Green, the D appears to be strong and with Chan Gailey dialing up plays for the Denver Jets, this game could have been a lot worse – Decker and Marshall, each with a touchdown and almost 200yds receiving between them.  Revis Island seems to be a non-vacation spot again and Sheldon Richardson comes back soon to join an already impressive front line.


#NFL week 2 is in the books and it was another successful week and also for those that follow us.  We are still continuing to update+add features to our site – so check it out and join us at theDiRTCanon.com – let us teach you how to #win!!!

Here are week 2’s Perfect Lineups:

Fanduel

FD_perfectL_wk2

DraftKings

DK_perfectL_wk2


It’s almost post-season baseball time and with a full-slab of games on tap tonight, it seems like “Revenge of the Lefties” –  we got a lot to get to with SEA+CHC stack ideas and TAM RHB+BOS LHB  – so let’s get it on!

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

Logan Verrett vs. Atlanta Braves (-261) – Raise your hand if you saw this one…Verrett has become a spot start extraordinaire, as his one mission in life is to preserve the innings of Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom.  A tall task indeed, but something that Verrett thus far, has done successfully. Coming into tonight, Verrett owns a 2.89 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP in just two starts. Verrett has pitched only 37 innings this season, but he looks like he’s locked in. Getting a matchup tonight against the Braves is about as good as you could ask for with Verrett. He’s going to cost you next to nothing, priced at just $4,500. Even if Verrett only goes five solid innings, he will certainly be worth the price of admission. Verrett has only allowed two runs in his two starts this season and his looked great in doing so. Without much to go on in the majors, Verrett is someone who’s shown in a short amount of time that he can be a viable option for you tonight. I mean really, can you complain about a pitcher that is just above the minimum?cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png

John Lackey vs. Cincinnati Reds (-210) – We’ve seen plenty of this, this season, as Lackey gets a start against the Reds. Lackey enters tonight with a 2.79 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 7. Going against a team that owns a .316 wOBA in the second half of the season with a K% of 20.8%, Lackey looks primed for another solid start. Owning a career best ERA at this time, Lackey goes against a Reds team who he dominated two starts ago. In that matchup, Lackey went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out 10, scoring 25.8 in that start. His price tag certainly matches his production, as I think this is the highest I’ve seen it for Lackey at $10,300.  As the fourth most expensive pitcher on the night, I think Lackey would need some serious consideration to be in your lineup tonight. If you’re thinking about rostering Verrett, you have no excuse to not fit ANY pitcher going tonight, seeing as how much you’ll be saving with his $4,500 price tag.

Lance McCullers vs. LA Angels (-170) – I’ve been a big fan of McCullers since he’s got the call to the big leagues. Coming into tonight, McCullers owns a 3.18 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.9. McCullers gets matched up with a truly weak Angels lineup, a lineup that owns a .291 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for the lowest in the league besides the Braves. A truly baffling stat if you think about the amount of talent this team possesses. They’ve kept the strikeouts down, which of course is disappointing to hear if you’re rostering an opposing pitcher like McCullers. Their 19.5 K% ranks 22nd in the league. However, at this point, the Angels are entering a territory where no matter who is starting against them, you should at least give them a look. Out of sheer curiosity, I looked up what the Angels have done over the past week, and things don’t get much better. The Angels own a .310 wOBA over the last seven day with a 20.6 K%. Things aren’t looking up for the Halos. With a nice price of $9,400, McCullers should be another pitcher you should look at.

Top Overall Game per O/U

Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies 11 Over/Under – The Rockies remain at home, so we’re lucky enough to talk about how they’re the highest projected run total of the day, again. This matchup intrigues me. We have a leftie on leftie matchup, with both teams not exactly hitting LHP all that well. On the season, the Pirates own a .306 wOBA against lefties, which ranks 20th in the league. The Rockies are at .283 which is LAST in the league for wOBA. Soooooo, what should we do here? If this game was at Pittsburgh, I would be loading up on Happ like he was shotgun shells during a zombie-apocalypse. But we have to give some respect to Coors Field here. Can the Rockies overcome their woes against lefties with their home field advantage? It truly brings up a tough question. Overall, I don’t think Happ is someone that should scare you off too much. He has his stretches which he pitches great, but also can do the complete opposite in a heartbeat, evident by his 3.84 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. I think if anything, if you want to play it safe tonight, the Pirates will be the way to go. Rusin owns a 5.11 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP. This will be quite the strange game in Coors tonight, one that you might want to watch.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Jake Arrieta CHC (LwOBA .213)
    • Lance McCullers HOU (LwOBA .265)
    • Martin Perez TEX (LwOBA .266)
  • Right handed batters
    • Jake Arrieta CHC (RwOBA .248)
    • Marco Estrada TOR (RwOBA .264)
    • Sean Nolin OAK (RwOBA .269)

Easiest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Tyler Cravy MIL (LwOBA .403)
    • Henry Owens BOS (LwOBA .403)
  • Right handed batters
    • Matt Moore TAM (RwOBA .396)
    • Tyler Cravy MIL (RwOBA .369)

All Pitcher Stats

92215_pitch

 

Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Jorge Soler CHC – DiRT Canon Value127.44
  • Dioner Navarro TOR – DiRT Canon Value117.31
  • Franklin Gutierrez SEA – DiRT Canon Value111.10
  • Omar Infante KC – DiRT Canon Value108.40
  • Deven Marrero BOS – DiRT Canon Value108.20
  • Drew Stubbs TEX – DiRT Canon Value107.34

Other notables:  Tommy Pham: 12-22, 4HRs, 9 RBI, 10 runs scored – Anthony Rizzo: 12-28, HR, 7RBI, 2SB, 6 runs scored – Xander Bogaerts: 9-24, 2HRs, 7 RBI, 1SB, 7 runs scored

Best BvP matchup Tonight

David Ortiz vs. Matt Moore- Ortiz will always remember Moore, the man who gave up his 500th home run. The reason alone, Ortiz will always crush Moore when he’s on the mound. What stats back that up? Zero. That was just a hot take. Good one, eh? Ok, Ortiz is 8-18 against Moore with five extra base hits, three of them being home runs (including a 500th) and a 1.529 OPS.

Brian Dozier vs. Danny Salazar-  Dozier has seen Salazar in a small sample, but he’s done quite well for himself in that time. Dozier is 8-15 against Salazar with five extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.722 OPS.

Miguel Cabrera vs. Jose Quintana- I was talking about this the other day.  He never seems to take advantage of his superior matchups anymore.  Everytime I put him here, or take him, he does not justify his salary. If it wasn’t for the high batting average for Cabrera, could you consider this season a bust for him? I’m leaning towards yes.  At the least, he has a good matchup tonight against Quintana, who he’s 11-30 against with five extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.041 OPS.  Which he could duplicate if you did not take him, so….you’re move Miggy.


Weather

We seem to be getting the ALL CLEAR sign tonight


Top 4 by Position – in no particular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Danny Salazar ($11,100) – Salazar has two things I look for when picking my starting pitching for the night. A weak offense, and a high strike out ceiling. Check and check. Facing the Twins tonight, Salazar is certainly in line for a quality start in this one. The Twins own a .307 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 26th in the league. Add on the fact that they also have the 3rd highest K% in that same time span at 22.7 and you suddenly have a good start lined up. Salazar comes into tonight with a 9.7 K/9 on the season, which has me licking my chops for this one. After a couple of disaster starts for Salazar against Detroit, which saw him give up nine runs in nine innings, he bounced back nicely against the Royals. In that start, Salazar went seven innings giving up one run on four hits while striking out six, which is impressive, as the Royals are the toughest team in the league to strikeout. Even with the expensive price tag, Salazar is certainly worth the price of admission with this start tonight. I mean, you can always pair him with Logan Verrett.

Worth Considering

Matt Carpenter ($4900) –Carpenter, going against Keyvius Sampson, batting leadoff. I could end it right here if I wanted to. But, I’ll give you my reasons. Carpenter batting leadoff against a pitcher who’s allowing a .430 wOBA to left handed batters is a huge reason in itself. Carpenter hits right handed pitching well, with a .328 wOBA and an ISO of .233. In a game that should provide plenty of offense for the Cardinals, Carpenter is in a perfect positon tonight to be a table setter. He’s been hitting extremely well lately and I don’t see that slowing down tonight.

Save $$$…

Mikie Mahtook ($3100) –Mahtook (LSU) has been fantastic since his callup. Batting .289 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his short stint in the majors is about as much as you can ask for (unless your Tommy Pham.) Mahtook hit left handed pitching really well and faces Henry Owens tonight. Owens does fairly well against righties, with a .303 wOBA. However, it’s the .403 wOBA against lefties for Mahtook that really entices me. He’s dirt cheap and his some pop in his bat, something I like to target with my low tiered priced guys. I think you could find a way to squeeze Mahtook into your lineup


The Rest by Position

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Logo_Snap#1

DiRTy Work

It’s Championship Sunday!!! This year, for only the third time in Superbowl era history, both conference championships were rematches from the regular season:

1981: Cowboys @ 49ers  &  Chargers @ Bengals

2007: Giants @ Packers  &  Chargers @ Patriots

2014: Packers @ Seahawks  &  Colts @ Patriots

In 1981, both San Fran and Cincy beat Dallas and San Diego twice in the regular season and the playoffs.  In 2007, only NE won twice.  2007 was essentially the revenge tour for the Giants, who defeated the Packers and later the Patriots after losing to both teams in the regular season.

Only two teams have won their conference title game by scoring 10pts or less, since the merger in 1970 (AFL-NFL) – 1979 LA Rams(9-0 over the Tampa), and the 1991 Bills(10-7 over Denver).

Non-divisional, same-site teams are 14-28 ATS since 2000.  Also, since 1997 favorites of 7 or more are 3-9 ATS.

In the Superbowl era only the Giants(5-0), Bengals(2-0), and Cardinals(1-0) are undefeated on Championship Sunday.  None of them are undefeated in Superbowl play – can you name them? answer below…

Packers Greenbay_6n_120 @ Seattle_6n_120a Seahawks 01/18 03:05 PM FOX Rain 51f Light Rain 13m SSW

SEA -7.5 (46.5)

Here are some items to ponder for this game in no particular order:

  • Never has a NFC team scored 30 points or more and NOT reached the Superbowl.  Two teams were close, scoring 28pts and lost – 1994 Cowboys (lost 38-28 to the 49ers – 2009 Vikings (lost 31-28 to God’s Army).
  • Jermaine Kearse has scored at least 1 TD in 3 straight playoff games – he has never had double-digit targets in 43 games, including the postseason.
  • Russ v Aaron: Wilson has never lost any game by double digits – Rodgers has 4 20pt losses, including week 1 2014, against Seattle.
  • Flacco owns the NFL record for playoff road wins with 7 – Flacco also shares another stat with Bernie Kosar, Kurt Warner and Aaron Rodgers with most consecutive playoff games with 3 TD’s – 3.
  • Russell Wilson Good v Bad: The Good – with the win over the Panthers, he snapped a streak on 23 consecutive games without at least 3 TD’s thrown – including last year’s playoffs — The Bad – He has never eclipsed 200yds passing against the Packers: however he has never lost to the Packers either.
  • The Seahawks have allowed only 56pts in their last 7 games and have only allowed 1 team to gain 400+total yards and that was the week 6 loss to Dallas – the first home loss for Russell Wilson.
  • The Packers and Seahawks have played each other 17times – The Packers are 9-0 when scoring 25pts or more – however, they 1-6 when scoring less than 25.

What does it all mean? The numbers say this could be a 5pt victory for either team depending on defense and Aaron Rodgers’ calf – all things considered it is the closest matchup with GB having a slight edge.  The Seachickens can be run on if you maintain the running game, and for the Packers they have Eddie Lacy who has averaged 108yds/1TD in his last 14 games.  If you must believe that 25pts is the watermark for the Packers – if they can score 25+pts then the possibility of them winning looks pretty good.  If you believe that the Seahawks can prevent the Packers from scoring that much then you think this is a repeat of week 1.  As a degenerate gambler I would have to side on the history of it all with rematches and the spread being a bit generous.  I am going with the Packers because I believe that if they gear up to stop Marshawn, they have a decent enough secondary to run with Seattle’s WR’s – the wildcard of course being Russell Wilson.  For the Seahawks to blow out Green Bay, Russell will need to throw the ball a lot and Seattle’s Defense will have to dominate the Packers – they have done it before, but the wildcard for the Packers is Davante Adams who rarely saw the field in week 1.  Plus, the only above average QB the Seahawks have played has been Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers is A LOT better than Romo.  Just think if (s)Cam was any good he might have beat the Seahawks with the Offense he DID generate.  But, the Packers are 0-5 against Wilson and Xerxes over the last 3 years, so at some point they gotta get one – right?  GB wins this game if they rush Lacy 25+times and abuse Seattle in the slot – and if Aaron gets a double-check on that calf.

FanDuel consideration: J.Kearse, Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy, R.Cobb, D.Adams, Hauschka

Vegas consideration: GB +7.5 and the UNDER

DiRT Canon A.i.: GB wins by 1 and the OVER


Colts Indianapolis_6n_120 @ New_england_6n_120 Patriots 01/18 06:40 PM CBS Nrain 40f Light Rain 7m SSW

NE -6.5 (54)

Here are some items to ponder for this game in no particular order:

  • the Colts have lost the last 3 matchups by scores of 59-24, 43-22 and 42-20.
  • In 4 playoff games against Indy, Tom Brady averages 203yds and 1 passing TD.
  • The loser of the AFC championship has not scored 21pts or more for 7 consecutive years – the last time that occurred since 1980, was 1990-96.
  • Andrew Luck averages 323yds/2TD’s in his 3 playoff games.
  • Tom Brady has never lost a playoff game when completing 30 or more passes.
  • Julian Edelman in his last 5 games has received double-digit targets.
  • Last year, in his last 3 games, LeGarrette Blount averaged 144 total-yds/2.7TD’s – against the Colts last year he ran for 166yds and 4TD’s.
  • In the last 12mos, 2 different Patriot RB’s have rushed for 4TD’s against Indy.
  • The Colts share a history with Jets; neither has won an AFC title game on the road (min.4 att).

Historically, it says that if the Patriots commit to the run against the Colts they will light them up and play for another Superbowl ring.  Indy has to know this, but can they do anything about it?  The numbers say that Luck will still chuck it for more than 300yds, but CAN they RUN the ball?  Remember the Colts have not had a 100yd rusher in ANY game since 2012, so is Herron capable, against the Patriots?  Again we have history to consider and the point spread being generous.  I expect the Patriots to win the game but this will be closer than the last 3 games, and so I side with Indy and the points.  The Patriots will likely do what they did before which is cover T.Y. Hilton with a safety over the top, place Revis on Wayne, leaving the TE and slot WR to get a lot of action.  For Indy I’m sure they will put Vontae Davis on Gronk, but not sure what else they can do to slow down Edelman.  Indy does not have the D-lineman to harrass Brady like the Ravens do, nor the personnel to stop the run AND Gronk, Edelman, Lafell, T.Wright.  What we will see is what we should have seen Denver do against Indy, but clearly did not have the coaching staff to execute – the Patriots do.  So when you consider the trust-factor, you can call Brady – Luck a push, but at RB/TE/Coaching all go to NE – Indy does have the better WR corps but NE wins, with their secondary.

FanDuel consdideration: Andrew Luck, D.Moncrief, Indy TE, Gronk, J.Edelman

Vegas consideration: Indy +6.5

DiRT Canon A.i.: NE wins by 1.5 and the OVER

Teaser play: GB +16, GB/SEA OVER 36.5, Indy +15, IND/NE OVER 45.5

FanDuel possible lineup

A.Luck

M.Lynch

L.Blount

R.Cobb

D.Adams

J.Kearse

D.Allen

S.Hauschka

NE D

Muddy When Wet

What in the wide-wide-world of sports was a going on…

…and now there is innuendo that he played with a torn right quad??

 

Whatever THAT was last night, appeared to be nothing more than a torch-passing ceremony.  Would anyone have thought the Denver Broncos would have been better off with Andy Dalton, or even Tim Tebow in that game, because I thought it – watchin all those over-throw-mahas.  How does Ware and Miller not get to Luck, ever?  What kind of gameplan was that?  Thankfully it is snowing so there won’t be AS many people jumping off Lookout mtn today.  But with all that said, if Elway had any balls – he would fire everyone and let god sort ’em out – go with a clean slate.  The experiment failed and Fox proved once again what every NFC South fan already knew – Elway, it’s time to usher in the Osweiler era.  For Broncos fans, it might be time for you to get comfortable, as it might be a looong couple of years.

The rest of the games were less of a trainwreck and had their own flare.  The Cowboys now understand how the Lions feel – Karma, it’s gonna getcha – for all of Flacco’s postseason sweetness, he sure soured when he was most needed – and how awesome was the Im-inelligble-play?  That might cinch it for McDaniels getting another head-coaching gig – SF/ATL we are looking at you – and Seattle looks like they are poised for a repeat.

The NFL needs to now figure out how we can stop each playoff-season from some sort of outrage.  Either there are to many rules, or too many rule changes that cause the public, the announcers etc., to not know what the call is or should be, further devolving the audience into raving-conspiracists.  Me?  I love it because my dog is not in this hunt – he was put down a few weeks ago – so I bathe in all the degenerate-gambling-glory that is playoff-football – speaking of nonsense, can anyone from the NFC South beat the Seahawks?! – it’s getting old.


 

Ducks v Bucks

This IS Monday Night Football!!!  Here are several things to consider for tonight’s game:

opened at: Oregon -6.5 (74)  currently: Oregon -6 (73.5)

1. NIKE: Expect to see a calvacade of Nike gear being hustled tonight as both teams are sponsored by Nike, (all 4 CFP playoff teams were) and it could be a free showcase of “what’s new” – available in green, yellow, silver, red or black.

2. ‘Zeke Elliot against the Ducks front seven: Oregon is 51st in rush defense this season and in his last two games has rushed for over 200+yds.  The game could come down to this and how well does Oregon stop the run of ‘Zeke and Cardale.

3. Ohio State front seven: The defensive line must control the line of scrimmage and maintain their assignments.  Oregon has trouble with big, strong, athletic D-linemen (SEC, Stanford) and the Ducks O-line has not had 4 consecutive games with everyone playing together, so it is critical for Ohio State’s front seven to show up if they are to have a chance at slowing down the Ducks.

4. Darren Carrington: Is suspended for the game for failing a drug-test.  He is Oregon’s second-leading receiver with 37 catches for 704 yards and 4 TD’s.

5. Cardale Jones: The last time a Ducks team saw this kind of QB was the last time they were in the Nat’l Championship game.  If Cardale plays like that, Oregon may find similar results.

6. High Ratings: This might be the most watched college football game of all time and could eclipse the NFL playoffs.  Vegas is already reporting this is the most bet college game ever, so…let’s grab some snacks and enjoy this.

7. Heisman curse? If Mariota wins it will be the 7th consecutive post-season victory for the Heisman winner, unlike before when the Heisman was a curse.  Will it culminate with Oregon’s 10-yr-title-quest or Big (not)Ten bragging rights?

8. Urban Meyer: Is 5-0 as an underdog in these type of games – win this one and he elevates above Nick Saban with the coaching job he did this year, adding a 3rd title to his resume and becoming the second coach in history to win titles at two different schools/conferences – First being Saban (same conference).

9. Dome Depot: Ohio State has played their last two games in a dome – Oregon has not all year.  The enclosed atmosphere could make it really difficult on a team not accustomed to the acoustics of indoor football.

10. Last 5 games: Neither team has faced a similar opponent, like the one they face tonight – for all of Oregon’s uptempo-ness, Ohio St runs on average 72 plays a game, compared to Oregon’s 73.  Expect the Ohio St D to be familiar with tempo from their own practices.

11. Oregon is: 18-4 away from home since 2011.

12. Ohio St in NC games: has lost the last two they were in 2007(LSU) and 2008(FU) – this is not your older brother’s coaching staff.

13. Oregon v Ohio St: Oregon has never beaten Ohio St in 8 attempts.  The last one coming in the Rose Bowl in 2010 – Ohio St 26, Oregon 10 – 419yds for Ohio St, to 260yds for Oregon.  Both under different regimes.

14. 1939: was the first National Championship tournament-game in basketball and it featured Ohio St losing to Oregon, 46-33.  In today’s college football, that could be the score tonight.

15. Stats:

Yards per Point
11.71 Off 11.33
18.93 Def 15.06
Yards per Pass
14.42 Off 14.2
11.11 Def 10.65
Yards per Rush
5.54 Off 5.84
4.15 Def 3.94

Tonight is showcase of style with a dash of toughness thrown in for that lil’bit extra.  The Pac-12 has been the better conference and the job of Urban Meyer getting this team ready to compete with multiple QB’s has been amazing.  The numbers all point to an Oregon victory, but to me it comes down to which defensive line can generate pressure and make the most plays.  I think 6pts is to much, so I would take Ohio St in this game and with a slight lean on the OVER.  However, just like I said when Oregon played Florida State regarding the spread – seems like somebody knows something we don’t know and we should probably go with that somebody.

The DiRT Canon A.i. says Oregon is 3pts better than Ohio State – we shall see – ENJOY!