Weekend Update: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

It was a glorious weekend outside the DirtCanon Bunker – the College Football was fresh, the NFL was tasty.  Even my attorney showed up for the festivities of our Launch Party Sunday – he even paid!  But let’s get down to what we saw this weekend and Arkansas you are on the clock:

How does that taste Bert…dont care if its Bret, you’re now Bert…you mouthed off about Ohio State’s schedule and you get blown up at home, by Toledo?! That’s a MAC school, they are maybe the 4th best team in Ohio – you s’posed to be SEC.  In fact you were s’posed to be a team that road-grades its way to victory. That Oline, that running game – you have no business throwing the ball 53 times on Toledo – Bert you lost your balls, you get paid too much money to act like a Nutt

Auburn still needs help from the Refs, and this time it is to defeat Jacksonville St in OT.  Not a misprint, Auburn is terrible and with Tennessee’s choke-job to Oklahoma in double OT – the SEC is in danger ofsingle logo_small becoming ACC bad.  Sure, there were some bright spots, Kentucky snapped their 22-game loser-streak on the road beating South Carolina and LSU escaped Starkville.  But SEC-fan, you might want to start getting used to chants of “OVER-RATED”  – clap, clap, clap-clap-clap…

Notre Dame is cursed.  Last year, defensive injuries derailed a promising start to the season. This year it is the offense. Starting quarterback Malik Zaire fractured his ankle in Notre Dame’s 34–27 victory over Virginia, joining running back Tarean Folston, (who was lost last week) on the won’t-play-again-this-season list.

On a brighter side, the week 2 odds that were posted on Friday did fairly well.  On the highlighted picks – we were perfect SU and 68% ATS – overall, we were 89% SU and 63% ATS – just good enough to not be addicted and still better than anywhere else.

Here are some other Saturday thoughts I cannot put anywhere else:

  • Two wins to start the 2015 season has pushed Ohio State’s nation’s best winning streak to 15 straight.  Up next are TCU (10), Memphis (nine), Western Kentucky (seven), Michigan State (six) and Navy (five).
  • The “honor” of the longest losing streak had belonged to Georgia State, which had lost 12 in a row until Saturday night’s 34-32 win over New Mexico State.  The win also marked GSU’s first-ever win over an FBS-level team as an FBS team themselves.
  • Additionally, Colorado ended its 10-game losing streak, the longest amongst Power Five teams, with a 48-14 win over UMass.  With those outcomes, UNLV now owns the nation’s longest losing streak at eight straight.
  • Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are the only teams that have never played a non-FBS/Div. 1-A school since the current setup was established in 1978.  Following the 2016 season, and because of a conference mandate, Big Ten teams will no longer be permitted to schedule games against FCS programs.
  • V’Angelo Bentley is the only player in Illinois history to record a kickoff return, punt return, interception return and fumble return for touchdown in his career. Harold “Red” Grange is the only other Illini player with kickoff, punt and interception returns for TDs, but he never returned a fumble for a score.
  • Dalvin Cook‘s 266 yards rushing were the second-most in Florida State history?  Cook’s performance is topped only by Greg Allen‘s 322 yards in 1981

 

Manning vs. Flacco

Remember this post from March?  When we told you that “It’s hard to watch your heroes fall and attempt to hang on to long.  Age always wins“.  Well it seems wearing a swim-shirt was the fore-shadowing we needed on the final season of the Great Peyton Manning.  No touchdowns during the pre-season and none yesterday against Baltimore.   It was the 20th NFL season opener in which both starting QBs were coming off a season of at least 25 touchdown passes. It was the first of those games in which neither threw a TD pass. (Note: Tony Romo vs. Eli Manning on Sunday night was the 21st such meeting.)  For Baltimore, the rest of the season seems to be a more difficult one as they lose Suggs with a torn achilles.  But the issue is still Denver winning with a punchless offense – maybe someone should set Peyton up with DirecTV, because this cable-version of Peyton is hard to watch.

A first-of-its-kind matchup produces a historic performance

The last time Marcus and Jameis met on the field was in January, at the Rose Bowl – and the results were the same then as they were yesterday.  It was the first-ever opening-day matchup of rookie quarterbacks chosen first and second in the NFL Draft. But by halftime, it was all about Marcus Mariota, with number-one pick Jameis Winston earning only an interesting footnote, albeit an unwanted one.  Marcus was 13-16 with 4 touchdown passes – the only other player to do that in their first game was Fran Tarkenton – except Marcus threw 4 in the first half!  The Titans scored 35 points by halftime of their 42-14 win. Last year they NEVER scored more than 28 points in a game while going 2-14.  As for Jameis, he is has played 28 games in college and the pro’s, going 26-2 – his two losses are both to Mariota.

Sure, it’s only one game but seeing Mariota finish his first professional game with a perfect passer-rating that puts him ahead of Tom Brady (2nd) and Aaron Rodgers (3rd) gives the Titans hope that they chose correctly.  As for Winston’s role in this historic matchup, his first pass was intercepted by Coty Sensabaugh, who returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. Over the last 30 years, only two other players threw a pick-6 on the first pass of their NFL career: Jay Schroeder in 1985 and, believe it or not, Brett Favre in 1991.  It was not all bad for Jameis, he did finish ahead of Luck, Manning and Flacco in passer-rating Sunday.

Rodgers owns Cutler & the Bears

James Jones (two TD grabs Sunday) being back in Green Bay might be a lot more important to the Packers’ Super Bowl chances than we all thought.  The Packers defeated the Bears, 31-23, at Soldier Field in the 11th regular-season meeting of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler as starting quarterbacks. With that victory, Rodgers improved his record against Cutler to 10-1, with his only loss coming five seasons ago at Chicago – Cutler has now thrown at least 1 INT in every game against the Packers. The last QB to win at least 10 of his first 11 starts against another quarterback was Terry Bradshaw against Brian Sipe (1976-81).

In Rodgers’ last three games against the Bears he has completed 74 percent of his passes for 806 yards with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is the first player to throw 13 TDs over three games against one opponent since Dan Marino did it against the Jets (1985-86). No other player has ever thrown 13 TDs and fewer than three INTs over three games against one team.

Note that Rodgers also led the Packers to a win over Cutler and the Bears in the NFC Championship Game after the 2010 season.

Rams win

Irony is after an offseason of debate about throwing at the goal line in their Super Bowl XLIX loss, the first play of the Seattle Seahawks’ season fittingly was a handoff to Marshawn Lynch. So was the last play … which got blown up on fourth-and-1 as the nullRams defeated the Seahawks, 34-31 in overtime, on a 37-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein. But it was Nick Foles, in his Rams debut, who completed a pass unlike any other in the team’s long NFL history. Foles found Lance Kendricks for a 37-yard touchdown with 53 seconds to play and Zuerlein’s extra point evened the score at 31-31. It was the first game-tying or go-ahead TD pass of 20 yards or longer in the final 60 seconds of the fourth quarter in Rams history.  In other news – what were you thinking Pete Carroll with an onside kick in OT?

nullLockett ends longest return drought

Tyler Lockett opened the scoring in the Seahawks’ loss at St. Louis with a 57-yard punt return. Only three other rookies in NFL history scored on a first-quarter punt return in their team’s opening game of a season: George Atkinson of the Raiders (1968), Deion Sanders of the Falcons (1989), and Dale Carter of the Chiefs (1992).

Allen huge in San Diego’s comeback victory

Philip Rivers completed 35 passes for 404 yards, including 15 to Keenan Allen, in the Chargers’ 33-28 come-from-behind victory over the Lions. Allen set a record for pass nullreceptions in a season-opening game. The previous mark was 14, set by Andre Rison in 1994 and matched by Marshall Faulk in 2002.

San Diego trailed Detroit, 21-3, in the second quarter. Only one other team in this century overcame a deficit that large to win its season-opening game, and Chargers fans should remember the other well. Two years ago, San Diego squandered a 28-7 lead in losing its opener to Houston, 31-28, on Monday Night Football.

New York Blows it – Romo saves Cowboys

The optimists in Big D said the O-line was good enough to offset the loss of DeMarco Murray. But the Cowboys managed just 80 yards on the ground Sunday against a Giants defense that rarely stopped the run in 2014. Dallas only had less than 90 rushing yards nullonce last year, when the Giants only held two opponents below 80.  New York should’ve left Dallas with a W. But poor clock management — namely failing to milk it while opting to throw near the goal line on their final drive — provided Tony Romo with the opportunity to craft a successful comeback.  Tony Romo threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 7 seconds to play and Dan Bailey added the extra point to give the Cowboys an unlikely 27-26 victory over the Giants. That was the latest game-winning fourth-quarter TD pass in Cowboys history. The previous mark was set in a 17-14 win over the Redskins in 1967 when Don Meredith connected with Dan Reeves for a 36-yard TD with 10 seconds to play.

Dallas’ victory was unlikely in this sense: The Cowboys committed three turnovers and the Giants none. Over the past three seasons (2012-14), there were 100 regular-season games in which a team turned the ball over at least three times and had no takeaways; only three of those teams won.

nullBrees ties dubious NFL record in loss

Drew Brees passed for 355 yards in the Saints’ 31-19 loss at Arizona, his fifth straight season reaching the 300-yard mark in New Orleans’ first game. That tied the NFL record for consecutive season openers with at least 300 passing yards. Kurt Warner set that mark from 1999 through 2003.  Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes in his first game since last season’s ACL injury. Palmer has a 14-2 record in his last 16 starts

Marshall and the Jets

The Browns have now lost an NFL-record 11 straight openers, and Brandon Marshall might be the safety net the Jets need to stabilize their uneven passing game. He excelled in the red zone and bailed out Ryan Fitzpatrick by ripping the ball away from Browns safety Tashaun Gipson after an interception.  With that, the Todd Bowles era started with a strong defensive performance as the Jets forced the Browns into five turnovers and posted a 31-10 victory. During six seasons under Rex Ryan, the Jets ranked 19th among the 32 NFL teams with an average of 1.5 takeaways per game. They had only one game with as many as five takeaways under Ryan, forcing six turnovers in a 38-7 win over Buffalo in 2011.

Bills knock the Colts down a peg

The Colts were chic Super Bowl picks in many quarters, but didn’t look ready for the Bills, who shut Indianapolis out in the first half before winning 27-14.  The Bills were sending seven defenders at Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck on seemingly every passing down, especially early in the game. The all-out blitzes worked in Buffalo’s decisive upset.null

Making his first NFL start, the new Bills quarterback justified Rex Ryan’s faith in him by playing efficient, virtually mistake-free football. Taylor passed for 195 yards and a TD while adding 41 yards with his legs. Ground and pound, baby.  The Colts’ struggles to stop the run have carried over to this season. The Bills ran 36 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns – leading a terrific start to Karlos Williams’ NFL career, as he gave the Bills a 16-0 lead on a 26-yard touchdown run on his first carry. It had been 20 years since any NFL player scored an opening-game TD of 20 yards or longer on the first carry of his career. The last player to do so was Michael Westbrook of the Redskins, with a 58-yard TD run in a 27-7 opening-day victory over the Cardinals.

But guess what? A few hours later, Ameer Abdullah of the Lions did it as well, capping Detroit’s opening drive with a 24-yard TD run on his first carry.

nullIt’s getting absurd in KC

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith threw three touchdowns but none to a wide receiver – again. Smith’s last TD to a receiver was Dec. 8, 2013.  On the other hand, Travis Kelce became the first Chiefs tight end to catch two touchdown passes in a game since Tony Gonzalez left Kansas City following the 2008 season. Gonzalez caught two or more TDs in a game 14 times for the Chiefs.

What about Bob?null

Another strong performance by a tight end was turned in by Tyler Eifert, who caught nine
passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the Bengals’ 33-13 win at Oakland. Eifert was the first Cincinnati TE with two TD receptions in a 100-yard game since Bob Trumpy scored three times in a 5-for-159 performance against the Houston Oilers in 1969.

Same Ol’Philbin, Same Ol’Washington

The Miami Dolphins are continuing a disturbing trend during coach Joe Philbin’s tenure with the team: They play down to lesser opponents. The offense came out flat in the first half at Washington, rushing for only 2 yards. But the most concerning questions from Miami’s victory were mental lapses on defense.

For Washington, things were looking good for the home team early on Sunday. But then Ryan Tannehill found Rishard Matthews for a 3-yard TD late in the first half to narrow the Redskins’ lead to 10-7, and the Dolphins scored 10 points in the fourth quarter for a 17-10 victory. Washington was the first home team to lose its season opener after scoring the game’s first 10 points since 2002, when the Jets rallied from a 10-0 deficit for a 37-31 win at Buffalo.  From the media-generated-controversy department – Why was CBS giving viewers constant reaction shots from RGIII — following many of Kirk Cousins’ throws?

Somethings never change

The Kelvin Benjamin-less offense produced just 263 yards and one touchdown – ouch. The supporting cast around Newton will likely add pressure on Carolina’s defense, nullespecially if MLB Luke Kuechly’s concussion proves severe.  In other news, Josh Norman intercepted Blake Bortles and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown in the Panthers’ 20-9 win over the Jaguars. That was a problem for Bortles as a rookie last season, when he tied for the NFL lead by throwing four pick-6’s, which was also a single-season team record.

Tuesday DiRT

Only a mother could love this face.  This is the face of $96 million dollars – $45m of it guaranteed.  Sure, Tannehill had his best season last year throwing for 4,045yds and 27 TD’s, but what has he done to deserve this kind of love?  According to his contract, he’s the 5th best QB by average salary: Brees ($20m), Peyton ($19.2), Rodgers ($18.7), and Romo ($17.1).

Tannehill has a career record of 23-25 with 70 turnovers in 3 years, and this should make Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck very happy!  In a league that seems to find new ways to overpay for generic brands, just imagine the monopoly numbers that will be coming for Luck.  The Seahawks just called the Dolphins to say ‘thanks for that’!  Luck and Wilson are looking at $120-$150m contracts with 2/3 guaranteed.  Nobody is saying that Tannehill is Blaine Gabbert – he just hasn’t done enough to justify the same level of contract as Luck, Brees, Manning, Rodgers, Wilson, etc…He’s more Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, without the potential – like Uncle Rico (Kyle Orton).

Tonight we have a large compliment of games.  Furthermore, it is also interesting to some of us seamheads, how well the game is doing on TV.  In the 1st month of the season, Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network have seen their viewership double as have a handful of teams so far:  The Cubs, Royals, Astros (since the worked out their cable deal, finally), Arizona (largest in a decade), Cleveland, Detroit, St.Louis and San Diego.  In fact, baseball games have eclipsed NBA and NHL Playoff games, including first run shows on network TV.  Baseball is making money, largely due to the cable companies, and with people increasingly choosing to disconnect, it will be interesting to see how far that model actually works.  Unplugging your cable package currently means you’ll miss your local team due to blackout restrictions by said cable companies – but, the biggest change to the entire model could occur when the Chicago Cubs’ deal expires in 2019.  The Diamondbacks just secured a deal worth more than $1 Billion dollars and much like Tannehill – the Cubs are excited.  How do the Cubs change the game?  Simple, if they work out a way to limit the cable company and their grip on the market and instead choose a format that allows us, the consumer, to unplug and stream the games at a certain price point – it will change TV forever.  Allowing the consumer to finally pay for what they want and not for all the other stuff they don’t, like the Lifetime channel.

However while we watch tonight, along with our Draftkings lineup – keep some guys in mind, that are having the kind of year that might get them recognized for their first all-star game, guys like:

  • Stephen Vogt
    • Would you believe this 30yr old has a higher WAR than Mike Trout?  He has the same number of HR’s right now (9) than he did all of 2014.
  • Freddy Galvis
    • now that Jimmy Rollins is gone, he has his chance and is currently hitting .341 with a .360wOBA.  He’s cut down his strikes and increased his walk rate and at 25 continually sprays the ball all over the field.
  • Mike Moustakas
    • He might have figured it out, finally.  He has cut down his strikeout rate by 7%, creating 40% more runs than the league average – generating a .380 OBP to go with his great defense.
  • Jake Odorizzi
    • After his first full year as a starter and entering his prime years, at 25, all he has done is pitch like an ace.   Currently has the 6th highest WAR at 1.6 and an ERA and FIP below 2.50 – wlaking less than 4% and striking out over 20%.
  • Jake Arrieta
    • As a Dark Horse candidate for the NL Cy Young at the start of the year, all he has done is put him at the table.  4th in WAR and has a 2.77 ERA with a FIP and xFIP of 2.23 and 2.69.

Tonight, play Swing for the Fences with us! It’s only $3 to play, $300,000 is up for grabs (1st place will win $100,000), and the top 25,930 finishers will win a cash prize!!  We all can guess at guys like Bryce Harper, Michael Brantley, Mike Trout, etc…So here are some of those value guys you might need to plug in to afford all that talent – keep a lookout to see if some of these guys actually start:

Pitchers:  Carlos Frias(LAD) $5,500 – Erasmo Ramirez(TB) $5,100 – Tim Hudson(SF) $6,200 – Tim Koehler(MIA) $5,900

Catchers:  Bobby Wilson(TB) $2,000 – Roberto Perez(CLE) $2,400

First Base:  Chirs Colabello(TOR+OF) $2,900 – Mark Reynolds(STL) $2,800 – Justin Bour(MIA) $2,600

Second Base:  P.Ciriaco(ATL+3B) $2,100

Third Base:  Brock Holt(BOS+OF) $3,100 – Logan Forsythe(TB+2B) $3,200 – Eric Campbell(NYM) $2,700

Shortstop:  R.Ynoa(COL+3B) $2,300 – T.Field(TEX+2B) $2,600

Outfield:  Kyle Blanks(TEX+1B) $3,600 – K.Kiermaier(TB) $3,800 – T.Cunningham(ATL) $2,800 – Adam Eaton(CHW) $3,600 – Grichuck(STL) $3,100 – Ichiro(MIA) $2,900.

So good luck tonight – I will be rolling with Liriano and Gray as my pitchers in most of my lineups – yours may vary.

 

Pay DiRT

Ravens Baltimore_ntc120 @ New_england_6n_120 Patriots 01/10 04:35 PM NBC Clear-night 16f Clear 8m WSW

NE -7 (47.5)

The Patriots are not the dynasty you remember, or hate, but they may be the best team in the AFC.  In their last 9 playoff games since 2008 they are a Peyton-esque 4-5.  Tom Brady has .444 winning percentage since 2008.  In the last three times they have met – Tom is 1-2 against the Ravens – could be 0-3 if someone could catch.  They have had O-line issues all year and now the Ravens come into town with the league’s best sack%, of 9.4.  Joe Flacco, in his last 4 playoff games has thrown 13 TD to 0 INT’s.  Flacco has 7 post season road wins, most all time, and the 6th highest winning % (.714) in the playoffs with a minimum of 10 starts.  So it says.  Expect a good, tough game.  Expect some points to be scored, because Baltimore may have the league’s best sack%, but their secondary is terrible.  More than 40% of the time New England lines up with 2 TE’s, so who is going to cover Tim Wright AND Gronk for the Ravens?  The key to both will be who runs the ball better and which D covers the TE’s best – either way it sets up for a Manning v Brady AFC title game XXV.  Plus, let’s look at the actual wins the Ravens have against: the entire NFC South, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tennessee – it says to me, Paper-Tiger.  The A.I. says the Patriots win but do not cover and believes the OVER is the right side.  If you want to play straight up, I lean towards the Ravens…if you want to get crazy, I would tease the Ravens and tease the OVER.

FanDuel consideration: Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Tim Wright, K.Aiken, J.Edelman

Vegas consideration: tease Ravens and the OVER

DiRT Canon A.I. says: Patriots by 2.6 and the OVER


Panthers Carolina_6n_120 @ Seattle_6n_120a Seahawks 01/10 08:15 PM FOX Ncloudy 44f Overcast 1m S

SEA -10.5 (40)

Beware the Panthers D they say!  That is what we have seen the last 5 weeks and if (s)Cam Newton is anything like his rookie season this could get ugly for Seattle and their hope for a repeat.  In 5 of the last 7 games Seattle has failed to score 20 points.  Who does Russell Wilson throw to against that D, and besides Marshawn Lynch what kind of offense can we expect.  If you have been reading this site for awhile you would have witnessed that we projected a Panther victory previous to this matchup, and you’re getting 10.5pts on top of it- that’s a sweet cherry.

NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!

The last two times these two have played they have been close but, the Kitties have 1 TD in the redzone in their last 6 attempts.  Plus, this will be the FIRST time that Carolina has played IN Seattle.  (s)Cam Newton is a bust that continues to devolve and without Defensive Tackle Lotulelei for Carolina, expect Marshawn to do what he do in the Great Northwest – skittle-chasin-beast-mode!  Seattle also gets back 2-time all-pro C Max Unger.  Factor in the East-coast -to the- West-coast trend, add to it, a night game IN Seattle and more importantly this:  since 2000, non-home underdogs of 10+pts or more, are 4-7 ATS (1-7 if you remove the 2007 Patriots) and since 2007, the Seahawks are 31-12 ATS at home.  The A.I. says the Seahawks win but do not cover; however, I’ll take Seattle straight up.  I believe this will not be close and the right play is all on Seattle – as I trust Russell, Skittles and big game Pete, more than anything the Kitties have – Kuechly is a man, but will not be enough.

FanDuel consideration: Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin

Vegas consideration: Seattle +10.5, tease the UNDER

DiRT Canon A.I. says: Seattle by 5 and the OVER


Cowboys Dallas_6n120 @ Greenbay_6n_120 Packers 01/11 01:05 PM FOX Cloudy 17f Overcast 7m W

GB -5.5 (52)

Both the UNDER and the LINE have dropped since opening at 53 and GB -6.  It’s a battle of unbeaten streaks: GB is 8-0 at home and Dallas is 8-0 on the road – something’s gotta give.  This is also the first time Dallas has met Green Bay, in Lambeau, in the playoffs, since 1967’s Ice Bowl where the Packers defeated the Cowboys 21-17.  The weather does not expect to be the same but the score could be.  Aaron Rodgers is a remarkable 36 TD to 0 INT’s at home and their Defense since wk9, has only allowed 2 RB’s to gain more than 60yds, (LeSean McCoy and Fred Jackson).  However, DeMarco and the Cowboy O-line are more than willing to challenge that #6-ranked Packer D.  If the Packers do shutdown or limit DeMarco, Dallas is more than capable to throw it with Romo, Dez, and Witten.  In comparison to when Dallas throws the ball, consider this:  the Packers D allows an average of 22 completions at home. 1.9 TD’s thrown, but averages 1.8 takeaways a game, at home.  Rodgers has a slight-tear in his calf and that’s gonna limit him scrambling, but it does not limit his lethality within the pocket.  The Cowboys have the #22-ranked D and the difference from last years D to this years D is the success of the offense controlling the clock and giving those guys rest.  The Cowboys still give up first-downs at a rate of 43%.  Both teams’ last game was against Detroit, so…Dallas escaped scoring 24pts,  Green Bay ran up 30pts at home while also holding Detroit to 20pts.  So where do we go? Do we trust Roddgers with a bad wheel over Romo? Is Jordy and Cobb more dangerous than Dez and Witten?  who has a better day running the ball, Lacy or Murray?  The A.I. says this game is really close and that there is greater value in Dallas than with Green Bay.  There is something about Dallas this year that has me taking the Cowboys against Aaron Rodgers – or maybe its the good luck of C.Christie’s awful-orange sweater.

FanDuel consideration: Tony Romo, Eddie Lacy, Dez, Witten, Cobb, R.Rodgers

Vegas consideration: Cowboys +5.5, tease the OVER

DiRT Canon A.I. says: Green Bay by .23, and the OVER


Colts Indianapolis_6n_120 @ Denver_6n_120 Broncos 01/11 04:40 PM CBS Cloudy 40f Overcast 2m E

DEN -7 (53.5)

This should be named the Legacy-Bowl because both QB’s have so much riding on this game.  If Luck loses, you’ll here how much talent he has but struggles against good teams and winning on the road, (14-12).  With a loss, it will not matter, to many, that Andrew Luck has a terrible offensive line and the Colts have not had ANY RB rush for 100yds, in ANY game since 2012 – that’s KC WR bad.  Now imagine the fallout, if the greatest-regular-season-QB-of-all-time choked away another 1st-round-bye-home-playoff-loss.  The pressure has to be immense each week for Peyton, until he WINS another title.  The positive is, aside from Peyton’s recent wet-noodle-ness throwing the ball, the pressure is dispersed amongst the newly found ground game and #2 D.  CJ Anderson has 8 TD’s in his last 6 games and it reminds me of the last years of John Elway finally giving the keys to Terrell Davis – not saying it IS the same thing – just saying maybe Peyton has finally loosened his control and allowed other guys to help him win.  You read/here, that Peyton’s teammates want the pressure dispersed and want to win FOR him, much like they did for Elway.  Denver’s D has only allowed a league best 25.76 yds per drive, so with no-one to run the ball for the Colts, Luck is gonna have to chuck it.  I see this as a repeat of week 1 with a likely back-door cover by the Colts.  I do not like this game very much because the line is a bit high with all the what-ifs, but I would lean on teasing Denver and teasing the over.  The A.I. says Denver wins the game, but close.

FanDuel consideration: Luck, CJ Anderson, Julius Thomas!, D.Moncrief

Vegas consideration: tease Denver and tease the OVER

DiRT Canon A.I. says: Denver by 1.38 and the OVER

So here is your 8-team TEASER bet +8.5 ties win: Denver(+1.5) and the OVER(45), Dallas(+14) and the OVER(43.5), Seattle(-2) and the UNDER(48.5), Baltimore(+15.5) and the OVER(39).


Here is last week’s perfect lineup for FanDuel:

wcweekend-perfect-lineup


For multiple lineup combinations in FanDuel consider using these low-cost guys: Julius Thomas is only $5,500 

Legarette Blount

Donte Moncrief

Doug Baldwin

Kamar Aiken

Dan Herron

Tim Wright

Baltimore D

Green Bay D

Justin Tucker


Dregs of Monday

What we learned this weekend…

How awkward is this? That’s Gov.Chris Christie, apparently trying to frisk Jerry Jones for BearClaws.

The NFL wants to expand the playoffs and after this weekend, with what you saw, (if you watched) you’d have to ask why.  Before the Dallas/Detroit game the NFL provided as much drama and excitement as a preseason game.  Unless you were gambling – we were – or playing FanDuel – we did – or had a rooting interest in any of the outcomes, could you really say it was fun to watch?  Granted, Saturday is not a typical NFL day but when your first 3 playoff games get out-watched by each of the CFP games – you might want to rethink the idea of diluting your product further with more teams – especially after all the outrage over the NFC South champion, who just might play in the NFC championship game – just sayin…


 

25 years ago – the WorldWideWeb was launched – Iraq invaded Kuwait – Nelson Mandela is released – Re-Unification of Germany – Hubble Telescope – IceIce Baby – U Can’t Touch this – Vogue – Twin Peaks – debut of Law & Order – debut of Beverly Hills 90210 – Dances with Wolves – Home Alone – Pretty Woman – Edmonton Oilers win 5th Stanley Cup in 6yrs – Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas – The Cincinnati Reds sweep the Oakland A’s to win the World Series, etc……This is what was going on in the world the last time the Bengals won a playoff game.

 


 

Plays as himself in Madden, still cant find the hole…

Didn’t you used to be Trent Richardson?  Remember the trade the Colts made to Cleveland for him?  Wow has he been terrible.  The former top-five pick couldnt make the field yesterday and was listed on the injury report with an illness earlier in the week.  Yeah, he’s got cant-find-the-hole-itis, and because of that got benched for Dan Herron who gave the Colts over 100 total-yards and a touchdown.  Expect the Colts to drop him at the end of the season and move on from his 3.1 YPC in 29 games to find another stable-pony in the draft or free-agency.  Normally that kind of trade could have hurt an organization for awhile, but then again you gotta have Luck. – see what i did there?


 

must be a pattern

With the Colts win over the Bungals, we now get to see Manning v Luck.  It’s not like those two are getting into a cage match, but the sports media will hype it as such, because it’s the new boss doing what the ol’boss did – just win baby.  There’s a lot riding on this game for the both of them because – Luck has to show he is ready to keep climbing that ladder and Peyton’s legacy will further slide if he does not hoist another trophy.  Luck already is the better QB and is on his way to being elite, but the Broncos have the better team so it will still be entertaining to watch.  Is it me or has Jim Irsay been really quiet lately? #OffTheMeds.


 

Speaking of Tom Brady, we know that each year/team is different and that Ray Lewis aint walking back into the Ravens locker-room, – I bet he is thinking about it – so for Tom, it still has to weigh on his mind a little that he is 1-2 against the Ravens in the playoffs.  We know this – the Ravens are not scared of the Patriots.  John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco are 10-4 in the playoffs, with a more impressive 5-0 in first round games, so this will be fun to watch and see if we get ANOTHER Manning v Brady.

 


 

First team in NFL history to start 4 QBs in a season

You have to admire the toughness of the Arizona Cardinals.  Last year they go 10-6 and do not make the playoffs.  This year, beset by injuries like a plague, finish 11-5 and go to Carolina to rack up 77 total yards – worst ever.  If you watched that game, then you saw the Card’s with a chance – if not for Ginn’s fumble or the 2 redzone INT’s thrown by Lindley – being up at halftime, 14-13.  Arizona has a lot of talent and who knows what they could have accomplished without those injuries/suspensions/concussions etc…Not too beat a dead horse but this game gave me a serious case of LSU flashbacks and what it’s like without any kind of QB.  Carson Palmer and the rest of them are not going to be the answer for the future, so you must wonder how big they will push in free-agency or the draft to get a solid starter at the position for right now.  It could be worse, you could have been the guy who played Michael Bush in FanDuel. #IwatchFootballBro.


 

Suh at the Rose Bowl

To me, the current state of the NFL and it’s recent legislation of the rules, compared to those of the halcyon days of glories past, has stirred this outrage.  The biggest mistake made by the officials was throwing the flag in the first place – no flag no issue – picking it up was the problem.  Blame Stafford for under-throwing the ball – blame the refs for not calling a penalty on a helmet-less Dez Bryant being on the field; when you slow down the play, show me the egregious-interference – then watch a really terrible pass-interference call and tell me which one is worse – the point being, is the refs should never decide/influence the game.  That isn’t the play that cost the Lions the game – it could be you forgot the 10-yard shanked punt, or the Lions D giving up a 4th and 6, followed by the game winning TD, then with 2 minutes left, being tits-on-bull useless on Offense.  So while some are crying conspiracy, let’s remember the Raiders are still the only team that truly lost a playoff-game nefariously, #RIPTuckRule1999-2013.

The dawning of an Empire