Saturday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day

We have NBA info every day…….Writeups on top 13 college football games for this weekend are posted Thursday on CF page……..NFL stuff is now posted on the NFL page

Saturday’s six-pack
— I’m not a big fan of 9:30 Sunday morning NFL games from London.
— Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones is now an assistant at Alabama.
— Raptors 113, Celtics 101— Really good game, better with Hubie Brown as analyst.
— Nets 107, Knicks 105— Caris LeVert with GW hoop; Knicks had only 3 turnovers (+19).
— Warriors 124, Jazz 123— Utah led this game 81-68 at halftime.
— NBA’s salary floor is $91.6M; the salary cap is $101.8M. 

Quote of the Day
“Um, not as fast as you guys think it’s going to happen. I always kind of compare it to like instant oatmeal. It is not that fast. It takes a while to get to where you can close your eyes and know exactly where your guys are.”
Lebron James, on how long it will take for the Lakers’ chemistry to develop

Saturday’s quiz
Which four NBA teams came over from the ABA when the ABA folded in 1976? 

Friday’s quiz
Olympia is the state capital of Washington. 

Thursday’s quiz
Five current major league managers have won a World Series as a manager; Bochy, Hinch, Francona, Maddon, Yost. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind…..

13) G-League President Malcolm Turner announced that the league is implementing a “professional path” for would-be one and done college basketball players. The G-League will be offering $125,000 contracts, as well as access to NBA infrastructure and development tools.

Curious how many kids take this route, instead of playing college ball for a year? 

12) Random movie trivia; remember when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a co-pilot with Peter Graves in the classic comedy Airplane!? 

Kareem was on The Rich Eisen Show Wednesday; he said when the writers of Airplane! were casting the movie, they wanted Pete Rose to be the co-pilot, but they were filming during the summer and obviously, Rose was unavailable since that is also baseball season, so they chose Kareem to play the role. 

11) More trivia from the past; New Orleans Saints had the first pick in the 1981 Draft; Dallas Cowboys called the Saints and offered them a ton for the #1 pick, but the Saints kept the pick and took South Carolina RB George Rogers. 

Turns out the Cowboys wanted the guy who got picked #2; a linebacker named Lawrence Taylor. Wonder whatever happened to him? 

10) There are players from 43 countries in the NBA; for the 5th year in a row, every NBA team had at least one international player. 

9) NFL stuff:
— QB Brock Osweiler will start again for the Dolphins this week.
— Buffalo will start QB Derek Anderson at Indianapolis. Anderson has started only four times (2-2) since 2010- his career W-L record is 20-27.
— Arizona Cardinals fired OC Mike McCoy Friday.
— Browns traded RB Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville for a 5th-round draft pick. 

8) Tremendous catch by Andrew Benitendi to end Game 4 of the Red Sox-Astros series late Wednesday night; he misses that ball, and Houston ties the game, maybe wins it right there. 

It is also an example of how a ballpark with a very short LF fence occasionally takes hits away from the batter. No way is Benitendi that shallow if he’s playing in a ballpark other than Houston or Fenway. 

7) Wednesday, Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff became 8th reliever in postseason history to strike out 8+ batters in a game. Before him, Pedro Martinez, was the last to do that, in the ’99 ALDS, Game 5 at Cleveland. 

Of course, Woodruff wasn’t really a reliever, but Wade Miley walked the first hitter, a lefty, and was then lifted, so technically Woodruff relieved. 

6) Falcons’ WR Julio Jones has the 2nd-most receiving yards (707) in the NFL this season but hasn’t scored a touchdown yet; he’s now gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD catch, which is really odd for someone with his ability.

5) My Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook came in the mail yesterday; time to get serious studying college basketball. 

In the last seven years, seven different teams have won the Big West conference tournament. 

4) Speaking of the Big West, Mark Gottfried is the new basketball coach at Cal State-Northridge; one of his assistants is 80-year old Jim Harrick, who won a national title with UCLA in 1995.

3) Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan dropped his attempt to buy Wembley Stadium in London, which means the Jaguars won’t be playing half their home games there anytime soon. 

2) Thru six games, Kansas City Chiefs have allowed 2,042 passing yards, the most PY any team has allowed thru six games, since 1940. 

1) Here’s the thing about stealing signs: if you steal signals in football/baseball with the naked eye, more power to you; if you steal signals via technology, then you’re a cheater. Those are the rules.

Friday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day

We have NBA info every day…….Writeups on top 13 college football games for this weekend are posted on CF page……..NFL stuff is now posted on the NFL page

Friday’s six-pack
— Broncos 45, Cardinals 10— Very ugly game for the Redbirds.
— Red Sox 4, Astros 1— Boston moves on to the World Series.
— 76ers 127, Bulls 108— Ben Simmons had a triple-double
— Stanford 20, Arizona State 13— Why did ASU and the Cardinals play at home the same night?
— Arkansas State 51, Georgia State 35— ASU QB Hansen threw three TD passes, ran for two.
— Cowboys’ WR Terrance Williams got a 3-game suspension from the NFL (drugs). 

Quote of the Day
“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.”
Manny Machado, who is a free agent this winter

Friday’s quiz
What is the state capital of Washington? 

Thursday’s quiz
Five current major league managers have won a World Series as a manager; Bochy, Hinch, Francona, Maddon, Yost. 

Wednesday’s quiz
Raiders drafted LB Khalil Mack with the 5th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft; Blake Bortles was the 3rd pick in the draft that year. 

Friday’s List of 13: Trends on non-top 13 college football games

13) Kentucky beat Vanderbilt last two years, 44-21/20-13, but Wildcats failed to cover its last six games as a home favorite. Vandy is 2-5 in its last seven games as road underdogs. Under is 4-1 in Kentucky games this year. 

12) North Carolina is 0-3 on road this season, with losses by 7-22-37 points. Since 2013, UNC is 6-3-1 vs spread as road underdogs. Syracuse lost its last two games, 27-23/44-37; they’re 1-5 in last six gams as home favorites. This is teams’ first football meeting as ACC rivals. 

11) Home side won both Maryland-Iowa games as Big 14 rivals; Terrapins lost 31-15 in last visit here. Maryland is 3-6 in its last nine games as road underdogs. Iowa is 5-1, scoring 48-42 in winning its last two games; Hawkeyes are 4-2-1 in last seven games as home favorites. 

10) Marshall won four of last five games with Florida Atlantic, losing 30-25 (+7) at FAU last year; Owls lost 27-21/35-16 in last two visits here. Under Kiffin, FAU is 3-2 as road favorites. Since 2012, Marshall is 3-5 vs spread as a home underdog. 

9) Eastern Michigan beat Ball State last two years, 56-14/48-41; Eagles lost four of last five games- their last four games were all decided by 3 or fewer points. Over last 11 years, EMU is 1-1 as a road favorite. Ball State is 2-7 in its last nine games as home underdogs. 

8) Penn State won its last four games with Indiana, winning 45-31/13-7 in last two visits here; under Franklin, Nittany Lions are 7-3 vs spread as road favorites, 1-9 coming off a loss- they lost last weeks, both at home. Hoosiers are 2-6 in last eight games as home underdogs. 

7) Utah State scored 55.8 ppg in winning its last five games since a 38-31 loss at Michigan State in their opener; all six of their games went over total. Wyoming is 7-4 in last 11 games as a home underdog, but are 0-2 in that role this year. Aggies/Wyoming split their last six meetings.  

6) Fresno State won its last four games with New Mexico, winning 35-24/49-32 in their last two trips to Albuquerque. Bulldogs won/covered their last four games, giving up 3-3 points in last two weeks. Lobos are 6-2 in last eight games as a home underdog. 

5) Cal Bears won three of last four games with Oregon State; they lost two of last three visits to Corvallis. California lost its last three games; they’re 2-7-1 in last ten games as road favorites. Beavers is 0-5 vs I-A teams, with one loss by less than 19 points; they’re 1-4 vs spread this year. 

4) Florida State won its last six games with Wake Forest, winning last three, by 7-11-8 points; since 2014, Seminoles are 11-15  as home favorites- their last three games went over. Deacons lost 63-3 to Clemson LW; they’re 10-4 in last 14 games as road underdogs. 

3) Minnesota/Nebraska split their last six meetings; Gophers won LY’s game, 54-21. Minnesota lost its last three games, allowing 40 ppg; they’re 3-6-2 in last 11 games as road underdogs. Cornhuskers are 0-6 SU this year; their last four games went over the total. 

2) SMU won its last three games with Tulane, by 3-4-28 points; their last two visits here were decided by total of five points. SMU is 0-3 on road this year, losing by 23-25-28 points; they’re 2-4-1 in last seven games as road dogs. Tulane is 7-3 in last 10 games as home favorites.  

1) Home side won last three Nevada-Hawai’i games; Wolf Pack lost last visit here 38-17, after winning previous two trips to Paradise. Nevada is 5-9 in its last 14 games as road underdogs. Hawai’i is 3-12 vs spread in its last 15 games as a home favorite. 

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) If you’re John Calipari, here is your recruiting pitch for next year:
— 31 former Kentucky Wildcats were on NBA rosters Opening Night.
— 19 teams have at least one former Wildcat; seven have more than one.
— Players coached by John Calipari have earned more than $1.9B in the NBA.
(Thats billion, with a B)
— In 2018-19 alone, Kentucky alums are scheduled to earn $190M in the NBA.
— Here is your Letter of Intent; please sign here ______

12) Wade Miley started Game 5 of the NLCS for Milwaukee, walked the leadoff hitter in bottom of first inning, and was taken out. Seriously. This is getting ridiculous, the level of over-managing that is going on with managers/front offices— it is starting to border on nonsense.

Miley is also going to start Game 6; how long he lasts then is open for debate. 

11) Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson has been hit by defenders 70 times in six games; no other NFL quarterback has been hit more than 49 times this year. 

According to Fox’s Jay Glazer, Watson suffered a cracked rib, a bruised lung, and a partially collapsed lung in the Texans’ game with Dallas two weeks ago.

10) Tampa Bay just fired their defensive coordinator, Mike Smith; Atlanta’s DC is Marquand Manuel, and he better be watching his back, too. 

In the Falcons’ last four games, on the opponents’ first drive of the game, they’ve run 27 plays for 295 yards and four TD’s. Atlanta has some injuries on defense, but also seems like they may not be as well prepared as some of the other teams. 

9) Jason Myers kicked seven field goals for the Jets Sunday in their 42-34 win over the Colts; the NFL record for most FG’s in a game is eight. Myers went to college at Marist in Poughkeepsie, which is D-I in basketball (Rik Smits’ alma mater) but not in football. 

8) If you’re a Celtics’ fan, you’re rooting against Sacramento all season; Boston owns the Kings’ 2019 first-round pick thru the Tatum-Fultz deal. Rooting against the Kings is generally fun; imagine getting Tatum and Sacramento’s #1 pick in the same trade? 

7) A guy in Las Vegas known as the “Duffel Bag bettor” wagered just over $100,000 on Army last weekend, when the Cadets were laying 15 points at San Jose State. 

Now Army won 52-3, so the guy didn’t have to sweat for his $100K, but it takes onions to risk six figures on a service academy team laying double digits on the road. 

6) Sports betting is up and running in New Mexico now; the political geniuses here in New York haven’t gotten around to it yet, but West Virginia, Mississippi and New Mexico have. 

Brilliant!!!! 

5) AAF is a new spring football league with eight teams that will play a 10-game schedule that begins February 9; games will be televised mostly on NBC Sports Network. 

League has some big names coaching their teams: Mike Martz, Steve Spurrier, Dennis Erickson, Mike Singletary. It figures to develop into what the USFL used to be. 

4) Jordany Valdespin, who played four years in the majors as a utility guy for the Mets/Marlins, recently pitched four scoreless innings of relief in a 19-inning Dominican Winter League game in which Mets’ 1B prospect Dominic Smith went 0-8, with a bases loaded walk. 

3) UConn’s football team is giving up an average of 9.21 yards/play, worst in country; from what I can tell, UL-Monroe is next worst in country, giving up 7.18 yards/play.

2) Here is some good but scary news from the New York Post: No one got shot last weekend in New York City, the first time that has happened in at least 25 years. 

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan has been with the NYPD since 1982, and he said he can’t remember a weekend without SOMEONE getting shot. 

Unfortunately, the city’s quiet streak ended Monday, when a man was shot at around 1:15pm on Aqueduct Avenue in the Bronx. Hopefully, he recovered.

1) Duke recruit Zion Williamson’s name has come up in the adidas/college hoop corruption trial, which puts Duke in a curious position. Blue Devils shouldn’t worry though; the NCAA doesn’t go after the blue blood teams.

Long time ago, then-UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian got under the NCAA’s skin when he famously wrote, “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky, they’re putting Western Kentucky on probation.”

45-50 years later I’ve amended Tark’s quote: “The NCAA is so mad at Duke, they’re going to put Duquesne on probation” No way the Blue Devils ever meet an NCAA investigator. 

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) Buffalo Bills’ rookie QB Josh Allen has an injured elbow, may need Tommy John surgery, which would obviously finish him for this season; best-case scenario is that he’ll miss several weeks, which leaves newly-signed Derek Anderson or Nathan Peterman as the new starter. 

Word out of Buffalo is that the Bills’ players don’t want Peterman playing, probably because they prefer winning- he’s thrown 10 INT’s in 82 career passes. 

12) Ohio State’s star DE Nick Bosa has withdrawn from college and will prepare for next spring’s NFL Draft; Bosa was injured anyway and probably wouldn’t have returned until next month at the earliest, so the announcement wasn’t a big surprise. 

11) Tampa Bay Buccaneers told defensive coordinator Mike Smith to take a hike Monday, after Bucs allowed 40-21-30-48-34 points in their first five games. Only once in five games did the Bucs hold an opponent under 8.2 yards/pass attempt- they had zero takeaways in their last two games, just five for the season (-7 TO ratio). 

10) Not only are Titans-Chargers playing in England Sunday, they’re playing at 9:30am ET, which is 6:30am for Charger fans in California. Whats the point of that? 

Last week’s Colorado-USC game ended around 2:20am ET; if that happens again this week, not a lot of time to sleep before the 9:30 kickoff. Guess I’ll just have to sleep faster. 

9) David Price allowed four runs in less than five innings Sunday night, and got a standing ovation as he walked to the dugout; the bar isn’t real high for Price these days in Beantown.

8) This is the definition of a bad day:

Police in Bristol, TN say a 76-year old man was run over with a lawn mower while trying to kill his son with a chainsaw- the older man had to have his leg amputated.

Can’t we all just get along?

7) Teddy Valentine is out as a Big 14 basketball ref; he’ll still work AAC, ACC and SEC games, but a guy who has worked 28 NCAA tournaments and 10 Final Fours isn’t good enough anymore to work in the Big 14.

6) 20 years ago, when he was coaching the Lakers, Pat Riley trademarkedthe term “three-peat,” so if Golden State wins its third straight NBA title next spring, Riley will cash in on it, too. 

There have been three “3-peats” since Riley trademarked the term; the Jordan-Bulls did it twice, and the Shaq-Kobe Lakers did it, too. 

Random stats: Warriors led the NBA last year, making 39.1% of their 3’s and 81.5% of their foul shots. 

5) Derek Carr threw 31 passes for Oakland Sunday in their 27-3 loss to Seattle in London; only five of those 31 passes travelled more than five yards downfield, and he completed only two of those five passes. No bueno. 

4) Josh McCown and Julius Peppers are the only two players still active from the 2002 NFL Draft.

3) I don’t give a rat’s ass about the royal family, and I’m not sure why anyone does. The young lady who recently married the prince was on one of my favorite TV shows, Suits. Still don’t care about the royal family; what exactly do they even do? 

2) Interesting how crew chiefs are behind the plate for Games 3, 7 for divisional series, then World Series; Joe West doing the plate for Game 7 of the ALCS could be good theater. 

1) Patriots set an NFL record  Sunday night; they’re the first team in the Super Bowl era to not punt or commit a penalty in an entire game- they scored 43 points at home but still couldn’t cover the spread. Awesome.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) I mentioned a few weeks ago how USC QB JT Daniels skipped his senior year of HS so he could play QB for the Trojans this season, and how it seemed a little odd to rush a kid thru school like that, especially since so many college players red-shirt their first year in college, so they’re often 19-20 years old before ever playing in a game. 

Well, it turns out that Daniels’ father had his son repeat 8th grade (this also happens a decent amount in Texas) so that he would be older and better suited to compete when his time came to play high school ball. JT Daniels will be 19 soon, so he isn’t that far behind the curve, age-wise, he just gave back the year he gained four years ago. 

How long will Daniels’ father let his son stay in college before he tests the NFL’s waters? 

12) Just under $184M was bet on sports in New Jersey in September, $88.6M of it on football. More than half of the $184M was wagered online. 

New Jersey books showed a $24M profit last month, $9.4M of that coming from football. 

11) This was the first time since 1990 there were no winless NFL teams after five weeks of the season. 

10) Los Angeles Angels are looking for a new manager; from Jon Morosi:

“#Angels administering 2-hour written test to managerial candidates, sources say, with questions spanning analytical, interpersonal and game-management aspects of the job.”

So far, six major league teams are looking for a new manager for next year.  

9) Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale has a stomach ailment, spent Sunday night in Mass General Hospital. The team was hoping Sale would accompany the ballclub to Houston on Monday. 

8) Last golf season, Henrik Stenson became the first golfer to lead the PGA Tour in driving accuracy and greens in regulation in the same season since Calvin Peete, in 1983. 

7) Knicks dumped Joakim Noah, but they still owe him $38M going forward; as far as the hit on the salary cap goes, they’ll stretch the cap hit out over three years. 

6) There is a hotel in Boston, the Liberty Hotel, which is a converted jail. It used to be called the Charles Street Jail; wouldn’t it be at least a little weird staying there overnight? 

5) There are only four players left in the NHL who played against Wayne Gretzky:
Zdeno Chara, Matt Cullen, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton

4) Rick Barry’s son Canyon Barry, who played college ball at Charleston/Florida, will play for Minnesota’s G-League team, the Iowa Wolves this winter. 

3) Ole Miss has only 28 plays in its offensive playbook; there are obviously options off of those plays, but their playbook is much thinner than most college teams.

2) TV guys are gushing about how Alex Bregman is the Astros’ best player, but from July 27-August 20, Houston went 8-13- they allowed 3 or less runs in all eight wins; they were 0-10 during that stretch when allowing 4+ runs. 

That 21-game stretch was when Jose Altuve was out with an injured knee; make no mistake about it, Altuve is the Astros’ best player.

1) RIP to Paul Allen, 65, who passed away Monday. Mr Allen passed away shortly after it was announced that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for the third time.

One of the co-founders of Microsoft, Allen bought the Portland Trailblazers in 1987, and the Seattle Seahawks in 1995. He was worth $20B at the time of his passing, and is said to have donated over $2B to charity.

RIP, sir. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Patriots 43, Chiefs 40— This was 37th game in NFL history where losing team scored 40+ points; three of those games have been this year. Kansas City scored 31 points in the second half and still lost. Chiefs covered seven of last 10 games as road underdogs; they’re 6-0 vs spread this season. New England scored 38-38-43 points in its last three games. 

Steelers 28, Bengals 21— Marvin Lewis has coached the Bengals for 16 years; Pittsburgh is 16-2 in Cincinnati during that time (two playoff games). Antonio Brown scored the winning TD with 0:10 left on a 31-yard pass from Roethlisberger, who threw for 369 yards. Steelers are 10-6-1 vs spread in last 16 games as road dogs. Bengals play in Kansas City Sunday; they’ve lost their last five Sunday night games. 

Dolphins 31, Bears 28 OT— Chicago’s three road games were decided by total of six points; Miami’s backup QB Brock Osweiler emerged from obscurity to throw for 380 yards as Dolphins survived a goal line fumble in OT to improve to 4-2. Osweiler is a surprising 4-0 in OT games; his overall career record is 14-12. 

Bears turned ball over twice in the red zone, missed a 52-yard FG in OT. 

Chase Daniel is the Bears’ backup QB; he’s 32 and has been in the NFL for nine years- the guy has started two NFL games, but has banked $28,304,317. He’s completed 51 of 78 passes, with one TD, one INT in his career, and he’s made $28M+. Its good to be him. 

Falcons 34, Buccaneers 29— Tampa Bay outgained Atlanta 512-416 but lost its third game in a row, allowing 38 ppg. Reality for Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter is that he’s probably going to get fired unless his team turns things around soon— the face of the franchise is a QB who was suspended three games for groping a Uber driver, and they went 2-1 while he was out. No bueno. 

Here is a breakdown of Atlanta’s offense:
2 road games, both on grass fields: 22 drives, three TD’s, 14.5 ppg
4 home games, all indoors on turf: 40 drives, 17 TD’s, 34.5 ppg

Texans 20, Bills 13— Buffalo backup QB Nathan Peterman is the worst NFL QB I’ve seen since Jerry Golsteyn played for four teams from 1977-83, going 2-7 as a starter. Golsteyn threw two career TD passes, 13 INT’s, but Peterman may be worse— he threw a pick-6 in this game with 1:30 left as Texans have now won consecutive games by 3-3-7 points after an 0-3 start. 

Both teams scored one offensive TD in this game, on drives of 32-29 yards. Buffalo threw for 129 yards, giving them a total of 295 PY in their last three games. Deshaun Watson got sacked seven times; if the Texans don’t improve their pass blocking, Watson won’t last much longer. 

Redskins 23, Panthers 17— Since 2015, Redskins are now 16-7 vs spread coming off a loss; they had a 14-yard edge in field position in this game, converted on 7-16 3rd down plays, compared to 3-9 for Carolina. Washington allowed 9-14-17 points in its wins, 24-31 in its losses. Panthers are 3-0 at home, 0-2 on the road; they threw 40 passes, ran ball only 18 times in this game. 

Rams 23, Broncos 20— Denver is first team since the ’78 Buffalo Bills to give up 270+ rushing yards in consecutive games; in today’s pass-happy era, thats terrible. This was a hard-hitting game; lot of players limped off on both sides. 

On a cold day in Denver where the snow mostly stopped before the game, Rams ran the ball down the Broncos’ throats when it mattered most, on a 13-play, 72-yard drive that took 5:39 off the clock and ended with a FG that gave LA an insurmountable 23-13 lead. 

Jared Goff celebrated his 24th birthday with a win, but looked uncomfortable in sub-freezing temps; Rams play in Chicago December 9. 

Minnesota 27, Arizona 17— Cardinals are 3-0-1 vs spread in their last four games; they scored six TDs in last two games, but two of them are scored by their defense. Minnesota ran ball for 185 yards here and outgained Arizona, 411-269. Redbirds lost last nine visits to the Twin Cities; their last win here was in 1977, the Don Coryell era. 

NFL has seven new head coaches this year; they’re a combined 12-28 so far- three of those seven teams were .500 or better LY- Tennessee was in the damn playoffs, and they fired their coach. 

Chargers 38, Browns 14— Quietly, the Chargers are 4-2, with losses to Rams/Chiefs, who are a combined 11-1. Bolts ran ball for 246 yards and averaged 9.2 yds/pass attempt- they had seven plays of 20+ yards, five of them on first down. 

Chargers are 2-0 outside California, winning/covering in Buffalo/Cleveland- they like Lake Erie, but coach Anthony Lynn mustn’t like kickers- Sunday he used his 7th different kicker in his 22 games as a head coach. 

Jets 42, Colts 34— Gang Green scored 48-34-42 points in their two wins, 12-17-12 in their losses; Jet fans have to be fired up that they’ve scored 34+ points three times already with a rookie QB under center. Under Bowles, Jets are 17-9-1 vs spread at home. 

Andrew Luck threw for 301 yards and four TD’s, but he doesn’t get much help; on their second offensive play, Indy tried a screen pass that any high school team could execute, but instead it bounced off the Colts’ receiver and the Jets had an easy pick-6 to start their day with. 

Seahawks 27, Raiders 3— If I owned an NFL team and was paying my coach $100M over the next 10 years (yikes!!!), I’d expect more than the sorry performances the Raiders have been producing, especially since the last coach was 12-4 two years ago. 

Seattle ran ball for 171-190-155 yards in its last three games; they’ve won three of last four games and evened their record at 3-3. Oakland is 1-6-1 vs spread in its last eight pre-bye games. 

The last six NFL games in England/Mexico were won by an average of 26 points (32-6).

Cowboys 40, Jaguars 7— Jacksonville’s uniforms looked like the old Memphis Maniax from the XFL; thats not a compliment, and their play was uglier than their uniforms. In their last three games, Jaguars are minus-8 in turnover ratio- not good. 

Dallas is 3-0 at home, 0-3 on the road; they scored four TD’s on 11 drives, after scoring total of three TD’s on 31 drives in previous three games. Cowboys had a 12-yard advantage in field position. Jaguars never had a snap in the Dallas red zone. 

Ravens 21, Titans 0— Not often an NFL team gets 11 sacks in a game, but Baltimore did here. while Tennessee had zero sacks. Total yardage in this ugly game was 361-106; Tennessee had only seven first downs, was 1-10 on 3rd down and ran only 40 plays- Baltimore ran 72. 

Only once in six games has Tennessee scored more than six points in the first half; 12-20-2 in last 34 games where spread was three or fewer points. 

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a college football Saturday

13) Michigan State 21, Penn State 17— To paraphrase Bill Raftery, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio has onions; MSU tried a fake FG with 5:31 left, down 17-14- it didn’t work, but they got the ball back and didn’t just play for tying FG- they threw a GW TD pass with 0:19 left. 

If you remember, Michigan State beat Notre Dame a few years back by scoring a TD on a fake FG in OT. You can’t play scared and be a great coach. 

12) Tennessee 30, Auburn 24— Vols snapped an 11-game SEC losing streak, ending a six-game skid vs Auburn- their last win over the Tigers was in 1999. 

Auburn is 1-3 in SEC play and obviously, they haven’t played Alabama yet; Auburn has fired coaches for less- they canned Gene Chizik in 2012, two years after he won a national title. 

11) Virginia Tech 22, North Carolina 19— What is a quarterback? You can use all the numbers you want, but the essence of what a QB is/should be was summed up by Hokies’ QB Ryan Willis, who led an 18-play, 98-yard drive that wound up with Tech scoring the game-winning TD with 0:19 left in Chapel Hill. 

Willis scrambled for a first down on 4th-and-7 when their situation looked hopeless- thats what good QB’s do, whatever needs to be done. 

10) Florida 37, Vanderbilt 27— Vandy was up 21-3 in 2nd quarter- Florida turned ball over three times, but Gators stormed back to win- they had 576-336 yardage edge, ran 92 plays compared to 58 for the Commodores. Gators were 12-19 on third down, Vanderbilt 3-12. 

In 2nd quarter, there was war of words between two head coaches while a Vandy player was hurt; benches almost emptied. After the game, the coaches talked for 20-30 seconds and all seemed peaceful then. 

9) Northwestern 34, Nebraska 31 OT— Cornhuskers’ season from hell continues; they’re 0-6 for the first time ever, losing game here when they led 31-21 with 3:00 left- Northwestern tied game with 0:12 left in regulation. 

Clayton Thorson threw for 455 yards for the Wildcats. Dating back to last year, Nebraska has now lost ten games in a row. Rough start to the Scott Frost era in Lincoln. 

8) Maryland 34, Rutgers 7— Scarlet Knights threw 17 passes in this game; seven of them were caught, five by Maryland defenders, only two by Rutgers receivers. This is not good. 

Rutgers lost its last six games (1-4 vs spread), five of them by 21+ points. 

7) Upsets of the Week:
Tennessee (+14.5) 30, Auburn 24
Liberty (+9.5) 22, Troy 16
Texas Tech (+7.5) 17, TCU 14
LSU (+7) 36, Georgia 16
Kansas State (+7) 31, Oklahoma State 12
UCLA (+7) 37, California 7

6) Eastern Michigan 28, Toledo 26— Eagles led 28-3 at the half, hung on for dear life as they snapped a 4-game losing skid- EMU’s last four games were decided by total of 11 points. 

5) Central Florida 31, Memphis 30— Tigers were driving for winning FG in last minute, but after WR caught pass to the UCF 35 with 0:38 left, he strutted around for few seconds before realizing he had to line up again, because Memphis had no timeouts left. He had to sprint to other side of field and it took a few seconds. 

Finally Memphis got lined up, but left tackle moved before the snap, which resulted in both a 10-second runoff and the 5-yard penalty- things unraveled from there- they never even got a FG try off. 

4) Oregon 30, Washington 27 OT— Huskies missed a 37-yard FG on last play of regulation, Oregon scored TD in OT and improved to 5-1. Teams combined to go 15-31 on third down, as offenses controlled the day, while a kicker ruined Washington’s day.

3) Iowa State 30, Oklahoma State 14— ISU coach Matt Campbell makes $3.5M a year; I hope Cyclone fans are enjoying this, because Campbell is about to get a really big raise, whether it is from a bigger-$$$ school or an NFL team— this guy is really good. 

I’ve never been to Iowa, but people in Ames seem happier when they win than most people when they win. Fans at Iowa State were really, really happy after this game. 

2) Dodgers 4, Brewers 3— Justin Turner hit the GW homer in the 8th inning.
Astros 7, Red Sox 2— Justin Verlander allowed two hits in six IP; imagine that, a starting pitcher actually finishing the sixth inning. Revolutionary. 

1) Ole Miss 37, Arkansas 33— Razorbacks led 30-17 with 8:00 left in third quarter, but let this game slip away and lost their sixth game in a row.

Rebels gained 613 yards on a rainy night in Little Rock, averaged 11.1 yds/pass attempt. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind……

13) Brewers 6, Dodgers 5— Knabel struck Turner out with tying run on third base to end the game. Dodgers made four errors; Milwaukee used seven pitchers. 

12) This game wasn’t on FOX, it was on FS1, which isn’t shown in most hotel rooms around the country, and probably isn’t in the regular channel rotation for many casual fans.

Major League Baseball has to market itself better; they just have to. There is a level of arrogance that people will kill themselves to find these playoff games; the casual fan will not, and to grow the game, baseball needs to engage the casual fan better. 

This is the freakin’ NLCS, its a big deal; if FOX Sports doesn’t see fit to put these games on FOX instead of FS1, then FOX Sports shouldn’t be showing the games- I’m guessing Turner Sports would love to show them. 

Last night, Warriors-Lakers were on ESPN2, there were three college football games, and baseball is hiding its main event on FS1. Really, thats not intelligent. 

11) During Eagles-Giants Thursday night, Troy Aikman was talking about filming commercials with Hulk Hogan, and how much he enjoyed meeting/working with the Hulkster. 

Everyone has their own preferences, but to me, Aikman and Tony Romo are the best NFL game analysts, and I’m not a Cowboy fan. 

The best analysts are guys who when you listen to them, its like you’re sitting in, eavesdropping on two friends talking ball. Relaxed conversation, but with decisive opinions.

10) Eli Manning will turn 38 years old on January 3; the Giants are 1-5, and don’t have an offensive line that is good enough to protect an immobile QB. 

It is time (it was time last year) for the Giants to move on- hey, Joe Montana finished his career with the Chiefs, Johnny Unitas was a Charger at the end, and Manning is no Montana/Unitas. It happens. Giants need to play Kyle Lauletta and see if he could be the answer going forward. 

9) Former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant quit the Tigers few weeks ago, is now looking for his next home; North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisville and Missouri are the frontrunners right now.

8) Sports gambling is now legal in five states; New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia. What will that number be up to by this time next year? 

From June 14-August 31, gamblers in New Jersey placed $95.6M worth of bets on sports, and the state collected $16.5M in profits. 

As usual, New York is twiddling its thumbs and losing money. 

7) Arizona Diamondbacks are switching to artificial turf next year, after having natural grass for the first 21 years of their existence at Chase Field. 

6) New York SS Didi Gregorius is having Tommy John surgery, will miss most of next season. Average recovery time for non-pitchers who have this surgery is ten months, which fuels the speculation that Manny Machado will be headed to the Bronx this winter. 

5) Last week in the NFL, there were six missed PAT’s and 16 missed field goals, which is a lot; when a guy missed four FG’s and a PAT in a dome, you realize how mental kicking can be. 

4) Double digit underdogs are 4-2 vs spread in NFL games so far this season. 

3) Best red zone offenses in NFL (pts/possession):
Seattle 6.20, Kansas City 6.05, Pittsburgh 5.57, New England 5.56. 

Worst red zone offenses:
Jets 3.53, Jacksonville 3.62, Denver 3.87, Houston 4.05

2) Best offenses on drives that start 75+ yards from goal line:
Chiefs/Saints 2.87, Bengals 2.83, Falcons 2.66. 

Worst offenses on drives that start 75+ yards from goal line:
Cardinals 0.87, Bills 0.90, Texans 0.97, Browns 1.04

1) South Florida 25, Tulsa 24— Bulls are 7-0, but trailed three of those games in 4th quarter and a fourth game was tied in final frame. Tulsa led this game 24-10, let it slip away.

I watched this game on the plane ride home from Las Vegas; thanks to these teams for playing an entertaining game and making a usually-dull flight seem a lot shorter. 

USF’s QB is Blake Barnett, who started Alabama’s opener in 2016, got benched, transferred to Arizona State, got beat out there, transferred and now is getting his chance to play— he was at a junior college in there somewhere too. This is a make-or-break year for him, and he is doing the most with the opportunity. 

Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……..

13) If you like/love basketball, the specials that ESPN is putting out on the history of the game seem to be very well done; saw a couple of them this week, one piece about the finals of the 1972 Olympic basketball tournament, another on the first ABA dunk contest. Lot of history there; it is well worth your time if you’re a basketball person. 

12) My hotel room at the Golden Nugget had free earplugs on the nightstand; didn’t come close to needing them until tonight, when there was a concert in the park next to the hotel. Very loud, but music from the 80’s, so I passed on using the earplugs. 

There is also a tattoo convention at the hotel this weekend, and a ton of motorcyclists; not sure if those two things are related, but the hallways look like a Duck Dynasty class reunion. 

11) Highly recommend the Golden Nugget by the way; great pool, food places are real good and people here are real nice. Its been a fun vacation. 

10) New restaurants I’ve tried/enjoyed for the last eight days in Las Vegas:
— The Grotto (in Golden Nugget). Very good pizza and meatball sliders
— Claim Jumper (in Golden Nugget). Open 24 hours, lot of good choices.
— Chicago Joe’s. Old-fashioned Italian place that actually used to be someone’s house. Very good food, excellent prices; it is right next to a very sketchy-looking apartment complex.
— Pizza Rock— Really good pizza, lot of TV’s, a little expensive.
— Hash House a Go-Go (in Plaza Hotel). Big portions, very good scrambled eggs.  

9) Lakers-Warriors was an unusually intense exhibition game Wednesday; was watching end of the game in the sportsbook— guy on the Lakers stole the ball, went in for a dunk, and the only other guy in there with me says excitedly “That put the game over the total!!!”

If you’re wagering on totals in NBA exhibition games, you’ve got a better stomach than I do. 

8) Doug McDermott is playing for the Indiana Pacers this season, 5th team he’ll play for in his fifth NBA season; he was also traded by the Nuggets the night he got drafted in 2014, so thats six teams for him in 4+ years.

7) Eagles 34, Giants 13— Philly evened its record at 3-3 in game where their first two TD drives were only 16-44 yards. Giants have a porous offensive line, an aging, immobile QB and a 1-5 record, which should make the back page of the NY tabloids interesting. 

6) Why teams win/lose; looking back at the 2009 NBA Draft:

2nd pick— Memphis, Hasheem Thabeet
3rd pick— Oklahoma City, James Harden

6th pick— Minnesota, Jonny Flynn
7th pick— Golden State, Stephen Curry

9th pick— New York, Jordan Hill
10th pick— Toronto, DeMar DeRozan

5) One weekend each year, the NBA should use red, white and blue basketballs in its games to honor the ABA, which closed shop after the 1975-76 season. 

Lot of terrific players in the ABA (George Gervin, Julius Erving, Rick Barry, Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, even Wilt Chamberlain briefly). Their teams played an exciting style of ball. 

4) Shahid Khan owns the Jacksonville Jaguars; he is trying to buy Wembley Stadium in London and if he does, he may have the Jaguars play half their home games there every year. Would this be a good thing for the NFL? For the Jaguars? We may find out. 

3) Chicago Cubs fired hitting coach Chili Davis Thursday; if the Phillies or some other team has half a brain, they’ll sign Davis— he’s a damn good hitting coach. 

2) NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves cancelled practice and team activities Thursday, after the circus that was Wednesday, with Jimmy Butler taking the four worst players in camp and then beating the five starters in a scrimmage, while he yelled at the team’s coach and GM. 

1) Former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze will be offensive coordinator for the Arizona team in the new AAF next spring. Lot of big names will be coaching in the 8-team league.

Thursday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Weird season for the Cleveland Indians, who won a weak AL Central by 13 games; Twins finished second, but at 78-84, so Indians coasted into the playoffs with a lame bullpen that blew many games the season. When Cleveland got swept by the Astros, I was wondering if there are Indian fans who even think their team had that good a season? 

12) Watching Jose Altuve hit a double in the gap in left-center Monday, no way is he 100%; there is something wrong with his knee. Normally he would’ve rounded second and threatened to try for a triple- he labored just to get to second base.

11) Why do playoff games have six umpires, with extra umps in outfield on each foul line? With instant replay, they just aren’t needed. They probably weren’t needed before replay. 

10) Los Angeles Rams scored 173 points in their first five games; nine years ago, the Rams went 1-15 and scored 175 points all season. 

9) There are 11 unbeaten teams left in college football; Cincinnati is ranked #25, lowest of those 11 unbeatens. 

8) There are 27 players who won five NBA championship rings; 13 of those 27 guys also won a sixth championship ring.

7) Los Angeles Dodgers’ GM Farhan Zaidi is an MIT graduate with a doctorate in economics; when he was a kid, his father moved their family from Canada to the Philippines. Zaidi found a copy of Bill James’ Baseball Abstract in a bookstore on a military base, and from reading that book he studied his way into becoming a major league GM. Pretty cool. 

6) When the Giants/Dodgers moved to California in 1958, the Dodgers won three World Series in their first eight years in LA, but they also finished under .500 four times in their first 11 seasons there. Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988. 

Meanwhile, the Giants had winning seasons their first 14 years in the Bay Area, but never won a World Series in SF until 2010, when they won three in five years. 

5) 76ers star Joel Embiid signed a multi-year endorsement contract with Under Armour, making him highest-paid big man on a shoe deal. Embiid had been with Adidas.

Lot of money in sneakers. 

4) Kansas Jayhawks lost their last three games, so they fired offensive coordinator Doug Meacham this week; HC David Beaty will take over his duties. Kansas has a bye this week; they play Texas Tech next. 

3) Tweet of the Day, from Nick Friedell, who covers the NBA for ESPN.com:

“Rajon Rondo remains one of the most unique personalities in the NBA. He just helped workers at T-Mobile Arena roll some beer kegs down the hallway before walking back into the Lakers locker room.”

2) Final Four baseball teams: Brewers-Dodgers-Astros-Red Sox

Only one guy ever played for all four teams; utility man Mark Loretta. 

1) RIP to coach Tex Winter, one of the greatest basketball minds ever, who passed away this week at age 96. Winter is probably best known as one of Phil Jackson’s lieutenants in the NBA, but he also won 453 games as a college head coach. RIP, sir. 

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) Walking around Fremont Street Tuesday, you could pay to pose for a pic with a guy who looked exactly like Pee Wee Herman; hell, for all I know, it might’ve actually been Pee Wee Herman, but no, I passed on that opportunity. 

12) Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t played a snap in the fourth quarter this season, thats how easily the Crimson Tide have won their games so far this season. 

11) Kansas City Chiefs are 5-0 for the 4th time in their history; the other three years (’03, ’13, ’17) they were 5-0, they didn’t win any playoff games.

10) There have been 49 two-point conversion tries thru five weeks this season, the most 2-point tries thru five weeks in NFL history. 

9) Drew Brees’ uncle is Marty Akins, who was QB for the Texas Longhorns for two years back when the great Earl Campbell was running the football for Texas. In other words, Uncle Marty handed off a lot. 

8) NFL moved Week 7’s Bengals-Chiefs game to Sunday night, replacing Rams-49ers. 

7) Boston 4, New York 3— Red Sox-Astros will play in ALCS, starting Saturday; Dodgers-Brewers will play in NLCS, starting Friday. 

6) Umpire Angel Hernandez had a tough couple nights; he had three calls overturned by replay in first four innings at first base Monday, then he had the plate Tuesday. Lot of former players on Twitter took their shots at Hernandez; I’ll take their word for it. 

Hernandez was only second ump this season to have three calls overturned in a game; other guy did it in a 16-inning Rays-Marlins game back on July 3. 

5) Only two position players have pitched in a playoff game:
— Cliff Pennington, Game 4 of 2015 ALCS for Toronto
— Austin Romine, Game 4, of 2018 ALDS for New York. 

4) Only six college basketball teams have made the last eight NCAA tournaments:
Cincinnati, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina

3) In the arena where the NHL’s Dallas Stars play, the ad on the boards in front of the visitors’ penalty box is for Bud Light’s “Pit of Misery”

2) Last two weeks, Jacksonville Jaguars gained 503-502 yards, which is pretty good; problem is, they were also -6 in turnovers in those games, which is why they split the two games. 

1) Buffalo Bills’ passing yards the last two weeks: 87-79 yards. No bueno. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) If you like the NFL and you’re in Las Vegas, a Sunday afternoon in the theater at the Westgate Casino is something you have to do. 

1,500 seats, all the games are on, there are betting windows in the back, a concession stand on the left, and it is surprisingly quiet— everyone has always been cool when I’ve been there. 

12) Saints 43, Redskins 19— New Orleans’ first four drives Monday night: 30 plays, 276 yards, four TD’s, two missed PAT’s. Last of the four TD’s was a 62-yard pass that put Drew Brees on top of the all-time passing yardage list. 

There was a brief ceremony after the record-setting play; Saints actually got penalized 15 yards for excessive celebration. 

11) Oklahoma lost 48-45 to Texas Saturday, so of course a coach had to get fired; DC Mike Stoops was told to take a hike. Ruffin McNeill, former HC of East Carolina, will be the new DC, which ain’t going to help a damn thing. Recruit more good defensive players!!!! 

10) Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa has thrown 18 TD passes this season, and only 25 incomplete passes. Bama’s backup QB has a 26-2 record as the starter. 

9) Boston 16, New York 1— Brock Holt is the first baseball player ever to hit for the cycle in a playoff game; how weird is that? 

David Price sucks in the postseason, and he doesn’t pitch well against New York; Red Sox still owe Price $127M over the next four seasons, but when you’re a fat-cat team, you can afford miscues like this, and just spend more money to overcome them. 

9) AFC North is only division in NFL where all the team are .500 or better. 

8) If you think your favorite team is screwed up, be thankful you don’t root for the Phoenix Suns, who fired GM Ryan McDonough Monday, eight days before the season starts. 

Last year, the Suns fired coach Earl Watson AFTER THREE GAMES. Oy.

7) Looks weird seeing Lebron James wearing a Lakers’ jersey; Lakers-Warriors play here in Las Vegas tomorrow night at T-Mobile Center. 

6) Spurs’ PG Dejounte Murray tore his ACL Sunday night; he was expected to be the Spurs’ PG this season, replacing the departed Tony Parker. 

5) 49ers ran 92 plays in their loss to Arizona Sunday; Cardinals ran only 49, but when you’re minus-5 in turnovers, not else matters too much. Still, 92 plays is a hell of a lot for an NFL game. 

4) You see Cleveland 12, Baltimore 9 and you think it was an ugly game, but yardage was actually 416-410, Browns, so both teams moved the ball well enough, they were just useless in the red zone, scoring 18 points on six drives.  

3) Over $50M of the Buffalo Bills’ payroll this year is going to players who aren’t on the team.  

2) FOX TV analyst Chris Spielman said Sunday that he considers Aaron Rodgers to be the best QB ever. Pretty strong statement. 

1) According to the 2010 US Census, Los Angeles County has more people than these 12 states combined:

Alaska, Delaware, Hawai’i, Idaho
Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Dakota
Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……

Browns 12, Ravens 9 OT— Cleveland is 2-2-1, with all five games decided by 4 or fewer points; Browns have 15 takeaways, are +7 in turnovers. There was only one TD in this game; Browns missed PAT after that one. Ravens are now 6-10-1 in last 17 games as road favorites; they’re 3-0 when scoring 26+ points, 0-2 when they don’t. Under is 4-1 in Cleveland games

Lions 31, Packers 23— Brutal day for Green Bay K Crosby, who missed four FGs and a PAT; in first half, Packers had ball five times- three missed FG’s, two fumbles. Green Bay outgained Lions 521-264, but Detroit had huge 25-yard edge in field position. Lions covered their last four games; four of their five games went over. Detroit was perfect (28 pts/4 trips) in red zzone. 

Panthers 33, Giants 31— Graham Gano kicked a 63-yard FG at the gun and Carolina recovered a muffed punt in end zone for a TD as they improved to 3-1. What were odds that Odell Beckham would throw a TD pass before he caught one this year? He did both in this game. Giants scored 31 points without converting on 3rd down (0-7); they had three turnovers (-1). 

Chiefs 30, Jaguars 14— Jacksonville threw 61 passes, ran ball 17 times; I’m sure Tom Coughlin loved that. Jaguars had ball in red zone five times, scored only one TD— four empty trips to red zone in one game!!! Chiefs covered nine of last 11 as a home favorite; they had five takeaways (+3), two more than they had in first four games combined. Chiefs play Patriots next week. 

Bengals 27, Dolphins 17— Miami led 17-3 after third quarter; Cincy scored three TD’s in fourth quarter, two of them by defense- an 18-yard fumble return with 2:37 left covered the spread. Miami is now 10-18 in last 28 games as road underdogs. There were five TD’s in this game, one for each offense- Miami ran a punt back for a TD. Cincy’s offense is suspect without TE Eifert. 

Vikings 23, Eagles 21— Game was 3-3 when a sack/fumble was run back 64 yards for a TD that put Minnesota ahead to stay; Vikings scored only one offensive TD, tried five FG’s (two missed), but they hung on for win, avenging loss in LY’s playoffs. Eagles scored TD down 20-6 with 12:05 left; for whatever reason, they went for 2, which NEVER happens, but they made it. All five Eagle games this season were decided by 6 or fewer points. 

Steelers 41, Falcons 17— Roethlisberger tried really, really hard to get ball to Antonio Brown in this game; he targeted Brown 13 times, completed only six, but for 101 yards. Big Ben threw an awful INT in end zone at end of first half, but Steelers dominated second half. Falcons allowed 43-37-41 points in their last three games. 

Here is a breakdown of Atlanta’s offense:
2 road games, both on grass fields: 22 drives, three TD’s
3 home games, all indoors on turf: 30 drives, 13 TD’s

Rams 33, Seahawks 31— LA receivers Cooks/Kupp were both KO’d in first half (concussions) but Rams scored 16 points in second half anyway, gaining 194 yards on 23 plays on three scoring drives on first three 2nd half drives, then killing clock for final 3:28 on last drive. Gurley scored three TD’s for Rams. Seattle ran ball for 190 yards, gave it their very best shot here. Seahawks are 8-2 vs spread in last ten games as home underdogs. 

Bills 13, Titans 12— Only one TD in this game, and that was on a 47-yard drive by Bills; Buffalo has one TD on 20 drives in its last two games- when was last time an NFL team won a game with only 79 passing yards? Tennessee’s last four games were decided by total of 10 points; Titans turned ball over six times (-3) in their two losses, one time (+1) in their three wins. 

Jets 34, Broncos 16— Jets ran ball for 323 yards, which doesn’t happen much in NFL games; they had TD plays of 77,76 yards in first 5:00 of second quarter. Gang Green is now 7-2-1 in last ten games as home underdogs; Denver is 7-11-2 in last 20 games where spread was 3 or fewer points. Jets led 24-10 at half; they had total of 31 first half points in first four games. 

Chargers 26, Raiders 10— With 1:05 left in third quarter and down 20-3, Carr threw an awful INT in end zone, ending Oakland’s day. Team that won field position won all five Raider games. Chargers averaged 11.9 yards/pass play; they won field position in last two games by 19-14 yards. Bolts are +5 in turnovers in last four games; they had 14-yard edge in field position here. 

Cardinals 28, 49ers 18— Cardinals are 12-4 vs spread in last 16 NFC West road games; they’ve won last seven games vs 49ers, but these were Arizona’s four TD’s Sunday:

— Arizona’s first offensive play was a 75-yard TD pass.
— 18 yards, four plays after a 49er fumble.
— Defensive touchdown
— 26 yards, five plays after a 49er INT.

San Francisco was -5 (0-5) in turnovers; hard to win that way. 

Texans 19, Cowboys 16 OT— Houston outgained Cowboys 462-292, but scored only one TD on six red zone drives. Dallas is 19-60 on third down this year; they’ve scored only seven TD’s on 49 drives, 33 points on last eight red zone drives. Cowboys are desperate for an explosive WR; other than RB Elliott (7 targets), no other Cowboy had more than four targets.