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

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

Sunday’s six-pack
Top 6 picks in the Westgate SuperBook NFL handicapping contest (3,123 entries)
1)  Saints +3 (823)
2)  Seahawks -2 (806)
3)  Ravens -5.5 (756)
4)  49ers +6.5 (707)
5)  Patriots -7 (678)
6)  Chiefs -6.5 (668)
Season record: 5-6-1

Quote of the Day
“We have a quarterback on the (defense), and we always have to play what he is playing. Even if he is wrong, we all have to be wrong. We all have to be ‘wrong,’ and we will be right if we do that. I know that doesn’t make sense to y’all, but it makes sense to our guys.”
Steelers’ defensive coordinator Keith Butler

Sunday’s quiz
What was the NBA’s Washington Wizards’ nickname before they switched to “Wizards”?

Saturday’s quiz
Peyton Manning was the first pick of the 1998 NFL Draft; Ryan Leaf was #2.

Friday’s quiz
Pete Carroll has coached three NFL teams; the Seahawks, Jets and Patriots. 

Sunday’s List of 13; Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Couple of Week 3 NFL trends to consider:
— Over last five years, teams playing their home opener in Week 3 are 6-11-1 vs spread; 4-8-1 if favored, 2-3 if an underdog. Chiefs-Seahawks-Texans are in that boat this week.

— Teams playing their road opener in Week 3 are 8-9 vs spread; 2-3 if favored, 6-6 if an underdog. Packers-Broncos-Saints are in that boat this week. 

12) Old Dominion 49 (+27.5), Virginia Tech 35— Monarchs are in their fifth season of I-A football; they lost 52-10 to Liberty earlier this month, but they pulled a shocker here, beating a Tech squad that recruits heavily in ODU’s talent-rich backyard. 

Old Dominion scored four 4th quarter TD’s, on drives of 75-67-75-79 yards; they put up 632 yards on the Hokies. 

11) Oklahoma 28, Army 21 OT— Sooners were 30-point favorite; they needed OT to win, after Cadets ran 87 plays from scrimmage, converted 13-21 third down plays, 4-5 fourth down plays. Oklahoma averaged 8.9 yards per play but ran only 40 plays the whole game. 

10) Stanford 38, Oregon 31 OT— Ducks are on their third head coach in three years; am guessing Mario Cristobal will stay for a while, but his clock management needs some work. 

Ducks led this game 24-7 at the half, but Stanford fought back, forced an Oregon turnover with 0:50 left, and tied the game at the gun, then won it in OT.

If Stanford coach David Shaw wanted to be an NFL head coach, he’d get a lot of offers.  

9) Texas 31, TCU 16— Tom Herman is now 6-1 vs spread as an underdog in his four years as a head coach. TCU turned ball over four times (-4) in this game; hard to win that way. 

Who made TCU’s schedule? Ohio State/Texas on consecutive Saturdays? No bueno. 

8) Upsets of the Day:
— Old Dominion (+27.5) 49, Virginia Tech 35
— Texas Tech (+14.5) 41, Oklahoma State 17
— Kentucky (+10) 28, Mississippi State 7
— Purdue (+7) 30, Boston College 13
— Illinois State (I-AA team) 35, Colorado State 19

7) Penn State 63, Illinois 24— Illinois led Penn State 24-21 early in third quarter Friday night; they lost 63-24, biggest loss since 2003 by a team that led at any point in second half. 

Nittany Lions outscored their last three opponents 108-0 in second half. 

6) Buffalo 42, Rutgers 13— Why is Rutgers in the Big 14? Not only were the Scarlet Knights a 6-point home underdog in this game, Buffalo got a $920,000 check just for showing up playing the game.

Here’s the thing; if you pay a team $920,000 to show up, you’re supposed to beat them. 

5) Georgia 43, Missouri 29— Dawgs scored a defensive TD, scored another TD on a blocked punt; total yardage was only 445-393 Georgia, but Mizzou turned ball over time three times (plus the BP), completed less than half their passes and Georgia won a game that seemed closer than it actually was. 

All three of Georgia’s offensive TDs were on plays of 33+ yards

4) Texas-San Antonio 25, Texas State 21— Difference in game was Roadrunners’ defense; they scored a TD in the first minute, and a safety in last 2:00 of this game. 

3) Florida 47, Tennessee 21— Volunteers aren’t very good; they turned ball over six times in this game. Some assistant coaches are more recruiters than tacticians; Tennessee needs some serious recruiters on their staff, because this roster lacks a quarterback, to start…….

2) Utah State 42, Air Force 32— Guy at SouthPoint casino Saturday night risked $72,000 to win $20,000 on Utah State to win SU— he banks the $20,000 with Utah State winning this game. Aggies were a 10-point favorite. 

1) South Carolina 37, Vanderbilt 14— Andy Ludwig is the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt; he’s worked at 13 different schools in his 32-year college coaching career. Guy must be awful good at packing. 

Saturday’s Den: College football trends for today’s non-top 13 games

13) Akron is 16-11 as road underdogs under Terry Bowden; they upset Northwestern LW, as a 21-point dog. Iowa State is 5-1 in last six tries as home favorites; they played Oklahoma LW, play TCU next week, so a sandwich game here for them. 

12) Under Doeren, NC State is 7-3 as road favorites; they beat Marshall 37-20 (-23) at home LY. Thundering Herd is 6-5 as home underdogs under Holliday; since 2011, they’re 19-8-1 as a single digit underdog. 

11) Road team won both Minnesota-Maryland games last two years; Gophers are 2-5-2 in last nine games as road underdogs- they’re 9-5 in games where spread was 3 or fewer points. Terps are 3-6 in last nine games as a Big 14 home favorite. 

10) North Carolina won its last five games vs Pitt, all by 7 or fewer points, with average total in those games of 54.6. Tar Heels are 1-6 in last seven games as home underdogs, 7-15-2 as an underdog of less than 10 points. Under Narduzzi, Pitt is 2-1 as road favorites. 

9) Clemson won last visit to Georgia Tech 26-7 in ‘16, their first win in last six visits here; since ’14, Tigers are 7-12 as road favorites. Tech is 4-8 in last 12 tries as home underdogs; they’re 3-6-1 in last ten games as double digit underdogs.

8) Notre Dame won last four games with Wake Forest, last three by 11+ points; this is their first visit here since a 24-17 (-13) win in ’11. Since 2011, Irish are 7-12 as road favorites, 3-8 in last 11 tries as single digit favorites. Wake Forest is 8-4-1 in last 13 games as home underdogs. 

7) Mississippi State won six of last seven games with Kentucky, but lost 40-38 (-4) in last visit here, in ’16. Bulldogs covered three of last four tries as road favorites. Under Stoops, Kentucky is 3-11-2 as home underdogs, 8-13-2 as a double digit underdog. 

6) LSU upset Auburn next week, plays Ole Miss next, so sandwich game here vs Louisiana Tech team they haven’t met since ’09. Tech covered 10 of last 13 tries as road underdogs; they’re 6-6 as double digit dogs. LSU is 1-6 vs vs spread last seven times they laid 20+ points. 

5) Kansas won its last two games after opening with loss to a I-AA team; since ’08, Jayhawks are 14-29-2 as road underdogs, 7-13 if getting single digit spread. Since 2015, Baylor is 5-9 as home favorites; they won last five series games, by average score of 54-10. 

4) Air Force won its last three games vs Utah State, by 3-7-7 points; Flyboys covered eight of last ten games as road underdogs. Utah State is 5-9 in last 14 tries as home favorites; they’re 13-8 in last 21 games as double digit favorites. 

3) Since 2013, Alabama is 13-6-1 as a home favorite in SEC games, 8-11-2 in last 20 games when laying 20+ points- they won last three games with Texas A&M, by average score of 34-19. Since 2013, Aggies are 5-8 as road underdogs- they covered four of last five when getting 20+ points. 

2) Arizona State (+18) upset Washington 13-7 in the desert LY; they won four of last five games with the Huskies, losing 44-18 in last visit here. Since 2011, ASU is 7-12-2 as road underdogs. Under Petersen, Washington is 14-10 as home favorites; they’re 13-12 when laying 10+ points. 

1) Eastern Michigan covered 11 of last 13 games as road underdogs; they upset Purdue already this year. Since 2015, San Diego State is 7-11 as home favorites. Last seven years, MW teams are 15-11 vs spread when playing a MAC opponent. 

Friday’s List of 13: A Baker’s dozen interesting things…….

13) Browns 21, Jets 17— This rematch of the first-ever Monday Night Football game in 1970 gave us an awful lot to think about. 

— This game was awful, a total dud, until Tyrod Taylor got hurt in the 2nd quarter, with Jets leading 14-0. Rookie Baker Mayfield made his NFL debut, and he sparked the Browns to this win- who does he remind me of? I’ll get back to you on this. 
— You could hear it in Troy Aikman’s voice how excited he was to see Mayfield play; you could read the Browns players’ body language- they were excited, too.
— Cleveland and the Jets are BOTH vastly improved; this was the Browns’ night, but Sam Darnold will be a good player, in time.
— Lot of free beer was given out in Cleveland Thursday; hope everyone was safe.
— After the game, Hue Jackson wouldn’t commit to Mayfield being the starter going forward. If I owned the Browns, I’d make that decision for Jackson. Then again, if I owned the Browns, Hue Jackson wouldn’t be the coach. 

12) Cleveland Browns as a favorite last 3+ years
2018: -3 vs NJ Jets: W21-17
2017: -1.5 @ Colts L28-31
2017: -1 vs NJ Jets L14-17
2015: -4 vs Ravens L27-33
2015: -1.5 vs 49ers: W24-10

11) Browns sideline reporter Nathan Zegura was banned from the team’s radio broadcasts for eight games, after he yelled at an NFL official over a call during Sunday’s loss to the Saints in the Superdome. He was also banned from his weekday radio show for two weeks, and won’t return to the radio station’s pre-game or post-game shows.

10) Each NFL teams has 10 players on their practice squad, so thats 320 players- out of those 320 guys, 141 of them weren’t drafted, so 44% of practice squad guys were overlooked in the draft, which gives lot of obscure players hope. 

9) So far this season, in two games: 

Saints’ WR Mike Thomas: 28 catches, 269 yards, 3 TDs
All the Buffalo Bills: 29 catches, 343 yards, 1 TD

8) Roughing the passer penalty called on Green Bay’s Clay Matthews with 1:37 left in regulation Sunday was a terrible call; it negated the game-clinching INT by Green Bay. Minnesota went on to tie the game, and the game ended that way, so it cost the Packers a half-game in standings. 

But think about it, Minnesota missed two FG’s in the OT, and they changed kickers during this week, so that call also cost the Vikings’ kicker his job. 

7) Watching Aaron Rodgers in that game, I was reminded of when we first went out to bars to watch out-of-town NFL games on the satellite dish, back 25-30 years ago. Was worth the time and effort, just to watch Barry Sanders run with the ball— feel the same way about Rodgers now. 

6) Baltimore Ravens have won their last 14 exhibition games; now we might know why; they were just fined $200,000 by the NFL for having multiple players wearing hearing devices in their helmets during preseason games- only one is allowed on the field at any time. 

Ravens, like all guilty parties, threw their hands up and said “We didn’t know!!!” that the rule pertained to the preseason too. Uh-huh. 

5) If Alabama was playing in the national title game this weekend, the spreads vs various opponents would be:

— Alabama -9.5 vs Ohio State
— Alabama -10.5 vs Georgia
— Alabama -11.5 vs Clemson
— Alabama -14.5 vs Oklahoma 

4) Mets shut down P Zach Wheeler for his last two starts; Wheeler threw 182.1 IP this year, compared to 86.1 last year- he didn’t pitch anywhere in 2015-16, but did throw 185.1 innings in 2014 (after 100 IP in ’13). They’re erring on the side of caution.

3) You can bet on almost anything, its actually fun to figure this stuff out:

How many missed extra points will there be in Week 3 of the NFL?
over 4,  -$135
under 4, -$105

2) Angels’ catcher Francisco Arcia is the first player EVER to pitch, catch and hit a home run in the same game. He mopped up on the mound in the Halos’ 21-3 loss to Oakland Thursday. 

1) Major League Baseball needs to scrap its blackout policy; do you know they rarely show Dodger games on TV in Las Vegas casinos, because of those stupid rules?

I was in the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas back in May; there were probably a hundred people left in the book, and the Dodger game was the last game going— they could have had in-game wagering, but the game couldn’t be shown, so the screens had nothing live going on, since it was off-night for any NBA/NHL playoff action.

So instead of a hundred people hanging around, wagering/talking/thinking about baseball, or the very least, watching it, everyone scattered to other parts of the casino or home or up to their rooms. How does that help baseball?

Expose your product to as many people as possible!!!! Thats how to grow your business. 

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

13) Oakland Raiders’ starters have an average age of 29.13, oldest NFL lineup since the 2010 Redskins- is Jon Gruden this generation’s George Allen?  

Oldest NFL lineup since 2000? The ’04 Buccaneers (29.9), also coached by Jon Gruden. 

If you don’t know, George Allen coached Rams/Redskins in 60’s/70’s; he won a ton of games, is in the Hall of Fame— his approach was to trade just about all his draft picks for veteran players. His teams were really, really “experienced” 

Allen’s career record was 118-54-5; his ’72 Redskins were NFC champs, losing 14-7 to Miami’s undefeated Dolphins in the Super Bowl that year. 

12) Youngest Week 1 lineups in NFL:

Oldest: Raiders-Patriots-Falcons-Cardinals

11) College with most players on Week 1 NFL rosters:
44- Alabama
40- LSU
37- Florida
36- Miami, Fla, Ohio State
33- Florida State

10) Westgate Super Contest in Las Vegas, with a $1,500 buy-in, pays off the top 100 finishers. 2,712 people are in this year’s contest.

Winner is going to get $1,422,214.20, runner-up $517,168.80. 

Places #81-100 each collect $2,154.87. 

9) Russell Wilson is first NFL QB to be sacked 6+ times in each of his first two games of a season since Detroit’s Joey Harrington, in 2007. 

8) Random political opinion; I don’t think people over the age of 80 should be serving in Congress. They should be relaxing with their grandkids, or playing golf. 

7) Genius of the Day award: Lynn Redden, superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District in Texas, writing on Facebook about Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson’s play Sunday: 

“That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I’ve seen in the NFL. When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a black quarterback.”

This guy is the superintendent of a school district. Oy. 

6) Alabama has scored 14 TD’s on 20 drives this season when starting QB Tua Tagovailoa has been in the game. 

5) Mike Trout’s on-base percentage in his career:
2012: .399  2013: .432  2014: .377
2015: .402  2016: .441  2017: .442
2018: .463

4) New Word Alert: Quisling— a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force. 

First heard of this word last year while watching the great Showtime series, Billions. Lot of people on these series stab each other in the back. If you watch enough of these cable series, you’ll never trust anyone the rest of your life…

3) From A gem mint version of a 1980 Larry Bird-Magic Johnson Topps rookie card had a winning bid of $125,200 on eBay on Wednesday night.

Must be nice to be wealthy enough to pay $125K for a basketball card. 

2) Dodgers 5, Rockies 2— Brutal week for Colorado; they’re 2.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot. 

1) A’s 10, Angels 0— Much-needed win for the Oaklanders, who are 5.5 games up on Tampa Bay in the Wild Card race; A’s magic number to clinch is 6.

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

13) Sunday afternoon in the Marlins-Phillies game, teams used a combined 15 pitchers, and none of them batted, which is first time that ever happened in an NL game.

It is time for baseball to do away with September roster expansion; if they care so much about pace of play, then they should reduce the amount of pitching changes that are made.  

12) Seahawks were drop-kicking the ball when they kicked off a couple times Monday night; pretty sure I’ve never seen that before. Seattle’s punter is an Australian, so he knows drop-kicking from playing Aussie Rules Football, but his onside kick Monday night didn’t work.

Doug Flutie once tried to drop-kick a field goal (or PAT) but this was on a kickoff, which was interesting to see.

11) When do the most explosive plays happen in the NFL? Which down? 

After two weeks of play, there have been 258 plays of 20+ yards; 124 of them (48.1%) came on first down, 83 (32,2%) on second down, 48 on third down, three on 4th down. 

There were 122 explosive plays in Week 1, 136 in Week 2; are offenses now using Weeks 1-4 to get into game shape, since many starters don’t play in preseason anymore? 

10) Coming into Tuesday’s games, Baltimore Orioles were 60 games out of first place; they’re first team since the ’62 Mets to be that far out of first place. 

9) Christian Yelich is only third player since 1900 to hit for the cycle twice in the same season; when the Marlins sold off their outfield last winter, who knew that Yelich would have the best season of those three guys this year?

8) Philadelphia 76ers named Elton Brand as their new GM; he was promoted from from vice president of Basketball Operations. 

7) injury stuff:
— Jaguars lost LT Cam Robinson (torn ACL) for the year.
— Rams lost K Greg Zeurlein for few weeks; they signed K Sam Ficken
— Colorado Rockies lost SS Trevor Story (elbow), but the good news is that it doesn’t look like he needs Tommy John surgery. 

6) Milwaukee Brewers moved their AAA farm club from Colorado Springs to San Antonio starting next year, which will make their minor league pitchers happier. San Antonio had been home of the Padres’ AA team in the Texas League, so fans in the Alamo will see better ball. 

A’s made something official that we reported a few months ago; their AAA farm team will be in Las Vegas starting next year, which is good for A’s fans who enjoy going to Las Vegas (like me). 

Mets’ AAA team jumps from Vegas to Syracuse; Nationals switch from Syracuse to Fresno, the Rangers are moving to Nashville and the Astros to Round Rock. Got all that?

5) There have been 94 days in Las Vegas this year where the temperature got to 100 degrees; the all-time record is 100 days, back in 1947.

4) Remember former Michigan football coach Brady Hoke? He went 31-20 as coach of the Wolverines from 2011-14; now he is the defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers. It is kind of amazing how much football coaches move; it is a nomadic profession. 

3) Phillies actually had 40 players active last night; Mets’ TV guys said they’ve never heard of any team having the full 40 players eligible for a September game. 

2) Over the last 10 years, 20 NFL teams that have been favored to win by 16+ points; all 20 teams won SU, but went only 8-11-1 against the spread. 

1) Nationals 4, Marlins 2— Bryce Harper batted five times, and walked all five times. 

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

13) Cleveland Browns were going to cut WR Josh Gordon over the weekend, but they traded him instead, to New England; they got a 5th-round draft pick in exchange. 

12) It is too bad HBO’s Hard Knocks ends when the final rosters are named in training camp; seeing all that drama play out behind closed doors would’ve been good TV.

11) I know Nebraska is 0-2 for the first time since 1957 and they lost to Troy State Saturday, but ragging on Troy is a mistake- Trojans also won at LSU last year- they’re 24-6 in their last 30 games, and are favored to win the Sun Belt this season. 

10) USC didn’t score a touchdown at Stanford two weeks ago; they didn’t score a point on their last nine drives at Texas- those two losses should have some Trojan coaches nervous, and since the head coach is signed up thru 2023, I’m talking about assistants on offensive side of the ball. 

9) Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys for $154M in 1989; they’re worth right around $5B now. Not the best GM of a football team, but a damn good businessman. 

8) Last two years, San Francisco Giants are 2-17 at Coors Field in Denver. 

7) Defensive tackle David Onyemata of the Saints got fined $40,108 for two hits in the Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay. Problem is, Onyemata’s game check was $39,375- he lost $700 by playing in the game. 

6) Florida State is 1-2 this season, and has looked awful in all three games.

In coach Willie Taggart’s previous head coaching stops, he went 11-25 in his first season at those schools; this is his third stop in three years, which is weird for a head coach, and his system is a lot different than Jimbo Fisher’s. If panic set in and FSU wanted to fire Taggart, it would cost the school around $21M, so that probably ain’t happening. At least this season. 

5) Former NBA player Brent Barry got a job in San Antonio Spurs’ front office, which takes him off TV and that is a loss for those of us who watch NBA games on TV- he was a good analyst. 

4) Mets won their season series with the Phillies the last seven years, their longest streak of that kind over any opponent, ever. 

3) Seattle Seahawks have played 33 Monday Night Football games; last night was only their 10th such game on the road.

2) Eagles get starting QB Carson Wentz back this weekend, for first time since he got hurt out in LA last December. Philly split its first two games this season.

1) One of the best lines I’ve heard in Hard Knocks over the years was from Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien, who called the NFL “…..the most competitive business in the world” while talking to his team after the final roster had been determined.

Pretty accurate statement; there is such a fine line between success and failure. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Chiefs 42, Steelers 37— Don’t think I’ve ever seen this before; Patrick Mahomes threw six TD passes in a game where his offense faced only five 3rd down plays the whole day. More TD passes than 3rd down plays? Doesn’t happen much. 

Chiefs led 21-0, it was 21-21 at the half; Pittsburgh scored 58 points in its first two games, but they didn’t win either one of them. And Le’Veon Bell has coughed away $1,760,000 in just two weeks, because…….well, I don’t know why. Guess he doesn’t want to play. 

Saints 21, Browns 18— Cleveland outgained Saints by 52 yards, but Browns’ kicker missed two FG’s, two PAT’s, including one with 1:16 left that would’ve given the Browns a 19-18 lead. Don’t scrimp when it comes to paying kickers; they decide who wins close games. Gregg Williams’ defense held Saints to 5.6 yards/play, but it wasn’t good enough. 

Vikings 29, Packers 29 OT— Two weeks, two ties; not sure I can remember a kicker missing two FG’s in same OT period, but Vikings’ rookie Carlson was 0-3 in this game, 0-2 in OT. Why do contending teams have rookie kickers?!?!?!?!

Green Bay scored only one offensive TD, tried six FG’s; they scored a TD on a blocked punt on Minnesota’s first series. Total yardage here was 480-351 Vikings, but they didn’t win. 

Titans 20, Texans 17— A gentleman in Las Vegas wagered $100,000 on the Texans in this game; imagine having the onions to bet $100K on a team coached by Bill O’Brien?? Total yardage was 437-283 Houston, but Titans got the home win. 

Tennessee led 14-0 early behind backup QB Gabbert and a TD pass off a fake punt, but Houston rallied to lead 17-14 early in 4th quarter, before Titans kicked FG’s on their last two drives to win the game.  

Falcons 31, Panthers 24— Falcons have now won five of last six series games, with all five wins by 7+ points; Carolina lost its last four visits here. Atlanta is 13-2 vs spread in its last 15 home openers. Total yardage was 442-439, Atlanta averaged 9.7 yards/pass attempt. Cam Newton took a vicious shot to the head as he slid after a run; the tackler was ejected. 

Rams 34, Cardinals 0— Arizona needs to play rookie QB Rosen now, because Sam Bradford isn’t competing; he dumps the ball off quick as hell so he won’t get hit. If Rosen isn’t ready, then play Mike Glennon, because the defense got depressed in this game. They know they have no shot. 

Cardinals had five first downs, 137 total yards, and lost field position by 20 yards, in a game where Rams’ kicker Greg Zeurlein strained a groin muscle before the game. Punter Johnny Hekker kicker a FG and a PAT- Rams went for two the other times they scored. 

Chargers 31, Bills 20— Buffalo trailed 26-0/28-6 at halftime of its two games, but at least now rookie QB Allen is getting needed experience that hopefully will pay off down the road (can you hear us, Arizona?). Chargers scored 59 points in splitting their first two games; they visit the Rams in the LA Coliseum next week. 

Bills’ CB Vontae Davis abruptly retired at halftime of this game, saying in a statement that the reality had hit him: “I shouldn’t be out there anymore.”

Dolphins 20, Jets 12— First-place 2-0 Miami ran out to a 20-0 lead, won field position by 10 yards- two of their three TD drives were less than 50 yards- they held Jets to 42 rushing yards. Dolphins covered four of their last five road openers; under is 20-5 in their last 25 road openers.

NFL Network has Jets-Browns on this Thursday night; huge game for both teams. Winner will either be 2-1 or 1-1-1 after three weeks, a big improvement. 

Buccaneers 27, Eagles 21— Ryan Fitzpatrick is 48-61 for 819 yards in two wins; Jameis Winston ain’t getting his job back after his suspension ends next week, at least not right away. Bucs had two drives of one play, 75 yards each- they averaged 11.2 yards/pass attempt. 

49ers 30, Lions 27— Underdogs were 10-4 against spread Sunday, including this back-door cover by Detroit, which scored two TD’s in last 8:40 to beat the number. 

Matthew Stafford threw 53 passes, Lions ran ball only 18 times; he may make $9M a year more than Tom Brady, but Stafford’s career record is 60-67, his playoff record is 0-3. Matt Patricia is learning the hard way that winning without Brady ain’t so easy. 

Guess who the Lions play next week? Brady and the Patriots, on Sunday night. 

Jaguars 31, Patriots 20— Jax’ville avenged their loss in LY’s AFC title game; they converted 10-14 on third down, held Gronkowski to two catches for 15 yards and overcame a -2 turnover ratio. Yardage was 481-302 Jaguars; people have to stop riding Blake Bortles, he’s winning lot of games lately. 

Broncos 20, Raiders 19— Oakland led 12-0 at halftime, 19-7 with 3:00 left in third quarter, but Denver scored on all four second half possessions (two TD’s, two FG”s), kicking winning FG with 0:06 left, giving them two home wins, by total of four points. Raiders converted only 3 of 10 third down plays and fell to 0-2. 

Colts 21, Redskins 9— Indy converted 9 of 16 on 3rd down, scored 21 points on three red zone drives. Redskins kicked FG’s on both their red zone drives, ran ball for only 65 yards- they were 5-15 on third down. Colts are 9-4 in their last 13 games vs NFC teams. Redskins have now lost six of their last seven home openers;

Cowboys 20, Giants 13— Dallas held rookie RB Barkley to 28 rushing yards, sacked immobile QB Manning six times, and won a game that took well under 3:00 to play, shortest NFL game I can remember in long time. Barkley did catch 14 passes for 80 yards; Beckham was held to four catches, 51 yards. 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a college football Saturday

13) Troy 24, Nebraska 19— Cornhuskers are 0-2 for first time since 1957; their QB Martinez sat this game out- walk-on sophomore Bunch played instead. 

This is what happens now; when a team has a QB competition in the summer, the player who loses the competition transfers, because no one wants to be a backup, and it leaves the team very thin at QB. 

12) Syracuse 30, Florida State 7— This was no fluke; Syracuse outgained them 450-240; FSU was 1-14 on third down conversions- they’re 1-2 and they trailed a I-AA team at halftime in the one game they did win. 

Seminoles’ offense is TERRIBLE; their OL doesn’t block much, and their QB didn’t show much of a football IQ at the end of the first half. 

Syracuse led 6-0 but FSU had the ball in the SU red zone (orange zone?); Seminoles didn’t have any timeouts left, but the QB threw a pass by the numbers, the receiver got tackled, and the half ended with no points being scored. Throw it in the end zone, or the sidelines, or throw it away, and at least they kick a field goal. No bueno. 

11) Not the best day for the Big 14:
— Rutgers lost 55-14 at KANSAS
— Wisconsin lost at home to Brigham Young.
— Northwestern lost at home to Akron. 
— Nebraska lost at home to Troy.
— Illinois lost to South Florida before a small crowd at Soldier Field.
— Missouri 40, Purdue 37
— Maryland lost 35-14 at home to Temple; Terps scored zero points on offense; their TD’s were scored by the defense and on a blocked punt. 

10) LSU 22, Auburn 21— How much talent does Ohio State have? Buckeyes’ 3rd-string QB transfers to LSU, becomes the starter there and already has a road win at Auburn, and a neutral field win over Miami. LSU chewed up the final 5:38 on the game-winning drive.

Interviews with Ed Orgeron are odd; can’t understand 80% of what the guy is saying. 

9) Oklahoma 37, Iowa State 27— Sooners avenged their home loss to Iowa State last year, but Cyclones have a WR named Hakeem Butler who is an NFL player- he had five catches for 174 yards and two TD’s. Very impressive player.

8) Upsets of the Day:
BYU (+21.5) 24, Wisconsin 21
Akron (+21) 39, Nebraska 34
Temple (+17) 35, Maryland 14
Troy (+11) 24, Nebraska 19
LSU (+10.5) 22, Auburn 21
North Texas (+7) 44, Arkansas 17

7) Cleveland Browns cut WR Josh Gordon, who is both talented/troubled, and after six years, obviously became more trouble than he is worth.

6) South Florida 25, Illinois 19— Blake Barnett is USF’s QB; he was Alabama’s starting QB in the 2016 opener, got yanked for Jalen Hurts, then transferred to a junior college, then Arizona State, where he threw only five passes, and now USF— his Bulls are off to a 3-0 start.

In a way Barnett is the poster boy for the “If I ain’t startin’, then I’m departin’” age of college football; he got beat out by Hurts at Alabama and then Manny Wilkins at ASU, and he quickly left both schools. 

They said on TV during the USF-Georgia Tech game last week that USF coach Charlie Strong told Barnett that he has to prove to people now that he isn’t a quitter. We’ll see what happens. 

5) North Texas 44, Arkansas 17— Razorbacks blew a big lead and lost at Colorado State LW, then got crushed here by a team from Conference USA. When you throw six INT’s in a game, you lose. Think the natives are restless? 

Arkansas’ 3rd-string QB threw a pick-6, which normally wouldn’t be news, except the kid is John Stephen Jones, Jerry Jones’ grandson. Rough day all around for Arkansas. 

4) Texas Tech 63, Houston 49— Sixteen TD’s, no FGs. one turnover in this touch football game where a total of 192 plays were run, for 1,376 yards. Freshman QB Alan Bowman was 43-59 for 605 yards, five TDs and no INTs. 

By way of contrast, the Dallas-Carolina NFL game last week had 118 plays for 525 yards; there is more action in college football, for the most part. 

3) Missouri 40, Purdue 37— Boilermakers are 0-3, with three losses by total of eight points. 3-0 Mizzou kicked a FG at the gun to win this game- they host Georgia next week. 

2) Ohio State 40, TCU 28— Buckeyes scored 20 points in a 4:01 span of the 3rd quarter, erasing a 21-13 Horned Frog lead, and breaking game open. Up until that point, this was a really good game. 

TCU got $5M to move this game from their campus stadium in Fort Worth to Jerry World in Arlington; the return match for next year in Columbus was scrapped. 

1) Texas 37, USC 14— Trojans lost 17-3 at Stanford last week, then lost by three TD’s here; college football is one sport where a coach’s job security goes in the ashcan in a matter of eight days.

Texas blocked FG for a TD with 6:25 left to play; a made FG would’ve cut Texas’ lead to 23-17. Trojans’ punter had a rough night; USC’s special teams are screwed up right now.

I’ve said this several times already, but no idea why USC is starting a young man at QB who should still be a senior in high school. He is playing against a lot of guys 4-5 years older than he is. 

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

13) One of my favorite guys is retiring soon; Ralph Lawler, TV voice of the LA Clippers, will retire after this season. The 80-year old Lawler is an easy-going, friendly voice who has been voice of the Clippers for the last 40 years— great fun to listen to. 

One of the joys of having the NBA package on DirecTV is listening to Clipper games; I wish him well in having a happy retirement, but not until I hear him work 82 more games. 

12) Over the last nine seasons, teams that played on road in Week 1 are 6-24 SU when playing on road again in Week 2; against the spread, those teams are 9-20-1, 6-11 if they won the week before, 3-9-1 if they lost.

Three teams are in that boat this week: Texans, Chiefs, Seahawks. 

11) Bengals 34, Ravens 23— Cincinnati scored 30+ points in its first two games of a season for the first time ever; they got up 21-0 in 2nd quarter and withstood a Baltimore rally in the second half. Watching the Ravens trail 21-0, I’m thinking, “Baltimore won 47-3 LW; how freaking bad are the Bills?”

10) Patriots are favored in Jacksonville this week, the 52nd game in row where Tom Brady’s team was favored to win. All-time record is 55, held by Kurt Warner. 

9) I was reading an article about Bucs’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick this week; he is a Harvard alum- they don’t have athletic scholarships in the Ivy League, but believe me, they have ways to get guys cash. 

Fitzpatrick had a job in college; shuttling high-profile alumni (think people like Conan O’Brien) around at Harvard reunions— pretty good gig. Apparently, a really good gig. 

Fitzpatrick jokes that being an NFL QB “….is the second-best job I’ve ever had.” 

8) Why do network news programs send reporters into the heart of a tropical storm? Why is that a good thing? Some poor bastard was on a dock at Radio Island, NC; he looked like a refugee from Gilligan’s Island. 

Another person who must really need a job was driving around Wilmington, NC Thursday nite as the rain/wind beat down on his car- weren’t any other cars on the road. Whats the point?

7) St Thomas Aquinas in Florida had 15 players on NFL opening day rosters–more than double any other high school in the country; Long Beach Poly was second with seven.

6) Ron Jaworski came out before the season opener and said the Cleveland Browns will be 8-8 this year, which is a pretty hefty endorsement. 

5) Oklahoma Sooners have lost a game as a double digit favorite in each of the last seven seasons, which seems unusual for such a good program. 

4) Of the 32 QB’s who started NFL games in Week 1, eight of them (25%) grew up in Texas. 

3) Chicago Cubs scored exactly one run in 11 of Kyle Hendricks’ 30 starts; they’re 1-10 in those games, and 14-5 when they give him more than one run. 

2) Red Sox have scored 1 or 2 runs in eight of David Price’s starts, and they’re 5-3 in those games, thats how good Price has been this season. 

1) New Jersey sports books took in $95.6M in sports wagers in August, and realized a $9.2M profit on those bets. Wonder how much of that money came from New York. 

Friday’s List of 13: College football trends from non-top 13 games

13) Last five years, Temple is 13-6 as a road underdog. Maryland is 8-3 in its last 11 games as a double digit favorite.

12) Under Richt, Miami Fla is 6-3 as road favorites: Since 2010, Toledo is 1-4 as home underdog. Rockets (+13.5) lost 52-30 in Miami LY. 

11) Hawai’i won its first three games this year, scoring 145 points; they’re 6-5 as road underdogs under Rolovich. Under Monken, Army is 7-9 as home favorites. 

10) Kansas is favored to win a football game; since 2012, they’re 3-8 as home favorites, 2-3 in 3+ years under Beaty. Since 2011, Rutgers is 16-7 as a single digit underdog. 

9) Last 3+ years, Georgia Tech is 0-7 as a road favorite; Tech is 3-2 in its last five games with Pittsburgh, covering (1-1 SU) their last two visits to Steel City. Pitt is 2-5 under Narduzzi as a home underdog- they lost 51-6 at home to Penn State LW. 

8) Since 2012, Vanderbilt is 15-12 as road underdogs, 10-10 under Mason- they’re 13-7 as double digit dogs the last 4+ years. Under Kelly, Notre Dame is 19-23-1 as a double digit favorite. 

7) Ohio-Virginia are playing in Nashville because of the storm; Bobcats had last week off after edging I-AA Howard 38-32 in their opener- they were outgained by 222 yards in that game, but were +4 in turnovers. Since 2011, Virginia is 10-16-3 vs spread when favored. 

6) Under Smith, Illinois is 3-7 as home underdogs; they’re 10-16 in last 26 games as a double digit underdog. AAC teams are 15-8 vs spread in their last 23 games vs Big 14 squads. 

5) New Mexico State upset New Mexico SU last two years, and is 3-0-1 vs spread in last four series games; Aggies covered last two series games played here, which were decided by total of four points. Under Martin, State is 9-11-2 as home underdogs under. 

4) Tulane-UAB haven’t met since 2012; under Fritz, Green Wave is 3-1 as road favorite. over last decade, UAB is 15-6-1 as home underdogs. Since 2011, AAC teams are 13-11 vs  spread when playing C-USA teams. 

3) Duke (-13) beat Baylor 34-20 at home LY; last 5+ years, Blue Devils are 21-5 vs spread in non-ACC games. Baylor is 7-11 vs spread in its last 18 home games. 

2) Last 3+ years, North Texas is 7-11 vs spread as road underdogs; Mean Green beat SMU 46-23 in its season opener. Arkansas blew a 27-9 lead LW in last 18:00, losing 34-27 at Colorado State. Last three years, Razorbacks are 5-8 as home favorites. 

1) Oregon State is 6-14-1 vs spread in its last 21 games as road underdogs; Nevada is 2-7 vs spread in its last nine non-conference games. Pac-12 teams are 21-17-1 vs spread in last 39 games vs Mountain West opponents. 

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

13) How do you handicap Week 2 NFL games; how much weight do you give to Week 1 games? In weeks 2-3 you have to make a leap of faith to believe what you just saw. Once you’ve seen three games, then you can start making some judgements.

— Are the Jets as the good as they looked? Tampa Bay? Baltimore?
— Is Detroit as awful as it looked? New Orleans? Buffalo?

Thats what makes handicapping so interesting, taking the next step when you’re not sure if you’ll be stepping on solid ground or quicksand. 

12) Brewers 5, Cubs 1— Curtis Granderson had a homer, triple for Milwaukee, which is only a game behind Chicago in the NL Central. 

11) Mets 13, Marlins 0— Start of scheduled doubleheader was delayed by rain for over five hours; they only played one game, will play twinbill today instead. 

10) Lot of people complain about the DH, but it isn’t going anywhere; DH’s make lot more money than the average guy (think Pujols, Victor Martinez, JD Martinez), so the players’ union ain’t never going to agree to get rid of it. Forget about it. 

9) Dodgers are 79-67 this season, but 1-6 against the Cincinnati Reds, 2-4 against the Marlins, which isn’t good when you’re trying to make the playoffs. Have to beat up non-contenders. 

8) Edwin Encarnación is the only player with 30+ HRs in each of the last seven seasons. 

7) It is important to take statistics in context:
— Jacob deGrom is 8-9, despite having a 1.71 ERA
— Lucas Giolito is 10-10, with a 5.76 ERA. 

Go figure. 

6) NFL teams averaged 5.39 yards per play in Week 1; the league averaged 5.29 ypp LY. 

5) NBA season isn’t all that far away; Russell Westbrook had knee surgery recently, will be evaluated again in about a month. 

4) From 1920-2017,  Cleveland Indians had only two games where they had only one hit with that hit being a home run- Jose Ramirez has done it twice himself this season.

3) Colorado Rockies are 22-4 in last 26 games started by Freeland or Marquez. 

2) I was surfing thru yesterday; they have a page dedicated to “hustle leaders”, tracking loose balls recovered, deflections, and “screen assists”, which I assume are hoops scored because the scorer came off that person’s screen. 

As a former college basketball manager, stuff like this makes me smile, because the little things these statistics track are the stuff that make the big things happen. 

1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL: Atlanta-Chicago-Colorado. Wild Card: Cardinals @ Brewers
AL: Boston-Cleveland-Houston. Wild Card: A’s @ Bronx

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

13) Monday, guy at SouthPoint Casino in Las Vegas wagered $40,600 on the Lions to win on the money line against the Jets…….meaning he risked $40,600 to win $14,000. All Detroit had to do was win a game they were favored in by 6.5 points. 


12) Wonder how many Lions fans wonder why Jim Caldwell was fired? He went 36-28 in four years as the Lions’ head coach, made the playoffs twice, went 9-7 the last two years- why did they fire him??? Maybe its premature panicking, but its a valid question. 

Before Monday night, last time the Jets scored a defensive TD was in 2013.

11) To me, Monday night NFL doubleheaders would be better than having Thursday night NFL games; let the colleges have Thursday night. 

10) I’m thinking that football stats should somehow give credit to the QB/WR for yardage they gain via pass interference penalties. Make it a separate category but it should be accounted for.

9) NFL coaches in their first year with their team went 0-7 in Week One, 1-6 vs spread. 

8) There were 38 interceptions in Week One of the NFL season; six of those were run back for touchdowns.

Case Keenum threw seven INT’s all of last season; he threw three against Seattle Sunday. 

7) NFL injury stuff:
— Carolina TE Greg Olsen re-fractured his foot, is out at least a month.
— Tennessee TE Delanie Walker (ankle) is out for the year.
— Seattle WR Doug Baldwin has a partially torn MCL.
— Rams’ PR/KR Pharoh Cooper (ankle) will miss several weeks. 

6) College football schedule changes for this week:
— BC-Wake Forest moved up to 5:30 Thursday
— UCF-North Carolina PPD
— West Virginia-NC State PPD
— East Carolina-Virginia Tech PPD
— Ohio-Virginia, moved from Charlottesville to Nashville, TN

5) In his career, Ben Roethlisberger is 21-2-1 against Cleveland; Tyrod Taylor was the 14th QB to start against the Steelers in those 24 games. The only two QB’s to beat Big Ben for the Browns? 

Brian Hoyer and Brady Quinn. 

4) Astros’ reliever Brad Peacock was sent back to Houston with hand, foot and mouth disease; lot of that going around the major leagues this season.

3) The jumbotron in George Washington U’s basketball arena collapsed onto the floor Tuesday, creating a pretty large mess in the gym. 

2) A’s pitcher Sean Manaea is having his shoulder operated on and probably won’t be back until 2020. 

1) Rounders is probably my favorite movie ever (other than Moneyball, which is in a separate category); the great poker movie opened in theaters 20 years ago Tuesday, but if you like playing cards or gambling in general, it remains a classic. 

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

13) IMG Academy is a prep school in Florida that specializes in sports training. 

Of the 130 Division I-A football teams this fall, five starting QB’s are IMG graduates:

— Zack Annexstad, Minnesota
— Deondre Francois, Florida State
— Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
— Shea Patterson, Michigan
— Art Sitkowski, Rutgers

I’d say that is impressive for a high school, but IMG is no ordinary high school; its a factory for creating high-level athletes, which they do very well. 

12) So I’m in line at the bank Friday and a guy in front of me is in line, holding a fishing pole; he gets to the teller’s window and puts the pole on the counter, while he gets a wad of cash. 

Best that I know, and I’ve lived here my whole life, the closest body of water where fishing is possible is two miles away. Maybe he needed the cash for a Uber to get to the pond. 

11) Then I go up the road for lunch, as I walk into the bar, one of the waiters compliments my sneakers, an old (but rarely worn) pair of Nikes that I recently found buried under a pile of stuff (not much gets thrown out at Armadillo World HQ). 

Turns out this person knew from looking at my sneakers that they were made in 2005, and that I had taken good care of them. Not really, I just misplaced them and forgot about them, but they are still very comfortable, 13 years later. 

10) Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Washington Nationals’ teenager Juan Soto has batted cleanup in eight games this season; he is the first teenager to bat cleanup in a major league game since Houston’s Cesar Cedeno, in 1970. 

9) Basketball Hall of Fame does their induction weekend on first week of the NFL season, which means it gets totally overlooked; too bad. Wouldn’t late August be a better time? 

8) Roommates in their college days at LSU: Phillies P Aaron Nola, Astros 3B Alex Bregman. Couple of All-Stars now. 

7) Phillies are fading down the stretch; is it because their front office has lousy people skills? Few weeks ago, they sent starting pitcher Zach Eflin down to AAA for 10 days, simply because they could do that, keep him in turn because of a doubleheader, then bring him back again after ten days. It cost Eflin $20,000 and nine days of major league service time. 

Since that happened, Eflin is 1-3, 9.26 in five starts. 

6) We talked last week about the two Detroit Tigers’ TV announcers who got into a scuffle in the TV booth after the game Tuesday; turns out they’ve both been suspended for the rest of the season. Fact of the matter is, I would fire both of them, since they’re not very good anyway. 

5) Alabama QB Jalen Hurts will likely redshirt this season; thanks to a new NCAA rule, Hurts can play in four games this season and still redshirt. 

Not sure how that changes anything, since he and Tua Tagovailoa would both still at Alabama next year, but I guess Hurts could stay five years and start again when he is a 5th-year senior, after Tagovailoa graduates, unless Alabama recruits a younger QB in 2020 to start this mess all over again. 

4) Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor is now defensive coordinator at St Thomas Aquinas HS down in Florida, one of the better high school programs in the Sunshine State. 

3) There are 3,123 entrants in the Westgate SuperContest; at $1,500 a pop, that means the prize pool is a cool $4,684,500. Whoever wins will bank over a million bucks. 

That said, 19 entrants didn’t put picks in for Week 1- at $1,500 a pop, thats $28,500 down the proverbial drain.

2) After returning from his injury Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers was 17-23 for 273 yards, three TDs; he was 3-7 for 13 yards before the injury. Sometimes life makes no sense. 

1) When Eastern Michigan upset Purdue 20-19 Saturday, it was only their second win in 40 football games against Big 14 opponents. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Packers 24, Bears 23— Epic comeback by Green Bay, which trailed 20-0 with 4:00 left in the third quarter; Aaron Rodgers left the field on a golf cart in the first half with an injured knee, his backup threw a pick-6 that gave Chicago a 17-0 halftime lead, but then Rodgers came back and led the Packers to a memorable win in this ancient rivalry. 

When Chicago went ahead 10-0 in the second quarter, it was the first time they led Green Bay by 10+ points in any game since 2007— these teams play twice a year. Just a horrible way to start a coaching tenure for new Bears’ coach Matt Nagy, but they did look like an improved team.  

Moving forward, Rodgers does seem to have a fairly significant knee injury, but also looks like he can play through it. 

Buccaneers 48, Saints 40— Think Jameis Winston enjoyed this game? Bucs averaged 14.9 yards/pass attempt, had 31 points at the half and cruised to a divisional road win, handing Saints their fifth Week 1 loss in a row. There is a now a pretty good chance that Ryan Fitzpatrick will still be the starting QB when Winston’s suspension ends. 

Three of Tampa Bay’s TD’s were on plays of 36+ yards; Saints threw 45 passes, ran the ball only 13 times. Drew Brees averaged 9.4 yards/pass attempt- not too shabby. 

Ravens 47, Bills 3— If owned the Buffalo franchise, I’d damn sure want to know why we traded Tyrod Taylor, since the Bills made the playoffs last year for the first time in 19 years. This was a hideous performance on a dismal, rainy day— Nathan Peterman was 5-18 for 24 yards in this game- he might be the worst NFL QB since the strike replacement games in 1987. 

If I was Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer, when his collusion trial starts we’d show video clips of Peterman starting an NFL game to show that there is collusion against Kaepernick ever suiting up again in the league. 

Steelers 21, Browns 21— Speaking of Tyrod Taylor, he rallied Cleveland back from down 21-7 in 4th quarter to tie this game with 1:58 left on a rainy day by Lake Erie. Browns had FG blocked at end of overtime that would’ve won game, but this is only 2nd time in 20 years that Cleveland didn’t lose its season opener. 

As for the Steelers, James Conner ran ball for 135 yards and two TD’s, caught five passes for 57 yards, as Le’Veon Bell’s leverage shrunk considerably. 

This was the first NFL tie in Week 1 since Dolphins-Broncos in 1971. 

Bengals 27, Colts 23— Bengals salted away this game with an 83-yard fumble return for a TD when Colts had completed a pass inside the Cincinnati red zone in the last minute. 

Colts converted 11-17 on 3rd down; they picked off a Dalton pass on the first series, took over on the Cincy 9-yard line, but turned ball over themselves. Indy had 53 pass plays, 22 runs— I’m guessing that Frank Reich wants a more balanced offense than that. 

Vikings 24, 49ers 16— Niners turned ball over four times (-3) as Garoppolo loses for first time in eight NFL starts- he completed only 15 of 33 passes. SF had ball in red zone four times, scored only 13 points. Vikings scored on a pick-6. 

Jaguars 20, Giants 15— You think Tom Coughlin enjoyed this win? Jacksonville led 13-6 at half, then did nothing but punt in second half; their one 2nd half score came on a defensive TD. Giants’ rookie RB Barkley scored their only TD on a 68-yard run. Beckham caught 11 balls for 111 yards but no TD’s. 

Patriots 27, Texans 20— New England started 11 of its 13 drives 75+ yards from end zone, lost field position by 10 yards, turned ball over three times (-1), but scored 24 yards on four red zone drives. Texans completely only half (17-34) their passes, averaging 4.3 yards/attempt. 

Eagles 18, Falcons 12— Atlanta had ball in Philly’s red zone five times Thursday night, scored a total of 9 points- they lost despite a 13-yard edge in field position, which doesn’t happen much. 

Philly had three red zone drives, scored 18 points. Eagles scored on three of their four drives that started outside their own 25- they scored zero points on the five drives that started 75+ yards from the goal line.

Dolphins 27, Titans 20— This game had two weather delays, took almost seven hours to play; game was 10-3 after the third quarter, so if you bet under, it was a long, miserable afternoon. Both teams returned a kickoff for a TD in the 4th quarter. 

Miami won despite scoring only six points on four drives that started in Tennessee territory. Titans’ QB Mariota got hurt; former Jags’ QB Gabbert took his place. 

Chiefs 38, Chargers 28— Patrick Mahomes was 15-27/256 passing with four TD’s, as Chiefs beat the Chargers for the 9th straight time. Tyreek Hill caught seven passes for 169 yards and two TD’s— he also had a 91-yard punt return for a score. 

Mahomes was the 10th pick in the 2017 Draft; think the Browns would like to have taken him with the first pick?  

Broncos 27, Seahawks 24— Denver/New England both turned ball over three times and won Sunday; that doesn’t happen a whole lot. Seattle turned turnovers into short TD drives of 15, 41 yards- they were outgained 470-306, had only 13 first downs. All three of Denver’s TD drives were 75 yards long- they had seven plays of 20+ yards, and 25 first downs. 

Panthers 16, Cowboys 8— Former Dallas WR/current free agent Dez Bryant trolled Cowboys on social media after this game, which should really help him catch on with a new team. Rookie kicker Maher missed a 47-yard FG; the old kicker Dan Bailey hasn’t signed wth a new team yet. 

Total yardage in this game was 293-232, Carolina; Panthers won field position by 17 yards. Teams combined to convert only 6-23 on third down. 

Redskins 24, Cardinals 6— Washington led 21-0 at half, outgained Arizona 429-213, as Alex Smith won his Redskins’ debut and improved his career W-L record to 89-62-1. Washington ran ball for 182 yards, threw for 247— pretty good balance.