13) If you bet the San Francisco 49ers over/under win total for this season, your mood turned when Jimmy Garoppolo became the Niners’ starting QB.
When the 49ers were 0-9, under 4.5 wins looked golden; now they’re 5-10 and under is a loser, over is a surprising winner, which is a good example of how season-long prop bets can be dicey, since Garoppolo was in Foxboro for the first half of this season.
12) If you have Showtime on your TV and are looking for some good binge-watching, Season 2 of Billions will run all day Sunday, starting at 7am. Season 1 ran all day Christmas Eve; got to see some episodes of this terrific program before and after football, which was fun.
11) In their last five games, Arizona Cardinals have held their opponents to 10-58 on third down, which is really good defense. Redbirds are only 7-8, but they’re still playing hard.
10) Speaking of the Cardinals, reports are out that Bruce Arians won’t be back as coach next year. Arians is 48-30-1 in Arizona, but is 65 and has had some health issues recently. Redbirds have an older roster (11 players are older than Sean McVay)- they’re going to miss Arians.
9) I mentioned Artis Gilmore briefly last week; the former Jacksonville center played 17 years in the NBA/ABA— he played 80+ games in 13 times, including his first eight years in ABA, where teams didn’t own their own airplanes, and teams sometimes played three nights in a row.
Gilmore averaged 18.7 ppg, 12.3 rpg in his career; he played 41+ mpg in his first four years, 37.4+ mpg in seven of his first eight years, 34.1+ mpg in his first 11 years. In other words, he wasn’t soft like some of today’s stars, who whine about every little inconvenience while making eight figure salaries.
8) If you didn’t see DeAndre Hopkins’ TD catch against the Steelers Monday night, go find it on ESPN.com on YouTube— just a great catch.
7) Surprising fact: This is first time since 2010 the Steelers have a first round bye in the playoffs.
6) US Presidents are not allowed to accept gifts from foreign governments that are worth more than $390; am wondering how they came up with that amount as a limit, but thats the rule.
5) I was wondering about this so I looked it up; in NFL games this season where turnovers were even, the favorite is 27-28-2 vs spread this season. Was hoping for a more dramatic %age that would tell me something, but we don’t always get what we want.
4) Miami Dolphins have only three rushing TD’s this year; only team in last 20 years with fewer than that? The 2005 Arizona Cardinals had only two rushing TD’s all season.
3) Paxton Lynch will start at QB for the Broncos this week………I’m really not sure why, other than they want to take one more look at Lynch before the offseason. Denver has to make a move for a franchise quarterback this winter— it is hard to believe that their 2018 starter is currently on their roster, but I said the same thing about them at this time last year.
2) New England Patriots signed LB James Harrison for the rest of the season, after the Steelers surprisingly cut him last week. The 39-year old Harrison lost his starting job this season- he played a total of 40 snaps the whole season.
1) Isaiah Thomas is going to be ready to play pretty soon, which is going to change some things for the Cavaliers; Thomas was the #3 scorer in the NBA last year for Boston; he played 33.8 mpg LY, so that is 33 minutes a game that current Cavaliers are going to sit.
Cleveland is 24-10, so the guys who’ve been playing now are doing well; going to take selfless guys to accept a “demotion” with Thomas returning, and it will take a few games for everyone to get used to playing together, with some guys taking a lot fewer shots, and even Thomas having the ball a lot less than he is used to having it.