Monday’s Den; Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……

Patriots 16, Bills 10:
— Patriots scored only one offensive TD; they also blocked a punt for a TD.
— NE on eight drives that started 75+ yards from end zone: 0 points, 7 first downs.
— NE is 5-11 ATS in last 16 games as a divisional road favorite.

— Buffalo outgained New England 375-224, but was -3 in turnovers.
— Bills scored the first offensive TD vs NE this year, on Patriots’ 42nd defensive drive.
— Buffalo lost for 29th time in last 31 games against New England. 

Carolina 16, Texans 10:
— Carolina won both of backup QB Kyle Allen’s starts, after an 0-2 start with Cam Newton.
— Panthers are now 24-11 ATS in last 35 games as a road underdog.
— There were only four plays of 20+ yards in this game, 2nd least in any game this year. 

— Houston’s only TD came on an 18-yard drive after they recovered a fumble.
— Texans averaged only 3.2 yards/pass attempt.
— AFC South teams are 7-3 vs spread this year outside the division. 

Browns 40, Ravens 25
— Heard a saying the other day: “Each week is a new season.” Fits the Browns in Week 4.
— Nick Chubb ran the ball 20 times for 165 yards and three TD’s.
— Browns in 2nd half: 25 plays, 292 yards, 30 points.

— Cleveland gained 530 yards, averaged 8.7 yards per play.
— Game was 10-7 at halftime; Ravens turned ball over three times in 2nd half.
— Last three games, Baltimore allowed 7.7/7.9/10.5 yards/pass attempt. 

Giants 24, Redskins 3:
— Washington became 8th team to change QB’s this year when they benched Keenum after he missed a wide open WR for what would’ve been a long TD pass.
— Rookie QB Haskins was 9-17/107 passing, ran for 23 yards.
— Redskins have allowed 118 points in their 0-4 start.

— Daniel Jones is now 2-0 as an NFL starter.
— Janoris Jenkins caught two of Haskins’ three INT’s.
— Both teams turned ball over four times; yardage was 389-176, Giants. 

Chargers 30, Dolphins 10:
— Total yardage in 2nd half was 156-36, Chargers.
— Chargers converted 8-13 on third down, averaged 9.7 yards/pass attempt.
— Win breaks Bolts’ 38-year, 8-game losing streak on South Beach. 

— Dolphins in 2nd half: 18 plays, 45 yards, 3 first downs.
— Miami has been outscored 81-0 in second half of games.
— 2020 NFL Draft begins April 23rd in Las Vegas.

Raiders 31, Colts 24:
— Oakland’s first two drives: 11 plays, 135 yards, two touchdowns.
— Raiders are 4-13-1 ATS in last 18 games as a road underdog
— Oakland scored clinching pick-6 with 2:09 left. 

— Colts were outrushed 188-81
— Indy was outgained 193-15 in first quarter, outgained Oakland 129-24 in second.
— Colts threw 46 passes, ran ball only 23 times, a bad ratio for them. 

Chiefs 34, Lions 30:
— Game was 13-13 with 9:30 left in 3rd quarter; Lions had ball on 1-yard line, but fumbled and KC ran it back 99  yards for a TD.
— Chiefs scored winning TD with 0:20 left after a 79-yard drive.
— KC has now scored 15 touchdowns on 38 drives. 

— There were five lost fumbles in this game, all in the third quarter.
— Detroit lost despite an 11-yard edge in field position.
— NFC North teams are 7-2-1 ATS outside the division. 

Titans 24, Falcons 10:
— Tennessee had a 17-yard edge in field position, which is huge.
— Titans averaged 7.7/8.4 yds/pass attempt in their wins, 3.7/5.1 in their losses.
— Home team lost seven of the eight 1:00 games this week; only the Giants won.

— Falcons ran ball 17 times for 58 yards; in four games, they’ve got 281 rushing yards.
— Ryan was 35-53/397 passing in a losing cause.
— Atlanta is now 0-12 ATS in last dozen games vs AFC opponents

Buccaneers 55, Rams 40:
— Winston was very efficient: 28-41/385 yards, four TD’s.
— Bucs scored 55 points, had only three plays of 20+ yards.
— Tampa dedicated game to their GM Licht, whose father died Saturday. 

— You cannot win NFL games when you turn the ball over four times.
— Goff threw for 517 yards; 164 yards to Woods, 121 to Kupp.
— Under McVay, LA is 7-9 ATS as a home favorite. 

Seahawks 27, Cardinals 10:
— Seattle wins its sixth straight visit to the desert.
— This was first game this season Seahawks led at halftime.
— Seattle scored two TD’s in 0:44 span in 1st quarter, second one a defensive TD. 

— Cardinals have been outscored 68-22 in first half of games.
— Murray has been sacked 20 times in his first four NFL games.
— Arizona is 0-3-1, and they’ve only played one road game. 

Bears 16, Vikings 6:
— Vikings are 2-0 at home, scoring 28-34 points, 0-2 on road, scoring 16-6 points.
— Minnesota ran ball for 40 yards here, after running for 591 yards in Weeks 1-3.
— Vikings are 4-9 ATS in last 13 games as a road dog, 7-11 in last 18 games on natural grass.

— Trubisky hurt his left shoulder; Chase Daniel was 22-30/195 passing.
— Daniel has been in NFL for 10 years, started four games, made $34.3M in salary.
— Under Nagy, Chicago is 7-1 ATS as a home favorite.

Jaguars 26, Broncos 24:
— Fournette ran 29 times for 225 yards.
— Jaguars ran 76 plays, Denver only 54.
— In second half, Jax ran 47 plays for 315 yards, scored 20 points. 

— Denver lost its two home games, both on last-second field goals.
— Broncos led 17-6 at halftime, took 24-23 lead with 1:32 left after a 75-yard drive.
— Denver still has zero takeaways, but they did get their first five sacks this year. 

Saints 12, Cowboys 10:
— Dallas ran for only 45 yards, after running for 213-235 yards in Weeks 2-3.
— Teams who were minus-2 or worse in turnovers this week are 0-6.
— Cowboys scored 35-31-31 points in their first three games. 

— New Orleans failed to score an offensive TD for second time in three weeks.
— Last time Saints won without scoring a TD was back in 1998.
— Four trips to the red zone, Saints kicked four field goals. 

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

13) Clemson 21, North Carolina 20— Tar Heels scored a TD with 1:17 left, then went for 2 points and the lead- they didn’t get it. Here is why I think that was a terrible idea:

— Recruiting is the lifeblood of all college football programs; for an underdog team like UNC, this was free advertising on national TV. You want the game to last as long as possible.
— Even if they lost in overtime, it would be a great headline: “Tar Heels take Clemson to OT”
— All the pressure, 100% of it, is on Clemson. Play as long as you can; maybe they’ll screw it up. 

— The game was televised on ESPN; Mack Brown spent the last five years working for ESPN, so all the announcers did was talk him up. The more of this, the better.
— The more recruits see of your stadium and enthusiastic fans, the better for you.
— Even if they get the 2-point conversion, Clemson had 1:17 left to try and beat them. 

12) Oklahoma 55, Texas Tech 16— Jalen Hurts was 16-23/413 passing; how long can Oklahoma keep coach Lincoln Riley from jumping to the NFL? 

Hurts is now 30-2 as a starting QB in college; in a perfect world, Alabama-Oklahoma would hook up in a January bowl game, Hurts against his old team. Good theater.

11) Alabama 59, Ole Miss 31— Tua Tagovailoa was 26-36/418 and six TD’s; Devonta Smith caught 11 balls for 274 yards and five TD”s. Thats a full day. 

10) Baylor 23, Iowa State 21— Bears blew a 20-0 4th quarter lead on a hot day in Waco, then drove 49 yards on 14 plays and kicked the winning FG with 0:34 left. ISU had taken the lead on an 88-yard TD pass with 3:52 left. 

9) Michigan 52, Rutgers 0— Why is Rutgers in the Big 14? What do they bring to the league? 

Scarlet Knights are now 3-26 SU in conference play since joining the league; they’ve been outscored 82-0 in two league games this season. 

In three years of Big 14 basketball, Rutgers is 13-43 in conference games; they haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1991. i won’t even bring up that the Big 14 is a midwestern league and Rutgers is in freakin’ New Jersey. 

It makes no sense; UConn would’ve been a better add, if they were so insistent on having an eastern team in the league. At least the Huskies are strong in basketball. 

8) Arizona 20, UCLA 17— Arizona’s senior QB Tate sat this one out with an injury, but UCLA missed a short FG in last minute and falls to 1-4, and they trailed 49-17 in the game they won. Freshman QB Gunnell was 29-44/352 passing for Arizona. 

7) Upsets:
— Houston (+7.5) 46, North Texas 25
— UMass (+7) 37, Akron 29
— Arkansas State (+7) 50, Troy 43
— Arizona State (+4) 24, California 17

6) SMU 48, South Florida 21— Mustangs are 5-0, averaging 44.4 ppg and they’ve beaten TCU. 

5) Duke 45, Virginia Tech 10— This was the Hokies’ worst home loss since 1974; they haven’t had back/back losing seasons since 1991-92, but appear headed that way this year. 

4) Utah 38, Washington State 13— Last week the Coogs led UCLA 49-17 late in the 3rd quarter; in their last 79:00 of play, Wazzu has been outscored 105-27. Not good. Tough coaching job for Mike Leach now, restoring his players’ confidence. 

3) Houston 46, North Texas 25— Cougars’ new QB Tune was 16-20/124 passing, and ran for 100 yards; line moved 10 points towards North Texas after Houston QB King red-shirted, so this was a good result for the bookmakers. 

AAC teams were 4-0 out of conference this week, 3-0 vs C-USA teams. 

2) Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 15— Two of Badgers’ three TD’s were scored by their defense. Northwestern has now covered 15 of last 19 games as a road underdog. 

1) Wyoming 53, UNLV 17— Wyoming ran the ball for 374 yards, and also averaged 10.2 yards per pass attempt. Ugly numbers. The new dome in Las Vegas opens next year; it is becoming less clear if Tony Sanchez will still be UNLV’s coach when next year gets here. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Notes on 13 other college games for today……

Underdogs covered four of last five Northwestern-Wisconsin games; Wildcats are 3-4-1 ATS in last eight visits to Madison, 14-4 ATS in last 18 games as a road underdog. Wisconsin won its first three games this year by a combined 145-14; they were up 35-0 on Michigan LW, outgaining Wolverines 487-299. Badgers are 12-15-1 in last 28 games as a home favorite. 2-0 this year. 

South Florida won its last three games with SMU by 1-24-8 points; teams last met in 2016. SMU is off to a 4-0 start behind Texas transfer QB Buechele, scoring 37+ points in all four games- they covered twice in last seven games as a road favorite. South Florida was outscored 63-10 in losing its two I-A game; they killed a I-AA stiff LW. Bulls covered once in their last five games as a home underdog. 

Favorites covered nine of last 11 Buffalo-Miami games; Bulls are 3-5 ATS in their last eight visits to Miami. Buffalo covered four of last five games as a road favorite- they’re 0-2 on road this year, losing last one 35-17 (-6) at Liberty. Red Hawks are 0-3 vs I-A teams this year, with all three losses by 22+ points; they lost 76-5 at Ohio State LW, are 5-7 ATS in last dozen games as a home favorite. 

Minnesota won five of last six games with Purdue; Gophers ran for 200+ yards in all six games. Favorites covered last five series games played here. Minnesota is 3-0 this year, allowing 88 points, with no wins by more than 7 points.  Purdue allowed 92 points in its 1-2 start; under Brohm, Boilers are 8-7 ATS at home. Purdue threw for 932 yards in its first two games, but only 181 in their 34-13 home loss to TCU in their last game. 

Road team won both Louisiana-Georgia Southern games; Ragin’ Cajuns (+7.5) won 33-26 here two years ago. ULL won its first road game 45-25 (+3) at Ohio LW; Cajuns are 5-1-2 ATS in their last eight games as a road favorite. GSU lost its last game 35-32 at Minnesota (outgained 382-198), week after they struggled to beat I-AA Maine 26-18; Eagles are 5-4-1 as home underdogs. 

Middle Tennessee lost its two I-A games 40-21/41-18, to Michigan/Duke; they beat a I-AA stiff 45-26 in between, but allowed 200+ rushing yards in all three games. MTSU is 9-13-1 ATS in its last 23 games as a road underdog. Iowa plays Michigan/Penn State the next two weeks, is likely looking past this game; Hawkeyes covered six of their last eight games as a home favorite- they are 7-2 in last nine games as a double digit favorite. 

Wyoming is 8-3 in last 11 games vs UNLV, losing 69-66 (-7.5) on the Strip LY. UNLV allowed 490 RY, 73 points in losing its two I-A games; they lost first road game 30-14 at Northwestern. Rebels completed only 27-52 passes in those games. Under Sanchez, UNLV is 15-7 ATS as a road underdog. Last 3+ years, Wyoming is 6-2 ATS when laying points at home; Cowboys are 2-1 vs I-A teams, despite allowing 354+ PY in all three games. 

Michigan State won nine of last ten games with Indiana, which hasn’t even covered a spread in its last seven visits to East Lansing. Hoosiers are 3-1 with a 51-10 loss at Ohio State; they’re 13-20 ATS in their last 33 games as a road underdog. MSU covered once in its last six games as a home favorite; they got upset 10-7 by Arizona St in their last home tilt. Spartans are 32-1 this year, with all three wins by 21+ points. 

Northern Illinois was outscored 79-25 in losing its two road games; Huskies are 18-8 ATS in last 26 games as a road underdog, but they’ve got new coach this year. Vanderbilt lost its first three games, allowing 138 points; they allowed 927 PY in last two games. Under Mason, Commodores are 8-9 as a home favorite, 5-7 outside the SEC. Last three years, MAC squads are 9-7 ATS when playing an SEC opponent.

Kansas (+13.5) upset TCU 27-26 at home LY, there first win over the Horned Frogs in 21 years; Jayhawks covered two of last three visits to Fort Worth. Kansas is 1-2 vs I-A, with both losses by five points; they won SU as 19-point underdogs at Boston College. TCU (-7.5) got upset here by local rival SMU LW; Horned Frogs are 3-13-1 ATS in last 17 games as a home favorite. TCU has completed only 24-60 passes in its two I-A games. 

UAB won its two games with Western Kentucky by total of 7 points; teams last met in 2014. Blazers won their first two I-A games this year by 11-32 points, scoring 31-35 points; under Clark, UAB is 4-4 ATS when laying points on the road. Over last decade, WKU is 13-6 as a home underdog, but they’re 10-18 SU in last 28 games; Hilltoppers were outrushed 361-141 in splitting their two I-A games. 

Ohio State won its first four games, last three by combined score of 169-15; over last 10+ years, Buckeyes 16-19-1 ATS as a road favorite- they’re 13-11 ATS in last 24 games when laying double digits. OSU won last four games vs Nebraska, but struggled in 36-31 (-18) home win LY. Huskers outgained Illinois 690-299 LW but won only 42-38; since 2010, Nebraska is 2-6 ATS as a home underdog. 

Houston QB King is red-shirting after Cougars’ 1-3 start; unsure how much chaos that throws the Cougars’ program into. Houston allowed 118 points in losing all three of its I-A games; they are 8-1-1 ATS in last ten games as a road underdog. Since 2011, North Texas is 17-11 ATS when laying points at home. Last four years, AAC teams are 12-8 ATS when playing a C-USA foe. These teams last met in 2012. 


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

13) Eagles 34, Packers 27:
— Green Bay had ball inside Philly’s 20-yard line on 7 of their 10 drives, but scored zero points on their last two drives in the red zone.
— Aaron Rodgers threw for 422 yards but was also Green Bay’s leader rusher (46 yards); no one else had more than 21.
— Davante Adams caught 10 balls for 180 yards but hurt his foot, didn’t play late in the game.

— Fun game to watch; was 21-20 at the half.
— Packers outgained Philly 491-336, but were minus-2 in turnovers.
— Eagles ran 60 plays; only nine were on 3rd down- they didn’t turn ball over. 

12) A’s 3, Mariners 1:
Oakland clinches at least a tie for one Wild Card spot; they can clinch for real tonight. 

This was also Felix Hernandez’s last start in Seattle, after 14 years with the Mariners; they had a huge crowd for this game to honor one of the most popular Mariners ever. 

Felix is a Seattle icon who played his whole career for the Mariners, instead of skipping town for more money elsewhere, and that is rare these days. 

11) Veteran utility guy Asdrubel Cabrera has 37 RBI in 36 games with Washington; he’s been a big help in their run to the playoffs.

10) I was a big Addams Family fan as a kid; Cousin Itt and Thing were my two favorite characters. Now in the new Addams Family movie, I see that Snoop Dawg is voicing the Cousin Itt character, but in their promos on Twitter, they were calling him Cousin It (one t). Not really sure why, but Cousin Itt was an oddly funny character and I hope this movie is good. 

9) Twins 10, Tigers 4— Detroit finishes its home season with a 22-59 record, beating out the ’62 New York Mets for the most home losses in a season. When you’re more inept than the ’62 Mets, you have serious problems. 

Then again, the ’69 Mets won the World Series only seven years after that disaster; the ’62 Mets were an expansion team, so they had a valid excuse. 

8) Sometimes life makes no sense:
Red Sox won the World Series LY but fired GM Dave Dombrowski this year. 

Detroit is 46-112 this year, but gave GM Al Avila a contract extension. Go figure. 

7) 2019 Phillies have lost seven of their last nine games, missing the playoffs. 

2018 Phillies lost nine of their last 11 games, missing out on the playoffs. 

How do the Phillies justify bringing manager Gabe Kapler back in 2020? 

6) Tony Romo shot 2-under par Thursday and is T28 at the Safeway Open in Napa, CA; thats really impressive. If Romo makes the cut Friday, Boomer Esiason takes his place on the Bears-Vikings telecast Sunday in Minneapolis. 

5) Memo to TV announcers: Week 4 games aren’t “must-win” unless a team is 0-3; even then, the Chargers made the Super Bowl once after starting a season 0-4. Must-win means the season is over if you lose. Seasons can’t end in September, though they can be badly damaged. 

4) Sunday is the last day of baseball’s regular season; all the games that day start at 3:00ET, to maximize drama in case a playoff spot comes down to the last day. Good idea.

3) One thing for damn sure: I won’t be wagering on any home run over/under totals next year, because there is no way of knowing what next year’s baseballs will be like. 

After the barrage of home runs this year, it sounds like MLB is going to look at how the baseballs are made. This year’s baseballs are like freakin’ Superballs, but with lot of negative press about the lack of balls in play, changes could be made, and it is doubtful they’ll be publicized. 

2) Congrats to the great announcer Marty Brennaman, who called his last Cincinnati Reds game on the radio Thursday afternoon. Brennaman’s first game with the Reds was in 1974, when Hank Aaron hit his 714th home run in Cincinnati, for the Braves. What a great run he’s had.

1) I didn’t know that before being hired by the Cincinnati Reds in 1974, Brennaman was the voice of the ABA’s Virginia Squires, an interesting team that had Julius Erving and George Gervin on the roster at the same time. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……..

Colts 19, Titans 17
— Indy drove 69 yards in four plays for winning TD with 4:38 left to play.
— Total yardage was 288-242 Indy; neither team averaged 4 yards/pass attempt.
— 46-year old Viniatieri missed two more PAT’s; could the end be near?

— Titans converted only 1-10 on 3rd down; Colts were 7-14.
— Tennessee lost five of last six home openers (under 6-2 last eight).
— There were only two plays of 20+ yards in this game. 

Lions 13, Chargers 10
— Chargers had ball four times in 2nd half; two turnovers, two missed FG’s.
— Rivers threw INT into double coverage in end zone with 1:03 left.
— Three drives into red zone, only seven points for the Bolts. 

— This was only 5th cover for Lions in last 16 tries as a home underdog.
— Detroit beats Chargers for only 2nd time in last nine meetings.
— Total yardage was 424-339, Chargers. 

Bills 28, Giants 14
— Buffalo wins the state championship of New Jersey.
— Bills are 2-0 for first time since 2014.
— Buffalo is 21-17-2 ATS in last 40 games where spread was 3 or fewer points. 

— Giants scored first in both their games, were outscored 63-17 after that.
— Big Blue is 4-9 ATS in last 13 games as a home underdog.
— Barkley ran for 107 yards, but caught only three passes for 28 yards. 

Ravens 23, Cardinals 17:
— Arizona threw 40 passes, ran ball 11 only times.
— In four trips to red zone, Cardinals kicked three FG’s, scored a TD.
— Murray was 25-40/349 passing, with no turnovers, 

— Jackson threw for 272 yards, ran ball for 120 more.
— In first two games, Ravens ran ball for 447 yards.
— Over last decade, teams that won by 28+ points in Week 1 are 2-12 ATS in Week 2

Patriots 43, Dolphins 0:
— Brady threw a pass with 5:30 left and NE ahead 36-0; why????
— Patriots outscored first two opponents 76-3.
— New England had seven sacks, scored two defensive TD’s. 

— Miami has been outscored 102-10 in two ugly home games.
— Dolphins were outgained 1,024-384 in two games.
— 2020 NFL Draft begins April 23rd in Las Vegas. 

Cowboys 31, Redskins 21:
— Cowboys ran ball for 217 yards, covered 7-11 on third down.
— Dallas won eight of last ten series games, six of last seven visits here.
— Jason Witten caught a TD pass in both games this season. 

— Total yardage was 474-255, Dallas.
— Redskins had 11-yard edge in field position, but ran for only 47 yards.
— Washington lost last five and seven of last eight home openers. 

Texans 13, Jaguars 12:
— Jaguars scored with 0:30 left, went for two points and a win but failed.
— First eight Jacksonville drives: 37 plays, 107 yards, three points.
— Last two Jacksonville drives: 23 plays, 129 yards, nine points.
— Minshew was 23-33/213 in his first NFL start; he also ran for 56 yards. 

— Houston’s one TD drive was only 11 yards long.
— Texans’ first two games were decided by total of three points.
— Houston has now won nine of last 11 series games. 

Seahawks 28, Steelers 26:
— Wilson completed 29-35 passes; Seahawks ran ball for 151 yards.
— Seattle is now 1-6-1 ATS in last eight tries as a dog in road openers.
— Seahawks are 11-6-1 ATS in last 18 games as a road underdog. 

— Roethlisberger hurt his elbow, sat out second half.
— Total yardage was 425-261, Seattle.
— Steelers ran ball only 16 times for 81 yards; Conner led team with 33 YR. 

49ers 41, Bengals 17:
— 49ers ran ball for 259 yards, averaged 12.0 yards/pass attempt.
— SF ran 68 plays, only nine of them were on third down.
— Niners have picked off four passes; they had only two INTs all of last year. 

— In two games, Bengals threw 93 passes, ran ball only 33 times.
— Cincy is 0-2 for only second time since 2008.
— In six trips to red zone this year, Bengals scored one TD, kicked three FG’s. 

Packers 21, Vikings 16:
— Home side is now 13-1-1 in last 15 series games.
— Cousins threw ball only 10 times LW; he threw 32 passes here.
— Two trips to red zone; an INT and a field goal. 

— Green Bay’s first three drives: 19 plays, 176 yards, 21 points.
— Green Bay’s last 11 drives: 50 plays, 154 yards, no points.
— Packers won their last seven home openers (5-2 vs spread). 

Chiefs 28, Raiders 10:
— KC scored all its points in 2nd quarter, with shortest TD play 27 yards.
— Chiefs outgunned Oakland 464-307, averaged 9.4 yards/pass attempt.
— KC won nine of last ten games with their archival Raiders. 

— Last 2+ years, Raiders are 1-10 ATS coming off a win.
— Since 2012, Oakland is 13-20-1 ATS as a home underdog.
— On their first two series, Raiders ran 16 plays for 139 yards, scored 10 points; rest of game, they ran 45 plays for 199 yards, but no points. 

Rams 27, Saints 9:
— Brees hurt his thumb on second series; unsure how severe the injury is.
— Kamara ran ball 13 times for only 45 yards, caught only one pass.
— Total yardage was 380-244, LA. Bridgewater was ordinary at QB.

— Rams’ first six drives: 36 plays, 169 points, six points.
— Rams’ last four drives: 24 plays, 186 yards, 21 points
— Teams with more rest won five of six games this week.

Bears 16, Bears 14:
— Chicago drove 40 yards in 0:30, kicked GW 53-yard FG at the gun for a win.
— Bears scored only one TD in their first two games.
— In their first two games, Bears converted 6-26 third down plays. 

— Denver’s first six drives: 41 plays, 174 yards, 3 points.
— Denver’s last three drives: 37 plays, 197 yards, 11 points.
— Total yardage: 372-273, Broncos. 

Falcons 24, Eagles 20:
— Last 3+ years, Eagles are 5-10 ATS on artificial turf.
— Both teams had three turnovers; Philly had 16-yard advantage in field position.
— Eagles converted 20-35 3rd down plays in first two games. 

— Atlanta averaged 7.0 yards/pass attempt, had TD plays of 34-54 yards.
— Falcons survived three Ryan INT’s, including one in the end zone.
— Under is 11-4 in the NFL so far this week.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……

Eagles 30, Redskins 27:
— Washington led 20-7 at the half.
— Redskins threw 45 passes, ran ball only 13 times.
— Washington is 1-6 vs spread in last seven NFC East road games. 

— Eagles had TD plays of 51-53 yards, both on 3rd and 10 passes.
— Philly converted 11-17 third down plays.
— Eagle offense in 2nd half: four drives, 43 plays, 272 yards, 25 points. 

Bills 17, Jets 16:
— Buffalo’s first seven drives: 35 plays, 165 yards, outscored 8-0 by Jet defense.
— Buffalo’s last four drives: 28 plays, 220 yards, 17 points.
— 38-yard pass from Allen to Brown with 3:00 left was the game-winner. 

— Jets were outgained 370-223; they averaged only 3.4 yards/pass attempt.
— Jets’ new kicker missed a PAT and a 45-yard FG.
— Not many teams are +3 in turnovers and lose; Jets had four takeaways (+3). 

Vikings 28, Falcons 12:
— Atlanta turned ball over three times, was only 2-8 on third down.
— Falcons had punt blocked on first series, threw INT on second series.
— Last 2+ years, Atlanta is now 4-13 vs spread on road (1-7 as road dog). 

— Under Zimmer, Minnesota is 23-7-1 vs spread as a HF, 17-2-1 outside NFC North.
— Minnesota threw only 10 passes the whole game; that doesn’t happen much.
— Vikings won/covered their last five home openers. 

Ravens 59, Dolphins 10:
— Baltimore had ball 10 times, scored eight TD’s, kicked a FG.
— Jackson was 17-20/324 passing; he is 7-1 as an NFL starter.
— Ravens won last four Week 1 games by combined score of 139-20. 

— Miami ran only 12 times for 21 yards; they were -3 in turnovers.
— Dolphins gave app 643 yards, were down 42-10 at halftime.
— 2020 NFL Draft begins April 23rd in Las Vegas. 

Chiefs 40, Jaguars 26:
— McCoy carried ball 10 times for 81 yards in his KC debut.
— KC had a 14-yard advantage in starting field position.
— Five of KC’s seven plays of 20+ yards came on first down. 

— Foles got hurt; backup Minshew was 22-25/275 passing, with two TD’s.
— Jaguar defense gave up TD plays of 68, 49 yards.
— Both teams averaged 10+ yards/pass attempt, which doesn’t happen much. 

Titans 43, Browns 13:
— Tennessee defense scored nine points, gave up only 13.
— Titans were +3 in turnovers (3-0), had 11-yard edge in field position.
— Tennessee won/covered six of last seven road openers. 

— Cleveland were called for 18 penalties for 182 yards.
— Since re-joining NFL in 1999, Browns are 1-19-1 SU in Week 1
— Last 9+ years, Cleveland is 7-15-2 as a home favorite. 

Rams 30, Panthers 27:
— 89 of Gurley’s 97 rushing yards came in second half.
— LA converted 9-17 third down plays.
— Rams had one punt blocked, another deflected; no bueno. 

— McCaffery had 29 touches for 209 yards; their WR’s caught only 11 passes.
— Newton ran ball only three times, for minus-2 yards.
— First time in six years that Carolina lost its home opener. 

49ers 31, Buccaneers 17
— Five TD’s in this game: three scored by the defenses, two by offenses.
— Teams who were +2 or better in turnovers this week are 7-2-1 ATS.
— First time in five years 49ers won their road opener. 

— Tampa Bay scored only 10 points in four drives into red zone.
— Last 5+ years, Bucs are now 16-25 vs spread at home.
— TB started eight drives 75+ yards from goal line; on those eight drives, their offense was outscored 14-7 by SF’s defense. 

Lions 27, Cardinals 27, OT:
— Detroit led 24-6 with 11:30 left in the game.
— Stafford threw for 385 yards, had two guys with 100+ receiving yards.
— Last 5+ years, Lions are 11-5-4 vs spread when laying 3 or fewer points

— First three quarters, Murray was 9-25 passing for 70 yards.
— 4th quarter and OT, Murray was 20-29 passing for 239 yards.
— Last 3+ years, Cardinals are 8-16-1 SU at home. 

Seahawks 21, Bengals 20:
— Cincy threw ball for 395 yards but lost three fumbles (minus-2 in turnovers).
— Bengals scored only six points in three trips to the red zone.
— Since ’11, Bengals are 23-14-4 vs spread as road underdogs. 

— Seattle was outgained 429-273 but pulled out the win.
— Seahawks won their last 11 home openers (8-3 vs spread).
— Under is 16-2-1 in Seattle’s last 19 home openers. 

Chargers 30, Colts 24 OT:
— Indy ran ball for 203 yards, threw for 173; they converted 7-13 on 3rd down.
— Colts start season 0-1 for the sixth year in a row.
— Viniatieri missed two FG’s and an extra point.

— Chargers led 17-6 at half; they took opening kick of OT and drove 75 yards for a TD.
— 14 of Chargers’ last 17 home openers went over the total.
— Bolts had eight plays of 20+ yards, 2nd-most in NFL on Sunday (Ravens). 

Cowboys 35, Giants 17:
— Giants lost eight of their last nine season openers.
— Total yardage was 494-470 Dallas; NYG was only 2-11 on third down.
— Teams that were -2 or worse in turnovers are 2-8 SU this week.

— Cowboys have now won five games in a row against the Giants.
— Dallas averaged 12.7 yards/pass attempt; Prescott threw for 405 yards
— Elliott ran ball 13 times for 53 yards a couple days after he reported. 

Patriots 33, Steelers 3:
— Steelers were only one of 24 teams that played Sunday who didn’t score a TD.
— Since 1997, Steelers are 1-9-1 vs spread when an underdog in their road opener.
— Pittsburgh ran ball 13 times, dropped back to pass 48 times, a losing ratio. 

— NE averaged 9.6 yards/pass attempt, outgained Steelers 465-308.
— Since ’13, Patriots are 29-13-3 as home favorites, 18-8-1 outside AFC East.
— Last six Super Bowl champs are 4-1-1 vs ATS in their season opener the next year.

Friday’s extra List of 13: Quick NFL knowledge…….

13) Buffalo Bills made the playoffs in 2017, for the first time since 1999; then they cut that year’s QB, Tyrod Taylor, and slumped to 6-10 last year. Taylor is now Philip Rivers’ backup with the Chargers. 

12) Nick Foles has never started more than 11 games in an NFL season.

11) In five years coaching the Redskins, Jay Gruden is 35-44-1, 0-1 in playoffs; since 2006, Washington is 0-3 in playoff games- their last playoff win was under Joe Gibbs, in ’05. 

10) John Harbaugh with the Ravens:
— First five years: 54-26, 9-4 playoffs
— Last six years: 49-47, 1-2 playoffs

9) Last eight years, Tennessee Titans are 5-17-2 ATS as an underdog of 3 or fewer points. 

8) Since 2010, Dallas Cowboys are 17-34-1 ATS as a home favorite. Over last decade, the underdog is 90-63-4 (58.8%) in Cowboy games. 

7) Over last 20 years, Detroit Lions are 0-4 in playoff games; the last four years, Detroit is 4-10 ATS as a home underdog. 

6) Cleveland Browns are 1-18-1 SU in Week 1 games, 0-5 ATS when favored; they tied the Steelers LY (+3.5). 

5) Houston Texans won last four season openers, scoring 30+ points in all four games. 

4) Since 2015, Denver Broncos are 5-12-3 ATS as a home favorite. 

3) Last six years, Atlanta Falcons are 14-24 ATS as a home favorite. 

2) Since 2012, Seattle Seahawks are 6-0 ATS as home underdogs; Seattle made playoffs six of last seven years, and went 9-7 the other year. 

1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl after the 2002 season; they’re 0-2 in playoff games since then, and are 55-105 since Jon Gruden left town, with no playoff appearances. 

Friday’s List of 13: College football trends from outside the top 13 games of the week

Ohio U covered six of last seven tries as a road underdog; Bobcats ran ball for 278 yards in 41-20 win over a I-AA foe LW. Ohio has a senior QB, an OL with only 45 returning starts. Pittsburgh was held to 263 yards in its 30-14 loss to ACC rival Virginia LW; under Narduzzi, Panthers are 5-10-1 ATS as a home favorite. Last three years, ACC teams are 11-2 vs spread when playing a MAC opponent. 

Old Dominion (+27) outscored Virginia Tech 28-7 in 4th quarter of 49-35 upset win LY; total yardage in game was 632-600, ODU. Monarchs lost 13 of 22 starters from LY; they’re 5-4 ATS as a road underdog. Tech was minus-4 in turnovers in its 35-28 loss at BC last week; under Fuente, Hokies are 9-5 ATS as home favorites. Last four years, ACC teams are 11-5 vs spread when they play a C-USA opponent. 

UAB completed only 8-20 passes in its 24-19 win over I-AA Alabama State LW; Blazers are 2-3 ATS as a road favorite. UAB has a soph QB and an OL with only 30 returning starts. Akron is just 8-22 ATS in its last 30 games as a home underdog; Zips got waxed 42-3 at Illinois LW, giving up 207 yards on ground. Last four years, MAC teams are 15-8-1 ATS when playing a C-USA opponent. 

Vanderbilt was outgained 481-225 at home in a 30-6 loss to Georgia LW; under Mason, Commodores are 13-11 ATS as a road underdog- they’re 6-3 ATS in last nine games outside the SEC. Purdue blew 24-7 halftime lead in LW’s 34-31 loss at Nevada; under Brohm, Boilers are 4-5 ATS as a home favorite. Last four years, SEC teams are 8-5 vs spread when playing a Big 14 opponent. 

Iowa (-13) won 14-7 at Rutgers three years ago, in teams’ only meeting. Scarlet Knights won their opener 48-21 over UMass- they outgained Minutemen 548-307. Under Ash, Rutgers is 7-8 ATS as a road underdog. Hawkeyes covered five of last seven tries as a home favorite- they drilled Miami OH last week, outgaining Red Hawks, 465-245. Iowa has a senior QB but only four starters back on defense. 

North Texas (-4) beat SMU 46-23 LY, ending its 3-game skid against the Mustangs; Mean Green beat a I-AA team 51-31 LW, but they gave up 456 yards. UNT has a senior QB (37 starts). SMU won its opener 37-30 at Arkansas State LW, gaining 508 TY. Mustangs are 7-4 ATS in their last 11 games as a home favorite. Last 6+ years, AAC teams are 15-13 vs spread when playing C-USA teams. 

South Florida (+3) beat Georgia Tech 49-38 LY, despite giving up 419 YR- Tech doesn’t run the option anymore- they lost their opener 52-14 at Clemson LW, giving up 411 YR to the Tigers. Tech is 9-5 ATS in last 14 games as a home favorite. Over last decade, USF is 20-10 ATS as a road underdog. Bulls got hammered 49-0 by Wisconsin LW. AAC are 16-9 ATS in their last 25 games vs ACC opponents. 

Tulsa hammered San Jose State 45-10 (-5) in last meeting in 2016; Golden Hurricane was held to 80 yards LW in its 28-7 loss at Michigan State- Tulsa had minus-73 YR. Last three years, Tulsa is 1-3 ATS as a road favorite. San Jose beat a I-AA team 35-18 LW; Spartans are 6-4-1 in last 11 games as a home underdog. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 10-0 vs spread when playing an AAC opponent. 

Over last six years, UConn is 3-22 ATS outside its conference, 0-12 last three years. Illinois had 207 yards running, 194 passing in its 42-3 win over Akron LW; Illini has 10 starters back on defense, but a new QB. Over last five years, Illini is 3-0 ATS as a road favorite. UConn held off I-AA Wagner 24-21 LW, a red flag; Huskies are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games as a home underdog. AAC teams are 8-5 ATS in their last 13 games vs Big 14 opponents. 

Arkansas State (-7.5) beat UNLV 27-20 at home LY; Rebels ran ball for 310 yards, though. Last three years, ASU is 8-9 ATS on road. Red Wolves lost their opener 37-30 at home to SMU LW. UNLV hammered a I-AA team LW; Rebels are 10-21 ATS in their last 31 home games, 9-15 under Sanchez. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 8-3-1 vs spread when playing a Sun Belt opponent. 

San Diego State beat a I-AA team 6-0 LW, gaining only 238 TY with 14 first downs- not good. Last three year, Aztecs are 3-1 as road underdogs- they’ve got a senior QB and an OL with 69 returning starts. UCLA lost 24-14 at Cincy LW, completing 8-26 passes, gaining only 218 yards. Last five years, Bruins are 8-15 as a home favorite. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 13-10 ATS when playing a Pac-12 opponent. 

Trap game for Wyoming after they beat Missouri LW as 18-point dogs. Wyoming (-16) drilled Texas State 45-10 in last meeting two years ago, but that was with Josh Allen at QB. Cowboys are 3-6 ATS in last nine non-league games. TSU lost 41-7 at Texas A&M LW; they’re 4-10 ATS in last 14 games as a home underdog. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 8-3-1 vs spread when playing a Sun Belt opponent.

Central Florida (-13) waxed Florida Atlantic 56-36, gaining 545 TY. last three years, UCF is 7-2 ATS as a road favorite. Knights have a senior who transferred from Notre Dame- their OL has 75 returning starts. FAU was down 28-0 after 8:10 at Ohio State LW; Owls covered only once in their last eight tries as a home underdog. Last 6+ years, AAC teams are 15-13 vs spread when playing C-USA teams.

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

13) Ezekiel Elliott got a 6-year contract extension from the Cowboys worth more than $90M, with $50M+ in guarantees. Cowboys are 28-12 in regular season games when Elliott plays, and so he got paid. 

12) Scary moment in Houston Tuesday night when Astros CF George Springer made a leaping catch in centerfield, but then stumbled and the back of his head hit the wall. Springer was in obvious pain and left the game. 

11) Rhode Island is the 7th state with a mobile sports betting app; 13 states have sports betting, but the mobile app really increases betting handle. 

I was sitting at a bar when we heard that Andrew Luck retired; imagine being able to grab your phone, jump into the betting app and trying to capitalize on that news? Would’ve been fun.

10) Football Outsiders Almanac projects the Miami Dolphins to be the NFL’s worst team; their projection is the worst one for any team since the 2012 Rams, who also had a new coach (Jeff Fisher) but they improved from 2-14 (under Steve Spagnuolo in 2011) to 7-8-1 that year. 

What Miami is doing this seems similar to what the Raiders did LY, when they traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for draft picks. Raiders finished 4-12 last year. 

9) Speaking of the Raiders, my review of HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer:

— They didn’t show when guys get released, which is usually the most interesting part of the show; most of the late cuts get picked up somewhere else, anyway. 

— Too much Jon Gruden; he’s gotten ton of airtime the last few years.

— Antonio Brown is finally healthy (His father was a great player in the Arena League– played for the Albany Firebirds)

Was reading an article that said that Gruden/Mike Mayock wanted no part of being in Hard Knocks, but this was owner Mark Davis’ doing. That probably explains why HBO wasn’t given very good access. 

8) By the way, Raiders have already fined Antonio Brown $53,950 for missing mandatory preseason activities. 

7) Washington QB Jake Haener has transferred to Fresno State, where he’ll play for Jeff Tedford, who was Aaron Rodgers’ college coach. He’ll sit this season out and then will be eligible to play two more years.

6) Michigan State lost its long snapper, a 5th-year senior; he’s being replaced by a freshman.

5) New York 4, Texas 1— Bronx is now 10-0 the last ten times Will Little umped the plate in one of their games. 

4) Around 11pm Wednesday, someone wagered $30,000 on the Buffalo Bills over 6.5 wins this season; the Westgate SuperBook reacted by moving up Bills’ win total up to 7 wins. 

3) TV guys totally missed this Monday night, but there was a play in the Notre Dame-Louisville game Monday night when ND quarterback Ian Book threw a pass away, with the ball going way out of bounds- it drilled a Louisville cheerleader in the face. 

Turns out the young lady broke her nose and is seeing a specialist for treatment. Not good. 

2) Something to keep in mind when handicapping September baseball; some of the teams that aren’t contending aren’t 100% trying to win; they have to take a look at their younger players, and some teams have innings limits on their pitchers. 

Wednesday night in Arizona, San Diego took starting P Chris Paddack out of a 0-0 game in the sixth inning because he hit the 90-pitch mark; if the Padres were contending, no way he comes out there. But they don’t want Paddack overextending himself, so he came out. 

1) I still disagree with teams who bat their pitcher 8th, and I’ve spent way too much time thinking about why they do it. It makes very little sense to me. 

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

13) Someone posted what each starting QB is worth to their team’s power rating, courtesy of :

Most value:
7.5 points: Aaron Rodgers
7 points: Mahomes, Wilson, Brady
6.5 points: Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers

Least value:
+1 point: Manning
0 points: Dalton, Fitzpatrick, Keenum
1 point: Allen, Carr, Flacco, Mariota, Murray

12) Nationals 11, Mets 10:
— deGrom vs Scherzer isn’t supposed to end 11-10.
— Mets led 5-4 after eight innings, then they scored five runs in top of 9th.
— Washington scored seven runs in bottom of 9th; Suzuki hit a walk-off homer. 

11) Marlins 5, Pirates 4 (11)— Miami ends its 15-game road losing streak, the longest such losing streak since 2010. when the Pirates lost 17 consecutive road games. 

10) Minnesota Twins set the all-time single season home run record this year, but they’re the only team this season that hasn’t hit two grand slams- they’ve only hit one. 

9) Speaking of home runs, Jorge Soler hit his 39th homer this season Tuesday, setting the Kansas City Royals’ single season record. 

8) Westgate’s football SuperContest pays the top 100 finishers, plus it pays $15,000 for the Week 4 leader, $15,000 for Week 8 leader and a $15,000 mini-contest for Weeks 15-17 (for the 2,907 early-bird entrants). Over 3,000 entrants are expected to be in the SuperContest this year. 

It costs $1,500 to enter, and you pick five NFL games every week.

7) Los Angeles Rams did a smart thing Tuesday, inking QB Jared Goff to a contract extension that keeps him in LA until at least 2024. Goff is one of only 13 quarterbacks who started a Super Bowl in their first three years in the NFL- he is 24-14 as an NFL starter, 24-7 under Sean McVay.

Goff banks $134M for four years, $110M of it guaranteed.

6) My sleep habits are weird, so I can see lot of games when they’re played overseas, but these World Cup basketball games in China are on at times when even I am asleep, from 4:30-10:30 am, so I’m going to miss out on them, unless NBA TV or ESPN replays them. 

Saw that the American team needed OT to beat Turkey by a point; that not good.

5) Monday night’s Colorado-Dodger game was the first time in major league history there were 11+ doubles and 11+ homers in the same game. 

4) Cody Bellinger has 44 home runs this season, off of 44 different pitchers. 

3) From ESPN’s Michele Steele: When the Chicago Bears won the 1963 NFL title (before the Super Bowl existed), the NFL didn’t have a championship trophy, so Chicago mayor Richard Daley had a trophy made and presented it to the Bears. 

2) 2019 Oakland Raiders were the 14th team to be featured on Hard Knocks; here is how the other 13 teams did both that season and in their Week 1 game:
— 5 of 13 teams made the playoffs; none made the Super Bowl.
— 3 of last 5 years, featured head coach was fired during/after the season.
— Teams are 4-7-1 SU in Week 1; ’17 Bucs had their opener postponed by a storm.
— Teams are 5-6-1 vs spread in Week 1; 3-3 as favorites, 2-3-1 as underdogs. 

1) If the baseball playoff started today (they don’t):
NL: Braves-Cardinals-Dodgers. Wild Card: Cubs @ Nationals
AL: New York-Twins-Astros. Wild Card: A’s @ Rays

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

13) Bad weekend to be a USC quarterback:

We said yesterday how USC Trojans QB JT Daniels tore his ACL and is done for the year. He will be replaced by true freshman Kedon Slovis. 

South Carolina Gamecocks QB Jake Bentley broke his foot and is out for six weeks; his replacement will be true freshman Ryan Hilinski.  

12) Slovis, Hilinski starting means that seven true freshmen are now starting QB’s out of 130 I-A football teams. 

11) Indianapolis Colts gave QB Jacoby Brissett $30M for two years, and then signed Brian Hoyer as his backup, giving him $12M for three years.

10) In his last three years at UCLA, Dolphins’ QB Josh Rosen had three different offensive coordinators; last year, he had two OC’s in his one year with the Cardinals, and obviously has a new OC in Miami this year. Plus the Dolphins just traded their LT, which endangers the health of whomever plays QB for Miami this year. 

Not a great start to Rosen’s career. 

9) Early nominee for Bad Beat of the Year was Northwestern (+6.5) at Stanford. Game was 10-7 Stanford in the last minute when the Cardinal sacked Northwestern’s QB, he fumbled and they scored a defensive TD to cover the spread with 0:20 left to play. 

8) Jets’ radio guy Bob Wischusen was working a college game on ESPN Saturday and was saying how he thinks Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor were the two best football players ever.

Jim Brown played before my time, so I can’t comment on him; LT was a great linebacker whose pass rushing skills helped change the game, but if he did the same exact thing playing for the Chiefs or Bengals, instead of a NYC-area team, he’s not in the best player ever conversation. 

7) In five starts from April 15-May 9, Cubs’ P Yu Darvish walked 22 batters in 22.2 IP. 

In 14 starts since June 15, Darvish has walked 8 hitters, while striking out 102 in 80 IP. 

6) Jacksonville Jaguars won’t practice Wednesday because of Hurricane Dorian. 

5) Alabama is a 54-point favorite over New Mexico State Saturday; the total is 65; Crimson Tide opens SEC play next week when they play South Carolina, so the starter figure to get a good chunk of this game off. Then again, New Mexico State just lost 58-7 at Washington State, so probably a good game to stay away from.  

4) Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the 20th QB to start for the Dolphins since Dan Marino retired. 

3) Final AAA Home Run Totals:
2018 – 3,652
2019 – 5,749 (57.4% increase)

AAA games switched to major league baseballs this year.

2) Sports betting became legal in Indiana Sunday; governor of Indiana made a $10 wager on the Colts to open things up. Probably would’ve bet more if Andrew Luck hadn’t retired. 

Wouldn’t it be fun if just once, a politician stepped out and dropped $1,000 on the home team with his ceremonial first bet? Have some onions, Governor!!!

1) Labor Day night and only two baseball games are on, with 8:00 the latest start time. Whats up with that? 

Monday’s List of 13: Happy Labor Day, everyone…….

13) In 2017, Giants drafted QB Davis Webb in 3rd round, cut him the next season. 

In 2018, Giants drafted QB Kyle Lauletta in 4th round, cut him the next season.

Lauletta was 0-5 passing LY, Webb never played for the Giants. 

They drafted QB Daniel Jones in the first round this year, but he is stuck behind 38-year old Eli Manning, whose W-L record the last six years is 38-57. 

How is this not total organizational malpractice?

Joe Montana finished his career with the Chiefs.
Johnny Unitas finished his career with the Chargers.
Joe Namath finished his career with the Rams.
Peyton Manning finished his career with the Broncos. It happens.

12) Friday night/Saturday morning in Anaheim, Mookie Betts became the first player in major league history to hit a leadoff homer and also homer in the 15th inning or later of the same game. Boston won the game 7-6, despite at one point having 20 hitters in a row retired by Angel pitchers. 

11) The guy that bought the Kansas City Royals for $1B already owns 30% of the Indians; he obviously has to sell that piece, so say the Indians are worth $1.4B (they have to be worth more than the Royals are), that means he has $420M coming in, so really he is only laying out $580M for the 100% of the Royals. It must be fun to be really rich. 

Except of course, for all the parasites who pretend they’re your friends……

10) Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has finished chemotherapy and is back at work; the 79-year old Trebek will be hosting Jeopardy!’s 35th season this fall.

9) You figured this news would get dumped on a Friday, and it did, and on a holiday weekend; Tyler Skaggs’ autopsy results:

“The cause of death is listed as a mixture of ‘alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents’” If you watch CSI, you know what this means in English, he choked to death.  

27-year old athletes don’t just die; very sad. Hopefully he can rest in peace. 

8) Tennessee paid Georgia State $950,000 to come to Knoxville to open the season against the Vols; when you get paid like that, you’re supposed to………..lose. 

Georgia State upset Tennessee 38-30 on a rough day for the SEC, where five of their teams lost non-conference games, including Missouri losing as an 18-point favorite at Wyoming. 

7) Ryan Fitzpatrick will start Miami’s opener against the Ravens; he’ll become the first QB ever to throw a pass for eight different NFL teams (six teams in last eight years).

6) Trivia: Longest at-bat in major leagues this year goes to Philly catcher JT Realmuto, who had a 16-pitch at-bat vs Miami’s Caleb Smith back in April. 

5) I feel old typing this: former Lakers star James Worthy had a knee replacement last week. 

4) Geno Smith beat Paxton Lynch out to be Russell Wilson’s backup in Seattle. 

3) IUPUI basketball coach Jason Gardner quit his job Tuesday, two days after he was arrested for reportedly being found intoxicated and asleep behind the wheel of a car. 

Jaguars went 16-17 LY in Gardner’s 5th year as coach, their best record since 2011. As of yet, no interim/replacement has been named. 

2) Rams led NFL with five players they cut getting claimed off waivers, New England had four, Bills and Ravens three each. 

Arizona Cardinals claimed five players other teams cut; Jets claimed four. 

Miami Dolphins put 27 players on waivers; none were claimed by any NFL team. No bueno. 

1) Astros 2, Blue Jays 0— Justin Verlander becomes the sixth pitcher to throw 3+ no-hitters; two of his three were in Toronto. 

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

13) Boise State 36, Florida State 31:
— Seminoles led this game 31-13 with 3:00 left in first half; they didn’t score again.
— Plays from scrimmage: Boise 108, FSU 62. Boise had 38 first downs.
— Broncos have a good freshman QB in Hank Bachmeier (30-51/407 yards)
— Third down conversions: Boise 10-19, FSU 1-12

12) USC 31, Fresno State 23:
— USC’s QB JT Daniels got hurt; he was replaced by freshman Kedon Slodis, whose QB coach in high school was NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner.
— How was Jeff Tedford fired by Cal? Fresno has only 3 starters back on offense but they went toe-to-toe with USC here. Tedford is an excellent coach (Aaron Rodgers’ college coach).
— Fresno had the ball in the red zone in the last 2:00, but threw an end zone pick.
— Clay Helton went for it on 4th-and-1 near midfield with 2:20 left up 8 points; he didn’t make but was bailed out by his defense. 

11) North Carolina 24, South Carolina 20— Mack Brown’s return to the sidelines was a success, though not before a mind-numbing mistake when they took a knee instead of punting in the last 0:20, giving the Gamecocks the ball on the UNC 47. 

Tar Heels trailed this game 20-9 after the third quarter, but rallied with 98-95 yard TD drives for the win. Brown was out of coaching for five years; I enjoyed his TV work, but he seems happier to be back coaching.

10) Auburn 27, Oregon 21:
— Auburn started a freshman QB in its opener for first time since 1946.
— Ducks led 14-6 at half, 21-13 after third quarter, but were scoreless in 4th quarter.
— Auburn outrushed Oregon 206-90. 

9) Houston Texans were very busy Saturday:
— Houston acquired LT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills from Miami for two 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick.
— Texans traded DE Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle, dumping his $16M salary.
— Houston also acquired RB Carlos Hyde from the Chiefs, and DB Keion Crosson from New England in separate deals.

Houston’s Bill O’Brien is getting ripped on social media for these moves, but we’ll see how this all works out. Texans gave up 66 sacks LY, the most for a playoff team since 1999, so acquiring Tunsil seems like a good idea, even if they overpaid some. 

Dolphins, on the other hand, seem to have given up on this season before Labor Day; giving away your LT and your best WR is similar to what the Raiders did LY when they traded Kahlil Mack to Chicago and Amari Cooper to Dallas for draft picks. 

8) Best wishes to New Mexico coach Bob Davie, who was hospitalized after the Lobos’ 39-31 win over Sam Houston State with chest pains. No word on how serious it is. 

7) Nebraska 35, South Alabama 21— Cornhuskers scored two TD’s in the third quarter before they ran an offensive play; a pick-6 and a punt return TD. Nebraska ran ball for only 98 yards, which is alarming. 

Someone at Caesars Palace wagered $2,000 on Nebraska’s money line; he had to sweat a decent amount before he collected his $12.50 winnings. Not even enough to buy a decent lunch. 

6) I-A teams that lost to I-AA opponents:
— Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28 (WKU led 28-14 after 3rd quarter)

Close calls/red flags:
— Iowa State 29, Northern Iowa 26 OT
— Kansas 24, Indiana State 17
— UConn 24, Wagner 21
— Minnesota 28, South Dakota State 21
— UAB 24, Alabama State 19
— Arkansas 20, Portland State 13
— UTEP 36, Houston Baptist 34
— Old Dominion 24, Norfolk State 21
— West Virginia 20, James Madison 13
— San Diego State 6, Weber State 0

5) Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7— Total yardage in this game was 303-80, MSU. 

In college football, sacks count as rushing yardage; in this game, Tulsa had 25 rushes for minus-73 yards; they were 16-27/153 passing. Spartans’ defense scored nine points, as Tulsa botched two shotgun snaps that padded the ridiculously bad rushing numbers. 

4) Upsets:
— Georgia State (+26.5) 38, Tennessee 30— Panthers were 2-10 LY, 1-7 in Sun Belt. Tennessee has its fourth offensive coordinator in four years. Learning takes time.
— Wyoming (+18) 37, Missouri 31
— Nevada (+11) 34, Purdue 31— Kid that made the game-winning 56-yard FG was put on scholarship after the game, meaning he actually got paid for making that kick.
— North Carolina (+10) 24, South Carolina 20
— Boston College (+4.5) 35, Virginia Tech 28

3) Wake Forest 38, Utah State 35— Both teams passed for 400+ yards; Wake converted 13-24 third down plays. State had 8 penalties for 84 yards; Deacons one for 15 yards. 

2) Memphis 15, Ole Miss 10— Yardage was 364-173 Memphis; they led 13-0 at halftime, then held on for dear life.

1) A big problem with the epidemic of quarterback transfers is that it leaves more teams very thin under center. A starter gets hurt or struggles, and it is a disaster. 

UCLA’s quarterback is obviously struggling, but the Bruins don’t have anyone with experience to step in for him— they’ve got all young backup QB’s, two freshmen and a sophomore. 

Chip Kelly has some work to do; the kid was 8-26 passing and lost two fumbles in the red zone, not exactly a stellar performance in a 24-14 loss.