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

Falcons 37, Panthers 34 OT
— Down 34-28, Carolina WR Moore caught 62-yard TD pass with 0:12 left; his strutting in end zone drew 15-yard penalty- Carolina missed the game-winning PAT, forcing OT
— Panthers also missed a 32-yard FG in overtime.
— Carolina ran ball for 173-169 yards in last two games.
— Foreman carried ball 26 times for 118 yards, 3 TD’s.
— Panthers had seven plays of 20+ yards, four of them on 3rd down.

— Koo kicked 41-yard FG with 1:55 left in OT; Atlanta is now 4-4.
— Falcons scored on a pick-6 with 0:41 left before halftime.
— Falcons’ first six drives: 30 plays, 117 yards, 7 points.
— Atlanta’s last six drives: 37 plays, 275 yards, 23 points.
— Falcons are 1-7 ATS last eight games as a home favorite.

Commanders 17, Colts 16
— Washington won last three games, by total of eight points. 
— Commanders drove 89 yards for game-winning TD with 0:22 left.
— Opponents stayed under their team total five of last six games.
— Last three games, Washington is +3 in turnovers (minus-7 in first five).
— Commanders are 12-6 ATS last 18 games coming off a win.

— Colts are 3-4-1; they’re trailed all eight games after three quarters.
— Colts have been outscored 133-73 in quarters 1-3 this season.
— Colts rallied, led this game 16-7 with 5:00 left to play.
— Indy only scored 10 points in three red zone drives.
— Seven of their eight games stayed under the total. 

Broncos 21, Jaguars 17
— Denver drove 80 yards for game-winning TD with 1:43 left.
— Broncos won despite converting only 2-11 third down plays.
— Denver has held all eight opponents under 6.0 yards/pass play.
— Broncos allowed 9-10-17 points in their three wins.
— Seven of eight Denver games stayed under the total.

— Jaguars lost last five games, giving up 24.0 ppg.
— Jacksonville scored only 10 points on three red zone drives.
— Jacksonville’s two TD drives were both 47 yards.
— Last 2+ years, Jaguars are 0-6 ATS as a favorite.
— Jaguars lost despite 12-yard advantage in field position.

Cowboys 49, Bears 29
— Dallas’ first four drives: 33 plays, 273 yards, 28 points.
— Cowboys converted 9-11 third down plays.
— Pollard carried ball 14 times for 131 yards, three TD’s.
— Cowboys won/covered six of their last seven games.
— Last five games, Cowboys outscored foes 78-21 in 2nd half

— Chicago lost four of its last five games.
— Chicago is 4-9 ATS in last 13 games as a road underdog.
— Cowboys averaged 7.8 yards/play for the game.
— Chicago is 2-7 ATS last nine games coming off a win.
— 2nd-year QB Fields is 5-13 as an NFL starter.

Saints 24, Raiders 0
— Kamara had 27 touches for 158 yards, three TD’s.
— Raiders didn’t have any plays longer than 18 yards.
— Last five games, Saints are 33-66 on 3rd down.
— New Orleans is 12-7-1 ATS last 20 games coming off a loss.
— Saints’ coach Allen went 8-28 as Raiders’ coach from 2012-14.

— Raiders were outgained, 367-183, averaged 3.4 yards/pass attempt.
— Las Vegas is 0-4 SU on road TY, giving up 25.5 ppg.
— Last three games, opponents converted 23-39 on third down.
— Las Vegas’ opponent went over team total in last six games.
— Derek Carr is 59-76 as an NFL starter.

Eagles 35, Steelers 13
— Steelers lost six of their last seven games.
— Pittsburgh converted 1-12 on 3rd down, Eagles 7-12.
— Steelers are 9-13 ATS last 22 games coming off a loss.
— Steelers have no turnovers (+9) in their wins, 14 (-9) in losses.
— Pittsburgh has been outscored 86-47 in second half of games.

— Philly is 7-0, scoring 38-24-24-29-20-26-35 points (28 ppg).
— Eagles’ first four drives: 26 plays, 207 yards, 21 points.
— WR Brown caught six passes for 156 yards, three TD’s.
— Philly averaged 8.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Eagles covered their last seven games as a home favorite.

Dolphins 31, Lions 27
— Detroit led 14-0 with 2:00 left in first quarter.
— Dolphins outscored Detroit 14-0 in second half.
— Miami gained 476 yards, converted 8-12 on third down.
— First six drives, Dolphins scored four TD’s, kicked a field goal.
— Hill caught 12 passes for 188 yards; Waddle 8 for 106, with two TD’s.

— Lions lost last five games, giving up 32 ppg.
— Detroit in first half: 39 plays, 346 yards, 3 TD’s, 2 field goals.
— Detroit in second half: 20 plays, 52 yards, no points.
— Goff threw ball for 321 yards, didn’t turn ball over.
— Under Campbell, Lions are 4-19-1 SU, 14-9-1 ATS.
— Under Campbell, Lions are 7-2-1 ATS as a home underdog.

Vikings 34, Cardinals 26
— Arizona is 1-5 when it scores less than 29 points.
— Cardinals turned ball over three times, including a fumbled punt.
— Last three games, Arizona is 11-37 on third down.
— Cardinals outscored opponents 42-15 in last 2:00 of each half.
— WR Hopkins caught 22 balls for 262 yards in his first two games.

— Vikings won last five games, scoring 28-28-29-24-34 points.
— Minnesota’s last two TD drives were 31-25 yards.
— Cook carried ball for 111 yards (5.6 yards/carry).
— Vikings allowed 22+ points in five of last six games.
— Last four games, WR Jefferson caught 34 passes for 506 yards.

Patriots 22, Jets 17
— Patriots scored only one TD, kicked five field goals.
— New England had huge 23-yard edge in field position.
— Patriots are +7 in turnovers in its wins, minus-6 in losses.
— New England gave up 20-37-27-33 points in losses; 14-0-15-17 in wins.
— Jones threw pick-6 in last 1:00 of first half, was nullified by roughing/passer call.

— New England won last 14 series games (9-4-1 ATS)
— Jets led this game 10-6 at halftime.
— Last four weeks, opponents converted 19-62 third down plays.
— Gang Green is 3-9 ATS last 12 games as a home underdog.
— Jets lost three of their four home games SU.

Titans 17, Texans 10
— Tennessee won/covered last five games, allowing 15.2 ppg.  
— Henry ran ball 32 times for 219 yards, 2 TD’s.
— Overall, Titans ran ball for 314 yards (Hilliard 8 carries for 83 yards)
— Willis was 6-10/55 passing in his first NFL start; he handed off a lot.
— Last four games, Titans allowed only 48.2 rushing yards/game.
— Six of seven Titan games stayed under the total.

— Texans lost five of their last six games.
— Houston converted only 2-14 third down plays.
— Tennessee outgained Texans, 354-161.
— Houston has allowed 185.2 rushing yards/game in first seven games.
— 2nd-year QB Mills is 3-14-1 as an NFL starter.

27, Giants 13
— Giants’ first four drives: 17 plays, 34 yards, 2 first downs, no points.
— Giants’ last six drives: 43 plays, 178 yards, 11 first downs, 13 points.
— Barkley carried ball 20 times for only 53 yards.
— 6-2 Giants have trailed by 10+ points in five of eight games.
— Under is 6-1-1 in Giant games this season.

— Seahawks won four of their last five games.
— Seattle is 3-0 when it allows less than 27 points.
— Seahawks in 2nd half: 5 drives- 23 plays, 154 yards, 17 points.
— Seattle gained only 277 yards, converted 3-13 on third down.
— Seahawks went over their team total five of last six games. 

49ers 31, Rams 14
— McCaffrey had 26 touches for 155 yards, also threw a 34-yard TD pass.
— 49ers’ last four drives: 25 plays, 225 yards, 21 points.
— Last three games, 49er opponents were 23-36 on third down.
— 49ers won eight of their last nine games against the Rams.
— QB Garoppolo is 40-19 as an NFL starter.

— Rams were held to 10-9-10-14 points in their losses.
— In those four losses, Rams were outscored 58-3 in second half.
— LA in second half Sunday: 25 plays, 43 yards, no points.
— Rams are 2-8-1 ATS in last 11 games as a home underdog.
— Rams are averaging only 68.4 rushing yards/game. 

Bills 27, Packers 17
— Packers lost their last four games, giving up 26 ppg.
— Last four games, Green Bay converted 14 of 44 third down plays.
— Last five weeks, Green Bay gave up 158 rushing yards/game.
— Green Bay went under its team total in seven of eight games.
— Under is 5-3 in Packer games this season. 

— Buffalo in first half: 27 plays, 254 yards, 24 points.
— Only seven of Bills’ 54 plays came on third down.
— Buffalo is 12-5 ATS last 17 games as a home favorite.
— Bills won/covered their first three home games TY, 41-7/38-3/27-17.
— Josh Allen is 48-25 as an NFL starter.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Chiefs 44, 49ers 23
— Chiefs scored six touchdowns on nine drives.
— Kansas City averaged 11.3 yards/pass attempt.
— Chiefs have 27 TD’s on 68 drives this season. 
— Last four weeks, Chiefs converted 29-49 third down plays.
— KC is 8-4 ATS last 12 games coming off a loss.

— Chiefs led 14-13 at halftime.
— McCaffrey had 10 touches for 62 yards in his SF debut.
— 49ers have been outscored 86-53 in second half.
— Garoppolo threw two INT’s in the red zone.
— NFC West teams are 3-7 ATS as a non-divisional favorite.

Commanders 23, Packers 21
— This just in: Heinicke is a better QB than Carson Wentz.
— Commanders’ first 2 drives: 6 plays, 7 yards, no first downs.
— Commanders’ last 7 drives: 66 plays, 357 yards, 23 points.
— Last four games, Washington scored 41 points in 13 red zone drives.
— NFC East teams are 14-5 ATS in non-division games.

— Packers lost last three games, to Giants/Jets/Washington. 
— Last four weeks, Green Bay gave up 159,3 rushing yards/game.
— Washington was 7-16 on third down, Packers 0-6.
— Last three games, Green Bay converted 8 of 32 third down plays.
— Green Bay stayed under its team total in six of seven games.

Bengals 35, Falcons 17
— Bengals’ first four drives: 28 plays, 314 yards, four TD’s.
— Chase had 8 catches for 130 yards, 2 TD’s; Boyd 8 catches for 155 yards, one TD
— Cincinnati had ten plays of 20+ yards, Falcons had one.
— Last four games, Cincy converted 32-60 on 3rd down.
— Cincinnati won four of last five games (5-0 ATS).

— Teams are 0-6 SU/ATS the week after playing the 49ers.
— Falcons had only one play longer than 12 yards.
— Atlanta in 2nd half: 20 plays, 40 yards, 3 first downs, no points.
— Bengals outgained Falcons, 537-214.
— Last five opponents converted 39-76 third down plays.

Giants 23, Jaguars 17
— Game ended with Jaguar WR tackled on 1-yard line.
— Jaguars were in red zone five times, scored 17 points.
— Jacksonville had 13 penalties for 81 yards.
— Jaguars are 2-8 ATS in last ten games as a home favorite.
— Jaguars lost last four games, giving up 24.8 ppg.

— Giants won/covered six of first seven games.
— They were tied/behind in 4th quarter in six of seven games.
— Giants outscored opponents 58-22 in 4th quarter.
— Jaguars led 17-13 with 6:00 left in this game.
— Last four games, Big Blue converted 25-51 on third down.

Cowboys 24, Lions 6
— Detroit led 6-3 at halftime,
— Lions in 2nd half: six drives, five turnovers.
— Down 10-6 in 4th quarter, Detroit lost a fumble on the Dallas 1-yard line.
— Lions threw two INT’s, lost three fumbles (minus-4), all in 2nd half.
— Last two games for Detroit: 19 drives, 7 turnovers, 2 field goals.

— Cowboys won/covered five of their last six games.
— Dallas had TD drives of 82-54-24 yards.
— Cowboys have converted only 28-87 third down plays.
— Dallas is 7-3 ATS in last ten games as a home favorite.
— Under is 6-0-1 in their games this season.

Titans 19, Colts 10
— Tennessee won its last four games, scoring 24-24-21-19 points.
— Titans’ only TD was 76-yard pick-6 early in second quarter.
— Tennessee is 4-2 despite being outgained by 110.2 yds/game.
— Opponents have converted only 20-72 third down plays.
— Tennessee has outscored opponents 95-47 in first half.

— Indy’s only TD came on 58-yard drive midway thru third quarter.
— Colts turned ball over three times (minus-2).
— Tennessee won four of last five series games.
— Six of Indy’s seven games stayed under the total. 
— Colts have been outscored 126-67 in quarters 1-3 this season.

Ravens 23, Browns 20
— Cleveland lost last four games, giving up 23-30-38-23 points.
— Five of Browns’ first seven games were decided by 3 or fewer points. 
— Ravens converted 7-15 on third down, Cleveland 2-11.
— Last four games, Browns converted 15-50 on third down.
— Browns are 9-16-2 ATS in last 27 games coming off a loss.

— Baltimore had a 14-yard edge in field position.
— Tucker put Ravens up 23-13 with 55-yard FG, 11:24 left in game.
— Ravens ran ball 44 times, threw only 16 passes.
— Baltimore is 2-7 ATS last nine games as a home favorite.
— Ravens won 10 of last 13 series games.

Panthers 21, Buccaneers 3
— Tampa Bay lost four of its last five games (0-5 ATS)
— Buccaneers scored one TD on their last 19 drives.
— Last four games, Bucs ran ball 71 times for 193 yards,
— Tampa Bay is 0-3 this year when it gives up more than 15 points.
— Six of seven Tampa Bay games stayed under the total.

— Carolina’s three TD drives: 80-77-75 yards.
— Carolina’s other 7 drives: 34 plays, 188 yards, 5 first downs, no points.
— Panthers ran ball for 173 yards, Tampa Bay 46.
— Five of last six Panther games stayed under the total.
— Walker is 3-1 as an NFL starting QB.

Jets 16, Broncos 9
— Jets won/covered four in row, five of last six games.
— Jets’ only TD was a 62-yard run with 7:34 left in first quarter.
— Gang Green won/covered all four of their road games.
— Jets converted only 3-14 on 3rd down, averaged 3.6 yards/pass attempt.
— Three of their last four opponents played a backup QB.

— Denver lost last four games, by 9-3-3-7 points.
— Broncos scored 16 or fewer points in six of seven games.
— Last six games, Broncos are 23-87 on third down.
— Six of seven Denver games stayed under the total. 
— AFC West teams are 6-11 ATS outside the division.

Raiders 38, Texans 20
— Raiders outscored Houston 21-0 in fourth quarter.
— Texans’ first 5 drives: 43 plays, 300 yards, 20 points.
— Texans’ last 3 drives: 24 plays, 106 yards, no points.
— Houston allowed 163.8 rushing yards/game in first six games.
— 2nd-year QB Mills is 3-13-1 as an NFL starter.

— Jacobs ran ball 20 times for 143 yards, three TD’s.
— Raiders’ first 3 drives: 20 plays, 66 yards, 3 points.
— Raiders’ last 4 drives: 34 plays, 314 yards, 28 points.
— Las Vegas scored 32-29-38 points in their last three games.
— Raiders averaged 8.4 yards/pass attempt. 

 Seahawks 37, Chargers 23
— Seahawks ran ball for 214 yards (6.3 yards/carry).
— Seattle led 17-0 after the first quarter.
— Only nine of Seahawks’ 63 plays were on third down.
— Seattle is 3-0 when it allows less than 27 points.
— Four of Seahawks’ last five games went over the total.

— Chargers gave up 37-38-37 points in their three losses.
— Chargers turned ball over on two of first three drives.
— Bolts converted 5-15 on third down, 1-3 on fourth down.
— Chargers ran ball for 81 or fewer yards in six of seven games. 
— four of Bolts’ last five games went over the total.

Dolphins 16, Steelers 10
— Neither team scored in second half.
— Miami in first half: 5 drives, 38 plays, 231 yards, 16 points.
— Miami in 2nd half: 6 drives, 26 plays, 127 yards, no points.
— Dolphins stayed under their team total in six of seven games TY.
— Tagovailoa is 17-9 as an NFL starter.

— Steelers lost five of their last six games.
— Steelers have no turnovers (+9) in their wins, 12 (-7) in losses.
— Pittsburgh has only nine TD’s on 74 drives this season.
— Steelers are 15-9 ATS last 24 games as a road underdog.
— Steelers are 3-7 ATS last ten games coming off a win.

Phillies 4, Padres 3:
— Harper hit a 2-run homer in bottom of 8th.
— Ranger Suarez got 2 batters out on 2 pitches for the save.
— Phillies head to Houston for World Series, starting Friday.

Astros 6, New York 5:
— Down 3-0, Pena tied game with 3-run homer in 3rd inning.
— Bader had three hits, scored three runs for New York.
— Astros’ bullpen closed game out with three perfect innings. 

Saturday’s Den: Some stories, other stuff on a fall Saturday

— Today (Saturday) is the 50th anniversary of my best day ever as a sports fan.

October 22, 1972, a Sunday. I was 12 years old.

Game 7 of the World Series started at 1pm (imagine that now?); A’s beat the Reds when Pete Rose flied to left fielder Joe Rudi to end the game, giving Oakland its first of three straight World Series titles. I was very excited that day.

I became an A’s fan in 1965, after getting a set of baseball cards from my grandparents. One of the cards was a Kansas City A’s rookie card, with four prospects on it. One of the prospects had no minor league record; they misspelt his name on the back of the card.

Went to my dad, showed him the card and told him, “This is my favorite player” He gave me an odd look (that happened a lot when I was a kid) but I was now an A’s fan- they were a bad team back then, but things gradually got better, once they moved to Oakland in 1968.

What are the odds that the player with no minor league record would become a Hall of Famer?

Jim (Catfish) Hunter threw a perfect game in 1968, made six All-Star Games pitching for the A’s, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. He was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the ’72 Series, getting eight outs while pitching with one day of rest.

As if winning the World Series wasn’t enough……..

The 4:00 NFL game on local TV was supposed to be Broncos-Raiders, but luckily for me, they showed the Bengals-Rams game instead.

Rams led 10-0 at halftime, blew the lead, but David Ray kicked a field goal at the end, giving the Rams a 15-12 win, and giving me a very excellent day.

Fifty years ago; time flies when you’re having fun.

— Back in the early 80’s, I coached JV high school baseball for a year; talk about someone being in over his head, that was me. Things didn’t go well in terms of wins/losses, but the kids had fun, and a lot of us have remained friends over the years. 

I found out just this week, 38 years later, that the father of one of those guys had played minor league baseball, three years in the Pirates’ organization. Wish I had known back then; would have picked his brain about the experience.

One of his coaches in the minors was Danny Murtaugh, who later won two World Series managing Pittsburgh. One of his teammates in spring training was Mario Cuomo, who later became governor of New York.

Spent some time this week picking my friend Dave’s brain about this; his dad is 97 years old now. I didn’t know him well; he never said a word to me (other than hello) during the season when I coached his son, even though he probably cringed when he watched our team play.

He played three years in the minors, then had to make a life decision. This was 1952; there was no big money in baseball yet, and he was about to get married. He did well in the minors, with a .298 batting average— he led the league in triples one year, but he was about to get married and the Pirates were going to send him to play minor league ball in Hollywood the next year- the Dodgers hadn’t moved to Los Angeles yet.

While pondering his decision, he wrote a letter to Pirates GM Branch Rickey, who responded with a 3.5-page letter, a hugely thoughtful thing to do. Obviously, it was a much different world in 1952; no Internet, hell no cable TV. Branch Rickey had never seen my friend’s dad play, so he could only give general advice based on scouts’ reports.

My friend has this letter; he texted me a copy of it last night. That Branch Rickey took the time to write a 3.5-page, single-spaced letter to someone he had never seen play is remarkable.

My friend’s dad is also in the Ithaca College Hall of Fame, along with Gorilla Monsoon, the pro wrestler. He retired from baseball after three years, went into the insurance business and did very well in it. In today’s world, where players get to the majors a lot faster and the money is a lot bigger, his choice might have been different.

That is what makes life interesting, the choices we have/make. 

— I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell this one story from that season coaching those guys.

We were winning one game by a decent amount, and Dave was pitching. He had a good arm but he was struggling with his curveball, so he was just throwing fastballs, the other team was hitting long fly balls (the field had no fence) and our outfielders were catching them.

But he calls me out to the mound in the 4th inning; I go out there— we hadn’t won a game in a while and I say to him “What could possibly be the problem?” He hands me the ball, says “I never want to pitch again the rest of my life” and walked off the mound.

Seriously, he didn’t want to pitch anymore. We laugh about it now; but I needed to sub in someone to get the last 10 or 11 outs in this game- there weren’t a lot of choices. We held on to win the game, but it says a lot that 38 years later, I have a pretty vivid memory of it.

— One more story for today: guy I know went to the Cleveland-New York playoff game earlier this week, the game that got rained out. They drove down from Albany, 150 miles or so, and got there just before the scheduled first pitch, but there was a rain delay.

Weren’t lot of parking spots available; they tried this one lot where apparently the buses parked, but it was full— the lady running things hinted that she could find them a spot if they threw her a few extra bucks.

So a parking lot that cost $55 to park in wound up costing them $85, to watch a game that was never played. Oy.

— I’m watching the Magic-Hawks’ NBA game as I write this; they’re showing clips of Dejounte Murray and Trae Young riding camels during their recent trip to Abu Dhabi. There is no way on God’s green earth I would ever ride a camel; too damn tall.

— Texas Rangers hired future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy as their manager; brilliant move. Bochy won three World Series managing the Giants, also got San Diego to a World Series.

— Phillies 4, Padres 2
Schwarber hit a home run in first inning.
Phillies’ bullpen threw four scoreless innings.
Philadelphia leads series, 2-1.

— Tulsa 27, Tulane 16
Temple led 10-0 after first quarter.
Deneric Prince had an 84-yard TD run early in 4th quarter to put Tulsa ahead 24-10.
Temple was 4-18 on third down, Tulsa 2-11.
Total yardage: Tulsa 454, Temple 280

— Western Kentucky 20, UAB 17
UAB led 17-7 with 2:00 left in first half.
Hilltoppers had 11 penalties for 86 yards, UAB 4 for 22.
Blazers turned ball over four times (minus-3)

Thursday’s Den: Quick Notes on NFC teams

Arizona Cardinals— On each team’s first drive of the game, Cardinals have been outscored 27-3. On their first drives, Arizona has run 30 plays for 122 yards, opponents 57 plays for 308 yards.

Atlanta Falcons— Falcons are only 11th NFL team since 1989 to start a season 6-0 against the spread. Falcons are 11-6 ATS last 17 games as a road underdog.

Carolina Panthers— Panthers have gone 3/out on 22 of 62 drives (35.5%); they’ve given up 24 plays of 20+ yards (-7). On 38 drives that started 75+ yards from goal line, they scored 29 points.

Chicago Bears— Bears have been outscored 84-39 in first half this season; on their first drive of 3rd quarter, Chicago has scored four TD’s, kicked a field goal (39 plays, 373 yards). 

Dallas Cowboys— In their two losses, Cowboys lost field position by 12-17 yards; they’ve converted only 25-78 third down plays. Under is 5-0-1 in their games this season.

Detroit Lions— Lions have forced only nine 3/outs, tied for least in NBA (Seattle); under Campbell, Lions are 4-17-1 SU, 14-8 ATS. Over is 5-2 in Detroit’s last seven games.

Green Bay Packers— Green Bay went under its team total in five of six games; they’ve converted only 8 of last 26 third down plays. Packers have forced 23 3/outs, T2 in league. 

Los Angeles Rams— Rams allowed a defensive TD in their last three games; they’ve gone 3/out on 20 of 59 drives (33.9%). Rams allowed 47 points on 12 red zone drives (3.92).

Minnesota Vikings— Vikings have TD drives of 78-75-86 yards on their first possessions; they outscored opponents 21-10 on first drives. They’re 5-1, scoring 27.3 ppg in last four games.

New Jersey Giants— 5-1 Giants have trailed by 10+ points in three of five wins; they have only 13 plays of 20+ yards, three less than any other team. Giants have outscored foes 87-49 in second half of games.

New Orleans Saints— Saints are 0-4 when they score less than 27 points; they’ve been outscored 75-54 in first half. Saints have been outscored 31-12 in last 2:00 of each half.

Philadelphia Eagles— Last five games, on their first drive, opponents ran total of 18 plays for 41 yards. Eagles have forced 24 3/outs, gone 3/out only nine times themselves, best ratio in NFL.

San Francisco 49ers— 49ers were held to 10-10-14 points in their losses; they’ve forced 23 3/outs, gone 3/out only 12 times. SF has 25 plays of 20+ yards; they’ve allowed 13 (+12).

Seattle Seahawks— Seahawks on first drive of game: 47 plays, 357 yards, 27 points. Seahawks on first series of second half: 32 plays, 167 yards, no points.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers— Opponents in first drive of game: 54 plays, 281 yards, 23 points. Opponents on first series of second half: 33 plays, 89 yards, 6 points.

Washington Commanders— They’ve gone 3/out 22 times on 65 drives (33.8%), allowed 29 plays of 20+ yards (minus-7). Last five games, Commanders have been outscored 77-20 in first half.

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but……..

Chargers 19, Broncos 16 OT
— Broncos in first half: 25 plays, 201 yards, a TD and two field goals
— Broncos in 2nd half/OT: 33 plays, 72 yards, 6 punts, one field goal.
— Wilson completed 10-10 passes in first quarter.
— From 2nd quarter on, Wilson completed 5-18 passes.
— Five of six Denver games stayed under the total. 

— Chargers kicked FG in OT, after Denver muffed a punt.
— Chargers ran 83 plays, only two of which gained 20+ yards.
— Chargers converted 11-22 third down plays.
— Bolts averaged 3.8 yards per pass attempt.
— In overtime, two teams combined to run 16 plays for 16 yards. 

— Carolina Panthers traded disgruntled WR Robbie Anderson to Arizona; they get a 6th and 7th round draft pick in return. Panther coaches sent Anderson to the locker room during Sunday’s loss in Los Angeles, after he got into a spat with Carolina’s WR coach.

Anderson has caught 13 passes for 206 yards this year, but over half those yards came in Week 1. Cardinals need WR help after Marquise Brown got hurt Sunday; they also get DeAndre Hopkins back from his six-game suspension this week.

— Panthers scored six TD’s in their last four games; problem is, Carolina’s offense only scored three of them- their defense scored the other three.

— Washington QB Carson Wentz is out 4-6 weeks with a broken finger on his passing hand; Taylor Heinicke (7-9 as an NFL starter) takes his place under center for the Commanders.

Maybe the change will help; Commanders have converted only 8 of last 37 third down plays.

— Cincinnati Bengals are only team in NFL that hasn’t given up a second half touchdown this season; they’ve outscored opponents 71-30 in second half this year.

Football players are really, really tough; Bengals’ left tackle Jonah Williams dislocated his kneecap in the Week 5 loss at Baltimore, but he returned to that game, then played Sunday in New Orleans.

— Cleveland Browns are only the third team in last 58 years that led each of their first five games after three quarters, yet lost more than half those games.

1999 Saints, 2015 Seahawks are other two teams on that list.

Streak ended for the Browns Sunday, when they got waxed 38-15 at home by New England.

— College quarterbacks take harder hits than NFL QB’s; lot fewer roughing the passer calls in the college game.

— In case you’re wondering, the record for most punts with one team: Sam Koch punted 1,168 times for the Ravens, from 2006-21.

— Illinois football coach Bret Bielema is a throwback; Saturday, Illini RB Chase Brown carried the football 41 times for 190 yards in their 26-14 win over Minnesota. 41 carries is a lot for two games, even moreso for one.

Long time ago, USC coach John McKay was asked why his tailback was carrying the ball so much. “Why not?” McKay replied. “The ball isn’t very heavy. And besides, he doesn’t belong to a union.”

— So far in Sun Belt conference games this season, underdogs are 18-6 against the spread; they were 5-0 ATS this past weekend.

— Penn State coach James Franklin is a very good coach; how do I know this? The freakin’ guy won at Vanderbilt. In three years with the Commodores, Franklin went 6-7, then 9-4/9-4- he went 11-13 in SEC games at Vanderbilt, won two of three bowl games.

These days, Vanderbilt has lost its last 24 SEC games; they haven’t played in a bowl game since 2018, haven’t won a bowl since 2013. Tough job.

— Since 2015, Alabama has scored 56 touchdowns on special teams/defense, most in the country; San Diego State is next on that list, with 38.

— Five oldest I-A college football players are all 29+ years old; they’re all Australian punters. They punt for East Carolina, Illinois, Miami, Oklahoma State, TCU.

— NBA season begins tonight; all the major sports overlap starting this week.

—- Last two years, Seattle Mariners went 67-41 in one-run games, but then they got swept in the playoffs by Houston, losing the three games by total of four runs. Great year for Seattle, making the playoffs for first time since 2001.

— With the Braves getting bounced from the playoffs, 2009 Phillies remain the last defending World Series champ to get back to the World Series the following season. 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Tennessee 52, Alabama 49
— Vols WR Hyatt caught six passes for 207 yards, five TD’s.
— Tennessee led 21-7 after first quarter.
— Vols tied game on an 11-yard TD pass with 3:26 left.
— Tennessee won game on 40-yard FG at the gun.

— Penalties: Alabama 17 for 130 yards, Tennessee 6 for 39
— Total yardage was 569-567. Quite a game.
— Alabama QB Young threw for 455 yards, 2 TD’s.
— Tennessee ends a 15-game losing streak vs Alabama. 

12) TCU 43, Oklahoma State 40 OT
— Oklahoma State led 24-7 with 4:00 left in first half.
— TCU outscored Cowboys 14-0 in 4th quarter to force OT.
— Horned Frogs ran for 224 yards (5.2 yards/carry)
— TCU outgained Cowboys, 510-387. 

11) Michigan 41, Penn State 17
— Michigan ran ball for 418 yards, 7.6 yards/carry.
— Wolverines outgained Penn State 274-83 in first half, only led 16-14.
— Michigan converted 11-17 on third down, PSU 4-12.
— Total yardage: Michigan 563, Penn State 268

10) Utah 43, USC 42
— Utah scored TD/2-point conversion with 0:48 left.
— USC led 21-7 early in second quarter.
— Utah QB Rising threw for 415 yards, two TD’s.
— USC QB Williams threw for 381 yards, five TD’s.

9) Georgia Southern 45, James Madison 38
— Georgia Southern QB Vantrease threw for 578 yards, four TD’s.
— Georgia Southern also blocked a punt for a TD.
— James Madison had been ranked in top 25 for first time ever. 

8) Syracuse 24, NC State 9
— Syracuse is 6-0 for first time since 1987.
— NC State QB Leary is out for the year (torn pec muscle)

7) Upsets of the Week:
— Stanford (+15.5) 16, Notre Dame 14
— Colorado (+14.5) 20, California 13 OT
— Old Dominion (+12.5) 49, Coastal Carolina 21
— Georgia Southern (+10.5) 45, James Madison 38
— Louisiana (+10.5) 23, Marshall 13
— Fresno State (+8) 17, San Jose State 10
— Tennessee (+7.5) 52, Alabama 49
— Michigan State (+7.5) 34, Wisconsin 28

6) East Carolina 47, Memphis 45 OT
— East Carolina led 17-7 with 1:00 left in first half.
— Memphis scored TD with 0:19 left to force OT.
— Pirates converted 10-15 third down plays, Memphis 8-15.
— Tigers averaged 11.0 yards/pass attempt. 

5) North Carolina 38, Duke 35
— Tar Heels scored TD with 0:16 left for the win.
— Duke led 21-10 with 1:00 left in first half.
— Carolina was 8-13 on third down, Duke 4-9. 

4) Houston 1, Seattle 0 (18)
Pena homered in the 18th inning for game’s only run.
Astros advance to ALCS for sixth year in a row.
Teams were combined 0-19 with men in scoring position.
There were 96 swing/misses in this game.

3) Cleveland 6, New York 5
Guardians scored three runs in bottom of ninth.
Cleveland had 15 hits; 13 singles, two doubles.
New York had five hits, three of them home runs.
Cleveland leads series 2-1. 

2) Phillies 8, Braves 3:
Phillies win series 3-1, advance to NLCS for first time since 2010.
JT Realmuto hit an inside-the-park home run.
Brandon Marsh hit a 3-run homer.

1) Padres 5, Dodgers 3
San Diego scored four runs in bottom of 7th.
Dodgers’ bullpen gave up five runs in three IP.
Padres-Phillies in NLCS; the Nola brothers face off.
San Diego is in NLCS for first time since 1998.

Saturday’s Den: 13 of my favorite movie scenes…….

13) Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessup on the witness stand in A Few Good Men– “You WANT me on that wall; you NEED me on that wall!!!” Great acting. 

12) In Prince of Tides, when Nick Nolte’s character takes Barbra Streisand’s husband’s Stradivarius violin and dangles it over the edge of the balcony, until he apologizes to his wife for being rude. Then he tosses the million-dollar violin in the air but catches it, then walks out of the dinner party. 

11) In Any Given Sunday, when QB Willie Beamen visits the coach’s house for dinner and a “talk” and coach Tony D’Amato lectures him— “You’re the goddamn quarterback!!!” 

I think this scene is better than the “Game of Inches” speech that Pacino gives near the end of the movie, before the last game. 

10) Rocky II wasn’t a good movie, but the last fight scene, where Rocky Balboa wins the heavyweight title for the first time, is a great fight scene, probably the best scene in all the Rocky movies. 

9) In the movie Heat, there is a scene with Al Pacino (the cop) and Robert DeNiro (bank robber) where they actually talk in a diner about how someday, their situation will come to a head and either the arrest will be made, or harm will come to the cop. Deniro and Pacino; a great scene. 

8) Susan Sarandon and James Spader were in a 1990 movie called White Palace; I only saw this movie for the first time in the last couple years. 

There is a scene where a lot of people were at Thanksgiving dinner and they’re talking about politics; the patriarch of the family is Steven Hill (the original DA on Law and Order). 

When a younger person says something Hill’s character sees as uninformed, he snaps at her, “Would it kill you to pick up a newspaper?” Good stuff. 

7) In the true story Invincible, when 30-year old bartender Vince Papale breaks the news to his best friend that he made the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster, despite never having played college football. 

6) In Friday Night Lights, when the coach (Billy Bob Thornton) delivers a halftime speech when his team is getting smoked. He talks about “being perfect” and how giving your all is the most important thing of all. 

Of all the sports movies I’ve seen, I think Thornton’s character in this movie is the best portrayal of a coach that I’ve seen. 

5) In the original Bad News Bears, when the coach is talking to his worst player, ordering him into the championship game- the kid is too nervous to go out and play. 

“Listen, Lupus, you didn’t come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did ya? Now get your ass out there and do the best you can.”

4) In Roxanne, Steve Martin’s character has a very long nose, like Cyrano de Bergerac; guy in a bar insults his long nose, the whole bar shuts down, and Martin mocks the insult. 

“I suppose you could do better?” and Martin proceeds to give 20 jokes (actually 26) that were all funnier than the guy’s insult. 

3) In Rounders, the scene where Mike (Matt Damon) finds his law professor (Martin Landau) in a restaurant and the professor tells him how his parents disowned him because he chose to study the law instead of becoming a rabbi.

2) Oakland A’s 20-game winning streak in Moneyball; at least they showed Miguel Tejada’s walk-off homer in the 18th straight win- they gave him almost no credit in the book/movie for how good the A’s were that year— he was the best shortstop in the game that year. 

1) Bob Cousy shooting free throws in an empty gym with Nick Nolte in Blue Chips. Cousy was 65 at the time, made 10 in a row while wearing a shirt and tie- they filmed the scene in one take. He made the last foul shot left-handed. 

Friday’s Den: Random stuff with the weekend here……..

Commanders 12, Bears 7:
— Bears had ball on 6-yard line in last minute, couldn’t score.
— Bears outgained Washington 392-214.
— Washington’s one TD came on a 6-yard drive after a muffed punt.
— Commanders scored total of 47 points in last four games.
— NFC East teams are 10-5 ATS in non-division games.

— Chicago had ball in red zone three times, scored zero points.
— Bears have been outscored 84-39 in first half this season.
— 2nd-year QB Fields is 4-12 as an NFL starter.
— Last 3+ years, Chicago is 10-17-1 ATS coming off a loss.

— Astros 4, Mariners 2
Alvarez hit an opposite field, 2-run homer in 6th inning to give Astros the lead for good.
Astros bullpen got 10 outs, allowed only one hit.
Series heads to Seattle, with Houston leading 2-0

— Prop betting is interesting; was watching this game with a buddy. In top of 8th inning, with game 3-2, my friend got 2-1 odds that another run would be scored the rest of the game. He won the bet when Seattle walked Yordan Alvarez intentionally in the bottom of the 8th, and Alex Bregman dunked a single to right field to score an insurance run for the Astros.

Man on first, two out and Alvarez at the plate; you walk him intentionally? With Bregman up next? I said it when it happened, Alvarez ain’t Barry Bonds; that’s the last time I saw something like that happen, when Arizona walked Bonds with the bases loaded in the 9th inning.

— Central Florida 70, Temple 13
This game was 14-13 with 6:00 left in first half.
UCF outgained Temple, 737-293- they converted 8-9 on third down.
Knights averaged 15.5 yards/pass attempt
Temple lost 70-13 and didn’t turn the ball over at all.

— West Virginia 43, Baylor 40
WVU kicked a 22-yard FG with 0:33 left for the win.
Baylor led 24-17 at halftime.
West Virginia was 7-13 on 3rd down, Baylor 4-11
Baylor threw for 491 yards, turned ball over three times (minus-2)

— Damn it poured here in Albany tonight; driving home from dinner, could hardly see. Been a long time since I’ve seen it rain that hard for an extended time.

— Cleveland-New York game was rained out Thursday, will be played at 1pm Friday; teams haven’t played since Tuesday.

— Austin Riley plays 3B for the Braves; he was a QB and an all-state punter in high school. His dad was a punter for Mississippi State back in the 80’s, and was in training camp with the Detroit Lions a couple times.

After Riley’s sophomore year in high school, his football coach told him he had to decide between the two sports; football team didn’t want him missing summer drills to play baseball, if he was going to be the quarterback. He chose baseball, but still punted for the football team.

Looks like he made the right decision.

— From 2018-21, when NFL games had a total of 49+ points, over hit 58.2% of the time, but so far this season, in games with a total of 49+ points, under is 9-3.

— New England Patriots lost five of their last six road games SU.

Patriots visit Cleveland Sunday; Browns’ three losses this season are by 1-3-2 points.

— Under is 5-0 in Indianapolis Colt games this season; both of the Colts’ wins are by 3 points. Last three games, Indianapolis outscored opponents 26-6 in the second half.

— Arizona Cardinals have been outscored 80-26 in first half this season; they’ve trailed all five games at halftime.

— Colorado State point guard Isaiah Stevens broke his foot, needed an operation and is out for the start of the season. Rams hope to get him back by the start of conference play.

— Penn State has a basketball player Michael Henn; Nittany Lions are the fifth team he’ll play for in seven college seasons:
2017— Cal-Davis
2019— Cal Baptist
2021— Portland
2022— Denver
2023— Penn State
Young man should write a book someday.

— 2018 NBA Draft, the first three picks:
Phoenix- Deandre Ayton
Sacramento- Marvin Bagley
Dallas- Luka Doncic

This is why some teams always lose; passing on Doncic was a huge blunder. Michael Jordan was the third pick in his draft, too. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Ravens 19, Bengals 17
— Tucker kicked a 43-yard FG at the gun for the win.
— Ravens’ last six home games (1-5) were decided by total of 13 points.
— Baltimore’s only TD drive was 50 yards; they kicked four FG’s.
— Lamar Jackson is 41-17 as an NFL starter.
— Ravens are 2-6 ATS last eight games as a home favorite.

— Bengals’ first four drives: 13 plays, 22 yards, 1 first down, no points.
— Bengals’ last five drives: 47 plays, 293 yards, 19 FD’s, 17 points.
— Ravens outgained Cincinnati 325-291.
— Cincy allowed only five TD’s on 55 drives this season.
— Last three games, Bengals converted 19-39 on 3rd down.

Chargers 30, Browns 28
— Ekeler ran ball for 173 yards, caught passes for 26 yards, scored 2 TD’s.
— 5 trips to red zone, Chargers scored 2 TD’s, kicked 3 field goals.
— Total yardage in game: LA 465, Cleveland 443.
— Chargers are 3-0 this year if they allow less than 37 points.
— Last 3+ years, Chargers are 5-8-1 ATS as a road favorite.

— Brissett threw awful INT in end zone with 2:44 left; Browns were set up for at least an easy go-ahead field goal.
— Browns missed FG’s of 45/54 yards, both wide right.
— Cleveland is 2-3, with losses by 3-1-2 points.
— Four of their five games were decided by 3 or fewer points.
— Cleveland has run ball for 192.4 yards/game this season.

Saints 39, Seahawks 32
— Seahawks’ four TD’s were all on plays of 35+ yards.
— In all, Seattle had six plays that gained 30+ yards.
— Seahawks had 12 penalties for 85 yards, Saints 6 for 57.
— Last four weeks, Seattle gave up 189-179-145-235 yards rushing.
— Last four games, Seattle gave up 27-27-45-39 points.

— Taysom Hill ran ball nine times for 112 yards, three TD’s- he also threw a TD.
— His 60-yard TD run with 5:22 left put New Orleans ahead for good.
— Seahawks were 1-9 on third down, Saints were 8-14.
— Last four games, Saints are minus-10 in turnovers (2-12)
— Saints won last four series games, by 3-6-5-7 points.

Titans 21, Commanders 17
— Washington had ball on 2-yard line in last 0:20, Wentz threw an INT.
— Tennessee is 3-2, but has been outgained by 112.6 yds/game.
— Titans won their last three games, scoring 24-24-21 points.
— Opponents have converted only 16-59 third down plays.
— Tennessee has outscored opponents 82-47 in first half.

— Washington scored 16 points in last seven red zone drives.
— Commanders converted 1-11 third down plays.
— Washington outgained the Titans, 385-241
— Last four games, Commanders have been outscored 77-17 in first half.
— Washington’s two TD’s were on big plays, of 75-30 yards.
— Last 3+ years, Commanders are 11-22-1 ATS coming off a loss.

Giants 27, Packers 22 (@ London)
— Giants have won games when trailing 13-0/20-10 at halftime.
— Giants have outscored opponents 60-39 in second half of games.
— Big Blue converted 6-11 third down plays.
— Giants gained 7.6 yards/pass attempt.
— NFC East teams are 9-5 ATS outside their division.

— Packers’ offense in first half: 38 plays, 228 yards, 20 points.
— Packers’ offense in 2nd half: 25 plays, 98 yards, no points.
— Green Bay led 17-3 with 2:00 left in first half.
— Packers gained only 5.0 yards/pass attempt.
— Packers are giving up 126.4 rushing yards/game.

Vikings 29, Bears 22
— Vikings’ first three drives: 32 plays, 232 yards, 21 points.
— Bears kicked 51-yard FG to go up 22-21 with 9:26 left.
— Vikings scored TD on 17-play, 75-yard drive with 2:26 left.
— Vikings won last three weeks, scoring winning points in last 2:26 all three games.
— Since 2015, Vikings are 14-9-1 ATS in NFC North home games.

— Bears have been outscored 80-39 in first half this season.
— Minnesota converted 12-15 third down plays.
— QB Fields had 47 of Chicago’s 78 rushing yards.
— Bears have converted only 21-60 third down plays.
— Last 3+ years, Chicago is 10-16-1 ATS coming off a loss.

Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15
— Atlanta is only NFL team that is 5-0 ATS.
— Falcons in quarters 1-3: 39 plays, 140 yards, no points.
— They scored TD’s with 13:39/4:38 left for backdoor cover.
— Atlanta threw for only 110 yards (3.7 yards/attempt)
— Last 2+ years, Falcons are 11-6 ATS as a road underdog.

— Buccaneers led this game 13-0 at halftime.
— Tampa Bay converted 9-16 third down plays.
— Buccaneers outgained Atlanta, 420-261.
— With Brady, Tampa Bay is 5-2 ATS in NFC South home games.
— Tampa Bay is 11-5-1 ATS in last 17 games as a home favorite.

Bills 38, Steelers 3
— Steelers scored 13.5 ppg in losing last four games.
— Steelers were +5 in turnovers in their only win, in OT over Bengals.
— Pittsburgh has only six TD’s on 43 drives this season.
— Steelers missed field goals of 33-45 yards.
— Last 3+ years, Steelers are 8-12 ATS coming off a loss.

— Bills threw a 98-yard TD pass on third play of game.
— Early in second quarter, they threw a 62-yard TD pass.
— Bills outgained first five opponents by 180.2 yards/game.
— Only nine of Bills’ 54 plays came on third down (5-9)
— Bills outscored first five opponents 70-7 in second half.

Patriots 29, Lions 0
— New England kicked FG’s on four of first five drives.
— Patriots’ first TD was defensive score with 3:26 left in first half.
— NE’s only offensive TD came with 1:51 left in third quarter.
— Patriots ran for 176 yards, averaged 9.0 yards/pass attempt.
— Since 2013, NE is 40-25-3 ATS as a home favorite

— Detroit converted 4-12 on 3rd down, 0-6 on 4th down.
— Detroit gained 203 yards in 2nd half, lost ball on downs every drive.
— Lions had ball in red zone three times, didn’t score.
— Lions lost despite a 9-yard edge in field position.
— Detroit is now 4-17-1 SU with Campbell as head coach.

Jets 40, Dolphins 17
— Bridgewater got KO’d, 3rd-string QB Thompson was 19-33/166 passing.
— Dolphins gave up a safety on their first offensive series.
— Miami in 2nd half: 34 plays, 148 yards, 7 first downs, 3 points.
— Dolphins were minus-2 in turnovers (minus-5/last three games).
— Last three games, opponents were 24-44 on third down.

— Jets outscored Miami 21-0 in fourth quarter.
— Gang Green averaged 8.1 yards/pass attempt.
— Jets had 14-yard advantage in field position.
— Jets scored five TD’s on six trips to red zone.
— If playoffs started now (they do not), Jets would be a Wild Card team.

Texans 13, Jaguars 6
— Texans drove 74 yards for game-winning TD with 3:11 left.
— Pierce ran ball for 99 yards and a TD.
— Texans have now given up 29 plays of 20+ yards.
— Texans have been outgained by average of 124 yards/game.
— Houston won last nine series games (7-2 ATS)

— Jaguars’ average starting point; their own 17-yard line.
— Jaguars had seven plays of 20+ yards, scored only six points.
— Jacksonville outgained Texans 422-248, but was minus-2 in turnovers.
— Last 2+ years, Jaguars are 9-20-1 ATS coming off a loss.
— Last 2+ years, Jacksonville is 0-4 ATS as a favorite.

49ers 37, Panthers 15
— 49ers converted 7-12 on 3rd down, averaged 7.6 yards/pass attempt.
— Wilson ran ball for 120 yards (7.1 yards/carry).
— 49ers outscored first five opponents 65-12 in first half.
— 49ers are outgaining foes by 90 yards/game.
— QB Garoppolo is 39-17 as an NFL starter.

— Down 10-3, Mayfield threw pick-6 with 0:43 left in first half.
— Last three games, Carolina scored 4 TD’s on 43 drives (14 3/outs).
— Carolina has converted only 15-62 third down plays.
— Panthers are 3-9-1 ATS in last 13 games as a home underdog.
— Panthers are 3-11 ATS in last 14 games coming off a loss.

Eagles 20, Cardinals 17
— Eagles led 14-0 midway thru second quarter.
— Philly kicked 23-yard FG with 1:45 left for winning score.
— Last three weeks, Philly scored 82 points in first half, 15 points in 2nd half.
— Eagles outscored first five foes 106-45 in first half.
— Philly is 3-7 ATS last ten games as a road favorite.

— Cardinals tied game with 9:43 left with a 90-yard TD drive.
— Arizona’s first four drives: 18 plays, 50 yards, 4 first downs, no points.
— Arizona’s last five drives: 53 plays, 298 yards, 19 first downs, 17 points.
— Cardinals converted 8-14 third down plays.
— Cardinals have been outscored 80-26 in first half this year.

 Cowboys 22, Rams 10
— QB Rush is 5-0 as starter, first-ever Dallas QB to do that.
— Dallas has allowed only five TD’s on 53 drives this season.
— Dallas is 5-1 ATS in last six games as a road underdog.
— Cowboys outscored last four opponents 51-23 in first half.
— Under is 4-0-1 in their games this season.

— Rams gave up a defensive TD on their first drive of the game.
— Second drive of the game, they had a punt blocked.
— Rams have scored one TD on their last 22 drives.
— LA’s only TD in this game was a 75-yard pass to Cooper Kupp.
— Last three games, LA scored 22 points on eight red zone drives.

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

— Seattle 10, Toronto 9
Blue Jays led 8-1 after five innings.
Carlos Santana homered, doubled for Seattle
Teoscar Hernandez hit two homers for Toronto.
Mariners win series, 2-0; they go to Houston next.

— Cleveland 1, Tampa Bay 0 (15)
Rays scored one run in 24 innings in this series.
Oscar Gonzalez ended series with a 15th-inning home run.
Cleveland moves on to the Bronx for their next series.
Tampa Bay went 8-20 in its last 28 games this season.

— Mets 7, San Diego 3
deGrom pitched six innings, got the win .
Mets broke game open with four runs in 7th.
Game 3 is tonight at Citi Field.

— Phillies 2, Cardinals 0
Harper’s 2nd inning home run put the Phillies ahead.
St Louis scored 3 runs in 18 innings in this series.
Nola got 20 outs on 101 pitches.
Phillies head to Atlanta for their next series. 

— Alabama 24, Texas A&M 20
A&M was on Alabama’s 2-yard line when game ended.
Crimson Tide ran ball for 288 yards, threw for only 111.
Backup QB Milroe was 12-19/111 and 3 TD’s passing for Alabama.

— Pitt 45, Virginia Tech 29
Pitt RB Abanikanda ran ball 36 times for 320 yards, six TD’s.
He broke Tony Dorsett’s record of 308 yards in one game.

— Texas 49, Oklahoma 0
Sooners lost last three games: 41-34/55-24/49-0. Not good.

— Purdue 31, Maryland 29
Terps scored TD with 0:35 left, but failed on the tying 2-point play.
Purdue ran ball 34 times for a total of 13 yards.
Boilers turned ball over three times (-2) but converted 8-13 on 3rd down.

— TCU 38, Kansas 31
Kansas QB Daniels (shoulder) left in 2nd quarter.
Backup QB Bean threw for 262 yards, four TD’s.
TCU threw 24-yard TD pass with 1:24 left for the win.
Horned Frogs’ WR Johnston caught 14 passes for 206 yards.

— Upsets of the Week:
Texas State (+18.5) 36, Appalachian State 24
Arizona State (+13.5) 45, Washington 38
Ball State (+9.5) 17, Central Michigan 16
Miami OH (+5.5) 27, Kent State 24
Navy (+5.5) 53, Tulsa 21
South Carolina (+5) 24, Kentucky 14
North Carolina (+4) 27, Miami 24
Eastern Michigan (+4) 45, Western Michigan 23

— Georgia Tech 23, Duke 20 OT
Duke scored two TD’s in last 5:55 to force OT.
Tech outgained Blue Devils 412-278. 

— Tennessee 40, LSU 13
Tigers fumbled away the opening kickoff; from there, it got worse.
Tennessee ran ball for 263 yards (5.4 yards/attempt)
Vols led 23-7 at halftime.

— Arizona State 45, Washington 38
Backup QB Bourguet threw for 182 yards, 3 TD’s off the bench.
ASU scored a defensive TD to take a 24-10 lead in 2nd quarter.

— Illinois 9, Iowa 6
Iowa has already lost games 10-7/9-6 this year; they beat a I-AA team 7-3.
Illinois is 5-1; they gave up 19 points in last three I-A games. 

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

Vikings 28, Saints 25
— Saints missed 61-yard FG off left upright at the gun.
— Saints had tied game with 60-yard FG with 1:51 left.
— New Orleans had 10 penalties for 102 yards, Vikings 5 for 35.
— Saints lost their last three games; they trailed 26-10 in 4th quarter of opener.

— Vikings had 11 drives; scored two TD’s, kicked 5 FG’s, missed a PAT.
— Minnesota scored six of last seven times they had ball.
— Minnesota had 14-yard advantage in field position.
— Jefferson caught 10 passes for 147 yards.

Jets 24, Steelers 20
— Jets scored TD’s with 7:31/0:16 left for the comeback win.
— Jets scored two TD’s in last 1:22 in their other road win, at Cleveland.
— Wilson threw for 252 yards in his first start of the season.
— Opponents have converted 26-50 third down plays.

— Rookie QB Pickett was 10-13/120 with 3 INT’s in his NFL debut.
— Jets outgained Pittsburgh 348-297; they were +2 in turnovers.
— Boswell made a 59-yard field goal at end of first half.
— Steelers are 1-6 ATS in last seven games as a home favorite.

Bills 23, Ravens 20
— Ravens led 20-3 with 2:00 left in first half.
— Buffalo kicked 21-yard FG at the gun for the win.
— Two leading rushers in game were the two QB’s (73, 70 yards)
— Ravens averaged only 4.3 yards/pass play.
— Bills outscored first four opponents 63-7 in second half.

— Ravens’ first 4 drives: 33 plays, 135 yards, 20 points.
— Ravens’ last 5 drives: 32 plays, 134 yards, zero points.
— Buffalo’s first 5 drives: 20 plays, 135 yards, zero points.
— Buffalo’s last 5 drives: 45 plays, 273 yards, 23 points.
— Since 2016, Baltimore is 8-1 ATS as a home underdog.

Eagles 29, Jaguars 21
— Jaguars led 14-0 after the first quarter.
— Jacksonville scored on a pick-6 3:45 into game.
— Jaguars turned ball over 5 times, were minus-4 in turnovers.
— Since 2018, Jaguars are 12-19-1 ATS as a road underdog.

— Philly scored three TD’s in 8:47 span of second quarter.
— Eagles won field position by 13 yards.
— Sanders ran for 134 yards, two TD’s.
— Philly won its first four games, scoring 38-24-24-29 points.
— Under Sirianni, Eagles are 4-0 ATS as a home favorite.

Falcons 23, Browns 20
— Falcons kicked a 45-yard FG with 2:28 left for the win.
— Atlanta completed only 7-19 passes the whole game.
— Browns outgained Atlanta, 403-333.
— Only nine of Falcons’ 55 plays came on third down (3-9).
— Atlanta is 7-3 ATS in last ten games with spread of 3 or less.

— Both teams had six plays of 20+ yards.
— Browns ran for 217-184-171-177 yards in first four games.
— Since 2013, Cleveland is 3-10 ATS as a road favorite. 
— Brissett is 16-25 as an NFL starter, for four different teams.

Cowboys 25, Commanders 10
— Washington in 2nd half: 44 plays, 131 plays, 3 punts, 3 points.
— Commanders ran for 142 yards, were minus-2 in turnovers.
— Commanders are 2-7 ATS in last nine games as a road dog. 
— Last 3+ years, Commanders are 11-21-1 ATS coming off a loss.
— Washington is 1-5 ATS in last six visits to Dallas.

— Dallas allowed only four TD’s on 41 drives this season.
— Last three weeks, Cowboys allowed 3.9/4.0/3.5 yards/pass attempt.
— Lamb caught six passes for 97 yards and a TD.
— QB Rush is 4-0 as starter, first Dallas QB to win first four starts.
— Last five years, Dallas is 13-3 ATS in NFC East home games.

Seahawks 48, Lions 45
— Seattle had eight drives: five TD’s, 2-3 on field goals.
— Seahawks scored on pick-6 on first play of third quarter.
— Total yardage: Seattle 555, Detroit 520
— Seahawks ran ball for 235 yards, converted 9-12 on 3rd down.
— Last 2+ years, Seattle is 11-5 ATS coming off a loss.

— Detroit gave up 28-27-28-48 points in its 1-3 start. 
— Goff threw for 378 yards, four TD’s, also threw the pick-6.
— Lion opponents have scored 17 TD’s on 41 drives.
— Under Campbell, Lions are 4-16-1 SU, 14-7 ATS.
— Over is 5-1 in Detroit’s last six games.

Chargers 34, Texans 24
— Chargers in 1st half: 37 plays, 293 yards, 27 points.
— Ekeler had 19 touches for 109 yards, three TD’s.
— Bolts have run ball for 64.5 yards/game this season.
— Chargers have been outscored 75-31 in second half this year.

— Texans’ first four series: 19 plays, 60 yards, no points.
— Chargers led 27-7 at halftime.
— Houston has converted only 14-52 third down plays.
— Pierce ran ball 14 times for 131 yards; he is only Texan who carried the ball in this game.
— 2nd-year QB Mills is 2-12-1 as an NFL starter.

Titans 24, Colts 17
— Titans in first half: 33 plays, 225 yards, 16 first downs, 24 points.
— Titans in second half: 20 plays, 28 yards, 3 first downs, no points.
— Titans had 10-yard edge in field position; they were +3 in turnovers.
— Tennessee has been outgained by 419 yards in four games.
— Since 2019, Titans are 7-3 ATS in AFC South road games

— Taylor ran ball 20 times for only 42 yards.
— Colts’ first four drives: 25 plays, 76 yards, 7 first downs, 3 points.
— Colts have been outscored 85-33 in quarters 1-3 this season.
— Indy outgained the Titans, 365-243.
— All four Colt games stayed under the total.

Giants 20, Bears 12
— Bears drove 65-77 yards on first two drives, but kicked FG’s both times.
— Chicago is 34-67 passing in three games, with 390 net passing yards.
— Bears have been outscored 59-29 in first half this season. 
— Last 3+ years, Chicago is 7-13 ATS as a road underdog.
— 2nd-year QB Fields is 4-10 as an NFL starter.

— Under is 3-0-1 in Giant games this season.
— Barkley ran ball 31 times for 146 yards.
— Last three weeks, Giants averaged 4.4/4.0/4.2 yards/pass attempt.
— QB Jones hurt his ankle, returned when backup QB Taylor had to be tested for a concussion.
— Home side won last eight series games.

Cardinals 26, Panthers 16
— Arizona in 1st half: 35 plays, 132 yards, 3 points.
— Arizona in 2nd half: 37 plays, 202 yards, 23 points.
— Cardinals outrushed Carolina, 132-40.
— Cardinals have been outscored 66-16 in first half this year.
— Kyler Murray is 24-26-1 as an NFL starter.

— Carolina had 11 first downs, was only 2-10 on third down.
— Arizona won field position by 11 yards.
— Carolina has converted only 12-47 third down plays.
— Panthers are 3-9 ATS in last 12 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Panthers were held under 300 yards (261-275-293-220) in all four games.

Packers 34, Patriots 27 OT
— Backup QB Hoyer (concussion) went out early (5-6/37 passing)
— Rookie 3rd-string QB Zappe was 10-15/99 in his NFL debut.
— Patriots’ offense in first half: 36 plays, 121 yards, 3 points.
— Opponents have converted 25-54 third down plays.
— 18-20 SU since Brady left; 9-10 ATS on road.

— Green Bay drove 77 yards on 12 plays, kicked GW FG at 0:00 of OT.
— Packers won last three games, giving up 4 TD’s on 30 drives.
— Rodgers threw a pick-6 with 0:13 left in 1st half; NE led, 10-7.
— Packers’ first three drives in 2nd half: 27 plays, 215 yards, 17 points.
— Green Bay ran ball for 199 yards, outgained Patriots 443-271. 

Raiders 32, Broncos 23
— Las Vegas ran a fumble back 68 yards for TD to go up 16-10.
— Jacobs ran 28 times for 144 yards, two TD’s.
— Las Vegas ran for 212 yards, scored 2 TD’s, 4 FG’s on 10 drives.
— Las Vegas is 9-4 ATS in last 13 AFC West home games.
— Carlson kicked four FG’s, has now made 39 in a row.

— Raiders converted 7-14 on 3rd down, Denver 3-11
— Last 2+ years, Broncos are 5-9 ATS coming off a win.
— Raiders won last six series games (5-1 ATS)
— Broncos are 2-2; they haven’t led at halftime yet (0-3-1).
— Since 2019, Denver is 2-7-1 ATS in AFC West road games.

Chiefs 41, Buccaneers 31
— Chiefs in first half: 37 plays, 242 yards, 16 first downs, 28 points.
— Kansas City converted 12-17 third down plays.
— Chiefs ran ball for 189 yards; they had TD drives of 21-20 yards.
— Since 2019, Chiefs are 7-4 ATS coming off a loss.
— Chiefs are 18-6-1 ATS in last 25 games where spread was 3 or less.

— Buccaneers fumbled away the opening kickoff.
— Brady threw for 385 yards, three TD’s.
— Problem is, they ran ball only six times for three yards. Total.
— Last three games, Tampa Bay was outscored 45-20 in first half.
— Bucs lost first two home games, 14-12/41-31 to Packers/Chiefs. 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday…….

TCU 55, Oklahoma 24
Horned Frogs led 41-17 at halftime.
TCU ran ball for 361 yards, threw for 307 more.
Sooners lost 41-34 last week; the natives are restless in Norman.
Oklahoma QB Gabriel was knocked out of this game (concussion)

Georgia 26, Missouri 22
Dawgs trailed 13-0 midway thru second quarter.
Mizzou led 19-12 after three quarters.
Georgia outgained Mizzou 481-294, but didn’t take lead until there was 4:03 left.

Kansas 14, Iowa State 11
Jayhawks are 5-0 for first time since 2009.
Iowa State was 1-4 on field goals; they missed a 37-yarder in last minute.
Cyclones outgained Kansas 313-213, but converted only 5-18 third down plays.

Wake Forest 31, Florida State 21
Deacons bounced back from last week’s OT loss to Clemson.
Wake Forest converted 10-18 third down plays, 3-3 on 4th down.
Seminoles had 11 penalties for 96 yards.

Ole Miss 22, Kentucky 19
Rebels led 14-0 late in first quarter.
Ole Miss kicked 26-yard field goal with 2:19 left for the win.
Kentucky turned ball over the last three times they had ball, all in Ole Miss territory.

LSU 21, Auburn 17
Auburn led 17-0 early in second quarter.
LSU’s first score was 23-yard fumble return for a TD.
Auburn lost 2 of last 3 games, scoring 12-17-17 points. Not good.

Word of the Day: Ombudsman— An official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against administration, especially that of public authorities.

Alabama 49, Arkansas 26— Crimson Tide QB Young hurt his shoulder, didn’t play in the second half. Backup QB Milroe ran for 92 yards, but completed only 4-9 passes.

Ball State 44, Northern Illinois 38 OT
Huskies led 21-0 with 4:00 left in first half.
Ball State scored a TD with 0:36 left to force OT.
Cardinals ran ball for 332 yards, 5.8 yards/carry.
NIU threw ball for 403 yards.

Ohio State 49, Rutgers 10— Buckeyes faked a punt when they led 49-10 in 4th quarter; this annoyed the visitors from New Jersey, and the two coaches exchanged words. 

UConn 19, Fresno State 14
Jim Mora Jr gets his first big moment with the Huskies.
Fresno State is now 0-3 vs I-A teams; this is a bad loss. 

Upsets of the Week:
UConn (+23) 19, Fresno State 14
Georgia Tech (+22) 26, Pitt 21
FIU (+14) 21, New Mexico State 7
Boston College (+13.5) 34, Louisville 33
Purdue (+11.5) 20, Minnesota 10
Rice (+9.5) 28, UAB 24
Georgia State (+8) 31, Army 14
Illinois (+7) 34, Wisconsin 10

Braves 4, Mets 2— Atlanta leads NL East by a game, with four games left to play; if teams end up tied, Mets win the division. Kyle Wright won his 21st game for the Braves.

Marlins 4, Brewers 3— Miami scored twice in 9th inning to put Milwaukee a game behind the Phillies, who also own the tiebreaker. Maybe the Brewers shouldn’t have traded Josh Hader.