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.

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.