Monday’s Den: Clearing out a cluttered mind……..

— I’ve said this many times here the last few years, but it bears repeating:

NFL teams need to have THREE quarterbacks active for EVERY game, to protect the quality of the league’s product. Quality of the product is kind of an important thing.

San Francisco had two QB’s injured Sunday; they had zero chance once that happened— they put the first QB back in, even though he couldn’t throw a football more than 5-10 yards. This was the worst NFL game I’ve seen in a long time, and I watch a lot of games. 

NFL franchises are worth $4B or so; they can afford an extra $500,000 a year to pay a #3 QB who can try to save their butts in games like this one. It is worth the additional expense- think about how much the TV ratings must have gone down in the second half of this game. 

Eagles 31, 49ers 7
Total yardage was 269-164, Eagles; San Francisco completed only 11 passes the whole game.
49ers’ only touchdown drive was 46 yards.
San Francisco was an underdog twice this year; they lost those games 44-23/31-7.
I’m a Rams’ fan; this result is fine with me, but the game wasn’t fun to watch.

— San Francisco’s last five playoff appearances:
2012: W-W-L34-31 in Super Bowl
2013: W-W-L23-17 in NFC title game at Seattle
2019: W-W-L31-20 in Super Bowl
2021: W-W-L20-17 in NFC title game at LA Rams
2022: W-W-L31-7 in NFC title game at Philadelphia

Chiefs 23, Bengals 20
Butker kicked a 45-field goal with 0:03 left for the win.
Late hit on Mahomes out of bounds on previous play set up the winning FG.
Mahomes threw for 326 yards and two TD’s-  he was the 10th pick of the 2017 Draft.
Bears took Mitch Trubisky with the 2nd pick in that draft, which explains a lot.

Chiefs’ first three drives: 27 plays, 175 yards, 13 points.
Chiefs rest of the game: 39 plays, 182 yards, 10 points.
Bengals had nine penalties for 71 yards, Chiefs 4 for 55 yards.
Kansas City is now 3-2 in AFC title games the last five years. 

— Super Bowl losers who get to the conference title game the next season are now 8-6.

— This is the first time in five years that two #1-seeds are playing in a Super Bowl; last five times two number 1 seeds met in the Super Bowl, the underdog won four times.

— Opening Line on the Super Bowl: Chiefs opened at -1.5, with a total of 49.5, but soon after that money moved the line to Eagles -2.5.

— Was thinking about this tonight, I’m going to do it next year (2024) because I already have my vacations planned for this year: I want to be in Las Vegas the week the NFL schedule comes out, so I can sit in a sportsbook and watch people bet into the first odds that are posted after the schedule comes out. Just think it would be aa fun thing to do.

— Dallas Cowboys told offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to take a hike Sunday; there have to be scapegoats when teams lose playoff games. 

Dallas had a top-five scoring offense this season.
Cowboys averaged 27.5 ppg this year, 4th-most in NFL.
Dallas averaged 27.7 ppg in Moore’s four years as OC, #2 in the NFL.

But by all means, fire the offensive coordinator. Head coach Mike McCarthy will now call plays, which should be interesting.

— Miami Dolphins are going to hire former Broncos’ coach Vic Fangio as their new defensive coordinator. Miami will be the fifth defense Fangio has coordinated. He is very good at it.

— LA Rams hired former Jets’ offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur as their new OC; LaFleur spent the last two years with the Jets, after spending four years with the 49ers.

— Atlanta Falcons hired Ryan Nielsen as their new defensive coordinator, replacing Dean Pees, who retired. Nielsen spent the last six years with New Orleans, the Falcons’ arch-rival.

— Random trivia: Eagles’ coach Nick Sirianni and NFL commish Roger Goodell both grew up in Jamestown, NY.

— Mets signed 2B/OF Jeff McNeil to a 4-year, $50M contract; McNeil hit .326 this past season. He is a .307 career hitter with a .370 career on-base %age.

— Phillies signed 2B Josh Harrison to a one-year, $2M contract.

— TCU’s best basketball player, Mike Miles, hurt his knee in Saturday’s loss at Mississippi State; the Frogs got a promising injury update after Miles had an MRI- the injury is not season-ending. Miles is averaging 18.1 ppg this season.

— Temple Owls are 8-2 in the AAC, after a 6-7 pre-conference mark; Temple has the best eFG% defense in AAC games- they won at Houston, an impressive win. Their rematch with Houston is Sunday in Philadelphia.

— Providence 70, Villanova 65— Villanova is 3-6 in its last nine games; they’re 4-9 in games decided by 8 or less points.

— Purdue 77, Michigan State 61— Boilermakers are 21-1; they’re looking like a #1-seed in the NCAA Tournament. TV guys are praising coach Matt Painter left-and-right; one guy actually mentioned that he is a future Hall of Famer. Seth Greenberg said he is one of the five best coaches in America. Yikes.

Painter is a good coach, but he ain’t one of the five best coaches in America.

— Painter has made 15 of last 18 NCAA Tournaments, counting this year. That is very good.
— He is 10-4 SU/ATS in first round games. Pretty good, not great.
— He is 6-4/7-3 ATS in second round games. That approaches very good.
— 17-7 against the spread in first weekend games is impressive.

But then…….

— His record in Sweet 16 games: 1-5 SU, with the only win in overtime in 2019.
— His Sweet 16 losses came as a 2-seed, 3-seed, 4-seed (twice) and a 5-seed.
— Purdue lost a Sweet 16 game last year as a 13-point favorite against Saint Peter’s. He lost a second round game as a 9-point favorite to VCU in 2011.
— He lost his only Elite 8 game to Virginia in overtime in 2019. 

In short, Painter’s career record in 2nd-weekend NCAA games is 1-6 SU/ATS, not exactly the stuff of Hall of Famers.

He has a solid chance to get to the Final Four this year, with a 7-4 center who is really good. Will be interesting to see if the Boilermakers can live up to expectations.

— Charles Barkley was at the Auburn-West Virginia basketball game Saturday; he did a brief stint on ESPN, where he uttered the phrase, “stupid-ass transfer portal” As usual, Charles spoke the truth.

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.