Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……..

— Week 14, 1967 was a long time ago, but it pointed the NFL towards Wild Card teams making the playoffs.

Back then, before the NFL-AFL merger, the NFL had four divisions. Coastal Division had the Rams, 49ers, Baltimore Colts and the Falcons.

Going into Week 14, the last week of the season, Colts were 11-0-2, the Rams 10-1-2 (there was no overtime back then). The teams tied 24-24 in Week 5, so if the Rams could beat Baltimore, they would win the division, and since there were no Wild Card teams back then, Colts would miss the playoffs- the Rams would’ve been 1-0-1 head-to-head against them.

Game was played on December 17; my parents had to go out to a Christmas party, and they dragged their two kids along with them. Luckily for 7-year old me, the place had a bar, and for some reason, they let me sit at the bar and watch the game.

All the adults at the bar were rooting for Johnny Unitas and the Colts; 7-year old me was rooting for the team with the cool helmets.

Rams won 34-10; Jack Snow caught an 80-yard TD pass, and the Rams made the playoffs, while the Colts, who were unbeaten going into the last game of the season, did not. Three years later, in 1970, they started with Wild Card teams, so that would never happen again. 

— Cincinnati Bengals’ first drive in their last four games:

Week 6- 11 plays, 64 yards, TD
Week 7- 13 plays, 69 yards, TD
Week 8- 10 plays, 85 yards, TD
Week 9- 9 plays, 76 yards, TD

In other words, Joe Burrow is healthy again.

— Teams are 1-6 SU/0-7 ATS the week after playing the Cowboys.

— Tommy DeVito will start at QB for the Giants Sunday, the 10th rookie QB to start a game this season, setting an NFL record. 

Sunday, Giants/Vikings are both starting a different QB for the third week in a row, first time that has happened in the NFL since 2015.

— Last 11 times they were an underdog, New England is 1-10 against the spread.

— Texas Rangers’ SS Marcus Semien batted 835 times this year (regular season and playoffs), the most times a player has ever batted in one season.

— Los Angeles Angels named Ron Washington their new manager; Washington used to be the Texas Rangers’ manager- he went 664-611 in eight seasons with Texas, winning an AL pennant in both 2010, 2011.

— Word of the Day: Charlatan— a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.

— Presbyterian 68, Vanderbilt 62
Horrendous loss for SEC’s Vandy; they led by 10 late in first half.
Presbyterian was 5-27 last year, losing their last 18 games.
Vandy starts three seniors; they were 8-33 on the arc.

— Ball State 20, Northern Illinois 17
Cardinals scored 10 points in last 3:44 for the upset win.
Ball State kicked a 36-yard FG at the gun.
Cardinals were 10-18 on third down, NIU was 3-10

— Western Michigan 38, Central Michigan 28
WMU outscored the Chippewas 17-0 in 4th quarter.
Four of Broncos’ five TD’s were on plays of 22+ yards.
WMU averaged 9.3 yards/pass attempt.

— Ohio U 20, Buffalo 10
Buffalo led 3-0 at halftime.
Bobcats are 6-0 when they score 17+ points.
under Albin, Bobcats are 5-2 ATS as a road favorite.

— Miami OH 19, Akron 0
Miami outrushed the Zips, 186-36.
Red Hawks improve to 8-2 this season.
Akron is 0-7 when they score less than 24 points.

— Bowling Green 49, Kent State 19
6-4 Falcons won their fourth game in a row.
First time since 2017 that BG covered as a road favorite.
Kent State is 0-9 this year against I-A teams.

— Toledo 49, Eastern Michigan 23
9-1 Rockets led 35-3 at halftime.
Only 7 of Toledo’s 60 plays came on third down.
Toledo averaged 15.1 yards/pass attempt.

— Denver Nuggets’ star Jamal Murray (hamstring) is out 3-4 weeks.

— Auburn-Baylor basketball game Tuesday night was high level, the kind of game you see in the Final Four. Two very good teams, who both got better by not playing a stiff to start their season. 

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.