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

13) Pittsburgh 19, Ravens 14
— Ravens had ball on 1-yard line at end of first half, but didn’t score.
— RGIII threw a pick-6 for first score of the game in first quarter.
— Baltimore lost four of last five games, after a 5-1 start.
— Ravens are 9-3-1 ATS in last 13 games as a road underdog. 

— Steelers won first 11 games (8-3 ATS), scoring 27.9 ppg.
— Pittsburgh scored only 13 points on four red zone drives.
— Only 2nd time in 12 years Steelers swept season series from Baltimore.
— Under is 4-1-1 in their last six games.

12) Last NFL team to start a season 11-0? The 2015 Carolina Panthers.

11) NFL teams with worst records in games decided by 6 or fewer points:
0-5-1: Cincinnati
0-3: Atlanta, Washington
0-2: Jets
1-5: Baltimore

10) NFL teams with best records in games decided by 6 or fewer points:
5-0: Cleveland, Pittsburgh
4-0: Kansas City, New Orleans
5-1: Tennessee
3-1: Buffalo, Seattle

Browns-Titans play Sunday; two team that have won lot of close games. 

9) Texas 69, North Carolina 67:
— Longhorns win the Maui Classic
— UNC took 32 foul shots, Texas 14; Bill Walton wasn’t happy about that.
— Texas was 9-22 on the arc, Carolina 1-9. 

8) Speaking of Walton, I say every year how I learn things from listening to him, but the things I learn usually aren’t basketball-related.
— Maui Classic was held in Asheville, NC; veteran umpire Joe West was born in Asheville.
— Davidson had the first college of forestry in this country. 

7) Robert Griffin III was the 2nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, taken with a pick acquired from the Rams, who parlayed the draft picks they got from Washington into other picks, until they had essentially added eight players from trading that pick. 

Griffin went 14-21 in three years as a starter for Washington- they made the playoffs his rookie year, but it was all downhill from there. When you trade four draft picks to take a QB, he damn well better be really good.

As for the Rams and the eight players they added, well, there’s a reason they sucked from 2013-16; except for Michael Brockers, those picks didn’t pan out. Janoris Jankins, Alec Ogletree were contributors, but the others didn’t do so well. 

6) People on MLB Network were debating Hall of Fame possibilities this week, and Todd Helton’s name came up. Helton played his whole career for the Rockies, so the question of how playing at Coors Field helped him. Here are some facts:

Career at home: 4,841 PA, 874 runs scored, 859 RBI, 1.048 OPS
Career on road: 4,612 PA, 527 runs scored, 547 RBI, .855 OPS

His .386 career on-base %age on the road is still impressive, but he may have a hard time getting those lesser power numbers on the road into Cooperstown. 

5) Kyle Schwarber (Cubs), Hansel Alberto (Orioles) were two of the more prominent players who were non-tendered Wednesday, which makes them free agents. 

4) Gonzaga 87, West Virginia 82:
— Mountaineers led 39-34 at halftime
— Gonzaga shot 56.6% inside arc.
— Teams combined to make 9-33 on the arc; a brickfest.

High-level game, two NCAA-level teams. 

3) Houston Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall and a lottery-protected 1st-round pick. Westbrook is reunited with coach Scott Brooks, who was also one of his coaches in Oklahoma City.

2) NBA season will start December 22, with two games:
Warriors-Nets and Clippers-Lakers.

The next night, Bucks-Celtics, Mavericks-Suns will have the spotlight.

1) Baylor 82, Illinois 69— Flagler scored 18 off the bench for Baylor; this game easily have passed for a Final Four game; Baylor plays Gonzaga next, which should be a very good matchup.

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.