Solid end to the week on Monday to end the week 7-3. I really did not want to pick any games for Sunday afternoon but I wanted to get a post up for the day and felt stronger about those plays than I did with the Sunday night game. The Saints got me right back on track where I handicapped that game better than every professional I know of. Not that I don’t respect their opinion but it’s nice to know I’m seeing things well. Can’t celebrate too long though because it is on to week 6 soon.
NY Jets +1 WIN
This one was an easy one, just like I predicted for my best bet of the week. The Broncos simply are not good. Neither offensively or defensively. The Broncos caught a break early when they recovered a fumble deep in Jets territory and converted a 3 play 20 yard drive into a touchdown. From there it was all Jets. They scored 21 points in the second quarter with 3 explosive plays. Isaiah Crowell had a 77 yard TD run and Robby Anderson had TD passes of 76 and 39 yards. This brought the Jets into halftime up 21-10. The Broncos had trouble moving the ball all day against the Jets defense. They finished with 436 total yards but 221 of them came on their last 3 drives when the Jets already had a commanding lead. The Broncos are a mess right now and it is coming at the worst time as they welcome the class of the NFC in the LA Rams into Denver next week. The Jets stay home to take on the Indianapolis Colts.
Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 WIN
Another game where the “professionals” were on the other side. Not that it is always wise to pick against professional money but it’s always nice when you get one they didn’t. Although I think picking the Dolphins in this game has more to do with fandom than the Dolphins being a serious contender. The Dolphins had issues moving the ball as they have had all year. Where they were successful was also hindering the Bengals ability to move the ball. The Dolphins were able to convert one early drive into a touchdown and had a punt return touchdown right before the half. On their first drive of the second half they got a field goal to go up 17-0. Things went downhill fast from there. The Dolphins were unable to convert on a crucial 3rd down late in the 3rd quarter that gave the ball back to the Bengals. The Bengals then drove downfield to get their first touchdown of the day on the first play of the fourth quarter to bring the Dolphins lead down to 17-10. From there the Dolphins completely fell apart. Their next drives went like so; interception for 6 6, punt, fumble return for 6, interception. They were outscored 24-0 in the fourth quarter and left with a 27-17 loss. For me it felt like only a matter of time before the Dolphins imploded. With all the injuries sustained to the offensive and defensive line I was surprised to see them competitive for so long. Their special teams TD certainly helped. This week they return to Miami to play the Bears who are coming off a bye. The Bengals will be hosting their AFC north rival Steelers.
Detroit Lions PK WIN
The Lions train continues as they are now 4-1 against the spread this year. The Lions took advantage of 3 early Packers turnovers to go into the half with a 24-0 lead. They were also benefits of 4 missed field goals by Packers kicker Mason Crosby. If you only looked at statistics you would think the Packers won this game. They out-gained the Lions 521-264 and had 76 total plays compared to the Lions 57. Although 316 of these yards came in the second half after the Lions built their 24-0 lead. Either way it is not a sustainable way to win games but a win is a win in the NFL and you take them when you can get them. The Lions go into their bye with a road game in Miami coming after that. The Packers return home for a Monday night matchup against the 49ers.
Baltimore Ravens -3 LOSS
This one was ugly. Both of these teams have terrific defenses which are the focal point of each team. The Ravens offense struggled to move the ball which they have done all year. The biggest play of this game ended up being a blocked field goal right before halftime. This allowed the Browns to cling to a small 6-3 lead which ended up being the difference in the game. The Browns then took a 9-3 lead soon after halftime. The Ravens clawed their way back and forced overtime with the score tied at 9-9. The Browns ended up winning the game with a field goal in overtime. Another big play by the Browns defense came in the second quarter where they were able to get an interception inside their own end zone to stop a Baltimore drive from getting points. Overall these teams were both pretty evenly matched. The Browns will host the Chargers this week and the Ravens will travel to Tennessee to play the Titans.
Philadelphia Eagles -3 LOSS
This game was a real eye opener for me. I came into this game thinking the Vikings are not good. I still stand by that, this game does not change anything for me. The Eagles on the other hand I gave the benefit of the doubt of them being at home and figured we would see a better offensive performance. That did not happen. This also made me look into the Eagles games a little bit more. Last year the Eagles were beneficiaries of quick starts by their offense in almost every game. They rarely played from behind or had to score late to win games. Their offense moved the ball much better and led the league in 3rd down conversion percentage. The Eagles have struggled this year converting 3rd downs and the effects are pouring over to their defense. When they got out to big leads last year they kept their defense off the field for extended periods of time with their 3rd down conversions and forced offenses into throwing situations which works into the Eagles defensive scheme. This year they are unable to move the ball. They are sorely missing LeGarrette Blount and their running game suffered another blow with the loss of Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL. Not to brag but I called this happening when I explained why the Eagles would not make the playoffs this year. I thought we would see a motivated Eagles team coming home to play a Vikings team that has struggled all year. They were not motivated and it seems the complacency of winning a Super Bowl has completely set in. The Vikings defense looked good but I think that is more a product of the Eagles offense not being good. They’re not moving the ball on the ground or through the air the way they did last year and I think they will continue to struggle. The Eagles go into New York to play the Giants on Thursday night and the Vikings return home to play the Cardinals. I just want to remind everyone that in the offseason Eagles tackle Lane Johnson said that he cared more about having fun in his career and winning was secondary to fun. Hey Lane, are you having fun yet? Fucking LOSER. (Here endeth my pettiness towards the Eagles)
LA Rams -7.5 LOSS
This is another game where a red zone turnover had a huge impact to the final score. The Seahawks went ton to convert that turnover into a touchdown and the shootout was on. The Rams lost receivers Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks in the game but still escaped with a 2 point win. The Seahawks defense has had issues stopping everyone all year and that did not change this week. The Rams defense on the other hand had a lot of trouble with a Seahawks offense that has looked inconsistent at best to start the year. This was a huge game for them at home against a division rival and they played it as if it were their Super Bowl. The Seahawks travel to London to play the struggling Raiders this week and the Rams travel to Denver to play the Broncos.
New Orleans Saints -6 / -3.5 1H WIN/ WIN
This win felt really good. Everyone and their mother was on Washington saying the Saints defense is so bad that Alex Smith (LOL) would be able to carve them up. Alex Smith has never carved anyone up. Especially not by himself. Sometimes receivers get open when they can get the running game going and he will find them. That was not the case here and Alex Smith looked as mediocre as he always does. Anyone taking anything out of Washington’s win over the Packers is a fool. The rain before and during that game on the terrible turf at Fed-Ex Field was a huge advantage for a Washington team that wants to establish the run. That was not going to happen in New Orleans this week and the Washington defense struggled against the first competent offense they have seen this year. The Saints welcomed Mark Ingram back and he ran for 2 touchdowns. The strength of Washington’s defense was suposed to be their secondary as they were ranked 3rd against the pass going into last nights game. They allowed Drew Brees to go 26/29 for 363 yards 3 TDs and 0 INTs. It’s safe to say the sample size that had Washington’s defense ranked high was not large enough. It is not every day that you get such an easy win. Especially going against the minds of other professional bettors. We’ll take this one though and it is on to next week!
New England Patriots -11/ -7 1H WIN / WIN
Truth be told I forgot about this pick until I was about to hit publish this blog. This game went exactly as I predicted so I won’t spend any more time on it.
7-3 on the week brings me to 28-15-4 on the year bringing me to 65%.
Teasers did not do as well this week:
Jets +6 WIN
Falcons +9 LOSS
Jaguars +9 LOSS
Rams -1.5 WIN
3-2 this week brings us to 21-6 on the year.