Sunday, November 04, 2018

PIGSKIN 2018: Week Nine

Week Nine

Week Six
Week Seven
Week Eight

Week Eight Record:  8-4
Overall Record: 40-60-4
Schmear of the Week:  4-4
Bagels in the Basket:  -26

1st and Ten:
  • First half of the season is done ... no surprises.
  • Rams remain lone undefeated team.  Other first place teams: Patriots; Texans; Steelers; Chiefs; D.C. Hogs; Saints; Bears.
  • Browns are first team this season to fire their head coach and offensive coordinator, putting all eyes squarely are on Baker Mayfield.
2nd and Long:
  • Let the second half begin!
  • Second place teams with five wins: Panthers, Bengals, Chargers.
  • Cowboys are the second team to fire a coach (offensive line).
No Gain:
  • Although Todd Bowles is off to his third straight 3-5 start, he doesn't deserve to be solely graded on this roster (or that of the last few years).  Sure, he makes in-game management mistakes, and hasn't been able to stop players from doing stupid things, but he's never been handed a playoff caliber roster, yet.  That's up to Mike Maccagnan, who's priority has been clearing cap space.  Once Maccagnan does get around to spending that money, Sam Darnold will have had a full season under his belt.  Next year Todd Bowles is fair game.  Until then, the Brothers Johnson might want to exercise something called, continuity.
  • Cardinals released Sam Bradford.
  • Eli Manning has been sacked 31 times this season.  With half a season to go, he is only eight away from tying his career record.
  • Giants back-up QB-Kyle Lauletta, who in the weeks to come was slated for playing time in relief of Eli Manning, got arrested for stupid driving tricks on his way to work.  He now faces a short suspension by the Giants.
  • You are what you're record says you are: with respective 1-7 records, the Raiders and Giants are the worst teams in football.  The battle for the first overall draft pick is on.  That said, John Gruden is acting with conviction by gutting his team with haste.  In his latest move, he just released his leading pass rusher, Bruce Irvin.  The Giants on the other hand have been wishy-washy (and somewhat delusional).  Once again, I question their lack of activity with the passing of the league's trading deadline.  Despite earlier trades of Snacks Harrison and Eli Apple, the front office (or John Mara) still seems tepid about initiating a full blown rebuild.

Friday Line ~ NYDN

DOLPHINS -3 (Jets)
This is partly bad timing, and partly bad luck for the beleaguered Coach Bowles.  If anyone needs a victory here, it's him.  On any other day, the Jets are the better team, at least when healthy.  Unfortunately, Sam Darnold is in for another long day.  Like last week, he will not be receiving much support again this Sunday at Miami.  Let's just say the Jets offense right now is a little shy of complimentary players, too much for the rookie to overcome.  The Jets defense could still keep this reasonably close.  With Ryan Tannehill out, they can perhaps pressure Brock Osweiler into making mistakes.  Even then, something about this game says PUSH.
WIN; 13-6 Dolphins

VIKINGS -4 1/2 (Lions)
The NFC North is tightening like a tourniquet.  Both teams are coming off big losses.  The Vikings have a tie-game on their record, and therefore need a victory in order to keep pace with the Bears.  The Lions got neutered at home by the Seahawks last week, and just traded Golden Tate.  Yet, I'm still dying to take the points..!  But even if Detroit were playing at home and laying a point and a half to the Vikings, I'd still take Minnesota.  Wouldn't you? (Sunday: Vikings now laying five).
WIN; 24-9 Vikings

Chiefs -8 1/2 (BROWNS)
Steady as she goes.  If the Chiefs play mistake free football, everything should be fine.  Andy Reid is  coaching too long for him to allow the Chiefs succumbing to a trap game.  They may go about Sunday's game in a more methodical manner considering their opponent, but Reid knows very well the perils of playing down to the competition.  Cleveland has coaching issues.  A generous Kansas City defense could make this game an entertaining watch for Brownie fans, but I doubt it. (Sunday: Chiefs only laying -7 1/2).
WIN; 37-21 Chiefs

Steelers +3 (RAVENS)
The PAYBACK BOWL:  Two teams heading in different directions passing each other by.  Since losing to the Ravens in Week Four, the Steelers have won three in a row (averaging 34-points a game, while allowing just 18-points against).  The Ravens are 1-3 since defeating the Steelers.  They enter this game having allowed back-to-back 20+ point games for the first time all season. (Sunday: Ravens now -2 1/2).
WIN; 23-16 Steelers

PANTHERS -6 1/2 (Bucs)
I called the Panthers bluff last week, and got burned.  However, I refuse getting caught up in this cyclone of Ryan Fitzpatrick mania.  The Jekyll and Hyde Panthers last week took themselves seriously for a change, and it showed. They enter Sunday trailing the Saints by a game, and so I expect and even greater effort on both sides of the ball.  Carolina keeping the ball on the ground would be a good way of keeping FitzMAGIC off the field.
WIN; 42-28 Panthers

Falcons +1 1/2 (D.C. HOGS)
Talk about a desperate team ... what happened to the Falcons?  If Atlanta's defense shows up for a change, the Falcons should come away with a victory.  The Hogs are so unimpressive. (Sunday, WASH now favored by two).
WIN; 38-14 Falcons

BILLS +10 (Bears)
Khalil Mack is hobbling on a bad ankle, and the Bills have done stranger things this season.  I'll take my chances with Nathan Peterman and double-digit points.
Loss; 41-9 Bears

Texans +1 (BRONCOS)
I like the match-up.  Big day for Houston's defense.
WIN; 19-17 Texans

SEAHAWKS -1 1/2 (Chargers)
Are reports of the Seahawks demise premature?  Very intriguing match-up between Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers.  Looking forward to a defensive grudge match with the home team edging out the Chargers. (Sunday: this game is now PK).
Loss; 25-17 Chargers

Rams +2 (SAINTS)
I do not believe the Rams will finish the regular season undefeated.  This would certainly be a good week to pick against them.  However, Todd Gurley forces the Saints into playing a more honest brand of defense.  If the Rams accomplish that, Jared Goff exploits Eli Apple and the Saints secondary.  I have more faith in L.A.'s defensive ability to thwart a last minute drive than I do New Orleans' given the same situation.  (As of Sunday morning, the Rams are now -2 1/2 favorites, a 4 1/2 point swing).
Loss; 45-35 Saints

PATRIOTS -5 1/2 (Packers)
As usual, everyone on the Patriots is listed as questionable.  That means they're in mid-season form.  Matt Patricia, who?  The Patriots continue adjusting and adapting; it's what they do best.  The next best thing they do is win at home.  Meanwhile the Packers last week almost become the first team to defeat the Rams, but arguably fell two-points short due to a mental gaffe.  Although Green Bay is desperate for a win, Bill Belichick knows Aaron Rogers is hobbling on a bum knee, and is less likely to flee the pocket.  Look for Belichick's classic bend-don't break preventing Green Bay from covering this one.
WIN; 31-17 Patriots

**I'm not changing picks in light of Sunday line changes.  It is what it is.

Schmear of the Week:
Chiefs -8 1/2

Good luck, and have a great Football Sunday, everyone!

Week Nine Record:  8-3
Overall Record:  48-63-4
Schmear of the Week:  5-4

Bagels in the Basket:  -18

No comments:

Post a Comment

Say what you feel. The worse comment you can make is the one you do not make.