A fun Week 8 in the NFL with some late-game heroics and some almost comebacks. Seahawks and Chiefs got themselves two scares, and some of our favorite players mouthed off. Ooh AND we avoided another rash of season-ending injuires. Yay! Ready….BREAK!
What I learned this week…..
Marvin Jones is not a former FSU/NYJ LB. Not anymore.
More than ever this is a week-to-week or even half-to-half league. Patriots beat New Orleans, lost to the Jets, then beat Miami. Skins looked like they were in it, til they weren’t. Jets beat New England and then laid an egg in Cincinnati. Bills go to OT with the Bengals, beat Miami, then get stomped by the Saints. Steelers forgot to show up in Oakland after putting together games against the Ravens and the Jets. Its like every team has becomes the Chargers.
Turkey, bacon, provolone, lettuce/tomato/red onion, pickles, hot sauce and ranch is a damn fine sandwich. The new leader in the clubhouse.
Dez Bryant, Brandon Meriweather and Pacman Jones have yet to learn any lesson regarding their respective behaviors or attitudes. Despite what NFL Films has released, there’s no mistaking that Dez Bryant’s late-game tirade that caused Cowboys leaders Jason Witten and Demarcus Ware to get in his face and remind him to stfu was not “all positive.” The look on Witten’s face says it all, really. Meriweather, it appears, is just an idiot, and should expect a substantial fine if not an extended suspension for his comments in which he proclaimed he’d now be “taking out people’s ACLs.” At a time where the league is looking to minimize liability and exposure on law suits, inaction could prove costly. Pacman went gangster on Donald Jones of the Jets, telling him, after Pacman thought Donald Jones had tried to cut him at the knees late on a few plays, “I’m gonna find out where you live and I’m gonna come get you.” That’s just not smart. He’d better call Saul.
For what its worth…Marvin Jones had more TDs than the Eagles, Giants, Jaguars and Jets. Combined.
Oh, That Reminds Me… the Philadelphia Eagles did not score on offense. In fact their only score was from pouncing on a bad punt snap. With recent starter Nick Foles sidelined after a concussion, they tried Vick to start the game, and he lasted about as long as it took me to order pizza balls. Then, it was Matt Barkley time again, who seems over matched at this early stage in his career. The point is, despite that fast start in Week 1, this looks like a learning curve season for Chip and the Birds. It also may be the end of the line for oft-injured Michael Vick. We know one thing, it certainly isn’t the offensive scheme. At least, not to Chip Kelly: “We have to run the right depth on our routes, we have to catch the ball when it’s thrown to us, we have to put the ball on people when people are open, we have to hit the hole when the hole is there, we have to create a hole when the hole’s not there. That’s just executing football.” Yes, Chip, that’s just executing football. That’s also just blaming the players.
Great googley moogley…Calvin “Megatron” Johnson set the NFL record for receiving yards in regulation with 329. That was more yards through the air than 26 QBs threw for last week.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugh
Good: Cincinnati Bengals. They’re 6-2, they’ve won 4 in a row and are 4-0 at home. They’ve only lost one conference game, have the tie breaker over New England and are a mile away from the team that lost Week 1 to the Bears. Marv is now at the top of the heap for all-time games coached with one team and no playoff wins. That may change this year. Dalton was 19-30 for 325 and 5 TDs. Some WR named Marvin Jones went off for 4 TDs. At the half he was already at 103 yards. And their defense is downright frightening. Andy Dalton, since he came into the league, has just one Red Zone interception, to 14 TDs. Their schedule still includes Indy, San Diego, Baltimore twice, and Pittsburgh, but they look good. They’re back at it Thursday in Miami on a short week in which they could pick up two important conference wins in 5 days. More on that later.
Bad: NFC East. Giants/Eagles was a disaster of a game to watch. At least the Giants won, albeit with 5 FGs. In fact, the only TD scored was on a bad punt snap that was recovered by Philly. Meanwhile, Dallas got beat by some last-second trickeration by Matt Stafford and the Redskins gave up 38 unanswered points to the Broncos.
Ugh: the New Jersey Jets. Maybe they basked In their OT win a little too long or maybe they’re dragging from injuries not being reported but they got thumped/blasted/humiliated 49-9 by the Cincinnati Bengals (see above). Offense, Defense, Special Teams. They got beat soundly in all aspects of the game.
W2W4: Some bad games this week, what with injuries tumbling teams from playoff runs and the Jaguars and Browns being out there and all. BTW Browns fans, as of the time of publishing, tickets could be had for $12 on Stub Hub. I can’t even get lunch for $12. Maybe this is your bye week, you can get that fall feeding done.
Locks of the Century of the Week…Week 8 was not a good look for me. Turns out this is hard. Also turns out you CAN bet against the Bills. Biggest chalk covered (the one I didn’t like) but my other faves didn’t even win their games. I’m not laying claim to the Eagles b/c I hedged with my QB Injury Report. Still, 1-1 is not good, and it brings us to 6-5 on the season. Time for a fresh start (minus the vig of course. Always minus the vig.)
Lots to like this week, plus I could really use a good run to jump start the 2nd half of the season so we’ll give you an extra pick or two for Week 9. Not that my picks have really been any help. Remember, get your plays in early before the numbers change.
TEN -3.5 @ STL The Titans were playing pretty well back before Jake Locker went out, and I expect them to be able to pick up where they left off against a St. Louis Rams team that actually called Brett Favre to see if they’d be interested in a comeback. Titans defense is 7th in the league in passing yards against, which means the Rams will become one-dimensional. Add to that the Rams coming off of a short week after an emotionally draining and physically exhausting loss against Seattle (no team this year has won the week after playing the Seahawks) and the Titans having just had their bye, it adds up to a slam dunk. Titans -3.5
IND +2 @ HOU This one I just don’t get. As much as I love Case Keenum, the Texans have been awful this season. Maybe Arian Foster and Andre Johnson have monster games? Maybe. But at this point anytime I can get Luck with points I’m going to take them. Colts +2
CIN -2 @ MIA Like I said, Cincinnati is rolling, and they’re defense looks stout. Their offense seems to have caught up, at least for the week, and the sudden emergence of WR Marvin Jones gives the Dolphins D one more thing to think about. On a short week I usually take the team with better experience at HC and QB, and that’s the Bengals. Two isn’t much at all, either. Bengals -2
SD +1 @ WAS Again, I don’t get this one. I know all about West Coast teams traveling to the Eastern time zone. And believe you me I LOVE that I know that the San Diego Chargers are just a basic embarrassment. But RGIII left the field at the end of last week’s game, and his status is uncertain. I think they can win with Kirk Cousins, but I’m willing to bet RGIII won’t let that happen, and he plays. Again, check your injury report, but if he plays, I’d take that point. If he doesn’t, and Cousins take the snaps all week, then take the next game. Chargers +1
NO -4.5 @ NYJ So, the Jets seem to play down to their opponent. And the Saints seem to play great at home, not as great outside and on the road. But there’s something wrong with Antonio Cromartie. Or he just stinks all of a sudden. Meanwhile, whatever was wrong with Jimmy Graham isn’t anymore. Will they try to steal from Belichick and have Cromartie blanket Graham a la Aqib Talib? If they do, they’ll lose big. Saints -4.5
Parlay winners: Dallas Cowboys -550, Seattle Seahawks -1100
Told ya so…Saints covered, 49ers beat the holy hell outta Jacksonville, Brady had another so-so game and of course Kubes is sticking with Case Keenum.
NFL WEEK 8
Topics: 10 & Out, AFC, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Football, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC, NFL, NFL News, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans