Ten highlights and ten lowlights from NFL Week 10, along with some betting thoughts
Sunday was a very bad day for the Jets, Seahawks, and the flag-happy referees
This is Part 2. Read Part 1 HERE.
(1) The New York Jets are a bad football team with a staggeringly awful defense. They've surrendered 31 points in sour straight games and average giving up 34 points per game. These numbers are astonishing. The big secret to watching the Jets and enjoying the spectacle isn't to bet against them, but simply to wager each game to go OVER the total. The Jets have gone OVER in six straight games.
(2) The 16-16 tie between Pittsburgh and Detroit was a clunker. Sure, QB Ben Roethlisberger didn't play, but the Steelers should have beaten winless Detroit at home. The overtime was brutal to watch, as neither offense could move the ball despite multiple possessions). Pittsburgh continues to "win ugly." However, since everyone else in the division is collapsing (Baltimore lost to Miami, Cincinnati lost two straight, including to the Jets), and Cleveland is a disaster), it's very possible the Steelers will end up winning the AFC North.
(3) Stick a fork in Seattle--they're done. Seattle's visit to Green Bay on Sunday was the last hurrah for any playoff hopes. It didn't help that in a must-win game, the Seahawks were shut out. It's a shame the Seattle offense couldn't do more. Their defense played another good game, which was wasted by a dismal offensive effort, with though Russell Wilson was back under center. With a 3-6 record in a tough division, it's almost impossible to see how the Seahawks return to the playoff conversation. Hosting Arizona (8-2) this week doesn't brighten their prospects.
(4) Something must be done about obnoxious pass interference rules. Watching any NFL game is a possible exercise in torture given the wildly inconsistent defensive pass interference rules, and haphazard enforcement. Winners and losers are being determined by subjective judgements made by the crew in stripes in critical situations. For instance, the New Orleans-Tennessee game on Sunday was an abomination. Every week, we see at least a few games that could have gone the other way were it not for a 50-50 judgement call. Also, giving offenses 30 and 40 yards, or a first down on the 1-yard line is a grotesque overreaction for times where there are actual penalties. SOMETHING must be done about this. Most fans want less PI calls, which have become a joke.
(5) Should Tampa Bay fans be worried? After the 29-19 loss to Washington, Bucs' head coach Bruce Arians was uncharacteristically critical of his own team (and fellow coaches) calling the entire unit "dumb" for the way they played. Even great teams sometimes need a kick in the ass, and perhaps that's Arians' motive. We expect Tampa Bay will win the NFC South (though Carolina now poses a more serious threat at 5-5 than the weak Saints, who are 5-4 but have struggled in far too many games). One suspects the Bucs will try to stay healthy, get into the playoffs, and then flip the "ON" switch. Nonetheless, Tampa Bay's loss the the Washington Football Team was certainly a season lowlight for the defending champs.
(6) Brown out in Cleveland – It's easy to pick on the Texans, Jets, and Jaguars – who were all expected to be terrible. But what's happened to the Browns??? Can anyone explain all that offensive talent producing just 7 points against New England and 10 points a few weeks ago versus Pittsburgh? Moreoever, the Browns defense looked like a high school squad getting completely demolished by the Patriots on Sunday in a 38-point loss. Except for their game against Detroit this week, the poor Browns face 6-straight opponents with winning records, including a rare back-to-back stretch versus Baltimore. Prediction: Cleveland will finish 7-10 and end up in last place. Get ready for a long offseason on Lake Erie.
(7) The AFC West looks very average. There was some argument the AFC West is the best division in football, but that's certainly not the case. This is an group of three average teams – and Kansas City which has proven themselves already – bunched together in a tough race. Defenders of the AFC West might insist these four rivals beat up on each other, but the Broncos losing at home to the Eagles, and the Chargers losing yet another winnable game on Sunday (to Minnesota) reveals lots of mediocrity. The Raiders weren't nearly as good as their 5-2 record a few weeks ago. They proved that by losing to the lowly NY Giants and then getting hammered on SNF versus Kansas City.
(8) Baltimore's loss to Miami was shameful. Last Thursday night's game featuring Lamar Jackson and the Ravens playing at Miami, which started Jacoby Brissett (replaced by Tua T. late in the second quarter) was a mud stain on Baltimore. The Ravens couldn't do anything all night, who were vastly outplayed and outcoached by the 3-7 Dolphins. Baltimore is 6-3, but could just as easily be 3-6 except for an NFL-record long FG at Detroit, a miracle MNF comeback against Indy, and repeated 14-point comebacks versus Minnesota. The Ravens (3-6 against the spread) might be a good team to bet against the rest of the season.
(9) Kickers--you have ONE job! What is it with all the placekickers missing extra points? Seriously? How difficult is it to kick a 33-yard-field goal, which is the distance of the typical XP? League-wide, extra points have been good just 92.4 percent of the time this season. That's the lowest success rate since the 1979 season, when kickers made 91.3 percent of their extra point attempts. Kickers--do your jobs!
(10) Happy News--POINTSPREADS.CA NFL handicapping record – Let's end the weekly "lowlights" on a more positive note. Here at the POINTSPREADS.CA site every Sunday, we post our picks. With Week 10's 11 wins and 4 loses (one game is still pending), that's a grand total of 51 wins and 35 losses for the regular season – which is 59.3 percent winners. Please show us another website that provides free picks, honest posting of their record, and close to 60 percent winners as we approach 90 plays though ten weeks? Yeah, we're bagging a little, but let us crow while we're hot.
Pointspreads.ca Top Ten (Week 10)
- Tennessee Titans
- Green Bay Packers
- Arizona Cardinals
- Los Angeles Rams
- Dallas Cowboys
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Buffalo Bills
- New England Patriots
- Baltimore Ravens
- Indianapolis Colts