Ranting and Rolling After NFL Week 3

NFL Sep 26, 2022

[1]  It's impossible to be mad or get depressed when watching a Corgi race.  I learned that fun fact while watching the Seattle-Atlanta game yesterday.  The halftime show consisted of stubble-legged Welsh Corgis lining up at midfield and then racing for the end zone.  What the organizers didn't plan was the first-place Corgi deciding to take his own personal victory lap.  After the race, the dog ran around the field playing 'catch me if you can.'  The spectacle of the loose champion dog outrunning its handler and Keystone Cops security guards was even better than the race!

[2]  The 1-2 Detroit Lions are the most fun team to watch with a losing record in the NFL. Once again, the Lions brought their game to kickoff and probably should have won it against Minnesota.  Perhaps this is a premature statement, but the Lions are finally headed in a positive direction after 30 years of being widely considered one of the most dysfunctional franchises in pro sports.  Call me a blooming Dan Campbell fan.

[3]  Watching the New Orleans Saints offense makes me want to vomit.  It's nauseating.  I'm now thinking of peeling the Fleur de Lis stickers off my two cars.  It's goddamned embarrassing.  Shameful.  The "Aints" mailed in another no-show on Sunday, this time against the (previously) winless Panthers.  For those keeping score, New Orleans has scored a grand total of just *13* points in the first three quarters of its 3 games played this season, combined!  And--that offense was supposed to be loaded with talent.  I guess the ghost of Sean Payton knew what he was doing taking the express bus and scramming town at the end of last season.  He saw this football version of Katrina coming and evacuated.  Smart.  Combined #2 and #3 thought: The Lions are becoming the Saints (a high-scoring team that can't stop anybody) and the Saints are becoming the Lions.

[4]  The Las Vegas Raiders (0-3) are the only winless team remaining in the NFL.  And while it's too early to fire the coach, I do have some questions.  To wit.  Is Josh McDaniel a bust?  He's now 11-20 (W-L) in his career as a head coach, and 3-12 in his previous 15 games (3-9 with Broncos before getting fired in midseason).  Man, that sucks.  That's David Shula territory.  Gee, I know this is a reach, but maybe McDaniels' glorious success as the Offensive Coordinator all those seasons at powerhouse New England was for reasons other than what's on Joshy's clipboard.  Maybe that Brady-12 guy had a little something to do with padding Joshy's jolly resume.  Once Brady darted off to another team and left the Pats' huddle, Joshy's offense in '20 basically turned into a clunker with a dead battery.  Now, the same thing seems to be happening with the Raiders, a playoff team from last season currently floundering at the bottom of the league.  Which leads me to....

[5]  Rich Bisaccia.  Remember that name?  The Pride of Yonkers was put into an impossible situation in the middle of last season after he was named the team's interim head coach after Jon Gruden's firing/resignation.  All Bisaccia did next was lead the Raiders to a 7–5 record playing against one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in years.  Bisaccia became only the second interim head coach to accomplish this (Bruce Arians was the first). Of course, once Joshy got hired, there was no place for Bisaccia in the Mark Davis organization (he's now an assistant with the Packers).  This is turning into a horrible display of mismanagement, exchanging Bisaccia with Joshy.  Again -- an 11-20 career coaching record -- let that sink in.

[6]  The most outrageous absurdity I saw yesterday was the ATROCIOUS official's call at the tail end of the Kansas City-Indianapolis game.  The Colts were behind and desperately needed a touchdown with only a minute left to play.  A Chiefs' defensive player made a big tackle and then exchanged some heated words with Colts QB Matt Ryan.  There was no physical altercation -- the two players weren't even touching.  It brought up a 4th down and long.  But the referee heard a bad word and tossed a yellow flag on the Chiefs defensive player because somebody got his *wwwwhittle fwwwwweelings* hurt.  Unsportsmanlike Conduct!  15 yards!  First and goal for the Colts!  A short time later, the Colts score and win.  WHAT THE FUCK!  Is the NFL really-really-really going to flag bad language or other verbal jabs, which have always-always-always been a part of the game?  What is this, the fucking Captain Kangaroo Church Hour?  I don't care *what* the defensive player said.  Once officials start flagging players for talking or yelling (not taunting, that's different and should be a penalty in extreme cases), this becomes a slippery slope with no end.   Ask any NFL player what's said on the field during the heat of a game.  Now, we're going to police that?  Last season, a Pittsburgh Steelers player was called for a similar "infraction," a decision that came close to costing his team the game.  I thought the NFL would clean up this messy ambiguous rule that relies 100 percent on subjective opinion.  But they haven't.  And don't tell me the defensive player should have controlled himself.  Anyone who claims this has obviously never spoken to anyone who's ever been on an NFL sideline.  Shit gets said.  Players yell.  They even curse.  Oh my!  Oh, I also bet Indianapolis in that game, so the call helped me.  But a stupid fucking rule is a stupid fucking rule and should be corrected.

[7]  Kudos to the mighty Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday.  Anyone who had the Jags winning by FOUR TOUCHDOWNS on the road at the quiet palace that is a LA Charger game wins the giant chocolate calf.  Just wow.  Could Jacksonville possibly win the AFC South this season?  That's where I'd be putting my money if you like futures betting.  Oh, and speaking of the Chargers, what was LA's clueless coach Brandon Staley thinking (or smoking or snorting) when he inexplicably left his hobbled franchise all-world QB Justin Herbert in a lost game scrambling around the backfield trying to make plays with 3 minutes left in a game where the Chargers are losing by 28 points?  What is this -- some fantasy points bullshit?  Herbert wasn't injured (fortunately), but leaving him in the game -- and particularly a game which he was questionable to start given lingering injuries -- was mind-boggling.

[8]  So, you think the Broncos' 11-10 yawner of a win versus the 49ers last night was boring?  I LOVED IT!  Give me that kind of NFL game anytime!  Of course, I bet the UNDER, which was never in doubt.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE games like that and HATE HATE HATE games that are wildly unpredictable, high-scoring, and playing on astrorubberpellotgrass in domes.  Fuck that shit.  Give me an 11-10 snoozefest over a 38-35 shootout, please.  Those games are much easier to handicap.  

[9]  Here's my writeup on tonight's MNF between Dallas and New York:  

MNF: Dallas Cowboys at New York GiantsCowboys +2.5 (-110) O39.5 (-110) +120Giants -2.5 (-110) U39.5 (-110) +145Analysis: I understand bettors want a prediction, but this is another game where I’m very likely to pass (as the game approaches, something might tempt me, but I doubt it). Neither offense inspires much confidence, and I’m uncertain how the 2-0 Giants will react to hosting their first MNF game in quite a long time. I do lean slightly to NYG here based on RB S. Barkley’s production, who’s largely carried this weak offense with his legs and on his shoulders. I’ll take Barkley over the wasted money pit, E. Elliott, all night long, running behind a band-aided Cowboys’ offensive line. Dallas has only two touchdowns on 21 drives this season.  The trouble with taking NYG as a fave is, Dallas’ defense could step up again here in a big way just like they did versus the Bengals. And, backup QB Couper Rush’s two career starts weren’t pretty, but he won them both. Slight lean in the Giants’ direction, but it’s not enough to make me want to bet money on it. There are just too many contradicting angles here, such as Dallas winning nine of the last ten games in this series.The Pick: No plays.

[10]  I enjoyed a terrific betting day on Sunday -- with 8 wins and 3 losses.  READ IT ALL HERE.  For those that keep score, that's 32 wins and 19 losses for the 2022 regular season, to date.  I don't know what to say so far as future expectations of NFL betting, but anyone who thinks that I (or any NFL handicapper) is able to produce 63 percent winners over the long haul is dancing on Soul Train while getting interviewed by Don Cornelius.  It's 'ain't happening.  I hope to continue winning, of course.  Trouble is, when I post picks (which I've done every week for 20+ years) and sometimes get hot, the hits double and triple, and bettors flock to get winners like wasps attacking a honeynest.  Then, a bad week inevitably comes and you should see the numbers tank.  Why do I do this?  Seriously, why?

See you next week.  I'll be in Dallas visiting my mother, by the way.