So don’t let odd results shock you
What’s the biggest surprise of the NFL season?
It’s a toss up in my book. The Jets at 3-0 is definitely a shocker. A rookie QB teamed with a first time head coach? That’s not exactly the formula you look for when you open the season on the road and then have two home games against perennial powerhouses.
But Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez have energized the city of New York and have people believing they’re the best team in football. Right now it’s hard to argue with them.
Equally as shocking is when you look up at the standings and see the Broncos sitting on top of the AFC West at 3-0. Here is a team that had their fans waving the white towel before kickoff on opening day. They were forced to trade Jay Cutler and then had to suspend Brandon Marshall. When you have a new head coach that looks like he should get carded you would think you have another recipe for disaster. But the Broncos are undefeated. The only other story coming close to these is in Tennessee, where the Titans have opened the season 0-3.
Yet another surprise was how fast the dogs put the tails between their legs after having a strong showing on week 2. Nine favorites covered the point spread on Sunday which meant only six dawgs won the money. I feel like joining the Jets and Broncos by doing something shocking this week and picking some winners.
Sunday, Oct. 4
Lions +10 at Bears: Somebody break up the Lions! They’re on a one game roll with their first win since 2007. Fans are still partying in Detroit and may not even sober up until after this game is finished. Once they do sober up, they’ll realize the one win wasn’t anything to get all that excited about. It’s still going to be a long season. BEARS.
Bengals -4 at Browns: Eric "Mangenius" or Eric "Manmoron." I’m not sure what he will be called after this season in Cleveland. But the Belichick wannabe is in big trouble and off to a horrible start. After all that time deciding on a QB, we’re off to the races with another QB controversy. I don’t think this can end well. BENGALS.
Raiders +9 at Texans: Matt Schaub has thrown more TD passes in the last two weeks than JaMarcus may toss all season. For any defense looking for an easy fix to stop the pass, Russell looks like he might be JaMarvelous! TEXANS.
Seahawks +7 at Colts: Seneca Wallace didn’t help the Seahawks chances against Chicago and he won’t help here. Hasselbeck will help but not sure about his status right now so I’m not a taker here. COLTS.
Titans PK at Jags: Jags broke through with first win last week in Houston. Tennessee returns the favor this week. Could the Titans possibly open the season 0-4? I suppose they could, but I’m not betting on it. TITANS.
Giants -9 at Chiefs: I’m done betting against the G-men for at least one week. After opening with a slim victory over the Skins, the Giants have upset the Cowboys and pounded the Bucs. Even when they’re missing several starters they don’t seem to miss a beat. Todd Haley finding out quickly the Chiefs aren’t going to be an easy fix. GIANTS.
Ravens +3 at Patriots: Pats were able to run the ball finally against the Falcons. Good luck this week against the Ravens. I think the Ravens’ D will rough up Tom Brady and make it tough for him to find a rhythm. RAVENS.
Bucs +7½ at Skins: I have to take the Bucs plus the points because there may not be any points scored in this one. If Clinton Portis was worried about getting booed coming off the field after beating St. Louis 9-7, he better be worried about metal detectors at the stadium after losing to the Lions! BUCS.
Bills +3½ at Dolphins: Hang on to your hats Bills’ fans. TO is starting to give uncalled for press conferences. He may have screwed up yet another team. It’s difficult to see Miami at 0-4 but with Pennington banged up that might be what Fish fans will be looking at. BILLS.
Jets +4½ at Saints: Will the Saints be the first team to figure out how to stop the runaway Rex Ryan Jets? Or will the Jets be the first team to stop the TD tossing machine, Drew Brees? I think you have to take the points, sit back, relax and enjoy the most intriguing Sunday match-up. JETS.
Cowboys -3 at Broncos: I give Denver all the credit in the world. They’ve outplayed their first three opponents (with the exception of the Bengals opening day). But Denver fans have to contain their excitement a tad with the last two wins coming against teams who may win a combined 4 games the entire year! COWBOYS.
Rams +10 at 49ers: Brett Favre’s last second 50 yard bullet to beat the Niners blew my socks off. I hope Mike Singletary could keep his pants on during the post game talk with his team. Niners played well enough to win the game and Vikes should consider themselves lucky to not have their first loss. 49ers were impressive. Rams anything but impressive and Bulger is hurting. 49ERS.
Chargers +5 at Steelers: Unsure of why they would put up such a big number here. There are questions about protecting Big Ben, finding a running game and a replacement for Palomalu. I’m not sure they’ve found any answers. The Super Bowl champs have only won one game and that was by a field goal. CHARGERS.
Packers +3½ at Vikings: Here’s the one everyone has been waiting for since the Vikes signed Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers needs to step up and prove to the Packers’ fans that Green Bay made the right decision when they kept him and kicked Favre to the curb. Ok, maybe not kicked, let’s just call it a gentle nudge for now. PACKERS.
BEST BETS: COWBOYS, CHARGERS, PACKERS.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Dennis Ball