Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Late last week, right here on these pages, I outlined the reasons that would be in play behind my 200-Unit NFL Game of the Year for the 2011 season. Now that Buffalo has won the money in extremely overpowering fashion for us over Washington, I can put some meat on those bones.
Let’s run through the reasons I outlined late last week, and fill in the blanks with what Buffalo brought to the table.
* “First, I need a big edge in gamebreakers.”
Buffalo’s offense has just exploded this year, with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to a variety of weapons. Opposing defenses have had big troubles slowing down the Bills, let alone stopping them. And, all of their success has come against a schedule that includes playoff contenders like Philadelphia, New England, the NY Giants, and Oakland.
Washington isn’t a gamebreaking team anyway…and the loss of running back Tim Hightower the prior week really hurt their chances to control the ball and move it vs. a team like Buffalo. Obviously, John Beck is not a star quarterback by any means. He has to manage a game to win….and he didn’t have much weaponry to manage this week.
Right here, I had a HUGE edge with Buffalo even before looking at any other factors.
* “Second, I need an attractive schedule sequence.”
Buffalo was coming off a bye week, which allowed them to freshen up after a tough schedule stretch. I hinted last week that I might be thinking about a bye team. There were six of those to choose from, and six other teams who had scored easy wins the prior week…so nobody was going to guess which “fresh” team I would be on.
* “Third, I’d like some additional negatives lined up on the go-against team.”
The injury to Hightower weighed heavily in my thinking here…because the Redskins were really down about that misfortune. But, I’m also very certain that the team as a whole wasn’t excited about the quarterback change from Rex Grossman to John Beck. It’s not like Grossman is a star or anything. But, he was the better option entering the season…and he’s certainly more likely to be competitive in a potential “shootout” style of game.
To me, this was a team in the doldrums. They had been humbled by Philadelphia in the game that caused the quarterback change, then they lost by double digits to Carolina in the first game with Beck. No confidence. No spirit. And, the realization that this could be a lost season give the QB situation AND the injury to Hightower. Washington went from being 3-1 and a potential contender to 3-3 and sinking fast. They’re now 3-4…and may be looking at a 6-10 type season when it’s all said and done.
* “Fourth, I want to be on the right side of home field advantage.”
Toronto isn’t the home city for Buffalo…but I was struck during the week about how Buffalo hadn’t ever won a game in Toronto. They had played there a few times before as a way to increase the NFL’s influence across the border. This isn’t a bad Bills team any more that nobody wants to see. Buffalo is now a contender…and they seemed fired up about finally breaking through in their Canadian “home away from home.” There’s no better way to establish that this is a “new” Bills team than to go into Toronto and win convincingly in front of a spirited crowd.
I’ll also note that, style-wise, an indoor game on a fast track was a much better match for Buffalo than for Washington right now. Buffalo has been playing indoor football outdoors all season! Washington would have to be a grind-it-up grass team with this quarterback. There was a “stadium and surface” advantage in play for Buffalo if not technically “home field” advantage.
If you didn’t watch the game, you may not have realized how one-sided it truly was:
Total Yardage: Buffalo 390, Washington 178
Rushing Yardage: Buffalo 138, Washington 26 (no Hightower)
Yards-Per-Play: Buffalo 6.3, Washington 3.3
Third Down Converions: Buffalo 50%, Washington 29%
Folks, that’s a 200-Unit Game of the Year! Won by the principals of Advanced Handicapping that I’ve been teaching you in my videos and articles right here at this website.
Thanks to all of you who won with me on Buffalo (and on my 100-Unit monster on Michigan over Purdue early Saturday). I have a 25-unit play on tap in the San Diego-Kansas City Monday Night game that offers a lot of pointspread value. I hope you’ll join me tonight for that big winner…and then again throughout the week for college football picks…and for more entries in my College of Advanced Handicapping online series.
A lot of TV and internet pundits don’t even know how to win. Kelso Sturgeon wins, and teaches you how it’s done!