Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 9:49 AM
Hold on, honey, I think the Saints just scored again!
Wonder how many folks happened to proclaim that last night during New Orleans' better-than-point-per-minute showing in the 62-7 win against the 13 ½-point underdog Indianapolis Colts, a winner for our Sunday night special!.
The Saints - who scored 40 points in only one other game this year (see the wild 40-33 triumph over Houston back in Week 3 play) - really put a capper on a NFL Week 7 Sunday that actually saw over/under bettors split a dozen games in all - the "over" folks now hold a 56-44-2 ATS (against the spread) advantage this season ...in case you were wondering.
And to think we also had a Week 7 final score that read Cleveland 6, Seattle 3 ...film at 11!
No doubt that the Saints' rollicking prime-time win on Sunday night had folks in The Big Easy feelin' good but there were plenty of other feel-good stories 'round the league and not all of them involved Denver QB Tim Tebow.
Sure, Tebow's ability to rouse the lifeless Broncos back from a 15-0 deficit to an 18-15 overtime win at 1-point underdog Miami got all the TV "talking heads" to chime in as thee former Heisman Trophy winner threw for 161 yards with two TDs and 0 INTs and rushed for another 65 yards on eight carries/scrambles and so a hearty Jim Sez salute goes out to one of the most criticized players in this league (and we really don't know why so many folks are anti-Tebow but that's a story for another day!) but it was the wins by the Chicago Bears, the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons that piqued our interest in NFL Week 7 action and so we'll soon examine those three teams that have suddenly strung together back-to-back wins these past two weeks plus we've got the Monday Night Football game preview as the Baltimore Ravens battle the Jacksonville Jaguars but first this quickie reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will win big-time tonight as we finish off the NFL Week 7 schedule with the Ravens at the Jaguars bash on MNF plus there's always College Football all this week long (beginning with Tuesday's Troy at Florida International tile on espn2) and don't forget the World Series Game #5 this evening between the St. Louis Cardinals at the Texas Rangers with the Fall Classic now knotted at two games apiece following lefty Derek Holland's brilliant showing in a 4-0 win in Game 4 -- and so make sure you're all aboard as we will take you right through Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th. Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here online for the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB World Series winners! Go ahead and get Monday Night Football's Side/Totals winner right now!
NFL WEEK 7 NEWS & NOTES
CHICAGO 24, TAMPA BAY 18 - Much is being made over the fact the Bears didn't arrive in London till later in the week while the T-Bay Bucs ventured past the Atlantic Ocean earlier in the week ...who cares!
The fact of the matter is the Bears (4-3) are right back into the conversation when it comes to NFC wild cards this year (hey, ain't nobody catching the Green Bay Packers atop the NFC North!) and they went back to basics to string together last week's prime-time win against Minnesota and this overseas/international win against Tampa Bay.
Note that Chicago RB Matt Forte had 25 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown while QB Jay Cutler attempted 32 passes - he did toss a pair of interceptions - and that's the sort of balance that Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz has been striving to get ever since a couple of early-season games when the aforementioned Cutler was nearly killed while being forced to throw the ball 40-plus times.
Meanwhile, the Bears defense did its thing - Lovie Smith's stop unit forced four Bucs turnovers (all INTs of a shaky QB Josh Freeman) and didn't allow any touchdown drives beyond 48 yards.
The Bears now get a Week 8 bye before returning to action with a MNF game in Philadelphia on Nov. 7th - the key question is will this "mojo" still be ongoing for the Monsters of the Midway when we get into early November?
NEW YORK JETS 27, SAN DIEGO 21 - It was quite a week for the J-E-T-S (even the ones who didn't hang up the phone in radio interviews).
Okay, so they actually won two games beginning with last Monday Night's 24-6 triumph over 6-point underdog Miami - but this game against the Chargers was hyped more than usual just because a loss would have dropped Rex Ryan's club under .500 (at 3-4) with a bye week staring 'em straight in the facemask.
So, the Jets do what they seemingly always do these days - they got off to a rough start - and trailed 21-10 at the halftime break before lots of good fortunes - breaks? - came their way. The Jets picked off San Diego slinger Philip Rivers twice in the second half including one tipped ball that CB Darrelle Revis returned 64 yards - and the Bolts showed zero sense of urgency on their last drive even though they had the ball near midfield with a minute-plus left and seemingly with the Jets' defense on its heels.
Call it yet another case of San Diego head coach Norv Turner pulling defeat from the jaws of victory but don't ignore the fact that the Jets were all smiles after this game 'cause WR Plaxico Burress hauled in three scoring strikes and because RB Shonn Greene came alive with 20 carries for 112 rushing yards and many of them ended with helmet-jarring hits.
So, don't count the Jets out of a Super Bowl run just yet ...got it?
ATLANTA 23, DETROIT 16 - Maybe all the talk in Motown in the days leading up to this game was about Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz and what kind of handshake he'd get following this tilt but all anyone wanted to talk about following this key Falcons win was the toughness of Atlanta QB Matt Ryan (see 218 yards passing with 1 TD and 2 INTs but some gutsy throws) who returned from a third-quarter ankle injury to power the way here.
Toss into the mix the fact that TE Tony Gonzalez (five receptions for 62 yards) was a key target and 5-foot-7 RB Jacquizz Rodgers converted a critical third-and-four run with a minute left that really epitomized Atlanta's grit and tough mind-set for this Week 7 game.
Just like that Mike Smith's club is 4-3 SU (straight-up) and right back in the thick of the NFC South and the NFC wild card chatter and the Falcons - just like Chicago and the NY Jets - will draw a bye next week before returning to action on Nov. 6th with a road game in Indianapolis. Cha-ching!
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW
BALTIMORE (4-1) at JACKSONVILLE (1-5) -- 8:35 p.m. ET, ESPN
Here's what you really/truly need to know about this clash:
The Ravens are averaging 29.6 points per game and yet QB Joe Flacco already has been sacked 10 times and last week's red-zone woes in a 29-14 win/cover against 7-point road dog Houston had Baltimore scratching its collective heads for why the club is kicking so many field goals these days.
If Flacco can throw a deep ball (or two) here to rookie WR Torrey Smith (yes, his three-TD game in St. Louis a few weeks back still rings clear in our heads) than Jacksonville will be forced to "back up" and that means more open space for RB Ray Rice against a Jags defense that's only allowing 22 points a game (while the Jacksonville offense "starring" rookie QB Blaine Gabbert averages only 12 points an outing).
Spread Notes - Baltimore has covered four of its first five games this season and the Ravens are 36-22-2 ATS overall in the John Harbaugh Era that started back in 2008. On the flip side, Jacksonville is 2-4 versus the vig this season and the Jaguars are a shabby 9-18 against the odds at home since the start of the '08 campaign.
NOTE: Get our College Football Mid-Week Report in the next edition of Jim Sez.