Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 8:00 AM
If you’ve been reading NFL headlines this week, you know that many teams are already announcing who their starting quarterback is going to be this season. That’s because this is dress rehearsal week…and you’re supposed to put the first team on the field in the third full week of exhibition action. Not everybody can do that because of injuries. Teams who don’t have injuries are making announcements.
This creates a complex dynamic for Advanced Sports Bettors and Handicappers because it takes THE MOTIVATION factor away from many borderline quarterbacks. For example:
*Will Blaine Gabbert of Jacksonville bring a chip on his shoulder to Saturday’s game against Philadelphia knowing that he’s already won the starting position? Does he have anything left to prove?
*Will Brandon Weeden of Cleveland relax now that he’s been named the starting quarterback for Cleveland? He may not have that luxury as they play on the road this Saturday at Indianapolis.
Having “something to prove” can be a great kicker for any team you place a Las Vegas bet on (and, that’s true in EVERY sport). But, having nothing to prove in a game that doesn’t matter in the standings can be a real buzzkill.
You regulars know that my key points of emphasis in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping are finding PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS, then coupling that with THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. Ironically, dress rehearsal weekend is when “motivation” turns many borderline quarterbacks into “playmakers.” Guys who are destined to struggle during the regular season against complex defenses will put up numbers in a dress rehearsal against first team defenses who are still using vanilla formations.
I’ve put together a quick list of quarterbacks who are on the hot seat this week because their head coach still hasn’t determined if they’re ready to be the #1 signal caller on their team.
*Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor of OAKLAND
The Raiders play Friday Night at home against Chicago. It’s supposedly Flynn’s job to lose. But, he was sacked five times in a half last week! And, Pryor is now being seen by some as a match for the new run-pass prototype for the next generation of quarterbacks. Both men will try to win the job against one of last year’s best defenses.
*Kevin Kolb of BUFFALO
Kolb will get the start this week because rookie E.J. Manuel underwent a minor knee procedure and will miss the rest of the exhibition slate. Initially this was supposed to be an all-out battle between Kolb and Manuel. Manuel was more impressive when healthy…and is another youngster who fits the emerging prototype. Kolb has a chance Saturday afternoon in Washington to prove HE should be the Week One signal caller instead of Manuel.
*Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez of the NY JETS
Anything involving Rex Ryan eventually gets messy. That’s already happened here. As I’ve mentioned in my videos on this website…management wants Smith to be the QB, while Ryan prefers veteran Mark Sanchez. Smith missed last week as he was recovering from an ankle sprain…and will get the start Saturday Night against the NY Giants. Both Smith AND Sanchez hope to make their case in that city rivalry game.
Now, here’s an additional list of quarterbacks who need to establish in dress rehearsal action that they’re ready to kick things up a notch this year. They’re on the verge of losing their teammates if not their head coach (and some may lose their head coach by October!)
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay (Mike Glennon has impressed management)
Jake Locker, Tennessee (with Ryan Fitzpatrick in the wings)
Christian Ponder, Minnesota (Matt Cassell is ready to push him)
Those three aren’t necessarily on the hot seat. It’s getting warm though. Teammates have to believe in their quarterback!
As I mentioned last time, I’m very much looking forward to picking and betting this week’s dress rehearsal games. You can purchase my top releases nightly as this very website with your major credit card. Be sure to check out my very affordable full season rates. If you’re having trouble finding smart plays on your own, Kelso Sturgeon is a quarterback you can believe in.
Thanks again for your continuing hard work this summer. I’ll turn the focus next week to college football in both the early and late week reports. Don’t forget that the season starts Thursday August 29 with high profile games like North Carolina/South Carolina, and Ole Miss/Vanderbilt on the card. College football is almost here! The Dean of Sports Handicapping will continue to assist your efforts at becoming a better Las Vegas bettor through the college and pro football seasons.