Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, September 16, 2013 at 8:34 AM
NETWORK GOES 5-2 ON NFL SUNDAY, HIGHLIGHTED BY CARDINALS (+2) BEATING LIONS IN JIM'S OPENING MONTH SHOCKER! COME BACK TONIGHT FOR THE MONDAY NIGHT WINNER!
THE NFL WEEK 2 UPDATE: SEAHAWKS SOCK IT TO THE NINERS 29-3 BUT WE HAVE A QUESTION OR TWO FOR SEATTLE’S LOUD-MOUTH MR. SHERMAN …
PLUS WE REVIEW SUNDAY’S “BIGGEST LOSERS”AND PREVIEW THE MONDAY NIGHT CLASH BETWEEN THE STEELERS AT THE BENGALS
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND REPORT: JOHNNY FOOTBALL PUTS UP THE BIG NUMBERS AND AGGIES GET THE COVER TOO AGAINST #1 ‘BAMA
(BUT NOW WHO’S GONNA SLOW DOWN THE CRIMSON TIDE?)
In the interest of presenting one-and-all a genuine National Football League history lesson, let us remind you that the Seattle Seahawks have never – ever – won a Super Bowl since entering the league way back in 1976.
So here’s a question for super-talented and super loud-mouth Seattle CB Richard Sherman:
Where exactly do you store all your Super Bowl rings?
Following Sunday night’s 29-3 Seahawks’ win/cover against the 3-point road underdog San Francisco 49ers, there was Sherman blabbing on to NBC sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya – no doubt the Pro Bowl defensive back had a right to be giddy after the “W” but he rubbed the Niners’ collective faces into this lopsided verdict.
Perhaps someone should inform him that the NFC West rivals will meet again on December 8th in Candlestick Park and that they – the 49ers, that is – were the NFC representative in last year’s Super Bowl game in New Orleans.
No, the Seahawks have not played in a Super Bowl game since February 5, 2006. Yes, that was well before Sherman’s time in this league where they play for pay, but the bottom line is nobody should be that mouthy who really hasn’t won a thing.
Got it, bub!
Ohh, while we’re at it, how ‘bout one more question for Sherman and his Seahawks:
Do you take pride in dishing out cheap shots?
Gotta believe that the low block that kayoed Niners’ NT Ian Williams will draw San Fran’s collective ire the next time the 49ers watch the game film, plus zoom in a little closer and you’ll see Seattle’s 84 yards in penalties could have been a whole lot worse.
Sour grapes from someone that didn’t want the Seahawks to win? Sounds that way, doesn’t it?
But there is something galling about this Seahawks’ team that chats it up more than anyone in pro sports and has literally no history to back up all the bragging and all the trash talk – put it this way, if the Niners clean your clock in that next meeting it could be a bit of gridiron karma.
Meanwhile, the San Fran loss hurts – divisional game and all – but we wouldn’t consider the 49ers among the NFL teams that were among the real Week 2 “biggest losers”. Nope, here’s a couple of NFC East teams, however, that do qualify on that front:
Our NFL Week 2 “biggest losers” include …
NEW YORK GIANTS (0-2) – Maybe it’s no real disgrace to lose your season-opening games back-to-back at 3 ½-point favorite Dallas and then home to 3 ½-point fav Denver, but when your ground game sinks into the abyss at MetLife Stadium (see 19 carries for 23 yards), your quarterback airs four INTs and your defense surrenders 416 yards and allows easy off-the-edge rushing scores of 20 and 25 yards to Broncos’ RB Knowshon Moreno, then you’ve got major problems.
Okay, so QB Eli Manning already has seven INTs this season for the Giants and a couple of picks here were brain-cramp specials – including the one tossed into the end zone late in the first half – and many folks in/around the NFL know that the younger Manning is bound to right himself, but consider the Giants’ offense finished 1-of-11 on third-down plays and the G-men defense didn’t collect a single sack of Denver QB Peyton Manning (307 yards passing with two TDs and 0 INTs) and you get the sense that maybe, just maybe, this year’s NY Giants just ain’t that good.
WASHINGTON (0-2) – Hey, the NFL Network analysts (that’s Steve Mariucci, Deion Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson) all commented during the highlight show on Sunday night that Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin III just ain’t the same since returning to the lineup following off-season reconstructive knee surgery.
Okay, so that’s true, but RG3 was among the least of the Redskins’ problems in Sunday’s never-close 38-20 loss at 7-point favorite Green Bay. Griffin’s pattern so far this year has been to stagger out of the starting gate and then post monster (and mostly meaningless) big second-half numbers, but it was that Washington defense that really stunk up Lambeau Field on this third Sunday in September while allowing Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers to throw for a franchise record-tying 480 yards with four TDs while hard-charging RB James Starks rushed for 132 yards and a score.
Do you think maybe Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett – who looked absolutely lost when pictured up in the Lambeau Field press box – really should cash his pay check this week?
Just consider a couple of numbers here:
The ‘Skins yielded 8.3 yards per offensive play by the Pack and only forced three Green Bay punts. On top of that Week 1 loss to Philadelphia – a 33-27 setback that could have been a whole lot worse if Philly didn’t take its foot off the pedal – you’re starting to get the sense that Griffin’s woes, the state of Syria and the economy won’t be the only topics on display this week in the nation’s capital.
Is it time to wave bye-bye to Mr. Haslett?
Now hear this …
My handicappers/bloggers will continue to pound Las Vegas with our Monday Night Football Sides & Totals winners this evening when the Pittsburgh Steelers play at the Cincinnati Bengals plays to wrap up NFL Week 2 action. Make sure to start your work week off with a bang!
Plus make sure you’re all aboard for all the NCAA Football action when you check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online at www.vegassportsmasters.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
Plus get all our down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball winners too!
Tonight, it’s …
PITTSBURGH (0-1) at CINCINNATI (0-1) – 8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN
Okay, so the AFC North finally got into the win column in Week 2 – hey, it had to with yesterday’s head-to-head matchup between Cleveland at Baltimore that the Ravens won 14-6 – but now these two teams that have accounted for a total of 10 playoff games the past five years will try their very best to get their act straightened out here.
Last week the Cincinnati Bengals blew an 11-point, second-half lead en route to a painful 24-21 loss in Chicago as Marvin Lewis’ defense surrendered 80- and 81-yard touchdown drives by the born-again Bears, and so expect a bit more fire from the Cincy stop unit that lost its poise more than once in that season-opening tilt.
Okay, so the Bengals did move the ball in the Week 1 bash with monstrous touchdown drives of 97, 91 and 80 yards with wide-out A.J. Green snaring nine balls for 162 yards and two scores, but will Green get single-covered much here?
Look for the Steelers to get physical with ‘em at the line of scrimmage and try to slow his routes, so one major key here is a Cincinnati ground game that didn’t exactly sparkle at Soldier Field (see 63 yards on 21 carries for just 3.0 yards-per-pop) and that better improve here against a Steelers defense now without LB Larry Foote (ruptured biceps).
Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note that the Steelers – fresh off a 16-9 home loss to 6-point pup Tennessee last Sunday afternoon – rushed for a meager 32 yards on 15 carries in that tilt and history tells us when Pittsburgh exceeds the 100-yard rushing mark in the games against Cincinnati, it wins:
Since 1993, the Steelers have run for at least 100 yards in all 29 of their wins against the Bengals … so who steps up here one week after RB Isaac Redman rushed for 9 yards on 8 carries and now-injured LaRod Stephens-Howling led the way with 19 yards on six carries? No Stephens-Howling (knee) here as he’s been placed on IR.
Spread Notes – The Steelers are a dismal 2-6-1 ATS (against the spread) overall when you date back to last season but note Pittsburgh’s covered 10 of its last 13 head-to-head matchups versus the rival Cincy Bengals. Final spread factoid here: Cincinnati is an ugly 3-7-2 ATS in AFC North games since the start of the 2011 season.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND REPORT
Sure, it’s always a case of good-news, bad-news when you take a step back and look at what just happened in the past weekend’s biggest game:
The good news for Texas A&M fans is that last year’s Heisman Trophy-winning QB Johnny Manziel was spectacular save for a couple of silly passes – “Johnny Football” finished with a career-high 464 yards passing with 5 TDs against the three-times-in-the-last-four-years champion Alabama Crimson Tide – and the Aggies scored late on a four-yard Manziel TD fling to get the all-important pointspread cover in that 49-42 loss to 9-point fav ‘Bama.
The bad news for A&M is – more than likely – the College Station kids won’t get a crack at playing for this year’s national championship even though the Aggies should not fall that far down in the polls (they entered at #6).
The other bad news comes in the form of other FBS teams seeking to play for all the marbles come January:
Unless there’s some sort of miracle, you can expect to pencil in one of the two BCS Championship Game berths to aforementioned #1 Alabama (2-0).
Okay, so Nick Saban’s crew – you say – still has a long way to go and this young/inexperienced defense must plug up some big-time holes (Texas A&M did go for 628 offensive yards though it must be stated nearly half of them came while chasing down a two-TD-or-larger deficit) but where exactly is Alabama gonna lose between now and the SEC Championship Game in December?
Versus LSU in Tuscaloosa come November 9th? Not likely.
At Miss State (Nov. 16th) or at Auburn (Nov. 30th)? Don’t make us laugh!
Folks, this past weekend was the major bump in the road for Alabama and the Tide pretty much laughed off its 14-0 deficit to score five consecutive touchdowns and we told you all along here at Jim Hurley’s Network that the “best bet” in this game was to lay the price with ‘Bama in the first half – if you did, then you cashed as the Tide led 28-14 at the break.
NOTE: Get our Jim Sez Mid-Week Update in the next column!