Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 9:58 AM
When you woke up this morning, Andy Reid's new team had the best record in the here-and-now NFL at 3-0.
Reid's old team looked as beaten-up and bummed up as it ever did all of last year during a dreadful 4-12 season. One that got Reid fired after 14 seasons in the City of Brotherly Love.
Make no mistake about it: The Kansas City Chiefs made the "chubby guy" smile plenty following last night's 26-16 win at 3 ½-point favorite Philadelphia -- and for Philly it was the usual junk with the Eagles committing five turnovers while QB Michael Vick was sacked six times. Heck, Vick was lucky to be still standing by the end of the evening although it sure looked to us as if he injured his leg/ankle and so don't be surprised if some injury news on him comes down the proverbial pike in the next 24-to-48 hours.
Gets you to be thinking that maybe - just maybe - there is some karma at work in this man's league as Reid (see five NFC Championship Game appearances and that Super Bowl loss back in the Eagles' 2004 campaign) was booed out of town following last season's shabby finish that "featured" a 42-7 loss at the New York Giants while everyone who was hailing new Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly has to be staying mum right about now.
Wow - so last night the Eagles' offense got off their plays in an average of less than 19 seconds. Big deal if you're spending half the night botching snaps from center, tossing picks left and right and having your O-line exposed for what it is and that is one of the four of five-worst blocking units in the league.Better yet, the Birds next set out for a three-game road trip - to Denver, the NY Giants and Tampa Bay - and so could we possibly be getting ready to witness a team be 1-5 SU (straight-up) by mid-October? More reasons to say ouch if you're a die-hard Eagles fan.
Gotta say this: For a September Saturday, there sure are a boatload of key College Football games that involve natural rivals to go along with the old-fashioned backyard brawls and let's get to some analyses/forecasts in this edition of Jim Sez: Here's some of the meaty matchups rivalry-wise on this Saturday card. Good luck!
TENNESSEE (2-1) at #19 FLORIDA (1-1) - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Want a quickie history lesson here? Florida has beaten Tennessee eight consecutive times thus marking the longest Gators' winning streak in this rivalry series in the 42-game history - the last time the "Rocky Top" gang beat the mighty Gators was way back in 2004 when Tennessee copped a 30-28 non-cover win as 3-point home favorites. Geez! Now, the Vols invade Gainesville as prohibitive 16 ½-point underdogs with first-year Tennessee head coach Butch Jones claiming his club is "not a very mentally tough football team". Great! Watch for Florida to pull the plug on erratic QB Jeff Driskel should he falter or be bothered by his sprained left knee suffered in the humbling/bumbling 21-16 loss at Miami two weeks ago. Hey, let's find something tastier on this weekend's college menu, okay?
MICHIGAN STATE (3-0) at #22 NOTRE DAME (2-1) - 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Does the ND Fighting Irish have real reason to worry? Okay, so there is a freshman starting quarterback comin' to town for the M-State Spartans (see Connor Cook) but the stats don't lie and they say Notre Dame's allowing 23.5 points per game - remember last year the Irish yielded a mere 12.8 ppg en route to a berth in the BCS Championship Game. Cook jump-started the State attack last week in an albeit so-what 55-17 win against Youngstown State but now playing in his first road game at a hostile site, things could get rough for Mr. Cook. Note the totals price has come down a tad here from 43 to 41 ½ points and 23-13 or 22-14 type final won't surprise us. Dee-fense!
WEST VIRGINIA (2-1) at MARYLAND (3-0) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Hey, there's major juice back in this rivalry game that's always been fierce (even if the two schools inexplicably dropped the series back in 2008-09).
The host Terrapins are a rousing 3-0 ATS (against the spread) and watch here for do-it-all Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown who's thrown for 833 yards with 6 TDs and 1 INT - if WVU's pass defense (ranked 8th nationally) can't get a grip on this kid, than Maryland will be off to its best start in more than a decade.
AUBURN (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at #6 LSU (3-0, 0-0 SEC) - 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
The battle of SEC Tigers is always intense stuff as it's well worth noting that seven of the last nine games in this feud have been decided by a touchdown or less and that includes last year's tilt when 18-point road favorite LSU barely escaped with its life in a 12-10 non-cover triumph at Auburn. Hey, War Eagle is grabbing 17 ½ points at last check and don't you think that Auburn WR Sammie Coates (7 receptions and a 23.9 yards-per-catch average) will hit at least one "home run" here? Must grab those points here in a 31-21 type tilt ... got it?
My handicappers/bloggers will blast Las Vegas and the off-shore books all week/weekend as we'll smash the books tonight with Boise State at Fresno State in college ball and then there's lots more NCAA Football winners ahead Saturday plus all the NFL Week 3 games Sunday/Monday. Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online 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! The MLB Playoffs are less than two weeks away!
In late-night action, it's ...
UTAH (2-1) at BYU (1-1) - 10:15 p.m. ET, espn2
For years and years, folks got used to the "Holy War" game being played at the very end of the regular season but nowadays the Utes vs. Coogs clash is a September tilt and note this will be the 89th meeting between these Beehive State rivals - and it certainly appears these teams are much closer in the talent level then the current 7-point spread favoring the home team. It's hard to believe but BYU is the nation's second-best rushing offense (averaging 368.5 ground yards per game including that 550-yard rushing game against Texas) - can the Utes contain RB Jamaal Williams (averaging 163 yards rushing) for much of this clash?
Ask us and we say a field goal probably wins this battle.
Finally ...Okay, so what NCAA Football teams are 0-3 versus the vig thus far while heading into this weekend? Here's the list and - believe it or not - there's 10 teams out there without a spread "W" after playing three on-the-board games: The roll call reads as the following:
California, Central Michigan, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, Notre Dame, TCU, Tulsa and Wake Forest.NOTE: More NFL Week 3 analyses straight ahead in the next edition of Jim Sez ... don't miss out!