Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM
THE NFL WEEK 9 MAJOR STORYLINES –EVERYONE’S STRESSIN’ THESE DAYS AS BRONCOS’ BOSS FOX AND THEN TEXANS HEAD COACH KUBIAK BOTH GET HOSPITALIZED THIS PAST WEEKEND … PLUS THE 9-AND-OH CHIEFS’ DEFENSE KEYS THE 10-POINT WIN IN BUFFALO WHILE THE NEW YORK J-E-T-S WANT THE FOOTBALL WORLD TO TAKE NOTICE AFTER THEIR LATEST “W” …
PLUS THE MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW/FORECAST AS BEARS-PACKERS SQUARE OFF AT LAMBEAU FIELD
By Jim Hurley
What is going on with NFL head coaches these days?
The gripping news for much of this past weekend had to do with Denver Broncos head coach John Fox who – apparently – was enjoying a round of golf in Charlotte and then had to be rushed to a local hospital with heart problems.
The latest news on Fox – who coaches up a Broncos team that is 7-1 and averages nearly 43 points per game – is that a heart issue he was already aware of now needs some fixin’, and so expect defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio to take on the role of acting head coach till further notice.
Then came Sunday Night Football and there was Houston Texans’ head coach Gary Kubiak “taking a knee” after apparently feeling dizzy and light-headed at the very end of a first half in which his Texans team looked great and sported a dandy 21-3 lead against the Indianapolis Colts.
Houston claims Kubiak will be fine – at least that’s what GM Rick Smith told NBC immediately following the Texans’ 27-24 stunner loss to Indianapolis – but you just know not having Kubiak on the sidelines for the second half really was a detriment to a team that’s now 2-6 and just about buried in terms of a playoff berth.
Hey, even we felt sorry afterwards for Houston DC/acting head coach Wade Phillips, who looked beaten-down and lost in the post-game presser aired by the NFL Network … guess it’s safe to say it hasn’t been the Texans’ year!
We’ll dig into a couple more NFL Week 9 key storylines in just a second plus get you’re the MNF preview/forecast of the game between the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers but first this key reminder …
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight’s NFL Week 9 tilt and you can get the Side & Totals winners when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at 1-888-777-4155 or right here online at www.vegassportsmasters.com.
Get all the NCAA Football, NFL Week 10 and NBA winners as we plan on dashing right through the month of November with another major hot streak.
In other NFL Week 9 action …
KANSAS CITY 23, BUFFALO 13 – Here’s one thing you should know about these KC Chiefs:
In Sunday’s NFL action there were five defensive touchdowns scored in all – and two of ‘em were registered by the 9-0 Chiefs!
No doubt the “pick six” by Chiefs CB Sean Smith that was brought back 100 yards made all the highlight shows (although we could have done without that high-steppin’, Deion Sanders-like moves into the end zone!) but here’s a Chiefs team that didn’t score an offensive TD and still won/covered the 5 ½-point price in upstate New York, and guess it’s safe to say KC head coach Andy Reid is being paid back for lots of bad-luck years/finishes in Philly.
And how about this stat fact from Kansas City’s latest conquest?
The Bills out-yarded the Chiefs 470-to-210 and held the Kansas City to a 3-of-13 success rate on third-down plays … you would have thought the Bills would have won this one by twin figures, right?
NEW YORK JETS 26, NEW ORLEANS 20 – Now that we’re halfway thru (or maybe than halfway thru) this 2013 NFL season, might it not be time to finally recognize the New York Jets as a legit playoff contender inside the AFC?
Okay, so this win-one-week, lose-the-next script has played out through the first nine games for the J-E-T-S (now 5-4) but this latest win has less to do with any script and more to do with hard-nosed football as RB Chris Ivory (18 carries for 139 yards rushing) lambasted his old mates at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon while the Jets’ defense harassed, confused and befuddled Saints slinger Drew Brees, whose 382 yards passing was a whole lot better than his “real game” that included a couple of lefty passes and some real off-the-mark throws too.
Hey, loved how loud-mouth Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan didn’t meet the media after losing this interconference tilt in New Jersey – big bro’ Rex (the fifth-year Jets head coach) had the better prepared and better equipped defense on this day and now before the Jets’ bye in Week 10 you gotta say that there is an exciting football season in New York City and the guys in green (and not in blue) have been responsible for all the thrills.
Next stop following the bye: Back-to-back road games in Buffalo and Baltimore.
Who needs Fireman Ed, anyhow?
Before we preview the Monday Night Football tilt, let’s take a moment to check out which NFL teams are streaking spreadwise – either to the good or to the bad:
The Carolina Panthers have covered their last four consecutive games including Sunday’s zesty 34-10 win against the 9-point underdog Atlanta Falcons … did you know the Panthers now have scored 35, 30, 31 and 34 points in this streak and Carolina sported 27 first downs to 12 for the Falcons here in this wipeout win …
The New York Giants drew a Week 9 bye but Tom Coughlin’s club will head into Sunday’s home game against the Oakland Raiders riding a tidy three-game spread winning streak. P.S., the Jints have not covered four in a row since a six-game spread winning streak capped that Super Bowl-winning season in 2011 …
The San Francisco 49ers also enjoyed a Week 9 bye but note the Niners will enter Sunday’s game against Carolina riding a spiffy five-game spread winning streak. San Fran’s last pointspread loss was all the way back on Sept. 22nd (a 27-7 loss at home against 10 ½-point pup Indianapolis).
In tonight’s NFL Week 9 Monday Night Football game, it’s …
CHICAGO (4-3) at GREEN BAY (5-2) – 8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN
MONDAY NIGHT NFL RIVARLY GAME!
No matter how big a mismatch that Aaron Rodgers vs. Josh McCown might seem to be in the quarterback battle in Monday Night’s Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packers matchup...it's not as bad on paper as what we saw last week when Kellen Clemens was facing the Seattle Seahawks. We're not saying this is going to be a replay of last week. That's unlikely anyway given how soft the Chicago defense has been. This could be a close game in a shootout rather than a boring grinder. And, Chicago could definitely spring an upset even with their backup quarterback if Green Bay shows up as flat as Seattle did.
Games don’t pick themselves unless you’re sure you have ALL the information you need to make the right choice! That’s where the exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach of JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK comes in. Our scouts, sources, statheads, computer programmers, and Wise Guy connections cover all the bases. Then JIM HURLEY GETS YOU ON THE WINNER!
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Just the facts, please:
Well, the Green Bay Packers not only have won their last six consecutive head-to-head matchups against the archrival Chicago Bears, but Pack QB Aaron Rodgers is 9-2 SU (straight-up) in his storied career against “Da Bears” and he just so happens to sport a 12-TD to 2-INT ratio in the last four installments of this NFC North series.
And now – you say – Rodgers may be playing better than ever right now?
Hey, in seven games this year, Rodgers – often times operating without one, two or even three of his favorite receivers – has thrown for 2,191 yards with 15 TDs and just 4 INTs and now it seems the Packers have a rushing game too!
In fact, the Packers rank third in the NFL in rushing offense (averaging a haughty 141.4 yards per game) and here RB Eddie Lacy – averaging 98.8 ypg in his last four starts – will look to hammer the guts of the Bears defense that’s minus injured LB Lance Briggs.
If Lacy gets his 100-or-so rushing yards in this clash and Rodgers is kept in the upright position most of the night, not only will Green Bay snag a seventh consecutive win in this rivalry but it could well stamp Mike McCarthy’s Packers as a “team to beat”, and you do have to wonder aloud if Green Bay is hitting its stride while Seattle and New Orleans have both hit a rough patch in their 2013 schedule.
One X-factor for the 10 ½-point road underdog Bears here:
Chicago needs plenty of “hidden yardage” in its favor here and so let’s see what return specialist Devin Hester can accomplish here – and then we’ll count up how many “Lambeau Leaps” the guys in green, gold and white have here with a note that the Packers have scored 30-or-more points in four different games this year.
Spread Notes – Green Bay is an electric 3-0-1 ATS (against the spread) ever since its Week 4 bye this year and note the Packers are a collective 13-2 versus the vig in their last 15 games played against NFC North opponents. No doubt that Chicago – 0-5-1 ATS in its last six head-to-head games against Green Bay – hasn’t been quite as dynamic in divisional games as the Bears have failed to cover seven of their last eight games against same-division foes.
Here’s the last six head-to-head matchups between the Bears and Packers with G-Bay winning each/every one of ‘em SU (straight-up) while going 5-1 ATS (note home teams below are in CAPS):
|2012||Green Bay||- 3||CHICAGO||Green Bay 21-13|
|GREEN BAY||- 5||Chicago||GREEN BAY 23-10|
|2011||GREEN BAY||- 13.5||Chicago||GREEN BAY 35-21|
|Green Bay||- 5||CHICAGO||GREEN BAY 27-17|
|2010*||Green Bay||- 3.5||CHICAGO||Green Bay 21-14|
|GREEN BAY||- 11||Chicago||GREEN BAY 10-3|
* = NFC Championship Game
NOTE: Get our Heisman Trophy Watch List plus lots of College Football News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.