Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL REPORT:
WE ROUND OUT OUR JIM SEZ TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES WITH THE PATRIOTS & SEAHAWKS…
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: THE UP-TO-DATE BCS ODDS TO WIN IT ALL
By Jim Hurley
The summer camps keep on openin’ all around the land—today the veterans report for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins, the Oakland Raiders, the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, the St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Bucs…
In other words, it’s everyone into the pool by Friday and so we’re declaring it officially Football Season… is that okay with you?
Lots of goodies on the docket to check on here on this busy week of training camps and let’s start off the quickie report with the possibility that Miami C Mike Pouncey could miss the season’s first seven games after undergoing hip surgery back on June 23rd.
Pouncey— part of that ultra-dysfunctional offensive line of the Dolphins a year ago— originally thought he would miss three full months of time from that surgery date, but instead it’s appearing more and more likely that the Fish snapper won’t be back till about the midway point of this 2014 NFL season and by then QB Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins could be sunk in the AFC East and the wild card playoff picture too.
Yes, Miami has a Week 5 bye but still it appears now that Pouncey will miss 50 percent or close to 50 percent of the team’s regular-season games and throw into the mix the fact that also means the Dolphins will start five completely different O-line starters as compared to the unit that started Game 1 a year ago… you remember those Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito fun days that also included RG Tyson Clabo and RT John Jerry.
Also, the San Diego Chargers announced they have cut one-time first-round draft pick OLB Larry English.
The 2009 draftee—the 16th overall selection in that spring’s rather rich draft —was a major bust from the A.J. Smith Era as English registered just 11 sacks in five years and last year suffered a torn biceps injury in a Week 10 game against Denver and then missed the remainder of the campaign.
The Smith mess-ups later in his tenure really have sabotaged the Chargers’ roster/depth— don’t hear all that many folks defending his reign these days now, do you?
Extra, extra …
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Plus, the Football Season is right around the corner with the NFL Hall of Fame Game set for Sunday, August 3rd as the New York Giants battle the Buffalo Bills.
It’s all part of the summertime action—can’t wait!
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NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES
Hey, it’s summertime and that means the annual Jim Sez reports on all 32 NFL teams with our quick-hitter looks wrapping up its first phase here today with the New England Patriots and the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks… and do check out our quickie pointspread ditties here too.
NEW ENGLAND —Last summer all eyes were on a certain Patriots tight end who may or may not be guilty in a couple of different murder trials, but this summer all eyes are on TE Rob Gronkowski, who is looking to bounce back from a torn ACL suffered last December after making a comeback from forearm and back surgeries.
Gronkowski— who’s been cleared to practice and won’t be placed on the team’s PUP list—has 42 touchdown in 50 regular-season games, but he simply hasn’t been right for the better part of the past two years and you’ll recall “Gronk” was half-speed at best for that Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants back in February of 2012.
Figure on a slow-but-steady trip back to full health here and we wouldn’t expect Gronkowski to play much in the team’s preseason games in August.
Pointspread Notes—Go back the past five years now and you’ll see the Patriots are a collective 48-40-1 ATS (against the spread) and that .545 winning rate qualifies as good but probably not as good as you thought from a New England team that has won 10 of the last 11 AFC East division crowns. Note that the Pats are only 3-6 versus the vig in post-season games since the start of the 2009 campaign.
SEATTLE—It’s always fun to examine/analyze the schedule for the defending Super Bowl champs and worth noting here that following the Seahawks’ NFL Kickoff showdown against the visiting Green Bay Packers, the ‘Hawks will get 10 days off before playing at San Diego and then a Super Bowl rematch (at home) against Denver before a Week 4 bye.
In other words, no real bad travel to speak of in the first month of play and three challenging games that Seattle should win—if there’s a little part of the sked that Pete Carrroll’s club might fear it’s a three-week stretch beginning in late November with high-profile games against rival San Francisco sandwiched by a trip to Philadelphia—no doubt that Seattle could lose two-of-three here and, if not careful, could cost a #1 seed come playoff time.
Pointspread Notes—The champion Seahawks pounded out a 13-6 ATS mark last year and so that makes this NFC West crew a collective 36-16-1 ATS the past three years (an electrifying .692 winning percentage). Seattle is now a spiffy 25-9-1 versus the vig in all non-divisional games the past three years and that plays out to a scintillating .736 winning rate… wowie!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE: THE BCS WIN IT ALL ODDS
Let’s take a few minutes to zoom around and check out the up-to-the-minute BCS Odds to Win it All (note all figures below are based on $100 per-play wagers):
FLORIDA STATE (+ 300)—Tough to argue with the defending champ Seminoles being the odds-on favorite here with Heisman Trophy-winning QB Jameis Winston back in the saddle, but the ‘Noles must satisfy some hot-shot running backs and wide receivers, and that’s no small task for boss-man Jimbo Fisher. P.S., Florida State did score 40-plus points in 12 of its 14 games last year.
ALABAMA (+ 600)—Every year you expect the Crimson Tide to either win it all or at least be right there in the running, but will things run so smoothly on offense now that AJ McCarron is gone, and doesn’t that ‘Bama defense need to forced more turnovers in the team’s biggest games this year?
OREGON (+ 600)—Count us among the folks who thought it too tall a task last year for rookie boss Mark Helfrich to win it all in the first season of the post-Chip Kelly Era, but now that QB Marcus Mariota is one year older/wiser, this Pac-12 team is serious about winning it all. Folks, we’d like to see Oregon be a bit more physical but this unit is head-and-shoulder pads better than the rest of the league and Mariota should be Heisman-like with his aerial numbers and ground figures pretty comparable.
AUBURN (+ 1000)—The Gus Malzahn Show was an amazing hit last year, but you wonder if the off-season now allowed opponents to key on the actions of the War Eagle quarterbacks plus we wonder if a leaky defense can get all the way to the BCS Championship Game for a second straight season… hey, should have beaten Florida State last year in the title tilt.
OKLAHOMA (+ 1000)—Last year’s Sooners won 11 games, bested Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Alabama in back-to-back-to-back games to close out the year and believe this year’s club is super-speedy all around. Okay, so Oklahoma never does qualify as a “sleeper” but Bob Stoops crew may be overlooked by some and that’s a huge mistake. Can they be perfect in a rowdy Big 12?
NOTE: Get more NFL and NCAA Football coverage in the coming editions of Jim Sez… and there’s MLB News & Notes too in the days/weeks ahead.