Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 10:51 AM
NFL WEEK 7 KICKS OFF AND THE PATRIOTS BLOCK LAST-SECOND JETS FG TO SNAG 27-25 WIN
MORE NFL WEEK 7 PREVIEWS AS BENGALS-COLTS AND GIANTS-COWBOYS SET TO COLLIDE SUNDAY
OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS FEATURE A QUARTET OF TOP 25 SHOWDOWNS
The NFL Week 7 menu started last night - and this was no typical Thursday night blowout.
Instead, the 9.5-point favorite New England Patriots needed to block a low-flying K Nick Folk field goal from 58 yards out to hold off the now 1-and-6 New York Jets 27-25 and hope you watched the post-game presser involving NYJ head coach Rex Ryan who was a real keg of dynamite.
Hey, Rexy, we feel your pain but the bottom line is when your offense controls the ball for 41 minutes, you get 43 rushes and you still lose, well, it ain’t your year!
The Patriots made key red zone stops, QB Tom Brady improvised plenty en route to his 261-yard, three-TD passing performance and it was same old story in Foxboro where New England’s now beaten the Jets the past three years in a row by 3, 3 and 2 points.
It’s now full speed ahead to Sunday’s NFL Week 7 action.
NFL WEEK 7 PREVIEWS
CINCINNATI (3-1-1) at INDIANAPOLIS (4-2) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
These teams have combined for six playoff game appearances in the past three years - but just one win (see Indy Colts 45, KC Chiefs 44 in AFC Wild Card Game last year).
No doubt both of these AFC clubs figure they’ll be getting back to the “promised land” this winter so this Week 7 showdown is ultra-important on many fronts beginning with the fact a home game (or two) this post-season could well be determined right here inside Lucas Oil Stadium on this October weekend.
The Colts are gunning for their fifth consecutive SU (straight-up) win and somewhat lost amidst all the league-wide talk about Denver QB Peyton Manning and his quest for the NFL’s all-time touchdown mark is the fact Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck already has thrown for 1,987 yards and 17 TDs this season and now he looks to attack a Bengals defense that spent five quarters on the field in last week’s marathon 37-37 overtime home draw versus Carolina.
Luck will be eyeballing hot wide-out T.Y. Hilton (40 catches for 604 yards receiving) while it remains up in the air as to whether Cincy WR A.J. Green (toe/missed mid-week practices) will get green-lighted for this bash.
Spread Notes - Cincinnati is 20-10-1 ATS (against the spread) overall while dating back to late in the 2012 season and note the Bengals are just 3-7-1 vig-wise away since late ’12. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is a glittery 5-1 against the odds so far this year including four consecutive covers and the Colts are 14-5-1 ATS as betting favorites since QB Luck came aboard back in 2012.
NEW YORK GIANTS (3-3) at DALLAS (5-1) - 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
Can we refresh your memory for just a moment? The Dallas Cowboys - who last won a playoff game in the 2009 season - entered this 2014 season listed at 60-to-1 odds to win Super Bowl 49 and yet here we are nearly halfway through the season and some folks are convinced the ‘Boys are the best team in the NFL.
P.S., the current odds to win it all has Dallas at 7.5-to-1 ... just in case you were wonderin’!
Okay, so you knew a 5-and-1 start such as this - featuring last week’s 30-23 win at 10-point favorite Seattle - was gonna stir the masses that root for “America’s Team” but this has hardly been a smoke-and-mirrors start for Jason Garrett’s team.
The ‘Boys are for real.
The offensive line is - right now - the best in all of pro football starring three first-round draft picks the past four years and RB DeMarco Murray is shooting for a seventh straight 100-plus yard rushing game and nobody in NFL history has ever started off a season with seven consecutive 100-yard ground games ... not Jim Brown, not O.J. Simpson, nobody.
If Murray (785 yards rushing) and Company can pound down on a Giants defensive front that was bashed to the tune of 203 yards rushing at Philadelphia last Sunday night in that 27-0 loss, then maybe the still-rising 6 ½-point price on this game ain’t enough!
Remember that there’s no WR Victor Cruz (knee) for the Giants who desperately need their O-line to keep QB Eli Manning in the upright position after he was sacked six times last week in Philly.
Spread Notes - Dallas had covered four of its first six games this year but this marks the first divisional game for Dallas which last year sported a 5-1 ATS mark within the confines of the NFC East. The NY Giants enter this Week 7 tilt with a dead-even but vig-losing 3-3 ATS mark this year but did you know the G-men are a heady 6-3-1 spreadwise in their last 10 trips to “Big D”?
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the NFL Week 7 Side & Totals winners when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network and then keep rollin’ in the green all week/weekend long with all the NCAA Football, the NFL and the on-going MLB Playoffs. Remember the World Series begins Tuesday night in Kansas City -- we’ll have a World Series preview in next Monday’s Jim Sez! Check with us on game days either here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 - make this an October to remember.
NCAA FOOTBALL KEY SATURDAY PREVIEWS
#21 TEXAS A&M (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at #7 ALABAMA (5-1, 2-1 SEC) - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Hey, one more sour-puss sound bite coming from ‘Bama boss Nick Saban and we’re gonna lose it ... the Crimson Tide boss is now upset with the media (say what!) because he feels his club is not getting enough “love” for their 5-1 SU (straight-up) start.
Hey, Nick, don’t freak out just ‘cause your special teams players can’t hang onto the football and because your offense was feeble in last weekend’s 14-13 non-cover win at 9-point dog Arkansas. The Tide’s top pass-catcher - WR Amari Cooper - nabbed just two balls worth 22 yards in that hang-on-for-dear-life win while ‘Bama churned out only 227 offensive yards in that game against the Hogs and so expect a bit more wide-open action here from offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s unit.
On the flip side, Texas A&M has fallen off the cliff in recent weeks with back-to-back SEC losses following that epic OT win against Arkansas. The Aggies have been beaten by a sum total of 83-51 the past two Saturdays by Miss State and Ole Miss and - dare we say it - one-time Heisman Trophy front-runner QB Kenny Hill Jr. has fallen so far back in that race he needs binoculars!
Hill had 17 TDs and 2 INTs in A&M’s first five games - he has been picked off five times the past two weeks plus lost a fumble that was returned for a score.
No moaning and groaning here, Saban, just beat this suddenly-slumping Aggies team!
Spread Notes - Alabama is a rotten 1-4 spreadwise to start off this 2014 season but the Crimson Tide’s a solid 18-11 ATS in SEC play the past two-plus seasons. Texas A&M is 3-4 vig-wise this season and the Aggies are 2-7 ATS outside of College Station the past year-and-change.
#14 KANSAS STATE (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) at #11 OKLAHOMA (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) - 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
College football buffs know the last time Kansas State ventured into Norman (in 2012) the Wildcats stunned the 15.5-point favored Sooners 24-19 - now Bill Snyder’s guys are a mere 7 ½-point underdog for this conference clash and gotta believe they have a shot at another upset should the QB Jake
Waters-to-WR Tyler Lockett combo stay red hot. When we last left ‘em, Waters was busy throwing for 4 TDs and Lockett was busy nabbing 12 passes for 125 yards with two scores in a 45-13 win/cover against 14-point dog Texas Tech back on Oct. 4th.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma - not overly impressive in last week’s Red River Rivalry 31-26 non-cover win against 16 ½-point underdog Texas - must get QB Trevor Knight heated up as both a runner and passer. Remember last week the Sooners accounted for only 29 offensive yards in the first half while scoring a pair of non-offensive touchdowns.
Spread Notes - Kansas State has covered its last three games in a row (versus Auburn, UTEP and Texas Tech) and overall the K-State Wildcats are 12-5-1 ATS away since the start of the 2011 season. Oklahoma has split its first six spread verdicts this season and the Sooners have covered five of their last seven home games.
#15 OKLAHOMA STATE (5-1, 3-0 Big 12) at #12 TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) - 4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
Guess you could look at TCU’s game last weekend against Baylor from one of two angles:
It’s amazing that a team could allow 61 points and still cover the Las Vegas pointspread ... but equally amazing that 58 points scored against a Top 5 team wasn’t enough to get the straight-up win!
Folks in the Lone Star State are still buzzing about Baylor’s 61-58 comeback non-cover win against 7-point dog TCU but now Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs have to put that messy finish out of their memory bank and play the Big 12’s co-leader (tied with aforementioned Baylor).
No doubt Oklahoma State was counting its blessings last week after a 99-yard kick return for a score by Tyreek Hill snapped a 20-all tie with six-plus minutes left in the game against heavy-duty dog Kansas and the Cowboys likely need a special teams score (or two) to snag the upset here against the 9-point favored Frogs.
Best matchup of the day will be TCU back B.J. Catalon (six rushing scores) going against an Okie State defense playing seven first-time starters.
And don’t forget that TCU QB Trevone Boykin was bothered this week in practice with a sore wrist - that’s what happens when you throw it a gazillon times a game!
Spread Notes - Oklahoma State’s alternated spread wins/losses through its first six games this year and note the Cowboys are coming off the 27-20 non-cover win at 20-point dog Kansas last weekend. On the flip side, TCU is a perfect 5-and-oh spreadwise this season and the Horned Frogs enter this Big 12 bash having covered seven straight while dating back to late last year.
#23 STANFORD (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) at #17 ARIZONA STATE (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) - 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Remember last year Stanford beat Arizona State twice - there was the 42-28 regular-season win in Palo Alto and later the resounding 38-14 triumph in Tempe in the Pac-12 Championship Game -- and that leads us to the $64,000 question:
Is this Cardinal team still just way too physical for Arizona State?
We’ll find that out plus we’ll find out whether or not Sun Devils’ QB Taylor Kelly (right foot) will start here after missing his team’s last two games.
If Kelly does not go here than junior Mike Bercovici (998 yards passing with 8 TDs and 2 INTs the last two games - including that Hail Mary fling to beat USC two weekends ago) will start while the injury bug has bitten Stanford WR Devon Cajuste (head injury) and so expect more looks to valuable WR Ty Montgomery who caught 7 passes worth 72 yards in Stanford’s 34-17 win/cover against 16 ½-point pup Washington State last Thursday night.
Spread Notes - Arizona State is 15-14-1 ATS under third-year head coach Todd Graham and the Sun Devils enter this Pac-12 bash at 22-16-2 ATS in league affairs the past four-plus seasons. Stanford has split its first six pointspread decisions so far this year but did you realize the Cardinal is 37-21-1 ATS in conference play the past six-plus seasons?
NOTE: Get more NFL Week 7 Previews/Forecasts in the next Jim Sez.