Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, September 21, 2015 at 11:29 AM
THE JIM SEZ NFL WEEK 2 REPORT
CHECK OUT TONIGHT'S JETS-COLTS CLASH PLUS A LOOK AT THOSE HIGH-PROFILE 0-AND-2 SQUADS AND A TONY ROMO UPDATE
Hey, wait just a second ...You guys in Baltimore and Philadelphia and New Orleans and Seattle really weren't supposed to be sitting here at 0-and-2 just two weeks into this 2015 NFL campaign, right?
In case your recent memory has left you, this quartet of NFL teams has combined for a whopping 27 post-season game appearances the past five years and that includes a pair of Super Bowl titles (see the 2012 Ravens and the 2013 Seahawks).
But here we are staring straight ahead at the NFL Week 3 card and the Ravens/Eagles/Saints/Seahawks are a combined 0-8 SU (straight-up) and 0-8 ATS (against the spread) ... goodness gracious, indeed!
Okay, so they're not the only ones with an oh-fer so far in the win column - the woeful Chicago Bears, the gag-filled New York Giants, the stumbling/bumbling Detroit Lions and your pals from the recent HBO Hard Knocks series Houston Texans all have gone 0-2 SU so far but, then again, not all that much was expected from this quartet of teams as compared with that other foursome listed above.
We'll have a few critical remarks about all the 0-2 sides in a moment but first let's see what this evening's Monday Night Football game brings us:
NEW YORK JETS (1-0) at INDIANAPOLIS (0-1) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
If the Indy Colts wish to avoid getting onto this list of marquee-named teams with 0-and-2 records, then the AFC South crew must steer clear of many of the mistakes that sunk 'em in last week's non-competitive 27-14 loss in Buffalo.
Okay, so QB Andrew Luck aired two interceptions and the Colts also lost a fumble in that road setback but now Indianapolis must patch up its leaky ship without star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (left knee) and without really knowing whether veteran imports RB Frank Gore (8 carries for 31 yards) and WR Andre Johnson (4 receptions worth only 24 yards) still "have game".
Our Jim Sez sources reveal the J-E-T-S are also banged up a bit more than they let on: Cornerback Antonio Cromartie (knee) likely won't play here but the surprise coming out of Florham Park is that hard-charging RB Chris Ivory (91 rushing yards and two TDs in last week's 31-10 romp over Cleveland) hurt his groin in an early-week practice and has gotten worse, not better. Plus, the O-line took a few hard hits in last week's opener with C Nick Mangold far less than 100 percent for this MNF duel.
The game plan for the Jets - should Ivory miss this prime-time tilt - would be for journeyman QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw lots of short slant passes to WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker (each of whom scored a touchdown against the Browns) and hope Indianapolis' oft-wobbly defense misses lots of tackles while you can expect the Colts to up-tempo things on offense with Luck looking to beat the blitz calls from first-year NYJ head coach Todd Bowles - gotta believe TE Coby Fleener (just one catch for five yards in Week 1) will be a quick-hitter target early-and-often here.
Spread Notes - Indianapolis has failed to cover five of its last seven home openers but the Colts are a composite 20-9-2 against the odds as betting favorites since the start of the 2012 campaign. On the flip side, the NY Jets are just 3-7-1 spreadwise in non-divisional games dating back to the start of last season.
Jim won his Top College Play, The Saturday Upset with Stanford (+10) shocking USC 41-31. Other Saturday winners were Northwestern outright over Duke, and Notre Dame outright over Ga. Tech.
On Sunday, Jim went 5-2 overall as his top Blue Ribbon Blockbuster cashed with the Steelers (-6.5) over the 49'ers 43-18, and went 3-0 with his TV Parlay...Redskins over Rams, Browns over Titans, and Buccaneers over Saints...3 OUTRIGHT UNDERDOG WINS!
Get tonight's MNF Winner between the Jets and Colts here. Last week Jim swept MNF with the Falcons and Niners!
NFL WEEK 2
Here's our Jim Sez critique of the league's above-mentioned 0-2 teams that were supposed to be a whole lot better:
NEW ORLEANS - How's this for a trivia question: The Saints have lost their last six consecutive games played inside the once-friendly Louisiana Superdome and did you know the last team N'Orleans beat in that building was the mighty Green Bay Packers (see 44-23 in Week 8 a year ago)? In Sunday's 26-19 home loss versus 9.5-point underdog Tampa Bay, there were mucho problems not the least of which was QB Drew Brees and his cranky shoulder. Brees threw - for him - the rather pedestrian total of 255 yards on 24-of-38 completions but he misses TE Jimmy Graham (whom the Seahawks apparently don't know how to utilize!) as N'Orleans committed three massive turnovers and appeared out of synch for the better part of the game.
Up Next - The Saints visit 2-0 Carolina this Sunday and all of a sudden this feels like the "lost season" of 2012 when head coach Sean Payton missed the year after a league suspension for "BountyGate"
PHILADELPHIA - Gotta say that the booing inside "The Link" on Sunday was about as loud as we've ever heard it as the bungling Eagles definitely exhibited signs of a team suffering a Week 1 hangover loss as that MNF debacle in Atlanta (see Falcons 26, Eagles 24). No doubt the "smart money" folks turned out to be rather stupid here - note the Eagles went from a 5-point favorite on Friday night to a 7-point choice by kickoff - but surely they didn't bank on Philly QB Sam Bradford throwing an end-zone interception, one other pick and a lost fumble right after the Eagles had forced a turnover that seemingly swung the momentum away from the Dallas Cowboys. On a day when the 'Boys lost QB Tony Romo (broken left/non-throwing clavicle) for the next several weeks, the Eagles back-pedaled into a tie with the Giants for last place in the NFC East and even simple handoff plays between Bradford and RB DeMarco Murray (13 carries for 2 yards - that's no typo!) wound up being adventures.
You sure got the NFL fooled, genius Chip Kelly!
Up Next - The Eagles play at the New York Jets this Sunday and could we possibly spot Mark Sanchez under center for the visiting side here
As per Romo, the Cowboys may feed you this bunk that Brandon Weeden (5-16 SU in his career as a starting quarterback) will be "their man" with Romo sidelined but we're not buying it ... expect Buffalo's Matt Cassel or maybe Tennessee's Zach Mettenberger to be wearing "the star" sometime in the next two weeks.
SEATTLE (0-2) - If Seahawks' fans are beginning to have that "been-there, done-that" feeling that who could blame 'em? After all, as the NBC graphic pointed out in Sunday's 27-17 loss at Green Bay, the 'Hawks not have blown fourth-quarter leads in each of their last four games dating back to last season's NFC Championship Game and Seattle's lost its last three in a row beginning with that meltdown loss in Super Bowl 49. What's RB Marshawn Lynch's mom gonna say now after her son rushed for all of 41 yards on 15 carries? Hey, the Seahawks' foundation has major cracks right now with S Kam Chancellor still a holdout, the defense having allowed a sickening 61 points so far in road losses to St. Louis and Green Bay and with head coach Pete Carroll clearly losing his grip on this veteran bunch.
Note that Seattle's now failed to cover its last four consecutive games dating back to last year's playoff and the last time that the Seahawks failed to cover five consecutive games overall was way back in the 2003 season.
Up Next - The Seahawks finally come home to play the Jay Cutler-less Chicago Bears and note Seattle's 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 home games
BALTIMORE - The word from Ravens-land leading up to Sunday's dispiriting 37-33 loss at 6-point underdog Oakland was that without LB/defensive leader Terrell Suggs (out for the year/Achilles heel) the AFC North crew would "step it up" but instead the Raiders rolled up 448 offensive yards, scored four touchdowns and missed more tackles than you could shake a proverbial stick at ... and thus the Ravens are off to their first 0-and-2 start in head coach John Harbaugh's career that's in Year Eight.
Up Next - Baltimore hosts 2-0 Cincinnati and note the Ravens have dropped three in a row to the Bengals
NOTE: Get our Jim Sez Mid-Week Update in the next column that'll be littered with NCAA Football and NFL Week 3 News/Notes/Previews. There's plenty of key Pointspread Info comin' your way all week long.