Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 11:55 AM
THE JIM SEZ NFL WEEK 3 NOTEBOOK: ARE THE GIANTS, COLTS & LIONS HEADED TOWARDS "LOST SEASONS" IN 2015?
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S BEST SEC CLASHES THIS MONSTER LAST WEEKEND OF THE MONTH
By Jim Hurley:
As the now late, great Yogi Berra was fond of saying, "It ain't over, till it's over." Well, Berra was a 10-time World Series champion with those iconic 1950s and 1960 New York Yankees teams and rarely were his squads being counted out early in a season but turn your focus to the here-and-now 2015 NFL Season and there are nine teams without a win while heading into this mega-important Week 3 and it may not be so easy for any of them to turn the beat around. Okay, so the likes of the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks have recent Super Bowl championships, so you'd expect both of these teams to show a "better face" beginning here with Week 3, but in today's jam-packed edition of Jim Sez we wanted to focus on three teams that might not be able to stop the bleeding: They are ...
NEW YORK GIANTS (0-2) - It's not bad enough that the G-men became the first team in league history to blow double-digit fourth-quarter leads in their first two games but now there are other serious cracks in the foundation. First off, QB Eli Manning - who inked an $84 million contract on the eve of this current campaign - has brain-cramped a few times at crunch time already whether it was the dopey decision to tell RB Rashad Jennings not to score a touchdown in the closing moments of that 27-26 loss-but-cover at Dallas in Week 1 play or getting strip-sacked inside the 10-yard line the other day in that 24-20 blunder-filled home loss against 2-point pup Atlanta.
Consider that the Giants released WR Preston Parker (five drops in season's first two games this season) the other day and - get this - didn't even bother to inform Manning of the personnel move. Reports are Manning was seeking out Parker on the Tuesday practice field and, eventually, somebody let him know Parker was no longer a part of this Giants team. Nice.
Now, here's the Giants looking to avoid their second 0-3 SU (straight-up) start in the past three years - the NFC East team actually started off 2013 at oh-and-six! - and heading into tonight's divisional duel against the 1-and-1 Washington Redskins, the heat's on high for 12th-year head coach Tom Coughlin who, we strongly believe, should have been axed following that ugly/aforementioned 2013 campaign that finished up a deceptive 7-9.
If the Giants lose tonight and then go upstate and get beat by Buffalo in Week 4 then the season as we know is just about over for NYG.
Just remember that since 1990 there have been only three teams that managed to snag a playoff berth after staggering out to an 0-3 SU start (see the 1992 San Diego Chargers, the 1995 Detroit Lions and the 1998 Buffalo Bills).
Pointspread Fact - The Giants are 20-29-1 ATS (against the spread) as hosts since the start of the 2009 season.
Jim Hurley's Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to torch Las Vegas and the off-shore books with loads of NFL and NCAA Football winners this week and that includes the winners on the Washington Redskins at New York Giants game tonight to kick off NFL Week 3 action and it's Cincinnati at Memphis on ESPN also this evening plus Friday's TV tilts include Boise State at Virginia and #21 Stanford at Oregon and then there's a full slate of important Saturday games too. Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 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 just days two weeks away now with wild card games slated for Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday, Oct. 7.
INDIANAPOLIS (0-2) - Hey, did you take a really close look at the NFL standings? Of course we've all noticed that the Indianapolis Colts these days are sharing the basement of the AFC South with the over-hyped Houston Texans, but how about the fact that the Colts so far have scored a grand total of 21 points ... yes, the lowest in the league through the opening two weeks of play!
In Monday Night's 20-7 home loss to the 6-point underdog New York Jets, the Colts were at their dysfunctional best with five turnovers (including one at the end of a 10-play drive), a missed 29-yard field goal by Hall-of-Fame to-be PK Adam Vinatieri and 11 penalties.
You got a whiff of internal strife when ESPN's announcing team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden hinted things could be amiss between GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano - the finger of blame has been pointed at Grigson for not upgrading a mediocre (at best) offensive line but our Jim Hurley sources claim QB Andrew Luck (just 250 yards passing with 3 INTs last Monday) is really upset that his wide receivers can't shake open in the early going and thus there's been no real deep threat ... how 'bout the fact that wide out T.Y. Hilton has just 11 receptions despite being targeted 21 times in all while imported WR Andre Johnson (just 7 receptions worth 51 yards so far) might as well be in the "witness protection program".
If the Colts don't win at 3-point underdog Tennessee this Sunday - yes, we've noticed this Las Vegas price tag opened at Colts minus 5.5 and it's been dropping ever since - then there could be a "hell-to-pay" Monday next week.
Pointspread Fact - Despite all the gloom-and-doom, the Colts are an eye-popping 11-0-1 ATS versus divisional foes since the start of the 2013 season.
DETROIT (0-2) - As we've stated a few times previously, the Lions have not won a playoff game since the 1991 season (that's 11 post-season losses in 12 tries since 1970!) and it sure doesn't seem as if the Motowners are gonna be party of Commissioner Roger Goodell's playoff party this winter based on those season-opening losses in San Diego (where Detroit blew a 21-3 lead) and in Minnesota (where QB Matthew Stafford's chest, ribs and arm injuries seemingly went from bad-to-worse).
Now, Stafford is a major question mark for Sunday Night's home opener against mighty Denver and the Motor City natives are pressing the proverbial panic button.
Hey, how about the fact the Lions have been outscored 56-23 since that quick-fire start in San Diego in Week 1 and what about the fact that Detroit was out-rushed 199-to-38 in last Sunday's 26-16 loss to the 2.5-point favorite Vikings?
Second-year head coach Jim Caldwell is amply peeved that his once meaty offensive line now is among one of the worst units in the 32-team league and - don't look now - but with or without QB Stafford here these well-rested Broncos (who have not played since the wild 31-24 comeback win in Kansas City last Thursday Night) already have piled up six sacks and they may be running through turnstile-type blocks here.
Pointspread Fact - Detroit is a sour 10-21-1 vig-wise in non-divisional games the past three-plus seasons.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Here's some key Southeastern Conference games we're keeping an eye on this Saturday:
TENNESSEE (2-1, 0-0 SEC) at FLORIDA (3-0, 1-0 SEC) - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
You have to go back to Sept. 18, 2004 to find the last time the Tennessee Volunteers beat the Florida Gators - so what makes anyone think the orange-and-white gang can get "mission accomplished" here?
Well, for starters, the sharpies in Las Vegas have this game at pick 'em right now - the Gators opened as the 2-point choice, you'll note - and gotta believe it will come down to Tennessee's 15th-ranked rushing attack (246 yards per game) against Florida's 6th-ranked rush defense (yielding just 58 ypg) but a major note here is Florida head coach Jim McElwain has suspended QB Treon Harris here (although co-starter Will Grier has been more effective at the position).
#25 MISSOURI (3-0, 0-0 SEC) at KENTUCKY (2-1, 1-1 SEC) - 7:30 p.m. ET
Did you realize that en route to back-to-back SEC East titles the Mizzou Tigers have covered 13-of-18 league games? Okay, so now Gary Pinkel's club must prove it can cover a game this year as Missouri's winless in three spread verdicts versus SE Missouri State, Arkansas State - a big-time Jim Hurley Network winner a couple of weeks ago - and UConn. Can Kentucky QB Patrick Towles enjoy a bounce-back game after he completed just 8-of-24 passes with two picks in last weekend's 14-9 home loss against 3.5-point fav Florida?
MISS STATE (2-1, 0-1 SEC) at AUBURN (2-1, 0-1 SEC) - 7:30 p.m. ET
Loser of this game will have two SEC West setbacks before we even hit October - so forget about landing a spot in the conference championship game and there's major angst with the 2-point home favorites who have benched QB Jeremy Johnson in favor of inexperienced Sean White. On the flip side, Miss State QB Dak Prescott - who was our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy frontrunner for much of the 2014 season - enters this clash with 799 yards passing, 5 TDs and 0 INTs to go along with his 24 carries for 107 yards and two scores.
Better make sure you're all aboard for all our SEC winners and all the College Football winners tonight/tomorrow/Saturday with the Jim Hurley Network.
NOTE: Get more NCAA Football Previews and NFL Week 3 goodies too in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez.