Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, September 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL WEEK 3 REPORT –
PACKERS TONITE SHOOT TO BECOME
THE LEAGUE’S 7TH TEAM TO GO 3-AND-OH
PLUS BIG BEN, WR MONSTERS & MORE …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS/NOTES
Nine NFL teams entered the Week 3 schedule with perfect 2-and-oh SU (straight-up) records and – when the dust finally settled last night with Denver’s taffy-pull 24-12 win/cover in Detroit – there were still six teams without a loss and one more team looking to stay perfect tonight.
Okay, so the fact that the Green Bay Packers – who entered the here-and-now NFL season as one of the tri-favorites at 6-to-1 to win it all – have a shot to stay unbeaten this evening when they play the Kansas City Chiefs ranks as no big surprise but how about Carolina, Atlanta and, to a lesser degree, Cincinnati all with proverbial goose eggs in the “L” column?
Should those 1972 Miami Dolphins alums start getting a wee bit nervous?
Nah, but this has been a whole lotta fun for the league’s undefeated squads and we’ll banter some about the Week 3 results shortly plus get you some key Jim Sez thoughts on newsmakers QB Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, some of the NFL’s stat-sheet stuffing wide receivers and more.
First, this key reminder …
Jim Hurley’s Handicappers and Bloggers are ready to rock-n-roll with more gridiron winners this week beginning here with the Side & Totals winners on tonight’s Monday Night Football Game between the Kansas City Chiefs at the Green Bay Packers and then we’ll roll on later this week with Thursday/Friday Night Winners before we even get to a jam-packed weekend card.
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Plus get all the Major-League Baseball winners this final week of regular-season play and remember it’s the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday, Oct. 6 and the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, Oct. 7 before we get full-blown into the Baseball Playoffs.
Folks, we’re finishing out September with a real bang and promise that October’s gonna rock with both Football and Baseball at the Jim Hurley Network – so don’t dare miss out on all the fun-and-profits!
Tonight, it’s …
KANSAS CITY (1-1) at GREEN BAY (2-0) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
As you well know, much is being made this year about the NFL’s Super Bowl history – this being the year of Super Bowl 50 and all – with 23 Super Bowl rematches on the regular-season docket and here’s an oldie but goodie … the matchup way back when in Super Bowl I.
Okay, so maybe you watched that game that Green Bay won 35-10 as Super Bowl MVP QB Bart Starr threw a pair of touchdown passes to a journeyman wide receiver named Max McGee (and don’t forget that Willie Wood pick six either!) and now we fast forward a mere half-century and these Packers are a prohibitive 6.5-point betting favorite for tonight’s tilt at historic Lambeau Field and they have another iconic quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who is fresh off a 249-yard, two-TD passing game last Sunday Night in a 27-17 win/cover versus Seattle and our Jim Sez insiders say Rodgers will be utilized as a runner out of the pocket against this fierce KayCee pass rush – don’t be surprised if Rodgers winds up with 6-to-8 planned play runs here as he attempts to sidestep the likes of pass-rushing maven Justin Houston (sacks in each of his team’s last eight straight games).
On the flip side, the Chiefs aren’t about to turn away from star RB Jamaal Charles despite his two critical lost fumbles in that bitter 31-24 home loss to Denver in Week 2 play – keep in mind the Packers right now rank 30th in the NFL in rushing defense (allowing 154 ground yards per game) – and if this one happens to be close late than a rush defense yielding 5.3 yards per pop could be vulnerable. Expect Charles to get a minimum of 25 “touches” here.
Spread Notes – Kansas City’s covered seven of its last 10 games when placed in the underdog role. Meanwhile, Green Bay is 12-7-1 versus the vig overall since the start of last year and note the Packers are 52-31-2 ATS (against the spread) as betting favorites since the start of the 2009 campaign.
NFL WEEK 3
In case you were wondering, there was only one unbeaten team placed in the underdog role this past Sunday – the Cincinnati Bengals were a 2.5-point pup in Baltimore – but despite some shaky coaching (again) by Cincy’s Marvin Lewis who opted for a TD over a sure three points (and almost cost ‘em in the end) the Bengals came up 28-24 winners thanks in large part to WR A.J. Green and his 10 receptions for 227 yards that included 80- and 7-yard TDs in a wild fourth quarter where there were four lead changes in all. Note that Cincinnati has not started off a year at 4-0 SU since 2005 and next up is a home game against aforementioned Kansas City who will be coming off the dreaded “short week plus travel” …
Tow NFC South teams remain perfect through the season’s first three games:
The Atlanta Falcons copped the Week 3 game-of-the-day with that emotional 39-28 come-from-behind win at Dallas (we had it a pick ‘em affair at game time). Okay, so here’s another case where a super-duper wide receiver already putting up MVP-like numbers – see Julio Jones going for 12 receptions worth 164 yards and two scores – plastered his fingerprints all over the game but how about a hand for a Falcons’ defense that didn’t flinch after giving up 28 first-half points and wound up holding Dallas to 1-of-6 conversions on third down? Our Jim Sez sources swear that first-year Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn has changed the culture of an organization that hasn’t been to a Super Bowl since 1998 – right now the mighty Quinn is our clubhouse leader when it comes to NFL Coach of the Year.
Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers may rank as the most under-the-radar NFL unbeaten thus far.
Sunday’s 27-22 non-cover win against a Drew Brees-less Saints team (and note that when it was confirmed on Friday that Brees would not play with his shoulder-related injury the Las Vegas price tag went from Carolina favored by 3 points to 8 points to a game-time price of 9.5 points) catapulted the Panthers to a 3-0 SU mark and all anyone wanted to talk about after this latest game was QB Cam Newton’s “maturity” – it helped that he threw for 315 yards with a pair of TD strikes to popular TE Greg Olsen plus Newton added a 13-yard scoring run. The inside skinny on these Panthers is that they have rallied without defensive leader LB Luke Kuechley (concussion symptoms) for a second straight week and may have the league’s most dynamic cornerback in Josh Norman who snagged a game-saving INT in the end zone with just 69 seconds left on the clock …
The late Sunday night word regarding injured Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee) is that he’ll be out of action somewhere between four to six weeks and you better believe you haven’t heard the last of this – Pittsburgh believes St. Louis D-back Mark Barron acted in an unsportsmanlike manner although Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin afterwards revealed he had no issue with the play where “Big Ben’s” knee twisted … can Michael Vick be the savior for the next month-plus? Hmmm.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
Something just doesn’t jive:
The current Associated Press Top 25 rankings lists Big 10 teams Ohio State (4-0 SU) and Michigan State (4-0 SU) as the country’s number one and two teams yet between ‘em these cats have been major money-burners with a combined 2-6 ATS mark this year – ouch!
We just want to know why last year every time Florida State kept winning unimpressively (see 13-0 SU regular season but a 3-9 ATS mark) they kept dropping in the polls while the Buckeyes and Sparty stay atop the class despite some wobbly wins. Just wonderin’ …
Okay, so we can say good night to the Oregon Ducks for this year’s playoffs as Utah’s resounding 62-20 win as 10-point road underdogs bopped the 2-2 Ducks out of any contention for this year’s national championship one year after the Eugene gang played for all the marbles. How about the fact that for the game Oregon surrendered 273 yards rushing and 257 yards passing while allowing seven TDs between the second and third quarters. The $64,000 question now for Oregon fans and handicappers like us is will Oregon put up the white flag now? We’ve seen teams that were expected to make national title runs totally crumble after those dreams are dashed and would anyone really be surprised if the Ducks (now 1-3 ATS) finish up something like 3-9 versus the vig this year? …
Finally, if you watched all the college games and all the highlight shows this past Saturday – we always do, my friend – than you know there were some devastating losses suffered by the likes of Middle Tennessee State, Arkansas (please don’t remind us!), Tennessee, Kent State (in two OTs), Texas Tech and Texas. Whether it was a ricochet TD pass in the end zone for TCU that beat T-Tech or the bungled Texas punt late, we always take it into great consideration the following week because – as coaches have told us in the past – a crippling loss often carries over into sloppy practices and an ensuing shoddy effort.
So, let’s all keep that in mind as we embark on a great college week ahead that will feature – among other games -- #23 West Virginia at ##15 Oklahoma, #21 Miss State at #14 Texas A&M, #13 Alabama at #8 Georgia and the weekend’s marquee matchup between #6 Notre Dame at #12 Clemson.
NOTE: Catch our Jim Sez Mid-Week Update in the next column as we’ll get you the NFL Week 4 Thursday Night Preview of the Baltimore Ravens at the Pittsburgh Steelers.