Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, October 19, 2015 at 10:40 AM
OUR JIM SEZ NFL WEEK 6 REPORT
PATRIOTS MAKE IT PERFECT 5-OF-5 UNBEATENS THAT STAY THAT WAY WITH 34-27 NON-COVER WIN AGAINST THE COLTS (BUT HOW ARE THE DENVER BRONCOS STILL UNDEFEATED?)
THE MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW/FORECAST AS GIANTS-EAGLES CLASH
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: HAIL TO THE VICTORS?
And we didn't think "trick-or-treat" was for another couple of weekends!
Folks, for reasons known only to a few members of the Indianapolis Colts, the oddball-looking fake punt with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter - one that merely blew up in Indy's faces - not only help cost the Colts in a 34-27 New England non-cover win but it may have truly sabotaged any real shot of the "Horseshoes" getting any decent playoff seed this holiday season.
Surely you don't think the Colts cost themselves a post-season berth last night - the AFC South is downright pitiful, you know! - but just when Chuck Pagano's club was looking to get a little DeflateGate revenge, they outsmarted themselves and really played the part of NFL fool last night.
The New England Patriots -- 5-0 and one of the aforementioned five NFL unbeaten squads that won in Week 6 - cashed that bonehead Colts special team play with a QB Tom Brady-to-RB LeGarrette Blount 11-yard scoring strike to make it 34-21 early in the fourth quarter and, save for a "backdoor cover" job by Indy, Bill Belichick's crew had gotten "mission accomplished".
In case you didn't hear in those on-the-field, post-game interviews conducted by NBC's Michelle Tafoya, they are "moving on to the New York Jets".
But back to the league's unbeaten teams: Okay, the likes of the Carolina Panthers (also 5-0) along with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers - the latter three teams here going to 6-0 SU (straight-up) on a season that could get pretty historical should this handful of teams stay undefeated for the foreseeable future - didn't stub their collective toes in Week 6 and that makes looking ahead even more fun.
Hey, we'll save you the trouble and let y'all know that in a couple of weekends - that's NFL Week 8 action -- the Packers play at the Broncos in a classy Sunday Night game and we know that's a battle of unbeaten (both along with Cincinnati have byes this week) but won't things get really juicy if we get beyond that point - the halfway point of the NFL season - and there's still as many as four undefeated squads? Cool!
But gotta admit we're scratching our domes as to just how the Broncos are 6-and-oh: In Sunday's wild/wacky 26-23 overtime win/pointspread push at 3-point pup Cleveland, the Denver offense registered all of one touchdown - QB Peyton Manning to WR Emmanuel Sanders for a 75-yard late fourth-quarter score - or otherwise the Broncos bagged a CB Aqib Talib 63-yard "pick six" and four FGs by ultra-dependable PK Brandon McManus whose 34-yard game-winning kick in OT merely saved Manning from an even tougher post-game presser. Manning aired three interceptions in all - one weak lollipop pass was picked off for a TD by LB Karlos Dansby who happens to be enjoying a Hall of Fame career - and looked shot again en route to a pedestrian 26-of-48, 290-yard passing performance. Hope Mr. Manning can survive the bye week scrutiny in the Mile High City! Those rapid Bronco fans (and media) can be pretty tough cookies.
We'll dig into a couple of other NFL Week 6 key storylines in just a second plus get you're the MNF preview/forecast of the NFC East game between the New York Giants at the Philadelphia Eagles but first this key reminder ...My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight's NFL Week 6 wrap-up game and you can get the Side & Totals winners when you check with us here at Jim Hurley's Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online. Get all the NCAA Football, NFL Week 7 and Major-League Baseball ALCS and NLCS winners -- don't miss a beat! Go ahead and bash the books all week long with America's #1 Handicapper!
In other NFL Week 6 News/Notes ...
It's official -- you can start shoveling dirt on the Seattle Seahawks (2-4) who are paying for a whole lot of sins these days such as not having a quality offensive line that can keep the heat off QB Russell Wilson and not getting all their salary issues addressed months ago. As one radio personality put it last week, the Seahawks are being brought down by the "dollar" as much as anything but in Sunday's 27-23 home loss to 7-point underdog Carolina the overrated Seattle defense didn't cover a soul (see how wide open TE Greg Olsen was on that 26-yard game-winning TD strike thrown by QB Cam Newton?) and, yes, we heard all the boo-birds at Century Link Field at game's end.
P.S., the Seahawks are 1-4-1 ATS (against the spread) so far this year and 1-6-1 spreadwise if you choose to date back to the NFC Championship Game versus Green Bay last year. Throw into the mix the fact Seattle endured a four-game ATS losing streak during the regular season and gotta tell all bettors out there that the party's been over for quite some time. Gee, could the Pete Carroll Era be over by New Year's? ...
Finally, it's really all about the numbers for San Diego QB Philip Rivers - as in eight kids (his wife is due this week), 503 passing yards in Sunday's 27-20 loss-but-cover at 10.5-point fav Green Bay and how about putting an end to the Chargers' four-game spread losing skid? Still, let us remind you that last year the Bolts failed to cover all six of their AFC West games and have yet to play a single divisional game so far this year. Up next is a home game versus Oakland and then following a Week 10 bye there's five more divisional games in the final seven weeks of play. Just sayin'.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW
NEW YORK GIANTS (3-2) at PHILADELPHIA (2-3) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Hey, how does this sound? The winner here in this prime-time game sits in first place in the NFC East. Really!
So what that the New York Giants gagged up a pair of double-digit fourth-quarter leads in season-opening losses to Dallas and Atlanta; who cares now that the Philadelphia Eagles lost a pair of early-season games by 2 and 3 points (versus Atlanta and Washington) as head coach Chip Kelly shouldered a gigantuan amount of criticism?
The fact of the matter is win tonight and stand on top of the bedraggled NFC East but the challenge to get the "W" for Tom Coughlin's Giants ain't gonna be easy considering the wide receiving corps is hurtin' (see Odell Benckham, Jr. and Rueben Randle are dealing with nagging hamstring injuries) - and better believe folks are taking notice as the Giants were installed as a 3.5-point underdog this past Monday/Tuesday and now heading into game day the Eagles are favored by 5.5 or 6 points, depending on your locale.
Kelly's club does come off its best win of the game - a 39-17 home triumph last Sunday against New Orleans - as much-maligned QB Sam Bradford threw for 333 yards and better believe we took note that the Birds rushed for a season-high 186 yards in that Week 5 tilt.
Balance, balance, balance needed here for Bradford and Company but mark us down as saying the Eagles need RBs DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles to get plenty of YAC off short dump-off strikes as the Giants' linebackers are quite vulnerable to getting beat in the short scree/flare passing game.
Spread Notes - The NY Giants have covered both of their games when in the underdog role this year (at Dallas and Buffalo) but date back to the start of 2013 and the Jints are just 8-12 against the odds. On the flip side, Philadelphia is a horrid 9-17-1 ATS as hosts the past three-plus years.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE - BIG BLUE IS REALLY BLUE
It doesn't feel real good to be a "Michigan man" today, right? The maize-and-blue were "in the clear" late Saturday afternoon but guess all-knowing Wolverines' head coach Jim Harbaugh didn't go over all the possibilities if/when your star punter drops the snap from center and then - for whatever reason - decides he can rugby-kick his way out of trouble. Gulp!
Not only is Michigan buried in terms of any national championship type deal - okay, so nobody really thought Year One of the Harbaugh Era was gonna produce a long-lost national championship, we get it! - but wow what will be the ramifications for losing 27-23 to archrival Michigan State this past weekend? Sorry, but Michigan's gonna need this week's bye but the hangover may continue at Minnesota on Halloween Day. P.S., one item from that uber-tough Michigan loss: We realize punter Blake O'Neill was tortured on twitter this past weekend and we're not suggesting any "hate" going out to college kids but Michigan backers better realize that QB Jake Rudock - that Iowa transfer - didn't exactly shine in this Big 10 loss with the oft-immobile Rudock going 15-of-25 passing for 168 yards with no TDs and how about the Wolverines going 4-of-15 on third-down plays. Obviously, this whole loss goes back to O'Neill bungle but Rudock didn't do much to save the day either, folks.
Here's more NCAA Football News/Notes ...
Always fun to look back at the weekend's biggest outright upsets and here's the short list:
Georgia State (+14) bested Ball State 24-19; previously winless Wyoming (+ 6.5) topped Nevada 28-21; Kent State (+ 7) stunned UMass 15-10; aforementioned Michigan State (+ 7.5) defeated Michigan 27-23; and, last but not least, now-#17 Memphis (+ 10) -- okay, tied with Michigan in the poll spot there -- shocked next-door neighbor Ole Miss 37-24 and is it too early to start thinking Justin Fuente's Tigers could have a say in the four-team FBS playoff party this year?
Memphis (6-0) may have a long climb ahead to get into discussion regarding the nation's top four teams but consider that late-year road wins at Houston and at Temple - they are a combined 12-and-oh SU (straight-up) this year - could have Memphis hurdling some squads that figure to lose a game or two in the coming weeks.
If Memphis finishes out things at 12-0, wins the American Athletic Conference Championship Game and has enough things break "just right" then QB Paxton Lynch (see 384 yards passing with three TDs against Ole Miss) and Company could be in the mix.
NOTE: Catch our Jim Sez Mid-Week Report in the next edition ... we'll have our latest Heisman Trophy Watch List, quickie previews of the top NCAA Football games this weekend and, of course, our NFL Week 7 Thursday Night Football Preview as the sagging Seattle Seahawks visit the rejuvenated San Francisco 49ers.