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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 11:12 AM


Funny but the NFL Week 8 card started and ended the same way on Sunday - and that's with an NFC North team scoring 10 points and getting badly beaten.

Okay, so maybe you were still snoozing when the Kansas City Chiefs whacked the lowly Detroit Lions of NFC North fame 45-10 as "Breakfast in London" took place once again but on Sunday night we're quite sure your eyes were wide open to see the high-and-mighty Green Bay Packers score just one touchdown and one field goal in their 29-10 loss at the 2.5-point underdog Denver Broncos.

The Packers (now 6-1) - who suffered their first loss of this here-and-now 2015 campaign - didn't exactly get their offensive groove on as QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 77 yards and no touchdowns while Mike McCarthy's club converted just a pair of third-down plays all night lone and were out-yarded 500-to-140.

Hey, we gotta pat ourselves on the back 'cause in our Jim Sez game preview the other day we said the "game plan" was for this fierce Denver defense to keep Rodgers "hemmed in" the pocket and you saw the great defensive strategy employed by Broncos' DC Wade Phillips (one of the five best all-time defensive coordinators in league history, for sure!).

Rodgers wound up getting sacked three times and he rushed for only 31 yards while Denver's ground game came alive with 160 rushing yards and even fossil-like QB Peyton Manning was sharp with 21-of-29 completions and - get this - only one pick.

Okay, so maybe in this battle of unbeatens the Broncos showed they could flex their muscles with the league's best head-to-toe defense but how about taking points at home with the numero uno defense - did Las Vegas "get it wrong" or perhaps did we all overrate the BG Packers who surely didn't resemble a Super Bowl caliber club on this first night in November? Discount double-check, my backside!

We'll dig into a couple more NFL Week 8 key storylines in just a second plus get you're the MNF preview/forecast of the game between the Indianapolis Colts at the Carolina Panthers but first this key reminder ...My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight's NFL Week 8 tilt 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. In fact, get all the NCAA Football, NFL Week 9 and NBA nightly winners as we plan on dashing right through the month of November with another major hot streak!

In other NFL Week 8 News and Notes ...

The Cincinnati Bengals (7-0) stayed unbeaten with a real gut-check 16-10 win in Pittsburgh. Okay, so you all saw the go-ahead/game-winning touchdown fling between QB Andy Dalton to WR A.J. Green with just under three minutes left in the final quarter and you know all about the three INTs tossed by a still-rusty QB Ben Roethlisberger but may we shine some light on one of Cincy's not-so-secret weapons this year?

Veteran PK Mike Nugent boomed field goals from 44, 45 and 44 yards at Heinz Field - otherwise known as a real graveyard for kickers - and note already this season he kicked the game-winner in overtime to beat Seattle last month 27-24 to cap one of the great NFL comebacks.

Nugent's nailed 10-of-13 field goals overall this year and he's been clutch - look around the NFL and you'll see lots of teams that have lost games because of their kicker (Chicago's Robbie Gould missed a 51-yarder that made all the difference in the world in the Bears' 23-20 loss to Minnesota) and check out all the NFL teams that have cut, waived or traded placekickers this year. It's been a freakin' epidemic! Nugent may not get much mention on this now 7-and-oh Bengals' bunch, but we've sat up and taken notice.

Now, here's some random on-the-airwaves comments we heard throughout the busy football Sunday - we won't "attribute" any of the quotes but some of what we heard included: Atlanta QB Matt Ryan is getting worse as the season wears on (see Tampa Bay 23, Atlanta 20 in overtime);

The New York Giants' pass defense may be the worst this league has seen in 20 years (see New Orleans 52, New York Giants 49); And there's more than a few NFL in-the-know folks that believe - right now - St. Louis Rams' rookie RB Todd Gurley is the best back in the league (see St. Louis 27, San Francisco 6 with Gurley rushing for 133 yards including one terrific 71-yard scoring romp).
P.S., to all of the above we say check, check and check!

In the NFL Week 8 Monday Night Football game, it's ...

INDIANAPOLIS (3-4) at CAROLINA (6-0) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Okay, so there's now four undefeated teams left standing in the league while heading into this prime-time clash in Charlotte - and who would have given a proverbial plugged nickel that the Panthers would have been one of 'em come Week 8?

True, Carolina was a division winner a year ago despite the sub-.500 record (see 7-8-1) and Ron Rivera's crew showed lots of last-season/post-season moxie and there's naysayers claiming this year's perfect record doesn't amount to much because the wins came against Jacksonville, Houston, New Orleans (when playing poorly), Tampa Bay, Seattle and Philadelphia but here comes QB Cam Newton and mates looking to join New England, Cincinnati and Denver as the last of the unbeatens ... the Vegas hotshots have the Panthers listed as 6.5-point betting favorites here and only the 9.5-point price against a Drew Brees-less Saints team in Week 3 (see Panthers 27, N'Orleans 22) was a larger "asking" price.

Hey, Newton doesn't have any Hall of Fame pass receivers at his beck-and-call - the Panthers are ranked 29th in the NFL in passing; first in rushing (144.7 yards per game) - but for Carolina to win/cover here than Newton (9 TD passes and 7 INTs) may have to go "north" a few times with throws while balancing out the ground game starring RB Jonathan Stewart.

Hey, all this chatter on Fox-TV yesterday that Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck has been playing with fractured ribs the past couple of weeks is "no biggie" as Luck has tossed six TDs in his two games back but he needs to be more a running threat here too in order to handcuff a Carolina defense that's allowed 23 points or less in all six of its games.

Spread Notes - Carolina is a sweet 5-1 ATS (against the spread) so far this 2015 season and note the Panthers are a collective 13-6-1 versus the vig as betting favorites while dating back to midway of the 2013 campaign. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is a rotten 2-5 against the odds so far this season and the Colts also have failed to cover five of their last seven games played against NFC competition.


Okay, so you can set your clock to it ...The Kansas City Royals win the World Series every 30 years but this time there wasn't gonna be a team coming from three games-to-one down to win a World Series.
The Royals - who did just that to the St. Louis Cardinals way back in 1985 - didn't need some umpire's help nor did they require a wet-behind-the-ears ace to save 'em (see 1985's Brett Saberhagen) but let's just say respect came awfully slowly to Ned Yost's Royals.

Following KC's Game 5 series-clinching 7-2 win in 12 innings against the imperfect New York Mets, we did some digging and found the Royals had an "over/under" wins total of 80.5 at the start of the year and they were listed at 30-to-1 to win it all.

Toss into the mix the fact that Kansas City was a tiny -140 betting favorite to beat the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series; the Royals were +120 against the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL Championship Series; and they were pick 'em in this year's World Series against the Mets.

Maybe the oddsmakers were never sold on the Royals but this team that outscored foes 51-11 from the seventh inning on this post-season turned out to be super-clutch - they trailed in each of the five games against the defensively-challenged and offensively-challenged Mets - and now that "90 feet from home plate" mantra they sang last winter after losing the 2014 World Series in seven games to the San Francisco Giants seem like a long time ago.

The Royals became the first Major-League Baseball team since the 1989 Oakland A's to win a World Series one year after losing in the Fall Classic ... now the $64,000 two-part question is this: Will the Mets be the next ones to follow up a World Series loss with a title and - better yet - will the Royals gain the nation's respect now that they answered every single question posed to 'em.

Hey, don't be funny and say we'll see you back in the Series in 2045 - the Royals could be regular October participants for years to come.

NOTE: Get our latest Heisman Trophy Watch List plus lots of College Football News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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