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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 12:00 AM


So, Denver QB Peyton Manning didn’t break the NFL’s career passing leader record … he didn’t get that other record either yet as he stands still with 186 career regular-season wins.
Maybe worst of all for the five-time league MVP, Manning watched an opportunity squandered on Sunday in the 27-24 loss at 3-point home underdog Indianapolis.

After all, if the Cincinnati Bengals (8-0) and the New England Patriots (8-0) just keep on winning, then Manning’s Broncos might have to play two playoff road games before they can even get to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara.
Ahhh, the real so-called “big picture”.

In any event, you all know the history here – we’ve never before had three different 8-and-oh teams in the same NFL season and we really could have had four unbeaten teams if Denver CB Aqib Talib didn’t decide to play his own version of the “Three Stooges” by poking Indianapolis TE Dwayne Allen right smack in the eye late in Sunday’s game.

The personal foul penalty – in effect – iced it for the desperate-to-win Colts who quelled their little not-so-quiet week with the “W” but now the national focus shifts to the three teams left with the aforementioned 8-0 SU (straight-up) records … remember we summarized Cincinnati’s easy 31-10 win against Cleveland in last Friday’s edition of Jim Sez and so let’s delve a bit into the Week 9 wins by the Patriots and the Panthers.

Keep in mind that the three NFL teams without a SU loss now have combined to go 19-3-2 ATS (against the spread) for a sizzling .864 winning rate and if you’ve been waiting for the “bottom to drop out” then you’re in a hurtin’ state right about now, eh?
The Bengals are 7-0-1 against the odds so far; the Patriots are 6-1-1 vig-wise; and the Panthers are 6-2 price-wise … va-va-va voom!

NEW ENGLAND 27, WASHINGTON 10 – You might think this is “old hat” for the Patriots to be still perfect while exiting NFL Week 9 play but keep in mind the last time NE was 8-0 was back in 2007 and in the past five years the Pats actually never started a single season better than 4-0 … really.

Sure, Sunday’s win against 13.5-point pup Washington was a true no-sweat special but it would have been more compelling had the D.C. receivers held onto a few of QB Kirk Cousins’ passes – we counted at least seven dropped balls in all – but this time New England put it’s ground-and-pound shoes on with RB LeGarrette Blount chugging out 129 yards rushing on 29 carries and didn’t you absolutely love it when he posed next to those “Minutemen” with their muskets following his first-quarter five-yard scoring run?

Next up for the Pats is their all-time (well, during the head coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady Era, at least) arch-nemesis … the New York “Football” Giants who scootched a pair of Super Bowl wins from the Pats in ’07 and 2011 and might be the most likely team to KO New England from the ranks of the undefeated – yes, we know the Pats are in Denver come Week 12 but do think Brady and Company is gonna lose their first game of the year against the elder Manning? Hmmm.

CAROLINA 37, GREEN BAY 29 – Glad we threw Panthers’ QB Cam Newton into our top three MVP chat last week right here in these Jim Sze pages because the former Heisman Trophy winner was a veritable stat-sheet stuffer in this hang-on-for-dear-life home win against the 2.5-point favorite Packers.

Newton threw for 297 yards with three touchdowns and added 57 rushing yards with one ground score as Carolina – coming off its short week overtime win against Indianapolis last Monday Night – built up a 23-point fourth-quarter lead but nearly ran out of gas as Green Bay scored the game’s final 15 points and Pack QB Aaron Rodgers was intercepted by LB Thomas Davis on a fourth-and-goal fling at the four-yard line.

So, what did we learn about Ron Rivera’s squad here?
Well, the Panthers “went to school” on how Rodgers was defended in the Week 8 Packers’ loss in Denver as they sacked the slinger five times and frustrated him madly while hemming ‘em in the pocket for the better part of three-plus quarters and we saw some major moxie from a Carolina team that plays at Tennessee next, then returns home to play Washington.
Yes, 10-and-oh sounds very reasonable and why do we get the feeling the NFC title will run through Charlotte and not Green Bay, Minnesota or Arizona?

PHILADELPHIA 33, DALLAS 27 (in overtime) – Nope, no undefeated squads here but just wanted to place a proverbial wreath at the foot of the Cowboys … their sixth straight loss has ‘em cooked even in the god-awful NFC East and what can you say when a mere flip of the coin to start OT (the Eagles called tails and won the flip) is the beginning of the end for America’s Team. Hey, the Cowboys’ injury-plagued and depth-shy defense was gassed midway through the fourth quarter and Dallas really needed to win the coin flip, chew some clock and put a score on the board but that didn’t happen and Philly QB Sam Bradford (295 yards passing with the one OT touchdown strike to WR Jordan Matthews) found some holes in the secondary and the Philly party was on full blast.

Maybe Dallas QB Tony Romo (clavicle) will be back the week before Thanksgiving … but will it really matter with Jerry Jones’ crew sitting there at 2-6 (and how about the fact this is the franchise’s longest losing streak since seven straight losses in 1989?)

Extra, extra …
We’ll dig into the Monday Night Football preview/forecast of the game between the Chicago Bears at the San Diego Chargers but first this key reminder …
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight’s NFL Week 9 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 at

Get all the NCAA Football (there’s games every night this week beginning with a pair of Mid-American Conference tilts on Tuesday and another pair of MAC games on Wednesday), NFL Week 10 and NBA/NCAA Basketball winners as we plan on dashing right through the month of November with another major hot streak.

CHICAGO (2-5) at SAN DIEGO (2-6) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Know that saying if you didn’t have bad luck you wouldn’t have luck at all?
Welcome to the world of the San Diego Chargers who’ve dropped five games by eight points or less this year and from the bad-to-worse department was the news that star WR Keenan Allen (lacerated kidney) is gone for the year. If San Diego wants to drop a rare win on their soon-to-be-abandoned home fans, then QB Philip Rivers may wish to beg his club’s 28th-ranked rushing attack to do some damage against a Bears bunch that also ranks 28th in the NFL in rush defense.

Still, something tells us Chicago QB Jay Cutler must hit some “home runs” with WR Alshon Jeffery who has dealt with his own hamstring woes for a chunk of this current campaign. P.S., the Bears have lost three games by one score (that’s 8, 3 and 3 points) this year.
The Las Vegas folks have San Diego favored by 4.5 points at press time but what they should really do is provide odds that this game will come down to the final play – just as many other Chargers’ games have this year.

Spread Notes – The SD Chargers are 3-5 ATS overall this year and note the Bolts are 3-8 vig-wise as betting favorites dating back to late in the 2013 season. Meanwhile, Chicago is 3-4 spreadwise this year and the Bears are a collective 14-26-1 ATS as pups since the start of the 2011 campaign.

Now, let’s have a little fun and check the Monday Night Football game-by-game list so far this year (note all Home Teams are in CAPS below):

1ATLANTA+ 3Philadelphia26-24
2SAN FRAN+ 2.5Minnesota20-3
4GREEN BAY-5.5Kansas City38-28
5SEATTLE- 10Detroit13-10
6Pittsburgh+4SAN DIEGO24-20
7PHILADELPHIA-3.5NY Giants27-7
9CAROLINA- 5Indianapolis(ot) 29-26

Note that Monday Night Football Betting Favorites are an ugly 2-7 ATS as we enter play for this Chicago at San Diego clash. Also, note that home teams are 4-5 against the numbers with road underdogs altogether a tasty 5-2 versus the vig … just thought you’d like to know!

Our list of College Football winners here at the Jim Hurley Network featured a couple of monster games from the oft-overlooked American Conference – we cashed with Cincinnati (+ 8.5) getting the loot in that 33-30 SU loss in Houston as Cincy QB Gunner Kiel threw for nearly 500 yards and wouldn’t like the frisky UC Bearcats quit; and we also banged out a no-doubt-about-it win/cover with 10.5-point pup Navy drilling overhyped Memphis 45-20 as Navy QB Keenan Reynolds – for one day, at least – didn’t break college football’s career TD rushing record but he did everything else in the blowout win and you heard whispers afterwards that the Memphis kids were thinking ahead to this weekend’s game against Houston … ahh, just what we thought!

Meanwhile, we await Tuesday night’s announcement of the latest College Football Playoff rankings but no question that #4 Alabama and #14 Oklahoma State were the runaway winners as ‘Bama back Derrick Henry rushed for 210 yards and three TDs and earned a bucket full of Heisman Trophy votes in the 30-16 win/cover against 7.5-point dog LSU while Okie State – a 6.5-point home dog against TCU – slammed the Horned Frogs 49-29 as QB Mason Rudolph aired five TDs and threw for 352 yards.
The end result … expect Alabama to climb right behind Clemson into the #2 hole in this week’s CFP rankings and look for Okie State to invade the top five (the ‘Boys were under-ranked in the first place!).

In fact, here’s how we would go #1-thru-#6 following last weekend’s games …
#1 Clemson … #2 Alabama … #3 Ohio State … #4 Notre Dame … #5 Oklahoma State … #6 Baylor.

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


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