Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, August 5, 2016 at 10:12 AM
LET THE FOOTBALL GAMES BEGIN:
THE NFL PRESEASON SWINGS INTO GEAR WITH OUR HALL OF FAME GAME PREVIEW AS PACKERS-COLTS CLASH SUNDAY NITE IN CANTON
BASEBALL'S WEEKEND REPORT: CAN COLORADO STAY ON A ROCKIES MOUNTAIN HIGH VS. MIAMI?
The National Football League is open for business come Sunday night when the Green Bay Packers battle the Indianapolis Colts in this year's annual Hall of Fame Game ... hey this matchup made plenty of sense considering that this weekend "The Hall" will welcome into its doors the likes of QB Brett Favre and WR Marvin Harrison, late of the Packers and Colts, respectively, among other gridiron greats that includes one-time Packers OLB Kevin Greene and long-time San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo.
We'll get into our Jim Sez quickie preview shortly but first let's take care of some other NFL Preseason-related business ...Here is last year's week-by-week NFL Preseason pointspread results with the Favorites and "Overs" listed here:
|TOTAL||32-32-0 (1 Pk)||29-35-1|
Note that underdog sides really shined in NFL Preseason Week 3 action a year ago - that's the so-called "dress rehearsal game" when NFL teams generally play their starters for much of the time - while it's no great surprise that the "unders" cashed more than the "overs" in totals action last summer considering defenses usually are ahead of offenses early on. Still, admittedly, there's not all that much to glean from last summer's overall spread results here and - as usual - the Las Vegas oddsmakers always "tighten up" the numbers in these Preseason tilts with a quickie look ahead to next week's Preseason #1 games showing 11 games already with pointspread lines of just three points or less.
Now, let's get to the start of this NFL Preseason: On Sunday night, it's the Hall of Fame Game ...
GREEN BAY vs. INDIANAPOLIS (at Canton, OH) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Don't think anyone will be paying attention to this kickoff game to the NFL Preseason?
Think again as last year's Hall of Fame Game - that was the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Minnesota Vikings -- drew a potent 6.9 overnight TV rating and thus beat out 2015 World Series and NBA Finals telecasts ... so there!
Still, folks at home in their comfy chairs on this first Sunday night in August won't be watching the respective starters for these two teams for very long as all indications are the Packers and Colts will go with many first-stringers for one series only and we regret to tell you that Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers won't play at all while second-string QB Brett Hundley missed a couple of practices this week after injuring his ankle this past Monday.
We already informed you the other day that Green Bay WR Jordy Nelson won't play at all in this year's Preseason games after suffering a 2015-ending knee injury in a Preseason game at Pittsburgh last August plus note the likes of RB Eddie Lacy and FB Corey Linsley will sit out this tilt too.
Meanwhile, the Colts - who last season missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 - are gonna be spending much time this summer checking out the backups to RB Frank Gore as both Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman will battle rookie Josh Ferguson for the majority of snaps behind Gore. Note that QB Andrew Luck - who hasn't played since last November - will play at least one series as Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano said he'll play all his regulars at least a few snaps each here.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers want to welcome you to the start of the 2016 Football Season. Okay, so it all actually begins this Sunday with the NFL's annual Hall of Fame Game between the Packers versus the Colts and then there's another four weeks of money-making NFL Preseason Games that follow while the College Football campaign swings into gear later this month. Also, take note that America's #1 Handicapper continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online or call 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners ... can't beat that, right?
THE BASEBALL REPORT
They poked their heads over the .500 mark the night-before-last before losing last night 4-2 at home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and you might say "so what" ... but the here-and-now Colorado Rockies (54-54) have been one of baseball's hottest teams since the All-Star Game break and could be ready to ripen these final two months of the 2016 season. The Rockies host the Miami Marlins this weekend for an important three-game set - don't laugh, if the Rockies can pull off a sweep (and they'll have to deal with All-Star RHP Jose Fernandez on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field) than you could make the case that Walt Weiss' club is right in the mix for one of the two National League wild card berths.
True, rookie SS Trevor Story (thumb) is likely to miss the rest of the year and the Rockies received more injury news yesterday when newly-installed SS Daniel Descalso was diagnosed with left shoulder contusion (he's out for at least a few days) but this team has battled back from the depths of nowheresville and sure cashed big the past couple of weeks - the Rockies last weekend won three-of-four at Citi Field against the New York Mets while taking some huge prices (+ 152, + 170 and + 130 on Mike Piazza Night) - and so it's high time everyone started to check out this Rocky Mountain bunch that ranks first in the NL in runs scored (557) and 4th in home runs (136).