Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 28, 2016 at 10:09 AM
IT’S TIME TO WRAP UP THIS YEAR’S JIM HURLEY TURKEY SHOOT AS PACKERS-EAGLES COLLIDE IN MNF BASH …
PLUS WE SCOLD A COUPLE OF NFL COACHES FOR THEIR HEAD-SCRATCHING DECISIONS …
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT: ALL THE COACHING NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT!
Okay, so you thought maybe your toughest decisions this past Thanksgiving Day weekend was whether or not you were gonna grab the pumpkin pie or the apple pie as your late-night sweets choice while watching all the football games the past few days but, trust us, a couple of NFL head coaches made some shoot-from-the-hip decisions in Sunday’s Week 12 games … and they’re both regretting ‘em today!
In fact, we’re talking about last year’s Super Bowl 50 head coaches – Denver’s Gary Kubiak and Carolina’s Ron Rivera – and let’s take ‘em one at a time:
Carolina boss-man Rivera admitted after his team’s 35-32 loss-but-cover at the Oakland Raiders – a Jim Hurley Network Winner at Panthers plus the 3.5 points – that he was “chasing points” following a key blocked PAT off the foot of usually reliable PK Graham Gano but consider that Rivera chose to go for two while down 24-19 and later when up 25-24 and on both occasions he BLEW IT!
Give CBS game analyst Phil Simms a lot of credit – he told the viewing audience before the 2-point tries that he would kick it on both occasions – and when you consider that the Raiders were in position to tie the game late following a QB Derek Carr touchdown pass you know Rivera did some bad math.
When are these coaches gonna learn? We’ve been spreading the word here at Jim Sez for years that you don’t go for two-point conversion plays until the fourth quarter and then only if they don’t put your team in a potentially bad situation. If the Panthers would have kicked just one of those PATs following the Gano miss, the Raiders would have been down 33-24 before heading out on that game-tying drive.
Now, let’s comment on Kansas City’s thrilling 30-27 overtime win at 3.5-point fav Denver last night:
Okay, so here we were tied at 27-all late in the overtime session and the host Broncos were facing the prospects of either attempting a 62-yard field goal or punting it back to KC and likely pinning the Chiefs deep in their own end with 1:01 remaining on the OT game clock.
Kubiak – who later said the loss was “on me” – decided to take a shot with PK Brandon McManus who hooked the lengthy try and thus the Chiefs took control at the Broncos’ 48-yard line instead of instead their 10- or 15-yard line.
And you know the rest – the Chiefs marched down to the 16-yard line where PK Cairo Santos booted a gimme 34-yarder to win it.
Hey, the Broncos’ defense was dead tired and a tie here would not have been terrible for the Broncos (now 7-4) whose upcoming sked includes a revenge game with AFC West-leading Oakland in Week 17 play.
Instead, the Broncos took a major chance and lost a big-time potential half-game in the standings. Kubiak has some equity, of course, after having won the Super Bowl a year ago but let the radio talk shows in the Mile High City rip ‘em but good here this week – he has it comin’ to him!
And now hear this …
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight’s NFL Week 12 tilt between the Green Bay Packers at the Philadelphia Eagles 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 as we close out the 31st Annual Jim Hurley Turkey Shoot after a 3-1 Sunday with the Giants (-6.5) over the Browns 27-13, Ravens (-4) over Bengals 19-14, and 49'ers/Dolphins OVER 46!
And don’t forget there’s basketball action all week long and then it’s a monster weekend on tap for the college kids with all the Conference Championship Games – they get kicked off Friday night in the Mid-American Conference with unbeaten Western Michigan versus Ohio plus later that night it’s the Pac-12 Championship Game between Colorado versus Washington.
Make sure you’re all aboard for this weekend’s College Football Winners, all the NFL Week 13 games beginning with Thursday’s showdown between the Dallas Cowboys at the Minnesota Vikings and all the hoops too!
Tonight, it’s - GREEN BAY (4-6) at PHILADELPHIA (5-5) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
It’s been in vogue for media folks to call this an “elimination game” – better yet, let’s call it a “desperation game” as the visiting GB Packers stagger into Philly on a four-game SU (straight-up) losing streak while the Eagles have dropped five of their last seven games after that spiffy 3-and-oh start.
Go ahead and acknowledge that Eagles’ rookie QB Carson Wentz was going to experience “growing pains” but it’s first-year head coach Doug Pederson who – like his coaching brethren we mentioned above – has made major blunders (how many times is he gonna go for it on fourth down and not make it?) and so Philly’s lost four games by 7 points or less.
Now, Wentz may have to save the night with Eagles’ injuries galore at running back while the Packers know all about injuries as they finished last Sunday night’s 42-24 loss in D.C. with seven defensive starters out.
No need for Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers to tell folks to “R-E-L-A-X” – he didn’t this time – but the Packers’ gunslinger must operate time-consuming drives here just to keep his team’s defense off the field.
Spread Notes – Green Bay has covered 11 of its last 17 away games dating back to late in the 2014 campaign while Philadelphia is 6-3 ATS (against the spread) in its last nine games against non-divisional opponents.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Ahh, so much to discuss following one of the best College Football weekends in recent memory and it wasn’t just all about Ohio State’s 30-27 double-OT triumph over Michigan:
Let Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh rail on and on regarding that “spot” where Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett was stopped the play before the game winner – but it looked to us as if Barrett reached the first-down marker and maybe Harbaugh should blame himself a bit for handcuffing QB Wilton Speight (219 yards passing and two TDs) so much during the game’s first two-plus quarters of play.
And while we’re at it “hats off” to Alabama, Clemson, Washington and Penn State for solid showings while everyone was watching (yes, we know ‘Bama didn’t cover that bloated 21-point price tag against Auburn) but shame on Louisville for proving to be a real national championship imposter.
Meanwhile, lots of hot stuff coaching from the coaching ranks where Texas’ Charlie Strong was mercifully shown the burnt orange door and “liar” Tom Herman (Houston) took the Longhorns’ job likely before Strong had even emptied his desk!
Word coming down that Oregon is gonna fire clueless Mark Helfrich – geez, what a bad coach he is! – and fully expect Boise State boss-man Bryan Harsin to land that gig but the real weekend news surrounded Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly who was said to be “exploring options”.
Hey, this is not the first time Kelly has been toying with Notre Dame (and the media) with chats about leaving South Bend … here’s a piece of advice to Mr. Kelly following this dreadful campaign: Don’t let the door hit you in the blankety-blank!
If Notre Dame really wanted to hit a home run with a new hire and rid itself of Kelly, than Temple’s Matt Rhule would be a smash hit. In case he doesn’t want it (yeah, right!) than Notre Dame should turn its attention to the oft-mentioned P.J. Fleck of Western Michigan fame.
Hate to play the “fire-the-coach” game but other names we expect to get axed in the very near future include Akron’s Terry Bowden, Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez and Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville.
NOTE: Catch more College Football Notes plus our Heisman Trophy Watch List in the next edition of Jim Sez