Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 8:56 AM
OUR NFL WEEK 1 SUNDAY RE-WIND: WHERE DID ALL THE OFFENSE GO?
PLUS QUICK-HITTER PREVIEWS OF TONIGHT'S SAINTS-VIKINGS, CHARGERS-BRONCOS BASHES
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT: BUCKEYES GET A DOSE OF THEIR OWN MEDICINE
Hats off to NBC's post-game commentator Mike Tirico: Last night while following on the heels of the Dallas Cowboys' 19-3 win/cover against the 6-point underdog New York Giants (more on them in a moment here at Jim Sez) the broadcaster addressed the fact that a half-dozen NFL teams scored in single digits in their season-opening games.
From low-to-high ...
Cincinnati was shut out at home versus Baltimore;
San Francisco registered just 3 points in a blowout home loss against Carolina;
The aforementioned Giants kicked one mere FG in losing at "Jerry's Joint";
Houston scored 7 points while getting whacked at home by Jacksonville;
Indianapolis tallied 9 points while getting swamped by the Los Angeles Rams;
And Seattle scored 9 points in its awfully-officiated setback in Green Bay.
Overall, "over" bettors in Sunday's NFL games went an uber-dismal 2-10 ATS (against the spread) as the old adage that "defenses are ahead of offenses at this stage of the season" really was never more evident, right?
Still, the amazing lack of punch from a batch of these single-digit squads was something to behold:
Oh, no. No Odell Beckham, Jr. for the Giants was a real killer in that 16-point setback in "Big D" where QB Eli Manning never was able to "stretch the field" and where veteran WR Brandon Marshall (one catch for 10 yards - and that came on the final play of the game!) turned out to be the invisible man. Manning threw for the most hollow 220 passing yards in modern gridiron history and even that 10-plus minute drive coming out of halftime only produced 3 points. Ugh!;
And what about the Seahawks?
Sure, the zebras stuck it to Pete Carroll's crew pretty good - didn't you find it interesting that Fox commentator Troy Aikman said the Seattle head coach would probably place a phone call to the league office even before he boarded the team plane! Still, Seattle's wobbly O-line made QB Russell Wilson run for his life much of the game and he hurt his own cause with that key strip sack fumble in the shadow of the end zone that merely turned the game around. Plus, the 'Hawks don't have any deep threats that are much needed in this pass-happy day-and-age;
Finally, what can you say about the crummy Colts? Sure, Indianapolis had to play its opener out West without kingpin QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) but backup-turned-starter Mike Tolzien was so bad (see 128 yards passing and two INTs for TDs) that Indy replaced him with Jacoby Brissett who has been a Colt for about, oh, 15 or 20 minutes. Kick into the equation that Colts' PK Adam Vinatieri - a no-doubt future Hall-of-Famer - missed a gimme 38-yard FG (clanked off the pipe) and a PAT and, well, you see how an NFL team can be held below 10 points.
Now, we'll see if totals prices come way down in time for next week's games - we say they will!
The Jim Hurley Network isn't through yet with NFL Week 1 action as tonight we're banging out Sides & Totals Winners with the two Monday Night Football games. Get the winners of New Orleans at Minnesota and the Los Angeles Chargers at Denver right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 on game days. Plus remember to get all the Major-League Baseball winners too! Later this week there's a plethora of great College Football Games including key Thursday/Friday tilts ... make the 2017 Football Season your best one ever!
NFL WEEK 1
Tonight, it's ...
NEW ORLEANS at MINNESOTA -- 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN
Don't get all caught up in this "drama" regarding one-time Vikings RB Adrian Peterson returning to Minny to exact revenge here - it's likely that Peterson will play "second fiddle" to RB Mark Ingram here but whether the visiting Saints get the cash here (at plus the 3.5-point price) depends on how many "chunk plays" QB Drew Brees connects on here. Note last year's Vikes sported the NFL's third-best defense (allowed 315 yards per game) and Pro Bowl LB Anthony Barr will be the main man to watch here while tracking down Ingram/Peterson on the short dump-off passes that Brees loves so much.
Spread Stat - Minnesota is 33-16 versus the vig under fourth-year head coach Mike Zimmer.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at DENVER - 10:20 p.m. ET, ESPN
There's plenty of "newness" floating around between the Chargers now hailing from LA (okay, so that actually happened back in 1960) and the fact both head coaches Anthony Lynn (Chargers) and Vance Joseph (Broncos) are making their debuts - better believe that Denver will rise or fall here with a defense that depends on OLB Von Miller harassing QB Philip Rivers and - just for the heck of it - we say that if Miller doesn't register at least five sacks/hurries here than the visiting Bolts might pull the minor upset.
Spread Stat - The Chargers are 8-2-1 ATS at Denver the past 10 years and that includes the 24-17 loss-but-cover as 7.5-point dogs back in the 201e playoffs.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
True, the Oklahoma Sooners really didn't have to carry on and "plant" their team flag right smack into the block "O" (for Ohio State) moments after last Saturday's emphatic 31-16 win in Columbus but QB Baker Mayfield (386 yards passing with 3 TDs) figured it was proper payback for the 'Eyes singing their alma mater last year in Norman just after Ohio State had battered the Big 12 team 45-24.
The fact is that post-game display became "the story" afterwards and that simply took away from Oklahoma's dominance that might well be what gets rookie head coach Lincoln Riley's team into the four-team College Football Playoffs this year.
Oklahoma - which harangued underachieving QB J.T. Barrett (now that's no Heisman Trophy candidate, ladies and gents!) - has a super-duper defense and already we're wondering ahead if it's good enough to shut down Alabama or Clemson or maybe Michigan come the "post-season".
Two other College Football weekend quick-hitter post-scripts:
For all you folks that "counted out" defending Heisman Trophy winner QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville), take note that his 525 total yards and six TDs in the 47-25 win/push at North Carolina puts him right back at the top of the heap in early voting for this year's shiny hardware;
And the weekend's "booby prize" goes to UMass - yes, the 2017 Minutemen are 0-and-3 already after getting beaten 17-7 by 3.5-point road fav Old Dominion and next up for UMass is Friday's home game at Temple.
Imagine being 0-4 SU (straight-up) and against the odds when lots of other teams will have just one game in the books by then?