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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 11:45 AM

Another Weekend of Winners From Jim Hurley! From Thursday through Sunday, Blue Ribbon plays go 7-3-1 and 3-1 Sunday, while Hotline is 8-2!



Let's be real ... there were some terrific down-to-the-wire finishes in NFL Week 3 play on Sunday but all the national anthem "statements" stole the headlines - word to the wise for the league: It's time to get back to the games and let that action speak for itself.

Consider that the NFL Week 3 featured the following: There were 10 underdog sides - out of 13 games on Sunday - in which pups covered the almighty pointspread and Jacksonville, the New York Jets, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Buffalo, Chicago and Washington all won those tilts outright ... now that qualifies as a super Sunday, right?

Now, if the Arizona Cardinals - a 3-point home underdog for this evening's in-the-desert game against the Dallas Cowboys - can notch a pointspread win then the dogs will have barked up a storm and delivered one of the great weekends for point-grabbers in recent NFL lore and yet all the media wants to concentrate on is what teams were locking arms for the anthem. Enough!

We'll look back on some of Sunday's biggest newsmakers but first this key reminder and then the Monday Night Football quick-hitter preview:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you the winner for tonight's Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals plus all the Major-League Baseball when you check in today either right here online or 1-800-323-4453. And make sure you're with us all week long as there's more Football come Thursday night and right thru the coming weekend. The NFL Week 3 menu was chock full of winners including New Orleans over Carolina, the New York Giants plus the points versus Philadelphia, the Buffalo Bills (and the "under") against Denver, the New York Jets, Tennessee, Cincinnati and the "over" in Houston at New England. Wow!

Tonight, it's ...
DALLAS (1-1) at ARIZONA (1-1) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
It didn't take long for the Cowboys to get to their first "gotta-have-it" game of the year following last weekend's horrid 42-17 in Denver - true, the 'Boys let that one slip away faster than you can say Roger Staubach as RB Ezekiel Elliott rushed the ball just nine times for eight yards (so we don't want to hear all the chatter that Zeke didn't get enough totes - Dallas had to chuck it to get back into that game) and QB Dak Prescott put up some pretty hollow stats with 30 completions but here the Cowboys need that balance and must not challenge CB Patrick Peterson too much here or they'll live to regret it.

On the flip side, the Cardinals also face a crossroads game too - and if Dallas thought its ground game has to get aa jump-start while averaging just 84.5 yards per game here's the Redbirds averaging a meager 64 yards rushing and that's gotta change or else QB Carson Palmer will be under the gun with 40-plus pass attempts here - we believe Palmer will go right after a banged-up Dallas secondary here with some downfield chucks where veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald (9 catches for 95 yards so far in 2017) could be a bigger-than-you-think factor.

In Sunday's NFL Week 3 play ...
If the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons wind up with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, then they might point to the Week 3 finish in Motown: The final play - you've all seen Lions' WR Golden Tate not get across the goal line before getting tackled as NFL rules took center stage - saved the Falcons' bacon on a day where Atlanta QB/2016 league MVP Matt Ryan air-mailed three interceptions and WR Mohamed Sanu showed butter fingers. Hey, the Falcons have dodged bullets now in Chicago and Detroit and they are standing there at 3-and-oh (you could say Atlanta's king of the NFC North considering it also bested the Green Bay Packers in convincing fashion in Week 2) ...

The New York Giants, on the other hand, have real reason now to click the proverbial panic button following's Sunday's last-second 27-24 loss-but-cover at 5.5-point favorite Philadelphia - a major Jim Hurley Network winner! - as Eagles' PK Jake Elliott boomed a 61-yard FG that just snuck inside the upright. Hey, first things first and both the Eagles' play calls that swung 'em into "field goal range" and Fox commentator Troy Aikman deserves credit. Aikman "first-guessed" the audience by saying he'd try a 61-yard kick as opposed to going with a "Hail Mary" pass from QB Carson Wentz. Good call, Troy!

The Giants - now 0-3 and headed off to play an angry Tampa Bay team this Sunday - stormed back into the lead a game they once trailed 14-0 but silly play-calling inside Philly's five-yard line on a couple of occasions wound up dooming Ben McAdoo's team and you better believe the second-year head coach will be hearing all sorts of catcalls this week. Maybe he can get his overzealous WR Odell Beckham, Jr. under control first - his antics following both TDs here (a penalty after the first one) are putting McAdoo's authority in question and that's a problem along with that winless record.


Hey, Clemson needed a 27-point fourth quarter to dispose of five-TD underdog Boston College 34-7, Michigan needed a 21-0 second-half run to silence pesky Purdue 28-10 and Oklahoma needed nearly every one of those points to finally put away Baylor 49-41. In other words, even though undisputed No. 1 Alabama won in a weekend waltz against dare-we-say overrated Vanderbilt, there were some major powerhouses out there that needed to put their foot in the gas pedal to get mission accomplished - and we thought it had the potential to be a walk-in-the-park weekend for the sport's major domos. Not so much.

Two other quick thoughts on the weekend past for the college kids:

We admit it: Went into last weekend's games saying keep a close eye on Mississippi State but instead it's the team that crushed Miss State 31-3 that deserves some attention. Georgia played its best game of the year in smoking State - note that pointspread came crashing down all the way to 2.5 points, so the public took a bath on that one! - as freshman QB Jake Fromm aired a pair of TD passes including a neat flea-flicker scoring strike to WR Terry Godwin. Perhaps Georgia can slip into the national championship convo real soon ...

Finally, Florida State remains without a win some four weeks into this college football season. Okay, the Seminoles are 0-2 with two weather-related postponements have not helped but this has the potential for a losing season with a backup QB running things (see James Blackman) and note FSU had seven red-zone trips and scored just one TD in that weekend 27-21 home loss versus N.C. State. Hang in there, Sems!

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