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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 3:02 PM



Don't trash those "win-it-all" tickets for the Oakland Raiders just yet. There's still a pulse when it comes to the guys in silver-and-black.

Okay, so Oakland actually entered the current NFL season at 13-to-1 to win Super Bowl 52 in February - and very much a vogue choice to unseat New England as the team to beat in the AFC -- but, following an ugly 2-3 SU (straight-up) start, it appeared it was "lights out" for Jack Del Rio's squad.

Until last night.

The wild/wacky 31-30 win against 3-point road favorite Kansas City - yes, a Jim Hurley Winner! - allowed the Raiders to keep breathing as the S.O.S. (Save Our Season) game was won on the third post-0:00 play when gutsy QB Derek Carr rolled left and fired a perfect low strike to oft-forgotten WR Michael Crabtree from two yards out and then the ensuing PAT barely snuck through the left upright.

Survive and advance, right?

Well, the reality of this Raiders' comeback win was that Oakland rediscovered the pass game - wide-out Amari Cooper snagged 11 passes for 210 yards with two TDs in his first real signature game of the '17 season - and managed to overcome an idiotic ejection by RB Marshawn Lynch and so excuse the Raiders if they're caught listening to 1970s anthem "Stayin' Alive" the next few days. And you wanted to know if this football weekend was gonna be any fun!

In other NFL Week 7 News/Notes ...

The Los Angeles Rams have had an interesting week even before they play Sunday's game against NFC West rival Arizona in jolly, old London: The Rams - fresh off last Sunday's 27-17 win at Jacksonville - stayed put in the northern Florida area till yesterday and then flew 'cross the Atlantic Ocean. Next week the Rams have a bye and then play back on the East Coast in Week 9 (at New York Giants), meaning Sean McVay's crew will have played just once in LA between Sept. 18th and Nov. 11th - whatta lousy sked, right? If the Rams do have any concerns aside from the travel, it's that Wade Phillips' defense ranks a lowly 29th in rush defense (allowing 139.5 ypg) and so maybe Arizona RB Adrian Peterson - who rushed for 134 yards and two TDs in his Cardinals' debut against Tampa Bay last Sunday - might be licking his proverbial chops here.

Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gonna pound out another big winning week on the gridiron (both Hotline and Blue Ribbon services are on 13-6 runs in October!) and don't forget there's Major-League Baseball action with Game 6 of the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and suddenly-sagging Houston Astros tonight and we'll have the winner for you when you check in with us here online or 1-800-323-4453.



Okay, so we termed last weekend's action a "bloodbath" in College Football as four different top 10 teams all bit the dust - Clemson, Washington, Washington State and LSU were whacked in shocking upsets that set this season on its collective ear, so now you wonder if there's more of that in store this October weekend. We'll be paying special attention to the following college tilts:

#10 OKLAHOMA STATE (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) at TEXAS (3-3, 2-1 Big 12) - 12 p.m. ET, ABC
The Okie State Cowboys have grand designs on getting back into the FBS playoff race despite that ill-timed loss to TCU a couple of weeks ago - but if QB Mason Randolph (19 TDs and 4 INTs) can't handle some "hot pressure" coming from Texas blitzes, then the TD-favored Pokes could be in a jam.
Spread Note - Oklahoma State's covered six of its last nine road games since the start of last year.

SYRACUSE (4-3, 2-1 ACC) at #8 MIAMI (5-0, 3-0 ACC) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The "Miami Miracle" phrase has been tossed around the past couple of weeks as the 'Canes have bagged back-to-back last-second wins against Florida State and Georgia Tech ... is more "miracle" stuff needed here or are the 16.5-point home favorites gonna rock-n-roll behind ever-improving QB Malik Rosier (12 TDs, 3 INTs)?
Spread Notes - Miami has covered four of its last five games when placed in the role of double-digit betting favorite.

#19 MICHIGAN (5-1, 2-1 Big 10) at #2 PENN STATE (6-0, 3-0 Big 10) - 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Gotta admit that we couldn't care less about the so-called "white-out" conditions in Happy Valley - some 106,572 fans are expected to wear white and root, root, root for the home team but the proverbial bottom line here is Michigan's nasty defense - one that's allowed just 88 total points in its first six games - can halt anyone's best game and so let's see if the maize-and-blue will silence Penn State QB Trace McSorley (1,597 yards passing with 13 TDs/4 INTs) and/or RB Saquon Barkley (649 yards rushing, 6 TDs) in this prime-timer.
Spread Notes - Penn State is a tasty 10-3 versus the vig in all Big 10 games the past year-and-change.

NOTE: Catch more College Football and NFL Week 7 Previews in tomorrow's jam-packed edition of Jim Sez.

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