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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 2:28 PM




It's safe to say the Atlanta Falcons didn't have the foggiest idea how to beat the New England Patriots on Sunday Night.

Yes, the fog rolled in and made it a truly challenging broadcast for the NBC folks - thanks goodness for that overhead field camera that really saved the day! - but long before Mother Nature cast a huge fog over the field in Foxboro, the reeling Falcons were well on their way to a third straight loss ... and a really disturbing one at that!

Forget for a moment all the hoopla leading up to the Sunday Night game - talk of a Super Bowl rematch and yada, yada, yada - and consider this once-upon-a-time offensive juggernaut now has scored a grand total of 41 points in its last three games with the never-in-doubt 23-7 loss at 3-point favorite New England just the latest dud.

Okay, so you're never really out of it some seven weeks into the season in this modern-day NFL even with a three-game losing skid but keep in mind the Falcons (3-3) were quite lucky to win at Chicago and at Detroit earlier this year and the Birds are now 2-4 ATS (against the spread) and really played with no passion and no identity.

How can you not score from the one-yard line with three straight plays?

How can your albeit aging placekicker miss two gimme field goals to suck the life from your squad?

And how come you couldn't ever stop Patriots QB Tom Brady from converting third-down plays all night long?

Heck, the follow-up shows on ESPN and the NFL Network were quick to jump down offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's throat following this latest loss but Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn and QB Matt Ryan deserve lots of blame. Ryan's inability to rally these '17 Falcons is a real issue and we could see the defending NFC champs spiraling out of control real soon.

Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gonna pound out another big Monday Night Football game with the Side & Totals winners between the Washington Redskins at the Philadelphia Eagles plus remember there's lots more Football all week long and the World Series swings into action on Tuesday night with the Houston Astros battling the favored Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 at 8:05 p.m. ET. Make sure you check in with us online or 1-800-323-4453 and get all the Football and World Series winning plays.

In other NFL Week 7 Notes ...

No doubt the "chalk-eaters" had their way in Sunday's NFL Week 7 games as Betting Favorites registered an 8-3-2 ATS log with "pushes" in Miami and Buffalo. Last week the Betting Favs went 3-11 versus Mr. Vig and so the up-to-the-minute season mark now heading into Redskins-Eagles tonight is Favs 44, Dogs 56, 3 pushes and 1 Pick 'Em game ... got it?...

Meanwhile, a major theme of the day was offensive ineptitude as three different NFL teams were blanked - Indianapolis, Arizona and Denver all were shut out in Week 7 play and keep in mind seven other teams scored 14 points or less with a major red flag alert in Chicago's 17-3 upset win against 3-point road fav Carolina: Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky only completed four passes for the day - Chicago's Eddie Jackson scored a pair of defensive touchdowns for the only real action - but what about Panthers' QB Cam Newton who aired two INTs and didn't exactly hustle to track down Jackson on either his fumble return for a score or the "pick six". Well, at least Newton - who was more than partly to blame for his five quarterback sacks -- showed up with a fancy-dan hat on for the post-game press conference. Was that to distract from the game he had just played? ...

And nobody asked but right now it appears a few NFL head coaches are "in over their heads" and we're including New York Giants' second-year boss Ben McAdoo (see24-7 home loss to a Seattle team that didn't show up till after halftime!) and San Francisco rookie head coach Kyle Shanahan (see 40-10 home loss against Dallas). The 49ers are 0-7 SU (straight-up) and in this latest loss surrendered 219 offensive yards to Cowboys' RB Zeke Elliott - hey, we know Elliott is a stud but the Niners had sand kicked in their faces all game long and showed no heart. Any answer for that, Mr. Shanahan?

On Monday Night Football, it's WASHINGTON (3-2) at PHILADELPHIA (5-1) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

In-season revenge is always uber-interesting - and especially when the team seeking revenge was beat in its own backyard in Round I. That's the situation here as the visiting Redskins were 30-17 losers as 1.5-point home dogs back in Week 1 play and here the Las Vegas folks have the 'Skins grabbing hold of five points ... now chuck into the mix the fact the Eagles have had extra prep time here following a Thursday (Oct. 12) win in Carolina. Hmmm.

If the Eagles are gonna bag a couple of wins/covers in this NFC East rivalry, then kid QB Carson Wentz (13 TDs, 3 INTs this year) must expose Washington's battered secondary (no Josh Norman or Bashaud Breeland at the corners) with some deep chucks to WRs Nelson Agholor (averaging 16 yards per catch) and Alshon Jeffery (averaging 13.2 ypc).

The X-factor here for the 'Skins might be new PK Nick Rose who replaces - for now - an injured Dustin Hopkins.

Spread Stats - Philadelphia rolls into tonight's tilt on a three-game pointspread winning streak but overall the Eagles have failed to cover six of their last seven head-to-head showdowns with the 'Skjns. Note that Washington is a solid 16-9 ATS as underdog plays the past two-plus seasons.


In case you had not noticed, the "series price" in this year's Fall Classic between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers has been going up, up and away - the Dodgers' opened at - 140 and it jumped to -165 by late last night.

The biggest question for Astro fans/potential backers is will Houston win the games started by LHP Dallas Keuchel and RHP Justin Verlander (the ALCS Most Valuable Player after two stirring starts against the New York Yankees) - 'cause if they don't than LA's likely gonna be celebrating its first World Series title since 1988.

True, Houston's tag-team of RHPs Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers, Jr. were fabulous in last Saturday's 4-0 Game 7 win against the Yankees - a Jim Hurley Network Winner! - but this series reminds us of 2001 when the Arizona Diamondbacks needed to win the starts made by LHP Randy Johnson and RHP Curt Schilling who actually made five starts between 'em (Schilling started three times) and won four of those five starts. Just sayin'.

NOTE: Lots of NFL Week 8 and College Football Notes in the next Jim Sez and later this week we begin our always-popular Heisman Trophy Watch List.

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