Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 1:44 PM
LET'S PUT A WRAP ON NFL WEEK 8 WITH THE BRONCOS-CHIEFS CLASH TONIGHT IN KC ...
PLUS, SUNDAY'S BIGGEST WINNERS (AND ONE OF 'EM IS A GUY NAMED JUJU!) ...
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT - MAYBE PENN STATE BOSS FRANKLIN HAD THIS SORT OF HEARTBREAK LOSS COMIN'
Trick or treat, you say?
Well, the young - and old - that love to celebrate Halloween are all geared up for Tuesday, of course, but National Football League fans discovered there were plenty of goodies to go around on Sunday:
How about Pittsburgh Steelers' rookie WR JuJu Smith-Shuster who registered a scintillating 98-yard catch-and-run as part of his 7-catch/193-yard receiving game in an entertaining 20-15 Steelers' win at 3-point underdog Detroit?
Or perhaps you got all wrapped up with Houston rookie QB Deshaun Watson and his 402-yard, 4-TD showing in a close-but-no-cigar 41-38 loss-but-cover at Seattle;
Hey, it's not just the "young-ins" that stole all the Week 8 headlines as "been-around-the-block" veteran RB LeSean "Shady" McCoy was brilliant en route to his 151-yard rushing performance in a key 34-14 win/cover by the host Buffalo Bills against the mistake-prone Oakland Raiders.
You get the idea:
There were a batch of sensational individual efforts out there on Sunday morning/afternoon/evening but ask us what team was the "biggest winner" and we'll say it was the wet-and-wild Dallas Cowboys who bested the 3-point pup Washington Redskins 33-19. The 'Boys upped their record to 4-3 and thus stayed two games back in the loss column behind Philadelphia - but there's two Dallas-Philly games still ahead plus the Cowboys play four of their next five games at home. Whether they'll have mega-star RB Ezekiel Elliott (see 150 yards rushing, two TDs versus the 'Skins) for most/all of the ride ahead is a whole 'nother story.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have the Sides & Totals winners for tonight's Monday Night Football showdown between the Denver Broncos at the Kansas City Chiefs - and don't forget we'll be winning with our World Series Game 6 on Tuesday night as the Houston Astros look to wrap up their first-ever championship against the host Los Angeles Dodgers ... just check in with us here online or call 1-800-323-4453.
On Monday Night Football this evening, it's ...
DENVER (3-3) at KANSAS CITY (5-2) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Once upon a time, the KayCee Chiefs were blazing hot with five consecutive SU (straight-up) and pointspread wins to jump-start this here-and-now '17 season but Andy Reid's crew skidded off course with back-to-back painful losses (to Pittsburgh and Oakland) and now it's a prove-it type game at Arrowhead Stadium tonight against a Broncos bunch that's downright anemic (see 42 total points in last four games) and doesn't sport the "star factor" guys that beat 'em recently ... we're talking Pittsburgh RB Lev Bell and Oakland WR Amari Cooper.
If Denver can't fix its wobbly attack, then any shot of stealing this road game comes down to pass-rushing whiz OLB Von Miller and friends forcing some turnovers against Chiefs QB Alex Smith ... or else!
Spread Stats - Kansas City has covered six of its last eight divisional duels dating back to the start of last year; Denver's 10-4 ATS (against the spread) as underdog sides since the start of 2015.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
The Penn State football family - a/k/a Nittany Nation - may not wish to hear this but that's too bad:
The school's fourth-year head coach James Franklin had it coming to him, you know, the heart-busting 39-38 loss at Ohio State this past weekend. The Nittany Lions were up 21-3 early and led late (38-27 with 5:42 remaining) but frittered away the lead while failing to contain a born-again Buckeyes' offense starring slinger J.T. Barrett (328 yards passing with 4 TDs).
Okay, afterwards Franklin admitted he didn't "manage the game well" as it felt much like a runaway train hit Penn State but consider that earlier this year the rather unlikable Franklin called a time out to "ice" an opposing kicker at the very end of a 56-0 win by Penn State - classy stuff! - and a couple of weeks ago Franklin had his team running its normal offense (albeit with reserves on the field) late in a 42-13 win against Michigan. We were counting and Penn State ran off four plays from scrimmage in the final minute-and-change ... what was the point, coach?
Now, karma came back to bite Franklin on the rear end and odds are his Big 10 team won't be part of the playoff mix this year after moaning-and-groaning about not being included last year (they didn't deserve a spot with two regular-season losses).
In other College Football News/Notes ...
When you're considering the sport's "biggest disappointments" for this 2017 season than make sure Louisville (5-4), Florida (3-4) and UCLA (4-4) are all high up on the list. The threesome were all sad-sack losers this past weekend and all three have real issues:
Louisville was smashed 42-32 at 2.5-point pup Wake Forest and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner QB Lamar Jackson piled up most of his stats well after this game was in hand. Jackson threw a costly end zone INT and often appeared disinterested/disillusioned as the 'Ville lost for the third time in four games;
Florida is a keg of dynamite these days - heck, head coach Jim McElwain may be axed by the time you're reading this Jim Sez article - and did you know the Gators' 42-7 loss against Georgia "featured" two quarterbacks who combined to complete 10-of-25 passes for 66 yards and one pick. Yuck!;
And UCLA is turning into a major fraud - again - with four losses in its last six games and in Saturday's 44-23 loss at 18.5-point fav Washington there was the whole QB Josh Rosen matter. UCLA head coach Jim Mora pulled Rosen for a "multiple of reasons" including a finger injury and overall beat-up body. But as the sideline reporter on TV pointed out, when Rosen came back onto the sidelines wearing "sweats" not one teammate chatted 'em up and soon after Rosen exited back to the locker room. A bad year that could get worse.
NOTE: Lots of NFL News/Notes coming in the next edition of Jim Sez.