Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 1:57 PM
NFL WEEK 8 ENDS WITH A BANG - PATS TRADE QB GAROPPOLO TO SAN FRAN, ZEKE ELLIOTT COULD BE A GONER FOR THE NEXT SIX WEEKS AND THE CHIEFS MANHANDLE THE STILL PUNCHLESS BRONCOS ...
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S PLAYOFF RANKINGS MAKE THEIR 2017 DEBUT ON THIS TUESDAY NIGHT BUT WE'LL SET YOU STRAIGHT ON HOW THEY SHOULDLOOK RIGHT NOW
Remember that old Beatles song that went like this ..."You say goodbye and I say hello."
Well, that little ditty popped into our heads while watching all the news break during the Kansas City Chiefs' 29-19 win/cover against the 7-point underdog Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.
First came word that the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots had traded away long-time backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft - give or take, that should be the 33rd or 34th overall choice in that next draft - and then came word that Dallas Cowboys' mega-star RB Ezekiel Elliott failed in his attempt to get a "stay of execution" and so it appears that "Zeke" will be a goner for the Cowboys' next six games and, well, so much for catching the 7-and-1 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.
And the news didn't end there: The Seattle Seahawks - long hunting for offensive line help - snagged unhappy camper LT Duane Brown from the Houston Texans (just a day after the Seahawks nipped the Texans 41-38 in what was the best NFL game of the year) and that automatically makes Seattle one of the NFC favorites to make it to Super Bowl 52 this winter.
But let's analyze a few things:
The Patriots know that QB Tom Brady is gonna stick around for another three or four years - that's what Brady's been telling New England head coach Bill Belichick and anyone that'll listen - but hear us out: We think the Pats will eventually package this second-round choice from the Niners and another premium pick to climb up into the top five or six slots in this next draft - and then New England will grab its true "quarterback of the future" with either UCLA's Josh Rosen or Wyoming's Josh Allen getting tapped. Stay tuned.
On the flip side, now that San Francisco has acquired Garoppolo, there doesn't appear to be a future fit with one-time Kyle Shanahan pupil QB Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins.
Ahh, but perhaps first-year 49ers GM John Lynch has something up his sleeve - might San Fran play Garoppolo the final five or six games (he won't be ready to play these next two games) and then make a major off-season deal and open the door for a Cousins arrival (and SF could get multiple picks if dealing Garoppolo next spring). As we said once before in this column, stay tuned.
Finally, let's get back to that MNF triumph by the Chiefs: Okay, KC head coach Andy Reid was way too cute trying to go up 21-zip when he had WR Tyreek Hill attempt a halfback/wide-out option that resembled a wounded duck and was picked off in the end zone. Okay, so that being said, otherwise the Chiefs were sharp as they capitalized on five Broncos' turnovers and somehow won/covered despite the blasé 22-carry, 46-yard rushing totals of rookie sensation Kareem Hunt.
What we took from this latest Bronco bummer was that first-year head coach Vance Joseph might have to be more flexible in terms of his starting quarterbacks - Trevor Siemian showed some elusiveness and grit but his three INTs were brutal and - truth be told - he didn't get a whole lot of help as WR Bennie Fowler dropped two big passes including one on the goal line. Might Brock Osweiler be in line for the team's start this Sunday in Philly? Have we said this before ... stay tuned.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have plenty of gridiron winners this week and keep in mind there's College Football action Tuesday-through-Saturday plus the NFL Week 9 menu starts Thursday Night in the Meadowlands with the Buffalo Bills banging helmets with the New York Jets. Plus, there's World Series action on Wednesday night and so make sure you're in the winner's circle for Baseball's final fling. We've won ALL SIX of the World Series Games So Far!. Go ahead and check in with us online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Well, we already know that Alabama head coach Nick Saban won't be watching the first "episode" of the College Football Playoffs on Tuesday night - nor will Oklahoma's rookie head coach Lincoln Riley.
Hey, let ESPN hype the show to the hilt but even late-night highlights king Scott Van Pelt advised viewers that the last three teams ranked numero uno in the first playoff show all failed to cop the national championship (and that included Alabama last year).
So, let's save you the trouble and let you know who (and why) College Football's first four teams should be here as we get set to enter the crucial month of November:
1 - ALABAMA (8-0) - This is no-brainer stuff as the Crimson Tide has slugged any/all comers: Did you realize that 'Bama has beaten five foes by 32-or-more points?
2 - GEORGIA (8-0) - All the polls this past weekend "got it right" and now we say the Dawgs belong right here thanks in large part to the nation's third-best defense and 10th-best rushing attack. P.S., we are not discounting two SEC teams in the final poll come December, just so you know.
3 - WISCONSIN (8-0) - Sure, there should be a Big 10 team occupying the No. 3 spot in this debut CFP poll, but it shouldn't be Ohio State! The Buckeyes lost at home to Oklahoma back in early September and we ain't awarding any brownie points for that come-from-behind win last weekend against Ohio State. Folks, the 'Eyes were TD betting favorites for that game!
4 - NOTRE DAME (7-1) - Again, no Ohio State here and no Clemson or Penn State either. The ND Fighting Irish's sole loss was at home - but it came against a Georgia team that probably would be a mere 3- or 4-point underdog against Alabama if the teams played on a neutral field today. So, Notre Dame's rollicking wins the last six weeks - and six consecutive pointspread wins, to boot, since that Sept. 9 loss to the Dawgs - has us saddling up to Brian Kelly's crew for now.
Just for fun, if this were to become the "final four", then we'd say Alabama would be a 9-point favorite against Notre Dame while Georgia would be a 4- or 5-point fav versus Wisconsin.
NOTE: We've got World Series news/notes plus all the football in the next edition of Jim Sez.