Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 12:00 AM
EXTRA, EXTRA …
THE NFL IS BACK!!!
HERE’S A LOOK AT THE
HALL OF FAME GAME SHOWDOWN
BETWEEN THE BRONCOS VS. FALCONS …
PLUS, THE MLB TRADE DEADLINE CLOSES
WITH A REAL BANG AS ‘STROS LAND GREINKE
C’mon now …
Are you really ready for some FOOTBALL?
The 2019 National Football League Preseason sked gets underway with this Thursday, August 1st Hall of Fame Game bash between the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons and Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are ready to roar with Sides / Totals winners here and all throughout the preseason. Make sure to win big all month long with the NFL Preseason along with red-hot Major-League Baseball action each and every day. Get all the winners right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
Hey, take a peek back at some recent Hall of Fame Games and you’ll see that since 2010 – and note there were no Hall of Fame Games in both 2011 and 2016 – four of the seven HOF Games were decided by four points-or-less while the average score in these games was just 30.3 points per game … and only one team (2013 Dallas Cowboys) scored more than 20 points in a game. Just sayin’!
Let’s take a quick-hitter preview look at this year’s Hall of Fame Game:
HALL OF FAME GAME – at Canton, OH
DENVER vs. ATLANTA – 8 p.m. ET, NBC
From a historical viewpoint, note that the Broncos have not played in this annual Hall of Fame Game since 2004 while the Falcons have not played here since 1994 and both clubs sport 1-2 SU (straight-up) records in their prior HOF affairs.
The Broncos – who last year finished the 2018 regular season at 6-10 SU / 6-9-1 ATS (against the spread) – have their fourth different head coach in the past six years as 61-year defensive-minded guru Vic Fangio gets his first-ever shot as a head coach in this league while the Falcons come off a highly disappointing 7-9 SU / 5-11 ATS campaign in which this NFC South squad ranked a lowly 28th in total defense (allowed 384.5 yards per game) and there’s major heat on fifth-year boss Dan Quinn to produce a winner … remember that Atlanta played in five post-season games between the 2016-17 seasons and that included the painful 34-28 overtime loss to New England in Super Bowl 51 back in the ’16 campaign.
Don’t look for many – if any – reps for the two #1 quarterbacks here as new Broncos’ slinger 34-year-old Joe Flacco is not expected to play at all while journeyman QB Kevin Hogan is expected to start and we’ll see rookie Drew Lock (Missouri) and fellow “rook” Brett Rypien (Boise State) too here in this exhibition tilt while the Falcons figure to rest QB Matt Ryan while allowing the likes of veteran Matt Schaub and former practice squader Kurt Benkert to get the lion’s share of snaps here.
P.S., both clubs come into this season with new offensive coordinators: Dirk Koetter is back to call the plays for the Falcons as he did back in the 2012-14 seasons; the Broncos go with Rich Scangarello as their OC but note he’s never been a play-caller in the NFL.
MLB TRADE DEADLINE
It was just moments after the clock struck 4 p.m. Eastern time and the talking heads at MLB Network were bummin’. The gang was waiting for some blockbuster trade(s) and they never came.
But then this:
There were a bevy of smallish trades in the immediate hours prior to the deadline but nothing earth-shaking until the announcement came down the pike:
Veteran RHP Zack Greinke and his massive $206.5 million contract was headed from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Houston Astros.
Does that now make the Astros the odds-on betting favorite to win a second World Series title in three years? It sure does in our book!
The ‘Stros – who dealt away four prospects in the at-the-deadline deal -- now sport a three-headed starting pitching monster of RHPs Justin Verlander, Gerritt Cole and Greinke to go along with underrated LHP Wade Miley plus they added to the team’s pitching depth with a separate acquisition of RHPs Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini from the Toronto Blue Jays … some experts are now saying it’s game / set /match now in the American League where the New York Yankees did not pull the trigger on any sort of pitchers (are you awake, GM Brian Cashman?) and we’re also wondering why the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t import either an eighth-inning reliever or closer.
Hey, the Yankees and Dodgers were not the only teams that sat it out at this July 31st trade deadline:
The defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox didn’t upgrade a pitching staff that ranks 20th in the bigs with a 4.67 ERA – couldn’t the Bosox “moved” on New York Mets’ RHP Zach Wheeler or perhaps Pittsburgh RHP Chris Archer and what about the St. Louis Cardinals who need at least one other starter and another bat. There was some belief that the Redbirds would be “creative” and get Arizona LHP Robbie Ray and more for prospects but the Cards sat tight and may regret it.
Put it this way: Following this 2019 MLB Trade Deadline, if it’s not the Houston Astros vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers, Part II, in this year’s Fall Classic we’ll be surprised but LA’s trade dead idleness could come back to haunt ‘em.
NOTE: More NFL goodies straight ahead in the coming editions of Jim Sez.