NFL Week 6 In Review

Hurley Cashes Under on Monday Night
Titans/Jaguars (Under 44.5) 30-3 WON
Baseball tonight is the perfect bankroll builder
for Thursday Night's Pac-10 Knockout Game when Oregon meets UCLA!


It's safe to say that there were a few folks getting the 'under the microscope' treatment in NFL-land in Week 6:

Pittsburgh Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger entered his game against two-touchdown underdog Cleveland getting mucho attention -- and he exited a winner while getting humbled by a loving ovation from the Heinz Field fans; Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips -- wait, isn't he always getting 'under the microscope' treatment? -- entered his club's game in Minnesota knowing it was must-win time and yet when the dust settled on the Vikings' 24-21 win there was Phillips bumbling his way through yet another losing post-game press conference; And let's not forget the other 'marquee' name in that same game -- Minnesota QB Brett Favre. Sure, he's had yet another eventful week but this was a put-up or shut-up game for him too and yet all Fox-TV sideline reporter Pam Oliver could get from the oft-chatty Favre afterwards is that he's 'looking ahead' to this Sunday's prime-time game in Green Bay.

First, the NFL security folks would like a word with you, Brett!

The major overview concerning NFL Week 6 action is that three members of the AFC East won critically-important games -- and then Buffalo at least made 92-year, birthday boy owner Ralph Wilson happy by drawing a Sunday bye -- while you can begin to shovel dirt on the likes of the aforementioned Cowboys and the always-overrated San Diego Chargers ... is it amazing or what that the 'Boys and Bolts are a combined 3-8 SU (straightup) this season?

We'll get to all the NFL Week 6 News & Notes plus there's the Monday Night Football Preview too but first this important reminder: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you the NFL, College Football and all Major-League Baseball American League and National League Championship Series Winners when you either call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you simply log online right here at

Here's an important scheduling note: The check-in times are after 12 noon ET for the weekday afternoon Baseball Playoff Games; then anytime after 1 p.m. ET Monday thru Friday for all the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB weeknight games; and then anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Let's zip 'round the league and get you what you won't be getting in your daily newspapers/internet columns today -- that's make-sense comments about some key games:

PITTSBURGH 28, CLEVELAND 10 -- We'll admit that we could have done without some of the crocodile tears that nearly went down Roethlisberger's cheeks in the post-game presser but at least give this party animal a round of applause for his 16-of-27, 257-yard, three-TD showing here even though he was far from razor sharp.

Roethlisberger's four-game league-induced suspension for being a bad boy didn't exactly inhibit the Steelers who swiped three-of-four games prior to last week's bye but you got the sense over the course of time in this AFC North clash that the Steelers will be a major force the rest of the way as he chucked completions covering 50 yards to WR Mike Wallace and 36 yards to TE Heath Miller on successive plays in the third quarter and then powered Pittsburgh to 21 second-half points.

From all accounts, Roethlisberger's teammates were happy for his return -- although getting picked off on his first series probably ticked off a few Steelers -- and one thing nobody's mentioning right now is that 'Big Ben' could be in mid-season form later in the year when many other NFL players are dragging with injuries/ailments.

Could NFL Commish Roger Goodell then actually have helped the Steelers in the end? Hmmm.

NEW ENGLAND 23, BALTIMORE 20 (OT) -- Maybe it was turn-back-the-clock day in Foxboro on Sunday: Not only did prodigal son WR Deion Branch make a triumphant return with his nine receptions for 98 yards and a score but there was New England winning an important game with a field goal (PK Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yarder with 1:58 remaining in overtime had folks conjuring up images of the early 2000s) and so the bottom line for this clash was all that 'revenge' talk was silly 'cause everyone knows you don't avenge a playoff loss with a regular-season win the next year and don't put the Pats in the NFL rear-view mirror just yet.

The oft-criticized New England defense held Baltimore RB Ray Rice to just 3.1 yards a carry (he finished with 88 ground yards on 28 carries) and didn't let Ravens WR Anquan Boldin hurt 'em following an early second-half TD grab. Boldin's stat line of four catches for 63 yards wasn't harmful to New England's health and three cheers for Patriots LB Jerod Mayo who led everyone with 18 tackles. Take that, Ray Lewis!

MIAMI 23, GREEN BAY 20 (OT) -- The irony of this Dolphins' win in Lambeau Field was that it was cinched by a PK Dan Carpenter 44-yard field goal ... yes, the special teams thrived for Miami just two weeks after the Fish surrendered all sorts of big plays and TDs on special teams and thus getting special teams coach John Bonamego axed before he could even read the next day's paper.

Carpenter, in fact, drilled a 53-yarder and a 41-yarder in giving Miami its third road win in as many tries this year (yes, they Dolphins have lost both of their home games -- to their divisional rivals the New York Jets and New England). However, the really big star here was WR Brandon Marshall who nabbed 10 passes for 127 yards and left folks wondering why Green Bay CB Charles Woodson -- you know, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year winner last season -- didn't guard him all day long. Still want to enshrine Packers' defensive coordinator Dom Capers into the Hall of Fame all you know-it-all network announcers?

MINNESOTA 24, DALLAS 21 -- Two things that were really/truly hard to believe about this game from a Cowboys vantage point:
How on earth could you guys get a celebration penalty following your first score (see WR Miles Austin leapfrogging over the head of TD recipient WR Roy Williams) and how could you start the second half by kicking off to Minny's Percy Harvin who merely flipped the switch on this game with his 95-yard KO return for a touchdown ... it just boggles the mind!

Hey, afterwards we don't need Dallas owner Jerry Jones telling the world that he won't be firing the aforementioned Phillips -- that's fine but doesn't he at least see more than just a little quit in his club at this stage of the season?

They were talking Super Bowl back in the summer -- now maybe the talk in the MetroPlex area will be more about the Texas Rangers and who the Cowboys should pick in next spring's NFL Draft. It looks like the 'Boys could have a top five selection at this point.

On Sunday Night ...

INDIANAPOLIS 27, WASHINGTON 24 -- Say what you will about the Redskins playing all these down-to-the-wire affairs this year. The fact of the matter is Mike Shanahan's club should have been KOd from this game long before the final moments but the Colts were sloppy, sloppy, sloppy with four lost fumbles and so folks had yet another edge-of-the-couch game with these 2010 'Skins.
What NBC's tag team of Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth didn't delve into was why weren't the Redskins defenders better prepared for this quicksilver tempo that Indianapolis utilized (especially in the first half)?

If Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett -- minus deactivated D-lineman Albert Haynesworth -- didn't know that Colts' QB Peyton Manning (25-of-38 for 307 yards passing with two TDs) would be operating at such a breakneck pace he should have especially if he watched last weekend's game against Kansas City when the Colts scored only one offensive TD and never played with any real rhythm.

The Colts were -- and we're being modest -- 15-to-20 points better on this night but two missed field goals by PK Adam Vinatieri were near killers and Indy's defense never could tackle anyone in the open field where a bevy of Redskins ran wild at times.


TENNESSEE (3-2) at JACKSONVILLE (3-2) -- 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN Just when you might have thought it time to bury either one of these AFC South clubs, they jump up and bite you: Last week's 34-27 win by Tennessee at 6 1/2-point fav Dallas featured more brilliant running by RB Chris Johnson (132 yards) but more importantly it showed that Jeff Fisher's gang never stops fighting back -- the Titans were coming off a painful 26-20 home loss to Denver and more 'bench Vince Young' comments were making the airwaves but this club refused to flinch.

On the flip side, the Jaguars already this season have lost back-to-back games by 25-point margins and yet faster than you could say Jack Del Rio here's Jacksonville very much back in the running for a post-season berth thanks to consecutive wins against Indianapolis and Buffalo.
What the Jags would like to do here is get the 'good' QB David Garrard here: Note that last October he threw for 323 yards and three TDs in a convincing 37-17 home win against Tennessee and note that Garrard enters this game with 9 TDs but 6 INTs.

Spread Notes -- Tennessee has covered 11 of the last 17 head-to-head battles with rival Jacksonville since mid-way of the 2001 campaign. Note that the Jaguars are 12-25 versus the vig overall since the start of the 2008 season but J'ville does enter this clash on a two-game spread winning streak.

Jim Hurley's Network is coming off a great weekend, and with a 4-1 record on Monday Nights we're ready to take down the money one more time before we call it a week! Click here to get our play on Tennessee-Jacksonville tonight!


'O' may be for Oklahoma and Oregon -- it's also for 'oh no' when it comes to Boise State.

Okay, so the Broncos had their fun-and-games last Saturday with a rollicking 48-0 win against San Jose State but just what the non-power conference team thought might happen, did happen with the Sunday night release of this year's first BCS Standings.Boise State was sure high on the list at #3 -- but not being in the top two was a slap in the face to Chris Petersen's club who might well run the table on this here-and-now season and still not get a shot in the title game in Glendale.


Maybe or maybe not as -- more than anything -- it was poor timing that Boise State was playing such a lousy foe this past weekend while Oklahoma was running up a 52-0 win against Iowa State (while Oregon was sitting it out with a bye prior to Thursday's nationally-televised home game against UCLA).

Right now there are 10 major-college teams without a loss and, despite the fact Boise State delivered a big-time message with its Labor Day evening win against Virginia Tech, that old darn 'strength of schedule' thing is keeping the Broncos on the outside looking in at a potential party game. The numbers -- and please don't ask for an explanation here -- has Oklahoma at .9215 while Oregon is next at .8921 and then comes Boise State at .8898.

What does it all mean? Well, the BCS folks/pollsters won't say this to Boise State's face but blowout wins or 'margin wins' by BCS conference teams such as Oklahoma and Oregon and Auburn (the Tigers are #4 in the first BCS Standings at .8641) carry a whole lot more weight than 'margin wins' within the Western Athletic Conference and the real trouble Boise State's got is that it needed to beat Virginia Tech and Oregon State by more than 3 and 13 points, respectively (the Broncos were 18-point favorites against Oregon State, remember).

You might need a Warren Commission-type panel to find out if Boise State or its like (see TCU, Utah, etc.) really ever have a serious shot at playing for all the marbles or are these teams just being patronized by the big boys. Ask us and we'll tell you it's a real shame -- and the BCS continues to be a real sham!



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