Busy Football Week Wraps Up

Jets (-3) Giants 17-3!
Hurley goes 7-1 on big-game plays for August! Now it's time for the college regular season to start Thursday with his Kickoff Classic!




No doubt one of the most entertaining NFL Preseason games in recent memory was played this past Saturday night when the 2 1/2-point favorite Buffalo Bills topped the Jacksonville Jaguars 35-32 and there was some chatter afterwards as to whether the Bills should have opted for a game-tying two-point conversion with 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter (a Tyler Thigpen-to-Paul Hubbard strike) that sent the game into overtime. Maybe the Jags didn't like it but what is Bills head coach Chan Gailey supposed to do ... go for the conventional PAT and than have to onside kick? Gailey decided to go for the tie and then his Bills won in the extra session when PK Rian Lindell boomed a 40-yard field goal with just 3:04 left in overtime.

Gut feeling? Gailey did the right thing and it may pay off in spades now that his Buffalo bunch got a little "taste" of winning here.

Yes, we noticed that Jacksonville rookie QB Blaine Gabbert (6-of-13 passing for 52 yards with one TD and one INT) still was far from prime-time material and so the best way to describe the outing was "inconsistent" and so expect David Garrard (11-of-21 passing for 106 yards) with 0 TDs and 0 INTs to hang onto that starter's role for at least the first seven or eight games this year ...

Meanwhile, in Denver's 23-20 non-cover win against 6 1/2-point underdog Seattle all everyone wanted to talk about after the game was the Broncos' new 1-2 punch of pass rushers DEs Elvis Dumervil and rookie Von Miller (Texas A&M). This dynamic duo combined for five sacks of Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson -- two of 'em by  Miller and 1.5 by Dumervil -- and that didn't even count how many hurries they put on Seattle's new starting signal-caller.

P.S., Denver's first-team defense held Seattle to 53 yards on 30 offensive plays ...

Finally, on Sunday Nite the New Orleans Saints got back on track with a commanding 40-20 win at 4 1/2-point home underdog Oakland as QB Drew Brees was sharp by completing 15-of-23 passes for 189 yards (no TDs and no INTs)  and it sure appears  tallish TE Jimmy Graham  (5 catches for 73 yards) sure appears to be an integral part of head coach Sean Payton's offense this season Normally, we don't "get into" all this Fantasy League stuff out there but Graham could be one of those great "steals" because the Saints pass-catching tight end might wind up nabbing 75-or-more receptions in the year ahead. Just watch.


Hip-hip-hooray ... The 2011 College Football Season swings into action Thursday night in places like Madison, Memphis and Syracuse and we'll have plenty to say about these prime-timers plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez but let's take a brief look at some of the monster-sized favorites on the kickoff-opening card:

On Thursday ...

Wisconsin is a 35 1/2-point betting favorite for its season-opening tilt against UNLV and the knee-jerk reaction is to believe that the Badgers' grind-it-out style won't produce enough points to cover this five-TD plus price tag but keep in mind that Wisky never did let anyone "cry uncle" last year -- go ahead and look it up and don't be surprised if #11 Wisconsin looks for "blood" here ...

On Saturday ...

Ohio State is a 33 1/2-point betting favorite for its kickoff game against Akron (on espn2) and heaven knows how new head coach Luke Fickell is gonna handle this game in the post-QB Terrelle Pryor and post-head coach Jim Tressel Era. The Buckeyes open the current campaign at #18 in the current Associated Press poll but could it be O-State's defense that causes this big 10 team to fail to cover this tilt? Keep in mind that Ohio State lost seven defensive starters from last year's Sugar Bowl-winning team and that includes DE Cam Heyward. The Bucckeyes believe this will be a lot like 2005 when a linebacker named James Laurinaitis was plugged in and gave that unit a real boost.

Finally, USC is listed as a solid three-TD betting favorite for its opening-week game against Minnesota (3:30 p.m. ET in an ABC regionally televised game) and keep in mind RB Marc Tyler has been re-instated after getting suspended by second-year boss-man Lane Kiffin last month. If the Troy Boys cover this bloated price tag -- something they could not do last year in the opener at Hawaii -- than the shifty Tyler probably needs 25 touches here. Just sayin'!


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