NFL Week 6 Update + College Notebook
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THE NFL WEEK 6 UPDATE: PATRIOTS, CHIEFS & COWBOYS ALL NAB BIG-TIME SUNDAY WINS
By Jim Hurley
So, who would you say the “King of New England” is today?
Is it Patriots QB Tom Brady or Boston Red Sox grand slam guy David “Big Papi” Ortiz?
If ever a sports town had a doozy day/evening of dramatic come-from-behind wins, it was “Beantown” on this second Sunday in October, and now the $64,000 dual question here is this:
Will the Patriots’ ultra-dramatic 30-27 win against the New Orleans Saints catapult this proud franchise to even bigger/better things the rest of this season … and will the Red Sox’s resounding 6-5 win against the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series be that “it” game everyone remembers after a team wins a World Series?
As they say in the business, stay tuned.
What we do know is that the Patriots – left for dead after a failed fourth-down play in their own territory and then a silly Brady interception on a first-down play – really had zero reason for hope, but consider the goof-ups of the Saints who simply left too much time on the clock as an ill-advised incomplete pass was key, as were a couple of running plays that each took just three or four seconds left the game clock.
Let’s just say New Orleans head coach Sean Payton didn’t enjoy his “finest hour” in the waning moments of Sunday’s game in Foxboro, plus there could be a few folks – including yours truly – who would like to ask Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland about some of his eighth-inning moves (yes, we know Fox announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver let Leyland “off the hook”, but what did you expect, right!).
We’ll dig into three big NFL Week 6 results in just a second plus get you’re the MNF preview/forecast of the game between the Indianapolis Colts at the San Diego Chargers but first this key reminder …
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight’s Colts-Chargers game and you can get the Side & Totals winners when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at www.jimhurley.com.
Get all the NCAA Football, NFL Week 7 and Major-League Baseball Playoff winners all this week/weekend and don’t miss a beat as we’ve been scorching hot … how about that 5-and-oh Saturday that included wins by Penn State (in 4 OTs), Tulane (in 3 OTs) along with Kansas State and Oregon State!
Bash the books all week long with America’s #1 Handicapper!
In Sunday’s NFL Week 6 re-caps, it was …
NEW ENGLAND 30, NEW ORLEANS 27 – It’s hard to argue that this might well have been Brady’s best-ever late-game showing as he guided the Pats to an 8-play, 70-yard touchdown drive that took up just 1:08 and was capped by a perfect corner end zone throw of 17 yards to WR Kenbrell Thompkins.
The fact that it followed right after Brady’s pick that seemingly salted away the win for N’Orleans only made it that much more improbable, but consider the Pats allowed an oft-indecisive Brady to be sacked five times, dropped another handful of passes (so what else is new!) and allowed a Saints ground game that’s been listless this year to rush for 131 yards (or 5.0 yards per pop) and still managed to win, and that just shows you how badly the NFC South crew blew this one.
Just one first down would‘ve done the trick late, but Payton pulled in the oars after that silly third-down incompletion by QB Drew Brees to WR Marques Colston on a 3-and-7 play from the NE 21 yard-line with 2:33 left, and you wonder if the Saints’ first loss of the year will haunt them later on when it gets to be all about playoff seeding.
KANSAS CITY 24, OAKLAND 7 – Hey, the Chiefs were able to do something that the Saints were not able to, and that’s stay undefeated while heading into NFL Week 7.
Yes, we know everyone’s now champing at the proverbial bit to discuss what might lie ahead should Kansas City (6-0) and Denver (6-0) square off as unbeatens come Week 11 – you can bet your bottom dollar that NBC will “flex out” of Green Bay at the New York Giants in favor of Chiefs-Broncos, but that’s a topic for another day.
Still, Kansas City showed major gumption in this 17-point divisional home win – it only seemed scoreless forever – in what’s being termed the “loudest crowd to ever attend an outdoor sporting event” after some dopey decibel meter rang up a 137.5 that bested the 136.6 decibel mark at a Seattle Seahawks game earlier in the year (some folks have too much time on their hands to examine such things!).
One major component of this KC win/cover was a pass rush that sacked Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor 10 times – cat-quick OLB Tamba Hail had a team-best 3.5 sacks for the Chiefs – and don’t forget those three INTs by a Kansas City defense that’s now allowed a grand total of 65 points (or 10.8 ppg) so far this season.
Hey, did you happen to realize that before the start of this 2013 season you could have had the Chiefs at 55-to-1 to win this year’s Super Bowl?
DALLAS 31, WASHINGTON 16 – Let’s just say that the D.C. team now has a little bit more to worry about than just a possible nickname change … don’t you think?
The Redskins might be looking for a new special teams coach today after Dallas speedster Dwayne Harris carved up Mike Shanahan’s club to the tune of 222 return yards, including an 86-yard punt bring-back for a score and a 90-yard kick return that set up another score. But, the real story of this game was a Cowboys’ defense that lost (or was losing) linemen at an alarming rate and still managed to harass Washington QB Robert Griffin III into a sloppy night of throwing (see 19-of-39 passing for 246 yards with 0 TDs and 1 INT).
No doubt RG3 didn’t get a whole lot of help from his wide outs/tight ends, but the defensive scheme implemented by DC Monte Kiffin was sensational as the ‘Skins registered just one touchdown despite the fact they piled up 216 yards rushing and another 217 yards passing.
The Cowboys (3-3) thus stayed even with NFC East-leading Philadelphia in the standings – and these teams will meet in Philly this Sunday – but better yet for the ‘Boys this didn’t have to be a “moral victory” but rather a real one that could help push the team to its first playoff berth since 2009.
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In Monday Night Football, it’s …
INDIANAPOLIS (4-1) at SAN DIEGO (2-3) – 8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN
Here’s a word to the TV folks out there … cool your pits as Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis will be on your plate this Sunday Night, so let Indy QB Andrew Luck (1,144 yards passing with 7 TDs and 2 INTs) see if he and his mates can win in San Diego first!
Luck – who threw for 229 yards with two TDs in last week’s heroic 34-28 comeback win against Seattle – knows full well the emotions that will be running inside Lucas Oil Stadium for that upcoming tilt against Mr. Manning, but don’t you think Luck will be slightly amped here for this game in his native California?
Meanwhile, San Diego sure seems as if it’s played better than that sub-.500 mark, but late-game losses to Houston and Tennessee have been crushers and now the Bolts come off a sour 27-17 loss in Oakland where the Chargers committed five turnovers.
True, San Diego has won five of the last six meetings in this series, but if QB Philip Rivers and friends wish to “hold serve” here at home then a defense that ranks 26th in the league (that’s 23rd against the rush and 25th against the pass) better make Luck uncomfortable in the pocket.
Spread Notes – Indianapolis has covered its last three consecutive pointspread verdicts this year (versus San Francisco, Jacksonville and Seattle) and the Colts enter this prime-time bash with a solid 9-6 ATS (against the spread) mark when playing non-divisional games since the start of last year. On the flip side, San Diego is a healthy 3-1-1 versus the vig so far this 2013 season but the Chargers are just 7-11 ATS at home the past two-plus seasons.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
The weekend’s “casualty list” included the likes of #5 Stanford and #7 Georgia (truth is neither of them deserved to win their games) – but it won’t include the name of one Mack Brown.
The oft-beleaguered boss-man of the Texas Longhorns – now in his 16th season – probably enjoyed one of his two or three-most satisfying wins in his career with last weekend’s never-in-doubt 36-20 triumph over 13 ½-point fav Oklahoma.
Hey, we wrote right here in a Jim Sez column last week that if the Longhorns were to lose that Red River Rivalry game in a “lopsided manner”, then Brown might be a goner.
Instead, the Texas coach – now guiding a team that’s 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the Big 12 – is safe for the remainder of the year and maybe even longer as his twin-digit dogs pounded the Sooners (they out-yarded ‘em 445-to-263) en route to the first series win since 2009.
Nobody’s gonna soon forget the whippings Oklahoma put on the Texas backsides the past two years – 55-17 back in 2011 and 63-21 last year – but this was one of the truly sweet wins for a coach/team under fire for much of this year and QB Case McCoy (two TD passes) surely had the last laugh after enduring some major pre-game taunts from Oklahoma fans and players alike.
The ironic thing now is Texas actually is tied with Texas Tech atop the Big 12 standings with identical 3-0 marks – maybe Brown can win this power conference league and get a spot in a BCS bowl after this little three-year non-BCS bowl drought.
Now that would qualify as a believe-it-or-not deal in a college football world where everyone else is just waiting for either Alabama or Oregon to lose.
NOTE: Catch our Mid-Week Report in the next edition of Jim Sez.
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