NFL Week 8 Report and NBA Predictions

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THE NFL WEEK 8 MAJOR STORYLINES – THE CHIEFS ROCK-N-ROLL THEIR WAY TO AN 8-AND-OH START PLUS JERRY SPRINGER-LIKE COWBOYS COUGH UP LATE-GAME LEAD IN MOTOWN …

 AND NBA OPENING NIGHT’S HERE AS WE WEIGH IN WITH SOME PREDICTIONS

By Jim Hurley

Let’s just say that it wasn’t your typical NFL Sunday:

Seven of the 11 games played on this NFL Week 8 card wound up being decided by twin-figure margins – included in the mix was a 40-point win by Cincinnati over the hot-and-cold New York Jets and a 32-point overseas win by the San Francisco 49ers over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Now there’s a pro football team that can’t win in the states or in jolly old England, but maybe the NFL folks should have left those dudes behind!

The NFL Week 8 menu also featured a couple of hellacious in-game comebacks that were noteworthy because the guys staging the rally win were named Peyton Manning and Tom Brady:

Manning’s Denver team was down 21-7 early in the third quarter against Washington and won in a silly romp 45-21, thus even ruining pro-Redskins players who had their side in a 10-point three-team teaser (ouch!) while Brady’s New England squad dug itself a 17-3 halftime hole but surged back to win, 27-17, and thus cover the 6 ½-point home price.

If you happened to have the Broncos and the Patriots in a parlay – we did not – then no doubt you’re having dinner out this evening at a four-star restaurant … good for you and remember to order dessert!

The bottom line to this NFL Week 8 card that included byes for Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee is that division leaders such as New England (6-2), Cincinnati (6-2) and New Orleans (6-1) all strengthened their hold on the respective top spots and all of the above could well prove to be too tough to catch the rest of the way … stay tuned!

We’ll dig into a couple more NFL Week 8 key storylines in just a second plus get you’re the MNF preview/forecast of the game between the Seattle Seahawks at the St. Louis Rams but first this key reminder …

My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight’s NFL Week 8 tilt and you can get the Side & Totals winners when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at www.jimhurley.com.

Get all the NCAA Football, NFL Week 9, World Series and NBA action -- don’t dare miss a beat as we’ve been scorching hot lately and we plan on dashing right into November with another major hot streak.

So go ahead and continue to bash the Las Vegas and off-shore books all week long with America’s #1 Handicapper!

In other NFL Week 8 action …

KANSAS CITY 23, CLEVELAND 17 – The final stat sheet on the Chiefs’ eighth consecutive season-opening win showed Andy Reid’s team didn’t exactly have a walk-in-the-park triumph here as QB Alex Smith was sacked six times and KayCee actually was out-yarded by the plucky Browns 340-to-331, but stop us if you’ve heard this one before:

The Chiefs made enough defensive stops down the stretch and PK Ryan Succop drilled three more field goals as Kansas City copped its third “one-score” win this year while holding its eighth consecutive opponent to 17 points or less.

True, QB Jason Campbell – the latest Browns’ slinger – threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns while getting sacked just once by the normally sack-happy Chiefs defense, but when KC had to bring the heat it did so and it’s onward-and-upward with this elite 8-0 SU (straight-up) mark while heading into Sunday’s game in Buffalo.

And how about the fact that the aforementioned Reid – yes, give him the NFL Coach of the Year award right this very minute, why don’t you! – never started off any of his 14 seasons in Philadelphia at 8-0. Kinda hard to believe right now …

DETROIT 31, DALLAS 30 – By now you’ve all seen the sideline shouting match involving Cowboys TE Jason Witten and WR Dez Bryant, and let the NFC East club sugar-coat it all they want:

All we know is that the verbal sparring snagged all the post-game headlines for this thrill-a-minute tilt when all the attention should have been paid to a Dallas defense that pulled a disappearing act in the game’s final 1:02.

Check out the game’s play-by-play sequence, but for now consider that the Cowboys ballooned their lead to 30-24 following a 44-yard FG by PK Dan Bailey – we would have accepted the penalty on the last offensive play that preceded the kick and somehow Lions head coach Jim Schwartz lived to tell his side of story! – and then kicked off where the Lions took over at their own 20-yard line.

Detroit QB Matthew Stafford proceeded to complete four passes that brought the ball to the Dallas one-yard line where the quarterback went up-and-over the pile for the touchdown with 12 seconds still on the clock (everyone on Dallas was expecting him to spike or “clock” the ball) but what happened to the Dallas “D” on those four completions that included 17- and 22-yard hook-ups with WR Calvin Johnson – he of the 329-yard receiving game – and also a 40-yard sideline feathery strike to WR Kris Durham?

Maybe Cowboys DC Monte Kiffin should be flogged for his unit’s MIA bit late, and the fact Johnson wound up with an eye-popping 14 catches, but the flip side is the ‘Boys forced four turnovers and so shouldn’t that have been enough in the first place?

Maybe it should have been Witten and Bryant arguing not with one another but with the Dallas defense after this mess that left the Cowboys at 4-4 and very much in the lurch at the season’s midway point when it comes to a potential playoff berth.

GREEN BAY 44, MINNESOTA 31 – If the Packers were gonna say their bye-byes to the creaky old Metrodome, what better way to deliver the farewell address than by piling up 464 yards (or 6.4 yards per play) and converting on 13-of-18 third-down plays and 2-of-2 fourth-down plays that had NBC play-by-play guy Al Michaels simply giddy for the better part of the evening.

What did we especially like about Green Bay’s fourth consecutive win since its Week 4 bye (that’s triumphs over Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland and Minny)?

How about the fact the Packers – 15-16 lifetime at the Metrodome, in case you were wondering – got physical with the Vikings when they had to while running the ball a grand total of 42 times.

Sure looks like a healthy RB Eddie Lacy (29 carries for 94 yards) is a major pain-in-the-neck to tackle play after play, right?

And it didn’t hurt that Green Bay gunslinger Aaron Rodgers (24-of-29 passing for 285 yards with two touchdowns) was magical against a Vikes defense that gave the discount double-check spokesman a couple of cheap shots along the way.


THE NBA IS BACK!

The fearless forecasters are coming out of the woodwork these days and saying the Miami Heat won’t “three-peat” this 2013-14 season … really?

The latest odds have the Heat at 13-to-5 to win this year’s NBA crown, while their chief competitors are expected to include the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7-to-1, the Los Angeles Clippers at 8-to-1 and the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs each priced right now at 10-to-1.

Maybe you think the Heat’s title fortunes will rise or fall with Dwayne Wade’s creaky knees or a bench that still appears a bit thin, but otherwise LeBron James and the Heat figure to be dancing up a storm – again – come June unless those Indiana Pacers (a 14-to-1 choice to win it all) can figure out how to get the best of Erik Spoelstra’s squad next spring.

Gut feeling is we will see another Pacers vs. Heat series to determine the NBA’s Eastern Conference champ while Okie City gets out of the West.

The surprise team in the league this year:

The Cleveland Cavaliers starring G Kyrie Irving will make the playoffs and even win a round (providing the first-round foe ain’t the Heat).

Let’s dip into our own Jim Sez prediction bag here and see what we come out with …

MVP – LeBron James wins in a close call over OKC’s Kevin Durant while the aforementioned Irving finishes third.

Coach of the Year – Golden State’s Mark Jackson beats out Cleveland’s prodigal son Mike Brown.

Rookie of the Year – Shabazz Muhammad, Minnesota Timberwolves. The former UCLA stud will average close to 20 ppg and make the T-Wolves relevant again.

NOTE: Get our Heisman Trophy Watch List plus lots of College Football News & Notes and more World Series News/Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.

 

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