Pre-Season Week 2 Sunday Previews

LET’S DIG INTO SUNDAY’S TWO GAMES IN NFL PRESEASON WEEK 2 PLAY AS
BRONCOS-49ERS & CHIEFS-PANTHERS TAKE CENTER STAGE…

THE COLLEGE GRIDIRON REPORT:
YOUR PAC-12 “SURPRISE TEAM” THIS YEAR PLUS THE LEAGUE’S 2013 POINTSPREAD STANDINGS
 
You know the deal—NFL Preseason games mean a little more time on the field for the “1’s” and we’ve even noticed where a batch of teams have played some starters for a half-or-more while getting closer and closer to next week’s so-called “dress rehearsal” games.

Hey, maybe it really just dawned on us the other night when ESPN play-by-play voice Mike Tirico—during the course of Chicago’s come-from-behind 20-19 non-cover win against 3-point underdog Jacksonville—reminded us the NFL Regular Season kicks off in less than three weeks.

So, there’s really no time to fool around in these summertime preseason games that may be looked upon with disdain by season ticket-holders (and the TV networks themselves) but there’s a purpose here and the reality is most NFL head coaches want their teams to be playing four preseason games so they can work out all the kinks and then decide on who sticks on a 53-man roster.

Okay, so there’s two more NFL Preseason Week 2 games on this Sunday docket—plus in the next Jim Sez we’ll preview the Monday Night Game between Cleveland at Washington—and so let’s get you our quick-hitter previews:

On Sunday, it’s…

DENVER (1-0) at SAN FRANCISCO (0-1)—4 p.m. ET
They’ll christen the new joint in Santa Clara here (the site of Super Bowl 50, by the way) with this matinee preseason game and let’s just say Jim Harbaugh’s club is glad to be back home after that extended stay on the East Coast (that’s one Preseason game and six practices with the Baltimore Ravens, in case you had lost count!).

The 49ers were out-yarded 386-to-187 in that 23-3 loss last Thursday night but if there’s anything that Harbaugh and Company would like to fix here it’s penalties as the Niners were flagged nine times for 72 yards and they very much appeared to be like so many other NFL teams and that’s slow to react to all the new “don’t touch” rules changes.

The Broncos —who out-slogged Seattle 21-16 in a penalty-filled game last Thursday in Denver—need to know who’s gonna get the lion’s share of the carries these days with RB Montee Ball still down after his recent appendectomy.

And all signs point to RB Ronnie Hillman who last year rushed for 218 yards and a 4.0 yards-per-carry average. Note that running back C.J. Anderson—who suffered a concussion in last week’s win—also is expected to get some rushes here and ditto for rookie Juwan Thompson.

KANSAS CITY (1-0) at CAROLINA (0-1)—8 p.m. ET, Fox
If you had the KC Chiefs to score the most points in a Preseason Week 1 game, you’re a winner!

Andy Reid’s crew snagged a 41-39 win/push against 2-point road dog Cincinnati last Thursday night but missing from that game—and missing here against the Panthers—is S Eric Berry, who is suffering from tendinitis in his heel.

Meanwhile, Reid is hoping WR Dwayne Bowe (finger) can latch onto a few passes here after the veteran wide-out has dropped a bunch of aerials this summer. It seems Bowe has gotten the injured finger out of joint about “15 times” according to the head coach.

On the flip side, Carolina didn’t play QB Cam Newton a week ago in that 20-18 home loss against 1-point underdog Buffalo. Newton had off-season ankle surgery but Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera said his star signal-caller should get some snaps here but we don’t anticipate him going more than one offensive series.

Meanwhile, the Carolina ground game might be the bigger concern for Rivera and Company as last week the NFC South crew rushed the ball 24 times for just 69 yards (a 2.9 yards-per-carry average). There’s some concern that this offensive line may take time to jell—another three-yards-or-less carry average here could have Carolina fretting as it heads towards the Week One game at Tampa Bay.

And now hear this…

This year’s NFL Preseason is in full flight now as we’re right smack in the middle of the Week 2 games and remember there’s still another two-plus weeks of money-making NFL Preseason Games straight ahead.

It rolls on with Eight (8) more games on this Saturday card including Green Bay at St. Louis (on the NFL Network), Baltimore at Dallas, Atlanta at Houston and Arizona at Minnesota plus there’s another Two (2) games Sunday including the above-previewed prime-time Fox telecast between Kansas City at Carolina.
Then NFL Preseason Week 2 finally wraps up with that game between Johnny Manziel’s Cleveland Browns at the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football on ESPN.

Plus the College Football campaign swings into high gear later in the month with a full weekend card scheduled for Thursday, August 28th through Monday, September 1st.

You definitely want to be in the winner’s circle for all the big opening-week games with the college games as Texas A&M battles South Carolina on Thursday, Aug. 28, it’s BYU at UConn among other key tilts on Friday, Aug. 29th and a jam-packed Labor Day weekend card features Clemson-Georgia on Saturday, Aug. 30th and Miami at Louisville on Monday, Sept. 1.

Also, take note that America’s #1 Handicapper continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners … can’t beat that, right?

The NFL Preseason, the start of the College Football campaign and then Baseball action too—it’s always a major money-making time of the year for the Jim Hurley Network so why not join in on all the fun-and-profits right now!

THE COLLEGE GRIDIRON REPORT—THE PAC-12

Here’s something that may surprise you:

The high-octane, score-happy Pac-12 may just be more wide open at the top of the North and South Divisions than you’ve been led to believe by the so-called “experts”.

Sure, most folks believe the North will come down to Oregon or Stanford—keep in mind they play one another Nov. 1st in Eugene and it’s revenge for the Ducks after last year’s 26-20 loss as 10-point road betting favorites.

The South is expected to be won by UCLA—a 10-to-1 betting favorite to win it all in college football-land this year—but cross-town rival USC might have something to say about that in Year One of the Steve Sarkisian Era.

Folks, if there is one team that could navigate its way to the Pac-12 Championship Game and then win it then look at…

WASHINGTON— The Chris Peterson Era is in full swing in Seattle and the former Boise State sideline boss has plenty to smile about with two experienced lines while RB Shaq Thompson figures to be a star sooner rather than later.

The whole key to Washington—a 75-to-1 choice to win it all this year in college football -- is what quarterback will emerge to fill in the shoes of long-time starter Keith Price but keep in mind Petersen often retooled on the fly in his years at Boise State and wound up going a splendid 92-13 SU (straight-up) overall for a sizzling .876 winning rate.

Look for Cyler Miles to be Petersen’s pick as starting quarterback and don’t be surprised if the Huskies are 4-0 SU while heading into that late September home game against Stanford—a game that could springboard the Dawgs to bigger/better things when everyone pretty much has penciled in Washington to be a third-place finisher in the Pac-12 North.

In fact, check out this Washington schedule and we believe all of its road games are “winnable” except for perhaps that Oct. 18th tilt at Oregon.

You have been warned!

PAC-12 SPREAD STANDINGS (2013)
Folks, let’s take a step back and see what the Pac-12 teams did last year spreadwise with overall and conference pointspread marks listed below…

TEAMOVERALLPCTCONFERENCE PCT
UCLA9-4-0.6925-4-0.556
Wash St.9-4-0.6926-3-0.667
Colorado6-5-1.5454-5-0.444
Oregon6-5-2.5453-5-1.375
Arizona7-6-0 .5383-6-0.333
Oregon St.7-6-0.5386-3-0.667
Washington7-6-0.5384-5-0.444
Utah6-6-0.5003-6-0.333
Arizona St.7-7-0.5006-4-0.600
Stanford7-7-0 .5007-3-0.700
USC7-7-0.5005-4-0.556
California2-9-1.1822-6-1.250

Pac-12 Pointspread Notes…

Amazing that two teams that didn’t win their divisions were the runaway best spread sides in the Pac-12 as UCLA and Washington State both snared impressive 9-4 ATS (against the spread) marks and take note the Bruins and Cougars did not play one another in 2013.

Meanwhile, you’ll note that only one Pac-12 team—dreary California—played sub-.500 ball versus the vig overall last year as 11 of the league’s 12 member teams played at least .500 against the odds and that’s pretty heady stuff.

NOTE: Catch the Browns-Redskins MNF Preview plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez as we close out NFL Preseason Week 2.

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Aug

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