Week 5 NFL Report
A PERFECT SATURDAY!!
WE CHECK OUT JETS-CHARGERS AND THE SUNDAY NIGHTER BETWEEN THE UNBEATEN BENGALS AT PATRIOTS, PLUS OTHER KEY SPREAD STATS/NOTES
There are plenty of ways to separate the good-from-great teams in the National Football League … one of our favorite ways is the point differential category that often times tells you what may lie ahead in terms of teams making a big-time run to the Super Bowl.
As we head into the NFL Week 5 – following Green Bay’s electric 42-10 win against short-handed Minnesota this past Thursday night – there’s only one team in this league that sports a better-than-2-to-1 scoring ratio and that’s the Cincinnati Bengals.
Does that surprise you?
Note that through the season’s first three games (the Bengals drew a Week 4 bye, remember), Marvin Lewis’ squad has outscored the opposition 80-to-33 or – in other words – by a per-game average margin of 27-to-11.
If you date back the past several years, you’ll note many NFL teams that made it to the Super Bowl or even won it all sported a better-than-2-to-1 scoring differential and so it’s not too early to say the Bengals – right here and right now – have to be considered the favorite from the AFC to land up in Glendale on the first Sunday in February 2015.
Okay, so Cincinnati still has this little matter straight ahead of beating the slumping Tom Brady and the New England Patriots this Sunday night (see our Jim Sez preview below) but the Cincy sked also includes the likes of a road game at Indianapolis (Week 7) and don’t forget that three-game road trip that takes ‘em through New Orleans/Houston/Tampa Bay beginning in Week 11.
The Bengals – as we all know – have not won a single playoff game in three straight trips the past three years and you know that they must be reminded day-after-day about those post-season failures and so that’s a hump to get over but right now you tell us who’s been better than these Bengals through the first stage of this season.
NEW YORK JETS (1-3) at SAN DIEGO (3-1) – 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Talk about a tale of two quarterbacks! The San Diego Chargers have zoomed out of the NFL starting gate with wins against Seattle, Buffalo and Jacksonville while falling just a single point short to Arizona back in Week 1 play – and all the while veteran QB Philip Rivers has been brilliant with a league-best 114.5 QB Rating. Va-va-va voom!
Hey, consider that Rivers has thrown for 917 yards and eight touchdowns during this three-game winning streak and now contrast that with under-siege Jets’ QB Geno Smith who – among other things – cursed a MetLife Stadium fan last weekend following that 24-17 loss to 2-point underdog Detroit and then the other day he snapped at a New York tabloid writer who pressed him about the topic of Michael Vick and whether or not the former superstar signal-caller should be inserted for a “spark” in this week’s west coast bash.
Smith – a second-year pro who has shown plenty of amateurish play with a pair of turnovers last week versus the Lions while completing just 17-of-33 passes – has plenty of issues and now he hopes a change of scenery can be a quick fix for this must-win Week 5 game.
Now you get the sense that Smith and WRs Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley (a combined 30 receptions but only 3 total TDs) just haven’t clicked the way the J-E-T-S envisioned back in the spring and so maybe NYJ’s best plan of action here is to run slam-bang RB Chris Ivory (274 yards rushing and a 5.5 yards-per-carry average) 25-or-so times into the Chargers’ defensive line and thus hope to keep Mr. Rivers on the sideline for the majority of this tilt.
Spread Notes – San Diego is a perfect 4-0 ATS this year and the Chargers have covered nine of their last 10 overall pointspread verdicts since late last season. On the flip side, the NY Jets are 0-3-1 versus the vig in this here-and-now 2014 and note Rex Ryan’s club is a shoddy 3-6-2 ATS away since late in 2012.
Here’s the San Diego Chargers’ game-by-game spread stats this year (note all home teams are in CAPS below):
|#1||ARIZONA||- 3||San Diego||18-17|
|#2||SAN DIEGO||+ 5||Seattle||30-21|
|#3||San Diego||+ 2.5||BUFFALO||22-10|
|#4||SAN DIEGO||- 11||Jacksonville||33-14|
CINCINNATI (3-0) at NEW ENGLAND (2-2) – 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Let’s examine first whether the schedule-maker is a friend or a foe to the NE Patriots:
Bill Belichick’s crew is playing another prime-time game after that dreary 41-14 loss at 3-point dog Kansas City this past Monday Night – while here’s Cincinnati with an extra full week to prep for this game after the aforementioned Week 4 bye. Hmmm.
Okay, so maybe it’s better that Brady and Company get back onto the field sooner rather than later as the three-time Super Bowl-winning slinger is skidding along with a 79.1 QB rating that places him – get this – 27th among NFL quarterbacks. Egads!
Brady threw two interceptions – including a pick six – and lost a fumble in that loss in KayCee and here the tattered Patriots’ O-line must give the beleaguered Brady an extra second or two (or three) to spot some downfield targets or else the Pats are headed for a rare losing record after five weeks of play.
Hey, the Patriots’ other woes have come on defense where New England’s surrendered five red-zone passing touchdowns this year (third-most in the NFL) and Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton has yet to throw a red-zone TD and only has tossed two scoring strikes (and one INT) in the wins against Baltimore, Atlanta and Tennessee.
Best thing that you might not know about the Bengals?
Second-year RB Gio Bernard already has accounted for 18 first downs – 13 via the ground game and 5 more as a pass catcher – and watch for how Dalton seeks out the shifty Bernard in those third-and-four and third-and-five type plays here and the key to this tilt may well be how Belichick’s defense handles Bernard in open space.
Don’t wrap up and the Pats are going down!
Spread Notes – Cincinnati is 3-and-oh ATS (against the spread) to start off this 2014 campaign and note back in 2005 and ’06 Cincy started off 3-0 spreadwise before suffering a pointspread loss. Plus, the Bengals 23-10-2 ATS in non-AFC North games since the start of the 2011 season (that’s a spiffy .697 winning rate). Meanwhile, New England has failed to cover three of its first four outings this year and did you know the Patriots are a collective 11-5 vig-wise at home since midway of the 2012 campaign?
Here’s the game-by-game look at the Cincinnati Bengals this year (again, home teams below are in CAPS):
Jim Hurley’s Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to torch Las Vegas and the off-shore books with loads of NFL and NCAA Football winners this weekend and that includes such College Football goodies as Stanford-Notre Dame, LSU at Auburn, Oklahoma at TCU and Nebraska at Michigan State. Plus get all the NFL Week 5 winners too including Houston at Dallas, Baltimore at Indianapolis and Cincinnati at New England.
Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Plus get all our MLB Playoff Winners all month long (7-0 to start the playoffs!) Pile up the profits all month of October long!
NOTE: Catch our Monday Night Football Preview – that’s Seattle at Washington – plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez.
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