NFL Week 5 Update

CARDINALS & BENGALS BOTH GET BUSTED IN THE MOUTH AND SO THERE WON’T BE ANY UNBEATEN TEAMS IN 2014

PLUS OUR MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FORECAST AS SEAHAWKS-‘SKINS CLASH

OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: WE WEIGH IN ON ALL THE TOP 10 UPSETS AND THREE CHEERS FOR THE MAGNOLIA STATE!

Think the public allowed their emotions to get in the way following the New England Patriots’ 41-14 loss in Kansas City last Monday Night?
We’d say so!

The Patriots – the ultimate in NFL consistency the past 15-or-so years – actually were a home underdog on Sunday night to the Cincinnati Bengals and now you can really say that was all wrong.

Dead wrong. But WE had it right as Jim Hurley gave out the Pats as a Gold Key play and got the win along with the Rams cover vs. Philly for a 2-0 Sunday.

The Bengals – 3-0 SU (straight-up) while heading into this prime time game in Foxboro – opened at pick ‘em and proceeded to take the cash as Cincy went off as either a 2 ½- or 3-point betting favorite depending on your locale and, as you saw for yourself, never had a fighting chance in that 43-17 loss to QB Tom Brady and his equally fired-up friends.

The motto of the story is that you can’t always let the last thing you watched in an NFL game dictate what’s gonna happen one week later – the Pats sledgehammered their way to the proverbial winner’s circle with 30 first downs and 505 offensive yards (that’s 285 passing and 220 rushing).
And how about the fact Bill Belichick’s club didn’t commit a single turnover and possessed the ball for nearly 39 minutes?

We know, we know.

Everyone ‘round the league was getting so darn giddy about the fact the Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals were both 3-0 while heading into Week 5 play but those “imposters” combined to lose their Sunday games by 57 points and even three-team teasers with those teams didn’t help you in the end, right?
The bottom line is that the Patriots were – and are – far from deadsville and the Bengals and Cardinals are nowhere near the perfect 1972 Miami Dolphins, just in case you were wondering.

Maybe it’s fitting that on the day/night when the NFL’s final unbeaten teams were blasted they were taken to the wood shed for big-time records by both Brady (he passed the 50,000-yard career passing mark in that blowout win) and Denver Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning who threw for 479 yards and four touchdowns with his first scoring pass of the day – a seven-yarder to TE Julius Thomas – marking the 500th career TD thrown by the future Hall of Famer.
Isn’t it funny?

On a week in which everyone chit-chatted about the Cardinals and Bengals and their opportunities to stay undefeated, it was Brady and P. Manning who stole the headlines. Just as they have for the past 15 years-or-so!

Jim Hurley’s Handicappers and Bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the NFL Week 5 Monday Night Football Side & Totals winners – that’s the Seattle Seahawks at the Washington Redskins – plus all the NCAA Football, NFL and the MLB Playoffs (where we've started 9-1!) when you check with us on game days either here onlineor at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 – make this an October to remember!

This past weekend we struck it rich with a monster College Football Saturday that included wins by TCU over Oklahoma, Memphis over Cincinnati and California over Washington State – there’s plenty on the menu this week and remember the NFL Week 6 card gets rollin’ on Thursday night with an AFC South battle between Indianapolis at Houston plus Saturday’s college card features such monster matchups as TCU at Baylor, Auburn at Mississippi State and North Carolina at Notre Dame!

In the NFL Week 5 Monday Night game, it’s …
SEATTLE (2-1) at WASHINGTON (1-3) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
If you’re a “glass half empty” person – which Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll most certainly is not! – than you might admit that the defending Super Bowl champions are a mere coin flip away from being 1-2 SU to start this ’14 season.

Remember two weeks ago when the Seahawks beat aforementioned Denver 26-20 in overtime and Peyton Manning’s coin flip call of “tails” turned out to be a major blessing for the ‘Hawks who roared down the field on an 80-yard drive highlighted by some QB Russell Wilson runs and a 6-yard scoring rush by RB Marshawn Lynch?

Well, what if Manning and Company would have gotten the ball first and scored a TD on its overtime possession?

Odds are the Seahawks won’t need to win any coin flips here against 7-point home dog Washington – but what Caroll’s club would like following last week’s bye is more of a “killer attitude” that didn’t exist in the fourth quarter against Denver.

The Seahawks’ famed “Legion of Boom” defense has allowed 22 points per game thus far but received some good news earlier this week when hard-hitting S Kam Chancellor (ankle) claimed he’s be healthy for this MNF affair in Landover and you must expect the Seahawks here to come full speed ahead at beleaguered QB Kirk Cousins who aired four INTs in a 45-14 loss to the New York Giants to kick off the NFL Week 4 schedule.

If Washington head coach Jay Gruden and Cousins know anything, it’s that Redskins’ RB Alfred Morris – whose 316 rushing yards ranks fifth in the NFL right now – must chew yards/clock here and play a little bully ball with a smaller Seattle defensive line.

One X-factor to keep an eye on here: The ‘Skins would be wise to “spy” the Seahawks’ QB here but is LB Brian Orakpo mobile enough to catch Mr. Wilson here?

Spread Notes – Seattle has covered 10 of its last 13 overall games while dating back to the middle of last year and did you know the Seahawks are an electric 20-7 ATS (against the spread) versus non-NFC West foes the past two-plus seasons (that’s a .741 winning rate)? On the flip side, Washington is 7-13 versus the vig since the start of last year including a spread split of its first four games in 2014 and the Redskins are 4-11 ATS as underdogs since late in 2012.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

The upsets just kept rollin’ all week/weekend long beginning with last Thursday’s startling result when #2 Oregon (a 21 ½-point betting favorite) went down to Arizona 31-24 and that ought to teach college kids who want to celebrate “great plays” because the Ducks’ Tony Washington was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following a third-and-eight sack of Arizona QB Anu Solomon in the fourth quarter and all that brain cramp did was likely cost Oregon any shot at playing for a national championship … just brilliant!

Then came Saturday’s slew of upsets … here’s a few words on the Top 10 teams that fell:

It was just like the good old days back at bowtie-wearing Ole Miss where the 11th-ranked Rebels roared back to beat #3 Alabama 23-17 – remember the Crimson Tide led 14-3 at the halftime break – and what really opened eyes was the fact QB Bo Wallace didn’t shrink at crunch time as he’s been prone to do in prior big games. Instead, the Ole Miss gunslinger aired three scoring strikes and eight different pass-catchers got on the stat sheet with WR Laquon Treadwell’s five receptions worth 55 yards (including a 14-yard TD grab that got Ole Miss within 14-10 in the third quarter). The Tide didn’t do enough damage on the scoreboard for a team that ran the ball 44 times and threw it another 31 times – might be one of the really bad losses in the career of head coach Nick Saban who didn’t exactly have his finest hour here but don’t leave the Tide for dead just yet when it comes to the College Football Playoff (CFB)

#25 TCU outlasted #4 Oklahoma 37-33 and quarterback problems just killed the 3 ½-point road-favored OU Sooners. Trevor Knight completed just 14-of-35 passes and was intercepted twice including one for a go-ahead 41-yard “pick six” by TCU’s Paul Dawson – so we’re still wondering why Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops never changed up from Knight and, come to think of it, why folks still refer to Stoops as “Big Game Bob” when the last really important game he won was the 2000 national championship tilt …

#12 Mississippi State clubbed #6 Texas A&M 48-31 and folks watching know this was never as close as the final score indicated – guess State QB Dak Prescott (three TD runs and two scoring strikes) climbed aboard everyone’s Heisman Trophy short list with his fantastic showing but gotta say A&M slinger Kenny Hill (three picks all by LB Richie Brown) really looked lost at times.

In Utah’s stunning 30-28 win at 13 ½-point favorite UCLA, much of the wrath from Bruins’ fans were placed on PK Ka’imi Fairbairn who missed a 55-yard FG and then an ensuring 50-yarder following a penalty on the Utes with no time left on the clock but how about doling out some blame to an overrated Uclan defense that surrendered 242 yards rushing and didn’t force a single Utah turnover even though the visitors had the ball for a grand total of 73 plays! Folks, gotta say we never did think this UCLA bunch was “elite” following earlier-season unimpressive wins against Virginia, Memphis and Texas and this – more than likely – sealed their fate as far as getting into this newfangled and above-mentioned four-team CFP.

In the end, it was a week of upsets and a grand day for the great state of Mississippi which woke up today and saw Ole Miss ranked #3 in the current Associated Press Top 25 poll with archrival Mississippi State at #4 – can you imagine, just imagine – if this year’s Egg Bowl game on Nov. 29th in Oxford between these Magnolia State rivals is a de facto national title game of sorts?

Finally, okay so we’ve seen that it’s become all the rage to pick your “Final Four” even though we still have more than half a season remaining to be played but we’ll go on record here on the first Monday in October and rank our Jim Sez Top 4 like this:

#1 Auburn vs. #4 Michigan State
#2 Florida State vs. #3 Baylor

Would you take this as your national championship semis right now?

NOTE: Catch our Jim Hurley Mid-Week Report in the next column right here!

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