More NFL Preseason Week 1 Previews Plus Cowboys Chatter
NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1 –
THE SATURDAY MENU FEATURES
COWBOYS-RAMS BASH IN L.A.
PLUS WHAT’S AHEAD IF ZEKE
IS GONE FOR A TIME …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:
WHO FIGURES TO BE OVERPRICED
ITEMS AT THE START OF THE SEASON?
“America’s Team” could well be without America’s #1 running back for more than a single game come September:
Right, Dallas Cowboys team owner and newly-minted Hall of Famer Jerry Jones went on the NBA air waves last Sunday night during his club’s Hall of Fame Game 20-18 win/push against the Arizona Cardinals to proclaim he doesn’t believe RB Ezekiel Elliott should be suspended at all for a couple of incidents that call into question “personal conduct” issues … but, then again, what did you expect Jones to say?
The fact of the matter is the NFL head honchos on Park Avenue in New York are still reviewing info regarding some bad boy behavior by Elliott that actually dates back to last year and Commish Roger Goodell and friends haven’t placed any timeline on when they’ll announce whether or not “Zeke” is gonna be suspended for the regular-season-opening game against the New York Giants or, perhaps, even more than one game (the Cowboys are at Denver and then at Arizona following the Week 1 home clash against the Jints).
If Elliott is suspended for the opener against NYG, expect the oddsmakers to shave one-and-half points off the expected pointspread and maybe a bit more in Week 2 should Elliott be out for that game too against the Broncos … stay tuned.
Meanwhile, in NFL Preseason Week 1 action last night …
The Chicago Bears came up short in their 24-17 home loss versus the Denver Broncos but top draftee QB Mitchell Trubisky showed some major moxie as he directed the two-minute drill (and threw a TD strike to WR Victory Cruz) at the end of the first half and showed steely resolve while completing 18-of-25 passes for 166 yards. Wonder what the Chicago-area sports talkies are discussing when you consider new #1 QB Mike Glennon threw a “pick six” on the game’s second offensive play from scrimmage …
And speaking of rookie slingers, the Cleveland Browns were encouraged by DeShone Kizer’s 184 yards passing with one TD in the 20-14 home win/cover over the New Orleans Saints. Kizer – late of Notre Dame fame – aired a 45-yard go-ahead TD fling to WR Jordan Payton on a play in which Kizer was roughed. P.S., Cleveland’s other two quarterbacks – Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler – combined for 11-of-25 passing for 89 yards. Yuck!
And now hear this …
The 2017 NFL Preseason has swung into high gear with a full slate of games all this week: There’s Three (3) games on the Friday night docket, Three (3) more on Saturday and another Two (2) games come Sunday including NFL Network matinee action between the Detroit Lions at the Indianapolis Colts and a prime-timer on the same network between the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Chargers.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out tons of Sides & Totals NFL Preseason Week 1 winners all weekend long with a reminder there’s College Football on tap beginning August 26st – and also remember to get the daily winners in Major-League Baseball when you check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
Pile up your greenbacks as we inch closer to the start of regular-season play … win now and build up a neat financial cushion, why don’t you!
NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1
On Saturday, it’s …
TENNESSEE at NEW YORK JETS – 7:30 p.m. ET
There were three wide receivers tabbed in the first nine picks in this past April’s NFL Draft and the numero uno guy selected – Titans’ WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan) – is listed as “week-to-week” with a hamstring problem that could be worse than the AFC South team is letting on. So, in this preseason opener we’ll keep eyes on fellow rookie Taywan Taylor (Western Kentucky) who hopes to crack the top three wide outs on the Titans’ depth chart.
Speaking of rookies, New York Jets’ SS Jamal Adams (LSU and FS Marcus Maye (Florida) have been the talk of the camp … when folks aren’t talking about NYJ’s wobbly QB situation.
Current Line: Titans (- 3) and 37 points
DALLAS (1-0) at LOS ANGELES RAMS – 9 p.m. ET, NFL Network
We know, we know:
Last week’s aforementioned Hall of Fame Game win against Arizona featured some lively play from Cowboys WR Brice Butler (two catches for 78 yards) but hard to ignore the fact the Dallas “D” was a sieve while allowing the Cards to score touchdowns on back-to-back game-opening drives (covering 75 and 64 yards) en route to a 15-0 lead. No doubt would expect a more spirited start here from a Dallas defense that will include second-year LB Jaylon Smith.
Current Line: Cowboys (- 3) and 37.5 points
OAKLAND at ARIZONA (0-1) – 10 p.m. ET
Best news about the Cardinals’ two-point loss to Dallas in the H.O.F. Game was the performance by expected third-string QB Blaine Gabbert (11-of-14 passing for 185 yards) – another strong showing here and Gabbert could move ahead of Drew Stanton on the depth chart and that’s no small news considering the injury history of starter Carson Palmer. Okay, Raiders, fans, don’t get freaked out by the leg injury to WR Amari Cooper who won’t play here.
Current Line: Cardinals (- 3) and 39.5 points
COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT:
EARLY-SEASON OVERPRICED TEAMS
The 2017 College Football campaign gets rollin’ just two weekends from now and – already – we’ve seen a few “overpriced” teams out there and blame that on good, old-fashioned hype (as in too much hype).
Here’s three Power 5 clubs that we believe could be overpriced in their early-season games:
MINNESOTA – Everywhere you turn on the college football-related cable TV shows this summer there’s sound bites from new Golden Gophers’ head coach P.J. Fleck – late of the great 2016 Western Michigan Broncos. Hey, Fleck and Company may prove to be a real pain in the neck this year in underdog games at Iowa and Michigan but that first month of the sked (home to Buffalo, at Oregon State, home to Middle Tennessee State and Maryland) figures to see Minny priced too high.
WASHINGTON – Last year’s College Football Playoff participant is penciled in to everyone’s top 10 but the ’17 Huskies are gonna be laying four-or-more TDs in their first three games and that might be “tool tall” considering there were a slew of defensive losses to the NFL this past spring.
NOTRE DAME – Sure, you might make a case that the ND Fighting Irish are “overpriced” all the time but dig a little deeper and you see that under-siege head coach Brian Kelly has a new offensive coordinator (Chip Long from Memphis) and a new defensive coordinator (Mike Elko from Wake Forest) and there’s the matter of breaking in a new quarterback too. Isn’t 15 points a bit too high for that season-opening home game against gritty Temple?
NOTE: More NFL Preseason Week 1 goodies in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez.
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