Ladies and Gents, It’s Time for NFL Preseason Week 3
THE NFL PRESEASON REPORT –
KICK OFF WEEK 3 HERE ON THURSDAY NITE
PLUS WE SHAKE DOWN THE REAL “NEEDS”
FOR A BATCH OF NAME TEAMS …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S COMIN’ SATURDAY!
Hey, when it comes to the National Football League we only get to use the quick-hitter phrase “dress rehearsal” once a year – so here goes!
Sure, for most of the NFL teams (save for Dallas and Arizona who already have played three preseason games) it’s the third and – clearly – most important preseason game on the docket and that means this week/weekend’s games are indeed “dress rehearsal” tilts but the fact of the matter is there are a batch of “name” teams that face real needs as we close in on the very start of the 2017 regular season … so let’s get to ‘em right here:
DENVER – All the talk in/around the Rocky Mountains has been about the quarterback derby just won (for now) by incumbent Trevor Siemian over Paxton Lynch but what happens to the Broncos if they have no ground game? Last year’s team ranked 27th in the league in rushing (92.8 ypg) and there’s no guarantee that RB C.J. Anderson will be 100 percent healthy after a season-ending knee injury in ’16.
PITTSBURGH – If you happen to “buy” the notion that this Steelers’ offense will be a real juggernaut this year than you’re all aboard with the troika of QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell (whenever he shows up!) and WR Antonio Brown but is Pittsburgh’s D-line Super Bowl quality stuff? Defensive end Cameron Heyward is a stud but the surrounding cast can be spotty (ranked only 13th in the league in rush defense last year).
NEW YORK GIANTS – Perhaps you saw it for yourself this past Monday night when the G-men lost 10-6 in Cleveland in an absolutely dreadful game: The first-string offense had major trouble running the ball and QB Eli Manning was sacked once and hurried on a couple of other occasions. Hey, everyone’s focusing on Giants’ third-year pro LT Ereck Flowers but the rest of this O-line is pretty hideous and we’re simply shocked NYG didn’t address the offensive line needs this off-season (the signing of backup G/T D.J. Fluker was no big deal in our book!).
ARIZONA – If the Cardinals are gonna snag a playoff berth for the third time in four years, than the defensive line is going to have to be a strength, not a weakness. Don’t ask why Arizona didn’t re-sign DT Calais Campbell (he’s on Jacksonville now) because the pieces now surrounding DT Robert Nkemdiche probably are not good enough.
Extra, extra …
The Jim Hurley Network will be destroying the Las Vegas and offshore books with the NFL Preseason Week 3 card that rolls on Thursday-thru-Sunday with a slew of national TV tilts on the gridiron menu.
Following tonight’s two games – Miami at Philadelphia, Carolina at Jacksonville) -- don’t forget it’s the Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks on Friday night (on CBS, 8 p.m. ET) plus the Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams (on Saturday, CBS), the Fox double-dip on Sunday with Chicago at Tennessee (1 p.m. ET) followed by Cincinnati at Washington (4:30 p.m. ET) and then it’s San Francisco at Minnesota (NBC, 8 p.m. ET).
Make sure you’re all aboard with Side & Totals winners as America’s #1 Handicapper bangs out lots of winners in the NFL Preseason, this weekend’s NCAA Football and all the daily Major-League Baseball action either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
NFL PRESEASON WEEK 3
On Thursday night, it’s …
MIAMI (1-1) at PHILADELPHIA (1-1) – 7 p.m. ET
It’s time to take the Jay Cutler Show on the road as the Dolphins’ newfound #1 quarterback should play at least a half here even though he landed on his surgically-repaired throwing shoulder on his final play against Baltimore last Thursday night. On the flip side, the Eagles remain hyped about new CB Ronald Darby who picked off a pass last week in the 20-16 win/cover against his old team from Buffalo. A first-half head-to-head showdown between Darby and Miami WR Jarvis Landry figures to feature big plays on both sides.
Current Line: Eagles (- 3.5) and 42 points
CAROLINA (1-1) at JACKSONVILLE (1-1) – 7:30 p.m. ET
Word is that the Panthers will play QB Cam Newton (shoulder) here but don’t be surprised if the one-time league MVP just goes for some 10-to-12 snaps. Newton, second-string QB Derek Anderson and fellow reserve slinger Joe Webb all will want to get the ball into the hands of first-round draftee RB/WR Christian McCaffrey who has been dazzling folks this preseason. And keep an eye on rookie RB Curtis Samuel who will play coming off a hamstring injury and this former O-State Buckeye may give the reshuffled Jags’ LBs some major problems “in space”.
Current Line: Panthers (- 1.5) and 43 points
COLLEGE FOOTBALL MID-WEEK NOTEBOOK
Don’t forget the college kids get into the swing of things come Saturday with a handful of “on-the-board” games including a couple of tilts involving Pac-12 sides:
Oregon State is at 4-point favorite Colorado State (2:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network) and the visiting Beavers are counting on generally untested junior QB Jake Luton who stands 6-feet-7.
Meanwhile, #14 Stanford is a 30.5-point betting fav for its international game against Rice: The teams will square off in Sydney, Australia (10 p.m. ET on ESPN) and the heavy-duty Cardinal will look to start ’17 the way it ended the 2016 regular season (a 41-17 triumph over these Rice Owls). Take note Stanford has covered 10 of its 14 away games while dating back to the start of the 2015 campaign.
Finally, one other major college team in action Saturday is the USF Bulls – this American Conference crew has cranked out a tidy 15-8-1 ATS (against the spread) record the past two years and they’re a 22-point road fav at San Jose State.
More about these games and lots of College Football insight in these Jim Sez pages from this point on!
NOTE: Lots of NFL Preseason Week 3 goodies in the next edition of Jim Sez, so don’t miss out!
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