Week 10 had some crazy moments if you were a gambler; with about a minute to go in the Browns Texans game, Cleveland had the ball and the lead: 10 – 7. Nick Chubb found the open field and ran about 50+ yards; with no men to beat, he purposely stepped out of bounds at the 1-yard line instead of scoring an easy touchdown. Stepping out of bounds at the 1-yard line effectively ends the game.
The Browns were able to run out the clock; the spread bet resulted in a push for an early line bettor or a loss for the Browns. If Chubb had gone one more yard, Cleveland goes up 17 – 7 with 54 seconds left, they cover. Regardless of how one feels about it, it was a selfless act by Nick Chubb in a time when players love to pad stats for bigger paydays. Bills fans, and gamblers what can one say about the Hail Mary pass and catch. On the last play of the game, Arizona had the ball around midfield, Kyle Murray aired the ball up, it came down in the end zone where DeAndre Hopkins made the catch of the year, surrounded by not one, or two but three Buffalo Bill defenders, Arizona wins. At that point, the analysis was that the Cardinals had just a 3% chance to win the game. Crazyness!
Pittsburgh remains undefeated, and the jets remain winless, still waiting for those two streaks to snap; it doesn’t look like it will happen this week, but who knows. Monday (23) night will feature for the first time an all-black officiating crew, as the media calls it; hard to believe that this is the first time in NFL history, this is happening. The crew will have a combined 89 seasons of experience and has worked six Super Bowls. It’s great to see; hopefully, they remember to give calls that favour Tampa Bay. I’m kidding; call as it should be; fair and accurate! This crew and all officiating crews will be under pressure this week because of the number of big games, and there will most certainly be some close calls. At this point in the season, every yard does matter no matter what side of the ball you are on.
Last week was a bit of a downer week for my picks against the spread; three or four games went on the negative side for me by less than two points. It just shows how good Vegas at putting numbers up there for people to bet on; they keep games interesting down to the wire. Last week Houston +3, the result was a three point loss; I technically benefited from Nick Chubb’s selfless act. Detroit was favoured by four over Washington; they won by three, Arizona was -2.5 over Buffalo, they ultimately won by two. Hopefully, this week those close calls go my way.
Players of the week
- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
4 TD’s, 333 YDs
- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
1 TD, 127 YDs
- Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
1 TD, 112 YDs
In the hot seat?
Teams on the playoff bubble. There are seven weeks left, and no one can take their foot off the gas. The 9th seed in the AFC is 6 and 3. The 8th seed in the NFC is 5 and 5. The new format is that the top 7 teams in each conference will make the playoffs! One can’t forget the NFC Division leader is 3 – 5 – 1 after 10 weeks of play. That means the 16th seed in the NFC legitimately has a shot of making the playoffs and hosting a playoff game. After the 10th week, that’s usually an impossibility, but in 2020 anything can happen. The 16th seed in the AFC is already eliminated from contention. Anyhow no time to rest; big games on deck this weekend, perhaps none bigger than Baltimore and Tennessee, two teams on the bubble.
Team of the Week
Most of the time, there is no place for participation style awards in professional sports. The Washington Football Team, for most of the season, has looked like a mediocre college football team. A few spectacular moments but mostly underwhelming play. Last week Alex Smith started his first game since November 18th, 2018. He suffered a gruesome broken leg injury, and his life was at risk from it. It was very admirable for the Washington Football Team to stick with him in a cutthroat sports world, but honestly, what an effort from him to get back to the game. He’s my honorary player of the week, they didn’t win, but he threw for almost 400 yards in a close game. I sincerely hope they win the NFC East; as you know, they still have as good a chance as anyone.