Monday Night Preview and College Football Notes
MONDAY NIGHT PREVIEW
GREEN BAY (4-6) at PHILADELPHIA (5-5) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
It’s been in vogue for media folks to call this an “elimination game” – better yet, let’s call it a “desperation game” as the visiting GB Packers stagger into Philly on a four-game SU (straight-up) losing streak while the Eagles have dropped five of their last seven games after that spiffy 3-and-oh start.
Go ahead and acknowledge that Eagles’ rookie QB Carson Wentz was going to experience “growing pains” but it’s first-year head coach Doug Pederson who – like his coaching brethren we mentioned above – has made major blunders (how many times is he gonna go for it on fourth down and not make it?) and so Philly’s lost four games by 7 points or less.
Now, Wentz may have to save the night with Eagles’ injuries galore at running back while the Packers know all about injuries as they finished last Sunday night’s 42-24 loss in D.C. with seven defensive starters out.
No need for Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers to tell folks to “R-E-L-A-X” – he didn’t this time – but the Packers’ gunslinger must operate time-consuming drives here just to keep his team’s defense off the field.
Spread Notes – Green Bay has covered 11 of its last 17 away games dating back to late in the 2014 campaign while Philadelphia is 6-3 ATS (against the spread) in its last nine games against non-divisional opponents.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Ahh, so much to discuss following one of the best College Football weekends in recent memory and it wasn’t just all about Ohio State’s 30-27 double-OT triumph over Michigan:
Let Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh rail on and on regarding that “spot” where Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett was stopped the play before the game winner – but it looked to us as if Barrett reached the first-down marker and maybe Harbaugh should blame himself a bit for handcuffing QB Wilton Speight (219 yards passing and two TDs) so much during the game’s first two-plus quarters of play.
And while we’re at it “hats off” to Alabama, Clemson, Washington and Penn State for solid showings while everyone was watching (yes, we know ‘Bama didn’t cover that bloated 21-point price tag against Auburn) but shame on Louisville for proving to be a real national championship imposter.
Meanwhile, lots of hot stuff coaching from the coaching ranks where Texas’ Charlie Strong was mercifully shown the burnt orange door and “liar” Tom Herman (Houston) took the Longhorns’ job likely before Strong had even emptied his desk!
Word coming down that Oregon is gonna fire clueless Mark Helfrich – geez, what a bad coach he is! – and fully expect Boise State boss-man Bryan Harsin to land that gig but the real weekend news surrounded Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly who was said to be “exploring options”.
Hey, this is not the first time Kelly has been toying with Notre Dame (and the media) with chats about leaving South Bend … here’s a piece of advice to Mr. Kelly following this dreadful campaign: Don’t let the door hit you in the blankety-blank!
If Notre Dame really wanted to hit a home run with a new hire and rid itself of Kelly, than Temple’s Matt Rhule would be a smash hit. In case he doesn’t want it (yeah, right!) than Notre Dame should turn its attention to the oft-mentioned P.J. Fleck of Western Michigan fame.
Hate to play the “fire-the-coach” game but other names we expect to get axed in the very near future include Akron’s Terry Bowden, Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez and Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville.