Sunday NFL Rewind
Hats off to NBC's post-game commentator Mike Tirico: Last night while following on the heels of the Dallas Cowboys' 19-3 win/cover against the 6-point underdog New York Giants, the broadcaster addressed the fact that a half-dozen NFL teams scored in single digits in their season-opening games.
From low-to-high ...
Cincinnati was shut out at home versus Baltimore;
San Francisco registered just 3 points in a blowout home loss against Carolina;
The aforementioned Giants kicked one mere FG in losing at "Jerry's Joint";
Houston scored 7 points while getting whacked at home by Jacksonville;
Indianapolis tallied 9 points while getting swamped by the Los Angeles Rams;
And Seattle scored 9 points in its awfully-officiated setback in Green Bay.
Overall, "over" bettors in Sunday's NFL games went an uber-dismal 2-10 ATS (against the spread) as the old adage that "defenses are ahead of offenses at this stage of the season" really was never more evident, right?
Still, the amazing lack of punch from a batch of these single-digit squads was something to behold:
Oh, no. No Odell Beckham, Jr. for the Giants was a real killer in that 16-point setback in "Big D" where QB Eli Manning never was able to "stretch the field" and where veteran WR Brandon Marshall (one catch for 10 yards - and that came on the final play of the game!) turned out to be the invisible man. Manning threw for the most hollow 220 passing yards in modern gridiron history and even that 10-plus minute drive coming out of halftime only produced 3 points. Ugh!;
And what about the Seahawks?
Sure, the zebras stuck it to Pete Carroll's crew pretty good - didn't you find it interesting that Fox commentator Troy Aikman said the Seattle head coach would probably place a phone call to the league office even before he boarded the team plane! Still, Seattle's wobbly O-line made QB Russell Wilson run for his life much of the game and he hurt his own cause with that key strip sack fumble in the shadow of the end zone that merely turned the game around. Plus, the 'Hawks don't have any deep threats that are much needed in this pass-happy day-and-age;
Finally, what can you say about the crummy Colts? Sure, Indianapolis had to play its opener out West without kingpin QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) but backup-turned-starter Mike Tolzien was so bad (see 128 yards passing and two INTs for TDs) that Indy replaced him with Jacoby Brissett who has been a Colt for about, oh, 15 or 20 minutes. Kick into the equation that Colts' PK Adam Vinatieri - a no-doubt future Hall-of-Famer - missed a gimme 38-yard FG (clanked off the pipe) and a PAT and, well, you see how an NFL team can be held below 10 points.
Now, we'll see if totals prices come way down in time for next week's games - we say they will!
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
True, the Oklahoma Sooners really didn't have to carry on and "plant" their team flag right smack into the block "O" (for Ohio State) moments after last Saturday's emphatic 31-16 win in Columbus but QB Baker Mayfield (386 yards passing with 3 TDs) figured it was proper payback for the 'Eyes singing their alma mater last year in Norman just after Ohio State had battered the Big 12 team 45-24.
The fact is that post-game display became "the story" afterwards and that simply took away from Oklahoma's dominance that might well be what gets rookie head coach Lincoln Riley's team into the four-team College Football Playoffs this year.
Oklahoma - which harangued underachieving QB J.T. Barrett (now that's no Heisman Trophy candidate, ladies and gents!) - has a super-duper defense and already we're wondering ahead if it's good enough to shut down Alabama or Clemson or maybe Michigan come the "post-season".