Last week felt goofy as hell, right? The Lions getting absolutely embarrassed by an XFL MVP. A defense in Carolina that hasn’t shown a ton of signs that pointed to them being a “shut down” defense but hey, get some. Or what about the coaching staff In Indianapolis? Totally flipping the switch in the second half and dominating the game. “It’s not how you start but how you finish”- Edmund Hillary.
So on that note let’s finish this season strong! We have some teams in clear tank mode that we can possibly take advantage of. Clearly the Jets want the first round pick and Jacksonville is giving them a run for their money. Betting against both teams could net us a decent profit. So Phins and Cleveland-7 are locks for me. We also get every team playing this week! Because of scheduling and covid, no byes this week but Panthers and Buccaneers next week. Let’s run it!
Tennessee Titans 7-3 @ Indianapolis Colts 7-3 (-3)
Well I would say the Titans woke up a little bit there last week. After taking that ass whooping from this same Colts team, they had a tough task of taking on the Ravens. An opening drive touchdown was followed up by zero productivity really. But we saw how when this offense is clicking, they can’t be stopped. Corey Davis is looking like he is growing into his role and thriving. He is getting 23% of the target share and finally producing with it. And this team needs another pass catcher to work opposite A.J. Brown. If you didn’t see this manimals touchdown catch last week, please do yourself a favor and find it. He proved his size is legit and his tenacity will allows him to fight for those extra yards every play. We have seen him break free with his speed but to see the power should excite Tennessee fans. But the problem isn’t the offense most times. All three losses came at the hands of 27 or more points. It’s hard to win when the opposing team is scoring 30+. The defensive line will have a tough time with the best offensive line in football. The linebackers better be ready for a run heavy scheme.
So last time these teams played, I through some shade on the Colts. I really didn’t know how they would hold up against a real offense. But they shut this team down. Hell they shut Rodgers down last week. Rodgers and the Packers were kind of having their way with them on their home turf, but they come out of the second half hot! In the second half the Packers had six drives; punt,punt,fumble,loss of downs, a field goal from the eight yard line, and fumble. We knew they were untested a little bit early but this proved they are legit. The offense is still finding there groove but the young talent is starting to shine. Hilton pretty much disappeared this season but Pittman has embraced his new role well. We finally got to see Taylor get a decent workload and produce a little bit with it. Rivers looked good at times I’ll give him credit but you would hope to score more than just six points off four turnovers. Let’s see if he can take advantage and really lock up this division with a W.
Now the public is riding the Titans hard at 71% of the bets. The narrative is, if they lose this game, they lose the division and they will be extra hype. I get it, I believed once too. But I just don’t see the Colts offensive losing at the line of scrimmage. I think they can run for 150+ yards. Just let Rivers sit back and hit what ever running back for a small game and just move the ball. I’m leaning the under at 49.5 but I’ll probably just stick with the Colts at -3.
Carolina Panthers 4-7 @ Minnesota Vikings 4-6 (-3.5)
Teddy B should be back but man it was fun watching P.J. work. Still no CMC but this Panthers team has shown that they can be productive with out him. Armed with arguably the most slept on wide receiving core, the Panthers are ready to ball out on anyone. D.J. Moore hasn’t really been on a lot of peoples minds, yet he is fifth in receiving yards. Robby Anderson had such a hot start but hasn’t cashed in like he did early, but he is still tenth in yards. The defense has also taken huge strides in just one year. Last year they ranked 31st in points against but so far they slot in at 16th. In 2019 they allowed on average 143.5 rushing yards a game. But this year they slot in at 116.8. This is also with a team that is pretty much completely new and some are still raw. The main thing I can attribute to their success? This is a team that is bought in to the culture Matt Rhule has already instilled. They hustle each and every play. They never quit and play their asses off. A team that goes out and competes each and every play will win close games.
How, Minnesota? How did you choke away that game against Dallas? The defense was on a three game roll of holding teams to 23 or less points, one of those being the Packers I might add. But Dalton somehow pieced together a game winning drive late. But we at least saw the offense thrive. The Vikings remind me a lot of the Texans. Four if their first five games were against playoff teams currently. Two of those losses were by just a point. I really believe that this team is better than their record. Coal in Cook is playing like a man possessed going for the rushing title this year. He played one less than game but is second in yards and leads the league in rushing touchdowns. I don’t know a player whose skill set fits an offensive system better. His success can take a lot of pressure off Kirk and allow him to just play smart. Jefferson is essentially a light version of Diggs right now and to be honest, could be better. Adam Thielen has tested negative at the time of this writing and should be cleared by kickoff. Leading the league in receiving touchdowns and has somehow taken his game to another level. He is the first look every time in the red zone and if your don’t believe me, look up some of his touchdown catches this year. The Vikings can be a complete team at times, but when?
One thing that surprised me was how bad Minnesota has been at home this year. 1-4 on the year with two late game winning drives in their defense. Then two shalackings from GB and Atlanta. I don’t think it’ll be the latter but this won’t be as easy as some think. The public is pretty much split on this, so the line is appropriate. I’ll be salty if I’m wrong but I just don’t think we saw the true Carolina defense last week. That was if every single thing goes correct and every bounce goes your way. The Vikings can see the playoffs with a nice little streak here. Cool should feast on this matchup and lead the Vikings to a win. I wish the spread was -3 so I might stay away from the spread. But go Skols!
Kansas City Chiefs 9-1 (-3.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-4
This Kansas City offense should be pictured next to the word automatic. Number one in points a game and second in yards. Pat Mahomes seems like he will be putting together an MVP type of season each and every year. Tyreek hill has seen his targets jump from six a game in weeks 1-6, to twelve a game weeks 7-11. And why wouldn’t you? He has shown that he worked on his route tree this offseason. Hill is no longer just running straight or a quick slant. We are seeing crisp curl routes, quick ins and outs, and also he is finding holes in the zone like a veteran. This is dangerous for defenses because his speed is unguardable, but now he has fine tuned his skills. And don’t even get me started on Kelce, he is just fourth in receiving yards and ninth in receiving touchdowns. With Kittle being injured, it’s been even more clear how elite Kelce actually is. Devin White will have his hands full but he does matchup well. The Chiefs need to get their pass rush in order though. They are only averaging one sack a game over the last three. Chris Jones hasn’t been what we have come to expect from him. They are going to need to get pressure up the middle on Tom if they expect a win.
Man, that dominant game against Green Bay seems so far away huh? I mean they didn’t look great against the Giants, embarrassed by the Saints, ok maybe back against the Panthers, but then shutdown by LA. The biggest thing leading to their failures is the turnovers. 1-2 in the last three but Tom’s TD/INT ratio is 5/5. But in the first eight games he only threw four. Maybe defenses are making the mid season adjustments to bother the Buccaneers system. But you have to believe that Arians will right the ship. Plus they just added AB so they are still trying to find their groove. This defense is still top ten in points against, still the best against the run, and second in takeaways a game. They still have the talent in the front seven to be dangerous. Will they be able to have the discipline though to not get sucked into the quick moving offense of KC.
I’ve said it before, I think Tampa is the most complete team in the NFC. The Saints defense looks be elite right now but Tampa has that same possibility. They have a dominant pass rush and a great line backing core. But that secondary could be in for some trouble. KC had put up 30+ points in each of the last four games. They also haven’t covered the spread in the last two. Do they lose three straight ATS? Hell no. I like the Buccaneers but I can’t go against the Chiefs. -3.5.