Posted Monday, October 29, 2012 10:19 AM
Last week, I wrote about the three strongest prevailing angles
for the 2012 NFL season. Let me update the
numbers from a week ago.
NFC Underdogs – any underdog in any game – have gone 37-12-2
this season. But that angle has now
suffered back-to-back losing weeks, looking like it’s come and gone as the
market has adjusted to reflect the NFC’s dominance -- just 3-5 ATS in Week 8
after a 2-3-1 ATS mark in Week 7.
Teams heading into the bye week are now 1-14 ATS,
discounting the games where one pre-bye team faced off against another. The Jets were the only team to fall into this
category on Sunday, with the 49ers pending on Monday Night. This trend is still very live; 0-3 ATS over
the past two weeks.
And teams coming out of the bye are on a 9-5 ATS streak;
again discounting the games where one post-bye team faced another. But that
trend seems to e flatlining: 2-2 ATS in Week 7 followed by another 2-2
performance in Week 8.
What’s really going on with these pre-bye or post-bye squads? For the second straight week, I focused my
attention on five teams in one of these two roles.
I like coaches who take some chances to get their team some positive
mojo (the anti-Ron Rivera). Here, Dolphins
head coach Joe Philbin pulled the trigger on a su... [More]
Posted Monday, October 22, 2012 03:59 AM
There are three strong prevailing trends this season in the
NFC Underdogs – any underdog in any game – have gone 34-7-2
this season, even after suffering their first losing week of the season (2-3-1
ATS in Week 7).
Teams heading into the bye week are 1-13 ATS, discounting the
games where one pre-bye team faced off against another (0-2 ATS in Week 7).
And teams coming out of the bye are on a 7-2 ATS streak
heading into the Bears-Lions showdown on Monday Night (2-1 so far in Week
All three trends pass the ‘does it make any sense’ test. The
NFC underdogs trend has a relatively simple explanation. All the worst teams in the NFL are in the AFC
this year. Carolina, St Louis and Tampa
Bay – the three lowest rated NFC teams in my power ratings – all rank above the
likes of Jacksonville, KC, Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Tennessee and
Oakland. No surprise, then, that the NFC
has dominated interconference play thusfar.
And without any weaklings to beat up on, we’ve seen NFC favorites
struggle to build margins against their in-conference competitors.
The pre-bye trend of failure is an interesting one to
consider. There’s no short or long term
database history to support it, which means that many bettors are going to
conclude that it’s just ‘s... [More]
Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 10:25 AM
This week, I focused on five NFL teams that can only be described as ‘disappointments’ through the first six weeks of the season. Here are my notes from their respective performances.
This pass defense spent the first month of the season getting torched. Now that secondary gets even weaker without their top playmaker, Aqib Talib, suspended for the next four games after violating the league's drug policy. The run defense, however, was stellar, lots of penetration up front, holding the NFL's leading rusher coming in to eight yards on seven carries in the first half and 40 yards for the game. It’s certainly helped that they were facing a bottom tier QB, allowing their defensive focus to be on stopping the ground game.
At times, it seems as is Josh Freeman is a weaker QB now than he was two years ago, when he inspired his teammates with a series of impressive, gutty, fourth quarter comebacks. This was the first game where Freeman really connected with his big play wideouts Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson, throwing a trio of touchdown... [More]
Posted Monday, October 08, 2012 02:53 AM
A full quarter of the
NFL teams entered Week 5 at .500 and two more reached the .500 mark after
notching victories on Sunday. I focused
on five of those teams closely during this week’s NFL mayhem. Here are my notes from their respective
How bad is this defense? Well, they set an NFL record for futility – no
team in league history had ever allowed 300 rushing yards and 300 passing yards
in the same game. And that came just one
week after they allowed 45 second half points on seven consecutive scoring
drives against New England, making the Bills the first team since 1950 to allow
550+ yards in back-to-back weeks. Now
that’s a struggling stop unit!
This pass D has awful fundamentals, giving up yardage in chunks. Every
decent QB should have a field day throwing downfield -- there's no pass rush,
and these cornerbacks are not shutdown guys. And there’s no question that this defense
lacked effort throughout the second half here – they flat out quit.
We got the ‘bad’ Ryan Fitzpatrick today. Fitz continues to
struggle with his deep throws, missing Stevie Johnson for a sure touchdown, one
of a good handful of poorly thrown balls.
To make matters even worse, Buffalo is starting to get cluster injuries
on the offensive line. Much like last
year, OL depth is not a... [More]
Posted Monday, October 01, 2012 02:01 AM
Six NFL teams that made the playoffs last year entered Week 4 with a losing record. One of those squads – Pittsburgh – had a bye this week. I watched the other five teams closely. Here are my notes from their respective performances.
Denver spent their previous two games basically defining the term ‘defensive breakdown’, blowing coverages galore against both the Falcons and Texans. But the stop unit was much better against a lesser foe this week, forcing five ‘three-and-outs’ on the Raiders ten drives and keeping Oakland out of the end zone on both of their red zone chances.
There was legitimate week-to-week improvement in several areas. First, as a defense, the Broncos weren’t missing many tackles. Secondly, they had a pass rush, getting consistent pressure on Carson Palmer. And perhaps most importantly, the Denver secondary didn’t blow many coverages and assignments, although they still gave up a pair of 30+ yard completions.
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