NFL Week 11 Best Bets

It’s honesty hour in my betting column. It hasn’t been a good year for me. My bets of the week have been less than stellar. However, I somehow nail the underdog of the week more often than not. Plus, the teasers have been solid. With all of this information, should I sit out for Week 11 Best Bets?

Not a chance.

*Lines as of 11/19 at 4:00 PM ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 11 Best Bets

Eagles vs. Colts Over 45.5

Last week, I chose the Raiders because I had no idea what to expect from Jeff Saturday. Once Matt Ryan was named the starter, I immediately regretted my decision to bet on the Raiders. Unfortunately for Indy, the pissed-off Eagles are coming to town after their first loss of the season. Both teams will look to establish the run early, but Indy does a much better job stopping it (10th-ranked rushing defense) than Philly (20th-ranked rushing defense). For the over, Philly is 6-3 while Indy is 2-8. I’m expecting the Eagles to establish their first-half scoring dominance (19.4 points per first half) and Indy to get a few garbage scores to satisfy the over.

Bills vs. Browns Over 49.5

If this game was in the Buffalo snowstorm, the o/u would have been set at 19.5. With the venue change to Detroit, the points will soon follow. The Browns have the best over record in the NFL at 6-2-1. They average the 5th most rushing yards per game in the league. However, the Browns can’t stop a nosebleed as they give up the second-most points per game at 26.4. Even though the under has cashed in 6 of their last 7 games, Josh Allen and the Bills are determined to prove that they belong at the top of the AFC. Expect the Bills to make a statement on offense, leading to a victory and more importantly, the over.

NFL Week 11 Underdog of the Week

Chargers +5.5 vs. Chiefs

The Chargers always play Mahomes tough. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Four of the last five games between these two teams have been decided by 6 points or less. The Chiefs are 26-3 in regular season games played in November or later since 2019. However, Mahomes will be without Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. For the Chargers, Just Herbert could be getting back his top two receivers, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. If the Chargers get both of those guys back, they’re good enough to cover the line.

NFL Week 11 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Bills -7.5 > -.5, Vikings +1.5 > +8.5

Sunday’s teaser is brought to you by the “bounce-back game” and the “come back to Earth game.” Josh Allen is not living up to the MVP expectations placed upon him at the beginning of the year. Blowing second half leads to the Jets and Vikings in losing efforts is unacceptable. Leading the league in interceptions isn’t the end of the world, but making reckless throws into tight coverage, like last week’s game-sealing INT, is a big deal! With the game in the Detroit dome due to the weather, I’m expecting the Bills to come out with a chip on their shoulder and score, score, and score.

The Vikings are still high off their upset win over the Bills. This week screams letdown, which is why the Cowboys are favored over the Vikings by a point and a half. The Dallas defense will keep this a low-scoring affair, but that same defense allows the 3rd most rushing yards per game (143.1). Have fun stopping Dalvin Cook! This game feels like a coin flip, and the Vikings are too talented to lose by more than a touchdown, even if they’re due for regression.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 5-10-1

Underdog of the Week: 5-3

Teaser of the Week: 4-4

Total: 14-17-1

Jim Irsay Hiring Jeff Saturday as Colts Coach Shows Exactly How Owners Circumvent the Rooney Rule

We need to talk about Jeff Saturday being pulled off the street to finish the 2022 season as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

Look, I like Jeff Saturday. I have nothing against him as a person. I played against him, he always seemed like a great leader, and all of my old teammates that know him have nothing but good things to say about the man. This take isn’t really about Jeff Saturday.

That being said, it’s absolutely outrageous that they hired this man to finish out the season as the Colts head coach. 

I see people talking about “Jeff Saturday is a Colts legend.” 

Well if Colts fans want him to stay a legend, maybe there should be a better plan than handing the controls of a crashing plane over to someone without flight experience.

And speaking of Colts legends, doesn’t Indianapolis already have Reggie Wayne as a first year receiver’s coach, and Cato June in his seventh year of coaching college football or above?

It would be one thing if Jim Irsay was installing Jeff Saturday as an admission that this season is lost, the direction of the team needs re-thought, and the search for a replacement was going to start immediately. 

But that’s not what this is. 

Jim Irsay dared reporters to bet against Jeff Saturday as Colts head coach, and alluded to the possibility of making the playoffs THIS SEASON. 

I’ll take your bet, and your money Jim. 

But I at least want to thank Jim Irsay for perfectly illustrating the frustration with the ineffectiveness of the Rooney Rule when put up against a rich old white man’s “gut instinct.”

While Irsay said that the Colts have every plan to honor the Rooney Rule and go through a legitimate interview process after the season to gauge the vision of multiple candidates, including minority candidates, he also said this about Jeff Saturday:

He’s the best man for the job, and there’s no question about it in my mind. I’ve been around it a long time. He’s extremely tough and he’s a leader. You have to be a great thinker, work with people, be open-minded, create a culture where people trust you. You have to have experience, draw on experience in your life. You know it when you see it.

Jim Irsay has a good feeling in his tummy about a white player that was a solid leader in his playing days, and believes that despite no track record whatsoever of producing any kind of results that would prove those feelings to be rooted in reality, that Jeff Saturday is the right man to make the Indianapolis Colts a playoff team in 2022.

Since Jim Irsay is taking bets, how much do we want to bet that Jim Irsay is more invested in his gut being proven right so he can keep Jeff Saturday on as head coach, rather than earnestly following the NFL rules that were designed to keep the exact situation of a rich man’s nostalgia from costing overqualified minority candidates an opportunity?

We spent years and years hearing that “if only black coaches had more experience as a coordinator,” or “if only more black players got into coaching on the offensive side of the ball,” then the layers of prejudice that kept them from the penultimate opportunities of the profession would erode away.

That was bullshit.

Oh, and congratulations to the Houston Texans now having grounds to dump Lovie Smith for Josh McCown. The absurdity of the situation was the only thing keeping the Texans from making this happen last year, but now they won’t even be the first team in their own division to do it.

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 8 Best Bets

Last week, I did not bet on any games. I turned my attention toward my best friend’s wedding (not the movie). Therefore, I did not write up my best bets for Week 7.

After my 0-4 week in Week 6, maybe some time off will change my luck for Week 8.

Maybe not…

*Lines as of 10/29 at 2:00 PM ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 8 Best Bets

Falcons -4 vs. Panthers

I have something to get off my chest. Why does Arthur Smith hate Kyle Pitts and Drake London? Take this with a grain of salt because I’m a Pitts fantasy owner. It’s been a disaster, but Smith is doing nothing to get Pitts and London involved in the offense. I don’t want to hear how Smith is designing plays for his most talented pass-catchers. Enough! Find a way to get your best players the ball. Rant over.

Despite my hatred for Coach Smith’s strategy, the Falcons are tied for the best record ATS at 6-1. They run the ball on offense and stop the run on defense. (6th against the run in terms of yards per game.) I have no explanation for how the Panthers beat the Bucs. It will be an ugly game, but the Falcons should come out on top.

Eagles -6 1H vs. Steelers

The Eagles are the best team in the NFC. They are 4th in points per game and give up the fourth least points per game. Jalen Hurts might win the MVP if he continues his production and leads Philly to a 1-seed. However, they have one glaring issue. The Eagles do not know how to score in the second half. It is an anomaly. The Eagles average 5.8 points in the second half, which is 30th in the NFL. On the flip side, the Eagles are the highest-scoring offense in the first half and it ain’t close. (21 first-half points per game. Second place is 16 points.) Philly is 6-0 ATS in the first half. Let’s hope that trend continues.

NFL Week 8 Underdog of the Week

Browns +3.5 vs. Bengals

If Ja’Maar Chase was playing, I would be staying away from this game. With Chase out, I’m back in on the Browns. Cleveland sneakily owns the Bengals as the Browns are winners of the past four matchups and seven of the last eight. Nick Chubb, the NFL’s leading rusher, should find success against an average Bengals rushing defense. Plus, I’ll take Myles Garrett against anyone on the average Bengals offensive line. Time to bark, Cleveland.

NFL Week 8 Teaser of the Week

7 points: Bills -10.5 > -3.5, Titans +1 > Titans +8

If the Bills want to win the Super Bowl, they need to take care of business at home and step on the Packers’ throats. The Packers are in disarray and Aaron Rodgers will be missing his top target, Allen Lazard. No excuse for Buffalo to have a letdown game. In Houston, I had to do a double-take at this line. Even with Ryan Tannehill out, why are the Texans a 1-point favorite against the first-place Titans? Someone explain to me how this makes sense? WHAT DOES VEGAS KNOW?! Don’t be scared, folks. Malik Willis might take this job and not give it up, Yup, I said it. The Titans have won four of the last five against Houston. They’ll make it five out of six.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 4-7-1

Underdog of the Week: 3-3

Teaser of the Week: 2-4

The Seattle Seahawks Chose To Sit Out of the NFC West Arms Race, Now They’re In First Place

We need to talk about the Seattle Seahawks.

When everyone else in the NFC West was zigging, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks decided to zag. 

That zag has Seattle in first place in a division where they were the only team to not make the playoffs last year, sitting at 4-3 despite Las Vegas having their preseason win total odds at 5.5.

Outside of the Giants and Jets, the Seahawks have been this year’s biggest surprise. 

So how did they make that happen? Let’s get into it.

A few years ago, the LA Rams decided that the salary cap was imaginary and that future assets were better as current commodities. They dealt off second round picks for Sammy Watkins and Marcus Peters. They turned three first round picks into Brandin Cooks and Jalen Ramsay. 

And finally, they offloaded Jared Goff, their first three picks in this year’s draft, and next year’s first rounder for Matthew Stafford and Von Miller. 

The strategy to mortgage their future for a shot at glory in the present paid off, as Sean McVay got Los Angeles a Super Bowl Ring.

Now, we all know it’s a copycat league. Even before the Rams traded all their picks for Pro Bowl talent, it was clear that the rest of the NFL was obsessed with trying to find young, energetic coaches that either had worked with Sean McVay, or could be considered Dollar Store versions of him. 

But teams in the NFC West went beyond mimicking McVay’s coaching brand… in a league where trades are relatively rare, the 49ers and Cardinals began to engage in an arms race to keep up with the Rams.

In the last three years, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers gave up picks for Trent Williams, traded off a bunch of assets for the ability to move up and draft Trey Lance, and just sent four picks to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for Christian McCaffrey.

Not to be outdone, the Arizona Cardinals committed felony armed robbery against the Houston Texans when they acquired Deandre Hopkins, and since then, they haven’t been shy about wheeling and dealing to try and shore up weaknesses. They added Pro Bowlers Zach Ertz and Rodney Hudson, and grabbed two more receivers in Hollywood Brown and Robbie Anderson.

Meanwhile, while the rest of the NFC West is out here putting everything on credit, the elder statesman Pete Carroll, who is the oldest coach in the division by 28 years, is holding two middle fingers up to the Millennials and their “instant gratification” by stockpiling assets for the future.

The Seattle Seahawks pulled the plug on the Russell Wilson era during the offseason, and in their trade with the Broncos, added what might be a franchise left tackle in 2022 #9 overall pick Charles Cross, had 10 total picks in the 2022 draft including Kenneth Walker, who looks like a star, and have almost as many picks in the first five rounds of next years’ draft (7) as the other three teams combined (9).

In free agency, the Seahawks didn’t overextend themselves. They rewarded some of the top performers on last year’s team, like Rashaad Penny, Al Woods, and Quandre Diggs, and they improved their pass rush by stealing Uchenna Nwosu from the Chargers. 

And despite wide receivers all over the league using Christian Kirk’s contract to price them out of a spot on their current roster, the Seahawks stood by DK Metcalf and gave him a long term deal. Things like that can go a long way in galvanizing a locker room.

Maybe the most important thing that Pete Carroll and Seattle did was to give an experienced starter that had been serving in a backup role for the last two years a shot at the starting quarterback job. 

Seven weeks into the season, Geno Smith is top-7 in Completions, Yards, and Touchdowns, and he’s having the third-best season in the history of the NFL when it comes to completion percentage. And if you think that it’s because Pete Carroll scaled way back on pass attempts since trading Russell Wilson to Denver, you’d be wrong. The Seahawks are actually airing it out more- they’re just not addicted to the deep ball. 

It remains to be seen if Seattle will be able to keep up their early season momentum. Injuries are piling up, and a look at their remaining schedule reveals two games left against the Super Bowl champion Rams, a trip to Kansas City, and games against the other two teams I mentioned earlier on- the Giants and Jets. If they can manage to play .500 football the rest of the way, they’ll shock the NFC by stealing a playoff spot, and potentially be in play for first place in an NFC West division that has sent a representative to the Super Bowl six out of the last 10 seasons. 

And even if they fall off, they’ll be sitting on the most draft picks while having more cap space in 2023 than the Rams, 49ers and Cardinals combined.

Let that sink in.

Kliff Kingsbury’s Coaching Style Has Gone From Offensive Genius To Just Plain Offensive

We need to talk about Arizona Cardinals head coach (for now), the “offensive genius” Kliff Kingsbury.

On Sunday, Arizona faced off against Seattle and their #32 ranked defense. The Cardinals managed a field goal on their opening drive. They did not score an offensive point after that. 

Hey Kliff, 3 points on offense might have been enough to get a win in Seattle if you were playing the Mariners, but this is the Seahawks, buddy.

I’m not questioning the idea to hire Kliff Kingsbury in the first place, though there were plenty of reasons to question it at the time. 

You have to remember, he had just been fired from Texas Tech for not being able to recruit or coach a functional defense. 

His offenses were never the problem. In the NFL, you can put the defense in your coordinator’s hands, the recruiting in your GM’s hands, and just focus on doing the one thing that you’ve proven you can do at a high level- manufacture points.

It’s also important to remember that when the Cardinals chose to get into a bidding war with the New York Jets for Kliff Kingsbury, they were coming off having the worst yardage offense and second worst points per game in the last 10 years. 

GM Steve Keim didn’t worry about the costs that had been sunk into having Head Coach Steve Wilks and quarterback Josh Rosen in their first years- he blew it all up for Kliff Kingsbury, and paired him with #1 overall pick Kyler Murray.

And for a minute, it worked.

The Cardinals improved in points per game three seasons in a row, going from 32nd in 2018 under Wilks to 11th last year. In both 2020 and 2021, the Arizona Cardinals also had a top 8 offense in total yardage.

Despite the fact that the Cardinals finished 2-4 after the bye last year, and got absolutely embarrassed in the playoffs, Steve Keim, Kliff Kingsbury, and Kyler Murray all got five year extensions. 

Fast forward to today, the Arizona Cardinals are 16th in total yards, and 22nd in points per game. Despite leading the league in plays run per drive, they’re outside the top 10 in points per drive.

And they’ve completely forgotten how to start games. They’ve put the ball in the end zone on offense in the first half just twice in the last 9 contests. This game was the first time they’ve scored in the first quarter all season.

At 2-4, the Cardinals are one Hunter Renfrow overtime fumble away from being 1-5, and if we’re being honest, a no-call for offsides that led to a game-changing pick-6 against Carolina gave them a boost that you can’t exactly attribute to the “offensive genius” of Kliff Kingsbury. 

If it wasn’t for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, and a touch of good luck, this team might be winless.

But hey, at least the Cardinals can throw the ball downfield, right? Because that’s the one reason you’d hang on to Kingsbury despite regression everywhere else.

Well, it turns out they only have two 300+ yard passing games in their last 21 games, but not for lack of trying. Kyler Murray is second in total pass attempts this season, but dead last in yards per attempt at 5.8, and he doesn’t have a single passing play longer than 32 yards.

The Arizona Cardinals are paying Kyler Murray Patrick Mahomes money to throw screen passes. 

The average air yards of a Kyler Murray pass attempt this season is 6.5 yards. 

Kliff Kingsbury turned Kyler Murray into who we thought Jalen Hurts would be, meanwhile Jalen Hurts looks like the NFL’s MVP.

When a coach fails his players with his schemes, the reputation of those players can be irreparably damaged. The narrative about Kyler Murray is being set in stone right now, and it’s going to be extremely tough to change people’s minds.

On Thursday night, the Cardinals will host the New Orleans Saints in an attempt to avoid their 9th consecutive home loss- a streak that started on a Thursday night last year. They’ll have Deandre Hopkins back after serving a six-game suspension for a positive PED test, and unless absolutely everything about the Cardinals looks different, from first-half energy to pushing the ball down the field, it should be Kliff Kingsbury’s last game as Arizona’s head coach.

That is, unless Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim, and the NFL in general have different standards for a white head coach than the black head coach they had no problem kicking to the curb after one season. 

At least Steve Wilks never went a full season’s worth of games without getting a win at home.

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 6 Best Bets

Oh, Daniel. Daniel Daniel Daniel Daniel, Daniel. What a HORRIBLE Week 5 for yours truly. Zero wins are unacceptable. You’re going to have bad weeks. I get that. However, Week 6 must be a winning week, or I’m going to have to take a long look in the mirror and question everything I know about football. (I will still bet in Week 7 no matter what.) We’re going to FanDuel for the Week 6 lines. Change up the mojo.

*Lines as of 10/15 at 2:00 PM ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 6 Bets of the Week

Seahawks vs. Cardinals Over 50.5

We’re switching things up this week. As much as I want to bet Seattle to not only cover the 2.5 but win outright, I am going with the safer* play. Geno Smith is a new man. Who had the highest passer rating in Week 5? Mr. Geno Smith. Who has Seattle at 7th in points per game (25.4) and eighth in yards per game (368.0)? Mr. Geno Smith. Arizona might have the worst first-quarter offense in the history of football with 0.0 points per game. However, the Cardinals did outgain the Eagles in yards last week, 363 to 357. Even with James Conner and Darrel Williams out, Arizona will find success on the ground as the Seahawks surrender the most rushing yards per game (170.2) and 2nd most points per game (30.8). It should be noted that Rashaad Penny is on IR for Seattle. Don’t let it spook you. I’m expecting a slow start, but an explosive second half full of scoring to hit the over.

*There are no safe bets in gambling.

Chargers -4.5 vs. Broncos

Broncos country, let’s (not) ride! What the hell is going on in Denver? Russell Wilson looks lost at QB. He refuses to run, and when he stays in the pocket, he’s missing too many throws. Plus, Nathaniel Hackett is trying to get fired with some of the decisions he’s made over the past five weeks. Speaking of coaches trying to get fired, Brandon Staley makes one WTF decision every week that makes you want to jump off a roof. Why did he go for it on fourth down from his team’s own 46 with 1:14 left up 2 points? The Chargers were lucky to escape Cleveland with a win. Stop being cute. Punt the ball! Anyway, I trust Justin Herbert a lot more than I do Wilson. After getting their asses kicked by the Jaguars, Herbert and the Chargers offense have accumulated 64 points and 884 yards of total offense over the last two weeks. The Denver offense won’t be able to match that. Take the Chargers.

NFL Week 6 Underdog of the Week

Cowboys +6.5 vs. Eagles

Three weeks ago, I bet the Commanders to cover against the Eagles, which did not happen. Last week, I bet the Eagles to cover -5.5 against the Cardinals, which didn’t happen. Is the third time a charm for betting on an Eagles game? The Eagles are the best team in the NFC right now as they boast the second-ranked offense in terms of yards per game. But this third-ranked Dallas defense can neutralize Hurts. The Eagles should jump out to an early lead, but the Eagles offense stalls in the second half. They average only 5.8 points in the second half (third worst in NFL) as opposed to a league-best 21.2 points in the first half. I’m trusting Coope Rush to get the backdoor cover this weekend.

NFL Week 6 Teaser of the Week

Teaser: 7 points, Bucs -10>-3, Rams -10>-3

I’m pretty confident that the Bucs will be able to exploit a Steelers’ secondary that’s missing their three top corners and Minkah Fitzpatrick. However, I’m nervous about the Rams. It’s not an exaggeration to say the Rams have no threats on offense besides Cooper Kupp. As bad as the Panthers have been, all they need to do is triple-team Kupp, and the team will have a shot to keep it close. I believe in the “new coach, new quarterback” narrative to inject some life into the Panthers. PJ Walker is an upgrade over Mayfield, and no Matt Rhule is a win for the Panthers. Walker is 2-0 ATS and 2-0 SU as an NFL quarterback. Panthers +10 is a great underdog play, but Kupp will make enough plays to cover the 3 points in the tease.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 4-5-1

Underdog of the Week: 3-2

Teaser of the Week: 2-3

ESPN’s Report On Commanders Owner Daniel Snyder Confirms What We Already Know: Mutually Assured Destruction

We need to talk about Washington Commanders Owner Dan Snyder

This week ESPN dropped a report that to some of you, must have seemed like a bombshell.

Multiple sources claim that in an effort to entrench himself as indispensable from his position as one of only 32 NFL team owners, Dan Snyder has used private investigators to compile dossiers full of dirt on everyone from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. 

I have been shouting from the mountaintops for years now that the only plausible explanation for Dan Snyder not being removed by the other 31 NFL owners is that there has to be a system of mutually assured destruction in place. 

Dan Snyder is accused of so many misdeeds over the last two decades that we don’t have time to get to right now, but just know that the reason Snyder is in the NFL’s crosshairs in the first place has nothing to do with the toxic culture, accusations of sexual harassment, or being on the wrong side of history over the team being named the Washington Redskins.

He’s not even on the chopping block for interfering with his team’s own investigation into it’s toxic culture to the point where he had to pretend to relinquish day-to-day decision making duties to his own wife.

Dan Snyder is in deep shit because he messed with the league’s money by underreporting ticket sales to the NFL and IRS in order to pay a smaller share into the NFL’s Visiting Team Fund. Beyond that, Snyder has run this team so poorly that he risks being the first NFL owner to not be able to secure public funds for a new stadium, which will result in even less shared revenue.
Dan Snyder reportedly privately calls the NFL ownership group a “mafia,” and if he honestly believes that to be true, then he has to be a special kind of idiot for trying to steal from the mob.
All this explains why so many owners would be willing to speak to the media about Snyder, even though doing so could result in massive fines from the league office. 
This media report is step one in preparing a pair of cement shoes for Dan Snyder to wear at the bottom of the Potomac.

Metaphorically, of course.

Now, for their part, the Washington Commanders organization has categorically denied ESPN’s entire report. Then again, what else do you expect them to do? The Phoenix Suns did the same thing when ESPN’s Baxter Holmes rolled out a laundry list of idiocy that Robert Sarver was involved in. One year after the report, the NBA investigated and found much of it credible, and now public pressure is resulting in Robert Sarver selling off the Phoenix Suns to the highest bidder. 

What makes this report different, is that it anonymously quotes multiple NFL owners about Dan Snyder. Those quotes include:

“All the owners hate Dan.”

“(Dan Snyder told me) he has dirt on Jerry Jones.”

“(Dan Snyder) is behaving like a mad dog cornered.”

Another quote calls Dan Snyder a “bad person” and claims the owners won’t oust him because “he’ll burn their houses down.

Now, at the heart of all of this is Jerry Jones, who has often stood alone as Dan Snyder’s only defender over the last decade.

Before this ESPN report, it was easy to assume that Jerry Jones was being selfish in his defense of Dan Snyder. It often felt like the Harlem Globetrotters defending the existence of the Washington Generals, because as long as Snyder was around to mismanage his franchise, Dallas was looking at increased odds of two extra wins per season. 

There was also the thought that Jerry Jones has a little bit of a Libertarian streak, and Dan Snyder’s follies are a litmus test for what an owner is or is not allowed to do. If the NFL pushed Dan Snyder out for the way his personal life bled into how he ran his franchise, then it was only a matter of time before Jerry Jones and his many scandals would become more of a focus.

But the best explanation for why Jerry Jones backed Dan Snyder is that they have a shared hatred of Roger Goodell. We already know that they tried to use Papa John’s founder John Schnatter and his NFL sponsorship dollars to try and push Goodell out back in 2017. 

It’s completely plausible that any dossier compiled on Roger Goodell wasn’t just the brainchild of Dan Snyder, but Jerry Jones as well. 

But Dan Snyder, in his infinite paranoia and stupidity, decided he needed leverage on his only friend as well.

Several owners acknowledged to ESPN that they are aware Dan Snyder is using private investigators to track his contemporaries, but none would reveal their source. You could almost blame this belief on a rumor gone wild if ESPN also hadn’t quoted former Washington team executives as having heard Dan Snyder talk about it himself. 

If the NFL doesn’t initiate its own investigation into whether Dan Snyder is paying to have the other owners tracked by private investigators, then that will tell you exactly what I’ve known all along- that not only is the NFL already aware of Snyder’s actions, but that they know Snyder has the goods to make it more trouble to expel him than to tolerate him. 

Let that sink in.

Davante Adams May “Push” the NFL to Restrict Sideline Access

We need to talk about Davante Adams getting charged with misdemeanor assault for pushing a photographer.

The discussion around this incident has been insufferable, but there are some elements of it that could result in positive change. 

To recap what happened, the Raiders were trailing the Chiefs 30-29 late in the fourth quarter, with Las Vegas attempting to mount a drive for a game winning field goal attempt. A fourth down mix-up led Hunter Renfrow and Davante Adams to collide while running their routes, and it resulted in the Raiders collecting their fourth loss of the season. 

The last time a team that Davante Adams was on a team that started 1-4 was never. 

The last time a team that Davante Adams wasn’t redshirting on had a losing record after 5 weeks was never. 

Adams is arguably the best receiver in football, and he’s brand new to losing. 

After slamming his helmet on the sideline, Adams was in the process of exiting the field when photographer Ryan Zebly crossed into his field of vision, and Adams shoved him to the ground. 

We can debate whether or not Zebly put himself in a position to be bumped by Adams by unnecessarily walking into his path, what we can’t do is justify the shove when Adams himself immediately publicly apologized. 

Here’s what Adams has to say in his tweet:  

“Sorry to the guy I pushed over after the game. Obviously very frustrated at the way the game ended and when he ran in front of me as I exited that was my reaction and I felt horrible immediately. That’s not me.. MY APOLOGIES man, hope you see this.”
So Davante Adams is sorry, and he should be. But is he a criminal?
After the game, Ryan Zebly filed a police report, and the

 Kansas City Municipal Court issued a citation for misdemeanor assault on Wednesday, alleging that Adams “did, by an intentional, overt act, inflict bodily injury or cause an unlawful offensive contact upon Ryan Zebly by pushing him to the ground using two hands, causing whiplash and headache. possible minor concussion.”

On one hand, It’s good to see that the Kansas City Municipal Court takes brain health more seriously than the Miami Dolphins. 

On another hand, I’ve watched enough Better Call Saul to know that a police report like this is almost always a precursor to an attempt at a civil settlement. 

And anyone that follows the NFL knows that Davante Adams can afford it. 

If you’ve been on an NFL sideline, you know that there are ten dozen credentialed people looking for any and every way to capture and pass on any moment of exuberance or frustration to pass on to us, the consumers. 

And if you’ve been a participant in an NFL game, as I have, you know that those people are more often than not a hindrance, and one or two are guaranteed to go down like bowling pins due to incidental contact with superhuman athletes moving at otherworldly speeds. 

It’s already a “keep your head on a swivel” environment, and what Ryan Zebly might not realize is that this criminal charge, and likely eventual lawsuit, could create changes for the amount of access that multimedia journalists can access during and after the game.

Truth be told, maybe the tunnel isn’t the best place to be chronicling the emotions of someone that is processing not only a loss, but the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are in the process of memeing you to death for running into your teammate. 

Again, I’m not making any justification for Davante’s actions, but if this does result in any changes being made to where photographers can go and when they can go there, not one NFL player is going to lose a second of sleep over it.  

Let that sink in.

Matt Rhule Will Be In-Demand in College Football, But His Time with Carolina Should Serve as a Warning

We need to talk about what’s next for recently fired Carolina Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule.

Nobody feels sorry for Matt Rhule right now. His contractual buyout is in the $40 million dollar range, and despite an absolutely putrid record of 11-27, wasting an awesome defense in 2021 due to a bottom three offense, making three different quarterbacks look washed, and emptying Bank of America Stadium of any trace of Panthers fans over the last two weeks, he’s still somehow the hottest name on the college coaching market heading into next season!

Yes Matt Rhule turned around Temple, and yes Matt Rhule brought Baylor back to life. It was those efforts that led owner David Tepper to personally recruit Rhule to the Carolina Panthers like Rhule was the LeBron James of football coaches. Maybe that goes to show that David Tepper didn’t understand the nature and history of his own team. 

Matt Rhule is a proven commodity as a re-builder. The Carolina Panthers didn’t need a rebuild. The Panthers, historically, have been a bounce-back franchise. Despite two Super Bowl runs in the last 20 years, and two other NFC championship appearances in the franchise’s short history, the Carolina Panthers have never had back-to-back winning seasons. Not even in the run of making the playoffs four times in five years under Ron Rivera. 

But what have the Carolina Panthers traditionally always had? Stability at quarterback. Whether it was Kerry Collins, Steve Beurlein, Jake Delhomme, or Cam Newton, for 90% of this franchise’s history, they’ve had the right piece under center that allowed them to tinker everywhere else until they put together a team capable of a playoff run. 

The Panthers worst years have always come when it was obvious that they didn’t have someone that should be starting in the NFL under center. In fact, you can thank Chris Weinke going 1-14 in 2001 for the Panthers ending up with Julius Peppers, and you can thank the combination of Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore going 1-14 in 2010 for the Panthers ending up with Cam Newton. 

Matt Rhule didn’t walk into a situation where the Carolina Panthers needed a complete overhaul, they just needed a competent quarterback to take over for the physically spent Cam Newton. And even if they did need a complete overhaul, they never completely went in that direction. 

Instead of looking to chase a QB in the draft and start from scratch, they’ve been content to see if they can make reclamation projects out of castoffs three years in a row. They still have the same primary running back and primary receiver as they did when Matt Rhule took over. Guys that Matt Rhule inherited on defense like Donte Jackson, Shaq Thompson and Brian Burns are all still the heart of what they do defensively. 

He didn’t even make a symbolic change at longsnapper.

A lot of people are going to ignore his time in Carolina and only look to the collegiate experience, but I think Matt Rhule’s time in Carolina is exactly why he’s a higher risk than most other pundits. 

People are quick to point at Steve Spurrier or Nick Saban or Chip Kelly’s time in the NFL as a reason that the pro experience need not be taken into account, but people forget that those three, while they might not have been a perfect fit, looked competent in the NFL in a way that Matt Rhule never did. 

But let’s say everyone is right, and that a trip back to college football will show the world why an NFL team was willing to drop $70 million on Rhule in the first place. Where does he fit best?

We don’t know if Matt Rhule is capable of sustained success, and it seems we do know that Matt Rhule might not be the best coach for a team that is just one or two pieces away from being competitive. The only thing we know is that Matt Rhule can create something from nothing. So which college programs will give him “nothing” to work with?

Well, there are two in the Pac-12, that are potentially future members of a conference where he’s already coached, that might offer him the blank slate he needs to work his magic. 

Arizona State currently has about 70 players on scholarship, and probably 10 of those are former walk-ons, while another 6-7 are quarterbacks that don’t play. Beyond that, they’re facing sanctions from their time under Herm Edwards, and rumors that someone on staff was leaking information to quicken Herm’s firing means that in order to take the job, everyone down to the stadium window washers would probably have to be replaced to make a high profile coach comfortable with taking that job. It’s as close to a true rebuild as you can get. 

And what about Colorado? They’re in the opposite boat, with too many kids on scholarship. But under NCAA rules, a new coach is allowed to make cuts in order to reshape the roster to their liking. Colorado’s best years came from recruiting connections established throughout Texas, and Matt Rhule in only 2.5 years removed from having to recruit the state in order to resurrect Baylor. Colorado might not have the financial considerations that you’d need to typically attract a top-level coach, but Matt Rhule is sitting on more unearned cash right now than a January 2021 Gamestop investor, so that shouldn’t be an issue. 

Some people might say that Nebraska needs a rebuild, but if I’m Matt Rhule I’m looking at Lincoln, Nebraska like it’s the Charlotte of the Plains. Nebraska seems to have plenty of talent, but unless you attract a quarterback that is either transcendent as either a runner or passer, you’re going to fall into the same trap that Mike Riley and Scott Frost did. And the one thing that Nebraska can’t afford Matt Rhule in the way that Arizona State or Colorado can is lowered expectations. If the Huskers aren’t on the verge of 10 wins by 2024, we’re going to be right back here talking about the next reclamation project for Matt Rhule.

But he won’t have the same shine he has right now, and instead of Tempe or Boulder, we might be talking about Troy, Alabama or Reno, Nevada. 

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 5 Best Bets

Trevor Lawrence throwing a pass.

In Week 4, the frisky Lions and Steelers let us down, but the Falcons, Chiefs, and Ravens did their thing to make it a 2-2 week. In Week 5, I’m trusting a cat, a bird, a JV offense, and Captain Kirk.

*Lines as of 10/9 at 12:30 PM ET on DraftKings

NFL Week 5 Bets of the Week

Jaguars -7 vs. Texans

Last week, I loved the Lions, but they let me down. This week, I’m staying in the cat family and backing the Jaguars. I’m not going to overreact to the Jaguars’ offense committing five turnovers last week against the Eagles. It was a monsoon! I’m well aware that the Texans own the Jaguars. (6-2 ATS, 8-0 SU in the last eight meetings.) The Jags are 4th in overall DVOA. Plus, Trevor Lawrence continues to improve in every statistical category from a season ago up to this point in the season. Lawrence had 12 passing TDs last season. This year, he has 8. Expect a few more as the Jaguars go on to win by 10.

Eagles -5.5 vs. Cardinals

The Eagles continue to be a thorn in my side. I’ve picked against them multiple times. What does Philly do? They go out and smack their opponents. Jalen Hurts has been a top 3 QB in the NFL through 4 weeks. Hurts, who has 8 total TDs and 2 INTs, is the catalyst of the NFL’s 2nd best offense in terms of yards per game with 435. The Cardinals are a chaotic mess. Arizona is averaging a league-worst 4 (!) points in the first half. Which team scores the most in the first half? The Philadelphia Eagles (23-point average first half), and it ain’t even close. Back the birds.

NFL Week 5 Underdog of the Week

Steelers +13.5 vs. Bills

The Bills are my Super Bowl pick. At times, they have looked like a juggernaut. Conversely, the Steelers have been a JV team on offense. Kenny Pickett should spark some life into the offense that is averaging a mediocre 18.5 points per game. So why am I backing the Steelers? Two words: Mike Tomlin. Coach T is 7-1 ATS as a 6-point underdog without Ben Roethlisberger as his QB. Let’s not forget that the Steelers went into Buffalo last year and upset the Bills. The Steelers will not win today’s game, but they will keep it close enough to cover.

NFL Week 5 Teaser of the Week

Teaser: 7 points, Jaguars -7>PK, Vikings -8.5>-1.5

Read above for my Jaguars’ rationale. The Vikings play the Bears, and I believe the Bears are the worst team in the NFL. If the Steelers run a JV offense, the Bears’ offense belongs in Pop Warner. The Bears are last in the NFL in passing yards per game with 97 (!!!!!!), second-to-last in yards per game at 274, and third-to-last in points per game with 16. If the Vikings’ defense puts 11 players on the field, they have a good chance at stopping the Bears. Trust Captain Kirk at 1 PM. He’ll deliver, and so will the Vikings.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 4-3-1

Underdog of the Week: 3-1

Teaser of the Week: 2-2