Saturday, January 02, 2010

A suspiciously interesting weekend in the NFL


The betting lines for this weekend’s games are pretty interesting to say the least and they absolutely suggest that some of the playoff bound teams plan on a long winter’s nap.

Not that I’m an oddsmaker by any stretch of the imagination but…

Despite being on the road I just can’t see the Patriots as 8 point dogs to the Texans or the Bengals as 10 point dogs to the Jets UNLESS Vegas is absolutely convinced Tom Brady and Carson Palmer have been given the weekend off.

Of the two teams, I could see Bill Belichick tanking the game. Clearly he is an outside the box thinker and he does manage a veteran team that is extremely experienced in the post season. Their collective momentum and rhythm might not be affected at all with the week off. Yet they do run the risk of losing the No. 3 seed in the post season tourney if they lose and the Bengals win in New York.

Let’s consider a couple of the possibilities as presented by my esteemed colleague Ken McKusick…

Possibility No. 1:

1. NE loses (Houston wins)
2. Denver wins
3. Baltimore wins
4. Pitt wins

Might Marvin Lewis then put Carson Palmer behind center? A Bengals win would pave the way to an enticing playoff game at home v. the Denver Broncos and the Ravens would head to New England. It could also set up a rematch with the Chargers in San Diego in the Divisional Round – a team that the Bengals nearly upset just a couple of weeks ago.

Possibility No. 2:

1. NE loses (Houston wins)
2. Denver loses
3. Baltimore wins
4. Pitt wins

By beating the Jets, the Bengals would host the Texans. If they lose, they get the Jets. They might be OK with either of these scenarios but the No. 3 seed is more attractive particularly when you take into consideration that the Patriots are a bad road team for a club that boasts a 10-5 overall record (2-5 on the road). Their only road wins were against the Bucs (3-12) and the Bills (5-10).

I’m not famous sports handicapper Brandon Lane by any stretch of the imagination but if it looks like the Patriots are tanking that 1PM game in Houston, get on the horn to your friendly neighborhood bookie and take the Bengals with the points.

4 comments :

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Jan 2, 2010
... Tony at my AGE...these possibilities are MIND BOGGLING.
Just Play the Games then we will know the Real Story... However, My RAVENS have a score to settle with the "BUNGELS"...If we play NE, we have to FIGHT the REFS to. I think the Ravens have a better Chance of beating the BUNGELS....But, everyone seems to forget...
we need to BEAT DA RAIDAS first!

3rdStoneFromTheSun said...

bring on the playoffs

Jerry B said...

Obviously, the odds makers know something. But, 10 points?! Can't wait to see how this one plays out. Frankly, as long as the Ravens win, I don't much care about the other scenarios.....

Dave, Reno, NV said...

i would be rooting against them even if they weren't playing the Ravens this coming weekend because:

They weren't willing to play their frontliners enough to win in week 16 because they didn't want to risk injury to them. Pursuit of an undefeated season wasn't important to them.

Yet, the following week 17. They were willing to risk injury to Manning, Clark, & Wayne on a snow-covered Buffalo field in pursuit of individual records.

"...from the bench after he helped ensure a couple of milestones."

"Manning completed 7 passes to Dallas Clark, allowing him to become the NFL's 2nd tight end to have a 100-catch season, joining Tony Gonzalez. Reggie Wayne had 5 catches to reach 100 for the 2nd time in his career." http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=300103002 & http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100105/SPORTS0204/301059969/1085/SPORTS03

Colts president Bill Polian defended the organization's not being interested in pursuing an undefeated season by saying that they had achieved 2 records that they WERE interested in: 1) the most # of wins in a decade; 2) the most # of consecutive wins. ROTFLMAO

To put those two achievements into perspective Mark Schlereth said to another ex-player "Do you remember who held those records previously ?" The answer would be "NO !!". "Do you remember the only undefeated team in NFL history ?" Every football fan knows that.

I know the real reason that the Colts had 3 of their stars play on that snow-covered Buffalo field. It reminds the organization of that snowy night when they snuck out of Baltimore in Mayflower moving vans.