The Pigskin Report The Best NFL, Fantasy and College Football News 2015-11-09T05:50:31Z WordPress Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[Against the Spread: Early Lines for NFL Week Ten]]> 2015-11-09T05:50:31Z 2015-11-09T05:50:31Z

Well, another wild weekend in the NFL has come to a conclusion with just one game on the slate of games remaining on Monday night. Another crazy Sunday means another round of injuries with the Patriots, Steelers and Packers all facing issues moving forward. Only three undefeated teams remain after the Indianapolis Colts ruined Peyton Manning’s return home, knocking off the Broncos on Sunday. The Indianpolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco Chargers all have a bye in Week 10.

Here are the early lines for NFL Week 10-

11/12 8:25 ET At NY Jets -3 Buffalo 43.5
11/15 1:00 ET At Green Bay -11.5 Detroit 48
11/15 1:00 ET Dallas -1 At Tampa Bay 43
11/15 1:00 ET Carolina -5 At Tennessee 42.5
11/15 1:00 ET At St. Louis -8 Chicago 41
11/15 1:00 ET New Orleans -2 At Washington 50
11/15 1:00 ET At Philadelphia -6 Miami 45.5
11/15 1:00 ET At Pittsburgh Off Cleveland Off
11/15 1:00 ET At Baltimore -6 Jacksonville 48.5
11/15 4:05 ET At Oakland Off Minnesota Off
11/15 4:25 ET At Denver -6.5 Kansas City 42.5
11/15 4:25 ET New England -7 At NY Giants 54.5
11/15 8:30 ET At Seattle -3 Arizona 45

Monday Night 

11/16 8:30 ET At Cincinnati -11 Houston 47.5


Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[Against the Spread: NFL Week Nine Picks and Predictions]]> 2015-11-08T12:09:02Z 2015-11-08T12:09:02Z

Five home dogs as we get set to open the Sunday portion of the NFL regular season. There are three very interesting games this weekend that I am very interested in watching, all of which have possible playoff implications. The Green Bay Packers travel to Carolina with the outcome of this game possibly deciding NFC home field advantage. The St. Louis at Minnesota contest could have ramifications for a wild card seeding down the road. The Dallas Cowboys are hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in what is basically a must win to stay in the running for the NFC East while dealing with QB Tony Romo’s absence.

Oakland at Pittsburgh -5 O/U 48 Oakland is finally putting some solid drafts together and the play on the field continues to improve. I just don’t look for the West coast team heading East to get it done this week. Pittsburgh 34 Oakland 23

Jacksonville at New York Jets -8 42.5 The Jets are dealing with quarterback issues but the Jaguars will have a difficult time mustering offense on the road against the Jets defense. New York Jets 19-10

St. Louis at Minnesota -1. 40 Minnesota is 5-2 SU and 5-1 STA this season and are perfect at home so far this season. Minnesota 19-17

Miami at Buffalo -3 44 Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is 3-7 on the road against AFC East opponents. Buffalo 23-17

Tennessee at New Orleans -7.5 48 Drew Brees continues the hot hand this week. New Orleans 34-13

Washington at New England -14 52 Tom Brady rolls on this week. New England 38-17

Green Bay at Carolina +3 46.5 Look for the Packers to exploit the lack of receiving talent on the Panthers roster. Green Bay 30-21

Atlanta at San Francisco +7 44 Niners rolling with QB Blaine Gabbert under center. Let that sink in. Atlanta 30-10

New York Giants at Tampa Bay +2 49 Look for a lot of scoring in this one as both teams feature weak secondaries. Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston has now gone three games without a turnover and continues to show improvement each week. New York Giants 31-30

Denver at Indianapolis +5.5 45 Fresh off a complete smackdown of the Green Bay Packers, the Broncos defense makes it another long day for Colts QB Andrew Luck who now has a new offensive coordinator. Denver 30-20

Philadelphia at Dallas +3 44.5 The NFC East teams have been very hard to read this year, as up and down as a roller coaster. Dallas wins late on a Dez Bryant touchdown reception. Dallas 26-24


Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[NFL Weather Week Nine]]> 2015-11-08T11:31:50Z 2015-11-08T11:31:50Z

The NFL regular season moves into the first week of November. Despite what the calendar reads, weather continues not to be a factor so far this season. Very moderate to seasonably  warm temperatures persist across much of the nation this weekend.A quick look at this morning’s weather map shows much of the country dominated by high pressure again this weekend. A weak cold front with an associated low pressure is moving into the Northeaster Gulf Of Mexico as a storm system moves into the Pacific Northwest bringing snow to upper elevations.

Two dome games this weekend.

Carolina- 60 degrees and clear skies

New England- 55 degrees and sunny

Buffalo- 50 degrees, partly sunny

Minnesota- 51 degrees with clear skies

New York Jets- 58 degrees and sunny

Pittsburgh- 50 degrees and sunny

Tampa Bay- 84 degrees, chance of light rain

San Francisco 60 degrees and overcast with the possibility of light rain

Dallas- 58 degrees and sunny

Monday Night-

San Diego 64 degrees



Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[NFL Week Eight Power Rankings]]> 2015-11-04T10:02:19Z 2015-11-04T10:02:19Z

We have reached the half way mark in the 2015 NFL regular season. As with any year, there are some shocking surprises around the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers are all a complete mess. Peyton Manning has more interceptions than touchdowns but he’s lead his team to a perfect 7-0 record. The Carolina Panthers own a perfect record as well while their leading receiver is a tight end. Rookie RB Todd Gurley looks as if he might be able to put the Rams on his back while making a push for the playoffs. Let’s take a look to see how teams are stacking up after eight weeks of the season.

NFL Week Eight Power Rankings-

1- New England Patriots- At 38, QB Tom Brady is playing perhaps the best football of his career. If New England gets past the Broncos defense on November 29th in Denver, this team goes 16-0 barring injury.

2- Denver Broncos- The best current defense in the NFL, bar none. Too bad the Broncos could have pulled off a deal for LT Joe Thomas at the trade deadline, injuries at that position are going to be an issue down the stretch with an aging Peyton Manning under center.

3- Cincinnati Bengals- And to think back to all of those that snickered at me after drafting Andy Dalton on my season long fantasy teams.

4- Carolina Panthers- 11 straight regular season wins but at some point you have to think that the lack of depth at the receiving position will be exploited.

5- Green Bay Packers- Absolutely steamrolled in Denver this past week. What’s more disturbing, averaging just 19 points per game in the last four. Very important game this week against the Panthers, could decide overall seeding in the playoffs.

6- Arizona Cardinals- Some of you also snickered when I drafted QB Carson Palmer. RB Chris Johnson has resurrected his career in the desert, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

7- Atlanta Falcons- RB Devonta Freeman has been a welcome surprise for the Falcons this season. A stumble this week against divisional opponent Tampa but a favorable schedule moving forward suggests 12-4 is a reasonable finish.

8- Minnesota Vikings- Quietly one of the best teams that is rarely talked about. However, they have a brutal six game stretch upcoming. If they can somehow go 4-2 in those games, this is one of the wildcard teams.

9- Oakland Raiders- Yes, the Raiders. The team is finally turning the corner in time for long suffering fans to watch them move to Los Angeles.

10- Pittsburgh Steelers- The loss of RB LeVeon Bell hurts for the remainder of the year but QB Ben Roethlisberger is finally back in the lineup.

11- St. Louis Rams- RB Todd Gurley might have saved Jeff Fisher’s career.

12- New York Jets- Quarterback injuries are going to be the demise of the Jets this season.

13- Philadelphia Eagles- Still waiting to see someone step up in the NFC East.

14- Seattle Seahawks- Free agency and player movement over the past two seasons has finally caught up to the Seahawks.

15- New Orleans Saints- If you started QB Drew Brees in your DFS leagues this past week, you cashed a winning ticket.

16- New York Giants- See the Philadelphia Eagles above.

17- Buffalo Bills- Can the return of QB Tyrod Taylor save the Bills season?

18- Miami Dolphins- Has the Dan Campbell boost faded? Seven of the remaining eight games on their schedule are winnable, let’s see if Campbell is ready for primetime.

19- Washington Redskins- See the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles listed above.

20- Indianapolis Colts- Has head coach Chuck Pagano listed his house or called the movers yet?

21- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- After a horrendous first game, rookie QB Jameis Winston has now gone three straight games without a turnover.

22- Dallas Cowboys- WR Dez Bryant returns, now if they can hold on three more weeks until Romo returns, they might, might be in the mix for a division title.

23- Jacksonville Jaguars- This team has some young stars on both sides of the ball, could make some noise in 2016 but it remains to be seen if Gus Bradley will be the one calling the shots after this year.

24- Kansas City Chiefs- A totally disappointing season for Andy Reid and crew.

25- Cleveland Browns- Another lost season and more Johnny Manziel drama.

26- Chicago Bears- RB Matt Forte out for at least two weeks.

27- Baltimore Ravens- And you thought the wide receiver situation in Carolina was bad?

28- San Francisco 49ers- It’s never a sold plan when you name Blaine Gabbert as your starting quarterback.

29- San Diego Chargers- I think some of the Chargers fans might come and help the team pack as they move to Los Angeles.

30- Houston Texans- I don’t see head coach Bill O’Brien holding on to his job after January 4th.

31- Tennessee Titans-  Ken Whisenhunt out, Mike Mularkey in? Meh.

32- Detroit Lions- If the Lions finish the season with one of the top-3 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, it might be time to blow things up. Draft a young quarterback, trade QB Matthew Stafford and veteran WR Calvin Johnson and clear off some cap space while rebuilding for the future with a new coaching staff.


Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[NFL Weather Week 8]]> 2015-11-01T12:38:01Z 2015-11-01T12:38:01Z

Wow, is this NFL Season flying by. Here we are at the halfway point of the schedule already and the calendar has now advanced to November.  Even as we approach the second half of the season, temperatures and weather conditions have yet to play a major impact in any weekend so far this season. Week Eight does not look to be any different. A quick look at the weather maps this morning shows that areas where outdoor games will be played this afternoon will experience moderate to slightly above normal temperatures and mild conditions.

A broad area of high pressure dominates the East Coast this morning while a cold front is entering the Northern Plains. A storm system moving into the Pacific Northwest will bring rain along with snow to higher elevations, but the Seattle Seahawks are out of town in Dallas. The New Orleans Saints fans will have to deal with very heavy rains and possible flash flooding issues for their tailgate plans, however the team plays indoors.

Five games will be played in domes this Sunday.

NFL Weather forecast Week Eight-

Cleveland- Partly Cloudy, winds could reach 20 mph out of the West, high of 62

Chicago- Sunny, high of 62

Baltimore- Overcast, high of 70

Pittsburgh- Partly Sunny, chance of a.m light rain, high of 62

Oakland- Mostly Cloudy, high of 68

Denver- Clear skies, temperatures in mid to high 50’s around kickoff.

Carolina- (Monday Night)


Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[Against the Spread: NFL Week Eight Picks and Predictions]]> 2015-11-01T23:50:38Z 2015-11-01T12:37:37Z

And in what seems like two blinks of an eye, the NFL Regular Season has reached the mid-point of it’s season. It seems as if weeks drag on without football, but somehow seem to accelerate three times as fast once the toe hits leather and the games begin. This Sunday’s slate of games features some very interesting matchups as things are getting into crunch mode for some teams trying to position for possible playoff spots. The schedule features five divisional games this afternoon and the latest line has five home dogs on tap for today as well. Let’s get right to it.

NFL Week Eight Picks and Predictions Against the Spread

Detroit @ Kansas City (in London) -3.5 45 O/U- The last of these dreadful London games will be played this morning. England is treated to yet another game featuring two dreadful teams. I’m going with Detroit here simply because Lions WR Calvin Johnson has shown life in the last two weeks. Detroit 27-20

Minnesota @ Chicago +1 43– The Bears two wins have come by a combined three points with wins over Kansas City on the road and Oakland at home. Minnesota has a much better defense, it’s a divisional game and the Vikings really need this name in early November if they want to remain in the wildcard hunt in December. Minnesota 27 Chicago 23

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta -7 49– The Buccaneers might need to be the next NFL team that needs a “Dan Campbell” moment. Head coach Lovie Smith is supposed to be a defensive genius, but his defense is really offensive. The Buccaneers have allowed 99 points in their last three games and let a 24-0 lead slip away last week against the Redskins. Last year in the Georgia Dome, Atlanta thumped Tampa 56-14. Atlanta 38-20

New York Giants @ New Orleans -3 50- The Giants need the next two games on their schedule to have hopes of winning the mediocre NFC East after having already played 4 of their 6 divisional games. The Saints seem to be in a state of flux with questions surrounding whether or not head coach Dean Payton will be back after this year and the future surrounding QB Drew Brees. New York 34-24

San Francisco @ St. Louis -8.5 39.5- Should we simply hand the Rookie of the Year trophy to RB Todd Gurley right now? San Francisco has gone from being in the mix of Super Bowl discussions just two seasons ago to being on the cusp of being one of the more dysfunctional teams in the league with the loss of head coach Jim Harbaugh. The team is 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 road games and have been outscored 120-52 in three games while traveling this season. St Louis 23-13

Arizona @ Cleveland +6 46.5- I’m taking Arizona 31-17

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh -1 49.5- The Steelers managed a 2-2 with QB Ben Roethlisberger sidelined with a knee injury. He returns this weekend in what should be a very interesting matchup. Cincinnati has been a perfect 6-0 ATS and 5-1 in overs so far this season. Take the Bengals coming off a bye week and Roethlisberger being a bit rusty. Cincinnati 31-27

San Diego @ Baltimore -3.5 50.5- Did you happen to catch the scoring in the Clemson-N.C State game on Saturday? This could be the NFL’s version of that game because neither team plays particularly good defense. Chargers QB Philip Rivers is red hot right now. Definite play on the over in this game. San Diego 37-31

Tennessee @Houston -4 42.5- Both of these teams are a mess currently. Houston simply gave up last week and was being blown out 41-0 at the half. Tennessee will see QB Zach Mettenberger make his second start this week. The Titans have not won a divisional game since December of 2013. Houston 24-13

New York Jets @ Oakland +3 44- The Jets have been 4-1-1 ATS spread so far this season but in the last 10 weeks coming off the week previously where they play the New England Patriots, they have covered just 3 of 10 contests. New coaching staff and a solid defense. Rookie WR Amari Cooper won’t put up the numbers this week against the Jets secondary that he did last Sunday against the Chargers. Jets 27-16

Seattle @ Dallas +5 41.5- Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will return this week but will reportedly be on a pitch count. Not a favorable matchup for him, especially with Matt Cassel under center. This game comes down to the Dallas offensive line against the Seattle defensive line and whether or not the Cowboys can run the football. Total football freak stat of the week I found doing research- The Cowboys are 13-0-2 ATS since 2003 coming off a road loss with 2 or more turnovers and being a 2 or more point dog. This Seattle team is not playing well right now. I like Dallas to keep this close and the points. Seattle 20-17  Pick of the week.

Green Bay @ Denver +3 45.5- This is the premiere matchup of the week. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers against the defensive unit he’s faced all year. Broncos QB Peyton Manning against a solid defensive unit with his eroding skill set. All in a Super Bowl rematch that once featured Brett Favre going against John Elway. Both teams are having some issues with running the football as both, Eddie Lacy and C.J. Anderson for the Packers and Broncos respectively, have been suffering through disappointing seasons to this point. Green Bay was my pick to win the Super Bowl this year so that is all I am basing this pick on because I think this will be a very close game. Green Bay 27-26



Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[Lovie Smith Should Not Feel Secure With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers]]> 2015-10-27T06:28:36Z 2015-10-27T06:28:36Z

As a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan since 1976, I have been treated to some pretty poor football. In the Hugh Culverhouse days, things were done on the cheap. The players were given sparse training facilities. Fans were forced to sit on hemorrhoid inducing aluminum bench seats in the old Tampa Stadium. Good players were run out of town, see Doug Williams.

Then we get new ownership, it’s a New Day in Tampa Bay. Tony Dungy is brought in and he turns the mentality of losing around in the locker room. A perennial losing team is now knocking at the Super Bowl door in a few years. Dungy doesn’t have the passion to push his talented team over the edge and is eventually fired to be replaced by Jon Gruden. Gruden brings home the goods and it looks like the Buccaneers are locked in for a few years to come. Well, the franchise had to give up a king’s ransom in order to get Gruden and the team, quickly missing top draft selections, was now also swimming in salary cap hell in years following the franchise’s only Super Bowl win. When it appeared that the Buccaneers would get some salary cap relief after the 2008 season, and the team had a December meltdown, the current co-host of Monday Night Football was fired.

Tampa has gone through a litany of coaches following Gruden. Raheem Morris (17-31) Greg Schaino (11-21) and currently, Lovie Smith. Smith is a modest 4-18 in his time in Tampa again and has just one win one his record in Raymond James Stadium. His time should be limited.

After the hire of Morris and then Schiano, the Buccaneers were faced with an even more dwindling fan base. They needed to hire a coach which brought some credibility to the franchise after the previous two failed experiments. Smith took a Chicago Bears team to the Super Bowl and was a disciple of Tony Dungy,  and he was going to bring the gravitas back to the Buccaneers and relive the days of the middle 1990’s. Lovie is a defensive genius, he knows the Tampa-2 defense. He had some early pieces in place. Gerald McCoy as the next Warren Sapp. LB Lavonte David as the next Derrick Brooks. But the pieces have fallen apart.

Smith has had two years of an open checkbook to bring in free agents. The players he has brought in aren’t working out. His old, tired, Chicago Bears players are underwhelming on the field. CB Chris Conte could have sealed the game in Washington this weekend and dropped an interception.

Lovie is supposed to be a defensive genius. So exactly how do the Buccaneers, and his hand-picked defensive unit surrender the biggest comeback in Washington Redskins history, say 1100+ games to a quarterback that hasn’t started a full season of games in his career, yet posted a career best 124.7 passer rating? Let’s review a few things here.

The Buccaneers had 479 yards of total offense against the Redskins. They had 190 yards rushing versus just 50 for Washington. Rookie QB Jameis Winston was 21-29 -289 yards and two touchdowns in his second game without a turnover. And the defensive genius head coach let the Redskins march right down the field as if Washington was conducting a scrimmage.

Gee, wasn’t that what Marcus Maroita did in Week One against this vaunted defense?

Lovie Smith is now 4-18 with the Buccaneers and has only won one home game.  Tampa only has five home games remaining. I don’t see any home games that this team can win with the exception of the December 27th game against the Chicago Bears, and even that is up in the air. The Buccaneers, making ordinary quarterbacks look extraordinary since 1976. (With the exception of that period from 1998-2003).

Tampa is now on pace for a NFL record 158 penalties. Is this a sign of well coached, disciplined team? 16 penalties for 142 yards on Sunday.

The Buccaneers look to be headed to another top-10 or higher first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft next year. Given the failed choices in free agency in the last two seasons, does the front office really want to surrender yet another failed season to Lovie Smith and his minions?

If the Buccaneers finish 4-12 this season, Smith will have compiled a 6-28 record in Tampa. Sam Wyche was 23-41 from 1992-1995. Ray Perkins was 19-41 from 1987-1990. Let that sink in a bit. If Lovie is retained for the 2016 season, he’d have to go 13-3 next year to reach the number of wins Ray Perkins had in four seasons with the Bucs. Ray Perkins. Ugly.

Smith needs to go. He needs to take his lackluster motivational skills somewhere else. Along with his defensive prowess. I find his defensive prowess to be quite offensive. I find his lackluster demeanor on the sidelines to be offensive. I find his description of the games in his post game pressers to be offensive. I’m not stupid Lovie, I watched the game. Start packing your shit and get out of town.

And a memo to the Bucs front office- I was a huge Tampa Bay Rays fan. When they couldn’t get a deal done with Joe Maddon, I was out. And I mean out. I never watched one Rays game this year, I used to watch about 80 a year. If you don’t make a significant change this offseason, I will be out of the Buccaneers just the same. Your franchise has become an embarrassment since 2008. I used to have season tickets, now it’s not worth the money or the drive to come watch this sorry product on the field.

Until this franchise makes a strong decision towards a serious coaching and General Manager change, I will no longer support the franchise. I can no longer get behind local professional franchises which gut the core of the winning mechanism to save money in a market where the teams struggle to put fans in the seats.





Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[The Tuesday Morning After: NFL Review and Reaction to Week Seven]]> 2015-10-27T04:46:52Z 2015-10-27T04:43:13Z

The Arizona Cardinals have logged their fifth win of the regular season this evening over the Baltimore Ravens, winding up the final game of the seventh week of the NFL regular season. Arizona failed to cover the 10 point spread and that is where we will start this week’s rants and reaction column.

The Cardinals are 5-2 and remain in first place in the NFC West but I wonder for how much longer they remain in first. After the first five weeks of the regular season, pundits were pointing out the high scoring offense of the Cardinals. They scored 31, 48, 47 and 42 points in wins against the Saints, Bears, 49ers and Lions in their first four wins. They have lost games to the Rams and Steelers and struggled tonight against a Ravens team at home that has virtually no one to catch passes from Joe Flacco. As of right now, I like the Rams chances to win this division currently. The Rams have already defeated Arizona and Seattle.

Speaking of division chances, the Dallas Cowboys entered Sunday’s late game 7-0 against NFC East opponents on the road since 2013 and 5-0 versus the Giants in their last five meetings. QB Matt Cassel did not extend the streak and the NFC East still remains a jumbled mess. I stand by my prediction a few weeks ago that 9 wins will take that division at the end of the season. A weak nod is given to the Giants currently.

In regards of the NFC East, Sam Bradford no longer gets a pass from me, he simply sucks in this Eagles offense. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins, under the leadership of Kirk Cousins, had their largest comeback in franchise history, 1100+ games on Sunday.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is still on pace for a 70 sack season. Interesting for a run-centric offensive team with a mobile quarterback. Perhaps they would like their center back and trade Jimmy Graham back to New Orleans.

I expected a letdown this week from the Miami Dolphins after naming Dan Campbell interim head coach. I was wrong. I was wrong about 20 minutes into the game as Lamar Miller ran for 85 yards rushing for a score then caught a pass a scored a 50 yard touchdown, becoming the first NFL player ever to do that in one quarter of play. This Thursday night’s game between Miami and New England could be interesting, most of the mid-week games are snoozefests.

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman is still burning it up on the gridiron. He leads the NFL in rushing with 621 yards and nine scores. Odd fact of the day? He has just 2 runs over 20 yards, the longest 25 yards.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin is second in the NFL in rushing yards with 541 yards. He is one on few players I correctly picked early on this season in year long fantasy leagues. Andy Dalton was another, so I’m hanging on in most of my leagues.

On the issue of running backs- I guess Todd Gurley is the exception to the rule of not having to draft a running back in the first round. This man is a beast in the backfield and a must start now every week in DFS leagues.

In regards of DFS leagues- I thought I’d be sneaky this week and start WR Robert Woods from Buffalo. He got me 23.3 points in DraftKings. I also had Philip Rivers, Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram and Devonta Freeman. DeAndre Hopkins killed me as did Charles Clay. I lost one of my leagues to a guy who started Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry and the Dolphins defense. Yeah, that was my second choice for this past weekend. I hate homers in fantasy football. Who in their right mind starts Tannehill, Landry, Miller and the Dolphins D all in the same week other than just a total complete homer? And yes, I’m bitter about that move.

Memo to the NFL- I watched the game Sunday morning streaming on Yahoo. I saw a lot of buffering, buffering, buffering and much of the game in a blurry screen. I hope this “experiment” isn’t an experiment for next year’s Thursday night games.

Memo to the NFL Part II- You should have hyped up the late game on Sunday between the Chargers and Raiders as L.A. Bowl I as both teams are competing to join the nation’s second largest television market.

And my rant for this week follows-

I’m not really a big fan of post touchdown celebrations. I can understand doing something in the playoffs or the Super Bowl, but in regular season games, nope. Especially when your team sucks or is getting kicked right in the ball sack. Some examples.

During Week Six, I was watching RedZone and I see Detroit Lions WR’s Lance Moore and Golden Tate jumping up and down in the endzone after scoring a touchdown. Uh, the Lions were 0-5 at that point.

On Sunday, I see Colts WR T.Y. Hilton doing a backflip into the endzone and celebrating as if he just won the game, while being down 27-0 at that point.

As an aside, if I were a coach, that backflip shit would not work on my team. No player on my team would launch themselves into the endzone risking potential injury. Oh gee, didn’t that just happen in Denver? Isn’t Emmanuel Sanders dealing with a shoulder injury?

Then we have Houston Texans DL Jadeveon Clowney who jumped up and did a dance to celebrate his first NFL sack on Sunday after taking Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill to the turf. Problem was, Miami was winning 41-0 at the time.

Patriots QB Tom Brady became the fifth QB to reach the 55,000 passing yardage milestone over the weekend after a 34-54-355-2-0 line after a win against the Jets on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is lighting it up right now, he has thrown for 839 yards in his last two games and currently on pace to throw for 5600 yards.

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano should call ex-Hurricanes head coach Al Golden and ask what moving company he recommends. No way Pagano stays after this year. Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith might want to listen in on that phone call as well.






Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[Against the Spread: Early Lines NFL Week 8]]> 2015-10-27T03:07:19Z 2015-10-27T03:07:19Z

And just like that, we are approaching the middle of the NFL regular season. Actually football fans, as of this evening, we are only 103 days until Super Bowl 50. Many teams which entered the 2015 season with high expectations already have fans looking ahead to the 2016 NFL Draft. The early lines for Week Eight are out and there are a couple interesting lines. There are 5 home dogs. I like Detroit +6, Atlanta -7, New Orleans -3.5 and Arizona -4.5.

10/29 8:25 ET At New England -7.5 Miami 51
11/1 9:30 AM Kansas City
(At London)
-6 Detroit 45.5
11/1 1:00 ET Minnesota -2.5 At Chicago 42
11/1 1:00 ET At Atlanta -7 Tampa Bay 49
11/1 1:00 ET At New Orleans -3.5 NY Giants 49.5
11/1 1:00 ET At St. Louis -8.5 San Francisco 39.5
11/1 1:00 ET Arizona -4.5 At Cleveland 47
11/1 1:00 ET At Pittsburgh Off Cincinnati Off
11/1 1:00 ET At Baltimore -3 San Diego 50.5
11/1 1:00 ET At Houston Off Tennessee Off
11/1 4:05 ET NY Jets -1.5 At Oakland 44.5
11/1 4:25 ET Seattle -6 At Dallas 40.5
11/1 8:30 ET Green Bay -3 At Denver 45.5

Monday Night 

11/2 8:30 ET At Carolina -6.5 Indianapolis 46


Eric Schmidt <![CDATA[Rapid Response: Quick Takes From NFL Week Six]]> 2015-10-19T15:36:48Z 2015-10-19T15:10:20Z

The sixth Sunday of the NFL regular season came to a close last night, and it left fans with more questions than answers around the league. What if the Miami Dolphins had made a move in the offseason to hire Dan Campbell instead of starting the year with Joe Philbin? Should Jarvis Landry be named the Pittsburgh quarterback this next week if Ben Roethlisberger is unable to go? What were the Indianapolis Colts thinking on that trick play? Will the New England Patriots go 16-0 this season? Are the Cincinnati Bengals to be taken seriously this year? Let’s jump right in to this week’s rapid response.

The Miami Dolphins were the first team to make a coaching change this year, replacing Joe Philbin with interim head coach Dan Campbell. The franchise made the move after a lackluster showing in a London game against the Jets two weeks ago and utilized their bye week to let Campbell get familiar with the role of being head coach. The club responded well, with their best defensive outing of the year against the Tennessee Titans. If Miami plays this well for the remainder of the season, Campbell could very well be patrolling the sidelines for the Fins next season and beyond. Be careful though Miami fans, you often see a short term boost from coaching changes, it happens in baseball many times when a manager is replaced only to see the team return to their lackluster ways.

The New England Patriots played in the long awaited rematch of last years AFC Championship Game last evening and easily dispatched with the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots are playing exceptionally well currently, averaging 36.6 points per game and have a +80 point differential. Some pundits are comparing this year’s team to the 2007 version which posted a perfect 16-0 record. It is far too early to speculate of that possibility though. If the Patriots start 12-0, then it’s time for that discussion. It is far too early in the season and there is always the injury risk to key players.

The Denver Broncos have to be considered the worst 6-0 team in the NFL right now. Their wins have come at an average of 6 points per game. Their defense and special teams have scored more points than the team’s offense and Denver has now gone two complete games without scoring an offensive touchdown. QB Peyton Manning is struggling but these issues are not directly a result of his play. The offensive line is playing poorly and the running game is non-existent. Denver heads into it’s bye this week and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the team tries to sort out it’s offensive woes with a very difficult schedule looming in the second half of the season.

After 40 years of watching football, seemingly every week there is some play which happens that makes me even more confused about the game than I was the week before. This whole issue of what is a catch and what isn’t a catch is very confusing. This week, it was the “touchdown/interception” by Lions WR Golden Tate. What looked to be a clear interception was ruled a touchdown. Okay. It seems as if the officials on the field thought it was an interception as well because three zebras surrounding the play all ruled touchback. I don’t envy the job the officials have to do. And why do all these strange plays seem to happen to the Detroit Lions?

The Cincinnati Bengals have started the season 6-0 for just the third time in franchise history (1977, 1988). Since realignment in 2002, the Bengals are the first AFC North team to start the season 6-0. Skeptics want to dismiss the Bengals because of their recent history of playing well in the regular season and then falling flat in the playoffs. Do that at your own peril this year. Cincinnati is one of the most complete teams in the NFL and while naysayers want to continue to criticize QB Andy Dalton, but his play has been stellar so far this season. Dalton is surrounded by an offensive juggernaut of weapons. Heading into the bye week, Cincinnati could easily finish the season with a 14-2 overall record at the end of the year.

The Carolina Panthers certainly look for real. They finally exorcized the demon known as the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, winning in a late 4th quarter comeback in dramatic fashion. Carolina could have easily played conservatively and set up for a field goal to head into overtime on the road but instead opted to push up the field with a touchdown pass to TE Greg Olsen with 32 seconds remaining. Despite a dismal first three quarters, QB Cam Newton led a dramatic comeback with a fantastic fourth quarter of play. The Panthers play a smash mouth style of offense and features a smothering defense. The only downside to this team is the lack of a play making wide receiver. If TE Greg Olsen goes down to injury, this team will be crippled.

Some random thoughts from the weekend-

The Cleveland Browns have not beaten a 5-0 team since the mid-1960’s.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers reached 30,000 passing yards on Sunday. He hit the milestone in just 3,652 attempts, faster than any quarterback in NFL history.

The Kansas City Chiefs are now owners of the longest losing streak in the NFL, 5 games.

The New York Jets are now 4-1, all wins coming by double digits.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers threw for 503 yards and no interceptions on Sunday in a losing effort becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to do so.

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins became the first receiver in NFL history with at least nine receptions and 145 yards in three straight games.

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning became the first quarterback in league history to start 6-0 for a sixth time.

The Seattle Seahawks allowed four touchdown drives of 80 yards to the Carolina Panthers Sunday, a feat the Seahawks haven’t allowed in 15 years at home.

The Washington Redskins have been outscored 46-3 in the third quarter this year.