Subjects in this Article might appear closer than they are…
Keenum Makes A Case For The Vikings In The NFC
Just how good are the Vikings? Minnesota is a quiet 7-3 ATS this year and 8-2 straight up. The fascinating thing about the Vikings this year is the ability to make in-game adjustments. Sunday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Rams started off with a 75-yard touchdown drive by the visiting team. That would be all the Rams would be able to score all day. The Vikings responded with 24 unanswered points, stifling one of the league’s most electric, high scoring offenses that average 30.3 points a game. Case Keenum was very efficient Sunday going 27-38 for 280 yards and no turnovers.
Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but since Keenum came back in for Sam Bradford week 5, he has thrown for an average of 259 yards per game, completing 66% of his passes with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. A stat that does stick out has to be that he wasn’t sacked the entire game vs. a defense that thrives on pressure. The Vikings offensive line has only allowed Keenum to be sacked five times this year, and have six games this season with no sacks allowed. That’s a fantastic achievement being Sam Bradford was sacked 37 times last year. Although Keenum still has his moments of transgression, his ability to create something out of nothing, keeps the coaching staff questioning whether to bring back Teddy Bridgewater now or to wait.
Making it even sweeter, Sunday’s victory came against the team that benched him last year for Jared Goff. Keenum is 5-2 as a starter and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said the team can’t just pull Keenum for no reason.”It’s going to be hard to yank him out of there right now,” Zimmer said of Keenum. ” He’s playing good.”I still have high hopes for Teddy. You know a lot of things happen throughout the course of this season, so we’ll just see how it goes.” Has Case Keenum secured his starting spot for the remainder of the season, or is he a three-interception performance from seeing the bench again?
Life Without Zeke
Life down in Big D hasn’t been exactly comfortable the last few weeks. A nightmare has unfolded for owner Jerry Jones with a soap opera type feud with Roger Goodell ending with an admonishing letter from the league. Also, with a racist video that was released, the upheld suspension of star running back Zeke Elliott, and tack on an injury to the quarterback of the defense Sean Lee, the 2017 season has quickly plummeted for the Cowboys. Dallas has been abused the past few games, enduring two back to back blowouts with Prescott turning in an abysmal performance Sunday.
His performance, three interceptions, a lost fumble and just 145 passing yards with a rating of 30.4. That passer rating is worse than throwing the football into the dirt which would give you a 39.6. In Atlanta the previous week, the offense had a season-low 233 yards, Sunday night, they broke that record only putting up 225. However, they were somewhat more balanced this week, instead of giving up eight sacks, they split the assignment with four sacks and four turnovers. Although the Eagles first half wasn’t pretty, the team dominated the second half. Wentz threw just nine passes in the final thirty minutes, for 88 yards, only missing two throws, both on first down. Meanwhile, he faced six third-down situations converting on five of them.
This has to sting, as it’s been known that the Cowboys carefully scouted Philadelphia’s Wentz at the Senior Bowl in January 2016. Dallas was heavily linked with the Eagles play caller, and it was predicted that they would have drafted him had he dropped to them in the draft. Instead, the Eagles make their move for the future, and it has paid off quite well. Dallas, on the other hand, has a star that has off-field issues and an owner that brings off-field issues to the team, not a genuine combination for Championships.
What We Learned
Not so much what we learned, but have we finally learned a lesson from our mistakes. Some keep using the term ‘bad beat.” I like to think of it as destiny. The Browns once again, blew a late game spread, ruining a good day for Cleveland backers.
This time, it came on a late-game fumble by quarterback Deshone Kizer that was eventually recovered by Jacksonville’s Telvin Smith. The score came with 1:14 remaining in the game pushing the score to 19-7 and covering the 7.5 spread for the Jaguars. Cleveland is cursed, since 2015, the Browns are 12-30 ATS, covering only 28.6% of the time. They also own the leagues worse ATS +/- with a -4.6 average margin.
Preparation is key. The Patriots opted to stay in Colorado Springs for their bye week and practice at high elevations as Mexico city sits at 7,503 feet above sea level. The team said the week together also gave them the opportunity to bond and gain trust in each other.
The Patriots practiced at the Air Force Academy that sits at 7,258 feet above sea level. From the opening drive, it was clear what the Patriots game plan was as they came out in no-huddle keeping the Oakland defense on it’s heals. The result, a blowout 33-8.
-The underdog trend that started so strong in 2017 is no longer. Favorites went 11-3 straight up and 9-4-1 ATS in week 11, pushing the yearly record to 77-71-8.
What We Burned
The worst bad beat has to be at the conclusion of the Tampa Bay vs. Miami game. 17 fourth-quarter points were the difference for bettors with a bet on the total of 44. Every second was needed as the Buccaneers took a late lead 23-20 with 4 seconds remaining in the game.
A kickoff and a game of hot potato later, and the Buccaneers were able to recover the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. To make matters worse, if you had a 6 point teaser with the under, the NFL’s rule of making teams that score with no time remaining on the clock kick the extra point, sealed your fate, as the game ended 30-20.
The Trend Of The Week:
Teams playing the Houston Texans have lost their game the following week (0-10). Cardinals host the Jaguars (-4.5) week 12.