written by Tony Luchi (@TonyLuchi)
Wow. Week 14 already in the books. These seasons seem to go faster every year.
Let’s start with Thursday night. What a game for Derrick Henry. Tell me your mathematical models predicted that! For a minute there I thought we were watching another annual battle between Alabama and The Citadel. Just a quick tangent, why does the NFL’s 33rd team in Alabama get to play Cupcake Directional University for their entire non-conference schedule and still call themselves National Champions?
Doesn’t matter. Let’s get back to the NFL.
Passed the Eye Test: The Indianapolis Colts
The Houston Texans have been considered the hottest team in the league by the network talking heads, but today their luck may have run out (No pun intended.) Just because your owner dies doesn’t mean the breaks will continue to go your way. Indy has been ballin’ since starting out 1-5 and this was a huge win for them in the division race.
The media has been on their knees for Houston during their win streak, but completely avoiding to comment on some of the lucky shit they have pulled off. I understand, any team that goes on a 9-game win streak will have the ball bounce their way from time to time, but Houston has had some ridiculous fortune to inflate their record. When the Colts lost to the Jets in week 6, I got them to win the division at +2500. I fully intend to cash that one as the Colts finish with two NFC East teams and the Titans (Cowboys and Giants at home, then at Tennessee week 17.)
Colts Futures odds at mybookie.ag: Super Bowl +4000
Failed the Eye Test: The NFC East
Dallas and Philly played an entertaining game Sunday, but none of the teams in this division will make noise in the playoffs. Washington got waxed by the bottom feeders from New York. The Skins were never true contenders to begin with, and now that they are playing their 4th string QB, they’ve mailed it in.
The Super Bowl hangover continued its wrath this year, with the Eagles clinging to the porcelain throne each week. The Cowboys have played like the popular girl in school thinking that their looks alone will get them through the playoffs.
I knocked my beer over yelling at the TV when the refs called offensive pass interference on Dallas Goedert late in the 4th quarter. Then without fail, the very next play, the makeup flag was thrown. Since when did sacking a quarterback low turn into a fucking personal foul? Neither of these teams needed help from the officials to give the game away.
The Cowboys/Eagles game did not look like a matchup of teams battling for a division title. Whichever one of these teams ends up hosting a playoff game are likely to fuck up their opportunity and let a wild card team stomp through to the Divisional round. Dallas seems to be in the driver seat, of the short bus to one and done-sville.
NFC East Super Bowl Futures odds at mybookie.ag: Dallas +1800, Eagles +5000, Giants +25000, Redskins +30000
Passed the Eye Test: The Bears Defense
Chicago’s defense kicked the shit out of the Rams’ offense. They started the second half with a safety. They shut down Gurley. When Goff wasn’t throwing picks, he was throwing ducks. Even Legatron missed a field goal. The Rams offense scored 6 points. If they hadn’t cut to Sean McVay on the sideline every third fucking play, I would have thought Jeff Fisher was back calling plays.
I’ll be the first to admit, I had Green Bay division futures for the NFC North before the season. I didn’t think Khalil Mack could fix the issue of having Mitch Trubisky running the offense. I’ve got to eat my words though, because Chicago looks like a real football team right now.
Chicago Bears Futures at mybookie.ag: Super Bowl +1200
Failed the Eye Test: Bill Belichick
Why in God’s name is Gronk playing safety on the final play of the game? I understand the “hands team” mentality to defend the Hail Mary play when the clock hits 0:00, but Miami was at their own 31 yard line. Tell me the Patriots don’t practice defending the pitch play every week.
There was no chance in hell that Tannehill was going to attempt a 69-yard bomb to the end zone as time expired. It’s tough to envision any NFL safety looking as foolish as Gronkowski did trying to make a play before the goal line. Of course, losses like this never matter for the team that walks into a division title every year. It must be the hookers and blow in Miami that the Pats just can’t shake.
New England Patriots Futures odds at mybookie.ag: Super Bowl +650
This time of year is always fun. The playoffs start taking shape, and regular season futures are soon to be cashed. The fun continues Thursday night with the top 2 records in the AFC fighting for a division title. Don’t forget to tell your wife you can’t go to her office Christmas party on Saturday. You have a date with the NFL.