Week 8 Late Games and Monday Night: Smith-Schuster Games!

Sunday, October 29 Late Games

SEATTLE (4-2) -5.5 vs. Houston (3-3) 

We learned a few things from last week’s when Seattle played at the New York Giants:

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  1. The Giants offense is horrendously bad

  2. The Giants defense is very good – as long as they don’t have to be on the field for 75% of the game

  3. Seattle’s red zone offense is terrible. With 1 and 10 from the Giants 15, Seattle ran 12 plays before being stopped on 4 and 1 from the 1.

  4. Jimmy Graham cannot catch the ball unless it hits his hands

  5. Damon “Snacks” Harrison has the best nickname in football

  6. That the NFL makes up the possession rule for TD catches each week – seriously, do these calls ever make sense

Everyone has seen this replay a thousand times by now (not on SportsCenter though, no one watches that crap anymore).

This was not nearly as a bad a call as the call to overturn Seferian-Jenkins TD in week 6 vs. the Patriots. Sure, I am a Giants fan and will admit my bias here, but how is this called a catch?  I get that a mutual catch goes to the offense and that once a simultaneous catch occurs in the end zone it’s a touchdown. But as we have learned on multiple occasions, most famously with Calvin Johnson, the player must have possession throughout the whole process of the catch. Robinson clearly does not maintain possession with Collins until his foot is clearly out of bounds. Oh well, Giants would have lost anyway but this call sucked.

Seattle’s offense still has some major issues, most notably the offensive line. Houston has a great pass rush so they should be chasing Wilson all afternoon. On offense, Houston has been a completely different team since Watson took over. They are averaging almost 40 points per game over the last 4 games with Watson throwing 15 touchdowns over that span.

This is a very close one to call, so we’ll break down the advantage by team.

  • Defense: Tie (Seattle 4th in yard against, Houston 6th)

  • Offense: Houston

  • Crowd: Seattle

  • Swagger: Houston (Watson > Wilson)

  • Coaching: Seattle

  • Baseball Team: Houston

  • Coffee: Seattle

  • Oil: Houston

  • 90’s Grunge: Seattle

  • Weather: Tie (Houston – too hot, Seattle – too wet)

Overall, it’s too close to call, just like this game. Which is why we are taking Houston and the 5.5 points.

 PICK: Houston +5.5


Dallas (3-3) -2.5 @ WASHINGTON (3-3)

Nothing effects the momentum of a game more than an early turnover. Especially when it’s a muffed punt deep inside your own territory after your defense records a three and out. Cowboys first down from the 20, Zeke runs in a touchdown and yada, yada, yada…you lose 40-10.

Seriously though, a momentum swing like that, and so early, changes the whole complexion of the game. The 49ers could not recover from it and Dallas was riding high, two ends of the spectrum and both over exaggerated. Dallas is not that good, San Francisco is not that bad.

Dallas will return to earth this week with a tough division match-up in Washington. Zeke Elliott is still available to play as he awaits his next hearing. But the offense will have a much tougher opponent in the Redskins with Josh Norman returning from injury.

The Elliott suspension saga has reached a new level of insanity. Zeke’s next hearing is scheduled for Monday, October 30th as the district court judge assigned to hear the case is on vacation. The NFL is pushing for a hearing on Friday, October 27th so the suspension could start immediately if upheld. No luck there NFL. You can’t bother a district court judge when she’s on vacation. Elliott will play Sunday and the saga will continue. I think we can all agree on two things: 1) Elliott is not a great person and 2) the NFL needs to handle this crap better. However, the Cowboy’s organization and Cowboy fans will continue to defend and support a player accused of domestic assault because he gives them their best chance to win football games. Sitting at 3-3 after 6 games, I think the Cowboy’s would be in the same place had they been without Elliott and we’d all be in a better place for not witnessing this insanity. Excuse me while I put my soapbox away.

Surprisingly, both teams are 3-3 and chasing the Eagles. This is big game for both sides. Given the situation, Redskins at home coming off a tough loss and Cowboys on the road coming off an easy win, we’ll take the short home dog.

PICK: WASHINGTON +2.5


Pittsburgh (5-2) -2.5 @ DETROIT (3-3) - Sunday Night

Pittsburgh took care of business last week, handily beating division rival Cincinnati. The offense is clicking now that Bell has finally knocked off the rust of his pre-season hold-out and with the addition of rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster was the talk of the NFL this week for this “Hide & Seek” TD celebration with LeVeon Bell.

Smith-Schuster found Bell quickly but could not find Martavis Bryant,who is still MIA from the Pittsburgh offensive. They never let poor Martavis play in any Smith-Schuster games. Bryant has been suspended by the teem for week 8 for his mean tweets and comments directed at Smith-Schuster and the team. He is also not allowed to go to the Fall Dance and his phone has been taken away for two weeks.

Detroit is coming off a bye. Not sure what the team was up to during the off week, but we’re sure the Lions did not take in any Pistons games this week at the brand new, $865 million Little Caesars Arena Arena (see what I did there) in downtown Detroit. Truly a case of, “If you build it, they will come. Eventually, but maybe not.”

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The extra week of rest was great news for Matt Stafford, Golden Tate, and Ziggy Ansah, who all hope to be healthy and on the field.

This is a tough spot for Pittsburgh. They are coming off a great division win at home where everything went right for them, including a fake punt up 12 points with 6 minutes remaining in the 4th.  This is a much better spot for Detroit coming off a bye and getting points at home. We always take the short home favorite, so give us Detroit +2.5. 

PICK: DETROIT +2.5


Monday, October 30 Night Game

KANSAS CITY (5-2) -7.5 vs. Denver (3-3)

Along with Indianapolis and Arizona, Denver was one of three teams shut out in Week 7.  The last time the Broncos were shut out was 25 years ago and that included two seasons of Tim Tebow at QB! The Broncos were held to 251 yards of offense and gave up 3 turnovers. Not surprising that they were shutout. What is surprising is they outgained the Chargers (242 yards of offense). Take out the 3 turnovers and a 62-yard punt return TD and this is a completely different game. Our point, we are not over reacting to this shutout loss.

Kansas City lost in epic fashion last Thursday night. Due to booth reviews and penalties, Oakland scored the go-ahead touchdown 3 times before the last finally stood. Kudos to the Oakland kicker for making the PAT after all the craziness that ensued - sure felt like he would miss and the crazy would continue into OT. This was a tough one for KC and it was their second loss in a row. Not an easy opponent to try and bounce back against.

We expect Denver to keep Kareem Hunt contained, forcing Smith to scramble. This should be a low scoring game, which is why we love the hook.  Feels like a 17-14 game that could go either way so take Denver and the 7.5. 

PICK: Denver +7.5