A few observations from (my first time in) the press box at University of Phoenix Stadium during Thursday night’s Seahawks 22-16 win over the Cardinals:
-Seattle, if they find a running back AND stay(ed) fairly injury fee, would be dangerous in the postseason. Their defense is nasty and can you ever really bet against Russell Wilson in a big game? The guy is the ultimate gamer. And until proven otherwise, I don’t trust Philadelphia in a big game.
-Speaking of injuries, it looks like CB Richard Sherman is out for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon…so I might want to take back the ‘Seattle would be a tough out in the playoffs part.’ The Seahawks are way too thin at cornerback and this is a massive blow.
-The Cards offensive line is a train wreck of epic proportions and losing arguably their best healthy lineman, D.J. Humphries to a knee injury doesn’t help things much.
-After watching Adrian Peterson’s 21 carry for 29 yard performance (like I predicted – under 50 yards rushing), it’s obvious that the Cardinals need the dynamic David Johnson back sooner than later.
-And it’s also obvious, as I stated in the preseason, that Blaine Gabbert should be starting over Drew Stanton.
-I don’t care if I’m in the minority but Seattle’s color rush uniforms from Thursday night are my favorite in the league.
-And finally, after sitting through the entirety of this game, I couldn’t agree more with the following tweet:
Thursday Night Football has mostly been good this year. This has been an utter abomination, one of the worst games in any time slot all year.
— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) November 10, 2017
This play was clearly the highlight though:
THAT. WAS. UNBELIEVABLE.
— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2017
If you missed my Wednesday football predictions, click here.
-Week 10’s fantasy football portion of the column:
PPR HERO (an underrated player who will finish in the top-10 at his position this week):
Season Record: 3-6
Week 9: Adrian Peterson (RB, Cardinals) (WIN)
Week 10: Orleans Darkwa (RB, Giants)
PPR ZERO (a top-15 player who will finish outside of the top-20 at his position this week):
Season Record: 7-2
Week 9: A.J. Green (WR, Bengals) (WIN)
Week 10: Brandin Cooks (WR, Patriots)
KICK IT TO WIN IT (A likely waiver wire kicker who will end up in the top-10):
Season Record: 3-6
Week 9: Blair Walsh (Seahawks) (BIG LOSS)
Week 10: Josh Lambo (Jaguars)
PUNT OF THE WEEK (the team I think will punt most frequently therefore upgrading the other team’s fantasy defense…aka turning them into a top-10 fantasy D for the week):
Season Record: 8-1
Week 9: Denver Broncos (vs. Philadelphia Eagles) (WIN)
Week 10: Cleveland Browns (vs. Detroit Lions)
On to best bets where once again I find myself at .500 in the NFL and just above that in CFB.
NFL Week 10 Best Bets
Last Week: 2-3
Cowboys / Falcons Over 50.5 Total Points
Texans / Rams Over 45.5 Total Points
Packers +5.5 at Bears
Buccaneers +2.5 vs. Jets
Titans -4.5 vs. Bengals
College Football Week 11 Best Bets
Last Week: 3-2
Iowa +12 at Wisconsin
Utah +1 vs. Washington State
Virginia Tech -2.5 at Georgia Tech
Texas Tech -7.5 vs. Baylor
TCU +7 vs. Oklahoma
-If Khalil Tate wants to make it to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, he better run around, through, and across the Oregon schools the next two weeks. Saturday at home against Oregon State shouldn’t be much of an issue. My predicted stat line for the Arizona QB: 185 yards rushing and 3 TDs, 145 passing and a score.
-Unfortunately with an 8 o’clock game and horrendous Oregon State coming to town, attendance at Arizona Stadium will be sparse at best. Such a shame missing out on Arizona’s best team since its 2014 Fiesta Bowl season. This season’s home attendance will go down as the lowest in at least 14 years if not longer.
-Josh Rosen or no Josh Rosen for UCLA…I have a good feeling about Saturday’s game for ASU. Expect the Sun Devils defense to play closer to how they did against Utah and Washington and stifle a fairly high-powered Bruins offense.
-I have to admit that I was very wrong about the ASU QB situation from Day 1. I thought that Alabama transfer Blake Barnett would take the job from incumbent Manny Wilkins sooner than later…and that clearly hasn’t been the case. Wilkins has been very solid throughout the year and appears to be the long term solution at the position for the Sun Devils.
-Stanford and Auburn each have the chance to play spoiler x2 in the next few weeks for the CFB Playoff race. The Cardinal host one loss Washington this week and #3 ranked Notre Dame on 11/25. Auburn gets #1 Georgia this week and rival, #2 Alabama at home also on the 25th. While I like the Huskies to win on The Farm Friday night, I’m definitely picking the Tigers to ruin Georgia’s undefeated season on Saturday.
-Currently the Pac-12 has 11 of its teams still in contention for .500 records and bowl bids. So what will happen to the bubble teams:
—-Oregon will beat at least one of Arizona and Oregon State, if not, both to get to the 6 win mark.
—-Cal will lose at Stanford and at UCLA to miss a bowl at 5-7.
—-ASU will win between 1 and 3 of its final games to secure bowl eligibility.
—-Utah beats Washington State this weekend or Colorado on the 25th at home to clinch bowl eligibility. In between they’ll get stomped by Washington in Seattle.
—-UCLA’s bowl fate relies on 2 wins over ASU, at USC, and / or Cal. They won’t get there.
—-Colorado needs one win at home vs. USC and at Utah. They also won’t get it.
-When my friend and diehard Wisconsin fan / alum Jon Bell picks Iowa to beat the Badgers on Saturday (in Wednesday’s picks), it might be worth paying attention to…he knows his team. Wisconsin is definitely on upset alert this week though I don’t think the Hawkeyes get it done in Madison.
-In addition to predicting a #1 Georgia loss, I’m picking TCU to upset #5 Oklahoma in Norman, effectively eliminating OU from the CFB Playoff picture. The Horned Frogs have an elite defense which will stifle Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and the Sooners’ rushing attack. I have no doubt that if this happens, OU would get revenge in a rematch for the Big XII Championship.
-I grew up a Miami fan as my parents went to school and met on campus. The team I hated growing up was Notre Dame. In this version of the Catholics vs. non-Convicts, I expect the Hurricanes defense to slow Irish star RB Josh Adams and do just enough on offense to pull out a close and exciting victory.
-Michigan State has overachieved greatly this year…Ohio State has underachieved. Look for a role reversal and a Buckeyes beatdown this weekend.
-Alabama isn’t losing at Mississippi State though the game might be closer than expected for a while. Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald might be Dak Prescott 2.0…a dynamic player who will go later than he should in the NFL Draft.
-Finally just a quick thought on Roy Halladay, the 8-time All-Star and 2-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher who passed away in a plan crash at the age of 40 on Tuesday. Though he never played for my Cubs, Halladay was among my favorite pitchers to watch. He worked quickly, threw strikes, and went from zero to hero seemingly in a short amount of time. He was the most dominant pitcher in baseball for a multi-year stretch earlier this decade and to me, he is and should be a show-in Hall-of-Famer. Such a tragic loss of life at such a young age. Rest in peace, ‘Doc.’