Play Action or Pass Week 12: NFL Russian Roulette
Roulette- Is a casino game: a game of chance, where the objective is to guess what the next spin will land on. Players can bet on a single number, various groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19–36) or low (1–18).
Russian Roulette- is also a game of chance, only, this is a lethal chance. Players pass around a revolver loaded with a single round. The objective, Not to die?
Quarterback- The play caller of the offense. Usually the leader of a franchise. The quarterback spot is among the most glorified and scrutinized positions in team sports. Typically, teams that have success, are led by quality quarterbacks.
Combine all three, and a lethal game of quarterback Russian roulette is what is being played in Denver. The Broncos have only scored 183 points this season, 18.3 per game, ranking them 24th. Much of this can be credited to the inconsistent play at the quarterback position.
Loading the Chamber....
Coming off a 3400-yard season with 18 touchdowns in 14 games as a starter, Trevor Siemian once again won the 2017 training camp battle for the starting quarterback job to begin the season. As a starter this year, he had a TD-INT ratio of 9-10 while only completing 61.5% of his passes in 7 games, throwing for a miserable 238 yards a game.
Spinning the cylinder....
Week 9, 2017, Brock Osweiler returned as the starter. Time to Brock and roll? Not so fast, as he was back to his traditional ways. In three games, he managed to throw four interceptions while only tossing three touchdowns. He was repulsive, only completing 53% of his passes while averaging just 175 yards passing. In his three starts, the Broncos were outscored by 56 points.
The 3-7 Broncos are imploding. The only problem is the wrong man bit the bullet, former OC Mike McCoy. The Broncos instead chose to go in a different direction replacing him with quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. Enter the 2016 26th overall pick, Paxton Lynch. In his rookie season in two starts, he went 49-of-83 for 497 yards, two touchdowns and an interception with a passer rating of 79.2. Lynch was inactive for the first nine games after suffering a sprained throwing shoulder during the August 26 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The second-year quarterback threw deep for the first time in two months just last week.
Let's see where this fatal game takes us to with Denver(+5) visiting division rival Oakland Sunday. Will Paxton Lynch survive?
Over the last eight games at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens defense has yielded an average of 13 points. The rush defense has been frightening the last three games, holding opposing running backs to 146 total yards averaging 2.56 per attempt, scoring only once. This will be a problem for the Texans with Lamar Miller solely commanding the backfield in the wake of D’Onta Foreman's injury. If the Texans fall behind in this game, which I think they will, Tom Savage will be the key to keeping this a one-score game. The only problem, the Ravens are second in the league in passing yards allowed allowing only 185 per game. Joe Flacco has not been spectacular by any means, but with a top 5 defense behind him, I believe he will have a relatively easy day giving him short fields and possibly a few turnovers. The Texans inability to score will put him in position to not have to win the game but simply manage it. The Texans are now 1-3 straight up and ATS in games not started by Watson; they were 5-1 vs. the spread when he was in.
Panthers:-4 (buy the hook if 4.5)
Carolina has turned things around. Lately, Cam Newton's legs have been the story. Coming into the season, Carolina's head coach Ron Rivera said he wanted to limit the hits his star player took this year as he was hit and sacked a career high last year. Through the first five games, his attempts were 6, 5, 3, 8, 7, not surpassing the 44-yard mark in any of those games. In 2015, when he won the MVP award, he had 132 rush attempts. In his last five games, his attempts have increased immensely (11, 9, 11, 9, 5) averaging nine carries per game. In the blowout win vs. Miaimi, he only had five carries but busted out for 95 yards. The Jets are highly vulnerable to dual-threat quarterbacks, giving up the third most of yards of all teams to the position with 204 rush yards on the year. Newton leads all quarterbacks in attempts (74) and yards (436) this season, look for him to extend drives with his legs throughout the game. The Panthers defense aren't slouches either ranking 6th in DVOA. Just a few weeks back, the Jets were unable to take advantage of the Buccaneers 27th ranked defense only putting together 10 points in a losing effort 15-10. The Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games and 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games. Meanwhile, the Jets, are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 November games.
Colts: +4 (buy the hook if 3.5)
Falcons Team Total over 30
Chiefs PK/ Steelers-4/Patriots
The "Game of the week" features an NFC matchup that we might see later this season in the playoffs. I would love to take the Rams to bounce back here at home, but I just can't see myself betting Jared Goff over Drew Brees. The Rams are 2-2 ATS at home this year, while Brees and the Saints have won 8 in a row going 6-2 vs. the number. I do like the over some as I think there will be some scoring from both teams. Saints overs are 36-23 since 2013.
Super Bowl Odds
New England Patriots +275
Philadelphia Eagles +400
Pittsburgh Steelers +500
New Orleans Saints +800
Minnesota Vikings +1000
Los Angeles Rams +1800
Atlanta Falcons +180
For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.