Play action or Pass week 16: Motivate me

The Texans are playing for Bill O'Brien's job. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Motivation is a stat that fails to show up in the box score or in the spread, but unquestionably you see it with the on-field performances in the closing weeks of the regular season.

Week 16 brings us various spots that we look to take advantage of using motivation as an angle we can capitalize on.

We currently sit at:


1. Patriots 11-3

2. Steelers 11-3

3. Jaguars 10-4

4. Chiefs 8-6

5. Titans 8-6

6. Bills 8-6

Trailing behind them and still in contention.

Ravens 8-6

Chargers 7-7

Raiders 6-8

Dolphins 6-8


1. Eagles 12-2

2. Vikings 11-3

3. Rams 10-4

4. Saints 10-4

5. Panthers 10-4

6. Falcons 9-5

Trailing behind them and still in contention

Lions 8-6

Seahawks 8-6

Cowboys 8-6

Playoff Seeding Motivation


Philadelphia has clinched the NFC East and a first-round bye. The Eagles will clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win over the Raiders, or a tie combined with a Vikings loss/tie, or a Vikings loss. How much motivation will Oakland have after the tragedy of last Sunday night? After being on the wrong side of the most bizarre first down measurement "paper gate," Derek Carr fumbled Oakland's playoff chances out of the end zone for a touchback. Although they aren't mathematically eliminated, the Raiders would need to win out and have multiple scenarios to play out in order to punch a ticket into the postseason. Cross-country travel, on a short week vs. a non-conference opponent, where will the fight for the Raiders come from? Offensive tackle Donald Penn held a streak of 174 straight games played, but this Christmas, he will be at home. To lose your left tackle, Derek Carr's blindside, while traveling into a hostile environment, to play against a defense that underachieved the prior week isn't the ideal situation. Yes, these are professionals, but at the same time they are human, and with the dream being basically crushed by Carr's fumble, how can we expect the Raiders to get up for this game. How can Oakland salvage some kind of motivation going into the off-season? A trip to L.A in week 17 vs. the Chargers with the chance to play spoiler could be the remedy. Look for the Raiders to sleepwalk through this game with the season finale serving as some type of redemption game.

Job security motivation

Texans +10

"We have a great relationship; Coach OB is fun to play for. He's very tough on you. He wants you to be successful. I would love to have coach OB back, and I'm ready to have him with me for my whole career." These were the words of new found leader Deshaun Watson, amidst of all the talk of Bill O'Brien's future with the team. When Watson, the future of the team, comments about who he would like to play for and shows that he is in Bill O'Brien's corner, it has to bring a sense of motivation from a coaching standpoint as well as a perception of optimism in the locker-room. When asked about his quarterbacks support, the QB whisperer O'Brien said “I appreciate all the support that anybody — I think that’s just the way I think any of us are. People support you, it’s a nice thing. But we’ve got to focus on Pittsburgh, and that’s what we’re trying to do.” The Steelers are coming off a wild finish in a matchup they had circled all year. By now, we all know about the Jesse James catch being overturned, and the catastrophic mistake Ben Roethlisberger made, so where is the mental state of the Steelers locker room? They are still playing for a first-round bye week, and they lead Jacksonville by a game, but the Jaguars face off a day earlier vs. the 49ers. Will the outcome of that game factor into this final score? Tomlin has been very inconsistent as a double-digit road favorite losing outright on five occasions in his tenure. In road games the Steelers have been favored in this year they are 2-4 ATS. Take Houston to keep it close enough to leave the back door open.

Winning Mentality Motivation

49ers +4

Since handing the keys to Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers have played like an inspired team. San Francisco is 3-0 straight up and 2-0-1 ATS with Garoppolo at quarterback. San Fransisco averages 5.9 yards per play on offense with Garoppolo, surpassing the league average of 5.4. The stat that jumps out is the improvement on defense. When you think of the Jaguars, you automatically think defense. The Jags hold opponents to 4.9 yards per play. During the last three weeks, the 49ers have held opponents to the exact same number. Since changing quarterbacks, the 49ers have improved on both sides of the ball giving merit to our theory of motivation in the locker room. This team is playing like a 3-0 squad, not one that resembles the 4-10 record they hold in 2017.


Seahawks +3

Seahawks/Cowboys over 47


Rams/Titans under 49

Teaser 7- point


10-point teaser

Chiefs PK/ Eagles+1/Patriots -1.5

Eagles+1/Seahawks-Cowboys over 37/Chiefs PK

Play action or Pass went 8-1 in week 15 bringing our yearly record to 41-28-1. 59.4%

Most Bet teams

Browns 74%

Panthers 73%

Chiefs 70%

Giants 70%

Eagles 67%

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.

Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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