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Week 17 NFL Observations

  • Give the Chicago Bears credit for trying the entire the game even though they knew by kickoff their playoff seed was locked in. When teams pull their starters in games that determine playoff births, it's bad for the league. The Bears weren't able to pull off the win (though they would have had a far better chance had they used their last timeout with 40 seconds left in GB territory rather than wasting 20 seconds to spike it), but at least they made the afternoon games more worthwhile.

  • As long as Tom Brady's under center, the Patriots can run Jeff Erickson and Scott Pianowski out there and score 35 points.

  • Speaking of which the Pats are +130 vs. the field to win the Super Bowl. That means they'd have to be 43.5 percent to win to make that a fair bet. A team with a 75 percent chance to win each of its three games would be 42.2 percent. In other words, the Pats have to be better than a 3:1 favorite on average to justify that line.

  • On the other hand, the Seahawks are 150 to 1 to win four games. If each game were 50/50, they'd be just 15 to 1, but 150:1 means each game is on average a 22.2 percent proposition according to this line. Given that the line this week (in Seattle) is -600/+450, i.e., a true line of +525, i.e., 16 percent, 150:1 is a terrible, sucker bet. If all of their games were +525 (and remember this is the only home one, and it comes against a banged-up team on the road that played last week), the true odds of SEA winning the SB are about 1 in 1296.

  • The Ryan Mathews late-first round pick wasn't such a bad idea after all. Remember Mike Tolbert didn't exist before the season, at least not as a prospective ball-carrier.

  • Sam Bradford is still just a prospect, and 2010 (6.0 YPA) really doesn't say a whole lot either way about what he'll become. Yes, he showed a spark at times, but so did Colt McCoy, Bruce Gradkowski, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sanchez, Jason Campbell, Rex Grossman, Jon Kitna, Alex Smith, Chad Henne, Shaun Hill, Drew Stanton, Kerry Collins, Brett Favre, Joe Webb and Vince Young, not all of whom have a prosperous future ahead of them in the NFL. It would help if Bradford got some receivers and a new offensive coordinator, however.

  • I realize he was a lame duck, but John Fox going for the FG on 4th and 2 from the 5 down 21-0 with a 2-13 record is a ban-from-coaching-for-life level offense. WTF could he possibly be thinking?

  • I needed to go 11-5 to extend my streak of over-.500 seasons ATS to nine on Sunday. After going 4-4 in the early games, I went 6-1 late, and got Seattle to cover at home Sunday night. After my worst NFL season, (bad vs. the spread, buying double steaks in RW Steak League, lost Survivor Week 2, Ryan Mathews and Randy Moss on multiple teams, no fantasy titles in six leagues, Giants looking like SB contenders and having a disastrous collapse), Week 17 is actually going to make me miss it. The Bears almost put the Giants back in, I salvaged the streak and my steak league team had the most points in the 14-team league (too little, too late to save me money, but at least it validated some of my picks).
  • Comments

    By: Mark Stopa
    On: 1/3/2011 8:07:00 PM
    John Fox kicking the FG was a product of him wanting to be able to say that the Panthers didn't get shut out in his final game. That's the only reasonable explanation - not that it's a justification of course. ... The Seattle winning the Super Bowl bet exists merely to take money from Seahawks fans. ... Bradford's receivers are beyond bad - they're the worst collection I can ever recall seeing on one team. I don't think any of their receivers could start on any other NFL team. If they don't spend their first-round pick on a WR, it's an abomination.
     
    By: assman
    On: 1/3/2011 8:41:00 PM
    Not to get off track here but Andrew Luck is ready for the NFL!!!
     
    By: vtadave
    On: 1/3/2011 9:12:00 PM
    Agreed Mark. Life-long Rams fan here. Not that WR is the most important position in the NFL, but there are more than a handful of Bradford's passes I could point to this year that a real WR would have grabbed. See: Danario Alexander in Q3 of the Seattle game. I think the Rams are easily in the playoffs with Mark Clayton-Donnie Avery as their top 2 WR's. Even then, we're not exactly talking Rice-Taylor there.

    Alex Smith finished the year with the best QB among NFC West QBs. Couldn't belive that when it was thrown out to me today.
     
    By: quails144
    On: 1/3/2011 11:36:00 PM
    Condolences on the season. "When you're right 51% of the time...."
    Would love to see Erickson lead-block for Pianow after he catches it in the flat.
     
    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 1/4/2011 2:51:00 PM
    I've got good hands and run precise routes. I couldn't run away from a traffic cone, though.

    Kudos on getting over .500, Chris. Doing it 11 times in 12 years is a ridiculous accomplishment.
     
    By: Erickson
    On: 1/4/2011 5:05:00 PM
    I'm setting the traffic cone as a -130 favorite over me in a 100-yard amble.
     
    By: Erickson
    On: 1/4/2011 5:24:00 PM
    It's almost impossible to get true odds on extreme underdogs. From my limited wagering experience, it's even worse in college sports.
     
    By: Poincare
    On: 1/4/2011 9:33:00 PM
    Chris, I just wanted to compliment you on your second to last bullet point. I couldn't agree with you more. I also got a very good laugh out of it. Keep up the good work.
     
    By: tumanic
    On: 1/4/2011 10:59:00 PM
    Apparently Fox didn't want to get skunked......Erickson's 40 time??? 7.3/7.4??? Sorry, but Mathews as an end of the first round selection was a bad idea. Odds are if you had him there you probably weren't playing in week 17 if your league even played that week. Moss and Greene were also busts at the end of the first round so he wasn't alone. Mathew's will rock next year....
     

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