Friday, September 19, 2014

FOOTBALL NEWS AFTER NFL WEEK TWO



FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER

Hello Football Fans,

I believe we will look back on the last several weeks in the NFL as historic times where methods of dealing
with serious issues are changing positively (but we'll see later).

On the field, the NFL is only two weeks old and already the playoff picture is clearer (believe it or not).

In college, we are getting ready to start a full slate of conference games.

Enjoy,

The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL

It’s quite difficult to focus on football right now with all of the ongoing social issues surrounding several NFL players.  In the aftermath of the airing of the Ray Rice domestic violence video, other similar cases are coming to the forefront.  Included are the ongoing domestic violence cases involving Carolina’s Greg Hardy and the 49’ers Ray McDonald, as well as a child endangerment case involving the Vikings’ RB Adrian Peterson.  For now,   let’s forego those serious issues for purposes of this letter and look at some on-field happenings.  [UPDATE: I ended up addressing this stuff briefly at end of the letter].

NFL

After the first two weeks of the regular season, the playoff picture is already becoming much clearer – at least based on historical fact.  Since divisional realignment in 1992, teams that begin the year with a 0-2 record have only a 12% chance (about 1 in 8) of making the playoffs.  Last year there were eight teams in this position, and only Carolina made the playoffs.

This year’s teams slipping into that unenviable position are: NOR, IND, TB, KC, NYG, JAX, and OAK.  That means statistically only one of these teams will make the playoffs.  Conventional wisdom still projects both New Orleans and Indianapolis to make the playoffs, but how long do all of us hold on to our preseason thoughts?
New Orleans is a much better home team, and played its first two games on the road.
Indianapolis has faced two divisional winners from last year (DEN, PHI).
But the rest of the lot is shaky already.  Kansas City has been decimated by injuries; Tampa Bay’s preseason hype (mainly due to new coach Lovie Smith) looks overly optimistic.  The NY Giants looked anemic in the preseason and carried their offensive struggles into the regular season.  Jacksonville and Oakland look like repeat bottom feeders right now.

On the positive side, there are seven teams that started the season 2-0 – DEN, CAR, AZ, PHI, CIN, HOU, and BUF.  Last year there were eight teams that won their first two games, and 3 of those 8 missed the playoffs.  Statistically, this year two or three of these unbeaten teams will not make the playoffs (but the other 4 or 5 will see the postseason).
BUFFALO, believe it or not, has now started the season 2-0 for the fifth time since 2000.  The previous four times, the Bills finished the season at .500 or worse.  There are a lot of football fans rooting for this underdog to finally break that long playoff drought for the die-hard Bills’ fans and for the team’s new owner.
HOUSTON started the 2013 season with two wins, but then lost 14 straight.  This year, they have beaten what appear to be two mediocre teams in WSH and OAK (but we’ll see about that).
That leaves five other teams, four of whom made the playoffs last year in Carolina, Denver (two home games to start this year), Philadelphia (two 2-TD come-from-behind wins to start this year), and Cincinnati (first time since 2006).  The fifth team, Arizona, posted a 10-6 record last year but missed the playoffs.

By process of elimination, the remaining 18 teams have a 1-1 record, including all four teams in the NFC North – all tied for the division lead, and all four fighting to stay out of the cellar.

Nothing is settled yet.  Carry on, football fans.

NFL UNDERDOG WINNERS

Overall, SIX underdogs won their games outright in 16 NFL games, for a 37.5% upset rate in the 2nd week of the regular season (44% upsets last week).

Dallas +3h won at Tennessee, 26-10.

Cleveland +6 beat visiting New Orleans, 26-24, on a FG with 3 seconds remaining.  Johnny Manziel got into the game (not sure why), but took only three snaps and was not a factor.

St. Louis +6 won at Tampa Bay, 19-17, with 3rd string QB Austin Davis running the offense.

San Diego +5h beat visiting Seattle, 30-21.  Before this upset, the Seahawks hadn’t been beaten by greater than seven points since Week #9 of the 2011 season.

Chicago +6h won at San Francisco, 28-20, after trailing 17-0 in the first half.   The Bears scored a TD with 13 seconds remaining in the half to keep them in the game, but the Niners scored the only points of the 3rd quarter to still lead 20-7 going into the final period.  Da Bears scored 3 unanswered TD’s in the 4th quarter to shock the Bay Area fans.  The SF 49’ers lost the turnover battle 4-0, and it cost them a victory.
FFHL handicapper and Bears’ fan WILD MAN went to the game, the inaugural game in the 49’ers new Levi’s Stadium, affectionately being called the “Field of Jeans”.

Philadelphia +3 won at Indianapolis, 30-27, on Monday night on a last-second FG.  The Colts led 20-6 in mid-3rd quarter, but couldn’t stop the explosive Philly offense.  It was a good game, but marred by several questionable penalties in the Eagles’ favor at the end, including the “non-horse collar” tackle flagged as a horse-collar tackle.  I still say the game would be better if coaches could use the red flag to dispute any call on the field, including penalties.

UPSETS – “NOT QUITE”:

NY Jets +8 jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first half at Green Bay, but couldn’t hang on and lost 31-24 to the Packers.  Jets’ QB Geno Smith threw a game-tying 36-yard TD pass on 4th-and-4 with 5 minutes remaining in the game, but one of the officials allowed a time out by the Jets bench before the snap that nullified the play.  Only the head coach is supposed to be able to call a timeout from the sidelines, but offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg ran toward the official signaling for the timeout and one of the bench players saw that and ran up behind the official and whispered “Time Out” in his ear – the official granted the time out and the play was dead.
The Jets did, however, cover ATS by 1 point.

AGAINST THE SPREAD

The State of Delaware allows NFL sports betting, but only on tickets involving at least three teams (3-team parlay, 4-team parlay, etc.).  Last weekend (NFL Week #2), there were about 4500 persons who made a $5 bet on a 15-team parlay against the spread.  One person won ATS on the first 14 games of the week, and picked Indianapolis ATS on Monday night.  Of course, that means he lost his $5 bet because the IND Colts as a 3-point favorite did not cover ATS (lost game outright).  Had Indy come through ATS, that small bet would have paid off over $100,000.  That’s gambling!  The odds of winning a 15-team parlay ATS (assuming about a 50%-50% chance on each game) are over 32,000-to-1.

The State of New Jersey, under the direction of Governor Chris Christie, has lifted the state’s ban on sports betting at racetracks and casinos.  Atlantic City is hurting, and he’s trying to protect his state’s enterprises.  But the NFL has aggressively opposed the expansion of legalized sports wagering and has won lawsuits in both New Jersey and Delaware.  New Jersey has now decided to simply quit enforcing their own state laws currently on the books.  Stay tuned; the NFL will most likely be jumping on this after they deal with the current messes with which they are dealing.

COLLEGE

FBS UNDERDOG WINNERS

Overall, ELEVEN underdogs won their games outright in 51 FBS vs. FBS games, for a 22% upset rate (16% last week).

On Thursday night, Louisiana Tech +3 won at North Texas, 42-21.  Iowa castoff QB Cody Sokol was 20 of 31 for 243 yards, 5 TD’s and 1 INT.  After a scoreless 1st quarter, the Bulldogs dominated and led 42-7 early in the 4th quarter before two late scores from the Mean Green.

East Carolina +10 won at Virginia Tech, 28-21, one week after VA Tech won at Ohio State.  ECU jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the 1st quarter, but the Hokies fought back and tied the game on a TD with only 1:20 remaining in the game.  However, the Pirates responded on the ensuing possession with a 3-play, 65-yard TD drive, leaving only 16 seconds on the clock.

Bowling Green +7h beat visiting Indiana, 45-42, on a TD win 10 seconds remaining in the game.  The Big 10 woes continue.

Iowa State +12 won at Iowa, 20-17.  The Hawkeyes led 14-3 at halftime, but appeared to get conservative (that’s being kind) and it was the ISU Cyclones lining up for the winning FG with 2 seconds to go.  It’s up….it’s “NO GOOD”.  But wait, Iowa called a timeout just before the snap to try to freeze the kicker.  He didn’t miss the second time – game over.  The Big 10 woes continue.

West Virginia +3h won at Maryland, 40-37.  West VA led 28-6 in mid-2nd quarter, but Maryland scored three unanswered TD’s to cut the lead to 28-27 early in the 2nd half.  The Mountaineers extended the lead, ahead 37-27 after three quarters, but the Terrapins tied the game on a 69-yard punt return with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.  W.VA wrapped up the win with a 13-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a successful 47-yard FG on the last play of the game.
The Big 10 woes continue (or did I already say that twice before).

South Carolina +6h beat visiting Georgia, 38-35, and the SC Gamecocks and HC Steve Spurrier got their season back on track.  Great game; hope you saw it.

Virginia +6h beat visiting Louisville, 23-21, aided by a Cardinals’ fumbled punt with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter that set up the winning FG for the Cavaliers with 3:42 remaining in the game.  Virginia was ahead 20-7 after three quarters, but Louisville came back with two TD’s in the first part of the final period to take the lead, 21-20, before fumbling away the victory.

Arkansas +1 won at Texas Tech, 49-28.

Western Michigan +3 won at Idaho, 45-33.

Florida Atlantic +1 beat visiting Tulsa, 50-21.

Boston College +17 beat visiting Southern California, 37-31.  USC was ahead 17-6 after scoring a TD early in the 2nd quarter, but BC scored the next 24 points to lead 30-17 in mid-4th quarter, after which three TD’s were scored in the last five minutes (2 for Trojans, 1 for Eagles).  Boston College rushed for 452 yards from scrimmage as compared to only 20 yards rushing for USC, although the Trojans’ QB Cody Kessler passed for 317 yards (31 of 41, 4 TD’s, 0 INT).

UPSETS – “NOT QUITE”:

Massachusetts +16h missed a 22-yard FG with 2 seconds on the clock that would have tied the score at Vanderbilt and sent the game into overtime.
FINAL: VAND 34, UMASS 31.

Kentucky +18 played tough in The Swamp at Florida, but lost 36-30 in three overtime periods when Florida appeared to have snapped the ball late (“delay of game” penalty not called) on its winning TD pass.

Georgia Southern +17 was ahead of host Georgia Tech 38-35 after scoring a TD with 10:46 remaining in the 4th quarter, but the GA Tech Yellowjackets scored the winning TD with 23 seconds on the clock to finish its 11-play, 72-yard drive in the nick of time.

AGAINST THE SPREAD – “STRANGE TWISTS”

LSU -31 beat visiting Louisiana-Monroe, 31-0, to tie ATS.

Penn State -3 won at Rutgers in Big 10 play, 13-10, to tie ATS.

There are so many games that come close against the point spread, but I don’t have the energy this week.

FCS WINNERS over FBS

FCS unranked Indiana State beat FBS Ball State, 27-20.

FCS unranked Abilene Christian beat FBS Troy, 38-35.

Cumulatively for the year, 5 FCS teams have beaten FBS teams (total of 16 for the 2013 season).

UPSETS – “NOT QUITE”:

FCS#11 Northern Iowa lost at FBS Hawaii, 27-24.  The UNI Panthers are 0-2 for the year (lost to FBS Iowa 31-23), but are still ranked highly in the FCS (so far).


FFHL RESULTS – WEEK TWO

Overall, we FFHL’ers posted a brutally ugly record last week at 29-52-3 (36.3%) ATS.  In college, we were a lousy 14-21-3 ATS (40.8%); and in the NFL we were even worse  at 15-31-0 ATS (32.6%).  Seven of the twelve of us amateur FFHL “handicappers” (as we’ll call ourselves) were 2-5 ATS or worse this week.


FFHL LOP-SIDED and CONTESTED PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS)

Listed below is a breakdown of some of our significant picks. 

                                    ATS Picks
Team                          For-Against   Result / Unsolicited comments

SEA Seahawks -5h at SD  9-0      LOSS, Bolts slow ‘Hawks Super Bowl run, 30-21
SF 49’ers -6h vs. Chicago  6-0      LOSS, Bears win outright at Levi Stadium, 28-20
NOR Saints -6 at CLE       4-0      LOSS, Browns upset New Orleans, 26-24
DEN Broncos -12h vs. KC 3-0      LOSS, Denver wins only 31-24 to not cover ATS
AZ Cardinals -2h at NYG   3-0      WIN, backup QB  Drew Stanton beats Gnats, 25-14
CAR Panthers -2h vs. DET 3-2      WIN, Carolina shuts down Lions, 24-7
BUF Bills vs. Miami (Pick)  2-2      BILLS beat DOLPHINS, 29-10

Georgia -6h at S. Carolina   5-0      LOSS, SC Gamecocks pull off upset, 38-35
Florida -18 vs. Kentucky     3-0      LOSS, Gators barely escape with 3OT win, 36-30
VA Tech -10 vs. E.Carolina 3-0      LOSS, ECU Pirates win outright, 28-21
LSU -31 vs. LA Monroe     3-0      TIE, Tigers win 31-0 in a nail-biter ATS
Ala   -47h vs. S. Miss          2-1      LOSS, Tide wins “only” 52-12 to not cover by 7h
Okla -21 vs. Tennessee       2-1      WIN, Sooners barely cover ATS in 34-10 win



CUMULATIVE RECORDS AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS) and STRAIGHT UP

COLLEGE – 3rd week (FFHL WEEK #2)

                                                ATS                            STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                       Record

FAVORITES             22-27-2  (45.1%)       40-11  (78.4%)         
            HOME TEAMS         22-27-0  (44.9%)       31-18 (63.3%)

Two neutral site games last week

CUMULATIVE COLLEGE (after 3 weeks)

                                                ATS                            STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                       Record

FAVORITES             62-69-2  (47.4%)       105-28  (78.9%)       
            HOME TEAMS         61-61-0  (50.0%)       72-50 (59.0%)

           
NFL – 2nd week (FFHL WEEK #2)

                                                ATS                            STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                       Record

FAVORITES             8-8-0  (50.0%)                       10-6  (62.5%)           
            HOME TEAMS         7-9-0  (43.8%)                       9-7 (56.2%)

NFL - CUMULATIVE (after two weeks)

                                                ATS                            STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                       Record

FAVORITES             13-19-0  (40.6%)       19-13  (59.4%)         
            HOME TEAMS         13-19-0  (40.6%)       19-13 (59.4%)

Favorites and home teams are still not doing well against the spread.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL MINUTIA

On Friday night, Cincinnati -10 beat visiting Toledo, 58-34, the Bearcats’ first game of the year.  It was the debut of sophomore QB Gunner Kiel, transfer from Notre Dame.  He broke an all-time NCAA record with six TD passes in his first collegiate game.

I’m purposely avoiding the Top 25 rankings until the “good” teams float to the surface, so to speak.  However, it is interesting to keep an eye on the non-Power 5 conference teams.  We now have a non-Power 5 team in the rankings – independent BYU is ranked #21 in the Associated Press Poll and #23 in the USA Today coaches poll.  Other Little Five teams that are getting some attention: East Carolina (AAC) and Marshall (CUSA).

UCLA Heisman hopeful QB Brett Hundley was knocked out of the Bruins game versus Texas at neutral site Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX on Saturday with a slightly hyper-extended elbow (non-throwing arm).  His backup?  Jerry Neuheisel, son of former UCLA head coach Rick, who took over in the first quarter with the score 0-0, and proceeded to lead his team to a 20-17 victory.
Side note: Before the game, Texas botched the coin flip decision and had to kick off to UCLA at the start of both halves.

SMU head coach June Jones resigned after his team was outscored 88-6 in the first two weeks of the season.  And, the Mustangs lost starting QB Neal Burcham to an elbow injury.  The interim head coach will be defensive coordinator Tom Mason for the rest of the year, and the replacement QB will be a redshirt freshman.

Penn State got its bowl suspension reduced last week and will be bowl-eligible this year.  After the announcement, the Nittany Lions were posted as a 75-to-1 shot to win the 2014 CFP.

Toledo QB Phillip Ely was injured in the third quarter of its game vs. Missouri on September 6th; he’s out for the year with a torn ACL.

Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly has a foot injury and has already been ruled out of the Sun Devil’s big PAC-12 South home game versus UCLA on Thursday night, September 25th.

NFL NEWS and MINUTIA

If you didn’t see the highlights (and low-lite “C’MON, MAN” segment) for the week, you probably didn’t see Oakland Raiders’ WR James Jones fumble along the sidelines after a 20-yard pass reception as he was getting flung out of bounds, only to come back in bounds and recover his own fumble, and then take off rumbling for the end zone, only to be tackled from behind and fumble again, this time recovered by the opponent Houston Texans.  Two fumbles on the same play!?! C’MON, MAN!
(And the same Texans’ defender, Johnathan Joseph, caused both fumbles.)

In Week #2, not even one winning QB threw an interception for the week ….until Monday night, when PHI Eagles’ QB Nick Foles threw one INT for the game in victory.  It was only the third time in NFL history that had happened (1 or less interception for the week by winning QB’s).  And as an aside, through Week #2 Foles now has equaled his total number of interceptions for all of last year (2).

Did you know?  Seattle QB Russell Wilson has a 6-0 record when facing Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning.

INJURIES UPDATE (may have missed some)

Kansas City LB Derrick Johnson is out for the year with a torn Achilles tendon in Week #1.  So is Chiefs’ DE Mike Devito, with the same injury in the same game.

KC star running back Jamaal Charles was knocked out of his Week #2 game at Denver with a high ankle sprain.  I’m guessing he’ll be out for 2-4 weeks, but I haven’t heard anything definitive.

Indianapolis DE Robert Mathis is out for the year with a torn Achilles tendon as well.  He injured himself while training on his own during his 4-game suspension period for PED use.

San Diego OC Nick Hardwick is out for the year with a neck injury suffered in Week #1.

Washington QB Robert Griffin III dislocated his ankle in the first quarter of his Week #2 game vs. Jacksonville; he doesn’t need surgery and could return later in the year.  I don’t think Pig’Skin fans are too concerned, as backup Kirk Cousins relieved him and had a good day (as has been usual for him).  There will likely be a QB controversy when RGIII is healthy again.

Speaking of former Michigan State standout QB Kirk Cousins, who led his Washington team to victory against Jacksonville on Sunday, two other former Michigan State QB’s had winning days in the NFL in Week #2.  Can you name them?
Drew Stanton started for his Arizona Cardinals in their win over the NY Giants on Sunday.
And, Brian Hoyer was the starter for the winning Cleveland Browns.
At Michigan State:
STANTON     2003-2006     (lots of injuries)        2007 NFL Draft, 2nd round
HOYER          2005-2008                                         Undrafted
COUSINS      2008-2011     (Hoyer backup)         2012 NFL Draft, 4th round
                                                                                    in same year as RGIII

Other injuries to track: WSH WR DeSean Jackson (out Week#2, shoulder), CIN WR A.J. Green (injured during Week#2, strained foot ligament), SF TE Vernon Davis (out last 10 minutes of Week#2, bruised ankle; could return Week #3), JAX TE Mercedes Lewis (high ankle sprain, 8 weeks), SD RB Ryan Mathews (hurt in Week#2, sprained MCL), and MIA RB Knowshon Moreno (hurt early in Week#2, dislocated elbow, out a month).

MOMENTUS WEEK IN NFL – NEW DRUG POLICIES

The NFL and Players Association (NFLPA) have agreed on several changes to the league’s drug policy.  Finally, HGH testing will begin for the first time in league history by the end of this month.  First violation is 4 weeks, but by the third violation, the punishment reportedly will be a 2-year suspension.  Also, the performance-enhancing drug (PED) policy has changed, but the substance abuse policy did not change (the way I understand it now).
Anyway, several players have benefitted from the changes, as the following players will be back on the field immediately:
DEN WR Wes Welker
STL WR Stedman Bailey
DAL CB Orlando Scandrick
Cleveland WR Josh Gordon had his 1-year suspension reduced to 10 games, plus he is able to practice with the team during his suspension.
Miami DE Dion Jordan and about 15 others currently on suspension did not get a break from the drug policy changes.

DEPRESSING (but HISTORIC) WEEK IN NFL – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and CHILD ABUSE

CHILD ABUSE
Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson was de-activated and didn’t play Sunday in Week #2, but then was re-activated for Week #3 on Monday.  Peterson had been indicted for felony child “endangerment” after he disciplined his 4-year old child by whipping him with a tree branch, causing significant cuts and bruises.  The Vikings were thinking that he wouldn’t be further punished by the team until the court system had finally ruled on his case.  But that turned out to be the wrong answer.

There was significant pressure immediately put on the Vikings to reconsider.  The Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton and US Senator Al Franken (yes, that one) asked for immediate suspension for the running back, and several Vikings’ sponsors pulled their support (e.g., Radisson Hotels, Nike), and there has been relentless fan outcry.  But the big hammer came down later Monday or Tuesday when Anheuser-Busch threatened to remove its $1.2 billion NFL sponsorship (also Campbell’s Soup Co. was on board).  Several people must have had late-night conversations after that, because at 1AM on Wednesday (that’s just after midnight), the Minnesota Vikings announced that they had reconsidered, admitted that reactivating him was wrong, and that Peterson would be put on the “Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List” (rarely used, but suggested by league office; used in Michael Vick case).  That means Peterson will not play and cannot be involved in any team practices or functions until the court case is resolved.  His next hearing is scheduled for October 8th and the case probably won’t be resolved until some time in 2015, which would mean that he won’t play again during the 2014 season.  He reportedly will still get paid while he is on the “exempt” list.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The Ray Rice video triggered many different responses, including suspicions about mishandling of his case and other cases by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league office.  They are accused at the very minimum of “stonewalling” serious issues involving domestic abuse.  At the worst, Goodell is being investigated by an “independent” source through the NFL owners, and one of the issues will be whether he lied about viewing the Ray Rice video and/or whether he had access to the video and just didn’t see the need to watch it, and/or why he didn’t get access to the video before ruling on the Ray Rice case.  Maybe I’ll have more on this later when things shake out.

As part of the fallout involving the NFL league office, which had been ill-equipped to handle such complicated issues that have come to a head recently, the league has hired a new “Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Governmental Affairs”, Cynthia Hogan, who is expected to help the league deal with domestic violence issues (as well as other issues).  She will likely be a lobbyist to help the NFL avoid political fallout from various scandals, and presumably to help protect the league’s integrity and therefore preserve its profit-generating cash machine of a business.

Former BAL RB Ray Rice, currently suspended indefinitely, has filed an appeal of the suspension with the league office.  It may have something to do with “double jeopardy”, since he had already been “sentenced” to a 2-game ban for the same violation of the league’s personal conduct policy (which the league admitted later was too lenient, after which a new domestic violence punishment schedule was instituted immediately).

Carolina DE Greg Hardy, also dealing with domestic violence charges, was deactivated last week and it appears he will remain inactive for this week, although a formal announcement has not been made yet.

I haven’t heard anything more on San Francisco DE Ray McDonald, also under suspicion for allegations of domestic violence.

MORE CONTROVERSY
While I’m on the subject of negative issues involving the NFL, the US Congress and others are still putting heavy pressure on the NFL Washington football team and owner Daniel Snyder to change the nickname of the team away from the “R” word.  Pressure from various outside sources will likely force the change within the next year or two.

LOOKING AHEAD – selected games, not the full slate
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #3 (college 4th week)

Thursday       AP#5 Auburn -9 at AP#20 Kansas State
Sept 18th       

Friday             Connecticut +2 at South Florida
Sept 19th       

Saturday       
Sept 20th        AP#22 Clemson +20 at AP#1 Florida State
AP#26 North Carolina +2 at AP#31 East Carolina
AP#4 Oklahoma -7h at West Virginia
Florida +14h at AP#3 Alabama
                        Georgia Tech +8 at Virginia Tech
                        Mississippi State +10 at AP#8 LSU
                        New Mexico at New Mexico State
                        Miami of Florida +7 at Nebraska
                        Hawaii +7 at Colorado        The “Smoka” Bowl


NFL WEEK #3 – SELECTED GAMES

Thursday      Tampa Bay +6h at Atlanta
Sept 18th                              
                                                                                   
Sunday         Divisional Matchups:
Sept 21st       Washington at Philadelphia
                        Baltimore -1 at Cleveland              
                        Green Bay +1h at Detroit
                        Indianapolis -6h at Jacksonville
                        San Francisco +2h at Arizona
                       
                        Other interesting matchups:
                        Denver +4h at Seattle                     Super Bowl rematch
                        San Diego +2h at Buffalo
                        Pittsburgh +3h at Carolina            

Monday         Chicago +2 at NY Jets
Sept 22nd

QUIZ QUESTION

QUESTION #1: Last weekend in the NFL (Week #2), there were two games where #1 overall picks in the NFL draft played against each other – all starting quarterbacks.  See if you can name all four QB’s.
HINT: there was supposed to be a third game with #1 overall picks facing each other – Arizona at NY Giants (Carson Palmer vs. Eli Manning), but Palmer had a nerve problem in his throwing shoulder and was a “scratch” just before game time.

QUESTION #2:  OK, Question #1 was the easy one.  Here is the really tough one.
The St. Louis Rams started undrafted QB’s in the first two weeks of the 2014 regular season – Shaun Hill in Week #1 and then Austin Davis in Week #2.  The last time a team did that was in 1991.  Name the two quarterbacks.
HINT:
Seattle was the team.



ANSWER #1:
Detroit at Carolina pitted Lions QB Matt Stafford against Panthers’ QB Cam Newton.
Kansas City at Denver had the Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith going up against Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning.

ANSWER #2:
Dave Kreig and Jeff Kemp.

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