Half of Week 10 Review, TNF Pick

Posted: 11/19/2015 by levcohen in Football, Uncategorized

Last week had all the makings of a crazy one. There were a lot of unpredictable games, with a ton of point spreads falling in the 4-6.5 “who the heck knows” range. Sure enough, the week was defined by its weirdness. Underdogs went 10-4 straight up and just three teams won at home. The Bengals, Broncos, and Packers in particular all disappointed in losses to mediocre teams. I have plenty of takeaways from this week, but I’ll post those when I have more time. For now, here’s my performance from last week, my team eliminations, and my Thursday Night Football pick.

I’m going to eliminate the Chargers,  Cowboys and Ravens after losses sent them to 2-7 records (the Chargers had a BYE, but I forgot to eliminate them last year) that tie for the worst in football. I’ve now eliminated 11 teams after 10 weeks, although I’m starting to second-guess my KC and Chicago eliminations.

Eliminated teams: Chicago, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco, Kansas City, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Dallas, Baltimore, San Diego

8-6 straight up… 83-49
8-6 against the spread… 65-62-5
5-6-3 over/under… 64-63-5

Upset picks:
4-0… 18-16

Lock of the Week:
0-1… 7-3 (really Packers???)

Tennessee Titans (2-7, 4-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6, 5-4):
Spread: Jaguars favored by 3
Over/under: 42
My prediction: Does this game mean anything? You would think not, given that its participants are 2-7 and 3-6. In most games between teams with those records, the only thing on the line is a better draft picks. But these teams reside in the AFC South, the division that is co-led by the Colts, who are without their quarterback for at least the next few weeks, and the Texans, who lost their quarterback, looked terrible offensively, and still managed to knock off the previously-undefeated Bengals in Cincinnati. That’s football, folks. But the point is that the Jags in particular have a decent chance at making a run for the division (20.3%, per Football Outsiders), largely because they also have the easiest remaining schedule (their opponents the rest of the season have a combined 24-44 record). The Titans are in a much tougher position, but they too have a better shot than a 2-7 team normally would. So this game could have some importance.

The Jaguars just look like the better team at this point. They’ve played very well in their last three games, with a tough five point loss at the Jets book-ended by upset wins over the Bills and Ravens. Sure, their win last week was gift-wrapped by the most boneheaded of boneheaded mistakes by Baltimore’s Elvis Dumervil, but they played the Ravens to a draw nonetheless (not that that’s really something to be proud of). I’m not saying the Jags are good, but they have some offensive talent with Blake Bortles being surrounded by T.J. Yeldon, Allen Robinson, and Allen Hurns, a trio of dynamic skill-position players.

I have no such optimism about Tennessee. They’ve scored more than 13 points in a game once in the last six, and that was against the Saints’ infamous defense, which is on pace to be one of the worst of all-time and was so bad that Rob Ryan was fired mid-season. Their defense is good, but with the exception of the wins over the Bucs and Saints, Marcus Mariota and his limited weapons just aren’t getting it done. Delanie Walker is a consistent tight end, but who else is there?? Antonio Andrews, who rushed the ball 11 times for eight yards? Sorry, I can’t pick the Titans, even against the road, where they are 2-2 straight up and against the spread. It’s scary to pick the Jags, especially after a fluky win, but I’ll take Jacksonville. Jags win 27-20.

Jaguars cover
Over

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