It was a rough week on the field for the NFL. There weren’t that many exciting games and the losing teams of the week stole headlines from the winners.
Philadelphia got clobbered by Atlanta and the undefeated Falcons were a non-story. The Jets laid an egg against Miami and the Dolphins received no credit whatsoever. The Giants held off Dallas to improve to 6-2, and the only question afterward was whether or not the Cowboys are finished.
Life sure isn’t good right now for those three losing teams. All three are under .500 (the Cowboys and Eagles are 3-4, the Jets are 3-5) and all three of their coaches are squarely on the hot set. Jason Garrett, Andy Reid, and Rex Ryan may not be around much longer, but they aren’t the only guys who endured one hell of a weekend.
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(all odds provided by Sportsbook.ag)
Heisman contenders not named Klein. Kansas State put up 55 points for a second straight week against a Top 25 opponent. Collin Klein passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more while playing turnover-free football to lead the undefeated Wildcats past Texas Tech. Manti Te’o had another great game in another Notre Dame win, but only one defensive player has won the award (Charles Woodson, 1997) and no linebacker has finished in the Top 5 of Heisman voting since 1992 (Marvin Jones of Florida State). Klein was already -150 to win the Heisman before last Saturday and, his odds can only improve when the next ones come out.
South Carolina. The Gamecocks ended their losing streak by edging Tennessee, but at what price? An absolutely devastating one, for sure. Star running back Marcus Lattimore reportedly suffered a broken femur, broken patella, torn ACL, torn MCL, torn PCL, and torn LCL. In other words, there was nothing left in his knee. Now, do the Gamecocks have anything left for their last three regular-season games? They are +3000 underdogs to win the SEC and need serious help from Georgia and Florida to get into the championship game.
Auburn. Seriously, at what point is rock bottom for Auburn? Every time you think it can’t get any worse, it does. But last Saturday just had to be the absolute nadir for the Tigers. A 42-point blowout loss to Texas A&M was worse than losing to Vanderbilt. It was worse than falling to Ole Miss by three touchdowns. It was worse than succumbing to Arkansas by 17. And it was considerably worse than going to OT with Louisiana-Monroe (Auburn’s lone win of the season). Auburn is a -22.5 home favorite against New Mexico State on Saturday in an epic showdown between two 1-7 teams.
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. First it was the Nets who jumped ship, moving out of the coliseum to New Jersey, and ultimately to Brooklyn. Now it’s the Islanders (if the NHL ever comes back) who are heading out of town and set to join the Nets in the Barclays Center starting in 2015. So much for major sports in the Nassau Coliseum, which opened in 1972. As for the revamped and relocated Nets, they are -4 home favorites against the Knicks in Thursday’s regular-season opener.
James Harden. Last week, Harden was one of the best players on a team that is the reigning Western Conference Champion and poised to be at the top of the NBA for years and years to come. This week, Harden is the face of a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009 and has won just a single playoff series since 1997. That’s the harsh reality of getting traded from Oklahoma City to Houston (of course, the reality is also that Harden will be paid a max contract). Win totals for both teams involved in the trade are currently off.
Jeff Fisher. Playing NFL games in London may be out of the ordinary for Jeff Fisher. But getting blown out by Bill Belichick is not. In their last two head-to-head meetings, Belichick teams have trounced Fisher teams by a combined score of 104-7 (Patriots 59, Titans 0 in 2009 and Patriots 45, Rams 7 on Sunday). New England is heating up and is now +200 to win the AFC, just barely behind Houston (+175).
Offense. The Rams, who were the “Greatest Show on Turf” a decade ago, couldn’t reach double-digits against the Patriots. Nor could San Diego, which once boasted a potent offense under Philip Rivers but lost to Cleveland on Sunday, 7-6. The Saints, owners of the most feared offense in football not long ago, were handled by Denver on Sunday night, 34-14, and one of their two touchdowns was a meaningless one in the final minutes. The Chargers are -9 home favorites against Kansas City on Thursday, currently the second biggest favorites of the week (Green Bay is -10 at home vs. Arizona).
Honey Boo Boo. The child star of a TLC’s biggest new reality show was in a cranky mood during a television interview with “Dr. Drew on Call.” Doing her best Cam Newton press conference impersonation, the seven-year-old pretended to fall asleep and even snored while Dr. Drew asked her questions. Speaking of Newton, he actually handled Sunday’s presser much better—but it was after yet another loss. The Panthers are four-point underdogs at Washington in Week 9.