It’s always fun to pile on the dregs of the NFL – unless of course you are a fan of such team. But thankfully my personal favorite is having a good season, so I will have no problem addressing a few Bovada Week 10 specials involving some of the league’s worst clubs.
Let’s begin with the awful Tennessee Titans. They were so bad in last week’s 51-20 home loss to the Bears that owner Bud Adams reportedly left the stadium during the game to fly back to Houston, where he lives. Adams then proceeded to publicly make clear his embarrassment and put everyone in the franchise on notice (other than himself). Tennessee has the worst point differential in the NFL at -126 and has allowed 308 points (34.2 per game), which are 60 more than any other club.
Against the Bears, Tennessee allowed 30 points or more for the seventh time in nine games. And just for comparison: After Week 16 of last season, Titans opponents had scored just 295 points (it allowed 317 overall). San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and Miami have all allowed fewer than half the points the Titans have. Eighteen other teams have allowed 200 or fewer.
Tennessee is on pace to allow 547 points; the NFL record for a 16-game season is 533 allowed by the 1981 Baltimore Colts. The Bovada prop is whether the Titans break that record: “no” at -900 and “yes” at +500. The good news, I suppose, is that Tennessee has played nine games, not eight. And the Titans still get to face the offensively inept Jacksonville Jaguars twice (not to mention the Jets). You have to take no here.
Will Mike Munchak be the team’s head coach next season? Yes is -130 and no -110. There’s no question that the Titans have been poorly coached this season and Adams said his team was “grossly outcoached and outplayed from start to finish” vs. Chicago. Two things probably happen here: Adams keeps the front office in place and demands Munchak overhaul his staff or
Adams simply cleans house completely. I do believe he gives Munchak the 2013 season thanks in part to his 9-7 mark last year.
Potentially the hottest head coaching candidate on the market this offseason could be the Saints’ Sean Payton. News broke last week that Payton’s contract extension was voided for some sort of language issue and that he could become a free agent. Payton’s status has actually grown even though he is suspended because of the Saints’ struggles. He has said he has every intention of re-signing with the Saints, and he has a tight bond with Drew Brees.
Payton was an assistant head coach with the Cowboys before he took over the Saints in 2006. He helped convince Dallas to draft Tony Romo; both Payton and Romo went to Eastern Illinois, although obviously not together. Payton’s family lives in the Dallas area, and he essentially semi-commutes from there. Jerry Jones would probably make him the richest coach in the NFL.
Bovada offers a prop on Payton’s future next season: coach of Saints (-350), coach of Cowboys (+400), coach of Eagles (+1000), coach of any other team (+300). Reportedly the Eagles are focusing on Jon Gruden, and I think it’s Dallas or New Orleans regardless. Take Payton at his word and trust his loyalty: He stays in the Big Easy (with a nice raise).
In a recent interview, Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix oddly backed coach Chan Gailey, but not quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, even though the team committed $24 million guaranteed early last season to Fitzpatrick.
''Listen, we have said from Day 1 that we want to draft a good young quarterback,'' Nix said. ''I don't want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place. I have not said that before, but I'm saying it now because it's fact.''
The GM later backed off that and said it wasn’t meant as a jab at Fitzpatrick. But since Buffalo began last season 4-1 behind a great start from Fitzpatrick – which got him the extension – he hasn’t been the same guy and the Bills have been predictably lousy. This year, he is No. 15 in rating but No. 27 in yards per game (209). Fitzpatrick has 15 touchdowns and nine picks. In other words, he sounds like a good backup quarterback.
The Bills brass has to see the success this season of rookies Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill (in Buffalo’s division, no less), Russell Wilson and even Brandon Weeden to a degree. The Bovada prop is whether the Bills take a quarterback in the first round of the 2013 draft. No is -200 and yes at +150. Buffalo will be 3-6 after losing in New England this week so anything better than a 6-10 mark is unlikely. That should be good for a Top 15 pick.
Buffalo addressed its defense in free agency this offseason and is set at running back. Don’t you think a rookie QB would excite the fan base? Also, remember that the team is trying to get a stadium built, and a young star at QB can’t hurt. I would take yes on this prop – my only concern at the moment is only two QBs are currently considered first-round locks: USC’s Matt Barkley and West Virginia’s Geno Smith, and their stock has dropped. But if Buffalo could land one of those two, I think it pounces.
Last but not least, my favorite punching-bag team: the Kansas City Chiefs. Folks, they still have yet to lead in regulation this season entering Monday night’s game at Pittsburgh. Bovada asks when they will: first half of Week 10 (+200), second half of Week 10 (+350), Week 11 (-130), Week 12 or later (+550). I don’t believe the Steelers will be that interested on Monday night with a huge game vs. Baltimore upcoming. Chiefs will lead 3-0 in the first half before, of course, losing.
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