NFL Handicapping: How Teams Respond After One-Sided Games
by Trevor Whenham - 10/23/2009
Last week we witnessed one of the most epic beatdowns in the history of the NFL when the Patriots humiliated the Titans, 59-0. The game was ridiculous on absolutely every level, and it got me thinking about what comes next for both teams.
New England could use this game as a reminder of just what they are capable of and take their season up to a new level, or they could suffer a real letdown if they believe that they are as good as they looked. The Titans could use this as an excuse to quit, or they could be carried to a surprisingly good performance by their pride. In order to get a sense of what is more likely, I thought I would look back at the beginning of this season and the two before it. No teams have lost quite like Tennessee did, but there have been a lot of one-sided games. There have been 21 games since the start of the 2007 season that were decided by a margin of 34 or more points. Here's a look at how both the winners and losers bounced back in their next game:
Week 4 - San Francisco 35, St. Louis 0 - San Francisco believed their hype, and came right out and lost by 35 the next week. St. Louis proved their incompetence was no fluke, losing by 28 to Minnesota.
Week 5 - Giants 44, Oakland 7 - New York was blown out by New Orleans the following week, while Oakland scored a shocking upset of the Eagles.
Week 5 - Atlanta 45, San Francisco 10 - Atlanta maintained momentum with a win and cover against Chicago, while San Francisco got to regroup on their bye week.
Week 5 - Seattle 41, Jacksonville 0 - Seattle continued to confuse bettors by forgetting to show up for a 27-3 home loss to the Cards, while Jacksonville needed overtime to get past the lousy Rams.
Week 1 - Philadelphia 38, St. Louis 3 - Philly lost a Monday night classic to Dallas but still covered the spread. St. Louis was clobbered again - this time by four TDs at home to the Giants.
Week 5 - Carolina 34, Kansas City 0 - Carolina lost by 24 to Tampa Bay in their next action. After a bye week, Kansas City lost by 24 at home to the Titans.
Week 5 - Giants 44, Seattle 6 - New York was three touchdowns better than Cleveland, while Seattle lost by 10 at home to Green Bay despite being slight favorites.
Week 7 - New England 41, Denver 7 - The Pats beat St. Louis next time out, but it was surprisingly tough, and they didn't cover. After a bye week, Denver lost to Miami as home favorites.
Week 10 - Jets 47, St. Louis 3 - The Jets upset New England on short rest in a Thursday night game, while St. Louis struggled again, losing badly to San Francisco.
Week 11 - Green Bay 37, Chicago 3 - Green Bay was clobbered by New Orleans on Monday night, while Chicago beat up on St. Louis. The Rams are on this list a lot, and never for good reasons.
Week 16 - New Orleans 42, Detroit 7 - New Orleans lost a shootout at home to Carolina, while Detroit obviously lost - this time to Green Bay. They did cover, though.
Week 16 - New England 47, Arizona 7 - The Pats ended their season with a 13-0 shutout of Buffalo. Arizona beat Seattle handily at home. How strange is it that the Cards started their playoff charge two weeks after getting humiliated?
Week 3 - Philadelphia 56, Detroit 21 - The Eagles managed just a field goal while sputtering to a lousy loss to the Giants, while Detroit beat Chicago handily at home.
Week 5 - San Diego 41, Denver 3 - San Diego beat Oakland by two touchdowns. After a bye week, Denver beat Pittsburgh by three as home underdogs.
Week 8 - New England 52, Washington 7 - New England won as favorites in Indianapolis, but not by enough to cover. Washington also won but didn't cover as road faves, this time at the Jets.
Week 9 - Detroit 44, Denver 7 - Detroit remembered who they were and went back to losing - by 10 at Arizona. Denver kept up their yo-yo performance, winning easily at Kansas City.
Week 10 - Green Bay 34, Minnesota 0 - Green Bay beat Carolina by 14 at home, while Minnesota bounced back to beat the Raiders at home.
Week 11 - New England 56, Buffalo 10 - New England never lost that year, so they obviously won here - by just three against the Eagles despite being favored by 24. Buffalo was beat up on again, this time by Jacksonville.
Week 14 - Denver 41, KC 7 - Denver was humiliated on short rest in a Thursday night blowout loss as road favorites in Houston. Kansas City lost by nine at home against Tennessee.
Week 15 - San Diego 51, Detroit 14 - San Diego easily won a terrible Monday Night game against Denver, while Detroit beat Kansas City at home. They didn't cover in what would turn out to be their last win until this year.
Week 16 - Jacksonville 49, Oakland 11 - Jacksonville lost by two TDs at Houston, while Oakland struggled at home against San Diego.
The outcomes: It's no certainty that New England will come back with another strong performance this week. The winners of these blowouts were a surprisingly lousy 8-13 ATS in their next games, and several were victims of ugly blowouts themselves. The losers of the blowouts were about the same - 8-12 ATS. You should obviously handicap the games for yourself, but history would suggest that betting against the Pats and the Titans might be the sound plays.
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