Posts pertaining to the National Football League.

Scott Taylor

NFL Picks Week 10

Print this entry

A Teddy Bridgewater Too Far

Scott Taylor

“The Coach”

Dr. Football

“Dr. Football”

 

By

The Coach and Dr. Football
November 16, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@staylorsports ‏

 

 

 

Last Sunday, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum was on the verge of losing his job. The Vikings future franchise QB Teddy Bridgewater had been reactivated from Injured reserve after missing more than 400 days of football, and the second Keenum screwed up was the second he would become football’s answer to Wally Pipp.

But Keenum appeared to fool everybody. He completed 21-of-29 pass attempts for 304 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions and led the Vikings to a 38-30 road win over the Washingtons. He put up 406 net yards and earned the start this week against the Rams at US Bank Stadium.

There is certainly a feeling that Bridgewater will become the starter for the Vikings before the season ends, but right now, Keenum appears to have won the job and then kept it for an extra week.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said it wasn’t a difficult choice to stick with Keenum, “based on his performance last Sunday.” That means the one time backup to Sam Bradford is now the starter for at least one more week.

He’d better beat L.A., however. If he doesn’t keep up the pace, the hook could come out quickly.

In the meantime, both The Coach and Dr. Football have faith in Keenum. In a year in which the boys have done nothing but win (this is the earliest by two weeks in which they’ve reached the 100-win plateau), the Vikings have proven to be a solid weekly choice.

Last week Dr. Football went 12-2 (100-46) straight up and 7-7 (79-67) against the spread while The Coach went 11-3 (102-44) and 8-6 (86-60) against the spread. We’re making so much money, The Coach just bought a condo on the Riviera, a Bentley and a case of Dijon mustard.

The Jets, Panthers, Colts and 49ers have the byes this week, taking three bad teams out of the mix. Let’s take a close look at Week 11, get ourselves a Domino’s pizza and go make some money.

 

THURSDAY NIGHT

Tennessee Titans (6-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2)
Line: Steelers by 7

One four game winning streak is going to end in this one. Gotta go with Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell here.

Dr. Football: Take the Steelers to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Steelers to win and cover.

 

EARLY SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Detroit Lions (5-4) at Chicago Bears (3-6)
Line: Lions by 3

Detroit wasn’t that impressive last week, but neither were the Bears. Matthew Stafford will be the difference.

Dr. Football: Take the Lions to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Lions to win and cover.

Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) at New York Giants (1-8)
Line: Chiefs by 10.5

Kansas City wasn’t playing great before their bye, but a game against the Giants should fix that.

Dr. Football: Take the Chiefs to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Chiefs to win and not cover.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-5)
Line: Dolphins by 1.5

Despite being in the middle of a three game losing streak, Miami showed signs of life on Monday against the Panthers.

Dr. Football: Take the Dolphins to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Buccaneers.

Baltimore Ravens (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-4)
Line: Ravens by 2

The Packers looked better with Brett Hundley at QB last week in beating the Bears, but Baltimore’s defense is a lot tougher.

Dr. Football: Take the Ravens to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Ravens to win and cover.

Los Angeles Rams (7-2) at Minnesota Vikings (7-2)
Line: Vikings by 2.5

Both team’s quarterbacks have solid receivers to throw to with solid offensive lines, but Minnesota will win with its defense.

Dr. Football: Take the Vikings to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Vikings to win and cover.

Arizona Cardinals (4-5) at Houston Texans (3-6)
Line: Cardinals by 1

Arizona should win despite using their third string QB as the Texans are too banged up.

Dr. Football: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-9)
Line: Jaguars by 7.5

The only thing that could beat the Jags is themselves, so they need to be focused.

Dr. Football: Take the Jaguars to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Jaguars to win and cover.

Washington Redskins (4-5) at New Orleans Saints (7-2)
Line: Saints by 8

New Orleans has won seven straight games behind their running game and their defense. And the Dome will make a difference.

Dr. Football: Take the Saints to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Saints to win and cover.

 

LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Buffalo Bills (5-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-6)
Line: Chargers by 4

The Bills now travel after being laughed out of Buffalo by the Saints. Look for the Chargers to take advantage of the inexperienced Bills QB Nathan Peterman with their pass rush.

Dr. Football: Take the Chargers to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Chargers to win and cover.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-6) at Denver Broncos (3-6)
Line: Broncos by 2.5

The Bengals are playing a third straight road game, and Denver ain’t the place to do it, even though they’re not beating anyone either. Go with the home team.

Dr. Football: Take the Broncos to win and cover.

The Coach: Hold your nose and take the Broncos to win and cover.

New England Patriots (7-2) vs. Oakland Raiders (4-5)
Line: Patriots by 6.5

New England has won their last five wins in a row with the last four coming by a touchdown or more. Even going cross-country in consecutive weeks shouldn’t be enough to slow down this team.

Dr. Football: Take the Patriots to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Patriots to win and cover.

 

SUNDAY NIGHT

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
Line: Eagles by 3

Dallas didn’t look good last week in losing to the Falcons, and now with the Ezekiel Elliott thing put to rest, the Cowboys will fade into the sunset.

Dr. Football: Take the Eagles to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Eagles to win and cover.

 

MONDAY NIGHT

Atlanta Falcons (5-4) at Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
Line: Seahawks by 3

Atlanta seemed to find something last week on offense, and now that the Seahawks will be without Richard Sherman, the momentum will carry.

Dr. Football: Take the Falcons in an upset.

The Coach: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

Print this entry

Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Jared Goff and Case Keenum have had bounce back seasons

Print this entry

By Eric Nelson
November 15, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Land of 10,000 Lakes…..

•Loss Loss Land: In 2016 Jared Goff and Case Keenum were part of a Hollywood horror show that had a disastrous ending. Goff and Keenum shared the quarterback duties with the LA Rams and both put up sub-par stats on a sub-par team that finished 4-12. Simply put, it was a debacle…

•QB Revival: In 2017 Goff and Keenum are now part of amazing comeback stories – with each guy playing a key role in their team’s success. The Rams are 7-2 and Goff has made major strides in his second season. The Minnesota Vikings are also 7-2 and Keenum has been steady and sometimes spectacular for the Purple in a back up role. …

•Collision Course: LA and Minnesota play Sunday at US Bank Stadium and both teams are heating up. The Rams have won four straight and the Vikings have a five game winning streak. The winner will garner plenty of accolades and boost their playoff hopes..

•Case Closed: There are plenty of people huffing and puffing about who should be the Vikings starting signal caller, but this one is easy. Keenum is the guy and should play until he proves he can’t. Teddy Bridgewater’s day will come soon enough, but no sense tinkering with something that isn’t broken…

•Video Game Offense: The Rams are putting up cartoon-like numbers this season. LA has scored 296 points – the most in the NFL. The Rams have erupted for 51 against the NY Giants, rung up 46 on Indianapolis, 41 on San Francisco, 35 on Dallas, and scored 33 against Arizona and Houston…

•Coaching Contrasts: The Rams bounce back season has raised the profile of 31-year old Sean McVay, who is the youngest HC in NFL history. McVay comes from a football family and has a reputation for developing quarterbacks. Goff’s success is more proof of that. Meanwhile, LA’s DC is 70-year old Wade Phillips, who knows how to coach up a defense…

•Powerhouses: LA and Minnesota both have lofty spots in this weeks NFL Power Rankings. The Rams are number 2 and the Vikings are ranked 6th. Philadelphia is the top team…

•Deserving Honor: Congrats to Paul Molitor, who was named American League Manager of the Year after leading Minnesota to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Twins are the first team in MLB history to make the postseason after losing 100-plus games the previous year…

•Zero Hero: Minnesota G Devan Dubnyk is pitching shutouts at a rate that would make Clayton Kershaw envious. Dubnyk has three straight blankings after the Wild’s 3-0 win against Philadelphia on Tuesday night in St. Paul. Dubnyk has a team record scoreless streak of 195:05 and has stopped 103 shots on goal in the three wins…

•Breaking Up: After 18 highly successful years at ESPN2 and ESPN Radio, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg’s run is over on Friday. Mike and Mike are moving onto supposedly greener pastures, but we will see how things play out…

•On-Air Chemistry: Mike and Mike worked because they clicked – which is a rare combination in the egotistical world of broadcasting. It’s too bad Mike and Mike are going away, because their product is still very good. ESPN should not be breaking up this tandem…

Print this entry

Vikings win fifth straight

Print this entry

By Larry Fitzgerald
November 15, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@FitzBeatSr

This is getting better every week. We are less than 100 days from Super Bowl Sunday and the opportunity of a lifetime to host the Super Bowl and actually play in it.

Quarterback Case Keenum threw for 304 yards and four touchdown passes in the Vikings’ 38-30 win Sunday over Washington. Receiver Adam Thielen had eight catches for 166 yards. Thielen is peaking and has 793 yards this year, including two games over 150 yards.

Just like that, the Vikings have reeled off five wins in a row. Remember, I must caution you, the cliché is “It’s not how you start but how you finish.” The Vikings had to play Sunday without Everson Griffen, NFC defensive player of the year, in the first half of the season with 10 sacks. He has a foot injury.

The Vikings have never won the big one — no championship banners since arriving in Bloomington, Minnesota in 1961. Four Super Bowl appearances became four painful reminders. That’s why, since I started covering this team in 1978, it’s been a goal of mine, not to mention a goal of you fans, to cover a Super Bowl from which the Vikings emerge as champions.

Philadelphia is 8-1; they are in the catbird seat with the best record in the NFL. Then comes New Orleans, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and the Vikings all at 7-2.

Now we have a long way to go with seven games left, but remember, the Vikings have not been in this position since 1998. They were 15-1 with Dennis Green, and in 2009 Brad Childress and the Vikings were 12-4. Both lost the NFC Championship games both years in overtime. OUCH!

Los Angeles is here Sunday, and they are rolling along also at 7-2. They are the highest scoring team in the NFL, averaging 32 points a game, and their points-a-game margin scoring and allowing is number one in the league at +134. So the Vikings can’t blink now, because they will be tested big-time Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. These Rams are rugged.

Four of the next six games are on the road, including three in a row… at Detroit on Thanksgiving, at Atlanta, and at Carolina.

Congratulations

Congrats to Bill Belichick, head coach of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Sunday’s 41-16 win at Denver was his career win number 270, and he ties with Hall of Famer Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys for number three on the all-time NFL coaches win list.

And congrats to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady who, since serving his four-game suspension at the beginning of last season, has thrown 47 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.

Congrats as well to Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. He grabbed 10 passes for 113 yards in Thursday’s 22-16 loss to Seattle. Fitzgerald, 34, became the second-youngest ever and only the sixth player in NFL history with over 15,000 career yards.

Arizona Cardinal wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. breaks into action

Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

Fitzgerald has 15,066 career yards. Jerry Rice is number one with 22,825, Terrell Owens number two with15,934, Randy Moss number three with 15,292, Isaac Bruce number four with 15,208, and Tony Gonzalez number five with 15,127.

 

 

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

Print this entry

Scott Taylor

NFL Picks Week 10

Print this entry

Quarterbacks Mean Everything

Scott Taylor

“The Coach”

Dr. Football

“Dr. Football”

 

By

The Coach and Dr. Football
November 9, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@staylorsports ‏

 

 

 

A note crossed my desk this week that ended up on more than one place on Twitter.

“If Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers want to prove that the NFL colluded against their client, all they need to do is show the video from Brett Hundley’s performance against Detroit on Monday night. Don’t even have to say a word.”

The collusion is obvious. By keeping Kaepernick out of the NFL, it drives down the talent level in the league and keeps at least 10 teams in the league from filling their buildings and becoming even a remote threat to make the playoffs. The league’s owners are keeping Kaeprenick out of the league because he kneeled during the anthem. By doing so, they make their league a joke and then wonder (although they make enough excuses that ignore a problem with the league’s competitive level) why their ratings and attendance slips.

As we start Week 10, Cleveland, Miami, Houston, Indianapolis, Denver, Green Bay, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Arizona and San Francisco are done while even teams with decent quarterbacks – the Giants, Washington, the Chargers, Oakland and Cincinnati – will need a miracle to make the playoffs. 

Last week Dr. Football went 8-5 (88-44) straight up and 7-6 (72-60) against the spread while The Coach went 10-3 (91-41) and 9-4 (78-54) against the spread. We’re making so much money, The Coach just quit his day job. As we said last week: hey NFL, don’t sign Colin Kaepernick. Don’t sign any quarterback who might win a game or two. Help us and our readers get richer thanks to your horrible offenses and inability to understand your own stupid problems.

The Ravens, Chiefs, Raiders and Eagles have the byes this week. Let’s take a close look at Week 10, get ourselves a Little Caesar’s pizza and go make money.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Seattle Seahawks (5-3) at Arizona Cardinals (4-4)
Line: Seahawks by 5.5

The Cardinals won with Drew Stanton last Sunday, but that was against the winless 49ers. Seattle makes a statement this week.

Dr. Football: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Minnesota Vikings (6-2) at Washington Redskins (4-4)
Line: Vikings by 1

The Redskins won last week in Seattle, and they return home to face a rested Minnesota squad who have a lot of weapons.

Dr. Football: Take the Vikings to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Vikings to win and cover.

Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Chicago Bears (3-5)
Line: Bears by 5.5

We saw what the Packers could do on Monday without Aaron Rodgers…nothing, and at home!

Dr. Football: Take the Bears to win and cover.

The Coach: Hold your nose and take the Bears to win and cover.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-6)
Line: Steelers by 10

Back to Earth for Indy, as they face a well-rested Big Ben and the rest of the Steelers.

Dr. Football: Take the Steelers to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Steelers to win and cover.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3)
Line: Jaguars by 4

Jacksonville have allowed just seven points over their last two games, and in their five wins this season they have not allowed more than nine points. Won’t be close.

Dr. Football: Take the Jaguars to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Jaguars to win and cover.

New Orleans Saints (6-2) at Buffalo Bills (5-3)
Line: Saints by 3

New Orleans have won six straight games because of their defense, while the Bills looked dreadful in that loss to the Jets.

Dr. Football: Take the Saints to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Saints to win and cover.

Cleveland Browns (0-8) at Detroit Lions (4-4)
Line: Lions by 12.5

Detroit’s defense was the story in Green Bay, but their offense will be the story against the bumbling Browns.

Dr. Football: Take the Lions to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Lions to win and cover.

New York Jets (4-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6)
Line: Jets by 2.5

The Jets are one of the surprises of the league and already have exceeded many peoples’ expectations. The Bucs will be without Jameis Winston and receiver Mike Evans, so they should be easy prey.

Dr. Football: Take the Jets to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Jets to win and cover.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) at Tennessee Titans (5-3)
Line: Titans by 4.5

The Bengals are playing consecutive road games, which is tough, and their offense is horrible. The Titans didn’t look that great beating Baltimore, but their defense wasn’t too bad. I think they take it.

Dr. Football: Take the Titans to win and cover

The Coach: Take the Titans to win and cover.

 

LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Houston Texans (3-5) at Los Angeles Rams (6-2)

Line: Rams by 11.5

Well, that was fun while it lasted wasn’t it Houston fans? No Deshaun Watson, no hope.

Dr. Football: Take the Rams to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Rams to win and cover.

Dallas Cowboys (5-3) at Atlanta Falcons (4-4)
Line: Falcons by 3

Dallas has three straight victories, but Atlanta needs this one more for any hope of making the playoffs. The Coach says: Both teams have a good quarterback, making this a tough game to call.

Dr. Football: Take the Falcons to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Falcons to win and cover.

New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco 49ers (0-9)
Line: Giants by 2.5

Someone’s gotta win right? I can’t see the 49ers going 0-16 this year, so it’s their turn to win this week. The Coach says: Even if Jimmy Garoppolo starts, the Niners win. But it looks like it will be C.J. Beathard, so forget that.

Dr. Football: Take the 49ers in an upset.

The Coach: Take the banged up Giants.

 

SUNDAY NIGHT

New England Patriots (6-2) at Denver Broncos (3-5)
Line: Patriots by 7.5

What’s sad about Denver is the fact they have a great defense and good receivers, but lack talent at QB. New England coming off the bye will still win, but will once again have trouble scoring. The Coach says: A quarterback (Brady) vs. No quarterback.

Dr. Football: Take the Patriots to win but not cover.

The Coach: Take the Patriots to win and cover.

 

MONDAY NIGHT

Miami Dolphins (4-4) at Carolina Panthers (6-3)
Line: Panthers by 9

Carolina handled Atlanta quite easily, but in my mind they are inconsistent in their effort. However, they are the better team than Miami.

Dr. Football: Take the Panthers to win but not cover.

The Coach: Take the Panthers to win and cover.

Print this entry

Is it time for Teddy?

Print this entry

By Larry Fitzgerald
November 7, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@FitzBeatSr

Let me start a quarterback controversy. After all, does it really matter what I think anyway?

Sam Bradford is hurt. His left knee apparently has bothered him to the point that you feel like a fool asking questions of Mike Zimmer about his knee.

Since playing like the best quarterback in the NFL Monday night on opening weekend vs. the New Orleans Saints (29-19 Vikings), Bradford has been a mystery, throwing for 346 yards, three TDs, and completing 27-32. He’s started one game since that Monday night, played the first half against the Chicago Bears on October 9, again on Monday night, and did not play well. He looked stiff but helped the Vikings lead 3-2 at half.

Backup QB Case Keenum has guided this offense since taking over as Bradford’s replacement. The Vikings are 6-2, the second-best record in the NFL. They just had a week off with no game after traveling to London and beating the Cleveland Browns 36-16.

Teddy Bridgewater last played in January 2015 in the playoffs, lost to Seattle, and after nearly14 months came off the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list this week. The Vikings have until November 8 to use a roster spot and activate Bridgewater.

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater looks to be back on the Vikings active roster this week…

It’s not an easy decision for Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman, because the team is winning with Keenum and he’s playing so well. Team chemistry and all that goes with it is why the quarterback position is the hardest position to play in the NFL.

However, I don’t trust Bradford at this point. He was brought in to replace Bridgewater last year when he went down and has played well, but this year his knee injury tells me you can’t assume he will be back healthy playing this season.

On the other hand, Bridgewater is your guy. He’s healthy again. He can do all that needs to be done. He can throw, his mobility is good, he’s fresh, and he believes he can play now.

I love what Keenum is doing, and he should just keep playing. But if you believe Bridgewater is the best player for this team, I would play him now, because he gives the Vikings the best chance to continue what he started in 2015.

Sunday the Vikings travel to Washington. They beat Seattle 17-14. Blair Walsh — remember him? He missed three field goals in that loss.

The schedule is rugged with high-scoring 6-2 physical Los Angeles and playoff-tested teams like Carolina, Atlanta, Green Bay and Detroit ahead. I would roll the dice now. If Bridgewater is ready physically, he should play. I believe he is and should get his job back.

Stay tuned. We’ll soon see.

 

 

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

Print this entry

Scott Taylor

NFL Picks Week 9

Print this entry

The Owners Have Made it Easy to Pick Winners

Scott Taylor

“The Coach”

Dr. Football

“Dr. Football”

 

By

The Coach and Dr. Football
November 2, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@staylorsports ‏

 

 

 

The Tweet of the NFL season was sent out by Sports Illustrated last week.

On Friday, after the Miami Dolphins were embarrassed on international TV in the NFL’s Thursday Night game, SI Tweeted:

Me: Would you sign Kaepernick?

Stephen M. Ross (Dolphins owner): No, getting roasted on national television is closer to my personal values.

I would say SI nailed the Dolphins owner and the owners of most NFL teams. As we’re learning this year, NFL owners are more interested in what the sidelines look like during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner than they are in winning football games.

The Miami Dolphins were a disgrace to football last Thursday. The reason was simple. The quarterbacking was as embarrassing as it gets. Matt Moore went 25-for-44 for 176 yards, no touchdowns and two pick-sixes. He scored more Baltimore points than Miami points. The Dolphins had 196 yards of total net offense. That’s just horrendous.

There are so many teams with either bad or not even passable quarterbacks that picking winners has been easier than shooting fish in a barrel. The boys have never won as many football games both straight up and against the spread like they have this season because only rarely do two teams with good quarterbacks face each other. The only really tough choices we have are games like Baltimore and Tennessee this week or Arizona and San Francisco. There are so many bad quarterbacks in the NFL that having to choose which one is the worst is our only test.

Last week Dr. Football went 11-2 (80-39) straight up and 10-3 (65-54) against the spread while The Coach went 11-2 (81-38) and 9-4 (69-50) against the spread. We’re making so much money, we just might quit our day jobs. Come on NFL, don’t sign Colin Kaepernick. Don’t sign any quarterback who might win a game or two. Help us and our readers get richer thanks to your horrible offenses.

This week, we’ll take a close look at Week 9 in the NFL. The Bears, Browns, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots and Steelers all have the byes this week. That’s two good quarterbacks, one mediocre quarterback and three bad quarterbacks on the sidelines. Might make our job tougher.

 

THURSDAY NIGHT

Buffalo Bills (5-2) at New York Jets (3-5)

Line: Bills by 3

The Bills have surprised most this season, but I think the bubble will burst as they won’t figure out their division rivals.

Dr. Football: Take the Jets in an upset.

The Coach: Take the Bills to win and cover.

 

EARLY SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Denver Broncos (3-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)
Line: Eagles by 8

Carson Wentz is the real deal, and Philly’s defense has been fantastic, especially against the run. Denver has no chance.

Dr. Football: Take the Eagles to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Eagles to win and cover.

Los Angeles Rams (5-2) at New York Giants (1-6)
Line: Rams by 3.5

Both teams will be well rested coming off their bye weeks. The Giants defense is awful, and they haven’t done anything to fix it.

Dr. Football: Take the Rams to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Rams to win and cover.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5) at New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Line: Saints by 7

New Orleans have won five straight, and it’s because of the defense. Coupled with the fact they are in the Dome. This should be easy.

Dr. Football: Take the Saints to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Saints to win and cover.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)
Line: Jaguars by 4.5

Both teams are good on defense, which should make this a low-scoring game. Jacksonville will be well rested coming off the bye and should take this one at home.

Dr. Football: Take the Jaguars to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Jaguars to win and cover.

Atlanta Falcons (4-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-3)
Line: Panthers by 1

The Panthers get the Falcons road weary, playing a third straight road game, but Carolina has had trouble scoring. I think Atlanta is ready to make statement before next week’s game against Dallas.

Dr. Football: Take the Falcons in an upset.

The Coach: Take The Panthers to win and cover.

Indianapolis Colts (2-6) at Houston Texans (4-3)
Line: Texans by 12.5

The Colts are next-to-last in overall defense, allowing 407 yards per game. Deshaun Watson will throw for at least that.

Dr. Football: Take the Texans to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Texans to win but not cover.

Baltimore Ravens (4-4) at Tennessee Titans (4-3)
Line: Titans by 4.5

With no Joe Flacco and being on the road, the Ravens have no chance.

Dr. Football: Take the Titans to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Titans to win and cover.

 

LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Arizona Cardinals (3-4) at San Francisco 49ers (0-8)
Line: Cardinals by 2

Even without Carson Palmer, Arizona should be able to send the 49ers to 0-9.

Dr. Football: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.

Washington Redskins (3-4) at Seattle Seahawks (5-2)
Line: Seahawks by 7

The Redskins are banged up and have to travel across the country to play against a Seattle team that’s really starting to roll.

Dr. Football: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) at Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
Line: Pick ‘Em

The Chiefs are playing on a short week on the road and have trouble against the run. Ezekiel Elliott will likely be out, but Dallas has a lot of other weapons.

Dr. Football: Take the Cowboys to win

The Coach: Take the Cowboys.

 

SUNDAY NIGHT

Oakland Raiders (3-5) at Miami Dolphins (4-3)
Line: Raiders by 3

Miami was horrible against Baltimore, and will have Jay Cutler back. The Raiders haven’t been home all week, choosing to stay in the east to prepare, but they still are the league’s biggest disappointment this season.

Dr. Football: Take the Dolphins in an upset.

The Coach: Take the Raiders

 

MONDAY NIGHT

Detroit Lions (3-4) at Green Bay Packers (4-3)
Line: Lions by 2.5

The Lions have dropped four out of their last five and face a Packers team who are well rested and have given Brett Hundley some time to figure out the playbook.

Dr. Football: Take the Packers in an upset.

The Coach: Hold your nose and take the Lions to win and cover.

Print this entry

Eric Nelson

After eight games the Minnesota Vikings are NFC North Stars

Print this entry

By Eric Nelson
November 1, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the North Star State…..

•Trending Up: The Minnesota Vikings are a solid 6-2 at the halfway point of their season. The Purple have won four straight games, are on top of the NFC North and have a top-flight defense that keeps them in every game. Minnesota could win the division because Green Bay (4-3) is mediocre without all-galaxy QB Aaron Rodgers, Detroit (3-4) has been inconsistent and Chicago (3-5) is struggling…

•UK Success: The Vikings are now 2-0 when they play regular season games in London. Minnesota knocked off Cleveland last Sunday in the UK and won across the pond in 2013 against Pittsburgh…

•Power Ball: For the second straight week Minnesota is ranked seventh in the NFL power rankings. Philadelphia is number 1, followed by the LA Rams, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and New England…

•Miami Not So Nice: Just a hunch but I am guessing that Miami HC Adam Gase and Pro Bowl RB Jay Ajayi won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year…

•Philly-Bound: On Tuesday Miami dealt Ajayi to Philadelphia for a fourth round pick. After a 40-0 loss to Baltimore Gase publicly ripped the Dolphins offense. Even though Gase did not single out a specific player, it’s as clear as the Key West sky that he was not happy with Ajayi…

•Trophy Envy: The U of M trophy case needs some hardware. Minnesota failed to bring home the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy on Saturday, losing 17-10 at Iowa. This week the Gophers get a chance to win the Little Brown Jug as they play Michigan at the Big House. But history says that is unlikely. The Wolverines lead the series 74-25-3 and have won 55 of the last 67 games, including 23 of the past 25…

•Politically Incorrect: Robert McNair and Yulie Gurriel – must be a Houston thing…

•Lucky Sevens: MLB is on a roll. For the second straight season and third time in four years, the World Series has gone seven games. In 2014 Kansas City and San Francisco went the distance, in 2016 the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland played a seven game series, and it will take seven games to crown a champ in this year’s Houston-LA Dodgers WS…

•Diamond Duo: If they stay together in Houston, the Astros middle infield tandem of SS Carlos Correa and 2B Jose Altuve has a chance to be one of the greatest in MLB history…

•School Pride: A pair of classmates from Highland Park HS in Dallas were competing for television ratings on
Sunday night. On FOX, LA Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was on the mound at Minute Maid Park pitching against Houston in the WS. Meanwhile on NBC, QB Matthew Stafford and Detroit were playing Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for Kershaw and Stafford, both their teams lost…

•Star Power: In the sports saturated Twin Cities it is easy to get spoiled. Fans have plenty of chances to see super teams and super star athletes. For instance, last Friday NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Then on Saturday, Sidney Crosby and the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins skated at the Xcel Energy Center against the Minnesota Wild…

Print this entry

NFL protest should hit home!

Print this entry

By Larry Fitzgerald
October 31, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@FitzBeatSr

The last year and a half, the NFL and the players who have chosen to protest have angered millions across the United States who have ignored the purpose and cause for the players’ issues on social injustice. Players are looked at as pawns by fans and some media who say, “Just play the damn game. You make millions for a living. How dare you protest against my flag? Get your butts out there and get my fantasy numbers so I can win my league.”

It all started with ex-San Francisco 49ers’ Collin Kaepernick, the 30-year-old now-unemployed quarterback who has been unable to sign in 2017 with any of the 32 NFL teams. Has he been blackballed? Are the 32 owners colluding against him?

They clearly want no part of his right to protest when it affects their bottom line. Anger from fans and sponsors may not be right, but it’s understandable. It’s the price of doing business. When you decide to take a stand, be prepared for the consequences.

The NFL owners and players are at least talking now. However, the owners can’t change all of society by themselves, like making the police stop shooting innocent young Black men or racial profiling or hiring practices in America.

Kaepernick has hired an attorney and is pursuing a lawsuit against the NFL. When Black people protest it angers the majority of people, mostly Whites because, they insert their own personal bias into the situation.

A case in point is the playing of the national anthem and the displaying of the American flag. So many people talk about disrespecting the flag and the national anthem. Sports teams have long used revenue from the armed forces to buy and promote nationalism (before kickoff or tip off) and the pride of America the beautiful. Have you noticed it’s only at sporting events that bring in big revenue for the teams — NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA?

What the players do does not bother me at all. I don’t take it personally like so many who talk about their dad, brother, sister, uncle, husband and how they all served this country in the military.

They forget that Black people serve this country also and have sacrificed to protect our liberties. It’s a joke to say that taking a knee or standing with your arms folded during the playing of the national anthem on Sunday, Monday and Thursday is disrespectful.

No player has stopped the anthem from being played or tried to damage the flag from sailing or flowing. Those who argue against the players and their protest won’t talk about racism or discrimination or murder or about police brutality and shootings, because they don’t care. It’s a non-issue, they say — get over it. The police were doing their jobs.

We have gotten over it, but we will never forget it, the millions of innocent people hung and killed in this country, the beatings, bombings, Whites-only bathrooms and water fountains. If we did not fight nonviolently by protesting, marching for voters’ rights, and to go to school to be viewed as equal under God in this nation, we would still be living under Jim Crow segregation.

President Donald Trump lit a fire under the players with his divisiveness. “Fire the sons of bi***es, he told the NFL owners. Dallas owner Jerry Jones says any of his players kneeling during the playing of the anthem will not play that day.

On October 18 Houston owner Bob McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” in a meeting with other owners related to player protest and the national anthem. His statement has again sparked the flames; the level is high with his team. Almost his entire team kneeled on Sunday in Seattle, unified arm in arm in protest.

Because McNair is an owner and the players are represented by the NFL Players Association, this is an EEOC issue also. McNair may be forced to resign — it’s happened before. This issue is not going away.

People like Trump and McNair, being who they are and showing their horns, are making the issues clearer by the day for all to see. What we are seeing is that we have major problems in America.

 

 

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

Print this entry

Scott Taylor

NFL Picks Week 8

Print this entry

Seven Teams = No Touchdowns. That’s Horrible.

Scott Taylor

“The Coach”

Dr. Football

“Dr. Football”

 

By

The Coach and Dr. Football
October 26, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@staylorsports ‏

 

 

 

Last week in the National Football League, seven teams failed to score an offensive touchdown. First time it’s happened since 2011.

That’s a disgrace. Play from the quarterbacking position in the NFL right now is sometimes solid (Carson Wentz, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Drew Brees), sometimes functional (Tyrod Taylor, Russell Wilson, Alex Smith, Case Keenum) and the often dreadful (Mitch Trubisky, Jacoby Brissett, Marcus Mariota and anyone in Cleveland).

Here are last week’s scores: Rams 33 Cardinals 0 (no offensive touchdown for Arizona), Bears 17 Panthers 3 (no offensive touchdowns for either team), Titans 12 Browns 9 (no touchdowns for either team in a game that almost went five full quarters), Chargers 21 Broncos 0 (no offensive touchdowns for Denver), Jaguars 27 Colts 0 (no offensive touchdowns for Indianapolis).

We’ve been pounding on this all season. And yes, I know it’s probably tired and old, but when I watch NFL teams flail around on offense producing absolutely nothing week-after-week, at some point an NFL team (like Cleveland) needs to sign Colin Kaepernick.

If in fact NFL ratings are going down, they are going down because the play is horrible not because some players are kneeling for the anthem. The NFL can’t blame Donald Trump for its real problems. It had better fix its quarterbacking issues or things are only going to get worse. The fact is, there are teams in the NFL that don’t want to win and aren’t even trying to win. As a result, this league is generally fixed in favor of teams with competitive quarterbacks.

On the upside, the fact that half the teams have no functioning quarterback makes it easy for us to pick winners. Take last week’s results as an example. Last week Dr. Football went 11-4 (69-37) straight up and 8-7 (55-51) against the spread while The Coach went 14-1 (70-36) straight up and 12-3 (60-46) against the spread.

When nearly half the teams in the league are trying to compete with a quarterback who could not win a job in Arena Football, it’s easier to pick winners this year than it’s ever been. Let’s take a closer look at Week 8 in the NFL. The Cardinals, Packers, Jaguars, Rams, Giants and Titans have byes this week.

 

THURSDAY NIGHT

Miami Dolphins (4-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
Line: Ravens by 3

Miami will start Matt Moore will start at QB for the injured Jay Cutler; he looked good last week against the Jets, but Baltimore’s defense is better. Their offense on the other hand is terrible.

Dr. Football: Take the Dolphins in an upset.

The Coach: Take the Ravens to win and cover.

 

SUNDAY MORNING

Minnesota Vikings (5-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-7)
Line: Vikings by 9.5

It’s tough to imagine the Browns being able to score more than 10 or 13 points against a strong Minnesota defense with Deshone Kizer at QB.

Dr. Football: Take the Vikings to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Vikings to win and cover.

 

EARLY SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Chicago Bears (3-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-2)
Line: Saints by 9

Chicago surprised most last week by beating the Panthers, but the Dome is a tough place to win. New Orleans has won the last three times these two teams have met. Sunday will make it four.

Dr. Football: Take the Saints to win and cover.

The Coach: take the Saints to win and cover.

Atlanta Falcons (3-3) at New York Jets (3-4)
Line: Falcons by 4.5

Atlanta is playing consecutive road games and they didn’t looked good at all on offense last week in New England. But I think they’ll bounce back nicely here.

Dr. Football: Take the Falcons to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Falcons to win but not cover.

Carolina Panthers (4-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)
Line: Buccaneers by 2

Carolina is playing consecutive road games and Tampa Bay is home for the first time in three weeks. Both teams are struggling offensively, but go with the home team.

Dr. Football: Take the Buccaneers to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Bucs to win and cover.

San Francisco 49ers (0-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-1)
Line: Eagles by 13

Carson Wentz vs. the third-worst defense in the NFL? San Fran’s winless streak will continue. The Coach says: A team with a quarterback vs. a team without a quarterback. Simple.

Dr. Football: Take the Eagles to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Eagles to win and cover.

Oakland Raiders (3-3) at Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Line: Bills by 3

The Raiders offense woke up last Thursday, but their defense is awful. Look for Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy to have a big day.

Dr. Football: Take the Bills to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Bills to win and cover.

Indianapolis Colts (2-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
Line: Bengals by 10

Indy is terrible; they couldn’t score last week at home against Jacksonville, and they won’t score on the road against the Bengals defense.

Dr. Football: Take the Bengals to win and cover.

The Coach: take the Bengals to win and cover.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-4) at New England Patriots (5-2)
Line: Patriots by 7

Even though the Chargers shut down the Broncos last week, they’ll be in tough against Tom Brady and company who returned to form last week. They’ll keep it up.

Dr. Football: Take the Patriots to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Patriots to win and cover.

 

LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Houston Texans (3-3) at Seattle Seahawks (4-2)
Line: Seahawks by 5.5

Houston’s rookie QB Deshaun Watson will get his official welcome to the NFL moment in Seattle, only there won’t be a red carpet.

Dr. Football: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

Dallas Cowboys (3-3) at Washington Redskins (3-3)
Line: Cowboys by 2

Dallas looked like the Cowboys we expected to see last week blasting the 49ers. They love these NFC match ups too.

Dr. Football: Take the Cowboys to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Cowboys to win and cover.

 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3)
Line: Steelers by 2.5

Pittsburgh manhandled the Bengals last week and the momentum should continue in Detroit despite the Lions coming off their bye.

Dr. Football: Take the Steelers to win and cover.

The Coach: Take Matt Stafford at home. Lions to win.

 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Denver Broncos (3-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
Line: Chiefs by 7

The Chiefs went from being the unanimous No. 1 in the league to losing two games in five days. Facing the listless Broncos at home should fix things.

Dr. Football: Take the Chiefs to win and cover.

The Coach: Take the Chiefs to win and cover.

Print this entry

Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Energetic Everson Griffen is playing lights out for the Minnesota Vikings

Print this entry

By Eric Nelson
October 25, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Purple Nation…..

•Sack Happy: Minnesota DE Everson Griffen is one reason why the Vikings have a top flight defense. Griffen had two sacks in Minnesota’s 24-16 win against Baltimore on Sunday and has nine this season (third most in the NFL). Griffen is a power/speed combo package who comes off the edge with fury and passion…

•Tone-Setter: Griffen has become the Vikings version of Von Miller. He wreaks havoc on a weekly basis and has non-stop energy. Griffen, Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith are playing at an elite level. As a result, the Vikings (5-2) have swagger and confidence as they hop the pond for a game against Cleveland (0-7) on Sunday in London…

•Trending Up: Minnesota is ranked seventh in this week’s NFL Network power rankings. The top five teams are Philadelphia, the LA Rams, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and New England…

•Friendly Skies: The Rams (5-2) are off to a fast start, which is even more impressive when you factor in their ability to conquer jet lag. On October 15 LA flew to Jacksonville and defeated the Jaguars 27-17. Total round trip mileage was 4,302. The following week the Rams went to London and battered Arizona 33-0. Total round trip distance for that global journey was 10,912. LA has a bye this week, then makes another coast-to-coast flight for a game in New Jersey against the NY Giants on November 5…

•Déjà vu: For the second straight season 2B Brian Dozier is the Most Valuable Twin. Dozier batted .269 with 34 home runs and 93 RBI for Minnesota in 2017. Ervin Santana is the Twins pitcher of the year. Santana was 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA and made the AL All-Star team…

•Marquis Matchup: If game 1 is a precursor, the 2017 World Series could be epic. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw outdueled Astros star Dallas Keuchel in scorching 103 degree heat on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won 3-1 and have a 1-0 lead in this battle for all the MLB marbles…

•Old Rivals: The Astros and Dodgers have plenty of shared history because Houston played 51 seasons in the National League. In 2013 the Astros switched to the American League…

•Lone Star Drought: A Texas team has never won a WS title. The Astros are 0-1 and the Rangers are 0-2 in MLB’s showcase event. The Astros only other series appearance was in 2005 when they lost to the Chicago White Sox. Houston has now made the Fall Classic as an NL and AL champion…

•Mighty Mouse: Pound for pound Jose Altuve is the most impressive athlete in pro sports. Altuve is 5-6, 164 pounds and looks more like a jockey getting ready to ride in the Kentucky Derby. But no one has had more impact on Houston’s WS run than this pint-sized superstar…

•Titletown: The city of Houston has morphed into a championship hub. Super Bowl LI was played there in February and now the WS is coming to Space City on Friday…

•Smart Decision: The Dodgers have home field in the series because they earned it. Los Angeles was 104-58 in the regular season, the best record in baseball. Good move by MLB to get away from awarding home field advantage to the winning league in the All-Star Game. That was a gimmick…

Print this entry