The San Francisco 49ers & New Orleans Saints are Both Done
The 49ers and Saints both entered Sunday at 4-4 with a chance to impress but both flopped. The game was entertaining but ugly. It was a contest of who wanted to win the least. We saw the 49ers up 21-10 with the ball late in the second quarter, under two minutes to go, and Colin Kaepernick did the one thing you simply can’t do: turn it over. Not to worry, though, Drew Brees threw an interception to give it right back.
On the whole, the 49ers blew a 21-10 lead on the road as their offense couldn’t do anything in the second half. Meanwhile, the Saints had a three-point lead at home with under a minute, yet allowed the 49ers to drive and get into field goal range and tie. In overtime, neither team did much except Brees fumbled deep in their own zone and the 49ers kicked a field goal to win it.
Neither team impressed. Both looked horrible and sloppy in a must-win situation. Don’t expect these teams to make any noise come playoff time.
Ravens Home-Away Splits Continue
The Ravens continue to be a solid team to bet at home and a shaky team on the road. For bettors, it’s worth noting as what happens is the Ravens look horrible on the road and then bettors are skeptical to bet them at home. Or they roll at home and then bettors back them on the road.
Sunday was a great case and point: after getting rolled 43-23 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, bettors weren’t sure about what the Baltimore Ravens would do against the Tennessee Titans, who were coming off a bye. As it turns out, the Ravens played fairly well and stymied a young team led by a rookie quarterback. They dominated the second half and easily covered the spread in NFL odds.
The Ravens are a solid home bet. Remember that. On the road, think twice.
The Miami Dolphins are Not Contenders
The Miami Dolphins impressed a lot of people over the last month but to the dismay of those who placed NFL picks on them in Week 10, they had an opportunity to go on the road and get a signature win in Detroit, they couldn’t get it done. The bigger issue is that it was a really pathetic performance by Miami. They finished the day with a measly 228 yards of offense and the only reason they were in the game was because of a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown. Yet again they were sloppy (two turnovers) and they failed to find any success on the ground (50 rushing yards). Sure, Detroit is a good team and has one of the better defenses in the NFL but those who were singing Miami/Ryan Tannehill’s praises over the last month have to realize that this is nothing more than a .500 team.
It’s Been a Nice Season for Arizona…But They’re Not a Factor in the Playoffs
The Arizona Cardinals have exceeded expectations at 8-1 but let’s face it: it’s over. Yes, they can still get into the playoffs with Drew Stanton leading the way (after Carson Palmer tore his ACL) but this team is pretty much done. Palmer is a difference-maker for this team. Stanton is just a game manager.
They’ve worked a weak schedule to get in position but these are the 2013 Carolina Panthers: great regular season but won’t make a peep in the playoffs. They’ll be a sure bet-against in the first round of the playoffs – assuming they make it there.