The NFL experienced a time of bad beats and Bizarro World moments this past weekend.
What kinds of crazy things, you ask?
Well, on what planet do the Saints and Packers combine for only 27 points in a week? The 2-10 Raiders outscored them both (33) combined in their game against the 10-2 Chiefs.
And how about New Orleans and Green Bay, along with the Bears, Colts, Panthers, and Steelers, all playoff-caliber teams losing to what most people thought were inferior opponents?
Andrew Luck of the Colts threw 52 passes Sunday. His team scored zero points. Their 6-0 loss to the Jaguars was about as boring as watching Doug Marrone do, well, anything that Doug Marrone does.
Remember, this guy used to be an offensive coordinator. Jacksonville has one game over 21 points since September and this guy has a job. Super Bowl-winner Mike McCarthy does not. Bizarro World indeed.
I’ll have more on the Jags later for the “terrible line” segment. But how about the bad beats?
For as awful as life was for the Bears on Sunday, the bad beat they let up may have exceeded it for bettors. But everyone can agree, allowing Odell Beckham to throw a 50-yard touchdown pass was the worst. Russell Shepard apparently has measles or something to have the defense stay that far away from him.
And the other bad beat comes from the west coast in a scenario that saw Nick Mullens lead (yep, I said it) a last-minute drive against the Seahawks. On a week like this, it really isn’t much of a surprise.
The Bad Beats
49ers vs Seahawks: 1st Half UNDER 23
I considered putting the Chiefs’ missed extra point in the 1st half here on bad beats. That miss denied the “push” for OVER bettors.
But they were lucky to be in that situation to begin with. So I’m going to skip over it despite my love for smack-talking both the Raiders and any team’s kicker.
And speaking of throwing some shade, that’s exactly what 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has been doing at the Seahawks after they released him. He also acted cold toward Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who promptly burned him for a touchdown Sunday.
It was part of a four TD day for the quarterback.
But before all that happened, there was a first half where these teams were just trying to get on the board.
The Seahawks did so on the first of Wilson’s touchdown passes. But of course, in what has become an epidemic, the kicker missed the extra point.
I feel like they probably have an anonymous group that gets together now after these misses to talk about them and share support. Because they sure won’t be getting any from the fan bases.
So Seattle was up 6-0 and the first quarter was nearly in the books. With the over/under sitting at 23, this seemed locked in a safe inside of a vault for those who bet the UNDER.
And everything would’ve been fine had the 49ers not been geniuses (note the pungency of sarcasm) and put a linebacker on WR Tyler Lockett fifty yards down the field. Sure enough, he hauled it in and gave Seattle a 13-0 lead.
Now things were getting tight. But if there was one thing UNDER bettors could rely on, it was the 49ers offense going nowhere. Or at least that’s what I would think.
But the 49ers instead came all the way down the field on the back of one Jeff Wilson. He’s a real running back on this team now. He looked like Matt Breida the way he sliced and diced the Seachickens all the way down the field.
That is until he got near the goal line and coughed the ball up. Bobby Wagner, linebacker and sports wagering hero, took the ball away. Even better, the Seahawks had to drive the length of the field, which they couldn’t do.
In fact, with two minutes left, Seattle punted again and with two scores needed, “over’ bettors had probably stopped thinking of creative winning scenarios at that point. But punt returner Ritchie James thought of an idea and muffed the punt right back to Seattle.
And sure enough, after dropping a goose egg for the entire half, the Seahawks let the Niners mine their way into field goal range.
Though a kicker’s extra point miss kept “under” bettors from losing this wager, another kicker made the lock of all locks breakable. Robbie Gould’s 45-yard FG make delivered the “push” and the punch to the gut of UNDER wagers.
Bears vs Giants: 1st Half UNDER 22
Coming into this game, I figured it’d be about as entertaining as watching two old geezers playing chess in the park.
Speaking of which, Eli Manning’s previous performances didn’t seem to bode well for him against such a nasty defensive squad. The Bears seemed primed to feast on the conservative ways of the New York Giants offense.
And without Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, it didn’t seem the Bears would be all that explosive and entertaining either. Hence the over/under being set so low.
But not only did these teams play a game wacky enough to give up a 50-yard wide receiver TD pass and a successful onside kick. They also threw in a bad beat for the hell of it.
In a game with seemingly poor offenses, they at least provided some scoring for the opposing teams. Chase Daniel, the best clipboard-holder in NFL history, threw a pick to Giants OLB Alec Ogletree. Like, right to him. And Ogletree bowled over him and others to find the end zone.
Daniel tried to do some more sharing for the holiday season on the next drive. He put one right on the numbers for safety Curtis Riley. And the DB dropped the easiest INT of his life and simultaneously failed his tryout for the “hands team”.
Manning then showed why his glory days are far behind him with an interception in Bears’ territory. And Daniel came down the field and threw another pick himself.
This was the moment where “under” bettors started to feel the good vibes. Ogletree’s second INT was a thing of beauty. Freezeframed just right, it looked like something out of a great Renaissance Period painting.
Ok, so maybe not that. But it was a great grab, nonetheless. And it started a string of more conservative—but equally terrible—QB play. This resulted in people actually being happy to see punters for once in their lives.
All seemed well. Then Chicago gained a little bit of steam as the half was closing down. Chase Daniel threw up a prayer to Allen Robinson and he did a reverse-David Tyree by catching it off B.W. Webb’s helmet.
And even when it was 4th down on the goal line, the Bears gave the ball to the Fridge Jr.—I mean—Akiem Hicks for the score.
But everything was still stacked against the “over” when the Giants were at their own 30 with just 17 seconds left in the half and in need of a field goal. There was no way they’d get into FG range.
New York seemed to think so too and just handed it off to Saquon Barkley. But “the best defense” in the league apparently wasn’t ready for it. Then Barkley wore out the juke stick on Chicago and gained 22 yards. That was followed by the G-Men getting a completion to put them within a prayer.
This was a 57-yard field goal though. The Giants kicker, Aldrick Rosas had never kicked one this long. But one look at this guy’s stats (26 of 27 on field goals) and you’ll see he’s pretty much had a Terminator leg this season.
And sure enough, he not only made the kick to boot the “under” bettors, but he kicked it straight through with plenty of distance.
The Terrible Line
Colts vs Jaguars: Over/Under 47
While the refs almost had as many missed calls as the Saints had points in last Thursday’s game versus Dallas, I’m not picking that “under”.
Instead, I’m going with a game that equated to watching the World’s Ugliest Dog competition. But it was far less interesting, like bowling but where everything goes in the gutter.
Speaking of gutters, that’s exactly where the Jacksonville Jaguars’ season belongs. The rains will eventually come and wash it all away, taking Doug Marrone and QB Blake Bortles with it. But for now, they’re resorting to winning 6-0 games if they win at all.
On Sunday, the Colts wouldn’t take the field goals in early 4th down situations. If I had a dollar for every time a team has gone and failed a 4th down near their goal-line—just in the early parts of the game—I’d almost be able to pay off Leonard Fournette’s brawl fines.
And for those that created the over/under line of 47, they should’ve known better. Not because people should predict 6-0 games, but because the Jags have drug teams down to their level all year at home.
Still, the people at this game should’ve been given three quarters-worth of a refund for the one-quarter of stats they watched.