We dropped the Thursday night game, but at 35-19 on the season, there is nothing much to complain about for me. 35-19 equates to 64%, so any handicapper in the world, including Billy Walters, would be happy to be hitting at a 64% clip. I certainly am happy, but there is part of me that knows I can be better. There are a few games this season that I have second guessed, including Thursday night for instance. I liked the Chargers plus the points, but opted to go with the OVER. The important part is to have a short memory, so that is out of the memory bank for me now. On to Sunday, where we continue to inch closer to the NFL playoffs.
After getting dismantled by the Saints on SNF last week, the Panthers will be in lighter company this week at home against the New York Jets. Oddly enough, I am actually impressed with what the Jets have done this season. That isn’t saying much, because I thought the Jets were going to finish last in the NFL. Don’t confuse it with I think they are a good team, because they are not, but 6-7 is quite impressive for this team. Consider the fact they are using a quarterback in which everyone thought he was dead to the world. I don’t believe Geno Smith is the franchise answer for the Jets, but he has kept their heads above water in a sense. He has had decent games and downright awful starts, pretty much part for a rookie in the NFL. He’ll need to contend with one of the best defenses in the NFL Sunday afternoon.
Jets vs. Panthers Betting Odds:
New York Jets +10(-110)
@Carolina Panthers -10(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Jets vs. Panthers Pick:
Some would say that the Panthers don’t have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but that they have the best, not one of. Drew Brees and the Saints made quick work of this defense last week in the dome, but that was to be expected. We cashed in on that one, so there was no surprise to me. The Super Dome is one difficult place to play in, it really isn’t too much of a knock on the Panthers. They’ll be back home today in Carolina, where they welcome the Jets. Geno Smith will need to contend with the 2nd best defense statistically with regards to yards allowed at 296.2 yards per game. Even after getting rolled over by the Saints, they still hold 1st place for points allowed per game, 14.5. I tend to ignore statistically irregularities like the game against the Saints last week. I focus on the big picture and the numbers over time. With that said, the Panthers are still the best defense in the NFL. I like to look at points given up per game and without question they are strong in that department.
This may be Geno’s toughest test this season, and we’re at week 15 in the NFL. I alluded to earlier he had some decent starts mixed in with horrendous, lately it has been more on the horrendous side of things. Last week was the first in five games that he tossed a touchdown pass. In that five-game stretch Geno threw 8 interceptions and no touchdowns. If we look to the game before that, he was adequate, throwing 1 touchdown and an interception. We need to go back all the way to October 7th to find a game in which he was good, passing for 3 touchdowns against a dysfunctional Falcons’ defense. I was generous when I said he has had some decent starts, I would say 80% of his starts have been train wrecks. And now, he needs to go against the Panthers on the road? Man oh man if things hold true this could get ugly for the Jets. The Jets are 30th in the NFL in yards per game, producing only 17.4 points a game.
The Jets’ defense truly is the only thing bailing Geno Smith out. If the defense wasn’t there, the Jets’ fans would have booed him off the field a long time ago, and this team would be the worst team in the league that I thought in the preseason. The defense has actually been quite better than I expected, so that is where the 6 wins come from. Nevertheless, the Jets’ defense has started to regress, as it stands now, they allow just over 25 points a game. If the defense begins to deteriorate even further in the remaining games, Smith’s inconsistencies will be glorified even more. Cam Newton and the Panthers should be able to get enough points here to get past the Jets comfortably. It isn’t the offense that will win the game for them, but they should produce enough points to cover this game. I really don’t see how the Jets are going to score any points. I will be impressed if they make it over 10 points. Consequently, laying the points with the Panthers doesn’t look like a bad bet for week 15 in the NFL.
PICK: Panthers -10(-110)