Mike Carlson looks back at Sunday's NFL action as well as the Monday night game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos...
"Both teams have weapons on offense: Denver's rush game was shut down by both the Giants and Raiders, and if you make them one dimensional Siemian can falter."
Steelers make light work of Lions
In the Canadian Football League they have a scoring play called a 'single' or 'rouge', one point awarded to the kicking team when the receiving team, on both punts and placements (including field goal attempts) cannot run the ball out of their end zone (which in Canada is 25 yards deep). In effect a touchback costs you a point.
Yesterday I was wishing for a one point award in the NFL, or even a half point which they might award for good intentions, or long drives that end in missed field goals, or spectacular plays that will get lots of hits on the interweb.
That's because I'd picked the Chargers getting 7.5 points in New England and of course the Pats beat them by eight. Though if we did award a half point, it would most likely go to the Pats for somehow still getting the ball to Gronk despite the constant holding he was subjected to. At least the Steelers came through as promised, with rookie receiver Juju Smith-Schuster (J2S2) given disgruntled colleague Martavis Bryant a little more gruntle to dis.
And the Cowboys both delivered and managed with Washington to cover the over of 49, so all in all I can live without the extra half point from the Chargers. Of course if Travis Benjamin doesn't give New England that stupid safety...
Even worse, the Over 49 in the Cowboys-Skins match up looked tasty enough, and Dallas did their best to help win. But the 33-16 win left us with a push, and if a tie is like kissing your sister, a push is like kissing your sister if she's also your bookie's wife and her breath smells of burning twenty pound notes. Not that I'm bitter. The Steelers came through as promised, with rookie receiver Juju Smith-Schuster (J2S2) given disgruntled colleague Martavis Bryant a little more gruntle to dis.
Obviously I hadn't expected the Texans to put up 38 on the Seahawks in Seattle. And lose. No-one who believes in telling the truth actually did. But a 41-38 win didn't cover the 5.5 spread: I wanted Richard Sherman to take the game-ending pick back all the way. Seeing the Astros put up 13 on the Dodgers to win World Series Game Five 13-12 makes me wonder if someone in Houston is juicing footballs as well as baseballs!
Alex Smith aims to make it four in a row
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Tuesday October 31st, 00:30 BST
TV - Live on Sky Sports Action
Monday Night's matchup sees Denver in a world of hurt after losing to the Giants at home and the Chargers in their sort of home, travel to Kansas City, who've also lost two in a row after a 5-0 start.
The Broncos were shut out by the Chargers, the first time they'd been blanked in 25 years, with Trevor Siemian getting sacked five times, throwing a pick and losing a fumble. But they gave up only two offensive TDs, the other being Travis Benjamin's long punt return. In the Chiefs loss at Oakland (31-30) they couldn't stop Amari Cooper, something every other team the Raiders have played was able to do.
The Chiefs, -7 @ EVS, are a tempting bet: it's really a question of whether their defense can disrupt Siemian more than Denver's can Alex Smith. Both teams have weapons on offense: Denver's rush game was shut down by both the Giants and Raiders, and if you make them one dimensional Siemian can falter.
The Chiefs like the big play, but the Broncos can still rush the passer,their secondary is still tough: they know the Chiefs have to scheme receivers free and can cope with that. So I'm wondering if Travis Kelce again becomes their safety valve go-to guy.
The Chiefs have won the last three in a row against Denver, but the Broncos had ten in a row before that, and were obviously able to overcome the home field advantage at Arrowhead.
I hesitate slightly over the seven, I'd prefer if it were less than a full TD; so if the spread goes to 6.5 jump on it. But I do like the +43 @ EVS. I think Kelce +6 Receptions @ 5/6, Tyreek Hill +4 Receptions @ 5/6 and Kareem Hunt Under 22.5 Rush Attempts @ 5/6 are my favourites of the specials.