The Spotlight On Today’s Sports- 11/23/2015

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I’ve gotten a good amount of feedback from folks who have mentioned that they enjoyed the old Spotlight on Daily Sports Posts that I used t do when I first started the site so.  Well, I like to consider myself a man of the people and so your wish is my command!  I can’t promise the sports update will be every single day but let’s say most days for now and we’ll see where we go from there.  Today’s update is going to focus entirely on Week 11 in the NFL and what we learned from the week.  Let’s get right into it…

The New York Jets…Not a Playoff Team-  I’ve showed a lot of faith in the Jets throughout the season and I have predicted that they were going to be one of the teams representing the weak AFC as a wildcard and while I can’t tell you which one of these mediocre tems in the AFC will make the playoffs, I can tell you it won’t be the Jets. If the Jets are going to make the playoffs they need to get to 9-7 which mean they have to go 4-2 over the final six games and I just don’t see it.  This week’s brutal loss to the Texans was a real setback for the Jets because now they don’t get to face a FREAKIN WIDE RECEIVER AT QUARTERBACK anymore but instead get Tony Romo, Eli Manning and Tom Brady, the rest of the way..  Do you see this Jets defense stopping any of those three?  I don’t either but let’s say you’re optimistic and say they can beat Eli, fine then do you see the Jets going into Buffalo week 17 and beating the Bills because that’s the other option.  As much as it pains me to say it, I’d be much more willing to believe that the Jets will finish 7-9 then 9-7.

Fraud, Fraud, Fraud-  The only good news as a Jets fan is that at least my team didn’t have the biggest collapse since the beginning of a promising 4-1 season.  No way, that distinct honor goes to the Atlanta Falcons.  The Falcons have suddenly gone from 5-0 to 6-4 and they’ve done so in the ugliest of ways.  It’s bad enough that you let Blaine Gabbert come into your building and beat you before your bye but now yesterday the Falcons allow 106 year old Matt Hasslebeck to beat them in their building as well.  To make matters worse, the Falcons were up  by two touchdowns and let the piss poor Colts defense hold them to a scoreless second half at the Georgia Dome! I really hope someone rises to the occasion and knocks the Falcons out of the playoffs because they are as fraudulent a winning team as can be.  Too much talent to keep losing games the way they are.

The worst thing that could’ve happened to Peyton Manning-  is that the Broncos went into Chicago with Brock Osweiler and left the windy city with a victory.  The league was already ready to bury Peyton Manning and label him as washed up.  Everyone has seemingly forgotten about how good of a career Peyton has had and instead all you keeep hearing was that he was done, that the Broncos playmakers and defense have been carrying him all season.  Well, the fact that these same Broncos were able to go into Chicago with Brock Osweiler, making his first career start, and beat a Bears team that was playing good football, won’t stop any of that chatter.  Now the question turns to if Peyton is able to return at some point this season, do the Denver Broncos even want him back?  You would think the Broncos were 2-8 as opposed to 8-2.

The Cowboys Are Alive- Truth be told, the New York Giants are still the favorites to win the NFC East but the Cowboys now sit two games back and they have their Quarterback back!  Even though Tony Romo looked a little rusty in Miami, the Cowboys were able to pick up their first win in 8 tries.  Darren McFadden, of all people, rushed for 131 yards and you have to figure that if Matt Cassel was in at QB, he may not have even had 30 yards. Just the threat of having Romo back, opens up the Cowboys running attack because you expect them to pass every down.  Just look at Demarco Murray last season as compared to how he’s looked without Tony Romo.  The further good news for the Cowboys is that the Eagles were crushed by the Bucs at home and look lost with Mark Sanchez under center and the Redskins were embarrassed by the 10-0 Panthers.  The bad news for the Cowboys is that now they welcome those same undefeated Panthers into their building in just four days in a must-see Thanksgiving matchup. Put the turkey on the snack tables because that is a game you won’t want to miss.

A Win’s A Win…But At What Cost?-  This just isn’t the year for the Baltimore Ravens.  Just two weeks after losing Steve Smith for the season, the Ravens lost both Justin Forsett for the season due to a broken arm and Joe Flacco for the season due to a torn ACL.  That pretty much completes the laundry list of injuries to the Ravens this season and ends their disappointing year.  The cherry on top?  Matt Schaub will now be starting for them for the rest of the year.

Sweet Revenge- Just when it looked like the Bengals were going to push their matchup with the Cardinals to overtime, Carson Palmer drove his team right down the field in just a minute and three seconds to put them in position to seal the game with a field goal.  It was an elite level performance by Palmer who sent his team to the number 2 seed in the NFC and sent his former team into a virtual tie with the Denver Broncos.  How sweet it is!

And Then There Were Four?!?!-  I know I know, there are only two undefeated teams left the 10-0 Panthers and 9-0 Patriots but there are actually 4 undefeated (with at least two starts) quarterbacks this season.  Those four quarterbacks are Tom Brady, Cam Newtown, Tony Romo (3-0) and Matt Hasslebeck (3-0). Obviously the shocker of the bunch is Hasslebeck who has really turned back the clock off the bench for the Colts.  Whether he’ll be able to do it for the next 5 weeks, while Andrew Luck is out injured, remains to be seen but he goes to show the importance of having a cagey veteran on the bench.

Well that’s going to do it for today but I’ll be back tomorrow with another sports update where we’ll have no choice but to turn our attention to a team streaking in the NBA and bringing back interest in the NBA altogether at the same time.  Until then, what were your biggest takeaways from Week 11 in the National Football League.  Let me know in the comment section below or on twitter @Daily_Spotlight

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The Spotlight NFL Week 11 Picks Against The Spread

No your eyes are not deceiving you, this really is the first time ever in which we are bringing you the NFL Picks Against The Spread on a Friday and not on Sunday morning like you’ve grown accustomed to.  Last week we went 7-2 on the week going 5-2 on our weekly seven pack of games and then connecting on both Sunday and Monday night.  We lost last week with the Saints, who look like a team that’s ready to blow the whole thing up at this point, and the Cowboys who once against lost a nail biter on the final seconds of the game.  This week we’re back with 7 more games that you’ll hopefully be able to cash out on, let’s get right into it.

Highlights:

1) Kansas City Cheifs (-3) at San Diego Chargers

You know I hate picking against bad teams coming off of a bye but look out AFC, here come the Kansas City Chiefs and they feel really good about themselves.  This is a team that went into Denver last week, turned Peyton Manning over five times and destroyed the Broncos en route to moving to 4-5 which is just about where every team in the AFC Wildcard race is sitting.  I love Phillip Rivers, but the injuries have really caught up to the Chargers this season and losing Keenan Allen was the one injury that was too much to handle.  I like the Chiefs by a field goal in this game.

2) New York Jets (-3) at Houston Texans

That’s right I’m taking another road team by a field goal here and I’m taking my New York Jets.  The only worry I have here is the health of Ryan Fitzpatrick but if he’s cleared to play, and it looks like he will be, the Jets have to find a way to win here.  I know the Texans defense looked out of this world on Monday night, and honestly, they’re in a good position to win their division now but Brian Hoyer is out, which means it’s going to be TJ Yates at quarterback.  I know Yates just won on Monday and has shown flashes but he was the third string quarterback coming into the season and in his career has a less than impressive 4-7 TD-INT ratio.  That doesn’t bode too well for Yates against the NFL’s 4th ranked defense that the Jets have.  The Jets are also coming off of 11 days rest, while the Texans are on a short week.  The Jets bounce back this week and create much needed separation.

3) Chicago Bears (pk) over Denver Broncos

So Peyton Manning is out this week and in comes a relative unknown in Brock Osweiler, and the Bears aren’t even favored at home?  Aside from that it really looks like the Bears are going on a bit of a run here.  I know I mentioned this over the past few weeks but Jay Cutler always gives his team a chance to win and I’m thinking he wins his third in a row this week.  There also may not be a team hotter in the NFL right now than the Bears who walked into St.Louis and destroyed them by 24!  Oh, and did I mention that Bears head coach John Fox was fired by the Broncos last season?  I think it’s safe to say he’ll be a bit motivated.

4) Green Bay Packers (pk) at Minnesota Vikings 

Everyone and their mother is picking the Vikings here and with good reason, the Packers have looked pretty bad over the past three weeks.  That said, I’m going against conventional wisdom and rolling with Aaron Rodgers to have a big bounce back game and get a win when he needs to in order to keep pace in the division.  If losing the Lions at home for the first time since 1991 won’t wake the Packers up then seemingly nothing will.

5) St. Louis Rams (+3) at Baltimore Ravens

Ok so Case Keenum is starting this week for the Rams and his 11-8 career TD-INT ratio isn’t lighting the world on fire, but, does anyone remember what happened with the 49ers 2 weeks ago?  If you don’t, that’s why I’m here.  Two weeks ago, the 49ers benched their struggling franchise quarterback Colin Kaepernick after struggling all season and reports came out that his teammates were petitioning for Kaepernick to be benched.  The 49ers replaced him with Blaine Gabbert, the dreadful former quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars, went on to beat the Falcons in Atlanta as his team rallied around him.  Back to this week now and the Rams suddenly find their, once promising, season going down the drain as quarterback Nick Foles ranks dead last in QBR.  Well, now Foles is heading to the bench and again it’s time for the Rams to rally around a backup quarterback.  I think they will.  Also, what have the Ravens done to have any right to be favored by a field goal? This 2-7 team is so done, they lost at home to Jacksonville last week.

6) IF YOU’RE DESPERATE: Detroit Lions (pk) over Oakland Raiders

Not a popular pick here, I know, but I had a hard time finding a 7th game and so I’m going to roll with the Lions here.  Logic would say to pick a Raiders team that, until two weeks ago, was in the drivers seat on the fast track to a playoff spot.  But they lost both of those games over the last two weeks, one to a third string quarterback in Pittsburgh and then got their doors blown off last week by the Vikings.  As a matter of fact, if you look at the Raiders wins they’ve come against one team with more than two wins and that was the Jets, when Geno Smith was starting.  Yes, the Lions also only have 2 wins but their coming off their first win in Lambeau since 1991.  Maybe that was their superbowl but you know Detroit will be up for the game and they have the talent to beat anyone.  I like the Lion by a field goal!

7) LOCK OF THE WEEK: Dallas Cowboys (pk) at Miami Dolphins 

I mean if you didn’t see this one coming then you haven’t been paying attention.  Tony Romo finally returns for the Cowboys after they lost all 7 games in which he didn’t play in.  The Cowboys know that if they have any shot in the NFC East, it’s going to have to start this week against Miami.  The good news for them is that if they win, they’ll be just two out in the division.  The Cowboys are not losing this game, the Dolphins have been inconsistent all year and Ryan Tannehill has digressed to a scary degree (30th in QBR).  It’s been a long time coming, Cowboys fans…the suffering ends this Sunday.

That’s going to do it for me here but I’ll be back with my Sunday night pick against the spread as well as my Monday night pick.  Good luck and let’s make some money.