There was a very brief spell on Sunday night where the collective NFL fanbase sat up slightly straighter in their usual Redzone-worn armchairs.
Tom Brady was struggling to throw the ball to anyone. He was resorting to dunk-offs and lacked velocity, spiral and trademark trajectory.
It’s been fifteen years since anyone, especially AFC team-supporting fans could dream of landing in a Super Bowl without having to face the Patriots in a bitterly-cold Foxboro only to be sent packing after a first quarter blitz that destroyed your soul.
But then Julian Edelman threw a touchdown pass and we were back to square one.
Let’s see what other false hope we can be handed in Week 12. Joy.
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans (-3.5): -114
Thursday 21st November 8:20PM
Nah, I can’t have this. Between these two, the Houston Texans are a better football team.
When you factor in that this is a home game, they should be four point favourites and when you consider this is a Thursday night matchup, I’d give them a touchdown advantage.
Plus, their go-to players in both the passing and rushing games are out of this clash – TY Hilton and Marlon Mack respectively.
I have no idea why this spread isn’t bigger – presumably because Indy put up 33 points last week, but it’s a real red herring, while Houston haven’t played a worse game of football since their ill-fated Wild Card embarrassment a couple of seasons ago.
Wrongs are generally righted. This game will signal the realignment of talent and everyone will be wondering why a team at home on a short week were only favoured by slightly more than a field goal against a unit without a franchise quarterback.
The mind boggles.
Back the Texans (-3.5) with CanPlay!
Carolina Panthers (+8.5) @ New Orleans Saints: -103
Sunday 24th November 1PM
The Panthers were the best team in the NFL offensively through the opening six weeks, at which point, you probably would have made them a one-point underdog in this situation.
But that’s all changed now. Since they went to England and put up huge numbers against Tampa Bay through the air, their scheme has changed, relying far too much on Kyle Allen to guide them through the toughest part of their schedule.
Perhaps they’re testing the water for their future at the position, but in doing so, they’ve knocked themselves out of the wild card perch and now they’re digging up.
Luckily for them, New Orleans should set up in such a way that allows them to return to screen passes and clever design. Norv Turner’s job might be on the line here.
You can back the Carolina Panthers (+8.5) @ +104 with CanPlay Sports.
Seattle Seahawks (+2.0) @ Philadelphia Eagles: -110
Sunday 24th November 1PM
I’d bill this up as a myth-busting challenge.
All the specifications in terms of measurables for quarterbacks in the NFL are on display in Carson Wentz, while he steps up against the under-sized, lack-of-velocity arm in Russell Wilson.
One of these players is an MVP contender – alongside another undersized quarterback that some wanted to convert into a wide receiver, named Lamar Jackson.
Funnily enough, Wilson has one of the strongest arms in the league that allows him to fling play-action go routes more than anyone else in the NFL.
And he will take a sluggish base defence from Philly and show them the door.
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