Jim Vallet and Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
There are many important things going on in our country and the world right now. Our government is close to shutting down and the House of Representatives goes on vacation. Now, that’s a job I want. We might have a convicted felon as President of our country. We have a President now who walks like he was a cast member in “Night of the Living Dead”. We have a senator and a member of the House under indictments. My grandson got promoted from the Pollywogs to the Frogs in his swim class. My grandson and granddaughter, and of course their parents, all might move to North Carolina. I don’t know what’s going on on our southern border. We seem to have way more weather disasters than ever before and many don’t believe there is a climate crisis. I worry about how prevalent gambling is among all athletes.
But, in spite of all these issues, I am choosing to write about an issue that is really important to me-the NFL TV schedule.
Last year, due to the negotiating powers of my wife, we got NFL Sunday Ticket for free. I’m not sure how much it would have cost because it cost us nothing. Now, Sunday Ticket is on YouTube and I’m not sure how much it costs or how good it is because no one I know has it, and it doesn’t seem I can get a straight answer on the price without actually ordering it.
My favorite part of Sunday Ticket on DirectTV was the screen that showed eight games at once. Although I admit I couldn’t make out what guy actually had the ball, I could monitor eight games at once for my fantasy team and the bets I made. I could also easily go to any game and back.
Now that I’m on moral high ground by not paying for what should be free, I’m back on the low ground as far as following everything that’s going on in the NFL. And worse yet, I’m back at the mercy of the NFL rules as far as what game gets shown in our area.
This week, there is potentially a really good game featuring the Miami Dolphins going to Buffalo to play the Bills. The Dolphins’ offense vs. the Bills. Stars galore, none of whom are on my fantasy team. What a game it should be.
But, we won’t see it, unless you have Sunday Ticket. Instead, we get the Rams at the Colts at 10. At 1, we get our choice of the Raiders (maybe without JImmy Garoppolo, and not sure who else will play QB) at the Chargers or the 49ers (14 point favorites) hosting the Cardinals.
I know that there are a lot of Raider and 49er fans in this area, but I’m not. We have only a choice of 3 probable snoozers. I also understand (kinda) NFL rules about who gets which games.
Since it seems to me Congress is doing nothing about the situation at the southern border except blaming the other side of the aisle, maybe they could hold hearings about this really important matter. I would love to hear Jim Jordan and Eric Swalwell really go after Roger Goodell. Since Congress would rather plunge our country into a shutdown of the government than (gasp!) actually work with the other political party, maybe they could postpone their 40th vacation of this year and get us football that we really want to see!
I’m at my wits end, but at least we’ll have football while we don’t have a functioning government. Even if it is a second choice game.
Much better for me last week. Here are this week’s picks against the point spread. Lines are from sportsline.com on Thursday, Sept. 28.
Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Cleveland Browns: The Browns have not done well when forced to throw, which they will be against Baltimore.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons (London): When Atlanta is forced to throw, they don’t because they can’t.
Denver Broncos (-3) at Chicago Bears: Lots of really funny names for this one. The Stink It Up Bowl. The Game London Didn’t Want. Two Animals Blamed for Something They Had Nothing To Do With. And, many others. These two teams were outscored last week by a combined score of 111-30. Although the Bronco defense gave up 70 (??!!##) of the 111 points, I think they stink a lot less than the Bears do. Incredibly, this is not the only NFL game this week with two winless teams. (Minnesota and Carolina)
Miami Dolphins (+2 ½) at Buffalo Bills: The best game this week by far. The Dolphin offense, which has zero of my fantasy players on it, looks unstoppable right now. Even though the Bills have a very good offense, I don’t think they can score enough to keep up with Miami.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2 ½) at Houston Texans: The Steelers are good on defense.
New Orleans Saints (-3) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Saints play good defense and get Alvin Kamara back.
Arizona Cardinals (+14) at San Francisco 49ers: The Cardinals, despite my making fun of them earlier, have been playing pretty well. Their record is 1-2, but they have covered all 3 games. 14 points is a lot.
Last week: 5-2
Florida +1 at Kentucky: The markets weren’t high on Florida coming into the season, then they got downgraded even more after that opening loss at Utah. But that was a loss borne out of mistakes, not lack of ability. Kentucky has yet to be tested, having beaten Ball St., Eastern Kentucky, Akron and Vanderbilt. Even though it was at home, Florida has reached a higher level this season with their win over Tennessee than anything Kentucky has shown. This is a game I targeted before the season, hoping Kentucky would come in 4-0 and untested, and here we are in that exact situation.
Memphis (-2 1/2) over Boise St.: Despite their reputation, Boise St. hasn’t actually been THAT team for several years. The plucky underdog identity built around strong coaching is no longer there. This line indicates Boise is better on a neutral field, and I 100 percent disagree.
LSU (-2 ½) at Ole Miss: Under Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss continually puts up pretty numbers against lesser foes because of a wide open style that spreads the field from sideline to sideline, but the Rebels come up short time and again when they play someone that can match them man for man. LSU can definitely do that, maybe even better than Alabama did last week. LSU has a playmaker at QB that Alabama lacks, and is at least equally as strong in the trenches as the Tide.
Jaguars (-3) over Falcons: I usually don’t bet the early morning London games, because they’re over by the time I drag myself out of bed for the 10 a.m. kickoffs. But after the egg the Jaguars laid last week, and given the Falcons’ limitations in the passing game, I expect the Jaguars offense to hit a gear the Falcons can’t match.
Browns (-3) over Ravens: After injuries derailed the Ravens’ season last year, they’ve already being decimated this season. They’re already limited at running back, and now down two of their three best receivers, plus without starters on the offensive line, secondary and linebacker. The Browns aren’t quite the same without Nick Chubb, but Jerome Ford is explosive and the defense will make sure the offense isn’t overburdened.
Broncos (-3) at Bears: Considering how long pro football has been played, it’s not often you get to see something that’s never happened before, but here we are, the first time a team is ever a road favorite after allowing 70 points in a game the previous week. If the Broncos’ defense is looking to redeem itself, there’s no better opponent to run into than an impotent offense and a quarterback whose complaint last week that what’s holding him back is essentially being required to do what an NFL quarterback has to do.