Welcome to the recap blog. Weekly results are a silly thing to track -- the small sample and high variance nature of the NFL makes them totally irrelevant. However, I do feel it's important to have an easy place to track all our bets, where we can easily see how we're performing over a larger sample size.
Tennessee @ Indianapolis (+1.0)
I'm happy with this bet. Yeah, we lost. But if you've learned anything reading this page, you should know that results don't matter. Indy ended up closing -3, so the line shifted 4 massive points from when we took it last Tuesday. In spread betting, not all shifts are created equal, but going from +1 to -3 is an enormous shift, and a good indicator that we were on the right side. The game ended up going into overtime and we had the team with the points. I'll take that scenario any day.
Things started out well enough with the Colts scoring touchdowns on their first two drives, the second off a Ryan Tannehill interception. The Titans then got on the board thanks to a Geoff Swaim touchdown, then got the ball back again after a Colts punt. It was 3rd and 11 on their own 45 when Tannehill threw an interception to Tyquan Lewis. Lewis then took a hard hit, resulting in a season-ending knee injury and a fumble, which the Titans recovered. For the Titans to be able to turn a 3rd and 11 INT into a fresh set of downs because of an injury was certainly some tough luck on our part (and of course Lewis's).
From there, the game was even, with both teams trading touchdowns and field goals. It was 24-24 when Carson Wentz submitted his entry for worst pick 6 of the year.
That put the Titans up 31 - 24. Luckily, the Colts weren't done, taking the ensuing drive 75 yards that Jonathan Taylor capped off with a touchdown, sending the game into OT. Each team took turns punting before Carson Wentz decided he wasn't quite done throwing interceptions, this time to Titans safety Kevin Byard who took it to the Colts 32. That put the Titans in field goal range immediately, and our fate was sealed.
Performances to note:
-Carson Wentz had a horrendous game, earning a 42.7 PFF grade. He had 0 big time throws and 4 turnover worthy plays and a completion percentage of 52.9%. He gained 4.5 yards per attempt. Pathetic all around.
-Michael Pittman caught 10 balls on 15 targets for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.
-AJ Brown caught 10 catches on 11 targets for 155 yards and 1 touchdown.
-Derrick Henry was a total non-factor, averaging 2.4 yards on 28 attempts. We learned later that he suffered a Jones fracture in his foot that will knock him out for the rest of the regular season.
Final score: Tennessee 34, Indianapolis 31 (lost 1 unit)
New England (+5.5) @ LA Chargers
We had 3 units on this bad boy. It was a bet I felt was so obvious that I actually called that the model was going to green light it before Dom ran the model. Objectively speaking, the Patriots are either just as good as the Chargers or slightly better. 5.5 points simply made zero sense. The line ended up closing at NE -4. The Patriots won outright.
This was a very evenly matched game, with neither team able to pull ahead. The difference maker was a Justin Herbert 4th quarter interception that ex Charger Adrain Phillips took to the house to give the Patriots a 24-17 lead. After a 3 and out from the Chargers, the Patriots then took nearly 7 minutes off the clock and kicked a field goal, giving them a 10 point lead with just 1:39 to go. The Chargers grabbed a garbage time touchdown late, but the game result was already decided.
Performances to note:
-Mac Jones had a tough day from an accuracy perspective, earning an adjusted completion percentage of just 57.6% (his season average is 75.5%). However, he completed several downfield throws and kept the ball out of harm's way. He earned a PFF grade of 77.
-Austin Ekeler gained 5.8 yards per carry (11 carries for 64 yards) and caught 6 balls for 60 yards.
-Patriots edge rusher Matthew Judon had 10 total pressures. The Chargers had 9 pressures total as a team, including just 1 from Joey Bosa.
Final score: New England 27, LA Chargers 24 (won 3 units)
New Orleans (+5.0) @ Tampa Bay
We recommended 3 games this week. All three had line movements toward the model, this one closing at 4.
What a crazy game. We had some tough injury luck which I assumed would seal our fate -- Saints QB Jameis Winston tore his ACL early in the 2nd quarter with the score tied at 7. With Taysom Hill (concussion) out, that means Trevor Siemian would take over. To my pleasant surprise, the Bucs had a very difficult time moving the ball in the 1st half. Brady then threw an interception, which the Saints were able to parlay into a touchdown by taking the ensuing drive 35 yards. After taking the first drive of the 2nd half 75 yards for a touchdown, the Saints were up 23-7. The Bucs then answered with 2 touchdowns on their next two drives, bringing them within 2. The Saints then were able to get back on the board, kicking a field goal, but after a 50 yard Tom Brady touchdown pass to Cyril Grayson, the Bucs were on top, 27-26. The Saints then had another successful drive, but could only come away with a field goal, giving them a 29-27 lead. With 1:41 left, everyone assumed Brady would put together a game-winning drive. Instead, however, he threw a pick 6, giving the Saints a 36-27 lead. And that's how it ended.
Performances to note:
-Going into the game, Tom Brady had just 1 turnover worthy play the entire season. He had 3 on Sunday.
-Trevor Siemian was horrible in relief. He earned a 38.9 PFF grade, averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt, had a completion percentage of 55.2, and a fumble. It was Brady's turnovers that were the difference.
-In the loss, Chris Godwin caught 8 balls on 11 targets for 140 yards and a TD.
Final score: New Orleans 36, Tampa Bay 27 (won 1 unit)
Week 8: When the Dogs Win Outright (2-1, +3 units)
Season total: 10-11, +1 units