Favorites posted a fifth consecutive winning Sunday, finishing 8-3-1 ATS against the closing number. Over the past five Sundays, favorites are a combined 36-18-5 (66.7 percent) ATS. Two of the three underdogs that did cover on Sunday won outright: Giants +10 and Bengals +3. Unders turned a small profit at 7-5 against the closing total, and road teams finished 7-4-1 ATS.

From an entertainment value standpoint, we experienced a very boring day of football, as illustrated by the 13.9 point average margin of victory. However, for the second straight week, the three late afternoon kicks and the Sunday Night Football game skewed the average significantly, as three of the four final games of the day were decided by at least 25 points, with a 21.5 point average margin of victory. Conversely, two of the eight early afternoon kickoffs went to overtime.

The Cleveland Browns dropped to 0-10 on the season to maintain their lead in the race for the No. 1 overall draft pick. However, due to the lack of quality teams in the AFC, they are still not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs!

Only six teams in the NFL have a point differential greater than plus-50:

  1. Eagles +132
  2. Rams +117
  3. Saints +106
  4. Jaguars +104
  5. Patriots +87
  6. Vikings +69

If the season ended today, here is what the NFL postseason would look like:

NFC

  1. Eagles (9-1)
  2. Vikings (8-2)
  3. Saints (8-2)
  4. Rams (7-3)
  5. Panthers (7-3)
  6. Seahawks (6-3)

AFC

  1. Steelers (8-2)
  2. Patriots (8-2)
  3. Jaguars (7-3)
  4. Chiefs (6-4)
  5. Titans (6-4)
  6. Ravens (5-5)

Six of the eight division leaders in action this week won, which meant there was not much change in the playoff picture from last week. However, the Ravens jumped the Bills into the sixth spot in the AFC due to a better conference record. Additionally, the Jaguars and Chiefs flipped positions in the AFC race. In the NFC, the Vikings now own head-to-head tiebreakers with the Saints and Rams, which could ultimately decide who gets the prized first-round bye.


Key Injuries on Sunday:

Bears DT Eddie Goldman – Wrist (?)
Bears CB Kyle Fuller – Wrist (?)
Bears LB Leonard Floyd – Knee (?)
Bears WR Josh Bellamy – Concussion (?)
Bengals TE Tyler Kroft – Hand (?)
Bengals LB Nick Vigil – Ankle (?)
Bengals LB Vincent Rey –  Hamstring (?)
Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin – Knee (?)
Bills S Micah Hyde – Knee (?)
Browns WR Ricardo Louis – Undisclosed (?)
Browns DE Emmanuel Ogbah – Foot (IR)
Browns DT Jamie Meder – Foot (?)
Chargers WR Travis Benjamin – Abdominal (?)
Dolphins QB Jay Cutler – Concussion (?)
Dolphins RG Jermon Bushrod – Foot (?)
Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Leg (?)
Giants DE Olivier Vernon – Shoulder (?)
Packers LB Clay Matthews – Groin (?)
Packers DT Kenny Clark – Ankle (?)
Packers OL Justin McCray – Knee (?)
Rams WR Robert Woods – Arm (?)
Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman – Thigh (?)
Redskins RB Chris Thompson – Fibula (IR)
Redskins LG Shawn Lauvao – Stinger (?)
Redskins DE Terrell McClain – Toe (?)
Saints CB Marshon Lattimore – Ankle (?)
Steelers FS Mike Mitchell – Ankle (?)
Texans CB Kevin Johnson – Concussion (?)
Texans RB D’Onta Foreman – Achilles (IR)

The Colts, Panthers, Jets and 49ers had the final byes of the season this week.

Let’s take a quick look at each game from yesterday…


Ravens (-2.5) at Packers

Ravens win 22-0 (Under 38)

Baltimore smothered the Packers on Sunday to hand Green Bay their first shutout loss at Lambeau Field in 11 years. As a result of the win and Bills loss, the Ravens now hold the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

Joe Flacco finished an efficient 22-of-28 for 183 yards with a touchdown and a pick, but the Ravens’ offense didn’t have to do much. Baltimore won by three touchdowns on the road despite being out-gained 265-219 in total yards, thanks to their elite defense.

Ravens defense finished with six sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in their third shutout of the year, which is only one less than the 2001 defense finished with all season. With games against the Texans, Colts and Browns left on the schedule, the NFL record of five set by the Steelers is in reach.

Terrell Suggs recorded two sacks to move into the top 20 in NFL history with 122 for his career.

Brett Hundley threw three interceptions on 21-of-36 passing for 239 yards. Davante Adams was the lone bright spot for the Packers, who never made it past the Ravens’ 35-yard line after their first drive of the game. Adams caught eight passes for 126 yards.


Cardinals at Texans (-2.5)

Texans win 31-21 (Over 38)

This game flipped on a fourth down call by Bruce Arians in the fourth quarter. Trailing by three points with 6:34 left, Arians decided to go for it on fourth and 1 from his own 34-yard line. Houston stuffed Adrian Peterson, who was held to only 26 yards on 14 carries, and scored shortly thereafter to extend their lead to the final margin of 10 points.

Blaine Gabbert threw three touchdown passes (two to Ricky Seals-Jones) on 22-of-34 passing for 257 yards, and he wasn’t terrible until two costly late picks. Larry Fitzgerald had nine catches for 91 yards and passed Tony Gonzalez for fifth all time on the NFL receiving yards list; he is now just 79 yards away from passing Isaac Bruce, and 151 yards from passing Randy Moss for third all time.

Tom Savage played OK as well, as he threw for 230 yards on 22-of-32 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. D’Onta Foreman scored twice for the Texans, including a late scamper that gave the Texans a 31-21 lead, but he unfortunately tore his Achilles on that play.


Redskins (+7.5) at Saints

 Saints win 34-31 (Over 52.5)

The Saints finished off an epic comeback win in overtime to become the first team in NFL history to win eight consecutive games after an 0-2 start. New Orleans trailed 31-16 with five minutes left in regulation before Drew Brees turned it on. Brees, who threw for 385 total yards on the day, went 11-of-11 for 170 yards and two touchdowns on the final two drives of the game to force overtime. The Saints also needed to successfully convert on their two-point conversion attempt on their last touchdown, which they did on a pitch to Alvin Kamara.

Mark Ingram had another explosive day, finishing with 155 yards from scrimmage on just 14 touches. Kamara, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr. and Coby Fleener each had at least 74 yards receiving.

You can’t blame the Washington choke on Kirk Cousins, who threw for 322 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions on 22-of-32 passing despite working with a depleted offense. Samaje Perine also helped out of the backfield, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.


Jaguars (-7.5) at Browns 

Jaguars win 19-7 (Under 37)

Jacksonville won its fourth consecutive game for the first time in 10 years by finishing off a 4-0 season sweep of the AFC North; all four AFC North opponents failed to reach double digits. They relied on Leonard Fournette, who ran for 111 yards on 28 carries, to move the ball on offense in the sloppy conditions. The under 37 was never really in doubt.

Yannick Ngakoue totaled 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles, both of which came in the final minutes. On the first forced fumble, Jacksonville would have returned it for a touchdown to cover the spread, but the refs incorrectly blew the play dead. After review, the Jaguars did receive possession, but were forced to punt it away. Don’t worry, Ngakoue forced a fumble on the first Browns play that the Jaguars recovered in the endzone for the cover.  From Jags moose to Browns moose. Can we just cancel the Browns?

The Jacksonville defense now leads the league in total scoring, total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, sacks and forced fumbles.

The Browns didn’t do much on offense as usual, but they didn’t commit a single penalty in an entire game for the first time in 55 years.


Lions at Bears (PUSH)

Lions win 27-24 (Over 41)

Detroit clinched an undefeated record in road divisional games for the first time in franchise history with a win in Chicago on Sunday. Matt Prater’s 52-yard field goal with 1:35 left turned out to be the game winner because Connor Barth missed a game-tying field goal as time expired. The Lions actually chose Prater over Barth three years ago when signing a new kicker. Good decision.

Chicago ran for over 200 yards on the ground, led by Jordan Howard’s 125 yards on just 15 carries. Conversely, Detroit could not get anything going on the ground (65 yards on 24 carries). Matt Stafford carried the offense for the Lions with 299 yards through the air on 21-of-31 passing with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.


Buccaneers (-1) at Dolphins

Buccaneers win 30-20 (Over 44)

Behind a huge second half from Matt Moore, Miami came all the way back from a 20-7 halftime deficit to tie the game at 20-20 on a 61-yard Kenny Stills touchdown with three minutes left in regulation. Ryan Fitzpatrick answered by leading the Bucs down the field for the game-winning field goal attempt which Patrick Murray connected on with four seconds left. Game over, right? Yes, but not technically… yet.

Trailing 23-20, the Dolphins received the ensuing kickoff and began the lateral game. Tampa eventually jumped on the loose ball in the endzone for a touchdown after time had expired. The total was 44. Moose city. If you know someone who had the under, buy them lunch today. Can we please ban laterals?

Tampa ran for only 53 yards on 24 carries, but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 275 yards on 22-of-37 passing with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Mike Evans led the way with 92 receiving yards.

Jay Cutler threw three interceptions on 12 pass attempts for 83 yards in the first half. Matt Moore threw for 282 yards in the second half on 17-of-28 passing with one touchdown and zero interceptions. Jarvis Landry caught a touchdown pass on six grabs for 95 yards, but Kenny Stills carried the Miami offense with seven catches for 180 yards and a touchdown.


Chiefs at Giants (+10)

Giants win 12-9 (Under 45)

The New York Football Giants upset the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime on Sunday to improve to 2-0 on the season as double-digit underdogs. (They’re 0-8 in all other games.)

Kansas City has now dropped four of five after starting the year 5-0. The Chiefs do at least have the benefit of one of the easiest schedules the rest of the way, as they will get four home games (Bills, Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins) and only two road games (Jets, Broncos).

Orleans Darkwa, who scored the only touchdown of the game, ran for 74 yards on 20 carries. Roger Lewis led all Giants wide receivers with 55 yards, 34 of which came on a circus catch on fourth and 6 in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal.

Three players threw interceptions in this game, and none of the three was named Eli Manning, who started his 209th consecutive game, passing Peyton Manning for second all time by a quarterback (88 games behind Brett Favre).

Kansas City had more yards, but they threw three costly picks: two by Alex Smith and one by Travis Kelce, who did chip in with eight catches on 14 targets for 109 yards.

Yesterday marked the first time that Andy Reid has lost to a team with a losing record after a bye week; he was 16-2 overall after a bye prior to this weekend.


Rams at Vikings (-2.5)

Vikings win 24-7 (Under 46)

LA jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game on their opening drive, but they wouldn’t score again. The Minnesota defense held Jared Goff to only 225 yards passing on 37 attempts, and it shut down Todd Gurley, who ran for only 37 yards on 15 carries.

Under 46 backers never had to sweat, as these teams went almost two full quarters between scores from the start of the second quarter to the start of the fourth quarter.

Case Keenum held off the Teddy Bridgewater calls for another week, as he threw for 280 yards and a touchdown without a mistake on 27-of-38 passing. His favorite target on Sunday was Adam Thielen, who finished with 123 yards on six receptions, including the 65-yard touchdown that blew the game open in the fourth quarter. Latavius Murray found pay dirt twice on 15 carries for 95 yards.

Robert Woods continued his hot play at receiver for the Rams, finishing with 81 yards on eight receptions, but he did sustain an injury that is worth keeping an eye on next week.


Bills at Chargers (-7)

Chargers win 54-24 (Over 41.5)

This game was literally OVER in the second quarter. The Bills, who gave up more than 35 points in the first half for the first time since 1977, trailed 37-7 at the half. The Chargers’ 37 points in the first half was a franchise record as a result of a franchise-record five interceptions in one half. Los Angeles, who scored 50-plus points for the first time since 2008, picked up a game on every team in the AFC West on Sunday to keep their playoff chances alive.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Chargers now boast the Nos. 1 and 2 rated edge rushers for the season in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Additionally, Casey Hayward now grades out as the No. 1 cornerback in the League; the Chargers’ two other corners, Trevon Williams and Desmond King, also rank in the top 15 of all NFL corners.

Keenan Allen had himself a day, finishing with 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Melvin Gordon also found the endzone for the Bolts while rushing for 80 yards on 20 carries.

Nathan Peterman finished the day with six completions and five interceptions on 14 attempts for 66 yards – good enough for a passer rating of 17.9. LeSean McCoy was the lone bright spot for the Bills’ offense, as he rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 13 carriers.

The Bills’ defense will probably get a pass in the national media, but Buffalo just became only the fourth team since 1981 to allow at least 47 points in consecutive games.

Not many positive things to say about the Bills, but Steven Hauschka did connect on his 13th consecutive field goal over 50 yards, setting a new NFL record.

Patriots (-7.5) at Raiders

Patriots win 33-8 (Under 55)

New England blew the doors off of Oakland in Mexico to clinch a record of .500 or better for the 17th consecutive season. The victory also marked their 13th straight road win, a new franchise record and the second-longest streak in NFL history; the 49ers hold the record with 18 consecutive road wins between 1988-90.

You have to give credit where credit is due, and it appears that Matt Patricia finally took the pencil out of his ear to draw up some defense.  Since Week 4, the Patriots have allowed a league-low 12.5 points per game.

Stephen Gostkowski connected on all four field goal attempts, including one from 62 yards out to end the first half, which marked the seventh consecutive game in which the Patriots have scored in the final minute of the first half.

Tom Brady did Tom Brady things against the Raiders’ historically bad pass defense, which has now gone an NFL record 10 straight games to start a season without an interception. Brady finished 30-of-37 for 339 yards and three touchdowns; he now has 22 touchdowns to only two interceptions on the season. Brady’s favorite target on Sunday was Brandin Cooks, who caught six balls for 149 yards and a touchdown.


Bengals (+2.5) at Broncos

Bengals win 20-17 (Under 38)

Despite being out-gained 341 to 190 in total yards, the Bengals held on for their first win in Denver in 42 years to hand the Broncos their first six-game losing streak since 1990.

Andy Dalton posted a 117.3 quarterback rating thanks to three touchdowns and zero interceptions on 15-of-25 passing for only 154 yards. The Bengals’ lackluster rushing offense struggled against the Broncos strong run defense, finishing with only 49 yards on 26 carries.

Denver dominated the box score (150 more yards, nine more first downs), but lost the turnover battle 2-0, including a critical Brock Osweiler interception on third and goal inside of the Bengals’ 5-yard line that Dre Kirkpatrick returned inside the Broncos’ 5-yard line.

Cincinnati and under 38 backers had to sweat out one last Broncos drive that could have potentially forced overtime, but Denver turned it over on downs.

Eagles (-6) at Cowboys

Eagles win 37-9 (Under 48)

Philadelphia actually trailed 9-7 at the half before outscoring Dallas 30-0 in the second half. Under 48 backers survived the final 10:43 of the game without a single point thanks to a Dak Prescott interception on fourth and 10 from the Philadelphia 11-yard line with seven minutes left.

Carson Wentz finished with only 168 yards on 14-of-27 passing, but he threw at least two touchdowns for the sixth consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NFL. More importantly, he didn’t throw any interceptions. The Eagles’ rushing attack did all of the work on Sunday night, as they had three players rush for at least 50 yards in Corey Clement (six carries, 50 yards), LeGarette Blount (13 carries, 57 yards), and Jay Ajayi (seven carries, 91 yards).

The Eagles were forced to go for two most of the night after Jake Elliott left with an injury. Philadelphia shouldn’t be worried about much right now, but Elliott did miss another chip shot, which has to be somewhat of a concern for the postseason.

As a result of throwing zero touchdowns and three interceptions, Dak Prescott finished with a passer rating of 30.4 on 18-of-31 passing for 145 yards. Alfred Morris wasn’t bad in his replacement work, as he rushed for 93 yards on 18 carries. Dez Bryant, who led Dallas with 63 yards on eight receptionshas now gone 16 straight games without 100 yards receiving.

The Cowboys couldn’t be more average in 2017:

  • 5-5 on the year
  • 4-4 vs the NFC
  • 1-1 vs the AFC
  • 242 points scored
  • 242 points allowed
  • +/- of 0

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