Foote Notes: NFL Observations — November 29, 2005
Buffalo Ready To Deliver Bills to "Under" bettors … Bills 1-3 (o / u) L4 games and stand a good chance to continue this trend at Miami this week. Buffalo coming off 13-9 home loss to Carolina, easily staying under 37-point posted total, after Bills 30th ranked offense accumulated just 216 total yards. BUF settled for three field goals inside Panthers 20 yard line and have scored touchdowns on just thirty-three percent of their red zone tries this season. Last three games, Bills opponents averaging better than 35 minutes of possession, leaving defense on field entirely too long. But Buffalo defense has played good in three of past four games holding New England to 16 points, Kansas City to 3 points and Carolina to 9. So defense is stepping up while offense continues to sputter with Dolphins 1-4 (o / u) L5 on deck.
New York ATM Giants Against Conference Foes … The G-Men improved to a near perfect 7-1 ATS vs. the NFC after 24-21 road loss to Seattle as 4.5-point dog with another conference foe — Dallas + 3 — coming up at home. Giants should have won too with a huge 490-355 edge in total yards but three missed field goals cost money line bettors. Tom Coughlin is also an incredible 26-11 ATS as a home favorite of seven points or less going back to his days at Jacksonville, including 5-1 ATS this year!
Vikings Right Ship In Titanic Turnaround … Vikings now riding a 4-0 run both SU and ATS after latest 24-12 road win over Cleveland. We cannot foresee this streak ending this week at Detroit either. Minny turnaround remarkable since team started season 2-5 SU and were the laughingstock of the NFL after boat scandal and Culpepper season ending injury only seemed like the proverbial the icing on the cake to the end of Mike Tice. But Brad Johnson 4-0 since taking over and more importantly Vikings defense hasn't allowed more than 21 points and forced 3, 5, 2 and 5 turnovers during latest winning streak. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the dying Lions, who are 1-4 both SU and ATS their last five games after embarrassing Thanksgiving loss to Atlanta. By the time you read this, Steve Mariucci might be "mooching" family and friends for a new job.
Falcons Set To Soar … If games really are won in the trenches then Carolina might be in trouble this week with huge home divisional game against Atlanta. Panthers coming off a 13-9 road win at Buffalo where they needed a come from behind TD with just over three minutes remaining in regulation to pull out the victory in Orchard Park. CAR ran the ball 33 times for just 113 yards — a mediocre 3.4 average — against the league's second worst rushing defense. But the 113 yards was the most they had gained overland since week one against the Saints. Panthers' 26th ranked ground attack has registered 100 or more rushing yards in just four of eleven games this season. Falcons meanwhile boast the NFL's top running game (183 YPG) and are 6-2 ATS when they outrush their opponents this year.
Kansas City Holding Ground … Chiefs improved to 4-1 both SU and ATS at home after whipping New England 26-16. Strong home field might serve them well with Denver (pick 'em) coming to Arrowhead this week. Kansas City really controlling line of scrimmage down the stretch, averaging better than 4.5 yards per carry since Larry Johnson took over for the injured Priest Holmes four weeks ago. At the same time, Chiefs 5th ranked rushing defense hasn't allowed more than 78 yards for three straight games.
Silver and Black Bleeding Red … Oakland dropped to a horrific 8-22 ATS vs. conference foes after latest 33-21 home loss to Miami. Don't expect things to change this week at San Diego (-10.5). Chargers are a polar opposite 13-5 ATS vs. the AFC going back to last season and a bookie busting 20-6 ATS overall after fortunate 23-17 OT win over Washington as a 3-point road favorite. Did we mention that Raiders are also a horrific 3-13 ATS their last sixteen divisional games?
Seabirds Treading On Thin Water? For the second straight week, Seattle escaped with a victory. You might recall last week when the hapless 49ers were within a two-point conversion at the end of regulation of knotting the game against Seattle. In their latest installment, SEA outgained 490-355 by Giants but took advantage of a whopping 17 New York penalties and three missed field goals to edge the G-Men 24-21 in overtime. Of course, all we care about is green around here and Seabirds failed to cover either contest. On deck is Philadelphia — who despite all their struggles this year — is still 9-2 ATS at home vs. the NFC at home going back to last season, including 2-1 ATS this year after latest victory over Green Bay in the City of Brotherly Hate.
Bears Offense Yet To Thaw … Chicago's magical season continued Sunday with a 13-10 road win at Tampa Bay to improve them to 8-3 SU and 7-3-1 ATS. That said, they are laying a rather stiff number (7 points) this week at home against Green Bay given the Bears struggles on offense. In past five wins, CHI 24th ranked scoring unit has put up just 13, 13, 17, 20, 19, and 10 points, respectively. And then when you further consider that total is set at just 30 points in this game and that seven of Packers nine losses have come by 2, 1, 3, 3, 7, 3 and 5 points, respectively, this number seems rather high