Nover’s View: Top 10 NFL Week 3 Observations

On September 26, 2016, in NFL, by Stephen

Here are my top 10 NFL Week 3 observations:

1. Ever root against your own bet? I found myself doing that Sunday hoping the hopeless Browns would upset the spendthrift, gutless and thoroughly unlikable Dolphins. Not only couldn’t the 0-2 playing-at-home-for-the-first-time Dolphins cover a double-digit spread facing overmatched Cody Kessler and an inexperienced, banged-up Browns squad, but they were life-and-death finally winning in overtime. Fill-in kicker Cody Parkey missed three field goals for the Browns, one of which was a 42-yarder at the end of regulation. The Browns should change their name from the Cleveland Browns to the Charlie Browns.

2. I’m more surprised when Kirk Cousins makes a good play than when he doesn’t. Every time Cousins goes back to pass I expect something bad to happen.

3. Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL. No argument there. But who is the second-best coach? My vote goes to Mike Zimmer. Here’s a number to back that up: The Vikings have covered an incredible 75 percent of their games under Zimmer going 27-9 ATS.

4. The Packers have taken a lot of heat for a stagnant offense. There’s been plenty of criticism directed at Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers, the offensive line and receivers for not getting open especially Davante Adams. But the biggest underachiever – especially for the four-year, $40 million contract he signed two seasons ago – is Randall Cobb. He hasn’t broken the 60-yard barrier in receiving yards since Week 13 of last season. Instead of being a legitimate game-breaker, signs that were there earlier in his career, he’s settling into just a complimentary weapon dependent on defenses taking away Jordy Nelson.

5. Colin Kaepernick must really be disliked by the 49ers organization for them to keep trotting out Blaine Gabbert every week. Politics aside, Kaepernick needs to be starting. Even if he isn’t as accurate as Gabbert, he at least presents a much stronger running threat and has the arm to throw deep and thus loosen up defenses.

6. Jerry Jones says he loves Ezekiel Elliott. That may be so, but Jerry must not have Elliott on his fantasy team. Elliott had three easy short touchdown runs vultured from him last night by Dak Prescott, Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar, whose only carry of the game came from the one-yard line. A petition of Ezekiel Elliott fantasy owners need to be gathered and sent to the Cowboys office immediately.

7. I’m old enough to remember Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica. He was aptly named the “Mad Bomber,” a nicknamed that probably would be too politically incorrect to use today. Lamonica was called that because he constantly threw deep despite his receiver being covered or double-teamed. I thought of Lamonica when watching Carson Palmer stubbornly try to attack the Bills with hopelessly long passes. You would think that the 36-year-old Palmer would know by now to take what defenses are giving him especially when he’s having an off-game. And the Bills certainly weren’t giving him the deep ball.

8. Palmer’s foolishness aside, I do respect teams and quarterbacks who throw long. I hate conservative offenses whose main passing play is a check-down. I especially despise teams and coaches who play not to lose. That was the case with the Texans and Bill O’Brien this past Thursday at New England. Memo to O’Brien: Yes I know Brock Osweiler isn’t that good and Bill Belichick can get the better of him. But for cripes sake the Patriots were starting a rookie third-string quarterback making his first start and on a short week! OK, play the Herm Edwards sound bite: “You play to win the game!”

9. Did you learn a lesson by asking a Gus Bradley-coached Jaguars squad to cover a game without getting a bundle of points?

10. That’s twice now this season the Raiders have won on the road in an early start time game. They’re being asked to do it a third time in four weeks with this Sunday’s road game against the Ravens. The Ravens were the unluckiest team last year. This season they are the luckiest.

On the handicapping front, I’m passing on tonight’s Falcons-Saints game as both side and total are priced right in my opinion. I did find my strongest September baseball play, though, on today’s menu.


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