Category Archives: Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals

Sports Insights’ contrarian betting strategy for Week 1 of the NFL

The 2017 NFL season is set to kickoff on Thursday with the Kansas City Chiefs traveling to New England to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots. While Week 1 doesn’t get rolling until the first week of September, the frenetic appetite of NFL fans inspires the mainstream sports media to pump out 24/7 NFL content months in advance. Fantasy football has only amplified this further, as fans are digging for more content, statistics, trends and edges all summer long to win annual bragging rights among their league mates.

The NFL held a conference call Tuesday morning to try to determine whether to play or postpone the game, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but no decision has yet been made.

The storm had strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane as of Tuesday morning.

“I’ve never been through anything like that,” said Gase, a Michigan native in his second season with the Dolphins. “I don’t know what to expect. I just want our guys to think, ‘Hey, we know what we’re doing.'”

Seifert: 10. That game in Denver jumps out to me. Since the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era began in 2001, the Broncos have won seven of 10 games against the Patriots in Denver. The Broncos are in transition under a new coaching staff, but significant history is in place to make this a decent possibility.nets_024

NFLPA president Eric Winston: We’re ‘ready to help’ Colin Kaepernick

Could help be on the horizon for Colin Kaepernick?

During a Q&A session with Dom Cosentino of Deadspin.com, NFLPA president Eric Winston revealed the organization has reached out to the controversial quarterback and made itself available to assist him in any way it can.

“Doc knows how to win championships. That is what we prioritize, and that is what Doc will focus on,” Ballmer said in a release. “He is key to integrating our new players with our returning players and taking us to new heights on the court.” He added: “Lawrence is someone I learn from every single time I hear him talk. He gets recruiting, talent development and identification, salary cap strategy — he gets it all. I know the team will be well positioned with him leading the front office.

“It is great to have two independent voices — and two of the league’s absolute professionals — working in partnership for our team. With these two guys at the helm, we will have great success.”

Rivers’ moves have been put under the microscope this offseason as a report came out that the way he treated his son Austin (after he acquired him and paid him a hefty salary) was a factor in Chris Paul deciding to leave the franchise.

Paul was traded to the Rockets for an assortment of players before he was able to hit free agency. The point guard denied the report, but there was more than one complaint about how Rivers went about building the team and his inability to get the Clippers to the Western Conference finals when Los Angeles had one of the best rosters in the NBA.

The most damning of moments was blowing a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Rockets in 2015. Rivers is 18-22 as a head coach for the Clippers in the playoffs.dolphins_008

Chris Paul’s son was on the bench while the Clippers blew out the Lakers

The Tuesday night game between the Los Angeles franchises was extremely one-sided as the Clippers blew out the Lakers.

The final score was 133-109, and the Clippers’ starters didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. Chris Paul knew the game was so far out of hand that he allowed his son to sit on the bench with him as they enjoyed the Lakers’ beatdown together.

While this is certainly a nice father-son moment, it’s also showing a lot of disrespect toward the Lakers. When was the last time you remember seeing someone’s kid on the bench during a game? Steph Curry got negative feedback for having his daughter at his press conference.

Meanwhile CP3 has his son on the bench with him. A lovely sight. I encourage this love but it’s so disrespectful to a lackluster Laker team.

Garnett’s best days were with the Timberwolves, his original team, where he won the 2004 MVP and established himself as an elite defender and perennial All-NBA selection. But he got Minnesota to one Western Conference Finals, never to a Finals and didn’t do his big winning until 2008 when he was traded to Boston. With the Celtics he won a title in ’08 and advanced to one other Finals in ‘10.

So if he’s going to be considered for a bronzing, it has to be on the basis of what he accomplished in his first 12 seasons with the T’Wolves. There’s no doubt he did more as a player there than anyone else in history; he had two second-place finishes in the MVP (losing to Shaq in 2000 and Duncan in 2003). But in terms of where he stacks up in NBA history against the all-time greats, his Hall of Fame candidacy in 2021, when he’ll be an automatic first-ballot selection, is going to be his crowning achievement. Great worker and terrific competitor. But sorry, no statue.steelers_130

Cutler, 34, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos and the last eight with the Chicago Bears.

That’s news to Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook, who told ESPN’s Adam Schefter just last week that his client wants to play football and hasn’t mentioned retirement. But Cook only handles football contracts for Cutler and has evidently been left out of the loop by the quarterback’s pursuit of another job outside of the NFL.

“You’d have to talk to Jay about that,” Cook told Garafolo on Thursday. “Any football player would be smart to explore his options in case he doesn’t play anymore. But Jay is as talented as any quarterback out there right now.”

According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, FOX auditioned Cutler to be the replacement for John Lynch who left the network to become the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers. With Lynch out, FOX is currently without a broadcast partner for Kevin Burkhardt.

Cutler, 34, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos and the last eight with the Chicago Bears. After releasing the quarterback in March, the Bears moved on by signing Mike Glennon in free agency and trading up to select Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

The referees handed out technicals to Beal and Jason Smith on Washington, as well as Bazemore and Taurean Prince for Atlanta. (Smith and Prince exchanged some shoves after this gif ends, which is why they were lumped into the punishment.)

But the bigger issue is how strict the NBA will be with their longstanding rule that players who step onto the floor during a scuffle will automatically receive a one-game suspension. Infamously, Amar’e Stoudemire was suspended from Game 5 of the 2007 Western Conference semifinals after he did it. You can clearly see from the screenshot that Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris have moved from the bench to the court.

However, both did that before Beal pushed Bazemore, and they Elite Womens Lou Gehrig Jersey quickly retreated back to the bench after that happened. Likewise, in Youth Morris Claiborne Jersey another angle you can see John Wall at least one step onto the court, though he didn’t make it much further than that.

After the allegations went public, Conley released a statement calling them “completely false.”

So how does a team produce such up-and-down results?

It would be shocking if anyone beyond the league’s big three could win this tournament. Bubble teams in other conferences should hope nobody else does, because that would tie up an at-large bid for one of UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon. It’s a situation that probably won’t come up, based on how the season’s gone so far.

After the Bruins, Wildcats, and Ducks, the Pac-12 has USC as a likelier-than-not tournament team. The Trojans only lost eight games in the regular season, all in league play, and have great wins against UCLA and SMU.

But the second team out entering the night’s lineup, the Iowa Hawkeyes, weren’t so lucky. The Indiana Hoosiers buried the Hawks by 22, 95-73, in the first Big Ten Tournament second-round game of the night. As I wrote earlier, Iowa needed to get to a Friday quarterfinal against the Wisconsin Badgers to have a shot, but now Indiana is the team with a renewed chance. However, the Hoosiers might need to make Sunday’s final to have a real shot, and if they get that far, they might as well go ahead and cut the nets down.

So how does a team produce such up-and-down results? Injuries didn’t help. Quarterback Nick Mullens missed a couple of games due to a, uh, creatively gross injury (the Eagles lost both games in his absence), the offensive line had to deal with shuffling at a couple of positions, and the depth chart shifted around at least a little bit on the defensive line and in the secondary.

Really, though, the volatility was baked in, at least a bit. Southern Miss’ defense was incredibly aggressive, willing to sacrifice big plays for big stops, and either things worked wonderfully or didn’t work at all. The defense was less volatile but still produced plenty of big plays at some points and none at others.

Hopson recruited his tail off in 2017; per 247, he signed a better class than either Frank Wilson at UTSA or Butch Davis at FIU, and he has 16 new three-star toys. He returns a pretty continuous two-deep, too, which could mean better consistency. That, or a change at quarterback will make things every bit as up-and-down.
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Martellus Bennett will test free-agent market

Martellus Bennett understands he will have to leave New England to cash in as a Super Bowl champion.

Now it appears he might just be one-and-done with the Patriots.

Bennett will indeed test free agency, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. Based on his asking price as the most coveted tight end on the market, it’s a “real possibility” Bennett will play for another team in 2017, per Rapoport.

Sometimes I’m plugged into what’s going on the TV. For example, if Doug Whaley is fielding a series of escalatingly aggressive questions from Western New York sports journalists, I’m in. If offensive linemen are practicing footwork technique at the Senior Bowl, eh, not so much. On Wednesday, on an otherwise slow afternoon in the early part of the offseason, I was working on my Super Bowl expense report when a figure flashed onto the screen that demanded my attention.

That flickering visage was John Elway, age 27, giving a somber postgame interview … while wearing a terry cloth bathrobe.

So many questions. So, so, so many.

Did every player receive a Super Bowl XXII bathrobe? Was Elway instructed by team or league officials to wear this morning gown during his postgame media obligations? Was ABC sideline man Lynn Swann distracted by Elway’s “deep V”? Were professional athletes walking around locker rooms in bathrobes on a regular basis during the Reagan administration? Did the winning Super Bowl team — in this case most definitely not the Broncos — receive nicer bathrobes? Why don’t people wear bathrobes anymore? They’re pretty great.

And then, and this perhaps isn’t the most pressing question, but instead one that interests me …

The Patriots are 3-1 ATS in their last four games against the Dolphins

The Patriots will be playing for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. If New England plays their backups for half the game, I still believe they’ll take down Miami. If the Dolphins were at full strength, I think they’d have a much better chance in this game. My secondary picks are Seattle and Washington. Seattle has had San Francisco’s number since Jim Harbaugh left. Washington will be playing for a playoff berth, and the Giants didn’t look sharp last week. The Giants are locked into their playoff spot and won’t have much motivation this week.

Betting Line / Total: New England -9.5 / 44.5 Points

Trend: The Patriots are 3-1 ATS in their last four games against the Dolphins.

Trend: The Dolphins are 9-1 SU and 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games.

After looking like a bottom feeder in the AFC with a 1-4 SU and ATS start, Miami completely turned its season around with a 9-1 SU and 8-1-1 ATS run. The turnaround began when Jay Ajayi took over the starting running back job with a 204-yard performance against Pittsburgh, his first of three games with over 200 yards rushing this season. Even without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins have continued to roll with back-to-back wins. Miami is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 home games against teams with winning records.

Sunday’s total is set at 44.5 points. The OVER is 5-0 in Miami’s last five games as a betting underdog.

New England has more to gain from this game than Miami does with the chance to secure the top seed in the AFC. But Miami may still opt to go all out in this game regardless of already having a playoff spot locked up, as a win would keep the Dolphins red hot and serve as a nice confidence booster against one of the best teams in the NFL.

Tom Coughlin no longer in running for Eagles head coach

Tom Coughlin has decided not to pursue the Elite Youth Michael Griffin Jersey Philadelphia Eagles’ vacant head coaching position, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The former Giants head coach met with Philadelphia on Monday, and was the sixth candidate the team had interviewed. Now, Schefter reports that they are zeroing in on Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson.

Coughlin, 69, also interviewed with the Elite Chris Thompson Jersey San Francisco 49ers earlier in the week. However, the 49ers hired Chip Kelly as their new coach on Thursday, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network had previously reported that Coughlin didn’t see the West Coast team as a fit for him anyway.

Coughlin stepped down from his position with the Giants after spending the last 12 years with the team. He led them to six winning seasons, five playoff appearances and two Super Bowl titles, but his teams have failed to make the playoffs each of the past four years.

After going into the fourth quarter trailing the Minnesota Vikings 9-0 last week, the Seattle Seahawks finally found their offense and scored 10 unanswered points to take a 10-9 lead.

It looked as though that might all be for naught as Minnesota marched down the field into field goal range, but a shocking miss from Blair Walsh sealed the game for the Seahawks and punched their ticket into the next round. The Seahawks hope that a trip out of below-zero temperatures will help bring the offense back to life.

With the win last Sunday the Seahawks improved to 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games per the OddsShark NFL Database. Seattle is 4-1 ATS in its last five games as an underdog of 2.5 points or less.

The Carolina Panthers fell a game short of a perfect regular season, but with a 38-10 blowout over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Panthers shook off their upset loss to Atlanta in convincing fashion.

Sam Bradford has been relying on a lot of short passes this season.

How has Bradford performed versus expectations?

He wasn’t impressive Shon Coleman Womens Jersey on Thursday, but I think it’s fair to say Bradford has played the best football of his career or come very close this season. Take a look at the chart.

Bradford has become a further-realized version of himself. He has looked into the mirror, liked what he saw, and doubled down on Sam Bradfordness. He’s throwing shorter passes than ever before — likely called with a leaky O-line in mind — averaging a league-low 5.9 air yards per attempt, but completing those throws at an extremely high rate and avoiding interceptions almost entirely. Bradford has been a caricature of a game manager.

You can be a useful NFL quarterback with this sort of profile, with Alex Smith as the most obvious example, but the margin for error is extremely thin. Smith made one bad read and threw an interception in the end zone last week and it cost the Chiefs the game; Thursday, Bradford made his own mistake on third down in the final minute and it handed Detroit a come-from-behind victory.

These two teams have suffered through the same sort of issues on Spencer Drango Womens Jersey offense — neither team finishes drives, and neither is in the league’s top 10 in passing yards per game. That means a mistake here or a mistake there — or a four-interception day like the Broncos’ offense had last November against the Chiefs — would cost the Broncos. And this year’s Broncos have simply lost their overall concentration more than last year’s, which has shown up in their lack of a running game and lapses in their run defense. They haven’t shown the chops to win on their own bad day, so any slip in how they conduct their business will result in a painful loss in the AFC West race.

The Broncos are 4-1 at home this season, and the only loss came when rookie backup Paxton Lynch started at QB in Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Broncos are 21-6 overall coming off their bye week, including six wins in a row, and 15-3 in home games after their bye week. They’re rested and healthy and, they say, motivated to make the most of what’s left of this season. If that’s really the case, it should show up on the scoreboard. Broncos 23, Chiefs 13

Newton has completed a career-worst 56.5 percent of his passes.

Look at the evidence:

Newton has completed a career-worst 56.5 percent of his passes. His career low is 57.7 percent in 2012.

Newton has 11 touchdown passes, which Fred Biletnikoff Authentic Jersey equates to 18 for the season. He had a career-low 18 touchdown passes in 2014, but he missed two games that season.

Newton has rushed 62 times for 268 yards. That would equate to a career-low 103 attempts for a career-low 447 yards. The 103 actually would equal the 2014 total, but again Newton played in only 14 games.

As a result of this and injuries, the Panthers have gone from the league’s No. 1 scoring offense in 2015 (31.3 points per game) and second overall offense to 12th in scoring (24.4 PPG) and 15th in total offense.

Anquan Boldin (80) celebrates with Eric Ebron (85) after catching a touchdown pass in the first quarter.

With Stafford, the Lions believe. With Prater, the Lions have a kicker who Gabe Jackson Authentic Jersey has made all 25 game-tying or game-winning field goal attempts in the fourth quarter in his career. And in Slay, they have their shutdown, big-play cornerback.

This was huge for Detroit. It puts the Lions a game up in the NFC North over Minnesota and also gives them the tiebreaker if the teams end up with the same record. And with five games to play, this means the Lions have the inside track to their first NFC divisional title since 1993.

Considering where Detroit was at the start of October — 1-3 and in last place in the division — this has been nothing short of remarkable. These are the situations in which the Lions used to lose, used to give away the lead and be on the other end of the big comeback.

After Washington cut the Cowboys’ lead to 17-12 one play into the fourth quarter, Prescott completed passes of 19 yards (to Ezekiel Elliott), 12 (to Cole Beasley) and 13 (to Dez Bryant) before he sprinted to the corner of the end zone for a 6-yard run with 10:49 to play.