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  • Gary Porpora

NFL WEEK THREE: Winding Down the Preseason

Yep, the third week of the NFL's preseason will have offenses catching up tp defenses, and defenses figuring out offenses...




This Week’s Picks: 7 – 8 – 1 2019 Overall Tally: 15 – 15 – 2

Weekly Totals Picks: 3 – 3 Cumulative Totals: 6 - 6

Weekly Specials 2 – 1 – 1 Cumulative Specials: 3 – 4 – 1





Easily the GOW in Week Three and probably any week featuring the two youngest and talented QBs in the game. In my book, Andy Reid and John Harbaugh are two of the best coaches in the NFL and both have waited a long time for a QB who fit their sensibilities to perfection.

Reid’s West Coast credentials couldn’t be more suited to Patrick Mahomes, a better athlete with a stronger arm than Montana, Rice or Favre—also a lethal runner.

Glowing reviews washed over Lamar Jackson in the wake of his first two games this year. Talk about a blazing runner with a gun for an arm, Jackson looks like he gestated in the same mega-gifted-athlete cabbage patch as Mahomes—he also has quicker feet and might be faster.

A dive into the ATS numbers tells us, since 2014, KC, at a .618 clip, is second only to the Cheaters winning conference games while Baltimore hovers under 50%. As a visitor, the Magpies are a little better than the Arrowheads are as a home team. As a road dog, Baltimore is fourth best in the league, while KC only at .500 as a home favorite.

This season, neither squad has played a quality opponent until this game. Here are some trends:

· Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road

· Baltimore is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

· Kansas City is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games at home

· Kansas City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games

· The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Baltimore's last 6 games.

· Baltimore is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.

· Baltimore is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games against Kansas City.

· Baltimore is 4-2 SU in their last 6 games against Kansas City.

· Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on the road.

· The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Baltimore's last 8 games when playing on the road against Kansas City

· Kansas City is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.

· The total has gone OVER in 7 of Kansas City's last 10 games.

· Kansas City is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.

· Kansas City is 8-2 SU in their last 10 games at home.

· The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Kansas City's last 8 games when playing at home against Baltimore.

· Kansas City is 9-2 SU in their last 11 games against an opponent in the AFC conference.

· Kansas City is 5-10 ATS in their last 15 games against an opponent in the AFC North division.

· Kansas City is 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games played in September.

· The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas City's last 7 games played on a Sunday.

We usually don’t muddle our analyses with that big of a trend sheet, but this is one of those unique games that could see either team win in a variety of scenarios.

Me? Baltimore’s defense has a much better shot to stifle Mahomes than KC’s defense does to stifle Jackson. Baltimore hogged the TOP, last week, their offense was on the field for 40:00, and controlled a plucky Cards team.

Take the Crows, the points, the Under, and enjoy the best the NFL has to offer.

Ravens 27 Chiefs 26



This one is a classic tilt pitting two young coaches against each other, each fielding considerable talent and struggling with several lingering issues.

We simply don‘t have time to do the research to back our opinion that teams with new coaches or new coordinators hired from outside an organization have more trouble finding the consistency needed to succeed at the NFL level, especially during their first season.

The current state of the Dolphins, Broncos, and Bucs make the point—as do the Bengals, who exhumed the body of our 12th president, Zachary Taylor hoping to inject some life into a—Wait!! What?

…(The crack staff here at SWTS has informed me the Bengals new head honcho is ZAC Taylor, former QB coach with Sean McVay.)

I stand corrected.

Anyway, Taylor’s new system might explain why the Dalton gang took a solid Seattle team to the wire in Week One, and then looked clueless against a decent 49ers team that shouldn’t be dominating anyone.

The one-year experience Bills HC, Sean McDermott has had with his Bills club has shown up on the field—even if their two vanquished opponents have been the troubled Giants and Jets. Buffalo’s 2018 defense led the league in traditional NFL stats and is pushing their way into this year’s top five.

Meanwhile, Josh Allen had a mistake free game last week against the G-Men; that’s all McDermott needs from him right now. The goal is to finally give the Pats a decent opponent in their own division.

We’ll take the Over in this baby—but not by much.

Bills 30 Bengals 14



We selected this scintillating matchup for our Totals play of the Week because we’re 0-2 on that Special and to be honest with you, our first two picks were kind of dumb.

This week we feature Daniel Jones replacing Eli Manning for the Giants against Jamius Winston, who is trying to salvage his career under the tutelage of quarterback whisperer, Bruce Arians.

In three high profile coaching stints, Arians helped make Ben Roethlisberger a HOFer, saw Andrew Luck through some tough times and reminded everyone just how good Carson Palmer should have been.

I don’t know how good Daniel Jones projects to be but his pre-season performance was the beginning of Eli Manning’s end. My eyes tell me Jones is physically equipped to better utilize the meager weapons the Giants have on their roster. I know he can hand the ball off to Saquon Barkley a little faster than Manning and can probably sidestep rushers instead of, you know, folding like a K-Mart lawn chair if he smells a defender.

Any of those things would be nice, as would a tight spiral before a receiver cuts to the sideline, or hitting a receiver in stride, and not having that spoiled brat pouting little snarl –sorry….

We’re taking the Over because Winston improved drastically in Week Two and he will exploit Big Blue’s injury-plagued defense. Also, the Bucs have very little film on Daniel Jones—meaning he can surprise them for a few scores.

Both defenses are bad. Tampa has some injuries and has shown spark, but the Giants, wow…Winston should have an unusually good game

Lay the points….Play the Over

Buccaneers 27 Giants 20



I try hard not to pick my Steelers for any Special; if I pick against them, I have to root against my self and that’s too damn stressful.

If I pick them, the stress is even worse, in that if they don’t cover, I’m doubly depressed.

However, when I do think they have a chance, I make my analysis as logical as possible.

Okay that’s bullshit.

No trend, statistic, or insight on this one, folks.

The Steelers are playing for their season, and Mike Tomlin might be coaching for his job.

At least the legion of racist Steeler fans would like to see Tomlin fired. If you don’t believe there is an abundance of racist fanatics populating Steelers Nation, checkout any article in either Pittsburgh newspaper. The blind anger, the dog whistles, the abject hatred—and, it’s not subtext, it’s…text.

Virulent, angry, hateful people forget history or selectively remember it—they have to.

Other than a two-time busted Cheater, Tomlin’s record is as good or better than everyone of his 30 peers—he is currently 15th all-time in winning percentage of those who have coached ten or more years. He is one of five coaches to start his tenure by going 12 years without a losing season. He is the youngest to win a Super Bowl.

With only three playoff wins since 2011, time/game management issues, discipline, (ala A.B), Pittsburgh fans have legitimate gripes with Coach Tomlin.

Questioning his credentials as a winner, a motivator, and a master of his craft are not legitimate issues

Here are two articles—I wrote similar essays at the now defunct

These analyses statistically destroy two of the Tomlin Haters screeds: Mike Tomlin’s teams “play down” to bad teams” or lose games they shouldn’t lose, and Mike Tomlin has a terrible road record. (BTW, I updated the data to the end of the 2018 campaign and the results were as good or better.)

Tomlin’s faced adversity before—and his teams came back strong.

When Pittsburgh opened 2013 0-4, they finished 8-4 and KC’s Ryan Succop missing a Week Seventeen 41 yard field goal against the Bolts was the reason they missed the post-season.

Just as Tomlin haters must sell the myth he loses too many games to “teams he should beat” even though the facts say otherwise, they give Tomlin no credit for an historical run without a losing season and they’ll never admit during Tomlin’s tenures as Steelers coach, his teams have had a tendency to show up big when they are counted out.

I’m thinking this is one of those times.

Steelers 23 Niners 21

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