By Scott Taylor and Dave Petrishen
The streak is over. While the Kansas City Chiefs remain the only unbeaten team in the National Football League, neither of our Pigskin Prognosticators can make the same claim.
Thursday night, in what was a scary Hallowe’en evening for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, the Miami Dolphins recorded an overtime safety to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 22-20.
The Coach had gone eight consecutive Thursdays off the start of the 2013 NFL season without a loss, but Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton had a frightening night, throwing three interceptions (not all of them his fault) in a loss that probably should have gone the other way.
In fact, Cincinnati led 20-17 with 1:24 to play after Mike Nugent kicked a brilliant 54-yard field goal, but Miami marched back down the field and answered when Caleb Sturgis hit a 44-yard FG with 11 seconds to play.
In overtime, Wake sacked Dalton in the Bengals end zone with 6:38 left to play to give Miami the upset. The Dolphins had lost four straight going into Thursday night’s affair and looked like the walking dead in last week’s 27-17 loss to New England. But something got into Miami’s defense. It forced four turnovers while Wake, the former B.C. Lions star, had three sacks in what was probably a difference of 19 points. Wake’s game-winning safety was the third overtime safety in NFL history.
Must admit, our experts were as shocked by the loss as the Dolphins. After all, Dr. Football and The Coach were white-hot last week and all that on-line cash started to roll their way. Dr. Football was 10-3 (78-42) straight up and 7-6 (55-65) against the spread while The Coach went 12-1 (82-38) straight up and 10-3 (66-54) against the spread.
Now that we’re headed into the heart of Week 9, The Doc writes our weekly screed while The Coach rolls his eyes and makes snide remarks.
Atlanta Falcons (2-5) at Carolina Panthers (4-3) Line: Panthers by 7.5.
Sure the Falcons have been struggling with injuries and turnovers, but last week’s loss to the Cardinals was their first by more than one score. The Panthers have played some good games against some bad teams, a category the Falcons don’t fall into to. Atlanta keeps it close. The Coach says: Carolina has proven it has the ability to score a lot of points. Newton and Co. should score a boatload this week.
The Doc: TAKE THE PANTHERS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE PANTHERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Minnesota Vikings (1-6) at Dallas Cowboys (4-4) Line: Cowboys by 10.5.
It won’t matter if Dallas lets Minnesota play Cassel, Freeman and Ponder at the same time, the Vikings are a mess on offense, and the defense can’t get off the field. The Cowboys can score and will have this one in the bag by the end of the first quarter. The Coach says: So what level of hell do the Vikings reach this week?
The Doc: TAKE THE COWBOYS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE COWBOYS TO WIN AND COVER.
New Orleans Saints (6-1) at New York Jets (4-4) Line: Saints by 5.5.
Geno Smith and the Jets were humiliated last week against the Bengals. In fact, ol’ Geno in his last five games has tossed five interceptions and only one touchdown pass. I’m kinda shocked the spread is so low in this one, as Drew Brees and the Saints will win big on the road. The Coach says: Reality starts setting in for the Jets.
The Doc: TAKE THE SAINTS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE SAINTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Tennessee Titans (3-4) at St. Louis Rams (3-5) Line: Titans by 3.
The Rams offense looked awful on Monday night against a under-achieving Seahawks squad…but their defense played pretty good. The Titans offense is far from the “good” category, but they’ll be rested and focused coming off their bye week. The Coach says: I hate this game. I would not bet this game if Dr. Football didn’t make me.
The Doc: TAKE THE TITANS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE TITANS TO WIN AND COVER.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-0) at Buffalo Bills (3-5) Line: Chiefs by 3.5.
The Chiefs find ways to win every week, and show no signs of taking the foot off the pedal. The Bills are competitive, but are no match for the Chiefs, even at home. The Coach says: If Thad Lewis was starting at quarterback, this would be an ambush game. But if it’s Jeff Tuel or Matt Flynn, then the Chiefs go to 9-0.
The Doc: TAKE THE CHIEFS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE CHIEFS TO WIN AND COVER.
San Diego Chargers (4-3) at Washington Redskins (2-5) Line: Chargers by 1.
The Redskins have probably the worst secondary in all of football, something that Phillip Rivers will shred. The Chargers will be rested coming off the bye week, so the travel to the east won’t be an issue. The Coach says: Lots of points, close game.
The Doc: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) at Oakland Raiders (3-4) Line: Raiders by 2.5.
I can’t recall the last time the Raiders were ever a favourite against an NFC East team. The Eagles have scored 10 total points in their last two games, and Nick Foles could have trouble against an Oakland defense that has played better than anyone expected. The Coach says: This will be a better football game than anyone ever imagined. Who ever would have thought that Terrelle Pryor would be a good NFL quarterback? The Raiders, obviously.
The Doc: TAKE THE RAIDERS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE RAIDERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7) at Seattle Seahawks (7-1) Line: Seahawks by 16.5.
Can you say 1976? The Coach says: After I saw what Dr. Football wrote about this game, I thought I’d go deep and give this game the best possible analysis I could. I mean, you gentle reader, need more than “Can you say 1976?” Or do you? The Bucs look like a team that could lose 16 straight games. Easily. What more do you need to say? Seattle will crush them.
The Doc: TAKE THE SEAHAWKS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE SEAHAWKS TO WIN AND COVER.
Baltimore Ravens (3-4) at Cleveland Browns (3-5) Line: Ravens by 2.5.
Cleveland has lost their last three games and the Ravens will be well rested. The Browns Jason Campbell looked good last week against the Chiefs, but I don’t see that happening two games in a row. The Coach says: Maybe Jason Campbell is the answer. Maybe?
The Doc: TAKE THE RAVENS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE RAVENS TO WIN AND COVER.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) at New England Patriots (6-2) Line: Patriots by 7.
The Steelers were horrible last week in Oakland, and now their second straight road game takes them to New England. The Patriots got off to a slow start last week, but Tom Brady won’t let that happen again. The Coach says: You do not bet against Brady at home, no matter how marginal you might about his supporting cast.
The Doc: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Indianapolis Colts (5-2) at Houston Texans (2-5) Line: Colts by 2.5.
Both teams will be well rested as they come off the bye week, but will that help the Texans Case Keenum? The inexperienced QB can’t rely on a running game as both Adrian Foster and Ben Tate are banged up. Easy pickens’ for the Colts. The Coach says: How long does Gary Kubiak have in Houston?
The Doc: TAKE THE COLTS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE COLTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Chicago Bears (4-3) at Green Bay Packers (5-2) Line: Packers by 11.
The Bears, who were pretty impressive early on, will start Josh McCown. At Lambeau. Thank goodness it’s a short flight home for the Bears. The Coach says: Not close.
The Doc: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.
The Coach: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Listen to The Coach Scott Taylor every Thursday at 10:25 a.m. CT with Dean (Boomer) Molberg on SportsNet 960 The FAN in Calgary as they pick the Pools and Props for Sport Select and Western Canada Lotteries. You can listen live at: http://www.sportsnet.ca/960/