This week was all about 2 teams going in opposite directions. The Game: The Buffalo Bills vs the Oakland Raiders.
The Bills last 5 weeks said it all: Week 8 they lost at home to the Patriots 41 -25 (our pick that week). Week 9 Buffalo (4-4) traveled to Seattle for Monday night football and lost 31-25. Two losses in two weeks against 2 playoff teams. Week 10 was a bye week. Fresh off a bye for Week 11 they went into Cincinnati (3-6-1) and won 16-12. Week 12 Buffalo (5-5) were back home vs Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8). They won the game at home 28-21 making their record now 6-5. They’re clearly a team that cannot compete at the level of a playoff team. Now Buffalo were flying to Oakland against a hot Raider team at 10-2. Their Quarterback, David Carr, had a sore finger sporting a finger splint so there was some negative talk going on about him being ready for the game. However, we knew he was fine and they were on a roll.
Raiders: Week 8 winning in Tampa Bay 38-24; Week 9 winning at home 30-20 over Denver; Week 10 was a bye week; Week 11 (Our Pick) in Mexico against Texas they won 27-20 and Week 12 at home beating Carolina 35-32.
The Raiders were clearly a much better team and were at home against the Bills! The ideal situation to step out and we did. Final score was 38-24. A check in the win column.
Week 14 was a very tight week but we settled on the Patriots at home vs Baltimore. In Week 7, Baltimore loss to the Jets, week 8 was a bye, week 9 was a home win vs the Steelers and an easy time against Cleveland four days later on Monday night football (Week 10). Week 11 they went to Dallas but lost a tough one 27-17 to go on and beat Cincinnati (3-7) by only five points in a boring 19-14 victory in Week 12. The next week was home against Miami and they rocked them 38-6. We saw Baltimore lose to the Jets and knew then that the Pats would win and wanted to get in early while the line was at 7. We thought it might be a hard hit game and the game, as predicted, was won by the better team. Brady picked them apart and went 25 for 38 with 3 TDs. At 7 point favorites we bought the half a point and had the money line. A close game but a win is a win, and a great night of football. Final score: 30-23. Another check in the win column.
Week 15 was easy on paper but on the field it was a nail biter. We loved Baltimore coming off a tough loss in New England and at 7-6 had to win. This week was at home vs the Eagles. The Eagles were 5-9 and out of it and Baltimore was 7-6 and still fighting for a playoff berth. We went with the money line and they squeezed out a 27-26 victory. Baltimore’s defense allowed this game to be a lot closer than it should have been but a win gets the money – A win for us.
In Week 16, we found two games that had all the elements that we look for when a good team plays a bad team. Tennessee was 7-7 and needed a win to fight to get in as a wild card for the playoffs and the Jaguars were on a 9 game losing streak at 2-12 at home. As the game was played we could see that the Jaguars were highly motivated at home. Marcus Mariota broke a leg in the first half and clearly this was a game that we picked and played and clearly should have stayed away from because of Tennessee being on the road. Final score Jacksonville 38-17 over Tennessee. A loss. We already found the gift of the week: the NE Patriots at home. Belichick needed a win to keep the No. 1 seed and the Jets were coming to town. We sent it in as the Pats were due for a blow out and Fitzpatrick was the entrée being served up in Gillette Stadium. Easy pickings….. However, one win and one loss.
In Week 17, Oakland, without David Carr and not taking any chances for the playoffs, rested a few players on the road and Denver won easily 24-6. A perfect example of a top team with no quarterback, resting a few players for the playoffs on the road with no chance of becoming the No. 1 seed was an easy read to go the other way. Denver at home has always been a tough team to beat especially this year coming off a Super Bowl win, an angry defense and a new quarterback. We loved Denver here. A great way to end the season – our record was now 11 and 3.
As we are now into the third week of June we will have weekly postings up until September. Stay tuned….