Posted on

NFL Close Calls Wk4

NFL Close Calls – Week 4

09/30/2019

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread or total in the fourth quarter last week in Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

Philadelphia Eagles (+3½) 34, Green Bay Packers 27 (46½): The 3-0 Packers jumped out to a 10-0 early lead but Philadelphia scored twice in the span of two minutes late in the second quarter thanks to Aaron Rodgers fumble to lead 21-13. They couldn’t get to the break with that score however as Rodgers delivered a touchdown with nine seconds to go to get back within one and to the delight of those on the ‘over’ with 41 first half points. Both teams added third quarter touchdowns but up seven Philadelphia went for two and failed in a bid to make it a two-score game. Green Bay was then able to the tie game heading into the final frame. Jordan Howard scored his second touchdown early in the fourth to put the Eagles back up by seven and another tie appeared imminent with Green Bay reaching 1st-and-goal at the 1-yard-line. Four straight incomplete passes followed as the Eagles kept the lead. Philadelphia gained 50 yards from that tough field position but had to punt back to the Packers with about five minutes to go. The Packers again reached 1st-and-goal but on second down Rodgers was intercepted as the Eagles avoided falling to 1-3 to start the season.

Carolina Panthers (+6) 16, Houston Texans 10 (47½): Kyle Allen had three fumbles getting consecutive starts for the Panthers after a great performance last week but the Carolina defense kept the team in the game. A 10-3 Panthers halftime lead was knotted 10-10 through three quarters after Houston cashed in on a short field following Allen’s third fumble. Early in the fourth quarter the Panthers hit a 55-yard field goal for a key play for those on the underdog, leaving room for the cover with a Texans touchdown on a spread that was commonly +4 but rose by Sunday. The Panthers held on defense and reached Houston territory on a late possession before pinning Houston deep. Deshaun Watson would give the ball up on a sack and Carolina added three more to lead by six. The Texans wound up with 28 seconds for one more chance but with no timeouts Houston only reached the Carolina 47 before needing to heave to the end zone.

Los Angeles Chargers (-14½) 30, Miami Dolphins 10 (44): The Dolphins attracted plenty of attention in this game having not lost to the Chargers in 38 years and the line dipped from as high as -17. The Dolphins trailed by seven at the break and by just 10 through three quarters but an early fourth quarter put Los Angeles up 17. An interception gave the Chargers the ball right back and they hit a field goal to lead by 20. Miami crossed the 50 on its final possession but was never a serious threat to score, gaining only two yards on the final 4th-and-12.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+2½) 26, Denver Broncos 24 (37½): Looking for its first win Denver stormed out to a 17-3 edge but the Jaguars managed a field goal just before halftime to get within 11. Out of the break the Jaguars spent over 10 minutes of game clock but eventually completed a 16-play touchdown drive that included a 4th down conversion to climb within four on a spread that dipped from +3 to +2½. Jacksonville’s defense forced a three-and-out and on the next possession the Jaguars needed only three plays to 93 yards for the go-ahead score. The Broncos could not answer with back-to-back punts before the Jaguars milked another seven minutes off the clock, getting a field goal to lead by just six. The door was open for Denver to go in front and Joe Flacco led an efficient 75-yard drive putting the Broncos up by one at the 1:32 mark. Gardner Minshew nearly lost a fumble early on Jacksonville’s final drive but in a scenario similar to the Week 2 loss to the Bears, the Broncos were hit with a costly penalty to advance the Jaguars 15 yards. Jacksonville was able to pick up a few more solid gains and Josh Lambo hit from 33 yards to give the Jaguars the outright win as Denver fell to 0-4 despite competitive results.

Posted on

NFL Close Calls Week 4

NFL Close Calls – Week 4

10/01/2018

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

Los Angeles Rams (-7) 38, Minnesota Vikings 31 (49): The Thursday night NFC clash lived up to its billing with an exciting back-and-forth first half as both offenses had consistent success. The total was nearly reached by halftime as the Rams led 28-20 with big plays on both sides. Minnesota cut the margin to three points late in the third quarter but the Rams quickly answered to take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Rams melted over five minutes of clock but Sam Ficken missed a 28-yard field goal to keep the Vikings in range. Minnesota would reach the 14-yard-line with a touchdown being enough to earn the underdog cover but a sack on 3rd down forced Minnesota to take the field goal with just under four minutes remaining. The Vikings did get the ball back and approached midfield but another sack led to the game’s only turnover as the Rams held on to win by seven, with winners and losers on both sides depending on the timing, though a push was ultimately the common result.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”newness” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Houston Texans (-1) 37, Indianapolis Colts 34 (48½): The winless Texans took a 28-10 lead in the third quarter but the Colts would score the next two touchdowns to close to within five halfway through the fourth quarter. Houston appeared to lock up the win with a field goal with three minutes to go but with 45 seconds remaining Andrew Luck completed an 85-yard drive and got the two-point conversion. Deshaun Watson gave his team a shot with a 30-yard pass play in the final seconds but a 59-yard field goal was wide right. In overtime the Colts sustained a long drive but had to settle for a field goal. Houston reached the Indianapolis 11-yard line looking for the win but had to settle for the tying kick. With a late chance Indianapolis faced a 4th-and-4 at its own 43-yard-line with 24 seconds remaining and went for it, unable to get the completion. Houston didn’t need many yards for a reasonable field goal try and after a 24-yard gain Ka’imi Fairbairn hit from 37 yards to get the Texans in the win column in a division battle with a see-saw finish relative to the spread.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) 37, Atlanta Falcons 36 (52): The ‘over’ wasn’t in question long with 52 points by halftime in a back-and-forth affair. The slight underdog Bengals led by one heading into he fourth quarter but Atlanta struck for another touchdown from Calvin Ridley to lead by five, failing going for two. Randy Bullock got the Bengals closer with a field goal with around eight minutes remaining but Atlanta answered in kind to lead by five with four minutes left on the clock. Andy Dalton turned in a 16-play drive with a pair of 4th down conversions, hitting A.J. Green for the go-ahead touchdown with just seven seconds on the clock to flip the S/U and ATS result.

Dallas Cowboys (-2½) 26, Detroit Lions 24 (44): Dallas led 20-10 through three quarters with the favorite and ‘under’ looking promising most of the way in this NFC battle of 2016 playoff teams. Dallas settled for a 22-yard field goal following a drive that ate nearly nine minutes of clock to answer an early fourth quarter touchdown for the Lions, as Dallas led by six with fewer than six minutes remaining. Detroit took advantage of the opportunity getting the go-ahead touchdown in just six plays but leaving more than two minutes on the clock. Dak Prescott had a fumble scare early on that late drive but eventually converted a big 3rd down and hit Ezekiel Elliott for a 34-yard gain into field goal range. Brett Maher was good from 38 yards as time expired to get the Cowboys to 2-2 though the two-point win was just short of the home favorite spread.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”nameaz” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Jacksonville Jaguars (-7) 31, New York Jets 12 (40½): The Jaguars led 25-3 through three quarters but the Jets made a late rally with nine points early in the fourth quarter to get within 13, sitting within a touchdown of covering. That scoring also put the ‘over’ back in play despite what was mostly a game of field goals. Jacksonville looked likely to add points reaching the New York 23-yard-line before fumbling for the third turnover of the game despite the healthy lead. The Jets had a quick 3-and-out and Jacksonville had the ball back with good field position. With the Jets out of timeouts the Jaguars couldn’t quite take a knee to run out the remaining clock and on 4th-and-goal T.J. Yeldon ran in for a late score with 25 seconds remaining to hit the ‘over’ with Doug Marrone actually unsuccessfully going for two after the score, citing the chart with a rare 19-point advantage.

Tennessee Titans (+3) 26, Philadelphia Eagles 23 (41): After a slow start the Eagles scored on both ends of halftime to take a 17-3 lead in Nashville. Tennessee fought back in the game and sat within four with nine minutes remaining after getting a field after a fumble recovery. The Titans then forced a 3-and-out on defense and then went 75 yards in just five plays to take a 20-17 lead with five minutes to go. Philadelphia again had to punt but the Eagles held on defense to get the ball back with nearly two minutes remaining and two timeouts and sitting in great field position with a big punt return. The Eagles only picked up 27 yards on that drive but managed to force overtime in the final seconds. Philadelphia went first in overtime and quickly went down the field before stalling near the 20-yard-line, ultimately kicking to lead by three, right on the closing spread though many on the Titans had opportunities to get +3½ or even +4 earlier in the week. It didn’t wind up mattering as Marcus Mariota led one of the drives of the season featuring three separate 4th down conversions en route to a 3rd down 10-yard touchdown pass on to Corey Davis with five seconds left. Presumably had that throw missed the Titans would have kicked a field goal for the tie on 4th-and-10 even though Mike Vrabel turned down a 50-yard kick to tie on 4th-and-2 earlier on that drive.

Seattle Seahawks (-3½) 20, Arizona Cardinals 17 (40): Seattle took a 17-10 lead through three quarters but Josh Rosen hit a big play in the fourth to tie the game in his first NFL start. The Arizona defense held to get the ball right back and Rosen got the team in position to for the go-ahead score but Phil Dawson missed right from 45 yards for the fourth missed field goal of this division battle. Russell Wilson didn’t have a timeout to work with but managed to go 31 yards in the remaining time and Sebastian Janikowksi hit from 52 for the win, though for most on Seattle the three-point win wasn’t quite enough to cover in Glendale. Those on the ‘under’ in the lowest total of the week also rejoiced avoiding what could have been a fourth overtime game Sunday.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-newsletter” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Oakland Raiders (-2½) 45, Cleveland Browns 42 (44½): This AFC contest proved to be one of the most entertaining games of the season. Baker Mayfield’s first start featured an early pick-6 but the Browns battled back for a 17-14 edge at the half and appeared to pull away with a 28-14 edge halfway through the third quarter. Oakland would score the next 20 points following a pair of fumbles and several Cleveland punts, leading 34-28 as a small favorite with about 10 minutes remaining. Cleveland was ruled to have fumbled on its kickoff return but retained the ball on review and Mayfield later struck for a 59-yard gain to Antonio Callaway and Cleveland rushed in to go up by one. Oakland had to punt on its next possession and the Browns struck quickly with a three-play drive to lead 42-34 leaning on Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde. The Raiders would drive down to the Cleveland 6-yard-line but eventually failed on 4th down just after the two-minute warning as consecutive wins for the Browns looked likely. Cleveland lost a big potential first down on replay review on its next possession and punted to back to near midfield. Derek Carr got the Raiders into the end zone with 30 seconds remaining and the two-point conversion was also good with a great contested catch from Jordy Nelson. Mayfield’s chance to be a hero ended with an interception but in overtime Oakland missed a 50-yard field goal going first. Mayfield had three straight incomplete passes despite great field position and the Browns opted to punt as a second Cleveland tie in four weeks looked very possible. The Raiders had a big 1st down taken away on replay review as well but converted on 3rd down and leaned on Marshawn Lynch to get into field goal range where Matt McCrane redeemed his earlier miss to give the Raiders the win and narrow cover for most.

New Orleans Saints (-3) 33, New York Giants (51½): New York’s defense held up in the red zone holding the Saints to four field goals to trail just 12-7 at halftime. The Saints extended the lead to 19-10 through three quarters and then sustained a 14-play drive to go up 26-10. The Giants showed late fight with a 75-yard touchdown drive and a successful two-point conversion to sit down eight and still within one score potentially. The Giants got the stop they needed on a 3rd-and-8 incomplete pass but a questionable pass interference call gave the Saints a new set of downs and Alvin Kamara eventually broke a 49-yard run vs. a tired defense. The scoring was at 51 as the Giants got the ball back as ‘over’ backers hoped for a miracle but after approaching midfield Eli Manning lost the ball on a sack as the Saints sealed the win to reach 3-1.

Posted on

NFL Close Calls – Week 4

NFL Close Calls – Week 4

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

Los Angeles Rams (+5) 35, Dallas Cowboys 30 (50½): After a 3-3 first quarter the ‘over’ pace came alive in a wild second quarter that eventually featured 32 points in this NFC showdown. Dallas led by 11 points at two instances in the second quarter but the Rams closed to within eight with a field goal before the break, sitting near an opening number that was as high as +8½ for the upstart Rams in Sean McVay’s first season but eventually closed at just +5. The Rams took over in the second half with a field goal and Todd Gurley breaking a short pass into a 53-yard touchdown as Los Angeles led 26-24 heading into the final quarter. The ‘over’ was sealed with a Greg Zuerlein field goal with about 12 minutes to go and following an interception the Rams added three more points to lead by eight. Dallas responded with a touchdown and then failed on the two-point conversion that needed to be played out three times due to penalties. The Rams added Zuerlein’s seventh field goal of the game just after the two-minute warning to seal the underdog cover and stopped Dallas on downs near midfield to confirm the upset.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”newness” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

New York Jets (+4) 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 20 (38½): These AFC surprise teams were tied at 10-10 at halftime before the Elijah McGuire broke a 69-yard run to give the Jets the lead in the third quarter. An interception allowed the Jets to add three points for a 10-point advantage heading into the final frame and Jacksonville subsequently missed a field goal early in the fourth quarter on its next possession. New York was moving the ball effectively with the lead with the ‘under’ also looking promising before a bobbled backwards pass led to an 81-yard fumble return touchdown that changed the possible outcomes. Following a pair of punts the Jets still held a 20-17 lead with the ‘under’ clinging to a narrow victory but with just over three minutes remaining Josh McCown was intercepted to hand the Jaguars the ball at the New York 35-yard-line. A touchdown would have given most on the Jaguars a win with the line at -3 almost all week or at worst a push at -4 but New York’s defense held in the red zone with Jacksonville making the tying 22-yard field goal in the final minute. For most of overtime a tie looked very possible with four consecutive punts and just one first down. The punting game proved critical in the final outcome as Jets punter Lachlan Edwards delivered a 70-yard punt that was mishandled, with a penalty pinning Jacksonville at its own three-yard-line. On Jacksonville’s subsequent punt a taunting penalty effectively put the Jets in field goal range and two plays later Chandler Catanzaro delivered a 41-yard field goal to win with 28 seconds left, securing the outright dog win and the ‘over’.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3½) 26, Baltimore Ravens 9 (42): The Steelers led 19-0 in the first half with the help of a fumble and a missed field goal from an inept Ravens offense. Baltimore changed the course in the second half as the Steelers started the third quarter with an interception and a missed field goal which Baltimore turned into nine points, failing going for two to get within one score with still over 21 minutes remaining in the game. Down 19-9 a touchdown would put the Ravens in position to cover the spread and the defense forced three consecutive Pittsburgh punts. On consecutive drives just past midfield Joe Flacco turned in interceptions and after the second of those turnovers the Steelers cashed in a touchdown to put the game away. The Ravens were a serious threat to spoil the ‘under’ on a total that dipped to 42 late in the week as a 71-yard drive to the Pittsburgh 4-yard-line stalled in the final seconds.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-football,nellys-newsletter” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2½) 25, New York Giants 23 (46½): The Buccaneers led 13-0 in the first quarter, with Nick Folk missing an extra-point after a 58-yard O.J. Howard touchdown. The Giants climbed back in the game and trailed 16-10 at halftime. Out of the break Folk missed his second field goal try of the game and helped set-up a Giants touchdown to take the lead late in the third quarter. New York would miss a field goal on an early fourth quarter possession but the Buccaneers didn’t take advantage, opting to go for it on 4th-and-2 rather than attempting a long field goal try for the lead. They failed but on the next possession the Buccaneers went in front 22-17 on a four-play touchdown drive, failing on the two-point conversion try. Eli Manning led the Giants back in front with just over three minutes remaining with New York also unable to get the two-point-conversion, leading 23-22 and leaving all outcomes in play on the side and total in the final three minutes. The key play of Tampa Bay’s final drive was a 3rd-and-1 from the New York 39-yard-line and Jameis Winston surprisingly went deep for a 26-yard gain. In clear field goal position the Buccaneers simply burned out the clock and remaining timeouts and Folk delivered a game-winner as time expired, sealing a narrow win for the ‘over’ but not quite enough for those on the Buccaneers.

Seattle Seahawks (-12½) 46, Indianapolis Colts 18 (41½): Those backing the hefty underdog had to feel good about their chances with a 15-10 halftime lead, even with a Jacoby Brissett interception returned for a touchdown for the Seahawks. Seattle delivered a touchdown with a two-point conversion to take the lead a few minutes into the second half but the Colts were able to tie the game at 18-18 with only a few minutes remaining in the third quarter. Seattle answered with a quick touchdown drive and then disaster struck for Indianapolis with a fumble returned for another defensive score for the Seahawks for a 14-point advantage swinging in just 13 seconds of game clock. The Colts didn’t threaten in the fourth as Seattle added two more touchdowns for the final score rout in a game that was tight most of the way.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”nameaz” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Kansas City Chiefs (-6½) 29, Washington Redskins 20 (47½): A competitive defensive battle played out on Monday night with a 10-7 score at halftime and a 17-17 draw into the fourth quarter as the underdog and ‘under’ certainly seemed like winning results. The Chiefs put together an amazing fourth quarter drive that burned more than eight minutes of game time and recently-signed kicker Harrison Butker made up for an earlier miss with a 32-yard field goal to put Kansas City up 20-17 with fewer than five minutes remaining. Those on the underdog and ‘under’ were sitting in pretty good shape even if overtime came into play, which looked like the likely scenario after a pair of scrambles from Kirk Cousins put the Redskins in range for a tying kick in the final minute. Facing 3rd-and-2 Washington surprisingly called a timeout at the Kansas City 22-yard-line. Washington opted to pass for the win rather than the first down, nearly getting a leaping catch from Josh Doctson in the end zone. The resulting incompletion stopped the clock while leaving a fair amount of time left as the 40-yard kick from Dustin Hopkins tied the game with 47 seconds still to go. Alex Smith quickly connected for a 37-yard pass play that put the Chiefs in position to win and a few plays later Butker connected from 43 yards for a 23-20 edge that didn’t change the spread or total outcome. The Chiefs opted to kick it deep for a touchback leaving Washington with one offensive play. Cousins threw a quick pass to the sideline with the plan to have the receiver pass back to Cousins but the return throw fell short however, bounced around through several players, and eventually was picked up by Justin Houston who was set on scoring a touchdown. Those six points shifted the side and total results on the closing numbers though many on the ‘under’ still held on with 49½ common during the weekend and the Chiefs kneeling on the conversion attempt.