5 Lessons Learned – NFL Week 10

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Another week down in the NFL and the good news for all involved is that the byes are ALMOST over!

This week was a tough one as a team that had been a solid play for the last month plus in Houston, was off forcing punters to look elsewhere.

As always we present this look back at the weekend that was in the NFL and try and see what we can glean looking ahead to week 11.

1 – Underdogs Continue to Bite

Underdogs continued their good run of results against the spread this season and extended their advantage with another winning week, winning eight of the 13 games.

The early run of games were particularly unkind to the punters who were backing the favourites, with the Saints and Bears the only teams to cover.

Indianapolis pushed at -3 to add another tie into the standings, the fifth of the season.

A couple of home underdogs stepped up in Cleveland and Tennessee, with the likes of Seattle, Dallas, Buffalo and Washington all picking up road covers.

A week off their big win on Sunday Night Football, Dallas goes into next week’s game in Atlanta as +3 underdogs and could offer a good early value play.

2 – Double Ups

Regular end zone visitors continued their run of form this week with Ty Hill from the Chiefs and Alvin Kamara from the Saints both scoring multiple touchdowns in their games.

Hill caught two touchdown passes and produced one of the more memorable celebrations, commandeering a camera.

Kamara ran in two scores for the Saints as they put up a half-century on the hapless Bengals, although his celebrations were relatively tame by comparison.

Very few players can run for 120 yards, catch 40 yards of passes, score a touchdown and have that just be another Sunday however Rams running back Todd Gurley falls into that mix.

While he only found the end zone once, he did score a TD for the 13th straight game.

What we do know though is that even with the price dropping on these guys as Anytime Touchdown scorers, they can be pretty good multi builders.

3 – Buffalo Goes Nuts

In the first nine weeks of the season, the Bills had produced the following points totals: 3, 20, 27, 0, 13, 13, 5, 6 and 9.

Before you go for your calculator, that’s 96 points, or an average of 10.67 points per game.

Since their massive upset over the Vikings in Week 3, they had scored 46 points in 6 games at an average of 7.67 per game, or just over a touchdown.

You could imagine everyone’s surprise when journeyman backup Matt Barkley was tabbed to be the Bills fourth starting quarterback this season, although given how his predecessors had performed maybe not.

What was a surprise is the Bills scoring 41 points in a beat down of the Jets, in New York no less.

Barkley threw for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns, and most importantly, no turnovers.

Before Barkley, the Bills had thrown three touchdown passes all season compared to 16 interceptions. Chances are it is not sustainable for Buffalo given Barkley’s career path, but we should let him enjoy his moment.

4 – Pats Road Woes Are Back

For most this season, the Patriots have not looked like the Patriots of the last several years.

Even with the Brady-Belichick combination, this team has looked like just another NFL outfit, particularly away from home.

After losing their first two road games in Jacksonville and Detroit, they battled to wins in Chicago and Buffalo.

Then came this weekend which brought them back to earth after a big win at home.

There was a total lack of execution in all three phases of the game as their road record in 2018 moved to a meagre 2-3.

What is concerning for fans of the Flying Elvis, is that this side is experiencing struggles eerily similar to the 2009 side which went 2-6 away from Gillette Stadium.

Going forward the Patriots still have three more road games to play and you could make a case to back against them in two of those.

In week 14 they play in Miami, where Brady has a medicore record at best and in Week 15, they travel to Pittsburgh who very nearly beat them in the corresponding match last season, and are looking very dangerous as of late.

Having said all that on the Patriots follies yesterday, the Titans performance cannot be undersold here, they played very well and were up for this one.

This week the Titans take on division rivals Indianapolis and it will be very interesting to see if they can back up what was a very impressive showing.

5 – Huge Spread for KC

Two teams have gone into a game as favourites by more than two touchdowns this season, the first was the Vikings against Buffalo in week 3.

Kansas City was hoping that history would repeat itself and they would avoid an embarrassing upset when favoured by 15.5 over the Cardinals.

While the game was closer than some expected, Kansas did enough to get away with a win, while not covering the line.

One reason for this might be the blockbuster Monday Night Football clash against the LA Rams in Mexico City this week.