CRIER'S CORNER: JETS-PATS
Written by: The Crier/SR Crew
Date posted: 1/18/2011
THE CRIER IS RIGHT ON, AGAIN!
In last week’s Crier’s Corner, the Crier noted that the major difference between the New York Jets and New England Patriots was not the Patriots’ offensive capabilities, which most of the world seemed to believe were as incredible, amazing, unstoppable, and superhuman as Michael Vick (ha-ha, ha-ha-ha), It was turnovers, in this case:
“…a ridiculously over-the-top Turnover Ratio of +27 this season for New England. The Jets are +4. They say turnovers are worth four points, which would give New England a difference of 23 x 4 = 92, which, divided by 16 games is 5.75 points per game. If the Jets can play them even in turnovers – not a given, but not impossible – then, theoretically, the Patriots are overvalued by nearly six points.”
Well, guess what happened? The Jets were +1 in Turnover Ratio in last week’s game. Take the Crier’s projected score for an “even” turnover game of 23-20 for New England. For New York’s +1 in TO, take two points away from New England and give two more points to the Jets. You get 22-21 Jets outright, by 1. They actually won by 28-21, by 7. Not bad, eh?
TRASH TALK IS FOR GOOFBALL SPORTS TALK HOSTS AND WRITERS!
The 28-21 score was not even close to 45-3, the score New England won by in the prior meeting. Why should this game have been a blowout for the Patriots? There was no real reason for it to be a rout by New England. Did people really think that the Patriots would apply extra, bully points at will, because the Jets had mouthed off in public during the week?
Listen to this projection, from the pen of an amateur:
“The Jets spent the week talking a lot of trash to the Patriots. They talked a lot. I think that would work against some teams, but not the Patriots. Somehow the Patriots are able to bottle all that stuff up during the week and unleash it on Sunday. I thought the Patriots would win by two scores on Sunday. With the Jets trash talking, it may be three scores.”
Why? Were the New England players – whose spread backers are now 0-5 ATS the last five times the Patriots played in the post-season going to squeeze their lips together in anger, get all tensed up, make angry fists before every play, and unleash more energy to execute plays better and stronger and faster because the Jets got some meaningless, unflattering quotes projected into the universe by the desperate-for-anything television, radio, newspaper and Internet outlets? No way!
Teams don’t score any fewer or more points because of what their players or coaches, or what their opponents’ players or coaches, might have said during the week. All that talk gives material to goofballs who talk about sports-nonsense for a living like our local sports talk hosts who need to fill air time and sportswriters and bloggers who need to fill paper and Web page space. That’s all it does. It does not influence results.
We know the Jets are in a league of their own when it comes to trash talking, but is there a problem if you can back it up? The Jets talked the talk and walked the walk out of Foxboro on Sunday with their victory.
So Rex Ryan’s band of rebels has moved on to the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. So far, no one has been able to silence the Jets in these playoffs, although the NFL is doing its best. The league insists players need to respect their opponent and the game and the trash talk during the week needs to stop.
The NFL was especially upset with Jets' LB Bart Scott, who threatened Patriots WR Wes Welker, following Welker’s tongue-in-cheek reference to the feet and toes of Rex Ryan’s wife. Scott told Newsday "Be very careful what you say about our coach. His [Welker's] days in a uniform will be numbered. Put it like that."
At last look, football on the NFL level is a collision, testosterone driven game, where grown men with enormous size and strength are paid millions of dollars to inflict bodily harm on the opposition.
The only threat I heard from Scott was Welker needed to watch his back because he was going to be hit hard. Which is what an NFL LB is supposed to do when he sees a wide receiver with the football. Perhaps you don't like Ryan, but the round mound of sound keeps it interesting. There may not be a first class section aboard these Jets, but come on NFL, relax and enjoy the ride.
BETTING TRENDS ALWAYS TURN AROUND!
In “How to Beat the Pro Football Pointspread,” it was noted how published NFL betting information from the mid-2000s told people that all they had to do to make money betting on the NFL post-season was to bet on home teams prior to the Super Bowl, especially in the divisional rounds after Wild Card weekend. “The visitor is spent, because they played a hard game last week, and the home team is rested, and blah, blah, blah.”
Yeah, right. What a crock of shit. Since 2004, home teams in the NFL Divisional Round, all of them favorites, are 11-17 ATS. Rested and ready to take advantage? Ha! How about ready to be taken advantage of?! But guess what? As soon as somebody takes that 17-11 ATS record for road underdogs in the divisional round to the mass public as advice, the home favorites will probably start covering more games than they lose. It always seems to happen that way.
MORE JETS AND RYAN AIR TIME?
A Super Bowl win or appearance by the Jets will almost guarantee another appearance on "Hard Knocks" for the Jets, though probably not in back-to-back appearances. The Cowboys have already been featured twice in the series (2002 and 2008) and the Jets are much more fun.
On the radio, at ESPN -1050 in New York, ratings for Rex Ryan's weekly segments are way ahead of the station's other pay-for-play mouths such as Eli Manning, Mark Sanchez, and Joe Namath that the station got Ryan to expand his segment from five to 15 minutes and now is looking for even more - win or lose this week.
On Friday, the Crier will give his NFC Championship Game and AFC Championship Game selections.
CRIER'S CORNER: BASKETBALL ACTION
Yesterday’s Record ATS: 3-1
Cumulative Season Record ATS: 253-160
ATLANTA (+6.5) over MIAMI*
Miami, who lost its last three games, have had two full days off and get three days off after this game before hosting the Raptors. The concern for Miami is the legs of the big three. D. Wade is probable despite a knee. LeBron is questionable with a left ankle and Chris Bosh injured his left ankle and is also questionable. The Hawks came out dull at home, but got the win vs. the Kings yesterday despite losing the war on the glass, and shooting only 5 for 20 from long range. ATLANTA, 96 - 95
CHICAGO* (-7) over CHARLOTTE
The Bobcats had to come from the City of Brotherly Love yesterday afternoon where they lost in OT. The Bobcats play much better at home, as they showed six days ago when they forced a dozen turnovers and hassled Derrick Rose into an off-shooting night. Taj Gibson filled in nicely yesterday for injured Carlos Boozer and Rose had a triple/double yesterday in the cover vs. Memphis. Bulls get revenge. CHICAGO, 105 - 90
ILLINOIS* (-3) over MICHIGAN STATE
Sparty was very fortunate to survive the Northwestern invasion. . . . and while Illini usually give Wisky a battle at Kohl, were without frosh sparkplug Jereme Richmond on Saturday (though he dressed out), and came up well-short. Expect Richmond to swing back into action tonight, and with Illinois back in their friendlier shooting environment, anticipate neat conclusion to two-game losing streak. Tom Izzo hasn’t gotten stupid, but this MSU edition shies from contact, and that isn’t going to work against an Illinois team which shoots as well as this one does, in Champaign. ILLINOIS, 74-66