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NFL WEEK 8

   by Larry Ness - 10/30/2004

The home teams finally said enough is enough last week in the NFL! Visiting teams were 42-46 SU and had gone 60 percent ATS through the season's first six weeks but in Week 7 home teams had their best SU record of the year, going 9-5 SU. They were also better than .500 ATS as a group for the week (8-5-1), the first time that had happened all year....

Home dogs finally did some 'barking' going 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS! The most notable wins came when Miami finally got its first win of the season (31-14 vs St Louis) and Cincinnati beat Denver 23-10. It marked the team's first Monday Night game since 1992 and its first Monday Night home appearance since 1988....

However, the success of the visiting teams this year is still quite a story. Road teams were just 99-157 (.387) in 2003 but through seven weeks of the 2004 season, have a winning percentage of .461 at 47-55 SU. Road teams have NEVER had a winning SU mark for a season but back in 1972 they came close. Road teams went 87-90-5 in that 1972 season, a winning percentage of .492!...

Assuming road teams continue at their current pace (maybe not a good assumption?), their .461 winning percentage would be the highest since road teams went 104-119-1 (.467) in the 1983 season. Just in case you were wondering, the worst record ever posted in one season by road teams (since the merger) came in 1985 when they went 80-144, for a winning percentage of . 357....

THE CHANGING FACE OF THE NFL....Heading into this year, the AFC team with the best record since the 1970 merger was the Miami Dolphins with a winning percentage of .645. The NFC leader, and the only other team with a winning percentage of better than .600, was the San Francisco 49ers at .603. A quick check of the standings show the Dolphins at 1-6 and the 49ers at 1-5. How about the second-best teams in each conference? Oakland (.599) was second to Miami and is 2-5 this year while Dallas (.596) was second to SF and the Cowboys have opened 2004 at 2-4....

There were 13 teams that lost 10 or more games in 2003 and 13 teams that won 10 or more games. However, many double-digit losers are fighting back in 2004 as Atlanta (5-2), Detroit (4-2), Jacksonville (5-2), New York Giants (4-2), New York Jets (5-1), Pittsburgh (5-1) and San Diego (4-3) make it SEVEN 10-loss or more teams from 2003 with a winning record in 2004. Those teams are also a collective 27-16-2 ATS....

There are SIX double-digit winners from last year that are currently under .500 as the season enters Week 8. The list includes, Carolina (1-5), Dallas (2-4), Green Bay (3-4), Kansas City (2-4), Miami (1-6) and Tennessee (2-5). As you would expect, these teams ATS records are going to be pretty bad also but at a collective 13-26 ATS, it might be worse than you thought?....

Week 8 Notes...

Green Bay at Washington....See closing note....

Baltimore at Philadelphia....The Ravens have gone 22 consecutive games without converting better than 50 percent of their third down opportunities. Philadelphia is 16-1 SU and 15-2 ATS in its last 17 regular season games.

Arizona at Buffalo....The Cardinals own the league's longest current road losing streak at 16, going 3-13 ATS. How about this for a stat? Arizona is the only NFL team to have not allowed a rushing TD and the Bills are the only team to have not scored a rushing TD!...

NY Giants at Minnesota....Giants won at Minnesota last year in Week 8 (29-17) but then won just ONCE more all year! The Vikings have produced at 300 yards of offense in an NFL-record 35 consecutive games.

Cincinnati at Tennessee....Believe it or not but the Titans own the league's longest current home losing streak at three!

Indianapolis at Kansas City....These teams met last in the Divisional Round of the playoffs with the Colts winning 38-31 in a game that featured ZERO punts! The Colts lost to the Jaguars last week and have gone an NFL-high 30 games without consecutive losses....

Detroit at Dallas....After losing 24 straight road games from 2001 through 2003, the Lions are 3-0 SU and ATS on the road in 2004. Can a team that ranks 32nd in total offense and 30th in total defense really keep it up?

Jacksonville at Houston....All five of the Jags wins this season have come on deciding-plays in the game's final minute. The Jags (5-2) are one of four winning teams that have allowed more points (126) than they've scored (122)....

Atlanta at Denver....Is it just me or is anyone else starting to wonder if Michael Vick is as good as 'they' keep telling us he is?

Carolina at Seattle....Last year's NFC Super Bowl representative is 1-5 entering this game and the Seahawks have lost three straight after a 3-0 start.

New England at Pittsburgh....The Pats have won 21 straight, including 18 straight in the regular season (15-1-2 ATS). Pittsburgh rookie Ben Roethlisberger is 4-0 SU and ATS as a starter. Just one problem though, those wins are over 1-6 Miami, 3-4 Cleveland, 2-4 Cincinnati and 2-4 Dallas.

Oakland at San Diego....The Raiders own the league's second-longest road losing streak at 12 straight (2-10 ATS) while the Chargers at 4-3 have already matched last year's win total. What does SD do with Philip Rivers if Drew Brees continues to play like this?

San Francisco at Chicago....Craig Krenzel gets his first NFL start here for the Bears. The Ohio State grad was best known for being a 'winner' in college. He'd better hope he gets traded very soon!

Miami at NY Jets....Can the Dolphins make it two straight? The Jets are 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games vs Miami.

CLOSING NOTE....For those of you who are old enough to remember when Washington had a baseball team (of course MLB's back in the nation's capitol next year), you may remember the famous phrase "First in war, First in peace and LAST in the American league"?....

As the game between the Packers and Redskins winds down Sunday afternoon, ponder this fact. Since 1936, each time the Redskins have won their final home game before the presidential election, the incumbent party has won. Each time they've lost, the challenger has won....

Just a thought, this seems as good a way as any to choose the leader of the free world, isn't it?

As for me, my job doesn't change regardless of who wins this coming Tuesday. My job is to PICK WINNERS! Sunday, I'm featuring my NFC Game of the Year plus my latest Triple 10* Report in the NFL. In October, I've won THREE of my four reports with individual games going 8-3-1 ATS....

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