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NFL Week 2 Random Thoughts
by Larry Ness - 09/19/2012
If you like to bet home teams (including home dogs), you LOVED Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season. Home teams went 14-2 SU and 11-4-1 ATS. One loser came as no surprise as the Texans won 27-7 in Jacksonville against the Jaguars but few could have predicted the Cardinals winning outright in New England against the Patriots, 20-18. The loss was the first in 11 home openers since the Patriots moved into Gillette Stadium in 2002, where the team had won each home opener since (10 in a row). Incredibly, the Patriots never led at any time during the game (were tied a six-all) and lost when the ever-reliable Stephen Gostkowski (the most accurate kicker Patriots history) missed a 42-yard FG on the game’s final play, which would have given New England the 21-20 victory. Don’t look now but going back to the end of the 2011 season, the Cardinals have won NINE of their last 11 games (8-3 ATS)!
Home dogs were 5-1 SU and ATS (Jacksonville being the loser) and after two weeks, home teams are 23-9 SU (.720) and 19-12-1 ATS (61.0 percent). That includes home dogs going 7-4 SU (.640)and an even better 8-3 ATS (73.0 percent). An early peek ahead to Week 3 reveals as many as EIGHT home dogs (NFL preview available by 2:00 ET on Saturday). It was another high scoring week of games (47.8 PPG) but just like in Week 1 (49.4 PPG but just nine overs and seven unders), only seven games went over, eight under with one push. That makes it 16 overs, 15 unders and a push through two weeks.
An NFL Week 1 record five teams scored 40 or points last weekend but just one team reached the 40-point mark in Week 2, as the Giants beat the Bucs 41-34. The defending champs entered the fourth quarter down 26-16 but scored 25 points in the final stanza, as Eli finished with 510 passing yards, the 8th-most in NFL history and just three yards shy of Phil Simms’ club record of 513, set back in 1985 vs the Bengals. Eli was one of nine QBs to throw for 300 yards or more in Week 2 (same number as in Week 1) but those teams went a modest 4-5 SU and an awful 1-6-2 ATS (two pushes come in because both Weeden of the Browns and Dalton of the Bengals both topped 300 yards in the Cleveland/Cincinnati game which ended in a pointspread push).
Two weeks into the NFL season, teams in which their QBs have thrown for 300 yards, have gone 9-9 (.500) and only 4-12-2 ATS (that’s 25.0 percent). It IS a passer’s league, right? Seven players ran for 100 yards or more, led by Miami’s Reggie Bush’s 172 yards. That’s 12, 100-yard rushing efforts through two weeks with those teams going 8-4 (.667) and 8-3-1 ATS (73.0 percent). It IS a passer’s league, right? Teams which had the most rushing yards went 11-5-1 SU and 9-6-1 ATS. That makes them 22-10 SU and 18-13-1 ATS.
However, here’s my Stat of the Week! Teams with the most rushing attempts for game in Week 2 were 15-1 SU, with the lone loser being the Redskins (29-176) at the Rams (27-151), a game the Rams won 31-28 as a 3 1/2-point home dog. The teams with the most rushing attempts in Week 2 games went 12-3-1 ATS, upping the Y-T-D totals to 24-7 SU (one game in Week 1 saw each team rush the exact same amount of times) and 23-7-1 ATS (77.0 percent). I’m told, that his is, without a doubt, a passer’s league. That said, I’ll follow these numbers the rest of the way and see how it all plays out.
My CFB preview will be available Friday and my NFL preview on Saturday.