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2018 Week 15 Preview: Ross Jacobs' Notes
Ross Jacobs is a budding football analyst/scout and a long-time friend of FFM. He’s been working on a project all season watching/studying all the games/studying the line play as a key indicator for handicapping and fantasy play.
Weekly, he’s been sharing his notes on each game with me…what he saw with the games that just happened and what he sees coming up with the games about to play.
I’ve enjoyed reading his study notes on the games all season and asked him if I could share them with the FFM audience, and he was happy to. So, please enjoy Ross’s takes on the games more from a line of scrimmage/O-Line standpoint but with an overall view of seeing all these teams and taking notes for data analysis all season.
These are his notes for the upcoming week's games…
*Forgive typos, just notes transcribed.
Week 15 Preview:
Dolphins +7.5 at Vikings
I would absolutely love this if the line was below 7, but I think even at 7.5 I'm taking the Vikings comfortably. It's not so much that the Vikings are good but more that the Dolphins have been stupidly lucky so far and are in fact not very good. Tannehill in particular has gotten away with a ridiculous number of should-have-been interceptions and eventually that luck is going to run out. I think it runs out here against a Vikings team playing for their playoff lives.
Raiders +3 at Bengals
Yikes. What do you do with a bad Bengals team giving up points to a red hot Derek Carr? It makes me queasy, but I think I have to take the points here. The Raiders have actually been getting better by the week while the Bengals collapse into jelly, and when I see two fairly evenly matched teams I'm going to take the points nearly every time. I hate it, but give me the Raiders and the points.
Buccaneers +7.5 at Ravens
I'm still looking for that signature Ravens beatdown of a bad team, and this could be it. The Bucs are falling apart with injuries and Jameis Winston does not do well against defenses like this, not to mention the Ravens defense feasts on QB's like Winston. This has all the makings of a bloodbath and I want in on it. Ravens all day here.
Cowboys +3 at Colts
I'm quite surprised the Cowboys aren't the betting favorite here, but regardless I want in on the Colts. RC and I have been championing them all season and nothing has changed. They have become a rather stout team on both sides of the ball, and even though Dallas is fielding a top 3 defense their offense is still rather bad. The media has jumped on the Amari train, but as RC has pointed out that is not a place you want to be most likely. Amari has been far more lucky than good, and the offensive line has been downright bad all season as I've noted. The Colts once again make my Blazing Five list.
Lions +2.5 at Bills
The Lions have been on a bad streak, but I like their chances to finally bounce back against a much weaker team than they have been playing. I think Matt Patricia is going to make life hell on Josh Allen. He certainly won't allow Allen to run for another 100 yards, and when Josh Allen is forced to stay in the pocket bad things are going to happen. I like the chances of a defensive TD here, and that's all it should take for the Lions to cover this line. Blazing Five number two.
Packers +5 at Bears
It's always scary giving up points to Rodgers, but I'm jumping in on the Bears. They absolutely handled the Rams and it didn't look like a fluke. These guys are here to play. The only reason the Bears didn't beat the Packers earlier this year was a fluky Randall Cobb catch and run just outside of Eddie Jackson's outstretched hand. The Bears are coming for revenge. Blazing Five number 3.
Titans -1 at Giants
Well I sure messed up the Giants last week. Apparently Mark Sanchez really is that bad. Live and learn. Not sure what got into the Giants offense, but I don't think it keeps up here. The Titans have quite an underrated defense and likely just need to get to 20 points to win this. Even they should be able to manage that. Blazing Five number 4.
Redskins -7.5 at Jaguars
I know I botched the Redskins last week, but this time Sanchez isn't playing. Josh Johnson should be at least passable here, and Cody Kessler inspires nothing for the Jags. It's possible the Jaguars just grind out 17 points in the ground game and the Redskins can't even score, but all it takes is one goofy play and the score stays within 7. The chances seem rather high of something like that so I'll take the Redskins and points.
Cardinals +9.5 at Falcons
Vegas really seems to have some strange affinity for giving up a ton of points whenever the Falcons play bad teams. Their offense isn't that good anymore, so I'm not really sure why, but I'll take it since it's being offered. I know the Cardinals suck, but it's just too many points for me. Hopefully they can scrounge up 14-17 points and keep it somewhat close here. Wouldn't bet this for real but I'll take the Cardinals.
Seahawks -3.5 at 49'ers
I touted the 49'ers last week, but I can't go this far. They are playing ok for a banged up team, but the Seahawks are on fire and should do bad things to Nick Mullens (I'm going to keep saying that until it happens). This spread should be a lot farther in my opinion, and that's good enough to make it my final Blazing Five pick. Give me the Seahawks and my beloved Russell Wilson.
Patriots -2.5 at Steelers
I absolutely wouldn't bet this game at any line. On one side you think the Patriots really haven't been that good and the Steelers are due to rise up, and on the other you know that despite the fluky game last week, the Patriots have been getting better and better while the Steelers collapse. I can't figure out which I think is the true reality. Are they both good? Are they both overrated? I have no idea. I'm going to take the Patriots because Bill Belichick, but that's all I've got here. Good luck if you're playing this one.
Eagles +12.5 at Rams
Hate this line. The Rams haven't been winning big in quite a long time, and now Nick Foles is coming in to hopefully save the Eagles season. I know the deck is stacked against him, but did you see that man play last year? I don't want to give someone that good 12.5 points no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately for the Eagles they are fielding several practice squad level cornerbacks and the Rams are mad as hell and will be pissed if they don't score at least 40 this week. Foles is a miracle worker, but I don't know if he's got the right situation to keep this close. I would love nothing more than to see him run the table to another Superbowl MVP, but this isn't the way to try and start it. I have to take the Rams here despite the ungodly spread.
Saints -6 at Panthers
Here's another one I can't bet for real. The Saints have been rolling except for the one hiccup at Dallas, and the Panthers have nearly let their season get away from them. An uprising is always possible, but I don't like their chances. I've bet against the Saints too much this year while they destroyed everything in their path and I'm not doing it again. Give me the Saints here.