The dogs ruled the roost in NFL week 13 as the house continues making mincemeat of the public bankroll.
Five home dogs cashed in all with the Titans, Chiefs, and Eagles all delivering victories in spectacular fashion.
After nailing a 49-yarder to cap off a miraculous comeback over the Giants last week, Tennessee place kicker Rob Bironas provided the encore by drilling a 60-yard field goal with 7 seconds to go as the Titans overcame a 14-0 deficit in defeating Indianapolis, 20-17. Once again, QB Vince Young dazzled the defense with several nifty runs that led to Tennessee touchdowns. The result was great for the house as blood was spilled courtesy of the many teasers that bit the dust, as Indy closed a 7 ½ point choice.
The sharp money looked anything but as the Chiefs opened up a 28-14 lead over the Browns, with QB Charlie Frye having been removed from the game with an injury. Backup Derek Anderson, a second year product out of Oregon State, who had never thrown an NFL pass, fired two touchdown strikes to WR Steve Heiden in the final 9 minutes of regulation, and then scampered 33 yards in OT to set up the game winning FG as the Browns prevailed 31-28. The opening number of 6 was bet down steadily to 4 ½, though the public was squarely on KC.
The Chargers moved to 10-2 with a 24-21 victory, but Bill backers whooped it up as a late Buffalo score with 30 seconds to go got them within the 6 point number as chalk players were forced to swallow a bitter pill. Those that laid the lumber with the heavily backed Patriots were also left holding the bag as the Lions threw a scare into New England in falling stubbornly, 28-21. The Pats broke a tie with a late TD enabling them to go on to the 7-point victory, though the 14 point spread was never in doubt.
Neutral games for the house included the Cardinals 34-20 win over the home standing Rams, who were favored just shy of a TD, the Falcons 24 -14 win over the Redskins, a game in which Atlanta overcame a 14-0 deficit, the Jaguars 24-10 victory over in the instate rival Dolphins, and the Jets 38-10 coaster over the Packers in the frigid confines of Lambeau. The latter two contests saw both road teams come away with unexpectedly easy victories as each game went off at or near a pick em.
Three favorites that did cover the number had the Saints trouncing the Niners 34-10 on the strength of three Reggie Bush touchdowns, the Steelers snuff out the Bucs 20-3, while the Bears somehow managed to do their business against the Vikings in spite of being out gained in terms of yardage, 348 -107. In covering the 8.5 point spread and in the process wrapping up the NFC North, The Bears came away with a 23-13 victory, the difference being an early 4th quarter safety that allowed Chicago to extend what was then a 15 point lead.
Fantasy players that had the Steeler defense were last seen hurling obscenities at Tampa coach Jon Gruden for his decision to kick a last second field goal so as to avoid having his team shutout for the second time this season.
Oakland’s yardage domination over the Texans rivaled that of Minnesota’s but as was the case with the Vikings, the Raiders managed to lose the game on the strength of turnovers, and special team failures. The Raiders allowed two long kick returnss while Sebastian Janokowski missed on all three of his field goal attempts. Oakland opened a 1 point favorite on Sunday and moved up to a solid 3 by game time as Raider backers also had to lay added juice.
The game of the day and also a big mover had the Cowboys defeating the home standing Giants 23-20 as they reassumed control of the NFC East. Dallas moved to 8-4 while the Giants fell to 6-6. The seesaw battle appeared headed towards OT as the Giants tied the game with just over a minute remaining, only to see Tony Romo position the Cowboys for a game winning field goal by way of his 42-yard strike to TE Jason Witten. Newly signed place kicker Martin Gramatica drilled a 46-yard game winner validating Bill Parcells decision, at least temporarily, in having released Mike Vanderjagt, who was signed as a free agent during the offseason.
Week 13 began with a Thursday night affair that saw Cincinnati defeat the Ravens, 13-7. The suddenly defensive minded Bengals nearly came up with a second consecutive shutout if not for a Steve McNair to Derrick Mason TD pass with one minute remaining in the divisional battle . There was strong two way action, which was also the case with the Sunday night contest, in which the Seahawks walked out of Denver with a 23-20 win, and in the process spoiling QB Jay Cutler’s debut. Seahawk kicker Josh Brown split the uprights with a 50 yard field goal with but a few ticks remaining, his 4th game winner of the campaign. Under bettors suffered through a 23 point 4th quarter eruption as the teams eclipsed the total on the strength of Brown’s winning kick.
It wasn’t easy but Monday capped off an outstanding week for the books as the Eagles kept their slim playoff hopes alive by dropping the Panthers 27-24. Lito Shepherd preserved by Eagle victory as he picked off a Jake Delhomme pass intended for Keyshawn Johnson as time was winding down. The smallish number on the favored Panthers had the public licking their chops, only to be done in by a masterful performance by Eagle QB Jeff Garcia, and two critical interceptions of Jake Delhomme.
Until next week.