PlayBook: Things Have Changed

By Fraser Lockerbie

The promise of Ryan Fitzpatrick fell fast after a Week Three win against the Patriots.

Only a fool in here would think he’s got something to prove

Lot a water under the bridge, a lot of other stuff too

  • Bob Dylan, “Things Have Changed”

Bob Dylan wasn't much of Football fan but he was a real American Hero who knew it did not take much for things to go sideways in a hurry. Three bad weeks in a row will send anybody in any business into a god-awful tailspin and it will look especially bad if it is routinely caught on camera and broadcast to the world on live TV.

After starting the season 3-0, Buffalo has been outscored 106-26 in their past three games and their back at the .500 mark coming into Thanksgiving weekend. The promise of Ryan Fitzpatrick fell fast after a Week Three win against the Patriots and there hasn’t been much good since. Blowing out the second-string Redskins doesn’t count for much amid a four for five skid and only a handful of teams have turned that kind of slide around come the holiday season with six games left on the sched.

Yes, things have certainly changed in six short weeks when we were still talking about the Bills being a wildcard and the Lions going 14-2. That type of weird behavior is always well-received in tight gambling circles where money changes hands with alarming regularity. Sharks line the waters when people start talking like that and they smelled blood in both cities when they were 5 and 3 and 0 and more than a few casual fans were seen roaming the streets with fistfuls of cash ripe for the taking.

Betting the heart over a cold kind of calculating logic has never been a sound investment for people who are careless with their money as fans usually are. They will buy into almost anything if it means their team will win. Enormous spreads and wind direction; they can be treated like pack animals in a frenzy, usually caught coming and going, doubling down twice and sometimes three times before the vague notion of defeat sinks in and the sharks start circling fast. Being a fan usually means you’ve got something to prove; a lot of water under that bridge; a lot of sharks there too.

This week’s lines:

Pittsburgh (-10.5) over Kansas City

The Chiefs have managed a single touchdown in their last their last three games and only a field goal a piece in the two. We need not say much more considering they’re up against a notoriously tough Steelers defense.

Carolina (-3) over Indianapolis

You can already see the Luck jersey’s coming off the line in Indy.

Buffalo (+9) over New York

What makes a pick a 5-5 team being outscored by 80 points in their last three games? The Jets being asked to cover anything over 5

Arizona (+3) over St. Louis

Why not?

Tampa Bay (+3) over Tennessee

Tampa Bay gave the Packers a run for their money last week, keeping it close through to the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. They’re a better team then they have looked this season and they might start playing spoiler.

Atlanta (-9.5) over Minnesota

Minnesota playing within 9.5 while Adrian Peterson was in was a stretch; with him on the sidelines this is hopeless.

San Diego (-6) over Denver

If this goes the other way it will be the last time I bet the Chargers and bet against the Broncos.

Chicago (+4) over Oakland 

This is the game that makes everyone think the Bears can still win without Jay Cutler. They can’t

Quick Slants: Houston (-4) over Jacksonville, Seattle (-3.5) over Washington, New England (-3.5) over Philadelphia, Cincinnati (-7) over Cleveland, New York (+7) over New Orleans


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