Cokin’s Corner, Monday 11/21/16
Turn out the lights on one team, and at the very least dim them on the other. The Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers are burnt toast and toast at this point.
I didn’t see this coming with the Packers, but pretty much did with the Bengals. It’s not like Marvin Lewis was to blame for all the on field mental blunders that cost them so dearly in the playoffs last season, but it was clear to me the Bengals needed to make a change in the off season. Seven playoff appearances, including five in a row coming into this season, is unquestionably impressive. An 0-7 post-season record is just the opposite. It was just a matter of time before things started to go awry and they most certainly have.
As for Green Bay, they’re just a bad football team at this juncture. The losing streak is now at four following the Sunday night loss at Washington, and it’s readily apparent that this is a team with some glaring weaknesses. What has to be concerning to fans of the Packers is that this doesn’t look like an aberration. It sure looks to this observer like this is a roster that’s due for an overhaul, and I suspect we’re going to be seeing one come January.
I can’t say I’ll be fading one or both of these teams on a regular basis the rest of the way, but I’m sure not likely to play on either one in any of their remaining games.
Sunday was enjoyable, in spite of a 1-2 NFL result. Fortunately, all four of the basketball plays were winners, so 5-2 overall and a solid black ink weekend.
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The Bills came through with the win at Cincinnati as the Sunday free play. My Monday comp will be on an upcoming college football game scheduled for the holiday weekend.
127 TCU at 128 TEXAS
Take: TEXAS -2.5
There is very little to support this selection with from a statistical standpoint. From a purely data-based perspective, the wrong team is favored. TCU is better than Texas and on paper, I’d have the Horned Frogs -2 in this game. But this is one of those spots where I believe the intangibles will be the determining factor.
This will be the finale for Charlie Strong as head coach at Texas. Strong was an underdog to be returning for the 2017 season for several weeks, but now it’s official. He’ll coach the Friday regular season finale and that will be the end. According to what I can determine, even if Texas wins and qualifies for a bowl with a 6-6 record, an interim coach will handle that game.
As for TCU, the Horned Frogs are definitely a flop as well. Gary Patterson’s team needs a win in one of its last two games to get an invite someplace, so I would guess TCU will be inspired for this game. I’d certainly be surprised if the Frogs just roll over in what is a serious rivalry battle.
But this is one of those spots I like to play, and my stance is generally to go with the outgoing coach in what will be his final game. Strong might not have succeeded with Texas in the column that counts. But he took over a program in turmoil and at least got that problem straightened out, which should make things easier for the next coach.
At the very least, I absolutely expect an all-out effort from all the Texas players in this game. Strong is very well respected by his guys and I definitely believe they want to hoist him on their shoulders and carry him off the field when this game concludes. The only way to make that happen is to win the game, and I think that determination on the part of the Longhorns will be the key. I’ll look to spot the short number with Texas on Friday.