Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 11/22/16
The Oakland Raiders are now 8-2, and that’s impressive. The most recent win was notable as the Raiders managed to get past Houston on Monday night in a game that took place in Mexico City.
Oakland rates credit for doing what they had to do to earn this win. But let’s call it straight, the Silver and Black got some help this time.
First off, the officiating was awful, even by the somewhat lowly NFL standards. I have no idea why it’s so difficult to get replay reviews correct, but this league continuously finds a way to screw those up. Anyone who watched this particular game knows precisely what I’m talking about.
Bill O’Brien also played a pivotal role, as the Texans coach made a couple of really poor strategic decisions that clearly cost his team. First off, if it’s tied with about six minutes to play, you don’t pass up a field goal to try and convert a fourth down. It’s one thing if we’re talking about a dynamic offensive team. If that’s the case, maybe taking a chance isn’t horrible, although I would personally take the three and gran the lead. As for the Texans, they absolutely do not qualify as a dynamic offensive team, so I thought that was poor judgement by O’Brien.
Worse was the decision to punt on fourth and seven from the Houston 44 with slightly more than three minutes to play. The Texans had only one time out remaining, and that simply demanded that the Texans try to keep the drive alive. It’s another story if Houston has all three timeouts plus the two-minute warning at their disposal. They didn’t however, and O’Brien clearly had to gamble in that situation. He didn’t, the Raiders got two first downs, and then went into victory formation.
This was a very strange game in that Oakland was able to win in spite of generating next to nothing on the ground. It’s the mark of a good team when they’re able to get away with wins when they don’t play especially well. That’s what the Raiders did on Monday, and it’s proof to me this team is now legit.
My Monday saw a weird 2-3 result. I won a basketball game I literally thought I’d lost. I lost a basketball game where my side dominated for three quarters and then completely fell apart in the final frame. Bottom line, -1.3, so not a good night but things have gone pretty well lately, so no complaints here.
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The Monday free play was on one of the college football games getting played later this week, so no result to report on that one for a few more days. Here’s an early college basketball game I like for Tuesday’s comp.
541 IDAHO STATE vs. 542 EASTERN KENTUCKY
Take: 542 EASTERN KENTUCKY -1.5
This is a straight fade of Idaho State. I don’t know exactly what’s going on with this team, but something isn’t right. It appears as though the coaching staff and the players might not be on the same page right now. Maybe that changes today, but the Bengals are going to have to show me something or I’ll be looking play against them regularly until something connects.
Eastern Kentucky isn’t any good but they’ll get their preferred pace here and the Colonels should get lots off good looks from beyond the arc, which is pretty much their bread and butter.
Idaho State might actually be the more talented team, as Ethan Telfair is the best player on either team. Free throw shooting could be important in a projected close game, and the Bengals have been shockingly awful from the stripe so far, shooting only 50%. On the flip side, the Colonels are knocking those tosses down at 80% so far. That’s a nice potential edge, especially if we get lots of whistles in this game. I’ll spot the short number with Eastern Kentucky.