Baltimore +3.5 at Pittsburgh - I was robbed!! The Ravens jumped to a 21-7 lead by halftime due to two Pittsburgh turnovers deep inside Steeler territory. But the Ravens offense and Joe Flacco in particular were struggling all day. In the third quarter Pittsburgh returned the favor by scoring 14 points off 2 Raven's turnovers and the score was tied. The teams traded FG's in the 4th setting up the deciding drive.
With 2 minutes left Pittsburgh completes a bomb to the Ravens 4 yd line. Now - if the Ravens can hold and force a FG my trip to the Mirage to get the 3.5 might just pay off.
On 1st down Roethlisberger throws an incomplete pass. On second down the Ravens stuff the run - and there's a flag at the line. Excellent - this will be holding on the Steelers and it will be second and goal from the 14!! But noooooo - the call is defensive holding. I've been watching football for a long long time and seen way too many games - but I have never seen defensive holding on a running play!
The Ravens last gasp attempt to tie the score failed when TJ Houshmandzadeh drops a pass at the Steeler 38. The Steelers went into the victory formation to win 31-24.
The Doofus is still fuming about that call. Crap! LOSS
Coaching Carousel Update
Not much to report on this week on the HC'ing front. Much of the action is the moving around of assistant coaches. One that did impress me was the UM hiring of Greg Mattison as DC. As predicted by the BBofG - Greg Robinson was a disaster as a DC. Mattison is the real deal. He comes from the Baltimore Ravens where he was DC and was also DC at Michigan back in '95-'96 when they were actually good. Trivia question - who scored they most
points on Michigan during those two years - answer below. UM's defense will be better next year (tough to be worse) but I'm not sure how much talent Mattison has to play with after 3 years of recruiting by DickRod.
WIsconsin decided to hire assistant coaches based on the 70's and 80's going with Chris "Arthur" Ash and Charlie "The Family" Partridge as co-defensive coordinators and Dave "Cliff" Huxtable as linebackers coach.
The "Curse of the Stache" continues to hover over Pitt as new HC Todd Graham hired his 3rd coordinator way from UM. He also hired former North Texas HC Todd Dodge as QB coach. Dodge took North Texas from horribly pathetic to just bad during his tenure.
Both lines look about right with both underdogs having that intriguing 3.5 line. No need to make a special trip - the lines are available everywhere.
But rather than take a team this week I think I will go with:
Chicago vs Green Bay under 43.5 - The line has reached 44 at the Stations Casino but I'll forgo the 1/2 point, keep pounding the buffet at the Vegas Hilton and go with their line of 43.5. Aaron Rodgers is getting a lot of love lately and it is starting to reach ridiculous levels after he dismantled the Falcons last week (as predicted by the BBofG but the Doofus's fear of the noose kept it from going with the pick). What the press is not talking about is how much time Rodgers had to pass. The Falcons were unable to take advantage of the one weakness in the Packer offense and that is pass protection. The Bears (and Lions too) have exploited this weakness in both games this year. The teams split the series with the scores being Bears 20-13 and Packers 10-3. Both games were well under the 43.5 and for a reason - the defenses are good. The temperatures are expected to be in the 20's and the field is not in the best of shape after last week's game which may put a further damper on the scoring.
My main worry is not the offenses but in special teams. The Pack let up a KO return for a TD to the Falcons and Devin Hester torched them for a PR TD in week 3. If he does it again the under may be in danger.
Trivia Question Answer
You knew what the answer was going to be. Of course it was MSU - and Penn State too. MSU and PSU scored 29 points on UM during 1996 and MSU scored 28 in 1995. Both were tops for the year. Remember that when your Weasel friends start pumping on the Mattison hire.