Heading into the final weeks of the NFL regular season, there are plenty of questions that will be answered for many teams. A number of coaches are on the hot seat and we have a few streaks going that may or may not keep going.
Therefore Matthew Jordan from Sports Book Review has identified some of the top questions and trends in the NFL as we approach the Playoffs, and more importantly, how to play them in Vegas.
Will The 49ers Score A First-Quarter TD This Season?
Yes is -1500 and no +700 on NFL odds. It’s true, the offensively inept Niners have yet to put up a touchdown in the first 15 minutes of a game this season. Of course the Niners haven’t topped 17 points in any of their past five games so it’s not perhaps a huge shock. In this past Sunday’s 19-13 loss to Arizona, it took Phil Dawson’s 53-yard field goal as time expired for the 49ers to avoid a first-half shutout. San Francisco hasn’t scored a point in three straight games in the first quarter. In that quarter this season, 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick (now out for season) and Blaine Gabbert are a combined 41-for-72 (56.9 percent) for 364 yards, no TDs and three picks. The Niners average 1.1 points per first quarter, of course last in the NFL. By comparison, Green Bay is No. 1 at 8.1 points. San Francisco is in Chicago on Sunday for one of those tough 10 a.m. Pacific time starts. The good news: Bears allow an average of 6.9 points per first quarter, second-worst in the NFL.
NFL Picks: Yes but not this week. Sorry, I’m not putting my faith in Gabbert. Plus top running back Carlos Hyde likely out again. Chicago’s defense also is much-improved. And if anyone should know how to attack the Niners’ offense, it’s Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who formerly held that job in San Francisco.
Will Jeff Fisher Be Rams Coach In Week 1 of 2016?
Yes is +110 and no -150. Fisher had plenty of success with the Tennessee Titans but is just 24-31-1 in St. Louis. The Rams are 4-7 this season and have dropped four straight despite one of the NFL’s best defenses and an electric rookie running back in Todd Gurley. But the NFL is a quarterback league and Fisher simply hasn’t had a good quarterback in his time in St. Louis — he won in Tennessee when he had a good one like Steve McNair. Fisher is now daily asked about his job security and says he’s not worried about it. “I’ve been doing this for probably short of 20 years, and I’ve never gone into a game or into a season worried about my job security,” he said to reporters. Fisher is in the fourth year of a five-year deal paying him around $7 million per year. But Rams owner Stan Kroenke can afford to eat whatever’s left. He also might want a total break if the team moves to Los Angeles next season, which is possible.
NFL Picks: Barring a season-ending five-game winning streak, which isn’t happening, then no. Expect the Rams to target an offensive mind and draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2016 draft — or perhaps trade for one (Robert Griffin III?).
What Will Chip Kelly Be Doing Week 1 of 2016 NFL Season?
That Kelly is head coach of Eagles is +150, coaching any other NFL team +200, coaching a college team +200 and not coaching at all +700. Here’s a thought: Rams trade Fisher to Eagles for Kelly! Then everyone is happy. Actually, you have heard some talk that Tennessee might be interested in Kelly, where he could reunite with Marcus Mariota. Kelly keeps saying he wants to stay in Philly, but the Eagles (4-7) have lost three straight and it likely will be four in a row Sunday in New England. Ownership could force Kelly out or at least take away his personnel power and demand changes on the staff. Kelly could refuse and quit. I don’t think he’s at a college team in 2016 now that the USC job is filled and with LSU never coming open. And I don’t see him sitting out 2016.
NFL Picks: Kelly is back with the Eagles but then No. 1 on the hot seat list entering 2016.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports