GROBBER’S WEEK 8 NFL PICKS

GROBBER’S WEEK 8 NFL PICKS

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AFC GAMES:

Baltimore over CINCINNATI

Miami over JACKSONVILLE

Buffalo over NY JETS

TENNESSEE over Houston

Cleveland over OAKLAND

Indianapolis over PITTSBURGH

NFC GAMES:

Seattle over CAROLINA

ARIZONA over Philadelphia

INTER-CONFERENCE GAMES:

KANSAS CITY over St.Louis

THURSDAY NIGHT: DENVER over San Diego

MONDAY NIGHT:DALLAS over Washington

NFC NORTH GAMES:

Minnesota over TAMPA BAY

Detroit over ATLANTA(at London, England)

NEW ORLEANS over Green Bay

NEW ENGLAND over Bears

HOME TEAMS in ALL CAPS.

Last Week: 10-5

 

Rose outstanding, but Bulls lose to Cavs at OSU

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

COLUMBUS—Ohio State held its homecoming over the weekend when it named its king and queen.But the real homecoming for basketball fans was Monday night when The King came back to Columbus with the Cleveland Cavaliers.LeBron James received a thunderous ovation during the pregame introductions from the sellout crowd of 19,049 in Value City Arena on the OSU campus and the Cavaliers went on to defeat the Bulls 107-98.

”The excitement was there from the time we walked in the building,” he said. ”It was a school night; we had a lot of kids, a lot of college kids here. That shows the support there is. The least we can do is try and put on a show.”

The two Eastern Conference rivals did and it was the dueling guards who stole the spotlight from James.Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 20 of his 28 points coming in the second half while Derrick Rose continues to show he’s well on his way back from a torn medial meniscus in his right knee that caused him to miss last season’s playoffs.He had 30 points in 24 minutes of play and said he liked the challenge of playing the Cavaliers.

”I’m used to playing with very good people and very good talent,” he said.”That’s all they’ve got on that team, is talent. You know when you play against them; you know you’ve got to come out here and ball.”

Irving took control in the third quarter when he scored nine points during an 11-0 run for a 75-65 lead in his second game back from an ankle injury.James had 18 points in 31 minutes before exiting to a standing ovation with 6:29 to play and the Cavaliers ahead 92-81.The ballyhooed trio of James, Irving and Kevin Love (nine points, 13 rebounds) played together for only the second time in six games.

”What I really liked obviously tonight is we had Kevin, Kyrie and LeBron on the court at the same time” Cleveland coach David Blatt said. ”We got a fair view of that. I thought it went fairly well.”

Center Anderson Varejao added 22 points for the Cavaliers.

”We’re not the Big 3,” James said. ”We’re a team.”

Irving missed three games while recovering from a right ankle sprain. He played 38 minutes Monday after going 29 minutes Friday against the Dallas Mavericks … Despite never attending college, James has an affinity for Ohio State and the school has given him a locker in the Buckeyes’ men’s basketball locker room. … Bulls forward Joakim Noah was the target of boos throughout the game. He helped the Florida Gators win NCAA championships in 2006 and ’07, the latter by defeating Ohio State 84-75 in the title game

NOTES—The Cavaliers complete exhibition play Wednesday at the Memphis Grizzlies…..The Bulls plays their final preseason game Friday vs. Minnesota in St. Louis…..Tom Thibodeau said starting guard Jimmy Butler, who did not play Monday, will have an MRI Tuesday on his sprained left thumb. Butler left the game Sunday after 11 minutes vs. the Charlotte Hornets. The Bulls are at 14 players, one below the maximum for the regular season…..James played his fifth preseason game Monday and is not expected to play Wednesday. ”I want my guys coming in healthy and happy and if LeBron needs to sit another game, he’ll sit another game,” Blatt said. ”That’s the priority.As a basketball person, it’s great to see him(Rose) back. He means something to this league. It’s good for the NBA. I don’t know if it’s good for us – Blatt on the return from injury of Rose.

Tannehill, Miami embarress listless Bears 27-14. Long rips booing Fans.

Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins had the perfect response to a heartbreaking loss. They went right back to work.The result was a clinical performance for the quarterback and a big road win for his team.Tannehill threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns, and the Dolphins got back on track with a 27-14 victory over the listless Bears on Sunday.

”We were making plays on offense. I think the guys were getting open, and we were able to hit them,” he said. ”That’s the name of the game is to have protection, the guys get open and me make the throw. We were able to put it together today as an offense.”

Tannehill connected on his first 14 passes and was 25 of 32 overall, helping Miami bounce back from a brutal 27-24 loss to Green Bay. It looked as if the Dolphins were on their way to a big win over the Packers before Aaron Rodgers threw a 4-yard touchdown pass in the final seconds.Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he felt good about his team’s mindset after it had a great practice on Tuesday.

”That kind of set the tone for the week,” he said. ”Guys came in the building, had great workouts, great meetings, the work on the practice field was very good, so I think all of us had a lot confidence the team was going to play well.”

Lamar Miller also had a 2-yard touchdown run for the Dolphins (3-3), who had lost three of four since an opening victory over New England.The Bears (3-4) remained winless in three home games and have dropped five of their last seven at Soldier Field dating to last year. Matt Forte scored two touchdowns and Jeremiah Ratliff finished with a career-best 3 1/2 sacks.

“This was a very, very disappointing loss to our football team,” coach Marc Trestman said.

That frustration was evident in the postgame locker room, where there was some sort of shouting match before the media were allowed into the room. It was unclear who was involved, but the raised voices could be heard in the concrete corridors of the Bears longtime home.

”It’s unacceptable. We’re 3-4. It’s halfways into the season,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. ”It’s unacceptable. Want me to say it again? Unacceptable.”

Jay Cutler threw an interception and lost a fumble as Chicago dropped to 0-4 when he throws at least one pick. He was 21 for 34 for 190 yards after he threw for 381 yards in last Sunday’s 27-13 victory at Atlanta.The Bears trailed 14-0 before Cutler passed to a wide-open Forte for a 10-yard touchdown on their first possession of the second half.Miami responded with a 13-play, 81-yard drive that ended with Miller’s fourth rushing touchdown in the last three games. Tannehill set up the key score with a 30-yard run on fourth-and-1.Forte added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth, but that was it for the Bears. Cameron Wake had a strip, sack and fumble recovery, and Caleb Sturgis kicked two field goals to help the Dolphins put it away.

‘Coming off a really tough loss last week, we had to turn the page,” Wake said. ”We had a great week of practice, great week of preparation. I think the confidence just ran the locker room as a whole.”

Miami got off to an inauspicious start when Tannehill was sacked by Ratliff on its first play from scrimmage. But the Dolphins quickly made up for lost time.Tannehill threw for 176 yards in the first half, picking apart Chicago’s defense with ease. He found tight end Charles Clay for 13-yard score, and then had a 10-yard TD pass to Mike Wallace in the back of the end zone.The Bears, Meanwhile, looked listless and out of sorts. Linebacker Shea McClellin, back after being sidelined since Week 2 by a hand injury, slipped in coverage on Clay’s TD, and the offense was hurt by curious play calling and Cutler’s seventh interception.

NOTES—The Bears lost rookie CB Kyle Fuller to a hip injury in the third quarter. He was first announced as questionable to return, but the Bears announced in the fourth that he would miss the rest of the game. … Miami improved to 4-1 at Soldier Field. The Dolphins also won in their previous trip to Soldier Field, 31-13 on Nov. 5, 2006.

Late Pass Interference call erases would be game winning TD for ND as FSU escapes with 31-27 win

TALLAHASSEE—Jameis Winston prevailed after another week of controversy and threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 2 Florida State to 31-27 win over No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday.The Seminoles (7-0, 5-0 ACC) used a second-half comeback with the season on the line to topple the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame (6-1) is the last ranked team FSU’s schedule and the win may be its last chance to make a decisive impression on the College Football Playoff selection committee.Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns, but Winston won the duel in the second half as he completed his first 13 passes against a defense that had Florida State flustered for the first 30 minutes.The Irish moved to the 2-yard line on the final drive, but an offensive pass interference call killed the drive.Florida State said this week it was investigating whether Winston received benefits for autographs being sold online.

Abdullah too tough as Nebraska runs past Cats 38-17

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Ameer Abdullah had four 1-yard touchdown runs and quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. scored on a 16-yard reception, leading No. 19 Nebraska to a 38-17 victory at Northwestern on Saturday night.Abdullah finished with 146 yards on 23 carries as the Cornhuskers (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) bounced back from a 27-22 loss at Michigan State. Abdullah had only 45 yards in the loss to the Spartans on Oct. 4.Northwestern (3-4, 2-2) wasted another big game for freshman Justin Jackson in its second consecutive loss. Jackson had 128 yards and two touchdowns in his third straight 100-yard game.The Wildcats got a scare in the third quarter when receiver Miles Shuler had his head down when he slammed into Nebraska safety Corey Cooper after a short reception. Shuler held up his right arm to acknowledge the cheers as he was taken off the field on a stretcher. The school said he was taken to a hospital as a precaution.Led by Abdullah, the Cornhuskers improved to 3-1 against the Wildcats since joining the Big Ten. The three previous meetings were decided by seven points or less, including Nebraska’s 27-24 win last season on Jordan Westerkamp’s 49-yard touchdown reception on a tipped Hail Mary as time expired.This one wasn’t that close.Abdullah scored three times in the second half and Drew Brown kicked a 33-yard field goal as Nebraska scored 24 unanswered points to erase a 17-14 halftime deficit. Northwestern had just 28 yards in the second half.The four touchdowns set a career high for Abdullah, who also passed Ahman Green for second on the school’s career rushing list. The senior also became the first player in school history with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.The first half was more in line with the close history in the series. The Wildcats and Cornhuskers were tied at 7 before they combined for 17 points in the final 1:52 of the second quarter.The scoring spree started with a flashy move by Jackson on a 5-yard touchdown run that gave Northwestern a 14-7 lead. Josh Mitchell was going in for the tackle on Jackson near the line of scrimmage when the freshman spun away from the defensive back and went in for his fifth TD of the season.De’Mornay Pierson-El, another true freshman, then led Nebraska right down the field. He had a 46-yard catch-and-run down to the Northwestern 27, showing off impressive speed.After an 11-yard reception for Abdullah, Pierson-El took a pitch on a reverse and threw across the field to a wide-open Armstrong for a tying 16-yard TD.Northwestern got the ball back with a little more than a minute to go. But Trevor Siemian had a 15-yard pass to Cameron Dickerson and found Treyvon Green for 23 yards to help set up Jack Mitchell’s 29-yard field goal with 3 second left.Jackson had 15 carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns at the break, compared to nine carries for 39 yards and a score for Abdullah.Jackson helped NU get off to a fast start. Wearing new black uniforms with an architecture theme, the Wildcats put together a 15-play, 89-yard scoring drive on their first possession. Dan Vitale grabbed two big third-down receptions and Jackson had six carries for 39 yards, including a 2-yard TD with 5:58 left in the first.Abdullah got his 11th rushing touchdown of the season in the second quarter, a 1-yard plunge that capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive. Armstrong set up the score with a 17-yard run to the 1.

Toews OT goal send Hawks past Preds 2-1

Jonathan Toews scored a short-handed breakaway goal at 3:26 of overtime to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.With Patrick Sharp off for tripping, Toews stole the puck from Nashville’s Roman Josi just inside the Hawk blue line. He raced down left wing, cut to the slot and was stopped by Carter Hutton on his first shot, but Toews managed to push the rebound under Hutton’s pads.Johnny Oduya got his first goal of the season in the first period and Corey Crawford had 19 saves.Shea Weber scored his third goal for Nashville and Hutton finished with 35 saves. Hutton was making his first start of the season in place of Pekka Rinne, who started the Predators’ first four games.The Blackhawks outshot the Predators 37-20, finishing with a shooting advantage against an opponent for the second straight game. The Hawks outshot Calgary 50-18 on Wednesday in a 3-2 overtime loss.In this one, the Predators took control of the game for much of the third period with up-tempo skating and persistent forechecking after being dominated through the first two periods and outshot 23-6 after 40 minutes.It was tied 1-all after one period despite the Hawks holding a 12-2 advantage on shots.Both teams scored on their first shots of the game.Oduya connected just 1:49 in when he skated in from the left point and leaned into a low shot from the top of the circle that beat Hutton between the pads.Weber tied it with a power-play goal at 11:17 shortly after serving a cross-checking call and exiting the penalty box. His drive from the left circle appeared to strike Michal Rozsival, then deflected upward and over Crawford’s shoulder.The Blackhawks outshot Nashville 11-4 in the second, and Hutton made several tough in-close saves late in the period to keep it tied.The Predators picked up the pace in the third, forcing the Blackhawks into turnovers in the Hawk zone and tested Crawford. He made a point-blank pad save on Craig Smith 4:45 into the period when both Smith and Colin Wilson were alone in front of the net following a giveaway. NOTES—Rozsival played his first game after suffering a upper-body injury in training camp last month. … Kris Versteeg, who sustained an injury in practice two days before the season opener, has resumed skating. … Hutton started his career in the Blackhawks’ organization, but appeared in only one NHL contest with the Hawks before signing with the Predators as a free agent in 2013. He was 20-11-4 with Nashville last season. … The Predators didn’t arrive at their Chicago hotel until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday following their 2-0 win at Winnipeg on Friday.

Butler three pointer at buzzer caps Bulls comeback from 21 point deficit–again.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Jimmy Butler hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap a 20-point fourth quarter and the Bulls rallied from a 21-point deficit with 11 minutes to play to beat the Atlanta Hawks 85-84 on Thursday night in an exhibition game.Butler, who only played 6 minutes in the fourth, had a game-high 29 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and 12-for-16 shooting from the line.Forward Mike Scott led the Hawks (2-2) with 15 points.Pau Gasol had 11 points and seven rebounds while Joakim Noah had seven points and 13 rebounds. Derrick Rose had 10 points in 20 minutes.The Bulls (3-2) struggled to score for much of the game, managing no more than 17 points in any of the first three quarters before erupting for 38 points in the final quarter.The Bulls also rallied from a 21-point deficit in the first half Monday night to beat Denver 110-90.Tom Thibodeau put starters Butler, Noah and Gasol back in the game midway through the fourth and they led the rally against Atlanta reserves.Butler tied the game at 82 with three free throws with 14.1 seconds left. Dennis Schroder (11 points) hit a driving layup with 1.5 seconds left to put the Hawks back on top and set the stage for Butler’s game winner.

GROBBER’S WEEK 7 NFL PICKS

AFC GAMES:
Cleveland over JACKSONVILLE
INDIANAPOLIS over Cincinnati
SAN DIEGO over Kansas City
NFC GAMES:
Seattle over ST.LOUIS
DALLAS over NY Giants
INTER-CONFERENCE GAMES:
BALTIMORE over Atlanta
WASHINGTON lover Tennessee
Arizona over OAKLAND
THURSDAY NIGHT:
NEW ENGLAND over NY. Jets
SUNDAY NIGHT;
DENVER over San Francisco
MONDAY NIGHT:
PITTSBURGH over Houston
NFC NORTH GAMES:
DETROIT over New Orleans
GREEN BAY over Carolina
BUFFALO over Minnesota
BEARS over Miami
HOME teams in ALL CAPS
Last week: 11-3-1

Bulls fall behind by 21, then wake up and beat Nuggets 110-90

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Jimmy Butler scored 21 points while rookie Doug McDermott added 16 to lead the Bulls to a 110-90 rout of the Denver Nuggets in an exhibition game on Monday night.Kenneth Faried led a balanced Nuggets offense with 19 points. Jusuf Nurkic scored 15 and Timofey Mozgov and Arron Afflalo each added 10 for Denver (1-3).Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson each scored 15 while Nikola Mirotic added 12 for the Bulls (2-2).After trailing early, Denver pushed to a 30-19 lead after one quarter and led by as many as 21 in the second quarter before the Bulls launched a 29-4 run to force a 58-58 halftime tie on Tony Snell’s fast-break dunk with six seconds showing.The Bulls led 83-75 after three quarters and the Nuggets never got closer than eight in the fourth.

Cutler,Forte beat down Falcons 27-13.

Bears at Falcons

ATLANTA—Jay Cutler loves to throw the ball as far as he can.He got plenty of chances Sunday.Cutler passed for 381 yards and a touchdown, Matt Forte ran for a couple of second-half scores, and the Bears picked up another road victory by beating the Atlanta Falcons 27-13.

”We came into it knowing we were going to have to get some chunks,” Cutler said. ”We couldn’t just dink it.”

No problem there. Cutler turned in the second-highest passing total of his career, surpassed only by a 447-yard effort at Cleveland in 2008. He was 26 for 38, an especially impressive performance since six of his completions went for at least 19 yards.

”We did a few things versus man, a few things versus zone down the field,” Cutler said. ”If we can keep mixing it up like that and running the ball effectively, we should be good.”

The Bears (3-3) snapped a two-game losing streak with its third victory in four road games this season, though there were so many Bears fans at the Georgia Dome that this seemed almost like a neutral site. They got to see the Bears become the first NFL franchise to reach 750 wins.After the Falcons (2-4) rallied from a 13-3 halftime deficit to tie the game late in the third quarter, the Bears bounced back to hand Atlanta its third straight loss. Cutler unleashed a towering pass to Alshon Jeffery that went for 74 yards. On the next play, Forte took it in for a 6-yard touchdown.The Falcons went three-and-out, and the Bears finished them off with a 15-play, 87-yard drive. Forte capped the march down the field with a 9-yard scoring burst up the middle.Jeffery finished with five catches for 136 yards. Brandon Marshall chipped in with six receptions for 113 yards.The Bears’ defense also came up with a monster effort, especially since all three starting linebackers and one of their top backups were out with injuries.

”Unbelievable job,” Cutler said.

The Bears outgained the Falcons in total yards (478-287) and controlled the time of possession, holding the ball for more than 36 minutes.Atlanta’s Matt Ryan was 19 of 37 for 271 yards, including a late interception, though he seemed like a one-man team at times. His receivers sure didn’t help the cause, dropping at least seven passes. The depleted offensive line surrendered four sacks. The Falcons rushed for just 42 yards on 13 carries.The loss was a huge blow for the Falcons, who won’t have another true home game until Nov. 23. Three of the next four are on the road, with the only designated home game actually the longest road trip of all – a game against Detroit at London’s Wembley Stadium.Not a good omen for a team that has lost 10 of its last 11 on the road.

”We’ve got a tough stretch coming up,” Ryan said. ”We can’t worry about it. We can’t complain about it. We’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

The Bears are doing just fine away from the Windy City.With the score tied at 3, The Bears pulled ahead on a seven-play, 79-yard drive. Cutler went to Marshall for the biggest play, a 47-yard pass to the Atlanta 3. On the next play, Cutler passed to Josh Morgan for the touchdown.Robbie Gould’s second field goal, a 28-yarder with 2 seconds left in the half, came after Cutler directed an 83-yard drive.The Falcons showed some life in the third period. Antone Smith took a short pass 41 yards for his fifth touchdown of the season – all of them coming on plays of at least 38 yards.Smith’s big play was about as good as it got for the Falcons, even though Matt Bryant booted a 54-yard field goal to tie the game. Bryant also connected from 52 yards in the opening quarter.By the fourth quarter, the Bears defenders were whipping up their fans at the Georgia Dome, sending them into raucous chants of ”Let’s go Bears!”

”We travel well,” Marshall said. ”We gave them something to cheer about.”

NOTES—The Bears were missing starting LBs Lance Briggs (rib), D.J. Williams (neck) and Shea McClellin (hand), along with Jonathan Bostic (back), who had been projected to start for Briggs on the weakside. Only Briggs and McClellin were listed as out on the final injury report before Sunday. … Falcons LG Justin Blalock, who had missed the previous game with a back injury, returned to the lineup. … Falcons return specialist Devin Hester didn’t do much against his former team. He had one catch for 23 yards along with 54 yards on punt and kickoff returns.