Tuesday, September 15, 2020

TUESDAY TIDBITS: "Drifted Over to the Right"

By TJ Troup

We have one week in the books of the 2020 NFL season and was very impressed with the quality of football played this past weekend. Always some surprises, and of course some of the games and teams were true to form. 

Before the season began Conor Orr at SI listed what he believed to be each teams record for the season. Not sure if Mr. Orr has ever placed a wager, and without a War & Peace saga of my betting history—wagering on Pro Football is not very easy. 

The week to week with point spreads is daunting enough, and as such much of my success was season win totals. Since Paul Lionel Zimmerman was not allowed to bet due to SI policy, he was very helpful for me as we would discuss what we thought my best bets would be.

 First off, you NEVER bet a total that is a whole number! Whether you bet over or under the total the listed total for the team in Vegas must have a 1/2 involved. Mr. Orr stated he did not want anyone to challenge his selections, and recently he shared that he was not near as confident in his win totals. 

Lack of confidence? No backbone? No conviction? Imagine Conor Orr in a room with me and Dr. Z? Possibly a puddle of tears under his desk after we would challenge him? 

All that said, here are a few of his totals, and for those of you keeping score, would relish your comments in late December. Orr has Pittsburgh winning 13 games. Wore my Jack Butler jersey last night, and thoroughly enjoyed the road victory, BUT the Steelers will not win 13 games, total will be less. Probably a playoff team, but not with 13 wins. 

Next up you ask? New Orleans with 14 wins—Orr is delusional. Saints sure looked impressive Sunday and are no doubt a playoff team, but New Orleans will win less than 14. The Seahawks earned a road victory, but their total is also far too high; strongest division in football, and as such they will win less than 12 games. 

Orr has the 49ers at 8-8, and though they lost San Francisco will win at least 9 games. Finally my beloved Bears—and Orr has them winning 6 games. Since they won on the road and do not play a first-place schedule this year, Chicago is my most confident bet—they will win at least 7, and only need to go 6-9 the rest of the way, and play NYG at home this Sunday. Five wagers, we will see how Orr does against me. 

Michael Rothstein at ESPN detailed the Lions collapse on Sunday, and will use the title "dead man walking" for this next segment. Detroit has had the lead in 20 of the 33 4th quarters in which Matt P. has been coach. Eleven times he lost the lead, and 10 of those became losses (tie with Cardinals last year is the other). His corners has injury issues, and the lack of discipline by Jamie Collins demonstrates Detroit is headed for last place. Matt P. is 0-1, and the following three weeks he faces Green Bay on the road, the Cardinals on the road, and the Saints at home on October 4th. 

Then the bye week; will Matt P. be the head coach of the Lions when Detroit heads to Jacksonville on October 18th? If there is a change, hopefully, the Lions will hire someone who actually can teach pass defense since Matt P. does not have a clue. Don't believe me, watch the replay of the loss on Sunday, and get back to me. 

Tom Sestak (70) chases Len Dawson

Each week in this column will detail a historical aspect or performance. September 13th, 1964 the Buffalo Bills opened the season with a convincing victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Lou Saban and his main lieutenant Joel Collier have built the best defense in the AFL, and the Chiefs are about to get a lesson from the Lake Erie Warriors led by my main man Tom Sestak. Kansas City will gain 11 yards rushing in the first half on 9 attempts. Sestak sheds blocks, and takes down runners, and has the motivated tough-minded teammates to help him. 

During the second half Curtis McClinton reels off a 30-yard run, otherwise, the Chiefs gain 29 yards on 12 attempts. Buffalo has the lead when Len Dawson attempts a screen pass on a first and ten play from his own twenty-yard line. To quote Big Ses . . ."I read their set up and smelled a screen pass so I drifted over to the right". Sestak intercepts and trundles into the end zone to score on his 15-yard return. Fourth quarter and Dawson completes a pass to Jerrel Wilson (yes he did play some running back), and Wilson fumbles win hit, and the recovery is by Tom. Last Kansas City series Sestak takes down Dawson twice to finish with 3 sacks. Name the last defender who recorded 3 sacks, a fumble recovery, an interception return for a touchdown, and you can even add his two tackles for loss on McClinton running plays. Len Dawson is simply quoted "that . . .Sestak", and Red Miller scouting for Denver stated that coach Jack Faulkner "(W)ould trade his entire coaching staff " for Sestak. 


  1. Probably still the best interior D lineman to play for the Bills. No doubt a HOFer had his knees held up! Sestak's 1964 season stacks up against ANYBODY's ... 14 1/2 sacks in a 14 game season ... by a defensive tackle ... are you kiddin' me? He was the anchor of defense that went 17 straight outings without surrendering a rushing TD.
    Nice job, Coach.

  2. In regards to Patricia, I haven't seen any difference between how the Lions performed before his hiring and how they've performed after. What do you make of the fact that Belichick's assistants/GMs always perform terribly once they leave the Patriots? Does it make you respect Belichick more? Less? I've noticed the same thing on the college level with Nick Saban at Alabama.

  3. Coach, I have to laugh at you pointing out Detroit's lack of pass defense....in his press conference after the loss, Patricia referenced the INT > Seattle from the one that iced the SuperBowl...what FIVE years ago? "I was the D coach then, and that proves I'm a great coach..."...good luck with that......as always, great read