Image credit: Flickr user Craig Hawkins
1.4 percent–the read-option overreaction
How widespread was the use of the read-option last year? Not very. It was on used on 1.4 percent of plays. According to Mike Sando of ESPN Insider:
The zone-read plays taking the league by storm did not happen 98.6 percent of the time. Counting playoffs, the 49ers had more penalties for offensive holding (26) than Kaepernick had rushing attempts on zone-read plays (21). League-wide, these play accounted for 1.7 percent of yards and 1.8 percent of touchdowns, counting playoffs.
Speaking of up tempo offenses…
What will be one of the biggest challenges for Chip Kelly’s high-tempo offense? Fake injuries. Former Bears tight end Martellus Bennett claims that every team fakes injuries. But thank goodness the injury faking isn’t to the level of injury faking in soccer.
Betting Line and Fantasy
One of the most interesting lines this week is fittingly on one of the most interesting games. At press time, the Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites over the Giants. The line opened at Dallas -3, and ticked up a half point in the last 10 days. In and of itself, that isn’t the least bit interesting. What is interesting, however, is that approximately 55 percent of the betting public is on the Giants, meaning the line is moving against the money.
What does this mean? Vegas is betting against the Giants and trying to get more money to come in on the Giants.
J-E-T-S! Pain! Pain! Pain!
Week 1 Previews:
- SI’s Week 1 preview with Greg Cosell of NFL Films
- Sports on Earth’s Week 1 preview by Mike Tanier
- ESPN’s Week 1 preview
Bet the Farm!
- SI’s Week 1 betting column
- Grantland’s Week 1 betting column
- ESPN Insider Week 1 Against the Spread Picks (subscription required)
- Football Outsiders Week 1 picks (subscription required)
According to NFL.com, “In 2012, eight of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs won their season openers: Falcons, Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Vikings, Patriots, 49ers and Redskins. The 47 Super Bowl winners have gone 38-8-1 in season openers.”