When looking at the results at the end of a Sunday, it is easy to see the numbers as set in stone. This is in direct opposition to the way we process the games before hand - with percentages and likelihoods and chances all baked into our decision making. No team is guaranteed to win, no result certain, and this is how we should approach the game afterwards as well.
In order to gain an advantage over those who do not learn like an owl eats, we can look at these results and see that the results are not set in stone, but were the products of some variance. If that variance goes the other way in the future, we will be prepared and will walk away with our pockets filled.
So without further ado, here’s what didn’t happen in Week 1:
What didn’t happen: Tampa Bay and San Francisco scoring more points
In a game that was meant to be a high scoring affair, the final total and especially the first half numbers did not reflect the reality that this was an offensive explosion of a game.
Going into the half, Tampa Bay led San Francisco 7-6. Looking at those numbers, you might start to rethink a bet on the over or investments in either of the offenses. And although reality may seem to prove you right, a deeper dive shows that betting on offense was a sound bet and that the probabilities just didn’t pan out.
In this case, that was because of five (FIVE!) touchdowns being called back in the first half. All passing attempts, there were 2 Kittle, 1 Mostert, and 2 Brate scores nullified due to penalty.
Had even two of these gone through, the numbers would have born out and you would be patting yourself on the back for believing in these offenses and doubting the defenses. In reality, sloppy, rusty, undisciplined play makes the numbers look different.
What didn’t happen: Adam Vinatieri making kicks, the Colts Winning
Let’s start by saying that Indy covered, just as we at Owl Eats Football told you. But, this was a game that had a Colts cover and potential win written all over it. By the end, however, the score told a story of a team that fought hard but ended up losing to the superior Chargers, getting lucky to cover.
The reality, though, is that the Colts would not have needed a semi-miraculous T.Y. Hilton TD and 2 point conversion were it not for the greatest kicker of our time missing three kicks (1 PAT, and 2 FGs - on from inside 30 yards) leaving 7 points unclaimed.
Of course the score dictated play call and changes the course of the game, but the fact that these points were off the board could make someone not looking closely at the game to prematurely write off the Colts as the ones who were hanging on.
In fact, the Chargers had a swinging door at Left Tackle all day, looked lackluster stopping the run, and caving in moments of leverage (i.e. letting T.Y. Hilton loose multiple times including with the game on the line).
Sure, Austin Ekeler ran loose, but he does that against most and made the most of his hay on three long plays.
This Indy team was better, this Charger’s team has issues, and the score indicated neither of these things thanks, in part, to Vinatieri throwing the score into disarray.
What didn’t happen: The Bills blowing out the Jets
To anyone who watched The Bills-Jets game on Sunday, a few things were evident:
1) The Bills D is for real
2) The Jets offense is not for real
3) Josh Allen is still a roller coaster, but maybe not as much.
On top of these things, what also should have been evident is the fact that the Bills are the better team. Looking at the final score, the breadth of this margin is not clear.
At halftime, the Jets led 6-0 after the Bills turned the ball over 4 times. Now, you might say, but turning the ball over is a sign the Bills will not be good as they do not value the ball security and play sloppy.
Fair, but to that I say that two interceptions bounced off the hands of receivers and one fumble was the product of what looked to be a miscommunication between center and QB that resulted in the ball sitting on the ground. All three still count, and all three are a sign of rustiness, but the reality is that there is a lot of variance in turnovers and the Bills found themselves on the wrong side yesterday. Add in the fact that one of those off the receiver interceptions was a pick 6 for the Jets and the score becomes even more misleading.
In the second half, the Jets ballooned their lead to 16-0, but did so with some more sloppy Bills play bailing them out. On New York’s only offensive touchdown drive, the Jets benefited from a defensive penalty wiping out a failed third down conversion and keeping them alive. Had this turned into a punt, the Jets could have easily failed to score and the Bills could have easily won this game by ten, first half aside.
Certainly it is important to consider what did happen, and open our minds to the fact that the Bills may be a turnover, mistake prone team, but I believe if we look closer we can see that the D is stout, Josh Allen is a playmaker, John Brown is a real threat, and Sean McDermott is a coach who can fix mistakes.
I already picked them up -2.5 @ NYG next week. For the second week in a row, they’ll be the best team playing in New Jersey.