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Countdown to Next Play:

San Francisco 49ers 0-0
Chicago Bears 0-0
Cincinnati Bengals 0-0
Buffalo Bills 0-0
Denver Broncos 0-0
Cleveland Browns 0-0
PACKERS - SEAHAWKS
Thursday, September 4 - 5:30 PM
AT

SAINTS - FALCONS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

VIKINGS - RAMS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

BROWNS - STEELERS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

JAGUARS - EAGLES
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

RAIDERS - JETS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

BENGALS - RAVENS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

BILLS - BEARS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

REDSKINS - TEXANS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

TITANS - CHIEFS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

PATRIOTS - DOLPHINS
Sunday, September 7 - 10:00 AM
AT

PANTHERS - BUCCANEERS
Sunday, September 7 - 1:25 PM
AT

49ERS - COWBOYS
Sunday, September 7 - 1:25 PM
AT

COLTS - BRONCOS
Sunday, September 7 - 5:30 PM
AT

GIANTS - LIONS
Monday, September 8 - 4:10 PM
AT

CHARGERS - CARDINALS
Monday, September 8 - 7:20 PM
AT

San Francisco 49ers 98
Denver Broncos 97
Seattle Seahawks 97
New England Patriots 94
New Orleans Saints 92
Green Bay Packers 87
The NFL

Offense or Defense

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HEADLINE PLAY
     
Rush to the Front
By Dennis Ranahan

All 32 National Football League teams are in action on the same day this week, Thursday. Only one more time this season will that occur, on Sunday, December 28, when every team completes their regular season on the same day. The reason for both schedule intersections collecting all franchises is a competitive one. All 32 teams are looking to gain an advantage, or at least not give one away.

An NFL regular season used to end with a couple Saturday games and a Monday Night Football primetime telecast. No more. Once a team was scheduled on the road on a Monday that was followed by a Wild Card game the following week the powers decided that could be a disadvantage. It happened with the San Francisco 49ers in 2002, and while they survived their Wild Card game the week after meeting the St. Louis Rams on the road the previous Monday night they got crushed the following week in Florida against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Saturday games continued until the 2007 season. At one time the league played three Saturday games once they abandoned the Monday Night Football time slot, playing two during the day and a night game. But, by seven seasons ago that had eroded to just one Saturday game played in prime time. That year, 2007, the New England Patriots downed the New York Giants, 38-35, to complete their perfect 16-0 regular season the night before the other 30 teams completed their season on Sunday. The Patriots met the Giants again five weeks later in Super Bowl XLII and lost an equally close game to end their bid for a perfect campaign.

With an eye on making the playing field level for all teams entering the postseason, since 2008 the regular season has concluded with all 32 teams in action on the final Sunday. While the league powers determined the regular season schedule, the gravitation to the preseason ending with every team in action on Thursday is the result of the individual teams looking to schedule a competitive edge.

Preseason schedules are arranged by the individual teams amongst themselves. They avoid playing a division opponent, take geography and stadium availability into consideration and then agree to a playing date against an opponent. The final week of the preseason used to have games on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and, more than two decades ago, Monday night. It was first whispered amongst teams that squads that got their final preseason game in on Thursday had more time to work their roster before the final cutdown date.


Buyer Beware
Results over Claims

By Terry Cox

We are weeks away from the start of regular season football. This is the time of year when football fans are enticed to purchase "investment advice."

In the next two months, the inundation of ads from tout services will be like a Slide Mountain mudslide. You will need a pair of hip waders to slog through all of the bull stuff.

A tout service is a business that sells advice on sports wagering. These businesses have proliferated nationwide and are totally unregulated, whereas legal sports wagering exists only in a couple of states and is fiercely regulated.

Ever since people were discovered to be gullible, there has been "caveat emptor." That is, let the buyer beware. From the frontier days of snake-oil hucksters to the computerized trading of Wall Street wealth-management corporations, there are products that often come with a pitch that sounds too good to be true.

I just "googled" sports handicapping. Among the myriad tout services that came up, I picked a website to visit totally at random. On this website, I read that this operator "specializes in BIG information direct from wise guys in Vegas."

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