Bob Kemp’s Bottom Line



       *THE NFL COULD HAVE FLEXED SUNDAY’S TEXANS-RAVENS GAME: But there was ZERO CHANCE that was going to happen with the Bears-Rams (the Chicago and Los Angeles television markets) the originally scheduled NBC matchup.
       *THE NFL SEASON IS 58 PERCENT COMPLETE: Heading into Thursday night, 108 games remained in the regular season.
       *THE RAMS SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE: Sean McVay’s offense is currently broken, the quarterback’s performance looks like a bad contract and the Cardinals, 49ers and Seahawks are all improved from last season.
       *IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE IN THE BILLS: Their six wins have come against teams that are a combined 12-44.
       *DANIEL JONES’ POOR POCKET PRESENCE IS SURPRISING: Maybe Duke coach David Cutcliffe is not the end-all quarterback guru?  
       *PENN STATE FALLING SHORT AGAINST ELITE OPPONENTS HAS THE FANS UPSET: The Nittany Lions are 1-7 on the road against ranked opponents under James Franklin after last Saturday’s loss at Minnesota.
       *IOWA STATE’S CLOSE GAMES WOES CONTIJNUE: The Cyclones four losses are by a combined 11 points.
       *IT’S TIME FOR THIS WEEK’S USC HOT COACHING RUMOR: The LATEST name is Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, the coach of all those close losses this season.
       *CINCINNATI HEAD COACH LUKE FICKELL IS NOT LONG FOR THE QUEEN CITY: He has been mentioned if Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio is done and for the Penn State job if James Franklin bolts for USC, or somewhere else.
       *VIRGINIA TECH WILL BE IN THE ACC TITLE GAME IS IT WINS OUT: If it happens, that would mean a 16th consecutive win over arch-rival Virginia.


        *AT 10:15, THE LOCAL ROUNDUP: Topped by Kliff Kingsbury, Tom Clements and Vance Joseph Meet The Press 
        *AT 10:30, A CARDINALS-49ERS PREVIEW: with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports-Bay Area
       *IN THE FINAL SEGMENT OF HOUR NUMBER ONE – THE NATIONAL ROUNDUP: topped by The Latest Line (including would Bob be running to a window today if he were in a legal wagering state), plus From The Scoreboard and Personal Updates
        *AT 11:30, OUR WEEKLY FANTASY FOOTBALL UPDATE: including should Kenyan Drake be started ahead of David Johnson with Mario Puig of
        *AND, FROM NOON-1:00: The Extra Point, hosted by Kayla, including Cardinals-49ers predictions and analysis




        *NFL HEROES (TEAM) – THE SEAHAWKS: The overtime win at Santa Clara means they are just one game behind the NFC West leading 49ers.
        *NFL HERO (PLAYER) – MINKAH FITZPATRICK: The Steelers defensive back is making a run at the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award after his sixth takeaway and second touchdown since being traded from Miami in Week Three
        *NFL HERO (COACH) – BRIAN FLORES: The Dolphins have committed the fewest penalties in the NFL and now won two straight displaying effort and discipline.
        *NFL ZEROES (TEAM) – THE BENGALS: No question the worst team in the league and complete no shows on Sunday against the Ravens who scored 49 points with just 23 minutes in time of possession.
        *NFL ZERO (PLAYERS) – THE SAINTS OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE LINES: The now two-loss Saints, 13½-point favorites, were outrushed 143-52 and finished minus five in sack differential by the now two-win Falcons.  
        *NFL ZERO (COACH) – JASON GARRETT: The final quarter playcalling and clock management blunders significantly reduced the Cowboys chances of beating the Vikings, a loss that could become a crushing tiebreaking loss in NFC playoff seeding.  
        *CFB HEROES (TEAM) – MINNESOTA: The Gophers are 9-0 for the first time since 1903 after its first win over a top five opponent since 1999. over previously fourth-ranked Penn State.    
        *CFB HERO (PLAYER) – JOE BURROW: Engrave his name on the 2019 Heisman Trophy after he toyed with the Alabama defense.
        *CFB HERO (COACH) – JEREMY PRUITT: The Tennessee nation wanted him fired after early season home losses to Georgia State and BYU, but his players made their case for Pruitt with four of five wins (the lone loss to Alabama).
        *CFB ZEROES (TEAM) – MICHIGAN STATE: Four straight losses after blowing a 31-6 lead and losing at home to Illinois proves Mark Dantanio’s conservative style suddenly is pre-historic.
        *CFB ZERO (PLAYER) – PENN STATE QUARTERBACK SEAN CLIFFORD: His third interception on Saturday in the end zone on the final drive sealed the win for Minnesota. Previously, he had three picks in the first eight games.
        *CFB ZERO (COACH) – MIKE LEACH: The head coach is running out of others to blame after Washington State dropped to 0-4 on the road in 2019.



       THE BOTTOM LINE: How could there not be a booth review on the final play? Previously, the Cardinals defense was accurately called for  booth review interference in the end zone on what became the Buccaneers game-winning touchdown drive. There is no question the Cardinals did everything wrong to lose, starting with the Murray interception leading 27-23 and in field goal position, but they still should have been granted a game-tying field goal attempt at the end of regulation. This is another example of the NFL officiating hitting rock bottom throughout the 2019 season. 
       PRE-GAME: The inactive list is interesting with starting right tackle Justin Murray out again = Justin Pugh at right tackle and Mason Cole at left guard for a second straight week … Defensive backs Tremaine Brock and Deionte Thompson are both out which means Kevin Peterson and Chris Jones (playing for first time since waived and re-signed to practice squad) will have significant snaps … Also, inactive for a second straight week is Damiere Byrd in favor of Andy Isabella who is playing only because he was a second-round draft pick who does not consistently catch the ball.
       FIRST QUARTER: Cardinals defense first possession stop – Gunter 2nd play stop followed by Murphy first career pick at TB 37 – Cardinals two first downs (Drake both) before Murray badly overthrows wide open Cooper in end zone and Murray throws high to KJohnson (maybe should have been caught) that would be first down at five = another red zone failure and Gonzalez 37 yard field goal – AZ 3-0, 11:17 … Buccaneers short field after Gonzalez kickoff out of bounds, then Cardinals defense allowed 60-yard td drive even with Buccaneers being penalized three times and sacked twice (Suggs and Jones) – worst play was 3rd+15 dump off pass to RB Jones who broke tackles for 18 yards – Baker got run through by Jones on seven yard touchdown run – TB 7-3, 3:42 … Not surprisingly, Cardinals can’t run against Buccaneers rush defense which is best in NFL – David Johnson lack of explosiveness (since 2016 knee injury) bad matchup vs. Buccaneers (lost yards on his first three carries) 
       SECOND QUARTER: Cardinals move ball to 31, then consecutive false starts on tackles Humphries and Pugh resulted in Gonzalez 53-yard field goal – TB 7-6, 14:19 … Cardinals defense fortunate to get stop when blitzing Reddick deflected pass on 3+9 from 12 that likely would have been touchdown – prior, Cardinals awful tackling on Barber’s 17-yard run (his longest since eight-yard run in Week Two) = TB 10-6, 8:57 … Cardinals ugly 3+out – Drake TFL, Murray deep throw way out of bounds (uncharacteristically, he has been off target on nearly every pass today), then on third down Pugh badly beat by Barrett … Cardinals defense lucky three+out – Winston overthrew wide open former Cardinal Logan for big yards on third down who had badly beaten Reddick who Arians knows can’t cover running backs or tight ends (6:18) … Murray’s lack of height is causing major issues today with Cardinals OL being beat up middle forcing him to throw from pocket which has resulted in at least five high throws – two consecutive ugly three+outs (5:24) … Cardinals defense impressive three+out, including Joseph wisely going zone and 3rd+10 … Daniels holding on punt return (not his first special teams penalty) = Cardinals start drive at four – but Murray +32 called run on first play – 4+5, TB 44, Kingsbury goes for it (metrics must say yes) and they get first down because of great one-handed catch, sliding inbounds by Fitz (he best catch of season) – two plays later, Murray lazer shot end zone pass TD to Kirk 33 yards = AZ 13-10, 1:03 … Cardinals defense awful response after TD – with a stop would have had ball with lead to start second half – how can Reddick be on field in passing situation – got beat by RB for +11 and actually good coverage but 27 to TE Howard to 12 – next play, Murphy awful coverage on easy Winston to Howard TD from 12 (Murphy bad last two games) = TB 17-13, 0:08 … two teams lacking many good players and two really bad offensive lines 
       THIRD QUARTER: Cardinals first drive – +55 to Isabella (short pass and run) – 4+1, 23, Kingsbury makes right call and goes for it, great call, Maxx Williams drops sure TD looking back into sun (13:14) … Reddick, apparently, has been benched – Walker starts second half … Cardinals lucky to not allow TD – Buccaneers dropped td (Murphy was beat again) = TB 20-13, 8:42 … Cardinals two-play TD drive – Isabella +6 (caught it with hands, not body, a rarity) – then Murray perfect 69 yard TD to Kirk when Buccaneers weren’t lined up against Cardinals up-tempo = 20-20, 8:19 … Peterson lower leg injury when clipped = Chris Jones (back from practice squad after being benched earlier this season) in for Peterson … Murphy beaten badly again but Winston missed Evans for TD (Winston’s third missed TD today) … Peterson missed three plays before returning, which gets Murphy away from Evans … Cardinals one first down before Murray off target with throw to wide open KJohnson who might have pulled up not to get hit … to repeat from earlier, these are two teams short on starting NFL talent – many starters should be backups on good teams (3:26) … Reddick back in for Walker, so not benched … Baker great deflection and anticipation with Hicks intercepting it at Tampa 20 – awful throw Winston … David Johnson fumbled at 11 (would have been third and one) when ball stripped and recovered by Tampa (Cardinals first loss fumble season – Johnson tied for most fumbles in league with 15 since 2015) … Cardinals in man defense, Winston runs for 27 on third+12 from nine yard line on final play of quarter = big field position flip 
       FOURTH QUARTER: Cardinals had stop on 46-yard field goal miss but Peterson offside, so 41 yard redo is good = TB 23-20, 9:44 > Cardinals, before made field goal, allowed third down conversions on 3+12, 3+15 and 3+9 … Cardinals one first down before punt – awful blocking BUT Cardinals great fake punt flea flicker with Lee to Cooper deep +26 – next play Kirk to Fitz deep PI = ball at TB 38 – next play after fake punt, Fitz draws interference call to 13, two plays after that, Murray to wide open Kirk for third TD = AZ 27-23, 7:22 … Arians was awful with challenges while Cardinals coach – still bad – has blown two time outs in fourth quarter … Murray first pick 212 passes on 2+10 @ 15 – Cardinals were in field goal position (3:17) … Cardinals allow 78 yards on three plays (bad tackling Hicks, Murphy in for injured Peterson beat, and run play with more bad tackling = from TB 9 to AZ 13 (2:00) > Buccaneers ball at one after replay booth correctly rules PI against Murphy who is having awful game since first drive pick – TB 1 yard TD run = TB 30-27, 1:43 – Patrick Peterson was not on field during final drive because of injury … The Cardinals final drive was a circus, including some of the worst clock management ever during the final minute, but the officiating crew (field and booth review) totally screwed the Cardinals on the final drive when they failed to call pass interference on the final play when Cooper was clearly interfered with. It was even more aggravating because the Cardinals defense was accurately called via booth review that gave the Buccaneers the ball at the one yard line two plays prior to the game-winning touchdown … Back to the final drive, the Cardinals clock management was horrendous, so bad that, if properly executed, they would have had more time on the clock … This was a brutal day for everyone – the Cardinals blew it, the Buccaneers did not play at a winning level, and the NFL is lucky this was a game between two bad teams that few care about or they would be catching hell for the poor execution of booth review.
        LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK: Buccaneers 5 Cardinals (51) – significant late money on the Buccaneers and under … SPORTS ZONE PREDICTION: Cardinals 30, Buccaneers 27


USC 31, ASU 26

       THE BOTTOM LINE: ASU’s once promising season has quickly vanished with three consecutive losses, largely because of dumb penalties and horrendous tackling, two areas it actually at previously.
       PRE=GAME: Jayden Daniels is not in uniform and will not play – no official reason has announced – he did have a lower leg issue in the last game two weeks ago at UCLA but finished the game with seemingly no issues .- .. Also, starting linebacker Darien Butler (illness) is reportedly not in uniform
       FIRST QUARTER: ASU’s recent run of undisciplined play continued on the first possession – a personal foul on Robertson was part of the USC touchdown drive = USC 7-0, 9:56 … Yellen starts at QB – has not thrown a pass this season – ASU 3+out (odd playcalling – incomplete, incomplete, sack … ASU total no shows (NO QB, NO PLAY) – awful tackling during USC four-play drive for second td (Slovis 11 of 11 first two drives) = USC 14-0, 6:14 … Aiyuk 96 kick return to three – Yellen 5 yard td pass on third down to uncovered Williams = USC 14-7, 5:12 … ASU tackling is atrocious – three posssessions, three touchdowns = Slovis three touchdown passes back home = USC 21-7, 2:36 … After Aiyuk kickoff return to midfield – Yellen sure pick dropped, Benjamin fumbled and second down = three+out … USC 3+7, from own 5 – 95 yard touchdown – somehow receiver behind three ASU defensive backs – Slovis 297 yards IN FIRST QUARTER and ASU zero first downs (pardon me, but I am going to focus my attention on Alabama-LSU) … Can you declare that a team quit if it didn’t show up to begin with? 
       SECOND QUARTER: Yellen inexperienced bad goal-line pick into double coverage … ASU forced first punt (8:00) … Darby runs right past USC CB – Yellen great throw but Zendejas missed extra point = USC 28-13, 6:47 … Fields pick at goal line on inexplicable Slovis throw into double covered … USC cheap shot festival has offiicially started … Benjamin has become a fumbling machine – two more today, second lost at USC 45 and ASU driving 4:00) 
       THIRD QUARTER: ASU 60 yard TD drive after USC squib kick because of Aiyuk two returns in first half and season-long kick coverage issues – TD Yellen 8 to Aiyuk = USC 28-20, 11:32 but Aiyuk  celebration penalty with fans (a good rule) and then ASU kickoff out of bounds so USC gets ball at midfield … Slovis and USC starting center injured on same play (6:00) … Crosswell should have had a pick but had ball taken away from him by receiver – next play USC field goal = USC 31-20, 1:26
       FOURTH QUARTER: ASU recovers fumble (Davidson caused fumble moments after analytics play-by-play man foolishly questioned Herm for punting the ball to a team that lost its starting quarterback and center on last drive – it is mind boggling how many know it all bad announcers are in college football … Yellen missing many easy pitch + catch throws – another three+out (13:00) … ASU first three and out of game with backup QB and backup center still in for ASU (12:00) … ASU td Yellen slant to Darby for 15 yard td but Yellen two-point conversion pass dropped = USC 31-26, 8:54 – ASU had to blow time out to avoid delay on two-point conversion – Also, ASU fortunate that drive continued after Yellen awful pick but Pac 12 officiating crew an awful roughing passer call on USC meant ASU kept ball … How did ASU, a great tackling team early this season, become an awful tacking team – almost never seen a team, at any level, do that with the basically the same players … ASU takes over at one – three and out after third down drop by Porter (5:00) … ASU, after USC dropped game-ending pick, marched to USC 35 but USC DL Rector spectacular interception to end game = three straight ASU losses and Herm now 1-3 against LA schools last two seasons.