SUNDAY NIGHT HOMER PICK
The Seattle Seahawks must be feeling nostalgic with the signings of runningbacks Robert Turbin and Marshawn Lynch prior to their Week 17 encounter with the San Francisco 49ers. The trip down memory lane is the result of putting Chris Carson on the I.R. along with Rashaad Penny, and C.J. Prosise. The only healthy running back that was on the roster to begin the year is rookie RB Travis Homer who Pete Carroll said the team “would lean on Homer in the running game against the 49ers.”
Homer is a 2019 sixth-round pick out of Miami (FL) with 4.58 speed who is a great mix of speed, athleticism and toughness and was one of the best pass-pro RBs in the draft. The knocks on the runner are his vision and minimal use in the passing game (19 catches in 13 games last year).
San Francisco may have the league’s No. 12 DVOA rush defense, but Kyle Shannahan’s defense is allowing just 92 yards rushing a game over its last three games. It will be tough sledding for the rookie, but with his rushing total set at a manageable 42.5 yards, it’s hard to pass on since his coach has said that the volume will be there.
We are taking Homer’s Over 42.5 yards as we think he gets 13-15 rushes on the low end.
BILLS CRAWLING INTO PLAYOFFS
People who defend the Buffalo offense are kidding themselves. Josh Allen has just missed too many deep throws, taken too many sacks and fumbled too often. The Bills are putting up just 236 yards of offense over their last three games which is the second-worst mark in the league behind teams like Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.
With Buffalo already locked into the 5th seed in the AFC, the Bills will rest some players versus the New York Jets on Sunday, but head coach Sean McDermott told reporters that Josh Allen and the majority of the offense will play.
New York held a similarly bad offense in Pittsburgh to 260 yards and 10 points last week and should get healthier on defense in Week 17.
Josh Allen may start, but there is a good chance he catches a breather in the second half. We are backing the Under on the Bills’ team total of 18.5 — a number they haven’t topped in three straight weeks and will struggle against the Jets’ No. 2 DVOA rush defense.
ALLEN WITH HISTORY
Sticking with the Bills, QB Josh Allen has a skill set that scouts love but hasn’t produced big numbers in the NFL passing department, (yet?). Versus the Jets in Week 17, Allen will have a chance to become just the second NFL QB (Cam Newton did it twice) to throw for 3,000 yards, rush for 500 yards, pass for 20 TDs and rush for 10 TDs.
All the Buffalo QB needs to do is rush for one TD on Sunday to reach the milestone.
If and when the Bills get inside the 10, we are looking for Allen to call his own number and reach double-digit rushing TDs. Allen will finish the season with the most rushing TDs by a QB regardless, but we are hoping the 10 TD milestone is a number that the QB and coaching staff are aware of. Take J.Allen to get a rushing TD for plus-money.
PLAYOFF PATH: DALLAS COWBOYS
Jason Garrett hasn’t been fired yet even though fans have been calling for it ever since the beatdown the Dallas Cowboys took at home on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys can still win the division and a trip to the playoffs despite the fact that they have lost four of their last five games. ESPN gives Dallas a 73.8 probability of making it to the postseason, but the path is partially out of its hands.
The first step is to beat the Washington Redskins in Dallas as 10.5-point favorites. The Cowboys have won eight of the last 10 matchups and knocked off Washington in Week 2, 31-21. The Redskins will be without rookie QB Dwayne Haskins and possibly No. 1 receiver Terry McLaurin who is in the concussion protocol.
The second step is a Philadelphia Eagles loss to the New York Giants. The Eagles are 4.5-point road chalk and have won the last six matchups. The Giants have only two divisional wins this year with both those coming against Washington. If Daniel Jones can put up some points, things could get real interesting as the Eagles could be without Zach Ertz and are real short in the playmaker department.
If you are a Cowboys backer, don’t forget to put some of that stocking stuffer cheddar on the Cowboys ML (-500) and the Giants ML (+180) for a +233 payout and a playoff berth.
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