Must See: Manning brothers make debut broadcast on MNF
The first Sunday of the NFL season was an absolute rollercoaster. But it was nothing in comparison to what we witnessed on Monday Night Football.
If you bet on the underdog Las Vegas Raiders to cover the 3.5 or win outright at +155, you probably feel pretty good about that decision this morning.
If you bet on the Baltimore Ravens to win or cover, or even worse you teased them from -3.5 to +3.5, then you won’t forget the way last night’s game ended any time soon.
Here is the Morning Coffee for Tuesday Sept. 14, 2021.
Raiders rally in MNF thriller
The Ravens had recorded 98 straight regular-season wins in games in which they led by 14 points or more dating back to 2004.
That streak came to an end on Monday night.
After Baltimore jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, there was nothing I saw from Las Vegas that could have convinced me to bet on the black and silver live.
However, the Raiders outscored the Ravens 27-13 in the final 35 minutes of regulation, tying the game three separate times in the fourth quarter before winning it in overtime.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Las Vegas is just the third team in NFL history to tie a game on three separate occasions in the fourth quarter.
They’re the first of those three teams to go on to win the game outright.
Derek Carr went 34-of-56 for 435 yards and two touchdowns. Darren Waller had 10 catches for 105 yards and a score on a ridiculous 19 targets – the most targets by a Raider since Jerry Rice in 2002.
Josh Jacobs scored two touchdowns to go with 34 rushing yards.
Baltimore led after each of the first, second and third quarters, then appeared to seal the victory with a 47-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in regulation.
At that point, Las Vegas was +650 to win live. However, the black and silver responded again.
The Raiders moved the ball 38 yards in just 35 seconds to set up a 55-yard game-tying field goal by Daniel Carlson.
Once the game got to overtime, chaos ensued.
Las Vegas was -115 live after they got the ball to start the extra frame. Six plays later, Carr hit Bryan Edwards for a 33-yard touchdown pass to seal the comeback win.
Except that it wasn’t.
After players from both teams took the field for the traditional post-game exchanges, word came down from the booth that Edwards never broke the plane.
The Raiders offence ran back out on the field for a first-and-goal from the Baltimore 1-yard line.
After failing to punch it in on the first two downs, Carr’s third-down pass to the end zone was tipped and intercepted.
After rallying to force overtime and looking like they’d won it, Las Vegas gave the ball back to the Ravens for a chance to end it.
It was heartbreak for a packed house at Allegiant Stadium.
Not so fast.
Five plays later, Lamar Jackson put the ball on the ground for the third time in the game, turning it over for a second time.
The Raiders took over at the Baltimore 27-yard line, needing only a field goal to win it.
If you bet on Baltimore to win or cover as a 3.5-point favourite, the fumble turnover seemed to seal your fate.
However, if you teased Baltimore from -3.5 to +3.5, you probably still felt like you were in good shape knowing that Las Vegas only needed a field goal to win.
Jon Gruden sent out his special teams on second down to end the game.
However, there was still one more twist to cap off a wild Monday Night Football matchup.
The Raiders’ special teams couldn’t get set up properly in time, leading to a five-yard delay of game penalty.
Gruden pulled the field goal team off the field and sent the offence back out for a second-and-14 from the 31.
On the very next play, Carr aired it out to Zay Jones on a busted coverage for a 31-yard game-winning touchdown pass.
Raiders win by six.
After blowing three fourth-quarter leads and turning the ball over in overtime, that delay of game penalty ultimately led to Las Vegas scoring a touchdown in overtime instead of a field goal.
Ravens +3.5 is a loser. That’s a tough beat to swallow.
The Raiders’ comeback was the ninth outright win by an underdog in Week 1. That’s more than we had in any week all last season.
A $100, nine-team parlay featuring all nine of those outright winners would have paid $356,351.55.
NFL underdogs also went 12-4 against the spread.
Blue Jays win big again
After they scored a combined 44 runs in three straight wins over the Baltimore Orioles, I couldn’t wait to see what the Toronto Blue Jays’ team total would be for Monday’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
I was delighted to see it open at 4.5. I immediately bet the over.
By the time I settled in to listen to Peyton and Eli Manning talk Monday Night Football on TSN3, the Blue Jays had tagged Ryan Yarbrough for seven runs.
Toronto wasn’t done there.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a solo shot off Adam Conley in the sixth inning for his 45th home run of the season – the most in the majors.
The Blue Jays went on to win the game 8-1, improving to 12-1 in the month of September.
Guerrero Jr., who was 40-1 to lead the majors in home runs this season, has homered in three of his past four games to move one up on Shohei Ohtani for the most in the majors.
He owns the second-best batting average in the majors and is tied for the third-most RBI.
If only Guerrero could pitch as well.
As of this morning, Ohtani remains the overwhelming favourite to win American League MVP at -7000. Guerrero is the second choice at +1500.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, the Blue Jays are the only team in modern MLB history to hit 36 home runs with a .330 batting average in any 13-game span.
They’ll try for a fifth straight win tonight against the Rays.
The total? It’s once again set at 4.5.
Toronto is -130 on the money line with Jose Berrios scheduled to get the start opposite Drew Rasmussen.
Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the Minnesota Twins couldn’t do them any favours on Monday night.
The Twins led the New York Yankees 5-0 through five only to lose that game 6-5 in 10 innings.
The Blue Jays are still one game up on the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox for the first AL Wild Card.
On Aug. 23, FanGraphs gave Toronto just an 11.2 per cent chance to make the playoffs.
Three weeks later, FanGraphs now has the Blue Jays listed at 73.3 per cent to make the playoffs.