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NFL Picks: Green Bay big home favorite over terrible Washington defense

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NFL Picks: Green Bay big home favorite over terrible Washington defense

Game of the week

Kansas City at Tennessee

The Chiefs are a 4 1/2-point road favorite and the combination of their blowout win at Washington and the Chargers’ blowout loss at Baltimore last week put them just a game behind the Bolts/Las Vegas. Tennessee is coming off an emotional win over Buffalo on Monday night and the Titans will have a letdown.

Chiefs 34, Titans 24

Lock of the week

Washington at Green Bay

Before traveling to Denver next Sunday, WFT (a 9 1/2-point underdog) will serve as the Packers’ punching bag at Lambeau Field. It is remarkable that a defense with so many first-round picks, led by Chase Young, can be so bad. WFT is second-worst in yards allowed (423.0), worst in pass defense (309.5) and worst in points allowed (31.0).

Packers 38, Washington 17

Upset of the week

Atlanta at Miami

How can anybody pick the Dolphins after their loss to Jacksonville last week in London? The 1-4 Fins are a 2 1/2-point favorite and declined the post-London bye week to play the Falcons, who were off last week. The only thing that may save general manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores is swinging a deal for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Falcons 30, Dolphins 14


Around the AFC: Tennessee’s Derrick Henry running away from other tailbacks

Mark Zaleski, The Associated Press

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) dives into the end zone for a touchdown ahead of Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace (39) in the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

Around the AFC

Henry running wild. Tennessee tailback/wrecking crew Derrick Henry is running away with the NFL rushing lead … literally. The Yulee Bulldozer — the nickname I’ll take credit for giving him when he was a high school player in the Jacksonville, Fla., area — enters Week 7 with 783 rushing yards, a whopping 260 more than the next-closest player (Cleveland’s Nick Chubb). Henry’s 10 rushing touchdowns are double any other player. He can’t keep up this pace, right? His current projections are for 459 carries for 2,218 yards, which would both be single-season records albeit in a 17-game season. The current record holders are Eric Dickerson (2,105 yards for the Rams in 1984) and Larry Johnson (416 carries for Kansas City in 2006).

Perryman trade working out. Those watching last week’s Broncos game against Las Vegas probably noticed No. 52 in a white jersey/silver britches all over the field. It was middle linebacker Denzel Perryman and he has proved to be one of the best preseason acquisitions in the league. Perryman signed a two-year, $6 million contract with Carolina, which flipped him with a seventh-round pick to the Raiders for a sixth-round pick on Aug. 26. Perryman previously played for Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley with the Chargers and replaced Nicholas Morrow, who sustained an August foot injury. Perryman is tied with Seattle’s Bobby Wagner for the NFL tackle lead (72) and has at least 10 tackles in every game.

AFC cross-off teams. The AFC has only one team with five wins (Baltimore) compared with six for the NFC (Arizona has six to lead the way). Cross-off-from-playoff-contention teams already are the Jets (1-4), Miami (1-5), Houston (1-5) and Jacksonville (1-5). A 9-8 record could secure the seventh and final playoff spot. At least the Jets and Jaguars feel they have their quarterbacks in place.


Around the NFC: Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs’ interception ability puts him in rare company

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs on ...

Steven Senne, The Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs on the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass.

Around the NFC

Record-tying Diggs. Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs is outshining his brother Stefon, the Buffalo Bills’ star receiver. Trevon joined Pittsburgh’s Rod Woodson as the only two players in league history with seven interceptions in their team’s first six games with last week’s interception-for-a-touchdown at New England. Frequent notes contributor Dan Daly researched that Diggs is only the 10th player to have at least 10 interceptions in their first 18 career games; the only Hall of Famer on the list is Mike Haynes. In the last 42 years, the only player with a season of more than 11 interceptions is the Raiders’ Lester Hayes (13 in 1980).

Adams, Kupp starring. The last time the NFL had two 1,600-yard receivers in the same year was 2015 when defenses had no answers for Atlanta’s Julio Jones (1,871) and Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (1,834). Through six games, Green Bay’s Davante Adams (668) and the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp (653) are averaging 100-plus yards per game. Their statistics are even more impressive considering both of their teams are 5-1 and have three wins by double digits, meaning they aren’t in must-throw-to-rally mode. Both players should have big games Sunday — Adams faces Washington’s league-worst pass defense and Kupp plays the 19th-ranked Detroit pass defense.

Panthers back to .500. Feel better, Broncos fans, your team isn’t the only one who followed a 3-0 start with three consecutive losses to fall crashing back to reality. Carolina won by five, 19 and 15 points and have lost by eight (at Dallas), three (vs. Philadelphia) and six (vs. Minnesota) points. Credit coach Matt Rhule for pounding the drums after the overtime loss to the Vikings in which Carolina passed 41 times and ran 23 (four of those were quarterback scrambles). “We’re going to run the football,” he said. The Panthers play at the lowly Giants on Sunday.

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Hawaii’s mountains brace for a blizzard while Colorado continues in a snow drought

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Hawaii’s mountains brace for a blizzard while Colorado continues in a snow drought

Hawaii sits 20 degrees of latitude south of where Colorado sits, has mostly a tropical climate and is surrounded by ocean, yet, portions of the island chain are bracing for blizzard conditions. While Colorado is no stranger to blizzard conditions, this season all types of frozen precipitation have been quite rare.

It is fairly common for the highest elevations (above 11,000 feet) in Hawaii to receive snow, which means the peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are often the most likely places to see it occur. A Kona low is what is drawing in a lot of moisture from the south while a cold front sweeps through bringing the chill needed atop the biggest mountains. Of course, not all of Hawaii is going to see snow. The lower elevations are bracing for several inches of rain and mudslides in the coming days.

The weather in Hawaii right now is pretty active. There are flood watches, high surf warnings, high wind warnings and blizzard warnings in effect across the archipelago chain.  This weekend in paradise is likely to be a bit of a washout for the folks who live or are vacationing there. Up to 8 inches of rain may fall on the Big Island this weekend, while up to a foot of snow impacts the highest peaks. Winds will gust up to 100 mph at times on the mountaintops while lower elevations brace for 40-60 mph winds. On top of this, the coastal areas of the Big Island are expecting 20- to 30-foot waves this weekend as a result of this Kona low.

This is the weather, minus the big surf, that we so desperately need here in Colorado. Rain or snow is severely lacking and temperatures are drying things out even faster thanks to how anomalously warm they have been. Some places across Colorado just hit their hottest temperature ever recorded in December.

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Grading the Week: Time for Jim McElwain to come home again to Colorado State?

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Grading the Week: Time for Jim McElwain to come home again to Colorado State?

Maybe it’s just the two years of Steve Addazio talking here, but Jim McElwain is starting to look pretty good right now.

If the past seven seasons of CSU Rams football have taught us anything, it’s that athletic director Joe Parker could do worse with his next football coaching hire. A lot worse.

Steve Addazio — F

It’s hard to truly put into words how much of a disaster the Addazio Era was for Colorado State.

On a scale of “Nick Saban at Alabama” to “Mike Price at Alabama,” the Grading the Week staff would rate the Daz’s tenure a solid “Les Miles at Kansas.”

There were losses. There were off-the-field allegations. And, yes, we could see the train wreck coming from the moment it left the station. But at least the Daz actually coached a few games at CSU — something Price never got to do after being hired and fired within a few months by the Tide in 2003.

Now, here we are back at the same spot we were two years ago, when Urban Meyer sightings in FoCo were seen as a reason for hope, rather than the impending doom they actually foretold.

The first thing we’d do if we were Parker: Take Meyer’s business card out of the rolodex and light it on fire.

The second: Flip to our old friend Jim and see if maybe, just maybe, he’s interested in getting the band back together at Fort Fun.

Crazy as that sounds, consider this: As poorly as things ended at the conclusion of McElwain’s three years with the Rams, at least the university received $7 million to watch him shuffle off to Florida.

That’s a heck of a lot better than paying Mike Bobo ($1.825 million) and the Daz ($3 million) to go away.

It’s not like we didn’t have a lot of fun while McElwain was stalking the sidelines in green and gold. The Rams went 22-16 in his three years at CSU, culminating with a 10-2 regular season in 2014 that stands as the most successful in the 14 seasons since legendary coach Sonny Lubick was unceremoniously relieved of his duties.

After getting let go by Florida midway through the 2017 season, McElwain’s also comported himself quite well at Central Michigan, going 19-13 with a pair of eight-win campaigns.

There’s even recent precedent to point to in the Mountain West.

Brady Hoke bolted San Diego State for Michigan, got fired from multiple jobs, then returned to the Aztecs and led them an 11-1 season and a spot in this weekend’s conference title game.

Jeff Tedford left Fresno State, where he was an assistant for six years, for greener Pac-12 pastures, only to come back in 2017 as head coach and lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back double-digit-win seasons.

There’s no reason McElwain can’t do the same thing at CSU.

(OK, so maybe there are a few.)

Karl Dorrell — D-

Those calling for Darrin Chiaverini’s head finally got their wish earlier this week.

It’s hard to argue with the CU Buffs head coach’s decision to part ways with the embattled offensive coordinator after the team’s more-dreadful-than-it-sounds 4-8 season.

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Kickin’ It with Kiz: Life lesson college football coaches teach players? Always look out for No. 1.

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Kickin’ It with Kiz: Life lesson college football coaches teach players? Always look out for No. 1.

College football coaches just dump kids and their programs like snake-oil salesmen running out of town.

Fred, independent thinker

Kiz: There will be no tears shed here for Oklahoma losing coach Lincoln Riley to USC or Brian Kelly abandoning Notre Dame for Louisiana State. Can’t blame them for chasing the dream and the green. Ain’t that America? But maybe we should dispense with the balderdash about football coaches being employed to teach life lessons to players, unless the lesson is: Always look out for No. 1. In the case of Kelly, his interest in molding the minds of young men is as phony as the hilariously bad southern accent he adopted when introducing himself to LSU fans at a basketball game in Baton Rouge.

Any rational person marked this game in Kanas City as a loss for the Broncos as soon as the NFL schedule was released. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but it’s fanciful to think Denver’s path to the playoffs goes through K.C. Now, when the Chiefs come to Denver at the end of the season … maybe.

Mr. U, tough cowboy

Kiz: While the Broncos will be 9.5-point underdogs on “Sunday Night Football,” the best reason to believe they have a shot to beat Kansas City? Quarterback Patrick Mahomes can still wing it, but he has lost his Midas touch. K.C. has scored more than 20 points only once in its last five games. Fearless prediction: Although the losing streak will reach 12, the Broncos will end their misery against the Chiefs on the final weekend on the regular season, and that victory just might be enough to earn Denver a playoff berth.

This is why Michael Porter Jr fell to the Nuggets in the NBA draft. There were so many warning signs, and bad backs don’t go away.

Brad, easy rider

Kiz: As the 24-year-old forward recovers from the third surgery on his back, we wish him well. But if MPJ is ever again the player that got Nuggets Nation dreaming about finally bringing the Larry O’Brien Trophy home to this dusty old cowtown, it will be a minor medical miracle.

Major League Baseball wants us to think it cares about the competitiveness and quality of the sport, then puts Rockies owner Dick Monfort as one of the lead negotiators for the owners in their labor dispute with players. Makes sense to me!

Andrew, wee bit sarcastic

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