Sports

Young vs old – as Tom Brady's Patriots face Chief's Patrick Mahomes

…Drew Brees now the all-time passing leader

BY MARK ARCHER
Contributor

Friday, October 12, 2018

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DURING the final game of Week 5 on Monday, history was made after New Orleans Saint quarterback (QB) Drew Brees expectedly became the all-time passing leader in the NFL. Brees needed 201 yards to surpass Peyton Manning (71,940) and achieved this in the second quarter when he found Tre'Quan Smith for a 62-yard touchdown. The 39-year-old veteran totalled 363 yards in a 43-19 win over the Washington Redskins as he took his career yards total to 72,103 yards.

The NFL has always been dominated by the passing game (even though teams have been forever preaching of a balance between run and pass). The 70.7 passer rating has been used for many years as a yardstick to measure the prowess of the league's passing competence. This year, only one full-time starter is on the wrong side of this mark: Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who has a passer rating of 60.4. Meaning that the accuracy of NFL quarterbacks is at an all-time high.

According to the NFL, the average passer rating is currently 93.4. (From 2002 through 2017, the average passer rating was 84.2). Total yardage is up as well. From 1966 through 2017, the league saw 300-yard passing performances once every 3.8 games. This year, the average has improved to once every 1.4 games, with 57 300-yard performances in 78 games.

Eleven quarterbacks already have more than 1,500 passing yards. Six have thrown at least 12 touchdown passes through five weeks, and 10 starting quarterbacks have passer ratings higher than 100, with Drew Brees dominating at 122.3. This trend is expected to last for some time as eight of those 10 are 30 years or younger, with three of them 24 or younger.

While on the subject of quarterbacks, the matchup this Sunday night of the Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) and the New England Patriots (3-2) is expected to be mouthwatering. Patriots' QB Tom Brady savoured the return of receiver Julian Edelman (after almost two seasons due to injury) in Week 5 by targeting him on the first play of the game and again on their first play from scrimmage in the second half en-route to a 38-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

After a slow start to the season, the return of Edelman occurs at a very opportune time since they will face the Chiefs' young QB Patrick Mahomes this weekend. Even after showing cracks in his armour over the past two weeks, Mahomes is completing 63.6 per cent of his passes, averaging 8.6 yards per attempt and has thrown an NFL- leading 14 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He has also added two rushing scores and, while JustBet offers the Chiefs as four-point underdogs, the game can go either way. The expectation is for a high-scoring shoot-out between both ends of the age spectrum.

Through five weeks, the play-off picture is slowly taking shape. The Kansas City Chiefs and LA Rams each have a 99 per cent chance to make the playoffs. While the Chiefs' perfect record may be in jeopardy this weekend, the Rams should make easy work of the Denver Broncos in the Mile High Stadium. At 4-1, the Cincinnati Bengals appear to be the best team in the AFC North, but the expectation is for them to regress. The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) are their opponents this Sunday and may signal the beginning of their end. Though JustBet offers the Steelers as three-point underdogs, their stock is on the rise and should do enough to stave off the Bengals' attack. Look for the Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1) to register a win over the lowly Arizona Cardinals (1-4) and the Chicago Bears (3-1) to overcome the Miami Dolphins (3-2).

The New England Patriots, with the return of Julian Edelman, are looking much better than they did the first few games of the season. The JustBet offering for the Super Bowl winner still have the LA Rams as the favourite at $3.75. The Kansas City Chiefs have improved to $6.50 second favourites position, while the New England Patriots have slid to the third favourite spot at $7.00. On the arm of Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints improved while holding the fourth favourite spot at $9.00.

The JustBet suite of betting options on NFL games continues to offer very attractive odds from the very basic WIN or DRAW to the more exotic MARGIN OF VICTORY. Visit one of the over 100 locations and place your bets on the prediction of your choice for maximum winnings…… Get in the GAME!

The full schedule of games for Week 6 are provided with odds for the main bet options.

CODE TEAM ODDS
101 NE PATRIOTS 7.00
102 PHI EAGLES 20.00
103 GB PACKERS 25.00
104 PIT STEELERS 20.00
105 MIN VIKINGS 12.00
106 LA RAMS 3.75
107 ATL FALCONS 65.00
108 NO SAINTS 9.00
109 DAL COWBOYS 0.00
110 CAR PANTHERS 25.00
111 JAC JAGUARS 14.00
112 SF 49ERS 200.00
113 KC CHIEFS 6.50
114 HOU TEXANS 50.00
115 LA CHARGERS 20.00
116 SEA SEAHAWKS 80.00
117 OAK RAIDERS 200.00
118 DEN BRONCOS 80.00
119 NY GIANTS 100.00
120 BAL RAVENS 25.00
121 TEN TITANS 65.00
122 DET LIONS 65.00
123 WAS REDSKINS 65.00
124 ARI CARDINALS 300.00
125 IND COLΤS 150.00
126 TB BUCCANEERS 100.00
127 BUF BILLS 200.00
128 CIN BENGALS 22.00
129 MIA DOLPHINS 100.00
130 CLE BROWNS 80.00
131 CHI BEARS 20.00
132 NY JETS 175.00

WEEK 6 SCHEDULE & ODDS:
DATE TIME HOME TEAM AWAY TEAM MAIN MATCH BETS
MONEY LINE FINAL WITH
1 2 HC 1 2
14/10/18 12:00 ATL FALCONS TB BUCCANEERS 1.60 2.20 A3.5 1.93 1.77
CIN BENGALS PIT STEELERS 1.70 2.02 A2.5 1.83 1.87
CLE BROWNS LA CHARGERS 1.93 1.77 H1.5 1.85 1.85
HOU TEXANS BUF BILLS TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
MIA DOLPHINS CHI BEARS 2.10 1.65 H2.5 1.95 1.75
MIN VIKINGS ARI CARDINALS 1.15 4.75 A10.5 1.87 1.83
NY JETS IND COLΤS 1.68 2.05 A2.5 1.80 1.90
OAK RAIDERS SEA SEAHAWKS 2.15 1.62 H2.5 1.95 1.75
WAS REDSKINS CAR PANTHERS TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
15:05 DEN BRONCOS LA RAMS 3.10 1.32 H6.5 1.90 1.80
15:25 DAL COWBOYS JAC JAGUARS TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TEN TITANS BAL RAVENS 2.02 1.70 H2.5 1.83 1.87
19:20 NE PATRIOTS KC CHIEFS 1.55 2.30 A3.5 1.87 1.83
15/10/18 19:15 GB PACKERS SF 49ERS 1.20 4.00 A9.5 1.85 1.85

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