By Marc Lawrence — “Ninety percent of what we were going to be capable of was still underwater and people hadn’t seen it yet,” said Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. As the start of this year’s training camp nears, titanic expectations await reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Analytics and oddsmakers have the Ravens favored to win all 16 games this season. Baltimore looks just as strong or even better than last season, when it won its last 12 regular-season games to finish 14-2. The Ravens return all but one starter from the NFL’s highest-scoring offense and improved the front seven, the weakest part of the defense. If that doesn’t set up the Ravens for success, they play teams whose combined 2019 winning percentage was .438 (worst in the NFL) and travel a total of 6,310 miles, the lowest of any team over the past four years. The Ravens play outside the Eastern time zone only once (a Week 2 game at Houston) and go a stretch of 47 days in which they won’t have to board a plane (three home games, short road trips to Washington and Philadelphia in addition to a bye). What does Harbaugh think about all this 16-0 talk? “It really is just noise – it’s static, it’s background,” Harbaugh said. “You can’t let other people define you. You define yourself.” To read more on Baltimore’s chance at a perfect season click here.
This week’s Memorial Tournament marks the sixth week since the PGA Tour’s re-entry following the COVID-19 shutdown. Despite several positive tests and a few protocol modifications, the return of golf has been largely successful. Each tournament has been played as scheduled and both the at-home and on-site testing and screening measures have been executed without any major glitches. According to ESPN, it’s success is due largely to a three-prong approach: 1) testing players from home before they leave for a tournament; with a pre-travel screen 2) Once they test negative they can proceed to the course for another symptom screening; and 3) a scheduled test during a competition week for those who choose to travel via the PGA-arranged charter flights to the next tournament location. A negative test result is required before boarding the flight. The bottom line is that it’s all about testing, testing, and more testing. Now if only such a plan were in place for the average American.
Grinding Out The Profits
2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine reports: In his NFL Preview in this year’s Playbook Football Preview Guide, Mike Mains reports that was feast or famine for New Orleans last year. They scored 30 or more points in eleven games and 13 or less points in four games. Sean Payton is a head coach who needs to feast in order to have a chance of winning or covering. He is 96-14 SU and 84-25-1 ATS when his team scores 28 or more points, and 43-70 SU and 37-73-3 ATS when they score 27 or less. In addition, New Orleans had 8 turnovers last season. Going back to 2003 not one team ever finished a season with single-digit turnovers. In fact, it might be the first time in league history. Since 2013, when head coach Sean Payton returned from a one-year suspension, until 2018, New Orleans has averaged 21 turnovers a season. 8 turnovers last season puts them on pace for 34 turnovers this season. Uh oh