With the Raiders on a bye this Sunday, I had a chance to look around the NFL and discover a couple of quarterback stories that I’d missed.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road Sunday night in Los Angeles playing the Chargers. Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season and Mason Rudolph is recovering from a concussion. Enter Devlin Hodges, whom I’d never heard of until last week when he replaced Rudolph.
He won the Walter Payton Award last year, quarterbacking FCS Samford which is located in Birmingham, Ala. That’s the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy for the smaller schools.
While there, Hodges threw for 14,584 yards, breaking Steve McNair’s career record for an FCS school. His nickname is “Duck” and if you go to YouTube, you can find Devlin Hodges winning a Duck calling contest! Instead of barking “Omaha, Omaha” or “Kill, Kill,” at the line of scrimmage, he can just quack to change a play!
I’m going to use Hodges and the Steelers in the Circa contest and also in my teasers. They’re catching 7 points against a Charger team decimated by injuries. Philip Rivers will be without his Center (Mike Pouncey) and left tackle (Russell Okung). Cluster injuries on the offensive line are difficult to overcome.
Steeler fans always travel well and Charger fans remain at home in San Diego. Who knows, This could be the start of another Duck Dynasty!
The feel good story of the season takes us to New Orleans, where Teddy Bridgewater is not just replacing the injured Drew Brees, he’s keeping the Saints in the Super Bowl chase. Bridgewater’s 3 consecutive SU and ATS wins include this gem. He’s the first visiting quarterback in the Pete Carroll era to win and cover in Seattle against the Seahawks in September.
Teddy and the Saints are a 1.5 point underdog in Jacksonville Sunday and, including his days in Minnesota, he’s 18-2 ATS against non-divisional opponents. I’m buying!
I will use my 2 team,6 point teaser this way: Hodges and the Steelers 13 coupled with Bridgewater and the Saints 7.5.
Good luck this weekend. Cash a few tickets and then scout the Raiders’ next opponent, the Green Bay Packers, when they host Detroit Monday night.