There have been a number of significant historical events that have taken place on Sept. 18, including the confirmation of Tiberius as Roman Emperor in 0014 (huge win for the GOP), the government loan in 1789 to pay the salaries of presidents and Congress (also leading to the first, “Want to buy some swampland?” joke), “Les Miserables” opened in Paris in 1980 (before making a permanent home in Flowery Branch), and the Falcons won a football game.
That’s right. The Falcons won a football game. There’s tape and everything.
On Sept. 18 — seven weeks ago Thursday — the Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56-14.
Those with pacemakers or weak hearts should not read the next sentence.
That win gave them a winning record.
The Falcons have played five games in four states and two countries since that night and lost them all.
They’re 2-6 at halftime of the season I don’t think Mike Smith has enough Knute Rockne halftime speeches in him to raise the dead in his locker room.
But there is: They get to play Tampa again!
The Bucs are 1-8. They’re coached by Lovie Smith. Not the year to be a Smith.
Welcome to the worst of the worst: No. 3 vs No. 4 in the NFC South. There’s two goldfish on the undercard.
Falcons are favored by 1. Not sure why. Law of averages? Here goes: Falcons win and cover.
Georgia at Kentucky: A few Trembling Chihuahuas like Ramik Wilson admitted they were overconfident before the Florida game and, “We weren’t ready to play.” Well, that’s understandable. When you’ve won as many national championships and SEC titles in a row as Georgia … wait, never mind. So how’s it feel to be back at ground zero? Mutts win but take Kentucky and 10.
Georgia Tech at N.C. State: The Jackets are 0-2 against the state of North Carolina (Duke, UNC) and 7-0 against everybody else. The good news is if they lose this, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill will fight over who gets to give Paul Johnson a key to their city first. Jackets cover 3½.
Alabama at LSU: Nick Saban vs. Les Miles is like watching a Douglas Niedermeyer-Eric Stratton annual debate. Meanwhile, let the cannibalization of the SEC West begin. Three of Alabama’s next four opponents are LSU (16th), Mississippi State (1) and Auburn (3). Tide covers 6½.
It’s so easy seeing Les Miles giving this speech
Florida at Vanderbilt: It’s another week, and Will Muschamp’s parking lot key card still works. Pay all bets. Gators win but take Vandy and 14½.
Texas A&M at Auburn: Aggies quarterback Kenny Hill is a mess and was suspended, so his family hired Sean Salisbury as a mentor. Waiting for the punchline? Salisbury once took cellphone pictures of his “Little Sean” (code) and showed them around at parties, split with ESPN and later managed to get fired as a broadcaster for the Lingerie Football League (I don’t want to know). Auburn covers 21½.
Virginia at Florida State: Jameis Winston’s cretin defense attorney, David Cornwell, Tweeted the name of Winston’s accuser in the sexual assault investigation. Why? Because that’s what soul-less dirtbags do. Cornwell should prepare for the afterlife and wear light clothing because he won’t be traveling north. FSU covers 19½.
David Cornwell’s world
Georgia State at Troy: The Panthers have lost eight straight since winning their openers. Damn egos got out of control. Feeling frisky: Take the 6½ but GSU loses.
NFL Snack Pack
Steelers at Jets: An airplane pulling a “Fire John Idzik” banner circled the Jets’ practice field for 20 minutes the other day. Other fans raised $10,000 on a FireJohnIdzik.com to purchase three billboards that read, well, you know. It doesn’t prove Idzik is a lousy general manager. It just reaffirms Jets fans are lunatics. And probably need a job. And a hobby. And a life. Steelers cover 5.
Panthers vs. Eagles: Ex-Jet Mark Sanchez has been helped by the change of scenery in Philly? As former NFL QB Drew Bledsoe said, “You know when they used to take the pretty young virgin up to the edge of the volcano and then just throw them in? That’s kind of what it is when you play quarterback for the Jets.” He needs to go on tour. Eagles cover 6.
49ers at Saints: Jim Harbaugh wants a big contract and more power, but the 49ers’ first-half record (4-4) is his worst in his four years (19-5 before). He’s not going to make it on that charming personality. You know what’s even worse? He’s about to have a losing record. Saints cover 4½.
Titans at Ravens: A former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader and estranged wife of a wealthy CEO has been charged with having sex with a 15-year-old boy. If they just build the prison walls around the Ravens’ complex, it would save a lot of time. Baltimore covers 9½.
Rams at Cardinals: The Missouri governor: “Make no mistake about it, St. Louis is an NFL city.” How long has it been since he’s went to a Rams game? Arizona wins but take St. Louis and 7.
Dollars and sense
“You don’t gamble to win. You gamble so you can gamble the next day.”–Bert Ambrose.
Last week (Success, finally!): 9-4 straight up, 8-5 against the line.
Totes: 86-36 straight up, 56-66 against the line.
Sack Schultz update: Coming down the stretch and the grand prize leaders are (screen names) Harder5 of Tennessee (117 wins), and Techfan12 of Georgia, Tigerfan of Alabama and Otwell of Georgia at 116 wins. Last week’s winners were Kent Posey of Moultrie, Ga., and Hank Ludwig of Hernando, Ms., at 14-1.
Lilly The Greek: Mutt took it on the chin with he Georgia loss to fall to 6-4. This week, it’s Falcons (Mike Smith) vs. Bucs (Lovie Smith). Lilly went for cheese’d picture of Mikey.
•Recent tunes on digital Jukebox
— MyAJC: Amid Atlanta misery, can Hawks really be shining light? — AJC: Election Day: Vote to keep or fire coaches (polls) — MyAJC: Georgia blows it all with inexcusable performance — AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s stunning loss to Florida — AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley (oooh, scary); but Dogs over Gators — AJC: Rules are dumb but that’s no excuse for Todd Gurley — MyAJC: Mark Richt deserves credit for holding Georgia together — AJC: NCAA mum but Muschamp expects Gurley to play vs. Florida — AJC: Will Arthur Blank make move with Mike Smith (and reader poll)? — MyAJC: Georgia Tech takes advantage of Pitt’s fumble-fest — AJC: Short takes: Georgia Tech 56 (points), Pittsburgh 6 (lost fumbles) — AJC: LIVE: Tech’s defense must improve vs. Pitt — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons lose, Jackets pull upset, Dogs in prayer circle — AJC: Will a fresh perspective elude Braves? — MyAJC: Todd Gurley’s return would raise Georgia’s ceiling again — AJC: Why did NCAA say yes to Mo’ne Davis but no to Todd Gurley? — MyAJC: Why playoff picture looks good for SEC (and Georgia) — MyAJC: Here’s good news: Falcons are leaving country — MyAJC: Georgia Tech continues to stomp on hope — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, Jameis enabled — AJC: Georgia dealing with reality, FSU avoiding it — MyAJC: Does NCAA care that public sentiment favors Gurley, athletes? — MyAJC: Georgia’s response heard loud and clear — MyAJC: NCAA needs to realize amateurism is dead — AJC: Minus Gurley, Dogs must overcome flaws — AJC: With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done? — MyAJC: If Gurley broke rules, that’s on him — AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley, no Dogs, no kidding — AJC: Blank stands by Smith, Dimitroff. What say you? — MyAJC: Arthur Blank won’t give Falcons’ mandates, speculate on future