I had a nice run last week. The Packers game made me sick because it was one of those games when I immediately regretted picking against Houston. Other than that, things went well. 10-6 in my first week back? Not so bad. So, we need to keep this momentum going, and hopefully have something for the playoffs as well. Again, all the information is gathered from NFL.com, AccuScore and ESPN.com. And away we go:
New Orleans vs. Chicago:
- Last Meeting: 2007; Chicago 33, New Orleans 25
- Chicago has won the last three meetings.
- Pierre Thomas has six TDs in the last four games.
- In the last four games, Chicago has given up 208 yards passing a game, recording six INTs while giving up 2 TDs.
- New Orleans is 3-2 ATS as the underdog, 2-2 ATS as an away 'dog; Chicago is 4-3 ATS as a favorite, 2-2 as a home favorite.
- New Orleans is 6-1 ATS after allowing 25 or more points.
- Chicago is 1-4 ATS after a win.
- Final Score: Chicago 23, New Orleans 22
- Brees: 244 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Orton: 216 yards, 2TDs, 1 INT
- Thomas/Bush: 85 yards, 1 TD; Forte: 101 yards, 1 TD
- When Drew Brees throws a pick, the Bears win 59% of the time; if he does not throw one, the Saints win 63% of the time
- There is a 50% chance Matt Forte rushes for over a hundred yards, and the Bears are winning those games by a touchdown
- Composite Advantage: Chicago +11.5
Both teams had big home wins last week. Chicago has been great at home, while New Orleans has been bad on the road. The Saints are 0-5 on the road as an underdog. The Bears are 0-3 against the NFC South...something's got to give. This is going to be an extremely interesting. There is only a 13.2% chance Brees goes over 275 yards. This is critical because of the Saints' reliance on the air attack. The key will be if Pierre Thomas can get into the end zone. While it is only happening 20% of the time, the Saints' chances go up 21%. The trends are leaning heavily in favor of the Bears playing at home in a primetime game. Here's the thing: The Bears have a shot to get in the playoffs if they can win the NFC North. The Saints, meanwhile, are all but eliminated thanks to the play of the three teams ahead of them. Therefore, I give the edge to the Bears.
Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta:
- Last Meeting: Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 9
- Tampa has won the last three meetings.
- The NFC South is 10-0 at home when playing a division game.
- Jeff Garcia has won his last six starts against Atlanta.
- John Abraham has a sack in five of his last six games against Tampa.
- Tampa Bay is 2-3 ATS has an underdog and a road 'dog; Atlanta is 4-1 ATS as a favorite and 3-1 ATS as a home favorite.
- Atlanta is 4-0 ATS after a loss.
- Final Score: Atlanta 25, Tampa Bay 21
- Garcia: 263 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Ryan: 229 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Dunn/Williams: 80 yards; Turner/Norwood: 123 yards, 1 TD
- If Michael Turner runs for at least 75 yards and a score, which happened 47% of the time, the Falcons won 79% of the sims by an average of nine points. Even when Turner is held under 75, Atlanta won 58% of the time.
To me, this is like the Giants. Sure, they did lose, but it took a long, long time for that to happen. It's just the same as betting against the NFC South at home. I think Tampa will get its fair share of yardage, but it's not enough to convince me that they will break the home-field trend here.
Washington vs. Cincinnati:
- Last Meeting: 2004; Cincinnati 17, Washington 10
- Cincy has won two of the last three meetings.
- LaRon Landry has an INT in two of the last three games.
- Chad Johnson has a catch in 104 consecutive games.
- Washington is 3-2 ATS as a favorite, 1-0 ATS as a favorite on the road; Cincy is 4-6 ATS as an underdog, 2-1 ATS as a home 'dog.
- Washington is 0-3 ATS vs. the AFC North; Cincy is 3-0 ATS against the NFC East
- Washington 23, Cincinnati 16
- Campbell: 224 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Fitzpatrick: 203 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Portis: 22 rushes, 96 yards, 2 TDs; Benson/Fitzpatrick: 24 rushes, 91 yards, 1 TD
- Clinton Portis has a 40% chance of rushing for 100 yards, and if this happens, Washington wins 88% of the sims
- If Ryan Fitzpatrick does not throw a pick, and Jason Campbell throws at least one, Cincy is winning 45% of the time, and if Cincy can sack Campbell twice, their chances go up to 53%
- Composite Advantage: Washington +101.5
The 'Skins have looked awful the past couple games. Granted, the caliber of teams they were up against (Giants, Ravens) were a smidgen better than what the Bengals will be bringing. Clinton Portis has come out against the coach...that is never a good thing. Portis even mentioned the idea of him going on IR. This is just...wow. Here's the thing about all of this: Normally, I'm going to the 'Skins immediately...playing a one-win team with an above-average defense and a stud running back. Now, I'm hesitant. I am going to take Washington because they are due for something, but again, I'm not putting a ton of faith in this.
Tennessee vs. Houston:
- Last Meeting: Tennessee 31, Houston 12
- Tennessee has won the last seven meetings.
- Tennessee is 8-1 as a favorite, 4-0 as an away favorite; Houston is 4-3 ATS as an underdog.
- Both teams are above .500 the last six games: Tennessee is 5-1 ATS against teams with that trend, Houston is 1-6 ATS.
- Tennessee is 6-0 on the road, Houston is 4-2 at home.
- Final Score: Tennessee 24, Houston 22
- Collins: 202 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Schaub: 241 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Johnson/White: 26 rushes, 125 yards, 1 TD; Slaton: 21 rushes, 105 yards, 1 TD
- If Steve Slaton hits 100 yards, the Texans are winning 64% of the sims, and if he doesn't, the Titans are winning 75% of the sims.
- If Houston can limit their turnovers to two or less, they are winning 58% of the time; if they commit three or more, they win 28% of the time
- Composite Advantage: Tennessee +88.5
It's one of those games that makes you wonder. This has to be one of the bigger trap spreads on the board. The Titans have been rolling, but I predicted a few weeks ago that, if the Titans were still undefeated, that they may go down this week against Houston. The Texans are so close to being a contender in the AFC, and if they are able to go on a good push towards the end of the season, I think they can really get their fans juiced for next year. Last week was a landmark victory at Lambeau, and if they are able to get a win this week, Houston will put itself on the map as a team to look out for next year.
Green Bay vs. Jacksonville:
- 2004; Jacksonville 28, Green Bay 25
- Green Bay has won two of the three meetings.
- Jacksonville has been down by at least 10 points in their last three games; Green Bay has blown leads in their last two games.
- David Garrard is 7-2 against the NFC.
- Green Bay is 5-3 ATS as a favorite, 2-0 ATS as an away favorite; Jacksonville is 0-6 ATS at home, 2-3 ATS as an underdog.
- Green Bay is 4-5 ATS on grass; Jacksonville is 1-9 ATS.
- Green Bay is 2-5 after a loss; Jacksonville is 3-5.
- Green Bay 24, Jacksonville 23
- Rodgers: 235 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Garrard: 221 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Grant: 20 rushes, 67 yards; Jones-Drew: 22 rushes, 106 yards, 1 TD
- There is a 32% chance that Aaron Rodgers will have 250 yards passing and two TDs, and Green Bay is winning 61% of the time; if Ryan Grant also can run for 75 yards, the Pack are winning 80% of the time.
- If Maurice Jones-Drew rushes for 75 yards and David Garrard doesn't throw a pick, the Jags are winning 75% of the sims by an average of eight points.
- Composite Advantage: Green Bay +23
In my opinion, these two constitute two-thirds of the most disappointing triad in the NFL (San Diego). If you look at these teams in terms of yardage, they are almost identical. What is different is that Green Bay is giving up 142 yards a game on the ground. The simulations are assuming that Fred Taylor will not be playing, which is probably a good thing considering...you know, he hates his team and what not. Jones-Drew will have a monster game...at least I think, and hope he will (fantasy...you know how it goes).
San Francisco vs. Miami:
- Last Meeting: 2004; Miami 24, San Francisco 17
- San Francisco has won five of the last six meetings.
- San Francisco is 4-6 ATS as an underdog, and 3-3 ATS as a road 'dog; Miami is 0-4 ATS as a favorite, 0-3 ATS as a home favorite.
- Miami is 2-1 against the NFC West, but 0-3 ATS.
- San Francisco is 1-4 after a home game; Miami is 3-1 after a road game.
- Final Score: Miami 22, San Francisco 16
- Hill: 185 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Pennington, 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Gore: 15 rushes, 56 yards; Brown/Williams: 29 rushes, 138 yards, 1 TD
- If Frank Gore rushes for 100 yards, the Niners are winning 60% of the time, but if Gore goes under 75, the Niners are losing by an average of ten points
- Chad Pennington has a 44% chance of throwing a pick.
This game will come down to the health of Frank Gore. If Gore is healthy, the Niners have a real shot here. However, if they are left without their biggest playmaker, I don't even know if Singletary can help this team. The Niners have been hot against the AFC East, winning two straight. I feel like this will come to a screeching hault this weekend.
Seattle vs. St. Louis
- Last Meeting: Seattle 37, St. Louis 13
- Seattle has won the last seven meetings.
- St. Louis has been outscored 117-47 in the first quarter.
- Seattle is 2-4 ATS on the road, and 1-1 ATS as a favorite; St. Louis is 2-4 ATS at home, and 4-9 ATS as the underdog.
- Seattle is 3-1 ATS after a home game; St. Louis is 1-5 ATS after a road game.
- Seattle is 2-2 ATS against the NFC West; St. Louis is 0-4.
- Final Score: Seattle 22, St. Louis 19
- Wallace: 220 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Bulger: 196 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Morris/Jones: 22 rushes, 108 yards, 1 TD; Jackson: 23 rushes, 115 yards, 1 TD
- If Seneca Wallace throws no more than one pick, Seattle is winning 63% of the time
- If Steven Jackson rushes for 100 yards, the Rams are winning 55% of the sims
- Composite Advantage: Seattle +45
Both teams have only two wins, but these two teams are completely different in terms of showing any kind of life. Seattle gave the Pats a huge scare last weekend, while the Rams got pulverized...again. What I noticed watching Seattle last week is that their defense isn't half bad, considering they lost Patrick Kerney early on the season for the year. They still have Lofa Tatupu, Julian Peterson, and perhaps one of the most underrated corners in the league in Marcus Trufant, who was able to limit Randy Moss' production last week.
Buffalo vs. New York Jets:
- Last Meeting: New York 26, Buffalo 17
- Buffalo has won three of the last four meetings.
- Buffalo was unable to score a TD in the last two weeks.
- The Jets have won three of their last four at home.
- Buffalo is 3-3 ATS on the road, 1-2 ATS as a road 'dog; New York is 3-3 ATS at home, 3-3 ATS as the home favorite.
- Buffalo is 0-4 ATS vs. the AFC East; New York is 3-1 ATS
- New York is 0-3 ATS following a game where they scored 17 or less points; Buffalo is 1-4 ATS.
- New York 24, Buffalo 20
- Edwards: 206 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Favre 195 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Lynch/Jackson: 25 rushes, 101 yards, 1 TD; Jones/Washington: 27 rushes, 162 yards, 2 TDs
- If both Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Jones have 100 yards and a score, the Jets are winning 55% of the time by an average of one point; if Lynch has under 75 yards, the Jets are winning 73% of the sims
- Composite Advantage: New York +27.5
As shown from the above simulations, it will all come down to the running games of each team. The Jets are giving up 83.5 yards a game rushing, while Buffalo is giving up 110 yards. This game reminds me a little bit of the Green Bay/Houston game last week, when Matt Schaub, after not playing for three games, tore the Packers' secondary up. The Jets' secondary is equally as weak, giving up 293.8 yards passing in their last four games. Lee Evans has had two consecutive big games against the Jets. With Trent Edwards back, believe it or not, this offense is completely different. What seems to be consistent is that when Marshawn Lynch gets 20+ carries, the Bills have scored at least 23 points. His last two games? 16 and 13 respectfully, and the Bills have managed just a field goal in those games. The Jets have one of the best corners in the league in Darrelle Revis, but if they give up that many yards through the air anyway, it means that there are opportunities elsewhere.
San Diego vs. Kansas City:
- Last Meeting: San Diego 20, Kansas City 19
- San Diego has won three of the last four meetings.
- LaDainian Tomlinson was held to 78 yards in the first matchup, but has averaged 146.5 yards a game vs. KC in the last four meetings.
- Philip Rivers leads the NFL with a 102.0 QB rating.
- San Diego is 2-4 ATS on the road, 1-3 ATS as a road favorite; Kansas City is 2-4 ATS at home, and 2-3 ATS as a home 'dog.
- Kansas City is 6-3 ATS vs. the AFC; San Diego is 5-4 ATS.
- While being 2-10 overall as an underdog, Kansas City is 7-5 ATS as a 'dog.
- Final Score: San Diego 24, Kansas City 19
- Rivers: 245 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Thigpen: 187 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Tomlinson: 22 rushes, 89 yards, 1 TD; Johnson: 19 rushes, 76 yards, 1 TD
- If Kansas City sacks Rivers three times and forces at least two turnovers, they are winning 62% of the time by an average of three points.
- If Tomlinson has at least 80 yards, and Rivers has 220 yards passing, San Diego is winning 80% of the sims
- If Larry Johnson runs for 100 yards, which occurs 26% of the time, Kansas City is winning 59% of the time
- Composite Advantage: San Diego +21.5
This will come down to how well LT plays, plain and simple. If Tomlinson has a decent game (75 yards and a score), the Chargers should have no problem putting away KC. The Chiefs have been exceptional against the spread this year though. San Diego has played awful on the road, KC has been awful at home...coin-flipping time? Perhaps, but I keep coming back to Tomlinson. Again, if he has the decent game I referred to, the Chargers are winning 93% of the time by 13 points.
San Diego (-5)
Detroit vs. Indianapolis:
- Last Meeting: 2004; Indianapolis 41, Detroit 9
- Indy has won four of the last six meetings.
- Indy has won six straight overall.
- Detroit is 3-3 ATS on the road, 3-2 ATS as a road 'dog; Indy is 2-4 ATS at home, and 2-4 ATS as the home favorite.
- Detroit is 5-1 ATS when 'dogged by 10+ points; Indy is 1-1 ATS when favored by 10+.
- After scoring 17 or less, Detroit is 5-1 ATS the next game; Indy is 2-1 ATS following a game they scored 25+.
- Final Score: Indianapolis 32, Detroit 13
- Culpepper: 123 yards, 1 INT; Manning 269 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
- Smith: 16 rushes, 75 yards, 1 TD; Addai/Rhodes: 32 rushes, 139 yards, 1 TD
- Indy Defense: 4 sacks, 3 TOs
- If Detroit gets two picks from Peyton Manning, sack him three times, and get 100 yards from Kevin Smith, the Lions are winning 53% of the time
- Composite Advantage: Indianapolis +87.5
Obviously, everyone has written the Lions off. This tends to happen when you start the year 0-13. I ran a custom sim where Dan Orlovsky, who figures to get the start due to Culpepper's bum shoulder, throws two picks and just 150 yards, and the Colts won 35-14. What does this say? It basically means that the Colts, after blowing out the Bengals, could very well overlook the Lions, which makes sense because, again, they're 0-13. What's funny is that I predicted that Detroit would get its first win on the road way back when. I don't think this is it, but it will be interesting to see what Calvin Johnson can do in this game against an undersized secondary. I'm actually changing this one from how I originally had it. I hope this didn't screw you up some how...and if your putting your betting faith in me, first of all, sorry, and second...why? I keep thinking about this game, and to me, here's why Indy will cover: Basically, they have been able to pull out these narrow victories in order to get the W's, but now, when they have a cream-puff schedule, and are in need to win every game convincingly so they will have positive momentum going into the playoffs. Therefore, I switched over to Indy.
Minnesota vs. Arizona:
- Last Meeting: 2006; Minnesota 31, Arizona 26
- Minnesota has won five of the last six meetings.
- Minnesota is 2-5 ATS on the road, 2-4 ATS as a road 'dog; Arizona is 4-2 ATS at home, 3-1 ATS as a home favorite.
- Minnesota is 1-6 ATS after a win; Arizona is 3-3 ATS.
- Minnesota is 3-1 after a road game; Arizona is 2-2 after a home game.
- Arizona is 7-0 as a favorite; Minnesota is 2-5 as an underdog.
- Final Score: Arizona 24, Minnesota 22
- Jackson: 202 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Warner: 303 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
- Peterson: 25 rushes, 121 yards, 1 TD; Hightower/Arrington: 20 rushes 57 yards, 1 TD
- Minnesota is winning 40% of the sims if Tarvaris Jackson starts; 36% when Gus Frerotte starts
- If Adrian Peterson rushes for 100 yards and has a TD, Minnesota is winning 58% of the time; if he is held under 100, Minnesota's chances drop from 37% to 19%
- Composite Advantage: Minnesota +4.5
Minnesota is in a battle for the NFC North, and have not looked too hot lately, especially last week when they almost gave Detroit its first win (I swear, that's the last time I'll mention Detroit doesn't have a win). For Minnesota, they are going to need a huge game from Peterson. I mean like mega-huge...150 yards and 2 TDs at least. This is happening 14.2% of the time, with Minnesota winning by an average of 8 points a game. Conversely, Arizona will need a big game from Kurt Warner. He is passing for 300+ and 2 TDs 36.2% of the time. In other words, this is more than likely to happen, but 'Zona is winning by just 4 points on average. 'Zona is not bad against the run (96.5/game), and Minny isn't so bad against the pass (217.7/game). The difference will be how Tarvaris Jackson handles the game...excuse me if I have zero confidence in that. They will make Jackson beat them through the air, and I don't see it happening.
Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore:
- Last Meeting: Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 20
- Pittsburgh has won two of the last three meetings.
- Ed Reed has 4 INTs in the last three games.
- Pittsburgh has 45 sacks, tied for first in the league.
- Ben Roethlisberger has 400 yards and six TDs in his last two games against Baltimore.
- Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS on the road, 4-1 as a road 'dog; Balitmore is 5-1 ATS at home, 5-1 ATS as the home favorite.
- Baltimore is 5-0 ATS vs. the AFC North; Pittsburgh is 2-2 ATS.
- Baltimore is 6-2 ATS after allowing less than 17 points; Pittsburgh is 3-5 ATS.
- Final Score: Baltimore 17, Pittsburgh 16
- Roethlisberger: 213 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Flacco: 171 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Parker/Moore: 23 rushes, 58 yards; McClain/Rice/McGahee: 27 rushes, 89 yards, 1 TD
- If LeRon McClain has 50+ yards, and Ray Rice has 20+ yards, Baltimore wins 77% of the time
- If Roethlisberger is sacked at least four times, Baltimore is winning 62% of the sims; if he is sacked three or fewer times, Pittsburgh is winning 62% of the time.
- Composite Advantage: Baltimore +12
Pittsburgh somehow came out of last week with a win in regualtion when it seemed as though the game would at least be going into OT. The Ravens looked dominant at home...again. Baltimore has a scary combination of an incredible defense and a rookie QB who doesn't make mistakes. Does this remind you of anyone? Just three years ago, it was a rookie from Miami-Ohio that was leading the Steelers to a 15-1 record. Not to downplay the Steelers' D...they're incredible, but they are going to need to do a bang-up job in order to get Flacco to turn the ball over. Flacco is throwing 2+ INTs just 17.3% of the time. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger has 2+ INTs in 35% of the sims. Pittsburgh goes out and hits people in the mouth. Baltimore hits you in the mouth, takes the ball away, and scores touchdowns.
Denver vs. Carolina:
- Last Meeting: 2004; Denver 20, Carolina 17
- Denver is 2-0 against Carolina.
- Denver has won four of its last five overall.
- Denver is 3-0 vs. the NFC South; Carolina is 3-0 vs. the AFC West.
- When Jay Cutler has a 100 QB rating, Denver is 10-0.
- Steve Smith has 100+ receiving yards in four straight games.
- DeAngelo Williams has a TD in six straight games.
- Denver is 4-2 ATS on the road, 3-1 ATS as a road 'dog; Carolina is 4-2 ATS at home, 4-2 ATS as a home favorite.
- Denver is 1-5 ATS after a win; Carolina is 3-4 ATS.
- Carolina is 8-0 when favored; Denver is 3-1 when 'dogged.
- Denver is 2-7 ATS on grass; Carolina is 7-2 ATS.
- Final Score: Carolina 28, Denver 18
- Cutler: 239 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Delhomme: 199 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Bell: 14 rushes, 46 yards; Williams/Stewart: 31 rushes, 190 yards, 2 TDs
- If Williams goes 100+ on the ground (53% chance), Carolina is winning 90% of the time by an average of 16 points.
- If Jay Cutler throws for 250 yards with no picks, and the D holds Williams to under 80 yards, Denver is winning 47% of the time.
Denver lost yet another running back last week when Peyton Hillis went on IR. Now, they revert back to old friend Tatum Bell to get the majority of the carries. Amazing how Tatum Bell was traded for 'Dre Bly, and now, they're both on Denver. Not that either are going to make a big impact, but still, kind of an odd occurrence how that happened. Steve Smith is getting a TD in 36.3% of the sims...he'll get one basically. The difference will be Jay Cutler. I think Carolina will get its rushing yards and score a bunch of points (24-30), but the key will be how the Panthers can limit the Broncos' passing attack. For Denver, I would say that they need to come out and start airing the ball out immediately. This is going to be one of those situations where the passing hame will set up the running game. They need to keep Beason and the safeties on their heels to open up some holes for Bell and whoever else the Broncos plan to throw in there. I simmed a situation where Cutler throws 3 TDs and 2 INTs, which is a line that I really think could happen, and Carolina was winning by an average of eight points. I know it's unheard of, but considering how well Denver plays on the road (won last three), and Carolina's dominance at home (7-0 for the season), I think this will be a relatively close game, and I'm picking against an NFC South team at home. Not to say Carolina won't win, but if they do, I don't think they will cover.
New England vs. Oakland:
- Last Meeting: 2005; New England 30, Oakland 20
- Oakland has won three of the last four meetings.
- New England has won nine games in a row in December and are 21-2 in December games since 2003.
- Wes Welker has 100+ yards in four straight games.
- New England has not won in Oakland since 1978 (0-3).
- New England is 4-2 ATS on the road, 3-1 ATS as the road favorite; Oakland is 1-5 ATS and 1-4 ATS as a home 'dog.
- New England is 2-5 ATS and straight up after a win; Oakland is 4-5 ATS after a loss.
- Final Score: New England 21, Oakland 15
- Cassel: 245 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Russell: 150 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Morris/Faulk/Jordan: 22 rushes, 102 yards, 1 TD; Fargas/McFadden: 26 rushes, 103 yards, 1 TD
- If Oakland amasses 300 total yards, which happens 36% of the time, Oakland's chances of winning go from 30% to 42%; if they have one turnover or less, they are winning 54% of the time
- If Matt Cassel throws for 225+ yards and 1+ TDs, New England is winning 76% of the sims by an average of ten points
- Composite Advantage: New England +32
The Raiders should be a lot better at running the ball than they are. The Pats are outrushing them by eight yards a game, and if you had the choice between Sammy Morris or Darren McFadden or Justin Fargas, who are you taking? This is a representation of how weak the O-Line is for Oakland. Running the ball will be key for the Pats though. Oakland is giving uo 158.7 rushing yards a game. If Sammy Morris goes for 50 yards and Kevin Faulk goes for 25 yards, the Pats are winning 88% of the sims by an average of 13 points. In no way am I attempting to trivialize Matt Cassel's situation, but it seems as though athletes continually rise to the occasion in the wake of tragedy (see Brett Favre...who also was playing the Raiders after his father passed away). Cassel just lost his father yesterday, but still plans on playing Sunday. This has to be a statement game for the Pats. Last week, the defense did not look good against a QB who can make plays happen outside the pocket. Given JaMarcus Russell being banged up, and if he can't go, Andrew Walter is a pocket passer. I still think the Pats will have some issues, but in no way do I think they will be as extensive as they were last week. Oh, by the way, because I have to do this (and let's face it, I definitely want to), if Wes Welker gets 100 yards receiving, which is happening 21.4% of the time, the Pats are winning 72% of the time...I'm just saying...
New England (-7)
New York Giants vs. Dallas:
- Last Meeting: New York 35, Dallas 14
- New York has won the last two meetings.
- Dallas is first in the league in sacks, New York is fourth.
- Eli Manning has a 102.5 QB rating in five starts vs. Dallas.
- If Marion Barber carries the ball 11 times, Dallas is 26-4.
- Terrell Owens has a TD in four straight games vs. New York.
- New York is 5-1 ATS on the road, 2-0 ATS as a road 'dog; Dallas is 3-3 ATS at home, 3-3 ATS as the home favorite.
- New York is 4-1 ATS vs. the NFC East; Dallas is 1-3 ATS.
- New York is 6-2 ATS on turf; Dallas is 3-5 ATS.
- Final Score: Dallas 25, New York 23
- Manning: 229 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Romo: 255 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
- Jacobs/Ward: 22 rushes, 91 yards, 1 TD; Barber/Choice: 24 rushes, 97 yards, 1 TD
- If Tony Romo throws a pick or less, Dallas is winning 65% of the time; if he throws more than one INT, New York is winning 64% of the time
- If New York sacks Romo three or more times, which happens 29% of the time, New York is winning 58% of the time
- Composite Advantage: New York +65
Jacobs and Barber both may not play in this game. Right now, at least to me, it is more of a loss to the Giants if Jacobs is out than to Dallas if Barber is out. Not to say that not having Barber isn't a huge blow to Dallas, but without Jacobs last week, Philly was all over Manning, especially Trent Cole. DeMarcus Ware is an even better pass-rusher than Cole, so Jacobs' loss will be that more substantial if he can't go. From what I have read, Jacobs will not go, while Barber, who did receive less reps than Tashard Choice at practice on Thursday, will go, and I expect him to be the starter and get his regular workload. This is Dallas' last chance to make the playoffs. They lost to the Giants in Dallas last year in the playoffs, they were embarrassed up in Jersey earlier this year in the Brad Johnson/Brooks Bollinger phase. Dallas needs to right the ship after giving the game away last week in Pittsburgh.
Cleveland vs. Philadelphia:
- Last Meeting: 2004; Philadelphia 34, Cleveland 31
- Philly has won three of the last four meetings.
- Brian Westbrook has 333 yards from scrimmage and six TDs in his last two games.
- Cleveland has played three games on Monday night this year, Ken Dorsey will be the team's third different starting QB in those games.
- Cleveland is 5-0 when Jamal Lewis gets 25 carries.
- Cleveland is 3-3 ATS on the road, 3-3 ATS as a road 'dog; Philly is 4-2 ATS at home, 4-2 ATS as the home favorite.
- Cleveland is 2-1 ATS vs. the NFC East; Philly is 1-2 ATS vs. the AFC North.
- Final Score: Philadelphia 26, Cleveland 13
- Dorsey: 170 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; McNabb: 239 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
- Lewis: 20 rushes, 74 yards; Westbrook/Buckhalter: 24 rushes, 132 yards, 1 TD
- Donovan McNabb has a 48% chance to throw at least two TDs
- If Westbrook goes over 100 yards rushing, Philly is winning 95% of the time
- If Jamal Lewis has 100+ yards and 1+ TD, and Braylon Edwards has 100+ yards and 1+ TD, Cleveland is winning sims by an average of three points.
Ken Dorsey...and if that's not enough...Brian Westbrook.
Again, I hope to get some bowl previews going soon. Hope you have a good week. Peace.