jimmythegreek Posts:10541 Followers:377
On 10/23/2011 12:02 PM in NFL

NFL GREEK INSIDER WEEK 7

Green Bay -10 over Minnesota (bought half):
The Packers look to open with seven straight wins for the first time in nearly 50 years Sunday as they visit Ponder and the Vikings, who are trying to avoid their worst start in more than two decades. With a 24-3 win over St. Louis on Sunday coupled with NFC North rival Detroit losing, Green Bay is the last undefeated team this season. However, that's small consolation for the defending champions after a somewhat unsatisfying performance. The Packers, averaging an NFL-best 32.8 points, didn't score in the second half and allowed the winless Rams to pile up 424 yards.

Despite the less-than-dominant effort, Green Bay is 6-0 for the first time since 1965 and won its 12th straight game to match a franchise record set in 1961-62. The 1962 team opened 10-0, the last time the Packers won their first seven games. Green Bay has been quite vulnerable against the pass, ranking 31st with 299.7 yards allowed per game. However it will have a chance to shore up some of those problems against Ponder, whom coach Leslie Frazier hopes can give his Vikings a much-needed spark. Minnesota lost 39-10 to Chicago last Sunday to fall to 1-5. With veteran Donovan McNabb struggling to find consistency in a new offense, Ponder was named the starter Wednesday. Ponder, the 12th pick in this year's draft, made his debut in the fourth quarter Sunday. In two series, he went 9 of 17 for 99 yards against a Bears team playing with a 29-point lead. Frazier says the decision to go with Ponder was based solely on giving the team the best chance to win. The Vikings are trying to avoid their first 1-6 start since 1990, but they're not viewing the season as a rebuilding effort.

Ponder might be playing behind a banged-up offensive line, as center John Sullivan left Sunday's game with a concussion and right tackle Phil Loadholt came out because of inflammation in his knee. Their status is uncertain. Ponder does have the advantage of being joined in the backfield by Adrian Peterson. The four-time All-Pro rushed for 203 yards with a touchdown in two losses to Green Bay last season. While the Vikings are unsure of what they're going to get from their quarterback, the Packers don't have such concerns. Rodgers is putting together an MVP-caliber season, leading the league with 17 touchdown passes, a 70.2 completion percentage and a 122.5 passer rating. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to post a rating of at least 110.0 in each of his first six games.

In his last game against the Vikings on Nov. 21, Rodgers put up a 141.3 rating - the second highest of his career - while passing for 301 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-3 win at the Metrodome. He threw for 295 yards with two TDs and two interceptions in a 28-24 home victory over Minnesota on Oct. 24. The Packers' pass-heavy attack will face a depleted Vikings secondary, with cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck) and safety Jamarca Sanford (concussion) listed as doubtful.

Green Bay will need to be better than it has played against the run the last three games, allowing an average of 113 yards to the opposition. On offense for the Packers, it should be more of the same from Rodgers and his arsenal of weapons in the passing game on the fast indoor track. The Vikings are a mess in the secondary, and the final should be just as lopsided in the Metrodome this afternoon.
















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doof Posts:1650 Followers:19
10/23/2011 12:04 PM

With you big on this one, good luck!

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bobalou Posts:4945 Followers:143
10/23/2011 12:04 PM

GL... I'm all over G. Bay today myself... Let's pull this one thru :)



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jimmythegreek Posts:10541 Followers:377
10/23/2011 12:08 PM

Dallas -13.5 over St. Louis
The focus of fans in St. Louis and Dallas won't be on football this weekend. In the case of Rams followers, it might not be for the rest of the season depending on the status of Sam Bradford. St. Louis will be without Bradford in Sunday's matchup against the Cowboys in Arlington - where Game 4 of the World Series will take place later that night. Baseball is the big story in both regions, with the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals competing in the Fall Classic. St. Louis is in bad shape with its second 0-5 start in coach Steve Spagnuolo's three seasons. The Rams have major concerns about Bradford, who has a high left ankle sprain and is in a walking boot. Bradford, who has been sacked an NFL-high 21 times, did not practice this week. He had been listed as questionable, but he was ruled out Saturday and his status going forward is unclear.


Journeyman A.J. Feeley will get his first start since 2007, when he was with Philadelphia. He threw seven interceptions while losing both of his starts that year. Dallas has had every game decided by four or fewer points but has been inconsistent late in games. The Cowboys have blown fourth-quarter leads in all of their losses and trailed entering the final period in their victories. The Rams made a move to bolster a thin receiving corps Monday by acquiring Brandon Lloyd from Denver for a conditional 2012 draft pick. Lloyd is familiar with St. Louis offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, his previous coach with the Broncos. Rams receivers have caught a league-low three touchdowns, and the team's 9.8 points per game is the lowest mark in the NFL. St. Louis may wish it had not let go of Laurent Robinson - who has 208 receiving yards for Dallas in three games - after the preseason. Dallas is looking for better execution. The Cowboys are tied for 30th in the league in red-zone touchdown efficiency at 33.3 percent, with only the Rams faring worse at 25.0 percent.

Jackson ran for a season-high 96 yards in the Rams' 24-3 loss at Green Bay on Sunday, but he may have trouble finding similar room against Dallas. The Cowboys have the league's top-ranked run defense, surrendering 69.6 yards per game. The Cowboys need to stop the run on defense and force Bradford, if he plays with a sprained ankle, to beat them with his arm. Offensively, the key is trying to establish the running game and then making plays down the field to receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. The Cowboys are trying to keep things simple for quarterback Tony Romo and help him cut down on turnovers by managing the game. In the end Dallas should be able to pull away so long as they execute in crunch time situations without making mistakes.














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jimmythegreek Posts:10541 Followers:377
10/23/2011 12:13 PM

Kansas City/Oakland over 42:
Carson Palmer struggled to meet the expectations of the team that drafted him first overall in 2003, but his lack of sustained success didn't stop the Oakland Raiders from using two high future draft picks to add him to their roster. Palmer could make his debut with the Raiders when they host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Oakland (4-2) is off to its best start since 2002, the last time it reached the playoffs while also making a trip to the Super Bowl that season. However, the Raiders suffered a big loss when quarterback Jason Campbell broke his collarbone in a 24-17 win over Cleveland last Sunday.

Campbell was one of the reasons for Oakland's success. Over the first five games, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,118 yards and six touchdowns. Rather than turn to Kyle Boller or rookie Terrelle Pryor, the Raiders traded a 2012 first-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2013 - which could become another first - to Cincinnati for Palmer on Tuesday. Palmer started 97 games over seven seasons with the Bengals before choosing not to return after a 4-12 season in 2010. He led Cincinnati to the playoffs in 2005 and '09, getting injured in his first appearance and losing to the New York Jets in the first-round two years ago. Those were the only two seasons the Bengals had a winning record, but the Raiders have plenty of confidence in Palmer, who tore a ligament and tendon in his passing elbow during the 2008 season.

While Palmer learns Oakland's system, the Raiders still have the option of relying on Darren McFadden, who leads the league with 610 yards rushing. He ran for 91 yards and one touchdown against the Browns. The Chiefs (2-3) are coming off their bye following a 28-24 win over Indianapolis on Oct. 9. Matt Cassel had his best game of the season, completing 21 of 29 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns. Kansas City lost its first three games by a combined score of 109-27, but after taking advantage of two struggling opponents in Minnesota and the Colts, it finds itself back in the AFC West race.

Offensively, the Raiders have come out with more different formations and alignments than any Oakland team in memory. They're equally as liable to come out with extra linemen in a power formation as they are to go to an empty backfield with four wide receivers. That could change against the Chiefs without Campbell. Defensively, the Raiders have been extremely successful bringing extra pressure, and they're not likely to slow it down against Matt Cassel, a quarterback susceptible to pressure.












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jimmythegreek Posts:10541 Followers:377
10/23/2011 12:20 PM

Baltimore -9 over Jacksonville ( Monday):
Despite a strong start to the season, the Baltimore Ravens are not completely satisfied with their overall play. The visiting Ravens have a chance to calm their concerns when they try for a fourth straight victory Monday night while looking to continue their recent dominance of a Jacksonville Jaguars team hoping to snap a five-game skid. Baltimore (4-1) has outscored St. Louis, the New York Jets and Houston by a combined 100-38 during its winning streak. However, last Sunday's 29-14 victory over the Texans showed the Ravens still have some wrinkles to iron out if they are to remain atop the AFC North.

They failed to score touchdowns on two of their four trips inside the red zone and converted three of 11 third-down chances. Joe Flacco was 20 of 33 for 305 yards but did not throw a TD pass and was intercepted once, sacked twice and hit another seven. Despite those deficiencies, Baltimore had reason to pat itself on the back after it scored 13 unanswered points and allowed 58 yards and three first downs in the fourth quarter last weekend. Ray Rice ran 23 times for 101 yards - most of which came in the second half - and also caught five passes for 60 yards versus Houston. He ranks third in the NFL with an average of 140.0 scrimmage yards.

Though Rice has never faced the Jaguars during his four-year career, he has the chance for more success on the ground against a Jacksonville defense that allows 115.0 rushing yards per game. After opening with a 16-14 home win over Tennessee, Jacksonville has scored more than 13 points once during the losing streak. The Jaguars fell 17-13 at Pittsburgh last Sunday, marking the third time in four games they had a chance to win in the final minute only to come up short.

With Jack Del Rio's job security currently on the hot seat, he ruffled more feathers after deciding to kick a 45-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-6 while trailing 17-10 with 4:22 remaining. Del Rio has not looked totally bad for his decision to finally bench Luke McCown in favor of rookie Blaine Gabbert, who has thrown a TD pass in four straight games since taking over as the starter. Gabbert though was 12 of 26 for just 109 yards and got sacked five times against the Steelers, including four during a first half where the Jaguars were held to 68 yards and punted five times. The No. 1 priority for the Ravens defense is to contain Maurice Jones-Drew, who ranks third in the league in rushing, and force Jacksonville to rely on Gabbert. Flacco should continue to be efficient with Rice behind him in the backfield, and I expect Baltimore to contain an already weak offense Jacksonville sports in a low scoring defensive struggle.

Best of luck to all in week 7
YTD 12-12
















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