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jimmythegreek
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NFL GREEK INSIDER WEEK 14

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On 12/08/2013 01:45 AM in NFL
Kansas City -2.5 over Washington (bought half):
While it may not be time to push the panic button if you're a Kansas City Chiefs fan, they are looking to avoid a 4th straight loss when they take on the woeful Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field this afternoon. KC (9-3) is the first team in NFL history to win its first nine games then lose three in a row. However, it leads the AFC wild-card race and can secure its first playoff berth since 2010 with a win at Washington (3-9) and a loss or tie by Miami or Baltimore on Sunday.

During the Chiefs' 9 game winning streak to open the 2013 season, they surrendered only 111 points (12.3) but faced only 2 teams currently with winning records, Dallas and Philadelphia who are tied atop the NFC East at 7-5. During their 3 game losing streak they have lost to Denver twice and San Diego yielding a combined total of 103 points. Ironically they've averaged 28 points over their 3 defeats, but offensively coming from behind has not lately been one of their stronger challenges to overcome considering they were accustomed to getting off to fast starts letting their defense wear opponents down the stretch.

Alex Smith (261/440 2736 16 TD 6 INT) has looked efficient for the most part but has a tendency to press leaving him more vulnerable to make mistakes. Smith is fortunate to have leading rusher Jamaal Charles (219-1011 4.6 9 TD) also as his top target (55-452 2 TD). Charles has big play ability to get open in the flat and outsmart secondaries and defensive backs with speed to generate good yardage after the catch. A more deep threat has been the resurgence of Dwayne Bowe (45-533 4 TD) who could have a field day against Washington's 27th ranked pass defense. Donnie Avery (34-524 2 TD) has been held in check as of late which could mean more opportunities for Dexter McCluster (42-417 1 TD). Smith has good speed out of the pocket and is not afraid to take a licking when scrambling (64-360 5.6 1 TD) and calling his own number.

Washington comes off blowing a 14-0 first half lead to the Giants only to lose their 4th straight 24-17 which eliminated the Redskins from the postseason mix. Robert Griffin III (262/430 3039 15 TD 11 INT), who completed his first 12 passes for 111 yards, finished with 207 and a TD to become the fourth player to throw for at least 3,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. He also ran for a season-high 88 yards on 12 attempts. Pierre Garcon (84-980 3 TD) had the ball stripped after a reception two plays later on the Skins final drive that would have given them the actual first down but instead sealed the loss. The officials' incorrect movement of the down marker on the Redskins' final drive led the team to believe it had a first down when instead it was third. Normally reliable Alfred Morris (206-996 4.8 6 TD) was held to a season low 26 yards on 11 carries (2.4) RGIII (82-460 5.6) like Smith is also dangerous and not afraid to take a hit in the open field, however with the season already lost it may not be worth it to absorb contact which could lead to further injury.

The Chiefs struggles steam from a lack of pressure on the quarterback, having recorded 35 sacks in the first seven games and only two in the past five. Justin Houston, who leads the team with 11 sacks, could miss a 2nd straight game with an elbow injury. Even without Houston, the Chiefs defensive line should have no problem creating pressure on Griffin. Washington will have to establish the run early and often, but it will be tough against the front seven of Kansas City. If Griffin has time in the pocket I could see him having a big day against a Chiefs secondary that has looked average the past few weeks. However with Kansas City coming into this one at 4-1 away from Arrowhead and a lot more at stake, a 4th straight loss seems highly unlikely.



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12/08/2013 02:14 AM
Denver -11.5 over Tennessee:
John Fox is expected to be back on the sidelines coaching the AFC West leading Denver Broncos (10-2) after undergoing successful open heart surgery last month. Interim coach Jack Del Rio will return to his duties as defensive coordinator. The Broncos regained sole possession of first place by edging the Kansas City Chiefs 35-28 as Peyton Manning threw for 405 yards and 5 TDs.

Manning (327/480 4125 41 TD 9 INT) threw 4 of his scores to Eric Decker (63-971 7 TD) who caught 8 passes in all for 174 yards in the win. he Broncos, which won without four defensive starters, can secure a postseason berth with a win or tie Sunday. They'll also get in if Miami or Baltimore loses or ties. While Manning is easily on his way to yet another regular season MVP award, he can certainly thank the Broncos of possessing one of the most dangerous receiving cores in the league. Led by Demaryius Thomas (67-1061 10 TD) and Wes Wellker (68-717 9 TD) the future Hall of Fame QB has numerous options in the passing game that have led to quick strikes as evident by their league leading 39.5 points per contest. Of course we can't forget about protection for Manning in the form of Knowshon Moreno (202-842 4.2 9 TD) who wasn't mnuch of a factor against the Chiefs. Moreno gained just 18 yards on 15 carries (1.2) but his counterpart Montee Ball (88-379 4.3 3 TD) picked up most of the slack gaining 117 yards on 13 carries (9.0). That doesn't bode well for Tennessee's defensive line who has allowed a league high 16 rushing TD's.

With Tennessee losing 6 of their last 8, they are barely clinging to wildcard postseason hopes trailing AFC South leader Indianapolis by 3 games. Ryan Fitzpatrick (136/218 1533 8 TD 7 INT) has since filled in for the injured Jake Locker (111/183 1256 8 TD 4 INT) who is out for the season with a lisfranc injury. Top target Kendall White (71-840 2 TD) has averaged nearly 7 receptions over his last 6 games despite scoring just one TD. Delaine Walker (45-454 5 TD) is trying to clear concussion protocol and his status is questionable. Nate Washington (41-647 2 TD) has been the most consistent and steady part of the receiving core and could see more targets against a vulnerable pass defense. Chris Johnson (205-774 3.8 4 TD) may not see as much action especially if Tennessee is down big early forced to go one dimensional except in shorter yardage situations.

It is not necessarily that the Titans have not been competitive but they have just failed to win football games. Out of the 7 losses on the season, the Titans have lost 5 of those games by one score or less. Even worse is the fact the Titans have not beaten a single team over the .500 mark in their 5 wins this year as well. Denver now has the best record in the AFC. With a manageable schedule remaining, the Broncos have a chance to capture home field advantage throughout the postseason with a solid finish over the next 4 weeks. It starts late this afternoon in the mile high air with a high scoring tumultuous victory over Tennessee.
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12/08/2013 02:40 AM
New England -9.5 over Cleveland (bought half):
AFC East leading New England (9-3) has had to fight tooth and nail over the past 2 weeks but has escaped with consecutive 34-31 wins over Denver and Houston respectively. The Patriots have a 3 game lead over Miami and could wrap up the division with a win over clueless Cleveland (4-8) who were embarrassed at the dog pound over Jacksonville in week 13.

Tom Brady (286/471 3267 19 TD 8 INT) has put up some impressive numbers over the past few weeks and the rewards have gone to Julian Edelman (70-711 4 TD) who has now recorded back to back 100 yard games while catching 18 passes in that span. Rob Gronkowski (37-560 4 TD) who has missed two-thirds of the season due to injury is starting to come back into his own quickly as well. Good thing too since Aaron Dobson (35-492 4 TD) is expected to miss his second straight week due to a foot injury. Kembrell Thompkins (32-466 4 TD) is battling a hip injury bit will likely play as another key option in the receiving game for Brady to execute. While Brady's cast only recently adjusted there has been a lot more repoire with the routes. Complementing Brady is the combination of Stevan Ridley (135-576 4.3 7 TD) and LeGarrette Blount (94-418 4.4 3 TD) in the running game which has received a lot more exposure while taking up huge chunks of clock during long successfully sustained drives.

More was apparently expected from the Cleveland Browns this season with hopes of fans dreaming about a postseason berth. However expectations have nowhere been achieved with numerous issues at various positions. The combination of Brandon Weeden (141/267 1731 9 TD 9 INT) and Jason Campbell (87/153 933 6 TD 3 INT) has shown potential but has not lived up to the hype thus far. One of the few bright spots has been Josh Gordon (64-1249 7 TD) who has racked up the record books catching 24 passes for 468 yards over the last 2 games. Jordan Cameron (63-704 6 TD) got off to a promising start but has since scored only once in the last 9 games. The major achilles heel however has been the running game as Willis McGahee (124-344 2.8 2 TD) has become somewhat of an afterthought accounting for both of Cleveland's rushing TD's all season long.

Cleveland’s defense hasn’t been all it was cracked up to be prior to their bye, and with New England’s offense trending upwards in a major way, they are in position to dominate with ease on both sides of the ball in looking to secure another AFC East title. New England's defense will force the Browns into the kinds of turnovers that plagued them a week ago, and this game could get well of hand in the second half especially if Bill Belichick expects the Pats to stay focused in the weeks ahead when it comes to playoff seeding.
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12/08/2013 03:03 AM
Minnesota/Baltimore over 41:
Baltimore (6-6) has responded by winning three of four to take ownership of the AFC's final wild-card spot. The Ravens are tied with Miami, but own the tiebreaker based on a 26-23 road win over the Dolphins on Oct. 6th. After facing the NFL's only team without a road win in Minnesota (3-8-1), Baltimore's final three games are against division leaders Detroit, New England and Cincinnati. It faces the Lions and Bengals on the road.

The defending Super Bowl Champions dominated on defense in a 19-3 win at home over the NY Jets in week 12, then had to hold on thanks to a missed 2 point conversion on Thanksgiving that led to an edging of the Pittsburgh Steelers 22-20. This being their 3rd straight home game at M&T Bank Stadium, fans around Ravens nation are starting to believe that Baltimore can clinch one of the two wildcard spots in coming out of the AFC North.

Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco (262/438 2993 15 TD 14 INT) has had an up and down season to say the least, however much of the cause could be worthy targets outside of Torrey Smith (54-952 4 TD) in the receiving core. Dallas Clark (31-343 3 TD) may have a more efficient effort if involved considering Minnesota's pass defense is one of the league's most vulnerable. To say that Ray Rice (168-482 2.9 4 TD) to this point is struggling can be nothing short of an understatement, however the Vikings rush defense has given up 116 yards per contest. One things for sure is that the Ravens will look to establish a more consistent flow mixing it up through the air and on the ground in order to establish control early.

With Christian Ponder (152/239 1648 7 TD 9 INT) ruled out due to concussion symptoms, the Vikes will turn once again to Matt Cassel (77/121 857 5 TD 4 INT) who rallied Minnesota to a week 13 23-20 OT win home to Chicago. Greg Jennings (43-517 3 TD) finally scored a TD, his first over the last 7 games and finished with 7 catches for 78 yards. Jerome Simpson (39-622) has still not been able to find the end zone but became more of a target last week. Adrian Peterson (261-1208 4.6 10 TD) remains limited in practice but only as a precaution in order to heel is groin injury.

Perhaps Baltimore can build some confidence against a struggling Minnesota defense that is allowing more than three offensive touchdowns per game. Though the Vikings held the Bears to 20 points in Week 13, Chicago gained 480 yards and racked up 7.4 yards per play, with wideout Alshon Jeffery setting a club record for single-game receiving yardage (249). The Vikings could have trouble with the speed of Smith who has emerged as Baltimore's most consistent offensive weapon this season. While the total may be set a couple of points lower than originally predicted, both teams should combine for enough to easily eclipse the posted total.

Best of luck to all in week 14
YTD 30-22 .577
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12/08/2013 06:30 PM
42 points in the 4th quarter, 36 in the final 2:00 is actually giving me a shot at a winning Sunday. Hold on to the double digit lead Denver!
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