jimmythegreek Posts:10692 Followers:377
On 11/13/2011 10:17 AM in NFL

NFL GREEK INSIDER WEEK 10

Baltimore -6.5 over Seattle (bought half):
Coming off a thrilling victory over their biggest rival, the last thing the Baltimore Ravens need is to slip up against a beatable opponent. The visiting Ravens will try to remain focused while looking for a third consecutive victory Sunday against a Seattle Seahawks team hoping to avoid their first four-game skid in almost two seasons. Trailing Pittsburgh by four points with 2:24 remaining last Sunday night, Baltimore (6-2) drove 92 yards, capping a 13-play drive when Joe Flacco hit rookie Torrey Smith for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 8 seconds left for a stunning 23-20 victory at Heinz Field.

The Ravens' win completed a season sweep of Pittsburgh and left them in a tie with Cincinnati atop the AFC North. The Ravens hope they will not suffer a collective hangover from last weekend's emotional victory when they face Seattle (2-6) for the first time since a 27-6 road loss to the Seahawks on Dec. 23, 2007. Joe Flacco has thrown for 636 yards the past two weeks - including 238 after halftime in rallying Baltimore from an 18-point deficit against Arizona - after being held to a season-low 137 in a 12-7 loss at Jacksonville on Oct. 24. Smith, meanwhile, has become one of Flacco's favorite targets with eight receptions for 128 yards over the last two contests. Smith came through in the end at Pittsburgh after he committed a penalty to negate a Ray Rice TD run on the game's first play and dropped a potential touchdown pass earlier on the winning drive.

If there is an area of concern for the Ravens, it might be how well they have stopped the opposition of late. Despite the positive results, Baltimore yielded a combined 47 points to the Cardinals and Steelers after giving up 50 during its previous four games. However, the Ravens defense has allowed only 279 yards per game, second in the NFL. They look to get back on track against the Seahawks, who have been outscored 63-28 during their three-game skid. Trying to avoid losing four straight for the first time since dropping the final four of the 2009 season, Seattle has found the end zone only twice over the last three games. Both have come courtesy of running back Marshawn Lynch, who scored late in last Sunday's 23-13 loss at Dallas.

With 10 penalties at Dallas, the Seahawks have committed 29 over the last three games and at least eight in six contests in 2011. Their 70 penalties on the season rank second in the NFL behind Oakland's 84. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson threw three interceptions against the Cowboys to increase the Seahawks' turnover total to 12 over the last five games. LYnch did run for 135 yards last Sunday to become the first Seahawk to top 100 rushing yards in a regular season game since Justin Forsett's 130 during a 27-17 win at St. Louis on Nov. 29, 2009. One of the few Seahawks to have faced the Ravens, Lynch rushed 27 times for 84 yards and a TD against Baltimore while with Buffalo in 2007.

Considering how much success Flacco has had in the short passing attack over the last two games, it might be wise for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to keep that part of the strategy. The Seahawks rank 18th against the pass in the NFL, which will likely invite a few deep balls from Flacco to Smith. RB Ray Rice should be able to find significant running lanes against a defense ranked 13th against the run. Seattle will try to blunt the Ravens' pass rush by handing off the ball to Lynch, but the Ravens rank third in the league against the run. The defense will try to force the Seahawks to win on the ability of either Tavaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst. Sorry, not going to happen. Baltimore comfortably.
















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jimmythegreek Posts:10692 Followers:377
11/13/2011 10:23 AM

Houston -3 over Tampa Bay (bought half):
The Houston Texans sit atop the AFC South thanks to one of the most potent rushing attacks and stingiest defenses in the NFL. That has the team hopeful it can make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but there's still a lot left to accomplish going forward. Seeking a career-high seventh consecutive 100-yard effort from scrimmage, Arian Foster looks to help the visiting Texans to a team record-tying fourth straight win Sunday against the stumbling Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Houston (6-3) has posted one winning season since entering the NFL in 2002, but it continues to look like a playoff contender. Led by Foster (656 yards rushing) and Ben Tate (623), the Texans are compiling an average of 155.1 yards on the ground - the second-highest mark in the NFL entering Week 10. While its ground game leaves little to be desired, Houston's defense - traditionally a weak spot for the club - has been even more impressive. The Texans rank No. 1 in the league with 274.0 yards allowed per game and third with 17.4 points given up.

Houston cruised past Cleveland 30-12 last Sunday behind 124 rushing yards from Foster and 115 from Tate, setting a franchise record with 261 yards on the ground. Foster has rushed for at least 112 yards in each of the last three games and gone over 100 from scrimmage in his last six contests - the league's longest such active streak. The Texans improved to 4-0 when giving up fewer than 90 rushing yards. They allowed a season-low 44 to the Browns. That doesn't bode well for Tampa Bay (4-4), which dropped to 0-4 when rushing for fewer than 100 during a 27-16 loss at New Orleans last weekend. The Buccaneers, who were looking forward to getting their ground game going with leading rusher LeGarrette Blount back following a two-game absence, fell behind early and were limited to 84 yards on the ground.

The Buccaneers' second straight loss and third in four games dropped them into third place in the NFC South, 1 1/2 games behind the division-leading Saints. Tampa Bay's recent struggles can be linked in part to its inability to score touchdowns in the red zone. The Bucs have scored TDs eight times in 22 opportunities inside their opponents' 20 - the lowest percentage in the NFL. Penalties have also plagued the Bucs, who were flagged nine times for 80 yards last Sunday. Tampa Bay's 68 penalties are the third most in the league. The team made a high-profile move to bolster its defense Wednesday, claiming Albert Haynesworth off waivers one day after the lineman was released by New England. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy for the season this week because of a torn right biceps.

The Buccaneers have surrendered an average of 305.0 passing yards at home but catch a bit of break because Texans All-Pro wideout Andre Johnson won't be able to return. Johnson will miss a sixth straight game with a right hamstring injury. Houston will use the combination of Foster and Tate to try to control the clock. They'll pound the ball between the tackles behind fullback Lawrence Vickers, who's been a terrific lead blocker the last two games. They'll run behind an offensive line that's been working the zone scheme to perfection. The Buccaneers are 26th against the run, allowing 132.4 yards. They've lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy for the season. If they do manage to contain the running game, quarterback Matt Schaub won't be afraid to throw down field to Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones. Schaub loves to throw the short and intermediate routes to right ends Owen Daniels and Joel Dreessen. Texans continue their winning ways and batter the Bucs.
















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jimmythegreek Posts:10692 Followers:377
11/13/2011 10:30 AM

Green Bay -13 over Minnesota (Monday night):
Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level and the Green Bay Packers remain undefeated. However, the spotty play of a generous defense is keeping them from being completely satisfied. The Packers hope to tighten up things on the defensive end and complete their second straight season series sweep of the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night at Lambeau Field. Green Bay (8-0) is off to its best start since opening with 10 straight wins in 1962, but the reigning Super Bowl champs have not been a complete team. Thanks to Rodgers, the Packers are averaging an NFL-high 34.4 points per game this season, and have won 14 in a row including postseason since losing 31-27 at New England last Dec. 19. Green Bay will now try for its 10th consecutive win at Lambeau Field, where it has also won four of the last five versus Minnesota (2-6).

Despite returning a pair of interceptions for touchdowns last Sunday, Green Bay allowed its most points of the season and almost blew a 21-point lead in a 45-38 win at San Diego. The Packers gave up 435 total yards at Minnesota on Oct. 23, when they held on for a 33-27 win. Adrian Peterson gained 175 of the Vikings season-high 218 rushing yards in that contest.

Rodgers completed 24 of 30 passes for 335 yards and three TDs last month against Minnesota, and went 21 of 26 for 247 yards last week against the Chargers, tossing four touchdowns to increase his NFL-leading total to 24. Jennings had seven receptions for 147 yards including a 79-yard catch and run for a score at Minnesota last month. Rodgers has completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 1,602 yards with 14 TDs and three interceptions in his last five games against the Vikings. His counterpart, Minnesota rookie Christian Ponder, made his first career start in the Oct. 23 loss, throwing for 219 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions to keep the Vikings competitive. Ponder was 18 of 28 for 236 yards and a TD during Minnesota's last game, a 24-21 win at Carolina on Oct. 30.

With Peterson toting the ball, the Vikings at least have a chance to give the Packers problems. Fourth in the NFL with 795 yards on the ground, Peterson has averaged 110.3 and rushed for three TDs in his last three games at Lambeau. However this game is outdoors at the frozen tundra, and with Green Bay looking to bounce back defensively, it could be a long afternoon for Minnesota's offense who will look to build up momentum from their bye week. If you compare weapons, Rodgers options at receiver gives the Pack the decisive edge over an improving yet modest offense on paper. While this game ay stay close in the first half Minnesota will be hard pressed to stop Green Bay's attack. Have to love the home cooking and the cheese in this spot.












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jimmythegreek Posts:10692 Followers:377
11/13/2011 10:37 AM

Denver/Kansas City over 42:
Despite his many critics, Tim Tebow has helped the Denver Broncos turn things around and remain in the hunt in the weak AFC West. The Kansas City Chiefs hope their latest defeat is not the start of a descent from division contention. While the Broncos look to build on their latest victory, the Chiefs hope to rebound from an embarrassing loss when the division rivals meet Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver (3-5) had lost four of five when coach John Fox replaced Kyle Orton with Tebow for the Broncos' Oct. 23 game at Miami. With Tebow's unconventional style of quarterback play seemingly better suited for the college game, Fox's move drew jeers from some fans, media and even players throughout the NFL.

What nobody can argue with, however, is that the Broncos have won two of three with Tebow as the starter and remain very much in contention in the league's only division in which no team entered Week 10 with a winning record. Now one game behind Kansas City (4-4) as well as San Diego and Oakland for the division lead, Denver tightened the race last Sunday by scoring the final 24 points in a 38-24 win at the Raiders. Running a similar read-option offense to what he thrived in at the University of Florida, Tebow passed for 124 yards and ran for 118 to became the first AFC quarterback to record at least 100 passing and rushing yards in a game since Pittsburgh's Kordell Stewart in 1998. He also was sacked only twice after going down 13 times in his first two starts - an 18-15 comeback win over the Dolphins and a 45-10 mauling by Detroit. McGahee also continues to play well after accounting for 163 of Denver's 299 rushing yards last week - its most since gaining 301 against Seattle on Nov. 26, 2000.

After watching his workload diminish the last three seasons as Ray Rice's backup in Baltimore, McGahee - despite recently undergoing surgery on a broken hand - is on pace to gain 1,246 yards, which would be one yard shy of his career high set in 2005. The Broncos likely will need strong production from both Tebow and McGahee this Sunday. The Chiefs have been victorious in 12 of the last 16 matchups with Denver at Arrowhead. The Chiefs had their four-game winning streak snapped last Sunday with a humbling 31-3 loss at home to previously winless Miami. Kansas City had averaged 25.3 points during its winning streak and gained a respectable 341 total yards against the Dolphins, but committed eight penalties, went 0 for 2 in the red zone and could not prevent Cassel from getting sacked five times.Cassel has thrown for 1,141 yards with eight TDs and three interceptions while going 3-2 against the Broncos. He was 33 o f 53 with four TDs in Kansas City's 49-29 loss at Denver on Nov. 14. Dwayne Bowe caught 13 of those passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns in that contest, but was held without a reception in the Chiefs' home win over the Broncos last Dec. 5.

The Chiefs' 19th-ranked rush defense likely will get another dose until they prove they can stop it. At the same time, the Broncos know that while they have to continue playing to Tebow's strengths as a runner, it's incumbent he continues to make some plays to beat single coverage downfield with quick decision making and accuracy. In the early part of the game both of these teams may feel each other out on both sides of the ball, but if either team falls behind due to mistakes leading to short fields, the urgency in the passing game will open up the offense. This number is too low and both teams should manage well into the 20's.

Best of luck to all in week 10:
YTD 18-18



















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