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jimmythegreek
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NFL GREEK INSIDER WEEK 2

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On 09/18/2011 10:00 AM in NFL
Baltimore -6 over Tennessee:
With a stifling defensive effort, the Baltimore Ravens made a statement during their opening-weekend victory. The Tennessee Titans are trying not to panic after failing to move the ball with much consistency in Week 1. Baltimore tries to open 2-0 for the third time in four seasons while Tennessee hopes to regroup during Mike Munchak's home coaching debut Sunday. The Ravens, who were ousted in the playoffs last season by Pittsburgh, opened 2011 with a bang, routing the Steelers 35-7 last Sunday.

Baltimore recorded three interceptions and recovered four fumbles in a performance that resembled that of the defensive unit which led the team during its 2000 Super Bowl run. The Ravens also had four sacks - three from Terrell Suggs, who with 71 1/2 surpassed Peter Boulware for the most in franchise history. Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck knows all too well of Suggs' defensive prowess. Hasselbeck was sacked eight times in two games against Baltimore while with Seattle, including twice by Suggs during a 44-41 Ravens overtime victory Nov. 23, 2003. In his first game with Tennessee, Hasselbeck completed 21 of 34 passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns and an interception last Sunday. However, Chris Johnson, who joined the team roughly two weeks ago following a holdout, rushed for just 24 yards on nine carries as the Titans fell 16-14 at Jacksonville. On what was a quiet offensive day for the Titans, Kenny Britt shined, hauling in five passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

Tennessee, which surrendered an average of 133.0 rushing yards en route to losing nine of 10 to close last season, surrendered 323 total yards during its opener, 163 on the ground. The Titans' inability to stop the run could mean another big day for Ray Rice, who ran for 107 yards and caught four passes for another 42 against the Steelers, scoring twice. Joe Flacco also impressed, throwing for 224 yards and three TDs.

The Ravens' first priority on defense will be limiting Johnson. Offensively, the unit should continue to give the ball to Rice, who can run behind an improved offensive line and is so difficult to tackle due to his low center of gravity. Flacco targeted Anquan Boldin a team-high seven times against the Steelers, but TEs Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta could also be key against the Titans' outside linebackers and safeties. Ravens roll by double digts.

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Pfile Nickname jimmythegreek
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09/18/2011 10:07 AM
Chicago/New Orleans over 47.5
Brian Urlacher's leadership of a dominant defensive effort allowed the Chicago Bears to revel in a season-opening victory. The Bears are heading into their next game in a decidedly more somber mood. Urlacher is expected to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints despite leaving Chicago earlier in the week after the death of his mother. Urlacher scored his team's final points in a 30-12 home victory over Atlanta last Sunday by returning a fumble for a touchdown and set up another TD with a diving interception. He also had a team-best 10 tackles as the Bears held the Falcons to two field goals during a matchup of the NFC's top two squads from a year ago.

Even with Urlacher likely to play, it might fall on quarterback Jay Cutler and the Bears offense to carry a little more of the burden while dealing with a raucous Superdome crowd. The Saints are hoping to keep a few more points off the scoreboard after a 42-34 loss in Week 1 to defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay. New Orleans' offense generated 477 yards with Drew Brees passing for 419 and three TDs. The Saints, though, missed their chance to tie the game when rookie Mark Ingram was stopped at the 1 on the final play.

New Orleans might have to try to bounce back from that defeat without a pair of receivers, including Marques Colston, the team leader last season with 84 receptions and 1,023 yards. In his return to New Orleans, former Tulane star Matt Forte, who had 158 total yards and a TD in the opener, will try to help the Bears extend a four-game win streak over the Saints, which includes the 2007 NFC championship at Soldier Field.

While Brees may need to look for other options, Chicago's pass defense is rather weak and may be in for a long day. If New Orleans gets up early, Cutler may have to abandon the run and attempt to make big plays through the air which will make the Bears hope to win at their opponents tempo. First one to 30 wins.













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Pfile Nickname enzymex
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09/18/2011 10:11 AM
Great write-ups and info Jimmy. Best of luck tonight. I went with Chicago +6.5, but will definitely take a cover bet on over, just in case Brees manages to rip Bears pass defense apart.
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09/18/2011 10:12 AM
Houston -2.5 over Miami (bought half):
Even without Arian Foster, Houston made a major statement to the two-time defending AFC South champions in its season opener. With the possible return of the league's reigning rushing leader, the Texans could become even more of a threat in Week 2. That's bad news for a Miami Dolphins team trying to rebound from one of the worst defensive performances in franchise history. Houston looks to snap a six-game road losing streak and stay unbeaten against Miami on Sunday when the Dolphins try to end their woes at home.

Still looking for their first playoff berth, the Texans opened their 10th season last Sunday with a convincing 34-7 victory over Indianapolis. With the Colts missing Peyton Manning, Houston piled up 259 yards while running out to a 34-0 halftime lead. The running game has a chance to become even more of a weapon if Foster returns. The third-year back, who ran for 1,616 yards and a league-best 16 touchdowns last year, practiced Wednesday for the first time since he aggravated a left hamstring injury Aug. 27.

If Foster can't go, that likely means more touches for Ben Tate, who ran for 116 yards and a TD in his NFL debut last Sunday. Derrick Ward (39 yards) also found the end zone, but he is day-to-day after spraining his right ankle. It's uncertain if wide receiver Kevin Walter (bruised right collarbone) will be available Sunday, but quarterback Matt Schaub, who completed 17 of 24 passes for 220 yards with a TD and two interceptions against the Colts, still has Andre Johnson and Jacoby Jones as deep threats. Johnson caught seven passes for 95 yards and a TD, while Jones had three receptions for 43 yards and returned a punt 79 yards for a score.

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano knows his team will have to improve on the defensive side to match up against Houston. It will be hard for the Dolphins' defense to be much worse after allowing a franchise-high 622 yards in Monday's 38-24 home loss to New England. Miami, though, gained 488 yards - the team's third-highest total in 21 years - in Brian Daboll's first game as offensive coordinator. The Texans could receive a heavy dose of Reggie Bush, who caught nine passes for 56 yards and a TD and rushed 11 times for 38 yards Monday. The 20 touches were his most since 2008. Bush will face a Houston defense that held Indianapolis to 236 yards - 64 on the ground. Playing under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme, the Texans recorded four sacks, two by Mario Williams in his first start at outside linebacker.

The Texans are 24-3 under Gary Kubiak when they run the ball at least 30 times. With Foster returning from a hamstring injury and hungry to make up for missing the opening victory over Indianapolis, they should run it more than that. Kubiak likes for Foster to touch the ball at least 25 times a game as a runner and receiver. Tate might not get the ball as much, but the Texans figure to run it as much as they can because they've been doing it so well. Houston rolls easy this afternoon leaving Miami lots of questions on defense.




















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09/18/2011 10:18 AM
San Diego/New England over 53:
Coming off the most productive offensive performance in the 52-year history of the franchise, the New England Patriots would rather focus on how to improve for their next opponent instead of recalling their dominance of the last one. Tom Brady and the Patriots expect to be in for a more difficult challenge Sunday when they host a San Diego Chargers. New England looked like the Super Bowl contender it expects to be while piling up a team-record 622 total yards in a 38-24 win at Miami on Monday night . The Patriots' total yardage was also the most in the NFL since Pittsburgh amassed 645 yards versus Atlanta on Nov. 10, 2002.

Brady became the 11th player in NFL history to throw for 500 or more yards in a game with a career-high 517 - fifth-most all-time - and four touchdowns. That included a 99-yard touchdown to Wes Welker, who finished with eight catches for 160 yards and two scores. However, as quickly as the Patriots (1-0) seemed to pile up those yards, they just as quickly shifted their attention to a San Diego defense that allowed 187 total yards in a 24-17 victory over Minnesota last Sunday.

Bill O'Brien and head coach Bill Belichick were more focused on the little things the team did wrong in the opener as opposed to the many areas in which they excelled. Belichick was unhappy the Patriots failed to score after having the ball on the Dolphins' 1-yard line late in the first half, then failed to put the game out of reach more decisively with a couple of first downs in the closing minutes. The Chargers (1-0) held the Vikings to one offensive touchdown and quarterback Donovan McNabb to 39 passing yards while sacking him twice and intercepting him once.

New England has taken four of the last five meetings between these clubs, including victories in a divisional playoff contest in the 2006 season and the AFC championship game the following year. The Patriots won 23-20 at San Diego last Oct. 24. Brady was 19 for 32 with a touchdown in that contest but was sacked four times as the Patriots beat the Chargers despite recording a season-low 179 total yards. Since that victory, Brady has thrown 30 TD passes and one interception in his last 12 regular-season games. Brady, who has thrown 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while going 5-2 overall versus San Diego, looks to extend his regular-season home winning streak to 29 games. His current 28-game run is already the longest by any quarterback since 1950.

Philip Rivers, went 33 of 48 for 335 yards with two TDs and two interceptions while helping the Chargers overcome a 17-7 halftime deficit last weekend. Both touchdown passes went to burly running back Mike Tolbert, who led the team with nine receptions and also scored on the ground. San Diego signed veteran kicker Nick Novak this week after Nate Kaeding was placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn ligament in his left leg against the Vikings.

GL to all this Sunday in week 2

YTD 3-1
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