jimmythegreek Posts:11154 Followers:382
On 10/07/2012 02:38 AM in NFL

NFL GREEK INSIDER WEEK 5

Minnesota -6 over Tennessee:
Now fully healthy, Adrian Peterson is a big reason the Minnesota Vikings are tied atop the NFC North. The Tennessee Titans hope Chris Johnson's latest performance is the start of good things to come for them and their star running back. Looking to continue their surprising start, Peterson and the Vikings can surpass their win total from last season with a third consecutive victory Sunday against the banged-up Titans at the Metrodome.

Minnesota's 3-13 season in 2011 was made worse when Peterson tore his ACL at Washington on Christmas Eve. Nine months later, he has recovered enough to regain his status as one of the NFL's top running backs, helping the Vikings (3-1) to a share of the division lead with Chicago. Minnesota might have a good chance to achieve that goal if Peterson continues to run as well as he did last week. Though the Vikings rank 21st in total offense at 321.8 yards per game, they are 10th in rushing at 122.8. Though the Vikings don't have the NFL's most potent offense, they have a chance to succeed with Peterson and the running game producing.

The Titans (1-3) hope to see improvement on the defensive side, especially if starting linebacker Colin McCarthy is able to return after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. As badly as Tennessee's defense has played, the team's biggest concern might be on the other side of the ball. The Titans have been held to 14 or fewer points in three games and head into this contest with quarterback issues. Jake Locker separated his shoulder in a 38-14 loss at Houston on Sunday, leaving veteran Matt Hasselbeck to start despite throwing a pair of interceptions the Texans returned for touchdowns.

Perhaps the biggest individual disappointment of the young season, Johnson totaled 45 yards on 33 carries through the first three games before running 25 times for 141 yards against the Texans. Christian Ponder has not put up huge numbers this season, but he managing games well and he has yet to throw an INT. While his WR corps is not a great one at least he will be facing a weak Tennessee pass defense and he will have time to exploit that since the Titans rank near the bottom of the league with only 6 sacks in 4 games. Peterson and Ponder could both have big games as Minnesota will have enough of an offensive mix to keep Tennessee's defense off balance.



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jimmythegreek Posts:11154 Followers:382
10/07/2012 02:48 AM

Baltimore -6 over Kansas City (bought half):
After struggling in their lone road game, there is some concern with how the Baltimore Ravens' no-huddle offense will perform Sunday at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, historically one of the league's loudest venues. Coming back from a well-deserved break, the rejuvenated Ravens try to again make things difficult for Matt Cassel, whose turnovers have been one of the biggest reasons for the Chiefs' slow start.

Baltimore (3-1) has been off since beating Cleveland 23-16 last Thursday, its fourth game in 18 days. The veteran defense, led by 37-year-old Ray Lewis, admitted being a bit winded at the end of the game as the Browns' last-ditch pass attempt from the Ravens' 18-yard line fell incomplete. The only time the Ravens have played away from Baltimore - in Philadelphia on Sept. 16 - their offense stalled, totaling a season-low 325 yards while turning the ball over twice in a 24-23 loss. In their three games at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens have averaged 32.7 points and 457.0 yards with two total turnovers.

Despite Kansas City's home-field advantage, the Ravens had little trouble in their last game there, winning 30-7 in a 2010 wild-card game. Flacco passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns, Ray Rice finished with 99 yards from scrimmage and a score while Baltimore picked Cassel off three times. The embattled quarterback has thrown seven interceptions and has fumbled three times, accounting for two-thirds of the team's league-high 15 turnovers. The Chiefs (1-3) have been outscored 77-44 in losing their two home games, and have lost six of their last seven at Arrowhead.

Cleaning up their miscues against a Ravens team that has forced eight turnovers seems like a tall order. As does finding room for Jamaal Charles, who has run for 325 yards in the last two games but now faces a Baltimore defense that's allowed 2.4 yards per carry in its last two. Flacco has completed 28 passes in each of the past two games, totaling 738 yards. Torrey Smith was on the receiving end of 12 of those completions, accumulating 224 yards, while Anquan Boldin had 13 receptions for 179 yards. That does not bode very well for Kansas City which has allowed 10 passing TDs - tied for second-most in the league. The Chiefs also have the difficult task of containing Ray Rice, who is averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He had 108 yards on 19 attempts in his only regular-season game against the Chiefs, a 38-24 win in 2009. Baltimore should roll here especially if Flacco can control the game early and the Ravens defense can keep Charles in check.

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jimmythegreek Posts:11154 Followers:382
10/07/2012 02:53 AM

Houston -9 over NYJ (Monday night):
The Texans (4-0) already are comfortably atop the AFC South since all of their division rivals have one win apiece. Unlike past years when it over-relied on quarterback Matt Schaub and the offense, Houston appears to have found a proper balance - it's averaging 31.5 points while leading the AFC in scoring defense at 14.0 per game, total defense (273.0 yards a contest) and passing yards allowed (182.8). That balance was on display in a 38-14 win over Tennessee on Sunday. Schaub was efficient - going 20 of 28 for 202 yards and two touchdowns - and Arian Foster added 86 rushing yards and a score. Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for TDs.

The Texans will have to make one change defensively with safety Quintin Demps out following surgery on his broken left forearm. On Wednesday they signed Troy Nolan, who was released by Miami on Sept. 25 but is familiar with Houston's defensive schemes after being on the team the previous two seasons. Arian Foster, whose 103 carries lead the league, may face an even heavier workload since Ben Tate is dealing with a toe injury. Second in the AFC with 380 rushing yards, Foster had 143 total yards and two touchdowns in his only game against the Jets in 2010.

While the Texans are rolling, the Jets (2-2) are sputtering despite being tied atop the AFC East. They began life without All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis by losing 34-0 at home to San Francisco last Sunday. The absence of Santonio Holmes, who has team highs of 20 catches and 272 yards, just adds to the pressure facing embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez. He threw for 103 yards Sunday and has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. Sanchez's uneven play since New York's season-opening win over Buffalo has allowed speculation to run rampant as to whether Tim Tebow will see more snaps under center. Tebow completed a 9-yard pass last week, but Ryan remained committed to Sanchez.

It appears tight end Dustin Keller could miss a fourth straight game with a hamstring injury, as he's listed as doubtful along with rookie receiver Stephen Hill (hamstring). New York's receiving corps is clearly stretched thin, with second-year pro Jeremy Kerley now the top option.The team signed Jason Hill, who had 25 catches for 367 yards and three touchdowns with Jacksonville last year, on Wednesday.

In four games this season, Mark Sanchez completed 50% or better of his passes only once, had a QB rating of better than 70 only once, and has five touchdowns to four interceptions this season. Point is, Sanchez is a bad quarterback already and may lose his job after Monday night. I'm not suggesting that Tim Tebow is a better quarterback, but if they get humiliated again, this time in prime time, they may be forced to make a move. I don't believe Sanchez has a chance to play well on Monday both because of the great defense he's facing and because he doesn't have any great receivers to throw to; the best of which (Santonio Holmes) will miss the game with a leg injury. Unless the Texans offense finds a way to beat themselves, there's no way the Jets can even compete in this one.

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jimmythegreek Posts:11154 Followers:382
10/07/2012 03:02 AM

Buffalo/San Francisco over 45:
If the Bills (2-2) are going to win their first game in an NFC stadium since Oct. 25, 2009, versus Carolina - they'll have to move past last Sunday's 52-28 loss to New England. But after committing a season-high six turnovers and giving up the second-most yards in team history with 580, there's no telling how much of an effect the defeat will have on the team this weekend. If it does, the Bills will have little chance to leave San Francisco with a victory. Things don't get much easier after this game, as Buffalo will play three of its next four on the road, including stops in Arizona, Houston and New England. Part of that means Kevin Fitzpatrick has to make better decisions, as his seven interceptions are among the most in the NFL. However, he could be under plenty of duress as the 49ers' defensive front will face a Buffalo line without injured starters Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik.

The Bills might have one of the deepest backfields in the NFL with Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Tashard Choice, but Jackson and Spiller are coming off injures and both lost fumbles last week when Buffalo finished with a season-low 98 yards on the ground. Coming off their best rushing effort of the season, San Francisco (3-1) could get a boost if Brandon Jacobs makes his team debut. The former New York Giant has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in the second preseason game. Even if Jacobs has to wait another week to get in, Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter could have big days against a Bills defense that surrendered 247 yards and four TDs on the ground last week. Buffalo had not allowed that many rushing scores at home since 1977.

The 49ers can get used to playing at Candlestick Park as they'll play three straight and five of six in the Bay Area. A 27-19 winner over Detroit in its lone home game this season, San Francisco has not lost to a visiting AFC team since Nov. 8, 2009, against Tennessee. The 49ers are a good test for the Buffalo Bills defense, which have yet to really prove they can stop an opponents run game. The Bills are 28th in the league in rushing yardage per game allowed, and have given up the sixth most rushing yardage in the league. Last week the 49ers ran for 245 yards and three touchdowns, so it is safe to say a run heavy offense is in game plan for San Francisco. Jim Harbaugh’s favorite. Like the Bills, the 49ers prefer to keep the ball out of the hands of their quarterback when possible. But San Francisco is better at it. Alex Smith's 178 yards per game are 30th in the NFL, yet he boasts a healthy 98.1 rating because the Niners rarely rely upon him to solely carry the load. Look for him to get more opportunities to mix it up early, and even if the Niners are committed to running the ball more than the pass, we could see this total easily going over.


Best of luck to all in week 5
YTD: 6-10

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