jimmythegreek Posts:10547 Followers:377
On 12/22/2012 05:08 PM in NFL

NFL GREEK INSIDER WEEK 16

New England -14 over Jacksonville (bought half):
The Patriots look to rebuild some momentum and keep their slim hopes for a playoff bye alive on Sunday when they visit Jacksonville, which has one win in three months. While New England is likely to be seeded no better than third in the AFC, it can still claim the top spot with wins over Jacksonville and Miami, and with Houston (12-2) losses to Minnesota and Indianapolis. The Patriots (10-4) could also pass Denver (11-3) with two wins and a Broncos loss to either Cleveland or Kansas City.

The Patriots are averaging 39.5 points with a 6-0 record against teams with losing records, while Jacksonville is 0-6 against opponents with winning records. Still, the AFC East champions appear to be guarding against a letdown after splitting consecutive contests against top-tier clubs Houston and San Francisco. Brandon Lloyd had a season-high 10 catches for a career-best 190 yards to help New England rally from a 28-point deficit and draw even in the fourth quarter Monday night. The Patriots, though, ran out of gas as San Francisco answered with the next 10 points en route to a 41-34 victory that snapped the team's seven-game winning streak.

Tom Brady completed 36 of a career-high 65 attempts in the loss with one touchdown and two interceptions. He has thrown three picks in his last three games after going five straight contests without one. The league's most potent offense (36.1 points per game) could be even stronger Sunday if tight end Rob Gronkowski returns from a broken forearm. He is tied for third in the league with 10 touchdown catches despite missing the last four games.

The Jaguars (2-12) have lost three straight and 10 of 11 after Sunday's 24-3 defeat at Miami on Sunday, and are guaranteed of at least a tie for the worst record in franchise history. Chad Henne performed well against Houston and Tennessee in November, throwing for six touchdowns, but the fifth-year quarterback has gone 58 for 119 (48.7) with one TD and three interceptions during the three-game skid. Cecil Shorts has been one of the few bright spots, finishing with six catches for 101 yards against the Dolphins for his fourth 100-yard effort in seven games. The Jaguars have totaled 13 points in their last two games, and 219 on the season - the second fewest in the NFL.

On the surface, this has blowout in New England's favor written all over it. The Jaguars are fighting for jobs in 2013 and need to come out strong and show they can play against the big boys in New England. Still a huge game for top seed purposes, but even with the mismatch on paper and on the field, don't expect Bellichek to let up even with the game well in hand.

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jimmythegreek Posts:10547 Followers:377
12/22/2012 05:15 PM

Denver -13 over Cleveland:
Denver can move closer to earning a first-round bye in the playoffs Sunday by extending its winning streak to 10 with a victory over the visiting Cleveland Browns, who have dropped nine straight meetings. The Broncos fell to 2-3 after a 31-21 loss Oct. 7 at New England as Peyton Manning struggled to adapt to his new team. Denver (11-3) has since reeled off nine straight wins - its longest streak since the 1998 Super Bowl team won its first 13 - and clinched the AFC West with Manning rising to third in the NFL with 31 touchdown passes and fourth with a 103.5 rating.

Manning didn't need to do much, though, in last week's 34-17 rout in Baltimore, throwing for a season-low 204 yards - 133 to Eric Decker, including a touchdown - while handing it off a career-most 45 times. Knowshon Moreno followed his 119-yard performance versus Oakland on Dec. 6 by rushing for 118 and a touchdown.

The defense, which ranks fourth giving up 307.1 yards per game, had another solid contest, holding the Ravens to 56 rushing yards and scoring a touchdown on Chris Harris' 98-yard interception return. The Broncos can secure a bye into the divisional round by beating Cleveland (5-9) and woeful Kansas City to close out the regular season.

Trent Richardson is 103 rushing yards shy of 1,000 and is coming off his second straight two-touchdown performance. The rookie, though, was critical of Browns coach Pat Shurmur and the play calling after carrying only 11 times for 28 yards. Cleveland has undergone plenty of changes this season with a new front office under new owner Jimmy Haslam, who hired former Dallas senior vice president Alec Scheiner to be the team's president Tuesday.

No changes have been made under center, though, as Shurmur continues to stick through the growing pains of rookie Brandon Weeden. The 29-year-old first-round pick went 21 for 35 for 244 yards and a touchdown last week, but he also threw two interceptions that led to Washington scores. Weeden has 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in starting each contest, and Shurmur hasn't eluded to making a change at the position despite Cleveland's offense ranking 26th with 319.6 yards per game.

Denver sits two games behind counting the tiebreaker to the Houston Texans for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They are just one game ahead of New England for the number two seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the playoffs. Much more to play for than 5-9 Cleveland, who despite the tough start could be on the up and up to respectably rebuild in 2013.

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  • Last 7 Days Record: 81-91-2
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jimmythegreek Posts:10547 Followers:377
12/22/2012 05:23 PM

Green Bay -12.5 over Tennessee :
Green Bay can help its chances of earning another bye with a victory over the visiting Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Packers cruised into the postseason with a 15-1 record after resting most of their starters Week 17, but they were upset at home by the eventual champion New York Giants - one year after rolling to a Super Bowl title as a wild-card team. The Packers clinched the NFC North with last week's 21-13 win at Chicago.

Aaron Rodgers essentially received two weeks off before the playoff loss, but he'll be under center to close out this season. Green Bay (10-4) must win its final two games - it also plays at Minnesota on Dec. 30 - and needs San Francisco to lose to either Seattle or Arizona in order to receive the No. 2 seed. The top spot also is a possibility, though Atlanta would have to fall in both of its last games. Rodgers connected with James Jones on three touchdown passes as part of his 23-for-36, 291-yard performance against the Bears, while Randall Cobb caught six passes for 115 yards and added 37 in kick-return yardage. Cobb is 108 yards receiving and 36 kick-return yards from becoming the first player in NFL history with 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards in kick returns.

Tennessee (5-9) will be looking to play spoiler while finishing up a disappointing season, but it is coming off a 14-10 victory over the New York Jets on Monday that ended a three-game losing streak. Though Tennessee ranks 23rd in total defense allowing 368.9 yards per game and 30th giving up an average of 28.3 points, it has been much better of late. Since a 51-20 loss to Chicago on Nov. 4, the Titans rank third in total defense (285.8 yards per game), and fourth giving up 17.6 points per contest.

Chris Johnson finished with 21 carries for 122 yards, including a 94-yard touchdown run, to help take some of the pressure off Jake Locker, who went 13 for 22 for 149 yards Monday. The offense didn't turn the ball over after totaling 10 giveaways in the previous three games.


Tennessee is coming off a short week after an ugly win over the hapless New York Jets on Monday. Inconsistent throughout 2012, the Titans will need a strong performance from Johnson to stay close, but a substantially healthier Packers defense should be up to the task. As for the offense, it should be business as usual for Rodgers and Co. regardless if Alex Green plays.

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  • All Time Record: 11760-12059-439
  • Last 7 Days Record: 81-91-2
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jimmythegreek Posts:10547 Followers:377
12/22/2012 05:31 PM

San Diego/NYJ over 37:
With Mark Sanchez benched, Greg McElroy moves past Tim Tebow on the depth chart and will get his first start as New York hosts the spiraling Chargers on Sunday. The Jets (6-8) and Chargers (5-9) are eliminated from playoff contention, and may be two of the biggest disappointments in the AFC. New York has produced the first high-profile one, relegating Sanchez - once seen as the franchise quarterback - to the bench in favor of third-stringer McElroy. The move comes after Sanchez threw four interceptions and fumbled away a low snap that sealed a 14-10 loss at Tennessee on Monday.

McElroy, a seventh-round pick out of Alabama last year, led the Jets to a win in his only appearance this season, completing 5 of 7 passes for 29 yards - including a 1-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown toss to tight end Jeff Cumberland - in a 7-6 victory over Arizona in Week 13. He was inserted after Sanchez threw three picks. Sanchez has 17 INTs on the season, and leads the NFL with 24 total turnovers to give him a staggering 50 in two seasons.

Despite a hefty contract extension signed in the offseason, speculation is rampant that Sanchez may be on his way out, with Tebow not far behind. Tebow has 39 yards while completing 6 of 8 passes and 102 yards on 32 carries as he continues to be an unmitigated bust in Tony Sparano's offense.

San Diego has its own turnover-prone signal caller in Philip Rivers, who isn't far behind Sanchez with 47 giveaways over the past two seasons - with 15 interceptions among his 22 this year. He was roundly booed at home last week, completing 16 of 23 passes for 121 yards with one touchdown and four fumbles - two lost - while getting sacked a season high-tying six times in a 31-7 loss to Carolina.

Rivers struggled in the most recent matchup in East Rutherford on Oct. 23, 2011, completing half of his 32 passes for 179 yards with one TD and two picks in a 27-21 loss. Another TD pass to Antonio Gates, however, will give the tight end sole possession of a team record. The two connected for the Chargers' lone score last week, tying Gates with Lance Alworth for the franchise record with 81 touchdown catches.

The Jets should come out with a very aggressive game plan with the goal of breaking the Chargers' will by halftime. A west coast team playing out the string will fold if they are getting the game taken to them. This game has a preseason feel to it as both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs. It's likely the young players will perform well and for both teams to make plays despite the non-postseason factor whatever the outcome.

Best of luck to all in week 16.

For the latest sports news, capper picks and tracker results, turn to JTG, the leader in BTB information

  • All Time Record: 11760-12059-439
  • Last 7 Days Record: 81-91-2
  • Last 30 Days Record: 281-306-17
bobalou Posts:4945 Followers:143
12/22/2012 06:48 PM

GL JTG



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