Archives for October 2007

Monday Night Preview: Falcons vs. Giants

This Monday night faces off the 3-2 New York Giants against the 1-4 Atlanta Falcons.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of luster on this game, but the Giants are resurging and fighting for every inch towards a play-off berth, and the Falcons have not played badly the last couple games.  This one could be closer than most people think…

Why the Giants will win: They’re the better team and the Falcons have no answer for WR Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, and QB Eli Manning.  This offense can put up points, and as they proved against Philly two weeks back, they can put on one heck of a pass rush.  Neither Joey Harrington nor Byron Leftwich performs well under pressure, and the Giants will be sure to bring it constantly.

With a winning record, Eli needs to still prove he’s the man, while Tom Coughlin is fighting for his job.  The NFC play-off race is wide open, but with that tough division having all four teams play well, the Giants have to grab every win they can to have a chance, and they are definitely the better team in this match up.

Why the Falcons pull the upset: If it wasn’t for CB DeAngelo Hall, they would be 2-3.  They’ve been running the ball well, and Harrington has put up some very good numbers.  This is a team that is starting to hit a stride, and say what you want, but no team EVER wants to pick first in the NFL draft.

Coach Petrino wants a spark, and this looks like one of the more winnable games on the schedule.  The Giants coverage has been abysmal, so the Falcons offense should be able to move the ball and put up a good number of points on this suspect defense.  The home crowd hasn’t had a lot to cheer about, but a win here would definitely pick up the spirits of a down trodden city.

The offense is enough to keep them in it, and a couple of big plays by John Abraham could force Eli to make a mistake.  If it’s close in the 4th quarter, that’s all they’ll need to pull the upset.

This should be a better game than most people think, and it’s not a Giants’ win by a long shot.  Either of these teams could come out ahead, and this should make for a surprisingly good Monday night match up

NFL Odds

Monday Night Preview: Cowboys vs. Bills

Monday Night Preview: Cowboys vs. Bills

by Shane M. Dayton

This game gets a little more interesting with QB Trent Edwards playing for the Bills.  While the Dallas Cowboys are going to be the prohibitive favorite, and with good reason, but the past has shown that often times rookie quarterbacks can really throw off a defense for two or three games, until they get film….

Rob Johnson, Bruce Gradkowski, Tim Hasselback, Matt Leinart, Ty Detmer, even Ryan Leaf, all looked good for two games and often led their teams to wins.  Out of that group, there are now 0 starters.

Dallas was expected to be good, but that offense is clicking on all cylinders and you can tell by watching him play that Tony Romo did idolize Brett Favre, which is why Tony Romo is so fun to watch play quarterback.

Why 4-0 Dallas doesn’t have to worry: The Bills still don’t have a defense, and injuries to several starters, including first round LB Paul Posluszny who is out for the season, have decimated a unit that wasn’t that good to begin with.  No one can match up with Owens, Crayton, or Witten, and the running lanes will be open.  The offense will be enough to carry them, and the defense has played well enough to be effective.

Wade Phillips is also renowned as a defensive coordinator.  Even as head coach, you know he’s going to send everything he has to rattle Trent Edwards: Linebackers, safeties, corners, water boys, cheerleaders, and even the old kitchen sink.  It’s going to be a long day for the Bills, and things aren’t going to be looking better in the near future.

Why the Bills pull the shocker: Trent Edwards is undefeated as a starter.  Okay, it was only one game, but rookies tend to play well early because so much of the NFL game is about film and film study.  When they don’t know a quarterback’s tendencies, they either tend to play base, or even play more basic blitzes, which the quarterback can handle because no one knows he automatically looks to his #2 TE, or pump fakes before throwing a blind slant, so the rookie gets away with playing like they did as a prospect.

The Bills one a tough, close game, and this types of wins can do wonders for a team that’s been down.  Lee Evans is still one of the best receivers in football, and Edwards got him involved.  Lynch has proven a solid rookie runner, and the one thing Dallas can not do is stop the run—they’ve just scored enough points to make the other team abandon it.  If Dallas overlooks the Bills and gets behind early, this could become a much more interesting game than people think.

3 Games You Must Bet: Week 5 Picks and Predictions

3 Games You Must Bet Week 5

Shane M. Dayton

This has been a fantastic football season so far, filled with your expected giants rolling like New England and USC, along with some unexpected teams really turning heads like Green Bay and South Florida.

There have been excellent games on both levels of football, as well as an exceptional number of upsets. What more could a football fan want? This week is no exception. This has been one of the hardest weeks for me to winnow down the list to only three games, as both the NCAA and NFL have several exceptional games on this weekend. So keep the tent and camping gear in, you don’t want to miss this week!

NCAA: (9) Florida at (1) LSU

This overshadows several good games, including another great SEC match up between South Carolina and Kentucky. Florida lost a close and heart breaking game to Auburn, who has found its old defense. LSU started slow, then fixed things to end up killing Tulane. Now two of the best teams in the country meet head on.

Why Florida will put itself back in the chase: Because they are still one of the best teams in the nation. Auburn was the only team to beat them last year, and maybe Auburn just has their number, the way Iowa State owns Iowa or Brett Favre has owned the Bears through most of his career. Tebow is still one of the best in the country, and the offense is going to challenge LSU’s defense in a way it hasn’t been challenged all season. The quarterback play for LSU has been shaky the last two weeks, and Urban Meyer knows if they lose this game, they can kiss a chance to repeat good-bye. He pulls the upset in a great game.

Why LSU will cement its number one standing: Because they are the better team. Les Miles is still steaming over Nick Saban’s off season comments, and he wants to prove his team is no fluke. LSU’s defense might be one of the best college football has seen…ever. Their running game will wear down Florida, and Florida doesn’t have the running game to reciprocate. They are still top two defense and offense in the country, and it’s easy to get up for a big game, and this is huge. They jump all over the chance to end Florida’s title chase, and Miles gets one step closer to that Alabama game he wants so badly.

NFL: Seattle (3-1) at Pittsburgh (3-1)

This game will be one of the best indications of how the NFC matches up against the AFC this year. Seattle is considered one of the top three NFC teams right now, and Pittsburgh is top five AFC.

Why Seattle pulls off the road upset: Dallas this, Green Bay that, these guys are only two years removed from the Super Bowl, and if not for a huge number of defensive injuries (seven players) last season, they probably beat the Bears and may go again. Shaun Alexander is healthy, and Hasselback is managing games well. This is an underrated defense that knows how to play, and no one can argue with Mike Holmgren’s coaching abilities. He knows how big a confidence game this can be for a team, and he’s looking for the spark that gets them rolling. After watching how Arizona beat Pittsburgh, you know that defensive game plan has been copied.

Why the Steelers get back on track: First off, the Steelers don’t lose at home, and that’s where they’re playing. Two, that was an embarrassing loss. Kurt Warner 2007 is not Super Bowl version Kurt Warner, and no matter how talented Arizona is, they’re not near the level of Pittsburgh. The offense looked terrible, and that’s not likely to happen two weeks in a row. This is the Steelers’ chance to come back and roll and prove that Arizona loss was a fluke, and that’s exactly what they intend to do.

Detroit (3-1) at Washington (2-1):

Detroit (3-1) at Washington (2-1) may tell us which of these two teams are real (if either) or end up confusing us all even more. Detroit loses to Philly after giving up 50, then Philly loses to the New York Giants who kill them defensively. Detroit then beats the Bears by scoring 34 in the 4th quarter. Washington. Two solid games, then a “Why the hell is Ladell Betts in instead of Portis?” question. Will the real play-off contender please stand up?

Why Detroit flies past Washington: Even without Calvin Johnson, they have Roy Williams, Mike Furrey, and Shaun McDonald—not to mention Kevin Jones and Tatum Bell. This team can score points in a hurry, and though their defense is hardly something to fear, they have stepped up play and forced some key turnovers. Washington simply doesn’t have the fire power to keep up, and Detroit’s D-line is good enough to dig the Redskins into a hole early.

Why Washington will win: Detroit’s offense can’t score when it’s on the bench, and do they really expect to stop Clinton Portis AND Ladell Betts? Jason Campbell has been fairly solid, and they have a great TE in Chris Cooley. Their defense knows how to hit, and how to play hard in close games. This is at Washington, and you have to give an edge to them. They also see Dallas pulling away, and they know they need to keep up.

Monday Night Preview: Patriots vs. Bengals

Monday Night Preview: Patriots vs. Bengals

by Shane M. Dayton

This Monday night game could be a dandy! New England is averaging an extremely consistent 38 points a game (at 38, 38, & 38 in three games) and their defense looks very strong, thanks to the addition of LB Adalius Thomas, who has a speed and game changing ability that the Patriots linebacking corps had not had in recent years….

The Bengals seem to be in disarray. There is nothing wrong with their offense, which put up a jaw-dropping display against the Browns, but whose defense is atrocious. So why do they have a chance?

Why the Patriots will roll: You have to be able to stop someone before you can outscore them. The Bengals can’t stop the Patriots offense. They don’t have the corners to match up with Wes Welker and Kelly Washington, never mind Donte Stallworth and Randy Moss. The Pats offense will roll over a terrible Cincinnati defense that won’t be able to stop the run, force any turnovers, or slow down the spread. Tom Brady is playing lights out and Randy Moss proves he is still the best receiver in the NFL.

The Pats defense has been great at pressuring opposing quarterbacks, and have kept some pretty decent running games contained. Cincinnati may have the best offense that New England has seen so far, especially with how Norv Turner is working his magic of mediocrity with the Chargers (I thought he’d bring them down a notch, but this is like an NFL version of Notre Dame). The Bengals may very well have the ability to put up some points, but the Pats defense is dangerous, and a mistake or two will seal it with that killer offense.

Why the Bengals will pull the upset: When you see fans that incredibly arrogant after only three games, usually it’s because the team is also reflecting the same attitude. “Pride cometh before the fall,” and the Bengals have an offense to put up forty. If the Pats are looking ahead (and they are looking at Indy and Pittsburgh), then all Cincinnati needs is to be is close in the 4th to pull the upset.

Carson Palmer is one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL right now, and he has two excellent receivers and an excellent running back. This is a home game, and that’s where the Bengals won their game. This is a perfect time to make a statement that they’re not dead yet, and a 1-3 start in that division is serious trouble.

If you can score forty points, you at least have a chance to beat anyone, and the Bengals can do that. They have a chip on their shoulders, and Marvin Lewis knows a win here translates to job security.