Saturday, December 02, 2006

Week 13

Week 13 card
Steelers ML ( 6 units to win 2)
2 Team Teaser: Colts -.5, Steelers Pick'em ( 3 units)
Atlanta +1 ( 2 units)
Oakland -3 ( 2 units)
New York Giants +3 ( 2 units) ( sucker bet)
parlay, Steelers ML, Colts ML, Falcons +1, Oakland -3, NYG +30( .5 units to win 6 units)

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay road offense 9.4 PF Under 200 yards passing/Game , Under 100 yards rushing
Tampa Bay road defense 23.4 PA, give up Over 150 yards rushing a game and 4.5 per carry

Steelers Home Offense 30.2 PF, Pass for Over 250 per game, and Rush for 169 per game ( 5.2 a carry)
Steelers Home Defense 22.8 PA , surrender only 80 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry

- Tampa Bay is Winless on the road, and they won't change that in Pittsburgh this week.
- Despite the Steelers superbowl Hangover, they are still 3-2 at home.
- They have beat 1st place New Orleans at home, and Destroyed the Chiefs 45-7.

Early in the Year I decided that Pittsburg at home was a play that I would at least consider every single week. They are better than advertised at home ( but not as good on the road). I tried to quantify why the Steelers are better at home and I came up with a few points in summary. The slow grass on the field plays to the teams strengths. The Steelers have a solid O-Line and run game, and they have a good defense. The grass will slow down opposing offenses ( and help their D), while the grass doesn't hurt their big powerful offensive line as much. Also rememer, Florida teams don't win up north in December.

Tampa Bay is a team that is plagued by a bad offensive line. The offensive line is the heartbeat of your football team. A solid offensive line allows your team to run the football, and keep your defense rested on the sideline. A bad offensive line forces your offense into long passing situations, and keeps your defense on the field. Tampa Bay has one of the worst offensive lines in the entire NFL.

The Bucs Line doesn't get any push in the run game, and they can't protect the QB in the passing game. The Bucs run a more traditional west coast offense that tries to limit the time the quarteback has the ball... with shorter 3 and 5 step drops, and faster developing routes for the receivers.

Offensive lines can give up sacks because lineman get beat, or because of mental errors... A mental error would be two guys blocking 1 defensive lineman, while another guy rushes in free. The Steelers confusing zone blitz is known to create the Mental errors on the offensive line. A lot of the mental errors can be attributed to the Center and Quarterback, and Bruce Gradkowski is still a rookie. When people judge quarterbacks, they look at their arm, their mobility etc., but they don't really judge their ability to put their teamates in the right position to pick up blitzes etc. For example, Peyton Manning doesn't get sacked a lot because he is mobile, but because he recognizes the blitzes before the play even begins. This week, Bruce Gradkowski is taking the NFL equvilent of Chemistry 401 when he faces off against Dick Leabu.

Atlanta @ Washington
- Everybody loved the Falcons when they were 2-0, everybody loved them when they were 5-2, but everybody jumped ship after they lost 4 in a row.
- ESPN picked the Redskins to go to the superbowl, but after an 0-2 start, and a 2-5 start, they jumped ship. Now Jason Campbell comes to rescue and people in Washington have said the P word. Please don't get carried away here. After the Redskins bounced back and won 2 games after an 0-2 start they still said the S word. Maybe it's because I live in Washington, but these Redskins fans crack me up. In the stock market, when the shoe shine boy starts talking about stocks, you know it's time to get out of the market... When the fans in Green Bay said Playoffs a few weeks ago I faded them just as I will fade the Redskins and their playoff talk.

Now let's get to the X's and O's...

Jason Campbell has been deemed the Savior of the Redskins. People say that he should have replaced Mark Brunell ages ago. Campbell has a lower QB rating, and has completed 52% of his passes, where Brunell completed 62% of his passes. You might think that's because Brunell just dinked and dunked the ball, but Brunell still has 1.5 yards more per completion than Campbell which is pretty signifigant.

Everybody knows Michael Vick is a mobile Quarterback. Some would even argue that he shouldn't even be playing quarterback. The reason I bring up Vicks mobility, is because Gregg Williams coached defenses have a very hard time defending mobile quarterbacks. The evidence is there, and if I had to guess why this is so, I would say that since he throws so many looks at players, he is trying to TRICK opposing quartebacks.

These "Tricks" are more effective against Read and React offenses. The Falcons offense is NOT a west coast offense as adverties by the Media, but it is a misdirection offense that would resemble Denver or Houston. The offense is designed to Isolate individual matchups. The coaching staff wants to have a favorable matching in the stretch run play, otherwise they want Vick on a bottleg 1 on 1 with a DE or OLB. They also run their option plays which attempt to Isolate certain players. The key players for washington this week, are the Left Defensive end ( Andre Carter) and the Left Outside Linebacker ( Marcus Washington).

I've said all along that I think Washingtons Defense is not as talented as advertised. They can't generate a pass rush with their front 4, they have 1 good linembacker ( Marcus Washington), and 1 or 2 good players in the secondary ( Sean Taylor) and the injured Shawn Springs when healthy. It is very difficult to play defense in the league without a good pass rush. I believe that Andre Carter is probably better suited to play an Outside Linebacker position in a 3-4 like Demarcus Ware.

- Washington has a new QB and beat Carolina last week raising their value. Atlanta has lost value with 4 losses in a row, and their media contraversey. If last week didn't happen, Atlanta could have been a 3 point road favorite. I think there is Value to Atlanta as a 1 point underdog. For some reason, I thought think this game will be a 21-19 Atlanta Victory but that score doesn't make sense. However, the Over Under was pegged right at 40. Washington will be going for their 2nd 2 game win streak of the season. Earlier in the year they beat Houston, and then Jacksonville in OT. I don't see them winning 2 in a row against a desperate Atlanta team.

Houston @ Oakland
I was going to Make Oakland +13 against San Diego the sucker bet last week, and probably should have. Most people tuned out the Oakland raiders after they proved to be one of the biggest jokes this season...

The only people laughing right now, are Raiders backers. The Raiders have won and outstanding 6 of their last 7 against the spread. It's too bad that didn't count for something huh? I don't care what anybody says, the Raiders defense is not bad, it's better than you think. In fact, the Raiders have also played UNDER in their last 7 contests! The main problem with thei Raiders, is that their offense is predicated on more of a deep ball, and their O-Line can't block long enough for their receivers to get open. They should look into more rollouts, screens, draws, and shorter passing routes. If the Raiders defense wasn't on the field the entire game, that defense would look a lot better on paper. Even with an average offense, that Raiders D would look better. Derrick Burgess has 8.5 sacks and has proven to be one of the best pass rushers in the game.

I like the fact that the Raiders got the Veteran Aaron Brooks back. It's not like Brooks is going to break any passing records this season, but he is an upgrade over Andrew Walter. The Raiders have been IN all their games recently, which is why they covered 6 of their last 7. I know they haven't used Randy Moss that much latley, but if they don't use Moss against that Terrible Houston secondary, their coaching staff should be shot. Lee Evans looked like Jerry Rice after 1 quarter of play against Houston.

Houston is always a road fade. Houston has won 1 road game this year, and losses by an average of 11 points. I see Aaron Brooks having an Easier time against a weak Houston D, and I see David Carr having a harder time than advertised against an Underrated Raiders D. This is probably the Raiders easiest or second easiest game this year, and the last time they had a beat-able opponent they beat the Arizona Cardinals 22-9. The Raiders last 3 home games were a 4 point loss to Denver, Beating Pittsburgh, and Beating Arizona. The Black Hole will be in full effect, and the Raiders go on to victory. I also like the fact that this isn't exactly a prime time matchup, and the game won't have much money on it ( either side).

Dallas @ New York ( sucker bet)
This game will probably have more bets on it than any other game this week. Although there isn't THAT much more money on Dallas, I believe a lot of suckers are on the Cowboys.

The average fan sees an injured Giants team that lost 3 in a row. The average fan has heard ESPN knock Eli Manning 24/7 because of performances against the Bears, Jags and Titans. Each week we have to hear about how Michael Vicks receivers don't help him out and it's not HIS fault, but Eli had 9 dropped balls against the Jags, and Plax Quit on that Titans interception. The failures are not All his receivers fault, but it's not all on Eli either.

The Giants have been a lightning rod by the media of late, and I agree with a lot of the comments made by Michael Strahan. The media isn't going to try and write a positive story about a team that lost 3 in a row. The media isn't going to try and paint a picture of a cohesive locker room, they want a story about a divided locker room. Strahan talks about how the media tries to mislead, and " CREATE" news, which they do. The media has a story about a player being 5 minutues early and fined, and they constantly talk about how that team is disfunctional. The fact of the matter is that the player knew he was supposed to be there 15 mintues early and wasn't. He wasn't there when he was supposed to be, so he was late... The media only gets a tiny piece of what is really going on, and they they try and blow up what little knowledge they have.

On the other side of the ball, the Dallas Cowboys are riding a wave of success. It all changed when Tony Romo replaced Drew Bledsoe against the Giants. The average fans thinks Tony Romo is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He has a high QB rating and has won games. Bill Parcells talks about those "mistakes" that he has been dodgeing. Eventually, they will catch up to him. Throwing 5 TD passes on thanksgiving only raised the bar yet again for the young Romo.

Before you become a "Romosexual", realize that every square in America will be on Dallas -3 tommorow. The sharpes don't ALWAYS win, but they win more than the squares do. Bill Parcells was asked about the game and he expects " a close hard fought battle" and I honestly believe him.

- The Giants have not lost a Divisional game in 2 years.
- The Giants have only lost 2 home games this year... They lost to the (9-2)Bears in a game they were winning in the first half, and they lost on the final drive to the (10-1) colts. Last year the Giants were also very good at home 8-1).
- Romosexual is 4-1 as a starter, but lost in relief to the Giants, and Lost @ Washington ( divisonal road game). Romo threw 3 picks against the Giants in his first game.

The average fan hasn't SEEN a hiccup game from Romo yet, and can't envision one. They have seen everything go right, but haven't seen much contraversy yet. Romo lost on the road at Washington in a close hard fought battle that has been forgotten.

One of the other reasons I love this game is because I expect to see the Giants totally focused at home. They have lost 3 in a row, and have been bashed constantly by the media. Plax is a time bomb as far as I am concerned, but he shouldn't Quit or complain on anything this week. I expect to see a cut back on the number of mental errors, and the Giants should get Osi Omenyouri back on defense.

Eli Manning has played the role of the goat enough, and I see Tony Romo getting rattled on the road. The last meeting in Dallas, the Giants dominated the game. Bledsoe got replaced, and Romo threw 3 picks. I know Joe Buck loves that Romo Smile, but it won't be so cute anymore when he's throwing picks.

This game should have a lot of money on it, which is why it is a perfect candidate for a sucker bet. The Giants are in the huge NY market, and Dallas is " America's team". We have a 3 point dog at home on a Nationally televised game. We have the slumping team that should bust out and beat the public favorites.

Indy@ Tennesse
I don't want to write too much about this game, but Vince Young is getting a lot of love after last weeks win. The Titans are starting to get some respect in Vegas, and especially because they only lost by 1 at Indy earlier in the year.

I watched both of those games, and the first meeting between the colts and Titans was not Tennesse playing well, but Indy NOT playing well.

The colts have only lost 1 game this year, and to be able to tease them down to -.5 is worth it. If they win, I win. The titans secondary isn't very good, and the colts offense is clicking.

If no other argument works for you, take a look at the Manning factor. The titans beat Manning V2.0 last week, but they will lose to the better Manning this week. The colts have to keep pace, and they WILL against Tennesse tommorow.

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