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Thread: NFL Sunday Info

  1. #21
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    Preview: Bengals (1-0) at Steelers (1-0)

    Date: September 18, 2016 1:00 PM EDT

    This contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals is an early AFC North matchup that pits the division favorites against one another.

    While the game takes place in Week 2 of a young NFL season, this game is bound to play a factor in the playoff picture. Both teams enter Heinz Field at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday with a 1-0 record, though one team escaped with a win in Week 1 while the other looked dominant.

    The Bengals come into this game off a one-point victory over the New York Jets last week. The victory was not the cleanest win in head coach Marvin Lewis' career but his squad showed toughness, resiliency and urgency.

    Quarterback Andy Dalton, who hasn't won a playoff game in his career, played this highly contested event like he was in the postseason. Dalton threw for 366 yards and a touchdown, but where he showed his moxie was withstanding a ferocious Jets' pass rush.

    Dalton was sacked seven times and was hit on numerous other dropbacks. This is clearly an area the Bengals need to shore up heading into Pittsburgh.

    The Steelers are also the opponent that knocked Dalton out for the season last year with a broken thumb. The Bengals' playoff hopes rest in keeping their quarterback upright and in one piece this season.

    The one bright spot Cincinnati can take out of watching the Steelers' tape versus the Washington Redskins is the lack of pass rush by Pittsburgh. The Steelers, in a 22-point win over the Redskins, had plenty of offense but the defense did not sack Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins at all.

    "I thought we stopped the run early, but our pass rush has to be better, especially since we're entering AFC North play," Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward said. "If I'm going to be out there I have to play a lot better, simple as that. The pass rush (stunk). I have to get to the quarterback."

    The key matchup in the game for the Bengals' offense and the Steelers' defense will be the pass blocking versus the pass rush.

    The Bengals' offensive line, led by Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth, will need to take advantage of the aforementioned lack of the Steelers' pass rush after a long day at the office versus the Jets. The banged-up defensive line and outside linebackers of Pittsburgh can't afford to allow Dalton all day in the pocket to find the likes of wide receiver A.J. Green. The team that wins this matchup will hold a major key in the outcome of the game.

    Cincinnati's offensive line not only struggled to protect Dalton but did not open up many lanes for running back Jeremy Hill. The Bengals' rushing attack was held to 57 yards last Sunday, although Hill did score on the ground. The Steelers, led by nose tackle Javon Hargrave and defensive end Stephon Tuitt, held the Redskins to similar rushing numbers (55 yards).

    If Cincinnati's offensive line can win the battle in the pass blocking department, Dalton has shown the ability to pick apart defensive backfields. This does not bode well for a Steelers' pass defense that ranked 30th in the NFL in 2015.

    While the Steelers did have two interceptions against the Redskins, both were by linebackers, and gave up large chunks of yardage to the wide receivers. If cornerbacks William Gay, Ross Cockrell and Sean Davis don't shore up their coverage responsibilities this week, all they may see is the back of the jerseys of wide receivers Green and Brandon LaFell.

    LaFell, a free-agent pickup this offseason from the New England Patriots, has become a nice complement opposite Green.

    "That's the thing we saw from Brandon, is he's got great body control. He's a very accomplished NFL receiver and you saw him catching the ball going across the field, you saw him catching the ball on the sideline today, and he caught a couple deep balls. It was big," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said.

    The Steelers' offense looked like they have been playing for years together. While this might be the case with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown, the rest of the unit was missing four starters and had backups and spot players step in throughout the lineup. Starting running back Le'Veon Bell, fullback Roosevelt Nix, tight end Ladarius Green and receiver Markus Wheaton all missed the Redskins game.

    Running back DeAngelo Williams, wide receivers Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates and tight end Jesse James all filled in admirably. These four weapons combined with Roethlisberger and Brown helped the Steelers gain 447 total yards and score 38 points. How these four answer the bell heading into tough AFC North play will dictate the outcome versus the Bengals this week.

    The Steelers offensive line doesn't get a lot of accolades, but they opened seams for Williams to run through all game versus the Redskins.

    Center Maurkice Pouncey, and guards David DeCastro and Ramon Foster, will need to continue to open holes in the middle of the field against the Bengals. Domata Peko and Geno Atkins are one of the best defensive tackle duos in the NFL. This makes this a matchup to watch. While both teams have shown the ability to pass the football with success, winning in the trenches in the run game could swing the outcome.
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    Preview: Cowboys (0-1) at Redskins (0-1)

    Date: September 18, 2016 1:00 PM EDT

    It is far too early for must win games, but neither the Washington Redskins nor the Dallas Cowboys wants to contemplate life after an 0-2 start.

    That's the fate one of these teams will face after Sunday's matchup at FedEx Field. The Redskins are coming off a humbling 38-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys lost a tight 20-19 game at home to the New York Giants.

    "We were 6-2 at home (in 2015). It's important because winning on the road isn't easy," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "Obviously, winning at home isn't easy either, but it's an important game for a lot of reasons. It's a division game, it's the Cowboys and it's a home game -- that's a trifecta right there for you."

    The Redskins have a loaded schedule in November and December that includes 2015 playoff teams Minnesota, Green Bay, Arizona and Carolina. They can't afford a slow start. They definitely can't afford to be 0-1 in the division and 0-2 at home. Unlike last year, the schedule just doesn't line up for them down the stretch.

    Dallas is still trying to recover from the shock of losing quarterback Tony Romo (back) in the preseason. Rookie Dak Prescott played well in his NFL debut on Sunday and the Cowboys can take heart in having a chance to win late. But an 0-2 start for them would conjure memories of a miserable 2015 when they finished in last place in the NFC East and Romo missed most of the season.

    "You come back in on Tuesday and you clean it up. You address what the issues are and try to get better at them," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. "Certainly you try to build on the good things that you're doing. It was a hard-fought game the other day against the Giants. Ultimately we didn't do what we needed to do to win the game."

    Easier said than done. The Cowboys expected their running game to be a strength with the addition of free agent Alfred Morris from the Redskins and drafting Ezekiel Elliott No. 4 overall from Ohio State.

    And maybe it will be. But in the opener against New York, those two combined for just 86 rushing yards on 27 carries. That has to improve against a porous Washington front seven that came into the season with questions about its ability to stop the run.

    Penalties killed Washington against Pittsburgh with false starts against offensive linemen Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger. Quarterback Kirk Cousins couldn't make up the difference. He appeared hesitant at times as the Steelers dropped eight players into coverage and generated limited pass rush. Cousins missed too many throws early and the Redskins -- so good in the red zone last season -- saw early drives stall in the first quarter.

    Meanwhile, Dallas is not asking Prescott to do too much. Morris saw a rookie rise to prominence alongside him in Washington in 2012 when Robert Griffin III produced one of the great seasons in NFL history. Prescott doesn't have to do that much. If he can keep the Cowboys competitive and not cost them games early that will be enough.

    "Just losing a guy like that for however long this takes is definitely a blow, but having a young guy like Dak (Prescott), man, this kid is very, very impressive," Morris said. "He's very composed in the pocket. You just watch him, he stands in there and delivers strikes, even with hands and pressure coming at him...He's very, very confident."

    It doesn't hurt that he's throwing to Dez Bryant, who was quiet with just one catch for eight yards against the Giants. It will be interesting to see if the Redskins change philosophies after the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown, another elite receiver, caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns on Monday. He did almost all of that damage against No. 2 cornerback Bashaud Breeland and not top corner Josh Norman, who signed with Washington in April.

    The Redskins chose not to have Norman follow Brown around the field. Pittsburgh took advantage of Breeland, who has played well in head-to-head matchups with Bryant in the past. But can Washington go back to that well again and let Norman watch as another receiver has a big game?
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    Preview: Saints (0-1) at Giants (1-0)

    Date: September 18, 2016 1:00 PM EDT

    Fourth-quarter performances are a big reason why the New York Giants are 1-0 and the New Orleans Saints are 0-1 going into their matchup Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

    The Giants came from behind to beat the Cowboys 20-19 on Eli Manning's 3-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz with six minutes left in last week's game in Arlington, Texas. The Saints squandered an 11-point lead as Oakland gained 210 yards and scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to prevail 35-34 last week in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

    Being on opposite ends of fourth-quarter comebacks left the two teams in different mindsets coming out of the first weekend of the season.

    "Not at one time did I feel at any point in the game that we doubted that we were going to win the game," said Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who was a member of the New Orleans team that won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2009 season. "Even though we were down late in the game, and headed into the fourth quarter, I didn't feel at any time that there was any doubt by anybody on the team, offense or defense."

    Drew Brees, who had his 14th 400-yard passing game and threw four touchdown passes against the Raiders, said he wouldn't be surprised to see this game decided in the final moments also.

    "Fifty or more percent of games in this league come down to the last possession," he said. "You'd say that just based upon that it is a strong possibility, that the last team that has the ball last has a chance to win."

    New Orleans couldn't slow down Oakland in part because it didn't cause a turnover and did not sack Derek Carr.

    "We have to be better in that area (rushing the passer), and sometimes it's going to come from more than a four-man rush -- or a pressure," coach Sean Payton said. "But I think that it's more difficult on the back end if the quarterback has time and is able to sit in the pocket and get to his third and fourth receivers, and that happened a little bit in the second half (against the Raiders)."

    The Saints and the Giants have had an unusual series of high-scoring games against one another in recent seasons. In the last four meetings, the winning team has scored 48, 49, 52 and 52 points, including New Orleans' 52-49 victory last season in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

    It's the first time in NFL history that two teams have played four consecutive games in which the winner scored at least 48 points each time.

    In last year's meeting, Brees threw for 505 yards and tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes, in outdueling Manning, who passed for 350 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.

    "You've got to expect they're going to be able to score because they have that ability," Manning said of the Saints offense. "The bunch of times we've played them it's been high scoring. So we've got a new offense. We've got to do our part, protect the ball, sustain drives, convert on third downs. We've got to do our part and try to make sure we're scoring touchdowns."

    Both teams lost a defensive player to injury in the opener. The Giants lost linebacker J.T. Thomas after he suffered torn ligaments in his left knee and they placed him on injured reserve. His roster spot was taken by kicker Josh Brown, who served an NFL suspension in Week 1.

    New York also released Brown's replacement, Randy Bullock, and re-signed defensive tackle Montori Hughes, who had been waived on the final preseason cutdown.

    "They have gone out and signed some guys and made some improvements, I think both to their front and to their secondary," Brees said of the Giants. "They have some good young talent. I just see them playing really well together.

    "Bottom line you can't look at last year's (game) and say that's the type of game it's going to be. I know our defense would take exception to that and I'm certain that theirs would as well. It's going to be a hard-fought game and it's an NFC game and their home opener, so there is a lot to play for."

    This game marks the first home game for Ben McAdoo as New York's head coach.

    The Saints lost starting cornerback Delvin Breaux when he suffered a broken fibula. He underwent surgery and is expected to miss six weeks. Breaux was replaced in last week's game by rookie Ken Crawley, who was guarding Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree when Crabtree caught a game-winning two-point conversion pass from Carr with 47 seconds left.

    New Orleans signed cornerback B.W. Webb to provide depth while Breaux is sidelined.

    The Saints also released running back C.J. Spiller, a high-profile free agent the team signed before last season who never had an impact and was inactive for the game against Oakland.
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: 49ers (1-0) at Panthers (0-1)

    Date: September 18, 2016 1:00 PM EDT

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers would like to be talking about what Cam Newton can do on the field after a long week of conversations relating to other issues.

    The discussion about the San Francisco 49ers might finally veer more toward their starting quarterback after a backup received a bulk of preseason attention.

    The teams square off Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium in the second week of the season coming off extremely different results.

    Newton, the reigning Most Valuable Player in the league, has been cleared to play this week after a series of rough hits absorbed in the opener at Denver, where Carolina lost 21-20 in a Super Bowl rematch.

    Several of those hits drew considerable scrutiny because of the perceived nastiness and claims from that Panthers that Newton isn't protected through officiating as well as other quarterbacks.

    "Some of them obviously you'd like to see them throw a flag," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "Again, that's up the referee. ... People react to big hits differently."

    In the opener, Newton ran for a 2-yard touchdown to set the NFL career record for rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks with 44, eclipsing the mark held by former 49ers standout Steve Young.

    His ability and willingness to run often puts him in harm's way.

    "He's an imposing figure and sometimes those hits don't look so bad on a big guy," Rivera said. "Because he's a big guy, I think sometimes they think he can take it."

    The 49ers received a solid outing from quarterback Blaine Gabbert in his first opening-day start with the team in the 28-0 romp past against the Los Angeles Rams.

    49ers backup Colin Kaepernick's protests regarding social justice that has him declining to stand for the national anthem had become an overriding theme about the 49ers.

    Then Gabbert finished 22 of 35 for 170 yards and a touchdown without a sack or an interception and the defense delivered the first shutout in an opener in the franchise's history.

    The 49ers preferred to discuss those topics.

    "First game in our system, there were some real things we can build on," 49ers coach Chip Kelly said of Gabbert and the offense. "I see him getting better. He kept plays alive. He kept drives alive with his feet. We're pleased with where he is right now."

    Kelly, in his first season with San Francisco, figures there could be some growing pains ahead, but he likes the direction.

    "Offensively, there was a little inconsistency in some of the drives," Kelly said. "But I think overall when you have 28 first downs ... there were some positives. I've seen them grow and develop since we got them in April."

    With Panthers linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, Kelly said the 49ers will encounter a stern test.

    "That might be the best tandem that we face," he said. "You're not going to fool those guys very much."

    Week 2 will mark the home opener for the Panthers, who went undefeated at home in 10 games, including two in the postseason, last season. Carolina's home-field winning streak sits at 13 games.

    A year ago, the Panthers went to the last week of December before losing, so coming off a loss in the opener might seem strange.

    "We didn't do everything we needed to do to give ourselves a chance to win," Rivera said. "I know our guys have all taken it very personal."

    Kelly would like to ride the wave of good vibes stemming from his first game in charge.

    "There was a real good energy on our sideline," Kelly said.

    Sunday's game will put new Panthers punter Andy Lee up against a team he played with for more than a decade (2004-14).

    When the Panthers came on board as an expansion team, they were in the NFC West with the 49ers and they became rivals. But since the end of 2001, the teams have met only four times. The most recent of those resulted in San Francisco's playoff victory in 2013 in Charlotte.

    This weekend's game marks teams coming of extremes in terms of rest.

    The Panthers played in the NFL's first game of the season on Sept. 8, and the 49ers played in Monday night's late game (the final game of Week 1) and must make the cross-country trip for Sunday's early afternoon kickoff.

    "We got a jump-start on breaking down the film (during the weekend)," Kelly said. "When you have a Monday night game, you know you're going to be short. You know your schedule in April, so we've got everything laid out. We're really efficient with our time."
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: Buccaneers (1-0) at Cardinals (0-1)

    Date: September 18, 2016 4:05 PM EDT

    TEMPE, Ariz. -- If Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can run their record to 2-0 this week by handing the Arizona Cardinals their first 0-2 start in 11 years, Bruce Arians may have no one to blame but himself.

    Winston, after all, got his urge to make it to the NFL and be great by attending an Arians-run youth football camp as a ninth grade back when Arians was offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Memories from those days continue to be an inspiration to the Buccaneers' second-year quarterback, who will lead Tampa Bay (1-0) against Arizona (0-1) Sunday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium.

    "Absolutely," Winston said. "Absolutely. One thing I remember about Coach Arians is he's one of the first people that gave me the dream of getting a Super Bowl. At the camp he brought his Pittsburgh Steelers ring and showed all of us his ring, and that was one of the first times when I was just like, 'Man, I want to get me one of those rings. I want to get me a Super Bowl ring.' "

    A loss to Winston and the Bucs could put a serious crimp into the Cardinals' title hopes after they nearly got their a year ago, going 13-3 during the regular season and advancing to the NFC Championship before getting flattened by the Carolina Panthers.

    As bad as that loss stung, Sunday night's 23-21 season-opening loss to an undermanned New England Patriots team hurt just the same. There were mistakes made across the board by the Cardinals and the Patriots may have helped other teams expose a few holes in Arizona's schemes, particularly on offense.

    Could opposing defensive coordinators be catching on to what the Cardinals do so well?

    "Teams make adjustments, no doubt," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "There's certain things every team does well and everybody tries to take away whatever the top two or three things they do in the pass game or run game. I don't see that being an issue with us at all."

    The Patriots, however, seemed to take away most of Palmer's deep pass play options.

    "This is the NFL," Palmer said. "You're not going to come in and just throw the ball deep every series and hit them. We're still going to take our shots. We're still going to get them."

    Winston and the Buccaneers aren't afraid to look for the deep ball, either, as was the case during their 31-24 victory in Week 1 over the Atlanta Falcons. Winston was 23 of 33 for 281 yards and four touchdowns, including a 45-yard scoring pass to Mike Evans. For his efforts, Winston was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

    Winston will look to Evans and Vincent Jackson to help try and disjoint the Cardinals' secondary, specifically at cornerback where rookie Brandon Williams has been starting opposite All-Pro Patrick Peterson. Williams got burned a handful of times by the Patriots and Winston surely will be looking to pick on him if he's still in the starting lineup.

    Arians was impressed with Winston's performance against the Falcons, but he's seen greatness coming for a long time in the se3cond-year pro.

    "I've known him for a long time," Arians said. "(Heck) of an athlete, turned into a great quarterback. A good leader, really, really bright guy, a 4.0 student, extremely accurate. He's obviously making a really nice step. He made a great step as a rookie, but he's really making a nice step this year, with the way he played this last week."

    Asked what he remembers of Winston form that youth football camp years ago, Arians said, "It was a heck of a camp. We had about four guys in that camp that went to the NFL. Ameer Abdullah, I think, won the athlete of the week. It was a nice camp with a bunch of good, young players."

    The Cardinals have one of those in second-year running back David Johnson, who emerged last season as one of Arizona's primary offensive weapons. In six career regular-season starts, Johnson leads the NFL in both rushing yards (531) and total yards (790).

    Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter called him "impressive."

    "I loved him coming out of Northern Iowa. I liked this guy a lot," Koetter said. "He's a complete back -- big, strong, fast; a really good receiver. He can do everything you want your back to do. This game coming up is going to be a matchup of two really good feature backs, in him and our guy, Doug Martin. He's continued to get better and we know that we definitely have our hands full with him."

    Arizona defense, which excelled at forcing turnovers a year ago, can be just as dangerous, Koetter said.

    "You see a defense that's very aggressive overall," he said. "That's been their history there. When I was in Atlanta, we played Arizona multiple times and you know you're always going to be in for a fast, physical game. They're big, they're strong, they're long; very aggressive. They're not afraid to pressure you at any place on the field. It's just something that if you're not ready to go, they're going to run you out of the building."

    One player who has yet to show his full range of playmaking abilities is safety Tyrann Mathieu, who is easing his way back after undergoing major knee surgery in the winter. He's playing more as a straight center fielder in the secondary; not as the unpredictable blitzer and wild tackler and ball hawk the NFL is used to seeing.

    "I'm still trying to get back in rhythm," Mathieu said. "It's a new challenge for me. I'm just trying to embrace it and accept it. ... I think in the next couple weeks hopefully, I'm where I need to be and I can make that transition."
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: Seahawks (1-0) at Rams (0-1)

    Date: September 18, 2016 4:05 PM EDT

    If there is any solace the Los Angeles Rams can use heading into their Week 2 matchup against a familiar NFC West rival, it is the fact that they beat the Seattle Seahawks twice in 2015.

    That will need to be Los Angeles head coach Jeff Fisher's rallying cry all week after his squad laid an egg on national television this past Monday night. The "new" Rams hope to have a better showing as they kick off their return to Los Angeles and host the 1-0 Seahawks at 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Seahawks enter this contest having barely escaped with a victory over the Miami Dolphins.

    Both teams know there is a lot at stake in this early-season matchup. The Rams have already lost a division game to the San Francisco 49ers and cannot afford to be 0-2 in the NFC West to start the season. The Seahawks struggled to a 12-10 win in Week 1 and know the Rams have their number in recent history.

    "We're familiar with them, they're familiar with us; we respect them, they respect us. I love watching them play -- the Seahawks -- because they play hard, (Seattle head coach) Pete (Carroll) does a great job and fortunately, we've had some success against them," said Fisher about this rivalry.

    The health of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a major topic leading up to this game. Wilson's ankle was stepped on in the third quarter of the Miami game, limiting his ability to move and escape the pocket. The unique aspect of Wilson's game is the ability to extend drives and plays with his feet and speed. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell must be creative and protective of Wilson when installing the game plan for the Rams.

    Wilson is expected to play. Remember, this is a player who has never missed an important snap in his career. Carroll addressed this to the media.

    "He's (Wilson) pretty good. He's not in a boot. He's walking around and he's practicing on Wednesday. He's planning on playing and we'll see how it goes," Carroll said.

    Wilson is adamant about playing against a team he lost to twice last season.

    With even a slightly hobbled Wilson, the onus falls on running backs Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls to establish a running attack. Against a solid Miami defensive front, the offensive line struggled to gain momentum and consistency. Michael and Rawls rushed for a combined 98 yards but failed to cross the goal line. That will not work against the formidable defensive front of the Rams.

    Los Angeles defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will build his game plan around stopping the Seahawks' rushing attack and forcing the gimpy Wilson out of the pocket. Williams can use middle linebacker Alec Olgetree on run stunts, which will allow Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald to be single-blocked by either guard J'Marcus Webb or Mark Glowinski. That is a matchup the Rams should win.

    Donald is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. The front five of the Seahawks has struggled to block him in his four games played against them. In those four career games against Seattle, Donald has amassed four sacks and 24 total tackles. That being said, Donald and the Rams' defense had zero sacks versus the 49ers.

    Center Justin Britt was moved to center and a major reason was for matchups opposite Donald. Britt is intelligent, has quick hands and good lateral quickness. The 49ers were able to frustrate Donald, who did not play particularly well and was ejected for putting his hands on an official. The Rams as a team had 10 total penalties for 102 yards. If Donald can keep his composure and play like last season, this could be an exciting matchup to watch.

    Los Angeles' offense was a train wreck on Monday Night Football. Former Rams great Eric Dickerson called it "an embarrassment." The play of quarterback Case Keenum had Fisher thinking about benching him, but the head coach allowed him to finish the game.

    Fisher has acknowledged that Keenum is on a short leash, though, he enters the Sunday's game as the starter. No matter who lines up at center for the Rams, the offensive line needs to play much better than the unit did against the 49ers.

    Running back Todd Gurley was held in check in Week 1 and will be looking to better his numbers from his only game against the Seahawks in 2015. Gurley rushed for 83 yards and scored one touchdown in the December showdown in Seattle.

    With the lack of a passing attack, the Seahawks' defensive game plan will be to stack the tackle box with run defenders and make Keenum beat Seattle's defensive backs with passes downfield. Safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman would welcome that challenge.
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: Colts (0-1) at Broncos (1-0)

    Date: September 18, 2016 4:25 PM EDT

    DENVER -- The Indianapolis Colts have given the Denver Broncos fits in recent years.

    The Colts (0-1) head into a Sunday game against the Broncos (1-0) having won eight of the past nine meetings, including three of four with Andrew Luck.

    The fifth-year quarterback came back impressively from a lacerated kidney that prematurely ended his 2015 season, throwing for four touchdowns and nearly 400 yards in the Colts' season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions.

    "The last couple of years they came in here and beat Denver in the playoff game and then beat us last year," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. "It's the same team pretty much, so we've got a lot of respect for them. Offensively, they probably have as many weapons that we'll see all year long, and then defensively, they'll give you a lot of trouble protecting the quarterback."

    Said Broncos running back C.J. Anderson: "They got our number, to be honest."

    The Colts upset the Broncos in the playoffs two years ago and ended the Broncos' 7-0 run to start on Nov. 8 last season, though Denver went on to win the Super Bowl. However, it was also Luck's last game of 2015 after being hit simultaneously by two Denver defenders in the open field, injuring his kidney.

    Denver's hard-charging defense was at the center of the team's championship season last year, and from the looks of it, not much has changed early on this season. As the Broncos did in their Super Bowl win over Carolina, the pass rush repeatedly got to Cam Newton in a season-opening win over the Panthers, hitting, hurrying or knocking Newton down over the course of the game.

    Their aim is to apply similar pressure Sunday in hopes of slowing Luck, though the aggressive tactics could draw more scrutiny from the officials after linebacker Brandon Marshall and safety Darian Stewart each were hit with league-imposed fines for helmet-to-helmet collisions with Newton.

    "We play hard," Kubiak said. "We're going to continue to play hard."

    Colts coach Chuck Pagano said his squad knows what it is up against in trying to protect Luck from linebackers Von Miller, the Super Bowl MVP, and DeMarcus Ware.

    "Those guys are relentless pass rushers," Pagano said. "We understand exactly what we have to do to keep Andrew clean and keep him upright and give him a chance to operate."

    The Colts, meanwhile, have shown some vulnerability on defense, where they have been hurt by injuries, especially in the secondary.

    They will be working to stall the development of Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian, who helped the Broncos win their opener in his first career start. Despite throwing a couple of interceptions, Siemian spearheaded the second-half rally that carried the Broncos past the Panthers, throwing for a score and leading a drive that Anderson finished with a short touchdown run.

    "We're just using that as a building block and getting ready for Indy," Siemian said.

    Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had some limitations in practice in the days leading up to the Indianapolis game because of a hip injury, though he was expected to play.

    "We're going to take it a step at a time this week," Kubiak said Wednesday. "We knew today we had him set for certain plays in practice, and tomorrow we'll pick it up, but he's on course to make it on Sunday and be ready to go."

    Denver wide receiver Bennie Fowler, who missed the opener last week after breaking a bone in his right elbow during a preseason game, did not practice Wednesday. Tight end Jeff Heuerman (hamstring) took part in practice in limited fashion. He did not play in the opener.

    The banged-up Colts listed 13 players on the injury report. Among them was cornerback Patrick Robinson, who is recovering from a concussion, and safety T.J. Green, who missed practice time this week because of a knee injury.

    The Colts' depleted secondary also is missing cornerback Vontae Davis, who has been dealing with an ankle injury that forced him to miss the opener.

    "Everybody's dialed in," Pagano said. "It's going to be one heck of a challenge. We all know that.

    "It's a great football team that we're going to play. We've got to handle the elements, the travel, the altitude, the time change. We all know that. But the good thing is that we've got guys in the locker room who have been down this road, they understand this. That stage and all that stuff won't be too big for them. We've got to do a great job of preparing and getting these guys ready to go in all three phases."
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: Falcons (0-1) at Raiders (1-0)

    Date: September 18, 2016 4:25 PM EDT

    The expectation is that Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is going to take a big step forward this season.

    His beleaguered franchise just might be ready to do the same.

    The Raiders haven't started 2-0 since 2002 but have the opportunity to open with back-to-back victories this season when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

    Oakland rallied for a 35-34 road win over the New Orleans Saints in its opener. Coach Jack Del Rio seized the chance to obtain a victory with a gutsy two-point conversion call and Carr delivered with the winning throw to receiver Michael Crabtree with 47 seconds remaining.

    It was the type of dramatic victory that can set the tone for future success. And Carr says he can see the belief blooming as the Raiders take aim at reaching the playoff for the first time since that 2002 squad advanced to the Super Bowl before losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    "Everyone on this team is so confident in what we can do," Carr said on Wednesday. "It's not arrogant, it's not that we think we're better than anybody. We respect every team that we play. At the same time, we know the work we've put in. We know how to compete.

    "Like Coach (Del Rio) said, we're learning how to win. We love what we've done, but I think it's just the confidence level that everybody has."

    Carr passed for 319 yards in the victory that saw the Raiders score 22 fourth-quarter points. The third-year pro passed for 3,987 yards and 32 touchdowns last season and another big season could move him into the upper tier of NFL quarterbacks.

    Carr hears the chatter about his growth and said it all comes down to believing in the process.

    "I trusted from the beginning," Carr said. "I remember I told you all, we were 0-10, I still thought we could go play in the Super Bowl. That's always been my mindset. I've always worked toward that and I still will work towards that. So whether we're 1-0 or 0-10, my mindset's always going to be the same."

    Atlanta is aiming to rebound from a 31-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a contest in which it didn't record a sack while Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston threw four touchdown passes.

    The Falcons would like to avoid a 0-2 hole but even last season's fast 6-1 start didn't get them into the playoffs. Atlanta finished 8-8 and missed the postseason for the third straight season.

    Quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 334 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Tampa Bay. Ryan played his best football in the contest after Atlanta sped up the offense to try to recover from an 18-point deficit but coach Dan Quinn doesn't believe a no-huddle attack fits his squad.

    "We don't see it as a featured way where, every play, we are no huddle," Quinn said Wednesday. "We wouldn't be able to play in a style that would best suit our guys. That said, we do like going in and out of that speed. That stresses the defense a lot."

    Falcons receiver Julio Jones remains hampered by an ankle injury. He caught four passes for 66 yards and one score against the Buccaneers.

    "I've played through things," said Jones, who caught 136 passes for 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns last season. "It's nothing that's going to hold me back from going out there and producing or doing what I do."

    Regardless of his health, Del Rio is concerned about figuring how to match up with Jones.

    "He's big, he's fast, he's strong," Del Rio said. "He's good with the ball in his hands. He's become a much better route runner. I think when he first came in, he was a little raw in that regard, but man, he's become a really good route runner as well. I think he's a heck of a football player."

    Oakland allowed 419 passing yards and 507 overall against the Saints. The Raiders will try to spring defensive end Khalil Mack loose after he didn't reach Drew Brees in the opener. Mack had 15 sacks last season, second-most in the NFL behind Houston's J.J. Watt.

    The Falcons won the last meeting 23-20 on Oct. 14, 2012 when Matt Bryant kicked a 55-yard field goal with one second remaining
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: Jaguars (0-1) at Chargers (0-1)

    Date: September 18, 2016 4:25 PM EDT

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars were pleased with how they were able to slow Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers despite losing in Week 1.

    A matchup with nemesis Philip Rivers means the task isn't about to get any easier.

    The San Diego Chargers quarterback has enjoyed some of the best success of his distinguished career against the Jaguars and will be looking to continue that run Sunday at home in a game between teams trying to recover from crushing losses in the opening week of the season.

    "Rivers, he's another guy who might as well order his yellow (Hall of Fame) jacket," Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said. "He's a heck of a player, so we're going to have our hands full."

    The 34-year-old Rivers has given plenty of head coaches and defensive coordinators indigestion during his career, but he has been especially productive against Jacksonville.

    In six meetings between the teams, Rivers has led the Chargers to a 5-1 record and has thrown 15 touchdowns against just four interceptions. His 116.3 passer rating is the best of any team he has faced at least four times.

    Last season, Rivers was 29 of 43 for 300 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in a 31-25 victory in Jacksonville.

    "He has unbelievable accuracy and can make all of the throws," Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "He can pinpoint the ball when he needs to and he is extremely smart. He has complete command of the offense and is able to get their guys in the right positions.

    "We're going to have to find a way to make him uncomfortable in the pocket, get him off his spot, make him move and make things difficult for him because he's an elite quarterback."

    With new additions all across their defense, the Jaguars believe they are better equipped to battle Rivers this time around. They are also feeling confident after holding Rodgers to 199 yards and few big plays last week.

    The Jaguars forced a late three-and-out by Rodgers and the Packers' offense and had possession at the Green Bay 14-yard line in the final 30 seconds before their final drive stalled and they lost 27-23.

    Jacksonville held Green Bay's offense to 18 first downs and 294 total yards of offense.

    "Overall, we executed our plan," defensive end Dante Fowler said. "It was to constrict Aaron Rodgers, and that's what we did."

    San Diego also missed an opportunity to knock off a playoff team from a year ago.

    The Chargers built a 27-3 lead over Kansas City behind two rushing touchdowns from second-year running back Melvin Gordon and strong play from Rivers.

    However, the Chiefs rallied with two touchdowns and a field goal in the final 10 minutes of regulation to force overtime. A rushing touchdown by quarterback Alex Smith ended San Diego's upset bid.

    Rivers will be without top receiver Keenan Allen, who suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the second quarter against the Chiefs.

    With Allen done for the season, the Chargers will likely turn to Travis Benjamin, who was acquired in free agency in March. Benjamin had seven catches for 32 yards last week and has 10 career receiving touchdowns.

    The Chargers will also be without first-round defensive end Joey Bosa for the second straight week, ruled out Friday due to a hamstring injury.

    "There's not going to be another Keenan Allen," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. "Everybody is different. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. It's a shame because Keenan worked so hard."

    Blake Bortles, who made his first career start at San Diego during a 33-14 loss in September 2014, appears to be headed for a successful career similar to that of Rivers and will have his full arsenal of weapons.

    The third-year Jaguars quarterback shook off an early interception against the Packers to complete 24 of 39 passes for 320 yards and an excellent 22-yard touchdown to tight end Julius Thomas on a fade route down the right sideline.

    Bortles has few fond memories from his first trip to San Diego but is hoping to lead the Jaguars to a better showing and avoid another slow start that has become a regular occurrence in Jacksonville in recent seasons.

    Rivers will be looking to do the same for the Chargers.

    "They're 0-1 like we are and are going to come out here and fight like crazy to get on the board," Rivers said
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: Packers (1-0) at Vikings (1-0)

    Date: September 18, 2016 8:30 PM EDT

    Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer isn't telling anyone who's going to start at quarterback for Sunday night's game against the rival Green Bay Packers.

    He's certainly not going to tell the media whether he's sticking with Shaun Hill or turning to newcomer Sam Bradford. And he might not even tell his own team.

    That's how deep Zimmer is willing to take the gamesmanship for this early NFC North showdown.

    "I did last week. I don't know if I will this week or not because it started leaking," Zimmer said on Wednesday. "Usually I like to inform the team of everything that's going on here and what I'm thinking, but I was a little disappointed that some of the things go out. We'll just see how it goes. I may talk to them. I don't know. Maybe I will."

    Teddy Bridgewater helped the Vikings end the Packers' five-year reign atop the NFC North last season. With Bridgewater out for the season with a training-camp knee injury, Zimmer decided to start Hill last week. The Vikings won, but Hill had little to do with the success. The defense scored a pair of touchdowns in a 25-16 win at Tennessee.

    Hill posted a passer rating of 77.3, which is good for 23rd in the league, and the offense enters the week ranked 26th in total yardage. The alternative is Bradford, who the Vikings acquired in the wake of the Bridgewater injury by sending first- and fourth-round picks to Philadelphia.

    Bradford hasn't lived up to expectations after being the first overall pick of the 2010 draft, posting a 25-37-1 record and career passer rating of 81.0. But he's got a big-time arm that should fit nicely in offensive coordinator Norv Turner's scheme. The question is, could Bradford operate that scheme at a winning level, considering that Sunday will mark his 14th day with the team?

    "A lot of it is terminology," Zimmer said, "and you start getting in motions and shifts, checks at the line of scrimmage. There's quite a few things. Really, when you think about it, you have to learn the snap count, you have to learn the huddle procedure, how the calls come in, the way you call it. There's so many things for someone that hasn't been in our offensive system, it's very difficult."

    Packers coach Mike McCarthy expects Bradford to get the call, though his team is preparing for both quarterbacks. Either way, he knows the starting point of beating the Vikings is slowing running back Adrian Peterson.

    "I think it's part of your personnel evaluation. It's part of your scheme evaluation," McCarthy said of the quarterback uncertainty. "You tilt toward certain schemes with one quarterback, as opposed to another. Those are the questions you ask through the game-planning process, but the fact of the matter is it's going to start with giving the ball to Adrian Peterson. Every time we play the Vikings, that's the focal point of our defense."

    From Minnesota's direction, the defensive focal point will be controlling Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. They did so in the two games last season, holding him to a sub-90 passer rating in both games, including a Week 17 win at Lambeau Field that won the division.

    The Vikings kept Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota under wraps in Week 1 by keeping him in the pocket. Keeping Rodgers in the pocket and preventing him from making big plays while on the move will be key on Sunday.

    "He's as good as there is," Zimmer said. "He amazes me with the things he does, the things he sees. Not just with his athletic ability. I'm talking about his intelligence and the way he sees everything. Then you add his athletic ability and his competitiveness. I mean, this guy is unbelievable. I kind of wish he was in a different division."

    This is a huge early-season game, especially from Minnesota's perspective, with the Vikings opening the doors on U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota played 32 seasons in the Metrodome and, after a two-year outdoor hiatus at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, the Vikings are headed back to the great indoors. Their .615 winning percentage in dome games is tops in NFL history.

    "The stadium is amazing," Peterson said. "It's going to be loud. You know, going on 10 years I've played in Green Bay, at home it always seems like it was kind of even, you know? Wisconsin, they come down and they pack the stadium as well.

    "It kind of reminds me of the Red River Rivalry -- half Texas and half Oklahoma. That's what it feels like when you guys come here. I don't know if there's really going to be that big of an advantage outside of us playing at home."
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Preview: Eagles (1-0) at Bears (0-1)

    Date: September 19, 2016 8:30 PM EDT

    Carson Wentz soared in his NFL debut with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Now, the strong-armed rookie quarterback will have an opportunity to showcase his skills under the lights. Wentz will play his first prime-time game as the Eagles (1-0) visit the Chicago Bears (0-1) on Monday night.

    The past week has been a whirlwind for Wentz, whom the Eagles selected with No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft out of North Dakota State. He passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to a 29-10 win against the Cleveland Browns in the season opener. His jersey shot to No. 1 in NFL online sales.

    Vice President Joe Biden encouraged President Barack Obama to "get on the Wentz wagon." Instead, Obama -- an ardent Bears fan -- joked that he would visit Philadelphia "and scout out what all of the fuss is about."

    Bears coach John Fox and his defensive assistants have done some scouting of their own.

    Chicago is looking to bounce back from a 23-14 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 1. The Bears led 14-10 at halftime but were outscored 13-0 in the second half as their offense failed to gain traction.

    Quarterback Jay Cutler could use better protection in the pocket after he was sacked five times in the opener. He also spent time this week reiterating his confidence in wide receiver Kevin White, the Bears' first-round pick in 2015 who missed his entire rookie season because of a stress fracture. White made his NFL debut last week but caught only three passes for 34 yards despite being targeted seven times.

    "We need him," Cutler said. "He's going to be fine. We're not worried about him. We like our group of receivers out there. ... I'm going to play better. As a whole, offensively, we're going to play better."

    If White advances as Cutler hopes, he could create a dangerous tandem alongside wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. That will create pressure on the Eagles' secondary, which faces questions after cornerback Leodis McKelvin sustained a strained left hamstring in Week 1.

    Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson described McKelvin's status as "week-to-week," which does not bode well for Monday. The Eagles traded cornerback Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots before the season opener, which means Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks and rookie Jalen Mills might need to anchor a thin cornerback group.

    McKelvin is not the Eagles' only injured starter. Tight end Zach Ertz sustained a displaced rib near his left shoulder in Week 1 and could be out for an extended period of time.

    "It's a dangerous situation with a displaced bone," Pederson said. "You are talking up around the neck and head area, so any type of blow again could do further damage to that. That's why it's a week-to-week deal to see how it heals and recovers."

    In Ertz's absence, veteran Brent Celek is expected to step forward as the team's top option at tight end.

    The Bears know they must improve on defense after allowing Houston to convert 12 of 20 third-down opportunities one week ago. Linebacker Danny Trevathan will make his home debut as a Bear after signing as a free agent during the spring. Another new face on the lakefront will be rookie pass rusher Leonard Floyd, who was credited with six tackles and registered a half-sack along with Eddie Goldman in his NFL debut.

    Look for Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to try to pressure Wentz in front of a hostile environment.

    Wentz, however, will have plenty of support in the huddle as he braces for the Bears. The 23-year-old already has the backing of his teammates, including wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who is thrilled with the chance to develop continuity with his quarterback after several years of uncertainty at the position.

    "It's a different thing when that guy's your brother and when he's your quarterback," Matthews said. "When he's your quarterback, it's like, 'I'm just doing my job.' When he's your brother, it's like, 'I've got to get these 12 yards because I want him to be able to trust that I'm going to be where I need to be so that we can get out here and win football games.' ... And I want him to be just as successful as me, if not more.

    "When you start having that relationship, when you want to give up of yourself for somebody else, the games, they just happen. It becomes fun. It becomes something everybody loves to enjoy. Like I said, Carson has that attitude."
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    SNF - Packers at Vikings
    By Micah Roberts

    The Vikings have a new home and a new quarterback they get to show off Sunday night as the Packers visit as 2.5-point favorites. The $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium makes its regular season debut and Sam Bradford is expected to also debut as the starting QB, which will be the 10th different Minnesota starter Packers coach Mike McCarthy has seen over his tenure. Green Bay has gone 15-5-1 straight-up in those meetings behind him.

    Minnesota's last home win against the Packers was in 2012, a 37-34 win engineered by Christian Ponder. However, the last time the two teams met the Vikings won 20-13 in Week 17 last season at Green Bay.

    The key for Minnesota winning will be getting Adrian Peterson going much better than last week and more to what he's done over his 17 meetings with Green Bay over his career where he's averaged 109 yards per game. They'll also need its stellar defense to slow Aaron Rodgers and create turnovers, which is much easier said than done.

    Even though Vikings coach Mike Zimmer hasn't named a starter for a supposed competitive advantage of forcing the Packers to game plan for both Bradford and Shaun Hill, Bradford took most of the snaps with the first string during practices this week. The Vikings offensive game plan is simple and its success basically stems from the quarterback being conservative and not making turnovers. Hill wasn't all that great last week, but he didn't turn the ball over.

    Minnesota has covered the spread in three of the past five meetings with Green Bay with the last three staying UNDER the total. Since Week 2 of last season, the Vikings have gone an amazing 15-2 ATS.

    LINE MOVEMENT

    CG Technology sports books opened the number at pick 'em in April when they released spreads on all games. That was when Teddy Bridgewater was expected to play. When they re-opened the game on Sunday night the Packers were -2.5 and Tuesday it ran up the money ladder a couple times until hitting -3 (EV) where Vikings buy-back came and they're back at -2.5-flat. The total opened at 44.5 and has been bet down to 43.

    "We've had really good two-way action on the Packers-Vikings, even with the uncertainty of the Vikings quarterback," said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal. "The only area we're extended on is with a couple limit plays on the UNDER."

    William Hill's 105 sports books across Nevada reported that while they had 89 percent of the tickets written on the public Packers, 55 percent of the actual cash on the game was on Minnesota.

    LAST WEEK

    The sports books got middled last week with the Packers 27-23 win at Jacksonville. Sharp money took the Jaguars at +5, +4.5 and +4, which forced the number to -3.5 on game day and the majority of the public parlays played laid -3.5. The result was also an all-way 4-0 teaser win with both sides and both totals covering. The books took a bath on the game. Jacksonville actually won the yardage battle over Green Bay, 348-to-294.

    The Vikings offense sputtered at Tennessee last week, and were down 10-0 at the half, but just like last season the defense and special teams brought them back to win 25-16 as 2.5-point favorites. Minnesota's defense scored two second-half TD's and won the turnover battle, 3-0. The offense managed to put up 301 yards of offense with Adrian Peterson gaining only 31 yards on 19 carries. The books got middled on the total as bettors drove the number down from 43 to 39.5 by kickoff.

    WHERE IS THE NUMBER GOING?

    The Sunday night isolated games are tricky for the sports books because they have to react a little differently with all the risk from 14 earlier games calculating up into one giant figure. They know exactly how much they're going to lose with that game that has several eight-team parlays ready to cash. The books want to book the game straight-up with line movement justified only by straight-bet action, but if some of the public games hit early in the day the risk for the popular side at a $500,000 loss makes it hard to follow basic booking policy. A Bookmaker's job is to limit risk and protect the house at all times. If they don't react with some kind of maneuvering to get action on the other side, either by the spread or money-line, they're not booking, they're gambling.

    With the Packers being the popular public side, if you like the Vikings, your best bet is to wait for +3 to show up on game day as some of those early results are posted and the Packers risk gets larger. Some books don't want to move to +3 and will offer extreme value on the money-line instead, so you should be able to wait for +130 or higher on that end if liking them to win straight up. If liking the Packers, bet it now laying -2.5 or with the low money-line at -130.

    FUTURES

    After the Seahawks lackluster Week 1 performance against the Dolphins, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook moved Green Bay from 5-to-1 odds to win the NFC down to the 3-to-1 favorite. They also dropped the Pack from 10-to-1 down to 6-to-1 to win the Super Bowl. The only team with lower odds is the Patriots (5/1). Yes, Las Vegas likes the Packers and the betting public likes them too. Minnesota is still holding steady and respected at 10-to-1 to win the NFC and 20/1 to win the Super Bowl.

    NEXT UP

    The Westgate posts the following weeks spreads on Tuesday and for Week 3 the Packers are 7.5-point home favorites against the Lions (Detroit won there last year). The Vikings are getting +5.5 at Carolina.
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    'Bengals Visit Steelers in AFC North Showdown'

    There’s no love lost between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, a pair of AFC North rivals vying for an early leg up in the division race. Their matchup in Pittsburgh highlights the Week 2 card.

    The Bengals (1-0) edged the New York Jets 23-22 on the road in their opening game, led by the duo of Andy Dalton and AJ Green. Dalton was sacked seven times and still passed for 366 yards and a score, which went to Green. Green had 12 catches for 180 yards and torched the Jets' Darrelle Revis all day long.

    It's a short week for the Steelers (1-0), who routed Washington 38-16 on the road on Monday Night Football. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns – two to Antonio Brown, who had eight receptions for 126 yards. DeAngelo Williams also ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns for the Steelers.

    The Steelers have won four of their last five against the Bengals overall and 15 of their last 24 at home with Cincinnati. However, the Bengals have covered the spread in 12 of their last 17 road games.
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    'Dolphins head to Foxboro'

    Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots September 18, 1:00 EST

    Miami Dolphins continue their tough road swing to start their season travelling to Foxboro to take on division rival New Engalnd Patriots. The Dolphins couldn't pull the outright upset up in Seattle but certainly hung in there falling 12-10 while cashing as 10.5 point underdogs. As for Patriots, they not only went on the road and beat the defending NFC West champion Cardinals as 9.5 point road underdogs, they did it without Tom Brady and the leagues best tight end Rob Gronkowski.

    Dolphins' certainly look like a different team under new head coach Adam Gase but outsmarting sideline genius Bill Belichick in this AFC East tilt is a whole different ball game. The Patriots have won seven consecutive meetings by an average 19.9 PPG in front of the home audience and 13-of-16 at home in the Bellichik era with a profitable 11-5 ATS record against the betting line. Considering Miami’s overall underachieving ways recently vs a division opponent (1-8 ATS), it's skid in an AFC East opponent's back yard (0-7 ATS) were recommending laying the expect 6.5 points knowing Patriots have a profitable 11-4-3 ATS record as home chalk of seven or less, 6-2-1 ATS mark as home chalk off upset win as underdogs.
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    StatFox Super Situations

    NFL*|*JACKSONVILLE*at*SAN DIEGO
    Play Against - Home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (SAN DIEGO) off a road loss, in the first month of the season, after closing out last season with 2 or more straight losses
    54-23*since 1997.**(*70.1%*|*28.7 units*)

    NFL*|*MIAMI*at*NEW ENGLAND
    Play Against - Home teams vs. the money line (NEW ENGLAND) after a win by 6 or less points against opponent after a loss by 6 or less points
    23-12*over the last 5 seasons.**(*65.7%*|*0.0 units*)

    NFL*|*TAMPA BAY*at*ARIZONA
    Play Against - Road underdogs of 2 to 6 points vs. the first half line (TAMPA BAY) off a upset win as an underdog
    336-214*since 1997.**(*61.1%*|*100.6 units*)

    NFL*|*SEATTLE*at*LA RAMS
    Play On - Any team vs the money line (LA RAMS) in conference games, off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a road favorite
    50-23*over the last 10 seasons.**(*68.5%*|*0.0 units*)

    NFL*|*NEW ORLEANS*at*NY GIANTS
    Play Under - Road teams vs. the 1rst half total incredible offense from last season - averaged 6.0 or more yards/play
    89-45*since 1997.**(*66.4%*|*39.5 units*)
    1-1*this year.**(*50.0%*|*-0.1 units*)

    NFL*|*SAN FRANCISCO*at*CAROLINA
    Play Against - Underdogs vs. the money line (SAN FRANCISCO) off an upset win as a home underdog against opponent off a road loss
    158-48*since 1997.**(*76.7%*|*0.0 units*)
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    Gridiron Angles - Week 2
    September 17, 2016


    NFL PLAY ON ATS TREND:

    -- The Packers are 12-0 ATS since Sep 29, 2003 off a game as a road favorite of more than three points where they did not cover.

    NFL PLAY AGAINST TREND:

    -- The Titans are 0-10 ATS since Dec 22, 2013 on the road after they allowed at least 24 points last game.

    NFL PLAYER TREND:

    -- The Bengals are 7-0 ats since Sep 30, 2012 coming off a road win where Andy Dalton threw for at least 250 yards.

    NFL O/U OVER TREND:

    -- The Titans are 11-0-1 OU since Sep 22, 2002 coming off a loss where they allowed less than 80 rushing yards.

    NFL O/U UNDER TREND:

    -- The Browns are 0-10 OU since Dec 29, 2013 after a loss where they gained less than 300 total yards.

    NFL BIBLE ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Rams are 11-0 ATS when hosting a team that has at least 2/3 of their first downs through the air season-to-date.
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

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    SuperContest Picks - Week 2
    September 17, 2016

    The Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest is the biggest, most prestigious, challenging pro football handicapping contest in the country. The fees are $1,500 per entry.

    Contestants must pick 5 pro football games against the spread each week for the entire 17-week season. The individual that has the best record after the season will be deemed the winner.

    The LVH Casino at Westgate Las Vegas Resort is a hotel, casino, and convention center, which is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. LVH SuperBook vice-president Jay Kornegay is in charge of the SuperContest.

    This year's contest has 1,854 entries, which is an all-time record.

    Each week throughout the season, we'll post the Top 5 Consensus Picks in the SuperContest on Saturday afternoon and list all of the selections for each matchup.


    Week 2

    1) Seattle -4.5 (541)
    2) Green Bay -2.5 (507)
    3) Jacksonville +3 (426)
    4) Kansas City +3 (419)
    5) Cincinnati +3.5 (401)


    SUPERCONTEST WEEK 2 MATCHUPS & ODDS

    Away Team Selections Home Team Selections

    N.Y. Jets (-1) 141 Buffalo (+1) 94

    Tennessee (+6) 395 Detroit (-6) 191

    Kansas City (+3) 419 Houston (-3) 304

    Miami (+6.5) 329 New England (-6.5) 242

    Baltimore (-6.5) 208 Cleveland (+6.5) 350

    Cincinnati (+3.5) 401 Pittsburgh (-3.5) 222

    Dallas (+2.5) 207 Washington (-2.5) 329

    New Orleans (+4.5) 224 N.Y. Giants (-4.5) 277

    San Francisco (+13.5) 144 Carolina (-13.5) 397

    Tampa Bay (+7) 332 Arizona (-7) 229

    Seattle (-4.5) 541 Los Angeles (+4.5) 133

    Indianapolis (+6) 303 Denver (-6) 277

    Atlanta (+5) 258 Oakland (-5) 284

    Jacksonville (+3) 426 San Diego (-3) 239

    Green Bay (-2.5) 507 Minnesota (+2.5) 319

    Philadelphia (+3.5) 252 Chicago (-3.5) 296
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

  18. #38
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    Packers rule CB Sam Shields out for Vikings game
    September 17, 2016

    GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers say Sam Shields won't play in Sunday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings after the cornerback was evaluated for a concussion this week.

    The Packers initially listed Shields as doubtful on the injury report before ruling him out on Saturday. He missed practice this week while going through the NFL's concussion protocol .

    Shields got hurt late in last week's season-opening win at Jacksonville. He also missed four games late last season because of a concussion.

    Reserve Josh Hawkins will also miss the Vikings game with a hamstring injury. The Packers were down to three healthy cornerbacks on their active roster in Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter. Micah Hyde, who plays throughout the secondary, can also slot in at cornerback.
    You never get enough of that wonderful stuff:D

  19. #39
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