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Thursday NFL News and Notes

Thursday NFL News and Notes

PITTSBURGH (1 - 0) at BUFFALO (0 - 1) - 8/14/2008, 7:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
BUFFALO is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) in home games against AFC North division opponents since 1993.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.


CAROLINA (1 - 0) at PHILADELPHIA (0 - 1) - 8/14/2008, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
CAROLINA is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) against conference opponents since 1993.
PHILADELPHIA is 9-21 ATS (-14.1 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 since 1993.

Head-to-Head Series History
PHILADELPHIA is 1-0 against the spread versus CAROLINA over the last 3 seasons
PHILADELPHIA is 1-0 straight up against CAROLINA over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

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Re: Thursday NFL News and Notes

Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo, 7:30 ET (at Toronto)
Pittsburgh: 9-1 Under L10 Preseason games
Buffalo: 0-7 ATS at home vs. AFC North

Carolina at Philadelphia, 8:00 ET FOX
Carolina: 12-3 ATS vs. conference opponents
Philadelphia: 9-21 ATS the line is +3 to -3

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Re: Thursday NFL News and Notes

What bettors need to know: Steelers at Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-1, 33)

Canadian content

This game marks the first of an eight-game deal that will have Buffalo playing in Toronto’s Rogers Centre over the next five years. Don’t expect a full house though. Word has it that only the cheapest seats (at 70 bucks a pop) are sold out.

Quarterback corner

Nobody’s getting carried away talking about another quarterback controversy just yet, but Trent Edwards had a tough time in his first preseason start, going just 1-for-5 for 15 yards against the Redskins. J.P. Losman stepped in and was 7-for-9 with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

Newly-signed Byron Leftwich will make his Steelers debut less than a week after Ben Roethlisberger’s former backup, Charlie Batch, broke his collarbone. But if you’re looking for a rep count for the offensive starters, don’t bother. So far Mike Tomlin’s keeping quiet.

If you’re looking for a rep count for the starters, don’t bother Mike Tomlin. So far all he has said is that his first stringers will play more than the one or two series they played in Week 1.

"We're going to play our first-unit some more than we played in the last game," Tomlin said. "Byron is scheduled to play, and Dennis (Dixon) is scheduled to play, and if we have enough snaps maybe we'll play (Mike) Potts."

Bills head coach Dick Jauron is handling the playing time issue with the media the same way, says his starting offense won’t play much more than the nine plays it was on the field for in last week.

Tackled tackles

With Pro-Bowler Jason Peters still holding out, Buffalo is down to just three healthy tackles after Patrick Estes and second-string left tackle Matt Murphy were hurt Monday. That means the Bills will be relying on fill-ins Langston Walker and Kirk Chambers, as well as seventh-round pick Demetrius Bell for Thursday’s game. The Bills may pull Brad Butler over from right guard to help out at left tackle.

Center of attention

Mike Tomlin wants to settle on a starting center pronto. Justin Hartwing is challenging last season’s starter first-stringer Sean Mahan for the spot.

I'd like to have it solved yesterday," Tomlin said of the battle at center on Tuesday. "But you don't always get what you want. We'll have clarity, certainly, when we do make that decision."

Notable no-shows


Troy Polamalu (hamstring)

Deshea Townsend (groin)


Left tackle (see above)

Josh Reed (lower back)

Roscoe Parrish (knee)

Recent meetings

Pittsburgh has won five of its six preseason games against the Bills. The last time the two clubs hooked up back in 2001, the Steelers blanked Buffalo 20-0. Mike Tomlin’s boys also beat the Bills 26-3 in regular season play last year.

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Re: Thursday NFL News and Notes

What bettors need to know: Panthers at Eagles

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles (-3½, 35½)

Quarterback corner

Jake Delhomme didn’t test his surgically repaired throwing arm much last week in two series of work, attempting just one pass in a 23-20 overtime win over the Colts. He’s expected to give it more of a workout Thursday as he attempts to be one of the few NFL quarterbacks to successfully recover from Tommy John surgery. Still, backup Matt Moore will see extensive action along with Brett Basanez and possibly Lester Richard.

Donovan McNabb was sharp in his first outing of the year last week, going 10-of-13 for 95 yards and a major. He already looks more trim and nimble than he was last season, his first after major knee surgery.

Cranky cats

Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith is already suspended for the first two games of the year after he popped teammate Ken Lucas in the beak last week, breaking the hard-hitting safety’s nose. Now Lucas is still out and Smith probably won’t play Thursday either after suffering a concussion against the Colts.

Philly stars make preseason debuts

Corner back Asante Samuel and Brian Westbrook will likely make their first starts of the preseason Thursday. Samuel had been battling a hamstring issue and Westbrook was held out of last week’s game against the Steelers for precautionary reasons.

Playing time

Andy Reid says his starters will play the first half, then let the second and third-stringers take it from there. Reid also mentioned that backup quarterback Kevin Kolb could play as much as the entire second half after McNabb comes out.

No definitive word on Carolina’s starters, but the word around camp is that John Fox wants to get Delhomme some solid work with the offense, while being careful with his both his offensive and defensive starters. They can’t handle many more injuries at this point.

Notable no-shows


Steve Smith (concussion)

Ken Lucas (broken nose)

Ian Scott (knee)

D.J. Hackett (toe)

Chris Harris (groin)

Chris Gamble (hamstring)


Tra Thomas (calf)

Montae Reagor (knee)

Victor Abiamiri (wrist)

Chris Clemons (calf)

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Re: Thursday NFL News and Notes

NFL Preview
By Joe Wiz

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles

The Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles will play their second game of the Exhibition season, as they get together at Philadelphia. The Panthers won their first game of the season, with a 23-20 overtime victory at Indianapolis. The Eagles lost at Pittsburgh, 16-10. The Panthers won just seven games in 2007, while the Eagles managed a .500 season.

The Panthers will use this game to get more reps for quarterback Jake Delhomme, who played just three games last season, before elbow surgery cost him the remainder of the year. Delhomme played two series in the opener, but threw just one pass. They will also look to see if Matt Moore is going to be their backup. Moore went 7-for-14 in the first game.

Donovan McNabb will get the start for the Eagles, after a solid first week.The veteran will first half action, before giving way to second year man Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley.

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Re: Thursday NFL News and Notes

Thursday's NFL Research
By Indiancowboy

Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo

It's so tough to even talk about betting preseason when anything can happen and the only time worth betting one could argue is near the last 2 weeks of it where the starters finally take the field, Pitt won at home beating the Eagles 16-10 last preseason game, covering, Dixon looked fairly decent and Big Ben looked good, Buffalo fell short 14-17 at Washington but covered, this is a game that I think Buffalo could very well win at home as they sit at a +1 dog and they are typically an under team at home and were last year as well, I lean on Buffalo and the under here.

Carolina vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles lost their first preseason game on the road at Pittsburgh 10-16, I'm just not sure if they did enough with that team especially on offense to help McNabb, after all, the one year they gave him some help with TO they went to the Super Bowl, Carolina beat Indy at home 23-20 last game, did not cover the -3.5 here, I wouldn't be surprised if Philly wins one for the faithful here just to get the press off this team's back, but I hate the fact it sits at -3.5 here though. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see an over though considering Philly put up just 10 points last game.

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