Friday NFL News and Notes

Friday NFL News and Notes

PHILADELPHIA (1 - 1) at NEW ENGLAND (0 - 2) - 8/22/2008, 7:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
PHILADELPHIA is 9-21 ATS (-14.1 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 since 1993.
NEW ENGLAND is 18-6 ATS (+11.4 Units) against NFC East division opponents since 1993.
NEW ENGLAND is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) in home games in non-conference games since 1993.

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

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TENNESSEE (2 - 0) at ATLANTA (0 - 2) - 8/22/2008, 7:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
TENNESSEE is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 since 1993.
TENNESSEE is 14-4 ATS (+9.6 Units) as an underdog since 1993.
TENNESSEE is 16-5 ATS (+10.5 Units) in road games since 1993.
TENNESSEE is 16-5 ATS (+10.5 Units) in road lined games since 1993.
TENNESSEE is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) in games played on turf since 1993.
TENNESSEE is 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) in road games in August games since 1993.

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

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HOUSTON (2 - 0) at DALLAS (0 - 2) - 8/22/2008, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
DALLAS is 11-33 ATS (-25.3 Units) in all games where the total is between 35.5 and 42 points since 1993.

Head-to-Head Series History
HOUSTON is 1-0 against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
HOUSTON is 1-0 straight up against DALLAS 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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GREEN BAY (0 - 2) at DENVER (1 - 1) - 8/22/2008, 9:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
DENVER is 31-16 ATS (+13.4 Units) in non-conference games since 1993.

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

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Re: Friday NFL News and Notes

Philadelphia at New England, 7:30 ET
Philadelphia: 9-21 ATS when the line is +3 to -3
New England: 18-7 ATS at home vs. NFC

Tennessee at Atlanta, 7:30 ET
Tennessee: 8-0 Over Away off ATS loss
Atlanta: 8-0 ATS after a game with a turnover margin of -3 or worse

Houston at Dallas, 8:00 ET CBS
Houston: 6-0 Over in all games L2 seasons
Dallas: 16-32 ATS off non-conference game

Green Bay at Denver, 9:00 ET
Green Bay: 1-5 ATS as an underdog
Denver: 31-16 ATS vs. NFC

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NFL Preseason Preview - Tennessee (2-0) at Atlanta (0-2)
By Tony Moss, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - Matt Ryan will get the start for the Atlanta Falcons on Friday night, as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 Draft leads his club into a preseason battle against the visiting Tennessee Titans.

Ryan, who was the first quarterback selected in April, has a chance to lay claim to the starting job for the Falcons' opener against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 7th. The Boston College product has completed 17-of-31 passes for 175 yards with a touchdown and an interception in two warm-ups to date, and has generally outplayed fellow Atlanta QBs Chris Redman, Joey Harrington, and D.J. Shockley.

While taking a long look at Ryan on Friday night, fans at the Georgia Dome will also be eager to witness the exploits of running back Michael Turner.

Turner, a free agent pickup from the Chargers in the offseason, has amassed a whopping 135 yards on just nine carries (15.0 yards per carry) in the preseason to date. Turner posted 113 yards on four totes in last Saturday's 16-9 loss to the Colts, including a run of 63 yards.

On the injury front for Atlanta, tackle Todd Weiner (knee) could make his first start of the preseason on Friday. Also expected to play are linebacker Michael Boley (back) and end John Abraham (ankle), who have both been battling injuries of late.

The Titans, meanwhile, will spend Friday night trying to shake off the tepid offensive performance they displayed in last week's 17-16 win over the Raiders.

Tennessee quarterbacks Vince Young (4-of-13, 37 yards) and Kerry Collins (4- of-15, 109 yards, 1 TD) both struggled to move the offense in the win, with Young's preseason passer rating (45.3) and completion percentage (36.8) both taking major hits against Oakland.

Titans head coach Jeff Fisher will also want to get another glimpse of running back Chris Johnson, who is pushing for a starting job after two solid preseason outings. Johnson, a first-round Draft choice out of East Carolina, has 14 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown thus far in the preseason.

For Tennessee, tackle David Stewart (knee), kicker Rob Bironas (groin), safety Chris Carr (shoulder), cornerback Nick Harper (concussion), and wideout Lavelle Hawkins (ankle) are among the notables than could be held out. On the positive side, linebacker Keith Bulluck (calf) is expected to play.

The all-time preseason series between Tennessee and Atlanta is deadlocked, 3-3, with the Falcons evening the series by virtue of a 20-6 road win prior to the 2006 campaign.

The Titans were 20-13 home winners over the Falcons in a regular season matchup last Oct. 7.

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NFL Preseason Preview - Philadelphia (1-1) at New England (0-2)
By Tony Moss, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The defending AFC Champion New England Patriots will try to shake off a rough preseason start on Friday night, when Bill Belichick and company host the Philadelphia Eagles in the third tune-up for each club.

New England has not looked sharp in August losses to the Ravens (16-15) and Buccaneers (27-10), with the absence of quarterback Tom Brady seemingly ranking among the prime culprits in that performance.

Brady is considered questionable for this week due to a lingering foot injury, and will yield to backup candidates Matt Cassel, Matt Gutierrez, and Kevin O'Connell if he is unable to play.

Cassel (7-of-14 passing, 68 yards in the preseason), Gutierrez (10-of-16, 76 yards, 1 INT), and O'Connell (12-of-28, 112 yards, 2 INT) have combined for four interceptions without a touchdown pass in the preseason to date.

Also looking for improvement on Friday night will be New England starting running back Laurence Maroney, who has mustered just 21 yards on 13 carries during the month of August.

Like New England, Philadelphia will be seeking a stronger offensive performance in its third preseason tilt as well.

The Eagles were shut out for three quarters against the Carolina Panthers last week, though the team's reserves eventually recovered to lift the team to a 24-13 victory.

Of particular note for Andy Reid's squad will be the work of the receiving corps, which was dealt a blow earlier this week when it was reported that Kevin Curtis would miss the start of the season with a sports hernia.

Rookie DeSean Jackson (12 receptions, 122 yards in the preseason) and holdovers Greg Lewis (6 receptions, 82 yards, 1 TD) and Hank Baskett (4 receptions, 53 yards) should see a bulk of the time with the first unit on Friday. In addition to Curtis, wideout Reggie Brown (hamstring) is expected to miss Friday's matchup.

Elsewhere on offense, Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews, who reported to camp late after a battle with depression, could see his first action of the preseason against New England.

Facing his former team will be Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, who played five seasons in New England before defecting to Philadelphia via free agency this past offseason.

The Patriots lead the all-time preseason series with the Eagles, 9-8, breaking a deadlock in the series with a a 24-6 home victory prior to the 2004 season.

The clubs also met in a memorable Sunday night contest last Nov. 25, with New England coming from behind to win, 31-28, at Gillette Stadium.

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NFL Preseason Preview - Houston (2-0) at Dallas (0-2)
By Tony Moss, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The Dallas Cowboys will make their first appearance at Texas Stadium since a painful playoff loss to the Giants last January, when they play host to the Houston Texans in a preseason tilt on Friday night.

It was last Jan. 13th that the top-seeded Cowboys, fresh off a first-round bye, welcomed the rival Giants to town for a Divisional Playoff contest. Despite a 13-3 finish and a head-to-head sweep over New York in the regular season, Dallas suffered a 21-17 setback to the eventual Super Bowl champs. The loss denied the organization what would have been its first playoff win since the 1996 campaign.

Thus far in the preseason, the Cowboys have suffered road losses at the hands of the Chargers (31-17) and Broncos (23-13), scarcely playing their starters in either game.

That should change on Friday night, when Dallas' first team should see extensive action in keeping with third-game-of-preseason tradition.

Quarterback Tony Romo (9-of-12, 66 yards in the preseason), running back Marion Barber (9 rushes, 46 yards) and wideout Terrell Owens (3 receptions, 20 yards) are among the Cowboys stars who should play a bulk of the first half, at least.

Wide receiver Miles Austin, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a knee sprain, is among the Dallas notables who will not see action against the Texans.

While the Cowboys look to collect their first win of the 2008 preseason, the Houston Texans will be trying to keep their positive momentum rolling.

The Texans have looked generally strong in wins over the Broncos (19-16) and Saints (31-27), and will attempt to keep on pushing in advance of their regular season opener at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7.

Houston quarterback Matt Schaub (18-of-21, 216 yards, 2 TD) has been almost perfect in the preseason to date, ranking among league leaders with a 141.3 passer rating.

The Texans will use Friday as a chance to further evaluate their running back competition. Ex-Titan Chris Brown, recently-signed Cardinals castoff Marcel Shipp, and rookie Steve Slaton are among the players who will make their case to win jobs on Friday. Ahman Green (groin) remains sidelined and is reportedly in danger of being released.

Wideout Andre Johnson (groin) is questionable.

Guard Fred Weary (leg), who was placed on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week, is prominent among the Houston players who won't be in uniform Friday.

The all-time preseason series between the Cowboys and Texans is knotted, 2-2, with Houston evening the series by virtue of a 28-16 home win prior to last season.

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NFL Preseason Preview - Green Bay (0-2) at Denver (1-1)
By Tony Moss, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will embark on a dress rehearsal of sorts on Friday night, when the quarterback and his team travel to meet the Denver Broncos in the third preseason tune-up for each club.

The third game of the preseason traditionally presents an opportunity for starters to see their most extensive time during the month of August, as the fourth and final contest generally includes regulars for only brief appearances.

In that regard, Friday's game will be a pivotal outing for Rodgers.

The first-year starter has had his struggles thus far in the preseason, sustaining six sacks in two games and posting a middling 71.3 passer rating.

In last Saturday's 34-6 trouncing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, Rodgers was 9-of-16 for 58 yards and failed to execute a touchdown drive.

Rookie Brian Brohm, who is expected to be Rodgers' primary backup this season, has also had his share of difficulties in the preseason. Brohm is 12-of-26 for 103 yards without a touchdown and with one interception thus far in August.

Linebacker A.J. Hawk (chest), defensive tackles Ryan Pickett (hamstring) and Justin Harrell (back), and running back Ryan Grant (hamstring) are among the Green Bay players considered questionable for the Denver game.

Unlike his counterpart with the Packers, Denver quarterback Jay Cutler has been mostly sharp in the preseason to date. The former first-round pick is 24- of-30 for 237 yards and a touchdown during the tune-up period, and will put am impressive passer rating of 110.7 on the line in Friday's contest.

Less certain for the Broncos is the running back situation, with Selvin Young (13 carries, 39 yards), Andre Hall (15 carries, 67 yards, 1 TD), and Michael Pittman (21 carries, 54 yards) all failing to distinguish themselves thus far.

Young is expected to get the start on Friday.

Center Tom Nalen (knee) will be unavailable for the Broncos after undergoing knee surgery earlier this week. Nalen is expected to miss next week's preseason finale at Arizona as well, but could be ready for the regular season opener at Oakland Sept. 8th.

Denver has a 6-2 edge in its all-time preseason series against Green Bay, but was a 22-7 road loser in the last such meeting, prior to the 2001 season.

The Packers were 19-13 winners when they visited Denver in regular season action last Oct. 29th.

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Friday's NFL Research
By Indiancowboy

Tennessee vs. Atlanta

Over 67% of the public favors the Titans here as the small field goal favorite over the Falcons, note that the Falcons will play another home game with a new coach, that usually means the new team will do well in order to give a surge of confidence for the fan base, i.e. the Ravens, Usually an active dog means over, but I feel that Atlanta will be an under team mostly this year given Smith's defensive credentials coming over from Jacksonville, Tennessee has won 17-16 against Oakland and 34-13 against the Rams this year, Collins and Martin have thrown well thus far, Atlanta has scored 26 total points in their first 2 ballgames, they have also given up 30 points total in the first 2 games, they are of course still 0-2, having said this, I actually lean on the Falcons here, but will likely just stay away as Smith will make an exceeded effort to win at home here to help his team not go 0-3 to start the preseason.

Eagles vs. Patriots

This is a repeat of a Super Bowl a few years back, the Patriots have looked shabby so far but of course, this is the preseason, it means nothing, B.B. is going over his backup situations and is starting a rotation of folks, not to mention Brady is not a 100%, Kolb through for more than 200 yards in the last ballgame, keep in mind that we are still unsure the relative number of snaps that Brady will take if any as he has been listed day to day due to food poisoning, the Patriot quarterback ratings are following: Cassel: 34.2, Guitierrez: 47.9 and O'Connell: 25.6. Patriots have lost 15-16 and 10-27. One would think the Pats do better here today but given the lack of info on the qb situation, tough to make a call here.

Houston vs. Dallas

The first lean that popped out in this game was the over, think about it, this is the first game this season (pre) to have a total over 40, it sits at 41.5. This is a rivalry, an in-state rivalry with Texas owners that have a lot of pride and each would love to up-each other despite this being the preseason. Having been in Texas, Texas has a lot to do with pride as does everywhere, but especially in the south. Note, that the line came out as -6 and has gone down to -5.5, roughly 57% are backing the Boys here. Rosenfels and Schaub are both ballers, remember, Rosenfels filled in incredibly for Schaub when he was out last year as this team with one or the other will always have a potent offense, heck, this team showed a lot of gusto by taking DeMario Williams in the draft if you remember and he has done well for this squad, Dallas is 0-2 thus far in the preseason, having scored 13 and 17 points and giving up 23 and 31 points. I know the total is high, but I wouldn't be surprised to see both teams pop 20 points here and have a decent shot at a sound over. Remember, Dallas is 0-2 thus far and returns back home, despite it being preseason, pride, pride, pride, will likely yield to an active dog all game long and consequently some love for the over.

Green Bay vs. Denver

I made a point to stay away from this game before I even did the research as the public is rightfully on Denver at home, I recently wrote my previews on these teams and wrote a scathing one on Green Bay as I think they will not do well this year, and will underperform and if it wasn't for a decent defense that is opportunistic, they would be even worse, the pressure is mounting for Green Bay to do better or at least show some progress or life this preseason as they have been outscored 23-54 this preseason, Denver comes off a nice win over the Cowboys, I will wait and see if Green Bay yields and steps up to the pressure of their fans to do half-decent this game, there is a reason imo why this line is so low at -1, I wouldn't be surprised to Rodgers have a better game and a packers win on the road, for that alone, I will give them a benefit of the doubt and hold my reservation on the game.

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