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NFC betting tidbits: Week 5

NFC betting tidbits: Week 5

NFC betting tidbits: Week 5

Teddy’s NFC Tidbits

Welcome to Teddy’s weekly look at the NFL. Teddy spends every Sunday typing furiously at his laptop as he watches the games, giving you the key info that the box scores and game recaps simply don’t have. This week: NFC tidbits from around the league.


This passing game is much better now than it was a month ago. Chicago has some weapons at receiver, with four different players catching passes of 30 yards or longer; and that production came on a day when Brandon Lloyd wasn’t healthy enough to suit up. Tight end Greg Olson, Devin Hester, Rashied Davis and Marty Booker give this team more than enough weapons to work with on offense. Kyle Orton had no trouble getting the ball downfield to his receivers, and the running game has been solid, if unspectacular, all season. This team has more potential than I gave them credit for …as long as the mounting injuries on defense don’t start to destroy their chemistry, as it did last year.


Brian Griese was sacked three times in the first half, each time he held the ball too long in the pocket. Maybe he avoided the interception problems that have plagued his last two starts, but Griese is not the type of quarterback capable of leading his team to the promised land. And with no big play threats in the passing game, it was unclear to me why Griese had to hold the ball as long as he did – almost all of his passes were dinks and dunks. Thirteen of his first 16 pass attempts travelled less than five yards from the line of scrimmage. The passing game worked much better once Jeff Garcia replaced Griese coming off the bench. Tampa had three defensive touchdowns in their first four games. Monte Kiffin has made it a priority to get quick points with big plays on the defensive side of the football. That means less Cover-2, which the Bucs are running only about 30 percent of the time this year. It also means more big plays against this defense, as they take more gambles in an effort to create the big momentum changing defensive plays.


This defensive line is getting pressure; the secondary is covering downfield – I’m very impressed with this defensive effort. I also like this punter, Michael Koenin, dropping punts inside the 20 yard line and helping the Falcons win the field position war. And Atlanta’s offensive line is giving Matt Ryan all day to throw the football, another unit that is most assuredly playing at a high level these days. There was no home/road dichotomy here, their first strong performance on the road in 2008. These Falcons are arguably the NFC’s most improved team compared to last year’s 4-12 debacle.


This secondary clearly has some issues against big play passing attacks. Last week, we saw the Saints throw deep repeatedly and with great success against this defense. It was a similar story here, with Randy Moss burning the Niners deep for a 66 yard touchdown. After the Moss TD, this defense was noticeably gun-shy, no longer pressing at the line of scrimmage and allowing a steady diet of quick dink and dunk completions against them. When you can’t stop the run (something the Niners have clearly proven through the first month of the season) and you can’t stop the pass, opponents can control the clock for forty minutes of possession, as the Patriots did today.


Is Eli Manning an elite level quarterback? This should be a no-brainer; a former No. 1 overall draft pick with a Super Bowl ring from last season on his finger. He certainly looked like one here, for extended portions of the game; hitting open receivers downfield, gaining more than 200 passing yards in the first half alone. But Manning’s propensity for mistakes hasn’t disappeared entirely – he’s still fumble prone, and still makes bad decisions throwing late over the middle. And Manning’s results are certainly propped up by the strength of the Giants underrated running game – this team is simply outstanding at pounding the rock between the tackles. It might have taken a Super Bowl win and a 4-0 start before this team started getting the respect they deserve, but after this performance, they’ll get that respect.


This team is the definition of pathetic. Matt Millen might have been one cause of the Lions woes, but sending the GM packing after three horrific games to open the season doesn’t solve their problems in the slightest. Dropping sure interceptions in the end zone; unable to cover even mediocre receivers downfield – this really is the worst secondary in the NFL. The defensive line is just as bad, completely blown off the line of scrimmage on nearly every running play while generating no pass rush whatsoever. The linebacking corps is slow, devoid of playmakers. On a day where the Lions had extra time to prepare, facing a divisional rival, this flat showing tells us very clearly that Detroit is an un-backable team right now – the betting marketplace is going to have a tough time properly pricing a team that has lost each of their first four games of the season by two touchdowns or more.


Carolina had a dozen plays that gained more than ten yards in the first half alone – this offense is not just dink and dunk these days. The Panthers are moving the chains on the ground, setting up Steve Smith and Mushin Mohammed in the passing game downfield. Jake Delhomme averaged nearly eleven yards per pass attempt. Yes, the defense was spectacular today, but it was the offense that impressed me the most. The Panthers have been horrible home favorites for the vast majority of the John Fox era, but they’ve won SU all three times as home chalk this year with a 2-0-1 ATS mark in last part thanks to the improved capabilities of this revitalized offense.


This team simply cannot be trusted to show up for an early start East Coast game, post bye week or not. The track record in these games under Mike Holmgren is truly disastrous, as their performance against the Bills in Week 1 and their showing against the Giants here would indicate. The defensive question marks continue to mount. Buffalo hung a season high on the Seahawks; San Fran hung a season high on them as well, and the Giants didn’t punt in the first half here, scoring on all five possessions…and their first possession of the second half as well. Even with a healthy receiving corps and a pro bowl caliber quarterback, Seattle doesn’t look like a playoff team with their defense playing at this level.

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Re: NFC betting tidbits: Week 5

Blade wrote:

NFC betting tidbits: Week 5

This team simply cannot be trusted to show up for an early start East Coast game, post bye week or not. The track record in these games under Mike Holmgren is truly disastrous, as their performance against the Bills in Week 1 and their showing against the Giants here would indicate.

This is a great angle to play in the NFL or College just look how the Chargers looked on Sunday.

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