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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'll be 'doggone, if you ain't a pretty thing

The underdogs of pro football didn't do much to help the players in our charity game last weekend, but we suspect they'll be stronger this coming weekend. Here are the offerings. See a 'dog (in caps) that can win its game outright?

13 JACKSONVILLE at Green Bay
7.5 CAROLINA at Chicago
7 ST. LOUIS vs. New England
6.5 TAMPA BAY at Minnesota (Thursday, pick due 5:20 p.m.)
6.5 ARIZONA vs. San Francisco (Monday, pick still due Sunday 10 a.m.)
6 NEW ORLEANS at Denver
5 WASHINGTON at Pittsburgh
3.5 INDIANAPOLIS at Tennessee
3 CLEVELAND vs. San Diego
2.5 SEATTLE at Detroit
1 MIAMI at New York Jets
1 ATLANTA at Philadelphia
1 OAKLAND at Kansas City
1 DALLAS vs. New York Giants

Comments (12)

The NFL's Most (And Least) Liked Players
Tom Van Riper, Forbes Staff (10/23/2012)

Local boy pops up on top of one of those two lists. Rhymes with "Guess who?"

Go Broncos!

Mojo- Suh played for Central Catholic, so we have local boys at the top of both lists. Interesting tidbit.

Thanks, U.K. I meant Suh. Polamalu isn't really "local." Absurdly funny new H&S special commercial featuring Troy was on at the beginning of The Jimmy Kimmel Show last night, btw. Excellent football player, excellent person, excellent family.

And, hey, if I was running the sound system when Suh & the Detriot Lions were visiting my hometeam, I'd play this during the first t.v. timeout when my team was on offense:


Btw, can't see the Bucs upsetting the Vikes in MN tomorrow.

Suh went to Grant High School...

As trade deadline approaches, expect Tim Tebow trade talk to increase
By Brian McIntyre | Shutdown Corner – 6 hours ago

He'd be a hit in Kansas City.

Without Maurice Jones-Drew at RB, and QB Gabbert struggling, Jacksonville has no reasonable chance to win at Lambeau Field. Looking to the Carolina game for "Gamblers' Corner."

Well, bust my buttons! The Buccaneers threw the Vikings overboard! Underdogs can live & hope forever!

Mojo's Best Bets
Werewolves of London Edition
("But, there's only one 'Werewolves of New Jersey'....I think it was Clarence Clemmons.....)
Warren Zevon, Live at the Capitol Theater, Passaic NJ, 1982 (HD)

"Best Bets"
(Last week 1-0; overall 5-4 (.555))

ATLANTA (+1) at Philadelphia -- Interesting contrasts presented in this match-up, with Philly's QB Michael Vick facing his old team now flying high under his successor, Falcons' sharp QB Matt Ryan. The Falcons are a well put-together team performing superbly together so far this season, the NFL's sole remaining undefeated team. Meanwhile, the Eagles' are molting, having unceremoniously shed their scape-goated defensive coordinator. Vick is underperforming and turning the ball over as he presses to compensate for the Eagles' lack of any good weapons on offense other than RB Shady McCoy. The Eagles defense will not be able to keep up with the Falcons' high-functioning run-pass attack. We're not yet at the halfway point in this charity game, so a 1-point pick-up isn't something to scoff at. The Raiders wouldn't be a bad pick this week either.

SEATTLE (+2.5) at Detroit -- Simply put: the Seahawks' team offense & defense is just going to frustrate and hassle the heck out of the Lions' incomplete collection of solo artists. Alex Karras would not be pleased. Another good road test for Seattle's rookie QB Russell Wilson. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch should find some running room and break some key runs against Detroit's banged-up defense, who will be without starting LB DeAndre Levy (listed as "doubtful" with hamstring injury).

"Upset Special"
(Last week, 0-1; overall, 3-4 (.429))

NEW ORLEANS (+6) at Denver -- The last time the Saints faced Broncos QB Peyton Manning was in 2009, when New Orleans beat Indy in the Super Bowl. That was then, this is now. The key to this game for the Saints to prevail is to be able to run the ball just well enough to keep the Broncos defense from constantly teeing off on Brees and creating turnovers off of those pass plays and attempts. Screen passes could be effective in the first half to help keep the defense off-balance enough to open things up for Brees to dissect Denver and keep Manning's offensive opportunities time-limited. The Saints lead the NFL in passing at 335.2 yards per game, and they’re 3rd in points per game (29.3).

Manning will be using a lot of no-huddle to take advantage of the Saints' various weaknesses on defense. New Orleans need to recover its defensive tenacity and make punishingly hard tackles, creating more opportunities for turnovers, which may be the deciding statistic in the end. Despite the contest between two future Hall-of-Fame QBs, this one could well be decided by the performance of the special teams, with Denver maybe having an edge in the return game, But, keep your eye on Saints' spectacular return artist, Darrell Sproles, who historically has big games against the Broncos, ever since his days with Denver's division rival, the San Diego Chargers. You can bet that Sproles will be up more than a mile high for this game, probably seeing some action at RB, too (remember to watch for those screens!). Interesting note: Saints' P, Thomas Morstead, leads the NFL in both Gross and Net Punting Yards, and their long-snapper on punts and FG's, Justin Drescher, played his college ball over at Colorado.

"Gamblers' Corner"
(Last week, 0-1; overall 2-4 (.333))

ST. LOUIS (+7) vs. New England (in London) -- Even though Patriots Coach Bill Belichick plays around with injury reports, with both safeties Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung out and having two rookies start in their places, the Rams offense should be able to make good yardage and score passing the ball downfield against one of the NFL's worst pass defenses. Other key bona fide injured players for the Patriots include TE Aaron Hernandez (out) and WR Wes Welker (questionable). The Rams have been in London since Tuesday preparing for this game. The Pats' arrived just yesterday and may have some jet lag problems to deal with, especially if the Rams' passing attack blasts off in the first quarter. Ah-woo-ooooo!

Warren Zevon's last Letterman Appearance
Part 1
Part 3
(Performing "Genius" from his last album, "My Ride Is Here")

That's "Darren" Sproles, sorry.

Another interesting backstory this week, especially for you transplanted Chicagoans -- former Super Bowl XX Champion ('85) Bears' LB Ron Rivera, currently the head coach of the Carolina Panthers (1-5), faces the 5-and-1 Bears in Chicago, on what could be the first leg of Rivera's farewell tour as the Panthers' coach.

Rivera has 10 games to correct those issues and start winning. Otherwise, Rivera expects to suffer the same fate as former general manager Marty Hurney, who was fired Monday by owner Jerry Richardson.

From Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera knows what he must change: himself

It would be a pretty exciting upset at Soldier Field, but a very tall order. Maybe Cutler will have one of his psyched-out 4-interception games. Ron Rivera and the Panthers can only hope and try to make that happen. Maybe rookie ninth-overall pick Luke Keuchly, starting now at MLB, can put the growl back into the Panthers.

In his two games at middle linebacker, Kuechly has accumulated 34 tackles, 21 of them solo takedowns. That’s reminiscent of the numbers he put up at Boston College, where he became the NCAA’s second all-time leading tackler despite leaving after his junior season. -- Luke Kuechly fits right in as middle linebacker, Charlottean http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/10/26/2438676/luke-kuechly-fits-right-in-as.html

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