So after a brief hiatus due to moving house and internet issues, let’s see if we can pick some winners in a week with a lot of good matchups..
First I’m going to take the hot-hand that is the New York Giants extending their winning streak to 4 games and have them covering the -4 handicap against a Green Bay Packer team without QB Aaron Rodgers while they do it.
Without Rodgers, opposing defences have been selling out to stop RB Eddie Lacy and the Packers’ run game. This does leave the secondary exposed to some one on ones on the outside, but Green Bay’s backup QB, Scott Tolzien, has not been able to take advantage of this.
Green bay’s defence on the other hand has not been playing well. Allowing 27 points, at home, against 2 backup QBs since Rodgers went down.
With Rodgers playing this is a different game entirely, but I can’t see Green Bay being able to beat a resurgent Giants team at home.
Next, I’ll be taking the Under 43.5 points in the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons.
Both of these teams have been struggling for various reasons offensively this year and rank in the bottom 10 for points a game, with Atlanta averaging a lowly 20.7 and Tampa Bay averaging an awful 16.2.
A tricky game to call a winner on, but I feel it will be a low-scoring and close match.
Finally, I like the Detroit Lions -3 beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I believe this game is going to come down to one key stat – Sacks.
This season Lions QB Matthew Stafford has been sacked a league-low 10 times, which given the number of passes he’s attempted is quite amazing. Compare that to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger who has been sacked 35 times this season (2nd in the league).
There are a number of reasons for this; sometimes Roethlisberger holding the ball too long, sometimes his receivers can’t get open, sometimes the OL protection breaking down too quickly.. but there’s one that jumps out to me is that the Steelers can’t run the ball – They rank 27th in the league with only 80.6 yards a game.
When you can’t run the ball you become one-dimensional and, given the talent on Detroit’s defensive line, it could be a long day for Roethlisberger.