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Nov 7, 2012 10:05pm
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With 14 games on the NFL schedule in Week Nine, 10 of the games boast point
spreads of four points or less. Andrew
Luck Jersey
. You want parity? Youve got parity. Check out this
weeks Power Rankings for more of my takes on all 32 teams. A look at the
Week Nine matchups in the NFL: KANSAS CITY (+7.5) at SAN DIEGO Even though the
Chiefs secondary has some playmakers, including CB Brandon Flowers and FS
Eric Berry, they have been wholly ineffective in pass coverage this season,
allowing a touchdown pass every 12.7 pass attempts, easily the worst rate in the
league. That would figure to benefit a Chargers offence that has been atypically
ineffective passing the ball, with Philip Rivers resorting to more short throws
than ever before. If Rivers turns it loose, Malcom Floyd is the likely
beneficiary, since he has recorded half of the 20 Chargers pass plays that have
gone for at least 20 yards. Additionally, Vincent Brown remains out, Eddie Royal
is likely out and Robert Meachem is dealing with a strained hamstring, so
Danario Alexander could find his way into the San Diego offence. Kansas Citys
passing attack has been inconsistent, at best, but it might be their best hope
to move the chains against the Chargers. San Diegos run defence has been as good
as any in the league, allowing 80 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. After
a week in which Jamaal Charles was limited to five yards on five carries, it
would make sense for the Chiefs to get him more involved this week, even if its
just a matter of keeping San Diegos defence honest. DENVER (-3.5) at CINCINNATI
As long as Peyton Manning is playing at such a high level, its difficult to
forecast him slowing down against Cincinnati, a team that has struggled in pass
defence this season. Opposing quarterbacks have a 97.9 QB rating against the
Bengals and only three teams have been worse, so turning loose Manning,
Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker does make it seem likely that the Broncos will
be able to score. Cincinnati may not mind the shootout approach, since QB
Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green have been a dangerous duo, but if the Broncos
could shut down the New Orleans passing game last week, then the Bengals are
likely going to be fighting uphill. Being at home and coming off their bye week
could help level the playing field, but they have to get Manning off his game or
it wont much matter. BALTIMORE (-3.5) at CLEVELAND The dirty secret of the
vaunted Baltimore Ravens facing the Cleveland Browns is that Clevelands defence
has as good, if not better, particularly when they have shutdown corner
Joe Haden on the field. Baltimore, missing Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, allow
sizeable chunks of yardage in the passing game, yet have remained relatively
unscathed (tied with a league-low six passing TDs allowed), certainly when
compared to a Cleveland defence that has surrendered 15 passing touchdowns.
Baltimore has even struggled with run defence, allowing 142.9 yards per game on
the ground, which ranks 30th in the league, and would seem to play right into
the Browns hands, since their best plan of attack is to use Trent Richardson to
soften up the defence before trying to get deep with WR Josh Gordon. As has been
the case since Lewis and Webb were injured, the Ravens need to count on their
offence more than ever, but its a different animal for QB Joe Flacco to be
counted on as the focal point for his teams success, as opposed to the guy who
merely converts when his defence provides good field position. ARIZONA (+11) at
GREEN BAY Those were heady days when the Arizona Cardinals were 4-0 to start the
season, but they are a long way from there now. Even if the Cardinals have a
secondary that could make matters difficult for Aaron Rodgers and Co., its hard
to fathom Arizona scoring enough to keep up. For that to happen, they would need
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling to take advantage against a depleted Packers front
seven and then wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts can put
pressure on the Packers defensive backs. That latter factor isnt so easy because
Green Bay wont be afraid to force John Skelton to beat their corners in
coverage, but if the Cards can run a little bit, then turning Skelton loose
could give Arizona a punchers chance. On the other hand, Green Bay isnt getting
enough from their ground game to rest comfortably, even against an inferior
team. If Alex Green cant keep the Cardinals defence honest, and there is reason
to doubt the effectiveness of his 2.9 yards per carry, then Rodgers has to
throw, which is fine because hes great at it, but the Packers could be missing
Jordy Nelson again and its not as easy to trust the Green Bay passing game when
James Jones and Randall Cobb are at the top of the depth chart—theyre good,
but arent accustomed to facing the top corners week after week, either. BUFFALO
(+10) at HOUSTON This is the one where the Houston Texans see what theyre
missing now that Mario Williams is in Buffalo (assuming Williams can play,
following wrist surgery). Er, maybe it will be more like Williams seeing how
good they have it in Houston, even without him. Houston has the leagues busiest
running back, Arian Foster, who will continue to see a heavy workload with
Ben Tate sidelined, and Justin Forsett moving into the backup role. Facing
Buffalo, the team with the worst run defence in the league, gives the Texans
exactly the kind of matchup that fits their conservative offensive approach; an
approach that has relegated WR Andre Johnson to a relative afterthought. It says
something about the Texans that they can achieve this success while not
utilizing Johnson as much as possible. Buffalo is coming off their bye week and
have a strong running game in their own right, thanks to Fred Jackson and
C.J. Spiller, but Houston hasnt surrendered a rushing touchdown yet this season
and there isnt much reason to think that the Bills are the team to win the
battles in the trenches. MIAMI (-2) at INDIANAPOLIS Miamis passing game is still
a work in progress, but their running game is relatively dangerous, even if
Reggie Bush has slowed since getting hurt earlier in the season. Going against
an Indy defence that allows 4.8 yards per carry should allow Bush and
Daniel Thomas to grind out yards against the Colts. Indianapolis had their best
running game of the season last week at Tennessee, but they arent likely have
the same kind of success against a Miami defence that thrives at the point of
attack. As a result, the Colts best chance to score will be to turn QB
Andrew Luck loose. Luck has one touchdown pass in his last three games but,
going against a Miami team that has allowed 281 passing yards per game should be
an opportunity for Luck to connect with wideouts Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery and
T.Y. Hilton, as well as TE Dwayne Allen, who will start in place of injured
Coby Fleener. DETROIT (-4) at JACKSONVILLE There will be a certain amount of
talk about the Jaguars dealing Mike Thomas, their leading receiver (44 catches)
in 2011, to the Lions this week, but he has just 13 catches for 80 yards this
season, so hes not exactly an impact player and probably just depth for the
Lions, behind Calvin Johnson, Titus Young and rookie Ryan Broyles. The issue for
the Lions is that Johnson may be slowed by a knee injury. Hes managed just six
catches, on 19 targets, for 80 yards in the last two games and if hes not
Megatron, that puts a lot more pressure on others in the Lions offence.
Jacksonvilles most dangerous offensive player is injured RB Maurice Jones-Drew,
so Rashad Jennings will see a lot of action against Detroit but, as mediocre as
the Lions run defence has been this year, theyve only allowed two rushing
touchdowns and forcing Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert to win the game through the air
hasnt proven to be a problematic strategy in most cases. CHICAGO (-3.5) at
TENNESSEE After a narrow escape against Carolina last week, the Bears cant be
resting too comfortably on a visit to Tennessee. The Bears do have a top run
defence, allowing 77.9 yards per game, so they might contain Titans RB
Chris Johnson, who has been hitting his stride, rushing for 381 yards in the
last three games. Not only does Chicago play strong run D, but corners
Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings have been two of the leagues best this year,
making for a tough matchup even if the Titans take to the air. Tennessees
defence, on the other hand, has struggled. They have allowed opposing
quarterbacks to post a 105.8 QB Rating, second-worst in the league, and they
rank 28th with 139.3 rushing yards per game allowed. CAROLINA (+3) at WASHINGTON
The Panthers deserved a better fate at Chicago last week and this will be an
interesting opportunity for Cam Newton, last seasons rookie QB darling, to match
up against the new-and-improved version, Robert Griffin III. Newton threw for a
season-high 314 yards against Chicagos strong defence, so he could certainly put
up some yardage against a Washington secondary that is allowing 314.3 passing
yards per game. WR Brandon LaFell may be questionable due to a concussion, so
consider Louis Murphy as a sleeper for the Panthers. All the same, the Panthers
defence has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 68.1% of their passes,
second-worst in the league so even if the Redskins dont have great targets,
Griffin III should be able to hit up Santana Moss (who has four touchdowns in
the last four games) and Leonard Hankerson. TAMPA BAY (pick) at OAKLAND The
Raiders have an above-average run defence, so they can focus on stopping rookie
RB Doug Martin, who got loose against the Vikings for 214 yards from scrimmage
last Thursday and that job gets a little easier with the Bucs losing LG
Carl Nicks due to a toe injury. Even if the Raiders slow down the Tampa Bay
running game, however, Bucs QB Josh Freeman has been elevating his game,
throwing for three touchdowns and posting a QB Rating over 100 in each of the
last three games, so the Bucs can get the ball downfield to receivers
Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. When it comes to the Raiders offence, they
use RB Darren McFadden a lot, but the Bucs are allowing just 3.5 yards per
carry, as DT Gerald McCoy leads a group that tends to be effective in the battle
at the point of attack. However, Tampa Bays secondary has been depleted by
suspensions, so Carson Palmer wont hesitate to send Denarius Moore and
Darrius Heyward-Bey deep in order to take advantage. MINNESOTA (+5) at SEATTLE
Minnesotas early momentum has faded somewhat, with losses in two of their last
three games and, more importantly, QB Christian Ponder struggling—a situation
that doesnt figure to improve against Seattles first-rate corners
(Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman) and pass rush provided by Chris Clemons
and Bruce Irvin. The good news for Minnesota is that, if they arent able to
throw the ball, they can turn to Adrian Peterson, who has run for 276 yards in
the last two games. Seattle, and rookie QB Russell Wilson, have been much better
at home and, after what Doug Martin did to Minnesota last week, Marshawn Lynch
should be the driving force of the Seattle offence. If the Seahawks take to the
air, ex-Viking Sidney Rice is the most likely target with potential for a decent
day. PITTSBURGH (+3) at N.Y. GIANTS The Steelers have the passing game to keep
up with the G-Men, but its going to be some question about who handles the
running game. Jonathan Dwyer has put up back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, but
a calf injury puts his status in doubt. Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall have
been out of the lineup too, so it would be desperate times if Baron Batch is
forced to start. Pittsburghs strength, the second-ranked pass defence, does pose
a challenge for the Giants strength, a passing game led by with Victor Cruz,
Hakeem Nicks and others hauling in passes from Eli Manning. Perhaps the most
interesting aspect of this game will be that the Steelers, unable to find hotel
accomodations in New York, will be travelling on the day of the game. That seems
like a rushed day, but at least it is a 4:25 ET kickoff. DALLAS (+4) at ATLANTA
The Dallas Cowboys are a great opponent for very good teams because they put on
a decent show, yet still fall short in the end. QB Tony Romo threw four
interceptions to dig in the Cowboys into a hole against the Giants last week,
only to march them up and down the field in the second half, passing for a
career-high 437 yards in the loss, but hell likely have to pass frequently to
keep up with the Falcons high-powered offence. To Dallas credit, and giving them
a chance at the upset, their corners—Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne—
have been able to rise to the challenge at times when facing strong receivers,
so if they could even neutralize Julio Jones and Roddy White somewhat, then the
game would be more competitive. PHILADELPHIA (+3) at NEW ORLEANS The Monday
nighter will feature an awfully bright spotlight on Michael Vick, whose starting
job has reportedly been in jeopardy (no matter what denials have since come
out), so Vick needs to play well and if he cant do it against a New Orleans
defence that stinks out loud, then that ought to be an indication that his game
isnt where it needs to be for the Eagles to make a push to the playoffs. Because
of Vicks inconsistency, there is uncertainty over just how much receivers
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will produce, but a matchup against New Orleans
is too tempting to pass up. The Saints appeared to be turning the corner going
into last weeks game at Denver, but having their offence shut down by the
Broncos turned the game into a humbling experience. If the Saints can lure the
Eagles into a track meet, that can work in New Orleans favour, particularly if
they can force turnovers from Vick. Scott Cullen can be reached at
Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.
Dwight Freeney Jersey . The San Jose
Earthquakes defender was chosen by Commissioner Don Garber to the 18-man roster,
joining 11 players voted to the squad by fans, and Garbers other pick,
Philadelphia Union defender Carlos Valdes. Andrew Luck Womens Jersey . Montreals 4-2 win
Saturday night left the Bruins languishing in 15th place in the East and 29th in
the league overall. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets sit below them. http://www.cheapindianapoliscoltsjersey.com/reggie-wayne-jersey?women=18
. LOUIS —Logan Couture and the San Jose Sharks are looking for a winning
streak to gain some traction in the highly competitive Western Conference. Pat Angerer Jersey . Ellis walked, drove in
two runs and extended his hitting streak to 12 games, while Cust went 2-for-4
for the Athletics, who have taken the first three games of the set after a
six-game slide. Anderson (7-6) yielded two runs—one earned—on eight hits
while walking one and striking out six to end the season with his 18th career
victory, the 3rd most wins by a pitcher before the age of 23 in Oakland
franchise history. Reggie Wayne Jersey .C. —Andrew Harris is
preparing to soar among the clouds at breakneck speed, but still striving to
keep his ego on the ground.NASCAR has announced the 2012 schedule for the sixth
season of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, which includes many of the top racing
facilities throughout Canada. Next seasons schedule features 12 dates at 12
different tracks across six provinces. The slate includes tracks and events
familiar to the series, with Edmonton returning to the schedule after a one-year
hiatus. “The 2012 schedule has a great mix of tracks that will deliver the
exciting racing that our Canadian fans have become accustomed,” said George
Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “Each year with
the help from our friends at Ca