By Phil Steele
NY Jets at Buffalo
Rex Ryan ensured that the Jets would again be on the front page of every NY paper promoting McElroy as the starting QB. He was 14-24 with a 0-1 ratio vs San Diego and his struggles to make the correct reads were obvious as he was sacked 11 times. Now Ryan is going back to Sanchez in this one. These two also faced off in the season opener with the Jets winning 48-28 and after that explosion NY avg’d just 16 ppg the rest of the way. Buffalo is off a loss at Miami and while they only totaled 7 pts they won the yardage battle 381-301 but were -4 TO’s. The Jets know their season is over, they know they’ll have a new OC and DC, they know the roster will be blown up and they now also have to deal with feuding QB’s to split the team even further. The Bills will pounce on the chance to beat the other state of NY AFC team for the first time in 6 tries and a win here would give them a 3rd place finish leaving the Jets in last.
PHIL’S FORECAST: BUFFALO 24 NY JETS 21
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By Phil Steele
Tennessee at Green Bay
Tough spot for Tennessee off a MN game vs the Jets and now travel to a playoff need GB team in cold weather. Tennessee lost 2 starting OL prior the Jets game and against 3-4 defenses they are 1-4 with the only win vs a tired PIT team travelling on Thursday. GB is 7-0 at home in Dec w/a 37-15 avg score prior to DET and they have a huge edge with Rodgers (255 ypg, 67%, 14-5 at home this year) vs the #18 pass defense w/a 24-10 ratio. I’m not worried about RB Johnson influencing the pace of the game here as GB has only allowed 76 ypg (3.7) vs foes w/a losing record this year. I also like the matchup of Capers w/a defense that is expected to get healthier vs a young QB here. I’ll call for the home team by 17.
PHIL’S FORECAST: GREEN BAY 30 TENNESSEE 13
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By Phil Steele
Philadelphia at Washington
For the 3rd yr in a row the Redskins come off the bye week vs PHI. There were hints that teams may have figured out Griffin who was held to 196 ypg vs PIT/CAR (5.2 & 5.5 ypa’s) with just 61 total yards rushing. Both teams employed a power run style to wear down the Redskins defense as they allowed 140 (5.2) and 129 ypg (4.8) on the ground. WAS has struggled to pressure QB’s (#19 w/14) and teams have hit them for a 20-10 ratio so far. While Reid is now clearly on the “hot seat” his best attribute has been preparing his squad to travel on the NFC East road. The offenses are close, my ST rankings also have them close but the biggest difference is in the D. The Eagles stop unit has been bashed and went through a DC change but they are still #11 allowing 344 ypg and their last 6 opponents have offenses that ranked #11, #14, #2, #8, # 5 and #6. Despite being off 5 straight losses a division win can ease the pressure for a day or two and the players may finally reach their potential playing loose. Even if Vick is unable to go a change may not be the worst thing.
Categories: NFL Picks Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland, dallas, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, NY Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St Louis, Tampa Bay, Washington
New England at Buffalo – NE is off last week’s last second loss to BAL. In last year’s first game the Bills snapped a 15 game losing streak to the Patriots with Fitzpatrick passing for 369 yards (59%) with a 2-2 ratio. NE brought the hammer in the rematch with a 49-21 win in the season finale vs an injury depleted Bills team that was held to 122 yards in the 2H with 4 TO’s. BUF has snared a pair of wins vs a KC team with the #21 rush defense (4.7) along with a pass defense allowing an 8-1 ratio as well as a CLE team laden with rookies. They are expected to miss both RB’s Spiller (102 ypg, 9.3) and Jackson who is the offensive leader. While this is NE’s third road game in 4 weeks with DEN/Peyton on deck, I’ll go with the Patriots in a higher scoring game. PHIL’S FORECAST: NEW ENGLAND 34 BUFFALO 16
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A couple of weeks ago I gave you the odds to win the 2011 National Championship courtesy of Bodog.com. In today’s blog I will give you the Hilton’s updated NC odds plus the Hilton has just released their odds to win next year’s AFC/NFC championship plus Super Bowl XLVI.
If you are in Las Vegas at anytime in the next couple of months make sure to stay at the Hilton to get advanced odds on the 2011 college football season and advanced odds on the NFL.
Also make sure you are checking out my updated 2011 Draft Preview with a Top 10 position by position outlook and the top performers at each position during each drill at the combine.
Don’t forget to check out our Spring Central section to get 2011 schedules, coaching changes, who’s back/who’s not and all the NFL Draft early entrants. Read more…
Categories: nfl Baltimore, blog, college football, Green Bay, New England, nfl, NY Jets, odds, phil steele, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Super Bowl
As you know I’ve always spent about 90% of my time on college football but I am very excited about our NFL Magazine. I have the same desire to mirror my success of being college footballs “most accurate” magazine by becoming the most accurate NFL Magazine as well. In this years magazine (which is now available) I project each of the division races with records. I want to share just how much work and research goes into making these forecasts.
I’ve posted several articles on my blog including: repeating as a division champ and slipping and sliding can help you analyze a teams fortunes. These are just part of the research I do annually to make my predictions. The schedule is of course an important part of analyzing the upcoming season. Read more…
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Here are my selections for this week’s NFL Action:
Seattle at Green Bay
Including playoffs this is the 4th straight season with a meeting between the teams. In their last meeting Green Bay went into Seattle and beat them 27-17. Green Bay had a 313-177 yard edge vs a very depleted Seattle team that started its #3 quarterback due to injuries. Seattle had a 17-3 lead when the Packers scored 24 unanswered points then allowed a garbage TD late in the 4th quarter. Green Bay QB Rodgers had 208 yards (70%) with 2 TD’s. Green Bay’s #2 rush defense which is allowing 89 yards per game (3.9 ypc) at home this year vs weak Seattle rush attack. Rodgers has averaged 269 yards per game (66%) with a 13-3 ratio at home this year and has only been sacked 6 times in the last four games prior to Pittsburgh. Seattle’s #16 pass rush has been balanced this year pulling in 12 sacks on the road but are allowing 290 yards per game (71%) with a 15-4 ratio on the road. Seattle has been outgained by 138 yards per game in the 4 games prior to Tampa Bay as their defense wears down & defenses have figured out how to expose the offensive line. Green Bay has lots to play for as they want the #5 seed, have a road trip to Arizona on deck & Seattle simply doesn’t travel well with their only road win this year being vs a St Louis team that started Boller.
PHIL’S FORECAST: GREEN BAY 27 Seattle 10
Categories: NFL Picks Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, nfl, NY Giants, NY Jets, Oakland, phil steele, picks, Pittsburgh, Week 16