The Philadelphia Eagles enter the Monday Night Football game as unlikely underdogs. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints are hoping to erase the memories of last week's drubbing at the hands of the Denver Broncos. The good news for these teams is that somebody has to win tonight. Let's take a closer look and see who might have the edge.
Before Week 9 kicked off, Las Vegas pegged the Saints as -2 favorites on the look-ahead line. Yet, after the Eagles made a mess of their game against the Falcons the line re-opened at -3.5. Since then, some money has come in on the underdog moving the line to -3 at most places. There are hints that a -2.5 could be had with a bit extra juice, but you'll have to shop around to find the best numbers.
At the start of the season this match-up appeared like a much better game than it currently is. Now we have two walking wounded scratching and clawing to salvage a nightmare season.
For the (1-6) Carolina Panthers this season has been about as miserable as any I can recall. The Panthers have not only failed to live up to high expectations, but have done so in epic fashion. Many experts picked them as a potential super bowl contender coming into the season; it’s safe to say that’s out of the question as they now rank dead last in the NFC after just nine weeks of play.
There’s no doubt the Panthers have the talent to win games, but for some reason they continue to lose week in and week out. They have just one win through seven games, losing five straight after blowing fourth quarter leads in four of those contest.
It’s heartbreaking for players and fans alike, having already cost General Manager Marty Hurney his job after an 11 year stretch defined by his teams up and down success. There could be more firings on the way if the Panthers fail to improve their play, and with a tough upcoming schedule it seems likely that things will only get worse before they get better.
Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears Preview and Prediction:
The Carolina Panthers (1-5) are now one third of the way through the 2012 season, and have little to show for it. With the recent firing of General Manager Marty Hurney, Panther’s fans hope it’s not too late to turn things around. A win against the Chicago Bears this Sunday could go a long way in doing just that.
A losing environment has surrounded the Carolina Panthers franchise over the past four years, making it a clear decision something needed to change. This leaves Hurney as the odd man out. It’s a tuff pill to swallow for the Panthers as many players held a close relationship with the long time GM. They even accepted responsibility for his firing, knowing this came as a result of their recent play on the field.
Players such as defensive end Charles Johnson backed up his former General Manager with statements on Twitter: "Marty wasn't the reason we are losing! ... Unbelievable!"
Today’s NFL is a passer’s league. Long gone are the days when the offense revolved around the workhouse running backs like the Cleveland Jim Browns of yesteryear. The early 1970’s Bills with O.J. “The Juice” Simpson, or even the Luv Ya Blue Oilers with Earl Campbell were classic examples. Today the running back position is not valued as much as it used to be, but once in awhile a special running back comes along that is worth that first round pick investment.
If the NFL Draft consisted of three special running backs and you were given the same statistical categories for each one, would you consider using your teams first round pick on a running back? We will begin with option A, who gained 3,130 yards rushing with a 5.8 yards per carry average and cashed in 35 rushing touchdowns during a three-year SEC career. Pretty nice right?
Oakland Raiders v. Atlanta Falcons Preview: Week 6
The Atlanta Falcons tremendous start to the 2012 season has been no surprise to the NFL. Their high powered offensive attack has literally blown away opposing defenses. Starting quarterback Matt Ryan attributes much of this success to the flashy weaponry at his disposal as Roddy White and Julio Jones boasts a deadly wide receiving tandem along with the ageless wonder tight end Tony Gonzalez whose 39 catches are tops in the league.
Throughout the course of Matt Ryan’s career Atlanta has had very little trouble winning in the regular season. His consistency at quarterback has been truly remarkable, all but solidifying himself as an elite player in the NFL. However, he has turned out miserable performances in his three playoff games with the Falcons (all losses). These particular games have defined Ryan’s career, holding him back from joining the league's elites in the eyes of fans. For him nothing would be more pleasurable than to erase those memories with a deep playoff run this year.