Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 11 (AKA Pats/Colts and Other Less Important Stuff)

Pats v. Colts:
And here we are, the yearly installation of what has become the most historically significant rivalry since Bird-Magic. Brady's Pats and Manning's Colts stand as the two top 3 franchises of the last 15 years (with Pittsburgh), with Brady and Manning inarguably the top two players of that era.

For this week, New England seems to have the overall better squad and is well-served by a cold-weather Foxboro afternoon. The Pats should be able to win the up front battles, both on offense and defense, setting up a better chance to succeed in the passing games. Look for the Pats to try to pound the undersized Colt defense with Mankins, Light, a combination of Crumpler and Gronkowski. By hammering consistently with Green-Ellis, the play action should be effective. Brady's pass protection has been excellent lately, and it should continue--sealing the deal with short and intermediate routes.

The Colts have little choice but to try to spread the Pats out on defense, and go after the weak links in pass coverage. They're going to put as much pressure as possible on Kyle Arrington and James Sanders, since they're both liabilities in coverage. Wayne will get his, even though the Pats will try to key on him and force the secondary receivers to make plays. Look for Pat Chung to lock down the tight end Tamme and raise hell in the run game. Also, we'll probably see more Gary Guyton this week in place of Spikes since he's faster and much better in coverage.
Pats, 27-20

San Diego v. Denver:
Does anyone know whether Denver's not crappy? Hmm...I think not. I'm guessing this week will look a lot more like the Oakland 59-14 loss than last week's bizarre win over KC. San Diego looks tough, albeit flawed.

The Broncos really don't have an answer for San Diego's pass game, even though Matthews looks like kind of a stiff. He'll get better, but probably not in 2010. Even if Denver plays nickel the entire game, they can't get any pressure and the coverage will inevitably break down. The Bronco offense is actually very similar to San Diego's but the Charger defense is still a few steps better.
Chargers, 30-16

Oakland v. Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh's injuries have really killed them lately. Their offensive line is in shambles, and their front 3 in the 3-4 have taken major hits with Aaron Smith and Keisel missing time. In a normal, healthy universe, this game, at Pittsburgh, should be about a 24-13 Steeler win. But...

...the Steelers aren't healthy and the Raiders are a team well-suited to take them on. The Raider front 7 is a physical, talented unit that is going to give the Steeler offense a ton of trouble. Seymour should have a monster game--7 tackles, 2-3 sacks. On the other hand, the Raider offense is ok, but probably not good enough up front to really cause major problems. And the passing game won't see much success. If McFadden can have some success, they could make some plays with a loosened up front 7. It's going to be a close one, but I like the Steeler defense just a little more.
Steelers, 16-13.

NYG v. Philadelphia:
This game is obviously going to be determined by the ability of the Giant front 7 to control Vick. If they can force Vick to stay in the pocket and throw with pressure, the Giants can probably pull it out. If Vick is able to move and make plays, Philly wins by 10 points. The Giants need to win this game with their offense--grind it out and keep the Eagle offense off the field. Philly's defense is more opportunistic than it is really a shut-down unit, so the Giants should be able to put up points if they can avoid turnovers.

We can't put too much into the Redskins game last week. Washington flat out quit early and is a terrible match trying to cover a fast team. The Giants have to commit a constant double to DeSean Jackson and force Vick to read progressions through the other receivers. And, they have to--HAVE TO--wrap up and make tackles when they can. Almost every big play against the Redskins last week involved a broken sloppy tackle by a broken sloppy team. Another thing to watch out for--the Vick injury potential. These games against big aggressive defenses are the types where he could take a hard hit and miss some time.
Eagles, 27-24

No comments:

Post a Comment