Reporting Scott Garceau
With the Ravens idle until Monday night, maybe a trip to the mall for Holiday shopping on Sunday. On second thought, forget about it! Let’s get real and take a look at what I think are the 3 best match-ups this weekend.
–New England (10-2) at Chicago (9-3) 4:15 Sunday
The Patriots are coming off a near perfect game, hammering the Jets 45-3 Monday night. The Bears lead the NFC North and are after their 6th straight win. While New England’s offense averages 50 yards a game more than Chicago’s, the Bears defense, ranked third in the NFL, gives up 90 yards a game less than the Patriots.
Numbers: Tom Brady is having an MVP season, he already has passed for over 3,000 yards and leads the league in TD passes and QB rating (27/109.5). The Patriots are best in the AFC with a +14 turnover ration. The Bears are +3.
Patriots have won 20 of their last 21 regular season games against the NFC. The Bears Julius Peppers has 5 sacks in his last 3 games. Devin Hester leads the NFC in PR average (15.1) and his 2 TD punt returns tie for the NFL lead. The weather could be a factor, the forecast says 60% chance of snow, windy and a high of 21. The line, Patriots by 3.
–Kansas City (8-4) at San Diego (6-6) 4:15 Sunday
A Kansas City win and the Chiefs are the best in the West. The Chargers were in the midst of another late season charge when they laid an egg last week with a 28-13 home loss to the Raiders. The Chiefs may have to play this key game without quarterback Matt Cassell who underwent an appendectomy earlier this week. Brodie Croyle is the backup.
By the numbers: Chargers have won 5 of the last 6 in this series. They spanked the Chiefs in San Diego last year 43-14. Chiefs RB Jamal Charles is having a terrific season. Charles has run for over 1,100 yards and is averaging 6.2 yards a carry. If he can maintain that pace he’ll join the great Jim Brown as the only players in NFL history to rush for over 1,100 yards and average 6.2+ yards per carry.
Chargers defense is #1 in the NFL in yards allowed and passing yards allowed ( 281.5/186.3). I like the Chargers here, they’re a touchdown favorite.
–Philadelphia (8-4) at Dallas (4-8) 8:20 Sunday Night
This looked like a biggie when the schedule came out, but a lot has changed since then. Vick in, Romo out; Garrett in, Phillips out; Eagles in contention Cowboys out. The Cowboys have won 3 of the last 4 in this series including a 24-0 shutout in Dallas last January. The Eagles like December, they’ve won 11 of their last 12 in this month.
Crunching Numbers: Mike Vick’s TD to interception ratio is 15 to 2, his rating (105.7) is the best in the NFC. Turnover ratio the Eagles +15, Cowboys -3. The Eagles De Sean Jackson has 22 career TD’s they average an incredible 45.7 yards. Cowboys QB Jon Kitna passed for 446 yards in his last game against the Eagles (2007 with Detroit). The Eagles are a 4 point favorite. Just a hunch, could be a Cowboys upset.
On the Scott Garceau show this week I suggested the Ravens may be facing the NFL’s best triplets Monday night in Houston. They’re not Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin but the Texans have a talented trio. Here’s a look at the teams two 3′s.
Flacco– 62.3%, 2,988 yards, 19TD/8int
Rice– 844 rush, 4.0 avg., 3 TD
Boldin– 56-770,13.8, 7 TD
Schaub– 64.0%, 3089 yards, 17TD/8 int
Foster–1230 rush, 5.0 avg., 13 TD
Johnson– 71-1018, 14.3, 5 TD
Triple trouble! Is there a better than 3? Atlanta’s got a very good group. Am I missing anybody?
Scott Garceau-weekday afternoons 2-7 on 105.7 The FAN