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NFL Week 6 Preview: A Log Jam at the top of the AFC East Division

Suddenly, after a wild Monday night game in which 35 points were scored in the 4th quarter, the AFC East Division picture has become much more unclear.  New England’s loss to Denver on Sunday dropped the Patriots to 3 and 2, and the Jets loss to Miami on Monday night dropped New York to the same mark, so there is now a tie for first place in the AFC East.

The Jets’ loss did another thing.  It catapulted the formerly 0 and 3 Miami Dolphins into a one game deficit against the both the Jets and the Patriots at 2 and 3.  With the rapid quickness of a fleet footed Twilight high-schooler, the Dolphins have ripped open the coffin that so many had buried them in and clawed their way out of the ground to become a serious force in the AFC East Division. 

Miami also found a quarterback in Chad Henne.  Henne went 20 for 26 against the Jets defense for 241 yards and 2 touchdowns.  It was a masterful performance for Henne that came on the heels of a workmanlike performance just a week ago against Buffalo.  In that game, Henne was 14 out of 22 for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Henne now takes the Dolphins into their bye week with a 2 and 3 record and a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.

For the New York Jets, the wheels on that bus, which seemed more like a tank, are shaking a little.  After going 3 and 0, the Jets entered the Superdome in New Orleans and tackled a Saints team that took QB Mark Sanchez to school.  The Jets lost that game 24 to 10.  Although there were flashes of brilliance on Monday night from Sanchez and new wide receiver Braylon Edwards, the Jets defense allowed the Dolphins to go crazy.  The Fins racked up over 400 total yards and 21 points in the 4th quarter. 

The Jets can right the ship this Sunday when they take on the Buffalo Bills in a game where they almost assuredly will be at least a 6 ˝ point favorite.  Then, in three weeks, the Fins and Jets meet again in New York in a game that suddenly could mean a lot to both teams in terms of their chances of making the playoffs.

Two Best in the NFC Clash in the Superdome

For the second straight game, the New Orleans Saints will take on an undefeated team.  The Saints, undefeated themselves at 4 and 0 straight-up, and 4 and 0 ATS, will look to take down the New York Giants and assert themselves as the best team in the NFC. 

It won’t be easy for the Saints who are coming off of a bye week to face the stout and consistent Giants. The Giants have one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, averaging around 417 yards and over 30 points per game.  The Giants’ defense is equally good.  New York is ranked 1st in total defense.  They’re allowing a bit touch 210 yards per game.

Can the Saints who have the 3rd ranked offense and 6th ranked defense in the NFL stand up to the Giants who are obviously one of the best teams, if not the best, in the NFL?  According to the NFL odds makers, the answer is yes as New Orleans is a 3 point favorite to protect their home turf.  Expect the odds to go in favor of the G-Men the closer these two teams get to kick-off.  A line of even money or even 1 to 1 ˝ in favor of New York could happen.

NFL betting fans, though, shouldn’t be fooled by the rankings and stats.  The Giants have faced Washington, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Oakland in 4 of their 5 games in 2009.  That string of losers might be the four worst teams in the NFL right now.  The Saints’ dismantling of Philadelphia and the New York Jets is much more impressive than any victory New York has chalked up this year.

New Orleans is an excellent team and got an extra week to prepare for this game.  The G-Men had better be on their toes for this one.

Will Minnesota and Favre Go Down This Weekend?

The answer to that question is yes, they will.  Minnesota’s 14th ranked defense is allowing an average of 320 yards per game.  What’s more alarming is that after allowing less than 200 passing yards from Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco, Minnesota’s defensive backs allowed Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers to torch them for 324 passing yards and then they allowed the horrible St. Louis Rams to rack up 278 passing yards.

The problem is that Minnesota can’t stop the pass.  Their defensive backs, Antoine Whittfield, Cedric Griffin, Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson, only gave the illusion of being able to stop a passing attack because they played three of the worst passing teams in the NFL in Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco.

Unless Jared Allen and the rest of that Minnesota defensive line puts pressure on Ravens’ QB Joe Flaaco, expect the second year man to go off on that Vikings’ secondary.  The fact that Flaaco has Ray Rice at his disposal to carry the ball will only help matters.

Favre won’t get a chance to throw a last second touchdown in this one.  The Ravens’ defense is too good for heroics and Baltimore is hungry after losing two straight games.  In the NFL sportsbook, Baltimore is +120 on the money line to win straight up.  That’s a bet that most NFL bettors will have to consider making.

Bears vs. Falcons and Broncos vs. Chargers are Two Key Under the Radar Games

There are two key under the radar games this Sunday with the Chicago Bears, coming off of a bye, taking on the Atlanta Falcons.  The Falcons looked brilliant last Sunday when marching into San Francisco as slight underdogs and destroying the 49’ers 45 to 10, but playing Chicago is a much different story.

Atlanta is going to have a hard time duplicating their efforts from the S.F. game against the Bears.  Chicago is a very solid team and Jay Cutler has gotten better under center each week for the Bears who are suddenly excelling in almost every phase of the game.  Atlanta gets the Bears at home.  The Falcons will need to keep themselves focused if they have any hopes of winning this game, much less covering a 3 point NFL betting spread.

The San Diego Chargers, meanwhile, will need to pull out all of the stops to beat the fantastic Denver Broncos.  Denver has the #2 ranked defense in the NFL and it’s legit as they have stopped Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys and Carson Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The big problem for San Diego in this game is that they will have to find away to stop the Denver offense which is suddenly on fire.  Rookie RB Knowshon Moreno could go crazy against a Chargers’ D that is allowing over 150 yards a game on the ground.  The line opened as San Diego -4 but quickly has gone to San Diego -3 ˝.

Most football wagering fans are going to find it hard to disagree with those putting money on Denver in this game.

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