Tag: nfl betting odds
Coming into their matchup against their division rival with a 6-5 record, losing on the road against the Baltimore Ravens was certainly not an option for the Steelers if they hoped to make it into the Playoffs. Considering that for the third straight week, the Steelers would have to find a replacement for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, and that Charlie Batch, a 37-year-old, quarterback would be his replacement, things were looking quite bleak for the home team.
On the other hand, the Baltimore Ravens would have Joe Flacco on the helm and with an impressive 9-3 record for the season, the Steelers were not expected to be much of a threat. After all, this team had been phenomenal at holding their home team advantage. Little did we know that the 15-year-veteran, Charlie Batch, still had some tricks up his sleeve. At least enough to set up a 61-yard drive in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to set up Shaun Suisham and his 42-yard field goal as the game expired to give the Steelers a 23-20 win at the M&T Bank Stadium.
The veteran quarterback, who had been living under the shadow of some very noticeable quarterbacks in the past, didn’t miss a beat to take a few deep breath in his minutes under the sun. “This is big. It was another opportunity for me to come out here and start, which is rare right now,” said Batch in the postgame press conference. So little was expected of Batch that he actually wasn’t Roethlisberger’s first backup. As a matter of fact, had Buron Leftwich not been injured two weeks ago against the Ravens, he wouldn’t had started either of the last two games. “To be able to go on the road and do something that nobody outside of our locker room thought that we could do is big,” Batch said. Oh yeah, it’s a fairly big deal. He finished off the night with 25 of 36 passing for 276 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception.
There is no doubt that he certainly outplayed the Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. It seems that he was just not able to handle the precision of this defense. Flacco finished the game with 16 of 34 passing for a hundred and eighty-eight yards, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Now, it’s starting to become a big issue how inconsistent Joe Flacco turns out to be down the stretch. Considering how well they are playing this season, this inconsistency could actually cost them their chances of surviving the playoffs and making it into the Super Bowl.
The Steelers on the other hand, got a break, but they are still on some tricky grounds. With the win over the Ravens the Steelers improved to 7-5 for the season and snapped out of a two-game losing streak. Sure they kept alive their slim hopes of overtaking Baltimore (9-3) in the AFC North. The teams have split their games this season, with each winning by three points. Check out this next stat if you are planning to take some action if they face each other again: Seven of the last eight regular-season games between the teams have been decided by a 3-point margin.
The Miami Dolphins are now 4-6 for the season. They used to have some sort of chance of making it into the Playoffs but after this loss, it has become evident that they are just simply not going to make it. This is the third consecutive game that they’ve dropped, and just to make things even worse, things are getting awfull around the corner. The Miami Dolphins have a brutal upcoming schedule, hosting the Seattle Seahawks (6-4) and New England Patriots (6-3) before traveling to face the San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1). Miami really never held a chance against the Buffalo Bills who managed to put an end to a three game streak that got them to 4-6 by beating the Dolphins 19-14 at Buffalo.
So far the Buffalo Bills, who are also 4-6 for the season, look as if they might have a better chance at making the cut. On the one hand, their defense finally looked like the sort of powerful wall that their combined salary would make you believe it is. But let’s not get all rattled up about the Bills defense. It was Buffalo’s backup tailback C.J. Spiller who became the biggest surprise of the game. Spiller got the start due to Fred Jackson’s concussion. And he had a phenomenal start in both his running and passing game. He finished the night with 91 rushing yards and 39 receiving yards.
The Bills defense finally looked like a threat. Just for the sake of reference let’s consider that the Bills defense entered the game ranked 31st in the NFL in yards allowed and dead last in giving up an average 31.67 points per game. Not great, but somehow they got their act together and limited the Dolphins to 184 yards and 16 first downs. Mario Williams had one of three sacks and safety Jairus Byrd had a hand in forcing two of three turnovers. The Bills managed to keep on getting things right. And they managed to break a couple of bad habits. As a matter of fact Buffalo managed to defeat a division rival for the first time in nine meetings and snapped out of an 11-game prime-time drought that dated to 2001.
Miami’s rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, went for 14 of 28 for 141 yards with one touchdown pass and 2 interceptions. “It’s really frustrating, especially with the success earlier in the year,” Tannehill said. “Being in situations where we’re going three-and-out or six-and-out, it’s frustrating. We have to be able to find a rhythm and get things going early on.” The Miami Dolphins’ defense is usually quite good. But as a matter of fact, this last one was not that great. Miami gave up 120 yards rushing, including 91 to C.J. Spiller. Just imagine what Fred Jackson could had done to that defense had he not been ruled out because of a concussion.
For the Bills fans it was great to see that the player they paid $100 million for, Mario Williams, was finally giving something back. “It was definitely a must-win,” Williams said in the postgame press conference. “With the way things turned out earlier in the season, we’ve got to come out and play like it’s the playoffs. And we’ve got to make plays and we’ve got to finish. It got close there at the end, but I’m glad we came out with it.”
The Washington Redskins are now 3-4 for the season. Sure enough this is by no means the best start for a team in the NFL, but one thing you might want to take into consideration is that despite their not-so-impressive record, the Redskins are looking quite well. And a big part of that huge improvement comes in the hands of the No.2 pick in the 2012 draft, Robert Griffin III. RG3, as he is usually known as, has come out into his rookie year showing off what he’s got. He is a hard worker, and he came into the pack showing a very humble attitude. But make no mistake, this guy is as talented as they come. He can run the ball, he sure has the legs and the body to take some punishment and he can throw as well. Just for your consideration, take into account that on his first year playing on Sundays, Griffin leads the pack in rushing yards and completion percentage.
Now, just last week, the winner of the 2011 Heisman Trophy, had a chance to experience a bit of a top-notch quarterback as he faced Eli Manning and the New York Giants. For a moment there, it really looked as if Griffin would pull off a spectacular upset against the G-man. Not so fast: after all, Manning might be one of the most successful clutch players to have ever played this game. Just for the sake of comparison, let’s consider that Manning has lead his team to 11 win with game-changing 4th quarter rallies since last year. Sure RG3 performance kept the Redskins fans all excited. But Manning came on and showed the young rookie what it takes to win a game when it’s in the line. The youngest of the Manning brothers and the two-time NFL champions outplayed the Redskins’ rookie sensation with a pinpoint 77-yard scoring pass to Victor Cruz with 1:13 to play. And that was the end of it: the Giants took a 27-23 win at home over the Redskins on Sunday.
Redskins fans were still celebrating a phenomenal play by Griffin. It was really hard to believe that after Griffin capped what was a potential winning, 77-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown toss to Santana Moss, Manning would come around and pull that play with Cruz. Suddenly Griffin was going back home with a loss and it was time to salsa at the MetLife stadium. But what’s really turning heads is not only his game, but his mindset. I didn’t come in joking,” Griffin said in an interview Tuesday. “I came in working hard. You don’t come in showing them all your personality all at one time, because then you can become extremely annoying. So you want to come in and show them, ‘Hey, I’m a hardworking guy. Coach brought me here for a reason, to help us win.’ And you build that reputation through the preseason games, through practice.” Well, so far so good. Griffin is looking as sharp as you could ask for a 22-year-old rookie.
We all know that football is a dangerous sport. That sometimes players get hurt, and that because of this, sometimes you need to go deep into your reserves to try to find the players to keep the boat afloat. And that’s exactly what the Steelers did on Sunday night. It was looking very thought for a moment or two for this experienced squad to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh’s top two running backs were goners, so were two of their finest offensive linemen. Even their star safety, Troy Polamalu, was sitting on the bench. So one could only wonder what could Mike Tomlin, the Steelers’ head coach, put together for Ben Roethlisberger to figure out on the offensive end. At the end, with the help of a couple of reserves and with the big help that comes from a solid and determined defense, the Steelers took a 24-17 win on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Going into the game with a 2-3 record, a win here was of vital importance for the Steelers. Particularly because this was a win on the road, their first road victory of the season, and it came under very difficult and challenging conditions. Still, the big win moved them into second place behind the Baltimore Ravens (5-2), which lost to the Houston Texans 43-13 earlier Sunday. It was a good learning experience for the Steelers. For once now they know that their backups can actually play and work well under pressure. Fans were thrilled to see that never before heard players such as third-year running back Jonathan Dwyer could actually deliver. Dwyer made his first career start on Sunday night and ran for a career-high 122 yards, including a 32-yard gain in the final minute that seal the deal. Shaun Suisham kicked field goals of 42, 47 and 42 yards that made a big difference down the stretch. But big credit has to be given to the defense. They sure enough came up with a game-turning interception in the fourth quarter that shut down Andy Dalton as he was trying to get his team back in the fight.
The Cincinatti Bengals failed once again to make any impact against their division rivals. In the last two seasons the Bengals have lost all of their 6 games played against both the Steelers and the Pitsburgh Ravens. Andy Dalton’s finished the night with 14 of 28 passing for 105 yards and one touchdown. But his performance also included a slip-out-of-the-hand interception that would set up Big Ben’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller and a tying 2-point conversion to the tight end with 24 seconds left in the half. It got all uphill from there on for the Bengals.
Ben Roethlisberger, on the other hand, guided the Steelers efforts with 27 of 37 passing for 278 yards with 1 touchdown pass and one interception. He had to take on the leader role for this one, but at the end, he delivered. “On the road, which is big for us, in this hostile environment — I can’t say enough about it,” Roethlisberger said about betting the Bengals in Cincinnati. Let’s see if they can keep it up next week when they face the Washington Redskins on Sunday. As of press time the Steelers are a 5-point favorite in the spread.