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Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Pulling Linemen Predicts: Week 7 + Games of the Week

Toby Durant's Game of the Week: Denver Broncos (1-4) @ Miami Dolphins (0-5)

While some teams are positioning themselves for a charge at the playoffs, others are battling it out for the most hyped prospect since, well, ever. And these are 2 of the latter.

Denver’s new coach John Fox has seen his game-manager of a Quarterback Kyle Orton go from bad to worse this season and has made the decision to come out of the bye week with Tim Tebow as the new starter. Think what you may of his in-your-face religion/politics or his unorthodox throwing mechanics but Tebow is exciting to watch and a to-the-death competitor. He’s been phenomenally popular among the Denver fan base, but then most back-up QB’s are.

However the Denver front office haven’t exactly made things easy for Tebow, they traded away their best receiver, Brandon Lloyd, during the week for a meagre return. Suck for Luck indeed.

Now I’m not sold on Tebow being good enough to be an every week starter, once teams figure out how to stop him scrambling he’ll really struggle. He’s just not accurate enough to be reliable. But until then he can cause extra problems for defenses that aren’t performing well generally, such as Miami’s.

There were great hopes for Miami’s defense in the pre-season, with young talent across the board and additions like that of Kevin Barnett were meant to be the missing piece needed. Well those dreams can go out of the window. Miami’s defense has been a real let down so far, with blown coverages a plenty and very few turnovers. But it’s not been helped by the dire nature of their offense either. Miami’s red zone offense especially shows a horrible lack of imagination. It’s either a run up the gut or a pass for Brandon Marshall. The loss hasn’t Chad Henne helped, at least not in winning games.

They signed Reggie Bush in the off-season and have taken away what he does best, hitting the edge and making plays. Instead they’ve used him as a between the tackles runner, and occasionally split him out wide. This is wrong! In New Orleans they let Reggie make plays both as a fearsome punt returner and in the red zone. You have to use players like Bush intelligently, create some room for them to go to work. Sean Payton could do that with the Saints, Tony Sparano can’t in Miami, which is one of the many reasons he’s going to be out of the door sooner rather than later.

So to the winner? More tough days at the office. To the loser? One step closer to the 2nd coming of Quarterback-Jesus. It’s a strange scenario when the right thing to do for teams is to just tank the whole season and we’re only in October but that’s the truth of the matter.

Gur Samuel's Game of the Week: Chicago Bears (3-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)

Bucs/Bears. Because it's at Wembley, and I'm going to see my Bucs in the flesh. It's going to be a very good game; both teams entered week six with a ton of questions, but managed to secure W's to at least quieten down the doubters, although they haven't yet silenced them.

Now both Tampa Bay and Chicago are looking to build on that, to prove that they weren't just flukes, by winning today at Wembley Stadium. There are several very intriguing match ups in this game - All-Pro DE Julius Peppers facing off against Bucs LT and 2010 Pro Bowler Donald Penn; a young Tampa Bay defensive line going against a Bears O line that seems to have finally managed to keep Jay Cutler upright for a game; and even on special teams, where the Bucs hope their highly-touted, highly-paid free agency pickup, punter Michael Koenen, can win the field position battle while avoiding putting the hands in the most dangerous return man in NFL history, the immensely talented and always ridiculous Devin Hester.

I'm seriously far, far too excited about actually going to this game to get all my thoughts down here - but expect a full account and analysis not just of the game, but the pre-game tailgate outside the stadium and the whole International Series circus later this week. Go Bucs! 


Toby Durant
Phil Gaskin
Gur Samuel
Seahawks @ Browns
Browns
Browns
Seahawks
Falcons @ Lions
Lions
Lions
Lions
Texans @ Titans
Titans
Titans
Texans
Broncos @ Dolphins
Broncos
Broncos
Broncos
Chargers @ Jets
Chargers
Chargers
Chargers
Bears @ Buccaneers
Bears
Bears
Buccaneers
Redskins @ Panthers
Redskins
Panthers
Panthers
Chiefs @ Raiders
Chiefs
Raiders
Raiders
Steelers @ Cardinals
Steelers
Steelers
Steelers
Rams @ Cowboys
Cowboys
Cowboys
Cowboys
Packers @ Vikings
Packers
Packers
Packers
Colts @ Saints
Saints
Saints
Saints
Ravens @ Jaguars
Ravens
Ravens
Ravens




Last Week:
11-2
10-3
9-4
Overall:
51-26
55-22
49-28

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