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Sunday, 20 October 2013

TPL Picks: Week 7 + Spread picks & GOTW

A big 13-win week from Phil saw him roar back into contention while Gur's 11-wins pulled him level with Toby.

This week sees the Saints and Raiders take their byes, Peyton's return to Denver and a start for home town hero Case Keenum, the NCAA's record holder for most passing yards and passing TD's, in Houston.

There's also the exciting prospect of seeing the two teams that will be coming over to London next week as Jacksonville host San Diego and the 49ers travel to Tennessee. We will once again be at all the build-up events next week so keep a keen eye out for news, stories and transcripts from both teams practices and press conferences.



Dallas Cowboys (3-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)
Sunday 1pm ET

Sure, I could have gone with Peyton Manning & Andrew Luck. But you're going to be flooded with stories about that game, so lets talk about some thing else, like the battle for the NFC East top spot.

Before the season started this was perhaps the most up in the air division. So far the Giants and Redskins have come clattering back down to earth, all that's left are the 3-3 Cowboys and Eagles, who face off this week.

The Cowboys come into this game averaging 30.5 points a game, good for 2nd behind the ridiculous Denver Broncos, and matching almost perfectly with the 29.8 points a game that Philly are giving up. The Eagles defense has been an issue all year, last week they managed to make Mike Glennon look fairly decent, the week before it was giving up over 300 yards to Eli Manning. So it's fairly obvious where this seems to be going. We have a total miss-match with the 6th best passing attack (by DVOA), lead by Tony "Dallas fans can't stand me but I'm actually awesome" Romo against this sieve of a defense. So how can the Eagles hope to slow down the Cowboys?

It starts, oddly enough, with their offense. The Eagles offense has been great since Chip Kelly rode into town, 27.6 points a game and they lead the league with 178.5 rushing yards per game. But one of the things that Kelly's fast-tempo offense doesn't do it is chew clock. They're 7th in plays per game, but have the 3rd worst time of possession at just 26:22, which means they are giving themselves a lot to do defensively, and as we've seen they just can't hold up.

If the Eagles slow down just a fraction (last year New England's warp-speed offense managed 30:27 average time of possession) then they can keep their defense fresher and make their opponents force matters.

On the defense itself, the Eagles need to find some way of dealing with Dez Bryant who has torched any defense that didn't make a concerted effort to stop him. It's going to be difficult, but the Eagles have to commit help to Bradley Fletcher or Cary Williams when they've got Bryant and force Romo to go elsewhere with the football.

Trent Cole against Tyron Smith will be a great battle, but the key to getting to Romo will probably come from the other edge as Connor Barwin, a talented but inconsistent OLB, goes against Doug Free. Getting Brian Waters out of retirement was a master-stroke by Jerry Jones, he's solidified the interior and allowed Free to concentrate on maintaining his edge, but if Barwin can bring his A-game on sunday then Free will have more than he can handle.

As for the Dallas defense? The ineffectiveness of DeMarcus Ware has to be something of a concern, and a thigh injury may sideline him on sunday which would severely test the Cowboys defensive line depth. Their front 7 is going to have the near-impossible task of stopping LeSean McCoy. If they can do that it will limit what Nick Foles is able to get done, he can't carry the fight by himself and if Dallas can force the Eagles into that situation, either by stifling the rushing attack or jumping out to a big early lead, then they'll feel very confident about getting the W. (TD)

TD's easy 1/3 weekly spread picks (Last Week: 1-2, overall 5-10):

I was this close to a clean sweep last week. Just some Tom Brady heroics and an botched field goal with the backup holder cost me. It's a guarantee that one of these 3 is going to hit, just pick your poison!

Bears (PK) over Redskins

Chicago's defense is hurting, particularly up the middle, which will allow the Redskins to control the game with Alfred Morris. But I think they can force some turnovers and the Bears offense will do enough.

Browns (+10) over Packers

No Randall Cobb and maybe no James Jones means a severely limited Packers offense against a very tough defense, while Clay Matthews' absence will make things easier for Brandon Weeden.

Ravens (+1) over Steelers

The Steelers may finally have a win on the board but they still stink. The Ravens might not be much good either, but they'll have enough about them to go into Heinz Field and get the win.
      






Toby Durant 
Phil Gaskin 
Gur Samuel 
Seahawks @ Cardinals

Seahawks 
Seahawks
Seahawks
Buccaneers @ Falcons

Falcons 
Falcons
Falcons
Bengals @ Lions

Lions
Lions
Bengals
Bills @ Dolphins

Dolphins
Dolphins
Dolphins
Patriots @ Jets

Patriots 
Patriots
Patriots
Cowboys @ Eagles

Cowboys 
Cowboys
Cowboys
Bears @ Redskins

Bears
Bears
Bears
Rams @ Panthers

Panthers
Panthers
Panthers
Chargers @ Jaguars

Chargers
Chargers
Chargers
49ers @ Titans

49ers
49ers
49ers
Browns @ Packers

Packers
Packers
Packers
Texans @ Chiefs

Chiefs
Chiefs
Chiefs
Ravens @ Steelers

Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
Broncos @ Colts

Broncos
Broncos
Broncos
Vikings @ Giants


Vikings 
Giants
Vikings
Last Week:

9-6 
13-2 
11-4 
Overall: 58-34 55-37 58-34

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