Early Look at This Weekend's Big NFL Games
by Robert Ferringo - 12/04/2006
(This is an excerpt of an article that appears in the current addition of Every Edge Magazine)
Here's a look at three key games kicking off in Week 14:
Baltimore (+3) at Kansas City (1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10)
The Ravens had three extra days to lick their wounds after that primetime pounding they took last Thursday. The Chiefs are coming off a stunning loss in Cleveland on Sunday where they blew a two-touchdown lead.
Kansas City has dominated Baltimore recently, going 7-2 ATS. That includes a 3-0 ATS run at Arrowhead. These two defenses are both in the Top 10 in points allowed and each offense averages 21 points per game.
The Chiefs have the edge not only because they're at home, but also because I think they have enough firepower to muster something against Baltimore. Conversely, I don't believe the Ravens can move the ball well enough to keep the pressure on the Chiefs. Keep an eye on impact that B.J. Sams' injury has on Baltimore from a field position standpoint.
Indianapolis (-2) at Jacksonville (1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10)
Having lost two of their past three games on the road the Colts are officially reeling. I know that "Crisis Mode" with Indy is usually reserved for after their playoff flameout but they may be wobbling a bit.
As for the Jaguars, they have embraced their status as Desperate and Dangerous. The David Garrard Train is off the rails and you never know what you'll get out of this team from week to week. However, they are more physical than the Colts. Jacksonville should run all over Indy's weak front seven, and if their corners can avoid big plays they could actually bottle up Manning and Co.
Jacksonville is 7-2 ATS versus Indianapolis over the past four seasons and are 3-1 ATS against them at home. In 2006 the Jaguars have been a different team at home, going 5-1 SU and ATS at Alltel Stadium and 6-1 ATS in their home state.
New Orleans (+6.5) at Dallas (8:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10)
The Cowboys managed a vengeful victory in the Meadowlands last week and now head home to host their prime competition for the NFC's No. 2 seed. Both teams sit at 8-4, but the Saints currently have the edge because of their stellar 7-1 conference mark. This head-to-head outcome would be the first tiebreaker if these two finished the season with the same record.
The Cowboys have covered in three of their last four while claiming four consecutive straight-up victories. However, the Saints are 5-0 ATS against Dallas recently and Drew Brees will be looking for revenge for last year's Week 1 loss to The Boys while he was guiding San Diego.
I think it's time to start fading Romo and his Rump Rangers. The public is just too enamored with Dallas. They have a cushion in the division now and could be due for a dud. Also, the Cowboys are just 3-8-1 ATS since 2000 in the week after they face the Giants.
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