Yesterday we saw a great game in Pittsburgh and a snoozer in Atlanta. I somehow picked both games, so I’m sure today’s games, even though I feel pretty good about them, will go all wackadoodle. And no, if I think your team is going to lose it doesn’t mean I hate them and want your new puppy to get run over by a sanitation truck. These are just one man’s opinion. I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again (but it will be somebody elses fault, probably yours).
The last time these two met the Bears were stinktastic. Jay Cutler was sacked 5 times and Matt Hasselbeck was sacked goose egg amount of times. Cutler did put up 290 yards, but no touchdowns and a horrid 43% completion rate. The pressure on Cutler was too much and they could never get it figured out. But that was more than 10 weeks ago and we have seen the Bears O-line and running game come together, while their defense has continuously been effective. Last week the Seahawks, Hasselbeck in particular, were extremely efficient and particularly good on deep passes. But that was on a Saints defensive backfield that is on Medicare. The other star of the upset was Marshawn Lynch. The Saints just fell down at the sight of him. I think I would too. That dude is u-g-l-y.
The fantasy value in this game is tough to divine, but I am wary of all the Seahawks. The Bears rush defense has been stout and have only allowed 11 fantasy points a game to running backs in the last half of the season. Lynch had that one huge run, but I just don’t see that kind of poor tackling plaguing the Bears in this game. The Bears pass defense has been hit and miss, but Tom Brady is other worldly and skewed the pass D numbers a bit. Chris Harris and Danieal Manning will give Hass a lot more trouble than Roman Harper who single handedly gave up 143 points in that game. So I don’t like any of the myriad of so-so receivers the Seahawks have going. Big Mike Williams had a nice game the last time they met, and could have another PPR game of note, but scoring should be difficult.
The biggest reason the Bears have been playing better is because Martz ate some seacrow and balanced out the offensive attack to allow more rushing attempts, which has boosted Matt Forte’s production and kept Cutler from getting maimed as often. The Seahawks are giving up 120 yards rushing and over 20 fantasy points a game in the last half of the season. Forte should have plenty of room to roam. I don’t think the Bears really want huge numbers from Cutler, but want more efficiency than last time. A 250 yard, 2 touchdown, no interception performance would be ideal for them. Will he be able to do that? Maybe. But I do like Johnny Knox getting a shot at a long touchdown built from an effective run game with Earl Bennett being Cutler’s safety valve and maybe getting into the endzone.
As you can tell (by reading the title of the post) I think the Bears win this one. The Seahawks shocked the Saints at home last week, but they aren’t in the Emerald City anymore playing with 12 men against heartless tin men.
There has been a lot of smack talk leading up to this game, but somehow they’ll have to figure out who the better team is on the field. In Foxboro that is usually the Patriots. The last time they met it was a beat down of epic proportions. Mark Sanchez has played in Foxboro twice and thrown 7 interceptions to zero touchdowns. That is the opposite of good. On the other side of the ball Tom Brady has never heard of such numbers. He had 5 interceptions all season.
The Patriots defense has been taking the ball away like crazy, especially toward the end of the season and Sanchez plays like poo in cold weather. Well, he has played a little better lately in cold weather games in Pittsburgh and Chicago, so he does have it in him, but having it “in him” is different than showing it game in and game out. The weather should be in the teens, but that should be the extent of the adverse elements. The Pats pass defense is their weakness, but again, it’s hard to trust Sanchez to take advantage. But it does leave things open for garbage yardage to the likes of Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. I keep holding out hope for Shonn Greene, but if any RB does anything today it will be LT. His ability in the pass game should keep him relevant and he is also getting goal line carries.
Trying to figure out who will be the biggest fantasy players on the Patriots is always difficult. If they go off for 40+ points it makes it easier to spread the wealth, but we can’t count on that. Tom Brady is a no brainer and BenJarvus Green Ellis is a slightly less no brainer, but still zombie brain like. After that we have Welker, Gronkowski, Woodhead. Branch, and Hernandez. That’s a lot of players that have a very good chance to have fantasy relevant games with Brady at the helm. A lot depends on how the Jets play them. Belichick is all about situational football and is so good because he is adaptable and he coaches his players to be the same. And as a fantasy player I find that offensive. I am leaning Welker, Gronkowski, and then Woodhead, but all of them have plenty of upside. With Hernandez back it dilutes things even more, but I’m hoping Gronk has proven to Brady he should be the guy to trust. Welker had a decent game last time against the Jets and he moves around enough to not be shut down by Revis. Little Woodcock is a bit of an x-factor in this game, but one that could do quite a bit of damage.
The game will ride on Mark Sanchez’s arm and until he can prove that his arm isn’t made of papier-mache I’ll take Brady. The Jets are a better all around team than last season, but the Patriots are a machine right now. I just don’t see the Jets being able to outscore them.
Now check out Carl’s pick for this game. He’s where I get all of my insider info.