11.10.2005
 
Thursday Football
    Only one game for now. Things ran behind. I'll post more games later tonight and the picks should be up either tonight or tomorrow morning.

    Pittsburgh - Green Bay

    Pittsburgh Steelers:
    I'll never underestimate the depth of the Steelers after their week 17 ripping of Buffalo when the Bills were at home and needed a win to get into the playoffs. And even when they had to start Tommy Maddux earlier this year against Jacksonville, as bad as Maddux was, they were in a position to win that game in overtime.

    At the season's halfway point, the Steelers are just 25th in the league in total yards per game. But that is a stat that lies. They are 5th in the league in average rushing yards per game, also a stat that lies. Because of the leads Pittsburgh has played with, take a look at their average yards per rush/pass. They are 18th in average yards per rush and 7th in average yards per pass. Those numbers are a little skewed too, but if you put it all together, you've got an offense that should probably be rated around 10-12 in the NFL. The Steelers are just 31st in third down efficiency, but that should also be factored in to when those uncoverted third downs are coming. Pittsburgh ranks 12th in the league in red zone touchdown percentage (57.1%), so I'm not concerned about their ability to convert a third down when they need to.

    Pittsburgh ranks 5th in the NFL in point differential, 5th in turnover edge, and 6th in penalty yards edge; three of the best stats to look at to see how a team is playing.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Wilson- 3(1)
    Ward- 2(1)
    Randle El- 2(0)
    Miller- 2(2)
    Parker- 2(1)
    Kreider- 2(2)
    Staley- 2(2)
    Haynes- 1(0)


    Green Bay:
    Samkon Gado wasn't Green Bay's first choice at running back going into this game, but Reshard Lee was pulled in the first quarter after losing a fumble and it was Gado for the rest of the way. I first wrote about Gado on 10.24.05 when I found a quote on PFW of one scout comparing him to Willie Parker. Well, Gado looks bigger than Parker, and he's not nearly as explosive of a runner. And if Gado truly has 4.4 speed, it takes him a few strides to get going that fast; whereas Willie Parker is able to hit his top gear in just a couple of steps. Gado did show good ball security though, and he was a decent enough receiver out of the backfield.

    The Packers are 29th in the league in turnover differential. They are 30th in the league in rushing yards per game and dead last in average rush per game. They are doing something well; Green Bay ranks 2nd in the NFL in third down effeciency. TARGETS(catches):
    Driver- 9(5)
    Franks- 7(3)
    Lee- 7(3)
    Chatman- 5(4)
    Henderson- 3(3)
    Gado- 1(1)
    Williams- 1(1)


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