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Once we get to the 4th week of the NFL season we'll start covering more games in much more depth and detail. Much of what we do here depends on a statistical approach and the stats simply aren't there yet. The first few weeks of the NFL season, in our opinion, can be a crapshoot. In the meantime, our staff has a couple of brief write ups on a couple of key games, the Pats vs Jets and the Steelers vs Bears.
Patriots at Jets
The anticipation for seeing what both Tom Bradyís New England Patriots and rookie Mark Sanchezís New York Jets can do on the gridiron this season has building for quite some time now and after impressive performances by both teams in week one we should be in for an epic battle when these two go head to head in week two in New York.
Coming into this season the Patriots looked poised to make yet another Super Bowl run under head coach Bill Belichick, but even though week one ended with a victory for the Pats over the new look Buffalo Bills it didnít come without a rocky start for Tom Brady in his first regular season game back since his season ending injury in week one against the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
The biggest difference in this game will be the play of both Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez and the Jets defense which is much improved with the addition of defensive minded head coach Rex Ryan and leader on defense in Bart Scott. With Rex Ryan running things for the Jets now the defensive mindset will be the number one priority. Unlike the Baltimore Ravens in years past though, the Jets have a potent offense, well at least they did in week one against the Houston Texans.
Mark Sanchez had a very impressive performance in his debut as the New York Jets starting quarterback as he seemed more like a seasoned veteran then a rookie quarterback that may have left USC a little too early in a lot of peopleís eyes.
Instead of throwing three interceptions like fellow Detroit Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford did against the New Orleans Saints, Mark Sanchez lived up to the hype by throwing for 272 yards, one touchdown and most importantly no interceptions.
But ultimately this game has to come down to Tom Brady and Bill Belichik vs Mark Sanchez. All the Super Bowl rings, all the touchdown passes, all the experience, against a kid still wet behind the ears making his 2nd NFL start. You can get -3 -120 on this game and at that price, you're pretty much asking the Pats to just win the game, which we think they will do. Pats -3
Steelers at Bears
The Chicago Bears took some very big blows in week one with a season ending
injury to linebacker and face of the franchise in Brian Urlacher, a terrible
start for quarterback Jay Cutler and a loss to their hated rival Green Bay
Packers. The Steelers however, also suffered a big blow with Troy Polamalu going
down and out with an MCL sprain.
Coming into this season the Chicago Bears looked liked they had a promising season ahead of them for a number of reasons. For one, they finally brought in a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback that could turn around the Bears offense to make Chicago a threat on both sides of the field. Second reason is Brian Urlacher saying he was in the best shape of his life and will be looking to prove something this season.
Well, after week oneís loss to the Packers a lot of things have changed as Urlacher will have to hang up the cleats for the season and Jay Cutler will have to find a way to redeem himself after throwing four interceptions in his Bears debut.
Those two things are not easy things to rebound from. In just one week the Bears have lost their leader on defense and in the locker room and their new star quarterback have taken a huge hit to his confidence.
Despite the loss of Urlacher and Cutlerís learning curve, the Bears do have a good chance of winning this football game. Currently you can get +3 -120 with the Bears which is the way we are going to lean in this one. The Steelers look like they're having trouble running the ball and Big Ben throwing often is not what you want to see if you're a Steelers backer or fan. Look for Cutler to return to form here and come up big as the Bears pull the upset at home.