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The Pitt Panther Strikes Again
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Hello and welcome the fifth edition of FanNation NFL GameDay.  This will be a weekly feature in which LP, Agrippa, a guest, and I, Pitt Panther, answer questions and have discussions about the NFL, and make predictions about the coming week's games.

Our guest this week is Gruden

Gruden


Read GameDay or my head will explode!

 

To volunteer to be a guest on the show, go here

 

Let's get it started...

 

Prediction records:
Pitt: 41-16, 71.9%
Agrippa: 42-15, 73.7%
LP: 34-23, 59.6%
Guests: 29-14, 67.4%


Question 1: Tennessee at Detroit.  Who wins?


Pitt: Tennessee, of course.  Detroit can't stop the run and they can't do anything on offense.  Tennessee wins easily.


Agrippa: Tennessee will win this in an impressive fashion. There loss to the Jest shown the too be human. Expect Fisher fix his leaks.


LP: Well this one seems like a no-brainer, but the Lions usually do play pretty good on Thanksgiving. But 10-1 against 0-11, I think I'm going with the 10-1 team.


Gruden: This game will be better than people think it is. Detroit has played back to back tough first halves. Their problem is the second half of the game. But with Tennessee's dream of a perfect season over, and a 3 game lead in their division, together with a 2 game lead over the entire AFC, perhaps the letdown will come in to play. I'm still calling it for Tennessee, but you might see this game again later on in the discussion.



Question 2: Seattle at Dallas.  Who wins?


Agrippa: Cowboys are back into the playoff picture and the media couldn't be happier. Why should we be any different? COWBOYS in a slaughter


LP: Another pretty lame game for Thanksgiving. As much as I want to see the Seahawks win, I'm taking the Cowboys.


Gruden: This game won't even be worth watching after halftime. Dallas, at home, Thanksgiving, against a pitiful Seahawks team? Fugetabout.


Pitt: Dallas wins easily.  They're just the better team in every respect.



Question 3: Arizona at Philadelphia.  Who wins?


LP: Philadelphia is on a losing streak, and they couldn't beat the 2nd worst team in the league. With their QB issues, they are just not on the same page. I've got the Cards here.


Gruden: Talk about a great team in decline. I thought Philly would compete for the title, and now they are competing for a nice draft choice. Arizona embarrasses them at home, on Thanksgiving night. Luckily, it's on the NFL channel, so nobody will see it.


Pitt: I'm taking the Eagles in a close, great game.  Philadelphia is good against the pass, which happens to be the Cardinals' greatest strength.  When Philly has the ball, it all comes down to Donovan McNabb, in the most important game of his career since the Super Bowl.  This is a do or die game for him, and I think he pulls it out.


Agrippa: Arizona wins this. I learned AZ is actually a very good team when watching them live. One would have to be nuts to pick the Eagles at this point. This loss could help solidify the "End of McNabb era?" talks.



Question 4: San Francisco at Buffalo.  Who wins?



Gruden: Has Buffalo righted the ship? Not really. It was KC. But this is San Francisco, so expect the same. Buffalo BIG.


Pitt: I'm taking the Bills.  The Bills bounced back last week and I think they keep the good mojo going with a win over the Niners.  I see Trent Edwards having another huge game.


Agrippa: I like Bills in this game. It boiled down to offenses and the Bills are better. They looked semi impressive putting up 54 points on KC as well.


LP: The Bills need another win this week to keep pace with the rest of the AFC East. And I think they will get the win.



Question 5: Baltimore at Cincinnati.  Who wins?


Pitt: Baltimore will destroy Cincinnati.  They won't just beat them; they will make them contemplate retiring en mass.  They'll ride their defense and rushing attack to a huge win.


Agrippa: Baltimore wins this. Ed Reed was phenomenal last week against the Eagles. They are playing great defense and the Bengals....well they are really playing what I would call football.


LP: Best defense going up against the worst offense. I wonder how this one will turn out. I've got the Ravens.


Gruden: Cincinnati has quit, period, case closed. Their season is over. Baltimore runs all over them.



Question 6: Indianapolis at Cleveland.  Who wins?


Agrippa: Indy continues its long and winding road to the Wild Card. With Brady out Anderson comes in to continue his horrid year.


LP: Cleveland lost to the Texans last week, and the Colts beat them the week before. Colts are the better team.


Gruden: Upset alert! Oops, wrong game. No chance. Indy puts at least 35 on the board this game, and Cleveland simply can't keep up.


Pitt: The Colts win easily.  The Browns are completely inept.  Big day for Peyton Manning and anyone that hates the Browns.



Question 7: Carolina at Green Bay.  Who wins?


LP: Both teams are coming off hard losses last week. Carolina lost to the Falcons, who were 2 games behind in the division. Green Bay lost to the Saints, who are last in their division. Green Bay will upset Carolina this week.


Gruden: Carolina just got embarrassed by Atlanta. Green Bay just got even more embarrassed by New Orleans. Both have a lot to prove, but I don't think Green Bay has the weapons to prove it. Carolina in a close one.


Pitt: I'm taking the Panthers to win.  They'll be able to run the ball very well against this Green Bay defense.  Green Bay will struggle against Carolina's very good pass defense.


Agrippa: GB wins. I have been giving Carolina the benefit of a doubt, but no more. GB wins this. Carolina's defense may be a tad overrated due to a weak schedule. They looked bleak against ATL.



Question 8: Miami at St. Louis.  Who wins?


Gruden: The Miami train needs to get back on track after this past week, and who better to fix it than St Louis. Miami gets the win.


Pitt: The Dolphins will win easily.  It won't even be close.  It's so obvious.  Why am I still typing?


Agrippa: Miami wins. St. Louis is giving up 162 rush yards per game. I expect Brown and Williams to have a huge day. Pennington will get his noodle wet in this one.


LP: As much as I've picked the Rams this season, I have to go against them this week. I just don't think they are playing good football right now.



Question 9: New Orleans at Tampa Bay.  Who wins?


Pitt: I'm taking the Bucs to win here.  Tampa Bay is great at home and New Orleans struggles on the road.  The Only thing New Orleans can do is pass the ball.  Unfortunatly for them, Tampa Bay's greatest strength is their pass defense.  The Bucs win it.


Agrippa: TB played well last week and Dunn had a decent game with Cadillac being worked back into the game plan. This 2nd ranked pass defense should be able to contain Brees and company in a huge division win.


LP: Both teams are on winning streaks, and both teams are fighting inside the division. In Week 1 against the Saints, Jeff Garcia had a poor game and he got benched for 4 weeks. I think the Saints will pull off the upset.


Gruden: I'm a homer. And Tampa is at home. If I ever pick Tampa to lose a home game, it must be the playoffs. Tampa shuts down the Saints offense...somehow.



Question 10: New York Giants at Washington.  Who wins?


Agrippa: Giants win this. They are playing the best football in my opinion. They are passing and running at will. Redskins will be no exception.


LP: New York Giants are one of the hottest teams, if not the hottest in the NFL right now. They have scored 30+ points in their last 4 games, and haven't lost since Week 6. The Redskins lost to the Giants in Week 1, and they will lose again.


Gruden: They're the best team in football for a reason. The Giants end Washington's dream of a division title right here, right now.


Pitt: The Redskins are very similar to the Giants, but they're just not quite as good.  Also, they've struggled recently while the Giants are hot.  The G-Men take it.



Question 11: Atlanta at San Diego.  Who wins?


LP: Atlanta is coming off a big win against Carolina, while the Chargers are on a 2-game losing streak. I've got the Falcons this week.


Gruden: Why should this game be any different? As long as Norv is their coach, they'll continue to lose. They should have never fired Marty. Atlanta rolls.


Pitt: I'm taking the Falcons to pull out a close win in a high scoring game.  I'm counting on Matt Ryan being able to take advantage of the terrible Chargers pass defense.  Fire Norv Turner!


Agrippa: Atlanta wins this. SD cannot stop the pass. Matt Ryan is starting to grow on me. With Turner facing his old team taking pressure off the pass. Falcons win a close one.



Question 12: Pittsburgh at New England.  Who wins?


Gruden: Are the Pats back? Is Pittsburgh for real? Great game here. And I think home field is enough for a New England squeaker of a win. Could come down to a last second field goal, and New England thanks God they aren't Buffalo.


Pitt: I'm taking Pittsburgh in a nail-biter.  Pittsburgh will be able to shut down the New England offense and manage to score just enough points to win.


Agrippa: Steelers win. Cassel seems to be a decent talent and people are making a big deal about him torching the Fins 28th ranked pass defense. I'm not sold he can grind out a win against a defense like the Steelers. Look for Ben to have a great day as well.


LP: This will be the game of the week. I don't think the Steelers have been playing their best football lately, and that is why I'm picking the Patriots to win.



Question 13: Denver at New York Jets.  Who wins?


Pitt: This will be a shoot-out.  I see big days for the Broncos' passing attack and the Jets' rushing attack.  In the end, I think the Jets pull it out.


Agrippa: J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre! Just kidding. I love this Jets running attack. Leon Washington is a game breaker and Jones just beats you down. Defense is not too shabby as well. Same cannot be said about Denver.


LP: Brett Favre and the Jets are on a 5-game winning streak, and they handed the Titans their first loss last week. The Jets are hot, and the Broncos will not stop that.


Gruden: I'm not picking Denver ever again. If they'll lay down to the Raiders, then they'll lay down to anyone. Besides, I've called for Shannahan's firing for two years now, and I'm still calling. They won two Super Bowls IN SPITE of Mike. Jets, big.



Question 14: Kansas City at Oakland.  Who wins?


Agrippa: Oakland looked decent last week. Still going KC in this rivalry game. Tyler Thigpen is playing decent when considering Chiefs options. Raiders offense has been horrible. This is a toss up really.


LP: Oakland beat the Chiefs in Week 2, but the Chiefs will turn the tide this week. I think Kansas City will get their 2nd win of the season.


Gruden: Are the Raiders on a roll? Did KC just get stomped? ANSWER: YES/YES. Raiders win again.


Pitt: I'm taking the Raiders to eek out a W.  The Raiders can't stop the run, but the Chiefs can't stop anything.  The Raiders ride McFadden and Fargus to victory.



Question 15: Chicago at Minnesota.  Who wins?



LP:
Big battle for the NFC North on Sunday Night. This should be one of the top games this week. The Bears won in Week 7, and they will do it again.


Gruden: Should be a great game, but I'll take the 4-1 at home Vikings to win a very close battle.


Pitt: I'm taking the Vikings to pull out a hard fought victory.  The Bears rely a lot on Forte, who the Vikings will shut down.  It's all going to come down to Adrian Peterson, and I think he comes through and delivers a Vikings victory.


Agrippa: I'm going Vikes here. Give Peterson the damn ball is what I say. Vikes also have the 2nd best rush defense. Look for Forte to be neutralized rendering the Bears helpless.



Question 16: Jacksonville at Houston.  Who wins?


Gruden: Two pitiful teams. Jacksonville can't win at home. Houston can't win on the road. But this is in Houston, so, Jacksonville is 3-2 on the road; while Houston is 3-2 at home. In other words; I don't care about this game at all. Should be terribly boring. But I'll take Houston because I have to take someone.


Pitt: I'm taking the Texan's in a nail-biter.  I think this will be a boring, but close game that the Texans get the win in.


Agrippa: Call me HOMER Houston. Texans wins this. Sage played well last week not allowing himself to force the tempo. Kevin Walter is having a stellar season thus far along with an emerging run game in Slaton.


LP: Well, probably one of the lamest Monday Night Football games this year. A battle between two 4-7 teams and a battle for the 3rd spot in the AFC South. I'm taking the Jaguars over the Texans.



Last week's upset alerts:
Pitt: Raiders over Broncos; Raiders won.
Agrippa: Eagles over Ravens; Ravens won.
LP: Jaguars over Vikings; Vikings won.
dp: Chiefs over Bills; Bills won.


Question 17: Who should be on upset alert?


Pitt: San Diego.  The Falcons are 5 point underdogs, but I think Matt Ryan will be able to lead them to victory.


Agrippa:
Carolina. There are some questions on the defensive side in Green Bay but they played the Saints well for a half. As I mentioned before Carolina may be overrated per their record and may have issue stopping this stout Packers offense.


LP: Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers better be on the upset watch. They are both playing underestimated teams that have potential to put up big numbers.


Gruden: Yep, I told you I'd come back to this. I think with Tennessee getting shut down by the Jets, and Detroit getting the national TV exposure of Thanksgiving, that this game is RIPE for an upset. I say Tennessee loses 2 in a row, because they weren't that good to begin with, and the timing is perfect for Detroit.



Last week's players to watch:
Pitt: Steve Slaton: 21 rushes, 73 yards
Agrippa: Peyton Manning: 32/44, 255 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 92.5 rating
LP: Peyton Manning: 32/44, 255 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 92.5 rating
dp: Jay Cutler: 16/37, 204 yards, 1 INT, 49.8 rating, 4 rushes, 24 yards


Question 18: Who is your player to watch?


Agrippa: Brett Favre. Denver's defense cannot stop the run or the pass. 25th ranked pass defense and 27 ranked rush defense. The run will open up the pass for this media darling and FanNation will collectively hate him more. Not I...you! You know who you are!


LP: My player to watch is Tony Romo. He is coming off a 300-yard and 3 TD game, and he goes up against the Seahawks this week. Seattle has the 2nd worst pass defense in the league.


Gruden: I'm going with Terrell Owens. Thanksgiving Day, terrible Seattle defense, and he loves the spotlight. I'm thinking 140 yards and two TDs.


Pitt: DeAngelo Williams.  He has at least 101 rushing yards in each of his last 4 starts.  I think he reaches that milestone again, and then some against a poor Green Bay run defense.



Last week's players to disappoint:
Pitt: Jay Cutler: 16/37, 204 yards, 1 INT, 49.8 rating, 4 rushes, 24 yards
Agrippa: Brett Favre: 25/32, 224 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 103.6 rating
LP: Bengals' offense: 208 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
dp: Donovan McNabb: 8/18, 59 yards, 2 INT, 13.2 rating


Question 19: Who is your player to disappoint?


LP: Eli Manning will disappoint this week. The Redskins rank 4th in pass defense, but Manning has averaged only 172.5 yards and thrown for just 3 TDs in four career starts at Washington. If you have Eli on your fantasy team, I would consider putting him on the bench for this week if you have a better QB.


Gruden: I'm going to go with the league's leading rusher, Clinton Portis. This will not be his day against a very strong Giants defense. I still think he wins the season rushing title, but not because of anything he does this weekend. Besides, Washington will be passing a lot the second half, trying to catch up.


Pitt: Drew Brees.  Although an undeniably great player, he will have a tough week relative to his expectations.  Tampa Bay has a great pass defense and will be focused on stopping him.  I think they'll do a pretty good job.


Agrippa: Matt Cassel. Pittsburgh defense is ranked 1st in every major defensive category. Will be a long day for Matty.

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