1) NYJ. Simms argues that despite how big the special teams “tripgate” is, the team is 9-4 and just needs a win. Francesa argues the opposite point, that the team is headed in the wrong direction, that Sanchez has never looked less confident. Simms says the Jets offense is too hard on a second year QB. Sanchez has also taken an incredible amount of hits, so it makes him jittery and takes him off target. He is missing throws he would not miss if he weren’t getting pounded regularly. Simms agrees with Francesa that the Jets got away from what worked for them, more specifically that the Jets have lost their identity. Simms points out that when personnel changes (ie Santonio Holmes), you cannot just change the team’s (offensive) approach. And the reality is that the league has caught up to their defense. Simms notes that the Jets had ~7 opportunities with big plays and (between WR drops and QB misses, etc.) only capitalized on 1 of them. Dynamics with the coaching staff and the QB changed this week, a little more separation, a good change.
2) NYJ-PIT. The Steelers’ OL has two good players. The rest are barely hanging on. They have big problems but their stars (Roethlisberger) are making enough plays to find ways to win games. Francesa points out that the Steelers has not generated an offensive TD in the last 11 quarters. Simms says that today will have graphics for the game that point how the similarities of both teams.. but that the only difference is how the Steelers are still winning and the Jets are not.
3) JAX-IND. The Colts changed the offense this week, that Garcon will get more passing opportunities. Jacksonville is an exciting football team. Maurice Jones-Drew and Garrard are playing very well. The Jags have no speed on offensive side. Defense is hitting the QB as well as anyone in the league. They have stupid blitzes that seem to work because they are different and catch teams unprepared. But Simms says that you have to remember that the game is Indianapolis, that is why Simms give the Colts the edge.
4) NYG-PHL. The Giants know how to play Vick. Simms will be surprised if he gets outside very much. Vick is gtg hit, he is slowing down, running less. The only way for the Eagles to win the game is if McCoy and Jackson make a lot of great plays. “The Giants are the better football team.” You can run it and throw it vs the Eagles defense. Phil likes the Giants today.
5) OAK-DEN. Tebow starts. Simms points out that the Raiders put up 31 points on the Jags last week, likes the Raiders.
6) WAS. Grossman replaces McNabb. McNabb will not be the QB next year. McNabb to Arizona next year?
7) GB-NE. Flynn replaces the concussed Rodgers. Simms rips the Packers for not having a credible backup.
Giants are -3 pt favorites today. The line net net did not move after Steve Smith was lost. That says a lot. There are enough pessimists out there (6 out of 10, 2 with best bets) who like the Eagles. 7 mph winds… I am taking the Giants to win and cover.
Inactives: Reynaud, Coe, DThomas, Petrus, Ballard, Meredith, Hall, Joseph. Samuel is active for the Eagles and Andrews is the active TE for the gmen.