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NFL Week 14: Winter weather becomes primary story line across league
Blowing snow made traction and visibility difficult for Lions at Eagles, Vikings at Redskins, Chiefs at Redskins, and Dolphins at Steelers. Detroit running back Reggie Bush injured himself on the slippery field at the Linc in warmups and was not playing.
The snow so obscured the yard markers it was nearly impossible for fans to tell exactly where the ball was at all four stadiums. Televising networks superimposed the yard lines and numbers for viewers at home.
Small tractors with plows, and workers with shovels tried to clear the snow in Baltimore, to no avail. Workers used handheld snow blowers in Philadelphia, with little effect.
Conditions were at their worst in Philly, where predictions had been for a bit of snow later in the day, not a full-scale squall.
Referee Ed Hochuli told the teams during the pregame coin toss he would improvise if the coin landed on an angle. There was no need for that.
But there was need to bundle up. Lions and Eagles both huddled around portable sideline heaters. Even the cheerleaders wore winter vests.
The Lions fumbled four times, losing one, in the first quarter alone. But after scoring in the second period, they went for a 2-point conversion and made it because trying a placement kick was too treacherous.
But Detroit called a timeout after going ahead 20-14 to attempt an extra point kick by David Akers, a former Eagles kicker. The Lions had been penalized 5 yards for a false start before trying a 2-point conversion, so opted for the kick. It was blocked.
The fans that stuck this one out appeared to be having fun and no, they werent throwing snowballs. But with temperatures in the 20s, there were some huge gaps in the second level and upper deck.
In Baltimore, Vikings holder Jeff Locke wiped down the spot he planned to place the ball, clearing a path for kicker Blair Walsh on a field-goal try. The preparation paid off with a 39-yarder that got Minnesota within 7-3.
Swirling snow turned the field into a veritable ice rink. The players had difficulty running, passing and catching the football. The first play from scrimmage was a dropped pass by Jacoby Jones.
With fans covered with snow, the conditions seemed more appropriate for outdoors in Minnesota than Maryland. Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, hurt his ankle on the slick turf in the second quarter.
A short drive away in the Washington suburb of Landover, the Redskins had a snow game for the first time since FedEx Field opened in 1997.
Players were slipping and sliding: Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers took a big-time slide trying to keep up when Pierre Garcon made a cut on a passing route. But Robert Griffin III missed making the throw.
When Kansas City had the ball deep in Redskins territory, Andy Reid asked for a measurement even though the Chiefs were a full yard short of a first down. Reid couldnt judge the distance because the yard lines werent visible.
The Chiefs went for it anyway and converted.
Several Dolphins came out in shorts and T-shirts during individual warmups. but the team left the field early, with the Steelers staying on the field until the usual time to head back to the locker room.
For the coin flip in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger was wearing gray sweatpants over his gold football pants.
Snow intensified after the opening kickoff, and during a stoppage in play due to an injury, a small army of workers came on the field with snow blowers to clear the hashmarks, every 5-yard stripe as well as the yardage numbers. But some of them got covered quickly as the snow picked up.
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Sunday Night Football Preview, Cowboys visit Green Bay
Sportsbook.com Cowboys vs. Packers Betting Odds: Green Bay -7.5, Total: 45.5
Dallas tries to avoid its first five-game losing streak since 1997 as it travels to Lambeau Field for a Sunday night matchup with Green Bay. The injury-riddled Packers are coming off an impressive 9-0 shutout over the Jets and are looking for their third straight win before their bye week arrives Monday. Dallas is the biggest disappointment in the NFL so far tallying a 1-6 record both straight-up and against the spread (ATS).
Dallas has allowed 33.5 PPG during the four-game losing skid, allowing its opponents to gain an average of 151 rushing YPG. Dallas also has 11 turnovers in the four-game stretch and just 3.8 yards per carry. The good news is that backup QB Jon Kitna has played pretty well in place of injured starter Tony Romo. The 38-year-old Kitna completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and threw for 379 yards in last week’s loss to Jacksonville. All three of Kitna’s interceptions bounced off receivers’ hands. He also threw for 187 yards, two touchdowns and no picks against the Giants two weeks ago when Romo broke his collarbone.
Green Bay’s defense has been stellar as of late, pitching a 9-0 shutout over the Jets last Sunday. The Packers have allowed just 17.0 PPG this year (fourth-best in NFL) and rank third in the league in sacks (24) and interceptions (12). NFL sacks leader Clay Matthews is expected to play despite being held out of practice with a calf injury. QB Aaron Rodgers will be without his No. 2 receiver Donald Driver, who is suffering from a quadriceps injury. This isn’t a major loss considering Driver did not have a catch in his past two games.
Last season, the teams played a defensive slugfest in Lambeau, with the Packers winning 17-7 on two fourth-quarter touchdowns and three Dallas turnovers.
These two NFL betting trends show why Dallas will fail to cover the point spread yet again.
Play On - Any team (GREEN BAY) - good team (outgain opp. by 0.4 to 1 YPP) against an average team (+/- 0.4 YPP), after being outgained by opp by 100 or more total yards last game. (77-35 since 1983.) (68.8%, +38.5 units. Rating = 3*).
Mike McCarthy is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) off a non-conference game as the coach of GREEN BAY.
The average score was GREEN BAY 26.8, OPPONENT 19.2 - (Rating = 3*).
61 percent of Sportsbook.com bettors are backing the ‘over’ and here is why:
The last 13 times these teams squared off, the ‘over’ covered 10 times.
Wade Phillips is 14-3 OVER (+10.7 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 as the coach of DALLAS. The average score was DALLAS 25.4, OPPONENT 25.9 - (Rating = 3*).
For more NFL betting trends and to check out the NFL Week 9 betting odds, head over to Sportsbook.com now.