Sport

Record-breaking Brees...inspired Colts upset Packers

By Tony Scott

Friday, October 12, 2012    

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Before we get into the many highlights that Week Five had to offer, let's deal with the Monday night match-up between the Houston Texans and the under the microscope New York Jets.

The Texans won that contest 23-17 and as the score indicates it was closer than anticipated. But a win is a win no matter how close and that win puts the Texans at 5-0, undefeated atop the AFC South and sharing the spotlight with the NFC south Atlanta Falcons. Houston's running back Arian Foster put on a great display rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown. But the man who is the centre of attraction for the hostile New York media, quarterback Mark Sanchez saw five of his passes tipped and two of them intercepted by Houston defenders, and heard the unforgiving crowd yelling for Tim Tebow to replace him. I don't know whether or not that is the solution but I do know that something's got to give if the Jets don't improve and start winning. Maybe it's Tebow time or maybe it's time for a head coaching change. With New York you never know.

The record-breaking performance by Drew Brees gave the 0-4 New Orleans Saints something to cheer about. Brees broke Johnny Unitas' record of 47 games with at least one touchdown pass, when he threw for his 48th touchdown pass in the first quarter of the game against the San Diego Chargers. It was a 40-yard toss to Devery Henderson. The record has stood since 1960.

Saint's head coach Sean Payton along with two of his colleagues who are under suspension for the bounty affair were allowed by the League to attend the game to witness this record-breaking event. It was also witnessed by a very gracious Joe Unitas, the son of Johnny, who earlier on had written Brees a letter congratulating him on achieving that milestone.

Just as important was the outcome of the game as Brees went on to guide the Saints to a 31-24 victory over the Chargers thus snapping the 0-4 winless streak.

I would love to see the audience numbers on the game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. They must have been pretty impressive as all eyes were focused on Foxboro, Massachusetts the venue for the collision between two of the League's elite quarterbacks — Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. This was the 13th meeting between these two guys, 12 of them while Manning was in a Colts uniform. Brady's record improved to 9-4 as the Patriots beat the Broncos convincingly 31-21.

The tale of the tape saw Brady completing 23 of 31 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns. Manning on the other hand had 31 of 44 for 345 yards and three touchdowns. In the third quarter, the Patriots were ahead 31-7 and we all thought a blowout was inevitable. But Manning mounted a comeback with touchdown passes to Erik Decker and Brandon Stokely, and though they came close, it wasn't to be. For me though, this game wasn't just about these two stars. I for one was most impressed with the running of Steven Ridley of the Patriots who had a career-high 151 yards rushing. So did the game live up to its hype and expectations? Not really. On a scale of one to 10, I would give it an eight and that's being generous.

The Indianapolis Colts were not on anybody's list to beat the Green Bay Packers but they did, proving once again that in the NFL on any given Sunday you never know. The Colts are a team in a rebuilding phase and they faced a veteran team with arguably the most capable quarterback in the League, Aaron Rodgers and they won. The Packers led 21-3 in the first half and it seemed like a done deal. But Andrew Luck and his Colts teammates would have none of it. Indy rallied in the second half to emerge 28-22 winners and leave the Packers and their fans dumbfounded.

For the Colts it was sheer determination fired by the zeal to honour their hospitalised coach Chuck Pagano who is battling leukemia and who watched the game from his hospital bed. The players obviously felt his presence on the field as they set about winning one for Chuck. And did they ever. For us fans it was a feel-good moment. The scene in the dressing room was highly emotional as the general manger (or Is he the owner) of the Colts spoke eloquently about Pagano and told his team that he was taking the game ball to the hospital to give it to the coach much to the delight of the entire locker room. I've seen it happen before and for very different reason, but when a team sets out to win for whatever reason, they inevitably do win.

I had a not-so-bad Week Five in making my picks against the spread. I posted an 8-6 record, as did my fellow tipster Andre Hutchinson. Not faring so well were our other colleagues Andrei Roper, with a 6-8 record (though still holding the slight overall lead so far this season), and Peter Lindo who went 5-9. Things are getting really tight, and with that tricky point spread, you really have to be on top of your game every week when making those picks.

Week Six features a number of attractive match-ups. On Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road at the hapless Tennessee Titans, a game which, by the time you read this article, the Steelers should have won and covered the six-point spread. Or so I hope. In other attractive match-ups, the surprising Seattle Seahawks (a team that despite being 3-2, are last in a pretty competitive AFC West division) are at home to the offensive juggernaut that is the New England Patriots, the San Francisco 49ers, one of the most complete teams in the league this season, host the New York Giants, the undefeated Houston Texans host the Green Bay Packers and on Monday Night Football, the San Diego Chargers will tackle the Denver Broncos in what could be a shootout.

The season is shaping up really nicely and without question, we've got lots more fireworks in store. Enjoy the games this weekend, and remember to place your bets on the NFL, with JustBet!!!

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NFL WEEK 6 SCHEDULE

NFL Week 6 odds (with changes):

Thur Oct 11

Ten Titans +6.5 v Pit Steelers, U/O 44.5

Sun Oct 14

Atl Falcons v Oak Raiders +8.5, U/O 48.5

Bal Ravens v Dal Cowboys +4.5, U/O 44.5

Cle Browns +2.5 v Cin Bengals, U/O 44.5

Mia Dolphins v StL Rams +3.5, U/O 38.5

NY Jets v Ind Colts +3.5, U/O, 43.5

Phi Eagles v Det Lions +4.5, U/O 47.5

TB Buccaneers v KC Chiefs +3.5, U/O 41.5

Ari Cardinals v Buf Bills +5.5, U/O 43.5

Sea Seahawks +5.5 v NE Patriots, U/O 45.5

SF 49ers v NY Giants +5.5, U/O 45.5

Was Redskins v Min Vikings +1.5, U/O 48.5

Hou Texans v GB Packers +4.5, U/O 47.5

Mon Oct 15

SD Chargers v Den Broncos +2.5, U/O 50.5

(Handicaps in bracket, Under/Over included)

*Teams on a bye: Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars

*Handicaps and Under/Over subject to change without notice, prior to kick-off

EXPERTS' PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

Andrei Roper's

Week 6 Picks (in bold)

Titans v Steelers

Falcons v Raiders

Ravens v Cowboys

Browns v Bengals

Dolphins v Rams

Jets v Colts

Eagles v Lions

Buccaneers v Chiefs

Cardinals v Bills

Seahawks v Patriots

49ers v Giants

Redskins v Vikings

Texans v Packers

Chargers v Broncos

Last week: 6-8

Season to date: 40-37

Tony Scott's

Week 6 Picks (in bold)

Titans v Steelers

Falcons v Raiders

Ravens v Cowboys

Browns v Bengals

Dolphins v Rams

Jets v Colts

Eagles v Lions

Buccaneers v Chiefs

Cardinals v Bills

Seahawks v Patriots

49ers v Giants

Redskins v Vikings

Texans v Packers

Chargers v Broncos

Last week: 8-6

Season to date: 39-38

Andre Hutchinson's

Week 6 Picks (in bold)

Titans v Steelers

Falcons v Raiders

Ravens v Cowboys

Browns v Bengals

Dolphins v Rams

Jets v Colts

Eagles v Lions

Buccaneers v Chiefs

Cardinals v Bills

Seahawks v Patriots

49ers v Giants

Redskins v Vikings

Texans v Packers

Chargers v Broncos

Last week: 8-6

Season to date: 39-38

Peter Lindo's

Week 6 Picks (in bold)

Titans v Steelers

Falcons v Raiders

Ravens v Cowboys

Browns v Bengals

Dolphins v Rams

Jets v Colts

Eagles v Lions

Buccaneers v Chiefs

Cardinals v Bills

Seahawks v Patriots

49ers v Giants

Redskins v Vikings

Texans v Packers

Chargers v Broncos

Last week: 5-9

Season to date: 30-47

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