Green Bay Packers only unbeaten NFL football team

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Six weeks into the 2011NFL football season finds just one unbeaten team – the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

The only other unbeaten team heading into last week, the Detroit Lions, lost a very entertaining and emotionally charged contest against San Francisco in what could result in a January rematch.

Both the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers are 5-1.

San Francisco appears to be far and away the best team in the weak NFC West. Detroit Lions, if unable to overtake the Green Bay Packers, seems well positioned to earn a Wild Card if continuing the progress shown thus far.

Miami returned from its bye last week to face the Jets on Monday night as the Dolphins were looking for their first win of the season following four losses.

Two other teams did remain winless this past Sunday as Indianapolis and St Louis each lost road games. Losing in Cincinnati, the Colts fell to 0-5. Returning from a bye, the Rams were defeated in Green Bay.

Philadelphia got a much needed win on the road in Washington as the Eagles ended a four game losing streak to enter their bye week at 2-4, last in the NFC East.

Scoring took a modest dip with last Sunday’s dozen games averaging “just” 41.0 points per game after the first 5 weeks had averaged 46.3 ppg. There were 9 UNDERS and just 3 OVERS which narrowed the gap for the season, heading into Monday night, to just 13 (50-37 in favor of OVERS).

Ignoring those pushes, the OVER is hitting at a 57.5 percent clip.

The odds makers have done a pretty good job thus far of keeping results close to 50-50. Home favorites are 27-27-2 ATS thus far and home underdogs 17-13-2. The lone home pick’em game this season lost.

Six teams again have byes this week as Buffalo, Cincinnati, New England, the New York Giants, Philadelphia and San Francisco will be idle.

Here’s a look at the 13 games that will be played including the 2011 version of the London Bowl with Tampa Bay and Chicago crossing the pond.

SUNDAY

Bears PK vs Bucs (43): Tampa makes its second appearance in this game as the Bucs lost 35-7 to New England in 2009. Neither team is explosive on offense and both have been significantly less productive on the road. The travel combined with the constant threat of rain and both offenses’ reliance more on the run than the pass suggests points will be more scarce than expected. UNDER.

Redskins +3 at Panthers (44): Carolina was game in last week’s loss at Atlanta and lost to the spread for just the first time this season. The Panthers have been more productive on offense while the Redskins have fared better on defense, especially against the pass. Washington has also played well on the road, winning at St Louis and losing by just 2 at Dallas. The FG is an attractive option. REDSKINS.

Chargers +2 at Jets (45): San Diego is off a bye while the Jets hosted division rival Miami last Monday night. The Jets still have had problems rushing the football and with the second best quarterback in this game are at a disadvantage. Their defense has played well but below the level of last season. CHARGERS.

Seahawks +3 at Browns (40): There are QB concerns for the Seahawks as starter Tarvaris Jackson was injured in the Giants win. Both teams have been below average on offense, especially in running the football, which should pressure on both teams’ passing attacks. The Browns have scored over 17 points just once and have played well against the pass. UNDER.

Texans +3 at Titans (44): The Titans return from their bye looking to rebound from a one sided loss at Pittsburgh. The Texans are likely to still be without WR Andre Johnson. QB Matt Schaub was banged up in the loss to the Ravens but is expected to play. The defense, without Mario Williams, allowed over 400 yards to the Ravens. TITANS.

Broncos +3 at Dolphins (42½): Denver is off of a bye and will start Tim Tebow at QB. However, their leading receiver, Brandon Lloyd, was just traded to St. Louis. Miami is off Monday night’s game at the Jets and with Matt Moore likely making his second start at QB after Chad Henne was placed on injured reserve. This figures to be a low scoring game. UNDER.

Falcons +4 at Lions (48½): With coach Mike Smith and QB Matt Ryan, the Falcons have been a much better team at home than on the road. The Lions are averaging over 30 points per game at home this season and will be facing a far more permissive defense in Atlanta than they faced against San Francisco last week. LIONS.

Chiefs +3½ at Raiders (42½): After going 6-0 in division games last season, Oakland has won their lone AFC West game this season against Denver. The Raiders must find a replacement for starting QB Jason Campbell. After starting 0-3, Kansas City won two straight prior to the bye week. The ground game should play a big role. UNDER.

Steelers -3½ at Cardinals (42½): Arizona is rested following the bye which should have enabled more work for QB Kevin Kolb who has been less than impressive with his new team. The Steelers are banged up with the latest injury to safety Troy Polamalu, expected to be at less than full strength this week. The Cards have a real chance to pull the upset. CARDS.

Rams +10½ at Cowboys (44½): St. Louis has not scored more than 16 points in any of its five games, averaging just 9.8 per game. Dallas has played much better than its 2-3 record suggests and out yarded each of its five foes this season. Cowboys and Tony Romo are in a favorable spot to take out frustrations on a Rams team that appears incapable of trading points. COWBOYS.

Packers -8 at Vikings (47): The woes continue for Minnesota as they made a mid game QB change on Sunday from veteran Donovan McNabb to rookie Christian Ponder. Green Bay continues to look like the most complete team in the NFL and has more weapons despite being on the road at a hated division rival the Packers have more weapons. And the Green Bay defense will be formidable. PACKERS.

Colts +14 at Saints (48): The Colts passing offense is starting to show improvement behind backup QB Curtis Painter although the running game remains inept. Still, the Saints have defensive vulnerabilities and should they get out to a big lead there could be opportunities for the Colts to put points on the board in the fourth quarter. The Total appears to be a much better option in this one than the side. OVER.

MONDAY

Ravens -7½ at Jaguars (39): The early money has come in on the home team. It might be due to this being the Jags last home game until after Thanksgiving, with three road games and a bye on deck. Although the Jacksonville offense has been poor, the defense has played rather well. The late money should come in on Baltimore, which should provide added value on the home underdog. JAGUARS.

 

About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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