Dogs ruling NFL preseason

Aug 17, 2008 7:31 PM

by Mark Mayer | When in doubt, take the dog. That’s a tried and true philosophy when it comes to preseason football since the focus of teams, particularly favorites, often comes into question. The theory worked in full force Saturday night when underdogs covered in the first seven games on the slate en route to an 8-2 mark.

The underdogs stand 9-3-3 for Week 2 of preseason and 18-8-4 overall. Sunday’s slate finds Detroit a 3-point underdog at Cincinnati and New England a 2-point dog at Tampa Bay. The final Week 2 game is Monday night with Cleveland a 3-point dog at New York against the Giants.

The highlight of Saturday’s action was the debut of Brett Favre as a member of the New York Jets. The Jets, as a 3-point favorite, lost to Washington 13-10 with Favre completing 4-of-5 passes including a touchdown. On the Left Coast, Favre’s former team Green Bay fell to San Francisco 34-6. New Packers QB Aaron Rodgers had a potential TD pass dropped in the end zone during a mediocre outing.

Looking to next week’s games bettors should note that Houston, Washington, Tennessee and Seattle are all undefeated through at least two games, while Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Green Bay have yet to win. The marquee matchup will be next Saturday at the Meadowlands between Favre’s Jets and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. The New York rivals do not meet during the regular season.

Here are some of last weekend’s top performances, which may help give some insight into the depth of certain teams as they prepare for preseason Week 3:

Seahawks: Former Cal RB Justin Forsett ran for 136 yards.

Colts: Backup QB Quinn Gray threw for 100 yards.

Texans: Ex-West Virginia RB Steve Slaton ran for 57 yards.

49ers: J.T. O’Sullivan passed for 154 yards.

Ravens: Ex-Rutgers RB Ray Rice ran for 77 yards.