What To Watch This Week In US Sports: 3 November 2012
Wow – the past week in US sports was seriously hectic!
If you blinked, then you would have missed the end of the MLB season, a monster week in the NBA (big trades, big injuries and the start of the season with plenty of upsets) and a week where an NFL game was played in front of 84,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London!
The US Sports Down Under team have started cranking out some brilliant NFL and NBA content to keep you posted with all the goings-on, so here goes with another big week:
Must Watch Game Of The Week
So, one of these two teams is ranked:
- 7th in total offence
- 4th in total defence
- 3rd in pass offence
- And 28th in rushing offence
The other is:
- 12th in total offence
- 20th in total defence
- 8rd in pass offence
- And 24th in rushing offence
Any guesses which team is which? That’s right…the first set of stats belongs to the 3-4 Cowboys, while the second is the 7-0 Falcons!
So, why do two teams with similar raw numbers in terms of yards have such different records?
I think a lot can be explained by turnover ratio: Atlanta +10, Dallas -11. This means that Dallas has turned the ball over ELEVEN more times than they have forced turnovers (including been intercepted ten times, but only managed to grab three of their own), while Atlanta has managed to take the ball ten times more than they’ve given it up. Dallas has given up five touchdowns from turnovers, but their defence has not created any points at all.
Dallas certainly has a few players that can hold their head up high though. DeMarcus Ware (OLB) has been a beast again this year. Through seven games, he has 7.5 sacks (equal 4th in the league) and 3 forces fumbles (equal 3rd in the league). Miles Austin (WR) and Jason Whitten (TE) have been very good as well. Austin is averaging 80 yards per game and Whitten is one of the three standout tight ends this year, along with Rob Gronkowski and the ageless Tony Gonzales.
Atlanta are looking like the real deal this year – taking care of business last week against the Eagles (30-17), but there are still questions as to if they can sustain this standard of play and make a run deep into the playoffs.
Amazing Stat Of The Week:
Dallas has played teams that have been undefeated after at least seven games, three times in their history – the ’91 Redskins (11-0), ’06 Colts (9-0) and ’09 Saints (13-0). They won all three of those games…and all three of those teams they beat went on to win the Superbowl!
My Pick: I’m convinced the Cowboys are trying to give all their fans a stroke this year – give me Big-D to upset the Falcons and keep the Dallas faithful hanging on to their playoff hopes.
Other Big Games:
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) @ New York Giants (6-2)
Live: ONE – Monday November 5, 8.15am (see TV Guide for info)
Three weeks ago everyone was discounting the Steelers after a horrible loss to the Titans. Now with great defence and consecutive wins over Cincinnati and Washington, they’re starting to appear a little more like the Pittsburgh we’re used to.
Meanwhile, the Giants are looking every bit the defending Superbowl champion – a team that knows that it can beat anyone and that has supreme confidence in itself and its quarterback to find a way to win no matter what. Their season has been highlighted by a massive comeback against Tampa Bay, thumping the 49ers at Candlestick and last of course, Eli’s last drive heroics against Washington and Dallas.
My Pick: Big Blue to stifle Pittsburgh’s new-found run game and win comfortably.
Minnesota Vikings (5-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
A battle of two very similar young teams. They’re both built around brilliant defence, the running game and both have young, exciting prospects at QB.
My Tip: I can’t ignore Seattle’s home-field advantage here. Seahawks in a close one.
Well, the season has started and this week is highlighted by Saturday’s big double-header. First, the Miami Heat face off against the New York Knicks and that’s followed by the LA derby with the Clips facing the Lakers. Later in the week, the Heat continue their tri-state area trip with a Thursday game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Must Watch Game Of The Week
Live: ESPN & ESPN HD – Saturday November 3, 1.30pm (see TV Guide for info)
The new look all star Lakers are 0-2 going up against their inner city rival the LA Clippers who themselves have a lot of new faces. Kobe v CP3, Blake v Gasol & Dwight…this one is set to be a ripper with plenty of big plays and highlights!
Developing storylines to look out for:
- How long can James Harden maintain the rage and play with a chip on his shoulder – a week, a month, the whole season?!
- How long will it take for the Lakers to settle down with the new personnel? They’re off to a 0-2 start so far, Nash is doubtful for the next game or two with an injury and Kobe is telling reporters to “shut up and let us work”!
- How will the rookies settle in? Is Anthony Davis everything that he looks like he can be?
Ok, let’s concentrate on the undefeated teams in a very big Week 10 of College Football:
No. 1 Alabama (8-0): The Tide keeps rolling, but this week will be their first real test against the very best opposition that their SCC conference has to offer. They’re playing at LSU (7-1) in a replay of last year’s National Championship. This game will tell us everything we need to know about ‘Bama – are they the invincible steamroller that they appear or has it just been the lack of quality opposition making them look good?
No. 2 Kansas State (8-0): Everyone now knows that K-State is for real. A massive win against Texas Tech, dominating on both sides of the ball, has meant that they’ve now easily beaten three teams ranked in the Top 15 so far this year. Look for them to keep rolling against an inconsistent No. 24 Oklahoma State (5-2) team this week.
No. 3 Notre Dame (8-0): The Irish!! Their defence has been awesome and now the offence is starting to pull their weight. The comfortable win against Oklahoma last week was so important – they’re now a realistic National Championship contender. They should thump Pitt (4-4) this week.
No. 4 Oregon (8-0): The Ducks have the best offence in the country and their defence is hanging tough this year too. They’re ranked right down at Number Four because their schedule so far has been pretty soft. All that changes this week when they go down south to take on Matt Barkley and USC (6-2). If they win this game as easily as they’ve won the rest of their games, then I think they’ll go all the way and win the whole thing this year!
No. 10 Louisville (8-0): Poor Louisville…they’ve not lost a game and yet nobody takes them seriously. Why? Well it’s because most of their games have been against Big East teams and this year the Big East is terrible. They’ve played no teams ranked in the Top 25 and nothing changes this week when they play a bad Temple (3-4) team. They’ll win again, but they’re still not a national Top 10 team in my book.
So, that’s it for now. Tell me what you’re most looking forward to this week!