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Posts of category  "Packers"

The NFL’s opening weekend will attract bets from the average Joe to professional bettors for some of the biggest games.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are nearly favored by double digits on the road against the division rival Cleveland Browns. And the Dallas Cowboys, who will have RB Ezekiel Elliott available, are four-point home favorites against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football in a game that’s already had plenty of line movement.

With so many eye-popping games and so many NFL odds on the move, you’ll want to know to what SportsLine’s advanced computer model is picking.

SportsLine’s Projection Model went an amazing 174-80-2 on straight-up NFL pickslast season — better than all 98 experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.

Every single one.

SportsLine computer picks would have also won over 96 percent of CBS Sports Office Pool Manager pools that made straight up picks last season.

With Week 1 already here, the computer simulated every matchup 10,000 times and came up with some surprising results.

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Matt Ryan and the Falcons figure to fly out of the gates. But then … (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Every year we see a team light September on fire only to fade down the stretch. Last year the Eagles and Vikings appeared to be Super Bowl contenders before both faltered over the second half of the season and failed to even make the playoffs. The 2017 season will be no different. A franchise will climb toward the top of everyone’s power rankings by Week 5 only to be on the outside looking in at the playoff race by Week 17

The most likely contender for that title this season is none other than the Atlanta Falcons, a team that’s been the hot starter/slow finisher as recently as 2015 when they came out the gates 5-0 before finishing 3-8 over their next 11 games. The biggest reason why is simply the difficulty of the second half of their season. From Weeks 9 to 17 the Falcons have to play all six of their division games as well as face the Cowboys, Seahawks and Vikings – three teams with a combined record of 31-16-1 last year. Let’s break it down further though to get a picture of how the Falcons season could play out.

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Jody Nelson (87) of the Green Bay Packers picks up a first down as he is chased down by Byron Maxwell (41) of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington on January 18, 2015. Seattle won 28-22. Photo by Troy Wayrynen/UPI

License Photo


KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Lambeau Field. TV: FOX, Joe Buck, Troy AikmanErin Andrews.

SERIES HISTORY: 18th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 10-7. Russell Wilson was intercepted a career-high five times and Seattle lost a game by more than 10 points for the first time in over five years in Green Bay’s 38-10 victory at Lambeau Field last December. Seattle has not won at Lambeau Field since 1999 in Mike Holmgren‘s first season as coach after leaving the Packers, with the Packers winning seven straight by an average of 18.9 points.

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What are the keys to the game and who will win Sunday’s Week 1 showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks?

Some story lines for today’s Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks showdown:

– The NFC arms race has continued into this week. Seattle signed Sheldon Richardson and Green Bay added three more players after a rare, active offseason. “It’s different. Obviously, there’s some aggressiveness there,” outside linebacker Nick Perry said. “I’m not making the calls, I’m not calling the shots, but you’ve seen new guys and guys that will be able to contribute and help. I think that’s all that everybody wants is for everybody to do a great job — not just a good job. The guys they’ve brought in here, it’s going to truly help this team in the long run.”

– With Richardson, Seattle has the best pass rush in the NFL. How will the Packers counter?

– Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made his NFL debut against Seattle in the 2014 opener. “It actually feels like yesterday,” Clinton-Dix said. He struggled in that game, has become a star since, and wants to show how good he is against Seattle’s elite tandem of safeties.

– Seattle shopped star cornerback Richard Sherman during the offseason. He’s back, but will the Packers even test him given the uncertainty at the other corner spots?

– Aaron Rodgers could make some NFL history with a milestone that quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt said, “I don’t know if it’ll ever be touched.”

– History says today’s game is huge.

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Aaron Rodgers photo
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, in Green Bay.


GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers is no dummy.

After the Green Bay Packers’ past six seasons have ended short of the Super Bowl — he led the 2010 team to the Super Bowl XLV title in his third season as the starter — there was no way on earth the two-time NFL MVP quarterback was about to wax philosophic on what a third such award would mean to him.

“I hope we’re having this conversation later in the year, where we’re talking about our team being successful and me playing the right way,” Rodgers said simply.

Whether Rodgers has given any thought privately to the possibility, only he can say. But after the way he finished last season, delivering on his run-the-table remark by putting together one of the best stretches of football of his 13-year NFL career, there’s certainly reason to think he’s got another MVP-caliber season in him.

“He’s at the peak of his career. He’s at the top of his game. It’s hard to imagine what more he can do or how much better he can play,” said Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, whose team opens its season against the Packers today at Lambeau Field.

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The team that brought you the 2015 “Hulk Lacy/Cheesehead Nation” and the 2016 “Hail Rodgers” murals have plans to create another iconic work on “The Packers Fence” along Lombardi Avenue, directly across from Lambeau Field.

Zane Statz and Spencer Young, along with Cheesehead TV, will feature Packers’ players from the defensive side of the ball in a comic-book themed piece titled “Defenders of Lambeau.”

Mr. Young painted Aaron Rodgers and the Receiver while Mr. Statz did the “Hail Rodgers,” football, CheeseheadTV   logo,   and   stencil   work

Mr. Young painted Aaron Rodgers and the Receiver while Mr. Statz did the “Hail Rodgers,” football, CheeseheadTV logo, and stencil work

One of the subjects of the mural is no stranger to playing the role of comic book hero. This past July, defensive lineman Mike Daniels attended Comic Con, a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, in full costume, drawing national media attention. Only, Daniels didn’t attend the convention as the menacing, disruptive, and run-stuffing defensive lineman that Packers’ fans are used to seeing on Sundays, rather Daniels dressed as a popular character from a Japanese animation series. “This kind of stuff, it wasn’t the cool thing when I was growing up,” Daniels said according to a July 28th ESPN feature. “Now, pop culture is comic books, super-hero movies, anime, manga, and I’ve been doing it for a long time.” The artists play off this passion in the mural with a custom-designed Mike Daniels anime character by Mr. Young. The mural will also feature another Packers’ star who certainly looks the part of superhero. Clay Matthews III, the figurehead of the Packers’ defense with a penchant for flexing his biceps and letting his long blond locks flow, has long been compared to Marvel Entertainment superhero Thor. Mr. Statz incorporaated a custom Thor-inspired design of Matthews to complete the “Defenders of Lambeau” mural.

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Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix tackles Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron during an NFL game on Jan. 1, 2017, in Detroit.
Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix tackles Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron during an NFL game on Jan. 1, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo)

Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had an eventful offseason. He started a charitable organization called Ha Ha’s HERO Foundation and spent a month working as an intern for Brown County (Wisconsin) Circuit Court Judge Don Zuidmulder to earn credit toward his undergraduate degree at Alabama.

With that offseason behind him, Clinton-Dix starts the 2017 NFL season on Sunday, and he’s got things he wants to get done during that, too, such as “be the best safety in the league.”

Last season, Clinton-Dix earned his first Pro Bowl invitation and was a second-team All-Pro selection. He tied for the NFL lead among safeties with five interceptions and was one of four players in the NFL who was on the field for every one of his team’s defensive snaps.

“I think he can take another step this year,” Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers said of Clinton-Dix. “You saw him step up with the takeaways last year. The one thing about Ha Ha is he’s been able to stay on that field. He played the most plays of any defensive player last year. He sets a high standard for himself. Guys like that normally continue to push themselves to advance their game.”

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The second-year pro went unclaimed.

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

As part of cutting their roster from 90 to the regular-season maximum of 53 ctive players, the New England Patriots released running back D.J. Foster yesterday. Due to the move, Foster was exposed to the waiver wire and free to be claimed by the NFL’s other 31 teams.

However, according to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, this did not happen and the second-year pro will instead return to New England:

D.J. Foster cleared waivers and will return to the Patriots on the practice squad.

Getting Foster onto their practice squad has to be considered a success for the Patriots. After all, the 23-year old former undrafted rookie free agent effectively is New England’s top emergency option at the receiving back position. In case James WhiteDion Lewis or Rex Burkhead were lost to injury for an extended period of time, Foster would likely serve as the next man down the depth chart.

During the preseason, the versatile running back led the Patriots in rushing attempts (30) and yards (92) and scored a touchdown. He added another score through the air and caught a total of 13 passes for 150 yards. Having a player like that as an additional layer of depth on the scout team is certainly a plus.

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Three rookies have been placed on reserve lists by the team.

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

As part of their final roster cutdowns, the New England Patriots have placed three rookies on non-football reserve lists – among them their second-highest selection of this year’s draft:

Garcia was one of the Patriots’ four draft picks this year and originally projected to be a lock to make the team due to his athletic upside and status as a third round selection. And whie it would have been a huge surprise to see the 23-year old earn regular playing time or even a starting spot, he was at least seen as a valuable backup to groom behind the scenes.

However, the 23-year old was unable to contribute much over the course of the summer because of injury and was now placed on the reserve list due to an undisclosed illness – a situation that is worth watching closely over the next few weeks.

New England also placed two more rookies on a reserve list; the non-football injury list to be exact:

DE Keionta Davis

OT Andrew Jelks

Davis remained unsigned for more than four months after the draft due to a medical issue (a bulging disk in his neck). The Patriots brought him on board in August but he was seen as a long-shot to make the team.

Jelks, on the other hand, was signed by the Patriots shortly after the draft. After having missed his last two collegiate seasons due to consecutive ACL tears, he was placed on the NFI list prior to the start of training camp.

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Buffalo Bills' Anquan Boldin warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Buffalo Bills’ Anquan Boldin warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)(Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Anquan Boldin promised that his retirement had nothing to do with the Buffalo Bills.

The wide receiver told SiriusXM that the events of Charlottesvilleprompted his retirement. The receiver seemed genuine about his intention to leave the game to do social advocacy work, but the timing was peculiar. Boldin’s decision to retire came shortly after the Bills traded away Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby in separate deals and after he appeared in one sloppy preseason game.

Although Boldin claimed his retirement had nothing to do with the Bills, a report from Ben Volin of the Boston Globe says that Boldin is willing to play again this season for a more competitive team. According to Volin, Boldin has interest in coming out of retirement to play for the New England Patriots.c

“In light of Edelman’s injury, a league source said the Patriots and recently retired Anquan Boldin had mutual interest in bringing Boldin to New England this offseason, and he remains intrigued by the possibility,” Volin said. “But the point is likely moot. Boldin signed with the Bills, and was placed on Buffalo’s reserve/retired list Aug. 22. That means the Bills retain his rights, and they would need to release him in order to let him sign with the Patriots. That sort of cooperation from a division rival doesn’t seem likely.”

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