Note: Use this post as your Sunday non-Giants

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game threadThree straight 8-win weeks. With so many teams on a bye last
week Womens Rhett Ellison Jersey , that means only five losses. That brings the overall season record to just a game shy of .500. We’re getting close.Remember
these picks are strictly for fun and entertainment purposes and please for your
sake do not take these picks as gambling advice. Lines used here come from the
Westgate Las Vegas via OddsShark. Home team in CAPS.Carolina (+3.5) over
PITTSBURGHOut of nowhere, the Carolina Panthers are playing like one of the best
teams in the league. They’re third in overall DVOA, fifth in offensive DVOA, and
a defense that was struggling to start the season is now 14th. Even Carolina’s
special teams in sixth in DVOA. Pittsburgh’s defense is just 21st in DVOA, so
the Steelers will have to score quite a bit to potentially keep up with the
Panthers. That’s certainly possible, but right now Carolina has the advantage in
all three stages.[Update: ha, 0-1]CHICAGO (-6.5) over DetroitThe Bears are still
first in defensive DVOA and their success has really hinged on what the offense
has been able to do on a week-to-week basis. That unit is still 10th in DVOA and
will be up against a Detroit defense that ranks 29th, so even an uneven week
from the Chicago offense could get the job done.KANSAS CITY (-16.5) over
ArizonaEarly returns on the Byron Leftwich era were positive for the Cardinals,
but facing the Chiefs and facing the 49ers are two vastly different experiences.
The Chiefs have improved to 14th in pass defensive DVOA, though still sport a
league-worst defense against the run. The problem there is running on the Chiefs
isn’t nearly enough to keep pace against the Kansas City offense. New England
(-6.5) over TENNESSEEThere’s only a handful of teams to take less than a
touchdown against the Patriots. For whatever the Titans did against the Cowboys
on Monday night, they’re not one of them.New Orleans (-5.5) over CINCINNATIThese
are two teams that have been going in opposite directions lately. The Bengals
started off promising, but have fallen back to the pack in recent weeks. After a
slew of WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE SAINTS stories over the first few weeks of the
season, New Orleans sits at 7-1 through Week 9. It’s hard to take anyone over
the Saints right now, especially a team that hasn’t been at its best.Atlanta
(-4) over CLEVELANDThe Atlanta offense has been rolling of late — a unit ranked
sixth by DVOA. Even the defense has been slightly improving, though playing the
Giants and Washington certainly helps. But that defense is getting back Deion
Jones probably next week and just signed Bruce Irvin. Meanwhile, the Browns are
losing players from their defense and while the offense has figured out how to
use Duke Johnson now, any optimism for a Browns leap forward will probably have
to be saved for 2019.Jacksonville (+3) over INDIANAPOLISAs much as the Jaguars
aren’t up to the standard of what they were last season Sterling Shepard Jersey , they’re not suddenly terrible. Jacksonville is still sixth in defensive DVOA and fifth on special teams. The 28th-ranked
offense is definitely a problem, but with high variance, that unit can look fine
at any point. Indianapolis is much better than many expected for 2018, but not
significantly better than the current version of the Jaguars.Washington (+3)
over TAMPA BAYCan an injured offense that’s not able to move the ball
efficiently take advantage of a defense that lets opponents run wild down the
field? Is there any game I care about less this week? Taking the points here and
hoping Red Zone shows no more than 30 seconds of this game on Sunday.Buffalo
(+6.5) over JETSI’m not sure if Josh McCown makes a Bills win more or less
likely. But Buffalo does rank second in defensive DVOA, the only thing that has
kept them in the games the Bills have been in. Maybe that’s enough to keep them
close in this game. But anything is possible with the worst offense in modern
history.Chargers (-9.5) over OAKLANDTake one of the league’s best offenses, put
them against a defense that just allowed 34 points to a Nick Mullens-led 49ers
offense and the line isn’t even double digits? Sure. This could have been the
Chiefs/Cardinals line and I still would have taken the Chargers.GREEN BAY (-9.5)
over MiamiMiami started the season as one of the league’s top defenses. That is
not the case anymore — 19th in DVOA. The Packers haven’t been the Packers at any
point this season, but a November home game against a Dolphins team still
starting Brock Osweiler at quarterback could be a good chance to change
that.Seattle (+9.5) over RAMSIn years when one of these teams wasn’t good, these
games were still close. Five weeks ago these teams played to a two-point game.
Seattle is now a top-10 team by DVOA (ninth) with a top-five defense. The Rams
are still better — they’re better than just about everyone — but we shouldn’t
expect this game to be a blowout.Dallas (+7) over PHILADELPHIANo team in the NFC
East is good. Philadelphia is fine — or will eventually be fine — and the other
three are varying levels of bad. Still, fine might not be enough to be a
seven-point favorite against a division rival, even at home. SAN FRANCISCO (-3)
over GiantsThe 49ers just took a backup quarterback making his NFL debut and put
up 34 points last Thursday. The Giants have scored 34 points zero times this
season and not at all since Week 15 of 2015. Last week: 8-5Season: 64-65-5 EAST
HANOVER, N.J. (AP) — At 43, Baylor coach Matt Rhule is far removed from a
playing career. That doesn’t mean he won’t run the gauntlet with his guys to
prove a point.When Rhule was helping turn around the program at Temple, he
already had many of his players outfitted with XTECH shoulder pads, a
revolutionary protective device that is gaining traction on all levels of
football.“I even wore the XTECH pads and went through bull-in-the-ring while I
was at Temple,” he recalls, “and I can tell you that the next day I felt less
sore than I should have felt.”That’s the refrain from many a player, including
NFL stars such as Khalil Mack , Matt Ryan, Odell Beckham Jr., and Andrew Luck — who missed an entire season
because of shoulder issues.“I had a unique history after being at the New York
Giants where several players wore the XTECH pads ,” says Rhule, who left Temple
for Baylor in 2016. “Then Muhammad Wilkerson, who played for me at Temple, was a
proponent of the pads. I had a chance to see them work firsthand. When we went
to Temple, we put them on several guys, and they all had positive reviews.
Shoulder injuries went down. Upon coming to Baylor, we had a chance to implement
the same thing. We’ve watched our occurrence of injuries and postseason
surgeries come down subsequently.“The pads have been shown to work at a high
level, and we have had tremendous personal success with them. The vast majority
of our players have enjoyed the pads and appreciated the commitment to their
health and welfare. I’ve even had other coaches reach out to me over the years
to ask about them.”That seems to be the reaction from high schools — famed Mater
Dei in Santa Ana, California, originally bought three sets and now the entire
team is wearing XTECH — to college, where company co-founder Bob Broderick says
close to 500 schools across all levels have players suiting up in the pads, with
virtually the entire Washington State roster using them.Dozens of players at the
likes of Michigan, Penn State, Syracuse Doug Kotar Jersey , Mississippi and Notre Dame use the pads.As for the pros — the NFL does not survey shoulder pads as it does helmets — Patriots running back
James White, in the midst of the finest season of his five-year career, says: “I
like that the pads are light and give me a lot of range to move my arms. But at
the same time, they give me all the protection my shoulders need. I’ve always
given thought to my shoulder pads because as a person who runs and catches the
football, I feel like you should have the right pads to help you get your job
done.”XTECH has been on the job for six years, though the work staff is small:
11 full-timers, seven part-timers. That could be increased as Broderick and
co-founder Ted Monica break into the European market; there are distribution
deals in place for January to expand in Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Also
next year, XTECH will make available its first five-padded girdle; most states
require all high school football players to wear a five-padded girdle.Their
Cover-2 Program works with NFL teams, current and former coaches and players to
buy pads and donate them back to their high schools. Zach Ertz, Melvin Gordon
and the McCourty brothers have done so, and the Giants donated equipment to the
New York Police Department’s football squad.Monica has worked in the football
equipment world for nearly 38 years. He custom designs every pad, which
Broderick says are the only pads made entirely in the United States.What makes
those pads stand out?The patented design features the only dual-cantilever
system on the market, an adjustable three-piece body system that allows each pad
to fit the player’s body at the proper angle while creating a natural channel
for the AC joint to sit in.On the performance side, a three-point swivel system
allows for enhanced range of motion, and air flow occurs into the front and back
to work in conjunction with uniforms, allowing for maximum
ventilation.Additionally Womens Curtis Riley Jersey , XTECH uses XRD Technology, which is well known in the military space and is the foam XTECH uses in the entire pad. XRD, a
division of Rogers Corporation, has a multi-year exclusive partnership with
XTECH for American football.Monica calls it “smart foam,” which is water
resistant as well as highly protective and durable.The majority of the shoulder
pad industry uses foam from China and an “air management” system which was
developed in the 1970s. Think of a pillow and every time you hit it air goes out
the side, and it compresses down and is therefore less protective for the
subsequent hit.According to many of the players using XTech’s pads, that’s never
been a concern.Recent company addition Brooks Barnard is the vice president of
sales and left Under Armour after 12 years overseeing its high school properties
to join XTECH. He was attracted by XTech’s implementing “an idea that was
disruptive and challenged a predictable way of thinking.”“As I spent time in
locker rooms across the country, I noticed the XTECH brand growing in popularity
with elite athletes as their choice of pads to wear on Friday nights,” he says.
“The design of XTECH naturally captures your attention and automatically engages
any football mind. It was evident that XTECH was sought by top players at the
NFL and NCAA level and a groundswell was happening at the high school level.
Several of the nationally ranked programs in the country already had players in
XTECH and I witnessed first-hand what top recruits were saying about the pad.”If
anyone needs a reliable shoulder pad, naturally it is Luck. The first overall
selection in the 2012 draft and the Colts‘ franchise QB since then never suited
up in 2017. He’s back now and having a strong season despite a general dearth of
talent around him.Luck is intrigued by technology, but his reasons for switching
to XTECH appear simpler.“Just a little lighter,” Luck says. “Been wearing the
same shoulder pads and thought I’d try a new one out. It didn’t come from a
place that I need something different, I need more protection. It was just some
new technology that our equipment managers came to me about and it’s worked well
so far.”
Posted 02 Nov 2019

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