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We have had a full month to evaluate every team in the NFL. Some clubs will make adjustments and begin to fix problems. These are always teams that are well trained or have significant depth with which to turn things around. For example, the Pittsburgh Steelers rested during their bye week with a 1-2 SU / ATS record. What about the champions? Well, nothing, actually, if you look patiently at the situation, that’s what good handicap is all about.

The Steelers have had a brutal schedule, especially the last two games, losses in Jacksonville and at home to the Bengals. But there is nothing to worry about. His defense is 13th overall and a robust 5th against the race. The only concern is getting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger healthy, and you have to leave some slack for the kid. He suffered a traumatic motorcycle accident in the summer and then underwent an appendectomy in September! This team will be fine and should have beaten the Bengals if it weren’t for two late turnovers.

This is the time of year to make adjustments if things don’t go well. Two years ago, the Buffalo Bills didn’t have a ground game, until they decided to include young running back Willis McGahee. McGahee got Buffalo’s running game going, and the team was up and running, almost making the playoffs after a 0-4 start. That same season, the Patriots struggled a bit against the run, and during an October loss at Pittsburgh they allowed 225 rushing yards. The Pats coaching staff then inserted veteran nose tackle Keith Traylor in place of starting rookie Vince Wilfork. The move made a key difference as New England’s ground defense was much stronger and more consistent. Here’s a look at some of the current weaknesses of the teams.

Cardinals: What about the great Arizona airstrike? He was number one in the NFL last season. But this is a team that is overrated offensively. The addition of RB Edgerrin James is denied due to the fact that his offensive line is terrible. They don’t have a running game yet to balance things out, which would make the passing game more effective. James has an average of 3.4 ypc.

In Sunday’s loss at Atlanta, 32-10, Arizona’s only TD was a 99-yard interception return from Adrian Wilson. Quarterback Kurt Warner had another miserable game in Arizona’s third straight loss and was quickly demoted to backup quarterback. Coach Dennis Green announced that rookie Matt Leinart will start next week against Kansas City. Warner was 11 of 20 for 128 yards with an interception and two fumbles. James was limited to 41 yards on 20 carries while the Cardinals had just 31 yards on the ground. Adding rookie Leinart might help in the long run, but it won’t save them this season.

Ravens: What’s wrong with Baltimore’s offense? Despite a 4-0 start, this is a flawed team. Quarterback Steve McNair hasn’t played well, with 5 TDs and three picks. Despite the return win over San Diego, the offense had 150 yards in the air and 56 yards on the ground. Offense is the 10th worst in the NFL. Oh, his defense is superior, which explains the 3-0-1 below the total mark, a trend that will likely continue. And the defense has faced some really bad offenses (Tampa Bay, Browns, Raiders), so don’t rush out and buy a future ticket on this undefeated team just yet.

Raiders: What about the Raiders offense? Well, what is NOT wrong with that! This offense sucks, with coaches who have been out of the NFL for years and no quarterback. Aaron Brooks and Andrew Walter have been sharing the time, but Walter proved he’s not ready for the NFL – on Sunday against the Browns he completed 9 of 23 for 68 yards! No changes except the return of a young Daryle Lamonica will help this offense. Oakland is 5-31 SU, 9-26-1 ATS their last 36 as a dog and since losing the 2003 Super Bowl to Tampa Bay, the Raiders are 14-36-1 against the spread!

NY Giants: What about the Giants pass defense? The team has an excellent and balanced offense that ranks second in the NFL. But the passing defense has been terrible, allowing 281 yards a game, the third worst. They were lucky to beat the Eagles and lost 42-3 in Seattle before making the final score respectable. The Giants are allowing 30 points per game and are 2-1 over total. Teams will continue to attack that weakness until they make changes. Good luck, as always … Al McMordie.

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