California, CA (PressExposure) August 27, 2009 -- Thursday Night NFL Preseason Games: Week three on the preseason schedule kicks off Thursday night with three games. This is the big week in preseason football, as the starters playing for a full half with some players going deep into the third quarter.
BetRepublic looks at the games in their Thursday Night sports betting TV show, as well TV hosts Sonny Palermo and Greg Dempson talked college football and NFL picks [http://www.betrepublic.com/nfl] in the Wednesday night Betting Show.
The feature game of the night is the Jacksonville Jaguars facing the Eagles in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia: - 7 Â½ Over/Under: 37
Michael Vick is the story. He will be seeing action and word is it will be with the first team offense. There is a lot of speculation on just how Head Coach Andy Reid will use Vick throughout the season, as Donovan McNabb is a lock as the starting quarterback. Vick could be either the number two or three quarterback on the roster but is too much of a unique athlete to hold a clipboard all season.
The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback hasn't played in an NFL game since December 31, 2006. Against the Jaguars he will be relieve McNabb who is slated to play deep into the third quarter. Vick will get a few reps with the first team according to Reid but wonât be asked to do much.
The Eagles have yet to win a preseason game losing to both New England and Indianapolis. Running back Brian Westbrook returned to practice this past week from ankle surgery and will not play against the Jags. The offensive line has been hit hard by injuries. LT Jason Peters has been bothered by a quadriceps injury most of training camp and Left guard Todd Herremans will miss the beginning of the season with a stress reaction in his foot. Stacy Andrews is recovering from ACL surgery in January hasn't played in either of the first two preseason games. His brother Shawn Andrews reinjured his back on the first day of camp and hasnât been in practice since. The loss of defensive standout middle linebacker, Stewart Bradley for the season will hurt the Eagles. It will be difficult to replace his leadership and 151 tackles but look for Joe Mays to make a statement against the Jags. The Jaguars are also winless in preseason but QB David Garrard has looked very good. He has a new favorite target in former Viking Troy Williamson who has had two very good games. The Jaguars are looking to rebound from last year and this will be a good test to see how competitive they will be. Maurice Jones-Drew will play the entire first half and should be effective against the Eagles.
Linebacker Clint Ingram sustained a blow to the head in the last game and is listed as doubtful as is linebacker Lamar Myles who sustained a hand injury.
St. Louis at Cincinnati
Bengals: - 2 Â½ Over/Under: 35
The Rams havenât looked very good in preseason even though they did get a win in game one against the Jets. The Bengals on the other hand have played well particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The big news in this game is that Carson Palmer wonât play as he is still recovering from an ankle injury. J.T. OâSullivan will get the start but no one will confuse him for Palmer. Third string QB Jordan Palmer, brother of Carson, will get a good look against the Rams.
Cedric Benson is looking to have a big game but the loss of tight end Reggie Kelly for the season with an ACL injury will hurt the running and passing game of the Bengals. The defense has been playing well to date and held the Patriots to six points in the second preseason game.
The Rams have been inconsistent and now will probably face the Bengals without starting QB Marc Bulger who is out after injuring his pinkie finger on his throwing hand. Former Raven Kyle Boller will get most of the snaps. Left tackle Alex Barron has a swollen knee and will be replaced in the lineup by rookie first round pick Jason Smith. WR Donnie Avery is still nursing an injury and wonât play.
Check out betrepublic.com for more analysis on these games.
Miami at Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay: - 2 Â½ Over/Under: 35
Miami heads to Tampa with a ton of gadget plays and two pretty consistent preseason games under their belt. Chad Pennington looks very good after getting a chance to be in the Dolphin camp for a full off-season. The running game featuring Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams has looked sharp.
Defensive backs Sean Smith and Jason Allen should be back in the lineup after missing the last game with swine flu like symptoms. Jason Taylor has looked good in his return so far.
Tampa Bay is still trying to sort out who will be the starting quarterback. Byron Leftwich should get the bulk of the first half snaps but look for Luke McCown to play with many of the first string in the second half. Both quarterbacks will get lots of support from a very good running game featuring former Giant Derrick Ward, Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham.
The Bucs took a big hit on the defense this week when they lost linebacker Angelo Crowell for the season to a torn biceps injury. Cornerback Elbert Mack will miss the Dolphins game with an ankle sprain. Safety Will Allen is back practicing and could play against the Fins.
Enjoy all the preseason action and good luck with your picks.