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Tuesday January 11th, 2005 Page updated at 9:40am

NFL Weekly Feature - Super Bowl Sportsbook
By: Ray Monohan
NFL Football Betting Columnist\Analyst For

I've got a TON to say so let's get at it


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Playoff Notebook

Home-field advantage? What home-field advantage? Sure, Minnesota is a tough matchup for Philadelphia, but let's keep this in perspective. First, the Eagles beat the Vikings earlier this year. Second, they're outside, where Minnesota has won just three of its last 23, including Sunday's 31-17 demolition of Green Bay. And third, it's the playoffs where dome teams don't exactly do well outdoors. home teams won only 55 percent of the time this season, but this isn't the season. This is the postseason, and over the past 10 years the home teams won divisional playoff games more than 75 percent of the time.

In the AFC, the record is 14-6; in the NFC it's 17-3. That's not exactly to Minnesota's advantage; nor is it to the Rams', but St. Louis was the bigger winner this weekend. Why? The Rams move back into a climate-controlled environment where they're more comfortable, better suited and more dangerous.
That's the good news. The bad? They play Atlanta, and the Falcons hammered St. Louis at the Georgia Dome the second week of the season. Still, the Rams know they're where they have a chance -- even if it's against Michael Vick.

The Vikings know they have a chance, too, especially with Terrell Owens out, but it's not much of one. The Eagles' defense isn't just better than Green Bay's; it's vastly better. The Eagles lost once at home this year; Green Bay lost five times at Lambeau, including Sunday. And Minnesota has a checkered history outside the dome, winning two of its last nine playoff games there. The two wins? They were in the wild-card round.

History tells us that one of next weekend's underdogs wins. Looking at the lineups, I'll take Indianapolis -- partly because of what Peyton Manning's doing and partly because of what New England's doing, which is losing star defensive players. The others? They're about to find out there's no place like home.

Latest Tidbits I thought I’d drop on you for a bet on superbowl

Peyton Manning is going where few have gone before, rubbing elbows with the NFL's truly elite, the select few who have been singled out as the Associated Press Most Valuable Player more than once.
As expected, Manning picked up the league's most prestigious individual honor yesterday in a vote by a national panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
The Indianapolis Colts' record-setting quarterback shared the award with Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair a year ago, but there was no suspense this time. Manning became just the third player since the award's inception in 1957 to win it in consecutive seasons.

The inevitable was nearly unanimous. The 48-member panel funneled 47 votes to Manning, one to Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick.
Manning is just the seventh multiple winner, the first since Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre in 1995, '96 and '97. Three of the five other two-time winners are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and Jim Brown. A fourth, Steve Young, is eligible for enshrinement with the Class of 2005.

Manning's legacy remains a work in progress: seven seasons, 112 regular-season games, seven postseason starts. His résumé includes NFL season records for touchdowns (49) and passer rating (121.1), each registered while leading the Colts to a second straight 12-4 record and AFC South championship.
But if the company he's keeping as a multiple MVP is an indicator of what's to come, the Pro Football Hall of Fame needs to reserve a room.

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The Niners Saga

Three days after arguably the worst season in the history of the franchise, Niners co-owner John York said his first order of business after firing head coach Dennis Erickson and general manager Terry Donahue — a move that could end up costing up to $15 million in salary payoffs — was to hire a proven winning head coach at the NFL level to usher in a new era of success and genuinely excite an increasingly skeptical fan base.

In other words, York very much wants to hit a home run and is apparently willing to reach deep into the company coffers if necessary. In the “excitement” department, two top candidates quickly emerged: USC head coach Pete Carroll, fresh off back-to-back national championships; and Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, a big-name Bay-area native and former Niners assistant coach.
Carroll quickly announced that he had no interest in the Niners’ gig, but we hear that won’t stop York from making an impassioned sales pitch at some point in the near future. The same was expected to be the case with Holmgren — if he were to cut the cord with the Seahawks.

The Niners got the interview process going last Saturday, flying to New England to meet with Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, who one day earlier was interviewed for the Browns’ head-coaching vacancy.

Other candidates who we hear are on the 49ers’ short list are Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress, who previously interviewed for the head-coaching job after Steve Mariucci was fired; Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the son of former 49ers head coach Dick Nolan; Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who could come in an attractive package deal with well-regarded defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.


Randy Moss is almost sure to be fined for pretending to moon fans in Green Bay during a playoff win, according to NFL rules.
The league is looking into the star receiver's antics in Minnesota's 31-17 win over the Packers on Sunday and will announce its ruling later this week.
When asked whether the oft-fined Moss would be penalized again, a league spokesman recited NFL rules mandating discipline for "obscene gestures or other actions construed as being in poor taste."

A fine for the first offense under those guidelines is $5,000. Moss has not previously been fined for such action, but he paid a $25,000 penalty in 1999 for squirting an official with a water bottle.
On Sunday, Moss caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and headed toward the goalpost. He then turned his back to the Lambeau Field crowd, bent over and pantomimed pulling down his pants.

"Just having a little fun with the boys," Moss told a Fox reporter as he left the field. "I hope I don't get in trouble by it, but if I do I'll take the heat."
Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy said Moss' action was "kind of humorous."
"It's not the kind of thing you want to see on national TV, but I understand what it was all about," Dungy said. "Anyone who has played in the NFC Central knows what that's about. The fans in Green Bay have a tradition in the parking lot after the game where they moon the visiting team's bus. It's kind of a unique send-off.
"I had seen it seven times because when I was with the Vikings, we lost to them seven times up there."

Running back Moe Williams might have to miss the Vikings' playoff game at Philadelphia on Sunday with a sprained right ankle. Moss also has a sprained ankle, but he is expected to play.

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More Notes

• Rick Neuheisel, former University of Washington coach, is scheduled for a second interview this week for the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator job. Neuheisel interviewed last week and is one of several candidates to replace Matt Cavanaugh. The Ravens released offensive-line coach Jim Colletto yesterday.

• The 49ers, searching for a coach to replace fired Dennis Erickson, will have interviews this week with Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and Tim Lewis, defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. Owner John York has already interviewed New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel in Boston.

• Terry Robiskie, interim coach of the Cleveland Browns, met with team owner Randy Lerner, president John Collins and general manager Phil Savage in New York yesterday to interview for the position that became open when Butch Davis resigned. Robiskie is the fourth candidate interviewed by the Browns, joining Crennel, Philadelphia offensive coordinator Brad Childress and Pittsburgh offensive-line coach Russ Grimm.

• Jim Bates, the Miami Dolphins' interim coach for the final seven games this season, said he'll seek work elsewhere rather than remain with the team as an assistant to new coach Nick Saban. When Dave Wannstedt resigned as coach in November, Bates was promoted from defensive coordinator and led Miami to three wins.

• The Dolphins will rename Pro Player Stadium Dolphins Stadium and begin a three-phase renovation funded by owner Wayne Huizenga. The Dolphins have played in the facility since 1987, when it was named Joe Robbie Stadium after the team owner who built it. Huizenga had no success in finding a new naming-rights sponsor since Pro Player was bought out five years ago. The sports apparel company had signed a 10-year, $20 million deal with the Dolphins in 1996.

• The Patriots signed CB Hank Poteat, less than a week before their playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots' secondary has been hit by injuries all season. Ty Law missed the last nine games and went on injured reserve last week; Tyrone Poole has been out since September; safeties Eugene Wilson and Randall Gay also have spent time on the injury list.

• A month before thousands of fans arrive in Jacksonville, Fla., for the Super Bowl, a county judge ruled the city's ban on drinking alcohol in public is unconstitutional.

Enjoy This weeks matchups Folks – Now Get Back To Work……….

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WildCard Weekend Stud - Reggie Wayne

I'll say this for Reggie Wayne: He is now the MAN in the Indi offense. Sure they have Harrison, and Clark, and Pollard and Stokley, but Wayne is the guy consistently doing it for them this year. Watch out for this guy vs the Pats.

Wager On Football Writer Ray Monohan is an NFL analyst with 10+ years of experience covering the NFL. He provides a great perspective on the NFL with player and team insight unmatched in the NFL football betting industry.

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