Here is my take on the game this weekend. I'll admit, I enjoy stats and formulas, but I don't use them specifically for the purpose of making my choices. I know what I see, and what is in my gut, and it works for me about 68% of the time...That said...
Denver -3 ½ @ St. Louis -
Who's got the edge?
Coaching - Mike Shanahan v. Scott Linehan
Quaterback - Jake Plummer v. Marc Bulger
Running Backs - Bell/Bell v. Stephen Jackson
Receivers - Smith/Walker v. Holt/Bruce
O-Line - Nalen/Foster/Hamilton v. McCollum/ Timmerman/Pace
D-Line - Brown/Warren/Ekuban/Veal v. Little/Hargrove/Kennedy/Glover
Linebackers - Gold/Wilson/Williams v. Chillar/Witherspoon/Tinoisamoa
BIG EDGE BRONCOS
Corners - Bailey/Williams v. Fisher/Brown
Safeties - Ferguson/Lynch v. Chavous/Atogwe
Another season, another starting running back in Denver. Even though Mike Shanahan is trying to keep it quiet all signs are pointing to undrafted rookie Mike Bell getting the nod against the Rams. The Rams are off to a new start of their own, with another new head coach making his debut in Scott Linehan. Linehan has simplified the offense, giving Marc Bulger less to think about and more time to simply react and make good throws. On defense, the Rams brought in former Saints Head Coach Jim Haslett to improve a unit that finished near dead last in the league last season. No doubt the unit will improve as the season goes, but against a great offense like the Broncos this unit will struggle. I like the Broncos to attack the middle of the field with rookie TE Tony Scheffler early, before going outside to Rod Smith and newcomer Javon Walker in the 2nd half. The Broncos will have no problem scoring points, and the only question in my mind is whether or not the Rams can keep up. One thing to look for in this one is Special Teams, as these units vary rarely play togeher during the pre-season. Don't be surprised if there is a punt of FG blocked and it turns out to be a huge play on the game. Give the points, take the Broncos.