Rely on Welker against Bills

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: September 28 2012, 10:01 BST

Wes Welker can open his touchdown account for the season against Buffalo in the NFL on Sunday says our expert David John.

Even money for a TD from Wes Welker looks good business

New England at Buffalo (1800 BST)

The Patriots have slipped below .500 for the first time in more than nine years after a late meltdown against Baltimore on Sunday night.

There were more than enough distractions from the replacement officials to be fair but the offense has not looked particularly in-synch under Josh McDaniel on his return to Boston.

Much of their game plan revolves around the tight end pairing of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and with the latter suffering an injury in the loss to Arizona it has meant an opportunity for the ultra-reliable Wes Welker to work his way back into their schemes.

Welker has been a favourite target of Tom Brady for a number of years now but contract wranglings over the summer hinted that he could be gradually phased out in preference for the younger, cheaper but totally unproven Julian Edelman.

But the absence of Hernandez has seen Welker record 95 yards against Arizona and another 142 against the Ravens so this week against the Bills looks like the time he will make a return to the end zone.

He was impossible to cover in this match-up 12 months ago with 217 yards and two touchdowns and the even money on offer from Sky Bet to score six points at any stage is the best bet in the game.

New Orleans at Green Bay (2115)

Here are two much-vaunted sides that have really struggled at one stage or another this season, whether you think they have been unlucky or not.

That last statement is glaringly obvious after the Packers loss in Seattle on Monday night following the debacle over the final play but head coach Mike McCarthy has done a solid job of getting his team to move on.

The layers certainly think that there will be a backlash against the Saints as they make Green Bay around nine-point favourites and McCarthy will be hoping they can challenge their frustrations in a positive direction.

"I love emotion," he said.

"Emotion is the engine that makes this thing go. So I'm for any kind of emotion, as long as it's channelled properly."

But the bare facts are that the Packers well-oiled offensive machine has spluttered along as they are averaging just 19 points per game while quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 16 times this season - eight of them coming at the Seahawks.

Rodgers has thrown just three touchdown passes, the running game remains a virtual non-entity and I am just tempted enough to get short of their total points of 31 in this one despite the Saints' continued woes on the defensive side of the ball.

They blew a 24-6 lead last week at home to Kansas City as Jamaal Charles galloped all over them for 233 yards on the ground.

I don't think for a moment that co-ordinator Steve Spagnuolo has ironed out the problems but I can see both these being desperate to record a win of any description to worry about fireworks.


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