Rainey Appeals for Td Joy

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: November 2 2012, 18:02 GMT

Chris Rainey: Plenty of promise for Pittsburgh

3pts Carolina (+3.5) to beat Washington at 5/6 (Coral, Hills)

1pt Chris Rainey to score a touchdown anytime v NY Giants at 4/1 (Sky Bet)


Carolina at Washington (1800GMT)

Two of the game's most exciting quarterbacks take to the field in Sky's first live game in the nation's capital but both have been suffering somewhat.

Carolina's Cam Newton had a very public and bizarre breakdown in his press conference a couple of weeks ago after the loss to Dallas while another heart-breaking late meltdown in Chicago by his team has left them floundering at 1-6 on the season.

Redskins' rookie Robert Griffin III is also enduring a steep learning curve at the start of his NFL career and his team have lost two on the spin to sit at 3-5 and well off the pace in the NFC East.

But both remain an intriguing spectacle for football fans with the undoubted physical skills they bring to the position but opposing teams are starting to understand how to expose their less natural ability to manage a game.

Newton has had eight turnovers in recent weeks while Griffin's mettle will be tested as they try and bounce back from a 27-12 loss against Pittsburgh.

Both sides have a lot of other question marks over them in general - Washington's defense ranks last in the NFL while the Panthers' head coach Ron Rivera finds himself on an increasingly hot seat as he side stumbles.

So picking a winner is tough but a narrow vote just goes to Carolina. Remove a thrashing at the hands of the Giants, their five other losses have come by a total of just 18 points so take the 3.5 points from Paddy Power.

Pittsburgh at New York Giants (2125GMT)

This is another pretty trappy game to call following the devastation that has hit the New York and New Jersey area following Superstorm Sandy early in the week.

The consensus view from the Giants players and coaching staff is that they are ready to produce a big display for all the football fans that have had their lives affected.

"We feel like we can spark New York," said running back Ahmad Bradshaw as the city begins the massive clear-up operation and he, along with head coach Tom Coughlin, voiced the opinion that they can play a small part in the healing process - even if it is just for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

On the flip side, practice and film study have been disrupted with some players without power at their homes. However, this is a veteran team used to coping with distraction and reports suggest they have worked hard to get the build-up back on schedule.

They will certainly be tested to the full by another very savvy team in Pittsburgh with their head coach Mike Tomlin also admitting that his side will also have to be 100 per cent focused.

The Steelers will not arrive for the game until Sunday morning now as the hotel they were booked into has no power so their own plans have been affected as well - it all adds up to making this such a difficult game to call.

If forced, I would have to take the Giants to rise to the occasion emotionally but instead I will suggest a small interest on Pittsburgh utility player Chris Rainey to score a touchdown during the 60 minutes at 4/1.

The rookie from Florida has really caught the eye on both special teams and running the ball and with the Steelers ground game still hampered by niggling injuries to Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman, he could see added playing time - and opportunities - alongside Jon Dwyer.

  • Preview posted at 1745 GMT on 02/11/2012.