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Hall of Fame Game

It’s always an exciting time when the calendar flips to August and the NFL plays its annual Hall of Fame game. The excitement isn’t necessarily for the game itself but the fact that the NFL-preseason is here and the actual NFL season is around the corner. Fans and bettors everywhere are getting excited for what this season will bring and it all starts with the Hall of Fame game.

The game itself dates all the way back to 1962 when the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals tied at 21. It’s never been a high scoring affair as many guys getting the bulk of the playing time are just fighting for a roster spot. The highest combined score was 65 (48-17) back in 1964 but the modern day has been flooded with low-scoring, error filled games. Dallas QB Tony Romo has made it known that he wants to play in this game but chances are he and most of the 1st teamers will be held out or get a series at most. It’s just too detrimental to a team’s future to risk significant injuries at this point in the season.

Miami is a young team still looking to see what they’ve got in terms of depth and a system that’s in its 2nd year under head coach Joe Philbin. They are the ones likely to push the envelope a bit more in this game because of their depth concerns and Dallas’ roster basically bringing back the entire core from a year ago.

But Miami as a franchise is tied for the worst record ever in the Hall of Fame game (0-3) as they’ve lost 17-3 (1978), 17-10 (2001) and 27-24 (2005). However, winning is never important in this contest and that’s why you’ll see a lot of conservative play to preserve the health of the players and see how these reserves handle themselves on the field. It’s for that reason why taking a side is risky in my opinion in these games because you simply don’t know where the motivation level stands on either side.

We do know that these games are always sloppy as guys shake off the rust and some fringe roster players get to see the field for significant time. The past two games (no game in 2011 cause of lockout) we’ve seen scores of 16-7 and 17-10 so scoring in the 30’s is tough to do. Dallas was involved in that 16-10 game and I think we see a similar score this year.

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