Saturday, November 21, 2009
1.Miami vs. Carolina- I'll be Miami will beat Carolina 24-17. Ok, the game was played Thursday, I'm a little late on it. But did you see Ricky Williams?!? Wow, he looks like he did when he first came into the league.
2.Indianapolis vs. Baltimore- I'm going with the Colts here. I said it a few years ago, I will pick the Colts in just about every game until they show me they can't win alot of games anymore. I'm assuming that will be when Peyton Manning retires. So until then, Colts win.
3. Washington vs. Dallas- Is this game still one of the best rivalries in football? Probably not, but I can guarantee you, it's still a big rivalry to the teams involved and the fans. Washington would love nothing more then knock Dallas down a little bit more after the Cowboys laid an egg last week in Green Bay. Dallas on the other hand is probably very happy to be home for a two game stretch. The stretch is also "on-paper" pretty friendly since they play Washington then Oakland on Thanksgiving. So, since it's not December yet and Dallas really is not a bad team I'm going with the Cowboys. Cowboys win.
4. Cleveland vs. Detroit- UGGHHH. Do I have to explain anything about this game? It's two of the worst teams playing for the first overall pick. I guess I'll pick the home team...Detroit wins.
5. San Francisco vs. Green Bay- For the second straight week, the Packers get a 90's style playoff rival at home. They took care of Dallas last week, and I'm pretty confident they take care of the 49ers this week. One interesting storyline for this game is the Aaron Rodgers vs. Alex Smith matchup. In 2005 there was a big debate as to which one of these guys would go number 1 overall. Alex Smith went to San Fran. and Rodgers plummeted to #24 to the Pack. Both QB's don't really care, there is no rivalry. But this could be a good game filled with defense. I'm picking the Packers in this one. Packers win.
6. Buffalo vs. Jacksonville- Right off the bat, I'll say it. Jacksonville wins. Maurice Jones Drew is playing lights out. Buffalo's run D is getting it's lights knocked out of them. There is no reason for MJD and Co. to lose this game. Buffalo is coming off a rough week after firing head coach Dick Jauron, so I'm assuming the whole franchise is in a state of chaos. This was easy for me to pick. Plus. very quietly, Jacksonville is in the playoff hunt. Jacksonville wins.
7. Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City- Pittsburgh all day. With or without Polamalu, the defense will take care of the Chiefs. Pittsburgh wins.
8. Seattle vs. Minnesota- OK, first off let me say this. I am not crazy. I don't know why, but I have a weird feeling about this game. Before I publicly humiliate myself let me explain my reasoning. I really don't think Seattle is that bad of a team. Julius Jones being out is actually a good thing for the Hawks. Justin Forsett might be better...might. Seattle's defense is up and down, so for them to win this game they have to play up this week. Minnesota is due. They have been cruising through the season. This is around the time we should see Brett Favre start to fall apart. Ok, honestly none of my reasons are good reasons but I just have a gut feeling, and I ALWAYS follow my gut....Seattle wins.
9. Atlanta vs. New York Giants- Feels like forever since I last saw the Giants play. It's been even longer since I've seen them win. Atlanta's Michael Turner is doubtful which will hurt the team alot. I'm picking the Giants. They are a desperate team coming off of a bye. I think this could actually be a blow out, Tom Coughlin has something special lined up for the Falcons. Giants win.
10. New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay- Tampa has about as much chance at winning this game as this blog does of me writing alot about this game. New Orleans win.
11. Arizona vs. St. Louis- I love how the Rams are playing for their new coach Steve Spagnoulo. They are playing hard, they just are not a good enough team to win alot of games. They will be in a few years though. With Spags coaching background and connections I'm very confident in his drafting abilities. He will turn this team into a winner. As for this game? Well, I picked Seattle to beat Minnesota, so I'll go on ahead and do it. St. Louis wins.
12. San Diego vs. Denver- Game of the week. The 6-3 Broncos bring their 3 game losing streak (do the math, 6-3, 3 game losing streak, yep, they started 6-0 and have lost 3 straight) to the game while the 6-3 Chargers have 5 of their last 7. This game is for first place in the AFC West, and in my opinion is probably for the division title and a playoff spot. I like the Chargers in this one, I think the Broncos have lost their magic. Plus Kyle Orton is out, and that wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for Chris Simms being the back-up. Chargers win.
13. New York Jets vs. New England Patriots- Remember way back in week 2, when Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan made a big deal about the Pats coming to New York and the Jets won and that was the last we all heard of them? Well, that's all I really need to say about this game and the Jets season. The Patriots will stomp the Jets. I don't think this game will be close. Patriots win...big.
14. Cinncinnatti vs. Oakland- Hmmm, (I'm looking for a storyline), I guess the best reason to watch this game is for the possibility that the Bengals could "unleash" Larry Johnson, whom they signed earlier this week. Cedric Benson is out, Jamarcus Russell was benched. The one thing I have to say that may mean this game might actually be close, is that all season the Bengals have played up or down to their competition. So, beware Bengal fans, could be close. But, I'm going with Cincy. Bengals win.
15. Philadelphia vs. Chicago- This Sunday Night Football game puts poor Jay Cutler back on prime time where he has thrown a million interceptions. The Eagles are riding low on a 2 game losing streak. They need this game, especially if Dallas and New York win earlier in the day. I think they do it. I really don't think Chicago is that good this year. They need WR's and a defense...oh, and an OFFENSIVE LINE to protect Cutler. I'm going Philly. Eagles win.
16. Tennessee vs. Houston- I really really like this Monday Nighter. Tennessee is 3-0 with Vince Young at the helm. Houston is quietly getting things done and trying to get in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. This is probably the toughest game to pick. Titan's RB Chris Johnson is playing the best football in the NFL. He should run all over the Houston defense. But Matt Shaub and his high scoring offense should do something against the Tennessee defense. I really am having a hard time picking who is going to win this game, so when I can't decide I don one of two things. Follow the gut, or pick the home team. My gut isn't really telling me a whole lot. I'm going with the home team. Houston wins.
17. Check back on Monday for my weekly installment of "The Day After Yesterday" where I'll re-cap all the games and see how my picks went. Enjoy!!!
Friday, November 20, 2009
1. Defending champion North Carolina, is a very good team...next year. This year they are a good team, with tons of talent and potential. But tunrovers are a huge problem. The one thing you can guarentee from this team is this: they WILL get better as the season goes on. Maybe even make some noise in the tournament. Tyler Zeller, the Wear twins, and Ed "Old School" Davis look like some real playmakers. Jury is still out for me on whether or not Larry Drew II can fill the huge holes of Ty Lawson, but I can truly see another championship in this team's future. As for now though, #4 is way to high of a ranking.
2. Syracuse's Wesley Johnson will be a very very good player...this year in college, and in the Pro's. He just looks like a natural talent. He bleeds all-star. I am looking forward to watching this kid.
3. Kansas is obviously the #1 team. It actually might not even be close. They are an experienced old (old in a good way) team. That being said though, this team goes as Collins goes. But, I think he goes far, so Kansas will go far.
4. Kentucky, like UNC, is ranked high only because of who their coach is. I think Kentucky is overrated the same way I think UNC is overrated. I'm sure though that once John Calipari gets his team the way he wants it, Kentucky will be a very good team. So, I'll go on ahead and do this now..the 2011-2012 National Championship will be North Carolina defeating Kentucky.
5. My prediction for THIS year? Kansas...by a long shot.
6. I'm looking forward to watching this year's season move on so I can have more opinions with more logic. Until then...enjoy!!
-Florida vs. Alabama in the SEC Championship game is pretty much the National Championship game...unless your Texas.
-I like Texas as the one and only opportunity to knock Florida, Alabama, and the SEC off its high horse. Even though it is mostly unlikely, I think that Colt McCoy and Co. have a good chance a beating one of them should they get into the Big Game.
-Take a look at the Top 10 BCS rankings. Sans the top 3 (Florida, Alabama, and Texas), the rest of the top 7 are somewhat surprising, historically speaking...TCU, Boise State, Cinncinnatti, and Georgia Tech are fairly new to the BCS game. Of course, Ohio State, LSU, and Pitt are in familiar territory.
-Speaking of Boise State, I honestly feel that one year they will get their shot at a National Championship. They need to keep going about their business, hope the top teams faulter in one or two games, and hope for a little love from the BCS Computers. Who knows, maybe in the next two or three years we will see a Boise State vs. Oklahoma championship...now wouldn't that be fun?
-What happened to USC? Are they in a rebuilding year? I didn't think USC was ever supposed to be in a rebuilding year. The Armor is dented, and in some place completely broken. There are some upstart schools coming up in the PAC-10 including Oregon that want to remain at the top. USC better get that chip off their shoulder.
-This weekend is Ohio State vs. Michigan. Even though Ohio State is constantly overrated, and Michigan is in a Great Depression, this game is still the highlight of the weekend whenever it's on. There are hospitals in both Michigan and Ohio that wrap newborn babies in keepsake blankets the week of the game. This rivalry is up there with UNC vs. Duke Basketball, Yankees vs. Red Sox, Cowboys vs. Redskins, and Lakers vs. Celtics. It's a must watch every year.
-Finally, my prediction for National Champion: Until someone beats them and stops Tim Tebow I'm going with Florida, every day, every game.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Cedric Benson- Hip Injury suffered during game at Pittsburgh. As of now, all they say is he is "iffy" vs. Oakland this weekend. For insurance in the future the Bengals signed cast-off RB from Kansas City Larry Johnson. This could be a move that in the future will help take the load off of Benson. Stay tuned.
Kyle Orton- Some think this could be great for Denver, or reall bad for Denver. Orton suffered an ankle injury in Sunday's loss to the Redskins. Chris Simms came in and did...well...did nothing. Maybe with a week to prepare Simms could help the Broncos get off the snide. It won't get easy with super hot San Diego coming to town with first place on the line. I don't think Orton plays this weekend.
Marc Colombo- Dallas Cowboys' starting right tackle and leader of the o-line is most likely out for the year with a broken fibula. The injury came during Dallas' pathetic loss to Green Bay. Doug Free will start in his place, and Dallas better hope he fits in nicely, because the Cowboys' schedule does not get any easier.
Brian Westbrook- Westbrook suffered his second concussion of the season, and all reports are that he could be shut down for the season. Head Coach Andy Reid said that "football comes second" in this case. And rightfully so. There are many issues going on these days with players and concussions, and the worse thing that could happen is a great back like Westbrook having any problems in the future. Westbrook is very concerned about this leading some to speculate retirement could be closer in Westbrook's future.
Michael Turner- Turner was running all over Carolina before suffering a sprained ankle. As of right now he is doubtful for Sunday's game against the New York Football Giants. Jason Snelling looks like the primary ball carrier unless Jerious Norwood comes in healthier then expected. I'm guessing this will be the kind of injury that will bother Turner for a couple of weeks, hopefully it doesn't hurt the Falcons playoff chances too much.
Julius Jones- Jones bruised a lung in sunday's loss to Arizona. He is doubtful for this week's game and Justin Forsett looks like he will be the primary ball carrier for Seattle. This brusied lung thing seems like the chic injury for 2009. I never heard of it until this year. First Andre Johnson bruised his lung, then some guy in college football (sorry I don't know who it is) and now Jones.
Terrell Suggs- Perhaps the most controversial injury of the week. Suggs injured his knee when Browns QB Brady Quinn cheap-shotted (yes, cheap-shotted, I may have made that up but it's a word to me, and also yes, I believe Quinn's hit was a cheap-shot) him after an interception. The Ravens and everyone involved are pissed. Suggs' agent even chimed in on the injury. Quinn has reportedly apologized, but I haven't heard if Suggs has accepted it or not. Regardless, I believe Suggs sits out this week, but should be good to go next week. Stay tuned for any fines that may be handed out.
Jordan Gross- Gross is out for the season with a broken ankle. He was carted off the field Sunday. This is a huge downgrade for the Panthers offense. Gross is their best lineman and it will hurt all aspects of their offense. The run game and pass game (if there is one) will suffer because of this injury.
Josh Cribbs- "Dear Coach Mangini, Thanks again, Signed, Cleveland Browns fans." Cribbs was injured on the last play of Monday Night Footballs Ravens beat down of the Browns. The Browns loss 16-0, and Mangini tried on the last play to do...well, I don't know, score? get a first down? I don't know. Anyway WR/KR Josh Cribbs suffered an undisclosed head injury. It's unknown whether or not it was a concussion or whether or not Cribbs will play this weekend in Clevelands epic showdown with Detroit (First overall pick on the line?). Either way, there are alot of upset people in Cleveland with Mangini's apparent carelessness for his players...again.
Ronnie Brown- If Miami has any shot of salvaging their season (which I think they realistically do) they have to have Ronnie Brown in the line-up. Well, that might not happen. Brown left the wild game versus Tampa with a foot injury. Initial reports are that he might have to sit out a week, but now leaks are starting to come out that maybe he could be out for the season. If this happens, Miami's season is over. Done. El Finito. Stay tuned to this. On the plus side though, it could give Ricky Williams a chance to return to a prominant role in the offense.
Troy Polamalu- The Madden Curse strikes again...again. Polamalu left Pittsburgh loss to the Bengals with a knee injury. He is listed as questionable for this Sunday's game. Without Polamalu, the Steelers defense is clearly different. Fans better hope he gets healthy for the playoff push, or the NFL could see a playoff schedule without the defending champs
Dwayne Bowe (susp)- Ok, this isn't an injury but Kansas City Chiefs budding young superstar will be suspended for four games because of...what else...steroids. The young WR tested positive and will be forced to serve the four game suspension immediatley. This is extremely disappointing seeing as how Bowe is considered one od the best young WR's in the league.
Monday, November 16, 2009
1. The New York Jets remind me of a TV show more then a football team. So much un-due hype surrounds this team. QB Mark Sanchez wrote a speech before speaking to the media after yesterdays 24-22 loss to the Jags. The speech reminded me of a award acceptance/thank you speech. Rex Ryan will surely come up with another lame excuse as to why the Jets went from being very overrated to...well...not rated at all.
2. As for this season, I will not being talking about the Bungles. Instead I will say the AFC North leading Cinncinnatti Bengals. The Bengals beat the Steelers 18-12 in Pittsburgh to strengthen their neck hold on the division. For those keeping score, the Bengals (THE BENGALS?!?!?) are 5-0 in the division which includes the defending Super Bowl Champion (Steelers) and AFC runner up Ravens. What a turn around. This team is fun to watch, and I am officially interested to see what they do in the playoff.
3. Well, Vince Young is 3-0....?
4. The free fall for the Broncos continues. They lost to the very lowly Washington Redskins 27-17. They also lost QB Kyle Orton. Chris Simms is looking like the starter for now, which probably won't help the cause. Both the Skins and Broncos have big games next week. The Skins play NFC East leader and bitter rival Dallas Cowboys. I'm sure they would love to knock them off their high horse. The Broncos suddenly are not running away with the AFC West and are facing a tie with rival San Diego Chargers, who by the way they play next week.
5. Looks like the Cardinals are going to take care of the NFC West....maybe...we'll see, no team deserves to win that division in my mind.
6. After filling the bandwagon with plenty of people last week in Philadelphia, the Dallas Cowboys laid a huge egg in Green Bay, losing 17-7 to the desperate Packers. This game had ugly written all over it. Dallas was obviously unprepared. Tony Romo was sacked 5 times. Marion Barber had one second half carry. Jason Garrett needs to figure out what kind of team he wants to run. Because the play calling was atrocious. Wade Phillips better figure out where he wants to work next season, because his lack of ability to prepare a football team for a game is apparent. On the bright side, the Packers survive another week in the playoff hunt.
7. What happened to Philadelphia?
8. Holy smokes. Did you watch that New England vs. Indianapolis game last night? Instant Classic. One of those games that NFL fans will remember for a long time. Time and time again it seemed the Colts were done. Brady and Co. had their way up and down the field. But Manning Inc. found a way to get it done. They fought and stayed in there. But seriously, what the hell was Patriots coach Bill Belichek thinking? 4th and 2 from your OWN 28 YARD LINE. And you go for it? I'm sorry, I don't care who the QB is, who the team is, how the game has been going...you punt there every single time. Every. Single. Time. Belichek is a cocky coach who has always gotten away with being "different." This time his cockiness came and bit him in the rear-end. He out coached and out smarted himself. He deserved to lose...On the other hand though, the Colts are 9-0 and looking like a Super Bowl team.
9. Tonight's game? Well, first off I am highly disappointed that the Browns have a Monday Night Game. Second off, The Browns might put up a fight. Playing at home. Brady Quinn back at QB. The Ravens struggling a bit lately. Could be closer then most think. With that being said though, Raven 24 Browns 17.
10. Head coaching openings after this season (my predictions): Washington, Dallas, Carolina, Chicago, Green Bay, Buffalo, Tennessee, Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, San Diego, Oakland...that's a lot of spots for just a few of those legendary coaches supposedly coming back.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Chicago vs. San Francisco- This thursday night matchup places two teams struggling to find their way up against each other in a game not many people will watch. The NFL Network had a really good commercial for this game showing clips of former Bears LB and current 49ers head coach Mike Singletary intertwined with 49ers current beast LB Patrick Willis. Obviously head coaches have coached against their former teams before, so the fact the Network used that as an attention grabber shows that this game doesn't have a whole lot of sexiness.
Cinncinnatti vs. Pittsburgh- If it wasn't for a few other good matchups this would be THE game to watch this week. The Bengals are 4-0 in the division and Steelers are riding high after dismantling the Broncos on Monday night. The obvoious storylines are the massiveness of this game on the AFC playoff race and AFC North division race. I for one can't wait to watch this one.
New England vs. Indianapolis- This game is the real reason I wanted to write this. This game for the last decade has been the best rivalry in the NFL. The two best QB's in the game in Tom Brady and Payton Manning have been shooting it out with each other since both have been starters together. The Colts are 8-0 and playing on another level then most teams, and it seems Brady and Co. have re-gained their mojo and are starting to look like the 2007 team that lost only one game. If you don't watch any games this week, at least watch this one. It's a Sunday Night Football extravaganza, so no excuses.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
First thing first, I am FIRING ERIC MANGINI and the entire coaching staff. I do not understand the hype of this guy. He got all of his credit for beating the NEw England Patriots when he was a rookie head coach for the New York Jets in 2006. He beat them after he lost to them after the first time they played them...SINCE that game, where "Mangenius" beat the Pats he has gone 19-28, including a late season collapse in 2008, a 4-12 season in 2007, 1-7 to start this season, oh, and becoming the NFL's biggest snitch after busting the Patriots for cheating (Didn't Mangini coach with the Patriots during the time that he alleges the Patriots cheated?). This guy is a joke. All bark, no bike...so he is OUT. So who do I hire to lead this team? I need to make a decision on this before re-doing the roster. This team needs identity. Let's take a look at some of candidates...there are alot.
Bill Cowher...no, not going to Cleveland after being loyal to Pittsburgh, plus living in the Carolina's, I have a feeling he might be a Panther next year.
Mike Shanahan...possible, but doubt it. Despite all the "not gonna do it's" that I've read, I think Shanahan is going to Washington.
Jon Gruden...this seems likely as well, but I have a feeling Gruden is either staying put as the next John Madden, or going to a higher profile job...but really don't count it out.
My vote for the next Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns? Mike Holmgren. This guy is PERFECT. He will want to play GM as well, and quite frankly he can have the job. It just means one less guy I have to hire. Holmgren has a proven track record of turning abysmal teams to gold and finding a QB he can grow with. Think of pre-Holmgren and Brett Favre Green Bay, and pre-Holmgren and Matt Hasselbeck Seattle. Both of those teams became Super Bowl contenders because of Holmgren's abilities to draft and find free agent gold mines. So Mike Holmgren, welcome to the Cleveland Browns.
Second, that pesky little QB situation. Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn? NEITHER. Both guys have big contracts and both guys have a hard time completing more then 10 passes in a game. I'm trading both of these guys for draft picks. I'm thinking I could pawn a third rounder for Quinn to a desperate franchise (Washington, Seattle, San Fransisco, Tennessee, or St. Louis), and Anderson might get me a fifth. So there are two-three, maybe more extra picks for Holmgren to play with.
Speaking of the draft, what would Holmgren do? I'm thinking the Browns are in line for a top three pick in a draft with ALOT of QB's. The offensive line is already fairly solid, WR's are definitley an issue, I need a RB (Jamal Lewis said he's retiring after this season, but whether he's telling the truth or not, he's got to go.), and I need defense. All of it. So let's draft a team.
First pick, Jake Locker, QB University of Washington. If Holmgren and the front office can stay away from all the hype of Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, I'm thinking Locker will be the best QB in the draft. He's got mobility like Tony Romo, and great arm, and has played in a system that isn't like the spread formations those other guys played in. So Locker, welcome to the team.
If I can finagle a trade or two to get back into the first round or another second rounder, this is where I go defense. I need an attitude and a face for my defense. This is where I pick Brandon Spikes ILB from Florida. This guy is a beast and I think he will be perfect to give my defense some attitude.
Now, I need some weapons for my young QB. A good running game is the best friend of a young QB. There are a few options here, and this could be the least likely but a very good option. I want a young RB, but do I really want a rookie back there to pick up blitzes and keep my QB safe? NO. So I'm doing two things. One, signing Steelers RB Willie Parker. He may have lost a step but I think he can still provide something for us. Second, calling an old trade partner, Jerry Jones from the Dallas Cowboys, and I am trying to swing a trade (a second, third, fourth, and/or fifth) for Marion Barber or Tashard Choice. Both RB's are young, good, and can pick up blitzes. I'm not sure if they would do this, but it's worth a shot, and I've traded with Jones before.
Ok, it's the day after the draft. I have a QB, a LB, a couple RB's and some excitement. Now for the free agent market. There is a possibility that the salary cap may not be an issue. So, I'm looking to spend some money. To bolster my defense, I'm throwing the entire city at Panther's DE Julius Peppers. With him and Shaun Rogers in the middle, I could have the makings of a pretty good Defensive Line. I also have rookie Spikes at MLB. I need more though on defense. I need a secondary. Based off of preliminary free agent possiblities safties Dawan Landry from Baltimore and Will Allen from Miami might be available. What about WR? I need a playmaker, a great WR, and someone who is not going to cause problems. If I don't draft a guy like Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State or Mike Williams from Syracuse, I'll need to find someone. I already like the potential of Mohammad Massaquoi as a number 2 WR, but I want someone to be the "go-to" guy. I'm going to go with Arizona Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin. I'm swinging a trade, giving him a big contract and getting him the ball.
After all these changes, I may not be setting the Browns up for a Super Bowl Championship in 2010, but I have gone with a youth movement and a veteran leader in Mike Holmgren. This team is set for the future.
I have fixed the Cleveland Browns.
Monday, November 2, 2009
1. Derek Anderson is awful. In his last three games he is 19 for 53. Can you bench him though? I mean, is Brady Quinn any better? What about Eric Mangini? That guy isn't much better as a coach. The Browns are a mess, and I feel bad for them because they have a great loyal fan base.
2. Is Chicago any good? Maybe they are. Maybe they just haven't hit their stride yet. I'll say one thing. They confuse the mess out of me.
3. Watch out, but all of a sudden Dallas is right in the thick of things. They took care of Seattle yesterday, and are on a three game win streak. QB Tony Romo is playing the best football of his career, three straight games with 8 TD's and 0 INT's. HUGE matchup this week for Sunday Night Football: Dallas vs. Philadelphia. Gonna be a good one.
4. Arizona. Good? Bad? Who knows? They beat the Giants in convincing manner last week then got whooped up by the Carolina Panthers yesterday. The NFC West is about as bad as it gets.
5. Speaking of the New York Football Giants. They were 5-0, running away with the division, and looking better then their Super Bowl Championship year of 2007...three weeks ago. Now, they look average. Is Brandon Jacobs still on the team? Oh, thats right, he got paid. This team needs to do some soul searching or something or they are going to be a very overrated and underachieving team.
6. Brett Favre...there I said it.
7. Baltimore and Denver was the most intriguing match-up of yesterday's games. I was very curious how these two teams would play each other based on Baltimore's recent slide and Denver's surprisngly great start...turns out, it wasn't much of a game. Baltimore smoked Denver.
8. Better watch out for Miami, they could do a little something this year. Beat the Jets twice, and are now on a roll. Be interesting to see what they can do with a tough slate of games coming up.
9. The Colts, are in my opinion, the best team in football. I know, I know, the Saints are great, but I think the Colts are better. They won yesterday and they weren't supposed to. Going through some adversity is good for a team, and they went through adversity and still won. Very dangerous.
10. Tonight's game...Saints 30 Falcons 20.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
2. A Yankees vs. Phillies World Series is good for fans that are fans of those teams. No one else. I hate in order these three cities sports: 1. Boston 2. New York 3. Philadelphia, so for me a Yankees Phils World Series will be almost as bad as the Yankees vs Marlins World Series from 2003.
3. ESPN's College Gameday could be the best pre-game show of all sports. The set up is brilliant. The way they go to a college campus every week with the fans and clever signs behind them is great. Lee Corso is a little bit too much but overall I love watching that show on Saturday mornings.
4. Who is the best running back in college football? Alambama's Mark Ingram. No question.
5.Who is the worst team in the NFL? Does it matter? The bottom five teams are some of the worst teams the NFL has ever put together.
6. It still boggles my mind that Tampa Bay didn't spend more in free agency. The team is so bad I can't help but wonder that fans are thinking the same thing. They had so much room under the cap, they could've bought probably 3 of the top 5 guys in free agency...including Albert Haynesworth (although it's probable a good thing now, the guy plays half of the time).
7. I heart Jim Zorn
8. I'm tired of hearing that this weeks Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh game is a "possible Super Bowl Match-up." No it is not. One, Pittsburgh does not have the same swagger they did last year. Their defense doesn't have the same presence. They really too much on Big Ben to carry them, which I'm not convinced is a good idea yet. Two, Minnesota has a 40 year old at QB. I know Brett Favre is playing great right now, but does he really have what it takes to play an entire regular season and then three to four extra games in the playoffs? He couldn't even do it last year. So even though I think it will be a good game this week, I'm not buying the Super Bowl hype.
9. For what it's worth, my pre-season prediction of Super Bowl participants was either Giants vs. Colts or Giants vs. Patriots...I don't remember, but regardless if it's Giants vs. Pats that means that once again we will have two of the top three cities of sporting teams I hate.
10. November 1 will be a day when all professional sports will be played. How cool is that? NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA, and a few others. I read an article about it. I think it's a good thing.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
San Diego vs. Kansas City- Any division game is worth a mention. This AFC West matchup puts the highly overrated and underachieving San Diego Chargers against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are coming off their first win of the season. Hard to believe, but I think Kansas City has a chance to put two wins in a row together. San Diego is falling apart before our very eyes, and it's a pretty much gurantee that next season' team will look very, very different from this years team. Those changes probable include a new coaching staff, a defense without Shawn Merriman (who seems to have worn out his welcome), and maybe a Ladanian Tomlinson-less backfield. This could be the "straw that breaks the camel's back" game for the Chargers.
Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh- Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, got his job from the tremendous job he did while coaching the defense in Minnesota a few years ago. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers offense operates against the stingy Vikings D, seeing as how some if not most of the personell on the defense are the same as when Tomlin was there.
New York Jets vs. Oakland- The Raiders' Richard Seymour promised this week that the Raiders would make the playoffs...this year! After beating Philadelphia last week following New York Giants LB Antonio Pierce's comments that playing the Raiders was like a "scrimmage" is it possible we are now seeing inspired play by Oakland? The Jets are struggling. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez, even though he started 3-0, has not put up impressive numbers (especially last week...he gave credit to Buffalo for catching HIS passes!!!), so maybe this is the perfect opportunity for New York to get back on track...then agains maybe it's the perfect time for Oakland to put a winning streak together and make some noise in the AFC.
Chicago vs. Cinncinnatti- Cedric Benson. Fourth overall pick by the Bears in 2006, then ran out of town three years later, he is running with avengence this year. You can bet he circled this game on his calendar when the schedule came out. He says he does not have any ill will towards the team, but c'mon...they never gave him a fair shot and his tenure there was rocky to say the least. I'm looking forward to seeing how he looks with the ball in his hands.
Philadelphia vs. Washington- This MNF match-up is good on paper because it is an NFC East game. Those games are almost always good. The Redskins are literally on their last breath. The Eagles are coming off an unfathomable loss to the Raiders. Both teams are fighting for something different, but with the same goal: Beating a hated divisional rival. This game could be closer then most expect.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1. Cinncinnatti Bengals RB Cedric Benson, who has been playing lights out all season, is going against the team that drafted fourth overall in 2006 then drove him out of town 3 years later, the Chicago Bears. Added motivation? I think so...
I'll do a longer article tommmorow on different story lines to look at.
Also, another thing I would like to start doing is every Monday or Tuesday have a good look back at the games played the precvious Sunday. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
6. Boise State
7. Penn State
8. Georgia Tech
10. Ohio State
11. Miami (FL)
15. Virginia Tech
16. Oklahoma State
19. Notre Dame
20. West Virginia
22. Texas Tech
23. South Carolina
I really don't understand why there is a top 25. There should really only be a top 10. Do teams 11-25 really matter? And, can we PLEASE get a playoff system?
Feel free to comment on your thoughts about my top-25.
Monday, October 19, 2009
New Orleans 48 New York Giants 27- Drew Brees for MVP.
Pittsburgh 21 Cleveland 14- I am not impressed with the Super Bowl Champions and how flat they look.
Houston 28 Cinncinnatti 17- To be a truly great team you can not play down to your competition, Cincy.
Green Bay 26 Detroit 0- Pretty much what I expected
Carolina 28 Tampa Bay 21- Close only counts in hand grenades and horse shoes.
Kansas City 14 Washington 6- How many times can a team hit rock bottom?
Jacksonville 23 St. Louis 20- Did anyone watch or care about this game?
Oakland 13 Philadelphia 9- The upset special, there is no way anyone in America picked this game.
Arizona 27 Seattle 3- In the NFC West it's hard to tell which team will show up on any given Sunday.
New England 59 Tennessee 0- Uh-oh, they're back.
Buffalo 16 New York Jets 13- Mark Sanchez might have hurt his shoulder from falling back down to earth.
Atlanta 21 Chicago 14- Huge game in the NFC playoff situation delivers with good ol' fashion football.
Friday, October 16, 2009
New York Giants vs. New Orleans Saints- Easily the game of the week. Both teams are 5-0. Both teams have things to prove, and obviously it's the Shockey Bowl I. The Saints offense is obviously one of the best, if not THE best. Drew Brees is playing like the MVP of the league. But during the off-season, something happened. The Saints got a defense. Uh-oh. These guys are good. Good enough to stop the Eli Manning and the Giants? Yes! The Saints look like one of the more complete teams in the league. What about the Giants though? These guys aren't too shabby either. They may be the most complete team in the league. Manning is playing fantastic, leading a very good offense without Shooter McGavin (Plax). Remember a few years ago when people thought Eli just wasn't going to get it done? The two headed monster of a running game is turning heads as well with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Plus, the Giants defense is again, really good. That pass rush, you may remember has been known to stop pretty potent offenses (Remember the Super Bowl?) and since the team is hurting in the secondary, that pass rush is going to need to come up big to stop the weapons the Saints have. My guess? Only since it is in New Orleans I go with the Saints 30-24.
Denver vs. San Diego- When the schedule first came out I wondered why this was a Monday Night game. I thought the Chargers were going to run away with the AFC West while the Broncos sat in the bottom for the next ten years. But my, my, how wrong I was. The 5-0 Broncos (WHAT?!?!?!?) are playing the best football in the NFL while the Chargers are struggling and seem on the verge of a major breakdown. So this MNF matchup is very intriguing. Broncos QB Kyle Orton, is playing good football leading his offense to five victories. But to be honest that is not the story of the Broncos. Orton played well for Chicago, so no one should be surprised. The surprise of the whole season is that the Broncos have the number one DEFENSE! After years of sitting in the bottom of the rankings, this defense is FOR. REAL. Mike Nolan transofrmed the team to a 3-4 scheme and added Brian Dawkins from Philadelphia. These two things, in my opinion is why this defense is so good. The 3-4 has helped Elvis Dumerville lead the league in sacks with 8 (tied with Cincy's Antwan Odom) and Dawkins is the emotional leader of the team. The defense is legit. The Chargers on the other hand are struggling. Their defense is under-performing, the once imposing running game is looking bleak, and the coaching is again questionable. I sometimes forget that LaDanian Tomlinson is even on the team! Also, there have been rumors flying that LB Shawn Merriman might get traded. Just wait though, there is only one thing that cures all these problems: Winning. With a division rival coming to town, what better way to get things back on track? That is why I am going with the Cha-Cha. San Diego wins this game and it might not be as competitive as you may think...Chargers 27, Broncos 17.
Chicago vs. Atlanta- This game has playoff preview written all over it. One of these teams could win their division or both could end up with the two wildcard spots available. I like both of these teams too. Good young QB's, good running games, and good coaching. I can't help it, I have a man crush on the Bears Jay Cutler, and Atlanta's Matt Ryan. Cutler has been on my fantasy team for 3 years straight. When it comes to this game though, I'm going to go with the home team Falcons, and only because they are at home. The Falcons for some reason are under the radar but sitting pretty at 3-1 and the Bears are the same. Both teams are behind in the division but a win on Sunday would be huge in gaining ground since it's possible both division leaders could lose. My pick...Atlanta 26, Chicago 23.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I rank this game as number five because it has a few very intriguing qualities. First, the Giants Cowboys rivalry has been the best one in the NFC East over the last few years (that says alot coming from that division). These two teams absolutely hate each other, so anytime they play it's always a physical bruiser. Second, it's the opening of the Cowboys new billion dollar stadium. Don't lie, your a little curious about it. It cost a billion dollars!! Third, it's on Sunday Night Football. Prime Time! The Cowboys have somehow slipped under the radar, so this could be a key game for them to remind people that they are still good. The Giants were the cream of the NFC crop during the regular season and they are even under the radar a bit. So both teams will be looking for a little early season respect. (By the way, how has no one made the connection that the 2008 Giants had nearly the same exact season as the 2007 Cowboys? They ran through the competition in the regular season, were touted as the NFC Champions then eventually the Super Bowl Champions, they had a primadonna Wide Receiver who caused enough distraction to blow the season for his team, they had the number 1 seed and home-field advantage for the playoffs, and they lost their first playoff game...to a division rival! This is absolutley the same thing that happened to the 2007 Cowboys. Stunning.)
4. Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots. Week 1.
Like the Giants vs. Cowboys game this is another "looking for respect" game. The Bills added talented and troubled Wide Receiver Terrell Owens in the offseason as well as high expectations. They get their first test during the first game. If they want to hang with the big boys they better be able to beat the biggest boy of all. Division rival New England will also be out to prove a thing or two. One, it's All-World QB Tom Brady's first regular season game since Week 1 of last year when he took Bernard Pollards helmet to the knee and missed all of the 2008 season. All eyes will be on Brady's knee. The Bills want all eyes on them. This game will show alot about what to expect from both teams for the upcoming season.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens. Week 12.
This Sunday Night game will be a feast. The rematch of the AFC Championship game will feature the Defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers going to heated rival Baltimore Ravens stadium, and the Ravens will be out for blood. Second year QB Joe Flacco should have a better grip on how to play against the NFL's best defense so he will be looking to perform better then he did last year. This game has the potential to be a crucial game in the middle of the playoff hunt for both teams and could have a drastic effect on who wins the division. For an added bonus, anytime you get to watch Baltimore wear their all black uniforms with a rabid Ray Lewis roaming the field you have to think your watching real professional football.
And now the real reason I wanted to make this list. Seriously, I could of just written about the top two games of the season...it doesn't get any better then this...
2. Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers. Week 8.
Brett Favre is officially a member of the Vikings. I saw it myself when he trotted out of the locker room wearing a Vikings helmet and a number 4 jersey. He has said publicly he paid attention to what the Packers were doing in comparison to his New York Jets last season. He wanted to play for Minnesota all along for the simple fact he wanted to beat Green Bay after he felt he was ran out of town (whether you believe that or not is up to you, I'm just saying what he said). This is the game everyone will be pointing towards and talking about. Brett Favre is coming back to Lambeau Field to face his former Green Bay Packers. The crowd will be insane. The players will feel the importance of the game. Brett will want to play his best. Packer QB Aaron Rodgers will have a secret mission (he won't talk about it out loud) to out perform Brett. This could be the official passing of the torch game. If Rodgers plays well and beats Favre's Vikings he will buy himself two years of Packer fan's love. If not, it could ugly...quick. Find a way to watch this game, it's going to be a good one. I'm hoping Favre gets to Lambeau and realizes what he has done and breaks down and cries like a little girl.
1. Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons. Week 13.
This is THE GAME. You can't beat this game. There may be games that are better played but no game will have so much focus as this one. Everyone knows the story of Michael Vick. He signed with the Eagles last week. Everyone knows the story of why the Falcons selected Matt Ryan with their first pick in last years draft. You may even know how Ryan went on to win the Roookie of the Year Award and led the Falcons into the playoffs. Well, in this game, the number one game of the season, Michael Vick returns to Atlanta. He returns to the city and stadium that adored him for so long. He had the city by the you know what. He could do wrong. Owner Arthur Blank gave Vick a record contract to lead his team for his entire career. Vick was to Atlanta what Rocky is to Philadelphia, what Joe Montana is to San Fransisco, what Brett Favre is to Green Bay (haha, just kidding). You can bet when Vick takes the field there will be a very loud noise from the fans. I say noise, because I'm not sure if it will be boo's or cheers. There is still a portion of the fan base that loves Vick. They trusted him with every ounce of their hearts and even though he broke their trust, they will still give him another chance. But, there is also that group like the most of us who think that what Vick did was horrendous. They will be the ones booing him. They will be hoping Vick doesn't step foot on the field and they will be looking for the Falcons to stomp the Eagles. This will be a very emotional game. One of those games you will be able to feel the emotion from your television. I can't wait.
Monday, August 17, 2009
9:00-9:30 AM- This is the first and toughest part of the whole routine. One, it's Sunday and I don't have to work so I'm not obligated to wake up at all, but I know that I have to get up. I also sometimes have to deal with the night before, depending on if I found something random to celebrate.
9:30-10:15 AM- During this time I pull out my Dallas Cowboys coffee mug and sit on the couch and drink as much coffee as I can (It's going to be a long day). I also pull out the Good Ol' Laptop (GOL) and begin reading every possible thing I can about the days games and fantasy football topics. In my favorites list I have 15 different websites I go to. Also, while I'm sitting there getting my obligatory coffee fix I have the television on a pre-game show. (I actually don't like pre-game shows that much. To me they seem pretty pointless, it really is just a group of guys opinion's on the games. I watch them however, for the breaking news that may come out quicker then on the internet such as ESPN's Chris Mortenson giving the updated injury reports for various teams. I always thought "Mort" was very good at this aspect of his job.).
10:15-10:30 AM- The Triple S.
10:30-10:45 AM- The first crucial ritual of the day. Getting dressed. I have various jerseys to choose from and the selection process is important. It goes in some way, like this:
- Which jersey will the team be wearing on this day? The Cowboys wear their white home jerseys often so I am often wearing the DeMarcus Ware jersey I covet. (Note: I also have a home Roy Williams #31 jersey. He isn't on the team anymore so I won't have to decide this year which one to wear, whereas I did a few times last year.) Usually, for one game the Cowboys wear their throwback juserseys. I have a Tony Romo jersey for this occasion.
- Which player am I "feeling" today? If I decide to not worry about which color jersey the team will be wearing I just go with what I feel lucky with. Mostly, I'm feeling Ware and I go with him. But a few times I do feel froggy and decide with the Throwback Tony Romo jersey.
- Is this the kind of game where I need to summon the Ghosts of Cowboys Past? This is usually reserved for games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, or a division rival, but sometimes I just want to pull out the Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, or Emmitt Smith jersey. I miss the days when the 49ers and Cowboys battled every year in the NFC Championship. That was fun! I also still feel very nostalgic when I see the Steelers and Cowboys helmet lined up next to each other.
10:45-10:50 AM- I'm showered, dressed, and on edge from all the coffee. Now it's time to gather up the various Fantasy Football information I have gathered for this weeks matchup (Notes, magazines, newspapers, and the laptop). Also, since I'll most likely be out of the house for the next 12-15 hours I get my Dallas Cowboys mug, hat, and anything else I may need for the day.
10:50-11:00 AM- I am now embarking on a ten minute drive to the local watering establishment to conduct some fantasy business. During this drive I have sports talk radio on the dial but I'm not really listening. My mind is racing. I'm thinking about what I want to do with my various lineups, who am I betting on, what are the lines in the games, and delusions of a Dallas Cowboys victory.
11:00-12:00 PM- I grab a drink when I get to the local watering establishment and sit down with the guys in my fantasy league. Everyone has something to say about last weeks games. Either someone is talking smack about beating a fellow league mates team, or gloating about his favorite teams victory over a hated rival. By the time I sit down, I know exactly what I want to do. I know who I'm starting, who I'm playing against, and who I'm betting for/against. I figured all this out on that 10 minute drive here. It's absolutely CRUCIAL I have this time to myself to collect my thoughts. Finally, everyone settles and we go through free agent pickups, trades, lineup submissions, and trading line-ups with your opponent. This process actually takes some time. All the while, I'm getting text messages and phone calls from friends just wanting to talk about the days action. Most of the time, the last 10-15 minutes are free for me to contact my contact and put in my bets. Over/unders and point spreads are being bet on, and hopefully I won't need the Monday Night game to get myself out of a hole.
12:00-12:15 PM- Fantasy lineups are submitted. Bets are made. All I need to now is to sit down and watch, right? Hardly. I am now on my way to a location where I can watch these games. Sometimes I'll go to a bar and watch but really I only do that on Cowboys bye weeks, so I don't have to put myself in position to fight someone who may or not like what I have to say. So, I'm headed to a buddies house with the NFL Ticket and a fast internet connection. Of course, first I stop at a 7-11 and pick up something to drink and something to eat. (Note: I've been known to get more coffee depending on the strength of the headache).
12:15-1:00 PM- I'm at my buddies house. The next 45 minutes are pretty much the last 45 minutes of the day I get to just sit and relax. I set up the GOL, I get a few other things together, and pour myself a drink in my Dallas Cowboys mug. Pretty much from there until kickoff it's just hanging out, talking, and watching whatever pre-game show is on.
1:00-4:00 PM- Now for the madness. Kick-off time. I'll leave my Dallas Cowboys Game Routine for the 4:00 kick-off. For the first set of games, I'm watching the games involving different aspects.
- If the team my buddy roots for in on and I am at his house, I am forced to watch that game.
- The game with the most amount of fantasy players combined are involved with.
- The best game with the best best matchup.
During the games I'm closely montioring the GOL for fantasy scores and betting scores. I like to try to make it so every game is important, however there are exceptions (Cleveland vs. Oakland, for example. Nothing against the teams but A) they play in the AFC, so they won't affect Dallas' playoff chances and B) right now, they just aren't that good). So if the Cowboys are not playing I'm basically doing just a couple things: 1) Monitoring fantasy scores 2) monitoring betting scores 3) rooting violently against the hated teams (Redskins, Giants, Eagles) or teams that may have an effect on a Cowboys playoff spot.
4:00-4:15 PM (Note: Times are not exact here, it all depends on when first set of games end and the exact kickoff time of the Cowboys)- Before kickoff, I do a quick fantasy score scan, looking to see who needs what to give me a victory, and check the betting scores to see who needs what to give me a victory. I then go fill up my Dallas Cowboys mug with whatever I'm drinking. Then, I turn the television to which ever channel the Dallas Cowboys game is on. Now, before kickoff it's time to step outside for a quick smoke (Note: I HAVE to have all this done by the time the kicker kicks the ball off. NO EXCEPTIONS).
4:15-7:30 PM- Now for the Dallas Cowboys Game Routing.
- Hopefully, I'm already sitting in the "lucky" spot. If things are going well, I will not move from that seat. I will also become increasingly violent if someone happens to snag that seat in an attempt to get me stressed out. Even though I am reluctant to do it, if things are going bad I will try to find a new seat that may help the Cowboys out.
- I will NOT speak badly about the other team, especially if there is a fan of that team watching the game with me. I can't have bad karma on my side. So if they make a good play, I blame it on my team. If the other team makes a bad play, I cheer for my team doing a good job not by yelling "HAHA, YOU F****** SUCK!!!" at the other team. I'm trying to be respectful and not have The Football Gods of Karma (which every fan knows about) punish me.
- I absolutely under no circumstance will smoke during the game. Only at halftime do I permit myself to go outside and smoke. I'm not real sure where this superstition started but I'm pretty sure it was during a Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins game when I stepped out to smoke and ended up suffering a loss.
- So, after my halftime smoke I come back inside and empty out the Dallas Cowboys mug. I can no longer drink out of the mug. Only during the the first half. In fact, I can't even drink anything during the second half. It's really annoying. This is actually the one superstition that I have every intention of breaking this year. I think I'm going to work on it during the pre-season. I get thirsty, and I like drinking out of my mug, so I think this little tid-bit needs to come to an end.
- I have to watch the entire game, no matter what the score is. This isn't so hard when the game is close, or the Cowboys are blowing out the opposition. But, the real test comes when the Cowboys are getting blown out themselves. I do this for self-torture. Plain and simple. I want to feel the pain. I want to remember how it felt when the Cowboys were getting beaten badly. I want to remember the text messages and phone calls from friends who had negative things to say. I do this so that one day, when the Cowboys are again Super Bowl Champions I can think of those horrible losses and all those friends with the negativity and smile at them and relish the championship. (Note: I have failed in this step before. 2008. Week 17, Dallas @ Philadelphia. All they needed to do was win and they were in the playoffs. Instead, they came out and got whooped 44-6. I turned off the game mid-way through the third quarter and went home, and went to bed. All offseason, I have felt guilty for turning my back on the Cowboys. I swear, it will never happen again, no matter how bad it is.)
- Finally, regardless of the outcome it's reflection time. I go outside to smoke the post-game smoke, and discuss the game with my buddy Kyle, who is a Cowboys fan. After that conversation it's time to talk to various people about the days action. Who won, who loss, how much money did I win/lose, various fantasy happenings, and the game coming up at night. (You didn't think it was over did you?)
7:30-Until the end of Sunday Night Football Game- Whether I'm celebrating a victory or mourning a loss I can sit back and watch the game (Of course unless the Cowboys are playing). It's the only game on so there is no channel flipping or anything. I'm still monitoring fantasy scores, and hopefully I'm not scrambling to make up for any monetary losses. I'll either watch this game at my buddies house, or go home and watch it. All depends on how I'm feeling. If I watched a classic game by the Cowboys that calls for further celebration (Cowboys vs. Bills Monday Night Football 2007), I'll go to a local watering establishment to watch and gloat.
End of Sunday Night Football Game-The moment my eyes close to go to sleep- After all the games are done, fantasy scores are established, and monetary wins/losses are in the books, I'll lay down watch the highlights and post-game reactions on ESPN or NFL Network. I'll do this until I fall asleep. I have to get plenty of sleep, because depending on who is playing on Monday Night Football I may have a long night ahead of me once again.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Those that think this makes Philly even better, I have to disagree. This team is trying to win the Super Bowl this year or bust. I think with Vick this causes a distraction that can be equaled to that of the 2008 Dallas Cowboys. Too much media coverage and focusing on Vick rather then football is a curse. McNabb is already sensitive as it is, but now to have this on his shoulders could spell disaster. What role will Vick play? Who knows. If I were an Eagles fan I would be greatly distressed. This could backfire huge.
New England vs. Philadelphia
New England- This is a no-brainer. All eyes will be on All-World QB Tom Brady. He will be making his first start since Week 1 of last season, where as everyone knows, he ripped his knee apart and was missed for the season. Watch how Brady reacts when pass rushers close in. Watch his follow through after he throws the ball. Watch his body language. Though he'll probably only play a series or two, a couple of drop-backs could give fans all they need to see if Brady is really back. Another thing worth watching is if Brady still has that record-breaking relationship with WR Randy Moss.
Philadelphia- RB Bryan Westbrook will not play so keep your eye on rookie RB LeSean McCoy. Some have compared his abilities to Westbrook, so it could be interesting to see if he shows some of those abilities. Watch out for his receiving abilities, speed, quickness, and power. Westbrook, when healthy, is one of the best all-around backs in the league, so McCoy will have pretty hefty shoes to fill in Westbrook's absence. Also, pay attention to the Eagles new re-vamped offensive line. With little to no chemistry between the five men, the new line could prove to make or break the Eagles season and championship hopes.
Dallas vs. Oakland
Dallas- The disappointment of the 2008 season is still on the minds of the Dallas Cowboys. Everyone knows about the drastic changes they made in the off-season (Releasing Terrell Owens and Roy Williams, Not re-signing Chris Canty, Kevin Burnett, and Tank Johnson), so seeing how the offense looks now will certainly be a story-line. The relationship between QB Tony Romo and WR Roy Williams will be the main focal point. Any mis-step between the two will surely cause the sky to fall in Dallas, but that is not the only thing to watch in Dallas' offense. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (who, trust me, is feeling the heat this season) says he wants to focus on the running game since they have probably the most talented back-field in the NFL in Pro Bowler Marion Barber and second year players Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. So pay attention to the play calling to see if Garrett is still up to his old ways in throwing the ball more or really committed to the run.
Oakland- All eyes in Oakland will be on QB JaMarcus Russell. He has to show improvement. He has to show management that they were not wrong in selecting him number one overall two years ago. If not, the regime could turn to veteran QB Jeff Garcia to lead the team this year. Garcia is a proven winner, and he definitely wants another opportunity to shine. Also, pay attention to RB Darren McFadden. The fourth overall pick in last year's draft had a shaky rookie campaign marred by injuries. Oakland fans are hoping this year he can show the flash he had in college that constituted the team taking him so high in the draft. Pay attention to how he reads the defense and if he has a burst that can take him through the hole and into the secondary.
Washington vs. Baltimore
Washington- After potentially getting burned twice in the off season, QB Jason Campbell still has a lot to prove. He got off to a superb start last year before failing in the last 8 games. The team tried to trade for Jay Cutler but failed, then tried again to trade up in the draft to get USC QB Mark Sanchez, but again failed. Campbell is in a contract year so he'll be out to perform this season. Tonight though, watch how he directs the offense. He is following the same system for the second year in a row for the first time since high school, so he should have a great grasp on it. Also, pay attention to Albert Haynesworth. The fat contract he received in the off-season has lead some to believe he will get fat and happy and perform below expectations. But he has vowed to still play with the fire and passion he always had. Watch how the defense looks and if they will be able to stop the run this season. They should be improved with Haynesworth and first round pick Brian Orakpo seeing significant time
Baltimore- Second year QB Joe Flacco should be improved from an already impressive rookie year. So as long as he does not take a step back, the Ravens have found a franchise QB they can rely on for years. The defense however is what is intriguing. The Ravens have always had one of the best defenses in the league. This year however they will look and act a little bit different. Longtime coordinator Rex Ryan left to take the head-coaching job with the New York Jets and he brought along LB Bart Scott. With new play calling, the defense could look different on the field. Watch to see how much they blitz, where S Ed Reed is at, and what LB Ray Lewis is doing. The defense should still be one of the best, but it should be interesting to see if there is a difference in how they play.
Arizona vs. Pittsburgh
Arizona- The defending NFC Champions did not make many changes in the off-season. They did not re-sign RB Edgerin James and drafted Ohio State RB Beanie Wells to replace him. Wells will not play tonight due to an ankle injury, so second year RB Tim Hightower will start in his place. The thing to watch however, is the play-calling. The Cardinals called pass plays 66% of the time last season (by far the most in the league) behind offensive coordinator Todd Haley's play-calling. Haley left to take the Head Coaching job at Kansas City, so that could lead to a more balanced attack. Watch to see if the Cardinals run the ball a bit more tonight. That could lead to the possibility of selecting Wells earlier then you thought based on the opportunity for more carries. One more thing worth watching is back-up QB Matt Leinart. During the Tennessee Titans game on Sunday, Vince Young looked horrible. The other QB selected in the first round of the 2007 needs to show that if Pro Bowl QB Kurt Warner goes down, he can lead the team back to the playoffs. Leinart has done very little since entering the league and with a 38-year old leading the way the possibility for injury is very likely. He needs to show that the team is still in good hands with him.
Pittshburgh- The offense is the same. The defense is still going to be dominant. The Steelers are poised to take a stab at another title in 2009. So what is there to watch? Second year RB Rashard Mendenhall had a disastrous rookie year that ended when Ravens LB Ray Lewis demolished his shoulder. He is trying to prove that he has what it takes to take over the starting job from Willie Parker. No better way to do that then with a strong pre-season. Pay attention to how he runs the ball in the red-zone as he is likely to be the team's goal line back. Also, see how the teams uses WR Santonio Holmes. He is looking to become the number one WR for the Steelers so he should get more balls thrown his way.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Buffalo: Buffalo unveiled their no-huddle offense which they hope will help them take advantage of some of their offensive weapons including RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Lee Evans, and, of course, their newest addition WR Terrell Owens. The starting offense was able to move the ball well. They did not score a TD but they were able to put two strong drives together. One of the drives ended in a Trent Edwards INT, but Bills fans can at least say to themselves "Hey, at least he was throwing the ball downfield." After the starters had their chance, one player that stuck out was RB Xavier Omon. He had 11 rushing attempts for 36 yds. and 3 catches for 25 yds. He looked like a big bruising back with a bit of quickness. He could stick around on the roster if he continues to play well during the pre-season, and if an injury occurs to the RB's on the Bills, he could see significant time. Defensively, the Bills rushing defense looked solid at the beginning. They were holding Titans RB Chris Johnson to a only a few yards and seemed to be in the backfield alot. They were forcing the Titans to beat them with the pass (which they did). It didn't last though. Johnson was able to put a couple of runs together, but overall the defense looked strong.
Tennessee: The first drive of the game, provided the first big trick play of the 2009 NFL Season. After a very strong drive where QB Kerry Collins looked great, the Titans faced a 4th down. They brought in punter Aaron Trapasso. It was a fake! Trapasso faked a handoff, the sprinted 40 yds for a TD. Great play, looking forward to seeing it during the season. Throughout the starters performances, the Titans offense looked fantastic. LenDale "No Tequila" White was still able to punch in the ball to the end zone from the goal line, free agent acquistion WR Nate Washington looked solid, and the line looked like they were healthy. You can't talk about Tennessee without mentioning QB Vince Young. He looked bad. Bad throws. Bad decisions. Young threw a pick on a pass that was not anywhere close to his intended target. The offense overall though, despite Young, moved the ball very well. The defensive line looks vastly different without DT Albert Haynesworth, who signed a huge (seriously, huge) contract with the Washington Redskins. They still looked good though. The defense was able to force a turnover against Trent Edwards and stop the Bills on multiple drives.
By the way the final score: Tennessee 21 Buffalo 18.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
- Glad to see "Bullett" Bob Hayes get inducted. I was not alive while he played so I can't say to much stuff expertly, but he played for the Cowboys (my team) and he really was revolutionary. One of the first guys to really use his speed on the field. Oh, and he is the only person ever to win an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl.
- Rod Woodson's speech went on forever. For. Ever. But he deserves it. I do remember watching him play. He was a beast!
- I actually got sad when they were presenting Derrick Thomas. Thomas died a few years ago in a plane crash. He was truly one of the greatest players ever. He definitley goes down as one of my favorite players and I have always said that. I remember when he and Defensive End Neil Smith used to destroy Quarterbacks. Too bad he had to die at such a young age.
- Bruce Smith. Wow. Mean nasty player. To me his legacy is tainted a bit since he played for the Redskins (just kidding, but seriously). He is also from my hometown of Virginia Beach (ok, Norfolk, but it's the same thing).
This is a good class that also included Bills owner Ralph Wilson and former lineman Randall McDaniel. Can't wait until its Emmitt Smith's turn.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
- Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were revealed to be on the infamous 2003 list of failed drug tests. These two guys were the ONLY reason the Red Sox ended their "curse" and won the world series in 2004 and 2007. If not for these guys, then the Sox probably would still be griping. Honestly, who cares? Is anyone surprised? Manny got busted earlier this season, and Ortiz' career has followed the obvious trend of a Roider. All this proves is that just like the other World Series Championships of the past 10+ years, the Sox championships are tainted. Tough Break. There will be more names "leaked"
- NFL opened up their training camps across the league. Somehow, practices have become more important to the media then actual games the mean something in other sports. I for one, am pumped! I can't wait for football. This coming sunday is the first pre-season game, which of course, I will watch intently.
- The Yankess and Red Sox open a four game series tonight. This is the last distraction before football starts. New York has a 2.5 game lead, but the Red Sox have won all 8 games this season between the two teams. This series is crucial for playoff positioning for the American League and should be fun to watch.
- Stephon Marbury is crazy.
One more thing I wanted to mention. Once the NFL kicks off this blog will be shifting focus. I want to focus on football and fantasy football. I'll of course still talk about MLB during the season, with the playoffs and eventually the World Series, but football is king and that's what I think would be more popular to read...and funner to write about. Did I miss any stories? Let me know and we'll discuss.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
The NFL Draft is moving to a three day affair!!! Starting in 2010 the NFL Draft's first round will move to Thursday Evening's Prime-Time slot. Second and Third Rounds on Friday evenings, and the rest of the draft will take place on Saturday afternoons.
I hate this! I loved Draft weekend. There was nothing better then sitting on my couch all weekend and drooling over the draft for two days. Now it's just one round on Thursday, two rounds on Friday, and the rest on Saturday. What if I have to work? What about the difference in being a "first day pick" and a "second day pick?" There is too much tradition between the draft and people like me, The Fan. Ugh! I'm too upset.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
- The T.O. Show sucks. Completely fabricated. Scripted. Sucks.
- Spanish "sensation" PG Ricky Rubio has decided to leave his club in Spain to play in the NBA. In my opinion, this guy has BUST written all over him...or can you say El Bust.
- The tape of Lebron James getting dunked on was released. To me, not a big deal. I've seen worse (See Dwight Howard dunking on Tim Duncans face, or Vince Carter dunking on some poor foreign kid in the 2000 Olympics...seriously go find these dunks and watch over and over...actually now that I think about it go find Howard's and Carter's dunks throughout their career and watch over and over again.)
- The Pittsburgh Pirates traded another starter. Adam LaRoche to the Red Sox. 5th starter this season.
- NFL Training Camps start next week. YYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!
- The Yankees took the lead in the A.L. East after Boston dropped another game to Texas.
- Steelers QB Ben Roelthisomething is being accused of rape from a women in Nevada. At this point it seems like a strange case and could get stranger as it goes on. It has been two days since the story broke and ESPN has not even mentioned it. Weird. They said its because they don't report stories where criminal charges have not been filed. That's a lie (See Marvin Harrison, New England Patriots cheating scandal, Roberto Alomar, etc. etc. etc.).
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Chester Taylor, RB-
The best RB in the NFL, and overall favorite to go number one in most fantasy leagues this year is Adrian Peterson. He is a monster. Puts up record breaking numbers weekly it seems like. His back-up, Chester Taylor, is a very capable running back. So much so that even with the uncanny ability of Peterson running the ball, the Vikings still make it a point to get Taylor the ball. He is clearly the better pass cather out of the two backs, and will often be on the field on third down. But what if Peterson goes down with an injury (which, based on his bruising running style is very likely)? Chester Taylor will step in as the starter and put very good numbers. He already averaged 50 yds. per game last season in limited action. Plus the Vikings love to run the ball, giving the ball to Peterson well over 300 times last season.
Green Bay Packers
Matt Flynn/Brian Brohm, QB-
I put both QB's on this list because the battle for number two will take place during training camp. Aaron Rodgers is a solid starter, but he has had a few injuries in the past, so there is a small possiblity of him getting injured. The Packers offense is QB friendly too with very talented WR's in Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson. The difference in numbers from Rodgers (28 TD's and 252 YPG) to Flynn or Brohm will surely drop, but one of these guys could fill in nicely on a bye week or a few games if Rodgers goes down.
Earl Bennett, WR-
Even though Bennett is the number 2 WR next to Devin Hester, I still believe that with an injury to either Hester or RB Matt Forte, Bennett could move from being just another WR to the focal point of the offense. He played with QB Jay Cutler at Vanderbilt so there is a relationship already there. There isn't much depth on Chicago's offense so this was the best I could come up with for someone on the Bears.
Maurice Morris, RB-
It's no secret the Lions are bad. But a new coach usually brings a new philosophy and coach Jim Shwartz hired offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan has a tendency to get the ball into the hands of his RB and number one WR. Right now on the depth chart Kevin Smith is the number one back. The Lions signed Maurice Morris during the offseason and he should potentially have an impact on the running game. Morris is a speedy back who outperformed starter Julius Jones last season. In the last two years Morris was the feature back in 8 games. He averaged 80 rushing yards per game and scored 3 TD's. If Smith goes down or Morris plays well enough to overtake him, he could provide good numbers for fantasy owners to slot him as their number 2 RB.
*All stats came from Fantasy Football Index*
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Philadephia Eagles- They loaded up this year, and both Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb know the window is almost closed. If it's going to happen, it happens this year.
New York Giants- They only lost Plaxico Buress and Derrick Ward. Ward is replaceable, Plax is not. You gotta believe there is a little drop-off from last year, but not much. Still one of the best running games and defenses in the league
Dallas Cowboys- I pretty much believe they bounce back this year and probably finish with the same record as the Giants. They lost T.O. but they plan on running more anyway, plus with a Top 10 defense, Dallas steals one of the wild-card spots.
Washington Redskins- They are SLOWLY improving. Their defense will be good again, but there offense just seems confused. Are they smash mouth? Are they an air it out team? Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell need to get it together or they will both be looking for new jobs in 2010.
Minnesota Vikings- I'm just assuming Brett Favre is playing for them this year. The Vikings have the best running back in Adrian Peterson and best run defense in the league, which makes them a very dangerous team. Throw in a Hall of Fame QB, a fast WR (Bernard Berrian) for play actions, and a home run threat in rookie Percy Harvin, and this could be the team that sneaks up and wins the Super Bowl...maybe.
Green Bay Packers- The Brett Favre fiasco took a toll last year. But make no mistake, this a very good team that did go 13-3 two years ago. They have a high powered offense with a very capable QB in Aaron Rodgers (4,038 yds and 28 TD's in 2008) and a good young defense. Could be the other wildcard.
Chicago Bears- I know they went and got QB Jay Cutler, which instantly means improvement, but I feel like Cutler's ability as a gun swinger will now be limited in Chicago. They have a good young running back in Matt Forte and NO receivers. Plus an aging defense. A good team? Yes. But unfortunatley the NFC isn't weak enough for them to sneak into the playoffs.
Detroit Lions- You have to be better this year when you lose every game last year...right? RIGHT!?!?!?
Atlanta Falcons- I gave them the division title, but not by much. They have Matt Ryan, a really good young QB who can manage the game, but also make the throws when needed. They also have a beast at RB in Michael Turner. As long as they don't lose the games they are supposed to win, they could win the division.
Carolina Panthers- Perhaps the best running game in the league won't repeat what they did last year. DeAngelo Williams had a phenomenial season, and Jonathan Stewart was great coming off the bench, but I just don't believe they repeat it. QB Jake Delhomme is done. I see no reason why the Panthers should have given him that extension (especially after his 5 INT performance in the playoffs last year). They finish second in the division just because the rest of the teams aren't that good.
New Orleans Saints- Great high powered passing game. That's it. No defense and a running game that should be good but the play calling just isn't balanced enough. They come close to making a run at the playoffs, but really it's just because the division is weak.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- It's officially re-building time in Tampa. The Bucs got rid of the face of their franchise in Derick Brooks, and fired head coach Jon Gruden. Then they drafted QB Josh Freeman in the first round. For this season, this team isn't that good and should finish in the 4-12 range for their record.
Seattle Seahawks- With a healthy Matt Hasselbeck and the addition of WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh and this team should bounce back just fine. Plus an extremely weak division and a greedy defense and the Seahawks could be dangerous come playoff time.
Arizona Cardinals- The defending NFC Champs return just about the entire team, but can Kurt Warner really stay healthy again all year? They come back down to earth this year but still contend. Plus the Super Bowl Hangover is real and could really bite this team hard.
San Fransisco 49ers- Who plays QB for them this year? Who cares. This team's rebuilding process is taking longer then expected and QB Alex Smith has probably just half the season to prove he can play and live up to Number 1 pick standards. A solid defense and RB Frank Gore win them a few games.
St. Louis Rams- They could finish above the 49ers just because they hired a tough coach in defensive guru Mike Spagnolo. An emphasis on running the ball with Steven Jackson and defense is the way of like now for Rams fans, but it may take a few years for the plan to work out. Good thing the division isn't that good.
New England Patriots- They're Back. And everyone knows it. Tom Brady is healthy and there is a collective chip on their shoulders. This team is the definition of a Super Bowl hopeful.
New York Jets- With the hiring of new head coach Rex Ryan, this team will eventually develop a new swagger and an emphasis on defense. I think they are still one year away from contending with the Pats for the division, and it all goes with the development of first round QB Mark Sanchez.
Buffalo Bills- This is the surprise for the division seeing as how the Dolphins were a playoff team last year. They added T.O. and have continued to improve their defense. I think the Bills sneak a couple wins and are mathimatically still in it late, but will fall short until they put just a few more pieces together.
Miami Dolphins- Last year's season was a mirage. Yes, they have master builder Bill Parcells at the helm, but they also have an extremely tough schedule. Plus they won't be surprising people (especially New England) with the Wildcat offense. The Dolphins will come back down to earth this year.
Pittsburgh Steelers- The defending champs will have a bullseye on their backs, but they are good enough and tough enough to withstand it. They will be able to contend again this year as the best defense in the league remains in tact. Offensively they get Rashard Mendenhall back healthy and WR Limas Sweed should play a bigger role in the passing game. This team is still one of the favorites to win it all
Baltimore Ravens- An aging defense that still has one to two years left in the tank and finally an offense that can be considered respectable. Baltimore won't be able to get past the Steelers in the regular season, but if they can avoid them in the playoffs, they could sneak up and contend for a Super Bowl. QB Joe Flacco has to continue to play well for it to happen though.
Cincinnati Bengals- I believe this will be the most improved team in the NFL, and could actually contend for a playoff spot depending on what Baltimore does. QB Carson Palmer is 100% and WR Chad Ochocinco is focused and ready to reclaim his place as one of the leagues best WR's. Plus a Top 15 defense to boast, and the Bengals could surprise people.
Cleveland Browns- The only thing Browns fans have to look forward to is the official beginning of the Brady Quinn era. Is that a good thing? We'll see.
Indianapolis Colts- The window is starting to close for Peyton Manning to get another ring. A whole slew of coaching changes could mean a couple more losses, but the staff is familiar so it might not change a thing. Everyone is healthy as of now, so the Colts should remain dominant and make another run at the Super Bowl.
Houston Texans- The surprise of the year. I'm going out on a limb with this one. And it only happens if this team stays healthy, which they really have not been able to do. They have a high scoring offense with QB Matt Shaub throwing to top WR Andre Johnson, and a very versatile RB in Steve Slaton. Plus a good young defense led by former number one pick Mario Williams and this team should sneak into the playoffs.
Tennessee Titans- Despite the great run game and good defense, I think last year was a fluke for the 13-3 Titans. They lost the centerpiece of their D in Albert Haynesworth, and if something happens to Kerry Collins then Vince Young takes over. Those are not good things, so I see Tennessee falling down a bit from last year.
Jacksonville Jaguars- The team cleaned house in the offseason after an extremely disappointing 2008 season in which some pegged this team as a Super Bowl contender. The division is good, and they still have to put some pieces together. I see improvement, but not enough to get them out of the basement.
San Diego Chargers- This is a very dangerous team. They no longer have to rely on RB LaDanian Tomlinson. QB Philip Rivers established himself as a gun slinger who can take over a game with his arm, and back-up RB Darren Sproles showed a home run ability like no other. Plus getting LB Shaun Merriman back this year will bloster a good defense. A dangerous team that should run away with the division.
Kansas City Chiefs- The rest of the teams in this division are interchangeable, but I put the Chiefs here just because of adding the right pieces to help them improve. They got QB Matt Cassell from the Pats, a new head coach in Todd Haley from Arizona, and a few front office guys who were responsible for building the great New England teams of this decade. Give it a few years and the Chiefs will be contenders.
Oakland Raiders- They have to be better. Their defense is not bad, and they have the best CB in the league in Nnamdi Asomugha. Darren McFadden will be back healthy and he should make some kind of difference. It should also be fairly obvious that QB JaMarcus Russell will lose the job for journey man Jeff Garcia at some point in the year.
Denver Broncos- Wow, this team had high hopes. Then came Head Coach Josh McDaniels. He shoved QB Jay Cutler out the door, and is currently not making any friends with WR Brandon Marshall. He set this team back a few years, so they should get comfortable at the bottom.
Wild Card Round- NFC- New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Green Bay
AFC- New York, Baltimore, San Diego, Indianapolis
Divisional Round- NFC- Philadelphia vs. Green Bay Minnesota vs. Dallas
AFC- New England vs. Indianapolis Pittsburgh vs. San Diego
Conf. Championship- NFC- Philadelphia vs. Minnesota
AFC- New England vs. Pittsburgh
Super Bowl- Philadelphia vs. New England
Super Bowl Champion- New England Patriots.
It always evens itself out no matter how many surprises there are. New England is back and rady to win.