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Week 10 NFL Rewind & Monday Night Football Prediction

November 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

1. I have to start with the worst quarterback performance I can remember seeing.

Last season Josh Freeman played for the Vikings in New York against the Giants and was horrendous.  That was the worst I have seen until Thursday night.  Andy Dalton is the new victor because was as horrible as you can be.

Dalton's stats don't even show how bad he was as he missed receivers badly all night. AJ Green is back but that didn't matter because he was blanketed by Joe Haden.  We talk a lot about the Bengals because we have no clue who this team is.  If you know, please let me know.

2.  For the record I wouldn't have had Tony Romo make the trip to London.  He went and played well as the Cowboys got on track against the sorry Jags.

With the bye upcoming I thought, as many did as well, the Boys should be cautious with their QB.  He has a history now of back issues and reinjured it against the Skins.

Weeden was Dalton bad last week but I think they could have beaten the Jags with him.  Dallas is in a battle with the Eagles for the division so I understand why Garrett, or most likely Jerrah, wanted Romo on the field.  They obviously jokes about big game performances aside need Tony Romo for the stretch run so risking him was a mistake I think.

3.  One more QB who didn't light up the box score to discuss and that is Colin Kaepernick.

His stats looked like Dalton and Weeden but he won a huge game in New Orleans.  He made a huge play hitting Crabtree on 4th down to save the day.

I think as I have said before the Niners roll from here.  They are getting Aldon Smith back and Navarro Bowman will soon follow.  I have no idea what the real deal is with Harbaugh but it seems certain he is gone after the season.  I bet the team rallies around that nut job and makes the playoffs.  Then anything can happen in the playoffs. Could we see the Seahawks and Niners as the wild cards?

4.  Quick Hitters

If the Cardinals are going to win the NFC West it may be without Carson Palmer.  They need him even though Arians believes in Drew Stanton, who could be carrying a 9-1 team to the end.
B. It seems like the Lions always play crazy games at home that Stafford somehow pulls it out.  Tough loss for the Dolphins who have a big one next versus Buffalo.
C. Quick college take.  I was about to push Nick Marshall into the Heisman mix then he coughed up the ball twice to maybe end Auburns chances.
D. Congrats to the Jets, as Rex Ryan said finally.  Pittsburgh came in rolling and the Jets struggling and what happens?  The Jets win.  Crazy league.
E.  I can't see Adrian Peterson playing this year.  Sponsors ran from the Vikings when the reinstated him and I think they will again.  The pictures are too horrible.

5. Monday Night Prediction:             espnMNF

Even with the Sanchize back as a starter this game says Philly big versus a struggling Panthers D.  I think the Eagles win, but not by much as Sanchez keeps them in with 2 or 3 pickles.  Eagles 17-14.

 

 

Week 9 NFL Rewind & MNF Prediction

November 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

1- The most hyped game of the week ended up not being much of a competition as Tom Brady once again outdueled Peyton Manning in Foxboro.      NFL: JAN 19 AFC Championship Game - Patriots at Broncos

By the time they finally kicked off I had enough hearing about the Brady/Manning respect for each other, how they got there, and then we had to add 6 hours of weather coverage.  Which ended up not being much of a factor.

The Pats have done a complete 180 since they left the field in KC over a month ago.  And the main reason is the play of the offense and their ability to get Brady and Gronk reconnected.  As long as Gronk is 100% that offense is going to be tough to stop.

I still like the Broncos a lot and don't take a lot from this loss.  They should roll the rest of the schedule and end up in a solid spot come playoff time like the past two seasons.  The defense which had played better took a beating Sunday but they should recover and the Broncos will be just fine.

2- How much do the Cowboys need Tony Romo?  A lot it looks like.

The drop off from Romo to Weeden was monumental and the Cardinals rolled them to the best record in the NFC.  The Cowboys need to get Romo back but you have to be worried about his short and long term future if he does play as soon as next week.  But I do expect Romo to do whatever he can to get back versus the Jags.  Weeden screwed up everything from Murray's 100 yard game streak to his old college pal Dez's game.  Crazy how things in the NFL can change in two weeks.

The Cards have not changed in the last few weeks as they continue to win games and lead the NFC West by two games.  I liked Arizona before the season but was then concerned after losing some important defensive players. But they have been solid.  Carson Palmer rallied back from an early pick six to lead the Cardinals to victory.  I am far from counting the Seahawks out in this division but we may want to count out the 49ers.

3. Most impressive win of the week has to go to the Dolphins who destroyed the Chargers in Miami 37-0.

Miami has been the forgotten team in the AFC especially after it was just a few weeks ago they were debating benching Ryan Tannehill.  Joe Philbin didn't and it has paid off as Tannehill has played very strong.  They are able to run the ball and play defense and make plays with potential Defensive MVP candidate Cameron Wake.  The Dolphins look to have enough to at least challenge Brady and the Pats.  Please someone for once make this division interesting.

The Chargers like the Cowboys have quickly gone from “Super Bowl talk” to “what is wrong with them talk”.  Now the Chargers are no longer in the division race talk and have a battle to just grab a wildcard as division rival Kansas City have passed them.  I still wouldn't count out Philip Rivers but the Chargers have quickly made it an uphill battle to return to the playoffs.

4. Quick Hitters

a. RG3 return was OK.  I think it was the right call to play him.  I liked the deep balls to DeSean Jackson but didn't like how the game ended.  And as always with the Redskins, the talk will be more about reports from reporters and not the actual game.
b. I think the Saints have finally become the team to take over the NFC South since it was an embarrassment untilThursday.
c. Cleveland just doesn't want to take the step up to contending for a playoff spot.  Another lackluster performance against a team like the Bucs, Jags or Raiders.
d. If I was an Eagles fan I would hope that Nick Foles is back quick.  They can get all hyped about Sanchez coming in and winning a game but he had two picks and I think there are more to come if he starts down the stretch.
e. Nice win by the Steelers at home as look to be the team to challenge the Bengals in the AFC North.

5. Monday Night Pick        espnMNF

Indy is the better team here but maybe the Giants can pull of a much needed win at home behind Eli Manning?  Another week of Gruden gushing over a young star for three hours.  That young star is Andrew Luck and he leads the Colts over the Giants 38-17.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Week 8 NFL Rewind & MNF Prediction

October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

1. The game I was most looking forward toSunday was the matchup between the Packers and Saints.  Green Bay came in on a roll and New Orleans was wobbling to stay in the NFC picture.  So what happens?     drewbrees

Of course, the Saints roll the Packers at home with a huge second half.  New Orleans looks to be back as the favorite in the NFC South now as Drew Brees got it rolling with the help of a huge game from Mark Ingram.  Ingram has run the ball strong all season before and after the hand injury.  If the Saints can play defense like they did after the first few Packer drives they could get right back in the NFC mix.

As for the Packers, after those first few drives it looked like it was going to be another monster effort from their offense and Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers looked like he was going to throw from 600 yards on a day where vet QBs put up crazy numbers.  Even with the Lions wild win in London I still feel Green Bay is the team in the end to win that division.  As long as the slant to Julius Peppers is not a regular part of their offense.

2. Speaking of the big monster crazy stats put up by vet QBs how about Tom Brady and Big Ben.

Brady started the day almost going perfect against the Bears and lighting up their sorry defense.  He found Gronk and found him regularly to torch Chicago for an easy win.  Any questions about Brady are now long gone and you have to like the addition of Brandon LaFell to his offense.  Since LaFell started seeing the field the Pats have been moving the football.  And once again the Pats look to be the class of the AFC East although the Dolphins and Bills are not fading like the last ten years.

Once Brady was done and Lamarr Houston was carted off the Pats home field, most of us got to see what Big Ben had in store for us.  Like Brady, Roethelisberger faced questions about his team’s offense but those were all answered at least for 3 hours Sunday.  Big Ben threw for over 500 yards and the Steelers got a huge win versus Indy.    If the Steelers can find that second receiver option like they did Sunday they could be scary.  Bell has become one of the best all-around backs and Brown one of the best wideouts in the league.  The AFC North is wide open once again.

3. Another huge game yesterday was the battle of one loss teams in Arizona.

The Cards pulled out a crazy late win in the desert crushing what sounded to be a ton of Eagles fans there.  Carson Palmer went over the top of the Eagles to knock roll the Cardinals into a solid lead in the West.  I am still not completely sold on Arizona but I should be now.  Bruce Arians is looking like a top coach in the league.  That is all I need to say on that.

As for the Eagles I do think this a crushing loss since it looked like they had this one won.  Foles is tossing picks and that has to be a concern since he didn't throw any last season.  I never liked this Philly defense or any of the NFC ones so I thought it would be good enough to win the division still.  But they have to get it together now.  Two huge plays once again worked them.  I think their secondary is bad and the best QBs of the NFC won't fear them at all.  So can they get a rush?  That is the question if they can't get help by the trade deadline in the back end.

4. Quick Hitters

Going back toThursdayI have to say Denver showed they are the class of the AFC still to me.  The defense is getting better and when is Manning's neck going to give?
B. Lamarr Houston gets the clown of the week award although he may be laughing after the contract the Bears gave him for one sack.  And that's where he will end the season with.  At least Brian Orakpo gave us some solid on field audio for his half sack.
C. Was it offense pass interference or not in Cincy?  I think it was but the real problem is the new rules and all the flags being thrown.  It is out of hand and needs to be looked at again this offseason.  Dez Bryant will probably get 10 illegal contact calls tonight.
D. Golden Tate may be a shady character but he is having a monster year and keeping the Lions in the mix while Megatron watches.  Hide your wives but throw him the ball because he continues to make plays when you have to think the defenses are keying on him.
E. It's crazy to think all the young quarterbacks who now look to be done in their current homes.  Geno Smith, EJ Manuel and Kirk Cousins feel like they were just drafted.  All three could be battling elsewhere to try and stay as starters in the league.

 

5.  Monday Night Prediction      espnMNF

Who is the idiot who makes the schedule and puts the Washington Redskins in prime time? They should just go by the Washington Generals once the sun goes down.  Dez Bryant should have a monster night if the Cowboys are willing to get away from the 534 carries Murray usually gets.  If I were the Cowboys I may have said Demarco's ankle is acting up and get rest him here.  The only hope the Skins had went away when DeAngelo Hall's achillies snapped.  I would put him out there on crutches to jabber at Dez.  Probably work better than the young corners he will be facing.

Dallas 31

Washington 10

 

 

 

 

 

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by pjmoran

Week 8 Games To Watch

October 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here are the top five games to watch for Week 8 of the 2014 NFL season:

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

The Seahawks and Panthers were the top two seeds in the NFC in last year’s postseason, but they have both fallen short of high expectations so far this season. The reigning champs are 3-3, and they are coming off of a stunning loss against the Rams. Russell Wilson has been playing well at quarterback and has been clicking with new No.1 receiver Doug Baldwin. But the Legion of Boom and the rest of the defense have not been their dominant selves, especially on third downs. They are going to have to be way better in this contest if they want to keep Cam Newton and Co. out of the end zone. The Panthers are only 3-3-1, but they somehow find themselves at the top of the NFC South. Their defense also has not been nearly as good as they were last season, and it does not look like they are going to get better any time soon. In all seriousness, if it were not for some outstanding play from Newton then this team might be among the worst in the league. I think Seattle is too good to lose three straight games, so I like them to win this one on the road.

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

These two teams met in the season opener, and the Bengals escaped Baltimore with a win. But since then, the Ravens and Bengals have been on entirely different paths. Baltimore has won five of their last six games, and they have recently looked like one of the best teams in the league. The offense has been effective through a balance between Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett, and the defense has asserted their dominance. The Ravens pass rush should give Andy Dalton problems in this game, as he has not looked good in the past few games. Without AJ Green on the field, Dalton and the offense simply cannot get anything going. The defense has also been one of the worst in the league as of late, so they need a big rebound performance at home. Still, with so much on the line in this divisional game, I like Baltimore to pull off a huge win.

 

  1. Chicago Bears at New England Patriots

The Bears have lost three of their last four games, while the Patriots have won three of their last four. Clearly these two teams have had different fortunes lately, but this game still has potential to be a shootout. The Bears have been an absolute mess, with problems on the field and in the locker room. Jay Cutler and the offense have not been nearly as explosive as they can be, and the defense has been mediocre at best. One of those Chicago units will need to step it up, because they are playing in Foxborough and the Patriots have been red hot. They have won three in a row, and Tom Brady has reminded us all that he is still elite. Combine his play with a defense that has been the best against the pass in the league, and the Patriots look like Super Bowl contenders once again. I like New England to win this one too in a high-scoring game.

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

Both of these teams come into this game at 5-1, and a win in this game would place the winner at the top of the NFC. The Eagles are coming off of their bye, and before that they shut out the Giants 27-0. With their up-tempo offense, an extra week of rest should be a huge factor. I’m expecting LeSean McCoy to have one of his best games of the season. The Cardinals defense is one of the best in the league though, so they should be up to the challenge. With Carson Palmer back at the helm, the offense has stabilized and has the potential to put a lot of points on the board. I think this game could be a shootout, and I’m picking Arizona to win it with a late score.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints

Home games are usually guaranteed wins for the Saints, but that is not the case this time around. They are only 2-4, but since they play in the putrid NFC South they are still in contention. This game is a must-win for New Orleans, and Drew Brees knows that. I think the offense will find the end zone multiple times, but they need their defense to step up if they want to move to 3-4. They will have their hands full, because Aaron Rodgers has been playing at his MVP level. He has been clicking with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and they have won four games in a row. Do not expect a lot of defense in this game. With that being said, I like New Orleans to win at home in a thriller.

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by pjmoran

Week 4 Top Five Games To Watch

September 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here are the top five games to watch for Week 4 of the 2014 NFL season:

  1. New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs

Last year this matchup would have qualified to be the game of the week, but both the Patriots and Chiefs have stumbled out of the gate this season. New England might be 2-1, but their offense can’t get anything going. The defense has been sensational, but when you only beat the Raiders by seven points at home then something is wrong. The Chiefs are 1-2, and their road win in Miami last Sunday might have saved their season. Jamaal Charles is probable this week, and they are going to need him to carve the Pats defense if they want to win. The Arrowhead crowd is going to be wild on Monday night, and this game should live up to the hype.

Edge: New England

The Patriots defense has been one of the best in the league, and their only worry is a non-100% Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs secondary is terrible too, so this is Tom Brady’s chance to turn things around. I like New England to narrowly win on the road.

  1. New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys

No one thought the Saints would be 1-2 heading into Week 4, but all of a sudden every game is becoming more and more important to them. The offense has been good but not dominant, and the defense has reverted back to their old ways of giving up way too many big plays. After a disastrous opening game, the Cowboys are 2-1 and look like contenders. Tony Romo led a 21-point comeback last week against the Rams, and this team’s confidence looks like it is at an all-time high. Expect a good old fashion Texas shootout in this one.

Edge: Dallas

These two teams just seem to be going in opposite directions. Drew Brees will put some points on the board, but overall things just don’t seem to be right with the Saints. But on the other hand, Tony Romo and the Dallas offense are just clicking. DeMarco Murray has been the best running back in the league thus far, and he should have another big game. I like Dallas to move to 3-1.

  1. Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens

The headline of this game is Steve Smith going against his old squad. He’s definitely out for revenge, and I think he’ll make a few big plays in this game. The rest of the Baltimore offense has struggled this season, but the Panthers defense has looked awful. Last week they allowed two 100-yard rushers, so Baltimore should be able to score fairly easily. The Carolina offense has not reached their full potential either, as Cam Newton is clearly playing injured. For them to win, Newton has to be his Superman self.

Edge: Baltimore

The Panthers are just really banged up, and the Ravens are coming into this game with momentum. Add the home crowd behind them, and I think Joe Flacco will do enough to lead his team to victory.

  1. Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

This is one of the best rivalries in the game, and a lot is on the line for this edition. The Packers are only 1-2 and might be the most disappointing team in the league so far. Aaron Rodgers has not looked like an MVP, and Eddie Lacy has done absolutely nothing out of the backfield. The Bears are 2-1 and are coming off a close win over the Jets. Jay Cutler has looked great the past two weeks, and with weapons everywhere their offense will be tough to stop. I’m expecting a high-scoring shootout in this one.

Edge: Green Bay

On paper the Bears have the clear edge, but I just don’t see Aaron Rodgers letting his team fall to 1-3. The Bears defense isn’t very good, so I think the Rodgers/Lacy/Jordy Nelson combo will be too much for them to handle. I’m picking Green Bay to get a huge road win.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

The Eagles have definitely been the most entertaining team in the league, and they have a 3-0 record to show for it. Nick Foles has been slinging the ball all over the field, and it’s scary that LeSean McCoy has not even gotten his game going yet. The 49ers are a very disappointing 1-2, and their offense has not been nearly as good. Colin Kaepernick needs to get things going, or else San Francisco will fall behind in the super competitive NFC West. One thing is for sure about this game: it won’t be boring.

Edge: San Francisco

The Eagles have to run out of gas at some point, right? I don’t think their offense will be as good as it has been the past three weeks, and I like the 49ers offense to come alive at home. I think it will be close, but San Francisco will get back to .500 after this one.

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by pjmoran

NFL Week 3 Games to Watch

September 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here are the top five games to watch for Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season:

 

  1. Chicago Bears at New York Jets

These teams are both 1-1, and they were each involved in wild comebacks last week. Unfortunately for the Jets, they were on the wrong side of the comeback. They managed to blow an 18-point lead at Green Bay, but they were impressive and got some bad luck along the way. We knew how good the Jets’ front seven was heading into the season, but the effectiveness of their running game has taken everyone by surprise. The offensive line has been great, and Chris Ivory is averaging 6.3 yards per carry. The same cannot be said about the Bears’ running game, but their passing attack was as good as advertised last Sunday. Jay Cutler led his team to a 17-point comeback on the road against the 49ers, and Brandon Marshall caught three touchdowns in the contest. Against a Jets secondary that was just torched by Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, they might be able to repeat their performances.

Edge: Chicago

The Bears’ secondary is decimated by injuries, but luckily they shouldn’t be too worried about getting torn up by Geno Smith. Cutler and his receivers should have another big game, and I like the Bears to win on Monday night.

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers

The good news for the Panthers is they have Cam Newton back, but the bad news is that they will be without Greg Hardy. The Pro Bowl defensive end has finally been suspended from the team, but the Carolina front seven should still be fine without him. If Newton plays as well as he did last week, then this team will be solid on both sides of the ball. Pittsburgh needs a win following a 26-6 loss last week against Baltimore, and they got three extra days of rest for this game. The Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown has been great, but besides them the team has been very average. The defense will have to be way better if they are going to stop Newton and Co.

Edge: Carolina

I think this will be a low scoring game, and I’ll take the home team to come out on top. I don’t think Cam Newton has to be sensational for them to win; he just can’t turn the ball over. The defense should slow down Le’Veon Bell, and I don’t expect Roethlisberger to tear up the secondary. I’m going with Carolina.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

Both of these NFC North teams are at .500, so the outcome of this game will really shake up the division. Green Bay pulled off an improbable comeback last Sunday against the Jets, mainly because Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson could not be stopped. Nelson had 209 receiving yards in the game, and there is no doubt that he is now one of the league’s premier receivers. But in this game, he will be sharing the field with the best receiver in the league. Calvin Johnson has been his usual, dominant self so far this year. The Packers will have to get a lot of pressure on Matthew Stafford, or else the Lions offense will shred their defense.

Edge: Detroit

This game will be an absolute shootout, and I think the Lions will pull it out for a huge win. Green Bay’s defense has looked terrible, and the Detroit offense has been known to be unstoppable at home. Aaron Rodgers is good enough to keep his team in the game until the end, but I like the Lions to get the victory.

 

  1. San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Arizona is 2-0 and atop the mighty NFC West, but they will be without their starting quarterback once again in this one. Carson Palmer is out, so Drew Stanton will get the nod for the second straight week. Stanton was mediocre against the Giants last week, but he did enough to earn a win for his team. Luckily for him, the Cardinals defense is almost good enough to win games on their own. They can force turnovers as much as anyone, and Colin Kaepernick threw three of them last Sunday. Kaepernick will have to be way better in this one if the 49ers are going to win. He usually plays well in big games, so I think the entire 49ers offense will rebound nicely.

Edge: San Francisco

The Cardinals are for real and have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs, but I don’t like Stanton’s chances against the 49ers defense. Throw in solid performances from Kaepernick and Frank Gore, and that should be enough for the 49ers to move to 2-1.

 

  1. Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

Well, you had to see this coming. This rematch of last year’s Super Bowl is the most anticipated regular season game I can recall in a long time. It’s no secret that Seattle absolutely embarrassed Denver in the Super Bowl, so Peyton Manning is out for revenge. The Broncos offense has picked off right where they left off last regular season, and the team is 2-0. And with its new additions, the defense has been much improved too. The Seahawks are coming off of a pretty shocking defeat against the Chargers, and the Legion of Boom looked vulnerable for the first time in a while. But this is a home game, which makes all of the difference for the Seahawks. Russell Wilson ups his game when they are in Seattle, and the rest of the team should as well. This one feels more like a playoff game than a regular season game.

Edge: Seattle

This one will be much closer than the Super Bowl, but I still think Seattle will come out on top. The Seahawks offense is just too good at home, and the defense will return to form. Peyton Manning will get his numbers, but he won’t get the win.

NFL Rewind & MNF Predictions: Manning & Broncos Impressive

September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

1. Peyton Manning & Broncos as good as we expected:    manningnew

After the Broncos were manhandled by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, they went out and added some more pieces to make another Super Bowl run. And Manning & the Broncos looked like they forgot all about their Super Bowl nightmare and picked right up from where they left off last season, dominating on offensive. Manning had 3 TD passes to Julius Thomas in the 1st half and he put on a clinic as always. While Andrew Luck & the Colts made it a little interesting at the end, Manning showed they are still the AFC favorite. And Peyton Manning has now defeated all 32 teams in the NFL, joining Brett Favre.

2. Surprising Upsets:

Let's see…Titans over Chiefs, Dolphins over Patriots, Bills over Bears, Falcons over Saints, take your pick, because their were several surprise upsets Week 1. Even the Vikings rolling over the Rams was a bit surprising to see a win by that margin. Does it mean the sky is falling for the losing teams? Of course not, every year favorites get upset early and come back to have a great season, playoff run, etc. But besides the Falcons, no one really saw these wins coming. Maybe its a sign of more parity in the NFL, which is never a bad thing.

3. Close Calls in PA:

Both the Steelers and Eagles pulled out wins at home but without a scare. The Eagles were down 17-0 at halftime to the Jaguars (we thought Gus Bradley would have his team ready to play). They came back to score 34 unanswered points in the 2nd half to then win easily.

The Steelers started the game on fire and were up 27-3 at halftime, only to let the Browns get back in the game and tie it. But they were able to get last drive that set up a last second field goal to win. So both PA teams are 1-0, but easily could have been 0-1 in home loss shockers.

4. MNF Predictions:       espnMNF

Of course opening week we have 2 games this Monday Night. So here are our predictions…

Giants @ Lions – In a shootout the Lions win at home 34-31.

Chargers @ Cardinals – Palmer & co. pick up from last year and win in home opener 24-20.

Who do you think wins tonight and why?

 

 

Way Too Early NFL Award Predictions – NFC Edition

June 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

drewbrees

NFC Offensive Player of the Year – Drew Brees- New Orleans

I have a feeling Brees has another crazy year and why not?  He has done every season he has been with the Saints.  A lot will depend if the Saints get the Jimmy Graham situation resolved before the season or this could change.  Losing Darren Sproles hurts but the Saints moved to get Brandin Cooks and he should have an immediate impact on the Saints offense.  Guys like Brees and Rodgers are always going to put up the numbers to be the best in the NFC so it makes him an obvious candidate.  Plus, the Saints are always in the playoff mix as well.

Other candidates:

Adrian Peterson- doesn’t he have to slow down at some point?

Aaron Rodgers- The 1A to Brees is 1 when it comes down to it.

LeSean McCoy- Sproles addition could hurt him stat wise but I doubt it.  Expecting another big year.

Matthew Stafford – Wild card choice due to what he has around him now and what he has done at times with mainly just Megatron who is a candidate also.

 

NFC Defensive Player of the Year – Patrick Peterson- Arizona

I wavered between him and his number one rival Richard Sherman.  Both should have a solid battle on and off the field in 2014.  I just think like Sherman did last season, Peterson will erupt to new level this season.  I see the Cardinals as a dark horse who could topple the Seahawks the Niners in the NFC West and that could be the difference that Peterson needs to take home the award.

Other candidates:    download (5)

Richard Sherman- Obvious candidate, love him or hate him he makes a difference.

Luke Kuechly/ Lavonte David- the two NFC South backers who I think will have a solid battle the next few seasons for who is the best in the division.

Aldon Smith- when he plays he is in the mix.  Can he stay on the field?  Huge question no one knows the answer to.

Jared Allen-  longshot candidate who may have lost it, but maybe a new home in Chicago with a better team and Allen puts up huge sack numbers.

 

NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year – Eric Ebron- Detroit

Wide receiver will be the popular choice but I am going with Ebron who should put up numbers right away in Detroit.  Rookie tight ends seem to be able to get into the offensive flow quicker than wide receivers and everyone has Ebron as a can’t miss guy.

Other candidates:

Mike Evans- highest offensive rookie picked and should be a factor quickly in Tampa.

Brandin Cooks- talked about him earlier but may not see enough balls in NOLA.

Teddy Bridgewater- will have to win job from Matt Cassel but I expect that to be quick which could give him a chance.

Tre Mason- longer shot candidate that I think will have early impact with the Rams even though I still expect them to ride with Zac Stacy.

 

NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix- Green Bay

He should get a chance to play quickly and I think he will have an impact like Eric Reid last season.  I don’t see a lot of guys from the top of the draft that stands out in NFC so Ha Ha could take this award.

Other candidates:

Aaron Donald- a high pick who will make a difference on what could be an impressive Rams line.  Just don’t see many interior lineman win awards.  No Outland in the NFL.

Kony Ealy- away from the Michael Sam hype now, if he can get the chances he should make a difference with the Panthers.

Kyle Van Noy- could the Lions sweep the rookie awards?  Could Van Noy be this seasons Kiko Alonso?

Trent Murphy- Long shot because he plays behind two set starters but I think he gets a chance and maybe runs with it.

 

 

Super Bowl Everything Part One

January 31, 2014 in Superbowl 48, Uncategorized

Are you tired of weather forecasts, Richard Sherman and ex-NFLers on radio shows peddling everything from sports drinks to web sites? I know I am. With time now being counted down by hours instead of days, the excitement for Super Bowl XLVIII is rising in the city that never sleeps, as well as around the football world. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:20 on Sunday night and with little time to talk about the game remaining, let’s get down to the important facts, the ones that actually mean something about the game that all of this nonsense is centered upon.

As a writer, blogger or whatever they are calling people like myself these days, it is hard to come up with “new information” or facts about a game of this magnitude. Most of what matters has been written or is left over from previous games. With that in mind, I have gone through article after article on web site after website and selected the best of the best facts about the game and the teams and mixed them in with my own research. Here is a compilation of what I deem the most important stats and facts about Super Bowl XLVIII. And if they aren’t important to you, I at least hope you find them as interesting as I did.

Part one will deal with the game and some about the teams. Part two will have facts and stats about the teams and some of the more notable participants. Enjoy!

Let us first look at some facts about the game itself.

But—As a Ravens fan, let’s have one last look back—–shall we:flaccocelebratesindenver

Last year's Super Bowl featured several distinctions.  The AFC North is now 3-0 during Super Bowls against the NFC West. Jacoby Jones' two touchdowns made him the second player in the history of the Super Bowl to have two scores of 50 or more yards; Washington's Ricky Sanders is the other (XXII). Jones' 290 combined yards were a Super Bowl record. The Ravens were the 21st Super Bowl champion that did not trail at any point during the game. San Francisco became the first Super Bowl team to have a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and two 100-yard receivers during the same game. More than 164 million people watched the game, making it the most-seen television program in history.

Last year’s game was also the first game to be interrupted by a power outage but Super Bowl X was interrupted when a blimp crashed into the Orange Bowl, as the Cowboys & Steelers played—oh wait— that was a movie called Black Sunday!

Feb. 2 will be the first Super Bowl to be held in the New York metropolitan area. Miami and New Orleans hold the record, each having hosted 10 games. Thirty-three of the 48 Super Bowls either have or will have been held outdoors. MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., built on the site of the demolished Giants Stadium, will become the 22nd different stadium to host the game.

Teams that play their home schedule in an indoor facility are 3-3 during Super Bowls, but, for the fourth straight year, both conference champions (Seahawks, Broncos) played outdoor home schedules.

The NFC representative (or the pre-merger NFL champion) has won 25 Super Bowls, three more than the AFC (or pre-merger AFL champion). The NFC has won four of the last six games, as the Ravens ended the NFC’s three game winning streak last season.

Teams that are the home squads for the game — the team with jersey choice — are 20-27 during Super Bowls. The Broncos are that team this year, as the AFC representative is the home team for even-numbered Super Bowls.

With the jersey choice, Denver will wear its orange jerseys, with which it is 0-3 during Super Bowls. Teams that wear white jerseys have won eight of the last nine Super Bowls and are 29-18 in the Big Game. As the home team, the Broncos will also occupy the sideline closest to the main television camera (bottom of the screen) and their logo will appear in the end zone on the right-hand side of the field.

This year's game will mark the fourth meeting of top seeds since the current playoff and seeding system went into effect in 1990. In 1991, Washington beat Buffalo (XXVI), and Dallas beat the Bills two years later. After that game, it was 16 years before top seeds met again, with New Orleans topping Indianapolis (XLIV).

Super Bowl XLVIII pits the top offense team in the NFL this season vs. the top defensive team in the league in 2013. The last and only other such occurrence since the 1970 merger featuring the No. 1 total offense (yards gained) versus the No. 1 total defense (yards allowed) was Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 1 in yards allowed) dismantled Rich Gannon and the top ranked Oakland Raiders offense (No. 1 in yards gained).

This will be the fifth time since the AFL and NFL merged that the league’s top-scoring offense played the top-scoring defense in the Super Bowl, the first since the Buffalo Bills(top offense) and New York Giants(top defense) met to close the 1990 season.

Denver was first in scoring offense this year, tallying an NFL record 606 points. Teams that have led the league in scoring are 10-8 during Super Bowls. Of the next eight teams on the all-time scoring list, not one went on to win the Super Bowl.

Does defense win championships—you be the judge!

Led by Richard Sherman, Seattle's defense and its "Legion of Boom" secondary finished the regular season ranked first in total and scoring defense. It ranked first in points per game allowed, yards per game allowed, passing yards per game allowed and total takeaways. It was seventh in rushing yards per game allowed. However, getting to the top spot did not happen overnight. Seattle's defense has shown great progression since Pete Carroll took over as head coach. The unit ranked 27th overall in 2010, improved to ninth in 2011, fourth in 2012 and first in 2013.

The Denver's defense was maligned during the first 14 games, giving up 26.6 points and 371.5 yards per game. But in the past four games, including two in the postseason, the Broncos have turned stingy, allowing just 15 points and 268.5 yards per game. Sounds eerily similar to a defense in Indy about seven years ago when the Colts "D" was horrible in the regular season but amazing in the playoffs. In the AFC Divisional round that year, Manning and the Colts failed to score a TD but still beat the Ravens in Baltimore behind five field goals.

Teams that have topped the scoring defense chart, as Seattle did in 2013, have won 12 of 15 Super Bowls. This is the fifth matchup of such teams, with the top defensive team winning three of the previous four games, the exception being San Francisco's 55-10 win against Denver during Super Bowl XXIV in New Orleans.

The difference between Denver's points scored and Seattle's points allowed is the largest gap between opponents in Super Bowl history. The Broncos scored 606 points in the regular season, while the Seahawks allowed 231 points, for a differential of 375 points. The next closest differential involves the 1984 Dolphins and 49ers, with a point differential of 286 points.

A Flip of the Coin:

large_83333_Super-Bowl-48-Gold-Flip-CoinTeams that win the coin toss are 22-25 during Super Bowls. Ever since deferring the choice became an option, Super Bowl coin-toss winners — including the Ravens last year — have elected to defer during three straight games and four of the last five. … NFC teams had won 14 consecutive coin tosses before New England and Baltimore won the last two flips. Teams that score first are 31-16 during the Super Bowl.

 

By the way, In 47 Super Bowls, heads has turned up 24 times and tails 23.

Teams that lead at halftime are 35-10; two games have been tied after the first 30 minutes: Super Bowl XXIII (Cincinnati-San Francisco, 3-3) and Super Bowl XXXIX (New England-Philadelphia, 7-7). Bronco fans are hoping their team leads when Bruno Mars takes the stage Sunday night. Denver is now 14-1 all time in the postseason when leading at halftime, including 5-0 in AFC title games—but—the one loss– Super Bowl XXI, when the Broncos led the Giants 10-9 at halftime before losing 39-20.

Special Teams & Turnovers Always a Key:

The teams that have had the greater time of possession are 35-12.

There have been nine kick-return scores throughout Super Bowl history, including three by members of the eventual winning team (Desmond Howard, XXXI; Jermaine Lewis, XXXV; Jacoby Jones, XLVII).

There have been eight safeties throughout Super Bowl history but the one Arizona recorded three years ago was the first not credited to a player (holding in end zone). The same thing happened two years ago, when the Giants scored first on a New England end-zone flag.

Only one player has intercepted three passes during a Super Bowl: Oakland's Rod Martin (XV vs. Philadelphia).  On 13 occasions, a Super Bowl interception has been returned for a touchdown; Green Bay's Nick Collins was the most recent player to do it, two years ago against Pittsburgh, to help the Packers surge to a 14-point first-quarter lead during Super Bowl XLV.  Only one player has done it twice during a game, Tampa Bay's Dwight Smith, during Super Bowl XXXVII. All 13 scoring interceptors have played for the eventual winning team.

There have been 27 different coaches — be they head or assistant coaches — that have won Super Bowls with at least two different teams, including current Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees and ex-Ravens assistants Wilbert Montgomery, Jim Caldwell, Milt Jackson and Russ Purnell.  Former Ravens offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh and current offensive line assistant Todd Washington are two of 19 people who have won Super Bowls as both a player and coach. Cavanaugh is the only player in league history to have won Super Bowls with two different teams who did not play during either game. Three years ago, Caldwell became the sixth head coach (Indianapolis) to appear in a Super Bowl during his first season with a team.

Old School vs. New School:

Speaking of the QB’s, much has been made about them and the weather, especially some guy named Manning. In the playoffs, Peyton Manning is 0-4 in games with a kickoff temperature under 40 degrees and the only game in Russell Wilson's NFL career when the kickoff temperature was under 40 degrees was at MetLife Stadium, Week 15 against the Giants. In that game, Wilson completed 66.7% of his passes for 206 yards, one TD, one INT and a passer rating of 86.3

Four games is a small sampling size, Manning has a career record of 8-11 playing outdoors with the temperature below 40 degrees, with 30 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He is 1-2 this season with losses to the Patriots and San Diego Chargers in night games and a win over the Titans in an afternoon contest.
Manning has a record of 85-35 outdoors when the temperature is 40 degrees or above, with a touchdown-to-interception ratio of better than 2-to-1

What about the wind—-Both Manning and Wilson performed well in the wind this season. In their three windiest games of the season, the two combined to throw 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions012314-sports-super-bowl-denver-broncos-peyton-manning-seattle-seahawks-russell-wilson

More Manning—If Peyton should win a second Super Bowl MVP award, he would become the sixth player to win multiple Pete Rozelle Trophies, following Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Eli Manning.

In case you haven’t noticed, there is an age difference between the two starting QB’s– Manning (born March 24, 1976) and Wilson (born Nov. 29, 1988) will set a record when they both start Super Bowl XLVIII. The age difference of 12 years, 250 days will be the greatest ever for a pair of Super Bowl starting quarterbacks. Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XLIII set the existing record of 10 years, 253 days.

Experience Matters?

Four players in Super Bowl XLVIII (all Broncos) have played in a previous Super Bowl. Of those four, Peyton Manning is the only one to have won the Super Bowl. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played in Super Bowl XLIII with the Cardinals, recording five tackles and two passes defensed. Jacob Tamme primarily played on special teams with the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Wes Welker played in two Super Bowls with the Patriots (XLII, XLVI), losing both to the Giants. The Seahawks do not have any players with Super Bowl experience. Teams without any players with Super Bowl experience are 2-5 (since Super Bowl II)

Former Atlantic Coast Conference referee Terry McAulay, an NFL official since 1998 and a referee since 2001, will referee the Super Bowl for the third time (XXIX, Eagles-Patriots; XLIII, Steelers-Cardinals). The rest of the all-star crew is composed of Carl Paganelli (umpire), Jim Mello (head linesman), Tom Symonette (line judge), Scott Steenson (field judge), Dave Wyant (side judge) and Steve Freeman (back judge). Earnie Frantz will be the replay official.

How Close?

A record 11,985 points were scored during the 2013 season, with games averaging 46.8 points, the highest average in NFL history (46.5 in 1948). In all, 1,338 total touchdowns were scored, surpassing the league-wide  record of 1,297, which occurred last season.

The Broncos and Seahawks are two of 11 teams to score at least 400 points this season. That total surpassed the previous record of nine in 2008 and 2012. Those 11 teams combined for a .668 winning percentage, and nine qualified for the playoffs.

If what we saw this season in the NFL is any indication of how the Super Bowl may turn out, then we are  likely in for another good game. This yearin the NFL, games continued to be “thisclose”, as 68 percent were within one score in the fourth quarter and 123 of 256 games (48.0 percent) were decided by seven points or fewer, the fourth-most of any season in NFL history.

Four points or less has decided five of the last six Super Bowls. From 1983 SB XVIII until SB XXXII in 1997, the NFC won 13 straight Super Bowls by a 19.7 point margin of victory. The NFL instituted the salary cap in 1995, which was intended to allow smaller market teams to be more competitive with large market teams. The team with the larger population had won the last 13 Super Bowls prior to the salary cap, and 19 of the first 28 Super Bowls (67.9 percent) before the 1995 season.

According to the latest census estimates, only 270 more people lived in Seattle than Denver on July 1, 2012, making Seattle 0.04 percent larger than Denver.

Super Bowl=$$$$$

NFL allocates 35% of all Super Bowl tickets to the teams that are playing in the Big Game. The AFC team gets 17.5% and the NFC team gets 17.5% of the tickets. If a Super Bowl stadium seats 70,000 persons, then both teams in the game are allocated about 12,000 tickets apiece. The majority of these tickets are put into a lottery drawing for season ticket holders. On average, a season ticket holder for a team that gets into the Big Game will have about a 10 percent chance to buy a pair of tickets at face value, which this year starts at $800.00.

However, the actual average price (ticket brokers etc…) for a ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII is $2,646, which makes it on average, the second-cheapest Super Bowl of the past eight years. The cheapest game came last year when the average cost of a ticket to see Baltimore play San Francisco was $2,380. The average price of a ticket over the past 48 hours is $2,246, according to Seatgeek.com. The $2,646 number above is the average price of all tickets sold overall.

Wanna take the whole family and enjoy a suite—MetLife has 220 suites, which cost between $25,000 and $35,000 on a normal game. But this is no normal game. Suites for the Super Bowl are selling for a small fortune. The NFL listed them at $400,000 and up for a 30-person suite. It's a dollar figure that might seem astronomical to the average fan. One suite today was listed at $675.000.

This year's Super Bowl will pay out a record $92,000 per man to the winning team and $46,000 per man to the losers.

Thirty-second television advertisements are costing companies in the neighborhood of $3.8 million to $4 million.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy is made of sterling silver and is created by Tiffany & Co. It stands 20.75 inches tall, weighs 107.3 ounces (about 7 pounds) and is valued at $25,000.

And in case you've think you've seen it all in the Super Bowl—-Think again! The following have YET to happen during the big game:  a scoreless first half, shutout, overtime game and punt return for a touchdown.

We will certainly get much more in depth the rest of the weekend here on Fanspeak.com and on the Fanspeak Radio Network. Check back tomorrow afternoon for an article breaking down the most important match-ups of the contest and of course, don’t miss my two part in depth game preview and prediction article starting in Saturday. Tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. I will break down the Big Game on the Super Bowl edition of the Friday Football Frenzy.

The notable sources used for these facts came from my own research, as well as articles written by Joe Platania  from Press Box On Line. Platania does a great job of breaking down the Super Bowl media guide.  I always reference and use NFL.com, NFL Communications and ESPN Stats & Information. Prop Bet information came via the Mirage Sports Book in Las Vegas.

 

Tuesday NFL Rewind

January 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

My thoughts on this week in the NFL, plus some on the National Championship:

 

1.  Last night’s game was great.  But we should have expected that the way the season has gone.

From the opening weekend with Georgia at Clemson, through the SEC season and the week of the BCS bowls this season has been amazing.  What do we have to look forward to now?  A playoff finally in 2014-15.  College football has to be at its highest peak in years after how great this season was.  Starting from the Manziel controversy to the Winston controversy and all the action in between.  I joke about those guys.  To see an unranked team to start the season come seconds from winning the BCS title following a 3-9 season is unreal.

As for the game, I should talk about that.  Congratulations to the Seminoles who battled back from down 21-3 with a Heisman winning quarterback who looked lost most of the first half.  But when it mattered Winston stepped up and made the plays on the final drive.  His post-game interview wasn't pretty but that final drive was.  How good is Mario Edwards also on the other side of the ball?  Now that they have rings could guys like Winston and Edwards debate challenging the NFL draft rules and try and enter?  They are ready now but unfortunately it is too risky at this point.

And what a season by the Auburn Tigers.  Gus had the Tigers rolling on both sides of the ball and had a great FSU defense lost versus Nick Marshall and Tre Mason.  Then everything changed and the Seminoles took over.  Once Kermit Whitfield returned the kick for the FSU touchdown and finally the lead many had to think that Auburn was done.  But Marshall and their struggling offense went right down the field.  Tre Mason once again was impressive as I was ready to see if Winston could hand his Heisman over to him but Winston had the final drive and Malzahn and Tigers were out of miracles.

2. Before I get the NFL I want to mention the coverage of last night’s game.

Usually I think ESPN way over it does it in these situations and I thought going in this was the case again.  But last night was different.  Musberger and Herbstreit to me as a play by play/ color guy team are second to only Doc Emerick and Ed Olczyk in all of sports so I figure I would watch the game with them.  But quickly I found myself switching back and forth with the other ESPN channels.  I loved the TitleTalk show the had on the old deuce with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill as rolling analysts came in and were able to give their thoughts.  From Van Pelt and Russilo to Paul Finebaum and David Pollock it was a great watch.  Solid analysis but also funny at times.

I have to add that everyone's hero Tim Tebow joined the crew for awhile as well.  His football analysis was pretty good but he will just need to work on his delivery over time.  But I think he was outshined on the show by another Heisman QB, Johnny Manziel.  I thought Manziel was a great add and seemed a natural on the set.  Maybe his celebrity run of the last 12 months helped him, but if his pro career is a bust he has a media job for sure.  The coaches’ channel was great also as ESPN had coaches breakdown each play right after it happened and then also predict the play based on the formation.  Overall ESPN did a very solid job last night.

3. I have had a couple days to think about the craziness that happen in the wild card round and the most impressive to me was not Andrew Luck and the Colts comeback, but the 49ers win in Green Bay.      colinkap

I know the Packers were 8-7-1 but Aaron Rodgers was back and he did his job as we expect.  But I was really impressed with the Niners overall play and now do think they can beat the Panthers and eventually go into Seattle and win.  What a game Michael Crabtree had at Lambeau bringing back memories of Plax Burress in the freeze.  I didn't expect the impact that he has had coming off the major injury but it sure makes the defending NFC champs a tough out.

Then again this team had two major concerns going into the playoffs to me.  One was stopping the passing game of their opponents.  Rodgers was great in defeat but now San Fran gets Cam Newton and a less dangerous pass attack.  Newton has been great this year but he isn't and doesn't have the weapons Rodgers has.  Plus, we expect this game to be a hardnosed game fought in the trenches like their regular season battle.

As for the second concern, that had to be if Colin Kaepernick would show up.  I have been critical of him in the past but I liked the way he played Sunday.  A couple of bad tosses but many times he was able to take off and make it look easy.  Can he do this in Charlotte and possibly in Seattle?  Huge question marks that will decide if the Niners return to the big one.

 

4. As for Luck and the Colts.

Obviously any time a team comes back from 38-10 it is impressive although my Maryland guy Frank Reich did it twice.  As much as I want to credit Andrew Luck a lot of the credit has to go to the Chiefs players dropping like flies in Indy.  And not only regular guys, Pro Bowl guys like Jamaal Charles and more importantly Brandon Flowers.  The game changed when Flowers went out and Luck and Hilton did take full advantage.  It was tough watching all the commercial breaks while Chiefs players lied on turf.  I have a good feeling that Reid, Smith and the wounded would have gone home victors if the in-game injuries were not as bad.

But Luck does deserve credit for making it happen in the end.  Now he moves onto New England to face Brady and the Pats.  Can the Colts carry the momentum and take down the Patriots?  Does Belichick have the cameras ready to take shots of the Colts play calls?  I think both are a good possibility.  At some point the Colts are going to have to have some kind of running game.  I think Trent Richardson is a lost cause but maybe Donald Brown can help Luck out.  We will have to wait and see.

5. The coaching search seems a lot more wide open than past seasons.

Two teams right away zeroed in on guys and locked them up in Houston and Tampa.  But the other teams are all over the place with interviews.  Well actually it seems like a few guys are interviewing everywhere.  Washington is halfway through interviewing every coordinator in the NFL and now may check out college coaches like James Franklin.  Their process has been a show but that had to be expected based on their past.

Detroit seemed like a lock for Ken Whisenhunt but we will see and with the Chargers still in it who knows how long their search will take.  Minnesota is looking at everyone other than Chris Kluwe for their vacancy.  The Bengals have a head coach but their assistants are wanted everywhere after 3 straight playoff disasters.  Everyone says Cleveland is a mess so they look at Josh McDaniels who pissed off everyone in Denver in his only coaching gig?  The Titans had a coach then didn't have a coach after they couldn't decide on the future of the staff.  Seems like they have zeroed in on one of the 15 guys the Redskins have talked to.  I still think a shocker is coming to the coaching carousel.  Maybe an older Gruden, Cowher, Saban or someone like that.