On The Clock NFL Mock Draft from Fanspeak.com

Week 11 NFL Rewind & Monday Night Football Prediction

November 17, 2014 in NFL Observations

1. Top game of the day was supposed to be the Eagles battling the Packers at Lambeau, but just like last week Green Bay ended the game quick.

Jordy Nelson

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Green Bay dropped 53 on the 7-2 Eagles and it was ugly.  Aaron Rodgers once again lit up an opponent at home and looked like a MVP.  I obviously still think the Eagles are a solid contender but I wasn’t shocked that Rodgers took it to the Eagles corners, which have never impressed me.  I still think Philly is going to have issues with top QBs come playoff time.

One week after getting praised Mark Sanchez struggled and went back to his Jets days as a turnover machine.  Nick Foles was not Foles of last season but he is still better than Sanchez and Philly needs him back.  I am very interested in the two match ups upcoming versus Dallas and how that goes when it comes to finding a division champ.

 

2.  No two teams are up and down as much as the Saints and Bengals this season.  Both were considered title contenders at points before or during the season.

So thinking the Bengals came in struggling and the Saints couldn't lose two at the Superdome in a row was everyone's call.  But it doesn't always work out like that.

The Bengals took it to the Saints and won pretty easy.  AJ Green looked like himself which was a huge boost for Dalton who needed a good game.  He produced and so did the Bengals D which held down Drew Brees.  I don't know what to make of either of these crews so I just can't trust them come playoff time.

 

3.  Great win for the Rams and I wasn't shocked because the way their defense was coming around.

Manning was due to have a struggle and losing two key weapons really hurt.  The Broncos will bounce back but now they have a real challenge in the Chiefs.  I wonder if the AFC can learn from how the Rams defense went against the Broncos.

Jeff Fisher is a very good coach who has had some bad luck since going to St. Louis.  But bringing his buddy back Gregg Williams should continue to pay dividends.   The bounty issue was important but Williams paid his dues.   I just wish the Redskins would have worked hard to bring him back to coach their defense…or maybe as head coach.

 

4. Quick Hitters

How impressive are the Chiefs currently.  Andy Reid can coach and he is clearly proving it once again with a team many thought were phony last year.
B.  Nice one Browns.  Again a chance to back up a huge win and they dud out.  They have gone from talk of winning the division to when its Manziel time.
C. Dud of the week goes to the Redskins though.  I could go one for 5000 words about the organization again but won't waste your time.
D. Final four playoff:
1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Baylor

5. Monday Night Match-up          espnMNF

Awful game this week, bad enough they should have Berman or Mike and Mike do the broadcast and rest Tirico and Gruden.

Tennessee   17
Pittsburgh     3

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

November 14, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

After a week without a major move, this week saw a $50 million contract extension go to a quarterback, only for him to suffer a season-ending injury on Sunday. This move is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Arizona Cardinals re-sign QB Carson Palmer

At 34-years old––35 in December––Palmer secured what will likely be his last professional payday, with what is his third professional team.

A three-year contract extension on top of the one year left on his old contract, he is now tied to Arizona through the 2017 season. These three new years are worth a total of $50 million and includes $20.5 million in guaranteed money, with a signing bonus of $6.5 million. Only $10 million of this is guaranteed from the start and there is no guaranteed money left after the 2015 season. This means the last two seasons are essentially pay as you go seasons. Arizona is only committed to him through the 2015.

Carson Palmer

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

The design of the contract is even more important now that Palmer is out for the season after tearing his ACL in Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. With the injury coming in November and given his age, it is unknown whether he will be able to play at the start of next season.

This isn't the first time he has torn his ACL. In the playoffs of the 2005 season, he tore his left ACL––the same one he tore this week––on the first play of the game. Coincidently, that injury came just 10 days after signing a $119 million contract extension. Two teams later, this is the same contract that expires at the end of the season.

After a disappointing 2010 season for the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted Palmer with the first overall pick of the 2003 draft, he asked to be traded and said he would never play for the Bengals again. He said he would rather retire than play for Cincinnati again. Halfway through the season, the Oakland Raiders called and traded a first and second round pick for Palmer. This is one of the worst trades in recent NFL history, giving up two high-value draft picks for a quarterback who played only 25 games in Oakland.

At the end of his second season in Oakland, he was traded to Arizona for two late round draft picks. He quickly led the Cardinals to a 10-6 season, but they missed the playoffs due to the strength of not only the conference, but the NFC West division, where the team finished third.

This season, Palmer was completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 1.626 yards, 11 touchdowns, three interceptions and a quarterback rating of 95.6. This is the second-highest quarterback rating for him in his career, behind the 101.1 he recorded in 2005. He missed three games due to a nerve issue in his shoulder.

Arizona is currently the only one-loss team left in the NFL, sitting at 8-1. The loss of Palmer is a huge one as they have Super Bowl aspirations––it is being hosted in their own stadium. Drew Stanton will take over a quarterback. The team was 2-1 under him when Palmer missed time to his shoulder injury.

Even though Palmer just tore his ACL, this contract is still very good for Arizona. They are only tied to him through the 2015 season in terms of guaranteed money. After that, they can cut him and save double digits in cap room.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals sign QB Ryan Lindley.
The Arizona Cardinals sign DE Josh Mauro.
The Baltimore Ravens sign CB Rashaan Melvin.
The Buffalo Bills cut S Jerome Couplin.
The Buffalo Bills sign DE Bryan Johnson.
The Chicago Bears sign TE Blake Annen.
The Chicago Bears waive CB Teddy Williams.
The Chicago Bears waive WR Santonio Holmes.
The Chicago Bears sign G Ryan Groy.
The Cleveland Browns release FB Kiero Small.
The Cleveland Browns sign FB Ray Agnew.
The Dallas Cowboys waive LB Tim Dobbins.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Dekoda Watson.
The Denver Broncos claim LB Todd Davis off waivers.
The Green Bay Packers sign OT Jamon Meredith.
The Houston Texans waive LB Zac Diles.
The Houston Texans sign LB Max Bullough.
The Jacksonville Jaguars claim CB Teddy Williams off waivers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut LB Dekoda Watson.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive CB Peyton Thompson.
The Kansas City Chiefs waive LB Jerry Franklin.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign TE Phillip Supernaw.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign RB Charcandrick West.
The Miami Dolphins sign RB LaMichael James.
The New Orleans Saints sign S Jamarca Sanford.
The New Orleans Saints cut C Eric Olsen.
The New Orleans Saints sign RB Brian Leonard.
The New Orleans Saints cut LB Todd Davis.
The New York Giants sign RB Orleans Darkwa.
The San Francisco 49ers sign LB Chase Thomas.
The San Francisco 49ers sign RB Alfonso Smith.
The Seattle Seahawks sign TE RaShaun Allen.
The Seattle Seahawks sign LB Allen Bradford.
The Washington Redskins cut LB Jackson Jeffcoat.

Excitement Building In NFL After 10 Weeks

November 12, 2014 in NFL, NFL Preview, NFL RECAP WEEK 10

With just a few weeks until Thanksgiving, the NFL playoff picture is becoming cloudier by the day. That’s not a bad thing if you like parity and excitement in the NFL. In the AFC, 11 of the 16 teams have a winning record. If the season ended following the Monday Night game, two– six win teams would be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. The biggest reason is the AFC North where every team in the division has at least a .600 winning percentage or better and only the Bengals (5) have less than six wins.afc

The AFC North is the first division in which every team is at least two games above .500 at any point in the season since the 1935 NFL Western Division. The west in 1935 is essentially the NFC North now minus one Chicago team and adding Minnesota. The Detroit Lions led the way with a 7-3 mark while the Green Bay Packers were second at 8-4. How is that possible you ask? The Lions had 2 ties during the season, which gave them a winning percentage of .700, better than the Packers .667. Bringing up the back end of the West division in 1935 was the two Chicago teams—that’s right two.

The Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals each finished with identical 6-4-2 records. There were a lot of ties back in those days and not every team played the same amount of games. Were it not for the cancellation due to heavy snow of a few games, this would have been the first season where all NFL teams played the same number of games. This standardization was formalized the following year and has continued ever since, with the number of games being slowly increased to sixteen. The Lions went on to beat the Giants for the NFL title in 1935.

If the Bengals (@Saints), Browns (vs. Texans) and Steelers (@ Titans) all win this weekend, Week 11 will go down as the longest in NFL history every team in one division has been at least two games over .500. That would of course be a nightmare scenario for the Ravens, who have a bye this week.

Take a good look at the standings, it is likely they will be changing following Monday Night’s game at Tennessee. Just three weeks ago, the Ravens were all alone in first, while the Bengals, Steelers and Browns followed. Today, the Browns own the top spot while the Bengals are in second with the Steelers and Ravens bringing up the bottom.

The problem isn’t as prevalent in the NFC where seven of the 16 teams own a winning record. However, if the season were to end today, the six win Green Bay Packers would not be in the playoffs but the 4-5 NFC South leading Saints would be.

More Lions:

Matt Stafford climbing the ranks

Matt Stafford climbing the ranks

With their dramatic comeback from behind last minute victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the Lions matched their 2013 win total, joining the Cleveland Browns (6-3; 4-12 in 2013), Houston Texans (4-5; 2-14 in 2013) and Washington Redskins (3-6; 3-13 in 2013) as the teams to accomplish the feat this season. Looking ahead to Week 11, the Atlanta Falcons (3-6; 4-12 in 2013), Buffalo Bills (5-4; 6-10 in 2013) and Minnesota Vikings (4-5; 5-10-1 in 2013) can also join the list.

Sticking with the Lions theme, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford was a different looking QB with Megatron running around Ford Field on Sunday. With Calvin Johnson back and healthy and the Lions defense ranked first in the league, Detroit could finally be ready to remove their names off the Super Bowl drought list. The Lions are one of four teams to have never played in the big game. Cleveland, Jacksonville and Houston are the others

At least Houston, Jacksonville and Detroit have hosted Super Bowls, in consecutive years, oddly enough (2004-06). Houston also hosted in 1974. Sorry Cleveland.

Moving back to Stafford, the 11-yard touchdown pass he flicked to Theo Riddick with 29 seconds to play gave the Lions a dramatic 20-16 win over the Dolphins. It was Stafford's fourth game-winning TD pass in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter, tying an all-time NFL record. Stafford shares the mark with six players: Steve Bartkowski, Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Joe Ferguson, and Tommy Kramer, all of whom started at least 100 regular-season games. Stafford has started only 70.

Stafford passed for 280 yards in that 70th career game on Sunday against Miami. His 19,953 career passing yards are the most passing yards in NFL history through a player’s first 70 games. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft also has 122 career touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for the fourth most in the first 70 games of a career in NFL history.

No.18 & More No.19:

No.18 passed for 340 yards and five touchdowns in the Broncos’ 41-17 win at Oakland, extending his own NFL-record streak of consecutive games with multiple touchdown passes to 15 games. Peyton Manning has also thrown a touchdown pass in 48 consecutive games, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas (47) for the third-longest streak in NFL history. Manning’s first touchdown of the game was a 51-yard pass to running back C.J. Anderson. The scoring play marked Manning’s 44th career touchdown pass of at least 50 yards, eclipsing Brett Favre for the most such TD passes of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era.

The Return of Vick?

New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick passed for 132 yards with two touchdowns and added 39 rushing yards in a 20-13 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Vick now has 6,006 career rushing yards and is the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 6,000.

Points, Points & More Points:

All of these yards and points have to be totaling up to some kind of record in 2014—-don’t they? You bet- So far this season teams have combined for 6,862 points this season, the most points through 10 weeks in NFL history. The previous high was 6,836 last season. Teams have combined to score 781 touchdowns and have thrown 499 touchdown passes, both of which are the most ever through Week 10. The previous highs were 762 TDs and 462 TD passes last season.

Rookie Update:

We are rapidly approaching the time of the year where first year players hit the “rookie wall”. Used to only playing 11 to 13 college football games per year and with many only playing three years in college, the 17 week NFL schedule can be grueling. Training camps start in the late July heat and by now, the young legs are starting to tire and bumps and bruises are starting to be felt more than usual. The wall usually starts to build around 11 and by the time Weeks 12, 13 & 14 hit, even the top rookies start to fade. Detroit Lions rookie TE Eric Ebron said, "I've already hit my rookie wall. I felt like that last week of the learning process and getting over the curve that was it for me. Now it's about staying true to who I am and doing everything that got me here, and better." By the way—that’s a quote from August 5.

How the rookies doing in 2013, here are is a quick look.

AFC:

Buffalo wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been a focal point of the Bills’ offense, while three AFC rookie quarterbacks have taken over starting roles this season. Oakland’s Derek Carr earned the job in training camp, while Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles was tapped by the Jaguars in Week 4. Most recently, Tennessee’s Zach Mettenberger took the reins for the Titans in Week 8.On the defensive side of the ball, two rookie linebackers are leading their teams in tackles – Baltimore’s C.J. Mosley (87) and Buffalo’s Preston Brown (67). And Miami’s Jarvis Landry, who earned a starting role at wide receiver in October for the Dolphins, leads the NFL in kickoff return average (32.0).

Bortles leads the Jags into the future

Bortles leads the Jags into the future

As the third overall pick at Radio City Music Hall in May, the Jags Blake Bortles leads NFL rookies with 1,921 passing yards and has eight touchdown passes. He aims to surpass Byron Left which’s club rookie passing records (2,819 yards and 14 touchdown passes in 2003) and has also been an effective runner, posting 204 rushing yards on 34 carries (6.0 average).

Oakland’s Derek Carr, who the Raiders selected in round two with the 36th overall selection, leads NFL rookies with 13 touchdown passes and ranks second with 1,903 yards. Last week, he surpassed Tom Flores franchise rookie records in both categories (1,738 yards and 12 touchdowns in 1960).

In Buffalo, the fourth overall pick, Sammy Watkins, who Buffalo traded up with the Cleveland Browns to draft, has emerged as the Bills’ primary receiving option and leads AFC rookies with 617 receiving yards on 42 catches with five touchdowns, including three 100-yard performances this season.

In Baltimore, where the Ravens 11th ranked defense has been looking for a long term replacement for the man that tackled everything for 17 years, finally may have him in the 17th overall pick in May’s draft. Former Crimson Tide star, CJ Mosley has started every game for Baltimore, ranks second among all AFC players with 90 tackles (58 solo) and leads the Ravens in that category. He is looking to become the first Ravens rookie to lead the team in tackles since Ray Lewis in 1996.

NFC:

Rookies at the wide receiver position have put up impressive numbers. Seven rookie wide receivers have at least five touchdown receptions, which is already the most for an entire season in NFL history. Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin leads the class with seven, followed by Arizona’s John Brown (five), Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans (five) and Philadelphia’s Jordan Matthews (five). New Orleans’ Brandin Cooks has scored four total touchdowns (three receiving, one rushing) and the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham, Jr. has the most receiving yards (264) in the NFL among all players over the past two weeks.

Offensive guard Zack Martin has been a key component on the Cowboys’ offensive line, which has led the way for rushing leader DeMarco Murray. And on defense, linebacker Anthony Barr of Minnesota, defensive tackle Aaron Donald of St. Louis and cornerback Kyle Fuller of Chicago have all played a significant role for their clubs.

The ninth overall pick of the Minnesota Vikings, Anthony Barr, leads NFL rookies with four sacks and his three defensive fumble recoveries are tied for the most among all players. In Week 8 (October 26), he was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. In that game, he forced a fumble and returned it 27 yards for the game-winning touchdown in overtime.

The Panthers first round selection of WR Kelvin Benjamin has paid dividends. The former FSU wideout, who hauled in the game winning catch in the final BCS National Championship game vs. Auburn, leads all rookies with 659 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks third in the NFL among rookies with 43 receptions. Five of Benjamin’s seven touchdowns have been for at least 20 yards. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of September when he became the only rookie in the past decade with a 25+ yard touchdown catch in three of his team’s first four games.

The Bears defense may be struggling and that’s putting it mildly but the 14th overall pick in May’s draft is having a solid season. Kyle Fuller leads NFL rookies with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He is the only player in the league to record at least three interceptions and three forced fumbles this season. Fuller was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of September when he became the first player in the past 20 years with at least three interceptions and two forced fumbles in the first month of a season.

Cardinals and ———more Lions!

At 7-2 why not stick with more Lions news. Matt Stafford wasn’t the only passer in Detroit making history. On Sunday, punter Sam Martin completed two passes out of punt formation. Over the last 10 seasons, only one other NFL player had two pass completions and two punts in the same game: Johnny Hekker of the Rams in 2012. The last Lions player to do so was Earl Morrall, Detroit's starting quarterback in 1963 who assumed punting duties at midseason after Yale Lary was injured.

Stanton & Stafford

Stanton & Stafford

The Lions may be good but they aren’t the best team, at least record wise in the NFC. That distinction belongs to the Arizona Cardinals. If Arizona is going to continue to win in the tough NFC West, they will have to do so without Carson Palmer, who his ACL, the same one he tore when facing the Steelers in the playoffs back in 2006. Drew Stanton takes over, who was 2-1 in Palmers absence earlier this season as Palmer recovered from a shoulder injury. Without Palmer for a significant portion of the game on Sunday, Arizona still managed to improve its record to 8-1 with a 31-14 victory over St. Louis. The Cardinals have been seven games above .500 in only four previous seasons-twice in Chicago (1925 and 1948), and twice in St. Louis (1974 and 1975).

With that win, Arizona maintained a one-game lead over Detroit (7-2) in the NFC race. The Cardinals entered the NFL in 1920, the Lions in 1930. This is the first time that both teams are at least five games above .500 simultaneously. (When those franchises began, the Cardinals played in Chicago, with home games at old Comiskey Park, and the Lions were known as the Spartans and played in Portsmouth, Ohio, with a population of 42,560 at that time.)—Ironically, the two teams meet Sunday in Arizona on Fox at 4:25.

That sets up the whole Drew Stanton versus the team that drafted him storylines. The Lions selected Stanton from Michigan State in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He appeared in 13 games for the Lions, starting four while posting a record of 2-2 in four seasons. Stanton tossed five touchdowns and nine interceptions during his days in the Motor City. In three games this season, the former Spartan has three TD’s and no INT’s

Mr. November:

Mr. November isn’t retired after all. Well, maybe the real one is in former NY Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who exited for good with the completion of baseballs regular but in the NFL, Mr. November is Dallas QB Tony Romo. On the pitch across the pond on Sunday, Romo threw three touchdown passes in the Cowboys' 31-17 victory over the Jaguars, improving his career record to 27-6 (Pro Football Reference) in the month of November. That's the second-highest November winning percentage by any quarterback in NFL history (minimum: 10 starts), trailing only that of Otto Graham (.875, 21-3-1).

The big difference in being Mr. November in baseball and football is this little thing called a championship. Romo has not fared nearly as well during the month of December and January—or crunch time in the NFL. During the months of December and January, Romo is a combined 15-21. He has 67 TD’s and just 18 INT’s in the 11th month. Those numbers drop and rise in the wrong direction, significantly (52-29), in the two months that follow—And we all know about his 1-6 mark in so called elimination games.

However, it’s not all about Romo, The Jaguars did their part in London to appear in this paragraph. The loss dropped Jacksonville to 1-9 this season. In doing so, the Jags became the first team in NFL history to lose at least nine of its first 10 games in three consecutive seasons.

Looked like a College Game:

Former Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer has been credited by some for having “perfected” the use of the wishbone offense and former OU quarterback Jack Mildren is often referred to as "the Godfather of the wishbone" throughout College Football. The Sooners wishbone offense set the all-time NCAA rushing average in 1971 of 472.4 yds per game, a record which still stands to this day. On Sunday, it appeared as if The Seattle Seahawks may not have been running the wishbone but they put up wishbone numbers. Seattle ran for 350 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-17 win over the Giants. In the 1940 NFL Championship Game in which the Bears routed the Redskins, 73-0. Chicago rushed for 382 yards and seven TDs in that game. Since then, there have been 12,924 regular-season NFL games. In only six did either team run for as much yardage and as many TDs as the Seahawks did on Sunday. The most recent of those games was also against the Giants, by Buffalo in 1978.

The 350 yards Sunday, the most in a game since the Chiefs rushed for 352 yards in Week 16 of 2012 against the Colts. Seattle rushed for more yards than the Giants gained total yards (324), and the Seahawks' 4.0 yards after contact per rush was the most by any team in a game this season. The Seahawks had as many rushes gain at least 20 yards as they had gain negative yards (three). – Marshawn Lynch had 21 rushes for 140 yards and four touchdowns. Lynch gained 75 rush yards after contact Sunday, the fifth player with at least 75 YAC in a game this season. – Lynch gained at least 10 yards on six rushes Sunday, the fifth player this season to have six rushes of at least 10 yards in a game. Arian Foster, DeMarco Murray, Rashad Jennings and LeSean McCoy (also vs Giants) each has six rushes for double-digit yards in a game.

Russell Wilson rushed for 107 yards on Sunday. He joins Michael Vick (2004 & 2006) as the only QBs since the 1970 merger to have three 100-yard rushing games in a single season.

BEARS-PACKERS:

The Green Bay Packers destroyed their division rivals, the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Pack scored 55 points and held the Bears once scary offense to just 14 points. Aaron Rodgers was masterful, albeit versus a very——very suspect Bears defense. With a game like this, there had to be the good, the bad and the ugly. We will add a category, the very good.

The very good;

Aaron Rodgers was the second quarterback in NFL history to throw six TD passes in one half (either first or second). Daryle Lamonica of the Raiders did it against the Bills in 1969. Rodgers was the sixth player with three TD passes of 40-plus yards in the same quarter: Sonny Jurgensen (1962), Jack Concannon (1967), Jim Hart (1968), Randall Cunningham (1998), and Tony Banks (1999).

The still very good:

Rodgers threw 10 touchdown passes against the Bears this season, two short of Adrian Burk's NFL record (12 TDs against the Redskins in 1954). Rodgers was the first player with 10 TD passes in a season versus one team since Dan Marino threw 10 against the Jets in 1986, and he was the first ever with 10 TD passes and no interceptions against one team in a season.

The Good:

The Packers became the third team in NFL history to lead by 42 or more points at halftime (42-0). The Packers joined the 2009 Patriots (45 against Tennessee) and the 1983 Packers (42 against Tampa Bay).

The Bad:

When Jay Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall on a 45-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter on Sunday, it ended the Packers' streak of 69 unanswered points against the Bears, dating back to the first half of their meeting at Soldier Field in September. That was the second-longest such streak by either team in the history of this rivalry, which spans 188 regular-season games. The Packers scored 87 straight points against the Bears over a span of seven games from 1928 to 1930, including five shutouts.

The Ugly:

The Chicago Bears are the second team in NFL history to allow 50+ points in consecutive games after surrendering 55 to Green Bay in Week 10 and 51 to New England in Week 8. The other was the Rochester Jeffersons in 1923. The 55 points scored by Green Bay tied the most points for the Packers in a game at Lambeau Field. The team record is 57.

Looking Ahead:

Week 11 gets underway on Thursday night with a game between two division rivals, the Bills and Dolphins. Buffalo travels to Sun Life Stadium, as both teams enter play with identical 5-4 records and are currently tied for second in the AFC East. This is the latest in a season that the Bills and Dolphins will play with each boasting a winning record since 2000 (December 3, 2000; Buffalo, 7-5 and Miami, 9-3).buffalo-bills-vs-miami-dolphins-nfl_photo

Buffalo enters Week 11 looking to rebound following a 17-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo’s defense ranks first in the league with 34 sacks. It is the team’s highest sack total through its first nine games in franchise history, topping the previous mark of 32 sacks through nine games in 1997.

The Dolphins will need solid play from QB Ryan Tannehill. The former Aggie from Texas A&M completed 27 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown last week. In the past six games, Tannehill has 1,490 passing yards and 11 touchdowns for a 99.7 passer rating. During his career, Miami is 15-1 when Tannehill has a passer rating of 90 or better. On defense, the Dolphins are tied for second in the AFC with 28 sacks, led by defensive end Cameron Wake, who has 6.5 sacks in his previous five games.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

November 7, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

In terms of total moves, there was a lot of activity in the NFL. Most of these moves involved teams sorting out the bottom of their rosters though, leaving little in terms of impact transactions. One move is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Kansas City Chiefs re-sign FB Anthony Sherman

You know it was a quiet week in the NFL when the most significant move comes with a fullback.

The Chiefs re-signed Sherman, their 25-year old fullback, to a three-year contract extension worth up to $7 million with just over $3 million guaranteed. This makes him the highest paid true––not a tight end/fullback hybrid––fullback in the NFL.

Anthony Sherman

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of Connecticut, he spent two seasons playing for the Cardinals before joining Kansas City.

During the offseason before the 2013 season, the Cardinals deemed him expendable after hiring Bruce Arians as their new head coach. Arians' offense doesn't use a fullback, so Sherman was traded to the Chiefs for cornerback Javier Arenas.

In Kansas City, Sherman has found a home in Andy Reid's West Coast offense. With Sherman leading the way in the run game, running back Jamaal Charles ran for the third most yards in the NFL last season and the Chiefs had the 10th best rushing offense.

This season, the Chiefs have he sixth best rushing offense, despite Charles missing one game and most of another.

Pro Football Focus graded Sherman as the best fullback in the NFL last season and he is leading the way this season. His excellent run blocking is what causes him to receive such high grades.

In his 24 games for the Chiefs, he has ran the ball four times for 11 yards and caught 23 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns. While the game plan doesn't call for him to receive the ball, he is an essential piece of Chiefs offense.

Fullbacks almost always go unnoticed and Sherman is no different. However, he is a very important player to the Chiefs offense, so it makes sense to keep him around as he was set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals sign RB Kerwynn Williams.
The Arizona Cardinals cut DT Bruce Gaston.
The Baltimore Ravens waive CB Chykie Brown.
The Baltimore Ravens release TE Phillip Supernaw.
The Baltimore Ravens sign CB Tramain Jacobs.
The Baltimore Ravens claim CB Danny Gorrer off waivers.
The Baltimore Ravens waive CB Dominique Franks.
The Buffalo Bills claim S Jerome Couplin off waivers.
The Carolina Panthers cut RB Chris Ogbonnaya.
The Carolina Panthers cut WR DeAndre Presley.
The Carolina Panthers sign RB Chris Ogbonnaya.
The Chicago Bears sign DE David Bass.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DT Josh Brent to a one-year contract extension.
The Dallas Cowboys cut DL LaVar Edwards.
The Detroit Lions cut S Jerome Couplin.
The Detroit Lions cut TE Jordan Thompson.
The Detroit Lions sign DT Andre Fluellen.
The Detroit Lions waive CB Danny Gorrer.
The Green Bay Packers cut OT Derek Sherrod.
The Indianapolis Colts waive CB Jalil Brown.
The Indianapolis Colts waive OT Jamon Meredith.
The Indianapolis Colts waive FB Stanley Havili.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign LB Khairi Fortt.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut DL Damion Square.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign S Daniel Sorensen.
The Miami Dolphins sign S Jordan Kovacs.
The New Orleans Saints sign OT Nick Becton.
The New York Giants claim CB Chykie Brown off waivers.
The New York Jets waive WR Chris Owusu.
The New York Jets sign QB Matt Simms.
The Philadelphia Eagles sign S Chris Prosinski.
The San Diego Chargers sign S Adrian Phillips.
The San Diego Chargers cut RB Shaun Draughn.
The San Diego Chargers claim DL Damion Square off waivers.
The San Diego Chargers cut S Adrian Phillips.
The San Francisco 49ers sign CB Leon McFadden.
The San Francisco 49ers sign RB Kendall Hunter to a one-year contract extension.
The San Francisco 49ers waive DL DeMarcus Dobbs.
San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks sign S Terrance Parks.
The Seattle Seahawks cut WR Bryan Walters.
The Seattle Seahawks sign TE Tony Moeaki.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR Bryan Walters.
The Seattle Seahawks cut LB L.J. Fort.
The Seattle Seahawks claim DE Demarcus Dobbs off waivers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive-injured WR/KR Trindon Holliday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign RB Marcus Thigpen.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DT Matthew Masifilo.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Brett Brackett.
The Washington Redskins sign S Phillip Thomas.
The Washington Redskins release DE Clifton Geathers.
The Washington Redskins waive CB Chase Minnifield.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

October 31, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

Tuesday, the NFL trade deadline passed with little drama, as usual, and two trades were completed at the deadline. One of these trades is discussed below along with a massive contract extension and a retirement. As always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign DT Gerald McCoy

With all the roster change that is going on for the 1-6 Buccaneers––they were involved in both trades at the deadline––they decided to lock up McCoy, who they deem to be the face of their franchise.

A seven-year contract extension, the total value of the deal is just under the $100 million mark that J.J. Watt set earlier this offseason. McCoy receives $95.2 million with $51.5 million guaranteed. The average value of $13.6 million per season makes him the highest paid defensive tackle in the league right now and in NFL history.

Gerald McCoy

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Drafted by Tampa Bay with the third pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, he has quickly become the best 4-3 defensive tackle in the NFL.

So far this season (six games), he has recorded 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the struggling Buccaneers. The team may not be performing well, but he is. Pro Football Focus (PFF) has him rated as the best defensive tackle in the NFL. His 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks may not show this, but the impact of interior defensive lineman can not be shown in the box score.

Last season was the best of his career. Statistically, he set career highs in tackles (50) and sacks (9.5). PFF as the best defensive tackle in the league, a full 16 points ahead of the more well-known Ndamukong Suh who was ranked second. (Suh is a free agent at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see what contract he signs.)

In first two seasons he was limited by injuries, but flashed the playmaking ability that has made him the great player that he is today.

When Watt signed his $100 million contract extension before the season started, the bar was set for McCoy. He was always going to get less than what Watt received in terms of total and guaranteed money.

Tampa Bay needed to keep their best player, no matter the cost. The team isn't playing well right now and is one of worst in the NFL. McCoy is viewed as their franchise player so he had to be kept.

CB Champ Bailey retires

After spending the first eight weeks of the season as a free agent, Bailey has announced his retirement from the league.

This offseason he signed a two-year contract worth $7 million with the New Orleans Saints. However, he failed to make their roster, being released after training camp. In the following weeks he worked out for a few teams (Detroit and Baltimore), but he wasn't signed. It was reported that he favored his foot, that he injured last season, in his workout with Detroit and wasn't conditioned enough in his workout for Baltimore.

Drafted by the Washington Redskins with the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, Bailey spent five seasons in Washington before spending the rest of his career, 10 seasons, in Denver.

After five seasons in Washington, where he developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, he was surprisingly traded to the Denver Broncos along with a second round pick for running back Clinton Portis. Bailey was upset over his contract situation so the team decided to get rid of him.

With Denver, he continued to play as one of the best cover cornerbacks in the league. His best statistical seasons––with either team––came in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, he recorded 64 tackles, eight interceptions and had 15 passes defensed. The following season he set career highs in tackles (84) and interceptions (10) while breaking up 11 passes.

Over the course of his career, he made 12 Pro Bowls (2000-2007 and 2009-2012) and seven All-Pro teams (2000, 2003-2007 and 2012). These 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most ever for a defensive back. In the Pro Bowl, he has intercepted four passes, which is also a record.

With these accolades and the great performances Bailey has had in his 15 years in the NFL, we should be seeing a bust of his face in Canton in the near future.

St. Louis Rams trade for S Mark Barron

In the biggest move at the trade deadline, the Buccaneers traded Barron, their starting strong safety who was rumored to be on the block, to the St. Louis Rams.

To acquire Barron, the Rams gave up a pick in the fourth and sixth rounds of the 2015 draft. This is a far cry from the seventh overall pick where he was selected in 2012.

Since being drafted, he has underwhelmed, not performing as the difference maker the Buccaneers envisioned him to be on the backend.

So far this season he has 49 tackles and three passes defensed. In his two prior seasons he had a combined 176 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks.

Statistically this looks good, but PFF rated him as the 70th best safety in 2012 and the 55th last season. This season he is ranked as the 71st best.

With Lovie Smith being hired as head coach this season, Barron was less of a fit for the defense. The cover two style isn't the best fit for Barron, as his performances showed. Now Major Wright will take over at strong safety for Tampa Bay. Wright played for Smith when he was the head coach in Chicago.

In St. Louis, Barron should be a much better fit. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams loves to run aggressive defenses that utilize multiple blitzers from different angles. The strong safety is an essential component of this defense––think Roman Harper in New Orleans a few years ago. Barron will come in and takeover this role for Williams.

Moving to St. Louis should help Barron improve his career. The Rams defense has had their struggles at the safety position over the last few seasons. At the end of the season, the Rams must decide whether to exercise his fifth-year option. If they don't, then they still have at least one and a half seasons of Barron before he hits free agency.

Tampa Bay got a few picks out of a player that obviously wasn't in their future plans anymore. Still, a fourth and sixth round pick for a player that was the seventh overall pick just a few years ago is a major loss on investment.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons sign S Charles Godfrey.
The Atlanta Falcons cut S Sean Baker.
The Baltimore Ravens waive TE Ryan Taylor.
The Baltimore Ravens sign TE Phillip Supernaw.
The Carolina Panthers sign OT Mike Remmers.
The Carolina Panthers sign S Robert Lester.
The Carolina Panthers cut RB Darrin Reaves.
The Cleveland Browns waive TE Gerell Robinson.
The Cleveland Browns claim TE Ryan Taylor off waivers.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Tim Dobbins.
The Detroit Lions sign S Jerome Couplin.
The Houston Texans sign LB Zac Diles.
The Houston Texans waive CB Elbert Mack.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive WR Tavarres King.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Peyton Thompson.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Tommie Campbell.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Damian Williams.
The New England Patriots waive OL Chris Baker.
The New England Patriots cut LB Deontae Skinner.
The New Orleans Saints cut TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign RB Edwin Baker.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints waive TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign LB Todd Davis.
The New York Giants sign CB Mike Harris.
The New York Jets release LB A.J. Edds.
The New York Jets sign CB Marcus Williams.
The Oakland Raiders sign DE Denico Autry.
The Oakland Raiders cut LB Bojay Filimoeatu.
The Oakland Raiders sign S Larry Asante.
The St. Louis Rams sign CB Jemea Thomas.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Korey Toomer.
The St. Louis Rams waive QB Case Keenum.
The St. Louis Rams sign WR Damian Williams.
The St. Louis Rams cut CB Jemea Thomas.
The St. Louis Rams sign G Brandon Washington.
The St. Louis Rams cut S Kadron Boone.
The San Diego Chargers release CB Richard Marshall.
The San Diego Chargers sign CB Richard Crawford.
The San Francisco 49ers sign S Ray Ventrone.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR Phil Bates.
The Seattle Seahawks waive WR Phil Bates.
The Seattle Seahawks waive TE Brett Brackett.
The Seattle Seahawks sign LB L.J. Fort.
The Seattle Seahawks sign FB Will Tukuafu.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive QB Mike Kafka.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade LB Jonathan Casillas and a sixth round pick to the New England Patriots for a fifth round pick.
The Washington Redskins sign S Akeem Davis.
The Washington Redskins cut S Jamaica Sanford.

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.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

October 24, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

With the NFL trade deadline approaching (Oct. 28), teams are starting to look at potential moves. This week saw what will likely be the major trade of the deadline along with a re-signing, both from the same team. These are discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

New York Jets trade for WR Percy Harvin

Just one and a half seasons after being traded to the Seattle Seahawks, the team sent him away in a trade to the New York Jets.

In a surprising move, the Seahawks gave away the dynamic Harvin for a 2015 sixth round pick that can turn into a fourth round pick if he is on the Jets roster at the start of the next season.

Percy Harvin

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

When Seattle acquired him back in 2013, they gave up a first, third and seventh round pick to the Minnesota Vikings and then signed him to a six-year contract worth $67 million.

With the Seahawks last season, Harvin missed all but one regular season game due to a hip injury that required surgery. He also missed the NFC Championship Game due to a concussion. When he was finally healthy, he had a major impact on Super XLVIII returning a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and 50 yards and three touches on offense.

This season he has 22 catches for 133 yards and zero touchdowns, though he had three touchdowns called back due to penalties in the game against Washington. He also had 11 carries for 92 yards and one touchdown.

Prior to playing for the Seahawks, the 26-year old spent four seasons in Minnesota after they drafted him in the first round.

In his final season with the Vikings (2012) he was an MVP candidate through the first nine games of the season before suffering a season ending ankle injury. In these nine games he had 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns, 22 rushes for 96 yards and one kickoff return for a touchdown. These numbers show the unique playmaking ability of Harvin.

While Seattle gave up so much for him just a year and a half ago, they traded him away for so little due to his fit on the team. After the trade was announced, multiple reports came out of fights and disagreements with teammates (Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin). Harvin was frustrated with his role––of lack thereof––within the offense and wasn't a good teammate, which is something head coach Pete Carroll stresses. If Seattle wasn't able to complete a trade, they would have cut Harvin.

By trading Harvin, the Seahawks save approximately $6.5 million in salary cap this season with the Jets taking on the rest of his salary this season. However, Seattle takes a cap hit of $7.2 million next season due to the guaranteed money that was in his contract.

For New York, the team is struggling right now and could use a boost on offense. Quarterback Geno Smith could use another weapon, especially one of Harvin's caliber. After the season, New York can cut him and have no ramifications on the salary cap in the future ($10.5 million, all non-guaranteed). If they do cut him, it will be a waste of a sixth round pick as the Jets are highly unlikely to make the playoffs with their 1-6 record. However, if Harvin is able to keep his act together then the Jets will have added a starting wide receiver for the years to come for just a fourth round pick.

New York Jets re-sign WR Jeremy Kerley

Continuing with the New York Jets wide receiving corps, they signed Kerley to a four-year extension just days after completing the trade for Harvin.

Set to become a free agent at the end of the season, Kerley will now be in New York for years to come. The four-year deal is worth a total of $16 million with $5.4 million guaranteed.

Drafted by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the 25-year old (26 in November) has become one of the more underrated slot receivers in the league.

At 5 feet 9 inches, he is one of the shorter wide receivers in the NFL. This limits his effectiveness to the slot where he can use his quickness to his advantage.

As a rookie he caught 29 passes and was the main punt returner. He continued returning punts in 2012 and 2013 and he returned one for a touchdown in 2012. This year he has returned only two punts.

His best statistical season came in 2012 when he caught 56 passes for 827 yards and two touchdowns. Last season he caught 43 passes for 523 yards and three touchdowns while missing four games due to injury.

This season he has caught 22 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown. These stats put him on pace for another 50-plus catch season.

Quarterback Geno Smith has developed a connection with Kerley––it isn't unusual for younger quarterbacks to like throwing the underneath, checkdown passes which is more of what Kerley runs. This connection is shown by Smith targeting Kerley more than any other receiver on the team (45).

Kerley has led the team in targets, catches and receiving yards the last two seasons. It is unlikely for this to continue this season given the additions of Harvin, Eric Decker (free agency) and tight end Jace Amaro (draft).

Kerley is a key component of the Jets offense. For a team that has struggled so much on offense over the last few seasons, they couldn't afford to lose their best receiver from years prior. He isn't a number one receiver, but he is a good option from the slot. Four million per season is a reasonable price for a player like this and with only $5.4 million guaranteed, there isn't much in terms of long term commitment.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons sign OT Jonathan Scott.
The Baltimore Ravens sign LS Kevin McDermott.
The Buffalo Bills sign RB Phillip Tanner.
The Carolina Panthers waive S Robert Lester.
The Carolina Panthers sign LB Adarius Glanton.
The Carolina Panthers cut S Charles Godfrey.
The Carolina Panthers sign G Chris Scott.
The Cleveland Browns sign OT Ryan Seymour.
The Cleveland Browns sign DT Jacobbi McDaniel.
The Cleveland Browns waive TE Gerell Robinson.
The Cleveland Browns sign FB Kiero Small.
The Cleveland Browns waive FB Ray Agnew.
The Cleveland Browns cut DT Jacobbi McDaniel.
The Cleveland Browns sign TE Gerell Robinson.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DE Lavar Edwards.
The Dallas Cowboys waive LB Corey Toomer.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Keith Smith.
The Dallas Cowboys cut DT Ken Bishop.
The Denver Broncos cut LB Shaquil Barrett.
The Denver Broncos sign RB Kapri Bibbs.
The Detroit Lions sign TE Jordan Thompson.
The Detroit Lions sign TE Kellen Davis.
The Detroit Lions cut S Jerome Couplin.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign DE Chris Smith.
The Miami Dolphins sign CB Lowell Rose.
The Miami Dolphins cut DT DeAndre Coleman.
The New England Patriots sign DT Alan Branch.
The New England Patriots release LB Ja'Gared Davis.
The New England Patriots trade a sixth round pick to the Tennessee Titans for LB Akeem Ayers and a seventh round pick.
The New Orleans Saints cut TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign LB Todd Davis.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints cut LB Todd Davis.
The New York Jets cut WR David Nelson.
The St. Louis Rams waive WR Austin Pettis.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Marshall McFadden.
The San Francisco 49ers sign S Ray Ventrone.
The San Francisco 49ers cut QB Josh Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers sign QB Josh Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers cut S Ray Ventrone.
The Seattle Seahawks sign TE Rashaun Allen.
The Seattle Seahawks sign S Steven Terrell.
The Seattle Seahawks waive TE Rashaun Allen.
The Seattle Seahawks claim TE Brett Brackett off waivers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign WR/KR Trindon Holliday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release WR/KR Solomon Patton.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release DE Scott Solomon.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE T.J. Fatinikun.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign LB Orie Lemon.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Brett Bracket.
The Tennessee Titans cut TE Brett Bracket.
The Tennessee Titans sign RB Antonio Andrews.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Richard Gordon.
The Washington Redskins sign LB Everette Brown.