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NFL Week 3 Preview

September 21st 2014 12:26
NFL Week 3 Preview

Atlanta 56, Tampa Bay 14

Great moment for NFL special teams/defense history as Atlanta's Devin Hester reached 20 total returns for TDs to pass former Falcon and NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer Dion Sanders for the all time record. What's sweeter still is the 2-1 start the Falcons are having (2-0 in division) after a disastrous 4-12 2013 season. Matt Ryan turned in a nearly flawless game (3 incompletions, 3 TDs) and the offense is really humming to start the season. The defense was a big weak spot for Atlanta a year ago and they have rebounded and played great in front of the home crowd, holding the Bucs to 217 total yards and a meager 3.8 yards a play. That kind of performance will have the Falcons in the playoffs this year.

San Diego (1-1) @ Buffalo (2-0)

Buffalo's getting a taste of success that they've been hungry for for a while and the Chargers are coming off a big win over the champion Seahawks. I would give the edge to the Bills though because they haven't tasted the playoffs in a very long time. On the field on Sundays is where heart and determination will play out no matter how well teams have prepared during the week.

Tennessee (1-1) @ Cincinnati (2-0)

Tennessee will have to get their wide receivers involved if they hope to stay with Cincinnati’s potent offense. TE Delanie Walker is starting with a bang (179 yards and 2 TDs) but QB Jake Locker needs to get WRs Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright and Nate Washington going for continued success. The Bengals will be tough to beat at home with QB Andy Dalton (105.4 QB rating) and RB Giovani Bernard (279 total yards) starting the year off so well.

Baltimore (1-1) @ Cleveland (1-1)

The Browns are the far more passionate team and will be even more so with the backing of their voracious home crowd coming off a big home upset over the Saints. That will be a big advantage over a Baltimore team that still has a shadow hanging over it. Although they played well in a big win over the Steelers last Thursday, the Ravens long break might work against them as bye weeks sometimes do. Once a team gains momentum, it's hard to stop (unless a long Thursday to next Sunday or bye week does it for you).

Green Bay (1-1) @ Detroit (1-1)

There’s going to be plenty fireworks on the field as these two feisty defenses try to contain two powerful passing offenses. Some other targets have to step up and make themselves known for QB Aaron Rodgers to not have to lean too much on WR Jordy Nelson (292 yards and a TD). If WR Randall Cobb can get involved, it’ll open up the offense and go a long way to stay with the always deadly Lions’ connection of QB Matthew Stafford to WR Calvin Johnson.

Dallas (1-1) @ St. Louis (1-1)

The only chance the Rams have in this game is if the young and talented defensive line erupts and takes over the game. They haven’t made their presence felt and there is no greater need with the offense on QB3. The Cowboys’ RB DeMarco Murray has had a dominating start (285 yards, 2 TDs) and QB Tony Romo still has plenty of talent to still dazzle.

Oakland (0-2) @ New England (1-1)

The Patriots have been leaning on their 4th ranked pass defense do far this year but you have to believe that QB Tom Brady and the offense will find their groove sooner than later. The Raiders’ influx of veteran talent hasn’t had much of an impact yet, but their pass defense is ranked third. This will be a close game all the way but that old Brady magic should reveal itself and prevail.

Minnesota (1-1) @ New Orleans (0-2)

It's desperation time for the Saints if they want to hold on to their playoff expectations (and my own NFC Champion prediction…sigh). They shouldn't really panic given their talent level and quality coaching, but they have got to find a way to fix things on both sides of the ball in friendly confines of the SuperDome. They also have to tighten up their league-worst pass defense or the Viking will find a way to take advantage.

Houston (2-0) @ NY Giants (0-2)

Houston RB Arian Foster has been carrying the team to a surprising 2-0 record as the passing attack has lagged behind under new starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. When an undrafted TE (Larry Donnell) is keying the Giants offense, you know that they’re not reaching their potential. QB Eli Manning has thrown 4 interceptions and currently has a 69.2 QB rating. If he doesn’t get others involved and up his game, it’s going to be another long season for New York.

Washington (1-1) @ Philadelphia (2-0)

D.C. fans can thank the Mike Shanahan regime for drafting QB Kirk Cousins along with the injury-prone Robert Griffin III. It keeps paying off as Cousins’ NFL-ready college program at Michigan State prepared him well and I would say the offense is better in a lot of ways with him. He doesn’t have the skill that RGIII has on broken plays (making throws on the run, gaining yards on the ground) but his pocket poise and accuracy are much more important for and NFL quarterback with lightening fast defensive players throughout the league.

Indianapolis (0-2) @ Jacksonville (0-2)

Indy is in much the same boat as the Saints. They expect to be in the playoffs and do well. Things just haven't been right on either side of the ball in the first two games. Jacksonville is the perfect team (sorry guys) to get things going the right way. The defense has been a weak point, but the offense also needs to get more out of the running game to balance out the offense to take some pressure off QB Andrew Luck.

San Francisco (1-1) @ Arizona (2-0)

This is Arizona's chance to take what's theirs and keep one of their talented and tough rivals (the other being the champion Seahawks) from setting things back. With QB Carson Palmer's nerve issue in his throwing shoulder sidelining him, head coach Bruce Arians will have to pull all the tricks out of the playbook and the defense will have to play mistake-free to keep San Francisco at bay.

Kansas City (0-2) @ Miami (1-1)

The Chiefs’ issues this season have been offensive. They haven’t been able to get the running game going due to RB Jamaal Charles’ injuries which is vital to a ball-control efficiency-based offense like Kansas City runs. The good thing for them is that Miami has had the same kind of trouble aside from a dominating performance in the opener from RB Knowshon Moreno. Moreno will be out and Charles’ backup Knile Davis has the ability to bust out a big performance if needed. Whoever can right the wrongs on offense will win this game.

Denver (2-0) @ Seattle (1-1)

The Chargers defense swarmed the Seattle offensive line last week and achieved consistent penetration. They were also fearless in the passing game and didn’t shy away from attacking CB Richard Sherman’s side of the field with solid results. The Broncos will be up for this game like none other this regular season and you can take it to the bank that QB Peyton Manning will have pride on the line after playing so poorly in their loss to Seattle in Super Bowl 48.

Pittsburgh (1-1) @ Carolina (2-0)

This should be an evenly matched game. If the Panthers have all their guys back from injury in the running attack, they have a good chance to win because the Steelers’ run defense is the weak point at this point in the season. It’ll likely come down to how many plays QB Ben Roethlisberger can make for the Steelers versus how many QB Cam Newton can make for the Panthers.

Chicago (1-1) @ NY Jets (1-1)

I have a feeling the Bears will erupt for a big offensive game. Yes the Jets are run defenders in the league, but that’s not really the Bears’ strong suit anyway. They are perfectly capable, but Matt Forte can just as easily catch swings passes and play-action routes (they aren’t a big screening team) as he can taking a hand-off. It’s a shame the defense lost it’s leader CB Charles “Peanut” Tillman to injury for the season. But rookie replacement CB Kyle Fuller has played great so far (2 INTs) and should be solid against a Jets receiving corp that is one of the league’s weakest.

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ChatNFL.com Just Wants to Talk About Football

Given it's only two games in, but the Bills, Texans and Cardinals are all alone atop their divisons. It's not too surprising with the Cardinals (10-6 in 2013), but backup QB Drew Stanton surprisingly was able to keep the offense together (no turnovers, although he turned in a 66.3 QB rating) against a Giants team that seems destined for a high draft pick in 2015. Eli Manning just can't get past the turnovers…

The Bills were carried by C.J. Spiller (102 yard kickoff return, 78 run/receiving yards) and rookie WR Sammy Watkins (8 rec, 117 yards and a TD). They took down the Miami Dolphins who just last week took down the Patriots by double-digits, so they are riding high on confidence to say the least. They're just young and naïve enough to make a legitimate run at the AFC East. The young defense (4 sacks, Int) kept Miami out of scoring range for a resounding 29-10 win.

The Texans used an efficient and balanced approach to reach 2-0 thanks to the mistake-free play of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (2 TDs) and Arian Foster's clock-controlling 138 yards and a score. Oakland's 4 turnovers doomed them to remain winless.

The Saints lost another close one against a Cleveland team that would be outplayed in front of their home crowd. The steady commitment to the running game (122 yards on 30 rushes) controlled the clock and the highly skilled young secondary held Drew Brees and the potent aerial attack of New Orleans to just 223 yards. That coupled with 2 turnovers (one a pick-six by safety Tashaun Gipson) was enough to drop the Saints to a very surprising 0-2.

In our nation's capital, once again RGIII goes down due to injury and once again QB Kirk Cousins plays great in his stead and leads Washington to a dominating 41-10 victory over the Jaguars. The D.C. running game was key in playing keep-away as the team possessed the ball for almost double the time Jacksonville had it. That is an easy recipe for victory when you add in Cousins' 109.4 rated 2 TD performance.

In yet another example of ball control wins, the Chargers stole a win from Seattle by netting a 25:30 time of possession advantage. They only gained 101 yards on 37 rushes, but tallied 26 first downs compared to the Seahawks' 14. The Chargers' ageless TE Antonio Gates keyed the offense catching every ball thrown his way to the tune of 96 yards and 3 touchdowns.

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NFL Week 2 Preview

September 11th 2014 23:40
NFL Week 2 Preview

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore - The Steelers will look to tune up their defense as the Ravens try to fix some things offensively in Thursday night's matchup of division rivals. The Ravens will have to overcome the mess of the Ray Rice situation and focus on a very tough Steelers team hungrily eyeing a return to the playoffs this season. I'll give Pittsburgh the edge as Baltimore has more stressful pressure to not start of an already rough year 0-2.

Miami @ Buffalo - Both teams are coming off unexpected wins (especially Miami) and both teams are very hungry for a successful season which neither has had for quite some time. Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno was a free agency steal and should have another big day on the fast turf at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Buffalo offense did a lot of good things they can build on and the defense looks sharp and intense. The Bills' new owners the Pegula's (also owners of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres) will have an exciting home opener to watch with their record $1.4 billion investment.

Atlanta @ Cincinnati - This should be another high-scoring shoot-out for Atlanta who had a great win last weekend against division rival New Orleans to help take the bad taste out from last season's shortcomings. Cincinnati will be full of confidence after finally beating the Ravens on their home turf. It'll be a close exciting game dictated by who can get the most turnovers.

New Orleans @ Cleveland - The Falcons put up a ton of yards and TDs through the air against the Saints D who obviously didn't expect a career game from QB Matt Ryan. They'll have an easier time on defense against the Browns but the Cleveland defense has plenty of stopping power, especially in the secondary. This should be a win for New Orleans but it will not be easy.

Dallas @ Tennessee - The Titans had a commanding win last week against Kansas City, a 2013 playoff team. They will carry that high which will be amplified by the home crowd as the Cowboys come to town with a caravan of doubters trailing. Tony Romo threw 3 costly picks last weekend against San Francisco that he'll be looking to redeem himself for. The Titans defense isn't quite as good as the Chiefs' poor offensive performance would indicate. This should be a close one.

New England @ Minnesota - If Adrian Peterson is allowed to run wild, the Vikings should be able to control the tempo and can beat the visiting Patriots. Given that New England gave up 191 yards on the ground last week to Miami, Tom Brady and the offense going to have to score quick in hopes that Minnesota will panic and try to keep up through the air.

Arizona @ NY Giants - I think retired Giants OC Kevin Gilbride never got the credit he deserved in the Giants' success. If the Giants can't crack the 200 yard mark of total offense, this season will be much worse than last and lots of changes will come on the coaching staff. NY will have to play mistake free football to get by this rising and well-balanced Cardinals squad.

Jacksonville @ Washington - Without a lot of veteran leadership on both teams, this contest between winless teams will come down to the coaches' ability to pump up the troops. That edge goes to Gus Bradley and the Jaguars as Jay Gruden does his best work as a play-calling / strategy guy.

Detroit @ Carolina - Cam Newton will return for a passing duel with Lions' QB Matthew Stafford. And as well as the Panthers played last week in their win against Tampa Bay, they just don't have the deadly weapons that Detroit has. The Lions' passing attack will be too much for the weak Carolina secondary to handle.

Seattle @ San Diego - San Diego gets the best test to see what they're really made of as they host the defending champions. If they can establish the running game and dictate the tempo of the game, they have a chance to stay with the Seahawks. But Seattle will magnify any mistakes made on either side of the ball, that is their greatest strength.

St. Louis @ Tampa Bay - The Bucs will be champing at the bit to unleash the passing attack that fell flat last week as the Rams will be in danger of deflating even more given they're on QB3 now. The young St. Louis defense is good but not good enough to win games for them yet.

Kansas City @ Denver - The worse thing for the Chiefs offense coming off an anemic performance is having to go into Denver to try to keep up with Peyton Manning and his crew of excellence. The defense will likely benefit from a commanding lead most of the game to enable testing some creative blitzes and coverages to use for their Super Bowl run. Sorry K.C.

NY Jets @ Green Bay - The Raiders' meager 25 rushing against the Jets defense last week should be bested by the Packers' RB Eddie Lacey fairly quickly. Given they'll have QB Aaron Rodgers to think about, Rex Ryan's D won't be able to load the box as they did facing a rookie QB last week.

Houston @ Oakland - Bad news for rookie Derek Carr having to face DE J.J. Watt and the defense coached by long time league guru Romeo Crennel. Houston's offense can take advantage of the fact that the Raiders' new faces on defense haven't quite gelled together yet.

Chicago @ San Francisco - Niners DE Justin Smith wreaked havoc last week and the offense was very efficient. The Bears offensive line will judge the outcome of the game. Chicago can win if the O line wins their battles in the trenches.

Philadelphia @ Indianapolis - A rare great Monday night matchup will feature high-energy defenses and two offenses that are really becoming enviable around the league. This will come down to the final possession as many games do with Colts QB Andrew Luck involved.

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Underdogs Rule NFL Week 1

September 11th 2014 00:50
Underdogs Rule NFL Week 1

It was a slate of unexpected wins and close games in the NFL's week 1


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Seattle 36, Green Bay 16

September 6th 2014 13:34
Seattle 36, Green Bay 16

The champion Seahawks outplayed the Packers in every phase of the game. They executed their defense and special teams better and the offensive line made every gain count for more. They deftly used Percy Harvin in all phases and had great energy and focus throughout. Their tackling made the powerful Packers offense gain only 4.5 yards per play. Marshawn Lynch had a monster day with 110 bruising yards and 2 touchdowns


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Happy NFL Kickoff Day

September 4th 2014 09:15
Happy NFL Kickoff Day

During the 2013 season, 32% of games played in the NFL were decided by 4 points or less. The days of the blowout are becoming rarer and rarer (just ignore Super Bowl 48 as an anomaly of 21st century NFL football). There are so many teams who can score at will these days that only a handful of teams (mostly in the AFC) have no real claim to playoff hopes


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Madden NFL 15 Review (Standard Edition) on PlayStation 4

Really Long Link
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NFL 2014 PREDICTIONS

August 27th 2014 23:44
NFL 2014 PREDICTIONS

AFC NORTH – The Bengals’ personnel stability will keep them above the Steelers and Ravens


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2014 Fantasy Football Top Picks

August 5th 2014 00:43
2014 Fantasy Football Top Picks

Predicting the fantasy football performers is as hard as picking division and playoff winners, injuries can change everything. But here goes


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2014 AFC SOUTH PREVIEW

August 5th 2014 00:41
2014 AFC SOUTH PREVIEW

Houston Texans
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