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NFL Week 4 Preview

September 28th 2014 11:21
NFL Week 4 Preview

NY Giants 45, Washington 14

The Giants came out of their offensive shell and exploded for 449 yards against an overmatched DC team. QB Kirk Cousins was a victim of 5 takeaways by a ferocious Giants defense. DC could not replicate those efforts themselves on defense and Eli Manning tossed 4 touchdowns (ran for another) in a great performance. The offensive line made the difference for the Giants and gelled most of the game for the first time this season. There are always rough adjustments to make with a new offensive, it will be interesting to see if the Giants have gotten past the learning curve and will henceforth be contending for the NFC East.

Packers @ Bears

Neither team can defend the run or run the ball themselves; so the advantage goes to Green Bay with the more explosive group of backs that should be able to get it done. The Packers also get the edge for having a better pass defense and more potential for a game-altering pass rush.

Tennessee @ Indianapolis

The Colts have had trouble defending the pass, but have been having trouble getting the ball to their wide receivers, limiting their big play potential. Indy gets the nod given their more developed and productive offense with a big advantage in playmakers.

Miami vs. Oakland (in London)

Miami RB Lamar Miller finally had a breakout game last weekend and thatís the only thing either of these offenses have going for them. The Dolphins will have to count on that because Oakland has the 4th best pass defense in the league. Whoever can deal with the overseas travel the best will come out ahead.

Detroit @ NY Jets

Defensively, these are the two best teams in the league in terms of yards allowed per game. But the Lions have been allowing only 15 points (tied-2nd in the league) a game and with their far superior passing attack, theyíll take this game.

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh

The Bucs have given up the 2nd most points per game in the league (31.7) and have the worst passing game. With weapons like WR Antonio Brown and RB LeVeon Bell, QB Ben Roethlisberger has what he needs to put a lot of points on the board.

Carolina @ Baltimore

The Ravens have done well defending the run and even if RB DeAngelo Williams returns to action for the Panthers, itíll take a while for rhythm and timing to gel with the offensive line. But if Cam Newton can attack efficiently through the air, they will have the advantage. Iíll say Baltimore wins a close one due to the home field advantage.

Buffalo @ Houston

The Bills are better defensively, especially against the run which is the Texansí strong suit. This will generally be a very close game and will come down to the QBs ability to minimize mistakes. Iíd give the nod to the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for Houston.

Jacksonville @ San Diego

The Chargers will win as the Jaguars are at the bottom of every major defensive category and in the bottom quarter for offense. They will be working solely towards getting QB Blake Bortles ready to make a run at things next season.

Atlanta @ Minnesota

The Falcons have the best passing offense and the Vikings have one of the worse. The same goes for scoring on offense. With Minnesotaís deficiencies in the running game, they wonít be able to play keep-away from Atlantaís QB Matt Ryan and the offense.

Philadelphia @ San Francisco

This will be the game where the Niners will be reeling after. There are major communication and leadership issues on both sides of the ball. Philly has the 2nd best passing attack in the league and San Francisco will not be able to keep up.

New Orleans @ Dallas

These teams are very evenly matched everywhere except in the passing attack. The Saints are superior in the air and by the time the game is over the Cowboys will be wishing they would have kept DeMarcus Ware because their pass rush is non-existent.

New England @ Kansas City

The Pats are the best at defending the pass and that is not Kansas Cityís jam. They just donít have the talent at wideout to create mismatches. If RB Jamaal Charles is back in full force for the Chiefs and QB Alex Smith plays his usual mistake-free ball, the Chiefs will win this in front of their home crowd.

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NFL Week 3 Recap

September 25th 2014 01:15
NFL Week 3 Recap

San Diego 22, Buffalo 10

Either Buffalo didnít want it as much as the Chargers or they wanted it too much and self-destructed. They committed 11 penalties and coupled with San Diego QB Philip Riversí excellent day (131.4 QB rating, 72% completion rate) doomed the Bills to a tough loss at home. The Chargers kept the field by not relenting on the running game. Even though he only gained 2 yards a carry, they still rushed RB Donald Brown 31 times. Now that is smart commitment to the rushing attack to eat up the clock and wear down a defense.

Cincinnati 33, Tennessee 7

The Bengals had less offensive yards and held the ball for less time, but they dominated where it counts, on the scoreboard. The Titans did try to involve their wideouts, it just didnít go well for QB Jake Locker (completed only 8 of 20 passes to them). But to be fair the high winds in Cincy made it hard for both teams.

Baltimore 23, Cleveland 21

Playing with passion and fire can come at a cost for a team filled with young and inexperienced players at key positions. The Ravens are only 2 seasons removed (although minus a lot of key veteran players) from their Super Bowl season and that program strength showed in getting past the feisty Browns. Clevelandís penalties (12 penalties for 94 yards) exposed their weaknesses and revealed a clear path for the coaching staff of a list of things to work on. Mostly poise, awareness and focus.

Detroit 19, Green Bay 7

Green Bay needs to figure out what is wrong with their offense and fast. Detroit held them to 223 total yards and took the victory. Itís not that the Packers canít get their running game going; they averaged a respectable 4.4 a carry. They should have run it more while trying to figure out the passing troubles. The game wasnít the high scoring affair that I along with everyone else watching accepted. The Green Bay defense did their part forcing 3 turnovers by QB Matthew Stafford, the problems are on the other side.

Dallas 34, St. Louis 31

The Rams started out fast (21-0 by the middle of the 2nd quarter) but the Cowboys woke up and the teams went punch for punch until the Cowboys pulled ahead for good in the 4th quarter. Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray were steady and productive with great blocking from the offensive line. The fact that the Rams didnít sack Romo is the most telling statistic to tell that Dallas controlled the game. Rams QB3 turned in a solid performance, but it wasnít enough. And with the Rams fighting amongst themselves on the sidelines, they are destined for a high draft pick in 2015.

New England 16, Oakland 9

Well Brady definitely played better than he has the first two games of the season but it wasnít very magical. The game was mostly field goals but all that matters in the end is the win-loss column. The Pats made the most plays in the end and it was a tight margin. My favorite one was Tom Brady blocking for Stevan Ridley when he reversed his field. Any QB that does that has my instant respect.

New Orleans 20, Minnesota 9

The Saints needed a win and they got it, finally the offense got back on track. Although the Vikings were very smart to try to keep the ball out of QB Drew Breesí hands with a lot of rushing, their 22 attempts only went for 2.7 and wasnít enough to stay competitive in this game.

NY Giants 30, Houston 17

The Giants took a 17-0 lead into the 2nd quarter and didnít let up. The offense finally got on track with QB Eli Manning playing turnover-free football. What helped that effort was great balance in the running game as Rashad Jennings ran for 176 yards on 34 carries. That is the kind of offensive production that will keep the Giants from suffering another poor season. As for the Texans, they were exposed by 3 Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions and his inability to connect with star WR Andre Johnson (only 4 of 11 targets were completions).

Philadelphia 37, Washington 34

There is no dropoff in offensive production between QB Kirk Cousins and RGIII which will lead to some kind of deal next offseason. While they didnít do enough to beat Philly, they were contending the entire game which is very promising for the rest of the season. He was very decisive and appropriately daring with his throws. Another plus for D.C. (and minus for the Eagles) is the fact that scat-back LeSean McCoy was completely neutralized to 22 yards on 19 carries. The highlights of this game would point to D.C. dominating, but they just didnít make enough plays in the 4th quarter. And the 131 yards in penalties really killed their fine play.

Indianapolis 44, Jacksonville 17

The Jaguars came out in the second half with rookie 3rd overall pick QB Blake Bortles replacing Chad Henne and outscored the Colts 17-14. The only problem is that Andrew Luck and the offense had already shredded them in the first half to the tune of 30-0. Jacksonville can take away a hope for the future as Bortles made a very solid play with his arm or legs for every receiver he stared down and poor rookie decision he made. The Colts can take away some offensive confidence and the knowledge that they have two solid, hard-working, fierce, and underrated running backs to continue their march towards the playoffs in Ahmad Bradshaw and the rejuvenated Trent Richardson.

Arizona 23, San Francisco 14

Arizona has officially taken its place as the second best team in the tough NFC West. If they can soundly beat the mighty Niners with their QB2 Drew Stanton completing only 54% of his passes coupled with their losses of personnel on the defense (suspended LB Daryl Washington, injured DT Darnell Dockett and OLB John Abraham). To make things worse for the 49ers, there has already been some arguing amongst the offense and defense as both assign blame to the other for a poor start to their try at a Super Bowl run. Couple that with rumors of Jim Harbaugh being considered for the University of Michigan job and itís a recipe for unfocused disaster the rest of the season for San Francisco.

Kansas City 34, Miami 15

Kansas City figured out their offensive shortcomings on the back of a solid performance by QB Alex Smith (3 TDs 76% completion rate). RB Knile Davis also stepped up for the injured Jamaal Charles and turned in a commanding 132 yards and a score. They will have to keep those good times rolling for the rest of the season if they want another chance at the playoffs.

Seattle 26, Denver 20

Well Peyton and Company didnít get revenge for the Super Bowl 48 embarrassment, but they did get a better picture of where they are in this young season. But as it baffled me when it happened in the offseason, they shouldnít have gotten rid of RB Knowshon Moreno (his current injury status aside). They werenít able to gain yards and control of the pace and tempo of the game due to a lack of rushing options. Manning canít do it all, there needs to be balance. Balance, balance, balance.

Pittsburgh 37, Carolina 19

This was an evenly matched game up to the first part of the third quarter when those fierce traditional Steelersí OLBs attacked and Jarvis Jones sacked and forced a Cam Newton fumble which Jason Worilds recovered for Pittsburgh. A quick minute and a half later and the Steelers were kicking off after an Antonio Brown touchdown strike from Ben Roethlisberger. From there Pittsburgh had the momentum and they didnít let up for a second.

Chicago 27, NY Jets 19

Rookie CB Kyle Fuller is now the prime candidate for Defense Rookie of the Year. He grabbed another interception and helped the defense make the Jets look like sloppy amateurs. They forced 3 turnovers although the Jetsí offense outgained the Bearsí by over 150 total yards. This whole team is in a groove now as QB Jay Cutler turned in a great performance despite being pressured and was sacked 4 times.

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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 Cincinnatiís 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)

Thereís 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, itíll open up the offense and go a long way to stay with the always deadly Lionsí 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 havenít made their presence felt and there is no greater need with the offense on QB3. The Cowboysí 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 Raidersí influx of veteran talent hasnít 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 predictionÖsigh). 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 theyíre not reaching their potential. QB Eli Manning has thrown 4 interceptions and currently has a 69.2 QB rating. If he doesnít get others involved and up his game, itís 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 Cousinsí 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 doesnít 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 Chiefsí issues this season have been offensive. They havenít been able to get the running game going due to RB Jamaal Charlesí 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 Charlesí 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 didnít shy away from attacking CB Richard Shermanís 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 Steelersí run defense is the weak point at this point in the season. Itíll 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 thatís not really the Bearsí strong suit anyway. They are perfectly capable, but Matt Forte can just as easily catch swings passes and play-action routes (they arenít a big screening team) as he can taking a hand-off. Itís a shame the defense lost itís leader CB Charles ďPeanutĒ 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 leagueís weakest.

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Vote 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

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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

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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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August 27th 2014 23:44

AFC NORTH Ė The Bengalsí personnel stability will keep them above the Steelers and Ravens

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