EARLY SUPER BOWL PREDICTION/ EAGLES TOP PRIORITIES

Well folks, the Super Bowl is still two weeks away and a lot can change in fifteen minutes…just ask GEICO. My pick for the Super Bowl before this season was of course The Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. Yes, every year I think it’s Philly’s year to win the Big One. Those hopes faded fast in what has turned out to be one of the worst Eagles seasons in recent memory, which led to the firing of its all time winningest coach Andy Reid. Andy was great in Philly, but enough is enough and it is time to move on. Anyways, when the playoff teams were seeded, my early pick for the Super Bowl was the Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos. Well, both the Seahawks and Broncos lost in last minute fashion so that also went out the window.

This brings us to now. The two teams that are left standing are the surprise San Francisco 49ers (who lost the NFC Championship game a year ago) and the Baltimore Ravens who some experts did have reaching the big dance at the beginning of the year. A real quick analysis of this game and my prediction to follow. Both of these teams come into the game being coached by Brother’s John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh making this the Super Baugh…lol. Secondly, both of these teams are predicated on tough defense and a strong running game. Lets break it down by position. At Quarterback, we have Joe Flacco for the Baltimore Ravens who has come into his own the past few years and developed into a solid Signal Caller. On the other side, the 49ers will be led by Colin Kapernick, an amazing story in itself, who will be making his tenth NFL start in the Super Bowl. I like Kapernick’s pocket presence and skill set but the advantage definitely goes to Flacco and the Ravens.

At Running Back, the Ravens are powered by perennial all-pro Ray Rice who is capable of carrying the team in his shoulders by himself. However, Do not underestimate Frank Gore for the 49ers, who when healthy, is capable of putting up huge numbers. Slight advantage Ravens but not by much. In the Receiving/Tight End set the Ravens are fueled by Tory Smith and giant receiver Anquan Boldin. The 49ers have a few star receivers to go along with veteran Randy Moss, who could be an xfactor. The 49ers trump the Ravens on this side of the ball if Vernon Davis decides to bring his AGAME. Advantage 49ers. On Defense, these two teams play different styles but have similar results. I think both defenses are good but once again, the XFACTOR here is Ray Lewis. Ray is on a mission in his last season to go out with a bang. Advantage Ravens. The Special Teams on these teams are even. So this brings us to the intangibles…both Harbaugh’s are smart but John has more playoff experience and I always believe that is an important area to look at when analyzing these big game match ups.

Ok…so this brings me to my pick. I feel that this Super Bowl will be a competitive game with a lot of hard hitting, tough running, and some exciting offensive plays. I do not see this game becoming a blow out like many of these contests of the past, the two defenses are just too good. I am going to say that the Baltimore Ravens will win the Super Bowl 27-23 in a very close game…both teams will show heart and in the end the better team will come out on top, as Ray Lewis goes out with a bang. Real Quick, Pop Star Beyonce will be performing the Halftime Show and 50 contestants will be picked to join her on stage. This should be quite a scene and I am looking forward to that.

Now into the state of the Eagles. With the hiring if Chip Kelly, it’s obvious that the Eagles are looking to mirror the rest of the league in becoming a quick strike high powered offense. Well, my argument as always has been that the Eagles have been pretty decent in Offense the past few years, last year as an exception, but that had to do with the offensive line debacle in an injury plagued season. I have said it before, and I will say it again, I do not care if Tom Brady had played behind the Eagles line instead of Michael Vick, the team still would have ended up with the same record.

No, my argument with this team is consistently on the Defensive Side of the ball where they have no identity. Well, they can quickly fix this in the draft with their first three picks. The Eagles have the Fourth Pick in the First Round. If I were the Eagles, I would jump at the chance to draft Jarvis Jones, OLB from Georgia with the Fourth Pick. He is a special player that would bring not only leadership on the field, but also in the locker room. He is a DEFENSIVE PLAYMAKER. Seriously, he is a low risk, high reward pick as many analysts say he could be the top impact player in the entire draft. Ok second move, cut Nhamdi Asamough and cut your losses. In the second round, I am taking local Rutgers product Logan Ryan. Not only is Ryan big, tough, and physical, but he also has the speed to be a shut down corner. This is what the Eagles need that they never got from Nhamdi. Thirdly, I’m taking Free Safety D.J. Swearinger out of South Carolina who can cover, but he hits like a Brian Dawkins. I repeat, this is what the Eagles need, true playmakers that make a difference on Defense.

On offense, they have LeSean McCoy who is already a top 3 RB in the NFL. They just need to use him. They will be getting their star Offensive Tackle back from injury and some other key components to their OLine. Mix in a free agent or two and I think you sure up this position. At receiver, the Eagles still have talent with DJAX and Jeremy Maclin. They also have Jason Avant who I believe is underrated and underused. Wether they stick with Michael Vick one more year or go to Nick Foles, this offense can put up some points. It’s the Defense that has failed is year in and year out. Stay Tuned.

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EAGLES 2013 AND BEYOND

Well we all new this was coming except for the few pessimists that were out there saying that Jeff Lurie would not fire Andy Reid. Well, according to a variety of posts, he was actually informed Friday by the Team that Today would be his last game as the Eagle’s head coach. I know many Die Hard Eagles fans do not like Andy Reid one bit. They cite his failure to Win a Superbowl, His failure as a parent, and his misuse of clock management. Ok.. True all of those statements are fact, however I am choosing to take the high road here. I mean this team was Good for a long time and really did not go downhill until Jim Johnson passed away. Since Johnson’s untimely death, the Eagles have went through Four Defensive Coordinators and lost countless veteran leaders on the Defensive side of the ball. How many of you are wishing that we kept Asante Samuel. How many of you wish that they had hired a true Defensive Coordinator instead if turning an offensive coach over to run a young inexperienced defense. And WE ALL agree that it was a travesty the day that they let Brian Dawkins walk out the door. There will be debates for
Years how the Eagles failed to surround Donovan McNabb with much talent until the 2004 season when they went against the grain and signed Terrell Owens. T.O. as he was known was an awesome player with a bad attitude and a tremendous work ethic. Unfortunately the marriage only lasted a year and a half. Who knows what results the Eagles could have had if they had kept Terrell Owens and if Donovan McNabb was not such a baby. They had tremendous chemistry. It may have worked out different but that is all hindsight 20/20 now at this point. Lets not forget the facts. Yes Andy Reid struggled badly these past few years, but the last time I looked the players still had to execute. Andy always took the blame wether it really was his fault or not. This was a bad way to coach. We would hear “I have to put my players in a better position to make plays…I must do a better job” after every loss or bad game. I am not saying that a coach should throw his players under the bus but C’MON! Enough is Enough! Nhamdi Asomuagh may be the worst signing the Eagles ever made. He is old and way overrated. It showed more this year with the horrible Defense around him. The real undoing of Andy Reid will always be his Loyalty! That might sound like a weird statement but I believe his total loyalty to the Franchise and his players, that they could do no wrong was the real reason that Andy did not have success in Winning a Superbowl. As mentioned…Defense wins Championships! I mean look at the Patriots…they have the top offense on the NFL most seasons but the years that they won the Superbowl they also had a Top 10 Defense. So A) We need a Defensive minded Coach like Bill Cowher in the future. B) We need a Stud Defensive Coordinator. C) The Eagles must abandon the selfishness of Andy Reid and this non version of the West Coast Offense. We have a star tailback, now we must revamp the offensive line and get back to running the ball…pound the ball like the Ravens and Steelers, who every year are in the hunt with offenses that most years have been mediocre. So I say, on this day when the Eagles finished the season at 4-12…please fans…don’t be idiots and mock or blame Andy for not winning a Superbowl. Lets remember how Donovan McNabb never rose to the occasion. And more importantly, lets not forget that the Eagles have never truly been contenders since Jim Johnson passed away. Yes Andy you failed…but no one can say he was a terrible coach. He is not a great coach but that has more to do with his stubbornness in play calling than anything. Let us Die Hard Eagles fans hope that Jeff Lurie makes the right decision with whatever new coach they bring in and let’s also get new coordinators. It starts at the TOP! Eagles…you quit from day one. You have no heart. We need many new players. 2013 can only bring hope!

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NFL WEEK 6 RESULTS/FANTASY FALLOUT/INJURIES

Week 6 has come and gone! Thus far, this season had been the craziest one in recent memory. Underdogs are winning at a much greater pace, which is making it very difficult when picking winners and losers and even the spreads are out of whack. Nonetheless…us Football pundits cannot stop the urge to pick each week and join Vegas in the fun. Ok…Well after a stellar week last week, Aaron and I had a difficult time as we both went 6-7 with the spreads and that brings our season totals to:
Jason: 50-40
Aaron: 49-41.
You cannot get closer than that. Needless to say…we were both wrong about the Patriots, Eagles, Texans, and Vikings. We had all these teams winning and none of them came close to sniffing a win. We also had the Colts upsetting the Jets which did not happen. So as mentioned…this season is going crazy and could end up totally different at the end and going into the playoffs.
The Baltimore Ravens barely squeaked by the Dallas Cowboys after having a 10 point lead at halftime almost slip away. However…they received some terrible injury news as both Pro-Bowl
And future Hall of Fame Linebacker Ray Lewis and Pro-Bowl Cornerback Ladarius Webb are out for the season. Webb tore his ACL and was put on injured reserve today and Lewis tore his triceps muscle. Haloti Nhada also was injured in the game, but it is not clear how much time he will miss. This is a huge blow to a Baltimore Defense that is always at the top of the NFL in statistics and you definitely can’t replace Lewis’ Leadership on the field…especially amongst the younger players. The Ravens did receive some good news as Terrell Suggs was taken off the PUP list and will officially practice this week. Baltimore is still in trouble and mat want to focus more on containing the clock with a consistent running back instead of their all around Arial Assault.
In other league news…The Philadelphia Eagles fired their defensive coordinator Juan Castilla on Tuesday. The Eagles team, which was expected to compete for a Superbowl has been inconsistent at best and have made so many mistakes. Where to start…Andy Reid (as good a coach he has been for the past 15 years) is a weak game strategist and their game plans seem to get worse and worse each week. Reid is so stubborn and will never commit to a consistent ground game. They have one if the most talented all purpose Running Backs in LeSean McCoy an they don’t even use him. It is unacceptable for a team to drop back and pass the ball 60 x a game…especially when their offensive line is absolutely pathetic. Michael Vick has not been great, but I don’t know too many quarterbacks that would play much better considering the pressure and duress that he has been under all season. It really is a travesty…the Eagles high power offense has been under seige. While the offense continues to play horrible, the defense has not fared much better. They have went 3 consecutive games without a sack, which is the first time that has happened since 1983! Wow! 1983! And their defensive game plan had fallen apart in the fourth quarter of every game. Today…Juan Castilla was fired (he’s obviously a scapegoat) and there may be more changes coming. If I were Jeff Lurie…I would fire Reid and get rid of Vick. I would also get rid of Joe Banner who hasn’t made a good decision in forever. This team needs a new identity and a coach that can get respect of the team. Reid ha lost this team. Stay Tuned.
Well, well, well another Patriots Loss! This time to the very young Seattle Seahawks team. One thing is for sure…mediocre offenses are scoring at will against the Patriots defense. I can see Bellichek switching it up and this team will come around. Bellichek is the Anti-Reid as he is the best game plan manager in Football and holds his entire team accountable. The Houston Texans were destroyed by Aaron Rodgers, who had a career high 6 touchdown passes, and the Green Bay Packers. The Broncos came back from a 24-0 point halftime deficit to win 35-24! Wow…never count Peyton Manning out.
Onto Fantasy…my team lost another close one and this week I head into a tough week as both of my Quarterbacks are on the bye. I’m scouring the waiver wire now for talent. So now I sit at 2-4. Aaron on the other hand won again and leads the league in power rankings. Fantasy Football has been just like the regular league…so hard to predict. It’s going to come down to the wire because each week their is a different set of superstars as well as scenarios and circumstances. Coming soon…Thursday Night Pick and waiver wire steals and duds. These are the weeks that make and break many fantasy owner’s seasons with injuries mounting and byes being taken. Oh well…hopefully we can get some mire consistency.

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