SEATTLE SUPER SEAHAWKS

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     Super Bowl XVIII reminded us once again that sometimes these games become blowouts.  I cannot remember a team that dominated Sports #1 Event like the Seattle Seahawks did since the 1980 49er and 1970 Steeler Dynasty Teams Did.  In no way am I comparing the Seahawks to those teams as they have much work to do to reach that level.  However, I think every sports fan in America was taken by surprise with the result of Sunday’s Game (Including all Seattle Fans).  Yes, the line was only 2 Points and the Broncos were favored.  How could they not be?  Peyton Manning, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demariyus Thomas, Knowshon Moreno and all of that offensive talent.  That talent set many NFL records this season.

     Well I guess the old saying Defense wins Championships is really true.  Just like they always say that in Baseball that Pitching wins Championships.  We had an immovable object in this game with the League’s #1 Offense vs. the League’s #1 Defense.  When I look back at all of the previous Super Bowl Champions of years past there truly is one fact that stands out.  The teams that win the Big Dance always have a better than average Defense.  Let us just look at the past few years.  Last year, the Baltimore Ravens had the league’s most vaunted Defense with Ray Lewis and Company.  Before them, both Giants teams that won also had great defenses.  The Patriots teams that won in the past also had great defenses (in spite of their stellar offenses).  The list can go on and on.  The last Offense that I can remember that was on Denver’s level playing in the Super Bowl was the Saint Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf.  However, that Rams team had one of the better defenses as well that season and went unnoticed.  

     The Denver Broncos of 2013 surely set many Offensive Records.  However, the Denver Defense may have been one of the worst ever.  They were ranked at the bottom in almost every category.  So fast forward to the game.  If it was not an omen on that first play from scrimmage when the ball was errantly hiked over Peyton Manning’s head that resulted in a safety, then I don’t know what an omen is.  Then Seattle went ahead 15-0 at halftime and people were like…ok the Broncos can still make a comeback.  I don’t know what coach John Fox said to the troops at halftime…however the players must have been listening to headphones because they came out after the half and let Percy Harvin go 109 yards for a Kickoff Return.  The game was definitely over there.

Seahawks wide receiver Harvin runs for a touchdown on the opening kickoff in the second half against the Broncos during the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford

     The Seattle Seahawks earned this win the old fashioned way.  They played smash mouth Football and totally dominated the line of scrimmage.  Everyone in the media is focusing on how Denver choked and that Peyton Manning can never win the big game.  I seriously do not think anyone is giving Seattle enough credit for what they were able to accomplish, with a sophomore Quarterback no less.  Yes, the Broncos failed to show up.  However, that had more to do with Seattle’s tenacity than a lack of effort from Denver.  Everyone will debate how Peyton Manning is just another Quarterback and thats a debate for another day.  This day needs to be a focus on the Seattle Seahawks and their amazing run to the championship.  I must admit, Im not a Denver fan but I did pick them to win the game.  I was STUNNED!!!

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Ok here we are now, Eli Manning is 2-0 in Super Bowls and Peyton Manning is 1-2.  Does that mean Eli Manning is a better Quarterback than his brother?  Of course not, Football is a team sport.  However, this loss did a lot to damage Peyton’s legacy.  No one will take away what Manning has accomplished and I still rank him in the Top 5 Quarterbacks of all-time.  However, he cannot be #1.  The Seahawks Defense were able to do what no other team did this season.  The Seahawks pressured Manning.  He threw two Interceptions.  He just was not the same player he was all season.  Through all of that, ironically he set a Super Bowl record for completions with 34.  Demariyus Thomas, Peyton’s favorite target in this game also set a record with 13 receptions.  And yes, Julius Thomas dropped quite a few would be first downs.  However, Kudos to Pete Carroll and the Seahawks for an excellent game plan.

IMG_0774 Check out this Tweet from NY’s WFAN.  I think this is perfect of an assessment that has been made regarding Peyton. I am sure there will be many debates in the days to come.  However, I think people need to stop dwelling on the negative (Denver and Peyton Losing) and focus more on the positive  (The Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions).  Wow, I can’t imagine.  I am an Eagles fan and still waiting for the thrill of winning.  Maybe next year.  Ok, well this was a great day for a Seattle and a dark day for Warren Sapp, who reportedly bet 10,000 Dollars on the Broncos.  Even more crazy, Floyd Mayweather bet 10,000,000 Dollars.  Ten Million Beans.  Oh well, thats why I never bet.  Well, stay tuned as I will be monitoring whats in store in the new year for music.

 

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SUPER BOWL PREVIEW: IN MY OWN WORDS

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So here we are…three days before Professional Sports most Prestigious Day.  It has been awhile for me so bear with me as I get reacclimated to the fantastic world of blogging.  One thing I have always enjoyed during my writing career is that there is no right or wrong.  What we have in writing is a matter of opinion.  Some people use educated analysis when forming an opinion as the proponderance of facts is supplied in order to prove a point.  Still, some people chose bias as a way of forming opinion and their way is the only right way.  And then there are those people in the middle who neither have facts or a rooting interest.  One thing is for sure no matter what category you may fall into.  History will be made on Sunday, February 2ND.  There will be a winner and loser in the Super Bowl.  It may be true that the best team wins.  In fact, the better team may lose.  Nonetheless, whichever team wins will be the team that makes more plays than the other.

Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II saw the illustrious Green Bay Packers take the first two crowns.  Of course, they were the legendary Vince Lombardi’s final games as an NFL coach.  There is no coincidence that the title now bears the great name of Vince Lombardi.  In Super Bowl III, the great Joe Namath, quarterback of the New York Jets, predicted a victory over the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts.  The GREAT Johnny Unitas was on the sideline as backup Morrow would begin the game.  After an injury that forced Morrow to leave the game, Johnny U would enter the game trying to lead a come back.  The come back would fall gallantly short and Namath’s prophesy came true.

Over the past 42 Years, the Super Bowl has evolved and has bested itself each year as far as the greatest sporting spectacle in Professional Sports.  During the past 42 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most Super Bowls with a 6-2 record.  The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers are second with 5 wins (San Francisco-5-1/Dallas-5-3).  Dallas and Pittsburgh lead the pack with Eight Appearances a piece.  The Buffalo Bills have the most consecutive appearances with Four, of course losing all four.  The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Minnesota Vikings lead the Super Bowl with a record Four Losses.  Buffalo and Minnesota are both 0-4, while Denver is 2-4.  In all, 28 (18 Franchises) different teams have appeared in a Super Bowl, including teams that have shifted cities.  The Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions are the only four teams to have never appeared in a Super Bowl.  The NFC leads the way with 25 Wins to the AFC’s 22 Wins.

The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers have Eight Appearances in the Super Bowl, which is an NFL record.  With the Denver Broncos advancing to the Super Bowl in 2014, this will be their Seventh Appearance.  With a win this Sunday, the Broncos will take their Super Bowl record to 3-4.  Their first two wins came in their last two Super Bowls behind the arm of Hall of Fame Quarterback John Elway.  Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks are playing in their Second Super Bowl.  They lost their first Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005.  Well, here we are Nine Years later and they will be trying to even their record.  As we look at the big dance, let us take a look at how both teams got to this point.

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DENVER BRONCOS (13-3, 1st Place AFC WEST, BYE, HOME FIELD)

     The Denver Broncos began the 2014 Season with a 9-1 Record and ultimately became the First Seed of the AFC Playoff Teams.  The Broncos, were lead by Peyton Manning in only his second season, as he set NFL records with 5,477 Yards Passing, 55 Touchdowns and a 115.1 Quarterback Rating.  Denver comes into the Super Bowl with the leagues highest scoring offense, with 7,317 Total Yards and 606 Points Scored, which was good enough for an average of 37.6 Points Per Game, exactly ten points more than the second leading scoring offense of the Philadelphia Eagles, who averaged 27.6.  The Broncos also averaged 457 Yards Per Game, an insane number in today’s NFL.

     Meanwhile, Denver was less than the middle of the pack with the league’s 19th Ranked Defense.  Along with Manning’s incredible passing resume, running back Knowshon Moreno had 1,038 Yards Rushing (12th), and had 10 Rushing Touchdowns.  The Broncos prolific offense also featured Demariyus Thomas and Eric Decker with over 85 Receptions, 1,200 Yards Receiving and 11 Touchdowns each.  Add Slot Receiver Wes Welker and all-pro Tight End Julius Thomas, and Denver was a recipe for disaster for any Defense.  During the regular season, the Broncos faced 6 Playoff Teams, winning each game except for losses to the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots.  Of course, they shook that monkey off their back by beating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (13-3, FIRST PLACE NFC WEST, BYE, #1 SEED

     The Seattle Seahawks were not a surprise this season, like they were in 2012.  The Seahawks boasted the League’s Number One Defense while they were Seventeenth in Offense.  The Seahawks were lead by sophomore Quarterback Russell Wilson and Running Back Marshawn Lynch, while boasting a ferocious Defensive Attack.  The Seahawks were also led by the TWELTH MAN, the fans in Seattle as they are referred to.

     The Seahawks faced Five Playoff Teams but also split wins against both the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, who just missed the playoffs by default.  In both of their playoff wins, the Seahawks scored 23 Points and gave up 15 and 17 respectively.  So one would say, wow this is a very dangerous team.

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Ok, so now I will give my early predictions and the reasons why I feel the way I do.  Super Bowl 43 features the Two Number One Seeds in each Conference, the first time this has happened in 20 Years.  In 1993-1994, the Super Bowl featured the Dallas Cowboys against the Buffalo Bills, both Number Ones.  This game will also feature the league’s best offense (Denver Broncos) vs the league’s best defense (Seattle Seahawks).  So, one would say which can stop each other, two immovable objects.  The Broncos Defense was less than spectacular, while the Seahawks Offense was less than average.  So, when looking at these two trends, one of these teams have to give.

     Peyton Manning, no matter how great of a Quarterback he has been in the regular season, will always be judged by how he performs in this Super Bowl.  He is trying to become the first Quarterback to win two Super Bowls with two different franchises.  If Manning wins, he goes to 2-1 in Super Bowls and Solidifies himself as one of the greatest passers of all-time.  If Manning loses, he becomes another Dan Marino.  A Quarterback that has all of the stats, but cannot win the big game.  All of the pressure is on Manning in this game.

     Secondly, Turnovers will be a huge factor in this game as they always are.  Super Bowls are not always pretty as everyones nerves are on high alert.  The Seahawks have the better Defense and were better at creating turnovers in the regular season.  And also, don’t forget the Special Teams Game.  With the Super Bowl traveling to New York (OMG…I am so sorry) I meant New Jersey, this will be the first cold weather Super Bowl in forever. Of course, earlier this week, there was talk of moving the game to another day.  However, it looks as if the Game will take place when its supposed to.  This factor plays into Seattle’s favor.  Seattle is a better suited team for the cold weather.  Let’s face it…Peyton Manning will admit that he is no fan of cold weather.  However, another Manning, Eli has won two Super Bowls, playing in a predominately cold climate.

     Run the Ball.  Everyone will be focused on Peyton Manning and the high flying Denver Offense.  However, don’t forget that the Broncos can pound the rock.  But so can Seattle, with the Number One Bruiser Marshawn Lynch.  Lynch is built for this game.  Nonetheless, Knowshon Moreno will be going back to his home town so he will have enough to play for.  John Fox vs. Pete Carroll.  These are two very genius coaches.  Fox has never won a Super Bowl and neither has Carroll.  However, neither is no stranger to the Big Stage.  Fox took the Carolina Panthers to one drive of beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl years back.  Carroll coached USC to all of those National Championships.

     As we look to Sunday, there are so many factors and stories, as there is ever year this time.  The Super Bowl is the Super Stage.  Everyone is on the Pedestal.  When one looks at this matchup, you would have to agree with the very low point spread.  The Denver Broncos are favored by only two points.  They say Defense wins championships.  However, Seattle had better put up more than 23 points to beat the Broncos.  My gut says the Seahawks eke out an upset.  My brain however, says definitely Denver and Peyton.  This game will be decided on the field, not on paper or by statistics.  So without further a due….

MY EARLY PREDICTION…the 2013 NFL SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS…the DENVER BRONCOS.  The Broncos win this game 28-23.  The Broncos will not put up more than 30, however they will score just enough to beat the Seahawks in a very close and competitive game.  If this was any other team or Quarterback besides Peyton Manning, my bet would be with Seattle.  There is no way that I can bet against Manning after the marvelous record setting season that he has produced.  Manning wins and retires…just a hunch.  Well there ya have it folks, my preview and pick.  So as we get closer to Sunday, I look forward to all of your ideas and analysis.  Till the next time, this is THE BIRD, signing off.  Oh, and on a side note, good luck to all of the participants in the WING BOWL tomorrow back in PHILLY.

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL/NFL NEWS AND NOTES

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HOUSTON TEXANS (2-10)

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-9)

     Hello Fans…It has been a long Hiatus for me on the Blogging Sector but I am back and ready to give you all of the answers to your questions.  I have recently joined Twitter so you can also check out my material @mustaine3651#Twitter.  Anyways, Thursday Night pits two of the NFL’s worst teams.  My number one question would not be who is going to win the game?  However, I would ask how many NFL fans out there will be viewing this game either live or on television.  My guess would be not many.  What baffles me in this game is that the Texans, who have the league’s worst record, are favored in this game which is being played in Jacksonville.  However, the Texans are the more talented team.  Houston along with the Atlanta Falcons have to be the two most disappointing teams this season, as both were easily picked to go far in the playoffs.  Atlanta at one point was even the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  However, injuries and horrible execution has plagued both of these teams.

     First of all, let us take a look at the Texans.  The loss of Arian Foster (one of the premier Running Backs in the league) has been devastating to an offense that is predicated on the Run.  Also, after winning their first two games, Houston has lost 10 Straight Games, a Franchise Record.  The Texans have many holes in their game and deficiencies on both sides of the ball.  For instance, the Texans are ranked number #1 in Total Defense as far as Yards but they are at the bottom when it comes to giving up points.  And when its all said and done, the Final Score is the only thing that matters in the NFL.  The Texans also are an abysmal minus-12 in the Turnover Differential.  During this 10 Game Slide, the Texans have been outscored 151-49 in the Second Half of Games.  Their offense has also been futile as their Starting Quarterback, Matt Schaub, has been benched after a horrible start to the season. He had 8 Touchdowns and 9 Interceptions when he was yanked from the Starting job, with six of the nine interceptions being PICK 6’s.  Case Keenum has been a completely different QB as far as production, throwing 8 TDs/3INT for 1,443 Yards in his first NFL action.  Arian Foster going down was the final nail in the coffin for Houston as he only had 2 100 Yard rushing games before being placed on IR.

     The Jacksonville Jaguars have been a different story.  First of all, you know that your team is doomed when your starting Running Back (Maurice Jones-Drew) has more passing Touchdowns for the season (3) than your starting Quarterback (Blaine Gabbert) who has only (1).  Chad Henne has took over the starting quarterback role and has not been much better posting a 75 QB Rating, 6TD, 10INT, and throwing for 2,319 Yards.  With all of these negative statistics, the Jaguars have somehow managed to win three of their last four games, after some say they were a lock to get the Number# 1 Pick in the Draft next season, which will most likely be Teddy Bridgewater.  Plus, it does not help that the Jaguars are 32nd in Team Offense (DEAD LAST).  They are also at the bottom at 25th in Total Team Defense.  However, they are 29th in points allowed with 352 Points allowed for a 29.3 Point Per Game Average.  However, despite all of these flaws, the Jaguars have somehow managed three wins.

     Ok, onto my pick for this game.  The Texans are favored by 3 Points on the Road.  I am going out on a limb and taking the Jags to win this game in front of their “tiny” crowd.  This game will find the Jaguars win 20-17.  Its ashamed that the league has not adopted an alternate schedule like they have during Sunday Games where they can change the times.  Well, in this case it would be harder as they would have to change the date.  However, I can see the ratings for GLEE being higher tonight than this football game.  Well, most Fantasy Football Leagues begin their playoffs this week.  Good luck to all of those participating and do not second guess your gut.  Too many times I have saw owners try to take the better matchup as opposed to the more consistent lineup and get burned.  Remember Folks, a team could be 11-0 at this point and get bounced out in the first round.  This is why the NFL Fantasy Football realm is so fun.  Its not over till the boy cries wolf.  I would say that so far, Peyton Manning has been the best Fantasy QB, Jamal Charles the best RB, Calvin Johnson the best WR, Jimmy Graham the best Tight End, Steven Gostikowski the best Kicker, and the Kansas City Chiefs the best Defense.  

     Around the league has a few key match ups.  The best game of the week and maybe most important as far as playoff implications go will be the New orleans Saints facing the Carolina Panthers.  Both teams are 9-3 and looking to get first round byes.  As hot as Carolina has been, I believe their run will end this week on the Saints turf, where Drew Brees has been amazing.  The Panthers are the more balanced team, however, the Saints are at home and can outscore just about anyone.  Another key game will be the 7-5 Eagles vs. 7-5 Lions.  The Eagles need a win to keep pace with the Cowboys for the Division Crown in the NFC.  The Lions are in the same boat as they are truing to fend off the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers to win the North.  The Eagles will not totally be able to eliminate Calvin Johnson (MEGATRON); however, if they can limit their mistakes they definitely match up well with the high flying offenses.  This game actually has the chance to be a major shootout.  Finally, the other huge game will be the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.  The 49ers have lost the first game against the Seahawks and are looking to get even.  The 49ers only chance I believe in this game will to be to try and run the ball, pound it and control the clock.  That will be a difficult task against the Seahawks Defense.  We shall see.  This week should go along way in opening the playoff picture.  Finally, Peyton Manning was invited to a wedding this week, in which he politely declined, but he did send an autographed invitation back to the couple.  What a class act by a Player that is having a season for the ages.  Also, lets see if Nick Foles, yes you heard it right, Nick Foles (Eagles QB) can break Peyton’s record of 20 TD’s without an INT to begin the season.  Foles has Nineteen so he only needs two.  It would be great to see Foles do this!

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NFL HALFWAY POINT: Winners, Losers, Fantasy Studs and Duds, Contenders and Pretenders

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     Wow, Time flies when we are having Fun.  Yes, we are officially at that time of the year again where everything gets complicated in the world of sports.  The NBA is back.  The most easy answer to the question: If you were able to pick anyone in the NBA today to build your franchise around…who would it be?  92 Percent of people that were asked this question in a recent poll voted Lebron James.  The NHL is in full swing and the Toronto Maple Leafs are off to the races.  The Philadelphia Flyers on the other hand are creating many angry faces.  The World Series culminates tonight in Boston with Game Six between the Saint Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox.  The Red Sox are hoping to clinch a championship in front of their home town fans for the first time since 1918.  Standing Room Tickets are going for $1,000 on EBAY.  Let us all hope that the Cardinals can win game six and force a Game 7 on Halloween Night.  Don’t forget, there is also a Football Game on Thursday Night with the Cincinnati Bengals playing the Miami Dolphins.  And as this very exciting time comes around again, we are officially at the halfway point of the NFL Season.

     First of all, I would like to analyze the season thus far and give you my list of Winners and Losers.  Well, who would have saw the Kansas City Chiefs going 8-0 after a dreadful 2012 season in which they finished dead last in the NFL.  This is an amazing turnaround.  Yes, many people will argue that Andy Reid stepped into the perfect situation.  However, I would argue that he had better Offensive Superstars in Philly and the one difference maker has been the Chief’s Defense.  Jamal Charles has been nothing less than spectacular.  However, Reid had LeSean McCoy in Philly so one could argue that there is no difference here.  Dwayne Bowe is the Chief’s best wide receiver and he has just been about average.  DeSean Jackson has been and is still one of the best wide receivers in the league.  And Michael Vick, injuries and all, will always be a better Quarterback on paper than Alex Smith.  However, they do not play this game on paper.  Yes, the Chiefs have been efficient on offense, barely turning the ball over, while creating many turnovers on Defense.  The Chiefs are ranked #1 on Defense and have the best turnover ratio.  So the Chiefs take first place on my winner board.

     The Denver Broncos have been nothing less than spectacular.  Peyton Manning leads the entire league with 2,919 Yards Passing, 29 Touchdowns/6 Interceptions/and 119.4 Quarterback Rating.  The Broncos are 7-1, there only loss coming to Peyton’s former team the Indianapolis Colts.  The Broncos are loaded with weapons: Demariyous Thomas (685 Yards-3rd in NFL/6 Touchdowns-9th in NFL), Wes Welker(9 Touchdowns-1st in NFL, 555 Receiving Yards-19th), Eric Decker(669 Yards-6th in NFL/4 Touchdowns-20th NFL) and Julius Thomas(8 Touchdowns-3rd NFL/39 Catches-451 Yards) at the Tight End position.  Take that receiving core and Add Running Back Knowshon Moreno into the mix.  Knowshon Moreno(457 Yards-11th/Touchdowns-8 Rushing/2 Receiving-1st in NFL).  That is a scary bunch of players.  Denver does not have the best Defense, but they have shown they can outscore any opponent, even the Dallas Cowboys who they beat two weeks ago, 51-48.  In that game, Tony Romo threw for over 500 Yards and 5 Touchdowns while the Dallas Offense put up well over 600 Yards of Offense.  No Problem Peyton Manning said, as he lead the Broncos to that winning score.

     The Seattle Seahawks have picked up where they left off in 2012.  The Seahawks are the best team in the NFC with a record of 7-1.  Ironically, the Seahawks only loss also came to the Indianapolis Colts.  Seattle is first place in the NFC West and are probably the most balanced team in the NFL as far as Offense and Defense.  Second Year Quarterback Russell Wilson has a 99.0 Quarterback Rating with 1,628 Yards Passing, 13 TD/4INT and another 339 Yards and 1 Rush TD.  Marshawn Lynch has 601 Rushing Yards and 6 Touchdowns, both good enough for 4th in the League.  Lynch has chipped in another 181 Yards Receiving and a TD through the air.  The Seahawks are Second in Total Defense and 15th in Offense.  However, they have the goods to go far in the playoffs.

    The New Orleans Saints appear like they are back and prepared to shock the NFL.  The Saints are 6-1.  They have the Sixth Ranked Offense and 12th Ranked Defense.  They are Second in creating Turnovers to the Chiefs.  Drew Brees is second to Manning with 19TD/5INT, 2,290 Yards and 109.2 Quarterback Rating.  Star Tight End Jimmy Graham has 40 Receptions for 630 Yards and 8 touchdowns.  He has been unstoppable.  Their Defense has been even more of a surprise.  Right now, the Saints lead the South by 2.5 Games over the surging Carolina Panthers.  This team is actually my sleeper pick to win the Super Bowl.

     The Cincinnati Bengals are my Fifth winner.  This team actually on paper is the most balanced of the list with the 8th Ranked Defense and 9th Ranked Offense.  Andy Dalton is coming into his own and has a legitimate receiving core with AJ Green and Marvin Jones.  Dalton has 183 Completions (Good Enough For 65.5Percent), 16TD/7INT, and 2,249 Yards Passing.  AJ Green is second only to Megatron in receiving yards with 734 and also has 5 Touchdowns.  His counterpart, Marvin Jones had a 4TD game on Sunday and is becoming an extra threat for teams to account for.  Marvin Jones has 379 Yards Receiving and a whopping 7 Touchdowns.  Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard have provided the lightning and thunder in the backfield rushing for over 700 Yards and 5 TD’s.  The Bengals are another dark horse in the league.

     Ok, that is the TOP 5…The Honorable Mention is the Indianapolis Colts (5-2), New England Patriots (6-2), San Francisco 49ers (6-2), Green Bay Packers (5-2) and the Detroit Lions (5-3).  The Colts have beaten the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.  Their two losses have come to the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers, so going by their tough schedule, they appear to be in this race until the end.  Miami and New Orleans are the only tow teams that the Patriots have beaten with winning records.  The Pats have been uncharacteristic on Offense and really are lucky to be leading their Division.  The 49ers have dominated after an early season struggle.  They held Houston to 3 Points, Tennessee to 17, and Jacksonville 10.  I mean, those are three bad teams but their Defense still has been on fire.  Kaepernick and Gore are playing top notch and Anquan Boldin and vernon Davis are having excellent seasons catching the ball.  Their two losses have come to Seattle and Indy.  Green Bay, despite all of their injuries are still leading the Division behind Aaron Rodgers.  And Finally, the Detroit Lions come in as another sleeper in the NFC.  They are 3rd in Total Offense.  Their Defense is 25th.  However, with Calvin Johnson, they are in  every game as they proved this past Sunday beating the Dallas Cowboys in the last minute of the game.

     Ok, now the fun part.  The worst team in the league is definitely the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Jags may go 0-16.  They are 32nd in Offense, worst in the league and 28th on Defense.  The only four teams that have allowed more yards are the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.  Hmmmmm…Notice something ironic.  Three of the Four worst Defenses come out of the NFC East.  When was the last time you remember this division this bad.  The NFC Least is Putrid and I say the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and New York Giants are my next three losers.  These teams have been horrible, none of them performing up to their Talent.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are my Sixth Loser at 2-5.  Pittsburgh has been downright horrible and very inconsistent.  I cannot remember a Steeler’s team that has played this bad in recent memory.  Of Course, rounding up the list of Losers is the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The Buccaneers have been terrible and are the only other team besides the Jaguars without a win.  They even cut their Franchise Quarterback, talk about controversy.  

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     Ok, the halfway point of the season is also a time to analyze the best and worst performers in Fantasy Football.  I will provide a list of the Top 20 Performers Thus Far and this is of course in a PPR League, so some players may be ranked higher than others:

1) Peyton Manning (QB)- 322 Fantasy Points- At this point Manning is on a record setting pace both in Fantasy and on the GridIron.

2) Drew Brees (QB)- 242 Fantasy Points- Brees has been hot as of late, he tossed 5TDs last week.

3) Matt Stafford (QB)- 241 Fantasy Points- Stafford is having another excellent season and now has Reggie Bush along with Megatron.

4) Tony Romo (QB)- 229 Fantasy Points- Romo is having a career year thus far.

5) Aaron Rodgers (QB)- 214 Fantasy Points- Rodgers is always in the Top 5 Every Year.

6) Andy Dalton (QB)- 212 Fantasy Points- Dalton is somewhat of a surprise to be this high on the list.

7) Philip Rivers (QB)- 205 Fantasy Points- Rivers is another Steady Performer Week after Week.

8) Matt Ryan (QB)- 199 Fantasy Points- Ryan has struggled but that is more due to injuries to his weapons.

9) Cam Newton (QB)- 189 Fantasy Points- Newton is having another solid year and has been hot as of late.

10) Jamal Charles (RB)- 187 Fantasy Points- Charles is the First Non Quarterback on the list…thats saying something.

11) Russell Wilson (QB)- 184 Fantasy Points- Wilson is not having a sophomore slump!

12) Andrew Luck (QB)- 180 Fantasy Points- His production may drop off with the loss of Reggie Wayne for the season.

13) Sam Bradford (QB)- 179 Fantasy Points- Bradford was having a stellar year before his season ending injury.

14) Colin Kaepernick (QB)- 170 Fantasy Points- Consistent Performer.

15) Calvin Johnson aka Megatron (WR)- 169 Fantasy Points- Calvin leads all Receivers and don’t forget he missed two games with injuries.

16) RG GriffinIII (QB)- 163 Fantasy Points- Griffin has been hampered by injury.

17) Jay Cutler (QB)- 161 Fantasy Points- Cutler has been out with an injury.

18) Wes Welker (WR)- 159 Fantasy Points- Welker is on the Best Offense with the Best Weapons and still cracks the Top 20.

19) Knoshown Moreno (RB)- 158 Fantasy Points- Moreno is on fire and reaping the benefits of playing with Manning.

20) Dez Bryant (WR)- 155 Fantasy Points- Dez has been the most consistent Receiver week to week.

Now the worst of the worst…not by points but just sheer disappointment…

Marques Colston, Roddy White, Ryan Matthews, Tom Brady, Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, CJ Spiller, Dave Wilson, Miles Austin, Mike Williams, Robert Meachem, Joshua Cribbs, Mike Wallace, Maurice jones-drew, Kembrell Thompkins, Tayvon Austin.

****Best Fantasy Sleeper Picks****

Well, I took Josh Gordon with the very last pick in my draft and he is now my Number Two Receiver.  I would say he is the best.  Other Sleepers include Andy Dalton, Knowshon Moreno, Antonio Gates, Ruben Randel, TY Hilton, and Brandon Gibson.

Now for some of the best Free Agent/Waiver Picks:

Julius Thomas, Terrance Williams, Giovanni Bernard, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright, Chris Clay, Ted Ginn, and Billal Powell.

Ok, last but not least…Contenders and Pretenders:

Contenders- Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions.

Pretenders- New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers.

MVP- Peyton Manning, Offensive MVP-Peyton Manning, Defensive MVP-Tamba Hali, Best WR- Calvin Johnson, Best Running Back- Jamal Charles, Best TE-Jimmy Graham, Best Defense- Houston Texans, Best Kicker- Matt Prater.

****Stay Tuned, I will have my Thursday Pick Tomorrow and I will Reveal My Next Installment, in the meantime…Go Saint Louis!!!!!!!!!!!!

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I love having Thursday Night Football. I remember when we didn’t even have Sunday Night or Thursday Night Football. That is ancient history now. Anyways…here we are already…Thursday Night Week #7.
Thursday Night Football keeps us sports diehards interested as well as entertained. It also keeps Fantasy Football Owners busy, especially when the Bye Weeks arrive. Week #6 was another crazy week in the NFL. The Patriots last minute win, Jacksonville making Manning look human, Seattle’s Dominance, and many more unexpected moments.

So…let us take a look at Tonight’s Matchup

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(5-1, First Place Division)
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(3-3, Third Place Division)
Arizona is 5.5 Point Underdogs to the Seattle Seahawks at home. Arizona is coming off a 32-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, while the Seattle Seahawks beat the tough Tennessee Titans to take the Division Lead. Arizona has played tough on Defense, but their offense remains inconsistent. Carson Palmer is the Quarterback but he has not shown well. The Cardinals also lack any kind of Running Back.
On the other hand, Seattle comes into this game as the most dynamic on offense and defense. They are ranked close to the top on both sides and Marahawn Lynch is running over people. Russell Wilson has picked up where he left off last year. Seattle seems to be an early favorite to go far in the NFC playoffs. Arizona at 3-3 is still very much in this. However, I see the Seahawks winning this game on National TV in easy fashion. My pick…Seattle 24- Arizona 17.

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Stay tuned as I will have the rest of my Week #7 Picks as well as my next installment of Top Positional Players/Teams Post 1990. The next will be the Top 10 Defenses post 1990. We know the 85 Bears, 72 Dolphins, and the Steel Curtain Steelers were some of the best all-time, but there are also some very good defenses that have played since 1990. This should be an interesting piece. Enjoy your Thursday Night Folks…And I will See you Soon.

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NFL PLAYOFFS WEEK #2

Ok…here we are Week #2 of the NFL Playoffs. Andy Reid is well in to his head coaching job for the Kansas City Chiefs. Well, the Eagles have yet to find their man…what else is new? The Eagles search for a new head coach and assistants is going just like me searching for a pair of matching socks in a laundry basket. What are they waiting for…it’s like Jeff Lurie is scared to pull the trigger and make a mistake and get hung by the fans. C’MON ALREADY…pick up the phone, call Bill Cowher, give him control and all the money he wants, tell him he can pick his guys and lets move forward. The longer they wait, the more chance of losing the guy they want. I said it before and I will say it again, the way to go is not a College Coach. Anyways, that’s a discussion for another day. Onto this weeks games. First we have the Ravens with Ray Lewis on the road against the Denver Broncos. The Ravens looked good in their win against the Colts, but that was against a rookie quarterback. Sorry to say it Baltimore, but Ray Lewis career will end on the road in Denver. Peyton Manning is on a role and he wants another ring to tie his brother Eli with two! Denver wins a close one folks. Ok, the other AFC game is the Houston Texans traveling to Foxborough to face the perennial favorites the New England Patriots. Well, I wish I could say that the Texans stood a chance in this game, but I see Tom Brady lighting it up once again. I see the Patriots Defense rising to the occasion as it always does to stop Arian Foster. Another disappointing end to the Texans season. The Patriots win by at least two Touchdowns.

The NFC sees the Green Bay Packers travel across the country to face the San Francisco 49ers. Well the Niners have a rookie Quarterback, but they have a stellar Defense that creates turnovers. The Niners and Colin Kapernick have been inconsistent on offense. Unfortunately, the 49ers Defense will not be able to score more points than Aaron Rodgers which must happen for the Niners to Win. Packers by 10. Finally, we have the upstart surprise Seattle Seahawks going on the road to face the Atlanta Falcons. Normally I would go with the Falcons, but Matt Ryan has been inconsistent in the playoffs. Also, Russell Wilson will be playing much loser this weekend. I like the Hawks running game and ability to go deep. I say Seattle wins a tough won. On that is my quick picks…stay tuned to more analysis.

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NFL PLAYOFFS WEEK #2

Week One of the NFL Playoffs (The Wild Card Round) is in the books. So l went Three out of Four with my picks…missing the boat on the Houston Texans as they took care of the Cincinnati Bengals. I had picked the Bengals to upset the Texans. Oh well, it wouldn’t have mattered because either team will get spanked in the Second Round. Houston is facing the New England Patriots on the road in Fox-borough. The Patriots have been legendary at home in the playoffs and are seeking their fourth Superbowl win in the last 12 years. Tom Brady has many weapons at his disposal, and the last time these two teams met a few weeks back, The Patriots routed Houston making them look like a college team. The Texans began the season as the front runners to go to the Super Bowl, however their season will end this week in New England. This game will be much closer, but in the end Brady and the Patriots will roll. The other AFC game features the Baltimore Ravens visiting the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have win nine games in a row and Peyton Manning is playing like he did in his prime. This game will be much tougher, but in the end the Broncos will be victorious by a field goal. Peyton leads yet another comeback win. Ok, well in the NFC we have the Green Bay Packers visiting the San Francisco 49ers. This game brings back the memories of past rivalries featuring such players as Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Don Majikowski, Sterling Sharpe, Terrell Owens and many more. Well these two teams are a little different. The Packers have the MVP Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the high scoring offense while the 49ers are built on Defense! The 49ers are now lead by the versatile multi talented quarterback Colin Kapernick and star Running Back Frank Gore. As good as the 49ers have been, I am going to take the Packers to win this game and move on to the NFC Championship. In the other game, the Seattle Seahawks go on the road to face the Number 1 Seed Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta has faced much adversity this season despite its top record in the NFC. I say the Pressure is on the Falcons and the Seahawks will be lose after beating Washington on the road. One may say Seattle was lucky as RG3 played most of the game injured and was then knocked out of the game. However, the Seahawks are a resilient team and I am picking them as the upset of the second round. Russell Wilson is playing with a ton of confidence and Marshawn Lynch ran for almost 150 yards again. The Seahawks Defense continues to be dominant. This game will be close, but Seattle pulls it out in the end. So in conclusion, looking ahead to the next round, I have New England, Denver, Seattle and Green Bay moving on to the next round. Stay tuned to more Playoff Analysis. On a side note, the Washington Redskins should be ashamed of themselves as an organization as well as coach Mike Shannahan for letting RG3 play hurt despite the Doctors many orders to not let RG3 play due to a serious injury. As mentioned…stay tuned to the next round.

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2013 NFL PLAYOFFS

Ok…so here we are…the NFL 2012 Playoffs! Wow, it seems like just yesterday I did my post on The Philadelphia Eagles and the fact that every year we as fans anticipate a Superbowl Win. Well, lets just say this season did not work out as well as the Eagles Organization or any of its fans had thought. In fact they had their worst season since 1998 going 4-12. Andy Reid was fired and has since signed a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs with the title of Head Coach and Vice President of Football Operations. We all wish him luck in the AFC. However, I am not just an Eagles fan I am also a Football Fan. And as we move forward…it’s that time of year again where we get to analyze the playoffs and the first week known as Wild Card Weekend starting with Wild Card Saturday. The First Week Byes went to the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos in the AFC and the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC. We will get to those teams at a later date. Today we will analyze the Saturday and Sunday Wildcard Teams. The first game begins in just a bit with the Bengals go on the road to face the Texans. This is two teams going in different directions. Houston started this season at 11-1. However, they struggled down the stretch and lost Home Field throughout the playoffs as well as the Bye. So at 12-4, most people would say that the Texans are the clear favorite in this game. Well, if there is any chance of an upset, the Bengals have the BEST chance to upset. The Bengals have been stellar down the stretch as Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have carried the offense. But it is the Bengals Defense that carries this team. The Houston Texans are also blessed on the Defensive side of the Football. J.J. Watt had 21.5 Sacks and Gino Atkins had 12.5. Together these two players make the best Defensive Tackle Duo in the NFL. On Offense the Texans are lead by the rushing of Arian Foster and Matt Schaub. Schaub has been very inconsistent and probably thanks God every week that he has an awesome Wide Receiver in Andre Johnson. The Bengals on Defense are lead by their pass rush also but their Defensive Backs are very underrated. In this first game I am taking the Bengals to upset. Possibly 24-21. Ok onto the second game. The Minnesota Vikings travel to face the Green Bay Packers in a chilly Lam beau Field! So…we have the perennial MVP favorite and former Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers for the Green Bay Packers facing the NFL rushing leader Adrian Peterson who came 7 yards from breaking The NFL rushing record of Eric Dickerson with 2,097 yards! Not only was he the Rushing King, but he may be this year’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year and also possibly the MVP favorite! Yes that’s right, a lot of people thought that Peterson would lose a step after his season ending knee surgery. It has been anything but that, Peterson has been miraculous. He looks like Earl Campbell in his prime running over and through every one in his way. He has single handedly put the Vikings on his back. Green Bay will get its best Defensive Back inserted into the lineup, as Charles Woodson will suit up for the first time since Week 7. Woodson is a game changer. We know all about the Packers Offensive Assault behind Aaron Rodgers and all those talented receivers and his Tight End. The Vikings also get a Defensive Back, Antoine Winfield back into the lineup which should help. When Winfield went down, Rodgers picked apart the Vikings secondary. Ok, the season series was tied. Peterson rushed for over 400 yards in two games against the Packers. However, this is Green Bay and this is the Playoffs. I am taking Green Bay to beat the Vikings despite a hard fought game and another 100 yard rushing game in this one. Packers win by at least a Touchdown.
Ok, now lets go to the games tomorrow. The Surprising Indianapolis Colts under interim Coach Bruce Aryans will face the Baltimore Ravens. Well, this could be the last hurrah for Ray Lewis as he returns from a regular season ending injury. Never count out the Ravens Defense and their Offense had stepped it up tremendously with Joe Flacco. Ten Colts on the other hand are lead by the Rookie Quarterback Andrew Luck and the reinspired Wide Receiving Corps. Indy has also had a strong Defense. As well as Luck has played…his luck runs out tomorrow as the Ravens win this one 21-17. And finally we have the 2 Most Surprising Playoff Teams. We have the Seattle Seahawks on the Road to face the Washington Redskins. Ok…well both of these teams could have the Rookie of the Year Candidates at Quarterback. RJ 3 has been better than anticipated while Russell Wilson has come out of nowhere to Lead the Seahawks. Washington has a great running game behind Alfred Morris as he was among the NFL rushing leaders all season. RJ3 has been more than incredible Throwing 20 Touchdowns and only Five Interceptions. He also rushed for over 800 yards. RJ3 may be better than all the past prototypical Quarterbacks such as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham and so forth as he is a stellar athlete, but he can also read Defenses. Russell Wilson has been Red Hot! He has thrown for over 3,000 yards on his first season whole throwing 26 Touchdowns and 10 Picks! Combine that with almost 500 more yards and 4 rushing TD’s and we may have the most prolific Rookie Quarterback ever. These two teams feature star QB’s, but they also have good Defenses, especially Seattle. The Seahawks also bolster a Tough Running Game with the Rock Marshawn Lynch. Although the Redskins are favored at home, I am taking the Seattle Seahawks to win a nail biter as they are also my Superbowl pick from the NFC. So to recap…my picks to move on are the Bengals, Packers, Ravens, and Seahawks. Stay tuned to a full review and an analysis on next weeks match ups. BTW, The Eagles better sign a Defensive Minded Coach! Signing off!

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL WEEK #7

Wow. Im just starting to get used to these Thursday Night Games in the NFL. It’s actually really cool because it gives you another option on television…especially with the NHL enduring a lockout and the NBA season yet to get under way. Well tonight’s matchup is an NFC West Division Rivalry Game. The Seattle Seahawks take to the road against division rivals San Francisco. The 49ers have had the most balanced team in the NFL on both sides of the ball thus far….boasting a top defense and a top 10 Offense. However…tonight will be no cake walk. Both teams are 4-2 and the Seahawks are coming off a tremendous game against the New England Patriots. Seattle stunned the Pats at home in one of the biggest upsets so far this year. The 49ers are coming off an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants who were supposed to get eaten apart by San Fran. Instead…the Giants ran and passed their way to a lopsided win against the favored 49ers. San Francisco may have the number 1 total defense, however, Seattle has a better run defense and have truly shut down opposing backs. The 49ers do have Frank Gore, but he is sometimes inconsistent. This season has been so hard to pick thus far, but I have to go and take the 49ers at home in this one as a bounce back win after getting manhandled by the Giants. I also believe this is one of those let down type of situations for Seattle who played their Superbowl last week. Seattle does have Marshawn Lynch and the Quaterback Ron Wilson. Wilson has been an impressive surprise and his number 1 target is Sidney Rice…the former Minnesota star wide receiver. This game will be close but I havta take the 49ers to win and cover. Had San Fran beaten the Giants this would be a trap game situation, but with the 49ers getting embarrassed against the Giants…they will be out for blood. Stay Tuned. Be back in a bit with the MLB playoffs news. Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and The 49ers Defense are must starts. Marshawn Lynch, Ron Wilson, and Rice should all struggle to find the endzone.

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