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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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 WEEK 8 RESULTS/FANTASY FALLOUT/THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

So we are at the halfway point of the 2012 NFL Season.  Baseball is over….The Giants are once again World Series Champions, the NBA season is just getting under way, and the NHL is still involved in it’s greedy labor dispute.  That leaves only Football to concentrate on if anyone is counting.  A record number of people are involved in fantasy football this year as well as suicide pools.  This makes the season more exciting….especially when your favorite team is struggling.  I never thought I would say this…I am a DIE HARD PHILADELPHIA EAGLE’S FAN….but I hope that this team loses the rest of it’s games.  They really do need to rebuild from the top on down.  Andy Reid has given this town 14 Strong seasons under the helms as this team’s coach, but the time has come for change.  The Andy Reid Regime needs to be left in the dust.  A rebirth of youth and a new leader is a must in order to get this team to the next level again.  No one can say that Reid was a terrible coach…his record speaks for itself, as well as the 5 NFC Championships and that one Superbowl in 2004.  Yeah that’s right, I said 2004.  That’s almost 10 years ago folks.  We as Eagle’s fans have to move forward and let the past be the past.  I was always a huge Donovan McNabb fan and his records speak for themselves as well, but he will just go down as another good NFL Quarterback that never won the big game.  One can only imagine if McNabb would have had a better fate had Andy Reid surrounded him with more talent in his earlier, younger years.  This team used to be built on the line of scrimmage.  A stud offensive line and a talented defensive line and always a solid secondary.  Brian Dawkins has already been retired this season and Brian Westbrook is next.  This Andy Reid team has left many good memories, but there will always be that hole.  He was never ever able to come true on his promise to bring this city it’s first Superbowl.  As an avid Eagle’s fan…I just think Reid has run his course and wore out his welcome.  His play calling can be described as average at best.  His time management has always been one of the worst.  And he has struggled recently in the area of talent evaluation.  It really is time for a change.  Joe Banner is gone, now Reid must go along with the rest of the front office.  The excuses are inept anymore.  The Juan Castillo’s of the world can no longer be the scapegoat in this town.  Donovan McNabb took a lot of blame when he left this city, but its very hard to pinpoint blame on McNabb without first blaming Reid.  Face It Philly, we need a total overhaul.  And its also time to pull the plug on Michael Vick.  Bring in a fresh GM.  Bring in a hard nose coach that will not take any more bullshit.  Hold the players accountable.  This city needs a Superbowl and it will not come with Reid at the controls.  “Well again…as Reid always says….I must put the players in a better position to make the plays.”  How many more times do we have to hear that.  Ok, well that was my rant lol.  Now to last weeks results.  For the Week my picks went 12-2 and my Fantasy Team won to make me 3-5.  Aaron’s picks went 11-3.  This brings the season point totals to:

Aaron- 71-45

Jason- 68-48.

Aaron is now 5-3 in Fantasy as my team finally had the weekly high score and my team finally came through.  My team is 3-5 and holding on by a thread.  Jason Witten had a career day for me and Peyton Manning continues to be a beast at the Quarterback Position.  Manning definitely puts Denver in the driver seat and they are well on their way to the playoffs.  

Ok Thursday Night Football.  The San Diego Chargers have a dissapointing record thus far at 3-4.  The Kansas City Chiefs are even worse at 1-6.  These two teams have both underperformed, but they always have exciting games.  Of course, they are bitter rivals so that should at least make a story line.  Well, the Chargers are favored by 8 points at home.  I usually shy away from more than touchdown lines with two division rivals going at it.  However, the Chargers are much better than they have played and will be playing in front of a packed Qualcomm Stadium.  Im taking the Chargers 27-13.  Stay tuned to the rest of my picks later in the week as well as Aaron’s.ImageImageNF 

NFL WEEK 5 RESULTS/ THURSDAY NIGHT NFL REVIEW

Week 5 in the NFL was much more in line with the winners as well as the lines. As evidenced by our records…Aaron and I have been neck and neck thus far with our picks. Well after this weeks results…the trend continues. Aaron was 13-1, while I went 11-3. The up to date standings thru week #5 are :
Jason: 44-33
Aaron: 43-34.
Wow…couldn’t be much closer than that. Well Fantasy has been a crapshoot this year. My team won this week, which brought my record to 2-3. Aaron’s team is 3-2…leading the division. Well…you never know…that is what is so fun about the Fantasy realm. It keeps everyone involved…fans get to have fun outside of just the regular game. This brings us to Week #6…and Thursday Night Football. The Pittsburgh Steelers go on the road to far the Tennessee Titans. These games are usually played close but i am taking Pittsburgh on the road because they play good on both lines of scrimmage and control the clock. They played a sloppy game against the Eagles, but yet they were dominant at times. Look for Rothlesberger to have a few Touchdowns and the Steelers should be able to run the ball on the Titans. My pick…Steelers 24- Titans 16.

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