Monday, October 29, 2012

San Francisco Giants Win 2012 World Series

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Closer Sergio Romo celebrates with catcher Buster Posey after
striking out Miguel Cabrera to win the World Series.

For the second time in the last three seasons, the San Francisco Giants have won the World Series. It was a long and unpredictable season for the Giants, who overcame many obstacles on their way. After facing six elimination games in the first two series, the World Series champs unloaded on the Detroit Tigers and were able to sweep them in four games.

The path to the World Series was an emotional and physical roller coaster for the Giants. When the team lost Brian Wilson to Tommy John surgery at the start of the season, many wrote off the team immediately. When Tim Lincecum collapsed this season as a starting pitcher, analysts thought the team was doomed. When the Dodgers started off red hot and claimed an early division lead, critics believed they had the NL West wrapped up easily with no faith in the Giants. Nobody believed in the Giants besides the dedicated fans in San Francisco, but what mattered most to this team was that the players believed in each other. When they were down to their final games, they motivated each other by saying how they wanted to keep playing with each other. And in the end, that motivation was enough to propel this team to a World Series victory.

With Buster Posey back in the lineup this year, the team knew they could accomplish anything. Posey, arguably the team's best player, returned this year after missing most of last season after seriously injuring himself in a home plate collision. Posey put up MVP numbers this season, hitting .336 with 24 home runs and 103 RBI's. The 25 year-old slugger also finished 3rd in Slugging % and 2nd in OPS. Posey hit three home runs this postseason, including one in Game Four that gave the Giants a 3-2 lead.

Another influential player for the Giants in the regular season was Melky Cabrera. Cabrera exploded this season and led the MLB in batting average. He was a first time all-star, and even won All-Star Game MVP. Melky's season ended earlier than he had wished though, when the MLB discovered that he had taking PED's. Cabrera was suspended 50 games, while he asked to take his name off the batting title. When Cabrera's suspension was over, the Giants still decided to keep him off the playoff roster. Despite Melky's effort in the regular season to propel the team to first place, his terrible decision to take PED's clearly had a greater impact on the Giants.

With Melky out, they shifted Gregor Blanco to left and threw Angel Pagan in center. 
The Giants decided to bring in more bat support so they traded for slugger Hunter Pence to fill the final outfield spot. Pence had a solid season, driving in over 100 RBI's. Blanco and Pagan added both solid bats, but more importantly, outstanding fielding. It was Blanco who had a diving catch early in the season to preserve Matt Cain's perfect game.

But which San Fran slugger deserves to be talked more about than the Kung-Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval? Sandoval had a subpar regular season, but exploded in the postseason. He hit .364 with six home runs and 13 RBI's in 16 games. Sandoval's World Series performance will go down as one of the best of all-time. The 2012 World Series MVP went 8-16 with three home runs to lead the Giants to victory. His Game One performance, which included three home runs, has only been done three other times in MLB history.

The Giants wouldn't have won the World Series if it weren't for their pitching rotation. The rotation owned the Tigers, allowing just six runs in 37 innings. In Game One, Barry Zito out-duled reigning Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander. Zito allowed just two runs, setting up the Giants for a victory. In Game Two, Madison Bumgarner pitched a game for the ages. Bumgarner allowed just two hits in seven innings, while striking out eight batters. His dominance out-shined opposing pitcher Doug Fister, who allowed just one run in six innings. In Game Three, Ryan Vogelsong continued his postseason dominance with another shutout. This put the Giants up 3-0 with their best pitcher, Matt Cain, set to pitch the final game. Cain went 16-5 in the regular season and is likely to finish in the top five for the  NL Cy Young award.  Cain pitched seven innings and allowed just three runs to be scored in Game Four.

Aren't we missing someone though? Oh right, Tim Lincecum. After a disappointing regular season as a starting pitcher, Lincecum found his niche as a reliever this postseason. Lincecum was lights out against the Tigers, as he set up the perfect bridge to connect San Francisco's starting pitchers to closer Sergio Romo. And that's what brings this team full circle. They say a team is a strong as its weakest link, so Romo made sure that the Giants wouldn't lack a key closer. Romo appeared in 10 games this postseason, but only allowed one run. He made Giants fans forget all about Brian Wilson, as he struck out the side to clinch the World Series.

What's great about baseball is the fact that the underdog can win. In the NBA, only eight teams have won championships over the past 20 years. Similar to how a hockey playoff team really depends on its goaltending, a baseball playoff team relies on its starting pitching. The Tigers were able to shutdown the Yankees' bats in the ALCS, but then had their own bats strikeout in four consecutive games. The Giants knew they could win it all this year and that's all that mattered to them. Congrats to the World Series champions!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NFL Week 8 Predictions

(AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Suchat Pederson)
Can Michael Vick help the Eagles defeat his former team?

Panthers vs. Bears: 24-13 Bears

Don't care if this is a short week for the Bears. They are arguably the best team in the league and might  make Cam Newton cry on Sunday. Only chance the Panthers have in this game is if Cam Newton throws for 300 yards and runs for another 100 on the Bears' defense. That being said, Bears are a lock.

Chargers vs. Browns: 31-23 Chargers

Hopefully San Diego re-charged on their bye week and prepared for the Browns. There is no excuse for a team competing for a division title to lose to Cleveland. With Norv Turner's job possibly on the line, I like the Chargers to pull this one out.

Seahawks vs. Lions: 24-10 Seahawks

The Lions looked dead on Monday night last week. It seems like they have thrown in the towel already. The Seahawks' defense should continue to wreak havoc on the struggling Lions' offense. Seahawks win, even though they are on the road.

Jaguars vs. Packers: 42-10 Packers


Colts vs. Titans: 27-23 Colts

Why is everyone so high on the Titans? I honestly think they are one of the worst teams in the league. The Colts haven't been good on the road, but I think they play tough against Tennessee. If Indianapolis can handle the Titans' inconsistent offense, they should win this game.

Patriots vs. Rams: 35-21 Patriots

With the game being played in Wembley Stadium, London, both teams will have to adjust to the time difference. Even though the Rams have exceeded expectations this season, they will fall to the Patriots. Tom Brady simply doesn't mess around with weak defenses.

Dolphins vs. Jets: 24-20 Jets

Last time these two teams played, Dan Carpenter missed field goal after field goal, allowing the Jets to force OT and win the game. Both teams have been decent this season, but the Jets will have a chip on their shoulder playing at home. After a very close loss to New England last week, they will prove that they are still second best in the AFC East.

Falcons vs. Eagles: 27-17 Eagles

Michael Vick vs. his old team. Despite the Falcons' perfect record, they have looked sloppy in their last few games. The Eagles have obviously looked sloppy too, but I like them at home. Plus their is that crazy stat about how Andy Reid is 13-0 following bye weeks. Don't be fooled if the Eagles win the battle of the birds.

Redskins vs. Steelers: 27-23 Redskins

The Steelers still don't impressive me. The Redskins on the other hand, despite a poor record, have exceeded my expectations. RG3 is incredible and shouldn't feel intimidated by the slow and old Steelers' defense. Obviously missing Fred Davis will be a factor for the Redskins, but they can definitely pull off this upset.

Raiders vs. Chiefs: 31-20 Raiders

Some though that the Chiefs would return to form this season, but I always knew they would stink. They don't play defense, don't have a starting quarterback, and have poor coaching. The Raiders haven't been good, but they have at least shown a few teases of how capable they are.

Giants vs. Cowboys: 30-20 Giants

The Giants lost Week 1 to the Cowboys and will use that to fuel themselves to victory. Tom Coughlin loves playing the "nobody believes in us" and "we are are the underdog" card to motivate the Giants to win this game. Plus, Eli is always incredible in October, while Tony Romo's collapse starts to begin... right about now.

Saints vs. Broncos: 32-17 Saints

Call me crazy, but the Saints will beat the Broncos at MileHigh this weekend on Sunday night. The Saints have always been a favorite of mine and I have picked them often this season. Their interim head coach will replace their interim interim head coach, so they are already moving in the right direction.

Niners vs. Cardinals: 21-10 Niners

The Cardinals are all out of gas after starting off the season 4-0. The Niners shut down the Seahawks last week and will continue their in-division dominance with another win on Monday night.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NFL Week 7 Recap

(AP Photo/Andy King)
Adrian Peterson is back, which means the Vikings are back too.
AP rushed for a season high 153 yards in the 21-14 win.

Seahawks vs. Niners: 13-6 Niners
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 103 rush yards
Niners Player of the Week: Frank Gore- 131 rush yards

This defensively dominated game came down to the wire as expected. The Seahawks held a lead for the first half, but allowed the Niners to outscore them 10-0 in the final 30 minutes of the game. Seattle's defense has proved time after time that they can hang with the big boys, but their offense will need to improve if they want to become serious threats.

Titans vs. Bills: 35-34 Titans
Titans Player of the Week: Chris Johnson- 195 rush yards, 2 touchdowns
Bills Player of the Week: Ryan Fitzpatrick- 225 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 109.8 passer rating

Will the real Chris Johnson please come back? Well, fantasy owners of CJ2K finally got their wish. Johnson rushed for a season high 195 yards in the win against the Bills. The Bills led for most of the fourth quarter, but veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck orchestrated a drive with just over a minute left to win the game for the Titans.

Redskins vs. Giants: 27-23 Giants
Redskins Player of the Week: Robert Griffin III- 258 pass yards, 89 rush yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 108.9 passer rating
Giants Player of the Week: Victor Cruz- 7 receptions, 131 receiving yards, touchdown

Let me just say, RG3 can seriously play. Is it almost too far to say that I was actually excited when he burned my Giants to pick up a fourth and long with under three minutes to play? He is exciting and he doesn't play like a rookie. Unfortunately for the Redskins, Eli one-upped Griffin III by throwing a 77 yard touchdown with just a minute left to play in the game.

Browns vs. Colts: 17-13 Colts
Browns Player of the Week: Brandon Weeden- 264 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 96.0 passer rating
Colts Player of the Week: Andrew Luck- 186 pass yards, 2 rush touchdowns, 74.8 passer rating

The Colts barely beat the Browns in one of Sunday's least exciting NFL games. In the loss, the Browns lost rookie running back Trent Richardson to injury. Just when the team was picking up some momentum (fair to say?) they lose their biggest threat.

Packers vs. Rams: 30-20 Packers
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 342 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 132.2 passer rating
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 57 rush yards, touchdown

Rodgers was flawless against the Rams last Sunday, once again throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. The Rams still played well for their standards, and hung on tight until late in the fourth quarter.

Cardinals vs. Vikings: 21-14 Vikings
Cardinals Player of the Week: LaRod Stephens-Howling- 104 rush yards, touchdown
Vikings Player of the Week: Adrian Peterson- 153 rush yards, touchdown

First and foremost, Kyle Rudolph: WHERE YOU AT? The big fella lost my fantasy team another crucial loss by posting a goose egg this weekend. Seriously, a catch for no gain would have tied up my matchup! Anyways, the Vikings bounced back from their loss to the Redskins, as Adrian Peterson rushed for a season hight 153 yards. Seems like the Cardinals' luck has officially run out after starting off the season 4-0.

Saints vs. Bucs: 35-28 Saints
Saints Player of the Week: Drew Brees- 377 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, interception, 130.1 passer rating
Bucs: Player of the Week: Josh Freeman- 420 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 115.2 passer rating

I typed in "Drew Brees" instead of Saints and it didn't even cross my mind as incorrect. Brees again led the Saints to victory, this time throwing for FOUR first half touchdowns. Jonathan Vilma didn't have too great of an impact in his debut, but the Saints are glad he is back nonetheless. Also, credit to Josh Freeman for doing his best to keep up with Brees. Had the touchdown call be allowed, his name would be all over the news this week.

Cowboys vs. Panthers: 19-14 Cowboys
Cowboys Player of the Week: Miles Austin- 5 receptions, 97 receiving yards, touchdown
Panthers Player of the Week: Brandon LaFell- 4 receptions, 53 receiving yards, touchdown

As Cousin Sal said on Bill Simmons' podcast this week, "The Panthers out-Cowboy'd the Cowboys." I couldn't agree with Cousin Sal anymore. This is a game the Panthers should have won. Both teams played like garbage, but the Panthers still outplayed the Cowboys. Cam Newton gets heat for his depressing press conferences, but he is right. Changes need to be made.

Ravens vs. Texans: 43-13 Texans
Ravens Player of the Week: N/A
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 98 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

Wow! The Texans crushed the banged up Ravens. This one wasn't even close midway through the second quarter when the Texans jumped out by 20. Two things learned from this game:
1. JJ Watt and the Texans are the best team in the AFC, hands down.
2. The Ravens are crumbling, and have no shot at a Super Bowl run this year.

Jaguars vs. Raiders: 26-23 Raiders (OT)
Jaguars Player of the Week: Cecil Shorts- 4 receptions, 79 receiving yards, touchdown
Raiders Player of the Week: Carson Palmer- 298 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, interception, 74.4 passer rating

This was not a pretty game to say the least. The Jaguars lost Blaine Gabbert AND MJD as their 14 point lead disappeared late in the second half. Both of these teams stink, so the end result is not so important.

Jets vs. Patriots: 29-26 Patriots (OT)
Jets Player of the Week: Jeremy Kerley- 7 receptions, 120 receiving yards
Patriots Player of the Week: Rob Gronkowski- 6 receptions, 78 receiving yards, touchdown

The Jets blew this game when the Patriots gave it to them. The sad thing is, Mark Sanchez probably played the second best game of his season, and they Jets  still lost. The Patriots might have won, but they let the NFL know that they have a serious issue with holding onto leads late in the game.

Steelers vs. Bengals: 24-17 Steelers
Steelers Player of the Week: Jonathan Dwyer- 122 rush yards
Bengals Player of the Week: N/A

The Bengals let the Steelers walk away with murder in this game. If they weren't so bad on offense, and if AJ Green didn't disappear, the Bengals would be campaigning for possibly the best team in the AFC North. Mike Wallace dropped at least five balls, but the Steelers still managed a way to win the game.

Lions vs. Bears: 13-7 Bears
Lions Player of the Week: Titus Young- 6 receptions, 81 receiving yards
Bears Player of the Week: Bandon Marshall- 6 receptions, 81 receiving yards, touchdown

Let me just finish off last week's games by saying: Jason Hanson... REALLY! You're "pointless" PAT with thirty seconds left actually gave my opponent one extra point, which costed my fantasy team a loss that might have ended my season. Back to reality football, the Bears are scary good. They shutdown Megatron and the Lions' offense with ease. Their offense was a little subpar, but defense wins championships.

Going to do things differently from here on out. From now on, I will be posting my predictions for the Thursday night game at the bottom of the recap. This way, it doesn't look silly to have one game posted from Thursday-Sunday with no picture or other analysis. Also, maybe my predictions will turn out a little better on Thursdays

Bucs vs. Vikings: 23-17 Vikings

The Vikings returned to form last week with a big win against the Cardinals. AP is looking like vintage Best Running Back In The League AP, which is never a good sign for opposing defenses. If Christian Ponder can limit his turnovers, something he has struggled with in recent weeks, the Vikings should pull out a win. I know the Bucs' offense put up good numbers last week, but that was against one of the worst in the league.

College Football Week 8 Review

(AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)
Collin Klein, meet America. America, meet Collin Klein.
Kansas State's dual-threat quarterback is taking over the nation, one team at a time.

This past weekend was one of the quieter weekends in college football. Six teams in the BCS Top 25 lost, but only two of the six teams were upset by higher ranked teams. (7) South Carolina lost to (2) Florida; (13) West Virginia and Geno Smith lost their second straight game to Collin Klein and (4) Kansas State; (18) Texas A&M failed to hold onto their lead against (6) LSU; (23) TCU lost to (17) Texas Tech in triple overtime; (21) Cincinnati was upset by unranked Toledo, while (24) Iowa State was upset by unranked Oklahoma State.

BCS Top 10:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Florida Gators
3. Kansas State Wildcats
4. Oregon Ducks
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
6. LSU Tigers
7. Oregon State Beavers
8. Oklahoma Sooners
9. USC Trojans
10. Georgia Bulldogs

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Kansas State QB Collin Klein- Optimus-Klein had another spectacular game, this time trouncing West Virginia's defense for over 350 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns. With Geno Smith's Mountaineers losing two straight games, is Klein now the frontrunner for the Heisman? I think so.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide- I have given this team no credit at all this season despite the fact that they remain undefeated. They play in the SEC and go up against tough opponents each week. The reason they are not mentioned is because their games are usually not close. Now, it's time to give the Tide some credit for being the best of the best so far this season.
3. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege- I'm really strarting to like this kid. He is leading this Texas Tech team and has them believing they can do serious damage in the Big 12 this season. Doege had another impressive game this week, throwing for 318 yards and seven touchdowns!

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. West Virginia Mountaineers- After starting off the season as serious threats, this team has fallen off the map rather quickly. Geno Smith is doing the best he can, but West Virginia's defense is downright atrocious. If they keep allowing this many points per game, they may be out of the Top 25 sooner than later.
2. Virginia Tech Hokies- Where have you guys been this season? After starting off the season ranked in the Top 15 once again, the Hokies fell off the map quickly and are now 4-4. This team is underachieving in a conference that usually has them set up for at least a share of the ACC title.
3. South Carolina Gamecocks- I know, this team has a brutal schedule, but still they've got to disappoint after losing two straight games. The Gamecocks finish off the season with a relatively easy schedule, so hopefully they win out their remaining games.

Game of the Week: (4) Kansas State vs. (13) West Virginia

This highly anticipated Big 12 showdown turned out to be more of a one-sided affair. While America did get to witness Collin Klein vs. Geno Smith on the big stage, it wasn't as close as expected. By the end of the first half, Kansas State already led 31-7 thanks to four touchdowns by Optimus-Klein (3 rush, 1 pass). Klein and the Wildcats continued the beatdown in the second half, and by the end of the game, they were up 55-14. Klein finished the game with 323 pass yards and three passing touchdowns, as well as 41 rush yards for four rushing touchdowns. Smith finished the game with 143 pass yards and a touchdown. Smith also threw his first and second interceptions of the season in the loss.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (2) Florida vs. (10) Georgia- The Gators have yet another tough matchup. Can they continue to survive in the SEC?
2. (5) Notre Dame vs.(8) Oklahoma- Talk about a physical and emotional game, this one should be interesting.
3. (3) Kansas State vs. (14) Texas Tech- Over/Under combined score of 120 points? Not even kidding.
4. (1) Alabama vs. (11) Miss. State- Will the Tide finally lose?
5. (25) Wisconsin vs. Michigan State- These two teams played twice last year and both games went down to the final seconds. Need I say more?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NFL Week 7 Predictions

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Big Red and the Bengals are coming off an ugly loss to the Browns.
Will they bounce back this week with a win against the Steelers on Sunday Night?

Seahawks vs. Niners: 26-20 Seahawks

My record on Thursday night games haven't been too strong this season, so I'm going to go out on a limb once again and take the Seahawks. I really like the Seahawks this season, and though I have had trouble predicting their games this season (more of a jinx), I will once again trust my faith in rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. It will be a tough task for Wilson and the Seahawks as they travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers. The 49ers got crushed by the Giants last week, but are overall a very strong team. Seattle has a very tough defense, and I think they will be able to shut down the Niners' offense for the second straight week. It will be a battle of the defenses and despite being on the road, the Seahawks are my pick for this game.

Titans vs. Bills: 27-20 Bills

So after three ugly losses everyone can just count out the Bills? The Bills still have a powerful running game and should have the defense to stop the Titans. Their defense returned to form last week against Arizona and I expect a similar result this week.

Browns vs. Colts: 30-26 Colts

A two game winning streak for the Browns is just too much for me at this point. Plus, Andrew Luck loves playing in his dome. Expect the Colts to bounce back from a loss last week.

Packers vs. Rams: 35-14 Packers

The Packers are back to being one of the scariest teams in the NFC. This week, they go up against a subpar Rams team. I don't care if the Rams are playing in their dome, they are going up against the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers > Bradford without a doubt.

Cardinals vs. Vikings: 28-12 Vikings

The Vikings return to their dome this week to take on the Cardinals. At this point, I think we can all agree that the Cardinals aren't as great as their 4-0 start might have seemed. They both have solid defenses, but in the end I'd favor the Vikings' offense over the Cards'.

Redskins vs. Giants: 30-23 Giants

I know, I know. This is the perfect game for the Giants to lose coming off an incredible win last week. Then throw in the fact that the Redskins always play well against the Giants and that RG3 is unstoppable. I don't care. Taking my Giants once again this week.

Saints vs. Bucs: 27-20 Saints

The Saints are back. Vilma is playing and that should be enough to anchor their troubled defense. Plus, the Bucs don't have the weapons on offense to go mano y mano with Drew Brees.

Cowboys vs. Panthers: 29-25 Panthers

I think the Panthers gather themselves following their bye week and beat the Cowboys. The Cowboys played very well against the Ravens last week, but they aren't the most consistent team. Cam is due for a big game and will come through for Carolina at home.

Ravens vs. Texans: 24-20 Texans

Both teams suffered crucial injuries in the past few weeks. Even with the return of Terrell Suggs, I can't fathom the Ravens winning this one. The Texans got embarrassed last week and will like to prove they are still elite.

Jaguars vs. Raiders: 30-20 Raiders

The Raiders almost beat the Falcons last week which is a sign they are improving. They go up against a much weaker opponent this week in the Jaguars. Expect 100 yard games from both running backs, but Palmer will outplay Gabbert and help get the win.

Jets vs. Patriots: 35-10 Patriots

The Patriots always love playing against the Jets especially at home. It makes it even better when they are coming off a terrible loss that they knew they should have won. Tom and the boys will bounce back with a big win this week.

Steelers vs. Bengals: 23-20 Bengals

The Steelers aren't the team we thought they were. They haven't won on the road and haven't been impressive in any of their wins. The Bengals are coming off an ugly loss to the Browns, but I still think they will win this game at home.

Lions vs. Bears: 30-24 Bears

I'm going with my Super Bowl pick in this one. The Bears are too talented defensively to allow Matt Stafford to throw against them. Stafford is having a turnover-happy year and should continue this play against the Bears. If Jay Cutler can control the offense, the Bears shouldn't have a problem in this game.

NFL Week 6 Recap

(AP Photo/Scott R. Galvin)
Note to readers: This is the first and last time the Browns will be in the article's featured picture.
Brandon Weeden helped the Browns snap their 11-game losing streak on his birthday.
This Week's Record: 9-5
Overall Record: 57-34

Steelers vs. Titans: 26-23 Titans
Steelers Player of the Week: Isaac Redman- 14 rush yards, 4 receptions, 105 receiving yards
Titans Player of the Week: Chris Johnson- 91 rush yards, 23 receiving yards

Everything went wrong for the Steelers in this game. They failed to extend their lead throughout the game and when they needed their offense most, late in the fourth quarter, it failed. Pittsburgh's run game really suffered and forced the entire offense to rely on the pass. That's not Pittsburgh Steelers football and thats why they lost the game.

Raiders vs. Falcons: 23-20 Falcons
Raiders Player of the Week: Darren McFadden- 70 rush yards, 28 receiving yards, touchdown
Falcons Player of the Week: Roddy White- 6 receptions, 72 receiving yards, touchdown

The Falcons escaped another game and managed to keep their undefeated streak alive for at least one more week. Matt Ryan played his worst game of the season and to be honest, the Falcons should have lost this game. The Raiders outplayed Atlanta, but in the end Ryan redeemed himself with an ice-cold drive which led to the game winning field goal.

Bengals vs. Browns: 34-24 Browns
Bengals Player of the Week: AJ Green- 7 receptions, 135 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Browns Player of the Week: Brandon Weeden- 231 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interceptions, 92.7 passer rating

The Browns had to win eventually, right? On his 29th birthday, ROOKIE quarterback Brandon Weeden led his team to its first victory in over ten games. Good news for the Bengals is that AJ Green is turning into a superstar this season. Bad news for the Bengals is that he is their only offensive threat.

Rams vs. Dolphins: 17-14 Dolphins
Rams Player of the Week: Brandon Gibson- 7 receptions, 91 receiving yards
Dolphins Player of the Week: Ryan Tannehill- 185 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 112.0 passer rating

Tannehill and the Dolphins squeezed out another win last Sunday thanks to Legatron missing three field goals (after being perfect all season). Tannehill had a turnover free game and really led the offense with the run game failing.

Colts vs. Jets: 35-9 Jets
Colts Player of the Week: Reggie Wayne- 5 receptions, 87 receiving yards
Jets Player of the Week: Shonn Greene- 161 rush yards, 3 touchdowns

Andrew Luck was the only rookie who didn't win this Sunday. Luck played the worst game of his short career, throwing two interceptions and having only a 50% completion percentage. Give the Jets some credit though, they played fantastic football. Shonn Greene had a career day which made it easier for Sanchez. They head into a tough game next week against the Patriots so we will see if they can keep it up.

Lions vs. Eagles: 26-23 Eagles (OT)
Lions Player of the Week: Calvin Johnson- 6 receptions, 135 receiving yards
Eagles Player of the Week: Jeremy Maclin- 6 receptions, 130 receiving yards, touchdown

The Eagles blew a ten point lead in the second half and are now 3-3. Michael Vick played decent (2 interceptions, 2 touchdowns) and it wasn't his fault the team lost. LeSean McCoy didn't show up and the defense didn't do their part late in the game. The Lions fought back and just as I called, they stuck it to the Eagles.

Chiefs vs. Bucs: 38-10 Bucs
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 40 rush yards
Bucs Player of the Week: Josh Freeman- 328 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 124.7 passer rating

The Chiefs played a really lousy game and absolutely collapsed in the second half. The first half was close but the Bucs outscored the Chiefs 31-7 in the second half. Kansas City has not led at any point in a game this season.

Cowboys vs. Ravens: 31-29 Ravens
Cowboys Player of the Week: Felix Jones- 92 rush yards, touchdown
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 62 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

Dez Bryant played a great game, but failed to catch a crucial two point conversion late in the game. The Ravens didn't play great, but still fought off the Cowboys. They had to pay the price though, losing Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis for the rest of the season.

Bills vs. Cardinals: 19-16 Bills (OT)
Bills Player of the Week: CJ Spiller- 88 rush yards, 22 receiving yards, touchdown
Cardinals Player of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald- 6 receptions, 93 receiving yards, touchdown

The Bills went from winning this game, to losing this game, to again winning this game all within a span of two minutes. The Cardinals tied the game up at 16 thanks to a 61 yard field goal by Jay Feely. Feely then missed a much shorter field goal shortly after, sending the game to OT. In OT, the Bills kicked their only field right through the uprights to win the game.

Giants vs. Niners: 26-3 Giants
Giants Player of the Week: Ahmad Bradshaw- 116 rush yards, touchdown
Niners Player of the Week: N/A

The Giants handled the Niners with ease on Sunday, showing they are the most ELIte team in the NFC. New York's defense pounced on Alex Smith and intercepted him three times. Eli played turnover free ball and balanced the Giants' pass offense with another impressive rushing day.

Patriots vs. Seahawks: 24-23 Seahawks
Patriots Player of the Week: Wes Welker- 10 receptions, 138 receiving yards, touchdown
Seahawks Player of the Week: Russell Wilson- 293 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 133.7 passer rating

Trailing 23-10 in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson led the Seahawks to an improbable victory to remain undefeated at home. Seattle's defense shut down Tom Brady in the second half as Wilson led the offense to two scoring drives in the final seven minutes of the game.

Vikings vs. Redskins: 38-26 Redskins
Vikings Player of the Week: Percy Harvin- 11 receptions, 133 receiving yards
Redskins Player of the Week: Robert Griffin III- 182 pass yards, 138 rush yards, 3 touchdowns (2 rush, 1 pass), 97.2 passer rating

The Vikings' defense, which led them to their 4-1 start, failed to show up on Sunday. Minnesota continually got torched by the Redskins's rookie quarterback. With a chance to get the ball back late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings' defense failed to stop Griffin III and instead he took it 76 yards for his third touchdown of the game.

Packers vs. Texans: 42-24 Packers
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 338 pass yards, 6 touchdowns, 133.8 passer rating
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 29 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

What did America learn from this game? Well, we learned that JJ Watt is an absolute beast, but we also learned that we can't count out the Packers just yet. Aaron Rodgers tied the Green Bay Packers' all-time record for throwing the most touchdowns in one game (previously owned by Matt Flynn, remember him?). Watt had two sacks and four pass deflections, but the Texans couldn't keep up on offense.

Broncos vs. Chargers:35-24 Broncos
Broncos Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 309 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 129.0 passer rating
Chargers Player of the Week: Antonio Gates- 6 receptions, 81 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Yes, Peyton Manning broke history by being the first quarterback to lead his team to a double digit victory after trailing by 24 points, but really it was Philip Rivers who just absolutely blew this game for his team. Rivers threw 4 interceptions and coughed up two fumbles, giving his team no shot to win the game. This game was a tale of two halves, and Peyton Manning showed the world why being clutch matters.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

College Football Week 7 Review

(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Blake Bell and the Oklahoma Sooners dominated Texas last weekend.

Not too many losses in the AP Top 25 this week, but there was a big splash in college football news. After six weeks of relying on the AP and USA Today polls to tell us which teams are really the best in the country, the BCS system announced its first ranking of the season. This past week, (3) South Carolina was upset by (9) LSU; (5) West Virginia fell to unranked Texas Tech; (15) Texas was routed by (13) Oklahoma; (17) Stanford lost (7) Notre Dame and (23) Louisiana Tech lost to (22) Texas A&M.

BCS Top 10:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Florida Gators
3. Oregon Ducks
4. Kansas State Wildcats
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
6. LSU Tigers
7. South Carolina Gamecocks
8. Oregon State Beavers
9. Oklahoma Sooners
10. USC Trojans

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners put a beat down on the Longhorns in this year's Red River Rivalry game. Power quarterback Blake Bell rushed for four tremendous touchdowns in the 63-21 win.
2. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege- Finally Geno Smith was outplayed by his opposing quarterback! Doege led the Red Raiders to an upset win by throwing for 499 yards and six touchdowns. The win also helped Texas Tech get ranked in the Top 20 in the BCS.
3. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller- This kid does it all. In another explosive win, Miller threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns, but ran for an additional 159 yards and another score. It's a shame Miller, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes won't be competing in any bowls this season, because they are a serious threat.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Texas Longhorns- It only makes sense that the top disappointment is even with the top team performance. The Longhorns were embarrassed last week and deserved to be dropped from the BCS rankings. Their defense was atrocious and proved why they are not serious contenders in the Big 12.
2. West Virginia Mountaineers- Where was the offense last week? The Mountaineers have one of the most dangerous offenses in the country but were limited to just 14 points in their blowout loss to Texas Tech.
3. Pittsburgh Panthers- Pitt has struggled a lot this season and are a disappointing 2-4 so far. After bringing in head coach Paul Chryst from Wisconsin, many thought the program was moving in the right direction. Well, they will be moving to the ACC soon, but in the meantime should focus on winning some games in the Big East.

Game of the Week: (3) South Carolina vs. (9) LSU

Another classic SEC football matchup was last week's "Game of the Week." Would South Carolina prove that they deserve to play Alabama in the National Championship Game, or would LSU come back from a loss and say "not so fast my friends?" At first, South Carolina seemed to be playing with a chip on their shoulder. They jumped out to a 7-3 lead thanks to a touchdown catch by Ace Sanders from Connor Shaw. LSU went on to take back the lead with a seven yard touchdown run by running back Jeremy Hill, but South Carolina soon answered with a touchdown of their own. Entering the fourth quarter trailing 14-13, the Tigers knew they needed an impressive final quarter to shut down Marcus Lattimore and the Gameocks. LSU went on to outscore South Carolina 13-0 in a ten minute stretch, gaining a 23-14 lead. With under two minutes to go South Carolina cut the lead down to two after Shaw threw another pass, but it was too late for them. LSU held the ball for the final two minutes and went on to win the game. Jeremy Hill led the Tigers with 124 rush yards and two touchdowns.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (7) South Carolina vs. (2) Florida- These SEC battles never seem to end. Can South Carolina avenge their loss from a week ago, or will Florida show that they deserved their No. 2 ranking?
2. (4) Kansas State vs. (13) West Virginia- Geno Smith vs. Collin Klein. What more can we ask for?
3. (6) LSU vs. (18) Texas A&M- Has LSU found their mojo or will they prove to be inconsistent when they play Texas A&M?
4. (17) Texas Tech vs. (23) TCU- Can Texas Tech continue their midseason push with another impressive Top 25 win?
5. (14) Florida State vs. Miami- This in-state rivalry game is always a classic. Never count out the Canes!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NFL Week 6 Predictions

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Percy Harvin and the Vikings have played great so far. Can they continue
their success with a win against the Redskins?

Steelers vs. Titans: 35-13 Steelers

There is no possible way the Steelers lose this game. This actually might be one of the more one-sided games played so far. The Steelers got back Rashard Mendenhall last week, and now have a very balanced offense. On the defensive side of the ball, James Harrison and Co. should have no problem laying out hit after hit against one of the worst offenses in the league. Steelers win big on the road.

Raiders vs. Falcons: 30-16 Falcons

I couldn't have been more wrong in the Thursday night game, but then again, nobody had the Titans pulling off that win. Hopefully I'll get back on track with a bunch of wins Sunday. The Falcons should have no problem beating the Raiders at home. As long as the Falcons just play their game, they will remain undefeated.

Bengals vs. Browns: 27-17 Bengals

Well, it seems like the Bengals actually prefer playing games on the road, after losing to the Dolphins last week. If so, Cincinnati will beat their Ohio rival on Sunday. The Browns haven't won this season, and will continue their streak into next week.

Rams vs. Dolphins: 24-17 Dolphins

Both teams have been a bit of a surprise this season, but the Dolphins are definitely the better team. The Rams have struggled outside their dome, while the Dolphins have played pretty well at home. If the Dolphins can rely on their run game, and allow Ryan Tannehill to comfortably throw the ball, they will come out with the win.

Colts vs. Jets: 24-20 Jets

Don't be surprised if the Colts don't pull off this upset, if it would even be considered one. The Colts haven't won on the road this season, and the Jets surprisingly kept the game close vs. Houston last week.  Aside from Mark Sanchez's devilish stat-line, the Jets will win this game.

Lions vs. Eagles: 28-20 Lions

Coming off their bye week, I think the Lions stick it to the Eagles in Philadelphia. Despite being winless on the road, I think the Lions come out strong offensively, and are too much for Philly to handle. Louis Delmas makes his debut for the Lions, and will help shut down Michael Vick.

Chiefs vs. Bucs: 20-17 Bucs

With no Matt Cassel in the lineup, the Chiefs will struggle a little bit more on offense (if possible). The Bucs have a very sharp defense, and will play with tons of energy coming off their bye week.

Cowboys vs. Ravens: 27-16 Ravens

"You come at the king, you best not miss." The Ravens are undefeated in Baltimore, and will stay that way with a win against the Cowboys. Despite scoring only nine points against he Chiefs last week, the Ravens are still my favorite to win the game. Their defense is just too good for the Cowboys.

Bills vs. Cardinals: 24-20 Bills

Surprise pick here. No matter how bad they looked last week, the Bills will win this game in Arizona. Their run game will lead them on offense, and their defense won't have to be that good to stop the Cardinals' offense.

Patriots vs. Seahawks: 24-19 Patriots

Since I can never predict the Seahawks, I guess this would be a "reverse jinx pick." The Seahawks are still undefeated at home, but that will change when the Patriots come to town. As I wrote a few weeks ago, it's almost impossible to beat the Seahawks at home, but the Patriots are one of those rare occasions.

Giants vs. Niners: 27-20 Giants

The Giants, who declared themselves the underdogs in this week's matchup, will indeed get the victory. A similar matchup in last year's regular season game in San Francisco, except this time, costly turnovers won't be the end for New York. The Niners racked up over 600 yards of offense last week, but will be going against a much better team overall. Not sure if the Niners will make the adjustments, and I will be going with my boys in blue in this featured matchup.

Vikings vs Redskins: 28-24 Vikings

Don't care if RG3 is playing, the Vikings are for real regardless of the opposing team's quarterback. Their offense has been surprisingly functional this season, with AP's speedy recovery having a huge impact, but their defense has been their real surprise. Minnesota will keep Griffin III and the Redskins winless at home.

Packers vs. Texans: 31-27 Texans

I've come to realize that the Packers aren't who we thought they were. Instead of a Super Bowl contender, they are a one-dimensional offensive team that has a very weak defensive pass rush. The Texans on the other hand, have a very balanced offensive attack with a defense that can stop anything coming its way.

Broncos vs. Chargers: 30-28 Broncos

Both teams are coming off heartbreaking losses last week. In the end, I like Peyton Manning out-dueling Philip Rivers in this game. Both teams have solid run games and defenses, so it will come down to which team throws the ball better. Nine times out of ten, that will be Peyton Manning.

NFL Week 5 Recap

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Reggie Wayne and the Colts upset the Packers last week. Wayne, who is clearly
rookie Andrew Luck's favorite target, caught 13 balls for 212 yards and a touchdown.

This Week's Record:10-4
Overall Record: 48-29

Cardinals vs. Rams: 17-3 Rams
Cardinals Player of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald- 8 receptions, 92 receiving yards
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 76 rush yards

Yup, the Cardinals lost their first game of the season to the Rams. Pretty pathetic when you keep in mind that the winning quarterback only completed 7 passes and had a 33% completion percentage. The Cardinals racked up more yards, and even held the ball for longer, but they just couldn't finish. The key component in the Rams' win was their defensive line. Kevin Kolb was sacked nine times, including three alone by rookie Robert Quinn.

Browns vs. Giants: 41-27 Giants
Browns Player of the Week: Trent Richardson- 81 rush yards, 47 receiving yards, touchdown
Giants Player of the Week: Ahmad Bradshaw- 200 rush yards, touchdown

Despite falling down 14-0 just five minutes into the game, the Giants still managed to beat the Browns with relative ease. Victor Cruz caught not one, not two, but three touchdowns in the game, marking a career high.

Dolphins vs. Bengals: 17-13 Dolphins
Dolphins Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 48 rush yards, 24 receiving yards, touchdown
Bengals Player of the Week: AJ Green- 9 receptions, 65 receiving yards, touchdown

Just when we thought the Bengals were a real threat in the AFC North, they bluffed us with a loss to the Dolphins at home. What's duly noted is that the 2-3 Dolphins would actually be 4-1 if they didn't lose two close games that went into OT.

Packers vs. Colts: 30-27 Colts
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 235 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, interception, 103.0 passer rating
Colts Player of the Week: Reggie Wayne- 13 receptions, 212 receiving yards, touchdown

Maybe the Packers aren't so good after all. Yes, Andrew Luck and the Colts played an extraordinary second half, outscoring the Pack 27-7, but come on Green Bay blew this game. With Cedric Benson possibly out for the remainder of the season, the Packers better figure out how to balance their offense, and they better figure it out quick.

Ravens vs. Chiefs: 9-6 Ravens
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 102 rush yards
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 140 rush yards

See, if I were a Chiefs fan, I would give Player of the Week to the guy who concussed quarterback Matt Cassel. But I am not a jerk, and instead a loyal sports fan who would never cheer for any injury. In all seriousness, this game was boring! Despite some occasionally nice runs by the two Pro-Bowl backs, this game was dominated by defense, bad passing games, and kickers.

Eagles vs. Steelers: 16-14 Steelers
Eagles Player of the Week: LeSean McCoy- 53 rush yards, 27 receiving yards, touchdown
Steelers Player of the Week: Rashard Mendenhall- 68 rush yards, 33 receiving yards, touchdown

Mendenhall had a great season debut, gaining over 100 all-purpose yards and even scoring a touchdown, but Michael Vick was the real impact player of this game. Vick had no interceptions this game, but still had two costly fumbles, including one while diving into the endzone. The Eagles are still 3-2, but they haven't looked good.

Falcons vs. Redskins: 24-17 Falcons
Falcons Player of the Week: Tony Gonzalez- 13 receptions, 123 receiving yards, touchdown
Redskins Player of the Week: Alfred Morris- 113 rush yards

The Redskins might have lost the game, but they lost something much more in starting rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. After viciously being hit in a head-to-head collision, RG3 left the game with a mild concussion. It's unknown whether he'll play next week, but the the Redskins better be careful about this injury. Griffin has looked great and is the face of the franchise. As for the Falcons, they survived another week and remain one of two undefeated teams left in the league.

Seahawks vs. Panthers:  16-14 Seahawks
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 85 rush yards
Panthers Player of the Week: N/A

It's funny how I am a believer in the Seahawks, but 1-4 in predicting their games this year. Maybe that doesn't makes sense considering they are 3-2 and I am 1-4, but I promise I am not being pessimistic. The Seahawks didn't play great, the Panthers just played worse. And by worse, I mean downright atrocious. The Panthers, who I thought could even be playoff hopefuls this year, have showed no signs of improvement, and actually might have regressed. Cam Newton, despite leading his team in passing and rushing yards every week, has hit his "sophomore slump." Is it all Cam's fault? Probably not. He has a banged up and crappy offensive line, three running backs being paid a combined $50 million to run for a combined 20 yards per game, and only one real wide receiver threat. Still, Cam will keep being blamed until the Panthers start to win.

Bears vs. Jaguars: 41-3 Bears
Bears Player of the Week: Brandon Marshall- 12 receptions, 144 receiving yards, touchdown
Jaguars Player of the Week: Maurice Jones-Drew- 56 rush yards

Write it down, mark my words, I am hopping on the Bears bandwagon. IF, and by if I mean a really big IF, Jay Cutler can stay healthy, and limit himself to just one interception per game, this team is going to the Super Bowl. Their defense is arguably the best in the league, and once again intercepted two more passes and returned both for touchdowns against the Jaguars.

Titans vs. Vikings: 30-7 Vikings
Titans Player of the Week: Kendal Wright- 9 receptions, 66 receiving yards
Vikings Player of the Week: Percy Harvin- 8 receptions, 108 receiving yards, touchdown

Damn, the Vikings are officially the surprise team of the season so far. So what if their schedule hasn't been that strong? The Vikings already have one more win than they did all of last season, and we just passed the first quarter mark in the 2012 season. On the other hand, the Titans are just awful. Chuck Klosterman wrote a great piece on on how Chris Johnson may not be the running back everyone expected him to be. And boy, did Johnson trick Tennessee after signing a huge contract last summer. The Titans are in for a painfully slow and embarrassing season.

Broncos vs. Patriots- 31-21 Patriots
Broncos Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 337 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 115.4 passer rating
Patriots Player of the Week: Tom Brady- 223 pass yards, 2 touchdowns (1 rush), 104.6 passer rating

Peyton Manning played a fantastic game, and if his teammates didn't cough up two fumbles, the final score would be completely different. That being said, the Patriots looked much more complete. Not only did Brady have a good game, but Stevan Ridley ran for 151 yards and a touchdown, and Wes Welker caught everything in his direction.

Bills vs. Niners: 45-3 Niners
Bills Player of the Week: N/A
Niners Player of the Week: Alex Smith- 303 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 156.2 passer rating

I hate giving out so many N/A's this week, but there were some terrible games played. It's that point in the season where we can start to sketch a rough draft of the playoff picture, and already eliminate some teams from any chance of making the playoffs. The Bills would be one of those teams. The Niners totalled over 300 passing AND 300 rushing yards against the infamous Buffalo defense. That is absolutely unheard of. I wonder how Mario Williams feels to be playing for one of the worst defenses in the league. What I do know is that the Texans don't seem to miss him one bit.

Chargers vs. Saints: 31-24 Saints
Chargers Player of the Week: Ryan Mathews- 80 rush yards, 59 receiving yards, touchdown
Saints Player of the Week: Drew Brees- 370 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, interception, 110.4 passer rating

Rather than blowing a lead and losing, the Saints played the role of the comeback team in their first win of the season. After falling down 24-14 in the second half, Drew Brees rallied up the Saints, and they came marching down the field for 17 unanswered points. Drew Brees passed Johnny Unitas for most consecutive games with a touchdown as suspended coach Sean Payton watched from the press box.

Texans vs. Jets: 23-17 Texans
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster -152 rush yards, touchdown
Jets Player of the Week: Jeremy Kerley- 5 receptions, 94 receiving yards

Credit to the Jets for keeping this one close, but really, no Tebow? Speculation was that Tebow would get more reps in the Monday night showdown, but still only appeared in a limited amount of offensive plays. On Tebow's only attempt of the night, he threw a perfect pass to Jason Hill, who went on to drop the pass. What a shame. As for the Texans, they remain undefeated thanks to great play from Arian Foster and JJ Watt. I've said this from the get-go, the Texans might have the Offensive and Defense Players of the Year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

College Football Week 6 Review

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Mike Gillislee tore apart LSU's rush defense on Saturday, burning the Tigers for 146 yards
and two scores. SEC Teams: Watch out for the Gators because Florida football is back!

        Upsets, upsets, and more upsets! This week was easily the most chaotic week so far in the college football season, and it gave a major shake up to the new AP rankings. (3) Florida State was upset on the road by unranked NC State, (4) LSU fell to (10) Florida at The Swamp, (5) Georgia was badly beat by (6) South Carolina, (15) TCU was upset by unranked Iowa State, (24) Northwestern dropped their first game of the season to Penn State, and (25) UCLA fell to unranked Cal Berkley. Despite those six upsets, there were still three other teams in the AP Top 25 who lost last week. (11) Texas lost to (8) West Virginia in a shootout, (21) Nebraska was defeated by (12) Ohio State at The Horseshoe, and (23) Washington lost to (2) Oregon.

New AP Top 10:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Oregon Ducks
3. South Carolina Gamecocks
4. Florida Gators
5. West Virginia Mountaineers
6. Kansas State Wildcats
7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
8. Ohio State Buckeyes
9. LSU Tigers
10. Oregon State Beavers

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. South Carolina Gamecocks- This team is for real, and coach Steve Spurrier has them believing they can go all the way to the BCS National Championship Game. The Gamecocks played a very complete game against Georgia on both sides of the ball. Their offense managed to score five touchdowns while their defense shut down the Bulldogs to just one score.
2. West Virginia QB Geno Smith- This guy cannot be stopped, plain and simple. Smith had another spectacular game, throwing for 268 yards and four touchdowns against a very good Texas team. Did I mention he's thrown 24 touchdowns and zero, I repeat, ZERO interceptions thus far. It's going to take a miracle to knock this guy off the Heisman throne.
3. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller- Miller continues to do wonders for a Ohio State team that keeps overachieving. Yes, Urban Meyer is a great coach, but even he didn't expect the Buckeyes to be this dangerous. Miller threw for 127 yards and a touchdown, but also ran for a career high 186 yards and another touchdown.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. LSU Tigers- After contending for the NCG just a year ago, the Tigers have looked far from impressive in the first half of the season. Their offense hasn't clicked at all, and that showed in Saturday's loss to the Gators.
2. Florida State- What in the world happened to the Seminoles last week? After having one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, they were limited to just 16 points in their loss to unranked NC State. The Seminoles can still contend for an ACC title, but their National Championship hopes are all but finished.
3. Missouri Tigers- The Tigers haven't had the best luck since joining the SEC. In fact, the team is winless in in-conference games this season. Maybe the switch wasn't the best move for the Tigers.

Game of the Week: (4) LSU vs. (25) Florida

What's better than Tigers vs. Gators at The Swamp for college football's "Game of the Week?" Nothing. The Tigers traveled down to Gainesville as the lower ranked team, but came back home to Baton Rouge as the higher ranked team. Florida outplayed LSU from the get-go, and despite going down early in the game, the Gators never gave up and continued to fight for the win. After a defensively dominated first half for both teams, the Gators trailed the Tigers by a score of 6-0. In the second half, Florida's offense woke up as running back Mike Gillislee had identical 12-yard touchdown scores to put the Gators up 14-6. From there on out, the Gators continued to shut down the Tigers' offense and went on to win the game. Gillislee finished with 146 rushing yards and two touchdowns to earn player of the game.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (3) South Carolina vs. (9) LSU- Can South Carolina confirm their National Championship hopes with a win, or will the Tigers rebound from their loss last week?
2. (17) Stanford vs. (7) Notre Dame- Stanford has already upset one Top 10 school. Can they do it again this week?
3. (15) Texas vs. (14) Oklahoma- Red River Rivalry at its best. Who wins this year's game?
4.  (19) Miss State vs. Tennessee- The Vols have fell off the map recently, but can they revive their season with a big upset win?
5. (22) Texas A&M vs. (23) LA Tech- The two teams finally face off after having their season openers postponed.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NFL Week 5 Predictions

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Big Ben and the Steelers face off agains the Eagles on Sunday.  Will they be able to shut
 down the Eagles, or will Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy get the better of them?

Cardinals vs. Rams: 23-17 Cardinals

Despite how poorly the Cardinals played last week, I can't see them losing their first game to the St. Louis Rams. Even if Arizona's offense doesn't show up until late, their defense should do a good enough job shutting down Sam Bradford and the Rams' offense. Cardinals in a fairly close one.

Browns vs. Giants: 31-9 Giants

This one shouldn't be close. The Giants defense will make it hell for Brandon Weeden all day long. On the other end, Eli and the Giants' offense should be able to bounce back strong after a tough loss to Philadelphia.

Dolphins vs. Bengals: 24-20 Bengals

The Bengals have looked surprisingly impressive with a quarter of the season finished. Now, they will be able to enjoy four of their next five games at home, starting with a win against the 'Fins.

Packers vs. Colts: 35-24 Packers

The Colts' D is no match for Aaron Rodgers and Co. Andrew Luck will struggle in the game, but still manage to get some garbage yards and touchdowns.

Ravens vs. Chiefs: 27-16 Ravens

The Ravens will pull out of the gate early in this one, allowing the Chiefs to run their usual play from behind offense. Expect 100 yard games from Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles.

Eagles vs. Steelers: 27-20 Steelers

Mike Tomlin has only lost one time following a bye week. The Steelers will come out prepared and ready to shut down the 3-1 Eagles.

Falcons vs. Redskins: 27-18 Falcons

Despite RG3's success so far, the Redskins and he are no match for Matt Ryan and the Falcons. This game has the potential to turn into a shootout, but the Falcons will take it in the end.

Seahawks vs. Panthers: 20-13 Panthers

I think the Seahawks will do a decent job shutting down the Panthers offense, but won't manage to score enough points to beat them. The Panthers nearly beat the Falcons last week, and should be hungry to make up for that loss.

Bears vs. Jaguars: 29-12 Bears

The Bears are set to demolish the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. After picking off Tony Romo five times, who knows how many times they will sack Blaine Gabbert?

Titans vs. Vikings: 28-24 Vikings

Not going to lie, the Vikings have looked fantastic this season. On the other hand, the Titans have looked miserable. Vikings continue their hotness with another win at home.

Broncos vs. Patriots: 35-31 Patriots

Manning vs. Brady. Boy, does it feel good to be able to watch this classic matchup again. Unfortunately for Peyton and the Broncos, the Patriots will win this barnburner at home by less than a touchdown.

Bills vs. Niners: 27-13 Niners

The Bills' defense has been absolute crap in the four games they've played so far. They've given up 40+ points to the Jets and Patriots. The Niners, on the other hand, have a phenomenal defense and just last week shut out the Jets 34-0. Niners breeze through this one.

Chargers vs. Saints: 38-27 Saints

I do it every week so what else is new? Saints are going to get their first win of the season with Sean Payton watching in the Superdome.

Texans vs. Jets: 32-10 Texans

Quite frankly, I don't care what happens in this game as long as Tebow takes over at quarterback. It's still an extremely safe bet to take the Texans by over a touchdown on Monday night though.

NFL Week 4 Recap

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Are you looking at the 2013 Super Bowl champs? Well, that could be very possible
the way the Houston Texans are playing right now
This Week's Record: 11-4
Overall Record: 38-25

Browns vs. Ravens: 23-16 Ravens
Browns Player of the Week: Trent Richardson- 47 rush yards, 57 receiving  yards, touchdown
Ravens Player of the Week: Torrey Smith- 6 receptions, 97 receiving yards, touchdown

Well, the Ravens didn't quite play their best football, but were still able to defeat the Browns last Thursday night. The Ravens controlled the game for the most part, but failed to capitalize on multiple scoring opportunities and couldn't expand their lead.

Panthers vs. Falcons: 30-28 Falcons
Panthers Player of the Week: Cam Newton- 215 pass yards, 89 rush yards, 3 total touchdowns (1 rush), 119.3 passer rating
Falcons Player of the Week: Roddy White- 8 receptions, 169 receiving yards, touchdown

Cam Newton played a fine game, leading his team in passing and rush yards once again. His one mistake came on his last offensive possession though, when he fumbled the ball diving for a first down. This later allowed the Falcons to get the ball back, and drive over 75 yards to kick the game winning field goal.

Patriots vs. Bills: 52-28 Patriots
Patriots Player of the Week: Tom Brady- 340 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 120.1 passer ratings
Bills Player of the Week: Scott Chandler- 4 receptions, 62 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Damn, the Pats' offense exploded on Sunday. After trailing 14-7 at the half, New England outscored the Bills 45-14 in the second half. In addition to Brady's excellent game, the Patriots' run game combined for 245 rush yards and three touchdowns.

Vikings vs. Lions: 20-13 Vikings
Vikings Player of the Week: Adrian Peterson- 102 rush yards
Lions Player of the Week: Joique Bell- 6 receptions, 72 receiving yards

Have the Vikings and Lions swapped spots? The 3-1 Vikings are playing impressive football, as Christian Ponder seems to be the right fit at quarterback. The 1-3 Lions better start to rethink their game plan, or else their season might end sooner then they wish.

Chargers vs. Chiefs: 37-20 Chargers
Chargers Player of the Week: Philip Rivers- 209 pass yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 115.4 passer rating
Chiefs Player of the Week: Dwayne Bowe- 7 receptions, 108 receiving yards, touchdown

The Chargers are off to another hot start this year. Hopefully this year though, the team doesn't collapse after starting off the season 3-1. Philip Rivers looks great so far, and Ryan Mathews is starting to get back into form after missing the first two weeks. As for the Chiefs, their offense has really struggled early on this season.

Seahawks vs. Rams: 19-13 Rams
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 118 rush yards, touchdown
Rams Player of the Week: Danny Amendola- 6 receptions, 55 receiving yards, touchdown

Wow, the Seahawks are a tough team to read. They have wins against the Cowboys and Packers, but can't beat the Rams. The Seahawks aren't road warriors, and will have to adjust if they want to be playoff contenders this year.

Niners vs. Jets: 34-0 Niners
Niners Player of the Week: Combined Rush- 245 yards, 3 touchdowns
Jets Player of the Week: N/A

The Niners obliterated the Jets on their home turf on Sunday. Honestly, the Jets looked like a peewee football league team against San Francisco. Even worse, Santonio Holmes joined Darrelle Revis with a season ending injury. Just when they thought their offense couldn't get worse, it did.

Titans vs. Texans: 38-14 Texans
Titans Player of the Week: Chris Johnson- 141 rush yards, not-a-typo
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 86 rush yards, touchdown

I can't stress enough how superb the Texans have looked so far. But, I'll do it again. Their defense is stunning and is led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate JJ Watt, while their offense is as good as it gets. The only thing stopping this team from going far in the playoffs is an injury. (or a jinx)

Raiders vs. Broncos: 37-6 Broncos
Raiders Player of the Week: N/A, RIP 2012-2013 Season
Broncos Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 338 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 130.0 passer rating

If it wasn't already obvious, Peyton Manning is back to being a Top 5 quarterback in the league. He had no trouble burning the Raiders defense all day, and threw his first three touchdown game of the season. As for the Raiders, it can't get much worse. They have no hope and nothing seems to be going right for them (as usual).

Dolphins vs. Cardinals: 24-21 (OT) Cardinals
Dolphins Player of the Week: Brian Hartline- 12 receptions, 253 receiving yards, touchdown
Cardinals Player of the Week: Andre Roberts- 6 receptions, 118 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Another close call and another win for the Cardinals. Arizona tied it up with only 22 seconds left in the game, and won in OT thanks to a 46 yard field goal by Jay Feely. For the Dolphins, Brian Hartline had a historic day, catching for more than two football field's worth of yards.

Bengals vs. Jaguars: 27-10 Bengals
Bengals Player of the Week: AJ Green- 6 receptions, 117 receiving yards, touchdown
Jaguars Player of the Week: Maurice Jones- Drew- 38 rush yards, 42 receiving yards

Wow, the Bengals are looking like a playoff contender again this year. They are 3-1 despite playing three of their first four games on the road. Now with four of their next five at home, they should be looking good by the time the NFL reaches its midway point. The Jags' offense struggled again, but what else is new for them.

Saints vs. Packers: 28-27 Packers
Saints Player of the Week: Drew Brees- 446 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 109.0 passer rating
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 319 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception, 119.9 passer rating

The Packers pulled the latest "not so fast my friends" on the Saints, defeating them by a single point on Sunday. The Saints defense continues to let the team down, negating the efforts of Drew Brees and the offense every week. Well, good news is that their interim head coach will replace their interim interim head coach in a few weeks!

Redskins vs. Bucs: 24-22 Redskins
Redskins Player of the Week: Alfred Morris- 113 rush yards, touchdown
Bucs Player of the Week: Vincent Jackson- 6 receptions, 100 receiving yards, touchdown

The Redskins were looking good in the first half but allowed the Bucs to march their way back into the game. The Bucs eventually took the lead with just over a minute remaining in the game, but surely enough, Robert Griffin III and the 'Skins came back to win the game on a game-winning field goal.

Giants vs. Eagles: 19-17 Eagles
Giants Player of the Week: Victor Cruz- 9 receptions, 109 receiving yards, touchdown
Eagles Player of the Week: Michael Vick- 241 pass yards, 49 rush yards, touchdown, 99.4 passer rating

This one hurt to watch. Eli struggled to connect with his wide receivers in the fog and had his lowest completion % of the year. On the defensive end, the Giants stopped the Eagles for the most part, but allowed Vick to scramble and pick up first down after first down. Looks like Team McCoy beat Team Umenyiora this round.

Bears vs. Cowboys: 34-18 Bears
Bears Player of the Week: Jay Cutler- 275 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 140.1 passer rating
Cowboys Player of the Week: Jason Witten- 13 receptions, 112 receiving yards, touchdown

It's a safe to say that Tony Romo lost his team this one. Throwing five picks, two of which were returned for touchdowns, Romo struggled to say the least. The Bears have proved that they are playoff hungry, but what about the Cowboys? Just when we think they are playing well, they fool us by not showing up the next week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

College Football Week 5 Review

(AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)
Just give this man the Heisman already. Geno Smith has already thrown 20
touchdowns this season without throwing a single interception.

Wow! What a week in college football as only three teams in the AP Top 25 lost this week. (8) Stanford lost to Washington in a game that went down to the wire last Thursday night. (25) Baylor lost to (9) West Virginia in a historic game for quarterback Geno Smith. Additionally (20) Michigan State barely lost to (14) Ohio State, losing by only a single point.

New AP Top 10:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Oregon Ducks
3. Florida State Seminoles
4. LSU Tigers
5. Georgia Bulldogs
6. South Carolina Gamecocks
7. Kansas State Wildcats
8. West Virginia Mountaineers
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
10. Florida Gators

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. West Virginia QB Geno Smith- Not only was Smith's performance a top of the week, it could go down as one of the best games played by a quarterback in the last decade. Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns, helping the Mountaineers fight off the Baylor Bears 70-63.
2 Georgia Bulldog RB's- Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley combined for nearly 300 yards and 5 touchdowns in Georgia's 51-44 win over Tennessee. With lead receiver Michael Bennett out for the year, it's a good sign that the two backs are stepping up.
3. Oregon RB Kenjon Barner- Honestly, if Geno Smith somehow didn't win the Heisman, could Barner and his teammate De'Anthony Thomas just split the award. The two lead the nation's best rushing attack and put simply, they can't be stopped. Last week, Barner rushed for 194 and three touchdowns while catching another one, totaling for four scores on the day.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Baylor Bears- How in the world do you give up 70 points when you're a Top 25 team? And for crying out loud, how do you allow the opposing quarterback to throw for over 650 yards and eight touchdowns. You'd think that after a while they'd realize that all this team does is sling the ball down the field, but you'd be surprised to find out that they didn't adjust at all and just continued allowing Baylor to score. Real big disappointment.
2. Stanford Cardinal- The Cardinal blew a game last week to unranked Washington 17-13. Is Stanford actually any good this year, or was their win versus USC just a fluke? I guess we will soon find out.
3. Virginia Tech Hokies- The Hokies failed to bounce back from their loss two weeks ago after losing to Cincinnati on Saturday. The Hokies had high expectations this year and failed to live up to them.

Game of the Week: (9) West Virginia vs. (25) Baylor

Clearly this was the Game of the Week, heck it might have even been Game of the Year! It would be very repetitious to repeat the scoring drives since their were over 130 points scored between the two teams, so I'll keep it to specific stat-lines. Geno Smith had the game of his lifetime, and is now the Heisman frontrunner after throwing for over 650 yards and eight touchdowns (as mentioned multiple times already in this article). Where the credit isn't given to is the Mountaineer's run game. West Virginia still ran for over 150 yards, totaling their overall offense at 807 yards. Despite the loss, Baylor's offense still played an incredible game, scoring 63 points on a Top 25 team. Nick Florence was spectacular again under center for the Bears, throwing for 581 yards and five touchdowns. For the most part, Baylor kept themselves in the game, but the Mountaineers clinched the win when Smith threw his eight and final touchdown with five minutes left in the fourth quarter to put his team up by 14.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (4) LSU vs. (10) Florida- Definition of SEC football. If you don't watch this game, don't call yourself a college football fan.
2. (2) Oregon vs. (23) Washington- Washington is coming off an upset win against Stanford. Can they prove that they are for real, and be the first team to shut down the most notorious running game in the country?
3. (5) Georgia vs. (6) South Carolina- Week 5 is judgement week in the SEC. Which teams are making BCS bowl runs, and which teams are pretenders.
4. (8) West Virginia vs. (11) Texas- Not even kidding, I typed Geno Smith before West Virginia and didn't even think it was a typo. Will the Heisman frontrunner single handily hook the longhorns?
5. (9) Notre Dame vs. Miami- Ten years ago this game would be a must see. Five years gao this game would be overrated. Now, it's back to being a must-watch game. Old time classic rivalries are back, baby!