Thursday, November 29, 2012

NFL Week 12 Recap

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Yes he Cam! Cam Newton put on a fantastic
performance on Monday Night to give the Panthers a big win.

This week's Record: 12-4
Overall Record: 119-56

Texans vs. Lions: 34-31 Texans
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 102 rush yards, 2 touchdowns
Lions Player of the Week: Calvin Johnson- 8 receptions, 140 receiving yards, touchdown

The Lions led for the majority of the game but couldn't hang on in the end. Justin Forsett scored a questionable touchdown for the Texans and Jim Schwartz wasted a challenge & timeout by throwing the flag for a non-reviewable play. The game went into OT and the Texans clinched the win with a field goal with 2:21 remaining in the game.

Redskins vs. Cowboys: 38-31 Redskins
Redskins Player of the Week: Robert Griffin III- 304 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 138.1 passer rating
Cowboys Player of the Week: Dez Bryant- 8 receptions, 145 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

This Thanksgiving day showdown was full of explosive plays. The Redskins scored four touchdowns in the second quarter alone to go up 28-3 at the half. The Cowboys marched back in the second half but ended up a touchdown short in their comeback efforts. RG3 had another nearly perfect day while Tony Romo struggled in the first half.

Patriots vs. Jets: 49-19 Patriots
Patriots Player of the Week: Tom Brady- 323 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 144.1 passer rating
Jets Player of the Week: N/A

If you want to consider this a game, then the Patriots absolutely dominated. This embarrassment show by the New York Jets finally was enough to get longtime fan Fireman Ed to step down as the unofficial team mascot. Although Ed says that he is stepping down because of the arguments and rudeness of fans, let's be real, the Jets stink. The Patriots' offense didn't even miss Gronk which is a good sign. This team is going to be dangerous once again if they can continue to score at this pace.

Bears vs. Vikings: 38-10 Bears
Bears Player of the Week: Mike Bush- 60 rush yards, 2 touchdowns
Vikings Player of the Week: Kyle Rudolph- 5 receptions, 55 receiving yards, touchdown

The Bears dominated the Vikings without Matt Forte's help this past Sunday. The Vikings started off the season strong, but now that their schedule is getting tougher, they are starting to show their flaws. After a rough two weeks, the Bears' defense is back to being the biggest and baddest in the league.

Steelers vs. Browns: 20-14 Browns
Steelers Player of the Week: N/A
Browns Player of the Week: Trent Richardson- 85 rush yards, touchdown

Any time a team turns the ball over eight times they deserve to lose no matter what. The Steelers showed just how important Big Ben is to their team. Congrats to the Browns for picking up the win, but for the Steelers' own sakes, Roethlisberger better come back soon.

Bills vs. Colts: 20-13 Colts
Bills Player of the Week: CJ Spiller- 107 rush yards
Colts Player of the Week: Reggie Wayne- 8 receptions, 102 receiving yards

The Colts rebounded from their loss to the Patriots with a win against the Bills. At 7-4, they are very likely to return to the playoffs after a one year hiatus, with Andrew Luck running the offense. Unfortunately for the Bills, their playoff hopes likely came to an end this week. After much hype heading into the season, the Bills didn't live up to expectations.

Broncos vs. Chiefs: 17-9 Broncos
Broncos Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 285 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 90.5 passer rating
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 107 rush yards

The Broncos didn't play their best football but were still able to beat the worst team in the league. It was scary that the Chiefs lef for most of the first half, but then reality struck and they ended up stinking the rest of the game. The Broncos have really impressed this year with Peyton Manning returning back to the 4-time MVP he is. Will he win his fifth this season? We will have to wait to find out.

Raiders vs. Bengals: 34-10 Bengals
Raiders Player of the Week: Marcel Reese- 74 rush yards
Bengals Player of the Week: BenJarvus Green-Ellis- 129 rush yards, touchdown

AJ Green's touchdown streak might have come to an end, but who cares. The Bengals are playing their best football of the season and are just a game out of the playoffs. Dalton is playing like it's his eight year in the league and not just his second. The Raiders' woes continue but on the bright side, the season is almost over.

Seahawks vs. Dolphins: 24-21 Dolphins
Seahawks Player of the Week: Russell Wilson- 224 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 125.9 passer rating
Dolphins Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 87 rush yards, touchdown

The Seahawks blew a must-needed road win agains the Dolphins. Seattle, who has only one win away from home, blew a late fourth quarter lead. Now at 6-5, they will need to win some tough games if they want to make the playoffs this year.

Falcons vs. Bucs: 24-23 Falcons
Falcons Player of the Week: Julio Jones- 6 receptions, 147 receiving yards, touchdown
Bucs Player of the Week: Doug Martin- 50 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

Damnit! The Falcons got away with another bogus win this past week. The Bucs had a chance to win the game late but missed their opportunity. At 10-1 the Falcons are currently the top seed in the NFC, but I don't think they are as good as their record may show.

Titans vs. Jaguars: 24-19 Jaguars
Titans Player of the Week: Chris Johnson- 80 rush yards
Jaguars Player of the Week: Chad Henne- 261 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 108.0 passer rating

The Jags picked up their second win of the season, this time with Chad Henne at QB. They recently claimed Jason Babin off the waiver wire, so it looks like the Jags aren't throwing in the towel despite not being able to make the playoffs.

Ravens vs. Chargers: 16-13 Ravens
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 97 rush yards, 67 receiving yards
Chargers Player of the Week: Malcolm Floyd- 4 receptions, 65 receiving yards, touchdown

The Chargers' miserable season can't get any worse. They failed to stop the Ravens on an improbable 4th and 29 with under two minutes to play. Ray Rice picked up the needed yards which eventually set up a 38 yard game-winning field goal. It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win for Baltimore.

Niners vs. Saints: 31-21 Niners
Niners Player of the Week: Colin Kaepernick- 231 pass yards, 2 total touchdowns, 90.6 passer rating
Saints Player of the Week:  Drew Brees- 267 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 85.6 passer rating

In his second start, Kaepernick played well enough to give the Niners the win and earn himself the permanent starter role for now. Turnovers plagued the Saints who trailed for the majority of the game. After winning five of their last six games, the Saints are now back to under .500 with five games remaining in the season.

Rams vs. Cardinals: 31-17 Rams
Rams Player of the Week: Chris Givens- 5 receptions, 115 receiving yards, touchdown
Cardinals Player of the Week: Beanie Wells- 48 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

It just doesn't make sense to me as to why the Cardinals start Ryan Lindley. The dude absolutely sucks. Lindley threw two touchdowns to Janoris Jenkins in the game, but the only problem is the fact that Jenkins plays for the Rams. Long story short, the Rams dominated this game.

Packers vs. Giants: 38-10 Giants
Packers Player of the Week: Jordy Nelson- 2 receptions, 71 receiving yards, touchdown
Giants Player of the Week: Eli Manning- 249 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 114.4 passer rating

After losing their last two games, the Giants responded with a huge win at home. They shutdown the Packers' offense and unleashed on their defense. Eli Manning was finally sighted after being MIA since Sandy hit New York. At 7-4, the Giants again look like the favorites to claim the NFC East.

Panthers vs. Eagles: 30-22 Panthers
Panthers Player of the Week: Cam Newton- 306 pass yards, 52 rush yards, 4 total touchdowns, 125.0 passer rating
Eagles Player of the Week: Bryce Brown-178 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

This is the Panthers' offense we loved to watch last year but missed out on this year. Cam Newton put on a stellar show on Monday Night to prove to America that he hasn't fallen into a sophomore slump. For once, Newton had support on offense which made his job as easy as it should be. As for Philly, their misery continues with another ugly loss. Every Eagles fan is just watching the clock and waiting for the moment Andy Reid is no longer the coach and the season is finally over.

Week 13 Thursday Night Prediction:

Saints vs. Falcons: 30-22 Saints

The Saints have owned the Falcons over the years and even though the Falcons are 10-1, I like Brees and the Saints. The Saints know that their season is on the line in this game and it's hard to get Drew Brees to admit defeat. The Falcons haven't played a good football game in weeks, despite the record, so I'm relying on the Saints to give Atlanta their second loss of the year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

College Football Week 13 Review

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Te'o and the Fighting Irish are headed to the National Championship
Game after knocking of unranked USC 22-13.

Last week wrapped up the college football regular season for most teams in Division I. This upcoming week will feature conference championship games, as well as a few other regular season finales. Although just one team ranked in the top 10 lost, there were plenty of BCS Top 25 teams upset over the weekend. (10) Florida State blew a late lead in the fourth quarter and ended up losing to (4) Florida. (11) Clemson was upset by (12) South Carolina, (15) Oregon State lost the Civil War game to (5) Oregon,  (16) Texas fell to unranked TCU last Thursday, and (17) UCLA lost to (8) Stanford but will play again for the Pac 12 Championship Game this upcoming weekend. (18) Rutgers lost to an under .500 Pittsburgh team, (19) Michigan was beaten by their longtime rivals, Ohio State, (20) Louisville lost to Connecticut, (21) Oklahoma State was defeated by (13) Oklahoma in a shootout, (24) Arizona lost to Arizona State, and (25) Washington lost to in-state rival Washington State. Although they will not be playing in any bowls, shout-outs to Penn State and Ohio State are due. Heading into the season, no one thought the Nittany Lions would be over .500, but they ended up winning eight games. As for the Buckeyes, everyone expected them to be pretty good under Urban Meyer, but no one saw them going undefeated. It's great to see these two legendary programs continue to give it their hardest on the field despite off the field issues.

BCS Top 10:
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Georgia Bulldogs
4. Florida Gators
5. Oregon Ducks
6. Kansas State Wildcats
7. LSU Tigers
8. Stanford Cardinal
9. Texas A&M Aggies
10. South Carolina Gamecocks

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o- Defensive players rarely make it on this list on this blog, but Te'o is an exception. After not crediting him during the season, plenty of credit is overdue. Te'o had another clutch interception to seal Notre Dame's final regular season win. The senior linebacker has overcome extreme adversity and has led the Fighting Irish to their first BCS National Championship Game.
2. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel- The kid simply doesn't stop trying. In his regular season finale, the freshman phenom threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns, but also ran for 67 yards and two more touchdowns.  The Aggies are likely headed to the Capital One bowl this postseason but Johnny Football is likely headed to NYC for the Heisman Trophy Presentation.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes- The Buckeyes finished off their season with a perfect 12-0 record. Their bowl game was the Michigan game and they came out tough. Quarterback Braxton Miller ran a dynamic offense and Urban Meyer totally kept Ohio State's football legacy alive. This team will be dangerous, regardless of whether or not they will be playing in bowl games.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. The BCS Bowl System- It's great that Notre Dame will get an opportunity to play in the National Championship Game, but to me, the BCS system is flawed. We will never know if either Notre Dame, Alabama, or Georgia is the real best team in the nation without playing Oregon, Kansas State, or Stanford. It's ludicrous that six SEC teams mark up the BCS Top 10 but only two of the teams will be playing in BCS bowls. America wants a playoff system, be it four teams, eight teams, or sixteen teams. Let's see the NCAA do the right thing and create a playoff system that everyone is in favor of.
2. USC Trojans- Covered this last week but I will repeat it again. The Trojans miserably failed this season after starting off the year ranked No. 1. With the regular season over, the Trojans aren't even ranked in the Top 25. Barkley and Kiffin were both bad, to say the least, but the defense was also subpar for USC standards.
3. Auburn Tigers- Two years removed from a national championship, the Tigers lost three times as many games as they won this season. Gene Chizik is out after two poor seasons as a result. A 49-0 blowout in the Iron Bowl against Alabama really shows how far the Tigers slipped this season.

Game of the Week: (1) Notre Dame vs. USC

With Matt Barkley already out, the Trojans entered the game at a major disadvantage. The home field advantage was some help, but everyone knew that Notre Dame would end up on top. Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first and led 10-0 by the end of the first quarter thanks to a field goal and touchdown run by Theo Riddick. Robert Woods caught a touchdown pass from Max Wittek five seconds into the second quarter to cut down the lead. The two teams then exchanged field goals to make it 16-10 heading into the second half. In the second half, no touchdowns were scored but Notre Dame kicked two field goals while the Trojans only made one. The Fighting Irish ended up defeated the Trojans 22-13. Riddick ended the game with 146 rush yards and a touchdown. Silas Redd led the Trojans with 76 rush yards on 12 carries. The Fighting Irish will now wait to see who they play in the BCS NCG.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (2) Alabama vs. (3) Georgia- The winner of the SEC Championship Game will advance to the National Championship Game to take on Notre Dame.
2. (8) Stanford vs. (16) UCLA- The Cardinal knocked off the Bruins last week, but who wins this week's rematch in the Pac 12 Championship Game?
3. (6) Kansas State vs. (18) Texas- What will Collin Klein have in store for the Big 12 Championship game?
4. (12) Nebraska vs. Wisconsin- Will Wisconsin make a trip to the Rose Bowl for the third straight year, or will Nebraska win their first ever Big Ten Championship?
5. (13) Florida State vs. Georgia Tech- Who will take home the ACC crown?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rest Of The Week 12 Predictions

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Can Chad Henne lead the Jaguars to victory after a close loss last week?

Vikings vs. Bears: 28-20 Bears

This is where the Vikings' schedule starts to get ridiculously hard. They've had their fun, but now it's time to lose. The Bears are fresh off of two losses and will be hungry for a big win this week to get back on track. Jay Cutler is expected to return and even if he isn't at full strength, any form of Jay Cutler is better than Jason Campbell.

Raiders vs. Bengals: 23-16 Bengals

Cincinnati has been playing great football as of lately and should continue their hot streak against the Raiders. The Raiders are again without Darren McFadden and will depend on Marcel Reece to run the football. In this battle of the ginger quarterbacks, I'm going to have to side with Dalton over Palmer.

Steelers vs. Browns: 14-10 Browns

Wow, I never thought I would be picking the Browns over the Steelers. Over the past decade, the Steelers have dominated the Browns and have won 10 of the last 11 games in Cleveland. With Big Ben out and Charlie Batch starting, it's a struggle to take Pittsburgh. For once, I will think Brandon Weeden is the better quarterback option on the field, so please make this pick seem smart, Brandon.

Bills vs. Colts: 27-24 Colts

The Bills have had the hot hand lately, but no one messes with Luck inside of his dome. After an embarrassing loss to New England last week, the Colts will be ready to reprove themselves as a legitimate playoff team.

Broncos vs. Chiefs: 37-9 Broncos

Peyton Manning vs. Matt Cassel. Do I really need to make sense of this pick? Next.

Seahawks vs.Dolphins: 23-13 Seahawks

The Dolphins have played awful football these past few weeks. They've gotten blown out in back to back weeks and haven't successfully ran the ball since who knows when. This is a perfect chance to get a road win for the Seahawks, who have struggled away from CenturyLink Field this season. Russell Wilson will outshine fellow rookie Ryan Tannehill in this one.

Falcons vs. Bucs: 35-32 Falcons

This one hurts to choose, but I'm leaning towards Atlanta. After throwing five picks last week, something tells me that Matt Ryan is going to go into complete Ef You Mode and prove to us why he is still an MVP candidate. The Bucs' offense has been great and I think they will not have a problem scoring, but I do think their defense will take a hit today.

Titans vs. Jaguars: 28-23 Jaguars

In Henne We Trust? Wow, this might be the first time I've taken the Jaguars all season, but then again, they are playing the Titans. Even though they eventually lost in OT, the Jaguars should feel motivated by their play against the Texans.

Ravens vs. Chargers: 30-20 Chargers

Expect Philip Rivers to be eaten alive on Sunday. Even though the defense is depleted, Baltimore will  absolutely demolish Rivers like they have to so many quarterbacks already. Even if Rivers does play a half decent game, San Diego's defense is not good enough to stop Ray Rice or even Joe Flacco.

Niners vs. Saints: 37-30 Saints

Ok, I admit it, I am a secret Saints fan. I've picked them nearly every week and I will do it once again this week. Kaepernick played great last week and I think he will play well against the terrible Saints defense, but I can't see San Francisco shutting down Drew Brees. While the MVP talk is all about Peyton Manning, why hasn't anyone mentioned Brees. He has practically coached this team while playing the most important position and has led them to win five of their past six games. It's a miracle that this team is still in the playoff hunt after what they went through this offseason. The Niners are a fantastic team and are probably the best in the NFC, but I see them slipping this game to the Saints in the Superdome.

Rams vs. Cardinals: 23-16 Cardinals

This one might be easier than most think. The Rams were unwatchable against the Jets last week while the Cardinals actually played a tough game against the Falcons. Second, the Rams haven't won on the road while the Cardinals play their best football in their stadium. The Arizona quarterback situation frightens me, but I still have them over the Rams.

Packers vs. Giants:28-24 Giants

Oh, you think the Giants have stunk recently and have already peaked? You think that Aaron Rodgers will dominate Eli Manning? Good, because that's exactly what Tom Coughlin wants everyone to think. I wouldn't be surprised if Coughlin actually had the team play poorly on purpose just to show up big on Sunday Night against his favorite opponent, the Green Bay Packers. No one plays the Nobody Believes In Us card better than the Giants. Just like last year, the Giants will enter as the underdog and come out as the winner. Just watch.

Panthers vs. Eagles: 27-20 Panthers

Both teams have had painful and disappointing seasons so far. The Eagles lost their quarterback, defense, dignity, and eventually will lose their coach. The Panthers have regressed after a hopeful season last year. Cam Newton cannot do it all for this team but he should find some success against Philadelphia.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NFL Week 11 Recap & Week 12 Thanksgiving Predictions

(AP Photo/Dave Einsel)
Matt Schaub tied the modern-day record for most passing yards in a single game with 527.
Schaub has led the Texans this season to the best record in the NFL.

Last Week's Record: 12-1
Overall Record: 107-52

Dolphins vs. Bills: 19-14 Bills
Dolphins Player of the Week: Davone Bess- 6 receptions, 50 receiving yards, touchdown
Bills Player of the Week: CJ Spiller- 91 rush yards, 39 receiving yards

The Bills snapped a three game skid with a win against the Dolphins on Thursday Night. The Dolphins, who now have a three game losing streak of their own, struggled to run the ball efficiently once again. Both teams are now 4-6 and along with the Jets, are tied for second in the AFC East.

Cardinals vs. Falcons: 23-19 Falcons
Cardinals Player of the Week: LaRod Stephens- Howling- 127 rush yards, touchdown
Falcons Player of the Week: Roddy White- 8 receptions, 123 receiving yards

How in the world do you throw five interceptions and manage to win a game? The Atlanta Falcons pulled out another shady and unimpressive win last week against the Cardinals. The Cardinals were up 13-0, but lost their lead when John Skelton was replaced by Ryan Lindley. Another day another dollar, and by that, I mean another bogus and unimpressive win by the NFC leading Falcons.

Browns vs. Cowboys: 23-20 (OT)
Browns Player of the Week: Trent Richardson- 95 rush yards, 49 receiving yards
Cowboys Player of the Week: Dez Bryant- 12 receptions, 145 receiving yards, touchdown

It wasn't pretty, but the Cowboys defeated the Browns in OT, advancing back to .500. It took them an overtime period, but a win is a win for any Dallas fan. Dez Bryant had a moster day, racking in nearly half of Tony Romo's completions and passing yards. Dallas trails the Giants by only one game with six more weeks left in the season.

Packers vs. Lions: 24-20 Packers
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 236 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 106.4 passer rating
Lions Player of the Week: Calvin Johnson- 5 receptions, 143 receiving yards, touchdown

The Lions blew another game late in the fourth quarter, this time against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack marched back to score the last 10 points of the game. Calvin Johnson has touchdowns in consecutive games for the first time all season, but his efforts weren't enough to give Detroit the win.

Bengals vs. Chiefs: 28-6 Bengals
Bengals Player of the Week: AJ Green- 6 receptions, 91 receiving yards, touchdown
Chiefs: Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 87 rush yards

The Bengals got a much needed win, crushing the Chiefs 28-6. AJ Green caught another touchdown, making it nine straight games with an endzone visit. Who Dey nation is just one game out of the wildcard, and with the way The Red Rifle is throwing the football, their odds are looking pretty good.

Jets vs. Rams: 27-3 Jets
Jets Player of the Week: Mark Sanchez- 178 pass yards, touchdown, 118.3 passer rating
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 81 rush yards

Call me Nostradamus. As I correctly predicted, Mark Sanchez outplayed Sam Bradford and helped the Jets win a pointless game. The win relieves just enough pressure from the media for the Jets to hold off on Tim Tebow. It's a shame, but it's unfortunately true.

Eagles vs. Redskins: 31-6 Redskins
Eagles Player of the Week: LeSean McCoy- 45 rush yards- 67 receiving yards
Redskins Player of the Week: Robert Griffin III- 200 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 158.3 passer rating

Wow, two major thoughts on this game.
1. RG3 is the real deal. The rookie threw just one incomplete pass all game and finished with a perfect passer rating. If the Redskins played in a relatively easier division (or just the AFC), they would definitely be in the playoff hunt.
2. Are you happy Eagles fans? As a strong Vick supporter, I was happy to see Nick Foles struggle, which proves the point that Vick wasn't to blame for the Eagles' losses. The defense is absolutely atrocious and the coaching staff needs to be replaced.

Bucs vs. Panthers: 27-21 Bucs
Bucs Player of the Week: Doug Martin- 138 rush yards
Panthers Player of the Week: Cam Newton- 252 pass yards, 40 rush yards, touchdown, 95.8 passer rating

Can anyone tell me which team has had the best offense since Week 5? If you said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then you are correct. Tampa's offensive juggernaut has helped them win five of their last six games. In this game, Josh Freeman led another comeback win in the second half of the fourth quarter. Similar to the game against the Falcons, the Panthers elected to punt instead of going for it on fourth and one on the 50. As a result of the punt, the Bucs marched down the field, scored, and then won the game in OT. Cut Cam Newton some slack though, he played a great game.

Jaguars vs. Texans: 43-37 Texans (OT)
Jaguars Player of the Week: Chad Henne-354 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 126.8 passer rating
Texans Player of the Week: Matt Schaub- 527  pass yards, 5 touchdowns, 121.7 passer rating

Well, this is awkward. After making fun of the Jaguars all week long, they took out their anger on the field and nearly beat the best team in the NFL. Chad Hanne replaced Blaine Gabbert early in the game and had one hell of a game. The backup threw for over 350 yards and four touchdowns. That being said, the Jaguars defense allowed nearly 650 yards of total offense, of which 273 belonged to Andre Johnson, who also caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Poor luck, Jacksonville.

Saints vs. Raiders: 38-17 Saints
Saints Player of the Week: Drew Brees- 219 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 134.6 passer rating
Raiders Player of the Week: Marcel Reece- 103 rush yards

The Saints are finally at .500 after winning five of their last six games. Drew Brees is the best player-coach in the league and the team's motivation as of lately proves it. The Saints are just a game out of the wild card and can return to the playoffs if they can overcome their challenging schedule.

Chargers vs. Broncos: 30-23 Broncos
Chargers Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 270 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 92.4 passer rating
Broncos Player of the Week: Danario Alexander- 7 receptions, 96 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

The Broncos pulled off another victory, but lost Willis McGahee for the rest of the regular season. The 31-year old running back suffered a torn MCL after rushing for 55 yards on just seven carries. The scene in San Diego goes not look good for the Chargers. They continue to lose week after week and haven't made an improvement in years. Time to fire Norv.

Colts vs. Patriots: 59-28 Patriots
Colts Player of the Week: T.Y. Hilton- 6 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Patriots Player of the Week: Tom Brady- 331 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 127.2 passer rating

You come at the king, you best. Andrew Luck learned his lesson not to mess with around with an elite NFL quarterback. Tom Brady showed the boy "what's up", torching Indianapolis' defense for 59 points. Unfortunately for New England though, Rob Gronkowski will likely miss the rest of the regular season with a broken arm.

Ravens vs. Steelers: 13-10 Ravens
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 40 rush yards, 53 receiving yards
Steelers Player of the Week: Emmanuel Sanders- 3 receptions, 82 receiving yards

The Ravens and Steelers played a typical uninspiring and physical game Sunday Night, resulting in another win for the Ravens. The Ravens rough defense bullied Byron Leftwich all game and eventually injured him. I hate how the Ravens will win the division practically by default, but it's always funny when they lose early in the playoffs anyways.

Bears vs. Niners: 32-7 Niners
Bears Player of the Week: N/A
Niners Player of the Week: Colin Kaepernick- 243 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 133.1 passer rating

Colin "The Kid" Kaepernick torched the Bears in his starting debut on the biggest stage in the NFL, Monday Night. Kaepernick was extremely efficient and managed to break apart one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Bears have dropped two straight, and although they are still my NFC Super Bowl representative, they need Jay Cutler back, like right now.

Thanksgiving Day Picks

Texans vs. Lions: 32-24 Texans

This game will definitely have some firepower, but the Texans will eventually pull out the win. They are too good on both sides of the ball to lose to the Lions. The Andre Johnson vs. Calvin Johnson showdown is a battle everyone has been waiting for, but I have a feeling Andre's team takes home the prize.

Redskins vs. Cowboys: 30-28 Cowboys

I don't care how well the Redskins looked on Sunday because the Cowboys always play great football in November and will make their fans happy on Thursday. It will be difficult for Dallas to keep RG3 under control, but they will find a way. If the Giants lose following the Cowboys' win, the NFC East playoff race will go down to the wire once again.

Patriots vs. Jets: 37-20 Patriots

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Patriots love playing the Jets in the Meadowlands. There is nothing more enticing to Bill Belichick and his team than making a joke of the Jets on their own turf. That being said, expect the Patriots to comfortably beat the Jets on Thanksgiving Night in front of a crowd packed full of unhappy Jets fans.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

College Football Week 12 Recap

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan is making the Andrew Luck
transition process easy for everyone in Palo Alto.

For the first time in five years, both the No. 1 & 2 teams in the country lost in the same weekend. In addition to Kansas State and Oregon both losing, there were two other upsets in the BCS Top 25. (21) Louisiana Tech lost to Utah State 48-41 and (23) Texas Tech lost to (24) Oklahoma State 59-21. (18) USC was the only other team in the BCS Top 25 to lose last week. The Trojans lost to (17) UCLA 38-28. With just one week left in the regular season, Notre Dame and Alabama will need to secure their top rankings if they want to advance to the BCS National Championship Game.

BCS Top 10:
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Georgia Tide
4. Florida Gators
5. Oregon Ducks
6. Kansas State Wildcats
7. LSU Tigers
8. Stanford Cardinal
9. Texas A&M Aggies
10. Florida State Seminoles

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Baylor Bears- Despite a down season compared to last year, the Bears made up for their subpar play  by playing the biggest spoiler role in college football. Baylor has been in many shootouts this season, and finally one went their way. Nick Florence, the NCAA's most efficient passer, helped spark the Bears' offense early in the game. After leading by 10 at the half, Baylor outscored the Wildcats 24-7 in the third quarter to pretty much clinch the victory.
2. Oklahoma QB Landry Jones- Did anyone forget about the Sooners? Well lo and behold, Oklahoma is ranked in the Top 12 and is looking to make a final BCS push. Landry Jones, Oklahoma's experienced quarterback, led the Sooners to victory over West Virginia by throwing for 554 yards and six touchdowns. Jones was able to outshine Geno Smith in the win.
3. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel- Here in the sports blogosphere, we can't get enough of the freshman phenom. Johnny Football has conquered college football as the season has progressed and is poised to lead the Aggies to a BCS Bowl this postseason. Last week against Sam Houston State, Manziel shattered the NCAA record for freshman by throwing for over 3,000 yards and rushing for over 1,000 yards in a single season. In the 47-22 win, Manziel combined for over 350 yards of offense and 5 touchdowns.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. USC Trojans- Even though the top two teams in the nation lost last week, USC is still the most disappointing team. After starting off the year No. 1 with Matt Barkley headlining the Heisman campaign, the Trojans have dropped out of the BCS Top 25 altogether. To make matters worse, Matt Barkley will not play on Saturday, making their showdown vs. Notre Dame even tougher. The Trojans can still avenge a disappointing season with a big win on Saturday, but it looks extremely unlikely.
2. Kansas State Wildcats- The Wildcats blew it, plain and simple. After playing so well through the first 11 weeks of the season, Klein and the gang finally caved in. The Wildcats' first loss of the season was an ugly one. Their defense allowed over 50 points which put the team in a hole. Kansas State can kiss their National Championship hopes goodbye.
3. Oregon Ducks- The NCAA's most likable team finally lost last weekend for the first time all season. Chip Kelly and the offensive juggernaut that is the Oregon Ducks had the chance to be the top team in the nation. All they had to do was beat Stanford at home. Unfortunately for the Ducks, that was too hard of a challenge for them. They had a chance to win the game late and blew it.

Game of the Week: (2) Oregon vs. (13) Stanford

Wouldn't it be cliché to have the Game of the Week feature the No. 1 team once again? I think so. In this matchup, the Oregon Ducks had a chance to prove why they were the best team in the country but failed at doing so. Their potent offense was finally controlled by Stanford's aggressive front seven. Kevin Hogan and Stanford got on the board first following a one-yard run by the freshman quarterback from Virginia just three minutes into the game. After being stopped on their first few drives, the Ducks finally found the endzone with three minutes and change remaining in the first quarter. Freshmen Marcus Mariota found Keanon Lowe for a 28 yard touchdown. After a scoreless second quarter, De'Anthony Thomas, "The Black Mamba", broke open the lead for the Ducks with a six-yard touchdown run. Oregon looked poised to win, but with just over a minute left to play in the fourth quarter, Hogan found tight end Zach Ertz for a 10-yard touchdown. The touchdown was extremely controversial and took several minutes to review. At first, the pass was ruled incomplete but was eventually overturned. Ertz caught the ball while falling backwards. As he fell, he bobbled the ball, but appeared to have regained control as his right shoulder brazed the turf. In overtime, Alejandro Maldonado missed a field goal for the Ducks, which gave the Cardinal a great chance to win the game. Oregon's defense stopped Stanford on first, second, and third down, but on fourth down, Stanford successfully converted a 38 yard field goal to win the game. Senior Stepfan Taylor led the Cardinal with 161 rush yards.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (1) Notre Dame vs. USC- Can the Trojans avenge an unsuccessful season with a big win against one of their long-time rivals?
2. (5) Oregon vs. (15) Oregon State- The Civl War game is always a fun one to watch out in Oregon.
3.(4) Florida vs. (10) Florida State- Will it be the Gators or Seminoles who win the Sunshine State battle?
4. (8) Stanford vs. (17) UCLA- Both smart schools that have great football teams. Who wins?
5. (19) Michigan vs. Ohio State- You are crazy if you do not watch this game.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NFL Week 11 Predictions

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Tony Romo and the Cowboys aren't giving up on their season just yet.

Cardinals vs. Falcons: 27-13 Falcons

The Falcons will bounce back and defeat the Cardinals, following their first loss of the season last week. Julio Jones is active and will play, which will help Matt Ryan against Arizona's solid defense. Atlanta rarely lose at home, and I doubt their first home loss of the year comes against the Cardinals.

Browns vs. Cowboys: 30-20 Cowboys

The Cowboys are going to pick up a lot of momentum these next few weeks as their schedule keeps getting easier. With a win, Romo and the gang improve to 5-5, which is good enough to be in the playoff race.

Packers vs. Lions: 35-27 Packers

Neither team plays good defense, but both offenses have the ability to explode in any game. Expect this one to be a high-scoring shootout that comes down to a late Matthew Stafford interception to lose the Lions the game.

Bengals vs. Chiefs: 32-17 Bengals

Based on the way Andy Dalton and the Bengals played against the Giants last week, this team should have no problem against the 1-8 Chiefs. With the Big Ben banged up, the Bengals will make a push to jump to second in the AFC North.

Jets vs. Rams: 24-20 Jets

Yeah, I did it. This is the perfect game for the Jets to win because even with a win, they won't be good enough to be considered "good", but they will use the win to delay playing Tebow for another week! All signs are pointing to a sneaky Jets win that no one saw coming. And just to make things interesting, Mark Sanchez WILL outplay Sam Bradford.

Eagles vs. Redskins: 23-16 Redskins

Baylor vs. Arizona? I'll take RG3 over Foles any day of the week. The Eagles have already thrown in the towel, so what could be worst than a loss to the 'Skins? The Redskins' offense has been better this year but their defense, which was supposed to lead the team, has been subpar. If they can contain LeSean McCoy, this game should be cake for them.

Bucs vs. Panthers: 35-21 Bucs

Good luck trying to stop the Bucs' offense. Oh, you mean the offense that has been Top 3 in efficiency since their bye week? Yeah, that one. The Panthers have looked pathetic this season, and I expect them to continue their pathetic-ness in another brutal loss at home.

Jaguars vs. Texans: 32-13 Texans

Really? Really? Really!?!?! This game is too unfair. The Texans' third strings will outscore the Jaguars in the second half.

Saints vs. Raiders: 42-30 Saints

Who is 4-1 in their last five games? Oh right, the Saints. Carson Palmer vs. Drew Brees will probably result in 700+ pass yards, 7 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. The Saints will continue their hot streak with a big win against the Raiders. And by big, I mean high scoring, and not big in the sense that the Raiders are a good football team (because they are not).

Chargers vs. Broncos: 31-25 Broncos

Anyone remember when these two teams played on Monday Night? Well I sure do. After playing actually impressive football for two whole quarters (I know that's a lot to ask for), the Chargers blew away their lead in the second half in the most embarrassing way possible. I think Philip Rivers turned the ball over on four of his last five drives. Pathetic. I'd be shocked if Peyton and the Broncos blew this one at home.

Colts vs. Patriots: 33-26  Patriots

Yes, we know Andrew Luck is having an impressive rookie season and all that, but this is real talk. We're talking possible MVP candidate, not Rookie of the Year. Tom Brady will show Luck "who runs this league" after a win in Foxborough.

Steelers vs. Ravens: 24-16 Ravens

Well, we already know that the Steelers don't play well on national television and we also know that the Ravens don't lose at home. What does that equate to? A Ravens win on Sunday Night! The Steelers are 0-4 vs. the Ravens without Big Ben, and they will be 0-5 after the game this week.

Bears vs. Niners: 22-15 Niners

Both teams lost their quarterbacks last week after ugly hits. Both teams also have incredible defenses and solid running games. On paper, these two teams look very similar. The key difference is that the 49'ers are playing at home. I expect the home-field advantage to be strong enough to boost the 49ers to victory.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NFL Week 10 Recap

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
After rushing for a paltry 45 yards through the first three weeks of the season,
Chris Johnson has now rushed for nearly 900 yards through 10 weeks.

Last Week's Record: 11-3
Overall Record: 95-51

Colts vs. Jaguars: 27-10 Colts
Colts Player of the Week: Andrew Luck- 227 pass yards, 2 rush touchdowns, 80.1 passer rating
Jaguars Player of the Week: Cecil Shorts III- 6 receptions, 105 receiving yards, touchdown

Week 10 started off with a boring matchup, but what more can you expect from a Thursday Night game involving the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts jumped out to an early lead thanks to two short rushing touchdowns by rookie Andrew Luck. The Colts advanced to 6-3 and are in great position to return to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus.

Giants vs. Bengals: 31-13 Bengals
Giants Player of the Week: Andre Brown- 65 rush yards, touchdown
Bengals Player of the Week: Andy Dalton- 199 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 127.6 passer rating

Boy was I wrong about this game. The Giants flat out stunk in this one and played their worst game since 2009 against the Carolina Panthers (Week 16, lost 41-9). Bill Simmons brought up a great point in his podcast after the game. We haven't seen Eli Manning play this bad in consecutive weeks (three) since his pre-Super Bowl days. Could he possibly be hurt and hiding something? I don't know, but as a Giants fan this worries me. Hats off to the Bengals though for playing a phenomenal game.

Titans vs. Dolphins: 37-3 Titans
Titans Player of the Week: Chris Johnson -126 rush yards, touchdown
Dolphins Player of the Week: Brian Hartline- 8 receptions, 79 receiving yards

Yeah, let's just get all the games I was completely wrong about out of the way now... It wasn't the Dolphins who ran all over the Titans, it was the Titans who ran all over the Dolphins. Miami stunk running the football and failed on offense overall. The Titans have flown under the radar (don't get my wrong, they are still a bad team) in that when they win, they pack on the points. Maybe this shows us that Jake Locker is a competent quarterback when presented with a lead. Either way, both teams are not playoff teams, so let's move onto the next game.

Lions vs. Vikings: 34-24 Vikings
Lions Player of the Week: Calvin Johnson- 12 receptions, 207 receiving yards, touchdown
Vikings  Player of the Week: Adrian Peterson- 171 rush yards, touchdown

Calvin Johnson scored his first touchdown since Week 3, but it wasn't enough to beat the Vikings in their dome. Adrian Peterson is playing like his ACL injury never existed, because he has returned as the best running back in the NFL after just 10 months. At 6-4, the Vikings are looking pretty good in terms of being a wildcard team this year.

Bills vs. Patriots: 37-31 Patriots
Bills Player of the Week: Fred Jackson- 80 rush yards, 2 touchdowns
Patriots Player of the Week: Stevan Ridley- 98 rush yards, touchdown

The beat-down wasn't nearly as bad as it was the first time these two teams met up. Nonetheless, the Patriots still controlled the game and scored at ease on the weak Buffalo defense.

Falcons vs. Saints: 31-27 Saints
Falcons Player of the Week: Matt Ryan- 411 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 100.7 passer rating
Saints Player of the Week: Drew Brees- 291 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 113.8 passer rating

Who called this one?!? I've been skeptical of the Falcons for a while and they finally proved that they aren't as perfect as everyone thought they were. Touchdown of the year might go to Saints running back Chris Ivory, who made the Falcons' defense look like swiss cheese on his 50+ yard touchdown run.

Chargers vs. Bucs: 34-24 Bucs
Chargers Player of the Week: Philip Rivers- 337 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 109.1 passer rating
Bucs Player of the Week: Josh Freeman- 210 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 137.5 passer rating

Norv Turner's career with the Chargers is likely to come to and end, either during the season, or once it has ended. After starting 3-1 once again, the Chargers have dropped four of their last five games. They don't play defense and the turn the ball over way too much. The Bucs on the other hand have been the hottest team in football. Led by Doug Martin and Josh Freeman, the Bucs' offensive juggernaut has turned it on the past few weeks and has looked nearly unstoppable.

Broncos vs. Panthers: 36-14 Broncos
Broncos Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 301 pass yards, touchdown, 103.1 passer rating
Panthers Player of the Week: Greg Olsen- 9 receptions, 102 receiving yards, touchdown

This was another obliteration by the Denver Broncos. With the hardest games in their schedule over, the 6-3 Broncos can look forward to cruising through the rest of their season. The Panthers have just had a miserable season so far. Cam Newton can't carry this team by himself, especially when the isn't performing at a high level this season.

Raiders vs. Ravens: 55-20 Ravens
Raiders Player of the Week: Carson Palmer- 368 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 95.4 passer rating
Ravens Player of the Week: Joe Flacco- 341 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 115.8 passer rating

The Ravens laid a smack-down on the Raiders last week. Without either of their running backs, the Raiders were forced to throw the ball 45 times. The Ravens' balanced offense kept the Raiders' defense guessing all game. Despite their injuries, it looks like the Ravens will clinch the AFC North.

Jets vs. Seahawks: 28-7 Seahawks
Jets Player of the Week: N/A
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 124 rush yards, touchdown

Was this game a surprise to anyone? The Seahawks are unstoppable at home and the Jets flat out stink.When will Rex Ryan realize that Mark Sanchez doesn't win games? Hopefully it's before he gets the boot in New York.

Cowboys vs. Eagles: 38-23 Cowboys
Cowboys Player of the Week: Tony Romo- 209 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 122.1 passer rating
Eagles Player of the Week: Jeremy Maclin- 8 receptions, 93 receiving yards, touchdown

Michael Vick is out in Philadelphia! No, he wasn't pulled, but the Pro-Bowl quarterback was knocked out with a concussion during a game. Nick Foles was decent, but wasn't good enough to bring the Eagles their first win since September. The Cowboys' win puts them at 4-5, and with their hardest games already played, they still have a chance to make the playoffs.

Rams vs. Niners: 24-24 Tie (OT)
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 102 rush yards, touchdown
Niners Player of the Week: Frank Gore- 97 rush yards, touchdown

These two teams tied, marking the first tie in the NFL since 2008. It was funny how some of these professionals didn't even know the rules of the NFL. Alex Smith was knocked out with a concussion, but the real story in this game was St. Louis' Johnny Hekker, who converted two fake punts to help force OT for the Rams.

Texans vs. Bears: 13-6 Texans
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 102 rush yards, receiving touchdown
Bears Player of the Week: Brandon Marshall- 8 receptions, 107 receiving yards

The Texans were able to defeat the Bears in a sloppy and messy game, played in pouring rain on Sunday Night. Jay Cutler was the next quarterback casualty of the week, after getting knocked out midway through the game. Combining the weather with both teams' stud defenses, it was difficult to get points on the scoreboard in this one.

Chiefs vs. Steelers: 16-13 Steelers (OT)
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 100 rush yards, touchdown
Steelers Player of the Week: Mike Wallace- 3 receptions, 14 yards, touchdown

The Chiefs held a lead for the first time all season! Unfortunately for KC, they failed to hold onto their lead. Big Ben was the final quarterback to be knocked out this week, after spraining his shoulder on a gruesome play. In OT, Matt Cassel threw a pick inside the Chiefs' own territory, setting the Stelers up for an easy game-winning field goal.

College Football Week 11 Review

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Johnny Football and the Aggies knocked off No. 1 Alabama this past weekend.

Move over Alabama, because there's a new No. 1 in town. Following a 29-24 loss to (15) Texas A&M this past weekend, Alabama is no longer the alpha-dog of the BCS. In addition to the Tide's loss last week, four other teams ranked in the BCS Top 25 were upset this week. (9) Louisville was defeated by Syracuse in the Carrrier Dome 45-26, (11) Oregon lost to Pac-12 rival (14) Stanford, (24) Northwestern fell to a Denard Robinson-less Michigan team, and (25) Toledo lost to Ball State. With Ohio State out of the race due to Bowl punishments, that leaves three remaining undefeated teams left in the BCS Top 25. Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame are all fighting for a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

BCS Top 10:
1. Kansas State Wildcats
2. Oregon Ducks
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
4. Alabama Crimson Tide
5. Georgia Bulldogs
6. Florida Gators
7. LSU Tigers
8. Texas A&M Aggies
9. South Carolina Gamecocks
10. Florida State Seminoles

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Texas AM QB Johnny Manziel- The freshman phenom, who has had my attention since the first week of the season, was the first quarterback to solve the biggest puzzle in college football: Alabama's defense. Johnny Football helped orchestrate two critical drives early in the first quarter to put the Aggies up 20-0. Despite only scoring nine points throughout the final three quarters, the early lead was enough to give the Tide their first loss in over a year. He finished with 253 pass yards, 93 rush yards and 2 touchdowns.
2. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota- Was last Saturday National Freshmen Day? The Duck's freshman quarterback threw for 377 yards and six touchdowns against Cal in a 59-17 win. His 28:5 touchdown to interception ratio is one of the best in college football and as long as he keeps slinging the ball the way he is, Oregon is likely to return to the BCS NCG.
3. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball- After rushing for 198 yards and three touchdowns against Indiana, Montee Ball is now alone in second place for the most rushing touchdowns in NCAA history. He needs one more touchdown to tie for the record of 78. Ball helped the Badgers defeat Indiana 62-14, making it likely that they return to the Big Ten Championship Game for the second season in a row.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide- It had to happen eventually, right? The Tide got off to a slow start, falling down 20-0 by the end of the first quarter. AJ McCarron tried to rally the troops, but his efforts were not good enough to keep Alabama undefeated.
2. Arkansas Razorbacks & Auburn Tigers- Where have these two teams been? While SEC football is at an all-time best, these two teams took the year (or last two years) off. Both teams suffered rough defeats last week and are under .500.
3. Louisville Cardinals- After starting off the season 9-0, Louisville lost to Syracuse. Not only did the Cardinals lose, but they lost by nearly 20 points to a team that was under .500 going into the game. Their defense, which had been good up until last week, allowed over 500 yards of offense and nearly 50 points. That's got to be a disappointing loss for Louisville.

Game of the Week: (1) Alabama vs. (15) Texas A&M

When the top team goes down, it's got to be the Game of the Week. This game has been mentioned enough in this article so I'll keep this brief. Freshman standout Johnny "Football" Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies knocked off Alabama on their own turf. The last time the Tide lost at home, they fell to Cam Newton and Auburn by one point in the Iron Bowl. Alabama turned the football over three times while the Aggies played turnover-free football. Both teams were fairly efficient on third downs, but what really changed this game was the quick and energetic start by Texas A&M. They weren't rattled by the intimidating environment and just played their style of football.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1.  (2) Oregon vs. (13) Stanford- Hey Nerd Nation, try to stop Oregon's offense. I dare you.
2.  (12) Oklahoma vs. West Virginia- Both teams have fell off the map recently, but the quarterback matchup is still a must watch.
3. Wisconsin vs. Ohio State- The last two years, these two teams have gone on to play fantastic games versus each other. If you follow the Big Ten, you're watching this game over anything else on TV.
4. (17) UCLA vs. (18) USC- There is bad blood between these two Californian rivals. Who will take home bragging rights this year?
5. Utah State vs. Louisiana Tech- This offensive showdown will settle the WAC. Over/Under 100 total points scored?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NFL Week 10 Predictions

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Big Ben and the Stelers play the Chiefs on Monday Night. 

Colts vs. Jaguars: 27-10 Colts

Starting off the week 1-0 is a great feeling. The Colts came into Jacksonville and put a beating on the Jags. The Colts' defense did a fantastic job of shutting down the Jaguars' offense and even returned an interception for a touchdown. Believe it or not, but the 6-3 Colts might wind up in the playoffs this season.

Giants vs. Bengals: 24-10 Giants

The Giants will win their first ever game in Cincinnati on Sunday. It's rare that the Giants lose back to back games and it's even rarer that the second loss comes to a team with a ginger quarterback. Eli and the Giants will return to form this week and beat the Bengals on their home turf.

Titans vs. Dolphins: 23-16 Dolphins

Who would have guessed that the Dolphins would be 2nd place in the AFC East and still have a chance to make the playoffs with more than half of the season already over? Miami's defense has been stellar this season, while their offense has been good enough to win games. Expect Reggie Bush to have a big game, because the Dolphins are going to run all over Tennessee.

Lions vs. Vikings: 27-23 Vikings

Despite the cold streak, the Vikings play their best football at home in their dome. If Adrian Peterson can continue to pave his way through defenses and if Christian Ponder can limit himself to one interception or less, the Vikings should win this game. The Lions don't play well in the first half of games, so if the Vikings can get out early and control the game tempo, they should come out as winners.

Bills vs. Patriots: 37-13 Patriots

The last time these two teams played, the Pats dropped over 50 on the Bills' defense. Expect the Patriots to continue dominance against the Bills at home, as they try to pick up some momentum in the second half of the season.

Falcons vs. Saints: 35-30 Saints

Who else but the Saints would be the team to ruin the Falcons' perfect season? I've said it over and over again, but I'll say it one more time. The Falcons haven't looked great in their last few games and will finally lose this week. The Saints are a different team in their dome and have won three of their last four games. Who Dat Nation upsets the birds.

Chargers vs. Bucs: 30-27 Bucs

I was never a believer in the Bucs until recently. This team continues to believe in itself and coach Greg Schiano has done a great job leading them. Their offense has been redhot, unlike their opponents. The Chargers are 1-3 in their last four games and will likely lose another one this week.

Broncos vs. Panthers: 20-17 Broncos

The Broncos will win this game, but it will be closer than most expect. The Panthers are a good team, despite their record, and when they can simply run the ball, they are a much more efficient team. The Broncos have been playing awesome football, but don't be surprised if Cam and the Panthers force Peyton Manning to run a two-minute drill for the win.

Raiders vs. Ravens: 24-17 Ravens

The Ravens will remain undefeated at home this week, even though they are banged up. The Raiders themselves are just as banged up as the Ravens, which will force Carson Palmer to throw the ball over 40 times. Expect at least three of those balls to be picked off.

Jets vs. Seahawks: 26-20 Seahawks

Not trying to jinx the Seahawks, who might be my second favorite team in the NFL, but I have them winning at home this week. Russell Wilson has been flawless at home, compared to on the road, and the Seahawks are undefeated at CenturyLink Field. The Jets need a win, but will not get it this week in Seattle. It's time to put in Tebow.

Eagles vs. Cowboys: 30-22 Cowboys

Texans vs. Bears? No way, this game was the hardest to pick. Both teams need wins, while extreme amounts of pressure are on both coaches and quarterbacks. Just thinking about this game gets me upset. The Cowboys will win this game on the road, ensuing all madness to come in Philadelphia.

Rams vs. Niners: 30-16 Niners

The 49ers are back to being the top team in the NFC following the Giants' loss last week. The Niners can expect another win this week against their in-division rivals, the Rams. The Rams have been able to keep up with teams in the first half of games, but tend to slip in the second half. Alex Smith and the Niners will take care of the Rams in San Francisco.

Texans vs. Bears: 27-20 Bears

What's better than a Super Bowl preview in Week 10? The Bears get the nod because of their home field advantage. Both teams have incredible defenses, led by JJ Watt and Peanut Tillman, but I think this game will come down to offense. Matt Forte vs. Arian Foster, and Matt Schaub vs. Jay Cutler will be the two matchups I'll be looking at closely. Whoever wins those two battles will win the game.

Chiefs vs. Steelers: 27-6 Steelers

The Steelers are known for blowing games against terrible opponents, especially following a big win the week prior. This time, the Steelers know better not to blow this game on Monday Night. The Chiefs now have a rule stating that they will bench a player who turns over the ball. Does that mean their backup middle linebacker will be playing quarterback mid-third quarter? This one should be funny to watch.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NFL Week 9 Recap

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
RG3 or Andrew Luck for Rookie of the year? What about Doug Martin?
Martin is third among all running backs in rushing yards and is second in touchdowns.

Last Week's Record: 10-4
Overall Record: 84-48

Chiefs vs. Chargers: 31-13 Chargers
Chiefs Player of the Week: Dwayne Bowe- 8 receptions, 79 receiving yards
Chargers Player of the Week: Philip Rivers- 220 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 125.0 passer rating

These two teams played an all-around ugly and boring game last Thursday night. Philip Rivers was nearly perfect, completing 18 of his 20 passing attempts. The Chargers scored two defensive touchdowns due to the Chiefs' lack of offensive competence.

Broncos vs. Bengals: 31-23 Broncos
Broncos Player of the Week: Eric Decker- 8 receptions, 99 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Bengals Player of the Week: AJ Green- 7 receptions, 99 receiving yards, touchdown

This game was tight for the full 60 minutes, but the Broncos held on in the end. The Bengals cut the lead down to just eight points with under a minute left, but failed to convert the onside kick. With the win, Peyton Manning and the Broncos advanced to 5-3, which puts them in sole leadership of the AFC West.

Ravens vs. Browns: 25-15 Ravens
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 98 rushing yards, touchdown
Browns Player of the Week: Trent Richardson- 105 rushing yards, 31 receiving yards

The Ravens might have won this game, but they do not look like an impressive division leader. It's sad that the Browns once held a lead in the fourth quarter against the 6-2 Ravens. On the positive for Baltimore, Joe Flacco played turnover-free football and the team is still in first place in the AFC North.

Cardinals vs. Packers: 31-17 Packers
Cardinals Player of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald- 6 receptions, 74 receiving yards, touchdown
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 218 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 96.9 passer rating

The Packers cruised to another easy victory this week, defeating the Cardinals by two scores. Rodgers continues to look like he can contend for another MVP this season after throwing four touchdowns against a pretty good Arizona defense.

Bears vs. Titans: 51-20 Bears
Bears Player of the Week: Jay Cutler- 229 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 138.1 passer rating
Titans Player of the Week: Chris Johnson- 141 rush  yards, touchdown

If I gave out "Player of the Week" to defenses, then the Bears would be worthy almost every week. Because I didn't give the defensive unit the honor, I just want to point out that Charles "Peanut" Tillman forced four fumbles, while the overall defense scored two touchdowns. If the Bears can continue to play at this high of a level, they will be playing in the Super Bowl come February.

Dolphins vs. Colts: 23-20 Colts
Dolphins Player of the Week: Ryan Tannehill- 290 pass yards, touchdown, 90.9 passer rating
Colts Player of the Week: Andrew Luck- 433 yards, 2 touchdowns, 105.6 passer rating

The Colts went all in and were able to win with Chuck Pagano watching at the stadium. Andrew Luck threw for a rookie record 433 yards in the win against the Dolphins. The Colts are now 5-3 and have a good chance at making  the playoffs with the AFC so weak.

Panthers vs. Redskins: 21-13 Panthers
Panthers Player of the Week: Cam Newton- 201 pass yards, 37 rush yards, touchdown,100.1 passer rating
Redskins Player of the Week: Alfred Morris- 76 rush yards

In this battle of the dual-threat quarterbacks, Cam Newton out-shined his supposed 2.0 version of himself, RG3. Cam played interception-free football, which helped the Panthers win their second game of the season.

Lions vs. Jaguars: 31-14 Jaguars
Lions Player of the Week: Mikel Leshoure- 70 rush yards, 3 touchdowns
Jaguars Player of the Week: Rashad Jennings- 45 pass yards

The Lions have put together a few wins in a row after starting off the season poorly. Calvin Johnson got more action this week, but again was tackled inside the five yard-line and unable to score. As for the Jaguars, they just stink. Their offense has no threats with MJD sidelined and their defense can only be on the field for so long.

Bills vs. Texans: 21-9 Texans
Bills Player of the Week: N/A
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 111 rush yards, touchdown

The Texans had no trouble beating the Bills this past weekend. JJ Watt continued to terrorize opposing offensive lines and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, while Arian Foster and Matt Schaub took care of business on offense.

Bucs vs. Raiders: 42-32 Bucs
Bucs Player of the Week: Doug Martin- 251 rush yards, 4 touchdowns
Raiders Player of the Week: Carson Palmer- 414 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 85.0 passer rating

Muscle Hamster broke out for another record performance this week. Martin scored the fourth most points in the internet era of fantasy football, scoring 51 points in standard leagues. Carson Palmer did his best with Darren McFadden sidelined with an injury, but ended up throwing an inconvenient interception to end the Raiders' chances of winning.

Vikings vs. Seahawks: 30-20 Seahawks
Vikings Player of the Week: Adrian Peterson 182 rush yards, 2 touchdowns
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 124 rush yards, touchdown

The Seahawks continue to dominate at home, this time defeating Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. Russell Wilson threw three touchdowns and no interceptions, continuing his stellar play at CenturyLink Field.

Steelers vs. Giants: 24-20
Steelers Player of the Week: Isaac Redman- 147 rush yards, touchdown
Giants Player of the Week: Andre Brown- 20 rush yards, touchdown

The Giants didn't show up at home following a rough week of Hurricane Sandy. It took a while for the Steelers to break out offensively, but by the start of the fourth quarter, Big Ben had the Giants' defense figured out. Pittsburgh outscored New York 14-0 in the final quarter, which was enough to beat Big Blue at home.

Cowboys vs. Falcons: 19-13 Falcons
Cowboys Player of the Week: Tony Romo- 321 pass yards, touchdown, 109.3 passer rating
Falcons Player of the Week: Matt Ryan- 341 pass yards, 102.8 passer rating

The Falcons remain undefeated after defeating the Cowboys in a field-goal dominated game. The first four scores of the game were from field goals, while a touchdown wasn't scored until the fourth quarter. The Falcons might be undefeated, but let me just say for the record, their last few games have been extremely unimpressive.

Eagles vs. Saints: 28-13 Saints
Eagles Player of the Week: LeSean McCoy- 119 rush yards
Saints Player of the Week: Jimmy Graham- 8 receptions, 72 receiving yards, touchdown

The Saints are 8-0 in their last eight games on Monday Night Football following a win against the Eagles in the Superdome. Drew Brees was flawless once again, leading the Saints to back to back victories. Both teams are 3-5. but can't be counted out of the playoff hunt just yet.

College Football Week 10 Review

(AP Photo/Bret Hartman)
Kenjon Barner went beastmode on the Trojans this past weekend in Pasadena.

Sorry for the writing hiatus that took place the last week and a half due to Hurricane Sandy. I missed out on a chance to cover college football and the NFL, in addition to writing my annual NBA season preview. This past week in college football, there were eight teams ranked in the BCS Top 25 who lost over the weekend. Of those eight, five were upset while three fell to higher ranked teams. (15) Mississippi State lost to (16) Texas A&M thanks to a great effort by super freshmen Johnny Manziel; (18) Texas Tech lost their second game in consecutive weeks, this time to (23) Texas; (19) Boise State lost on their blue turf to San Diego State; (21) West Virginia was shocked by TCU and (22) Arizona got bounced by UCLA. As for the BCS Top 25 teams who lost, but were not upset: (5) LSU lost to the top team in the nation, (1) Alabama (17), USC lost a barnburner to (4) Oregon and (24) Oklahoma State lost to Optimus-Klein and (2) Kansas State. In the most recent BCS polls, an incredible five of the top ten teams are members of the SEC conference.

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

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Oregon RB Kenjon Barner- The Oregon speedster rushed for 321 yards and a ridiculous five touchdowns in Oregon's route of USC. Barner helped the Ducks beat their Pac-12 rivals and force USC into giving up the most points in their history.
2. USC WR Marqise Lee- This kid is only a sophomore but he already plays like a pro-bowl receiver in the NFL. Lee caught 12 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. His yards after catch is fantastic and will surely help USC as they finish out their season strong.
3. Louisville Cardinals QB Teddy Bridgewater- The sophomore gunslinger has led the Cardinals to a Top 10 BCS ranking and complete control atop the Big East conference. Last week, Bridgewater threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns against Temple.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. USC Trojans- The team started off ranked as the top team in the nation but has slipped to the edge of the BCS. Although the offense has been impressive thus far, the defense has been atrocious. The Trojans gave up a team worst 62 points to Oregon last week. Simply not acceptable by USC standards.
2. Boise State Broncos- It's rare when the Broncos lose on their home turf. Boise State has had a quiet season, mostly because of the team's Week 1 loss to Michigan State. The loss last week just further quiets the Broncos from national coverage.
3. Michigan State Spartans- After advancing to the inaugural Big Ten championship last year, Sparty has underperformed this season. Their loss against Nebraska last week puts them at an unimpressive 5-5 this season.

Game of the Week: (4) Oregon vs. (17) USC

While many might have had (1) Alabama vs. (5) LSU as their Game of the Week, I had the Pac-12 showdown as the spotlight game. Because I favor thrilling offensive plays to smash-mouth defensive football, this Oregon vs. USC game immediately captured my attention. Oregon jumped out to an early 14-3 lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to two touchdown passes by freshmen phenom Marcus Mariota. In the second quarter the two teams exchanged back and forth touchdowns, eventually ending the half with a score of 34-24 in favor of the Ducks. Eight touchdowns were scored in total in the first half. In the second half, the two offensive juggernauts continued to score back and forth, as every Kenjon Barner score was negated by either Silas Redd or Marqise Lee. Eight more touchdowns were scored in the second half, but unfortunately for USC, the teams split with four scores each. When the final whistle blew, the Ducks had conquered the Trojans 62-51. As already stated, Barner and Lee finished with incredible boxscores. In addition to those two stars, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota finished with 304 passing yards and four touchdowns, while Matt Barkley finished with 484 yards and five touchdowns.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (1) Alabama vs. (15) Texas A&M- Can Johnny Football be the kryptonite to Alabama's perfect season?
2. (11) Oregon State vs. (14) Stanford- Which Pac-12 team will continue to fight for a spot in the conference's championship game?
3. (7) LSU vs. (21) Mississippi State- Which SEC team will rebound from their loss last week?
4. (24) Northwestern vs. Michigan- With or without Denard Robinson, Michigan will look to get back in the BCS Top 25 with an upset win.
5. (2) Kansas State vs.  TCU- Can TCU upset another team, or is Collin Klein too good for them?