Thursday, December 6, 2012

NFL Week 13 Recap

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
In the wake of tragedy, the Chiefs were able to come together as a team and defeat the Panthers.

Saints vs. Falcons: 23-13 Falcons
Saints Player of the Week: Lance Moore- 7 receptions, 123 receiving yards
Falcons Player of the Week: Michael Turner- 83 rush yards, touchdown

Bummer. The Falcons (one of my least favorite teams, if not obvious) got away with another shady win. It's pathetic that the Saints were still in the game even though Brees threw five interceptions. Yes, the Falcons might have won and hold the best record in the NFL, but when was the last time Matt Ryan played a good game. Remember when he was a serious MVP candidate a month ago? HIlarious.

Jaguars vs. Bills: 34-18 Bills
Jaguars Player of the Week: Cecil Shorts- 7 receptions, 77 receiving yards, touchdown
Bills Player of the Week: Fred Jackson- 109 rush yards

The Bills reassured America how easy it is to beat the Jaguars last week. Either Chad Henne stopped using steroids, or he is just truly a terrible quarterback. Regardless, the Jaguars are doomed once again, but probably will continue to botch top draft picks. This might sound ridiculous, but the Bills are still in the playoff hunt. It's unlikely that they win out but their remaining games are against the Rams, Seahawks (home), Jets, and Dolphins. Maybe Mario Williams will appear for the first time all season.

Seahawks vs. Bears: 23-17 Seahawks (OT)
Seahawks Player of the Week: Russell Wilson- 293 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 104.9 passer rating
Bears Player of the Week: Matt Forte- 66 rush yards, 30 receiving yards, touchdown

Andrew Luck? Robert Griffin III? What about Russell Wilson? Show the man some love, seriously!  In his last five games, Wilson has 11 touchdowns and only one interception. Despite playing in the NFC, the Seahawks are in shape to make the playoffs this season, something I wonder if Andrew Luck and the Colts would be capable of doing. Let's shift the attention to the Bears though. After starting off the year as the most feared team in the league, the Bears are back to playing typical "Second Half of the Year  Bears Football" (© Chicago Bears). They've lost three of their last four and their once fearless defense is now showing their age.

Colts vs. Lions: 35-33 Colts
Colts Player of the Week: Donnie Avery- 5 receptions, 91 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Lions Player of the Week: Calvin Johnson- 13 receptions, 171 receiving yards, touchdown

For the second week in a row, the Lions strategically realized they would rather have a higher pick in the draft, so they blew a fourth quarter lead. This week's game though was way more pathetic than the one against Houston. Detroit allowed the Colts to score 14 points in less than three minutes. Great clock management! Andrew Luck and the Colts are now 8-4. Congrats to them, seven of those wins were against teams .500 or worse. How unimpressive that they take advantage of playing in the worst division in football.

Vikings vs. Packers: 23-14 Packers
Vikings Player of the Week: Adrian Peterson- 210 rush yards, touchdown
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 286 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 98.0 passer rating

Remember when Adrian Peterson was the most feared running back in the league? Well, All Day is back and better than ever. AP leads the next leading rusher by 300 rushing yards! It's ridiculous how much of a physical specimen Peterson is. He has single handedly led his crappy team to six wins. Credit is due to the Packers though. After a slow start, Green Bay is back to being one of the best teams in football. If they can get hot late in the season, maybe they can pull a New York Giants and make another Super Bowl run.

Texans vs. Titans: 24-10 Texans
Texans Player of the Week: Matt Schaub- 207 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 95.8 passer rating
Titans Player of the Week: Nate Washington- 3 receptions, 96 receiving yards

Any time you force five turnovers, you deserve to win the game. The Texans did exactly that to improve to 11-1 on the season. JJ Watt continues to be the best linemen in the game, finishing with two sacks, three tackles for loss, and two pass deflections. If the Texans can stay healthy, they might end up in New Orleans come February

Panthers vs. Chiefs: 27-21 Chiefs
Panthers Player of the Week: Cam Newton- 232 pass yards, 78 rush yards, 3 touchdowns, 121.2 passer rating
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 127 rush yards

The Cam Newtons lost to the Chiefs last Sunday, just a day after Jovan Belcher tragically killed his girlfriend and then himself. The Panthers may be 3-9, but do not hate on Cam Newton. Week after week I defend him, but it's necessary. The media portrays Newton as a terrible person and player, when really he is one of the most talented athletes in the league. How many teams have one player lead their respective team in both passing and rushing yards? Oh right, only the Panthers. Congratulations to Kansas City for winning with all the drama going on. Brad Quinn rewinded the clocks five years and put on a half-decent performance, good enough to give the Chiefs the win.

Niners vs. Rams: 16-13 Rams
Niners Player of the Week: Colin Kaepernick- 208 pass yards, 84 rush yards, 83.9 passer rating 
Rams Player of the Week: Chris Givens- 11 receptions, 92 receiving yards

The Rams were two minutes away from drawing a second time against the 49ers but ended up with the win. Can an NFC team sneak some Rams onto their team if they meet up in the playoffs? Seriously, this is one of the stranger coincidences in league history. The Rams play their best football against one of the elite teams in the league. Kaepernick wasn't fantastic but he will still get the start next week. If David Akers made a field goal or two, this game wouldn't have needed OT. But it did, and thankfully for the Rams, Legatron was able to drill two 50-yarders  to tie and win the game.

Patriots vs. Dolphins: 23-16 Patriots
Patriots Player of the Week: Wes Welker 12 receptions, 103 receiving yards, touchdown
Dolphins Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 64 rush yards

It wasn't pretty, but the Pats beat the Dolphins last Sunday. Tom Brady played one of his worser games of the year, so it's good it came against the Dolphins and not in the playoffs. What's crazy to think about is the fact that the Dolphins would be .500 if they had won the game. Jeez, the AFC is really this weak?

Cardinals vs. Jets: 7-6 Jets
Cardinals Player of the Week: N/A
Jets Player of the Week: N/A

These two teams should be ashamed of themselves. I'm going to give back what they gave to me. Next game...

Bucs vs. Broncos: 31-23 Broncos
Bucs Player of the Week: Mike Williams- 6 receptions, 93 receiving yards, touchdown
Broncos Player of the Week: Demaryius Thomas- 8 receptions, 99 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

The Bucs actually led for half of this game before Peyton and the Broncos woke up in the second half. Denver outscored the Buccaneers 21-0 in the third quarter which was good enough to give them the win. Heading into the season everyone said how tough the Broncos schedule would be. Maybe for the first five games, but their schedule now is a joke. Might even run the table.

Browns vs. Raiders: 20-17 Browns
Browns Player of the Week: Josh Gordon- 6 receptions, 116 receiving yards, touchdown
Raiders Player of the Week: Brandon Myers- 14 receptions, 130 receiving yards, touchdown

What is a Brown and what is a Raider?  Just the team names make you think. Anyways, I never thought I'd say that the Browns didn't let me down before this past weekend. They have flew under the radar since starting the season 0-5 and have actually won four of their last seven. How's this crazy NFL team triangle. The Browns lost to the Giants 41-27, the Browns beat the Bengals 34-24, the Bengals beat the Giants 31-13.

Bengals vs. Chargers: 20-13 Bengals
Bengals Player of the Week: BenJarvus Green-Ellis- 118 rush yards
Chargers Player of the Week: Danario Alexander- 6 receptions, 102 receiving yards

Norv Turner is still the coach of the Chargers? Amazing. No matter how bad this team plays in the second half of games, the owner of the team is too blind to cut strings with the GM and coach. Let's do some simple reasoning. This team has only gotten worse over the past five year's and haven't been good since LT was still in town. Maybe they should try to start fresh? Just an idea.

Steelers vs. Ravens: 23-20 Steelers
Steelers Player of the Week: Charlie Batch- 276 pass yards, touchdown, 89.6 passer rating
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 78 rush yards, touchdown

Wow, who would have thought that the Ravens' first loss at home would come to a team starting Charlie Batch at quarterback. Respect to Batch though, he actually played well enough to beat one of the best teams in their home stadium. Big Ben should be back next week, which mean's Baltimore's party will be coming to an end. Bring on the playoffs already.

Eagles vs. Cowboys: 38-33 Cowboys
Eagles Player of the Week: Bryce Brown- 169 rush yards, 2 touchdowns
Cowboys Player of the Week: Dez Bryant- 6 receptions, 98 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Anyone remember the last time Philadelphia played defense? Anyone remember the last time the Eagles won a game? Here's a hint: the Phillies have won more recently. Dallas torched the defense for 38 points, including 14 from Dez Bryant. Over the last three games, Bryant has 388 receiving yards and five touchdowns. I'd consider that breakout numbers. This guy is fun to watch and will be a top five wide receiver by next season.

Giants vs. Redskins: 17-16 Redskins
Giants Player of the Week: Ahmad Bradshaw- 103 rush yards
Redskins Player of the Week: Robert Griffin III- 163 pass yards, 72 rush yards, touchdown, 101.9 passer rating

Don't want to talk about this game but oh well. Plain and simple, Washington deserved to win this game. The stadium was packed, RG3 put on a show, and the Giants played dumb football. Any time you commit nine penalties and allow your opponent to convert 50% of third downs you should lose.

College Football Week 14 Review

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Alabama beat Georgia and will now face Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game.

Last weekend marked the final games played before the BCS bowls were announced. Several conference championship games were played, but other teams still had their final games of the regular season. Six teams in the BCS Top 25 lost, but only half of them were upset. (12) Nebraska got dominated by unranked Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, (17) Kent State fell in the MAC Championship Game to (24) Northern Illinois, and (23) Oklahoma State was upset by Baylor in a regular Big 12 showdown. As for the other teams to lose, (3) Georgia lost to (2) Alabama in a heartbreaker in the SEC Championship Game, (16) UCLA lost to (8) Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and (18) Texas fell to (6) Kansas State on the Wildcats' senior night. With the announcement of the BCS Bowls just a few days ago, most teams won't be playing until late December or the first week of January. But this upcoming weekend features a very special game between Navy and Army. The game will be broadcasted on CBS and will feature Navy's prolific run game.

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

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide- The Tide rolled over Georgia and put on one of the greatest displays in SEC Championship Game history. Running back's Eddie Lacy and T.J Yeldon combined to rush for over 330 yards and three touchdowns. It was a tough game that came down to the final play, but in the end the Tide will be returning back to the BCS National Championship Game.
2. Wisconsin Badgers- Not many people saw this win coming. Not only did the Badgers avenge their loss against Nebraska from earlier in the season, but they put on an absolute "NebrAsskicking." The Badgers are still the only school to win the Big Ten Championship Game and will be returning to their third straight Rose Bowl. In the 70-31 blowout win, the Badgers rushed for nearly 550 yards and eight touchdowns. Eight. Freaking. Touchdowns.
3. Stanford Cardinal- Nerd Nation will be the Pac-12 representative in the Rose Bowl this year. This program has proved that they don't need Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck to be successful. Coach David Shaw has done a fantastic job with the program and freshmen Kevin Hogan has done just as good of a job running the offense. Stanford beat UCLA for the second time in seven days to advance to Pasadena.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Nebraska Cornhuskers- Wow!!!! How do you go from being ranked No. 12 in the nation and expected to make it to the Rose Bowl, but then allow 70 points in a blowout loss? Their opponents didn't throw the ball once in the second half and still managed to add 28 points. Pathetic display of football from a team that thought they were good enough to play in a BCS Bowl.
2. BCS Bowl System- Don't care if I sound like a broken record, but this year's display of games should prove why the system is corrupt. The fact that the Capital One Bowl and Cotton Bowl feature better matchups than four of the six BCS Bowls is absurd. We want a playoff system, and we want it now!
3. Georgia Bulldogs- So close! Why couldn't the Bulldogs do America a favor and knock off the untouchable Crimson Tide. Now we are either left with another SEC team winning the NCG, or Notre Dame....When does next season kick off?

Game of the Week: Alabama vs. Georgia

The SEC Championship Game lived up to the high expectations. The winner had a spot reserved in the National Championship to take on Notre Dame.  After a scoreless first quarter, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray opened up the game just a minute and a half into the second quarter with a 19 yard touchdown pass to Jay Rome. Alabama running back Eddie Lacy quickly answered with a 41 yard touchdown run, while kicker Jeremy Shelley drilled a 22 yard field goal to give the Crimson Tide a 10-7 lead at the half. The pace picked up in the second half and Georgia answered with back-to-back touchdowns by Todd Gurley and Alec Ogletree. Alabama would answer, but this time it was the Tide's other running back, T.J. Yeldon, with the score. After a successful two-point conversion, the Bulldogs only led 21-18 going into the final quarter. Three seconds into the fourth quarter, Lacy scored his second touchdown of the day on a one-yard run. Just two minutes later though, Gurley and Georgia answered back to go up 28-25. With only three minutes left in the game, Alabama  scored the would-be game winning touchdown when AJ McCarron threw a 45 yard bomb to Amari Cooper. Georgia drove the ball all the way up the field, but a careless mistake to catch the ball inbounds ended the game with the ball on Alabama's five yard line. It was close, but not good enough to send the Bulldogs to the NCG. Roll Tide!

BCS Bowl Matchups:
National Championship Game- Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Rose Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Fiesta Bowl- Oregon vs. Kansas State
Sugar Bowl- Louisville vs. Florida
Orange Bowl- Florida State vs. Northern Illinois

Sunday, December 2, 2012

NFL Week 13 Predictions

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dez Bryant has played some amazing football these past few weeks.
Can he continue his hot-streak agains the ice cold Eagles?

Jaguars vs. Bills: 26-19 Bills

The Jaguars might have claimed Jason Babin, but the Pro-Bowl defensive end won't be enough to beat the Bills. Buffalo plays .500 ball at home and will take advantage of their weak opponents. Bills by a touchdown.

Seahawks vs. Bears: 22-15 Bears

The Seahawks are terrible away from home, so what makes you think they will beat one of the best teams in the league? The Bears are coming off an impressive win against the Vikings and will definitely try to continue their hot streak into next week. Jay Cutler will be playing again and even Matt Forte will suit up after leaving last game early with an injury.

Colts vs. Lions: 33-27 Lions

Despite their respective records, I think the Lions are the better football team. The Colts play an easy schedule and don't have two games each against the Packers, Bears, and Vikings. This game will be played in a dome, which benefits the Colts, but I still think that the Lions' offense will be too much for Indianapolis to handle.

Vikings vs. Packers: 35-13 Packers

You saw what happened last week when the Vikings played a topnotch team. Unfortunately for Minnesota, their schedule is extremely rough these last five weeks. The Packers are coming off of an ugly loss and will do anything it takes to take that off the mind of the media. Packers win big at home.

Texans vs. Titans: 30-20 Texans

The Texans should comfortably win this indivision game this week. If up big, expect the Texans to rest Arian Foster, who is right around the magical number of 270 carries (he is at 269). The Texans haven't lost on the road yet and you shouldn't expect their first loss to come against the Titans.

Panthers vs. Chiefs: 27-20 Panthers

What a controversial game. Just a day after Jovan Belcher committed murder-suicide, these two teams will be facing off against each other. Some think that the Chiefs will win it for Belcher, but I think that they will be too emotionally distressed to play this game. Plus to give some credit to Carolina, they played awesome on Monday night last week.

Niners vs. Rams: 28-20 Niners

Let the Kaepernick bandwagon continue to round up more members as the Niners come into town. The Rams should lose this game, but don't be surprised if they hang around for a little.

Patriots vs. Dolphins: 38-10 Patriots

Straight off a 49 point performance, expect the Patriots to be hot heading into this game. Not only are they clearly the better team, but New England also has momentum heading into this game. Honestly, if you think that Ryan Tannehill's team will beat Tom Brady's team, your crazy.

Cardinals vs. Jets: 26-17 Jets

Ah, the beauty of having an easy schedule. Whenever the Cardinals start Ryan Lindley, it's an automatic loss in my book. The guy is honestly atrocious I feel bad. The Jets got their butts kicked last game, but the long rest should have them suited for this one.

Bucs vs. Broncos: 28-27 Broncos

Don't get me wrong, the Buccaneers are a great team, but any time you go against Peyton Manning you're usually the underdog. This one has the potential to turn into a shootout since both teams have such strong offenses. It will be close, but Manning and the Broncos will hold onto their lead late in the game.

Browns vs. Raiders: 24-20 Browns

Wow, for the second week in a row I am siding with the Browns. Oakland will be without McFadden, leaving their offense at a huge disadvantage once again. Despite their extremely poor start, the Browns haven't been that bad lately. They've been decent enough to have me pick them two weeks in a row, so let's go with that.

Bengals vs. Chargers: 23-16 Bengals

The Bengals are on fire and there is no way the ice-cold Chargers are the team to cool them off. This one won't be as high-scoring as many may predict, but it will be relatively close. San Diego should be in the game until Philip Rivers starts to get into his Bomb The Second Half mode. That being said, Bengals by a touchdown.

Steelers vs. Ravens: 28-10 Ravens

Hmmmmm. The Steelers are coming off of an eight-turnover loss to the Browns while the Ravens are coming off a win against the Chargers. Who do I pick to win? Obviously the Ravens, who are undefeated at home. Not much else needs to be said about this game besides Charlie Batch.

Eagles vs. Cowboys: 28-15 Cowboys

Didn't these teams just play? Either way, I've got the same result. The Cowboys are the better of the two teams, if you even consider the Eagles a team anymore. Philadelphia is such a big mess, they haven't won a game more recently then the Phillies.

Giants vs. Redskins: 30-28 Giants

Oh how the Giants love the big stage. After a big win against the Packers last week, you can expect a similar result this week against the Redskins. Yes, RG3 is just as great under pressure, but his team isn't as good enough to stop the Giants. This one will probably be a barnburner but the Giants should come out on top.