Well I was going to write on the College National Championship Football game today, that was played between LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide last night. Unfortunately, the game was extremely boring as LSU decided they were still on a holiday and never got out of bed. Alabama made LSU look like a NCAA Division II team had actually taken the field as the Tigers never scored. With a final score of 21-0, not much more to say about the game other than if Les Miles is the “Mad Hatter”, Nick Saban is the “Mad Genius.” Saban is the only coach since the inception of the BCS to win three National Championship titles. All indications point to Nick Saban being far from done with his winning ways. We know Saban will win again, we just do not know how long until he is hoisting the Championship trophy up again.
In NFL Football Playoff news, an update to my predictions from last week, I did pretty well. I correctly predictied the winners of three out of four games on the NFL Playoff Wild Card Weekend. In addition, two of my predicted scores were almost the exact scores of the game. The game between the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints ended up being a final score of 45-28 in favor of the Saints. I had predicted that the score would be 42-28 in favor of the Saints. The score between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals was 31-10 in favor of the Texans. I had predicted that score to be 31-14 in favor of the Texans. In addition, I predicted that the New York Giants would win over the Atlanta Falcons but thought the score would be much closer than the 24-2 final score in favor of the Giants. I truly had no idea the Falcons would not show up to play at all. The Falcons could not even convert a 4th and inches at all the whole game and they had multiple chances.
The only game that I completely missed on was the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was not the only one that was completely wrong about this game. The majority of experts and analysts also picked the Pittsburgh Steelers to win. After three bad weeks to end the season, my faith in “Tebow Time” had definitely diminished. I did not believe that Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos could pull of a victory to continue their dream season.
However, I was very wrong and the Denver Broncos accomplished what seemed to be the impossible. The Denver Broncos played their best game of the season, led by spectacular play of Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow threw for 316 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Tim Tebow rushed for another touchdown on the ground. The pass of the night was in overtime when after running on first down all game, the Denver Broncos trusted in Tim Tebow’s arm and threw on first down. Tim Tebow completed an 80 yard pass to Demaryius Thomas for the game-winning score. Thomas was Tim Tebow’s favorite target during the game, totaling 204 receiving yards for the game. The final score of the game ended up being 29-23 in favor of the Denver Broncos. The Tim Tebow Train survives but arrives in Foxboro Stadium this week. The playoff rematch should be interesting as we see if Tebow Time can finally overcome the Brady Factor.
Like every other NFL fan I have enjoyed this NFL season and the NFL playoffs have not disappointed me either. I would have not wanted to miss all the drama, big plays, and great games of this NFL. I am glad that we still have some football action coming up this weekend. I have to say my thank you again to the NFL owners and NFL players for reaching an agreement. Thank you for allowing us to have a football season this year because it has been one of the best.
The first game that we will see this weekend will be between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans. I am impressed by Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and the Bengals defense. However, I am more impressed by the Houston Texans number one ranked defense, Arian Foster, Ben Tate, and Andre Johnson. I do not believe the Bengals have enough firepower to overcome the Texans defense and keep up scoring wise with the Texans. I will predict that the Houston Texans win this game 31-14.
The second game that will be played on Saturday will be between Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints. If the Detroit Lions were playing some other NFC team, excluding the Green Bay Packers, I would say they have a chance to win the game. Unfortunately, the Lions have drawn the short straw and have to play the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees and company will comfortably and easily outscore the Detroit Lions. The Lions are a good team with a nice high-flying act featuring none other than Calvin Johnson. The problem is the Lions high-flying act pales in comparison to the Drew Brees air show. The Saints silence the Lions roar with a final score of 42-28
On to Sunday’s games and the first game that we will see on Sunday will be the Atlanta Falcons versus the New York Giants. This will be the closest game of the whole weekend. We have two teams that play like an elite NFL team on some days and look dismal on others. This means that which ever team between the Falcons and the Giants brings their “A” game on Sunday, will win the game. The New York Giants have been playing better as of late and so the edge in the game goes to them. That does not mean that we immediately count Atlanta out of the running. The Falcons have an “X” factor in a running back named Michael Turner. If Michael Turner gets going and the Atlanta Falcons can control the tempo of the game, we could see the Falcons advancing to the next week instead of the Giants. In the end, I believe that intangibles of Eli Manning and his ability to play at times like his big brother Peyton Manning, will be the difference. The Giants will win the battle in the 4th quarter with a final score of 28-24
The last game will be one of the most interesting. Interesting because we have no idea what will really happen. The Denver Broncos take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the last game of the weekend. I am not sure which Broncos we will see though. I want to see the 4th quarter come-back, winning Broncos come out and play their hearts out, giving them chance to win the game. I fear we may see the not so productive Broncos and the team will get blown out. No matter which Denver Broncos team shows up, the result should be the same. The Pittsburgh Steelers will come out with the win. The Steelers defense is too good to allow Tim Tebow and company to work any “Tebow Time” magic in the 4th quarter. Even with Big Ben not playing at full strength and Rashard MendenHall out for the playoffs, The Pittsburgh Steelers will score enough points to win. The final score of this game will be 21-7 in the favor of Pittsburgh.
There you have it, a complete preview of the first weekend of NFL playoff football. The regular season may be over but now the real battle starts as NFL teams try to win each week. No mistakes are allowed, any team that loses is done. To the victor goes the spoils and a chance to play another day. Time for each NFL playoff team to prove they belong in the playoffs and the pretenders to be eliminated. Now is the time for teams to go after it all or be sent home to watch television. The stakes are high and the winner will be greatly rewarded.
This week has been one of the most interesting weeks in sports in a long time. This week in sports is a week of decisions. This post is about some questionable decisions that are happening around sports in general. I believe some decisions from this week require a deeper look. We can look at what happened and see if that was the right decision to make. Let’s get started with the first situation:
The Penn State sex scandal investigation continues as we enter this week. Joe Paterno was fired last week after allegations of child sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky were revealed . After hearing the different accounts, it sounds like Joe Paterno tried to do the right thing. Paterno tried to bring Jerry Sandusky’s child sexual abuse activities to the attention of the athletic director. The athletic director did nothing after being told by Joe Paterno of Sandusky’s illicit activities. The athletic director never called the cops or took any form of action to change the situation. We have no idea why no one did anything more than tell the person above them. However, I am not sure if Paterno should have been fired, but he had to be fired. The reason is that no one related to a high profile scandal like the Penn State child abuse sex scandal is going to be allowed to remain working for Penn State. If Penn State keeps people that had any knowledge of what was going on, PennState will never be able to recover from the shadow of the scandal. Fans, high school prospects , and people in the surrounding community will associate Penn State with any person related to the child abuse sex scandal, as long as the person is still employed at the university. This would already make a bad public relations situation even harder to overcome. The Penn State administration knows they had to take the action in order for the school to have any chance of people seeing Penn State as a prestigious university once more.
On to the NBA and since there is no news of games being played, we have to turn to the news of the NBA lockout. The NBA lockout is still in effect with no clear end in sight. The NBA players have rejected the NBA owner’s last offer which could have potentially given the players 51 percent of the league revenue. The NBA players have basically drawn the line in the sand and want 52 percent or higher. Kobe Bryant even came forward and said he would be happy with 50/50 percent split. I can understand the NBA players wanting the best deal but to potentially lose a whole NBA season over one percent seems a bit much to me. Essentially, the players are saying we are willing to lose a complete NBA season because they want more money. Greed will make people do strange things sometimes. In this case, NBA players association negotiators are waiting for the perfect deal. The perfect deal is never going to come. America may miss out on a whole season of NBA basketball if an agreement is not reached soon. On the other hand, the United States will helps the economy of other countries as NBA players flock overseas to play.
A few events happened in the NFL. One event of minor significance was David Nelson, receiver for the Buffalo Bills, caught a touchdown pass this weekend and gave the ball to his girlfriend. David Nelson’s girlfriend happens to be a cheerleader for the opposing team, the Dallas Cowboys. I understand being in love but giving game balls to cheerleader girlfriends is something people outgrow in high school. Being an NFL player, Mr. Nelson should have come with a ring or something a little better to impress the girl. In other news, Mike Smith head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, decided to go for it on 4th down in overtime on his team’s own 29 yard line. I can understand Mike Smith having confidence in his running back Michael Turner to make the conversion. However, on his own 29 yard line, Smith should have made the call to punt the ball. Long story made short, the Falcons did not get the conversion and lost the game as the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal. Lastly, I can say that Tebow has changed the way we see football. Tebow completed 2-8 passes over the weekend. The Denver Broncos ran the ball 55 times in their game, including 43 yards and a touchdown by Tim Tebow. One of the two passes Tim Tebow completed ended up being a perfectly thrown touchdown pass. The Denver Broncos are running the triple option offense to allowTebow to do what he does best which is run. While I do not think the Denver Broncos will win any Super Bowls running the option system, the Broncos might sneak into the playoffs. It looks like the Denver Bronocos have made the right move in deciding to start Tim Tebow. Since Tebow has taken over as the Broncos quarteback, the Denver Bronocs are 3-1. Tim Tebow has made the Broncos a winning organization once again.
The Sports World has been a complete mess every week this year. A great deal of events going on and no one seems to know how the majority of the situations will end. We just have to wait and see if everything will work itself out. Until then each week in sports will only continue to get more interesting.
Yesterday was Halloween and that means that Week 8 is in the books. Halloween is the time of year where things become rather strange and this week was definitely on the strange side. Teams that were predicted to lose, instead ended up winning. Teams that should have claimed victory rolled over and played dead. Some teams are even seeing a resurrection and have gained new life and focus.
Today I am going to play costume or uniform with my readers. Costume or uniform deals with how certain teams are playing so far this season. Does a team have a uniform on and playing up to their potential or is a team simply wearing a costume and fooling everyone.
Let’s get started with the teams who are wearing costumes:
1: Dallas Cowboys
2: Tennessee Titans
3: Washington Redskins
4: Philadelphia Eagles
5: San Diego Chargers
6: Kansas City Chiefs
7:New England Patriots
8: New York Giants
9: New York Jets
10: Atlanta Falcons
11: Chicago Bears
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
13. Oakland Raiders
This is a pretty good amount of teams that are not really who we think they are. Dallas tops the list and is what I call a yo-yo team. Every week we never know if Dallas is going to wow us or just fail all together. The Cowboys continue to make some great plays and then make some horrible decisions. Some people still believe that Dallas can make the playoffs. This scenario is not likely this year. I can hear Jim Mora saying, ” Playoffs? Playoffs???……”, we all know the rest of the famous rant. Cowboys are going to need a great deal of luck to turn this season around.
The Washington Redskins have been playing better this year. The Redskins have a decent running game, led by whoever is Shannahan’s favorite back of the week. Similarly, Washington does not have an identity at quarterback. Neither Rex Grossman nor John Beck is an exceptional NFL quarterback. The Washington Redskins started out on fire at 3-0 and now the team is 3-4 after four straight losses. Washington had us fooled at the beginning of the season but now we see their true colors shining through. On the bright side next year’s NFL draft is fast approaching.
The Philadelphia Eagles are listed here because they have been showing us signs of greatness and signs of a bad team all season. The Eagles won their first game of the season and then proceeded to lose the next four games. Now Philadelphia has won two straight games and things are once again looking up. The Philadelphia Eagles looked like the fabled, “Dream Team”, in their win over the Dallas Cowboys. A part of me wonders if this team is similar to the NBA basketball team the Miami Heat, that they will have major ups and downs all season and then find some way to make it to the playoffs. If the Eagles can obtain a spot in the playoffs they will definitely be one of the favorites to make a Super Bowl run.
The New England Patriots are on this list because of their defense. The Patriots can score with anybody in the league but their defense is lacking in a big way. The Patriots are ranked 32 out of 32 teams in the NFL in defense. The Patriots are similar to many college teams which run the spread offense and depend on outscoring opponents to win games. This theory is great but it hardly ever works against the elite teams in the NFL. The New England Patriots will make the playoffs but unless the defensive issues of the team are fixed, they will be knocked out early.
The last team I will talk about out of this list is going to be the New York Jets. The Jets for the last two years have found a way to make it to the AFC championship game. This year looks like a year that we will see a new team in the AFC championship team besides the Jets. The running game from last years is not as dominant. The defense is giving up more yards each game than the last two years. Mark Sanchez or “The Sanchize” is only improving his acting and modeling skills off the field. Sanchez’s quarterbacking skills have not made the leap they should have made coming into this year. The Jets are talking big talk but I do not believe they can walk the walk.
Flipping to the other side of the NFL football spectrum we see the teams who are playing up to their potential. These teams are wearing the uniform of an NFL team and deserve to have the record they have accumalated over the first few weeks.
1. Green Bay Packers
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Buffalo Bills
6. Detroit Lions
7. Houston Texans
8. Cincinnati Bengals
9. San Francisco 49ers
10 Carolina Panthers
I know some of my readers are thinking, why are the Carolina Panthers on this list? The reason the Carolina Panthers make the list is because they have been playing competitive all season long. From the first week until now, the Panthers have been surprising everyone, due to the play of Cam Newton. The Carolina Panthers have established an identity for themselves and each week the team is becoming better. The Panthers have not won many games but they are very close to winning just about every game. Last year each Carolina Panthers game was a blowout, this year there have been no blowouts. Give it a couple of years and the Panthers will make a return to the playoffs.
I have written about the Detroit Lions before. I claimed that the Detroit Lions are a good team and they have not dissapointed me yet. I knew they would lose at some point during the year but good NFL teams rebound after losses well and the Detroit Lions finally proved they could do that this past week. The Detroit Lions have turned things around for the team this year. The Lions used to be the team that every team knew they could beat. Now the Detroit Lions, Led by Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson on offense and Ndamukong Suh on defense, are a team contending for a playoff spot. The Lions will continue to be turnaround story of the year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers got off to a shaky start this year going 2-2 in the first four games. The Steelers defense was playing horrible during that four game stretch. Experts and fans were calling the Pittsburgh Steelers old and washed up. Then the Pittsburgh Steelers we all know and love returned. The Steelers offense started being productive, their defense unit stepped up and started playing well. The Pittsburgh Steelers have not lost another game since. At this rate the Steelers will reclaim their normal playoff spot.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been good and bad over the last few years. The Bengals came into the year with a rookie quarterback, a rookie wide receiver, and an almost completely revamped defense. No one expected the Bengals to do much with all the changes the team was going through. The Bengals obviously believed they could be a good team and have proven it through the first part of the season. The Bengals are now 5-2 and looking like a team that is poised to make the playoffs this year. The Bengals are looking like a team that can potentially be a playoff team for quite a few years going forward. Maybe we might even see them bring out the Ickey Shuffle dance.
The last team that I will talk about in uniform is the San Francisco 49ers. I have said it before and will say it again the 49ers are for real. San Francisco has always had a running game with Frank Gore as the primary back. Now Alex Smith has finally come around and started playing like a starting quarterback should. Smith is finally living up to his number one draft position after all of these years. The San Francisco 49ers defense has become an elite defensive unit. Jim Harbaugh should get coach of the year for molding the 49ers into a winning organization again. The SanFrancisco 49ers should easily win the division this year and make their first playoff appearance in years. The 49ers can be a playoff Dark Horse and play spoiler to some teams playoff hopes.
Well that is all for today. We will see as the season progresses which teams really are wearing a football player uniform and which teams are just wearing the costume. Some teams may even shed their costume for a uniform as the football season continues and vice versa. The playoffs are fast approaching it is time for time to put up or lie down and let the real teams play.
To say this NFL year has been a bit strange to start is quite an understatement. The Dream Team Philadelphia Eagles are 1- 4. The Detroit Lions are 5-0 for the first time in ages. The Bills are sitting pretty at 4-1 after a dismal 2010 season. Some things have not changed such as the Patriots and the Packers being atop of their game.
The other unusual occurrence is that rookies are making a significant difference this year. I know there was a NFL lockout for quite a while. Generally, that should mean that veteran players should dominate and rookies will struggle. This year that is not the case, the rookies are coming into their own much quicker than expected. Today I will bring attention to three rookies that are accomplishing great things with their new team.
The first rookie that is playing better than anyone could have expected is Cam Newton. “Cammy” Cam as some call him is definitely quieting all the doubters. Cam Newton has come in and shown the whole league that his college career was no fluke. Newton has thrown for 1610 yards and seven touchdowns in just five games. In addition, Cam Newton has also rushed for five touchdowns. I sit and watch Cam Newton play and am just amazed that he looks nothing like a rookie. Newton makes all the right throws and occasionally he will throw a bad pass. Fortunately,Cam has no memory of the bad throws and will come right back and make a great play the next down. I am going to endorse Cam Newton as my favorite to win the Rookie of the Year. Cam Newton should have no problem grabbing the, “Rookie of the Year”, crown if he continues to play at his current level of play. The sky will be the limit for Mr. Newton and the Carolina Panthers for many years to come.
The second rookie that I want to bring to everyone’s attention is Julio Jones. The Atlanta Falcons gave up everything to move up in this year’s NFL draft to grab Jones. The Falcons obviously saw something in Jones that made him a special player. The Atlanta Falcons gave up 2011 and 2012 first round draft picks, a 2011 second round pick, and both 2011 and 2012 fourth rounds picks. If there was the kitchen sink left at Atlanta Falcons Headquarters I am sure they would have thrown that in at a chance to grab Jones. After the first few weeks of the season it looks like the Atlanta Falcons have made the right decision. Julio Jones is becoming a force to be reckoned with, being paired opposite Roddy White. Jones has 25 receptions for 358 yards in for the season so far. Even though Julio Jones has not yet reached the endzone, it is only a matter of time. Jones is the perfect fit for the Atlanta Falcons passing attack. The Atlanta Falcons may have given up the whole kit n’ caboodle to acquire Jones, but in the end I believe they will be happy with their investment.
The last rookie that I want to bring everyone’s attention is AJ Green. Everyone knew that AJ Green had talent when he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals this year. No one knew just how much talent Green had or if he would be hindered by playing with a rookie quarterback. The answer is that AJ Green has flourished in the Bengals offensive scheme. Andy Dalton and AJ Green have developed a great chemistry over the first five weeks of the season. The chemistry between Green and Dalton will only grow as they play in more games together. The Cincinnati Bengals are once again an exciting team to watch and AJ Green is the main reason. Green has 24 receptions, 402 yards and three touchdowns in just 5 games. AJ Green is becoming the focal point of the Bengals offense as the season rolls on and each week Green is doing more to showcase his talent. The Bengals may be far away from a Super Bowl appearance but with the help of Dalton and more importantly Green, the Bengals may be a very good Playoff contender.
There are a few other rookies that are honorable mentions such as Andy Dalton, Von Miller, Daniel Thomas, and others. The above are the rookies that I believe have the greatest impact on their individual teams. I urge everybody to keep an eye on these players and watch their journey through this year. Each player brings something special to the game and each player is a joy to watch.