Posts Tagged ‘Steelers’

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense ended the year on a strong note. They went into the Superdome in a “win and your in” game and obliterated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-17. The game was highlighted by Drew Brees masterful performance against a fairly formidable Tampa secondary. Brees threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another one threw the ground. This was just another day at the office for Brees. The Saints captain threw for over 5,000 yards this season with 39 touchdowns. On a national scale, New Orleans was only second to Denver with 307.4 yards per game. This bodes very well for the Saints as the Eagles have allowed the single most passing yards to opposing teams in the NFL. 

            With all that being stated, New Orleans will have a ton of problems on Saturday night in Philadelphia. For starters, the Eagles are 7-1 ever since Nick Foles officially took over the starting role for Chip Kellys offense. Foles numbers have been scary good. Foles has thrown for almost 3,000 yards this year, but that’s not where he has shined the most. This year, the former Arizona Wildcat threw 27 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions. With a mix of speed and possession reivers expect the Saints pass defense to have their hands full. 

            The problems only get worse for New Orleans. The Saints come into this game with the 19th ranked rush defense in the league. That’s not a terrifyingly bad number, but it does leave them towards the bottom of the NFL in that category. The real problem is the fact that the Eagles have the number one rushing offense in the league. Lesean McCoy led the NFL in rushing this year with a career high 1,609 yards from scrimmage with nine touchdowns. He also added 539 yards in reception yards with another two scores.  McCoy has been an absolute monster this year. With his ability to use his feet and turn on the speed in any weather, he has the ability to change the entire game in one play. His best game came in week 14 against the Detroit Lions. Despite beyond terrible conditions due to snow, McCoy put up 217 yards on the ground and added two scores.

            Speaking of snow, that will be bigger than any challenge the Eagles will be able to bring. With a blizzard hitting the east coast, the conditions will be less then ideal for a dome team like New Orleans. The Saints have struggled mightily away from the Superdome recently, losing for out of their last five on the road. In a week 15 game in Edward James Dome, against a middle of the road St Louis Rams defense, New Orleans came up completely flat. While Brees did throw for 392 yards, he committed three costly turnovers, including two red zone interceptions. The fact is this team is just not as good on the road.

            No matter who wins this game should be a shootout. With that being said, the Eagles should win this game.  With the expected temperature for the game forecasted to be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit, the Saints aren’t going to know what him them. New Orleans may keep it close, but at the end of the day, Philadelphia should end up in Seattle next week.

Final Score- Philadelphia 28 New Orleans 17

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After a season filled with excitement, the NFL playoffs are upon us. In the NFC, the race is wide open. All six teams have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. With that being said, lets preview this weekends game in Green Bay.

 

Green Bay Packers Vs. San Francisco 49ers: This is going to be a battle of two hot teams. Green Bay comes into Lambau Field on Sunday having won three of their last four games. To make matters even better, Aaron Rodgers is back under center for the Packers. Despite a rough start, Rodgers showed he is back to his old self with his game winning drive against Chicago.

            A weak spot for this Green Bay team is their defense. The Packers finished the year ranked  25th overall in both rushing yards allowed (125.0) and passing yards allowed (247.2). To make matters worse, Green Bay will be without their best defensive player, Linebacker Clay Matthews.  However, this may not be a big issue in reality.  Recently, teams who make deep playoff runs have had mediocre defenses. When the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI they did so with a 27th ranked defense. This isn’t an isolated incident. During their 2007 playoff run, the New England Patriots had the 31st ranked defense in the NFL. That team went 18-1, losing in the Super Bowl to the Giants.

            The bigger issue for the Packers will be the fact that San Francisco is on fire. Winners of six in a row, the 49ers are back to full health now with the return of Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. With these two receivers back in the fold, Colin Kaepernicks play has improved dramatically. Over the win streak, the 49ers signal caller is averaging almost 250 yards per game and additional 40 on the ground. In addition, Kaepernick has looked a lot more confident in both aspects of his games, leading to a better flowing offense.

Possibly more important than that, is the fact that San Francisco has had a top three running game this year. In his first full year in quite some time, Frank Gore had one of his best years as a pro. Gore rushed for 1,128 yards and scored 9 touchdowns. He did suffer a knee injury on Sunday against the Cardinals, but he has practiced so far this week an should be all systems go for the game.

            San Francisco and Green Bay met in week 1 and put on one of the most entertaining games of the year. 

The same should be expected in this game. With the dynamic offenses that these teams possess, look for a copy of the week one matchup. This includes a 49ers win.

Final Score 49ers 31 Packers 27

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With another regular season in the books, the infamous Black Monday is upon us. Coaches will be on pins and needles to see if they will be returning or on the unemployment line. With a bevy of head coaches on the hot seat, lets look at the presumed outlooks of these nervous head coaches.

Leslie Frazier-Fire. One year removed from a playoff bid, the Minnesota Vikings tremendously underperformed this year with a final record of 5-10-1. Despite having mostly the same personnel, this team could just not put it together. Expect the Vikings to start from scratch in hopes of returning to the playoffs next year.

Jim Schwartz-Fire. Reports surfaced before Sundays game that the Lions are leaning towards having Schwartz return. With that being said, Schwartz needs to go. Detroit has way to much talent to have gone 7-9 this year. They have the best Receiver in the NFL, a fantastic defensive line, and a potential franchise Quarterback in Matthew Stafford. The Lions collapsed down the stretch and it had a lot to due with the questionable and sometimes flat out odd play calling of Schwartz. The players are there, it’s the coach who needs to be upgraded.

Greg Schiano-Keep. Who would have thought that these words would have been uttered two months ago? However, there is credit due here. Schiano has taken a team on the heals of mutiny and has reinvigorated them. For that, he deserves to come back for another year.

Joe Philbin- Keep. Yes the Dolphins collapsed. They endured a horrific last two weeks, suffering embarrassing losses to the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Despite all that Philbin deserves to stay. If for no other reason, Philbin deserves to keep his job for putting the Dolphins in a position to make the playoffs. After the Richie Incognito scandal, most people wrote off the Miami. However, Philbin was able to right the ship and keep the players focused on football. He deserves one more year to come in, with better personnel, and attempt to lead this Dolphins team one more time.

Jason Garrett- Fire. Everyone’s seen enough. America’s team has not made the playoffs in Garretts tenure. In similar fashion to his Quarterback, Garrett has choked when it matters most with ridiculous play calls that have cost Dallas full games.  He is just not an NFL Head Coach. He was a fine OC, but that’s it. Jones needs to clean out the entire coaching staff if he hopes to have a chance at getting to the promise land.

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With Robert Griffin III being shut down for the remainder of the season, Kirk Cousins has gotten a chance to put on an audition for other teams. With a franchise quarterback like RG3 and a lack of draft picks, there is no reason for the Redskins to hold on to the former Michigan State leader. In his first two games, Cousins has thrown for 578 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He has avoided pressure well and made some very impressive throws. With all that being said, he are three potential suitors for Cousins

Cleveland Browns- It is no secret that Rod Chudzinski and Norv Turner like to throw the ball. They shipped Trent Richardson out of town so they can focus entirely on the pass game. However, in order to have an effective passing game you need to have a good quarterback. Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden don’t scream efficiency. While Brian Hoyer played well in his limited time, the sample size is too small to make any realistic judgments about his skill. With potential superstar receivers in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, along with an already impressive defense, Cousins could be the last piece before Cleveland can seriously envision going back to the playoffs.

Houston Texans- Despite one of the most disappointing years for a team in NFL history, the Texans still have a strong core. Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and JJ Watt are all top 10 players at their respective positions. The main issue has been under center this year. Matt Schaub has completely imploded and Case Keenum has shown he’s not a starter in this league. To make matters worse, it looks as if both Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota will be staying for there senior seasons. With a new head coach set to come in, a new quarterback would be very beneficial the new regime. With a mix of veteran leadership and young talent, Cousins could be the perfect guy to shoot the Texans back to their initial projections.

Denver Broncos- Now I know what everyone is thinking. Why does Denver need a quarterback when they have the legendary Peyton Manning having one of the greatest seasons ever? With all that being true, Peyton is going to be 38 next season. He has also been fighting through two bad ankles for a good portion of this year. At the height of those injuries, Manning was playing fine, but noticeably worse than at the beginning of the year. If Denver wins the Super Bowl this year, it may not be crazy for Peyton to consider going out on top. Bringing in Cousins creates an insurance plan for when Manning finally hangs it up. The drop wont be as bad and Denver can remain a top team in the AFC with this pick up.

What do you guys think? Should the Redskins trade Cousins? If so, where? Leave a comment below with your reactions/suggestions

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We’ve gotten to the midway point of the NFL season and a lot of storylines are starting to unfold. Justin Blackmon’s inability to not smoke ganja, the Buc’s mutiny on Greg Schiano, and the rampant plague of injuries taking place. Well be covering all of these stories this coming week, but for now let’s try to go on a happier note into week 9 with some NFL gambling picks.

Game 1:

Kansas City -4.  With Jeff Tuel starting at quarterback for the injured E.J. Manuel, things don’t look promising this afternoon for the men of Orchard Park. The Chiefs (8-0) secondary will have a field day with the undrafted rookie out of Washington State University. It does get better on the offensive side where the middle of the road Bills front four will have to deal with one of the hottest running back in the game right now in Jamaal Charles. This one could get blown wide open by the 4th quarter.

Colts -1.  With both teams coming off a bye, this isn’t an argument of freshness, it’s an argument of talent and the Colts win that category. With Arian Foster and Ben Tate listed as questionable (Foster is a true game time decision) the Texans are going to have to rely on quarterback Case Keenum to throw the ball a decent amount. This will be quite the challenge for a guy with a subpar receiving core that consists of a 32 year old Andre Johnson (who has yet to score a touchdown this year) and rookie DeAndre Hopkins who has been incredible streaky this year. Not to mention, the Colts secondary did a pretty good job of shutting down Peyton Manning (all things considered). The Colts offense will struggle a bit with the loss of Reggie Wayne, but T.Y. Hilton has the potential to go on a complete breakout second half. Even if Trent Richardson continues his subpar runs, you still expect Andrew Luck to lead this team to a nice victory.

Pit +6. The storied Pittsburgh Steelers have looked to be back to their old ways. Since coming off their week 5 bye, The Steelers are 2-1, beating the Jets and Ravens, while losing to the Raiders. This team has picked it up in all aspects of the ball. The addition of LeVeon Bell to the offense added a huge dimension that the Steelers lacked previously, A RUN GAME. The defense, specifically the secondary, has also been playing better, shutting down Joe Flacco, Geno Smith, and Terrele Pryor. Facing a struggling New England Patriots team, the Steelers have the opportunity to win this game outright. Either way, this one should be close until the very end.

Packers/Bears Over 50.5. Two banged up, but powerful offense facing each other on Monday Night Football has shootout written all over it. With the late possibility of James Jones playing for the Packers, expect this score to possibly go even higher than 60 points.

As we hit the half way mark of the NFL season, its time to start giving out progress reports. Were going to give grades to teams based on their performance on offense, defense, and overall play.

Chicago Bears

Offense:
B
The Bears offense has been surprisingly effective under new coach Marc Tressman. Before tearing his groin muscle, Jay Cutler was having one of the better seasons of his career. Cutler has so far thrown 12 TD, 7 INT, and has thrown for over 1600 yards. Matt Forte has come back from an awful year last year and has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL. Brandon Marshall is on pace for another 1000 yard receiving year. In addition, Alshon Jeffrey has been having a break out year and Martellus Bennet has proven to be a very good signing for this team. Look for this team to keep up the solid production under an offensive minded coach.

Defense
C-
Mixtures of injuries and disappointing seasons have plagued the typically feared Chicago defense this year. They lost two of their top defensive lineman in Henry Melton and Nate Collins. Julius Peppers, DJ Anderson, and James Anderson have been non existent this year. The retirement of Brian Urlacher has clearly hurt this team on and of the field. LB Lance Briggs and CB Charles Tillman have been bright spots, but the rest of this team (particularly the safeties) has looked atrocious.

Overall
C
While the offense has looked impressive, the defense has looked the exact opposite. Poor play and disappointing special teams have plagued this team this year. Look for the Monsters of the Midway to disappear in the second half of the season.

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Earlier this week, our staff gave you their picks for this weeks NFL games. However, those picks won’t help you earn money. So I’m going to give you 6 NFL picks that will help you bring in some cash.

Gary’s Six Pack of Picks.

Pick 1. SEA -11.5 – A Rams team with Kellen Clemmons (remember him?) against one of the best defense in the NFL? I’ll take the easy money here. Count on a defensive touchdown here as well for fantasy owners.

Pick 2.  WAS +11.5 – RG3 is finally looking like the quarterback that the Redskins had last year. He is running more and is looking better in the passing game as well. This, matched with the fact that Denver has one of the worst defenses in the NFL this year, could lead to not only a cover by the Redskins, but an outright win.

Pick 3. GB -9.0 – I’m personally surprised this line isn’t higher. Even with all their injuries, Aaron Rodgers is going to light this team up like a Christmas tree.

Pick 4. DET -3.0- This game will probably be a shootout decided by a last second field goal, but that’s all the Lions will need. I’m trusting Stafford and Megatron over Romo and Dez.

Pick 5. PIT -1.0- This game, like the Lions game, could come down to a field goal. The reasons I take the Steelers here are because they have looked improved since they came off their bye. As long as Dick Lebaeu is the defensive coordinator, I trust the Steelers defense to pull out this win.

Pick 6. KC -7.0 (buy half a point) – A new quarterback against the best defense in the NFL once again equals trouble. Expect a wipeout against the Browns.