Monday, November 24, 2014

NFL - Week Twelve Review

Raiders RB Latavius Murray on his way to a 90-yard scoring run.
The last remaining team with a zero on their record cleared the slate as the Oakland Raiders defeated the visiting Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday night, 24-20 to earn their first victory of the 2014 season.
Raiders running back Latavius Murray, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, scored two rushing touchdowns, including a 90-yard run to put Oakland up 14-0 in the first half. Quarterback Derek Carr threw the game winning touchdown pass, a nine-yard play to James Jones late in the fourth quarter, to provide the difference. Kansas City QB Alex Smith threw for two touchdowns in the loss.
The New England Patriots extended their winning streak to seven games in a row with a 34-9 blowout win against the visiting Detroit Lions as QB Tom Brady lit up the league's top defense for two TD passes and 349 yards through the air. Meanwhile, newly signed running back LeGarrette Blount scored two rushing touchdowns to help pace the offense.
Peyton Manning threw four TD passes as the host Denver Broncos held off the Miami Dolphins, 39-36. Broncos running back C. J. Anderson rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown as well. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill had three TD passes in the loss.
The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Tennessee Titans, 43-24 as Josh Huff got things started with a 107-yard touchdown on the return of the opening kickoff. From there, the Eagles amassed 462 yards in offense as RB LeSean McCoy (130 rushing yards) scored a touchdown while Darren Sproles also ran for a score and kicker Cody Parkey made five field goals to lead the way.
Green Bay held off the Minnesota Vikings, 24-21 to get a road win as QB Aaron Rodgers had a pair of TD passes and RB Eddie Lacy scored a pair of touchdowns while going for 125 yards on the ground. Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater had two scoring passes.
The Cincinnati Bengals won in Houston, 22-13 as their defense limited the Texans to just 248 yards in offense.
The Cleveland Browns got a game winning 37-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff as time expired to defeat the host Atlanta Falcons, 26-24.  Browns QB Brian Hoyer passed for 322 yards and running back Isaiah Crowell scored two rushing touchdowns to offset two TD passes by Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
The Indianapolis Colts won a yawner at home, 23-3 against Jacksonville as the hapless Jaguars offense could muster only 193 yards in offense against the Colts defense.
The Chicago Bears defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21-13 as RB Matt Forte scored two rushing touchdowns and the defense forced three turnovers to spoil the return of former Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith to Soldier Field.
San Francisco knocked off the Washington Redskins, 17-13 for a home win as the defense held the 'Skins to just 213 total yardage in offense. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick threw for a score and RB Carlos Hyde scored the go ahead TD on a four-yard run with under three minutes to play.
The San Diego Chargers won a nail biter at home, 27-24 over the St. Louis Rams as defensive back Marcus Gilchrist intercepted Rams QB Shaun Hill at the goal line in the final minute to seal the win.
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews ran for 105 yards and scored a touchdown and QB Philip Rivers hooked up with WR Keenan Allen for another score while the defense also scored on a fumble return to lead the way. Rams DB Janoris Jenkins had 99-yard "pick six" INT return for a touchdown in defeat.
Seattle got back into the NFC West division race with a 19-3 beat down at home against the Arizona Cardinals, ending the Cards' six-game winning streak. The Seahawks defense held Arizona to a meager 203 yards in total offense and kicker Steven Hauschka drilled four field goals to lead the winning effort.
The Sunday Night Football game saw a back and forth second half as the visiting Dallas Cowboys bested the New York Giants, 31-28. Dallas QB Tony Romo (pictured left) connected with WR Dez Bryant for the game winning 13-yard TD pass in the final minute of play to provide the difference.
Thanks to Odell Beckham Jr.'s spectacular one-handed catch, one of the rookie's two first-half touchdowns, New York built a 21-10 halftime lead. 
For the game, Romo had four TD passes and Eli Manning threw for three scores and had 338 yards passing, but the Giants lost their sixth straight and were eliminated from division contention in the NFC East. The win for Dallas (8-3) sets them up for a Thanksgiving Day showdown in Big D against the Philadelphia Eagles, who also have an 8-3 record.
Monday saw two night games as the Buffalo Bills routed the New York Jets, 38-3 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan while the Baltimore Ravens knocked off the New Orleans Saints, 34-27 in the regularly scheduled Monday Night Football Game.
Bills QB Kyle Orton threw a pair of TD passes and the Bills defense limited the Jets to just 218 yards in offense while also recording seven QB sacks in the game that was delayed by a day due to the record setting snow falls in Buffalo last week which rendered Ralph Wilson Stadium unplayable this past weekend.
Meanwhile, the Ravens handed the host Saints their third straight home defeat as running back Justin Forsett rushed for two scores and had 182 yards rushing while the defense got a score when Will Hill took an interception back 45 yards to help provide the final outcome. Saints QB Drew Brees had 420 yards passing and three TD passes along with the interception in the loss.

















Sunday, November 23, 2014

College Football - Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN   (Week ending November 23)        


1.  Florida State (11-0)
2.  Alabama (10-1)
3.  Oregon (10-1)
4.  Mississippi State (10-1)
5.  Baylor (9-1)
6.  TCU (9-1)
7.  Ohio State (10-1)
8.  Michigan State (9-2)
9.  UCLA  (9-2)
10.  Georgia  (9-2)

Friday, November 21, 2014

NFL - Week Twelve Preview

What a week it has been in Buffalo, New York already and the hometown Bills haven't even played their game yet.
The game between the Bills and New York Jets has been moved to Detroit (Ford Field) as a result of the incredulous blizzard and record snows that hit the Buffalo area in upstate New York this week. Over EIGHT FEET of SNOW fell in some areas and no way is Ralph Wilson Stadium in nearby Orchard Park ready for game time this Sunday. So the Bills and Jets will be the second Monday night game in Motown, along with the regularly scheduled MNF game between the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens.
The New England Patriots will be hosting the Detroit Lions and there has been no hotter team in the NFL than the Pats in the past six weeks. Quarterback Tom Brady has made a claim for the league MVP with his recent play and the Lions could be in for a long afternoon in New England.
Out West (NFC West division that is) the Seattle Seahawks will be hosting the Arizona Cardinals, the team with the best record in the NFL at 9-1 and looking to extend their winning streak to seven games.
The Cardinals defense has been better than the vaunted Seattle defense this season and reserve QB Drew Henson has held his own when starter Carson Palmer went down for the season with a knee injury two weeks ago.
The Miami Dolphins can make a case they are ready to contend in the AFC playoff picture as they travel to face the Denver Broncos, who were spanked by the St. Louis Rams last week. In fact, the seven points scored by Denver (a 22-7 loss) were the least amount of points in a game since QB Peyton Manning came to town over two years ago.
The Baltimore Ravens will play the New Orleans Saints in the Big Easy on Monday night as they look to stay even with the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4) and Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) in the AFC North. Meanwhile, the Saints (4-6) are in contention in the weak NFC South, tied for first place with the Atlanta Falcons after having dropped two consecutive home games.

The rest of the action is highlighted in the capsule style previews below and the Heftyinfo predictions for the week follow up.

Cleveland (6-4) at Atlanta (4-6) - The Falcons are in first place while the Browns are in last place in their respective divisions. Go figure.

Tennessee (2-8) at Philadelphia (7-3) - The Eagles look to get back on track against the Titans after being blown out in Green Bay last week.

Detroit (7-3) at New England (8-2) - Brady and the Patriots going for their seventh consecutive win.

Green Bay (7-3) at Minnesota (4-6) - There's a good reason why the Packers are double digit road favorites in this game. QB Aaron Rodgers has been unstoppable in recent weeks.

Jacksonville (1-9) at Indianapolis (6-4) - The Colts were embarrassed on national TV last weekend ... Jags will be the punching bags this weekend.

Cincinnati (6-3-1) at Houston (5-5) - The Texans knocked off the Bengals in two straight playoffs in recent years and Bengals QB Andy Dalton would love to get some revenge.

Tampa Bay (2-8) at Chicago (4-6) - Former Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith returns to Chicago ... this one could be interesting.

Arizona (9-1) at Seattle (6-4) - This could be the Game of the Week. Seahawks win a squeaker and snap the Cards' six game winning streak.

St. Louis (4-6) at San Diego (6-4) - The Chargers need this game to remain relevant in the AFC playoff picture. The Rams have been on a roll lately, including a thumping over the Denver Broncos last week.

Miami (6-4) at Denver (7-3) - Peyton Manning and company are banged up after last week's blowout loss in St. Louis, so they figure to rebound against Miami, right? This won't be an easy game, but Denver should win.

Washington (3-7) at San Francisco (6-4) - The 49ers roll!

Dallas (7-3) at New York Giants (3-7) - The Sunday night match up in the Meadowlands ... toss up game here.

New York Jets (2-8) at Buffalo (5-5) [in Detroit] - Let it snow ... Let it snow ... Let it ... enough already!  Jets primed for another win against the weather (and travel) weary Bills.

Baltimore (6-4) at New Orleans (4-6) - Will the Saints lose at home for the third straight week? It's possible unless Drew Brees and the offense get it going once again.


The Heftyinfo picks for Week Twelve  . . .     (Home teams are listed in BOLD type and Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

Oakland over Kansas City
Atlanta over Cleveland
Philadelphia over Tennessee
New England over Detroit
Green Bay over Minnesota
INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville
Houston over Cincinnati
Chicago over Tampa Bay
Seattle over Arizona
San Diego over St. Louis
Denver over Miami
San Francisco over Washington
NY Giants over Dallas
NY Jets over Buffalo (Game is being payed in Detroit, Michigan)

New Orleans over Baltimore

Last Week's Record:  9-5

SEASON RECORD:  106-54-1

Lock of the Week Record:  9-2







 












Monday, November 17, 2014

NFL - Week Eleven Review

The Arizona Cardinals continued to serve notice they have the best record in the NFL (at 9-1) following a 14-6 home win against the Detroit Lions as the defense dominated once again.
Reserve quarterback Drew Stanton hooked up with wide receiver Michael Floyd for a pair of touchdowns and the defense did the rest, limiting the Lions offense to just 262 yards for the game.
Houston defensive star J.J. Watt celebrates his TD catch in win at Cleveland.
The Green Bay Packers rung up 50-plus points for the second straight week as QB Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes and Micah Hyde took a punt back 75 yards for a score to lead the way to a 53-20 win against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
Defensive end  J.J. Watt caught a touchdown pass and also recovered a fumble to garner Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week honors in a 23-7 road win for the Houston Texans against the Cleveland Browns.
The Kansas City Chiefs held on for a 24-20 home win against the Seattle Seahawks as Jamaal Charles rushed for 159 yards and also scored two touchdowns to help the Chiefs gain a share of first place in the AFC West.
The St. Louis Rams did their part for the AFC West deadlock at the top as they bested the visiting Denver Broncos, 22-7 as the defense suffocated Peyton Manning and company, limiting the high powered Broncos to their lowest point total since Manning joined them two years ago. Rams QB Shaun Hill threw a 63-yard scoring pass to Kenny Britt and kicker Greg Zuerlein made five field goals to help provide the difference in the outcome.
Last Thursday night, the Miami Dolphins won a battle against the visiting Buffalo Bills, 22-9 as the defense dominated and QB Ryan Tannehill threw a pair of scoring passes to lead the way.
The San Francisco 49ers rode three field goals by Phil Dawson and a 48-yard scoring pass from Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree to knock off the host New York Giants, 16-10. The 49ers defense intercepted Giants QB Eli Manning five times in the win, including two by linebacker Chris Borland.
The New Orleans Saints lost their second straight home game, a 27-10 setback against Cincinnati as Bengals QB Andy Dalton had three TD passes and running back Jeremy Hill ran for 152 yards. Meanwhile, the Bengals defense stopped the Saints twice inside the red zone to help secure the victory.
Atlanta got a late 44-yard field goal from Matt Bryant and then watched as Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed twice in the final minutes on field goal attempts in a 19-17 road win. Falcons QB Matt Ryan had a touchdown pass to go with the four field goals in the win.
The San Diego Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 13-6 in a lack luster win as QB Philip Rivers hooked up with WR Malcolm Floyd on a 22-yard scoring pass in the first quarter for the game's only touchdown. The loss was Oakland's 16th straight loss, dating back to last season.
The Chicago Bears snapped a three-game losing streak with a 21-13 home win against the Minnesota  Vikings as QB Jay Cutler had three TD passes to offset a pair of interceptions. Bears WR Brandon Marshall had two TD grabs and running back Matt Forte rushed for 117 yards and also caught six passes for another 58 yards in the win.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won at Washington, pounding the Redskins, 27-7 as rookie wideout Mike Evans (pictured right) had two touchdown receptions among his seven grabs for 209 yards. 'Skins QB Robert Griffin III threw two interceptions and was sacked six times in the loss.
The New England Patriots dominated the host Indianapolis Colts, 42-20 on Sunday night as running back Jonas Gray (38 carries for 201 yards) scored four rushing touchdowns and the Patriots ran for 244 yards in the game. Pats QB Tom Brady and Colts QB Andrew Luck each had two touchdown passes in the game.
The Monday Night Football game saw the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers rally past the Tennessee Titans for a 27-24 victory as running back Le'Veon Bell rushed for 204 yards and scored a touchdown in the final quarter that was followed by the game winner when QB Ben Roethlisberger threw a 12-yard scoring pass to WR Antonio Brown to provide the final score.
Titans QB Zach Mettenberger threw for two touchdowns and also threw a "pick six" interception (by Steelers DB William Gay) in the loss.











Sunday, November 16, 2014

College Football - Top Ten


The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN   (Week ending November 16)       


 1.  Florida State (10-0)
 2.  Alabama (9-1)
 3.  Oregon (9-1)
 4.  TCU (9-1)
 5.  Baylor (8-1)
 6.  Mississippi State (9-1)
 7.  Ohio State (9-1)
 8.  Michigan State (8-2)
 9.  Georgia (8-2)
10.  Mississippi (8-2) 

Friday, November 14, 2014

NFL - Week Eleven Preview

This is shaping up to be a big weekend around the NFL as four games feature teams right in the
middle of the playoff chase.
The New England Patriots will face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night capping off a day that will feature the Green Bay Packers squaring off at home against the Philadelphia Eagles while the Detroit Lions will face the Arizona Cardinals in the desert to determine the top team in the NFC through Week Eleven. Another big game features the Seattle Seahawks traveling to Kansas City to play the surging Chiefs, winners of four straight games.
The game between the Patriots and Colts is a re-match from last year's playoff game in which the Colts were destroyed up in Foxborough as the Pats ran all over them. However, the hero for New England in that game, LeGarrette Blount  is now playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Green Bay has been on fire after getting off to a 1-2 start this season and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been the hottest in the league in recent weeks. The Eagles are going with Mark Sanchez for the time being as starting QB Nick Foles is out with injuries. Both teams are coming off blowout wins in "prime time" last week.
The Lions (7-2) and Cardinals (8-1) are definitely two surprise teams in that they lead their divisions at this point of the season. Both teams feature strong defenses and the offense does just enough to keep opponents playing from behind.
For a glimpse of these games as well as the rest of the action for this week, the capsule style previews follow up and then the Heftyinfo predictions as well.


Minnesota Vikings (4-5) at Chicago Bears (3-6) - Will the Bears get torched for 50 points again? Not likely this week.

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) - Two teams both playing well right now ... something has to give.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3-1) at New Orleans Saints (4-5) - Saints will be ready to go after a rare home loss last weekend. Bengals were downright awful last week.

Denver Broncos (7-2) at St. Louis Rams (3-6) - Rams are tough at home, but Broncos should get the win.

Houston Texans (4-5) at Cleveland Browns (6-3) - The Browns are on a roll while the Texans have be so-so all season long.

Atlanta Falcons (3-6) at Carolina Panthers (3-6-1) - This game should be close between a pair of also ran teams.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) at Washington Redskins (3-6) - The yawner game of the week.

San Francisco 49ers (5-4) at New York Giants (3-6) - Hard to believe these two teams went at it for the NFC title just three years ago. 'Niners should win this one.

Oakland Raiders (0-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-4) - This could be the Raiders best chance for a win until possibly the final three weeks of the season. The 'Bolts have been reeling after a hot start.

Detroit Lions (7-2) at Arizona Cardinals (8-1) - The battle for the top spot in the NFC. Cards win a close game, even without starting QB Carson Palmer.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-2) at Green Bay Packers (6-3) - These two teams can score at will ... expect a high scoring game here with Aaron Rodgers and company pulling out the win.

New England Patriots (7-2) at Indianapolis Colts (6-3) - This Sunday night game should be a good one featuring two of the game's best quarterbacks.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-7) - Games like this usually go against the obvious, meaning the Steelers could suffer a second straight road loss against a weak opponent. Not likely this time.

The Heftyinfo picks for Week Eleven  . . .     (Home teams are listed in BOLD type and Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)


Miami over Buffalo
Chicago over Minnesota
Seattle over Kansas City
New Orleans over Cincinnati
Denver over St. Louis
Houston over Cleveland
Carolina over Atlanta
Washington over Tampa Bay
San Francisco over NY Giants
SAN DIEGO over Oakland
Arizona over Detroit
Green Bay over Philadelphia
New England over Indianapolis
Pittsburgh over Tennessee

Last Week's Record:  9-4

SEASON RECORD:  97-49-1

Lock of the Week Record:  8-2





 










Monday, November 10, 2014

NFL - Week Ten Review

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
What more can you say about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers performance on Sunday Night Football?
The Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week threw SIX touchdown passes in the first half during a 55-14 rout of the visiting Chicago Bears. For the game, Rodgers had 315 passing yards while wide receiver Jordy Nelson grabbed six passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second consecutive game in which the Chicago defense allowed 50 or more points this season.
The Detroit Lions remained one game ahead of the Packers by beating the visiting Miami Dolphins, 20-16 as QB Matthew Stafford threw an 11-yard TD pass to Theo Riddick with just 29 seconds remaining.
The Denver Broncos crushed the winless Oakland Raiders, 41-17 behind five TD passes from Peyton Manning, including three in the third quarter when the visiting Broncos broke open a close game.
The New York Jets snapped an eight game losing streak by surprising the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-13 as their defense came up with four turnovers, including two interceptions against QB Ben Roethlisberger, who had 12 TD passes in the last two games. Jets QB Michael Vick threw two scoring passes to pace the offense.
The Baltimore Ravens won a lack luster game over the visiting Tennessee Titans, 21-7 as running back Justin Forsett scored two rushing touchdowns while going for 112 yards on the ground to help his team snap a two-game skid.
Kansas City remained hot as they topped the host Buffalo Bills, 17-13 behind a stellar defensive effort that came up with three fumble recoveries and held off the Bills late drive to clinch the win. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles and QB Alex Smith each scored rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help provide the difference.
The Seattle Seahawks rolled past the visiting New York Giants, 38-17 by scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half.
Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch
The Seahawks were led by Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 140 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns while QB Russell Wilson went for 107 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown to spearhead an attack that gained a whopping 350 yards on the ground.
The San Francisco 49ers won a controversial game in New Orleans, topping the Saints, 27-24 in OT as kicker Phil Dawson drilled the game winning 35-yard field goal.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was flagged for offensive pass interference when he pushed off a San Francisco defender to make an apparent game winning TD catch as time ran out in regulation. But the play was nullified and went to the OT session. Saints QB Drew Brees had three TD passes and two interceptions in the loss.
The Dallas Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, England 31-17 as QB Tony Romo threw for three scores and RB DeMarco Murray ran for 100 yards while backfield mate Joseph Randle had a 40-yard scoring run.
The Atlanta Falcons won a yawner at Tampa Bay, 27-17 as kicker Matt Bryant made four field goals to offset a pair of TD passes by Buccaneers QB Josh McCown.
The Cleveland Browns blasted the host Cincinnati Bengals, 24-3 last Thursday night behind a superb defensive effort that limited the Bengals to just 165 yards in offense, including limiting QB Andy Dalton to just 10-for-33 passing for a meager 86 yards while also getting four turnovers (fumble recovery and three interceptions) to lead the way to victory.
The Arizona Cardinals scored twice on defense (30-yard INT return by Patrick Peterson and a 14-yard fumble return by Antonio Cromartie) in the fourth quarter to seal the game in a 31-14 home win against the St. Louis Rams.
Reserve Cardinals QB Drew Stanton threw a 48-yard TD pass to wide receiver John Brown early in the fourth quarter to put Arizona ahead for good. Stanton entered the game when starting QB Carson Palmer left the game with a knee injury, which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
Mark Sanchez, making his first start at quarterback in nearly two years, had two TD passes and 337 passing yards to help lead the host Philadelphia Eagles to a 45-21 win  against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.
Darren Sproles added two touchdowns, including a 65-yard punt return while the Eagles defense sacked Carolina QB Cam Newton nine times while also picking off three passes in the blowout win.