Monday, October 16, 2017

NFL - Week Six Recap

The Chicago Bears stunned the host Baltimore Ravens, 27-24 in overtime as kicker Conner Barth made a 40-yard field goal to decide the outcome. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky had a touchdown pass while running back Jordan Howard ran for 167 yards (on 36 carries) to bludgeon the Ravens vaunted defense to the tune of 231 rushing yards in the game.
The Ravens forced the OT thanks to a pair of kick returns for touchdowns (Bobby Rainey 96-yard KOR and Michael Campanaro 77-yard punt return with only 1:19 remaining) which offset Adrian Amos' 90-yard interception return for a Bears score.
The biggest story of Week Six was Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers suffering a broken collar bone in a 23-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers may be lost for the rest of the season. Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon scored two touchdowns (one rushing and the other a 27-yard TD pass from QB Case Keenum) to lead the way. Green Bay backup QB Brett Hundley was intercepted three times in the loss.
The New Orleans Saints defense dominated in a 52-38 win over the visiting Detroit Lions as they had five takeaways, including three for touchdowns and also recorded five sacks against Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, who had three TD passes along with three interceptions (two were pick six plays) along with 312 passing yards.
Arizona held off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-33 as RB Adrian Peterson enjoyed a big game, going for 134 yards on 26 carries with two TD to get the Cardinals back to .500 (3-3 record). The Cards nearly blew a 31-0 lead as the Bucs stormed back behind reserve QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had three TD passes after Jameis Winston went out with a right shoulder injury.
The Pittsburgh Steelers won in Kansas City, 19-13 to give the Chiefs their first loss of the season. Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell ran for 179 yards and scored a touchdown and Ben Roethlisberger  hooked up with wide receiver Antonio Brown for a 51-yard score to ice the game.

                                                Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . . .  

The New England Patriots overcame a 14-0 deficit to defeat the host New York Jets, 24-17 as QB Tom Brady had a pair of scoring passes, which matched Jets QB Josh McCown's effort . . .  The Los Angeles Chargers finally won a close game as kicker Nick Novak drilled a 32-yard field goal as time expired in a 17-16 road victory against the Oakland Raiders. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon had two touchdowns in the game  . . .  The Washington Redskins held off the stubborn San Francisco 49ers, 26-24 behind two TD passes and a scoring run by QB Kirk Cousins . . .  The Houston Texans smashed the winless Cleveland Browns, 33-17 as QB Deshaun Watson had three scoring passes to pace the win . . .  Miami rolled past the host Atlanta Falcons, 20-17 as they overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit. Dolphins QB Jay Cutler turned around a terrible first half with two TD passes to lead the comeback effort . . . The Los Angeles Rams beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-17 with Pharoh Cooper setting the tone on a 103-yard kickoff return for touchdown to start the game . . .  The Philadelphia Eagles won in Carolina, 28-23 last Thursday night behind three TD passes from QB Carson Wentz. The Eagles defense intercepted Panthers QB Cam Newton three times to help make a difference . . .  The New York Giants surprised the host Denver Broncos, 23-10 on Sunday night for their first win this season as running back Orleans Darkwa (117 yards) was the first to gain 100-plus yards against the NFL's top defense. The Giants defense forced three turnovers, including Janoris Jenkins' 43-yard pick six to put the game away.

                             Heftyinfo  NFL Player of the Week - Jordan Howard (RB - Chicago Bears)

Philadelphia 28, Carolina 23
Chicago 27, Baltimore 24  (OT)
Minnesota 23, Green Bay 10
Miami 20, Atlanta 17
New Orleans 52, Detroit 38
New England 24, NY Jets 17
Houston 33, Cleveland 17
Washington 26, San Francisco 24
LA Rams 27, Jacksonville 17
LA Chargers 17, Oakland 16
Arizona 38, Tampa Bay 33
Pittsburgh 19, Kansas City 13
NY Giants 23, Denver 10

Sunday, October 15, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten             (Week ending October 15)   

1.  Alabama  (7-0)
2.  Penn State  (6-0)
3.  Georgia  (6-0)
4.  Wisconsin  (6-0)
5.  TCU  (6-0)
6.  Ohio State  (6-1)
7.  Clemson  (6-1)
8.  Miami, FL  (5-0)
9.  Oklahoma  (5-1)
10.  Washington  (6-1)

Friday, October 13, 2017

NFL - Week Six Preview

The best game of the week in the NFL was actually played last night in Carolina, where the visiting Philadelphia Eagles beat the Panthers, 28-23 (the pick here was Carolina- wrong!) but that happened before Heftyinfo post of Week Six Preview, so  here goes nothing for the action this weekend.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings is an exciting looking game as the NFC North division rivals get it going once again. The Packers rallied past the Dallas Cowboys last week while the Vikings escaped with a 20-17 win at Chicago on Monday Night Football. Aaron Rodgers and company rate the edge, even on the road. The Minnesota defense should keep this one close.
Another interesting game will be the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, two very surprising teams (both are 3-2) so far. Rams were losers at home against Seattle while Jags stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 30-9.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City should be a good one as both teams are in first place in their divisions. 
The Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) are coming off that blowout loss at home to Jacksonville last week while the Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) rolled to another win at Houston last Sunday night. The Steelers have owned the Chiefs in year's past, but they have been Jekyll and Hyde so far this season.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, have been the model of consistency in the NFL to this point. Their quarterback, Alex Smith, is having a superb season through the first five weeks.

The rest of the weekend games can be seen below in a capsule style preview form.

Miami (2-2) at Atlanta (3-1) - Falcons coming off bye week and a loss while the Dolphins survived at home last week.

Chicago (1-4) at Baltimore (3-2) - The Ravens have been up and down so far. The Bears defense is decent, so watch out.

Cleveland (0-5) at Houston (2-3) - The Texans will be without defensive star J.J. Watt, but the Browns suck!

Detroit (3-2) at New Orleans (2-2) - In years past, this would be a high scoring game, but both teams playing well on defense lately. Pick 'em game here.

New England (3-2) at New York Jets (3-2) - How in the hell are the Jets 3-2? The Patriots should win this game, but beware.

San Francisco (0-5) at Washington (2-2) - Redskins roll !

Tampa Bay (2-2) at Arizona (2-3) - The Cardinals have been a disappointment so far. Buccaneers still feeling their way.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) at Oakland (2-3) - The Raiders are reeling without QB Derek Carr, but he may be able to play this week . . .  Hmmmm.

New York Giants (0-5) at Denver (3-1) - Sunday night game featuring a hapless Giants team (four wide receivers injured) against the NFL's best defense. Take the Broncos.

Indianapolis (2-3) at Tennessee (2-3) - AFC South battle on MNF game . . . both teams are looking up at first place Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Heftyinfo picks for Week Six . . .  (Home teams are listed in bold;  Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

Carolina over Philadelphia
Atlanta over Miami
Baltimore over Chicago
HOUSTON over Cleveland
Green Bay over Minnesota 
New Orleans over Detroit
New England over NY Jets
Washington over San Francisco
Arizona over Tampa Bay
Jacksonville over LA Rams
Pittsburgh over Kansas City 
Oakland over LA Chargers
Denver over NY Giants
Tennessee over Indianapolis

Last Week's Record -  10-4 


Lock of the Week Record -  3-2 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NFL - Week Five Recap

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
The best game by far this weekend was the one between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, which the visiting Packers won, 35-31 as quarterback Aaron Rodgers (three touchdown passes) found wide receiver Davonte Adams for a 12-yard scoring pass with only eleven seconds remaining. The Cowboys had just taken a 31-28 lead with 1:13 left to play when QB Dak Prescott (three TD passes) scored on an 11-yard run.
The Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) remained unbeaten as they topped the host Houston Texans, 42-34 on Sunday night. The Texans lost defensive star J.J. Watt for the season as he suffered a severe leg injury.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith had three touchdown passes to pace the offense and Tyreek Hill took a punt back 82 yards for a score to help blow it open in the fourth quarter, which saw the teams combine for 40 points. Texans QB Deshaun Watson had five TD passes in the loss.
The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off the surprise of the week  with a 30-9 trouncing of the host Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jags defense intercepted Ben Roethlisberger five times, including two for scores to set the tone. In addition, the Jags rushed for 231 yards in the rout.

                                              Elsewhere in the NFL . . . . . .    

Despite being outgained by over 200 yards, the New York Jets (3-2) won their third straight game as they beat the winless Cleveland Browns, 17-14 behind two scoring passes from QB Josh McCown . . .  The Seattle Seahawks held off the host Los Angeles Rams, 16-10 behind a solid defensive effort that yielded five turnovers . . .   The Los Angeles Chargers won their first game in a 27-22 victory against the New York Giants (0-5) thanks to a ten-yard scoring pass from Philip Rivers to running back Melvin Gordon (105 yards rushing and two receiving TD) that made the difference. The Chargers defense sealed the game with an interception in the final minute. The Giants lost star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for the season with a broken ankle . . .  The Philadelphia Eagles blasted the Arizona Cardinals, 34-7 as QB Carson Wentz went off with four TD passes while the Philly defense limited the Cards to just 31 rushing yards . . .  The Carolina Panthers (4-1) rode the hot play of QB Cam Newton (three TD passes) to a 27-24 win at Detroit. The Lions scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, but this time the rally fell short . . .  The Baltimore Ravens took advantage of Oakland not having starting QB Derek Carr (back injury) as they throttled the host Raiders, 30-17 behind a defensive score in the first quarter and a balanced offense, paced by efficient QB Joe Flacco . . . The New England Patriots won a squeaker at Tampa Bay on Thursday night, 19-14 as QB Tom Brady had a scoring pass and kicker Stephen Gostkowski made four field goals . . .  The Minnesota Vikings came up with a huge interception late in the fourth quarter to spoil the regular season debut of Bears rookie QB Mitch Trubisky (one TD pass and one interception) in a 20-17 win in Chicago on Monday Night Football. Kicker Kai Forbath made the deciding 26-yard field goal with just over two minutes to go to decide the game.

                      Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week -  Carson Wentz  (QB- Philadelphia Eagles)

New England 19, Tampa Bay 14
Jacksonville 30, Pittsburgh 9
Cincinnati 20, Buffalo 16
NY Jets 17, Cleveland 14
LA Chargers 27, NY Giants 22
Carolina 27, Detroit 24
Indianapolis 26, San Francisco 23 (OT)
Philadelphia 34, Arizona 7
Miami 16, Tennessee 10
Seattle 16, LA Rams 10
Green Bay 35, Dallas 31
Baltimore 30, Oakland 17
Kansas City 42, Houston 34
Minnesota 20, Chicago 17

Sunday, October 8, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo  College Football Top Ten              (Week ending October 8)     

1.  Alabama  (6-0)
2.  Clemson  (6-0)
3.  Penn State  (6-0)
4.  Washington  (6-0)
5.  Georgia  (6-0)
6.  Wisconsin  (5-0)
7.  TCU  (5-0)
8.  Washington State  (6-0)
9.  Ohio State  (5-1)
10.  Oklahoma  (4-1)

Friday, October 6, 2017

NFL - Week Five Preview

Week Five around the NFL brings about the first of many "bye" weeks as four teams (Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington) get the weekend off.
There will not be any games played over in London, England either this weekend. Just good old football being played right here in the United States of America.
The big match up this week features the Green Bay Packers facing the Dallas Cowboys deep in the heart of Texas, the same place where the Packers knocked the 'Pokes out of the NFC playoffs last January.
Look for another close game between these old rivals as Aaron Rodgers and company seek to improve to 4-1 for the season. The Cowboys (2-2) will look to get the offense going again this week. Even though they hung 30 points on the L.A. Rams, it wasn't enough in a 35-30 setback.
On the other side of the coin, two winless teams will battle it out in New York as the Giants host the Chargers, who lost their 16th one-score game since the 2015 season last weekend.  Somebody has to win this one . . . but there is always the possibility of a tie game.
The Seattle Seahawks (46-18 win over the Colts last week) travel to Los Angeles to face the surprising Rams (3-1 and 1st place in the NFC West) as they look to get back to the top of the division race. The Rams seem to always play the 'Hawks tough, so this week's game should be no different.
The Houston Texans, fresh off a 57-point outburst (a franchise record) against Tennessee, will host the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs in the Sunday night game. The Monday night game will see the Minnesota Vikings travel to play the Chicago Bears, who will start rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky for the first time.

The rest of the games are featured in capsule style and are followed up by the Heftyinfo picks for Week Five.

Buffalo (3-1) at Cincinnati (1-3) - Can the Bills keep their early season success going?

NY Jets (2-2) at Cleveland (0-4) - The Browns are awful. The Jets can actually go above .500 with a win on the road this weekend.

Carolina (3-1) at Detroit (3-1) - Two surprise teams in first place ties in their divisions battle in Motown. Take the Lions.

San Francisco (0-4) at Indianapolis (1-3) - The stinker game of the week.

Tennessee (2-2) at Miami (1-2) - Will Titans' QB Marcus Mariota (hamstring injury) play in this game? Will the Dolphins score any points this week?

Arizona (2-2) at Philadelphia (3-1) - The battle of the birds in Philly.  Take the Eagles in a tight one.

Jacksonville (2-2) at Pittsburgh (3-1) - The Steelers looked much better in last week's win while the Jaguars lost to the lowly Jets.

Baltimore (2-2) at Oakland (2-2) - Two teams currently in nose dives early on. The Raiders will be without QB Derek Carr in this game. Toss up here.

The Heftyinfo predictions for Week Five . . . . .     (Home teams are listed in bold; Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

New England over Tampa Bay
Cincinnati over Buffalo
NY Jets over Cleveland
Detroit over Carolina
Indianapolis over San Francisco
Miami over Tennessee
NY Giants over LA Chargers
Philadelphia over Arizona
PITTSBURGH over Jacksonville
Seattle over LA Rams 
Baltimore over Oakland
Green Bay over Dallas
Kansas City over Houston 
Chicago over Minnesota

Last Week's Record -  5-11


Lock of the Week Record -  3-1 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

NFL - Week Four Recap

Upset Sunday was the theme this past weekend around the NFL as the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills each improved their records to 3-1 with huge road wins. The Rams outscored the Dallas Cowboys, 35-30 while the Bills stunned the Atlanta Falcons, 23-17.
Perhaps the biggest surprise  was Carolina topping the New England Patriots, 33-30 on the road as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was superb, passing for 316 yards with three touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. Panthers kicker Graham Gano kicked the game winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. Patriots QB Tom Brady had two TD passes in the loss, which was the second in three games at home so far this season for the Patriots.
In the Rams win, kicker Greg Zuerlein made seven field goals while QB Jared Goff had a pair of TD passes to lead the way. Running back Todd Gurley rushed for 121 yards and caught a 53-yard touchdown pass. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for three scores, but the Rams defense limited Dallas to just six points in the second half to secure the win.
Buffalo rode a solid defensive effort, including getting three turnovers, to hold off the Falcons, who came up just short in the final minute of the game as they lost for the first time this season. Bills rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White took a fumble back 52 yards for a touchdown and Stephen Hauschka kicked three fourth quarter field goals (two from over 50 yards) to make the difference.

                                                          Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . .  

The Denver Broncos won a defensive struggle at home, 16-10 against the Oakland Raiders, limiting Oakland to only 256 yards in offense. The Raiders lost QB Derek Carr to a back injury in the second half. Carr is likely to be out for at least two weeks, but likely longer. Broncos kicker Brandon McManus drilled three field goals to help provide the final outcome  . . .  The Pittsburgh Steelers blasted the host Baltimore Ravens, 26-9 as their defense had three turnovers and RB Le'Veon Bell (144 rushing yards) rushed for two scores to pace the offense . . .  The Houston Texans exploded for 57 points as they crushed the visiting Tennessee Titans, 57-14 as rookie QB DeShaun Watson had four TD passes and a running touchdown to lead the rout . . .  The Detroit Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings, 14-7 with a stellar defense, including three fumble recoveries while Ameer Abdullah ran for a three-yard score. Vikings rookie RB Dalvin Cook suffered a knee injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season . . . The Philadelphia Eagles won on the road, 26-24 over the Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) as kicker Jake Elliott made four field goals and the offense was balanced (214 rush yards and 240 pass yards) to lead the way. Chargers QB Philip Rivers passed for 347 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss, which was the Bolts' seventh consecutive home defeat dating back to last year . . .  Over in London, England, the New Orleans Saints shutout the Miami Dolphins, 20-0 with QB Drew Brees throwing two TD passes while the defense sacked Miami QB Jay Cutler four times and also had an interception . . .  Tampa Bay got a game winning 34-yard field goal from Nick Folk as time expired in a 25-23 victory against the winless New York Giants. Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston threw for three scores in the win while Giants QB Eli Manning had two TD passes and a rushing score . . . The New York Jets won their second consecutive game, 23-20 in overtime against the Jacksonville Jaguars as kicker Chandler Catanzaro made a 41-yard field goal with 28 seconds left. Jets RB Bilal Powell had a 75-yard scoring run and went off for 163 yards to lead the way . . .  The Green Bay Packers routed the visiting Chicago Bears on Thursday night, 35-14 as QB Aaron Rodgers had four TD passes . . .  The Seattle Seahawks blasted the Indianapolis Colts, 46-18 on Sunday night behind a huge second half (outscored the Colts 36-3) as QB Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and also had two scoring passes. The Seahawks outgained the Colts, 477-237 in total yardage . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Washington Redskins, 29-20 to remain unbeaten as QB Alex Smith hooked up with tight end Travis Kelce for a scoring pass and rookie running back Kareem Hunt ran for 101 yards to pace a balance attack. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins had two TD passes in the loss.

                             Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week - Deshaun Watson (QB - Houston Texans)

Green Bay 35, Chicago 14
Houston 57, Tennessee 14
Carolina 33, New England 30
Pittsburgh 26, Baltimore 9
NY Jets 23, Jacksonville 20  (OT)
Cincinnati 31, Cleveland 7
New Orleans 20, Miami 0
Detroit 14, Minnesota 7
Buffalo 23, Atlanta 17
Philadelphia 26, LA Chargers 24
LA Rams 35, Dallas 30
Arizona 18, San Francisco 15  (OT)
Denver 16, Oakland 10
Tampa Bay 25, NY Giants 23
Seattle 46, Indianapolis 18
Kansas City 29, Washington 20