Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

NFL - Week Three Preview

The action gets started tonight in the Thursday night tilt when the New England Patriots host the
Houston Texans in a battle of unbeaten teams.
The Patriots will be starting third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the wake of the injury to number-two QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who was starting while Tom Brady serves his four-game suspension.
Got all that?
Meanwhile, the Texans have held opponents to 13 points per game in their 2-0 start while giving up just under 275 total yards in offense. Houston's offense has sputtered so far, but they do what it takes to win, just like the Patriots.
Some of the other action this weekend includes Denver (2-0) at Cincinnati (1-1) which features two playoff teams from last season while the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles will have the "battle for Pennsylvania" in the city of Brotherly Love on Sunday.
All in all, the season is just getting going as Week Three unfolds and the season of Autumn begins.

For a closer look at all of the games on tap this week, the following offers the 'capsule style' previews along with the Heftyinfo picks for this weekend.

Houston (2-0) at New England (2-0) - Jacoby who?  Can the Pats find a way to beat one of the top defensive teams in the NFL with so many top players injured?

Arizona (1-1) at Buffalo (0-2) - Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan is feeling the heat.

Oakland (1-1) at Tennessee (1-1) - The Raiders got humbled last week in their home opener.

Cleveland (0-2) at Miami (0-2) - The Dolphins cannot lose at home to the Browns, can they?

Baltimore (2-0) at Jacksonville (0-2) - The Jags, the up and coming team in 2016,  could be 0-3 after this game.

Detroit (1-1) at Green Bay (1-1) - Both of these teams looking rather ordinary through first two games.

Denver (2-0) at Cincinnati (1-1) - This could be the game of the week.

Minnesota (2-0) at Carolina (1-1) - The Vikings without Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater are still 2-0 ... Carolina (Charlotte protests) is very tense right now.

Washington (0-2) at NY Giants (2-0) - Upset alert?  Nope. Take the Giants.

Los Angeles (1-1) at Tampa Bay (1-1) - The Bucs should win this game at home.

San Francisco (1-1) at Seattle (1-1) - What's up with the Seahawks offense?  15 points scored in two games.

NY Jets (1-1) at Kansas City (1-1) - This game could go down to the wire.  Take the Chiefs.

San Diego (1-1) at Indianapolis (0-2) - Colts are in desperate need of a victory ... Chargers QB Philip Rivers is the AFC's top rated passer through first two weeks.

Pittsburgh (2-0) at Philadelphia (2-0) - Can the Eagles soar again?  Not against the Steelers.

Chicago (0-2) at Dallas (1-1) - The Cowboys should roll the Bears in the SNF game.

Atlanta (1-1) at New Orleans (0-2) - These two teams always provide a very entertaining football game when they meet. This time it's on Monday night.

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

Houston over New England
Arizona over Buffalo
Tennessee over Oakland
Miami over Cleveland
Baltimore over Jacksonville
Green Bay over Detroit
Cincinnati over Denver
Carolina over Minnesota
NY Giants over Washington
Tampa Bay over Los Angeles
Seattle over San Francisco
Kansas City over NY Jets
Indianapolis over San Diego
Pittsburgh over Philadelphia
DALLAS over Chicago
New Orleans over Atlanta

Last Week's Record:  9-7


Lock of the Week Record:  2-0 

Monday, September 19, 2016

NFL - Week Two Review

The New England Patriots won again without starting quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski this weekend, 31-24 against the visiting Miami Dolphins as Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a shoulder injury after throwing for three touchdowns in the first half as the Pats built a huge lead.
The Patriots will go with reserve QB Jacoby Brissett until Brady returns from his four-game suspension in three weeks. New England running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown to aid the win.
The other big story from the weekend was Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson leaving the game Sunday night with what appeared to be a severe knee injury. The Vikings won their home opener, 17-14 over the Green Bay Packers in the brand new US Bank Stadium.
Vikings QB Sam Bradford passed for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the offense while the Vikes defense limited the Packers to 263 total offensive yards and sacked Aaron Rodgers five times.

                                          Around the NFL  . . . . . . .

The Denver Broncos rode the defense to a 34-20 win against the visiting Indianapolis Colts as they scored on a sack/fumble recovery return and an interception return for score by Aqib Talib . . .  The Atlanta Falcons surprised the host Oakland Raiders, 35-28 as QB Matt Ryan (396 passing yards) threw two TD passes . . .  The San Diego Chargers rebounded nicely from their Week One loss with a 38-14 trouncing of the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars behind four TD passes from Philip Rivers . . .   Carolina throttled the San Francisco 49ers, 46-27 as QB Cam Newton threw four TD passes, including two to WR Kelvin Benjamin . . .  The Arizona Cardinals blasted the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 40-7 as their defense intercepted four passes (one for TD) while the offense rolled up 416 total yards . . .   The Baltimore Ravens stormed back from a 20-point first quarter deficit to defeat the host Cleveland Browns, 25-20 as Joe Flacco had a pair of scoring passes and kicker Justin Tucker drilled three field goals . . .   Tennessee came back and knocked off the Detroit Lions, 16-15 for a road win as QB Marcus Mariota had two fourth quarter TD passes to make the difference . . .  The New York Giants beat the visiting New Orleans Saints, 16-13 in a surprising defensive struggle that saw the Giants scored on a blocked field goal return (65 yards by Janoris Jenkins) and three field goals from Josh Brown . . .  The Pittsburgh Steelers bested the Cincinnati Bengals on a rainy day in the Steel City as QB Ben Roethlisberger had three TD passes and the defense came up with a big fumble recovery late in the game to seal the win . . .  The Dallas Cowboys topped the host Washington Redskins, 27-23 as RB Alfred Morris burned his former team with a four-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter . . .   The Houston Texans won at home over Kansas City, 19-12 by shutting down the Chiefs offense (only four field goals) and riding a first quarter TD pass from Brock Osweiler . . .  The New York Jets got a road win in Buffalo last Thursday night, 37-31 as RB Matt Forte scored three touchdown and had 100 yards rushing to offset 297 passing yards and three touchdowns from Bills QB Tyrod Taylor . . . . .  In the Monday Night Football game, the Philadelphia Eagles knocked off the host Chicago Bears, 29-14 as Ryan Mathews rushed for two touchdowns and QB Carson Wentz added a TD pass while the Eagles defense came up with two turnovers in the win. Bears QB Jay Cutler suffered a sprained thumb on his throwing hand and left the game in the second half.

                                                     Heftyinfo NFL co-Players of the Week

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Chargers QB Philip Rivers

Thursday, September 15, 2016

NFL - Week Two Preview

It's hard to get a feel for the new NFL season after just one game, but there were some surprises in the first weekend, along with huge disappointments, none bigger than the San Diego Chargers blowing a 21-point third quarter lead and losing the game to the Kansas City Chiefs, 33-27 in  overtime.
In addition, San Diego also lost their top wide receiver Keenan Allen for the season with a severe knee injury after an ACL tear.
Heading into Week Two, there are some big division matchups as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North tilt. Meanwhile, two of the top dogs in the NFC North go at it as the Minnesota Vikings face the Green Bay Packers in the Sunday night game as they open their new stadium in Minneapolis.
The action gets started tonight with the New York Jets traveling to play the Buffalo Bills in an AFC East battle. Both teams lost close games last week and they both boast solid defenses. This should be a game that goes down to the wire.

Here is a breakdown of the week's action (in capsule style previews) followed by the Heftyinfo predictions for Week Two.

NY Jets (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1) -  Flip a coin on this one... it's that close.

Cincinnati (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0) - Here we go Steelers here we go!

Tennessee (0-1) at Detroit (1-0) -  The Lions are looking to restore the roar and a 2-0 start would do wonders to make that claim more than just lip service.

Baltimore (1-0) at Cleveland (0-1) - No RG3 for the Browns this week, or for the next eight weeks.

Dallas (0-1) at Washington (0-1) - This game could be real exciting or could be a yawner.

New Orleans (0-1) at NY Giants (1-0) - These teams lit up the scoreboard a year ago when they met. Expect more of the same in this one.

San Francisco (1-0) at Carolina (0-1) - Panthers roll!

Miami (0-1) at New England (1-0) - The Dolphins gave Seattle all they could handle while the Patriots surprised Arizona on the road. Take the Pats.

Kansas City (1-0) at Houston (1-0) - A rematch of last year's playoff game, which the Chiefs won big.

Seattle (1-0) at Los Angeles (0-1) - Will the Rams get on the scoreboard this weekend?

Tampa Bay (1-0) at Arizona (0-1) - This could be a very entertaining game.

Jacksonville (0-1) at San Diego (0-1) - If the Chargers don't win this game (home opener), they may be in for a very looonnng  season.

Atlanta (0-1) at Oakland (1-0) - Are the Raiders back?  It's only the second game so calm down Raider Nation.

Indianapolis (0-1) at Denver (1-0) - The Colts blew a late lead while the Broncos hung on by the skin of their teeth last week. Should be a good one.

Green Bay (1-0) at Minnesota (1-0) - The Vikings open their new home and what better way than by playing the Packers.

Philadelphia (1-0) at Chicago (0-1) - The Bears are not the Cleveland Browns, so look for Philly rookie QB Carson Wentz to come back down to earth this week.

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

Buffalo over NY Jets
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Detroit over Tennessee
Baltimore over Cleveland
Washington over Dallas
NY Giants over New Orleans
CAROLINA over San Francisco
New England over Miami
Houston over Kansas City
Seattle over Los Angeles
Arizona over Tampa Bay
San Diego over Jacksonville 
Oakland over Atlanta
Denver over Indianapolis
Green Bay over Minnesota
Chicago over Philadelphia

Last Week's Record:  10-6


Lock of the Week Record:  1-0

Monday, September 12, 2016

NFL - Week One Review

Chiefs QB Alex Smith
The first weekend of action for the 2016 NFL season is in the books.
Hard to get a read on teams after just one week, but the San Diego Chargers showed once again why they are labeled as "chokers" as they coughed up a 21-point third quarter lead and lost 33-27 in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs as quarterback Alex Smith scored the winning touchdown on
a two-yard run.
For his comeback effort, Alex Smith is the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week as he had two TD passes (one INT) and the rushing touchdown while burning the Chargers for 363 passing yards. In the loss, the Chargers also lost WR Keenan Allen for the season with a knee injury (torn ACL) as their offense struggled after holding a 21-3 halftime lead.

Around the NFL . . . 

The Houston Texans defense had five sacks to lead the way to a 23-14 home win over the Chicago Bears ...  The Detroit Lions won on the road 39-35 against the Indianapolis Colts as QB Matthew Stafford had three TD passes while Colts QB Andrew Luck threw four TD passes in the loss ...  The Dallas Cowboys lost 20-19 at home to the New York Giants as QB Eli Manning had three TD passes, including one to WR Victor Cruz, who played for the first time in two years ...  The Oakland Raiders made Head Coach Jack Del Rio's gamble pay off as QB Derek Carr hit WR Michael Crabtree for a two-point conversion pass in the final minute to stun the host New Orleans Saints, 35-34 ...  The Minnesota Vikings won at Tennessee, 25-16 behind two defensive scores and four field goals by Blair Walsh ...  Cincinnati won a road game, topping the New York Jets, 23-22 as QB Andy Dalton had 366 passing yards and the defense intercepted Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to seal the win ...  The Green Bay Packers held off the host Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-23 behind two TD passes and a six-yard scoring run from QB Aaron Rodgers ...  The Seattle Seahawks escaped with a 12-10 home win against the Miami Dolphins when QB Russell Wilson threw a two-yard TD pass to WR Doug Baldwin ...  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 31-24 against the Atlanta Falcons with QB Jameis Winston throwing four TD passes ...  The Baltimore Ravens topped the visiting Buffalo Bills, 13-7 as their defense limited the Bills to just 160 yards in total offense ...  The Philadelphia Eagles got a great effort from rookie starting QB Carson Wentz (278 yards and two TD passes) as they blasted the Cleveland Browns, 29-10 ...  The Denver Broncos opened their season last Thursday night with a 21-20 win against the Carolina Panthers as QB Trevor Siemian had a TD pass and the defense held off the Panthers late while recording three QB sacks ...  The New England Patriots (without QB Tom Brady) beat the Arizona Cardinals on the road, 23-21 as QB Jimmy Garoppolo had a TD pass and Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzero missed a 47-yard field goal (bad snap and hold) in the final seconds ...  The Monday Night Football game (s) saw the Pittsburgh Steelers blast the host Washington Redskins, 38-16 behind three TD passes from Ben Roethlisberger (two to WR Antonio Brown) and 143 rushing yards and two TD by DeAngelo Williams ...  The San Francisco 49ers shut out the visiting Los Angeles Rams 28-0 behind two rushing touchdowns by Carlos Hyde and the defense limiting the Rams to just 185 yards in total offense.

Week One Scores
Denver 21, Carolina 20
Houston 23, Chicago 14
Minnesota 25, Tennessee 16
Detroit 39, Indianapolis 35
Oakland 35, New Orleans 34
Kansas City 33, San Diego 27 (OT)
Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 24
Seattle 12, Miami 10
Cincinnati 23, NY Jets 22
NY Giants 20, Dallas 19
Philadelphia 29, Cleveland 10
Green Bay 27, Jacksonville 23
Baltimore 13, Buffalo 7
New England 23, Arizona 21
Pittsburgh 38, Washington 16
San Francisco 28, Los Angeles 0 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

NFL - Week One Preview and 2016 Season Predictions

The 2016 NFL season kicks off tomorrow night in Denver as the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos host the Carolina Panthers in a 're-match' of last season's Super Bowl teams, which Denver won 24-10 in Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning's final NFL game.
This season, the Broncos have a new quarterback as Manning retired and Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans in the off-season. Trevor Siemian is the Broncos starting quarterback for the season opener.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are focused on getting back to the big game again and this time winning it all.
What better way than to exorcise the demons of failures past as they face the Broncos and will have to watch them and the rabid fans in the Mile High City celebrate the Super Bowl 50 title.
Carolina QB Cam Newton was the regular season Most Valuable Player for the 2015 season and after the lemon he had (due in big part to the Broncos' defense) in the Super Bowl, you just know he is chomping at the bit to set the right tone for this season.
It looks to be a very interesting Week One around the NFL this weekend as the top rookies get their chance to shine (or not in Rams' QB Jared Goff''s case) in the opening game.
There are many questions to be answered as the season unfolds week by week.
Will Tom Brady have revenge on his mind after he serves his four-game suspension for the now nearly two-years old "deflate gate" case?  How about 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and his one man crusade against standing for the National Anthem prior to the start of the games? Can the Broncos and Panthers get back to the Super Bowl?
All in all, it should be exciting as the teams battle for playoff position week by week. After all, that is why the play the games.
So here goes nothing as Heftyinfo make the fearless forecasts for the 2016 season.

NFL division race predictions
(Wild card teams in bold italics)

East - 1. Patriots  2. Jets  3. Bills  4. Dolphins
North - 1. Steelers  2. Bengals  3. Ravens  4. Browns
South - 1. Colts  2. Texans  3. Jaguars  4. Titans
West - 1. Chiefs  2. Raiders  3. Broncos  4. Chargers

East - 1. Giants  2. Cowboys  3. Redskins  4. Eagles
North - 1. Packers  2. Vikings  3. Bears  4. Lions
South 1. Panthers  2. Saints  3. Buccaneers  4. Falcons
West - 1. Seahawks  2. Cardinals  3. Rams  4. 49ers

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Chiefs over Texans;  Bengals over Colts
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Packers over Cowboys; Cardinals over Giants

AFC Divisional Round - Patriots over Bengals;  Steelers over Chiefs
NFC Divisional Round - Seahawks over Cardinals; Panthers over Packers

AFC Championship -  Steelers over Patriots
NFC Championship -  Seahawks over Panthers

SUPER BOWL 51Steelers over Seahawks 

Regarding the above picks for the upcoming season, we shall see.
Now for the WEEK ONE  Heftyinfo picks (Home teams listed in BOLD type and Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS.)

Carolina over Denver
Green Bay over Jacksonville
Baltimore over Buffalo
Houston over Chicago
Philadelphia over Cleveland
Tampa Bay over Atlanta
Minnesota over Tennessee
NY Jets over Cincinnati
New Orleans over Oakland
Kansas City over San Diego
SEATTLE over Miami
Indianapolis over Detroit
NY Giants over Dallas
Arizona over New England
Pittsburgh over Washington
Los Angeles over San Francisco

Last Year's Record:  173-83
Lock of the Week Record:  13-4