Thursday, October 23, 2014

NFL - Week Eight Preview

Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning square off on Thursday Night Football.
The NFL season gets into Week Eight with a good one on Thursday Night Football as AFC West rivals go at it in Denver when the San Diego Chargers take on the Broncos.
The Chargers (5-2) had a five game winning streak snapped last weekend when they lost at home to the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-20 that knocked them out of first place in the division. The Broncos (5-1) rolled over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, 42-17 as quarterback Peyton Manning set a new NFL record for career touchdown passes.
The Chargers are led by a high powered offense with Philip Rivers at quarterback and a stingy defense that is much improved from a year ago. The Broncos feature Manning and a plethora of weapons on offense and also boast a much improved defense that gets after opposing quarterbacks and also is among the best in the NFL against the run.
Look for a game that could go down to the wire as the teams split last season's two regular season games, with each team winning on the road. The Broncos won the third match in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, 24-17 in Denver last January en route to an appearance in the Super Bowl.
There is another game in London, England this weekend as the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons will go at it across the Atlantic Ocean with a 9:30 am (ET) kickoff.
The red hot Baltimore Ravens will travel to face the slumping Cincinnati Bengals in a big AFC North battle while the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Indianapolis Colts in what should be a great game. Two teams with identical 5-1 records in the NFC will play each other as the Philadelphia Eagles travel to play the Arizona Cardinals. Two other NFC teams will be featured on the Sunday Night Football Game as the Green Bay Packers will play the New Orleans Saints in the Big Easy.
With Aaron Rodgers (18 TD passes and just one interception this season) leading the attack, the Packers can put up some points and the Saints are certainly capable of doing just the same thing with Drew Brees at quarterback.
All in all it looks to be another exciting weekend looming for the NFL as the season gets to the midway point as October is winding down. The Heftyinfo predictions follow up after another decent week, going 10-5 in Week Seven.

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

San Diego over Denver
Detroit over Atlanta (Game is in London, England)
Kansas City over St. Louis
Houston over Tennessee
Tampa Bay over Minnesota
Seattle over Carolina
Cincinnati over Baltimore
Miami over Jacksonville
New England over Chicago
NY Jets over Buffalo
Philadelphia over Arizona
Cleveland over Oakland
Pittsburgh over Indianapolis
New Orleans over Green Bay
DALLAS over Washington

Last Week's Record:  10-5


Lock of the Week Record:  6-1


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NFL - Week Seven Review

Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning became the all-time NFL leader in passing touchdowns on Sunday night when he threw for four scores (giving him 510 career TD passes) in Denver's 42-17 rout of the visiting San Francisco 49ers.
Manning passed Brett Favre (508 career TD passes) as the all-time leader in that category when he hooked up with wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on an eight yard score in the second quarter that gave Denver a 21-3 lead at the time. The Broncos improved to 5-1 and first place in the AFC West division with the win.

The Broncos are alone at the top of the AFC West because earlier in the day, the Kansas City Chiefs surprised the host San Diego Chargers, 23-20 as kicker Cairo Santos made a 48-yard field goal with 21 seconds left in the game.
The Chiefs (3-3) took a play from the San Diego (5-2) playbook and held the ball for 39 minutes  in the game to keep the high powered Chargers' offense off  the field.
The Green Bay Packers made it four wins in a row as they rolled to victory 38-17 against the visiting Carolina  Panthers as QB Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes while running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks scored rushing touchdowns.
Jacksonville stormed back at home and pounded the Cleveland Browns, 24-6 to get their first win of the season. Jaguars QB Blake Bortles had a TD pass and the defense scored a touchdown as well.
The St. Louis Rams used a fake punt from their own 18-yard line to hold off the visiting Seattle Seahawks, 28-26 while QB Austin Davis threw for two scores and Stedman Bailey took a punt back 90 yards for a touchdown. Seattle QB Russell Wilson passed for 313 yards and ran for 106 yards in the loss.
The Indianapolis Colts won their fifth straight game as they shut out Cincinnati, 27-0 by limiting the Bengals to just 135 yards of total offense. Colts QB Andrew Luck had two TD passes as they rolled up 506 yards in offense.
Baltimore improved to 5-2 with a 29-7 win at home against the Atlanta Falcons. Ravens QB Joe Flacco overcame two interceptions with two TD passes while the defense held the Falcons to 254 yards in offense.
The Detroit Lions rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting New Orleans Saints, 24-23 as QB Matthew Stafford threw two TD passes in the final four minutes of the game. The Lions defense came up with a big interception of Saints QB Drew Brees (342 passing yards and two TD) to set up the winning score.
The Dallas Cowboys won at home, 31-21 over the New York Giants as QB Tony Romo had three touchdown passes and running back DeMarco Murray (pictured left) scored a rushing touchdown to go with 128 yards on the ground. It was Murray's seventh consecutive game with 100-plus rushing yards in a game to open the season, which is a new NFL record.
The Miami Dolphins dominated in a 27-14 road win against the Chicago Bears as their defense limited Chicago to 224 yards of offense while coming up with three turnovers (two fumble recoveries and interception) and also held the ball for nearly 38 minutes. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill passed for two scores in the win.
The Washington Redskins got a late field goal to top the visiting Tennessee Titans, 19-17 as kicker Kai Forbath made a 22-yarder as time expired.
The Buffalo Bills edged the Minnesota Vikings, 17-16 as QB Kyle Orton connected with WR Sammy Watkins for a two-yard scoring pass with just one second left in the game.
The Arizona Cardinals improved to 5-1 on the season with a 24-13 road win against winless Oakland as QB Carson Palmer had two TD passes and the Cardinals defense held the Raiders (0-6) to just 220 yards in offense.
The New England Patriots won at home last Thursday night 27-25 against the New York Jets, who dropped their sixth straight game after winning the season opener. Despite holding the football for nearly 41 minutes and out gaining New England by 100 yards, the Jets still lost to their arch rivals as Pats' QB Tom Brady had three TD passes to offest 107 yards rushing and a touchdown by Jets' running back Chris Ivory.
In the Monday Night Football game, the host Pittsburgh Steelers held off the Houston Texans, 30-23 as they took advantage of turnovers in the second quarter to get the win. In a span of just over one minute, Pittsburgh scored three touchdowns as the Texans (two fumbles and one INT in the game) turned the football over twice deep in their own territory inside the two-minute warning.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had two TD passes in the win while Houston QB Ryan Fitzpatrick also threw for a pair of scores.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre's NFL record for career touchdown passes by throwing his 509th (career) touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for an eight-yard score in Denver's Sunday Night Football Game against the San Francisco 49ers.

College Football Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN       (Week ending October 19)       

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

NFL - Week Seven Preview

Looking ahead to this weekend's action around the NFL as the season already is in Week Seven there are several games that should be exciting and will have impact on division races.
The Denver Broncos host the surging San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night as quarterback Peyton Manning will attempt to pass Brett Favre as the NFL's all time leader in passing touchdowns. The 49ers have won three straight games and are right behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West division. The Broncos are in second place in the AFC West.
The Cincinnati Bengals travel to face the Indianapolis Colts, winners of four in a row after starting the season 0-2 while the Bengals have lost and tied their last two games after a 3-0 start.
One of the top defensive teams in the league is the Detroit Lions and they will be hosting the New Orleans Saints, who are off to a slow start and without their top receiver, tight end Jimmy Graham, heading into this game.
One of the AFC's top teams, the San Diego Chargers, will be at home playing the Kansas City Chiefs, and will be going for their sixth straight win. San Diego QB Philip Rivers leads the NFL in passer rating and their defense is among the top of the league as well.
The Dallas Cowboys, fresh off their big upset win at Seattle last week, will be going for the sixth consecutive win as well when they face the New York Giants in Big D on Sunday. The Cowboys have a solid running game, led by the NFL's leading rusher DeMarco Murray, who has topped the 100-yard mark in all six games so far this season.
The following previews offer a glimpse into the action this week and of course, the Heftyinfo predictions follow.

Atlanta (2-4) at Baltimore (4-2) - Can Ravens QB Joe Flacco possibly duplicate last week's numbers?

Tennessee (2-4) at Washington (1-5) - The Titans can win this game on the road against one of the NFL's weaker teams.

Seattle (3-2) at St. Louis (1-4) - Where have you gone Percy Harvin?

Cleveland (3-2) at Jacksonville (0-6) - The Jags just might be up to springing a surprise on the Browns.

Cincinnati (3-1-1) at Indianapolis (4-2) - The Colts are rolling and should continue to do so again this week.

Minnesota (2-4) at Buffalo (3-3) - Who cares?

Miami (2-3) at Chicago (3-3) - Can the Bears defense do to Miami what they did on the road in Atlanta last week? The Dolphins are still reeling after letting the Packers steal the game late last week.

New Orleans (2-3) at Detroit (4-2) - Drew Brees and company need to get it going or they may be in for a long season.

Carolina (3-2-1) at Green Bay (4-2) - The Pack is back it appears ... pack it up Carolina.

Kansas City (2-3) at San Diego (5-1) - The Chiefs need some of that magic from the KC Royals to rub off on them if they want to beat the 'Bolts on the road ... Chargers roll!

Arizona (4-1) at Oakland (0-5) - The Raiders are going to win a game at some point this season, right? Not this week if the Cardinals have anything to say about it.

NY Giants (3-3) at Dallas (5-1) - Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and company should continue their winning ways again this week.

San Francisco (4-2) at Denver (4-1) - Peyton Manning breaks Brett Favre's TD passing record and the Broncos win again.

Houston (3-3) at Pittsburgh (3-3) - The Steelers usually rise up to the occasion on the national TV stage, especially when their backs are against the wall.

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

Baltimore over Atlanta
Tennessee over Washington
Seattle over St. Louis
Cleveland over Jacksonville
Indianapolis over Cincinnati
Buffalo over Minnesota
Chicago over Miami
Detroit over New Orleans
Green Bay over Carolina
San Diego over Kansas City
Arizona over Oakland
Dallas over NY Giants
Denver over San Francisco
Pittsburgh over Houston

Last Week's Record:  10-4-1


Lock of the Week Record: 5-1

Monday, October 13, 2014

NFL - Week Six Review

How 'bout them Cowboys!
The Dallas Cowboys went into Seattle and won a hard fought game, 30-23 as their defense limited the Seahawks to just nine first downs and 206 yards in offense. Quarterback Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes and running back DeMarco Murray ran for 115 yards and scored a touchdown to lead the way as the Cowboys amassed 401 yards in offense.
It was Dallas' fifth straight win and ties them for the best record in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, who also won their fifth straight game, a 31-28 road win at Oakland.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns and running back Branden Oliver rushed for 101 yards and scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard plunge with just under two minutes remaining. Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr had four TD passes in defeat and was intercepted at the Chargers five-yard line by rookie cornerback Jason Verrett to seal the game.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco had a huge game in rout of Tampa Bay.
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady had four TD passes and 361 yards through the air to lead the way in a 37-22 win at Buffalo. The Patriots lost running back Stevan Ridley and linebacker Jerod Mayo (season ending) to injuries in the game.
The Baltimore Ravens trounced the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-17 as Joe Flacco, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, threw five TD passes in the first half. Baltimore raced out to a 28-0 lead after one quarter and had a 38-0 halftime lead before coasting to the easy win the rest of the way.
Detroit beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-3 as the Lions defense recorded eight QB sacks and intercepted Vikes' QB Teddy Bridgewater three times.
The Green Bay Packers rode the arm of QB Aaron Rodgers to victory once again as they beat the host Miami Dolphins, 27-24 on a four-yard TD pass from Rodgers to tight end Andrew Quarless with three seconds left in the game.
The Cleveland Browns served notice they are for real as they drilled the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-10 as running backs Ben Tate (78 yards and two TD) and Isaiah Crowell (77 yards) each scored  and QB Brian Hoyer threw for a TD to pace the win.
There was a tie game for the second consecutive season as the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals finished in a 37-37 deadlock as Cincy kicker Mike Nugent missed a potential game winning 36-yard field goal wide right as time expired in the OT session.
Bengals RB Gio Bernard (137 yards rushing) went for a 89-yard scoring run and QB Andy Dalton had two TD passes while Panthers QB Cam Newton also had two TD passes to go with a 12-yard scoring run in the game.
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler passed for 381 yards and one touchdown and RB Matt Forte scored two touchdowns and had 80 yards on the ground and also 77 yards receiving in a 27-13 win on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears defense sacked Falcons QB Matt Ryan four times and picked off a pass as well.
Denver held off the New York Jets, 31-17 as QB Peyton Manning threw for three scores and CB Aqib Talib clinched the win with a 22-yard interception return for touchdown. The Broncos defense had four sacks and limited the Jets to just 204 total yards in offense, including a meager 31 yards rushing.
Tennessee survived a scare at home against winless Jacksonville, 16-14 as Titans kicker Ryan Succop made three field goals and RB Jackie Battle scored on a one-yard run to provide the difference. Jaguars QB Blake Bortles had 336 passing yards and a TD pass and one interception in the loss.
The Arizona Cardinals improved to 4-1 and first place in the rugged NFC West with a 30-20 home win against the Washington Redskins behind a pair of TD passes from QB Carson Palmer, who was starting for the first time since the season opener, and a 28-yard pick six INT by safety Rashad Johnson.
The Indianapolis Colts won at Houston, 33-28 last Thursday night as QB Andrew Luck (pictured left) had three TD passes and 370 yards passing while WR T.Y. Hilton had nine receptions for 223 yards and a score. Texans RB Arian Foster ran for 109 yards and two scores in the loss. The Colts had a 24-0 lead after one quarter before the Texans mounted a furious second half comeback that was squelched by two turnovers in the final four minutes of the game.
On the Sunday Night Football game, it was no contest as the host Philadelphia Eagles shut out the New York Giants, 27-0 behind a pair of TD passes from QB Nick Foles and stellar defense that limited New York to 253 yards in total offense and sacked Giants QB Eli Manning eight times. The Giants lost WR Victor Cruz to a season ending knee injury as well. Eagles RB LeSean McCoy had 149 yards rushing in the win.
The Monday Night Football game was a tail of two halves as the host St. Louis Rams raced out to a 14-0 first quarter lead before the San Francisco 49ers stormed back to win the game, 31-17.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns and Dontae Johnson brought back an interception 20 yards for the clinching score late in the game. Rams QB Austin Davis had a TD pass and the pick thrown in the loss. The win was the third in a row for the 49ers (4-2) while the Rams slipped to 1-4 for the season.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

NFL - Week Six Preview

The Sunday Night Football "prime time" game appears to be the match up to watch this weekend when the Philadelphia Eagles will host the suddenly surging New York Giants.
New York and quarterback Eli Manning looked downright awful in the team's first two games this season before winning the next three in convincing fashion. Meanwhile, the Eagles are 4-1 and can boast of a road win against AFC power Indianapolis so far this season.
While these two teams will be battling it out for what could very well be a first place tie with Dallas in the NFC East, those Cowboys will have already played their game. The Seattle Seahawks will host the 'Pokes in the Great Northwest as Tony Romo and company will try and prove they are for real going against the defending Super Bowl champions.
The New England Patriots, who got up off the mat last Sunday night, will travel to Buffalo to face the Bills in a game that will see the winner alone in first place in the AFC East. Tom Brady looked like the quarterback we all remember last week when the Pats destroyed the previously unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills gave the starting QB spot to Kyle Orton and the Bills won on the road against the toothless Lions, who lost offensive spark plugs Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson to injury in the game.
One other game that could provide many offensive fireworks features the Chicago Bears playing on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams are 2-3 so far in the 2014 season, but they both can put points on the board with high powered offense and defenses that struggle to stop their opponents.
For a brief look at the week's action, the following previews provided in capsule style give some perspective to the games and are followed by the Heftyinfo predictions, which had a good week by going 13-2 in the Week Five forecasts.

Chicago (2-3) at Atlanta (2-3) - This game could see both teams put up 35 or more points ... buckle up!

Jacksonville (0-5) at Tennessee (1-4)  - How did the Titans let that game get away last week? Jags played better last week, but still lost.

Baltimore (3-2) at Tampa Bay (1-4) - The Ravens should roll in this one, but the Bucs did top the Steelers two weeks ago.

Denver (3-1) at New York Jets (1-4) - Peyton Manning and company should have another big day in this game.

Detroit (3-2) at Minnesota (2-3) - The Vikings just might spring a surprise on the Lions, who might not have Calvin Johnson again this week.

New England (3-2) at Buffalo (3-2) - The QB battle between Brady and Orton ... take the Patriots.

Carolina (3-2) at Cincinnati (3-1) - The Bengals are licking their wounds after being blown out in New England last week. This game should be close.

Pittsburgh (3-2) at Cleveland (2-2) - Can the Browns win this one against their hated AFC North rival? Maybe so after that huge comeback win at Tennessee last week.

Green Bay (3-2) at Miami (2-2) - Aaron Rodgers and the Packers seem to have things going in the right direction after their slow start.

San Diego (4-1) at Oakland (0-4) - The perfect storm brewing for an upset as Chargers have been rolling while winless Raiders have a new Head Coach coming into this game. Beware!

Dallas (4-1) at Seattle (3-1) - The Seahawks want to show the Cowboys what life at the top of the NFL is like ...  Seahawks roll!

Washington (1-4) at Arizona (3-1) - The Cardinals lost their first game of the season last week while the Redskins have lost three in a row.

New York Giants (3-2) at Philadelphia (4-1) - This should be the game of the week ... Eagles in a squeaker.

San Francisco (3-2) at St. Louis (1-3) - The Rams seem to play the 49ers tough on their home field and it is Monday Night Football.

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

Indianapolis over Houston
Atlanta over Chicago
Tennessee over Jacksonville
Baltimore over Tampa Bay
Denver over NY Jets
Minnesota over Detroit
New England over Buffalo
Cincinnati over Carolina
Pittsburgh over Cleveland
GREEN BAY over Miami
San Diego over Oakland
Seattle over Dallas
Arizona over Washington
Philadelphia over NY Giants
San Francisco over St. Louis

Last Week's Record:  13-2


Lock of the Week Record:  4-1