Monday, November 20, 2017

NFL - Week Eleven Recap

The Philadelphia Eagles soared mightily once again this past weekend as they blasted the Dallas Cowboys, 37-9 on the Sunday night game.
The Eagles (9-1) pretty much sealed up the NFC East division title with the win as they now have a four-game lead over Dallas. The Philly defense intercepted three passes and scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery as well while quarterback Carson Wentz (pictured left with Dallas QB Dak Prescott) threw for two more scores in the rout.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2) rolled past the visiting Tennessee Titans last Thursday night, 40-17 as QB Ben Roethlisberger threw four touchdown passes, three of them to wide receiver Antonio Brown (ten receptions for 144 yards) and kicker Chris Boswell drilled four field goals.
The New England Patriots (8-2) smashed the Oakland Raiders, 33-8 as QB Tom Brady had three TD passes and the defense held the shutout until the fourth quarter while forcing two turnovers.
The Minnesota Vikings won at home, 24-7 over the Los Angeles Rams as their defense held the explosive Rams offense in check with just 254 total yards. Vikings running back Latavius Murray had two rushing touchdowns and QB Case Keenum hooked up with WR Adam Thielen on a 65-yard scoring pass to clinch the win.
The New Orleans Saints (8-2) stormed back in the final three minutes of regulation, scoring 15 points to force overtime before beating the visiting Washington Redskins, 34-31. It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Saints as QB Drew Brees (385 passing yards) passed for two fourth quarter scores to spark the comeback.
Washington QB Kirk Cousins had three TD passes and 322 yards passing in the loss, which dropped the 'Skins to 4-6 for the year.

                                                      Elsewhere  around  the  NFL  . . . . . . .

The Los Angeles Chargers routed the visiting Buffalo Bills, 54-24 as their defense (six forced turnovers) picked off five passes (one for a touchdown) and also had another score off a sack and fumble recovery return. Chargers QB Philip Rivers twice threw TD passes to WR Keenan Allen, who had 12 receptions for 159 yards. Bills QB Nathan Peterman was intercepted five times in the first half of his first NFL start . . .  The Detroit Lions (6-4) survived on the road in a 27-24 win against the Chicago Bears as kicker Matt Prater drilled a 52-yard field goal with just under two minutes to play. From there, the Bears drove into field goal range, but kicker Connor Barth missed badly from 46 yards out to decide the final outcome. Lions QB Matthew Stafford had 299 passing yards and two scoring strikes in the win . . .  The Baltimore Ravens shut out the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field, 23-0 as the defense forced five turnovers in the easy win . . .  The Houston Texans outlasted the visiting Arizona Cardinals, 31-21 behind two fourth quarter rushing touchdowns by RB D'Onta Foreman. Cards QB Blaine Gabbert had three TD passes in defeat . . .  The Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) won on the road at Cleveland, 19-7 as their defense scored a touchdown, gathered five turnovers and five QB sacks while limiting the Browns to only 184 yards in offense . . .  Tampa Bay finished strong in a 30-20 road win against the Miami Dolphins after blowing a 13-point lead in the second half. Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had two TD passes to pace the offense . . .  The New York Giants surprised the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, 12-9 in overtime as kicker Aldrick Rosas made a 23-yard field goal to win the game. Giants WR Roger Lewis made a spectacular lunging catch on fourth down to set up the winning kick . . .  The Cincinnati Bengals won, 20-17 in Denver, sending the Broncos to their sixth consecutive loss. Bengals QB Andy Dalton had a pair of scoring passes to help lead the way . . .   In the Monday Night Football game, the Atlanta Falcons held off the host Seattle Seahawks, 34-31 as kicker Blair Walsh's 52-yard field goal attempt fell just short of sending the game into overtime. Falcons QB Matt Ryan had two TD passes and Adrian Clayborn scored on a fumble recovery as well. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had two TD passes and a rushing touchdown in defeat.

                  Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week -  Ben Roethlisberger  (QB - Pittsburgh Steelers)

Pittsburgh 40, Tennessee 17
Detroit 27, Chicago 24
New Orleans 34, Washington 31 (OT)
Baltimore 23, Green Bay 0
NY Giants 12, Kansas City 9 (OT)
Houston 31, Arizona 21
Tampa Bay 30, Miami 20
Jacksonville 19, Cleveland 7
Minnesota 24, LA Rams 7
LA Chargers 54, Buffalo 24
Cincinnati 20, Denver 17
New England 33, Oakland 8
Philadelphia 37, Dallas 9
Atlanta 34, Seattle 31 


Sunday, November 19, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten      (Week ending November 19)               

1.  Alabama  (11-0)
2.  Wisconsin  (11-0)
3.  Clemson  (10-1)
4.  Miami, FL  (10-0)
5.  Oklahoma  (10-1)
6.  Auburn  (9-2)
7.  Georgia (10-1)
8.  Ohio State  (9-2)
9.  Notre Dame  (9-2)
10.  USC (10-2)

Friday, November 17, 2017

NFL - Week Eleven Preview

There are some big games taking place in the NFL as the season grinds along.
The Thanksgiving holiday is just a week away and Week Eleven promises to be a good one as the divisional races continue to heat up.
The Minnesota Vikings host the Los Angeles Rams and both teams are 7-2 and lead their respective divisions in the NFC.
The Vikes have been getting stellar play from quarterback Case Keenum, who has been rock steady leading the offense while Sam Bradford has been injured. The Rams are an offensive scoring machine, led by QB Jared Goff (16 TD passes and just four interceptions) and running back Todd Gurley, who has scored ten touchdowns this season.
Both teams play pretty well on defense too. The Rams have allowed 162 points (17.1 points per game) and the Vikings have given up 165 points.
The key to this one will be the Vikings containing the explosive Rams offense. If they do, they win the game.
The New England Patriots (7-2) will square off against the Oakland Raiders (4-5) in Mexico City on Sunday. Tom Brady and company are starting to get it going as they always seem to do once November rolls around.
They crushed the Denver Broncos last Sunday night. Meanwhile, Oakland is coming off a bye week and need this game to stay within two (or possibly one) games of the first place Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West division.
The Sunday night game features the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL best 8-1 record) playing at the Dallas Cowboys, who lost in Atlanta last week to drop to 5-4 and three games back of the Eagles in the NFC East division race. Carson Wentz, the Eagles QB, has been on fire all season, throwing for 23 touchdowns with just five interceptions for the NFL's second highest scoring offense.
Dallas will be WITHOUT running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is finally serving his suspension mandated by the NFL for a domestic policy violation. He will be back with the Cowboys in Week 16, when they host Seattle.
The Monday night game will also be a good one as the rejuvenated Atlanta Falcons (5-4) travel to face the Seattle Seahawks (6-3), who will be without All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, one of their key defensive players.
This game could very well come down to the last possession as 'Hawks QB Russell Wilson has been playing well and staging fourth quarter comebacks all season long. The team fell just short of victory two weeks ago in a 17-14 loss against Washington, but then rallied in the fourth quarter and held off the Arizona Cardinals, 22-16 in a nail biting finish.
All in all, it looks to be another competitive schedule for the NFL and the rest of the action is in capsule style form preview. As always, the Heftyinfo predictions will follow.

Detroit Lions (5-4) at Chicago Bears (3-6) - The Lions facing a Bears team that was stung by a banged up Green Bay team.  Beware!

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-9) - The Jags were extremely fortunate to escape with a win last week at home against the Chargers. The Browns play hard, but they are winless.

Baltimore Ravens (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-4) - Flip a coin for this game. Turnovers likely decide the outcome.

Arizona Cardinals (4-5) at Houston Texans (3-6) - Two under achieving teams going at it.

Washington Redskins (4-5) at New Orleans Saints (7-2) - The Saints are on a roll. But they will face a challenge with this Redskins team.

Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) at New York Giants (1-8) - The Chiefs should win this one, but the Giants have to win a game eventually.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-5) - The game for the battle of Florida? Hardly.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-6) at Denver Broncos (3-6) - Who cares?

Buffalo Bills (5-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-6) - Two teams that are currently in a funk face each other . . .  Something has to give.

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

PITTSBURGH over Tennessee
Detroit over Chicago
Jacksonville over Cleveland 
Green Bay over Baltimore
Houston over Arizona
Minnesota over LA Rams
New Orleans over Washington
NY Giants over Kansas City
Denver over Cincinnati  
Miami over Tampa Bay 
LA Chargers over Buffalo
New England over Oakland  (Game played in Mexico City) 
Philadelphia over Dallas 
Seattle over Atlanta

Last Week's Record -  10-4


Lock of the Week Record -  8-2 

Monday, November 13, 2017

NFL - Week Ten Recap

The New Orleans Saints served notice they are to be taken seriously when it comes to the NFC playoff race.
The Saints (7-2) won for the seventh consecutive game as they blasted the host Buffalo Bills, 47-10 as they had six rushing touchdowns in the win. Running back Mark Ingram rushed for 131 yards and three scores while Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Trey Edmunds each had rushing touchdowns. The Bills were limited to 198 total yards in offense by the Saints defense.
Not to be outdone, the New England Patriots also served notice they are the defending Super Bowl champions with a 41-16 rout of the host Denver Broncos, who lost their fifth straight game. New England has won five in a row as QB Tom Brady passed for 266 yards and had three touchdown passes while Dion Lewis rushed for a score and also had a 103-yard kickoff return TD as well.
Brady also completed passes to nine different players in the game. The Patriots defense/special teams  also got two turnovers and a punt block to help pace the rout.
The Los Angeles Rams (7-2) continued to steam roll the opposition as they won 33-7 at home against the Houston Texans, who have lost two straight games since losing QB Deshaun Watson to a season ending knee injury.
Rams QB Jared Goff had 355 passing yards and also three TD passes, including two to wide receiver Robert Woods, one of which was a 94-yard scoring pass.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings (both 7-2) won close games to continue to lead their respective divisions. The Vikings won 38-30 over the host Washington Redskins as QB Case Keenum had four TD passes along with 304 yards through the air. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins had two rushing touchdowns and a TD pass in the loss.
The Steelers survived a 20-17 win at Indianapolis as kicker Chris Boswell made the game winning 33-yard field goal as time expired. The Colts blew a 14-point lead as Pittsburgh QB Ben Rosthlisberger had two scoring passes to aid the comeback win.

                                                  Elsewhere around the NFL  . . . . . . .  

The Detroit Lions kept the Cleveland Browns winless with a 38-24 win at home as QB Matthew Stafford had three TD passes in the second half . . .  The Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) won a gift wrapped game against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, 20-17 in overtime as kicker Josh Lambo nailed a 30-yard game winner following his 34-yard field goal with three seconds left in regulation. The Chargers defense twice intercepted passes with a 17-14 lead in the final two minutes but the offense could not muster up a first down to clinch the game . . .  Tennessee rallied for a 24-20 home victory against the Cincinnati Bengals as Titans running back DeMarco Murray scored his third TD of the day on a seven-yard pass from QB Marcus Mariota . . .  The San Francisco 49ers won their first game of the 2017 season with a 31-21 home win over the hapless New York Giants (1-8), despite two TD passes from QB Eli Manning. 49ers QB C.J. Beathard had two TD passes and the offense was balanced while gaining 474 yards . . .  The Green Bay Packers snapped a three-game losing streak as they beat the Chicago Bears, 23-16 behind a 37-yard scoring run by Ty Montgomery and a 19-yard TD pass from Brett Hundley to WR Davante Adams . . . The Seattle Seahawks won 22-16 over the Arizona Cardinals last Thursday night as QB Russell Wilson and tight end Jimmy Graham hooked up twice on scoring passes . . . The Atlanta Falcons beat Dallas, 27-7 as QB Matt Ryan had a pair of TD passes and Adrian Clayborn had SIX QB sacks. The Falcons defense registered eight sacks for the game . . .   The Carolina Panthers (7-3) routed the visiting Miami Dolphins, 45-21 on Monday Night Football. Panthers QB Cam Newton had four TD passes and also 254 pass yards and 95 rushing yards as they amassed 548 yards of offense.

                                                       Heftyinfo  NFL  co-Players of the Week

Adrian Clayborn  (Defensive End - Atlanta Falcons) 
                                                                                              Mark Ingram (RB - New Orleans Saints)

Seattle 22, Arizona 16
Green Bay 23, Chicago 16
Detroit 38, Cleveland 24
Minnesota 38, Washington 30
Jacksonville 20, LA Chargers 17 (OT)
Pittsburgh 20, Indianapolis 17
Tampa Bay 15, NY Jets 10
Tennessee 24, Cincinnati 20
New Orleans 47, Buffalo 10
LA Rams 33, Houston 7
Atlanta 27, Dallas 7
San Francisco 31, NY Giants 21
New England 41, Denver 16
Carolina 45, Miami 21

Saturday, November 11, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten                  (Week ending November 12)              

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

NFL - Week Ten Preview

The Thursday night game between the Seattle Seahawks (5-3) and the Arizona Cardinals (4-4) is a big one that kicks off Week Ten in the NFL.
The Seahawks lost at home to the Washington Redskins, 17-14 last week while the Cards toppled the winless San Francisco 49ers, 20-10 to get back to the .500 mark for the season. These two divisional rivals know each so well, records don't matter because can, and usually does happen.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is enjoying a really good season and has been the backbone of the offense again this year while the defense continues to roll along at their usual brilliant level, ranking fourth in the entire NFL in points allowed.
Arizona is without starting QB Carson Palmer (out for likely the rest of the season with a broken arm) and has to rely on Drew Stanton, who delivered last week against San Francisco. But this Seattle on defense he will be facing and that will provide the difference in the outcome in this one. Figure the Seahawks to win the game by a 24-14 score.
Two teams playing surprisingly well are the New Orleans Saints (6-2) and the Buffalo Bills (5-3) and they square off against each other in Buffalo this week. The Bills were cooled off by the New York Jets last weekend while the Saints rolled to their sixth straight win with a 30-10 blowout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Drew Brees has been outstanding once again at QB for the Saints and Tyrod Taylor has enjoyed success this year and the team is led in rushing by LeSean McCoy, who has gained 546 yards on the ground. Not to be outdone, Saints RB Mark Ingram has 541 yards and a 4.4 yards per carry average.
This game could very well be a shootout even though both teams defenses have been playing well in recent weeks. New Orleans has held their last three opponents to under 20 points per game.
The Dallas Cowboys (5-3) face the Atlanta Falcons (4-4) and will be without (we think) Ezekiel Elliott, who has been ruled suspended for six games once again after winning a court appeal last week that allowed him to play in the 28-17 win over Kansas City. The Falcons fell to the Carolina Panthers, 20-17 as their struggles in the 2017 season continue.
The Sunday night game will feature the New England Patriots (6-2) at the Denver Broncos (3-5) as these two squads are going in the opposite directions. The Patriots are looking to get back to the Super Bowl and win it again for the third time in four seasons while Broncos were lit up, 51-23 against Philadelphia last weekend.
Denver has lost four in a row and have been outscored 124-42 in those games. Meanwhile, the Patriots have won four straight and have allowed only 51 points in the streak after giving up 128 points in the first four games.

The rest of the action is featured in the capsule style form and is followed up by the Heftyinfo picks for the games.

Green Bay (4-4) at Chicago (3-5) - The oldest rivalry in the NFL featuring the free falling Packers and the ever improving Bears in the Windy City.

Cleveland (0-8) at Detroit (4-4) - Lions roll !!

Pittsburgh (6-2) at Indianapolis (3-6) - Steelers seem to finally be rounding into form. Colts are playing out the schedule.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) at Jacksonville (5-3) - Can the Jaguars finally beat the Chargers? Maybe.

New York Jets (4-5) at Tampa Bay (2-6) -  The Bucs have lost five straight games so they are due. Jets have been playing above their heads so far this season.

Cincinnati (3-5) at Tennessee (5-3) - The Titans should win this game. Cincinnati just doesn't seem to have it this year.

Minnesota (6-2) at Washington (4-4) - Must win for the host Redskins and they are flying high after beating Seattle on the road. Vikings will not just roll over in this one.

Houston (3-5) at Los Angeles Rams (6-2) - The Rams lead the league in scoring average per game. Texans are banged up and coming off home loss to lowly Colts. Take the Rams.

New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco (0-9) - The stinker game of the week.

Miami (4-4) at Carolina (6-3) - Cam Newton and company shine in the prime time MNF game.

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

Seattle over Arizona
Buffalo over New Orleans
Chicago over Green Bay
DETROIT over Cleveland
Pittsburgh over Indianapolis 
LA Chargers over Jacksonville 
Tampa Bay over NY Jets
Tennessee over Cincinnati
Washington over Minnesota
LA Rams over Houston
Atlanta over Dallas
San Francisco over NY Giants
New England over Denver 
Carolina over Miami

Last Week's Record -  8-5


Lock of the Week Record -  7-2 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NFL - Week Nine Recap

The Philadelphia Eagles continue to soar with the best record in the NFL after blasting the visiting Denver Broncos, 51-23 to improve to 8-1 for the season.
The Eagles used a balanced offense (197 rushing yards and 222 passing yards) in the win as quarterback Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes and running back Corey Clement scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) to lead the way.
The Los Angeles Rams (6-2) took over first place in the NFC West with a total domination of the host New York Giants, 51-17 as QB Jared Goff (311 passing yards) had four TD passes (two to wide receiver Robert Woods) and running back Todd Gurley scored two rushing touchdowns.
Washington held off the Seattle Seahawks, 17-14 as Robert Kelley (two rushing TD) scored on a one-yard run with 59 seconds remaining. The Redskins defense then stifled the 'Hawks on a last ditch pass as time expired. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had two TD passes in the fourth quarter comeback that put his team ahead, 14-10 prior to Washington's game winning drive.
The Dallas Cowboys (5-3) beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 28-17 as QB Dak Prescott had two TD passes and a rushing score to lead the way. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a score as well and had 93 yards on the ground after being cleared to play after it was ruled earlier in the week he would begin serving a six-game suspension.
Kansas City (6-3) had rallied from a 14-3 deficit to take a 17-14 halftime lead, thanks to a great play to end the first half in which QB Alex Smith threw a mid range pass to Tyreek Hill, who then followed his blockers and weaved his way to a 56-yard touchdown as the half ended.

                                               Elsewhere around the  NFL  . . . . . . 

The Jacksonville Jaguars topped the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-7 as Jaydon Mickens ran a punt back 63 yards to help seal the win. The Jags defense limited the Bengals to a paltry 148 yards in total offense . . .  The Tennessee Titans outlasted the visiting Baltimore Ravens, 23-20 as QB Marcus Mariota threw two TD passes to offset a pair of TD strikes by Ravens QB Joe Flacco . . . The Carolina Panthers overcame an early 10-0 deficit to defeat the visiting Atlanta Falcons, 20-17 as Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton scored rushing touchdowns and Graham Gano made a pair of field goals. Falcons QB Matt Ryan had two TD passes in the loss . . .  Two touchdown passes from QB Drew Brees and a score off a blocked punt led the way as the New Orleans Saints (6-2) knocked off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-10 for their sixth consecutive win . . .  Indianapolis topped the Houston Texans (who were without starting QB Deshaun Watson) 20-14 as wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (five catches for 175 yards) hauled in a pair of TD passes from QB Jacoby Brissett . . .  The New York Jets (4-5) surprised the Buffalo Bills, 34-21 last Thursday night behind two rushing scores by Matt Forte and a TD pass and scoring run from QB Josh McCown. Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor scored a rushing touchdown and also threw two TD passes in the setback . . .  The Oakland Raiders (4-5) beat the host Miami Dolphins, 27-24 as RB Marshawn Lynch scored twice on the ground and QB Derek Carr threw for 300 yards and a touchdown. Miami QB Jay Cutler had three TD passes and 311 yards passing in defeat . . .  The Detroit Lions won for just the second time in 26 games in Green Bay as they rode the arm of QB Matthew Stafford (361 passing yards and two TD passes, both to WR Marvin Jones) to a 30-17 victory. The Lions (4-4) snapped a three-game losing streak while sending Green Bay (4-4) to a third straight loss.

                           Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week -  Jared Goff   (QB - Los Angeles Rams) 

NY Jets 34, Buffalo 21
Indianapolis 20, Houston 14
New Orleans 30, Tampa Bay 10
Jacksonville 23, Cincinnati 7
Philadelphia 51, Denver 23
LA Rams 51, NY Giants 17
Tennessee 23, Baltimore 20
Carolina 20, Atlanta 17
Arizona 20, San Francisco 10
Dallas 28, Kansas City 17
Washington 17, Seattle 14
Oakland 27, Miami 24
Detroit 30, Green Bay 17