Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NFL Football- Week 16 Review

That is what football fans of the Indianapolis Colts are saying after Sunday's asinine decision by Head Coach Jim Caldwell to pull Peyton Manning (pictured left) and the other starting offensive players as well as the defense during the third quarter of a game in which the Colts were leading.
The Jets (8-7) wound up beating the Colts, 29-15 to stop the Colts' undefeated season and keep their own playoff hopes alive. The Colts do own the home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs.
WTF is also what Saints' fans have to be saying following their second consecutive loss at home after a 13-0 start this season. Tampa Bay (3-12) won the game in overtime, 20-17 on a 47-yard field goal by Conner Barth. The Saints blew a 14-0 first quarter lead in the game.
Despite the lackluster effort in the Big Easy, the Saints still have the homefield advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs as a result of the Minnesota Vikings losing their game.
How about those Chicago Bears beating the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football?
Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler threw four touchdown passes, including the game winning 39-yard pass to wide receiver Devin Aromashodu in overtime for the 36-30 win.
The loss dropped the Minnesota Vikings out of the second seed in the NFC Playoffs picture.
The Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) won their sixth consecutive game and are now number two in the NFC after hanging on for a 30-27 win over the fading Denver Broncos, who slipped to 8-7 and now must win and get help in the final game just to make the playoffs.
The Green Bay Packers blasted Seattle, 48-10 to clinch a playoff spot as Aaron Rodgers was efficient and Ryan Grant scored two TDs and Brandon Jackson three TDs (two rushing and one receiving) to pace the attack.
What happened to the New York Giants in their final home game at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands?
The Carolina Panthers dismantled the Giants, 41-9 to eliminate the pre-season favorites of the NFC to reach Super Bowl 44 behind 206 rushing yards from Jonathon Stewart and three touchdown passes from Matt Moore.
The Dallas Cowboys (10-5) clinched the sixth and final NFC playoff spot Sunday Night with a 17-0 shutout victory at Washington.
The Arizona Cardinals (10-5 and playoff bound) rolled past St. Louis, 31-10 as Kurt Warner threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Cardinals' defense limited the Rams to 238 yard in total offense.
The Pittsburgh Steelers kept their scant chances of another chance at defending their Super Bowl title in tow with a 23-20 nail biter over the visiting Baltimore Ravens.
The Cincinnati Bengals finally clinched the AFC North with a 17-10 win against stubborn Kansas City. The Bengals (10-5) saw QB Carson Palmer hit Chad Ochocinco with a 6-yard scoring pass with two minutes left in regulation for the winning score.
The New England Patriots rode the arm of quarterback Tom Brady (four TD passes, including three of them to Randy Moss) to a 35-7 trouncing of the Jacksonville Jaguars to clinch the AFC East for the seventh time this decade.
The Houston Texans jumped out to a 27-0 lead against the Miami Dolphins and then held on foir a 27-20 win to keep their slim playoff chances alive. Texans' QB Matt Schaub threw two TD passes to offset Miami's second half comeback. The loss eliminated the Dolphins (7-8) unless every other team loses and they beat the Steelers in Miami in the season finale.
The San Diego Chargers (12-3) won their 10th consecutive game and wrapped up the number-two seed in the AFC and a first round bye with a 42-17 win at Tennessee on Christmas Night.
Quarterback Philip Rivers threw two TD passes and LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for two scores and Darren Sproles scored three times for San Diego in the rout, which eliminated the Titans (7-8) from playoff contention.
Other games saw...
Atlanta Falcons blast Buffalo, 31-3 as Falcons' QB Matt Ryan threw three TD passes ... San Francisco 49ers knocked off the visiting Detroit Lions, 20-6 to improve to 7-8... Cleveland (4-11) won its' third game in a row with a 23-9 home victory against the Oakland Raiders as Jerome Harrison rushed for 148 yards and scored a touchdown.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NFL Football- Week 16 Previews

Merry Christmas!

The San Diego Chargers and the Tennessee Titans will play on Christmas night in Nashville to get Week 16 started off.
The Titans, after starting the season 0-6, are now 7-7 and have a legitimate shot at a wild card spot if they can defeat the Chargers, who are on a nine game winning streak and are looking to secure the number-two seed and a first round bye in the AFC playoffs.
There are a lot of games with playoff implications, especially in the AFC, where six teams are 7-7 and battling for the two wild card spots still open. The Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos are 8-6 and currently hold the final two spots for the AFC playoffs.
In the NFC, it's a little simpler as the last two spots up for grabs have just three teams going after one another.
The Green Bay Packers (9-5) and Dallas Cowboys (9-5) hold those spots for now but the New York Giants (8-6) are right there and hold the advantage on Dallas after sweeping the two games in '09 against the 'Pokes.
Some of the BIGGER GAMES this weekend...

Baltimore (8-6) at Pittsburgh (7-7)- Hard to believe just a year ago these two teams battled for the AFC Championship and a Super Bowl berth. Now it's a battle just for survival and a chance at the playoffs.
The Steelers defense is a shell of it's former self without the injured Troy Polamalu and the Ravens defense has been found lacking at times this year as well, especially in the secondary.

Houston (7-7) at Miami (7-7)- This game is big for both teams because the loser (especially if it's Houston) goes home for the post-season while the winner takes a step closer to the post-season.

Jacksonville (7-7) at New England (9-5)- The Jaguars face a Patriots team that has been struggling but seems to be getting their edge back as the final two games of the season loom.
The Pats can wrap up the AFC East with a win and the Jags simply MUST WIN or they are history for the '09 playoffs.

Denver (8-6) at Philadelphia (10-4)- The Eagles have won five in a row and can take a huge step to securing a playoff spot with a win as well as the NFC East division title. Once upon a time, the Broncos were 6-0 and Head Coach Josh McDaniels seemed a lock to win Coach of the Year honors... that is not the case now as the Broncos need a win to stay afloat for a playoff spot.
One note of interest in this game sees Denver safety Brian Dawkins returning to Philly to face his former team.

New York Jets (7-7) at Indianapolis (14-0)- The Jets MUST WIN or they are out of it... the Colts are trying to remain unbeaten as they chase history. The Colts have already clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Dallas (9-5) at Washington (4-10)- The Cowboys need this win against their arch rivals in D.C. as they would take a huge step closer to a possible playoff spot. A loss would do huge damage to Dallas' playoff hopes.

Carolina (6-8) at New York Giants (8-6)- The Giants MUST WIN or else... they will need a ton of help in Week 17 to make the post-season. With some help from Denver and Washington and a win over the Panthers, then the Giants have a legitimate shot at the NFC East title.

Minnesota (11-3) at Chicago (5-9)- The final Monday Night Football game of the season has the Vikings looking to secure a first round bye in the Windy City against a Bears' team that has appeared to have packed it in for the '09 season.

Here are the picks for the upcoming games this weekend. (HOME TEAMS are listed in BOLD)

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

Last Week's record: 12-4


Monday, December 21, 2009

NFL Football- Week 15 Review

The Indianapolis Colts now stand alone as the only unbeaten team in the NFL after they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 35-31 last Thursday night and the Dallas Cowboys knocked off the New Orleans Saints, 24-17 on Saturday night in the Big Easy.
The Saints now stand at 13-1 but still have the top seed in the NFC while Indianapolis is 14-0 (only the third team in NFL history to do this) and has sewn up home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Dallas' DeMarcus Ware played a week after spraining his neck and had two sacks, including the game ender on Saints QB Drew Brees that forced a fumble which the Pokes recovered to end the game.
Dallas still trails the Philadelphia Eagles because the Eagles (10-4) posted a 27-13 win over the visiting San Francisco 49ers. A huge snow storm dumped up to two feet of snow on the East coast, including Philadelphia. Eagles QB Donovan McNabb ran for a touchdown and also passed for one to pace the attack.
The Arizona Cardinals clinched their second straight NFC West division title by winning a wild game against Detroit, 31-24. Kurt Warner threw two TD passes in the win, including the game winner to Anquan Boldin with 1:54 remaining in the game.
The Baltimore Ravens humiliated the Chicago Bears 31-7 in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. The Ravens improved to 8-6 with the win and now have the fifth seed in the AFC playoff race with two games left. Joe Flacco passed for 234 yards and four TDs while Bears QB Jay Cutler had just 94 yards through the air and threw three interceptions.
Pittsburgh snapped its five game losing streak with a 37-36 win over the Green Bay Packers, which also snapped the Pack's winning streak at five games.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 503 yards (a Steelers record) and three TD passes, including a 19-yard TD strike to Mike Wallace as time expired for the thrilling victory, which somehow put the Steelers back in the playoff chase in the AFC at 7-7. There are six teams with 7-7 records in the AFC with two games left in the regular season.
Denver blew a huge chance to take command of the wild card race in the AFC by losing at home to Oakland, 20-19 as JaMarcus Russell came off the bench when Raiders starting QB Charlie Frye was injured, to lead the come back for the Raiders (5-9).
Russell, who was benched three weeks ago by Oakland, hit Chaz Schillens with a ten-yard scoring pass with 35 seconds left in regulation.
Denver was once 6-0 and had a three game lead in the AFC West in mid October, but have gone 2-6 since then and are currently hanging on to the sixth and final playoff spot.
The San Diego Chargers won their ninth consecutive game by beating Cincinnati 27-24 to improve to 11-3 and wrap up their fourth consecutive AFC West division title.
Chargers' kicker Nate Kaeding kicked the game-winning 52-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. This followed Cincinnati tying the game 24-24 on Shayne Graham's 34-yard field goal with 54 seconds left in regulation.
Chargers' QB Philip Rivers (pictured above right), who had 308 yards and three TD passes, including two to Vincent Jackson, drove the Chargers into position for the game winning kick with no timeouts left as San Diego moved the ball to the Cincinnati 34-yard line in four plays.
The Bengals (9-5) still lead the AFC North by one game over Baltimore, whom they swept this season.
Chad Ochocinco scored a touchdown on a pass from Bengals' QB Carson Palmer and knelt in prayer in the end zone as a tribute to Chris Henry, the Bengals' teammate who died last Thursday after a fall from a truck.
New England (9-5) is quietly taking care of business this season as they beat the Buffalo Bills 17-10 to inch closer to another AFC East title. Pats' wideout Randy Moss caught a touchdown pass and was abrupt in his post game comments after taking much heat this past week from the media for what was interpreted as a lack of effort the week before.
The Atlanta Falcons dealt the New York Jets playoff chances a serious blow with a last minute 10-7 win in the Meadowlands. Matt Ryan hit TE Tony Gonzalez with a TD pass with 1:38 to go for the winning score.
The Tennessee Titans are now 7-7 (after starting 0-6) as they topped the Miami Dolphins, 27-24 in OT on Rod Bironas' 46-yard field goal. Miami, also 7-7, stormed back in the second half after trailing 24-6.
Titans' running back Chris Johnson had 104 yards rushing for his ninth consecutive 100-yard rushing game this season.
That was peanuts though, compared to Cleveland's Jerome Harrison, who rushed for a team record 286 yards and scored three TDs. The great Jim Brown previously held the record for rushing yardage in a single game for the Browns.
The Browns won their second game in a row with the 41-34 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Kick returner Josh Cribbs had two kickoff returns for touchdowns for Cleveland (a 100-yard return and a 103-yard return) to give him eight career kick returns for touchdowns, an NFL record.
The Carolina Panthers pulled off perhaps the stunner of the day as they dominated the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football, 26-7 behind three TD passes from backup quarterback Matt Moore.
The Vikings were dominated for the second time in three weeks on national TV on the Sunday night game. Brett Favre was ineffective for the Vikes and Adrian Peterson suffered through another dismal game as well in the loss. The only good news for Minnesota (11-3) is they knew ahead of kickoff they had already clinched the NFC North when Green Bay was defeated by Pittsburgh earlier.
Houston (another 7-7 team in the AFC) struggled on the road against the Rams, but got the win 16-13 as Kris Brown kicked a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
In the yawner game of the day, Seattle lost at home to Tampa Bay (2-12) as Seahawks' quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw four interceptions to aid the comeback effort by the Bucs in their 24-7 victory.
The Monday Night Football game saw the desperate New York Giants roll into Washington and crush the Redskins, 45-12. The Giants (8-6) trail Dallas, whom they swept this season, by one game in the wild card playoff chase.