Monday, September 30, 2013

NFL Football - Week Four Review

The dominance of the Denver Broncos (4-0) continues to move forward following the first quarter of the NFL schedule after a 52-20 home win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, the Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, passed for 327 yards
Peyton Manning is dominating the NFL this season.
and four touchdowns, running his season total to 16 TD passes with ZERO interceptions.
The Broncos have scored 179 points in four games, an average of just under 45 points a game.
Hey, break up the Cleveland Browns.
After the "packing it in for 2013" trade of running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis recently, the Browns have run off two straight wins, including a 17-6 beat down of the Cincinnati Bengals to improve to 2-2 and a first place tie with Cincy and the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.
The Cleveland defense limited the Bengals to just 266 total yards in offense, including only 63 rushing yards while getting two turnovers in the win. Browns QB Brian Hoyer threw for two touchdowns to lead the offense.
The Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) pulled away from the winless New York Giants in the second half as Dexter McCluster took a punt back 89 yards for a score and Jamaal Charles scored a rushing TD while QB Alex Smith threw a second TD pass to provide the 31-7 final score.
The Detroit Lions (3-1) dominated the Chicago Bears in Motown, winning 40-32 behind  good balance on offense (387 total yards, including 159 rushing) and a solid defense that forced four turnovers, including three interceptions and a score off a fumble recovery. Lions' RB Reggie Bush scored a touchdown and had 139 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Bears QB Jay Cutler threw the three picks along with two touchdowns in the loss, which knocked Chicago from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Philip Rivers completed 83 percent of passes in win.
The undefeated Seattle Seahawks roared back from a 17-point deficit to beat the Houston Texans on the road, 23-20 in overtime. Kicker Steven Hauschka drilled the game-winning 45-yard field goal to provide the final score.
The Texans led 20-13 late before QB Matt Schaub threw an errant pass that Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman intercepted and took back 58 yards for the tying score with just over two minutes left in regulation.
The Indianapolis Colts coasted to an easy 37-3 road win at Jacksonville as QB Andrew Luck threw for two scores while the defense limited the Jaguars to only 205 total yards in offense.
The San Diego Chargers shocked the visiting Dallas Cowboys, 30-21 as QB Philip Rivers, Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, passed for 401 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way, including the deciding 56-yard TD pass to tight end Antonio Gates (10 receptions for 136 yards) to ice the game.

                       Elsewhere around the NFL in Week Four . . .

Minnesota beat Pittsburgh, 34-27 in London, England as reserve QB Matt Cassel had two TD passes to go with a big performance from RB Adrian Peterson (140 rushing yards and two TD) to offset two scoring runs from La'Veon Bell. The Steelers are 0-4 this season, the team's worst start since 1968 . . . The Washington Redskins finally won a game as they beat the Oakland Raiders, 24-14 behind a big day from the defense, including seven QB sacks and a 45-yard interception return for TD by David Amerson . . . The Tennessee Titans (3-1) smoked the visiting NY Jets, 38-13 as QB Jake Locker threw for three scores before leaving the game with a hip injury that could sideline him for up to four to eight weeks  . . . The Arizona Cardinals won the yawner of the week, 13-10 on the road against the Tampa Bay Bucs (0-4), who squandered the 10-0 lead in the fourth quarter . . .  The Buffalo Bills beat the visiting Baltimore Ravens, 23-20 as they picked off Ravens' QB Joe Flacco FIVE times to go with a scoring pass from QB E.J. Manuel and a rushing TD from Fred Jackson. The Bills defense limited Baltimore to just 24 rushing yards in the game . . .  The San Francisco 49ers dominated the host St. Louis Rams, 35-11 last Thursday night to improve to 2-2 as running back Frank Gore ran for 153 yards and scored a touchdown to go with two TD passes from QB Colin Kaepernick. The 'Niners defense held St. Louis (1-3) to just 188 total yards in offense, including a meager 18 rushing yards  . . .  The Sunday Night Football game saw the undefeated New England Patriots go into Atlanta and hold on for a 30-23 win as QB Tom Brady (316 pass yards) threw for two scores and the Pats' defense held off the Falcons in the final seconds after nearly blowing a 17-point fourth quarter lead. Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for 421 yards with two TD passes and one pick in the loss, which dropped the team to 1-3 in the NFC South . . .  The New Orleans Saints (4-0), led by Drew Brees, Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, rolled past the visiting Miami Dolphins, 38-17 on Monday Night Football. Brees threw for 413 yards and had four TD passes while running back Darren Sproles and tight end Jimmy Graham each scored two touchdowns. The Saints defense dominated Miami, sacking QB Ryan Tannehill four times and picking off three passes.
On a sad note, former NFL player L.C. Greenwood, a member of the famed "Steel Curtain" defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1970's, died Sunday at the age of 67. Greenwood played on all four Super Bowl champion Steelers' teams during their dominance of the (1970's) decade.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten    (Week ending September 28)

1. Alabama (4-0)                                                                                       
2. Oregon (4-0)
3. Clemson (4-0)
4. Ohio State (5-0)
5. Stanford (4-0)
6. Florida State (4-0)
7. Georgia (3-1)
8. LSU (4-1)
9. Texas A & M (4-1)
10. Oklahoma (4-0)   

Thursday, September 26, 2013

NFL Football - Week Four Preview

One of  the positive things for the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Heftyinfo really took it on the chin with last weekend's NFL game selections (going 5-11) as too many of the "upsets" picked were the wrong ones.
But that was last week and now it is on to Week Four around the National Football League.
There is a game "across the pond" this Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Minnesota Vikings in the
first of TWO games in London, England this season.
Both squads are 0-3 and the Steelers have looked rather awful in their first three games while the Vikings don't seem to be the same team they were a year ago as they have stumbled out of the gate.
The Thursday Night Football game will feature the San Francisco 49ers at the St. Louis Rams in a NFC West contest. The Rams were blasted at Dallas last Sunday while the 49ers were blown by Indianapolis at Candlestick Park. Go figure.
The upstart Cleveland Browns, fresh off a road win at Minnesota, will host the suddenly surging Cincinnati Bengals, who rallied from 16 points down to defeat the Green Bay Packers.
Seattle at Houston should provide an intriguing matchup as the Texans were humbled big time at Baltimore last week while the 3-0 Seahawks drilled the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars in the Emerald City. Houston boasts a solid defense, just not quite as good as the Seahawks and both teams have been adequate on the offense in the first three games.
Two teams with somewhat surprising 2-1 records will face each other as the New York Jets travel to Tennessee to face the Titans, who barely pulled out a 20-17 victory against San Diego last Sunday. The Jets have been doing it with defense and some fortunate breaks in their two wins this year.
The Dallas Cowboys will go to San Diego and face the Chargers, who are 1-2 and have seen all three games decided by three points. Dallas looked real good at home last week in blowing the St. Louis Rams as running back DeMarco Murray had a big game along with the defense.
The scoreboard will get a workout when the Philadelphia Eagles, led by Head Coach Chip Kelly and his high octane, fast paced offense travels to face the Denver Broncos, the league's highest scoring team through the first three games.
The "prime time" games will feature the New England Patriots (3-0) at Atlanta on Sunday night while the Monday Night Football game will have two unbeaten teams facing each other with the Miami Dolphins playing the New Orleans Saints in the Louisiana Super Dome.

The short breakdowns below are followed by the Heftyinfo picks for Week Four, which hopefully will go better than last week's picks. (Green Bay and Carolina have the bye week)

San Francisco (1-2) at St. Louis (1-2) - Suddenly, the 49ers don't look so invincible any more.

Baltimore (2-1) at Buffalo (1-2) - The Ravens should roll this week, but you never know.

Cincinnati (2-1) at Cleveland (1-2) - The battle of Ohio... take the Bengals (in a close one).

Chicago (3-0) at Detroit (2-1) - This game will most likely go down to the wire, whoever has the football last.

NY Giants (0-3) at Kansas City (3-0) - Winless Giants? VS. Undefeated Chiefs? Yes, that is correct. Beware the trap game, Kansas City!

Pittsburgh (0-3) at Minnesota (0-3) IN LONDON, ENGLAND - Two teams playing poorly traveling across the Atlantic Ocean to play each other. Yawn!

Arizona (1-2) at Tampa Bay (0-3) - The host Buccaneers are a mess.

Indianapolis (2-1) at Jacksonville (0-3) - The Colts, fresh off their blowout win against 49ers, against hapless Jags. Sure thing, right? Maybe not.

Seattle (3-0) at Houston (2-1) - Super Bowl 48 preview? Too soon to tell.

NY Jets (2-1) at Tennessee (2-1) - Jets' fans are saying Mark who? Beware the Titans!

Philadelphia (1-2) at Denver (3-0) - Can any team stop Peyton Manning and the Broncos? Not the Eagles.

Dallas (2-1) at San Diego (1-2) - Once upon a time (back in 2006, '07, '08), this matchup was thought to be a potential Super Bowl game. My, how times have changed.

Washington (0-3) at Oakland (1-2) - RG3 gets it done for the Redskins this week.

New England (3-0) at Atlanta (1-2) - The Patriots just continue to roll along while the Falcons have struggled so far in 2013.

Miami (3-0) at New Orleans (3-0) - The Dolphins and Saints in "prime time" ... Ryan Tannehill vs. Drew Brees ... two solid defenses ... Take the Saints.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  5-11


Lock of the Week Record:  3-0

Monday, September 23, 2013

NFL Football - Week Three Review

This past weekend showed the old phrase, "That is why they play the games"  to be so true.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns and to a lesser extent, Miami Dolphins, pulled off surprising wins
in Week Three.
The Browns win was the real shocker as they went into Minnesota and beat the Vikings, 31-27 behind the big performance from third-string quarterback Bryan Hoyer (pictured upper right), the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, who had 321 yards passing with three touchdowns (and three interceptions), including the game winning toss to tight end Jordan Cameron with just 51 seconds left in the game.
The Browns defense limited Vikings running back to Adrian Peterson to 88 rushing yards and one touchdown while QB Christian Ponder scored two rushing touchdowns in the losing effort.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts went out west and smacked the San Francisco 49ers in the mouth, rolling to a 27-7 upset win as three rushing touchdowns and solid defense (limiting the 'Niners to just 254 yards) paved the way for Indy. The 49ers have been outscored 56-10 in their last two games, both blowout losses.
The Chicago Bears won the Sunday Night Football game in Pittsburgh, beating the Steelers, 40-23 behind two defensive scores (interception return and fumble recovery return) and five turnovers to go with rushing touchdowns from Matt Forte' and Michael Bush and a TD pass from Jay Cutler to Earl Bennett to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger passed for 406 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in the loss.
The Detroit Lions kept the host Washington Redskins winless with a 27-20 victory as Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns (along with 385 passing yards) and the defense came up with two turnovers to help make the difference in the win.
What is with the New York Giants?
They were blasted by the host Carolina Panthers, 38-0 as QB Eli Manning was sacked seven times (six in
Cam Newton
the first half) and totaled just 150 yards in offense. Meanwhile, Panthers' QB Cam Newton threw for three touchdowns and ran for  another to get his team their first win of the season. The Giants fell to 0-3 and have been outscored 115-54 for the season.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees got it going at home against the Arizona Cardinals in a 31-7 rout as he passed for  342 yards and three touchdowns while also running for another score to help his team improve to a perfect 3-0 record for the year.
The Miami Dolphins rolled to 3-0 for the season as well with a come-from-behind 27-23 home win against the Atlanta Falcons. QB Ryan Tannehill threw a one-yard scoring pass to tight end Dion Sims with 38 seconds left in regulation to provide the final score. The Falcons twice blew ten-point leads in the game.

      Elsewhere around the NFL in  Week Three  . . .

New England stayed a perfect 3-0 as well with a 23-3 win against  Tampa Bay (0-3) as Tom Brady had two TD passes . . . The Cincinnati Bengals stormed back from a 16-point deficit to beat the visiting Green Bay Packers, 34-30 as Terrence Newman returned a fumble recovery 58 yards for the deciding score. The Bengals defense intercepted Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers twice and also had two fumble recoveries . . .  Baltimore blasted the visiting Houston Texans, 30-9 by holding them to three field goals while getting a punt return TD by Tandon Doss and a 37-yard interception return for score from Daryl Smith. The Ravens defense limited Houston to just 264 total yards in offense  . . .  The Dallas Cowboys made quick work of the visiting St. Louis Rams in a 31-7 win as they rolled out to a 24-0 early in the third quarter. Dallas QB Tony Romo had three TD passes in the game . . . The Tennessee Titans pulled off a late-game thrilling win 20-17 over the San Diego Chargers as QB Jake Locker hit rookie wide receiver Justin Hunter with a 34-yard scoring pass with just 15 seconds remaining . . .  The New York Jets got two TD passes and a rushing score from rookie QB Geno Smith to outlast the visiting Buffalo Bills, 27-20 and improve to 2-1. Buffalo (1-2) allowed 513 yards in total offense in the loss . . . The Seattle Seahawks crushed the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, 45-17 behind a balanced attack (156 rushing yards and 323 passing) and four touchdown passes from QB Russell Wilson . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) went into Philadelphia last Thursday night and pasted the Eagles, 26-16 to give Head Coach Andy Reid a win over his former team as linebacker Justin Houston recorded 4 1/2 QB sacks . . .  The Monday Night Football game featured the Denver Broncos improving to 3-0 by crushing the visiting Oakland Raiders, 37-21 behind three more TD passes from QB Peyton Manning, who has thrown for 12 touchdowns in the first three games with no interceptions.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Wake Up Dude!

This is John Boehner, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and he says the American people do not want Obama Care.
Say what dude?
The American people re-elected Barack Obama based in large part that his opponent last year, Mitt Romney, ran on the agenda of repealing Obama Care.
So, John Boehner, put down the booze and wake the fuck up dude!
Give it up already.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

NFL Football - Week Three Preview

Week Three around the NFL gets started tonight with Thursday Night Football on NFL Network, as the Philadelphia Eagles welcome (former) Head Coach Andy Reid (pictured below) and the Kansas City Chiefs back to town.
The Eagles will look to outscore the Chiefs and improve to 2-1 while giving their opponents their first loss of the 2013 season. In fact, Kansas City has already equaled their win total for all of last season in the first two games.
Another "homecoming" of sorts will be Sunday when the Houston Texans
travel to face the Baltimore Ravens. Houston safety Ed Reed (who hasn't played yet in the regular season) left the Ravens after the Super Bowl season and is hoping to hit the field this week.
And how about the Indianapolis Colts going to San Francisco this week to face the 49ers? The Colts just traded for Browns running back Trent Richardson and face a team licking their wounds after being smashed by the Seattle Seahawks.
The Sunday Night Football game will feature the Chicago Bears at the Pittsburgh Steelers, with these two teams going in opposite directions early on. The Bears have pulled off two last minute (home field) wins while the Steelers haven't been able to get anything going on offense, losing their first two games.
There are some good matchups this week and the following capsule style previews give a hint of what to expect (or not) and are followed by the Heftyinfo predictions.

Kansas City (2-0) at Philadelphia (1-1) - Andy Reid back in Philly? This should be a good one.

Green Bay (1-1) at Cincinnati (1-1) - The Packers continue to roll.

St. Louis (1-1) at Dallas (1-1) - Tough game to figure out... could go either way.

San Diego (1-1) at Tennessee (1-1) - The 'Bolts woke up last week while the Titans let one get away on the road. Toss up game.

Cleveland (0-2) at Minnesota (0-2) - One of these teams has to win this week. Take the Vikings.

Tampa Bay (0-2) at New England (2-0) - Tom  Brady faces old nemesis Darrelle Revis once again.

Arizona (1-1) at New Orleans (2-0) - Drew Brees due to break out this week... Saints roll.

Detroit (1-1) at Washington (0-2) - The Redskins in an early "must win" game.

New York Giants (0-2) at Carolina (0-2) - One of these two teams will be in a big hole after this game.

Houston (2-0) at Baltimore (1-1) - Will former Raven Ed Reed play this week?

Atlanta (1-1) at Miami (2-0) - The unbeaten Dolphins will get a real test this week.

Buffalo (1-1) at New York Jets (1-1) - More late game magic from Bills rookie QB E.J. Manuel OR can fellow rookie QB Geno Smith lead the Jets to the win?

Indianapolis (1-1) at San Francisco (1-1) - Suddenly with the Trent Richardson trade, this game looks a lot more interesting aside from the reunion of former Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh with former Stanford QB Andrew Luck. Take the 'Niners.

Jacksonville (0-2) at Seattle (2-0) - Why bother?

Chicago (2-0) at Pittsburgh (0-2) - Can the Steelers get it going against the Bears? This one could go down to the wire.

Oakland (0-2) at Denver (2-0) - The Monday Night Football tilt could be over in a hurry if Peyton Manning has anything to say about it and HE WILL. Broncos in a rout!

The Heftyinfo picks  . . .     (Home teams listed in BOLD...  LOCK OF THE WEEK listed in BOLD CAPS)

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

Last Week's Record: 11-5


LOCK OF THE WEEK Record: 2-0 

Monday, September 16, 2013

NFL Football - Week Two Review

What a weekend of football it was as the Manning Bowl, the battle in the NFC West and several exciting  finishes punctuated the second week of the 2013 NFL season.

The Denver Broncos dominated the second half of the game against the host New York Giants in a 41-23 win that saw Peyton Manning throw for 307 yards and two touchdown passes while the special teams scored a touchdown (Trindon Holliday 81-yard punt return) and the defense intercepted Giants' QB Eli Manning four times in the third "Manning Bowl." The Giants are 0-2 while Denver improved to 2-0 this season.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers dominated the win over Redskins
Green Bay rolled past the visiting Washington Redskins, 38-20 behind 480 passing yards and four touchdown strikes from Aaron Rodgers, the Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III had 320 yards with three TD and one interception in the loss as the Washington defense allowed 580 yards.

Philip Rivers had a huge game in win
The San Diego Chargers went into Philadelphia and stunned the Eagles, 33-30 as kicker Nick Novak drilled a 48-yard field goal to provide the difference. Chargers QB Philip Rivers, Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, passed for 419 yards and three touchdowns (all to wide receiver Eddie Royal) to offset Michael Vick's effort (428 passing yards and a rushing touchdown) as the 'Bolts totaled 539 yards in offense.

The Chicago Bears pulled off a late comeback as QB Jay Cutler hit tight end Martellus Bennett for a 16-yard touchdown pass with ten seconds left in the game to win, 31-30. The Bears rolled up 411 total yards in offense and kick returner Devin Hester accounted for 249 kickoff return yards.
Houston won in overtime 30-24 at home against the Tennessee Titans behind a balanced offense (172 rushing yards and 280 passing) and a game winning three-yard TD pass from QB Matt Schaub to rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins.
The Seattle Seahawks rode out the (lightning) storm and dominated the visiting San Francisco 49ers, 29-3 in the Sunday Night Football game. The Seattle defense limited the 49ers to 207 yards in offense and Marshawn Lynch (98 yards rushing) scored three touchdowns, including a seven-yard scoring pass from QB Russell Wilson.

Other highlights from around the league . . . 

The Atlanta Falcons held on for a 31-24 home win against the St. Louis Rams behind a pair of TD passes from Matt Ryan (374 passing yards) and a 68-yard interception return for score by Osi Umenyiora. St. Louis QB Sam Bradford had 352 passing yards and three touchdown passes in the loss . . .  Rashard Mendenhall scored on a one-yard run at the two-minute warning to provide the difference in a 25-21 home win for the Arizona Cardinals over the Detroit Lions . . . The Kansas City Chiefs edged the visiting Dallas Cowboys, 17-16 behind two TD passes by QB Alex Smith . . .  Buffalo won their home game late against Carolina, 24-23 as QB E.J. Manuel threw a two-yard scoring pass to Stevie Johnson with two seconds remaining. Bills defensive end/linebacker Mario Williams had 4 1/2 QB sacks in the win . . . The Baltimore Ravens won their home opener to improve to 1-1 with a 14-6 yawner over the Cleveland Browns as the defense sacked Browns QB Brandon Weeden five times . . . New Orleans got a game winning 27-yard field goal from Garrett Hartley as time expired to win at Tampa Bay, 16-14 . . . The Oakland Raiders beat the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, 19-9 as their defense limited the Jags to 248 total yards while kicker Sebastian Janikowski made four field goals . . .  The New England Patriots won an ugly game last Thursday night, 13-10 against the visiting New York Jets as Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass and the Pats defense intercepted Jets rookie QB Geno Smith three times . . .  The Monday Night Football game saw the host Cincinnati Bengals top the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-10 behind solid defense (limiting the Steelers to just 44 rushing yards and 278 in total offense) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) from rookie running back Giovani Bernard.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

NFL Football - Week Two Preview

After just one week of games, there are already many questions surrounding the 32 teams in the NFL.
Some of those questions will be answered in Week Two as the Manning brothers go at it head-to-head for
the third time in their careers when the Denver Broncos face the New York Giants.
How about running back Steven Jackson going against his former team when the Atlanta Falcons host the St. Louis Rams, the team Jackson played with for nine seasons? That should be an interesting tilt, especially with the Falcons starting out 0-1 while the Rams won their first game.
The current Cleveland Browns travel to Baltimore to face the "old" Browns (the Ravens) as the whole AFC North is 0-1 after losing last weekend. The four AFC North teams all play each other this week, which guarantees someone will win,  barring two ties in the games.
Can the San Diego Chargers overcome last week's second half collapse as they travel cross country to face the high flying Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off their Monday Night Football win at Washington?
Two of the weak sisters in the NFL face off this weekend as well when the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to face the Oakland Raiders, who almost pulled off a stunner against the Indianapolis Colts.
Week Two offers some good matchups, but nothing quite like the "Manning Bowl" and the "prime time" Sunday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks in a big NFC West battle.
It all gets started tonight when the New York Jets face the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on the NFL Network "prime time" Thursday Night Football game.
Here is a capsule style peak at the weekend's action with the Heftyinfo picks (and the Lock of the Week) following.

New York Jets (1-0) at New England Patriots (1-0) - The Jets were the luckiest team in the NFL last week while the Pats got a scare in their opener... Patriots win a squeaker in this one.

St. Louis Rams (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-1) - The Falcons are banged up at wide receiver while the Rams are coming off a big opener ... take the Falcons.

Carolina Panthers (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-1) - This one could go down to the wire.

Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Chicago Bears (1-0) - Da' Bears!

Washington Redskins (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (0-1) - What's in a name? That is the question for the Redskins. Packers roll in this one.

Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (1-0) - Two young teams on the rise face off in Indy.

Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) - The Cowboys and the Indians... take the Cowboys.

Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Baltimore Ravens (0-1) - Flacco and company get the win.

Tennessee Titans (1-0) at Houston Texans (1-0) - The Titans showed they can be tough while the Texans snuck out a win in their opener.

San Diego Chargers (0-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) - Will the real Philip Rivers please stand up?  Eagles soar again this week.

Detroit Lions (1-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-1) - Trap game for the Lions? Maybe.

New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) - The Saints are getting their mojo back while the Bucs looked lost in the opening game.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1) - One of these teams will be .500 after Week Two.

Denver Broncos (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1) - The "Manning Bowl" once again ... Peyton wins again.

San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0) - HUGE game in the NFC West division. It should live up to the billing.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) - Something has to give in the MNF tilt.

The Heftyinfo picks  . . .     (Home teams listed in BOLD...  LOCK OF THE WEEK listed in BOLD CAPS)

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

Last Week's Record: 11-5 
Lock of the Week Record: 1-0 

Monday, September 9, 2013

NFL Football - Week One Review

Week One of the 2013 NFL season provided some exciting games all around the league, beginning with the opener last Thursday night when Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw seven touchdown
Peyton Manning, Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week.
passes (tying an NFL single game record) and had 462 passing yards in a 49-27 rout of the visiting Baltimore Ravens.
Peyton Manning is the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week for his record performance.
The passing trend continued on Sunday with San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick passing for 412 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers 34-28 win against Green Bay. San Francisco wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown while tight end Vernon Davis (six catches for 98 yards) had two TD receptions. Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes and 333 yards in the loss.
Detroit's Matthew Stafford had 357 passing yards and two TD passes to offset Adrian Peterson's three touchdowns and 93 yards rushing (including a 78-yard TD romp on his first carry of the new season) in the Lions 34-24 win against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.
Drew Brees led a New Orleans Saints comeback by passing for 357 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-17 home opening win against division rival Atlanta.  Falcons' QB Matt Ryan passed for 304 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss.
The Dallas Cowboys defense got six turnovers (three interceptions and three fumble recoveries) and converted two of them into touchdowns, including the game deciding 49-yard INT return by Brandon Carr late in the fourth quarter in a 36-31 win over the visiting New York Giants.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo threw for 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the offense. The Giants Eli Manning passed for 450 yards and four TD along with the three picks in the loss. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz had a big night (five catches for 118 yards and three TD receptions) as well.
The Chicago Bears rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat the visiting Cincinnati Bengals, 24-21 as QB Jay Cutler was not sacked during the game and had two TD passes to go with 242 passing yards in the win. The Chicago defense came up with three turnovers, including two interceptions by Charles 'Peanut' Tillman.

Other highlights from around the NFL  . . . 

The New York Jets escaped with a 18-17 home win against Tampa Bay as Nick Folk drilled a 48-yard field goal with two seconds left in the game following a stupid penalty for unnecessary roughness on a Tampa Bay defender against Jets QB Geno Smith . . . The Seattle Seahawks won a yawner at Carolina, 12-7 as their defense limited the Panthers to just 243 total yards on offense . . . The Indy Colts pulled out a late win against the visiting Oakland Raiders, 21-17 behind a 19-yard TD run by QB Andrew Luck that offset Oakland QB Terrelle Pryor's 112 rushing yards . . . Kansas City smoked the host Jacksonville Jaguars, 28-2 as their defense held the Jags to just 178 total yards . . . New England got a late field goal to foil the host Buffalo Bills, 23-21 and ruin a decent performance by Bills rookie QB E.J. Manuel, who had two TD passes in the game . . . The Tennessee Titans may have pulled off the stunner of the week with a 16-9 road win at Pittsburgh as their defense won this struggle by limiting the Steelers to just 195 yards of offense while also getting three field goals from Rob Bironas . . . The Miami Dolphins topped the listless Cleveland Browns, 23-10 behind solid defense (three interceptions) and 272 passing yards and a touchdown strike from QB Ryan Tannehill . . . The St. Louis Rams stormed back from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the visiting Arizona Cardinals, 27-24 as QB Sam Bradford threw two TD passes and Greg Zuerlein  drilled three field goals, including the decisive 48-yard boot with just 40 seconds remaining.

Monday Night Football

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the host Washington Redskins, 33-28 and spoiled the return from major knee surgery of Robert Griffin III, Washington's quarterback as LeSean McCoy led the way with 184 rushing yards and a touchdown to go with two TD passes and 203 passing yards from Michael Vick.
Redskins QB RG3 threw for 329 yards with two TD and two interceptions in the loss. Meanwhile, the Eagles revamped offense under new Head Coach Chip Kelly overcame an early turnover that gave the 'Skins a 7-0 lead to pile up 263 rushing yards while building a 26-7 halftime lead.
The "night cap" game in San Diego was equally exciting as the opening tilt with the Houston Texans storming back in the fourth quarter to earn their first ever victory against the Chargers, 31-28 as kicker Randy Bullock nailed a game-winning 41-yard field goal as time expired to complete the come from behind win.
Texans QB Matt Schaub had 346 passing yards and three touchdowns with one interception to pace the comeback, which included a touchdown on an interception return by linebacker Brian Cushing.
The Chargers built a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter when Philip Rivers threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game. But after that, it was all Houston as they scored the final 24 points in the game to win.

Friday, September 6, 2013

What An Opener - Now What?

Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning threw SEVEN touchdown passes in last night's 49-27 opening game rout of the Baltimore Ravens. The feat matched something that has not happened in the NFL
Peyton Manning dominated the Ravens' defense.
since the the 1969 season, when Joe Kapp of the Minnesota Vikings did it.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

NFL Football - Week One Preview

Well, here we are again at the start of another NFL season.
The Baltimore Ravens face the Denver Broncos in the Mile High City Thursday night to get things started this
Who can forget last year's choke job by Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the AFC Divisional Playoffs when they allowed the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens to steal the game by scoring in literally the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime.
From there, the Ravens intercepted a Manning pass to set up the game winning field goal in the second quarter of OT to move forward.
The Broncos have been downplaying the "revenge" factor for the opener tomorrow night, but be real, they want to win this game and if they could do so, they'd love to win it in blowout fashion.
It's a whole new season and all 32 teams get it started this weekend with the Sunday night showcase game featuring the New York Giants at the Dallas Cowboys. The Monday Night Football games will have the Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans facing the host San Diego Chargers.
There are some big tilts taking place in Week One, especially the Green Bay Packers opening up in San Francisco against the 49ers, the team that blew away the mighty Pack in the divisional round of the NFC Playoffs last year.
Two dark horse contenders this season, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Chicago Bears, face each other in Soldier Field in Chicago. Tampa Bay travels to face the New York Jets, a team still searching for a starting quarterback, as Darrelle Revis faces his old team in the Big Apple.
A big showdown in the NFC South right out of the gate in The Big Easy as the New Orleans Saints host the Atlanta Falcons in what could be a real shootout. Quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matt Ryan will be flinging the ball around the Superdome all game long.
One never knows what to expect in the opening games around the NFL, especially these days with so many players changing teams in the off-season.
Well, here we go with another venture at picking the games for the season. The following offers a capsule style breakdown/analysis for each game with the Heftyinfo picks for Week One following . . . One new feature this season will be the "Lock of the Week" winner picked in BOLD FACE type.

Thursday Night Game

Baltimore at Denver - The Broncos (and especially Peyton Manning) want to win this game in the worst way. And they should do so this time around, just make sure to avoid OT Denver and you should be just fine.

Sunday Games

New England at Buffalo - The Patriots are ironing things out on offense as the new season begins. The Bills are going with a totally inexperienced starting QB in this one.

Cincinnati at Chicago - The Bears begin "life without Lovie (Smith) and Brian (Urlacher)"  in their season opener against a formidable foe. A Must See game!

Miami at Cleveland - The Dolphins have playoff aspirations this season. But do not sleep on the Browns this year.

Atlanta at New Orleans - The winner of this game could control the NFC South this season... or not.

Tampa Bay at New York Jets - Darrelle Revis wanted to pick off a Mark Sanchez (out with injury) pass in this one... oh well, perhaps another time.

Tennessee at Pittsburgh - Both of these teams will have some questions answered in this opening game.

Minnesota at Detroit - An NFC North tilt in Motown as Adrian Peterson begins his attempt to go over 2,000 yards rushing for a second straight season.

Oakland at Indianapolis - Can Andrew Luck and the Colts perform more miracles this year? Beating the Raiders is NOT a miracle so we will have to wait and see.

Seattle at Carolina - The Seahawks strong defense gets an early test vs. Cam Newton and company.

Kansas City at Jacksonville - Chiefs roll!

Arizona at St. Louis - Rams roll!

Green Bay at San Francisco - The Packers will get a good look at the team that crushed them in last season's playoff game.

NY Giants at Dallas - It seems like every season this game is in prime time. Why?

Monday Night Football Games

Philadelphia at Washington - The return of RG3 from knee surgery. Hmmmm.

Houston at San Diego - The Texans want to make a statement in this game.

The Heftyinfo Week One predictions . . . (Home teams listed in bold and LOCK OF THE WEEK pick listed in BOLD CAPS)

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

Last Season's Record: 160-95-1


NFC East  1. NY Giants (10-6) 2. Washington (10-6) 3. Dallas (8-8) 4. Philadelphia (5-11)
NFC North 1. Green Bay (11-5) 2. Chicago (10-6) 3. Detroit (8-8) 4. Minnesota (6-10)
NFC South 1. Atlanta (11-5) 2. New Orleans-wild card (10-6) 3. Tampa Bay (10-6) 4. Carolina (6-10)
NFC West 1. San Francisco (12-4) 2. Seattle-wild card (10-6) 3. St. Louis (8-8) 4. Arizona (3-13)

AFC East 1. New England (11-5) 2. Miami-wild card (9-7) 3. Buffalo (4-12) 4. NY Jets (4-12)
AFC North 1. Baltimore (10-6) 2. Cincinnati-wild card (9-7) 3. Cleveland (8-8) 4. Pittsburgh (7-9)
AFC South 1. Houston (11-5) 2. Indianapolis (8-8) 3. Tennessee (5-11) 4. Jacksonville (3-13)
AFC West 1. Denver (12-4) 2. Kansas City (8-8) 3. San Diego (6-10) 4. Oakland (3-13)

NFC Playoffs                                                                       AFC Playoffs

Seattle over Atlanta                                                              Baltimore over Miami
New Orleans over NY Giants                                               Houston over Cincinnati

Seattle over Green Bay                                                         Denver over Baltimore
San Francisco over New Orleans                                          Houston over New England

NFC Championship Game                                                 AFC Championship Game                         

Seattle over San Francisco                                                    Denver over Houston

                     SUPER BOWL 48 (XLVIII)

                Seattle Seahawks over Denver Broncos

Monday, September 2, 2013

Major League Baseball - Stretch Run In Pennant Races

Major League Baseball is in the home stretch of the 2013 season as September is here and the contending teams battle it out during the final weeks of the season.
It has been an interesting season once again in 2013, and especially surprising teams are in the mix. Of course, there have been some huge disappointments as well. But that is how things always break down as the long season rolls through the hot summer months into the coolness of the autumn air of September and October.
The following offers a capsule style breakdown of the remaining races throughout the Major Leagues for this final month of the regular season.


It's pretty cut and dry what is happening here as the Atlanta Braves (East) and Los Angeles Dodgers (West) have made a mockery of their division races while running away and hiding from the rest of the teams.
They are locks for the playoffs while the remaining three spots will likely come out of the National League Central division where Pittsburgh and St. Louis share the lead for now and the Cincinnati Reds are just 3 1/2 games back. All three are ahead of Arizona (six games back in the NL Wild Card chase) and Washington (6 1/2 out) for the last two spots in the playoffs next month.

NL East ... Atlanta (83-53) Washington (69-67, 14 games behind) 

NL Central ... Pittsburgh (79-57) St. Louis (79-57) Cincinnati (76-61, 3 1/2 GB)

NL West ... Los Angeles (81-55) Arizona (69-66 11 1/2 GB) 


With Atlanta, the team with the best record in Major League Baseball, and Los Angeles locks to get to the post-season, the only excitement left is the wild card chase. One of the three teams in the NL Central will win the division and the other two are pretty far ahead of Washington and Arizona with less than 30 games remaining so it stands to reason (barring a monumental collapse) that Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati will make the playoffs along with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.


Not so simple here in the junior circuit where only one team is assured of a playoff spot, barring a huge collapse in September.
The Detroit Tigers lead the AL Central by 7 1/2 games over the Cleveland Indians and 9 1/2 ahead of the Kansas City Royals.
The Boston Red Sox, perhaps baseball's biggest surprise team this year, lead the rugged American League East by 5 1/2 games over second-place Tampa Bay. The Baltimore Orioles (8 1/2 GB) and New York Yankees (nine games out) are also in the wild card chase that involves seven serious contenders.
In the AL West, the Oakland A's trail first-place Texas by a single game and they play each other six more times in September, including a three-game series in Oakland starting today.

AL East ... Boston (82-56) Tampa Bay (75-60, 5 1/2 GB) Baltimore (72-63, 8 1/2 GB) NY Yankees (72-64, 9 GB)

AL Central ... Detroit (80-57) Cleveland (72-64, 7 1/2 GB) Kansas City (70-66, 9 1/2 GB)

AL West ... Texas (79-57) Oakland (78-58, 1 GB)


Detroit appears to be a lock for the post-season and Boston is also closing ground on their first post-season trip since the 2009 season.
The rest of the picture is up for grabs as seven teams are battling for the final three spots.
The Texas Rangers and Oakland A's are neck-and-neck in the West and only one can win the division. The second-place finisher is likely to get one of the two wild card spots.
The last spot will go to one of five teams (Tampa Bay, Baltimore, New York, Cleveland and Kansas City) as they face each other in league and divisional play during the final month of the 2013 season.
It should shape up to be a great finish in the American League and anything is possible.

Final notes and observations . . .

The Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates have been big surprises this season while the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays have been the biggest disappointments.

Will Detroit's Miguel Cabrera catch Baltimore's Chris Davis for the American League home run title and capture a second consecutive "triple crown" (Batting average, Home Runs and RBI leader) during these final weeks? He is four HR behind Davis (47-43) but has the AL batting title all but locked up and is eight RBI (130-122) ahead of Davis.

How about the amazing turnaround this year for the LA Dodgers, who were a sub .500 team in mid-June and now own the second best record in the league?

Manager of the Year in the AL is ... either Joe Girardi (NY Yankees) or John Farrell (Boston). Think about it, the Yankees are old and have had so many injured players this season it is ridiculous they are even in contention for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Bosox finished dead last (69-93) in the AL East a year ago and NOBODY expected them to go from worst to first in perhaps the best division in baseball.

A-Rod (or should I say A-Roid) ... how this guy is playing right now is a joke and shows just what a farce the MLB appeals process rule really is.
Being a staunch Union supporter, there are no qualms with Alex Rodriguez appealing his lengthy suspension handed down by MLB, but ALL the other players given long suspensions took their punishment by admitting their involvement in the PED scandal with Biogenesis and that includes slugger Nelson Cruz, whose team (Texas Rangers) is in a heated battle for playoff position with Oakland in the AL West.
Why should A-Rod be treated any differently? If baseball higher-ups had any real merit with the appeals process, they would have ruled immediately on the A-Rod case because eventually he will be sitting out all or at least a good portion (one should think) of the 215-game suspension he was given by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

And finally, how good and inspirational has rookie Yasiel Puig been for the Los Angeles Dodgers this summer?
The 22-year old outfielder was called up in June and the team has not looked back since then, storming back from last place in the NL West division to runaway winners and the post-season. Coincidence the team got hot when he became a regular in the lineup? This guy should be the hands down winner of the Rookie of the Year in the National League.