Thursday, October 31, 2013

NFL Football - Week Nine Preview

Some of the more interesting games this weekend are divisional games as the Indianapolis Colts hit the road to face the Houston Texans on the Sunday Night Football game while the Chicago Bears, without starting quarterback Jay Cutler and starting linebacker Lance Briggs, face the Packers up in Green Bay on Monday Night Football.
The Packers are without most of their starting wide receiver corps, but with the suddenly resurgent running game and QB Aaron Rodgers continuing to be his usual brilliant self, the Packers (5-2) lead the NFC North division at the season's halfway point.
The Colts (5-2) have been rolling all season long while the Texans (2-5) have been one of the league's biggest disappointments so far. A loss at home to Indy would pretty much doom any hopes of another division title for Houston, let alone any real shot to reach the playoffs.
The Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) are in Miami to face the Dolphins (3-4), which has lost four straight games after winning their first three games this season, on the Thursday Night Football game. That is not a divisional match, but if the 'Fins are to get back into the thick of the AFC playoff hunt, they need to get a win in the worst way.
Two teams chasing the Bengals in the AFC North face off this weekend as the Cleveland Browns (3-5) host the Baltimore Ravens (3-4) in what is an important game to help determine position for the wild card chase.

The following capsule style previews look at each game for this weekend, with the Heftyinfo predictions following up.

(Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Arizona, NY Giants and San Francisco have the Bye Week.)

Cincinnati (6-2) at Miami (3-4) - Can the Dolphins get a win? Not if the Bengals have anything to say about it.

Kansas City (8-0) at Buffalo (3-5) - The Chiefs better be ready because the Bills are tough at home.

San Diego (4-3) at Washington (2-5) - RG3 and company need to get a win while the Chargers have been riding high so far this season. Should be a close game.

Atlanta (2-5) at Carolina (4-3) - Cam Newton and company are on a roll while the Falcons have stunk it up this year.

Minnesota (1-6) at Dallas (4-4) - The Cowboys are still in shock after blowing late lead in Detroit last week. The Vikings are simply a bad team this year.

Tennessee (3-4) at St. Louis (3-5) - This could be one of the more exciting game around the NFL this week. Both teams are in a MUST WIN situation already.

New Orleans (6-1) at NY Jets (4-4) -  The Jets have been on a win-loss pattern through eight games, but the Saints will end that pattern this week.

Tampa Bay (0-7) at Seattle (7-1) - Seahawks . . .  ROLL!!!

Philadelphia (3-5) at Oakland (3-4) - The Raiders are playing like they are on a mission of sorts. The Eagles have been grounded in recent weeks.

Pittsburgh (2-5) at New England (6-2) - This had to be a game that fans everywhere were looking forward to ... not so much any more.

Baltimore (3-4) at Cleveland (3-5) - If the Ravens are real Super Bowl title contenders, they better start showing it on the field, where it matters.

Indianapolis (5-2) at Houston (2-5) - What is up with the Texans? The Colts have looked good all season.

Chicago (4-3) at Green Bay (5-2) - The Packers are headed in the right direction while the Bears appear to be headed in the opposite direction.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  11-2


Lock of the Week Record:  7-1


Monday, October 28, 2013

NFL Football - Week Eight Review

How about those Detroit Lions?
The Lions (5-3) roared back against the visiting Dallas Cowboys, winning 31-30 by mounting a game winning 80-yard touchdown drive in the final minute of the game, culminated by quarterback Matthew Stafford sneaking in from the one-yard line with twelve seconds left in regulation for the winning score.
Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week Calvin Johnson made 14 receptions for 329 yards receiving and a touchdown for Detroit. The 329 yards were the second most receiving yards in a single game in NFL history. In addition, Stafford threw for 488 yards with the touchdown pass and rushing TD to win it.
The Lions combo of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were unstoppable.
Another quarterback set a record out west as Terrelle Pryor ran 93 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage for the host Oakland Raiders in their 21-18 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The TD run by Pryor was the longest in NFL history by a quarterback.
Cincinnati completely crushed the visiting New York Jets, 49-9 behind FIVE touchdown passes from QB Andy Dalton, Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, to go along with 325 yards passing and four TD connections with WR Marvin Jones, who had eight catches for 122 yards in the win, which improved Cincy to 6-2 and a two-game lead in the AFC North.
The Denver Broncos (7-1) rolled back the Washington Redskins, 45-21 as they scored the final 38 points of the game after the Redskins took a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter on two consecutive defensive scores off Peyton Manning turnovers, including a "pick six" interception.
Manning did have four more TD passes (29 for the season)  in the win to go with 354 passing yards and three interceptions.
Across the pond in London, England, the San Francisco 49ers (6-2) dominated the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars, 42-10 behind two touchdown runs from running back Frank Gore and two TD passes from QB Colin Kaepernick as well as a rushing touchdown. It was the fifth consecutive win  for the 'Niners while the Jags fell to 0-8 for the season.
The Green Bay Packers (5-2) throttled the host Minnesota Vikings, 44-31 on Sunday Night Football as QB Aaron Rodgers threw for a pair of scoring passes to WR Jordy Nelson while RB James Starks ran for another to pace the easy win, which was their fourth straight.

                                                   Elsewhere around the NFL  . . . . . . .    

The New Orleans Saints (6-1) stormed past the visiting Buffalo Bills, 35-17 as QB Drew Brees had FIVE touchdown passes and 332 passing yards to lead the win . . .   Arizona knocked off the visiting Atlanta Falcons, 27-13 to improve to a surprising 4-4 for the season as QB Carson Palmer hooked up for two scoring passes and RB Andre Ellington (15 carries for 154 yards) ran 80 yards for another score for the Cardinals . . .  Carolina smacked down the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-13 as QB Cam Newton (221 passing yards) threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another in the win . . .  The New England Patriots staged a second half comeback over the visiting Miami Dolphins, 27-17 to improve to 6-2 and hand the Dolphins (3-4) their fourth straight loss . . .  In the yawner game of the week, the New York Giants (2-6) won their second game in a row in a 15-7 road win over the Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) as kicker Josh Brown made five field goals . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs (8-0) remained the NFL's only unbeaten team by winning 23-17 over the visiting Cleveland Browns behind two TD passes from QB Alex Smith and three field goals by kicker Ryan Succop . . .  Despite being outgained 339-135 in total offense, the Seattle Seahawks (7-1) topped the host St. Louis Rams, 14-9 on Monday Night Football. Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson (despite being sacked seven times by Rams' defense) hooked up twice with WR Golden Tate for scoring passes, including an 80-yard TD pass. The win enabled Seattle to maintain a one-game lead over San Francisco in the NFC West.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten                          (Week ending October 26)      

1. Alabama (8-0)                            
2. Oregon (8-0)
3. Florida State (7-0)                                                                    
4. Ohio State (8-0)
5. Baylor (7-0)
6. Stanford (7-1)
7. Miami, FL (7-0)
8. Clemson (7-1)
9. LSU (7-2)
10. Auburn (7-1)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

NFL Football - Week Eight Preview

Week Eight in the NFL kicks off with Thursday Night Football and this week's game features the Carolina Panthers
(3-3) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6), which is a team that is a disaster so far this season.
Some of the bigger matchups this weekend has the Washington Redskins going against the Denver Broncos out in the Mile High City. The Broncos are coming off their first loss this season after falling to the Indianapolis Colts while the Redskins rolled to a big win against Chicago to the tune of 45-41, which improved them to 2-4 and got them back into the thick of the NFC East division race.
The leaders of that division are the Dallas Cowboys (4-3) who will be on the road once again this week, facing the Detroit Lions, who are 4-3 after losing a tough game to Cincinnati on a last second field goal.
The Cincinnati Bengals (5-2), leaders of the AFC North, will host the surging New York Jets (4-3), who surprised the New England Patriots last Sunday and are right there in the AFC East, just one game back of the mighty Pats.
Speaking of those Patriots, they will host the slumping Miami Dolphins, who have lost three consecutive games after winning their first three. The Patriots (5-2) need to win to keep things from turning into a log jam in the division race.
Six teams will have the "bye week" this Sunday and it should be another exciting weekend around the NFL.

Following below is a capsule style preview of the action this week, followed by the Heftyinfo picks for Week Eight.
(San Diego, Chicago, Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis and Tennessee have the Bye Week.)

Carolina (3-3) at Tampa Bay (0-6) - Can Cam Newton and company keep it going? The odds are good going against the hapless Bucs.

Dallas (4-3) at Detroit (4-3) - This game should be a close one. Take the Lions.

Cleveland (3-4) at Kansas City (7-0) - The Chiefs are at home looking to keep their perfect season going . . .  they will.

Miami (3-3) at New England (5-2) - The Dolphins need a win to stop the bleeding, but so do the Patriots at this point.

Buffalo (3-4) at New Orleans (4-2) - The Saints are coming off their "bye week" looking to rebound after a tough loss at New England. The Bills are flying high after winning at Miami.

NY Giants (1-6) at Philadelphia (3-4) - Break up the Giants, they finally won a game ... the Eagles need to bounce back after last week's pathetic performance.

San Francisco (5-2) vs. Jacksonville (0-7) [IN LONDON, ENGLAND] - Why are these two teams going all the way to England just so the 49ers can kick ass?

Pittsburgh (2-4) at Oakland (2-4) - The Steelers have won two straight... watch out!

NY Jets (4-3) at Cincinnati (5-2) - Are the Jets really that good? We will find out this week.

Washington (2-4) at Denver (6-1) - The Broncos bounce back and get a big win in what should be a high scoring game.

Atlanta (2-4) at Arizona (3-4) - The battle of the birds . . .  Take the Falcons.

Green Bay (4-2) at Minnesota (1-5) - Why bother? Packers roll!

Seattle (6-1) at St. Louis (3-4) - No Sam Bradford? No Rams win. Seattle in a rout!

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

Carolina over Tampa Bay
Detroit over Dallas
Kansas City over Cleveland
New England over Miami
New Orleans over Buffalo
NY Giants over Philadelphia
SAN FRANCISCO over Jacksonville
Pittsburgh over Oakland
Cincinnati over NY Jets
Denver over Washington
Atlanta over Arizona
Green Bay over Minnesota
Seattle over St. Louis

Last Week's record:  9-6


Lock of the Week Record:  6-1

2013 WORLD SERIES - Birds vs. Beards

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox, teams that both finished this season with 97-65 records, square off in the World Series.




                           Prediction -  St. Louis Cardinals over Boston Red Sox in six games.

Monday, October 21, 2013

NFL Football - Week Seven Review

The Indianapolis Colts did it!
They beat the mighty Denver Broncos, 39-33 on Sunday Night Football behind three touchdown passes
Andrew Luck and the Colts topped Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
from quarterback Andrew Luck as well as a rushing touchdown by the second year player.
The win improved Indy to 5-2 as Peyton Manning's return to play the team he led to a Super Bowl title seven years ago was spoiled.
The Broncos (6-1) lost for the first time this season as well as seeing their 17-game regular season winning streak end, dating back to last year.
Manning threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns along with one interception in the loss. The Colts defense also sacked Manning four times. Meanwhile, Colts' QB Andrew Luck, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, passed for 228 yards with the three TD passes and one running touchdown to lead the win.
There were other games played on Sunday around the NFL, and none more exciting than the Washington Redskins 45-41 home field win against the Chicago Bears.
Redskins' running back Roy Helu, Jr. scored three rushing touchdowns while linebacker Brian Orakpo returned an interception 29 yards for a score and Robert Griffin III threw for two touchdowns and 298 yards while also rushing for 84 yards to help pace the win.
It was a back and forth game that saw the 'Skins take the lead for good when Helu scored from three yards out with just 45 seconds left in the game.
Bears running back Matt Forte' ran for 91 yards and scored two touchdowns in the loss while Devin Hester took a punt back 81 yards for a score, which was his 19th career kick return for a score, tying him for first place all-time with Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders.
The Bears lost starting QB Jay Cutler for at least four weeks with a severe groin injury in the second quarter as well as linebacker Lance Briggs for at least four to six weeks with a shoulder injury.
The New York Jets surprised the New England Patriots by winning 30-27 in OT as kicker Nick Folk made a 42-yard field goal following an earlier missed 56-yard attempt that was negated by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty against the Patriots.
Jets' rookie QB Geno Smith overcame a pick six interception with a TD pass and rushing score as well to lead his team back from an 11-point halftime deficit. In the second half, the Jets outscored New England 17-6, including a pick six INT of their own against Tom Brady, who was held without a TD pass for the second time in the last three games.
The Kansas City Chiefs (7-0)  remained the NFL's only undefeated team with a 17-16 home victory against the fading Houston Texans, who lost their fifth straight game to fall to 2-5. Kansas City QB Alex Smith and RB Jamaal Charles each scored a rushing TD and the defense recorded five more QB sacks to lead the way.
The Green Bay Packers (4-2) won their third game in a row as QB Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes in a 31-13 rout of the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. Packers' tight end Jermichael Finley was lost to a severe neck injury in the game.
The Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) won 27-24 on the road against the Detroit Lions as kicker Mike Nugent nailed a 54-yard field goal at the buzzer to win it. Bengals' QB Andy Dalton had a big game with three TD strikes and 372 passing yards. Lions' QB Matthew Stafford threw for 357 yards and three scores in the loss, which knocked the Lions (4-3) out of first place in the NFC North.

                                        Elsewhere around the NFL . . . .  

Frank Gore scored two rushing touchdowns and the San Francisco 49ers toppled the host Tennessee Titans, 31-17 for their fourth straight win . . .   Shaun Suisham kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired to lift the host Pittsburgh Steelers to a 19-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens . . .  The Buffalo Bills outlasted the Miami Dolphins on the road, 23-21 as the defense scored a touchdown and former Miami kicker Dan Carpenter made three field goals, including the game winner from 31 yards out with 33 seconds remaining . . .  The host Atlanta Falcons (2-4) snapped a three-game skid with a 31-23 win against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers as QB Matt Ryan had three TD passes to go with 273 passing yards . . .  Carolina won at home 30-15 over the St. Louis Rams, who lost their starting QB Sam Bradford for the rest of the season with a knee injury . . .   The Seattle Seahawks (6-1) beat the Arizona Cardinals, 34-22 last Thursday night in the desert behind three TD passes from QB Russell Wilson and 91 rushing yards and a touchdown from RB Marshawn Lynch . . .  The Dallas Cowboys (4-3) topped the host Philadelphia Eagles, 17-3 in a yawner to take over first place in the NFC East . . .  The San Diego Chargers (4-3) won 24-6 at Jacksonville (0-7) behind a touchdown pass from QB Philip Rivers and touchdown runs by Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews, who had 110 yards rushing in the win . . .  The New York Giants won their first game of the season with a 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night as QB Eli Manning threw for a touchdown, RB Peyton Hillis ran for another and kicker Josh Brown made three field goals. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten               (Week ending October 19) 

1. Alabama (7-0)                            
2. Oregon (7-0)
3. Florida State (6-0)                                                                    
4. Ohio State (7-0)
5. Baylor (6-0)
6. Miami, FL (6-0)
7. Missouri (7-0)
8. Clemson (6-1)
9. Stanford (6-1)
10. Texas Tech (7-0)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bum Phillips, Legendary Houston Oilers Coach, Dies At Age 90

Legendary former Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans of the NFL) head football coach O.A. "Bum" Phillips has died at the age of 90 years old.
Phillips was the coach of the Oilers during the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's before moving on to the
Bum Phillips
New Orleans Saints for a brief time later in the decade.
He coached some great teams that could never quite get past the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers teams during the late '70's but they did finally (in Phillips' words) "kick it (the door) in" during the 1980 season as they beat them 6-0 late in the schedule to eliminate the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Steelers from playoff contention.
Among some of the players on the Oilers' teams in that span were running back Earl Campbell, quarterbacks Dan Pastorini and Kenny Stabler, tight end Dave Casper, wide receiver/kick returner Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, wide receiver Ken Burrough and defensive stalwarts Curley Culp and Elvin Bethea.
Perhaps the most well known moment of the Phillips era in Houston came on a Monday Night Football game in late November of 1978 when the Oilers beat the Miami Dolphins in the old Houston Astrodome. That was the game where the slogan "Luv Ya' Blue" was born as the fans loudly sang the team theme song, "We're the Houston Oilers" as the team hit their stride that year to forge the rivalry with Pittsburgh.
Phillips was known for his country charm ways and manner of speaking in simple tones along with his country-western wardrobe, including the signature ten gallon cowboy hat and cowboy boots.
He was definitely one of a kind.

Friday, October 18, 2013

NFL Football - Week Seven Preview

This weekend in the NFL is all about Peyton Manning returning to Indianapolis to face his former team on
Peyton Manning hoists the Lombardi trophy in 2007.
Sunday night.
The Denver Broncos face the Indianapolis Colts in what could be a very interesting game as Manning will play for the first time in Indy as an opposing quarterback. Manning played with Indianapolis from 1998 until 2011 before being released and signing with Denver two years ago in the off-season after numerous surgeries.
Meanwhile, Andrew Luck has been no slouch as the quarterback taking over in the post-Manning era for the Colts. As a rookie, Luck led the Colts to the playoffs with a 11-5 record last season following the 2-14 disaster of 2011 as Manning was sidelined for the entire season  following the neck surgeries.
It should be an emotional night for Manning and Colts' fans who remember the great seasons and especially the 2006 NFL season, when the Colts won the Super Bowl, defeating the Chicago Bears, 29-17 with Manning leading the way in rainy Miami.
Manning is on a record pace with the Broncos this season.
There are other games as well, including the battle for first place in the NFC East as the Dallas Cowboys travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles. Both teams are 3-3 at this point and any edge in the divisional race could provide the difference at the end of December.
AFC North rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh square off in the Steel City on Sunday, but the game is lacking some of the luster from recent seasons as the Ravens (3-3) are struggling this year after winning it all last season. The Steelers (1-4) finally won their first game last week against the New York Jets.

The following capsule previews for each game is below and of course, the Heftyinfo selections follow up.
(The New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders have the Bye Week.)

Cincinnati (4-2) at Detroit (4-2) - The battle of the big cats in Motown. Should go down to the wire.

Tampa Bay (0-5) at Atlanta (1-4) - This looked like it was going to be a BIG game six weeks ago, not so much any more.

Houston (2-4) at Kansas City (6-0) - Houston, we have a problem . . .  this week it's called the Chiefs.

Buffalo (2-4) at Miami (3-2) - The Dolphins looking to snap a two-game losing streak. Nothing like home cookin' to do the job.

New England (5-1) at NY Jets (3-3) - The Patriots are starting to get that "swagger" going again while the Jets are trying to continue the surprise success they have enjoyed so far.

Dallas (3-3) at Philadelphia (3-3) - This should be a good one with first place in the NFC East at stake.

Chicago (4-2) at Washington (1-4) - Can the Redskins knock off the Bears? Perhaps.

St. Louis (3-3) at Carolina (2-3) - The Rams crushed the Texans on the road last week. Can they do that in Carolina? Nope.

San Diego (3-3) at Jacksonville (0-6) - The Chargers should win this one, but then again the Jags did battle the mighty Denver Broncos for three quarters last week.

San Francisco (4-2) at Tennessee (3-3) - This one could be close and the 49ers better be ready.

Baltimore (3-3) at Pittsburgh (1-4) - Who knows what to expect here. OT is a good bet.

Cleveland (3-3) at Green Bay (3-2) - The Browns and their defense (7th in the NFL) invade Lambeau Field to face Aaron Rodgers and company . . .  Packers win in a tight game.

Denver (6-0) at Indianapolis (4-2) - Peyton Manning returns to Indy to face Andrew Luck and the Colts in "prime time." Should be a great game.

Minnesota (1-4) at NY Giants (0-6) - Can Giants' QB Eli Manning get any worse this year? What can we expect to see from new Vikings' QB Josh Freeman? Stay tuned for Monday Night Football with two teams a combined 1-10. Yawn!

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

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

Last Week's Record:  12-3


Lock of the Week Record:  5-1


Monday, October 14, 2013

NFL Football - Week Six Review

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (pictured right) did it again as he threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kimbrell Thompkins with five seconds left in regulation to beat the visiting New Orleans Saints, 30-27. It was the first loss of the 2013 season for the Saints.
The game was back-and-forth throughout the final quarter as Saints QB Drew Brees threw a 34-yards TD pass to WR Kenny Stills with just over three minutes remaining to give New Orleans a 24-23 lead. After a field goal and following an interception, the Saints were up 27-23 with just under two minutes left. Brady and company then drove 70 yards to paydirt and the victory.

Cam Newton led the way in Panthers win.
Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week Cam Newton had a big game for the Carolina Panthers (2-3) as he threw for three touchdowns and the Panthers beat down the Minnesota Vikings, 35-10. Carolina running back Mike Tolbert rushed for two touchdowns in the win.

Green Bay outlasted the host Baltimore Ravens, 19-17 as kicker Mason Crosby nailed five field goals to go with a 64-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers (315 passing yards) to Jordy Nelson. Green Bay had good balance as well as RB Eddie Lacy gained 120 yards on the ground. Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
Kansas City came alive in the second half and downed the visiting Oakland Raiders, 24-7 as the defense had TEN quarterback sacks and intercepted Oakland QB Terrelle Pryor three times, including a pick six by Husian Abduallah for 44 yards to ice the game. Running back Jamaal Charles scored twice and 128 total yards (78 rushing and 50 receiving) in the win as the Chiefs improved to 6-0.
The Denver Broncos (6-0) kept pace with Kansas City in the AFC West  by winning at home against a stubborn Jacksonville team, 35-19 behind three rushing touchdowns by RB Knowshon Moreno and two TD passes from QB Peyton Manning, who also threw a pick six interception. The Jaguars (0-6) trailed just 14-12 at halftime and kept it close until Moreno's third TD midway through the fourth quarter.
The St. Louis Rams (3-3) pulled off the stunner of the day as they routed the Houston Texans (2-4) on the road, 38-13 behind two defensive scores and three TD passes from QB Sam Bradford. Texans QB Matt Schaub left the game with an injury as the home crowd cheered his demise. Backup QB T.J. Yates threw a pick six, which was the fifth consecutive game a Houston QB has done that this season.
The Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants (0-6) on Thursday night, 27-21 as QB Jay Cutler threw for two touchdowns and 262 yards passing. New York QB Eli Manning was intercepted three times, giving him 15 for the season. Brandon Jacobs had 106 rushing yards and scored a touchdown in the losing effort.

               Elsewhere around the NFL  .  .  . 

The Detroit Lions (4-2) topped the host Cleveland Browns, 31-17 as Reggie Bush (78 rushing and 57 receiving) went for 135 yards in total offense and scored a touchdown and QB Matthew Stafford had four TD passes, including three to tight end Joseph Fauria. Browns QB Brandon Weeden had two TD passes and two interceptions in the loss . . .    Philadelphia QB Nick Foles, filling in for the injured Michael Vick,  had three TD passes and rushed for another to lead the Eagles (3-3) to a 31-20 road win at Tampa Bay . . .     Cincinnati blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter before beating the host Buffalo Bills, 27-24 in overtime on a 43-yard field goal by Mike Nugent. Bengals QB Andy Dalton had 337 passing yards and three TD strikes while Bills rookie QB Thad Lewis ran for one score and threw for two others in the loss . . .   The Seattle Seahawks (5-1) beat the visiting Tennessee Titans, 20-13 in a yawner as Marshawn Lynch ran for two touchdowns . . .   The Pittsburgh Steelers won their first game of the season with a 19-6 road victory over the New York Jets (3-3) as kicker Shaun Suisham kicked four field goals and the Steelers' defense intercepted Jets QB Geno Smith twice . . .   The host San Francisco 49ers got it rolling in the second half and beat the Arizona Cardinals, 32-20 as the defense got four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and QB Colin Kaepernick threw two TD passes for their third win a row . . .    The Dallas Cowboys (3-3) got a home win on Sunday night against the Washington Redskins, 31-16 despite being outgained by more than double, 433 to 213 in total offensive yardage as their biggest play of the game was an 86-yard punt return for TD by Dwayne Harris . . .  Philip Rivers connected with Keenan Allen on a 22-yard touchdown pass and kicker Nick Novak made four field goals to lead the way for the San Diego Chargers in a 19-9 win over the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten            (Week ending October 12) 

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NFL Football - Week Six Preview

Week Six around the NFL gets started tonight with the Chicago Bears hosting the winless (yes, that is correct) WINLESS New York Giants on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football game.
The Giants cannot run the football or play defense (allowing a league high 183 points) and their quarterback, Eli Manning has thrown a league high 12 interceptions through the first five games.
The Bears have lost two in a row after a 3-0 start and are looking to get back on track in a tightly bunched NFC North division race. The Bears and Detroit Lions are both 3-2 and the Green Bay Packers are looming at 2-2.
Other games of interest this weekend features the New Orleans Saints (5-0) at the New England Patriots (4-1) while the Green Bay Packers will be at Baltimore facing the Ravens (3-2) in what could be a high scoring game.
The Saints appear to be rolling once again (as they did in 2009 when they won it all) on both sides of the football. Their defense has been opportunistic, creating turnovers and playing way better than last year, when they set a record for allowing the most yardage in NFL history. The offense is doing well as QB Drew Brees is among the top signal callers in the game once again.
The Patriots have been doing it with defense so far in 2013 as the offense is adjusting on the fly with Tom Brady still directing things at quarterback. The wide receivers have been fair as they get the experience and the Pats are hoping All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski can finally play a game this week after missing the first five due to recovery from off-season surgeries.
The Packers and Ravens are two teams that are expected to be in the mix for the playoffs this season, so this early season tilt in Baltimore is big for both teams as they seek to get some momentum going forward as the season heads toward the midway point.
Packers' linebacker Clay Matthews suffered a broken thumb in last week's 22-9 victory over Detroit and is expected to miss at least four weeks. The Ravens are looking to get their running game going as Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce have struggled so far, each averaging less than three yards per carry.
So buckle up football fans and get ready for some exciting action. The following capsule style previews offers an analysis of each game. (Atlanta and Miami have the Bye Week)

New York Giants (0-5) at Chicago Bears (3-2) - What more can possibly go wrong for the Giants? Bears should win this one.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-3) - The Bills are going with a totally inexperienced QB against one of the NFL's better defenses. Take the Bengals.

Detroit Lions (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (3-2) -  Are the Browns for real? We will find out this week.

Oakland Raiders (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) - Raiders' QB Terrelle Pryor had his way vs. Chargers defense last week. But this ain't the Chargers defense ...  this is the Chiefs defense and that is a HUGE difference.

Carolina Panthers (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3) - Panthers' QB Cam Newton has to snap out of it and the Vikings could be just the tonic.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) - The Bucs are still a mess ... the Eagles should take advantage of that.

Green Bay Packers (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-2) - This game could go down to the wire. Rodgers rates the edge here against Flacco.

St. Louis Rams (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3) - The Texans have been a disappointment so far, but should get back on track in this game.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4) at New York Jets (3-2) - The biggest surprise of the young season is the Jets with a winning record at this point. Steelers have to win at some point, right?

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) at Denver Broncos (5-0) - A 28-point spread in the NFL? Unheard of until this game...Can the Jags wake up the ghost of Joe Namath's guaranteed performance from Super Bowl III? No chance.

Tennessee Titans (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (4-1) - Seahawks let one get away from them on the road last week. Now they are back home and the "12th Man" will be a factor.

New Orleans Saints (5-0) at New England Patriots (4-1) - This is the Game of the Week... anything can happen here, so expect a thriller.

Arizona Cardinals (3-2) at San Francisco 49ers (3-2) - The Cardinals have been the NFC version of the New York Jets so far this season, but they are playing the 49ers on the road this week. 

Washington Redskins (1-3) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3) - The Redskins can win this game and be in first place with a sub .500 record... Unbelievable.

Indianapolis Colts (4-1) at San Diego Chargers (2-3) - Colts continue to confound their foes each week, including two huge wins against Seattle and San Francisco. Chargers have been simply unpredictable so far this season. Go figure.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  8-6


Lock of the Week Record:  4-1


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shutdown This Boehner

A simple message to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from one American citizen ...

Put down the booze and get serious about the duties of your job.

Take a vote for a clean bill and end the shutdown that you and your Republican cohorts in the House created.

Enough said.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's A Sick, Sad World Out There

Take a good look at this "tweet" on Twitter posted by a nut job . . . Wow!

NFL Football - Week Five Review

How much more ridiculous can Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos get this season?
Manning, The Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, had four more touchdown passes along with 414 yards passing as the Broncos rallied to defeat the host Dallas Cowboys, 51-48.
Peyton Manning has 20 TD passes in just five games.
Manning did show a flaw as he threw his first interception of the season to go with 20 TD passes, which easily leads the league.
Dallas QB Tony Romo threw five TD passes and had a team record 506 passing yards in the loss.
Denver is 5-0 and broke an NFL record for points scored in the first five games of the season, previously held by the 2000 St. Louis Rams. The Broncos have now scored 230 points, an average of 46 points per game.
On the opposite side of the coin are the New York Giants, who fell to 0-5 with a 36-21 home loss against the Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) as backup QB Nick Foles came on to throw two TD passes after starting QB Michael Vick left the game with an injury.
In the loss, Giants' QB Eli Manning was intercepted three times, giving him a league high 12 picks thrown this season.
The New Orleans Saints stayed undefeated with a 26-18 road win in Chicago as QB Drew Brees had two TD passes and 288 yards through the air. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler threw for 358 yards and two scores in the loss.
The Indianapolis Colts came back for a 34-28 win at home against the Seattle Seahawks, giving the 'Hawks their first loss of the 2013 season.
Colts QB Andrew Luck had two touchdown passes to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (five catches for 140 yards) and the special teams had a blocked field goal go back for a touchdown as Delano Howell scooped up the loose ball and raced 61 yards to paydirt.
Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass and Mason Crosby kicked five field goals to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 22-9 win over the Detroit Lions. The result of this game log jammed the NFC North as Detroit and Chicago (3-2) are just ahead of the Packers (2-2) in the division race.
Cincinnati (3-2) squeaked past the visiting New England Patriots (4-1), 13-6 as the Bengals defense held QB Tom Brady without a touchdown pass, snapping a 52-game streak in which Brady had thrown for a touchdown. Former Patriots' running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored the game's only touchdown early in the fourth quarter to provide the difference.
The Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) topped the host Tennessee Titans, 26-17 behind solid defense once again
Chiefs' RB Jamaal Charles
(fumble recovery for defensive touchdown) and running back Jamaal Charles, who had 108 rushing yards and scored a touchdown.
Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop made four field goals to help pace the win. Titans' QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, starting in place of the injured Jake Locker, was intercepted twice in the loss, which dropped Tennessee to 3-2.
Two Sunday night games were on tap as the San Francisco 49ers buried the Houston Texans, 34-3 to improve to 3-2 as Frank Gore and Anthony Dixon each scored a rushing touchdown. Texans' QB Matt Schaub was benched after throwing a "pick six" interception for the fourth straight game.
The late night game in Oakland was won by the host Raiders, 27-17 against the San Diego Chargers as they intercepted QB Philip Rivers (411 pass yards and two TD strikes) three times to seal the win.
Raiders' QB Terrelle Pryor returned from missing a game (concussion) to throw for two touchdowns and 221 yards as the Raiders improved to 2-3 in the AFC West.
St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with a 34-20 win at home against Jacksonville behind three TD passes from QB Sam Bradford. The Jaguars (0-5) had their most productive game on offense (363 total yards and scored 20 points) so far this season, but still lost the game.
The Arizona Cardinals improved to 3-2 with a 22-6 spanking of the visiting Carolina Panthers as they intercepted QB Cam Newton three times while also registering seven sacks. Arizona QB Carson Palmer was efficient with 175 passing yards and a scoring pass.
Baltimore (3-2) held on for a 26-23 road win against the Miami Dolphins behind four field goals by kicker Justin Tucker, including the game winner from 44 yards out with just 1:42 left in regulation. Ravens' RB Ray Rice had two scoring runs to aid the win. The loss was the second straight for Miami and dropped them to 3-2 for the season.
The Thursday Night Football game saw the Cleveland Browns win their third straight game, this time a 37-24 home victory over the Buffalo Bills as T.J. Ward took an interception back 44 yards for a touchdown to seal the win.
Both teams lost their starting quarterbacks to injuries in the game. Buffalo QB E.J.Manuel will be out four to six weeks and Browns' starting QB Brian Hoyer suffered a season ending knee injury early in the game, paving the way for Brandon Weeden, who came in and threw a touchdown pass to help the winning effort.
In the Monday Night Football game, the New York Jets (3-2) went on the road and surprised the Atlanta Falcons, 30-28 as kicker Nick Folk drilled a 43-yard field goal with 1:54 left in regulation. Jets' QB Geno Smith threw for 199 yards and had three TD passes to lead the way. Atlanta (1-4) lost their third straight game as QB Matt Ryan had two TD passes and 319 passing yards in the loss.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten    (Week ending October 5)      

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

Friday, October 4, 2013

NFL Football - Week Five Preview

Football fans are going to get a Sunday Night Football double header of sorts this weekend as a result of the
baseball playoffs taking place in Oakland, California.
The original Sunday night game (NBC-TV) features the Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (both 2-2 teams) while the Oakland Raiders, who share a stadium with the Oakland A's, will face the San Diego Chargers (on the NFL Network) very late in the evening. The game is scheduled for kickoff at 11:35 PM Eastern time.
The rest of the schedule is pretty much the norm with most games taking place Sunday afternoon and of course, the Monday Night Football game (ESPN) with the New York Jets playing in Atlanta against the Falcons.
Some of the bigger matches will have the New Orleans Saints (4-0) facing the Chicago Bears, who are coming off their first loss of the season. The Green Bay Packers (1-2) play the NFC North division leading Detroit Lions (3-1) in Lambeau Field and have a chance to get right back in the thick of the division race with a win.
The unbeaten Seattle Sehawks, fresh off their road win against Houston, travel to play to play the Indianapolis Colts (3-1) in what should be a good game. The Denver Broncos have been an offensive machine through the first four games and this week play at Dallas.
The Tennessee Titans (3-1) will host the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in a big AFC battle. Both teams have been playing excellent defense through the first four games. Expect a nail biter in this one.
Another AFC tilt will be the Baltimore Ravens playing in Miami against the Dolphins (3-1), who were blown out on Monday night against New Orleans. The Ravens have struggled and are 2-2 heading into this game.
The Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers should be a good match on Sunday night, as both teams have been projected to be Super Bowl contenders.

The following is a capsule preview of ALL the games this weekend, with the Heftyinfo picks as well.
(Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington have the bye week)

New Orleans (4-0) at Chicago (3-1) - The Bears could be tough to beat in the Windy City. Saints on the road following a Monday night game, which is never easy.

New England (4-0) at Cincinnati (2-2) - If the Bengals are going to be taken seriously in the AFC, they  have to beat the Patriots.

Seattle (4-0) at Indianapolis (3-1) - This game should be a good one, featuring two of the best (young) quarterbacks in the NFL. It's Russell Wilson vs. Andrew Luck ... oh yeah, these teams can play some defense too.

Baltimore (2-2) at Miami (3-1) - Can the Ravens find their groove?

Philadelphia (1-3) at NY Giants (0-4) - This could be the stinker game of the week with the way these two teams have played so far.

Kansas City (4-0) at Tennessee (3-1) - Two teams flying under the radar so far in 2013. Titans will be without starting QB Jake Locker for a few games.

Detroit (3-1) at Green Bay (1-2) - The Packers are coming off a bye and this really is a must win, even so early in the season.

Carolina (1-2) at Arizona (2-2) - The Cardinals can play some defense, they just have to be more consistent on offense. Panthers still feeling their way so far this season.

Jacksonville (0-4) at St. Louis (1-3) - This IS the stinker game of the week.

Denver (4-0) at Dallas (2-2) - Can the Cowboys rise up at home and beat the mighty Peyton Manning-led Broncos?  Nope!

Houston (2-2) at San Francisco (2-2) - Hard to believe one of these teams will be sub .500 after this game. Both have work to do the rest of the way in 2013 season.

San Diego (2-2) at Oakland (1-3) - When these two teams go at it, all bets are off. Can Chargers' QB Philip Rivers keep his strong start going?

NY Jets (2-2) at Atlanta (1-3) - If the Falcons lose this home game (in prime time), they might as well just pack it in for this season.

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

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

Last Week's Record: 7-8


Lock of the Week Record: 4-0


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Major League Baseball - Post-Season Preview

Now that the play-in game to decide the Wild Card teams between Tampa Bay and Texas is over with and the Tampa Bay Rays advanced to the Wild Card round, it's time to preview the National League and American League playoffs and the World Series.
The Rays defeated the Texas Rangers and then shut out the Cleveland Indians, 4-0 in the AL Wild Card Game to advance to the Division Series (best of five) against the Boston Red Sox. Meanwhile, in the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates knocked off the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2 in the National League Wild Card Game to advance as well. It was the first post-season action for the Bucs since 1992.

The following offers a capsule style preview of the AL and NL playoffs as well as predictions for the four series and also a forecast for the American League Championship Series and the National League Championship Series and the World Series.


Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox - The AL East division rivals go at it once again. The last time they faced each other in the ALCS in 2008, the Rays won the series and advanced to the World Series, only to lose in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies.
That was then, this is now... The Bosox have been a tremendous story this season, coming from last place in 2012 to the best record in the major leagues (along with St. Louis at 97-65) this year.
Both teams have had quality pitching this season to go with timely hitting and the Red Sox rate a slight edge with their lineup. PREDICTION - Boston in five games (3-2)

Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland A's - The Tigers boast a more formidable lineup, but the A's have better overall pitching and a more solid bullpen for sure. If the A's can contain the Tigers' dynamic trio of Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, they win this series. If not, then the Tigers move on.  PREDICTION - Detroit in four games (3-1)


Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals - The Cardinals have the edge with their diverse lineup while the pitching rates a slight edge to the Red Birds as well. The fact that Pittsburgh is making its' first appearance in over 20 years in the the NLDS is also a big factor. The Cardinals have been here many times, including winning the World Series twice in recent years (2006 and 2011), which does matter because they have players still on the roster from the 2011 championship team. PREDICTION - St. Louis in four games (3-1)

 Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers- The Dodgers have been on a mission since mid-June when they emerged from dead last in the NL West division to storm back and win the division title going away. Rookie Yasiel Puig has been a huge part of the comeback along with the best pitching staff in baseball this summer.
The Braves also cruised home with the NL East division  title, surprising pre-season favorites, the Washington Nationals. The Braves do have a more dominant closer in Craig Kimbrel and did have the lowest ERA in the majors, but their starters are not as good (on paper) as the Dodgers' four starters in this short series and that will be difference. PREDICTION - Los Angeles in three games (3-0)


AMERICAN LEAGUE - Detroit over Boston in six games (4-2)


NATIONAL LEAGUE - St. Louis over Los Angeles in seven games (4-3)    

WORLD SERIES -   St. Louis Cardinals over Detroit Tigers in six games (4-2)