Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Rather than posting old photos and memories (both good and bad) from the year 2014 that is ending today as we ring in the new year of 2015 at midnight, I felt it better to just wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Here's hoping for the best ahead for the new year from Heftyinfo.

Monday, December 29, 2014

NFL - Week Seventeen Review

The final two playoff spots were filled on Sunday as the Carolina Panthers throttled the host Atlanta Falcons, 34-3 to clinch the NFC South division while the Baltimore Ravens won at home, 20-10 against Cleveland and also got the much needed help as the Kansas City Chiefs topped the visiting San Diego Chargers, 19-7 to spoil the post-season party plans for the Chargers. 
Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week Justin Houston (pictured right) had four quarterback sacks as the Kansas City defense harassed Chargers' QB Philip Rivers all game long, registering seven sacks and intercepting two passes to knock the Chargers out of the playoff chase.
The Carolina Panthers defense had two "pick six" interceptions and QB Cam Newton (pictured upper left) ran for a touchdown and passed for another to lead the way in the rout of the Falcons to clinch their second straight NFC South title and they will host a playoff game next weekend in spite of their sub .500 (7-8-1) record. The Falcons fired Head Coach Mike Smith following the season ending loss.
The Green Bay Packers locked up yet another NFC North division title with a 30-20 home win against the Detroit Lions as QB Aaron Rodgers had two TD passes and Micah Hyde took a punt back 55 yards for another touchdown. Detroit QB Matthew Stafford had three TD passes in the loss, but the Lions will be the wild card team taking on Dallas next week. The Packers earned a playoff first round bye with the win.
The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-17 on Sunday Night Football to wrap up the AFC North division behind two TD passes from QB Ben Roethlisberger, including one to WR Antonio Brown, who had two touchdowns, including a 71-yard punt return for the other score.
The Baltimore Ravens beat Cleveland to get the final AFC playoff spot with a 17-point fourth quarter rally as QB Joe Flacco (312 passing yards) threw for two scores to lead the way.
The Ravens will travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers next weekend while the Cincinnati Bengals will be at Indianapolis in the other wild card game, giving the AFC North three playoff teams.
The Denver Broncos locked up the number-two seed in the AFC with a 47-14 thrashing of the visiting Oakland Raiders behind a balanced offense and solid defense, which limited the Raiders to just 199 yards in offense.
The Seattle Seahawks will be the top seeded team in the NFC as they toppled the visiting St. Louis Rams, 20-6 with stellar defense, limiting the Rams to just two field goals and 245 total yards of offense while scoring on a "pick six" interception as well.

                                                   Elsewhere  around  the  NFL . . . . . . . . .

The Buffalo Bills (9-7) completed their first winning season in ten years with a 17-9 win at New England as retiring QB Kyle Orton threw a TD pass. The Patriots rested several starters as they had already clinched home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs  . . .    New Orleans rallied late for a 23-20 win at Tampa Bay as Drew Brees threw a 36-yard scoring pass to WR Marques Colston . . .   The Indianapolis Colts beat Tennessee, 27-10 behind a pair of TD passes from Andrew Luck . . .  The Dallas Cowboys coasted past the host Washington Redskins, 44-17 on their way to the playoffs behind a 100-yard rushing performance from RB DeMarco Murray and two TD passes from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant . . .   Philadelphia knocked off the host New York Giants, 34-26 as Eagles QB Mark Sanchez had two TD passes and the defense blocked a punt for another score to make the difference . . .  Houston won a yawner over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, 23-17 as defensive star J.J. Watt recorded a safety on QB sack to seal the game late in the fourth quarter . . .  The San Francisco 49ers won 20-17 against Arizona in Head Coach Jim Harbaugh's final game as coach. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick had two scoring passes in the win . . .  The Minnesota Vikings finished their season with a 13-9 home win against the toothless Chicago Bears, who fired Head Coach Marc Trestman on Monday morning following the loss . . . The New York Jets saved their best game for the last one this season as QB Geno Smith went off for three scoring passes and 358 yards passing in a 37-24 rout of the Miami Dolphins, but it wasn't enough to save Head Coach Rex Ryan from being fired today.

Friday, December 26, 2014

NFL - Week Seventeen Preview

Here we are heading into the final weekend of the regular season for NFL 2014 and there are still two playoff spots left along with three divisional titles to be settled.
In the AFC, the New England Patriots have locked up home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs while Denver is the number-two seed. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are already in and play each other in the Steel City Sunday night to determine the winner of the AFC North. Indianapolis has clinched the AFC South and will be the number-four seed.
The San Diego Chargers can clinch the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with a win at Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens are still looming and can sneak in the sixth seed with a win (at home vs. Cleveland) coupled with the Chargers losing to the Chiefs. The Houston Texans and Chiefs both have to win and get help to get in the playoffs.
Over in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks are the top dog and will remain that way as long as they beat the St. Louis Rams in Seattle on Sunday. The Detroit Lions are currently the second seed and have to travel to play the Green Bay Packers to decide the NFC North division. The winner gets the second seed and a first round bye while the loser drops off to the fifth (or sixth) seed and travel to play in the wild card round next weekend.
The Atlanta Falcons will be hosting the Carolina Panthers to decide the NFC South (both teams have losing records) and the fourth seed. The Dallas Cowboys have clinched the NFC East and likely the third seed in the post-season while the Arizona Cardinals are stumbling toward the finish line and will most likely wind up as the fifth seed and play the winner of the NFC South in the wild card round.
Got all that?

Now for the capsule previews of the games with playoff implications and the Heftyinfo predictions for the final week of the 2014 regular season.

San Diego Chargers (9-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (8-7) - The Chargers win and they are in the playoffs. KC will be without starting QB Alex Smith, but they are still a formidable foe at home.

Cleveland Browns (7-8) at Baltimore Ravens (9-6) - The Ravens need this game and a Chargers loss at Kansas City to get into the post-season.

Carolina Panthers (6-8-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-9) - Someone has to win the NFC South, right?

Detroit Lions (11-4) at Green Bay Packers (11-4) - The Lions beat the Packers in Motown back in September. But that was before Aaron Rodgers' famous quote ... R-E-L-A-X ... Relax!

Arizona Cardinals (11-4) at San Francisco 49ers (7-8) - Head Coach Jim Harbaugh's final game with 49ers will be a win.

St. Louis Rams (6-9) at Seattle Seahawks (11-4) - Seahawks in a rout!

Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5) - This game should be closer than the last time these two teams faced each other just three weeks ago. Take the Steelers.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  10-6

SEASON RECORD:  163-76-1

Lock of the Week Record:  14-2

Monday, December 22, 2014

NFL - Week Sixteen Review

The NFL Playoffs picture is just about complete following this weekend's action. Ten teams have clinched playoff berths, with only one spot remaining in both the NFC and AFC.
The San Diego Chargers kept alive their hopes for a wild card spot in the AFC with a huge comeback on Saturday as they topped the host San Francisco 49ers, 38-35 in overtime.
The Chargers (9-6) overcame a 21-point deficit to force OT and won it on Nick Novak's 40-yard field goal after the Chargers defense recovered the third 49ers fumble of the game.
Philip Rivers had 356 yards passing and four TD passes to offset his three interceptions while Colin Kaepernick ran for 151 yards and scored on a 90-yard run to go with Frank Gore's 158 rushing yards as the 49ers gained 355 yards on the ground.
The Dallas Cowboys (11-4) crushed the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 42-7 to clinch the NFC East division as Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week Tony Romo (pictured left) threw four TD passes in the rout. The clinching victory for Dallas was set up by the Washington Redskins beating the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-24 on Saturday as the Eagles turned the ball over twice in the loss, which eliminated them from playoff contention.
Redskins kicker Kai Forbath nailed a 26-yard field goal with just five seconds left in the game to win it. Meanwhile, Philadelphia kicker Cody Parkey missed two field goals.
The Seattle Seahawks continued their dominance as they pasted the host Arizona Cardinals, 35-6 on Sunday night behind a huge game from their defense and running back Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 113 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown romp while QB Russell Wilson passed for 339 yards and two scores while also rushing for 88 yards and a touchdown.
The Seahawks (11-4) now control the NFC West with the win at Arizona, and their defense has allowed just 33 points over the last five games.
Both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers (11-4) are in the post-season and will face each other next week in Green Bay for the NFC North title as a result of hard fought wins on Sunday. The Lions beat the Chicago Bears, 20-14 as Reggie Bush and Joique Bell scored rushing touchdowns.
The Packers knocked of the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20-3 behind solid defense and a TD pass from Aaron Rodgers and a 44-yard rushing TD by RB Eddie Lacy.
The New England Patriots (12-3) moved a step closer to home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a 17-16 nail biter win against the host New York Jets.  The league's highest scoring offense was held in check by the New York defense until Jonas Gray's one-yard TD run in the fourth quarter put the Pats ahead for good.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5) clinched a playoff spot for the first time in three years with a 20-12 home win against the Kansas City Chiefs as their defense limited the Chiefs to just four field goals while Le'Veon Bell scored a rushing TD and QB Ben Roethlisberger threw a TD pass to WR Antonio Brown to provide the difference.
The Baltimore Ravens fell on the road, 25-13 against Houston as Texans kicker Randy Bullock drilled six field goals while the defense held the Ravens to just 211 yards in total offense. The Ravens now need a win in their final game of the season and help to make the playoffs.
In spite of a 37-35 home win against the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins were eliminated from playoff contention. The Dolphins won the game as a result of blocked punt for a safety in the final minute of play. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill had four TD passes in the game.
The Buffalo Bills were also knocked out of the AFC Playoffs chase as they fell at Oakland, 26-24. Bills QB Kyle Orton had three TD passes in the loss while Raiders QB Derek Carr threw for two scores and kicker Sebastian Janikowski made four field goals.
The Atlanta Falcons (6-9) can win the NFC South with a win next week (at home) against Carolina as a result of their 30-14 triumph at New Orleans. Falcons QB Matt Ryan passed for 322 yards and a score while RB Devonta Freeman ran 31 yards for another score to pace the win. The Saints turned the ball over four times in the loss, which knocked them out of the playoff picture.
Carolina (6-8-1) toppled the visiting Cleveland Browns, 17-13 to set up the big game with the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC South division crown next week. Panthers QB Cam Newton ran for a touchdown and threw a nine-yard scoring pass to RB Jonathan Stewart to get the win.
Two teams just finishing out the schedule played a high scoring game as the New York Giants won their third game in a row with a 37-27 road win at St. Louis behind three TD passes from Eli Manning (391 passing yards), including two to WR Odell Beckham, Jr., who made eight receptions for 148 yards.
Last Thursday night, the host Jacksonville Jaguars held off the Tennessee Titans, 21-13as RB Jordan Todman scored on a 62-yard run to lead the way on offense.
The Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1) clinched a playoff spot by virtue of their 37-28 win on Monday Night Football against the visiting Denver Broncos. The Bengals defense intercepted Peyton Manning four times, including a pick six interception to ice the game inside the final two minutes.
Bengals running back Jeremy Hill went for 147 yards rushing and had an 85-yard touchdown run while QB Andy Dalton threw for two more scores in the win.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NFL - Week Sixteen Preview

The final two weeks of the 2014 NFL regular season (along with the Christmas Holiday) are here and football fans everywhere are excited for the action that will take place.
Along with the final Thursday and Monday night games taking place this season, there are also two Saturday games on tap as the Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) take on the Washington Redskins (3-11) in D.C. while the San Diego Chargers (8-6) travel to face the San Francisco 49ers (7-7), one of this season's more disappointing teams.
There are four spots (three in AFC and one in NFC) sewn up thus far for the post-season with eight spots still up for grabs.
A short capsule style preview of the bigger games follows along with the Heftyinfo predictions for the upcoming weekend.

Philadelphia (9-5) at Washington (3-11) - The Eagles really need this game... and should win in a rout.

San Diego (8-6) at San Francisco (7-7) - The Chargers are pretty well banged up on BOTH sides of the football, but the 49ers are a mess right now. Take the Chargers in a tight one.

Baltimore (9-5) at Houston (7-7) - Believe it or not, the host Texans are still in wild card contention and they will beat the Ravens, a team that struggles on the road.

Detroit (10-4) at Chicago (5-9) - Jay Cutler on the bench? The Lions would destroy the Bears with or without him.

Atlanta (5-9) at New Orleans (6-8) - Saints can just about clinch the putrid NFC South with a home win here... but they have lost four straight in the Big Easy... Saints by a field goal in OT.

Kansas City (8-6) at Pittsburgh (9-5) - The Steelers will put the Chiefs away this week.

New England (11-3) at NY Jets (3-11) - Rex Ryan's final home game as Jets Head Coach... Patriots roll!

Green Bay (10-4) at Tampa Bay (2-12) - The Packers are angry after a loss last week and will NOT be caught off guard looking ahead to next week's showdown with Detroit.

Buffalo (8-6) at Oakland (2-12) - The Bills can clinch a winning record for the first time in over a decade and stay alive in the AFC playoff chase with a win.

Indianapolis (10-4) at Dallas (10-4) - Colts win a squeaker on the road.

Seattle (10-4) at Arizona (11-3) - Great Sunday night match up here ... Seahawks are better on both sides of the ball and will take over first place in the NFC West in this one.

Monday Night Football 

Denver (11-3) at Cincinnati (9-4-1) - The Broncos should win this one because they are in a bigger battle (with New England for home field advantage in AFC) than the Bengals, who control the AFC North for now.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  12-4

SEASON RECORD:  153-70-1

Lock of the Week Record:  13-2


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NFL - Week Fifteen Review

Tom Brady and Pats clinched another division title.
Three teams clinched division titles in the AFC this past weekend as Denver, New England and Indianapolis won their games.
The Arizona Cardinals (11-3) are the first NFC team to clinch a playoff spot as they topped the host St. Louis Rams, 12-6 in a Thursday night game that had all field goals accounting for the scoring.
The Broncos (11-3) went into San Diego and earned a 22-10 win against a listless Chargers team that now faces an uphill battle to get a wild card spot in the AFC with the loss. Peyton Manning had a TD pass and Broncos kicker Conner Barth nailed five field goals to provide the final margin as Denver wrapped up their fourth consecutive AFC West title.
San Diego QB Philip Rivers threw for a score but had two costly interceptions, including one in the Denver end zone late in the fourth quarter as the Chargers (8-6) attempted to rally back.
The New England Patriots (11-3) drilled the visiting Miami Dolphins, 41-13 as they clinched the AFC East by dominating the second half with Tom Brady throwing for two touchdowns and the defense shutting out the Dolphins after a close first half.
Indianapolis (10-4) beat visiting Houston, 17-10 despite being outgained by the Texans as QB Andrew Luck threw for two scores in the defensive struggle to wrap up their second consecutive AFC South title.

                      Several other games saw teams take a step closer to a post-season spot  . . . . .  

The Dallas Cowboys (10-4) won on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-27 as Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week  Dez Bryant (pictured right) caught six passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Dallas blew an early 21-0 lead as the Eagles fought back and took a 24-21 lead in the third quarter before the Cowboys turned it around to win the game. Dallas running back DeMarco Murray scored two touchdowns, but suffered a broken bone in his hand and may not play in Week 16 against Indianapolis.
The Detroit Lions (10-4) won a struggle at home against Minnesota, 16-14 as kicker Matt Prater drilled three field goals, including the game-winner from 33 yards late in the fourth quarter. The usually reliable Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed three field goals in the game, including having a 26-yard try blocked.
Pittsburgh and Baltimore (both 9-5) made strides in the AFC North with wins as the Steelers beat Atlanta, 27-20 as RB Le'Veon Bell scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and DB William Gay took an interception back for another score to offset a pair of TD passes by Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
Meanwhile, the Ravens had their hands full with visiting Jacksonville, but did get a 20-12 win as their defense limited the Jaguars to four field goals while getting a blocked punt for a touchdown. In the second half, the Ravens shut out the Jags and QB Joe Flacco had a TD pass to help clinch the win.
Cincinnati (9-4-1) crushed the host Cleveland Browns, 30-0 to avenge a loss last month as they roughed up rookie QB Johnny Manziel (80 yards passing with two INT and sacked three times) while RB Jeremy Hill rushed for 148 yards and scored twice to pace the rout.
The Seattle Seahawks (10-4) won for the seventh time in eight games as they limited the San Francisco 49ers to 245 yards in offense in a 17-7 home win that also eliminated the 49ers from playoff contention. Seattle QB Russell Wilson threw a TD pass and RB Marshawn Lynch ran for another touchdown in the win.
The New Orleans Saints (6-8) whipped the host Chicago Bears, 31-15 on Monday Night Football as QB Drew Brees threw for three scores and had 375 yards passing while Bears QB Jay Cutler was sacked seven times and threw three interceptions.

                                                 Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . . . .

The Buffalo Bills (8-6) surprised the visiting Green Bay Packers, 21-13 without scoring an offensive touchdown. Marcus Thigpen took a punt back 75 yards for a touchdown while the defense got a safety and kicker Dan Carpenter made four field goals. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers suffered through a miserable game, completing just 17 of 42 passes and was intercepted twice in the loss, which dropped Green Bay (10-4) behind Detroit in the NFC North race . . .  The New York Giants knocked off the Washington Redskins, 24-13 with Eli Manning throwing three TD passes to Odell Beckham, Jr. for the win . . .  The New York Jets held off the Tennessee Titans, 16-11 as QB Geno Smith threw for a score and Chris Ivory added a TD run . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) kept alive their fading playoff hopes with a 31-13 rout of the visiting Oakland Raiders behind two TD passes from QB Alex Smith and a 81-yard punt return for score by De'Anthony Thomas . . .  The Carolina Panthers won for the second straight week with a 19-17 home win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as kicker Graham Gano made four field goals to go with a TD pass by backup QB Derek Anderson, who was starting in place of Cam Newton, who was injured in a car accident earlier in the week.

Friday, December 12, 2014

NFL - Week Fifteen Preview

There are three teams (all in the AFC) that clinch their respective division titles this week with a win.
The Denver Broncos (10-3) will wrap up the AFC West with a road victory against the San Diego Chargers while the New England Patriots (10-3) can do the same in the East division with a home win against the Miami Dolphins.
The same holds true for the Indianapolis Colts (9-4) in the AFC South as they will be at home against the Houston Texans.
In the meantime, many teams are still battling it out for playoff positioning and to move even closer to wrapping up a division crown.
The Sunday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the visiting Dallas Cowboys (both are 9-4) will pretty much determine the winner of the NFC East. The Eagles crushed the Cowboys two weeks ago (on Thanksgiving Day) 33-10 as their defense shut down the high powered Dallas offense.
A battle in the NFC West between the surging Seattle Seahawks (9-4) and the slumping San Francisco 49ers (7-6) in the Great Northwest should decide each team's playoff hopes. The 'Hawks can all but wrap up a post-season spot with a win while the 'Niners have to win out to have any chance at all for getting a wild card berth.
The following capsule previews offer a look at the week ahead with the Heftyinfo predictions following up.

Pittsburgh (8-5) at Atlanta (5-8) - This game could be a high scoring affair with two teams that can throw ball around the field.

Washington (3-10) at New York Giants (4-9) - Two disappointing teams finishing up the schedule.

Miami (7-6) at New England (10-3) - A must win game for the Dolphins ... Patriots should wrap up the AFC East with a win here.

Oakland (2-11) at Kansas City (7-6) - The Chiefs will be ready for the Raiders this time around.

Houston (7-6) at Indianapolis (9-4) - C-O-L-T-S ...  Colts!!!

Jacksonville (2-11) at Baltimore (8-5) - Ravens roll!

Green Bay (10-3) at Buffalo (7-6) - Packers should win, but the Bills are tough at home.

Tampa Bay (2-11) at Carolina (4-8-1) - The Panthers can actually take over first place in the weak NFC South with a win this weekend.

Cincinnati (8-4-1) at Cleveland (7-6) - It's do or die for the Browns, so ..... Heeeere's Johnny!

Minnesota (6-7) at Detroit (9-4) - Lions better be ready. Both teams have good defenses.

New York Jets (2-11) at Tennessee (2-11) - Yawn.

Denver (10-3) at San Diego (8-5) - The Chargers usually get it rolling in December... they will need to do so this week with the Broncos in town.

San Francisco (7-6) at Seattle (9-4) - Another low scoring game just like two weeks ago ... with the Seahawks winning again.

Dallas (9-4) at Philadelphia (9-4) - Winner of this game should be in great shape to make the playoffs.

New Orleans (5-8) at Chicago (5-8) - Two teams with bad defenses on Monday Night Football. Saints in a squeaker.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  12-4

SEASON RECORD:  141-66-1

Lock of the Week Record:  12-2


Monday, December 8, 2014

NFL - Week Fourteen Review

Last Thursday night, Week Fourteen in the NFL got off to an exciting start as the Dallas Cowboys (9-4) went into Chicago and dismantled the Bears, 41-28 behind three touchdown passes by quarterback Tony Romo and 179 rushing yards and a touchdown by running back DeMarco Murray.
The exciting action continued on Sunday as the Indianapolis Colts (9-4) overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the host Cleveland Browns, 25-24 as QB Andrew Luck found wide receiver T.Y. Hilton for a one-yard scoring pass with only 32 seconds remaining to win it. The Browns' defense scored twice in the loss as they were held to just 248 yards in offense.
The Arizona Cardinals (10-3) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 17-14 home win against the Kansas City Chiefs as QB Drew Stanton hooked up with WR John Brown for a score and kicker Chandler Catanzaro made three field goals to provide the margin of victory. It was the third straight loss for the Chiefs, despite two touchdowns by RB Jamaal Charles, one a 63-yard run to go with a TD catch.
The Seattle Seahawks (9-4) again served notice they are the defending Super Bowl champions as they limited the host Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) to a paltry 139 yards in total offense en route to a 24-14 victory, their third in a row. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson ran for a score and also passed for two more touchdowns to pace the offense.
Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell scored three TD against the Bengals.
Pittsburgh used a 25-point barrage in the fourth quarter to overwhelm the host Cincinnati Bengals, 42-21 as BIG PLAYS were the reason for the win. Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week Le'Veon Bell ran for 185 yards and scored three touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving) while Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (350 yards passing) connected with WR Martavis Bryant for a 94-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Bengals QB Andy Dalton ran for a score and had two TD passes in defeat.
The Baltimore Ravens (8-5) kept pace with the Steelers and Bengals in the highly competitive AFC North division with a 28-13 win in Miami as their defense suffocated the Dolphins in the second half, limiting the 'Fins to just a field goal. Running back Justin Forsett and QB Joe Flacco each had rushing touchdowns while Flacco also had two TD passes in the comeback win.
The Detroit Lions throttled the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 34-17 as QB Matthew Stafford had three TD passes to go with 311 passing yards to help the Lions improve to 9-4 in the NFC North.
The Denver Broncos (10-3) continued to emphasize the running game as RB C.J. Anderson had three rushing scores against a tough Buffalo defense in a 24-17 win against the visiting Bills. Broncos QB Peyton Manning passed just 20 times and had less than 200 yards and NO touchdown passes for the first time in four years.
The Sunday Night Football Game went the way of the New England Patriots (10-3) as QB Tom Brady (317 passing yards with two passing TD) hooked up with WR Julian Edelman on a 69-yard scoring pass midway through the final quarter in a 23-14 road win against the San Diego Chargers (8-5), who saw their three-game win streak snapped. The Chargers were shut out in the second half and had just 216 yards in total offense in the game.
The Green Bay Packers (10-3) rode the arm of QB Aaron Rodgers (327 passing yards with three TD) to a big halftime lead and then held on for a 43-37 Monday night home win against the Atlanta Falcons (5-8), who mounted a huge second half come back to make it a close finish. Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught two TD passes and had eight grabs for 146 yards as Green Bay finished with 502 yards in total offense.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan had 375 yards passing with four TD and wide receiver Julio Jones had eleven receptions for 259 yards and a score in defeat.

                                                Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . . . . 

The Oakland Raiders dealt the visiting San Francisco 49ers playoff hopes a serious blow with a 24-13 upset win behind three TD passes by rookie QB Derek Carr and a defense that had two interceptions and held the 'Niners to only 248 yards of offense . . . . .   The Minnesota Vikings beat the New York Jets, 30-24 in OT as QB Teddy Bridgewater threw the game-winning 87-yard scoring pass to WR Jarius Wright . . . . .  The Houston Texans bested the host Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-13 on three scoring runs and a defense that held the Jags to 262 yards in offense . . . . .  The St. Louis Rams won 24-0 at Washington for their second straight shut out, limiting the Redskins to a meager 206 yards in total offense . . . . .  The New York Giants (4-9) ended a seven-game skid with a 36-7 drubbing of the host Tennessee Titans (2-11) as kicker Josh Brown made five field goals and the defense scored as well . . . . .  The Carolina Panthers (4-8-1) won at New Orleans, 41-10 behind a huge day by QB Cam Newton, who had three TD passes and also added a scoring run to help end a six-game losing streak.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

College Football - Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN   (Week ending December 6)         

1.  Alabama (12-1)
2.  Oregon (12-1)

3.  Florida State (13-0)
4.  Ohio State (12-1) 
5.  Baylor (11-1)
6.  TCU (11-1)
7.  Michigan State (10-2)
8.  Mississippi State (10-2)
9.  Kansas State (9-3) 
10.  Georgia Tech (9-3)

Friday, December 5, 2014

NFL - Week Fourteen Preview

There are many key games for the playoff picture this weekend, particularly in the AFC where no less than five games feature teams going head-to-head that will impact the AFC Playoff picture this winter.
The Sunday Night Football Game is a huge game as the New England Patriots travel to face the San Diego Chargers. This is almost always a great match as these teams feature quarterbacks Tom Brady and Philip Rivers (both pictured left) and they are no strangers to facing off in the post-season in years past.
New England went on the road and surprised the Chargers back in 2006 season playoffs and ended the dream season for the 'Bolts with a stunning 24-21 win. The following season, the undefeated Patriots battled to a 21-12 AFC Championship Game win on their home field against the same team from San Diego.
This year, the Patriots are coming off a 26-21 setback in Green Bay last week and are not happy with the fact they and the Denver Broncos both have the same 9-3 records to top the AFC standings. The Chargers, meanwhile, have shaken off a mid-season slump (three straight losses) and have reeled off three straight wins, including last week's 34-33 last second upset win at Baltimore to improve to 8-4 for the season.
Prior to this game, the AFC West division leading Denver Broncos will host the surging Buffalo Bills (7-5) as Peyton Manning and company seek to knock off former Broncos' QB Kyle Orton and the Bills. Also going on will be the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens (both 7-5) squaring off in Miami. This game figures to be a smash mouth style game with both teams featuring tough defenses and solid running games. Baltimore has a slightly better air attack entering this game.
The Indianapolis Colts (8-4) will travel to take on the suddenly slumping Cleveland Browns, who have lost two of their last three and now sport a 7-5 record with some calling for rookie QB Johnny Manziel to get the nod over Brian Hoyer for the starting spot in this one. The Colts are red hot and riding the arm of QB Andrew Luck, who will be looking for his eleventh straight game with 300 or more passing yards in addition to having passed for over 4,000 yards to this point of the season.
In the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals are the top cats at 8-3-1 and will be hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5), a team that has lost two of it's last three games and will need this game to get back into the race in pro football's toughest division.
Over in the NFC, the big game will see the Seattle Seahawks, who suddenly have their mojo back on defense, traveling to face the high flying Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off their 33-10 whooping of the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
Philly is 9-3 and tied with Arizona and Green Bay for the top record in the NFC. The Seahawks (8-4) have won three in a row and will look to continue their quest to overtake the slumping Arizona Cardinals (hosting Kansas City) in the NFC West.
The Cards will indeed face the Chiefs, who have also been in a recent slump, losers of two games in a row to drop to 7-5 and third-place in the AFC West division.
One other game with some marginal interest for playoff implications will feature the Atlanta Falcons (5-7) taking on the red-hot Green Bay Packers (9-3) in the Monday Night Football Game in Lambeau Field. The Falcons actually lead the NFC South division with that putrid record (New Orleans Saints are also 5-7) and will face a stiff test with the Packers in a road contest.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  13-3

SEASON RECORD:  129-62-1

Lock of the Week Record:  11-2

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

NFL - Week Thirteen Review

Heading into the final month of the regular season and the division races are heating up around the NFL following the action last weekend.
Starting with the annual Thanksgiving Day games, the Detroit Lions overcame a sluggish start (falling behind 14-3 to Chicago in the first quarter) and rolled past the Bears, 34-17 as quarterback Matthew Stafford (390 yards passing) hooked up with wide receiver Calvin Johnson (11 catches for 146 yards) for a pair of scoring passes in the win. The Lions defense limited the Bears to only 13 rushing yards in the game.
The Philadelphia Eagles routed the host Dallas Cowboys, 33-10 as QB Mark Sanchez threw for a score while running back LeSean McCoy went for 159 yards rushing and a touchdown to lead the way as the Eagles took over sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
The night cap game was all Seattle as the visiting Seahawks defense dominated the San Francisco 49ers in a 19-3 victory. The 49ers managed just 164 total yards in offense and Seattle QB Russell Wilson had a TD pass while RB Marshawn Lynch helped pace the offense with 104 rushing yards.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers torched the Ravens D for three scoring passes.
The San Diego Chargers pulled off a last second 34-33 road win at Baltimore as QB Philip Rivers, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, threw a one-yard scoring pass to WR Eddie Royal with 38 seconds remaining in the game.
The Chargers pulled off the huge comeback with the 21-point fourth quarter as Rivers (383 yards passing) had two of his three TD passes in the fourth and RB Ryan Mathews had a 14-yard scoring run to offset the Ravens offense, which had to settle for four field goals in the loss. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco had two TD passes.
New Orleans showed some life in a 35-32 win at Pittsburgh as QB Drew Brees had five TD passes in the win. The Steelers rolled up 538 yards in offense, including 435 passing yards for QB Ben Roethlisberger in the loss.
Indianapolis dominated the Washington Redskins, 49-27 behind four TD passes by QB Andrew Luck (370 yards passing) to improve to 8-4 for the season. The Colts totaled 487 yards in offense. Redskins QB Colt McCoy had three TD passes in the loss.
The Green Bay Packers defeated the visiting New England Patriots, 26-21 in the most anticipated game of the week. The defenses had their way in the second half as the teams combined for only ten points.
Both Aaron Rodgers and New England QB Tom Brady threw for a pair of scores and Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby provided the difference in the final score by making four field goals.
The Atlanta Falcons surprised the visiting Arizona Cardinals, 29-18 as QB Matt Ryan had two TD passes to offset a "pick six" interception. Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant made five field goals in the win.
The Cincinnati Bengals survived a scare at Tampa Bay, 14-13 as the Buccaneers mismanaged the clock in the final seconds and were penalized for having 12 men on the field while driving for the possible go-ahead score.
The Buffalo Bills blew out the visiting Cleveland Browns, 26-10 as kicker Dan Carpenter made four
field goals in the final quarter. Browns highly touted rookie QB Johnny Manziel (pictured right) had a rushing touchdown in his first real action.
St. Louis crushed the visiting Oakland Raiders, 52-0 as three different players had rushing touchdowns and QB Shaun Hill threw for a pair of scores while the defense added another score with a "pick six" interception return.
Houston throttled the visiting Tennessee Titans, 45-21 behind six TD passes from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and nine receptions for 238 yards from WR DeAndre Hopkins, who had two TD catches as well.
The Jacksonville Jaguars overcame a 21-0 deficit to beat the visiting New York Giants, 25-24 as their defense scored twice on fumble recoveries and QB Blake Bortles had a TD strike in the biggest comeback in franchise history. The loss was the Giants' seventh in a row.
The Minnesota Vikings blocked two punts for scores and QB Teddy Bridgewater threw for two touchdowns in an easy 31-13 home win against the Carolina Panthers.
The Sunday Night Football game went the way of the Denver Broncos as rookie running back C.J. Anderson rushed for 168 yards and QB Peyton Manning threw for two touchdowns while kicker Connor Barth made five field goals in his Broncos debut in a 29-16 road win against the Kansas City Chiefs. The win kept Denver (9-3) one game ahead of San Diego in the AFC West division race.
In the Monday Night Football game, the Miami Dolphins overcame a very sluggish performance for a 16-13 road victory against the New York Jets as kicker Caleb Sturgis made three field goals, including the game winner from 26 yards in the final minutes. The Jets ran for 277 yards in the loss.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

College Football - Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN   (Week ending November 30)      

1.  Florida State (12-0)
2.  Alabama (11-1)
3.  Oregon (11-1) 
4.  Baylor (10-1)
5.  TCU (10-1)
6.  Ohio State (11-1)
7.  Michigan State (10-2)
8.  Mississippi State (10-2)
9.  Arizona (10-2)
10.  Kansas State (9-2)  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NFL - Week Thirteen Preview

It's the end of November and that means the NFL season is nearing the home stretch as the annual Thanksgiving Day football games take place.
This year, as always, the Detroit Lions host the early game, taking on the Chicago Bears in a NFC North clash. The Lions have dropped two straight games, both on the road and will be looking forward to some "home cooking" against the Bears, who have won two straight.
The Dallas Cowboys will host the Philadelphia Eagles in a huge NFC East battle with first place on the line as December approaches.
The 'Pokes have been a pleasant surprise this season with running back DeMarco Murray having a career season, leading the NFL in rushing yardage with over 1,300 yards so far. Meanwhile, quarterback Tony Romo has silenced his doubters to this point of the season and has been regularly hooking up with his favorites targets in wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten.
The Eagles are also flying high with a potent offense, which is now being directed by reserve QB Mark Sanchez, who took over three weeks ago when Nick Foles went down with an injury. Running backs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles are a dynamic duo for the Eagles and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin teams with tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek to bolster the attack.
The night game will feature two strong teams from the NFC West as the Seattle Seahawks travel to play the San Francisco 49ers, whom they defeated last year  in the NFC Championship Game enroute to their Super Bowl crown.
These two teams feature good defense and offenses that do just enough to win the close games that rely on steady running games.
All in all, it should be a feast for football fans all across the country as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and loved ones.

The Heftyinfo capsule previews follow up along with the picks for all of the games this weekend.


Chicago Bears (5-6) at Detroit Lions (7-4) - The Lions will look to feast on the Bears in their annual home game on Turkey Day.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3) - This should be a high scoring game and whoever has the ball last just might come out on top.

Seattle Seahawks (7-4) at San Francisco 49ers (7-4) - Both of these teams seem to be hitting their stride as December approaches, at least on the defensive side of the ball.

The rest of the action . . .

Washington Redskins (3-8) at Indianapolis Colts (7-4) - Where have you gone RG3? Colts should win this one in a rout.

Tennessee Titans (2-9) at Houston Texans (5-6) - Two teams playing deep in the heart of Texas with not much on the line.

Cleveland Browns (7-4) at Buffalo Bills (6-5) - Who woulda' thunk it? The Browns and Bills playing a very meaningful game in late November.

San Diego Chargers (7-4) at Baltimore Ravens (7-4) - This is another huge game in the AFC Playoff race. Expect this one to go down to the wire.

New York Giants (3-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) - Can the Jags pull this one off? Possibly so.

Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9) - Ever since their beat down on national television three weeks ago, the Bengals have been rolling.

Oakland Raiders (1-10) at St. Louis Rams (4-7) - Both of these teams used to play in Los Angeles, when they were both playoff contenders.

New Orleans Saints (4-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4) - What has happened to the Saints?

Carolina Panthers (3-7-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-7) - The yawner game of the week.

Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7) - Cardinals looking to rebound after seeing their six-game win streak snapped last week.

New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3) - The two hottest teams in the entire NFL going at it in Lambeau Field with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers squaring off. Wow!

Denver Broncos (8-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) - Can the Chiefs finally topple Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos? If they don't win this time, they may miss the post-season.

Miami Dolphins (6-5) at New York Jets (2-9) - Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan is now on the clock . . . and we are not talking about the NFL draft clock.

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

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

Last Week's Record: 10-5

SEASON RECORD:  116-59-1

Lock of the Week Record:  10-2

Monday, November 24, 2014

NFL - Week Twelve Review

Raiders RB Latavius Murray on his way to a 90-yard scoring run.
The last remaining team with a zero on their record cleared the slate as the Oakland Raiders defeated the visiting Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday night, 24-20 to earn their first victory of the 2014 season.
Raiders running back Latavius Murray, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, scored two rushing touchdowns, including a 90-yard run to put Oakland up 14-0 in the first half. Quarterback Derek Carr threw the game winning touchdown pass, a nine-yard play to James Jones late in the fourth quarter, to provide the difference. Kansas City QB Alex Smith threw for two touchdowns in the loss.
The New England Patriots extended their winning streak to seven games in a row with a 34-9 blowout win against the visiting Detroit Lions as QB Tom Brady lit up the league's top defense for two TD passes and 349 yards through the air. Meanwhile, newly signed running back LeGarrette Blount scored two rushing touchdowns to help pace the offense.
Peyton Manning threw four TD passes as the host Denver Broncos held off the Miami Dolphins, 39-36. Broncos running back C. J. Anderson rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown as well. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill had three TD passes in the loss.
The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Tennessee Titans, 43-24 as Josh Huff got things started with a 107-yard touchdown on the return of the opening kickoff. From there, the Eagles amassed 462 yards in offense as RB LeSean McCoy (130 rushing yards) scored a touchdown while Darren Sproles also ran for a score and kicker Cody Parkey made five field goals to lead the way.
Green Bay held off the Minnesota Vikings, 24-21 to get a road win as QB Aaron Rodgers had a pair of TD passes and RB Eddie Lacy scored a pair of touchdowns while going for 125 yards on the ground. Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater had two scoring passes.
The Cincinnati Bengals won in Houston, 22-13 as their defense limited the Texans to just 248 yards in offense.
The Cleveland Browns got a game winning 37-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff as time expired to defeat the host Atlanta Falcons, 26-24.  Browns QB Brian Hoyer passed for 322 yards and running back Isaiah Crowell scored two rushing touchdowns to offset two TD passes by Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
The Indianapolis Colts won a yawner at home, 23-3 against Jacksonville as the hapless Jaguars offense could muster only 193 yards in offense against the Colts defense.
The Chicago Bears defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21-13 as RB Matt Forte scored two rushing touchdowns and the defense forced three turnovers to spoil the return of former Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith to Soldier Field.
San Francisco knocked off the Washington Redskins, 17-13 for a home win as the defense held the 'Skins to just 213 total yardage in offense. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick threw for a score and RB Carlos Hyde scored the go ahead TD on a four-yard run with under three minutes to play.
The San Diego Chargers won a nail biter at home, 27-24 over the St. Louis Rams as defensive back Marcus Gilchrist intercepted Rams QB Shaun Hill at the goal line in the final minute to seal the win.
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews ran for 105 yards and scored a touchdown and QB Philip Rivers hooked up with WR Keenan Allen for another score while the defense also scored on a fumble return to lead the way. Rams DB Janoris Jenkins had 99-yard "pick six" INT return for a touchdown in defeat.
Seattle got back into the NFC West division race with a 19-3 beat down at home against the Arizona Cardinals, ending the Cards' six-game winning streak. The Seahawks defense held Arizona to a meager 203 yards in total offense and kicker Steven Hauschka drilled four field goals to lead the winning effort.
The Sunday Night Football game saw a back and forth second half as the visiting Dallas Cowboys bested the New York Giants, 31-28. Dallas QB Tony Romo (pictured left) connected with WR Dez Bryant for the game winning 13-yard TD pass in the final minute of play to provide the difference.
Thanks to Odell Beckham Jr.'s spectacular one-handed catch, one of the rookie's two first-half touchdowns, New York built a 21-10 halftime lead. 
For the game, Romo had four TD passes and Eli Manning threw for three scores and had 338 yards passing, but the Giants lost their sixth straight and were eliminated from division contention in the NFC East. The win for Dallas (8-3) sets them up for a Thanksgiving Day showdown in Big D against the Philadelphia Eagles, who also have an 8-3 record.
Monday saw two night games as the Buffalo Bills routed the New York Jets, 38-3 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan while the Baltimore Ravens knocked off the New Orleans Saints, 34-27 in the regularly scheduled Monday Night Football Game.
Bills QB Kyle Orton threw a pair of TD passes and the Bills defense limited the Jets to just 218 yards in offense while also recording seven QB sacks in the game that was delayed by a day due to the record setting snow falls in Buffalo last week which rendered Ralph Wilson Stadium unplayable this past weekend.
Meanwhile, the Ravens handed the host Saints their third straight home defeat as running back Justin Forsett rushed for two scores and had 182 yards rushing while the defense got a score when Will Hill took an interception back 45 yards to help provide the final outcome. Saints QB Drew Brees had 420 yards passing and three TD passes along with the interception in the loss.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

College Football - Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN   (Week ending November 23)        

1.  Florida State (11-0)
2.  Alabama (10-1)
3.  Oregon (10-1)
4.  Mississippi State (10-1)
5.  Baylor (9-1)
6.  TCU (9-1)
7.  Ohio State (10-1)
8.  Michigan State (9-2)
9.  UCLA  (9-2)
10.  Georgia  (9-2)

Friday, November 21, 2014

NFL - Week Twelve Preview

What a week it has been in Buffalo, New York already and the hometown Bills haven't even played their game yet.
The game between the Bills and New York Jets has been moved to Detroit (Ford Field) as a result of the incredulous blizzard and record snows that hit the Buffalo area in upstate New York this week. Over EIGHT FEET of SNOW fell in some areas and no way is Ralph Wilson Stadium in nearby Orchard Park ready for game time this Sunday. So the Bills and Jets will be the second Monday night game in Motown, along with the regularly scheduled MNF game between the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens.
The New England Patriots will be hosting the Detroit Lions and there has been no hotter team in the NFL than the Pats in the past six weeks. Quarterback Tom Brady has made a claim for the league MVP with his recent play and the Lions could be in for a long afternoon in New England.
Out West (NFC West division that is) the Seattle Seahawks will be hosting the Arizona Cardinals, the team with the best record in the NFL at 9-1 and looking to extend their winning streak to seven games.
The Cardinals defense has been better than the vaunted Seattle defense this season and reserve QB Drew Henson has held his own when starter Carson Palmer went down for the season with a knee injury two weeks ago.
The Miami Dolphins can make a case they are ready to contend in the AFC playoff picture as they travel to face the Denver Broncos, who were spanked by the St. Louis Rams last week. In fact, the seven points scored by Denver (a 22-7 loss) were the least amount of points in a game since QB Peyton Manning came to town over two years ago.
The Baltimore Ravens will play the New Orleans Saints in the Big Easy on Monday night as they look to stay even with the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4) and Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) in the AFC North. Meanwhile, the Saints (4-6) are in contention in the weak NFC South, tied for first place with the Atlanta Falcons after having dropped two consecutive home games.

The rest of the action is highlighted in the capsule style previews below and the Heftyinfo predictions for the week follow up.

Cleveland (6-4) at Atlanta (4-6) - The Falcons are in first place while the Browns are in last place in their respective divisions. Go figure.

Tennessee (2-8) at Philadelphia (7-3) - The Eagles look to get back on track against the Titans after being blown out in Green Bay last week.

Detroit (7-3) at New England (8-2) - Brady and the Patriots going for their seventh consecutive win.

Green Bay (7-3) at Minnesota (4-6) - There's a good reason why the Packers are double digit road favorites in this game. QB Aaron Rodgers has been unstoppable in recent weeks.

Jacksonville (1-9) at Indianapolis (6-4) - The Colts were embarrassed on national TV last weekend ... Jags will be the punching bags this weekend.

Cincinnati (6-3-1) at Houston (5-5) - The Texans knocked off the Bengals in two straight playoffs in recent years and Bengals QB Andy Dalton would love to get some revenge.

Tampa Bay (2-8) at Chicago (4-6) - Former Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith returns to Chicago ... this one could be interesting.

Arizona (9-1) at Seattle (6-4) - This could be the Game of the Week. Seahawks win a squeaker and snap the Cards' six game winning streak.

St. Louis (4-6) at San Diego (6-4) - The Chargers need this game to remain relevant in the AFC playoff picture. The Rams have been on a roll lately, including a thumping over the Denver Broncos last week.

Miami (6-4) at Denver (7-3) - Peyton Manning and company are banged up after last week's blowout loss in St. Louis, so they figure to rebound against Miami, right? This won't be an easy game, but Denver should win.

Washington (3-7) at San Francisco (6-4) - The 49ers roll!

Dallas (7-3) at New York Giants (3-7) - The Sunday night match up in the Meadowlands ... toss up game here.

New York Jets (2-8) at Buffalo (5-5) [in Detroit] - Let it snow ... Let it snow ... Let it ... enough already!  Jets primed for another win against the weather (and travel) weary Bills.

Baltimore (6-4) at New Orleans (4-6) - Will the Saints lose at home for the third straight week? It's possible unless Drew Brees and the offense get it going once again.

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

Oakland over Kansas City
Atlanta over Cleveland
Philadelphia over Tennessee
New England over Detroit
Green Bay over Minnesota
INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville
Houston over Cincinnati
Chicago over Tampa Bay
Seattle over Arizona
San Diego over St. Louis
Denver over Miami
San Francisco over Washington
NY Giants over Dallas
NY Jets over Buffalo (Game is being payed in Detroit, Michigan)

New Orleans over Baltimore

Last Week's Record:  9-5

SEASON RECORD:  106-54-1

Lock of the Week Record:  9-2


Monday, November 17, 2014

NFL - Week Eleven Review

The Arizona Cardinals continued to serve notice they have the best record in the NFL (at 9-1) following a 14-6 home win against the Detroit Lions as the defense dominated once again.
Reserve quarterback Drew Stanton hooked up with wide receiver Michael Floyd for a pair of touchdowns and the defense did the rest, limiting the Lions offense to just 262 yards for the game.
Houston defensive star J.J. Watt celebrates his TD catch in win at Cleveland.
The Green Bay Packers rung up 50-plus points for the second straight week as QB Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes and Micah Hyde took a punt back 75 yards for a score to lead the way to a 53-20 win against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
Defensive end  J.J. Watt caught a touchdown pass and also recovered a fumble to garner Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week honors in a 23-7 road win for the Houston Texans against the Cleveland Browns.
The Kansas City Chiefs held on for a 24-20 home win against the Seattle Seahawks as Jamaal Charles rushed for 159 yards and also scored two touchdowns to help the Chiefs gain a share of first place in the AFC West.
The St. Louis Rams did their part for the AFC West deadlock at the top as they bested the visiting Denver Broncos, 22-7 as the defense suffocated Peyton Manning and company, limiting the high powered Broncos to their lowest point total since Manning joined them two years ago. Rams QB Shaun Hill threw a 63-yard scoring pass to Kenny Britt and kicker Greg Zuerlein made five field goals to help provide the difference in the outcome.
Last Thursday night, the Miami Dolphins won a battle against the visiting Buffalo Bills, 22-9 as the defense dominated and QB Ryan Tannehill threw a pair of scoring passes to lead the way.
The San Francisco 49ers rode three field goals by Phil Dawson and a 48-yard scoring pass from Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree to knock off the host New York Giants, 16-10. The 49ers defense intercepted Giants QB Eli Manning five times in the win, including two by linebacker Chris Borland.
The New Orleans Saints lost their second straight home game, a 27-10 setback against Cincinnati as Bengals QB Andy Dalton had three TD passes and running back Jeremy Hill ran for 152 yards. Meanwhile, the Bengals defense stopped the Saints twice inside the red zone to help secure the victory.
Atlanta got a late 44-yard field goal from Matt Bryant and then watched as Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed twice in the final minutes on field goal attempts in a 19-17 road win. Falcons QB Matt Ryan had a touchdown pass to go with the four field goals in the win.
The San Diego Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 13-6 in a lack luster win as QB Philip Rivers hooked up with WR Malcolm Floyd on a 22-yard scoring pass in the first quarter for the game's only touchdown. The loss was Oakland's 16th straight loss, dating back to last season.
The Chicago Bears snapped a three-game losing streak with a 21-13 home win against the Minnesota  Vikings as QB Jay Cutler had three TD passes to offset a pair of interceptions. Bears WR Brandon Marshall had two TD grabs and running back Matt Forte rushed for 117 yards and also caught six passes for another 58 yards in the win.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won at Washington, pounding the Redskins, 27-7 as rookie wideout Mike Evans (pictured right) had two touchdown receptions among his seven grabs for 209 yards. 'Skins QB Robert Griffin III threw two interceptions and was sacked six times in the loss.
The New England Patriots dominated the host Indianapolis Colts, 42-20 on Sunday night as running back Jonas Gray (38 carries for 201 yards) scored four rushing touchdowns and the Patriots ran for 244 yards in the game. Pats QB Tom Brady and Colts QB Andrew Luck each had two touchdown passes in the game.
The Monday Night Football game saw the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers rally past the Tennessee Titans for a 27-24 victory as running back Le'Veon Bell rushed for 204 yards and scored a touchdown in the final quarter that was followed by the game winner when QB Ben Roethlisberger threw a 12-yard scoring pass to WR Antonio Brown to provide the final score.
Titans QB Zach Mettenberger threw for two touchdowns and also threw a "pick six" interception (by Steelers DB William Gay) in the loss.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

College Football - Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN   (Week ending November 16)       

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

NFL - Week Eleven Preview

This is shaping up to be a big weekend around the NFL as four games feature teams right in the
middle of the playoff chase.
The New England Patriots will face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night capping off a day that will feature the Green Bay Packers squaring off at home against the Philadelphia Eagles while the Detroit Lions will face the Arizona Cardinals in the desert to determine the top team in the NFC through Week Eleven. Another big game features the Seattle Seahawks traveling to Kansas City to play the surging Chiefs, winners of four straight games.
The game between the Patriots and Colts is a re-match from last year's playoff game in which the Colts were destroyed up in Foxborough as the Pats ran all over them. However, the hero for New England in that game, LeGarrette Blount  is now playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Green Bay has been on fire after getting off to a 1-2 start this season and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been the hottest in the league in recent weeks. The Eagles are going with Mark Sanchez for the time being as starting QB Nick Foles is out with injuries. Both teams are coming off blowout wins in "prime time" last week.
The Lions (7-2) and Cardinals (8-1) are definitely two surprise teams in that they lead their divisions at this point of the season. Both teams feature strong defenses and the offense does just enough to keep opponents playing from behind.
For a glimpse of these games as well as the rest of the action for this week, the capsule style previews follow up and then the Heftyinfo predictions as well.

Minnesota Vikings (4-5) at Chicago Bears (3-6) - Will the Bears get torched for 50 points again? Not likely this week.

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) - Two teams both playing well right now ... something has to give.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3-1) at New Orleans Saints (4-5) - Saints will be ready to go after a rare home loss last weekend. Bengals were downright awful last week.

Denver Broncos (7-2) at St. Louis Rams (3-6) - Rams are tough at home, but Broncos should get the win.

Houston Texans (4-5) at Cleveland Browns (6-3) - The Browns are on a roll while the Texans have be so-so all season long.

Atlanta Falcons (3-6) at Carolina Panthers (3-6-1) - This game should be close between a pair of also ran teams.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) at Washington Redskins (3-6) - The yawner game of the week.

San Francisco 49ers (5-4) at New York Giants (3-6) - Hard to believe these two teams went at it for the NFC title just three years ago. 'Niners should win this one.

Oakland Raiders (0-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-4) - This could be the Raiders best chance for a win until possibly the final three weeks of the season. The 'Bolts have been reeling after a hot start.

Detroit Lions (7-2) at Arizona Cardinals (8-1) - The battle for the top spot in the NFC. Cards win a close game, even without starting QB Carson Palmer.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-2) at Green Bay Packers (6-3) - These two teams can score at will ... expect a high scoring game here with Aaron Rodgers and company pulling out the win.

New England Patriots (7-2) at Indianapolis Colts (6-3) - This Sunday night game should be a good one featuring two of the game's best quarterbacks.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-7) - Games like this usually go against the obvious, meaning the Steelers could suffer a second straight road loss against a weak opponent. Not likely this time.

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

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

Last Week's Record:  9-4


Lock of the Week Record:  8-2


Monday, November 10, 2014

NFL - Week Ten Review

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
What more can you say about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers performance on Sunday Night Football?
The Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week threw SIX touchdown passes in the first half during a 55-14 rout of the visiting Chicago Bears. For the game, Rodgers had 315 passing yards while wide receiver Jordy Nelson grabbed six passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second consecutive game in which the Chicago defense allowed 50 or more points this season.
The Detroit Lions remained one game ahead of the Packers by beating the visiting Miami Dolphins, 20-16 as QB Matthew Stafford threw an 11-yard TD pass to Theo Riddick with just 29 seconds remaining.
The Denver Broncos crushed the winless Oakland Raiders, 41-17 behind five TD passes from Peyton Manning, including three in the third quarter when the visiting Broncos broke open a close game.
The New York Jets snapped an eight game losing streak by surprising the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-13 as their defense came up with four turnovers, including two interceptions against QB Ben Roethlisberger, who had 12 TD passes in the last two games. Jets QB Michael Vick threw two scoring passes to pace the offense.
The Baltimore Ravens won a lack luster game over the visiting Tennessee Titans, 21-7 as running back Justin Forsett scored two rushing touchdowns while going for 112 yards on the ground to help his team snap a two-game skid.
Kansas City remained hot as they topped the host Buffalo Bills, 17-13 behind a stellar defensive effort that came up with three fumble recoveries and held off the Bills late drive to clinch the win. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles and QB Alex Smith each scored rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help provide the difference.
The Seattle Seahawks rolled past the visiting New York Giants, 38-17 by scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half.
Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch
The Seahawks were led by Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 140 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns while QB Russell Wilson went for 107 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown to spearhead an attack that gained a whopping 350 yards on the ground.
The San Francisco 49ers won a controversial game in New Orleans, topping the Saints, 27-24 in OT as kicker Phil Dawson drilled the game winning 35-yard field goal.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was flagged for offensive pass interference when he pushed off a San Francisco defender to make an apparent game winning TD catch as time ran out in regulation. But the play was nullified and went to the OT session. Saints QB Drew Brees had three TD passes and two interceptions in the loss.
The Dallas Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, England 31-17 as QB Tony Romo threw for three scores and RB DeMarco Murray ran for 100 yards while backfield mate Joseph Randle had a 40-yard scoring run.
The Atlanta Falcons won a yawner at Tampa Bay, 27-17 as kicker Matt Bryant made four field goals to offset a pair of TD passes by Buccaneers QB Josh McCown.
The Cleveland Browns blasted the host Cincinnati Bengals, 24-3 last Thursday night behind a superb defensive effort that limited the Bengals to just 165 yards in offense, including limiting QB Andy Dalton to just 10-for-33 passing for a meager 86 yards while also getting four turnovers (fumble recovery and three interceptions) to lead the way to victory.
The Arizona Cardinals scored twice on defense (30-yard INT return by Patrick Peterson and a 14-yard fumble return by Antonio Cromartie) in the fourth quarter to seal the game in a 31-14 home win against the St. Louis Rams.
Reserve Cardinals QB Drew Stanton threw a 48-yard TD pass to wide receiver John Brown early in the fourth quarter to put Arizona ahead for good. Stanton entered the game when starting QB Carson Palmer left the game with a knee injury, which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
Mark Sanchez, making his first start at quarterback in nearly two years, had two TD passes and 337 passing yards to help lead the host Philadelphia Eagles to a 45-21 win  against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.
Darren Sproles added two touchdowns, including a 65-yard punt return while the Eagles defense sacked Carolina QB Cam Newton nine times while also picking off three passes in the blowout win.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

College Football - Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football TOP TEN       (Week ending November 9)       

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


Saturday, November 8, 2014

NFL - Week Ten Preview

Not a lot of big battles on the slate this weekend around the NFL, so keeping it brief with the lead outlook on the games and will be getting right into the capsule style previews for the action with the Heftyinfo picks for this week following.

Kansas City (5-3) at Buffalo (5-3) - This game should be a good one with two teams as hot as any in the league right now going at each other.

Miami (5-3) at Detroit (6-2) - The Dolphins and the Lions playing a meaningful a game against each other in November? That's the NFL this season.

Dallas (6-3) at Jacksonville (1-8) - A team from Texas playing against a team from Florida in London, England. Sounds about right.

San Francisco (4-4) at New Orleans (4-4) - Two .500 teams looking to get off the schnide this weekend in the Big Easy.

Tennessee (2-6) at Baltimore (5-4) - Ravens roll!

Pittsburgh (6-3) at New York Jets (1-8) - Steelers roll!

Atlanta (2-6) at Tampa Bay (1-7) - Zzzzzzzzz.

Denver (6-2) at Oakland (0-8) - The Raiders are half way to a winless season... let's add to that total this weekend.

St. Louis (3-5) at Arizona (7-1) - The Cardinals host the team from city where they used to play which is a team that used to be in Los Angeles, which has no professional football team any more. Got all that? Cardinals win a close one.

New York Giants (3-5) at Seattle (5-3) - The Seahawks have been a disappointment so far this season, but are still two games over .500 at the half way mark.

Chicago (3-5) at Green Bay (5-3) - The NFL's oldest rivalry in prime time on Sunday Night Football. Packers roll!

Carolina (3-5-1) at Philadelphia (6-2) - One of the league's top offenses (Philly) against one of the league's weakest defenses. Eagles should win this one in a high scoring game.

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

Cincinnati over Cleveland
Buffalo over Kansas CIty
Detroit over Miami
Dallas over Jacksonville (Game is in London, England)
New Orleans over San Francisco
BALTIMORE over Tennessee
Pittsburgh over NY Jets
Atlanta over Tampa Bay
Denver over Oakland
Arizona over St. Louis
Seattle over NY Giants
Green Bay over Chicago
Philadelphia over Carolina

Last Week's Record:  8-5


Lock of the Week Record:  7-2 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


It appears the Republicans will take a slight majority control of the U.S. Senate come January as they picked up the necessary seats to do so.
Count on solid gridlock for sure as the deck remains stacked in favor of the billionaires and their puppets thanks to a bogus U.S. Supreme Court decision four years ago.
Equally unbelievable is that the people of Wisconsin (Scott Walker) Florida (Rick Scott) and Michigan (Rick Snyder) kept those idiots in the governor's office after all the mess they created with their insane policies in said states the last four years.
Even here in my home state of Illinois, we have an asshole republican named Bruce Rauner who was able to BUY the governor's office.


Wake up already ... we have become an oligarchy!

SAD DAY FOR AMERICA  . . .  very sad.


                                    IT'S YOUR CIVIC DUTY

Monday, November 3, 2014

NFL - Week Nine Review

The big showdown proved to be a one sided blowout as the New England Patriots, led by Tom Brady's four touchdown passes, blasted the visiting Denver Broncos, 43-21 to take over the top spot in the AFC with a 7-2 record.
The Patriots opened a 27-7 halftime lead, which included a 84-yard punt return for touchdown by Julian Edelman, who also had nine receptions, including one for another score.  Peyton Manning threw two TD passes and also two had interceptions in the loss.
The Sunday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens turned into the Ben Roethlisberger show as the Steelers QB had SIX touchdown passes for the second consecutive game, which is the first time that has ever happened in the history of the NFL.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for SIX TD for second straight game.
The 43-23 win for Pittsburgh improved them to 6-3 and avenged a loss to Baltimore back in Week Two. Roethlisberger had 340 yards passing and the six scoring passes to earn the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week for the second straight week.
The Miami Dolphins turned in the week's most dominant performance as they completely destroyed the San Diego Chargers, 37-0, limiting San Diego to just 178 yards while also intercepting Chargers QB Philip Rivers three times.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill threw for three scores and the Dolphins out gained the Chargers 441-178 in total offense to improve to 5-3 for the season. The loss was the third in a row for the Chargers, who slipped to 5-4 for the season.
The Arizona Cardinals went into Dallas and beat the Cowboys, 28-17 as their defense limited the Cowboys to 266 total yards in offense and also held DeMarco Murray to under 100 yards rushing, which was the first time this season he failed to gain at least 100 yards rushing in a game. Arizona QB Carson Palmer had three TD passes to pace the offense as the Cards improved to a league best 7-1 record.
Philadelphia overcame the loss of starting QB Nick Foles, who left the game with a collar bone injury, to beat the host Houston Texans, 31-21 as reserve QB Mark Sanchez passed for two touchdowns to offset two interceptions. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy gained 117 yards rushing to help the balanced Philadelphia offense, which amassed 483 yards for the game.
Seattle held off the lowly Oakland Raiders, 30-24 as they nearly blew a 24-3 halftime edge before getting the win at home. The Seahawks defense held Oakland to 226 yards in offense while RB Marshawn Lynch scored two rushing touchdowns.
Cincinnati toppled the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, 33-23 as RB Jeremy Hill ran for two touchdowns, including the 60-yard TD run that put the game away. Jaguars QB Blake Bortels had two TD passes in the loss.
The Kansas City Chiefs won a yawner at home against the hapless New York Jets, 24-10 behind a pair of TD passes form QB Alex Smith.
Cleveland held off the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 22-17 behind two TD passes by Brian Hoyer and three field goals from Billy Cundiff.
The Minnesota Vikings rode three rushing scores from RB Matt Asiata to beat the Washington Redskins, 29-26 for a home win to improve to 4-5 this season. Redskins RB Alfred Morris had two rushing TD and QB Robert Griffin III threw for another score in his first action since an ankle injury sidelined him earlier this season.
The St. Louis Rams held off the host San Francisco 49ers, 13-10 with a goal line stand as the defense came up with a fumble recovery at the goal line on the final play of the game as 'Niners QB Colin Kaepernick could not hold the ball as he dove for the end zone.
The New Orleans Saints knocked off the host Carolina Panthers, 28-10 last Thursday night behind a second straight 100-yard rushing game from RB Mark Ingram, who also scored two touchdowns to go with 297 passing yards and a TD pass from Drew Brees.
The Indianapolis Colts throttled the host New York Giants, 40-24 behind four TD passes from Andrew Luck in the Monday Night Football game.