Monday, January 25, 2016

Broncos Win Squeaker, Panthers Roll to Set Stage for Super Bowl 50

The Denver Broncos held off the New England Patriots, 20-18 while the Carolina Panthers absolutely crushed the Arizona Cardinals, 49-15 to advance to Super Bowl 50 in two weeks.

Peyton Manning and the Broncos are headed back to the Super Bowl
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning out dueled counterpart Tom Brady by throwing for two touchdowns in the first half to pace his team to a 17-9 halftime edge.
The second half was a slug fest as the defenses took over trading field goals until Brady hit tight end Rob Gronkowski for a four-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left in the game to provide the final outcome. The two-point try to tie the game failed when Brady's pass was deflected and intercepted.
The ensuing onside kickoff was recovered by the Broncos and it was party time in the Mile High City.

Panthers players celebrate their NFC title game win
Down in Carolina, the Panthers, led by QB Cam Newton's two rushing touchdowns along with two TD passes, jumped out to a 17-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. They held a 24-7 lead against the Cardinals at the half.
The second half was more of the same as Carolina built up a 34-7 lead entering the final quarter and rolled to the final outcome to punch their ticket to their second ever Super Bowl appearance.

A key statistic in each game was the defense for the winning team as the Broncos sacked Brady four times and picked off a pair of passes as well. Meanwhile, the Panthers defense registered three sacks and forced SEVEN turnovers, including four interceptions against Arizona QB Carson Palmer, one of which was returned 22 yards for a score by linebacker Luke Kuechly to put the icing on the cake for the Panthers victory.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


It will be the Denver Broncos going against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in two weeks.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

NFL PLAYOFFS - AFC and NFC Championship Game Previews

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning meet again with a trip to SB50 on the line.
The New England Patriots will be defending their Super Bowl title on Sunday when they go against the Denver Broncos for the AFC championship.
The two teams met two years ago (in Denver as well) with the Broncos winning,  26-16 to earn the trip to Super Bowl 48, where they lost to Seattle.
That was then and this is now.
The Tom Brady-Peyton Manning saga is getting huge play once again as the two veteran quarterbacks get ready to face off for the 17th time in their Hall-of-Fame careers. Brady holds a 11-5 advantage, but the pair are 2-2 against each other in the post-season.
The Patriots seem to be back in gear on offense after getting back several key players from injuries for the passing game. Brady is a master at exploiting enemy defenses with the various schemes the team employs.
Meanwhile, Manning has been less than stellar this season with foot injuries slowing him down big time. He seems to be a shell of his former self from the glory years. However, do not dismiss the fact that Manning led the big touchdown drive last week against Pittsburgh to help the Broncos to the win.
All in all, expect a slugfest between these two teams with the Denver defense being ranked number-one (yardage) as well as ranking among the best in points allowed. The key for Denver will be getting pressure on Brady while Manning must limit mistakes and keep longer drives going to keep the Patriots offense off the field.

Over in the NFC, the top two teams from that conference will battle it out in Carolina as the Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals, who defeated the stubborn Green Bay Packers, 26-20 in overtime last week. The Panthers held off the Seattle Seahawks, 31-24 to advance to this weekend's game.
Carolina is led by MVP candidate Cam Newton, their unquestioned leader at quarterback.
Newton had a big season while Carolina rolled to a 15-1 finish. His main targets in the passing game is tight end Greg Olsen and wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr.  and along with a solid running game led by Jonathan Stewart (106 yards and touchdown last weekend against Seattle) gives the Panthers a formidable attack.
The Cardinals are looking good with QB Carson Palmer (also mentioned along with Newton and Tom Brady in MVP talk) throwing the ball to receivers Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd. Rookie David Johnson has spearheaded the rushing attack after taking over for the injured Chris Johnson, who was having a big season to that point.
Both teams have good defenses that can limit opposing passing attacks with stellar secondaries and are also decent at stopping the run.
Look for a close game here as well as the teams look to limit mistakes and not turn the ball over.

The Heftyinfo predictions for this week . . .  (Home teams listed in BOLD)

New England over Denver
Carolina over Arizona

Last week's record:  3-1


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Too Little, Too Late Rick Snyder

Michigan governor Rick Snyder (Republican) has vowed to release emails that showed what was going on during the current lead tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan that he had a direct hand in causing due to his neglect.
Snyder appointed a would be dictator (aka town emergency manager) to take over Flint, Michigan and super cede the Mayor and City Council in that town.
Well, that turned into a disaster when the dictator switched the water supply of Flint from Detroit to the Flint River (which is polluted) in an effort to save money and that river water caused the pipes to corrode and release the lead which got into the water system.
The rest is recent history and this joker needs to resign from office and get the hell out of the state of Michigan.

Monday, January 18, 2016

NFL Playoffs - Divisional Round Review

Denver fans celebrate the playoff win.
And then there were four.
The AFC and NFC Championship Games are set for next Sunday as the New England Patriots will travel to face the Denver Broncos for the AFC crown while the Carolina Panthers will host the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC title bout.
The winners will advance to Super Bowl 50 in three weeks.
The New England Patriots eliminated the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-20 as quarterback Tom Brady scored a rushing touchdown and hooked up with tight end Rob Gronkowski for two scoring passes to lead the way.
The Denver Broncos roared back in the fourth quarter after the defense came up with a fumble recovery that led to a touchdown drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by C.J. Anderson.
Broncos kicker Brandon McManus made five field goals in the 23-16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger had 339 passing yards in the loss while playing the game with a sore throwing shoulder and without wide receiver Antonio Brown (concussion) and running back DeAngelo Williams (foot).
The Arizona Cardinals survived a 'Hail Mary'  touchdown pass as time ran out in regulation by Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to win 26-20 in OT and advance to the NFC Championship Game.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer overcame two interceptions by throwing for three scores, including the game winner to WR Larry Fitzgerald.
The Carolina Panthers jumped out to a 31-0 halftime lead against the visiting Seattle Seahawks and then held on for a hard fought 31-24 win to advance.
The Panthers defense intercepted Seahawks QB Russell Wilson twice, including a 14-yard touchdown off a pick by linebacker Luke Kuechly. Carolina RB Jonathan Stewart scored two rushing touchdowns and ran for 106 yards. Panthers QB Cam Newton (pictured left) added a touchdown pass to account for the final score before the half.
Seattle scored all their points in the second half on three TD passes by Wilson and a 36-yard field goal by kicker Steven Hauschka, but fell just short when the onside kickoff with just over a minute left to play was recovered by Carolina.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The AFC and NFC Championship Games Are Set

The NFL Playoffs are now down to four teams as the the AFC and NFC title games are set for next weekend.
The New England Patriots will face the Broncos in Denver while the Arizona Cardinals will face the host Carolina Panthers for the right to play in Super Bowl 50 on February 7th.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

NFL PLAYOFFS - Divisional Round Preview

The NFL Playoffs continue this weekend with the red hot Kansas City Chiefs going up to New England to face the mighty (but banged up) New England Patriots while the Green Bay Packers will be looking to avenge a blow out loss three weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals.
On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks face the Carolina Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers (another team missing key players with injuries) will travel to play the top seeded Denver Broncos, who will have quarterback Peyton Manning back at the helm.

Tom Brady and the Patriots know how to win in the post-season and have been doing it for so many years, including last season when they were fortunate to win the Super Bowl because the Seattle Seahawks made perhaps the most stupid play call in the game's history.
Look for the Pats to somehow come out on top in their game against Kansas City, even though they appear to be banged up in several key areas on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs, meanwhile have won eleven straight games and continued to roll by pummeling the Houston Texans, 30-0 last weekend in the Wild Card round.
Kansas City QB Alex Smith continues to lead the efficient offense and the defense seems to be on a mission after the team's 1-5 start.
The Packers rolled past the upstart Washington Redskins, 35-18 last week and now face the team that crushed them 38-8  just three weeks ago.
But that was then and this is now the Packers say as they play the Arizona Cardinals in the desert. The Red Birds have been rolling this season (13-3 record) and QB Carson Palmer has been like a young man once again with the season he is having.
This should be a closer game (much like the second go round last week when Minnesota nearly beat Seattle after being blown out just a few weeks earlier) between the two teams, but look for Arizona to emerge from this one.
The Carolina Panthers (15-1) and QB Cam Newton are the top dog in the NFL this year and they did have a huge come from behind win in Seattle earlier this season.  The Seahawks were very fortunate to win in Minnesota last week in the Wild Card round and they know they must play near perfect in every aspect of the game to win in Carolina.
Having running back Marshawn Lynch back will be a big boost for the 'Hawks offense. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is a proven winner in the playoffs and that is a big X factor for the team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to play the Denver Broncos without RB DeAngelo Williams (foot/knee) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (concussion) and also have QB Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) ailing coming into the game.
That is a daunting task facing the NFL's number-one defense (yardage wise) in the Mile High city. The Broncos have Manning back at quarterback and how much that will influence the game remains to be seen.
Manning struggled mightily this season and was also hampered by foot issues as the team turned to Brock Osweiler while Manning was nursing those injuries. Denver and the Steelers battled it out a month ago in the Steel City with the Steelers coming back from 17 points down to win the game and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Pittsburgh won a thriller over Cincinnati 18-16 last week in the Wild Card game but lost Bryant to the concussion when he was the recipient of a cheap shot by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Roethlisberger also left the game briefly (shoulder injury) before returning to lead the drive that led to the game winning field goal.
Without Brown and Williams and Big Ben not 100 percent, the Steelers offense will be hampered while facing the tenacious Broncos defense, so look for Denver to win a squeaker in this game.
All in all, it looks to be a fun filled weekend with the games, even with all the injuries involved. That is why they play the games it is often said and that holds true for these games as well.
Let's go!

The Heftyinfo pick for the Divisional Round playoff games . . .  (Home teams listed in BOLD)

New England over Kansas City
Arizona over Green Bay
Seattle over Carolina
Denver over Pittsburgh

Last Week's Record:  3-1


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

State of the Union Address

Bravo!  Mr. President!

College Football - Roll Tide! Alabama National Champions Once Again

The Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Clemson Tigers, 45-40 to win the College Football National Championship.
It was the Tide's fourth title in the last seven years and the fifth overall championship for Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban.

The Heftyinfo FINAL College Football Top Ten

1.  ALABAMA  (14-1)
2.  Clemson  (14-1)
3.  Ohio State (12-1)
4.  Stanford  (12-2)
5.  TCU  (11-2)
6.  Michigan State (12-2)
7.  Oklahoma (11-2)
8.  Houston (13-1)
9.  Iowa  (12-2)
10.  Notre Dame (10-3)

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie - You Were One For The Ages

NFL PLAYOFFS - Wild Card Round Review

Kansas City 30, Houston 0  - The Chiefs dominated the host Texans as their defense forced five
turnovers from Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, who threw four interceptions and also lost a fumble.
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid celebrates playoff win.
Knile Davis took the opening kickoff back 106 yards to get things rolling for the Chiefs, who came into the playoffs riding a ten-game winning streak. Kansas City QB Alex Smith had a touchdown pass and kicker Cairo Santos made three field goals to provide the final margin of victory.

Pittsburgh 18, Cincinnati 16 - Steelers kicker Chris Boswell made a 35-yard field goal after Bengals' players Vontaze Burfict (late hit on Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown) and Adam "Pacman" Jones (who had a meltdown after the call against Burfict) were each flagged for 15-yard penalties t set up the game winning kick.
The Steelers were coasting 15-0 heading into the final quarter before the Bengals scored 16 unanswered points to grab the lead with 1:50 remaining in regulation.
Cincy running back Jeremy Hill (who later fumbled the ball away to give Pittsburgh the ball back for the winning drive) scored on a one-yard run and QB A.J. McCarron threw a 25-yard scoring pass to WR A.J. Green following kicker Mike Nugent's 36-yard field goal.

Seattle 10, Minnesota 9 - After making three field goals earlier in the game, Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal with just 22 seconds left in the game that allowed the visiting Seattle Seahawks to escape with the win.
The Vikings led 3-0 at halftime and carried the 9-0 advantage into the fourth quarter before Seahawks QB Russell Wilson connected with WR Doug Baldwin on a three-yard scoring play to cut the deficit to 9-7.
The Seattle defense forced a fumble by Vikes RB Adrian Peterson and that led to a 46-yard field goal  by kicker Steven Hauschka to provide the difference in the defensive struggle played in below zero wind chill temperatures.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers led Packers to victory.

Green Bay 35, Washington 18 -  Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and the offense woke up after falling behind 11-0 to win the road playoff game, completing a sweep for the road teams this weekend. It was the first time in NFL playoff history all four games in a weekend were won by the road teams.
The Packers scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17-11 lead into halftime as Rodgers had a pair of scoring passes to go with a 43-yard field goal by Mason Crosby.
Redskins QB Kirk Cousins (who also had a TD pass) scored on a three-yard run to give them an 18-17 lead early in the third quarter but then the Packers took over, scoring the game's final 18 points.
Green Bay running back James Starks scored on a four-yard run and Eddie Lacy added a two-yard scoring run and Crosby finished the scoring with a 29-yard field goal to clinch the game.


Saturday, January 16
Kansas City at New England
Green Bay at Arizona

Sunday, January 17
Seattle at Carolina
Pittsburgh at Denver

Friday, January 8, 2016

NFL PLAYOFFS - Wild Card Round Preview

It's playoff time and the Wild Card playoff games take place this weekend as the AFC games will go on Saturday while the NFC games will be played on Sunday.
The Kansas City Chiefs, winners of ten games in a row to finish the regular season, will be at the Houston Texans, who finished 9-7 and won the AFC South division.
The night game will be an AFC North battle as the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals (12-4), who will be relying on backup quarterback A.J. McCarron (starter Andy Dalton still is not fully healed from a broken thumb on his throwing hand) in this post-season match.
Pittsburgh is scrambling to put it's running game back together as DeAngelo Williams is out for this one after filling in admirably all season long for starter Le'Veon Bell.
The NFC games will have the Seattle Seahawks, looking to make it a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, playing at Minnesota, where the game time temperature is expected to be near zero with blustery winds making for wind chill factors well below zero.
The Vikings haven't played an OUTDOOR playoff game since the 1976 NFC Championship Game at old Metropolitan Stadium.
The Green Bay Packers and their struggling offense will be in Washington facing the Redskins (9-7) who have been one of the hotter teams in the NFL down the stretch as QB Kirk Cousins has played as well as any other quarterback in the league in the final four games.
It should be an exciting weekend of playoff football as these teams look to advance to the Divisional Round next weekend.

The Heftyinfo predictions for the Wild Card Round  (Home teams are listed in BOLD)

Kansas City over Houston
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Seattle over Minnesota
Washington over Green Bay

Last Week's Record:  11-5


Lock of the Week Record:  13-4

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NFL - Week Seventeen Review

PLAYOFFS ARE SET -  The AFC playoff teams are the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
The NFC playoff teams are the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
Do not be surprised if the sixth seeds in each conference emerge to face each other in the Super Bowl.

Detroit 24, Chicago 20
Pittsburgh 28, Cleveland 12
Cincinnati 24, Baltimore 16
Houston 30, Jacksonville 6
Indianapolis 30, Tennessee 24
Miami 20, New England 10
Buffalo 22, NY Jets 17
Washington 34, Dallas 23
Philadelphia 35, NY Giants 30
New Orleans 20, Atlanta 17
Carolina 38, Tampa Bay 10
Seattle 36, Arizona 6
San Francisco 19, St. Louis 16 (OT)
Denver 27, San Diego 20
Kansas City 23, Oakland 17
Minnesota 20, Green Bay 13

Game Highlights -  Pittsburgh locked up the sixth and final AFC playoff spot with a 28-12 win at Cleveland as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had three touchdown passes and the Steelers defense limited the Browns to just four field goals . . .  The Houston Texans wrapped up the AFC South division with a 30-6 trouncing of the Jacksonville Jaguars with the Texans defense recording eight QB sacks and getting three turnovers . . .  Denver beat the visiting San Diego Chargers, 27-20 to clinch the top playoff seed in the AFC as Ronnie Hillman ran 23 yards for the go ahead score to offset five turnovers . . .  The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills played the spoiler role to perfection in wins in the final game. The Dolphins beat the New England Patriots, 20-10 behind a pair of scoring passes by Ryan Tannehill to knock New England down to the number-two spot in the AFC . . .  The Bills eliminated the New York Jets from the playoff picture with a 22-17 won as their defense intercepted Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick three times . . .   The Minnesota Vikings won at Green Bay, 20-13 to clinch the NFC North division while the Packers had to settle for the (fifth seed) wild card spot in the upcoming NFC playoffs.

The Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week -  Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who had three TD passes to help lead his team into the AFC playoffs.

What a season it has been  . . .  Now,  it's on to the playoffs.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Surprise! Surprise! In Final Weekend Of NFL Season

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the AFC Playoffs while the New York Jets crashed and burned and are officially out of the 2015 AFC Playoff picture.
Pittsburgh blasted the Cleveland Browns, 28-12 (Browns fired Head Coach Mike Pettine after the game) while the Jets were losing in Buffalo, 22-17 which eliminated them as a result of the Steelers victory. Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan (pictured right) got his revenge against the team that fired him following last season.

Meanwhile, it will not be the New England Patriots enjoying "home field" advantage throughout the AFC playoffs as they lost their final game to Miami by a 20-10 count while the Denver Broncos knocked off the stubborn San Diego Chargers, 27-20 as Peyton Manning came off the bench to lead the fourth quarter comeback win. As a result, the Broncos are the top seed in the AFC post-season.

The AFC Playoffs are set as the Wild Card Round goes next weekend with Pittsburgh going to Cincinnati to face the Bengals while the Kansas City Chiefs will travel to face the Houston Texans. Denver and New England have the bye week.

In the NFC, the teams were already set for the playoffs, it was just a matter of setting the seedings up top in the conference.
The Carolina Panthers rolled to another win, 38-10 over Tampa Bay and Cam Newton and company will be the top seed at 15-1 while Arizona (13-3) will be the number-two seed. The Cardinals were blasted by the Seattle Seahawks, 36-6, who already are in the playoffs as a wild card this season.
Washington (9-7) crushed the host Dallas Cowboys, 34-23 behind another big game from quarterback Kirk Cousins and will be locked in at the number four spot, hosting a wild card game next week.
The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings went at it on the Sunday Night Football game to decide the NFC North winner (and number-three seed) and the losing team will get the wild card spot. The Vikings pulled off the mild upset in Green Bay, winning 20-13 and will host the Seattle Seahawks while Green Bay (fifth seed) travels to face the Washington Redskins.
There was one other coaching change following the final games on Sunday besides Cleveland as the San Francisco 49ers fired Head Coach Jim Tomsula following the team's 19-16 overtime win against the St. Louis Rams.
There are many rumors regarding more coaching changes throughout the league coming possibly on Monday.
Stay tuned.

(The Heftyinfo Week Seventeen Review will be up once the dust settles on the coaching changes and also when the entire NFL post-season schedule is set for next weekend.)

Saturday, January 2, 2016


 Man oh man . . .  look at how technology has advanced in just eight years since this television ad (Verizon wireless phone post-Holiday) first ran back in January of 2008.
Time sure does fly . . .  Happy New Year!