Monday, October 30, 2017

NFL - Week Eight Recap

For two teams that pride themselves on playing good defense, the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans sure didn't display it on Sunday. The host Seahawks beat the Texans, 41-38 as the two teams combined for 988 total yards in offense.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson had four touchdown passes while throwing for 452 yards, including the game winning 18-yard scoring pass to tight end Jimmy Graham with 21 seconds left to play. Houston QB Desahun Watson also had four TD passes along with 402 yards through the air in this shootout.
The Philadelphia Eagles continued to soar high above the NFC as they pasted the woeful San Francisco 49ers, 33-10 behind two TD passes from QB Carson Wentz and a defensive score via the "pick six" interception.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) outlasted the host Detroit Lions, 20-15 on Sunday night as their defense held the Lions to five field goals while rising tall on six occasions when the Lions (3-4) were in the red zone. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in a 97-yard TD pass to give the Steelers the lead for good in the third quarter.
The New England Patriots (6-2) kept pace with Pittsburgh as they defeated the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, 21-13, snapping the 'Bolts three-game winning streak. Pats QB Tom Brady hooked up with tight end Rob Gronkowski on a two-yard scoring pass while kicker Stephen Gostkowski made four field goals to help provide the win. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (132 yards rushing) scored the game's first touchdown on an 87-yard run.

                                                 Elsewhere Around the  NFL . . . . . .   

The New Orleans Saints (5-2) won their fifth straight game, beating the Chicago Bears, 20-12 on two rushing touchdowns. Bears tight end Zach Miller suffered a severe knee injury that eventually required emergency surgery . . .  The Buffalo Bills walloped the Oakland Raiders, 34-14 as LeSean McCoy rushed for 151 yards and scored on a 48-yard run. The Bills defense intercepted two passes and also had a fumble recovery for a score . . .  Carolina (5-3) won the yawner game of the day as they beat the listless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 17-3 despite being outgained by 25 yards in the game . . .  The Cincinnati Bengals scored the winning TD on a 16-yard interception return by Carlos Dunlap in the fourth quarter in a 24-23 win against the visiting Indianapolis Colts . . . Over in London, England, the Minnesota Vikings dominated the second half as they beat the winless Cleveland Browns, 33-16. Quarterback Case Keenum had two TD passes and Kai Forbath made four field goals to provide the difference . . .  The Baltimore Ravens steamrolled the Miami Dolphins, 40-0 on Thursday night behind a dominant defense. Despite losing QB Joe Flacco (concussion), the Ravens rolled as the defense scored twice and limited Miami to just 196 total yards in offense . . .  The Dallas Cowboys (4-3) won on the road at Washington, 33-19 as running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 150 yards and scored two touchdowns  . . .  On Monday Night Football, the Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) won at home over the Denver Broncos, 29-19. Marcus Peters scored on a 45-yard fumble recovery return and also had one of the Chiefs' three interceptions in the game. Leading 17-3 at halftime, Kansas City coasted in the second half as kicker Harrison Butker made four field goals to help seal the win.

                              Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week  -  Russell Wilson (QB- Seattle Seahawks)

Baltimore 40, Miami 0
Minnesota 33, Cleveland 16
New Orleans 20, Chicago 12
New England 21, LA Chargers 13
Philadelphia 33, San Francisco 10
Atlanta 25, NY Jets 20
Buffalo 34, Oakland 14
Cincinnati 24, Indianapolis 23
Carolina 17, Tampa Bay 3
Seattle 41, Houston 38
Dallas 33, Washington 19
Pittsburgh 20, Detroit 15
Kansas City 29, Denver 19 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten         (Week ending October 29)        

1.  Alabama  (8-0)
2.  Georgia  (8-0)
3.  Wisconsin  (8-0)
4.  Ohio State  (7-1)
5.  Clemson  (7-1)
6.  Notre Dame  (7-1)
7.  Miami, FL  (7-0)
8.  Oklahoma  (7-1)
9.  Penn State  (7-1)
10. Washington  (7-1)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

NFL - Week Eight Preview

The NFL season is getting to the midway point as Week Eight is here and the Philadelphia Eagles (6-1) own the best record in the NFL. This weekend they host the San Francisco 49ers (0-7), who along with the Cleveland Browns (also 0-7) have the worst record in the league.
Recipe for disaster right?
Not necessarily because the Eagles are flying high while the 49ers seem to find ways to lose football games, no matter whether the scores is close or not.
Quarterback Carson Wentz (pictured at right) is starting to get consideration when it comes to Most Valuable Player talk.
Yes, Carson Wentz.
He is in the discussion at this point along with Tom Brady, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers (until his injury), Kareem Hunt, etc. for the award.
There is always the expectation of the old phrase "On any given Sunday" which bodes well for the 49ers in this one, but the Eagles (even with their top offensive lineman out for the year with injuries) are a formidable foe this year and should win again, which would push their winning streak to six games. They have been the class of the NFC to this point.
Three teams are at 5-2 in the AFC with the Pittsburgh Steelers leading the way, followed by Kansas City and the New England Patriots are currently the number three seed. But there is still a lot of football to be played.
The Steelers are in Detroit facing the Lions on Sunday night while the Chiefs host the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.
Meanwhile, the Patriots will be hosting the up and coming Los Angeles Chargers, who have won three straight games after an 0-4 start, which included three losses by a one-score count. The Patriots dismantled the Atlanta Falcons last week for their third consecutive win.
All three teams will likely win their games this weekend and keep the log jam at the top of the  AFC playoff standings intact.

The rest of the action for Week Eight is in capsule style preview form with the Heftyinfo predictions following up.

Minnesota (5-2)  at Cleveland (0-7) (London, England) - The fourth and final London game for the 2017 season. Vikings should win this one rather easily.

Oakland (3-4) at Buffalo (4-2) - These two teams always have good battles and this one could down to the wire.

Indianapolis (2-5) at Cincinnati (2-4) - The Bengals need a game like this . . . The Colts looked pathetic last week in a shutout loss to the Jaguars.

Chicago (3-4) at New Orleans (4-2) - Two teams on a roll so something has to give.

Atlanta (3-3) at NY Jets (3-4) - The Jets could win this one, the Falcons have been terrible the last three games.

Carolina (4-3) at Tampa Bay (2-4) - Raise the Jolly Roger flag in Tampa this weekend.

Houston (3-3) at Seattle (4-2) - Seahawks roll !

Dallas (3-3) at Washington (3-3) - The loser of this game is likely out of the race for the NFC East title.

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

Baltimore over Miami
Minnesota over Cleveland  (London, England) 
Buffalo over Oakland
Cincinnati over Indianapolis
New Orleans over Chicago
Atlanta over NY Jets
Philadelphia over San Francisco 
New England over LA Chargers
Tampa Bay over Carolina 
SEATTLE over Houston
Dallas over Washington 
Pittsburgh over Detroit 
Kansas City over Denver

Last Week's Record -  14-1


Lock of the Week Record -  5-2

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

NFL - Week Seven Recap

The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots wrapped up Week Seven with "prime time" wins. The Patriots knocked off the Atlanta Falcons, 23-7 on Sunday night in the much anticipated "rematch" from last season's Super Bowl. The Eagles topped the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, 34-24 to improve to an NFL best 6-1 record.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had two touchdown passes while the New England defense held Atlanta in check until late in the game in the easy home win to improve to 5-2. Atlanta (3-3) dropped their third straight game.
The Eagles won as QB Carson Wentz had four TD passes to outshine Redskins QB Kirk Cousins, who had 303 yards passing along with three TD passes.
The Oakland Raiders handed the Kansas City Chiefs a second consecutive loss last Thursday night, 31-30 as QB Derek Carr (417 passing yards with three TD) hit wide receiver Michael Crabtree with a two-yard scoring pass with no time left to win it.
Carr also had two scoring strikes to WR Amari Cooper, who had 11 catches for 210 yards in the game. Kansas City QB Alex Smith passed for 342 yards with three TD passes in the loss.
The New Orleans Saints won 26-17 in Green Bay as the Packers played without QB Aaron Rodgers (likely out for season with broken collar bone) as QB Drew Brees threw for a score an also had a one-yard rushing touchdown. Packers QB Brett Hundley scored a rushing TD, but was also intercepted once in the loss.

                                                     Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . . . .

The Chicago Bears blasted the visiting Carolina Panthers, 17-3 behind TWO defensive scores by Eddie Jackson (a 75-yard fumble return and a 76-yard pick six interception) to win their second consecutive game for the first time since the 2015 season . . .  The Los Angeles Rams (5-2) shut out the Arizona Cardinals, 33-0 in London, England as QB Jared Goff passed for and ran for a touchdown. Running back Todd Gurley (106 rushing yards) had a rushing TD in the win . . .  The Los Angeles Chargers also had a shutout win as they beat Denver, 21-0 behind the defense getting five QB sacks and WR/KR Travis Benjamin scoring two touchdowns. The shutout loss for the Broncos was their first since the 1992 season . . .  The Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) defeated the visiting Cincinnati Bengals, 29-14 as their defense dominated this one, limiting the Bengals to only 179 total yards in offense. Steelers kicker Chris Boswell made five field goals to help provide the difference . . .  Dallas got on track in a 40-10 thumping of the host San Francisco 49ers as running back Ezekiel Elliott (147 yards rushing) scored three touchdowns to lead the way . . .  The Jacksonville Jaguars blew out the host Indianapolis Colts, 27-0 as their defense registered TEN quarterbacks sacks in the shutout victory . . .  Miami outlasted the visiting New York Jets, 31-28 as kicker Cody Parkey drilled a 39-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to play to win it. Dolphins QB Jay Cutler left the game with cracked ribs and reserve QB Matt Moore had a pair of scoring passes to rally the Dolphins back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit. Jets QB Josh McCown had three scoring passes and a TD run as well in the loss . . .  The Buffalo Bills rallied back to win 30-27 against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Steven Hauschka made a 30-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining. Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy had two rushing touchdowns while Bucs QB Jameis Winston had three scoring passes in defeat . . .  The Seattle Seahawks knocked off the host New York Giants, 24-7 behind three TD passes from QB Russell Wilson and a dominant defense that held the Giants to just 177 yards in offense.

                                                   Heftyinfo NFL co-Players of the Week  

              Eddie Jackson (DB - Chicago Bears)  and  Ezekiel Elliott  (RB - Dallas Cowboys)


Oakland 31, Kansas City 30
Chicago 17, Carolina 3
Jacksonville 27, Indianapolis 0
LA Rams 33, Arizona 0
Tennessee 12, Cleveland 9 (OT)
Minnesota 24, Baltimore 16
Miami 31, NY Jets 28
Buffalo 30, Tampa Bay 27
Pittsburgh 29, Cincinnati 14
New Orleans 26, Green Bay 17
LA Chargers 21, Denver 0
Dallas 40, San Francisco 10
Seattle 24, NY Giants 7
New England 23, Atlanta 7
Philadelphia 34, Washington 24

Monday, October 23, 2017


This year's World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers should be a good one, where anything is possible.

                                               ASTROS OVER DODGERS in 5 games.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten          (Week ending October 22)                      

1.  Alabama  (8-0)
2.  Penn State  (7-0)
3.  Georgia  (7-0)
4.  Wisconsin  (7-0)
5.  TCU  (7-0)
6.  Ohio State  (6-1)
7.  Clemson  (6-1)
8.  Miami, FL  (6-0)
9.  Notre Dame  (6-1)
10.  Oklahoma  (6-1)
10. (tie) Washington  (6-1)

Friday, October 20, 2017

NFL - Week Seven Preview

The NFL rolls along in the 2017 season as there are fifteen games on tap, including last night's battle between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, which Oakland won in nail biting fashion, 31-30.
The headliner game is the Sunday night match in New England between the Patriots (4-2) and the Atlanta Falcons (3-2) in a rematch of last season's Super Bowl, which the Pats won, 34-28 in overtime in the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead in that game.
Can the Falcons exorcise their demons from that letdown (which many called a big time choke by Atlanta) in addition to ending their two-game losing streak? Can Tom Brady and the Patriots rebound in Gillette Stadium after losing their last two home games?
This will definitely be a good game to watch between two of the better teams in the NFL, including two of the best quarterbacks (Brady and Matt Ryan) in the game.
Another big game on Sunday has the New Orleans Saints (3-2) traveling to face the Green Bay Packers (4-2), who will be without QB Aaron Rodgers (likely for the rest of the season) in this one. The Saints have won three straight and Drew Brees has been nothing short of awesome this year, throwing ten touchdown passes with just two interceptions. The Saints lit up the Detroit Lions, 52-38 last week as their defense scored three touchdowns in the wild game.
The surging Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) host the Denver Broncos (3-2) on Sunday and will be looking to avenge their opening game loss six weeks ago on Monday Night Football.
The Broncos (coming off an embarrassing home loss to the NY Giants) squandered a 24-7 lead as the 'Bolts scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, only to have rookie kicker Younghoe Koo's field goal blocked on a second attempt (after Denver used the pimpy timeout to thwart the made kick) that cost them a chance to tie it at 24-24 in the closing seconds. Koo has since been cut by the Chargers and Nick Novak is back and he made the game-winning field goal last week against Oakland as time expired in a 17-16 win.
And the Washington Redskins (3-2) face the high flying Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) on Monday Night Football in another rematch from Week One.
In that game, the Eagles dominated the 'Skins in D.C. 30-17 as Carson Wentz set the tone for the superb season he has enjoyed to this point (13 TD passes and only three INT) with two scoring passes and 307 yards to pace the victory. Washington QB Kirk Cousins is no slouch as he has passed for nine touchdowns so far with only two picks. The Redskins are coming off a close home win (26-24 vs. 49ers) following their bye week.
All in all, it looks to be another exciting week in pro football, so here we go again with the capsule style previews for the rest of the action and also the Heftyinfo predictions for Week Seven.

Tampa Bay (2-3) at Buffalo (3-3) - The Bills play good defense and are always tough at home. Bucs starting QB Jameis Winston was injured last week and former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick nearly rallied the team back from a 31-0 deficit. Winston is starting this week.

Carolina (4-2) at Chicago (2-4) - The Bears beat up on the Ravens strong D to the tune of 237 rush yards in last week's surprising win. The Panthers lost a squeaker at home to Philadelphia. Toss up here.

Tennessee (3-3) at Cleveland (0-6) - Can the Browns finally get a win against a team that struggles on the road? Nope.

Jacksonville (3-3) at Indianapolis (2-4) - The Colts are STILL waiting for the return of QB Andrew Luck.

Arizona (3-3) at Los Angeles Rams (4-2) (in London, England) - Go figure -- Two teams from way out West have to travel all the way to England to play a football game. Toss up here as well.

New York Jets (3-3) at Miami (3-2) - Jay Cutler and the Dolphins stunned Atlanta last week, coming back from a 17-0 halftime deficit to steal the win. The Jets blew a 14-point lead in a home loss to the Patriots.

Baltimore (3-3) at Minnesota (4-2) - Can the first place Vikings keep a good thing going? The Ravens looked lost last week against the Bears in a home loss in OT.

Cincinnati (2-3) at Pittsburgh (4-2) - Which Steelers team will show up in this game?

Dallas (2-3) at San Francisco (0-6) - The Cowboys were kicked below the belt as the league mandated six-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott is back on again.  Ouch !

Seattle (3-2) at New York Giants (1-5) - Can the Giants pull off another stunner after they dispatched of the mighty Denver Broncos on the road last week? Seahawks nearly always dominate following a bye week.

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

Oakland over Kansas City
Buffalo over Tampa Bay
Chicago over Carolina
Tennessee over Cleveland
New Orleans over Green Bay 
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
LA Rams over Arizona (game played in London, England)
MIAMI over NY Jets
Minnesota over Baltimore
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Dallas over San Francisco 
LA Chargers over Denver
Seattle over NY Giants 
New England over Atlanta
Philadelphia over Washington

Last Week's Record -  7-7 


Lock of the Week Record -  4-2

Monday, October 16, 2017

NFL - Week Six Recap

The Chicago Bears stunned the host Baltimore Ravens, 27-24 in overtime as kicker Conner Barth made a 40-yard field goal to decide the outcome. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky had a touchdown pass while running back Jordan Howard ran for 167 yards (on 36 carries) to bludgeon the Ravens vaunted defense to the tune of 231 rushing yards in the game.
The Ravens forced the OT thanks to a pair of kick returns for touchdowns (Bobby Rainey 96-yard KOR and Michael Campanaro 77-yard punt return with only 1:19 remaining) which offset Adrian Amos' 90-yard interception return for a Bears score.
The biggest story of Week Six was Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers suffering a broken collar bone in a 23-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers may be lost for the rest of the season. Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon scored two touchdowns (one rushing and the other a 27-yard TD pass from QB Case Keenum) to lead the way. Green Bay backup QB Brett Hundley was intercepted three times in the loss.
The New Orleans Saints defense dominated in a 52-38 win over the visiting Detroit Lions as they had five takeaways, including three for touchdowns and also recorded five sacks against Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, who had three TD passes along with three interceptions (two were pick six plays) along with 312 passing yards.
Arizona held off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-33 as RB Adrian Peterson enjoyed a big game, going for 134 yards on 26 carries with two TD to get the Cardinals back to .500 (3-3 record). The Cards nearly blew a 31-0 lead as the Bucs stormed back behind reserve QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had three TD passes after Jameis Winston went out with a right shoulder injury.
The Pittsburgh Steelers won in Kansas City, 19-13 to give the Chiefs their first loss of the season. Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell ran for 179 yards and scored a touchdown and Ben Roethlisberger  hooked up with wide receiver Antonio Brown for a 51-yard score to ice the game.

                                                Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . . .  

The New England Patriots overcame a 14-0 deficit to defeat the host New York Jets, 24-17 as QB Tom Brady had a pair of scoring passes, which matched Jets QB Josh McCown's effort . . .  The Los Angeles Chargers finally won a close game as kicker Nick Novak drilled a 32-yard field goal as time expired in a 17-16 road victory against the Oakland Raiders. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon had two touchdowns in the game  . . .  The Washington Redskins held off the stubborn San Francisco 49ers, 26-24 behind two TD passes and a scoring run by QB Kirk Cousins . . .  The Houston Texans smashed the winless Cleveland Browns, 33-17 as QB Deshaun Watson had three scoring passes to pace the win . . .  Miami rolled past the host Atlanta Falcons, 20-17 as they overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit. Dolphins QB Jay Cutler turned around a terrible first half with two TD passes to lead the comeback effort . . . The Los Angeles Rams beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-17 with Pharoh Cooper setting the tone on a 103-yard kickoff return for touchdown to start the game . . .  The Philadelphia Eagles won in Carolina, 28-23 last Thursday night behind three TD passes from QB Carson Wentz. The Eagles defense intercepted Panthers QB Cam Newton three times to help make a difference . . .  The New York Giants surprised the host Denver Broncos, 23-10 on Sunday night for their first win this season as running back Orleans Darkwa (117 yards) was the first to gain 100-plus yards against the NFL's top defense. The Giants defense forced three turnovers, including Janoris Jenkins' 43-yard pick six to put the game away . . .  The Tennessee Titans won at home, 36-22 over the Indianapolis Cots on Monday Night Football as they exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter. Running back Derrick Henry (131 rushing yards) scored on a 72-yard run in the final minute to seal the game.

                             Heftyinfo  NFL Player of the Week - Jordan Howard (RB - Chicago Bears)

Philadelphia 28, Carolina 23
Chicago 27, Baltimore 24  (OT)
Minnesota 23, Green Bay 10
Miami 20, Atlanta 17
New Orleans 52, Detroit 38
New England 24, NY Jets 17
Houston 33, Cleveland 17
Washington 26, San Francisco 24
LA Rams 27, Jacksonville 17
LA Chargers 17, Oakland 16
Arizona 38, Tampa Bay 33
Pittsburgh 19, Kansas City 13
NY Giants 23, Denver 10
Tennessee 36, Indianapolis 22

Sunday, October 15, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten             (Week ending October 15)   

1.  Alabama  (7-0)
2.  Penn State  (6-0)
3.  Georgia  (7-0)
4.  Wisconsin  (6-0)
5.  TCU  (6-0)
6.  Ohio State  (6-1)
7.  Clemson  (6-1)
8.  Miami, FL  (5-0)
9.  Oklahoma  (5-1)
10.  Washington  (6-1)

Friday, October 13, 2017

NFL - Week Six Preview

The best game of the week in the NFL was actually played last night in Carolina, where the visiting Philadelphia Eagles beat the Panthers, 28-23 (the pick here was Carolina- wrong!) but that happened before Heftyinfo post of Week Six Preview, so  here goes nothing for the action this weekend.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings is an exciting looking game as the NFC North division rivals get it going once again. The Packers rallied past the Dallas Cowboys last week while the Vikings escaped with a 20-17 win at Chicago on Monday Night Football. Aaron Rodgers and company rate the edge, even on the road. The Minnesota defense should keep this one close.
Another interesting game will be the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, two very surprising teams (both are 3-2) so far. Rams were losers at home against Seattle while Jags stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 30-9.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City should be a good one as both teams are in first place in their divisions. 
The Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) are coming off that blowout loss at home to Jacksonville last week while the Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) rolled to another win at Houston last Sunday night. The Steelers have owned the Chiefs in year's past, but they have been Jekyll and Hyde so far this season.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, have been the model of consistency in the NFL to this point. Their quarterback, Alex Smith, is having a superb season through the first five weeks.

The rest of the weekend games can be seen below in a capsule style preview form.

Miami (2-2) at Atlanta (3-1) - Falcons coming off bye week and a loss while the Dolphins survived at home last week.

Chicago (1-4) at Baltimore (3-2) - The Ravens have been up and down so far. The Bears defense is decent, so watch out.

Cleveland (0-5) at Houston (2-3) - The Texans will be without defensive star J.J. Watt, but the Browns suck!

Detroit (3-2) at New Orleans (2-2) - In years past, this would be a high scoring game, but both teams playing well on defense lately. Pick 'em game here.

New England (3-2) at New York Jets (3-2) - How in the hell are the Jets 3-2? The Patriots should win this game, but beware.

San Francisco (0-5) at Washington (2-2) - Redskins roll !

Tampa Bay (2-2) at Arizona (2-3) - The Cardinals have been a disappointment so far. Buccaneers still feeling their way.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) at Oakland (2-3) - The Raiders are reeling without QB Derek Carr, but he may be able to play this week . . .  Hmmmm.

New York Giants (0-5) at Denver (3-1) - Sunday night game featuring a hapless Giants team (four wide receivers injured) against the NFL's best defense. Take the Broncos.

Indianapolis (2-3) at Tennessee (2-3) - AFC South battle on MNF game . . . both teams are looking up at first place Jacksonville Jaguars.

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

Carolina over Philadelphia
Atlanta over Miami
Baltimore over Chicago
HOUSTON over Cleveland
Green Bay over Minnesota 
New Orleans over Detroit
New England over NY Jets
Washington over San Francisco
Arizona over Tampa Bay
Jacksonville over LA Rams
Pittsburgh over Kansas City 
Oakland over LA Chargers
Denver over NY Giants
Tennessee over Indianapolis

Last Week's Record -  10-4 


Lock of the Week Record -  3-2 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NFL - Week Five Recap

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
The best game by far this weekend was the one between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, which the visiting Packers won, 35-31 as quarterback Aaron Rodgers (three touchdown passes) found wide receiver Davonte Adams for a 12-yard scoring pass with only eleven seconds remaining. The Cowboys had just taken a 31-28 lead with 1:13 left to play when QB Dak Prescott (three TD passes) scored on an 11-yard run.
The Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) remained unbeaten as they topped the host Houston Texans, 42-34 on Sunday night. The Texans lost defensive star J.J. Watt for the season as he suffered a severe leg injury.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith had three touchdown passes to pace the offense and Tyreek Hill took a punt back 82 yards for a score to help blow it open in the fourth quarter, which saw the teams combine for 40 points. Texans QB Deshaun Watson had five TD passes in the loss.
The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off the surprise of the week  with a 30-9 trouncing of the host Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jags defense intercepted Ben Roethlisberger five times, including two for scores to set the tone. In addition, the Jags rushed for 231 yards in the rout.

                                              Elsewhere in the NFL . . . . . .    

Despite being outgained by over 200 yards, the New York Jets (3-2) won their third straight game as they beat the winless Cleveland Browns, 17-14 behind two scoring passes from QB Josh McCown . . .  The Seattle Seahawks held off the host Los Angeles Rams, 16-10 behind a solid defensive effort that yielded five turnovers . . .   The Los Angeles Chargers won their first game in a 27-22 victory against the New York Giants (0-5) thanks to a ten-yard scoring pass from Philip Rivers to running back Melvin Gordon (105 yards rushing and two receiving TD) that made the difference. The Chargers defense sealed the game with an interception in the final minute. The Giants lost star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for the season with a broken ankle . . .  The Philadelphia Eagles blasted the Arizona Cardinals, 34-7 as QB Carson Wentz went off with four TD passes while the Philly defense limited the Cards to just 31 rushing yards . . .  The Carolina Panthers (4-1) rode the hot play of QB Cam Newton (three TD passes) to a 27-24 win at Detroit. The Lions scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, but this time the rally fell short . . .  The Baltimore Ravens took advantage of Oakland not having starting QB Derek Carr (back injury) as they throttled the host Raiders, 30-17 behind a defensive score in the first quarter and a balanced offense, paced by efficient QB Joe Flacco . . . The New England Patriots won a squeaker at Tampa Bay on Thursday night, 19-14 as QB Tom Brady had a scoring pass and kicker Stephen Gostkowski made four field goals . . .  The Minnesota Vikings came up with a huge interception late in the fourth quarter to spoil the regular season debut of Bears rookie QB Mitch Trubisky (one TD pass and one interception) in a 20-17 win in Chicago on Monday Night Football. Kicker Kai Forbath made the deciding 26-yard field goal with just over two minutes to go to decide the game.

                      Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week -  Carson Wentz  (QB- Philadelphia Eagles)

New England 19, Tampa Bay 14
Jacksonville 30, Pittsburgh 9
Cincinnati 20, Buffalo 16
NY Jets 17, Cleveland 14
LA Chargers 27, NY Giants 22
Carolina 27, Detroit 24
Indianapolis 26, San Francisco 23 (OT)
Philadelphia 34, Arizona 7
Miami 16, Tennessee 10
Seattle 16, LA Rams 10
Green Bay 35, Dallas 31
Baltimore 30, Oakland 17
Kansas City 42, Houston 34
Minnesota 20, Chicago 17

Sunday, October 8, 2017

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo  College Football Top Ten              (Week ending October 8)     

1.  Alabama  (6-0)
2.  Clemson  (6-0)
3.  Penn State  (6-0)
4.  Washington  (6-0)
5.  Georgia  (6-0)
6.  Wisconsin  (5-0)
7.  TCU  (5-0)
8.  Washington State  (6-0)
9.  Ohio State  (5-1)
10.  Oklahoma  (4-1)

Friday, October 6, 2017

NFL - Week Five Preview

Week Five around the NFL brings about the first of many "bye" weeks as four teams (Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington) get the weekend off.
There will not be any games played over in London, England either this weekend. Just good old football being played right here in the United States of America.
The big match up this week features the Green Bay Packers facing the Dallas Cowboys deep in the heart of Texas, the same place where the Packers knocked the 'Pokes out of the NFC playoffs last January.
Look for another close game between these old rivals as Aaron Rodgers and company seek to improve to 4-1 for the season. The Cowboys (2-2) will look to get the offense going again this week. Even though they hung 30 points on the L.A. Rams, it wasn't enough in a 35-30 setback.
On the other side of the coin, two winless teams will battle it out in New York as the Giants host the Chargers, who lost their 16th one-score game since the 2015 season last weekend.  Somebody has to win this one . . . but there is always the possibility of a tie game.
The Seattle Seahawks (46-18 win over the Colts last week) travel to Los Angeles to face the surprising Rams (3-1 and 1st place in the NFC West) as they look to get back to the top of the division race. The Rams seem to always play the 'Hawks tough, so this week's game should be no different.
The Houston Texans, fresh off a 57-point outburst (a franchise record) against Tennessee, will host the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs in the Sunday night game. The Monday night game will see the Minnesota Vikings travel to play the Chicago Bears, who will start rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky for the first time.

The rest of the games are featured in capsule style and are followed up by the Heftyinfo picks for Week Five.

Buffalo (3-1) at Cincinnati (1-3) - Can the Bills keep their early season success going?

NY Jets (2-2) at Cleveland (0-4) - The Browns are awful. The Jets can actually go above .500 with a win on the road this weekend.

Carolina (3-1) at Detroit (3-1) - Two surprise teams in first place ties in their divisions battle in Motown. Take the Lions.

San Francisco (0-4) at Indianapolis (1-3) - The stinker game of the week.

Tennessee (2-2) at Miami (1-2) - Will Titans' QB Marcus Mariota (hamstring injury) play in this game? Will the Dolphins score any points this week?

Arizona (2-2) at Philadelphia (3-1) - The battle of the birds in Philly.  Take the Eagles in a tight one.

Jacksonville (2-2) at Pittsburgh (3-1) - The Steelers looked much better in last week's win while the Jaguars lost to the lowly Jets.

Baltimore (2-2) at Oakland (2-2) - Two teams currently in nose dives early on. The Raiders will be without QB Derek Carr in this game. Toss up here.

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

New England over Tampa Bay
Cincinnati over Buffalo
NY Jets over Cleveland
Detroit over Carolina
Indianapolis over San Francisco
Miami over Tennessee
NY Giants over LA Chargers
Philadelphia over Arizona
PITTSBURGH over Jacksonville
Seattle over LA Rams 
Baltimore over Oakland
Green Bay over Dallas
Kansas City over Houston 
Chicago over Minnesota

Last Week's Record -  5-11


Lock of the Week Record -  3-1 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

NFL - Week Four Recap

Upset Sunday was the theme this past weekend around the NFL as the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills each improved their records to 3-1 with huge road wins. The Rams outscored the Dallas Cowboys, 35-30 while the Bills stunned the Atlanta Falcons, 23-17.
Perhaps the biggest surprise  was Carolina topping the New England Patriots, 33-30 on the road as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was superb, passing for 316 yards with three touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. Panthers kicker Graham Gano kicked the game winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. Patriots QB Tom Brady had two TD passes in the loss, which was the second in three games at home so far this season for the Patriots.
In the Rams win, kicker Greg Zuerlein made seven field goals while QB Jared Goff had a pair of TD passes to lead the way. Running back Todd Gurley rushed for 121 yards and caught a 53-yard touchdown pass. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for three scores, but the Rams defense limited Dallas to just six points in the second half to secure the win.
Buffalo rode a solid defensive effort, including getting three turnovers, to hold off the Falcons, who came up just short in the final minute of the game as they lost for the first time this season. Bills rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White took a fumble back 52 yards for a touchdown and Stephen Hauschka kicked three fourth quarter field goals (two from over 50 yards) to make the difference.

                                                          Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . .  

The Denver Broncos won a defensive struggle at home, 16-10 against the Oakland Raiders, limiting Oakland to only 256 yards in offense. The Raiders lost QB Derek Carr to a back injury in the second half. Carr is likely to be out for at least two weeks, but likely longer. Broncos kicker Brandon McManus drilled three field goals to help provide the final outcome  . . .  The Pittsburgh Steelers blasted the host Baltimore Ravens, 26-9 as their defense had three turnovers and RB Le'Veon Bell (144 rushing yards) rushed for two scores to pace the offense . . .  The Houston Texans exploded for 57 points as they crushed the visiting Tennessee Titans, 57-14 as rookie QB DeShaun Watson had four TD passes and a running touchdown to lead the rout . . .  The Detroit Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings, 14-7 with a stellar defense, including three fumble recoveries while Ameer Abdullah ran for a three-yard score. Vikings rookie RB Dalvin Cook suffered a knee injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season . . . The Philadelphia Eagles won on the road, 26-24 over the Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) as kicker Jake Elliott made four field goals and the offense was balanced (214 rush yards and 240 pass yards) to lead the way. Chargers QB Philip Rivers passed for 347 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss, which was the Bolts' seventh consecutive home defeat dating back to last year . . .  Over in London, England, the New Orleans Saints shutout the Miami Dolphins, 20-0 with QB Drew Brees throwing two TD passes while the defense sacked Miami QB Jay Cutler four times and also had an interception . . .  Tampa Bay got a game winning 34-yard field goal from Nick Folk as time expired in a 25-23 victory against the winless New York Giants. Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston threw for three scores in the win while Giants QB Eli Manning had two TD passes and a rushing score . . . The New York Jets won their second consecutive game, 23-20 in overtime against the Jacksonville Jaguars as kicker Chandler Catanzaro made a 41-yard field goal with 28 seconds left. Jets RB Bilal Powell had a 75-yard scoring run and went off for 163 yards to lead the way . . .  The Green Bay Packers routed the visiting Chicago Bears on Thursday night, 35-14 as QB Aaron Rodgers had four TD passes . . .  The Seattle Seahawks blasted the Indianapolis Colts, 46-18 on Sunday night behind a huge second half (outscored the Colts 36-3) as QB Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and also had two scoring passes. The Seahawks outgained the Colts, 477-237 in total yardage . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Washington Redskins, 29-20 to remain unbeaten as QB Alex Smith hooked up with tight end Travis Kelce for a scoring pass and rookie running back Kareem Hunt ran for 101 yards to pace a balance attack. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins had two TD passes in the loss.

                             Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week - Deshaun Watson (QB - Houston Texans)

Green Bay 35, Chicago 14
Houston 57, Tennessee 14
Carolina 33, New England 30
Pittsburgh 26, Baltimore 9
NY Jets 23, Jacksonville 20  (OT)
Cincinnati 31, Cleveland 7
New Orleans 20, Miami 0
Detroit 14, Minnesota 7
Buffalo 23, Atlanta 17
Philadelphia 26, LA Chargers 24
LA Rams 35, Dallas 30
Arizona 18, San Francisco 15  (OT)
Denver 16, Oakland 10
Tampa Bay 25, NY Giants 23
Seattle 46, Indianapolis 18
Kansas City 29, Washington 20

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Major League Baseball - 2017 Post Season Preview

The 2017 Major League Baseball regular season is over and now it is on to the post season as ten teams battle for a shot at the World Series.
The Chicago Cubs won it all last year and are back again looking for a repeat following the 108-year drought they endured until last November.
The Cleveland Indians (22 game winning streak and all) are also back after winning 102 games this season. They boast perhaps the most formidable pitching in the big leagues. Although the Los Angeles Dodgers (104 wins to lead the league) might have an argument about that.
There are three 100-win teams in the playoffs this year as the Houston Astros (101 wins) ran away with the American League West division and will face the Boston Red Sox in the divisional series.
The Red Sox were extremely hot down the stretch and have Cy Young candidate Chris Sale (300-plus strikeouts this season) leading the pitching staff. The lineup just grinds and while they don't boast real power like past lineups, they have a knack for getting the long ball in clutch situations.
The Astros have Jose Altuve, a solid candidate for American League Most Valuable Player, leading the way as well as Carlos Correa, George Springer and solid pitching, led by Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel.
The Cubs will play the NL East champion Washington Nationals in the divisional series.
The Cubs are the defending champions and Manager Joe Maddon knows what it takes to get his team ready for October baseball. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant lead the offense while Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester anchor the starting pitching. Closer Wade Davis blew just one save all season long and has experience in the playoffs, having been the closer with Kansas City in their World Series title season two years ago.
The Nationals have Bryce Harper (just off the disabled list), Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, (Cubs killer) Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner in a very strong lineup while the trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez is perhaps the best in baseball. All three have earned run averages below three runs. The bullpen has been suspect in years past, but the addition of Sean Doolittle, Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Madson at the trade deadline seems to have solved that issue.
Before those series get going, there is the matter of the wild card games in both leagues.
In the American League (Tuesday, October 3) the New York Yankees will host the surprising Minnesota Twins, who were coming off a 103-loss season. The National League game features two West Division foes, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies on Wednesday in Arizona.
The Yankees feature a power laden lineup led by rookie Aaron Judge (MLB rookie record 52 home runs) and Gary Sanchez, along with a solid bullpen, anchored by Dellin Batances and Aroldis Chapman. The Twins have a solid nucleus of grinders and manager Paul Molitor has been getting everything out of this team all season long. The Yankees have dominated the Twins in recent memory and will likely win this one, but anything is possible is a one-game playoff.
The Cleveland Indians will host the Divisional Series against the winner of the wild card game and will be the favorites.
Led by manager Terry Francona (two World Series titles with Boston) the Tribe has a great pitching staff with Cy Young candidate Cory Kluber anchoring the starters. Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Josh Tomlin have been consistent pitchers all summer long. The bullpen was the best in baseball in 2017 and has the three-headed monster of Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen to close out games.
The lineup is led by Francisco Lindor, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley. Speed and power is consistent throughout the batting order and Cleveland can score runs at any time.
Meanwhile, Arizona and Colorado know each other all too well and this game could go either way as both teams have solid lineups with plenty of pop and good pitching to boot. Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado is a Most Valuable Player candidate in the NL as is D-Backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
The Diamondbacks have been the more consistent team during the stretch run of September, so they rate the edge, especially with ace pitcher Zack Greinke starting the game.
Whoever wins the game will face the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers and their formidable pitching. Staff ace Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in the game and is surrounded by Rich Hill, Yu Darvish and Alex Wood. Bullpen closer Kenley Jansen has been stellar all season as well.
Rookie of the Year candidate Cody Bellinger leads a solid lineup that features Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Cory Seager and veteran Chase Utley, who has been a part of numerous post-season rosters.
Once the action begins, anything can happen and let's not forget the recent runs of the Kansas City Royals (2014 and 2015) when they came so close to winning it all in 2014 and then parlayed that into a World Series title the next season. Also coming to mind is the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals, who barely finished over .500 but caught fire and beat Detroit to win the World Series.

Here are the Heftyinfo predictions for the 2017 MLB Playoffs and World Series.


Wild Card -  Arizona over Colorado

NLDS -  Chicago over Washington;  Los Angeles over Arizona

NLCS -  Chicago over Los Angeles


Wild Card -  NY Yankees over Minnesota

ALDS -  Houston over Boston;  Cleveland over NY Yankees

ALCS -  Cleveland over Houston


                                                         WORLD SERIES 
    Cleveland Indians over Chicago Cubs in six games  

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten            (Week ending October 1) 

1.  Alabama  (5-0)
2.  Clemson  (5-0)
3.  Oklahoma  (4-0)
4.  Penn State  (5-0)
5.  Washington  (5-0)
6.  Michigan  (4-0)
7.  Wisconsin  (4-0)
8.  Georgia  (5-0)
9.  Ohio State  (4-1)
10.  TCU  (4-0)
10. (tie)  Washington State  (5-0)