Monday, October 15, 2018

NFL - Week Six Review

The Dallas Cowboys completely dominated what is supposed to be one of the best defenses in the NFL as they won 40-7 at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was the second straight week the Jags vaunted defense was lit up.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 106 yards and scored a touchdown while quarterback Dak Prescott had a pair of touchdown passes and a rushing score in the rout.
Mahomes and Brady put on a show on Sunday night
The New England Patriots blew a 15-point halftime lead against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) before eventually coming away with a 43-40 victory to become the first team to beat the Chiefs this season.
Patriots QB Tom Brady led the team on the drive to the winning field goal, a 28-yard kick as time expired by Stephen Gostkowski, after Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes (352 passing yards, four TD and two interceptions) threw a 75-yard scoring pass to Tyreek Hill (three TD receptions) that tied the game at 40-40 late in the fourth quarter.  The two teams combined for 946 yards in offense.
Todd Gurley had another huge game for the unbeaten LA Rams
The Los Angeles Rams (6-0) won on the road, 23-20 against the Denver Broncos to remain undefeated as running back Todd Gurley, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, went off for 208 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the way.
The Pittsburgh Steelers scored on a 31-yard TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Antonio Brown with ten seconds left to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 28-21. Cincinnati had taken a 21-20 lead with 1:18 remaining in the fourth quarter on a four-yard scoring run by Joe Mixon.
The Baltimore Ravens crushed the host Tennessee Titans, 21-0 as their defense amassed ELEVEN quarterback sacks in the game. The Titans managed only seven first downs and gained just 106 yards in total offense.
The Miami Dolphins surprised the Chicago Bears, 31-28 in overtime as kicker Jason Sanders made a 47-yard field goal as time expired. Bears kicker Cody Parkey missed a 53-yard field goal try that could have won the game earlier in the OT session. Miami RB Kenyan Drake fumbled the ball away at the goal line on the Dolphins' first OT possession.
Dolphins backup QB Brock Osweiler had three TD passes and 380 yards passing in the win while Bears QB Mitch Trubisky had three TD passes as well. Over 1,000 yards in offense combined in this one.

                                                                 Elsewhere Around the NFL  . . . . . . . 

The Philadelphia Eagles smoked the New York Giants, 34-13 last Thursday night behind three TD passes from QB Carson Wentz  . . .  The Houston Texans beat the Buffalo Bills, 20-13 as Johnathan Joseph took an interception back 28 yards for the deciding score in the final minute of the game . . .  The Los Angeles Chargers blew away the Cleveland Browns, 38-14 as RB Melvin Gordon rushed for 132 yards and had three rushing touchdowns. The Chargers ran for 246 yards in the game for their third straight win . . .  The Seattle Seahawks smashed the Oakland Raiders, 27-3 over in  London, England as QB Russell Wilson had three TD passes and the defense limited the Raiders to only 185 yards in total offense . . .  The Atlanta Falcons held off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 34-29 home victory as Matt Ryan had three TD passes to offset four TD tosses by Bucs QB Jameis Winston . . .  The New York Jets knocked off the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 42-34 as kicker Jason Myers made seven field goals in the win. Colts QB Andrew Luck had four TD passes in the loss . . .  The Washington Redskins held on for a 23-17 home win against the Carolina Panthers after leading 17-0 in the first half . . .  The Minnesota Vikings won at home, 27-17 against the Arizona Cardinals as RB Latavius Murray (155 yards rushing) scored a TD and QB Kirk Cousins had a scoring run and scoring pass to lead the way . . .  Aaron Rodgers threw for 425 yards and two touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers rallied late in the fourth quarter to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 33-30 on Monday Night Football. Packers kicker Mason Crosby (4-for-4 field goals made) made the game winning 27-yard field goal as time expired to atone for the miserable game he had last week when he missed four field goals. 49ers QB C.J. Beathard had two TD passes in the loss.

Philadelphia 34, NY Giants 13
Miami 31, Chicago 28 (OT)
LA Chargers 38, Cleveland 14
Minnesota 27, Arizona 17
Pittsburgh 28, Cincinnati 21
Houston 20, Buffalo 13
Seattle 27, Oakland 3
Atlanta 34, Tampa Bay 29
NY Jets 42, Indianapolis 34
Washington 23, Carolina 17
Baltimore 21, Tennessee 0
LA Rams 23, Denver 20
Dallas 40, Jacksonville 7
New England 43, Kansas City 40
Green Bay 33, San Francisco 30

Sunday, October 14, 2018

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo  College Football Top Ten               (Week ending October 14)      

1.  Alabama (7-0)
2.  Ohio State (7-0)
3.  Clemson (6-0)
4.  Notre Dame (7-0)
5.  LSU (6-1)
6.  Georgia (6-1)
7.  Michigan (6-1)
8.  UCF (6-0)
9.  Texas (6-1)
10.  Oregon (5-1)
10. (tie) Oklahoma (5-1)

Friday, October 12, 2018

NFL - Week Six Preview

About a year ago at this time, the Kansas City Chiefs were 5-0 just as they are through the first five weeks this season.
The Chiefs can one up themselves from last season if they can go into Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday night and defeat the New England Patriots as they did in the opening game last year. That will be no easy task, but the Chiefs have looked pretty much unstoppable on offense.
Last weekend, they upended the Jacksonville Jaguars and their top flight defense, 30-14 even though starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw a pair of interceptions and no touchdown passes.
The Patriots (3-2) have won their last two games after a rough start and currently are tied for first place with the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East division. Quarterback Tom Brady is coming off a three touchdown (pass) game against Indianapolis and would like to see his team show the upstart Chiefs that the "Patriots Way" is still the role model in the AFC.
Another game that features an upstart team going against a team looking to right the ship and show they are still king of the hill in their own division is the one with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) going into Cincinnati to face the Bengals, who lead the AFC North with a 4-1 record.
The Steelers have been their own worst enemy, leading the NFL in penalties while also giving up too much on defense. The Bengals are rolling hot early on as they overcame a 17-0 deficit last week against Miami and eventually came away with a 27-17 victory.
In the first installment of "The London Games" this season, the Oakland Raiders will "host" the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams have struggled so far in the 2018 season and adding some spice to this game is Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (also a former Seattle RB as well) going against his old team.
How about the Cleveland Browns?
They are 2-2-1 so far and are at home this Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) in what should be a very good game that could go down to the wire.
Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield has been playing well in his two starts and of course, Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been stellar through the first five games, throwing 13 touchdown passes with only two interceptions. 
The rest of the slate for Week Six has some interesting inter-conference games as well as divisional matches. For a look at all of the action, the following offers a capsule style preview along with the Heftyinfo predictions.

Tampa Bay (2-2) at Atlanta (1-4) - The Falcons have to win this game, right?

Pittsburgh (2-2-1) at Cincinnati (4-1) - This game will be a slug fest between fierce AFC North rivals. Steelers win in a squeaker.

LA Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland (2-2-1) - The last two games between these teams have been close. Browns could pull it off at home, but Bolts QB Philip Rivers has been hot.

Buffalo (2-3) at Houston (2-3) - Texans rate the edge playing at home, but don't sleep on the Bills.

Chicago (3-1) at Miami (3-2) - The Bears defense is the best in the NFL so far in 2018 and the Dolphins have lost two straight games. Take the Bears.

Arizona (1-4) at Minnesota (2-2-1) - The Vikings lost to a huge road dog three weeks ago . . . have they learned a lesson from that one?

Indianapolis (1-4) at NY Jets (2-3) - Colts have struggled and the Jets are coming off a big win at home vs. Denver last week.

Seattle (2-3) at Oakland (1-4) (in London, England) - How many touchdowns will Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch score against his former team?

Carolina (3-1) at Washington (2-2) - The Redskins were embarrassed on MNF while the Panthers won a wild one at the gun last week. Toss up in this one.

LA Rams (5-0) at Denver (2-3) - The Broncos are always tough at home, so the Rams better be ready.

Jacksonville (3-2) at Dallas (2-3) - The Jaguars should win this game, but it will not be easy.

Baltimore (3-2) at Tennessee (3-2) - Two teams coming off close defeats in the closing minutes. Flip a coin in this one.

Kansas City (5-0) at New England (3-2) - The NFL Game of the Week for sure. Patriots stop the Chiefs with a late TD drive by Brady and company.

San Francisco (1-4) at Green Bay (2-2-1) - Packers roll !

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

Philadelphia over NY Giants
Atlanta over Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati 
LA Chargers over Cleveland 
Houston over Buffalo
Chicago over Miami 
Minnesota over Arizona
NY Jets over Indianapolis
Seattle over Oakland (London, England)
Washington over Carolina
LA Rams over Denver
Jacksonville over Dallas 
Tennessee over Baltimore
New England over Kansas City
GREEN BAY over San Francisco

Last Week's Record - 11-4 


Lock of the Week Record - 3-2


Monday, October 8, 2018

NFL - Week Five Review

The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams (both 5-0) remained undefeated this weekend while the Arizona Cardinals won their first game of the season, ensuring no teams will go without a victory in the 2018 NFL season.
The Chiefs knocked off the Jacksonville Jaguars, 30-14 as quarterback Patrick Mahomes (pictured left) scored a rushing touchdown to go with Chris Jones' interception return for a score and Kareem Hunt's TD run.
The Rams held off the host Seattle Seahawks, 33-31 behind three scoring runs by running back Todd Gurley (pictured right) and sealed the game away with a fourth down conversion to run out the clock.
Despite being outgained by a two-to-one margin in yardage, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the host San Francisco 49ers, 28-18 as rookie QB Josh Rosen had a 75-yard TD pass and RB David Johnson scored two times on the ground.
The New York Jets beat the visiting Denver Broncos, 34-16 behind a huge game from RB Isaiah Crowell, the Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, who rushed for 219 yards, including a 77-yard TD run as the Jets had 323 yards on the ground. In addition, rookie QB Sam Darnold threw for three scores to help pace the offense.
The Cleveland Browns are now 2-2-1 as they toppled the visiting Baltimore Ravens, 12-9 in overtime as kicker Greg Joseph made the game winning 37-yard field goal with two seconds left to play.
Things are getting worse for the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) as they may not have running back Jay Ajayi (torn ACL) for the rest of the season. The injury occurred during a 23-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Vikings defensive lineman Linval Joseph rumbled 64 yards with a fumble recovery for a touchdown to put them ahead for good in the game. Eagles QB Carson Wentz had two scoring passes in defeat.
How about those Cincinnati Bengals?
They outscored the Miami Dolphins 24-0 in the fourth quarter en route to a 27-17 home win to improve to 4-1 this season. The Bengals defense scored twice (fumble return and interception return) in the final quarter to lead the way. The Dolphins blew a 17-0 lead as QB Ryan Tannehill was picked off two times.
The Detroit Lions held off the visiting Green Bay Packers, 31-23 as they nearly squandered a 24-0 first half lead.
Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed four field goal attempts and an extra point as well in the loss.
Lions RB LeGarrette Blount scored on two 1-yard runs and QB Matthew Stafford had a pair of scoring passes to offset the three TD passes from Aaron Rodgers in the second half.

                                                           Elsewhere Around the NFL  . . . . . . .   

The Los Angeles Chargers throttled the visiting Oakland Raiders, 26-10 as QB Philip Rivers had two TD passes and the defense limited the Raiders to just 41 rushing yards . . .  Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for three scores to lead the Steelers to a 41-17 rout of the visiting Atlanta Falcons, who dropped to 1-4 for the season . . .  Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano boomed a 63-yard field goal as time expired to lift his team to a 33-31 win against the visiting New York Giants. Panthers QB Cam Newton and Giants QB Eli Manning each had a pair of TD passes . . .  The Buffalo Bills won a 13-12 defensive struggle against the Tennessee Titans as QB Josh Allen scored the only touchdown in the game on a 14-yard run . . .   The New England Patriots (3-2) bounced the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 38-24 on Thursday night behind three TD passes from Tom Brady, who became only the third QB in NFL history with 500 career touchdown passes. Colts QB Andrew Luck had three TD passes in defeat . . .  In the Sunday Night Football game the Houston Texans outlasted the visiting Dallas Cowboys, 19-16 in OT on a 36-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn. Houston QB Deshaun Watson had a scoring pass to go with 375 yards passing while Cowboys QB Dak Prescott had a TD pass along with two interceptions . . .  The New Orleans Saints routed the visiting Washington Redskins, 43-19 on Monday Night Football. Saints QB Drew Brees, Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week had three touchdown passes while throwing for 363 yards, which put him at the top of the list for most career passing yardage in NFL history, breaking Peyton Manning's record.

New England 38, Indianapolis 24
Pittsburgh 41, Atlanta 17
Cincinnati 27, Miami 17
Cleveland 12, Baltimore 9 (OT)
Kansas City 30, Jacksonville 14
NY Jets 34, Denver 16
Carolina 33, NY Giants 31
Buffalo 13, Tennessee 12
Detroit 31, Green Bay 23
LA Chargers 26, Oakland 10
LA Rams 33, Seattle 31
Arizona 28, San Francisco 18
Minnesota 23, Philadelphia 21
Houston 19, Dallas 16 (OT)
New Orleans 43, Washington 19 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo  College Football Top Ten        (Week ending October 7)           

1.  Alabama (6-0)
2.  Georgia (6-0)
3.  Ohio State (6-0)
4.  Clemson (6-0)
5.  Notre Dame (6-0)
6.  West Virginia (5-0)
7.  Washington (5-1)
8.  Penn State (4-1)
9.  Michigan (5-1)
10.  UCF (5-0)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

NFL - Week Five Preview

There are only two unbeaten teams remaining along with only one team that is still winless as Week Five in the NFL takes place this weekend.
That could very well change this week as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Jacksonville Jaguars in what will be the stiffest test their high flying offense led by wonder boy quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has 14 touchdown passes with no interceptions to this point. Jacksonville's ball hawking defense knows how to contain opposing air attacks.  In addition, the Jags have allowed a league low 56 points through four games, an average of only 14 points per game.
Meanwhile, the Rams travel to face the Seattle Seahawks, who have won two games in a row as their defense has shown improvement. However, they will be without All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, who is out for the rest of the season with a leg injury. Los Angeles has both a great offense (35 points per game average) and a solid defense, which has allowed only 67 points through four games.
The Arizona Cardinals could get their first win of the season when they face the San Francisco 49ers on the road. The Cardinals offense has been terrible so far, scoring only 37 points in their first four games for a 9.2 points per game average. The 'Niners are without QB Jimmy Garoppolo for the season with a knee injury. This game should be a close one.
The rest of the action features some divisional games and the best one could be the Green Bay Packers traveling to face the Detroit Lions in an NFC North battle. The Monday Night Football game will see the resurgent Washington Redskins facing the New Orleans Saints, winners of three straight, down in the Big Easy as QB Drew Brees looks to make passing history. Brees needs just 201 passing yards in the game to break Peyton Manning's all-time record for NFL career passing yardage.

Here is a look at the action for Week Five in capsule form along with the Heftyinfo picks for all the games.

Tennessee (3-1) at Buffalo (1-3) - The Bills could spring a surprise in this home game. The Titans continue to get it done with real grit on the field. Bills have been very erratic in their first four games.

NY Giants (1-3) at Carolina (2-1) - Cam Newton and company should win, but the Giants will not simply roll over in this game.

Miami (3-1) at Cincinnati (3-1) - Two of the NFL's bigger surprise teams through the first four games face off. Take the Bengals.

Baltimore (3-1) at Cleveland (1-2-1) - This game could go down to the wire. Ravens defense has been outstanding so far this season. 

Green Bay (2-1-1) at Detroit (1-3) - Lions are in desperation mode already in this key NFC North matchup. They could pull it off being at home vs. their big rivals.

Jacksonville (3-1) at Kansas City (4-0) - Chiefs barely escaped last week with a win at Denver while the Jaguars bounced back big time following their only loss of the season. Toss up here.

Denver (2-2) at NY Jets (1-3)
- The Jets have lost three in a row following their huge win to open the season. Denver's defense always gives them a chance.

Atlanta (1-3) at Pittsburgh (1-2-1) - Some "experts" had these two teams picked to face off in the Super Bowl this season. The loser of this one will have a steep climb just to make the playoffs.

Oakland (1-3) at LA Chargers (2-2) - Chargers continue to battle the injury bug early on, but could very well be one of the best teams in the AFC. Raiders coming off their first win last week in exciting OT game.

Minnesota (1-2-1) at Philadelphia (2-2) - Rematch of last year's NFC Championship game featuring two under achieving teams.

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

LA Rams (4-0) at Seattle (2-2) - The Rams should win this game, but the Seahawks have shown improvement after a rough start to the season.

Dallas (2-2) at Houston (1-3) - The NFL version for the battle of Texas . . . is it really worth fighting for?

Washington (2-1) at New Orleans (3-1) - Saints are on a roll and should win big in this home game on MNF, especially with Drew Brees on the doorstep of NFL history.

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

New England over Indianapolis
Buffalo over Tennessee   
Carolina over NY Giants
Cincinnati over Miami
Baltimore over Cleveland
Detroit over Green Bay
Jacksonville over Kansas City
NY Jets over Denver
Pittsburgh over Atlanta
LA Chargers over Oakland
Philadelphia over Minnesota
San Francisco over Arizona
LA Rams over Seattle 
Houston over Dallas
NEW ORLEANS over Washington

Last Week's Record -  12-3


Lock of the Week Record - 2-2

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Major League Baseball - Post-Season Preview

The 2018 Major League Baseball regular season is over and now for ten teams, it's on to the playoffs.
The Boston Red Sox ran away from the New York Yankees in the American League East and own the best record in baseball at 108-54. The Houston Astros (103-59) won the West and the Yankees (100-62) are the third team with 100 or more wins this season.
The Cleveland Indians won the American League Central, which was the worst division in the big leagues this season. The team that surprised everyone and is getting very little respect is the Oakland A's, who won 97 games and are the second wild card team. They will face the Yankees tomorrow night in The Bronx.
The National League was wide open this year and two divisional races played an extra game to decide the winners. In the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers won the race and the Chicago Cubs are the wild card team. Over in the West division, the Los Angeles Dodgers won their sixth consecutive division crown while the Colorado Rockies will be back as a wild card team for the second straight year. The Atlanta Braves (perhaps arriving a year earlier than anticipated?) ran away with the NL East division and will face the Dodgers in the Divisional round.
All bets are off once the post-season starts and for those who say that isn't true, just look back to the 2014 MLB post-season when TWO wild card teams faced off in the World Series. The San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals in seven games that year to win it all.
Point is, anything can happen folks, so do not be surprised if the Amazin' A's knock off the home run slugging Yankees in the one-game AL wild card playoff. Same thing is possible in the National League wild card as well. The Rockies have been a hot team while the Cubs have struggled somewhat down the stretch, coughing up a five-game lead they held over Milwaukee just one month ago.

So here goes nothing as Heftyinfo puts out the picks for the 2018 MLB playoffs and World Series.

Wild Card Game - Oakland A's over New York Yankees

Divisional Round
Oakland A's over Boston Red Sox (five games)
Houston Astros over Cleveland Indians (four games)

ALCS - Houston Astros over Oakland A's (seven games)

Wild Card Game - Chicago Cubs over Colorado Rockies

Divisional Round
Chicago Cubs over Milwaukee Brewers (five games)
Los Angeles Dodgers over Atlanta Braves (three games)

NLCS - Los Angeles Dodgers over Chicago Cubs (five games)


                                                                          WORLD SERIES 

   Houston Astros over Los Angeles Dodgers in six games


Monday, October 1, 2018

NFL - Week Four Review

Bears QB Mitch Trubisky had a huge game in rout of Tampa Bay.
Fantastic finishes and blowouts were the order for the NFL in this fourth weekend.
The Chicago Bears served notice they are to be taken serious this year in the NFC as they crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-10 with a suffocating defense and SIX touchdown passes from quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week. In addition to the scoring passes, Turbisky passed for 354 yards.
The Bears raced out to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter and shut down the high powered Tampa Bay offense, intercepting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick once and Jameis Winston (who took over at QB in the second half) twice while amassing four more sacks.
Another blowout game saw the New England Patriots topple the Miami Dolphins, 38-7 as QB Tom Brady had three TD passes. The Patriots defense dominated the previously unbeaten Dolphins, limiting them to just 11 first downs and 172 yards in total offense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars smashed the New York Jets, 31-12 as they totaled 503 yards in offense while their vaunted defense held the Jets to only ten first downs and 178 total yards of offense.
There were three overtime games and two were decided by field goals as the Houston Texans nipped the host Indianapolis Colts, 37-34 after squandering an 18-point lead. Texans kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn nailed a 37-yard field goal to decide the outcome. Houston QB Deshaun Watson had two TD passes and a scoring run while Colts QB Andrew Luck threw for four scores in the loss.
The Oakland Raiders roared back to force OT and eventually beat the visiting Cleveland Browns, 45-42 for their first win this season. Oakland kicker Matt McGrane drilled the game winning 29-yarder after missing two earlier tries.
The two teams combined to gain over 1,000 yards in offense as Raiders QB Derek Carr had four TD passes along with 437 passing yards. Browns QB Baker Mayfield made his first start and had 295 yards passing and two scoring passes.
The Tennessee Titans outlasted the Philadelphia Eagles, 26-23 as QB Marcus Mariota threw a ten-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Corey Davis to win the game after Eagles' kicker Jake Elliott made a 37-yard field goal. Mariota had two TD passes and a two-yard scoring run while Philly QB Carson Wentz had two TD strikes in defeat.
The Cincinnati Bengals beat the host Atlanta Falcons, 37-36 on a 13-yard TD pass from QB Andy Dalton to WR A.J. Green with seven seconds remaining. Dalton had three TD passes and 337 yards passing to offset a huge game from Falcons QB Matt Ryan (419 yards passing with three TD).
Three other barn burners included the Los Angeles Chargers defeating the San Francisco 49ers, 29-27 as Caleb Sturgis made a 21-yard field goal to make the difference . . .  The Seattle Seahawks topped the Arizona Cardinals, 20-17 on a 52-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired. The Cardinals (0-4) are the only winless team in the NFL . . .  Dallas beat the visiting Detroit Lions, 26-24 as Cowboys kicker Brett Maher made a 38-yard field goal as time expired. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 152 yards and also had four receptions for 88 yards, including one for a 38-yard TD to lead the offense.

                                                         Around  the  NFL . . . . . . . .  

The Los Angeles Rams (4-0) won a wild game against the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday night, winning 38-31 behind five TD passes from Jared Goff, who also passed for 465 yards. Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins threw for 433 yards with three TD passes in the loss as the teams combined for 1,002 yards in total offense . . .   The Green Bay Packers bounced back to win at home, shutting out the Buffalo Bills, 22-0. The Packers defense dominated the game, holding the Bills to 11 first downs and only 145 total yards, including a paltry 87 yards passing while also getting seven QB sacks and forcing three turnovers . . .  The New Orleans Saints won their third straight game, topping the host New York Giants, 33-18 as kicker Will Lutz made four field goals to go with three rushing touchdowns from RB Alvin Kamara, who had 134 rushing yards in the win . . .  The Baltimore Ravens started strong and then finished strong to beat the host Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-14 in the Sunday night game. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco had two scoring passes in the first half and kicker Justin Tucker connected on four field goals to provide all the scoring in the second half . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) stayed undefeated with a 27-23 road victory against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (121 yards rushing) scored the game winner on a four-yard run to complete a ten-point fourth quarter comeback by Kansas City.

LA Rams 38, Minnesota 31
Cincinnati 37, Atlanta 36
Chicago 48, Tampa Bay 10
Tennessee 26, Philadelphia 23 (OT)
Houston 37, Indianapolis 34 (OT)
Jacksonville 31, NY Jets 12
New England 38, Miami 7
Green Bay 22, Buffalo 0
Dallas 26, Detroit 24
LA Chargers 29, San Francisco 27
Oakland 45, Cleveland 42 (OT)
Seattle 20, Arizona 17
New Orleans 33, NY Giants 18
Baltimore 26, Pittsburgh 14
Kansas City 27, Denver 23 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

College Football Top Ten

 Heftyinfo  College Football Top Ten                      (Week ending September 30)     

1.  Alabama  (5-0)
2.  Georgia  (5-0)
3.  Ohio State  (5-0)
4.  Clemson  (5-0)
5.  Oklahoma  (5-0)
6.  LSU  (5-0)
7.  Notre Dame  (5-0)
8.  Auburn (4-1)
9.  Washington (4-1)
10.  West Virginia (4-0)

Friday, September 28, 2018

NFL - Week Four Preview

As the month of September ends and October rolls around, the NFL is already in Week Four (the one-quarter mark) with some really good games taking place.
The Los Angeles Rams won a shootout over the visiting Minnesota Vikings, 38-31 on Thursday night to get the week's action started.
The rest of the games taking place Sunday and Monday night should be very competitive, especially the Sunday night game featuring the Baltimore Ravens traveling to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two teams cannot stand each other and another brawl to the finish is very likely.
The AFC North is a log jam so far with the Ravens (2-1) sharing first place with the Cincinnati Bengals, while the Steelers (1-1-1) are tied for second in the division with the Cleveland Browns.
Over in the AFC East, the New England Patriots (1-2) are two games behind the first place Miami Dolphins, who are 3-0 and looking solid on both sides of the ball to this point. The Patriots are not used to the position they find themselves in, that being tied with Buffalo and the New York Jets in  the division race.
Perhaps the biggest game of the week is the Monday night game between the Denver Broncos and the high flying Kansas City Chiefs, who have been blowing every opponent out of the water through the first three games. The Broncos (2-1) will be the home team and will need their always tough defense to be in top form if they want to slow down the Kansas City offense, which is averaging 39.3 points per game.

The action should be fast and furious once again, so here is a look at the games this weekend along with the Heftyinfo predictions.

Cincinnati (2-1) at Atlanta (1-2) - Falcons are a hard team to figure out so far this season. Bengals can score points, coming off road loss.

Tampa Bay (2-1) at Chicago (2-1) - Two teams that are complete opposites . . . Buccaneers have big offense and shoddy defense while the Bears have a great defense with a so-so offensive attack.

Detroit (1-2) at Dallas (1-2) - Cowboys rate a slight edge being the home team, but the Lions showed they cannot be taken lightly as they flattened the mighty New England Patriots last week.

Buffalo (1-2) at Green Bay (1-1-1) - The Bills pulled off the shocker of the season so far by blasting the Minnesota Vikings on the road. Packers were humbled on the road last week, but look for them to rebound in  this one.

Houston (0-3) at Indianapolis (1-2) - The Texans are reeling this season while the Colts have been competitive with QB Andrew Luck back in the fold.

NY Jets (1-2) at Jacksonville (2-1) - If the Jaguars are really to be taken serious as Super Bowl contenders, they cannot lose again at home to an inferior opponent.

Miami (3-0) at New England (1-2) - Can the Dolphins keep the early season success going? Perhaps, but the Patriots are in a "must win" situation in Week Four.

Philadelphia (2-1) at Tennessee (2-1) - The Titans, especially their defense, showed a lot by winning on the road against Jacksonville. The Eagles are dealing with injuries, so don't expect a shootout in this one.

Seattle (1-2) at Arizona (0-3) - Two teams going at it as they look to find an identity in the early going this season.

Cleveland (1-1-1) at Oakland (0-3) - Can the Browns go into the "Black Hole" and actually win? With new QB Baker Mayfield, they believe they can do anything. Raiders look awful through the first three games.

San Francisco (1-2) at LA Chargers (1-2) - The 49ers lost their franchise QB (Jimmy G) for the season with a knee injury. The Charges have been snake bitten with key players (Joey Bosa) being injured and poor special teams play.

New Orleans (2-1) at NY Giants (1-2) - This game should be a good one. Big question is whether the Giants can keep up with the Saints on the scoreboard.

Baltimore (2-1) at Pittsburgh (1-1-1) - Huge early season game between AFC North powers in "prime time" on Sunday night.  Take the Steelers.

Kansas City (3-0) at Denver (2-1) - The Chiefs, with record setting QB Patrick Mahomes, look unstoppable on offense. Problem is their defense isn't very good and the Broncos defense is, which could keep this game really close.

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

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

Last Week's Record -  9-7

SEASON RECORD -  26-20-2

Lock of the Week Record -  1-2

Monday, September 24, 2018

NFL - Week Three Review

Label Week Three around the NFL as a surprise party.

Upsets abound throughout the Sunday games as the Buffalo Bills stunned the host Minnesota Vikings, 27-6 by taking advantage of two first quarter turnovers deep in Vikings' territory to get a 27-0 halftime lead. Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen rushed for two scores and passed for another to lead the way.
The Tennessee Titans pulled off another big upset, winning a 9-6 defensive struggle on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Five field goals accounted for all of the scoring in this one as the two teams combined for only 465 total yardage in offense.
The Sunday Night Football game also saw a big surprise as the host Detroit Lions blasted the New England Patriots, 26-10 behind a solid defensive effort which limited the Patriots to only 209 yards in offense. Lions QB Matthew Stafford had two TD passes and running back Kerryon Johnson rushed for 101 yards to lead the way.
The game of the day was the New Orleans Saints winning in overtime in Atlanta, 43-37 as QB Drew Brees scored on a 1-yard run to win the game. Brees passed for 396 yards with three TD passes and scored two rushing touchdowns as well. Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for five TDs and 374 yards in defeat.
The Kansas City Chiefs continued to roll along as they raced out to a 35-10 halftime lead that ended with a 38-27 home win against the San Francisco 49ers. Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes had three more TD passes (giving him a new NFL record 13 TD passes in the first three games) and RB Kareem Hunt scored twice on the ground to pace the offense. 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (251 yards passing with two TD) suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
The Washington Redskins surprised the visiting Green Bay Packers, 31-17 as RB Adrian Peterson went off for 120 yards rushing (on 19 carries) and scored two touchdowns while QB Alex Smith had a pair of scoring passes. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers had two TD passes in the loss.

                                         Elsewhere Around the NFL  . . . . . . . 

The Chicago Bears defense dominated in the second half as they came back to defeat the host Arizona Cardinals, 16-14 as kicker Cody Parkey drilled a 43-yard field goal to decide the outcome. The Chicago defense forced four turnovers (three interceptions and fumble recovery) and also had four sacks . . .  The Los Angeles Rams piled up 521 yards in a 35-23 win against the L.A. Chargers as QB Jared Goff had three TD passes. Chargers QB Philip Rivers had two TD passes in the loss . . .  The Seattle Seahawks blasted the Dallas Cowboys, 24-13 as they amassed five QB sacks and forced three turnovers. Seattle DB Earl Thomas had two interceptions and QB Russell Wilson had two scoring passes to pace the win  . . .   The Baltimore Ravens throttled the Denver Broncos, 27-14 as Javorius Allen scored two touchdowns . . .  The New York Giants earned a 27-22 road win against the Houston Texans as QB Eli Manning had two TD passes and rookie RB Saquon Barkley scored on a 15-yard run . . .  Miami remained unbeaten in a 28-20 home win against the Oakland Raiders as Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill threw for three touchdowns . . .   The Philadelphia Eagles held off the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 20-16 in QB Carson Wentz' return to the starting role. Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood scored on a 4-yard run with three minutes left to play to make the difference in the outcome . . .  The Carolina Panthers intercepted four passes (from Andy Dalton) in a 31-21 home win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Panthers QB Cam Newton had a rushing TD and two scoring passes to help pace his team to the win . . . Last Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns won for the first time since Week 16 of the 2016 season as they overcame a 14-point deficit in a 21-17 win over the New York Jets. Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield came off the bench to help spark the big comeback as he went 17-of-23 for 201 yards . . .  In the Monday Night Football game, the Pittsburgh Steelers finally put it together to win their first game this year, beating the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-27 as QB Ben Roethlisberger had three TD passes to offset Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and his three TD tosses. The Steelers defense forced four turnovers (including three interceptions) and took one of the picks back for a touchdown as the Bucs suffered their first defeat of the season.

Heftyinfo NFL co-Players of the Week  -  Adrian Peterson (RB- Washington Redskins) and Drew Brees (QB- New Orleans Saints)


Cleveland 21, NY Jets 17
Miami 28, Oakland 20
NY Giants 27, Houston 22
Carolina 31, Cincinnati 21
New Orleans 43, Atlanta 37 (OT)
Washington 31, Green Bay 17
Kansas City 38, San Francisco 27
Buffalo 27, Minnesota 6
Baltimore 27, Denver 14
Tennessee 9, Jacksonville 6
Philadelphia 20, Indianapolis 16
LA Rams 35, LA Chargers 23
Chicago 16, Arizona 14
Seattle 24, Dallas 13
Detroit 26, New England 10
Pittsburgh 30, Tampa Bay 27 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo  College Football Top Ten                  (Week ending September 23)
1.  Alabama  (4-0)
2.  Clemson  (4-0)
3.  Georgia  (4-0)
4.  Ohio State  (4-0)
5.  Oklahoma  (4-0)
6.  LSU  (4-0)
7.  Stanford  (4-0)
8.  Penn State  (4-0)
9.  Notre Dame  (4-0)
10.  Auburn  (3-1) 

Friday, September 21, 2018

NFL - Week Three Preview

Week Three around the NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs are two of the hottest teams in the league.
The Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes (and his ten touchdown passes) are leading the league in scoring (80 points total) through the first two weeks while the Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has the highest QB rating in the NFL so far. The Bucs are second in scoring in the league with 75 points through the first two games.

Can they keep it going?
History says over the long haul no they cannot, but it's only the third game of the season, so all bets are off to the naysayers.
Tampa Bay hosts the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) on Monday Night Football while the Chiefs will host the San Francisco 49ers (1-1) on Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
Just a side note before getting into the meat and potatoes of Week Three game action . . . The Cleveland Browns won for the first time in 19 games (December 24, 2016) as they toppled the visiting New York Jets, 21-17 last night. Rookie QB Baker Mayfield came in for Tyrod Taylor and led a comeback from a 14-point deficit while passing for 201 yards on 17-of-23 accuracy.

As for the rest of the action this weekend, here are the Heftyinfo previews in capsule style with the fearless predictions for each game.

New Orleans (1-1) at Atlanta (1-1) - This game usually goes down to the wire, so expect more of the same this time around as well.

Denver (2-0) at Baltimore (1-1) - The Broncos found a horseshoe at home last week vs. the Raiders, but playing in Baltimore will be no easy task for them.

Cincinnati (2-0) at Carolina (1-1) - The Bengals are off to a great start, but they will need their best game to beat the Panthers on the road.

NY Giants (0-2) at Houston (0-2) - The loser of this one might as well mail it in the rest of the way this season.

Tennessee (1-1) at Jacksonville (2-0) - The Jaguars looking like the real deal early on, especially their vaunted defense. The Titans will need a miracle to win this game.

San Francisco (1-1) at Kansas City (2-0) - Can the 49ers slow down Patrick Mahomes and the NFL's best offense?  Nope!

Oakland (0-2) at Miami (2-0) - The Raiders lost a heart breaker last week while Miami is off to a surprising start.

Buffalo (0-2) at Minnesota (1-0-1) - Vikings in a rout.

Indianapolis (1-1) at Philadelphia (1-1) - Eagles QB Carson Wentz is back and they will need him and the offense (injury riddled as it has been) to step it up against Andrew Luck and company.

Green Bay (1-0-1) at Washington (1-1) - Aaron Rodgers and company should win this road contest, but the Redskins will not just roll over for the Packers.

LA Chargers (1-1) at LA Rams (2-0) - The battle for Los Angeles it is being called . . . is it really worth fighting for?  Take the Rams in a shootout.

Chicago (1-1) at Arizona (0-2) - The Bears suffocating defense going against a team which has scored just six points so far this season. No brainer right? But remember, this is the NFL and on any given Sunday . . . you know the rest.

Dallas (1-1) at Seattle (0-2) - Russell Wilson and company cannot lose at home to the mediocre Cowboys can they?  Doubtful they will.

New England (1-1) at Detroit (0-2) - The Patriots were beaten up last week in Jacksonville while the Lions are looking to get their defense righted. Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia knows the Pats, having run their defense in recent seasons.

Pittsburgh (0-1-1) at Tampa Bay (2-0) - Will Tampa Bay's "Bearded Wonder" (QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) continue the magic carpet ride against a Steelers' team that looks downright pathetic (by their standards) so far this season? This should be a great MNF game.

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

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

Last Week's Record - 8-7-1


Lock of the Week Record - 1-1

Monday, September 17, 2018

NFL - Week Two Review

Two quarterbacks stole the NFL spotlight once again this weekend as Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick put up huge numbers for the second straight game while leading their teams to victory.
The Kansas City Chiefs held off the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 42-37 as Mahomes (pictured right) passed for 326 yards and threw SIX touchdown passes.
For the effort, Patrick Mahomes is the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week.
The second year QB has ten touchdown passes in the first two weeks this season, which is a new NFL record. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger passed for 452 yards and had three scoring passes and one rushing TD in the loss.

Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick had four more TD passes (matching his Week One total) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they toppled the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, 27-21. Fitzpatrick hooked up with tight end O.J. Howard and wide receiver DeSean Jackson for 75-yard scoring passes and finished with 402 passing yards.
The Jacksonville Jaguars served notice to the rest of the AFC they are the team to be reckoned with as they pounded the visiting New England Patriots, 31-20 as their defense limited the Pats to just 302 total yards in offense.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles threw four touchdown passes (also had 377 passing yards) to lead the offense as they built up a 21-3 halftime lead and coasted in the second half.
The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings played a 29-29 tie game as Vikes' kicker Daniel Carlson missed both field goal attempts in the overtime, including a 35-yarder as time expired.
Packers kicker Mason Crosby made five field goals in the game, but he missed a 52-yard kick as time expired in regulation. A blocked punt and a scoring pass accounted for the Packers points while Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins had four TD passes in the game.

                                            Elsewhere Around the  NFL . . . . . . .    

The Los Angeles Chargers blasted the host Buffalo Bills, 31-20 as running back Melvin Gordon scored three times. The Chargers defense recorded five QB sacks and had two interceptions. Bills defensive back Vontae Davis abruptly retired from the NFL during halftime in a strange occurrence . . .   The Los Angeles Rams shutout the Arizona Cardinals, 34-0 in a game dominated by the Rams defense, which limited the Cards to just five first downs and 137 total yardage in offense. Rams RB Todd Gurley had three rushing touchdowns to pace the offense . . .  The Indianapolis Colts won a road game, 21-9 against Washington as QB Andrew Luck threw two TD passes . . .   Atlanta held on to beat the visiting Carolina Panthers, 31-24. Falcons QB Matt Ryan had two TD passes and two rushing scores to offset three TD passes by Carolina QB Cam Newton . . .   New Orleans escaped at home with a 21-18 win over Cleveland as Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra point attempts. Saints QB Drew Brees had a pair of scoring passes in the win . . .  The San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions, 30-27 as RB Matt Breida rushed for 138 yards, including a 66-yard scoring run to lead the way. Lions QB Matthew Stafford had three TD passes in defeat . . .  The Miami Dolphins built a 20-0 halftime lead and then held off the host New York Jets for a 20-12 win to move into sole possession of first place in the AFC East. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill threw for two touchdowns to lead the way . . . The Denver Broncos trailed the visiting Oakland Raiders for the entire game, but won 20-19 as kicker Brandon McManus drilled a game winning 36-yard field goal with just six seconds left in regulation . . .   The Tennessee Titans got two fourth quarter field goals from Ryan Succop, including a 31-yard boot with one minute left to play to beat the visiting Houston Texans, 20-17. Texans QB Deshaun Watson had two TD passes in the loss . . .  The Cincinnati Bengals won at home, 34-23 against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night as QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green connected on three scoring passes in the first half. The Bengals (2-0) are alone at the top of the AFC North division . . .  The Sunday Night Football game went to the Dallas Cowboys, 20-13 as they won at home against the New York Giants. Neither team gained 300 yards in offense and Dallas' defense limited the Giants to only 35 rushing yards . . .  The Chicago Bears beat the visiting Seattle Seahawks, 24-17 on Monday Night Football. Bears QB Mitch Trubisky had two TD passes as did Seattle QB Russell Wilson. The difference in the outcome was a 49-yard "pick six" interception by Prince Amukamara. The Chicago defense also had six sacks in the win.

Cincinnati 34, Baltimore 23
Indianapolis 21, Washington 9
Minnesota 29, Green Bay 29 (OT)
New Orleans 21, Cleveland 18
LA Chargers 31, Buffalo 20
Kansas City 42, Pittsburgh 37
Atlanta 31, Carolina 24
Tennessee 20, Houston 17
Miami 20, NY Jets 12
Tampa Bay 27, Philadelphia 21
LA Rams 34, Arizona 0
Denver 20, Oakland 19
San Francisco 30, Detroit 27
Jacksonville 31, New England 20
Dallas 20, NY Giants 13
Chicago 24, Seattle 17

Sunday, September 16, 2018

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo  College Football Top Ten       (Week ending September 16)     

1.  Alabama (3-0)
2.  Clemson (3-0)
3.  Georgia (3-0)
4.  Ohio State (3-0)
5.  Oklahoma (3-0)
6.  LSU (3-0)
7.  Stanford (3-0)
8.  Penn State (3-0)
9.  Notre Dame (3-0)
10.  Auburn (2-1)

Friday, September 14, 2018

NFL - Week Two Preview

Week Two around the NFL has some divisional games that will have early impact around the league.
The Minnesota Vikings travel to Green Bay to face the Packers, who may or may not have a hobbled Aaron Rodgers starting at quarterback this Sunday.
The Vikings have a strong defense while Rodgers and company are coming off their stunning comeback from a 20-0 deficit against the Chicago Bears in the opener that resulted in  a 24-23 thrilling victory. This one could very well come down to the final possession.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Night Football game features NFC East rivals Dallas and the New York Giants going at it in Dallas where the Cowboys will be looking to jump start their offense after last week's debacle against Carolina.
Speaking of Carolina, the Panthers will face the Atlanta Falcons in a stiff road test.
The Falcons came so close, but again were beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles, 18-12 in the opening game. The Panthers defense frustrated Dallas last week and will look to do the same against QB Matt Ryan and the rest of the Atlanta offense.
Four other divisional games include Oakland at Denver (AFC West), Arizona at Los Angeles Rams (NFC West), Houston at Tennessee (AFC South) and Miami at New York Jets (AFC East). The battle between the Jets and Dolphins features teams that surprised the opposition in Week One and put them both in a tie with the New England Patriots for first place in the division.
The Patriots will be in Jacksonville to play the Jaguars, who knocked off the New York Giants, 20-15 last week behind stellar defense. The Jags will look to get a measure of revenge against the Patriots, who edged them in the AFC Championship Game back in January.
All in all, it looks to be a great slate of games this week. So here goes another effort for Heftyinfo to predict the winners and losers around the NFL. The following offers a capsule style preview of all the action as well as the picks.

Carolina (1-0) at Atlanta (0-1) - The Falcons, playing at home, cannot afford to start 0-2 this season. Panthers showed solid defense in their opener.

LA Chargers (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1) - The Chargers will likely be without defensive star Joey Bosa again. The offense must pick up the slack against a Bills D that allowed 47 points against Baltimore.

Minnesota (1-0) at Green Bay (1-0) - The Vikings defense against Aaron Rodgers and company . . . Now that is football.

Cleveland (0-0-1) at New Orleans (0-1) - The Browns could pull this game out if the Saints defense plays like they did last week, giving up 48 points to a backup quarterback led Tampa Bay team.

Miami (1-0) at NY Jets (1-0) - The Jets rang up 48 points on the road last week while the Dolphins won a close one at home in their opener. Flip a coin for this one.

Kansas City (1-0) at Pittsburgh (0-0-1) - The Steelers coughed up a 14-point lead late last week while the Chiefs roughed up the Chargers on the road as Tyreek Hill had a MONSTER game.

Philadelphia (1-0) at Tampa Bay (1-0) - Two unbeaten teams going at it. Beware the Beard ! (aka Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) This game could be closer than most fans might think.

Houston (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1) - Another divisional contest that likely will go down to the wire. Titans QB Marcus Mariota was injured in the opener as the offense struggled.

Indianapolis (0-1) at Washington (1-0) - The Redskins rolled on the road last week while the Colts were hammered at home by the Cincinnati Bengals. Take the Redskins.

Arizona (0-1) at LA Rams (1-0) - Rams should roll in this game.

Detroit (0-1) at San Francisco (0-1) - The Lions looked pathetic in a drubbing at home last week. The 49ers were smoked by the Vikings. Something has to give.

Oakland (0-1) at Denver (1-0) - The Raiders need this win and it's only Week Two. Denver looked decent in their opener, but this game could go either way.

New England (1-0) at Jacksonville (1-0) - The NFL Game of the Week, no doubt. Two solid teams going at it in a game that might come down to the final minute. Brady and company rate a slight edge, even on the road.

NY Giants (0-1) at Dallas (0-1) - The loser of this game will likely be two games out of first place in the NFC East race.

Seattle (0-1) at Chicago (0-1) - Monday Night Football in the Windy City between two teams that suffered close losses in Week One.

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

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

Last Week's Record -  9-6-1


Lock of the Week Record - 0-1 

Monday, September 10, 2018

NFL - Week One Review

The first weekend of the 2018 NFL season is just about in the books, pending the Monday night games and there was the usual surprises and expectations around the league.

Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had a HUGE game vs. the Saints
The BIGGEST surprise had to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beating the host New Orleans Saints, 48-40 in what was the highest scoring opening game in NFL history.
Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (pictured right) stole the show by passing for 417 yards and four touchdowns and also added a scoring run as well to earn the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week.

Tampa Bay shredded the Saints defense for 529 yards while building a 24-point lead in the fourth quarter. The receiving duo of Mike Evans (7-147 yards) and DeSean Jackson (5-146 yards) each scored a touchdown to help lead the way. Saints QB Drew Brees had 439 yards passing and three touchdowns in the loss.
The Green Bay Packers staged a huge fourth quarter comeback in a 24-23 win at home over the Chicago Bears on the Sunday night "prime time" game.
The Bears dominated the first half, leading 17-0, including temporarily knocking Packers QB Aaron Rodgers out of the game. Bears linebacker/edge rusher Khalil Mack had a strip fumble sack and a pick-six interception in the onslaught, but it was all for not as Rodgers rallied his team back with three fourth quarter touchdowns, including the game-winner on a 75-yard strike to WR Randall Cobb with just under three minutes to play.
The Thursday night opener in Philadelphia was pretty lackluster as the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles held off the Atlanta Falcons, 18-12 as running back Jay Ajayi scored two rushing touchdowns.

                                             Elsewhere Around the NFL  . . . . . . .  

The Baltimore Ravens crushed the visiting Buffalo Bills, 47-3 behind three TD passes from Joe Flacco and six sacks and two interceptions from the defense, which limited the Bills to 153 total yards in offense . . .  The Cincinnati Bengals rallied to beat the Indianapolis Colts, 34-23 to spoil the return of Indy QB Andrew Luck, who missed last season with shoulder injuries. Bengals QB Andy Dalton had two TD passes and Clayton Fejedelem went 83 yards with a fumble return TD to seal the win . . .  Quarterback Alex Smith had a pair of scoring passes to pace the Washington Redskins past the host Arizona Cardinals, 24-6 . . .  The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns played to a 21-21 tie game as the Steelers committed six turnovers (three interceptions and three fumbles) . . .  The New England Patriots beat the visiting Houston Texans, 27-20 behind three TD passes from Tom Brady . . .  Minnesota knocked off the San Francisco 49ers, 24-16 as the defense got four turnovers, including three picks (one for a TD) while limiting the 49ers to 237 yards in offense . . .  Miami beat the Tennessee Titans, 27-20 in a game delayed for over two hours because of lightning and storms. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill had two TD strikes and a 102-yard kickoff return TD by Jakeem Grant. Titans QB Marcus Mariota (two INT) left the game with an elbow injury . . .  The Jacksonville Jaguars held off the host New York Giants, 20-15 as linebacker Myles Jack took an interception 32 yards for the deciding score. Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley gained 106 yards and scored their only touchdown on a 68-yard run . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs rode Tyreek Hill (three TD, including a 91-yard punt return TD) and QB Patrick Mahomes (four TD passes) to a 38-28 road win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TD in the loss . . .  Carolina won a 16-8 yawner over the Dallas Cowboys as neither team mustered 300 yards in total offense . . .  Denver knocked off the visiting Seattle Seahawks, 27-24 behind three TD passes from QB Case Keenum. The Broncos defense sacked Seattle QB Russell Wilson six times and forced three turnovers.
In the Monday night games, the New York Jets crushed the host Detroit Lions, 48-17 as their defense intercepted five passes and rookie QB Sam Darnold had a pair of touchdown passes. Lion starting QB Matthew Stafford was picked off four times and the Jets limited Detroit to only 37 rushing yards . . .  The Los Angeles Rams buried the Oakland Raiders, 33-13, spoiling the return of Jon Gruden as the Raiders Head Coach. Rams QB Jared Goff had a pair of TD passes in the win and RB Todd Gurley rushed for 108 yards. Defensive back Marcus Peters had a 50-yard interception return TD as well. 

Philadelphia 18, Atlanta 12
Baltimore 47, Buffalo 3
Pittsburgh 21, Cleveland 21 (OT)
Cincinnati 34, Indianapolis 23
New England 27, Houston 20
Jacksonville 20, NY Giants 15
Miami 27, Tennessee 20
Minnesota 24, San Francisco 16
Tampa Bay 48, New Orleans 40
Carolina 16, Dallas 8
Kansas City 38, LA Chargers 28
Denver 27, Seattle 24
Washington 24, Arizona 6
Green Bay 24, Chicago 23
NY Jets 48, Detroit 17
LA Rams 33, Oakland 13

Friday, September 7, 2018

NFL - Week One Preview and 2018 Season Predictions

The 2018 NFL season kicked off last night with the Philadelphia Eagles topping the Atlanta Falcons, 18-12 in Philadelphia. The Eagles are the defending Super Bowl champions and will have a battle ahead of them this season as they seek to become the first back-to-back champions since the New England Patriots of the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

The rest of the action is Sunday and the two Monday night games will cap off the opening week for the NFL.

Here are the Heftyinfo picks for the 2018 NFL season and for the playoffs and Super Bowl. (Playoff teams listed in bold)

1. New England 2. NY Jets 3. Buffalo 4. Miami

1. Pittsburgh 2. Baltimore 3. Cincinnati 4. Cleveland

1. Jacksonville 2. Houston 3. Tennessee 4. Indianapolis

1. LA Chargers 2. Kansas City 3. Oakland 4. Denver

1. Philadelphia 2. Dallas 3. NY Giants 4. Washington

1. Minnesota 2. Green Bay 3. Chicago 4. Detroit

1. Atlanta 2. New Orleans 3. Carolina 4. Tampa Bay

1. LA Rams 2. San Francisco 3. Seattle 4. Arizona

AFC Playoffs
LA Chargers over Baltimore, Jacksonville over Kansas City

Pittsburgh over LA Chargers, New England over Jacksonville

Pittsburgh over New England

NFC Playoffs 
Philadelphia over New Orleans, Atlanta over Green Bay

Minnesota over Atlanta, LA Rams over Philadelphia

LA Rams over Minnesota

Pittsburgh Steelers over Los Angeles Rams 

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

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

Last Year's Record - 177-79

Lock of the Week Record - 15-2

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

NFL Kickoff - It's A New Season

The NFL is back !
It's time for the 2018 NFL season to begin as the Philadelphia Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons in the Thursday Night Football season opener.
The Eagles are the defending Super Bowl champions and the Falcons would like to get some revenge after falling 15-10 in the NFC divisional playoff game last January. Atlanta had a fourth-down pass go incomplete in the end zone in the waning seconds of the game.
Philadelphia is going with Nick Foles as the starting quarterback as Carson Wentz isn't quite ready yet after the surgery for the severe knee injury he suffered late in the 2017 regular season.
The Falcons of course will have Matt Ryan as their starting quarterback along with the dynamic duo running tandem of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman. Top wide receiver Julio Jones will draw some double coverage from the Eagles' secondary.
The Eagles will counter with Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles (also coming back from injuries that limited him in 2017) in their backfield along with All-Pro Tight End Zach Ertz and wideouts Mike Wallace and Nelson Agholor. WR Alshon Jeffery may not play in the opener as he has had nagging injuries that limited him in the pre-season.
All in all, this should be a great game that could very well go down to the wire with the Falcons getting a late field goal to pull out the victory.

                         Prediction -  Atlanta 27, Philadelphia 24

Thursday, August 30, 2018


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES                                                                      

2017 Record - 13-3-0

Head Coach - Doug Pederson

2017 Offensive Ranking - 7th (366 ypg, 28.6 points per game)

2017 Defensive Ranking - 4th (307 ypg, 18.4 points allowed per game)

OFFENSE - Carson Wentz will be the starting quarterback once again after a superb season (3,296 yards passing, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions) was cut short by a knee injury. Nick Foles (537 yards passing, five TD and two INT) is an excellent backup QB and showed it by leading the Eagles offense all the way to the Super Bowl victory.
Jay Ajayi came over in a mid-season trade and rushed for 408 yards (5.8 ypc average) and will be the primary back, especially with LeGarrette Blount leaving via free agency. Corey Clement (321 yards, four TD) and Darren Sproles will be factors on offense as well.
Wide receivers include Alshon Jeffery (57 receptions, 789 yards, nine TD), Nelson Agholor (62, 768, eight TD) and Mike Wallace (52, 748, four TD with Baltimore). The tight ends are Zach Ertz (74, 824, eight TD), Richard Rodgers (12, 160, one TD with Green Bay) and rookie Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State). 

DEFENSE - Brandon Graham (9 1/2 QB sacks), Fletcher Cox (5 1/2 sacks), Derek Barnett (five sacks) and Chris Long (five sacks) form a strong pass rushing presence up front while Haloti Ngata and Michael Bennett will bring experienced depth. Linebackers include Nathan Gerry, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham.
In the secondary will be corners Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby, who each had three interceptions. The safeties are Malcolm Jenkins (two INT) and Rodney McLeod, who had three picks. Corey Graham (two INT) adds depth and rookie draft pick Avonte Maddox (Pittsburgh) will look to make an impact.

OUTLOOK - The defending Super Bowl champions will have a very large target on their collective backs this season and Head Coach Doug Pederson knows it won't be easy to get back to another Super Bowl.
However, having Carson Wentz back healthy at quarterback is big, especially with Nick Foles in reserve. There is good speed and ability at the wide receiver spot and tight end Zach Ertz is deadly for opponents when the Eagles reach the red zone.
The running game should be solid with Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement forming a solid one-two punch and if veteran third-down back Darren Sproles returns to his old form coming back from injury, it adds even more to the potent attack.
Defensively, the Eagles led the NFL in rushing defense, allowing just 79 yards per game while also having the ability to get after opposing quarterbacks. The secondary can be hit-and-miss as they did intercept 19 passes last year, but also allowed 227 yards per game. A big plus was in the turnover category, where the Eagles were a plus-11, which was fourth best in the league.
As long as the Eagles have either Wentz or Foles at quarterback, they should continue to score points and the defense has some added depth with some free agent pickups in the off-season.
As long as they stay healthy and play up to their capabilities, the Eagles should get back to the playoffs. An 11-5 record should be enough to win the NFC East again and how far they go in the playoffs will depend on their desire to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions in 14 years.

Week 1 - vs. Atlanta
Week 2 - at Tampa Bay
Week 3 - vs. Indianapolis
Week 4 - at Tennessee
Week 5 - vs. Minnesota
Week 6 - at NY Giants
Week 7 - vs. Carolina
Week 8 - at Jacksonville (in London)
Week 9 - Bye
Week 10 - vs. Dallas
Week 11 - at New Orleans
Week 12 - vs. NY Giants
Week 13 - vs. Washington
Week 14 - at Dallas
Week 15 - at LA Rams
Week 16 - vs. Houston
Week 17 - at Washington

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - 2018 NFL Season Preview

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS                                                                      

2017 Record - 13-3-0

Head Coach - Bill Belichick

2017 Offensive Ranking - 1st (394 ypg, 28.6 points per game)

2017 Defensive Ranking - 29th (366 ypg, 18.5 points allowed per game)

OFFENSE - Quarterback Tom Brady returns for his 19th season as the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, having passed for 4,577 yards with 32 touchdowns and only eight interceptions last season. Brian Hoyer continues to hold the clipboard.
Running backs are James White (171 yards on the ground along with 56 receptions for 429 yards and three touchdowns), Rex Burkhead (264 yards and five TD), Mike Gillislee (383 yards, five TD) and rookie Sony Michel (Georgia).
The wide receivers include Chris Hogan (34 receptions for 439 yards and five TD), Malcolm Mitchell, Julian Edelman, Cordarrelle Patterson (31, 309 with Oakland) and perhaps rookie 6th round draft pick Braxton Berrios (Miami, Florida). Edelman and Mitchell both missed last season with injuries and Edelman is suspended for the first four games this season as well.
Rob Gronkowski is the tight end and was the leading receiver for New England a year ago, hauling in 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. Dwayne Allen (10, 86, one TD) is the other tight end.

DEFENSE - Trey Flowers (6 1/2 QB sacks), Malcom Brown, Deatrich Wise (five sacks) and Adrian Clayborn man the front lines while linebackers include Dont'a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy (5 1/2 sacks) and Elandon Roberts.
The secondary features safeties Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon, who had four interceptions. The corners are Stephon Gilmore (two picks) and Jason McCourty. New England had 42 QB sacks and twelve interceptions last season, but their pass defense gave up 251 yards per game, which ranked 30th in the NFL.

OUTLOOK - As long as Head Coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady are around, the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East division as well as the conference.
As usual, there was plenty of personnel turnover this off-season, but the Pats always seem to roll with the changes and keep winning football games.
Brady will have his favorite targets (Gronkowski and a healthy Julian Edelman) back this season, along with reliable wideouts as well. The running game will have to make adjustments as the leading rusher from 2017 (Dion Lewis) is gone via free agency. James White has shown he can be a difference maker in big games, so he will be ready to go along with Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee.
The defense must play better this season after ranking 29th overall (which included 20th against the run and 30th against the pass), giving up 366 yards per game. New England did well on scoring defense though, yielding 18.5 points per game, which was fifth in the league. In addition, the Patriots were a plus-6 in the turnover category.
Whether the Patriots can return to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year is another question. It's possible, but eventually age and bad breaks have to catch up with this team, right?
Another AFC East title should happen, barring injury to Brady or other key players along with a 12-4 record. If the team is clicking on all cylinders in January, another Super Bowl title could very well be in the making.

Week 1 - vs. Houston
Week 2 - at Jacksonville
Week 3 - at Detroit
Week 4 - vs. Miami
Week 5 - vs. Indianapolis
Week 6 - vs. Kansas City
Week 7 - at Chicago
Week 8 - at Buffalo
Week 9 - vs. Green Bay
Week 10 - at Tennessee
Week 11 - Bye 
Week 12 - at NY Jets
Week 13 - vs. Minnesota
Week 14 - at Miami
Week 15 - at Pittsburgh
Week 16 - vs. Buffalo
Week 17 - vs. NY Jets

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


WASHINGTON REDSKINS                                                                      

2017 Record - 7-9-0

Head Coach - Jay Gruden

2017 Offensive Ranking - 16th (325 ypg, 21.4 points per game)

2017 Defensive Ranking - 21st (348 ypg, 24.2 points allowed per game)

OFFENSE - The quarterback will be Alex Smith, who comes over from the Kansas City Chiefs after passing for 4,042 yards with 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions. In addition, Smith ran for 355 yards with one touchdown. Backing him up will either be Colt McCoy or Kevin Hogan.
Samaje Perine (603 rushing yards with one TD), Chris Thompson (294, two TD and 39 receptions, 510 yards and four TD) and rookie Derrius Guice (LSU) will be the primary running backs. Free agent Adrian Peterson recently signed with the team and could contribute in the backfield as well.
The wide receivers are Paul Richardson (44 receptions, 703 yards, six TD), Jamison Crowder (66, 789, three TD) and Josh Doctson (35, 502, six TD). Tight End Jordan Reed (27, 211, two TD) played just six games least season and is flanked by 13-year veteran Vernon Davis, who had 43 receptions for 648 yards and three touchdowns.

DEFENSE - The defensive front includes Jonathan Allen, Ziggy Hood and Matt Ioaniddis, who had 4 1/2 quarterback sacks last season. Rookie Da'ron Payne (Alabama) and Stacy McGee provide depth.
Linebackers Ryan Kerrigan (13 QB sacks), Preston Smith (eight sacks and two interceptions) and Pernell McPhee (four sacks with Chicago) can get after opposing quarterbacks.
The secondary has cornerbacks Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar, along with safeties D.J. Swearinger (four interceptions) and Montae Nicholson. The Redskins had 42 sacks and picked off 16 passes last season while ranking in the NFL's top ten against the pass.

OUTLOOK - The Washington Redskins have been no better than a mediocre team the last three seasons and Head Coach Jay Gruden would like to see that change in a big way.
So, out with quarterback Kirk Cousins (now with the Minnesota Vikings) and in with 14-year veteran Alex Smith, who had perhaps his best statistical season with Kansas City a year ago.
The offense was middle of the pack and so was the defense, although the pass defense did rank ninth overall last season. The Redskins running game must get better after averaging just 90 yards per game last year, which ranked 28th in the NFL.
If Smith can show he is the quarterback from last year, the Redskins could be better offensively as they look to get back to the post-season for the first time in three years.
The NFC East looks to be a battle once again, but the Philadelphia Eagles separated themselves from the pack a year ago and if the Redskins want to be competitive, they must have a balanced offense and show they can stop the run after finishing at the bottom of the league, allowing 134 yards rushing per game.
A 6-10 season is likely unless all things come together on both sides of the ball. The Redskins are in a zone of mediocrity and that is likely to be the case once again this season.

Week 1 - at Arizona
Week 2 - vs. Indianapolis
Week 3 - vs. Green Bay
Week 4 - Bye 
Week 5 - at New Orleans
Week 6 - vs. Carolina
Week 7 - vs. Dallas
Week 8 - at NY Giants
Week 9 - vs. Atlanta
Week 10 - at Tampa Bay
Week 11 - vs. Houston
Week 12 - at Dallas
Week 13 - at Philadelphia
Week 14 - vs. NY Giants
Week 15 - at Jacksonville
Week 16 - at Tennessee
Week 17 - vs. Philadelphia