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