Tagged with "Patriots"
Thank you for an enjoyable year fellow Gabbers
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Dolphins Bronco's Chiefs Patriots Fantasy FB

 

The Marines are coming to save us once again!

 

I look forward to Christmas with family gatherings mainly with my great in-laws… I love this time of year.

The sky from the Harry residence this past Monday just prior to snow

 

This is also the winding down of the NFL season, teams are scrambling for their playoff positions in some cases and their playoff lives in others. What seemed almost certain last week… has been turned upside down this week.

 

Seattle is settled in as the one in the NFC and will get a pair of playoff games at home

Other than that the rest is all up in the air.

New Orleans or Carolina will take the 2nd and fifth seeds but order is TBD.

 

The Lions had a shot at taking control of the North but couldn’t put Baltimore

(6 FG’s) away. Baltimore couldn’t finish a drive vs Detroit.

 The loss lets Jake (Josh or Jerry) Mc Clown and his Bears back into the picture.

Dallas could have taken control of the East but couldn’t put Matt Flynn’s Packers away and now the Eagles are in the drivers seat.

 

The 49ers should be able to hold on to a wildcard slot unless Arizona wins out and squeezes in.

 

The AFC had three of four division leaders losing and opened the door of opportunity to teams we thought dead a few weeks back. The Bronco’s loss opening the door for the Patriots to take control of the 1 seed.

 The Pats responded with a loss to Miami when Tom Brady’s magic without Gronk took the week off. Miami at 8-6 has only the Jets and Bills left and can get to 10-6 and a shot at a playoff spot.

 

Cincinnati had the North in their hip pocket but got surprised by the Steelers and missed a chance to hop over New England into the two seed. Now they have to try to outlast Baltimore who they must face on the last regular season game. Baltimore 8-6 faces the 10-4 Patriots in Baltimore Sunday at 4:25PM.

Tom Brady has always had his troubles with Baltimore, He is 4-3 since 2007 against the Ravens with a QB rating in the 70’s.

But this is not the same Ravens team that hoisted the Lombardi last February no matter what praises Belichick heaps on them this week.

 

Kansas City looked strong again when not playing a team named the Broncos and should at least end up with the 5 seed.

As it stands now with the remaining games:

NFC

1.  Seattle                         Arizona           Rams

2. New Orleans                Carolina          Bucs

3. Chicago                        Eagles             Packers

4. Eagles                           Bears              Cowboys

5. San Fran                       Falcons           Arizona

6. Carolina                        Saints              Falcons

On the outside looking in

Cardinals                       Seattle                   San Fran

Packers                          Steelers                 Bears

Lions                             Giants                    Vikings

Cowboys                       Redskins                Eagles

 

AFC

1. Denver                       Texans                  Raiders

2. Patriots                       Ravens                  Bills

3. Bengals                       Vikings                 Ravens

4. Colts                           Chiefs                    Jags

5. Chiefs                         Colts                      Chargers

6. Ravens                        Patriots                  Bengals

On the outside looking in

Miami                             Bills                       Jets

Chargers                         Raiders                   Chiefs  

 

These are the Heisman top three for this year and they probably will go 1-2-3 in the draft. The big question is

which sure fired star does Houston take? 

 

my money's on Moe Howard, take charge leader with loads of upside!

 

In the Family fantasy league I was defeated in the finals by 16 points by #3 son Chris

Congrats son…wait till next year!

 

In the you gab league I’ll be facing Q and her Steel City Dawgs as we battle for that coveted 5th place trophy…good luck Q.

that I heard looks like this:

That’s all for this week, I’ll be on hiatus for the next two weeks with very busy family schedules but I’ll check in from time to time to read the fine facts and opinions put up by my fellow gabbers. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.                

Living In the Moment: Sports Moments
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Red Sox Patriots Reggie Lewis

Funny thing about time – you don’t really appreciate where you are until you look back and see where you’ve been.  That is unless you’re REALLY deliberate and live only in the moment…which turns out to be exactly what we don’t do.  My sweet dog passed away this past week – his cancer had progressed to his central nervous system and into his brain.  We brought him in for treatment, and some hours later were informed that he had a seizure and was in a coma.  As prepared as we were, we just weren’t prepared for it to happen that day.

He gave us one last gift that last week though.  We knew he wasn’t well, and we spent as much time as we could with him, being very deliberate with our time.  Needless to say, it’s been a sad time in the Mo home, but from that sadness, a gift – a gift of perspective.

So as we’ve been spending time appreciating the moments that sweet pup gave us over the last decade, I thought I would take some time this week and share some of the sporting moments I remember the most vividly – some of which I can’t believe are so far behind me in the past.

Super Bowl XXXVI

This is quite possibly the most amazing sporting moment of my life.  At a Super Bowl party, to watch a game that no one – including me – expected the Patriots to win.  We bought in on the squares, drank some beer, I’m pretty sure I got into it with some guy at halftime.  The party erupted when the Rams fumbled the ball and Tebucky Jones returned it for 6...and went sullen when the ball was brought back because of a holding call…where upon the Rams tied the game. 

The party had thinned out, but three of us stayed glued to the big screen television – the suspense mounting as the young Tom Brady picked apart the defense, winding up on the 30 yard line.  The seconds counting …the ball was down, the kick was up…and…it…was…GOOD!  And the three of us in a scrum in the middle of the living room.  We smoked cigars the entire way home, burning a hole in the upholstery of my new car, and when we did get home, smelling up my apartment for over a week. 

Game 5 1986 ALCS

Specifically, the 9th inning.  The Red Sox were trailing most of the game, and I was miserable.  I was a 16 year old kid, didn’t have a car – nor my license for that matter – so I was pretty much just stuck at home.  I remember my mom and her friend were home, probably just drinking coffee, something I recall she and Rita doing often.

When Dave Henderson dropped a homerun over the wall in Anaheim, I went bonkers.  I remember standing in front of the old television, on one of those aluminum stands cheering with the passion only a teenager has for his team.  Running in to tell mom about this amazing turn of fortune and that Hendu had to be the happiest guy in the stadium.  What provides me a little context here in retrospect was that this was a Sunday afternoon – I don’t recall if my dad was sleeping (he worked nights), but as a Sunday, he wasn’t expected at work until Monday afternoon so it would be unusual he would be sleeping.  More likely, he was at his buddy’s house.  The reason my mom and Rita would spend time together like that, I suspect, was because my parents’ marriage was on a long slide downward. 

Reggie Lewis Dies, July 27, 1993

There’s no video of this – it was during an offseason practice that Lewis collapsed.  There was no television coverage, and as such it’s not a sporting event memory, but it is a sports related memory that I can’t believe it’s been more than 20 years.

I was getting ready to go to grad school in Pennsylvania, working some summer gigs, and was engaged to be married.  I lived in this town just outside Boston,  and if he didn’t live in the same town, he lived the next town over.  Over the previous few months, he and his wife had checked out the day care where my fiancée was working, but ultimately decided not to send their child there because they had found a doctor who finally told them “what [they] wanted to hear” as it concerned his well known cardiac problems.

So, it was with those words echoing in our heads as we saw the sports ticker on the television in the Faneuil Hall pub where we happened to be sitting when the news broke.  We sat there stunned for a few moments, and went to the Red Auerbach statue to pay our respects. 

Game 7, 2003 ALCS

We were in Mexico and Southern California for a wedding and were listening to the games as we could.  Arriving back at our hotel during Game 7, we were thrilled.  The Sox were in command.  I wondered out loud if I should run out and get some champagne.  Then.  It happened.

You could see Pedro’s wheels coming off.  Then Grady Little came out to get him…and then he didn’t.  There I am sitting in a San Diego hotel, yelling at my television about events happening some 3000 miles away.  And we all know what happened.  Aaron Effing Boone.   I can still see Tim Wakefield’s face, worrying that he would be the goat.  Boston fans are passionate, and can be vicious, but I knew that night it was Grady who would be the goat – the thought that Wakefield was on the hook never occurred to me.

Game 7, 2004 ALCS

A lot happened in the year since the 2003 ALCS.  And there we were, a year later.  The same two teams.  Again going to a game 7 in some of the most dramatic fashion – I could weave a tale about the 2004 ALCS, but that’s for another day.  This game was just never in doubt.  And it was now the 9th inning.  Two more outs and the Red Sox would go back to the World Series – the Series they were denied last year by Grady and Aaron Boone.  And then it happened:

“…And Pokey Reese has it.”

I remember that moment as a time of absolute joy – the neighborhood cars all honked horns, cheers.  It was a good time to be a Red Sox fan. 

 

Have a good week my friends.  Be well.

NFL crunch time
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Patriots Gronk Seattle Denver

 

NFL crunch time

 

As the NFL heads into the final 3 weeks of the regular season the playoffs are starting to take shape.

The NFC top seeds look like they are firmly in the hands of Seattle 11-2 and New Orleans 10-3. The Eagles 8-5 have stepped out ahead of the Cowboys for the East lead and the Lions and Bears both 7-6 are battling for the North. The 49ers 9-4 and Panthers 9-4 have a solid hold on the wildcard slots if they hold serve. Arizona 8-5, Dallas 7-6 and Green Bay 6-6-1 are still alive

 

In the AFC the picture is still a little cloudy. Denver 11-2 is fairly secure in there one game lead over the wounded Patriots 10-3 for the top seed. The North leading Bengals 9-4 are just a game back of New England for the second bye and they have the head to head tiebreaker with the Pats. Indy 8-5 has the South wrapped and has the #4 spot and a home game in the first round. The Chiefs 10-3 have the 5 seed unless they can somehow overcome what amounts to a two game divisional lead by Denver. Baltimore currently has the final AFC spot at 7-6 but is being pushed by 7-6 Miami. San Diego and the Jets are alive at 6-7 but would have to overcome odds to make the six.

 

Patriots plan B

 

The Patriots loss of TE Rob Gronkowski until mid season 2014 is as bad a loss as it seems.

Torn MCL, torn ACL. Recovery time of the combined surgeries…12 months under normal conditions

6’6”  265lbs and 4.65 speed with a big fearless kid inside was a package that kept D coordinators up at night.

 

Replacing Rob’s production is one thing; replacing his impact on plays when the ball isn’t going to him is the big hit for the remarkably 10-3 Patriots.

 

Even with Gronk this team has been living on the edge of disaster for the past month.

Getting down by double digits and making miracle comebacks at the last possible second is great for Brady’s HOF legend but is not healthy to the fandom.

 

Gronks replacement will be a combination of Matt Mulligan, DJ Williams and Michael Hoomanawanui. None of these guys possess his running, catching or blocking skills but they are the next men up in the Belichick scheme.

 

The Pats now have 5 of the best maybe 7 players on the roster on the IR.

The loss of versatile RT Sebastian Vollmer has weakened the protection of Brady

DT’s Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, OLB Jerrod Mayo and now Gronk.

 

The middle of the D line features a rotation of who’s who candidates Joe Vellano, Chris Jones, Isaac Sopoaga and Sealver Siliga holding down the fort between DE’s Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones. Everyone has been able to run run run on this bunch. And the oft injured secondary has been giving up the big plays in the passing game.

 

The Patriots young receiving corps is all nursing injuries as well. Julian Edelman has been the most productive and has become Brady’s safety net. With Gronk gone Edelman will get more defensive attention. Danny Amendola has been playing hurt all season and rookies Dobson and Thomkins have missed the past two games with various injuries. Rookie Josh Boyce has taken up the kick returning slack and has had more reps in the passing game. The best receiver playing now is RB Shane Vereen

 

Brady is at his best with the no huddle fast pace offense. It keeps the opposing D from making substitutions and trying to figure out what’s coming next. Unfortunately this group needs to control the clock and limit the possessions of the opponents’ offense which creates the dilemma of putting Brady into a health risk having to slow things down and giving the opposing D time to substitute and pressure Tom.

The running game comprised of Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden will have to carry the load and keep the clock ticking. They are currently third in the NFL with 17 rushing TD’s…something the usually pass happy Patriots haven’t been known for.

 

On the season Gronk’s presence made the offense much more productive.

In the seven games he played in the Pats were 5-2 and averaged 32 points

In the six games prior to his week seven comeback the Pats were 5-1 but they managed just 21 per game. They got by early playing solid defense 16 ppg…before the injury bug got them. The past seven games they have given up over 26 ppg.

 

The Patriots travel to South Florida to visit the 7-6 Dolphins this week and then on to Baltimore for what was a Sunday night game…they have been flexed out back to 4:25 PM for the Eagles/ Bears to match up with Collinsworth and Co. The Gronk trickle down effect I guess. The Pats then finish up with Buffalo at home in the season finally.

 

Watching them squeek by Houston and then again Cleveland in a miracle finish with some officiating help (for a change) Sunday made me wonder how they are 10-3 and realistically how far can they go? Even if everything goes right they would end up in Denver on a cold Colorado night in January with Peyton Manning trying to prove he can beat them… in any weather…and if Peyton fails again, how can the Pats match up against Seattle in the SB without the Gronk?

 

Fantasy Football update:

In the championship two week face off vs my #3 son in the family league I hold a slim 160-158.2 lead after week one. I lost A P and Gronk this week and need to start Antonio Gates and Fred Jackson in their places.

What can a poor boy do but to sing in a rock and roll band…………

When Your Team Gets Bogered
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Browns Patriots NFL officiating

Make no mistake – the officiating in the Browns/Patriots tilt was atrocious.  How many times during the course of a game do coaches issue 3 challenges and have them all upheld?  That’s not to mention the calls that cannot be challenged.  It turns out the average coach in 2011 issued about 6 challenges all year – put another way that’s  about one challenge every 2.5 games.  That season, the success rate was 51%.  Coach Chud and Coach Belichick issued three and were successful on all three, Chud throwing 2 flags.   Interestingly enough, Coach Bill was written up on NBC Sports earlier in the week asking why coaches shouldn’t be allowed to challenge everything.  I like that idea, by the way.

What would be interesting would be to see challenges by officiating team – my theory is that the number of challenges over a season, and furthermore successful challenges, would give some indication of how well an officiating team handles itself.  To be sure, the NFL evaluates the officials but we the fans never see those evaluations, so we’re left with our own analysis with the NFL sponsored talking heads to prop up the official calls.

I’d love to see the official evaluation of the officiating in the last minute or so of the Browns/Pats game.  Jordan Poyer gets called for unnecessary roughness on the touchdown pass to Julian Edelman.  Somewhat questionable, even to this Patriots loyalist.  Then, the officials got the penalty wrong, quickly correcting themselves to imposing 15 yards on the kickoff.  Now what makes that call important was that it was clear the Pats would on-side kick, and they would be doing it from the 50 instead of the 35.

When the Pats remarkably collected up the kick, on the second play (:30 seconds or so showing on the clock) Brady’s pass to Josh Boyce in the endzone gets batted away…on what was called Pass Interference.  This was a far more suspect call for sure. 

For sure, there was a lot of opportunity for the Browns to win this game – even with the suspect calls.  You HAVE to recover the onside kick.  Have to.  The Pats moved the ball some 80 yards over the course of the last 2 minutes of the game and scored two touchdowns.  You HAVE to stop that.  But like most things in life, mistakes compound each other, and in the end that compounding effect lost the game for the Brownies.  The officials questionable calls certainly didn’t help, but in the end analysis it was adversity to be overcome.  The PI was the icing on the cake, but take care of what you have to take care of and we don’t get to PI.  I wonder if that call was a bit of a gift – had that call not been made, Brady would have taken more time off the clock and may have scored anyway.  At least Campbell got one last bite of the apple to get to FG territory – and he almost did. 

A LOT of things had to happen in the Pats favor – and it worked out that way.  The Pats had to execute, and they did.  The Browns had to stop the execution, and they didn’t.  The Brownies got no favors for sure, but they didn’t do what they had to.

Now this is a Patriots team I can figure out.  They sit at 10-3.  They could easily be 12-1.  They could easily be 8-5.  Think about how the Denver game ended – ball bounces off a Denver player and the Pats recover…and take the FG.  What’s the likelihood Manning doesn’t move that ball 50 yards for a FG attempt? 

Their last game with the Jets ended when they were called for a penalty that hadn’t been called all year, and hasn’t been made since.  With another bite of the apple, Jets win.  As it turns out, it was the same ref for both the Browns and Jets games.  Looks like both teams have been "Bogered" this season.   They could’ve easily lost to the Texans…and the Browns.

They could easily have lost to the Bills in the first game of the season.  It’s an interesting team to watch, because they’re good but not dominant.  You just don’t know what team is going to show up.   Of their 10 wins, they’ve beaten the snot out of the Bucs and the Steelers; beat the Dolphins convincingly and the Falcons by 7.  The rest are all victories of 3 points or less.

Other notes: We put up our Christmas tree this weekend.  It’s one of the few places, the Vikings and Packers live in harmony.  I’m actually kind of embarrassed about the number of sports ornaments on the tree.  All 4 Boston teams.  Many Patriots and Red Sox.  Complete homer tree.  The only thing that keeps it out of the trailer park is that they’re reasonably high quality, expensive ones.  But lets face it, the upper crust don’t have sports ornaments on their tree.

The Dog: He’s hanging in there, but he took a bad turn this weekend.  He’s not doing well.  It’s been such a roller coaster for us: seems to be doing better, seems to be failing.  Up.  Down.  It’s so hard to know what to do with our little guy, so we’re just doing our best to enjoy his company . 

Be well.  Enjoy your loved ones.  And my the best team win.

 

 

 

HAL B.'s FANTASTIC FRIDAY SPORTS SPECTACULAR - 12/6/2013
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Patriots NFL Picks

Happy Friday, Gabbers! It’s December already...2013 is almost over.  Looking forward to Christmas and New Year’s and having some free time and spending some some of it re-introducing myself to the family.  (OK, it’s not that bad.)  It’s been a busy week in sports, and as always I’ve enjoyed catching up with it on the Gab. Old Harry and Lanz (part of the Boston Sports Alliance here at the Gab--I just made that up, I like alliances and crap like that) did a great job covering the Boston angle with the Patriots surviving baseless accusations from opponents, weird high school sports happenings with fake/real racism in the Western part of the state, and Jacoby Ellsbury leaving Boston for the Yankees with 1/1,000,000 the outrage when Johnny Damon did the same.

 

They did such a great and thorough job I can spend the whole blog writing about the Texans-Jaguars game on Thursday Night Football...

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(that’s the sound of everyone closing their laptops simultaneously)

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Just kidding. :)

 

Let’s take a swing through the NFL real quick with my homage to great writers of my youth and NFL predictions:

 

Jaguars 27 - Texans 17

A month ago, picking Jacksonville anytime was insane.  A year ago, picking Jacksonville over Houston was beyond insane. Tonight, not picking the Jags seems odd.  The team is winning and young coach Gus Bradley has his team playing hard and aggressive.  The Texans had their last hurrah last week and lost in heart-breaking fashion to the Patriots.  The Texans may be in great shape to draft a real quarterback and pull a Kansas City Chiefs like turnaround next year, but right now this team is going to be more deflated than that balloon my daughter let go of on the Fourth of July.

 

Vikings 24 - Ravens 23

The Ravens are an odd team to figure out.  Madly overpaid quarterback, aging running back, bi-polar offensive line, decent defense, annoying coach, and still no logical explanation for giving away wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the offseason. That said, I can see the Ravens get hot and go 4-0 down the stretch, grab the last WildCard, beat the Chiefs and Broncos on the road, and then be facing the Patriots in the AFC Championship for the third straight season. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems. Here’s hoping Adrian Peterson goes for 200+ yards and the Vikings pull off the upset. I don’t think its likely, but I keep telling myself if I believe, it can happen.

 

Colts 27 - Bengals 23

Both of these teams are going to win their respective divisions; however, both teams peaked in the first half of the season and could be underdogs at home to their WildCard opponents in the playoffs. Both teams have issues on offense: the Colts are not as explosive without Reggie Wayne. The Bengals keep running out BenJarvus Green-Ellis for some inexplicable reason and no one believes Richie Cunningham Andy Dalton at quarterback can lead the offense to victory when they NEED to score. Right now, the Colts have Luck on their side, and that makes all the difference.

 

Patriots 34 - Browns 13

As always, I end up writing a lot about the Patriots (at least 4 or 5 articles a week) and am doing a favor by covering the Browns regularly for a buddy on his website (Browns writers are apparently like Spinal Tap drummers).  As such, I feel all that knowledge is useless because NO ONE is thinking the Patriots do anything short of blowing out the Browns in Foxboro, MA on Sunday. That said, there are some interesting sub-plots: Do the Patriots allow fumbling running back Stevan Ridley out of the Dog House against the Dawgs? Will the Patriots offense get on track and have “that game” where they drive for six or seven touchdowns? Is there anything better than watching tight end Rob Gronkowski dominate as a run blocker, pass catcher, and still act like a big, dumb kid? Can Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon light it up again for 200+ yards for an unprecedented third straight game?  Who the heck is going to play quarterback for the Browns if all their QBs have concussions? What does it say about the Patriots if they don’t blow out the Browns?

 

Raiders 17 - Jets 10

The Raiders have one of those rosters that looks like a semi-pro club: “We got McGloin at QB...you know, Jimmy’s boy. There’s Jennings at running back...remember him, he was a grade ahead of us in high school? At receiver there’s Streater, there’s that guy Denarius some-thing-or-other, and that crazy Rivera dude.” Does anyone know anyone on that team? Terrelle Pryor is known, but Matt McGloin is starting now. Darren McFadden is well known, but he lost his job to Rashad Jennings. They recycle receivers every year it seems.  The Jets are sad sacks who are close to quitting on Rex Ryan.  The Semi Pro Club takes it.  

 

Packers 19 - Falcons 16

Just think, in September the FOX network had this game circled and highlighted as “Potential NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field for National Telecast.”  Now it ranks below Lions vs Eagles as most likely to be watched by the national audience. No Aaron Rodgers and the bottom fell out on the Falcons.  When all things are equal, go by the gambling code: home team plus three points.

 

Lions 27 - Eagles 24

I have no idea what to do with this Lions team anymore. They suck. They dominate. They suck for a while and then dominate. They dominate. Then they suck again. That said, does anyone buy Nick Foles and coach Chip Kelly yet? No? Me neither.

 

Steelers 28 - Dolphins 13

Speaking of not buying it, if Baltimore blows it against the Vikings and the Steelers win, they’re right back in the WildCard race. The Steelers have the passing game to be dangerous if their offensive line gives Big Ben a few seconds to set his feet and look downfield. The defense is still suspect (what happened to all those linebackers?), but Miami is still dysfunctional.  It appears the Dolphins are finally moving past the Incognito-Martin mess, but they have a lot of holes still.  Ryan Tannehill is better than I thought coming out of college, but I still think he is a few years away from his peak (he was a receiver coming into college). The running game is inconsistent and wide receiver Mike Wallace has improved, but still looks like an overpriced bust. The front four are very good, but the imported linebackers are weak and the secondary scares no one.

 

Buccaneers 27 - Bills 23

I loved seeing crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and all his security at the Bills “home” game in Toronto. Sitting and signing autographs, chomping on chicken wings, and then booted by some folk singer whose seat he had stolen. You can’t make this shit up. Does anyone outside of Buffalo know what happened in the game last week? Of course not. It was Bills losing to Atlanta and all eyes were on Rob Ford. All highlights were Rob Ford chomping chicken wings. It’s great theatre.  

 

Chiefs 12 - Redskins 10

I’m wondering if 22 points combined is too much for these offenses?  The Redskins have collapsed and I blame the coach and front office. Quarterback Robert Griffin the Third (or RGIII) was clearly not ready to play quarterback the first month or so of the season. The Redskins should have had him on the PUP list or IR designated to return. They have a very good backup in Kirk Cousins and there was no reason to rush RGIII back.  The team let the media and the quarterback dictate team policy. Mike Shanahan should know better. Also, why does Robert Griffin go by the third? Did his Dad and Grandpa play in the NFL. Hell, I’m Hal Bent the third, but I don’t go around signing HB3 on everything. Marketing? Vanity? Who knows.

 

Titans 48 - Broncos 38

Just kidding…(or am I?). No, put it Broncos 41 - Titans 17.  Tennessee is just not that good on offense.  Of course, the stories this week are all about Tennessee pursuing Peyton Manning 2 years ago when he was a free agent. THAT would have been more interesting than going to Denver.  Tennessee plays Indianapolis twice a year, Manning played his college ball in Tennessee, but I don’t think the fit was quite right with offensive coordinator Chris Palmer (long gone from Tennessee). Too bad owner Bud Adams did not just say “we’ll bring in whoever you want” and see what Peyton Manning would do as a Titan.

 

Cardinals 23 - Rams 16

The Cardinals are looking better and better each week, and then I remember that Carson Palmer is their quarterback and I start dismissing them as a team that can make some noise in the playoffs. I wonder if the Rams fans are sick of waiting for Sam Bradford to string together a couple of good performances.  He seems smart, athletic, and strong-armed...he just doesn’t have “IT”.  At least the Rams have the Redskins probable top-five first round pick for RGIII to chase another quarterback.

 

Chargers 35 - Giants 15

Time for the Giants to get back to their losing ways. Eli Manning goes to the city he rejected...which still puzzles me. I mean, San Diego. What the heck is wrong with San Diego? Great weather. Tijuana around the corner. Awesome powder blue throwback uniforms. Sure, he got his two rings, so it was worth it in the end. But it did not make sense then, and I hope the San Diego fans are loud in the lungs with ol’ Cousin Eli.

 

49ers 13 - Seahawks 12

Seattle on the road is not as scary as Seattle at home. I expect the Seahawks corners will struggle to cover Anquan Boldin and if the 49ers can get some semblance of a running game going they could control the clock and take a win from the division leaders. Of course, I could see Seattle put up 40 points and intercept Colin Kaepernick four times, too. But I’ll stick with this score.

 

Saints 27 - Carolina 24

This is a super Sunday night game.  For the Saints, after being embarrassed on Monday night in Seattle, they must be chomping at the bit to get back on the field and get to it. For Carolina QB Cam Newton, this must be a big test to go into the Super Dome and battle it out for the division lead in the NFC South. I like Carolina’s chances, but how do you pick against a motivated Drew Brees at home? I will say that I think Carolina will show they are legit, though, even if they don’t pull out the win.

 

Cowboys 38 - Bears 34

Well, it’s a great game if you love offense.  Neither team has what you would call an overachieving defense (both teams give up 25+ points per game). This is a fantasy football dream as both teams should be able to rack up a lot of yards and points. If Jay Cutler were healthy, I’d say the Bears may be able to keep up with the Cowboys...regardless, it should be a fun game to watch.

 

As always, thanks for checking in...I appreciate it! You can catch my weekly work at cover32com, musketfire.com, firststopfantasy.com, and at h4-entertainment.com.

Cleveland Browns game preview is here: http://firststopfantasy.com/nfl-teams/cleveland-browns/cleveland-browns-can-take-a-positive-step-forward-in-matchup-vs-new-england-patriots/

I look at Patriots running back Stevan Ridley as a key down the stretch here:

http://cover32.com/patriots/2013/12/03/steven-ridley-could-derail-the-patriots-superbowl-hopes/

A look at what’s wrong with the Patriots defense is here: http://www.h4-entertainment.com/2013/12/new-england-patriots-defense-needs-to-improve-in-a-hurry/

and I’ll have a new post at http://Cover32.com/Patriots by 10am today about why the Patriots NEED to blow-out the Browns on Sunday

Look for a Game Preview Sunday morning at Cover32 and the Instant Analysis of the Patriots game each Sunday afternoon at http://www.musketfire.com

On Monday night at 9pm eastern, you can tune in to hear me go around the NFL with the H4TV NFL writers at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sportsbar1/2013/12/10/nfl-shotgun and feel free to call in and add your 2 cents at 347-202-0508.

 

Thanks as always for visiting…and be sure to check out the great DVT over here --->

 

Have a great weekend!

 

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