Category:NFL
Posted on: January 2, 2013 2:49 pm
 

2012 NFL playoff prediction look back

So It's playoff time. It's timefor me to look back and see what I predicted right, wrong, and way off base and right on the money.


First, Let's look at my predictions ver batum with my rection to my picks:

Predictions to the playoffs barring catastrophic injuries to more than one impact player
Playoffs by seed:
NFC
1) 49ers: solid defense, running game, and now an option to throw with a smart coach who doesn't panic. This team is built for the long haul and will plow through the NFC

This pick, aside from the seed, has proven to be almost right on the money. The team only lost two NFCW teams with the exception of the Vikings
 
2) Lions. Defense improved, passing game is great, Shwartz will be looking to run to keep Stafford Healthy and fresh for postseason 

Defense didn't improve. Actually, it got a whole lot worse. The Vikings nearly ended up in the position I predicted the Lions. Bad bad pick

3) Eagles: Giants falter horribly, and Vick Stays healthy and finds rhythm with maclin pass rush puts a stop on pass-happy NFC East

Given that I had the Giants in as an alternate, I'm not totally sure why I said falter horribly. But The eagles were just awful. I really though Vick would stop turning the ball over.

4) Panthers: Much improved team that takes a huge stride and plays solid defense to lead to a playoff berth behind Newton and Running game

Well, this was a lot of people's dark horse. If they would have played the whole year like the last 6 weeks I would have been right. DAMN.

5) Packers: After being swept by the Lions they are relegated to the wild card; teams learn to bend don't break against Rodgers. Runnign game is non existent and teams drop 7-8 most plays. No QB can pick through that

Despite what people like to see when watching the Pack, I still see exactly what I wrote concerning the makeup of the team. The Vikings nearly swept them instead of the Lions, and they are a 3 seed, playing a team that has it's number. Not to mention they got dominated by SF, and lost to Indy and the Vikings.

6) Seahawks: Pete Carroll puts the team together and ends up needing Tarvaris Jackson or Russell Wilson 6 weeks in; teams can't adjust to quarky/ mobile QB play soon enough to stop a late playoff push behind the Defense and Marshawn Lynch

Well, it wasn't 6 weeks in, but I called that Wilson would be starting. This one I called right on the money. Defense and Marshawn Lynch carried this team to the 5 seed of the playoffs, and teams have not adjusted to Wilson.

Last wild caard alternate NFC: Giants: They have just enough to be a fringe playoff team and with a hot streak and momentum can win

AFC
1) Ravens/ Steelers season series winner: The only place where I can't decide what team wins conference. Both teams are aging, but both are fundamentally sound enough to win 12-13 games, and have the depth to run through injuries

Well, the Steelers had a bad year (and still finished .500). The Ravens won the Division, but didn't get the 1 seed. They proved they can run through injuries, and they are still a force in the playoffs

2) Houston: Defense and running with a passing game when they want it. Should be good enough for a first round bye with Johnson healthy and the O line staying healthy

Well, they were the 1 seed until they laid a couple eggs in a row. But, Johnson stayed healthy and the Oline played well. They weren't quite good enough for the first round bye, though.
3) Bills: Dethrone the aging Patriots whom are victimized by Belichek's seeming complacency with the TE being No1 receiver. They will run and play D.

Stupid Chan Gailey.... woops on this pick Stupid AFC East
4) Broncos: Playoff team last year with Tebow; Even if Manning isn't 100% still have enough defense/ running game to make a playoff run with mediocre WRs that Manning at 80% will make look like pro bowlers

I wasn't counting on Peyton being this good this year. I figured a slightly below average year for him. The Defense and running game have looked great, and Manning is once again the best QB in the NFL

5) Jets: Defense is still good enough to hold up the team, and Tebow will be starting by week 4 and he just wins somehow. Greene get back on track and the running game opens up the option offense. The Pats are weak defensively, opening the door for the new Tebows

Rex Ryan, I hate you

6) Steelers/ Ravens loser: Lets be honest, these teams play way too good of defense to miss the playoffs with the AFC as weak as it is. After both teams beat Cincy, the loser of the division finishes 10-6

Well, I get points for picking the right division here, right, and the record of the team. It was Cincy instead of Pittburgh

Alternates: Last wild card alternate AFC: Chargers: solid enough team, can they run the ball?



Notable omissions:

Patriots: They have become predictable on offense with a weak running game, and teams will figure out how to bend but not break against the pass, the defense is nowhere near good enough for a FG battle

Well, I was half right. Teams are still stupid against them. The defense is still bad, though, and I really don't think they win a playoff game.

Saints: They made the playoffs last season by virtue of a weak division and some lucky penalties. Brees steps back and the defense that was less than mediocre is now horrid. They can't put up 50 every week, and they can't compete on the road.

Woot Woot my best prediction.... 100% correct

Falcons: Just not enough there to consider them a playoff team. Running game is weakening by O-line and defense cannot withstand a 60 minute game.

Well, they are the #1 NFC seed, but I still have the same questions about them. They were fortunate the Panthers and Bucs underacheived, and the Saints can't play defense.

Cincy: Very good team, good running game, decent passing game, just not quite good enough in a brutal division with the Jets making a push. Dalton takes a small step backward as AJ Green begins to get double coverage and the (probable) loss of Benson hurts.

Well, Cincy made the playoffs behind a good running game and passing game. Nobody made the small jump from outside in, instead, we saw the collapse of the conference with Indy getting a wild card.

Cowboys: Romo can't play QB, he can pass the ball. Not much to speak of for running game or defense. Romo just can't carry a team

Another one pretty close to on the nuts....... Romo is just terrible as a leader

Bears: Cutler can't help but throw the ball to marshall too much and throws 20+ INTs. They move away from the running game to try to keep Forte "fresh" and the Defense can't pick up the pieces this year.

Nearly everyone was on the wagon at 7-1. Then the defense quit scoring TDs. Cutler is just Awful. Honestly, he is the 4th best QB in the NFC North.

Titans: Locker will have to start by week 5 and Johnson will rack up the yardage but can't put the ball in the end zone. The defense can't carry the Team through constant FG battles.

Well, I don't even know about this team. No coverage where I am, but I think I was pretty close.

Posted on: September 3, 2012 11:45 am
 

Its not a passing league, it's a money league

The NFL has evolved into a passing league, right?

With all the numbers being put up and records being broken, one would think so.

The problem is, it's not a passing league. It's a money league.

People don't pay $65 minimum to watch a 250 yard rushing performance. They don't pay $65 minimum to watch 3-5 yards a play. They pay $65 and up to see a prolific show of backyard football. They pay $65 and up to watch flag football. NFL "fans" don't pay to watch football. They pay to watch fantasy and backyard football with an occasional hit. They don't want to pay $65 or more to watch real football.

The proof is in the pudding. Best example of recent history: 2008 Minnesota Vikings. Best tailback in the league in Adrian Peterson. Great stifling defense led by a stellar defensive line. Great kicker. Average passer. Average recievers. Playoff team at 10-6. Couldn't fill the stadium and had to get bailed out by the local television station showing the game by them buying 1000 tickets.

What kind of leaugue supports this? The kind that wants to milk every dollar out of a fan base that, by and large, does not like to watch fundamental football. The kind that worries more about protecting a Quarterback who might get hit ten times a game than a Linebacker whom gets hit 60+ times a game. The kind of league that revels in prima dona players throwing a tantrum like a two year old because they can't make five million more dollars a year. It's the kind of league that allows a complete holdout by it's players and owners over nine billion dollars.

The saddest part: These reasons are the reason the NFL is the most profitable athletic organization. Why the NFL is the most popular by far in the USA. Why ESPN doesn't show anything but football year round.

The problem is, it's still not a passing league. It's a defense and running league. Offense wins games, defense wins championships. Working under the pretense that the NFL is not the WWE (which given recent trends in champions and "storylines" it very well may be.), up until the last 5 years we have never seen a team win a title with no running game or defense. We still don't see the best teams in the Super Bowl. Last season the Giants were ranked 32nd in regular season rushing. In the playoffs they were gaining 116 yards/game on the ground. They were playing stalwart defense. They won the Super Bowl. Green Bay and New Orleans both had record-breaking throwing offenses and no legitimate running game or defense. They both lost in the Divisional Round, to the Giants and 49ers, respectively.

Now let us look at the 2011- 2012 playoffs up to conference title games as a whole. The Lions lost to the Saints. Offense vs. offense. The Steelers lost to the Broncos. Broncos ran Tim Tebow and McGahee and ran them all game. Steelers lost their running game due to a plethora of injury. The Giants beat the Falcons. The Falcons scored 2 points. Houston held Cincinatti to 10 points to win the game.

The Divisional round showed us the Giants had to stop the Packers to beat them in Lambeau, holding the high-scoring offense to 20 points. The 49ers held on in the 4th quarter to win 36-32 against the Saints. Baltimore knocked the Texans out in a 20-13 victory. The Patriots held the Broncos to 10 points en route to an AFC title game berth.

Look at the scoring. Some Winners put up a lot of points, but in 6 of the 8 games (75%) of the playoff games through the Divisional Round had the losing team scoring less than 24 points. 5 of the 8 (62%) had the losing team scoring less than 3 touchdowns. Over the entire 2011 playoffs including the Super Bowl, only 2 of the 11 games (18%) saw the losing team score more than 23 points. If that isn't defense, I don't know what is. In 82% of the games in the 2011 playoffs, the losing team could not score on more than 4 possessions.

Defense wins championships. Offense wins games.

In the "decade of the quarterback" in a "passing league", defense still is the way to win a Super Bowl.

More proof that it's not a "passing league" it's a money league.
Posted on: August 24, 2012 10:15 am
 

NFL Safety and Player protection

There is an epidemic in the NFL. Actually there are two epidemics plagueing the most profitable sport on the planet. They are both extremely fixable, they are both by negligence of the participants. Both epidemics result in the same end concussions and brain injury causing poor quality of life, and suicide of former players. The first part of the epidemics starts on the field and can be fixed this season if the NFL really wants to. Its the helmets, the equipment. It's the players' fault. It really is. The players decided, about 15 years ago, and mainly "skill position" players, that they were too cool to wear their helmets properly. It's an epidemic that travels all the way to the high school level, but is most prevalent in the NFL. Players with helmets two sizes too big, or without all the "balloons" inflated, with chinstraps only halfway buckled, with chinstraps and ear pads so loose his helmet will literally slide off his head if he bows too far. We see helmets flying all over the field. This should NOT be happening. The football helmet (or any helmet for that matter) is not designed to come off while the chinstrap is secured. The NFL can fix this; and it's a simple fix. Put rules in that if a helmet flies off on the field and travels more than two yards without being thrown or kicked, it is a fifteen yard penalty, either on offense or defense. While the player are on the playing field, they may not have the chinstrap unbuckled, loosened, or have the helmet in any way which is not the prescribed means of use (i.e. on the top of the head, etc.) a 15 yard penalty and loss of down will be enforced. The only exception will be during team timeouts, in which the player would only be allowed to have the helmet off for the length of the timeout.
This would cut down on concussions by a very significant margin, especially considering the bulk of severe concussions are diagnosed to skill position players.
The other part of the epidemic is a little harder to eliminate, but even more important for the image of the NFL. It's the fact that a fair percentage of players in teh NFL have degrees in fields in which they will never use, because there is no job market or because they cannot execute the tasks. Another, small percentage, do not have any kind of degree at all. This is a major issue with quality of life. These players do not have anything besides football. This is simply not justifiable, as EVERY player in the NFL had/ has access to a quality degree in a field which has good job placement. Let's think of the players that are most prevalent:
Jamarcus Russell- living a very lower middle-class lifestyle, unemployed (last I heard), and absolutely no job prospects.
Ryan Leaf- Was doing construction, living middle to lower middle class, was incarcerated for drug possession.
Kurt Warner- Was bagging groceries after his first attempt in the NFL failed miserably.
Junior Seau- Was doing nothing- comitted suicide
These are a few examples of players whom went from the "limelight" of the NFL to nothing, and are suffering because they have nothing else to do.

Now lets see some other players
Robert Smith (MN Vikings RB)- Retired, pursued career in medicine, now analyst on ESPN college gameday.
Brent McClanahan- South High educator since 1994, was surprised with the 2012 National Football League's teacher of the year award. It recognizes former NFL players who are working professionally as teachers, and who make a profound impact on educational and life-skills development.

The NFL recognizes the top teacher whom was once an NFL player each year, showing that it is not just the concussions, but the pure quality of life after football. A player is not going to have any kind of quality of life if his major is, say, african american studies, then the player is not going to have anything after football, leading to depression, leading to suicide/ poor quality of life.

The point is, these players need to take advantage of the time they have in college to obtain a quality education, and the NFL really needs to start forcing players to have a quality, employable degree before being eligible for the draft. The average NFL career is what, 3 years. Even with a 25 million dollar contract, it's not enough just to bank in on a big paycheck and call it a life. These players need a career after football.


The biggest epidemics plaguing the NFL right now are quite preventable, and it would make hte NFL a lot more money, as these lawsuits would have no bearing if the players had a career after their playing days were gone.
Posted on: July 13, 2012 11:54 am
 

2012 NFL playoff prediction

Predictions to the playoffs barring catastrophic injuries to more than one impact player
Playoffs by seed:
NFC
1) 49ers: solid defense, running game, and now an option to throw with a smart coach who doesn't panic. This team is built for the long haul and will plow through the NFC
2) Lions. Defense improved, passing game is great, Shwartz will be looking to run to keep Stafford Healthy and fresh for postseason 
3) Eagles: Giants falter horribly, and Vick Stays healthy and finds rhythm with maclin pass rush puts a stop on pass-happy NFC East
4) Panthers: Much improved team that takes a huge stride and plays solid defense to lead to a playoff berth behind Newton and Running game
5) Packers: After being swept by the Lions they are relegated to the wild card; teams learn to bend don't break against Rodgers. Runnign game is non existent and teams drop 7-8 most plays. No QB can pick through that
6) Seahawks: Pete Carroll puts the team together and ends up needing Tarvaris Jackson or Russell Wilson 6 weeks in; teams can't adjust to quarky/ mobile QB play soon enough to stop a late playoff push behind the Defense and Marshawn Lynch
Last wild caard alternate NFC: Giants: They have just enough to be a fringe playoff team and with a hot streak and momentum can win

AFC
1) Ravens/ Steelers season series winner: The only place where I can't decide what team wins conference. Both teams are aging, but both are fundamentally sound enough to win 12-13 games, and have the depth to run through injuries
2) Houston: Defense and running with a passing game when they want it. Should be good enough for a first round bye with Johnson healthy and the O line staying healthy
3) Bills: Dethrone the aging Patriots whom are victimized by Belichek's seeming complacency with the TE being No1 receiver. They will run and play D.
4) Broncos: Playoff team last year with Tebow; Even if Manning isn't 100% still have enough defense/ running game to make a playoff run with mediocre WRs that Manning at 80% will make look like pro bowlers
5) Jets: Defense is still good enough to hold up the team, and Tebow will be starting by week 4 and he just wins somehow. Greene get back on track and the running game opens up the option offense. The Pats are weak defensively, opening the door for the new Tebows
6) Steelers/ Ravens loser: Lets be honest, these teams play way too good of defense to miss the playoffs with the AFC as weak as it is. After both teams beat Cincy, the loser of the division finishes 10-6
Alternates: Last wild card alternate AFC: Chargers: solid enough team, can they run the ball?



Notable omissions:

Patriots: They have become predictable on offense with a weak running game, and teams will figure out how to bend but not break against the pass, the defense is nowhere near good enough for a FG battle

Saints: They made the playoffs last season by virtue of a weak division and some lucky penalties. Brees steps back and the defense that was less than mediocre is now horrid. They can't put up 50 every week, and they can't compete on the road.

Falcons: Just not enough there to consider them a playoff team. Running game is weakening by O-line and defense cannot withstand a 60 minute game.

Cincy: Very good team, good running game, decent passing game, just not quite good enough in a brutal division with the Jets making a push. Dalton takes a small step backward as AJ Green begins to get double coverage and the (probable) loss of Benson hurts.

Cowboys: Romo can't play QB, he can pass the ball. Not much to speak of for running game or defense. Romo just can't carry a team

Bears: Cutler can't help but throw the ball to marshall too much and throws 20+ INTs. They move away from the running game to try to keep Forte "fresh" and the Defense can't pick up the pieces this year.

Titans: Locker will have to start by week 5 and Johnson will rack up the yardage but can't put the ball in the end zone. The defense can't carry the Team through constant FG battles.



Posted on: May 4, 2012 11:35 am
 

Is the NFL even real anymore?

Over the last decade, we have seen some very poor to mediocre franchises rise to prominence. We have seen the Patriots go from a laughable franchise to a "dynasty". We have seen the ever-futile Saints rise to greatness. We have seen NO Super bowl victoriees from west of the Mississippi River (New Orleans aside).

There has not been a Super Bowl win from a franchise west of the river since the 1999 Rams. Could one side of the country be that futile? There has been 2 teams south of baltimore to win. Tampa and New Orleans. In fact, aside from one super bowl champion (Indy) in the last decade, none have been outside of the east coast. Pittsburgh (x2) New York (x2) and New England (x3). The fact that New Enggland has lost TWICE to New York, seperated by 4 years is not just astounding, it's unbelievable. Literally, to this writer, unbelievable. The NFL has taken a page from the WWE. The way to make the most money is to create storylines that pull people in ( New England shockingly winning after 9/11, then New Orleans winning after Katrina, New York/ New England rematch, guaranteed first black coach to win a Super Bowl [Lovie Smith or Tony Dungy]) and make sure that your most popular characters (both literal and metaphorical) hold the title more often than not.

The idea that the NFL has larger-than-life drama and characters year in and year out also rings a bell. Throw in the HUGE payouts for owners AND players, and what is at stake if the company does not make money, and you have a perfect recipe to begin ensuring that teams WILL not win a title, that some will never rise above mediocrity. It's the NFL, most of the talent is as close to even as you can get, yet some teams struggle year in year out to even reach 6 wins says that there is some sort of holding back going on.

Add in the fact that players have openly said they felt cheated or wronged by the way game goes, and the fact that you RARELY see a player sitting on the sidelines crying after they get eliminated from the playoffs is another sign that they know what is coming. Remember the SEC title game that Bama laid a whooping on Florida and we all saw Tim Tebow crying on the sidelines? Where was that last year when his Broncos got taken to the woodshed? The stakes were just as high, if not higher, yet we did not see the same genuine show of emotion from a man whom is known for his emotion.

Just some things to think about

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com