Posted on: January 22, 2010 6:28 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2010 6:35 pm
The Indianapolis Colts take on the New York Jets this weekend for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. On one side, the Colts are led by the MVP of the league, a future hall of fame quarterback in Peyton Manning. On the other side, the Jets are led by the number one defense in the NFL, and one of the top running games in the league (maybe the top, I forget to be honest).
The Jets defense has been amazing this season, and one player in particular has gone from, essentially, being a no-namer to a household name. NYJ cornerback Darrelle Revis has repeatedly shut down some of the top receivers in the game, including Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Roddy White, among others. His assignment this week will more than likely be Indianapolis star wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Tough draw for any defender in the NFL, but I like Revis to do a good job on Wayne.
With that being said, the Colts have many other weapons to throw the ball to. Even if Revis does a superb job on Reggie Wayne, Peyton has superb pass-catching tight end Dallas Clark and young wideouts Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie to throw the ball to. I see the Jets struggling to cover all of the Colts' weapons in this game, especially with a QB like Manning getting them the ball.
The Jets' offense will have to play a very good game if they want to keep up with Indy. Rookie Mark Sanchez has been very accurate and very smart lately... however, the Jets are not a team that can pick up a chunk of yards through the air. Will short slant routes get it done vs. the Colts? The Jets do feature an amazing run game, led by Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene. Whether it's Jones or Greene, the Jets repeatedly pound the ball inside and pitch it outside, carving up big yards for their backs.
This is truly a game of offense vs. defense, with the Colts' high powered offense meeting the Jets' dominance defense. Turn the tables though, and I think the Colts' defense can do a good job with the Jets' offense.
The Jets' offense did not have a good game at San Diego last week. Luckily, their defense played outstanding on the road, shutting down the Chargers... and the offense's mediocre performance got the job done.
To be honest, I don't see the Colts struggling as the Chargers did. I don't see the Jets winning in Indianapolis, their third road game in a row, vs. the MVP quarterback, on arguably the biggest stage of Sanchez's career...
The Cinderella story ends.
Posted on: January 6, 2010 1:24 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2010 9:11 pm
WILD CARD ROUND --- The Dallas Cowboys (3) and the Philadelphia Eagles (6) face off for the third time this season, and needless to say, this is the most important. The winner moves on in the surprisingly tough NFC playoffs, while the loser goes home with a lot of unanswered questions.
Leading up to their anticipated Week 17 matchup, both teams had momentum. The Eagles had won six straight games, their offense was looking unstoppable, and the defense was stepping up in the crucial moments. All looked good. On the other side, the Cowboys were coming off two very impressive performances. The first was a win against the then-undefeated New Orleans Saints; the second was a shutout performance of the Washington Redskins. The defense was looking strong, and Romo's woes in December had suddenly disappeared. Two hot teams facing each other, with the stakes high. An Eagles win gave them the #2 seed and a first round bye. A Cowboys win would ensure them home field advantage for at least their first game, and with help, a potential #2 seed for themselves.
The game turned out to be a party for the Cowboys. From the beginning, the Eagles' defense could not stop the run. Marion Barber and Felix Jones began slicing through the injury-riddled defense of Philadelphia. Tony Romo began to find his groove early on, as well. The Eagles offense never got anything going, and the game ended painfully... a 24-0 loss to the hated rival Dallas Cowboys.
This week, however, the Eagles can start fresh. A win vs. the Cowboys this Saturday night and the Week 17 loss will be forgotten. A loss vs. the Cowboys this Saturday night and the Cowboys are 3-0 vs. the Eagles in the 2009-2010 season, a mark that will not be forgotten in seasons to come.
The Cowboys are the favorites to win this game, and a big reason why they are favored is because of their defense. The defense shut down New Orleans in the upset, held Washington to zero points, and then shut out the scoring hot Eagles offense. The defense's toughness starts up front with Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff. As it was last week, the matchup of Ratliff vs. inexperienced Philadelphia center Nick Cole will be a big key to this game. Cole did a better job than most assumed he would last week vs. Ratliff, but this week could very well be another story.
To stop the Cowboys, the main player that must the stopped is the quarterback, Tony Romo. At the end of the day, Romo is the man leading the Cowboys to victory. To stop Romo, the secondary must obviously play a great game. However, I think getting pressure on him is the more effecient way of flustering Romo. In Week 17, Tony Romo had all the time to throw the ball, as the Eagles' defense got minimal pressure throughout the game. With all of this time, Romo easily found Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Patrick Crayton throughout the game and in the clutch situations. Romo got through the dreaded month of December, and while it started out scary, by the end of the month most Cowboy fans are trusting Romo to get the job done.
The main man I expect to see stepping it up for Philadelphia is defensive end Trent Cole. Cole is the best pass rusher on the Eagles' defense, as well as the leader. For the Eagles to have a chance in this game, they must stop Tony Romo. To stop Tony Romo, they must bring pressure on him. To bring pressure on him, they need their best pass rusher to step up their game, and that man is Trent Cole. If Cole and the Eagles defense can get to Romo early, I see him making some bad decisions that feisty cornerbacks Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown may be able to take advantage of.
Miles Austin has been one of the pleasant surprises this season for the Dallas Cowboys, and has made a name for himself as one of the big play threats in the NFL. Austin faces one of the best cornerback tandems in the league of All-Pro corner Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown. For Austin to be shut down in this matchup, the Eagles' corners need to cotinue their stellar play.
It's already been mentioned, but the matchup between center Nick Cole of the Eagles and nose tackle Jay Ratliff of the Cowboys is a very important one. Ratliff had a quiet game in Week 17, but chances of him being that quiet this Saturday are slim. The stakes are higher and I expect the same of Ratliff's level of play.
Eagles' defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has done a nice job of calling the defense in his first season taking over for the late Jim Johnson, but how will he fare vs. a great playcaller in the Cowboys' Jason Garrett. Garrett has more experience, but look for McDermott to do a solid job with the defense.
Eagles vs. Cowboys Stadium is also a huge matchup that no one is talking about. In Week 17, it certainly looked like there were some nerves in the Eagles' players, playing in Cowboy Stadium. The crowd can really help Dallas in this game, as it did last week.
Keys to the Game
For the Eagles, the main thing they have to do is get going early, offensively and defensively. They will be nervous, knowing that they are the underdogs and playing possibly the hottest team in the NFC. If the Eagles can get going early, however, they will forget about the critics and just go out there and play. If not, I see them losing confidence quickly, as it seems they did in Week 17.
For the Cowboys, the main key is stopping the Eagles' big plays. They did a great job in Week 17, and if they can keep it up in this game, look for them to have a huge advantage. DeSean Jackson is at his best when he's making the big plays, something he hasn't been able to do vs. the Cowboys this season.
Donovan McNabb does not like losing, and I think he'll come out with fire in this game. Look for him, along with tight end Brent Celek, to have big games for the Eagles on offense. The Cowboys' defense has shut down DeSean Jackson well this season, and I see them slowing him down this game as well. With Jackson being bottled up, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant have to have big games.
As a diehard Eagles fan it's hard to go against them, but I like the Dallas Cowboys in this game. They are hot at the right time, and it's not just one particular unit. The offense is on fire, and very balanced. Marion Barber and Felix Jones can slice and dice through that plagued Eagles' defense, while Tony Romo has great targets to get the ball to. The Cowboys' defense is aggressive, and they haven't allowed any points in the last two games vs. NFC East competition.
There you have it... should be a great game, one that I am looking very forward to. While the Cowboys are the frontrunners to win this game, the Eagles have what it takes to not only win this game, but advance deep into the postseason. I made my prediction of the Cowboys to win the game, but here's to hoping that I am dreadfully wrong. :p
Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:27 pm
Should've been done last week, but it's still the quarter awards:
Top 3 Teams
Posted on: September 19, 2009 1:22 pm
Posted on: September 7, 2009 3:00 pm
Predicting the Houston Texans 2009-2010 Schedule
Posted on: September 2, 2009 10:27 pm
I hated Brett Favre when he was on the Packers. Hated, but somewhat respected at the same time.
When he joined the Jets, I hated him even more. Still had a little respect for him at the time.
When he joined the Vikings, he instantly became one of my most hated players. Respect was almost completely gone.
Then he threw that crackback block at Eugene Wilson---
One word: Pathetic
Now I hate Favre, and have absolutely no respect for him.
He's a washed up quarterback and an immature man...
Posted on: August 22, 2009 12:25 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2009 12:38 pm
Top 10 Quarterbacks
Posted on: August 15, 2009 2:35 pm
When I found out that the Eagles had landed Michael Vick, I was surprised. Not surprised at the signing but surprised at how much I loved the move. Vick is not going to get a lot of love or support, sure, but he instantly becomes the best backup quarterback in the game. Kevin Kolb might be the #2 QB now, but there's no way that he maintains it over Vick.
Vick spent his time in prison, which he definitely needed. Now that he's out of prison, I firmly believe his attitude will improve tremendously. Hopefully NFL fans will give him a chance to see if he's changed.
You can't deny that Vick was a great quarterback when he was in the league. He's athletic, can run the ball, and bring some new looks to the already dangerous Philly offense.
I think this move will also help Donovan McNabb. Vick and McNabb are both competitive players that want to be the best quarterback on the field, and as a result, I see both giving 110%, something McNabb has not always done.
Vick's versatility and skill set are going to be great in Philadelphia. It may take some time, but I think Michael Vick could be a huge asset to the team.