NFL Tips: Week 9 – Sunday And Monday Games

New York Giants at Cincinnati – Prediction: New York 31, Cincinnati 17

Tennessee at Miami – Prediction: Miami 26, Tennessee 13

Detroit at Minnesota – Prediction: Detroit 35, Minnesota 14

Buffalo at New England – Prediction: New England 45, Buffalo 20

Atlanta at New Orleans – Prediction: Atlanta 31, New Orleans 24

San Diego at Tampa Bay– Prediction: Tampa Bay 28, San Diego 24

Denver at Carolina– Prediction: Denver 30, Carolina 26

Oakland at Baltimore – Prediction: Baltimore 27, Oakland 20

New York Jets at Seattle– Prediction: Seattle 22, New York 7

Dallas at Philadelphia – Prediction: Dallas 29, Philadelphia 23

St. Louis at San Francisco – Prediction:  San Francisco 20, St. Louis 10

And then there were two…

Houston at Chicago – Prediction: Houston 14, Chicago 3

Kansas City at Pittsburgh – Prediction: Pittsburgh 38, Kansas City 21

NFL Tips: Week 9 – Sunday And Monday Games.

Denver at Cincinnati – Prediction: Denver 35, Cincinnati 20

Baltimore at Cleveland – Prediction: Baltimore 27, Cleveland 19

Arizona at Green Bay – Prediction: Green Bay 40, Arizona 17

Chicago at Tennessee – Prediction: Chicago 30, Tennessee 10

Miami at Indianapolis – Prediction: Miami 21, Indianapolis 13

Carolina at Washington – Prediction: Washington 35, Carolina 27

Detroit at Jacksonville – Prediction: Detroit 48, Jacksonville 10

Buffalo at Houston – Prediction: Houston 28, Buffalo 0

Tampa Bay at Oakland – Prediction: Tampa Bay 31, Oakland 26

Minnesota at Seattle – Prediction: Seattle 21, Minnesota 7

Pittsburgh at New York (Giants) – Prediction: New York 26, Pittsburgh 20

And then there were two…

Dallas at Atlanta – Prediction: Atlanta 26, Dallas 16

Philadelphia at New Orleans – Prediction: Philadelphia 33, New Orleans 21

NFL Tips: Week 8 – Monday and Sunday Games

Carolina at Chicago – Prediction: Chicago 31, Carolina 7

San Diego at Cleveland – Prediction: San Diego 28, Cleveland 17

Seattle at Detroit – Prediction: Detroit 24, Seattle 13

Jacksonville at Green Bay – Prediction: Green Bay 48, Jacksonville 20

Indianapolis at Tennessee – Prediction: Tennessee 26, Indianapolis 21

New England vs. St. Louis in England – Prediction: New England 17, St. Louis 13

Miami at New York – Prediction: Miami 27, New York 24

Atlanta at Philadelphia – Prediction: Atlanta 31, Philadelphia 26

Washington at Pittsburgh – Prediction: Washing 28, Pittsburgh 27

Oakland at Kansas City – Prediction: Oakland 30, Kansas City 17

New York at Dallas – Prediction: New York 29, Dallas 26

And then there were two…

New Orleans at Denver – Prediction: Denver 45, New Orleans 38

San Francisco at Arizona– Prediction: San Francisco 24, Arizona 0

Have a good weekend, everyone.

NFL Tips: Week 4 – Original Officials Return

Seeing as this week’s slate of games is a bit lackluster, the very recent news of the proper officials returning is going to be the leading story on every game. Especially on how many wrong calls they make and how easily they spot the ball where the replacements had monumental troubles in doing so. And I, for one, welcome our old punching bag overlords. So let’s get cracking.

Cleveland at Baltimore: Thursday Night Football couldn’t kick the week off any more boringly, I don’t think. The stinky Browns head to Baltimore to battle the Ravens who played in a great contest on Sunday night against the Patriots. I know I should expect the unexpected, but there’s no way I can see the Browns triumphing over the Ravens in this one. Unless the Browns come up with a gameplan that completely bamboozles the Ravens, I don’t see the Browns doing much at all.

Prediction: Baltimore 35, Cleveland 13

Carolina at Atlanta: Clearly my tip of the Panthers 2 Thursdays ago didn’t go too well, and the Panthers got hammered by the Giants. Welp, I’m not falling for that one again. Atlanta are one of three 3-0 teams going around these days, and they’re looking pretty damn good. Their offense is firing on all cylinders and their defense is keeping their own so far. I don’t think the Panthers will put up a similar performance as their last time, out, but I also don’t think they’ll win in this divisional match-up.

Prediction: Atlanta 33, Carolina 24

New England at Buffalo: This game was the absolute talking point last season, up until the saviour started for the Broncos, then no one could get any story in. But going back to last season, this 1st match-up made everyone think the Bills were the real deal, which they were until they eventually fell apart and reverted to their former selves. Which, unfortunately for the Bills fans is now the current selves even though they’ve won two of their games (Kansas City & Cleveland). New England’s start has been surprising and disappointing to say the least. I remember reading a legitimate article about them going 16-0, which sounds more preposterous now than it did then, before the season had started. Of course, at that point, Arizona was the worst team in the league and Baltimore was a one-dimensional team with an old defense who just lost their best player etc. That’s a lot of blurb for a pretty easy seeming decision here.

Prediction: New England 28, Buffalo 13

Minnesota at Detroit: With both teams having surprising results last week, I’m pretty confident in saying neither team’s fan base is truly confident about a victory in this one. Of course, before last week, Minnesota seemed like an easy beat, just the same as Tennessee. But 85 combined points later and the Lions are 1-2 up against a team who man-handled the 49ers, a team the Lions couldn’t beat just two weeks earlier. Although the Lions have won 3 straight match-ups against the Vikings, they’ve all be down to the wire. Including last year’s 2nd match-up where Ponder was so poorly destroyed, he got benched for a QB who can’t really throw and they still almost won. My inkling says Ponder won’t be sitting at any point in this one, and Lions fans hope Stafford doesn’t either. Neither team can stop the pass, but both have been fairly good against the run, so last week’s score in the Lions game isn’t completely unfathomable. And I’m really split down the middle, so bias is coming in to break it (sorry, just being honest).

Prediction: Lions 30, Vikings 28

San Diego at Kansas City: The Chiefs put in a valiant effort last week against the Saints and pulled off the overtime victory with one of those awesome Field Goal endings. Jamaal Charles went OFF! Putting up College Football like numbers, with 233 rushing yards. Unfortunately for the Chiefs the San Diego defense has been pretty great against the run thus far, with just an average of 59 yards allowed per game. Of course playing the titans helped those numbers quite a lot. But I still don’t see Charles putting up that sort of yardage, nor do I see the Chiefs passing game keeping them in it. San Diego put in a pretty crappy effort last week against the Falcons, scoring just 3 points. However I definitely expect them to rebound this week and put up a pretty good score.

Prediction: San Diego 32, Kansas City 20

Seattle at St. Louis: Thank you, Seattle, for single-handidly bringing back the proper officials. Your bullshit TD decision has saved the NFL community from crying even more than usual after Monday night. To be fair, though, outside of the winning TD, they played very well on defense, limiting the Packers to just 12 points. The Rams predictably stunk against the Bears, although they’re still doing pretty well on defense, and I expect this to be another low scoring in-division match-up.

Prediction: Seattle 17, Seattle 10

San Francisco at New York: Even though the 49ers had a surprising loss last week, I still think they’re a Super Bowl favourite, every team has off-weeks. The Jets stunk, again, barely getting past the Dolphins and only did because of poorly-timed timeout by Joe Philbin which won the Jets the game. If Philbin hadn’t called a timeout, the Jets would have had their kick blocked and subsequently stayed tied at 20-20. But of course the Dolphins somehow found a way to ruin it. Anyhow, the Jets still aren’t a good team and the 49ers are. Even if this is a bit of a defensive battle, it won’t be a very good game for the Jets

Prediction: San Francisco 27, New York 17

Tennessee at Houston: I don’t expect the Titans to put up 44 points this week. Hell, 14 would be a surprise for me, maybe even 4 would be a surprise? You get the point. The Texans defense has been as good as advertised thus far, even though they allowed 25 points to the Broncos last week. The Titans offense also isn’t in the same league as the Broncos, so that’s not a concern. I think the Texans get another easy win here.

Prediction: Houston 30, Tennessee 10

Oakland at Denver: The Raiders pulled the massive upset over the Steelers last week and look to continue that as they head to Colorado, the Sarcastiball capital, as they take on the Broncos. Even though the Broncos put up a good effort last week, they couldn’t beat the Texans. But I don’t see that being much of a problem this week. Denver has a pretty good overall team and the Raiders are just very inconsistent.

Prediction: Denver 35, Oakland 24

Miami at Arizona: Arizona are the real deal and could be a force in the league this year and their defense will be frothing at the mouth with this match-up. They hit Michael Vick 20 times last week, so imagine what they can do to Ryan Tannehill? I know I’d be worried about his health if I was a Dolphins fan.

Prediction: Arizona 24, Miami 7

And it’ll be quick-fire to finish off. Apologies again.

Cincinnati at Jacksonville– Prediction: Cincinnati 28, Jacksonville 19

New Orleans at Green Bay Prediction: Green Bay 30, New Orleans 27

Washington at Tampa Bay – Prediction: Washington 34, Tampa Bay 16

And then there were two…

New York at Philadelphia – Prediction: New York 20, Philadelphia 14

Chicago at Dallas – Prediction: Dallas 23, Chicago 21

Enjoy the weekend and games.

NFL Tips: Week 3 – Final Week of 16.

First off, I’d just like to reiterate Sam’s comments about Steve Sabol. It’s an unbelievably great loss to the NFL and the Sports world as a whole, and it’d be nice if other sporting codes could take his vision(s) and apply them to their respective sport. So, RIP Steve Sabol, you’ll be truly missed.

So here we are in week 3, and this marks the final week of a 16 game schedule until week 11, amazingly. Week 4 only has 1 less game, but I’m still technically correct. Anyhow, let’s get on with the tipping.

New York at Carolina: This week’s Thursday Night Football gives us the intriguing match-up of the Giants vs. the Panthers, this storie…OK, so this game is somewhat of a rarity, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable or intriguing. And I’m definitely looking forward to watching it. Based on last week’s results, Eli’s arm didn’t fall off and Brees arm didn’t really work too well. The Panthers fought out a gutsy and convincing win over NFC South foes, the Saints. The other end was the Giants beating the Buccaneers, but still having a cry, anyway. Stupid East teams, right? Anyhow, I think Carolina’s Pass D has definitely improved this season, and if they can limit the Giants to a respectable rushing total, they could far alright. The Giants are off to a pretty poor start, despite being 1-1. They lost to the Cowboys, without really threatening and they barely got over the line in the touchdown for touchdown battle with the boys from Tampa. The Giants can still be lethal if they put it all together, but if the Panthers defensive backfield can keep it together, then I think the Panthers will, too. I’m actually going to give Carolina the slight edge, even though I think this will be a very tight contest, and either result wouldn’t surprise me.

Prediction: Carolina 30, New York 27

Unfortunately, I’ve left this a tad late, so will only give predictions.

St. Louis at Chicago –Prediction: Chicago 30, St. Louis 17

Buffalo at Cleveland – Prediction: Buffalo 27, Cleveland 24

Tampa Bay at Dallas – Prediction: Dallas 38, Tampa Bay 24

Detroit at Tennessee –Prediction: Detroit 45, Tennessee 17

Jacksonville at IndianapolisPrediction: Indianapolis 21, Jacksonville 18

New York at Miami – Prediction: New York 27, Miami 21

San Francisco at Minnesota – Prediction: San Francisco 24, Minnesota 10

Kansas City at New Orleans –Prediction: New Orleans 30, Kansas City 27

Cincinnati at Washington –Prediction: Cincinnati 20, Washington 16

Philadelphia at Arizona –Prediction: Arizona 24, Philadelphia 17

Atlanta at San Diego – Prediction: Atlanta 30, San Diego 26

Houston at Denver – Prediction: Houston 17, Denver 6

Pittsburgh at Oakland –Prediction: Pittsburgh 37, Oakland 14

And then there were two…

New England at Baltimore – Prediction: Baltimore 26, New England 21

Green Bay at Seattle –Prediction: Green Bay 24, Seattle 13
Have a great week of Football. :)

NFL Tips: Week 1 – Let’s Get It Started!

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. Well, guess what time it is? That’s right! 9pm! No, seriously, it’s the start of the fabled NFL season. It just feels like it’ll never get here. And this year, some people might have wished it didn’t after watching the Zebras in the preseason games. But I’m not here to slam the replacement officials, I’m here to slam crappy teams (and horrible overrated ones)! So, let’s go, shall we?’

Wednesday Game

Dallas at New York: The 2012 season kicks off in typical TV fashion with a NFC East showdown between the Giants & Cowboys. The Giants had quite a run to the Super Bowl last year, going through the Packers & 49ers, before beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Cowboys didn’t make the playoffs again, and as usual, will be heavily overrated. But I expect the Giants to put them in their place to start out the NFL season.

Prediction: New York 24, Dallas 20

Sunday & Monday Games

Indianapolis at Chicago: With the Colts ending up as the worst team in Football last season; thanks Peyton, they got the #1 overall pick and without hesitation, they drafted the best scouted QB since the aforementioned Manning. Unfortunately, Indianapolis’ offense won’t be able to help the D when the reformed tandem of Culter and Marshall are on the field, ripping their DB’s to shreds. Chicago are big favourites to be the threat to not only the Lions Wild Card spot, but the Packers NFC North domination. I don’t see how this will happen with such an inept offensive line, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue in week 1.

Prediction: Chicago 35, Indianapolis 17

Philadelphia at Cleveland: Cleveland’s draft class is an extremely promising one, despite the drafting of one of the oldest players in draft history with Brandon Weeden late in the 1st round. They got the best RB since Adrian Peterson in Trent Richardson and picked up what seems to be a gem in the supplemental draft with Josh Gordon. All that probably won’t get them over the top against Vick & co. The Eagles had a pretty poor season by their standards last season. Vick had injury problems again and the Defense didn’t live up to their ridiculous expectations (no surprise). I think a full offseason will be extremely beneficial for the whole Eagles team over a lot of teams. And I think they start off their season with a good win.

Prediction: Philadelphia 28, Cleveland 20

St. Louis at Detroit: Jeff Fisher took over the hopeless Rams after last year’s disaster. Sam Bradford is finally back fully healthy and Steven Jackson had a full season for the first time in a while. Unfortunately for the Rams, their WR corps didn’t improve a lot in the break and their first round pick Michael Brockers is out with an ankle sprain for 2 or 3 weeks. The Lions finally made the playoffs last season and will look to improve (they’ve improved by 4 games the past 2 seasons) yet again. The Lions’ problem has changed, either. Their defensive backfield is still at 6’s and 7’s. They may be without their defensive leader in Louis Delmas for this game, also. Fortunately for the Lions, the best connection in Football is still around. Stafford to Johnson. And I assume that’ll be heard a lot again this season and possibly a couple of times in this game. The Lions offense is just too powerful and the Rams isn’t good enough to keep up.

Prediction: Detroit 30, St. Louis 14

New England at Tennesse: After not winning a playoff game since their last Super Bowl victory, the Patriots made it all the way to the big dance, only to fall short to the Cinderella Giants team. Tough luck, Pats. Tennessee were in a bit of a rebuilding mode last season, trying to find a true identity at QB and they’ve settled on the young gunslinger who’s got some legs on him for good measure. Tennessee could be a sneaky team this season, but I don’t think they’ll have their way against Bieber Brady in week 1.

Prediction: New England 38, Tennessee 28

Atlanta at Kansas City: If you’ve been following the Falcons during the off-season by any chance, it sounds like they’re going to be the best team in Football. Well, maybe not THAT good, but the best team in the NFC South, which isn’t too far off. I still think their D is a bit suspect. Especially after losing their leader in Curtis Lofton. But their WR corps is crazy good, with the already anointed best WR in Julio Jones, along with the always consistent Roddy White. The Chiefs’ biggest scalp last year was beating the Packers at home. But don’t think their D can’t repeat that feat each week. With drafting Dontari Poe, they added another big cog in the middle of their 3-4 system. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Tamba Hali will be suspended for this game and Brandon Flowers status is up in the air, too. Fortunately, however they get back the most promising RB in Football, Jamaal Charles. In the end, though I don’t the Chiefs can keep the Falcons out of the endzone, nor keep up with them.

Prediction: Atlanta 24, Chiefs 13

Jacksonville at Minnesota: There aren’t A LOT of thrilling games on the week 1 schedule, but this one is likely placed right at the bottom. Two of the worst teams from last season meet in Minnesota for week 1 pride. That’s right, one of these teams will be equal with the super powers of the NFL in wins. Amazingly, two of the best RB’s in football will likely play sparingly with Adrian Peterson coming back from an ACL tear (a lot quicker than most) and Maurice Jones-Drew coming back from his off-season long hold out. These teams picked 5 and 4, respectively in the 2012 draft. And both teams picked a critical position of need. The Vikings got the best LT prospect (Matt Kalil) and the Jaguars got the best WR prospect (Justin Blackmon). When you hear the headline of Ponder vs. Gabbert, your underwear magically tightens up in excitement, right? OK, maybe excrement…Anyway. I’m giving the edge in this one to Minnesota based on their home field advantage and fake crowd noise. But I wouldn’t count out Jacksonville’s D.

Prediction: Minnesota 17, Jacksonville 13

Washington at New Orleans: Washington has finally got their QB saviour in Robert Griffin III, trading up to the #2 spot to draft him. While the Saints have lost their Head Coaching saviour, Sean Payton thanks to bountygate. Along with Mr. Payton, the Saints also lost LB Jonathon Vilma and Will Smith. However they seemed to sign every LB possible, singing both Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne and eventually trading for Barrett Ruud, though Ruud isn’t starting yet. The Saints defense shouldn’t lose a step, and neither should their offense, with Drew Brees being close enough to a Head Coach, that no Sean Payton shouldn’t trouble the new leader in Passing Yards in a Season. I don’t see the Redskins being terribly competitive for the beginning of the year. I don’t think the Saints should have a lot of trouble in this game.

Prediction: New Orleans 31, Washington 14

Buffalo at New York: The Bills D has been so heavily talked up, it sounds like they’re already in the top 5. Although on the other end the Jets D is probably a lot closer to being a top 5 D. I guess this game will come down to how poorly the Jets offense plays, because if the preseason is any indication (heh) they’re going to struggle badly. Until of course Mr. Saviour comes in, throws for a 30% completion rate and somehow wins them the game. The Bills offense is buoyed by the return or Fred Jackson and having a great tandem in the backfield, along with CJ Spiller. Along with Fitzpatrick being fully healthy to start the year, the Bills may end up putting up more points than most people expect. I’ll temper my expectations for the first game, but the Jets have no offense so far. And there isn’t much else to go on right now.

Prediction: Buffalo 20, New York 7

Miami at Houston: I’ll just start by saying that the Texans are my Super Bowl pick. OK, now that that’s out of the way, I’ll be quick. The Dolphins offense has no viable WR out of Davone Bess, a slot receiver and their best TE  blocks. Their defense isn’t fantastic either. Houston has the best running game in the league and defense. Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson is likely to be popular connection this season. Houston shut out Tannehill and co.

Prediction: Houston 28, Miami 0

San Francisco at Green Bay: Easily considered the best game of the week, San Francisco’s defense goes to visit Green Bay’s offense. What a great match-up. The 49ers got so close to the Super Bowl under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh. And the Packers met the Giants and got embarrassed in the first half. But with clean slates and spectacular teams, this game should be fantastic. It’s a hard game to pick, but 49ers offense just can’t keep up with Rodgers and the Packers, no matter how many times he gets sacked/intercepted etc. he’s just too good.

Prediction: Green Bay 24, San Francisco 17

Arizona at Seattle: I’m partially on the Seahawks bandwagon this year. Specifically the defensive part. Their defense has so much potential, it’s crazy. A top 5 finish is well within their reach. Seattle will definitely be the biggest threat to the 49ers in the NFC West this season. Russel Wilson has looked very good as their QB throughout the preseason, and I think he can take it into the season against an average Arizona defense. The Cardinals did eventually pick a starting QB, going with John Skelton over the expensive and useless Kevin Kolb. Arizona is horrible on offense, outside of Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells. Their offensive line is a disaster and gigantic liability and I expect a bottom 10 record for them this season. I think the Seahawks shut down the Cardinals quickly and take a comfortable win.

Prediction: Seattle 21, Arizona 3

Carolina at Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay had quite the offseason, signing both Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks to sure up parts of their offense. They also drafted Mark Barron and Doug Martin. Two key pieces to the new team. Unfortunately they lost Davin Joseph to injury which is a major blow to their offensive line. I’m not quite sold on the Buccaneers. Freeman’s poor year last season shows some concerns, but a lot of QB’s have poor sophomore campaigns. Perhaps just not at that level. The Panthers had quite a good season last year. They only went 6-10, but after going 2-14 the previous system, that’s a good effort with a lot of change to their team. The obvious big change which completely revitalised their team was Cam Newton who lit a fire under the team throughout the year. I think the Panthers are a sneaky chance to win the NFC South or Wild Card if their defense can improve a bit. And I definitely have them winning their first game.

Prediction: Carolina 28, Tampa Bay 17

And then there were…Three? Yes, thank goodness for week 1 Monday Night Football double-headers!

Pittsburgh at Denver: The Sunday Night Football season is kicked off by Peyton Manning’s first game as a Bronco. It also happens to be the game where the new overtime rules were deemed useless on one play, cause Tim Tebow actually connected on a pass, which amazing went for a TD. Regardless, this should be a good contest. The Steelers defense isn’t the peak unit it used to be, getting quite old quickly. Their offense isn’t too scary right now without Rashard Mendenhall, but they do have Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown to throw to. But that’s about it. The Broncos team is in OK shape, with a decent WR corps and two capable TE’s for Peyton to seek out. Their defense is what worries me. They played well in parts last year, but there’s a lot of holes in the defensive backfield, outside of Champ Bailey and he’s getting older. I think the Steelers can start off with a win, but it’ll be a close contest.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 20, Denver 16

Cincinnati at Baltimore: The Ravens and Bengals square off in the first game of the Monday night double-header. Baltimore’s offense has changed to a more up-tempo, no-huddle pass based scheme. The defense should be impressive, again, but losing the Defensive Player of 2011 hurts them a lot. And Ed Reed’s age and injury problems could become a problem into the season, as well. But the thing about the Ravens is they always play well as a unit, without a lot of unbelievable star players. The Bengals had a good showing last year with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green putting up good years for their rookie campaigns. And now they try to better that campaign. They may struggle, though, as they don’t have any true #2 or #3 WR, along with an underutilised TE. Their defense played very well last year, but they could struggle to repeat this season. I don’t see the Bengals getting over the Ravens in this one, though.

Prediction: Baltimore 26, Cincinnati 17

San Diego at Oakland: To round out week 1, comes an AFC West grudge match between the Raiders and Chargers. I find this to be a very hard game to call. The Oakland defense can be good, but they’re very inconsistent. Whereas Philip Rivers loves throwing interceptions, it seems. San Diego have a good defense, but I think the 3-headed monster of McFadden, Palmer and Moore can actually pull the upset and get over on the Chargers.

Prediction: Oakland 30, San Diego 21

I hope you enjoyed reading my picks and have a great and enjoyable first week!

NFL Tips: Week 16 – Christmas Edition

Absolute crunch time is upon us with many teams able to sow up a playoff birth with a win this Christmas weekend. And with the Christmas holidays comes a change to the days. The majority of games this week shall be played on the unnatural Saturday, as Sunday’s taken up by some random holiday. Along with all that nonsense, the Suck for Luck Sweepstakes now have some more hopefuls, with the Colts winning last week against the Titans. Which now brings the Vikings and Rams into the race. The Colts would still prosper the most from the pick, as the other two have pretty good QB’s on their roster and are desperate for other pieces, mainly D on both teams. Anyway, enough of that crap. Last week wasn’t as solid as past ones, missing on Indianapolis, Kansas City (SAY WHAT?!), Philadelphia, San Diego, Carolina and Washington. Let’s get this shit going!

Houston at Indianapolis: Coming off a surprising loss, the Texans go to visit a red-hot Colts team who’s won 1 of their last 14 games. Nothing can stop them at this point, not even the injury of Peyt…Oh…Right. Yeah, sorry Indy, but 1 win doesn’t a good team make. Both teams go back to their previous ways.

Prediction: Houston 35, Indianapolis 6

Denver at Buffalo: Even though the Lions performance against the Broncos seems to be forgotten, they did create the first loss for Tebow and the Patriots created the 2nd on the weekend, with the Broncos eventually get blown out near the end. Buffalo are up the creek without a paddle at this point, and after such a promising start have stooped to quite a big low this season. Denver’s D is still relatively good and Buffalo have just been hopeless of late. Tebow goes to 8-2 methinks.

Prediction: Denver 24, Buffalo 14

Arizona at Cincinnati: I think this is a tough game to call. On face value, I guess you’d pick the Bengals, but the Cards have just been on a tear recently winning 6 or their last 7 games. With both of these teams winning last week, I find it even harder to confidently pick a winner. I will do so, of course. But be weary of this one.

Prediction: Cincinnati 28, Arizona 24

Jacksonville at Tennessee: I’m not entirely sure how you go from scoring 42 points one week to letting up 41 points the next, but that’s what the Jaguars achieved with their loss to the Falcons last Thursday. How any team can lose to the Colts is beyond me, but Tennessee did that. So both of these teams are known for being horrible right now. Who’s more horrible? I’ll say the Jaguars.

Prediction: Tennessee 31, Jacksonville 27

Oakland at Kansas City: It’s hard not to just start with the Chiefs unbelievable victory against the defending champion Packers. Their D has been pretty good through this season and have shut down other team like they did to the Packers (Raiders comes to mind). And if it wasn’t for their putrid offense, they’d definitely have won more games and would likely be leading the AFC West division. I probably was close to 3 or 4 heart attacks last week watching the Lions play the Raiders. Carson Palmer was on point all game, missing on only 8 passes and throwing no INT’s, a new record, I believe (I kid, I kid). The Chiefs win definitely gives them some hope, but if the Raiders can put up enough points, then the Chiefs won’t catch them.

Prediction: Oakland 27, Kansas City 16

Miami at New England: Miami got back to their resurgent ways against the Bills last week, but made it interesting by the end. The Patriots made the Broncos look like, well, the Broncos. Everyone scores against the Patriots, so Denver scoring a solid amount of points isn’t a shock, but the Patriots almost always score more, to compensate for their invisible pass D. Miami’s resurgence is nice and all, but the Patriots play is real and consistent, so they’ll be getting the win again.

Prediction: New England 31, Miami 28

New York at New York: The battle of New York goes down in…New Jersey this Saturday. This is a big game for both teams, with both still in playoff contention and the Giants are still hoping to hold off the Cowboys and Eagles to get the East division. The Jets somehow hold a wild card spot right now, but I think the Giants offense is too high-powered for the Jets to stop or keep up with in this grudge match.

Prediction: New York Giants 30, New York Jets 21

St. Louis at Pittsburgh: In between two black outs the Steelers did apparently play an NFL game, though a few people reported them to be missing in San Francisco. St. Louis put up another valiant effort against the Bengals, but couldn’t pull it off. Again. I think this one’s obvious. The Steelers will be pissed at their performance (or lack there of) and will be taking it out on the Rams and their revolving door of a QB.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 34, St. Louis 10

Minnesota at Washington: The Vikings do have a somewhat legitimate shot to win this game, as they’ve taken quite a few teams to the wire already this season. However, they are 2-10 for a reason and Washington’s coming off a big win for the team, so I think it’ll be 2-11 for Ponder and co.

Prediction: Washington 24, Minnesota 14

Tampa Bay at Carolina: Meeting for the 2nd time this year, both teams are more or less in the same position as last time. The Buccaneers can’t win and the Panthers are going steadily getting wins here and there. Boy the Buccaneers are horrible, getting lit up on Saturday Night Football by the Cowboys and having Raheem Morris a finger nails length away from a firing. And this could be the Coup De Grace for Morris as an in-division rivalry game always puts on the most pressure, outside of playoff related matters. I think the Panthers can get to 6 wins and end Morris’s job.

Prediction: Carolina 45, Tampa Bay 17

Cleveland at Baltimore: Like most others, I was pretty shocked to see the Ravens get blown out against a team like the Chargers on Sunday Night. The Browns followed their losing ways against the surging Cardinals. Cleveland put up a nice effort against the Steelers a couple weeks back and may do so again here, but it will again be a loss.

Prediction: Baltimore 27, Cleveland 10

San Diego at Detroit: For the first time since 1999, the Lions have a chance to make the playoffs. And this is the game that gives them a good chance to get it, even with the Chargers abolishment of the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. The Lions got up against the Raiders on a 1 minute 37 second drive from Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, winning the game by 1 point. Boy this is a hard game to pick and possibly hard to watch for Lions fans with so much at stake for the first time since hoping not to go 0-16 in ’08. I can’t tip the Chargers for any reason in this game. Bias coming strong here.

Prediction: Detroit 34, San Diego 28

Philadelphia at Dallas: There’s a lot of stake for both these teams, here. The Cowboys need a win to knock the Eagles out of contention. Both teams will also be aware of the situation with the Giants. And if the Giants do win, then the Eagles are knocked out before this one even kicks off, possibly deflating them enough that the Giants get an easy win here, but without knowing a Giants score right now, we just have to tip based on this game. The Eagles destroyed the Jets last week and the Cowboys destroyed are useless Tampa Bay team. I still think the Eagles can win this game, though.

Prediction: Philadelphia 37, Dallas 31

San Francisco at Seattle: Seattle’s base scheme is to the run the ball and the 49ers base scheme on D is to stop the run. This is bad for the Seahawks as the 49ers have done it all season, having allowed 0 rush TD’s, yes 0. I think the Seahawks will get shut out in this game, but will likely be low-scoring.

Prediction: San Francisco 13, Seattle 0

And then there were two…

Chicago at Green Bay: Despite a loss last week, I still think the Packers will win the Super Bowl this season. The only way they lose it is if they meet the 49ers along the way. Otherwise I don’t see them making a mistake. Speaking of losing, it seems to the Bears speciality right now. What a bad Christmas Day game, right? Bah.

Prediction: Green Bay 35, Chicago 20

Atlanta at New Orleans: Both of these teams are playing good football right now and this should be a cracking Monday Night Football encounter. The Saints are almost killing opponents right now and the Falcons are playing very good all-around football.The Saints just seem unstoppable right now and I don’t think a division rival will stop them. Their next stop will likely be in the playoffs. Maybe the Lions? Anyway, not changing topics, the Saints should get a good fought victory in this one.

Prediction: New Orleans 41, Atlanta 34

Have a great Christmas everyone, I’ll see you all next week for the New Years edition! :D

NFL Tips: Week 15

With 3 weeks left in the regular season, the playoffs are starting to shape up, but still aren’t solid. Hopefully week 15 can give us a clearer idea of who’s going where. I had another good week last week, getting 12 tips correct again (3rd straight week). The teams I missed on last week were: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Arizona. Onto the tipping!

Jacksonville at Atlanta: Well, the horrible TNF match-ups continue and will do so with next week as well (Indianapolis at Houston or the other way round). At least we have two winners going into week, right? Right? Yeah, who am I fooling, the Jaguars still stink and Atlanta should give them a good hiding. Sans MJD.

Prediction: Atlanta 31, Jacksonville 17

Dallas at Tampa Bay: We’re very lucky this week to have two games before the Sunday games kick off. Even if both games will likely be one-sided blowouts. Raheem Morris could be fired if this game turns out the way it likely will, as the Bucs have lost 7 straight games and are likely to make it 8 here. Cowboys fans are desperate for a win, as they lost on a blocked FG last week against the Giants. I have absolutely no idea what’s happened to the Bucs, but I hope they enjoy their high draft pick this year. Plus if the Jaguars can put 41 points on them, imagine what the Cowboys are capable of!

Prediction: Dallas 40, Tampa Bay 21

Miami at Buffalo: It’s amazing how little it takes to change opinions on teams. Last week the Dolphins last by 16, which isn’t great. But it is better than 27 points which is what the Bills lost by. Yet somehow the Bills are the big favourites in this game. Just like the Panthers game against the Buccaneers recently, it dumbfounds me how this is the case. All teams have bad days, and that includes D’s which have dominated, look at San Francisco last week getting torn to shreds by Fitzgerald and co. Buffalo have been completely inept of performing on O recently. The Dolphins are better than the Chargers D and can hold them to 10, just like them. Dolphins get another deserved win, with a new coach.

Prediction: Miami 20, Buffalo 13

Seattle at Chicago: Regardless of the opposition last week, I think the Seahawks can run the table to end the season. Their run game is unstoppable right now and their D is absolutely ferocious getting picks and fumbles all over the field, as well as knocking the shit out of opposing receivers. Not really sure what to say about the unbelievable viewing at Mile High last week against the Tebows. The Bears almost literally handed Denver that game. Even though the Seahawks have done have an imaginary aura around them, they can definitely handle and beat the Bears, who are hopeless on offense.

Prediction: Seattle 27, Chicago 17

Indianapolis at Tennessee: Not going to bother with these until the Colts say otherwise. 0-14, baby!

Prediction: Tennessee 28, Indianapolis 14

Green Bay at Kansas City: Back to back blurbs with hardly any words. Packers are undefeated, and Kansas City are pretty hopeless. People are screaming trap game this and trap game that, but they also thought the Giants were gonna win…Um…Yeah.

Prediction: Green Bay 41, Kansas City 17

Cincinnati at St. Louis: Ah, how promising the Rams were, then they lost the majority of their players and couldn’t win at all. And then they lost their franchise QB for a few games and Steven Jackson hasn’t been himself, either. Everything’s gone wrong for the Rams this season. Which is the complete opposite for the Bengals, who are showing a much improved team and record. Well, improved over recent times, anyhow. The Bengals are only 1 game from being .500, but this match-up shouldn’t pose much of a thread and they should be able to create a non-losing season for the first time in a while.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34, St. Louis 13

New Orleans at Minnesota: The only way I see the Vikings winning this game is if the Saints D gives up in the 2nd half like the Lions did last week. Or if the Saints O takes 30 minutes before they get into gear, which is also what happened last week, when they took on the Titans. Minnesota does get pack Adrian Peterson which also gives them a chance, but unless they start Webb and he works his magic again, I’m not confident in their winning abilities.

Prediction: New Orleans 30, Minnesota 16

Washington at New York: I’m not entirely sure what you want to label the Giants win last week. “Lucky” is the first word that comes to my mind, but then again, they kept answering the Cowboys scores. I use “Lucky” because one hand decided that game. And blocks are never a guarantee or planned out to perfection every time. Jason Pierre-Paul had an amazing game, though. The Redskins held it with the Patriots for almost the whole game, but came up short by 7. The Giants play of late in the past two games definitely give them the advantage, but a rivalry is always an unknown.

Prediction: New York 21, Washington 17

Carolina at Houston: TJ Yates is a great story at the moment, not that he’s getting any coverage of course. But nonetheless, he’s kept the Texans on their course and won them the AFC South division title last weekend with the final play of the game against the Bengals. Carolina have been in almost all their games this season, but still seem to lack that final nail to put them away. They gave up a 24 point lead to the Falcons in the 2nd half last week to lose the game. I think this game will buck the trend for the Panthers, who’ll struggle to score enough points to keep up with the Texans. Their D is just too good for Cam Newton to do his thing.

Prediction: Houston 28, Carolina 10

Detroit at Oakland: I’m pretty use to seeing the Lions give up points after leading this season, but last week was pretty heart-stopping. A win last week just meant so much to their playoff cause. Keeping them up with the Falcons and taking the 2nd wildcard spot. I’m not really sure what the Raiders are doing at the moment, but if playing badly is their current gameplan, then I’m all for it! This game worries me, though. I can’t really put my finger on why, but teams that get drubbed the previous week always come out firing and wanting to getting early points. Hopefully the returns of key defensive players will ease those worries once the game kicks off. I’m still taking the Lions here, but I think it’ll be more of the heart-stopping variety.

Prediction: Detroit 34, Oakland 31

New England at Denver: Oh, goody, this game…Look I’m so sick of hearing about these two arsehole QB’s that I really don’t want to do this. I’ll just be quick and get it over with.

Prediction: New England 38, Denver 27

New York at Philadelphia: Both winners last week, this game should pretty enjoyable. Michael Vick has returned for the Eagles, which is always a boost. Sanchez probably had his best game of his regular season career, throwing for 2 TD’s and running for 2 others. This game’s hardish to call. The Eagles beat 1 team and I’m not sure why it makes them almost as good as the Jets. If Revis can shutdown D-Jax, then I think the Jets can definitely win. Especially with the way Shonne Green is running the ball right now. And the Eagles let up a lot of yards on the ground. Jets take it in a close one.

Prediction: New York 32, Philadelphia 31

Cleveland at Arizona: The Cardinals have won 3 straight games and are good odds to make it 4 against a Cleveland team that was only able to put up 3 points on the Pittsburgh Steelers. That might not be too surprising, but the Browns had a lot of chances to cash in on points and were only able to do it once.

Prediction: Arizona 26, Cleveland 14

And then there were two…

Baltimore at San Diego: It was good to finally see the Chargers dominating like their old ways. As well as that, Rivers has been interception-free for 3 straight games, though this game is a tough task. Obvious win was obvious for the Ravens last week, as they took on the winless (and useless) Colts with an easy win as Ray Rice rushed for 204 yards on the day. San Diego lets up yard on the ground too and Baltimore’s D is still as rock solid as ever. I can’t hold out much hope for the Chargers in this one, though.

Prediction: Baltimore 28, San Diego 14

Pittsburgh at San Francisco: Now this is the game of the week! Hard-nosed Football. Everything the NFL stands against. Every team has a bad day, and that’s what the 49ers endured last week against the Cardinals. They have clinched their division, though, so except for the #2 seed and a playoff bye, there’s not a lot they’re playing for. Pittsburgh’s day was a fair bit easier though against the Browns, only allowing 3 points and making a lot of good plays on D. The Steelers will be without their best D player James Harrison after a ridiculous suspension based on accumulative hits. Of course media never helps these bullshit outcomes, often inserting the idea in people’s heads to begin with. Saying all that, though, I think the 49ers can pull a bit of an upset and take the spoils in their hometown on Monday Night Football!

Prediction: San Francisco 24, Pittsburgh 17

Have a good week, everyone. :)

NFL Tips: Week 14

With only 4 weeks in the regular season, the playoff picture is both taking shape and getting worrying for some (myself included), exciting for others and very interesting all-round. I had a fairly good week last week tipping 11 correct and missing on Seattle, Tennessee, Kansas City, Arizona & Miami. Let’s get to it!

Cleveland at Pittsburgh: I said it last week, but I’ll say it again, the NFL and NFL Network chose some truly horrible primetime games this season. And this one is most definitely included. The Steelers head into this game after pummeling the Bengals last week by 28 and claiming their dominance yet again. The Browns, on the other hand, come into this game after being beaten comfortably by the Ravens. The Steelers seem to be back to their old selves, kicking arse and taking names. The Browns have very little firepower on the offense, and the Browns won’t be able to hold out Big Ben and co. for the whole game, nor keep them to a small point total for the offense to be able to exceed and win. Steelers should get a good win here.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Cleveland 6

Houston at Cincinnati: This should be a good defensive match-up, as two of the better D’s go head to head in this match-up. Cincinnati got trounced last week, opposed to the Texans, who pulled out an impressive win against a tough Falcons teams. I think Houston’s D is superior to Cincinnati’s and so is their overall offense. Houston gets the victory.

Prediction: Houston 20, Cincinnati 13

Minnesota at Detroit: In the last meeting of these two teams, the Lions rallied from 20 points down in the 2nd half to beat the Vikings in overtime 26 to 23. I can’t say I see the Lions being down 20 points by half-time, but with the way the team’s been playing and imploding, I’m not ruling it out. The Vikings lost to the Tebows last week, where Tebow actually had a relatively good day throwing the ball. This says more about the Vikings than Tebow’s throwing skills, though. And if Tebow can, sort of, light up this Vikings secondary, imagine what Stafford can do after coming off a 400+ yard outing, as well as being 5th in the league in pass yardage. Lions get a nice win to get things back on track.

Prediction: Detroit 48, Minnesota 17

Tennessee at New Orleans: With the Titans winning two in a row, they  seem to be getting their season back on track, though it’s a bit late for that now. Chris Johnson is back to his usual self having rushed for a combined 343 yards in his past 2 games. The Saints have won 4 in a row and even though they did get tested last week, still prevailed in comfortable fashion. Even if CJ2K can continue his great form, they won’t get enough points through the air to outscore the Saints. Good competitive game, but ultimately, another Saints victory.

Prediction: New Orleans 40, Tennessee 28

Philadelphia at Miami: The Dolphins are one of the best teams in the NFL right now, and their D is sturdy as all hell. With the Eagles getting Vick back, it’s definitely a nice relief, as opposed to the woeful Vince Young. However, the Miami D is for real, and Vick probably won’t be 100%. Considering what the Eagles were like when Vick was playing, they weren’t winning much. Miami takes it, though not convincingly.

Prediction: Miami 21, Philadelphia 19

Kansas City at New York: The Chiefs pulled out one of the bigger surprises last week, dominating the Bears for 60 minutes and getting the victory. Meanwhile, the Jets got a bit of a scare, but ended up piling the points in towards the end. I can’t see Palko and Chiefs causing another upset, but crazier things have happened!

Prediction: New York 26, Kansas City 14

New England at Washington: New England were quite underwhelming last week, only putting up 31 points and only winning by 7. The ‘Skins, as just mentioned, got the score run up at the end of their game against the Jets. Washington’s D has fallen a bit this year, while the Patriots O looks fairly unstoppable. Patriots take it in a close one, because their D literally can’t stop anyone.

Prediction: New England 34, Washington 30

Atlanta at Carolina: My Panthers picked was pretty spot on last week (bows for applause) and surprisingly, so was my Falcons! Despite that nonsense, both of these teams are good despite the Panther’s record. The Falcons pulled out the victory in the first meeting, but I think the Panthers can tie it up with Newton putting up big numbers. High scoring shootout in Carolina.

Prediction: Carolina 38, Atlanta 31

Tampa Bay at Jacksonville: As hard as it is to tip the Jaguars at the moment, it might be even harder to tip the Bucs. Tampa Bay has lost 6 straight games and this is their best shot to win in the next 4 weeks. Worrying signs for a team that just missed the playoffs last season. Jacksonville fell to the Chargers who would have been ecstatic at winning a game of late. Tampa Bay is really bad, but Jacksonville only seem to show up against the big teams. Something the Bucs have fallen a long way from.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 27, Jacksonville 15

Indianapolis at Baltimore: No point writing long-winded blurbs for the Colts any more. They better start choosing who they want more, Manning or Luck?

Prediction: Ravens 30, Colts 3

Chicago at Denver: Tebow was actually half decent last week, although please put things into perspective (I know this is hard for Tebow fans, but trying would be nice). Tebow faced the worst pass defense in the league and possibly one of the worst D’s, period. And even though they take on the Bears, it’s the Bears offense which is bad, almost non-existent. If Bears fans thought things couldn’t get any worse, they were clearly deluded, as Forte busted his knee and is out until at least week 16. I don’t think the Bears can be the team to solve the new Denver D and Tebow and co make it 7-1 (Yay Lions!).

Prediction: Denver 20, Chicago 12

Arizona at San Francisco: San Francisco’s D is outstanding. I’m still in awe of how good they’ve done this season. And even though P-Willy is a big loss for them this week, he’s only 1 of the 11 players on an outstanding D. Rams were held to 0 last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona was, too. Unless Patrick Peterson shows up again…

Prediction: San Francisco 24, Arizona 0

Oakland at Green Bay: As with the Colts blurbs, I feel similarly about the Packers. You saw the Raiders last week, right? Yes? OK, no point to continue, then. Green Bay to 13-0.

Prediction: Green Bay 35, Oakland 17

Buffalo at San Diego: Two teams who are desperate for wins to try to salvage something and maybe a division shot for the Chargers. If the Chargers were more consistent on a weekly basis just in terms of scoring, then it’s an easy pick, but the Chargers are always a coin flip away from the shit team turning up. Buffalo doesn’t seem to have a good team at the moment, though, so I have to pick the Chargers for no other reason than how bad Buffalo is.

Prediction: San Diego 21, Buffalo 9

And then there were two…

New York at Dallas: Maybe I’m just underestimating this rivalry, but the Cowboys should be favored or close to it in this game. Sure, the Giants have lost 5 straight, but they’ve still been pretty good. Apart from the final 90 seconds last week…Anyway, the Cowboys haven’t shown me anything to get me excited about against the Giants.

Prediction: New York 31, Dallas 24

St. Louis at Seattle: Marshawn Lynch sure turned into a beast Running Back this season, and I was one of those idiots who dropped some games in, cause he hadn’t done anything. Sure am kicking myself now. Regardless of that, the Seahawks D is a takeaway machine, while their O runs (no pun intended) through Lynch. One of the few teams whose running game is their winner. St. Louis also can’t stop the run, ominous sign right there. Seattle makes it 4 out of their last 5.

Prediction: Seattle 27, St. Louis 10

Good luck to everyone this week and have a great one!

Lions vs. Saints: Week 13 Preview

After the unspeakable horribleness of last week’s game against the Packers, the Lions now head to New Orleans for an even tougher task. Trying to beat the Saints. The Saints are in great form with 3 straight wins on the trot, since their week 9 loss to the Rams. The Lions will be getting their 2nd primetime game of the season, as this match-up was flexed in for the Patriots vs. Colts blockbuster, which previously held it.

The Saints are being led once again by their eventual Hall of Famer, Drew Brees. Brees is absolutely blitzing the league, leading the NFL in passing yards with 3689 and is only behind Aaron Rodgers with a 70.2% completion percentage. But Brees isn’t the only weapon on this team. Darren Sproles, who was acquired in the off-season, has been a king of all trades for the Saints throughout the season. He’s currently leading in yards per rush for anyone who’s had over 50 carries, at a 6.8 clip. But he’s been most dangerous in the passing game with 62 catches for 476 yards. It’s obvious that the Lions are going to have a very tough test trying to stop the Saints on Sunday night, and it’s tough to see where it’ll happen.

The Lions are coming in off probably their worst loss of the season. I can’t think of any real positives out of the game. Despite only losing by 12, the Lions couldn’t have played much worse than they did. Some good news, though, is that Matthew Stafford’s finally removed the glove and splint from his hand, and it looks like Kevin Smith will be able to play. Maybe not in a complete role, but any help they can get is appreciated right now. Two massive losses, though, are those of Louis Delmas and Chris Houston. Not much worse of a time to lose them, as they’re about to take on the 2nd best QB in the NFL right now. And of course, Ndamukong Suh, who stupidly stomped on one of the Green Bay linemen last week, but I’m sure you’ve heard all that ad nauseum. I’m excited to see what Fairley can do, though.

Look, the answer to a Lions win is as simple as can be. Stop Drew Brees. But unless they knock him out, ala Aaron Rodgers last year, this won’t be happening. The Saints O-Line is also one of the best in the league, making the task that much more difficult. The Lions should definitely be able to hang with them on offense, regardless of Kevin Smith’s playing time. But with 2 major injuries in the secondary, and the best linemen not playing, it’s going to be a struggle, I imagine.

I haven’t even mentioned the Saints WR corps yet, which is possibly their strongest weapon. They have a top 10 WR in Marques Colston as well as the top TE going round in Jimmy Graham. The Lions have done a pretty good job of stopping TE’s, but Graham’s not like most of them, he’s a bigger, stronger, not as fast WR. He posts up the opposition, akin to Basketball, and pulls down the ball. Simply put, he’s the next Antonio Gates. The key to the Saints passing attack is how much they spread the ball around. A lot like the Packers. The Saints other WR’s are all top class players in Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson. The Saints seem to just have too much for the Lions to handle.

If the Lions can miraculously stop Drew Brees, then they have every chance of winning, but I just think the Saints have too many weapons for the Lions to compensate for, and they’ll end up being out of position too often to stop Brees effectively. I think Brees will throw for 320+ yards with 4 TD’s, while Matthew Stafford with throw for 370+ yards and 3 TD’s. The big difference in numbers, is that I expect the Lions to be down early and the only way they’ll be able to get back into the game is to use the air. Not to mention that Eli Manning put up 400 yards in last week’s contest, and I think Stafford has better weapons, especially in Calvin.

In the end, though, I expect the Lions will fall to the Saints. Hopefully it’ll be a close match heading into the 3rd quarter, but I anticipate Brees will turn it on from there-on-out.

Prediction: Saints 38, Lions 30

Lions vs. Packers: Thanksgiving Game

First, I’d like to apologise for being so slack lately. I’ve been EXTREMELY busy (like having a job type busy, without actually having a job), and just haven’t had the time, wherewithal or sanity to write any posts since my tips post last week. For those who care, I’m doing a 5-day a week Business course. Unfortunately the course is a solid distance from my house, so I leave early and get home late, because of going to the gym. I’ll definitely try to be more proactive and write more, but might not kick back into high gear until Mid December. Anyway, enough of that shit, let’s talk FOOTBAWLL!!!

Of my top 3 most anticipated games this year, this was #2. #1 was Monday Night Football & #3 was the Lions vs. Panthers game. They were both wins, for what it’s worth. Although I might have to change #3 to the week 13 Sunday Night Football game against the Saints. It’s pretty obvious why this game easily cracked the top 3. A good Lions team versus the defending Super Bowl champions is always an amazingly exciting and rare prospect. The good Lions team part, at least.

Not that I think of it often, but when I do; Thanksgiving represents one sole thing to me. Lions Football. Whether it be good or bad (we know the history), Thanksgiving is the Lions proverbial “Day to shine”. I know they haven’t done it for a long time, but that was then, and this is now. This team is a pretty impressive 7-3 with losses to quality oppositions. First the 49ers burst the Lions undefeated bubble, then the Falcons burst the back to back losses bubble and the Bears took care of whatever bubbles were left. Yet despite 3 losses and disregarding the Bears game, the team has performed admirably well. It’s not like they got blown out by the 49ers or Falcons, they just didn’t come up clutch when they had to. Back to regarding the Bears game, the simple answer to “What happened?” is an incredibly puzzled “I don’t know…”. Especially after seeing Matthew Stafford (eventually) slice up the Panthers secondary with the exact same finger and glove that he was wearing in the Bears game. Maybe it really WAS the wind? I don’t know, but something was obviously different. Perhaps it was just simply more rest and getting more used to the glove. Or, it was none of those and was just the constant skittishness of Stafford early on in some games, and the whole 60 minutes for other games. A problem I foresee for this Thursday’s game.

We all know the Packers are easily the best team in the NFL right now and Rodgers is serving as the best QB right now, also. But they do have a few weaknesses. First off, their secondary isn’t as good as it could be. They’re currently letting up 289.3 yards through the air, which is 2nd worst in the league. Very, very good news for a primary passing team like the Lions. However the Packers do make up for it on the ground, giving up only 102.5 yards per game. The other mild positive is the Packers lack of a running attack (more by choice, than design, I’d say). The reason I put that, is because the Lions have been horrible in the Run D game, giving up an average of 134.7 yards per game. But on the Pass D side, they’re much better equipped ranking 5th against the pass, only letting up an average of 192.8 yards through the air. I guess many could, and would say that these Pass D stats are meaningless as Aaron Rodgers just tears apart any team that crosses his path, as shown by the Packers 3rd ranked Pass offense, throwing for 304.9 yards per game. But we don’t have anything else to go off, statistics wise.

I think the deciding factor in this game will be turnovers. In the past two games, the Lions (Matthew Stafford) have thrown 6 interceptions and they’ve lost 3 fumbles. 9 turnovers is A LOT in just two games. The Packers D has been getting a lot of turnovers, too with 22 turnovers on the season. The Lions D is no slouch, though, having gotten 23 turnovers in the same 10 games. I know that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t turn the ball over often, but he’s facing a defense which has intercepted 15 passes. That’s tied for 2nd with Chicago and Buffalo. Unfortunately for the Lions, the Packers lead all teams in intercepted passes with 19. If the Lions D-Line can really lift for this game, get constant pressure and consistently force Rodgers to throw the ball, then they have a real shot to pull of the victory.

This game is set up for a shootout, with two extremely high-powered offenses going at one another. I personally hope there’s some good defense in this game. Not over the top defense like last year’s 2nd meeting between these two, but not a ridiculous 45 to 40 type scoreline, either. I believe the Lions will have a tough time of stopping the Packers offense, and Rodgers will continue to shine with a 3 TD day. Not to put the Lions offense aside, I think that Stafford will throw for 4 TD’s, but the Lions will come up just short, in a tightly contested, exciting match-up.

Prediction: Packers 31, Lions 28

NFL Tips: Week 11

Week 11 is the final week for byes, and after this week it’ll be 16 game goodness for the following 6 weeks. My tipping was horrible last week, only getting 9 right. The teams I missed on were. Oakland (Knew I should’ve tipped ’em!), Seattle, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Denver, Arizona, Tennessee & Seattle. Onto the tips!

New York at Denver: After the excitement (or lack thereof) of Thursday Night Football last week, it’s back again to whet our appetites for the upcoming weekend of games. This is the worst game scheduling I’ve seen since 3 or 4 weeks back, when both Primetime games (for two consecutive weeks) were just awful. This week it pits the Jets and the Broncos. Or as they’re now called, the Rushcos (My jokes are consistently horrible). The Jets got their arse handed to them by the Patriots (thankfully), while the Broncos ran the ball a ridiculous 55 times in their new look spread-option type hybrid thing, which did actually get them the victory over the Chiefs. New York’s run D isn’t what it was a couple of years ago, and the Broncos really do have some quality rushers, including their QB. Seeing as the Jets offense is pretty stagnant and their Run D isn’t far behind, I’m going with a bit of an upset and taking the Broncos. I despise both these teams (Especially their bullshit over-hyped QB’s), so I just hope there’s a lot of pain.

Prediction: Denver 20, New York 14

Jacksonville at Cleveland: I honestly can’t fathom why the Browns are mildly favoured in this game. They’re at home, sure, but who cares? They’re close to the worst team in the league at the moment. Jacksonville pulled out the victory against the Colts last week (Suck for Luck is almost a guarantee now), but they’re still a weak team. This will be one of the worst games of the weekend (at least popularity wise), with a possibly shitty scoreline. I just have no hope for Cleveland at this point in the season, though.

Prediction: Jacksonville 19, Cleveland 6

Carolina at Detroit: I don’t think many would have thought that both these teams would get rolled last week, but that’s exactly what happened. The Panthers fell to the Titans (consistency, dammit!) 30 to 3, while the Lions got roughed up 37 to 13. I’m not sure what to make out of this game. The Lions are definitely better than the score shows, throwing two pick6’s isn’t going to help that cause, but I believe Carolina are better than their score shows, too. If the Lions can stop Steve Smith, then they should do a good job of bottling up Newton and making their offense struggle. Megatron has had success against every #1 CB this year, and I don’t expect Gamble to be the guy to beat the streak.

Prediction: Detroit 27, Carolina 20

Tampa Bay at Green Bay: I’m not sure what to put for these any more. The result is always as close to a forgone conclusion that I can remember. Chalk up another easy Packers win.

Prediction: Green Bay 35, Tampa Bay 17

Buffalo at Miami: I wish the Dolphins didn’t win last week, and I also wish the Bills didn’t lose so badly. If neither of these scenarios happened, I’d have a much better idea of who I should pick in this game. Miami really have played some great football the past two weeks, with Matt Moore putting up nice numbers, to go with their run game. The Bills seem to have stopped circling the wagon, and have put up back to back losses. I’m going to tentatively tip the Bills, but the Dolphins could easily take the victory.

Prediction: Buffalo 30, Miami 27

Oakland at Minnesota: The Raiders beat the absolutely atrocious Chargers last week, on Thursday Night Football. While the Vikings got a pounding at the hands of the Packers. Minnesota can’t seem to get much going for them, although the Raiders have been ridiculously inconsistent. With mild confidence, I’ll take the Raiders.

Prediction: Oakland 29, Minnesota 13

Dallas at Washington: Wow, the Redskins are just HORRIBLE! The Cowboys put a hiding on the Bills, and this week could be an exact recreation. I’m assuming it will.

Prediction: Dallas 41, Washington 18

Cincinnati at Baltimore: Baltimore are SO inconsistent. Beating good teams, and losing to bad ones. I don’t think the Bengals are bad, at all, and they stayed in it with Pittsburgh, but this is a real tough one to call. I’m definitely leaning towards Cincinnati. If B-More win, no surprise, but I’m going with the upset.

Prediction: Cincinnati 21, Baltimore 16

Seattle at St. Louis: Ah, the Seahawks. They show up when the game really counts, but are lost somewhere else when it doesn’t. St. Louis are just…well…lucky? Not against the Cardinals, but against the Browns they were. 13 to 12 doesn’t scream anything but lucky, to me. Still, Seattle doesn’t show up to the lowly game, would be surprised if they did for this one.

Prediction: St. Louis 16, Seattle 9

Arizona at San Francisco: The Cardinals pulled the wool over the eyes of the Eagles and their supporters, while the 49ers continued on their merry way to an 8-1 record on the season. San Fran really has been unstoppable, and John Skelton will have a real tough task against them this week. I’d be shocked if the upset occurred, but it’s pretty common lately.

Prediction: San Francisco 28, Arizona 15

Tennessee at Atlanta: The Titans aren’t getting much credit coming into this game. A 30 to 3 win shouldn’t be a laughing matter, and the Falcons have been really bad at some points of this season. I’d be surprised if the Titans win, but if Mike Smith goes for it again on 4th and 1 on their own 29, maybe they will.

Prediction: Atlanta 31, Tennessee 28

San Diego at Chicago: Where in the world is (Chargers) San Diego? I told you they were shitty. Regardless of the correct answer, they aren’t showing up to play football on Sundays, or Thursdays. Chicago sure are showing up of late, though. They’ve been on a tear and the Chargers are just another obstacle in their way. Perhaps they should move?

Prediction: Chicago 28, San Diego 10

And then there were two…

Philadelphia at New York: Stupid (H)Eagles! Why can’t you do anything right? Like make a “Dream Team” win Football games? Or at least seem like a good team each week? They should’ve stuck to the players they already had, because the new ones clearly aren’t helping. The Giants were hit by the illness know as 49eritis, copping a 7 point loss last week. The Giants seem to be the better team in this one, but they did lose to the Seahawks…

Prediction: New York 23, Philadelphia 12

Kansas City at New England: Welp, good luck Palko, you’re gonna need it! Not because the Patriots D is good, cause they’re not…at all…But because this horrible Kansas City D has to face Tom Brady. A match-up they’ve already lost. Patriots win it easily.

Prediction: New England 53, Kansas City 23

Have a good weekend, folks!

Lions vs. Bears: Week 10 Preview – Round 2

With the bye behind the Lions, they head to Chicago to take on the Bears in a late game blockbuster (kaboom). This is the 2nd game of the season between these two and it will be a big decider on a wild card spot. As it stands, the Lions are 6-2 while the Bears are 5-3. The Lions currently hold the NFC’s 1st Wildcard spot and the Bears hold the 2nd Wildcard spot. While the Falcons are one game behind the Lions and tied with the Bears. This just shows how important going 7-2 would be for the Lions. They have next to no shot to overcome the Packers, unless they win out and the Packers only two losses are against the Lions. That would put both teams at 14-2 and tied atop the NFC North division. This scenario is next to impossible to occur, but most people would’ve laughed in your face if you predicted the Lions would be 6-2 by the end of week 9, so let’s not just call it impossible right now.

In their first meeting, the Lions took the victory 24-13 in front of a hyped up and very loud crowd at Ford Field on Monday Night Football back in week 5. This time, though, they’ll be on the receiving end of the crowd noise. And I expect a lot of it. Soldier Field definitely isn’t the loudest in the league, but they can definitely crank it up when they see fit and it’s needed. This game result may come down to the weather. We all know that Chicago is freezing when it cools down later in the year, and this is a big potential problem for the Lions, specifically Matthew Stafford. He admitted this week, that he’s never really played in a cold weathered game and was trying out gloves through the week in the practice. There’s four outcomes here. 1) He wears no gloves and plays very well. 2) He wears gloves and plays very well. 3) He wears no gloves and struggles throughout. 4) He wears gloves and struggles throughout. I’m desperately hoping it’s either #1 or #2, cause if Stafford has any type of big time struggles, the Lions are in big trouble. And it’s been evident through the year that a mediocre game won’t get the W for the Lions just yet.

Yet again, Jahvid Best will be out of this game with post-concussion symptoms. This’ll be the 3rd straight game that Best has missed and there’s a real possibility that he could end up being shut down for the year, even if it is unknown until week 16 or 17, just carrying a constant “Questionable” tag, and then being demoted to “Out” at some point in the week. The load will yet again be shared by Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams. Kevin Smith was signed earlier in the week; I’m assuming for passing downs. Despite Smith’s constant lackluster running game, he always excelled in the pass, much like Best. The Lions really need a RB who can catch and convert on 3rd downs and Kevin Smith might be that guy. Especially against a Bears team that held LeSean McCoy to just 71 rushing yards. Though they did let up 45 catching yards.

My main concerns about this game are related to the Defense. Not only do they have trouble stopping the run, but Cutler was able to make all types of miraculous throws against them in week 5, despite constantly running for his life. The Defensive Backs really need to clamp down on the receivers, otherwise it might be worse than week 5. Forte will be the Lions main focus, but I’m not sure that’s the best choice. Just cause a RB runs up and down the field all day, that doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to score enough points to single-handedly win it. You only need to stop a RB when it counts. On 4th down or the Goal-line. Otherwise, as long as they’re tackled without reaching the endzone on a long run, it’s not that bad. If the Lions put more focus on Forte than on the WR’s and Cutler, it could get ugly pretty quickly, because I don’t think they’re able to stop Forte, any way.

The key to a Lions victory, apart from a successful passing game is disrupting the Bears O-Line again. The Bears let up 0 sacks against the  Eagles. That’s only the 2nd time that’s occurred while Cutler was playing for the Bears. Now, the Lions D-Line is definitely better than the Eagles D-Line, but confidence can do wonderful things. The Bears O-Line won’t be any more confident than after last week. A real accomplishment is what they created. If the Lions aren’t able to generate the rush enough to halter Cutler on passing downs, then they don’t have much of a shot to win the game.

Let’s be honest here. The Bears are a very good, underrated team, who are playing at home and coming off a big underdog win against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Lions are also very good, but didn’t have a good lead-up. They’re coming off the bye, which immediately means they’re coming in on the back foot. You can say all you want about “preparation”, but without having hit some people in the mouth the previous week and likely getting a full week off in week 9, you can’t just go out there and play like you’ve had no break in the schedule.

I’m not confident in the Lions in this game, I just don’t think they’ll be prepared for what the Bears throw at them and they’re falter through most of the game, and lose it by 4.

Prediction: Chicago 24, Lions 20

Lions vs. Broncos: Week 8 Review

*Takes a deep breath* Alright, I feel better now. The world isn’t ending, the Lions are a serious contender and Tim Tebow showed his true, god-awful, self. Winning! Literally…

After two losses of heart-breaking proportions, the Lions finally got their season back on track with a 45-10 victory over the Denver (Tebows) Broncos at Mile-High/Invesco Stadium/Field (I believe one of those is correct). The Lions played a near perfect game, sacking Tebow 7 times, forcing a fumble on 3 occasions and 1 pick 6 on another. Tebow looked awful, going 18 for 39 for 172 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The only positive for Tebow was his rushing stats, carrying the ball 10 times for 63 yards. Although the Lions didn’t seem to care much about the run, allowing a crazy 195 yards to the Broncos on 30 carries.

The Lions were pegged to be a much better run stopping team this year, but this just hasn’t come to fruition. You know you’re a bad run D team when the opposing QB accounts for one-third of their rushing yards. I guess this hasn’t really bothered the Lions, as they tend to stop it when it matters. In the redzone and at the goal-line. However if the Lions want to truly get somewhere this season, they’ll have to sure it up. I’m not entirely sure how this going to happen, but it’s inevitable for success. Their pass D is going well, in comparison. They finally have CB’s and Safeties who can catch the ball, the first time in a long time. And are also able to tackle sufficiently (We all knew Delmas could tackle, though).

The defense was so good, that they even outscored the Broncos on their own 14-10. Not only did the Lions get a pick 6 from Chris Houston, but they also got a fumble returned for a TD by Cliff Avril, who completed the quad-fector (Sack, force fumble, fumble recovery, TD). The defense was just masterful against the Broncos, other than giving up 10 points (the TD came in garbage time with 2nd stringers out there), they were perfect.

Well, I guess I’ll talk and marvel at the offense now. They, like the defense, were also perfect. Putting up 31 points, including 3 TD passes from Matthew Stafford, 1 TD run from Maurice Morris (there was more jumping than running) and 1 FG, to go along with 6 PAT’s from Jason Hanson.

Firstly, I have to start out with Matt’s first TD pass. It was unbelievable. Words can’t fathom how bad the Broncos were on this play.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d8239b02c/Lions-exploit-blown-coverage

Titus Young would have been in a, minimum, 15 yard circumference of no defenders near him. They weren’t even close! I’ve seen some bad pass defense through the years, but that would definitely come close to the worst I’ve seen (Perhaps I need to see more?).

Stafford on the day, was pretty surgical (slash, slash) going 21 for 30 for 267 yards and the aforementioned 3 TD’s. He even had a nice run of 21 yards, too. Stafford really bounced back in this game after a pretty dismal effort against the Falcons, where he completed less than 50% of his passes. However, including the past two weeks and the Broncos game, Stafford hasn’t thrown an interception in 3 straight games. Which is a nice feat, as he was throwing an average of 1 interception in 4 out of 5 games before that. This would be a very nice streak for Stafford to continue until the end of the season. The Lions rarely turn the ball over, so if Stafford can cut down on the interceptions, their future looks a lot more promising.

Lastly, I want to talk about Special Teams. They finally played well against the Broncos, which was the 1st time in 3 weeks. The Lions did get much from the return units, but the kicking units definitely did their job well. Maybe I should put this into some better context, as the 49ers are 6-1 and the Falcons are 4-3, whereas the Broncos are 2-5, but playing well can only give you more confidence. Confidence seemed to be one of the major ingredients lacking for the Special Teams unit, constantly giving up long returns and never getting anything going for Stefan Logan in the Punt Return or Kick-off return area. But half of that changed, with some good coverage on kick-offs and punts. Hopefully this can be worked on during the bye-week and get both halves going for the week 10 clash against the Chicago Bears.

Just to finish up on the Broncos team. Coming into the game, I knew the Broncos weren’t the best of teams, but I did think they had a bit more talent than this. They’re headed for a top-10 draft pick unless something magical happens and they start winning games. Although a top-10 pick definitely wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Broncos.

The Lions have the bye this week, so they’ll be looking to get some injured guys back and rest up some others. After the bye they have very tough road test against the Chicago Bears. This game is quite worrisome as teams off the bye don’t usually do well, but the Bears are playing some good football at the moment and will be hard to overcome. But we’ll find out where both teams stand come Week 10.

Lions vs. Broncos: Week 8 Preview

After dropping another game last weekend, the Lions head to Denver to take on Tim Tebow and 53 other unknown players. They’re unknown, because no one in Denver knows any words other than “Tim” and “Tebow”, and sometimes it’s only one of them. All joking aside, it is pretty ridiculous how much press a horrible thrower with no accuracy can receive, on a team that’s 2-4.

The Broncos are coming off a win over the 0-6 Miami Dolphins, by 3 points 18-15. Of course, to any NORMAL NFL fan they look, shrug and move onto something more interesting/less shocking, but not the US media, oh no. They have to cover this story for 12 hours of each day, every day, because beating a winless team is definitely deserving of the #1 story of every sports show.

If the Broncos have any real shot to win this game, it’ll probably come down to the crowd. Denver loves Tim Tebow, because they believe he’s their future, despite all his flaws in the passing game. They could definitely get the Lions off-guard, though playing with fake noise in the Metrodome in Minnesota definitely will help them if the Broncos’ crowd is as loud as I believe it will be.

The Lions biggest worry in this game is the health of Matthew Stafford. He’s practiced all week, but his ankle could still become a problem during the game. If this does happen, then the Lions will lose a lot of firepower with Shaun Hill taking over. And with Jahvid Best missing another week because of his concussion, it’ll be harder for the Lions to throw the ball, but not terribly hard overall.

The Broncos have been a horrible pass defending team this season, with Champ Bailey being their only good Defensive Back and I’d be surprised if the Lions run it more than a total of 15 times, with a committee of Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams splitting the carries. The Lions should be looking to throw early and often, as they’ve done for the vast majority of this season. A very interesting match-up to watch will be Calvin Johnson against Champ Bailey. Bailey’s a very good CB, still, but Calvin will definitely be his toughest test to date and will likely be targeted often to test Bailey out early.

The match-up I’m most excited about, is Tim Tebow against the Detroit Lions Defensive Backs. The Lions have picked off 10 passes so far this season and Tebow is a mouth-watering opponent, with his complete inaccuracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he throws 3 interceptions in the game, 1 being taken back to the endzone.

If the Lions D-Line can be a disruptive force from the outset, then the Lions should hold the Broncos to under 14 points. Even though Tebow’s biggest threat is his running ability, the Lions D-Line are pretty damn quick and should be able to cut him down before he gets too far passed the line of scrimmage.

Once the final whistle blows, I think the Lions will have won the game comfortably, but I’m definitely not eliminating all doubt, based on the past two weeks.

Prediction: Lions 35, Broncos 10

NFL Tips: Week 8

I’m pretty busy tomorrow, so thought I’d get in early!

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t enjoyed the last couple weeks. My tipping’s been pretty bad, too! Anyway, I’m sick of these intros, so let’s just do it, do it. But firstly, my stupid picking mistakes from last week. Falcons, Jets, Chiefs and Jaguars (Yes, for some reason I picked the Ravens, I should have known better).

Indianapolis at Tennessee: Alright, I’m going to start out with a “Are you serious?” prediction. I honestly believe the Colts can win this game, no, Peyton’s not working through that door and neither is Marshall Faulk. But let’s be somewhat serious here, the Titans Run D is beyond horrible. They let up 222 yards to the Texans last week and the Colts Rushing attack (mainly Delone Carter) ain’t no joke, he’s an impressive rusher. And it’s not like the Titans are some spectacular defensive team who lets up very little pass yardage. Yes, this is a ridiculous pick, and I realise that the Colts could get their arse handed to them again, but I have (minimal) faith in the Colts, which is more than the Titans.

Prediction: Indianapolis 21, Tennessee 17

New Orleans at St. Louis: I have absolutely no clue what’s going on with the Rams, they’re just downright crap. They let a rookie RB break the all-time Cowboys rushing mark, set by Emmitt Smith. DeMarco Murray rushed for a ridonkulous 253 yards on 25 carries, that’s just nuts. Fortunately for the Rams, the Saints strength isn’t the run. Again, this doesn’t matter, cause the Rams also can’t stop the pass. Saints BIG.

Prediction: New Orleans 45, St. Louis 3

Miami at New York: I’m starting to think the Dolphins are intentionally tanking, and why wouldn’t they? They get the grand prize of Andrew Luck. It’s also been reported that the Dolphins have been speaking with Bill Cowher. This also makes a bit of sense, as he could actually lead the team to a win, thought not likely. The Giants are coming off the bye, but this won’t be a tough game to win.

Prediction: New York 31, Miami 14

Minnesota at Carolina: It was good to see the Camthers come through against the Redskins last week, to collect their 2nd win of the season. The Vikings put up a valiant effort against the Packers, going down by only 6. AP will run wild in this game, but the Panthers passing D is too good for Ponder to break through.

Prediction: Carolina 27, Minnesota 20

Arizona at Baltimore: Ya see, wha what happened was…sucking? That’s what seemed to occur for the Ravens on Monday Night Football against the Jaguars. Boy they were bad. At least the Cardinals put up a fight in their game, but still couldn’t pull it off. I’m tipping Baltimore, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Baltimore “(Oh, no, we) suck again”.

Prediction: Baltimore 21, Arizona 13

Jacksonville at Houston: The Jags pulled off a miracle, while the Texans did what Goliath should’ve done, stepped on David…Or in this case, the Titans. The Texans have to be the most underrated team going around at the moment. Yes, I know they’re 4-3, but look at the teams who beat them. The Saints, the uplifted Raiders and the good version of the Ravens. They should win their next 4 including this one.

Prediction: Houston 38, Jacksonville 17

Washington vs Buffalo In Toronto: Well, I guess the Redskins are back to their crappy ways after losing the last two games pretty convincingly. The Bills are a bit of a mystery to me, they lose to the Bengals and the Giants…Odd. Anyway, the Redskins shouldn’t be much of a hard task this week.

Prediction: Buffalo 28, Washington 10

Detroit at Denver: The Lions take on the Tebows this week. I’m sick of the Lions putting up these crappy efforts and hopefully they are, too. The Broncos pulled off a miracle against the absolutely pathetic Dolphins last week, but the Lions, unlike the Dolphins, have some talent on this team. Hopefully the Lions can tear something in Tebow’s body so we don’t have to hear about him until next year.

Prediction: Lions 100, Tebows 0 (I can dream, can’t I?) Real Prediction: Lions 35, Broncos 13

New England at Pittsburgh: This game would be more interesting if the Steelers D was, ya know, good! The Patriots should have a fun day throwing the ball all over the field to open defenders on route to a win against a has-been Steelers team.

Prediction: New England 27, Patriots 24

Cleveland at San Francisco: Cleveland played in the 3rd most exciting winning scoreline you can dream of, 6-3. The only two MORE exciting scorelines are 3-0 and 2-0. Even Manchester City scored more points than Seattle on the weekend. But it’s not like Cleveland are very good. I pointed them out as pretenders; it’s worked out to be true so far.

Prediction: San Francisco 31, Cleveland 10

Cincinnati at Seattle: Seattle scored a marvellous 3 points on the weekend, that’s some great work by their offense. Cincinnati scored 3 less points on the bye, but probably had the better performance. Seriously, though, Seattle have somehow won two games, whereas the Bengals are playing quite well at 4-2.

Prediction: Cincinnati 17, Seattle 3

And then there were two…Back to some good games this week in primetime (hopefully).

Dallas at Philadelphia: The Cowboys beat up on the Rams thanks to DeMarco Murray’s Cowboy record breaking day. The Eagles had a bye, but probably came at a poor time. Teams aren’t too good off the bye and Dallas are on a high, I think they can just pull this one out.

Prediction: Dallas 27, Philadelphia 24

San Diego at Kansas City: San Diego gave up a 3 TD lead to the Jets on the weekend and lost the game by 6, unbelievable. The Chiefs, on the other hand, shutout the new look Raiders, with Darren McFadden getting injured early on in the game. If Run DMC had’ve played the whole game, then maybe it would’ve been a different story. This is basically a reverse tip. Every time I’ve tipped the Chiefs since I started this blog, they’ve won. So I’m sticking to it.

Prediction: San Diego 28, Kansas City 20

Have a great week everyone and good luck to everyone except for the Denver Tebows and the Vikings!

Lions vs. Falcons: Week 7 Review

Well, here we are again after another heart-breaking loss. 2 in a row. Boy it sucks. Not that I’ve ever experienced it, but I’d imagine it’s somewhat similar to cocaine or the like. An unbelievable high, before a horrible low. That’s what it’s been up until this point. 5 very solid wins, two unbelievable come from behind victories and then two losses which are somewhat hard to fathom.

The Lions went down to the Falcons on Sunday 23-16. The final nail in the coffin was a deplorable defensive effort on a checkdown to Jacquizz Rodgers who, to his credit, manoeuvred his body however he could to get the first down. Unfortunately, he got the first down and ended the Lions’ chances of coming back and tying it up or winning with a two point conversion.

I honestly don’t know what’s happened to the Lions the past two weeks. I can kind of swallow the loss to the 49ers, cause their D was just outstanding, but the Lions beat themselves against the Falcons. Their Special Teams was the worst thing I’ve seen them produce since their ’09 season. Constant missed tackles, poor punting, horrible coverage, horrible blocking. Just EVERYTHING was horrendous.

Now, you might be thinking “Special Teams shouldn’t be what wins and losses you games”. And you’re right, it shouldn’t be and it wasn’t. The offense wasn’t a lot better than Special Teams. The run game was productive, but the Falcons allowed the Lions to run in order to stop the pass, which is what they ended up doing on all but one play, more or less. The one enjoyable aspect of the Lions game was Calvin Johnson’s 57 yard TD catch, which was basically all him. Yes, sure Stafford threw him the ball, but Calvin made the moves to take it to the house. Other than that, though, Stafford played his worst game while completely healthy (which didn’t even last the 60 minutes *sigh*). Stafford went 15/32 for 183 yards and 1 TD. It’s the second straight week that Stafford hasn’t thrown an interception, which might be the only positive to take out of this game. And even then, it’s a very minor one. He should start throwing interceptions like a bawse if it’s going to win the Lions the game!

As I mentioned, the running game was somewhat productive. The Lions ran for a combined 104 yards on 20 carries. That’s a good average of 5+, but it led to no TD’s which is the only real important part. The Lions were without Jahvid Best, so they leaned on Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams, both getting 9 carries, while Nate Burleson got 2 end-around carries, resulting in 10 yards. The loss of Best was clear, as Morris just isn’t the same kind of RB and definitely doesn’t help anywhere near as much on checkdowns. I also believe this is why the Lions ran effectively. If Jahvid Best was completely healthy and playing, the Falcons would’ve been a lot more wary of his running ability and his pass catching ability, meaning they would’ve given more respect to the run, instead of just playing the pass. But knowing that Morris, nor Williams, had the same type of explosiveness as Best, they didn’t bother to try and shut them down, cause it would’ve taken away from their pass defending.

The one positive, I guess, was the Lions Defense. They did a pretty good job against the Falcons. They intercepted Matt Ryan twice and sacked him 3 times, however they allowed Michael Turner to rush for 122 yards on 27 carries, but kept him out of the endzone. They did let Ryan sneak into the endzone for a score, though.

I’m not sure if we should just chalk this one up to another bad week, to the Falcons or to an imminent downfall of unforeseen proportions. Whichever one it is, it’s not good and the Lions will have to be on their guard against the Denver Tebows and their QB, Tim Broncos.

Lions vs. Falcons: Week 7 Preview

It’s a brand new week for the Lions and their fans. Time to rid ourselves of a loss and focus on the next opponent in the *covers mouth with beer glass* Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are coming in at 3-3 after beating the Panthers by 14 at home 31 to 17. Michael Turner abused the Panthers D, running for 139 yards on 27 carries with 2 TD’s. The Run is the Lions biggest problem in games this year, as shown by Frank Gore last week, who racked up 141 yards on 15 carries. They’ve consistently been poor against good running teams, and Atlanta’s no different.

To go along with Turner’s good form is Matt Ryan and a deadly receiving corps of Roddy White, Julio Jones & Tony Gonzalez. Jones didn’t play last week, but he didn’t need to with Turner beasting. Jones is still being bothered by his hamstring problem and could be sitting again this week. This would be a massive plus for the Lions as they could try and limit White as much as possible. Even though the Lions don’t play a press coverage often, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Houston or Wright double White with Spievey for a lot of the game.

The big addition for the Lions this week is the return of Justin Durant, who’s missed the past 2 games with concussion problems. Durant will sure up the Run D and is a very good coverage LB, as well.

Speaking of concussions, it looks like Jahvid Best will be out this week with his 4th concussion in 3 years. I’ll be honest, I hated the Best pick, and after the 3rd week last season, I didn’t feel better about, and then it got gradually worse with his double turf-toe injuries hampering him for A LOT of the season. And now this is Best’s 2nd concussion so far this year, the first coming in a pre-season game against the Browns. The big question here, is how long can Best continue playing in the NFL? It’s only his 2nd season, but it’s been proven that the more frequent the concussions, the more they linger, the worse they get and they’re more easy to get. At some point, this has to go from being a Football related issue to a being alive at 60 related issue. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press put it “Every week, the Leshoure injury is making it worse”. The Lions are rather screwed at RB after this season. Especially if Leshoure has major set-backs in his recovery (which is possible for achilles injuries). Best is just too small to survive in this league and at some point, the Lions will have to cut ties. I’d love to eat my words on this issue, but I just don’t think I will. There’s a good chance the Lions will be drafting a RB for the 3rd straight year in the first 2 rounds of the draft.

With the absence of Best, Maurice Morris will be getting the majority of the hand-offs this week. Now, personally, I quite like Morris. He’s a tough gritty back who’ll put in work, even though he only gets about 5 carries a game. He’s also better than Best on the ground, which is a big plus, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him average over 5ypc this Sunday, he can be that good. He might lack in the passing game, though. But if the Lions can form some kind of realistic split between run and pass, it might not matter. Atlanta’s run D has been good, though, so Morris may end up having a tough time on the ground in the end.

Changing topics, Atlanta’s pass defense is a positive for the Lions this week. They’re not playing at the highest level right now and the Lions need a big bounceback after their poor passing performance against the 49ers. Stafford missed on a ridiculous 22 throws, while throwing it, a ridiculous, 50 times. Still doesn’t top Colt McCoy’s 61 attempts(!), but don’t be shocked if he passes it at some point this year, solely based on the complete lack of a run game.

The Lions D-Line were back to their lackluster ways against the 49ers in week 6, registering a measly 2 sacks. But the Falcons O-Line is a bit banged up, so this could be another prime match-up for them. The Falcons might be without their starting LT Sam Baker, if he can’t recover from a back problem in time. Meaning that Will Svitek would get the start. Here’s what Rotoworld.com had to say on the matter:

“Will Svitek would get the start if Baker can’t go. Pass protection has been a major issue in Atlanta through six weeks. Baker’s absence would complicate matters against the Lions’ fierce pass rush.”

The Lions need to start capitalising on poor O-Line opportunities in games. They’ve been under-performing for a lot of this season, with low sack totals and high rushing numbers allowed. The D-Line will be a very integral part to their game this weekend. If they can make the Falcons 1-dimensional, then they should be able to slowly pull away from them.

I believe I’ve covered all the bases fairly well, so I’ll get onto my conclusion. I think this game will be a lot like last weekend’s game. Both teams will exchange leads through most of the game, with the winner scoring in the middle of the 4th quarter. The Falcons were one of my losses when first looking at the schedule, but after the disappointment of last week, and the redemption the Lions will be wanting to get, I think they can pull this one out.

Prediction: Lions 27, Falcons 21

Lions vs. 49ers Review: Week 6

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not writing a preview for this game. I just got caught up with stuff all week, and didn’t find the time. Anyway, enough of that.

Ah, the 49ers. A team whose history lies in the 80’s and 90’s. The best WR ever, two of the best QB’s ever. They were the real deal for a good, long time. But then in the 2000’s, they more or less delved into the lowly pack of the NFL, where your name was only really mentioned in a late highlight package of your game. A lot like the Lions, of course. But these 49ers aren’t the same as they have been lately. These 49ers have confidence. Confidence given to them by their new head coach, Jim Harbaugh. A new renewed confidence and believability in their former #1 overall pick, Alex Smith. A very good RB in Frank Gore. And, their cog, their defense.

This 49ers defense is very, very good. Hell, they’d be 1-5 if they had a lot of replaced pieces on this defense. Their defense has 2 main cogs in it. MLB Patrick Willis, undoubtedly the best LB in the NFL and Justin Smith. Smith was a force from the minute he entered the league in ’01, getting picked #4 overall. In his rookie season, Smith racked up 53 tackles, 8.5 sacks and an incredible 2 INT’s (This is a DT, remember). Smith then regressed in his following 2 years before having a resurgence in ’04 through to ’06. In ’08 the 49ers signed him to a six-year, $45 million deal and he’s been nothing short of dominant since. The reason I gave you a bit of an overview of Justin Smith, is that I feel he gets overlooked when the discussions of dominant players come up or just overlooked. Period.

And the 49ers D is what won them this game. Making Matthew Stafford miss on 22 of his throws (28/50 293 2/0), while limiting Best to 37 yards on 12 carries, after he had 163 on 12 carries the week before against the Bears. Calvin Johnson still put up his usual numbers (113 on 7 catches), but was held without a TD for the first time this season.

Frank Gore dominated the Lions on the day, rushing for 141 yards on 15 carries with 1 TD. Alex Smith was adequate, but far from good. Smith went 17/32 125 yards 1 TD and 1 INT. Crabtree was the 49ers leading receiver hauling in 9 catches for 77 yards and no TD’s, with the TD going to Delanie Walker after carrying Louis Delmas to the goal-line.

I’ve been pretty calm and collected up until this point. But this loss really hurts me. I’m not entirely sure why, I have no real issue with the 49ers (well, before the game, anyway), but I find it very upsetting. Maybe it’s because the Lions were on a tear and people thought “Heh, the 49ers, as if they could beat the Lions at Ford Field!”. Perhaps the whole atmosphere of the Lions crusade and chock-full bandwagon made this loss harder to take. All the hype and belief in the Lions has dwindled a bit after coming back down to reality by the 49ers. Especially when the Lions have a similarly tough test this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons who come in after handily beating the Panthers (so much for that upset, huh?) 31 to 17.

I’m not too sure what else to say, to be honest (I’m not going to bother discussing the overblown post-game fiasco). The game for the Lions was just a bad game all-round and they’ll be very disappointed with their effort and will be looking to rebound big time against the Falcons this Sunday to get their season back on track.

I’ll be writing a preview for the Falcons game within the next 24 hours, so keep your eyes out for that one, as well as my weekly picks article.

Lions vs. Bears Review: Cementing The Truth

What a glorious week to be a Detroit Lions fan. 5-0 record, no crippling injuries (touch wood (not THAT kind), rub Buddha’s stomach(s)…Whatever) & a solid win over a division rival on national television with the Tigers losing not long into the match. The Tigers losing doesn’t please me, but the world watching the Lions does!

Coming into this year, I wasn’t liking the Lions popularity, the bandwagon team before anything had happened. All the “experts” giving them a good chance to do something. “9-7” they said. “If Stafford could stay healthy” they said. “They’ve lost their Power back” they said. Despite all the positives and what ifs and negatives, the Lions have prevailed through it all to be 5-0. Sitting pretty at #2 (Damn Packers!) having shown how good they are, what they’re capable of. Showing that when they’re down 24, they don’t give up, they get their arses in gear and pound the opposition into submission before taking back the lead and taking the W. The Lions have exceeded the hype, and yet exceed still seems too inaccurate a word. 3-2 is probably what people had the Lions at before the season kicked off. Hell, even after giving the Patriots a good arse-whipping in the pre-season the hopes weren’t of an undefeated team. But, of course, most of these predictions came from people who spend 95% of their time covering one of the following teams: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Packers, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys, Pittsburgh & the Cowboys. You get the point. But any level-headed (which I believe I was before the season started, even if my final W-L prediction was higher than most) Lions fan knew they had something special here. They knocked Aaron Rodgers out of a game, and were lead by their 3rd string QB to a monumental victory over a division opponent and the eventual Super Bowl Champions. They won 4 in a row, including back to back road games and 2 division games. This team had momentum, and without all the best pieces.

Just logically thinking, Detroit should’ve been a very good team this season. They get their starting QB back, completely healthy. They had a completely revamped and upgraded LB core. They had an upgrade at CB with the signing of Eric Wright. Amari Spievey was showing a lot of positive signs playing across from Louis Delmas in training camp and pre-season. They had an injury free RB. Another year under Jahvid and Suh’s belts. So to me, the logic would seem to be that they could only greatly improve, which has shown itself quite evidently to this point.

Alright, onto the game.

Detroit was rockin’ on Monday night and I mean as close to literally as you can get without stuff falling over. The Lions crowd induced 9 false start penalties throughout the game by the Bears, which is an unbelievable mark for any team in any stadium. And the Monday Night Football crew often commented on the crowd noise and how hard it was to hear. All of this makes sense, though. The Lions first time on national TV, without people scoffing down turkey and vegetables, was always going to be a major highlight of the season. Detroit knew how big this game was and they showed up for it, both the crowd and the team. The city of Detroit showed what happens when you go primetime for the Lions. And all of it was good.

The Lions offense was shaky to start once again this week. They scored first, though, which is nice. And the defense didn’t give up points on their opening drive for the first time this season. Matthew Stafford had jitters to start and it seems to be something Lions fans are just going to have to get used to, as it’s been a constant to week 6. Stafford eventually found Megatron for a beautiful 73 yard TD throw, which was placed immaculately in front of Calvin to just grab it and take it in for the score.

The player of the night, though, was Jahvid Best. Best exploded for 163 yards and a touchdown. The highlight being his 88 yard burst up the middle, which perfectly showed off his speed. People who were supposedly timing it were coming up with figures like a 4.3 forty yard dash in pads, which is just incredible, considering Best ran a 4.35 at the combine and was coming back from two turf toe injuries. At the same time, though, it makes a bit of sense. This is now Best’s job, so he’d be doing more weights now than he ever did at Cal and all his focus is on improving his game and his speed. Best also had 4 catches for 9 yards. Obviously a much less productive day in that category, but it’s clear he’s a threat whenever his hands touch the football.

As I kind of predicted in the preview, the Bears O-Line is bad and it was pretty evident early on with the Lions D-Line getting unbelievable amounts of pressure when a team wasn’t false starting or jumping offside. Although the Lions only recorded 3 sacks, they were getting constant pressure on Cutler, often just missing him with a swinging arm. To Cutler’s credit, though, he was amazing to watch in the game. Running for his life on almost every down, yet still throwing for 249 yards, only missing on 10 passes, connecting on 28 and the most impressive thing, no INT’s. Of course, it was all for nought in the end, but a very impressive showing, nonetheless.

In the end, though, the Lions won. A monumental victory in the grand scheme of things. Maybe the first true showing of a full-blown turnaround without choking after hitting a possible 8-0 record before their bye.

With week 5 in the books, it’s now onto the San Francisco 49ers at home. A much tougher test than most people, thought. The 49ers have been on a roll of late and look to come into Ford Field and ruin the Lions afterparty.