Top

Battle of the Goliaths – Pats vs Colts

October 31, 2007

New England (8-0) at Indianapolis (7-0)

Never in the 88 years that the NFL has been in existence have two teams with records this good played against each other.

In the last three meetings between the Patriots and the Colts, Indianapolis has won three times. But the tide has already started to turn in a very big way.

2005; When the Colts beat the Pats 2 years ago on November 7, they blew New England out with a 19 point margin. Manning was 28 of 37 for 321 yards and three touchdowns that day. The Colts didn’t even have to punt the football until the game was practically over and they scored more points against the Patriots defense than they ever had before. “We got our butts kicked tonight,” Pats quarterback Tom Brady said in a very brief interview following the game.

2006; Brady and Manning next met on November 5 when New England was 6-1 and Indianpolis was 7-0. Before the game the Indianapolis defense was ranked 21st in the NFL in points allowed per game, and their poor record against the run had earned them the uncomplimentary nickname “swiss cheese defense”. In a depressing performance, Brady was picked off 4 times and didn’t throw a touchdown all day. Peyton Manning by contrast went 20 of 36 for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns. A decent New England ground game featuring Corey Dillon who ran for 2 touchdowns kept The Pats in the game, and in spite of a -3 turnover margin they still finished only 7 points down as the Colts took it 27-20 and extended their record to 8-0.

2006 (Playoffs); The last time New England and Indianapolis met was in January of 2007, in the AFC Championship Game for the 2006 season. The Patriots rung up 21 points in the first half and led the Colts by 18. But in the second half Manning did a tremendous job of pulling his team back from the deficit. By the 4th quarter the game was see-sawing between a slim Patriots lead and a tie score, but with 2 minutes left on the clock and his team down by 3 points Manning engineered a touchdown drive that put the Colts out in front for the first time all game. With one minute left Brady tried to rally the Pats but he was picked off with only 24 seconds remaining. Manning had only to take a knee for the 38-34 win. At the end of the day he had passed for 349 yards and a touchdown.

It certainly seems as though the Pats have been creeping closer to figuring out the Colts, and there is also a big difference between the Patriots team that lost to the Colts last year and the Pats team today; New England has some huge new offensive weapons in their arsenal, chief among them wide receiver Randy Moss who leads the NFL in almost all receiving categories and wide receiver Wes Welker who is 2nd in the league with 56 receptions this year and ranks as the 8th leading receiver with 613 yards. This is not the same Patriots receiving squad that featured Reche Caldwell dropping 2 very catchable balls in the AFC Championship, one of them for a sure touchdown that would have ended any chance for a Colts comeback.

And New England is flaunting that newfound passing game. Trouncing the Redskins last week 52-7 brought about charges that New England is trying to put as many points on the board as possible, even at stages in a game where it’s clear that a win is out of their opponents reach. Guess what – it’s true. After the Belichick spying scandal I guess these guys feel they have something to prove; namely that they can win without cheating.

The Patriots will get their chance to prove that when they come to Indianapolis this Sunday. They are around 6 point favorites to beat Indy this week, and they have covered the spread in every game this season as they have done in 13 of their last 14 games. In their last 3 games the Pats have scored 48, 49 and 52 points respectively. Will the Colts, their longtime nemesis finally fall beneath their swords? Their baptism by fire in this glorious season will answer that question and will be the true test of their mettle.

Balanced Steeler Offense No Match for Bengals

October 31, 2007

Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 13

When you come to think of it, it’s really not all that surprising that a quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger could have the kind of day he had against the Bengals this past week. Sometimes we forget that NFL quarterbacks are Read more

Favre’s OT TD Breaks Broncos

October 30, 2007

Green Bay 19, Denver 13

It was just another chapter in the story of a prolific NFL passer who’s love for the game has kept him in it long enough to be practically a living legend. In what may well be the most exciting football game this year, Brett Favre took all of 4 seconds to score an overtime touchdown that left the record breaking Broncos home crowd of over 77,000 fans in stunned silence just scant minutes after they were jubilantly celebrating Denver kicker Jason Elam’s game tying field goal with just 3 seconds left in regulation time. On the first overtime play from scrimmage, and for the second time of the evening Favre dropped back and delivered the ball into the arms of a sprinting wide receiver in perfect stride for an 80 yard score. The touchdown ended both the game and the Packers 33 year old winless streak against the Broncos when playing in Denver. Read more

Eagles Vikings Matchup Week 8

October 29, 2007

Philadelphia (2-4) at Minnesota (2-4)

Minnesota has finally broken the silence and confirmed that backup QB Kelly Holcomb will play on Sunday against the Eagles in place of the starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson who broke the index finger on his throwing hand in last week’s 24-14 loss at Dallas. With a completion rate of about 46% and a QB rating only a couple of points higher, Jackson is the lowest ranked quarterback in the NFL this year and he is 2-2 this year in games he has started. The loss to the Lions in Week 2 sits squarely on his shoulders being that he threw 4 interceptions in a game that was very close owing to some solid work by the Detroit defense. For Holcomb it will be only his third start of the season following an 0-2 performance against Kansas City and Green Bay. He posted good numbers against the Packers completing 21 of 39 for 258 yards, but the one completion he needed to tie the game late in the 4th quarter was first tipped and then intercepted by Green Bay who hung on for the win.

The Eagles are having problems of their own on offense. Mainly they have not been able to score touchdowns. Philly drove into the Jets red zone 4 times in Week 6 and never once punched the football into the end zone. The Eagles defense which had struggled to contain Jets running back Thomas Jones in the first half made the necessary adjustments and limited Jones to 34 yards after halftime. That defensive performance is why the Eagles won the game, but Philadelphia will have to sharpen it’s offense if they expect to have a winning record this year.

XML-RPC Posting Test 1

October 29, 2007

Some post text for the post goes here. This was posted remotely by a php script

NFL Matchups & Predictions Week 8

October 26, 2007

 

Cleveland (3-3) at St. Louis (0-7)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
CLE STL 27.8 11.3 354.5
274.6
239.3
192.0
115.2
82.6
4.6
3.5
7.4
5.2
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
CLE
STL
30.5
27.4
413.0 331.0 263.5
201.4
149.5
129.6
4.9
4.0
6.8
6.9
The surprising Browns are among the top 5 scoring teams in the league while the Rams are dead last with 11.3 points per game. The St. Louis quarterbacks have been under tremendous pressure this season getting sacked 24 times, and the Rams are a league worst Minus 12 in the give-away/take-away department. Running back Steven Jackson, who is adept at picking up all purpose yardage will rejoin the recently reactivated QB Marc Bulger on the field this Sunday. The Rams best chance would seem to be a short and quick passing game using the tight ends and backs like Jackson to take the heat off Bulger. Cleveland’s defense is ranked 29th against the pass and 30th against the run so if Jackson is reasonably healthy the Rams might see some opportunities there. For the Rams part they have the 10th ranked pass defense in the NFL, and although they are 24th against the rush, the Browns main weapon Jamal Lewis is coming off a sore ankle that kept him out of the Miami game in Week 6.
Detroit (4-2) at Chicago (3-4)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
DET
CHI
23.3
19.6
328.5 301.7 243.0
220.6
85.5
81.1
4.2
3.2
6.9
6.1
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
DET
CHI
28.5
23.6
385.8
357.4
269.3
224.9
116.5
132.6
4.0 4.6 7.1
7.2
The home field advantage for Chicago is probably going to be as much a factor in this evenly matched game as anything else. Neither team has had much of a running game this season although the return of running back Kevin Jones to the Lions lineup last week may help Detroit turn the corner in that area. The Lions rushed for 147 yards against Tampa Bay with Jones being the highest contributor of yardage. The passing game is another story and could be the big difference here. Kitna and the Lions are ranked 7th in the league in passing so far while Chicago is 13th. Whether Brian Griese can do more against Detroit’s abysmal pass defense than the high powered Kitna can against Chicago’s average to below average secondary remains to be seen. It might come down to turnovers (the Bears do it much more often) and the kicking and special teams play.
Indianapolis (6-0) at Carolina (4-2)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
IND
CAR
32.2
20.5
399.7 316.2 257.8
183.7
141.8
132.5
4.5
4.6
7.7
6.0
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
IND
CAR
15.8
18.3
269.5
331.5
162.2
221.2
107.3
110.3
4.2 3.8 5.3
6.3
This will be a very tough test for the Carolina defense which ranks pretty low. Peyton Manning and the Colts have the best passing game in the NFL through 7 weeks and combined with running back Joseph Addai, the 3rd ranked running back in the league Indy is number 3 in overall offense this year. The Panthers offense won’t have an easy day of it either – the Colts have the league’s top rated pass defense right now and Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith will need to be at his best to beat it. Carolina RB D’Angelo Williams might find some holes in the Colts defensive line the way he did at Arizona last week when he rushed for 121 yards but the Panthers passing game is what will really be needed if they are to survive Indy’s high powered scoring machine. All in all however, Manning is a precise and extremely intelligent QB who will most probably put this one away for the Colts without a great deal of trouble.
NY Giants (4-2) vs Miami (0-7)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
NYG
MIA
26.7 22.3 347.7
333.1
217.3
218.0
130.4
115.1
4.6
5.0
6.3
6.2
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
NYG
MIA
21.3
33.0
303.4 365.1 206.0
208.7
97.4
156.4
4.1
4.4
6.0
8.5
The location is the biggest story in this weeks upcoming contest – it will be played at Wembley Stadium in London England. The second biggest story is injuries, as Miami continues to be hobbled by them. Last week they lost running back Ronnie Brown, the 4th best rusher in the NFL and the starting safety Renaldo Hill both to torn knee ligaments. Both will be sorely missed – the running game was one of the few things that Miami had the edge on, and unless the second string can pull off some great performances things are likely to keep sliding downhill for the Dolphins. The Giants will use RB Brandon Jacobs to put the test to Miami’s porous defensive line, only the second worst in the league. If they push the Dolphins all over the field the way they manhandled the 49ers last week then Miami’s record of giving away more points per game than any other team in the league should remain intact.
Oakland (2-4) at Tennessee (4-2)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
OAK
TEN
21.0 22.0 317.8
322.5
170.3
178.5
147.5
144.0
4.5
3.9
6.3
6.0
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
OAK
TEN
23.3
18.0
345.8 290.0 204.2
230.8
141.7
59.2
5.2
3.4
6.7
6.0
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
Philadelphia (2-4) at Minnesota (2-4)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
PHI
MIN
19.3
19.2
349.3 314.8 219.7
151.2
129.7
163.7
4.9
5.4
6.4
5.3
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
PHI
MIN
16.8
19.0
308.2
359.0
220.2
282.5
88.0
76.5
3.7 3.0 6.4
6.9
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
Pittsburgh (4-2) at Cincinnati (2-4)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
PIT
CIN
26.7 27.3 356.3
371.7
197.3
273.7
159.0
98.0
4.7
3.8
7.1
7.3
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
PIT
CIN
13.0
31.2
250.3 384.7 174.8
249.2
75.5
135.5
3.7
4.7
5.5
7.2
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
Buffalo (2-4) at NY Jets (1-6)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
BUF
NYJ
14.0 19.4 229.2
288.4
130.2
198.9
99.0
89.6
3.7
3.4
5.3
6.4
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
BUF
NYJ
22.0
27.4
402.3 377.7 269.8
239.7
132.5
138.0
4.7
4.2
7.1
8.1
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
Houston (3-4) at San Diego (3-3)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
HOU
SD
24.1 22.8 341.1
334.5
265.6
208.7
75.6
125.8
3.1
4.3
7.6
7.0
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
HOU
SD
24.9
19.8
341.9 324.3 219.6
238.2
122.3
86.2
4.7
3.6
6.5
7.1
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
Jacksonville (4-2) at Tampa Bay (4-3)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
JAC
TB
17.8
17.7
333.7 314.9 185.7
212.1
148.0
102.7
4.7
3.9
6.5
7.5
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
JAC
TB
14.5
15.7
318.0
308.9
214.2
185.6
103.8
123.3
3.9 4.0 7.0
5.7
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
New Orleans (2-4) at San Francisco (2-4)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
NO
SF
16.8
13.0
317.7 213.8 227.7
125.0
90.0
88.8
3.6
4.2
5.5
4.3
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
NO
SF
25.3
22.5
344.7
328.0
244.0
201.2
100.7
126.8
3.6 3.9 8.4
6.2
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
Washington (4-2) at New England (7-0)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
WAS
NE
20.3 39.9 304.5
432.9
189.8
299.4
114.7
133.4
3.6
4.2
6.8
9.0
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
WAS
NE
14.7
17.1
276.8 274.6 196.2
182.1
80.7
92.4
3.5
4.4
5.2
5.6
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text
Green Bay (5-1) at Denver (3-3)

Off Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
GB
DEN
23.7
17.7
339.3 358.3 273.7
227.7
65.7
130.7
3.3
4.7
6.6
7.5
Def Avg Yards Pass Rush Y/R Y/A
GB
DEN
17.8
27.3
323.8
340.8
223.7
164.7
100.2
176.2
3.8 5.1 6.4
7.2
text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text

Lindell Boots Baltimore

October 25, 2007

Buffalo picked up their 2nd win off the foot of Rian Lindell. The Ravens drop to 4-3 going into the bye week with Kyle Boller still at the helm to give QB Steve McNair’s bad back a rest.

Buffalo may have gotten the win over the Ravens on Sunday but their offensive performance will definitely not strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. 12 of the Bills 19 points came on Rian Lindell field goals of 29, 26, 35 and 41 yards after their offense sputtered on four out of five scoring drives in the red zone. The single touchdown they did manage came primarily on the strength of a 54 yard bomb from rookie QB Trent Edwards to Lee Evans, the 4th year wide receiver from Wisconsin. That late third quarter pass set Buffalo up with a first down at the Ravens 17. Five plays later, running back Marshawn Lynch was finally able to take it across the goal line and give Buffalo a 19-7 lead.

Read more

Errors Sink Tampa Bay

October 24, 2007

Turnovers made all the difference in Detroit this week. Kitna and the Lions took the lead early over John Gruden’s Bucs and never let it slip out of their grasp.

It was a remarkably impressive performance. Jeff Garcia had 45 passing attempts and connected on 37 of them – better than 82% on the day. He spread the wealth around to numerous receivers although RB Earnest Graham was his favorite target collecting 13 catches for 99 yards. Veteran Ike Hilliard pocketed his share as well pulling in 9 passes for a gain of 92 yards, better than 10 yards per catch. Joey Galloway, BJ Askew, Jerramy Stevens and a few other assorted members of the cast rounded out the day as Garcia dished out 316 yards to seven different receivers, at one point in the first half reaching 18 completions in a row.

Read more

Giants Adequate in 4th Straight Win

October 18, 2007

Atlanta was way out of form on MNF this week and a competent Giants squad took advantage of the situation.

“I felt good throwing the ball,” Eli Manning said after this weeks MNF game against the Falcons. And for parts of the game (not the parts where he threw 2 interceptions and fumbled once) he looked pretty good throwing the ball as well. That’s a significant accomplishment for Manning who is often disrespected in the media for lacking that intangible “quarterback-like” presence. And it’s not like his numbers are bad – would you have guessed that he is ranked 8th in passing yardage and is 5th in the league with 11 touchdown passes? Or that both of those stats are better than his esteemed brother Peyton?

Read more

Chiefs (Sort Of) Division Leaders

October 17, 2007

Kansas City has pulled into a tie for first place in the AFC West. Well, when you’re in a division as crummy as theirs that’s the least you can do.

My mistake – I said earlier that when you play in a division as lousy as the AFC West (as the Chiefs do) the least you can do is win enough games to be in first place. But actually the least you can do is have a big fat zero in the win column like the Rams in the NFC West who are once again letting the Seattle Sleepwalks off the hook as Hasselbeck and company wander cluelessly into first place in the worst division in pro football. Oh sorry, we were talking about the KC game weren’t we? I do so love to bash Seattle.

Read more

Next Page »

Bottom