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Football Season Over, Ends with an Upset

February 11, 2016

Football Season Over, Ends with an Upset

Super Bowl 50 marked the end to the 2015-16 football season, but it ended on a very high note, as the Denver Broncos managed to beat the Carolina Panthers in a big upset. The Panthers were the big favorites for this match, having a 6-point spread in their favor, but that didn’t stop the Broncos from winning 24-10; totally stomping on that spread. There are many reasons as to why this occurred, but these main reasons should cover most of it.

Broncos Run Defense

The run defense did an amazing job, as they held the Panthers stellar running to a 3.3-yard rushing average when the ball was carried from first-and-10; their fifth worst on first down all season. They only managed to get 53 yards from 16 carries. Overall, they only managed to rush an average of 4.4 yards, which they got from 27 carries, totaling 118 yards that game. They managed to get more than 100 rushing yards, but they were not very effective, exactly what the Broncos wanted. This forced Cam Newton to throw the ball more often, which they have a duo that was unstoppable just for that scenario.

Broncos Special Teams

To start off, kicker Brandon McManus did an amazing job, getting all three of the field goals he was set out to get. Punter Britton Colquitt had a great performance as well, having seven punts of 48 yards or more. On top of that fact, special teams also returned a punt for 61 yards, a huge advantage over the Panthers; who only managed to return three punts for 2 yards.

Fumbles

With the way the Bronco defense was playing, it was bound to happen. They managed to force four fumbles from the Panthers, who ended up losing three of those. One of the fumbles was caused by Von Miller, allowing defensive end Malik Jackson to recover the ball and run it in for a touchdown. The fumbles really hurt the Panthers, as well as the interception Newton got.

DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller

These two players were considered to be invaluable to their defense, and their victory. In fact, Miller got the MVP award for that game, which is a big deal. Miller did an amazing job, as he got 2.5 sacks, 5 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles; one of which led to a touchdown. Ware was right there beside him, getting another 2.0 sacks on Newton. These do not include all of the times that they hurried the quarterback into bad throws.

You can see that it took the entire football team to win the Super Bowl, but the defense truly stood out.

Super Bowl 50, Broncos and Panthers Interesting Football Facts

February 3, 2016

Super Bowl 50, Broncos and Panthers Interesting Football Facts

The Carolina Panthers will try to get their first football franchise championship title against the Denver Broncos this weekend, as they play in the Super Bowl 50. Each team brings their own strengths that could help them overcome and win the game, but there are certain interesting facts that may work in their favor when being pressured by their opponents. We all know that the Panthers have an amazing overall team, with the offense led by Cam Newton; who has scored 45 touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing). Their defense is also in the top tier of the league, however, the Broncos defense is on a whole other level. They have been able to keep teams from scoring too much, being fourth in point allowed per game. Their offense is not doing as well, but hopefully Peyton Manning can rally his strength and talent for one more game.

Broncos Interesting Facts

  1. The Broncos defense have only allowed opposing offenses to get more than 30-points just once this season. It happened during Week 15 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was one of their only losses during the regular season. They have kept teams to an average 18.5 points per game, ranking fourth in the league.
  2. The defense generated pressure on opposing quarterbacks 35% of defensive snaps; this makes them the highest in the NFL in terms of pressure. This is thanks to their front four, including linebackers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
  3. They went 11-3 this season in games that had a margin on 7 points or less, making them the team with most close wins in league history. With a close score during the Super Bowl would mean they have great odds of winning.
  4. Their quarterback, Manning, will have appeared in four Super Bowls. It was done under four different head coaches, but he has completed 90 out of 132 passes (68.2%), making him the second-best quarterback in NFL history who have played in multiple Bowls.
  5. Last time they faced each other, the Broncos beat the Panthers 36-14. It was between Manning and Newton in 2012, where they sacked Newton seven times and intercepted twice.

Panthers Interesting Facts

  1. Newton accounts for the majority of their offensive touchdowns this season (79.3%). He has run the ball for 10 touchdowns himself, making him a dangerous and mobile quarterback; almost on the same level as the top running backs of the league.
  2. Offensive line allowed Newton get hit only 61 times, the third lowest in the league. He was only hit three time in two playoff games.
  3. The Panthers have gotten big leads in the first half of the game. The offense has been able to post huge scores in the first half of each game, giving them an average 13-points per game margin.
  4. Their rushing has gotten 100 yards or more in 31 consecutive games. They tied one game, and lost six during this period, but it still gives them a 22-9 record. However, the Broncos have only allowed seven games with 100 or more rushing yards this season.
  5. Ron Rivera, current head coach for the Panthers, faced Manning and the Colts when he was coach of the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI, and lost. He may have learned from his mistakes and is ready to play proper football.

Football Conference Playoff Predictions

January 20, 2016

football playoff games

The upcoming football conference playoff games promise to be thrilling, as some top teams in the league face-off this week, it would almost seem like the Super Bowl was being played twice. We have the rivalry of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, and two heavy hitters with the Cardinals at Panthers. Fans and sportsbooks have been trying to determine just which team will win straight-up, as well as against the spread.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

With the way the Patriots played last week, it is no wonder they are the road favorites; however, the Broncos do have the home advantage. The Patriots have an incredible offensive line-up, starting with their quarterback, Tom Brady. The reason Brady has been so successful this season, and playoffs, is thanks to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Gronkowski is his go-to guy, as he has been just phenomenal, already catching for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. Edelman is his other go-to receiver, catching for 100 yards. They may not have much of a rushing game, but with the options Brady has to throw to outweigh that.

The Broncos on the other hand will most likely be relying on their defense. Even with Manning as QB, their offense hasn’t been shinning as bright as their defense has, and Manning himself has said it best,

“I think our defense is guiding us, let’s make that clear. I am honored to be a part of it and looking forward to playing next week in the AFC Championship Game.”

All-in-all, it will be a tough match for both teams.

Pick: New England Patriots (-3.5)

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

This will also be a big game between powerhouse quarterbacks Cam Newton and Carson Palmer; both of which may end up getting voted as NFL MVP this season. Both QB’s are former Heisman Trophy winners, marking the first time in history that this will happen. The Panthers offensive line has been paramount for their victories this season, and tied in with their defense, they will give the Cardinals a run for their money.

However, the Cardinals defense can hold their own as well. Being ranked in the top of the league in pass and rush defense, as well as being great as blitzing. This will prove useful against the heavy rushing team that is the Panthers. It will still be difficult, as the Panthers did overcome the Seahawks number one rush defense.

Pick: Arizona Cardinals (+3)

Most Impressive Football Players From Week 17

January 4, 2016

Week 17 JJ Watt amazing perfomance

As we move onto the Playoffs, the last games of the football regular season did not leave the fans without excitement, as some teams fought hard to get their playoff berth, and others simply wanted to end the season with a bang. There were certain players that stood out, either due to their performance in these games, or by how they performed throughout the season.

J.J. Watt: possible Defensive Player of the Year

Watt played an amazing game in the Texans finale, as he finished with eight tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He was paramount in stopping the Jaguars offense, who they managed to hold to only 6 points. He is sack-leader with 17.5 and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White as the only players with at least 15 sacks in 3 out of their first 5 seasons. We already knew Watt was impressive, but his talent on the field during this game just made him even more deadly.

Cam Newton: possible MVP

Newton simply keeps outdoing himself as he continues to set records. With his two touchdowns on Sunday, he is tied with Steve Young for QB career rushing touchdowns (43), a record he will certainly surpass soon. He also became the only player in NFL history to get 30 or more passing touchdowns and 10 or more rushing touchdowns in a single season. His unique talent on the field will certainly grant him the MVP.

Carson Palmer: another possible MVP

Palmer is the one QB that could give Newton a run for his money in terms of getting the MVP. He finished the season as the Cardinals all-time single season passing leader with 4,671 yards, and became the 18th player to go over 40,000 career yards.

With the Playoffs just around the corner, we should expect to see some of these players continue to shine, and we may see more unexpected performances as the games are played. The only thing uncertain is which football team will make it to the Super Bowl this year.

Football Week 11; More Surprises

November 23, 2015

Football Week 11 recaps

It has been another interesting week in football, as there were a lot of surprises, upsets, and of course, the great news that some teams are still undefeated. With the New England Patriots facing off against the Buffalo Bills on Monday, the only other team that is still going strong and undefeated are the Carolina Panthers (10-0). They had a great game against the Washington Redskins, beating them 44-16, and an impressive night for Cam Newton by tossing five touchdowns.

Houston Texans Looking Good

The Texans are performing outstanding, especially their defense. They came back from the half on Sunday 10-3 against the Jets, and ultimately won 24-17. After their crushing defeat against the Miami Dolphins during Week 7, their defense has drastically improved. They were on a 3-game streak of not allowing any touchdowns until the Jets game, but they still came out on top.

Seattle Seahawks Get Their Playoff Hope Back

After a dismal start to the season, the Seahawks are finally starting to play like the Super Bowl winners they are. They easily beat the 49ers on Sunday, which also let them see that they have a lot of talent on their team. With Marshawn Lynch out due to an abdominal injury, they used an underrated running back, Thomas Rawls. He ran for 209 yards on 30 carries, along with 46 yards from catching; he was also third in NFL in yards per carry with 5.56 and first in average yards after contact with 2.73. The Seahawks have another beast they can use.

Baltimore Ravens Still Lacking

Despite their recent win over the Rams this Sunday, their 3-7 record doesn’t leave much to hope for. However, that is the least of their worries now that two of their top players are out from injuries. They lost their RB Justin Forsett to a broken arm, and then lost their star QB Joe Flacco to a torn ACL. If the Ravens, and their fans were hoping for a comeback late in the season, this may have just devastated that.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Played Like Pro’s

The Buccaneers are usually the underdog, but they managed to outshine themselves this Sunday when they played against the Philadelphia Eagles; beating them 45-17. This victory is thanks to Jameis Winston, who threw for five touchdowns, along with Doug Martin who rushed for 235 yards. This duo managed to amaze everyone, and left the Eagles spinning.

It was indeed a great week in football, and there are still six more weeks of the regular season to enjoy.

Will The Three Undefeated Football Teams Lose Soon

November 12, 2015

Undefeated football teams

There are still three undefeated football teams as we go into Week 10, and some are wondering if they will continue to dominate or if their winning streaks will be shut down by anyone. The three teams in question, the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, and the New England Patriots all have 8-0 records, but there is a possibility that they will soon add that one loss to their record quite soon. They have faced tough opponents, as well as easy ones, but with seven more weeks until the playoffs, there is still a chance.

New England Patriots

Dangerous Games: Week 10 @ Giants, Week 12 @ Broncos, Week 16 @ Jets.

The Patriots have been dominating every single game they have played so far this season, and you could attribute that to a great team and players, but they have also been given an easier than average schedule that has helped them as well. The three games listed above are about as tough as they will get for the Patriots, so they may actually go the entire regular season undefeated. It will mostly depend on whether they totally mess up during a match, but with the focus and determination we have seen so far, that is unlikely to happen. Many still hold out for a great performance by the Giants, as they face them this week. Although, it is possible that the one hope will be that Peyton Manning out-throw rival Tom Brady.

Cincinnati Bengals

Dangerous Games: Week 11 @ Cardinals, Week 12 vs. Rams, Week 14 vs. Steelers, Week 16 @ Broncos.

The Bengals do have a much tougher time before the playoffs arrive, as they will face other big favorites along the way. By Week 14, we should see a different Pittsburgh Steelers, as they should have some of their injured players back and Ben Roethlisberger will have more time to get his bearings. Once again, we depend on the Denver Broncos to do the dirty work, but it may not be enough to stop the Bengals.

Carolina Panthers

Dangerous Games: Week 12 @ Cowboys, Week 14 vs. Falcons, Week 15 @ Giants, Week 16 @ Falcons.

First in rushing in the League, their opponents will have a very hard time shutting them down. Even if they move 10 yards at a time, the Panthers will still force their way into the end zone. They may have a harder time against the Atlanta Falcons, as they have a more well-rounded offense, and their defense is doing well on the line. By Week 16, the Bengals will be on the Falcons home field, making it much more likely to lose.

These three football teams will have a tough time as they move forward in the season, but the odds of them reaching the playoffs still undefeated are quite good. They may have to face each other to determine the better team, and that may happen in the Super Bowl 50.

Top Football Rookies Going Into NFL Week 7

October 23, 2015

Top Rookie football players Week 7

As we enter NFL Week 7 games, we keep our eyes on the recent additions to the professional football teams, the rookies. A lot of teams drafted these young men in order to help fill a weakness, which allowed them to get playing time right from the start; while others are still being trained to bring out their full potential. Here are some of the rookies that have been impressing their teammates, coaches, fans, and even the experts, and are being looked at like possible candidates for winning the Rookie of the Year award.

RB Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams

Gurley has started two games, and played in three, but in that short time he has made a huge impact for the Rams offense. He has run a total of 314 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He is a great player to have when you are after a first down. He has yet to score, but with his abilities, it won’t take too long.

DE Leonard Williams, New York Jets

Williams has been such a huge addition to the Jets defense that Todd Bowles has no plans on benching him. He was dominating in the games against the Dolphins, and his recent shut down of the Redskins; in his five starts, he has 20 tackles so far.

WR Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders

Cooper is showing vast progress in many different aspects of being a wide receiver, as he has caught for 386 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is only overshadowed by Keenan Allen who is playing at an All-Pro level.

CB Ronald Darby, Buffalo Bills

He makes a dangerous duo with Stephen Gilmore as they move in to shut down the wide receivers with 29 tackles and 2 interceptions.

DE Henry Anderson, Indianapolis Colts

Anderson is said to have singlehandedly turned the Colts defensive line around, which is a big deal considering their poor start to the season; having 26 tackles and a very important sack.

CB Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs

He is already showing his talent on the field, and has promise of becoming a premier press-man corner. Peters was instrumental against the Vikings last week, as he came with an interception and pass deflections.

QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Showing guts on the field last week as the Dolphins defense brutally hit him, he is giving everyone the vibe of a good leader. Already throwing for 9 touchdowns and 1,239 yards makes him a promising candidate.

LB Jordan Hicks, Philadelphia Eagles

Hicks, now being called Simba, after having a great month of playing and getting 37 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception; quickly learning from veterans DeMeco Ryans talent.

CB Damarious Randall, Green Bay Packers

Quick on his feet and a level-head gave this player 19 tackles, along with many game-changing ball deflections. He got a great deflection against Phillip Rivers and the Chargers, which could have possibly cost them the game.

WR Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings

One of the many great rookies on the Vikings roster, Diggs has stepped up his game as he caught for 129 yards against the Chiefs in Week 6, making him a lethal receiver on the field.

With these 10 rookies showing their talent during NFL Week 6, we can anticipate to see some similar performances from them during the upcoming football games in Week 7.

Costly Football Mistakes During Week 4

October 8, 2015

NFL football mistakes during Week 4

In the NFL there will always be a few mistakes on behalf of the players, coaches, owners, and even the refs, but when there are so many consecutive football errors that cost one team or another the victory over a bad call, it certainly stands out. During Week 4 there were more than several errors happen, from a player smacking a ball illegally out of bounds to refs making bad calls; even a player that makes a mockery of the League.

Lions at Seahawks

This is a game that a lot of fans are going to remember for years to come, and it isn’t that they will hate one team or the other based on what they did, but rather on the NFL and the refs that just didn’t do their job properly. During the game, Seahawks K.J. Wright had the opportunity to grab a fumbled ball in his end-zone, but decided to smack the ball out of bounds.

Seahawks Wright smacking ball

The rules clearly state that this is illegal to do, but Wright was never penalized by the back judge Greg Wilson because he “didn’t feel it was an overt act”. In the end, this Lions turnover cost them the game. Even the Lions owner, Martha Ford is outraged by the lack of enforcement of the rules.

Browns at Chargers

During a crucial time in the game, Browns cornerback Tramon Williams was penalized for being offside when the Chargers kicker Josh Lambo attempted a 39-yard field goal; which he missed. However, due to the penalty, the Chargers were given a second chance, and 5-yards closer, and Lambo was able to get the field goal. In the end, the Chargers beat the Browns 30-27 due to the refs call.

Browns cornerback Tramon Williams

Now we know that the ref had actually made a mistake, as Williams states, “The coaches sent in the tape questioning it, because it was close and I thought I got a good jump. It was time to do or die at the end of the game. I had gathered all the information throughout the game, and I was like, ‘This is my time.’ And sure enough, I got a good jump on it. I just move so much faster than everybody else. I can see where the referees would miss that. . . . Guys make mistakes. At the end of the day you just hope that we can get judgment at the end of the game, maybe review or whatever it may be.”

This, just after the NFL recently instructed coaches not to disclose information about private communications with the league office regarding officiating errors. So, we will have to wait and see if the Browns are penalized for disclosing this mistake.

Cowboys Greg Hardy And His Big Mouth

This mistake comes directly from the mouth of recently re-instated Cowboys defensive end, Greg Hardy. During his first news conference after getting back he decided to talk about how he planned to come out “guns blazing” and discussed the relative hotness of Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, and her sister. Totally inappropriate behavior, especially as the NFL is trying to change the way it is portrayed.

It isn’t always the refs fault, but this week we surely saw a lot of errors during the football games, which ended up costing a team their chance at victory.

Checking Out Cortana’s NFL Week 3 Football Picks

September 25, 2015

Cortana football predictions NFL Week 3

As most football fans should know now, the Microsoft virtual assistant Cortana is a genius at picking the winners of the NFL games. During the first week of games, she was able to predict with an accuracy of 13-3, which rivaled and beat many other professional sports handicappers. During Week 2, everyone took a hard hit, and yet Cortana was still able to get a 6-10 accuracy; most fans will agree that Week 2 was full of surprises, injuries, and comebacks.

For Week 3, she has already predicted the straight-up outcomes of all of the games, which are:

Game Pick Chance Of Winning
Redskins at Giants Giants 65.9%
Falcons at Cowboys Falcons 55%
Colts at Titans Colts 53.3%
Raiders at Browns Browns 53.3%
Bengals at Ravens Ravens 55%
Jaguars at Patriots Patriots 80%
Saints at Panthers Panthers 76.7%
Eagles at Jets Jets 61.4%
Buccaneers at Texans Texans 70.2%
Chargers at Vikings Vikings 52%
Steelers at Rams Rams 53.3%
49ers at Cardinals Cardinals 68.6%
Bills at Dolphins Dolphins 59.8%
Bears at Seahawks Seahawks 75.4%
Broncos at Lions Broncos 65.9%
Chiefs at Packers Packers 76.7%

Some of these games look like they will be very close, like the San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings or Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams. Be cautious when looking at these predictions, as there is a human element involved in each NFL game. I would, personally, put money on the Chargers and Steelers winning their games, despite being the underdogs. The Steelers in particular have proven to be top contenders, fearless on the field, and very smart in their plays; you should watch Week 2 game highlights against the 49ers.

So, use some of your own research if you plan on betting with your friends or at sportsbooks, as it could either confirm that Cortana’s predictions are right, or something could give the underdog the bump needed to win the football game.

NFL Referee’s Mistakes Could Cause Football Disaster

September 18, 2015

Referees make mistake during football game

When watching a football game, the referees are the final word on whether an action was a penalty or not, and their decision is usually the last one that is made in respect to the enforcement of any rules while on the field. This is why there are four officials, to make sure that they can back each other’s decision. However, the problem is that they are human and humans make mistakes, but when it comes to the NFL, they have to be perfect or fans, players, coaches, and even owners will start breathing down their necks.

Well, the unthinkable happened; mistakes were made during a few of the Week 1 games of the NFL season. During the first game, where the Seattle Seahawks played against underdogs St. Louis Rams, a big mistake happened that could have cost the Rams the game, but luckily for everyone, they still won the game in the end.

The officials corrected one mistake on the Seahawks’ onside kick at the start of overtime against the Rams on Sunday, giving the Rams the ball after first wrongly ruling that the Rams had committed an invalid fair catch signal. However, they made another mistake that was never corrected, as the Seahawks could have been flagged for hitting Rams receiver Bradley Marquez after he signaled for a fair catch. This would have put the ball at the 35-yard line instead of at the 50, but officials did not listen and decided to keep the ball where it was. 15 yards is a huge difference, especially in overtime and are looking for a win.

Another two mistakes that officials made was during the Giants vs. Cowboys game. The first one was when they made a Pass Interference call on Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, which should not have occurred. The second call was when the officials failed to call a Hold on Giants tight end Daniel Fells during a third-down play, which resulted in a stopped clock. The call would have given Eli Manning the chance to simply kneel and run out the clock, but instead it gave the Cowboys the chance to score and win the game.

Mistakes will happen during a game, but when they are game changing mistakes, everyone, even the NFL is embarrassed by them. With the apologies made by the League for these mistakes, we know that they should never have happened, especially during a football game.

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