Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend Observations

I already talked about Oregon State (a.k.a. the premier sports program in America), so heres some more thoughts...
  1. Alabama is back, and it sure didn't take long. Say what you want about Nick Saban's character (and what you say would probably be true if your not an Alabama fan), but the man can coach. I was actually skeptical that he would turn the whole program around given his success (or lack thereof) with the Dolphins, and after last year's debacle season I never imagined he'd have such a huge renaissance. Did this team really lose to Louisiana Monroe last year? Expect 'Bama to meet Oklahoma in Miami this January.
  2. What happened to Florida? For all the money and praise heaped on Urban Meyer, is it asking too much for him to not be outcoached by Houston Nutt?
  3. Penn State is for real, and the Nittany Lions should be punching their ticket to Pasadena in a couple months.
  4. I kept mentioning that the Cowboys defense could eventually doom them, yet why did I expect them to keep winning? This is why Peter King works for sports illustrated and I can't even get a job with Corona Del Sol High School's local paper. Also, Jason Campbell is looking more and more comfortable with Jim Zorn and the offense. Dallas should actually feel lucky, because if Jason Taylor was in the Redskins could have made this pretty ugly.
  5. It's official, Chicago is pretty good and Philadelphia is overrated. Chicago was a couple plays away from beating very mediocre Tampa Bay and Carolina teams. Philly isn't that good (unfortunately this means Pittsburgh is also pretty bad). I never understood the excessive hype (this was probably Ron Jaworski's fault), and some actually had the Eagles ahead of the Defending champion Giants and the Cowboys team the soundly defeated Phi;adelphia.
  6. Unlike with Dallas, I boldly predicted that defense would be Denver's undoing, and the other shoe dropped today. There's absolutely no way this team wins a playoff game.
  7. While parity reigns the NFC East (which basically constitutes all the NFC title contenders), there's a pretty clear race shaping up in the AFC. I can't wait for a conference championship Sunday, where the Bills and Titans will be slugging it out in the night game.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Pickoff/OSU-USC thoughts

Normally I would delve right into the picks, but I must take this time to comment on the amazing event that happened last night. For those of you who don't know, the Oregon State Beavers just took down the men of troy. Right now Oregon State owns USC, having won the past three games at Reser Stadium. In 2000, Oregon State's 23-13 win over USC kickstarted its amazing season which included 10 wins, a Fiesta Bowl beatdown of Notre Dame, and a BCS controversy (do those last two sound familiar?) Again in 2006 the Beavers' upset over USC provided the spark for a 10 win season and win in the Sun Bowl. This year? Who knows, maybe there's another 10 win season in the cards for my Beavers. They have playmakers like Sammie Stroughter (the next Hines Ward), James Rodgers, Jacquizz Rodgers (the next Tiki Barber), and Lyle Moevao. But watch out next year.

now, on to the picks
  1. Georgia 24, Alabama 17-Alabama has come a very long way in a very short time. But to win this game at Athens would be a huge leap. I just don't see it happening. Georgia is too fast on offense and defense, and Knowshon Moreno has a way of coming through in big games.
  2. Oklahoma 31, TCU 20-TCU is a terrific program, but it just doesn't have the talent to take down the mighty Oklahoma Sooners.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NFL Power Rankings

There are some changes in the top ten (what the hell happened to my beloved steelers?). Before you complain, please note that to me record is way more important than style points. I don't care how good the Eagles looked in their three games, I don't consider them better than any 3-0 team. Call me crazy, but I think it's best to avoid being like the BCS. Without further ado, here it is...
  1. Dallas Cowboys-They can keep this spot until they lose.
  2. New York Giants-It's time to give some respect to the world champions. The winner of thier game with the Cowboys will have the inside track to the super bowl.
  3. Tennessee Titans-Wow, this defense is incredible (and just imagine if the pacman has some brains and was still playing for them). People are fretting about the quarterback situation. Remember, Kerry Collins took the G-men to the super bowl in 2000, and how quickly are people forgetting how well Vince Young played in the 2006 Rose Bowl? Say what you want about his stats, but would you rather have him be like Drew Brees last year, throwing for 4000 yards en route to a 7-9 season? I'll take a winner over a statistical machine any day.
  4. Buffalo Bills-I really hate ranking them this low, but the teams above are just a little better. By the way, even if Marcus Stroud isn't as good as he was 3-5 years ago (which he still is), how did the Bills get him for just a 6th round pick? Are people really wondering why Buffalo is 3-0, Jacksonville is 1-2, and the Bills won at Jacksonville?
  5. Denver Broncos-Jay Cutler is a beast. Logic tells me that they will lose to any physical team that actually has a defense. But how can you look at their last two games and not even consider that they might be aided by the football gods (or the refs)? One of the best officials misses an obvious fumble that would have cost Denver the game. Cutler then proceeds to throw a touchdown an winning two point conversion USING THE SAME EXACT PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then the refs miss an offsides call, which leads to the Saints not converting 3rd-and 1 and missing a go-ahead field goal. Incredible.
  6. Baltimore Ravens-they're undefeated, so I have to rank them here. But Baltimore isn't very good, and beating up on a pair of winless teams doesn't offset the fact that you don't win games with a rookie quarterback and an aging defense.
  7. Green Bay Packers-They came out too flat in the second half on Sunday Night. What happened to their usually stout defense? Also, Al Harris getting a Chris Simms (i mean a ruptured spleen) doesn't bode well.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles-OK, I'll admit, they are pretty good. If Westbrook isn't seriously hurt, then they'll be one of the greatest teams to ever grab the 6th seed. That's what happens when the defending champs are the second best team in the division.
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers-I already ranted about them, so all I'll say is this: their linemen better learn how to pass protect, and Bruce Arians better learn how to call running plays, because the Steelers are wasting a really, really good defense.
  10. Washington Redskins-Jason Campbell looks extremely sharp and in sync with his receivers. I generally like the playoff format, and I know that nobody can complain if everybody is playing by the exact same rules, but it just doesn't feel right that a team this good even has a chance of missing the playoffs, let alone a substantiol chance.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Observations

A few thoughts...
  1. Georgia looked very impressive at ASU. ASU played tough, but Georgia still managed to grind it out and wear down the Sun Devils. I never understood all the talk about Matthew Stafford being a top five pick in the NFL draft given the fact that he's basically been a 50% passer his whole career, but he was completing one NFL throw after another on Saturday night. Rudy Carpenter also played extremely well given the offensive lines inability to establish the run or contain Georgia's pressure. I guarantee you there were plenty of NFL scouts at Sun Devil Stadium.
  2. What happened, ECU? This could've been the best out of all the teams that busted the BCS. They actually had a defense just as good as that of USC, Oklahoma, or any other team, and Paul Pinkney will be a great NFL quarterback regardless of what any scouts think. ECU could win the rest of its games by 5000 points each and still be shut out of a New Year's Day bowl because that's one of the main intents of the BCS-to prevent any team from upsetting the traditional balance of power and having a complete renaissance, a la Miami from 1979-2004. Of course, Boise State, BYU, or some other team could still make it, but these teams are not physical enough or good enough defensively to hang with USC, OU, or Georgia. ECU, on the other hand, would not only be a legitimate opponent for all the elite teams but also shatter any notions about BCS busters being gimmicky, offense-only teams.
  3. Tennessee is definitely not an elite program anymore. Tennessee's AD's judgement is being clouded by Phil Fulmer's past success. Nine wins in a season, which used to be disappointing for one of Fulmer's teams, has now become not just acceptable but actually praiseworthy. Volunteers fans should be clamoring for for Skip Holtz, Chris Peterson, Pat Hill, or even Lee Corso (on second thought, that might be a little desperate).
  4. The Steelers have a lot of problems that I want to rant about. First of All, Pittsburgh needs a new offensive coordinator. Against Philadelphia, Bruce Arians did nothing to establish the run early in the game even though it was blatantly obvious that pass protection was a problem. And if your going to pass, at least try a screen or draw to slow down the pass rush rather. Why would they even try throwing that much given Big Ben's bum shoulder?
  5. If I were part of the Steelers' front office, I would start scouring the counry for offensive lineman. Winning in the trenches was a staple of the tenures of Chuck Knoll and Bill Cowher, but the Steelers have spent too many high picks on skill position players. I felt that releasing Alan Faneca was a smart move this offseason (why overpay for a guard that can't pass block anymore?), but they eventually need to replace guys like Faneca and Jeff Hartings. Unless they can grab another player way below where they had him ranked, like they did with Santonio Holmes and Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers ought to spend their first two, maybe three picks in the draft on offensive lineman.
  6. I know that the coaching staff wants to make sure that Dennis Dixon develops as their eventual backup to Ben Roethlisberger and doesn't become another Kordell Stewart or Bobby Douglas, but it seems like a waste of talent to not use his unique skill set on gadget plays at least once or twice a game. Dixon was actually excited about this very idea when he was drafted by Pittsburgh. At the very least, why not give other teams that much more to prepare for?
  7. The Cowboys looked armed and dangerous. With Jason Campbell settling in to the new offense, the Redskins offense looks efficient. The Eagles just dismantled a very good football team. And the other team in the division? None other than the super bowl champion New York Football Giants. How stacked is the NFC East?
  8. Is there a more physical defense than that of the Tennessee Titans? Believe it or not, the teams that played the Titans are actually pretty lucky that Pacman Jones has so much empty space upside the head. Just imagine the Titans with Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jeavon Kearse, Cortland Finnegan, Pacman Jones, and a bunch of other guys who are really good but aren't famous yet.
  9. Relax, all you Colts fans already starting to panic. I hate Indy. I am infuriated at the preseason hype that they receive every year. I hate how people used to consider them the best organizations in the NFL before their Super Bowl win. I believe their Super Bowl team was one of the worst winners of all time. And yet I still think they will be fine. If it wasn't for one incredibly stupid pass interference penalty, they would be 2-1, and the sky wouldn't be falling. Don't worry, the Colts will still get a wild card.
  10. Denver will win the AFC west but don't overrate them. Tyler Thigpen could throw for 300 yards against the Broncos' defense (well, maybe not, but you get the idea).
  11. Does Jon Gruden know that he has Earnest Graham, the league's most underrated running back? Does he even know that you are allowed to run the ball?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend Pickoff

Here's how the big games this weekend will go in my (very humble) opinion.

  • LSU 3, Auburn 0- Yes, you read that score completely correctly. Both of these defenses are loaded with NFL caliber talent, while both of these offenses would pribably have trouble scoring against my high school's football team. LSU will win because Les Miles will outcoach Tommy Tuberville, and LSU will eventually wear down Auburn's undersized defensive line.
  • Florida 35, Tennessee 10-Tennessee lost to UCLA, who ended up losing 59-0 to BYU. So you can probably understand my lack of confidence in the Volunteers. If they had trouble handling Kevin Craft in the second half against UCLA, what will they do against Tim Tebow, a giant among men? Also, this coaching matchup isn't even fair. Urban Meyer could smoke 4 pounds of weed and coach the game blindfolded while still outsmarting Phil Fulmer.
  • Georgia 27, ASU 17- I'm not afraid to say it: Georgia is overrated: Their offensive line was a question mark before they lost Trinton Sturdavaint for the season. Sturdavaint is their best offensive lineman, and he plays left tackle, the most important position. They also recently lost their starting defensive tackle for the season. With all that said, ASU is a young, raw team, and it showed against UNLV. AUS's green offensive line will get killed by the speed of the bulldogs.
  • Steelers 24, Eagles 10- I remember four years ago. The Philadelphia Eagles, who had just added a certain Terrell Owens, were a confident, brash team. Experts were calling them a historically great team that no one in the NFL would stop. They took their 7-0 record into Heinz Field. But ten minutes into the game, it was apparent which team was the real juggernaut. Pittsburgh bullied its way to a 27-3 victory, and why shouldn't they do the same on Sunday? They are simply faster and much more physical than Philly, and I don't see any reason why the Steelers won't march up and down the field all afternoon.
  • Cowboys 34, Packers 27- I really like the Packers. I really want to pick them. But Dallas is thismuch better than Green Bay.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NFL Power Rankings

As always, here's my top ten
  1. Dallas Cowboys- There are some holes on this defense (most notably at safety), and it showed against a banged up Philly offense. Nevertheless, this is the most loaded team in the NFL.
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers- Shutting down my boy Derek Anderson is always an accomplishment. Ben Roethlisberger looked very impressive playing on a bum shoulder in 50000mph winds. My only concern is lack of depth behind the injured Brett Kiesel, But their stellar linebackers along with Troy Polamalu will pick up the slack.
  3. Green Bay Packers- Here's a few quotes I remember from the preseason by "experts". According to Floyd Reese, "Without Brett Favre, I'd have to drop the Packers to about 15 or 16 in the power rankings." "It seems to me that the Packers are saying that its okay if we have a losing season as long as we move on from the Brett Favre Era", said Jaime Dukes. Tom Jackson proclaimed that "To me the Packers will be below .500 because they have downgraded significantly at the most important position." When Favre called it quits (a.k.a. the day the football died), Terrence Moore denounced Rodgers, stating "Aaron Rodgers can't ever be a great quarterback following another great quarterback, a la Steve Young. The best he can be is a good qb following an all time great, like Danny White." Even Ron Jaworski (Jaws), who usually looks at things objectively, never bothered to say anything insigtful. The day after Favre's "retirement", when asked whether Aaron Rodgers was ready to lead Green Bay, Jaws simply declared "No, he's not ready", and then went into a Brett Favre eulogy. But never fear, there are some journalists who actually bothered to ignore their sentimental man crushes on the ridiculously overrated Favre. If you want more of this type of material, then read more of Peter King (si.com) and Michael Silver (yahoo sports). Anyways, Rodgers is a beast. The defense has to remember not to fall asleep, but that's not a horrible problem to have.
  4. New York Giants- I have to give some love to the defending champs, who just keep winning with smart, efficient, and physical play.
  5. Buffalo Bills- Now will everybody admit how wrong they were about Buffalo and Jacksonville?
  6. New England Patriots- They still have a good defense and decent running game. Matt Cassel just has to hit Wes Welker on check downs and throw the occasional deep jump ball to Randy Moss, and they will be fine.
  7. Carolina Panthers- I'll admit, I was wrong. I'm still not sure how their defense will hold up against top competion, butthey look like the tough, physical group that helped produce the second greatest game ever played in my lifetime.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles- They come away from the Dallas game with question marks on defense and about Desean Jackson's head. But McNabb and Westbrook definitely looked impressive. I still think people are overrating them, which won't be the case after they get thrashed by Pittsburgh.
  9. Indianapolis Colts- They'll be a force when they get totally healthy. But for the next month (or until Bob Sanders returns) expect them to give up closer to 1000 yards /game rushing than 100.
  10. Washington Redskins- They will start looking more dominant as Jason Campbell improves his timing with receivers and his grasp of the West Coast offense.

note: Jay Cutler is a legitimate star and top five quarterback in the NFL, but lets not get carried away with the Broncos. Until their defense improves, how can anyone expect them to win a playoff game?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday Night Observations

A few thoughts,
  1. What happened to the cowboys defense? They're too talented and deep to allow the eagles to put up numbers like they did without their two starting wideouts. Their biggest problem is that they have two safeties who are terrible in coverage, especially Roy Williams, but I don't see why this is such an issue, considering the fact that they have four really good cornerbacks.
  2. As bad as the Cowboys' defense was, the Eagles played even worse. After the first quarter, they got no pressure, and they had numerous blown coverages. T.O. and Jason Witten took turns picking apart Philly's vaunted secondary.
  3. Desean Jackson already had a reputation for being a flamboyant, egocentric player before the Eagles drafted him. There's no excuse for celebrating before you cross the plane, especially when IT'S NOT YOUR FIRST TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jackson has been impressive the 1st two weeks, but he won't become an elite wide receiver without a major attitude upheaval.
  4. The good news is, with the dearth of elite NFC teams, we could very well see a third matchup. If that's the case, then someone needs to make sure that Wade Phillips kicks the field goal instead of going for the touchdown if he's down three late in the game.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend Observations

A few thoughts:
1. I'll start with the USC game. Obviously the Trojans looked dominant, and you have to figure that they're the clear favorites for the national title. But this was a huge indictment of Ohio St. They have no excuses for losing by 32, even with Beanie Wells's injury. What happened to their top five defense? What was with all those penalties? Also, they still had some good players on offense, but Todd Boeckman, Brian Robiskie and Co. never got on track. And Tressel should've been able to at least recruit a good backup running back or two. There wouldn't have been any shame in losing by 14 while giving USC a tough game, but the buckeyes looked pathetic.

2. ECU had its let down game and still pulled a W out of the hat. They will start beating up their conference opponents on a regular basis en route to a BCS bowl game.

3. It's official: Tavaris Jackson is holding back a very powerful vikings team. I simply don't understand why Gus Frerotte is still on the bench. At least Minnesota can bring in Daunte Culpepper, because he has no negative history with this coach or franchise. Oh wait...

4. Anyone that still thinks that the Bills are a year away and the Jaguars are going to give the Colts a run for their money probably works for ESPN.

5. If you are reading this from outside of Arizona, then first of all, you officially have too much time on your hands. But on a (slightly) more serious note, don't ever come out to Arizona from september to December, unless you like seeing the NFL's version of the clippers play every Sunday. Why does FOX hate us so much?

6. The Chargers are in trouble. I don't care how talented they are, they are not good enough to overcome an 0-2 start, especially with Shawn Merriman shutting it down. "Experts" are still going to pick them to rebound, but I'm not stuck on the legacy of their 2006 season. I just don't see Norv Turner accomplishing something against these odds. On the other hand, It looks like I was wrong about the Broncos. I still don't like their defense, and they won't win a playoff game. But Jay Cutler is a star, and as bad a talent evaluator as Mike Shannahan is, he sure can coach offense. I didn't like his call to go for two, but then again there's a reason he's coaching the Broncos and I'm coaching my madden team. 9-7 or 10-6 and a division crown isn't too much to expect.

7. I'm still not totally sold on the Panthers, but they look like they can notch some victories by grinding it out.

8. Another Sunday, another dominant Steelers performance. But I still have the same problems with their playcalling that I did last year. Too much shotgun passing, not enough play action, not enough Rashard Mendenhall (or for that matter, Limas Sweed).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekend Pickoff

Here are my picks for the biggest games of the weekend.

USC 34, Ohio State 20-I would probably go USC by 6 even if Beanie Wells was at full strength. The fact is that USC has the fast, athletic defense that has given Ohio St. fits in the past two national championship games, and Pete Carroll's teams have historically delivered in almost every big game against a high ranked non-conference opponent. Ohio St. can still win with their top five defense, special teams, and a couple big plays from Todd Boeckman. It's not as if Wells carried this team all by himself. I know a lot of AP voters have a grudge against Ohio St., so if Ohio St. were to lose by 1 on a very controversial call, they would still probably be dropped down to no. 20 by all the same people calling East Carolina a two hit wonder. But there's no shame in losing a close game at USC without your offensive star, and if the buckeyes keep it close and then proceed to win the rest of their games fairly convincingly, then they shouldn't be prevented from a rematch in january. With all that being said, USC should win, and it's possible that this game will get ugly in the 3rd quarter.

Kansas 24, South Florida 20-I honestly don't know too much about this game. I like what Jim Leavitt has done @ USF, but I just like Kansas a little bit more. I saw them play a lot last year, and Mark Mangino knows what the hell he's doing.

Fresno St. 27, Wisconsin 23-Think back to 2001, when Fresno St., then a relatively unknown team, knocked off Wisconsin in the stunner of the year. This allowed Fresno St. to rise at one point to No. 8 in the nation, and it allowed David Carr to ascend to the top of the NFL draft. This is the next big leap for Pat Hill's team.

Buffalo 24, Jacksonville 13-I won't stop saying it until national experts start catching on: the Bills are for real. After the Bills manhandled Seattle, and after the Jaguars got manslaughtered and lost 1000 offensive lineman to tricep injuries (ok, they only lost 4, but 3 starters and their best backup is a big deal). For all their talk about being able to get better pressure w/ Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, the loss of Marcus Stroud hurts more. And wouldn't you know it, he's lining up on the other side.

Indianapolis 31, Minnesota 20-It's not time to panic in Indy. They still have a great qb, a solid running game and defense, and good head coaching. The Vikings better go to staples and get an easy button. Looks like they just found out that THEIR QUARTERBACK CAN'T PLAY!!!!!! Then again, nobody, and I mean nobody could have seen this given Tavaris Jackson's history of durability and consistent play-Oh wait... Also, I ust don't get Brad Childress's play calling. Why would you run the ball 20 straight times, then when it finally starts working, you throw it 25 consecutive tmes even though your quarterback is barely completing 40% of his passes.

Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 14-Pittsburgh's defense is scary good with the emergence of Lawrene Timmons and Lamarr Woodley. Pittsburgh's upgraded offense demolished a good Texans' defense, and there's no reason why they can't follow suit against Cleveland's "defense".

Dallas 27, Philadelphis 10-Dallas' physical defense added more speed in the offseason, so expect them to abuse Philly. This is one of the league's best offenses, if not the best, and there's no reason why they should be slowed down by the Eagles' mediocre defense. The only way I see this being close is if Brian Westbrook flat out dominates or if Wade Phillips screws up egregiously ( which actually has about a 12.666% chance of happening), because Dallas has four conerbacks that are each capable of shutting down any of the Eagles receivers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NFL Power Rankings

Time for NFL rankings, which at this point is educated guesswork. Bu I digress. I really don't want to have to wast my time deciding whether Oakland, St. Louis, Detroit, or Miami deserve the bottom spot, so I'm only giving the top ten. Without further ado...

1. Dallas Cowboys-This team is loaded. While most of the other "contenders" were busy getting badly outplayed (Colts, Chargers, Vikings), losing their all everything quarterback to injury (Patriots), the 'boys were physically taking it to the sexy super bowl pick of many in the sporting world (not including me). What team has players of the caliber of Felix and Pacman Jones, Mike Jenkins and Tank Johnson as luxury goods, especially in the salary cap era? These guys are stacked. Of course, there's at least a 20% chance that everything blows up because of chemistry/character issues, sabotage by Jessica Simpson, poor coaching, the inability of any of their safeties to play coverage, etc., but right now I'd pick them to beat anyone.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers-How does this team produce great linebackers year in year out? Sophomores Lamarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons join James Harrison, Larry Foote, and James Farrior to form the NFL's best linebacking corps by far. As a matter of fact, when you consider that they have one of the best defensive lines, and Troy Polamalu is regaining his status as a complete beast,this is the best defense in football, bar none. The only reason i rank the Cowboys higher is because of their superior offensive line. I'll wait another couple weeks before changing my super bowl pick, but it looks very likely that were headed for a fourth cowboys-steelers super bowl.

3. Packers-Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the team looked sharp (except on the awful lambeau leap by Rodgers. Get your full body into the stands). This is the only team that I see capable of competing for a lombardi trophy except for the aforementioned teams. There is depth at virtually every position except quarterback. One thing the team needs to do is more deep and intermediate passes and rollouts. They spent too much time darting it around from the shotgun and not enough time utilizing play action.

4. Giants-I feel like I should rank them higher based on their bling, but Im still fuming aht I wasted three hours of my life watching their boring, uneventful game. I must have been watching a defferent opening night game than all the pundits, because I actually was somewhat disappointed by Eli Manning's play. He barely hit half his passes and looked extremely sloppy after the 1st quarter. And where was Ahmad Bradshaw? On the positive side, could Brandon Jacobs have been more beastly?

5. Buffalo Bills-The surprise team of the season. On paper they look like a 7 win team, but they will find ways to win, as they did against Seattle. You should hope your team doesn't meet them in January, because im sure your favorite team doesn't want to see them.

6. Titans-People are sleeping on this team way too much. Say what you want about Vince Youngs stats, but he has not receiving talent around him, and he wins, plain and simple. The guy has ice water in his veins that can't be matched by anyone other than Tom Brady and maybe Brett Favre. Their defense is monstrous, and Chris Johnson, who will have a bigger impact than most people expect, gives them a dynamic running back duo.


7. Chicago Bears-Swarming defense, amazing special teams, good running game, and Kyle Orton going 4 for 550 with 10 yards, not touchdowns or picks. Hey, it worked in 2005.

8. Colts-All I'll say is, it's too early to bury a peyton Manning led team this early. But I'd be slightly worried if I was a Colts fan.

9. Chargers-They're too talented to curl up and die, even without Shawn Merriman, But they can't have a slow start like last year.

10. Eagles-they looked impressive, but don't overrate them. Who doesn't look good vs. St. Louis' defense, or lack therof? Watch them lose convincingly to Dallas and Pittsburgh in the next two weeks.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Night Observations

A few thoughts...

1. The packers look sharp. Really sharp. Aaron Rodgers showed great command of the offense, and the defense looked dominant. I guess all that talk from those oh so smart and insigntful ESPN analysts (just kidding) about the packers being sub 500 were just a tad bit inaccurate.

2. Minnesota actually looked pretty good too. They'll win at least 9 games with defense and the running game, but Tavaris Jacksons poor play will hinder them. Why aren't they at least bringing in Daunte Culpepper or Chris Simms for a workout?

3. On my last post I didn't get to discuss the Sunday night game. The Bears played extremely well, and they could surprise. Their defense is getting back to the 2005 and 2006 levels, the running game looked good, and Kyle Orton didn't make mistakes. Remember, Chicago went 11-5in 2005 woth Orton at QB and basically the same defensive personnel. But the bigger story is the Colts sloppy play. Based on how thoroughly the interior offensive lineman were dominated, it looks like Jeff Saturday's absence will hurt the Colts more than expected. Moreover, who was that guy playing under center? It didn't look like Peyton Manning. Maybe it was because of the Bear's defense, maybe it was the knee, or maybe the Colts makeup artists did an amazing job of disguising Jim Sorgi. But in all seriousness, Manning usually is the master at reading/picking up the blitz and getting the ball to his hot read. The Colst should be worried.

4. I just learned about Tom Brady's season ending surgery. First off, my best wishes go out to Brady, a competitor and a class act. This is bad for everyone who enjoys football. As far as the impact on the NFL, this makes the AFC wide open, as the Patriots weree the clear cut favorites. Maybe Matt Cassel will come off the bench and lead a magical season, kinda like, well Tom Brady circa 2001. If I were Bellicheck, I'd bring in Daunte Culpepper. Daunte's too young to not have anything left, and we all know how potent he can be when he's throwing to Randy Moss. Every AFC team had their super bowl chances improve, but here are two teams that now could sneak up and make a deep playoff run.

A. Pittsburgh-The looked very impressive against the Texans. Usually they never beat New England because they can't stop Brady. Well, that's taken care of. Pittsburgh has an explosive, balanced offense, and a super bowl caliber defense.

B. Buffalo-expect the Bills to win the division. I truly believe they are the best team in the AFC East. Their beat down of Seattle should serve as a warning to the rest of the NFL.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

NFL Observations

A few thoughts...
1. The Bills are for real, just like i said before the season. Marcus Stroud looks like he did three or four years ago, and the offensive line played terrific even without Jason Peters. they've had the league's best special teams for a while, and now the offense and defense have caught up.
2. The Cardinals and 49ers are bad. And I mean really, really bad. Because of my oh so wonderful football location, I must watch cardinals games every week. I'm missing Brown-Cowboys (which will probably end up with a final score of 100-93). Any game would be better than this torture.
3. The Falcons could surprise. Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood look like an excellent one-two punch, and Matt Ryan already seems to have a pretty good grasp of the offense. I would be surprised but not shocked to see an 8-8 season with a couple upsets at the end of the season.
4. The Jaguars are overrated. No big play receivers, and their offensive line struggles with pass blocking. Just like I said in my season preview, all the talk about them unseating the colts is a little premature.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

College Football Observations

A couple thoughts after watching today's action:
1. East Carolina is for real. Today they held Pat White and the rest of West Virginia's high powered offense to just 3 points en route to a dominating 24-3 victory. Forget BYU, Utah, or all the other BCS busters all the experts were talking about. ECU has proven that it can hang with the big boys in all three phases of the game, especially on defense. It will be an absolute outrage if this team isn't in the top 15 wen the new rankings come out.
2. Miami appears to have a bright future. Don't be deceived by the final score of the Florida-Miami game. The contest was very competetive for almost the entire game. It looks like Randy Shannon is starting to get back all the fast, athletic players that were a staple of The U in its glory days.
3. What happened to my beloved Oregon State Beavers? I thought they would be a sleeper this year because of the return of all world wideout Sammie Stroughter. I definitely didn't foresee a loss to Stanford an a rout at the hands of Penn State. One thing is clear: they need to get the ball to Stroughter more often.
4. Normally I'm rather hesitant to criticize the refs because of the difficult nature of their jobs. But any moron could've seen the Jake Locker wasn't attempting to taunt the BYU players in any way. He simply flipped the ball in the air out of pure joy. Next time let the players decide the outcome of the game.

Friday, September 5, 2008

nfl thoughts

whats up everyone,
first off, if you are reading this, you probably have too much time on your hands? how did you find this anyway? i only created this blog as a joke. you need to spend more time on this site
http://www.jennsterger.com/index.htm

anyways, im just using this site to vent my thoughts on all things sports. Now that the NFL season just started, here are a few of my thoughts:
1. The following teams are overrated:
Philadelphia-little talent in the receiving corps, donnovan mcnabb is always an injury concern, and there are a dearth of playmakers on the defense. people are overrating Asante Samuel; a lot of patriots players were complaining that the patriots could have won the super bowl if he had played to the whistle on some of the plays at the end, and how many times have we seen defensive backs leave the patriots only to have little impact in their new destinations a la Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, etc.

New Orleans-they could be a playoff team, but they won't win their division and they certainly won't win the super bowl because they will struggle to run the ball and stop the run. They simply can't win the grind it out games that you have to be able to win in january.

N.Y. Jets-They spent lost of money for players that won't help. Damien Woody is 5 years removed from his last good season, and by good I mean mediocre. Faneca could help their running game, but did you see him try to pass block last year? He's eroding fast. Kris Jenkins doesn't fit their scheme and he's always injured.

Cleveland- I'm from Corvallis, Oregon, so I really like Derek Anderson, almost to the point that it's a man crush. But they have absolutely no defense. None at all.

Jacksonville-They are talented but they can't win their division because they aren't going to get any production out of their wide receiving corps. I don't see them beating San Diego, Indianapolis, or New England in the postseason.

Minnesota: They will win a playoff game, but Tavaris Jackson is too erratic and injury prone for this team to win the super bowl.

2. Underrated Teams
Green Bay- Aaron Rodgers can play and besides, they're loaded at every other position.

Tampa Bay-their defense, running game, and steady quarterback play will allow them to win the division one more year.

N.Y. Giants- They're the freaking super bowl champs!!! They draft extremely well, they can win with their running game and defense, and I expect Eli to improve this year.

Buffalo- They were on the veger of the playoffs even they were decimated by injuries at a ridiculous rate. I can't ever remember a team having this many player on IR at the end of the season. Marcus Stroud and Kawika Mitchell give this team some bite on defense, and I love their gutsy play. Expect a playoff trip.

playoff predictions
AFC:
east: patriots
north: steelers
south: colts
west: chargers
wild cards: Jaguars, Bills

Wild Card: Steelers over Jaguars, Colts over Bills
Divisional: Patriots over Steelers, Chargers over Colts
Championship: Chargers over patriots

NFC
East: Cowboys
North: Packers
South: Buccaneers
West: Seahawks
Wild Cards: Vikings, Giants

Wild Card: Vikings over Seahwaks, Giants over Buccaneers
Divisional: Cowboys over Vikings, Packers over Giants
Championship: Packers over Cowboys

Super Bowl: Packers 27, Patriots 21

From now on I won't post this much, i'll probably just give a few of my sports opinions once or twice a week.