The Everyday Man's Sports Blog

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Archive for the month “October, 2010”

This Isn’t Kentucky Anymore

John Wall was on top of the world at this time last year. He was the starting point guard at one of the top programs in the country, he was arguably the best player in the country and he also was winning a lot of ball games. Wall decided to leave after his freshman season and enter the NBA Draft. He was made the number 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. Then, he realized, this isn’t Kentucky anymore.

Wall has great God-given abilities. He has excellent speed, great leadership abilities and also he is a playmaker. At the college level, he could use these skills to dominate the game. No one could keep up with his speed and his athleticism. But, in the pros, he learned quickly that it takes more than speed and athleticism to play and dominate a game.

Wall has reached the highest level of basketball. In the NBA, even the average players have speed and athleticism. For Wall, the true test of his potential and growth as a player is about to begin.

In watching, Wall must become a student of the game. No more can he just go out and play. The truly great players like Michael Jordan and Bill Russell were students of the game and used their athleticism as well as their smarts. Wall must also learn from defeat. Wall never really has had prolonged losing to deal with, so he must use the loses to fuel his drive to get better, yet he must not let the losing consume him. And lastly, Wall must now perfect his craft more and more as he continues to play in the league. He must develop a consistent jump shot and also develop into a leader on this young team.

All in all, Wall didn’t do terrible last night, but in order for him to succeed, improvements need to be made, work needs to be put in and his leadership skills must shine through.

TEM’s NFL Football Predictions- Week 8

There are a lot of interesting matchups this week in the NFL. Last week brought some good action and hopefully this week will as well. Here are my picks for Week 8 in the NFL.

Miami vs. Cincinnati
Miami and Cincinnati are both coming off disappointing loses. Miami must get back to running the football. If they get back to feeding the ball to RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, then the passing game will open up for QB Chad Henne. The Bengals pass defense will be tested early and often by WR Brandon Marshall. The Bengals must show more resistance on defense than last week against Atlanta. Bengals QB Carson Palmer showed some signs last week of breaking out of his season-long slump. This week he must continue to attack because the Dolphins biggest weakness on defense is their secondary. If Palmer is successful, then the Bengals will be successful this Sunday.
Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Miami 21

Jacksonville vs. Dallas
Jacksonville makes their trip to Dallas after a terrible loss to Kansas City. Dallas will be without QB Tony Romo for the foreseeable future, so the offense must rally around backup QB John Kitna. I look for Dallas to run the football more with RBs Marion Barber and Felix Jones. If the Cowboys are effective running the ball, then Kitna will have easier throws to WR Roy Williams, WR Dez Bryant and crew. The Dallas defense must step up against a Jacksonville offense that has been up and down. QB David Garrard should play this game. Garrard must protect the football because this Dallas defense has proven to be opportunistic. In the end, I think the Cowboys rally around Kitna on offense and the Dallas defense pressures Jacksonville into bad decisions.
Prediction: Dallas 23, Jacksonville 17

Washington vs. Detroit
Washington looks to continue their winning ways in Motown. QB Donovan McNabb must value the football more he did last week. The Redskins must also continue to run the ball with RB Ryan Torrain. They should be successful against a porous Lions run defense. The Lions get their starting QB back this week. QB Matt Stafford will be pretty rusty because he hasn’t played in a few weeks. Stafford must have RB Jahvid Best be effective this week or he will be in trouble. Stafford must know where CB DeAngelo Hall is at all times. In the end, the Redskins ground game should control the game and limit the Lions offense.
Prediction: Washington 24, Detroit 13

Buffalo vs. Kansas City
Buffalo takes a trip to the Show Me State to take on the Chiefs. The Chiefs must run to set up the pass. RBs Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles should be successful against a bad run defense in Buffalo and WR Dwayne Bowe should continue his hot streak against an injury-depleted secondary. Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick proved that he is worthy of a starting spot in the NFL with his performance against the Ravens. Fitzpatrick must continue to ride the momentum of last week against the Chiefs. If he isn’t successful in the passing game, then it could be a long day for the Bills. He will have a tough task trying to attack an underrated Chiefs secondary.
Prediction: Kansas City 27, Buffalo 17

Carolina vs. St. Louis
St. Louis returns home to take on a confident Carolina Panthers squad. QB Matt Moore rescued the Panthers with his passing last week and he must continue to attack this week against a terrible Rams secondary. But, Moore cannot do it all by himself. The running game must give Moore some assistance this week. Rams QB Sam Bradford has to get some help from RB Stephen Jackson this week. The Panthers are pretty porous against the run, so he should dominate on the ground and Bradford should have some easy throws down the field.
Prediction: St. Louis 27, Carolona 13

Green Bay vs. New York Jets
Green Bay travels to Gotham to take on a surging Jets team. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers must have his sporadic running game show up. It will be tough for RB Brandon Jackson to get that going against a good run-stuffing Jets defense. If Jackson can’t get it going, then Rodgers may have tough sledding going against CBs Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis. For QB Mark Sanchez and the Jets, the task is simple: attack the Packers front seven. RB LaDanlian Tomlinson should have a field day against the depleted Packers. All that Sanchez has to do is make smart decisions and make smart throws. If Rodgers doesn’t have a good game, then this game could get ugly.
Prediction: NY Jets 31, Green Bay 17

Denver vs. San Francisco
Denver tries to end their losing streak in London against a struggling San Francisco team. The Broncos got embarrassed last week so I expect for them to come out fired up this week. QB Kyle Orton and the Bronco offense have to value the football. They must get something going in the running game, if not, the 49ers will blitz and harass Orton into bad plays. QB Troy Smith gets the nod at QB for an injured Alex Smith. For Troy Smith to be effective, RB Frank Gore must be effective running the football and Smith must be allowed to move outside of the pocket by offensive coordinator Mike Johnson. In the end, the 49ers will win because they are the tougher team.
Prediction: San Francisco 24, Denver 21

Tennessee vs. San Diego
The Titans travel westward to take on an underachieving Chargers team. QB Vince Young returns to take on one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. Young must be able to use his legs to make plays this game because the Charger pass rush is very good. If he is able to escape the pass rush, then he and WR Kenny Britt should be able to torch the Charger secondary. RB Chris Johnson will find yardage easier to come by this week if Young is successful passing the football. QB Phillip Rivers may be without some weapons this week but it really won’t matter. He has been lethal this year passing the ball. He must get some help from his running game for the Chargers to be in position to win. The Chargers must also play better special teams. Special teams has cost them at least three games this year. After this game, special teams will have cost the Chargers another game.
Prediction: Tennessee 30, San Diego 24

Seattle vs. Oakland
Seattle travel to the Black Hole to take on a confident Oakland team. QB Jason Campbell must continue to hand the ball off to RB Darren McFadden. McFadden has been terrorizing defenses with his running ability and this week he faces a run defense that is susceptible to being run on. If McFadden is successful, then Campbell should be effective because there will be less guys in pass coverage due to the threat of the run. QB Matt Hasselbeck must get help from RB Marshawn Lynch. If Lynch does succeed on the ground, then Hasselbeck will have one-on-one matchups between his receivers and the Oakland cornerbacks. Hasselbeck must stay away from CB Nnamdi Asomugha though. He is dangerous. I expect McFadden and Lynch to get a lot of attempts. The first team’s defense that decides to stop the run will win.
Prediction: Seattle 24, Oakland 20

Minnesota vs. New England
Minnesota travels to the northeast to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. QB Brett Farve may not play this game. If Farve does play, expect the Patriots to bring a lot of pressure. Farve will be a sitting duck if the pressure gets to him. If backup QB Tavaris Jackson plays, the Patriots will have to contain him in the pocket and make him have to beat them with his arm. They Vikings must also get a good game out of RB Adrian Peterson. QB Tom Brady must continue to spread the ball around to his receivers. If Brady gets any help from his running game, then the Vikings will be in deep trouble.
Prediction: New England 27, Minnesota 10

Tampa Bay vs. Arizona
Tampa comes off a thrilling win against the St. Louis Rams and they now travel to the desert to take on the Cardinals. QB Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay offense must start fast this week. The passing game has been very effective, but the Bucs need the running game to continue to come along. QB Derek Anderson may be starting again this week for the Cardinals. With that being said, if he or QB Max Hall plays this week, they have to continue to get the help from RB Beanie Wells and the running game. If Wells and company are effective, then WR Larry Fitgerald should be able to shred the Bucs secondary. I think that with the planned “Black Out” and the Cardinal wearing all black, the energy in the stadium will carry the Cardinals over the Bucs.
Prediction: Arizona 27, Tampa Bay 20

Pittsburgh vs. New Orleans
Pittsburgh travels to the Big Easy to take on a struggling New Orleans team. QB Drew Brees must value the football this week because the Steelers are the best defense in the NFL. RB Chris Ivory must make some plays on the ground to slow up the pass rush of the Steelers. If Ivory is successful, then Brees should be able to take advantage of the weak link of the Steelers defense, the cornerbacks. QB Ben Roethlisberger must value the football and not try to do too much. If Big Ben is able to control the tempo and if RB Rashard Mendenhall gets going on the ground, the Saints could be in trouble. But, if Ben tries to make too much happen, the opportunistic Saints defense will wreak havoc.
Prediction: New Orleans 23, Pittsburgh 20

Houston vs. Indianapolis
Houston travels to Indianapolis to take on a injury-filled Colts team. QB Peyton Manning may not have RB Joseph Addai, RB Donald Brown, WR Austin Collie or WR Anthony Gonzalez. With all that being said, he’s still Peyton Manning and the Texans do have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The loss of TE Dallas Clark should not hurt Manning as much this game. Although the starting and backup running backs may be out for the Colts, RB Mike Hart is capable of carrying the load. QB Matt Schaub must have RB Arian Foster show up like the last time these two teams played. If not, Schaub will have to face a pass rush led by DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. I don’t look for a repeat performance from Arian Foster and the Texans from their first meeting this year.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Houston 17

These are my predictions for the week. If you would like to challenge me, put your picks up against mine and let’s see who wins.

TEM’s College Football Predictions-Week 9

The college football season continues to thrive as we come down the stretch. There is still mystery in who will win and continue their dreams or who will lose and have them all dashed. Without further adieu, here are the predictions for Week 9 in college football.

Florida State vs NC State
Florida State has been thriving defensively. They have been creating pressure off the edges and making big plays in the secondary. This week NC State presents a huge challenge, QB Russell Wilson. If the Seminoles are able to contain Wilson, then the Wolf Pack offense will be largely ineffective. Florida State QB Christian Ponder presents a challenge for the NC State defense. Not only can Ponder pass, he can run as well. He must have his running game continue to produce for him. If the running game is effective, then Ponder and the Seminoles should handle business.
Prediction: Florida State 33, NC State 20

Tennessee vs. South Carolina
The murderer’s row of October continues for Tennessee this week in Columbia, South Carolina. The Gamecock offense was good enough to handle Vanderbilt last weekend, but they must be better this week. The return of RB Marcus Lattimore from an ankle injury should boost the offense and take some pressure off QB Stephen Garcia and the passing game. Garcia and the Gamecock offense should dominate the beleaguered and under-manned Vols defense. QB Tyler Bray could see a bigger role this week for the Vols because of an injury to QB Matt Sims. If Bray is in there, look for South Carolina to play heavy on the run and make Bray have to beat them with his arm. RB Tauren Poole and the running game will be the key for the Vols offense. In the end, the Gamecocks, with Garcia, WR Alshon Jeffery on offense and an aggressive defense, should dominate the Vols.
Prediction: South Carolina 31, Tennessee 13

Michigan State vs. Iowa
Michigan State faces its toughest test to date as they travel to face an angry Iowa team. The Spartans have been clutch the last few weeks, recovering from poor starts to come back and win games. This week, they must come out fast because if they get behind early, it will be hard for them to come back. Michigan State must be able to run the football this week. If they aren’t able to, then DE Adrian Clayborn will get to pin his ears back and attack the quarterback and that spells trouble. Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi was great last week versus Iowa. He must continue to be clutch and value the football against a Michigan State defense that is very opportunistic. If he values the ball and receives help from RB Adam Robinson, then the Spartans will finally taste their first defeat.
Prediction: Iowa 27, Michigan State 23

Missouri vs. Nebraska
Missouri is coming off its biggest win in school history last week and must now travel to play against Nebraska in Lincoln. QB Blaine Gabbert must continue to spread the football all over the field. If he isn’t accurate and precise, then Missouri could be in trouble against a ball-hawking Cornhusker defense. Gabbert must also get some help for his anemic running game as well. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez rebounded well last week after a disappointing loss to Texas at home. I look for him to struggle a little bit more this game because the Tiger defense is playing like the best defense in the Big 12 right now. If Martinez isn’t able to complete some passes and make plays, then Nebraska could be in for a long day.
Prediction: Missouri 31, Nebraska 21

Vanderbilt vs. Arkansas
Vandy travels to Fayetteville where Arkansas awaits them. Vandy will have a tough test on defense as the Hogs have one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC in Ryan Mallett. But, he isn’t the biggest concern. The biggest concern for the Commodores will be stopping the newly discovered running game of Arkansas led by RB Knile Davis. Even with stopping him, it will still be a struggle for Vandy defensively. Vandy QB Larry Smith had another game where he was largely ineffective. For Vandy to be successful, they must run the football with RBs Zac Stacy and Warren Norman. If the Commodores aren’t able to get their running back duo going, the Razorback defense will swallow them up. It could be a long day for Vandy in Fayetteville.
Prediction: Arkansas 38, Vanderbilt 10

Oregon vs. USC
Oregon takes their fast-paced offense to Southern California for this clash of PAC-10 powers. Oregon must continue to feed the football to RB LaMichael James. He should be able to produce even more this week considering what kind of defense he is facing. USC probably has the worst defense they have had in a few years. The Ducks must be aggressive and attack at all times. USC QB Matt Barclay has quietly been having a great season. In this game, he must value the football and continue to look for freshman WR Robert Woods. Woods has been torching opposing secondaries this year. The biggest key for the Trojans will be the running game. They must produce in the running game to keep the pass rush of Oregon at bay. This should be a stern test for Oregon, but I think this will be a test they will pass.
Prediction: Oregon 38, USC 24

Auburn vs. Ole Miss
Auburn, the newly-crowned number 1 team in the country travels to Oxford to take on Mississippi. Ole Miss has been successful through the air this year. They must continue to attack this week because the Tigers are poor against the pass. If Masoli is able to connect downfield, then Auburn could have some issues. Ole Miss must make sure that they get a blocker on DT Nick Fairley. He is extremely disruptive if he isn’t properly addressed. QB Cam Newton has proven to be an unstoppable weapon. He must continue to be the straw that stirs the drink for the Tigers to succeed. He must also continue to get help from RBs Onterio McCalebb, Michael Dyer and Mario Fannin. The Rebel defense has one task: stop Cam Newton. But the task is easier said than done.
Prediction: Auburn 27, Ole Miss 23

Miami vs. Virginia
Miami travels to Virginia riding an emotional high from last week’s impressive performance. The Miami offense must continue to build off last week. QB Jacory Harris must value the football and his playmakers must continue to make plays. WR Leonard Hankerson could have a big game for the Hurricanes. The ‘Canes must also continue to get production out of their running backs as well. The Cavs must make Miami one-dimensional in order to have a chance in this game. The Cav offense must run the football. If they run the football successfully, the possessions in the game will be limited and Miami will start pressing on offense. But, I don’t see Virginia doing much to slow down the momentum that Miami is building.
Prediction: Miami 31, Virginia 10

Kentucky vs. Mississippi State
Kentucky travels to Starksville to take on an impressive Mississippi State team. QB/RB/WR Randall Cobb must be big for the Wildcats. He and RB Derek Locke are the keys to this team. As they go, the team goes. The Bulldogs must know where Cobb is at all times and must cut off running angles for Locke. The Wildcat defense must stuff the run this week. Mississippi State is a run-oriented team and in order for them to be successful, they must run. If QB Chris Relf and company are allowed to have running lanes, the Wildcats could be in for a long day.
Prediction: Mississippi State 23, Kentucky 17

Florida vs. Georgia
Florida heads to Jacksonville to take on a surging Georgia team. The Gators have been struggling on offense all season and I don’t look for that to change this game. RB Jeff Demps is their best weapon, so Georgia must keep him under wraps and force Brantley to beat them with his arm. Florida’s defense hasn’t played that bad this year, but they will have a tall order this week in the Georgia offense. QB Aaron Murray has been excellent during this winning streak and he must continue to be smart with the football and get the ball in the hands of his playmakers, WR AJ Green, RB Washaun Ealey and WR Tavarres King. Florida has an excellent CB in Janoris Jenkins, but they do not have enough playmakers in the secondary beside him.
Prediction: Georgia 26, Florida 14

These are my predictions for the week. If you would like to challenge me in my picks, feel free to comment or lay your picks out against mine.

Follow The Leader

Everybody had been eagerly anticipating the debut of the new-look Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics. Well, everyone didn’t get what they expected. The Heat scored 9 points in the first quarter and proceeded to lose the game to the Celtics. A lot of people are screaming about the loss and what happened, but what everyone missed is a change of leadership in Miami.

Everyone thought that Dwayne Wade was going to be the leader of this team since he was the elder statesman of the superstars on South Beach. Well, if you watched the game you noticed that the offense ran through one person and one person alone, LeBron James.

When the Heat got down by 18 points, LeBron began to assert himself and make plays. D Wade was on the bench and he seemed to not be in the flow all game. Bosh was largely ineffective because he couldn’t hit his patented jump shot and he was also on the bench. LeBron took the “other guys” and he made a run. He brought the Heat to within 5 with his hustle and his play-making ability.

It is true that the Heat went on to lose the game, but the thing that I noticed is that the most assertive person on the court for the Heat was LeBron and he unquestionably will be the most important member of the Three Kings. I may not have agreed with how he handled his decision to go to Miami, but my view of him taking the easy way out last night changed. Maybe he went to Miami to make the Heat his team instead of joining D Wade’s team. Just a thought for everyone out there. We shall see how everything pans out, but you can be assured that at the forefront of the success of the Heat will be LeBron James.

America’s Favorite Past Time?

The World Series is going on. It is going to be a good matchup. The Texas Rangers versus the San Francisco Giants. The problem is no one is interested and no one will be watching.

There used to be a time when baseball captured people’s imaginations and the excitement would capture the nation. It just seems like these days baseball is just something that is on television to occupy space. You would think there would be a way that the former favorite sport of America could make a comeback. In my eyes, if baseball is to make a comeback, some adjustments need to be made.

The first adjustment would be to integrate baseball into the inner-city neighborhoods. It seems like these days there are no baseball teams in the inner city. The issue isn’t that the sport isn’t liked, it just isn’t introduced. Baseball is seen as a sport where people have to have a lot of money to play, when in all actuality, you don’t.

Another thing that baseball should do is shorten the season. The season runs right into football season every year. If I took a poll of people interested in baseball during football season, 1 out of 10 people would be interested. Why not shorten the season and take advantage of the summertime and the absence of pro and college football.

And finally, baseball should try and speed up the tempo. A lot of times, baseball is the sport considered by most to put people to sleep because of the constant staling of the pitchers and the stalling of the managers. The shorter the game, the more people would be interested.

So, when you turn on your TV tonight and some of you watch the World Series, take these theories and thoughts into consideration and think what the game would be. It would be a game where kids would see more of themselves out there and also the sport would be the main attraction throughout the summer.

TEM’s 2010-2011 NBA Western Conference Preview

The West is where the defending champion LA Lakers are. This year, the conference looks to be more even than it has ever been, making for more competition. Without further adieu, here is TEM’s Western Conference Review.

Predicted Final Standings For The Year

1) Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe and crew are still the champs and adding veteran pieces like PG Steve Blake and SF Matt Barnes should make the Lakers even more dangerous.

2) Oklahoma City Thunder
This team is easily the most athletic team in the NBA. With Kevin Durant leading the way, this season should be a breakout one for this franchise.

3) Dallas Mavericks
This veteran-laden team should benefit from having F Caron Butler and C Brendan Haywood for an entire season. Adding C Tyson Chandler to their frontline adds more depth and a shot-blocker they didn’t have.

4) Utah Jazz
They lost F Carlos Boozer but replaced him with F Al Jefferson. The beat will go on in Utah as long as Jerry Sloan is still the coach.

5) Portland Trailblazers
The return of their big guys, C Greg Oden and C Joel Pryzbilla, should help this team continue to grow and take it to the next level. SG Brandon Roy hopefully will play better with PG Andre Miller this year.

6) Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns will be a softer team this year without Amar’e. With that being said, they still have a lot of skill, shooting and athleticism.

7) San Antonio Spurs
Veteran leadership will help them make the playoffs. They must have their young guys and SF Richard Jefferson step up to help Duncan, Parker and Ginobilli.

8) Houston Rockets
The return of Yao to go along with all the pieces around him should be enough to get the Rockets back into the playoffs.

9) Denver Nuggets
Injuries to PF Kenyon Martin and C Chris Anderson to go along with an aging Chauncey Billups and an inconsistent second scorer means no playoffs for the Nuggets.

10) Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings could finish higher than this because of the young talent. They could be this year’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

11) New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets have PG Chris Paul and PF David West. Other than that, there really isn’t much this team has that scares you.

12) Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis can score the ball with SF Rudy Gay, PF Zach Randolph and SG OJ Mayo, but can they stop anyone on defense? They also will not go very far with Mike Conley as their starting point guard.

13) Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are exciting at times, but they still don’t play defense and their backcourt combination of Stephon Curry and Monta Ellis are incredibly small and will get taken advantage of throughout the season.

14) Los Angeles Clippers
Even with the addition of F Blake Griffin, I still don’t see this team being any different than the same old Clippers we are used to seeing.

15) Minnesota Timberwolves
This is a young team still growing. Give them a couple of years and they will be ready for playoff contention.

Western Conference Champion: Los Angeles Lakers

Western Conference MVP: Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder

Sleeper: Portland Trailblazers

Top Rookie: Blake Griffin, F, LA Clippers

Best Bench: Sacramento Kings

There is my preview of the Western Conference. If you have any disagreements, questions of comments, feel free to leave a comment so we can discuss.

TEM’s Ballers And Wankstas Of The Week-Week 7

NFL football this weekend was pretty interesting. A lot of teams and players played well and a lot of players just went in to take a check from their team. Now to this week’s Ballers and Wankstas.

Ballers Of The Week

Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans (7 receptions, 225 yards, 3 TDs)
Kenny Britt proved to be unstoppable Sunday and he only played two and half quarters because of disciplinary issues. Just think what he could have done if he played the whole game. If he can continue to produce like this, then Chris Johnson will soon have more room to run.

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders ( 16 carries, 165 yards, 3 TDs)
McFadden looked like the beast of a running back that Oakland drafted 3 years ago. He shredded the Denver defense. If he can keep this up, then maybe Oakland won’t be so bad after all this year.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens (16/31, 250 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs)
Flacco is showing more and more every week that this team is becoming his team. The defense let Baltimore down, but Flacco rescued them. His improvement from the beginning of the year bodes well for their Super Bowl aspirations.

DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington Redskins (4 INTs, including 1 ran back for a TD)
DeAngelo Hall was the best Bears wide receiver on the field. He was dynamic, made plays and was in the right place at the right time. Only thing is, he plays for the Redskins. The way he was always there in the right place made it seem like he was in the Bears’ offensive huddle Sunday.

Wankstas of the Week

Chris Gronkowski, FB, Dallas Cowboys
Gronkowski may have made the biggest mistake for the Cowboys against the Giants. When the Giants blitzed, Gronkowski was supposed to pick up LB Michael Boley who was blitzing through the middle of the Cowboys offensive line. Instead, he went outside and let Boley come through and crush QB Tony Romo. Not only did Boley hit Romo, he fractured Romo’s left collarbone and now Romo is more than likely out for the year. He confirmed the biggest worry that coaches have about young RBs, blitz pickups.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears ( 26/40, 281 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs)
I’m convinced that Jay Cutler just doesn’t know how to value the football. I’m starting to think that he isn’t the QB that everyone thought he was. Maybe he is just a loose cannon that doesn’t get it.

Nate Allen and Ellis Hobbs, DBs, Philadelphia Eagles
These two guy have one thing in common: they were the guys who were in the picture every time Kenny Britt made a big play. They were flat-footed and just willing to let Britt attack them relentlessly and they did nothing. I’m pretty sure Peyton Manning was taking note of this for when he goes against the Eagles in Week 9.

The Whole Denver Broncos Team
This team allowed 59 points, but the points aren’t all the responsibility of the defense. QB Kyle Orton threw an interception that got returned for a TD and the Broncos fumbled the ball away a couple times as well. I began to wonder about this team’s toughness after Kyle Orton’s comments about the Titans being cheap. I thought those comments meant that the Broncos were soft and I was correct. They are a soft football team that has been getting taken advantage of every week by physical teams.

These are my Ballers and Wankstas of the week. If anyone has any ballers or wankstas who didn’t make the cut, feel free to comment.

TEM’s 2010-2011 NBA Eastern Conference Preview

Basketball season is around the corner and everyone has hope for their team to make it. Some teams will meet expectations and some teams won’t come anywhere close. Without further adieu, here is The Everyday Man’s Sports blog Eastern Conference Preview.

Predicted Final Standings for the Year

1)Miami Heat
If the Three Kings and cast can stay healthy, they may win the East in a runaway.

2) Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard and company strike back with a vengeance this year. If they are hitting their 3’s, they are the most dangerous team in the East.

3) Chicago Bulls
The additions of F Carlos Boozer, G Kyle Korver, G Ronnie Brewer and G Keith Bogans along with veteran center Kurt Thomas give the Bulls what they lacked last year: size, inside scoring and shooting.

4) Boston Celtics
The Celtics got bigger and deeper this off-season. If they can stay healthy, they could be a sleeper for the Eastern conference crown.

5) Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are as athletic as any team in the East but they lack killer instinct. They could be higher if they play to their potential.

6) Milwaukee Bucks
A healthy Andrew Bogut, a budding superstar in PG Brandon Jennings and a veteran supporting cast make the Bucks a dangerous team.

7) New York Knicks
This slot all depends on if Amar’e can stay healthy. They could also rise higher if they pull off the trade for Carmelo Anthony.

8) Charlotte Bobcats
Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace should be able to lead this team to at least a playoff berth in Michael Jordan’s first full year being majority owner of the team.

9) Indiana Pacers
The Pacers will be better, but they are still young and have a long way to go before they are taken seriously in the East again.

10) Philadelphia 76ers
Coach Doug Collins must find a way to incorporate G Evan Turner into the lineup with a team that has a lot of duplicate players.

11) Detroit Pistons
This team has too many players who play the same positions. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tayshaun Prince or Rip Hamilton gets dealt this year.

12) New Jersey Nets
The Nets made some off-season moves, but they don’t yet have the level of talent to be a factor in the East.

13) Washington Wizards
The Wizards will have an entertaining backcourt with John Wall and Gilbert Arenas, but they don’t have enough inside to compete.

14) Cleveland Cavaliers
Now is the time for coach Byron Scott to put his stamp on this team. This season will be a lost one.

15) Toronto Raptors
They replaced Chris Bosh with SF Linas Kleiza and PF Amir Johnson. That says enough about how the Raptors season will go right there.

Eastern Conference Champion: Miami Heat

Eastern Conference MVP: LeBron James, F, Miami Heat

Sleeper: Milwaukee Bucks

Top Rookie: John Wall, PG, Kentucky

Best Bench: Boston Celtics

There is my preview of the Eastern Conference. If you have any disagreements, questions of comments, feel free to leave a comment so we can discuss.

TEM’s NFL Football Predictions-Week 7

Last week there were a lot of close games and a lot of surprise winners. The outcomes of last week go to show you that on any given Sunday any team can win. Now, let’s get down to business. Here are the picks for Week 7 in the NFL.

Cincinnati vs. Atlanta
Atlanta returns home after getting exposed against the Eagles. They return home to a frustrated Bengal team looking to find its groove. The Bengals must get back to running the football with RB Cedric Benson. If Benson is able to run the ball, then the Falcons will have to bring more defenders in the box, giving QB Carson Palmer easier throws. Palmer must value the football and use his weapons when given the chance to throw to them. The Bengals have the talent at receiver to cause problems for the Falcons especially since CB Dunta Robinson is out with a concussion. The Falcons must be able to run the football with RB Michael Turner. If they aren’t able to run the football, it shuts down their whole offense. The Bengals defense will be up for the challenge. They have been playing pretty good football all season long.
Prediction: Cincinnati 23, Atlanta 17

Washington vs. Chicago
Chicago enters this game coming off a bad loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Bears must re-commit to the ground game and not be so one-dimensional. If the Bears run the ball, the Bears should have easier matchups in the passing game for QB Jay Cutler against a team that gives up a lot of yards through the air. The Redskins must continue to run the football with RB Ryan Torrain. The more Torrain runs the ball with success, the less possessions the Bears offense gets. The Bears defense must be aware of QB Donovan McNabb and his ability to make big plays in the passing game. McNabb and the Redskins offense are at the top of the league in terms of big plays made. In the end, I don’t think Mike Martz makes the adjustments and utilizes his running game more.
Prediction: Washington 24, Chicago 20

Philadelphia vs. Tennessee
This game matches up two offenses that have been explosive in the passing game the last couple of weeks. The Eagles must come out and establish the running game with RB LeSean McCoy. If McCoy is able to get it going, then the play-action passing game of the Eagles will open up. The Titans must stop the run and make the Eagles one-dimensional to win. If not, then the Titans pass rush will be guessing all game and their secondary will be exposed. Also, look for QB Michael Vick to get some snaps in this game. The Titans must continue to pass to set up the run. It is not yet known whether or not QB Vince Young will play, so whoever is at QB, Young or Kerry Collins, must continue to read the defenses and get the ball in the hands of WR Kenny Britt. Britt is playing at another level right now. The Titans also must be aware of where CB Asante Samuel is at all times. I think the injuries on the Eagles offensive line and the pressure of the Titans will eventually wear on the Eagles.
Prediction: Tennessee 31, Philadelphia 21

Jacksonville vs. Kansas City
Jacksonville comes off an embarrassing loss on Monday night to the Titans and they now have to travel to Kansas City. Kansas City will need to come out and establish the run with RBs Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles. If the Jones/Charles combination is successful, then QB Matt Cassel will have time to throw to WR Dwayne Bowe and company. The Jaguars must know where WR/RB Dexter McCluster is at all times. He is the Chiefs most dangerous offensive weapon. The Jaguars will more than likely have a new starting QB this week. David Garrard has a concussion and Trent Edwards banged up his hand in the game Monday night. It is not known if one or both or neither will play. Whoever is at QB for the Jaguars had better value the football. The Jaguars are getting too many turnovers from the QB position. Jacksonville must also get more production out of RB Maurice Jones-Drew. If the Jags are able to run the ball, then the pass rush of the Chiefs, led by OLB Tamba Hali, will have to slow down. The Jags will play hard, but they simply do not have the weapons or the defense to pull off a win on the road in Kansas City.
Prediction: Kansas City 24, Jacksonville 16

Pittsburgh vs. Miami
Pittsburgh goes to South Beach to take on the Dolphins in what will be a physical game. The Dolphins must establish the run. It will be hard task for them to do so against the Steelers defense, but they must attempt to in order to keep some of the pressure off QB Chad Henne. Henne must use WR Brandon Marshall. He is arguably the best receiver in the NFL right now. If he isn’t open, I’m sure WR Davone Bess will be. Bess is a poor man’s Wes Welker. The Dolphins may want to throw quicker passes this week to take some of the pressure off their tackles because they will be going against OLB James Harrison and OLB Lamar Woodley. These two are ferocious pass-rushers. QB Ben Roethlisberger must continue to get comfortable in the offense. WR Mike Wallace and RB Rashad Mendenhall will be key in this game. Mendenhall must continue to pound away at defenses and when he does that, Wallace will be open deep for the play-action passes. I look for the Wallace to have a big game.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, Miami 17

Cleveland vs. New Orleans
Cleveland heads to the Big Easy to take on a Saints team that looks like they are turning it on. QB Colt McCoy of the Cleveland Browns didn’t look bad last week. He must calm down and start to relax in the pocket. The best way for that to happen is for the Cleveland ground game to be effective. If RB Peyton Hillis is effective, then the Browns will be able to stay in manageable down and distances against a Saints defense that is very opportunistic. McCoy will have to make sure that he knows where S Darren Sharper is at all times. This Sunday will be Sharper’s first game back from injury. The Saints must continue to do the same things they did last week: run the football and attack defenses downfield. The big plays in the passing game should be there for QB Drew Brees because the Browns have the worst secondary in the NFL and RB Chris Ivory should pick up where he left off in the running game. I look for this game to get pretty ugly.
Prediction: New Orleans 38, Cleveland 13

St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay
St. Louis takes their game to Tampa Bay to face the resurgent Buccaneers. Sam Bradford must be smart with the football and use his running game. RB Stephen Jackson must control the game and the tempo for the Rams. If Jackson is effective, then the Rams will be able to attack the Bucs secondary down the field. The Bucs have to start getting something out of the running game. QB Josh Freeman isn’t to the point in his career where he can carry an offense at any stretch. If RB Cadillac Williams, RB LaGarette Blount and crew can get the ground game going, then Freeman should have an easier time passing the ball to WRs Mike Williams and Aeriluis Benn.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 23, St. Louis 14

San Francisco vs. Carolina
The 49ers travel east after their win over the lowly Raider to face an equally bad Carolina team. RB Frank Gore finally got on track running the ball last week. In order for the 49ers to be successful, they must continue to pound the football at a subpar Panthers run defense. Once the 49ers hit the Panthers with the run, TE Vernon Davis should be wide-open. He should have a big game. The Panthers must get back to running the football with an attitude. In order to win this game, the Panthers must have their Smash N Dash combo of RB DeAngelo Williams and RB Jonathan Stewart be effective. If they are effective, then WR Steve Smith will have an easier time getting open. The trouble is, I don’t think the ground game of the Panthers will wake up this game.
Prediction: San Francisco 24, Carolina 16

Buffalo vs. Baltimore
Baltimore returns home to face a struggling Buffalo team. The Ravens should come out and run the football with RB Ray Rice. The running game will make the passes down the field easier for QB Joe Flacco and the Raven offense. I look for WR Anquan Boldin to continue his stellar season against a depleted Bills secondary. The no-name offense that is the Bills must have QB Ryan Fitzpatrick make some plays passing because the Bills will not be able to run the football on the Ravens. WRs Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish will also have it tough in the passing game because S Ed Reed makes his return to the lineup this week. This game should be over very quickly if the Ravens come out and handle business.
Prediction: Baltimore 27, Buffalo 10

Arizona vs. Seattle
Arizona returns off their bye week to face a surging Seattle team. QB Max Hall makes his first road start of his career and he should have two of his WRs, Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, back for this game. If Hall has some assistance in the running game this week, then he should be able to spread the ball around. If he doesn’t have any assistance, then it could be a long day for Hall against an aggressive Seahawk defense. QB Matt Hasselbeck must continue to attack defenses with his arm while the running game gets caught up. I look for RB Marshawn Lynch to establish himself as the lead back in Seattle this game.
Prediction: Seattle 24, Arizona 17

Oakland vs. Denver
The Raiders travel to Denver after a very bad loss to the 49ers. The Raiders must run the football to be successful. To be honest, the Raiders have no passing game, so the run will be all they have against this aging Denver defense. Denver is the complete opposite of Oakland. They must have a running game show up to complement their passing attack. I think that RB Knowshon Moreno gets it going this week and runs all over one of the NFL’s worst run defenses.
Prediction: Denver 26, Oakland 14

New England vs. San Diego
The Patriots head out west to take on a enigmatic Chargers team. QB Phillip Rivers leads the best passing offense in football against a Patriots secondary that is young. He should have a field day again this week even though he may be without one of his favorite targets, TE Antonio Gates. Rivers also must get some help from his running game this week. QB Tom Brady must have a big day passing the ball this week. The short pass game is essentially their running game, so Brady must be on target to WRs Wes Welker, Deon Branch and company. If the Chargers are able to make Brady uncomfortable in the pocket, then the Chargers will win this game.
Prediction: San Diego 31, New England 24

Minnesota vs. Green Bay
The teacher faces the pupil as Brett Farve returns to Green Bay yet again. The Vikings must continue to run the football with RB Adrian Peterson. If they are able to run on the Packers, then WR Randy Moss could get loose in the Packer secondary. Peterson must do better in pass protection pickups. If he doesn’t, then the Packers could get to Farve all night long. For the Packers defense, they may get a big boost with CB Al Harris returning from a knee injury. QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense must get back to running the football. Ever since RB Ryan Grant went down with a knee injury, the running game hasn’t been the same. RBs Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn must step up and take some pressure off Rodgers. Rodgers should be able to attack the Vikings secondary pretty easily if the Packers run game produces and if the offensive line gives him time.
Prediction: Green Bay 23, Minnesota 17

New York Giants vs. Dallas
New York heads to Dallas to take on a desperate Cowboy team. The Cowboys must take care of the football on offense. QB Tony Romo must spread the football around and must get help from his running game. If the running game gets it going, then Romo can be lethal with the play-action pass. The Giants must continue to run the football and attack downfield. If I were the Giants, I would attack CB Mike Jenkins. He is the weak link in the Cowboys secondary. The Giants also need to make sure they know where OLB DeMarcus Ware is at all times. The feeling I’m getting for this game is that the desperation of this Dallas team will produce their best showing all season.
Prediction: Dallas 27, New York Giants 17

Here are my picks for the week. If you think you have what it takes, step up to the challenge and put your picks against mine.

TEM’s College Football Predictions- Week 8

Week 8 brings some great matchups. A lot of teams will get some stern tests to see what kind of team they really have. Well, I know you’re waiting on my predictions, so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Here are the picks for Week 8 of the college football season.

UCLA vs. Oregon
UCLA takes their ground game to Autzen Stadium this week. The Bruins have ran the ball a lot this year. QB Kevin Prince is a little banged up, but he isn’t the big key to this team. The Ducks must stop RB Johnathan Franklin. If the Ducks are able to stop him, then they put the game in the hands of the quarterback and that will play right into Oregon’s favor. The Ducks must continue to feed the ball to RB LaMichael James. If James is able to get it going on the ground, then QB Darron Thomas should have some easy throws against a subpar Bruins pass defense.
Prediction: Oregon 41, UCLA 17

Ole Miss vs. Arkansas
Ole Miss went to Alabama and scored the fewest points of their season last week in a loss. Scoring shouldn’t be an issue this week as the Rebels face an awful Razorback defense. Rebel QB Jeremiah Masoli and crew should have their way running and throwing the ball. The Razorbacks must bounce back from their loss at Auburn. QB Ryan Mallett is expected to play and that could spell some trouble for the Rebel secondary. In this offensive shootout, ultimately Ole Miss has no one who can match up with TE DJ Williams and WR Greg Childs.
Prediction: Arkansas 45, Ole Miss 37

LSU vs. Auburn
In this Tigers vs. Tigers matchup, the immovable object goes up against the immovable force. QB Cam Newton has obliterated opposing defenses with his passing and running all season. This week, he faces an LSU defense that is the best in the SEC. Newton must get help from his supporting cast this game for Auburn to win. He also must stay away from CB Patrick Peterson. Peterson is one of the best playmakers in the country. For the Auburn defense, they will be tested by the leading rusher in the SEC,Stevan Ridley. If Auburn can make some stops and make LSU throw the football to win, then Auburn wins this game.
Prediction: Auburn 23, LSU 17

Nebraska vs. Oklahoma State
The Cornhuskers come into this game after having their National Championship hopes dashed by Texas last week. Oklahoma State has been one of the top scoring offenses in college football and should test an angry Nebraska defense. Oklahoma RB Kendall Hunter must be effective in the Cowboys’ spread offense. If not, the pass rush of the Huskers will lasso the Cowboys. Nebraska was exposed on offense last week. QB Taylor Martinez couldn’t make the plays in the passing game. All that being said, Oklahoma State doesn’t have the defensive players to stop Nebraska.
Prediction: Nebraska 31, Oklahoma State 21

Wisconsin vs. Iowa
Expect this game to be a physical. Wisconsin likes to pound the football at people with the combination of RBs John Clay and James White. They will be running against a tough, relentless Hawkeye defense led by DE Adrian Clayborn. The Hawkeyes must rely on their own running game as well. RB Adam Robinson must be effective to give QB Ricki Stanzi time to complete passes downfield and slow down the pass rush of the Badgers. I think that Wisconsin is due for a letdown this week.
Prediction: Iowa 24, Wisconsin 20

South Carolina vs. Vandy
South Carolina heads to Nashville after a bad loss at Kentucky last week. The Gamecocks may be without star freshman RB Marcus Lattimore, so more responsibility will fall on the shoulders of QB Stephen Garcia. He must rebound from a lackluster game last week and lead this team. Vandy may have LB Chris Marve back on defense and that should give the Commodores a boost. WR Alsheron Jeffrey will be goin up against a smallish Commodore secondary, so look for him to make some big plays. The Commodore offense must rely on the combo of RBs Zac Stacy and Warren Norman. If the Gamecock defense is successful in stopping the run, then Vandy may be in trouble because QB Larry Smith isn’t very accurate and cannot beat the Gamecocks with his arm. I think the Gamecocks are too much for the Dores in this game.
Prediction: South Carolina 23, Vanderbilt 7

Alabama vs. Tennessee
This will be the first student vs. teacher matchup between Derek Dooley and Nick Saban. The Vols must be able to run the football with RB Taurean Poole in order to be effective. If Poole is effective, then QB Matt Sims will have time to look down the field and complete passes. If not, then Sims may be looking up at the sky a lot during the game. Look for DL Marcel Dareus to have a good game versus a young and inexperienced Tennessee offensive line. For the past couple of weeks, the Alabama ground game hasn’t been itself. I think this week the combo of RB Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram get back to punishing opponents on the ground. If Ingram and Richardson handle business, then McElroy will have easier pass attempts to WR Julio Jones and company. I look for this game to be real close for the first three quarters and then Bama will take over.
Prediction: Alabama 23, Tennessee 13

Oklahoma vs. Missouri
Oklahoma takes their offensive show on the road to the Show Me State. The Sooners have been blitzing teams with the run and the pass. This game will be a true test for a Missouri defense that has been outstanding, although against inferior opponents. The Sooners must attack with RB DeMarco Murray and then go over the top of the defense with WR Ryan Broyles. The Tiger offense has been deadly through the air. But to win this game, QB Blaine Gabbert will need some help from the ground game. If the Tigers are balanced, then they will have a better chance of pulling off the upset. If not, then the Sooners will continue to roll.
Prediction: Oklahoma 27, Missouri 17

Washington vs. Arizona
Washington takes its game to the Desert to face a hungry Wildcat team. The Wildcats may be without their starting QB, Nick Foles. Without Foles, the Wildcats must lean on RB Nic Grigsby and the Wildcats rushing game to aid backup QB Matt Scott. If the game is put in Scott’s hands, then there could be trouble for Arizona. For the Huskies, the game comes down to can Washington stop the run and which Jake Locher shows up. If the Huskies stop the run and QB Jack Locher plays smart, then there could be an upset in the desert.
Prediction: Washington 24, Arizona 21

Georgia vs. Kentucky
Georgia has won two straight and now must travel to the Commonwealth to take on Kentucky. Kentucky is coming off a big win versus South Carolina in which Randall Cobb played outstanding. Hopefully the fans saw Cobb’s Twitter message and will come out on time and charged up to cheer for the Cats. The Cats must be effective in the running game to keep the pass rush of the Georgia defense at bay. If they aren’t, then QB Mike Hartline could have a long day. Georgia must continue to feature Aaron Murray and the passing game. If the Wildcat defense brackets WR AJ Green, then WRs Tavaris King and Chris Durham should be open all night long. The main thing that Georgia must stay away from this game is turnovers. And with RB Caleb King being suspended, RB Wayshaun Ealy, who has had fumble issues this year, must carry the ball more.
Prediction: Georgia 27, Kentucky 20

These are my predictions for the weekend. Hopefully you all will enjoy this good weekend of college football like I will!

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