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Archive for the month “December, 2010”

TEM’s NFL football Predictions- Week 17

This week brings the NFL regular season to an end. So may teams have played hard and lost, some played bad and won, but no matter what happened, some teams will got home and some teams will fight on. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for Week 17 of the NFL season.

Carolina vs. Atlanta
Carolina travels to the Georgia Dome to take on an angry Falcons team. QB Jimmy Claussen will be under tremendous heat from DE John Abraham. He must be calm when facing pressure and complete passes. RB Jonathan Stewart must be somewhat effective to take some pressure off of Claussen. The Falcons still have something to play for, so I expect a solid effort from QB Matt Ryan and crew this week. If they come out and handle business, this game won’t be close.
Prediction: Atlanta 27, Carolina 10

Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland
The banged-up Steelers head to Cleveland to take on a Browns team that has improved throughout the season. Pittsburgh will look to establish the run a little bit more to get ready for playoff time. RB Rashard Mendenhall has to get on track this week against this defense. WR Mike Wallace will continue to make big plays against the Browns secondary. QB Colt McCoy may not have RB Peyton Hillis to lean on this week. McCoy will have to make more plays to win. Its a recipe for disaster for any team to depend on a rookie QB to carry an offense.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Cleveland 13

Minnesota vs. Detroit
The Vikings head to Motown to take on an improved Lions squad. QB Brett Farve may not get to play in his last game because of the lingering effects of a concussion. If he doesn’t play, expect QB Joe Webb to once again use his legs and arm to give the Lions fits. RB Adrian Peterson has to play well this game. QB Shaun Hill should be able to pick through the Viking secondary. WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson should have a big day.
Prediction: Detroit 27, Minnesota 17

Oakland vs. Kansas City
Oakland heads to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the playoff-bound Chiefs. Expect RB Darren McFadden to play well this game because the Chiefs will start replacing players like DL Wallace Gilberry and OLB Tamba Hali early to have them ready for the playoffs. QB Matt Cassel will get some time in the game to get a little rhythm and then the game will be turned over to QB Brodie Croyle. The fact that Brodie Croyle is going to play in this games tells me all I need to know about this game right there about the results.
Prediction: Oakland 24, Kansas City 13

Miami vs. New England
The Dolphins head up north to take on the Patriots in Foxboro. QB Chad Henne has struggled for consistency this season and I don’t expect him to get any better against the Patriots ball-hawking defense, led by LB Jarod Mayo and CB Devin McCourty. QB Tom Brady has been playing great for the Patriots. And the Patriots don’t have a reputation for resting players when they have things wrapped up. Expect to see Brady a lot Sunday. The Patriots will handle their business.
Prediction: New England 30, Miami 17

Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans
The Bucs travel to New Orleans looking for a win and some help to make the playoffs. Expect the Bucs to come out fighting hard to win. QB Josh Freeman and RB LaGarette Blount will be the focus of the Buc offense against a Saints team that is stingy on defense. Expect the Saints to rest some players since they have already qualified for the playoffs. QB Drew Brees will play for a little while this game, but expect him to take a seat as well in the 2nd half.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, New Orleans 14

Buffalo vs. New York Jets
The Bills head to Gotham to take on a Jets team that has successfully back its way into the playoffs. Expect the Jets to pull QB Mark Sanchez out of the game early because of a recurring shoulder issue. Look for the Jets to run the ball early and often to establish the ground game again. For the Bills, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick may miss this game. Look for the Bills to struggle if he doesn’t play.
Prediction: NY Jets 20, Buffalo 13

Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
The Bengals travel to the East Coast to play a Ravens team gearing up for a playoff run. QB Carson Palmer will be without WRs Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, so expect Palmer to hand the ball of more this game. If RB Cedric Benson doesn’t get it going in the ground game, Palmer could be n trouble. QB Joe Flacco could be due for a real good game against the inury-riddled Bengals defense. Expect the Ravens to play all out and end the Bengals season in an ugly way.
Prediction: Baltimore 27, Cincinnati 10

San Diego vs. Denver
The Chargers travel to the Mile High City to take on Tim Tebow and the Broncos. QB Phillip Rivers should have a field day in this game. The Broncos secondary has been terrible all season long. QB Tim Tebow has showed great improvement from how he played in the pre-season. Expect him to come out and compete, but even with him playing hard and competing, the Broncos don’t have enough offense or defense to beat the Chargers.
Prediction: San Diego 31, Denver 17

Chicago vs. Green Bay
This game should be good, depending on the mindset of the Bears. The Bears can knock the Packers out of the playoff picture with a win. Expect the Bears to play hard and play to win unless the Packers come out determined. QB Aaron Rodgers will come out determined and I expect him to exact some revenge on the Bears this game. QB Jay Cutler will match him play for play, but ultimately Rodgers is better.
Prediction: Green Bay 27, Chicago 20

Tennessee vs. Indianapolis
The Titans enter the final game of their up-and-down season taking on a Colts team that has a chance to win and go to the playoffs. QB Kerry Collins will need to attack the Colts downfield for the Titans to have any chance to win. If Collins doesn’t have success downfield, the Titans will be suffocated when they run the ball. QB Peyton Manning has suddenly received some help from the running game. RBs Joseph Addai, Doninic Rhodes and company must keep it up this week or they will lose and lose the division. I see the will of the Colts being stronger than the will of the Titans.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 23

Dallas vs. Philadelphia
The Cowboys travel to the City Of Brotherly Love to take on an Eagles team that has already clinched the NFC East Division. QB Stephen McGee may get the start for the Cowboys because of injuries to starter Jon Kitna. Expect the Cowboys to come out running the football so they won’t have to expose their young QB to tough down and distance situations. QB Michael Vick will not play this game to rest injuries sustained from last week’s game. QB Kevin Kolb will come in and produce like he has when he has had his opportunity this year. In the battle of the backup QBs, I’ll take the experienced backup over the inexperienced one.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, Dallas 14

Arizona vs. San Francisco
This game pits two disappointing teams against each other. QB John Skelton will be the starter again for the Cardinals, so expect the Cardinals to try to run the ball at the 49ers. If Skelton has to pass for them to win, the Cardinals will be in trouble. QB Alex Smith gets the start this game. He must come out and get his playmakers involved. If TE Vernon Davis and WR Michael Crabtree don’t get involved this game, the 49ers won’t have a shot to win.
Prediction: San Francisco 27, Arizona 13

New York Giants vs. Washington
The Giants head to our nation’s capital in a must-win situation. QB Eli Manning will be without WR Hakeem Nicks due to injuries. WR Mario Manningham must step up and produce this game. If not, RBs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw must carry the offensive load. QB Rex Grossman hasn’t played that bad as the starting QB for the Redskins. This game, his offensive line must play well. If they don’t block the Giants well, then Grossman will be running for his life all game long. The X-factor in this game will be the hunger and desire of the Giants. That desire will be the difference.
Prediction: NY Giants 34, Washington 27

Jacksonville vs. Houston
The Jaguars head to Houston to take on a Texans team that underachieved this year. QB Trent Edwards will make the start for the Jaguars in place of an injured David Garrard. RB Maurice Jones-Drew will not play this game as well because of injuries. Expect the Jaguars offense to look a little off, even though they are playing against a weak Houston Texans defense. The Texans will make enough stops for QB Matt Schuab and the Texans offense to take advantage of the Jaguars defense.
Prediction: Houston 34, Jacksonville 20

St. Louis vs. Seattle
The Rams go to Northwest to take on the Seahawks for the NFC West crown. QB Sam Bradford will need his running game to help settle him in. If RB Stephen Jackson gets going, Bradford can settle in and make some plays against the Seahawks secondary. QB Charlie Whitehurst will be making his 2nd career start this game. RB Marshawn Lynch must produce to help him. If not, the Seahawks will have a long day.
Prediction: St. Louis 27, Seattle 23

These are my predictions for the last week of the NFL football season. If you think you got what it takes to beat my predictions, make a comment.

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Selective Forgiveness

Michael Vick made some comments this week in regards to him having a dog. He said that having a dog would help his rehabilitation and also that his daughter would like a dog. Vick understands he can’t own a dog and he was just answering the question about a dog and saying what he felt. Well, apparently, some people in America have to keep spewing hatred towards him.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson recently said on TV that he felt that Michael Vick should have been executed for killing those dogs. Am I the only one that thinks he has lost his mind? I understand that he may not like it that Vick wants a dog after what he’s done in his past, but to go as far as to say he should have been executed is crazy.

America has long been a country built on forgiveness and second chances. To me,it seems that this country now picks and chooses who they forgive and who they hate. For example, Donte Stallworth killed a pedestrian when he was drunk-driving. He received a one year ban from the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. He came back this year and signed with the Baltimore Ravens and you haven’t heard anyone bringing up his past like they have Vick’s.

In the NFL, we have people that have been accused rapists, alleged in murders and all that and for America to use Vick as their posterboy for their hatred is just plain wrong. America has got to get themselves together. Since when does the life of a dog compare to the life of human beings? I’m not saying that inhumane treatment of dogs is right. What I’m saying is that in all situations, we as a people have to show forgiveness to all people, not just select certain people to forgive. That’s just not right at all. Everyone, let it go. Move on. Just think if you were Vick and had to constantly hear these things said about you? He has a right to live his life and make a living. Just because he made a mistake doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the right to make a living. Its time to forgive America.

TEM’s Ballers And Wankstas Of The Week- Week 16

Week 16 brought some good play and some totally uninspired play as well. And, like usual, there were some great players and some not so great players in Week 16. Without further adieu, I present the Ballers and Wankstas of Week 16 in the NFL.

Ballers Of The Week

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers ( 25/37, 404 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs )
Rodgers seems to be hitting his stride at the right time. In one of the Packer’s most important games of the season, their superstar showed his medal. The Giants ought to be ashamed of themselves. They knew Rodgers was going to pass the ball all game and still couldn’t stop him. That’s why I nicknamed him The Surgeon. He slices and dices defenses.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ( 6 receptions, 153 yards, 1 TD )
Bowe is starting to live up to the hype that surrounded him when he was drafted by the Chiefs. He owned the Titans secondary. Bowe is a key to how far this team goes in the playoffs.

LaGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( 18 carries, 164 yards, 0 TDs )
Blount has been one of the big success stories of this NFL season. He went from 1st or 2nd round pick his senior year in college, to free agent running back to starter and key cog in the Bucs offense. He has proven that he has staying power in this league. He ran all over the Seahawks.

New England Defense
New England held a once-explosive Buffalo Bills offense to 3 points while forcing them into 7 turnovers. Now that’s a dominating performance.

Wankstas Of The Week

Troy Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers ( 7/19, 153 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT )
Troy Smith couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn against the Rams Sunday. He eventually was replaced by the Alex Smith in the 3rd quarter. The two Smiths have been the main problem of the 49ers all season because neither has been consistent. The cellar is where they’ll be if they don’t get this mess of a QB situation solved.

Kelley Washington, WR, San Diego Chargers
I’m not going to list Washington’s statistics on Sunday because those are the numbers he was apparently playing for Sunday. Down 21 late in the 4th quarter, Washington caught a TD pass and proceeded to celebrate in the endzone. What exactly was he celebrating? What he was happy about? I don’t know. But what I do know is the Chargers were getting pounded by the lowly Bengals and there was absolutely nothing to celebrate about at all.

Philadelphia Offensive Line
This line must have mistaken prom night for the football game because they were escorting Minnesota right to QB Michael Vick. They allowed 6 sacks. If they perform like this again, Vick won’t survive at QB for them.

NY Jets Defense
For a defense that’s supposed to be so great to allow a mediocre offense to score 38 points on them is terrible. The Jets should maybe think about playing football instead of talking about football sometime. If there was a Super Bowl for talking, the Jets would win hands down. Unfortunately, that type of Super Bowl exists in one play: Fantasyland.

These are the Ballers and Wankstas of Week 16 in the NFL. Feel free to comment if you feel that someone or some team was omitted.

New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is about to come in a few days and I know everyone is making a New Year’s Resolution. Well, just like everyone makes resolutions, I have a few resolutions for players and teams going into 2011. Here we go!

Chicago Cubs- Shed the “Lovable Losers” tag. Will be a hard one to shake because this club has no direction or leadership. Looking forward to another losing season in 2011.

LeBron James- Learn the meaning of words and how to use them. There should be no reason that he shouldn’t know what contraction means. Better find himself a dictionary before he is caught slipping again.

Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert- Let go of the past. He, like a lot of Cleveland fans, must realize that LeBron left. Plain and simple. Quit hounding him and trying to run his name through the mud and get over it. The sooner the Cavs and their fans get over it, the better they will be. Right now, Gilbert sounds like a bitter ex-girlfriend that can’t let go.

Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco- Think before I talk. Most of the things these guys say are not the right things. Maybe they should both think more before they say something, especially because they will both be free agents this off-season.

The Media- Let the Brett Farve man crush go. He’s retiring. We don’t need a hundred million shots of him on TV this off-season.

NFL, NBA- Come to terms with the players on a new collective bargaining agreement to avoid lockouts. If these two sports go to a lockout, many fans will be lost and the sport will be changed forever. If they know what’s best for them, they will get this solved ASAP.

If anybody else has any New Year’s Resolutions for any team or player, feel free to leave a comment.

The Everyday Mailbag-12/27/10

Here’s the latest questions that America has this week!

Q: If the Titans decide to part ways with Vince Young, what are the chances that they will draft Cam Newton this upcoming April? And does he make a good fit with the team?
-Kareem H., Nashville, TN

A: There isn’t much of a chance they will draft Cam Newton because Newton won’t fall that far to them. And I think he would make a better fit that VY would because he actually can throw the ball with accuracy and touch more consistently than VY and he can read a defense better than VY can at this stage in his career. And he also has something right now that VY hasn’t shown to us yet, mental toughness.

Q: What’s up with the Tennessee men’s basketball team losing to unranked opponents yet they have defeated ranked opponents?
-James R., Nashville, TN

A: They always do this. I come to expect this to happen every year. And just like they have in the past, they will pick it up when it gets near tournament time. The component that has been missing the last 3 games has been Scotty Hopson. He hasn’t scored with the consistency that he had in the previous games. If he doesn’t play well, they don’t win.

Q: Agree or Disagree…..J. Nelson will be sacrificed for a big man before the trade deadline?
-Kareem H., Nashville, TN

A: Disagree. Nelson is part of their core. Trade him and u then lose points off the bench in Arenas and u also become very weak at the PG slot.

Q: Is New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin fired?
-David D., Murfreesboro, TN

A: He definitely will be soon I think. His teams are facing the reputation of not being able to finish and that isn’t a good thing.

Q: Whats up wit the NFL coaches on the chopping block? Any news on firings that are coming?
-Rod S., Murfreesboro, TN

A: John Fox is out as Carolina coach at the end of the year and its being said that after this last weekend of the regular season, Dolphins coach Tony Sporano and Texans coach Gary Kubiak will be gone as well.

Q: What are your top 12 softest players in the NBA? bleacherreport.com has their list as follows:

1. Vince Carter
2. Adam Morrison
3. Andrea Bargnani
4. Sasha Vujacic
5. Eddy Curry
6. Yi Jianlian
7. Chris Kaman
8. Anderson Varejao
9. Gilbert Arenas
10.Greg Oden
11. Rashard Lewis
12. Channing Frye
-Kareem H., Nashville,TN

A: I cannot agree with the inclusion of Adam Morrison, Eddy Curry and Greg Oden on their list because they haven’t played enough in the last few years to even be included. Kaman and Varajao shouldn’t even be included on this list. They are both hard-nosed, hard playing guys. I definitely can’t agree with Arenas either. I can’t give you a Top 12, but I can give you a Top 5. Here’s my Top 5:

1. Channing Frye (Phoenix Suns)- To be 7’0″ tall, he spends more time on the perimeter than anyone on the Suns team. Its a shame that he can shoot better than he can rebound.
2. Rashard Lewis (Washington Wizards)- He is another 6’10 guy who just doesn’t get it. He ought to be abusing folks with his combination of size and skill. Instead, when he gets pushed a little bit, he cowers away.
3. Sasha Vujacic (New Jersey Nets)- He tries to act like a tough guy, but he is one of the biggest flopper in the NBA.
4. Yi Jianlian (Washinton Wizards)- I personally can’t stand to watch him play. He does nothing and gets abused all the time.
5. Vince Carter (Phoenix Suns)- I think he has gotten softer and slower every year.

Q: Is Devin Hester the greatest kickoff & punt returner in NFL history ?
-James R., Nashville, TN

A: Yes he is. Anytime you can return 14 combined punt and kickoff returns with teams kicking away from you and limiting your return chances, you are the greatest returner in NFL history. And the even greater thing is that Lovie Smith took him off returning punts for a while so he wouldn’t get worn out doing that and playing receiver.

He’s Gone

The Mike Singletary era is over in San Francisco. After yesterday’s game, the 49ers decided to part ways with the once-legendary linebacker for the Chicago Bears. As much as I was a Singletary fan, he had started showing that his style and his coaching prowess wasn’t what would help this franchise succeed.

The San Francisco 49ers came into this season as the prohibited favorites to win the NFC West. They had a tough defense and an offense with the potential to put up points. Well, as this season has shown, an offense without a quarterback means that your offense won’t be that good. All season the 49ers have gotten uneven QB play from Alex Smith, Troy Smith and even David Carr at the end of the Panthers game this year when Alex Smith got hurt. The 49ers actually started getting consistent play from Troy Smith, but he inexplicably got replaced by Alex Smith by Singletary which was a bad move.

As a result of the uneven play by the offense, the defense was on the field way longer than they should have been all season. When the defense had offensive production, they showed they could play with anyone. But just like any defense, if you’re on the field for a long time, you will eventually wear down. And that’s exactly what happened to them in the 2nd half of games.

Ultimately, Singletary was a fiery guy and a motivational coach that never could get his message all the way through to his players. He will more than likely never be a head coach again in the NFL. He tried his best, but his best wasn’t good enough to get this team to where he wanted them to be and to reach the expectations set for this team.

No Direction

Michael Jordan recently became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Most recently he made a big change. He released coach Larry Brown and brought in Paul Silas to coach the team for the rest of the year. Like many moves in his post-basketball career, no sense can be made of that decision. Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time. He played with style, grace and a passion that many couldn’t match. Now, he’s an athlete who doesn’t translate well to the front office life.

There’s a few reasons that Jordan hasn’t been successful as a owner. The first is that he isn’t a very good evaluator of talent. Jordan has said that he was trying to do what he could to make this team successful. Well, trading away a center who was a defensive anchor in Tyson Chandler, letting PG Raymond Felton go and bringing in PF/C Kwame Brown doesn’t exactly show me that this team is trying to win. Even though many didn’t notice, these two guys were their leaders on offense or defense.

Another reason is that Jordan was a great player. Great players have skills that you can’t teach most of the time because of their extraordinary ability. They also have great determination. If you take a look at this team, they lack any players that have that combination of extraordinary ability and determination. Until he gets that fearless leader that has these characteristics, this franchise isn’t going anywhere.

The last and final reason Jordan hasn’t been a successful owner is because of impatience. This team was a team that made the playoffs last year for the first time and was beginning to come together. Jordan was so impatient to win that he completely changed the dynamics of the team because he wasn’t happy with where he felt the team was heading.

I really would like for Jordan to succeed as an owner. Unfortunately, he still has some lessons to learn. As the season goes on, we will see how he develops as an owner, but for right now, he is not making the grade with this team as they have gone from pretty good to terrible just that quick.

Hidden Agenda

The NCAA just made another big ruling in college football. Ohio State players Tyrelle Pryor, leading rusher Dan Herron, No. 2 wide receiver DeVier Posey, All-Big Ten offensive tackle Mike Adams and backup defensive end Solomon Thomas must sit out the first five games of the 2011 season for selling their Buckeye memorabilia to a Columbus, Ohio tattoo parlor for services. They must also repay money to a charity after some of the services they received at the parlor were found to be discounted. But after all these violations, all these players are still eligible to play in the Sugar Bowl.

After hearing the ruling, am I the only one trying to figure out how the NCAA came to their ruling? Am I the only one that thinks the punishment is selective? These guys broke the rules, but they can play in their bowl game? This signals to me that the NCAA is just about the money.

The NCAA is a big corporation that exposes kids to the media for their own gain. If Ohio State was playing in a lesser bowl game like the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl or the Pinstripe Bowl, they would have definitely have been suspended for their bowl game. The Pinstripe Bowl doesn’t bring in the type of money these big bowls like the Sugar Bowl does.

Another point that I see in this decision is that the NCAA may have a bias. The reason I say that is because when Georgia WR AJ Green sold his jersey, he was punished right then and there and suspended immediately. He did the exact same thing that the 5 players in question did, sold his memorabilia for money. Now, is it just me or does it seem like the NCAA is ruling differently in this case because this school is a prominent Big 10 school and not an average to above average SEC school?
To me, the NCAA is an unjust organization that just does things with no rhyme or reason. They just do what they feel without any kind of explanations. That is just wrong and sad. I feel that these NCAA decision-makers should have to be accountable for their actions. They never are made accountable. Maybe its time for them to look in the mirror and do a little self-examination.

TEM’s NFL Football Predictions-Week 15

This weekend is a weekend to spend with your family. Its also the weekend that a lot of division races get wrapped up. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for Week 15 in the NFL.

Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
The lowly Panthers travel to Steel City to take on the Steelers. QB Jimmy Claussen played well last week in leading his team to victory, but the real star of that game was RB Jonathan Stewart. If the Panthers are to have any chance, Stewart must be effective. If he isn’t, Claussen will have serious issues trying to figure out the Steeler defense. The Steeler offense has been stuck in neutral for quite some time now. For them to be able to put up more points, RB Rashard Mendenhall has to get it going again. I see him getting back on track this week.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Carolina 13

Dallas vs. Arizona
Dallas travels to the desert to take on a struggling Cardinal team. QB Jon Kitna should be able to attack the Cardinals downfield this game with WR Miles Austin. The Dallas running game also should be very effective with the injuries to Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett. For Arizona, their only chance is to run the ball with RBs Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells. If they have to put the ball in the hands of their QB, this game could get ugly.
Prediction: Dallas 27, Arizona 10

New England vs. Buffalo
The Patriots travel to Orchard Park to take a Bills team that has exceeded expectations. QB Tom Brady must be sharp this game because the Bills have been playing better against the run as of late. Expect WR Wes Welker to wreak havoc this game. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing great football. For the Bills to win this week, he has to play even better. He must also make sure he knows where rookie CB Devin McCourty is at all times. Also, RB Fred Jackson has to keep the Patriots defense honest or else Fitzpatrick will be under pressure all day.
Prediction: New England 31, Buffalo 24

New York Jets vs. Chicago
The Jets escaped Pittsburgh barely last week. This week they face an equally tough defense. QB Mark Sanchez will need the running game to re-emerge this week because of an injury to his shoulder. If Sanchez has to throw the ball for the Jets to win, they will be in trouble because the Bears front four on defense have been great this year. QB Jay Cutler will be challenged this week by a stout Jets defense, but if Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz has been studying film on the Jets, he should be able to devise a scheme that will beat their coverages. The Bears must decipher the blitz packages of the Jets and get the ball out quickly or else their will be trouble. The enigmatic Jets offense will cost them this game.
Prediction: Chicago 24, NY Jets 16

Baltimore vs. Cleveland
The Ravens head to the Dawg Pound this week to take on an improving Cleveland Browns squad. QB Joe Flacco had some help last week in the form of RB Ray Rice. Rice played great in the passing and running game. This week he must continue the momentum he gained and attack this Browns defense. Flacco gets TE Todd Heap back this week, adding to his arsenal of weapons in the passing attack. QB Colt McCoy returned to action last week and looked a little bit rusty. He should be even more healthy this week. The key to this game will be if the Ravens can stop RB Peyton Hillis. If he is stopped, then the game will be on the shoulders of McCoy and that plays right into the hands of the Ravens.
Prediction: Baltimore 27, Cleveland 20

Tennessee vs. Kansas City
The Titans head to Arrowhead after beating up on the Texans last week. QB Kerry Collins must get rid of the ball quicker this week because the pass rush of the Chiefs, led by OLB Tamba Hali, will be coming. Another key for stopping the constant pressure will be RB Chris Johnson. If Johnson is effective running the ball, then the pass rush will have to slow down and Collins will have more time to find receivers like Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. QB Matt Cassel made his return to the lineup last week and didn’t look that bad. This week he must hope that his line holds up against the constant pressure of the Titans front four and he must also get production out of RB Jamaal Charles. This should be an interesting game to watch.
Prediction: Kansas City 24, Tennessee 14

San Francisco vs. St. Louis
San Francisco heads to the Show Me State to take on the Rams for supremacy in the NFC West. QB Troy Smith will once again be at the helm of the 49ers. Look for more quick passing strikes this game with T. Smith. TE Vernon Davis should also be more present this game. QB sam Bradford has played well this year, but he needs his running game to resurface. RB Steven Jackson was shut down last week against the Chiefs. This game should go down to the wire.
Prediction: San Francisco 27, St. Louis 23

Detroit vs. Miami
Detroit heads to South Beach to take on the up-and-down Dolphins. QB Shaun Hill will get the start this week. Expect the offense to run smooth and for Calvin “Megatron” Johnson to get more chances at big plays. QB Chad Henne has struggled to find consistency all year. If he could get some help from the running game he wouldn’t be exposed like he is every game. This game he will get some help though and the Dolphins will get back in the winning column.
Prediction: Miami 27, Detroit 24

Washington vs. Jacksonville
The Redskins travel down to Florida to take on the Jaguars in the NFC vs. AFC showdown. Redskins QB Rex Grossman didn’t play bad once he settled down last week. He won’t be the focal point this week. The running game, led by RB Ryan Torrain, will have to produce this week. If not, the game will be up to Grossman. QB David Garrard and the Jaguar offense didn’t play that well last week. For the Jaguars to win this game, they need their biggest playmaker, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, has to play well. If not, the game will be on Garrard’s shoulders and that isn’t a good thing.
Prediction: Jacksonville 31, Washington 20

San Diego vs. Cincinnati
The Chargers head to Cincy to take on the lowly Bengals. QB Phillip Rivers had another good game last week. Expect him to play well again against a depleted Bengals defense. QB Carson Palmer hasn’t been on track all season. Don’t expect him to look any better against the league’s number 1 rated defense. This game could get ugly if the Chargers play up to their potential. My feeling is the Chargers will play down to the Bengals and then win it in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: San Diego 27, Cincinnati 17

Houston vs. Denver
The Texans travel to the Mile High City to take on Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. QB Matt Schaub seemed to be the only offensive player to show up for Houston last week. Expect RB Arian Foster to have a good game this week. QB Tim Tebow is a leader and he has showed improvement. He should have a pretty good game, but not good enough to keep up with the amount of points the Texans will score.
Prediction: Houston 38, Denver 27

Indianapolis vs. Oakland
The Colts head to the West Coast to take on a much-improved Raiders squad. The Colts got some bad news with the loss of WR Austin Collie for the season, but there’s also some good news for them as well. RB Joseph Addai should be back in action this week. He gives the Colts another threat to help Peyton Manning attack this Raiders defense. QB Jason Campbell hasn’t played to bad the past few weeks. He must continue to play well and the offense must continue to run through RB Darren McFadden. If the Colts are able to stop him like they were able to stop Maurice Jones-Drew last week, then this game could be a long one for the Raiders.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Oakland 13

New York Giants vs. Green Bay
The Giants head to Green Bay after their devastating loss last week. This week they got even more bad news when it was announced that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will be playing this weekend. Rodgers strength in the passing game will be tested by the pass rush and pass coverage of the Giants. If the Packer offensive line can give him time, he will be able to shred the Giants secondary. QB Eli Manning and the Giants offense disappeared in the last nine minutes of last week’s game. Expect them to come out strong, but after their initial burst, they will be the same old Giants, who under Tom Coughlin have struggled down the stretch.
Prediction: Green Bay 34, NY Giants 24

Seattle vs. Tampa Bay
Seattle heads to Raymond James Stadium to take on a young and inexperienced Buccaneer team. QB Matt Hasselbeck struggled last week. He may not start this week he struggled so bad. Whoever starts the game, whether it be Hasselbeck or Whitehurst, they must hand the ball off to RB Marshawn Lynch. The Bucs have been struggling to stop the run ever since DT Gerald McCoy went down with an injury. QB Josh Freeman could bring the Bucs back last week. He must start fast this week and he must get production out of RB LeGarrette Blount. This game will come down to the wire because of the youth an inexperience of the Bucs.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 27, Seattle 24

Minnesota vs. Philadelphia
The Vikings head to the City of Brotherly Love this week to take on a red-hot Eagles team. QB Joe Webb will be starting this week in place of QB Brett Farve against the Eagles. RB Adrian Peterson is banged up as well. Expect the Eagles to mix up their coverages on Webb and force him into mistakes. QB Michael Vick is playing out of his mind. This week, he must strike early and often against a weak Vikings secondary. This game could get ugly.
Prediction: Philadelphia 38, Minnesota 13

New Orleans vs. Atlanta
This game is for the NFC South championship. The Saints are as healthy as they have been all season. Look for them to spread out the field and utilize all their weapons. QB Drew Brees must play well. QB Matt Ryan has been playing well down the stretch. Expect him and WR Roddy White to continue their chemistry. Also, look for RB Michael Turner to have a big game.
Prediction: Atlanta 27, New Orleans 24

These are my predictions for Week 16 in the NFL. All challengers to my picks are welcome. Happy Holidays!

Bowled Over

As I watched the Beef O’Brady Bowl last night, a thought came to mind. There are too many bowl games. In fact, I think there needs to be a playoff.

As you look around the landscape of college football, you may notice one thing about a lot of programs: they strive for mediocrity. The 6 win mark now has become a great thing. For me, that’s not a standard of excellence, that settling for less. My main example of this is Kentucky. Every year they schedule terrible opponents so that when they get into SEC competition, they only have to win maybe 2 games to make it to a bowl. This works for them, but what happens to the teams that are in lesser conferences that get 6 wins, they don’t make bowl games very often.

So why not get rid of the whole bowl system? Who honestly wants to watch 35 bowl games? To be honest, there are only maybe 10 that are worthwhile games every year. I motion that the NCAA find a way to set up a playoff system. That way the public could get some competitive football games that get you excited instead of bowl games like the New Mexico Bowl where an inept UTEP team faces a BYU team and gets steam-rolled.

Here would be how I would do it. I would take the Top 8 teams at the end of the year in the BCS and put them in a tournament against each other. I would spread them out to different neutral fields so that neither team has a home field advantage. The neutral fields would be the bowl sites like the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and places like that. Then, the teams would play their way through their tournament matchups so that a true National Champion could be crowned.

Until we get this bowl system narrowed down, we will continue to see teams that have no business in the post-season. We will continue to see teams strive for mediocrity. We will continue to see some bad football.

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