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Archive for the tag “Victor Cruz”

TEM’s Wild Card Weekend Preview: Atlanta Falcons vs New York Giants

It’s playoff football time in Gotham City. No, its not the Jets but the Giants that are headed to the post-season to take on the Atlanta Falcons. The crowd will be amped. The atmosphere will be electric. And the game should be good.

QB Matt Ryan has enjoyed his best season as an Atlanta Falcon (4177 yards, 29 TDs, 92.2 passer rating). Ryan enjoyed this season due to the play of rookie WR Julio Jones(54 receptions, 959 yards, 8 TDs), WR Roddy White(100 receptions, 1296 yards, 8 TDs) and TE Tony Gonzalez(80 receptions, 875 yards, 7 TDs). But for as much as these guys did for the passing game, Ryan’s best friend needs to be RB Michael Turner(1340 yards, 11 TDs). Turner has been the barometer for the Falcons. When he is given the ball 20-25 times, this Falcons team is tough. When the Falcons become a passing team, that’s when they become vulnerable. It should be interesting to see how Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey calls this game. If I were him, I would attack the Giants with Turner. If that running game is successful, then you keep the Giants pass rush, led by Jason Pierre-Paul(16.5 sacks) and Justin Tuck, off balance. Ryan better hope the Nascar pass rush doesn’t get cranked up. The Falcons have the better matchups in terms of their WRs and TEs vs the Giants DBs, but Ryan can’t make great passes when he’s looking up at the sky.

QB Eli Manning(4933 yards, 29 TDs, 92.9 passer rating) has certainly been inconsistent this year. He played great in games against the Patriots and the Cowboys and then there was the Seahawks game. Yikes! But of recent, when the game and the season has been on the line, he’s been Eli the Clutch. But for as clutch as Eli has been, what’s even more incredible is he’s led this team to the playoffs with the worst running game in the NFL. Well, its playoff time and that means its time for the Giants to run the ball better. They need RBs Ahmad Bradshaw(171 carries, 659 yards, 9 TDs) and Brandon Jacobs(152 carries, 571 yards, 7 TDs) to play like the beasts they can be and not like the duds they have been for most of the year. If Eli can get some help in the running game, then expect some fireworks in the passing game. Victor Cruz(82 receptions, 1536 yards, 9 TDs) has been the star of the Giants offense all season. In this game, he ought to be licking his chops. No offense to Falcons CBs Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes, but neither can handle Cruz, let alone WR Hakeem Nicks(76 receptions, 1192 yards, 7 TDs) on the opposite side. This game has all the makings of another big game for Eli. The two guys that could throw a wrinkle in those plans are DE John Abraham and LB Curtis Lofton. Abraham, even though he doesn’t have big sack numbers this year(9.5), could cause serious problems for a Giants offensive line that has had their problems at times this year. As for Lofton, he’s the guy that is their best defensive playmaker in the back seven. He must show up and show out for this Falcons defense.

As far as how this game goes, expect the run games of both teams to be the key. I just have a feeling that the Giants running game will get its acts together and give Eli some support. The Giants will be big today and the Falcons will end another year in disappointment.
Prediction: New York Giants 27, Atlanta 23


Ballers And Wankstas Of The Week-Week 17

The Ballers showed up and the Wankstas, well they did show up, but not necessarily in a good way. Without further adieu, here are the Ballers and Wankstas of Week 17 of the NFL!

Ballers Of The Week

Matt Flynn, QB, Green Bay Packers (31/44, 480 yards, 6TDs, 1 INT)
Flynn came out and definitely put on a great audition for all the teams that are looking to add a good QB next year. He made all the throws and made great decisions for the most part.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (8 receptions, 108 yards, 2 TDs)
Gronk, as he’s called, was once again unstoppable on his way to setting the TE record for receiving yards in a single season. He’s going to be a huge problem for defenses in the playoffs due to his size and speed. He’s too big for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers.

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens (24 carries, 191 yards, 2 TDs)
The Cincinnati Bengals will be seeing this man in their nightmares. I hope Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron takes this gameplan and uses it every week. Rice is the key to this team and he needs to have 20+ touches every game.

New York Giants
The Giants had their backs against the wall and instead of shrinking in the moment, they stood tall and handled business. Eli the Clutch made plays, Cruz caught passes and the defensive front, led by Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck, harassed the opposing team’s QBs. They could be a dangerous team in the playoffs.

Wankstas Of The Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs seem to be permanent fixtures on the Wankstas list. They just fell apart this year and unfortunately, their coach had to pay the price. Coach Morris and his staff were fired on Black Monday and once again, the Bucs are looking for a head coach. Get it together Bucs players. If this happens next year, players will start to be shipped out.

Oakland Raiders
The Raiders came out and dropped the ball again. But that’s not why they are on this list. They set the record for most penalties in a season. That alone tells you that this team is undisciplined and needs to get it together on that front before they consider themselves contenders.

Dallas Cowboys
How bout them Cowboys? Yep. They came. They saw. They mailed it in. In big games, they do not have the mental makeup to win. I think its time for Jerry Jones to look in the mirror, realize he’s not a good GM and then bring someone in that can put together a team that is mentally tougher instead of the “yes” men that he had in Wade Phillips and now Jason Garrett.

New York Jets
The biggest game of the season and you cannot handle your own business. That’s a shame and the even more disconcerting news that I’m hearing is that Jets captain Santonio Holmes supposedly quit on the team. For the Jets, they better hope this isn’t true because he’s locked in for next year. If so, then its gonna be a bumpy ride in New York next year.

These are my Ballers and Wankstas of the week! If you have a Baller of Wanksta that you would like to add, feel free to drop a comment!


Ballers And Wankstas Of The WeeK- Week 16

Crunch time folks! Ballers stepped up this week and some of the Wankstas showed their true colors! Let me introduce you to the Ballers and Wankstas of the Week!

Ballers Of The Week

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
I don’t even want to mention Brees and his numbers for this game. Brees broke the record for passing yards in a season held by Dan Marino since 1984. Brees has been a revelation in New Orleans and he deserves every bit of credit that he’s gotten. He’s been a Baller all year for this team and I expect to see more from him in the playoffs.

Jerome Simpson, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (5 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD)
I’m sure people are wondering why Simpson is a Baller this week. Well, if you were watching the Cincinnati game vs the Cardinals this weekend, then you know. Simpson caught a shallow crossing pattern across the middle of the field, turned it up the field and then he did a forward flip over a defender and landed on his feet in the endzone. The most incredible effort I’ve seen all season on a touchdown by far. Now that’s ballin!

Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants (3 receptions, 164 yards, 1 TD)
Cruz was a man on a mission. His 99 yard catch and run for a TD turned the momentum of the game and helped set up a Week 17 showdown with the Cowboys for the NFC East crown. Cruz has been a revelation for the Giants and he also set the team record for most receiving yards in a season in this game.

CJ Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills (16 carries, 111 yards, 1 TD)
CJ looked like the first round draft pick he was in this game vs the Broncos. He hit the holes hard and make things happen. It ought to be interesting to see if this is fool’s gold or if this is what we can come to expect from Spiller regularly.

Wankstas Of The Week

Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos (13/30, 185 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs)
Tebow played pretty bad and now is sporting a two game losing streak. In that time, the common denominator is turnovers. Tebow must get back to valuing the football or they could be trouble brewing.

St. Louis Rams
I wonder if this team mailed it in. They got absolutely steam-rolled in Pittsburgh. To me, you have to bring more than this in the NFL and this effort has to be disappointing to Coach Spagnolo, who some say has a warm seat he’s sitting on these days.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have apparently forgotten what decade they play in because they are playing like the team that wore those hideous creamcicle jerseys back in the day. The Bucs need to find themselves, but it won’t happen this year. And it may have to happen with a new coach as well.

I have a special Wankstas award for the fans and media who got mad at the Saints for allowing Brees to throw for the record. Its the NFL folks and last time I checked, the defense gets paid to stop people. The Falcons defense didn’t stop him, so he got the record. Get over it and move on Falcons, media and Falcons fans. Its over. Focus on making the playoffs instead of getting even.

These are my Ballers and Wankstas of the Week. If you have any Ballers or Wankstas that you would like to add, feel free to drop a comment.


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