Clearing the Deck – NFL Week 17

December 29, 2013

Clearing the deck for the final week of the regular season in the NFL…

* Kudos to the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks and Panthers who did what they were supposed to do Sunday – win and keep their respective 1 and 2 seeds in the AFc/NFC.

* The same can not be said of the Bears, Dolphins and Ravens, who all blew a chance to get into the playoffs with a win.

* Congratulations to Rex Ryan, you earned the right to return to the Jets for 2014 and what should be a contract extension coming.

* The Steelers probably wish KC’s Ryan Succop was a better kicker. His 41-yard FG miss at the end of regulation cost Pittsburgh a spot in the AFC playoffs (won by SD).

* Black Monday is here around the NFL and the firings will be swift.  Already reportedly out: Rob Chudzinski in Cleveland and Mike Shanahan in Washington.  Moves could be coming in Oakland, Minnesota, Tennessee, Detroit and Tampa Bay (Schiano to Penn State?). (UPDATE: Chudzinski already fired as of 9:30pm Sunday night)

* Do you think the Seahawks are a little concerned with Russell Wilson’s play the last month heading into the playoffs?

* Do you think Aaron Rodgers makes a little difference in Green Bay?

* Talk about being stacked in the NFC: the 49ers and Saints are 5th and 6th seeds.

* Who’s a bigger disappointment in the NFC North: Lions or Bears?

* Give the NFL its due, week 17 was full of drama!

* Let the playoffs begin!


Clearing the Deck – NFL Week 11

November 17, 2013

Clearing the deck for a Sunday afternoon full of surprises in week 11…

* Thoughts and prayers are with everyone touched by the dramatic tornadoes in the Midwest Sunday.

* With that having been said, the Bears OT victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens despite a two-hour weather delay with those tornado warnings and playing with a backup QB is a good thing on a bad day.

* There’s no doubt the Saints (23-20 winners over SF) and the Seahawks (41-20 over Minnesota) are the class of the NFC at this point.

* Don’t look now, but the Cardinals are just as good (record-wise) as the 49ers at 6-4.

* Hello roller coaster: the Giants have now four in a row and are now just a game out of first place after stating the year 0-6. Who are they behind? The 6-5 Eagles and 5-5 Cowboys.

* Congratulations Texans’ fans, your team has now lost eight in a row after getting beat by Matt McGloin (3 TD’s) and the Raiders in Houston.  Oh yeah, Matt Schaub is back as your QB. Ouch!

*  Maybe the Jets should have spent more time practicing that playing at Dave & Buster’s in Buffalo this weekend.

* That’s two in a row in Tampa.

* Not even a win over San Diego will squash the bad bullying vibes in Miami.

* Just when you thought the Lions were progressing, they give up nearly 400 yards of offense and 4 TD’s to a previously struggling Ben Roethlisberger.

* Do you think Aaron Rodgers should ask the Packers (0-3 without Mr. Discount Double Check) for a raise?


Clearing the Deck – NFL Week 2

September 15, 2013

Clearing the deck for week 2 of the NFL season…

* Raise your hand if you picked both the Dolphins to be tied atop the AFC East with the Patriots with two road wins to start the season. OK, now admit you’re not telling the truth.

* The Bears survive in the final seconds…again.

* That’s a big boy finish for the Bills EJ Manuel.

* Here’s hoping the injury to Ray Rice is nothing serious for the Ravens.

* Two weeks and two furious fourth quarter comebacks for the Texans. It’s those victories that’ll make them tough to beat in December. Mental toughness.

* Maybe the Redskins will ask the NFL to only play the second halves of games this season.

* Aaron Rodgers is just plain scary good right now.

* All that hype about the Chiefs seems warranted so far. Next up: Andy Reid’s family reunion in Philly Thursday night.

* They may have lost, but keep an eye on the Rams Bradford to Austin combination.

* Have a game Doug Martin! 144 yards for DM is a hard-fought way to rebound to a disappointing week 1 loss to the Jets. Unfortunately, the Bucs still lose on another last second FG to the Saints.

* Could it be that the Raiders are actually better than we thought?

* Hey, Little Bro, I’m still undefeated against you. Signed, Peyton!


NFL Week 9 Quick Thoughts

November 4, 2012

* Have a day Doug Martin! 251 yards and 4 TD’s. Those Bucs may be for real!

* Speaking of for real, the Bears put up 51 on the Titans Sunday, scoring offensively, defensively and on special teams. 7-1 and playing very well in Chicago.

* Unspectacularly, the Texans quietly are 7-1 as well after a workmanlike win over the Bills.

* What has happened to Eli Manning? Eli goes 10-24 for just 125 yards and no TD’s in the Giants 24-20 home loss to Pittsburgh.

* Do you get the feeling that the Broncos (Peyton Manning 291 yards, 3 TD’s) are just going to continue to get better?

* What can you say about Andrew Luck and the Colts? 433 yards, 2 TD’s and an impressive come-from-behind win over the Dolphins have them thinking playoffs.

* BTW: did you know that Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning have both thrown for
2404 yards this season?

* Is the bloom off RGIII yet?

* Aaron Rodgers just loves playing with a chip, right? Another 4 TD’s Sunday vs. Arizona.

* Maybe the Lions should strive to be more balanced? Mikel Leshoure – 3 TD’s, Calvin Johnson – 0 TD’s, Lions 31-14 win.

* Joe Flacco just loves to play Cleveland.  Baltimore’s now 10-0 with Flacco against the Browns.

* If only the Seahawks could play all their games in Seattle!


Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote down to 4

April 11, 2012

From ESPN –

4 NFL Players Advance to the Semi-Finals of the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote Competition

Fans nationwide have been casting their votes to determine the next cover athlete for Madden NFL 13, logging more than 18 million votes at ESPN.com/MaddenVote since the competition began on March 7.  Round 3 of the bracket-style phase of the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote resulted in upsets such as No. 6 seed Calvin Johnson (WR, Detroit Lions) surpassing No. 2 seed Rob Gronkowski (TE, New England Patriots) and No. 11 seed Patrick Willis (LB, San Francisco 49ers) beating out No. 2 seed Victor Cruz (WR, New York Giants).  Fan favorites Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers) and Aaron Rogers (QB, Green Bay Packers) were also selected to advance to the semi-finals.

ROUND 4 BREAKDOWN OF MADDEN NFL 13 COVER VOTE CAMPAIGN
Cam Newton vs. Patrick Willis                
Aaron Rodgers vs. Calvin Johnson

Over the next week, fans will be voting to determine which two candidates will move on to the final round of the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote, culminating with the unveiling of the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete winner on ESPN’s SportsNation on April 25 at 5 p.m. ET.

Round 4 voting is now open and fans can make their selections exclusively at www.ESPN.com/MaddenVote to determine which of the two NFL players will advance to the final round of the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote competition. Every Wednesday throughout the campaign, fans can tune in to SportsNation at 5 p.m. ET for analysis and commentary on the competition.

Fans can visit the Madden NFL Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EASPORTSMaddenNFL) or SportsNation page (www.facebook.com/SportsNation) to join discussions surrounding the Cover Vote.  Fans are also encouraged to tweet their Cover Vote picks using the hashtag #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.