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  • Published: Sep 6th, 2014
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My 2014 Fearless Forecast!

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AFC North

1 Ravins O is a problem

2 Steelers D Better and faster BA falling behind

3 Bengals Dalton is not the answer. He is the problem.

4 Browns Long difficult season Thank heavens for the Cavs

AFC East

1 Patriots Brady. Do I have to say anymore?

2 Jets D and a bad division

3 Dolphins Can the O move the ball?

4 Bills With the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft the Browns select…

AFC South

1 Colts D will be better and Colts have all the Luck

2 Titans Locker OK Mettenburger will be better

3 Jags London anyone? Just don’t have the players to compete

4 Texans “We don’t need no stinkin’ QB!”

AFC West

1 Broncos In Payton they trust

2 Chargers Rivers good as anybody D improving

3 Chiefs “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

4 Raiders The worst team in the AFC.

NFC East

1 Eagles D prevents them from challenging for the superbowl

2 Giants Can Eli be that bad two years in a row?

3 Redskins D is pathetic O struggles until RG3 figures it out

4 Cowgirls Worst team in the NFL. 8-8 will be a fond memory

NFC North

1 Packers Forget Thursday. Seahawks are just that good.

2 Bears O outstanding D cant be any worse than last year

3 Lions Still have their heads up their hind ends but Caldwell will fix that

4 Vikings They did not chose wisely. They are starting the wrong QB.

NFC South

1 Saints They “Brees” to the division title

2 Falcons Injuries killed them last year. Can they stay healthy this year?

3 Panthers D is still really good but I don’t trust the O

4 Bucs Tough division with a questionmark at QB.

NFC West

1 Seahawks Wilson and the D are enough

2 49ers D issues w/Bowman out and Smith suspension they won’t challenge for the playoffs.

3 Cardinals Only 3rd because of QB issues of the Rams

4 Rams Without Bradford they just can’t climb that Hill.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: Check out the News, Notes and Rumors podcast Monday, Wednesday and Thursday on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits .

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

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Browns Redskins live game notes

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Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden (Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost)

Browns Redskins live game notes

3 and out for the Skins is a good start for the D.

TRich showed his vision on the 14 yard run.

Weeden missed the wide open Gordon.  You can not do that

3rd and long again stops a drive.  The team has WAY too many of those.  Part of the issue is lack of getting yardage running because they don’t get to the 2nd level to open holes.

=

Haden breaks up the 1st down pass

Skins have a blocking issue as well.  They didn’t block the back side and were trapped by Taylor.

Rookie QB mistake caused the pick.  Can’t throw into double coverage.  Tipped by Brown and picked by Ward.

One play drive for the TD.  Great push by TRich for the TD.

=CL 7 WA 0 8:41 1st

Cousins is not even looking down field.  He is just throwing to the checkdown guy.

Great coverage and good pass rush and Sheard gets the sack.

1st down penalty not good.

Good job by Weeden to get the pass off accurately with a guy hanging on him.

Again a short pass on 3rd and long results in a punt.  The 3rd down playcalls have been a big issue.

=

Taylor locks down the run again.  Great play.

Long pass irritates the Skins bench.  But the ball was uncatchable.

Good coverage on the checkdown and the Skins are 3 and out.

Even TRich’s great vision can’t help because there was no blocking.

Fletcher smells out the swing pass.

MoMass open and Weeden misses him badly.  This again just can not happen.

Bad punt gives the Skins great field position.

Great throw by Cousins to Hankerson results in a TD Wash.

Young blew coverage.  He was not deep enough and let the pass go behind him.  WE NEED A NEW FS.

– WA 7 CL 7

No team can drive facing 3rd and long every series.  The Browns have 3rd and 8+ almost every series.

End of the 1st Q

Another bad punt from Hodges.  37 yards.

=

Ward does not wrap up and missed a tackle on the RB

Cousins  rifles a ball to a 1st down.  He is getting less nervous each play.

On 4th and 1 the Skins go for an off side by the Browns but it fails.

After the TO the Skins were going to throw but the penalty made them punt.

Weeden has not been accurate up to now in this game.  He has to get yardage on 1st and 2nd down.

Weeden missed Gordon again throwing behind him.

Former Buckeye Worthington knocks down the 2nd down pass.  3rd and long again.

Good effort by MoMass but the pass is only 4 yards and his effort is short of the LTG.

Good punt by Hodges 51 yards.

This game is going Skins direction.  The Browns have looked awful on O.

=

Cousins gets 17 yards and a 1st on a roll out.  If Griffin was in the game the score would be 21-0.

The Browns D leave the Skins best WR Garcon WIDE open.  He catches the ball but the Ref says it hit the ground at the 31.  The challenge was denied.

Royster runs a wheel route and the Skins convert on a 3rd and 9.

Cousins throws off target due to him falling down.  The pressure was not a factor.

44 yard FG

-Wa 10 CL 7 5:46 left

The Browns get an off side and only face a 1st and 5.  But the pass was behind Gordon.

TRich faces a team picture of the D and loses 2.  The O line HAS to get blocks.

Weeden is not seeing the field well.

Gordon is hit by Alexander and the LB is the loser in the contact.  Gordon’s effort gets the 1st

Good crossing pattern gets the Browns 2nd and reasonable.

Little was WIDE open and gets the ball.

Good run by Cribbs on the Wild Cat.

2 minute warning.

The Browns need to get 7 not 3 on this possession.

Great run by TRich for the TD.  Again it was his vision that allowed him to see the hole and get to the Goal line.  Good call because his knee was down.

Gut check time for the O LINE.  They have to push the ball in.  TRich breaks a tackle and scores.

=CL 14 WA 10

The skins are running no huddle and the Browns get a sack.  Rather than calling a TO as soon as the guy goes down Shurmur lets 10 seconds run off the clock.

Again if RG3 was the QB the half time score would be 21-7.

HALFTIME

Weeden starts the half by throwing a pick.  He never saw the LB drifting into the zone.

=

In 3 plays the Skins score.

-WA 17 CL 14

Schwartz is called for illegal procedure.

Another 3 and out by the Browns.  RT Mitchell was late picking up his assignment and Kerrigan blocks the 3rd down pass to TRich which would not have made the LTG anyway.  He was double covered.

That is followed by another bad punt by Hodges.

=

Cousins is hot now.  Good throw to the 15 then a nice pass for the TD.  He read the Blitz and Hankerson was WIDE open for the score.

The Skins see that the Giants are getting pounded 24-0 by the Falcons so this game puts them in a position to win the division with a win next week.

As the sun pulls away from the shore and the ship sinks slowly in the west…

-WA 24 CL 14 7:40

Weeden is staring down the receiver.  Nice throw to Little but a vet DB core would have picked it too.

Weeden again stares down Little and CB Hall nearly picks it.

Browns set up to go for a 4th and 3 on the 41 with Cribbs in the backfield and the Skins call TO.

Weeden on 4th down panics and throws the ball away.  How can you do that?

=

Garcon is called for taunting.  The Browns were lucky that Haden was not called for a push after the taunt.

Brown is called for Illegal contact.  Skins 1st down.

Lots of broken tackles and Ward goes out with a leg injury.

Thanks to good pressure Cousins is called for grounding.  That led to a punt.

Weeden hits 2 in a row to take the ball from the 15 to the Skins 43.

Then he under throws a ball to Little and is picked again this time by Fletcher.

=

The Skins move the ball right down the field.

3rd quarter ends with the ball at the Browns 44.

Browns lose contain and Cousins runs for 6.  With Griffin that would have been 6 points.

Redskins put the game away with a TD by Royster.

-WA 31 CL 14  11:19 LEFT

Nice throw from Weeden to Benjamin 69 yards for the TD.  Weeden finally took advantage of a guy in the Skins backfield that was bagging groceries 2 weeks ago.   Too little too late.

=WA 31 CL 21 10:21

Great throw by Cousins for 32 yards to the Browns 44.

Three broken tackles on Morris again.  The D is tired.

Garcon recovers the fumble on the Browns 8.

Morris runs through a hole the size of the Mississippi River on the back side to put the Browns further out of their misery.

-WA 38 CL 21

A 4 and out by the Browns was expected.

= 3:14 left but the game was over long ago.

Conclusions:

This loss should finally change the minds of fans that Shurmur has to go.  The fans were fooling themselves about the Browns being a “hot” team because they had won 3 straight games.  The fact is that we beat a banged up Steeler team with a 97 year old QB that was sitting watching TV just a couple of weeks ago, a Raider team that has not been a factor in decades and a Chiefs team run by a former Brown’s HC we fired due to lack of wins.

Shurmur’s lack of ability or willingness to allow players to do what they do best has hurt the team.  It will continue to hurt the team as long as he insists on believing he is the smartest guy in the room.  My experience is that those that think they are the smartest guy in the room usually are not.

As I have said before the running game is a mess.  It does not give Richardson a chance to be successful.  The fact that Weeden has no power to audible away from a run when he sees 97 guys in the box is also due to Shurmur’s desire for control.  The OL is not getting to the second level of the D and without that the running game will never be successful.  Part of the issue is the blocking scheme.  The rest is a lack of talent.

Another issue with Shurmur is his total lack of ability to make adjustments on the fly or at half time.  Week after week we see the D adjust to what the Browns are doing but he is not capable of making changes to those adjustments.  We have heard him say over and over ‘I’ll have to check the tape.’  That is a clear indication he does not understand what is going on during the game.  If you don’t understand what is happening you cannot adjust to it.  Making in game adjustments is an essential part of job of a coach.

I have come to believe that Weeden is not the right guy.  I am aware that he has regressed over the season but cannot overlook his lack of accuracy and ability to get the ball out on time.  He misses easy passes that an NFL starter MUST make to be successful.  His decisionmaking is also a big issue.  If he was 22 I would be willing to see if he develops.  But at 29 the team doesn’t have time to waste a couple of years waiting to see if he comes around.  This was a bad choice made worse by bad coaching.

I have also changed my opinion about the future of Heckert.  The latest information I have is that the choice of Shurmur was more Heckert than Holmgren.  That combined with the Weeden choice over guys like Wilson makes his grade much lower.  It was also Heckert that allowed Shurmur to be OC in addition to HC.  Childress was available at the start of the 2011 season.  Despite that, Shurmur insisted he did not need an OC and would do both jobs.  It is clear he is not capable of doing EITHER job effectively.  In my opinion Heckert has to go along with the coach.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  Follow him @NNRonDSN.

 

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Things to look for this week in College and Pro football.

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FOOTball

The Big East is a fraud. Despite the pollsters doing their best to get a BE team into the top 25, the league stinks this year. Several teams have crept into the top 25 only to lose and fall back out the next week. The current top team is Syracuse (6-2) who is tied for 28th in the AP. The league is recruiting BcS #3 TCU to join the league. TCU would love to get into an automatic qualifying conference. The BE desperately needs a team–any team– that can get into the top 25 and stay there. It also would love to have a TV presents in the Dallas market. The only problem is the BE basketball is 16 teams already and TCU does not have a strong basketball tradition.

#3 TCU @ #5 Utah – The loser is out of the Championship picture. The TCU D is #1 in most college stats and the O is 9th in scoring and 9th in rushing. The Utah D is 6th in points allowed and their O is 3rd in scoring. The key may be the difference in opponents. The only big time opponent that Utah has played was a badly over rated #15 Pit team in game 1 of the season. TCU beat a good Oregon State team ranked at the time and Baylor who was not ranked then but is #21 now. TCU wins due to more experience on D and at QB.

#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU – Watch out for Bama. They lost on the road @ South Carolina in their 3rd straight game against a ranked team that had a bye the previous week. I think LSU is W A Y over rated. Bama wins easily on the road.

#15 Arizona @ #13 Stanford – All the talk about this game is about the Stanford #5 scoring O against the Zona #7 points against D. But this game will be decided by the Arizona O vs the Stanford D. Zona is 12th in passing but struggles to put points on the board (#32). The Stanford D will struggle to stop the air attack of the Zona and Arizona wins on the road.

#21 Baylor @ #17 Oklahoma St. – Both passing games are outstanding. Soph QB Griffin has led the Bears to their first bowl eligibility in years and is ranked 10th in passing yards. OKSt has a bad D that is susceptible to the passing game but has the 3rd ranked passing game themselves. The key should be the running game of the Bears and the visitors should walk away with the win.

#18 Arkansas @ #19 South Carolina – Hog QB Mallett leads the 2nd ranked passing game into SC against the Gamecocks 24th ranked D. But Mallett’s passing stats are misleading. He has failed against the top teams (#1 Alabama and #4 Auburn) he has played and needs this game to prove to the scouts that he is a worthy top pick whenever he comes out. SC beat Alabama but lost in their only other game against a top team. They also stumbled against Kentucky. SC plays much better at home and wins this game.

NFL this week:

Chiefs (5-2) @ Raiders (4-4) -2.5 – This game is critical to the Raiders if they want a chance at the playoffs. The Chiefs bring in the top rushing game against the 26th ranked rush D of the Raiders. The secret for KC is not to have to depend on the arm of QB Cassel because he is not reliable. They have played only 2 good teams (Colts and Texans) and lost to both. The Raiders are coming back. The O has scored 92 points in the last 2 games. They win and cover.

Colts (5-2) @ Eagles (4-3) -3 – With the benching of QB Kolb the Eagles are taking a big gamble on keeping the locker room together. QB Vick is solid but will have some rust coming off an injury. I think the Colts cover and should win.

Buccaneers (5-2) @ Falcons (5-2) -8.5 – Buc HC Morris thinks he has the best team in the league. He doesn’t. The Bucs are 30th against the run and that is what the Falcons do best. Atlanta wins but 8.5 is a BIG number I would not touch.

Dolphins (4-3) @ Ravens (5-2) -6 – The Ravens struggled defensively against the Bills last week. Even so, the team is solid. The Dolphins won ugly against the Bengals last week. QB Henne is not having a great season and the Dolphin O line will struggle against the Raven D. The Ravens win and should cover.

Best Bet: Giants +5.5 vs Seahawks.

Is 2011 really the year of the QB? Probably not. Most mock drafts show 3 QBs going in the first round of the 2011 draft. There is no question that a lot of NFL teams need QBs but it is not at all clear that the under class guys like Mallett in Arkansas and Luck at Stanford, or even Wilson at NC State will come out. The key is going to be the Collective Bargaining Agreement. DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and the owners need to get a deal done by declaration day in mid January 2011. There is no chance that the deal will be done by that time. I don’t see any of the under class men coming out without a deal signed prior to the declaration date. QB Locker (Washington) will go in the 1st round but that is it. Florida State QB Ponder will go in round 2, with Delaware QB Devlin and Nevada QB Kaepernick being wild cards. Their draft position will depend on the all star games and the combine.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

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Technorati Tags: DeMaurice Smith,NFLPA,CBA,Collective Bargaining agreement,NFL Owners,Mallett,Luck,Locker,Vick,Kolb,Devlin,Ponder,Kaepernick
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Week 8 College football results — What did we learn?

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wilson football

This week I went 5-1 in top game calls losing only the Texas/Baylor debacle. That puts the total to 22-10 for a 69% correct.

In the pros I went 3-2 which puts the against the spread at 14-8 which is 64% correct.

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College Football

#1 Auburn 51 Mississippi 31 – The Auburn D struggled to control the Rebel O and that is going to be a problem. They will be safe with all but the Iron Bowl where Alabama looks like the winner at this point.

#2 Oregon 53 USC 32 – This was the biggest threat that the Ducks had faced all season. They have two more tough games against #15 Arizona and at Oregon State to close the regular season. They should win both and be in the BcS Championship game.

#18 Iowa 37 #5 Michigan State 6 – After a home loss against Wisconsin, the Iowa D was back in a big way and stuffed the Spartan O completely. Ohio State had better watch out when they visit the Hawkeyes.

#14 Nebraska 31 #6 Missouri 17 – The Tiger O could not match the speed of the Nebraska D. Nebraska is the best team in the 10-15 range and will give the Big 12 South winner nightmares in the league title game.

#8 Utah 28 Air Force 23 – The Utah D struggled to control the running game of the Air Force but few teams run the ball as well as they do. This was a tough game and next week Utah gets a visit from #3 TCU an easy win over UNLV. One of those non-BCS teams will be eliminated from the race. They also have to play @ Notre Dame and finish the season against BYU.

#9 Oklahoma, #11 Ohio State, and #13 Stanford all had easy wins against inferior competition. But all three face some tough games coming up. A big game in the Big 10+1 will be the OSU Iowa game on Nov. 13th. But they face an up and down Penn State team next week that could be a trap game.

#15 Arizona 29 UCLA 21 – The Arizona D was pushed around a little by a very inconsistent UCLA O. The Wildcats have a tough finishing schedule including @ Stanford next week followed by a home game vs. USC, a visit to #1 Oregon and a home game against rival Arizona State. They will not survive that gauntlet and will lose 2 of the 4.

The NFL

Colts 30 Texans 17 – The Colts now have the O running on 5 of 6 cylinders and were able to control the game against the upstart Texans. This team is starting to look like a playoff tough out.

Pats 28 Vikings 18 – The Pats looked good and the Vikes are dead man walking. Farve is not the only Vike that will not make it to 2011. Check out my comments on both the release of WR Moss and the Vike situation on my News, Notes and Rumors page on NFLDraftDog.com.

Packers 9 Jets 0 – The loss caused the Jets to fall out of my Top spot. The problem is the O that could not run when the passing game failed to produce. A loss to the NFC is not as costly as one to another AFC team in positioning for the playoffs. Still, the Jets need to get their O back on track. The Pack stays alive in a very winnable NFC North. All the other teams in that division are imploding.

Jaguars 35 Cowgirls 17 – The Girls looked pathetic against one of the weakest teams in the league. The Girls are in serious trouble. One draft guru has them picking 8th and selecting a QB with that pick. The Jags are struggling in every aspect of the game including selling tickets. This will help but Vince Lombardi couldn’t win regularly with this roster.

Dolphins 22 Bengals 14 – While everything fell the Bengals way in 09 it is falling apart in 2010. The O has been a major disappointment. The passing game has not produced anything close to what was expected. The Dolphins survived in a game where they did not play particularly well.

The Raiders, Lions and Rams all won and are getting much better.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

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What to look for this weekend

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football

College Football

#1 Ohio State -3.5 @ #18 Wisconsin – The Bucks go into the Badger Den to play a talented team in a nasty mood after being upset by Michigan State 2 weeks ago. The key to the game will be the Badger running game which is 11th in the nation (241 yards a game) against the 5th ranked OSU D. Look for the Bucks to run the ball more against Wisconsin to keep RBs Clay and White off the field. OSU has changed RBs with RB Saine becoming more of a receiver and RB Herron becoming the runner. Too much of the running game has been QB Pryor. The Bucks have to get better run blocking from the O line. OSU got an additional incentive when ESPN projected the team 5th in the BCS rankings. OSU wins and covers.

#5 Nebraska -9.5 vs. Texas – The Horns have not lost 3 games in a row since George Washington was inaugurated or it seems that long. Texas want the game more than Nebraska but has too many holes to win the game. Nebraska has nightmares about last years Big 12 Championship game they felt was stolen by Texas. The Huskers are 1 dimensional ranking 2nd in rushing but 106th in passing yards. The key is can Texas stop the run. Nebraska faces their toughest test in the next 3 weeks. After this game, they go to #20 Oklahoma State, then host #21 Missouri. The Huskers win but it could be very close.

#12 Arkansas @ #7 Auburn -4 – Auburn may be the most under rated team in the top 25. They were ranked 22nd and 23rd in the preseason polls. The next 2 game will tell us a lot about them. After hosting the Hogs they host #9 LSU. Then at the end of the season they go to Alabama. Given the fact they play in the SEC and they have such a tough schedule, they are in a position to challenge for a spot in the BCS Championship game. Auburn has already beaten #10 South Carolina. Arkansas lost to the only ranked team they have played. Auburn will use QB Newton to challenge the Hog D which is 13th in points allowed. The Hogs will use their 3rd ranked passing game with QB Mallett. The Hogs passing game threatens the Auburn D but Auburn wins.

#15 Iowa -3 @ Michigan – The Michigan O ranked 14th in points faces the #1 D in points against. The Blue will find the Iowa D too tough. The Blue running game is way too dependent on QB Robinson and the very tough Iowa D line will limit him. The Iowa O takes maximum advantage of the non-existent Blue D and Iowa wins and covers.

UPSET ALERT:

Illinois @ #13 Michigan State -7 – MSU has come through a very tough and emotional period with the wins over Notre Dame #11 Wisconsin and #18 Michigan and the heart problems of their coach. Now they face an under rated Illini D that gave OSU problems. Illinois is 21st in points against. This is the kind of game the the Spartans have struggled with in previous years.

NFL Key games:

Ravens (4-1) @ Pats (3-1) -3 – The Ravens lead the NFC North and bring a top D against a Pats O that has struggled. Take the points.

Eagles (3-2) E @ Falcons (4-1) – The Falcons got a gift last week vs the Browns. Now they get the Eagles D that will be blitzing every chance they get. The Browns got some pressure on QB Ryan. The Birds will get more. But without QB Vick, the Eagle O won’t go. Falcons win.

Saints (3-2) -4.5 @ Bucs (3-1) – The Saints need to win this division game badly particularly after a bad loss against the Cards last week. The O has moved the ball in the air (5th in passing yards) but is 31st in rushing yards and all their RBs are hurt. They can not take another division loss. The Bucs have had a lucky season so far. That luck ends and the Saints win.

Colts (3-2) -3 @ Redskins (3-2) The Colts D has been MIIA (Missing In In-Action). They are 3rd in scoring but 16th in scoring D. They also don’t seem to win the close games anymore. The running game has fallen and can’t get up. It is 28th in yards. The Redskins have been playing well but the Colts win.

Teams in trouble:

Chargers (2-3) -7.5 @ Rams (2-3) – SD needs to start winning if they want to get into the playoffs. They are notoriously slow starters and this is about the time they kick into gear. They will get pro bowl LT McNeill back but not WR Jackson. The problem has been the D which is 21st in scoring D. LB Merriam is on “minor injury” IR and must be cut when he recovers. The team is not getting a good pass rush. That should not be a problem against the Rams. SD wins.

Desperation Bowl:

Cowboys (1-3) @ Vikings (1-3) -2.5 – Boys owner Jones said he would not fire HC Phillips “as of now.” If that doesn’t scare Phillips, nothing will. The Boys have been finding new ways to lose. They are not mentally tough enough to win the close games this year. I did an analysis of what is wrong with the Boys on this weeks edition of NFLDraftDog.com’s News Notes and Rumors.

The Vikes have problems of their own. Their 89 year old QB Farve has elbow trouble. They are 21st in passing yards and 29th in scoring O with just 15.8 points a game. The D has been playing well and are in the top 7 in total yards and scoring. The Farve turnovers have killed key drives and ended the team’s chance to win games.

The Vikes are mentally tougher than the Boys and win the Desperation Bowl.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

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What to look for in this weekends games.

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football

Baseball playoffs

We would like to thank the Rays, Twins and Reds for stopping by in the playoffs. Please pick up your parting gifts as you leave. The series will be between the Yankees and the Phillies.

College Football

#1 Alabama @ #19 South Carolina – The ol’ Ball Coach will wish he still had the talent from his Florida days. Bama wins

#2 Ohio State v. Indiana – Forget about the injuries on O, you and I could score the Indiana D if you were having a bad game. The OSU D stops a good Indy O and OSU wins.

#3 Oregon @ Washington St. – Oregon runs up 50+ points and makes a case for jumping over OSU into 2nd.

#8 Auburn @ Kentucky – Auburn QB Cam Newton passes a bad Ky D silly. Auburn wins big.

#9 Arizona vs. Oregon St. – Az had a major letdown after a big win over Iowa and squeaked by Cal. They had better not have a let down here because the Beavers are tough. They have lost 2 games to top 6 teams.

#11 Arkansas @ Texas A&M – Ark is banged up after getting thumped by #1 Bama. The week off should help. TAM lost a tough game last week against Oklahoma St. Arkansas should win but this could be close.

#12 LSU @ #14 Florida – This should be the game of the week. Both teams have serious flaws but play hard. LSU has to keep the turnovers down. I think Florida wins close in a minor upset.

#23 Florida St. @ #13 Miami – FSU looked bad against the only tough team they have played Oklahoma. Miami played close against #2 Ohio St and got a nice win last week against a good Clemson team. Miami wins.

NFL

Ravens -7 vs. Broncos – The Ravens are for real but could have a let down (and some injuries) from the win last week over Pit. Ravens should win and cover the spread.

Bucks @ Bengals -7 – The Bengals are better than they looked against the Browns last week. They win and cover with the running game leading the way.

Browns @ Falcons -3 – The Browns winning streak ends at 1. Falcons cover easily.

BEST BET – Saints -6 @ Cards – A change of QBs by the Cards won’t help. Saints cover easily.

BIG GAME OF THE WEEK – Vikings @ Jets -4 This is a must win for both. The Vikes are the better team but are not playing like it. The game will boil down to the play of the of the QBs. Farve will be pressured and is not having the season he did last year. The addition of WR Moss will help next week but not that much this week. The Jets had better cover Moss on the fly pattern or they will get burned. The key to the Jets is the play of QB Sanchez. As he develops, the team will get better. The Jets will not have the running game they enjoyed last week because of the Vike’s DTs the Williams brothers.

The Vikes need it more and win a close game.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

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