What to look for in the Sunday Divisional round games.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

nfl

Cowboys @ Vikings

Cowboys

Prior to this season the Boys folded in December. When JJ issued his threat to blow up the team and the coaching staff this season unless the Boys got into the playoffs and did well, the team got the message. This team has played a lot better than they did in previous seasons but I am not on the Boy bandwagon yet.

The O has been solid but the last two games were played against an Eagle D that seemed to give up after being in a position to win the NFC East. In the upset win over the Saints, QB Romo had a QB rating of 104. In the two games against the Eagles he had ratings of 86.1 and 106. That is a great improvement over last year when he finished the year with ratings of 44.9, 66.2 and 55.8 in the 3 losses. The improved Romo is the key to difference in this years team. The Boys will need as much passing as he can generate because they will not be able to get much on the ground against the Vikes.

RB Jones ran for 148 yards but that is misleading. Take out the two long runs and he had a 4 yard average. That is VERY average. Starter Barber is probable but is coming off a knee and won’t be close to 100%.

The other key to the turnaround is the play of the O line. The line had been living on an undeserved rep. In the latter part of the season they started to play up to that rep. They will have to against an outstanding D line of the Vikes.

The Cowboy D has also had the habit of playing up or down to the competition. The key will be pressure on QB Favre. If they can pressure him, they will have a chance. The pass D ranked 20th giving up over 200 yards per game. Balanced offenses give them problems. The Vikes can be very balanced when they chose to be.

Vikings

The Vikes tend to throw too much on O. That habit tends to get them in trouble. QB Favre can light up the scoreboard but can also throw enough picks to kill the team’s playoff hopes. The Vikes ended the season just 2-3 in December including an embarrassing loss to the Panthers. Favre had a passer rating of 73.7 in that loss. The team ranked 8th in passing.

The running game is solid with the leagues best back Peterson. But he has 1 100 yard game in the last half of the season. The O line had not been opening holes for the running game and Peterson has gotten beaten up. Peterson has to get over 100 yards for the Vikes to win. That is going to require the O line to play at a higher level. G Hutchinson is probable for the game. He would help the O line a great deal.

The Viking D is solid as well. It ranks 2nd against the run but 19th against the pass. The key to the Vikes winning the game is shutting down the Boys running game and forcing Romo into mistakes. Given enough pressure, he will make errors.

This is a very hard game to call but I think the Vikes have just enough to beat the Boys. The Cowboys will not be able to run and will not be able to keep up with Favre and the Vikes.

Jets @ Chargers

Jets

The Jets beat a Bengals team that was inexperienced in the playoffs. That is not the case with the Chargers. The game will depend on how hot Jet QB Sanchez can get. The Jets took advantage of an easy schedule and even then needed gifts from both the Bengals and the Colts to get into the playoffs. The O has the top ranked running game. That is a good thing because in the last 3 weeks of the season, Sanchez had passer ratings of 49.7, 78, and 60.2 and threw just 1 TD with 9 picks. That is not going to scare experienced playoff teams. RB Thomas is their top guy but he had only 3 100 yard games in the last half of the season. He is 31 and they hope it is not an indication that he is showing his age.

The Jets are going to have to be able to throw better than that to win.

The Jet D ranked 1st in scoring D, passing D and yards. They are 8th against the run. They have been playing very well under Coach Ryan. However, they have not beaten an O like they will against the Chargers.

Chargers

QB Rivers has had an outstanding season. He has a passer rating of 104. The running game is ranked 31st which caused Rivers to throw a lot. The passing game is ranked 5th. He has a solid group of receivers WRs Jackson and Floyd and TE Gates. The running game has Tomlinson but he is a shadow of what he was a few years ago. Neither he nor RB Sproles has gotten the running going. The Chargers used the franchise tag on Sproles. That was a mistake because he will never be able to be a starting RB. The O line came together after recovering from early season injuries. It still can not run block.

The Charger D is middle of the road in terms of yards but ranks 11th in scoring D. NT Scott is their 3rd guy in that spot but has come on nicely. The loss of All Pro NT Williams has reduced the ability to stop the run and the team ranks 20th in that department. They are 11th against the pass and have a pair of pro bowl LB in Merriman and Phillips. They have not played up to their rep this season. The D backfield is led by CB Cromartie. The D can play at a very high level but is inconsistent.

Given all that, the Chargers should be able to score on the Jets through the air. I am not sure that QB Sanchez can keep up with Rivers. The Chargers win.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

26-7.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Football,nfl playoffs,divisional round,Cowboys,Vikings,Favre,Peterson,Jets,Bengals,Chargers,Colts,Thomas,Thomlinson,Sproles,Rivers,Sanchez

What to look for in football this weekend in College football.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

football

#2 Alabama 26 Auburn 21 Every run for an undefeated season has some close calls. But the Auburn D exposed a flaw in the Tide. They can’t protect QB McElroy from a speed rusher on the edge. That will be noticed by both Florida and whatever team they play in a bowl. If the game was not for bragging rights in the state, you could say that Bama got caught in a perfect sandwich game. That was not the problem. Bama played a very average game against a very average Auburn team.

#3 Texas 49 Texas A&M 39 The Horns won but their pass defense looked terrible. IF they have a healthy QB Lee, Nebraska can exploit the Texas zone by running crossing routes and flooding a zone. TAM gave the Horn D fits all game long. Had a couple of bounces gone the other way, the 6-5 Aggies would have won.

#5 Cincinnati 49 Illinois 36 Cincy QB Pike looks like a pro prospect. He has a nice delivery and is accurate on all the passes you ask for. The only question is arm strength which I think is over rated. I will be doing a complete analysis for NFLDraftDog.com soon. The Cincy D stunk the place up against a below average Illini O. They are going to have to get a lot better on pass coverage to win against Pitt next week. Pitt QB Stull is 4th in QB efficiency in the FBS coming into the WV game.

Saturday

Florida St. @ #1 Florida This is another rivalry game but Florida should win. While the Gators are playing for a shot at another title, FSU is playing to keep the heat off of their coach. QB Tebow has a QB rating of 155 and the FSU pass D has been burned regularly this season. FSU will play tough but Florida is just too good.

Georgia @ #7 Georgia Tech This is a chance for Tech to uphold the honor of the ACC against a middle of the road SEC team. As always, GT must be able to run the ball on 1st and 2nd down to be competitive. If the Dogs can get out in front, GT will struggle because they can not be successful passing when they have to. GT should win but don’t be surprised if the Dogs upset the Yellow Jackets.

#12 Oklahoma St. @ Oklahoma This game is critical for the BcS hopes of the non-BcS conference teams. A 2 loss OkState team would get the BcS invitation over an undefeated TCU if for no other reason than their fans travel more. That is a slimy way to pick which team should get into the best bowls. But the Sooners have more depth than State and will win.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,BCS,BCS Championship,Alabama,Auburn,Texas,Texas A&M,Cincinnati,Illinois,Florida,Florida State,Georgia Tech,Georgia,Oklahoma,Oklahoma State,Pitt,West Virginia,TCU,Nebraska
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 17th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What to look for this weekend in College Football.

What to look for this weekend in College Football.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

football

Arkansas @ 1 Florida

The Gator D shut the LSU O down last week to 3 points and less than 100 yards passing. This week Arkansas brings in another very hot offense led by former Michigan QB Mallett. The Hogs beat Auburn last week but this team plays much better at home. Look for Gator QB Tebow to look more comfortable and do more passing. The Hog D is playing better but is no match for Tebow et. al. The Gators win comfortably.

22 So. Carolina @ 2 Alabama

Alabama went to Mississippi and pummeled the Rebs 22-3. The score should have been a lot worse except for the inefficient passing game. Bama QB McElroy was only 15-35. But next to the over hyped Reb QB Snead he looked great. Snead was 11-34 with 4 interceptions. The Bama D is outstanding.

SC is much better at home where it beat then #4 Mississippi 16-10. They do not play well on the road but have a solid O led by QB Garcia (134 qb rating) and 3 good RBs. They are going to have a tough time moving against the Bama D. SC squeaked out a win last week at home against Kentucky but they will not leave Bama with one. Alabama wins.

20 Oklahoma VS. 3 Texas

This is the game of the week. The key will be how well Sooner QB Bradford really is. He was not tested too much last week against a very weak Baylor team. He will get a lot more pressure from the Texas D front 7. The Sooner running game is supposed to be outstanding but so far has not produced as advertised. Instead, they have depended on the passing game. Bradford was hurt against BYU but came back last week and looked good (27/49 389yds 1TD 0 int). That was Baylor but this is Texas.

Texas has looked steady but not spectacular against only 1 good team. They were asleep last week against Colorado until the second half. That will get them beaten badly this week. But this game is “THE” game for both teams. The Texas running game is not as good as expected either. The Oklahoma O line and the young WRs are the weak points. They won’t run the ball well and Texas wins in a tough game.

4 Virginia Tech @ 18 Georgia Tech

Since the opening loss to Alabama, no team has looked better than VTk. They beat 2 ranked teams back to back and are playing outstanding D. QB Taylor looks better each week and is making good decisions with the ball. He has a passer rating of 159.

GTk has to get out to a quick start to have any shot. They have a great running game but VTk will load the D line to take the running game away. The it will be up to GTk QB Nesbitt to move the ball in the air. He has a passer rating of 160 but is completing only 50.7 percent of his throws. Most of the TDs have been long runs after the catch because the opponent is playing the run. Nesbitt will have to complete some passes early in the game and on 1st and 2nd down because he will be blitzed heavily on 3rd and long. He will not be able to complete enough to score against VTk. VTk wins easily.

6 USC @ 25 Notre Dame

The difference in the game will be the USC D. It will stymie the ND O and harass QB Clausen. He will have to get rid of the ball very quickly which means that his WRs will have to get open. WR Rudolph has big shoes to fill due to the injury of Floyd. RB Allen is OK but the O line is no match for the USC D front 7. ND struggled to beat Washington last week.

USC has had 2 weeks to prepare for the game and QB Barkley is back. That gives USC a lift. The D has played very well despite losing a number of players last year. Forget all the talk around ND that “this is THE year.” It is not and USC will win.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,NFL Draft,Rankings,College Football,Arkansas,Florida,South Carolina,Alabama,Oklahoma,Texas,Bradford,Snead,Kentucky,Baylor,Virginia Tech,Georgia Tech,Nesbitt,USC,Notre Dame
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 10th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Around the NFL in week 5

Around the NFL in week 5

Tags: , , , , , , ,

NFL

ATL @ SF The Falcon passing game is not producing the big plays that it did last year. SF’s D is playing outstanding football despite not having a great deal of talent. They have taken on the attitude of their coach. The O needs to catch that same attitude. RB Gore is as good as any in the league but is dinged up. The QB and the O line need better talent.

This is a big test for the young Falcons O in particular. The O line struggled with the Pats variety of blitzes last week. The backs and TEs will have to do a better job of picking up the blitz because they will see a lot of them from the 49ers. The Falcons will pass it and win.

IN @ TN You probably wonder why I would list a game between 4-0 Indy and 0-4 Tennessee but I am OFF THE TENNESSEE bandwagon. I fell off and bumped my head. Indy wins and the Titans are out of the playoffs. Tennessee has the 31st ranked pass defense is going to be tested by the Colts. The Colts win.

NE @ DV This is the game that shows that the Broncos are just an average team. The Pats run the ball down their throats and the Denver 3-4 will not have an answer. On D, the Pats have to blitz to prevent teams from eating their DBs up. If Orton has time to throw the ball he can give the Pats DBs fits. He will not get time and the Bronco running game will continue to struggle. The Pats win.

CN @ BA The Ravens lost their first game of the year last week at NE. Now they are tied with the Bengals for first place in the toughest division in the league. This years Bengal team is significantly better than they have been in the past. The D grew up last year without the O being able to move the ball. The Bengal D got a lot of practice under fire.

QB Palmer is back and throwing well but not quite as well as he was before the injury. He has a QB rating of only 75.2 and has been sacked 9 times in 4 games. The Bengal O has been inconsistent looking great one week and inept the next. But the running game is getting better with former 1st round pick of the Bears RB Benson averaging 4.4 a carry. The O line has struggled at times protecting Palmer. They will be challenged severely by the Raven front 7.

The Bengals will hang with the Ravens but short of another below average performance by QB Flacco (27-47 247y 2tds 1int) the Ravens will win.

NJ @ Mia The Jets need a win over the Fish. The Jet D has played much better this year than last. They are doing a better job of putting pressure on the passer but still have some questions in the backfield with injuries. QB Sanchez looks good but still has trouble reading coverages and adjusting to pressure in his face.

The Chad Henne era started in Dolphin land earlier than they expected with the season ending injury to Pennington. Henne holds the ball too long and has struggled reading defenses as well. He has been sacked 7 times in a game and a half.

The Jets will come at Henne with enough blitz combinations that he will long for a return to baseball. The Jets put another dent in the playoff hopes of the Dolphins and get the win.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,NFL Draft,Falcons,49ERS,Colts,Titans,Patroits,Broncos,Bengals,Ravens,Palmer,Gore,Orton,Benson,Bears,Jets,Dolphins,Henne,Pennington

Around the NFL for 10/03/09

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

football

Top games of the week

GB @ MIN The battle of the QBs should be more than interesting. The Vikes come in undefeated getting a breathtaking pass for a win last week. Favre is playing well but he has to do just a little with the great running game of Peterson and Taylor. Taylor is going to have to increase his 2.4 per attempt average to get the ball much. Rogers is playing great and the D has come around using the 3-4 faster than expected. The Vikes win in a close game.

BA @ NE The Ravens may be the best team in the league. QB Joe Flacco has a qb rating of over 100 and the combination of rbs have moved the chains. The goal line back McGahee has scored 5 TDs in just 3 games and is making his fantasy owners very happy. The Pats are OK on O but their D has deteriorated badly from age and neglect. The Ravens win and it might not be close.

NJ @ NO The Jets get exposed as a good but not great team. The Saints have always mistreated scoreboards around the league with one of the most potent Os in recent memory. The D has been a problem but is playing much better. Ex-Jet MLB Vilma has been looking forward to this game for a long time. He has stabilized the D getting everyone in the right spot. The D makes Jets rookie QB Sanchez look like a rookie and the Saints win.

SD @ PT This game is a must win for the Steelers. They will know if the Ravens win their game against the Pats before the kickoff. At 1-2 the Steelers can not afford another early loss in the conference. The Chargers should get LT back this week at least for part time duty. They have to generate a rushing game to go with QB Rivers passing O. The blame for a lack of running is shared by the backs and the O line that has not been getting the push they need. Pitt is tough to run the ball against and win the game in a low scoring squeaker.

DA @ DV Paul Brown once said “I’d rather be lucky than good. Good teams lose.” No team has been as lucky as Denver. Their D is much less than suspect and their O is depending on QB Orton because the running game has been invisible. Dallas is better than it has played and needs to show us something by beating a very over rated Bronco team. Dallas wins.

Stinker of the week – As usual, there are a lot of candidates for this “award” in the week 4 schedule. CN @ CL will make the battle of Little Big Horn look close. DT @ CH will insure the Lion winning streak ends at 1. OK @ HO who cares?

But there is one game that the league should have to pay the fans to watch—TB @ WA When you lose to a team that has not won a game in over a year, you deserve to be ranked among the rankest in the league. TB isn’t much better. I feel sorry for the announcers in this debacle. It will be a very long afternoon with the ineptness broken only by plays that will show up soon in Football Follies.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,Fantasy Football,Packers,Vikings,Ravens,Patroits,Jets,Saints,Chargers,Steelers,Cowboys,Broncos,Bengals,Browns,Lions,Bears,Raiders,Texans,Buccaneers,Redskins

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by the Wordpress platform and beach rentals.