What to look for in the Saturday Divisional round games.

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

nfl

Cards @ Saints

Cards QB Warner had just another day at the office. Against one of the most improved Ds in the league he went 29-33 for 379 yards and 5 TDs without a pick. The Pack had no answer for Warner. They blitzed him and he picked man to man coverage apart. They rushed 3 and kept 8 in coverage and he found holes in the zones. The O line protected Warner for the most part and sub WRs did well to make up for the loss of WR Bolden.

On D, the Cards and the Pack allowed the score board to look like the something out of Pinball Wizard. Neither D could put consistent pressure on the others QB. The Pack was so focused on Warner that they allowed RB Wells 6.5 yards per attempt. They were lucky that their O was putting up so many points or Wells would have had more than his 14 carries. If the Cards are going to have any chance to stage the upset the D is going to have to play like they did last year in the playoff run to the Super Bowl. The passing game of the Saints is equally lethal. The Cards are 23rd in pass D. The D may be missing DE Campbell, LBs Davis and Hayes. If they can’t go the D will be in even more trouble. Get your popcorn ready, this could be a wild offensive show.

Saints

The Saint’s D coordinator Williams isn’t sleeping too well this week. He has nightmares of Card WRs running wide open through his D backfield. The Saints D had played much better this year than last but it has had a tough time against high percentage passing attack. The good news is that CB Jenkins is hampered by a hamstring but is expected to play. The bad news is that Boldin is optimistic about playing as well. The Saints are ranked 26th in pass D. The key to the game for the Saints D will be their ability to pressure Warner better than the Pack did.

The Saints O is outstanding. They are 1st in both yards and points, 4th in passing and 6th in rushing. The team stumbled into the playoffs with 3 straight losses. The O is going to have to play like they did early in the season and not in the last 3 games. They scored only 44 points in those losses. The 23-10 loss to the Panthers could have been explained by the team resting a lot of the key players but not the losses to the Boys and the Bucs. The problem was not rushing. They ran for 124 against the Bucs. The problem was not turnovers or completion percentage. The Saints may get RB Thomas back. That will help them get a running game going again.

The problem was they could not get the ball into the endzone. The game will depend on the Saints finding their scoring punch again. If they are forced to kick field goals to score, they will lose.

Both teams have a questionable D. But the Saints are struggling on O and the Cards are hotter than the sun. I will go out on a limb and pick the Cards in a huge upset.

Ravens @ Colts

Ravens

The Birds did a great job pressuring the Pats D with the running game. The O scored 33 points but got a lot of help from the Pats. They won’t get that kind of help from the Colts.

The O is going to have to get more out of the passing game. They won 3 of their last 4 games but those wins were against the dregs of the NFL. Against a team that scores like the Colts, 4-10 for 34 yards and a pick will not get it done. QB Flacco has not stepped up to the challenge like most expected him to do. The O line isn’t the problem, accuracy and lack of game breaking receivers are the critical issues. The coaching staff doesn’t trust Flacco to win games for them and they shouldn’t. He has crumbled in big games like against the Steelers. The running game is solid but won’t score often enough to keep the Ravs in the game. They will have to depend on the passing game and it will let them down.

The weakest part of the Ravs D is the pass defense. They are 5th against the run and 8th against the pass. They depend on pressure on the QB to control the pass. They won’t be able to get enough pressure on Manning to stop the Colts passing game.

Colts

The Colt O is devastating but it is one dimensional. They are #2 in passing but dead last in the running game. They are going to have to run the ball a little to keep the chains moving. The one advantage they have is that they can play catchup really well. Manning is playing at a very high level. The team lost 2 games but in both cases Manning and company were pulled early.

The Colt D has played great in some games and lousy in others. They rank 24th against the run and will get a lot of practice stopping it against the Ravs. The key injuries on D are all probable. That should help as the D has suffered a lot of injuries during the season. The rest the wounded got will help them.

The key to stopping the running game has been S Sanders but he is on IR again. The Colts’ D will struggle stopping the run but will get the win due to their O.

Saturday I will discuss the Sunday games.

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

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,Super Bowl,Cardinals,Saints,Warner,Ravens,Colts,Manning,Flacco,sportsims.net

Niblets from around the net for 4/18/09

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

Fryingpan Sports By Bill Smith

nib

Best Email this week:

from TheonlyJustice on Mangini seems to be eliminating the leaders on the Browns.

I would feel a little better if Mangini was at least talking to the media a little .I can understand a new coach wanting to keep quiet a little bit about the off season and pre-draft goings-on, but all we have heard here in the Cleveland area is very little and less.

He has already turned off our best defensive player from last year Shaun Rogers. And he isn’t sure if he should use the 3-4 or 4-3 defense , has he looked at the films from last season? We DO NOT have the right linebackers or speed at D-End to keep the same D as Romeo used. And he is saying Derek and Brady will have to compete for the #1 QB, we in C Town are fed up with QB completions after one has had a chance to prove himself and for most of the time didn’t pass the test, Derek fooled the other teams for the first half of the 2007 season, and looked terrible last season. Anderson has a strong arm, but he CAN NOT throw the touch pass, so unless the Browns are trying to trade Derek they are going down the wrong path if they are seriously thinking about keeping Derek over Brady. After all the last regime went through to get Brady it would be terrible to trade Quinn before he gets the real chance to prove himself here.

You are exactly correct about the total lack of touch by Anderson. Given the number of teams that are starting stiffs, the “QB contest” is an attempt to build up the perceived value of Anderson. GM’s may be dumb but they are not stupid. It won’t work and if the Browns find a candidate for a trade, Anderson’s value will be a late 2 or 3 with a 2010 conditional choice based on performance.

Updates on previous columns:

The NFL and NBA should be brought before the Supreme Court.

There have been a couple of comments about the Bill of Rights applying only to government actions. That was true until the 1930’s and that was exactly what the founding fathers had intended. With the progressives taking over the court, the actual text and original intent of the Constitution has not mattered. They consider the Constitution a “living” document that must be expanded and contracted to address the political ends of these judges. Recent court decisions have added rights to the Constitution. For example, the right of privacy is nowhere in the text of the Constitution.

Because the individuals that have been denied entrance to the NFL and NBA are minority, the issue of racial discrimination is one area that should be explored. Frankly the education that public schools give to inner city kids is a violation of their civil rights. No amount of money spent on bad teachers and worse schools will make up for that. Until the inner city parents are given vouchers to allow them to pick a private school for their children, forcing athletes to go to college even for a year is unfair. The educational disadvantage forced on the players by government is a legitimate argument for striking down the rules.

The NFL shot itself in the foot when it allowed 19 year old DT Amobi Okoye into the league a couple of years ago. Okoye has proved that a 19 year old can not only compete but succeed in the NFL. He was a 1st round draft choice. Based on the Okoye case, age discrimination is another area that could be challenged. While it is normally the older people that use this aspect of civil rights law, this is another possibility.

The market for Owens will tell the Browns a lot about the trade value of Edwards.

It looks like Cleveland will trade WR Braylan Edwards to the Giants. After the Giants cut Plaxico “shoot me now!” Burress, the team really needs at least one and probably 2 WRs. Typically it takes a WR rookie two to three years to become productive. That is why they want Edwards. The Browns are asking for a 1st (29th overall) and a 3rd (91st overall). The reason that the deal has not been done is that the Giants are trying to get in on the action for Cardinal WR Anquan Boldin. Despite the fact that he has 2 years remaining on his contract, he wants the same 10 mil a year deal that his running mate Larry Fitzgerald who signed a 10 mil a year deal earlier. Both Fitzgerald and QB Kurt Warner have offered to give up 1 mil each to help get Boldin a new deal with Arizona.

My analysis: Boldin would likely cost more draft choices and money than Edwards but is much less of a head case. Chad Johnson (Cincinnati) is also available. One of them will be a Giant before the draft day 1 ends. The Titans and Ravens are also interested in a veteran wr.

The analysis of the Cutler trade.

Several draft prognosticators have Seattle taking QB Marc Sanchez (USC) with the 4th pick. It is looking more and more like the Seahawks will take Sanchez to replace an aging QB Matt Hasselbeck. There are several reports indicating that including one from respected NFL analyst Todd McShay, of ESPN. Now the Broncos have announced they will bring Sanchez in for a workout. They have 2 1st round picks 12 (1200 value) and 18 (900 value). They may be interested in trading up to get Sanchez. While many mock drafts show Sanchez falling to the Broncos at 12, that is not likely to happen.

My analysis: It would have been impossible for the Bears to trade up to get to #3 to get him. As I said in my column, the price for Cutler was not at all excessive. If you are going to be sure to get Sanchez, you have to trade into the 3rd pick worth 2200 points. Denver can do that with both 1s and a 3rd because they have an extra 3. No other team is in a position to trade up that high. I predict that no trade will happen and Sanchez will be taken in the 4th spot by Seattle or 8th by Jacksonville.

You draft out of fear of failure and you will fail.

You never have enough good big men.

It happens ever year around this time. The big guys are moving up the draft board. The reason this happens so frequently is fear. O line are the “safest” picks in the draft normally. If you draft a guy as a LT and he doesn’t have the feet to play there, try RT or G. That can protect a 20-30 million dollar guarantee. D line is somewhat more risky but both groups are far safer than QB or WR.

Fresh niblets:

The Bills trade LT Jason Peters to the Eagles.

The deal will send Peters, a multiple year pro bowl player, to the Eagles for their 2nd 1st round pick (28th), a 4th this year and a 4th to a 6th next year according to John Clayton. ESPN.com reported that the 2010 choice is a 6th. Peters will get a new extension of 4 years for 60 million added to his current 2 year deal. That deal includes 53 mil in new money.

My analysis: Peters played much better in 07 than he did in 08. Like several O linemen, he earned his pro bowl in 08 on rep. When he is interested, he is an outstanding tackle. A former TE, he has very good feet but went undrafted. He was signed by the Bills and converted to LT.

Derek Anderson (QB Cleveland) refused to have surgery on his injured knee.

Last year Anderson hurt his left MCL after the being hit more than a baseball in an Indians game. Eric “the silent” Mangini has refused to answer questions about Anderson’s condition (or anything else for that matter). EM has said that Anderson and Quinn will battle for the starting spot. GM George Kokinis said “Derek’s 100 percent.”

My analysis: The Browns will need both of them and 3 or 4 more unless the O line plays better in 09.

The Bills sign RB Rhodes.

The Bills signed former RB of the Colts Dominic Rhodes to a contract. He will have to fill in for suspended RB Marshawn Lynch who may be out 3 games due to a plea bargain on a gun charge.

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 .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: Mangini,Rogers,Browns,NFL,NFL Drat,Anderson,Quinn,GM,NBA,NBA Draft,Supreme Court,Constitution,civil rights,Bill of Rights,Okoye,Edwards,Giants,Ownes,Boldin,Fitzgerald,Warner,Burress,Cutler,Sanchez,Seahawks,Hasselbeck,McShay,ESPN,Broncos,Bears,Bills,Eagles,Peters,Clayton,MCL,Colts,Rhodes
  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 12th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on A Few Good NFL Stories of 2008 season.

A Few Good NFL Stories of 2008 season.

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

Fryingpan Sports

A Few Good NFL Stories of 2008 season.

By Bill Smith

While many of you will find this article a departure from the normal frying pan analysis, I wanted to give accolades to some of those I think deserve them.

Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals—The Cards have been the flavor of the month for several preseasons. They have the best receiver combination in the league and a potential Hall of Fame QB. The Cards wining their division was not all that surprising. The NFC West has been a weak division for a while. But to beat the Falcons and then go and drill the heavily favored Panthers in their house was a shock. Now that the Eagles knocked off the Giants, the Cards may have a shot to go to the Super Bowl. Win or not, at least they have brought some success to the fans.

The Arizona Cardinal Defense, head coach Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coaches—Congratulations on your stealth defense. You made all of us think you were a middle of the road defense then suckered the Falcons and Panthers into believing that before you dominated them. It was either an acting job worthy of an Oscar or your plan to go back to basics at the end of the season. The D has played outstanding football and you deserve to be in the NFC Championship.

The Miami Dolphins and head coach Tony Sparano—Turning the team around from 1-15 to 11-5 and a division championship is just short of a miracle. Congratulations to everyone involved.

Chad Pennington QB Dolphins—You got the bums rush out of New York but the bigger the insult the greater is the satisfaction of revenge. Many doubted you, including myself, but you showed all of us wrong. Your revenge was extra fine by clinching the AFC East by beating your old team and knocking them out of the playoffs.

The Atlanta Falcons, owner Arthur Blank, head coach Mike Smith and his staff—You not only pulled off an outstanding turnaround, but went a long way to restore the reputation of the franchise after the Mike Vick affair. Mr. Blank is one of the good guys in the league and deserves this success.

Donovan McNabb—When he got benched in week 12, the fans, the media, and even the organization was dumping on McNabb like he was a chuckhole in the freeway. But he was not done. He sparked the Eagles turnaround when everyone outside the locker room left the team for dead and out of the playoffs. He and the Eagles are now in the NFC Championship game.

Bill Belichick—Those of you that read this site regularly know how much this pains me to say but you have to give the devil its due. 2008 might well have been the best coaching job Belichick has ever done. He lost the best QB in the league in the first quarter of the first game. The injury list went on and on. He lost half a dozen starters on D and almost that many on O including his franchise running back and a couple of pro bowl quality corners. Even so, he used duct tape and paper clips to take the team to 11 wins. Even though the team failed to make the playoffs, it was an outstanding coaching job.

Tim Tebo—After the loss to Ole Miss, he took the team on his back and willed them to a national championship. Then he made one of his best decisions ever to stay at Florida for his senior year. Despite his leadership and grace under pressure, many draft experts are not sure he is accurate enough or has a strong enough arm to play QB in the NFL. Because of his decision, he will have another year to prove he can do the job at the next level. And by the way it also gives him another shot at a second Heisman and a third national championship in 4 years.

Anquan Boldin WR Cardinals—We all held our breath after the hit that injured you. Then we all cheered when you came back and continued to play at an all pro level. You are a warrior. You have won the respect of football fans all over the country.

Joe Flacco and the Ravens—Despite feelings about how the city got its team, I have to give the team and staff credit for not only getting into the playoffs but making it to the AFC Championship game. The victory over Miami was a nice win but the job the team did in beating Tennessee was outstanding. Flacco has played like a veteran and can become one of the best in the league.

Randy Lerner and the Browns—As you know, I have expressed some concern about the new people being brought in. However, I congratulate Mr. Lerner for cleaning house and at least giving the long suffering Browns fans some hope. Next to Bill Cowher, Eric Mangini was the best experienced coach available. He got a raw deal in NY and hopefully can do better in Cleveland. We are still holding our breath to see who Mr. Lerner brings in as GM.

Tony Dungy—May you have success and find joy in whatever you do next. You have been a great credit to the NFL and it was a joy watching you coach. We all hope you might stay for another season or two. But you have given so much to the game you deserve to do whatever makes you happy.

Willie Parker RB Steelers—Congratulations on your performance in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Those of us that drafted you in fantasy football would have preferred if you had been as successful during the season but congrats anyway.

Cedric Benson RB Bengals—By your play in the last half of the season for the Bengals, you have resurrected your career. The Bengals were in dire need of a solid running game and you have the talent to provide it. Work hard and stay away from boats and you will be fine.

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 NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Warner,Arizona,Cardinals,Defense,Dolphins,Falcons,Blank,Smith,Eagles,NFL,pro football,college football,fantasy football,Florida,Tebo,Ole Miss,Boldin,Ravens,Browns,Batimore,Cleveland,Miami,Bengals,Dungy,Benson

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

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