Some Christmas wishes in the Sports world.

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Cowboy Coach Phillips—Some wins after Turkey Day. The Boys haven’t done very well in December. JJ told the Boys faithful that if Phillips doesn’t win in the playoffs, he will be history. Phillips needs some help selling his house ’cause that ain’t happening.

Browns coach Mangenous—One more really silly owner to bail his career out again. Holmgren is “Football Czar of the Month” in Cleveland. There is little chance that Mangini will keep his job past 4:01 PM Sunday January 3. He got the current gig just after getting fired in New York. He needs another very gullible owner.

Buc Coach Morris—A copy of The Idiot’s Guide to Pro Football. Morris is badly over his head in Tampa. He was not even qualified to be OC let alone HC. With the team 1-forever, he needs to learn the game a lot more quickly to keep his job for next year.

Saints’ DC Greg Williams—A head coaching job in the NFL. Williams never got a decent shot in Buffalo and has proven with both the Redskins and Saints that he is ready for a top job. With the number of teams that will be looking for new top guys after this year, he should get a chance.

Former Browns’ Coach Crennel—Renewal of the Coors beer commercials because he isn’t likely to get another job in the NFL. Crennel is too nice a guy to be effective as a head man. He has only had success only in a highly disciplined situation. He needs the commercials because he needs work even though he is still being paid by the Browns.

Ex ND Coach Weis—A Christmas Card from Holmgren. Weis’ best shot at an OC spot is with the Browns to help QB Quinn develop. They were very close in ND and if anyone can turn Quinn’s career around, Weis believes he is the one.

Ohio State Coach Tressel—A win in the Rose Bowl. The Big 10 has a bad record in bowl games with OSU at the bottom of the list. Having suspended several players, his chances are less this year than most. Another couple of losses in the post season and Tress may find out that beating Michigan may not be enough to keep his job.

Florida Football Coach Urban Meyer—A Tebow clone at QB. After winning 2 BcS Championships in 4 years, Florida will likely take a step back next season. They lose their star QB and most of the D this year. Given the development of the Bama team as well as a couple of other SEC teams, it will be very hard for them to get back to the national championship game.

For College Football fans everywhere–A real playoff.  We will not get a playoff until the big contributors to college programs tell the pinhead presidents “NO MORE MONEY UNTIL YOU SUPPORT A REAL PLAYOFF!” If you wonder what it will take, follow the money.

The Chicago Cubs—Some pitching and a shot at the World Series. It’s been over 100 years since Cubbie fans had a chance to say something other than “wait ’til next year.” Enough of that, let’s see some playoff baseball.

Cleveland Cavs–Some of the magic from last year but in the 2010 playoffs.  O’Neil has been OK but the team has not come together like they did last year.  They need to regain the chemistry they had last year but extend that in the playoffs.

Most of all—A very Merry Christmas to all of you. Thank you for taking the time to read this site. If you have any suggestions for more gifts for sports teams, let me know.

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 .

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Around the NFL for 11/21/09

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nfl

Miami 24 Carolina 17

The Fish won without Ronnie Brown who is out for the year. Ricky Williams played both parts in leading the team to a critical win against the Panthers scoring 3 TDs. CR QB Delhomme was back to his normal production completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing as many TDs as picks.

Fish QB Henne did just enough to keep the ball moving to get the win.

Indy @ Baltimore

The Colts are playing well but Raven QB Flacco is more than capable of taking advantage of the injuries in the D backfield of the Colts. The Colts D has never been great at stopping the run and may end up struggling IF the Ravens can get their ground game going again. That depends on the health of both RBs Rice and McGahee. I would not be surprised if Baltimore will pull off the upset.

Atlanta @ NY Giants

Both of these teams need a win to stay in the NFC wild card race. The Falcons are in the worst shape being 4+ games behind the undefeated Saints. They have no chance to win the division and must win conference games to stay in the WC race. Right now they are tied with the Packers for the second WC spot. Both of their RBs are hurt but key reserve Norwood should be able to go. He and Snelling will share the running duties.

The Giants have injury problems of their own. QB Manning and RB Bradshaw both are hurting but will play. Manning has not been as effective since the injury to his foot. RB Jacobs seems to be a step slower than he was last year. There is no report of an injury but he is averaging only 4.1 per attempt which is much lower than his career average.

Manning’s problems have been as much the injury as his young inexperienced WRs. There have been a lot of drops which are drive killers. The O line has also failed to protect him and drive defenders to make room for the running game. As a unit they played much better last year.

The Giants D is still playing at a high level and they should win at home.

San Diego @ Denver

At one time Denver had a 3 game lead over the Chargers but after losing the last 3 games, they are now tied in the loss column. The Chargers need to beat the Broncos to clime out of 6th place in the second WC spot and into the division lead. They play KC and Cleveland in the next two games which should be 2 wins. The Chargers need to get their running game going because they need O balance. QB Rivers has done a lot with very little help. The D needs to put pressure on the Denver QB.

Denver isn’t sure if QB Orton will be able to play because of an ankle injury. If not, they will certainly lose with QB Simms at the helm.

This should be one of the best games of the week and I see the Chargers winning regardless of the Bronco QB.

NY Jets @ New England

Spygate II is always fun to watch. The Jets have fallen and they can’t get up. Pats win easily.

Philly @ Chicago

The Eagles need the win to stay in the 1st WC spot in the NFC. They were in the lead in the division until they lost to the Cowboys and the Chargers in the last two weeks. QB McNabb has fallen into bad habits as the O line has failed to protect him. He has also lost RB Westbrook for at least several weeks. That makes the Eagle O totally one dimensional.

The Bears have fallen out of the playoff picture for now. QB Cutler has been frustrated by the lack of playmakers he has to throw to. The running game with RB McCoy has struggled. The D has played well but can’t overcome the shut down of the D.

Even a loss to the Lions will not get Mangini fired.

There is a lot of chatter but Owner Lerner doesn’t have the stones to fire Mangini. He will let whoever he hires to oversee the team do it. The Lions win.

Nothing will come of the Cable ruckus.

Raider coach Cable will not be suspended for either his history of possible wife abuse nor the confrontation with Hansen.

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 .

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Around the NFL for 11/14/09

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nfl

SF 10 CH 6

People around Chicago are wondering what is wrong with QB Cutler. The answer is two fold. First, the protection is bad to terrible. Second, he does not have anything close to the receivers he did in Denver. WR Hester is a KR trying to become a WR and he is the Bears top guy. The next best WR is Bennett but he is averaging less than 4 catches a game. Too many of the passes are going to RBs both because Cutler doesn’t have anyone getting open down field and he doesn’t have enough time to wait for them to uncover. TE Olsen is the best option that Culter has to go down field. The D is doing its job but they won’t win many games scoring 6 points.

The 49ers are no offensive juggernaut either but Coach Singletary has them playing hard every snap. He has just enough talent to be dangerous to team’s playoff hopes. QB Smith is showing a few hints of getting it but only time will tell if he ever becomes worth the 1st overall pick.

GAME OF THE WEEK—NE @ IN

The Pats and the Colts have had the best non-division rivalry in the league over the last few years. They meet again in Indy. Given the Colts’ injury problems in the defensive backfield, QB Brady will probably be throwing a lot. The Pats’ running game has been below average. RB Taylor is hurt and Maroney is not producing the long runs he has in the past. But Brady is hot and nearly back to his pre-injury production. The Pats’ D has struggled more than usual but at 6-2 they have a 2 game lead in the AFC East.

The Colts are depending on QB Manning because their running O has not developed. He doesn’t have his #2 WR Gonzalez who is on IR. No problem. TE Clark and WR Wayne have 60 and 59 catches receptively. WR Collie has 32 catches and Garcon has 23. The Pats DBs will struggle to keep all those targets covered.

I think the Colts will win in a very close game.

CN @ PT

The Bengals squeaked out a win at home. They will not win this one. The key will be if Cincy can protect QB Palmer. The running of Benson will keep this close because Pit can’t run much. Cincy has lost a couple of key defenders and Pit has S Polamalu who was out for the first game. Pittsburgh wins in a close game and takes control of the division.

DA @ GB

The Boys are coming off a big win last week at Philly. The Pack got embarrassed at Tampa last week. So of course the Pack will win. The Pack needs this win badly to stay in the NFC North race. The Boys can’t seem to stand prosperity. They seem to take a step forward to make room for a couple of steps back. The Pack O line is a problem but the Boys will struggle to slow down the passing game. Everything here points to a Boy win and that is why they won’t.

PH @ SD

Both teams need this game badly. Both are 5-3 but trail in their divisions. The Eagles looked really good up to last week and their loss to Dallas. They should get RB Westbrook back and the O is not the same without him. He has provided the spark that ignites the Eagle O with his running and pass receiving. The Eagle D may be missing CB Brown and NT Bunkley both of whom have missed practice time this week. They will need both.

The Chargers have not been able to run the ball at all. Since the Eagles will start blitzing coming down in the hotel elevators, the Charger O line had better be playing its best. The Eagle D will harass QB Rivers all day and the Birds should win.

MUST WIN—Denver at Washington

The Broncos were 6-0 at their bye. But they have lost both games since and scored only 17 points total. They have to win at the Redskins because there is a no win policy in the nation’s capitol. If the Broncos lose they will have wasted their great start. The D has played well even in the losses. It has been the total disintegration of the O that has caused the problem. Denver wins and gets 2 games up on SD.

Stinker of the week (decade?)–Chiefs @ Raiders 

Anyone that bets on this game deserves to lose money no matter who they picked to win.  Pres. Obama will need bail out any company that has to advertise on this game because no one in their right mind will watch it.

 

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 .

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Around the NFL for 10/17/09

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There aren’t many decent games this weekend. Most of the games are either the very good against the very bad or 2 bad teams playing each other. Here are a couple I like.

Game of the week NY Giants 5-0 @ New Orleans 4-0

Two undefeated teams meet to decide the early inside track to the top seed in the playoffs. The Giants come in off the closest thing the NFL has to a game week bye beating Oakland easily. The two issues that the Giants have to find an answer to are RB Jacobs who is under performing and the injury to their QB. QB Manning has a foot problem that is not going to get better during the year. It is a problem because there is no quality backup.

The D has played as well as it ever has and is holding the opponent to a 24% 3rd down conversion rate. That is outstanding. They have 14 sacks and is holding the passing game to 4.9 yards per passing attempt.

The Saints have played much better on D than anyone expected them to. They have stuffed the run holding opponents to 3.7 per carry. There is no question about the power of the O through the air. QB Breez is a top player and has a passer rating of 108.4. But the running game is struggling. RB Bell ran very well but has been hurt and should return this week. The Saints have had a week off and that should help but the Giants are the 2nd best team in the conference and will win on the road.

Baltimore 3-2 @ Minnesota 5-0

This game could end up 6-3 without the benefit of a 50 MPH wind like Buffalo/Cleveland faces last week. The Ravens have the most improved player in the league this year in QB Flacco (90.2). He was a care-taker last year but is making plays to win games this season. He will be without his LT Gaither (neck) but still should make some plays. The question is will he make enough? The running game has passed from McGahee to Rice and the latter is averaging 5.8 per carry. They will have to run the ball this week because the Vikes D puts a lot of pressure on the QB in passing situations.

The Vikes have had running problems this season. RB Peterson is fine averaging 4.9 per carry but his partner Taylor is not. He is getting only 2.5 per attempt. Peterson is not a 30 carry a game guy. The Vikes are going to have to find someone to reduce the burden on AP. Favre is doing what he needs to in order win. The D is outstanding but has not yet played up to their level last year. They are giving up too many yards on the ground and have trouble getting off the field despite an easy schedule so far.

The Ravens are mad and will come in and take Minnesota out of the undefeated category.

Chicago @ Atlanta

Two 3-1 teams face off in a critical game for both because they are chasing undefeated teams leading their respective divisions. This game could determine which team gets a wild card spot in the NFC. Both teams have struggled with the running game averaging only 3.8 per attempt. But this game highlights two of the best young QBs in the game—the Falcons’ Matt Ryan (102.9 passer rating) and the Bears’ Jay Cutler (89.3). There will be a lot of balls in the air.

Both teams depend on a well above average D. The Bears have allowed 78 points and the Falcons have given up just 68. The Bears are +3 and I will take the points and Chicago.

Denver 5-0 @ SD 2-2

The Chargers have their backs to the wall in the division. No question that DV has been very lucky to be undefeated. SD is 2.5 games behind and needs a win to get back into the race for the division. DV has 2.5 signature wins including the .5 win over NE because they won the toss in overtime. QB Orton has proven to be a good fit for the short and medium throws he is asked to make. He has assembled a passer rating of 97.4. RB Moreno is averaging 4.2 but struggles to get the key short yard 3rd down coversions. The Bronco D has played well but racked up better numbers against Cleveland and Detroit. The one thing that the D has been able to do is put pressure on the QB. The team has 16 sacks with DE/LB Dumervil having half of those.

The Chargers are struggling running the ball averaging only 2.7 yards per attempt. RB Tomlinson has been a non factor most of the season so far. The team placed the Franchise tag on RB Sproles to keep him in SD. But he is only getting 2.4 yards per carry. The lack of a running game has put a lot more pressure on the passing game and QB Rivers. He has a passing rating of 90.6 which is hard given the lack of quality protection from the O line and the opponent knowing you have to pass on almost every down.

Denver will run out of luck soon but not this week. The Broncos put the SD hopes for the division title on life support.

Stinker of the week:

There are several nominees for this “honor” but one stinks beyond all others. The NFL should pay people to watch the Rams @ the Jags. The winner? The UFL.

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 .

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What to watch for in the games this weekend.

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football

College Football:

Georgia Tech v. Clemson  This game was interesting on a couple of levels.  First, GT is going to be a nightmare to defend.  They have the Navy option game working like a fine tuned race car.  But Clemson in previous years would have folded up like a 78 Ford Fairmont after the opponent put 21 points on the board.  But this Clemson team fought back and made a game of it.  These two should be fun to watch going forward.

USC @ Ohio State Forget what the experts are saying. This game will depend on 2 things—the OSU O and D lines. Can OSU drive USC off the ball to run and give Pryor time to throw? Can OSU’s D stop the run and put pressure on the USC QB? The answer to both is no and OSU will lose the game by 14.

Notre Dame @ Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez’s system will work but he does not have the players on O or D to make it effective. ND finally has some key parts in place. ND wins by 10.

South Carolina @ Georgia Last year all the experts had Georgia at the top of the rankings. They had injuries and failed to live up to the hype. This year very few are talking about them. Look for them to be better than they were last year even without Stafford at QB. Georgia wins by 10.

North Carolina @ Connecticut NC is ranked in the top 20 but UConn gets no love. UC lost a lot to the draft this spring but is a program on the rise. UConn wins at home in a upset.

Syracuse @ Penn State New QB Greg Paulus had the Orange moving last week with the exception of the fumble on the first drive. That won’t continue and PS wins by 30.

Pro Football:

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh The Steelers won despite the fact that they can not run the ball. The problem is in the O line and won’t be solved this season. Despite having all the other parts, the lack of the ability to run will come back to bite the Steelers.

Miami @ Atlanta Last year Miami improved a great deal. This year they are better but they won’t win as many. ATL wins.

Philadelphia @ Carolina The Eagles show their power against a good Carolina D. Eagles win.

Washington @ New York The experts pick the Giants to go all the way. They won’t because of their lack of WRs. The Giants win but closer than it should be.

Chicago @ Green Bay The Pack is lucky to catch the Bears early. GB wins this one but they won’t at the return engagement at Soldier Field.

Minnesota @ Cleveland Mangini’s trick to keep the name of the starting QB secret works in a big way and the Browns…Just kidding. This game is over at half time. It’s going to be a L O N G season in Brownie land.

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 .

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  • Published: Aug 24th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Rap up of Preseason Week 2 Key games

Rap up of Preseason Week 2 Key games

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nfl

Chargers @ Cardinals

The Charger O  line is not playing nearly as well as it did last year. They are giving up sacks more often than they should. Even all pro tackle McNeil is slacking. LG Goff is not doing the job.

The SD Defense looks sharp in the red zone but not so much in the middle of the field. They totally stopped QB Kurt Warner and the Cardinal O in two 1s vs 1s series in the red zone. They picked Warner off in the endzone and forced a 4th down when the Cards had the ball 1st and goal inside the 10 from a great kick return.

In the middle of the field Warner was able to find receivers wide running open. The Card running game was just OK against the Charger D. They did not have their #1 pick RB Beanie Wells. He is out with ankle problems.

Matt Leinart was the 3rd QB in the game against the Chargers. He came in with only 8:35 left in the game but drove the team from his own goal line to the Charger 11 in 5:32. But on 2nd down and 3 he threw into double coverage incomplete. On 3rd overthrew WR Long in the endzone. On 4th he again threw into tight coverage and turned the ball over on downs. He looked sharp until he got to the red zone then couldn’t convert. In 2 games Leinart has a passer rating around 78. He is fighting journeyman Bryan St. Pierre for the backup spot.

The Card #1 D did a good job but the team just doesn’t have the depth of a top NFL team. Last year they had very few injuries on D. If they sustain some this season, the D will not be good enough to get the Cards back in the playoffs.

Giants at Bears

The Giants were focused on stopping the run with Forte. The Bears were passing more than running and passed the Giants #1 D crazy. The O line of Chicago looks very solid. Future Hall of Fame T Orlando Pace looks healthy for the first time in 3 years. The Giants D could not get to Jay Cutler much. Cutler was 8-13 121 yds 1 TD.

Forte looks very strong. He is finding holes and exploiting them. Given the improved QB and O line, he should be very close to the first teer RBs in fantasy football. Kevin Jones looks good as the #2 RB but is going to have to hold onto the ball better. The only problem the Bears O has is a lack of depth at QB, WR and in the line. Hester is the #1 WR which takes him out of the return game for the most part. The Bears receivers will look better than they are due to Cutler. This team is going to challenge for the NFC title if the key players stay healthy.

The Giants looked like they were in San Jose instead of Soldier Field. They are much better than they looked. The O line was harassed consistently by the Bears D. However, the lack of any NFL quality receivers will haunt this team the entire year. Eli Manning is not going to have as productive a year as he did last year. He just doesn’t have the guys to catch the ball. Look for more INTs and fewer TDs.

There is nothing wrong with the Giants running game. Brandon Jacobs is a beast. He was the only weapon the Giants had that worked against the Bears top D. He tore huge holes in the D line. He is a top teer RB in FF.

The Giants D will come around. It looked shell shocked against Cutler. They will be susceptible to the pass if their pass rush doesn’t produce more pressure than it did against the Bears.

Dolphins v Panthers

Miami: O sharp Pennington is accurate and has the touch that some lack. He has timed up even the new WR like Patrick Turner (3rd round USC) and Hartwell (4th round Ohio State). The running game looks very sharp against a good Carolina D. Brown is running hard inside. Getting Thomas back at guard has helped.

Other than stopping the run of Williams, the Dolphin D did real well. They are putting a lot of pressure on the opponent QBs. The D seems much more aggressive than it was last year. That should help.

Carolina: Delhomme is still inaccurate too often. He misses wide open WRs deep. Then there is Williams.

On the Carolina 2nd possession, he had been held to 1 yard on 4 carries. On 2nd and 8 from the Dolphin 26, he started left and changed direction when he saw the hole was not there. He was then hit in the backfield by 2 Dolphins, spun off it, was hit again by another broke that and scored avoiding two more tackles. That is why he is one of the top backs in Fantasy football.

RAMS vs FALCONS

Turner is an arsonist—he burns up defenses. He has a combination of speed and vision that is very rare. 2nd RB Norwood is also outstanding. He has excellent vision and a second gear that prevents him from getting caught from behind.

Falcon QB Matt Ryan is continuing to develop. He is seeing the field like a vet and has the arm to make all the throws.

The Rams look good and horrible from one play to another. The O line is still very poor. They are going to have to do a much better job protecting QB Bulger if they expect to win many games. They block the same way for a pass as they do for a screen. They touch the D lineman and let them right in.

RB Jackson has his jump step back and looks good. I still don’t recommend drafting him in Fantasy due to problems on the O line and the probability that the Rams will be playing from behind a lot in 09. Ex Falcon WR Robinson looks really improved. He is catching the ball in traffic, and running better routes. Getting open against the Rams isn’t that hard.

Ram tackling is awful. They couldn’t tackle a lamp post because it would be moving too fast. The #1 D gave up 9 yards per play in the first Q. There were a couple of semi-bright spots on D including 2nd round pick James Laurinaitis. He picked off a pass, blitzed effectively and best of all attacked the run down hill.

Cleveland vs. Detroit—See my complete game analysis at

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 .

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