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  • Published: Nov 5th, 2009
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Tuesday QB (on Thursday) for week 8

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nfl

The Browns begin to clean house.

The GM George Kokinis was frog-walked out of the facility. He should have been preceded by Head Coach Mangenous who is guilty of a lot more of the disaster than GK. There is no way describe the mess that Mangini has created. The team was better under the previous administration. The ex-Jets that were brought in particularly those that came at the cost of the 5th overall pick have been less productive than they were last year.

The total absence of offense is not going to be solved over night. In NFLDraftdog last week I outlined a plan to at least patch the holes in the program and get back some fan interest. The team does not have any idea who it is on O. It really doesn’t matter because they can not run or pass effectively. The QBs are running for their lives.

Owner Randy Lerner said he is going to bring in a “real” football man to oversee the entire operation. Now that would have been a good idea before you jumped to hire Mangenous and gave him all the power.

The Titans show a little life

QB Vince Young was 15-18 in his first start of the year. Even his meager 125 yards was enough to keep the Jags D honest and open up things for the running game. RB Johnson had an amazing game running for over 200 yards and 2 TDs. But lets remember it was against the Jags.

Suddenly the Broncos look very average.

As predicted here last week, the Ravens took the Broncos apart and put them back together wrong. The Denver O could do very little as the Raven D looked like it did during the Super Bowl years. Things don’t get any easier for Denver having the Steelers next on their dance card.

The Giant WRs are costing them games

The loss to the Eagles again pointed out the major weakness in the Giants’ O—WR. The wideouts just can not seem to make plays often enough to win against good defenses. That is what we predicted at the beginning of the season. It will get worse for the Giants before it gets better.

The Vikes are just too much for the Pack.

Again as predicted, the Vikes one weakness was the QB. Now that they have Favre, they are set to challenge for the NFC. They will have to battle the Saints and the Eagles but I like the Vikes chances.

The Rams WIN!

The Lambs finally got a win. It would have made more of an impact had it not been against a wounded Lion team.

The Cards are still inconsistent.

The secret to the Cards winning is the play of QB Warner. The secret to him playing well is the protection he gets or does not get from the line. Until the O line firms up the Cards playoff chances will depend more on the WEAK NFC West than their own play.

The NFL and the NFLPA want to negotiate in private!

That is the first good piece of news we have seen. They are meeting and have agreed to keep the issues out of the press and away from the public. The less we hear from them the better are the chances of reaching an agreement.

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: Oct 31st, 2009
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Around the NFL for Week 8

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This week is the half way mark in the season. Tuesday we will look at what the playoffs look like as well as the second half. But this week there are a couple of key games to watch.

DV @ BA

The second half of the Bronco schedule is a lot harder than the first half. They play the Steelers next along with the Giants, the Colts and the Eagles. Sunday we will see if the Bronco O is a competitor for the Super Bowl or just a pretender. Their O line has not faced a D like the Ravens even if the Ravs are not playing as well as they have in the past.

The Bronco D has played well against some of the weakest offenses in the history of the NFL. We will see how they look against a balanced Raven O. QB Flacco is playing very well and will challenge a questionable Bronco defensive backfield.

The Ravens have to tighten up the D. The pass coverage has been far below what it was in previous years. This season they replaced both CBs and Foxworth and Washington have not produced like McAlister and Rolle have in recent years. As a result, the D is giving up more passing yards and forced to blitz more.

The Ravens need the win much more than Denver and win the game.

SF @ IN

The 49ers have played well and are 3-3 going into Indy. Smith is going to start at QB which has been the weakness of the team. RB Gore is healthy and the Colts have trouble stopping the run. S Sanders is back for the Colts and that will help against Gore.

The 49er D has been very strong but has not faced an O like Manning and Co. The SF O and the Colt D are a standoff. It will be the Colt O that gives Indy the win.

MN @ GB

The return of Farve is all the media is talking about. But those that have watched Viking games realize that Favre is the icing not the cake itself. RB Peterson is the key player on the O for the Vikes. The Pack D has played well but has gotten most of their numbers against weak teams like the Browns and the Lions.

However, the key will be the Viking D against a very potent O of the Pack. The Packers have suffered injuries on the O line and the Viking pass rush will be the difference. If the Vikes can put enough heat on Pack QB Rodgers, the Vikes will win in a close game.

The Vikes won at home and should win again in Favre’s return.

AT @ NO

The Monday night game should be a very good one. The Falcons come in 2 games behind the Saints at 4-2. They really need to win to get within striking distance of the division leader. The Falcon O has scored 21 points in each of the last 2 games. That won’t be nearly enough against the NFL’s top offense. They will need to play the best game defensively of the season and still score 35 to have a chance to win.

The Saints D has played way above expectation. It has been helped by the pressure that the O puts on the opposition. Very often the D can just worry about rushing the passer because the Saints are so far ahead of the opponent. The D has not faced a team that could match them score for score as the Falcons can on a good day.

But their visit to the Big Easy will be anything but and the Saints win comfortably.

QB changes around the league

The Titans will start Young to see what he can do. At 0-6, its about time. I will have some additional suggestions for them next week.

Despite cries of protest and the most abysmal lack of offense in years, the Browns will continue to start Anderson. He has a passer rating of 40.6. If a QB goes 0-1 without an interception, the rating is 39.6. He is completing just 43.8 % of his throws. Quinn has a pr of 62.9 and a 60.8 completion rate. Give him a chance.

The 49ers have replaced QB Hill with former 1st overall pick Smith. Hill had a qb rating of 79.6 but Smith in very limited action has a 118.6. I don’t believe that Smith is that much better than Hill and in more extensive action will prove it. We will see how he does against an only fair D backfield of the Colts.

Raider fans have to be wondering what the D could do if Davis had not cut the vet QB Garcia. Russell has a rating of 47.2. The only QB with any experience on the team is Gradkowski who has proven beyond a doubt he isn’t an NFL qb. Like the Browns, the Raiders will have a very long season.

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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  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 10th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
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Around the NFL in week 5

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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 .

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Around the NFL for 10/03/09

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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 .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 5th, 2009
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NFL 2009 in a nutshell.

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AFC East

Patriots will win the division easily if they can stay healthy. If QB Brady is hurt, all bets are off and the Pats will be 2nd and out of the playoffs. The D backfield is still a problem.

Dolphins take a step back due to a harder schedule and teams pointing for that game. They will not make the playoffs but will be a better team with a worse record than in 08.

Jets will improve. The team has some key players. They will not have the kind of start they had last year but this is a good team.

Bills are a good team in a very good division. The O line is a problem and the D is coming but a year away from being really good.

AFC North

Steelers win the division but are pressed all year by the Ravens. The O line is the only soft spot on the team. If they get Roethlisberger hurt, the team will fall like Skylab. The D is still top notch.

Ravens will make the playoffs and get to the divisional round. The development of the O line will determine if they can get past that point or not. They have everything else.

Bengals will look much improved and improve their record because of the easier schedule. The D is under rated. With a healthy Palmer and Benson running the ball the O will be good. The question here is the O line.

Browns are in for another long season. Quinn will be better by 2010 but the poor running game, soft spots on the O line and ex-Jets on the D will prevent much progress on the win/loss record.

AFC South

Titans win the AFCS because they have fewer holes than the Colts. A great running game and D and a passing O that is OK is enough.

Colts fall a little due to problems on D. They will make the playoffs but not advance beyond the 2nd round.

Jaguars will battle the Texans all year for the 3rd spot in the division. Toss a coin to pick one. The team is not as good on O or D and the lack of production from the QB will keep them out of the playoffs.

Texans go as far as their D carries them. Lots of 1st round picks but not much production on D. The running game is solid but I have doubts if QB Schaub can stay healthy all year.

AFC West

Chargers win the division by default. They are very solid on D and very good passing game keep them in it as the worst division winner from the worst division in the league.

Broncos, Chiefs and Raiders Who cares? They won’t win 8 games between them. Denver will be 2nd with KC third and Oakland 55th. The best hit among these three might have been the one that broke the jaw of the Raiders assistant coach.

NFC East

Eagles win the division because everyone else is worse. They should have a little better O and an improved O line to go with a solid D.

Giants could really fall due to a total lack of NFL quality WRs. The running game can’t make up for 3rd rate wideouts and they will miss RB Ward. Manning will be glad he got his money early.

Cowboys will have to beat out the Giants for 2nd to get a playoff spot. Even if they do make it to the playoffs thanks to their coach, they will fail again in the big show. TO was not the problem. Wade Phillips is.

Redskins will be taking a QB in the 2010 draft. Campbell is not the answer now and will never be. The running game with Portis will face 47 guys on the D line. O line also need repair. This is going to be a long year for the Skins.

NFC North

Vikings will win because of a great running game and outstanding D. Favre does just enough to keep them in it. They will win in the playoffs and could get to the Super bowl if they can stay fairly healthy.

Bears take a major step forward due to QB Cutler. The D is still very solid and the running game will improve because they can pass the ball this year. They could upset the Vikes but will make the playoffs either way.

Packers will struggle on D because of the change from 4-3 to 3-4. Rogers is fine but the running game is a question as the O line gets old fast.

Lions might end up last in the Ivy League. They are not very good but no one will notice because the stadium will be empty most of the time.

NFC South

Falcons and the Saints will battle for the title. QB Ryan is really good. The running game will propel the team over NO. The D is better than people think.

Saints have as good a passing game as there is in the NFL. The D and inconsistent running game will keep them behind Atlanta.

Panthers are slipping on both O and D. The QB is a problem and the D has fallen off a little. They will be in the playoff race but fall short. The only thing that can get them in is the running game.

Buccaneers have fallen and can’t get up. The team is not good and QB Freeman is a long way from being ready to help much. Leftwich is just OK and the running game is suspect. The D is slipping also.

NFC West

Cardinals should win the West if Warner is healthy all year. The O is solid. The O line and D will determine if they get into the playoffs and how far they go.

49ers will take a step up. QB Hill is the best choice. The D is really coming on and RB Gore is as good as any. The WRs are better even without Crabtree.

Seahawks will challenge the 49ers for 2nd but fall short due to D. QB Hasselbeck looks good but not much running game and less ability to stop the run.

Rams are improving but no where close to competitive yet. RB Jackson and QB Bulger are good but injuries are already hitting the O line. LB Laurinaitis and DE Long are a good start building the D.

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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