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
  • 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: Aug 8th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on San Diego wins the 09 AFC West by default.

San Diego wins the 09 AFC West by default.

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

t

The Chargers are fortunate to be in the worst division in the NFL. They are a good team which puts them into the playoffs by default. They have enough stars to win the division but not enough to get them to the Super Bowl.

QB Philip Rivers is outstanding in the Norv Turner system. He is accurate and tough. His toughness was proven when he played with a bad knee. He had a pass rating of 105 last year and is still getting better. Billy Volek is one of the best backups. That is important because Rivers takes more risks than Turner would like.

The running game will depend a lot on how healthy LaDainian Tomlinson is. His last couple of years have been injury filled. Tomlinson is 30 and that is a magic age where NFL backs turn to dust. The Chargers hope that doesn’t happen this year. The team franchised Darren Sproles to insure they kept him. He is not a 20 carry plus a game guy. The real backup if LT gets hurt might be the versatile Jacob Hester or vet Michael Bennett. Hester ended his rookie season injured but looked good when he got a chance. Bennett has starting experience and is capable of 20+ carries a game.

The receivers are good and Rivers and TE Antonio Gates make them even better. Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers are both first quality receivers. Gates has the ability to get deep in the middle which insures both wideouts get fewer double teams. Malcom Floyd and Craig Davis are capable backups.

In addition to the injury to LT, the O suffered in 08 from poor line play. The running game with Sproles looked great in the playoff win against the Colts but died in the winds of Pittsburgh in the loss to the Steelers. LT Marcus McNeill had an excuse—a bad neck. The rest just played badly. G Kris Dielman, C Nick Hardwick and T Jeromey Clary return and Kynan Forney is the leading candidate to replace UFA Mike Goff. T L.J. Shelton and G Louis Vasquez are the top reserves.

The 09 Charger defense depends on a pair of creaky knees and the one surgically repaired knee. The two creaky knees belong to NT Jamal Williams. Despite having 11 seasons on those knees, he is the key to the D line of the team. When he is 75% he is one of the best NTs in the league. Returning RE Luis Castillo has to step up his game. He was just average last year. LE is open and Ryon Bingham has the first chance to fill it. Backup E Jacques Cesaire needs to be a factor in the rotation and has a shot to start. NT Ian Scott will sub for Williams.

The repaired knee belongs to pass rusher OB Shawne Merriman. He is the guy that puts the pressure on the QB even through double team blocks. His health can allow his running mate Shaun Phillips more effective as well. Phillips played well when Merriman was out but is not as adept at beating double teams. Rookie Larry English will learn the OB position switching from DE in college. Stephen Cooper and Tim Dobbins are solid inside and former starter Matt Wilhelm provides depth.

The D backs suffered from a lack of Merriman as much as anyone. In 07 Quentin Jammer, and Antonio Cromartie were the best corner combo in the league. Last year Cromartie fell off terribly and disclosed he had a hip problem after the season that caused his decline. If so, the corners should be fine. The FS is solid with improving Eric Weddle in that spot. SS is a question. Clinton Hart will be given the first shot but must be more consistent. Steve Gregory or Kevin Ellison will be starting if Hart fails. CBs Antoine Cason and Cletis Gordon are the primary backups there.

OVERALL: IF, and its a huge if, LT is LT again the Chargers have a chance to compete with the Pats, Steelers, Titans and Colts for the Super Bowl. If not, the Chargers will be out in the first or second round of the playoffs. They would benefit if they could win home field advantage. That might be enough to make an AFC Championship game interesting regardless of who the opponent is.

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 Draft,Fantasy Football,Chargers,Steelers,Patroits,Colts,Turner,Tomlinson,LT,Rivers,McNeil,Goff,Merriman,Phillips,Cromartie,Jammer,Williams

USC Coach is forced out due to bad O.J.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

t1

The latest victim of the NBA one and done policy for NBA rookies is Tim Floyd, the former coach of the USC basketball team. The NCAA is more than a little miffed that former one year wonder O.J. Mayo might have gotten free NBA tickets. They were even more upset about rumors that Mayo may have gotten both cash and cloths that may have amounted to thousands of dollars.

But what forced Floyd out of town was a rumor that Mayo had someone else take his SAT exam. Frankly, USC threw Floyd under the team bus even though the coach led the team to 3 straight NCAA tournaments.

The reason that Floyd ended up with political tire tracks across his chest is that the school’s beloved and very profitable football program is currently being scrutinized for previous allegations involving Reggie Bush. USC loves its basketball but not nearly as much as its football.

USC has some major issues. It reminds me of an interview with former Oklahoma LB Brian Bosworth. When asked how he liked pro ball he responded it was OK but the cut in pay was hard to take. The comment was a joke but there are major problems with college athletics.

The biggest problem is money—there is WAY too much of it floating around. The money has led to an NCAA rule book that makes the IRS rule book look like a pamphlet. But the NFL and NBA are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

That brings us to the NBA rule that a player must be one year out of high school before they can be drafted. It causes players that have 0 interest in college to fake it for one quarter. They don’t have to attend class in the second quarter because they will be out of school before the grades come back.

The alternative to a single year at college is a trip to Europe to play. It is both difficult and dangerous. The league has to eliminate the policy. It has the developmental league for players that are not good enough to be drafted. It needs to expand that program to include these players. Right now, there are not enough teams to allow each franchise to have their own. The league has decided that it will no longer allow teams to share developmental rosters.

It is past time for both the NCAA and the NBA to fix what they have broken. Until they do, other coaches will have political tire tracks across their chests just like Floyd.

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: NBA,NBA Draft,USC,COLLEGE BASKETBALL,COLLEGE FOOTBALL,NBA Development League,NCAA,Mayo,Floyd,Bush,Oklahoma, Bosworth

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

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