• Author:
  • Published: Dec 22nd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn from Week 15?

What did we learn from Week 15?

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nfl

It’s hard to be perfect.

The Saints couldn’t stand the pressure of the undefeated season. They played uncharacteristically badly against the Cowboys. The now have to worry about losing their #1 seed but got a break when the Vikes lost unexpectedly to the Panthers.

The Boys were more lucky than good. Phillips still have an up hill run to keep his job.

The Colts struggled to win at the Jags 35-31. They are still undefeated but may not care enough about a perfect record to play their starters in last two games. They are more interested in winning the Super Bowl. Their lack of a running game is a major concern going into the post season.

The Chargers virtually lock up the 2nd AFC Playoff spot with their win.

The Bengals played well at SD and even getting the game to a tie in the 4th quarter. But the momentum of the Chargers was just too much to take. After 2 straight losses they are just 1 game ahead of the Ravens. The Bengals hold the tie breaker. They will win the division title but stumble into the playoffs and will be an early out.

The Chargers look good. They are playing at a very high level and will be a tough matchup for the Colts if they meet them in the AFC Championship. The Colts have always had trouble against the Chargers.

AFC Playoffs

The seeds at this point are

  1. Colts

  2. Chargers

  3. Patriots The Pats are locks to win the AFC East with games against the Jags and Texans left on the schedule. The Pats will get into the post season but won’t go far because their D is pathetic.

  4. Bengals

  5. Ravens To hang on to this spot, the Ravens need to win next week at the Steelers.

  6. Broncos The Broncos are going to have to win against the Eagles next week to stay in the playoff picture. They won’t and could be replaced by the Steelers. They can help themselves a lot by winning out against the Ravens and Fish.

  7. Jaguars IF they can beat the Pats this week, they could get into the playoffs. But that is a very big if. They have lost 2 in a row but played very well against the Colts. They finish up at Cleveland. If they win out and get help by the Broncos loss to the Ravens, they hold the tiebreaker against Denver.

  8. Dolphins The Dolphins lost any chance to catch the Pats with their loss to the Titans last week. Now they will struggle to climb back into the playoffs. The Fish have to play a resurgent Steelers in week 17.

NFC Playoffs

  1. Saints

  2. Vikings The Vikes are going to have to win out to keep the 2nd spot. They are only 1 game ahead of the Eagles and would lose the tie breaker. The Vikes have to beat the the Bears and Giants to keep the bye week.

  3. Eagles The Birds have no easy walk to the 2nd spot because they play the Broncos at home and finish up at the Boys. They should win both and get the bye week which they really could use to get healthy.

  4. Cardinals The Cards continue to play up and down. The problem seems to be the D and the O line. When they play solid D and protect QB Warner, they can beat anyone. They won’t be able to in the playoffs and will not return to the Super Bowl. They have clinched the NFC West. With no chance of moving up to the 2nd seed, they may rest their stars in week 17.

  5. Packers The Pack should have beaten the Steelers but it wouldn’t have made any difference to their playoff hopes. They are 9-5 and should win both their remaining games against Seattle and at Arizona. If they do, they will play at Arizona in the wild card round.

  1. Cowboys The Boys are in serious danger of falling out of the playoffs unless they can beat the Eagles at home in week 17. That will mean that Owner Jones will likely blow the team up and rebuild with a new head coach. It won’t be coach in waiting OC Jason Garrett. JJ will look for a brand name to get the Boys turned around.

  2. Giants NYG is bearing down on the Boys and holds the tiebreaker against them. They will have to win at the Vikes in week 17 but the Vikes will likely be resting key players for the post season. That is something to look out for in Fantasy Football.

  3. Falcons The Falcons are waiting and should win out. But they need help and their injuries may keep them out of the post season.

Holmgren joins the Browns as Football Czar.

As a long suffering Browns fan, I am very glad to see him take the Presidency rather than the GM spot. He will hire a solid GM and head coach. Mangini is almost certainly history no matter what happens in the last two games. DC Ryan may well get to stay depending on who Holmgren brings in as HC. The Browns will end up with the 5th 6th or 7th pick in the draft. You can bet that this one won’t be traded to the Jets for a bag of balls and players to be named later.

Washington gets Allen as their new GM.

Hall of Fame Coach George Allen’s son is the new GM in DC. George Allen Jr. is a no nonsense guy with an outstanding history of drafting and picking free agents. He also can stand up to ownership which has been a problem at DC in the past.

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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Tuesday QB—Projecting the playoffs at the 3/4th pole.

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nfl

AFC Seeds

  1. Colts At 12-0 there is little chance anyone will beat the Colts for home field.

  2. Chargers SD has a lead over Cincy in the AFC record. If SD can beat Cincy at home in week 15 they will clinch this spot.

  3. Patriots The loss to Miami last week eliminated any chance of the Pats to avoid the Wild Card round but they have an easy schedule the rest of the way. Their key game will be in week 17 against the Jags who might be fighting for a playoff spot themselves.

  4. Bengals  Cincy has the toughest remaining schedule of the top 4. I can’t see them winning at the Vikes and then at the Chargers to win the 2nd spot. Instead, they will likely lose both and end up in the 4th spot even if they can beat the Jets.

  5. Broncos Denver will probably lose 2 out of their 3 games left winning only against Oakland but their hot start has kept them in the race. They will lose to the Colts and the Eagles but hang on by a fingernail to the 5th spot.

  6. Jags or Ravens The Jags have a 1 game lead in the overall standings and 2 in the Conference loss column over the Ravens but the Jags have to play Indy at home and NE on the road. I expect them to lose both giving them a 9-7 record with an 8-4 within the AFC. I project the Ravens to have the identical records in both. The playoff spot will be determined by net points within the conference.

NFC Seeds

  1. Saints The only threat to a 16-0 record for the Saints will be the home game against what by then should be a crumbling Cowboy team in week 15. Other than that and some new injuries, this Saints team could march through the schedule unbeaten. To insure home field throughout the playoffs, they will have to be prefect.

  2. Vikings If the Vikes get by Cincy next week at home, they should go the rest of the way without another loss. They will have to face the Saints in the playoffs at NO and that won’t be easy. Arizona showed the path to beating the Vikes last week by running multiple crossing patterns against the Vike zone.

  3. Cardinals only if Warner stays healthy The Cards are the toughest team to project because they look like world champs one week only to look just weak the next. But they have the easiest schedule with a game at SF and DT and games at home against the Rams and the Pack. Only the Packers are good enough to beat them with a healthy Warner but anything can happen.

  4. NFC (L)East team This had better be the Boys unless Coach Phillips wants to be unemployed and see Jones tear the team apart and put it back together crooked. The Eagles look like the team to beat for the 4th spot with a shot at sneaking into #3 if they win out. I project them at #4

  5. Packers The Pack could end up with the 3rd best record in the conference but can’t catch the Vikes for the division crown. They will be a tough out in the playoffs.

  6. The loser of the Eagles/Cowboys fight for the NFC Least title. This division has been a major disappointment this season. The Giants have a chance to overtake the Cowboys because they hold the tiebreaker.

Around the NFL

Weis is dialing for dollars.

Ex ND coach Weis is making the rounds of teams that might be looking for an Off Coordinator. Reportedly he visited the Bears yesterday and is scheduled to be in Cleveland today. There are rumors that he may be named OC this week replacing the often criticized Brian Daboll. Weis coached QB Quinn at ND and may be hired just as a consultant to help his development.

Cleveland owner Lerner backing off his “football Czar” talk.

After a particularly disgusting series of losses, Learner told the press he was going to look for an experienced NFL guy to oversee the operation. After a couple of games that were 2 bottle of Tums disgusting, he has not mentioned it since. There is a 40% chance that Mangini survives. The talk now is to hire a football guy that might be able to work with Mangini as HC without any input to the draft.

Eagles coach Reid to get a new contract.

Eagle management has recognized that Reid would be a top candidate for other NFL jobs opening after the season. They will give Reid a new deal.

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,Playoffs,Colts,Chargers,Patroits,Bengals,Broncos,Ravens,Jaguars,Saints,Vikings,Eagles,Cowboys,Giants,Packers,Weis,Browns,Bears,Learner,Mangini,Reid
  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 6th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What to look for this week in College football

What to look for this week in College football

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football

#9 LSU @ #3 Alabama – 7.5

Alabama dropped a spot in the BcS last week on a bye. They get it back this week against a good but over matched LSU team. Bama QB McElroy has to be effective throwing the ball because the LSU run D is outstanding. In the last 4 games he has failed to throw for 150 yards. He must do better than that against LSU to keep the Tigers from loading up the D line. This will be another real test of the Bama O line.

LSU QB Jefferson, also a 1st year starter, has struggled to get the ball down the field. He is completing almost 64% of his passing but only for 7.36 per attempt. RB Scott is not producing as much as they had hoped at just 4.5 per attempt and has scored only 4 TDs. The LSU O will struggle to keep the ball and let their D rest.

Look for a very low scoring game with Bama winning but struggling to cover the spread.

#17 Ohio State @ #11 Penn St – 3.5

People around Ohio are thinking Rose Bowl—not so fast my friend. That would require that the Bucks win at PS and then beat #4 Iowa next week plus a win at Michigan to end the regular season. That dream ends Saturday. The Bucks have no offense and are not sure where it went. QB Pryor has regressed and now is struggling with mechanics and reading defenses. The result is he may hit a couple of big plays.

PS has gotten solid production out of QB Clark and RB Royster. Clark has a rating of 149 and 18TDs to 7 Ints. Royster is averaging nearly 6 per carry. The D is solid but not special.

The Bucks will be trying FGs with a backup kicker while PS is scoring TDs. PS wins and covers the spread.

#7 Oregon @ Stanford – 7

This is a classic LET DOWN game for the Ducks. They looked unbeatable last week against USC at home. Now they face an up and down Stanford team that can be dangerous at home. They have not lost there. Oregon’s O is the most improved unit in all of college football. The running game is much better with RB James than it was against Boise St. He has the speed and change of direction to make the stretch play work to its maximum. The running game has made QB Masoli extremely effective with play action.

The only hope that Stanford has is that the Duck head are so big they can’t get their helmets on. Oregon should win and cover but stay away from this one due to the chance of a let down.

#24 Oklahoma @ Nebraska + 5.5

How far has this once great rivalry fallen? To the point that no one really outside of those two states cares who wins. Sooner QB Jones has done better than anyone could have hoped taking over from the injured Bradford. He has a passer rating of 142 with 17 TDs and just 6 picks. Their problem is the lack of a running game. RB Brown is averaging just 4.3 per attempt and the team struggles moving the chains. They are just trying to get into a decent bowl after losing 3 games this year.

The Huskers was quietly having a nice season at 4-1 until they lost in each of the last two games including a bad loss against Iowa St last week 9-7. The D has played better than it did last year and the O has good numbers but the latter is misleading. The O has let them down in their 3 losses scoring just 32 points in those games.

The Sooners are the better team and should win and cover but who cares?

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 19th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn from the College weekend 7?

What did we learn from the College weekend 7?

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football

Ohio State is struggling badly on offense. The problem is 65% the O line or absence of one and 35% QB Pryor. The O line has been a problem for the last 5 years. The lack of pass protection has been a major contributor to Pryor regressing this season. He loses his mechanics because he is running for his life even against a 1-5 Purdue team. The lack of run blocking has put much more pressure on the passing game. The 5 man blocking sled is pushed up against the wall of the OSU practice facility. It’s way past time that it gets used a lot. If the Bucks could generate any kind of running game, the pass rush would be slowed and Pryor would become more accurate.

Alabama looked a lot more impressive than Florida this weekend. Florida struggled with a hot but unranked Arkansas team and most of their problems were self inflicted. Bama rolled over 22 South Carolina 20-6 but the game was not that close. Alabama is good but I wonder if they can get over the hurdle of beating Florida in the SEC Championship game.

20 Oklahoma v 3 Texas was everything we hoped it would be. But as I said before the draft this year QB Bradford made a mistake by not going pro. Unfortunately he was hurt again in the game. Every injury costs him millions of dollars in guaranteed money because the NFL will be less and less comfortable with his injury status. The two injuries that the scouts worry about the most are concussions and injuries to the passing arm/shoulder/elbow of a QB. A perfect example of this is Pennington. His 3rd shoulder injury may well end his career. Each operation has reduced his already below average arm strength. The shoulder capsule injury is difficult to judge and any doubt will hurt Bradford’s draft status.

Texas looks OK on D as does Oklahoma. The game was a defensive struggle all day. Texas QB McCoy averaged only 3.3 yards per throw with 21-39 for just 127 yards. In addition the running game averaged 3.6 per attempt. That is not enough O to win against either of the SEC teams. The Sooners hung in the game very well but did not have enough O with QB Jones at the helm to win.

4 Virginia Tech let 22 Georgia Tech jump out to a 14-3 lead. When they can continue to run the ball and pass when they want to, the Jackets are very hard to stop. VTk fell to the Jackets and are out of the Championship game race with 2 losses.

5 Boise St. has not impressed me much. They have one really nice win over Oregon at home. That is all. They do not have any other big game on the schedule. Frankly even if they do win out, I would take a 1 loss SEC or Big 12 team over an undefeated Boise club.

6 USC seems to play down to the level of their competition. They let the 25 Notre Dame hang around way too long and almost let them come back to win. Early in the 4th USC was up 34-14 but let ND score twice and threaten a 3rd time. That did not impress me. The USC D is over rated and the win over Ohio State is looking less and less impressive. Both QBs looked OK but the difference was the USC running game. But the USC D let ND QB Clausen march the ball into the red zone at the end of the game.

I do like 8 Cincinnati, 9 Miami (FL) and 11 Iowa. All three look good and have chances to improve their position with big game coming up. Iowa really needed Ohio State to win until they play to get the maximum advantage from a schedule against the weak Big 10.

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 2nd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What to look for this weekend in College games.

What to look for this weekend in College games.

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football

Tonight Utah St. @ 20 BYU The Cougars should have no problem with Utah St. This game should be over by half time but probably won’t be. BYU has a habit of playing down to the competition even at home.

Tonight Pitt @ Louisville Pitt was stunned by NC State last week. They have looked good until that game but State controlled the ball over 37 minutes. The Pitt D could not get off the field. Louisville was thought by some to be a top 25 team before the season. They are not. Pitt wins easily.

#4 LSU @ #18 Georgia LSU is 4th by default. They are not that good. Their win over Washington looked a lot better than it was after the upset of USC. The team is struggling on O. They just got by a very weak Mississippi St. team last week 30-26. QB Jefferson has good passing stats against weak DBs and the Tigers can’t run the ball. Georgia is a better team and is getting 3 points at home. LSU plays better at night at home and neither is the case here. Take the Bulldogs and give the 3.

#7 USC @ #24 Cal USC will be without both QB Barkley and RB Johnson this week. The problem with the USC O is the O line. It just has not come around as quickly as everyone thought it would. Cal has problems of its own after a 42-3 loss last week to Oregon. Cal is over rated and it showed last week. USC wins by more than the 5 point spread.

#8 Oklahoma @ #17 Miami This is a very young Miami team playing a very young Sooner QB. Miami looks like a bunch of freshmen and sophomores playing great against both Florida St. and Georgia Tech then looking outclasses by Virginia Tech on the road. Which Miami will show up is anyone’s guess. But the Oklahoma D will show up. I would not touch this game with a 50 pole but I usually go with the best D. Oklahoma should cover 7.5 point spread despite a couple of interceptions thrown by QB Jones.

#22 Michigan @ Michigan St. Big Blue has a very slow defensive backfield. That will be a problem against a set of very good WRs from MSU. Of course there is always an issue of QB Cousins getting the ball to them. He looked OK last week in a 36-30 loss at Wisconsin but was replaced by Nichol who averaged 16 yards per attempt vs. Cousins 5.6 per throw. Regardless who plays QB, Big Blue wins.

Florida St @ Boston College FSU has looked great one week and horrible the next. They went to BYU and looked like world beaters then were drubbed by a back up QB for South Florida at home last week. BC is struggling on O against Clemson then looked better against Wake Forest last week. But WF is over rated and the athleticism of FSU will carry the day.

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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Tuesday Morning QB for 09/22/09

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football

The Steelers running game is struggling – Steeler RB Parker tweaked his hamstring and did not play in the last half of game 1. He carried 14 times for 47 yards in game 2. His injury is contributing to the problem but is far from the cause. The fact is that the Steeler O line is the weak link in the team. LT Starks is the best of the group and he is barely above average. QB Roethlisberger has been sacked more often that the Whopper. The running game is struggling. It won’t change anytime soon. Look for the Steelers to pass more. If they fail to get to the Super Bowl, the O line will be the culprit.

Things are a little tight in Titanville Tennessee is now 0-2 after losses to both Pittsburgh and Houston. They are now going to play the Jets. Last year the Jets were the first team to beat the Titans. They are now 2 games behind Ind and have injuries to deal with. The problem is this—if they go 0-3 they will have to win 10 of the remaining 13 games to have any chance to make the playoffs in the AFC.

Other teams in trouble –

Dolphins – At 0-2 the Fish are 2 games behind the Jets and the Jets have already played NE and won. The D is solid but the O is struggling to score TDs rather than FGs. I predicted that they would be a better team with a worse record in 09.

Eagles – Philly without McNabb is a 6-10 team. The O doesn’t go without him. Kolb is not the answer and neither is Vick or Garcia. McNabb is going to be out for another 4 weeks. If the team is 2-4 it is going to be a tough road back to the playoffs.

Panthers – Other sites had Carolina winning the NFC South. I told you before game 1 that the Panthers were a flawed team that would not make the playoffs. Delhomme is a bad QB and you can not win with a bad QB.

The NFL Changes the blackout rules—sort of. Comm. Goodell announced that the NFL Channel would broadcast any games that were blacked out after midnight Sunday. That would be a really nice idea except that those that can’t afford a ticket to the game aren’t likely to be paying $85 a month for Direct TV or Dish Network.

Dallas game almost blacked out The game was nearly blacked out because Jerry Jones Inc. had not sold all non-premium seats prior to 72 hours game time. Dallas was requiring seat licenses for around 5K each for those seats. The only way JJ was able to get rid of them was to sell them for face value without the license fee to allow the game to be shown on TV locally. Now there are rumors that those that paid the license fee will sue JJ to get their money back.

WR Crabtree (Tex. Tk) is still unsigned. His representatives say he may sit out the entire year rather than sign for the offer from the 49ers. The fact is that he will fall in the draft next year because NFL GMs won’t want to deal with his inflated sense of self value.

The NBA may use replacement refs. No matter where they get the new guys they can’t be much worst than what we saw last year. Refs that think they are the show are a problem. Refs that become the show with bad calls or no calls depending on the relative star power of the players involved are a crisis.

Comm. Goodell can eliminate the rookie salary pool in a non-capped year. One of the things that the league is considering is the elimination of the rookie salary pool if a new agreement can’t be signed before the start of the 2010 season. That will cost the vet players some money but won’t stop the Cowboys and others from trying to buy a championship.

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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