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  • Published: Sep 18th, 2009
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What to look for this weekend.

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College football key games

#20 Miami 33 #14 Georgia Tech 17 The D of the U played outstanding football. The secrets to stopping the option game of GT are first to force them into a lot of 3rd and 6+ and to jump out early to take them out of their running game. Miami did both and won the game. Miami is much better sooner than anyone thought. Look for them to win the ACC Coastal.

Tennessee @ #1 Florida – Revenge served cold tastes best. Ex-Raider current Vols coach Lane Kiffin has made a lot of disparaging remarks about the Florida football program. Florida will get even Saturday. Florida will hang 50 on Tennessee who is struggling on offense. With all 22 starters from last year’s national championship team returning, look for Florida to score continually until some time Monday afternoon.

Texas Tech @ #2 Texas – This is another revenge game. Last year TT knocked Texas out of the Big 12 Championship game. The TT O is contacting unsigned SF WR Crabtree to see if he wants to come back for this game. The TT defense is going to be tested by QB Colt McCoy. This is the second most important game in the Texas schedule. Look for Texas to win big.

Florida St @ #7 BYU – FSU doesn’t leave the deep south too often. This game will give them another reason to stay home. The game is critical to BYU. They not only need to win but win big to prove they belong in the national championship conversation. They win but not big. The FSU D saves the team from a big loss.

Tulsa @ #12 Oklahoma – The Sooners don’t have QB Bradford but sub Jones will do fine. Tulsa QB Kinne can run. Given the pass rush he will face from Okl D, he will do a lot of that. Oklahoma covers the 17.5 point spread.

# 19 Nebraska @ # 13 Virginia Tech – VT won at Nebraska last year by stopping the running game. This year Nebraska goes to the air with first year starter QB Lee. The VT D is in the top 10 nationally despite giving up 34 against Alabama. Nebraska wins in a minor upset. VT is not the same team without their star RB Suggs.

#23 Georgia @ Arkansas – This is a must win for Georgia if they want to be considered for a BCS bowl. Georgia QB Cox needs to complete more than 60% he is averaging now and for more than 6.72 yards per attempt. Georgia wins but it won’t be by a lot.

The Pros

NO @ PH Eagle QB Kolb proves once and for all that he is not an NFL quality player. NO wins easily and Brees makes his fantasy owners very happy.

CR @ AT The Panthers lose again and QB Delhomme extends his run of horrible games to 3. Coach Fox calls real estate agents right after the game because Delhomme is ending his run in Carolina.

PT @ CH The Steelers win again. Cutler runs for his life because the O line fails to protect him.

NG @ DA The Giants make the opening game at JJ’s new digs something not to remember. The Cowboy O line shows it age. Giants win.

SD @ BA Tomlinson sits more than he plays because of his ankle and the Ravens D. Sproles gets to know LB Lewis REALLY well. The right side of the Charger line struggles with the pass rush. Baltimore wins.

MI @ IN The Colts will struggle with the Dolphins run game but Miami gives up the run because Indy puts up too many points against their D. Indy wins at home.

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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The Packers hope the 3-4 will produce a better pass rush. Don't bet on it.

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The Packers offense is good enough to win. The D has been good but not good enough. The specific shortcoming was lack of a solid pass rush. The team is trying to convert to the 3-4 but still have 4-3 personnel. They may take a step back before getting enough 3-4 talent.

There isn’t much of a problem with the QB. The only area in which QB Aaron Rodgers has struggled in is 4th quarter comebacks. He also is not as productive inside the red zone as he is in the middle of the field. But that comes with experience. This is his second year as the starter and he should get better in that aspect of his game. He has all the physical skills to be a top QB. He just needs time to develop. Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm will battle for the 2nd QB spot.

HB Ryan Grant averaged less than 4 yards per carry. I am not a Grant fan. He tends to dance more than he should and seemed somewhat tentative after injuring a hamstring in the preseason. He is over valued in Fantasy drafts this year. The team plans to run more and we will see how that works out. FB Korey Hall is a good receiver and more than adequate lead blocker. Brandon Jackson backs up Grant and is just OK.

The receivers are outstanding. The starters are Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. In a somewhat short list of WR these two will have very good years for Fantasy Football. James Jones and Jordy Nelson are solid backup one of which will replace Driver when he retires or is traded to the Jets. Donald Lee. and Jermichael Finley are in a training camp battle for the starting TE spot. Both are a little above average receivers.

The line is back in tact. It has LT Chad Clifton, LG Daryn Colledge, C Jason Spitz, RG Josh Sitton and RT Allen Barbre. Clifton is getting old and his performance slipped last year no matter what you read elsewhere. RT Barbre is the weak link and is the most likely to be beaten out in training camp. The rest are OK and look better in pass protection because of Rodgers getting rid of the ball quickly. They deterioration of the running game is in part their fault. C Scott Wells and T/G T.J. Lang are the prime backups. The wild card is veteran free agent Mark Tauscher. He is recovering from knee surgery and may be signed if there is an injury or lack of production.

The D line starts rookie B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins at the ends and Ryan Pickett at NT. Jenkins missed most of the year with a chest injury and his condition is not clear yet. Pickett is new to the NT job and should be able to do a decent job. He is not going to collapse the pocket often. The team is betting that Raji has enough athleticism to handle the DE spot. The bench contains Es Johnny Jolly and Justin Harrell. Both have experience but Harrell is coming back from an injury again.

The real issue to the success or failure of the 3-4 will be the linebackers. The change to a 3-4 is a game of Chinese checkers. DE Aaron Kampman moves to OB. OB A.J. Hawk moves inside. Kampman was all pro at 4-3 DE. Whether he can or will be effective at OB is very much up in the air. He has been silent on the move. Hawk should thrive inside if he is allowed to use his instincts to blitz more. Nick Barnett starts inside but is coming off an injury and was inconsistent when healthy. He is still out due to surgery last season. Former DE Jeremy Thompson wasn’t very good at that so there is no reason to believe he will do any better at OB. Rookie Clay Matthews and former starter OB Brady Poppinga are the primary bench strength.

The DBs are solid and deep. Charles Woodson and Al Harris are as good as any in the league. They have excellent depth in CBs Will Blackmon, Pat Lee and Brandon Underwood. FS Nick Collins was all pro last year. The only semi-question in this group is SS Atari Bigby. He is recovering from surgery and did not participated in the OTA.

OVERALL: The Pack will be fine offensively. I think the change to the 3-4 will take a couple of seasons to improve the D. Look for them to battle the Bears for second in the division behind the Vikes.

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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