What did we learn from the Wild Card Round?

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If you go in to the playoffs cold, you may be in trouble–sometimes.

Bengals—UCH!!! The play of QB Palmer raises serious questions about his future. He was 18-36 for just 146 yards and 1 TD with 1 pick. The WRs did not help him. WR Edwards dropped a TD that would have made a real difference in the flow of the game. But Palmer missed open WRs regularly in short as well as deep throws. That can not happen at this level. The Jets put some pressure on him but not enough to justify the bad misses.

The running game went well enough and the D was OK. However, the D did not get enough pressure on the rookie QB Sanchez. I predicted that the Bengals would not go far but I did think they would beat the Jets.

Eagles—UCH2!!! The Eagles are going to have to fix their O to become competitive. They have to be able and willing to run the ball some to be effective. In both games against the Boys they failed to hold the ball to give the D rest. There were way too many 3 and outs. Until they can run the ball, they will not advance in the playoffs.

Pats There will need to be some major improvements in the Pats D to get this team past the first round of the playoffs. The team has lost too much of the experience that allowed the team to use the unusual Ds that helped cover up its weak pass coverage.

There are problems on the O as well. QB Brady does not look like the same guy since the injury that took him out of the 08 season. The O line has not protected him as well as it needs to. Belichick is going to have to make some changes. Part of the problem is that the recent drafts have not been as good as those in previous years.

Packers The Pack D let them down. However, given the fact that this is their first year in the 3-4 and they have some injured stars that will come back next season, they should be OK. The problem they had against the Cards was the lack of pressure on Warner.

I will discuss the winners on Friday as part of the Division round preview.

Around the NFL:

Seahawks The Hawks have a new coach. Pete Carroll had a lot of problems at USC. He decided to get while the getting was good. The NCAA is about to drop the hammer on USC for a variety of violations of the rules. While in the NFL he was a good coach but not anything great. Time will tell if the Hawks have made the right move. He will be given the power to do whatever he wants. Seahawk fans just hope he wants the right guys.

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
  • Comments: Comments Off on Around the NFL in week 5

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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Tuesday Morning QB for 09/22/09

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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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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 5th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on NFL 2009 in a nutshell.

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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