• 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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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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  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 3rd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Around the NFL after week 12.

Around the NFL after week 12.

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The Colts struggle to keep perfect.

The Texans had a 14-0 lead on the Colts at the end of the 1st quarter. Indy seems to play down to the level of their competition for the first 3 quarters then play like the devil in the 4th. Almost half of the Colts wins have come on the last drive. The D is struggling due to injuries but the O is operating at a very high level most of the time. They will beat Tennessee this week but won’t go undefeated.

The Saints are a real threat to go all the way.

Two games against the Pats by the Saints and Colts show the difference between the two undefeated teams. The Pats had the Colts beaten until Belichick made a key mistake and handed Manning the win. The Saints on the other hand totally thwarted the Pat O and had WRs running through the Pat D like children in a field of flowers.

The Saints O has more weapons than the Colts and is better balanced with a credible running game to go with an outstanding air attack. The Saints D is also better than the Colts is without S Sanders and the other wounded Colts. The Saints will have an excellent shot at a perfect regular season. They will be a tough out for any team because they are good and will have home field through the NFC playoffs.

The Giants will not make the post season.

The Giants are dead. The loss to a falling like a rock Broncos was the final blow. They now have 5 losses and with their schedule it is very unlikely they will get into post season. QB Manning’s foot problem is a lot worse than has been admitted. It will end his season before game 16 and the team can not win without him.

The Titans are pretenders not contenders.

It’s a great story—QB Young bringing the team back. But don’t believe that Young is the answer to get a team that got old all at once back into the playoffs. It won’t happen. The Young O is easy to defend and the NFL is a great copycat league. The D coordinators will force Young to throw from the pocket and he will disintegrate.

The Eagles are limping toward the playoffs. The question is will they make it?

QB McNabb is up and down. RB Westbrook is out for the foreseeable future with a concussion. The injuries are beginning to pile up on the other side of the ball. Even so, the Birds have a good chance of making the playoffs due to the weakness in the NFC East and great coaching.

The Coaching firing watch is on.

Cleveland—Mangini is as good as gone. Owner Lerner doesn’t have the guts to do it but will hire a “football guy” to can him. There is no question that the team is much worse than last year and the 1-10 record is the worst in Browns history.

Dallas—Jerry Jones issued a call to arms this week saying that Coach Phillips must win a playoff game to keep his job. But when a couple of name brand coaches come calling, Phillips’ post season 09 won’t matter. He will not be back. This is a very talented team that should have been much better for the last few years. Phillips is the reason that the team loses in December.

Washington—Coach Zorn is history as well. The team is 3-8 and is rudderless with QB Campbell under center. The team needs new leadership.

Houston—Coach Kubiak can’t get this team over the .500 mark and that will do him in this year. It is a good team that only a Cowher could carry much above 8-8.

Tampa Bay—Coach Morris is clearly in over his head as head coach. In January 09 he was hired as Offensive Coordinator then went to get a haircut. When he came back, he had been named Head Coach. The Ownership may choose to bring in an experienced Assistant HC to help him or fire him and try again depending on who is available.

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 11/14/09

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SF 10 CH 6

People around Chicago are wondering what is wrong with QB Cutler. The answer is two fold. First, the protection is bad to terrible. Second, he does not have anything close to the receivers he did in Denver. WR Hester is a KR trying to become a WR and he is the Bears top guy. The next best WR is Bennett but he is averaging less than 4 catches a game. Too many of the passes are going to RBs both because Cutler doesn’t have anyone getting open down field and he doesn’t have enough time to wait for them to uncover. TE Olsen is the best option that Culter has to go down field. The D is doing its job but they won’t win many games scoring 6 points.

The 49ers are no offensive juggernaut either but Coach Singletary has them playing hard every snap. He has just enough talent to be dangerous to team’s playoff hopes. QB Smith is showing a few hints of getting it but only time will tell if he ever becomes worth the 1st overall pick.

GAME OF THE WEEK—NE @ IN

The Pats and the Colts have had the best non-division rivalry in the league over the last few years. They meet again in Indy. Given the Colts’ injury problems in the defensive backfield, QB Brady will probably be throwing a lot. The Pats’ running game has been below average. RB Taylor is hurt and Maroney is not producing the long runs he has in the past. But Brady is hot and nearly back to his pre-injury production. The Pats’ D has struggled more than usual but at 6-2 they have a 2 game lead in the AFC East.

The Colts are depending on QB Manning because their running O has not developed. He doesn’t have his #2 WR Gonzalez who is on IR. No problem. TE Clark and WR Wayne have 60 and 59 catches receptively. WR Collie has 32 catches and Garcon has 23. The Pats DBs will struggle to keep all those targets covered.

I think the Colts will win in a very close game.

CN @ PT

The Bengals squeaked out a win at home. They will not win this one. The key will be if Cincy can protect QB Palmer. The running of Benson will keep this close because Pit can’t run much. Cincy has lost a couple of key defenders and Pit has S Polamalu who was out for the first game. Pittsburgh wins in a close game and takes control of the division.

DA @ GB

The Boys are coming off a big win last week at Philly. The Pack got embarrassed at Tampa last week. So of course the Pack will win. The Pack needs this win badly to stay in the NFC North race. The Boys can’t seem to stand prosperity. They seem to take a step forward to make room for a couple of steps back. The Pack O line is a problem but the Boys will struggle to slow down the passing game. Everything here points to a Boy win and that is why they won’t.

PH @ SD

Both teams need this game badly. Both are 5-3 but trail in their divisions. The Eagles looked really good up to last week and their loss to Dallas. They should get RB Westbrook back and the O is not the same without him. He has provided the spark that ignites the Eagle O with his running and pass receiving. The Eagle D may be missing CB Brown and NT Bunkley both of whom have missed practice time this week. They will need both.

The Chargers have not been able to run the ball at all. Since the Eagles will start blitzing coming down in the hotel elevators, the Charger O line had better be playing its best. The Eagle D will harass QB Rivers all day and the Birds should win.

MUST WIN—Denver at Washington

The Broncos were 6-0 at their bye. But they have lost both games since and scored only 17 points total. They have to win at the Redskins because there is a no win policy in the nation’s capitol. If the Broncos lose they will have wasted their great start. The D has played well even in the losses. It has been the total disintegration of the O that has caused the problem. Denver wins and gets 2 games up on SD.

Stinker of the week (decade?)–Chiefs @ Raiders 

Anyone that bets on this game deserves to lose money no matter who they picked to win.  Pres. Obama will need bail out any company that has to advertise on this game because no one in their right mind will watch it.

 

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 31st, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
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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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  • 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.

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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 .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 15th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tuesday Morning QB on a Thursday night.

Tuesday Morning QB on a Thursday night.

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After 5 games there are two kinds of teams—The quick and the dead. The quick are off to a fast start and the dead are just that for any chance to get to the post season. The secret to getting into the playoffs is beating up on the teams that you should and at least splitting with the top teams that you play. This season there are 9 really bad teams in the league. That is more than in most years and points to a lot of coaching vacancies after the season.

The Quick:

5-0

The Vikings are everything I said they would be before the season but there are some danger signs. Three of their wins are on the dead list—Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis. When they played better quality teams they have struggled at home on the O or the D. In the game against the 49ers the O struggled to a 27-24 win. Against the Pack the D struggled to get off the field and just won 30-23.

The Indy Colts have gotten off to a fast start but it is a little deceiving. They also played 3 games against teams on the dead list and one at the Cards where the home team didn’t show up for the game. The key to the D is S Sanders. If he is there, the team can stop the run but they can’t without him. The O has a problem as well—The running game is not getting it done. Addai and Brown are averaging less than 3.6 yards per carry. That is not enough balance to win on the road against a good D in the post season.

The NY Giants have looked good but they too have had a majority of their games against the dead. The only good team they have played is at Dallas and they squeaked by 33-31. The D is playing OK but the O has struggled with the running game. Now QB Manning has a foot injury and that could spell trouble for the team when the schedule gets tougher.

4-0

The Saints looked unbeatable at Philly winning 48-22 but the Eagles didn’t have McNabb. They also looked good against the Jets at home. This is probably one of the best teams in the league IF the D continues to play well. Their offense with Breez at QB is outstanding throwing the ball but have to continue to run the ball. They have some problems on the O line as well. We will know a lot more about the Saints after they host the Giants this week.

4-1

The Bengals are playing way beyond the level of talent on the team particularly on D. They have had the toughest schedule so far among the Fast teams. They own wins over the Ravens, Steelers, and Pack. Their only loss was a freak tipped pass against the Broncos on the first game of the season. They are playing well and are the best 1 loss team.

3-1

The Bears are playing well without Urlacker and Cutler. But can they keep it up?

The Falcons looked really bad against the Pats but great against the 49ers. Which is the real team?

The Eagles lost only one game in McNabb’s absence and that is really good news for the team. But can he stay healthy?

The DEAD

0-5

The Titans are the deadest of the dead. No chance to do anything. They got old all at once and are the oldest starting 22 in the league.

The Bucs are a close second on the dead list. This team is just bad and will take a lot of work and good drafts to get better.

All the Kansas teams. The Rams have some potential on O with QB Bulger and RB Jackson but Bulger is hurt. The Chiefs are actually showing some signs of life after death but injuries have hurt them.

1-4

The Browns won a game by default. They are bad and do not have an offense.

The Raiders are without a QB or a front office. Things in Raider land will not get better as long as Davis is running the team.

The Bills are not going to get better soon. Edwards is not the answer at QB.

The Lions have shown improvement. Of course that would not be hard after the 0-16 season.

1-3

The Panthers are the best of the dead teams. Some thought they had a pulse after a win over Washington but that team is near dead as well. No pulse no chance for the playoffs.

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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