Archive for the NFC East Category


The Song Remains The Same For The NFL

As another Sunday approaches for the NFL, one cannot help but recall certain themes that have transpired thus far. The days of parity appear to not be in play this season. With the Rams, Lions, Chiefs, Redskins, Browns, Raiders, Titans, and Buccaneers all struggling, as well as the Dolphins, Seahawks, and Panthers all with just two wins as well, it has become a case of the have and have-nots. The list of have-nots may be the deepest in recent memory for the league. Will things change after the new collective bargaining agreement on the horizon?  That is one tune waiting to be composed.

Was anyone really shocked to see Brett Favre fumble then throw away the game for the Vikings last week? It was about time if you ask me. We are talking about the NFL’s All-Time Turnover King. No player has thrown away the ball more in history than Favre, and he is just three fumbles away from tying Warren Moon for the record of most fumbles ever. With 313 interceptions and 158 fumbles, and counting, the Steelers decided to just let Brett be Brett last week. When you do that, you will win more than lose to him. Just be ready for the inevitable mistake. With a career average of 1.7 turnovers for every game he has played, it is a sound strategy.

Watching Larry Johnson bubble over with frustration, you have to wonder what is the biggest deal is. Is it his homophobic remarks, his rant on his new head coach, or his bemoaning the loss of cash? Johnson, some may say, had his mind destroyed along with his body with all those carries several years ago. Some may recall former Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil calling his character into question once. Johnson, a coaches son, realizes his career is coming to an end and that he will never again command the salary he current makes. He stands to lose $600,000 this week, not exactly chump change. Though his comments were not politically correct, this still is America. Freedom of speech and expression is a right. Taking his money hurts, but watching his career end has to gouge him deeper. If he does latch on with another team next year, he will be a part time back with a pay rate showing such a role.

On with the picks. I am now sporting an unimpressive 60-27 record after going 9-4 last week. Let us see if I can do better.


Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are approaching this game as a must win. They are at full health again with their offensive line, which will be critical in this match up. The Broncos have been, and is the surprise of the league so far with a perfect record. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare for this, so expect a hard hitting game.

Ravens
27   Broncos 21


Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills

Houston is a team who appears to have found their groove on both sides of the ball, and could go on a winning streak if they are not sidetracked by injuries. Buffalo is a team still trying to find their identity.

Texans 34  Bills 17

Cleveland Browns @ Chicago Bears

Cleveland heads into the Windy City at a tumultuous time. Bears fans are unhappy with their teams inconsistent play on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Chicago expects a win over the lowly Browns, and Cleveland seems to have already packed it in for the season.

Bears 31  Browns 27

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys

Dallas came away with an impressive victory last week that was a much needed statement game as well. This game is critical in keeping the momentum going. Seattle is missing their best linebacker, and their best running back is dinged up. They will need to pass to win, which isn’t easy against the Cowboys cornerbacks.

Cowboys 38  Seahawks 27

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Miami stopped the Jets winning ways just three weeks ago. After dropping another two games, the Jets won big last week. Miami came off their bye week by blowing a big lead to the Saints last week, Miami needs to run well to win, while the Jets are hurting in the middle of their defense especially. It should be another close game between these two rivals.

Jets 24  Miami 21

 

San Francisco 49ers @ Indianapolis Colts

The 49ers lost last week, but quarterback Alex Smith may have won the confidence of his teammates. The Colts are undefeated and getting healthy. Even if Smith repeats last week performance, it will be hard for the 49ers secondary to stop the Colts passing attack all game.

Colts 34  49ers 23

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles

Though the Eagles won last week, they did not look much sharper than the team that lost to Oakland two weeks ago. The lack of running game has proven to be this teams Achilles heel for years, and it has been in the spotlight even more this year. The Giants realize they need to get back on track after two weeks of consecutive losses. Expect the Giants to pound the ball on the ground, while Philly tries to exploit a suspect Giants secondary.

Giants 23  Eagles 21


Saint Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions

It is too bad these teams cannot face each other more this season. They would win more if they did. Detroit appears ready to go with Culpepper at quarterback this week, and possibly the entire season. Though both teams have veteran quarterbacks, I expect this game to be won on the ground. Steven Jackson will carry the Rams to one of their few victories this week.

Rams 28  Lions 24


Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers

The Raiders have been as inconsistent as their young quarterback JaMarcus Russell. After controlling the Eagles two weeks ago, they were pulverized by the Jets last week. The Chargers are as inconsistent, mostly due to an underachieving defense and banged up offensive line. If the Bolts do not get it going this week, they may never get anywhere this year.

Chargers 48  Raiders 24


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans are still without a win, and owner Bud Adams has ordered coach Jeff Fisher to start Vince Young at quarterback over veteran Kerry Collins. Though Fisher realizes the problem isn’t just at quarterback, expect him to comply. The Jaguars handed the Titans a 20 point loss a month ago. They did it by pounding the ball down the Titan’s throats all game. Expect a similar strategy, but something tells me Fisher has a plan this time.

Titans 23  Jaguars 17

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Game Of The Week

As I told you the first time these teams met a few weeks ago, this is the game to watch. Not only is it the return of a certain Hyckocrite to Lambeau Field for the first time as a visiting player, but both teams have developed their personalities more since the first meeting. The Packers have had trouble running the ball this year, even with Ryan Grant’s 148 yards versus Cleveland last week. The Vikings are excellent at stopping the run as well.

Expect the Packers to air it out against a depleted Vikings secondary, while the Vikings attack them with a balanced attack. Though the focus seems to be on quarterback in Minnesota, the main reason they win is by running the ball, controlling the clock and field position. This game will be a prime example of that, assuming their quarterback doesn’t cough up the ball and victory as he did last week.

Vikings 34   Packers 31

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals

The Panthers have been a disappointment so far. Their passing attack is nearly non existent, and their running game is not at full strength with Jon Stewart battling injuries. The Cardinals are trying to find their running game still, but they realize how good their passing game is. If the Panthers do not get to Kurt Warner, the Cardinals may score often.

Cardinals 38  Panthers 17

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints

The Falcons are just not running the ball as well this season as opposed to last year. This causes their defense to stay on the field longer that they would like, and for their secondary to be exploited. The Saints are also trying to get their running game more consistent so they do not have to rely on Drew Brees arm so much. This is a game Brees can air it out to multiple receivers, while Atlanta will need to control the clock to keep that from happening.

Saints 41  Falcons 30

NFL Power Rankings

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Indianapolis Colts

3. Minnesota Vikings

4. Denver Broncos

5. New England Patriots

6. New York Giants

7. Cincinnati Bengals

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Baltimore Ravens

10. Atlanta Falcons

11. Philadelphia Eagles

12. Houston Texans

13. Green Bay Packers

14. Dallas Cowboys

15. San Diego Chargers

16. Chicago Bears

17. Miami Dolphins

18. New York Jets

19. Arizona Cardinals

20. Jacksonville Jaguars

21. San Francisco 49ers

22. Seattle Seahawks

23. Buffalo Bills

24. Oakland Raiders

25. Carolina Panthers

26. Detroit Lions

27. Kansas City Chiefs

28. Washington Redskins

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30. Cleveland Browns

31. Tennessee Titans

32. Saint Louis Rams

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What We Learned: NFL Week Three

By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

Week Three had some major upsets, and a few tricks thrown in as well. Let’s take a look back at some of the big stories.

 

That Old Favre Magic

Two weeks into the NFL season, and Brett Favre has done little more than manage a game, a task either of his backups could do, and still make them 2-0. They do have one of the top NFL running backs in Adrian Peterson. However, Favre was finally called on in the fourth quarter against San Francisco, and boy, did he deliver. With 89 seconds to go, the Vikings were down 24-20, starting on their own 20 yard line. Favre drove them, completing all five of his passes, leading them to the 32 yard line of San Francisco’s with 12 seconds left. On the next play, Favre found little-used WR Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone to complete his 40th career game-winning drive. This one play just summed up why Minnesota took such a chance to get Favre back one last time.

 

An Unimpressive Beginning

It’s been two years and three games since Michael Vick played in an NFL game. Finally, on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009, Vick came back and did…absolutely nothing. Well, that’s not all true. Vick, who has only practiced with the Philadelphia Eagles for a short amount of time, played his responsibility as a decoy well. Overall, Vick was on the field for 11 snaps, and had a total of seven yards on one rush. Ironically, it was the other Eagle backups, QB Kevin Kolb and RB LeSean McCoy who had a big day for the Iggles, who won 34-14 over Kansas City. As the season progresses, look for Vick to get some more action while he adjusts to his new team.

 

The First One Is Always The Sweetest

Dec. 23, 2007 was the last positive day for Lions fans. That day has since been replaced with Sept. 27, 2009 as the Detroit Lions won their first game in their last 20, beating the Washington Redskins 19-14. Coach Jim Schwartz and rookie QB Matt Stafford also celebrated their first career victories. While their 19-game losing streak will go down in history as the second longest in NFL history, for the Lions and their fans, all they’re concerned with is a new streak. This one has a more winning attitude to it.

Kudos must also go to Schwartz, who sent his team back out to celebrate the victory with the 40,000 plus fans who have been supporting the Lions through thick and thin.

 

All-Star Injury Squad

The NFL talks of adding an extra game or two, but at the rate of the injuries occurring, they’re won’t be anyone left to play that extra game. In fact, an all-pro team could be designed with the injured players. Key injuries include RBs LaDanian Tomlinson, Frank Gore, Jamal Lewis, Marion Barber, LB Brian Urlacher, DE Dwight Freeney, QBs Donovan McNabb and Chad Pennington, WR Wes Welker, CB Aaron Ross, S Troy Polamalu, and others. It’s a long season, and for some teams, a key injury to a franchise guy can really affect the team’s psyche and performance.

 

Way Too Early MVP Predictions

1. Peyton Manning: 983 yards and seven touchdowns in just three games, he is the reason the Colts have once again taken first place in the AFC South, and the team shows no signs of turnover issues with a new coaching staff in place.

2. Adrian Peterson: Even after his non-breakout game against San Francisco, the Minnesota Vikings RB is still a huge reason for their 3-0 start, with 357 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in 2009.

3. Drew Brees: The Greatest Show In The Air is led by Brees, with his 841 yards and 9 touchdowns already. He had a non-descript game against Buffalo, but still has the talent and the tools to put points up and lead New Orleans to victory in the coming weeks.

 

Contenders and Pretenders

It’s early in the season, but who’s getting off on the right foot?

Are the Jets for real? Raise your hand if you saw them 3-0 after games against New England and Tennessee. Well, it’s true, behind rookie QB Mark Sanchez and the suffocating defense, the Jets are 3-0 heading into a showdown against New Orleans this weekend.

The New York Giants recommitted themselves to the rushing game this past week, and it showed as that and a combined defense effort led them in shutting out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-0. It was the first road shutout for the G-Men since 1983. The Giants are 3-0 for the second straight season.

The Baltimore Ravens are using their offense to put points on the board, and it has given them a 3-0 start in coach John Harbaugh’s sophomore season.

As always, there are teams struggling to live up to the hype early on this season as well.

Three losses last year, three losses this year. It’s the same old for the Tennessee Titans, except they’ve lost all three games in a row this season. Who would have thought Albert Haynesworth made that much of a difference.

An inept win over St. Louis and a pathetic loss to Detroit makes the Washington Redskins a huge pretender. Combine that with the NFC East division, and coach Jim Zorn might not make it out of Week Two.

The Miami Dolphins are stuck with one of the hardest schedules this season, and it is clearly affecting last year’s AFC East champs, as they are 0-3 already this season.

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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Brett Favre, Michael Vick News Cycle Drags on with No End in Sight

The NFL season is still three weeks away, and already two stories have been covered to the max, even by ESPN’s standards.

Michael Vick and Brett Favre need to be cut off the media radar.
 
Ironically, neither of the two will even be a factor during the 2009 season until at least mid-October. Vick finally signed with a team and is now practicing with the Eagles.
 
Is it really necessary to have Sal Paolantonio attend every Philly practice, giving us an update on Vick’s wind sprints? The speculations over what team would take the massive P.R. hit and sign him are over.
 
The man is out of jail and is now just another player in training camp. This does not merit the continued coverage. Talk to me in week six when he is ready to play.

I can already predict the Vick stories over the next two months:
 
Vick looks in shape, Vick gives Eagles a wildcat option, other teams must now worry about the Eagles running the wildcat, Donovan McNabb and Vick get along and are friends, McNabb and Vick will be on the field together, the protests, the angry headlines, and of course, the livid dog owners.
 
Does any of this have relevance to the first month of the 2009 NFL season? Why can’t this story go on the back burner till Vick can actually make an impact ON the field?
 
Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King already has a prediction:
 
“I think I’m setting the over/under on Sal Paolantonio’s days spent reporting from Eagle headquarters or Eagle games this season, and I’m doing it right now. There are 139 days between today and the end of the regular season. Over/under: 140.”
 
I’ll take the over.

Then there is Brett Favre. He just simply will not get away from my TV. It has been the most painfully slow death of an NFL career since Emmitt Smith went to the Arizona Cardinals.
 
After two agonizingly dull months of Favre to the Vikings talk, he decided to stay “retired.” I want the collective 24 hours of Favre updates of my life back, please.

So finally we all thought he would drift off into the sunset.

But wait, there’s more!
 
Yesterday some “unidentified” Vikings player was quite convinced Favre was coming when he said, “I’m telling you it’s already done. I don’t think anyone here doesn’t think that.”
 
Today a Mississippi TV station reported that Favre had boarded a plane en route to Minnesota. Here we go again…ESPN reports he will sign a $10-12 million deal.
 
Now we will be subjected to a whole new round of speculation amongst the talking heads. They will rehash the same arguments that have been used since the spring. Once again the focus will not be about X’s and O’s, but on a guy with a gray whiskers who may or may not be too old.
 
Knowing Favre, he might even change his mind four or five more times in the next month. The Sage Rosenfels era might end before it even gets started. So much for that impressive first preseason game; he’s getting bumped by a Wrangler jeans-wearing 39-year-old diva.
 
The running game will dictate the Vikings season, not Favre. So why doesn’t ESPN talk about Adrian Peterson every day? How did Carson Palmer and Tom Brady look in their first games back after major injuries? Which rookies look to have early success? How will Jay Cutler and the Bears compare to Kyle Orton and the Broncos? Will the Steelers’ offensive line hold up for big Ben Roethlisberger?
 
Unfortunately, this is all second fiddle to the media empires. We will continue to get bashed over the head with Vick and Favre well into the season.

The funny thing is that there is a chance neither player makes any sort of impact on the field. But clearly that is irrelevant.
 
You have been warned; be prepared for a loooong couple of months of the same old stories.

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Breaking News: Brett Favre Signs With Minnesota Vikings

Soon that picture will not just be some crafty Photoshop business.

One night after a report came from Fox Sports Jay Glazer that the attitude amongst the Vikings brass was not a matter of if, but when, Brett Favre would become a Viking, the never ending saga has taken, hopefully, a final twist.

Three weeks after Favre said he would remain retired, citing psychical reasons, it has been stated that Brett Favre has signed a contract, and will suit up in the purple and gold this coming season.

The likely reason this is now occurring is because we are deeper into training camp, and Favre did not want to go through the demands of training camp in hopes of lasting through a full season.

Make it official, and lets get this Favre rumor mill shut down, a formal announcement should be made by the days end. 

He is the unquestioned starter for the Vikings’, and pairs with All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson to give the Vikings a passing force on offense they have sorely lacked since the glory days of Daunte Culpepper. No longer will this team have to rely solely on the legs of Peterson.

I will have updates as more news comes out, with Favre, you never know how much there is going to be

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Diner Morning News: Childress Must Fix This Mess

National Football Post

QUOTE: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”—Maria Robinson

Brett Favre gave Brad Childress of the Vikings an answer Tuesday. I’m not sure it’s the one he wanted to hear, but nonetheless, it was a decision. For now, he is not coming back — emphasis on the “for now.”

Of course, we got a quote from coach Childress: “I just think it was a rare opportunity to explore a Hall of Fame quarterback who had a background in the NFC and in this division. He knows our system inside out…This doesn’t change anything about how I feel about our football team.”
A rare opportunity? I wouldn’t call chasing a 40-year-old quarterback coming off a shoulder injury “rare.” Had Favre been 32, then yes, this would have been a rare opportunity.
Speaking of rare, do you consider a 26-year-old quarterback who has thrown for more than 8,000 yards (Minnesota has thrown for 5,700) and 45 touchdowns the past two years rare? For me, the rare opportunity was when Jay Cutler was on the market, not Favre. But Childress didn’t like Cutler, didn’t like his personality, had heard some “things” (for lack of a better word) and decided to pass.

I love Brett Favre as a player. I’m really happy he didn’t come back because, as I mentioned in the Sunday Post, he hasn’t trained his body to play this season. Without proper training, he would’ve had a hard time staying healthy and playing at the level of excellence we’ve all come to expect. The aging process takes a toll on everyone, even someone as great as Favre.

So, where does my favorite NFL head coach go now? Of course, he’s going to mention to everyone, except his own quarterbacks, that he has confidence in his team, his beloved system, and his players.

What I find funny is that Childress had time to talk to Peter King of SI.com (nice work, Peter) about the Favre situation but didn’t have the time to call Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson. I love Peter, but he’s not going to help you win games; Rosenfels and Jackson just might. Don’t you think they should have been told first and been given some love and nurturing?

I was told Wednesday night that many in the Vikings organization were not in favor of chasing Favre, that it was solely the idea of the head coach. This was his baby from start to finish, even to the point where it was reported that the team hadn’t imposed a deadline on Favre and allowed him to take as much time as he needed. Clearly, Childress just wanted Favre.

Being fair to Childress, maybe he saw a need to acquire Favre as a reaction to what has transpired in the NFC North. Maybe he felt that with Cutler in Chicago and the Packers being healthy, he needed a quick fix. Because let’s face it, even if Favre came back, it was only for one year. Where would the Vikings be in 2010?

Now, the burden of moving the ball falls back to Jackson or Rosenfels, and the burden of calling games falls on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

But the greatest challenge awaiting Childress is restoring the team’s confidence in its quarterbacks. Childress has lost some trust of the players with this pursuit, particularly the quarterbacks. Some may dismiss it as just trying to improve the team, but trust me, these moves can backfire and create a very unpleasant locker room.

One of the key traits of leadership is called “Management of Trust,” which means the leader is honest and consistent with his actions, something Childress clearly has not been through this process. He never addressed the situation with either player, nor told them what they could expect. In fact, when he recruited Rosenfels to come to Minnesota before the trade with Houston, he never mentioned any other quarterback he might compete against except Jackson.

It will take some time to repair this mess created by the Favre chase, and it might continue if Favre keeps throwing and the Vikings keep calling. For now, though, coach Childress must clean up the mess—quickly—and stop thinking there is no mess.


JIM JOHNSON

Jim Johnson’s passing is very tragic. He was a great person, a great leader, and—most of all—an inspiration to his players. He built something in Philadelphia, and it wasn’t just a defense. He created a legacy. When you say “Philadelphia Eagles defense,” you think of Jim. And that will not stop now that he’s gone. His work will always be with the Eagles.

What I most admired about Jim was his love of the game. He was never bitter about not being a head coach or being passed over; he was someone who accepted his role, enhanced it, and made the most of it. In the world of pro football, egos can be huge, but Jim was an egoless man who only wanted to do his job well, regardless of who got the credit.

Someone once said, “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” Jim, your life was worth watching. You will be missed.

The National Football Post is a unique and premier online source of quality and credible news, information and insight about all sides of football featuring professionals with experience in all facets of the NFL.

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32 Teams, 32 Sleepers: NFC North (Fantasy Football)

(Reprinted from www.scfantasyfootball.com, written by Chris)

Well, Chris and I have something nice lined up for everybody out there. I introduce to you, “32 Teams, 32 Sleepers.” We are going to go division-by-division and give you a high-upside or value pick for each team.

By sleepers, by the way, we’re talking people likely to go around the twelfth round or later. Expect me to write-up the AFC East and West and the NFC North and South, with Chris doing the NFC East and West, and the AFC North and South.

Next up, the NFC North.

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NFL Dream Team

If you can have a fantasy draft of your own NFL team, who would you pick?

There are no other people drafting against you, so you are free to choose the best of the best.

Can you make your team go undefeated?

I can only imagine what would happen if American style football was a worldwide event.

If that were so, I’m sure that this team would go undefeated against any other team ever.

These may not be the best NFL players in the NFL at their positions, but they are the players that would fit great and work together best. It’s sort of like how Herb Brooks ran his Olympic team back in 1979-1980. It’s not the best players, it’s the right ones.

Forget the 3-4 or 4-3 defense, wildcat , double-wing, or shotgun formations. No matter what the suit, these guys would get it done!

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The Complete 2009 NFC Running Back Predictions

The NFC produced a ton of talent at the running back position in 2008.

The top four rushers in the NFL came from the NFC: Adrian Peterson (Vikings), Michael Turner (Falcons), Deangelo Williams (Panthers), and Clinton Portis (Redskins).

The running game is what ultimately sets up the passing game. It is said that if a running game can be successful in a game, a passing game will develop.

We have cleared the quarterback position as well as the AFC predictions.

Here are the 2009 NFC running back predictions!

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