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The NFL Season is almost here, and for the third straight year I will be making my NFL Season predictions. (here are my picks from 2012  http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2012/08/2012-nfl-predictions.html and 2013 http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2013/09/2013-nfl-predictions.html ) Feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think! Are you ready for some football!?

 

AFC East

New England Patriots 12-4
Miami Dolphins 9-7
New York Jets 8-8
Buffalo Bills 6-10

 

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals 11-5
Baltimore Ravens 9-7
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
Cleveland Browns 4-12

 

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts 11-5
Tennessee Titans 10-6
Houston Texans 8-8
Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11

AFC West

Denver Broncos 12-4
San Diego Chargers 11-5
Kansas City Chiefs 8-8
Oakland Raiders 4-12

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles 11-5
Dallas Cowboys 9-7
New York Giants 7-9
Washington Redskins 7-9

NFC North

Green Bay Packers 12-4
Chicago Bears 10-6
Detroit Lions 9-7
Minnesota Vikings 5-11

NFC South

New Orleans Saints 12-4
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6
Atlanta Falcons 8-8
Carolina Panthers 3-13

 

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks 13-3
San Francisco 49ers 9-7
St. Louis Rams 8-8
Arizona Cardinals 6-10

 

 

Playoffs

NFC Wild Card

Green Bay vs Tampa Bay

Philadelphia vs Chicago

NFC Divisional Round

Seattle vs Philadelphia

New Orleans vs Green Bay

NFC Championship

Seattle vs New Orleans

AFC Wild Card

Cincinnati vs Tennessee

Indianapolis vs San Diego

AFC Divisional Round

Denver vs Tennessee

New England vs San Diego

AFC Championship

Denver vs San Diego

Super Bowl

Denver vs New Orleans

Super Bowl Champions

Denver Broncos

 

 

 

NFL MVP – Peyton Manning
NFL Passing Yards Leader-  Drew Brees 5,234 yards
NFL Touchdown Passes Leader- Peyton Manning 48
NFL Rushing Yards Leader- Matt Forte 1,673 yards
NFL Receiving Yards Leader- Calvin Johnson 2,032 yards
Receiving Touchdowns- Demaryius Thomas 15 TD’s
Rushing Touchdowns- Marshawn Lynch 14 TD’s
Sacks- Robert Quinn 21
Interceptions- Brandon Boykin 9
Rookie of the Year- Sammy Watkins

So there you have it. Those are my 2014 NFL predictions. If you agree, disagree, or think I’m crazy let me know!  But remember, these aren’t anything official, just predictions. And if any of us did have the actual answers Vegas would go broke!

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Okay so I had to simply call this the “Receivers Edition” instead of “Wide Receivers Edition” because I am including Tight Ends as well. We will look at upcoming milestones in Receptions, Receiving Yards, and Receiving Touchdowns. So lets get to it! (once again barring unforeseen circumstances).

Receptions

1,000

Andre Johnson- Currently at 927 receptions, Johnson has had 100+ receptions the past two seasons, and will become just the 10th player in NFL history to achieve 1,000 receptions in a career.

900

Jason Witten- The 9 time Pro Bowler has been an important piece to the Dallas Cowboys offense during his 11 seasons with the team. The Tight End is just a few games in need of reaching the 900 mark. (879 career receptions)

Anquan Boldin- Boldin thrived in his first season in San Francisco. Boldin’s 85 receptions last season has currently put him at 857 career receptions.

Larry Fitzgerald- His career low in receptions was 58 during his rookie season. Since that time he has currently racked up a total of 846 catches.

Wes Welker- When you get to play for quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning like Wes Welker has, then you are going to get your number called quite a bit! Welker is currently at 841 career receptions.

Steve Smith- Smith had 64 receptions last season, which is exactly the amount he needs to reach 900. Will definitely get his chances in Baltimore as he will be their new primary threat.

800

Brandon Marshall- Possibly part of the best wide receiver alongside Alshon Jeffrey in Chicago. No reason to think he (and for that matter Jeffrey) will not keep it. Marshall has had 100+ receptions the past two seasons, bringing his career total to 712.

Rest of The Field

700

Roddy White- 685 career receptions

600

Calvin Johnson- 572

500

Greg Jennings- 493

Dwayne Bowe- 472

Heath Miller- 466

Will They?

Antonio Gates is currently sitting at 719 receptions. He has only reached 80+ receptions twice in his career, but recorded 77 last season

Jerricho Cotchery- Now will be the apparent No.1 Receiver in Carolina, Cotchery may have a shot at reaching 500 career receptions this season. (437 career receptions)

Receiving Yards

Reggie Wayne- Before a mid-season injury last season, Reggie Wayne achieved the 1,000 reception milestone. Had he not gone done with an injury, Wayne would have been within an arms reach of reaching 15,000 this season. But it is a safe bet that he will get to 14,000 as he currently sits at 13,566 career receiving yards. (But don’t knock him just yet on reaching 15,000 this season either!)

Andre Johnson- If consistency continues, Johnson will reach both the 13,000 and 14,000 receiving yard milestones. Currently at 12,661 career receiving yards, Johnson posted 1,407 yards in 2013 and 1,598 in 2012(and has recorded 1,500+ receiving yards in 3 of the last 6 seasons).

Steve Smith- Will see a rejuvenation in Smith career this season with a fresh start in Baltimore. needs 803 (12,197 career receiving yards) to reach the 13,000 yard milestone.

Will reach 12,000 (may have chance at 13,000)

Larry Fitzgerald- 11,367 career receiving yards

Anquan Boldin- 11,344 career receiving yards

Welcome to the five digits (and more!) club (10,000+)

Jason Witten- 9,799 career receiving yards

Roddy White- 9,436 career receiving yards

Wes Welker- 9,358 career receiving yards

Calvin Johnson- 9,328 career receiving yards (I think he will reach 11,000 as well as I have gone on the record to say Megatron will record 2,000 receiving yards this season http://kcsportsninja.com/can-calvin-johnson-crack-the-2000-receiving-yard-mark-in-2014/ )

Antonio Gates- 9,193 career receiving yards

Brandon Marshall- 9,050 career receiving yards

9,000

Marques Colston- 8,337 career receiving yards

8000

Vincent Jackson- 7,362 career receiving yards

Greg Jennings- 7,344 career receiving yards

Touchdown Receptions

90

Larry Fitzgerald- 87  career TD Receptions

Antonio Gates- 87 career TD Receptions

*Note* If both match their career highs (13) they will reach 100 career TD Reception milestone in the process.

70

Steve Smith- 67 career TD Receptions

Calvin Johnson- 66 career TD Receptions

Anquan Boldin- 65 career TD Receptions

Marques Colston- 63 career TD Receptions

Will He?

Andre Johnson has 61 career TD Receptions but has only record 9 in a single season once.

60

Brandon Marshall- 57 career TD Receptions (If continues trend of past two seasons of having one more TD than previous season, 11 in 2012, 12 in 2013, then 70 may also be reached by Marshall)

Greg Jennings- 57 career TD Receptions

Roddy White- 55 career TD Receptions

Vernon Davis- 53 career TD Receptions

Will They?

Vincent Jackson has 52 career TD Receptions, but has had one less TD in each of the past three seasons (2011- 9 TD Receptions, 2012- 8 TD Receptions, 7 TD Receptions)

Jason Witten- Had 8 TD Receptions last season. Only had one other season with 8 or more TD’s in a season (9 in 2010)

50

Wes Welker- 48 career TD Receptions (With Peyton Manning as his QB, had career best with 10 TD Receptions last season. Perhaps may reach 60 as well if he continues build off that)

Rob Gronkowski- 42 career TD Receptions

Jimmy Graham- 41 career TD Receptions

Dez Bryant- 40 career TD Receptions

Will They?

Dwayne Bowe- Has 44 career TD Receptions and his career high is 15 in a season (2010). His rookie season(2007) he had 7. But in his five other seasons, Bowe has had 5 or less TD’s

Heath Miller- 40 career TD Receptions. Will need career year. Most ever recorded in a single season is 8 (2012).

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/

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A big part that measures a player’s success is any and all milestones they reach throughout their career. With the 2014 NFL Season quickly approaching, many players are in reach of big milestones. And barring unforeseen circumstances, the following milestones will be reached by the following players

Passing Yards

Tom Brady

3 time Super Champion Tom Brady is knocking on the door of 50,000 career passing yards. Brady currently stands at a career total of 49,149, and it should take about four games at the most to reach the 50,000 yard mark.

Philip Rivers

Rivers will need a good portion of the season to hit the next big career milestone of 35,000 passing yards, with a current career total of 32,369.

Ben Roethlisberger

Roethlisberger will need less games to reach the 35,000 mark than Rivers (34,105).

Tony Romo

It may just take one game for Romo to reach 30,000 (29,565), but would probably make a couple interceptions in the process ;)

Quarterbacks that will reach 25,000 mark

1. Aaron Rodgers- 24,197

2. Jay Cutler- 23,937

3. Matt Ryan- 23,472

4. Joe Flacco- 21,545

(Matthew Schaub currently has 24,254. While he is in Oakland where there is currently heavy QB competition, Schaub should receive a chance and in the process may reach the 25,000 milestone)

Quarterbacks that will reach 20,000 mark

1. Matthew Stafford- 17,457

Touchdown Passes

Peyton Manning

Manning is currently 2nd all time for most career passing touchdowns with 491. Not only will Peyton reach the 500 mark, but will also surpass Brett Favre (508) for most all time!

Will They?

Both Drew Brees and Tom Brady have 363 and 359 career touchdown passes respectively. May be a stretch to think Brady will reach 400 mark, but Brees needs just 37 and was one TD Pass shy last year of having three consecutive seasons of 40+ touchdown passes.

Quarterbacks that will reach 200 mark

1. Aaron Rodgers- 188

Quarterbacks that will reach 100 mark

1. Andy Dalton- 80

(other notables Josh Freeman-80, Matt Cassel- 93, David Garrard- 89, Jason Campbell- 87, Kyle Orton- 83

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_yds_career.htm

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_td_career.htm

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Over/Under

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

1. Peyton Manning throws for 5,000 yards

Over/Under

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

2. Demaryius Thomas has 1,500 receiving yards (1,430 in 2013)

Over/Under

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

3. Julius Thomas has 12 TD Receptions (12 in 2013)

Over/Under

4. DeMarcus Ware records 14 sacks

Over/Under

5. Denver wins 12 games (13-3 in 2013)

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It is never too early to start talking about football! With less than three months to go until the start of the 2014 NFL Season, interesting stories have and will continue to build until the season finally commences! So with that out of the way, lets take a look at some scenarios and either “Buy” or “Sell” them actually happening this upcoming NFL Season!

Buy or Sell

1. Dallas Cowboys Will Make The Playoffs?

2. LeSean McCoy Will Repeat As NFL Rushing Leader?

3. Eli Manning Will Have a Bounce Back Year?

2013 Stats: 3,818 Passing Yards, 18 Touchdowns, 27 Interceptions (most in league in 2013, as well career worst) 69.4 QB Rating

4. Nick Foles Will Continue Success From Last Season And Be Eagles Next Franchise Quarterback?

2013 Stats: 8-2 record, 27 Touchdowns (only 2 interceptions), league best QB Rating of 119.2

5. Calvin Johnson Will Have at Least 1,500 Yards Receiving?

2013 Stats: 14 Games Played, 1,492 Receiving Yards, 12 TD Receptions

6. One of The Following Head Coaches Will Lead Their New Team To The Playoffs?

  1. Bill O’Brien- Houston Texans
  2. Jim Caldwell- Detroit Lions
  3. Mike Pettine- Cleveland Browns
  4. Mike Zimmer- Minnesota Vikings
  5. Lovie Smith- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  6. Ken Whisenhunt- Tennessee Titans
  7. Jay Gruden- Washington Redskins

 

7. At least One of The Following Head Coaches Will Be Fired After The Season?

  1. Rex Ryan- New York Jets
  2. Mike Tomlin- Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Marvin Lewis- Cincinnati Bengals
  4. Jason Garrett- Dallas Cowboys

 

 

8. Drew Brees Will Throw For 5,000+ Yards For The 4th Consecutive Season?

9. Jadeveon Clowney Will Win Defensive Rookie of the Year?

10. Johnny Manziel Will Start a Game For Cleveland?

11. There Will Be QB Controversy For The New York Jets Between Geno Smith & Mike Vick?

12. The New England Patriots Will Win The AFC East For The Sixth Straight Season?

13. Peyton Manning Will Throw 50+ TD Passes?

2013 Stats: 5,477 Passing Yards (NFL Record), 55 Touchdown Passes (NFL Record), 342.3 Passing yards per game (league best), 115.1 QB Rating

14. Richard Sherman Will Have at Least 8 Interceptions For The Third Consecutive Season?

15. The Seattle Seahawks Will Repeat As Super Bowl Champions?

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As the NFL Schedule was released yesterday, one of the many talked about subjects were key match ups during the 17 week long regular season. I compromised 10 games that are out of division, match ups that are a must watch as some may and will hold playoff implications and positioning, another chapter being added to rivalries, and rematches with one team looking for revenge! Without further ado, here are my 10 must see (out of division) games to watch this 2014 NFL Season!

 

Week 1 

Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers

The Seattle Seahawks begin their Super Bowl title defense against the Green Bay Packers. The last time these two teams met, it ended in controversial fashion when an Hail Mary attempt appeared to be intercepted in the endzone by then Packers Safety, M.D. Jennings. It was then when then Seahawks Receiver Golden Tate made a desperate yet obvious last ditch attempt to persuade the replacement officials that he was the one in full control of the ball when coming down with it. The call was ruled a touchdown and ironically a few days later Tate admitted he pushed off a defender (which would be offensive pass interference) before “catching” the ball for the game winning touchdown. Thankfully just two days later, the original referees ended the “2012 NFL Referee Lockout” by coming to an agreement with the NFL.

Week 2

Indianapolis Colts vs Philadelphia Eagles

Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck has already cemented himself as the next franchise Quarterback for the Colts. The Eagles are hoping they found theirs finally for the first time since the Donovan McNabb era in Nick Foles. Foles made a quick mid-season impression and lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a division title last year.

Week 3

Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos

Super Bowl 48 rematch! We know Denver will be looking to avenge its embarrassing performance against Seattle when the Seahawk defense picked apart Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense en route to a 43-8 Super Bowl victory. Will the Legion of Boom continue where it last left off from its dominance in the Super Bowl, or will Peyton Manning and the Denver offense finally have an answer for the “12th man”?

Week 4

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles

Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagle will be heavily tested early on in 2014, as they face another Super Bowl contender, San Francisco 49ers, in Week 4. Colin Kaepernick has come close to a Super Bowl ring twice. In 2013 he and the 49ers were defeated by the Ravens in Super Bowl 47, and lost in last year’s NFC Championship Game against the Seahawks. Foles will look to prove he is the future and answer the Eagles problems, while Kaepernick is trying to solve the problem of getting over the hump en-route to a Super Bowl ring.

Week 7

Denver Broncos vs San Francisco 49ers

In what could have been the other possible Super Bowl 48 match up, perhaps finally we will get a glimpse into what might have happened this past February had these two teams met for the Lombardi Trophy. Would Colin Kaepernick have “Kaepernicked” his way to a Super Bowl victory, or would Peyton Manning defied his critics and ended up winning his 2nd Super Bowl? I guess this will be the closest way in finding out the answer to that question…..for now!

Week 8

New Orleans Saints vs Green Bay Packers

In what is sure to be a quarterback clinic, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have combined for 2,067 passing yards (Rodgers-879, Brees- 1,188) 19 touchdown passes (Rodgers 9, Brees 10) and 211 points totaled between the two teams when these two meet. (Rodgers has won 2 of 3 matches against Brees)

Week 9

New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos

Chapter 16 of the classic “Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning” rivalry. New England hosted Denver last year in the regular season where the Broncos jumped out to a 24-0 lead before the Patriots made a huge comeback to win the game. Unfortunately for Brady and the Patriots, New England was not able to go into Mile High Stadium and capture the AFC Championship two months later against Manning and the Broncos. Though both quarterbacks are nearing the end of their respective careers, they will still have plenty to play for and much to prove.

Week 10

New Orleans Saints vs San Francisco 49ers

Two different style quarterbacks, both of whom produce big numbers and positive results. While Drew Brees is a protocol “gun slinging” and “pocket presence” quarterback, Colin Kaepernick gets it done not only through the air, but on his legs, via the ground game. This mid-season match up could give early indications of playoff positioning, and for these two championship contenders, positioning means everything!

Week 13

Green Bay Packers vs New England Patriots

Another match up where Tom Brady will be facing an elite quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. While Tom Brady may not have as many weapons as Aaron Rodgers and this is not the same New England teams from year’s past, Brady’s experience and leadership begins to take stride around this time each season. Rodgers will be no slouch either as he already has a Super Bowl trophy and like Brady, has his sights set on another one!

Week 14

Philadelphia Eagles vs Seattle Seahawks

A potential playoff preview, it will be interesting to see how these two teams offenses generate against each other. The Seahawks, led by Russell Wilson, will have Marshawn Lynch in the backfield with Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Jermaime Kearse as down field threats. The Eagles counter that with Nick Foles at quarterback with what also might be now the most dynamic backfield duo in the entire NFL after obtaining Darren Sproles to complement LeSean McCoy. Even though Philadelphia lost DeSean Jackson, they will be getting Jeremy Maclin back and Riley Cooper has emerged as the Eagles No. 2 Receiver. A definite must watch battle between these two high tempo, fast paced offenses!

With that said, are you ready for some football!?!?!?!?!

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During the 2009 NFL Season, then Tennessee Titans Running Back Chris Johnson ran for 2,006 yards (which at the time became just the 6th player in NFL history to surpass the 2,000+ rushing yard mark. Adrian Peterson would become the 7th in the 2012 season). Johnson’s expectations dramatically increased because of his performance that season. The following year Johnson ran for 1,364 yards on the ground and did produce another 1,300+ yards in a season throughout the remainder of his time in Tennessee.

Johnson was deemed by many, including myself, a failure because of his decline in production. But now that I am able to look at this whole picture from 20 feet away as opposed to 2 feet, I was able to see everything more clearly and realize that not only were Johnson’s expectations unfairly set high because of his career year, he still actually maintained similar production he produced throughout his entire career with the Titans.

I decided to take a look at Johnson’s career stats to date and noticed something that really stood out. Since being drafted by Tennessee back in 2008, Johnson has never had fewer than 1,400+ yards both rushing and receiving yards combined in a season. Another interesting observation I took note to was Johnson had 4 touchdown receptions in the 2013 season, the most he produced in a season to date.

As I began to rationalize the situation even more, I also realized that upon entering the league with the Titans, Johnson more or less carried the team on his back. Tennessee had no legitimate passing game and heavily relied on him (Johnson) to carry the load. In his first three seasons Johnson totaled 34 TD’s on the ground (2008- 9, 2009-14, 2010-11). Johnson’s decline in rushing yards really did not come until 2011, the same year as current starting quarterback Jake Locker was drafted, so it would only make sense that Johnson’s numbers would drop (Locker came in relief of Matt Hasselback midway through the season before being named starter from that point on). Finally the Titans had a (seemingly) franchise quarterback for the first time since drafting Vince Young (notice I said seemingly) and would not need Johnson to perform ‘miracles’ and run for 90 yard touchdowns.

Johnson was adjusting to a new system while still doing what he needed to do and never had below 1,000 yards rushing in a season, all the while still found a balance in assisting in the receiving game, scoring 10 total touchdowns in 2013 (6 rushing, 4 receiving) the most he has had overall since having 12 in the 2010 season (11 rushing, 1 receiving).

Sitting here now shaking my head, I realize how much of a mistake it was for the Titans to get rid of Johnson even though I was originally for it and viewed him as a ‘bust’ because he ‘failed’ to live up to his potential. The truth of the matter was that Johnson did everything for the team when he first entered the league, but as time went on the Titans were finally able to not be just one dimensional as they finally had the other assets to be a well balanced team. Wherever Johnson ends up from here, there is no reason to believe that he will not succeed on his new team because he obviously has a lot to offer!

 

Chris Johnson Career Stats

Rushing Receiving Total
2008 1,228 yards, 9 touchdowns 260 yards, 1 touchdown 1,488 yards 10 touchdowns
2009 2,006 yards, 14 touchdowns 503 yards, 2 touchdowns 2,509 yards, 16 touchdowns
2010 1,364 yards, 11 touchdowns 245 yards, 1 touchdown 1,609 yards, 12 touchdowns
2011 1,047 yards, 4 touchdowns 418 yards, 0 touchdowns 1,465 yards, 4 touchdowns
2012 1,243 yards, 6 touchdowns 232 yards, 0 touchdowns 1,475 yards, 6 touchdowns
2013 1,077 yards, 6 touchdowns 345 yards, 4 touchdowns 1,422 yards, 10 touchdowns
Career 7,965 yards, 50 touchdowns 2003 yards, 8 touchdowns 9,968 yards, 58 touchdowns

 

*Notes

Wide Receiver Nate Washington had 1,023 receiving yards in 2011

Kendall Wright who is coming off just his second season in the NFL, recorded 1,079 yards in 2013

After taking over for an injured Matt Hasselback, Jake Locker finished the 2011 season 34 of 66 for 542 yards passing and 4 passing td’s

Despite being intervened by an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, Locker passed for 2,176 yards in 11 games

In 2013 before going down with an injury, Locker had 1,256 passing yards through seven games

 

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When the Miami Dolphins parted ways with Reggie Bush, they were left without a legit running game. Both Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller, who were green with experience, were now at the top of the depth charts. Miller and Thomas split time at Running Back for the Dolphins in the 2013 season and together accumulated 1,115 rushing yards combined (Miller 709, Thomas 406). Miami ranked just 26th in rushing yards per game and total rushing yards as a team in 2013. Enter Knowshon Moreno. Moreno had a career year last year with the Denver Broncos, rushing for a career best 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns. Considering the fact he did that with Peyton Manning as his quarterback with all the weapons he had in the passing game, that was a pretty impressive thing for Moreno to accomplish. Speaking of the passing game, Moreno 60 receptions for 548 yards and 3 touchdowns, showing he has the ability as a threat in receiving game coming from the backfield. With a big hole in the running game as evident for the Dolphins, Moreno’s talents would be very welcomed and much needed in Miami.

Sources:

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&season=2013&seasonType=REG&offensiveStatisticCategory=RUSHING&role=TM&d-447263-n=1&d-447263-o=2&d-447263-p=1&conference=ALL&d-447263-s=RUSHING_YARDS

http://www.sports-reference.com/

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http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=6406

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We are nearly a week in NFL Free Agency and surprisingly one of the biggest names out there, Jared Allen, has not been signed by any team!  Early reports indicated that the Denver Broncos and Allen had mutual interest in one another, but the Broncos ultimately ended up signing DeMarcus Ware, putting any chance of him going to Denver out of the equation. Allen has mentioned he wants to go to a team with a lot of cap space that is also a championship contender.

Right off the bat, some have speculated the Cowboys being interested since they loss Ware, but Allen is seeking at least $10 million a season, and Dallas has only just a bit over $7 million left in cap space. The past three seasons, the Cowboys  had a chance in the final game of the regular season to clinch a division title and playoff spot, yet failed each time to do so. Dallas may not be one of the most enticing places if Allen is looking for both a big payday and a chance at a championship, but who knows? Maybe he could help them get over the hump and at the same to come to a compromise with Dallas and take a pay cut. Though I honestly just do not see that happening.

After parting ways with Julius Peppers, the Chicago Bears are in pursuit to fill that hole at defensive end. Allen could be a good fit that would help improve the league’s worse defense’s in the league last year. (Though to be fair, most of that was due to a large part in injuries). With the signing of defensive end LaMarr Houston, and lining up with Stephen Paea, that, at the very least, could make Allen hear what Chicago has to offer, but being able to persuade him to sign with the Bears is another task in itself.

Per Dave Richard of CBS Sports, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reportedly high on Allen, and with Lovie Smith being named new head coach it may be a perfect match for him (Allen.) It may take time though for Smith to turn the Buccaneers completely around after coming off a 4-12 season (and who have not had a winning record since the 2010 season) may cause Allen to look the other way.

     Finally, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that if Allen does not get the money he feels he deserves that he will simply walk away from the game. I just do not see that happening though. Rapoport mentioned on NFL Network’s “Free Agency Frenzy.” ” “He (Allen) is willing to simply go about his life and walk away from football.” Money (even if it is not as much as he feels he deserves) talks, and I believe Allen would eventually be willing to negotiate for a deal that is at least close to his market value. Plus with all the charity work he does, I think he would rather continue to give those foundations and organizations something instead of nothing.

 

    Sources:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/492877/jared-allen

https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/443780817073238016

 http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000333339/article/jared-allen-ready-to-walk-away-if-he-doesnt-get-paid

                

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Eric Decker is expected to receive a huge payday like a number one receiver, despite some critics saying he is more or less a number two receiver. Nevertheless, teams will be willing to shell out huge dollar amounts to obtain his services even if he is nothing more than a number two receiver. When the New York Jets released Santonio Holmes, it freed up over $8 million in cap space, and now NFL Media’s Kimberly Jones reported is reporting that Decker and the Jets will meet Wednesday. If Decker decides the Jets are the perfect catch, he will have the ultimate opportunity to prove his is a legit number one receiver as he would be going from receiving passes from future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning to Geno Smith, who is coming off his rookie season.

In four seasons with the Broncos, Decker recorded 222 receptions for 3,070 yards, and 33 touchdowns

Source For Player Stats: http://www.sports-reference.com/

Other sources: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000333276/article/eric-decker-to-visit-new-york-jets

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Earlier I wrote about there being mutual interest in Jared Allen and the Denver Broncos.(http://kcsportsninja.com/jared-allen-and-denver-broncos-have-mutual-interest/ ) It appears that Allen is not the only highly touted pass rushing free agent that is on the Broncos radar. Denver also has its sights set on DE/LB DeMarcus Ware, who was cut by Dallas earlier today. There is talk about the possibility that Denver may even sign both, but as usual money may be the issue. It is said that Allen does not have many suitors so he may have to compromise a little if he wants to play for Denver. Allen also stated in the article as I mentioned above, that Allen wants to play for a competitive team with plenty of salary cap room.  Denver has already upgraded its defense after signing T.J. Ward to a 4 year $23 million deal ($14 million guaranteed). Denver would like to complement the upgrade in the secondary by strengthening its defensive front. If Denver can get one, let alone both Allen and Ware, the Broncos will without a doubt have one of the best defensive units in the 2014 season!

Source: http://www.milehighreport.com/2014/3/11/5497338/your-denver-broncos-free-agency-rumors-and-updates-free-agency

http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/3/11/5498738/denver-broncos-favorites-to-sign-demarcus-ware-also-targeting-jared

 

 

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   After informing the Minnesota Vikings he would not be back, Jared Allen is already making his move to visit with other teams. According to National Insider for NFL Network and NFL.Com, Ian Rapoport has stated that Allen and the Denver Broncos both have mutual interest with each side. Rapoport also reports Allen wants to go to a team that is competitive and has a lot of salary space, both true in regards to the Denver Broncos.http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000333131/article/jared-allen-set-to-visit-with-denver-broncos

     Should the Broncos sign Jared Allen, it is very possible that Shaun Phillips will not be brought back.

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12 time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey will not be brought back by the Denver Broncos. Bailey, who first entered the league in 1999 as a 1st round draft pick by the Washington Redskins. After five seasons with the Redskins, Bailey was traded to Denver in 2004. Though Bailey who is 35 (turns 36 before start of 2014-15 season) has been in the league for 15 seasons, has no indications of retiring and will test free agency.

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After suffering one of the most lopsided Super Bowl losses in NFL History, the Denver Broncos immediately began to look at what issues and needs would have to be addressed in the off-season. One is that of Wide Receiver Eric Decker and if he is going to be part of the future of the Denver Broncos or take his talents somewhere else and receive a bigger payday. Per NFL.com: , Eric Decker stated he would “welcome” a call from Denver, but needs to do what is best for his family. Lets not beat around the bush, Decker is as good as gone. The whole “I need to do what’s best with my family card” is 9 times out of 10 a cop out to make an athlete look less like the bad guy while ironically saying it is not about the money.

Eric Decker is most likely going to be looked at as a number one wide receiver for every team looking for a wideout to build their team around (Or at least receive the payment like one). Decker knows he will not be the top guy in Denver nor will he receive the big payday he will ask from them, therefore he will go somewhere else to get it.

 

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The Super Bowl was a one-sided game with the Seattle Seahawks dominating the Denver Broncos 43 to 8 to win their first NFL Championship.   The Seahawks had a great game defensively with 4 turnovers  including a 69 yard interception for a touchdown by linebacker Malcolm Smith who was named the game’s MVP.   They set the tone earlier when 12 seconds into the game they scored a safety when the snap went over Peyton Manning’s head into the end zone.  Offensively Russell Wilson got comfortable as the game went on throwing for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns.   Marshawn Lynch was held to 39 yards but scored a 1 yard touchdown run in the 2nd Quarter.   Percy Harvin who was injured for most of the season had two runs for 45 yards.   However his biggest play was at start of the 2nd half when he ran back the kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown to give Seattle a 29-0 lead and ended the competitive phase of the game.

Peyton Manning threw for 280 yards and a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas at the start of the 4th Quarter.     However, the Seahawks defense keep the pressure through the game and made all of the plays.    Seattle is already the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl in 2015, and the future opponents are going to have a lot of problems.

                                                                      (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The first snap of Super Bowl 48 very much dictated what kind of game it was going to be between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. A bad snap over the head of Peyton Manning wound up in the end zone, forcing Knowshon Moreno to fall on it, quickly giving Seattle a 2-0 lead. It would only get worse for Manning and Denver from then on out!

Seattle quickly added three more points after the free kick from Denver. The top rated Seahawks defense would force the Broncos to a 3 and out and once more added three more points after Place Kicker Steven Hauschka hit his 2nd field goal of the game to give the Seahawks a 8-0 lead.

The Seahawks defense would again cause problems for the top rated Broncos offense! On the Denver’s ensuing possession,  Manning on third down, had a pass deflected that ended up in the hands of Seahawks Safety, Kam Chancellor. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks would this time make good on a golden opportunity!

After a Pass Interference call on Broncos Cornerback, Tony Carter in the endzone, Seattle was set up with a 1st & Goal at the Denver 1 yd. line. Two plays later, Marshawn Lynch would take it in from one yard out after a nice block by Fullback Michael Robinson set up the touchdown (TD) for Lynch. Down 15-0, the Broncos needed to respond quickly and appeared well on their way in doing so!

Starting from their own 15, Denver quickly established a rhythm. Demaryius Thomas had 5 catches for 26 yards and Wes Welker had a big 16 yard reception on 3rd and 9 to keep the drive going. However, after a tripping penalty on Zane Beadles and a 2 yard loss by Tight End Jacob Tamme, Denver was facing a 2nd & 22. On 3rd & 13 Manning attempted a pass and would get hit in the process by Cliff Avril, causing the ball to be bobbled and float in the air which allowed Malcolm Smith to Intercept the ball and return it for a pick 6! Just when it seemed Denver had some momentum going, Seattle’s Defense stepped up once again, giving the Seahawks a 22-0 lead!

Denver would escape disaster after a fumble recovery by Seattle on the ensuing kickoff was overturned as Trindon Holliday was ruled down and gave the ball back to the Broncos. Denver again would drive into Seattle territory, but shot themselves in the foot again. A false start on 3rd & 4 moved Denver back five yards. After picking seven yards back up and facing a 4th & 2, Denver elected to go for it, but again Seattle’s defense applied great pressure and Chris Clemons got a hand on the ball to cause a deflection and force an incomplete pass and turnover on downs. Seattle would run the clock out and go up 22 heading into the half.

Seattle, just like in the 1st half, put together a quick score (both exactly in 12 seconds) when Percy Harvin returned a kickoff 87 yards for a TD and Seattle was now up 29-0! The Seattle secondary continued to take it to the Denver offense! Denver who was forced to punt on their first possession of the 2nd half, turned the ball over after Manning hit Demaryius Thomas for a completion, but thanks to Byron Maxwell knocking the ball out, allowing teammate Malcom Smith to come up with the fumble recovery.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Not to be outdone by his Defensive teammates, Russell Wilson put together a nice drive following the turnover!  Wilson went 3 of 4 for for 54 yards, including a 23 yard TD Pass to Jermaine Kearse to cap off the drive. The Seattle defense would finally break as Denver would finally respond with a scoring drive of its own after going 80 yards in 6 plays for a TD when Manning hooked up with Demaryius Thomas. Denver would convert on the 2 point conversion to make it 36-8 Seattle at the close of the 3rd Quarter.

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks would again put together and nice drive and respond to Denver’s scoring drive quickly, with Wilson going 5 for 5 for 58 yards including a 10 yard TD Pass to Doug Baldwin. While Wilson finished 18 of 25 for 206 yds and 2TD’s, it was the Seattle Defense that made the initial and biggest difference in this game! Seattle forced 4 turnovers (2 Interceptions, 2 Fumbles) with the first 3 resulting in 21 points for the Seahawks! Peyton Manning finished the day 34 of 49, 280 yds. 1 TD 2 INT and was sacked once which resulted with a lost fumble in the process.

 

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Seattle dominated and controlled the game from the very get go and proved that defense wins championship’s as the number one defense of the Seattle Seahawks annihilated the number one offense of the Denver Broncos and win Super Bowl XLVIII by a final score of 43-8!

Notes:  Demaryius Thomas broke a Super Bowl record for most receptions with 13 , a record previously held by Deion Branch, Jerry Rice, Dan Ross, Wes Welker with 11.

Floyd Mayweather lost his 10.4 Million Dollar bet he placed on the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl

Peyton Manning is now 1-2 in Super Bowls

Malcolm Smith was named Super Bowl XLVIII MVP ( 9 Tackles, 69 yard INT return for TD)

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Here is the break down of the Super Bowl 48 who will win and why.

QB:   Peyton Manning has amazing record season and will win the MVP.  Russell Wilson is in his 2nd year and is a game manager right now in his career.   There have been a lot discussion of Manning’s legacy this week and Wilson needs to prove that he can make big plays in a big game.   Advantage Denver

RB  Knowshon Moreno is young and outstanding running back who had a big season.  Marshawn Lynch had big games with the Seahawks and he did in the last two [playoff games.    Advantage Seattle

WR/TE   Demaryius Thomas led an outstanding receiving core along with Wes Welker and Eric Decker.    The Seahawks have only one big play receiver in Percy Harvin.    Advantage Denver

OL  The Broncos have done a great job in protecting Peyton Manning.   The Seahawks have down a great job in Russell Wilson.  Who’s OL keeps their QB clean will win this game.  Even

DL  The Broncos have an underrated defensive line that could put the presser on the quarterback  They had two sacks of Tom Brady in the AFC Title game.   The Seahawks had 2 sacks of Colin Kaepernick in the NFC Title game.    Advantage Seattle

LB   The Broncos have sure led by Wesley Woodward and Danny Trevathan.    The Seahawks are led by Malcolm Smith and Bobby Wagner  Advantage Seattle

Secondary  Dominique Cromartie-Smith lead an underrated secondary.   Richard Sherman led the group known as the Legion of Boom, and he will let you known about ask Michael Crabtree.   Advantage Seattle

Special Teams Matt Prather kicking field goals beyond 50 yards is money, Britton Colquitt is a good punter, and  Trindon Holliday is the threat of running punts and kickoffs for touchdown.    Steven Hauschka is an accurate kicker, Jon Ryan can land the punts inside the 20,  Jermaine Kearse, Doug Baldwin, and Golden Tate could make big plays in the return game.   Advantage Denver

X Factors  Wes Welker could  have a big game and make up for drop passes in Super Bowl 46.    Percy Harvin could make big plays in the return game and catching passes.

Intangibles  The weather will not be a major factor in the game.   The Broncos want to win this for Manning even though he is not retiring win or lose.      The Seahawks have nothing to lose but they have to open up the offense to win this game.

This will be a close game with the Broncos winning 27 to 24.   Peyton Manning will be named MVP

1203

Many are not surprised of the two participants in this year’s Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. I too expected it as they were both my preseason picks to make it to the Super Bowl, as you can see here http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2013/09/2013-nfl-predictions.html .

Peyton Manning’s record setting season has been the focal point of the entire NFL this season. Manning set the single season record for most Touchdown (TD) passes (55) and Passing Yards (5,477), but many critics alike ask the question “Does Peyton need to win this one in order to go down as one of the best Quarterbacks (QB) ever?” While that statement is laughable (one because he already has a Super Bowl ring, and two, you can not deny what Manning has done on the field to prevent him from being in the discussion of one of the greatest QB’s of all time). It would however, seemingly be all for not if Manning can not come away with a Super Bowl title even after all he has done this past season.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The Broncos led the league in scoring with 606 points (a new single season record) and to put it in perspective, the Chicago Bears who ranked 2nd in points, totaled 445. A difference of 161 points! Manning has had a handy repertoire of pieces that have aided him. Wide Receiver’s Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker all had at least 10 TD’s or more (Thomas-14, Decker-11, Welker-10). Tight End Julius Thomas also had 12 TD Receptions. Manning and his receivers will need to maintain a high level of production as Seattle ranked 1st in total yards allowed per game, but more notably and compelling, had the leagues best Passing Defense as well!

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Seattle Defense, who also ranked 1st in allowing the least amount points this season (231), is anchored by Cornerback Richard Sherman, leading the league in Interceptions with 8. As many of you recall, Sherman made the key play in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers to help clinch the game for Seattle. This was followed up by Sherman’s much talked about post game interview (which you can view here http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2014/01/how-i-and-others-can-relate-to-richard.html ). Not only did Sherman lead the league in interceptions, but the Seattle Defense as a whole had the most interceptions (28); Earl Thomas (5 Int’s), Bryon Maxwell (4 Int’s), Kam Chancellor (3 Int’s), Malcolm Smith and Bobby Wagner (2 Int’s) with Bruce Irvin, Clinton McDonald, Walter Thurmond, and Brandon Browner rounding out the cavalry with an interception each. Also not to be outdone by the Denver Offense, Seattle’s has been anything but futile!

Russell Wilson, who is just in his 2nd season, has turn a deflated Seahawks team around and has put Seattle in position to capture the franchise’s first Super Bowl Trophy! Wilson compiled a total of 3,896 yards of offense ( 3,357 Passing, 539 Rushing) and 27 TD’s ( 26 Passing, 1 Rushing). Lets not forget Running Back Marshawn Lynch, who has also been a key contributor to the Seattle Offense provided the Seahawks with an effective ground game. Combined with speed and power, Lynch amassed over 1,200 yards on the ground (1,257) and 12 TD’s. Lynch’s versatility gives Russell Wilson another option in the receiving game (36 Receptions, 316 yards, 2 TD’s). For as much attention and praise Denver’s offense has garnered, their defense should not be overlooked!

The Broncos ranked tied for 7th (coincidentally with the Seattle Seahawks) in the league for least rushing yards allowed per game (101.6). Denver’s Defensive unit is led by Shaun Phillips, who had a team high 10.0 sacks, all the while without Von Miller for the majority of the year (suspension) and eventually a season ending injury with a torn ACL.

I believe the key match ups for the game will come down to two things. 1. Peyton Manning and the Broncos Passing Game against the Seattle Pass Defense. 2. Seattle’s run game against the Denver  Run Defense.

Finally, I am going to get a little dangerous by making a prediction! As I mentioned earlier, I had projected Seattle and Denver to meet in the Super Bowl (which again you can see here http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2013/09/2013-nfl-predictions.html ) I am going to honor my original pick of the Seattle Seahawks coming away with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Final score, Seattle Seahawks 37  Denver Broncos 33

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In the past the Super Bowl has been played in warm weather stadiums or in domes.     On February 2nd the Seattle Seahawks will take on the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.    The NFL has been planning this for the past two years, but even that will not be enough.    There is one thing they have not planned for is the weather.    There have been some contingency plans in the event of a blizzard.    One idea is to play the game on time and the fans will have to deal with it.    The second idea is in the event of the weather getting too bad is that the game is move up to Saturday night, or moved down to Monday or Tuesday night.   The other ideas would to play it early Sunday afternoon or later on in the evening.   The most unlikely scenario would be to play the game the following Sunday.

The Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell announced he would sit in the stands during the Super Bowl.   Even with the league planning for the worse.  It would be for nothing if the weather plays havoc on the Super Bowl.     For the Seahawks, Broncos, and football fans who will be there hopefully the weather will not be a factor.

When the Denver Broncos won the AFC Title yesterday it was a big triumph for Peyton Manning. He proved that he can defeat the New England Patriots and win a big game with an outstanding performance. His stats were 32-43 for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did not get sacked or thrown an interception, and outwitted a Bill Belichick defense.  In Super Bowl 48, he has to outsmart the best defense in the NFL the Seattle Seahawks on February 2nd.   Not bad for a guy who had 4 major surgeries on his neck, and there was a chance he would never play in the NFL again.    In the past he lost playoff games in the with the Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts.   Until yesterday if never won another Super Bowl his legacy would be a great quarterback who never won the big one.

Manning can rewrite his legacy by winning Super Bowl 48, and if he does accomplish this feat history will be made.   He can become the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams.    However, the Seattle defense will not make this task any easier.

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