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Here are my NFL Week 2 Picks

Steelers defeat Ravens

Dolphins defeat Bills

Redskins defeat Jaguars

Cowboys defeat Titans

Cardinals defeat NY Giants

Patriots defeat Vikings

Saints defeat Browns

Falcons defeat Bengals

Panthers defeat Lions

Buccaneers defeat Rams

Seahawks defeat Chargers

Raiders defeat Texans

Packers defeat NY Jets

Broncos defeat Chiefs

49ers defeat Bears

Colts defeat Eagles

 

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

(Photo: Mark L. Baer, USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady throws for 4,000 yards? (4,343 yds. in 2013)

Over/Under

Mary Schwalm, AP

2. The Patriots Defense records 50 Sacks (48 in 2013)

Over/Under

Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports

3. Stevan Ridley will have 1,000 rushing yards? (773 in 2013, was benched)

Over/Under

(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

4. Julian Edelman will have 1,000 receiving yards? (1,056 yds. in 2013)

 Over/Under

5. The Patriots will win 12 games? (won 12 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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Not one to shy away from speaking his mind, Seattle Seahawks cornerback got into a debate with New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount. Blount made a bold statement saying that the Broncos had signed the best corner in the game, Aqib Talib. Sherman decided to weigh in on this and explain to Blount why that is not the case. Here is the exchange of tweets between Blount and Sherman, which shows that not only can Sherman play a good game, but talk a good one too!

 

Like Michael Crabtree before him, Sherman had to teach Blount a valuable lesson, do not mess with the best corner in the game!

 

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The big hulking defensive tackle that plugged up holes against offensive lines for the Patriots, Vince Wilfork, reportedly wants out of New England. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport stated “defensive tackle Vince Wilfork has requested his release after 10 years with the Patriots.” Wilfork, who was a first round draft pick in 2004, is in the final year of his contract and his cap hit would cost the Patriots $11.6 million. The Patriots had asked Wilfork to reconstruct his contract to reduce the cap hit against New England. Wilfork played in just four games last season as he dealt with a torn Achilles tendon. During his 10 seasons with the Patriots, Wilfork posted 330 tackles, 16.0 sacks, 2 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, and 12 fumble recoveries (returning 1 for a touchdown).

It is thought that Wilfork would be sought after by the Miami Dolphins, given the fact that he is a Florida native.  Imagine he and Randy Starks lined up next to each other on the defensive front for the Dolphins? It certainly is not a position any running back would like to find themselves in!

Source: http://www.thephinsider.com/2014/3/13/5505870/vince-wilfork-looking-to-get-out-of-new-england

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New England Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman will enter free agency after both sides failed to come to an agreement. Edelman was the Patriots number one receiver last year, leading the team in receptions (105), receiving yards (1,056) and touchdown receptions (6). The failure of re-signing of Edelman leaves the Patriots without a down field threat and will need to look elsewhere. If I were to guess, I think the Patriots take a serious look at Hakeem Nicks or Andre Roberts to fill that void.

 

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One of the Philadelphia Eagles areas on the field that needs address is on the defensive side of the ball, more specifically in the secondary. The Eagles are said to have interest in Tampa Bay Buccaneers Darrelle Revis who would be a significant up grade to Philadelphia’s defensive backfield. Brandon Lee Gowtown of bleedinggreennation.com  noted that ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter “The Eagles are one of two teams to watch on Revis. (The other being the New England Patriots.

Prior to his season with Tampa Bay, Revis played six for the New York Jets and in seven seasons total, he has amassed 21 interceptions, (3 returned for touchdowns) 3 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. During that same time frame, Revis recorded 284 tackles and 2.0 sacks.

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

Sources: http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2014/3/11/5495134/nfl-free-agency-rumors-eagles-darrelle-revis-trade-cut

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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.

Bill Belichick is calling this “one of the worst plays I have ever seen” and a “deliberate hit on Aqib to take him out of the game”.

I want to start this off by asking this. How was that play not flagged? Deliberate hit to hurt Talib or not he clearly picked Talib and took him out of the play. The Patriots got called for that yesterday, why didn’t Welker and the Broncos?

Now onto Belichicks statement. Look, I love Belichick and I believe he is the best coach in NFL history. But he is wrong here. This was not a deliberate hit to take out Talib. If it was why would you send your 5’8 receiver who is concussion prone? If they wanted to hurt Talib they would of send a big guy like Julius Thomas to do their dirty work, not Wes Welker. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Talib was the one injury they could not overcome on defense and this injury may of cost them the game.

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The AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos could be the last matchup between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.  Both quarterbacks are future Hall of Famers and this game could decide the legacy of either quarterback. Brady has  3 Super Bowl Rings,  2 Super Bowl MVPs, and 2 Regular Season MVP.    Manning has 1 Super Bowl Ring,  1 Super Bowl MVP, and 4 Regular Season MVPs.    However, Manning is having an MVP season, but his career playoff record is 10 and 11.    Tom Brady has done more with less this season losing members of his offense either due to injuries or off the field issues.    The pressure is on Manning to win this game because he is two years removed from having 4 neck surgeries and this could be his last chance at winning the Super Bowl.

Brady has something to prove because it has been nine years since the Patriots won a Super Bowl, and losing two of them to the New York Giants.   Brady is 36 and Manning is 37 so both of them are looking at the last best chance to win a ring.   I am looking forward to this matchup and this game will go down to the wire.

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Peyton Manning says Bill Belichick will go down as the “Greatest NFL Coach of All-Time” before his Colts Broncos go up against Bill’s Patriots in the Conference Finals.  You can just really feel the love oozing from Peyton with these comments, but then again, they are dead on accurate.

 

 

LeGarrete Blount stole the show on Saturday and ran all over the Colts. He racked up 166 yards on the ground and 4 touchdowns. Yes you read that right, 4 touchdowns. Shades of Al Bundy right?

The Patriots absolutely dominated the Colts on the ground. To go along with Blounts 166 yards, Ridley added 52 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Vereen also ran for 17 yards giving the Patriots a total of 235 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground.

Tom Brady had the highest passer rating in NFL playoff history for quarterbacks who did not throw a touchdown in the game. He completed 6 third down conversions throwing the ball. Whenever they needed him, he was there. He made big play after big play to keep the drives alive and give Blount and Ridley a chance to keep pounding the ball up the middle. If don’t consider Brady’s performance Saturday clutch then you do not know what clutch is.

The Patriots Defense had a day as well. Alfonso Dennard had two picks, including one on the Colts opening drive that he returned to the one yard line leading to a Blount touchdown. But the biggest story coming out of this game for the Patriots defense was the emergence of Line Backer Jamie Collins. Collins sacked Luck once him off once. He was all over the field and really stepped up when the D needed him most. Hightower added a pick as well giving the Patriots 4 total interceptions on the day.

Overall it was a dominate performance by the Patriots and a abysmal performance by the Colts. The Patriots never trailed throughout the game and the Colts could not stop them on defense, and Luck could not avoid making the big mistake of offense. The Patriots will face the Denver Broncos in Denver on Sunday at 3 pm for the AFC Championship and for a Super Bowl birth. Brady vs. Manning, does it really get any better? Full preview of this historic AFC Championship Matchup coming Thursday.

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After watching four outstanding Divisional playoff games the teams are set for Conference Championship games next Sunday.

AFC: New England VS Denver The Patriots ran for over 200 yards and six touchdowns versus the Indianapolis Colts. Tom Brady didn’t have his usual brilliant game but they won over the Colts 43 to 22. Denver struggled over the San Diego Chargers but won 24 to 17. Peyton Manning got over the hurdle of losing last year’s Divisional game to the Baltimore Ravens. This will be the fifteen time that Tom Brady will take on Peyton Manning, and it will be the four time they will face off in the playoffs. Also, it will be the third time they competed for the AFC Championship and a Super Bowl berth on the line.   The Patriots have the running game and the Broncos defense is suspect against the run. Bill Belichick’s defense has stop Peyton Manning in the past and this one will be no different. Patriots

NFC: San Francisco VS Seattle The 49ers won over the Carolina Panthers 23 to 10. Their passing game came to life against the Panthers defense today, and that has to continue against the Seahawks defense. Anquan Boldin had a big game and Frank Gore had a great game running the ball. The 49ers have to have a balance offense to keep the Seahawks off balance. The Seahawks have to continue to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch who had 140 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 23 to 15 win over the New Orleans Saints. Russell Wilson has to get the passing game going with or without Percy Harvin.   Both defenses are going to ready for this game and points will come at premium.    Seahawks

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Every Patriots fan knows that of late the regular season is almost like a preseason to us. We know we are going to win the AFC East, the Patriots have dominated since the Brady and Bellichick era began in New England. So now that the “preseason” is over, it’s time to start the real season and bring home the fourth Super Bowl in 13 years.

The Indianapolis Colts will be rolling in to Foxboro this week, and when I say rolling I mean it. The Colts pulled off a 28 point comeback against the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend, the second largest in NFL playoff history. But was the Colts comeback really all that impressive?

Now I’m not down selling the Colts here, they are an extremely good team who has beaten a bunch of good teams this year (DEN, SF, SEA).  But Kansas City was banged up last week and if were not for that, the Chiefs would of beaten the Colts. Kansas City lost RB Jamal Charles, back up RB Knile Davis, LB Justin Houston, WR Donnie Avery, and starting CB Brandon Flowers. Losing both running backs made it impossible to run out the clock at the end of the game for the Chiefs, and losing key defensive players made it that much harder to stop the Colts. So as impressive as the comeback looked on paper, you should not automatically assume the Colts are the “team of destiny” and no one can stop them now after that comeback win.

Andrew Luck made a lot of good plays last week, but he also made a lot of bad ones. Luck threw 3 picks against the Chiefs last week, and some of them were just flat out terrible. The Patriots defense has a bend don’t break mentality. They give up a lot of yards, but they also force a lot of turnovers. The Patriots have picked off 17 passes this year, and recovered 16 fumbles, leading to a +9 turnover differential. The Patriots have skilled defensive backs, led by veteran corner back Aqib Talib. They also have ball hawking safety Devin McCourty and the rising star of this defense cornerback Logan Ryan. Andrew Luck will rack up some yards this game, but I can guarantee he will throw at least 2 INT. And if you give Tom Brady a short field, he will make you pay for it.

(Logan Ryan returns a interception against the Jets for a touchdown)

The place where the Colts will really hurt the Patriots is on the ground. The Patriots lost MLB Brandon Spikes earlier in the week, who has been the anchor and the leader of this defense all year. Dane Fletcher will now get the start on the inside. Is he a good player? Yes? Is he Brandon Spikes? Absolutely not.

The Colts will take advantage of this desecrated front 7 with running back Donald Brown. Donald Brown is the running back who was overlooked when the Colts traded for running back Trent Richardson. Well Trent has been horrific since joining the Colts, including a fumble on his first career playoff touch against the Chiefs. Donald Brown on the other hand has been a solid running back this season. Brown had some key touches in last week’s win for the Colts, including a touchdown. Brown ran for 537 yards this season on only 102 attempts, a 5.2 yard average. He is an explosive runner who can also but his head down and run over opposing players. Keep an eye out for Donald Brown this week, as he should have a big game.

But the Patriots can also hurt the Colts on the ground. The Colts rush defense ranks 26th in the league. The Patriots rushing attack has been eye opening to say the least this season. For an offense that has been pass first, pass second, rush third for god knows how many years, they have really started to run the ball well this season. And they do this with more than one player. LeGarrette Blount is having his best year since his second season with the Bucs. He has rushed for over 700 yards and 7 touchdowns. He picks up at least 5 yards a carry. And everyone who watches the Patriots knows this guy is a grinder. He does not go down easily, and when he goes down he always falls forward. In my opinion, which is right, besides losing Tom Brady, losing Blount on offense would be the biggest blow to this Patriots offense. Shane Vereen is another versatile weapon in the Patriots back field. He can rush the ball with moderate success, but his pass catching ability is what makes him so dangerous. Look for Blount to pick up at least 100 yards on the ground this week and for Vereen to catch the ball for at least 75 yards.

(LeGarrete Blount celebrates with the Patriots faithful)

The most important person I have not talked about in this preview is Tom Brady. Tom Brady post season record is and impressive 17-7.He has a 42 touchdowns in the postseason, and only 22 picks. But here is the most amazing stat of all, Brady has led 7 game winning drives in the playoffs. The best part about being a Patriots fan is knowing no matter what the other team does throughout the game, if Tom Brady has his hands on the ball with under 2 minutes , whether we are down 3 or all tied up, you expect to win that game. Because we are Patriots fans, we expect greatness, and we expect that because of what Tom Brady has done. Tom Brady delivers greatness night in and night out come playoff time, and I expect this trend to continue against the Colts.

The Patriots will win this game. Will it be hard? Yes. The Colts are a good team and Andrew Luck is a great quarterback, but he will make mistakes. These mistakes will be enough for Tom Brady and company to capitalize on. The Patriots will also have their way with the Colts rush defense, which will keep Luck off the field. Patriots win a close one, 27-21.

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What is going to happen in the NFL Divisional Playoffs starting this Saturday afternoon?

Seattle VS New Orleans: The Saints proved they can run the ball and play well on the road last Saturday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. They were blown out they last time they were at CenturyLink Field. Seattle has a better defense and the Saints can’t stop Marshawn Lynch.  Seattle

New England VS Indianapolis: The Colts had an amazing comeback versus the Kansas City Chiefs, and Andrew Luck proved that he can win in the playoffs. However, the Colts don’t have a running game to take the pressure of Luck. Tom Brady can take advantage of the Colts secondary. LeGarrette Blount gives the Pats a running game they didn’t have for most of the season, but unlike Stevan Ridley there are no fumbling problem with Blount. Patriots defense have held it together despite numerous injuries. Solid Special Teams, and give credit to Bill Belichick for keep the team together despite injuries and other controversies.  Patriots

Carolina VS San Francisco: The Panthers defeated the 49ers earlier in the season at Candlestick. Cam Newton is coming into his own as quarterback and a leader. Wide receiver Steve Smith is supposed to be healthy and needs to make big plays in the passing game. The Panthers defense has been outstanding all season. Colin Kaepernick had a big game running and throwing the ball. He gave the Packers defense fits last week. Frank Gore needs to have 100 yards or more rushing, and Michael Crabtree needs another big game, but it will be tough against Panthers defense.  49ers

Denver VS San Diego:    The Chargers went up to Invesco Field and defeated the Broncos late in the season   Philip Rivers played a solid game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.    Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown give the Chargers a 1-2 punch in the running game.  Their defense shut down the Bengals running game and sacked Andy Dalton twice and forced 4 turnovers.     Peyton Manning  had an MVP season, but has been haunted by past playoff failures including losing last year’s Divisional Playoff game vs. the Baltimore Ravens.    The Broncos have a good running game lead by Knowshon Moreno and that takes the pressure off of Manning.    Broncos defense has been weaken by the season ending of linebacker Von Miller.    Broncos

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The New England Patriots took down the Buffalo Bills this past Sunday 34-20 in a game that never seemed very close.

There is not much to say about this game. LeGarrette Blount trudged through sloppy condishions and a sloppy Bills front 7 on his way to racking up 189 yards on the ground, a career high. But Blount did not stop there, he also tacked on 145 yards returning the ball for the Patriots. Have you ever seen a 250 pounder returning kicks? No, but it’s just another idea from Bellichick’s brilliant mind. Do I believe in two weeks Blount will have the same type of game? No, of course not. The Patriots mix up their offensive ideas week by week. When you expect the fastball, you get the curveball. When you expect the curveball, you get the slider. It is what makes the Patriots offense so successful, they are unpredictable.

The Patriots could not stop the Bills rushing attack, which was expected. C.J Spiller rushed for 105 yards on 19 carries, a 7 yard per carry average. Fred Jackson added 60 yards on 14 carries. This was expected, it was a sloppy game due to the weather conditions, and of course each team’s offense is going to be rush heavy. But here is a scary stat for you: Thad Lewis threw for 247 yards on 16 completions. During weather conditions that were favorable for the Patriots pass defense, they got torched by the

Bills backup quarterback. This Patriots defense is a major Achilles Heel for the Patriots and could lead to their ultimate demise in the playoffs, which pains me to say. Can this offense keep up with the high powered Broncos offense? Can they stop a Marshawn Lynch or LeSean McCoy if they make it to the Super Bowl? All that remains to be seen.

But we are in the playoffs, and we have a first round bye, so that is a positive. Brady and Bellichick have two weeks to learn some new pitches and see if they can get them by powerhouse hitters like Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Do I believe they can do that? Of course I do, the Patriots have a “just win” type mentality that we have all grown accustom to. The Patriots have 13 consecutive winning seasons. All this team does is win. It’s not always pretty, especially this year, but they get the job done. Brady is having one of his worst statistical years in his career, while Peyton Manning is having the best statistical year ever by a Quarterback. But you put a gun to my head and you ask me who is going to win an AFC Championship matchup between the two, and I will say Tom Brady and the New England Patriots every single time.

The Patriots will face the highest seed remaining in the AFC after the Wild Card round, not this weekend, but the following weekend at Gillette Stadium. I will post be posting predictions for the Wild Card round for the AFC and NFC later this week, so keep an eye out for that.

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