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The NFL 2 games suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for assaulting his wife at an Atlantic City Casino had triggered a lot of opinions.  Female members of the sports media have been telling it like it, but they have been subjected to a lot of negative comments on social media.  Sam Ponder of ESPN tweeted about objectification and disrespecting women online, but she was subjected to mean-spirited comments, and they verbally attack her newborn baby.  Stephen A Smith who also worked on ESPN talked about women provoking violence on herself, but he has since apologized for saying that.  Michelle Beadle ripped Smith for his take on the subject, and talked about her own experience in abusive relationship.  Beadle was subjected to angry tweets from men for having an honest opinion on this issue.   Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio talked about this issue and took calls from listeners.   She was subjected to name calling and insults, and that is not right.   Some men are afraid of women who have strong opinions, and who work in the sports media.    They type mean-spirited insults and name calling that in poor taste.   I hope we have a mature conversation on this issue, but after this week it is not happening any time soon.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended by the NFL for two games for an assault on his wife at an Atlantic City Casino.  There have been a lot of controversy about the league decision and it is bad for business. There is no excuse for his actions, and his wife should have not apologized for the incident.   In my opinion, Rice should have received a full year suspension for his actions.  The NFL has a big female fan fanbase, but this incident is a cause for concern among them.   How should the female fan base react to this suspension? The NFL should have a set policy for domestic abuse and DUIs and the punishment should be a one year suspension, and that should be a deterrence against these crimes.   I had the chance to listen and read many opinions on this matter, and it is clear that the perception is the NFL is not doing right to their female fan base.    Keith Olbermann of ESPN believes that the NFL doesn’t care about their female fanbase, but want their money.    How does the NFL justified this punishment it can’t because in the long run it will hurt the female fanbase, and it will hit them in the pocketbook.

231

 

Over/Under

1. Torrey Smith has 3 100+ receiving yard games? (had 2 100+ yd games last en route to 1,128 receiving yards in 2013)

Over/Under

2. Terrell Suggs records 80 tackles (recorded 80 in 2013, tying a career high)

Over/Under

DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO

3. Marlon Brown will have 8 TD Receptions (7 last year in his Rookie Season)

Over/Under

(Photo by AP Photo)

4. Joe Flacco will have 25 TD Passes? (Had 19 in 2013, 22 in 2012 Super Bowl Season)

Over/Under

5. Baltimore wins 10 games? (8-8 in 2013, 10-6 in 2012 Super Bowl Season)

 

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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Ever since NFL prospect Michael Sam publicly came out as a homosexual, news media gathered all around praising him for his bravery in being able to be comfortable with himself. While I too am glad he feels confident enough (and for the record I am a supporter of Gays and Gay Rights) I do not get why we have to make such a big deal out of it. Nor should it be. (Check out my article I wrote on Michael Sam after he came out right here http://kcsportsninja.com/michael-sams-sexuality-should-really-not-be-that-big-of-a-deal/

Former NFL Star Deion Sanders made a statement in regard to Michael Sam and homosexuality in the NFL

“He’s not the first gay guy in the NFL! He’s the first one to come out, let’s get that straight. Every team I’ve played on, there was someone…we always knew. But he was cool. That was our boy. We had to look out for him. Every team I’ve played on – five different teams – there was someone gay in the locker room.”

For Deion Sanders to say that obviously means there were and are no distractions going on in the locker room regardless of sexual preference. In other words, it is not, nor should it be that big of a deal! Everyone should be comfortable enough to accept themselves for who they are, whether it is race, sexuality, or their upbringing. Be happy and proud of yourself for who you are, but at the same time you do not need to make a big deal out of it, and neither should the public or news media. It is 2014, and as Doris Roberts character Marie from “Everybody Loves Raymond” once stated in an episode “Hello I’m queer and now I’m here”. Deal with it people, whether you like it or not, we are all different, but at the same time we do not need to flaunt our personal lives to the world in hopes to be accepted. All that matters is if you are a good person, then you will be accepted by most sane and rational people in this world!

 

To read the rest of the article on Deion Sanders issuing a statement of homosexuality always being in NFL Locker Rooms, check it out here to get a better understanding and perspective on the whole issue, go here http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/sanders.html

 

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Star Running Back  Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, has been arrested on assault charges. The charges stemmed from a domestic dispute Rice and his fiancee had in an Atlantic City Casino. While the matter at hand is still under investigation, Rice is to have allegedly struck his fiancee that rendered her unconscious, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office wants to make sure that  “all appropriate charges are considered”.

The Atlantic City Police Department said “Rice and Palmer (Rice’s fiancee) both struck each other.”  The video shows the end result after the altercation between Rice and Palmer, with Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee around the casino hotel coming out of an elevator.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/downashore/Atlantic-County-Prosecutor-taking-over-Ray-Rice-assault-investigation-after-video-shows-him-dragging-limp-fiance-out-of-Revel-elevator.html

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Ray Rice is a Super Bowl Champion and one of the most popular members of the Baltimore Ravens. He has been active in the Baltimore area via of his anti-bullying campaign. However, his popularity has taken a big hit with an off the field incident. Rice and his fiancée Janay Palmer were both charged with assault in an Atlantic City Casino. There is a video of Rice dragging her out of the casino.  However, if he is charged with a crime the NFL could suspend him for violating the Personal Conduct Policy.   The Ravens could also cut him for violating a moral clause in his contract without any salary cap hit.   Rice was coming off of sub-par season and now he is dealing with a serious matter that could hurt his football career.

NaVorro Bowman ( San Francisco 49ers)
               Christian Petersen/Getty Images
145 Tackles, 5.0 Sacks, 4 Forced Fumbles, 2 Fumble Recoveries, 2 Interceptions (1 returned for a Touchdown), 9 Pass Deflections
Levi Brown ( Pittsburgh Steelers) IR
           Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Started in 4 games for the Arizona Cardinals before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers and suffering a season ending triceps injury.

Dan Connor ( Carolina Panthers)

          Handout/Getty Images
Played in 6 games total (1 with NY Giants 5 with Carolina Panthers) recorded 4 Tackles
Jack Crawford (Oakland Raiders)
  Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Played in 15 games while recording 8 Tackles
Robbie Gould ( Chicago Bears)
   Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
26 of 29 on Field Goal Attempts, Made 11 from 20-29 yards, 7 from 30-39 yards, 7 from 40-49 yards, 4 from 50+ yards, (58 longest of 2013-14 season and of career) 55 of 56 on Extra Points, 123 Points 

Tamba Hali ( Kansas City Chiefs)

  Harry How/Getty Images

 46 Tackles, 11.0 Sacks, 4 Forced Fumbles, 2 Fumble Recoveries, 1 Interception (returned for a Touchdown), 1 Pass Deflection

Jordan Hill ( Seattle Seahawks)

PHOTO: KPUG/DOUG LANGE
7 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks in 4 games played.
Gerald Hodges ( Minnesota Vikings)
 Hannah Foslien/Getty Images North America
5 Tackles in 11 games played

Josh Hull ( Washington Redskins)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

14 Tackles in 11 games played

Sean Lee ( Dallas Cowboys)

Ray Carlin/Icon SMI

99 Tackles in 11 games, 1 Fumble Recovery, 4 Interceptions (1 returned for a Touchdown), 6 Pass DeflectionsMichael Mauti ( Minnesota Vikings)

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

12 Tackles in 14 games played
Matt McGloin ( Oakland Raiders)
  Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In 7 games, went 118 of 211 on pass completions, 1,547 yards, 8 TD, 8 INT, 2 Fumbles (1 lost)
Derek Moye (Pittsburgh Steelers)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America)In 7 games played, caught 2 receptions for 20 yards, one being a TD Reception!

Jared Odrick ( Miami Dolphins)

Photo via Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post

43 Tackles, 4.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 2 Pass DeflectionsRich Ohrnberger ( San Diego Chargers)

               Photo Credit: San Diego Chargers’ Website.Played in 13 Games (Named starter in one)

Paul Posluszny ( Jacksonville Jaguars)

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

161 Tackles, 3.0 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Fumble Recovery, 2 Interceptions (1 returned for a TD), 9 Pass Deflections
Chaz Powell ( New York Giants) Practice Squad
 via espn.go.com
No Stats

Andrew Quarless (Green Bay Packers)

   Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

32 Receptions, 312 yards, 2 Touchdowns

Michael Robinson ( Seattle Seahawks)
         Al Bello/Getty Images
Played in 9 games, 0 rushing yards, 2 Receptions for 27 yards
Evan Royster ( Washington Redskins)
   Jason Miller/Getty Images
Played in 10 games, 0 rushing yards, 1 reception 3 yards, before suffering ankle injury
A.Q. Shipley ( Baltimore Ravens)
   Brad Mills – USA TODAY Sports
Played in 16 games (starting in nine)
Mickey Shuler ( Atlanta Falcons) Practice Squad
      (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
No Stats
Devon Still ( Cincinnati Bengals)
           Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE
In 10 games had 7 Tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 3 Pass Deflections. Suffered season ending elbow injury
Nathan Stupar ( Jacksonville Jaguars)
      via Stupar’s Twitter
In 12 Games (5 with San Francisco, 7 with Jacksonville) recorded 10 Tackles
Andrew Szczerba ( Atlanta Falcons) IR
     via espn.go.comNo Stats

Phillip Taylor ( Cleveland Browns)
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images North America
26 Tackles, 2.0 Sacks, 1 Pass Deflection
Johnnie Troutman ( San Diego Chargers)

AP Photo/Paul Spinelli

Played in 14 Games
Cameron Wake ( Miami Dolphins)

   Jim Rogash/Getty Images37 Tackles, 8.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles, 1 Fumble Recovery. Also recorded a safety against the Cincinnati Bengals to win game for Miami Dolphins

Stefen Wisniewski ( Oakland Raiders)

picture via pittsburghsportsreport.com

Played and started in 14 games
Michael Zordich ( Carolina Panthers)
 USA TODAY Sports
Missed season with ACL injury

All stats come from player profiles via espn.go.com

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They have been rivals since the days of coaching against each other in the Pac-10 Conference. One used to coach at Stanford, but was also a 15 year NFL quarterback. The other flamed out in two previous NFL coaching stops, but was a big success at the University of Southern California. Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll will be coaching against each other again. This time the stakes are for the NFC Championship, and a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII. In 4 years, Carroll has taken the Seattle Seahawks in from mediocre to the best record in the NFL this season. Harbaugh in his 3 seasons had led  the San Francisco 49ers to three straight NFC Title game appearances and last year’s Super Bowl where the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34 to 31. Both coaches down play the rivalry but it is there. Their coaching styles are as different as their personalities. Harbaugh is fiery and intense just like he was when he was player. Carroll is a rah-rah college style player’s coach.   Both teams are very physical and have young quarterbacks Colin Kapernick for the 49ers and Russell Wilson for the Seahawks.  These two teams are a great reflection of each coach, and this game will be a tough physical matchup.

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

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

Week 17 is only a day away and there are still four playoff spots up for grabs. The Cowboys and Eagles will face off in the NFC East to see who will take home the division crown and will sneak into the Playoffs. But that is not the only NFC division that has playoff berth implications. The Packers and Bears will battle to see will reign supreme in the NFC North and find their way into the Playoffs. In the AFC the Dolphins, Ravens, Chargers, and Steelers all still have a shot at the final wildcard spot. Who will make it? Well here is your answer via game by game breakdown.

Packers Bears

With the return of Aaron Rodgers, I believe the Packers will roll over the Bears. The Bears were just blown out by the Eagles 54-11. And it is hard to pick which was worse for the Bears, their offense or defense. The Bears only gained 257 total yards against a poor Eagles defense. They also surrendered 514 yards to the Eagles offense. The Bears turned the ball over twice, once on a Jay Cutler interception and once on a lost fumble. I do not see the Bears Swiss cheese stopping Aaron Rodgers enough to hold the Packers under 30 points and I do not see Cutler leading the Bears offense down the field enough to contend with that. Packers win 31-20. It will be interesting to see how Bears fans and management react to Mark Trestmen’s decision of not leaving Josh McCown at Quarterback after Cutler returned.

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Cowboys Eagles

As you may know Tony Romo has been placed on IR with a Herniated Disk in his back. The Dallas defense cannot stop a nosebleed. They have the 27th worst rush defense in the league, and the 31st ranked pass defense in the league. The Eagles have the 1st ranked rushing offense, which is led by All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy. The Eagles also have the 9th ranked passing attack led by the emerging Nick Foles. Every single thing points to picking the Eagles to win this game, but for some reason I feel like they choke this one away and King Neck Beard (Kyle Orton) leads the Cowboys to a miracle win. Cowboys win 27-24.

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Jets Dolphins

Sources are saying that Rex Ryan will likely be back as coach of the New York Jets, and I think that will fire up this Jets team. Tannehill is not good when he is under pressure, the Bills showed us that last weekend. The Dolphins allowed a season high 7 sacks to the Bills last week. And now the Dolphins have to work on stopping a very good Jets front 4 led by Mo Wilkerson? That will not happen. The Jets are playing with nothing to lose, and the Dolphins are playing with everything to lose, and I think that will be too much for this Dolphins team. Jets win 17-13, crushing Miami’s playoff chances.

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Ravens Bengals

Joe Flacco is not listed on the Ravens injury report with his knee injury, an injury that hobbled him against the Patriots last week, but that does not mean he is still not feeling it. The Bengals are a under the radar team that is still playing for the 2nd seed in the AFC. They have two talented outside wide receivers in A.J Green and Muhammad Sanu and Andy Dalton has been playing well as of late. And to put the icing on the cake, the Bengals are playing at home, where they are 7-0 this season. Patriots fans will not have to worry about playing the Ravens in the playoffs this year, as the Bengals will knock the Ravens out of playoff contention with a final score of 21-17 Bengals.

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Chiefs Chargers

This game means absolutely nothing for the Kansas City Chiefs. They have locked in the 5th seed in the AFC, and are no longer in contention for the AFC West, as the Broncos have already sealed it up. The Chargers have already beaten the Chiefs at Arrowhead this season, and now the Chiefs have nothing to really play for. Chargers win 28-21.

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Steelers Browns

As promising as the Browns season has started equals how bad it has ended. The Browns have no fight left in them and at this point could be playing for a higher pick in the upcoming draft. Steelers win 31-14.

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So that puts the San Diego Chargers, The Green Bay Packers, and the Dallas Cowboys all in the playoffs. Lock all these picks in with anyone who will bet with you, and you will come away from Sunday like a bandit.

*A few other interesting match ups to watch this Sunday are the Arizona Cardinals vs the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cardinals are the hottest team in football, going 8-1 over their past 9 games, and I bet they go 9-1 over their past ten games with a win over San Francisco this weekend. Now that leaves us with the New Orleans Saints vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to decide the fate of the Cardinals. If the Saints win, they are in, if they lose they are out. Luckily the Saints are at the Superdome where they are 7-0 on the season. The Saints will beat the Buccaneers which will leave the 11-5 Cardinals (if they beat San Francisco) on the outside looking in while the 8-7-1 Packers (if they beat the Bears) will be in the playoffs. Interesting how that works, huh?

Read More at Stew's Blog

The Patriots (10-4) head into Baltimore to face the Ravens (8-6) in what may be the biggest game of the Patriots season. If the Patriots win this Sunday, they lock up the AFC East, stay in connention for the number 1 seed in the AFC, and will most likely knock the Ravens out of the playoffs.

The Ravens started off the season 3-5, and have gone 5-1 since. Although Ray Lewis retired and Ed Reed and the Ravens went their separate ways, they still have one of the best defenses in the league. They have the 7th best rush defense in the league and the 13th best pass defense. But the Ravens have struggled moving the ball on offense this year. The Ravens have the 29th ranked rushing attack in the league. After a great season last year (1,412 rush yards), Ray Rice has had a miserable 2013 campaign, rushing for only 605 yards on 197 rushing attempts. Ray Rice has only rushed for over 75 yards twice this season. He also has not been the receiving threat he has been in past seasons, catching only 49 balls for 263 yards, which is only a 5.4 yard average. The Ravens passing attack has not been much better, as it ranks 20th in the NFL. That being said, the Patriots pass defense made Ryan Tannehill look like Joe Montana last week.

Joe Flacco has been successful against the Patriots in the past, winning 3 out of six contests (which is good considering how dominant the Patriots have been during Flacco’s career). Flacco has thrown 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in those 6 games. Expect Flacco to have a good game against the Patriots secondary.

The Patriots defense needs to step up this week. Although the Ravens Offense has been struggling, they still have two talented wide receivers in Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, who can hurt you at any given moment with a big play. Talib, who is finally starting to get healthy, and Dennard need to make sure these guys do not get behind them. If they do, Flacco will hit them down the field and it will be a very long day for this Patriots defense. Although Ray Rice has been struggling, he is still a very talented running back and could have a breakout game at any given time. The Patriots need to make sure they stop Rice early and often so he cannot get in any sort of rhythm running the ball.

A key injury to keep an eye on is Linebacker Brandon Spikes. Spikes is an anchor on the inside for this Patriots defense, and if he is a no go, I believe Ray Rice could break out of his funk and have a solid game for the Ravens.

The Patriots are expecting to have Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins back this week, which in my opinion is absolutely huge for this offense. Dobson and Thompkins can stretch the field for the Patriots, which will open up the underneath game for guys like Edelman and Amendola. But it will also open up the game for Shane Vereen. Vereen struggled last week against the Dolphins, as he only caught the ball 3 times of 8 yards and only rushed the ball 2 times for 17 yards. The reason Vereen struggled is the Dolphins defense really did not have to focus on a vertical threat for the Patriots which moved their defensive backs up which meant they could close in on Vereen quickly every time he caught the ball. But with Dobson and Thompkins back the Ravens will be forced to keep guys back which should open up the game for Vereen. Expect a big game from Vereen this Sunday. If you have Vereen in fantasy, start him, you heard it here first.

Prediction:
The Ravens are a good team, but they struggle on offense. Last week they did not score a single touchdown but somehow still came away with a win (thanks to Justin Tucker). The Patriots should be able to put up points even though the Ravens have one of the better defenses in the league. The Patriots defense will give up a lot of yards, but I think they will stop Flacco and company when it matters most, inside the red zone. As long as the Patriots are forcing the Ravens to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns, like the Lions did last week, the Patriots will win this game. Even though the Ravens have the 13th ranked pass defense in the league I believe Tom Brady will find a way like he always does and torch their secondary. Patriots win 24-23 and bounce the Ravens from playoff contention.

Read More at Stew's Blog

99

After a tough loss in the AFC Championship game in which Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a short field goal to send the game into overtime, most people might hang their heads, be angry, or not face reporters. Ray Lewis, who can be one of the most intimidating players in the NFL, took a calmer approach to it. Check out his speech below.

*Warning – Speech may cause goose bumps or make you feel the urge to stap them up and tackle someone*

 

103

I managed to get a copy of Ray Lewis’s Tweets during the AFC Championship Game. I will be following other pro’s during games and passing them on to you.

**In case you grew up in a cave, this is all a parody and not to be taken seriously.

 

@TheRayLewis

Pre-Game: Im painted up like a mad man. At least in Baltimore there is one team that can make the playoffs. #true

Pre-Game: #CBS cameras are on me. As usual I will act all crazy and passionate. #imafake #liketoactcrazy

Pre-Game: Some old lady is singing the national anthem and butchering it. I may butcher her after the game. #true #murder

Pre-Game: I was crying during the national anthem, but it had to nothing to do with patriotism. #shitwasawful

Pre-Game: Someone said that old lady was Janice Dickinson, sure looked like her. She shouldn’t sing. #true #oldladies

End of 1st Q: First quarter is over. Down by 3. @JoeFlacco is a bitch. #hatemyteam

 

2 Q: Love @BillyCundiff..just tied the game. #weregonnawinthisshit

2Q: Damn cant believe I missed the tackle on Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis. Is that a running back or law firm. #lawyername

2Q: @JoeFlacco just threw a touchdown to Pitta. Speaking of which Im hungry. #killagottoeat

2Q: @JoeFlacco is throwing the ball like he is Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon. He looks like it with that stupid moustache. #douchebag

 

HT: We are only down by 3. We have a reliable kicker and can win this. #GoRavens #realtalk

 

3Q: @JoeFlacco just threw another TD pass. Maybe that sex offender mustache really works. #gobabygo

3Q: My boy @BillyCundiff just kicked the field goal and we are up. #SuperBowl

 

4Q: @TomBrady just did a flip for a score. I tried to break his back. He will feel it tomorrow. #ihatebrady

4Q: That child molester @JoeFlacco just threw an #interception. Damnit. #gonnakillaqb

4Q: 1:44 left we can drive this and tie it up. #GoRavens

4Q: Billy is getting ready to kick. 31yards…#automatic #overtime

4Q: People to kill…@Billy Cundiff @JoeFlacco @oldladysingingnationalanthem

 

End of Game: Ignore everything Im saying on Sports Center. Im in a murderous rage. On the way to Billy’s house. Beat a rap once and can do it again. #lawyer

There are so many story lines that could occur heading into this year’s  Super Bowl.  You could have an all Harbaugh brother coaching in the Super Bowl with Baltimore’s John versus San Francisco’s Jim.  You could have a rematch of Super Bowl XLII with the Giants versus Patriots.  You could have a rematch of Super Bowl XXXV with the Giants versus Ravens.  Finally, you could the relentless defense of the 49ers versus the high octane offense of the Patriots.  Any of these match ups will have to be talked about for two weeks leading up to the “Big Game”.

Will the home teams survive Championship weekend or will the road teams pull off upsets?  Let’s break these games down to see who will be in Super Bowl XLVI.

#2 Baltimore Ravens @ #1 New England Patriots

The Ravens arrive in New England after barely hanging on at home against the Houston Texans.  Ed Reed has basically called out his quarterback, Joe Flacco, and said that he has to play much better for the Ravens to advance. Offensively, Flacco needs the running game, Ray Rice, because the Ravens passing game is will not be enough to carry the offense.  When they do pass, they must hit Torrey Smith on vertical routes and if that is not open then they need Anquan Boldin to make plays in traffic.  Defensively, the Ravens are having a hard time putting pressure on the quarterback.  They are going to have to figure out how to get pressure on Tom Brady from the nickel defense.  Being in nickel forces Ray Lewis to be a blitzing linebacker because he won’t be able to cover the tight ends of the Patriots.

New England comes into the Championship game after blowing the wheels off the Denver Broncos.  This game, as all Patriot games, rests squarely on the arm of Tom Brady.  They will go no huddle and force the Ravens to show their hand and it will be up to Brady to dissect what he sees and throw it to the biggest mismatch which will usually be on one of the tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.  Coach Belichick will do something creative on offense to make either Ray Lewis or Bernard Pollard cover one of the tight ends.  If New England can get to 30 points it is going to be hard for the Ravens to match and turn them into a desperate offense.  That desperation will help the leaky Patriot defense play pass and make the Ravens offense one dimensional.  If the game is close, the Patriots can not allow Ray Rice to control the game.

Breakdown – If the Ravens can figure out a way to control the middle of the field and handle the spread offense it could be a long afternoon for Brady and the Patriots.  If the Patriots can clamp down on Ray Rice and stop the lead plays the Ravens like to run and take away the Ravens vertical and flag routes it will be hard for the Ravens to move the ball.  Winner: If this was the 2001 Ravens defense taking the field I would feel a lot better for the Ravens chances, but it is not.  Tom Brady and his offense will be too much for the Ravens on this day.  Patriots by double digits.

 

#4 New York Giants @ #2 San Francisco 49ers

The Giants come to the bay area after dismantling the Green Bay Packers.  This team barely made into the playoffs and now they are the most dangerous team in the playoffs.  Ahmad Bradshaw has come back and made this offense go.  The Giants entered the playoffs as worst running team in NFL but, in the playoffs, they have run the ball more effectively than any team left.  Eli Manning is making all the right decisions in the passing game and the defense is healthy again and wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks.  Eli not has one play making wide receiver in Hakeem Nicks but has found another in Victor Cruz.  The Giants’ defensive front four is the best front four left in the playoffs.  The Giants don’t need to blitz to get to the quarterback and have been able to stop what little rushing they have seen.  They Giants will learn from their earlier loss to the 49ers just as learned from the loss to the Packers.

The 49ers host the Giants after a fantastic game and, especially, finish in beating the New Orleans Saints.  The 49ers is one of most tough minded teams in the NFL.  They are relentless and they are not going to beat themselves.  Alex Smith proved last week that he is able to bring a team back late in the game, which is something no one had seen until last week.  I stated the Giants have the best defensive front four but the 49ers defensive front four is a very, very close second.  The Smith bookends, Justin and Aldon, who both came from the University of Missouri are dominating the line of scrimmage for the 49ers.

Breakdown – If the Giants can stuff the running game of Frank Gore and make Alex Smith try and beat them with anyone not name Vernon Davis it could be a long night for the 49ers.  If the 49ers can keep the game close into the 4th quarter, not beat themselves and rely on the best kicker in the NFL this year it could be a long trip back to New York for Eli and company.  Winner: I didn’t think the Giants would beat the Falcons, I didn’t think the Giants would beat the Packers and I don’t see how the Giants are not going to win this game.  Giants by 4-6 with a defensive stop on a driving 49ers to end the game.
And there is your Super Bowl match up, Giants versus Patriots.  Agree?  Don’t agree?  Tell me why below.  Went 3-1 last week with Giants messing me up.

Dear Kyle Orton,

 

I have been hurt by other Chiefs quarterbacks before. Im not sure I’m ready to get into a relationship with you. You did take some steps yesterday that may have laid the groundwork for a relationship. Let’s take it slow; I am willing to let you put your hands down my pants if you can play that good the next two weeks.

 

Love,

Doug, I’m interested but let’s take it slow

 

Dear Kansas City Chiefs,

 

Once again you guys show up when you are not expected to and then vanish when you should be there. I need mood stabilizers to watch a season of Chiefs football. Let’s see if you guys can win out and finish at .500 for the season. If you play the next two games like you did yesterday it can happen.

 

Love,

Doug, the taking a healthy dose of Prozac in preparation for the next two weeks.

 

 

Dear Sam Hurd,

 

When the Bears cut you was it into zips, teeners or 8 balls. Did they get your keys? Maybe the Bears lost because they weren’t all jacked up on your product. Have fun in an Illinois Correctional Facility.

 

Love,

Doug, The guy that has watched enough reality shows to know not to sell drugs.

 

 

Dear Tim Tebow,

 

I still hate you, because you play for the Broncos. It appears the New England Patriots are the Pontius Pilot of the NFL. “For you will know my name is Tom Brady when I lay 41 points upon thee” Playoffs 3:16. Please know I will become the biggest Bills fan this week in hopes that they can do the same thing. The bad part is the Patriots defense is horrible this year and they got you.

 

Love,

Doug, the guy that knew when you faced the right defense you would go down.

 

 

Dear Philadelphia Eagles,

 

Good Morning!! Nice of you guys to show up finally this year. However the party is almost over and you missed the fun. Where were you guys week 1 through 12? At either route, if you win out you still have a chance and may save Andy Reid’s job.

 

Love,

Doug, the guy the picked you for the Super Bowl

 

 

Dear Joe Flacco,

What’s up with the moustache bro? I can’t tell if you were about to rock out in a band, drive off in a Camaro or commit a sex crime. The horrible thing is probably the reason that you and the Ravens got rolled on the road last night. You look like a sexual predator and Ray Lewis looked like a cold blooded killer….wait I forgot he is.

 

Love,

Doug, the guy currently hiding from Ray Lewis

 

 

 

Dear Ryan Braun,

So you failed a drug test? You claim it was due to a medication you were taking for a STD. I’m not too sure which way to go on that one. I would almost the world know I was juicing up rather than playing with a rotten bat…if you catch me drip…I mean drift. Best of luck though.

 

Love,

Doug, the guy that doesn’t play in dirty ballparks.

 

 

Dear KC Sports Ninja Readers,

My computer deleted my Fixing The Chiefs Part 3 article, I promise that I will get it done this week.

 

Love,

Doug, the guy that used the dog ate my homework excuse in school.

 

 

Dear Kansas City,

I will be performing at Stanford and Son’s on Tuesday Night and The IMPROV on Weds Night. As my Christmas gift to you I am offering free tickets to both shows. You can get them by emailing me at dcomedy76@gmail.com or meeting me in front of the box office at Stanfords Tuesday Night at 7:30pm. If you want to go to the IMPROV show you can call 816.759.5233 and tell them you want to see Doug Cheatham and you are in for free.

 

Love,

Doug, the guy that wants you to come see him do hardcore comedy

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