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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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After starting off with milestones that will be reached this NFL Season, now it is time to take a look at milestones that will be reached by running backs this year (again barring unforeseen circumstances).

Rushing Yards

Steven Jackson- May be in a reduced role, but a couple of good games will put him at the 11,000 yard milestone (currently has 10,681 rushing yards)

Adrian Peterson- In my opinion, Peterson is the best running back since Barry Sanders. Currently stands at 10,115. Will easily reach 11,000 mark, but if he goes “All Day” like he did in 2012, then maybe we will see him even reach the 12,000 rushing yard milestone!

Frank Gore- All Gore really needs is one nice big gain to reach the 10,000 rushing yard mark. Very likely too also reach 11,000. (9,967 career rushing yards)

Chris Johnson- Not only will CJ2K reach the 8,000 mark, but will most likely reach and surpass the 9,000 yard mark as well. (7,965 career rushing yards)

Marshawn Lynch- Lynch should have no problem reaching the next milestone in his path (8,000 yards) as he currently stands at 7,389. If he continues to goes into “BeastMode”, he may very well likely reach 9,000 career rushing yards as well.

Matt Forte- Will reach 7,000, but looking at his past two seasons (2012-1,094 yards, 2013- 1,339 yards) could just as likely reach the 8,000 yard mark as well.

DeAngelo Williams- Has averaged just over 805 yards the past three seasons, will have no problem reaching 7,000 yard mark (6,627 career rushing yards)

Will reach 6,000 and have shot at 7,000

Jamaal Charles- 5,823 career rushing yards

LeSean McCoy- 5,473 career rushing yards

Will They?

Maurice Jones Drew should reach the 9,000 mark (8,071 currently) but injuries and production level have slid the past two seasons. (803 rushing yards in 2013)

Willis McGahee is also another candidate to possibly reach the 9,000 yard milestone (8,474 career rushing yards.) But his role the past couple seasons have been reduced, leading to lower production. (731 yards in 10 games played while starting in 9 in 2012, 377 yards in 2013 while playing in 12 games but starting in only 6).

Ray Rice- Production slid dramatically last year, rushing for only 660 yards in 15 games (had 1,100+ in the four seasons prior) and will miss two games due to off field incident. Next milestone is 7,000 as he currently sits at 6,180 career rushing yards.

Rushing Touchdowns

Adrian Peterson- Currently has 86 rushing touchdown. Never had a season with less than 10, had four season with 12 rushing TD’s, and his career best is 18 in a single season. Look for Peterson to reach 100 career rushing touchdowns this season!

Maurice Jones Drew- Will reach 70 (currently at 68 rushing TD’s) possible he reaches 80, (has had three seasons of 12 or more rushing TD’s)

Marshawn Lynch- has had 12 rushing touchdowns in two of the past three seasons (11 in the other). “BeastMode” reaches 60, and will also hit the 70 mark.

Will Reach 50

Arian Foster- at 45 career rushing touchdowns, but if he is 100% has a legit shot at 60 (has had two seasons of 15+ rushing touchdowns).

Will They?

Willis McGahee- has 65 career rushing touchdowns, but has not had more than 4 in the past three seasons.

Frank Gore- Has only had 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season once, which is exactly how many he needs to reach 70. Still, Gore has been consistent the past three seasons with 8 rushing touchdowns in 2011 and 2012, and 9 last year, so good chance he reaches the 70 mark.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis- After 13 and 11 rushing touchdowns in 2010 and 2011 respectively, Green Ellis has only 13 rushing touchdowns total in the past two seasons. But sitting at 42, it would probably be a safe bet that he will have at least 8 rushing touchdowns this year to reach the milestone of 50 career rushing touchdowns.

DeAngelo Williams- with 46, looking at statistics, should hit the 50 mark as he has averaged 4 touchdowns the past two seasons.

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

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

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437

During NFL Training Camp, all teams are fixing to get back into the swing of thing in preparation for the upcoming season. The unfortunate thing is that injuries can also happen during that time as well. For the San Francisco 49ers, the injury bug has hit them as twice at the same position when running backs Kendall Hunter tore his ACL and LaMichael James went down with a dislocated elbow. While Frank Gore has been the catalyst in the backfield for a decade, age is certainly not on his side, and will need someone to complement in the rushing game.

San Francisco will now have to rely on 2nd year back Marcus Lattimore, who would actually be seeing playing time for the first time in his career after a knee injury in college prior to the 2013 NFL Draft. Lattimore’s injury in 2012 was not the only time he had issues staying healthy. During his Sophomore season, Lattimore sustained a torn ligament in his knee midway through the season. While Lattimore had 38 touchdowns and 2,677 rushing yards in 29 games at South Carolina, his durability and history of injuries is a bit of concern right now. Rookie Carlos Hyde is coming fresh off a 2013 campaign, helping the Ohio State Buckeyes to a 12-2 record and amassing 1,521 yards on the ground and 15 rushing touchdowns.

For the time being, it looks like Lattimore and Hyde will need to step up their roles for San Francisco until LaMichael James is cleared, and provide Frank Gore and the 49ers with reps in the rushing game. Both also now have a clear shot to at least compete for the backup spot on the depth chart due to the injuries to James and Kendall Hunter.

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(USA TODAY Sports Images)

Richard Sherman made the biggest play in the NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers after deflecting a pass that ended up being intercepted by teammate Malcolm Smith. Sherman’s heroic performance sent the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl, but it was what he said in the post game interview that will be remembered the most.

“I’m the best corner in the game.”When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me.”

Reporter Erin Andrews proceeded to ask who was talking about him, Sherman responded,

“Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’ll shut it for you real quick. L.O.B.”

Sherman had been mic’d up after tipping the pass intended for Crabtree telling him “hell of a game, hell of a game” which you can watch and hear the entire exchange right here and see for yourself as to why Sherman did what he did after the game.

From my own perspective, Sherman was actually being classy (though his post game rant may be debatable) and even extended his hand out to Crabtree, who responded by pushing Sherman away by his face mask.

The riff between the two supposedly goes back even prior to the 2013 NFL Season when they reportedly exchanged words at Larry Fitzgerald’s charity softball game. Sherman has not forgotten, nor has he forgiven Crabtree for his actions. During his appearance on the show “American Muscle” Sherman implied it is not something he is going to forget,

“I hope to play [Crabtree] every year for the rest of my career and choke him out. There’s not much else I can say about the subject. Nobody will understand it but him and me. That’s all that needs to [be understood].”

Whether you like Sherman or not, these statements are going to be great business wise for the NFL. First off, the Seahawks and 49ers are currently two of the best teams in the league today. Second, both teams play each other twice a season as they are in the same division. That is going to give the NFL a golden opportunity to cash in on this feud between Sherman and Crabtree by putting both match ups between Seattle and San Francisco in prime time. Even if both teams are struggling, each will be hungry for blood, and you can bet that Sherman will have something to say that will draw attention (positive or negative) to NFL fans that will have them tuning in, and in turn create profit for the league.

 

My piece on Richard Sherman: http://kcsportsninja.com/how-i-and-others-can-relate-to-richard-sherman/

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325

Over/Under

1. Colin Kaepernick throws 25 TD Passes

Over/Under

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. AnQuan Boldin has 1,200 receiving yards

Over/Under

3. Vernon Davis has 13 TD Receptions

Over/Under

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

4. Frank Gore has 10 rushing TD’s

Over/Under

5. San Francisco wins 12 games (12-4 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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After re-signing wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, the Philadelphia Eagles now look at DeSean Jackson as less essential for the team’s future. Jackson has become worried regarding the uncertainty of his future in Philadelphia, as both sides are growing frustrations with one another. Nevertheless, one thing Jackson will not have to worry about is whether or not teams will be calling about his services! The following link shows a list of five would be potential teams that would be interested in trading for Jackson and why they would possibly make the move to acquire him http://www.nj.com/eagles/index.ssf/2014/03/desean_jackson_trade_rumors_5_teams_that_should_try_to_make_a_trade_with_the_eagles.html

 

I will also provide quick points and examples of why those same teams would be potential landing spots for Jackson.

Cleveland Browns- Josh Gordon emerged as a top premier wide receiver in the NFL last season. Still, the Browns cannot rely on Gordon to constantly carry the load and DeSean Jackson would give Cleveland arguably one of the best 1-2 punches in wide receivers in the league. This would also give fans in Cleveland something to cheer about if they are somehow able to land Jackson!

San Francisco 49ers- Even though the 49ers were able to re-sign Anquan Boldin, San Francisco is in need of another deep ball threat as they are thin on talent at the receiving position. Michael Crabtree is still coming off an injury, and there is no guarantee Crabtree will be the same again. Jackson would immediately upgrade the 49ers receiving core and fill out the depth chart quite nicely for San Francisco.

New York Jets- What is a better way for the Jets to surround a young Geno Smith even with new acquisition Eric Decker? DeSean Jackson! If the Jets get Jackson, this should be the trial and error run to prove if Geno Smith can be the quarterback of the future for New York with this kind of talent surrounding him.

Oakland Raiders- If there is one tradition that is known about the Oakland Raiders dating all the way back to the Al Davis days, is their love and need for speed. With Jackson’s 4.35 40 speed, he would definitely fit right in that “need” or more accurately “want” of the Oakland Raiders. Jackson would also serve as a nice complementary for newly acquired receiver, James Jones.

Carolina Panthers- After losing both Steve Smith and Brandon Lafell, the Panthers are left without a number one and two receiver. Do not be surprised if the Panthers make a huge run and try to trade for Jackson. Out of the five teams listed, I would have to say Carolina would be the most likely to really make a push to get Jackson in a trade based off the lack of talent a wide receiver alone. Followed by San Francisco with their lack of depth at wide receiver.

 

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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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With the Super Bowl being at MetLife Stadium there will be a lot discussion that another cold weather city could get the game if there are no problems this Sunday night. Chicago could host the game because the city has enough hotels room to host both teams. Washington D.C could do that without any transportation problems. Green Bay might host the game, but is Lambeau Field large enough to host over 70,000 fans there. Seattle has a large enough stadium and have the facility to do so. However, with new dome stadiums in Atlanta and Minnesota on the horizon, and with San Francisco opening Levi’s Stadium next year it will be tough to for a cold weather city to get a Super Bowl. BTW, as far as Pittsburgh getting a Super Bowl that is nothing but a pipe dream.

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

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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

As Wild Card weekend approaches you may be thinking to yourself “Who will the Patriots be playing next weekend? Will there be any upsets?” Well think no more, as I have all the answers for you right here.

Chiefs Colts

The Colts faced the Chiefs in week 16 of the regular season, a game in which they won 23-7.

Everyone and there brother are writing the Colts off in this game, and it makes absolutely no sense to me. The Colts have beaten tough teams this season (SEA, DEN, KC, SF,) and have lost games that will leave you scratching your head (STL, MIA). But three of the five Colts loses came after they lost Reggie Wayne for season, which sent the coaching staff back to the drawing board to come up with new ways to move on offense. The Colts may be the most over looked team in the playoffs that could do some very serious damage.

On the other hand the Chiefs may be the worst 11-5 team in NFL History. They have lost to every good team they have played this season (Denver twice, San Diego twice, Indy). They only have ONE win against a team that is over 500, and that was against the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that struggled at the start of the season. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Alex Smith does not play to win games, he plays not to lose them. And if you play like that in the NFL Playoffs, you will lose. Indy wins 27-14.

Chargers Bengals

 

(start at 20 seconds)

When the Chargers and Bengals met in Week 13, The Bengals came away with a 17-10 win. But The Chargers were able to contain Dalton, holding him under 200 passing yards and forcing a turnover. Philip Rivers threw for over 250 yards in the same game.

Andy Dalton has struggled in the postseason in his career. He is 0-2 with 4 interceptions and a QBR of only 48.5. Dalton threw 4 interceptions last weekend against the Ravens, making his interception total come to 20 for the year. The Bengals escaped last weekend with a win, but that was only because the Ravens offense was terrible all year, and especially in that game. If Andy Dalton turns continues to turn the ball over and give his opponent a short field, they will lose. And I think Andy Dalton will do just that this game. Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers high powered offense will take advantage of these opportunities and win this game. San Diego wins, 23-17.

Saints Eagles

This may be the hardest game to call for me. On one hand, the Saints have struggled on the road this season. They have lost in New York, New England, Seattle, and Carolina. All of those teams have either a cold weather climate, or a hostile playing environment, and in some cases both. The weather on game day in Philadelphia is expected to be clear, and with a high of 31 degrees.

But on the other hand the Saints have the second ranked passing offense behind Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. The Eagles come in to this game with the worst passing defense in the league. If the Saints were playing in the Super Dome, I would not be questioning the outcome of this game for one second. The Saints would win, because they are the more talented team and they are led by a seasoned veteran and future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees. And for that reason, and that reason alone, I pick the Saints to win this game, even though they struggle on the road. There is just too much talent on this team and I believe that most of these “on the road” problems are in the players heads at this point. Sean Peyton will be able to help rid of some of those problems and coach this team to victory. LeSean McCoy will have a huge game on the ground, but the Saints will still win 28-21.

Packers 49ers

A rejuvenated Packers team will host the 49ers at Lambo field on Sunday. I said it before Aaron Rodgers returned and I will say it again, the Packers could very well be the Super Bowl Representative from the NFC, and I stick by that. Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense will have another week working together under their belt by the time they face San Francisco, so they should look smoother than they did last week against Chicago. The Packers defense should be able to contain Kaepernick and the miserable 49ers passing offense that ranked 30th in the league. The 49ers should, and will hurt the Packers with their run game but that will not be enough to beat Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Packers win 27-24.

If this scenario plays out, it would leave the Patriots facing the Colts next weekend in New England.

 

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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?

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