AFC Championship Steelers Win

18 01 2009

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(Streeter Lecka, Getty Images)

Both defenses came to play in this game. Steelers really controlled the first half but only came out on top 13-7, due to some poor clock management before the end of the 2nd Quarter, Roethlisberger had just completed a pass and moved the Steelers from the 30 yard line to around the 20 but they had no timeouts so they had to hurry to the line of scrimmage but they took to long and the clock ran out.

6 minutes left Ravens start with the ball at their own 20. McGahee runs for a 2 yard loss on first down but on second down Flacco makes a huge pass to Tight End Todd Heap picking up 25 yards. Flacco with the game on the line throws a huge pick to Polamalu and he returned it for a touchdown with the Ravens not even attempting to tackle him which was quite surprising to watch considering a Super Bowl trip was on the line.

Pittsburgh played well and deserved the W, really wasn’t much to this game. It was fairly entertaining… Can’t say I was surprised by Joe Flacco’s terrible numbers from this game. I understand he’s a rookie but even throughout the season he had trouble with good Defenses and to me wasn’t overly impressive.

So its a Pittsburgh Arizona Super Bowl that doesn’t sound so bad. Turns out Arizona is very exciting to watch and the Steelers D is quite a show to watch as well. It’s Zona’s great offense and decent defense vs Pittsburgh’s great defense and mediocre offense. I’ll break down the matchup more in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Congrats to the Steelers for making it this far despite some shoddy play from the Quarterback position this year.





NFC Championship Cards Win Cards Win

18 01 2009

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(Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Both Arizona and Philadelphia turned in pretty good performances making for the best game of the playoffs thus far. Philly had no answer for Larry Fitzgerald all game long and especially in the first half where Fitz caught three touchdown passes which set a record for most TD receptions in one half in the playoffs. Warner was pretty tough to stop as he was on point all throughout the first half. Philly struggled to do anything in the first half but were able to get on the scoreboard with a couple of David Akers field goals. Philly caught a break a few minutes before halftime on a kickoff that was recovered by Arizona and the play was totally legal but somehow the refs managed to screw the call up and Philly got the call in their favour, however in the 2nd half the refs may have missed a few calls going the other way. They were questionable.

In the 3rd quarter Philly managed to get themselves back into the game scoring 13 unanswered points and holding Arizona’s offense to only 5 yards of offense. Philly were able to take the lead early in the 4th by 1 point. But Arizona clawed their way back with a methodical drive that ran alot of time off the clock and ended with Hightower scoring on a screen pass from 9 yards out, they also got the 2 point conversion on a pass to Ben Patrick to take the lead 32-25 with 2:53 remaining in the game. Philly were moving the ball they had it at around the their own 45 yard line. But Arizona’s D stepped up big time and forced Philly to a 4th and long which saw McNabb overthrow his target but it also looked like there was some contact on the play but no flag was thrown and the ball was turned over on downs and that was all she wrote. Arizona will make their first ever trip to the Super Bowl.

Right now I’d go as far as to say there isn’t a better player in the NFL than Larry Fitzgerald, who has single handedly ripped apart secondaries. In three playoff games Fitzgerald has 419 receiving yards, 23 catches, and 5 touchdowns. And I’d also like to point out how pointless Pam Oliver’s sideline reports are, which tell us absolutely nothing and add no value to the broadcast. Announcers Troy Aikman and Joe Buck were almost unbearable at times, Buck commenting on McNabb’s beautiful 6 yard passes on a numerous occasions was outrageous.

It’s refreshing to see the Arizona Cardinals going to the Super Bowl, remember the team everyone had pegged to be a sleeper team for the previous 2-3 seasons. But this year there were very little expectations for them and they sort of went under the radar coming into the season. However I must say that playing in the NFC West didn’t hurt either. This week I heard numerous “EXPERTS” on Fox, ESPN, and CBS talking about how the Cardinals would lose and how their previous 2 games against the Panthers and Falcons were both against one dimensional teams which is true, but they also said that Philly wasn’t. Now that’s where I started to get confused. Philly not a one dimensional team? I don’t think they’ve had a game all season long where the Running Back had more than 100 yards rushing. The Eagles are definitely a one dimensional team, and not a very good passing team at that.

One last note from the game, I couldn’t help but notice how badly exposed and how out of place rookie Cornerback and first round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie looked. I counted at least 5 times where he either took bad angles or just got beat and looked SLOW. Something the Arizona Cardinals should correct in their time leading up to the Super Bowl. But then again neither Pittsburgh or Baltimore present huge mismatches for the Cardinals secondary.

Last but not least, Congrats to the Cardinals and all their bandwagon fans. No seriously Congratulations its been a long time coming. I still remember that 20-10 playoff victory over my Cowboys many years ago. Alot of people are behind them now and only they can stop themselves from winning the Super Bowl.





Flashback: A Dan Marino Moment

17 01 2009

How could you not love this video? Nobody ever said he was a hall of fame analyst. Maybe he’ll give us another gem tomorrow.





Panthers DE Julius Peppers Demands Release

17 01 2009

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Four time pro-bowler and defensive rookie of the year in 2002 Julius Peppers has asked the Carolina Panthers for his release. Meanwhile the Panthers management has other plans for him. Chances of him being outright released are very slim, Peppers is a superstar defensive end and the biggest name on the Carolina defense. He is coming off his best season as a pro recording 14.5 Sacks and 5 Forced Fumbles. It is said that the Panthers management plan to slap the franchise tag on him, so before this is all over things can get very ugly over there on the East coast. Another possibility is that they can trade him, which we could see happen. A player like Peppers should net the Panthers a first rounder if they find any suitors, however a 2nd Round pick or a package of picks is more likely.

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10 reasons why Gruden was fired [JoeBucsFan]





Ball State’s QB Nate Davis Declares For 2009 NFL Draft

13 01 2009

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Big news today in the football world. Quarterback Nate Davis of Ball State has decided to forgo his Senior year and declare for the upcoming draft in April. This is a somewhat surprising move to myself and many other draft experts out there. Now the folks over at Rotoworld label him a Double-Threat but they couldn’t be more wrong. Davis does have decent speed and can move around the pocket fairly well but other than that he is no threat in terms of rushing the ball. Hes no Michael Vick, No Vince Young. Doesn’t have that type of speed. However, he has a very strong arm and has good accuracy and in my opinion he grades out to be a 3rd Round pick at this point. I put him just behind Bradford and Stafford. Over his 3 years at Ball State he put together quite a resume tossing 74 Touchdowns and only 26 Interceptions while throwing for over 9,000 yards and led Ball State to their first AP Ranking in the history of their program which is rather impressive.

Hes a good prospect but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that he has the tools to become better than Tom Brady… Or call him the second coming of Brett Favre, which Jason Whitlock of Foxsports predicts. I sense a little bias from Whitlock, seeing as how hes a Ball State grad himself.

If you want the real scoop on the kid from somebody who has years of experience in scouting NFL prospects wait until Scott Wright gives his analysis, don’t listen to Whitlocks crazy delusions.





NFL Playoffs

12 01 2009

And so there were 4…

Philadelphia
Arizona
Pittsburgh
Baltimore

All teams that the Dallas Cowboys lost to this year. All games that were within reach.

I don’t think anybody could have predicted these 4 teams to be the last ones remaining. Lets be serious for a second. Philly finished 9-6-1 barely squeaking into the playoffs, everything lined up for them perfect to make the playoffs on the last day of the season. Just imagine if they would have stuck with Kolb. McNabb is a notorious choker, he’ll probably puke in the crunch against Arizona this weekend. Looking at the ESPN poll the other day and I think the results were like 36% for McNabb then 33% for Warner for which QB you would want leading your team. Just goes to show that people have short-term memories, McNabb has never won anything in his life. Roethlisberger 1 Ring, Warner 1 Ring, and Flacco well hes a rook.

Onto Arizona… This is a team that got absolutely hosed by a couple AFC East teams during the season, Jets kicked their asses to the curb in week 4 by hanging 56 on the Cards. Then in week 16 New England went to town on them 47-7, not to mention that week 14 loss to none other than the Philadelphia Eagles 48-20.. Guess the only case for them was that all those games were on the road and the Cards are known for being a terrible road team… Only in the NFC West where a team like the Cardinals can come out of it and make the playoffs. (Something really needs to be done about that division)

Pittsburgh is easily the best team remaining. It’s really hard not to see them in the Super Bowl and winning their 6th ring. The only thing holding them back is Big Ben who has had a rather bad season. Theres no doubt in my mind that hes going to have trouble against all of the teams left. If Baltimore were smart, which they are they will be blitzing all day long. Roethlisberger really is the Steelers achilles heel. Question for my readers out there… Over or Under 2 picks for him vs Baltimore? Do I even need to mention Pittsburgh’s defense?

Baltimore like Philly, just barely got into the playoffs. Kind of odd how two AFC North teams are both here. But then again when you look at it they both had 2 guarantee wins this season with Cleveland and Cinci being in their division. One could argue that Baltimore’s defense is just as good as Pittsburgh’s, and if Flacco doesn’t turn the ball over then watch out.





Super Bowl XLIII Scenario

12 01 2009

Last years Super Bowl between the New York Giants & New England Patriots = Highest RATED Super Bowl GAME ever…

This years Super Bowl Arizona vs Baltimore? could = The lowest rated Super Bowl Game on television ever…?

However it could very well end up being Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia. The Battle of Pennsylvania which would most likely draw very good ratings. So I guess we’ll wait and see what happens next week. Not the best year of football. Especially since my Cowboys choked down the stretch.