Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 13 Power Rankings

     There are five games left in the 2011 regular season, and only one team, the Green Bay Packers, remains undefeated. They will be tested this weekend as they face the New York Giants away from Lambeau field. Clearly, the Packers are ranked first in this week's power rankings, but many other top spots are up in the air.  Tebow and the Denver Broncos managed to pull off a win against the struggling San Diego Chargers in an overtime win. Now, the Broncos are considered to be a legitimate playoff contender in this crazy year of football. Week 13 should be great, and The NFL Report has everything you need to know about the 13th week of football. Enjoy, and be sure to comment!

1. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers has done extremely well this year, with great statistics, amazing intelligence, and an 11-0 record. The Packers offense has been nearly unstoppable, especially with a WR corp consisting of Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley. The defense, ranked 30th overall in yards allowed per game, obviously needs to do better if they want to have a perfect season.

2. Baltimore Ravens: After a win against the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens look to be a great Super Bowl contender. Baltimore's defense is doing extremely well, ranked 3rd overall in terms of points allowed per game. The only problem is the inconsistent Baltimore passing game. If the Ravens want to win the Super Bowl, Joe Flacco must improve before the playoffs start.

3. New Orleans Saints: After a dominating performance against the New York Giants, the Saints appear to be playing extremely well. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is on track to break Dan Marino's single season passing yard record, and is a clear contender for the MVP award. Overall, New Orleans is ranked 1st in terms of total offense (449.6) and 1st in terms of passing yards per game (324.2). The Saints are on a 3 game win streak, and don't expect them to stop as they face the Detroit Lions this weekend.

4. San Francisco 49ers: Sure the 49ers are 9-2, but they are coming off of disappointing loss against the Baltimore Ravens. San Francisco has done extremely well when it comes to defense, and they have yet to let up a rushing touchdown this season. The offense in San Fran is mediocre at best, especially with a struggling QB (ranked 29th overall in passing yards per game). I believe if the 49ers were to play better teams in the NFC (such as the Packers, Saints and Bears), they would not be as high up in the power rankings. However, the big game will come against the Steelers in Week 15. Until then, San Francisco is 4th overall in this week's power rankings.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers: The 8-3 Pittsburgh Steelers just squeaked by against the struggling Kansas City Chiefs, winning 13-9. Though the Steelers' offense was not exactly stellar, the defense managed to hold Kansas City to just 9 points. If Ben Roethlisberger can improve his game, the Steelers will make a deep playoff run this January.

6. New England Patriots: Last weekend, Tom Brady and the Patriots tour apart the Philadelphia Eagles 38-20. However, the Patriots are dead last in total yards allowed per game, passing yards allowed per game, and receiving yards allowed per game. If the Patriots can not fix their horrific defense, they will have a hard time making it past the first round of the playoffs.

7. Even without quarterback Matt Schaub, the Texans were able to beat Jacksonville on the road, stretching their win streak to 5 games. They key to the Texans success; a spectacular defense. Houston ranks 1st overall in total yards allowed per game (268.4), 2nd in passing yards allowed per game (175.8), and 4th in rushing yards allowed per game (92.5). However, with Schaub on the IR, they may have some difficulty against Atlanta next weekend.

8. Oakland Raiders: Even without star running back Darren Mcfadden the past few games, the Oakland Raiders beat the Chicago Bears and the San Diego Chargers. Oakland is first in the AFC West with a 7-4 record. The Raiders defense has not been great, so it is important for the offense (more importantly the rushing game) to do well for the last few games.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Though the Bengals are competing in a difficult AFC North, they are doing extremely well this year. Andy Dalton has done well this year, and has become a more experienced quarterback in the NFL. Not to mention, Cincinnati's defense has done extremely well (ranked 5th in total yards allowed per game). The Bengals still have a chance at making the playoffs if their offense can finish the year off strongly.

10. Chicago Bears: Though they are coming off of a loss against the Oakland Raiders, Chicago has done extremely well this year, especially when it comes to defense. Running back Matt Forte leads a somewhat weak Bears offense, especially without quarterback Jay Cutler. The next few games should be rather easy (besides Green Bay), so hopefully Chicago will be able to resurrect themselves after a loss against Oakland. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Week 12 Predictions

For the first time in a long time, the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving game will actually be entertaining; the Lions will face off against their division rivals in the Green Bay Packers. Today's match-up may bring the Packers their first loss of the season. However, if the Packers win today's game, their is a large chance they will remain undefeated by season's end. The other great game this Thanksgiving is the battle of the Harbaughs as the Baltimore Ravens play the San Francisco 49ers. This game will be the first time two head coaches who are brothers play each other in a football game. Today should have many great games, and The NFL Report wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Patrick Willis
Game-to-Watch: Packers at Lions: There is now way to avoid it; the Green Bay Packers have a great chance at becoming the second team to have a 16-0 regular season record. As they travel to Detroit, however, the Lions may be the only team who can stop the Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Last weekend, Detroit almost lost to Cam Newton's Panthers, which would have been an amazing upset. Luckily, Matthew Stafford passed for five touchdowns in this shootout, rallying past the Panthers to give his team a 7-3 record. On the other hand, the Packer played Tampa Bay at Lambeau Field. Green Bay led the entire game, yet their were times where it looked like the Buccaneers may come from behind. Once again, Rodgers had a spectacular game, winning 35-26. The Packers defense has done well the past few games, but it is clearly not as dominate as last year's. The Lions depend a lot on their offense, but the key for them to come out on top is to stop Aaron Rodgers (5th in passing yards allowed per game this season). The game will be close, but Aaron Rodgers will be too much for Detroit, and his Packers will improve their record to 11-0.
Packers over Lions 23-16

Stand-Out Performance: WR Steve Smith: Four years ago, Steve Smith was considered one of the top wide receivers in the league. Then, Smith began to show signs of aging, as he no longer put up Pro Bowl stats. Once the Panthers drafted Heisman winner Cam Newton, Smith's performance completely game. In the first game of the season, Smith caught two touchdown passes with 178 receiving yards. The football world was shocked, but ever since that game, Smith has been extraordinary (in just 10 games he has 992 receiving yards). This weekend, Smith goes up against the Colts defense, ranked dead last in terms of receiving touchdowns given up (19). Smith should tear apart the weak secondary, so expect 30+ fantasy points from this star wide receiver.
Steve Smith: 145 receiving yards, 2 TD's

Player to Watch: RB Kevin Smith: The most interesting headline from Week 11; Lions back-up running back Kevin Smith scored 3 total touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving) and ran for 140 yards. Before the Week 11 game, no one believed Smith could do so well in his first game as a starter. This weekend, he goes up against the Green Bay Packers, a team with a mediocre rush defense. Smith will  try and prove that last weekend's game was not a fluke, so it will be important to keep an eye on him this Thanksgiving.
Kevin Smith: 50 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Week 12 Predictions:

Packers over Lions

Cowboys over Dolphins (OT)

Ravens over 49ers

Falcons over Vikings

Bengals over Browns

Panthers over Colts

Texans over Jaguars

Jets over Bills

Cardinals over Rams

Buccaneers over Titans

Bears over Raiders

Seahawks over Redskins

Patriots over Eagles (OT)

Broncos over Chargers

Steelers over Chiefs

Saints over Giants

Darrelle Revis

      Since 2007, one defensive player has dominated the NFL. He has created a name for himself in the league, causing quarterbacks and wide receivers  to fear his presence on the field. The three time Pro-Bowler and two time All-Pro is known for shutting down great wide receivers thanks to his speed, instincts and quickness.  New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is the most well rounded cornerback in the game today.This season, he is considered the top cornerback in the NFL, and it appears like he will remain at the top for many years to come.
Darrelle Revis
     Revis' career began at the Aliquippa High School in Pennsylvania. As a senior, Revis led the Aliquippa football team to the Class AA State Championship where they defeated Northern Lehigh 32-27. That same year, Revis was named the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2003 Player of the Year. In 2004, Revis committed to the University of Pittsburgh. In his freshman year, he was named to the first-team Freshman All-American team. Revis was extremely dominate for the rest of his college career, especially his last season as a junior where he was nominated for Jim Thorpe Award. Instead of playing college football as a senior, he was eligible for the 2007 NFL draft. Going into the draft, Revis was one of the top three defensive backs of college football. That is why he was drafted 14th overall by the New York Jets.
     In just his first game as a starting cornerback, Revis held Patriots wide reciever Wes Welker to just 6 catches for 61 yards. Immediately, teams knew they had to take Revis seriously. The Jets' rookie sensation had exceptional speed and intellect, leaving offensive coordinators baffled. By the end of his rookie season, Revis only allowed three touchdowns to the receiver whom he was guarding (Lee Evans, Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens). In 2008, Revis' second season in the NFL, he improved quite substantially. In Week 4 of the 2008 season, the Jets faced off against the Arizona Cardinals, and Revis had to cover the great Cardinals wide receiver duo consisting of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Amazingly, Revis intercepted Kurt Warner twice, returning one for a touchdown. Revis did extremely well that year, and many scouts noted he was better at reading plays. By the end of the year, not as many passes came his way; instead, quarterbacks would through towards Jets rookie Dwight Lowery, causing the Jets' pass defense to rank 29th overall. However, Revis still managed to make that season's Pro Bowl.
    Revis started off the 2009 season matched up against wide receiver Andre Johnson, one of the best in the league. Amazingly, he limited Johnson to just four receptions for 35 yards, proving to the fans and media once again that he is one of the top defensive players in the NFL. The next week, the Jets played Brady and the Patriots, where Revis had to defend another Pro-Bowler in Randy Moss.  For the second consecutive week, Revis shut-down his man, allowing Moss to four receptions and 24 receiving yards. Besides letting up two touchdowns, one to Ted Ginn Jr. and one to Randy Moss, Revis was almost perfect for the rest of the year. In Week 16, the Jets played against the 14-0 Indianapolis Colts. Thanks to Revis' great defensive performance (allowing Reggie Wayne to 3 receptions for 33 yards), the Jets handed Peyton Manning his first loss of the season. Revis finished the season strong against Chad Ochocinco by not allowing him to have a single reception. That win allowed Revis the oppurtunity to play in the playoffs once his Jets won the Wild Card with a 9-7 record. The Jets won their first two games in the playoffs, first against the Bengals, and then the Chargers. In the AFC Championship game though, Revis would have to guard Reggie Wayne once more as the Jets played the 14-2 Indianapolis Colts. For the second time, Revis overpowered Wayne, limiting him to just 3 receptions for 55 total yards (Wayne was the only starting wide receiver on the Colts who did not score a touchdown). However, Revis' great performance was not enough, for the Colts dismembered the Jets 30-17.
     The 2010 season did not start very well for Revis, for he missed all of training camp and preseason during a contract holdout (4 years, $32 million). Things only got worse for Revis once the season began. In Week 2,  after getting beat by Randy Moss for a touchdown, Revis strained his hamstring and left the game. He missed the next two games due to his injury. After being activated to play in Week 5 against the Vikings, he re-agravated his hamstring, and left the game early. Next week, against the Broncos, he was told he was ready to play, but, once again, Revis aggravated his hamstring and left the game. Luckily, Revis was able to play the last 8 games of the season, and did extremely well against Pro Bowl wide receivers. While playing the Detroit Lions, Revis limited Calvin Johnson to just 1 reception for 13 yards. Then, two weeks later, Revis overpowered wide receiver Andre Johnson, who caught 4 passes for 32 yards. After winning the Wild Card with a 11-5 record, the Jets beat the Colts in the AFC Wild Card Round thanks to a game winning field goal (Reggie Wayne only had 1 reception for 1 yard against Revis). The next week, Revis and the Jets faced off against the number 1 seeded New England Patriots, a new found rivalry. Revis did not have a spectacular game, but the Jets still managed to upset the Patriots 28-21. So for the second year in a row, the Jets were in the AFC Championship Game, this time against the 2 seeded Steelers. The Steelers dominated the game, especially in the first half, and they managed to win 24-19 over the Jets.
     Revis has done extremely well this season; in the first game of the season, he intercepted Tony Romo, and helped the Jets defeat the Cowboys 27-24. Also, while playing Miami in Week 6, he intercepted 2 passes, one of which he returned 100 yards for a touchdown. In the first 8 games, Revis has only allowed 12 receptions. Plus, when quarterbacks throw in the direction of Revis, they have a passer rating of 2.9. In just 10 games, Revis has intercepted 4 passes, 4 more than last year. Revis looks better than ever, and hopefully, he can resurrect his 5-5 Jets.
     Revis has the ability to shut down corners thanks to his speed, anticipation and intelligence. After making his impact on the league five years ago, quarterbacks know it is not wise to throw his way. Though he may not lead the league in interceptions, he is amazing at taking his man out of the game. Revis is the best cornerback in the league, and possibly this years Defensive Player of the Year. Many great things are in store for Revis, so make sure to keep an eye on the Pro Bowler while he's shutting down your favorite wide receiver.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 11 Predictions

Week 11 started with a surprising upset; The Denver Broncos defeated the New York Jets 17-13 last Thursday night. Now, the Jets' playoff hopes are slowly slipping away as their record becomes a mediocre 5-5. Many teams, the Jets included, must improve their game in order to have any chance of winning the Super Bowl. If not, they must go back to the drawing boards in hopes the 2012 season will be better. Week 11 is extremely important for playoff hopefuls. This Sunday should be great, and The NFL Report has you covered on everything you need to know for the 11th week of football.

James Harrison
Game to Watch: Bengals at Ravens: When you think of the Cincinnati Bengals, a great defense is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, the Bengals are among the top 5 defenses in the league (ranked 5th in points allowed per game and 2nd in rushing yards allowed per game). This great defense has allowed the Bengals to be 6-3; tied for second in the competitive AFC North. This weekend, they will play the Baltimore Ravens who also have a 6-3 record.  After this weekend, the winning team will be tied for first place in the AFC North, and the losing team may have their playoff hopes crushed. Both teams are coming off losses, with the Ravens losing to Seattle, and the Bengals losing to Pittsburgh. Baltimore has been extremely inconsistent this season, beating the good teams yet losing to the bad teams. If they can play well, even without LB Ray Lewis (questionable due to a foot injury), the Ravens will win this important division game.
Ravens over Bengals 23-17

Stand-Out Performance: RB LeSean McCoy: So far this season, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy has proved to be the best running back in the NFL. In just 9 games, McCoy has rushed for 906 yards (2nd in the league), 10 rushing touchdowns (tied for 1st in the league), and 5.5 rushing yards per attempt (2nd in the league with a minimum of 125 attempts). This weekend, the Eagles will face-off against the New York Giants at New York. LeSean Mccoy averages 105.75 yards per game on the road, with 6 total touchdowns in four games. As he plays the Giants, a team ranked 26 in terms of rushing TD's allowed (10), McCoy will likely have one of the best games of his career.
LeSean Mccoy: 175 Rushing yards, 2 Rushing TD's

Player to Watch: RB Reggie Bush: It has taken 6 years, but Reggie has finally reached his NFL potential. He has averaged 80 rushing yards in the past three games, the highest yardage average in three consecutive games Bush has had during his entire career. Last weekend, Bush scored twice against the Redskins, just the third time in his career where he ran for two touchdowns in a single game. He has done very well the past three games, so make sure to keep an eye on the "Heisman winner" as he plays against Buffalo this weekend.
Reggie Bush: 65 yards, 1 rushing TD

Week 11 Predictions:

Broncos over Jets (OT)

Ravens over Bengals

Jaguars over Browns

Bills over Dolphins

Lions over Panthers

Packers over Buccaneers

Raiders over Vikings

Cowboys over Redskins

Cardinals over 49ers (OT)

Seahawks over Rams

Falcons over Titans

Bears over Chargers

Giants over Eagles

Patriots over Chiefs

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Week 9 Predictions

After an eventful Week 8, the midpoint of the NFL season, football fans are bound for an even more exciting weekend in the 9th week of football. Two playoff contenders, the Patriots and the Saints, lost in conference showdowns last weekend, limiting them both to just 5 wins going into Week 9. Looking ahead to Sunday, great games are in store among championship built teams. As usual, The NFL Report has the Week 9 predictions, and be sure to comment!

Michael Turner
Game-to-Watch: Packers at Chargers: In the past two weeks, the Chargers have been rather disappointing, losing to the Chiefs and the Jets, both of which on the road. Finally, Philip Rivers' team will play in their own stadium against the most dominate team in the league. Though Green Bay's offense has been outstanding, the defense has been below par this year. They rank 28th in total yards allowed per game (391), a statistic they ranked 5th overall in the league. Somehow, the defense is ranked 31st in terms of passing yards allowed per game, yet they have 13 interceptions so far, ranked 2nd overall. It will be important for that defense to shut down Philip Rivers, so Rodgers can control the game. Though the Chargers are in their home stadium for the Week 9 matchup, Green Bay appears to have the advantage. The outstanding offense will dominate the game, and even the Packers' defense will step up their play.
Packers over Chargers: 31-10

Stand-Out Performance: RB Michael Turner: The most overlooked player in the NFL is beginning to gain more and more attention as the season progresses. Michael Turner has been quite consistent for his team, tied for fourth in terms of rushing touchdowns this season. This weekend, Turner faces off against the Indianapolis Colts, a team known for a weak rushing defense. The Colts are ranked 31st in rushing yards allowed per game (144.0), 30th in rushing TD's allowed (10), and 32nd in 1st downs allowed (69).  Turner will completely trample the Colts' defense, and will have one of the best games of his career.
Michael Turner: 170 yards, 2 rushing TD's, 1 receiving TD 

Player to Watch: Tom Brady: For the first time since the 2007 Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will face off against the New York Giants. Brady was not happy after losing to the Giants because of a last minute game-winning touchdown. Now, he is also coming off of a disappointing loss against the Steelers. Though Brady started the year off strong, he has begun to cool off (the last time he had over 2 touchdowns in a game was in Week 4).  These three failures from the past will be used as motivation. Brady will walk onto the field and tear apart the Giants defense. Make sure to keep an eye on Brady, for there may be a spike in terms of fantasy points in Brady's future.
Tom Brady: 330 passing yards, 3 passing TD's, 1 rushing TD

Week 9 Predictions:

Jets over Bills (OT)

Cowboys over Seahawks

Texans over Browns

Falcons over Colts

Chiefs over Dolphins

Saints over Buccaneers (OT)

49ers over Redskins

Raiders over Broncos

Bengals over Titans

Rams over Cardinals

Patriots over Giants

Packers over Chargers

Steelers over Ravens

Eagles over Bears