Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week 17 Predictions

This is it, the final week of football. Several teams are in the hunt for a playoff spot, and a loss may ruin their hopes of a championship win this season. Though many teams are looking for a win, three teams may actually want to lose in order to draft Andrew Luck. Indianapolis (2-13), Minnesota (3-12) and St. Louis (2-13) all want the star QB, for he is projected to be on of the best prospects of his generation. A total of 7 teams look to clinch a playoff spot this weekend, and the 2011 regular season should go out with a bang!

Cam Newton
Game-to-Watch: Cowboys at Giants: The division rivalry game this weekend decides which team will earn the fourth seed, and which team is eliminated from the playoffs. The last time these two teams played, Eli Manning threw for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns in a win on the road. However, the win did not come easily. In fact, it came down to a blocked field goal attempt from kicker Dan Bailey which would have sent the game into OT. Now, the Cowboys need injured quarterback Tony Romo to lead his team to a win over the rolling New York Giants. The Cowboys have been extremely inconsistent the past few games, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 20-7 last weekend. The Giants on the other hand dominated the New York Jets 29-14 away from home in Week 16. Eli Manning has not been great the past two games, but he should be able to bounce back against the weak Dallas secondary. All in all, New York has the edge in this one, and they should be a threat in the playoffs.
Giants over Cowboys 31-10

Stand-Out Performance: QB Matthew Stafford: Usually, this quarterback would not be picked as a stand out performer during the regular season. However, with many great players being sat in Week 17 in order to stay healthy for the playoffs, Stafford should be playing in as much of the game as he can. In the past two games, Stafford has thrown for 7 passing touchdowns and a total of 764 yards. The Lions look to clinch a playoff spot as they play Green Bay on Sunday. Green Bay will have many of their star defensive players on the bench, so expect Stafford to come out firing.
Mathew Stafford: 295 passing yards, 3 passing TD's, 1 rushing TD

Player-to-Watch: RB Marshawn Lynch: For the first time this season, a running back was able to score a rushing touchdown against the impenetrable 49ers defense. This running back was Marshawn Lynch, the dominant rusher for Seattle. In the past nine games, Lynch has averaged 97.6 rushing yards per game and scored a whopping 11 total touchdowns. This weekend, he will play the Arizona Cardinals at home, so look to see if he adds on to his rushing touchdown numbers.
Marshawn Lynch: 75 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Week 17 Predictions:

Lions over Packers

Texans over Titans

Jaguars over Colts

Dolphins over Jets

Bears over Vikings

Patriots over Bills

Saints over Panthers

Eagles over Redskins

49ers over Rams

Seahawks over Cardinals (OT)

Falcons over Buccaneers

Ravens over Bengals (OT)

Steelers over Browns

Broncos over Chiefs

Raiders over Chargers

Giants over Cowboys

Playoff Scenarios: 
Bengals: Win or loss by Jets AND loss by either Raiders or Broncos
Raiders: Win and loss by Bengals OR win and loss by Broncos
Titans: Win AND loss by Bengals AND either win by Jets or Broncos win and Raiders win
Jets: Win AND loss by Bengals AND loss by Titans AND either loss by Broncos or Raiders

The NFL Report Projected Playoff Seeding:

AFC: 1. Patriots   2. Ravens   3. Texans   4. Broncos   5. Steelers   6. Raiders
NFC: 1. Packers   2. 49ers   3. Saints   4. Giants   5. Lions   6. Atlanta

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Week 16 Predictions

     The 16th week of football started off with a bang; the 1-13 Indianapolis Colts defeated the playoff bound Texans 19-16 at home. Granted, the Texans were missing both Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub, and they may not have been playing to their full abilities, but this loss shocked many football fans across the country. These past few weeks have been full of upsets, so I do not except this pattern to stop on Saturday. Merry Christmas, and happy holidays from The NFL Report!

Reggie Bush
Game-to-Watch: Giants at Jets: The Battle of New York. This weekend, both New York teams face off in a rivalry game in order to come closer towards a playoff spot. The New York Jets are coming off of a horrendous performance against Philadelphia. The Jets' offense has done well this season, ranked 7th in points per game (24.7). The Jets defense has not been as stellar as in previous years (ranked 21 in points allowed per game with 22.5), so they must step up in order to win against Eli Mannning's team. As for the Giants, the defense may not have spectacular stats (ranked 28th in points allowed with 26.6), but it can be clutch when it needs to be. The offense is led by quarterback Eli Manning, who has done EXTREMELY well this season. The battle of New York should be close, and it will come down to how well the Giants can bounce back from a 1-5 record the past six games.
Jets over Giants: 24-20

Stand-Out Performance: QB Cam Newton: The 2011 Rookie of the Year front-runner has done extremely well in his first year out of Auburn. Newton has thrown for 3,722 yards and 17 touchdowns. However, the most spectacular feature of Cam Newton is his running ability; Newton has rushed for 13 touchdowns, the most by a QB this season. As he plays Tampa Bay on Saturday, it should be an absolutely dominating performance. The last time the Heisman winner played Tampa Bay, Newton scored 4 total touchdowns with 204 passing yards. This weekend should be no different, and I except him to tear apart such a weak defense.
Cam Newton: 250 passing yards, 2 passing TD's, 2 rushing TD's

Player-to-Watch: QB Drew Brees: For 27 years, Dan Marino's single season passing yard record has remained unbroken. However, this record of 5,084 yards may be surpassed as soon as this weekend by none other than Drew Brees. The Saints quarterback already has 4,780 passing yards, leaving him 304 yards away from tying the record. Luckily, Brees averages 341.4 passing yards per game as of Week 16, so there is a chance the record will be snapped even before the 4th quarter against Atlanta. Brees has not missed a game since 2009, and is not prone to injuries. All the signs are in favor of Brees, so watch on Monday Nights as he makes history against the Falcons.
Drew Brees: 325 passing yards, 3 passing TD's

Week 16 Predictions:

Ravens over Browns

Broncos over Bills

Panthers over Buccaneers

Bengals over Cardinals

Raiders over Chiefs

Patriots over Dolphins (OT)

Jets over Giants

Steelers over Rams

Titans over Jaguars

Vikings over Redskins

Lions over Chargers

Eagles over Cowboys

49ers over Seahawks

Packers over Bears

Saints over Falcons

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Denver Gator

     Tim Tebow; the name is everywhere. You see him on ESPN, in sports magazines, and more recently, on TV shows (click here to watch the SNL skit). Off the field, Tebow has managed to prove the critics wrong by winning 6 out of his last 7 games. Though his passing game tends to be atrocious, the ex-Florida Gator has resurrected a dying team thanks to many late 4th quarter come-backs. In Week 15 against the Patriots, the Broncos' magical win streak was snapped, proving the great Tim Tebow could be defeated. Now, with two games left in the season, it appears like his team will make the playoffs for the first time in 6 years.
Tim Tebow
     Entering the 2010 draft, NFL recruiters saw him as a great athlete, but they believed his throwing mechanics needed several adjustments. For this reason, the Heisman winner was projected to be drafted in the second or third round. However, in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, Tebow was selected 25th overall by the Denver Broncos. This surprise pick caught many football fans off guard, especially those in Denver. It was not until Week 15 of the 2010 season where Tebow started in his first professional game. Though he did not win against the Raiders that week, he went 8 for 16, with 1 rushing TD and 1 passing TD. His rookie season may not have been great, but the religious quarterback showed signs of stardom.
     If there is anything Tebow is good at, it is being able to escape defenders using his legs. He may not be the fastest player on the field, but the 218 pound Bronco always manages to pick up a few key yards on third down. No doubt Tim Tebow has amazing arm strength, but the main problem involves the length in which it takes for him to throw. He loses precious time when throwing the ball due to the fact he makes a loop with his arm. Many QB experts helped in shortening his throwing motion, but his form continues to need some minor adjustments. If he wishes to do well in the league, he must work on his passing game instead of depending on the running game so deeply.
     Tebow sure has been spectacular this season, leading his team to an 8-6 record as of December 21. This sophomore quarterback has many years ahead of him in the NFL, wether those years be good or bad, we do not know. It will be interesting to see if Tebow can lead his team to a Super Bowl, or if opposing defenses will finally able to shut him down. Either way, the Broncos quarterback has a lot of potential, the question is, will in be successful in years to come?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week 15 Predictions

This year's regular season is winding down, and four teams (Texans, Saints, 49ers and Packers) have already clinched a playoff spot. However, many teams remain in the playoff hunt. In the 15th week of football, the 10-3 Pittsburgh Steelers look to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in order to come closer towards clinching home field advantage. However, the 49ers have just as much to play for in this battle of the defenses,  so expect them to play 100%. This game is not the only great matchup in Week 15; Tim Tebow and the Broncos take on Tom Brady's Patriots at Denver. The Denver Broncos are the only team Tom Brady does not have a career record above .500, so he will look to change that this weekend. Week 15 should be another great week of football and make sure to watch Pittsburgh battle it out with San Francisco on Monday night.

Rob Gronkowski
Game-to-Watch: Steelers at 49ers: Last weekend, the 49ers waltzed into Arizona expecting an easy win. However, the overly confident San Francisco team were handed their third loss of the season. Luckily for the 49ers, their rush defense has yet to allow a rushing touchdown, so they might be able to shut down Rashard Mendenhall in order to compete with such a highly skilled team. The Steelers on the other hand are on a four game winning streak, with a 2-0 record against non conference teams. Pittsburgh's defense is ranked 1st overall in passing yards allowed, and clearly will not face any sort of challenge against Alex Smith. Both teams have been playing without key players due to injuries (Troy Polumalu for the Steelers and Patrick Willis for the 49ers). The Steelers should be able to overpower the weak 49ers offense, and Big Ben will improve his team's record to 11-3. 
Steelers over 49ers: 27-10

Stand-Out Performance: QB Drew Brees: If anyone deserves to break Dan Marino's passing record this season, it is Drew Brees. Brees has been absolutely flawless each game, and already has 32 passing touchdowns (one less than last year). In Week 14, the Saints QB tour apart the Titan's defense, passing for 337 yards and two touchdowns. This week, he should do even better against the weak Minnesota defense. The Vikings rank dead last in passing touchdowns allowed with 26. If anyone can exploit their defense's weaknesses, it is Drew Brees.
Drew Brees: 375 passing yards, 4 passing TD's

Player-to-Watch: TE Rob Gronkowski: For the past six games, the unstoppable force in Rob Gronkowski has managed to reach the end zone 10 times. Last weekend against the Redskins, Gronk set the record for the most touchdowns in a single season by a tight end, even with three games left in the season. Gronkowski goes up against the Denver Broncos, a team with a mediocre pass defense. He has been extremely dominant in 2011, and it does not look like this run will stop anytime soon.
Rob Gronkowski: 90 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD

Week 15 Predictions:

Cowboys over Buccaneers 

Dolphins over Bills

Seahawks over Bears

Texans over Panthers

Titans over Colts

Packers over Chiefs

Saints over Vikings

Giants over Redskins

Bengals over Rams

Lions over Raiders (OT)

Cardinals over Browns (OT)

Patriots over Broncos

Jets over Eagles

Ravens over Chargers

Steelers over 49ers

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Week 14 Predictions

With just 4 weeks remaining in the NFL season, three different quarterbacks are on track to surpass Dan Marino's single season passing record (5,084 passing yards); Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. This 27 year old record is clearly going to be ended by the end of the year. However, the question is, which quarterback is going to set the new record? Drew Brees appears to be the most likely candidate for both the new passing record and the 2011 Offensive Player of the Year Award. This weekend, the New Orleans Saints play Tennessee on the road, an easy game statistically for Drew Brees. Week 14 is important for playoff hopefuls, and should be another great week of football!

Chris Johnson
Game-to-Watch: Raiders at Packers: After a thrilling last second win over the New York Giants in Week 13, Aaron Rodger's Packers remain undefeated. As of December 10th, Green Bay is ranked 4th overall in total offense (405.2 per game) and passing yards per game (308.8 yards). However, even these outstanding statistics can not accurately portray the absolute dominance of the Packers offense. Green Bay has scored more total points than any other team in the NFL, allowing them to have the most net points in the league (158). The Oakland Raiders on the other hand are coming off of an atrocious road loss against the Miami Dolphins. It will be important for the Raider's rushing game to do well (ranked 4th overall) if they want to hand Green Bay it's first loss. Otherwise, this game will be a blow-out.
Packer over Raiders: 34-20

Stand-Out Performance: RB Ray Rice: Last weekend, Ray Rice completely tour apart the Cleveland Brown defense, rushing for 204 yards and a touchdown. This weekend, the star running back will go up against the weak Colts defense. Indianapolis has allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL (17) and the third most rushing yards so far this season (144.2). Rice is one of the league's best when it comes to explosive speed. This weekend, he should have another great game, and lead his team to an easy win over the winless Colts.
Ray Rice: 155 Rushing yards, 2 Rushing TD's

Player-to-Watch: WR Percy Harvin: Finally, the 2009 Rookie of the Year Award has reached his full potential. These past three weeks, Harvin has caught 16 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Harvin's skill has been effected by ongoing migraine problems, the main reason he has not had many extraordinary games. If his migraines do not act up again, Harvin should do extremely well this weekend against the Detroit Lions.
Percy Harvin: 65 Receiving yards, 1 TD

Week 13 Predictions:

Ravens over Colts

Falcons over Panthers

Texans over Bengals

Lions over Vikings

Jaguars over Buccaneers

Dolphins over Eagles

Jets over Chiefs

Saints over Titans

Patriots over Redskins

49ers over Cardinals

Broncos over Bears

Packers over Raiders

Chargers over Bills

Giants over Cowboys

Seahawks over Rams

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Week 13 Predictions

Maurice Jones Drew
I know I mentioned it last week, but once again I must ask: Is this the week Green Bay loses for the first time this season? Aaron Rodgers and the Packers must play another difficult game on the road against the 6-5 New York Giants. The Packers appear to be the favorites, but there is always the chance of an upset. As for the Detroit Lions, they will be without star DT Ndamukong Suh. His dumb decision may cost his team a playoff spot without such an important defensive player. It should be interesting how each team does this weekend, and I wish you all luck in the last week of fantasy football!

Game-to-Watch: This season, the spectacular offense in New Orleans has been overlooked due to the undefeated Green Bay Packers. However, Drew Brees and the Saints rank 1st overall in total yards per game (449.6), 1st in passing yards per game (324.2) and 2nd in points per game (32.9). However, this Super Bowl contender has yet to secure a playoff spot, with Atlanta just one game behind in the standings. The rest of the season is not exactly smooth sailing for New Orleans, especially with a tough game against Detroit. Fortunately for New Orleans, Detroit will be without Ndamukong Suh due to a suspension. In order for Detroit to remain a legitimate playoff contender, they must win this weekend against Drew Brees' team, something that does not happen often.
Saints over Lions 38-20

Stand-Out Performance: QB Tom Brady: Most years, when the Colt splay the Patriots, it is a great game. This season, though, Indianapolis is 0-11, with an absolutely horrendous defense. The Colts have allowed 19 passing touchdowns this year, tied for 23rd in the league. However, this week, they must play future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady, who is coming off of a 360 yard passing game with 3 touchdowns. Obviously, Brady will tear apart this weak secondary, so you can expect a great game out of him.
Tom Brady: 385 passing yards, 4 passing TDs

Player-to-Watch: Laurent Robinson: When you are told a Cowboys wide receiver has caught 7 touchdowns in 5 games, Laurent Robinson is not the name that first comes to mind. However, it is true; Laurent Robinson has been tearing apart team's secondaries the past five games. Ever since WR Miles Austin left early in Week 9 with a hamstring injury, Robinson has been Romo's go to receiver. This weekend against Arizona, Austin will remain injured and has not been cleared to play. Now, there is no reason for Robinson not to do well against such a weak secondary.
Laurent Robinson: 65 receiving yards

Week 13 Predictions:

Titans over Bills

Bears over Chiefs

Texans over Falcons

Raiders over Dolphins

Broncos over Vikings

Patriots over Colts

Steelers over Bengals

Panthers over Buccaneers

Jets over Redskins

Ravens over Browns

Cowboys over Cardinals

Packers over Giants

49ers over Rams

Saints over Lions

Chargers over Jaguars