Saturday, December 29, 2012

Week 17 Records & Accomplishments

     Tomorrow marks the final regular season game of 2012, and several players are looking to break long lasting records. Three players in particular should be watched as they fight to be number one in any given statistic. Calvin Johnson, who broke Jerry Rice's receiving yard record last year, looks to become the first wide receiver of all time to gain 2,000 yards in a single season. JJ Watt needs 2.5 sacks in his final game against the Colts in order to snap Michael Strahan's single season sack record. Finally, the most important of records to be challenged this weekend, will be Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record, where Adrian Peterson hopes to rush for 208 yards against the Packers. So will these three players accomplish what they set out to do? The NFL Report will analyze all three scenarios, along with our opinion on the likeness of the record being snapped. Be sure to comment subscribe, or like us on Facebook at! Also, subscribe to us on YouTube, where we create monthly highlight videos for some of the most exciting NFL players!

Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson and 2,000 Receiving Yards: With 3:02 minutes left to play in Detroit's game against Atlanta, Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice's receiving yard record for a 49-yard gain. Though it may appear as if Johnson has checked everything off of the to-do list as the season comes to a close, Johnson says he is not ready to call it a year. Detroit, after an embarrassing 4-11 record as of Week 17, will not be playing for the Super Bowl in January. Even after surpassing Jerry Rice, Calvin, according to, said about the 2,000 receiving yard mark, "(It) would be big--kind of almost put that (record) away for a while." At 1,892 receiving yards for the year, Johnson needs 108 yards in his final game against Chicago in order to become the first wide receiver in the history of the game to acquire 2,000 receiving yards in a single season. Back in Week 7, when Chicago played Detroit at home, Johnson was shut down completely by the Bears defense, catching just three passes for 34 yards (both season lows). Unfortunately for Chicago, the Week 7 game came before Megatron's historic hot streak, and now that Detroit is out of the playoffs, they have no reason not to help Calvin reach 2,000. Charles Tillman, Chicago's number one cornerback, and likely the player to be matched up against Calvin for the majority of Sunday's game, said Johnson was the Lebron James of football. "It would be cool if we did," says Tillman, as he talks about ways to shut down Calvin Johnson. "But I don't know how." Mathew Stafford will consistently fire the football towards Johnson, with little worry of throwing a pick as Detroit's playoff chances are no longer affected. There is little doubt in my mind that Calvin Johnson will become the first 2,000 yard receiver on Sunday.
Calvin Johnson: 7 receptions, 115 receiving yards against Bears 
Record: Broken

JJ Watt
JJ Watt and 22.5 Sacks: If any season deserved to have a defensive MVP winner, 2012 is the year. Three sophomore defenders have wreaked havoc since Week 1, and two are chasing one of the most important defensive records in the book. JJ Watt and Aldon Smith are extremely close to snapping the sack record, which requires a defender to sack a quarterback 23 times in order to be named the new sack champion. Last season, defensive end Jared Allen needed just one sack in order to break the record, but Allen was unsuccessful. However, JJ Watt of the Houston Texans looks to become the king of sacking the quarterback as he plays Indianapolis in the final game of 2012. Watt, nicknamed JJ "Swatt" for his ability to knock down passes, has not focused recently on knocking down passes, which means he is focused more on bringing down the quarterback. Watt has acquired 2.5 sacks or more in three games this season, one against Denver, one against Detroit, and the last one against Sunday's opponent, Indianapolis. Even though Indianapolis has a very spotty offensive line, a group of five ranked 20th in the NFL in pass protection, this team does not wish to give Watt the record. That being said, Luck may prefer to throw the ball away when Watt sprints towards him, rather than let Watt tackle him, becoming one step closer towards the record. Double teaming Watt on Sunday will be expected, so it is unlikely he can reach the quarterback before the ball is thrown away. Maybe Watt does well under pressure, but all the signs point in the opposite direction. Michael Strahan's record will stand for another year.
JJ Watt: 6 tackles, 1.5 sacks against Colts
Record: Intact

Adrian Peterson and 2,105 rushing yards: For an average human being, it is nearly impossible to return to full health after suffering from an ACL tear, especially when your job requires you to take constant shots from 275 pound defenders as they dive at your knees at full speed. However, Adrian Peterson is not average, nor is he human. Adrian Peterson is a beast, and defenses are still trying to figure out how to stop him. After suffering an ACL injury on Christmas Eve, Peterson performed serious rehab in order to rehabilitate his knee, and clearly his hard work paid off, as he needs just 208 yards in order to break the single season rushing record. The Vikings running back rushed for over 100 yards in eight straight games, but was bumped around by the Houston defense, rushing for just 86 yards. Minnesota has the potential to earn a spot in the postseason for the first time since Brett Favre and his 2009 playoff run. In an interview, Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder said about Peterson and the rushing yard record, "That is not really our focus. Obviously, our focus is to keep our wild-card spot that we have right now, and making the playoffs is our number one goal." He went on to say that they do indeed wish Peterson breaks the record, but clearly, Minnesota has a lot more on their plate. As Minnesota looks to beat Green Bay tomorrow, Peterson and his quest for 2,000 may take a back seat to a spot in the playoffs. The last time Peterson played Green Bay, he rushed for a whopping 210 yards with one score. If this outstanding statistical performance were to repeat itself, Peterson would be named king of the running backs. The past four running backs to gain 2,000 yards or more in a single season all had big Week 17 games in order to reach the milestone, and we have seen Adrian Peterson work hard for the things he wants. It is hard to predict the game plan of Minnesota and how many times they are willing to hand off the ball. Either way, Peterson will get the 2,000 yards, but Eric Dickerson's record will likely stay intact.
Adrian Peterson: 22 attempts, 135 rushing yards, 2 TDs against Packers
Record: Intact

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fiesta Bowl Preview: Kansas State vs Oregon

     Once again, the two teams battling for the Fiesta Bowl are two highly ranked football programs; the Oregon Ducks and the Kansas State Wildcats. Similar to last season, where Andrew Luck and fourth ranked Stanford took on third ranked Oklahoma State, the Fiesta Bowl is likely to be yet another offensive showdown. Back in Week 12, before Notre Dame regained their number one spot in the BCS Standings, both Oregon and Kansas State held the top two spots in the rankings. Then, for the first time in a long time, both Oregon and Kansas State were upset in the same week, and suddenly their championship hopes were dashed in a single moment. Be sure to tune in next Thursday, January 3rd, as the Ducks take on the Wildcats in one of the more high scoring games of the season. Also, be sure to comment subscribe, or like us on Facebook at! Lastly, subscribe to us on YouTube, where we create monthly highlight videos for some of the most exciting NFL players!

Oregon Ducks: When one thinks of the Oregon Ducks, defense is not the first thing that comes to mind.  Though the defense has shown flashes of brilliance, such as a shutout of Arizona and just 17 points allowed against Stanford, games such as a Week 10 matchup against USC (51 point allowed in an Oregon win), reminds us how vulnerable this defense proves to be in certain moments. It has been the offense, however, who has managed to run its way into the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. Though Oregon's schedule shows little competition from opposing teams, there have been several dominant performances against ranked opponents. After destroying Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech to start off the season, Oregon shut down Arizona 49-0, ranked 22 at the time. A win the following week led to a 52-21 win over Washington, yet another ranked team. Oregon ran all over USC, and after destroying California, Oregon was set to play 13th ranked Stanford. At the time of kickoff, Oregon was second in the nation behind Kansas State, with a BCS Championship not too far out of reach. A win over Stanford would solidify their campaign for the championship. Unfortunately, the Ducks failed to beat their bitter rivals at home, after a missed Oregon kick in overtime led to a game winning kick by Stanford. Oregon's win over Oregon State was practically meaningless, as they missed out on the Pac-12 Championship, which was eventually won by Stanford. Stanford proved that the most important thing in order to beat the Ducks is to stop the run. This season, Oregon rushed for an average of 323.3 yards per game, ranking third in the nation. Their success on the ground led to an average of 50.8 points per game, but as we saw against Stanford, stopping the run means fewer points for the Oregon offense. Running backs De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner have been nearly unstoppable this season, where the two rushers have combined for a grand total of 2,310 rushing yards with 37 total touchdowns. Even quarterback Marcus Mariota has found success on the ground. If Oregon were to continuously gain big yards on the ground against Kansas State, the Fiesta Bowl will be practically theirs for the taking.

Kansas State: Kansas State's quarterback Collin Klein slowly but surely led his team towards a shot at the National Championship. A program not known for their football, Kansas State ranked 22 entering the 2012 football season, and were not considered legitimate threats until a game against 6th ranked Oklahoma put Kansas State on the map. Their 24-19 victory over Oklahoma, followed by two easy games against Kansas and Iowa State, led to a stretch of games against difficult teams. West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State all lost by a large margin to Kansas State, and their miraculous hot streak was rewarded as number two in the nation. TCU was unable to upset the Kansas State Wildcats, and with two relatively easy games left on the schedule, it seemed as though a National Championship for Kansas State was a safe prediction. Then, Baylor did the unthinkable at home; they beat the Kansas State Wildcats. Baylor's win over Kansas State was not by a small margin either, as they upset the number one ranked Wildcats 52-24. The Wildcats managed to beat 18th ranked Texas, but their final game of the season did not earn them the number one spot back from Notre Dame. At one point in time, Kansas State's quarterback Collin Klein was the favorite to win the Heisman after Geno Smith's collapse. His seven total touchdowns in a Kansas State win over West Virginia was followed by several sub-par games, and eventually players like Johnny Manziel and Manti Te'o became the late season favorites. Klein is the center of Kansas State's offense, especially his ability to run the ball thanks to an athletic 6-5, 225-pound frame. Kansas State ranks tenth in the nation in terms of points allowed, where as the offense does very well in big games. Similar to Oregon, the offense must be consistent in terms of putting points on the board, but defense will be key if they wish to win on January 2nd.

Bottom Line: A shootout is destined to take place in Arizona when Oregon and Kansas State take the field. Though Collin Klein tends to overwhelm opposing defenses, Oregon has more experience with BCS Bowl games, as they run all over the Kansas State defense for the Fiesta Bowl trophy.
Oregon over Kansas State: 40-36

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Pictures (Week 16)

Paul Connors/AP Photo

Ric Tapia/NFL

Nick Wass/AP Photo

Matt Slocum/AP Photo

Robert Mayer/US Presswire

Bob Leverone/AP Photo

Duane Burleson/AP Photo

Dave Einsel/AP Phto

Sunday, December 16, 2012

NFLR Videos: Calvin Johnson

As wide receiver Calvin Johnson looks to break Jerry Rice's receiving record, The NFL Report has decided to make montage of some of his best highlights so far. Please subscribe to The NFL Report, as well as our Youtube channel! Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BCS National Championship Preview: Notre Dame vs. Alabama

     On January 7th, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have the potential to dethrone the Southeastern Conference as the powerhouse of the BCS National Championship. The SEC has won the past six National Championships, two of which were won by Alabama, Notre Dame’s upcoming opponent. The only thing that stands in Notre Dame’s way from yet another national championship is Nick Saban’s sensational defense, similar to the one who took home the title in 2012. The two teams set to play are both steeped in history, but many college football fans are questioning whether or not the Fighting Irish deserve to battle Goliath for a National Championship. History has proven that the underdogs are capable of defeating the favorites, even on the world’s biggest stage (see Boise State, 2007 Fiesta Bowl), which is why the 2013 National Championship is worth watching.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish: The 2011 season is still fresh in the minds of Notre Dame fans across the nation, where the Fighting Irish finished the year at 8-5, lost to Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl, and showed little promise for the upcoming season in August. After the fourth week of football, however, Notre Dame upset Michigan State on the road, and then trounced 18th ranked Michigan in South Bend. A dominant win over Miami led to the highlight of Notre Dame’s season; an overtime win over rival Stanford, thanks to an unbelievably defiant goal line stand. 8th ranked Oklahoma could not stop the rolling Irish, who fell, at home, 30-13. After a triple overtime scare against Pitt, and two easy wins back to back, the final game on the schedule was against USC, a struggling team missing their star quarterback, Matt Barkley. Notre Dame kept the perfect season alive, and much of their surprising turnaround can be credited to their senior phenomenon, Mant Te’o. Te’o, the middle linebacker for Notre Dame, is destined to be one of the Heisman finalists in New York. This exceptional defender has proven to be an effective motivator, especially after what he was forced to endure. The death of his grandmother and girlfriend before the season began fueled the fire within him, and his stat line makes an amazing case for the Heisman Trophy over freshman sensation Johnny Manziel. Though Notre Dame’s offense is nothing extraordinary, quarterback Everett Golson is capable of scoring when the game is on the line. The difference maker for Notre Dame will be their sensational defense (ranked first in the nation in terms of points allowed), and whether or not they can shut down Alabama’s respectable offense.

Alabama Crimson Tide: Alabama’s season started off as projected--dominant wins over each and every opponent. An easy win over Michigan in their first game of the season led to a hot streak that carried them through the first nine weeks of football. Mississippi State, ranked 11th at the time of their meeting, was unsuccessful in jumping out to an early lead, and Alabama went on to win the game with ease. The next game on the schedule was a modern day rivalry between Alabama and fellow SEC powerhouse LSU. Alabama’s 14-3 lead at halftime was not enough to hold off the Tigers of Louisiana, and before long, Alabama found themselves down, desperate to claw their way out. Quarterback AJ McCarron marched Alabama down the field, and eventually connected with running back TJ Yeldon for the game winning score. The following week, Alabama was caught in a similar situation, except this time, a 20 point deficit was too much  to overcome, as Johnny Manziel toppled the number one team, after a Texas A&M interception sealed a victory for Manziel’s squad. Back-to-back shutouts against unranked teams were not enough for Alabama to regain their number one spot in the rankings, at one point held by Kansas State, and then eventually Notre Dame. Finally, in one of the best college football games played in the 2012 season, Alabama beat Georgia for their second consecutive SEC title. In a game that came down to the last second on the clock, Alabama’s rushing attack proved too much for the Georgia defense, and the Crimson Tide held off Georgia for a final tally of 32 points to Georgia’s 28 points. Similar to Notre Dame, Alabama’s defense has proven to be stellar once again, ranking second behind, who else, but the Fighting Irish. The passing game under AJ McCarron has been less than stellar, but Sunday’s SEC showdown proved to football fans that Alabama’s running back tandem is capable of making big plays at the right moment. Both running backs, Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon, rushed for at least 150 yards and a score, but don’t expect the same numbers against Notre Dame’s defense.

Bottom Line: Notre Dame has been underestimated throughout the duration of the season, and they finally have the chance to prove themselves when they take on the heavily favored Crimson Tide. In yet another low scoring National Championship, Notre Dame challenges Nick Saban’s defense early on in the game, but the defending champs prove to be too much by the fourth quarter.
Alabama over Notre Dame 16-10  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week 13 Predictions

(Abridged Version)

J. Meric/Getty Images
Falcons over Saints

Bills over Jaguars

Bears over Seahawks

Lions over Colts

Packers over Vikings

Panthers over Chiefs

Patriots over Dolphins (OT)

Jets over Cardinals

49ers over Rams

Texans over Titans

Broncos over Buccaneers (OT)

Ravens over Steelers

Browns over Raiders

Chargers over Bengals

Cowboys over Eagles

Giants over Redskins