Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Training Camp Battles

     Now that training camp is upon is, we will here many reports talking about the ongoing position battles. Though this blog post will only be talking about quarterback battles, that does not mean other players are not fighting for a starting job on the team. There will be four battles in particular that shall be highlighted within the next four posts; Miami, Arizona, Seattle, and Tennessee. In most cases, organizations will have to choose between experience and youth, where one is on the rise, the other's career spiraling downwards. Choosing the right quarterback can be the difference between a shot at contention, or yet another season under .500. Please be sure to comment, subscribe, or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thenflreport! Also, if you wish to set up a link exchange with The NFL Report, email me at ledzepfan09@gmail.com!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 10 Helmet Designs: Green Bay Packers

1. Green Bay Packers: Not only does Green Bay have the best football stadium (for our segment on the three best stadiums in the NFL, click here), the Packers also rank first overall for the league's best helmet designs. The "G" on the side of the helmet is well known among every football fan, young and old. With so much history behind this organization, the yellow and green Packers helmet is here to stay, for it not only represents the city of Green Bay, but the entire National Football League, and all that it stands for.

Top 10 Helmet Designs: Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Pittsburgh Steelers: Since the club's creation in 1933, Pittsburgh's main colors have been black and yellow. However, their helmet initially had a yellow background with no logo on the side. By 1963, Pittsburgh had both a logo, and the black background we know today. The Steelers remain the only team to have a logo on just one side of their helmet, which adds a certain uniqueness to this uniform. I may prefer those old fashioned gold helmets over today's, but many would agree PIttsburgh is well deserving of the number two spot, and maybe even first overall.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Top 10 Helmet Designs: San Diego Chargers

3. San Diego Chargers: San Diego's famous head wear has been simplified since the franchise was established in 1960, where today's helmet has a lone lightning bolt on either side. The white background looks great, especially when matched up with those powder-blue jerseys. These modified helmets remind us all of the AFL jerseys we know quite well, and adds a piece of history to a modern jersey.


Top 10 Helmet Designs: Kansas City Chiefs

4. Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City's helmet may not be as exciting as their jersey (for The NFL Report's Top 10 Jerseys, click here), but the Chiefs still have one of the better helmets in the NFL. My one critic for this head protector is the lack of stripes; two yellow stripes down the middle would improve Kansas City's helmet tremendously. The helmet we know today has been around since 1974, and manages to crack the top ten by nabbing our number four spot.


Top 10 Helmet Designs: Miami Dolphins

5. Miami Dolphins: Few would call the Miami Dolphin logo "intimidating", but I also have never met anyone who is not a fan of this helmet. The orange and aqua blue goes along perfectly with the Miami theme. A light blue face mask and white background also adds to the specialty of a historic helmet.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

NFL Report Update: Ryan Tannehill

Breaking News: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins have come to terms on a four year, $12.7 million contract. Tannehill was selected eighth overall, and will be competing with David Garrard and Matt Moore for the starting job. At the moment, it appears he is not in the lead for this spot.

Top 10 Helmet Designs: New York Giants

6. New York Giants: One of the more basic designs in the NFL, New York has the famous NY on the side, a royal blue background, and a red stripe down the middle. There is nothing too special about this helmet, and that is what makes it so great. The red stripe has been left untouched, but they simplified the helmet even more by changing the side logo from "GIANTS" to the "ny" we know today. Sure, it is simple, but the Giants of New York clearly deserve a spot on our top ten.



Top 10 Helmet Designs: Cincinnati Bengals

7. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are only one of three teams to not have a logo on the side of their helmet, which only adds to the importance of the stripes. Along with the striped theme, this color duo of black and orange has a certain sharpness to it. All of Cincinnati's previous helmets were great, and the streak continued when they added "tigers skin" to their head gear in 2004. Love it or hate it, you have to admit the Bengals were 100% original when designing their fabulous helmet.

Top 10 Helmet Designs: Minnesota Vikings

8. Minnesota Vikings: The old purple and gold is one of the most famous color schemes in football, so it is no surprise Minnesota tops out at number eight on this list. Purple in football? Not quite the manliest of colors, but the Vikings somehow manage to rock those colorful helmets. The horn is well known among everyone, and I hope this helmet survives deep into the future of the NFL.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Top 10 Helmet Designs: Cleveland Browns

9. Cleveland Browns: When talking about the Cleveland Browns helmet among fellow football fans, they either love it or hate it; this helmet is all a matter of opinion. The jerseys are hideous, but these solid orange helmets are quite possibly the most well known among football fans. So why are the helmets orange? Aren't these guys called the Browns? There are several stories on why Cleveland chose pumpkin colored head protectors, but if you think you know the answer, please respond in the comment section below. Even if we may never know the history of this team's helmet design, it is still one of the most iconic in pro football.


Top 10 Helmet Designs: Buffalo Bills

10. Buffalo Bills: I have always been a huge fan of the Buffalo Bills attire, and the helmet is no different. The 2011 helmets highly resemble those from the 1960s, my personal favorite of Buffalo headwear. The present day Bills helmet has a solid white background, the team's logo, and the three stripe approach, something you can never go wrong with. Many teams have chosen the red, white, and blue as their main colors, so Buffalo's color scheme would not be called "original." However, our nation's colors have always been a fan favorite, and is why Buffalo is able to crack the top ten.


Top 10 Helmet Designs: Arizona Cardinals

Honorable Mention: Arizona Cardinals: Helmets with white backgrounds are my cup of tea, and the Arizona Cardinals' helmet is no different. Not only do I love their logo (possible top 10 in the future? Maybe...), but the helmet by itself is great as well. Many people oppose of the Cardinals helmet, citing it as "boring." Sometimes, though, simplicity is the best policy, and the Cardinals won't be afraid to tell you that.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Top 10 Helmet Designs

     Throughout the history of the National Football League, helmets have not only protected the players from head injuries, but helped teams create a design that will be engrained in their minds. Overtime, we moved away from the "leatherheads", and forward to the helmets we know today (granted, not QUITE as safe, but you get my point). There are currently 32 helmets to choose from, but only 10 shall be listed. Obviously, there will be controversy, and therefore I wish for you to voice your opinion in the comment section below. Also, feel free to comment, subscribe, or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thenflreport! Finally, if you wish to set up a link exchange with The NFL Report, email me at ledzepfan09@gmail.com!

NFL Report Update: Joseph Addai

Breaking News: Running back Joseph Addai has been released by the New England Patriots, reports Mike Reis via Twitter. Addai was added to the Patriots roster last May on a 1 year, $1.37 million contract.


NFL Report Update: Dontari Poe

Breaking News: Along with rookie Matt Kalil, Dontari Poe was signed by the team who drafted him, Kansas City. Dontari Poe is the 29th first round pick to sign with a team. The only players left are Justin Blackmon, Ryan Tannehill, and Kendall Wright.


NFL Report Update: Matt Kalil

Breaking News: Today, July 26th, offensive lineman Matt Kalil was signed by the Minnesota Vikings. Kalil was drafted fourth overall last April in the 2012 NFL Draft. The terms of his contract are undisclosed.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

NFL Report Update: Brandon Weeden

Breaking News: Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns have come to terms on a contract, reports The Plain Dealer, that could be worth $8.1 million. Weeden is now the second rookie to sign with Cleveland within the past two days, behind third overall pick Trent Richardson.

Preseason 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Complete

     Yes, the next NFL draft may be nine months away, but we believe it is important to give our predictions before the season starts. As we enter the heart of football, the season will begin to shape a more accurate mock draft. Until then, we will make our predictions, where the team's rankings are based off of our preseason power rankings post (click HERE). Please make sure to comment, subscribe, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thenflreport! Also, if you wish to set up a link exchange and have your website displayed on The NFL Report's sidebar, email me at ledzepfan09@gmail.com!

Matt Barkley
1. Minnesota Vikings: QB Matt Barkley: Christian Ponder will have improved in 2012, but not enough to resurrect this franchise. With Barkley available, it is hard to turn down the Heisman front runner.

2. Cleveland Browns: DE Sam Montgomery: Cleveland may have finished second overall in pass defense, but they did not fair well when defending the run. At 6'4",  Sam Montgomery will make opposing offenses run the ball up the middle due to his ferocious mentality.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QBTyler Wilson: Jacksonville would have loved to select Matt Barkley, but now that he is off the board, they will settle with quarterback Tyler Wilson. Wilson will have proved he can compete in the SEC, and therefore deserves a top 5 pick.

4. St. Louis Rams: WR Robert Woods: In two consecutive drafts, the St. Louis Rams missed out on a rookie wide receiver. First, it was Julio Jones, then Justin Blackmon, and even Michael Floyd. However, Robert Woods will give Sam Bradford a lethal weapon at the receiver position.

5. Indianapolis Colts: DE Barkevious Mingo: The Colts rebuilt their offense in last year's draft, so now it is time to improve their defense. Barkevious Mingo is a fabulous all around pass rusher, and will be a superb defensive end when along side Dwight Freeney.

6. Miami Dolphins: DE/OLB Jarvis Jones: The biggest need entering 2012 is to fill the hole at defenseive end. Cameron Wake appears to be the lone pass rusher on this team, and if they wish to do better than 25 overall in pass defense, Jarvin Jones is the correct choice.

7. St. Louis Rams: OT Taylor Lewan: Now that St. Louis has taken a wide receiver, there next biggest need is an offensive lineman. For a team who ranked dead last in sacks allowed, offensive lineman Taylor Lewan has the size necessary to succeed in the NFL.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: NT Star Lotulelei: Tampa Bay did a great job of addressing their offense in 2011. Now, they must improve their 32 rush defense, and they can start by drafting nose tackle Star Lotulelei.

9. Oakland Raiders: CB David Amerson: Ever since Nnadmi Asomghu left town, Oakland has not filled the hole by their star corner. Now, the Raiders have the opportunity to draft a youthful defensive back by the name of David Amerson, who tied the ACC interception record in 2011.

10. Tennessee Titans: DE Jackson Jeffcoat: There is absolutely no depth behind the Tennessee pass rush, one who ranked 31st in sacks. Jackson Jeffcoat is 6'5" and 235 pounds, the perfect size for any defensive end. Hopefully, he can be a key factor in the Titans success by 2013.

Justin Hunter
11. Arizona Cardinals: QB Logan Thomas: The Arizona quarterback situation is not one to be proud of when dealing with players like John Skelton and Kevin Kobb. Eventually, receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd will get fed up, therefore want a new quarterback. Enter Logan Thomas.

12. Kansas City Chiefs: DT Johnathon Hankins: Kansas City is a pretty well rounded team, but they have trouble blowing past opposing team's offensive lines. Both the pass rush and rush defense struggled in 2011, and not much should change in 2012. Nose tackle Johnathon Hankins should be able to improve the two related issues.

13. Seattle Seahawks: WR Keenan Allen: Matt Flynn is clearly a hit or miss signing, but is likely to hold down the starting job for the next few years. Flynn will not have the same wide receivers as he did in Green Bay, and therefore the Seahawks will need to take immediate actions. What better way than to draft wide receiver Keenan Allen?

14. New York Jets: S Eric Reid: Often overlooked by football scouts and fans, Eric Reid is a spectacular safety, who can add youth to an aging secondary. Both Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell are past their prime, so Reid appears to be the perfect pick.

15. Carolina Panthers: OT D.J. Fluker: For a team who will rely heavily on their offense, it will be important for Carolina's offensive line to protect their stars. D.J. Fluker's size allows him to overpower defensive lineman, and is the perfect man to shield Cam Newton.

16. San Diego Chargers: WR Justin Hunter: With both Vincent Jackson and possibly Malcolm Floyd gone (free agent in 2013), the Chargers need to find long term replacements. Sadly, Hunter suffered a season ending ACL tear in 2011, and there is no guarantee he can return to full strength. In the short span he was healthy for, this Tennessee wide receiver led the nation in yards per game, and can be a star in the NFL.

17. Buffalo Bills: CB Johnthan Banks: Though Buffalo drafted corner back Stephon Gilmore last April, another shutdown corner wouldn't hurt. Johnthan Banks is an extraordinary all around defender, and will only improve over time.

Marcus Lattimore
18. New Orleans Saints: OT Barrett Jones: Not much has been going well for the Saints, but the worst loss in terms of the roster in 2011 was the loss of guard Carl Nicks. I believe no one could do a better job of protecting Drew Brees than 6'5", 310 pound offensive lineman Barrett Jones.

19. Dallas Cowboys: S T.J. McDonald: The Cowboys took several steps towards improving their pass defense, starting by drafting corner back Morris Claiborne. Now, they can upgrade the secondary even more by selecting safety T.J. McDonald of USC. 

20. Denver Broncos: WR Marquess Wilson: It is clear John Elway wishes to build a franchise around his new quarterback in Peyton Manning. With Marquess Wilson still available, it is hard to believe they will pass on a lethal, 6'4" wide receiver. 

21. Pittsburgh Steelers: ILB Manti Te'o: Manti Teo's 2011 campaign (128 tackle, 13.5 tackles for loss) earned him a spot on the Second Team All American squad. Pittsburgh has an aging defense, and someone like Te'o would bring youth to the linebacker position. 

22. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Tyrann Mathieu: The Eagles have proven they are not afraid to take chances in the draft, especially when taking Fletcher Cox with the 15th overall pick. Tyrann Mathieu is an extraordinary athlete, but is not the tallest corner back at 5'9". In fact, if the Eagles believe no other teams will take him, they might trade down 6 or seven spots and draft the LSU star later in the first round.

23. Atlanta Falcons: DE Alex Okafor: The Atlanta Falcons do not have many weaknesses, but one thing they can fix is the number of sacks. It may not be last in the league, but if they were to add Okafor, the number of sacks would rise, and the number of passing yards allowed would fall.

24. Chicago Bears: RB Marcus Lattimore: After what looks to become a disappointing 2012 campaign from Matt Forte, the Bears organization will try to find either a back-up or even a replacement. Marcus Lattimore is the best running back in college football, and somehow falls to 24 on this list. Chicago will be eager to add the Heisman nominee. 

Chris Faulk
25. Cincinnati Bengals: WR Terrance Williams: AJ Green is a future star, but Andy Dalton needs other weapons. Adding Terrance Williams will not only take away the double team from AJ, but improve the passing game as a whole.

26. Baltimore Ravens: DE/OLB Sean Porter: Injured Raven Terrell Suggs may be an inside linebacker, but the Ravens could easily move Sean Porter away from outside linebacker.

27. Houston Texans: OT Chris Faulk: The Texans were hoping to draft a right tackle in last year's draft, but did not until the later rounds. Now, they have the chance to take LSU lineman Chris Faulk, a great first round pick.

28. Detroit Lions: DT Kawann Short: A superbly gifted offense based in Detroit needs some work on the defensive side of the ball--especially the run defense. Defensive tackle Kawann Short will stop the run, and from time to time sack the quarterback.

29. San Francisco 49ers: OT Luke Joekel: San Francisco spent much of their off season adding wide receivers for quarterback Alex Smith. The 49ers ranked 25th overall in sacks allowed, so improving their offensive line will be the most important step towards a Super Bowl.

30. New York Giants: S Tony Jefferson: The Giants ranked third overall in sacks last season, but their pass defense ranked 29th. This means the one thing they need to upgrade is their secondary, and therefore draft Tony Jefferson.

31. New England Patriots: CB Johnny Adams: New England somehow managed to reach the Super Bowl even with an atrocious pass defense. One of the youngest (and weakest) secondary's in the league should improve with more experience, and drafting another cornerback will add to this team's potential.

32. Green Bay Packers: DE William Gholston: The Green Bay Packers defense was one of the biggest surprises in 2011. The sack count dipped from 47.0 to 29.0, which also has to do with the large sum of passing yards allowed per game. William Gholston will be a great pass rusher along side linebacker Clay Mathews. 




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Preseason 2013 NFL Mock Draft: 1-10

1. Minnesota Vikings: QB Matt Barkley: Christian Ponder will have improved in 2012, but not enough to resurrect this franchise. With Barkley available, it is hard to turn down the Heisman front runner.

2. Cleveland Browns: DE Sam Montgomery: Cleveland may have finished second overall in pass defense, but they did not fair well when defending the run. At 6'4",  Sam Montgomery will make opposing offenses run the ball up the middle due to his ferocious mentality.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QBTyler Wilson: Jacksonville would have loved to select Matt Barkley, but now that he is off the board, they will settle with quarterback Tyler Wilson. Wilson will have proved he can compete in the SEC, and therefore deserves a top 5 pick.

4. St. Louis Rams: WR Robert Woods: In two consecutive drafts, the St. Louis Rams missed out on a rookie wide receiver. First, it was Julio Jones, then Justin Blackmon, and even Michael Floyd. However, Robert Woods will give Sam Bradford a lethal weapon at the receiver position.

5. Indianapolis Colts: DE Barkevious Mingo: The Colts rebuilt their offense in last year's draft, so now it is time to improve their defense. Barkevious Mingo is a fabulous all around pass rusher, and will be a superb defensive end when along side Dwight Freeney.

6. Miami Dolphins: DE/OLB Jarvis Jones: The biggest need entering 2012 is to fill the hole at defenseive end. Cameron Wake appears to be the lone pass rusher on this team, and if they wish to do better than 25 overall in pass defense, Jarvin Jones is the correct choice.

7. St. Louis Rams: OT Taylor Lewan: Now that St. Louis has taken a wide receiver, there next biggest need is an offensive lineman. For a team who ranked dead last in sacks allowed, offensive lineman Taylor Lewan has the size necessary to succeed in the NFL.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: NT Star Lotulelei: Tampa Bay did a great job of addressing their offense in 2011. Now, they must improve their 32 rush defense, and they can start by drafting nose tackle Star Lotulelei.

9. Oakland Raiders: CB David Amerson: Ever since Nnadmi Asomghu left town, Oakland has not filled the hole by their star corner. Now, the Raiders have the opportunity to draft a youthful defensive back by the name of David Amerson, who tied the ACC interception record in 2011.

10. Tennessee Titans: DE Jackson Jeffcoat: There is absolutely no depth behind the Tennessee pass rush, one who ranked 31st in sacks. Jackson Jeffcoat is 6'5" and 235 pounds, the perfect size for any defensive end. Hopefully, he can be a key factor in the Titans success by 2013.

Preseason 2013 NFL Mock Draft: 11-17

Justin Hunter
11. Arizona Cardinals: QB Logan Thomas: The Arizona quarterback situation is not one to be proud of when dealing with players like John Skelton and Kevin Kobb. Eventually, receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd will get fed up, therefore want a new quarterback. Enter Logan Thomas.

12. Kansas City Chiefs: DT Johnathon Hankins: Kansas City is a pretty well rounded team, but they have trouble blowing past opposing team's offensive lines. Both the pass rush and rush defense struggled in 2011, and not much should change in 2012. Nose tackle Johnathon Hankins should be able to improve the two related issues.

13. Seattle Seahawks: WR Keenan Allen: Matt Flynn is clearly a hit or miss signing, but is likely to hold down the starting job for the next few years. Flynn will not have the same wide receivers as he did in Green Bay, and therefore the Seahawks will need to take immediate actions. What better way than to draft wide receiver Keenan Allen?

14. New York Jets: S Eric Reid: Often overlooked by football scouts and fans, Eric Reid is a spectacular safety, who can add youth to an aging secondary. Both Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell are past their prime, so Reid appears to be the perfect pick.

15. Carolina Panthers: OT D.J. Fluker: For a team who will rely heavily on their offense, it will be important for Carolina's offensive line to protect their stars. D.J. Fluker's size allows him to overpower defensive lineman, and is the perfect man to shield Cam Newton.

16. San Diego Chargers: WR Justin Hunter: With both Vincent Jackson and possibly Malcolm Floyd gone (free agent in 2013), the Chargers need to find long term replacements. Sadly, Hunter suffered a season ending ACL tear in 2011, and there is no guarantee he can return to full strength. In the short span he was healthy for, this Tennessee wide receiver led the nation in yards per game, and can be a star in the NFL.

17. Buffalo Bills: CB Johnthan Banks: Though Buffalo drafted corner back Stephon Gilmore last April, another shutdown corner wouldn't hurt. Johnthan Banks is an extraordinary all around defender, and will only improve over time.

Preseason 2013 NFL Mock Draft: 18-24

Marcus Lattimore
18. New Orleans Saints: OT Barrett Jones: Not much has been going well for the Saints, but the worst loss in terms of the roster in 2011 was the loss of guard Carl Nicks. I believe no one could do a better job of protecting Drew Brees than 6'5", 310 pound offensive lineman Barrett Jones.

19. Dallas Cowboys: S T.J. McDonald: The Cowboys took several steps towards improving their pass defense, starting by drafting corner back Morris Claiborne. Now, they can upgrade the secondary even more by selecting safety T.J. McDonald of USC. 

20. Denver Broncos: WR Marquess Wilson: It is clear John Elway wishes to build a franchise around his new quarterback in Peyton Manning. With Marquess Wilson still available, it is hard to believe they will pass on a lethal, 6'4" wide receiver. 

21. Pittsburgh Steelers: ILB Manti Te'o: Manti Teo's 2011 campaign (128 tackle, 13.5 tackles for loss) earned him a spot on the Second Team All American squad. Pittsburgh has an aging defense, and someone like Te'o would bring youth to the linebacker position. 

22. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Tyrann Mathieu: The Eagles have proven they are not afraid to take chances in the draft, especially when taking Fletcher Cox with the 15th overall pick. Tyrann Mathieu is an extraordinary athlete, but is not the tallest corner back at 5'9". In fact, if the Eagles believe no other teams will take him, they might trade down 6 or seven spots and draft the LSU star later in the first round.

23. Atlanta Falcons: DE Alex Okafor: The Atlanta Falcons do not have many weaknesses, but one thing they can fix is the number of sacks. It may not be last in the league, but if they were to add Okafor, the number of sacks would rise, and the number of passing yards allowed would fall.

24. Chicago Bears: RB Marcus Lattimore: After what looks to become a disappointing 2012 campaign from Matt Forte, the Bears organization will try to find either a back-up or even a replacement. Marcus Lattimore is the best running back in college football, and somehow falls to 24 on this list. Chicago will be eager to add the Heisman nominee. 

Preseason 2013 NFL Mock Draft: 25-32

Chris Faulk
25. Cincinnati Bengals: WR Terrance Williams: AJ Green is a future star, but Andy Dalton needs other weapons. Adding Terrance Williams will not only take away the double team from AJ, but improve the passing game as a whole.

26. Baltimore Ravens: DE/OLB Sean Porter: Injured Raven Terrell Suggs may be an inside linebacker, but the Ravens could easily move Sean Porter away from outside linebacker.

27. Houston Texans: OT Chris Faulk: The Texans were hoping to draft a right tackle in last year's draft, but did not until the later rounds. Now, they have the chance to take LSU lineman Chris Faulk, a great first round pick.

28. Detroit Lions: DT Kawann Short: A superbly gifted offense based in Detroit needs some work on the defensive side of the ball--especially the run defense. Defensive tackle Kawann Short will stop the run, and from time to time sack the quarterback.

29. San Francisco 49ers: OT Luke Joekel: San Francisco spent much of their off season adding wide receivers for quarterback Alex Smith. The 49ers ranked 25th overall in sacks allowed, so improving their offensive line will be the most important step towards a Super Bowl.

30. New York Giants: S Tony Jefferson: The Giants ranked third overall in sacks last season, but their pass defense ranked 29th. This means the one thing they need to upgrade is their secondary, and therefore draft Tony Jefferson.

31. New England Patriots: CB Johnny Adams: New England somehow managed to reach the Super Bowl even with an atrocious pass defense. One of the youngest (and weakest) secondary's in the league should improve with more experience, and drafting another cornerback will add to this team's potential.

32. Green Bay Packers: DE William Gholston: The Green Bay Packers defense was one of the biggest surprises in 2011. The sack count dipped from 47.0 to 29.0, which also has to do with the large sum of passing yards allowed per game. William Gholston will be a great pass rusher along side linebacker Clay Mathews. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Preseason 2013 NFL Mock Draft

     Yes, the next NFL draft may be nine months away, but we believe it is important to give our predictions before the season starts. As we enter the heart of football, the season will begin to shape a more accurate mock draft. Until then, we will make our predictions, where the team's rankings are based off of our preseason power rankings post (click HERE). Please make sure to comment, subscribe, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thenflreport! Also, if you wish to set up a link exchange and have your website displayed on The NFL Report's sidebar, email me at ledzepfan09@gmail.com!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Preseason Power Rankings: 1-10

Victor Cruz
1. Green Bay Packers: Even with a 15-1 record in 2011, Green Bay succumbed to New York in the NFC Championship game, who as we know went on to win the Super Bowl. Led by reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers' passing game is in a league of its own. The Green Bay defense on the other hand ranked dead last in passing yards allowed, receiving yards allowed, and total yards allowed. Drafting linebacker Nick Perry will only help this defense, which, on a positive note, led the league in interceptions (31). The NFC North appears to be even more competitive this upcoming season, but the Packers will find a way to earn the number one seed in the post season.

2. New England Patriots: Last season, New England came within a reception of the Super Bowl, but fell short to Eli and the New York Giants. However, the Patriots have been busy this off-season, eagerly signing Brandon Lloyd, Joseph Addai, along with rookies Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones. Tom Brady passed for 5235 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2011; with wide receivers like Lloyd, Gronkowski and Welker, he has a chance at duplicating these fabulous numbers. Entering the 2012 season, anything short of a Super Bowl victory would be considered a disappointment for this north-eastern powerhouse.

3. New York Giants: The defending champions had a quiet off-season, which only makes them more lethal. Though they do not top out at number one on this list, the Giants posses a great passing game as well as a spectacular pass rush. Breakout stars Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre Paul will only be more valuable in 2012. New York spent their 32nd overall pick on running back David Wilson in an attempt to replace Brandon Jacobs. A 9-7 record will likely improve by next season, and the Giants will look to become the 8th team in NFL history to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

4. San Francisco 49ers: Coach of the Year Jim Harbaugh went to work last spring, adding Mario Manningham and Randy Moss to a struggling offense. Now that Alex Smith has a lethal receiving corp, this 49ers offense could be dangerous. The offense may have been improved slightly, but everyone knows the best part of this team is their shut-down defense. San Francisco drastically turned their game around after the firing of Mike Singletary. In fact, the 49ers defense did not allow a rushing touchdown last season until Week 16. The NFC West is one of the most uncompetitive divisions in football, and San Francisco has enhanced an already stellar roster.

5. Detroit Lions: For the first time in his three-year career, quarterback Matthew Stafford managed to stay healthy throughout the duration of the season, playing all 16 games. This past first, run second team was spectacular last season, largely in part due to Stafford's 5,038 passing yards and 41 touchdowns. Superstar Calvin Johnson is undisputedly the best wide receiver in the game today, and as he enters his prime, Johnson's best days are still to come. Detroit bulked up their O-line by drafting Riley Reiff with the 23rd overall pick. Even with big names like Ndamukong Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril, the defense struggled last season, sinking below the line of mediocrity. I doubt Stafford can up last years performance, but assuming he can stay healthy, Detroit will give the Green Bay Packers a run for their money.

6. Houston Texans: The Houston Texans, a new team to the NFL, finally showed fans how competitive they can be. For the first time since the franchises creation in 2002, Houston beat out a struggling Indianapolis and won the AFC South. However, the loss of Mario Williams, a leader on the field, creates a hole that desperately needs to be filled. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips helped the Texans go from worst-to-first defensively. DE Whitney Mercilus was a great pick in the draft, and is one of the most underrated rookies entering 2012. Andre Johnson and Arian Foster are both superstars, but it will be absolutely essential that Matt Schuab stays healthy if they wish to improve their 10-6 record.

7. Baltimore Ravens: Last season, the Baltimore Ravens proved they deserved the number one spot in the AFC North over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens did not do much to improve their roster in the off-season, but drafting Courtney Upshaw was quite the steal. Joe Flacco has yet to prove he is an elite quarterback, and until then, the Ravens offense will struggle to consistently put points on the board. Obviosuly, it is not the offense that Baltimore is known for, but instead their defense. Sadly, this defense is slowly crumbling. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis aren't getting any younger, and Terrell Suggs will not play next year due to injuries. Overall, this team will not be quite the same as 2011, but if Joe Flacco improves, Baltimore can make a deep playoff run.

8. Cincinnati Bengals: This young, inexperienced team has turned into one of the most competitive franchises in the NFL. Second year players like AJ Green and Andy Dalton need to lead Cincinnati back to the playoffs. The Bengals had yet another spectacular draft last April, selecting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, defensive tackle Devon Still, and guard Kevin Zeitler. The defense improved dramatically in 2011, and should only get better. The offense needs more experience before a Super Bowl win, and signing a veteran wide receiver this off-season will only help. No longer is the AFC north dominated by Pittsburgh and Baltimore. In fact, the Bengals' speed, youth, and drive will help them top Pittsburgh in the standings.

9. Chicago Bears: No team was more of a disappointment then the Chicago Bears. In the 2010 playoffs, Chicago earned the second seed thanks to a 12-4 record, and started 2011 at 7-3. However, after Jay Cutler suffered a season ending injury in Week 11, the Bears went 1-5, ending finishing the year 8-8. The Bears wasted no time in signing Brandon Marshall, a wide receiver with great hands. The Bears defense had trouble defending the pass, but was stellar in stopping the run. Chicago chose to draft defensive end Shea McClellin, a decent all around pass rusher. If Jay Cutler can avoid injury, the 2012 Bears team will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Otherwise, it will be just another disappointing season.

10. Atlanta Falcons: The 2011 Atlanta Falcons finished 2011 with a 10-6 record, somewhat of a disappointment after a 13-3 record back in 2010. However, it is difficult to explain their sudden dip in production; Matt Ryan had the best season of his career, Michael Turner looked stayed healthy, Julio Jones played nicely opposite Roddy White, and even the defense managed to improve in several areas. Besides a slight increase in points allowed, the main thing that hindered Atlanta's success was arch nemesis New Orleans. Now that the Saints organization is in shambles, Atlanta should try and take advantage. Atlanta strengthened their pass protection when drafting center Peter Konz and offensive tackle Lamar Holmes. Atlanta's biggest signings were linebacker Lofa Tatupu and cornerback Asante Samuel. With New Orleans struggling, Atlanta should pounce on the opportunity for the number one spot in the AFC South.


Preseason Power Rankings: 11-17

Jason Babin
11. Philadelphia Eagles: The "Dream Team". That is what many people called last season's Philadelphia Eagles, hyping up a team that was destined to fail. Things were looking good; Michael Vick was coming off an MVP like season, the Eagles 10-6 record earned them the third seed in the playoffs just a year earlier, and newly signed cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were expected to improve an already intimidating defense. By the time Week 6 rolled around, Philadelphia was 1-4, having lost to the Giants, 49ers, Falcons and Bills. The Eagles were unable to get any type of streak going, losing to Arizona one week, and then defeating the New York Giants the next. Philadelphia may be spectacular on paper, but they have yet to put all of the pieces together. Drafting Fletcher Cox should give offensive linemen trouble when having to deal with Jason Babin (18 sacks) as well. Their consistency will improve by the beginning of next year, and they might even top New York in the standings.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Pittsburgh Steelers will not make the playoffs. Yes, you heard me correctly; the Pittsburgh Steelers will NOT make the playoffs. Sure, the defense ranked first overall in total yards allowed and passing yards allowed last season, but this defense is aging, and fast! Assuming Mike Wallace returns by September, the Steelers offense will slip to a sub-par scoring team, and they will have to rely a lot on their defense. Pittsburgh's franchise did not make much of an attempt to add youth to this defense, choosing to draft two offensive linemen in Mike Adams and David DeCastro. Pittsburgh wasn't even able to escape past Denver in last year's wild card game, proving how their dominance in the NFL is gradually slipping away. Ben Roethlisberger had more turnovers (22) then passing touchdowns (21), and he must be more reliable if he wishes to lead Pittsburgh back into the post season.

13. Denver Broncos: Out with the old and in with the new. In this case, Tim Tebow is considered the old, and Peyton Manning the new. It was announced last March that John Elway and the Denver Broncos were signing an injury inflicted quarterback named Peyton Manning. Manning had missed all of last season to a neck injury, and there is no guarantee he can play 100% in 2012. The Broncos on the other hand are coming off of an 8-8 season and a spot in the playoffs. There is no debating that Manning is better then Tim Tebow, so with a all-pro quarterback at the helm, Denver could be lethal. The Broncos have made strides on defense, and have a great running game as well. Manning's leadership skills will shine through while wearing the orange Denver jerseys, and he could make the Broncos one of the best teams in NFL.

14. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys were just one game away from the post season. Had they beaten the New York Giants in Week 17, a different champion would have been crowned last February. Dallas did little to rebuild their team, but they remain a dangerous playoff contender. Tony Romo had one of his best seasons statistically speaking, passing for 4,184 yards and 31 touchdowns. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are two dangerous wide receivers, especially if both stay healthy. Demarcus Ware consistently sacks the opposing team's quarterback, and not much should change in 2012. Newly drafted rookie Morris Claiborne must be the shut down corner Dallas is hoping for, otherwise the pass defense will continue to suffer. New York is destined to come out firing, and the only way for Dallas to compete is to strengthen their pass defense.

15. New Orleans Saints: The "Worst Off-season" is quite obviously awarded to the New Orleans Saints. Not because of their lack of transactions, but because of the Saints Bounty scandal. The Saints organization lies in shambles after losing several players, their GM, and head coach Sean Payton. The Drew Brees contract negotiations continue, but it would come as a shock to everyone if this quarterback were not wearing black and gold this September. All eyes will be on Brees to see if his leadership skills can prevail. Last year's 12-4 record would be a stretch in 2012, but the Saints remain a legitimate contestant in the battle for a playoff spot.

16. Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills are so close, yet so far. The mega-deal made between Buffalo and linebacker Mario Williams caught headlines everywhere, and he should make an immediate impact on this defense. The signings did not stop there, however, for the Buffalo Bills drafted corner back Stephon Gilmore from South Carolina. Offensively, the Bills will need more production out of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, or they will have to rely too much on their running game. Rushers CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson have one of the best running back duos in the NFL, and the two will be dangerous in 2012. The defense has made several strides, but the offense continues to lag behind. If a passing game is formed in Buffalo, they have a chance at playing in the Wild Card Round.

17. San Diego Chargers: A 4-1 start last season made San Diego appear to be the favorite to come out of the AFC South. Sadly, a 6-game losing streak stretching from Week 6 to Week 11 kept them from the playoffs. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 4,624 yards and 27 touchdowns, but the loss of Vincent Jackson will hurt his statistics in 2012. Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd has the skills necessary to be one of the league's best, and he must play spectacularly along side newly-acquired Robert Meachem. Ryan Mathews is an up and coming running back, and if he were to suddenly cool off, rusher Ronnie Brown would take his place. While the offense ranked well overall, the defense was mediocre at best. Rookie Melvin Ingram may not be the biggest linebacker, but he has what it takes to become an elite defender in the NFL. Consistency is the bug thing for this team, and a lot is on the line for Norv Turner; another season spent watching the post season at home and Turner will lose his job on the spot.

Preseason Power Rankings: 18-24

Andre Johnson
18. Carolina Panthers: The big news that came out of North Carolina last season was the superb season from Cam Newton. The clear choice for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Newton broke 10 rookie records, 12 NFL records, and 5 franchise records. Newton can do it all, wether it be a pass downfield to Steve Smith, or rush for a first down, defenses are absolutely dumbfounded by this young sensation. The running back trio, consisting of DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Mike Tolbert, is undisputedly the best in the league. Luke Kuechly is one of the best all around defenders to come out of last April's draft, and his impact will be apparent as early as Week 1. After Newton and their fabulous running game, though, there is not much depth on this Panthers roster. New Orleans has left the NFC South wide open, and if all goes well, Carolina might be able to slip into the number one spot.

19. New York Jets: If there is one team who has stolen all of the headlines this off-season, it is the New York Jets. Rex Ryan and company have a hard time avoiding the spotlight, and after signing quarterback Tim Tebow, not much had changed. Mark Sanchez appeared to struggle in 2011, causing the Jets to miss the playoffs at 8-8. This quarterback duo gives Rex Ryan an endless amount of plays and offensive setups to choose from. The Jets have shown they can compete (lost AFC Championship 2009 & 2010), but a horrible offense held them back. New York has one of the best pass defense in the NFL, led by corner back Darrelle Revis. Quinton Coples helps the defense, but the best rookie drafted is wide receiver Stephen Hill, who in many ways resembles Calvin Johnson. Defense will not be a problem, but if the Jets wish to compete in a competitive AFC East, the offense must improve immediately.

20. Seattle Seahawks: In the eyes of football fans, Seattle seemingly wasted a first round pick on defensive end Bruce Irvin, where several highly rated ends were still on the board. Seattle's defense could have used a rookie pass rusher like Whitney Mercilus, who ranked first in the nation in terms of sacks last season. For the most part, the Seahawks did a great job of shutting down the opposing teams offense (7th overall in points allowed per game with 19.7). Backup up quarterback sensation Matt Flynn finally has been given the chance to start, signed by Seattle in the off-season. Pete Carroll is dealing with a hit or miss scenario when coaching Flynn, for he has only started two NFL games. Receivers Mike Williams, Sidney Rice, and Kellen Winslow are three reliable targets for Flynn to choose from. Breakout star Marshawn Lynch proved to be a top running back last season, and has even high expectations to start off 2012. The Seahawks are on the brink of success; one final push, and Seattle can become one of the NFL's best.

21. Kansas City Chiefs: Statistically speaking, the Kansas City Chiefs had one of the best pass defenses in the league. Shocking, right? Considering safety Eric Berry was injured, and that they ranked 27th overall in total sacks, it is hard to figure out how they did so well in this area. Brandon Flowers is one of the best shut down corner in the league, and had a lot of pressure to cope with in 2011. It is also strange how the offense has so many weapons, but they ranked 31st overall in points per game. Jamaal Charles and newly acquired running back Peyton Hillis will be a great new duo next season. The passing game on the other hand, with Matt Cassel leading the show, has weapons like Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster, and Kevin Boss. The Chiefs have made baby steps towards yet another playoff appearance, but several things must be fixed before that can happen.

22. Arizona Cardinals: Arizona may not have given star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald a top-notch quarterback this past off-season, but they did select receiver Michael Floyd with the 14th overall pick in the draft. Signing Floyd will draw defenders away from Fitzgerald, where as in the past, up to three corner backs attempted to shut down the star Cardinal. Kevin Kolb and John Skeleton will fight for the starting role throughout the duration of training camp, Kolb appearing to be the better option. Arizona's strength on defense was sacking the quarterback (7th overall). Otherwise, this group fell into the "average" category; not an outstanding defense, but not really the bottom of the chain either. Arizona could be next year's sleeper team, as was San Francisco in 2011. Once Kevin Kolb can consistently put up great numbers each and every Sunday, the 49ers may have a challenge inside their own division.

23. Tennessee Titans: Last March, Titans running back Chris Johnson tweeted he will lead the league in rushing yards by the end of 2012. This is the Chris Johnson that rushed for 2,008 just three years ago. However, this is the same Chris Johnson who was unable to score a touchdown up until Week 5 of the 2011 season. The Titans running back gained 10 pounds in the off-season, so it would not surprise me if there was a sudden spike in Johnson's statistics next season. The passing game has a new face in wide receiver Kendall Wright, a small, talented rookie from Baylor. Surprisingly, the defense held up well last season, not giving up many points to the other team. Tennessee could do a better job sacking the quarterback (31st overall in 2011), therefore helping their pass defense. The Titans came close towards a spot in the playoffs last season, and have a chance at duplicating their luck if Johnson turns his game around.

24. Oakland Raiders: Oakland missed out last April by not owning a single first or second round pick in the draft. As a result, the Raiders have officially fallen off of the radar. Running back Darren McFadden has had extreme difficulty staying healthy, so there is no guarantee he can play all 16 games in 2012. The Raiders lack a reliable wide receiver, which will only hurt quarterback Carson Palmer. The Raiders defense is not one who causes offenses to tremble in anticipation, which will most likely stay the same next year. I predict the 8-8 record of 2011 to only worsen by 2012. Oakland is many years away from becoming a Super Bowl contender, especially with so many holes needing to be filled

Preseason Power Rankings: 25-32

Percy Harvin
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprised most football fans last season, after a 10-6 record back in 2010, you would think 2011 would not lead to a record of 4-12. Things are looking up for Tampa Bay, who, in the off-season, signed pro bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson, pro bowl guard Carl Nicks, and a brand new head coach by the name of Greg Schiano. Quarterback Josh Freeman (3,592 passing yards, 16 TD's) can throw to Jackson, presumably his number one wide receiver in 2012, or third-year wide receiver Mike Williams. Running backs LeGarrette Blount and rookie Doug Martin make up one of the most underrated running games in the league. Though they spent a lot of time upgrading their offense in the off-season, Tampa Bay has one of the worst, if not THE worst, defenses in the NFL. The Bucs ranked dead last in points allowed, rushing yards allowed, rushing touchdowns allowed, total sacks, and many other defensive categories. Newly drafted safety Mark Barron will not be able to resurrect this defense, and it appears the Buccaneers are several years away from a playoff appearance.





26. Washington Redskins: The Redskins were one of the more unpredictable teams in league last season. In Week 1, they fended off the Giants in Washington 28-14, but in Week 8 they were shut out by Buffalo 23-0. Hopefully, Robert Griffin III can turn around the Redskins organization. RGIII possesses arm strength, accuracy, and speed, the obvious first overall pick in most drafts. Griffin will have a great season statistically, and might even beat out Luck for Offensive Rookie of the Year. However, it will be exactly like the Carolina Panthers; a quarterback with great statistics but still not able to win many games. The Redskins might earn a few extra wins thanks to RGIII, but in no way are do I expect to make the playoffs.

27. Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins may top out at 27 on this list, but they are still capable of making the playoffs in 2012. Reggie Bush finally lived up to his first-round-draft-pick potential last season, recording 854 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns in a nine-week span. Unfortunately, this offense lost two key players in the off-season; running back Ronnie Brown and wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Chad Ochocinco and Davone Bess will not be able to fill the hole left by Marshall, nor can rookie Ryan Tannehill fix the problem at quarterback. The defense needs several adjustments, where linebacker Cameron Wake appears to be the lone star. Had Marshall and Brown stayed in Miami, the Dolphins would be a serious contender in 2012. However, with them gone, Miami must fight for the slightest chance at a playoff spot.

28. Indianapolis Colts: After many months of scouting reports and analysis, Andrew Luck is a part of the National Football League. Once he slips on the Colts jersey in September, everyone will be watching to see how Luck fares against a professional team. The Stanford alum's best wide receiver is Reggie Wayne, and I'm sure he passes to the veteran receiver throughout his rookie season. Even with Joseph Addai gone, running back Donald Brown has a lot of potential, especially after averaging 4.8 yards per carry in 134 attempts. The defense looked absolutely atrocious last season, ranking in the bottom five in most of the important defensive categories. Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney (if signed) are the two best defenders in Indianapolis, but they cannot do it all on their own. The Colts are several years away from becoming a highly competitive team, but Luck should be able to improve last year's record of 2-14.

29. St. Louis Rams: Entering the NFL draft, St. Louis was hoping to select a wide receiver with their first round pick, preferably Justin Blackmon. Sadly, both Blackmon and Michael Floyd were taken before the Rams had the chance to pick. At the 14th overall spot, the Rams were forced to take defensive tackle Michael Brockers of LSU. Drafting Blackmon would have capped off an excellent off-season for St. Louis, which included the signings of cornerback Janoris Jenkins, wide receiver Steve Smith, and cornerback Cortland Finnegan. The defense in St. Louis should improve thanks to their two new cornerbacks. The Rams' offenensive star is running back Steven Jackson, who is coming off of his 7th straight 1,000 yard season. Sam Bradford needs to improve his game if St. Louis wants a record above .500. Otherwise, you can count on this team looking for yet another big draft in 2013.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars: At the 30th spot, the Jacksonville Jaguars are projected to finish in the bottom tier by the end of Week 17. Maurice Jones Drew is the star of this team, but unfortunately for Jacksonville, running games do not win championships. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne will never be able to lead Jacksonville into the playoffs, and until the Jaguars sign a top-notch quarterback, the drought will continue. There is not telling if rookie Justin Blackmon can play well along side Zach Miller and Laurent Robinson, but Jacksonville's receiving corp has improved since last season. The defense looked good in some areas, not allowing many yards against opposing teams. If the Jags manage to have another successful draft next April, they could be a serious threat come 2013.

31. Cleveland Browns: Cleveland's long and tiring search for a quarterback continues. Colt McCoy was quickly booted from the starting role, and replaced by the 28 year old Brandon Weeden. Despite their lack of defensive weapons, the Browns faired well when protecting their end zone last season, ranking second in passing yards allowed. This impressive streak will surely come to an abrupt hault by next season, as once again, the Browns finish last in the AFC North. The loss of Peyton Hillis neither helps nor hurts this Cleveland offense, especially after drafting Trent Richardson with the 3rd overall pick. Trent will rush for 700 yards at most in his rookie season, and the Browns organization can not rely on their rookie running back to lead such a weak offense.

32. Minnesota Vikings: When looking at Minnesota's roster, there are several big names with big talents. Jared Allen was just a sack away last season from breaking the single season sack record held by Michael Strahan. His ferocity should carry over into 2012 as he leads one of the best pass rush defenses in the league. Adrian Peterson is a mega star in the NFL, even though injuries affected last season's statistics. After wide receiver Percy Harvin and quarterback Christian Ponder, the talent drops off. The Vikings defense may be talented when it comes to sacking the opposing teams quarterback, but they struggled in nearly every other defensive category. Matt Kalil should be able to protect young Christian Ponder, but the Vikings are many years away from the playoffs.

Preseason Power Rankings

     Ever tried to fill out a March Madness bracket? If so, you know what its like to make predictions even before the "games begin." There has been little news since April relating to the NFL, where football takes a backseat to the NBA and NHL playoffs. Now that most of the big names have been signed, we are beginning to get a sense of who will succeed, and who will fail come 2012. With the start of training camp less than two months away, The NFL Report will prepare you for another fabulous year of football with rankings and analysis on each and every team. Be sure to comment, subscribe, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thenflreport!



Three Best Stadiums: Lambeau Field

1. Lambeau Field: The oldest field in the National Football League has been known by fans as a landmark, due to its history and fabulous traditions. Many Hall of Famers have once called Lambeau Field their home. Wether it be Bart Starr, or Reggie White, or present day Aaron Rodgers, some of the biggest names in sports have played on this piece of history. The Packers happen to be the only sports team in Green Bay, which only adds to the emotion from the fans. Cheese-heads are known throughout the league for their devotion towards Packer football, making it extremely difficult for opposing teams to march into Wisconsin and leave with a win. The stadium itself begins with a statue of legendary coach and founder Curly Lambeau, with big, glass windows behind him. The inside of this historic football stadium has a similar structure to a mall because of its arching ceilings and successful pro shop. The field contains the Packers logo at the 50 yard line and the team's name in either end zone. When standing on the grass in Green Bay, it feels as if the fans are on top of you, where the bleachers curve upwards towards the sky. This organization somehow managed to establish a modern stadium while preserving the old fashioned feel.




Three Best Stadiums: Cowboys Stadium

2. Cowboys Stadium: Out with the old, in with the new; the Cowboys may be an old franchise, but they clearly have made attempts to modernize their organization, starting with the stadium. In 2009, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys spent 1.3 billion dollars on a brand new Cowboys Stadium, a luxurious, breathtaking spectacle. The new arena seats 80,000 people, all packed into one ear throbbing arena. However, what Cowboys Stadium is known for is a 2,100 inch screen at centerfield. It may be   magnificent sight, but this scoreboard has created several problems. For example, in the stadium's preseason debut, Titans punter A.J. Trapasso hit the high definition TV, and made many people second guess wether or not the scoreboard's particular size is necessary. Cowboys Stadium will survive long into the future due to its modern design, and is likely to become one of America's largest landmarks.


Three Best Stadiums: CenturyLink Field

3. CenturyLink Field: The third best stadium in the NFL is awarded to CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. This field has been named the loudest arena in football due to it's architectural structure, which makes the Seahawks a dangerous opponent to pay against on the road. Built in 2002, CenturyLink Field has been used not only for pro football, but for college games and MLS play as well. Initially, the Seahawks home building was simply named "Seahawks Stadium", then to "Qwest Field", and finally, in 2012, "CenturyLink Field." The field itself is just like any other pro field, but it is the location and seating that separates CenturyLink from the average NFL stadium. The upper tier is a unique part of this building, as it shades fans in the higher deck from the sun. Besides a triangular seating arrangement as well as a huge television in the end zone, empty space clearly reveals the Seattle skyline off in the distance. When taking into the account the 12 Man, the building's design, and a beautiful view of downtown Seattle, it is no surprise CenturyLink Field shows up on our list.





Three Best Stadiums: Arrowhead Stadium

Honorable Mention: Arrowhead Stadium: Kansas City may not have a "12th Man" on the field, but the sea of red in the stands comes pretty close. Many historical games have been played at Arrowhead Stadium, and will stand as a landmark in this game's history. Unlike the average arena which is more of an oval, the Chief's field is pointed at the ends, appearing from above as a rectangle. Its design along with the devoted fans makes this coliseum one of the loudest in football. With so much history behind it, as well as a beautiful structure, Arrowhead Stadium earns an honorable mention on our list.



The Three Best Stadiums

     Sadly, due to the popularity of high definition televisions, the architecture of football stadiums has practically become a lost art. Though we catch glimpses of these massive coliseums from afar, it will never be the same as sitting in those seats, watching the game in person. The fan base adds a whole other dimension to the stadium. For example, many compliment Fenway Park due to its aroused fans and how close they are to the field. Training camp is just a few weeks away, as is the regular season. Therefore, in anticipation of football, we will add to our saga name "The Three" by installing The Three Best Stadiums. Once again, we will split our rankings into multiple posts. Make sure to comment, subscribe, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thenflreport!


     

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fantasy Football Preview 2012: Tips & Questions





Tips:
- Before the draft, map out a blueprint involving sleepers, busts and your top players. However, be careful not to fall in love with a certain player (especially in auctions) where you might overspend.
-10 quarterbacks threw for 4,000 yards or more in 2011, and with so many passers to choose from, it will be important to nab those running backs early.
-Many big names suffered injuries in 2011 (Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson), so while some may be conservative and avoid these players, it could be key to take this risk. Like I said in my previous tip, though, do NOT overspend! Also...
-Don't be afraid to take a risk in the later rounds! For example, select someone who you believe will breakout in 2012, not someone who has already broken and on the wrong side of 30.
-Many people make the mistake of taking either a defense or a kicker before the final two rounds. Both categories are too inconsistent that it is not worth spending a valuable draft pick when you could be selecting the next Victor Cruz.
-Once the fantasy draft is over and the season has begun, be active on the waiver wire! By far the most important advice I can give, I highly recommend picking up players who were dominant in Week 1.


Important Fantasy Football Questions:
Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck?... Last April, we saw two quarterbacks taken with the first and second overall picks--Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. The two are completely different passers; one is a pocket presence QB with record setting accuracy, the other a scrambler capable of throwing deep bombs down field. But with the football season approaching, who is the better option in fantasy football? Quarterback Andrew Luck has been compared by many to all time greats such as John Elway and Peyton Manning due to his extraordinary abilities. However, neither Elway nor Manning were able to do well fantasy wise during their first season. RGIII on the other hand resembles Michael Vick due to his speed and arm strength. Griffin's running abilities make him even more valuable in fantasy football, giving him the upper hand over Luck.

Which player to have a disappointing year in 2011 will bounce back in 2012?... If you were to mention Chris Johnson to any football fan, the first thing that comes to mind his 2,000 yard season. However, since 2009, his statistics have gradually dropped off, from 14 touchdowns, to 2011 touchdowns, all the way down to 4 in 2011. His 40 yard dash time stands at 4.24 seconds, so clearly the speed is there. Sadly, Johnson did not get off to a quick start like he normally does, averaging 2.1 yards per carry in his first three games, and not scoring a touchdown until Week 5. This past offseason, Johnson gained 10 pounds of pure muscle, and is the most undervalued player entering 2012. My second place vote is awarded to Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles, a lethal fantasy weapon when at his best.

Which player to have suffered an injury will return to full form in 2012?...Over the past five years, no running back has been more consistent than Adrian Peterson. Sadly, AP suffered a serious ACL tear on Christmas Eve, and missed all of 2011. His 12 touchdowns in 12 games last season was an absurd accomplishment, but many are speculating on whether or not he will be 100% at the start of the season. Watch closely this August to see how his injury is coming along. Even if Peterson is 90% by Week 1, he can be a top 5 running back by the end of the season.

Thanks for the read!!