Thursday, November 29, 2012

College Football: Tyrann Mathieu

     Earlier in the day, Tyrann Mathieu announced to the public that he is entering the 2013 NFL Draft in April. Mathieu, known by many as the "Honey Badger", played for LSU football last season, and his performance earned him a spot on the Heisman ballot. Mathieu's statistics were absolutely extraordinary, with 6 forced fumbles, two defensive touchdowns, and two punts returned for scores. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst, when Mathieu's was suspended for entirety of the 2012 season due to substance abuse. Then, last month, Mathieu found himself in another touchy situation, where he was arrested on marijuana charges along with three other LSU players. His troubles within the past year is why his decision to enter the draft came as a shock to most fans, instead of taking a year off and playing one last season before the draft. However, the former football star was gracious to the fans of Louisiana State University, thanking them for their support. We wish him luck in the upcoming draft.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week 12 Predictions

(Abridged Version)

Bears over Vikings

Bengals over Raiders

Steelers over Browns (OT)

Colts over Bills

Seahawks over Dolphins

Buccaneer over Falcons (OT)

Ravens over Chargers

Cardinals over Rams

Saints over 49ers

Giants over Packers

Panthers over Eagles

NFLR Videos: Adrian Peterson

In our second football video, we cut and paste some of Adrian Peterson's best highlights from his accomplished career and make one big video. Adrian Peterson, as of Week 12, leads the league in rushing yards, on track to have one of his best season's yet. Like, comment, or subscribe to The NFL Report on Youtube!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Best Pictures (Week 11)

Week 12 Predictions (Thanksgiving Day)

     Thanksgiving's best tradition, apart from eating and giving thanks, is watching NFL Football with helpings of food in your stomach. Last year's Thanksgiving  did not disappointment, featuring the battle of the Harbaugh brothers, along with Ndamukong Suh's notorious stomp. Tomorrow has three games set up, one between the Cowboys and Redskins, one between the Lions and Texans, and one between the Patriots and Jets. All three have the potential to be great games, especially the latter. The NFL Report will fill you in on everything you need to know for tomorrow's match ups.

Calvin Johnson
Texans @ Lions: The Houston Texans survived a Week 11 scare against an unimpressive Jacksonville Jaguars team. The game was surprisingly close up until the fourth quarter, when Jacksonville suddenly took a fourteen point lead. Matt Schaub was not ready to lose to a team with just one win on the season, and was able to march up the field twice, tying the game with 1:34 left on the clock. Then, in overtime, two field goals on either side set up Andre Johnson's 48 yard gain for the winning touchdown. Quarterback Matt Schaub's extraordinary performance (527 passing yards, 5 TDs) comes at a perfect time, with Detroit next on the schedule. However, Arian Foster is coming off of his worst rushing performance of 2012, running for a mere 77 yards and a costly fumble. Detroit's offense on the other hand scored 20 points against the Packers last week in a losing effort. A positive sign to come out of last Sunday's game is Calvin Johnson's hot streak, averaging 160 receiving yards in the past three games. Stafford suffered three turnover against the Pack, and will need to limit his errors if they wish to overpower the Texans defense. Even on the road, Houston is more likely to tame the Lions on Thanksgiving day than suffer their second loss of the season.
Texans over Lions 27-21

Redskins @ Cowboys: The Washington Redskins, though below the .500 mark, demolished the Philadelphia Eagles in their Week 11 match up. The win can be credited to quarterback Robert Griffin III. Last Sunday's match-up was RGIII's first game as Washington's offensive captain, and his performance did not disappointment. RGIII completed 14 passes on 15 attempts, throwing for 200 yards with 4 TDs and 84 rushing yards. The Redskins' defense, normally a unit that struggles against high flying offenses, held Philadelphia to six points. However, it is unlikely the Redskins will shut down Dallas on the road. Tony Romo, a quarterback under scrutiny for his high turnover total, has not thrown a pick in three straight games. Dallas barely made it past the Browns in Week 11, thanks to an overtime kick by Dan Bailey. The Cowboys have a 2-2 record at home, where as the Redskins have a 2-3 record on the road. Thursday's division rivalry is bound to be close, but RGIII is ready to prove himself on America's favorite holiday.
Redskins over Cowboys 23-20

Jets @ Patriots: Many, including myself, were expecting a very close game between New England and Indianapolis last Sunday. Andrew Luck and the Colts were rolling along, and their streak created playoff talk. However, Tom Brady and the Patriots offense dropped 59 points on the Colts defense, the highest amount yet for New England. Both the running game and the passing game rank in the top 5 in terms of yardage, but it is the defense that fans must worry about. The last time these two teams met, regulation did not last long enough to settle this game, and New England came out victorious after Stephen Gostowski's field goal went on to win the game. Unfortunately, tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm last Sunday and will be out indefinitely for tomorrow's game. The loss of Brady's favorite weapon could be huge against one of the league's best pass defenses. The Jets lost three consecutive games before beating the St. Louis Rams on the road, 27-13. New England has lost just one game at home, and even though this offense is without Gronk, the Patriots are the favorites entering Thanksgiving evening.
Patriots over Jets 28-16

Last Week: 12-2
2012 Predictions: 102-54-1 (65%)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

College Football: Week 13 NFLR Rankings

The rankings below are not based off of the BCS Rankings released Sunday Night, but our opinion on the most skilled team, wins and losses aside:

Landry Jones (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
1. Alabama

2. Oregon

3. Florida

4. LSU

5. Georgia

6. Notre Dame

7. Kansas State

8. Stanford

9. Texas A&M

10. Florida State

11. South Carolina

12. Clemson

13. Nebraska

14. Oregon State

15. Oklahoma

16. UCLA

17. Michigan

18. Texas

19. Oklahoma State

20. Rutgers

21. Kent State

22. Arizona

23. Louisville

24. Washington

25. Utah State

College Football Ranking Reactions (Week 13)

      Just two weeks ago, many people were speculating that, by the end of the season, four of the nations top teams would remain undefeated, and serious controversy would come about. As we know, however, that is not the case, and only one team remains perfect; Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have one game left in the regular season against the USC, and an upset lurks around the corner. Three SEC teams are eagerly hunting for the number one spot, and if Notre Dame were to lose in the final week of play, the BCS Championship Game might be between two SEC teams for the second year in a row.

Todd Gurley
1. Notre Dame: The close game between Notre Dame and Pitt caused doubt among fans on whether or not the Fighting Irish deserved to be number one. With a perfect record, though, they were voted number one, thanks to big wins over Stanford, Michigan, and Oklahoma. USC is the final game of the regular season for Notre Dame, and rivalries always add a whole other dimension to games, even if on paper, the game appears to be lopsided. Notre Dame ought to be fuming after losing the past nine out of ten games to USC in the battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh. On the other hand, USC has nothing to lose, and will be more than happy to dethrone the number one seed. Matt Barkley will challenge Notre Dame's elite defense, led by Heisman contender Manti Te'o.

2. Alabama: Out of all the teams to suffer an upset this past season, Alabama's loss to Texas A&M late in the game was the most shocking. Alabama was coming off of back to back wins over ranked football teams, and a win over (at the time) 15th ranked Texas A&M was almost a given. Unfortunately, the combination of Johnny Football's leadership and Alabama's turnover amount late in the game was what led to their downfall. Just like Notre Dame, Alabama will be facing one of their bitter rivals in the final week of play, the Auburn Tigers. Alabama's top ranked defense will likely smoother the unranked Auburn offense.

3. Georgia: Though Georgia has only played two ranked teams so far this season, one was a victory over the SEC-rival Florida. Gator nation ranked second overall when the game took place, and Georgia previously lost to 6th ranked South Carolina. In a low scoring game, Georgia managed to put up 17 points and upset the Gators. Freshman running back Todd Gurley has been absolutely extraordinary so far, and the best part is, he is only a freshman. Their one loss to South Carolina was by an extremely large margin (35-7), and apart from Florida, this team has done little to prove they are worthy of the third spot in the nation.

4. Florida: Observing the list of team's overpowered by Florida, you will notice just how many bowl contenders are named. Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU, and South Carolina all lost to the Gators, where Georgia was the only team who succeeded in taking them down on the road. Up next: the Florida Gators will voyage to Florida State's campus, and compete in this bitter rivalry. The Seminoles have lost just one game this year, but the loss came against an unranked NC State. That said, Florida State will be looking to get back in the hunt for the BCS Championship Game, and defeating Florida would help them do so.

5. Oregon: For the first time since 2007, the number one and two ranked teams lost in the same week. Oregon, the second ranked team in the nation, fell to Stanford in one of the best Pac-12 games seen in a very long time. The loss only bumped them down three spots, so Oregon, if all goes well, is still in the hunt for the National Championship. Oregon's high flying offense ranks second in the nation (51.1 points per game) all thanks to their top notch running game. It is unclear how this offense would play against the elite offense seen from Alabama, but it is likely they will run all over the 15th ranked Oregon State Saturday.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Important Announcement

As we enter the heart of football season, The NFL Report has now decided to write weekly posts on not just the NFL, but now college football as well. Bowl season is just one week away, and Saturday's upsets inspired us to diversify our posts. Our blog's name will stay the same, but don't be surprised if you see several posts on the college football season each and ever month.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Week 11 Predictions

     The streak lasted nine weeks, but Atlanta was unable to continue their perfect season. Within the past five or six years, Atlanta has been unable to defeat their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints. The beginning of the game went well for Atlanta, with a quick touchdown and an interception that resulted in another three points. Throughout the remainder of the game, however, New Orleans dominated, resembling the same Saints team of 2011. The word that best describes Atlanta's performance was sloppy, with many errors late in the game. Matt Ryan had the perfect chance to take a last minute lead, but instead felt rushed by opposing defenders and threw an inaccurate pass to a blanketed wide receiver. Then, on third down with less than 20 seconds remaining, Ryan could have easily rushed for the first down and stop the clock, but he chose to bomb a ball downfield to the double teamed Roddy White, which resulted in an incomplete pass. The return of tight end Jimmy Graham as well as a win over Atlanta may mark the beginning of a hot streak in New Orleans. The weekend before Thanksgiving adds a playoff-like atmosphere to each and every game, where a single loss could set a playoff hopeful off course.

Adrian Peterson
Game to Watch: Bears @ 49ers: For the first time in four years, an NFL game, this time between San Francisco and St. Louis, resulted in a tie. It will be extremely strange to see a 1 underneath the tie column, and this has the potential to affect San Francisco's spot in the playoffs. That said, the 49ers were expected to destroy a mediocre St. Louis team. However, the 49ers defense allowed 24 points against a struggling Rams offense. On the other hand, Chicago is coming off of a low scoring game to the Houston Texans. Defense will clearly be a major part of this Monday Night matchup, so offense will be the difference maker. San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith is ruled as questionable due to a concussion. Even if he were to return to the starting lineup, the Chicago Bears would likely shut Smith down, for the offense is not the only unit capable of putting points on the board in Chicago. The Bears offense, led by Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall, has been too inconsistent, and like I said for last weeks game against Houston, Marshall will have to be involved with this offense if they wish to win.
Bears over 49ers 24-10

Stand Out Performance: RB Arian Foster: The highest scoring running back through Week 11 has been Arian Foster of the Houston Texans. Adrian Peterson's comeback performance has almost out shined  Foster in 2012, but the Texans running back has a legitimate shot at Offensive Player of the Year if his spectacular play were to continue. Sunday's game between Houston and Jacksonville is an enormous mismatch, and Foster is projected to be extraordinary. Back in Week 2, Foster rushed for 110 yards against Jacksonville with a score. However, this was not the only poor performance from Jacksonville's defense; the Jags have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns so far, 4 of which came against Detroit in Week 9. Arian Foster will be your fantasy football Week 11 champion, so you should feel very comfortable if Foster is starting for your fantasy team tomorrow afternoon.
Arian FosterL 125 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs, 50 receiving yards

Player to Watch: QB Alex Smith: A concussion kept Smith from finishing San Francisco's game against St. Louis, and now, he is trying to return for Monday night's game against Chicago, a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Smith has finally proven himself in the National Football League, with one of the best passer ratings among starting quarterbacks. If Smith were to watch the Week 11 game from the sideline, the 49ers hopes for a win would be dashed. Apart from Frank Gore, Smith is the only hope this team has offensively to overcome such a powerful defense, but hopefully, the organization does not rush him into playing even if he continues to show signs of a concussion.
Alex Smith: 180 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, INT

Week 11 Predictions:

Falcons over Cardinals

Buccaneers over Panthers

Cowboys over Browns

Packers over Lions

Texans over Jaguars

Bengals over Chiefs

Rams over Jets

Redskins over Eagles

Saints over Raiders

Broncos over Chargers

Patriots over Colts (OT)

Ravens over Steelers

Bears over 49ers

Last Week: 7-6-1
2012 Predictions: 90-52-1 (63%)

Friday, November 16, 2012

NFL Report Update: Mike Ditka

Breaking News: Former Chicago Bears coach and Super Bowl champion Mike Ditka suffered a minor stroke earlier in the day, and was hospitalized immediately. Ditka states it was a "very minor stroke", but it certainly caused worry among family members. Ditka will not appear on NFL Countdown this upcoming Sunday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Best Pictures (Week 10)

Bob Leverone/AP Photo

Kim Klement/US Presswire
Michael Perez

Michael Perez/AP Photo

Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

Julio Cortez/AP Photo

Genevieve Ross/AP Photo

Genevieve Ross/AP Photo

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 10 Predictions

     Doug Martin has wasted no time in adjusting to life in the National Football League. Martin's 251 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns propelled him into the fantasy football spotlight, removing Arian Foster from the top back in fantasy sports. Within Martin's own division is another major storyline of Week 10, where Atlanta looks to take on the struggling Saints and move one step closer to the undefeated season. Drew Brees, however, has made it his mission to lead New Orleans through this adversity and hopefully hand their rivals a loss. Surprisingly, this matchup is not the game of the week. That award is handed to the Sunday Night showdown between two Super Bowl contenders; the Houston Texans of the AFC, and the Chicago Bears of the NFC. Expect a low scoring game between the two best defenses in the league, but we can also expect another exciting Sunday.

Charles Tillman
Game to Watch: Houston @ Chicago: Apart from an embarrassing loss to the now red-hot Aaron Rodgers, Houston has been nearly unstoppable, and has played with a new ferocity. This team is now centered around star defender JJ Watt, one of the best in the league at tipping passes and sacking the quarterback. Basically, his side of the field is off limits for any offensive player. The offense has their own backbone in running back Arian Foster, a scoring machine and the main reason why this offense has been able to score so often. On the other side of the football we have an equally competitive defense in Chicago. Historically, the Bears have been extremely intimidating on defense, and this year has been no different. However, for the first time, opposing teams may have to worry about this offense, where quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver have picked up from where they left off in Denver. The chemistry at times is inconsistent, but tomorrow will be the most important game for these two offense weapons. Defensively,Houston and Chicago are basically equal, so offense will be the difference maker.
Bears over Texans 17-10

Stand Out Performance: QB Matt Ryan: Playing against the New Orleans Saints defense is a dream for any quarterback, and Matt Ryan would like nothing more than to humiliate their division rivals. Ryan's leadership is no longer questioned by the football world, and another win over the Saints would back up MVP talk. Ryan was likely not happy with his scoring performance last weekend (0 touchdowns) but the yardage total was not a problem. New Orleans has allowed a worrisome amount of passing touchdowns, passing yards, and completions, and I  can safely assume this problem will not be fixed by tomorrow. Not only does Matt Ryan have a motivation to stomp this defense, but his success will come easily as well.
Matt Ryan: 295 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TDs, INT

Player to Watch: WR Brandon Marshall: His stellar performance against Tennessee proved the strength of Marshall's bond between himself and quarterback Jay Cutler. Marshall's three touchdowns were huge momentum builders in a dominating 50 point win. Unfortunately, Tennessee is no Houston, and it will be more difficult for Chicago to adapt. Therefore, Marshall's performance will be the clear cut X factor, and the inconstancy of Cutler and Marshall will have to end if they wish to defeat Houston. Ironically, Marshall's lowest yardage mark of the season was Chicago's only loss, an away game against Green Bay. Both teams have had difficulty with the Pack, but otherwise, both season's have been almost flawless. If Marshall were to play his heart out and score at least one touchdown, a win can be expected.
Brandon Marshall: 90 receiving yards

Week 10 Predictions:

Colts over Jaguars

Ravens over Raiders

Broncos over Panthers

Giants over Bengals

Dolphins over Titans

Lions over Vikings

Patriots over Bills

Falcons over Saints (OT)

Buccaneers over Chargers

Seahawks over Jets

Eagles over Cowboys

49ers over Rams

Bears over Texans

Steelers over Chiefs

Last Week: 11-3
2012 Season: 83-46 (64%)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Best Pictures (Week 9)

Ben Liebenberg/NFL

Jeffrey Phelps/AP Photo

Richard Lipski/AP Photo

Mike Roemer/AP Photo

Stephen Morton/AP Photo

Todd Rosenberg/NFL

AJ Mast/AP Photo

Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Week 9 Predictions

     Last Sunday was no different for the Atlanta Falcons, who dominated Michael Vick and the Eagles to earn their seventh straight win. Matt Ryan and the Falcons have hit a bump in the road against both Carolina and Oakland back to back, but their dominant win over Philadelphia proves they are not ready to give up their perfect season. Dallas will be matched up against this dominant force tomorrow, but they have a decent shot at handing them their first loss of the season. Finally, we are beginning to get an idea of who are the contenders for this winter's playoffs. However, several talented teams have not started the first half of the season very well (New England, Green Bay, New Orleans), and will need to step up their game if they wish to have a shot at the Super Bowl.

Reggie Wayne
Game to Watch: Steelers @ Giants: Once again, New York had trouble putting away the Dallas Cowboys late in the game. The Giants lost in Week 1 to the Cowboys, but have been almost flawless up until Week 8. Then, last Sunday, they gave up a 23-0 lead in the 2nd quarter, and at one point was losing late in the fourth quarter. As usual though, Eli Manning was able march up the field and set up Tynes for what turned out to be the game winning field goal. Though the defense has struggled slightly, this high flying offense makes up for it. Sunday brings the number one pass defense in the NFL in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even with the large amount of injuries this Steelers team has suffered, New York will have to plan accordingly if they wish to dominate this game. The Pittsburgh offense has not been able to score as often as New York, but the yards per attempt is almost identical. Defense is key in this Sunday matchup, but it will be extremely difficult for Pittsburgh to snap New York's hot streak.
Giants over Steelers 20-10

Stand Out Performance: RB Arian Foster: The front runner for this season's Offensive Player of the Year without a doubt has been Arian Foster, the highest scoring running back so far. Foster's statistic have been fantasy gold, and he is one rushing touchdown away from matching last year's numbers. His yardage may not be number one in the league, but Foster is able to consistently put up elite numbers. The Buffalo Bills run defense has been absolutely atrocious, something Mario Williams was supposed to fix. Foster should be able to run over this defense all game long, and we may even see some record setting numbers.
Arian Foster: 120 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs

Player to Watch: DE Jared Allen: After an extremely disappointing start to his 2012 season, reigning sack champion Jared Allen has picked up the pace, and has posted at least one sack in every single game since Week 3. Allen was just one sack away from breaking Michael Strahan's single season record in 2011, and had high standards entering the new year. This year's competition for the title is extremely close, as he competes against two other talented defenders in Clay Mathews and JJ Watt. Both were able to start off the season with a bang, and have begun to fade as of late. Now, Allen has the chance to jump ahead in this race if the other two contenders can't be more effective. As he faces  the Seattle offense line, Allen will look to bring down rookie quarterback Ryan Wilson and regain his spot as the number one pass rusher.
Jared Allen: 4 tackles, 0.5 sacks

Week 9 Predictions:

Chargers over Chiefs

Broncos over Bengals

Ravens over Browns

Packers over Cardinals

Texans over Bills

Colts over Dolphins

Lions over Jaguars

Bears over Titans

Redskins over Panthers

Buccaneers over Raiders

Seahawks over Vikings

Giants over Steelers

Falcons over Cowboys

Eagles over Saints (OT)

Last Week: 11-3
2012 Predictions: 72-43 (63%)