Sunday, May 8, 2016

2011 NFL Predictions Week 3 by an Average NFL Fan

The third week of the 2011 NFL season is here and now is when the schedule really begins to pick up steam with several key divisional games. Not only do we have an explosive match in the AFC East with the New England Patriots, and the Buffalo Bills, the NFC North & East will keep their all of their games in the division.

Last week I was able to post a 13-3 record by the time it was done, including the exact Buccaneers – Vikings score. Keep track of how the NFL Pick’em contest is going here throughout the season.

These are the predictions for the game from Week 3 of the 2011 NFL Season

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have had one simple game plan since the start of the season, place the ball into quarterback Cam Newton’s hands and see what happens. Meanwhile the Jaguars are still looking for answers and rumors have been circulating that a quarterback change will be made this week. Even if that does happen, don’t expect the Jags to have much of a chance. If Newton tosses for more than 400 yards again, we will have to start thinking if he is on pace to have one of the better rookie seasons in NFL history.

Panthers 24 Jaguars 17

San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

If you are going to win in the NFL these days, your offense needs to be able to put up some points. The Bengals have been able to do this with some success under a rookie quarterback while the 49ers are still trying to find their way. The Bengals are going to ride the arm of Andy Dalton against a 49ers defense that is going to need to score some points on their own if they want to win.

Bengals 27 49ers 17

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Lions’ offense has been explosive this season, scoring over 75 points in the first two games. This is bad news for the Vikings who will play host with the hopes of being able to contain the offense. The key to the game will be if the Lions can contain Adrian Peterson and make sure to limit his production when he touches the ball. The Lions defense will hold true and give them an unexpected 3-0 start.

Lions 27 Vikings 14

Denver Broncos vs. Tennessee Titans

The Broncos have continued to move on with Kyle Orton as their quarterback and earned their first win of the season last week. The Titans continue to play strong and earned an easy win over the Ravens last week. Even though the Broncos are moving in the right direction, their defense is going to be taken apart by the surprisingly efficient Titans offense. Expect Chris Johnson to have his breakout game.

Titans 24 Broncos 17

Miami Dolphins vs. Cleveland Browns

The Dolphins are going to travel up North with their revamped offense to take on a Browns team that had a solid win over the Colts. The Browns will be relying on their offense led by second year quarterback Colt McCoy as they try to earn their second win of the season. The question remains if the Dolphins are going to get Reggie Bush involved in the offense again or are they going to leave it in the hands of a rookie.

Dolphins 27 Browns 24

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles road to perfection was knocked off when Michael Vick went down with an injury last week. They will be taking on the Giants who will be playing on short notice from the Monday night game. The Giants will need their front seven to step up and put some pressure on whoever is taking the snaps for the Eagles. Watch for the Dream Team Eagles to bounce back with a narrow win at home, thanks to the turnover machine Eli Manning.

Eagles 23 Giants 20

Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints

The Texans who sit on a 2-0 record will travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints who had a nice bounce back win over the Chicago Bears. The Texans’ defense is going to be put to the test against quarterback Drew Brees and his slew of targets. The Saints will earn an easy win in front of the home crowd as running back Darren Sproles continues to do a better job than Bush.

Saints 34 Texans 24

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

In a battle for the top spot in the AFC East, the Patriots will travel to take on the Bills, one of the early surprises of the young NFL season. When it comes down to it, each side is going to be tossing the ball at will against the porous defenses. It would not be far fetch to see Tom Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined for over 800 yards with 6 touchdowns.

Patriots 38 Bills 31

Baltimore Ravens vs. St. Louis Rams

Baltimore fans will be curious to see which football team shows up to take on the battered and bruised Rams on Sunday. The Ravens need to the ball in the hand of Ray Rice early and often against a Rams defense that has some open holes. The Ravens will have their work cut out for them when they try to contain Sam Bradford who looked solid in the Monday night loss.

Ravens 21 Rams 17

New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders

The Jets will be riding high from their dominating performance last week when they travel to take on the Raiders. Jason Campbell actually looked like a solid quarterback in the loss last week, but will need the help of Darren McFadden to keep the pressure off of him. This will be the upset special of the week as the Raiders squeak out a close win over the East coast team.

Raiders 24 Jets 21

Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers

The Chiefs season could not get any worse after losing three key players for the year. Now they will be taking their exposed defense to San Diego to face a Chargers unit that knows how to throw the ball. Quarterback Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates are going to have a big day as they run up the score on one of their AFC West opponents.

Chargers 38 Chiefs 10

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

The Packers are looking to build upon their 2-0 record when they travel to Solider Field to take on the Bears who showed no signs of life against the Saints last week. The Bears defense will keep the Packers within reach but in the end; the Bears’ offense is going to be able to do very little against one of the better secondaries in the NFL.

Packers 24 Bears 13

Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks

When it comes to this matchup of former NFC Super Bowl representatives, there is going to be little to keep the NFL fans turned in. The Cardinals have a lackluster defense that will be taking on a Seattle team that has too many holes to count on both sides of the ball. You can expect several turnovers in the game to make things exciting as the Cardinals earn a win in the race for the NFC West title.

Cardinals 20 Seahawks 17

Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Even though it is early in the season, this is a key game between NFC South foes. The Falcons’ offense will need to continue to find their groove against a susceptible Buccaneers’ defense. Both running backs, Michael Turner and LeGarrette should have solid performance against run defenses that have looked less than stellar. The Bucs will keep the game close until the fourth quarter when Matt Ryan begins to outduel Josh Freeman.

Falcons 31 Buccaneers 21

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Steelers reminded NFL fans last week why they are still one of the premier teams in the AFC when they dominated the Seahawks. That is bad news for the Colts who seemed to be stuck in a rut without their field general, Peyton Manning. The Steel Curtain is going to close on the Colts as they continue their losing trend and a 0-3 start to the season.

Steelers 34 Colts 10

Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Monday Night Game will feature two teams that have no love for each other, the Cowboys and the Redskins. Even though the Cowboys are banged up with Tony Romo and Felix Jones, they still have plenty of weapons on the offensive side. The Redskins are going to counter with their own, in the form of Rex Grossman, who has led them to a 2-0 record. The Cowboys’ defense will help shut down the Redskins attack and earn a home win.

Cowboys 28 Redskins 21

2011 NFL Season Record 22-10

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2011 NFL Mock Draft

Searching for a 2011 NFL mock draft? As the NFL season winds down and the draft order begins to come in to focus, it’s time to start mocking the first round of the NFL draft. Here’s a mock draft that addresses part of the first round.

One note, the order selection is based upon standings with two regular season games left in the season. The NFL draft rules stipulate that teams with identical records will be decided by a strength of schedule tiebreaker. For the purposes of this mock draft, I’m forecasting how the remaining two games will go, then making assumptions about who will win strength of schedule tiebreakers. This mock represents a reasonable effort to decide the order of the 2011 NFL draft, recognizing that the final order will vary slightly.

#1. Carolina Panthers – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford University

From 2000 to 2010, quarterbacks were taken with the first overall pick eight times. Andrew Luck is emerging as the consensus top NFL quarterback prospect in the 2011 NFL draft. Carolina’s quarterback position is relatively weak, and it’s hard to envision them doing something else with the first overall pick in the draft. Luck will start right away and provide instant hope and intrigue to the Carolina Panthers, one of the most rudderless franchises in the NFL.

2. Cincinnati Bengals – Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson University

Da’Quan Bowers’ draft stock has been rapidly rising during his senior season. He’s racked up over a dozen sacks, a bunch of tackles for a loss, and will instantly bolster a fairly weak Bengals defensive line. Bowers has been inconsistent, but his impressive season of work should quiet some of those critics. This is a relatively easy pick for the Bengals. So far, the draft board remains fairly clear.

3. Denver Broncos – Marcell Dareus – DT – University of Alabama

It seems curious to see the perennially competitive Broncos with such a high draft pick. Nonetheless, if the season ended today, this is exactly where the Denver Broncos would be drafting. The Broncos have been one of the poorer drafting teams in the league, and the talent cupboard is bare on both sides of the ball. But many of their biggest first round blunders have come on the offensive side; Mike Shanahan always favored that side of the game. And that’s exactly why the Broncos will not be drafting an offensive player with the third pick, irrespective of who the coach and GM are.

Expect the Broncos to take a defensive lineman, and Marcell Dareus is the obvious choice at this spot. Dareus has been up and down in his senior season, but has finished strong. His combination of strength and speed are rare, and the Broncos need that kind of help on their defensive line.

#4. Arizona Cardinals – Cam Newton – QB – Auburn University

I expect this draft to be one with a lot of quarterbacks drafted in the first round (perhaps too many). The 2011 NFL draft bares subtle similarity to the 1999 NFL draft, where five quarterbacks were drafted in the first round. I don’t think the 2011 draft will be that top heavy with QB selections, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Luck, Newton, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett, and Blaine Gabbert taken in the first round if all the underclassmen come out.

Arizona needs a quarterback worse than anyone else in the league, and with Luck off the board, it becomes a question of which of the remaining prospects has the most upside. The Cardinals won’t be able to pass on Newton, who has impeccable athleticism and a better arm than most analysts think.

#5. Buffalo Bills – Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn University

Buffalo was in the bottom tenth of the league in total defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s play has been steady enough that I don’t see the Bills opting for a quarterback in the first round, even if they could take their pick of Newton or Mallett. Fairley gives them a swagger on defense that they’re sorely lacking. Fairley has made some comments suggesting that he might not come out, but if he becomes certain he’ll be drafted this high, expect him to declare.

#6. Detroit Lions – Robert Quinn – DE – University of North Carolina

Detroit is one of the more difficult teams to get a handle on. They have a core offense built around Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, and Calvin Johnson. But the defense hasn’t been that bad this year, particularly the pass defense. With Fairley, Dareus, and Bowers all off the board, the Lions might reach on a Defensive End like Robert Quinn. Quinn is still a work in progress and might be a shade undersized, but the talent and speed are there.

#7. San Francisco 49ers – Patrick Peterson – CB – Louisiana State University

It’s tough to make projections for teams that will most likely have a coaching change before draft time, but Peterson would make sense for the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers’ defense was heavily hyped before the start of the season, but they actually rank a very weak 25th in passing defense. Some improved cornerback play would definitely help, and Peterson is a mark better than the next best CB prospect, Prince Amukamara

#8. Minnesota Vikings – A.J. Green – WR – University of Georgia

This is one of those instances where luck and circumstance have a player falling below his talent level would dictate he be drafted. A.J. Green is a dynamic playmaker, but the teams drafting at the top have more pressing needs than wide receiver. Beyond Percy Harvin, the Vikings don’t have a lot at this position, and they’ll be eager to give their next quarterback (be it Tarvaris Jackson or someone else) all the tools needed for success. A stronger passing game will also take the pressure off an overused Adrian Peterson.

#9. Washington Redskins – Ryan Mallett – QB – University of Arkansas

Mike Shanahan loves to draft for offense, and he also has a track record of selecting QBs in the first round (see Cutler, Jay). With the benching of McNabb, it’s clear that the quarterback situation in Washington is in a state of turmoil. After Luck, I think that you can make a case for Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett, or Cam Newton as the #2 option in this draft. Cam Newton is riding high right now, but he doesn’t necessarily project better than Locker or Mallett at the next level. Mallett seems like the less risky pick. It’s tougher to get a handle on Locker. Was his lackluster senior performance a statement about him or the dearth of talent that he had to work with at the University of Washington?

#10. Dallas Cowboys – Prince Amukamara – CB – University of Nebraska

Dallas is in the bottom five of the league this year in pass defense. Patrick Peterson will be long gone by the time they pick, but Amukamura is the consensus second best corner prospect in this NFL draft class. He’ll provide instant help and bolster a Dallas secondary in need of a makeover.

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2011 NFL Week 11 Predictions and Picks

It’s time for my 2011 NFL week 11 predictions and picks. Once again the week kicks off with a Thursday night contest on the schedule. Let’s start with that game and move our way into the full slate of Sunday action.

On Thursday night, the New York Jets will travel to Denver. The Broncos are playing much better of late and could be a tough opponent for the Jets with only a few days rest. The Jets, who played New England on Sunday night, will undoubtedly be a little travel weary. Will the Jets win at Invesco Field? I am going with the upset here and picking Denver. I think Tim Tebow will put up much better numbers than in the past week and manage another win. Broncos win 23-17.

Let’s move to the week 11 Sunday games. Tampa Bay travels to Green Bay. There is little doubt which Bay is playing better football these days and it probably won’t be too pretty. I look for a Packers romp 38-13. Aaron Rodgers throws 4 more touchdown passes as the Packers cruise.

My 2011 NFL week 11 predictions and picks continue with Carolina at Detroit. Neither of these teams showed up this past Sunday so perhaps one or both will be anxious to play much better. Carolina was waxed by visiting Tennessee and Chicago laid a tail whooping on the Lions. I look for Detroit to roll in this one 33-17.

Jacksonville also visits Cleveland during the NFL week 11 schedule. Can the Jags win back to back games on the road? The Browns aren’t really the Colts but they aren’t really that much better either. I think the Jags have every opportunity to win this game thanks to the power running of Maurice Jones-Drew. Drew gets 2 touchdowns and 111 yards as the Jags win going away 17-16.

Oakland travels to Minnesota in what should be a Raiders win. However, I think the Vikings will be playing at a higher level at home this week with Christian Ponder calling the snaps. Ponder throws for 2 touchdowns and Adrian Peterson adds 1 on the ground in a 27-20 Vikings win.

Buffalo tries to rebound from a horrible loss in Dallas when they play in Miami. The Dolphins are surging late and I think will be very capable of winning this game at home. However, I think the Bills simply have too much offense and they’ll be anxious to put that miserable loss behind them. Bills win 23-20 in overtime.

Dallas is on the road in Washington where the Redskins are struggling. The Cowboys looked much improved and Tony Romo is typically incredible in November. I look for the Cowboys to win going away thanks to the running game-Dallas and Murray roll 28-14.

Cincy is in Baltimore where both teams will try to bounce back from week 10 losses. What are my 2011 NFL Week 11 predictions and picks for this one? I’ll take the Ravens at home 26-17. The Baltimore defense sacks Andy Dalton 4 times and picks off two passes-one of which is returned for a touchdown.

Arizona is in San Francisco to face the red hot 49’ers-but don’t take the Cardinals lightly as Philadelphia found out in week 10. The 49’ers running game is just way too strong though and I think San Francisco romps here 31-10.

Seattle is on the road at St. Louis after a big win this past Sunday. Can the Rams hold fort at home? This one is intriguing for many reasons but I think the Rams will find a way to win in the end. St. Louis pulls off a 24-17 victory.

Tennessee travels to Atlanta to face an angry group of Falcons. If you didn’t see the week 10 overtime decision-you missed a huge moment that could hurt the Falcons down the final stretch of the season. They should be able to make up for that loss with a win over the Titans. Matt Ryan throws 3 touchdown passes and Atlanta wins 28-16.

San Diego travels to red hot Chicago also on Sunday afternoon. The Bears just dismantled a decent Detroit team in week ten and will be looking for more this week. Jay Cutler throws 3 touchdown passes and the Bears win big 33-21.

The Sunday night game features Philadelphia at the New York Giants. Both teams are coming off losses and Michael Vick was certainly not himself in week 10. What do my 2011 NFL week 11 predictions and picks say about this matchup? I like the Giants to win thanks to the defense. New York sacks Vick 4 times and the Giants get 2 Eli Manning to Victor Cruz touchdown passes in a 27-23 victory.

The Monday night game during the week 11 schedule features Kansas City at New England. The Chiefs are very unpredictable this season but I have this feeling that won’t be the case this week. I think the Pats win in a blowout 31-14. Tom Brady connects for 3 touchdown passes in the win-two to Wes Welker.

That’s it for my 2011 NFL week 11 predictions and picks. We’ll be back next week to sort through the week 12 games with brand new picks! Until then-enjoy the football everyone!

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2011 NFL Playoffs MVPs After Wild Card Weekend

The journey to find the 2011 NFL Playoffs MVP began without several big names, including Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Troy Polamalu. A few surprise candidates emerged during Wild Card Weekend, although it’s very likely their names will not be listed one week from today. As with my regular season MVP series, the intention of these pieces is to narrow the list down each week until Super Bowl Sunday, where I will (hopefully) then be able to name the overall playoffs MVP.

2011 NFL Playoffs MVPs after Wild Card Weekend: RB Marshawn Lynch

Can one play propel an individual to an MVP month? We’re about to see. Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter did more than just put the game away for Seattle. It was the type of play that had me and other fellow neutral football fans on our feet in appreciation and wonder. That play inflated Lynch’s stats for the game, as he finished with a total of 131 yards on 19 carries. Still, it was the type of performance that changes the way a team plays for more than one game.

2011 NFL Playoffs MVP after Wild Card Weekend: QB Matt Hasselbeck

The less-than-100 percent Seattle QB was nearly flawless against the Saints, throwing for 272 yards and four touchdowns in a winning effort. His QB rating of 113 was third-highest over Wild Card Weekend and he is currently the 2011 NFL Postseason leader in touchdown passes. Hasselbeck is hurting once more and is questionable for this weekend’s game in Chicago.

2011 NFL Playoffs MVP after Wild Card Weekend: RB LaDainian Tomlinson

Beating the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs is nothing new for the former San Diego running back, who rushed for 82 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns as the Jets defeated the Colts 17-16. Tomlinson, who was “finished” in the eyes of many football experts and fans just six months ago, has now rushed for over 1,000 total yards in 16 contests during this football season (he did not play in the regular season finale).

2011 NFL Playoffs MVP after Wild Card Weekend: TE Todd Heap

Heap, Joe Flacco’s favorite target in a Sunday afternoon victory, had a weekend-high ten receptions for the Ravens as they defeated the Chiefs 30-7. Heap was also only one of two players to have at least 100 receiving yards during Wild Card Weekend (Pierre Garcon was the other).

2011 NFL Playoffs MVP after Wild Card Weekend: QB Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers has quietly been the NFC’s best quarterback over the past month. He was again on Sunday night, finishing the game with a QB rating of 122.5, the best of the weekend. Rodgers completed 18 of 27 attempts and had three touchdowns as the Packers went into Philadelphia and defeated the Eagles. Of any player mentioned in this piece, Rodgers is the one I would pick to finish as the overall MVP of the 2011 NFL Playoffs.

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2011 NFL Draft: Sorry Charley!

With apologies to the lovely Brenda Lee, I’m calling out the sports-genius pundits who covered the 2006 NFL draft. Warm up your singing voices. A one, a two…

I’m sorry

So sorry

Please accept my apologies

But love is blind

And I was too blind to see

-from Brenda Lee’s “So Sorry”

As I watched the first round of the 2011 NFL draft on Thursday night, I couldn’t help but think that somewhere Charley Casserly had a big smile on his face. Why? Because, despite what the press says about you, there is no better revenge than being right-and last night’s first round put an exclamation point on just how right Charley Casserly was in 2006…though I doubt you will hear any of his critics man up and say it.

You don’t remember Charley Casserly? Well, maybe you remember the schoolgirl-like hysteria that surrounded the 2006 NFL draft. In the minds of many pundits, USC’s Reggie Bush and Vince Young of Texas were shoo-ins for the Pro Football Hall of Fame before they took a professional snap. They were going to transform the teams they played for; maybe even transform the way the game was played. The pundits were duly horrified when, with the first pick in the 2006 draft, the Houston Texans picked DE Mario Williams. Not believing their good luck, the Saints snapped up Bush at number two; the Titans grabbed Young number three.

For days and even weeks later, a football fan couldn’t pick up a newspaper or turn on a television without hearing a barrage of criticism directed at the foolishness of the Houston Texans front office. And by saying “Houston Texans front office,” they meant “Charley Casserly”-who was the General Manager of the Houston Texans. For Charley, the move simply addressed one of the many needs of Houston’s fledgling franchise. In the minds of the press, it was idiocy.

So last night, when the Titans drafted QB Jake Locker (effectively signaling the end of the turbulence that defined the Vince Young era) and New Orleans picked up RB Mark Ingram (surely numbering the days Bush is a Saint), I’ll bet Charley secretly smiled.

Since the draft of 2006, Mario Williams has been to the Pro Bowl two times, and despite recent injuries that have slowed his career, has performed the role Casserly envisioned. Bush, on the other hand, has been paid larger than he has played. He has never been to the Pro Bowl, and has yet to show that he is durable enough or strong enough to be an every down back in the NFL. His return of the Heisman Trophy can only be seen as an embarrassment. Vince Young made the Pro Bowl once on his own merits (2006), and served as a replacement in 2010 when neither Ben Roethlisberger nor Carson Palmer wished to replace the injured Phillip Rivers. His subsequent implosion in Tennessee may have finished him as a starter in the NFL.

It’s yet to be seen whether Reggie Bush or Vince Young will have resurgent careers. It’s yet to be seen whether Mario Williams will return to his Pro Bowl form. But at this stage of the game, it seems to me that somebody owes Charley Casserly an apology. Unlike the press, the Titans, the Saints, and even Brenda Lee…love did not blind Charley Casserly. He saw what no one else did.

Resources

Football-reference.com

ESPN.com

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2011 NFL Week 2 Predictions by an Average Sports Fan

The first week of the 2011 NFL season gave us plenty of high scores and unexpected winners like the Buffalo Bill or the Cincinnati Bengals. Can these teams keep it up or will NFL fans see the team revert to their old forms?

These are the predictions for the game from Week 2 of the 2011 NFL Season. Hopefully I shall do a better job this week than the 9-7 record I posted to open the season. Especially since I am participating in a NFL Pick’em Contest with quality competition.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets

The Jaguars, who managed to escape Tennessee with a narrow win, will now face the Jets, who are going to be riding high from their last minute win over Dallas. If the Jaguars are going to win, they need even more from Maurice Jones-Drew who scampered for 97 yards last week. The Jets defense is going to shut down the Jaguars offense and keep them in check the entire time while they fine tune their running game.

Jets 31 Jaguars 10

Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans

Even though the Ravens are fresh off a dominating win over their division rival, do not expect them to take the Titans lightly. Especially their wide receiver Kenny Britt, who hauled in 5 receptions for 136 yards with 2 touchdowns during open weekend. Maybe Chris Johnson should take lessons from the Ravens’ Ray Rice on how to be a dual threat out of the backfield? The Ravens are going to be one of the top teams in the AFC this year and will easily handle the Titans.

Ravens 27 Titans 10

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions

During the opening weekend, the Chiefs fell flat on their face when they were embarrassed by Buffalo. On the flip side, the Lions opened with a solid win on the road. The Chiefs are going to have a difficult time against the Lions defense that only gave up 56 yards on the ground. The Lions will remain in a groove this week and come away with a win at home to go 2-0 this season.

Lions 31 Chiefs 17

Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Redskins

Each team enters this contest with a 1-0 record after winning their home openers for the 2011 NFL season. Both teams are coming off impressive wins where their respective quarterbacks, Rex Grossman and Kevin Kolb, each threw for more than 300 yards. While each team will try to run the ball, their passing units will win the game. Whichever quarterback makes the least mistakes will end up on the winning side.

Redskins 24 Cardinals 17

Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints

Even in the loss, the Saints served noticed that they are a team to be reckoned with this season. Their offense is capable of putting up points even when their defense is unable to stop the opponent. Meanwhile the Bears showed us that last year was not a fluke and they are going to be a difficult team to play this year. The big difference in the game is going to be the turnovers tossed by Cutler.

Saints 28 Bears 24

Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills

The Bills came out like gangbusters last week and exploded for 41 points against a playoff team from 2010. The Raiders will bring with them a running game led by Darren McFadden who sliced and diced his way through the Broncos defense. The Bills offense will find some holes in the Raiders’ defense, just enough to give them a narrow win as Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to shine as their quarterback.

Bills 24 Raiders 21

Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts

Maybe the Browns inability to stop the Bengals last week was a result of them being rusty from the lockout. If not, this is going to be a long season for Cleveland fans. They will be taking on a Colts team that is trying to find their identity since they will be without the services of Peyton Manning for an undetermined amount of time. Kerry Collins will have a better grasp of the playbook this week but it won’t be enough.

Browns 24 Colts 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Some may say the Buccaneers were close to winning the game but in reality they were lucky to have a shot at the end. Their running game was unable to find any room last week, something that will need to change against the Vikings who did a good job holding the Chargers in check. The Vikings are going to be competitive this year but will not have enough to win the close games.

Buccaneers 24 Vikings 20

Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers

After Cam Newton threw for over 400 yards against the Cardinals, the NFL fans began to drool at the thought of another shootout between the Panthers and the Packers. They will be disappointed when the Packers attacking defense gives the rookie quarterback problems and hold him in check. The Packers are going to continue to show why they are the top dog in the NFL with a road win.

Packers 31 Panthers 14

Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

If you are looking for the team who has the most to prove this week, look no further than the Steelers. After they were embarrassed by the Ravens, they are going to be ready to welcome the Seahawks to their home turf. This is not good for the Seahawks’ quarterback Tavaris Jackson who looked serviceable last week. The defense is going to make life a living hell for him and lead the Steelers to a win.

Steelers 27 Seahawks 10

Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Cowboys lost a game thanks to several bone head plays, one in particular by their quarterback Tony Romo. Expect to see a heavy helping of Felix Jones this week as the Boys try to earn a win against a 49ers unit that was led by their defense. The Cowboys defense is going to control the tempo of this game and earn them an easy win on the road.

Cowboys 31 49ers 10

Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins

The good news for the Dolphins and the Texans is that they showed from week one that they are going to be able to put some points up on the board. The problem is that they will need to be consistent this year with their production. The Texans running game is going to give them the edge as they earn a win for the first road game of the year.

Texans 28 Dolphins 24

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos

The Bengals were one of the big shockers during the opening week of the NFL season and will be primed to take on a Broncos team that is coming off Monday Night Football and is still trying to find their runnin game. The Bengals have a decent running game that will protect their quarterback and give them some running room. The game will be a close one and the deciding factor is going to be the turnover margin.

Bengals 24 Broncos 20

San Diego Chargers vs. New England Patriots

The Chargers had a nice come from behind win against the Vikings and will be prepared when they go on the road to face the Patriots, whose offense looks in mid-season form. NFL fans will have the chance to see two of the best, Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers, go head-to-head in an aerial assault that is going to make mincemeat of the passing defenses. Makes you wonder if they could combine for over 1,000 yards passing in the game.

Patriots 31 Chargers 27

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons

After a slow start, the Eagles bounced back and showed the rest of the NFL why they are going to be one of the heavy favorites to advance deep into the playoffs. On the flip side, the Falcons looked nothing like the team that won 13 games last year. The story line all week will be the return of Michael Vick to the Atlanta. The Eagles offense is going to be too much and they will keep the Falcons winless on the year.

Eagles 31 Falcons 21

St. Louis Rams vs. New York Giants

While the Rams lost in Week one, they are much more concerned about the health of their key players, Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson. The Giants are still smarting from a loss to the rival Redskins. The Rams are going to rely upon Cadillac Williams and their defense to should the load. In the end, the Giants are going to squeak by with a win despite two more turnovers by Eli Manning.

Giants 17 Rams 10

2011 NFL Season Record 9-7

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2011 NFL Predictions Week 7

The 2011 NFL season continues to shine as they enter their seventh week. Not only have seen skirmishes on the field between teams, but we learned NFL coaches, like the 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh and the Lions’ Jim Schwartz, are far from immune by the emotions on the field.

Here are the NFL Predictions for Week 7 including a few surprisingly close calls including better than average success by the road teams. Last week I managed a stronger performance with my picks, resulting in a 9-3 record and was able to maintain my pace in the NFL Pick’em contest.

Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins

The Broncos, fresh off their bye week, will usher in the Tim Tebow era as the Broncos travel to South Florida to take on the Dolphins, who are still recovering from their Monday night game with the New York Jets. Despite what the Bronco faithful think, Tebow is going to suffer some growing pains in this start as both team fight to change the course of their 2011 season. The Broncos will eventually come away with a narrow margin of victory on the road.

Broncos 17 Dolphins 14

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans

The Texans, who are 1-2 on the road, will be looking to turn their fortunes around when they travel back to Tennessee and play against the Titans, who should be healthier after their bye week. The Texans will need to find a way to open the passing game to keep the Titans’ defense honest and give running back Arian Foster a chance. The game should be close but look for the Texans to right the ship.

Texans 28 Titans 21

Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bears and Buccaneers are both riding the momentum of solid wins in Week 6 and will be eager to continue the trend. The Bears who are winless on the road are going to need to find a way to earn a win against a Bucs team that over took the New Orleans Saints last week. In order to do so, they will have to keep Bucs’ quarterback Josh Freeman under control and not have a similar line of 300 plus yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

Bears 31 Buccaneers 28

Seattle Seahawks vs. Cleveland Browns

In the lackluster game of the week, the Seahawks will visit the Dawg pound to take on a struggling Browns team. Both teams have somehow combined for 2 wins each. Each cellar dwelling team has lack any consistent playmakers . NFL fans can expect a few turnovers in this game along with inept offenses. Something will have to give and eventually the Browns will come out on top as a winner.

Browns 20 Seahawks 17

San Diego Chargers vs. New York Jets

The Chargers are welcomed back from the bye week as they face on the desperate New York Jets who are trying to get themselves back into the playoff race. The Chargers will need to fight off the fatigue of traveling to the East coast. While their 4-1 record is impressive, they are going to have their hands full with the home crowd and the Jets who are going to be able to pull out a close win and continue their road back to playoff contention.

Jets 17 Chargers 14

Washington Redskins vs. Carolina Panthers

The Redskins faltered last week against the Philadelphia Eagles and will need to return to form if they want to make a serious run at the playoffs. Even though the Panthers are 1-5, the average NFL fan is excited to watch rookie quarterback Cam Newton take the field. The Redskins’ defense is better than most and will give Newton all he can handle and then some. The Redskins will bounce back and earn a win on the road.

Redskins 24 Panthers 21

Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions

The Falcons will travel to the Motown with a 3-3 record and in need of a win to keep pace in the NFC South. They have had their troubles on the road, 1-2, especially where the performance of quarterback Matt Ryan is concerned. They will be taking on a fired up Lions team that suffered their first loss last week. The home crowd and the Lions will keep the edge in this contest as they bounce back and earn their sixth win of the season.

Lions 31 Falcons 28

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Steelers and Cardinals will featured a rematch of Super Bowl XLIII though neither team is no where near at the same level. The Steelers will need to leave the friendly confines of their home field and travel out West to face a Cardinals offense that is average at best. The key to this game will be the Cardinals’ defense and their ability to force turnovers and turn them into points. The game will be close but in the end the Steelers’ will score just enough points.

Steelers 24 Cardinals 21

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders

The Chiefs and Raiders will face off in one of the better rivalries in the AFC. The Chiefs will need to find a way to keep their passing game on target if they are going to find a way to earn a win. The Raiders will counter with a heavy dose of Darren McFadden who should have no problem finding open lanes once he gets past the trenches. The game should be entertaining no matter who is on the field, but the Raiders will be the one earning their fifth win of the season.

Raiders 28 Chiefs 20

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Packers are the last undefeated team in the NFL and the way they have been performing since the start of the 2011 NFL season, there is a good chance they will remain that way for the remainder. The Vikings would be wise to continue with the Christian Ponder campaign after Donovan McNabb showed no signs of being able to lead a NFL team. The Packers will earn yet another win over a NFC North rival.

Packers 31 Vikings 10

St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys

Both the Rams and the Cowboys come into this game in must win mode if they want to salvage anything from the season. The Cowboys are going to need to learn from their mistakes if they want to have anything better than a .500 season this year. That means head coach Jason Garrett will need to take the reins off Tony Romo and let him throw against a Rams defense that is susceptible.

Cowboys 17 Rams 14

Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints

The Colts have continued to find ways to come up short like they did last week versus the Cincinnati Bengals. They will need to erase all of their mistakes if they are going to take down the Saints, who are still stunned from their loss to the Bucs. The Saints offense should have little to no issues moving the ball against the Colts defense, meaning lots of points and yards.

Saints 35 Colts 14

Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Monday Night football will feature two teams going in opposite directions. The Ravens are solid on both sides of the ball and have one of the premier running backs in the game to help move the chains when needed. Meanwhile the Jags have one win and are looking for answers on the offensive side so they can stay competitive. The game might be close through the first half but look for the Ravens to open it up by the third quarter.

Ravens 31 Jaguars 10

2011 NFL Season Record 54-32

Tags:2011 NFL Predictions Week 7

2011 NFL - Week 8 Picks

2011 NFL – Week 8 Picks. If you have any questions, feel free to join my Fantasy Football Facebook page: http://ift.tt/1WGFrGH and get live replies and answers to your questions there.
Hawk Michaels @ Hawk Fantasy Sports Blog – http://ift.tt/1WO4iIE

Week 8 — QB Rankings — RB Rankings — WR Rankings — TE Rankings — D Rankings — Waiver Pickups — Matchup Picks — Player Injury Updates

Sunday 10/30/11
Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers = PANTHERS
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans = TITANS
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants = GIANTS
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans = TEXANS
Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens = RAVENS
New Orleans Saints vs. St. Louis Rams = SAINTS
Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos = LIONS
Washington Redskins vs. Buffalo Bills = BILLS
New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers = STEELERS
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks = BENGALS
Cleveland Browns vs. San Francisco 49ers = 49ERS
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles = EAGLES

Monday 10/31/11
San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs = CHARGERS

BYE WEEK
Green Bay Packers = bye
New York Jets = bye
Chicago Bears = bye
Atlanta Falcons = bye
Tampa Bay Buccaneers = bye
Oakland Raiders = bye

Tags:2011 NFL - Week 8 Picks

2011 NFL Week 12 Predictions and Picks

It’s time for my 2011 NFL week 12 predictions and picks. Who will win on the Thanksgiving NFL schedule? Which teams will emerge with huge wins and crushing losses? Let’s start with the Turkey day games in the NFL on Thursday of this week.

Green Bay will put an undefeated season on the line in Detroit on Thursday in the early game(the one where the Turkey is probably still cooking). Matthew Stafford tossed 5 touchdown passes last week in a come from behind win against Carolina. The Packers barely held off Tampa Bay down the stretch. Does that mean anything entering this week? Probably not. Green Bay will be prepared for a big game and the Lions defense has been very sketchy of late after starting the season strong. So what are my predictions and picks for this Thanksgiving NFL game? The Packers will start well and build a large enough lead to hold off the Lions. Green Bay gets 4 touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers in a 34-24 victory on the road. Why do I feel confident the Packers will rise for the Thanksgiving day NFL schedule? My gut tells me that Green Bay will be up for the “big” game and also be quite angry with a lackluster performance against Tampa Bay. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t throwing high precision passes in his last game but I have a very strong feeling that will change in Detroit. Stafford will hook up twice on touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson but it won’t be enough.

What’s the next game on the Thanksgiving NFL schedule? Red hot Miami travels to play at Dallas. Both teams are playing well entering this one but it won’t be easy for the Dolphins to win in the Big D. Tony Romo tosses 2 touchdown passes and the Cowboys roll to a 27-13 win on Turkey day.

There is also a night game on the Thanksgiving Day NFL schedule. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the NFL Network you won’t be able to see Baltimore hosting San Francisco. Who wins this incredible matchup?My 2011 NFL week 12 predictions and picks have the Ravens winning this one. The 49’ers have been impressive but Baltimore is tough at home. Ravens win 23-16.

Let’s move on to the Sunday slate of NFL games. Houston is at Jacksonville in the Sunday early games. With Matt Schaub out, it could be a lot more interesting. In fact, I’m going with the upset here and the Jags ride 2 touchdowns from Maurice Jones-Drew to a 22-17 victory.

Buffalo travels to New York to face the Jets. Both of these teams are reeling and in desperate need of wins.
I think the Jets can and will romp here as the Bills contiue to spiral downward. New York wins 26-10.

Cleveland is on the road in Cincy for an in state rivalry. I don’t think the Browns will play too close here. I expect the Bengals to bounce back from a tough road loss for a 31-13 win here.

My 2011 NFL week 12 predictions and picks continue with Minnesota in Atlanta. The Falcons should roll but I think it might be a little closer than people might anticipate. Atlanta gets 2 Matt Ryan touchdown passes and wins 27-17.

Arizona travels to St. Louis to play the Rams. I have to believe the Rams will hold fort here but this one seems to be a coin flip. In fact, I’ll say St. Louis wins in OT 26-20.

Carolina is in Indianapolis to play the Colts. Will this be the Colts first win? I don’t think Indy can keep up with the Cam Newton show and I would be surprised if their defense can slow down Mr. Heisman. That’s why I say the Panthers win 27-23. Newto runs for 2 touchdowns and passes for another.

Tampa Bay is in Nashville to face the Titans. I think regardless of which quarterback starts for the Titans-the folks in Nashville will drive home happy. Tennessee wins 27-16. Chris Johnson gets back in gear for 79 yards and 1 score.

Chicago travels to Oakland to face the Raiders. Can the Bears win a big game on the road? This one might be one of the tougher predictions or picks to make this week. I think the Bears defense will ultimately be the difference maker. Da Bears win 31-23.

Washington is in Seattle to face the Redskins. I think the Seahawks are in tune for a win here. Seattle wins and picks off Rex Grossman 3 times in a 24-14 win.

Denver is in San Diego to face the slumping Chargers. Tim Tebow isn’t going to have an easy time against the Chargers defense in this one. Tebow gets sacked 4 times, fumbles once and throws 2 interceptions.
San Diego gets 2 touchdowns on the ground from Ryan Matthews in a 31-16 win.

New England is on the road at Philadelphia. The Tom Brady show looks to be a go on the road. Brady tosses 4 touchdown passes and the Pats win 31-21.

Pittsburgh is at Kansas City in a Sunday night NFL matchup. What are my 2011 NFL week 12 predictions and picks for this? I’ll take the Steelers in a 23-20 slugfest.

The final game on the Thanksgiving week NFL schedule features the Giants in New Orleans. Can Eli Manning help his team win another tough game against a top team? I think it’s definitely possible but I’m going take the Saints in a thriller 27-24. New Orleans gets a field goal in the final minute to seal the win.

That’s it for my 2011 NFL week 12 predictions and picks. I’ll be back in week 13 for another round of predictions. Until then-enjoy your turkey day!

Tags:2011 NFL Week 12 Predictions and Picks

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