Thursday, May 26, 2016

2010 NFL Playoff Scenarios

Confused about the 2010 NFL Playoff Scenario? Me, too. So let’s break down the 2010 NFL Playoff Scenarios before we all lose our minds. The AFC is so mixed up that a rocket scientist couldn’t figure the NFL Playoff Picture out even if he borrowed advice from a witch doctor. So with that in mind, please refrain from throwing your pen at the computer screen if something below doesn’t add up in regard to the 2010 NFL Playoff Picture.

Let’s start with the NFC which is much easier to narrow down as far as 2010 NFL Playoff Scenarios.

New Orleans
The Saints have clinched their division title. New Orleans can clinch home field throughout the NFC playoffs with one win or a Vikings loss. The Vikings host Tampa Bay and then play at Carolina. The Vikings will most likely wrap it up this weekend and then take the final week of the season off.

The 2010 NFL Playoff Scenario is easy for the Vikes. Minnesota has clinched the division title. Minnesota can clinch a first round bye with a win or an Eagles loss. That means they most likely won’t be in a wild card game barring a crazy 2 game skid and a Philadelphia surge.

The Eagles Playoff Picture is a bit easier since they have already clinched a Playoff berth. In fact, the Eagles can clinch division title with a win plus a Dallas Cowboys loss. With two games remaining this seems quite likely. Philadelphia hosts Denver this week but they’ve got to play in Dallas the following week. It could be a huge final game for both ball clubs if the 2010 NFL Playoff Scenarios continue to unfold. If the Eagles lose to the Broncos it will certainly stir up the 2010 NFL Playoff Picture and allow the Cowboys an opportunity to sneak away a division title in a head to head showdown.

The 2010 Playoff Picture isn’t set yet for the Cardinals but they’re in thanks to winning the division title. No waiting around but it looks as if they’ll be hosting a Wild Card game in Arizona this year.

Green Bay
The Packers can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a loss by either Dallas or the New York Giants. The Packers host Seattle then travel to Arizona. The Seattle game might be a must win if the Packers want to get into the playoffs. That is, unless Arizona mails it in during the final week.

New York Giants
The Giants can’t win the NFC East. They’re just a game behind Green Bay and Dallas in the wild-card chase. If they catch the Cowboys and tie records then they are in. The Giants hold the head-to-head tiebreaker by sweeping Dallas. So the New York Giants need to win both games and hope the Cowboys lose once in the next two.

Moving on to the AFC where the 2010 Playoff Picture isn’t quite as clear. The 2010 NFL Playoff Scenarios are a bit confusing except for the top seed Indianapolis. The 2010 Playoff Picture has never been this jumbled up late in the season.

The Colts have clinched the division title and the overall number one seed in the AFC playoffs. With their 2010 Playoff Picture set, expect the Colts starters to get a few less minutes unless they decide to chase the undefeated season. Knowing Peyton Manning and how much he seems to love to win I’d say there’s a good chance they’ll do it. The Colts host the Jets and then travel to Buffalo.

San Diego
The Chargers can clinch a first round bye in the AFC playoffs with just one win or a New England loss. The Chargers next game at Tennessee won’t be easy but they finish with a home date against Washington.

New England
The Patriots can clinch their division title with just one win or a Miami loss.The Pats host Jacksonville and then travel to Houston.

Bengals can clinch the division title with a win or a Baltimore loss.

According to the website, the Broncos will clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win and a loss by Jacksonville, Miami, Pittsburgh and the New York Jets. Is that a crazy enough 2010 NFL Playoff Scenario with 2 weeks remaining? It only gets crazier as we go.

Once again I have to refer to the website. The Baltimore Ravens clinch a playoff spot with a win plus 1 Jacksonville loss plus losses by the Jets or Denver, or 2 losses by Miami, New York Jets and Denver.

After losing a heart breaker at Tennessee, the Dolphins now need the Pats to lose twice and they need to sweep both games to win the division. That doesn’t seem too likely in this 2010 NFL Playoff Scenario but never say never.

Other teams needing lots of help: Pittsburgh, New York Jets, Jacksonville. Tennessee and Houston lose many tiebreakers so it’s highly unlikely.

You can find more information on the 2010 NFL Playoff Scenarios here and also view the tie-breaking procedures here.

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2010 NFL Predictions: Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have suffered through three disappointing seasons, including 2009 where they finished an unimpressive 4-12. In theory the Chiefs may be in a rebuilding phase of their franchise, but fans have to wonder what they are building towards and when they might get there. There was much hoopla when Kansas City signed franchise quarterback Matt Cassel to a long-term deal, but he has not quite led the team back to contention. At some point the Chiefs may become a relevant franchise again, but for now the fan base must continue to be patient. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on the Kansas City Chiefs and their prospects for success in the 2010 NFL season.

When the Chiefs have the ball

As mentioned, Matt Cassel is the signal caller for the Chiefs at the moment. He had a solid, though not spectacular year with almost 3,000 yards passing to go along with 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. With the departure of Larry Johnson, Jamaal Charles looks like a solid back who could carry the load for Kansas City. Unfortunately, Cassel does not have a lot of weapons at the wideout position, which means that the Chiefs may need to upgrade if they are going to be more dangerous on offense. Chris Chambers is a solid veteran, but he is not a true number-one receiver. Despite being effective on the ground, the Chiefs were near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories.

When the Chiefs are on defense

On defense, the Chiefs were clearly over-matched, as they ranked 29th in points allowed, 31st in rushing yards allowed, and 30th in overall yards allowed. Demorrio Williams and Mike Brown provided a solid veteran presence, but the Chiefs lack the kind of talent needed to be an impact defense. Tamba Hali did register 8.5 sacks for Kansas City, but they are going to need a lot more production from the defense as a whole if they are going to contend in the AFC West.

Competition and predictions

Clearly, the Chiefs have a ways to go if they are going to challenge for a division title. At the moment, the San Diego Chargers remain the premier franchise in the AFC West. The Denver Broncos will also be a solid franchise, though they will probably be a tier below the Chargers. That leaves the Chiefs to battle with the Oakland Raiders for the third spot in the division. Neither franchise looks particularly strong going into 2010 and it may still be a couple of years before the Chiefs again get the crowd excited at Arrowhead Stadium.

Tags:2010 NFL Predictions: Kansas City Chiefs

2010 NFL Mock Draft

Welcome to my first 2010 NFL mock draft! If you are new to mock drafts is it simply a list of new NFL rookies in the order I think they will be drafted in. For some great mock draft information read this article. Due to the fact that we don’t yet know the final 2010 NFL draft order I will go with how the draft would go as of today’s standings. Thanks for reading my first edition of the 2010 NFL Mock Drafts that I will be posting. Please check the sources listed at the end of this 2010 NFL mock draft for some great mock draft websites. This 2010 Mock draft will change especially if some of the underclassmen do not come out or more do that I don’t have listed.

1 Saint Louis Rams- Ndamukong Suh DT- Nebraska

Suh may be the most highly valued NFL prospect ever! He is that damn good and is as much of a sure thing as you can find in a NFL draft. Suh is a no brainer for my 2010 NFL draft board rankings. This defensive tackle was the best college football player in 2009 despite the Heisman Trophy winner being a running back. The Rams may be tempted to go after a franchise quarterback but Suh is the wise pick.

2 Detroit Lions- Gerald McCoy DT- Oklahoma

The Lions offense has some potential but the defense is a mess. Gerald McCoy can be a force on the interior of the Lions defensive line for years to come. The fact that the Lions don’t need another franchise quarterback hurts Jimmy Clausen here.

3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Eric Berry S- Tennessee

The Bucs have a bad defense and Eric Berry can help shore that up quickly. He will fit right in a NFC South division that plays a hard hitting brand of football.

4 Cleveland Browns- Jimmy Clausen QB- Notre Dame

Can Clausen do what Anderson and Quinn can’t do and be a quality starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns? Yes he can if anyone can out of Notre Dame. Clausen is a no brainer here in my 2010 NFL mock draft.

5 Kansas City Chiefs- Russell Okrung OT- Oklahoma State

If one of the top DT’s do fall this far then the Chiefs may be tempted. But their offensive line is in shambles and the Chiefs need to rebuild it now.

6 Washington Redskins- Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma

I am not sold on Bradford due to his injury and lack of a pro offense but he will be taken by the Redskins here. Jason Campbell will be gone and the Skins wanted a franchise qb last season and didn’t get one.

7 Buffalo Bills- Ryan Mallett QB-Arkansas

A bit of a reach here but the Bills need a stable quarterback situation. There are good enough players on the roster now to hold down the position while Mallett learns for a year.

8 Seattle Seahawks-Bruce Campbell OT- Maryland

The Seahawks have lots of holes to fill but the offensive line can use the boost that Campbell can provide. A possible franchise left tackle like Campbell can’t be ignored here.

9 Denver Broncos-Rolando McClain ILB- Alabama

Denver needs linebacker help in a big way and McClain can provide it with the 9th pick in the 2010 NFL draft.

10 Oakland Raiders -Jake Locker QB-Washington

The Raiders once again try to take a franchise quarterback and this time it is Jake Locker of Washington. Locker is solid in his mechanics and can move around, which he will have to do with an average at best offensive line in Oakland. It is possible the Raiders will take Tebow here to screw Jacksonville.

11 San Francisco 49ers- Dez Bryant WR-Oklahoma State

The 49ers will add some pop to the wide receiver group to go with Michael Crabtree. The Arizona Cardinals have shown what 2 quality wideouts can do for an offense. Dez Bryant will be better than Crabtree in my opinion.

12 San Francisco 49ers- Joe Haden CB-Florida

Having already mentioned the Arizona wideouts that the 49ers have to contend with, it makes since to add a potential shutdown corner for them at this point in my 2010 NFL mock draft.

13 Jacksonville Jaguars- Tim Tebow QB-Florida

Everyone in the state of Florida except David Garrard wants Tebow to be a Jaguar. Tebow may not even be a franchise quarterback but he can put asses in seats which is a major problem for the Los Angeles, err I mean Jacksonville Jaguars.

14 Pittsburgh Steelers- Bryan Bulaga OT-Iowa

The Steelers could go DB here but their offensive line had sucked for years. Big Ben needs to be standing up to complete passes. Bulaga is the best tackle on the board here and I don’t see the Steelers passing on him.

15 Houston Texans-Jahvid Best RB-California

Yeah I know the Texans have other needs but their running game has been their downfall on offense. I think they go RB here and Best is the best (pun intended) on the board. The team could go offensive line at this pick though.

16 New York Jets- C.J. Spiller RB- Clemson

Jones is getting old and the Jets want to run the ball. Spiller is a threat to run or catch and can return kicks as well.

17 Atlanta Falcons -Derrick Morgan DE- Georgia Tech

My 2010 mock NFL draft projects Morgan as the pick here to help shore up a bad Falcons defensive line.

18 Tennessee Titans – Trevard Lindley CB-Kentucky

The Titans need defensive backs and Lindley is a good corner with great size and decent speed. He isn’t afraid to stick his nose in an make a tackle which is important in the Titan’s division.

19 Miami Dolphins- Terrance Cody DT-Alabama

May be too tall for nose tackle and has some weight issues but he is the best on the board and I think the Dolphins can get the best out of him.

20 New York Giants- Charles Brown OT- USC

The Giants address their offense with a nice offensive tackle at this spot. They could go DB here but I don’t think so.

21 Baltimore Ravens-Damien Williams WR-USC

The Ravens need wideout help badly and hope Williams won’t be yet another wide receiver bust from USC.

22 Seattle Seahawks- (from Denver) Ras I Dowling DB-UVA

Ras is just too talented to slip farther. Though it is possible that the Seahawks go QB here if somebody slips that they like.

23 Green Bay Packers- Taylor Mays S-USC

Mays adds some youth to an old Packers secondary and may be a huge steal here in this spot.

24 Arizona Cardinals- Trent Williams OT-Oklahoma

If Williams falls this far Arizona will grab him quickly. The Cards love to pass but can’t do it with the QB on his back.

25 Cincinnati Bengals- Brandon LaFell WR-LSU

The Bengals need some pop to their passing game and LaFell has the size and speed to accomplish that.

26 Dallas Cowboys Joseph Barksdale OT-LSU

The Cowboys offensive line has had some issues and Barksdale can be a nice fix here. The Cowboys could go DB however.

27 New England Patriots- Brandon Spikes LB-Florida

The Patriots love linebackers and Spikes will get the best defensive coaching in the NFL with this team.

28 Philadelphia Eagles- Mike Iupati G-Idaho

This could be a reach but the Eagles have an explosive offense in place that can only get better with some line help.

29 Minnesota Vikings- Allen Bailey DT-Miami

The two Williams boys are getting long in the tooth and adding Bailey to a good D line rotation could make them the best in the NFL.

30 San Diego Chargers- Jerry Hughes LB-TCU

The Chargers need some young hitters in the linebacking unit and Hughes can provide that for them in 2010.

31 New Orleans Saints- Greg Hardy DE-Ole Miss

Hardy on a nice Saints defensive line rotation can only make this improving defense, better.

32- Indianapolis Colts-Myron Lewis FS- Vanderbilt

The Colts can use a playmaker who can hit in their secondary since Sanders is hurt all the time. Lewis is a good fit here for the Colts in my 2010 NFL mock draft.

Thanks for reading the first round of my 2010 NFL mock draft and please be gentle with me lol. I admit to knowing much more about the pro game than the college class entering the 2010 NFL draft. Check the souces below for great NFL mock drafts. To see my last 2009 NFL mock draft update then click here.


Tags:2010 NFL Mock Draft

2010 NFL Preseason Rankings

The NFL season kicks off the preseason in about two months and many teams are completing their plans for roster moves. There are teams who have done a lot and teams who have done hardly anything. Here is a look at where the teams sit after their offseason moves.

The Saints are the champs and until someone can knock them off, they remain on top. A slow off season, they lost a couple of guys, but their core remains the same. Unfortunately for the Saints they play in the NFC South – a division which reverses itself each year. In all but one of the seasons since realignment, the team who finished last the year before won the division the following season. In the one season where the last place team didn’t finish first, the finished second and made the playoffs.

With Peyton at the helm, the number 2 Colts will remain second. They maintained most of their players as well. A few additions through the draft will probably not have a huge immediate impact, but will quietly fill in and become impact players. It’s business as usual in Indy.

The Vikings rank third, but this ranking is completely based on a 40 year old guy returning. With the news that Brett Favre just had ankle surgery which he said that he needs to come back, it looks like the Vikings will be poised for another deep playoff run. While they lost a couple of contributors, they should have their core back.

The Jets are fourth in our survey. They made a surprising playoff run last year with a rookie QB at the helm. Then they made some moves to bolster the team. Letting Thomas Jones go was a questionable call, as was signing LaDanian Tomlinson. Adding two good CBs (Antonio Cromartie via trade and Kyle Wilson through the draft) makes them very solid in the defensive backfield. Overall, the Jets may be poised for another deep run and many people have them as the favorite in the AFC East.

The Ravens, who are number 5, have been a great defense with a decent running game for the last few years. Then along came Joe (Flacco). Unfortunately he didn’t have much to throw to. Enter Anquan Boldin. Now Flacco in his third NFL season, Flacco is poised to break out.

The number 6 team is the Packers who came on strong toward the end of last season. Getting some players back from injury and then ones that were added through the draft will fill in some holes and put them in position to finally beat #4.

The Cowboys are number 7, but they are hard to rank. They have a solid team and if they play up to their potential, they could be in the Super Bowl. If they follow the trend they have been on lately, this could be another disappointing season in Dallas. The off season addition of a big name receiver (Dez Bryant) the offense could be poised to explode. Some questioned the decision to get rid of OT Flozell Adams, but you don’t let a tackle go unless you have a backup plan.

The Patriots, who come in 8th, are considered to be poised for a down year by many of the talking heads, but let me say now, they are still the Patriots. Tom Brady and Randy Moss will still connect. The defense will be improved by some of the young players on the team gaining experience. Though the secondary is a little weak, the Patriots could make another run and it wouldn’t surprise me.

The Bengals were solid last year sweeping their division. In our rankings, they come in ninth. Although the Ravens look better on paper this year, the Bengals could be in the running for another division title. That is barring a collapse like they had last time they won the division.

The Chargers come in tenth, but they lost a legend in LT. However, he wasn’t the LT of a few years ago. The addition of RB Ryan Matthews will make the running game just as good as last year, if not better. They shipped CB Antonio Cromartie to the Jets, but hope that they will be able to shore up that hole. All of these make me a little nervous. The Chargers are in a weak division, but they are notoriously slow starters. They should make playoffs again, but may not be in the elite. However, with QB Phillip Rivers at the helm, this team could end up surprising a lot of people.

The 49ers, number 11, are building on the foundation that coach Mike Singletary created. New faith in Alex Smith, and the fact that he will now be under the same coordinator for two years straight may help the 49ers pick up their offense and the defense is only getting stronger. The 49ers could easily run away with their division.

Number 12 is the New York Giants who play in one of the closest divisions in football. In different predictions, I have seen them ranked from first to fourth. I think they just edge out the Eagles.

The Eagles, number 13 like the Giants are in a tough division. They also may be rebuilding. They just traded a Pro Bowl QB and cut RB Brian Westbrook. While they have people behind the guys that they let go, it always hurts a little to lose veterans.

At number 14, the Texans had their best year ever last year. Their offense was explosive. Their defense was much improved. The addition of another CB will make them formidable once Brian Cushing comes back from suspension. The offense gets TE Owen Daniels back as well as a healthy Steve Slaton at RB. This could mean that the Texans challenge for this division… if only there weren’t a man named Peyton in their way.

The Steelers had a tough offseason. That is why they rank number 15. They traded Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes for a 5th round pick and their Pro Bowl QB can’t seem to keep his hands to himself. Also, RB Willie Parker left in free agency. The long story short is that Pittsburgh would be a top 10 team with key members of their defense coming back from injury. With Big Ben on the side lines for 6 weeks, the Steelers will be lucky to make the playoffs this year.

Miami got a few huge additions bumping them to 16th. They could easily move up in these rankings by the first week if things mesh well. WR Brandon Marshall gives them a good receiver. They also made additions on the other side of the ball via the draft and free agency. They are looking much better, but now what remains to be seen is how they come together.

Atlanta had a ho-hum year last season which led to their number 17 ranking. Their offense was OK, but their defense wasn’t great. They aren’t among the elite, but the Falcons will put together some wins this season.

Number 18 Washington took the team that they had last season and then blew it up, gathered some rubble and went looking for rebuilding materials. They added a Pro Bowl QB and two Pro Bowl RBs. They also got a couple of receivers. They got rid of their struggling QB and a few of their backup RBs. Not to mention the changes they made on the line and on defense. They are a completely remade team and new head Coach Mike Shannahan has won before and is hoping to do it again. The Redskins could be in the hunt by the end of this season.

The Cardinals, number 19, have been the kings of the NFC West for the last couple years. Then they lost Kurt Warner to retirement and traded Anquan Boldin to the Ravens. They lost a few defenders and didn’t really get any solid replacements. This actually might be higher than they deserve.

Tennessee was the top of the AFC two years ago, but last season started off 0-6. This year they wrap up the top 20. They made some changes and then pulled some wins together. They got rid of some baggage this off season, but they lost some important pieces, too. Head Coach Jeff Fischer will have his work cut out for him this year, but with RB Chris Johnson almost anyone can win 8 games.

The Jaguars are one of my picks to surprise, hence they are 21st. They have a decent team, but last year injuries killed them. They made a few bad moves, in particular using their first round pick on a guy they probably could have got in the second round.

At number 22, the Broncos shocked the world yet again by trading Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins. Then a couple weeks later, they traded up in the draft to get QB Tim Tebow. HC Josh McDaniels may have something up his sleeve, but a Broncos team that returns less than half the starters they had two years ago is probably not the wagon to jump on.

The number 23 Bears went hunting in free agency knowing that they didn’t have a lot of hope in the draft (when you don’t have your first couple of picks, it makes things tough.) They brought in Julius Peppers at DE and Chester Taylor at RB. They also got OC Mike Martz. This combo could lead them to surprise some and actually make a run this year.

At 24, this is a lot higher than the Raiders are ranked by most. However, QB Jason Campbell is a major upgrade at quarterback. The defense was decent last year, so a competent QB will mean a few more wins. Campbell isn’t going to take them to the Super Bowl on his own, but he’s a big step up from JaMarcus.

The Panthers rank 25th after they cut their starting QB from last year (Jake Delhomme). They handed the reins to Matt Moore and then drafted a young QB named Jimmy Clausen. Fortunately for the Panthers, they have a decent offensive line and a good running game to lean on until one of these guys can take over.

The 26th rated Seahawks have made a number of changes to their team, but none of them are enough to bump them very high. The draft was very good to them, but until they get a new QB at the helm, they aren’t going to be a dominant team.

The Lions are up to number 27 after adding some big pieces this year. The defensive line is much improved with Kyle Vanden Bosch and Ndamukong Suh. Head Coach Jim Schwartz is making an impact in Detroit. They won’t be Super Bowlers this year, but Detroit may be climbing out of the gutter this year.

Kansas City Chiefs fans have watched their team struggle the last few years. They start ranked 28th. Bad drafts and injuries have led to them picking high in the draft. They just don’t have a lot of talent right now, but Scott Pioli is working on fixing that.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are rebuilding at number 29. They really focused on their defensive line in the first couple of rounds this year. If rumors are true about the improvement of Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers could continue the trend in the NFC South of the team that finished last in the division wins it the next year. Bucs fans, don’t count on it.

The Bills, ranked 30th, tried to draft the best player available. In doing so they got another running back for an already crowed backfield. The Bills will have a long row to hoe this year as they go through the always tough Patriots and the much improved Jets and Dolphins.

This could be the year that the number 31 Rams get out of the gutter… And I might fly to work tomorrow… Anything is possible. Sam Bradford will prove to be a good tackling dummy for the rest of the NFC West for the next few years – or until the Rams shore up a dismal offensive line.

The bottom of the pile is the number 32 Browns, who cut their top two QBs. Then they traded away some talent. Then they picked up a washed out QB and a QB who has played more receiver than QB. In all, the Browns managed to get worse over the offseason. It is all part of new GM Mike Holmgren’s plan to get Jake Locker next spring.

Tags:2010 NFL Preseason Rankings

2010 NFL Predictions: Indianapolis Colts

When you are the Indianapolis Colts and you have just lost the Super Bowl after an almost flawless 14-2 season, what do you do next? Obviously, it hurts to lose the Super Bowl, particularly when the Colts did not play all that badly. There is always a danger in “tinkering” with the roster because even small changes can mess with the chemistry of a good team. Still, teams can always improve on both sides of the ball, and despite a 14-2 record the Colts were not dominant in every aspect of the game. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts and their prospects for the 2010 NFL season.

When the Colts have the ball

The Indianapolis Colts are built around the talent and mental focus of Peyton Manning. It is quite possible that Manning will go down as the best quarterback in NFL history, and the Colts still have him for a number of years. If Manning stays healthy and the offensive line can protect him, he is always a threat to pick apart a defense. Peyton makes good use of Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, and Joseph Addai is effective enough on the ground to keep defenses honest. The Colts were last in the league in rush yardage, but that is partly due to their game plan which is definitively pass-heavy. If everyone stays healthy, look for the Colts to continue their dominance on offense.

When the Colts are on defense

On defense, Indianapolis is very good, but not necessarily dominant. They were 8th in the league in terms of points allowed, which means that they were tough when it counted, particularly since they were 24th in the league against the run. Re-signing Gary Brackett will help keep the defense together and a healthy Bob Sanders would make a huge impact on the defensive scheme. If Dwight Freeney does not suffer any ill-effects from his late season injury in 2009, the Colts could be even better on the defensive side of the ball.

Competition and predictions

The competition in the AFC South is solid, but not necessarily dominant. The Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, and Jacksonville Jaguars are all teams that could challenge the Colts eventually, but right now all three teams seem to be stuck in neutral. Again, if the Colts remain healthy and the O-line can protect Peyton, there is no reason to assume that the Colts will be anything but division champions again in 2010. Is another Super Bowl appearance in their future?

Tags:2010 NFL Predictions: Indianapolis Colts

2010 NHL Playoffs San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalnche Prediction

Lets face it the first round of any major league playoff is pretty easy to predict. The best teams get to play the worst teams. Sure, if your in the middle then you are evenly matched, but for being the best team in the league you are rewarded by having to face the very worst team to make to the playoffs. So in the first round match up between the Western Conferences top-ranked team the San Jose Sharks and the 8th-ranked team the Colorado Avalanche should be an easy win for San Jose.

First lets look at the list of things that could be in the Colorado Avalanches favor. First they are a young team, which could give them an advantage but could also hurt them in lack of experience, which the Sharks have plenty of. Possibly the biggest thing going for the Avalanche is that the Sharks while being one of the strongest teams each year over the last few years during regular season play, they have been notorious for flopping in the playoffs. Again while this could be to the Avalanches advantage the reality is that the Sharks are not likely to flop so early in the playoffs against such a bad team as the Avalanche. The Avalanache do have the only two real enforcers of either team with Darcy Tucker and Adam Foote, but neither is a truly great goon like Ovechkin, but they do have the slight physical advantage.

Now lets look at what the Sharks have going for them. The Sharks have alot more experienced players who have been to the playoffs and are already seasoned veterans of the playoffs. The Sharks have much more star power with Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley, and Patrick Marleau. The Avalanche only have Matt Duchene and an old Milan Hejduk. This is the Sharks second year as the Western Conference Champions. The Sharks had a much better season. The entire Sharks team is much more experienced. The Sharks have a bigger front line. While the Sharks have a bad history in the playoffs this gives them reason to want the win more, and the bad history is also due in part to injuries so without the injuries the Sharks should not have a problem.

One of the only real possible match ups is how will Darcy Tucker and Adam Foote fair against the Sharks large and fast forwards? Perhaps the youth and aggressiveness can make up for size and lack of speed, but it’s two men against all the Sharks forwards. The next big match up of the series will be the Sharks forwards once again, but this time against the goal tending of Craig Anderson. Craig Anderson has proven himself to be a good goalie, but to go up against one of the best offenses in the league he will have to prove he is a great goalie.

I hate to really waste any more breath on this one really. Just check out the blogosphere. For example yahoo has plenty of stories where no one thinks the Avalanche have a chance. They were a Cinderella team whose moment was just making to the playoffs. So if you disagree and think that the Avalanche have a chance, you are probably a Avalanche fan, but for whatever reason take a few minutes to check out the other articles online and see what is going on in the NHL blog world. You’ll see that not many are giving the Avalanche a real shot at this series. My prediction is that the Sharks can win in 4 games at most, but I think a sweep is possible.

Ross Mckeon,” Western Confrence is Wide Open” Yahoo

Tags:2010 NHL Playoffs San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalnche Prediction

2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine Goes to Robert G. Edwards- the Father of IVF

The Nobel Prizes are the most prestigious awards in the world. The continuing legacy of inventor and scientist Alfred Novel, the Prize is given in various disciplines, including physics, chemistry, medicines, and peace. These honors are given to the most notable men and women in their fields and to those people, whose contributions have somehow transformed the world.

While the awards are given on December 10th of each year, the announcements of recipients generally are made in early Fall. The news wires have now announced the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine and the winner for this years’ Prize is British Professor Robert Geoffrey Edwards.

Born in 1925, Edwards, a British Army veteran, studied agriculture at the University of Wales, but eventually turned his attention to genetics. He studied Animal Genetics at the University of Edinburgh, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1955. Within years, he turned his focus on the study of fertilization and by 1963, he joined the faculty at the University of Cambridge.

Robert Edwards, an 85 year old professor emeritus of the University of Cambridge, was a pioneer in the study of human reproduction and one of the pioneering geniuses in the field human infertility. In the 1950s, he began his ground breaking work in in-vitro fertilization (IVF.) Edwards, working with British gynecologist, Patrick Steptoe, developed the technique of egg removal, fertilization and then implantation. By the 1970s, in-vitro fertilization was the center of medical, religious, and social debates. Through his work, in July 1978, Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby” was born. Following Brown, Steptoe and Edwards opened the first IVF clinic at Bourn Hall in Cambridge.

Since the late 1970s, millions of families have benefited from Edwards’ (and Steptoe’s) work. Through his medical industry transforming achievements, infertility, a condition that affects 10% of couples worldwide, is treatable.

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine is the first of this years Prizes to be announced. It is expected that the Prize for Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Economics will be made by next week.

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2010 NFL Week 5 Predictions and Picks

It’s time for my 2010 NFL Week 5 predictions and picks. The first game on the 2010 NFL schedule features 3-0 Kansas City at Indianapolis. Can the Colts rebound from a tough loss at Jacksonville? Are the Chiefs actually legit this year? We’ll find out at least some answers when the two collide at noon on Sunday.

The Colts won’t be thrilled with the prospects of losing back to back games. So far, Indy has looked very mediocre on the road. The Colts will be playing at home at Lucas Oil Stadium this coming Sunday in the week 5 schedule. That will make all the difference in the world. The Chiefs return to reality as Indy blasts Kansas City 31-13.

My 2010 NFL week 5 predictions and picks move on with Jacksonville at Buffalo. Can the Bills finally notch a victory? Or is Buffalo going to be at the bottom of the pack for the rest of the season? I believe Buffalo will be game at home. In fact, I think the Bills get their first big win of the season by knocking off Jacksonville 16-13.

What’s next on the 2010 NFL week 5 schedule? How about a match up between Tampa Bay and Cincinnati? My predictions and picks have the Bengals rebounding from their loss at Cleveland with a 23-13 win over visiting Tampa Bay.

Atlanta travels to Cleveland also during the week 5 schedule. This game has upset written all over it. The only problem is that the Falcons just had a close scare against San Francisco and Atlanta is well aware of what Cleveland can do after they handled Cincy this past week. I think Matt Ryan puts together his best road game of his young career and the Falcons roll 27-16.

St. Louis also travels to Detroit. Here is an interesting game that probably wouldn’t have been interesting if you asked NFL analysts about it before the season started. The Lions have lost every game but they’ve played good enough to win. The Rams have won back to back games and look much improved. I think Detroit’s defense will be the story of this one. A young Sam Bradford struggles against a defensive line that can wreak havoc.
The Lions win 27-17.

Denver travels to Baltimore also during the 2010 NFL Week 5 schedule. Can the Broncos pull out another nice road win after winning in Nashville against the Titans? Baltimore is fresh off a huge win at Pittsburgh. This game could be down to the wire if both teams play well. I believe Denver is in for a let down on the road. The Broncos will play a much tougher defense when they suit up against the Ravens. Kyle Orton will struggle to have time to throw. My predictions and picks have Baltimore winning 23-10.

Also on tap for week 5, Chicago travels to Carolina. The Bears may or may not have Jay Cutler. Without Cutler(concussion), the Bears will have little chance to win on the road in such a hostile environment. With Cutler, the Bears could pull off a road win. I believe the Cutler factor makes it very hard to make any predictions or picks on this game. So I have two scores for this game. If Cutler plays, the Bears win 23-17. If Cutler doesn’t play, Carolina will notch a 21-13 victory.

Green Bay is also at Washington during week 5. This could be the game of the week in terms of importance. The Packers barely squeezed by Detroit while the Redskins fought hard in a road win at Philadelphia. My 2010 NFL week 5 predestines and picks have the Packers winning a road game 34-31. It could be the offensive shootout of the year.

The Giants travel to Houston. The Texans just aren’t friendly at home this season. The Giants may have turned the season around with a win over Chicago. I don’t think the Giants can sustain that momentum on the road in Houston. The Texans have way too much offense. I doubt the Giants will be able to sack Matt Schaub 9 times in the first half considering Arian Foster will run wild if they do. My predictions and picks have the Texans rolling to a 27-14 victory.

New Orleans is at Arizona in what appears to be a breather. There just haven’t been too many gimmes this year in the NFL. Arizona is fresh off a pounding last week-but I think the Cardinals will prove much more worthy at home. Still, the Saints should win in the end 27-16.

Tennessee travels to Dallas in what could be a huge game for both teams. The Titans have lost a couple at home this season so they desperately need some road wins. Dallas has looked better of late but still needs to notch wins like these at home to secure a playoff berth on down the road. I think the Titans offense will struggle against a very good Dallas defense. Chris Johnson will have little if any room to run. The Cowboys will win this one 23-13.

San Diego is at Oakland in what will be a must win game for the Chargers. Can the Bolts win a big road game–even against the lowly Raiders? I believe San Diego will emerge with a 31-17 win over the Raiders.

Philadelphia travels to San Francisco in another game where the quarterback might mean everything. If Michael Vick plays, I look for the Eagles to win on the road 31-20. If Vick doesn’t suit up, I think the 49’ers will finally notch a 23-14 win.

My 2010 NFL week 5 predictions and picks conclude with Minnesota at New York. Brett Favre faces his former team on the road. The Jets have been rolling of late. Why stop now? I look for the Jets to win this contest 24-17.

That’s it for my 2010 NFL week 5 predictions and picks. We’ll do it again next week!

Tags:2010 NFL Week 5 Predictions and Picks

2010 Olympic Women's Figure Skating Preview: Longshot Americans Rachael Flatt, Mirai Nagasu Face Uphill Skates (Complete Short Program Start List Included)

The 2010 Olympic Women’s Figure Skating event is slated to begin on Tuesday, with a number of strong medal contenders in the mix. Unfortunately for the United States, barring a serious mistake by a major player (or three), this will be the first year since 1964 that an American woman doesn’t claim an individual Olympic figure skating medal. That’s a page in the history books that Team USA members Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu don’t want to write.

It’s not that reigning US figure skating champion Rachael Flatt and 2008 US champ Mirai Nagasu aren’t gifted skaters, because they certainly are. They could well be a huge part of the future of the sport; right now may just not be their time to shine.

Rachael Flatt is a virtual dynamo on the ice who powers her way around the rink like a supersonic jet, delivering consistent, well-structured programs that include triple-triple combinations for the judges to score. Flatt won the US title on the strength of her free skate program, bumping her Olympic teammate from the top spot after a show of unparalleled athleticism.

Mirai Nagasu, conversely, is a picture of grace and elegance. She glides, spins and twirls like a ballerina on blades. Nagasu is also a performer in the truest form of the term: She plays to her audience and comes across as innocent, engaging and extremely charming. All excellent qualities, but not ones that will land her atop the 2010 Olympic women’s figure skating podium.

Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu’s biggest problems revolve around issues of age and international experience. They’re both young; Flatt is 17, and Nagasu one year her junior at 16. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that American Tara Lipinski took Olympic gold at 15, so it’s true that anything at all can happen at the Winter Games. A lack of substantial senior level international experience is also a concern for both Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu’s chances in Vancouver. Although Nagasu took the silver medal at the 2007 Junior Worlds and the bronze at the same event one year later, the junior circuit isn’t quite the pressure cooker that its senior sister can be for young skaters.

Flatt and Nagasu’s medal competitors in the Vancouver Olympic Women’s figure skating competition are plentiful. Reigning World Champion Kim Yu-Na, 19, is the hands down favorite for the top spot on the medal podium. Coached by two time men’s silver medalist Brian Orser, Kim is an almost mythically solid competitor, owning records for the highest scores ever earned under the current scoring system in short program, free skate as well as combined total. She’s the current number one women’s figure skater in the world, and barring multiple missteps, should probably take gold.

Also expected to have strong showings are Japan’s Miki Ando, 22, the 2007 World Champ and reigning World bronze medalist; Carolina Kostner of Italy, the reigning European Champion; and Japanese standout Mao Asada. Also scheduled to compete and contend for gold is Canadian Joannie Rochette, whose Olympics took a tragic turn when her mother passed away at age 55 at a Vancouver hospital just two days before the start of the women’s figure skating competition.

Ironically, the United States’ best chance to make the 2010 Olympic women’s figure skating podium was likely with 2006 Torino silver medalist Sasha Cohen, who made a comeback at last month’s US Championships. Cohen delivered a solid short program but faltered in her free skate, and failed to make the team.

Below is the complete Olympic women’s figure skating short program start list, as posted to NBC Olympics.

1 – Sonia Lafeunte, Spain

2 – Ivana Reitmayerova, Slovakia

3 – Miriam Ziegler, Austria

4 – Anna Jurkiewicz, Poland

5 – Cheltzie Lee, Australia

6 – Liu Yan, China

7 – Tugba Karademir, Turkey

8 – Ksenia Makarova, Russia

9 – Kwak Min-Jung, South Korea

10 – Jenna McCorkell, Great Britain

11 – Mirai Nagasu, USA

12 – Isabelle Pieman, Belgium

13 – Teodora Postic, Slovenia

14 – Anastasia Gimazetdinova, Uzbekistan

15 – Cynthia Phaneuf, Canada

16 – Elene Gedevanishvili, Georgia

17 – Sarah Meier, Switzerland

18 – Elena Glebova, Estonia

19 – Kiira Korpi, Finland

20 – Sarah Hecken, Germany

21 – Laura Lepisto, Finland

22 – Mao Asada, Japan

23 – Kim Yu-Na, South Korea

24 – Akiko Suzuki, Japan

25 – Alena Leonova, Russia

26 – Joannie Rochette, Canada

27 – Julia Sebestyen, Hungary

28 – Rachael Flatt, USA

29 – Carolina Kostner, Italy

30 – Miki Ando, Japan


Rachael Flatt bio,

Mirai Nagasu Bio, Wiki

Kim Yu-Na Bio, Wiki

Juliet Macur, Mother of top Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette Dies, New York Times Olympic Blog

Women’s Figure Skating Short Program Start List, NBC Olympics

Tags:2010 Olympic Women’s Figure Skating Preview: Longshot Americans Rachael Flatt, Mirai Nagasu Face Uphill Skates (Complete Short Program Start List Included)

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