Thursday, October 7, 2010

Best and Worst of the NFL - Week 5

Let's call it Opposite Day!  It's easy to call the Lions and the Bills the worst teams in the league and it's easy to name the Saints, the Steelers, and the Packers the most talented, but what about the worst of the best and the best of the worst?  Now, that's fun!

BEST team with 1 win: Dallas Cowboys
The Vikings are a very close second here, but the Cowboys we all saw in the first two weeks won't show its face again.

WORST team with 3 wins: Chicago Bears
Even with Jay Cutler, the Bears have some major issues...and now they don't even have him.

BEST team without a win: San Francisco 49ers
Almost went with the Panthers here, but the 49ers just have too much talent to keep this losing streak - plus, they get to play every team in the NFC West...twice.

WORST team with 2 wins: Arizona Cardinals
Take your pick of first-place teams in the NFC West - Seattle, St. Louis, and Arizona all aren't getting it done, but the Cardinals have the most question marks.

BEST team with 2 wins: Indianapolis Colts
This one was easy.  Peyton Manning will bring this team back from their temporary lull.

Some notes on the upcoming games for the above teams:
  • The Cardinals will have a very tough time with the Saints this weekend starting an undrafted rookie in Max Hall at quarterback.  This will definitely test the resolve of Arizona's struggling defense.
  • Who would have thought that the Chiefs would be the undefeated of the two teams in the Colts-Chiefs matchup (and the Colts at just .500).  Incredible.
  • Dallas-Tennessee should be a great matchup, but if the Titans aren't careful, I could see Romo ripping them up after beating a very good Houston team.
  • The Bears are last in rushing and allowed double-digit sacks last week - not good when going up against an angry Panthers team that needs to play well as not to get booed out of their own stadium.
  • The football Gods have taken pity on the 49ers by making Kevin Kolb the starter in this game.  Vick would have given them fits.  Instead, I think they come out the victors here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

NCAA Football 2010: Week 5 Predictions

It's been awhile.  Okay, it's been longer than awhile.  But have no fear, I have only become wiser over the last year, whch means even better predictions (I hope).

So, without further ado!

#7 Florida at #1 Alabama - 8:00pm ET
Wow, we only had to wait 5 weeks for what could be a December Championship matchup.  Nice.  Strap in, boys and girls - this will be a bruiser.  Even though Alabama is coming off an emotional and physical matchup with Arkansas (and Florida conversely is not), the Tide still has too much all-around skill and discipline.  This game comes down to execution and nobody has his team execute when it matters better than Nick "I'll never be Bear Bryant but I'm a pretty damn close second" Saban.
Crimson Tide 24 - Gators 23

#2 Ohio State at Illinois - 12:00pm ET
Conference play finally starts in the Big Ten (thank goodness - au revoir, Eastern Michigan and Austin Peay) and it's not a good thing for the Illini.  Ohio State is the best in the land at forcing turnovers on defense and has arguably the hardest quarterback to gameplan for on offense.  This game shouldn't be close.
Buckeyes 32 - Fighting Illini 10

#3 Boise State at New Mexico State - 8:00pm ET
For the record, I am NOT on the Boise State train.  I still think the best thing to come out of that state is the potato.  If you've ever criticized Ohio State or Florida for plaing cupcakes, then I better hear you yelling for the next 12 weeks, because the Broncos have a BUNCH of them.  Boo to Virginia Tech and Oregon State for being less-than-platinum.  Let's pray Nevada stays healthy over the coming weeks.
Broncos 52 - Aggies 10

#9 Stanford at #4 Oregon - 8:00pm ET
When do you know college football has truly begun?  When your remote never leaves your hand because your flipping between three games at once.  Gotta love this matchup - the smart, bruising style of Jim Harbaugh vs. the speedy, opportunistic Chip Kelly.  Could go either way, but I think Oregon cleans up their act after a questionable performance against a better-than-advertised Arizona State team.
Ducks 38 - Cardinals 32

#5 TCU at Colorado State - 2:00pm ET
Ummm....not close.  TCU is good.  Colorado State is not good.
Horned Frogs 45 - Rams 13

#21 Texas at #8 Oklahoma - 3:30pm ET
The Red River Rivalry is not what it could have been due to a very poor performance last week from both teams (Oklahoma barely escaping against a down Cincinnati team and Texas getting slaughtered by a middle-of-the-road Pac-10 team in UCLA).  Oklahoma still has a chance at a National Title and I think that motivation takes over in this game.  Texas keeps it close, but drops to 3-2.
Sooners 32 - Longhorns 29

LA Monroe at #10 Auburn - 12:00pm ET
I'd like to say that this is a scare-game for Auburn, but it's not.  Cam Newton could hand the ball off 55 times and win this game big (and should).
Tigers 31 - Warhawks 3

#11 Wisconsin at #24 Michigan State - 3:30pm ET
One of the best matchups of the week on paper.  And that's saying a lot with Penn State-Iowa also on the slate.  I have watched Wisconsin struggle in every game except against Austin Peay last week and I think that finally catches up with them.  Michigan State wins a big one for their recovering coach and Greg Jones continues to make his case for Defensive Player of the Year by stopping John Clay cold.
Spartans 23 - Wisconsin 21

Tennessee at #12 LSU - 3:30pm ET
How in the world is LSU the 12th best team in the country?  Their defense has been just okay against very mediocre competition and if their not careful, a Tennessee team that has absolutely nothing to lose could beat them here.  I'll go high risk, high reward and say Les Miles gets embarrassed in his own backyard against fans that have been known to call for his head after big losses.
Volunteers 24 - Tigers 16

#16 Miami at Clemson - 12:00pm ET
Clemson could easily take this game if Jacory Harris continues his loose demeanor with the ball (namely, handing it to his opponents), but I think Miami will come out fired up, knowing this is a bit of a scare game.  Finally, their talent shows, they execute, and Harris gets some support from his mistake-prone wide receivers.
Hurricanes 34 - Tigers 17

#22 Penn State at #17 Iowa - 8:05pm ET
If only because everyone in the country is counting Penn State out of this game, I feel like I should go with the Nittany Lions.  But I'm not.  I'm going with the rest of the country.  Iowa is much better than they played in Arizona and they'll play better tonight at home.
Hawkeyes 27 - Nittany Lions 20

Washington at #18 USC - 8:00pm ET
When was the last time USC was 4-0 and NOT in the top 10?  I don't know (because I don't have a stat team to track it down for me), but it would have been unheard of in the last few years.  If you don't think those sanctions are having a media-effect, your not living in reality.  Doesn't matter in this game, though, because the Huskies are terrible (sorry Mr. Locker).
Trojans 41 - Huskies 28

#19 Michigan at Indiana - 3:30pm ET
I don't think I've EVER seen Heisman hype gain momentum as fast as it has for Denard Robinson.  I wonder if "hype" ties it's shoelaces...I'll I know is if this guy stays healthy, the Big Ten is better from top to bottom and "The Game" could be competitive this year (and those are both good things for college football).  Indiana can definitely score and should give the Wolverines a run for their money, but a healthy Robinson is just too good and won't be stopped again this week.
Wolverines 38 - Hoosiers 34

Virginia Tech at #23 North Carolina State - 3:30pm ET
Wow, has the ACC been more irrelevant than right now?  The answer is no.  At least, not in recent history.  I'd like to see Virginia Tech lose every game the rest of the season solely so Boise State has less of a case, but that's not realistic and I think North Carolina State finally gets what's coming to them.  Like Pizza the Hutt in SpaceBalls, the ACC continues to eat itself until it no longer exists.
Hokies 23 - Wolfpack 21

#25 Nevada at UNLV - 10:00pm ET
GOOOOOO Wolf Pack!  Who wouldn't love to see Nevada clear their slate and go undefeated?  It would mean Boise State has lost and we can stop using the words Championship and Broncos in the same sentence.  That's enough for me.  I'm going to go buy some Nevada-blue pom-poms.
Wolf Pack 38 - Rebels 17

Friday, August 7, 2009

Arizona Cardinals 2009 Red and White Practice LIVE

For the entire play-by-play transcript for the "Red and White" game and links to some other Cardinals training camp articles:
Arizona Cardinals Examiner

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How the Arizona Cardinals match-up with: the Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 1 - @Jacksonville, Jacksonville Stadium
Sunday, Sept. 20th, 1:00 PM, FOX

All-time series: Jacksonville 2 - Arizona 0
Last 10 games: Jacksonville 2 - Arizona 0

Interesting Stat: In two games, Jacksonville has outscored Arizona 68-27

Jaguars - Let's just say that if David Garrard gets injured for any amount of time, the Jags are in big trouble. After releasing Cleo Lemon so they didn't have to pay a back-up quarterback $3 million a year to ride the pine, the Jaguars were left with, well, nothing. Todd Boeckman didn't even play that much in college, nonetheless the pros, and Todd Bouman is 106 years old. To make matters worse, Garrard's not even all that good.
Cardinals - If you ask me if I want Garrard or Warner, I pick Warner. If you ask me if I want Garrard or Leinart, I pick Leinart.
Edge: Cardinals, because their back-up is better than the Jags starter.

Running Back
Jaguars - Much like the quarterback position, the Jaguars are sparse at running back. This being the first year in a good while that the Jacksonville fans won't be able to see Fred Taylor on the field, Maurice Jones-Drew will have to become a 30-carry back for the first time as well. The question then becomes, "Can he do it?" I think he can, but as is the case with most shared-carry backs that move into the featured roll, I expect his production (per carry) to go down. If a solid back-up can be found in rookie Rashad Jennings, Alvin Pearman, or Chauncey Washington, there is a chance the run game won't suffer the loss of Taylor too much...but don't count on it.
Cardinals - "Lean" and "Mean," Tim Hightower and Chris "Beanie" Wells. have huge potential, but as you will hear me reiterate again and again before the season starts, they are wholly unproven. Potential in no way equals production and I cannot in good objective standards annoint them...yet.
Edge: Jaguars, if Maurice Jones-Drew stays healthy.

Wide Receiver
Jaguars - Another trouble area for the Jaguars, although landing veteran Torry Holt does help matters at least. Without Holt, this write-up would be very easy: they're bad. However, there is a lot of youth here, and like the Cardinals run game, has a lot of potential. Reggie Williams is solid, but not mind-blowing (he didn't have over 55 yards in any game last year); Mike Thomas was a stud at the University of Arizona and should see playing time quickly if he pays attention in training camp; the other Mike, Mike Walker, had some games last year that looked promising, so he could easily become Garrard's second or third option; and the rest will be figured out in the pre-season, with the young receivers battling it out (all with a chance to play).
Cardinals - This comparison is kind of sad, really. I mean, c'mon, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston vs. Holt, Williams, and Thomas? Let's just say that if you add all the receiving yards of the wide receivers currently on the Jaguars roster (not counting Jones-Drew, a running back), it is less than Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin by themselves.
Edge: Cardinals, with no explanation needed.


For the rest of the article, go to:

Krag Klages is the Arizona Cardinals Examiner

How do the Arizona Cardinals Matchup with: the San Francisco 49ers

Week 1 - @Arizona, University of Phoenix Stadium
Sunday, Sept. 13th, 4:15 PM, FOX

Week 14 - @San Francisco, Candlestick Park
Monday, Dec. 14th, 8:30 PM, ESPN *Monday Night Football

All-time series: San Francisco 19 - Arizona 16Last 10 games: Arizona 6 - San Francisco 4
Interesting Stat: 4 out of last 12 games have gone into overtime

49ers - Another quarterback battle is in store for a team that desperately needs a leader. It really comes down to the returning starter, Shaun Hill, and the 2005 number-one draft pick, Alex Smith. If history is any indication where this is going, Shaun Hill will come out of this thing the victor, expecially with Singletary's love for the blue-collar type quarterback.
Cardinals - No brainer, here. Apart from any injury set-backs (which is a possibility, even in the pre-season), Kurt Warner will be the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. Sorry, Leinart, you've got at least another year of waiting.
Edge: Cardinals, by a mile.

Running Back
49ers - Frank Gore is an outstanding back and the new rookies, Glen Coffee (Alabama) and Kory Sheets (Purdue), could be two great additions to what has been a one-man show. That said, if the offensive line doesn't create better opportunities, it doesn't matter who's behind them.
Cardinals - "Beanie" Wells dropping to #31 in the draft was just one more indication that the winds are changing for the Arizona Cardinals. They needed a big, bruising running back more than anything else and they think they've found it in Wells. Paired together with the speedy edge-rusher, Tim Hightower, the Cardinals could quite possibly have the next great tandem in the NFL. Tim Hightower and "Beanie" Wells - I shall from here on out call them "Lean" and "Mean," respectively.
Edge: 49ers, as the Cardinals are too young and unproven.

Wide Receiver
49ers - This receiving corps is a couple of veterans (Arnaz Battle and Isaac Bruce) followed by a bunch of babies, albeit a bunch of very talented babies. Whoever ends up at quarterback better be able to get rid of the ball fast and on target, because these guys can catch and these guys can run. Michael Crabtree needs to prove himself in the NFL before I start comparing him to Larry Fitzgerald like many other media pundits, but even I can admit that his potential is unmatched at his age.
Cardinals - It's too bad for the 49ers that the Cardinals have the best wide receiving corps in the country, because the 49ers are pretty solid themselves. But, alas, Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin make up the best one-two punch in football, hands-down.
Edge: Cardinals, but not by as much as you might think.


To read the rest of this article, go to:

Krag Klages is the Arizona Cardinals Examiner