Archives for: 2008, week 51

12/26/08

NFL Week 17 Predictions: Regular Season Ends Sunday

Permalink 01:30:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

(NFL.com news, standings, playoff possibilities)

This is it... Week 17... the last chance for NFL teams to qualify for post-season Playoffs. Many teams (Jets, Broncos, Cowboys, Eagles, Ravens) have lost key games down the stretch. Teams on the Playoff bubble will need help from others to qualify. 15 games played... one to go.

Time to pick'em.

St Louis (2-13) @ Atlanta (10-5): Falcons qualified for Playoffs, now looking to secure higher seed. If they're not taking the lowly Rams for granted...? Atlanta will win huge, 33-10.

New England (10-5) @ Buffalo (7-8): Patriots QB Cassel has found a groove. Pats on the bubble and need this game to advance. Buffalo (7-8) is playing for respect. They're season has been filled with near misses and a few last minute losses. Bills would love to be spoilers but come up short, 27-23.

Kansas City (2-13) @ Cincinnati (3-11-1): Week 17 couldn't have come soon enough for these two teams. Dismal season for both struggling franchises. KC wins as Gonzalez has a huge game, 26-21.

Detroit (0-15) @ Green Bay (5-10): Detroit should make history on Sunday becoming the NFL's 1st team to go 0-16. Only problem is Green Bay's soft defense might be just what Detroit's offense needs to score points. Packers coming off disappointing season but their future looks very bright. GB by a hair, 21-20.

Tennessee (13-2) @ Indianapolis (11-4): Titans own AFC's #1 Playoff seed. Indianapolis #1 Wild Card seed. Normally, this would appear as a great matchup. Tennessee might rest starters in 2nd half? Indy poses greatest test of the year for Titans D. Manning has another huge game, Colts 33-23.

Giants (12-3) @ Minnesota (9-6): Giants NFC's #1 Playoff seed. Vikings need this game or it could be lights out. A win wraps up NFC North. Giants to sit starters in 2nd half. Running game chews up Vikings early, defense does the rest, 24-17.

Carolina (11-4) @ Saints (9-7): Panthers one of NFC's top teams coming off epic battle (loss) vs Giants last weekend. Saints injuries derailed what was to be a promising season. QB Brees challenging Dan Marino's single season yardage record will be throwing at will. Saints prevail in wild game, 44-33.

Cleveland (4-11) @ Pittsburgh (11-4): Browns were horrible this season. Plenty of injuries to key players, poor playcalling and terrible clock management. Look for a new slew of coaches next year. Steelers lost in battle for AFC #1 last weekend to Titans. Steelers win clinches #2. Defense gobbles up weak Browns, 24-3.

Oakland (4-11) @ Tampa Bay (9-6): Oakland's Al Davis would like nothing more than to eliminate Tampa Bay and former Coach Gruden from the Playoff picture. Raiders blowing thru coaches and players don't have much to offer for 2009 either. Tampa Bay has stumbled down the stretch needs to win and others to lose for a shot at Playoffs. TB wins, 27-16.

Chicago (9-6) @ Houston (7-8): Bears survived last weekend to remain alive. A win Sunday with a Minnesota loss gives da Bears NFC North crown. They'll be facing a very good Houston team seeking respect. Expect a very physical game as Texans seek to make a point. Houston eliminates Chicago, 31-14.

Jacksonville (5-10) @ Baltimore (10-5): Buckle up Jags as this game will have plenty of crunching collisions. Ravens defense destroys opponents. One of AFC's most dangerous teams makes the Playoffs, 23-3.

Washington (8-7) @ San Francisco (6-9): Redskins disappointing seasons ends Sunday. They were sitting pretty until imploding down the stretch. SF interim Coach Singletary will be back full time next year. Niners playing inspired football lately knocks off Skins, 20-17.

Miami (10-5) @ Jets (9-6): Game of the Week #1... If Miami wins they become AFC East Champs. Not too shabby for a team with only 1 victory last year. Many intriguing twists for this one. Former Jets QB Chad Pennington has restored honor to Miami football. He was cast aside by Jets right after NY signed Favre. Only a few weeks ago many bozo's got caught up in weak Jets wins and predicting Super Bowl for NY. Get real. The wheels have fallen off Jets... even with a win, they could lose... and lose big. If New England beats Buffalo and if NY is victorious over Miami, then arch enemy New England advances thanks to Jets... irony. Jets blew their season in last week's loss to a horrible Seattle club. Heavy showers expected at the Meadowlands. Fish thrive in water. Dolphins eliminate Jets, 30-23. Mancini fired by Wednesday.

Dallas (9-6) @ Philadelphia (8-6-1): Game of the Week #2... Cowboys control their destiny. Romo created more controversy this week by skipping practice due to an illness. Dallas attack still struggling. Cowboys in with a win. Eagles have come to life but couldn't get it done last week vs Washington. McNabb has been very sharp after early season struggles. Philly's wide receivers must catch the ball. Drops were plentiful last week. Eagles defense pumped and ready to knock out T.O. and pals. McNabb's Eagles prevail, 30-24.

Seattle (4-11) @ Arizona (8-7): Coach Mike Holgren's final game should have Seahawks pumped. They played spoiler roll last week vs Jets. Next up, struggling NFC West Champs Arizona. Cards not playing well. Offense is suddenly sputtering. Defense getting burned by big plays. If this keeps up they'll get bounced quickly in the playoffs. Somehow, they find a way to win this tuneup game.. 28-21.

Denver (8-7) @ San Diego (7-8): Game of the Week #3... Streaky Broncos have dropped back to back games preventing their clinching AFC West. Somehow, early season tough luck Chargers seem to be catching all the breaks. Sunday Night Football's final game decides AFC West. San Diego on 3 game winning streak. This game looks like a battle of QB's. Turnovers and special teams could be the difference. SD to win West with 8-8 record... wins 42-27... enters Playoffs as one of football's hottest teams.

12/23/08

Yankees Sign Free Agent Mark Teixeira!

Permalink 04:15:49 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

The New York Yankees continue their aggressive team shakeup. Their latest addition is a whopper. Probably one of their best free agent signings in recent memory.

Mark Teixeira welcome to New York.

Wow! For a little while the Yankees never appeared optimistic of their chances for signing baseball's premier free agent firstbaseman. Rumors suggested the Angels were frontrunners in the Teixeira sweepstakes. Suddenly, the Red Sox seemed interested. I guess that's all the Steinbrenner clan needed to hear. News breaking as I type states Teixeira's deal is for 8 years, $170M+.

Putting the money issue on the back burner for the moment... this is a great signing by New York. Teixeira is only 29 and has improved each season. A top tier offensive & defensive 1B... something the Yankees haven't had since Tino Martinez prime. Added bonus, he's a switch hitter who will provide plenty of lineup protection and production.

Way to go Cashman! I've spent the better part of a year bashing his failure to charge hard after Johan Santana and others last winter. He's already made up for lack of aggressiveness and past mistakes.

CC Sabathia & Mark Teixeira represented the two most sought after free agent players. Let's not forget A.J. Burnett's addition to the Bronx Bombers rotation... and the inevitable re-signing of hometown favorite Andy Pettitte (currently negotiating).

So what's next for the Yankees? LF? RF? C? RP? Trade?

Thinking of Yankees baseball in '09 has taken on an entirely different look. Soon to be forgotten is how miserably the Yankees played in their final season in historic Yankee Stadium. New Yankees Stadium has the potential to be home to one of the finest Yankees' teams ever assembled. A few holes still remain and it's very clear Cashman is leaving nothing to chance heading into spring training.

Enjoy your holiday presents Yankees fans! For those thinking it can't get much better than this... hold onto your seats. More surprises are only moments away! Yank haters must be sick to their stomach's. New Yorker's.... keep smiling!!!

12/22/08

Giants NFC Champs! Jets Implode Towards Elimination!

Permalink 01:03:18 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

Super Bowl Champion New York Giants (12-3) ran over Carolina Sunday night to earn honors of becoming the 2008 NFC Regular Season Champion and #1 Playoff seed. Sunday night's football game might have been the greatest game of the season and it took an extra session (overtime) before a winner was crowned.

New York trailed early 21-10 after DeAngelo William's 2nd of 4 touchdowns. Momentum seemed all in favor of Carolina especially after the Giants were stopped on a 3rd and 1 thanks to a questionable play call. Somehow, instead of handing the ball to one of the Giants THREE featured running backs... they went with a handoff to fullback Hedgecock who hadn't run the ball in his entire Giants career. He was easily stuffed and the Giants punted. The way Carolina was gobbling up the Giants defense, I thought if the Panthers scored another quick touchdown then it would be near lights out for the Giants.

The game was won by the Giants offensive line tonight. It was great watching the Giants rush for 301 yards. How many times did Manning hand off to either Ward (215 yards) or Jacobs (87 yards, 3 td) while in shotgun formation? They burned Carolina time and time again. In overtime, it was shotgun runs by Ward to set up a 1 yard blast into the end zone by Jacobs.

Manning was sharp most of the game but had a few rough moments. The game plan this week was executed much better than in weeks past. The game in Dallas was an embarrassing loss. Winning the top NFC Playoff seed tonight makes up for a few blips on the radar.

As for the other New York team...........

The New York Jets (9-6) lost for the 3rd time in 4 games. An utterly pathetic performance with the season hanging in the balance. Head Coach Eric Mangini and Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheim will be listening to fans, newspapers and New York talk radio calling for their heads this week. Playcalling has wrecked the Jets once promising season and today was no different. There was no blocking scheme to protect Favre on passing plays. Jets abandoned what should have been an effective running attack against a terrible defense. Late in the game while trailing 10-3 Mangini decided against a 50 yard field goal after a delay of game penalty erased a successful attempt from 45 yards. Instead, Mangini chose to punt. Late in the ball game, with all timeouts remaining, Mangini went for it on 4th down from deep within Seattle territory on 4th and 4. Play failed... setting up Seattle for an easy put the game out of reach field goal a few moments later. 13-3.. Jets lose.

Mangini will hear it loud and clear this week. Terrible clock management. Horrible pass protection for Favre. Poor playcalling all the way around including a failure to improvise for snow conditions. Defense only surrendered one touchdown but they were largely ineffective. This was a 9-3 team talking of Super Bowl dreams until falling apart. Losing in San Francisco and Seattle could prove to be fatal. Jets take on former QB Chad Pennington next weekend as Miami (10-5) comes to town. What a story Pennington has been leading a Dolphins team which suffered thru a 1-15 season only a year ago. Now, they're one victory away from winning the AFC East. Great opportunity for Pennington to stick it to his former team.

Giants are back to playing like champions. Jets have been playing like......