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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 26 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Cleveland Browns (32)

The only thing I’m certain about in the NFL is that the Browns have been the worst team thus far.

31. Miami Dolphins (31)

But if Dan Carpenter could make a kick they wouldn’t be here.

30. Indianapolis Colts (26)

If you’re going to win a few games you’re probably going to have to beat the Jaguars at home.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)

In my heart of hearts, I still think they’re worse than the Browns. But as a reminder, the Ravens really liked Cecil Shorts III.

28. New Orleans Saints (17)

I knew it would be a struggle. NO ONE knew it would be this much of a struggle.

27. Washington Redskins (21)

You REALLY think it’s a good idea to keep letting RGIII get hit like that, Kyle Shanahan?

26. St. Louis Rams (24)

So…if Jay Cutler stinks and you lose to him, that means?

25. Kansas City Chiefs (30)

They’re not going to go winless. That’s a start.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22)

Every time you think they might be making progress…

23. Carolina Panthers (19)

Is the league figuring Cam Newton out a bit in year two?

22. Oakland Raiders (29)

That was a damn gutty victory.

21. Tennessee Titans (25)

They’ll need to be able to win a few without so many miracles.

20. Minnesota Vikings (27)

That was a really impressive performance. Not a whole lot more you can say.

19. Buffalo Bills (20)

A win over the Browns is a win, just unlikely to be a win that will make me give you a whole lot of credit.

18. Detroit Lions (12)

But at least they have quarterback issues!

17. Seattle Seahawks (23)

As Drew Forrester says, they’re 2-1*!

(Rankings 16-1 on Page 2…)

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“The Reality Check” Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 19 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Cleveland Browns (30)

But hey, Trent Richardson is pretty good.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (28)

This Blaine Gabbert thing isn’t really working out.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (20)

They HAVE to be better than this. Right?

29. Oakland Raiders (25)

But they snapped the ball better…

28. Miami Dolphins (32)

They beat the Raiders at home. You can only get so much credit for that.

27. Minnesota Vikings (23)

They have good players on their team. They shouldn’t be this bad.

26. Indianapolis Colts (31)

They beat the Vikings at home. You can only get so much credit for that.

25. Tennessee Titans (21)

Tough schedule, but the “playoff dark horse” talk has slowed down.

24. St. Louis Rams (26)

Jerk or not, I’d take Cortland Finnegan on my team.

23. Seattle Seahawks (27)

I’m not a believer in Russell Wilson, but that was a statement victory.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18)

It’s a shame the folks down in Tampa have nothing to talk about.

21. Washington Redskins (17)

Is there a chance they’re halfway good?

20. Buffalo Bills (29)

They have all the looks of an 8-8 team.

19. Carolina Panthers (24)

I guess they still know how to run the ball.

18. Dallas Cowboys (12)

Oh hey there, back to earth Tony Romo. We were expecting you.

17. New Orleans Saints (10)

I still think they’ll become the Saints again at some point.

(Rankings 16-1 on Page 2…)

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Bovada improves Ravens Super Bowl odds after Week 1 win

Posted on 13 September 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV). Included below are updated Super Bowl chances, the opening line for the Super Bowl, will the replacement refs still be around in week 6, Victor Cruz drops, Michael Vick turnovers, and much more.

 

“Week 1 turned out to be a pretty decent day for the book despite losing our biggest decision with the Pats covering easily but teams like Washington winning and Cleveland and St. Louis covering busted up a lot of parlays and teasers.  No doubt the Skins have made the biggest impression and even though I was pretty low on them at 65-1 going into Week 1 they are still the biggest move of the week dropping to 35-1 to win the Super Bowl and with New England winning convincingly on the road they remain favorites at 5-1.”

-Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, Bovada.lv

 

Odds to win the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII (teams in blue have shorter odds, teams in red have longer odds and teams that are black stayed the same)

                                                Current            Week 1

New England Patriots                 5/1                    11/2

Houston Texans                         7/1                    9/1

San Francisco 49ers                  7/1                    9/1

Green Bay Packers                    17/2                  13/2

Baltimore Ravens                       11/1                  18/1

Chicago Bears                           12/1                  14/1

Denver Broncos                         12/1                  14/1

Atlanta Falcons                         16/1                  25/1

Philadelphia Eagles                    16/1                  14/1

Dallas Cowboys                         18/1                  22/1

New Orleans Saints                   22/1                  18/1

New York Giants                        25/1                  18/1

Pittsburgh Steelers                    25/1                  22/1

San Diego Chargers                   25/1                  30/1

Detroit Lions                              30/1                  28/1

New York Jets                           33/1                  40/1

Washington Redskins                35/1                  65/1

Seattle Seahawks                      60/1                  50/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers             60/1                  100/1

Carolina Panthers                      66/1                  50/1

Cincinnati Bengals                     75/1                  60/1

Kansas City Chiefs                    75/1                  50/1

Arizona Cardinals                       80/1                  75/1

Buffalo Bills                               100/1                60/1

Oakland Raiders                        100/1                65/1

Tennessee Titans                       125/1                100/1

Indianapolis Colts                       150/1                75/1

Minnesota Vikings                     150/1                200/1

Cleveland Browns                       200/1                150/1

Miami Dolphins                          200/1                100/1

St. Louis Rams                          200/1                150/1

Jacksonville Jaguars                   250/1                200/1

 

Super Bowl XLVII – Early Line     

AFC       -1

NFC      +1

 

Miscelleanous Props

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Will there still be replacements referees Week 6?   

Yes                  -140

No                    EVEN

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Total Points scored by all team Week 2 

Over/Under                    715½

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Will Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz shake hands or hug after the game?     

Yes                  -400     (1/4)

No                    +250     (5/2)

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – San Francisco 49ers – Will the have a turnover Week 2?           

Yes                  -200     (1/2)     

No                    +160     (8/5)

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – San Francisco 49ers – Total Turnovers in the 2012 Regular Season?     

Over/Under                    12½

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Carolina Panthers – Total Rushing Yards Week 2           

Over/Under                    135½

 

Quarterback Props

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Who will be benched first (Non-Injury related)? 

Russell Wilson (SEA)                             4/5

Brandon Weeden (CLE) QB                    5/4       

Ryan Tannehill (MIA) QB                        5/1       

* Must be pulled from a game when losing or not start.     

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Tim Tebow – Total Rushing Attempts Week 2     

Over                              4½ (-130)

Under                            4½ (EVEN)

           

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Michael Vick – Total Interceptions and fumbles lost Week 2      

Over                              ½  (-225, 4/9)

Under                            ½ (+190, 19/10)

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Kevin Kolb – Total Passing Yards Week 2           

Over/Under                    250½

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Kevin Kolb – Total TD Passes Week 2     

Over                              1½ (EVEN)

Under                            1½ (-130)

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Kevin Kolb – Total interceptions Week 2?          

Over                              ½  (-260, 5/13)

Under                            ½ (+200, 2/1)

 

Running Back Props

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Adrian Peterson – Total Rushing Yards in the 2012 Regular Season      

Over/Under                    1000½

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Adrian Peterson – Total Rushing Touchdowns in the 2012 Regular Season       

Over/Under                    10½

 

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Chris Johnson – Total Rushing Yards Week 2     

Over/Under                    62½

 

Wide Receiver Props

WEEK 2 SPECIALS – Victor Cruz – Total Drops Week 2           

Over/Under                    1

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“The Reality Check” Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 12 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s rankings…

32. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 28)

Perhaps it’s time to work on changing snap counts

31. Indianapolis Colts (31)

Andrew Luck didn’t look terrible, though.

30. Cleveland Browns (32)

Pat Shurmur can’t wait too long for math lessons.

29. Buffalo Bills (16)

What a disaster. It can’t be as bad as it looked…can it?

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (26)

Nearly stole a road win. I can vision quite a few close calls this season.

27. Seattle Seahawks (27)

You can’t lose to Kevin Kolb and improve.

26. St. Louis Rams (25)

They got hosed by timeout mismanagement. They’re still lacking targets for Bradford.

25. Oakland Raiders (21)

I think we understand more why guys like Morgan Cox and Nick Sundberg have played through injury.

24. Carolina Panthers (17)

They ARE still capable of running the football, right?

23. Minnesota Vikings (24)

I guess we have our answers about Adrian Peterson…

22. Arizona Cardinals (29)

The.whole.quarterback.thing.

21. Tennessee Titans (20)

The Patriots will make a lot of teams look bad.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (15)

I thought they were better defensively.

19. Cincinnati Bengals (9)

They aren’t this bad. They just got their ass kicked.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22)

It wasn’t an eternity ago that they were a team on the rise.

17. Washington Redskins (30)

I’m not all in yet, but it’s hard to not be impressed.

(Glenn’s rankings 16-1 on Page 2…)

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“The Reality Check” Week 1 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 1 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 05 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings:

32. Cleveland Browns (FINAL 2011 Ranking 29)

Best case: Weeden and Richardson thrive, Browns are at least competitive
Worst case: Folks in Cleveland clamoring to draft new QB to replace soon to be 30 year old

31. Indianapolis Colts (31)

Best case: Luck and Pagano are next Flacco and Harbaugh, Sanchez and Ryan
Worst case: Rookie QB can’t fix everything

30. Washington Redskins (27)

Best case: RG3 plus solid defense equals better than expected
Worst case: Redskins football is still Redskins football

29. Arizona Cardinals (20)

Best case: Skelton or Kolb solidifies QB position, keeps Cards in NFC West race
Worst case: QB’s are so bad David Gerrard comes to Phoenix

28. Miami Dolphins (23)

Best case: Tannehill is real deal, Dolphins are interesting for more than just TV show
Worst case: Cutting Chad Johnson becomes only highlight of Phins’ season

27. Seattle Seahawks (21)

Best case: Russell Wilson as good as advertised, Seahawks are surprise of NFC
Worst case: There was a reason the guy was available in the 3rd round

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (26)

Best case: Gabbert to Blackmon is new Brunell to McCardell
Worst case: No progress from Gabbert, MJD holdout concerns linger into regular season

25. St. Louis Rams (32)

Best case: Bradford legit, Fisher brings credibility
Worst case: Still not enough weapons for Bradford, health issues remain

24. Minnesota Vikings (29)

Best case: Ponder develops, Peterson bounces back, Jared Allen still dominant
Worst case: “Ponder” goes in dictionary with definition “significant NFL Draft reach”

23. New York Jets (19)

Best case: Rex knew something we didn’t about Tebow
Worst case: Somehow Greg McElroy is best option under center

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30)

Best case: Doug Martin solidifies offense, Bucs show signs of two years ago
Worst case: “The Lightning are going to play this season, right?”

21. Oakland Raiders (16)

Best case: Dennis Allen better than we realized, Carson Palmer returns to form
Worst case: Group of talented players does not equal very good team

20. Tennessee Titans (17)

Best case: Jake Locker ready for primetime, Chris Johnson bounces back
Worst case: Jake Locker not ready for primetime, Chris Johnson doesn’t bounce back

19. Dallas Cowboys (15)

Best case: Romo finally silences doubters by finishing games
Worst case: Cowboys exactly like every other season with Romo under center

18. San Diego Chargers (13)

Best case: This is finally the year everyone stops calling for Norv Turner’s head
Worst case: Chargers underperform and Turner stays…again

17. Carolina Panthers (24)

Best case: Cam Newton a legitimate MVP candidate
Worst case: Still not enough defense for it to matter

16. Buffalo Bills (25)

Best case: Healthy Fred Jackson and Mario Williams combine to keep Bills near top of AFC East
Worst case: Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t worth the money

15. Kansas City Chiefs (22)

Best case: Health issues aren’t a factor, KC reminiscent of 2010
Worst case: Matt Cassel just not enough to compete against Manning, Rivers, Palmer in AFC West

14. Philadelphia Eagles (14)

Best case: Michael Vick
Worst case: Koy Detmer?

13. Detroit Lions (9)

Best case: Lions build off of successful 2011
Worst case: Stafford injury questions haven’t gone away

12. Atlanta Falcons (6)

Best case: Falcons become Super Bowl contender we’ve assumed they would be for last 3 years
Worst case: 4th and 1 hangover lingers

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (7)

Best case: They have Ben Roethlisberger. How bad can they be?
Worst case: Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger have a legitimate fist fight before every game

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Maryland F Alyssa Thomas Named First Team All-American

Posted on 27 March 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sophomore Alyssa Thomas of the Maryland women’s basketball team is one of five players named to the Associated Press All-America First Team announced Tuesday.

Thomas, the 2012 ACC Player of the Year, is joined on the First Team by Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne.

Thomas is the Terrapins’ fourth AP All-American. Crystal Langhorne (2006, 2007, 2008),Kristi Toliver (2008, 2009) and Marissa Coleman (2009) all earned the honor at least once in their respective careers. Langhorne was also honored as a sophomore when she was named to the Second Team in 2006.

Thomas leads the ACC in scoring with 17.2 points per game and is among the best in the league with 8.0 rebounds per game, assists (3.2), free throw percentage (80.1) and defensive rebounds (5.5).

Thomas is just the second underclassman ever to be named ACC Player of the Year. She scored a career-high 29 points in the ACC title game to lead Maryland to its 10th league championship. She was named Tournament MVP and is only the seventh player, and first underclassman, to be named league Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.

The Second Team honorees are Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford; Odyssey Sims, Baylor; Shenise Johnson, Miami; Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State; and Julie Wojta of Green Bay. Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes, Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, Tennessee’s Shekinna Stricklen and Miami’s Riquna Williams all made the Third Team.

Behind two comebacks and a 21-4 run to end the game, Maryland rallied past Texas A&M 81-74 on Sunday in the Regional Semifinals. The Terps advanced to their fourth Elite Eight under head coach Brenda Frese.

Laurin Mincy had 21 points and for her career-high 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Terrapins. They trailed by 18 points in the first half and by 12 in the second half, but Maryland fought its way back and held the defending national champion Aggies to just one basket in the final 10 minutes.

The Terrapins had won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since Jan. 26. The Terrapins are 31-18 (.633) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Frese owns an NCAA Tournament record of 20-7 (.741) and 19-6 (.760) at Maryland. Frese has led the Terps to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, four Elite Eights and the 2006 national championship.

-Terps-

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Former Raven, Baltimore Native Foxworth Voted NFLPA President

Posted on 25 March 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXWORTH ELECTED NFLPA PRESIDENT, SMITH RE-ELECTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Hasselbeck, Light, Moore, Watson join NFLPA Executive Committee during annual meeting

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (March 25, 2011) – Domonique Foxworth was nominated and elected without opposition as President of the NFL Players Association today at the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Meeting. DeMaurice Smith was reaffirmed unanimously as Executive Director by the board on March 22.

“One of the most important things I learned from Kevin is about responsibility,” Foxworth, a free agent cornerback, said to the board following his election. “Players like to say, ‘The NFLPA is our organization.’ There is a wealth of experience and talent in this room, and I will reach out to each and every one of you about your interests and passions. If we work as hard as we did during the lockout now in peacetime, we will be the strongest organization in the world.”

Foxworth’s unanimous election to the post follows four years of service on the executive committee. In 2007, he was elected by the Broncos as a Player Representative and was named the Broncos’ Walter Payton Man of the Year. In 2008, he ran and was elected as the youngest Vice President of the NFLPA Executive Committee.

Newly elected to serve on the Executive Committee are Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee Titans), Matt Light (New England Patriots), Brandon Moore (New York Jets) and Ben Watson (Cleveland Browns).

They join current Executive Committee members Charlie Batch (Pittsburgh Steelers), Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Brian Dawkins (Denver Broncos), Scott Fujita (Cleveland Browns), Jeff Saturday (Green Bay Packers) and Brian Waters (New England Patriots) who were re-elected by unanimous affirmation. There are also two chairs for former players on the NFLPA Executive Committee, currently held by Cornelius Bennett and Jim McFarland.

With the 2012 election, Kevin Mawae, Sean Morey, Tony Richardson and Mike Vrabel cycle off the NFLPA Executive Committee.

“We don’t take on roles of leadership in order to pad our stats, build our resumes, or strengthen our positions,” Mawae said as he retired from the post of NFLPA President, a spot he held for four years. “We become leaders so that we can serve others who themselves don’t yet have the wherewithal, the knowledge, or the experience to lead. We don’t coerce, manipulate, or force. We simply serve.”

“It’s been a blessing,” Richardson said. “The biggest thing I’m proud of is taking advantage of every opportunity we were offered, from education to development to benefits, because if I didn’t do it, how could I tell the young guys they should be doing it? Every decision we made was for the betterment of our organization. My only agenda, ever, has been to serve the players.”

“We get a chance to play an amazing game and compete on the highest level, and I feel fortunate to have stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest men in this game,” Morey said. “I appreciate our leadership letting me talk, trusting me, helping me understand the negotiation process and keeping me disciplined and focused.”

Hasselbeck, a Boston College graduate, has been playing in the NFL since 1998 and owns nearly every single-season and career record for quarterbacks with the Seattle Seahawks. The three-time Pro Bowler was first elected to the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives in 2008. Off the field, Hasselbeck is involved with numerous charitable efforts, including raising funds and awareness to help provide clean water to those in need.

Light was first elected as a Player Representative in 2008 and has served continuously since. A graduate of Purdue University, his career in the NFL has consisted of four Pro Bowl selections and three Super Bowl championships. A member of the Patriots’ 50th Anniversary Team, he established the Light Foundation which provides youth with unique outdoor experiences to help them become stronger individuals and better members of their communities.

Moore is an offensive lineman with the New York Jets and graduate of the University of Illinois. He has served as on the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives since 2007 and was a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2011. The Pro Bowl selection created the Moore Family Foundation to provide disadvantaged youth with positive holiday experiences, school supplies and other important needs.

Watson, a tight end for the Cleveland Browns, was first elected as a Player Representative in 2010. The graduate of the University of Georgia was a first round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. A Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots, Watson created a foundation to support charities that provide educational and enrichment opportunities. He is also a spokesperson for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteers for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

The 2012 NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Meeting continues through March 26.

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Broncos SB Odds Improve, Ravens Drop After Start of Free Agency

Posted on 19 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Peyton Manning Odds

Peyton Manning – Total Passing Yards in the 2012 Regular Season? 

Over/Under                    4000    

Peyton Manning – Total TD Passes in the 2012 Regular Season?       

Over/Under                    28½

Peyton Manning – Completion % in the 2012 Regular Season?          

Over/Under                    65%

Peyton Manning – Total Interceptions in the 2012 Regular Season?   

Over/Under                    16½

Peyton Manning – Will his first pass of the season be complete, incomplete, or an Interception?

Complete                      -180     (5/9)

Incomplete                    +150     (3/2)

Interception                   +1000   (10/1)

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 NFL MVP?           

Yes                              7/1       

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 Comeback Player of the Year?   

Yes                              1/1       

Tim Tebow Odds

Tim Tebow – Which team will he be on for Week 1 of the Regular Season?     

Jacksonville Jaguars                  3/2

Denver Broncos                         7/4

Miami Dolphins                          7/4

New England Patriots                 7/1

Cleveland Browns                       12/1

Tim Tebow – Will he start as a QB in the NFL Week 1 of the Regular Season?          

Yes                  EVEN  

No                    -140     

Broncos Odds

Denver Broncos – Regular Season Wins         

Over                              10        

Will the Denver Broncos play against The New York Giants in the 2013 Super Bowl?           

Yes                              50/1     

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC?

Yes                              6/1

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC West?

Yes                              2/3

2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS  (odds current, 3/19/2012)                  (odds on 2/6/2012)

Green Bay Packers                                13/2                                          6/1

New England Patriots                             15/2                                          7/1

New Orleans Saints                               10/1                                          8/1

Denver Broncos                                     12/1                                          50/1

Houston Texans                                     12/1                                          12/1

San Francisco 49ers                              14/1                                          18/1

Baltimore Ravens                                   15/1                                          14/1

Philadelphia Eagles                                15/1                                          12/1

New York Giants                                    16/1                                          15/1

Pittsburgh Steelers                                18/1                                          12/1

Dallas Cowboys                                     20/1                                          18/1

San Diego Chargers                               22/1                                          16/1

Chicago Bears                                       25/1                                          30/1

Detroit Lions                                          25/1                                          18/1

Atlanta Falcons                                     28/1                                          22/1

New York Jets                                       30/1                                          16/1

Carolina Panthers                                  40/1                                          50/1

Cincinnati Bengals                                 40/1                                          40/1

Miami Dolphins                                      40/1                                          35/1

Seattle Seahawks                                  40/1                                          60/1

Arizona Cardinals                                   50/1                                          30/1

Kansas City Chiefs                                50/1                                          50/1

Oakland Raiders                                    50/1                                          50/1

Tennessee Titans                                   50/1                                          40/1

Washington Redskins                            50/1                                          60/1

Buffalo Bills                                           75/1                                          60/1

St. Louis Rams                                      75/1                                          75/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers                         75/1                                          75/1

Indianapolis Colts                                   100/1                                        50/1

Jacksonville Jaguars                               100/1                                        100/1

Minnesota Vikings                                 100/1                                        75/1

Cleveland Browns                                   150/1                                        100/1

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).

“Our Super Bowl odds have been down for a couple weeks until we knew where Peyton would go since this signing would have such a huge impact on every team’s odds.  Denver who we had at 50-1 before we closed the odds have dropped to 12-1 and as I expected the public is taking them regardless as soon as we opened this morning.  We were a bit lucky that Denver came out of nowhere in the Manning Sweepstakes so not too many people bet them at 50-1.”

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

 

 

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Your Monday Reality Check-I Got A Nice Reminder Sunday

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Your Monday Reality Check-I Got A Nice Reminder Sunday

Posted on 19 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

It’s been a tough start to National Football League free agency for Baltimore Ravens fans.

Even for the most realistic fan of the Purple And Black (I’d like to think of myself in that group), it’s impossible to be excited about a six day span that has seen five players (LB Jarret Johnson, DL Cory Redding, G Ben Grubbs, S Tom Zbikowski, S Haruki Nakamura) depart, just one free agent (C Matt Birk) return and no free agents added to the roster.

The realistic Ravens fan knew this could be coming. Between them, the five players share just one Pro Bowl appearance (Grubbs was invited to Hawaii this season as an injury replacement) and all were able to cash in on the open market. The Ravens, having spent significant money during the regular season to extend would-be free agent DT Haloti Ngata decided none were “cornerstone” players and wouldn’t overpay to keep them.

The Ravens are instead working to spend a boatload of money to extend QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice, both players they do believe are “cornerstone” parts of the organization.

The realistic fan also knows the Ravens still have work to do in free agency before the process is finished. It was revealed this week that return specialist (and part time Wide Receiver) Ted Ginn Jr. visited Owings Mills last week. The team could still look to find help along the Offensive Line and at Linebacker as well, and could even add another Safety at some point.

Additionally, the realistic fan is aware that the upcoming NFL Draft is likely to help shape the 2012 season for the defending AFC North champs, with some players (like WR Torrey Smith and DE Pernell McPhee) not likely to fully develop into contributors until after the season has started.

AND the realistic fan knows the 2012 season will also be defined in part by the continued development of young players. Entering the 2011 season, the team’s secondary was considered to be one of the bigger question marks about the roster. Just months later, the CB trio of Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith represents one of the more solid units in football.

Yet even the most realistic Ravens fan still agonizes over the thought “can enough be done to get this team over the hump and into a Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years?”

A reasonable level of concern is understandable at this point. In addition to the pre-existing question marks facing the team (uneven O-Line play, lack of a size receiver, age and injury related decline from defensive playmakers, Special Teams issues), there are additional depth issues created by the first batch of free agent departures.

It’s an uneasy time for Ravens fans.

The majority of Ravens fans have not swayed far from reality in how they’ve viewed Week 1 of the actual NFL offseason. As can be expected, some have gone off the deep end entirely. The reminder I got Sunday could serve as a nice “reality check” itself for fans in both groups. It’s probably something you already know about.

I assume you’ve heard that free agent quarterback Matt Flynn agreed to a three year, $26 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks. As the deal involved only $10 million of guaranteed money, most analysts agreed it was a particularly fair and perhaps very good deal for a team that is trying to improve on a third place finish in the NFC West last season.

I actually think the deal was a great move for the Seahawks. In fact, just days ago during our weekly “Free Advice” segment on “The Reality Check” (weekdays 2-6pm on AM1570 WNST.net for the one of you that doesn’t listen already) I encouraged the Seahawks to pull the trigger on the move. I can only assume my endorsement was the final approval the team needed to get the deal done.

But the facts about Flynn don’t change. The quarterback was believed to have so little pro talent coming out of LSU that he slid to the seventh round of the NFL Draft. While they’ve been impressive, he’s made only two starts with the Green Bay Packers as is still mostly an unknown commodity.

An unknown commodity who has $10 million guaranteed coming his way.

You see, the Seahawks are in a place where they had to make a significant move that could backfire. Matt Flynn might be more Rick Mirer than Matt Hasselbeck in the Emerald City, which could possibly doom Pete Carroll’s tenure.

Yet if the team didn’t pull the trigger, they could face a reality that involves more Tavaris Jackson. That would almost certainly doom Carroll to a sub .500 record until he was dismissed.

The Seahawks had to pull the trigger partly due to desperation. It’s a feeling the Baltimore Ravens have experienced in the past with mixed results. It’s a feeling that Baltimore Ravens fans should enjoy not experiencing this year.

The Ravens haven’t been able to accomplish much during free agency, but they haven’t had to. They’re not a desperate organization seeking a single fix to exit mediocrity. They’re a superior organization merely looking to make a few moves to reach “the next level.”

The Ravens have a quarterback. The Ravens have talented players at other offensive skill positions. The Ravens (still) have one of the best defenses in the league.

Desperation isn’t a word General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh and Owner Steve Bisciotti even have to consider. Neither do Ravens fans.

It’s a significantly better place to be. I appreciated the reminder.

Carry on.

-G

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QB Flynn takes 3-year deal in Seattle

Posted on 18 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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