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Odds of Ravens Winning Super Bowl Now at 7/1

Posted on 12 January 2012 by WNST Staff

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

2012 NFL Playoffs – Which Conference will win the Super Bowl?      

AFC                  8/5

NFC                  1/2

2012 NFL Playoffs – How many road teams will win this weekend?   

0                      4/1       

1                      6/5

2                      2/1       

3                      10/1     

4                      125/1   

2012 NFL Playoffs – How many road teams will win this weekend?   

Over                  1½ (+160)

Under                1½  (-200)

2012 NFL Playoffs – Will any game go to Overtime this weekend?     

Yes                  3/1       

No                    1/4       

Exact Playoff Results for Each Team

2012 NFL Playoffs – Green Bay Packers Playoff Progress       

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     11/4

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               3/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       3/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        9/5

2012 NFL Playoffs – New England Patriots Playoff Progress    

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     11/2

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               5/2

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       2/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        11/4

2012 NFL Playoffs – San Francisco 49ers Playoff Progress      

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     1/2

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               5/2

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       7/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        13/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Baltimore Ravens Playoff Progress          

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     5/2

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               5/6

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       15/4

Super Bowl Champion                                        7/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – New Orleans Saints Playoff Progress       

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     5/2

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               1/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       11/2

Super Bowl Champion                                        7/2

2012 NFL Playoffs – Houston Texans Playoff Progress            

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     2/7

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               7/2

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       15/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        30/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – New York Giants Playoff Progress            

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     2/7

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               4/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       12/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        14/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Denver Broncos Playoff Progress             

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     1/8

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               7/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       18/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        35/1

Divisonal Playoff Round Stat Leaders

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND – Who will record the most Passing Yards?

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              2/1

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                         5/2

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               9/4

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           5/1

Joe Flacco (BAL) QB                             10/1

Alex Smith (SF) QB                               15/1

Tim Tebow (DEN) QB                             18/1

T.J. Yates (HOU)                                   18/1

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND – Who will record the most Rushing Yards?

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                4/5

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           5/2

Frank Gore (SF) RB                               7/2

Willis McGahee (DEN) RB                      4/1

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND – Who will record the most Receiving Yards?        

Wes Welker (NE) WR                            7/2

Marques Colston (NO) WR                     4/1

Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE                        11/2

Hakeem Nicks (NYG) WR                      11/2

Victor Cruz (NYG) WR                           11/2

Jordy Nelson (GB) WR                           7/1

Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR                7/1

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                      15/2

Anquan Boldin (BAL) WR                       12/1

Michael Crabtree (SF) WR                      15/1

New Orleans at San Francisco

NO                    -3.5

SF                    +3.5

Over/Under      47.5

Passing Yards – Drew Brees (NO)       

Over/Under                    335½

Total TD Passes – Drew Brees (NO)    

Over                              2½  (-175)

Under                            2½ (+145)

Combined Yards in the game – Darren Sproles (NO)  

Over/Under                    175½

Receiving Yards – Marques Colston (NO)        

Over/Under                    82½

Will Jimmy Graham (NO) score a TD in the game?    

Yes                              -150

No                                +120

Passing Yards – Alex Smith (SF)         

Over/Under                    225½

Rushing Yards – Frank Gore (SF)        

Over/Under                    80½

Receiving Yards – Michael Crabtree (SF)       

Over/Under                    62½

Receiving Yards – Vernon Davis (SF)  

Over/Under                    52½

Will the 49ers allow a Rushing TD in the game?        

Yes                              -175

No                                +145

Who will have more turnovers in the game? 

New Orleans Saints                   EVEN

San Francisco 49ers                  -130

Denver at New England

DEN                  +14

NE                     -14

Over/Under      50.5

Passing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)                  

Over/Under                    190½

TD Passes – Tim Tebow (DEN)                        

Over                              1½ (+195)

Under                            1½  (-250)

Interceptions – Tim Tebow (DEN)                    

Over                              ½  (-165)

Under                            ½ (+135)

Rushing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)                  

Over/Under                    45½

Rushing Attempts – Tim Tebow (DEN)             

Over/Under                    9½

Completions – Tim Tebow (DEN)                     

Over/Under                    11½

Will Tim Tebow (DEN) score a rushing TD in the game?                    

Yes                              +135    

No                                -165    

Receiving Yards – Demaryius Thomas (DEN)              

Over/Under                    72½

Passing Yards – Tom Brady (NE)                      

Over/Under                    325½

Total TD Passes – Tom Brady (NE)      

Over                              2½  (-150)

Under                            2½ (+120)

Receiving Yards – Wes Welker (NE)                

Over/Under                    90½

Receiving Yards – Rob Gronkowski (NE)                     

Over/Under                    82½

Will Rob Gronkowski (NE) score a TD in the game?   

Yes                  -165

No                    +135

Receiving Yards – Aaron Hernandez (NE)                   

Over/Under                    60½

Will Josh McDaniels and Tim Tebow hug at the end of the game?    

Yes                              EVEN

No                                -140

Houston at Baltimore

HOU                 +9

BAL                   -9

Over/Under      35.5

Total Passing Yards – T.J. Yates (HOU)           

Over/Under                    200½

(HOU vs BAL) – What will T.J. Yates have more of?    

TD Passes                    2/1

Interceptions                  2/1

Tie                                7/5

Total Rushing Yards – Arian Foster (HOU)       

Over/Under                    75½

Will Arian Foster (HOU) score a TD in the game?       

Yes                              -110     

No                                -110     

Total Receiving Yards – Andre Johnson (HOU)           

Over/Under                    70½

Total Passing Yards – Joe Flacco (BAL)          

Over/Under                    235½

Will Ray Rice (BAL) score a TD in the game?

Yes                  -200    

No                    +160    

Total Receiving Yards – Anquan Boldin (BAL)            

Over/Under                    62½

Total Tackles & Assists – Terrell Suggs (BAL)

Over/Under                    4½

Who will record more Rushing Yards in the game?   

Arian Foster (HOU) RB               +25½               

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                    -25½

Who will record more Receiving Yards in the game?

Arian Foster (HOU) RB               +4½     

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                    -4½

Total Rushing Yards Houston in the game      

Over/Under                                100½

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

NYG                 +9

GB                    -9

Over/Under      53

Total Passing Yards – Eli Manning (NYG)        

Over/Under                    290½

Total TD Passes – Eli Manning (NYG)  

Over                              2  (-150)

Under                            2 (+120)

Total Receiving Yards – Hakeem Nicks (NYG)

Over/Under                    80½

Total Receiving Yards – Victor Cruz (NYG)      

Over/Under                    80½

Total Tackles & Assists – Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG)      

Over/Under                    5½

Total Passing Yards – Aaron Rodgers (GB)     

Over/Under                    310½

Total TD Passes – Aaron Rodgers (GB)           

Over                              2½  (-165)

Under                            2½ (+135)

Total Receiving Yards – Greg Jennings (GB)  

Over/Under                    75½

Will Greg Jennings (GB) score a TD in the game?     

Over                              -110     

Under                            -110     

Total Receiving Yards – Jordy Nelson (GB)     

Over/Under                    70½

Will Jordy Nelson (GB) score a TD in the game?        

Yes                  EVEN

No                    -130

Total Receiving Yards – Jermichael Finley (GB)         

Over/Under                    50½

(NYG vs GB) – Who will record more Rushing Yards in the game?     

New York Giants            -5½

Green Bay Packers        +5½

How many times will Aaron Rodgers be sacked in the game?           

Over/Under                    2½

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Ravens Get Long Odds to Win Super Bowl

Posted on 05 January 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv). Below are wild card team props, exact playoff results for each team, players stats for the four wild card games this weekend, and odds for defensive player of the year. There’s also a quote from Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager Kevin Bradley on the playoffs.

“A few weeks back the New York Giants were up to 100-1 to win the Super Bowl and we could not write a bet on them, but with their resurgence the last few weeks they are the fancy pick going into the playoffs with the bettors at 20-1 and now we even had to drop them to 18-1 because of the volume we are taking on them. They have gone from one of our biggest winners on Super Bowl futures to our biggest loser, so even though I like the way they have been playing especially on D with Pierre-Paul and think they are peaking at right time I could not be more of a Falcons fan this weekend!”-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

Wild Card Team Props
2012 NFL Playoffs – How many Wild Card teams will win this weekend?        Over      1.5        -180    
Under    1.5        +150           

2012 NFL Playoffs – How many Wild Card teams will win this weekend?        0                      10/1
1                      9/5
2                      7/4
3                      4/1
4                      30/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Will a Wild Card team win the Super Bowl?       
Yes                  6/1
No                    1/10

2012 NFL Playoffs – Will a Wild Card team play in the Super Bowl?  
Yes                  +220
No                    -280

Exact Playoff Results For Each Team
2012 NFL Playoffs – Green Bay Packers Playoff Progress       
Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     13/4
Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               3/1
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       3/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        9/5

2012 NFL Playoffs – New England Patriots Playoff Progress    
Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     3/1
Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               2/1
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       2/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        4/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – San Francisco 49ers Playoff Progress      
Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     11/10
Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               6/5
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       10/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        11/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Baltimore Ravens Playoff Progress          
Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     2/1
Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               5/4
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       15/4
Super Bowl Champion                                        15/2

2012 NFL Playoffs – New Orleans Saints Playoff Progress       
Eliminated in NFC Wild Card Round                    9/2
Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     11/4
Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               7/5
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       8/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        9/2

2012 NFL Playoffs – Houston Texans Playoff Progress            
Eliminated in AFC Wild Card Round                    7/5
Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     1/1       
Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               6/1
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       20/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        40/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – New York Giants Playoff Progress            
Eliminated in NFC Wild Card Round                    7/4
Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     5/6
Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               9/1
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       16/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        18/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Denver Broncos Playoff Progress             
Eliminated in AFC Wild Card Round                    1/4
Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     9/2
Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               14/1
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       25/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        50/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Atlanta Falcons Playoff Progress             
Eliminated in NFC Wild Card Round                    5/8
Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     11/4
Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               9/2
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       22/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        35/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Pittsburgh Steelers Playoff Progress        
Eliminated in AFC Wild Card Round                    3/1
Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     6/5
Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               3/1
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       13/2
Super Bowl Champion                                        11/1 2012

NFL Playoffs – Detroit Lions Playoff Progress      
Eliminated in NFC Wild Card Round                    1/6
Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     5/1
Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               16/1     
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       30/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        40/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Cincinnati Bengals Playoff Progress        
Eliminated in AFC Wild Card Round                    2/3
Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     8/5
Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               10/1
Super Bowl Runner Up                                       30/1
Super Bowl Champion                                        65/1

CIN vs. HOU Player Stats
Total Rushing Yards – Cedric Benson (CIN)    
Over./Under                   62½ 

Total Receiving Yards – A.J. Green (CIN)        
Over/Under                    67½ 

Total Rushing Yards – Arian Foster (HOU)       
Over/Under                    105½ 

Who will record more Passing Yards in the game?    
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                -9½     
T.J. Yates (HOU) QB                  +9½      

Who will record more TD Passes in the game?          
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                8/5
T.J. Yates (HOU) QB                  8/5
Tie                                            2/1

Who will record more Interceptions in the game?     
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                3/2
T.J. Yates (HOU ) QB                 7/4
Tie                                            2/1

DET vs. NO Player Stats
Total Passing Yards – Matthew Stafford (DET)            
Over/Under                    300½ 

Total TD Passes – Matthew Stafford (DET)      
Over                              2½ (+135)
Under                            2½  (-165)

Total Interceptions – Matthew Stafford (DET)  
Over                              ½  (-200)
Under                            ½ (+160)           

Total Completions – Matthew Stafford (DET)   
Over/Under                    26½ 

Total Receiving Yards – Calvin Johnson (DET)           
Over/Under                    100½ 

Will Calvin Johnson (DET) score a TD in the game?   
Yes                  -190    
No                    +155     

Will Ndamukong Suh (DET) get a 15 yard penalty in the game?         Over                              2/1                   

Total Passing Yards – Drew Brees (NO)          
Over/Under                    330½ 

Total TD Passes – Drew Brees (NO)    
Over                              2½  (-165)
Under                            2½ (+135)

Total Interceptions – Drew Brees (NO)            
Over                              ½  (-175)
Under                            ½ (+145)

Total Receiving Yards – Marques Colston (NO)           
Over/Under                    80½ 

Total Receiving Yards – Jimmy Graham (NO)
Over/Under                    80½                                    

Will Jimmy Graham (NO) score a TD in the game?    
Yes                  -150    
No                    +120     

Which team will have more time of possession in the game?           
Detroit Lions                  +120
New Orleans Saints       -150

New Orleans 3rd down conversion % in the game     
Over/Under                    50%      

ATL vs. NYG Player Stats
Total Passing Yards – Matt Ryan (ATL)           
Over/Under                    265½            

Total Rushing Yards – Michael Turner (ATL)   
Over/Under                    75½ 

Total Receiving Yards – Roddy White (ATL)   
Over/Under                    77½                                    

Total Receiving Yards – Julio Jones (ATL)      
Over/Under                    70½ 

Total Passing Yards – Eli Manning (NYG)        
Over/Under                    295½ 

Total Receiving Yards – Hakeem Nicks (NYG)
Over/Under                    80½ 

Total Receiving Yards – Victor Cruz (NYG)     
Over/Under                    85½ 

Longest Reception – Victor Cruz (NYG)           
Over/Under                    45.5 Yards        

DEN vs. PIT Player Stats
Total Passing Yards – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)          
Over/Under                    265½            

Total Rushing Yards – Isaac Redman (PIT)     
Over/Under                    79½ 

Total Receiving Yards – Mike Wallace (PIT)   
Over/Under                    70½ 

Total Passing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)         
Over                              150½ 

Total TD Passes – Tim Tebow (DEN)   
Over                              1 (+120)
Under                            1  (-150)

Total Interceptions – Tim Tebow (DEN)           
Over/Under                    1/2 

Total Rushing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)         
Over/Under                    45½ 

Total Rushing Attempts – Tim Tebow (DEN)    
Over/Under                    8½ 

Total Completions – Tim Tebow (DEN)            
Over/Under                    10½ 

Will Tim Tebow (DEN) score a Rushing TD in the game?       
Yes                  +145    
No                    -175     

(PIT vs DEN) Total Offensive Yards allowed by the Steelers    Over/Under                    265½ 

Awards Odds
Who will win NFL Defensive Player of the Year?       
Terrell Suggs (BAL)                    5/6
Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG)             5/4
Jared Allen (MIN)                       5/1
Darrelle Revis (NYJ)                   7/1
DeMarcus Ware (DAL)               7/1
Charles Woodson (GB)               10/1

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I’m done with “HATING” on cities and teams, including Pittsburgh and the Steelers …..

Posted on 24 January 2011 by Rex Snider

Before I begin today’s blog, I would strongly encourage all readers to consider Drew Forrester’s submission, if you haven’t already done so.  In a unique way, I think my blog kinda dovetails on Drew’s message.  You can find his blog HERE

When yesterday’s AFC Championship game kicked off, I tried to develop an angst and spirited contempt for anything related to the Pittsburgh Steelers.  But, I couldn’t do it; not if I was being honest with myself …..

For the last week, I’ve been saying that I was “indifferent” toward this past weekend’s matchups, pitting the AFC and NFC’s standing competitors against each other, and the right to head to Dallas for Super Bowl 45. 

In truth, I was speaking from the heart and mind when I took my original stance.  And, trying to develop or manufacture a sense of “hatred” for any one team would be nothing more than choreographing a false set of feelings.

And, this is why I think today’s message is similarly tied to Drew’s …..

As Drew suggests that Baltimore’s football fans know more about the game than the Ravens management structure probably concedes, the blunt reality is that fans really don’t own a proportionate fraction of the insight and acumen possessed by John Harbaugh and his staff.

This is absolutely, positively GOSPEL.

So, as I read and listen to varying accounts of Baltimore’s football fans selling their HATRED for Pittsburgh and the Steelers, I’m inclined to ask, why?

Why do you HATE Pittsburgh?

Why do you HATE the Steelers?

Just as I think Drew paints a vivid picture of fans overreacting to an abrupt end of a football season, and their desire to see a man lose his job, I think the same representative group of fans overindulge in their passion to see the Ravens beat their divisional rival.

I get it – we want to beat Pittsburgh.  We want to see the Steelers walking off the field as losers in the playoffs.  We want to see the Ravens heading back to the Super Bowl.

But, do we really HATE that community and a team of players?

If you actually subscribe to such a mindset, and feeling of heart and soul, I must question your true comprehension of “HATE” …. or your humanity.

Comments Off on I’m done with “HATING” on cities and teams, including Pittsburgh and the Steelers …..

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons converses with quarterback Joe Flacco  of the Baltimore Ravens after the Falcons 26-21 win at Georgia Dome on November 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Blog & Tackle: NFL one-liners through Week 13

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Chris Pika

The 2010 NFL season has reached the three-quarter mark, and like any good game on Sundays, it’s usually the fourth quarter that decides success or failure.

It’s a chance to take stock of each conference after 13 weeks and 12 games with one-liners on each of the teams. Below are some stats, observations and conjecture as we look ahead to the final four weeks.

First, here is a look at the AFC by divisions. Records are through Week 13:

AFC East

New England Patriots (10-2): Patriots have won last four, including huge win over the Jets to solidfy their claim as AFC’s best team behind conference-best (+110) scoring differential; road to AFC title will go through Gillette Stadium and coach Bill Belichick.

New York Jets (9-3): Despite 3-1 stretch, Jets went from potentially being in line to host AFC title game to very vulnerable after shredding of New York’s vaunted D by the Patriots.

Miami Dolphins (6-6): Dolphins continue to confound with 5-1 road mark, but 1-5 home record — that will be main reason they will not make playoffs as well as offensive woes (-23 point differential).

Buffalo Bills (2-10): Bills finally saw results after 0-8 start with two straight victories, but close loss to Steelers and blowout defeat to Vikings has slowed Buffalo’s progress.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3): Steelers have grabbed choke-hold of AFC North after winning the war in Baltimore last week behind QB Ben Roethlisberger and stout defense; now Pittsburgh could host AFC Divisional Playoff at always-tough Heinz Field.

Baltimore Ravens (8-4): Only home loss of season so far to Steelers was costly as Ravens may have three straight playoff games on the road instead of one or two home games; predicted high-production offense has gone cold at bad times.

Cleveland Browns (5-7): Cleveland continues to be a “tough out” thanks to solid running game behind RB Peyton Hillis; if they get QB (and maybe head coach) situation settled in offseason, could be 2011 team to watch in AFC.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-10): The wheels have completely come off the cart for one of the preseason favorites to win the division — nine-game losing streak may spell the end of the Marvin Lewis era in Cincinnati.

AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5): Jaguars, after 3-1 stretch, find themselves on top in the division, despite worst point differential among all division leaders (-43) — only question is can they hold off slumping Colts?

Indianapolis Colts (6-6): Colts’ injuries have finally taken a toll; forget Peyton Manning for a moment, being in position of having to pass so much has allowed opponents to tee off in crucial situations — but Indy can still catch Jaguars for division title.

Houston Texans (5-7): Lack of strong starts have doomed Texans, 1-5 in their last six games — last chance for Houston (and maybe coach Gary Kubiak’s job) comes with Monday night visit by Ravens in Week 14.

Tennessee Titans (5-7): When you didn’t think anybody else could surpass Minnesota as NFL’s best soap opera, here comes the Titans; normally unflappable coach Jeff Fisher has had to deal with Vince Young, Randy Moss and owner Bud Adams in recent weeks.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4): Chiefs seem to have control of the division after a three-game win streak and perfect 6-0 home mark; can they hold off the Raiders and Chargers over the final four weeks?

Oakland Raiders (6-6): Progress has been slowed by 3-2 mark in last five games, but 4-0 division record could be factor if they get help before Week 17 showdown at traditional rival Chiefs.

San Diego Chargers (6-6): Amazing how one loss changes things after blowout defeat by Raiders last week that stopped four-game win streak; season on the line vs. Chiefs this week.

Denver Broncos (3-9): A three-game losing streak coupled with Spygate-like scandal in London finally cost Josh McDaniels his coaching job; Eric Studesville gets his audition but the supporting cast is not there.

And now for the NFC by divisions:

NFC East

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons converses with quarterback Joe Flacco  of the Baltimore Ravens after the Falcons 26-21 win at Georgia Dome on November 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles (8-4): The Eagles are tied for the division lead, but arguably have the NFC East’s toughest schedule left with two games vs. Dallas and one each against the Giants and Vikings — for what was originally expected to be a transition year, a lot is still on the table.

New York Giants (8-4): Giants are playing as well as any team in NFC right now, but head coach Tom Coughlin’s team must navigate Minnesota, Philadelphia and Green Bay the next three weeks to stay in the division and Wild Card mix.

Washington Redskins (5-7): The Redskins season has become a trainwreck as head coach Mike Shanahan has had to deal with several distractions, including DT Albert Haynesworth’s suspension for conduct detrimental; the Skins defense should be suspended as well, allowing the fifth-most points in the NFC.

Dallas Cowboys (4-8): The Cowboys have gotten off the deck to become a team no one wants to face down the stretch; Dallas could play spoiler in the NFC East and help Jason Garrett remove the interim coaching tag.

NFC North

Chicago Bears (9-3): The Bears have won five straight to hold the division lead by one game thanks to resurgent play by QB Jay Cutler and LB Brian Urlacher; Chicago has murderous final four weeks capped by Week 17 visit to Packers.

Green Bay Packers (8-4): Despite injuries, Packers are firmly in the playoff mix, but key Week 12 loss at Atlanta looms large as well as final three games against New England, Giants and Chicago — win those and Green Bay will have earned its postseason ticket.

Minnesota Vikings (5-7): A change in head coach to well-respected assistant Leslie Frazier has helped the mood in Minnesota, but the final four weeks will be all about Brett Favre’s literal limp to the finish of his career (I think).

Detroit Lions (2-10): Some of the strides made early in the season by the Lions have been erased by the current five-game losing streak; coach Jim Schwartz is still looking for consistent winning formula.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (10-2): The hottest team in the NFC with six straight wins, the Falcons may do something no Atlanta NFL team ever has — host the NFC Championship Game in January; but they have to get through Week 16 Monday Night game vs. Saints.

New Orleans Saints (9-3): The defending Super Bowl champions are playing like it for first time all season with a current five-game win streak as the Saints try to go stride-for-stride with the Falcons; back-to-back road contests at Baltimore and Atlanta in Weeks 15-16 are New Orleans’ key games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5): The air has finally come out of the Buccaneers’ balloon with two straight losses, but Tampa Bay is just one game out of a Wild Card spot with favorable matchups in the next three weeks before Week 17 at Saints.

Carolina Panthers (1-11): The Panthers just want the season to be over, and the housecleaning will begin soon after starting with head coach John Fox; Panthers are a NFC-worst minus-153 in point differential.

NFC West

St. Louis Rams (6-6): The Rams have quietly put themselves in position to make the playoffs out of a weak NFC West, but don’t mistake St. Louis as a weak team — QB Sam Bradford is one of the league’s feel-good stories of 2010, and division could come down to Week 17 tilt at Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks (6-6): The Seahawks are in position to capture the NFC West, but head coach Pete Carroll’s squad still has worst point differential among NFC teams with a winning record (-49); Week 17 vs. St. Louis could be the decider.

San Francisco 49ers (4-8): San Francisco not officially dead in NFC West race, but last gasp could come this Sunday vs. Seattle; if they win, they still have games vs. St. Louis and Arizona — teams they have already beaten in 2010.

Arizona Cardinals (3-9): Cardinals have gone south for the winter as they have lost seven straight and hold NFC’s second-worst point difference (-138), but have three winnable games in final four weeks.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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Anquan Boldin brings in a 27-yard touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns during the 4th quarter at at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on September 26, 2010. Boldin scored three touchdowns in the Ravens 24-17 victory over the Browns. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

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Blog & Tackle: One-liners on the NFL through Week 3

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Chris Pika

Week 4 is the first week that byes take place in the NFL, so this is a great time to take short stock of each of the clubs through three weeks. And by short, I mean one line on each team — some stats, some observations and some conjecture.

First up, the AFC teams by division. Records are through Week 3:

Anquan Boldin brings in a 27-yard touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns during the 4th quarter at at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on September 26, 2010. Boldin scored three touchdowns in the Ravens 24-17 victory over the Browns. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

AFC East

New York Jets (2-1): Despite crippled Revis Island on defense, brash Jets are only team in AFC East with perfect division record (2-0).

New England Patriots (2-1): QB Tom Brady (8 TD, 109.1 passer rating) is back to form as Patriots have AFC’s highest point total (90) and highest TD total (12) so far.

Miami Dolphins (2-1): Even with deep threat WR Brandon Marshall and RB Ronnie Brown, Dolphins have same amount of TDs (5) as Buffalo, Cincinnati and Baltimore.

Buffalo Bills (0-3): Another lost year for Bills, which have scored fourth-least points (47) in AFC and have given up most points (87) on defense in the conference.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0): The question for head coach Mike Tomlin is if the Steelers are 4-0 after a win over Baltimore in Week 4, why change QBs to Ben Roethlisberger?

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1): Bengals, despite record, have struggled on offense as QB Carson Palmer (12th rated AFC passer at 71.3) hasn’t found rhythm with T.O.cho Show.

Baltimore Ravens (2-1): Defense, led by MLB Ray Lewis, continues to carry a team expected to score much more in 2010 (44 points; 2nd-lowest in AFC), despite breakout game by WR Anquan Boldin (3 TDs) last week.

Cleveland Browns (0-3): Browns are led by Peyton … not Manning, but RB Hillis (220 yards, 3 TDs) as Browns gave popular AFC Super Bowl pick Ravens much trouble in Week 3.

AFC South

Houston Texans (2-1): Texans got over the hump of beating the Colts, but Houston is not the best team in state of Texas after bad loss to Cowboys.

Tennessee Titans (2-1): Titans defense has allowed fourth-fewest points in the AFC (42), and the Tennessee offense has RB Chris Johnson (4 TDs), but continuing issues at quarterback.

Indianapolis Colts (2-1): Despite loss to Houston, Colts still have potent passing attack with QB Peyton Manning and are arguably still best club in the AFC.

Jacksonville Jagaurs (1-2): Jaguars have worst scoring differential in AFC (-43), and Jack Del Rio could be the AFC’s first fired coach.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (3-0): Most surprising number for unbeaten Chiefs is that defense has allowed least points in the AFC (38), and in weak AFC West, KC might have enough to win the division.

San Diego Chargers (1-2): Special teams burned for two scores at Seattle, and Chargers QB Philip Rivers (AFC-high 4 INTs) is missing a suddenly resurgent RB LaDainian Tomlinson, now with the Jets.

Denver Broncos (1-2): Broncos getting decent offensive production from QB Kyle Orton, but overall have a minus point differential (-4; 61 PF, 65 PA).

Oakland Raiders (1-2): High-priced K Sebastian Janikowski could have made Raiders a 2-1 team with made kicks at Arizona, but Raiders need more than 3s (4 TDs, tied for lowest in AFC with JAX) to be competitive in up-for-grabs division.

Now for the NFC:

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles (2-1): The Eagles have gone from a transitional season with QB Kevin Kolb to division title hopes with QB Michael Vick, who might be a legit NFL MVP candidate down the road.

Washington Redskins (1-2): Opening victory over Dallas doesn’t look as good after defense was shredded in last two weeks and Cowboys’ struggles.

New York Giants (1-2): A minus-30 scoring differential (55 PF, 85 PA) is third-worst in NFC, and head coach Tom Coughlin is starting to feel the heat.

Dallas Cowboys (1-2): Cowboys avoided 0-3 start in Week 3 with big win over Houston, and Dallas has the personnel to rebound in a wide-open NFC East race.

NFC North

Chicago Bears (3-0): Most unlikely last remaining 3-0 team in NFC gives head coach Lovie Smith some breathing room as O-line tries to keep QB Jay Cutler upright in Mike Martz offensive system.

Green Bay Packers (2-1): Despite mental miscues in Week 3 loss at Chicago, popular Super Bowl XLV NFC pick has plenty of offensive weapons for QB Aaron Rodgers, but need run game to be re-established after Ryan Grant injury.

Minnesota Vikings (1-2): QB Brett Favre looks very old right now, and Vikings best chance to win is to get away from pass-first mindset to get the ball into Adrian Peterson’s hopefully sure hands more often.

Detroit Lions (0-3): Injury to QB Matthew Stafford put dent into head coach Jim Schwartz’s immediate rebuilding plans, and Lions don’t get a break in Week 4 against Packers.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (2-1): Falcons posted most-impressive win of Week 3 as they marched out of New Orleans with a OT win, and Atlanta has NFC best-tying +31 point differential.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1): AFter 2-0 start, Bucs ran into Steelers’ buzzsaw in Week 3, and Tampa Bay is staring at possible 2-3 record with games vs. Cincinnati and New Orleans after bye week.

New Orleans Saints (2-1): Saints run defense was exposed in loss to Falcons, and defending Super Bowl champs need fast starts in order to avoid same fate against strong run teams going forward.

Carolina Panthers (0-3): Winless Panthers have least TDs in NFC (3), and head coach John Fox may be running out of rope with owner Jerry Richardson.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks (2-1): Head coach Pete Carroll sidestepped Southern California mess and he has put Seattle in early position to make headway in weak NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals (2-1): Despite record, Cards have minus-29 point differential (48 PF, 77 PA) and would be 1-2 if Oakland made a field goal or two in Week 3.

St. Louis Rams (1-2): Rookie QB Sam Bradford will have to grow up in a hurry, but the shame is that the Rams can’t play Washington every week.

San Francisco 49ers (0-3): Head coach Mike Singletary used the next-to-last bullet in his gun after firing offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, and the last one might be used by 49ers ownership at end of the season if disappointments continue.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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My Super Bowl Pick .....

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My Super Bowl Pick …..

Posted on 10 September 2010 by Rex Snider

Over the past couple days, I’ve predicted the respective finishes in the AFC/NFC divisions. Today, it’s time to paint my picture of Super Bowl 45. Admittedly, it will be tough to pick against the Ravens making a trip to Dallas, in early February. After all, they’re a consensus favorite among MANY notable sports personalities.

What do predictions yield the Ravens? NOTHING …..

Predictions are quite simply as worthless as the time it takes to express them. But, it’s still fun to forecast the prospective future of the upcoming National Football League season.

As I review my AFC picks, I’m considering the division winners, which include the Dolphins, Ravens, Colts and Chargers. My wildcards are the Patriots and Texans. I foresee the Ravens and Dolphins meeting for the AFC crown and I’ll predict a big hometown win at M&T Bank Stadium on a chilly, overcast January day.

When I look back at my NFC selections, I can choose from the Cowboys, Packers, Saints and 49ers, as division champs. The wildcards are the Falcons and Vikings. While it will be an exciting season in the NFC, I’m picking the Saints to represent their conference, once again. I believe they’ll hand the 49ers a pretty sound beating on the same field where the 2010 season began, last night.

So, my prediction for Super Bowl 45 is …..
.

.
And, my pick?

Ravens 27

Saints 20

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NFC Predictions ....

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NFC Predictions ….

Posted on 09 September 2010 by Rex Snider

Yesterday, I dished out my AFC picks along with bragging about the talent compromising the 2010 Baltimore Ravens. Today, I’m issuing my NFC predictions.

Here ya go ….

NFC EAST
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1) Dallas Cowboys (11-5) – Trust me, I hate to pick the Cowboys to win ANYTHING. Year after year, they’re showered with preseason accolades. Yet, they’ve won a total of ONE postseason game in the last 14 years. I think the Cowboys and Eagles are fairly comparable in the NFC-East. However, based on strength of schedule, the Cowboys are being dealt a “gimme” win against the Cardinals toward season’s end.

I still think they’ll be the same old Cowboys we’ve expected in recent history; they’ll bow out early in the playoffs. And, I’ll guarantee Tony Romo has something to do with it.

2) Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

3) Washington Redskins (7-9)

4) New York Giants (7-9)
.

NFC NORTH
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1) Green Bay Packers (12-4) – Honestly, is anyone picking against this Packers offense? While Aaron Rodgers is being touted as the prospective MVP, another breakout star is in the making in Wisconsin. Remember the name JERMICHAEL FINLEY. While he lines up at the tight end position, he possesses phenominal wideout speed and agility.

How good is Finley? Well, he led a formidable Packers corps in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in the second half of the 2009 season. I’ll bet Brett Favre wishes he had such talent in Minnesota.

2) Minnesota Vikings (10-6)

3) Detroit Lions (7-9)

4) Chicago Bears (5-11)
.

NFC SOUTH
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1) New Orleans Saints (12-4) – I think they might be better than last year’s SUPER version. Why? Well, I can envision Drew Brees’ crew of receivers developing with experience. Specifically, I look for Robert Meachem to take a step forward and potentially become the Saints top wideout. Combined with a steady Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and the Heisman-less Reggie Bush, I’m predicting very busy Sundays for opposing secondaries.

2) Atlanta Falcons (10-6)

3) Carolina Panthers (9-7)

4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)
.

NFC WEST
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1) San Francisco 49ers (10-6) – Who could’ve imagined the 49ers would return to being such a prominent favorite, especially since they haven’t enjoyed a winning season since the Jeff Garcia era, 8 years ago? Of course, Mike Singletary’s team is aided by the departures of Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner, in Arizona.

The 49ers are not an offensive juggernaut. But, they’re rightfully expected to pummel opposing offensive units. And, the ringleader of the 49er’s attack is the Ray Lewis of the west coast, Patrick Willis. Expect a lot of low scoring victories. Sound familiar Ravens fans?

2) St. Louis Rams (7-9)

3) Arizona Cardinals (6-10)

4) Seattle Seahawks (4-12)

Well, that’s my look at the NFC. Tomorrrow, I’ll break down the playoffs and predict the Super Bowl winner. A reminder …. Brian Billick will be joining me at 2:30pm today. And, you can also find me in Thyrl Nelson’s FANTASY FLAVOR chat tonight @ 8pm !!!!

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2010 NFL Forecast: Will the Ravens raise the Lombardi Trophy?

Posted on 08 September 2010 by Luke Jones

With the beginning of the 2010 NFL season only hours away, expectations have never been higher in Baltimore as the Ravens have their eyes fixed on their first Super Bowl title since the 2000 season.

Questions remain in the secondary and whether Joe Flacco can reach elite status with an abundance of new weapons in the Baltimore offense, but contenders and pretenders alike face some level of uncertainty on the eve of Week 1.

Easy schedules — and the unsophisticated attempts to predict a team’s fate week by week — in early September frequently transform into daunting slates in the unpredictable nature of the NFL. An injury to a key performer at the wrong position can derail even the strongest teams’ championship aspirations.

Inevitably, a sexy preseason contender or two will collapse under fatal flaws, and an anonymous outfit that no one is even pondering as a victor will find itself playing long into January.

We just never can tell.

And with that digression, I toss my hat into the futile, but enjoyable, pool of forecasting the 2010 season. If nothing else, predictions offer damning proof that most of us (all of us?) really don’t know what we’re talking about when the dust settles in early February.

AFC East
New England – The Jets will continue to steal the headlines, but the Patriots will happily take the division title.
New York – Rex Ryan speaks loudly and carries a big stick, but Mark Sanchez is not ready for the big stage yet.
Miami – No one is happier about Brandon Marshall’s arrival in South Beach than Chad Henne.
Buffalo – Did Chan Gailey really get another head coaching gig in the NFL?

AFC North
Baltimore – Can Joe Flacco keep three former Pro Bowl receivers happy in a potentially explosive passing game?
Cincinnati* – Coordinator Mike Zimmer and the defense will prove their No. 4 ranking in 2009 was no fluke.
Pittsburgh – An aging defense and a shaky offensive line will not be able to overcome Ben Roethlisberger’s four-game suspension and ensuing rust.
Cleveland – It’s rarely a good thing when all people want to talk about is the new front office.

AFC South
Indianapolis – Would the NFL have tweaked the umpire’s positioning if Peyton Manning had not been the one to complain the loudest?
Houston* – After being the chic pick for a couple seasons, Gary Kubiak and the Texans finally crack the postseason.
Tennessee – Does Chris Johnson hold up long enough to touch the ball over 400 times again?
Jacksonville – Three straight losing seasons could spell the end of Jack Del Rio’s eight-year stay with the Jaguars.

AFC West
San Diego – Ryan Mathews won’t make Chargers fans forget LaDainian Tomlinson, but the rookie back is poised for a dynamic rookie campaign.
Oakland – Picking the Raiders any place other than last seems foreign, but Tom Cable has some semblance of a football team if Al Davis doesn’t meddle too much. Good luck with that.
Denver – Kyle Orton is serviceable but not enough to make a difference in the Broncos’ fate.
Kansas City – Safety Eric Berry is a future star and one of several young players giving the Chiefs hope for the future.

NFC East
Dallas – No Cowboys coach has lasted longer than four seasons since Jimmy Johnson (1989-93), so Wade Phillips (entering his fourth year) needs a big season in Big D.
New York – The Giants’ Steve Smith (107 receptions in 2009) has officially turned the Carolina wideout into the “other” one.
Philadelphia – Kevin Kolb will seal Andy Reid’s fate as a genius or mark the beginning of the end for the coach in Philadelphia.
Washington – Donovan McNabb will limp through a hapless season without enough talent surrounding him.

NFC North
Green Bay – This might be the year that Aaron Rodgers exorcises the ghost of Favre by bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown.
Minnesota* – The absence of Sidney Rice will hurt more than Brett Favre’s ankle, taking the Vikings down a small notch.
Chicago – A fortune was spent for Jay Cutler a year ago and Julius Peppers this offseason, but a small return this season will mark the end for Lovie Smith.
Detroit – Rookies Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best give Lions fans two reasons to be excited for the future.

NFC South
New Orleans – Drew Brees might be the one quarterback in the league you wouldn’t grow tired of seeing in the Super Bowl.
Atlanta* – Though he took a step back in his sophomore year, far too many people are overlooking Matt Ryan and the Falcons this season.
Carolina – Whether the Panthers surprise or wilt with Matt Moore at the helm, it looks like this is the final act in Charlotte for John Fox, whose contract expires after the season.
Tampa Bay – At least they have those “creamsicle” throwbacks to look forward to at some point this season, right?

NFC West
San Francisco – Alex Smith is no Joe Montana or Steve Young — or even Jeff Garcia — but the 49ers are the strongest team in a pedestrian division.
Arizona – Cardinals fans wish Kurt Warner would be more like Brett Favre in his retirement practices.
Seattle – As if his first two go-rounds in the NFL weren’t bad enough, the shadow of the sanctions at USC makes Pete Carroll an easy guy to root against.
St. Louis – Sam Bradford has 50 million reasons to smile while he takes a beating in his rookie season.

* = Wild-card berth

Wild-Card Round
New England over Cincinnati
Houston over San Diego
Minnesota over San Francisco
Atlanta over Dallas

Divisional Round
Indianapolis over Houston
Baltimore over New England
New Orleans over Atlanta
Green Bay over Minnesota

AFC Championship
Baltimore over Indianapolis

NFC Championship
Green Bay over New Orleans

Super Bowl XLV
Baltimore over Green Bay

MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson
Defensive Player of the Year: Patrick Willis
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ryan Mathews
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ndamukong Suh
Coach of the Year: John Harbaugh

The exhilarating journey begins Thursday night.

Enjoy the ride.

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My NFL Predictions ....

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My NFL Predictions ….

Posted on 08 September 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, we’ve finally reached that point, right? The National Football League kicks off its season tomorrow night. So, the training camp perspectives can now be translated into your outlook for the AFC, NFC and ultimately, the Super Bowl winner.

It’s easy to sit back and forecast the Ravens to hoist the Lombardi Trophy into the Dallas night, on February 6th. That’s what our hearts say – regardless, of whatever cautionary measures our minds consider. You wanna pick the Ravens, because it feels good to do so …..

Of course, choosing Joe Flacco and company is a logical consideration, as well. This team identified vulnerabilities during the offseason, and they did their best to address current injury-related weaknesses over the past month. Overall, it appears to be a very stellar squad.

This Ravens team is much more lethal on the offensive side of the ball, specifically in the passing game. And, the defense appears to be primed for another strong campaign, even when considering the woes in the secondary. As for special teams play, management chose the leg that boots the ball deeper on kickoffs, and that makes me happy.

Am I picking the Ravens? You’re damned right I’m picking them. I’m rewarding my heart and my mind. And, like I said, it’s a logical proposition. As for my overall views, I’ll spend the next few days dishing on them. Today, I’m providing my picks for the AFC:

AFC EAST
.

.
1) Miami Dolphins (11-5) – I’ve just got a feeling this team finally reaches its potential. Much of the hope will rest upon Ronnie Brown’s health and I’m suspecting he’ll finally stay on his feet for an entire season. Combined with Ricky Williams in the backfield and the addition of Brandon Marshall in the passing game, I think the Dolphins realize that next step.

If you recall, they were that one team NOBODY wanted to play for a substantial stretch of the 2009 season. That said, they started the season poorly and seemed to be climbing uphill through December. This year, it’s a different story. They’ll finish 11-5 and win the AFC East.

2) New England Patriots (10-6)

3) New York Jets (10-6)

4) Buffalo Bills (3-13)
.

AFC NORTH
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1) Baltimore Ravens (12-4) – Yeah, I’m drinking the purple kool-aid and it’s for good reason; they’re a solid freakin’ team. When I attended the Ravens ’09 season ending press conference, during the first week of February, I distinctly recall Steve Bisciotti’s words. He said the organization was committed to building around Joe Flacco, and he obviously wasn’t kidding.

Here we stand a mere seven months later and Ozzie Newsome has added receivers Anquan Boldin, Donte’ Stallworth and TJ Houshmandzadeh, as well as rookie tight ends Ed Dickson and Vince Pitta as legitimate options for Flacco’s arm. The defense, while still primarily intact will continue to play at a level Ray Lewis demands of himself. They’ll be fine and this will be a very enjoyable season.

2) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

3) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)

4) Cleveland Browns (5-11)
.

AFC SOUTH
.

.
1) Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – I would like nothing more than to predict doom and gloom for the Colts. But, they’ve still got a superior passing game with Peyton Manning continuing to make good receivers look great. This will be the season of a new favorite target for Manning, as Pierre Garcon will supplant Reggie Wayne as his favorite deep target.

I realize everyone is smitten with the Houston Texans passing game, as well. But, Matt Schaub and his stable of receiving targets will not be enough to overtake the Colts.

2) Houston Texans (10-6)

3) Tennessee Titans (10-6)

4) Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
.

AFC WEST
.

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1) San Diego Chargers (11-5) – Not a hard decision, huh? The Chargers, minus Vince Jackson and LaDanian Tomlinson are fairly intact as the unit that dominated the AFC WEST, last season. I think rookie Ryan Matthews is an upgrade over LT and the recently acquired Patrick Crayton should provide some support to the receiving corps.

Philip Rivers is really coming into his own as an elite NFL quarterback and in a similar fashion to Peyton Manning, his arm and intellect will make his targets look better than they would in a lesser system.

2) Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)

3) Oakland Raiders (7-9)

4) Denver Broncos (6-10)

Well, this is how I see the AFC shaping up. Tomorrow, I’ll give my predictions for the NFC and on Friday, I’ll post my postseason scenarios for both conferences, as well as pick my Super Bowl winner.

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NFL 2009 Forecast

Posted on 12 September 2009 by Luke Jones

Alright, I’m a couple days late, so I guess I lose points much like a high school kid turning in a research paper two days late.  What can I say? I’m a procrastinator.

I had to take out my fearless prediction of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu going down with an injury on Opening Night, because no one would believe me.  Trust me, it was there. I’ve also included a random thought for each team, some of them serious and others not so serious.

AFC East:
1. New England – The Belichick kool-aid tastes like rancid milk, but I’m still drinking it.
2. Miami – Anyone else surprised at the lack of attention the biggest story of 2008 is receiving?
3. New York Jets – Rex Ryan is either a perfect fit for the Big Apple or a disaster waiting to happen.
4. Buffalo – T.O. will be looking for a payday after the season, so he’ll behave himself…and hate it.

AFC North
1. Baltimore – Ray Rice will be one of the breakout players of 2009, but Willis McGahee will also contribute.
*2. Pittsburgh – Ben Roethlisberger looks terrible early in the game but makes his money in the fourth quarter.
3. Cincinnati – A healthy Carson Palmer and an underrated defense makes this a dangerous team.
4. Cleveland – Anyone else get the feeling Eric Mangini will be Chris Palmer IV?

AFC South
1. Indianapolis – Dungy will be missed, but Peyton has always run the show.
*2. Tennessee – Can Kerry Collins keep it all together for another great season?
3. Houston – The sexy surprise pick by many prognosticators, but I don’t see it.
4. Jacksonville – No sellouts in 2009? A fine choice for NFL expansion over Baltimore and St. Louis in 1993.

AFC West
1. San Diego – This team is too talented to do anything but succeed, but we’re talking about Norv Turner.
2. Kansas City – Matt Cassel will find things don’t come as easily without the New England personnel around him.
3. Denver – Has a head coach ever needed less time to turn his team upside-down?
4. Oakland – I didn’t know the Orioles played football!

NFC East
1. Philadelphia – What happens if McNabb goes down and Vick lights it up in the City of Brotherly Love?
*2. New York Giants – Regardless of what they say, this team will still miss Plaxico Burress.
3. Dallas – You think T.O.’s bloated ego would have hit the new video board too?
4. Washington – Another sterling year in the NFC East for the burgundy and gold.

NFC North
1. Green Bay – Aaron Rodgers will make Packers fans happy that Favre is no longer the quarterback.
2. Chicago – Lovie Smith needs to have a big season after the Bears’ surrendered two first-round picks for the franchise quarterback.
3. Minnesota – “I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not physically or mentally 100%.” Aren’t you glad he’s finally on your side, Vikings fans?
4. Detroit – Jim Schwartz is a great choice to rebuild this team, but asking for more than 3 or 4 wins would be a stretch.

NFC South
1. Atlanta – How good can Matt Ryan be in this league?
*2. New Orleans – Drew Brees is too good to find himself out of the postseason again, right?
3. Carolina – I’m no longer a believer in Jake Delhomme…or the defense.
4. Tampa Bay – With Derrick Brooks and company gone, it’s tough to recognize this team anymore.

NFC West
1. Arizona – Will the Cardinals avoid the Super Bowl loser jinx? They will in this division.
2. San Francisco – It’s great seeing Vernon Davis back in the good graces of the head coach, but now he’s a captain?
3. Seattle – I know Matt Hasselbeck is healthy, but does anyone really like Jim Mora as a head coach?
4. St. Louis – It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the original “Greatest Show on Turf.” It feels even longer for Rams fans.

* = Wild Card

Wild Card Round:
Pittsburgh over Indianapolis
San Diego over Tennessee
Atlanta over New Orleans
NY Giants over Arizona

Divisional Round:
Baltimore over Pittsburgh
New England over San Diego
Atlanta over Philadelphia
Green Bay over NY Giants

AFC Championship:
New England over Baltimore

NFC Championship:
Green Bay over Atlanta

Super Bowl XLIV:
New England over Green Bay

MVP: Tom Brady
Defensive Player of the Year: DeMarcus Ware
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Knowshon Moreno
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Brian Orakpo
Coach of the Year: Andy Reid

Check back in January—or even four weeks from now—for a great laugh.

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