Tag Archive | "NFL MVP"

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Rob Gronkowski: The most valuable non-QB in the NFL

Posted on 24 July 2014 by Giovanni Insignares

With the news on early Wednesday morning that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was cleared for training camp, a sigh of collective relief poured over Foxboro as fans wondered if the player affectionately known as “Gronk” can stay healthy and finally return to his dominating ways. Since his debut in 2010, Gronkowski has altered the perception of the TE in the NFL. The position is no longer seen as a placeholder for agile blockers or the occasional pass catcher in the slot. TE’s are now arguably the biggest X-factor for offenses. While quarterbacks undoubtedly remain the most impactful position in the league, what is often forgotten amidst the constant arguments over whether or not a particular QB is “elite” is that the supporting pieces surrounding him are what can make or break a championship run, and Rob Gronkowski is making the case for being the most important non-QB in the NFL.

With a combination of size, speed, blocking skills, and hands that cannot be matched, along with a tendency to be the focal point of offensive game plans and defensive coverage schemes, Gronkowski has repeatedly shown that he possesses the most value for his team than any other player in the league that is not a quarterback. Gronkowski owns the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a season (1,327), most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a season (17), and most offensive touchdowns by any player in his first two seasons (28, tied with Randy Moss). Furthermore, the Patriots’ offense has shown to be dynamic and efficient whenever he’s healthy compared to being occasionally sporadic and worrisome when he’s not. The common phrase “too big for a corner and too fast for a linebacker” is perfect for the New England game changer. Not many players can compete with the impact that Gronk has on his team.

 The player most comparable to Gronkowski, though, is New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham, and even he is not as valuable to the Saints as Gronkowski is the Patriots. Since 2010 (the year both players entered the league), Graham has played in 62 games versus Gronk’s 49, while catching 301 passes versus Gronk’s 224. However, despite these advantages, Graham still trails Gronkowski in career touchdown catches (41 to 42) and only leads in career receiving yards by 640 (3,863 to 3,223). The one factor separating these two is that the Saints offense still fires on all cylinders with their vast assortment of weapons and various schemes; New Orleans does not rely on Graham to the same degree that New England does with Gronkowski. The Patriots’ roster, on the other hand, is made up of young and injury-prone players at the skill positions. Danny Amendola still has to prove whether or not he can play a whole season, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have to show that they understand the system going into their second years, and Steven Ridley has to convince the coaching staff and his teammates that he can hold onto the football. This inconsistency among the various skill players on the roster underscores the significance of Gronkowski and further highlights how important he is to the Patriots’ offensive success.

As great as Tom Brady is, New England’s championship hopes rely heavily on the health of Rob Gronkowski. Without him, the Patriots’ offense is stagnant and relatively tame; with him, their offense is capable of a multitude of different dimensions. For example, during the Patriots’ Super Bowl run in 2011, Gronkowski hurt his ankle in the AFC title game against Baltimore and finished with five catches for 87 yards. Leading up to that game, Gronk tallied 10 catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns in a divisional round win against Denver. He served as a nightmare for the defense and was the ultimate game breaker for Tom Brady. However, once the ankle injury against Baltimore occurred, Gronkowski was a non-factor in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants, managing only two catches for 26 yards. Brady and the offense failed to find a consistent rhythm against the Giants in large part because New York did not have to expend much effort in defending Gronkowski, thus leaving them to roam free against everyone else and causing New England to lose another chance at the Lombardi Trophy.

Gronkowski’s impact, though, goes beyond simply catching passes; an underrated aspect of his game is his exceptional blocking skills. At 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, Gronk is a towering figure with quick hands and quick feet, giving him the ability to run block very well, thus presenting the Patriots’ offense with yet another dimension. He is capable is sealing off the edge, providing running backs with lanes to the outside and ultimately allowing the offense to churn out consistent yardage on the ground. As a result, this opens up the play action pass, forcing defenses to constantly remain on their heels and play reactionary football. With defenses going into the game already so focused on slowing down Gronkowski, the possibilities of play action make the Patriots’ offense that much more difficult to defend. Gronk gives New England so much flexibility on offense that they are almost impossible to stop. In the playoffs, the Patriots are 3-2 when Gronkowski plays[1] and 1-2 without him.  

While Gronkowski’s impact cannot be ignored, other players warrant mention in the discussion as well, such as J.J. Watt, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Richard Sherman, and Jamaal Charles. However, unlike Gronkowski, these players do not influence their teams to the same degree. With the NFL’s continued emphasis on the passing game and its persistent focus on mismatches, the value of Rob Gronkowski only soars. In addition, no team in the NFL in the last four years has had their Super Bowl runs more deflated by the loss of a single player than the New England Patriots.

Ultimately, Gronkowski’s impact on the Patriot’s offense and on opposing defenses is undeniable. The common phrase of “being too big for a corner and too fast for a linebacker” is understatement when referring to him. He not only disrupts pass coverages, but significantly impacts the running game with his exceptional skills as a blocker, as well. Without him, Tom Brady and the Patriots are simply a good offense. With him, New England threatens to move the chains and put up points at will. If healthy, Gronkowski’s potential is limitless, and so are the Patriots’ championship hopes. Aside from the QB position, Rob Gronkowski is the most valuable player in the NFL.

[1] 3-1 if you choose not to count the Super Bowl in which his ankle injury clearly affected his play to the point that he was non-existent on the playing field.

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“The Reality Check” 2013 NFL season projections

Posted on 04 September 2013 by WNST Staff

Glenn Clark’s Projections…

AFC East
New England Patriots 9-7 (wins division via tiebreaker)
Miami Dolphins 9-7
New York Jets 3-13
Buffalo Bills 2-14

AFC North
Cincinnati Bengals 12-4
Baltimore Ravens 11-5 (Wild Card 5 seed)
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
Cleveland Browns 5-11

AFC South
Houston Texans 13-3
Indianapolis Colts 11-5 (Wild Card 6 seed)
Tennessee Titans 6-10
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12

AFC West
Denver Broncos 10-6
Kansas City Chiefs 9-7
San Diego Chargers 3-13
Oakland Raiders 2-14

AFC Playoffs
Wild Card: Baltimore Ravens beat New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts beat Denver Broncos
Divisional: Baltimore Ravens beat Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans beat Indianapolis Colts
AFC Championship Game: Houston Texans beat Baltimore Ravens

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Bovada gives Flacco 50/1 odds to win NFL MVP

Posted on 20 August 2013 by WNST Staff

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


2013 NFL MVP – Odds to Win    

Peyton Manning (DEN) QB                    5/1

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                        13/2

Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB                      10/1

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              10/1

Adrian Peterson (MIN) RB                      12/1

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               12/1

Matt Ryan (ATL) QB                               15/1

Robert Griffin III (WAS) QB                    18/1

Russell Wilson (SEA) QB                       18/1

Andrew Luck (IND) QB                           25/1

Calvin Johnson (DET) WR                      25/1

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           25/1

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           33/1

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB                  33/1

Cam Newton (CAR) QB                          33/1

Matthew Stafford (DET) QB                   33/1

Michael Vick (PHI) QB                           33/1

Tony Romo (DAL) QB                            33/1

Matt Schaub (HOU) QB                          40/1

J.J. Watt (HOU) DE                               40/1

Chris Johnson (TEN) RB                        50/1

Joe Flacco (BAL) QB                             50/1

Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB                    50/1

Philip Rivers (SD) QB                            50/1

Jay Cutler (CHI) QB                               66/1

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                66/1

Alfred Morris (WAS) RB                         66/1

Jamaal Charles (KC) RB                         66/1

Matt Forte (CHI) RB                               66/1

Steven Jackson (ATL) RB                      66/1

Doug Martin (TB) RB                             66/1

Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                            75/1

Alex Smith (KC) QB                               75/1

Josh Freeman (TB) QB                          75/1

Sam Bradford (STL) QB                         75/1

A.J. Green (CIN) WR                              100/1

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                     100/1

Brandon Marshall (CHI) WR                    100/1

Reggie Bush (DET) RB                          150/1


Who will record the most Passing Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?      

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              4/1

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                        6/1

Matthew Stafford (DET) QB                   13/2

Peyton Manning (DEN) QB                    7/1

Matt Ryan (ATL) QB                               10/1

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               12/1

Tony Romo (DAL) QB                            15/1

Andrew Luck (IND) QB                           15/1

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           20/1

Jay Cutler (CHI) QB                               28/1

Philip Rivers (SD) QB                            33/1

Matt Schaub (HOU) QB                          33/1

Cam Newton (CAR) QB                          33/1

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB                  33/1

Sam Bradford (STL) QB                         40/1

Carson Palmer (ARI) QB                        40/1

Josh Freeman (TB) QB                          40/1

Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                            40/1

Joe Flacco (BAL) QB                             40/1

Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB                      40/1

Robert Griffin III (WAS) QB                    50/1

Ryan Tannehill (MIA) QB                        50/1

Alex Smith (KC) QB                               50/1

Russell Wilson (SEA) QB                       66/1

Michael Vick (PHI) QB                           66/1

Mark Sanchez (NYJ) QB                        200/1


Who will record the most Rushing Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?      

Adrian Peterson (MIN) RB                      11/4

Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB                    7/1

Doug Martin (TB) RB                             10/1

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           10/1

Alfred Morris (WAS) RB                         12/1

Jamaal Charles (KC) RB                         14/1

C.J. Spiller (BUF) RB                             14/1

Trent Richardson (CLE) RB                    16/1

Chris Johnson (TEN) RB                        18/1

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                18/1

LeSean McCoy (PHI) RB                        20/1

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) RB               20/1

Stevan Ridley (NE) RB                           25/1

Matt Forte (CHI) RB                               28/1

Steven Jackson (ATL) RB                      28/1

Frank Gore (SF) RB                               33/1

DeMarco Murray (DAL) RB                     33/1

Darren McFadden (OAK) RB                  33/1

Reggie Bush (DET) RB                          40/1

Lamar Miller (MIA) RB                            40/1

Montee Ball (DEN) RB                           40/1

Ryan Mathews (SD) RB                         50/1

Rashard Mendenhall (ARI) RB                50/1

Ahmad Bradshaw (IND) RB                    50/1


Who will record the most Receiving Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?    

Calvin Johnson (DET) WR                      11/4

Dez Bryant (DAL) WR                            8/1

A.J. Green (CIN) WR                              9/1

Brandon Marshall (CHI) WR                    9/1

Julio Jones (ATL) WR                            14/1

Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR               14/1

Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR                       18/1

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                     18/1

Roddy White (ATL) WR                          20/1

Randall Cobb (GB) WR                          20/1

Vincent Jackson (TB) WR                      20/1

Victor Cruz (NYG) WR                            20/1

Wes Welker (DEN) WR                          22/1

Danny Amendola (NE) WR                     22/1

Dwayne Bowe (KC) WR                         33/1

Marques Colston (NO) WR                     33/1

Reggie Wayne (IND) WR                        33/1

Steve Smith (CAR) WR                          33/1

Antonio Brown (PIT) WR                        40/1

Hakeem Nicks (NYG) WR                       40/1

Mike Wallace (MIA) WR                          40/1

Eric Decker (DEN) WR                           40/1

DeSean Jackson (PHI) WR                    40/1

Pierre Garcon (WAS) WR                       50/1

Jordy Nelson (GB) WR                          50/1

Kenny Britt (TEN) WR                            50/1

Tavon Austin (STL) WR                          50/1

Miles Austin (DAL) WR                          50/1

Anquan Boldin (SF) WR                         50/1

Jimmy Graham (NO) TE                         50/1

Cecil Shorts (JAC) WR                           66/1

Torrey Smith (BAL) WR                          66/1

Steve Johnson (BUF) WR                      75/1

Greg Jennings (MIN) WR                        100/1


Who will win the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year?        

Tavon Austin (STL) WR                          5/1

Montee Ball (DEN) RB                           11/2

Eddie Lacy (GB) RB                              7/1

EJ Manuel (BUF) QB                             10/1

Geno Smith (NYJ) QB                            10/1

Deandre Hopkins (HOU) WR                  10/1

Le’Veon Bell (PIT) RB                            12/1

Robert Woods (BUF) WR                       14/1

Tyler Eifert (CIN) TE                               14/1

Aaron Dobson (NE) WR                         16/1

Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN) WR              16/1

Justin Hunter (TEN) WR                         20/1

Keenan Allen (SD) WR                           20/1

Denard Robinson (RB) JAC                   25/1

Zach Ertz (PHI) TE                                 25/1

Matt Barkley (PHI) QB                            33/1

Joseph Randle (RB) DAL                       33/1

Mike Gillislee (RB) MIA                          33/1


Who will win the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year?       

Ezekiel Ansah                                       6/1

Arthur Brown                                         15/2

Jarvis Jones                                         8/1

Manti Teo                                              14/1

Star Lotulelei                                         14/1

Tyran Mathieu                                        14/1

Barkevious Mingo                                 16/1

Dee Milliner                                           16/1

Matt Elam                                             16/1

Sharrif Floyd                                         16/1

DJ Hayden                                            18/1

Datone Jones                                       18/1

Dion Jordan                                          18/1

Alec Ogletree                                        20/1

Desmond Trufant                                  20/1

John Jenkins                                         20/1

Kenny Vaccaro                                      20/1

Bjoern Werner                                       25/1

Eric Reid                                               25/1

Jonathan Cyprien                                  25/1

Kevin Minter                                          25/1

Sheldon Richardson                              25/1

Sylvester Williams                                 25/1

Xavier Rhodes                                      25/1

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Bovada gives Rice 25/1 odds to win NFL MVP

Posted on 14 August 2012 by WNST Staff

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


2012 NFL MVP – Odds to Win  

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                         11/2

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               13/2

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              9/1

Michael Vick (PHI) QB                           10/1

Peyton Maninng (IND) QB                       10/1

Matthew Stafford (DET) QB                     12/1

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           15/1

Calvin Johnson (DET) WR                       15/1

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB                   18/1

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           18/1

Cam Newton (CAR) QB                          22/1

Matt Ryan (ATL) QB                               22/1

Tony Romo (DAL) QB                             22/1

Alex Smith (SF) QB                               25/1

Chris Johnson (TEN) RB                         25/1

LeSean McCoy (PHI) RB                        25/1

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                25/1

Jay Cutler (CHI) QB                                30/1

Jimmy Graham (NO) TE                         35/1

Matt Forte (CHI) RB                               40/1

Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE                        40/1

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                      50/1

Andrew Luck (IND) QB                           50/1

Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                            50/1

Jared Allen (MIN) DE                              50/1

Robert Griffin III (WSH) QB                      50/1

Wes Welker (NE) WR                            50/1

Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR                       75/1

Tim Tebow (NYJ) QB                              100/1


2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year – Odds to Win 

Andrew Luck (IND) QB                           5/2

Robert Griffin III (WSH) QB                      9/2

Trent Richardson (CLE) RB                     11/2

Brandon Weeden (CLE) QB                    15/2

Justin Blackmon (JAC) WR                     15/2

Ryan Tannehill (MIA) QB                        10/1

Michael Floyd (ARI) WR                         12/1

Doug Martin (TB) RB                              15/1

Alshon Jeffery (CHI) WR                         20/1

David Wilson (NYG) RB                          25/1

LaMichael James (SF) RB                      25/1

Rueben Randle (NYG) WR                      25/1

Ryan Broyles (DET) WR                         25/1

Coby Fleener (IND) TE                            30/1

Kendall Wright (TEN) WR                       30/1

Stephen Hill (NYJ) WR                           30/1

A.J. Jenkins (SF) WR                             35/1


2012 NFL 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year – Odds to Win

Luke Kuechly (CAR) LB                          4/1

Morris Claiborne (DAL) DB                      6/1

Chandler Jones (NE) DE                         9/1

Melvin Ingram (SD) DE                           10/1

Mark Barron (TB) DB                              10/1

Fletcher Cox (PHI) DT                            10/1

Courtney Upshaw (BAL) LB                    12/1

Dont’a Hightower (NE) LB                       12/1

Dre Kirkpatrick (CIN) DB                         12/1

Harrison Smith (MIN) DB                        12/1

Mychal Kendricks (PHI) LB                     14/1


2012 NFL Regular Season – Who will lead the league in Passing Yards?       

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              9/2

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               5/1

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                         11/2

Matthew Stafford (DET) QB                     13/2

Philip Rivers (SD) QB                             10/1

Peyton Maninng (IND) QB                       10/1

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           12/1

Tony Romo (DAL) QB                             18/1

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB                   18/1

Jay Cutler (CHI) QB                                20/1

Matt Ryan (ATL) QB                               20/1

Matt Schaub (HOU) QB                          20/1

Carson Palmer (CIN) QB                         25/1

Cam Newton (CAR) QB                          25/1

Andrew Luck (IND) QB                           30/1

Michael Vick (PHI) QB                           30/1

Joe Flacco (BAL) QB                             40/1

Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                            40/1

Robert Griffin III (WAS) QB                      50/1

Josh Freeman (TB) QB                           50/1

Sam Bradford (STL) QB                          66/1

Matt Cassel (KC) QB                             66/1


2012 NFL Regular Season – Who will lead the league in Rushing Yards?      

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           9/2

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                13/2

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) RB                15/2

Chris Johnson (TEN) RB                         15/2

LeSean McCoy (PHI) RB                        12/1

Jamaal Charles (KC) RB                         12/1

Darren McFadden (OAK) RB                   14/1

Matt Forte (CHI) RB                               15/1

Marshawn Lynch (BUF) RB                     15/1

Adrian Peterson (MIN) RB                       18/1

Ryan Mathews (SD) RB                          18/1

Michael Turner (ATL) RB                         18/1

DeMarco Murray (DAL) RB                     18/1

Frank Gore (SF) RB                               20/1

Trent Richardson (CLE) RB                     20/1

Steven Jackson (STL) RB                       20/1

Shonn Greene (NYJ) RB                         25/1

Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) RB                   30/1

Fred Jackson (BUF) RB                          35/1

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (CIN) RB               50/1


2012 NFL Regular Season – Who will lead the league in Receiving Yards?   

Calvin Johnson (DET) WR                       7/2

Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR                       15/2

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                      10/1

Julio Jones (WR) ATL                             12/1

Victor Cruz (NYG) WR                           12/1

Hakeem Nicks (NYG) WR                      14/1

A.J. Green (CIN) WR                              15/1

Roddy White (ATL) WR                          15/1

Brandon Marshall (CHI) WR                    15/1

Jimmy Graham (NO) TE                         16/1

Mike Wallace (PIT) WR                          16/1

Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE                        18/1

Wes Welker (NE) WR                            18/1

Greg Jennings (GB) WR                         20/1

Steve Smith (CAR) WR                          20/1

Jordy Nelson (GB) WR                           22/1

Vincent Jackson (TB) WR                       25/1

Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR                28/1

Eric Decker (DEN) WR                           28/1
Miles Austin (DAL) WR                          30/1

Marques Colston (NO) WR                     30/1

Dez Bryant (DAL) WR                            30/1

DeSean Jackson (PHI) WR                     35/1

Randy Moss (SF) WR                            100/1

Terrell Owens (SEA) WR                        100/1

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