- NFL Wild Card playoffs
Saturday, January 7th, 2012
Two teams without a lot of recent sucess kicked off the 2011-12 NFL playoffs.
The pick-6 at the end of the first half of Andy Dalton may not have been the deciding points, but it turned everything the Texans’ way for the second half. I liked the Bengals by a hair coming in, but didn’t have a strong opinion either way.
It’s a shame the Texans, for a long while they next year’s team, couldn’t stay healthy in their first run to the playoffs. Also interesting in that offense was the calling card for most of those “almost” years but defense has carried the day when they finally were able to taste success.
Good coaching by Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips and an injury to Peyton Manning opened the door and the Texans ran through it.
The Texans will play at Baltimore next week. It’s easy to see things going wrong to T.J. Yates up there, but it should be a tight game. The Ravens were my preseason Super Bowl pick from the AFC, but their offense isn’t so trustworthy, either.
Never fell in love with the Texans the way I liked the Oilers of Earl Campbell and later Warren Moon as a youngster, but go Texans!
Two teams I’m rooting against will square off soon as the Lions play the Saints. Nothing against the Saints, I think they may be better than their Super Bowl team, but they were chasing hard after the 49ers for the No. 2 slot so I’ve been rooting against them most of the year.
I’m bracing for the offensively-challenged 49ers to take on the sometimes defensively-challanged Saints next week.
The Lions were an easy team to make fun of. Couldn’t stop by their game on Sunday Ticket for five minutes without seeing a dumb penalty. Their coach is a hothead. The team follows suit. They waste timeouts and challenges out of anger. They’re ready to fight over a handshake.
And they’ve got the best wide receiver on the planet. Watching Calvin Johnson makes me want to warm up my arm and throw a football again.
But I like watching Drew Brees compete. Him against the 49ers sounds like great fun. So bring on the Saints.
The Sunday game of Falcons and Giants may be the best of the weekend, but I’m not too fired up about it. Kind of blah teams.
The game that may end up boring us will be Steelers at Broncos, but I’m much more intrigued. We think Tim Tebow has hit the wall and will never again complete an important pass, but then there’s that part of you that wonders if this is all a setup. He’s been trampled on for three weeks, especially the last two. Reports are that Brady Quinn has a package of plays ready. Nobody believes in him once again, just like two months ago.
So does Tebowing make a return. Can the magic happen against a very beaten up Super Bowl loser from a year ago. Super losers don’t always have the best of luck the following year and I’m really surprised that the Steelers managed to go 12-4. I’d have thought 10-6 was more realistic.
The Broncos aren’t every good whether or not they pull off the upset of the Wild Card weekend as Seattle did as a big home underdog last January.Share
- Just as I was buying the Bears
Monday, November 21st, 2011
I was beginning to buy the Chicago Bears as one of the best five teams in the NFL. Good defense, great special teams and enough offense with Matt Forte having a great year and yes, Jay Cutler, making some big throws.
I, like most, had underestimated the Bears coming into the year. I looked right past their trip to the NFC Championship game last year.
I was looking forward to the Bears taking on some of the NFC’s best and had them as a playoff team.
They can still get there, but it’s back to the unknown and the unexpected without Jay Cutler at quarterback.
My NFC super six is Packers; 49ers; Cowboys; Saints; Bears; Falcons. (Good win for the Lions and Matthew Stafford, but it was the Panthers and not ready to make them a playoff team yet).Share
- Worth a second look
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
The NFL Sunday Ticket gives a fan a chance to watch his/her team every single week and for me that’s the 49ers.
But it also gives me a chance to watch portions of games of any team around the league. So besides watching the Cowboys and 49ers every week, I decide what games to try and keep tabs on. It’s enough to wear out the remote.
There’s always a surprise team that ends up being worth watching and other teams you expected to enjoy watching that you decide it’s not worth stopping very often.
3 that have been more fun to watch than I thought:
No. 1 — The Bengals. There was an obvious draw to see how TCU’s Andy Dalton did. Rookie A.J. Green is exciting an on my fantasy team. Bernard Scott is from the Wichita Falls area. Former Cowboys assistant Mike Zimmer does a good job with the Cincy defense. Actually the most boring Cincy game was against the 49ers and I still had to watch about every second.
No. 2 — The Bills. They were as exciting as any team early on with comeback wins over the Raiders and Patriots. Hopefully they can pick it back up. I always check on them because of David Nelson of WF. But Arlington’s Fred Jackson is fun to watch, too. I’ve always liked Chan Gailey from working with him at Cowboys’ camp in WF. But the last few weeks have been ugly as the league is figuring out Ryan Fitzpatrick. Maybe Chan can figure something out.
No. 3 The Panthers/Broncos. The first few weeks curiousity made me switch to a Panthers game to see if Cam Newton had the ball. What a rookie! His team isn’t so good and they’ve faltered a bit. Tim Tebow, crushed for being grounded both spiritually and as a quarterback, is must-see TV at least for portions of the game. Also interesting to see a team try to run that much in today’s NFL. Kind of like when the Dolphins first sprung Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat on the league a couple years ago.
3 I don’t like viewing as much as last year
No. 1 — Kansas City. Love LB Derrick Johnson of Texas. Love their speedy corners and return guys. Absolutely loved speedy RB Jamal Charles, also my fantasy workhorse, until he was injured avoiding the down marker and cheerleaders in September. The Chiefs were presentable against San Diego on Monday Night Football, but mostly they’ve been downright ugly. Can’t watch and they’re my favorite AFC franchise.
2. Browns. Watched them a year ago mainly because of Colt McCoy and enjoyed the work of Josh Cribbs and Peyton Hillis. Now it’s just a couple exciting plays by Cribbs and a ton of check-downs and scrambles by McCoy. I’m not sure what Colt’s NFL ceiling is now and I don’t think he’s got much to work with, but it’s not watchable right now. Not if you’ve got 6-9 more games to choose from.
3. Titans. I guess he’s coming around now, but Chris Johnson’s lack of energy and big runs for the first couple months almost made me put a block on the Titans’ channel. With too many intriguing games last week I didn’t even make an appearance on Titans over Panthers. Neither did the September version of Cam. Also miss Jeff Fisher.
So where are the Eagles? That trainwreck is always worth a look. Even interested to see how Vince Young looks. Would love to see a 90-yard rushing day with two TDs and another two through the air as they beat the Giants. Probably won’t happen, but it’d be good TV.Share
- Can I believe in the Bills? Not yet
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
The most entertaining game of Week 3 on the Sunday Ticket was Patriots vs. Bills. The Bills were the team to cheer for in my house with their underdog status, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s presence on my fantasy team and because David Nelson plays for the Bills.
But I’m still not sure how much to trust them when I rank the top teams in the AFC and NFC.
I didn’t write about NFL for my weekly column in print so I’m posting some random thoughts and my rankings here.
The team Id have to bump out of my projected playoffs in the AFC to make room for the Bills has to be the Steelers or Jets. And I like the Raiders more than I do the Bills because of their division and front four on defense. So through three games I’m leaving the Bills out.
Yes, the Bills rallied past the Raiders at home last week. But I still think of the Pats and Raiders as slightly better than the Bills.
My AFC top six is Ravens (2-1), my preseason Super Bowl pick has two good outings and a clunker; Texans (2-1); Patriots (2-1); Raiders (2-1); Chargers (2-1, ugly win over Chiefs); Jets (2-1).
This leaves out both the Bills and the Steelers (2-1).Share
- Shouldn’t Steelers be favored
Thursday, January 27th, 2011
The guys in Vegas know a lot more than any of us about the NFL, but I’m still surprised that Green Bay is the betting favorite. A month ago you could bet the Super Bowl and you had to give 4 or 5 points if you wanted to take the AFC. Now you get the No. 2 seed from the AFC playing the No. 6 from the NFC and you get 2 1/2 or 3 points with the battle-tested Steelers.
Aaron Rodgers is the hotter QB. Green Bay has a good defense.
But with Pitt you get a good big-game QB, a good defense and a solid running game.
I’ll be rooting for the Packers, but right now I think I’ll be picking the Steelers.Share
- Cowboys at half: Does this feel like 1983?
Sunday, September 12th, 2010
On a Monday night game in 1983, Danny White rallied the Cowboys from a 23-3 deficit to a 31-10 victory.
Makes Romo’s task seem pretty easy if the Cowboys get in gear.
For a half, my Redskins pick is looking good tonight. But I have a feeling Dallas has a charge coming. Should be interesting. The post-game shows in Dallas are priceless after losses. Kind of like they are in Norman, Okla.
Jason Garrett has 30 minutes to save himself a talk-show beating.Share
- NFL Sunday Ticket: Week 1
Sunday, September 12th, 2010
Some brief thoughts on the opening Sunday of the NFL. Defenses were ahead of the offenses in some respects I thought. And games I thought would be really good — weren’t — and some I thought would be clunkers were pretty entertaining or at least competitive.
Lions-Bears: I didn’t think I’d stop long on this channel, but two of my guests had fantasy players in the game and then the game had lots of drama. First, I hate the rule where you have to take the ball to your grave with you to make a catch in the end zone. If it’d be judged a catch at midfield, it should be a catch in the end zone. If Calvin Johnson had caught that ball at the 3 and reached for the end zone, he’d have been given a TD. Meaning, he caught the ball. If he’d caught it at midfield, they’d have called it a fumble. Meaning, he caught the ball. They need to change the wording of the rule.
2, for as little as first stringers play in the meaningless preseason, you would think the backups would be sharp. But Detroit had no plan at all for backup Shaun Hill. Until their last gasp chance, I don’t even think they had a first down in the second half.
3, Chicago had some strategy issues and turnover issues of its own and was very lucky to win. They have enough talent to win 8-10 games, maybe this break will help them.
1, Chris Johnson is awesome, at least till injuries do him in. Very fun to watch.
2, Raiders are still the Raiders.Share