NFL Week 17 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

December 31, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 17 in the National Football League!

– Tampa Bay closes out the 2012 regular season with a nice win against a not-so-competitive Atlanta Falcons team in Week 17. I’ve said it all season long and it’s only fitting that I say it again, Tampa is a good team and one that people should look out for in 2013. Really like what they accomplished this season, would’ve loved to seen them compete for a playoff spot in the final weeks.

- Not the way Atlanta wanted to end the regular season I’m sure but now they can look towards the playoffs and hope that the defensive injuries they suffered on Sunday aren’t that bad. Not sure what to think of this Falcons team heading into the playoffs but I’ll tell you this much, they don’t look like a #1 seed team.

– Buffalo has the right pieces as we saw in their win against the Jets in Week 17 but they need to fix some of their weaknesses (quarterback & head coach) before they can be competitive in the AFC East next season. Tough year for a team many people liked as a “sneaky pick” in the AFC.

– Perfect way to end the Jets regular season and if you thought their regular season was a circus act, wait till the offseason takes place. I believe it was Terrell Owens who once said: “get your popcorn ready.” I know I will.

– Sure Baltimore “mailed it in” during the Week 17 game but I really liked what I saw from the Bengals. Cincinnati kept their momentum going for the playoffs and I hope it helps them in postseason play this season. Amazing that a 6th seed could be the favorite over the 3rd seed in the playoffs but it may be possible for the Bengals.

– While I understand you want to rest your starters and save them for the playoffs, not sure if I agree with treating it like a preseason game in Week 17 especially for the Ravens. Baltimore has been so inconsistent lately that they needed to keep that good momentum going from their big win against the Giants in Week 16 and they didn’t, could hurt them versus Indianapolis next week.

– All season long I said the Bears were the best “smoke and mirrors” team in the NFL. Their record showed they were an “elite” team but when they played against “elite” teams they would be outclassed. Sure they got 10 wins and sure they won games when it counted at the end but they won’t be seeing any games past Week 17. I really wonder how this team will look in 2013.

– The Detroit Lions should’ve never been a 4 win team this season and a top 5 draft pick franchise going into the 2013 NFL Draft. Detroit is a better caliber team then they possessed all season long and if Jim Schwartz can’t get it done with this talent then it’s time to let him go. It will be a very interesting offseason for this franchise heading into 2013.

– Tennessee beat Jacksonville in Week 17 and there defense scored 4 times on Sunday. Good way to end this horrible season for the Titans and I wonder what there direction will be heading into 2013. Will CJ2K be back? I think he should.

– Congrats Jacksonville, prepare yourselves for “TebowMania!”

– The best story of the 2012 NFL season was Chuck Pagano beating cancer and the Indianapolis Colts making it into the playoffs. This team clearly got motivated by their cancer battling head coach and rallied behind his spirit to play another game past Week 17. Indianapolis can be that “very dangerous Football team” starting next week.

– This is not the way you should be entering the playoffs. Houston entered Week 17 with the #1 seed and walked out as the #3 seed. Instead of having home-field advantage and having a week off, they now will be stumbling against the Bengals in the Wild Card round (again). I wonder if this team will ever be able to put it together when it matters the most.

– Extremely strong way for the Panthers to finish their season as they won 5 of their last 6 games, including 4 straight games and finished the season 7-9. It appeared that Cam Newton was a “late bloomer” this season as it took him some time to get back to the way he played his rookie season. Carolina is once again a team to look out for in 2013.

– Overall this is a very disappointing season for the New Orleans Saints. They entered the year with a ton of controversy due in-part to “bountygate,” but were still considered by many as a NFC “elite” team. Instead New Orleans struggled all season long, finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs. It was a very tough season for the NOLA.

– The most disappointing team in the 2012 NFL season may be the defending Super Bowl Champion, New York Football Giants. New York gets huge victories over San Francisco & Green Bay, was at one point 6-2 on the season and then finished the year 3-5 to miss the playoffs. The Giants looked like an “elite” team at multiple points in the season even to the extent that they were considered the best team in the NFL and now they will be watching the playoffs from home. They should be very thankful they share the same city with the New York Jets!

– What is there to say about the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles season that hasn’t already been said before? Tough year and it’s time to move on from this current era. How this franchise handles this offseason could be very telling for seasons to come in Philadelphia. Since the “dream team” moniker was self-given to them, the Eagles have gone 12-20 in both seasons, pretty sure that’s a nightmare Vince Young.

– Steelers get the win in Week 17 and mercifully end their 2012 regular season. This isn’t what Pittsburgh was hoping for and now there will be many offseason questions to deal with. Similar to their in-state rival Philadelphia Eagles, there will be a lot of changes this offseason that will dictate the future of this franchise for years to come.

– Cleveland has a lot to work on for sometime and I hope the next person to run this franchise can get them onto some winning ways. There is definitely talent to build on in Cleveland; it just comes down to what this franchise does to put around some potentially young franchise players.

– If you’ve read this blog throughout the season then you know I’ve been very leery of the Denver Broncos. Their lack of schedule strength bothered me when it comes to them playing in the playoffs but I’m starting to turn the corner on it not affecting them after all. The Broncos could very well be the AFC representation in Super Bowl 47 right now. A lot is “clicking” at the right time for Denver.

– Congrats to Kansas City on winning the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Now the real question is whether or not they draft Geno Smith to be their quarterback. Personally I think that could be a huge mistake but they have plenty of time to think that over now.

– At one point it looked like the Patriots would have to play in the Wild Card round as the three seed but now they can sit at home next week and rest up for the Divisional Round. A well rested Patriots team is of course, a very dangerous playoff team. It almost seems like it’s too good to be true that we could get Denver (Peyton) vs. New England (Brady) in the AFC Championship Game again.

– I’m sure this isn’t the way Miami wanted to end their season but I do think this team is headed into the right direction right now. A couple moves in the offseason could have them competing for Wild Card playoff spots next year.

– Thanks for the memories Norv Turner. I will miss writing about you and wondering if you will be fired…every…regular…season. I have been doing these blogs for Camel Clutch Blog now for (I believe to be) 4 seasons, so that tells you how I long I’ve speculated Norv would be let go.

– The Raiders have taken steps forward the last couple years and now they have taken, yet again, dramatic steps back. I don’t know when this franchise can be turned around because right now it really looks bleak.

– Congrats to the San Francisco 49ers on winning the NFC West and getting the #2 seed in the NFC. In my opinion this team is the #1 seed in the NFC and I really like their chances to make Super Bowl 47 this season. When you have a really good defense and an offense that keeps getting better, good things will happen.

– Dear Arizona Cardinals, you know what to do during the offseason. Go get yourself a quarterback, you know, a real quarterback or you will have a very upset franchise wide receiver named Larry Fitzgerald. Sincerely yours, common sense.

– The Seahawks get the victory but I’m not sure it’s the way they wanted to head into the playoffs. Seattle struggled for most of this game and didn’t look as dominant as they have been in recent weeks. The Seahawks will still be a tough team to beat come playoff time but I wonder if they are losing their “luster” a bit, it’s something to definitely keep an eye on next week versus Washington in the Wild Card round.

– The St. Louis Rams really ended this 2012 regular season very strong. They were competitive against really good teams in their division, San Francisco & Seattle (even getting a big win against the 49ers this year) and they are improving heading into 2013. The defense is young and very talented but their offense seems to be lacking at the moment. I really hope Sam Bradford can be “the guy” for this St. Louis team in 2013 because I really like what I am seeing from the Rams right now.

– What a miracle season for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012. Nobody and I mean NOBODY saw this team as a playoff team, let alone a playoff contender this year. If you were like me you probably saw them as the last-place team in the NFC North. Well now they take on Green Bay in the Wild Card round and have nothing to lose because they weren’t “supposed to be there.” Oh and dear NFL, don’t forget to give Adrian Peterson the NFL MVP award this season!

– I’m sure this isn’t the way Green Bay wanted to end their season but not getting a first-round bye may be what this team needs. In 2010 they had no first-round bye and won the Super Bowl. In 2011 they had a first-round bye and got crushed in the divisional round. The Packers will be healthy against the Vikings, know what they need to do to stop Minnesota and will thankfully be home in a playoff game. I still like the Packers as a “quiet” pick right now in the NFC.

– Add Washington to the list of Indianapolis and Minnesota as surprise teams making the playoffs in 2012. Weeks ago this team was “left for dead” by their own head coach and now they are the 2012 NFC East division champions. No telling what this team can do come playoff time because like the Vikings, they “weren’t supposed to be here.” It’s the playoffs and as we have learned the last two seasons, anyone can win the Super Bowl.

- It almost seems fitting that Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys end their season like this. I really wonder how this team will look on Week 1 in 2013. A lot of major changes could be coming the way of this Dallas Cowboys franchise.

– Many thanks to you the reader and of course Eric Gargiulo for allowing me to blog after every week throughout the 2012 NFL regular season. It’s a job I have enjoyed here since 2009 and am glad to have another regular season under my belt. Stay tuned for my Wild Card predictions blog later this week and my Wild Card round thoughts blog a week from today!

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at

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NFL Week 16 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

December 24, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 16 in the National Football League!

– Congrats to the Falcons on clinching the #1 seed in the NFC and having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Personally, I believe while it’s a tremendous feat, they may be the weakest #1 seed in the NFL playoffs in some time. Their passing offense is great but their run game and defense can be shaky depending on the week. Let’s see if the ATL can make me eat my words yet again this season.

- Congrats to Calvin Johnson on breaking Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record! Can we now say that the “Madden Curse” is done?

– Quietly, the Green Bay Packers are continuing to emerge in the NFC. While it is the Titans, they kept the momentum going throughout this one. Things are getting interesting for the Pack…

– At least the Titans put 7 points on the board and weren’t shut out…right?

– New Orleans gets to play spoiler against Dallas and can at least have a .500 record should they win next week. Nice to see the Saints giving it a shot and being competitive with nothing left to play for.

– What are the Cowboys doing!? They need to win these games and they are going through the same problem they always have this time of the year. Next week will be very interesting as the Cowboys will play for the NFC East division crown in Week 17 for the 2nd straight season.

– Congrats to the Indianapolis Colts on clinching a playoff berth this week. Better yet, Chuck Pagano will be returning to this playoff team very soon. Great story this year in the National Football League, I love that Chuck Pagano and the Colts are proving anyone can beat the odds.

– One more loss and the Chiefs clinch the #1 overall pick!

– Well at least Miami has a chance at a .500 season next week; they could be a sneaky pick in the NFC East next season.

– Buffalo needs to fire Chan Gailey at the end of the season.

– San Diego beats the New York Jets in Week 16; this is monumental because it could be Norv Turner’s last win as the Chargers head coach.

– So Tim Tebow gets flack for telling the coaching staff to not put him in the “Wildcat formation” after he was passed over for the 3rd string quarterback and people are complaining? Tebow has been a good solider for this Jets team all season long and when we look back on his tenure with this team the Jets could’ve really affected his NFL playing career based off of the way they handled him. He gets brought along basically to sell seats and not play, yet people have a problem with him removing himself from the “wildcat!?” C’mon man.

– Big win for the Redskins and they keep on rolling. It’s all on the line in Week 17 for them as they take on Dallas for the NFC East crown. The playoffs begin (and could end) next week for the ‘Skins.

– Fitting way for Andy Reid’s potentially last home game as the head coach of the Eagles to end like that.

– How about the Cincinnati Bengals this season? They force Roethlisberger to make a crucial interception in the final minute of the game, make a huge offensive play to set up the field goal and win it. That was a franchise achieving moment for the Bengals and their fans to knock out their rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

– I wonder if we could see any changes in the offseason to this Steelers team. They are getting older, the window is getting smaller and the coaches may not be gelling. Interesting times for this Steelers franchise and it could’ve been prevented had they won today.

– St. Louis is quietly ending their season very strong right now. This is another team that could enter 2013 as a surprise team in the NFC West. With the exception of Sam Bradford (the jury is still out on him), I like what is going in St. Louis.

– Tough to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to end their season like this. Really had high hopes for them at the midway point of the season.

– Carolina beats Oakland and this Panthers team continues to play well at the wrong point in the season. At least someone is probably keeping their job in Carolina, for now.

– Want to know how bad the Raiders are? Matt Leinart was the backup after Carson Palmer got hurt. How come they just didn’t bring Terrelle Pryor in to see what they got?

– A win-is-a-win but New England cannot be playing like this with less then two weeks to go until the playoffs. They played shaky against San Francisco last week and lost. They played shaky this week and almost lost. Hopefully it’s just a bad stretch for the Patriots so they can get it out of their system now and not in the Playoffs.

– If Jacksonville beat New England with Chad Henne as the Quarterback in Week 16 would that have saved him from the (rumored) incoming “TebowMania” next season?

– Minnesota needed this win and they got it. The Vikings are stepping up at the right time and didn’t need Adrian Peterson to pile on the rushing yards to do it. They win next week and they are in, it’s that simple.

– Houston is playing extremely sloppy at the wrong point in the season. It amazes me that they still have a chance at a First-Round bye next week.

– Denver is the only consistent team in the AFC right now and it’s coming at the right time with the playoffs nearing. I just hope that the Broncos weak schedule doesn’t come back to haunt them like it did for New England last season.

– Who saw the Cleveland Browns having 5 wins this season? They have a chance at 6 next week and amongst Browns fans that would be overachieving.

– Well they may have been struggling lately but they got a crucial win in Week 16 against Arizona. Lovie’s job as head coach is safe for at least this week; if they fail to beat Detroit in Week 17 or make the playoffs then it could be franchise-changing times in Chicago.

– Arizona really needs a quarterback and I don’t think Alex Smith or Mark Sanchez is the answer.

– All of us left the Ravens for “dead” and got proven wrong in Week 16. This is the type of win a team needs at this point in the season when they have been struggling and the Ravens got it. I still am not a huge believer in their playoffs chances but the win was really encouraging.

– I cannot believe there is a large probability that the Giants don’t make the playoffs this season. At times they have played like the best team in the league and in recent weeks they have been extremely inconsistent. The defending Super Bowl Champions need A LOT of things to happen next week, including for them to defeat Philadelphia of course, for them to make the playoffs.

– The Seattle Seahawks are proving to the NFL that they may just be the team to beat come January. What a huge win for the Seahawks against one of the best teams in the league, the San Francisco 49ers. This team is gaining momentum at the right time and we all know what that means come playoff time…

- Injuries and inconsistency in the last 6 quarters could be coming to haunt the Niners at the wrong time in the season. The fact that they may not have a first-round bye in the playoffs is extremely surprising and it’s possible that this team could be underachieving. Hopefully that changes once January hits.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at

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NFL Week 13 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

December 04, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 13 in the National Football League!

- Great win for the Atlanta Falcons in primetime as they improve to 11-1 on the season. I have been very critical of the Falcons ability against good teams all season and they proved in back-to-back weeks they can pull it off. Now they just need to show up come playoff time…

– Say what you will about the New Orleans Saints but they gave it a pretty valiant effort these last couple of weeks. It will take a miracle for them to be playoff bound in 2012 as they get their 7th loss of the season here in Week 13. I wonder if the “Sean Payton magic” will be able to get this team back where they typically are in 2013, obviously if Payton returns.

– I’m sure many Buffalo Bills fans wondered where this team has been all season long and the funny thing about this Bills team is that they can’t be counted out completely just yet. They are 5-7 on the year and just sit outside the 6th seed in the AFC. Certainly that tells you how weak the AFC truly is this season.

– After two weeks of “Jaguar-Mania” they finally came back to Earth. Sorry Jacksonville, Chad Henne is decent but not your savior. I’m sure Alex Smith will be looking for a job next season…or will he.

– Seattle has been a pretty nice surprise all season long in the NFC. They pick up their 7th win on the season and get another hard fought win against a pretty good team in Chicago. Not a bad year when you beat Green Bay (technically), New England and Chicago in one season.

– I’ve been preaching this belief off-and-on the last couple of weeks: the Chicago Bears aren’t as good as their record shows. Believe me when I say that because they have trouble against good NFL teams. They need to turn that belief around before playoff time gets here.

– Green Bay looked like they were still hung over from the knockout punch they received last week from the Giants in the 1st half and then had shades of the Packers we have been used to the last couple of seasons in the 2nd half. It could be a good sign for Aaron Rodgers and company.

– How is Adrian Peterson not the NFL MVP favorite right now? I know Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have had good seasons but would the Vikings be where they are right now without him? 21 carries for 210 yards, enough said.

– The Colts are having a miracle season right now and if you don’t believe me watch Andrew Luck’s game-winning pass in Detroit. Indianapolis has been the best story in the NFL all season long, amazing stuff.

– Hello, can anyone hear me yet? Fire Jim Schwartz at the end of the season! He literally coached the Detroit Lions out of a win…AGAIN!

– Sure Houston plays in an easy division but they still need to get the easy wins as well. The Texans did just that and got their 11th win of the season. Home-field advantage is getting closer to their grasps.

– I may be in the minority on this one but I really enjoy what I see out of Jake Locker on a weekly basis. I really hope Tennessee continues to believe in the kid, he is definitely poised to potentially surprise his critics with his pla.

– Tough weekend for the Kansas City Chiefs, my thoughts & prayers go out to them, the families involved and of course the 3-month old who was left behind in this selfish tragedy. I know a win won’t completely heal this situation but I hope it was able to take their minds off of it for a little bit.

– The more I watch this team play the more I realize that Ron Rivera just isn’t the right fit there. The Panthers need a coach who will know how to properly utilize Cam Newton, imagine Chip Kelly of Oregon coaching this team next year…

– Whatever the St. Louis Rams do the rest of the NFL needs to follow because they have the ingredient on how to beat the 49ers. Watch both of these games!

– San Francisco loses but that doesn’t change my belief in Colin Kaepernick as the starter for this team. The 49ers still have the best chance in winning when he is on the field.

– New England is the best team in the AFC but suffer from a tough schedule and it’s going to be tougher in the coming weeks as they take on Houston in Week 14 & San Francisco in Week 15. These next two games will be very telling in regards to the Patriots chances come playoff time.

– Seriously Dolphins? You have a chance to make things interesting in the AFC playoff standings and you lose yet again when it matters the most? Granted its New England but c’mon make the AFC interesting!

– The Jets get a win in a historical snoozer. Bench Mark Sanchez, start Tim Tebow (if he’s healthy) and just have Greg McElroy ready to go if Tebow isn’t cutting it. You brought Tebow in there for a reason now just start him at QB!

– How does Larry Fitzgerald wake up every Sunday morning knowing that he is playing for this team and that these Quarterback’s are throwing to him?

– Believe me when I tell you this, the AFC may be a weak conference but the Denver Broncos are going to make the playoff seeds very interesting amongst the division leaders. This could get very fun, very quickly.

– Sadly it’s starting to look like maybe that “glimmer” on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season is starting to wear off. Has been a fun year and I hope they can piece back together for the final weeks of the season.

– Back-to-back wins for the Cleveland Browns…it’s been a while since we could say that.

– Oakland is just plain awful. I’m starting to really wonder if the Raiders will just give Terrelle Pryor a shot to see what he’s got as a NFL QB. What do you have to lose at this point?

– Quietly the Cincinnati Bengals continue to make noise in the NFL as they have won their last 4 games. They sit just outside the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC playoff standings and are a dangerous team with just 4 games to go.

– 4-8 season = Fire Norv Turner. I wonder if San Diego would consider looking a potential replacement for Phillip Rivers cause I’m not sure if he is the right fit for the Chargers anymore either.

– Wow how lucky was the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13? Great win for them and their playoff chances stay alive. I wonder if we will see a “Big Ben” return next week with the season starting to dwindle down.

– Tough loss for Baltimore as their inconsistency once again rears its ugly head. This team would be so good if they could just get it together. The loss now puts Baltimore as the #3 seed in the AFC and no longer facing a first-round bye, in-fact if the season ended today they would play Pittsburgh again.

– Good win for Dallas on Sunday Night, they still looked inconsistent against a weak Philadelphia Eagles team but a win is a win and they stay alive in the NFC Playoff picture.

– Philadelphia didn’t look terrible in their loss to Dallas on Sunday Night. In fact they looked pretty encouraging as the Eagles were able to make plays offensively, something they needed to see badly with a rookie QB and RB starting for them against the Cowboys. It’s still too little, too late but at least they continue to try and play spoiler in the NFC East.

– Huge win for Washington and now things have gotten very interesting in the NFC East. I have this strange feeling that the Giants may not be the NFC East representative when it’s all said and done.

- The Giants had their chance to capitalize on wins in back-to-back weeks and separate themselves from the NFC East. They failed to do so and now have created yet another typical end of the season for the Eli Manning led New York Giants. This is going to get fun with 4 games to go.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at!

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 10

November 08, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Welcome back owners. Here we are back for Week 10 of the NFL season, and wow, what a wild week we had for Week 9. Explosive days by many stars like Doug Martin, Adrian Peterson, Brandon Marshall and yes that Bears defense made some owners numbers boom! However some of us had to be on the losing end of those numbers. How about the days turned in by the Eli Mannings or Jamaal Charles? Well I fell prey to some of it, where in one league my whopping 166 points was still not enough to out do my opponent who posted a cool 173, topped by DeSean Jackson and only his second TD of the year! Hey, it happens.

Well back to the really good news where your good friend, The Shark had a really nice week. I am 3-1 in my 4 leagues and a cool season overall record of 22-14. Now while I am not perfect I am playing strong ball, and am in the top 3 in points in all 4 of those leagues. Yes, you can ignore my information, or you can read it and gain some success. I am here to hand out some recommendations, help you on your journey and try and help you towards a playoff position. It is a dog eat dog world out there friends, so you can’t expect to ask your friends who are in the same league for help now can you?

As Election Day came and went we saw our president re-elected and the country can now go back to normal. All the hype and argument over government can now take a back seat. We are back to Fantasy Football, the time is here as we are into the double digit weeks and the playoffs are coming really soon! I will keep up with the new format and give you 5 recommendations, which is more than my usual 3. Many of my picks had big weeks last week, so let’s see what I got for Week 10. As always good luck, the season is closing in to its end.



Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: In a game that may light up the skies like July 4th, you can expect Ryan to do plenty. He does great indoors and has plenty of weapons. His 17 TDs are 4th best in the league. Big money week expected here.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: Although being compared to Peyton Manning is hardly fair for anyone, Luck has been shining of late. In his last 3 weeks he has passed for close to 1,000 yards and has accounted for 5 total TD’s. The Jaguars post a very appealing match up.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The Steelers are finding a groove at the right time and this Monday Night match should favor them plenty. The Chiefs 17 TD passes allowed are the 4th most generous in the NFL, so get Ben out there, and watch offensive coordinator Todd Haley roast his former team.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Diego Chargers: Until further notice I am going to recommend Freeman. Last 4 weeks? Oh just 11 TDs to just 1 INT. The Chargers allow 238 yards per week and have surrendered 12 TDs. They also play the run decent, so we may not see another Doug Martin super show.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills: I know I hate to go obvious, but this one is too good. After roasting them in Buffalo a few weeks back he now gets them at home. Brady is a constant starter, but you don’t ignore starts this good to print.


Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens: Despite a real nice week by Palmer last week, this is not the place to try him again. The Ravens give up the fewest pass TDs and also have been tough in yards allowed. Also with Darren McFadden out, they lose a top decoy. Scary match here.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks: The Hawks are 4-0 at home, and flat out hard to beat there. Head coach Pete Carroll must be extra excited to see his former college QB turned NFL enigma this week. The Jets offense is horrid right now. Aaron Rodgers is a better start and he is on a bye.

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Vick will be busy again on Twitter this week as he watches a decent Cowboy pass rush face the terrible Eagles offensive line. The Cowboys have done well against the pass allowing just 7 TDs, including holding Matt Ryan to 1 in Atlanta. Get ready Philly boo-birds, you will be busy again this week.

Eli Manning, New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals: I hate to say it, but Manning has thrown just 2 TDs in 4 weeks! The man who they call the most clutch QB in the league is in trouble, then again find me a November when he isn’t. I know the Bengals aren’t great, but Eli is making me quiver right now.

Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers allow just 174 yards per game against the pass, so why trust one of the worst offenses here? You will be better served with guys like Russell Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Alex Smith, all of which are most likely available.

Running Back


Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders: The defense that allowed Doug Martin to scamper for 251 yards last week will now have to face an even better back in Ray Rice. Get your ice packs ready, it could be a long day. The pass offense has been cold lately for the Ravens, so Rice should be real active.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: Yes the Lions are improved, but not as much as Peterson is. He usually runs well against them and is coming off of a stellar game last week in which he ran for 182 yards and 2 TDs against a very good Seahawks defense. His nickname is All Day, and you will see that this week.

Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans: The Titans are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, one of the highest totals in the league, and Reggie looked like the Bush of old last week with ankle breaking moves and a nice TD. Come on Dolphins, this guy is your most talented player, use him and stop making me look foolish.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams: He usually handles them well, and is at home. Gore has had a better year than many expected and is in the top 10 in rushing, and has a whopping 5.5 yards per carry, against a Rams defense that allows 4.6 per. The Rams pass defense is actually decent, so expect some serious ground work here.

Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills: The numbers are terrifying. The Bills are dead last in yards allowed at a crazy 5.7 yards per carry. While Tom Brady should do a lot, expect Ridley to also get his share. The Bills probably couldn’t stop a kicker if he ran the ball right now.


Ryan Matthews, San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs remain stingy against the run, and Matthews is watching a bunch of wants was backs steal his carries. He is not near what many of us hoped when grabbing him within the first 3 rounds this year. Tough match up that you should avoid here.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins: No, I am not living under a rock, and I saw that Johnson’s has improved greatly over the last 4 weeks. My problem here is 2 things: A) The Dolphins are second best in the NFL with just 3.6 yards per carry allowed and B) For some unknown reason the Titans are going back to Jake Locker at QB. Locker is not Hasselback, so defenses can focus more on the run. Johnson will have a tough road this week.

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans: A bit of a stretch here but numbers say it all. The Texans have not allowed a rushing TD all year and just 84 yards per game. While Forte runs hard and can wear teams down, the Bears may look to throw more, and also share the load with Michael Bush to try and soften this tough defense. It could be a long day for both backs, and many of you may need Forte, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: I can’t see starting any Chief, even the best Chief. The Steelers defense has improved, and Peyton Hillis is stealing more and more time from Charles. Just not worth it here.

Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Despite 14 touches he could only get 36 yards last week, and the Patriots run defense has been tough. This Bills team will need to get more familiar with CJ Spiller if they hope to move forward. Jackson is always a decent option to catch some passes, but he looks to be slowing down of late.

Wide Receiver


Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Diego Chargers: You know he is begging for this game here. After years of turmoil and contract nonsense in San Diego, Jackson now gets a crack at his old mates. 4 TDs in the last 4 weeks is not bad either. He will need to be busier than his 4 catches in the last 2 weeks however, but I like his chances.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: Jones is the Atlanta Falcons WR luggage because he travels so very well. While Roddy White owns home, Jones does the road. 5 TDs this year, all on the road, and can easily make that number 7 with a pair this week. Next home game however, well that’s Roddy’s turn to shine.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Giants: Some teams have that guy you play no matter what, and Green is one of them. Over his last 4 games he has 5 TDs on 24 catches, and is becoming one of the best WR in all the league. Bank on a good game here from him.

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans at Chicago Bears: Rumor has it that Charles Tillman may not play due to the birth of his child, and that means Johnson will face a lesser CB. He has come back, quietly over the last 3 weeks in which we saw him grab 26 passes. He needs to find the end zone more to pay dividends for fantasy, and this may be his week. Running will be tough, so QB Matt Schaub will have to prove he can be a Super Bowl caliper QB here.

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers: Once Peyton Manning starts to love a WR, you go with him. He’s got 6 TDs in the last 4 weeks with 22 catches for 261 yards. Decker is now the go to guy for TDs here, and he should be for you too.


Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams: Many think he is a guy you roll with now, but this defense plays tough against WRs. Crabtree has never been real consistent and he has too many people to try and compete with for the ball here.

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: An ankle injury may force Harvin out of the week 10 game against the Lions, and even if it doesn’t he will be hard to trust.

Danny Amendola, St Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers: Yes he will be back, and he is a guy to go to down the stretch, but not here against a very tough 49ers defense. I know that someone will have to score here, but let Amendola get his legs back before you jump on his bandwagon.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles: Although the Eagles have been had of late, Bryant and his bad hip are scary here. He still only has 2 TDs this year and they came in one game. His iffy hands also make him a tough bet here.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: I just figured I would finish the Chiefs hat trick here, go about your business.

Tight End


Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles: Becoming more and more involved and Jimmy Graham roasted this defense last week.

Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Well the Bills will get some points at least, and Chandler got them for 2 TDs the last meeting.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos: If Cam Newton can remember how to complete some big time passes, this can be his go to guy. The Broncos defense has been decent but struggles against TEs of late. It’s a roll of the dice, but may pay off.


Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders: Remember when Pitta was good, and the Ravens passed a lot? Me either.

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: He looks slow and isn’t making big catches right now. Keep him on the bench.

Defenses I like this week:

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams

Defenses I don’t like this week:

San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

Waiver Wire: With some tough injuries and new faces coming in, here is your chance to grab a nice late season gem. Oh and cheers to the end of the bye week!

Marcel Reece, RB, Oakland Raiders: Although he has not carried the ball this year, he is very active in the passing game, and with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodsen expected to miss this week he is a nice flex play.

Taiwan Jones, RB, Oakland Raiders: Tough call as to who carries the load here, but Jones is the speed to Reece’s bull. He has barely played this season, but this guy may be in line for some playing time soon. What he does with it is any one’s guess.

Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints: A busy backfield but it lacks super talent. With Darren Sproles out with injury, Ivory finally got his shot and carried 10 times for 48 yards and a TD. He is a back with the best mix of speed, hands and power the Saints have.

Danario Alexander, WR, San Diego Chargers: Any option is needed here. He has more speed than Malcolm Floyd, and showed nice flashes in his first action last week.

Dallas Cowboys Defense: Not sure if they are free in your league, but if they are grab them against a generous Eagles offense.

Well here is Week 10 folks, go out there and make me proud!

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

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NFL Week 4 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

October 02, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

peyton manningLet’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 4 in the National Football League!

– If you are considered to be a mediocre Quarterback in the NFL or one that may be underrated my best suggestion for you would be to announce you are an elite QB at the start of the season because you will start playing like one. Say what you want about Joe Flacco but he is playing like a top notch QB for the Ravens so far this season. In my opinion Flacco is that final “ingredient” to being a Super Bowl caliber team for the Ravens and if he plays like this for the rest of the season Ray Lewis may get that final chance at a ring.

- Sure Cleveland lost, no surprise there, but they looked impressive for a young team. I really like how this team was built in the offseason through the draft and while their record may not be all that great I continue to expect good things out of this team in a couple years.

– The Atlanta Falcons are 4-0 on the season and do so in the most improbable of fashions after driving to take the lead from the 1-yard line. Sometimes things like that happen when you know you are a team of destiny. We are a quarter of the way through the season but this Falcons team certainly is looking like a team of destiny at the moment.

– For the 2nd straight week we will be questioning the leadership skills and mindset of Cam Newton after a tough loss to Atlanta. How Cam Newton bounces back in his next game will really define what type of player we can expect him to be in his young career.

– Think the Patriots sent a message to the NFL after that win? The window isn’t closing and the Belichick/Brady era is still going strong.

– Not sure what to think of this Bills team yet. They have the potential but don’t execute it as well as I think they should. Wonder if Chan Gailey just isn’t the right coach for this potentially good team.

– No matter how you look at it the Minnesota Vikings are 3-1 to start the season. Let that settle in for a bit.

– Detroit is one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this season (of course New Orleans is #1) and don’t look like the team that had the fight they had last year. Stafford needs to step as a leader for this Lions team because they are too good to be 1-3.

– I was a big fan of a bounce-back year for both the Chargers and Phillip Rivers and they looked great on both sides of the ball against a division rival. I liked Denver in the AFC West this season but won’t be surprised if San Diego surpasses them in the division. It’s also nice to see Rivers stepping up as a leader this season as well, his buddy Jay Cutler should take note.

– Kansas City looked good at times but very sloppy most of the time. Matt Cassel has never panned out to be that franchise saving Quarterback they thought he’d be when they first got him. I really believe it’s time for KC to start thinking elsewhere on the QB front no matter how well they do this season.

– Many people liked the Rams as a potential sleeper pick in the NFC…well after a Week 4 victory put them at 2-2 on the year we now see how they will fair against the Cards on Thursday. That will be a very interesting matchup.

– Does anyone else think karma could come back to haunt this Seahawks team all-season long now?

– The San Francisco 49ers went back out in Week 4 and proved they are still a heavy NFC favorite this season. The loss to Minnesota in Week 3 was one of the best things to happen to this team because it woke them up and showed they can be vulnerable at any given week.

– Mark Sanchez went 13-29 for 103 yards with 1 INT and 0 TD’s. It’s “Tebow Time” in New York because at this point…why not?

– Houston is looking very dominant this season on all fronts and this could be their year where the stars finally align themselves in the AFC. Really liking what I see from this team at every point of their game, very solid and dangerous team.

– The only good news for Tennessee this week: Chris Johnson ran for 141 yards. The bad news: they still lost.

– Think Peyton Manning was upset about everyone writing him off as being “old” after just one week? How about 30-38 for 338 yards and 3 TD’s as he led the Broncos over the Raiders? Broncos and Chargers starting to pull away from the pack in the AFC West can’t wait for those two teams to battle it out.

– Sure Miami pushed the Cardinals to the brink in Week 4 but I love what I am seeing out of the Cards this season. Ken Whisenhunt is one of the most underrated head coaches in the NFL and is proving that this team will test San Francisco this season. Amazing how the NFC West could end up being the most interesting division this season as it is two seasons removed from sending a 7-9 team to the playoffs!

– Got to give the Dolphins credit, they gave it their all against the Cardinals this week. That’s what makes the NFL the best sport in America because on any given Sunday any team can win. Oh and by the way, what was up with Brian Hartline!?

– Quietly the Cincinnati Bengals are 3-1 on the season and made it look very easy against the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Dalton to Green” is going to be said a lot by various commentators for a number of years in the NFL. This team is extremely fun to watch on any given week.

– Jacksonville is the worst team in the NFL. How does Maurice Jones-Drew only get 13 carries on the ground? Simple, horrible offense and not possessing the ball for very long, I was very hard on Blaine Gabbert last season and I will be this year until he improves. Maybe the Jaguars and Jets will swap starting Quarterbacks…*drops mic and walks away*

– Washington squeaks one out from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 and improves to a very surprising 2-2 on the year. After 4 weeks Robert Griffin III is everyone’s favorite story in the NFL, which I’m sure is making Tim Tebow very jealous, and when you watch him play you have to wonder if the Colts made the right decision to draft Luck over RGIII. While I believe both QB’s will be very good in their careers one will clearly be better then the other, too soon to tell but certainly a great story to watch for many years to come.

– I’ve come to really enjoy this Tampa Bay Buccaneers team this season because you watch them play and know they have the potential to be good at some point. Whether it’s later in this season or next, they will be a good team. Hopefully the franchise and the fans have the patience to watch this team really develop.

– Do the referee’s hate the Green Bay Packers or something? We nearly saw Lambeau Field go into riot mode after the refs made a horrible call on a clear Darren Sproles fumble. Thankfully for the Packers (and the refs) we witnessed Garrett Hartley missing a field goal and leading the Packers to their 3rd, I mean 2nd victory of the season.

– The New Orleans Saints are 0-4 on the season. They play San Diego next week and can potentially go 0-5. Is this karma, bad luck or a team that is nothing without Sean Payton? Heck, maybe its all 3!

– For the first time this season the Philadelphia Eagles played like a team that can be a serious NFC East threat this season. Despite being 3-1 the Eagles have not looked like nor played like a team that can really be a top team in the NFC East this season. That all changed after a very solid victory Sunday Night against the Giants and it’ll be interesting to see if they can build off of this win for weeks to come.

– I continue to give reasons why I believe the NFL is the best sport in the United States in this week’s blog. Last week the New York Football Giants looked like a serious Super Bowl contender after the knockout punch they gave to Carolina on Thursday night. This week they lose to the Eagles in primetime and are no longer the top team in the NFC East. As they say: “on any given Sunday…”

– This was going to be a game of two Quarterbacks on Monday Night and whoever became the victor was the one that would have a pass from being under the microscope for this week. That was Jay Cutler and the Bears improve to 3-1 on the season after an impressive Monday Night win. I’m not sure how this team will fair against division rivals but for the time being the Bears are looking like a potential playoff team again.

– Where was the Week 1 Dallas Cowboys team that we saw open the season? This is a team that is too inconsistent and I believe that will be the type of season they will have from here on out. Are they a playoff team? No not in my opinion but that can all change if Tony Romo becomes the MVP caliber Quarterback people have waited for him to be.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 3

September 20, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

cam newtonIt can always come down to 1 point. Yes just one point. A reception or a thrust forward for a few more yards, yes you can turn a win into a loss so very easily and all you can do is sit back and watch. I came in last week bragging about my 4-0 start, and this week was all set to come back at 8-0, until a useless catch on Monday night. Oh well, still riding high at 7-1 and still top points guy in 3 of 4 leagues gives me a warm feeling.

In today’s game of Fantasy Football there seems to be so more close games and it seems that every week a lead turns into a thrilling hang on as the Monday night game concludes. Owners have gotten smarter and better as the players get more stats. It is hard for one to call themselves a “guru” or “genius” after two weeks, but heck I am game! Sure my brother sat on the couch and said “Damn, I should have started Dwayne Bowe” After I told him numerous times to do so, and he even said “I saw it in your article” Hey, I write for all of you, not just myself, pay attention sometimes. I already know who I want to start and sit, but this is for some of you who may not. Remember 1 point in today’s game can make such a difference. A win is a win, a loss is still a loss. As we all know the word “money league” gets thrown around a lot, so consider this your part-time job! You are an owner, act like it! Now someone clean my glasses!

It is time for another dose of Start Em’ and Sit Em’ for Fantasy Football fans, and I am here again for more medicine. You won’t hear JaMarcus Russell no matter how hard you beg. Also despite the word “Fantasy” we also won’t be seeing any photos of Michelle Trachtenberg. ( Well not this week anyway ) So read along and get ready for another wild week! Good luck everyone!



Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants:After a poor week 1, Newton came back and looked better against a poor Saints defense. Up for him next is a Giants team that has been pounded by Tony Romo and week 1 and didn’t look all that great last week against an average Josh Freeman. Newton will be busy and he should be on point in a Thursday game at home. He runs and passes for TDs so he can rack them up! Go with it.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Is there any problem in trying Romo again? Yep last week was a pure clunker, but the remedy may be in town. The Bucs defense was torched last week for 510 yards by Eli Manning in New York so I feel pretty good about the chances of Romo getting at least 300 and a few TDs.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: I officially have no problem leaning towards rookie QBs. Last week Brandon Weeden, RG3 and Luck all had pretty good fantasy days, actually better than second year starters like Blaine Gabbart, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder. Luck and the Colts like to pass, and the run game is average at best. Against this Jags team, Luck can get over 300 yards and at least 2 TDs. No reason to not trust him if you need him here.


Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles: Even though he is at home, coming off a huge win and probably getting his first shot at his former team, the match up does not look good for Kolb. Joe Flacco could not do much with this Eagles defense, and that offense is way better than this one. The Eagles will challenge the Cardinals to run, and that isn’t showing much so far. Kolb will have to play from behind, and I don’t trust that at all.

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers: This is becoming easy. If you couldn’t get juice from Palmer against the Dolphins, what makes us think different here? Yes he is at home, but that is still on this planet. Mark Sanchez looked lost last week, and he has a better feel that Palmer. Wait did I say earlier I wasn’t going to say JaMarcus Russell?

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Miami Dolphins: I just smell an upset, and that other Sanchez. One week he can look good, then suddenly he looks lost. I have an impossible time every getting giddy about Sanchez, and I beg of you all not to start him. It’s going to be a ground game for sure, and a long one for sure.

Running Back


Michael Bush, Chicago Bears vs. St Louis Rams:With Matt Forte down and Jay Cutler, well being Jay Cutler again, the Bears will need to lean heavily on Bush. Last season while in Oakland, Bush carried the load when Darren McFadden went down, so he can handle it for sure. Also to be noted he was the goal line guy before Forte was hurt, now he really can get all that juice. A big week is in the cards for Bush.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints: The most popular question I have been asked this week is “What do I do with Jamaal Charles?” Well this should be his week, and a chance to make some big plays. The Saints are last in the league against the run, and are just terrible on defense. While the Saints should get win number 1 this week, it won’t be due to a lack of Charles doing lots of good things.

Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots: Rice is possibly the most talented back in the league, and the Ravens will have to go to him more to keep balanced. Last week in trying to win big with the pass the Ravens fell flat, so Rice should be more involved and the Patriots are not all that tough against the run. I expect a big bust out from Rice on prime time.


Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers:The proof is in the putting and this 49ers defense may be better than last years. Now I love Peterson, and what he does on the field is hard not to love, however with a poor pass offense, and Peterson still dealing with a team hesitant to push him, this could be a long brutal day, all day.

Atlanta Falcons RBs at San Diego Chargers: Who is the best run defense in the NFL? Why that would be the Chargers. The Falcons have a great pass attack and are dealing with issues at RB. Michael Turner would love to get back at his old team here, but he has looked slow, and just got nailed on a DUI charge. Also Jaquizz Rodgers has not lived up to preseason hype yet. Stay with the aerial assault and avoid Falcon backs.

Andre Brown, New York Giants at Carolina Panthers: Why are we all so in love with him? No he won’t make my waiver wire segment this week. The Giants rushing game is far from great no matter who is in it, and they have more backs to use than just Brown. Also they are a team that passes well, even without Hakeem Nicks in the lineup. I will have to see him do something spectacular before I can put all my faith in him.

Wide Receiver


Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:You could have rolled with either Giants WR and hit pay dirt last week, and Austin seems to be healthy and back to form. He had a TD last week, and can easily post one here at home. I like Austin for over 100 yards and at least 1 TD here. Even if Dez Bryant takes catches, he should be just fine.

AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins: He had a nice week last week, and is turning into an elite NFL WR. Now as for the Redskins, well they had no answer for Danny Amendola last week, and Green is targeted as much as D.A. so he should be plenty busy. The Redskins also took some big blows on defense losing DT Adam Carriker and LB Brian Orakpo for the season which will crush their pass rush. If Andy Dalton has time he can find Green plenty.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos vs Houston Texans: Even though I think the Texans bring it better than the Falcons who gave Peyton Manning fits last week, Thomas is still his big time weapon. A TD in each week so far is nice, and they love to use him in the screen game as well as down field. Eric Decker seems to be the possession guy, but the end zone and deep guy is Thomas and he is doing it well right now.


Marquis Colston, New Orleans Saints vs Kansas City Chiefs:For some reason they have forgotten all about him, and even though the Chief secondary is weak right now, he still can’t be trusted. Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore and even Darren Sproles are getting way more action, and until Colston goes wild, you have to sit him.

Danny Amendola, St Louis Rams at Chicago Bears: I know he had a good week last week, but that was home, and the Redskins defense was all banged up. The Bears are coming back home after getting laid out by the Packers and are an angry team on a mission. The Rams pass attack is improved, but this is not the week to be proud with it.

Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers: The Packers have some decent players in that secondary and Rice was weak last week against Dallas, despite a big Hawks win. Rice is a true enigma, and well with my luck could go off here. However I would like to see him play more consistently before I buy into him.

Tight End


Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals:Last week’s 8 catch, 157 yard game is nothing new to Celek. He can put up big numbers, and the Eagles are once again faced with the possibility of not having WR Jeremy Maclin. As always, the Eagles offense will be busy, and Celek could very well have another big day and even see the end zone here.

Martellus Bennett, New York Giants at Carolina Panthers: WR Hakeem Nicks will miss the game, and Bennett is doing nice things. He has a TD in each week and is proving to be a good pass catcher and not just a blocker. As of now he is Manning’s second choice on most downs.


Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have good linebackers when it comes to pass protection, and although Rudolph has good hands, he does not have big time speed to get away. Last week they did let up a TE TD but that can be very random.

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers vs. Atlanta Falcons: It is not certain he will play, and if he does he goes up against a Falcons defense with aggressive backs and linebackers. Last week Jacob Tamme did very little and he is a guy Peyton Manning always looks for. The Falcon defense is improving and QB Philip Rivers is working well with what he has besides Gates.

Defenses I like:

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

Defenses I don’t like:

Arizona Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles

Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints

Waiver Wire

Come and get some hot, fresh new players. It is never too early to do some patch work! Check these players out:

Daryl Richardson, RB, St. Louis Rams: While we all had no clue why Stephen Jackson was actually pulled from the game Sunday we did see that Richardson can carry the rock in the NFL. He looks really fast in space, and showed he can take a lick and keep coming. Jackson has a history of getting hurt, so if you have roster room, grab and hold onto this kid.

Jason Snelling, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Michael Turners DUI and lack of breaking speed may mean less carries for him and more for Snelling. The Falcons pass a lot, but if the running game can find itself, it may include more Snelling.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: He has been busy the first 2 weeks of the season and right now is option 2 in the Bengals passing game. He came a long way, but seems to be fitting in well and if you are looking for help, could be a nice plug in.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Buffalo Bills: The yardage numbers may not be big, but he does have 5 TDs in 2 weeks. With the rushing game improving with CJ Spiller on board, Fitz has room to work, and does not have to be the most important part of the offense right now. A more relaxed Fitzpatrick is a better Fitzpatrick.

Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns: Rookie QB Brandon Weeden showed signs of improvement last week and Little is by far the most talented WR on the team. They are also running the ball well which can lead to more time and room to throw. He ended 2011 strong, so he can be a guy worth trying here.

Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Teams are coming down hard on teammate Larry Fitzgerald which has led to 2 TDs in 2 weeks so far for Roberts. He may not be all of what Early Doucet or Michale Floyd should be, but he is getting the numbers.

Now let’s get out there name make me proud. Bring the heat in week 3 and as always good luck! See you all in week 4.

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

Thanks again all for reading and good luck in week 3.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 2

September 13, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

cj spillerThe time has come to call out all the big shots who actually get paid to do this stuff! Matthew Berry of ESPN, you think you want some of this? Yahoo Sports guys like Andy Behrens and Brandon Funston, you really think you can handle this? Fantasy Guru’s, RotoWorld, and on and on, you all want a piece of me? I am here to call all of you out.

Yes me, just a lone guy with no errand boys to do my research, no mega-million dollar studio or financial backing, just a man, a computer, and a little football knowledge, especially fantasy football. The Shark should be the buzz right now in the fantasy world and now you all have your chance to jump on the bandwagon!

“Who is this guy?”, “Why is this guy all into himself?”, you may all be asking. Well I will get right down to it. Week 1 of the NFL season saw me go a lusty 4-0 in my fantasy leagues, but not only that, I was the point leader in every league, including our league here at The pre-season promises I made all were falling into place. I told the world that Matt Ryan was going to be amazing, and he was.

I drafted Brandon Marshall in every league, and he was back to form. Reggie Bush? Yep I have lots of Reggie, and despite no TD’s, he was solid. You don’t trust Tony Romo? I sure did! Kevin Smith can’t get the job done? That’s fine I’ll give him a try. Stevan Ridley made an appearance, so did Malcolm Floyd. Ravens defense is too old? All is good, I rolled those dice. Oh everything went right, a sheer perfect week. All that was missing in “fantasy” was Sofia Vergara serving me dinner in a French Maid uniform. (A man can dream). The beauty or beast of it all is that you are only as good as the next week. As much as I’d like to think my bragging and confidence is a good thing, it can easily explode. No problem, it’s a long season.

Week 2 comes at us very fast, as we have a Thursday night game to deal with, so I have to come at you faster and more furious this week with Starts/Sits for your fantasy team. Injuries will have to be watched closer, and moves made faster. My advice to you as they say in the movies is to “stick with me kid”. The Shark is here with his Week 2 advice. Read, enjoy, and good luck in week 2. P.S. I contacted Berry and RotoWorld via Twitter, and have gotten no response on my challenge, no surprise there, I’d be scared of me too! Let’s look at the picks for this week:



Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons: Don’t think he’s back? Thomas, Decker and the gang think he is after carving up the rough and tough Steelers defense, plus he gets to play this week in a dome, as he has for years. Also the loss of CB Grimes is huge for the Falcons defense. Manning and Ryan will have a big shootout here, so if you own Manning, you roll with him here.

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers: It’s easy to say Aaron Rodgers every week isn’t it? Cutler and his Bears have a huge chance on Thursday night to go up 2 games on the Pack if they can pull off this mild upset. The return of Brandon Marshall mixed with his trust in Earl Bennett has Cutler looking sharp and he could be looking at a great year. If you remember last week, Alex Smith and the 49ers had their way with this defense, so no reason not to trust Cutler for 2-3 TD’s and maybe as much as 300 yards.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks: Do you believe in paybacks? Karma? Second Chances? If you do then you have to believe in Romo this week. Seattle is after all the scene of the crime where Romo botched that snap on a 19 yard field goal attempt in 2007 that cost Dallas a playoff game. He comes back to town with a loaded group of weapons, and confidence. The Seahawks defense was pegged as a tough defense, but not much of that was there against a pour Arizona team last week. I like Dallas’ pass game much better than its run game, so go with Romo.


Blane Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans: Yep, even I can be wrong, and I trashed Gabbert often, but last week he had good numbers and hung tough in Minnesota. This week he is home which can prove even better, but he will face a much better defense and a better team. Jacksonville will be a better team soon enough, but nothing about this match up looks all that enticing. If you just added him, that’s a fine move, but use it at the proper time.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers: Another guy that I bashed but yet had a huge week last week. However this is not the Bills defense and he is not at home. The Steelers got roughed up by Peyton Manning last week, and that happens, but no way does Sanchez come back with the same performance. Also on that Jets sideline will be Tim Tebow. Why does that matter? Last time the Steelers saw Tebow, he was knocking them out of the playoffs, once again, paybacks baby!

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins: Serious? Yep! I know the Dolphins don’t have much, but neither does this Raiders offense. This team is only as good as Darren McFadden makes it, and with a bunch of “who’s” at WR and no solid TE’s the Raiders are in total disarray already. Their only TD last week came as time ran out, by an undrafted WR. Oakland used a lot of draft picks on Palmer, he needs to prove to be something and quick!

Running Back


CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The injury to Fred Jackson opens the door for a guy who has the stuff to be a fantasy stud. 161 yards rushing last week and a TD, mixed in with being one of the best fantasy backs in the last 4 weeks of last season is a lot to get excited about. The Chiefs are banged up on defense as well. Spiller makes the Bills offense better, and it should show this week.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts: Every expert, fantasy owner, heck even his own coach had little faith in Peterson last week, but I am here to tell you, he is the real deal again. 2 big TD’s last week against the Jags and he was able to handle 17 carries. This week he will be indoors, and the Colts run defense is usually nothing special. Peterson is showing that the knee is not about to slow him down, and it should not be a concern for fantasy owners as long as he stays healthy in the weekly injury reports.

Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins: Not crazy about Oakland’s QB situation, but that has nothing to do with McFadden. He was plenty busy last week, and that should continue to be the case as long as he is healthy. The Dolphins gave up a pair of rushing TD’s last week, and if the Raiders are going to hang in this game DMC will have to front the load. Do it!


Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It may have been the bad weather, or the start of something special as the Bucs defense was brilliant last week against Carolina, especially on the ground. DT Gerald McCoy is suddenly coming into his own and they look tough up front. Bradshaw had a nice week 1 against Dallas, but I feel the passing game will need to do more to get the Giants back on track. Bradshaw may be able to punch one in here, but I don’t expect him to be huge.

Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers: Another guy who had a big week last week, but I have a hard time trusting running backs against the 49ers. The defense in San Fran looked tough last week in Green Bay, and Detroit will have to use the air to come out in this one. I like Smith, and if he is healthy you go with him, with the right match up. This is not that match up!

The San Diego Chargers backfield vs. Tennessee Titans: I know they got ripped up by Stevan Ridley last week, but it is hard to know how to measure what can happen against the Patriots offense. The Chargers have 4 different guys carrying the load, and none look all that special. Until Ryan Matthews comes back and gets into the groove I advise you avoid this mess at all cost. Hey, here is an idea, try playing Chris Johnson, what too soon?

Wide Receiver


Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos: I like the new Broncos defense with Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter, but this week they will have their hands full. The Falcons have the weapons, and Jones is many people’s option to be the next great WR. What better way for him to really come out than on a Monday night? Roddy White still draws the attention, Gonzalez can still get it done, and they are creative in the backfield. It is hard to know who to focus on if you are a defense, so if you give this guy room, he can/will kill you! He had 2 TD’s last week and possibly 2 more this week.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills: The Bills secondary was toasted last week by a rookie WR and a “who is that guy” WR led by Mark Sanchez. This week a real big time WR comes to town in Dwayne Bowe, so the young Bills secondary may have its hands full. Matt Cassel is not a top fantasy QB, but even he can find an upside here. Bowe needs to prove his worth with a new contract looming next year.

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings: New QB same Reggie Wayne it would seem. After a slow start he had a big week last week, and now Wayne and Indy face a Vikings defense who at home last week had a hard time with an average Jags pass offense. Luck will have some growing pains, but he has to get 2 TD’s here I would think, and Wayne is due for one, and some more big yards. Wayne remains a factor as a WR2 or an emergency flex option.


DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens: If you ask me, the Eagles most reliable WR is Jeremy Maclin, and there is a good chance he won’t play this Sunday. I know Jackson is explosive and can do lots of good things, but to have him as the one main guy against a quality defense and CB Webb does not look great on paper. The Ravens will throw everything at Michael Vick, so he will have a hard time making the plays. Jackson is hard to trust right now.

Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins at St Louis Rams: Alright, it’s hunch time. With Cortland Finnegan being the main CB in St. Louis I think Garcon will have his hands full, not to mention that the Rams for some reason usually play the Redskins tough. RG3 showed he has QB skills, but Garcon did get banged up so he may be slowed, and there is at least a bit of game film now for the Rams to watch. Also the Redskins showed they can run the ball, so and all out air attack may not be needed.

Kevin Ogletree, Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks: I can’t believe I have to write this, but after seeing how many people bought into that week 1 effort I feel it is my duty. This team does still have Miles Austin and Dez Bryant and Jason Witten as well as DeMarco Murray. Ogletree is a nice number 3 WR for the Cowboys, and Romo likes his 3’s, but this guy won’t have 2 TD, 100+ yard games often, so you should not be relying on him as a WR1 or even WR2 in your leagues. If he does it a few more times, well then paint me red!

Tight End


Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers: Sound easy? Well it should. Graham may be the best TE in football and is also the busiest target in a very pass happy offense. The Panthers have good linebackers who may slow him down, but you can’t really keep Graham down.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions: Still the most talented of the bunch here in San Fran, and he made good things happen last week. The Lions defense is a little tougher than Green Bay’s but Davis is a guy to be dealt with.


Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets: The Jets have good play at linebacker so Miller is not a sure bet even though they like him in close.

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: He looked sluggish Monday night after missing most of the preseason. I would like to see him have a big game or 2 before I trust him.

Defenses I like:

New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Defenses I don’t like:

Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills

Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts

Waiver Wire:

I have some nice pickups for you this week. Come and get them while they last!

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers: Greg Jennings may be out this week, and Cobb returns kicks and also has improved as a receiver. Cobb could stand to get busier in a high power offense like this.

Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins: Shanahan likes the hot hand, and Morris was very hot last week. He is a talented back, not blessed with speed but has shifty moves, good hands and runs strong. As long as he stays healthy, it is his job to lose.

Stephen Hill, WR, New York Jets: I said it back in my NFL Draft Preview, Hill has the skills to be the best rookie in this class and can be a factor in the NFL. He has good size and speed, and he put up 2 TD’s last week. He has plenty of upside so grab him and dump that guy you are clinging to that you grabbed in the 15th round.

Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: A guy who was always on the brink of big things, Lewis was active last week and looks like a good target for young QB Blaine Gabbert. For TE leagues only, but a nice pick up/

Nate Kaeding, K, San Diego Chargers: Last year’s broken leg on the opening kickoff made many forget, but I am here to tell you to get Kaeding. He had a good game this past week, and is still one of the more accurate kickers in football.

So we are ready for week 2. I hope that my success can continue and I can help you all make your team a little better!

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

Thanks again all for reading and good luck in week 2.

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Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups

September 11, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Mark SanchezIt didn’t take long for the waiver wire to heat up in the Fantasy Football 2012 season. Savvy players will grab fantasy sleepers that fall onto the waiver wire while desperate owners will fall for the flavor of the week. Which one will you be this week?

This is the best time of the season to find quality starters on the wire. Of course there is a lot of guesswork here because it is almost impossible to tell the difference between a one week fantasy wonder that took advantage of a bad defense or the consistent producer. That is why you will find more options in the early weeks than you will in the later weeks.

Keep in mind, there aren’t any real locks on the list this week. Last year you had some real gems like Cam Newton emerge on Week 1. This week there are a lot of potential studs, but nobody I’d call a sure bet like Newton was. So consider these pickups more of an investment of depth or trade bait later in the season.

Finally, one last thing I want to mention is that it isn’t always smart to play the wire. One of my rookie mistakes years ago was playing the wire every week. Remember, you have to drop someone to pick up someone. You are giving up on someone only after a week that you thought was good enough to draft. Look at the big picture before you make your wire move. Sometimes the best waiver wire move in the early weeks is sitting back, watching anxious fantasy owners drop a quality starter, and grabbing that guy rather than someone who had a hot week.


Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens - There are two words to remember about Joe Flacco this season. Contract year! There was a lot of buzz coming into this season about the high-powered Baltimore offense. Flacco and the Ravens offense lived up the hype with a masterful performance this past Monday night. I don’t think it is a fluke. I think Flacco’s big season continues and I am all on board if you need a QB.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets - Welcome back to the waiver wire list Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is probably available in every league after a horrendous preseason. Sanchez had a fantastic game with three TDs and only one interception in the opening. Maybe Tim Tebow is magical after all? I am still not a fan of starting a QB who is coming out frequently in a game. At the same time, it is hard to ignore what Sanchez did to one of the sleeper defenses coming into the NFL season.

Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans – Down goes Locker! Jake Locker is hurt and Hasselbeck will be temporarily taking over starting duties in Tennessee. Locker is expected back in Week 2 but you never know with a shoulder separation. Hasselbeck was pretty good early on last year for Tennessee and he’ll have Kenny Britt back this week. Monitor the injury report and if Locker is out and you need a QB, I’d certainly take a shot on Hasselbeck. All signs point to Locker playing, but you won’t know for sure until Sunday.

Running Backs

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins –Proceed with caution! Objects in your rear view mirror are further away than they appear. Morris looks like a waiver wire gem this week. Morris racked up two TDs against the Saints on Sunday. Morris looked like the starter going into the week regardless of what Mike Shanahan said. Call me crazy but as shiny as this gem looks, I am passing. I expect Morris to have similar games sprinkled throughout the season, but he won’t do this week to week. Plus, he played no part in the passing game. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. We know how this ends in Washington and it’s rarely good for the running back.

Jonathon Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers – Dwyer ran like a maniac on Sunday night. Dwyer backed up Isaac Redman and eventually fought his way into the majority of the carries. Prior to the Steelers pronouncing Rashard Mendenhall was on his way back, Dwyer was a sneaky sleeper in drafts. The problem here is that Mendenhall will be back and will be the starter at some point. If for whatever you reason you need a running back for a few weeks, I’d certainly take a flyer on Dwyer. Otherwise he may wind up sitting on your bench for the majority of the season once Mendenhall comes back. Unfortunately it’s slim pickings right now at running back so you may be better off passing on any of these backs for the time being.

Wide Receivers

Stephen Hill, New York Jets – Who would have guessed that Stephen Hill would have a bigger fantasy week than Calvin Johnson in Week 1? Wide receiver is deep this week on the wire, so your chances of getting Hill are very good if you want him. Hill will be the number-two lined up next to Santonio Holmes and that makes him a lot more appealing than anyone else here. I really loved the toughness Hill showed at times during the game as well. Wide receiver is far and away the deepest position in fantasy football this year. If you are in a 10 or 12 team league, you probably have better options than Hill either on your team or available. If not, I’d absolutely grab him.

Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers – Remember what I said about Morris? Fool me once, etc, etc? Well it’s Groundhog Day with Cobb. Cobb looked great last season in the opener against the Saints and scored a TD. Everyone was hot on Cobb as their waiver wire gem and what happened? Cobb had no more touchdowns the rest of the season. All reports out of Green Bay indicate that the Packers are looking to get Cobb more involved in their offense. I’d like him a lot more if not for his falloff last season, but I am certainly intrigued. Especially with Greg Jennings questionable status for Thursday.

Kevin Ogletree, Dallas Cowboys – I already wrote a lengthy blog on Ogletree last week so I’ll keep it short. I’m not buying it. I’d much rather take a flyer on the slot receiver facing the Giants defense on a week to week basis before I take Ogletree. He’s had four years to emerge with plenty of opportunities and did nothing. Once Witten and Austin are back to form, I think Ogletree will become a wasted roster spot on your team. I could be wrong but I am seeing more Torrey Smith 2011 here than Laurent Robinson.

Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers – LaFell made my waiver wire list last year early after scoring against Green Bay but wound up finishing the season with only two more TDs. LaFell was a hot “sleeper” pick in the offseason but I am still skeptical. LaFell did have a TD Sunday and it does appear that he and Newton have some chemistry. I think LaFell has the best chance to be a regular starter in deep leagues, but I need to see it for a couple of more weeks before I am convinced. He is certainly worth a roll in deeper leagues.

Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs – McCluster like many on this list is seeing his second season as a waiver wire buy. There is no doubt that he is the most versatile player on the team. He led the team with 10 targets in Week 1. I would be a little more skeptical if this wasn’t the case all throughout the preseason as well. It is obvious that McCluster will be a big part of the Chiefs offense. He is much more valuable as an add in PPR leagues than standard scoring. Although of all the receivers here, he has the best potential to give you weekly points.

Tight End
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers – Big Heath always winds up my waiver wire at some point and after seeing Sunday night’s game, he is back this year. One thing was crystal clear to me watching the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers and the brand new Todd Haley offense. Heath Miller is the number one red zone option! He scored a TD Sunday but was a go-to He is only going to snag 3-5 catches a week, but so what? If one of them is a touchdown, what more do you need from your tight end?

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NFL 2012-13 Week 1 Preview & Picks

September 08, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

aaron rodgers alex smithWell, to paraphrase former WWE Champion the Rock, FINALLY the 2012 NFL Season has begun. As an NFL fan for over 35 years, I always get excited, especially when the first week of the season arrives. I love seeing the pre-game shows, and seeing the “experts” argue over who they think will win. I love see video of fans tailgating, and hearing about injury reports, Super Bowl predictions, scandals, and the whole kit and caboodle. In my opinion, the NFL Season is the best season ever.

Well, since I have starting writing this blog, I have noticed that writers for this, and other blogs have posted their weekly picks for the NFL. Well, last season, I didn’t partake in doing a weekly blog, but I did do picks for the NFL playoffs, and the Super Bowl, and I had a good time doing, so for this season, I decided to take the plunge, and do weekly picks.

Now, so my readers understand, I do NOT go by the spread, or predict the score. I am going to list the teams, the stadiums, etc. I am going to mention any notable injuries, and do a little analysis, and just make my prediction of which team I think will win the game.

Sound Good? Well, here we go:

Before I start with Sunday’s Match ups, let me do a quick post-mortem on the Dallas Cowboys at the defending champion New York Giants that was played on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at Met Life Stadium. At first, it started out like neither team wanted to score, and it was going to be one of those boring defensive games. However, Dallas’ offense somehow got going, and put 24 points on the board, and New York’s Eli Manning could not quite make one of his miraculous fourth quarter comebacks, and was only able to get the Giants 17 points, and Dallas won.

Dallas’ Tony Romo was having a good night despite his offensive line’s inability to stay still as they drew offside penalties like crazy. Surprisingly, Romo’s main target was Kevin Olgletree. Dallas’ defense stifled the Giants’ receivers all night, and their running game. One the other hand, Giants defense started out good, but their secondary was falling apart. On offense, Victor Cruz was dropping balls as if they were hot potatoes.

Game was just OK overall. I didn’t go nuts like everyone does over Dallas. It is only Week 1. Let’s see how these guys are, especially Romo in December.

Now, for Sunday, and Monday Night:

All 1:00 P.M. Games:

Indianapolis Colts AT Chicago Bears
Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill
The main injury concerns for the Colts concern the availability of Austin Collie (WR). At first, he was declared likely, but now he is a game time decision. LB Pat Angerer is out. For the Bears, despite his saying the knee won’t be the same, MLB Brian Urlacher will play.

Final Analysis: This is the official NFL debut for the much touted rookie QB from Stanford, Andrew Luck who is the new Colts QB. He looked very much the part of a professional QB in the preseason, but before we put him in Canton, let’s remember he is a rookie. He will make rookie mistakes, and he is facing a good Bears Defense that will try to confuse him.

On the other side, it will be interesting to see how Bears QB Jay Cutler can rebound after the season ending injury he had last season. Now that he has his favorite target on offense, we will see if that offense improves. The running game should be good as well.

Pick: A lot of people are very high on Luck, and think he can win. With Urlacher not quite up to speed, and the fact that Luck, and his offense are apparently on the same page, I am going to gamble a bit, and go with the rookie. Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Philadelphia Eagles AT Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, OH
The injury report for the Eagles is interesting for the fact that Michael Vick is NOT on it. The Browns’ Trent Richardson is listed as questionable. I am hearing he is supposed to play though. Browns’ Scott Fujita is now available (for now) to the team thanks to the overturning of his Bounty related suspension.

I don’t mean to sound like a smart ass but I don’t really think it matters. I mean, seriously. The Eagles should beat the Browns like a drum. Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

St. Louis Rams AT Detroit Lions
Ford Field in Detroit, MI
The Rams will be without their First Round pick Michael Brockers due to an ankle injury. The Detroit Lions will be banged up in the secondary as CB Chris Houston is doubtful due to an ankle injury, and Safety Louis Delmas listed as doubtful due to a knee injury.

Well, this game does not look all that exciting to me. Rams’ QB Sam Bradford has yet to show me that he is worthy of that #1 overall pick. It is true that he has hardly any receivers. The defense is just alright. The Lions have a fierce front seven with that Suh, Vanden Bosch, etc. Of course, their offense features Matt Stafford, and Megatron. Rams will be eaten by the Lions. Winner: Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins AT Houston Texans
Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX
The only person that is hurt for the Dolphins is Tony McDaniel. Their opponents, the Texans have of interest, LB Brooks Reed (hip), and star RB Arian Foster (knee) who are both game time decisions. Foster said he expects to play though.

Even though it is great that the Dolphins are coming into Houston healthy, I don’t think they are going to come out of there with a win. Houston is one of the top teams in the AFC, and I just think they are going to just crush Miami. Winner: Houston Texans

Atlanta Falcons AT Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense has been bombard with injuries, and as many as six could be out for this game. DE Allen Bailey with an ankle injury, Safety Kendrick Lewis with a shoulder injury, DT Anthony Toribio with an ankle injury are all listed as doubtful. LB Jovan Belcher with a groin injury, CB Brandon Flowers with a foot injury, and LB Derrick Johnson with an ankle are listed as questionable.

It looks like Matt Ryan, and his group of receivers, and his Hall of Fame (surely) tight end, Tony Gonzalez may just have a field day at Arrowhead despite that stadium being one of the hardest places to play. I am not sold on Matt Cassel being a good QB, and I just don’t think the Chiefs are up to the task. Winner: Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars AT Minnesota Vikings
Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota
The main injuries in this game are the Jaguars will be without Daryl Smith, their best LB who will miss the game with a groin injury, and Derek Cox, their top CB with a hamstring injury. Their rookie receiver Justin Blackmon is probable with an ankle injury. For the Vikings, the main injury of note is their top RB Adrian Peterson who is coming back from that ACL tear suffered on Dec 24, 2011. Listed as questionable, there will be a decision Saturday morning whether he plays or not.

Well, people will be watching this game to pretty much see (if he plays) how Peterson does. If he is allowed to play, it will be a great thing to see. As for who wins, with Maurice Jones-Drew just getting back to the team, and getting back into football shape, I am thinking that the Vikings will wind up winning it. It will be ugly though. Winner: Vikings

Washington Redskins AT New Orleans Saints
Super Dome in New Orleans, LA
Well, the news that NFL Commissioner Goodell got repelled (for now) by that three person panel, puts an interesting spin on notable injuries. Jonathan Vilma is now eligible to play, but he has an injury where he won’t be ready (not that he is anyway, football-wise) for a few weeks. Saints could put him on PUP for six weeks. Will Smith could play right away as he is healthy. The Saints, before all this has WR Marques Colston (foot), CB Jabari Greer (groin), LB David Hawthorne (knee), and LB Curtis Lofton (ankle) listed as questionable. All seem likely to be able to play.

Well, we have another rookie QB in the highly touted Robert Griffin III in his debut with the Washington Redskins. I prefer him to Andrew Luck, but in this game sadly, Griffin is making his debut against the wrong team at the wrong time. The Saints are at home with their crowd backing them up, and after the terrible offseason, and now with the latest news, they are going to be mad as hornets. Winner: New Orleans

Buffalo Bills AT New York Jets
Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson is listed as questionable with a groin injury, and for the Jets, the significant injury is TE Dustin Keller who is questionable with a hamstring, but both are expected to play. The other injury for the Jets is LB Sione Pouha who’s also questionable with a back injury, but doesn’t look likely to play.

Well, I am going to be “from Missouri” so to speak with these two teams. They are going to have to show me they are worth the hype, especially ESPN’s favorite team, the Jets. The Bills, on paper have improved their defense with the addition of former Texans’ Mario Williams. Let’s see though if QB Fitzpatrick can play well for more than 5 games.

For the Jets, who I feel is the most over hyped team in the NFL, they better live up to the hype. I am reading that Tebow is going to play 10-20 percent of the game. Well, call me old school, but when you have two QBs, you don’t have any. Jets Owner Woody Johnson does not like the team being called a “circus?” Well, maybe his team better stop acting like clowns then.

I think from looking at the Jets’ O line, especially that right side, I think Buffalo could exploit it with their defense. Jets have no pass rush, and a pop gun offense. Winner: Buffalo

New England Patriots AT Tennessee Titans
LP Field in Nashville, TN
The only notable injury for the Patriots is RB Shane Vereen (foot). The injuries of note for the Titans are LB Sen’ Derrick Marks is doubtful with his knee, and CB Jurrell Casey questionable with his elbow.

This should be an interesting game. The Titans are giving the reins to second year QB Jake Locker while former starter Matt Hasselbeck is the backup, and mentor. Locker is going up against one of the most elite QBs in the NFL, and arguably one of the best QBs ever in Tom Brady. I’m looking forward to this game.

It will be interesting to see if the Patriots’ young, and hopefully improved defense can stop the star RB for the Titans in Chris Johnson. Seeing the McCourty twins is going to be really cool. The main question for the Patriots is can the offensive line which is still coming together (no Brian Waters, and Matt Light retired) protect Tom Brady? I think so. Winner: New England Patriots

4:25 pm NFL Games:

Seattle Seahawks AT Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
Injury of concern for the Cardinals is Beanie Wells who was listed as questionable with a hamstring. For the Seahawks, the injuries are tackle James Carpenter, and WR Golden Tate are out with knee injuries, and RB Marshawn Lynch is questionable with back spasms.

Well, it is obvious to me that despite having a beast of a WR in Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals, outside of Kurt Warner, can not find a QB to throw him the ball. I mean, it is just tragic. Now, I am not as high on Seattle as a lot of people, but let’s see what the rookie QB Russell Wilson can do. Winner: Seattle Seahawks

San Fransisco 49ers AT Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI
The only injury of any importance is Ted Ginn being listed as questionable due to an ankle injury.

This game should be the best game of the week. Great QB match up in the sense that 49ers Alex Smith was the #1 overall pick in the 2005 Draft, and the first QB taken, and he is going up against Aaron Rodgers who sat in that green room for the longest time, before being taken at #25. In most experts’ eyes, this was supposed to be the NFC Championship game last post season, but it didn’t happen. Should be a good one.

For the game, even though the 49ers have an excellent defense, and the Packers defense hopefully have improved some, and I am not sure I have faith in them, I think Rodgers will put on a light show. Winner: Green Bay Packers

Carolina Panthers AT Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
RB Jonathan Stewart for the Panthers is listed as questionable. He has not practiced all week, so it is not likely he will play. Arrelious Benn, WR for the Bucs is listed as questionable despite practicing all week.

The Bucs were awful last year, and this preseason, they didn’t look all that great. I am a Rutgers graduate, so in that sense I want new Bucs Head Coach Greg Schiano to do well, but it will take awhile to turn this around. The Panthers once again have Ron Rivera as their head coach, and Cam Newton as QB. Will he have the dreaded sophomore slump? Will he be even better? We will see. He should lead the team to a win though. Winner: Carolina Panthers


Pittsburgh Steelers AT Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, CO
Notable Injuries for the Steelers are Safety Ryan Clark will not be playing due to his sickle cell illness which is aggravated by playing in the high altitude. There are conflicting reports as to whether LB James Harrison (officially listed as questionable) will play or not. RBs are pretty banged up: Rashard Mendendall (knee) listed as doubtful. Issac Redman (ankle) is listed as probable, and Baron Batch is listed as questionable with a groin. The Broncos have no important injuries.

Well, this is a huge game for a one Peyton Manning. It is his first game back after losing a year of his career due to a fourth neck surgery. Most fans know about his parting with the Colts. It will be strange to see him in other than a Colts uniform, but life goes on. It will be interesting to see how healthy, and how back to 100% he REALLY is. He looked pretty decent in preseason.

The Steelers come to town to try to avenge the post season loss to the Broncos. Of course, this time they face a much superior QB. The Steelers come in a bit banged up, and they have Ben, their elite QB learning a new offense, and getting to know new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley, but I think this game as a whole will be a good game.

Defensive guru Dick LeBeau turns 75 tomorrow, and I think the Steelers will give their Defensive Coordinator a birthday gift. I think it will be close though. Winner: Steelers


Game 1 at 7pm: Cincinnati Bengals AT Baltimore Ravens
M &T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
No notable injuries for either team.

This game shows why, at least in my view, the AFCN is the best division in the NFL. You have four tough, hardnosed teams who are physical not only with opponents outside their division, but with each other. This should be a pretty good game. It will be interesting to see how Terrell Suggs (on PUP due to Achilles ) absence affects the defense, and if Flacco can be the elite QB he claims he is.

The Bengals need to prove they can continue to be a playoff contender, and if this game somehow becomes a scoring fest, QB Andrew Dalton has show he can keep up. Their defense has to get after Flacco, and hold down RB Ray Rice. However, since Flacco has an excellent record at home, I expect him to hold on to that. Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Game #2 at approximately 10:15pm San Diego Chargers AT Oakland Raiders
Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, CA
The only notable injury for both teams is RB Ryan Matthews for the Chargers being out due to the collar bone injury as he had no contact in practice.

Well, I think this year is do or die for both the Chargers, and their coach Norv Turner. If they don’t get in the playoffs, I think their “genius” of a GM has to see that Turner is not the answer. Rivers has to cut down on the turnovers. The entire Chargers team has to cool it with their brashness, and bravado, and not start out so late, and hope to be Silky Sullivan (he was a great racehorse in the ’50s who would start his run about 40 lengths back), and somehow get into the playoffs. They can get off to a great start by destroying the Raiders. The Raiders are what they are. It will take awhile to get that team turned around. Winner: Chargers

Well, those are my picks. Good luck to everyone, and I pray there are no serious injuries in Week 1.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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Fantasy Football Week 1 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em

September 04, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Jay Cutler Brandon MarshallFinally, it’s back! The NFL is ready to kick off the 2012 season this Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys take on the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Not a moment too soon too, because I have to say as much as I am a fan of all the major sports, none of them shake me and get me fired up quite like a good football game. Not to mention the fact that with football comes my other favorite past time, fantasy football!

So I’m back again, Jeff “The Shark” Porrini here to bring you my little bit of expertise, knowledge and well a tad of the guessing game known as “Start Em/Sit Em”. Sure no one can truly know exactly how great or how bad a player can be on any given day, but it sure helps to have as much input as possible when fielding your team. As this season begins, it is no different from a week 8 game, who is hurt, who is a game-time decision, and what holdouts are having their role reduced. Yes, fantasy becomes a harder and harder game every season, so make sure you are here every week for some insights and advice.

Alright, now that all the love is out of the way, let’s take a look at my week 1 selections:



Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions vs.  St. Louis Rams: You have to back the guy delivering the ball to a WR like Calvin Johnson, right? You sure do, especially when he is coming off an excellent season and was able to stay healthy through all 16 games last season. The Lions are looking strong on offense this season and have lots of weapons, not to mention they are hosting a Rams team that has been awful on defense the last few seasons. You will see Staffords name here a lot this year, so bank on him.

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts: It’s not the Super Bowl rematch from a few years ago, and the Colts are ready for a new beginning, however that is a new era on offense and not so much on defense. Cutler got what he finally needed in WR Brandon Marshall, who was his prime target his first few years in Denver, and also has Matt Forte back who has a contract and is happy. Cutler has always had the strong arm, can make plays on the move and can really come up huge. We also know that Cutler at times can fall to pieces, but I won’t expect that here. The Colts defense don’t have the talent to keep this Bears team in check.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers: I know many of you out there will feel that Rodgers had an average preseason and that the 49ers have a rough and tough defense, but if you own Rodgers, you never bench Rodgers. Sure this is always an obvious start, and I hate to do obvious, but come on. Rodgers is the best fantasy option at QB, if not the best fantasy choice in all the league. Yes, the 49ers may have the talent to slow him down, but with a weak running game, the Packers will need to throw often, so 3 TDs from Rodgers should be easy.


John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks:  Skelton may have won the QB battle in Arizona but did he lose the war? Yes the Cardinals have Larry Fitzgerald, more talent at RB this year and rookie Michael Floyd is a nice big target as well, but 2 things I really don’t like: 1. Seattle’s defense is looking very much improved, and 2. Beating out Kevin Kolb is not a great accomplishment, so trusting Skelton will need some proof first. This may not be a solid prediction, but it is a gut feeling that Skelton is not going to light it up here.

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers: Was I dreaming, or did a team led by Alex Smith go 13-3 last year? This off-season the 49ers added Randy Moss and Mario Manningham at WR, but it is still Smith and the 49ers are a run first team. The Packers do have decent talent in the secondary and should start the season with a big win at home. I have little faith in Smith this week.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills: I can’t think too highly of the Bills defense yet, but I am slowly losing any trust at all in Sanchez. The Jets have several question marks on offense, and are usually a run first team anyway. Bringing in Tim Tebow will mean more wildcat and trick plays, and that right there will slow down Sanchez’s game. The Jets can be on a decline year, this will be the first test, and not one to rely on.

Running Back


LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns: One of the best RBs last season is ready to do big things again in 2012. The Browns defense has never been very good against the run, and Eagles QB Mike Vick had a tough preseason, so the Eagles will most likely try and get the ground game cooking. The Browns have a rookie at QB and at RB so the Eagles defense could very well make it a short field and allow McCoy to control the game and pile up the points.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins: Just because? Sure that sounds easy enough, but it is a well known fact that you always start Foster. The Dolphins were decent against the run last year, but slowing down Foster is always a tough task, and QB Matt Schaub still needs to find his game after coming off an injury last year. The Texans are coming in as one of the favorites in the AFC, so it will rely on their workhorse to take them there.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots: This should be the season where Chris Johnson earns his big contract. The holdouts are over, he had a full camp and even gets more involved in the passing game each season. The Titans have decided to go with Jake Locker at QB and he will need time to grow before the Titans become a pass happy offense. The Patriots will be improved on defense, but this is a tricky start for the run defense here.


The Washington Redskins backfield at New Orleans Saints: It’s not that I don’t like Evan Royster, Roy Helu and company but it’s the fact that I have a hard time trusting head coach Mike Shanahan with RBs. The Redskins have backs they can go to, and the Saints are not the toughest run defense in the league, but any guy you play here can gain one yard and be gone for the game. This is a RB situation that needs to be watched closely and only a huge game by one of them will guarantee them to at least start the following week.

The Carolina Panthers backfield at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: See above. While Mike Tolberts addition is a big one, and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are good backs, this situation has no true lead man. Not to mention that QB Cam Newton likes to snake touches by the goal line. The Panthers will also be playing the hot hand game week to week, and it will be tough to trust any one guy here unless others suffer injuries. If you own any Panther back, hold on to them and play only when truly needed.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: A knee injury last season cost Peterson several games last year, and his recovery, while on time has many people in Minnesota playing it cautious. It is just week 1, and the Jags are not much of a threat as well, so this may be a game the Vikings feel they can get by with using backup Toby Gerhart and more of WR Percy Harvin. Peterson will be back soon enough, so there is no need to panic, but also I would not get too excited in using him here.

Wide Receiver


Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts: Finally, Marshall has the talent at QB and the good offense he had longed for. Marshall is one of the best on the league when his head is straight, and he seems to have matured a great deal, and seems satisfied with his new team. The Colts will have a hard time trying to contend with him and he should prove to be back as a top tier fantasy starter.

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos: Although Mike Wallace is back from his holdout, this match up can be a gem for Brown. He came on last season and showed big play ability and great speed. The Broncos still have a good cover corner in Champ Bailey and he should be busy with Wallace. The Steelers are a little shaky in the running game as well, so they will go to the air more, and I think Brown can have a monster game to start the season.

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers: We know Jackson can play the game, and is a big physical WR. Now he has some new wrinkles in his game, a new offense, a long-term contract and he will no doubt be the go to guy. The Buccaneers paid plenty of money to rebuild this team and it should pay off quickly. Jackson can be the guy needed to help QB Josh Freeman find his touch again and the Buccaneer offense can be for real this season.


Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills at New York Jets: Johnson is the Bills best WR for sure, but he is about to take a trip to Revis Island where very few WRs find smooth sailing. Despite all his troubles last year, the Bills have kept their faith in Johnson, and it will probably pay off, just not in week 1. There are too many good options to use in week 1 to rely on this one here.

The San Francisco 49ers WR at Green Bay Packers: I said earlier that I don’t like the QB, but more important I don’t like the doubt of who exactly is the lead option here. It is a decent looking squad with Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree, but no one can predict as of now who will be the most targeted. Just wait and see, but don’t expect much in week 1.

Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals: For years Boldin has been a really good NFL WR, but as times change so do the roles of players. The Ravens have a speedy long ball threat in Torrey Smith now, and much like a baseball team, Boldin may have now become the set up guy for Smith and his big game speed. The Ravens also will be looking to run a lot against the Bengals, so I won’t but too much into Boldin this week.

Tight End


Fred Davis, Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints: Cutting Chris Cooley will open some doors for Davis who had a good season in 2011, and the Skins offense loves to rely on the TE. Here is a chance to get a guy that can sneak up on fantasy opponents

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders: With an offense that is banged up and has no real number 1 WR, it is clear that Gates will be the top option here. He should have himself a nice game against rival Oakland, so start him with confidence.


Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants: Rumors are swirling that the Cowboys are trying to get him on the field for week 1, but it does not look like it can happen. We all know Witten can deliver, but wait until his status is more clear.

Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots: The Pats always have a talented group at linebacker and Jake Locker will need time to get comfy in this offense. Expect the Titans to run a lot here and Cook to have an average day at best.

Defenses I like:

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions vs. St Louis Rams

Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins

Defenses I don’t like:

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons

Waiver Wire

Sure it is week 1, but already there are a few players free who may have suddenly found new roles or are worth a look:

Mikael LeShoure, RB, Detroit Lions: He will be back by week 3, and the Lions can finally get him on the field. Also he is behind only the very fragile Kevin Smith, so grab him now before he gets his chance to prove himself and get gobbled up.

Steve Smith, WR, St Louis Rams: An injury can’t possibly make him this bad now can it? Just a few years ago Smith was a guy going over 100 catches and can still play. Last season with Philadelphia he was not used often or properly which hurt his stats, but this year he will be a starting receiver on a team that needs serious help at the position. He is worth a flyer for sure.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks: Wilson is being added by many in many leagues and for good reason. He has shown a great knack for the pro game this preseason and is a very smart player. He has the job for now, and mixed with a good run game and solid defense he has the team that can win.

So this is it for week one fans. Football is back in full swing and we will be here too at

If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]

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NFL 2012-13 Season Preview, Predictions, & Super Bowl 47 Pick

September 04, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Arian Foster fantasy footballOn Wednesday, the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Champion New York Giants kick off the 2012/13 Season on Sept. 5, 2012 at the Met Life Stadium against the much hated Dallas Cowboys. After this past off season that came with a lot of drama, the season could not have come any faster. During the off season, NFL fans heard about the woes of the New York Jets where they gave their supposed starting quarterback Mark Sanchez a new contract with more money, and then they went out, and traded for Denver’s Tim Tebow. The news of Mr. Tebow, and the Jets have dominated not only the New York tabloids’ back pages, but ESPN. ESPN Sports center has turned into Jets Center. Silly me, and I thought there were other teams in the NFL.

The NFL off season also gave us the Peyton Manning drama. It was not enough that during the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, where Peyton’s brother Eli was supposed to be having his day in the sun, that the media focused on Peyton vs Colt’s Owner Jim Irsay, even I think both were at fault, but the whole entire feud was brought out in the open with Irsay cleaning house. Anyway, Petyon finally landed with the Broncos. Of course, Peyton has been under a microscope ever since.

Of course, NFL fans had to deal with hearing about the Saints’ bounty Scandal. It is in the courts now. I have written a blog about how I felt. I have done a bit of rethinking, and even though I still stand by my feelings about Gregg Williams (that he should be thrown out of the NFL), and I don’t have a high opinion of the coach either, but I think the players who were nailed got hit way too hard. Vilma especially got harder than I thought. I think too hard.

However, even though some of that will seep into NFL discussions for this upcoming year, this year is pretty much a new year, and as a fan, and a blogger, (but a fan first) I am thrilled. I am going to see if the Giants, or their Super Bowl opponents can return to the Super Bowl. I want to see how Peyton does after four neck surgeries, and a year away. Every year, there is turnover as far as the playoffs where teams who made it last year, don’t make it the following year. Who will they be, and who will be the new shooters? 2012 sounds like a fun season.

Before I go any further, I am going to go on a little mini rant about something that could cast a pall over the NFL season, at least the first few games. As of this writing, the NFL, and the NFLRA (the referee’s union) have NOT reached an agreement. They attempted to do so this past Friday on August 31, 2012, but failed. As many fans know, the preseason games have been officiated by these substitute referees from high school, to the Lingerie Bowl. They have been HORRIBLE. Now, I KNOW the real referees such as Ed Hochuli, and Mike Carey screw up calls. However, at least they are used to the speed of the game, and know the rules, and updated rules. These refs don’t have a clue what they are doing. They don’t even know where to put the ball after a play. They make blatant incorrect calls that the fans know are wrong. I fear that one of these refs are going to screw up a call where someone gets seriously injured, or costs a team a game, and may indeed cost that team a playoff spot. The NFL, and the NFLRA have to keep working to get an agreement, and get the regular refs back on that field.

[ad 2Well, now that I have said my peace about the refs, I am ready to give my predictions and preview for the 2012/2013 Season, and my predictions for the Super Bowl which takes place in New Orleans, LA.

Before I begin, I wish everyone who roots for whatever team, good luck, and I wish all the teams to have healthy players throughout the year. I also wish those who play Fantasy Football, good luck!




Aaron Rodgers is fantastic. He will , barring injury, easily lead the Packers to win the division. I am not in love with the Vikings, as I am not sure how Peterson will do coming off the ACL, and the Chicago Bears don’t impress me that much. Lions should do well if Stafford stays healthy.



49ers may take a slight step back, but should fairly easily win the division. I am not sure how the Seahawks will do with a rookie QB. Coach Carroll must believe in him though. The Rams got Gregg Williams taken from them due to the suspension, so I don’t know how they will be defensively. QB Stafford hopefully will step up. The Cardinals are a dumpster fire, period.



To start with the obvious, Tampa Bay is a mess. We will see if the Panthers’ Cam Newton will have the “Sophomore Slump.” I still don’t like their defense. Even without Coach Payton, the Saints should be able to manage 10 games. Whether Brees can break his own passing record, that is another thing. I have the Falcons winning the division by means of splitting their series with the Saints. I think this division will be competitive.


GIANTS: 12-4
EAGLES: 11-5

This is the toughest division to call. All four teams are hated rivals, and all get physical with each other. They’re all tough to play against. I think Giants just get the division, with the Eagles finishing second. Cowboys, and Redskins finish with the same record, but Cowboys end of ahead due to a split.


Now, let’s go to the




Well, you have a couple of tough teams in this division. You have two teams that just “hate” each other, the Ravens, and the Steelers. They get together late in the year, but that should be good. They won the division last year, by tiebreaker, but with Terrell Suggs, their best pass rusher out (for now) with an Achilles tear, and an aging defense, and a QB who is trying to show the is the “best,” I think they step back a bit. The Steelers have a new offense, and people doubt if Ben can get along with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and learn the offense. I think he can, and fortunately, Mike Wallace, the team’s star wideout came back. I think the Steelers take the division. Bengals will do OK, but miss the playoffs. The Browns are the Browns.



I did a lot of thinking about this division, and I think the Chargers bounce back from a couple of dismal seasons, and go 11-5, and make the playoffs for a change. Maybe it is hopeful thinking, as I do not like this team much, but it is guess on my part.I am taking Peyton Manning’s health, and the fact he has not played in a year into consideration, so that is why I have the Broncos where I have them. I think they make the playoffs if Manning stays healthy. The Chiefs, and the Raiders are just the other two teams. I don’t think they will do much. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.



Well, after all these years of hearing how Houston is going to break through, it looks like they finally arrived. Well, sort of. I think this team is going to wind up with an awesome record regardless like they did last year. However, what ruined the whole thing is that like many times before, Matt Schaub, their top QB could not stay healthy. They did beat the Bengals in the playoffs last year with the rookie, and had their special teams been in operating order, I think they would have beaten the Ravens. However, I am sure they will win the division. The Titans could challenge, but we will see what Locker does. I know the experts are in total man love with Andrew Luck, and think he may do something with the Colts ala Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, but the guy’s a rookie, and I will judge for myself on Mr. Luck. Jaguars got their weapon, Maurice Jones Drew back, but I still think the Jaguars are going to be in the cellar.



This division was an easy call. The New England Patriots, as long as they got Mr. Thomas Edward Brady under center, and Bill Belichick as head coach, they are going to win a lot of games, and I think they are definitely winning the division. I am not one of the chicken little people worrying about the offensive line, and such. They know what they are doing. I am not buying the Bills. The Bills have improved on their defense, at least on paper. The Dolphins still look like a mess. I can’t even figure the Jets out. Rex Ryan says this is the best team he has had. Rex…..don’t talk……show me. I am going to be “from Missouri” as they say when it come to the Jets. They have to show me.


Now, I am not going to go into the entire playoff bit, but I will just give you, my readers my representative for the AFC, and for the NFC, and the winner of the Super Bowl.

For the NFC: SAN FRANCISCO 49ers



Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

NFL 2012-13 AFC Preview and Predictions – Inside The Wheelhouse

August 23, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Peyton ManningIt’s that time of the year again where I flip the script from talking wrestling and starting talking about the greatest American sport known as Football. This will be the first in a 3-part series leading us up to the first week of Football action on Wednesday September 5th at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We kick things off with the AFC Conference Preview & Predictions blog followed up with the NFC next week and who I think will be crowned Super Bowl Champion in the following week.

Let’s take a look at the AFC by starting things off with the AFC East Division, the home of the reigning AFC Champion New England Patriots.

AFC East:

The AFC East is one of the most competitive divisions in all of Football. To me, being a Baseball fan, I would compare it to the AL East in Major League Baseball. All four of these teams are pretty strong and give division matchups the type of “big game” feel they should have. If you are able to fight your way out of this division as the Champion sets up any team for a strong playoff push come January.

New England Patriots (11-5):

This should come to no surprise that I would have the New England Patriots as the AFC East Division Champions. They are the reigning AFC Champions and enter the 2012-2013 season with a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss that will leave them wanting to fight back to the “big game” in February and win another Championship. New England’s heart and fight will be tested by the leadership of Tom Brady should help them once again be successful in the 2012-2013 season.

New York Jets (10-6):

This is a make-or-break season for the New York Jets after a disappointing 2011-2012 campaign. Rex Ryan is the biggest name on the NFL coaching hot seat this season and needs his team to rally behind Mark Sanchez to get them back to the playoff promise land. I honestly don’t believe Tim Tebow starts this season at quarterback (unless Sanchez goes down with injury at any point) but will prove to be a very big red-zone threat for a newly developed offense that could prove to potentially be revolutionary in the NFL.

Buffalo Bills (7-9):

I really enjoyed the Buffalo Bills story in the first part of last season. They were a fun team to watch after starting 5-0 and got an exciting win over the Patriots at home. People even believed that this was the beginning of the Bills return to the playoffs but it just wasn’t meant to be yet. I still think Buffalo is on the cusp of something good right now but this isn’t there season, especially in the tough AFC East. This is a team that can continue building and be poised for a potential playoff return in the 2013-2014 season.

Miami Dolphins (4-12):

This is a franchise that still is lacking an identity. They don’t know who their starting quarterback is, they don’t know who their starting running back is and they are still in that “rebuilding mode” as they play for the future. There is nothing wrong in that logic but it’s not a team that we should be looking at as making a comeback this year. Miami could be on the right pace but it’s going to take some more rough roads before they figure out what direction the Fins’ want to move towards.

AFC North:

Another AFC division that is pretty strong and last season gave us three of the six AFC playoff teams. Not bad for an entire division as it shows how strong they truly are. I don’t see that situation repeating this year and actually see the division start to lay-out back to “normal” where they may have two teams (at best) make the playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens (13-3):

I have been harping on this team being successful for the last couple of seasons and they finally looked like an “AFC Elite” team last season despite the heartbreaking loss in the AFC Championship Game. If you remember correctly, this was a team that was given very little chance to beat New England at home in the AFC Championship Game and nearly pulled it off. If that type of loss isn’t enough motivation for this team to come back with a fire and passion this year then I don’t know what else is.

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6):

Most people are in fear that this team will struggle due to the “sophomore slump” that most rookies go through (and they have two big ones in Andy Dalton & AJ Green) but I believe is a team that will put that folklore to rest. Cincy has something real good going right now with the Dalton/Green combination and could be a force to be reckoned with if they continue to grow at the pace they are destined to be. I like the Bengals chances this season as they continue to build off this youth movement that is currently in place.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8):

The Steelers are getting older by the day, literally and their franchise is being affected by it. For year their defense was the foundation of their success and they are looking like the most affected by “age.” Don’t believe me? Re-watch the defense getting burned in that playoff game in Denver. I believe this team continues to slip until they start instilling some youth in their system, like the New England Patriots have done very well.

Cleveland Browns (3-13):

What is there to say about this franchise? They play in Cleveland, they continue to struggle and there is no light at the end of this deep & dark tunnel currently. Things don’t look good in Cleveland now (other then the potential Trent Richardson could display) and they don’t look good in the future. They may have a shocking win here or there but don’t consider them a team to fear on the schedule.

AFC South:

This is one of the weakest divisions in the entire NFL. If you win this division not only do you get granted a playoff spot but you may also be granted a first round bye due to how week it is. Six division matchups could give one team a free pass into the divisional round and an easier route to the Super Bowl 47 this February.

Houston Texans (13-3):

If injuries didn’t plague them throughout the season I believe this Texans team was a “shoe in” for the AFC Championship Game last season. They played in the weakest division in the NFL and were a pretty dominating team because of such. They portrayed the moniker “defense wins championships” and clearly could’ve been an NFL elite team at the end of the season had they not lost Matt Schaub or Andre Johnson. This is a team that very well could be Super Bowl 47 bound this season.

Tennessee Titans (7-9):

I honestly believe that the only way Tennessee becomes successful again is if they: 1.) Let Jake Locker become the starting quarterback and 2.) Have the Chris Johnson “of old” on the field. This is a frustrating team to watch because they very well could be one or two moves away from making the playoffs again. It’s a been a disappointing franchise for quite sometime now due to player moves they gone through and the very talented Kenny Britt not being able to stay out of trouble continues to hurt this squad. If they got it together they could be playing in January but not this season.

Indianapolis Colts (4-12):

Some may have said that the “post-Peyton Manning era” began last season despite him actually being on the roster but it officially begins this season as Andrew Luck will line-up on under center for the Colts this season and beyond. I like the moves the Colts made for the future during the off-season and in the draft so they are thinking ahead rather then right now. They will get there wins and Luck will show signs of being a franchise quarterback but they will still have more bumps in the road then success stories. Look for Indy to make their return to January Football in about two more seasons.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14):

Jacksonville only mirrors the Browns when it comes to franchises that have nothing going for them in the right direction. People have been calling for the decline of MJD (me included) the last couple of seasons but he has shown that he can still be dominant. Well I’m calling for the decline yet again and won’t be surprised if he has another typical MJD season either. Blaine Gabbart isn’t the guy for the Jaguars and never really performed very well in his rookie season. This is a franchise that is begging for both a move to Los Angeles and the #1 overall draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

AFC West:

The AFC West could be the surprise division for this season as the most exciting division in all of football. They clearly have four teams that very well could be representing their division in January Football and that should make for exciting football every Sunday when it comes to the AFC West. Out of all the divisions in the AFC this one was the hardest when coming up with who would win the division this year.

Denver Broncos (11-5)

This was one of the hardest calls to make when it came to pick any AFC division winner but I cannot bet against Peyton Manning. I don’t care about the neck surgeries/procedures he has gone through or being away from the NFL for an entire year. You cannot bet against the former 4-time NFL MVP unless he has given you a reason to do so and he hasn’t on the playing field. Denver is going to be a strong team this season with Peyton behind center and with that very good lockdown defense that is in place at Mile High Stadium.

San Diego Chargers (10-6)

San Diego is poised for a comeback season from last year’s struggling season. They never looked to be in-sync at all as Phillip Rivers played with no heart and it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Norv Turner would be fired. That didn’t happen this past season but it could be if they have a duplicate season from last year. I don’t see that coming and actually am considering Phillip Rivers as a sleeper pick for the NFL MVP award this season.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)

The Chiefs had an encouraging season after Romeo Crennel took over from Todd Haley and looked to actually be inspired by their new interim coach (at the time). Kansas City will be a tough team this season, especially with the combo of Peyton Hillis and a hopefully healthy Jamaal Charles in the backfield. They will be good but not playoff bound just yet, I still think Matt Cassell as their starting quarterback holds them back from breaking through just yet.

Oakland Raiders (7-9)

Somehow the Raiders have had decent back-to-back seasons despite being a franchise that was considered to be left for dead. Oakland will be competitive once again this season but won’t be a playoff contending team when it comes down to crunch time at the end of the year. I like what’s going on in Oakland but like Kansas City I don’t think Carson Palmer is the answer to their needs. Plus they need a healthy Darren McFadden to help them be successful and that is something that has been quite the struggle since he entered the NFL.

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