Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cowboys- Second Half of the Season

Well, I thought this may happen.

The cowboys are sitting at 3-5. The offense is miserable and the defense can't make stops when it matters. But, most importantly, the cowboys are the most unorganized, undisciplined, and overrated team in the NFL. After seeing the game tonight, I would be surprised if the team finished with a winning record this season. And it would literally take a miracle for the Cowboys to get into the playoffs.

It's over. It's done. Goodbye to 2012. Another year to inconsistency, hype and failure in the leadership department.

Thank God for fantasy football because my attention will be focused on three things for this football season:

1. My team

2. The Cardinals, Seahawks, Vikings and Buccaneers (teams that I secretly like)

3. The cowboys off season.

That's right, Cowboys fans. I am already in off season mode.

If I were the Cowboys GM, here are some things I would do to increase my chance of success this offseason.

1. Hire Sean Payton, offer Garrett offensive coordinator-
      This option has become increasingly more popular after speculation that the NFL has terminated Payton's contract, allowing him to become a coaching free agent next year. He has already worked for the Cowboys, lives in Dallas and has a respect for Jerry Jones (one of the few.) The point is that, hiring Payton would bring some discipline to the organization. That's the #1 priority for the unruly Cowboys. Offering Garrett the coordinator job back also makes sense and will allow him to focus on what he is good at, calling plays, and let Payton handle the management side of things. And if Garrett doesn't want the job, that's fine. Garrett is a nice addition but not a necessity for the Cowboys to work. I actually trust Romo over Garrett anyways. Romo can use his sandlot style playing and adapt to whoever is physically calling the plays- and that may end up being Sean Payton.

2. Draft a rookie QB in the 3rd or 4th Round-
   The Cowboys have 2 major holes on the team right now: interior offensive line and safety. Those are must picks in the first two rounds of the draft/free agency. Besides running back depth, I would say the next big issue on the Cowboys is the QB position. Look, I have stood behind Romo through thick and thin but I am getting tired of excuses. The cowboys need to pressure Romo into believing that his job is on the line. Orton, while a good backup, is just a backup and everyone knows that. Drafting a Landry Jones could do 1 of 2 things. Ideally, it makes Romo play better knowing that his job is on the line. Or, it could make him crumble under pressure which would merit a change in QB anyways. Plus, a 3rd or 4th rounder wouldn't be that much of an investment anyway. With Romo's contract set to expire in 2014, drafting a QB makes sense.

3. Dispose of Orlando Scandrick and Dez Bryant-
   Scandrick is one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL. He can't tackle and he is too inconsistent in coverage. It's time for the Cowboys to move on from him. He also is very expensive so releasing or trading him would create some cap room. I'm not sure about the details of his contract but I do know this: I would rather have a 4th round pick and Mike Jenkins back then to have an overrated corner. Dez, of course, is probably worth a whole blog entry. He has potential but is also a dumb, unlucky and controversial receiver who is not helping the team. And, he is probably worth at least a 2nd round pick if not a 1st round pick. It seems like there are tons of talented receivers who would be great fits for the Cowboys. Bryant needs to go.

There are tons more the Cowboys can do and, after the season, I will probably know more specifics. The point is that the season for the cowboys is over. It's time to start thinking about the future.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cowboys Season

Hello all,

After watching the Cowboys game last night (in person) I was disappointed. So I came home and did what i always do when I am sad, I researched. I still think that the Cowboys can go 10-6 but, it is going to require a lot. I've broken up the remaining 12 games into three sections, so here it goes:

@Panthers- Week 7- the cowboys have to get hot early in order to combat Cam
vs.Browns- Week 11- If the cowboys mess up this one...
Reskins (x2)- we have to beat RG3 BOTH TIMES we face him. They have potential but not good yet.

Permissible Losses-
Eagles (x1)- we can lose 1 to the Birds and make the playoffs
@Ravens- Week 6- I have more confidence in Flacco over Romo- especially at home
@Falcons- Week 9- The falcons may be the best team in the NFL- the cowboys are far from it
vs. Steelers- Week 15- The cowboys are not mentally or physically as tough as the steelers

Games that will define the season- the boys have to win all of these to go 10-6. These games will show how tough the Cowboys are:

Eagles (x1)- My prediction is that one of the cowboys vs. eagles games will be close. Just a matter of can we score AND stop vick when it matters.
@Bengals- Week 14- The Bengals are not great but neither are the Cowboys. This one will be close.
vs. Saints- Week 16- The Saints look bad but they can score quickly. Be interested in seeing how bad they are vs. the boys.
vs. Giants- Week 8- I think this is the most defining game of the season for the cowboys. If they win this game, my prediction is that they make the playoffs. If they lose, they will be at home for a third straight year in January.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 2 NFL Predictions

Let's cut the chat and get right to it. Last week I was 60%

Packers beat Bears- The Pack will bounce back at home against an overrated Bears team.
Key for the Pack: Stopping Brandon Marshall
Key for the Bears: Protecting Jay Cutler
Key matchup: Charles Woodson vs. Brandon Marshall

Giants beat Buccaneers- The super bowl champs have a chip on their shoulder from last week and they will use it as motivation against a young Bucs team.
Key for the Giants: Staying mentally tough
Key for the Bucs- Getting the run game hot, early.
Key Matchup: Giants D-line vs. Doug Martin

Dolphins beat Raiders- Not exactly a superbowl matchup, but will still be a good game.
Key for the Raiders- Not making dumb mistakes.
Key for the Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill's performance
Key Matchup: Ryan Tannehill's receivers vs. Raiders secondary

Texans beat Jaguars- In what should be a blowout, the red hot Texans will play at their best.
Key for the Texans- do not underestimate Gabbert
Key for the Jaguars- getting pressure to Schuab
Key Matchup: Jaguars oline vs. Texans d-line

Bengals beat Browns- an old fashioned rivalry will be closer than most expect. Still, I have more faith in the playoff team.
Key for the Bengals- Getting the ball to AJ Green
Key for the Browns- Establishing the run
Key matchup: Trent Richardson vs. Bengals Dline

Chiefs beat Bills- Both teams were blown out last week. The Chiefs are mentally tougher and will pull out the W.
Key for the Chiefs- Stopping the run game.
Key for the Bills- Stopping the pass game.
Key matchup: Chiefs D vs. CJ Spiller

Ravens beat Eagles- This battle of the birds is not even close.
Key for the Ravens- Putting pressure on Vick
Key for the Eagles- Keeping Vick upright.
Key matchup: Eagles oline vs. Ravens linebackers/dline

Panthers beat Saints- This season won't be a brees for the Big Easy.
Key for the Panthers- Making Cam "superman"
Key for the Saints- Stopping the pass game.
Key matchup- Cam Newton vs. Saints D

Patriots beat Cardinals- The Cardinals have an identity crisis while the Pats train keeps rolling along.
Key for the Patriots- Maintaining a lead
Key for the Cardinals- Scoring more points
Key Matchup: Fitzgerald vs. McCourty

Colts beat Vikings- Andy Luck plays much better at home
Key for the Colts- stopping AD
Key for the Vikings- the passing game
Key matchup: Anthony Costonzo vs. Jared Allen

Rams beat Redskins- I know this is an upset pick but the Rams have a tough D.
Key for the Rams- stopping RG3
Key for the Redskins- playing tough
Key Matchup: Cortland Finnegan vs. Pierce Garcon

Cowboys beat Seahawks- Wilson has no chance against a great Cowboys D.
Key for the Seahawks- Scoring points
Key for the Cowboys- maintaining a lead
Key Matchup: Cowboys widouts vs. Seahawks corners

Steelers beat Jets- the Jets are hot but not as consistent as the Steelers
Key for the Jets- playing like a team, not a circus
Key for the Steelers- putting pressure on Sanchez
Key Matchup- Jets oline vs. Steelers Dline

Titans beat Chargers- San Diego is in for a shock against Jake Locker's Titans.
Key for the Titans- getting the run game going.
Key for the Chargers- getting the run game going.
Key Matchup- Chargers D vs. Chris Johnson

49ers beat Lions- See last week for both of these teams.
Key for 49ers- stopping matthew stafford
Key for Lions- scoring points
Key Matchup- Matthew Stafford vs. 49ers D

Falcons beat Broncos- No way that Peyton Manning can rally against this hot offense
Key for Falcons- getting pressure on manning.
Key for Broncos- keeping up with Falcons
Key matchup- Julio Jones vs. Champ Bailey

Please message me if you want to further discuss.

NFL Week 1 Prediction Results

Hello All,

The title kind of gives it away. I will be doing NFL predictions every week.

Week 1: 9-6 (60%)

Where I was right:

1. Bears beat Colts- I knew Andy Luck couldn't outplay a newfound combo with Cutler and Marshall.
2. Eagles beat Browns- closer that I thought, but the eagles still pulled out a W
3. Lions beat Rams- I knew the Rams would play well but Stafford played better in the clutch.
4. Texans beat Dolphins- This one I expected to be a blow out. It lived up to its expectations.
5. Vikings beat Jaguars- I thought this one would be close so I gave it to the home team- they returned the favor.
6. Patriots beat Titans- Locker is a future star but Tom Brady still shines brighter.
7. Cardinals beat Seahawks- Despite a QB controversy in AZ, I still love the talent. A close game, but they pulled it out.
8. Ravens beat Bengals- Some have the Ravens in the superbowl. After what I saw last night, it could happen.
9. Chargers beat Raiders- I don't think either team is that good. But, Raiders are worse.

Where I was wrong-

1. Giants beat Cowboys- I am still shocked that the Boys walked into the Meadowlands and out toughed the Giants. Shows me that this isn't your Wade Phillips Cowboys team anymore.
2. Chiefs beat Falcons- the offensive fire power was too much for the Chiefs' young defense to handle. Just had to play too much catch up.
3. Saints beat Redskins- RG3 played incredibly against a shaky team with no coaching. Still, I expected more from Brees.
4. Packers beat 49ers- This just shows you why they say defense wins championships. Meanwhile, the 49ers offense played well enough to shock the packers at home.
5. Panthers beat Buccaneers- This isn't your grandma's Bucs team- they played tough and smart. The panthers relied on superman- but he looked a little more like Clark Kent.
6. Steelers beat Broncos- I still have no explanation for this one. I like the Steelers at nearly every position over Denver. I guess it was the WILL of Peyton Manning that won this game. He wanted it.

Week 2 predictions coming soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Random Thoughts- 5/22/12

Hey all,

So... I haven't been posting regularly. I plan to do that now.

Here are some things that I have been thinking about lately.

1. One of my favorite shows, Awake, has recently been canceled. I am upset for two big reasons. One is that it was a really good show (I recommend it to everyone.) But secondly is that it is another reason why my faith in the American people is slowly declining. Here was a show that was complicated but, if you could figure out everything, was enlightening. If you are still reading this then I would recommend reading a plot summary. It was somewhat plot and special features driven but had a lot of philosophical aspects to it which I fear is losing ground in the hyper culture we live in.

2. On a lighter note, I have recently discovered Ellie Goulding's song Lights. It is my new fad. Also, give One Direction a chance. Yes they are a boy band and their lyrics suck sometimes but there is nothing like a friday afternoon jam session in your car with "What Makes You Beautiful."

3. I have started to tweet (@11fitzgerald) about movies. I gave Captain America a 5/10. Go check out why.

4. It seems like, if my newsfeed was to be the electorate, Obama would win by a landslide.

5. There are people I like a lot better on facebook then in real life. And vis-a-versa.

6. I spent most of my time in my astronomy class looking up stuff by Carl Sagan. Here's another example of something that our hyper culture could not handle/would not find interesting.

7. I really miss reality.

8. If debate was a really hot girl, I think I would ask her on a date.

9. I need advice: how do you get out of the "friend zone?"

10. We need to engage in skepticism to either reconfirm convictions or come up with others. Thoughts???

Also, please fb chat me/email/tweet or comment if you have suggestions about what I should write about.

Monday, April 30, 2012

My thoughts on the NFL draft (so far)

My Thoughts on the NFL Draft:

First, here is the list of the best first round picks:

NFL Best to Worst 2012 Draft

1) 4. VIKINGS- OT Matt Kalil- A+
2) 24. Steelers- OG David DeCastro- A+
3) 18. Chargers- DE Melvin Ingram- A+
4) 23. Lions- OT Riley Reiff- A
5) 1. Colts- QB Andrew Luck- A
6) 5. JAGUARS- WR Justin Blackmon- A
7) 12. EAGLES- DT Fletcher Cox- A
8) 17. BENGALS- CB Dre Kirkpatrick- A-
9) 13. Cardinals- WR Michael Floyd- A-
10) 2. REDSKINS- QB Robert Griffen III- A-
11)6. COWBOYS- CB Morris Claibourne- A-

12) 28. Packers- DE Nick Perry- B+
13) 8. Miami- QB Ryan Tannehill- B+
14) 25. PATRIOTS- ILB Don’t’a Hightower- B+
15) 9. Panthers- LB Luke Kuechley- B+
16) 3. BROWNS- RB Trent Richardson- B+
17) 29. Vikings- FS Harrison Smith- B
18) 10. Bills- CB Stephon Gilmore- B
19) 31. BUCCANEERS- RB Doug Martin- B
20) 21. PATRIOTS- DE Chandler Jones- B
21) 16. Jets- DE/DT Quinton Copels- B
22) 7. BUCCANEERS- SS Mark Barron- B-

23) 27. BENGALS- OG Keith Zeitler- C+
24) 11. Chiefs- DT Dontari Poe- C+
25) 15. SEAHAWKS- DE Bruce Irvin- C+
26) 19. Bears- DE Shea McClellin- C
27) 32. Giants- RB David Wilson- C
28) 30. 49ers- WR A.J. Jenkins- C
29) 26. Texans- DE Whitney Mercilus- C
30) 14. Rams- DT Michael Brockers- C-
31) 20. Titans- WR Kendall Wright- C-
32) 22. Browns- QB Brandon Weeden- D

Here is the explanations to all of them:

NFL Draft Grades: Average Grade


1. Colts- QB Andrew Luck- A
There was no other choice here. Luck is a franchise QB that has the potential to be the next Peyton Manning. It will be interesting to see how the colts help him with later picks.

2. REDSKINS- QB Robert Griffin III- A-
The Redskins gave up a lot for young griff. Time will tell how Griff will play in the NFL but from the info that we have now, this boom or bust player looks like a great pick.

3. BROWNS- RB Trent Richardson- B-
The Browns had no other choice. If they wanted to draft Richardson, they had to trade up for fear of another team making a deal with the Vikings. However, I don’t think RB was their biggest need and I think this is a deep class of running backs. I also think Richardson was playing behind a great offensive line at Alabama- so I gave the pick a B.

4. VIKINGS- OT Matt Kalil- A+
Kalil is the best player in the draft. The fact that the Vikings could get him and extra picks makes this the best pick in the draft. Ponder now won’t have to worry about being blindsided and will have time to throw downfield. Peterson can maybe avoid some of the injuries that have plagued him as well.

5. JAGUARS- WR Justin Blackmon- A
Wow, the Jaguars scored on this pick! They traded up for a huge need and a great player and only gave up a 4th round pick! My philosophy is that you need either 3 solid starters or 2 great players from the draft and with high 2nd and 3rd round picks, they may get both. Blackmon is an explosive player and will help Blaine Gabbert grow in the NFL.

6. COWBOYS- CB Morris Claiborne- A-
Jerry Jones is notorious for trading up for a player that he loves. He did it again here with Claiborne. Claiborne has the potential to be the next Darelle Revis. The question, and the reason why this is not an A+ is where he fits in the cowboys needs. The cowboys had 3 solid corners, and having 4 is great BUT they may have had bigger needs. And they gave up a second round pick meaning that they are going to have to draft smart in the late rounds. This is not a bad pick but, it may not have been the best idea.

7. BUCCANEERS- SS Mark Barron- B-
Barron is a solid player that is arguably a top 10 pick. The problem with this pick is that they took a big risk and it ended up not working out. The Buccaneers had their guy, Claiborne, at #5 and figured they could trade down and get an extra 4th to get him. Instead, they got screwed over by the Cowboys and are left with a great player, but not Morris Claibourne.

8. Dolphins- QB Ryan Tannehill- B+
The Dolphins flunked on several QBs this offseason so they had to draft Tannehill. There are a lot of question marks around Tannehill, no doubt. But in a system with Reggie Bush, Jake Long and a pretty solid defense, Tannehill pleases the fans and the Dolphins seem like a good fit.

9. Panthers- ILB Luke Kuechley- B+
The Panthers drafted the best player available on their board. Kuecheley is a great linebacker and can replace Dan Connor. The issue I have with this pick is whether it filled their biggest need especially with Fletcher Cox still on the board. If he ends up being a pro bowler, then this won’t matter. But they do need still need a defensive tackle.

10. Bills- CB Stephon Gilmore- B
Gilmore was jumping off of draft boards 24 hours before the draft. Gilmore, once projected a late 1st, got into the top 10. I think that it is well deserved: he is a great player and can really help the Bills. But he was not the best choice (maybe not even at his own position) for the Bills. If he ends up being an all pro, then we can laugh at me. But my guess is that the Bills passed up some players that were better.

11. Chiefs- DT Dontari Poe- C+
Poe can be the best defensive tackle in the NFL for about 10 teams and would be a bust for 20. For him, it’s about motivation: and players love working for Crennel. Think about it like this: he can dominate for about 15-18 plays a game, stopping teams from running and pressing the QB. How do you not want to work with this guy? He is a great project player and he is on the right team to do it with. If they draft conservative the rest of the draft, it makes this pick worth it. That being said, the risk is huge, almost bigger than the reward. It will be interesting to see how this move works out.

12. EAGLES- DT Fletcher Cox- A
The Eagles scored with Fletcher Cox. They were patient, didn’t give up too much, and then traded up to get the best all around defensive lineman in the draft. The Eagles had a huge need at getting after the QB so this move makes complete sense.

13. Cardinals- WR Michael Floyd- A-
Michael Floyd is pretty much a carbon copy of Anquan Boldin. He is tall, aggressive and can catch anything thrown his direction. My main concern with him is whether he can get YAC but that is the least of the Cardinals concerns. Their goal was to take pressure off of Kolb and Fitzgerald: Floyd gives them both.

14. RAMS- DT Michael Brockers- C-
I really hate this pick. With Riley Reiff and Kendall Wright still on the board the Rams choose Brockers? Brockers is a good player, not a great player. Plus, the Rams d-line was not the problem last year: it was the offensive line that couldn’t block and their wide receivers. This is a terrible move.

15. SEAHAWKS- DE/OLB Bruce Irvin- C+
Ummm who? I actually had no idea who this guy was going into the draft. After some intense research over the past 12 hours, I have come to determine that this was not as bad of a pick as I originally thought it was. Irvin is a sack specialist, something the Seahawks need. He is the most athletic defensive end in the draft. The issues with him are off the field troubles, something Carroll can deal with. He is also labeled as an “athlete playing football” which I mean isn’t a bad thing: you want all football players to be athletic. Its just that he needs time to grow, something that he can do in Seattle. But, this was a huge risk especially with Melvin Ingram on the board. Not as bad of a pick as some people think, but not a great pick.

16. Jets- DE/DT Quinton Copels- B
Jets fans have wanted a better pass rush and they certainly got it here. Copels is explosive and without a doubt is a good fit for the Jets. But watching the Jets last season, they lacked offensive explosion and really needed a guy like Stephen Hill or Kendall Wright. This isn’t a bad pick, just not what they needed in round one.

17. BENGALS- CB Dre Kirkpatrick- A-
One of the few mock draft picks that was right, Kirkpatrick is a star, physical cornerback that can replace Johnathan Joesph. Kirkpatrick does have some off the field issues, but the Bengals are never scared of that. As well, Kirkpatrick’s issues are small and happened a while ago.

18. Chargers- DE Melvin Ingram- A+
How did Ingram fall this far? Every year, there is one great player that falls and the Chargers landed the best defensive end in this draft without having to trade! Ingram is a perfect fit in the Chargers 3-4 and can help bolster a defense that was lacking sacks.

19. Bears- DE Shea McClellin- C
McClellin was considered by most to be a high 2nd round pick so this isn’t that much of a reach. He is probably a pretty safe pick that will be a “good” starter in the league. He could excel in the NFL, but it’s unlikely.

20. Titans- WR Kendall Wright- C-
This was just the wrong pick. Wright is just like Nate Washington, who is not young but can still play. Meanwhile, their defense is in shambles: they lost Cortland Finnegan, their defensive line is weak and their linebacking corps is injury prone. Their offense was fine and while adding a talented playmaker is nice, it was the wrong move.

21. PATRIOTS- DE Chandler Jones- B
I like the Patriots trading up for a major need at defensive end after losing Mark Anderson. Jones was as well climbing up draft boards this week so the Patriots had to trade up for him if they wanted him. I don’t like Chandler Jones, but I respect the move by the great Bill Bellicheck.

22. BROWNS- QB Brandon Weeden- D
Weeden is 28 years old and has accuracy is poor. But Weeden will do one of two things for the Browns. He is either a shirt term solution to their QB needs or he put pressure on Colt McCoy to play better. Either way, this is a mediocre pick and probably could have been better spent elsewhere.
23. Lions- OT Riley Reiff- A
Reiff is a steal at #23. The Lions are in desperate need for an offensive tackle and scored here. Reiff is one of the best players in the draft and is the best-run blocker in the draft. The fact that the Lions did not have to trade up makes this better. I have no doubt that other teams will be regretting passing up Reiff when he becomes a pro bowler.

24. Steelers- OG David DeCastro- A+
DeCastro is the best interior offensive lineman in the draft. The Steelers have needed upgrades to their offensive line and got it here. DeCastro is strong and is part of the reason why Luck was so good last year. DeCastro can be the best guard in the game and the fact that the Steelers did not have to trade up makes this pick awesome.

25. PATRIOTS- ILB Don’t’a Hightower- B+
I like this trade much better than the other one that the Patriots did. The Patriots were also in need for an ILB and Hightower is a great role player for the Patriots. He can line up with Jerod Mayo and help bolster the Patriots front 7.

26. Texans- DE Whitney Mercilus- C
I get it- The Texans lost Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans and want to replace him ASAP. The problem is that they already did with Brooks Reed and Connor Barwin. This draft needed to focus on the back half of the defense and the offense. Plus, Mercilus is really overrated. Overall, I just don’t see Mercilus having the impact that other players available here could have had.

27. BENGALS- OG Keith Zeitler- C+
Mehh- the Bengals went safe here and drafted Zeitler who can be a productive guard for the Bengals. Not only did the Bengals have bigger needs (WR, RB, DE) but Cordy Glenn is a much better player that Zeitler. Maybe the Bengals see something here, but I think they didn’t want to take a big risk so they won’t get a big reward.

28. Packers- DE Nick Perry- B+
Nick Perry has had a roller coaster type of draft and ended up falling a bit more than aIthough he would. Perry is an awesome fit in the Packers’ defensive scheme as he can line up as a 3-4 OLB who can play defensive end as a flex. The reason for the A- was that they probably had a bigger need at cornerback and safety after releasing Nick Collins.

29. VIKINGS- FS Harrison Smith- B+
Smith is the second best safety in a weak safety class. Smith is a huge drop off from Barron as he struggles with man to man coverage. But the Vikings did have big holes in the backfield and Smith is certainly an improvement.

30. 49ers- WR A.J. Jenkins- C
I have no issue with the 49ers taking a wide receiver. The issue is whether Jenkins was the right receiver to pick and he wasn’t. He is not Stephen Hill nor Mohammad Sanu. Jenkins is way too much of a reach here and is too raw to make any immediate impact on the team. Right position: wrong player.

31. BUCCANEERS- RB Doug Martin- B-
Martin is the second best running back in a pretty good class. The Buccaneers were in need for a complement with Blount. Martin is a nice fit in the offense and while not the biggest need, this is certainly not a bad pick and could end up working out really well.

32. Giants- RB David Wilson- C
Wilson is a soley need based pick. The Giants had access to a lot of good players such as Jonathan Martin or Stephen Hill. Instead, they draft a highly injury prone, average running back. I do not approve.

Next, here all the summaries (so far) of each teams draft:

Note: Only the first three rounds of any draft are relevant/easy to predict.

Team by Team NFL Draft Review

Indianapolis Colts- A
1. QB Andrew Luck- Stanford- A
34. TE Colby Fleener- Stanford- A
64. TE Dwayne Allen- Clemson- A-
92. WR TY Hilton- Florida International- B

The Colts went all offense in this draft. Luck is the franchise while Fleener and Allen can be 2 big targets for Luck to throw to (think of the Patriots.) They also added TY Hilton who is a speedster and can catch some of the deeper throws Luck makes. With the exception of a run game, the Colts may be back on track without Manning because of this draft.

Washington Redskins- B
2. QB Robert Griffen III, Baylor- A-
71. OG Josh Leribeus- SMU- C+

The Redskins mortgaged their future on RG3 and my prediction has been that it wont work out. Remember, this team had no talent last year and that is not going to change anytime soon. They went out and got some overrated wide outs and kept injury prone running backs. I feel bad for RG3 as he will be the classic example of the guy who just doesn’t work out for a team because it is put on his shoulders. Leribeus is a solid backup but is not athletic or strong enough to start in the NFL.

Cleveland Browns- C
3. RB Trent Richardson- Alabama- B+
22. QB Brandon Weeden- Oklahoma State- D
37. OT Mitchell Schwartz – California- B
87. DT John Hughes- Cincinnati- C-

The Browns had four chances to improve their team and missed on all of them. Richardson was drafted way too high given that running backs don’t last that long, but its not a bad pick overall as the Browns running game will improve. Weeden is way too old and not that good. Most draft “experts” will say that Weeden’s maturity is a huge advantage. But just because he is older, doesn’t mean he is more experienced. He just went to college late. Plus, Weeden had Justin Blackmon and Dez Bryant to throw to, I mean Ryan Leaf would do well in that offense. Schwartz is okay but he was still an early Day 3 prospect picked over Jonathan Martin. He is too stiff and will get spun around by the Ravens and Steelers twice a year. And Hughes is a terrible pick. He’s an okay player, a good rotation guy at best. But the defensive line was really good last year and this could have been better spent on a wide receiver.

Minnesota Vikings- A-
4. OT Matt Kalil- USC- A+
29. FS Harrison Smith- Notre Dame- B
66. CB Josh Robinson- Central Florida- B+

Kalil is the best pick in the draft so that alone is pretty solid. He should be an all pro and maybe even the next Jake Long or Joe Thomas. The Vikings then turned to their next big need, the secondary. These two picks of Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson were not impressive especially considering they traded up for them. Harrison Smith is an upgrade at safety although he is going to have trouble defending against Calvin Johnson or Brandon Marshall. Robinson is a nickel guy but that’s about it. In terms of a draft, the Vikings were pretty good, but not great.

Jacksonville Jaguars- B+
5. WR Justin Blackmon- Oklahoma State- A
38. DE Andre Branch- Clemson- B+
70. P Bryan Anger- California- B-

My draft philosophy is reflected here as the Jaguars drafted three starters for an improving team. Obviously Blackmon is a huge upgrade from the Jags other wide outs and will help Blaine Gabbert adjust in the NFL. He could be the next great wide out. Next up they got an eventual starter in Andre Branch. In a deep class of defensive ends, he wasn’t ranked very high. But, he is definitely worth a 2nd round pick and fills a minor need at defensive end. I actually don’t mind the Anger pick. Every team punts the ball and the difference between having to drive 80 yards and 60 yards is worth drafting a punter high. The team had other needs, which is why the low grade. But overall, they got three starters.

Dallas Cowboys- B
6. CB Morris Claibourne- LSU- A-
81. DE Tyrone Crawford- Boise State- B-

Regardless of how the “draft” went, the cowboys locked up a great player in Claibourne. The Cowboys gave up a lot for him and in terms of a draft, it was not worth it as they only had 1 more relevant pick. But if they win a Superbowl with a great secondary, this wont matter that much. Crawford is a need filler but not a great player.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- A-
7. SS Mark Barron- Alabama- B-
31. RB Doug Martin- Boise State- B
58. LB Lavonte David- Nebraska- A

While each pick individually wasn’t that great, the collective draft was pretty good. Barron gets a low grade because the Buccaneers could have had Claibourne. But Barron fills a big need at safety and is a great player. Doug Martin as well is a guy who I think the Bucs reached for but the player himself is pretty good. He will be a great complement to Blount. Lavonte David is both an excellent player and an excellent pick. He will be a starter for the Buccaneers. So, the Bucs got three starters, and for that I will reward them. It’s just that they probably could have found three better starters if they would have stayed with their picks.
Miami Dolphins- A-
8. QB Ryan Tannehill- Texas A&M- B+
42. OT Jonathan Martin- Stanford- A+
72. DE Oliver Vernon- Miami- B
78. TE Michael Egnew- Missouri- B-
97. RB Lamar Miller- Miami- A

The Miami Dolphins had a great draft. Ryan Tannehill is not a great quarterback but he is a fan pleaser and can grow into his role. He will get massive help with Jonathan Martin who I thought was a top 10 prospect. Martin is a huge help in the run game with Reggie Bush (and Lamar Miller get there.) Oliver Vernon fills a need at defensive end but he was not the best player available at his position, hence the B. Egnew is the same story: right position but wrong player. Also, a weapon for Tannehill should have come earlier. I normally don’t include 4th round picks, but Lamar Miller is a great pick. Miller is a nice break for Reggie Bush, who is injury prone. Overall, this is a great draft.

Carolina Panthers- B+
9. LB Luke Kuechley- Boston College- B+
40. OT Amini Silatolu- Midwestern State- B
104. WR Joe Adams- Arkansas- A-

The Panthers had a quality draft. Luke Kuechley is a great linebacker that can become the next Patrick Willis. This is a B+ because it didn’t fill the teams needs at all. The Panthers best position is their linebackers particularly their inside line backers, but it is not a bad pick. In the second round, the team drafted Amini Silatolu. This could have been an “A” based on the evaluation of the player and the need. The problem was that there were several good players still available at his position or at other positions which were bigger needs. Normally, I don’t include 4th round picks but Joe Adams could play a big role in the future since he is a speedster like Steve Smith, who is nearing the end of his time in the NFL.

Buffalo Bills- B-
10. CB Stephon Gilmore- South Carolina- B
41. OT Cordy Glenn- Georgia- A-
69. WR T.J. Graham- N.C. State- D

The Bills had an interesting draft. They reached in the first round to draft Stephon Gilmore who may have been the second best corner in the draft, but was not the best pick that the Bills could have had. Cordy Glenn is a much better pick as he does fill a need and can start for the team right away. My only problem with this pick was that Jonathan Martin was still available, and Glenn is more of a guard than a tackle. WR T.J. Graham fills a need but is a massive reach here. Graham was a projected 5th rounder by most people and the Bills did not need to take a big risk like Graham with such a good class of receivers.

Kansas City Chiefs- B-
11. NT Dontari Poe- Memphis- C+
44. OG Jeff Allen- Illinois- B-
74. OT Donald Stephenson- B

The Chiefs had a very similar draft to the Bills. They reached in the first round with Poe, who is a boom or bust player that will probably be only a rotation guy. Next, they drafted Allen and Stephenson who are two okay players that may both be 1 round reaches (Allen is a round 3 prospect, Stephenson is a round 4 prospect.) And, they didn’t fill the major needs of linebacker and safety. Offensive line was a minor need.

Philadelphia Eagles- A
12. DT Fletcher Cox- Mississippi State- A
46. ILB Michael Kendricks- California- C
59. DE Vinny Curry- Marshall- A+
88. QB Nick Foles- Arizona- B
123. CB Brandon Boykin- Georgia- A

Defense, Defense, Defense! The Eagles could score a lot of points last year but they couldn’t get a defense. This problem was given a great fix last year when the Eagles drafted this year. First they traded up for DT Fletcher Cox, who could be the best defensive lineman in this draft. He has the size and athletic ability to get to the quarterback, which, besides Trent Cole, the Eagles were lacking. Next the Eagles drafted Micahel Kendricks who is a great player: but the poor grade had more to do with the fact that the Eagles have a pretty good group of linebackers and didn’t need to spend an early pick on it. That being said, Kendricks could be a starter in this league if DeMeco Ryans doesn’t work out. Next the Eagles stole Vinny Curry who was a projected late first round pick. Curry wont be a hall of famer, but he can be a solid player in the NFL. Nick Foles is not a bad pick and gives the Eagles good QB depth. I normally don’t include 4th round picks but Brandon Boykin was a projected second round pick that the Eagles stole as well. If the projections are right, the Eagles are poised to have a great draft. But only time will tell.

Arizona Cardinals- A-
13. WR Michael Floyd- Notre Dame- A-
80. CB Jamell Fleming- Oklahoma- B+
112. OT Bobby Massie- Mississippi- A

Michael Floyd adds the much needed second wide receiver spot next to the great Larry Fitzgerald. Floyd, like an Anquan Boldin, will also help Kolb with the passing game and can help the run game get more consistent as he is a good run blocker. Jamell Fleming is a solid corner and fills a need at the slot corner spot. He is one of those guys who will probably be just average in the NFL, but he can play pretty well in zone. I don’t normally include 4th round picks but Bobby Massie was incredible as a tackle for Missisippi and could have gone in round 2. He can at least be depth and can maybe even start in the upcoming years.

St. Louis Rams- C+
14. DT Michael Brockers- LSU- C-
32. WR Brian Quizk- Appalchian State- B-
39. CB Janoris Jenkins- North Alabama- A-
50. RB Isaiah Pead- Cincinnati- C
65. CB Trumane Johnson- Montana- A

I think that the Rams blew it. They had 4 picks in the top 50 and were not able to make their team any better. Brockers is a good player and will probably start but defensive line was not even close to a need. The Rams could not move the ball offensively last year and Sam Bradford could not stay on his feet. Brian Quick helps that in theory, but in practice he is way down the line of receivers (Stven Hill, Mohammad Sanu) that were available in the draft. Janoris Jenkins was one of the lone bright spots in this draft. And that is saying something for a guy that has major character issues. Isaiah Pead is another awful pick: running back is a need (not as much as oline) but Pead is a big reach with LaMichael James and Lamar Miller left on the board. Trumane Johnson is a great pick as he adds great corner depth and is in a good range to be drafted.

Seattle Seahawks- C
15. DE/OLB Bruce Irvin- West Virginia- C+
47. ILB Bobby Wagner- Utah State- B
75. QB Russell Wilson- Wisconsin- C

I did not like the Seahawks draft. First, Bruce Irvin is the biggest reach in the draft. The Seahawks could have had Melvin Ingram or Chandler Jones. Instead, they tried to be clever and draft the troubled, low motor sack specialist in Bruce Irvin. What they should have done is drafted Ingram in round 1 and then Irvin in round 2 as he would have still been available. Bobby Wagner is a fine player but he doesn’t really fill a need as the Seahawks have a pretty good linebacker corps. At best, he is a rotation guy for the them. I don’t understand why the Seahawks hate Matt Flynn. Russell Wilson is a big and unnecessary reach for the Seahawks. He may not be better than Tavaris Jackson.

New York Jets- A-
16. DE/DT Quinton Copels- North Carolina- B
43. WR Steven Hill- Georgia- A
77. LB DeMario Davis- Arkansas State- A-
242. FS Antonio Allen- South Carolina- A

This draft would have been a little higher if they spent more on offense. Quinton Copels is a good player and can fit next to Mohammed Wilkerson. However, he doesn’t fill a big need and he is a risk due to work ethic. They stole Steven Hill out of the second round. He can be a big impact player for them and fills a big need at wide receiver. DeMario Davis is as well a great pick. The Jets have been looking to add an outside linebacker to replace Bart Scott and DeMario Davis could be that guy. He was a pretty underrated player at Arkansas State and is a good fit in the Jets system. And I normally don’t include picks after the 3rd round, but Antonio Allen is a good free safety that can replace Jim Leonard. He is a steal in the seventh round.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Top 10 Games we would rather see than the Superbowl

Hey all,

Been a while, I know.

After seeing the Giants and Patriots mosey on up through the playoffs, I couldn't help but yawning at the fact that this game is meaningless. Both Quarterbacks are already locked up for the Hall of Fame, most of the players on both sides already have Superbowls and there is nothing significant for either team here. Tom Brady's legacy will not change whether he has 3 or 4 Superbowls and Manning will always be Peyton's little brother.

But there were some teams this season who would make this Superbowl amazing: here they are

10. The Harbaugh Bowl Volume 2

We have already seen this on Thanksgiving and it wasn't all that great of a game. The Ravens dominated and never let the lead go. That being said, the story line here would be enthralling. Ed Reed trying to get a Superbowl. The ultimate better sibling test. Alex Smith trying to disprove all haters. Joe Flacco doing the same. This game is the most plausible alternative on this list so it gets some cred for that.

Prediction: Ravens 10, 49ers 7

In a offensive meltdown, the defenses force a combined 9 turnovers including 3 Ed Reed INTs. Reed gets the game MVP and Flacco hoists up the trophy in Ray Lewis' last game.

9. Panthers vs. Bengals

Even if Cam Newton wins OROY, people will still wonder who had the better rookie season. This would also be the first time since the merger where a starting rookie QB would be superbowl champion. That alone would be enthralling. Let alone, Cam Newton's explosiveness, A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson doing amazing stunts, and a possible superbowl for a guy like Nate Clements who has been very good over the years.

Prediction: Bengals 23, Panthers 10

The game itself wouldn't be that amazing but Cam would throw for over 300 yards and having a rushing TD. Andy Dalton would be the Game MVP and ultimately solve this debacle.

8. Packers vs. Patriots

Now this game would be interesting! The old vs. the new- Repeat champs vs. former champs- which defense will be worse? These are just some of the story lines that could put this game into the historic region of history. Plus, it would be a really good game as these two teams have two clutch QB's that can drive the ball down the field against any defense, especially two of the worst.

Prediction: Packers 34, Patriots 31

I predict a Stephen Gostowski missed field goal to end the game. Both QB's have great games but in the end, Clay Matthews gets the game MVP for his 3.5 sacks, 1 FF, and blocked field goal to end the game. This game signals the changing of the guard in the NFL.

7. Cowboys vs. Chargers

These were 2 of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this year, which is exactly why they would make a great superbowl. There are several story lines here. First, is those players that need a superbowl to be of the all time greats: Ware, Witten, Ratliff, Newman (ha), Romo, Austin, Rivers, Gates, V. Jackson, Weddle, Williams, Jammer- just to name a few.

Second, Norv Turner worked for the Cowboys during the Triplet Days. This could be a battle for who is better: Jerry or Norv.

Third, Rivers and Romo have both chocked under pressure. The question is, who would choke more?

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Chargers 24

In a close game, Rivers throws an interception that is returned for a TD on a 3rd and 11 to Mike Jenkins. Tony Romo gets the game MVP for his 3 TD, 1 INT performance in which he throws for over 300 yards. I'm actually crying writing this because I would love nothing more than to watch the Cowboys one more time this season. I'm sure Chargers fans are dying too.

6. Lions vs. Texans-

This seems random but it really makes a lot of sense. Two teams that have never been good finally getting a chance to be the best. Plus, Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson would get to battle it out to see who is the better WR. Wade's defense against a great offense. And, a chance for a 5th round no namer to win the Superbowl. So many great story lines for such a great game.

Prediction: Lions 17, Texans 14

This game would have 5 lead changes and be a nail bitter until a T.J. Yates incompletion on a 4th and 3 with 1:42 left in the game. The game would also struggle to find a game MVP. Stafford throwing 2 TDs but 3 INTs, Calvin only catching 2 passes, and the defense not creating any turnovers leads me to believe that Arian Foster's 129 yard, 2 TD performance steals the game's MVP. But the city of Detroit is the real winner here.

5. Colts vs. Rams-

The best game I have ever seen was the 2009 Browns vs. Lions game. If anybody from a different era was to watch that game, he or she would say that they have just seen 2 great teams go head to head. Here is the irony though: when 2 really bad teams play each other, their respective badness goes away and you are left with just greatness. Dan Orlovskey could go crazy, throwing 50 yard passes to Pierre Garcon. Meanwhile, Steven Jackson could run all over this defense. This bar none would be the best game you could watch. But, it could never happen due to the fact that these teams won 4 games combined.

Prediction: Rams 42, Colts 35 (OT)

No field goals, an overtime TD pass from Bradford to Michael Hoomanawanui, and an impressive 230 yard performance from Steven Jackson gives the Rams the superbowl edge in this game. Jackson is the game MVP and the gate to the west gets another ring.

4. Colts (with Peyton) vs. Rams (with Warner)

These two injured but nonetheless hall of fame QB's have never really been compared and I have always wondered why. So when the Colts and Rams play each other, Manning takes off his neckpad and Warner comes out of retirement to play their final game to prove who gets to play second fiddle to Tom Brady.

Prediction: Rams 7, Colts 3

Oh, did I mention that neither of these guys can throw the ball anymore. Like really. Manning has 42 yards on the day, and Warner has 63. In what could be the most boring superbowl performance ever, Steven Jackson breaks away on a 30 yard run for the game winning TD and receives the game MVP.

3. Cardinals vs. Jets-

The two best veterans without a superbowl are LT and Larry Fitzgerald. This battle of wills would center around these two guys but there would also be the Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez drama, plus the Revis Island nightmare for Fitzgerald and the QB conundrum that would face the Cardinals about who to start.

Prediction: Jets 21, Cardinals 14

In a historic performance by Fitzgerald (260 yards, 2 TDs) John Skelton misses Andre Roberts on a 3rd and 5 and it is picked off by Antonio Cromartie to seal the deal. LT gets the MVP with 10 carries for 10 yards but 3 TDs. In his last game, LT is remembered as the greatest running back to play this game. And Sanchez heaters stop hatin.

2. Patriots (with Moss) vs. 49ers (with Owens)

Already an enthralling game, Robert Kraft meets with Jed York and they decide to make it the greatest game ever played. So they contact some agents and bring in the two best wide receivers to never win a superbowl who played during the same time and, the highlights of their carriers, were with these teams. Not to mention that Brady grew up a 49ers fan, the game features great offense vs. great defense. But lets go back to the real story here: Moss vs. Owens. Which one would be a bigger distraction? Which one would be more clutch? I would actually do 1,000 push ups if this game could happen.

Prediction: Patriots 38, 49ers 17

While both Moss and Owens gets a TD, Brady and Moss have this thing called the greatest season ever chemistry going on so Moss catches 3 TDs and is named the game MVP. The game, while never close, kills ratings as every single television in america is turned onto this game. Oh, and they replaced the halftime show to be Bon Jovi. Now everyone is watching the game.

Now I know a lot of you have wondered where a certain Messiah has been on this list. Well ladies and gentlemen, here you go:

1. The Broncos vs. Anyone-

Ya that's right America. John the Baptist said it best "Tim Tebow will return as our Lord and savior." Now, I may have botched that quote up a bit but the point still gets across: I want to see more of the phenom. I want Tebow media day, national Tebowing day, I want the game played on Christmas of next year so that it is more Jesusy, I want it to be played in the freakin Vatican (I DONT CARE IF IT'S MEANT FOR PRAYING, ITS TIM TEBOW). I want literally the entire month of December closed for this event. I don't know what that would entail, but I want it.

And it doesn't really matter who he plays, here is a list of the story lines of the top possible games :

Broncos vs. Saints- The Saints vs. The Saint

Broncos vs. Cowboys- America's team vs. God's team

Broncos vs. Eagles- The Dream Team vs. The team living the dream

Broncos vs. 49ers- the team looking for Gold (1849 Gold Rush) vs. the team that has found God

Broncos vs. Panthers- Superman vs. Jesus

Broncos vs. Packers- Can't think of anything clever but it would be an awesome game

The point is that I would loving nothing more than the Broncos to be losing all game and then Tim Tebow to play the game- his way.