Football- less Sunday #6. The quarterbacks quintet.

Back last year, during a humid summer I pondered about my Top picks for QBs of 2016. Now it is time to revisit and dissect my thoughts which I left here for anyone to read.
Going from the 5th upwards I thought that would be the order of dominance by the quarterbacks.

Aaron Rodgers– Packers: 4th in passing yards (4428), 4th in passer rating with 104.2, 1st with 40 passing touchdowns supported by only 7 picks thrown it was kind of usual day in the office for Rodgers through most of the season.
Given the recent FA acquisitions I should rank him in top 3 next time around. I should really expect that from Rodgers and stick him nearer the top.

Russell Wilson– Seahawks: 10th in passing yards with 4219 but 2nd in sacks taken (41) sums up the rocky season for Wilson. Only 21 TD passes with 11 picks isn’t a norm here but perhaps the Seahawks’ star is not getting the support he needs.
I definitely missed on him and he should be really be much lower as 2016 season was a huge downer.

Andrew Luck– Colts: It was such a relief to see Andrew being back to “new” normal self, although few times we all wished for his “linebacking mentality”, still…
Despite the many medias omitting Luck who didn’t even make a Pro Bowl, doesn’t mean he was one of the top dogs passing for 4240 yards and 31 touchdowns (both times in top 10 despite missing a game) adding two more on the ground and having setting a career best in completion and narrowly missing a mark in passer rating. Arrow’s up from here.

Ben Roethlisberger– Steelers: Oh. I missed badly so did many others voting Big Ben to Pro Bowl over Andrew Luck who had a better year statistically but hey Steelers made the playoffs.
Big Ben’s year wasn’t bad with 3819 passing yards and 29 passing TD but given the weapons around him, one could expect slightly more out of Ben. Next year looks promising though and as long as he stays healthy the Steelers are a threat.

Drew Brees– Saints: 1st in passes attempted, completed and yards passed. Another season when Brees surpases 5000 yards (5208) and yet the Saints are struggling and Brees is overlooked like Luck really and given his production I can see him beating Manning’s few records if he keeps at it.
37 passing TD, 101.7 PR and the longest pass of the season (98 yards) are not too shabby for “an ageing” fella with a weakening arm…

Still. Matt Ryan was the man and I didn’t see it at all, I suppose until he finally won the MVP award he just lived in the shadow of others, now he can finally shine on his own.
Well, I’m fairly pleased with my QB crystal balling and another Sunday goes down and we are one week closer. Stay together and stay healthy guys!

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

Football-less Sunday #2. Colts… What’s ahead? 

Andrew Luck running for his life…

Ah… I can’t get myself to look back at the ugly past so perhaps looking forward is the way to get me going through second Sunday post football season. Sigh…
There’s many things that the Colts need in order to crawl their way into play off talk and even more if they think of a deep run into cold January and the work is about to start soon. Roster building.
Key questions? Who’s going to punt, hold Adam’s balls and do kick offs??? Let’s hope that Pat McAfee pranked us all and he’ll be back… Ah the joy of alternative facts…
Seriously though… Defensive side of the roster needs a lot of love. Huge amounts of love.
The offensive side of the ball does need some work but I think this off season the Colts should address their linebacking corps and defensive backs.
There’s literally no dominant presence on the outside or inside of the linebacking grounds and Ballard gotta try to bring some pass rushing skills and some coverage skills into the middle of this mess that is known as linebackers group.
Robert Mathis retired, Dqwell Jackson was cut, Trent Cole is useless and there’s a bit of pulse left in Erik Walden. Rest of the players in that group is fairly inexperienced and not a talented lot.
Get a pass rusher and a killer Mike and then work on corners as Vontae Davis has been beaten and fighting injuries and I don’t see him coming back to no- TD allowed season 2014; and he’s our best there.
Safeties have some options in Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green with perhaps Mike “Pops” Adams staying to share his experience but other than that we need some impact players there too.
Defensive line is probably our “best” unit although the guys are not monsters there but I think they can manage if there’s some more help from perimeter.
So to sum up, I’d like to see pass rushing linebacker/ defensive end, Mike, cover linebacker, press- man to man corner and a slot one to try to make giving up less than 19 points a game a reality…
Why less than 19??? Colts led by Luck are 25-0 when the defenseman holds opponents to 19 points or less. So there…
Another Sunday killed. How did you feed your football hunger on a non- football Sunday? What needs does your team have?

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy- 15

As I sit here, well kind of lay down, I know that the Football Wishing Fairy has to work wonders on three football fields for the Colts to make playoffs. The blowout of Minnesota came one week too late, one touchdown too late, one 1st down conversion too late. As much fun it was watch Andrew Luck dropped dimes to Phillip Dorsett that actually resulted in TD it was a very sad moment once I saw Ryan Succop bashing the second field goal attempt through the yellow sticks of Colts’ doom…

The Colts lost several close games but the game in London, against the Jaguars and both contests against the Texans will haunt the Colts players for a long time.
Now the Colts need to win both games, including this week at Oakland, the Titans need to lose to Jaguars and the Texans to Cincinnati and in the last week the Titans need to beat the Texans. Complicated, eh? Just one of the three mentioned games earlier, would make huge difference but the taste of 2016 will be sour and bitter and the guys will have to regroup and come back in 2017…
Ah…. There just isn’t enough time to make so many wishes involving so many teams so perhaps wishes of peacuful, joyful, healthy and wealthy Christmas will be better suited on this somewhat sad Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas people!

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy- Everyone Calmed Down Sadly Edition #14

Andrew Luck is just not good enough… to lead the Colts to AFC South champions title with little or no help from his team, coaches etc.
He used to be able to do that but since he enter the league, five season’s ago the bad AFC South slowly started getting stronger and the Colts became weaker. There’s been a constant regression and the Colts are about to miss the post season second year in a row, something that haven’t happened since 1997-98.
But Andrew Luck has played a solid season and he is on pace for career best in % completion but sadly also in sacks…
He gets little help from team mates on consistent basis and even T.Y. Hilton who’s having great year can sometimes do stupid things like this, costing his team valuable yards in effect:

And on days when TY struggles there’s very often little production from others. Sure, Jack Doyle, Dwayne Allen or Phillip Dorsett had their days but very often there’s no consistency from a game to game leaving Luck with no options to throw and lead the comebacks he was so famous for in his rookie season.

So this week’s wish to Wishing Fairy of Football is to have a solid, consistent game from the first kick off to the last whistle. That’s all. Just plenty of effort and consistency as they still have 6.6% chances of reaching post season….

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy- Everyone Calm Down Edition #13

Everyone needs to step away a bit or by two bits. The numbers backing up Luck’s great 2016 season have been there before the demolition of the Jets occurred last Monday.
Somehow, that huge score escalated amount of articles about Andrew Luck and how good he is. I knew that already but football is a team sport and the wins are earned in unity like Dwayne Allen and T.Y. Hilton showed on Monday too.

Now, this is a big one for any Football Wishing Fairy and the fairies like to get confused as the season has shown already but let’s make it clear, the Colts have much better chances of creating some buzz and chaos than the Texans should they reach the playoffs, so no random fumbles, tipped passes or making Brock Osweiler look like young God himself.
The rest should take care itself if the above criteria are fulfilled by Football Wishing Fairy. The Colts had it last time in Houston but they let it slip out and lost an ugly game that is part of the trio tie between Texans, Titans and Colts sitting all at 6-6 in the awfulness of AFC South…
Houston’s defense is really solid with a decent group of ball hawking corner backs, especially with A.J. Bouye having a solid season so the Fairy shouldn’t whisper some crazy reads to Luck as the game evolves. Just let him take what they give and quietly let’s move to 7-6 record with another appearance above 100 in PR for Luck. If he is solid there’ll be plenty of balls to make plays for those who want it; Donte Moncrief is a beast in Red Zone. 6 targets 6TD.

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy- we are back. #12

Despite missing Luck and losing the game 7-28 it wasn’t as ugly as the score looks really, the problem though is that the Colts are not built for Super Bowl run and reaching the play offs might be too much of an ask.
Andrew Luck passed the concussion protocol and I hope that the Football Fairy ensures there’s no more concussion inducing hits to any of the Colts players; well… any players from any team… Basically everyone should be prevented from getting concussed… and ill… and…
Anyway, I think given the fact that December is upon us all I can wish for the Colts is to get wins and remain healthy.
I’ve still got the flashbacks of last season meet up between these two teams and what embarrassing embarrassment it was.
The football fairy should spare the Jets fans from Fitzpatrick’s meltdown but the Fairy should also ensure that the justice is served and the Colts win. Not sure why I see it as a justice but hey, I do and I want the Colts to get that win for the last season.
Other than that, I really haven’t got much more for this Monday night match up that will screw up my Tuesday a bit. Hey!

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy – Quick turnaround #11

Thanksgiving football it is. I don’t know how exactly a thanksgiving day evolves but I know that football fans will be treated to a potentially high scoring game between the Steelers and the Colts and the Football Wishing Fairy should have her hands busy casting spells and whatnot around the country stuffed with turkey…

For us, the poor folk in the UK who never experienced Thanksgiving, we are going to enjoy an extra evening/ night of football in the week while wishing for the Football Fairy not cast any spells that would bring shame to the Colts who got outscored by over 50 points in two last games against the Steelers.
That’s it really! Yup, just that one wish for the game to be competitive throughout and for the Colts players to have a shot at until the last whistle really.
The slightly hopeful and more competitive me wishes for a great last second walk off score for win but let’s be realistic, if Andrew Luck is at 99% or less he won’t keep up with the Steelers and we know from past that neither will do Colts’ defense.
So yeah at least 100% of Andrew Luck and a competitive game without any nasty injuries to either of the teams. Go Colts!

I wrote it before I got to read the news that Andrew is in concussion protocol as he started feeling unwell shortly after the game… So there’s my wish of 100% of Andrew Luck this Thursday.
Never mind I hope he gets better and doesn’t have to deal with more injuries this season.

*******

Luck is definitely ruled out so I expect an ugly game and a huge feasting by the Steelers. Health is more important though.

NFL Rapid Predictions- Thanksgiving; Week 12.

Well. What do you know? I’ve had another week of right predictions reaching double digits. For Week 11 my score 11-3 looks really good.
Overall I’m nearing 100 right picks and I’m currently scoring 59% with 95-66 score but since it’s kind of shorter week for few teams actually I’m bound to get my scores all messed up, watch this space!

Let’s go with WEEK 12 predictions!

Vikings @ Lions: The Lions have a kissing record when it comes to Thanksgiving games but the tradition must be continued and there’s no better rival than the resurrected Vikings making this match up somewhat watchable for us non NFC fans folks.

Vikings to win 31:28

Redskins @ Cowboys: Ah, another traditional Thanksgiving meet up and since the Dallas are red hot and the Redskins are coming off red hot SNF demolition of Green Bay this divisional match up will probably be the best game of the day, sadly.

Cowboys to win 27:21

Steelers @ Colts: This was one of THE games to watch when the schedule was released but now, since both teams are only 5-5 and they try to salvage they depressing campaigns, the game wasn’t that hot on radar as it could be.
Still, Big Ben vs Luck and Brown vs Hilton, Bell vs the Colts leaky defense could provide a high scoring affair to please, our hungry of touchdowns, eyes.
The thing is, Andrew Luck is in concussion protocol and his status for Thursday is unknown at the time of the writing.
Regardless of Luck being in or out I think I’d still pick the Steeleres but the score differential would be somewhat dependant on Andrew’s appearance…

Steelers to win 42:24

Cardinals @ Falcons: Ha. Third week in a row we have a meeting of the birds, this time the underwhelming Cardinals fly to visit slightly overwhelming Falcons. It should be quite an easy game to watch with plenty of air yards as both qbs like to shout it out, so to speak.

Falcons to win 34:24

Rams @ Saints:Oh boy. I think Jeff Fisher is about to visit lands previously not known to NFL coaches, sadly the lands are nothing to be proud off.
Brees and Saints will see some opposition but the old vet should eventually get the ball tipped in the Saints direction for an easy win.

Saints to win 32:16

Chargers @ Texans: After the controversial Monday’s loss to Oakland in Mexico, the Texans are going to try to put things right and keep their lead in AFC South.
It won’t be easy as the Chargers are a bit of unknown quality and depending on the direction of Philip Rivers shouts the results might vary considerably.

Texans to win 18:16

49ers @ Dolphins: Ah. The Kaepernick jokes will never end at least until his retirement. Despite some semi solid play Colin still has a lot to improve and it might be hard to do it against recently stout front of Dolphins’ defense.
Miami has been grabbing all the wind they can find and it lifted them to some nice wins recently and over .500 record.

Dolphins to win 24:19

Giants @ Browns: “Giant Turds”. That should be a brand name for something… more exciting than this game…

Giants to win 21:9

Bengals @ Ravens: It’s hard to believe but neither of these two teams are having a great season but there’s still potential with playoff outlook out of this game for both teams. Divisional rivalry, long traditions of ugly games, should be fun to watch for some.

Ravens to win 17:14

Jaguars @ Bills: Both teams disappointed their fan bases. The Jaguars are apparently screwing Blake Bortles who’s becoming some sort of garbage time king of stats and in Buffalo there’s not many intriguing things so….

Bills to win 22:13

Seahawks @ Buccaneers: The Buccaneers turned their season around by forcing more turnovers on opponents rather than giving the ball away.
It’s going to be a tall order facing the hot hotness of the Seahawks though…

Seahawks to win 17:14

Panthers @ Raiders: That could end up being a great watch comes Sunday evening. The Panthers are still trying to overcome the Super Bowl hangover by winning some games and Raiders are just winning games leading their division looking solid for a chance at wild card round bye… Crazy…

Raiders to win 24:21

Patriots @ Jets: Ah. The rivalry used to be fun to watch but nowadays the Jets have not much to show except the free entry to Revis Island for pretty much everyone and the quarterback saga that is going to see Ryan Fitzpatrick back.
On the Patriots side business is as usual, the Gronk injury is something to keep an eye on but it’s hardly entertaining…

Patriots to win 37:17

Chiefs @ Broncos: There’s the gem of week 12. AFC West battle of the play off right to entry. The Broncos are not the one from a season ago and the Chiefs dropped a big turd playing Tampa Bay.
Both teams are worth watching as the battle for division evolves, both are capable and both need that win.
So… A tie then…?

Chiefs to win 19:14

Packers @ Eagles: The week will be closed by desperate Packers who just are not them anymore and hot starting Eagles that cooled down significantly since the strange start to the season.
All sorts could happen here but eventually there will have to be a winner. No more ties this season!!!

Packers to win 30:21

Phew… We have survived another black Friday and now it’s plain cruising towards the Christmas and then play off battles. Joys of joys!
What are your picks for this week guys??

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy – #10 is a round number.


Well. Football Fairy. If you ever cared for our troubles now it is time to show it off. The final stretch of 7 games that some hope will see the Colts smashing into play offs.
This week we host the Titans (whom we already beat once) and on short notice we see the Steelers coming over for some turkey Thursday night. First the Titans, who are on a hot streak and who gave Aaron Rodgers whopping by gaining 353 yards and scoring 35 points… in the first half.
They also kicked off with an onside kick off and knowing the Colts like tricking the Titans with these we might be up for some funky call playing where Football Fairy’s influence might be quite important…
Anyways, both teams need that win badly and for both teams a loss could well mean the end of the 2016 campaign (although in AFC South sometimes there’s no end to this misery of qualifying into playoffs).
Main task here for the Colts is to slow down the ground attack, get ours going and see what hides downfield.
It’s easier said than done but we beat that team once already without our no 2 and 3 receivers and Luck’s sheet against Tennessee is still clear so a bit of help from the Fairyland could help us turn the advantage to our side.
Regardless, a game that looked on paper in August like a Sunday bore, now looks like all guns firing type of smash out football.
Time will tell who shouts louder and whose actions are heard and seen better. Go Colts!

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy – #9 Bye Week .

Well, we could be 6-3 team heading into the bye week easily but we are 4-5…
No! Really I think the opener would have been ours if the clock was managed better and the defensive fold of Houston was just out of order. I’m not saying the Colts were a thin hair away from 8-1 score but 6-3 looks reasonable and with the recent game against the Packers that showed overall involvement by everyone one might ask if the Colts are a 4-5 team or a 6-3 one heading into the final stage of the season…

No, there’s not going to be a Super Bowl team out of this lot as there’s too little talent out there but perhaps a wildcard win team could make our lives a bit easier to digest but what is suppoosed to happen after the dust of the season settles…?
Exactly, Andrew Luck with few playmakers, few potential playmakers, couple of solid players and a loads of wood chopping and grinding everything, everywhere…

Still… At this moment I see a 6-3 team that needs a full 60 minutes of engagement into a game. The next few weeks will verify my view on the situation.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy a peaceful bye.