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 

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NFL Rapid Predictions – Third week must be a charm…

My last predictions that can be found here yielded some mixed results really. Truth to be told, this week I was pretty awful but hey upwards and onwards as they say.

Score for Week Two: 8-8

Total score so far: 17-15

Closest game: Well  it looks like there weren’t really any close guesses unless we can forget about the right winner then there was one between GB and MIN. I predicted GB-MIN 17:13 and the game resulted in GB-MIN 14:17. So there.

And now we can move onto Week THREE. Let’s get going.

Texans @ Patriots: This one has a chance to be one of the confusing starts to the week as Brady is still suspended, his quite capable back- up Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an injury to a throwing shoulder so Bill Belichick was doing his magic with another understudy whose name I don’t remember. So that’s the Patriots sorted kind of, although I’m not sure if Gronk will play but it seems the Pats don’t need either him or Brady.

On the other side we have suddenly, coming out as AFC South team to beat, Houston Texans who are yet to try the bitter taste of a loss. J. J. Watt finally got his first sack of the season in last week’s game so the defence is ready to roll. The offence looks promising too with Osweiler having weapons such as Hopkins. Plenty of confusion in the Thursday Night Game.

Patriots to win 19:14 


Lions @ Packers: That is going to be an interesting divisional match up. Shockingly stunned Lions will look to bounce back up after somewhat topsy turvy loss against Tennessee. Stafford will have a bit of luck on his side as the Packers secondary is best up a bit.

Packers are yet to find their identity this season as the loss to Vikings in week 2 displayed some worrying signs of Rodgers struggling to take command of Green Bay’s offence especially that first week’s showing against the Jaguars wasn’t all that pretty.

Lions to win 28:24 




Redskins @ Giants: Josh Norman might be the best graded cornerback so far in 2016 but the Skins are 0-2 and it seems the offense is unable to produce results that would keep up with their opponents. This week there’s going to be the show of Norman vs Beckham Jr. and the storylines are going to be very colourful.

Time will tell the brutally true story as these two teams face each other off on Sunday but there’s plenty of positives going on for the Giants that’s revamped defensive unit seems to be clicking. It’s going to be controversial.

Giants to win 24:13


Raiders @ Titans: Both teams surprised me last week and both are sat at 1-1 before an interesting conference game between two young and aspiring teams which look into securing a trip to post season.

Raiders dropped their last game badly while the Titans ripped their win out of their opponents hands so there’s going to be plenty of adrenaline rush and riding on last week’s outcomes where Raiders will look to wrong the rights and the Titans will be defending their home turf.

Titans to win 26:23


Ravens @ Jaguars: The Ravens are two games ahead and sitting quite pretty really although it haven’t looked that pretty at one point of their second week’s game when they were down 20-2. Eventually the birds pulled their stuff together and outscored the Browns 23-0 for another win.

After promising week 1 showing against the Packers, the Jaguars got their arses handed over to them by the Chargers led by Rivers and suddenly this promising looking team is sat at 0-2 and the fans really want something positive out of Bortles who is really good at scoring touchdowns… when the game is lost and there’s nothing than just garbage time to kill. Still the defence could sting badly.

Ravens to win 17:7


Cardinals @ Bills:  That looked like something else when Arizona’s defence gave Winston major fits picking him four times to an easy win 40-7. Will this game be similar for Cardinals who tripped over in week 1? It’s hard to say especially that their opponent, the Bills, decided to fire their offensive coordinator after one of the worst defensive games under Rex Ryan that saw the Bills starting the season 0-2 and losing a game to Ryan’s previous employer, the Jets. One of the games to miss for me here.

Cardinals to win 21:15

Broncos @ Bengals: Another game with potentially huge implications later down the road where the play offs become visible. Trevor Siemian is 2-0 in his young career(despite throwing 1 TD to 3 INT); if he played on a different team he might have been 0-2. There’s the great bonus of having dominating defenses supporting the offense’s efforts. 

The Bengals dropped an important one against their arch enemy so I’m guessing some unexpressed anger might surface in the game against Denver. It all might come down to how collected and cool Andy Dalton remains under the pressure from Broncos defense which will have to deal with lack of Ware, due to back injury.

Bengals to win 17:10


Vikings @ Panthers: This match up looks completely different than what it did before the season started. Minnesota’s defense is working very well and despite losing Bridgewater for the season, the Vikings still are ticking enough to look like a deep play off contender. Even with the strange fella under the center, Sam Bradford.

Home team, the Panthers will have to be careful not to stall early in the game and try to rack up some points at the beginning as this team seems to be having slow down issues towards the end. Cam Newton is still being himself, mediocre at best, but he is supported by a talented team so it is going to be a big conference shout out to all defensive players.

Panthers to win 21:9


Browns @ Dolphins: Well someone finally gotta win a game here. I mean, a tie is still possible but very unlikely. Cleveland still remains a city where a quarterback’s dreams die, a slow and painful death. There was RG III, and the so uplifting Josh McCown in last week’s game where the Browns got off to a hot start… I don’t keep up with all the info out there so I’m not sure who’s the next victim of this awful city.

I know that the Dolphins with its all overpaid defensive line will look to take an advantage off the disfunctional Browns family. I won’t bother with this one.

Dolphins to win 23:16


49ers @ Seahawks: Another game that won’t get my heart going. I mean it’s the NFC so I leave it to NFC folks. Neither of the teams get my blood going. The 49ers seem like a mess, despite already winning one game and handing the Panthers defense some scores last week.

Seahawks are troubled and unable to score loads of points so it’s down to the defense to keep the game close and let injured Wilson ‘luck in’ into some strange, near sack, touchdown or critical 4th down pass. Won’t watch this one either.

Seahawks to win 13:7


Rams @ Buccaneers: This one looks interesting actually, although I won’t bother watching it too. The Rams dealt a blow to the Seahawks and the Buccaneers were blown away by the Cardinals. We’ll have a team riding a high wave colliding with one trying to escape a dramatic flooding coming their way.

The Rams’ defense is well know to cause havoc but the offense seems to be unable to score. Combine it with an ugly start for Winston and co. and I’m not sure what to make of it but someone will have to score here, eventually. I mean, has 0-0 tie ever happened?

Buccaneers to win 17:9


Jets @ Chiefs:  This game could be a great watch but I’ll give it a miss due to the Colts playing the same time. I mean it could be the top scoring game here actually as both teams have some weapons on the offensive side of the ball. It’s actually nice to see Matt Forte still grinding the yards out but with the sudden OC change the players could have some problems executing the vision of their new offensive coordinator.

Smith and co. had to admit to be less prepared to win in week 2 than their opponents and it might come down to hunt them later on as the Texans might be their opponent in the play offs. Still, own turf, crazy loud fans and the Chiefs will look ok. I guess.

Chiefs to win 31:27


Chargers @ Colts: I don’t know where I begin here. I really don’t know. My Colts are a mess and when Luck isn’t on point then they are a disaster. I don’t know much about the Chargers defense, especially their secondary units buy hopefully Colts coaches will know what weakness to exploit.

Chargers have gotten two big blows in their faces already in two weeks. Week one they lost wide out Allen and now Woodhead is gone as well. Both lost for the season. At least Philip Rivers will be there to throw tantrums and lead his team to a victory as history is all against the Colts in this match up with Indianapolis winning one of last eight games against them. It might be all down to secondary performances on both sides really.

Colts to win 28:20 


Steelers @ Eagles: Another game when two unbeaten teams face each other. This time savvy Steeleers led by Big Ben, DeAngelo Williams who is going through his second youth and Antonio Brown will go to Philadelphia to visit the rookie that is yet to thrown an interception.

Yup, Wentz who few weeks ago wasn’t even in plans to be a starting quarterback has been managing the commanding role fairly well. Some are already saying he is the real deal. Is the Eagles defence up to the challenge though?

Steelers to win 33:20 


Bears @ Cowboys: Jay Cutler has an ‘ouchie’ on his thumbie. So they say. I haven’t followed the story a lot and both teams are somewhere out there in the middle of my ‘heathermometer’ so I don’t really have much to say.

The Bears are yet to win a game this season and Cowboys’ Prescott is yet to throw a passing touchdown or an interception so I can see some story lines building there but all I can really say is that I wish the Colts kept Freeman as we really lack in middle of field and he seems to be having a blast playing for the Bears.

Cowboys to win 21:15 


Falcons @ Saints: I suppose this is the game that the Saints gotta really win after the somewhat unfortunate 0-2 start to the season. I expected more from their offense last week than measly 13 points so I hope they will go out there with all their guns booming.

Atlanta managed to steal a win off the Raiders who earlier stole a win off the Saints so it means very little. Both teams like to air it out Brees and Ryan combined for 10 passing TD and 1416 passing yards in their games this season so the fans hope for another aerial assault and whoever secondary stands last these should be the winners.

Saints to win 44:32 


And this is all my limited wisdom really. I’ll definately watch the Colts, perhaps the Monday Night Football too. As for other games I’m not really decided yet. What games are you looking forward to this week?

Super Bowl 50 – 10 things you don’t need to know

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With the Super Sunday upon us I thought it’d be fun to look for some quirky things that relate to the Super Bowl itself as well as people that’ll be involved in making us happy/angry(circle the appropriate) during the probably most watched event in history of the USA. Well at least in 2016. So let’s start this list to prepare us for some trivia during commercial breaks and the so obvious booth reviews and other usual occurrences.

1. Super Bowl 50’s referee will be Clete Blakeman, the same super cool dude who somehow botched the coin flip during the Cardinals-Packers game causing Aaron Rodger’s slight confusion. Be aware, he’ll be flipping too. It can get scary.
2. For the first time in history of NFL two quarterbacks taken with first overall draft pick will go against each other during the Super Bowl. Manning was no 1 in 1998, Newton was no 1 in 2011.
3. Cam Newton not only works hard on Sundays during football games. He continued to take classes at Auburn during off season periods and he finished his degree in sociology in 2015.
4. There is 60 beer taps on the east side of the Levi Stadium at the 50-yard line and if you are lucky to attend the Super Bowl 50 in person and overdo on beers, don’t worry. There is 1620 women’s and men’s toilet fixtures. Splash away!
5. Peyton Manning is the only quarterback in NFL history to lead multiple teams (Colts, Broncos) to multiple Super Bowl appearances.
6. The number of Wilson factories that make the footballs used during NFL game is one. They produce around 700000 football per year. The air pressure matter we will leave in capable hands of the NFL.
7. Super Bowl 50 will mark the occasion where there was the largest age difference between the starting quarterbacks in history of Super Bowl, with Manning at 39 and Newton 26 the exact difference will be 13 years and 48 days.
8. It is estimated that over 1.3 billion chicken wings will be devoured by the fans watching the game from their premium spots in their lounges in front of the TV. Oh, it is expected that over 1500 litres of beer will be needed to wash the wings with.
9. When not busy tackling opponents or intercepting footballs, Panther’s Luke Kuechly likes to hunt. Its been a life passion for him as he started bird hunting at the age of four.
10. What is it with the linebackers and birds? Bronco’s Von Miller found his niche while minoring at Texans A&M and it is chickens. He already got some chickens and Miller Farms is his little side project.

So here. 10 things I didn’t know about Super Bowl 50 until I thought about it a bit more and poked my nose around.
I think my most anticipated moment of the Super Sunday will be a coin flip…yes definitely. It would be also a very special coin flip if it end up being needed to decide first possession in overtime as there has not been a period of overtime in Super Bowl history(oh did I just made an 11th fact?).