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!


Football-less Sunday #5. The running backs of 2016.

In my blog entry about which running backs I expected to wreck chaos I predicted these 6 to be the most painful ones to opponents defensive mind.
Starting from 6th spot of my crystal balling we have:

Adrian Peterson– Vikings: 3 games started (and played) 37 rush yards for 1.9 yds/att no touchdown and currently free agent as Minnesota released him before FA started. Total bust by me.

Le’Veon Bell– Steelers: 2nd in average rush yards per game but missing 4 games affected the totals. 4.86 yds per carry with 7 touchdowns and over 1k in rush yards (1286) paint a solid picture of a distracting running back. No wonders Steelers like him so much.

Todd Gurley– Rams: Definitely another mission by me but some put more blame on the problems of Rams that the slump of Gurley. Nevertheless 3.18 yds per carry with only 6 touchdowns and not even in 1k in rush yards after starting all 16 games paints a picture of someone else more deserving the spot here.

Doug Martin– Buccaneers: Ah. It seems as if I cursed the players I chose to this list last year. Only 8 starts, 3 touchdowns, 52.3 yds per game disappears in a shadown of the Buccaneers overall improvement.

Devonta Freeman– Falcons: A trip to the Super Bowl is not a common thing, add 11 touchdowns, 1079 rush yards for 4.75 per carry and you get a solid top 10 performance here. Not as high as I thought but still better than most of my picks here.

Jamaal Charles– Chiefs: Oh dear… 3 games played with one touchdown and we have another bust and another free agent here. Many believes Charles is done and recent numbers do seem to support the idea.

Here. If there’s a reason why I suck at running the ball while gaming on Madden it is down to my knowledge of running backs that is shockingly bad as shown on the example above.

Who was your top 5 back in the 2016 season?


Football-less Sunday #4. The cornerbacks of 2016.

This week it is time to revisit last summer’s crystal balling and see which cornerbacks I expected to be the most disruptive in the 2016/17 season. You can have a read about it here. Going from 8th to 1st the order I expected to be:
Patrick Peterson Cardinals:

Richard Sherman Seahawks:
With 4 interceptions, 13 passes defended and one recovered fumble it was a fairly quiet season for Sherman, who played most of it with an injury that was reported once the season ended. Still it could be much worse.

Chris Harris Jr.- Broncos:
I thought Harris Jr. would have a better season than Talib but looking at the standard data both players struggled and Harris struggled slightly more with only 2 interceptions, 13 defended passes, one recovered and forced fumble it was a season rather to forget like most of the Broncos players can relate to.

Vontae Davis Colts:
With only one pick and 10 defended passes it was another year to forget in Indy. Davis has been plagued by injuries over the last two seasons and it shows. He could bounced back up as he usually improves after one pick seasons but given his age one can’t see it happening really. One of biggest busts of my Top list.

Desmond Trufant Falcons:
And here comes another bust. One interceptions and four passes defended in nine games. Luckily Trufant showed some action by forcing two fumbles and recording two sacks.

Malcolm Butler Patriots:
Definitely up there with top corners, Butler snagged 4 interceptions and 16 defended passes. He also forced one fumble and recovered two. The Super Bowl XLIX none to stardom fella continues to be a presence on the Patriots defensive team.

Josh Norman Redskins:
Some say that Norman’s divorce with the Panthers affected both sides and while the Panthers struggled, Norman had so and so season recording three picks and career high 19 passes defended. Throw in 2 forced fumbles and career high 52 tackles and it is good for top 8 list I guess, just not as high as I thought.

Marcus Peters Chiefs:
Six interceptions, 20 defended passes one forced fumble and three recovered one’s it was not as dominant season as his rookie campaign but it still delivered. Peters was only beaten by Casey Hayward in amount of picks among the cornerbacks.

It is very obvious I don’t know how to asses cornerbacks, well any football player really, and it shows in how many ‘busts’ I produced in this list.
Well, upwards on onwards, onto another week.


Football-less Sunday #3. Top Wide Receivers of 2016.

Back in July 2016 I made few “Top of…” entries and the first one was about the glamorous position of a wide receiver.
Here, I made a case for 9 receivers who would wind up being the top of the crop in 2016; and now since the season’s over I can easily go back and check how “good” my Crystal balling predictions were. So here we go from the 9th upwards

A.J. Green (Bengals):
He ranked 2nd in receiving yards per game with 96.4 which is a fantastic result but otherwise he was nowhere else to be seen in top 10 of other receving statistic lines. Injuries and missing 6 games definitely contributed to this rather quiet season.

Allen Robinson (Jaguars): Well, with 151 targets and only 73 catches, one can easily see that it wasn’t a great season by promising young receiver. Robinson wasn’t really featured in top 10 in receiver stats. Some of that must be due to QBs poor play as Bortles really struggled this season.

T.Y. Hilton (Colts): The 2016/17 leader in receiving yards with 1448, was helped by injuries of other top dogs. Nevertheless he still averaged over 90 yards a game for a top 3rd position, Hilton was also in top 10 of average yds per catch with 15.9. Another productive year by Luck’s favourite weapon.

Jordy Nelson (Packers): The 2016/17 Comeback Player of the Year, was also leading in receiving touchdowns with 14. Heavily featured in few Top 10s, Nelson bounced back up after losing all of the previous season. There should be more to come if the chemistry with Rodgers continues.

Amari Cooper (Raiders): I was expecting more from Cooper but I haven’t factored in Crabtree’s production into the Raiders offense. Still, Cooper reached top 10 in average yards per game beating his teammate at least in this category through the season.

Dez Bryant (Cowboys): Unforseen emergence of two rookies among the Cowboys squad probably factored a lot into Dez’s production as he wasn’t even target 100 times (97) through the season. Three missed games didn’t help.
Bryant still reached the top 10 in receiving touchdowns (8) and average yds per catch (15.9). Quiet year for the wideout but a bright future by the look of things.

Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants): One of only three wide receivers to catch at least 100 catches this past season (101). Beckham Jr had a solid year although the famous trip to Miami is believed to be a lesson for the future. Still, Beckham Jr was top five in few categories including total receiving yards with 1367, receiving touchdowns with 10 and an average of 85.4 yds per game.

DeAndre Hopkins (Texans): I think, this is my biggest ‘bust‘ of this list as Hopkins couldn’t get going and some part of it was the struggle of Brock Osweiller at QB who had a terrible year as a starter.
Hopkins failed to reach 1000 receiving yards (954), caught only 4 TD passes and his catch rate was only just above 50% with 78 catches from 151 targets. Phew… I blew it here badly.

Antonio Brown (Steelers): Well, Brown hasn’t finished on top of any receiving stats lines despite having a solid year that featured 12 TD catches, from 106 in total for 1286 yards and an average of 85.6 yds per game.

Hm… It is hard to say who was The Top Dog really but definately this list should include Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandin Cook and few others. Still I think I have done reasonably well given the lack of experience in football analysis. It’s been fun revisiting my past thought processes. Few more to follow, I think.
Who was your top of the cake, wideout of 2016/17? Leave a comment or two for a discussion to begin. Cheers.


NFL Rapid Predictions- There will be only two left.

The Saturday Edition of playoffs last weekkend quickly became anticlimactic when the Seahawks got evened out in bad fumbles (Super Bowl against the Broncos, remember?) luck/curse ratio.
It’s good though as this team is too over hyped in my humble opinion but hey, these aside; last week I did poorly missing out on Falcons and the Steelers so shady 2-2 this week for 5-3 play off lot.
We have only three more games this season to play and two are about to go down this Sunday. Let’s see what’s cooking out there.

Steelers @ Patriots: Apparently Bill Belichick managed to perform an act of biological warfare on some of the Steelers players as they reportedly went down with the flu days before the AFC Championship game.
Flu or not flu, Ben Roethlisberger will have to have a solid game for Pittsburgh to have a chance at winning the thing. Antonio Brown‘s infamous now video only added colour to the match up and we might be in for the best football of this season.

Patriots to win 24:17

Packers @ Falcons: It can turn out to be one of a huge feast of offensive display as both teams struggled to support their star QBs in Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers. Both of them are in the chase for MVP award but before that happens, only one of them will find a way to the Super Bowl. This game could be a one loooong highlight reel. Beware defenses!

Packers to win 38:34

What are your picks gals and guys?

NFL Rapid Predictions- Divisional Round. 

Yes, we finally arrived to proper play off phase minus the Texans @ Patriots game which will be a warm up for New England really.
I was wrong one game last week as I thought the Raiders would manage to outlast Brock Osweiler but with a rookie QB and three screen passes in first few plays it just didn’t work. I also didn’t see the meltdown the Giants had at the Lambeau Field but that’s life.

This week we have all 8 divisional champions left, that’s third time since 2002 realignment league that this happened and we might finally get 3 decent playoff games. So onto the divisional divisions people!

Seahawks @ Falcons: This is quite a show to get us going. Matt Ryan (hopefully an MVP soon) will be facing plenty of cover 3 and Richard Sherman‘s yapping. Russell Wilson‘s job will be easy as Atlanta doesn’t do a lot of defence. This game might be won or lost in a weird fashion of a weird play or two.

Seahawks to win 21:18

Texans @ Patriots: The Patriots have plenty of luck as they drew a sparring partner, a boy to beat in the Texans who are strangely fired up for that game. Perhaps Houston needs one more embarrassing outing to remind their players not to get excited.

Patriots to win 24:6

Packers @ Cowboys: Aaron Rodgers versus the rookie duo of Dak Prescott and the other Zak or Mak, Fak or whatever with an occasional flash from Dez Bryant dropping passes.

It’s a game where I really have no idea what is going to happen but despite poor defense on Packers’ side I’ll roll with the experience over the youth, even though the youngsters are at home this week.

Packers to win 30:16

Steelers @ Chiefs: Ben Roethlisberger will play even if he’ll have to wear a protective boot on his foot ouchie. And a lot will depend on how he plays this weekend; despite the Steelers having great offense going, Big Ben’s “brave” decisions might cost him dearly.
As for the Chiefs, well the defensive side is capable of scoring so don’t count the home team out here!

Chiefs to win 28:24

What are your picks for this weekend’s games? Let me know in the comment section gals and guys!

NFL Rapid Predictions- Wild Card Bonanza!

Phew. We made it through people! We are in play offs. Well they are as we are out sadly thanks to the Colts disappointing campaign. Never mind.
The score for Week 17 was 10:6 which brought my total for the season 161:95 resulting with 0.629 for the year. Yay.
Now onto glamorous play off predictions; let’s go!

Raiders @ Texans: Whoa. Calm down people! There’ll be plenty of seats available for those who want to see Connor Cook first QB in NFL history to start their first game in play offs. He’ll face Brock Osweiler who will probably do anything he can to lose that game for the Texans. Thrilling night ahead of us ladies and gents…

Raiders to win 23:19

Lions @ Seahawks: The Lions lost 8 straight play off games and the Seahawks haven’t lost a play off game at home in a while. Make of it whatever you want but late comeback is a possibility as much as a total demolition. The bones will fly high but only one QB will come undefeated.
I’m rolling with “The Lucky Escape Pass Magic” aka Russell Wilson over “The Diving Bomb” Matthew Stafford.
I’m sorry Detroit. Life’s harsh.

Seahawks to win 17:10

Dolphins @ Steelers: It doesn’t look like Ryan Tannehill is going to start for the Dolphins so their plan of game will probably focus on pounding the ground with Jay Ajayi.
As for the Steelers? Well, you choose your poison. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell… They’re all dangerous weapons. Bell has been the first player in NFL that averaged 100 rush yards and 50 receiving yards during his season. Great production and probably more to see in coming weeks.

Steelers to win 27:20

Giants @ Packers: The Game of the Week by far… Eli Manning supported by a solid defense and Aaron Rodgers supported by his receiving weapons. It’s really hard to say what this game will look like as the history favours Giants who beat the Packers at Lambeau Field twice in play offs on their way to two Super Bowls but the past is the past. The present is what counts and for me it all looks rather hard to decipher.

Packers to win 24:20

Well. Let’s see how many of my picks makes into the divisional round.
What are your picks gals and guys?

Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy- The Fairy’s Dead. 16

That’s all from us now really. The last game of the season’s upon us the Fairy’s Dead or otherwise occupied and the Colts are out of playoffs second year running.
The only wish I really have is for the management to look at the future now and let the 2nd, 3rd, 4th stringers to play it all out and see what they can muster.
Playing the few stars of this somewhat broken team would be an utter stupidity…
But the team will want the win against divisional rivalry and Andrew Luck, Frank Gore are close to reach certain milestones in their careers and T.Y. Hilton is leading receiver through 16 weeks so.. There.
After missing out on play offs second year running all we can wish for at this time is for the team management to hit the draft right and find some reasonably priced free agents if there are any and get properly prepared for the next season.
And until that point in September, let’s enjoy what 2017 is cooking for us.
Happy 2017 Gals and Guys!!!

NFL Rapid Predictions- For some it is just the beginning, Week 17

I have given the betting another go and came short so there, lesson learnt- “keep it all in your imagination dude”. At least you won’t go bankrupt, you won’t become a sudden millionaire too but hey…
Anyway, the Christmas weekend has been poor for me and the taste of sadness is going to be the prevailing theme for me and I’d imagine few teams, including my Colts. They’re out and I hope they won’t play their starters in the meaningless game that will decide the draft pick order.
In the meantime I have gone 10-6 in Week 16 and the lowest score in many weeks still kept me in a region of 0.629 score for the season with 151-89 record. I think I have no other options than to live.
The closest guess this week goes to IND @ OAK game where I predicted 26:34 Indy loss to Oakland and the game finished 25:38 and broken Derek Carr

(insert sad face here).
WEEK 17 holds few key games and bunch of time wasters so let’s get predicting!

Jaguars @ Colts: Do not play Andrew Luck, do not play T.Y. Hilton, do not play Vontae Davis, do not play Donte Moncrief, do not… I think everyone gets the message I’m trying to sell here but I bet the Colts will do their thing and let them play to tick off some personal milestones and get that meaningless win…
As for Jaguars who had them possibly game of the year, go sweep Colts this season, just for bloody fun, especially if they dare to play their starters, dummies…

Colts to win 20:17::

Packers @ Lions: Huge one here and it was flexed to Sunday Night as this is a game of “You win You are in” unless you both tie then you both are in. Yup, imagine overtime type of scenario when Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford play like extremely safe just to get through with kneel downs and spikes just for the joy of watching it.

Packers to win 37:31

Saints @ Falcons: A good divisional match up but only Falcons have something to play for- seed so I can’t imagine the team going all nuts if things don’t get started as planned for Atlanta. Still it could be offensive festival one might enjoy a lot and another chance for Matt Ryan

to showcase his MVP skills that many voting for the title won’t consider.

Falcons to win 30:21

Panthers @ Buccaneers: The Buccaneers definitely don’t want to see a tie between the Packers and Lions but they still must win this game to have some chances. The Panthers will try to strike in revenge for a disappointing campaign after trip to the Super Bowl last year.

Panthers to win 17:11

Giants @ Redskins: I don’t know if the Redskins will pull their all effort in the coming game to try to come closer to securing playoff tickets that involve a certain no tie game to happen but we all know the Giants are the 5th seed in the NFC and it stays like this unless the world ends before the end of the year. Yes, this game has potential to be exciting!

Redskins to win 24:17:

Cowboys @ Eagles: Cowboys are said to roll with the momentum and play their starters. Cowboys’ fans hope there won’t be any injuries that will derail the disappointing play off run.
As for the Eagles it’s yet another murky season but fans in Philadelphia are used to being disappointed.

Cowboys to win 20:13

Bears @ Vikings: Meh. At one point the Vikings were the only undefeated team in NFL this season. How badly their fortunes turned around.
Bears’ fortunes were always shite.

Vikings to win 21:16

Bills @ Jets: The Rex Brothers are gone and E. J. Manuel will be a starting QB for the Bills even though Tyrod Taylor has been a dependable under the center.
The Jets continue to be rubbish.

Bills to win 20:11

Texans @ Titans: Titans lost Marcus Mariota and definitely lost a chance for playoffs with the ugly loss to Jaguars. The Texans are going to run Tom Savage into playoffs and they should be out after one game. Hey!

Texans to win 24:17

Patriots @ Dolphins: There’s AFC first seed on the stake with clear path to the Super Bowl and there’s this strange Dolphins team that likes to win games at home against the Patriots.

Patriots to win 28:10

Browns @ Steelers: Ah… If you’re a Steelers, let them bones rest and play the second stringers and if you’re Browns…

Steelers to win 19:16

Ravens @ Bengals: Normally this match up is heated with plenty of hate and something on stake but this season at this time of the year there’s sadly nothing for both teams to break their bones about.

Bengals to win 23:16

Cardinals @ Rams: No Jeff Fisher for Rams, no play offs for Cardinals. It’s been a very down season for Carson Palmer and co. and it’ll be interesting to see how this team bounces back up next season. Not much to see here during that game.

Cardinals to win 30:17

Chiefs @ Chargers: There’s not much in the game for the Chargers besides trying to forget last week’s game they lost to the Browns.
For Chiefs there’s still seeding on the plate but it’s not 100% in their control but they gotta win here.

Chiefs to win 23:14

Seahawks @ 49ers: Well, few years ago it would be a game to watch now it is a game to survive watching.

Seahawks to win 25:12

Raiders @ Broncos: The Raiders lost Derek Carr for the season but they hope to have him back for possible Super Bowl if they make it. For now they gotta make sure no. 2 seed is theirs after that’s game finished. So go for the win.

Broncos to win 19:13

Happy 2017 gals and guys!

NFL Rapid Predictions- is it Xmas really??? Week 16.

I can tell you that predicting winners right in about 3/4 contests doesn’t translate into making money from some betting against the spread. Yes I did put 15 quid towards that thing, got 15 quid from the site, bet 13 quid altogether and earned fat zero. Haha. Well, I’ll bet away the reminder of money in the coming weeks and will probably stick to blogging…
Week 15 resulted in 11-5 record that brought my total so far to 142-84 for a chunky 0.628 still much, much better than my confused and confusing Colts.
The closest guess have been Jaguars losing to Texans, as I predicted 20:21 score but in real life the Jaguars were only able to muster 14 points to 21 of Houston. Both, Texans and Titans did they minimums and made Colts’ playoff chances nearly impossible. Two loses to Texans and one to Jaguars will be haunting Colts players for ever.

Since it’s Xmas week and children are soon to be unleashed my next two columns with predictions might be really short and sweet. Life, eh?
Let’s get on with WEEK 16!

Giants @ Eagles: Big game for the Giants who could possibly repeat some history if they end up playing Packers at Lambeau Field in playoffs and then facing the Patriots in Super Bowl.
First they gotta take care of this game. As for the Eagles? They have to play for fun really.

Giants to win 21:13

Vikings @ Packers: All of sudden and the Vikings are really in deep sh… after the beating they got from Colts at home. It’s amazing this team went undefeated for the longest this season.
As for the Packers? Their wide receiver is playing superbly at running back and Aaron Rodgers seem to be back to his mojo. Beware!

Packers to win 24:10

Chargers @ Browns: Pffft… I dunno really. It’d be exciting for Browns to get a win I guess…

Chargers to win 16:9

Falcons @ Panthers: Divisional rivalry. I’m pretty sure the Panthers are still within the shot of getting into play offs but they won’t.
The Falcons though, they can help their cause by getting the big W in Carolina.

Falcons to win 30:21

Redskins @ Bears: The Redskins really hurt themselves last Monday. The Bears…? Nearly time for off season, hey!

Redskins to win 24:17

Jets @ Patriots: Patriots carry on as usual, still in the race for number one seed. The Jets are in a race to find a quarterback of their future. Ouch!

Patriots to win 18:7

Titans @ Jaguars: The Titans are on a roll and they gotta beat this poor beaten up Jaguars team that just sacked their head coach. Believe or not but the Titans could get into playoffs. World’s crazy.

Titans to win 28:14

Dolphins @ Bills: There’s only wild card chance to slip into play offs and the road there goes through Buffalo this week. For Buffalo…? I’m not sure if they have any slightest chance for post season…

Dolphins to win 15:13

Buccaneers @ Saints: Huge one here for the Buccaneers as they didn’t defeat the Cowboys now they gotta beat hot read Drew Brees and his not so hot Saints.
That might be a cool watch!

Saints to win 38:24

Cardinals @ Seahawks: Birds. Birds. Birds everywhere.And Richard Sherman who losses his shit. A tie would be the most reasonable solution here.

Seahawks to win 20:18

49ers @ Rams: It just doesn’t matter but the game has to be played I guess.

49ers to win 21:17

Bengals @ Texans: The Bengals are out of playoffs but the Texans are still in the race despite Brock Osweiler doing whatever he can to lose games for the team that paid him $37 millions guaranteed… They sniffed it out eventually and benched him so Tom Savage can lead the charge.

Bengals to win 21:17

Ravens @ Steelers: Ah. That’s one of the luxury treats for us during Xmas. It’s meant to be tough, physical and cold. It can also turn into a mini war there.

Steelers to win 24:23

Colts @ Raiders: This game will be a one to watch if the Titans lose their game earlier to Jags or one to have a look at highlights if the Titans win. Sadly the Colts dig themselves a hole too high to dig out of it.
For Raiders is still much on as the seeding is not yet decided. No time to celebrate in Oakland.

Raiders to win 34:26

Broncos @ Chiefs: All for the Broncos in this game. Despite the dominant defense the Broncos struggle as its offense is really shut. The weapons that Peyton Manning used are somehow not producing as well as during his tenure.
The Chiefs gotta pick themselves up from the recent slip outs. It is going to be huge battle that folks will talk about forever.

Chiefs to win 20:10

Lions @ Cowboys: Ah this is another prime match up to see Christmas off. I’m not particularly fond of either team but the game will be delicious. With Matthew Stafford possibly trying to lead 9th comeback of the year and Zak, Dek Dez or what having a blow out party. Happy New Year. Boooom!

Cowboys to win 27:24

Thanks for reading guys I’m off to be jolly and merry and full of jelly!
Have a peaceful and rewarding Xmas!