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 #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?

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

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.

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

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.

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?

Football-less Sunday #1

Yup. The eerie and gloomy world has surfaced from the ugly depths of football fans hell and millions around the globe are grieving or try to cope with the sudden change of atmosphere that leads them to a great deal of shock. Football fans, beware! The off season’s here and the Patriots with their awkward and arrogant fan base are on top…
Most people from the sensible parts of the world will claim that Super Bowl LI was an epic defensive meltdown from the Falcons that basically threw the Lombardi trophy away…
Few crazy groups will call Tom Brady The Goat and give him all the credit for dissecting absolutely worn out Falcons D like he was some sort of demigod… He ain’t but I won’t waste my time here on writing about him or his “goatness“.
Just a bit from Super Bowl box score…
Matt Ryan‘s passer rating: 144.1
Tom Brady‘s passer rating: 95.2
.
There… The whole idea of QBs win and such is just a silly narrative that sells the news…

Anyways… I’m not really sure what I am going to fill my Sundays here with but I’m pretty sure I can find something to write about that won’t interest only me.

I should really start with reviewing Colts disappointing campaign but I actually have tried to write something about it and it took me nowhere. I mean there were shockers at the end as Jim Irsay finally sacking Ryan Grigson and sudden departure of Pat McAfee who decided to go all comedian on us but it is hard to get excited about such a disappointing season.

Perhaps looking forward to new Colts GM picks in the draft and possibly FA would be interesting but I don’t think I’m good in this areas so this week I should leave it as it is and ask you one big question:

How do you survive football off season???. Leave me your coping ways in the comment section and take care!

Shocking departure.

I have woken up today and initially I couldn’t really believe what I was looking at but eventually the ugly (from my selfish point of view) truth sunk in…

Good luck, Pat! You’ll be missed.

Colts punter Pat McAfee says he’s retiring, joining Barstool Sports – http://wp.me/p14QSB-aeWx

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?

Pat McAfee thanks the allmighty for today’s news…

Punter Pat McAfee Fired Off A Tweetstorm About The Colts GM Right After He Was Fired – http://wp.me/p47Pf7-r5Cvi

As the Colts’ fan I’m pleased that finally something occured in Indy and that Grigson got the boot. It’s hard to say what the future brings but we know how the past looked like recently so… It’s good news people!

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!