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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don's Top 10 BCS Standings week of 10-28-12

  


     Back again with another edition of Don's Top 10. Before I give his top 10 I would just like to thank Don for contributing to my blog and greatly appreciate his work. With that said, lets see who Don's top 10 are.




1. Oregon - Dominant as ever
                      2. Alabama - Impressive win over Miss St., still can't touch Oregon though
3. Kansas St. - No doubt a Top 3 team after that big win
4. Clemson - Delivered a blow out, no change here
5. Notre Dame - Not only did they beat my previous #5 but they did it convincingly
6. Georgia - Florida had a turnover problem but i don't think that mattered, my gut feeling for this team has always been good
7. Florida - Didn't drop very far because of the uncharacteristic turnovers, every team has a bad game
8. Florida St. - They took on a confident Duke team that was playing extremely well and made them look like a joke
9. Oklahoma - Disappointing loss but it was to a team that i previously had at #12
10. Mississippi St. - South Carolina barely beating Tennessee keeps the Bulldogs in my top 10 just ahead of said Gamecocks and Vols who are 11 and 12


Link to official BCS Standings http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings
Source(s) Picture courtesy of http://www.bcsnationalchampionshiptickets.net/




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Monday, October 29, 2012

NFL Week 8 Studs & Duds






                                                                       Studs
                   Tom Brady is getting in mid-season form with 563 yds. passing and 6TD's in his last two games
                         

     Tom Brady-  Never underestimate or let your guard down on Tom Brady. Brady threw for over 300yds. and 4TD's in a 45-7 blowout win over the St. Louis Rams.


     Rob Gronkwski- One of Tom Brady's favorite targets, Gronkwski produced great numbers with 8 receptions for 146yds. and 2 TD catches.


     Matt Ryan- Perfect record, perfect performance(for the most part) going 22-29 with 262 passing yards and 3 TD passes as Ryan and the Falcons improved their record to 7-0


     Julio Jones- Jones continues to impress as he hauled in 123 receiving yards on catches and a TD. The second year player now has 5 TD's an 499yds to date this season.


     Matthew Stafford- Stafford arguably single handily, beat the Seattle Seahawks. Throwing for 352 yds. and 3 TD's(one which was a game winning drive) He also had 1 rushing TD to go with his 3 passing ones.

    
     Titus Young- Unlike his counterpart Calvin Johnson, Young was money as he aided Matthew Stafford by registering 9 receptions for 100yds and 2 TD's.


     Steve Smith- Smith had a nice performance after flying under the radar the past couple of weeks, and bounced back with 7 receptions and 118 yds. receiving.


     Peyton Manning-  Manning (at least in my eyes) continues to live up expectations and proves he's still got it by throwing for 305yds. and 3TD's. Manning has now improved the Broncos record to 5-3

  
     Doug Martin-  It's always great when you have a versatile Running Back. Martin ran for 135 yds. 1 TD on 29 carries and also contributed to the receiving game in a huge way by catching three passes for a total of 79 yds, with 64 yds going for a TD reception


     Jason Witten-  Witten had a huge game by hauling in 18 catches(tied for 3rd most in NFL history and most by a Tight End) for 167yds.






                                                                       Duds
           Things continue to go sour for Cam Newton as he now has 8 interceptions on the season and only 5 TD Passes

     Mark Sanchez-  Sanchez contines to hurt his case that he deserves the starting gig at QB for the Jets. Sanchez connected on less than 50% of his passes (28 of 54) and only throwing for1 TD & 283 yds. but had an interception and lost a fumble in a 30-9 defeat against the Dolphins.

     Browns&Chargers Defense- 60 minutes of football and on 13 total points to show for by both teams. Very anemic performances by both offenses.


     Cam Newton- "The Sophomore Slump" continues as Newton despite throwing for 314yds. he had no TD's and 2 interceptions (one which was returned for a TD)  Newton now has the Panthers at 1-6 (all of which he started)


     Tony Romo-  It's soon going to be time the Cowboys look for a new answer for their quarterback problems. Despite throwing for 437 yds. and a TD, Romo threw 4 interceptions which the Giants were able to take advantage of by scoring off each turnover. Romo is treading water and may lose his the starting quarterback role come this offseason.

     Calvin Johnson-  Megatron has had a rather underachieving season. Yesterday's game against the Seahawks, Johnson only registered 3 receptions for 46 yards. These numbers are well below the ones we expect from Johnson.


     Jamal Charles- slumping the past two weeks, Charles only ran the ball for a total of 4 yds. on 5 carries, his second worst rushing performnce of the season (week 3 rushed for only 3yds. on 6 carries.)


     Steven Jackson-  Jackson has been having a lackluster season compared to what he has shown and had in the past. Steven Jackson only ran for 23 yards on 7 carries.


     Kansas City Chiefs- For being the first team since 1940 to never hold a lead  regulation through the 7 first games.


     Drew Brees- Last night, Brees actually had an okay game. But it's not like the numbers he routinely produces week in and week out. Too be fair, even when Bree's has been putting up big numbers, the Saints defense has cost them games, or relied on Brees to bail them out. Last night though, Brees performance of  213 passing yds. 2TD's and an interception is not going to be enough for Brees to lead the Saints to victory.


    John Skeleton- Skeleton's performance may lead the Cardinals into going back with Kevin Kolb at quarterback. Skeleton threw for 290 yds and 1 INT. as the Cardinals were only able to muster a total of 3 points.
   

    pictures courtesy of espn.go.com

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Alabama Proves It's Number One Ranking by Dismantling of #11 Mississippi State





No one seems to have an answer against Alabama's Top Ranked Defense
    
     To anyone who was still skeptic about Alabama being the number one team, those questions were answered after Alabama handed #11 Mississippi State a thrashing 38-7 beatdown. For as great as A.J. McCarron and the Crimson Tide offense has been this season, you have to start with their top ranked defense. Through eight games, The Tide have yet to allow an opponent to rush for a total of 100 yards. It's often said in order to get a teams passing game going, you need to establish the run. As mentioned Alabama is the number one overall ranked defense as well as rushing defense. To go along with that, Alabama also has the number two passing defense.

     Before giving up a late meaningless touchdown to Miss. St. The Crimson Tide had forced Bulldogs Starting QB Tyler Russell into throwing an INT while holding him too 169 yds. passing, just 24 more than their average allowed. Alabama has an easy road ahead of them, and the only thing that is potentially standing in the way of them reaching the national title game, is themselves.

     With their balanced offense and juggernaut defense Alabama is simply hands down, the best team in the country. Expect to see the Crimson Tide finish the regular season undefeated, win their conference championship, and again just like last year, raise the crystal bowl and become back to back National Champions!


Picture courtesy of US Presswire via Espn.go.com

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Penn State vs. Ohio State Game Review: Is Mark Emmert Breathing a Sigh of Relief After Penn State's Defeat?

                     NCAA President Mark Emmert Defends The Sanctions Against Penn State

     Before I get into the question marks surrounding the game I would like to say and give credit to Ohio State for being the better team in tonight's game.   I am not one to blame officials for the outcome of a game if you won because of being the better team or if you lose because you were simply outplayed. During the game however, there were plenty of calls against Penn State and blatant penalties against Ohio State that were not called.  During the course of the game even the commentators were saying that Ohio State's offensive line was getting away with a lot of holding.  My point is that I think it runs deeper than that.  I think that the NCAA wants to keep punishing Penn State for something that the current players had nothing to do with.I will delve into that after I complete the review.  That being said, even with everything that the Penn State football team has dealt with this year (from sanctions to players leaving) they have exceeded expectations.

     In the early part of the game Penn State and Ohio State traded punts numerous times. The first score of the game was from a blocked punt by Penn State that was recovered in the end zone.  Right before the end of the first half, Penn State had stopped Ohio State on downs. Forcing them the Buckeyes to punt and give the ball back to Penn State who would look to expand on their 7-0 lead.  However during the punt Penn State was called for holding.  This holding call kept Ohio State's drive alive. The holding call was replayed and the commentators stated that the holding call against Penn State was a bad call. This was a continuing trend through the remainder of the game, and ironically it was the same referee who kept calling these "penalties" against Penn State which would kill any momentum the Nittany Lions may have had.

    Ohio State opened up the second half with a nice play from Ryan Shazier, by intercepting a pass to give the Buckeyes a 14-7 lead. Penn State was able to drive down the field looking to match Ohio State's touchdown, by a holding call pushed the Nittany Lions back 10 yards which would force them to settle for a Field Goal.

    Adrian Amos intercepted the ball on the Buckeyes next possession, however Penn State failed to capitalize on this turnover after a questionable play call by coach Bill O'Brien ane tried a fake punt that ended up backfiring, giving the Buckeyes good field position. Ohio State, escaping disaster, drove the ball down the field, and Braxton Miller punched it in from 1 yard out. But again, there was blatant hold on the OSU offense that went unnoticed.

      Ohio State's next possession also consisted of Penn State committing another "penalty" though to be fair this was the correct call, but if they weren't going to call anything against Ohio State for their constant blatant holds, then that ref should let them play the game and not just penalize one team but not the other. Which was exactly what this specific referee kept doing. This Facemask would hurt the Penn State's Defense as Ohio State continued to tire them out and once again drove the ball down the field for another touchdown, giving the Buckeyes a now commanding 28-10 lead.

    After Penn State scored a touchdown, but failed to convert the 2 pt. conversion. Ohio State received the ball back up by 12. Braxton Miller was able to dismantle the weak secondary of Penn State and connected with Jake Stoneburner on a 72 yd. pass that would pretty much seal the deal for an Ohio State victory. Penn State would be able to score another touchdown, but it ended up being too little too late, as the Buckeyes held on for the win 35-23. I again, want to give credit for Ohio State's performance and Braxton Miller's play after coming off a vicious hit last week against Purdue and again were able to face adversity and come out on top.

   With all of that said, I have to question the many calls by that one referee that did change the complexity of the game multiple times. He called a holding penalty on Penn State when Ohio State was punting that would have given Penn State a shot at expanding on their lead heading into the half. But Instead of Penn State going into the locker room with the lead, Ohio State got an undeserved 2nd chance and took advantage of the poor call by this ref, tying the game up at 7 with the Nittany Lions heading into the half. If Penn State were to score again before the half, it would have potentially put the Buckeyes back against the wall and may have been forced to change their game plan. There was at least maybe 3 points taken away (granted with Ficken, nothing is guaranteed) never the less we will say Penn State may have gone into the locker room up 10-0 with momentum on their side and allowed them to stick to their game plan. Now I wont take the pick 6 away from Ohio State, thus the game would have been at least 10-7, still in favor of the Nittany Lions. Penn State drove the ball down the field, and were inside the three but got called for a holding penalty (ironically though Ohio State never got called for their obvious holding) Penn State would have had a 17-7 lead. Penn State more than likely would have not tried the fake punt and pin Ohio State again down deep in its own terrority.

   Even if Ohio State were to put on a good drive, Miller's one yard TD run again was a gift for Ohio State as another Buckeye Lineman got away with a blatant holding call. What's funny is that even the announcers kept commenting on how many holding penalties the Buckeyes were getting away with, and one of the announcers was Chris Spielman, who played football at Ohio State! The holding penalty definitely was there, but I would still say Ohio State would come away with some points by connecting on a FG to trim Penn State's (hypothetical) lead to 17-10

    Penn State's next drive saw them go three and out on three straight passing attempts. But even if Penn State was winning (hypothetically) 17-10, I will still say Ohio State comes up with a good defense stop and force the Nittany Lions to punt. Ohio State recieved the ball back, once again deep in their own terrority on their own 15. Their first play was a run for 6, but Penn State also got called for a Facemask (which was the right call) So I will say Ohio State takes the ball down the field still and ties the game back up at 17

   On Penn State's next drive, they drove the ball down the field and scored a TD. And in this circumstance, they would have only gone for the extra point instead of 2, giving Penn State the lead again 24-17. Ohio State would however respond once again, with that 72 yd TD. pass tying the game up at 24 all with Penn State getting the ball back. Penn State, like they did, drove the ball down the field and scored a TD, which, again hypothetically, given them a 31-24 lead. Had this been the case, Ohio State's gameplan near the end would not have consisted of them just running the clock out, but rather an attempt to tie the game back up and hopefully send it to OT.


    Now I know it appears that I'm coming off as having sour grapes, but their were many non-calls that Ohio State had gotten away with(which I don't hold Ohio State at fault, except for the fact for committing the penalty, but the ref who continued to allow Ohio State get away with holding. The only time that specific referee called the Buckeyes for hold, was when it was in an irrevlant situation as Penn State had tackled Ohio State for a loss.) Other than that Ohio State constantly got away with quite a bit of holding calls. My reason for this long rant and diatribe is simply this. Mark Emmert!

     I honestly feel that Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA, felt like his back may have been against the wall and was worried if Penn State were to win he would feel embarassed that even after the uncalled for sanctions, Penn State would end up giving him a dose of humility. Instead, I can't help but feel Emmert would tell an official to stick it to PSU and make sure they would not come away as the victor, at whatever cost. Now I know this seems farfecthed as I have no "proof" however what "proof" did Emmert have that what happened with Jerry Sandusky was a lack of "Institutional Control" even though it wasn't something that fell under NCAA Violations as it was a criminal matter that should have been dealt with by law enforcement and give Penn State due process. Speaking of due process, it's funny how North Carolina, who is accused of multiple academic scandals and the multiple times the University of Miami were accused of NCAA violations, both of these schools were given due process? Kind of hypocritical if you ask me. And I still question the "handling" (or lack there of) of thoroughly looking into the Bernie Fine accusations of him sexually molesting young boys while he was at Syracuse.(Which is also ironically Emmert's alma mater)


    But I want to end this again by saying I don't mean to come off as having sour grapes. I congrulate Ohio State on their performance and give them credit for coming into a hostile environment at Beaver Stadium and come away with a victory. I also want to say objectively that the amount of penalties the Buckeyes committed, I know Penn State probably committed around the same, and my hypothetical scenairos are just that, hypothetical. Anything can have, even one play can change the complexity of the game, no matter what team it is. So Congratulations to Urban Meyers and the Buckeyes, and to be honest, if Penn State can't win their division, I wouldn't mind seeing Ohio State winning it since it would still be a team that couldn't go to the Big Ten Championship, thus kind of defeating the purpose of having the top two teams facing each other in the conference championship.

    As for Mark Emmert, I seriously would not put it past me if you're still trying to continue punishing Penn State in many ways as you still possibly can.


Source(s): Picture Courtesy of Philadelphia Inquirer

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Is Notre Dame Now a BCS or Even Legit National Title Contenders After Win Against Oklahoma?

      Heisman Candidate Manti Te'o  makes a tackle against Oklahoma Running Back Trey Millard
  
        All season the Notre Dame football team has faced criticism because of having an arguably weak schedule of opponents. Granted one may be able to easily make that case. But after handling Oklahoma the way they did, they do deserve some recognition, and would know say they are a legit Top 10 (I know they are ranked number 5 currently, but many critics have said they are not a top 10 team.) Notre Dame being independent has it's pros and cons. They are able to play pretty much any school they want, yet at the same time with how the BCS is, not being in a conference that has automatic tie ins the the BCS puts the Irish as a disadvantage too.  But I digress. Notre Dame has shown it's ability to beat good teams. Before today's game against Oklahoma, Notre Dame did have one key signature win, beating #19 (then #17) ranked Stanford Cardinals. With today, Notre Dame helped it cause after beating #8 Oklahoma. But many still may not be convinced Notre Dame is a legitimate contender.

       Prior to today's game, I honestly gave Notre Dame no chance to beat Oklahoma. Not only did they prove me (as well as many critics) wrong by beating Oklahoma, but did so in convincing fashion. Despite all of this, I'm still not sold on them being National Title Contenders. But I do believe they are in contention to receive an at large bid into a BCS game. If Notre Dame came can somehow run the table and go undefeated, then Notre Dame would have a legit claim of playing for a National Championship. But so many factors would have to fall into place in order for this to happen They would need other teams in front of them to slip in the polls and lose a few spots from a loss.

     Notre Dame has not only needs other teams to slip in the polls, but they still have a few obstacles in front of them they need to accomplish and complete before they think about an undefeated season and making a claim at a shot at the National Championship game. Notre Dame still has Pitt, BC, Wake Forest, as well as USC. The remainder of their schedule makes them look primed to finish undefeated, but the Irish should not overlook Pitt as it may end up being a trap game. Then in the final game of the season, Notre has to travel to Southern Cal. Whether you do or do not think this team is of a championship caliber, but one thing as a college football fan, you know it's going to be exciting how things will turn out.

 Source: Picture courtesy of (Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE, US PRESSWIRE / October 27, 2012)

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pablo Sandoval: The 2012 Edition of 'Mr October"

                      Pablo Sandoval hits 3 home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series

     35 years ago, Reggie Jackson played in what is arguably his most memorable game of his career when he hit three home runs in game 6 of the 1977 World Series. This performance by Jackson would earn him the nickname "Mr. October" Flash forward to 35 years later, Pablo Sandoval would end up duplicating Mr. October's performance with a 3 home run game of his own.


      Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, Sandoval homered in his first 3 at bats, hitting his first two off of Detroit Tigers' ace Justin Verlander and hit his next off Al Alburquerque. Will Sandoval's 3 home run performance be remembered the way Jackson's is still to this day? It's obviously to early to tell. But the impact that Sandoval's duplicated performance will have, will be just as important for the San Francisco Giants as it was back in 1977 for the New York Yankees when Reggie Jackson did it.


       With his 3 home run performance, Pablo Sandoval joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, & Albert Pujols as the only players to homer 3 times in single World Series game.

       Picture courtesy of nydailynews.com

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"File Profile" Calvin "Megatron" Johnson

                                                                                       Calvin "Megatron" Johnson   





Name: Calvin Johnson (nickname Megatron)

Height: 6ft 5in.

Weight: 235 lbs

College: Georgia Tech

College Career Stats- 178 receptions 2,927 receiving yards & 28 touchdowns

2007 NFL Draft- Selected Round 1 Number 2 Overall Pick

40 Time: 4.3

Bench Press: 335lbs (Max), 22 Reps (225lbs)

Vertical & Jumping:  45 inches


    Calvin Johnson is a special brand of NFL Wide Receivers. What's intriguing about Johnson is that not only does he have the size, speed, strength, and leaping ability, all to go with it,  he has the ability to create separation and mismatches against opposing defenses. This combination is something you don't normally get out of every wideout , making Johnson a rare breed for a wide receiver.

 
    Calvin Johnson already has an enormous size advantage against most defenders with his 6ft 5in frame. Whenever the ball is thrown high to where Johnson and the defender need to position themselves in a jump ball situation, Johnson already puts the defender at a huge disadvantage in terms of height, but his amazing Vertical/Jump (45 inches) makes it practically impossible for the defender to come away with the football in a jump ball ordeal. Defensive Backs will have to acquire special springs in their shoes in order to even have a chance when it comes to defending Calvin Johnson in these situations.

        Along with Johnson's size, his strength makes him able to create separation between he and the defender, allowing him to open himself up for an easy play for his quarterback. When Johnson isn't bull rushing his way over 'a' defender, he finds himself fighting off multiple defenders, but even in double coverage, he positions himself to make sure he has the best chance at catching the ball. If the defense is not busy having a difficult time already by trying to cover him, they are having an equal amount of trouble just trying to slow him down.

        As stated by his statistics, Johnson has amazing speed, especially for a guy his size. Already posing great size and strength, Johnson gives opposing defenses another problem with his blazing 4.3 40 time! Right from the snap, Johnson will make a quick move to put the defender out of position and then blow right past him, easily putting himself into the open field allowing himself to become an easy target for his quarterback. Even if the quarterback is being pressured, chances are if he throws it up Johnson will already be wide open, and not only because of his speed, but his ability to run routes really well also puts the defender at an even greater disadvantage.


       Another thing that's impressive is Calvin Johnson's toughness and durability. Johnson won't hesitate and isn't afraid of a little contact. If he has to make a play on the ball even if it ends up with him getting hit, he will risk getting roughed up in order to make that play and reap the reward that may come with it by either making a huge gain or a touchdown.

       Of the many elements that Calvin Johnson has to offer and bring to the table, he is more than just a Wide Receiver. He is a top notch athlete, and a huge playmaker. Johnson's athleticism is what makes him one of, if not the best Wide Receiver in the game today, and inevitably one of the best to ever play the game.

   
 UPDATE: Watch Calvin Johnson destroy triple coverage by the Cincinnati Bengals (date of game 10-20-13)  http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24112458/photo-calvin-johnson-shatters-triple-coverage




Source(s) Photo courtesy of http://www.funscrape.com




                    Carving up the Green Bay Packers secondary on Thanksgiving 2013 (11/28/13)
                   Johnson finished the day with 6 receptions for 101 yards and this TD in the Detroit Lions 40-10 thumping over Green Bay

Source: http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2013/11/megatron-plows-defender-fifth-consecutive-thanksgiving-td.html


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Don's Top 10 BCS Standings week of 10-21-12



        Back again with another edition of Don's Top 10. Before I give his top 10 I would just like to thank Don for contributing to my blog and greatly appreciate his work. With that said, lets see who Don's top 10 are.



                          1. Oregon - They scored 43 pts in seemingly one quarter against my previous #13 and then took their foot off the gas in the 2nd half, they probably would have scored over 70 pts.
        2. Alabama - This was the first game in which they showed that they can be beat, i had Tenn. at #17 coming into that game and they hung around until the Tide got some help from the refs in the 3rd quarter and pulled away
3. Kansas St. - They're on a completely diff. level than WVU whom i had at #15 going into that game
4. Clemson - They move up simply because they won, S. Carolina lost and ND struggled
5. Oklahoma - They move up for the reasons above and also because UGA struggled
6. Florida - I had them at #11 coming in and they demolished my #3
7. Mississippi St. - They seem to be one of the more balanced teams in the SEC with a great offense and a pretty good defense, MTSU isn't a bad team either
8. South Carolina - Even though they got smacked, they had 3 uncharacteristic fumbles in the first half which cost them the game. Limit the turnovers and the score is a lot closer
9. Florida St. - Even though they got off to a slow start, they def. outclassed Miami in the 2nd half of a fierce rivalry game
10. Georgia - They struggled with Kentucky but for some reason I'm hung up on UGA. They're like Notre Dame in that they play close games but still end up winning plus Kentucky gets up for big games, just ask South Carolina


                                             So those are Don's latest Top 10 Standings
        I just want to give my 2 cents, but I don't think Don is giving the love and respect Alabama deserves. I personally think that they are the best team in the nation. After all, they are the defending national champions. And as I say, in order to be the champs, you've got to beat the champs, and so far no one has been able to.




     
Link to official BCS Standings http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings

Source(s) Picture courtesy of http://www.bcsnationalchampionshiptickets.net/




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Monday, October 22, 2012

NFL Week 7 Studs & Duds

  

                                                                       Week 7 Studs

 (1) Victor Cruz catches a pass for a 77yd TD Reception which ended up being the game winning score


      Chris Johnson- Look who finally decided to show up! Johnson had a career game and in the process help the Titans defeat the Buffalo Bills with his amazing performance with 195 rushing yards on 18 carries and 2 TD's

        Houston Texans Defense- After being completely being picked apart by the Green Bay Packers Offense, the Houston Texans defense showed their ability to bounce back after facing adversity. The Texans defense registered 4 sacks(one which resulted in a safety) 2 INT's (one returned for a TD) and a Forced Fumble. The Texans showed that even after a mediocre performance, they are capable of shaking off the cobwebs and playing to their full capability.

     Adrian Peterson- Not even an ankle problem could slow Peterson down this week as he rushed for 153 yds. on 23 carries and a Touchdown to help lead the Vikings to another win, giving Minnesota a surprising 5-2 start on the season.

     Minnesota Vikings Defense- Registered 7 sacks, 2 FF's and an INT returned for a Touchdown which ended up being a difference maker, as the Vikings beat the Cardinals by 7

      Victor Cruz- Cruz flew under the radar in this game. Actually they may have been the crucial mistake the Washington Redskins made. Cruz came up clutch as he scored on a 77yd TD Reception to win the game against their divisional rivals. Cruz ended up with a total of 7 receptions for 131 yds. to go with his game winning TD.

     Aaron Rodgers- Rodgers continued where he left off from last week and again silenced his critics. Rodgers again threw for over 300+ yds and threw for 3 TD Passes as the Packers beat the Rams 30-20.

     Jordy Nelson-  Like his QB, Jordy Nelson continued going on a tear by helping Rodgers in the receiving game once again by catching 8 passes for 122yds. and a TD

     Drew Brees-  It's really no surprise to see Drew Brees name here as he is always putting up unthinkable numbers, only to raise the bar a little higher. Brees threw for 4 TD's for 377yds. as the Saints have now won 2 in a row after starting 0-4.

     Vincent Jackson- Despite in a losing effort, Jackson had over 200yds. receiving on the day (216yds) on 7 receptions and a TD that went for 95 yards!





                          (2)  Joe Flacco couldn't escape the pressure of Houston's potent Defense
                                                                   
                                                                      Week 7 Duds

       Joe Flacco- For Flacco, he couldn't have played the Houston Texans at a worst time!  After their embarrassing performance against the Packers, the Texans took their frustration out on Flacco. So I don't rehash to much, just go up and see under studs "Houston Texans Defense" Flacco finished the day going 21 of 43 for 147 yds 1TD and 2INT's

      Trent Richardson- A rather lackluster day for the "Rookie Sensation". Richardson only had 8 carries for 8 yds. with his longest run of the day. Richardson fared no better in the receiving game either with 2 receptions for just 11 yards. A rather anemic performance by Richardson.

      Christian Ponder- Despite two of my studs being from Minnesota (Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings Defense itsself) Ponder displayed a poor performance from his counterparts. Going for an 8 for 17 on passes for a total of 58 yds. along with 2 interceptions, Ponder should definitely be thanking his teammates for stepping up.

     Washington Redskins Offense- The Redskins Offense is going to need to acquire some cement glue. Fumbling the ball a total of 5 times, 3 of which they lost, and one which ultimately ended up costing the game, the Redskins need to address this problem or just like this game, they will end up with the same result(s).
        
      Russell Wilson- From a great comeback win performance against New England to a subpar performance against San Francisco. Wilson who was only 9 of 23 for 122yds. along with an interception, could not get the offense going as the Seahawks are now 0-3 against divisional opponents

      Alex Smith- The 49ers defeated divisional foe Seattle in spite of Alex Smith who is still on a cold streak after last week's disaster against the Giants. Smith went 14/23 for just 140 yds. Passing with a TD and 1 INT. If San Francisco intends on being a Super Bowl contender, Smith will need to become more consistent and start producing better numbers and eliminating turnovers.

     Ray Rice-  To be fair, I have to cut Joe Flacco some(though very little) slack. Rice didn't exactly have a great outing as well. Rushing for 42 yards on 9 carries, with his longest being for 17 yards.

      Andy Dalton- I wouldn't say Dalton is having a "Sophomore Slump" but the last two weeks he has been consistently inconsistent. Last week he threw for over 300 yards and passed for 3 TD's but also had 3INT's too match. This week against the Steelers, Dalton started out rather strong, but slowly halted any further offensive production as he hit only 50% of his passes (14 of 28) for 105 yds. 1TD and an interception too match. Hopefully for Dalton's sake, he can turn things around and lead the Bengals to victories or they may fall out of playoff contention fast.

 Source(s) 1. Picture courtesy of http://www.nydailynews.com/
                 2. Picture courtesy of Kenneth K. Lam from the Baltimore Sun

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Penn State Vs. Iowa Game Review Penn State Makes Light Work of Iowa, Sets Up Showdown Against Ohio State

   The last time Penn State went into Kinnick Stadium and came out with a win was in 1999 when they defeated Iowa 31-7 (Yeah, I know according to the NCAA the win doesn't count, but they're just a bunch of dumb cowards who gave into media pressure) but besides all that, playing at Iowa hasn't always been a place the Nittany Lions have been able to make themselves feel at home, as they had lost 4 straight at Iowa. Going into the game some, if not many, were thinking this game had the potential to be a great defensive battle. However, Bill O'Brien and the Nittany Lions had other ideas.

    After exchanging a total of three straight 3&outs by both teams (PSU 1 IOWA 2) Penn State got the ball once again starting at their own 16. Penn State used a good mixture of passing and running plays that set up a Matt McGloin 31 Yd TD pass to cap off a 9 play 84 yd. drive to give the Nittany Lions a very important 7-0 lead.  Iowa who had came back from a 10 point deficit last week against Michigan State, was no stranger to having their backs against the wall. Unlike last week though, Iowa had no answer on either side of the ball.


    For the first time this season, Iowa had been held scoreless in the first half. While Penn State scored its most points in the first half of the season with 24, and have scored first in each of its seven games.  McGloin would take Penn State on another 9 play scoring drive and finished it off by hitting his favorite and emerging receiver Alan Robinson for a 8 yd TD Pass to give Penn State a 14-0 lead in the early part of the second.  Bill Belton continued to showcase his abilities as he rushed for 103 yds. and found the endzone on three different occasions. Zach Zwinak and the rest of Penn State's rushing game helped the Nittany Lions amass for over 200 yds on the ground. Penn State would go on to score 10 more points before the half (FG by Fickens, Rushing TD by Belton) to give the Nittany Lions a 24-0 lead in front of a stunned Iowa crowd heading into the half.

    With a commanding lead to start the second half, Penn State would receive the ball and showed no signs of putting on the brakes. Jesse Della Valle returned the ball 46 yards to the Iowa 45. The very next play, Matt McGloin completed a pass to Brandon Moseby-Felder for 42 yds. to setup a Bill Belton 3 yd TD run, quickly giving Penn State a 31-0 lead not even 30 seconds into the second half.

    Iowa Quarterback James Vandenberg already had a turnover when he lost a fumble in the first half  and Penn State's ruthless defense didn't let up. On Iowa's very first play of the second half, James Vandenberg was intercepted by Linebacker Mike Mauti giving Penn State the ball inside Iowa's 20. Vandenberg would go on to throw another INT, this time picked off by LB Mike Hull. Bill Belton scored on a 5 yd. run on the second play of the the 4th quarter to give Penn State a 38-0 lead. Iowa would manage to return the ensuing kickoff for a TD and later add another late in the 4th when James Vandenberg threw a TD Pass to Keenan Davis. Nonetheless, Penn State's dominated on both sides of the ball and were able to sack Vandenberg four times, caused 2 fumbles and intercepted the ball twice.

    Penn State, who has now reeled off 5 straight games, heads back home next week for a showdown with Ohio State for control of the Big Ten's Leader Division.
    
Source(s) Picture courtesy of rivals.com via The Associated Press

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Say What You Will About Ohio State, They Showed Perservance Facing Adversity Vs. Purdue


    It was late in the 3rd quarter when Ohio State starting quarterback Braxton Miller, went down with a serious (yet undisclosed) injury. Miller broke a long run for 37 yards before being taken down (which at second look, looks a bit controversial) by a Purdue defender.  Ohio State was now without it's team leader, and in came Kenny Guiton. Guiton, prior to the season was contemplating transferring from Ohio State before ultimately deciding to remain with the Buckeyes.

    It looked as Ohio State was beginning to fall apart, as they gave up a safety to Purdue after a committing a penalty that occurred in their own endzone. Purdue looked to be on its way from stealing a win in Columbus and upsetting the Buckeyes in their own stadium. But Kenny Guiton and the Buckeyes we're not about to let that happen!

     Purdue punted the ball away, and Ohio State had one more shot with 59 seconds remaining to send the game between the Boilermakers and Buckeyes to overtime for a second straight year (2011 Purdue won 26-23). Taking over on their own 39 backup quarterback for Ohio State Kenny Guiton,who threw an interception on their prior series, quickly redeemed himself by throwing a 39 yd. pass to Devin Smith and in one play were already deep in Purdue terrority. A few plays later Ohio State was facing 3rd and 10 when Kenny Guiton threw a pass in the endzone in which Purdue was called for pass interference giving the Buckeyes an automatic 1st & Goal from the 2. The very next play Guiton hit Chris Fields for a TD which set up for a chance to tie the game with a 2 PT. Conversion. Guiton rolled out and then came back to find a wide open Jeff Heuerman to tie the game up and send the game to overtime!


      Purdue won the toss and elected to go on defense. Ohio State's offense came right back out, hoping to duplicate their success they had in the last minute of regulation. On the first play of overtime, Guiton hit Jake Stoneburner for a 17 yd. Pass to quickly set up 1st&Goal. Just three plays later, Carlos Hyde took it in from the 1 as they took the lead after it had looked like Purdue would come away with the upset. Ohio State's Defense came out and quickly put Purdue in a 4th down situation in just 3 plays. On 4th & 5, Purdue's Quarterback Caleb TerBush threw the ball intended for Crosby Wright, but ended up overthrowing him as Ohio State staved off the upset with late game heroics by backup QB Kenny Guiton.

      Urban Meyer was proud of his players and complemented on their resilience to overcome not only from the deficit, but the injury to leader and starting quarterback Braxton Miller. This game showed and displayed the character and heart Urban Meyer and his kids have!

Source(s) picture courtesy of http://www.sfgate.com (1.)


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Despite Taking Control of NFC West After Defeating Seahawks, 49ers Still Need Improvements


    After a blowout loss against the New York Giants, the San Francisco 49ers were able to bounce right back again after a losing performance by beating the Seattle Seahawks with their stout defense. More importantly, the win put them in the driver's seat of the NFC West.

   As the saying goes ''Defense wins championships" and the 49ers Defense is of championship caliber. However, their defense can only do so much until it eventually breaks. Last week Alex Smith was intercepted 3 times, and all three times the NY Giants were able to convert points off each turnover (13 points 1TD, 2FG's) and twice inside their own 20(luckily their defense held strong both times off those turnovers and held them to Field Goals). Still, if the 49ers offense continues struggling, the defense will only be able to do so much until turnovers or the lack of offensive production, will be their eventual downfall.


   Now that's not saying the 49ers offense hasn't been able show a glimpse of offensive production and not put points on the board. The point is, if the 49ers meet a team with the caliber of the Giants(or the Giants themselves) in the playoffs, turnovers will end up resulting in an early exit. Even if they meet the Seahawks (or a team that matches up well with the Seahawks) 13 points may not be enough to prevent an early outing from the playoffs as well.

Source(s) 1. Picture courtesy of  http://www.nflfootballstadiums.com/Candlestick-Park.htm

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NFL Week 6 Studs & Duds




                                                                      Week 6 Studs


    Aaron Rodgers- Nothing better than silencing your critics by throwing for 6 TD's and over 300 yards! Aaron Rodgers prove why he IS the reigning NFL MVP

    Jordy Nelson- Has been having a rather quiet year up until Sunday. Nelson was Rodgers favorite target on the night, as Nelson accounted for 3 of Rodgers 6 TD Passes and 121 yards receiving.

   Shone Greene-  His performance on Sunday against the Colts was arguably the main reason for the Jets success on offense as he accounted for 161 rushing yards and 3 TD's to go along with it

   Casey Hayward- Hauled in 2 interceptions too help Green Bay pick apart Houston's offense

   Calvin Johnson- I love whenever "Megatron" comes up and has a big game. Johnson account for 135 of Matthew Stafford's Passing Yards on just 6 catches alone! That's an average of 22.5 YPC(yards per catch)

   Jeremy Maclin- On the other side of the field between Detroit and Philadelphia, Eagles Wide Receiver had an extremely well performance too. As he put up similar numbers as Calvin Johnson by obtaining 6 receptions for 130 yards and had a TD reception to go along with that as well.

  Russell Wilson- Like last week between the Colts and Packers, this game also pitted up a "Teacher vs. Student" type match up with the Student coming out on top once again. Not to mention, its was done in comeback fashion like last week's as well! Rookie Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks went head to head Veteran Tom Brady and got the best of him in this quarterback duel. Wilson lead the Seahawks to a win after being down 13 midway through the 4th, Wilson threw 2 TD passes, connecting with Braylon Edwards and then late in the game with Sidney Rice to give the Seahawks the win. Wilson threw for 293 yards, and 3 touchdowns.

 Wes Welker- No surprise that he ends up being Tom Brady's favorite target of the day! As Welker had 138 yards on 10 receptions and a TD. Yes Welker is simply that good.

  A.J Green-  A young receiver who put himself on the map this past weekend. Green in his 2nd season, is only one TD catch away from tying his rookie season total of 7. That he did in 15 games, while he has garnered 6 TD receptions in the first 6 games of this season. Despite in a losing effort, Green had 7 receptions, 2 that went for TD's and had 135 receiving yards to go with impressive display.

  Josh Gordon- Another emerging young receiver, Rookie Josh Gordon is showing why he is Brandon Weeden's favorite target as per the quote I am about to provide from a source "Gordon has caught five passes for 181 yards with three touchdowns the last two games. He has a very favorable matchup against the Colts as well and may be becoming Weeden's favorite target in the passing game" (1.) Gordon 3 receptions for 99 yards and a TD as he helped Cleveland earn its first win of the season.


                                                                       Week 6 Duds


       Matt Ryan- Despite being able to come away with the win and go 6-0, Atlanta Falcon's quarterback Matt Ryan was picked off 3 times in the first half alone by the Oakland Raiders. This is something the team will need to address going into their bye week this weekend.

       Greg Zuerlein- Started off on the right foot(no pun intended) by kicking and making his first two FG attempts. However he went on to miss his 3 consecutive kicks (though I won't really hold it against him for missing a 66yd FG at the end) Zuerlein still missed from 52 and 37, which would have ended up being enough to beat the Dolphins (shoulda, woulda, coulda)

       Andy Dalton-  Despite putting up impressive numbers against the Browns (381 passing yards & 3 TD Passes) Cincinnati's QB Andy Dalton was intercepted 3 times by Cleveland as they ended up losing and giving the (then) winless Browns their first victory of the season

       Brady Quinn-  Hasn't done a whole lot since entering the league in 2007. Sunday was no different. 22 of 38 on for 180 yds. No TD's and 2 INT's.

       Phillip Rivers-  When you're up 24-0 at halftime, there should be no reason a team should lose a game. Now I know "you win as a team and lose as a team" but you have to start with Phillip Rivers. After shutting out the Broncos in the first half, the Broncos returned the favor to the Chargers. Rivers had 3 interceptions in the 2nd half, one which was returned for an INT which ended up sealing the win for Denver.

       Matt Schaub- Who I like to call the NFL's only back-up quarterback starting at Quarterback. Not to take anything away from Schaub but I only still have a hard time looking at his as an "elite" quarterback. The Packers Defense, which can be a hit or miss, depending which (defensive) team decides to show up, completely picked apart Schaub, by in essence picking him off two different times. Which was enough to allow T.J. Yates to get some garbage time. Schaub threw for 232 yds. 0 TD and 2 interceptions.

        Alex Smith- You know the old saying goes "defense wins championships" now before I go on, I just want to say Alex Smith is finally living up to expectations since entering the league in 05' and I think he has been impressive as of late. With that said, we know the 49ers have arguably one of, if not, the best defense in the entire league. But Smith's performance shows that even a dominating defense can only do so much when you throw 3 interceptions and have your defense's back immediately defending their own end zone.  Smiths stats- 200 yds. passing. 0 TDs 3 INTs

        Stephen Ridley- Not much coming out of Ridley this pass weekend, only having 34 yards on 16 carries with his longest run of the day being for 6 yds.

         LeSean McCoy- like Ridley, McCoy was anemic in the running game as he only amassed 22 yards on 14 carries. What's worse is that his longest run went for 11 yards(half of his total) while the remainder of his 13 carries only went for the same number. His numbers this past weekend matched his nickname, "Shady"

         Richard Sherman-  Okay so this one is a little more interesting. Sherman had a good game as he picked off Tom Brady for an interception. It's what he did after the game that made him a dud. I see nothing wrong with what Sherman did by getting in Brady's face mocking him and then later used his Twitter account to add fuel to the fire. Now some may see this as classless, and I admit, I think it was a bit sophomoric. But the reason why I put him on the Dud's list is because what he did may essentially backfire on every team that remains on the Patriots schedule by awakening the beast within Tom Brady and setting the league on fire. Richard Sherman, It was said here first. If the Patriots, especially Tom Brady go on a tear following your trash talk, everyone should have you to thank for that! :)

              Stay tuned for the NFL Week 7 Studs and Duds coming next week!


(1.)source- http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/1686045/josh-gordon

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"Don's Top 10 BCS Standings"


    I will be introducing a new "column" if you will, to my blogs. This column or section of my blog is written by a friend of mine and it will be dealing with who he believes are the top 10 teams in college football and essentially compare them to the official BCS standings. Also, I want to state that none of this section has any input by me, as it is all completely Don's opinions.



                                                                     Don's BCS Standings

                     
                       
1. Oregon - Off week they don't go anywhere
2. Alabama - Hate to do it because I feel they're terribly overrated but S. Carolina losing forces me to put them in the top two
3. South Carolina - They probably would have won if they had one more possession, if they played again it'd be a blowout
4. Notre Dame- Didn't play well but neither did anyone else that won in last week's top 10
5. Kansas St. - Same as above
6. Clemson - Had an off
7. Georgia - Had an off
8. Oklahoma - All i can say is WOW! I had Texas in my #9 spot last week, I knew they had a weak defense but not 63 pts. weak, also their offense was supposed be able to put up a lot of points but Oklahoma's defense kept them from scoring in the entire first half, plus OU only lost to K. St. by 10 earlier in the season so this wasn't a fluke game
9. LSU - Just beat last week's #2, they gotta move up
10. Michigan - Even though Illinois isn't that great, they can still play tough so this blowout/shutout is impressive



























                      Link to official BCS Standings http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings












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Monday, October 15, 2012

Aaron Rodgers Proves Nothing Has Changed

                  Despite a 3-3 record, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has remained the same                                    


      After last night's dominating performance by Aaron Rodgers against the Houston Texans, which saw him throw for 6 TD Passes and 338 yards, some may say "this is the Aaron Rodgers we know". I myself was even wondering what was "wrong" with Aaron Rodgers during the first 5 games of the season. As I was watching last night's game, Cris Collinsowrorth was discussing Aaron Rodgers with Al Michaels and he said something that made it finally dawn on me that there wasn't anything wrong with him.(Rodgers) It was the same Aaron Rodgers we all knew from last year. As a matter of fact, Aaron Rodgers Rating for this season(105.4) is higher than his career average(104.2)1.  When players have high expectations, it isn't exactly easy to live up to them and even harder to exceed them.

     Last night while watching the game between the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans, I was listening to Cris Collinsworth describing how he thinks Aaron Rodgers makes things look so easy, that when he asked Rodgers about it, he said Rodgers just quickly replied, "That's the thing. It's not easy" as Collinsworth went on to explain Rodgers reasoning and how he said its hard to live up to these constant high expectations, that was when it all made sense to me that Rodgers is, was, and always has been the same since he got the starting job at Quarterback with Green Bay. Through six games, Aaron Rodgers has thrown for over 1,600 yards, 16 TD Passes and only 4 interceptions. These numbers are nothing to scoff at. Yet, because it's Aaron Rodgers, these numbers are somehow seen as "average" while ironically for the "average" quarterback, these numbers would be considered a career season.

     One thing that may make things deceiving for football fans is at first glance the Green Bay Packers record. At 3-3 one may look and say"oh man they were 15-1 last season, I wonder what is wrong with them". This possible likelihood can give a wrong indication on Aaron Rodgers performance as a player alone as well. If you have actually watched Aaron Rodgers play this season, you will easily see how nothing is different and that he is the same player as he was last year. Now granted, he has taken alot of sacks, but that's the risk you take when you're a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers who is in a pass happy offense. However, a good quarterback will take the sack before he forces a bad throw, which is something Rodgers has learned overtime from experience.

    Simply put, things haven't changed, Aaron Rodgers is still the same as he has always been. In fact, as far as Aaron Rodgers goes, the only thing that has changed, is that it's a new season.


Sources
1. http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/8439/aaron-rodgers
2. Picture courtesy of http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/aaron-rodgers-packers.jpg


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Friday, October 12, 2012

My Penn State Mid-Season Report Card



   Wow, so we are already midway through the college football season! Seems like yesterday all of us were impatiently waiting for the official kickoff to happen! Recently(actually just before the season started) I wrote a blog predicting the Penn State games for this year, their outcomes, and final results http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-predictions-for-penn-state-football.html So I predicted Penn State to start out 6-0 heading into their bye week and after an 0-2 start it looked like I was going to be off by quite a bit, but by how much, I didn't know. I would have thought 2-4 at best to be honest after their opening game loss to Ohio after being up 14-3 and heartbreaking loss to Virginia where PK Sam Ficken's poor performance ultimately cost PSU the game(Sorry Sam). Penn State however still had somethings going for them. Matt McGloin was noticeably more productive and comfortable in the pocket. The running game was actually exceeding expectations after losing starter Silas Redd, and Penn State has found a great receiver in Alan Robinson. Perhaps what was most noticeable was the implication of Bill O'Briens use of Tight Ends that he brought over from the New England Patriots system. Despite the 0-2 start, Penn State came roaring back, winning the next 4, and each game they looked more impressive than the last.  So lets take a look at the coaching and players and from there we will be able to grade their performances.

      Matt McGloin- To begin, I thought McGloin was going to be the starting QB regardless if Rob Bolden stayed. Nevertheless, McGloin has greatly impressed many and bodes well with Bill O'Brien's offensive system. In just 6 games, he's already amassed 1,499 passing yards (72 shy of his career best) and has thrown for 12 TD's and has only been picked off 2 times. That's a 6 to 1 ratio! I could go on and on with how impressed I am by Matt McGloin and the improvement of his game that it would almost be as long as war & peace. But I want to end it on a note that McGloin has stepped up even when things were looking down. He is the leader for the team.

Mid-Season Grade- Matt McGloin    A+


Penn State Backfield- Lets face it, losing Silas Redd was probably the biggest blow Penn State suffered this off-season due to the sanctions. It was going to be pretty hard to find a replacement back(s) that would be able to gain 1,500+ yds. on the ground. Having said that, Penn State is using every bit of the teams depth chart to utilize their running game, and boy is it doing wonders. After injuries(minor) to Bill Belton and Derek Day, running game was in serious jeopardy as the experience on the depth chart at tailback was very green, Penn State was able to step up and still deliver an impressive running attack in backs Michael Zordich and Zach Zwinak. As a matter of fact, has had back to back 100+ yd rushing games, and a game prior to that he put up 94 rushing yds. Penn State now has plenty of options in their run game thanks to these injuries that ended up being blessings in disguise.

  Mid-Season Grade- A


 Penn State Receiving- Even before heading into the season, Penn State had no legitimate receiving game even without the sanctions. No one knew though that the Nittany Lions would have an emerging wide out in Alan Robinson. Robinson has become McGloin's favorite target as evident of his stats, 7 TD's and over 500 receiving yards. As mentioned in the opening of this blog, the use of the Tight End system that has been brought over from Bill O'Brien that he had used during his days with the New England Patriots, has proven effective! Penn State rotates; Kyle Carter, Matt Lehman, Jesse James, & Garry Gilliam, and do so in more ways than one. Not only are the Tight Ends effective in the receiving, they also are able to create mismatches and provide great blocking for both the running and passing game.

 Mid-Season Grade- A


  Penn State Offensive Line- Sometimes it's hard to rate Offensive Lineman because they don't really get don't have statistics like other Offensive players and Defensive players as well, though they(Offensive Lineman) have a stat called "Pancakes". Nevertheless, Penn State's O-Line has done a rather respectable job. They are able to open up holes for the running game and do provide good protection for McGloin but do have a tendency to allow the pocket collapse which results in McGloin getting sacked or the ball carrier being tackled from behind the line of scrimmage. All in all, I think Penn State's Offensive Line has done better than expected.

Mid-Season Grade- B

 Penn State Defense- As usual Penn State's Defense is its best component. Led by Seniors Jordan Hill & Mike Mauti, the Nittany Lions have registered 15 sacks, 4 of which has come from Freshman Deion Barnes, who ranks ranks 4th in the entire Big Ten Conference in sacks! Mike Mauti has been Big Ten Defensive Player of the week twice, one of those coming from his performance against Illinois in which he had a interception return for 99 yards(unfortunately he was tackled one yard short from the endzone) The secondary has also impressed with the likes of Stephen Morris, Adrian Amos, and Malcolm Willis, despite concern for lack of depth in those positions prior to the season. This isn't the best defense that Penn State has ever had, but by no means that this defensive unit is incapable of holding its own!

Mid-Season Grade A-

Special Teams- This needs no explanation. Penn State's special teams, more particularly their PK Sam Fickens. As mentioned in the beginning Fickens missed four field goals and an extra point in just one game alone, which essentially cost us that game.(Sorry again Sam) If Fickens doesn't improve, Penn State will continue to have problems until it either fixes Fickens problems or finds a new kicker altogether.

Mid-Season Grade- F


Bill O'Brien and the Coaching Staff- We didn't know what to expect with all of the shakeup that happened in the the coaching staff due to the the outfall with the Jerry Sandusky situation.Whatever expectations Bill O'Brien may or may have not had, He is definitely excelling and leading this young inexperienced, yet talented group of players into a positive direction and has also dealt a great relationship with the players. Add that to the rest of the coaching staff that has allowed Penn State to maintain a winning team despite the adversity they faced, you have a great system all around.

Mid-Season Grade- A

    Keep in mind I am graded on a scale pertaining to Penn State's own performance, and not necessarily to other teams or saying they would have the same results against powerhouse teams like USC, Florida, Alabama, etc. A 4-2 start is great, and I have Penn State finishing 8-4. Hopefully they can surpass that mark as they continue to move forward.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

NFL Week 5 Studs & Duds

                                                                  Week 5 Studs

     Andrew Luck- In a match up that pitted Teacher(Aaron Rodgers) vs. Student(Andrew Luck), the Student ended up schooling the Teacher as the Colts came back from a 21-3 deficit to win 30-27. Andrew Luck played more like a Veteran going 31 of 55 for 362 yards through the air with 2 TD's to go with it.

     Reggie Wayne- A lot of Andrew Luck's success came from his reliable receiver. Wayne had 13 receptions for 213 yards and a TD. Luck and Wayne each had career days. I look forward to seeing with this Dynamic Duo can do from here on out.

    Drew Brees-  Another day at the office for Mr. Brees, throwing for 370 yards and 4 touchdowns. However this day at the office was a bit more special as Brees passed Johnny Unitas for the most consecutive games with a TD a pass. Seriously though, was anyone really surprised about this happening?  Congratulations Drew Brees.

    Marques Colston- It's not hard to see why he is a favorite target for Drew Brees. Colston has established himself as an emerging receiver, if he hasn't already. 9 receptions for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns. Despite a 1-4 record, the duo has not failed to produce big numbers.

     Victor Cruz-  I look back and think "how did this guy go undrafted?" The receiving duo of Cruz and Hakeem Nicks has put opposing defenses on notice out of nowhere. Even with Nicks out with an injury, Cruz continues to cement his status as one of the premiere receivers in the league with a career day against the Cleveland Browns as he caught a career best 3 touchdowns in the game.

    Ahmad Bradshaw- Despite giving up a fumble from the first play from scrimmage, Bradshaw was able to shake it off and rush for an impressive 200 yards and a touchdown.

    Percy Harvin- One of the more versatile in the league displayed and showcased his abilities by running for a touchdown and another through the air to go along with his 108 receiving yards.

    Peyton Manning- Despite coming up on the losing end of the game, Manning (as I mentioned in a previous blog of mine) still has the tools and mechanics to produce great numbers. Such as is the case with his performance this past weekend against New England, throwing for 345 yards 3 touchdowns and last but certainly not least, 0 interceptions


                                                                    Week 5 Duds


     Willis McGahee- For some reason I kept thinking McGahee's first name was Travis. Well after not one, but two key mishaps, he may want to hightail out of Denver and change his name to Travis if he continues making crucial errors like he did this past weekend.  On a 4th and short, Manning threw an easy pass to a wide open McGahee who would have had the first down and a lot more, but seemed to think about running with the ball before catching it. The other miscue came when the Broncos were threatening to cut the Patriots lead to 3, as they were driving inside New England's 10 when McGahee coughed the ball up which New England recovered, putting any hope of a comeback to rest.


     Chris Johnson-  Seriously, you got what you wanted after you held out until you got a bigger contract. So when are you going to start producing the same numbers as you did in 2009? Or was that just a "one hit wonder" type of season?

     Mike Vick-  Oh Mike Vick, things just continue to go from bad to worse for you on the football field. Vick fumbled three times, two which he lost. The first time it ended up costing the Eagles from posting points on the board as Vick fumbled the ball inside the Steelers 3 yard line. The second instance occurred just past the Eagles own 20 yard line (fortunately for the Eagles, the Steelers didn't score from it as they fumbled the ball themselves) This is a team that could easily be undefeated. But with a bunch of turnovers, you're going to end up losing more games than you win.


     Blaine Gabbert- Yes, the Jaguars got ripped apart by the Bears defense. Yes, Blaine Gabbert threw 2 interceptions and fumbled once as well. Those 2 interceptions were both returned for TD's (one by Lance Briggs and one by Charles Tillman) Even though the Bears won this one with ease, Gabbert gave them an extra 14 points.

     Mark Sanchez- The Quarterback dilemma in the Jets organization continues to grow after another poor outing by Mark Sanchez. Sanchez has a hard time securing the ball, fumbling twice (fortunately for his sake the Jets were able to recover) and two key interceptions, one that saw a swing in points at the end of the 1st half when Sanchez threw an interception inside the Texans 10 yard line, and instead of the Jets at least getting 3 points, Houston ended up coming away with 3 points to end the half which caused a 6 point swing. Sanchez's other INT came on NY Jets one last chance to go on a scoring drive to put them ahead. (technically they had another after this, but with only 4 seconds on the clock) A friend of mine keeps saying that "Sanchez is in the locker room saying INT- I Need Tebow" perhaps he may be right.
    
      Ryan Fitzpatrick- After a somewhat decent performance against the New England Patriots the previous week, Fitzpatrick failed to produce any type of points or impressive numbers. Going 16 for 26 for only 156 yards passing and throwing an interception against the best defense in the league(San Fransisco 49ers) just isn't going to cut it.

     Cam Newton-  After receiving a lot of hype from his performance in his Rookie season, Newton has continued to fail to live up to those big expectations. Week in and week out he hasn't be able to create any really good scoring drives, and this week was no different. 12 of 29 pass completions for only 141 yards passing 0 TD's and 42 rushing yards. Not exactly the type of performance and production you want from a Quarterback.

     Mason Crosby-  I kind of feel sorry for Crosby. Even though he missed a FG in the earlier part of the game, it looked seemed like it would have no bearing on the outcome of the game, as the Packers were up by 18 at one point. The Colts came all the way back from the large deficit to win the game by the score of 30-27. Packers had one last chance to win or at the very least send the game into overtime. Crosby came out for a FG attempt in the closing seconds of regulation and missed. Those six points that Crosby and the Packers ended up costing them the game (had they made both score would be Packers 33Colts 30, but other things could have happened as well)

     So there you have it.  My NFL Week 5 "Studs & Duds" I will be posting doing this every week from here on out.

       
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