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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Penn State vs Wisconsin Game Recap: Nittany Lions End 2013 Season On a Strong Note By Beating #15th Ranked Badgers

                                                                               (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) 

     Penn State entered its final game of the 2013 season as 24 point underdogs against 9-2 #15 ranked Wisconsin Badgers. But these Nittany Lions, much like last year, were playing with a lot of heart and emotions after being dealt with unjustified sanctions. Penn State received the ball first and on the fourth play Quarterback Christian Hackenberg connected with Freshman Tight End Adam Breneman for a 68 yard score (something we will probably see more of between these two in the near future) to give the Nittany Lions an early 7-0 lead over the Badgers. Penn State's defense started off strong as well, forcing Wisconsin to a three and out on it's first possession, as the Nittany Lion offense continued to build on its early lead.


     On Penn State's 2nd possession the Nittany Lions would drive the ball 74 yards all the down to the Wisconsin Badger 12 yard line. A false start moved Penn State backed to the 17 but gave the Nittany Lions a great opportunity to expand on its lead. But just like all season long, another Special Teams miscue cost Penn State points as Sam Ficken's 34 yard Field Goal (FG) attempt was blocked as Wisconsin dodged a bullet and prevented itself from going down two scores. Wisconsin would not score on its ensuing possession but stopped the Nittany Lions early momentum as they forced Penn State to go three and out on its following possession. But Wisconsin would finally settle things and get their offense going!


     On Wisconsin's 3rd possession, the Badgers took the ball 71 yards on 11 plays and capped it off when Joel Stave hit a wide open Brian Wozniak for a 4 yd. TD pass to tie the game up at 7-7. Wisconsin's defense would force a 2nd consecutive three and out. Wisconsin would convert on a key 3rd & 16 for a first down when Stave found Wide Receiver (WR) Jacob Pedersen for a 23 yard pick up, and just two plays later, Stave would find WR Jeff Duckworth for a 20 yd TD pass. Wisconsin would go up 14-7 as all the momentum seemingly began to shift in the Badgers favor.

    
     The momentum swing did not last long however, as Penn State used a hurry up approach going 71 yards in just 7 plays that ended with an easy lateral pass from Hackenberg to WR Eugene Lewis that allowed him to walk in the endzone and the game started becoming a see-saw battle as it headed into halftime with a 14-14 tie.


                                                                    
                                                                              (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)




     Other than Wisconsin starting out with the ball first, the second half began much like the 1st half did! After forcing the Badgers to go three and out. Hackenberg hooked up with Allen Robinson twice for 31 yards on the Nittany Lions opening drive of the 2nd half and Penn State would complete it when Hackenberg found Jesse "The Outlaw" James in the corner of the endzone, giving Penn State an early advantage in the 2nd half just like they did at the beginning of the game. The TD put the Nittany Lions back on top 21-14. Penn State would this time around look to go for the kill as they forced Wisconsin QB Stave into an interception (INT) as Defensive End C.J. Olaniyan picked it off and took it all the way back to the Wisconsin 19. Penn State could not convert the turnover into a TD, but they did manage three points from a 28 yd. Sam Ficken FG to extend the Nittany Lions lead to 24-14. After a three and out by both teams, Wisconsin would get the ball back and have it heading into the 4th Quarter.


                                                                             (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

                                                                      


     On the very first play of the 4th Quarter, Wisconsin looked to respond as they were threatening to score when an 18 yard pass from Stave to Pedersen on 3rd down set the Badgers up at the Nittany Lions 33. However, on the very next play Stave would be picked off by Penn State's Trevor Williams bringing it back 33 yards to their own 38. On 3rd & 7, Christian Hackenberg stepped up in the pocket and faced pressure, and was able to get the ball off in time before getting hit and found Eugene Lewis for the 2nd time of the game for a 59 yard TD Pass. Penn State now seemed to be in complete control as they were up 31-14 after the long TD. Penn State forced a turnover on downs on Wisconsin's ensuing possession but were not able to put the dagger in the Badgers heart's with any points and were forced to punt. Wisconsin got the ball back with a little over eight minutes left and were hanging on by a thread.

     The Badgers scored quickly, taking not even two and a half minutes to go 76 yards for a TD to bring Wisconsin back within 10. Penn State started to approach itself with a more conservative game play. Penn State recovered an onside kick that had them beginning at the Wisconsin 45. Hackenberg rushed for 4 yards and had a short pass to Breneman go for 3 yards. A false start moved Penn State back five yards and Hackenberg threw an incomplete pass intended for Lewis. Butterworth's punt would be partially blocked, giving the Badgers decent field position and new life!

     While they were not able to convert for another TD, the Badgers drove the ball near PSU 30. That set up a 48 yd FG attempt by placekicker Jack Russell and managed to split the uprights and suddenly what seemed to be what was going to be a runaway by Penn State had suddenly become a game again! On the Nittany Lions next possession, they faced a 3rd and 9 and just as Wisconsin was expecting pass, Penn State ran a draw play that setup a 61 yard run by Zach Zwinak to give Penn State a brand new set of downs deep in Wisconsin's territory. Penn State would run the clock down to 31 seconds and gave Sam Ficken a chance to ice the game with a 31 yd FG attempt. Ficken's attempt though went off to the right, and Wisconsin's hopes of obtaining a spot in a BCS Bowl Game were still alive. Wisconsin completed two passing plays for a total of 39 yards, setting them up at the PSU 41. After an incomplete pass, Wisconsin faced 2nd down and Stave would put up a desperation heave but Penn State Safety, Ryan Keiser (who won the game for Penn State against Illinois on Nov. 2 after an Interception) came down with the ball and secured the win and upset over #15 ranked Wisconsin, most likely denying them any chance of appearing in a BCS Bowl Game. As for Penn State, they end the season on a strong note that saw some incredible highs and lows along the way en route to a 7-5 record. And now with some of the sanctions already rectified, (with more possibly to be done so along the way) Penn State's darkest days appear to be behind them as they look to build on for the future!  WE ARE............PENN STATE!!!!!!!!!!




Notes:

     - Zach Zwinak finishes with 994 yards.1st time since 04' Penn State doesn't have a 1,000-yard rusher.

     -  Penn State was just the 4th team to score 18+ points on Wisconsin this year. (Badgers No. 5 in FBS in scoring defense 13.4 ppg)

     -  Wisconsin entered the game having allowed just three TDs at Camp Randall this year. Penn State Finished with four.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

2013 NFL Week 12 "Studs & Duds"






                                                                                                        Week 12

                                                                                                          Studs


Maurice Jones Drew

                                                                                    (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

     Maurice Jones Drew is so versatile because he can beat you in many ways (whether it be in kick/punt returns, rushing, or receiving). Drew did it all in the Jaguars defeat of fellow division rival Houston Texans when he had 84 yards on 14 carries and registered a Touchdown (TD) which ended up being the game winning score, and also had 60 yards receiving on 6 receptions.



Tiquan Underwood


              (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


     If you're a Wide Receiver (WR) on the opposite side of the field/ball as Calvin Johnson, and you steal the show, you bet your ass you're a stud! Underwood's 2 TD Receptions helped the Buccaneers upset the Detroit Lions 24-21. Along with his pair of TD's, Underwood had 108 yards through the air on 3 receptions.

Josh Gordon

                 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

It's hard to understand the Cleveland Browns losing when WR Josh Gordon goes for 234 receiving yards on 14 receptions and a TD to go along with it. But it is Cleveland after all!




Jimmy Graham


      
                                                                                  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

     Arguably Drew Brees favorite target all year long, Jimmy Graham stepped up and had the game winning TD in the New Orleans Saints 17-13 win over divisional foe Atlanta Falcons.  5 receptions 100 yards 1 TD






Larry Fitzgerald

                                                                             (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
      
     The recipient of both Carson Palmer's TD Passes, Fitzgerald was the key to Arizona's offensive success against the Indianapolis Colts.  5 receptions 52 yards  2 TD Receptions





Adrian Peterson

                   

                                                                                       (Photo Tom Lynn /Getty Images)

     Critics are probably a little rough on Peterson this season as he probably had extremely high expectations. Nonetheless Peterson is still one of the best backs in the game today and added 146 yards on the ground with 1 TD against the Green Bay Packers. Oh btw, he only trails LeSean McCoy by 12 yards as the league leader for most rushing yards this season!



Eddie Lacy

                             
                                                                                 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
 
     Eddie Lacy has already done a 180 for the Green Bay Packers Running Game in his Rookie Season! Lacy finished with 110 yards rushing and 1 TD against the Minnesota Vikings. Lacy also had 6 receptions going for 48 yards.
                                                                                                           




Justin Hunter & Kendall Wright  
                                                                                  (Photos by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

     Both WR's Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright made backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's job a whole lot easier against the Oakland Raiders (With Jake Locker being out for the remainder of season due to injury). Both Receivers had very near identical numbers, Hunter- 6 receptions 109 yards 1 TD. Wright- 6 receptions 103 yards 1 TD (Which was the game winner with 10 seconds remaining in the game)


Phillip Rivers
                                                                               (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

     Phillip Rivers went into Kansas City this past weekend and where he we and the San Diego Chargers were pitted against one of the league's best defenses (Kansas City Chiefs)! Rivers and the Chargers lit up the scoreboard in a back and forth battle between both offenses with San Diego coming out on top 41-38. Rivers finished the day going 27 for 39, 392 Passing Yards, and 3 TD's (0 INT's)
         


Robert Quinn

                                                                                (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

     The St. Louis Rams probably have one of the best defenses in the league and are still in the playoff hunt despite being without starting Quarterback Sam Bradford. Robert Quinn has been a huge part to the Rams success on the defensive side of the ball and registered 4 Tackles, 1 Sack, and a 31 yard fumble return for a TD. Quinn also ranks second in the league with sacks with 13.0 ( 1.5 behind league leader Robert Mathis- 14.5 )
     






Jason Witten
                                                                                          (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
      
     I would definitely have to say that Jason Witten was the MVP for the Dallas Cowboys in their 24-21 win over the New York Giants and to take possession atop the NFC East!  Witten- 4 Receptions 37 yards  2 TD's






Tom Brady

                                                                                (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)


     Read this piece http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2013/08/tom-brady-how-my-disdain-turned-into.html I did on Tom Brady from a few months back! It will explain everything you need to know about Brady and what he did in his game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night!  Brady finished by going 34 for 50, 344 yards, 3 TD's (0 INT's)







Knowshon Moreno

                             
                                                                                  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

     Even though the Broncos blew a big lead (24-0 at halftime) and would go on to lose (34-31) against the New England Patriots, Broncos Running Back Knowshon Moreno did not fail to impress and got noticed with his performance on the night with 37 carries 224 yards and a TD!



Jamal Charles

          
                                                                                    (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

     The Kansas City Chiefs have been recognized this year because of their defensive success. But it would not be fair to forget about Jamal Charles and the offense's either. Despite losing against the San Diego Chargers, Charles finished the day with 14 carries for 115 yards and 2 TD's. Charles is probably one of the best dual-threat Running Backs in the league too. He had 42 yards on 4 receptions. To date for the season, Charles has a total of 1,343 offensive yards of production (918 rushing, 425 receiving)
                                                                                   



                                                                                                           Duds

Eric Decker


 (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

     There was not much communication between Peyton Manning and his receivers Sunday Night against the Patriots. Especially with Eric Decker.  Decker 1 reception 5 yards



Matthew Stafford

                                                                            (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

      When you're a gunslinger QB like Matthew Stafford you're going to put up big numbers. Unfortunately the con to it results in turnovers and interceptions and eventually losing games. Stafford finished the day against the Buccaneers by going 26 for 46, 297 yards 3 TD's but had 4 INT's in the Detroit Lions 24-21 loss to Tampa Bay.




Andre Johnson

   (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)


     In the previous three games Johnson had a total of 5 TD Receptions and went over the 100 yard receiving mark twice (with going over 200 receiving yards in one of them in the process) Johnson only finished with 2 receptions for 36 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars.






Case Keenum

                                                                                   (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

     After having back to back 3 TD & 0 INT games, Keenum has thrown an INT in his previous two with only one TD pass. Keenum overall finished the day against the Jacksonville Jaguars 18 for 34 169 yards 0 TD 1 INT







Frank Gore


                                                                                  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

     Not much came from Frank Gore in the San Fransisco 49ers big win over the Washington Redskins. Gore 13 carries 31 yards




Stevan Ridley

   

                                                                             (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

     Very little success came from the Patriots run game against the Broncos. Stevan Ridley was practically invisible as he only had 4 carries going for 14 yards and a lost fumble.


Roddy White

                             

                                                                               


                                                                              




Andrew Luck

                                                                                  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

     Pardon the pun, but Andrew has been having very little "Luck" lately. Luck finished the day against the Arizona Cardinals 20 for 39 163 yards 1 TD and an INT. Over the past 3 games Luck has not generated much offensive success either for himself or his team (1-2 during that span) Luck 748 Passing Yards, 2 TD, 4 INT during same time frame.


Robert Griffin III



                                                                                   (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

     RGIII is officially plagued with the "Sophomore Slump" Very unproductive numbers by Griffin as he only managed a total of 149 offensive yards altogether ( 127 Passing, 22 Rushing) while also throwing an INT and fumbling once.



Geno Smith

                                                                                   (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

     Another bad day in the young career of Geno Smith, 9 for 22 127 yards 0 TD 2 INT and a lost fumble in the Jets 19-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. I do believe though that Smith will adjust to the game and will only get better with time.




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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Penn State vs Nebraska Game Recap: Special Teams Continued Miscues Prove Costly For Nittany Lions Against Cornhuskers



                                                                                    (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)


     Despite a valiant all around effort, miscues once again cost Penn State a game. This time it was from a player who had already had his handful (or "footful ) of problems dating back to last season, Sam Ficken. Penn State took a lead late in the 1st Quarter when Freshman QB-TE Duo ( Christian Hackenberg- Adam Breneman) hooked up for a two yard strike to give the Nittany Lions a 6-0 lead. Unfortunately Sam Ficken failed to convert on the Point After Touchdown (PAT) and this miscue would come back to hurt Penn State.


     In the early part of the 3rd Quarter, Penn State regained the lead after a 7 yd. TD Run by Hackenberg, giving the Nittany Lions the lead once again with Ficken this time converting on the PAT. Giving Penn State a 13-7 lead. But that lead however was short lived when Penn State's special teams gave up a 99 yd. TD  return by Kenny Bell on the ensuing kickoff, giving the lead right back to Nebraska 14-13 in favor of the Cornhuskers. Nebraska would tack on a Field Goal (FG) late in the 3rd Quarter and expand its lead to 17-13 heading into the 4th.

     Penn State scored on the very first play of the 4th Quarter after a 46 yard TD strike from Hackenberg to Jesse "The Outlaw James" and, giving Penn State the lead once again 20-17. After some back and forth possessions between the two teams, Nebraska would tie the game late in the fourth quarter which would help set up for overtime (OT), Penn State's third game of the 2013 season to do so.

     Penn State received the ball first to start OT, and could only muster to move the ball 5 yards, setting up a 37 yd. FG Attempt for Sam Ficken. Ficken would end up making another blunder like he did after Penn State scored its first TD of the game when he missed the PAT, and missed the FG attempt. This allowed Nebraska to only need a FG to win the game. Despite initially having a 37 yarder called back due to a false start, Nebraska placekicker (PK) Pat Smith had no trouble converting from another five yards back and connected on a 42 yard FG to give the Cornhuskers the win and improved their overall record to 8-3 (5-2 in Big Ten). With the loss, Penn State fell to 6-5 and now faces the possibility of its first non-winning season since 2004 when they wrap up the season when they travel to Madison on the November 29th to face Wisconsin.


Notes:

Penn State is 2-1 in all three of its OT games this season (All of which were at home; vs Michigan, vs Illinois, vs Nebraska)

For the 2nd straight week Penn State gave up a kickoff return for a TD- Raheem Mostert- Purdue (100 yds.) Kenny Bell- Nebraska ( 99 yds.)

Penn State has now lost four straight versus Nebraska dating back to the 2003 season.


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Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 NFL Week 11 "Studs & Duds"






                                                                                                    Week 11

                                                                                                     Studs


Matt McGloin

   
                                        
                                                                                                 (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


     Matt McGloin's journey to the NFL was one where the odds where greatly stacked against him! A walk on at Penn State, McGloin eventually got the starting spot and in his Senior Season, he surpassed former PSU Quarterback Darryl Clark for most career TD Passes (45) and his single season passing yard record, going for 3,003 yards through the air. Still McGloin went undrafted and had a tryout with the Washington Redskins before ending up in Oakland. McGloin made the final cuts and was 3rd on the depth chart at QB. Soon, McGloin moved up and became backup in place of Matt Flynn, and after Terrelle Pryor had a couple of knee injuries and some poor performances, Oakland gave McGloin the green light as starter against the Houston Texans. McGloin did not waste A golden opportunity as he went 18 for 32, 197 Passing Yards and 3 TD's & 0 INT's and led the Raiders to a victory over the Texans! McGloin's journey is indeed an incredible one that featured adversity and perseverance. Where McGloin goes from here will definitely be an interesting story to follow in the coming future!

         




Calvin Johnson

     "MEGATRON" continues to be a man amongst boys. Calvin Johnson finished the day with 6 receptions going for 179 yards and 2 TD's. Johnson now has 1,083 receiving yards (5th time in his career he has registered 1,000+ receiving yards in a season) and 11 TD Receptions (his 4th season with 10+ receiving TD's) on the season!


                                 

                                                                                (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)






Ben Roethlisberger 

                                                                                    
                                                                                 (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
                                                                   "Big Ben" caused big problems for the Detroit Defense



Hey Pittsburgh, are you sure you want to trade "Big Ben"? After being the subject to trade rumors during the week, Roethlisberger became furious and even stated he'd "retire before accepting a trade"  Maybe it was just what was needed for the Steelers as Roethlisberger went 29 for 45 with 367 Passing Yards and 4 TD's.





Antonio Brown

                                                                            (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
                                                                


Antonio Brown is now officially the "go to guy" in Pittsburgh for Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Brown chewed up the Detroit Lions secondary with 7 receptions going for 147 yards and 2 TD's.


 Bobby Rainey

                                                               

                                                                                   (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
 

     After brief stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns and ultimately getting cut, Bobby Rainey is making the most of his opportunity while in Tampa Bay with Doug Martin out. Rainey was all over the field accumulating for a total of 3 TD's (2 rushing 1 receiving ) and ran for 163 yards on the ground in Tampa Bay's 41-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons.


LeSean McCoy

                                                                                                 (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
                                      

     LeSean McCoy was the "x-factor" in the Philadelphia Eagles win over the Washington Redskins accounting for 150 total yards of offense ( 77 rushing yards, 73 receiving yards) and rushing for 2 TD's. Watching McCoy carry the ball is excitement as he can cut back on a dime with his dynamic footwork and agility!




 Robbie Gould

                                                                                                   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

                                              

     Robbie Gould has been one of the most reliable kickers as of late in the NFL for the better part of the last decade. Yesterday was just another example in Chicago's 23-20 victory over Baltimore  in which Gould registered 11 of the Bears 23 points (3/3 FG's, 2/2 XP's)





Russell Wilson & Marshawn Lynch
                          
                                        (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)             (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

This duo just continues to cause all sorts of problems for opposing defenses! Russell Wilson can beat you with his arm and his legs. While Marshawn Lynch will not only contributes to the running game, but is a great in the receiving game as well. They both made quick and easy work of the Vikings this past weekend, combining for a total of 307 yards of offense and 5 TD's! (Wilson 230 Passing Yards 2 TD's,  Lynch 54 Rushing Yards 2 TD's & 9 receiving yards and 1 TD) The Seahawks improve to 10-1 on the year and look to be clear cut favorites thanks to the performances by Wilson and Lynch!



Montee Ball


                                
                                                                                         (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)


     In the AFC West showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos, Rookie Denver Running Back came up big in a big game! Ball accounted for crucial TD's in Denver's 27-17 victory on the then undefeated Kansas City Chiefs!



Cam Newton

                                                       
                                                                                 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

     The Carolina Panthers are for real. And so is Cam Newton!  Newton lead the Panthers on a game scoring drive (With the Carolina defense holding on the ensuing New England drive by forcing an INT) Newton finished 19 for 28, 209 yards passing and 3 TD's and zero interceptions. Cam Newton and the Panthers are putting the league on notice and have now won five straight thanks in part to Newton's performances!



                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                            Duds

Geno Smith

                                              
                                                                                        (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)


           Geno Smith is a rookie and play just like one this past weekend when he went 8 for 23 while throwing just for 103 yards 0 TD's 3 INT's and a fumble. The Bills were able to convert 17 points from Smith's turnover as the Bills trounched Geno and the Jets 37-14





Scott Tolzien


                                                                                        (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

     Yes going 24 of 34 in passing completions is great. Yes throwing for 339 is commendable. But when you have 0 TD's to show for it and 3 INT's (including one being a pick six) it just comes off as stat padding. Sorry Tolzien, but as soon as Rodgers is ready, back to warming the bench you go!




Adrian Peterson


                                                                                           (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


     Peterson has been a rather disappointment this year compared to last. I was not necessarily looking or expecting for him to repeat a 2,000+ yd performance, but on Sunday he carried the ball 21 times for 65 yards. That is the 6th time in 9 games this season that Peterson has failed to reach the 100+ rushing yard mark!

                       




A.J. Green

                                   
                                                                                        Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

      Do not need to over analyze on this but he went from 8 receptions 151 receiving yards and a receiving TD from last week to 2 receptions for just 7 yards this week
                                               




 Jason Campbell

         
                                 
                                                                                     (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
                                                               

                      Was not the main problem for the Cleveland Browns this past weekend, but he certainly did not help! Campbell went 27 of 56 for 248yds with 1 TD and 3 INT's





Christian Ponder
                                                                                         (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

     Ponder is not doing anything to make claim as starter for the Minnesota Vikings with his poor performance this past weekend against the Seattle Seahawks. 13 of 22 129 Passing Yards 1 TD 2 INT's
                                  


Joe Flacco

            
                                                               
                                                                                  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
 

     Has played like anything BUT a Superbowl MVP! Flacco finished the day 17 of 31 for 162 yards 1 TD and 2 INT's in the Ravens overtime loss to the Bears. He certainly is not living up to that huge contract either as he has the same amount of Interceptions as he does Touchdowns on the year! (13)




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Sunday, November 17, 2013

File Profile: Eddie Lacy

                                                                          (Photo: Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports)


Name: Eddie Lacy

Height: 5 ft. 11 in.

Weight: 230lbs.

College: Alabama

College Stats: (Rushing) 355 Carries, 2,402 yards,  30 TD's
                       (Receiving) 35 Receptions 338 yards, 2 TD's

2013 NFL Draft:  2nd Round (61st Overall) Green Bay Packers

40 Time: Some accounts list as fast as 4.44, while many have him listed between 4.5-4.55

Bench Press: 21 Reps (225lbs.)


     Eddie Lacy is part of a recent chain of running back success at the University of Alabama, following immediately in the footsteps of Heisman Trophy Winner Mark Ingram, and highly touted prospect Trent Richardson respectively. Lacy continued to provide the Crimson Tide with an excellent option in the backfield with his performance while at Alabama! Eddie Lacy was projected to be a late 1st round/early 2nd round draft pick but because of a poor outing at the NFL combine (reported 40 time of only 4.57 & 4.60, well below his fastest of 4.44) Even with the poor outing, Lacy was still a proven back at the college level with a chance to showcase his abilities in the NFL. And when the Green Bay Packers selected him, it was considered a steal, not only because the Packers were getting a reputable running back, but were also filling one of their needs with a quality caliber with Lacy.


     What Eddie Lacy has done for the Packers is finally solve the missing piece to the puzzle and
provide a ground game for Green Bay! Through 8 games, Lacy has 669 yards on the ground (including two games were he went for 100+ on the ground) and 4 TD's. Lacy has strong and powerful legs and is quick on his feet, along with great acceleration.Combining these assets that Lacy possesses, makes it difficult for defenders to make an open field tackle. (as evident by the gif below)  Because of his strong legs, Lacy can bullrush his way through opposing lines, dragging defenders with him along the way as he makes a big gain.



     Lacy also stays low on his ground game, squaring up his shoulders and getting low that forces the defender to get to his level. Already difficult to take in the open field, Lacy has amazing footwork and has great cut backing ability causing the defender to become out of position. Watch in this following gif where Lacy showcases these abilities as he dashes right past the defensive line and blasts his was right into the secondary!
                                    

                                       



      Eddie Lacy no doubt has the skill sets and capability to become the franchise Running Back for the Green Bay Packers they have so desperately needed ever since the Ahmen Green days. There is however one point I would like to address that I think Eddie Lacy from what I have observed could still work on a bit. Lacy likes to plow his way like a bulldozer through opposing defenders but in the process he may sometimes give up an open hole that could have gone for a bigger gain. Case in point with diagram I am about to provide below


(I took these still images from highlights of the 2013 BCS National Championship Game where Alabama played Notre Dame)



                               In this still shot, you can see the lane that is already opened up for Lacy. Take notice also to the receiver on that side going down field as he would been able to provide additional blocking for Lacy had he chosen to go through the hole in which I have shown in this image.

                          
                                 








Here you can see what Eddie Lacy gives up (in yellow) but instead tries to pursuit other potential holes (in red) by going up the middle






                                  



Finally you can see once again what he passed up (yellow) and what he ended up doing (red). To summarize these, Lacy no doubt can break through defenders up the middle, but sometimes he passes up the easier decisions and prevents himself from getting an even bigger gain.





     Make no mistake about it though, Eddie Lacy has the tools to be a high caliber running back in the NFL. As mentioned, he has become the answer for the Green Bay Packers lack of ground game. Lacy likes to get low, will fall forward, and is not afraid of getting physical by creating contact with opposing defenders. I look for Lacy to have a better career (statistically) than Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson (his predecessors as starting running back at the University of Alabama). Lacy is great at picking up blocks and is great as an additional receiver, especially for a screen play which allows him to catch the ball in stride while maintaining his ability to accelerate up field, following his blockers. One last note, Lacy's ground game, which the Packers have longed seeked, opens up Green Bay's passing game even more,and with a Quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, Lacy makes the Packers offense that much more dangerous!



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