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NFL Mid-Season Top Fives

I usually do a review at the NFL season’s midpoint.  Sometimes I’ll do a preview of things to come.  This year I thought a few random Top 5 lists might be the way to go.  So, here we go…

TOP 5 QUARTERBACKS

1. Aaron Rodgers GB – I hate putting him at #1 because I hate the Packers however you can’t argue with results.  The team is 7-0, he has thrown for 20 TDs and his QB rating is 125.

2. Tom Brady NE – Tom is always in the Top 5.  While the Pats have faltered a bit going into the midway point of the season, Tom should continue to produce with the help of WR Wes Welker and his dynamic duo at Tight End.

3. Drew Brees NO – He leads the NFL in yardage and at times makes this game look very easy.  Sunday night against the Colts was an indication of that.  He has been starting to turn the ball over a lot again but when you throw the ball 40 times a game you are going  to throw a few picks.

4. Matt Stafford DET – I am not sure he’ll be on this list by season’s end but he is on it now.  He has led his team to hard fought and come from behind victories and they’re off to their best start in several decades.  He is a bit banged up and the team is starting to look more human lately.

5. Eli Manning NYG – I have to give it up to Eli.  I am usually very critical of him but he is off to a great start.  He has only thrown 5 Ints and has a QB rating over 100.  He has taken this team on his back and made big plays all season.  As a team they are good but not great.  Eli makes them better and could guide them to a division title.

TOP 5 PLAYMAKERS

1. Aaron Rodgers GB – See above

2. Matt Forte CHI – Where would the Bears be without Matt Forte?  He has almost 700 yards rushing, 400 yards receiving and 3 TDs.  He is the Chicago Bears offense.

3. Adrian Petersen MIN – He is stuck on a terrible Minnesota team and has over 700 yards on the ground at the break.  He has held on to the ball for a change and put the ball in the endzone 8 times.

4. Calvin Johnson DET – The Autobot or Decepticon or whatever the hell he calls himself is “the stud” when it comes to receivers.  This guy makes Matt Stafford that much better.  10TDs at the break says it all.

5. Wes Welker NE / Steve Smith CAR – I was torn here so it is a tie.  Wes has been everything to Tom Brady.  He leads the NFL in receptions and 2nd in yards.  1st in yardage is Steve Smith with over 800 yards at the break.  That is quite the accomplishment for a WR on a bad team with a rookie QB.

TOP 5 BUSTS

1. Chris Johnson TEN – He has gone from the NFL’s top back to 35th in rushing yards with a 2.9 per carry average.  Tennessee is struggling this season but those numbers aren’t all their fault.

2. Sam Bradford STL – From rookie phenom to a total bust out.  He only has 3 TDs, 51% completion percentage, a QB rating of 72 and a team that hasn’t won yet.  Is it all his fault?  Hard to tell but Josh McDaniels is calling the plays.

3. Peyton Hillis CLE – This guy was supposed to be the Browns 1,500 yard battering ram.  He is more like the battered ram as he has missed time for a few different reasons, one being strep throat.  Really?  He only has 211 yards on the ground, 3.5 yards per carry and 2 TDs.

4. Andre Johnson HOU – Fair or not he is hurt again and you can’t produce from the sidelines.  When on the field he isn’t producing as he only has 25 catches for only 350 yards.  He only has 2 TDs and if Houston is going to contend they need production from Andre.

5. Josh Freeman TB – I could have gone a couple of different ways with the last pick but Josh and the Bucs were supposed to be floating to the top of the division, not the bottom.  Josh consistently misses open receivers, his mechanics are off and he has already thrown 10 interceptions.  His QB rating is a sad 73.1.

TOP 5 DEFENSES

1. Baltimore – They are only allowing 13.8 point per game.  With a team offense that has struggled all season they are keeping the Ravens in every game.  They also have 19 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and 3 TDs.

2. San Francisco – Who knew Harbaugh would have such a profound influence on the defensive side of the ball.  They are only allowing 16.2 points per game and sit a top the NFC West.  The Niners have racked up 17 sacks, 8 interceptions, 1 safety and a TD.

3. Cincinnati – The resurrection of the Bengals isn’t with their young TCU QB, it is with their stingy defense.  Like a switch the defense went from bad to good in one season.  They are only allowing 18.5 points per game, 14 sacks and under 280 total yards allowed per game.

4. New York (J) – The Jets have been and should continue to be a roller coaster team all season.  One thing that is pretty consistent is that stingy defense.  They have 18 sacks, 11 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles and 3 TDs.

5. Jacksonville – The roar is back in N.Florida.  They have only allowed 84 points with 14 sacks and 7 interceptions.

TOP 5 ON THE HOT SEAT

1. Andy Reid PHI – Many pre-season polls had the Eagles as the odds on favorites to win the NFC Championship and go to the Superbowl.  Currently they sit at 2-4 at the bottom of their division.  Can they turn things around, finish 10-6 and squeak into the playoffs?  It is possible but chances are slim.  Andy will be looking for work if they can’t manage more than 8 wins.

2. Steve Spagnola STL – He has certainly built a better defense.  It is improving but the offense has been incredibly inconsistent and riddled with injuries.  Is this unraveling Coach Josh McDaniels fault?  Partially, but if they can’t manage at least 6 wins (currently sitting at 0 wins), Steve will be let go.

3. Tony Sparano MIA – Tony is a fiery guy.  He is also a pretty good coach.  However, Miami is sitting at ZERO after playing the equally terrible Broncos to an overtime loss.  A coach needs to find a way to win a game like that.  The Phins have had chances to fix the offense and haven’t.  Perhaps this is more of a front office screw up but we know that if the GM goes, so goes the coach.  I can see that happening.

4. Ken Whisenhunt ARI – Ken and coaches told the GM they were a good QB away from being a playoff contender.  Well, they traded for Kevin Kolb and they sit at the bottom of an mediocre NFC West with 1 win.  If they can’t turn it around, show some progress and end up with 6 or 7 wins, look for ownership to clean house.

5. Lovie Smith CHI – Can we ever get Lovie off of the hot seat?  I don’t think so.  There is way too much talent on this team for them to struggle like they do.  It is how they are coached.  It is the scheme.  It is the lack of adjustments, poor use of time and lack of offensive knowledge.  If they finish in 2nd and get a wildcard spot his job will be safe.  If they finish .500 or less and miss than he could get the axe.

TOP 5 TO CATCH FIRE

1. CAROLINA – Their young QB will make mistakes but he is a playmaker.  Offensively this team ranks near the top of the league and the D is improving.  Not to mention they play softies in Minnesota, Tennessee and Indy.  I look for them to finish around .500.

2. CHICAGO – Despite Lovie being on the never cooling hot seat, I think the Bears are set up for a nice run.  They get the AFC West division along with Seattle, Philly and Detroit and what they get are 7 VERY winable ball games.  The Bears should be 10-4 when they get to their XMAS Day match up with the Packers.

3. JACKSONVILLE – I can’t see them making the playoffs until Gabbert gets a better feel for the offense and the speed of the pro game.  However, the running game is good and the defense is excellent.  There are 5 or 6 very winable games on the back end of this schedule.  The Jags should make a run in this poor division but my guess is they finish about 8-8 and just a game or two back of Houston.

4. DALLAS – After a tough loss to New England, the Cowboys pounded St. Louis in response.  Statistically they are a very good and balanced football team.  They have a 5 game stretch that includes Seattle, Buffalo, Washington, Miami and Arizona.  I look for Dallas to finish with 10 or 11 wins and possibly steal this division title from NY and a struggling Philadelphia.

5. FALCONS – Atlanta struggled early on and have rebounded nicely the last two weeks with wins over improving Carolina and Detroit on the road.  Offensively they are beginning to get things on track and I feel the defense will soon follow suit.  To that add games against Indy, Tennessee and Minnesota and this Falcons team should be neck and neck with New Orleans at the end of the season.

TOP 5 DUMP TAKERS

1. DETROIT –  They started 5-0 and that is great for Detroit fans.  That hasn’t happened in a very long time.  However the feeling here is the Lions bubble is about to burst.  Detroit can’t run the football and they can’t stop the run.  Teams are starting to tee off on an already banged up Stafford.  To that add games against Tebow’s Broncos in Denver, Chicago, Carolina, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Diego and Green Bay again and you have an 8-8 season at best.

2. TENNESSEE – I had hopes for this team as a dark horse in 2011-12.  Those hopes are totally dashed with the subpar performance of Chris Johnson.  The defense was shredded for the 2nd week in a row.  They do have Indy twice but the other games are Cincy, Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa, Buffalo, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Houston. There is no way these guys see 8 wins, more like 6 or 7.

3. GREEN BAY – Now, keep in mind, when I say this I still think they are going to the playoffs.  When you start 7-0 you have nowhere to go but down.  The Packers are very good in areas and look invinsible to the media, but keep in mind they beat New Orleans, Carolina and Minnesota by only one score and perhaps got a little lucky in a couple of those games.  The Saints game was almost a gift.  While they are throwing the ball all over the field they are still having problems running the football.  This could be bad for Rodgers if teams can start bringing more consistent pressure.  On the other side of the ball they can’t seem to stop teams from passing on them.  The problem there is they still have games against Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning, Matt Stafford (twice), Josh Freeman, Matt Cassell and perhaps a more settled in Carson Palmer.  These are some big arms against a flimsy defense.  Despite this “slump” the Pack still go 12-4 and win the division but just by the hair of Rodgers chinny chin chin.

I can’t really find a #4 or #5 so I’ll go out on a limb and say San Diego and the NY Giants could run into some issues with their 2nd half schedules.  However I don’t think they’ll “dump” but I think they will struggle a bit.  San Diego should get into the playoffs and NY might struggle to make it if Dallas gets hot.

 

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College Football Hotties 2011 Vol 1

Back by popular demand are the College Football Hotties for 2011.  Enjoy!

The Wildcats may have been overrated this year but she is not.

The Sooners should be able to “shoulder” the load this season.  Ya, I know, that was bad but she’s worth it.

The Red Raiders are in tough competition this season but this hottie clearly stands out above the rest.

She’s keeping the faith despite that ass whooping to Oklahoma.  Keep the faith Longhorns, keep the faith.

“Hmmmm, how the f*ck do we win again?” wonders this hot Gator fan.

Wow!  I would certainly climb a mountain for that.

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The BPD NFL Big Board

It is one of my favorite times of year.  The NHLers and NBAers are battling it out in the playoffs, baseball is under way and the NFL Draft is upon us.  After careful study I’ve come up with my own Top 100 college players in the NFL Draft.  Now mind you, I don’t necessarily think this is exactly when they’ll be picked with all of the trading up and down teams do and their needs at certain positions, but it is my Top 100 based simply on talent.  For example it is very likely QB Cam Newton goes #1 to Carolina but he isn’t the #1 overall player on my board.  LSU CB Patrick Peterson is by far the best player and should be a stud corner for years to come.

My team-by-team analysis and mock draft will be coming soon.

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NFL Championship Games

This Sunday the nation watches as two teams will advance to SUPERBOWL XLV.  In the AFC you have the steel-city bruisers versus the trash-talking boys from the Big Apple.  In the NFC you have the leagues oldest rivalry.  The opportunistic Bears versus the aggressive, high-scoring Pack.  Both games should be fantastic and fans of these four teams will be on the edge of their seats as both games should be close.

NFC

Chicago v. Green Bay

These two teams don’t like each other very much.  They respect each other, but don’t like each other.  The fans can’t stand one another.  The back and forth between fans through the media and online has reached new heights.  Who knows, there could be more action in the stands on Sunday than on the field.  To analyze this game really doesn’t go much further than Jay Cutler.  Bottomline, how he plays will dictate if Bears are prowling the streets of Dallas in two weeks.  As a Bear QB he is 1-3 versus the Pack with 9 interceptions.  That of course scares me big time but I won’t necessarily put that all on him because last years Bears were not very good.  Conversely, Jay Cutler is 22-0 as a QB when he concludes the game with a 100 QB rating or better.  That is a very telling statistic.

Green Bay will rush everyone at Jay all day long.  Jay will run, Jay will fall and Jay will not collect $200.  The best thing Jay can do under rough circumstances is not turn the ball over.  Mike Martz has to help Jay by running the ball and keeping the passes under 15 yards.  Quick looks in the slot and passes to the back out of the backfield will make any pressure Green Bay brings negligible.

On Green Bay’s side of the ball Aaron Rodgers will do well, he always does.  The Bear simply have to do what they did in Green Bay a few weeks ago which was stop the run and put pressure on Aaron without blitzing too much.  The Bears D is almost unbeatable if Peppers, Harris and Idonije are able to put pressure on the QB.  It allows Briggs and Urlacher to stay back and do what they do best which is filling the running lanes and taking away the intermediate passing attack.

There are two other intangibles worth noting.  If Hester and Manning get the ball on special teams the Bears should have great field position all day.  So, even if the Bears don’t score much, Punter Brad Maynard should keep Green Bay inside their own 20 most of the day.  If Green Bay has to play up hill all day they won’t win.  One other one worth mentioning is the matchup between Matthews and Webb.  LB Clay Matthews is Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus and Thor all rolled into one.  He makes a huge difference on that defense.  On the Bears side is very green rookie OT Webb.  He has shown steady improvement all year but he will be staring down the blitzes from Clay all day.  If he can contain him even a little that will help Chicago.  If he can’t than Chicago could be in trouble.

MY PICK – Chicago 17 Green Bay 13

AFC

New York v. Pittsburgh

This is going to be a great game.  Pittsburgh has been tough as nails since Big Ben’s return and the Jets have been like a boulder rolling downhill.  Both teams, on the surface, are very equal.  Both defenses are very tough, the QBs don’t make too many mistakes and the running games are very good.  Both teams are also well coached.

NY is facing a better running team than they did last week.  Rashard Mendenhall is vastly underrated.  He is very tough.  The one thing that the Steelers have going for them and this should come into play this weekend is the knack for the big play.  At almost guarantee at one point in this game when things are tight Big Ben is going to hook up for a big TD with Wallace, Sanders or Ward.  It will more than likely be a difference maker.

The Jet offense is good but has been inconsistent.  While Pittsburgh making big plays is almost a guarantee, I don’t feel the same way about the Jets.  I don’t think the offense can break open a game or come from behind late to win.  Their recipe for success is their defense holding the opposing team to under 20 points.  That is pretty much the bottom line.  I don’t want to knock Sanchez or the couple of weapons he has at wideout but that offense doesn’t scare me much.  I can see them moving the ball decently enough against Polamalu and the boys but I can’t see them making big plays and scoring too much.  LT could be a difference maker and open up the passing game but it isn’t likely against Pittsburgh.

Some intangibles worth mentioning might be the Jets pass rush.  They were able to disrupt any sort of passing attack from Tom Brady last week by keeping constant pressure on him.  That will be their plan against Ben as well.  The only difference is if they bring too many of their talented LBs on the rush it could open up for a big run or pass play.  Big Ben always played well under pressure.  The final intangible I can think of would be Pittsburgh’s depth and experience.  This is their fourth AFC championship in 7 years.  They have a great coach and an amazing system that works.  They can plug in and rotate guys all over the field and not lose too much.  They Jets are close but on the road against a team like Pittsburgh is going to be tough.

MY PICK – Pittsburgh 27 NY 16

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College Hotties – Bowl Game Edition

The College Football season is coming to a close which is always a happy/sad time for me.  I love the heart of the season when the best of the conferences square off in October and November.  The sad part is when it comes to an end.  We get more than 30 bowl games (not sure if that is a good thing) to conclude the season but it always leaves us somewhat disappointed.  Do the best teams always play for the title?  Why can’t we have a playoff?  Why can’t we have a playoff and keep our holiday bowl games?  None of these questions will be answered any time soon.  All we can do as college football fans is sit back, watch the games AND say a fond farewell to our college hotties.

INDEPENDENCE BOWL

Georgia Tech has some unbeatable hotties but I think the Air Force Hottie Squad is going to have a lot to cheer about in this game.

MUSIC CITY BOWL

How either of these teams made a bowl game is a miracle.  At least we get to see these southern hotties one more time.  UNC should beat Tennessee but who knows.  Blah Hum Bug!

SUN BOWL

Catholics v. Convicts re-visited!  The midwest “girls next door” v. the South Beach hottie squad.  I give an edge to Miami’s girls but not the guys on the gridiron.  ND should take care of business on the field.

MEINEKE BOWL

One of the dumbest names for a bowl game, right?  Clemson and USF have some of the hottest fans and cheerleaders in college ball.  I wish the action on the field was as hot as what’s in the stands.  Both teams were disappointments for sure.  Clemson wins.

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL

The old Peach Bowl now named after the frickin delicious chicken sandwich should be a good.  FSU Cowgirls v. the girls who like Cocks.  You really can’t go wrong here.  I call this matchup a draw and the action on the field should be close too.  FSU by a field goal.

ROSE BOWL

The hottest girls of the Big 10 face off against the hottest of the Mountain West.  Both are amazing but I have to give a slight edge to the girls down south.  The ‘Sconnies’ are bundled up most of the year and that’s just not nice.  The Wisconsin men should get revenge on the field with a pretty solid victory over TCU.

FIESTA BOWL

These UConn hotties are the best I’ve ever seen.  Oklahoma is FULL of hot hotties and gets my vote in this matchup.  Oh, and the football team should kick the snot out of the Huskies.

SUGAR BOWL

Once again we have a top 10 matchup of hotties.  I love the OSU girls and the fact they party like they major in it.  However I am a sucker for SEC girls and the RazorHotties get my vote.  The game should be one of the best of the major bowl games.  OSU by a point or two.

ORANGE BOWL

Stanford girls certainly win the IQ award and these cheerleaders are certainly cute, but VTs hotties are awesome.  The action on the field should be awesome.  This is going to be an excellent game.  Stanford is probably just a bit better than the Hokies.

BCS BOWL

Auburn v. Oregon.  Auburn’s fans are smoking hot and Oregon’s cheerleaders are the best.  The game should be good and high scoring but I think Auburn should be able to handle the Ducks.

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System of a Downer

The Chicago Bears are half way through the 2010-11 season and it certainly has been a roller coaster ride.  One minute the Monsters of the Midway are 4-1 and at the top of the NFC North and the next minute they are a jumbled mess on the verge of collapse.

I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than being a Chicago Bears fan right now.  You have seen this play over and over again.  You had hoped with the addition of Martz, Peppers and Chester T. that maybe the worst was behind us and we could compete for a playoff spot.  That hope has been dashed.  To come up with two crappy performances in a row against Seattle and Washington is pathetic.  These were games they had to win and they didn’t.  If they go into the half at 7-1 with a three game lead over nemesis Green Bay the chances are really good that they are going to win the division.  However, they pull up lame against two mediocre NFC opponents and that speaks volumes of not only the players, but the organization.

Some people slam on the offensive line and others enjoy roasting Jay Cutler.  Some even blame it on Lovie Smith alone while some will go as far as to blame management and ownership.  I have to say they are all right.  The offensive line is the worst I have seen in my 30 some odd years of being a Bears fan.  Jay Cutler, who I like, needs to calm down.  Take a sack and don’t force the play.  It is hard for him to do that  because he is a competitor and he has already taken a seasons worth of sacks, but he has to try.

The organization certainly has the biggest bullseye.  Let’s not kid ourselves, the Bears of 2006 won in spite of Lovie.  He has done very little as a head coach.  He doesn’t inspire confidence, his mid-game adjustments suck and he can’t throw a RED FLAG to save his life.  Most of his coordinators are God awful too, although I’ll give a pass to Marinelli and Taub at this time.

Finally Jerry Angelo has to be the worst GM in the NFL on the first day of the Draft.  We have a terrible record with 1st and 2nd Round picks.  He is great finding gems in the middle rounds and maneuvering to acquire more picks however, to be a great team and compete for Superbowls you have to find those future NFL stars on  Day 1 of the NFL Draft.

I’d go on and on about how inept President Ted Phillips and the McCaskey clan are but I’ve covered that many times. And, let’s face it, they aren’t selling any time soon.

I hope that a huge win over Buffalo in 2 weeks can catapult this team to a 3 or 4 game streak.  That would be fantastic.  I don’t wish this team any ill will for I am a HUGE fan.  However, if they should happen to finish the season with only 7 or 8 wins like I suspect then it is time for the firing squad.  Paging Coach Cowher!  Coach Cowher needed at Soldier Field STAT!

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College Hotties Vol 1 – 2010

Well it is that time of year again!  NCAA football is in their 3rd week and the season shapes up to be a good one.  Something else that looks to be good is our crop of college cuties.  You can’t have a college football season without paying tribute to the hot fans and cheerleaders.  So, without further adieu, the college hotties of 2010.  Enjoy!

This coed looks a lot better than her team.  Her Illinois pillow certainly has the best view in the house.

Hey Wildcat!  You have a lot to be happy about, Kentucky is undefeated heading into a showdown with Florida.

K.State never looked so good!

So is football the only reason Nebraska has 306 consecutive sell outs?  Adorable Husker fans like her give us another reason to want to go.

3 Big 12 teams in a row?  Sorry, couldn’t pass up a hot group of Soonettes.

Many football fans fav cheer group are the USC song girls but I will put this hot group of Ducks up against them any day of the week.

THE Ohio State has some HOT girls.   🙂  Not sure too many other schools in the Big 10 can RIVAL their fans.

Did someone mention RIVAL?  She could stop ‘Shoelace’ in his tracks.

I am not sure if Boise is for real but I think TCU you is and this fan certainly is.

Last but certainly not least is this FSU hottie courtesy of Maxim.

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