October 10, 2012
With the sixth week of the NFL season kicking off tomorrow, we take a look at the biggest games coming up on the schedule. Five weeks into the season, we are finally starting to understand which teams are making moves for the playoffs and which are already falling out of the hunt. These five match-ups in Week 6 should go a long way in helping us figure out which teams belong in each category.
Green Bay at Houston
After a 15-1 season last year, there are few records as shocking as Green Bay’s. At 2-3 on the season, they now head to 5-0 Houston to try and start making their way back to the top of the NFC North. If they can’t, a previously unthinkable 2-4 start would give Chicago and Minnesota a nice cushion atop the division.
NY Giants at San Francisco
A rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game will help us find out where the Giants rank this season. Currently tied for the NFC East lead with Philadelphia, the Giants need a big win to show they aren’t having a Super Bowl hangover this season. While San Francisco is 4-1 and looks to be on its way to the postseason again, they are tied with Arizona for the division lead and need to stick with the underdog Cardinals, who could get a win this week against the struggling Bills.
San Diego at Denver
The AFC West is up for grabs, but the Chargers have possession for the time being. This is a perfect opportunity for Peyton Manning and the Broncos to take possession and start to make their run for the division title. The Manning-era is off to a bumpy 2-3 start, but a win going into the bye week could be what Denver needs to get on track. If the Chargers win, they too would be going into a bye, but with a nice lead in the division.
Baltimore at Dallas
Baltimore has looked impressive so far this season and many people are predicting a deep run in the playoffs for the Ravens. Dallas has been inconsistent so far this season, and a win over the Ravens could be the statement they need to make a run coming out of their bye week. If Baltimore wins, they will be 5-1 heading into a HUGE game against the Texans. This game could be a turning point for both teams.
Detroit at Philadelphia
After making the playoffs last season, the Lions have started out 1-3. Coming off of a bye week, they face a Philadelphia team that is 3-2 despite having quite a problem with turnovers. If the Lions want to climb out of the NFC North basement, this game seems like a must-win. For the Eagles, a win keeps them atop the competitive NFC East heading into their bye week.
October 3, 2012
The NFL season is already a quarter of the way finished. We have a good idea of what a lot of these teams will be in 2012. Here’s where I have them so far.
1. Houston Texans (4-0) – The Texans have more wins than the rest of the AFC South combined. Nobody has really challenged them yet. That will change with the Packers and Ravens coming up.
3. San Francisco 49ers (3-1) – The 49ers 34-0 dismantling of the Jets was a nice bounce-back win after losing to the Vikings. They won’t hit the road again until an Oct. 29 showdown with Arizona.
4. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) – The Ravens could easily be 4-0 and look like a team ready for another trip to the AFC Championship Game.
5. Chicago Bears (3-1) – After three dominating wins Chicago heads to Jacksonville. Should be 4-1 heading into their bye.
6. Arizona Cardinals (4-0) – The Arizona defense is for real. Did anybody see this coming?
8. Denver Broncos (2-2) – The Broncos aren’t getting much respect for a team who has played well in 14 of 16 quarters this season and has losses against the NFL’s top two teams. The defense hasn’t allowed a fourth quarter point since week 1.
9. San Diego Chargers (3-1) – Three wins over mediocre teams. We’ll see how good the Chargers really are against the Saints and Broncos in the next two weeks.
10. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) - Dallas has its bye week to figure things out before a season-defining month begins as they take on the Ravens, Panthers, Giants, Falcons and Eagles with only the Giants coming to Dallas.
11. Green Bay Packers (2-2) - Green Bay barely avoided a disastrous 1-3 start, edging out the Saints. Looking more and more like that controversial finish in Seattle will have big postseason implications.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) – The Eagles are finding ways to win. Tough trip to Pittsburgh ahead with the Steelers coming off a bye.
14. Minnesota Vikings (3-1) – Are they the surprise team of 2012? Should I have them higher?
15. New York Giants (2-2) – World champs are technically in last in the NFC East. The Giants should get back on track against Cleveland.
16. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) – With Miami and Cleveland up next, the Bengals have a good shot to reach 5-1 heading into game with Steelers.
17. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) – Not sure what to make of this team. A win over the Packers looks pretty good on the resume but did they deserve it?
18. Washington Redskins (2-2) – RGIII was pretty impressive on the final drive against Tampa Bay. The Redskins lead the league in rushing and they’ll need a good ground game next week against Atlanta.
19. Detroit Lions (1-3) – The Lions need more touchdowns and fewer field goals. Especially with trips to Philly and Chicago coming up. 1-5 is a possibility.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) – The bye comes at a good time for Tampa Bay after three straight losses. Dead last against the pass so far.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) – Getting healthy during the bye week was a must for Pittsburgh. Also, improving the 31st ranked running game.
22. New Orleans Saints (0-4) – They looked more like the Saints but a loss is still a loss. They will fight but the hole is already too big.
23. St. Louis Rams (2-2) – Two critical games ahead for the Rams against Arizona and Miami. Don’t want to be 2-4 heading into Packers, Patriots and 49ers stretch.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) – They are 30th against the run and 31st in passing offense. Not a good combo.
25. Buffalo Bills (2-2) – The Bills were oh so close to delivering a huge blow to New England until a second half meltdown.
26. Indianapolis Colts (1-2)- By not playing last week they looked better than a few teams ranked below this spot. Lets see how they progress after a week off.
27. Tennessee Titans (1-3) – Could easily be 0-4. Now the Titans go on the road to face the red-hot Vikings.
28. Carolina Panthers (1-3) – They looked pretty good in Atlanta but couldn’t close the deal. Must-win game this week against Seattle.
29. Oakland Raiders (1-3) - The Raiders need a week off after allowing 30+ in the last three weeks. Must get the ground game going.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) – A popular sleeper pick is on the verge of bowing out of the playoff race before the bye in two weeks.
31. Miami Dolphins (1-3) – Thought long and hard about moving the Dolphins up after two straight devastating overtime losses. But I don’t want to reward them for losing.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-4) – They are competing. They just aren’t very good.
September 19, 2012
With Week 3 in the NFL starting tomorrow, I wanted to look at which teams have been the most impressive through the first 2 weeks of the NFL season. Not the best. Not NFL Power Rankings. Just a list of impressive teams.
Certain teams have started the season much better than we thought, while others have stumbled out of the gate (yes, I am talking about the Saints). Here are the 5 NFL teams that have been the most impressive through 2 Weeks.
1. San Francisco 49ers
Making two playoff teams from last year look average is no easy task. The 49ers went into Lambeau Field and were dominant. They invited the Lions to Candlestick Park and beat them soundly. Their defense has been relentless and their offense doesn’t look like one that needs the game to stay in single digits to win. They have been downright scary.
2. Baltimore Ravens
Prior to the season, the Ravens lost Terrell Suggs for at least part of the season due to injury. The defense was classified as old. Yet the Bengals found out the hard way in the first week that Baltimore still has some fight left. They blew a late game lead to the Eagles in week 2, but their defense forced 4 turnovers and hit Mike Vick early and often. No offense will look forward to playing Baltimore this season.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are on this list for an unusual reason. The Eagles have turned the ball over 8 times already this season and have won both their games by a combined 2 points. They looked average against the Browns and seemingly stole the game from the Ravens. However, it is impressive that while they have played poorly, they are 2-0. Something has to be said for finding a way to win and when the Eagles start playing the way Philadelphia fans have expected for the last two years, teams will take notice.
4. San Diego Chargers
A team notorious for slow starts is 2-0 to start 2012. Sure, it was against Oakland and Tennessee, which aren’t statement type wins, but for the Chargers, it is impressive. If San Diego can get to 3-0 against another undefeated team in Atlanta, they could have a good shot at being 5-0. San Diego at 2-0 is impressive to me.
5. Arizona Cardinals
I don’t expect the Cardinals to make this list often, but they beat the Patriots. Let that sink in. Arizona, with Kevin Kolb, who is technically their backup quarterback, went into New England and won. That isn’t impressive, it’s shocking. Unexplainable. Crazy. If I hadn’t watched it, I wouldn’t believe it. On top of that, the Cardinals are 2-0 this season. Arizona, through 2 weeks, screams impressive.
February 24, 2010
LaDainian Tomlinson is a for sure first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players of our generation. Whatever happens the rest of his career, LT Chargers jerseys will be the ones to have. People are going to be unloading these things like crazy, but if you are the kind of person who likes sport jerseys, I guarantee in 5 years you will regret either selling or not buying a Tomlinson Chargers jersey when you had the chance.
It just seems like this is one of those guys whose jersey everybody will want once he’s been gone a couple years. Do you see a lot of Joe Montana Chiefs or Franco Harris Seahawks jerseys out there? Nope. They had made their departures, but after a few years went by, the went back to being the iconic and in Montana’s case, “face of the franchise” guys with their original teams. In a few years, when the Tomlinson Chargers jersey is the retro jersey of choice, you’ll be glad to have yours!
Where will Mr. Charger end up? It’ll be strange to see him in another uniform, but one thing is clear. Tomlinson wants to win a championship. Sorry Lions fans, he’s not coming to town. Philly could use another pair of legs, Green Bay has been in search of a good pass-catching back to platoon with Ryan Grant and they are both contenders. But how about this? I know a team that loves to bring in supposedly over-the-hill players on the cheap and get good performance out of them. Could LT fit in with the Patriots? They’ve been looking for a featured back for years now and LT might just have enough gas in the tank to be the answer for a couple years. He’s slowing down and isn’t a 25-carry guy anymore, but it’s an intriguing thought. Hopefully, Tomlinson can get a few more successful years under his belt and can go out on a good note. He’s one of the best we’ve seen and should be remembered as such.