July 25, 2012

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NFL Training Camps Get Underway this Week

By: Matt Bowen

NFL fans, the best time of the year is finally here—the 2012 NFL season kicks off with training camps this week. While it may not seem too exciting just yet, it means that the season is a quick five weeks away. Fans get to see their favorite franchise launch their newest campaign this week when training camps get underway after a most interesting NFL offseason.

The 2012 NFL season will begin the Andrew Luck era for the Indianapolis Colts.

The league received two future star quarterbacks with the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the 2012 NFL draft. Andrew Luck went to the Indianapolis Colts with the first pick and Robert Griffin III went to the Washington Redskins at No. 2. Fans should watch every snap these guys take this year as they’ll do nothing but amaze people throughout their careers.

This year also brings new hope to many franchises, as seven teams have new head coaches this year.  Of those teams, the St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers look vastly improved on paper from their woeful 2011 seasons. The Rams brought in Jeff Fisher to coach and he traded the No. 2 overall pick to the Redskins and turned that one pick into six. Fisher deserves credit for strengthening his team through the draft and developing from within.

As for the Buccaneers, the team did a fine job in both free agency and the draft. The team signed wide receiver Vincent Jackson and offensive lineman Carl Nicks this offseason. That duo will help quarterback Josh Freeman tremendously this year. The team also hired Greg Schiano, former coach at Rutgers University, who has quickly created a positive culture that seems destined for winning.   The team made a splash at the tail-end of Round 1 of the 2012 NFL draft when they drafted Doug Martin out of Boise State University. This kid will be an instant overnight success in the NFL.

The New York Giants look to defend their Super Bowl XLVI championship this year, but will have their hands full. In reality, the NFL is so equal in talent across the league that most teams have a legit shot to win it all in 2012. It may be hard to believe, but at least one team in the NFL has gone from worst to first in their division since 2003 and 13 teams in total. This gives all fans hope as every division seems up for grabs this season.

Regardless of who wins it all, it will be fun to watch. With training camps taking flight this week, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

December 7, 2011

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NFL Top 10 Fatheads

By: Junior

 

Looking over this past week’s NFL Top 10 sellers list, it comes down to two trends that seem to make up the majority of the list: winning streaks and injury reports. Six of the players on this list have their teams on a winning streak of some kind, and three are either hurt or play for a team decimated with injuries. Either way, the NFL Top 10 sellers list is made up of many familiar faces, with a few more making a push for a higher ranking. Let’s take a look:

 

1. Clay Matthews & 2. Aaron Rodgers

 Our top two sellers are once again this Green Bay Packers tandem, and there is only one explanation for it: 12-0. The Packers look to be unstoppable right now, and with four regular season games left, Green Bay fans are fully enjoying this special season. The top performers on their respective sides of the ball, there is no doubt Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews (and their fans) have earned their spot at the top of this list.

 

3. Troy Polamalu

 The Steelers have won 3 in a row, and with a relatively soft schedule coming up, Steelers fans are gearing up for the Playoffs. What better way to show your Pittsburgh Steelers pride then by having Troy Polamalu in your living room watching the games with you? With a three team dog fight going on in the AFC North, Steelers fans know they are in for a wild ride down the stretch and need Polamalu to help lead them to the playoffs.

 

4. Tim Tebow

 Not only is Tim Tebow winning on the field, but fans are making sure his Fathead is winning, too. Starting his career with a 6-1 record with the Denver Broncos, fans can’t help but embrace him as he leads their team on a late season playoff push. If Tebow continues to win, you can bet his Fathead will continue to climb. If the Broncos make the playoffs this season, Tebow may challenge Clay and Aaron for the top spot.

 

5. Tom Brady

Riding a 4 game winning streak, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots control their own destiny in the AFC East. While not as dominant as they have been in years past, Tom Brady has a new set of weapons and looks poised to take the Patriots on another playoff run. New England fans don’t need any more encouragement than that to start stocking up to get ready for what they hope to be another Super ending.

 

6. Drew Brees

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Riding a 4 game winning streak, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints control…oh you have? New Orleans and New England have been on the same wavelength lately, trending upward and getting hot as the playoffs near. While New Orleans was doubted a little at 5-3, they have looked great as of late. New Orleans fans recognize what success looks like (they need only look back to 2010) and they all want success hanging on their walls.

Drew Brees is seeing a big push in Fathead sales that will continue to rise as they head towards the playoffs.

 

7. Ray Lewis

After missing the last few games with turf toe, his fans showed just how much they missed Ray Lewis. While the team has gone a recent winning streak, it just hasn’t been the same without #52 in the middle. While he will be making a return later this year, Ravens fans couldn’t wait that long, explaining the spike in purchases for Ray Lewis this week.

 

8. Cam Newton

Cam Newton has looked great all season, turning a brutal Carolina team from last season into a team that could be up and coming. However,  while Cam was racking up highlights all season, the team didn’t have many wins to show for it. Now, coming off back-to-back wins, Panthers fans have reason to believe that Cam Newton is their franchise quarterback, and they are making an investment in what they hope to be a great future.

 

 9. Adrian Peterson

The Vikings haven’t been having the greatest season, which got even worse when Adrian Peterson went down with an injury. As the weeks have gone by without seeing their star running back, Minnesota Vikings fans have slowly turned to the next best thing: having his Fathead. Now, even though he isn’t able to lift their spirits (or team) on the field, at least they have Peterson on their wall to console them.

 

10. Brian Urlacher

Jay Cutler, hurt. Matt Forte, hurt. The Chicago Bears have been having one brutal injury after another, and their fans are in just as much pain as the players. To recover, they needed to draw from the strength of their defensive leader and one of their lone healthy players­(or at least it seems). With their two biggest offensive weapons out, fans will look to Urlacher and his defense to keep them in games the rest of the season.

November 29, 2011

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NFL Power Rankings

By: Joe Williams

1. Green Bay Packers (11-0) — Sunday’s game at the Giants could be the biggest remaining hurdle towards 16-0. How bad do the Packers want to run the table?

2. New England Patriots (8-3) — With a two-game lead and the tiebreaker on their side, the Patriots have almost locked up the AFC East. The schedule sets up well for a run at home-field advantage.

3. New Orleans Saints (8-3) – Drew Brees and the Saints offense was unstoppable against New York on Monday Night Football. Can they outscore Detroit this week?

4. Baltimore Ravens (8-3) – The Ravens stay on top of the AFC North with a Thanksgiving Day win in the Harbaugh bowl. Now they must avoid any more letdowns.

 5. San Francisco 49ers (9-2) – Despite the loss, the Niners show they can compete with the NFL elite. They can clinch the NFC West with a win against St. Louis.

 6. Houston Texans (8-3) – The Texans pick up another win but lose another quarterback. Now it’s up to rookie T.J. Yates to lead a playoff run.

 7. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) – Atlanta has won five of the last six. Sunday’s trip to Houston looks more winnable with the Texans down to the third-string quarterback.

 8. Detroit Lions (7-4) – The Lions really need a win at New Orleans. It will be that much harder to slow down the Saints without Ndamukong Suh.

 9. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) – It wasn’t pretty in Kansas City but a win is a win. Huge game in the AFC North this week against Cincinnati.

 10. Dallas Cowboys (7-4) – America’s Team has moved to the top of the NFC East with four straight wins. They need to make it five in a row before a critical meeting with the Giants.

 11. Chicago Bears (7-4) – The Bears missed Jay Cutler on Sunday. If they are going to make the playoffs they need to beat the Chiefs and Broncos in the next two weeks.

 12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) – The Bengals continue to exceed expectations. If they can do that on Sunday and beat the Steelers, it would go a long way towards getting them to the playoffs.

 13. Oakland Raiders (7-4) – It’s a two team race in the AFC West. Oakland has a one-game lead but the more difficult schedule.

 14. New York Jets (6-5) – The Jets got back on track with a win over Buffalo. They should pick up a couple more wins with Washington and Kansas City in the next couple weeks.

 15. Tennessee Titans (6-5) – The Titans beat Tampa Bay in what was essentially an elimination game. They can knock the Bills out with a win this week.

Can the Titans continue to make a run at the Playoffs?

 16. New York Giants (6-5) – The Giants are in big trouble after losing three straight and the undefeated Packers are up next. The good news is they still play the Cowboys twice so they can control their fate.

 17. Denver Broncos (6-5) – Tim Tebow gets all the credit but the Denver defense has allowed just 15 points per game in the last five wins. Can they shut down Adrian Peterson this week?

 18. Buffalo Bills (5-6) – The Bills are on life support after four losses in a row. They will have to run the table for the week 17 game at New England to matter.

 19. Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) – With the loss to New England, the Eagles have a stranglehold on the most disappointing team of the year. How much worse will it get?

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) – The Bucs are another disappointing team in the NFC. They need to beat Carolina to avoid falling into last in the NFC South.

 21. Arizona Cardinals (4-7) – The Cards have won three of four and they could get Kevin Kolb back this week.

 22. San Diego Chargers (4-7) – What happened during their bye week? The Chargers were 4-1 before the bye and are now 0-6 after.

 23. Miami Dolphins (3-8) – The Dolphins have won three of four. They could give the Bills a run for third in the AFC East.

 24. Washington Redskins (4-7) – They broke the six-game losing streak against Seattle. They could start a new streak with three teams fighting for the playoffs coming up next.

 25. Minnesota Vikings (2-9) – The Vikings have lost three straight. If they don’t find a way to beat Tebow it could become six straight with the Lions and Saints coming up.

 26. Seattle Seahawks (3-7) – The Seahawks blew a 10-point lead against Washington. At least they have a short week to think about it.

 27. Carolina Panthers (3-8) – The Panthers are much better than last year but aren’t getting many wins to show for it. But they have found their quarterback.

 28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-7) – The defense played well against the Steelers but the offense couldn’t get it going. Will they turn to Kyle Orton this week?

 29. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) – Jack Del Rio has been fired. This franchise has a lot of work to do.

30. Cleveland Browns (4-7) – They put up a fight against Cincinnati but came up short. And there’s more bad news; four of the last five games are against Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

31. St. Louis Rams (2-9) – The way this team has played its hard to find another win on their schedule. The best chance appears to be at Seattle.

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-11) – The Colts could make a run at 0-16. They are at New England and Baltimore for the next two.

November 1, 2011

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NFL Power Rankings

By: Joe Williams

1. Green Bay Packers (7-0) — The Pack has not lost a meaningful game in a long time, but it is a little premature for the 16-0 talk to begin.

2. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) — Impressive comeback against the Cardinals but they shouldn’t have been down that much to begin with. Their game in Pittsburgh on Sunday will be huge.

3. New England Patriots (5-2) – The loss to the Steelers could prove costly in the playoff seeding tiebreakers.

4. Buffalo Bills (5-2) – A win over the Jets Sunday would go a long way towards getting Buffalo back to the playoffs.

5. Detroit Lions (6-2) – They will have an extra week to enjoy that beating they gave Tebow and the Broncos.

6. Atlanta Falcons (4-3) – They got some help Sunday when the Rams knocked off the Saints. NFC South race is wide open.

7. New Orleans Saints (5-3) — I have a feeling that loss to the Rams is going to hurt when we get to January.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) – They beat the Patriots on Sunday, and they will have a huge edge in the AFC.

9. San Francisco 49ers (6-1) – They just keep winning and could be on their way to a first round bye.

10. Houston Texans (5-3) — Andre Johnson should be back this week and the Texans should handle the Browns.

11. New York Jets (4-3) — The next two weeks against the Bills and Patriots are critical for the Jets to climb back in the race. They must win at least one of those games.

12. New York Giants (5-2) — The schedule is really tough the rest of the way. Will a two game lead be enough to hold on in the NFC East?

13. Chicago Bears (4-3) – Can the defense slow down the Philadelphia offense? We will find out on Monday Night Football.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3) — Anyone else think the Saints will be ready to go when the Bucs travel to New Orleans on Sunday? Tampa cannot afford to fall two games back with a loss.

15. San Diego Chargers (4-3) — Rivers will be kicking himself all week for the fumbled snap against the Chiefs. Once again the Chargers find a strange way to lose a game.

16. Tennessee Titans (4-3) – Chris Johnson has to get going if the Titans are going to stay in the race much longer.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) – Philly finally looked like the team everyone thought they would be in their win against the Cowboys.

18. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) – We will find out how good the Bengals are in the next three weeks against Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

19. Oakland Raiders (4-3) – Moved into a first place tie without even playing and Denver is coming to town. Things are looking up.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) – Miami and Denver could have the Chiefs at 6-3 before the schedule gets really hard.

21. Dallas Cowboys (3-4) – America’s Team has the easiest schedule of the NFC East teams but it won’t matter if they play like they did Sunday night.

22. Washington Redskins (3-4) – With three straight losses, Washington has gone from the top of the NFC East standings to the bottom in a hurry.

23. Minnesota Vikings (2-6) – Christian Ponder looks like he could be the starter for a while in Minnesota.

24. Carolina Panthers (2-6) – Cam Newton will be the starter for a long time in Carolina.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) – 12.25 points per game doesn’t win many games in this league.

26. Cleveland Browns (3-4) – Colt McCoy needs more weapons.

27. Arizona Cardinals (1-6) – Blowing that lead against the Ravens hurts. Suddenly, Sunday’s game against the Rams doesn’t look so easy.

28. St. Louis Rams (1-6) – Looking to make it two wins in a row against the Cardinals.

29. Seattle Seahawks (2-5) – The loss to Cincinnati was much closer than the score would suggest.

30. Denver Broncos (2-5) – Bronco fans got what they wanted with Tebow taking over for Orton. Unfortunately, it looks like Denver’s opponents also got what they wanted.

31. Miami Dolphins (0-7) – Should have beaten the Broncos and almost beat the Giants. They will win soon.

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-8) – They have a one loss lead in the Andrew Luck standings. This team has more problems than no Peyton Manning.

October 6, 2011

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Fathead’s NFL Power Rankings

By: Joe Williams

NFL Rankings:  As we approach Week 5 of the NFL season, here is how each of the NFL teams stacks up.

1.Green Bay Packers (4-0) — As the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair would say, “To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man.” Until someone beats the Pack, they will be at the top of the rankings.

2. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) — After opening the season by dominating the defending AFC champion Steelers and blowing out the AFC runner-up Jets on Sunday, the Ravens are the class of the AFC.

3. New Orleans Saints (3-1) — Drew Brees and company gave the Packers all they wanted and followed that with three solid wins.

4. Buffalo Bills (3-1) — After pulling off the shocker of the year and beating New England, the Bills get beat by the Bengals.

5. New England Patriots (3-1) — Tom Brady’s offense hasn’t been held under 30 points yet.

6. Detroit Lions (4-0) — They won’t be undefeated much longer if they keep falling behind by 20 points.

7. Houston Texans (3-1) — Wade Phillips has got the defense playing much better.

8. New York Jets (2-2) — A two game losing streak makes this trip to New England huge for the Jets.

9. Atlanta Falcons (2-2) — Important stretch coming up for the Falcons with Green Bay and Detroit coming up in the next couple weeks.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) — The Bucs need a win at San Francisco to carry momentum into tough stretch with Saints, Bears, Saints, Texans and Packers coming up.

11. San Diego Chargers (3-1) — Chargers should get healthy with the Broncos on Sunday and their bye week.

12. New York Giants (3-1) — G-men getting it done despite injuries. They may have gotten a break with the controversial play against the Cardinals.

13. Tennessee Titans (3-1) – Huge test for surprising Titans this week at Pittsburgh.

14. Washington Redskins (3-1) – The defense is giving up an NFC best 15.8 points per game. They have two weeks to get ready for a divisional showdown with the Eagles.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) – Are the defending AFC champs suffering from a post-Super Bowl loss hangover? Or is it just that they cannot protect the quarterback?

16. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – No team is more entertaining than “America’s Team”. Do the Cowboys ever play a game decided by more than one score?

17. Chicago Bears (2-2) – The Bears have a good chance to build a lead Sunday in Detroit. The question is will they be able to hold it?

18. San Francisco 49ers (3-1) – Their three wins is one more than the rest of the NFC West combined. The division is theirs to lose.

19. Oakland Raiders (2-2) – It looks like the Raiders are the team that will push San Diego in the AFC West.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) – It’s been a nightmare start for the “Dream Team”. They are probably glad to be hitting the road after the last two performances at home.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) – Got a shot to be 4-2 at the bye with two winnable games coming up. Not bad for a team who’s quarterback retired rather than play for them.

22. Cleveland Browns (2-2) – They have an extra week to recover from getting pounded by the Titans.

23. Carolina Panthers (1-3) – The good news is Cam Newton looks like he is their quarterback of the future. The bad news is New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington coming up.

24. Arizona Cardinals (1-3) – They should have beaten the Giants on Sunday. They head to Minnesota to face an angry Vikings team.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) – The offense is experiencing some major growing pains with rookie Blaine Gabbert now playing quarterback. They average less than 10 points per game.

26. Denver Broncos (1-3) – It’s not Kyle Orton’s fault the Packers put 49 points on the board Sunday. Try telling that to the fans in Denver though.

27. Indianapolis Colts (0-4) – It’s going to be a long season without Peyton Manning. This team won’t quit though.

28. St. Louis Rams (0-4) – Injuries and the schedule have made them look worse than they really are. Unfortunately, they have Green Bay, Dallas and New Orleans for their next three.

29. Seattle Seahawks (1-3) – Put up 21 points in the second half Sunday. Only score 37 in their other 3.5 games.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) – They have played much better in the last two weeks.

31. Minnesota Vikings (0-4) – They would be ranked much higher if the NFL cut games to 30 minutes.

32. Miami Dolphins (0-4) – With a bye and the Jets coming up they could be winless when the Broncos come to town.