Weekend Recap

No complaints this weekend. Although a semi quiet stretch, Boston fans can start the week off on a good note. Both the Pats and Bruins continued to show dominance in their leagues, pushing themselves further ahead of the pack at the top of their division standings. After what seemed to be a complete blowout through 3 quarters, covering the 21 pt spread was denied as the Pats seemed to let up a bit entering the 4th quarter. Whatever though, a win is a win. And besides, it was the Colts. We felt bad. The Bruins on the other hand had no remorse for Toronto, as they swept the Leafs in their back to back games this past week and all four on the season. An AFC East leader and a Northeast Division leader. These weekend recaps are starting to seem repetitive, but who’s going to complain? Happy Monday folks.

NFL Sunday Pick ‘Em – Week 13

Sunday, December 4th, 2011
Jets @ Redskins 1PM

Rex won’t take the loss this week, the games this late in the season mean too much to the Jets to let this one slip away. The Redskins finally got decent QB play from Rex Grossman last week and it is almost a must win for both teams I just don’t see the Redskins coming out on top.

Prediction: Jets 24 Redskins 14


Raiders @ Dolphins 1PM

The Raiders are averaging 25 points per game since Carson Palmer took over the offense, and are 3-1 in those four games. Michael Bush has been great and has averages 106 yards per game over the past 5 weeks. The Dolphins have looked like a completely different team and almost stunned the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Raiders look determined to make the playoffs this year and I don’t see this game getting in their way. Raiders improve to 8-4.

Predicition: Raiders 27 Dolphins 17


Titans @ Bills 1PM

Chris Johnson looks much better than he had at the beginning of the season, and the Titans are still in 2nd place in the AFC South. Their defense is has allowed the 7th least amount of points in the whole NFL, and they have a chance to catch the Texans. Buffalo has completely fallen apart since the beginning of the season and I expect to see that continue.

Prediction: Titans 23 Bills 21


Chiefs @ Bears 1PM

Kyle Orton or Tyler Palko? It doesn’t matter. Matt Cassel isn’t a top-tier quarterback but he is still better than both of them, let alone Orton doesn’t even know the offense yet. They weren’t a good team without Cassel, and they certainly won’t be with Cassel. The Bears defense should dominate the Chiefs this week. Expect Matt Forte, Marion Barber combination should run all over the Chiefs defense.

Prediction: Bears 23 Chiefs 10


Broncos @ Vikings 1PM

It’s looking like the Vikings will be without their only true star on the offensive side of the ball again. Peterson’s high ankle sprain will likely keep him out this week and their offense just is not the same without him. Tebow has been shutting up critics week after week and has earned the job as the Denver QB. His mental toughness is incredible and it has rubbed off on the whole team. His 8/1 TD to INT ratio is the main reason the Broncos are winning. He is keeping the team in a position to win and the results have shown. Tebow mania continues this week.

Prediction: Broncos 20 Vikings 13


Bengals @ Steelers 1PM

The Bengals escaped a scare in Cleveland last week for a much-needed victory to stay in the chase with the Ravens and Steelers in the AFC North. This is a must win if the Bengals want any chance of winning the AFC North. The Bengals are 1-4 against teams with a winning record this season; I see that going to 1-5. Steelers win at home.

Prediction: Steelers 23 Bengals 17


Falcons @ Texans 1PM

In a matchup of 7-4 teams the Falcons take on the Texans at Reliant Stadium. T.J. Yates will be making his first career start for the Texans after both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart went down with season ending injuries. The Falcons offense has been playing much better as of late, mainly because of the improved play from QB Matt Ryan. The injury to Schaub is just going to be too much for the Texans to handle. Don’t be surprised if the Titans take over the AFC South division come playoff time.

Prediction: Falcons 24 Texans 21


Panthers @ Buccaneers 1PM

Cam Newton comes into the game needing just over 650 yards to pass Peyton Manning’s rookie passing record. Although I don’t see him breaking that this week it is a possibility seeing how bad the Tampa Bay defense is (Kidding). This game will be a battle of two of the worst defenses this year as the Panthers and Buccaneers come in at 31st and 29th respectively. Josh Freeman’s shoulder injury might keep him out of this game, but regardless I see Tampa relying on LeGarrette Blount to carry the offense this week. Cam leads the Panthers to their 4th victory of the season.

Prediction: Panthers 31 Buccaneers 23


Ravens @ Browns 4:05PM

The Browns get the Ravens this week then take on the Steelers on a short week next Thursday. I expect two loses, as I’m sure most of you do. Believe it or not Joe Haden and the rest of the Browns pass defense has been one of the best in the league this year. Expect Ray Rice to carry the load for the Ravens offense (although my fantasy football future hopes otherwise.) Expect Cleveland to hang around in the first half, but in the end don’t expect a victory from the Browns.

Prediction Ravens 23 Browns 10


Cowboys @ Cardinals 4:15PM

Kevin Kolb is back this week for the Cardinals so the short-lived John Skelton era is over for the time being. Kolb hadn’t done much up until his injury so don’t expect much from him this week. The Cowboys have been playing better but barely escaped their Thanksgiving matchup with the Dolphins. Expect Dallas to be throwing early and often as always.

Prediction: Cowboys 27 Cardinals 13


Rams @ 49ers 4:15PM

Sam Bradford has had a less than impressive sophomore year after his great rookie season last year, and the rest of the Rams seem to be following in his place. The Brandon Lloyd trade looks like a great move as of now but their defense just isn’t cutting it against the better offenses. The 49ers showed they could at least compete with the best in the league when they lost last week to the hands of the Ravens so this isn’t just some fluke that they are 9-2. Their offense still struggles at times, especially if they get behind early and need to rely on Alex Smith. Expect the 49ers to come out running the ball on this shaky Rams defense.

Prediction: 49ers 23 Rams 10


Packers @ Giants 4:15PM

This has been one of the most hyped up games this week and it’s for a reason. Aaron Rodgers has been 07’ Tom Brady like this year and has a shot at breaking a lot of the passing records Brady currently holds. They attack through the air better than any team in the NFL and so far this season that doesn’t exactly bode well for the Giants defensive strengths. They key to this game are the play of the Giants defensive ends; if they can generate enough of a pass rush and help out their secondary they have a chance at this one. You can’t stop Aaron Rodgers; you can only hope to slow him down. My bold prediction of the week is as follows.

Prediction: Giants 28 Packers 24


Lions @ Saints 8:20PM

Ndamukong Suh’s attempt to get his two game suspension reversed was denied today by the NFL and that is a huge blow to this Lions team. Unfortunately the Lions don’t have that true veteran presence in the locker room to put him in line. Drew Brees and the saints offense has been on fire as of late and they are beginning to look more like the Saints that won the Super Bowl a couple of seasons back. I don’t see the Lions being able to stop the Saints passing attack and the loss of Suh certainly won’t help.

Prediction: Saints 31 Lions 24


Raiders LB McClain Arrested on Gun Charges

Raiders second-year linebacker Rolando McClain, who missed practice Wednesday to attend his “grandfathers funeral”, ended up in police custody Wednesday night for allegedly discharging his firearm within city limits. The victim claims McClain held a gun to his head. As the victim begged for McClain not to shoot, McClain fired a shot next to his ear. He’s been charged with third degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in city limits. This is the second time in a few years McClain has been in trouble with the law. In 2010 an Alabama University student, where McClain attended college sued McClain for allegedly hitting him twice with his car, and then getting out of the car and assaulting him. I guess what they say is true. Money can’t buy class. What I really just don’t understand is why these rich athletes need to put themselves in these situations that risk their careers.

Kraft Casino?

I am not a huge fan of the Pats. I admire the organization’s emphasis on winning and how Belicheck could be the best coach of all time. The front office is fantastic at football related decisions, and that’s illustrated by their ability to draft the likes of Tom Brady in the 8th round, Wes Welker, Gronk and Hernandez, all while still making deep runs into the playoffs. ESPN.com just reported that Robert Kraft – who is an absolute boss – is looking into adding a Casino-like resort in Foxboro right near Gillette Stadium. Honestly, big props to this guy for bringing something to the table. I’ve been to Foxboro, and the entire city revolves around Gillette Stadium, regardless if it is a Sunday or a Wednesday. He just dropped millions into this place making it more than just a stadium and now he wants to combine two things that go together better than spaghetti and meatballs – Football and Gambling. Kraft just become an even bigger ‘G’ in my book with this move. If this thing goes through, Foxboro could become one of the greatest cities on the east coast. Because let’s get real, nothing good has come out of Foxboro besides the Pats.

Patriots Q&A

As I was browsing through some Patriots news on the Internet today I came across some common questions that Patriots fans were wondering. I’m sure a lot of you are asking the same questions so I’m going to give you my answers.

1. Toughest remaining game for the Patriots and what will their final record be?

This has to be the Denver game. Yes, I still see the Patriots winning this game, as I also see them beating Miami, Indy, and Buffalo all at home, and also beating the dismal Redskins in Washington D.C. The reason I see the Broncos giving the Patriots the hardest time is because of one person. Tim Tebow. His record shows he has what it takes to win. They also have a defense that keeps them in games and allows Tebow to put victories away down the stretch. Regardless, I see the Patriots at 13-3 with a first round bye.

2. The third receiver spot and its importance to the team.

I don’t see the Patriots having a set third receiver down the stretch. It looks like it will be a rotation of Ochocinco, newcomer Tiquan Underwood, and Matthew Slater might get a few shots at the deep ball. I was hoping Taylor Price would be that guy but I just haven’t seen Bellichick show confidence in him quite yet.  That being said, the third receiver spot isn’t as important to this team as most others simply because of how great their tight ends are. They line Gronkowski and Hernandez out wide all the time and it has paid off. I expect to see it continue.

3. Julian Edelman the cornerback.

Julian Edelman has done very well defensively so far. He hasn’t let the team down by getting beat for a big pass when he’s on the field. The best thing I have seen so far from Edelman is his tackling. He’s had a few great tackles defensively and has continued that on special teams. I don’t see him being a starting corner for them this year but he will get his reps.

4. Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and the overall state of the secondary.

With Ras I. Dowling on Injured Reserve, and Leigh Bodden being cut I see Chung and McCourty as a big part of this secondary right now. Even if they are out there I don’t see this secondary holding up against a Packers or Saints passing attack, but without them I don’t see any hope unless Andre Carter can get to the QB another 4 times per game. The Pats might sit Chung and McCourty this week only because they are playing the Colts, but expect them back by week 14 as they both said they were feeling good and are ready to go

  5. Deep thoughts on the defense — is it going to be good enough in the playoffs?

The question is do I think the Patriots defense is good ENOUGH in the playoffs.  My answer is yes. The reason being, the best defense is a good offense. The Patriots offense is good enough to make up for a less than mediocre defense.

Patriots Weekly Preview

The Patriots will take on the Colts this weekend in Foxboro. The Colts come in at 0-11 but don’t be the one to tell Bill Belichick that. (Ask the blonde chick at Wednesday’s press conference) Belichick refuses to let his players give into the mentality that they can just walk in and stomp all over the Colts just because of their dismal record. Belichick coached teams are trained to be that way. The Patriots (8-3) are 21-point favorites, which is the biggest point spread in the NFL this year. The only Patriots players that missed practice Thursday were Sebastian Vollmer, and Brandon Spikes. There were several players limited in practice such as Chad Ochocinco, Matt Light, and Devin McCourty. The Patriots defense is beginning to gain more confidence and hopefully they can take this week to beat up on the inexperienced Dan Orlovsky, who will be replacing Curtis Painter under center for the Colts this week. The Patriots schedule the remaining of the season is one of the easiest in the NFL and they should look to continue preparing this defense for a playoff run. There’s no way the Pat’s let this one slip away.

Prediction: Patriots 45 Colts 10

A Fall for the Ages

Since when is it already December? I could of sworn we had a beach day a little over a week ago. Regardless, it’s been one wild fall season so far in sports, especially in Boston.

We should probably get the most drawn out news out of the way, so let’s start with the NBA. One of the biggest factors in this notion of a unique fall has to be the fact that we just began the month of December and there hasn’t been any basketball (professional) yet. Not to mention we still have to wait til the end of the month to see the Celts hit the parquet. Better late than never.

The Red Sox put us through a world of shame back in September. Since the fallout, constant bad news followed. A poor club house, unhappy players, losing Theo, Tito, and Heidi (most importantly Heidi). We could blame the Red Sox for possibly one of the most incredibly depressing starts to fall season in Boston. At least the team’s recent headlines have them moving in the right direction.

With all this chatter, it was an unusually difficult transition into Pats season. We watched as a weary Patriots team showed signs of slipping, despite Brady having, once again, a career season at the helm. It’s crazy that we’ve already reached Week 13, but it’s great to see the team entering the home stretch with continuous improvement and constant dominance from the QB spot.

Finally we get to our reigning Stanley Cup Champs. After a slow start, the Bruins managed to shake off the hangover and get back to work. The month of November was good to hockey fans in Boston. The B’s finished off the month 12-1, gaining points in each of their 13 games, an incredible feat.

With the way things started off, it looked like we were in for a lengthy autumn in Boston. Everything seemed to be working against us. But of course, title town prevailed. With the closing of a memorable fall on the horizon and winter quickly approaching, Boston fans can’t help but smile. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future gave Stern a visit, leaving us with an NBA season for our Celtics. The Red Sox have pushed their demons aside and began to focus on greener pastures circa April 2012. And finally the two teams currently in season are representing Boston with pride as they sit atop their respective divisions. Smile sports fans. It’s a good time to be from Boston.

Thursday Night Pick ‘Em – Week 13

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eagles @ Seahawks 8:20PM

The Eagle’s season has been a complete disaster this year. Their star WR is almost as pissed off as the Eagle’s fans are. Vince Young will get the start at QB tonight while Vick sits out for the third week in as many weeks. Also out this week are CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and their other top downfield threat Jeremy Maclin will sit out again. Pete Carroll has the Seahawks playing well and Marshawn Lynch looks poised to earn himself the money he deserves this offseason. I’m going with the Seahawks tonight. The Eagles don’t even have more talent on the field this week with all their injuries and the fact that they are a complete mess on and off the field doesn’t make me feel to good about their chances tonight.

Prediction: Seahawks 23 Eagles 20

Boston is a Hockey Town

It’s been four days since a CBA agreement has “tentatively” been reached, less than a month from a possible opening day (nearly 2 months behind schedule), and already the NHL has been put on the back burner. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up playing basketball but come from a hockey family, so I try to be as impartial as possible. A few days off and it feels like everyone has forgotten about the Bruins. Maybe it’s just the excitement of the NBA’s sudden rise from the grave, but we can’t forget where the Bruin’s stand. The B’s look to cap off an incredible month of November (11-1) tonight against the Leafs. A win will help them secure first place in the Northeast Division, pushing ahead of Toronto. The B’s have already won twice against the Leafs in the early season, so you can expect them to come out swinging. I’m confident this will be a game the Bruins won’t allow themselves to lose. Not only is first place on the line, but the B’s want to continue to prove that Boston is still a hockey town.