Patriots Offseason Update

talibCiting Multiple Sources, the Boston Globe reports that the Patriots would like to get the Aqib Talib deal done soon. It remains their top priority on defense.

Globe writer Greg Bedard also mentions that if the Patriots sign Talib he expects them to be on such players such as Keenan Lewis (Steelers), Nnamdi Asomugha (Eagles), Derek Cox (Jaquars), Quinton Jammer and Antoine Cason (Chargers, Chris Houston (Lions), and Cary Williams (Ravens) to fill the other cornerback position.

In other news CBS sports reported from several sources that the Patriots had considered making a run at restricted free agent Victor Cruz before Cruz switched agents to Tom Condon Monday

Since the Giants placed a 1st round tender on Cruz, the Patriots would have to had to give the Giants a 1st round pick and a long term contract.

Due to the tender and Condon as the agent, the Patriots will now not likely make a run at Cruz—-including-giants-cruz—-could-be-dealt-

Jason La Canfora reported that Ed Reed has hired an agent. La Canfora reported that there is a “good chance he moves on.” The two top teams are likely New England and Indianapolis.

Brady Fined

Tom Brady was fined $10,000 last night after a slide against the Ravens last week that the league called a dirty play. Not that it matters, I’m pretty sure him and Gisele can swing the 10k. Ed Reed said he didn’t mind the play that much because it was in the heat of the game, but Bernard Pollard (one of the dirtiest guys out there) took to the media to complain. He said that if you can call it on the defense, you have to be able to do what’s right and call it on the QB too. Anyways, I like Brady for doing this. It shows that he was pissed off and wanted to do anything to win.

Ignore the voice of the guy in the video, even though it is pretty amusing.

AFC Wild Card Playoff Predictions

So the with the end of the Regular Season coming to a close, and the playoffs about to begin I will start to analyze the upcoming AFC playoff games for this weekend. If you had told me in August that the Tim Tebow led Broncos, along with the Texans and Bengals would be continuing their season into January I would have been willing to bet everything I own on it. Fortunately for me I didn’t…

Bengals @ Texans

The Bengals come in losing five of their last eight. All of those loses came to AFC playoff teams, one of them being the Texans. Even with Schaub sidelined the Texans can still offer one of the AFC’s best offenses simply because of the run game they have. Their defense is solid and was what got them where they are today. The young Bengals offense has really shined this year led by the rookie combination of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. I expect this one to be a low scoring game based on the strength of both defenses. The Texans are favored in this one but I see otherwise, I’m going with the Bengals.

Prediction: Bengals 17 Texans 14

Steelers @ Broncos

I for one am certainly glad that all the Tebow hype is over. He finally came down to earth and is playing more like the QB he really is. I cannot take away the fact that the guy is a proven winner, which is literally the only reason the Broncos even have a shot here. The Steelers are injury depleted and I feel like it is definitely going to hurt their playoff chances. Big Ben is still shaken up; Mendenhall is done for the playoffs, and Ryan Clark being kept out of this one. Luckily for the Steelers they are facing a team that went 8-8 in the regular season, but have the talent of a 5-11 team. Like the other AFC Wildcard game I expect this one to be low scoring. Tebow better do some extra praying this week. His savior doesn’t save him here; Steelers win.

Steelers 20 Broncos 13

Patriots Seek Top Seed in the AFC

Tomorrow, our AFC East champs are set for a Christmas Eve matchup in Foxboro against the Miami Dolphins. AFC champions is a great start, but let’s be honest…it’s just a start and in fact, doesn’t mean a whole lot in the bigger picture. Winning out and securing the top seed in the AFC is what the Pats are looking to accomplish. This would set the stage for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, a much more advantageous accommodation than simply winning the division. Although the Pats are 6-2 on the road this year, they need to look past that and at what they could potentially face. Both the Steelers and the Ravens have proved their dominance at home, as opposed to their road schedules. The Steelers are 6-1 at home, 4-3 on the road, while the Ravens are 7-0 at home this year, and 3-4 on the road. The Pats need to come into the final two games of the regular season as if they’re fighting for a playoff spot. No longer does it mean putting in backups and giving Brady a rest. They need to take the Dolphins seriously, as the team has won 5 of their last 7 after a less than dismal start. If the Pats leave it all on the field tomorrow and again New Year’s Day against a struggling Buffalo, they should be well off on their journey to Super Bowl XLVI.

Will the Patriots Make the Super Bowl?

It’s that time of year again… The Patriots are 11-3 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC after having clinched the AFC East last week. The question most of you are wondering is as follows: Can the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl? It looks like the Patriots should have earned themselves a first round bye and potentially home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The latter part I see to be very important.

Going to Heinz field and facing a Steelers team that isn’t depleted by injuries is not an easy task and that was proven earlier this season. That doesn’t look to be the case though. If the Patriots do meet the Steelers in the playoffs they will have to come through Foxboro and it’s a whole different atmosphere for them. Roethlisberger looks very hurt and an injury like that can keep most players out for a few weeks. The Ravens could be a tough game, but Joe Flacco looks average at best, and even the Ravens defense can get beat by a good offense as that was shown Sunday night. The Texans don’t have the passing game to really take advantage of the terrible Patriots secondary like most teams can. As far as the rest of the AFC goes there isn’t any other team in the conference that would really scare me; especially if they are coming to Gillette.

The Patriots secondary is clearly their weakness and at times has been exposed but it works into the Patriots favor that the list of potential quarterbacks they could face in the AFC playoffs are headlined by Big Ben and followed with QB’s like T.J. Yates, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Matt Hasselbeck.

Anything can happen in the NFL, but if I had to put my life savings down on a team to come out of the AFC, it would be the Pats.

Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

With none of the top 7 teams losing this week not much has changed there, but their were many upsets last week and this weeks rankings reflect that.

1. Packers (12-0) +0 – Even if they lost last week I would still have them here. They’re offense is just too good.

2. Ravens (9-3) +1 – Their running game is dynamic and Flacco is doing a good job managing games.

3. Patriots (9-3) -1 – They started career special teamer Matthew Slater at safety last week. Their defense is a concern but I still see them battling with Pit and the Ravens in the AFC.

4. Steelers (9-3) +1 They absolutely destroyed the Bengals and their defense looks like Steelers defenses of the past.

5. Saints (9-3) -1 – Their offense looks like it did when they won the Super Bowl, but then again there hasn’t been to many changes since then.

6. 49ers (10-2) +0 – I still don’t believe in their ability to score points against a quality defense.

7. Texans (9-3) +9 – Their defense is going to have to carry them if they want a shot to get through the brutal AFC.

8. Cowboys(7-5) -1 – They just dropped a game they shouldn’t have lost. How typical. I still have faith in this team though.

9. Broncos (7-5) +5 – They are beginning to gain confidence in Tebow and allow him to throw the ball around a little more.

10. Lions (7-5) -2 – Their defense got picked apart last week by a great passing attack, but their offense can still put up points with the best of em’.

11. Jets (7-5) +1 – Sanchez has been playing better and isn’t losing games for them. He’s never going to be All-Pro caliber, but he needs to keep them in games instead of being the reason they are out of them.

12. Titans (7-5) +5 – I see them having a legitimate shot at making the playoffs is CJ keeps it up.

13. Falcons (7-5) -3 – They just lost to a team with T.J Yates at QB. Their offense is to hit or miss to be a top 10 team right now.

14. Giants (6-6) -5 – They showed they can play with the best of them, but at times they also play with the worst of em’. They play to their opponents skill level.

15. Raiders (7-5) -4 – After an embarrassing loss to Miami it wont get any easier when they go up against the red-hot Broncos.

16. Bengals (7-5) -3 – They’re still very young and its showing. Give them some time and they may be a top 5 team in the next couple of years, just not now.

17. Seahawks (5-7) +6 – They are leaning on the run game which is why they have been successful. If they hadn’t been so bad early on they could have been a playoff team.

18. Bears (7-5) -3 – Caleb Hanie really is that bad. They need to make a move for McNabb or say goodbye to their season.

19. Chargers (5-7) +0 – Even at 5-7 they still have a lot to play for with a shot to catch the Raiders.

20. Dolphins (4-8) +4 – They just blew out the Raiders last week and are on of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. It’s just a little to late.

21. Cardinals (5-7) +4 – They showed they have improved when they beat the Cowboys in OT last week.

22. Eagles (4-8) -4It’s almost amusing at this point.

23. Bills (5-7) -2 – Their D-Line is an absolute mess.

24. Panthers (4-8) +2 – Cam Newton is the real deal, they need to focus on the defensive side of the ball in this upcoming draft.

25. Chiefs (5-7) +6 – Don’t let them jumping 6 spots fool ya. Same goes for their victory against the Bears. They only scored on a fluke hail mary and only stopped a team with Caleb Hanie under center.

26. Redskins (4-8) -6They were embarrassed in the fourth quarter last week. Up next: The Patriots.

27. Vikings (2-10) +0 – For whatever its worth with a healthy AP they are still better than a handful of teams.

28. Buccaneers (4-8) -6 – They haven’t won a game in almost two months. Even a healthy Freeman won’t help them as he hasn’t had a great season.

29. Browns (4-8) -1 – Their offense is just terrible.

30. Jaguars (3-9) -1 – Imagine if they didn’t have MJD to take pressure off Gabbert? They might have been in the same situation as the Colts.

31. Rams (2-10) -1 – After getting shutout Sunday vs the 49ers you can see how bad their offense really is. The worst thing is their defense isn’t any better.

32. Colts (0-12) +0 – They probably won’t win a game all year, Manning out, Luck in?

Thanksgiving Day Pick Em’ – Week 12

Pretty hard to believe it is already week 12 and the Thanksgiving games are upon us, but here are my predictions and analysis of the three excellent games tomorrow.

Thursday November 24, 2011

Packers @ Lions 12:30 PM

This game is the first one of Thanksgiving day, and probably going to be the most exciting. A battle of two stellar offenses and two mediocre defenses. I’m not completely on the Packers bandwagon yet. Yes, they are 10-0 but that does not make them a lock to win every week, and I’m certainly not handing them the Lombardi trophy just yet. Last weeks game showed that their defense has its holes. The Packers are the Packers, they are not the 2007 Patriots. They both have very similar offenses as the patriots averaged 36.8 points per game, and the Packers are at 35.5. The main difference is this; the Patriots of 07′ outscored their opponents by 19.7 points per game, this years Packers are outscoring their opponents at a rate of 14.3. The main difference: Defense. Also the same reason of why the Lions have a prayer in hell this week. With Stafford tossing the ball up to Megatron, anything is possible. The Lions bounced back after a miserable first half last week and were able to get the victory against a weak Carolina team, but their defense didn’t look superior to the Packers D.

Analysis: The Packers offense is better than that of the Lions. Both defenses are similar. I’m going with the packers in a shootout, and a fake Ford Field Leap by Jordy Nelson.

Prediction: Packers 34 Lions 27


Dolphins @ Cowboys 4:15 PM

The Fin’s have outscored their opponents 86-20 the previous three weeks, although they have faced Buffalo, Washington, and Kansas City, which in all honesty doesn’t say much. After an 0-7 start to the season it looks like Tony Sparano might be trying to save his job, the season on the other hand was lost back in the early weeks of the season. I still have a bold prediction that Miami will finish tied, or above the fake Buffalo Bills by the end of the season. They showed who was the better team when they stomped all over them 35-8 last week. Reggie Bush is looking to revive his career after a rather disappointed professional career so far. Matt Moore is looking to be more comfortable with his receivers, and definitely looks in a groove with TE Anthony Fasano.

The Cowboys I still believe have the potential to be one of the elite teams in the NFC. They are the best in their division and after the Bears’ Jay Cutler went down last week, they may be the number two team in the whole conference. Their offense is explosive, and they have Demarcus Ware on the defensive side, teaming up with defensive mastermind Rob Ryan. They have shown they can stop a prolific offense when they almost beat New England at Gillette earlier this season.

Analysis: The Cowboys are still too powerful for a Miami team that has won three in a row, but against opponents that are on a season downfall. Dallas won’t lose to a team like Miami at home on Thanksgiving. Dallas improves to 7-4.

Prediction: Dallas 31 Miami 16


49ers @ Ravens 8:20PM

This game is everything the first game of the day is not. A battle of defenses. In the first meeting between head-coaching siblings ever in NFL history this one should certainly be an exciting game to watch.

The key of the game for the Ravens is to not turn the ball over, which hasn’t exactly been easy for 49ers opponents so far this season. The 49ers defense has 15 interceptions this year, which isn’t exactly good news for Joe Flacco. Flacco has been average this year with only throwing 8 interceptions, but he might be able to consider himself lucky if he covers a spread of 1 1/2 ints. tomorrow.

The 49ers need to stick with the run game and allow Alex Smith to continue to put them in situations to win games, or better yet, not to lose them. He’s clearly done his job this year as the niners are 9-1 and haven’t had any speculation of any type of QB controversy this season, considering going into the season no one knew who would be under center for the niners.

Analysis: Jim wins this one. I just think the 49ers defense with Patrick Willis sticks it out and gets the victory. Don’t expect a blowout of any sort, and I wouldn’t exactly bet the over on this one. I’m just as excited for the post-game handshake as I am for the real game.

Prediction: 49ers 17  Ravens 16