Archive for September, 2010

Around the League in 80 seconds…week 2

September 21, 2010

In case you missed the news, sportscenter, or any other ESPN/news program, you might have missed some headline making news covering the NFL in the past two days.

Injuries, arrests and deaths.  Heavy stuff and not the way any fan wants to begin the season.

First, the tragic death of Denver Broncos WR Kenny McKinley. McKinley was found Monday in his home from apparent suicide from a gun wound.

The promising wide receiver was a young 23-years old and the father of a baby boy. As of now, there are no reasons of why or what may have happened to have caused this only two weeks into the season. Some speculations are McKinley’s current injuries or maybe money.

McKinley’s agent, Andrew Bondarowicz, said family and friends are at a loss to explain the death of a young man “who had such a love for life.”

“Everybody has their explanations, their own theories. Whether it was injuries, no one’s going to know for sure,” Bondarowicz said. “It’s a tough situation all the way around.

“Some people speculate that it was his being injured, some said it was financial challenges. … It’s a tragic situation.”

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The Hard Knock life of a DWI The New York Jets have been loud and proud of the progress they have made over the past few years.  After this summer’s show “A Hard Knock Life” featuring the team, they made it clear they intended to make moves and dominate the field this season.

However,  WR Braylon Edwards must have started celebrating early after the Jets big win over the New England Patriots on Sunday after being arrested for a DWI on Tuesday morning.

He was pulled over due to the tinting of his SUV’s windows, and when the police on scene smelled alcohol, had him use a breathalyzer; he blew a .16 which is two times the legal limit.

The Jets and the league are going to have to go over Edwards past to determine whether or not he will be fined or suspended based off their substance abuse policy. (more…)

Baltimore fans no longer wacco for Flacco

September 21, 2010

The Ravens met their division rivals Sunday afternoon and lost in another sloppy game to the Cincinnati Bengals 15-10.

With such a high-powered offense, there was not a lot to brag about in this game. Was the Bengals defense that good? That does not account for QB Joe Flacco not looking comfortable or fluid this game or last weeks against the Jets.

Many fans out there the past few days have been crying to “bench Flacco” and to “bring in Bulger.” Many Baltimoreans are not happy with losing and the fact that Flacco threw four interceptions against the Bengals and another against the Jets—five picks just two games in makes Baltimore very unhappy.

These errors were costly in yards, turnovers and production as Flacco, very uncharacteristically, completed only 48.1 percent of his passes for 402 yards in the past two games (he was 13/34 for 85 yards on Sunday).  He only threw for one TD, but had five interceptions and a fumble.

“Hey, four interceptions is too much,” Coach John Harbaugh, who plans on keeping Flacco as his starter, said Monday. “It’s not just the QB…Joe will be the first to tell you he wants to play better. So, I’m not going to stand up  here and single one guy out.”

True statement the offensive line couldn’t pass protect and Baltimore’s promising offense just could not seem to get open against Leon Hall, Pacman Jones and Johnathon Joseph, or when they did would fail to catch the ball.

However, there were many times that Flacco (more…)

Jeter the Cheater?

September 16, 2010

The New York Yankees captain and short stop Derek Jeter caused controversy in the 7th inning during the Yanks game against Tampa  Bay Rays Wednesday night with a “fake-out” while at bat.

What terrific acting, Jeter! Did we miss something on your resume that said you also starred in some Broadway plays?

Probably not. The supposed ball that hit Jeter was inside, and Jeter proceeded to jump and writhe in pain as if he did get hit.  And the rules of baseball allow the player up at bat to take a base if the pitcher hits them with the ball. So Jeter, even though he did not actually get hit with the ball [though he acted as if he did] should still get to take the base, right?

Of course he did. He milked getting hit by the ball that really hit the butt of his bat before hitting him. And the ump told Jeter to take the base. When asked later why Jeter was not honest and took the base anyway, he basically said why not?

“He told me to go to first base. I’m not going to tell him I’m not going to first, you know,” Jeter said. He said the “vibration” of the ball is what caused him to act out the way he did and even admitting to “acting a bit.”

The result of Jeter on base would result in a 2-run homer by Curtis Granderson, making the score 3-2 Yanks.

However, the idiom of “cheaters never win”  will prove true as the Rays will go on to win the game after TB Rays Dan Johnson hits a 2-run shot in the last inning to win make the score 4-3, and are now the top team in the AL east.

For baseball fans out there, this move resembles the college baseball game in 2007 against Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Arkansas’ Brian Walker out-acted Jeter’s performance but this time the ump did not buy  into his “getting hit” performance and proceeded to throw Walker out after Walker threw a tantrum (which was a better acting job then his “fake hit” act…or maybe because that was real?)

Then again, the Yanks lost anyway.  And would you tell the ump “I actually don’t think I should go to the base.” Oh the politics of the sporting world.  But the question is, did he really cheat? Or would you call it “gamesmanship”?

Top 15 NFL week 2 power rankings

September 15, 2010

The teams to look out for in week two:

1. Saints.
They still remain the top team. Strong and steady on both sides of the ball, it is going to take a lot to knock last seasons World Champs off their journey to a second year to getting a ring in a row.

2. Packers
Aaron Rogers remained at ease and confident during this past weeks game. He knows who to throw to and how to prevent too many turnovers. And if Jennings keeps up with more passes like that one handed one he had last week, the rest of the division should be worried. However, the Packers were only 8/55 pass completions so need to step that game up against better competitors.

3. Ravens
Baltimore dropped down one this week for me. Yes, they won but they won a messy game against a sloppy defense. Anquan Boldin took the game winning ball against the Jets with 7 catches and 111 yards. But QB Joe Flacco needs to remember to look up and out and expand on the offense he has in front of him and not rely on the rushing yards (Ravens only had 49).

4. Colts
Even though Indianapolis lost to the Texans, they are still a strong team that can’t go under the wire. Peyton Manning always pulls through and this coming weeks game, I predict he will pull his team to a win.

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Ravens with “hard knock” win over Jets

September 14, 2010

The Baltimore Ravens traveled up to the New Meadowlands Stadium to take on the Jets for the first Monday night football game and just barely walked away with a 10-9 win in a tough, uphill battle of a game full of penalties, but for once not against Baltimore.

In a game that pinned up one of the NFLs best defense in the Jets against a new NFL threat in the Ravens offense, this game was sure to be a “hard knock” one.

Jets defense proved that early on with a sack by Shaun Ellis on QB Joe Flacco, where Flacco lost the ball on the Ravens own 11-yard line. The well-known mighty Baltimore defense would hold back Jets QB Mark Sanchez and would only result in a 28-yard FG by Nick Folk.

But the Ravens, despite a  thinning defense, upheld against a Jets mediocre offense.

And Monday nights game came down to the Jets D and the Ravens new offense–and in the end it was number 81 in purple who helped bring home the win for Baltimore against a spotty Jets defense.

Anquan Boldin (81) made a major difference in Mondays game for the Ravens. Boldin had seven catches for 110 yards (21 in the first half, 89 in the second) and was a big part of converting third downs to firsts. Baltimore was 11 for 19 on 3rd down conversion, and Boldin was part of three of them as he always seemed one step ahead of the Jets Kyle Wilson.

Baltimore also doubled the Jets in time of possession, controlling the ball with an 38:32 to 21:28 advantage  despite being out-rushed 116 yards to 49.

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NFL week one games: Recap

September 13, 2010

Football season is officially here as the first Sunday of the season has come and gone.

In case you might have missed some of the games, here is a quick recap of each game to keep you up to speed.

Steelers vs. Falcons

The team we love to hate played a pretty tentative game Sunday afternoon against Atlanta, who also seemed hesitant. The game was a slow, FG kind of game. Both kickers even were having an off day as Pittsburgh’s Reed was 2-4 for the day, including a missed FG going into halftime with 17 seconds to go (the ball would hit the post and bounce away).  But the Falcons were on the same page as the Steelers; despite Falcons QB Matt Ryan throwing a strong pass down the middle late in the second  quarter, Atlanta can’t get a TD to pull ahead. Kicker Bryant does make it through the posts this time (he missed an earlier 46  yard attempt) to tie the score at 3-3 going into the second half.

In the end, with “mighty mouse” Hines Ward and Redman making big catches and picking up a few yards to help the once third string QB, Dennis Dixon gave the Steelers the advantage to win.  Late in the fourth quarter,  Lofton and Bierhmann take down Dixon, making it seem like the Falcons could pull away; but an interception by Troy Polamero led the Steelers to another FG attempt which Reed misses, going too far to the right with the 40-yard attempt, sending the game into overtime.

But it was Mendenhall who took the game away from Atlanta in overtime with a TD; final score 15-9.

Falcons player to keep an eye on: Roody White, who had 13 catches and 111 yards.

Titans vs. Raiders

With the Titans, you can’t hold back RB Chris Johnson and QB Vince Young for too long. The Raiders rallied against Tennessee for a good while in the first half, or so it seemed. Passing yards for the Raiders in the first half was a -8, while the Titans were at 85. Both not impressing, especially when the Titans RB, Johnson averages about 125.4 yards a game and had 36 going into the second half.

But N. Washington drew first blood with the first TD of the game which propelled the Titans later to win against Oakland 38-13.

Both QB’s, Young and Campbell, played rookie-esq. If  either team wants to improve, their leaders need to step up their own game a little better.

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The New Orleans Saints march on over the Vikings in season opener

September 10, 2010

The New Orleans Saints proved that the “Superbowl hungover” was not going to deter them as they overcame the Minnesota Vikings 14-9 Thursday in the NFL season opener.

The Saints QB Drew Brees held strong and showed how this game was going to go within the first few minutes of the game as they scored a TD with 12 minutes left in the first quarter as well as the Vikings picking up a penalty, losing yards on the kick-off.

The Vikings weren’t going to make this an easy victory for the World Champs. They respond with a 33-yard pass to Shiancoe, which then led to a TD pass to Shiancoe with 40 seconds left in the first half; the teams would go into the locker room at halftime with the Vikings leading 9-7.

But the Saints would prevail in the end and took the W ending the game 14-9.

Some key people on both teams to look out for:

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2010 NFL power rankings

September 9, 2010

Tonight it all begins:  football season.

Kicking off first is returning Superbowl Champions, the New Orlean Saints and the Minnesota Vikings.

Before the season gets started though, here is a quick rundown of some of my power rankings of all 32 teams based off of pre- and off- season performances, the top 15 with descriptions:

1. Saints. They might still have a Superbowl hangover, but in tonight’s season opener, they stand to be hte seventh champions to win that first game. With Drew Brees leading his team and Reggie Bush ready to put his about to get stripped Heisman trophy past behind him, the Saints are still as strong as ever and not to be seen as a one and done team.

2. Ravens. Maybe you can call me a little biased. But the Ravens started working one week after they lost in the post-season last year adding new additions in the forms of coaches and players. Baltimore has always been known as a defense heavy team, but with Anquan Boldin, Donte Stallworth and now T.J. Houshmandzadeh on their roster, Baltimore is going to see their leader, Joe Flacco, use more than Ray Rice, who is also NFL,one of the best running backs in the league.

3. Jets. Sure, we all call them the “Northern Ravens” down here in Charm city, but you have to hand it to Rex Ryan and his men.I am not a big Mark Sanchez fan–but he works well with his teammates and they also put a lot of work in their off- and pre-season. The first Monday night football game against Baltimore and the Jets is going to start the season off to a great start.

4. Colts. There is no denying this team is going to be a deep threat for every other team in the NFL. Peyton Manning is one of the best QBs out there based off his intelligence and athleticism. The Colts work well together as a team and seem almost impeccable.

5. Bengals. Who doesn’t know about the Bengals off-season pickup? The question is, can the two biggest attention whores in the NFL share the lime-light? Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and T.O. are going to be a dangerous threat to every other defense out there. During pre-season match-ups, TO seemed to be able to play well with his new team. Maybe all he needed was a friend to tell him to “play nicely with others.”
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