Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Packers intercept Lombardi trophy from Steelers

February 7, 2011

Thirteen championships, four Super Bowls and one Lombardi Trophy later, the Green Bay Packers became the world champions Sunday night after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super bowl XLV.

In what many believed would be a close game, fought defensively between the two best defenses in the NFL, this Super bowl almost came down to the wire as the Packers won by six points.

Green Bay’s quarterback and the SuperBowl MVP, Aaron Rogers, had a stellar game with a passer rating of 24-39, and was the fourth QB in Superbowl history to have 300+ yards, three TD’s and zero interceptions (Jake Delhomme, Steve Young and Joe Montana were the other three).

Rogers was the difference maker in this game as both defenses pounded hard against the line, but the Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger, couldn’t keep up with Rogers almost flawless performance, as Roethlisberger was 25-40 in pass completions, threw for 263 yards, had two TD’s and two interceptions.

The Packers also took advantage of the three turnovers by the Steelers and converted them into points each time. This was the third straight Superbowl with a pick-6 as well.

The game proved to be a tough one from the beginning, as the Steelers went 3-and-out on their first possession and no one getting far down field until the Packers second possession, where Jordy Nelson made a small gain but big catch to get Green Bay down the field, and then right after caught a 30-yarder for first touchdown of the game.

The Steelers came back out strong, but within seconds, Nick Collins got a pick-6 and put the Packers up 14-0.

Roethlisberger wasn’t ready to let that happen again and despite a hard fall on his knee and having trouble getting up, right after ran for a gain of 18-yards when Green Bay’s defensive line went in for the sack but made the one error defense never wants to make with the mobile Big Ben—giving him the open pocket to run.

This would lead to a 33-yard field goal attempt to make the score 14-3.

 

But the Packers defense gave Big Ben more trouble as they scored once more after Bush intercepted the ball, leading to a TD pass to Greg Jennings.

The score going into the half would end up 21-10 after Roethlisberger finally found his receiver, Hines Ward, in the end zone with 39-seconds left in the half.

The Steelers, with 28 players with Superbowl experience, came out of the locker room in the second half (after a pretty atrocious half time show) ready to prove why they have six SuperBowl rings.

Rashard Mendenhall ran into the endzone, dragging a defensive player as he pounded his way in, and the Pittsburgh defense held the Packers back, allowing only one first down since the score had been 21-3.

The Packers seemed to be getting a little lose at the edges at the end of the third quarter with the score 21-17 (and were in luck after Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham missed a 52-yard FG attempt).

Clay Matthews, the big man on defense for Green Bay, wasn’t ready to let this game slip through his teams’ fingers. He forced a big cough up when he caused Mendenhall to fumble and the Packers recovered on their 45.

Rogers, without veteran WR Donald Driver (ankle),  who had been sidelined in the first half, was looking up to Jordy Nelson, who had four dropped passes and James Jones who couldn’t seem to get it together after dropping perfect throws.

But when Rogers anticipated the blitz from Pittsburgh and quickly found Nelson–who redeemed himself for those dropped passes—and he ran the ball down to the 1-yard line. Jennings caught the big pass in the end zone from Rogers just under 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter bumping the score to 28-17.

Roethlisberger led his team down the field, and found Mike Wallace, who had a 25-yard running catch into the endzone, and the Steelers went for the two-point conversion, tossing the ball to Antwaan Randle El to get the Steelers to 25 and trail the Packers by three.

Former Buffalo kicker Crosby would hit a 23-yard field goal right after to put the Packers up 31-25, where the score would remain after the Steelers wasted the last two minutes of the game and couldn’t get the first down as the Packers defense held strong…and would take the rings and trophy.

“It’s a great day to be Green Bay,” receiver Jennings yelled out at the end of the game with a big smile on his face.

And he couldn’t be more right. The Lombardi trophy is now back in Green Bay and the Packers gave America’s cheese head fans a reason to celebrate their new world champions.

Preview and predictions: Superbowl XLV

February 5, 2011

Superbowl Sunday is a holy day of obligation for many sports fanatics, and Superbowl XLV won’t be an exception as the Steelers hope to grab their seventh ring when they face the Packers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers have been prepping all week for one of the biggest days in sports  at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and what it will come down to is defense.

Both teams own the bragging rights of being the top two defenses in the league, but at the same time, both teams have two of the smarter quarterbacks that are going to be needing protection.

Who will come away with that Lombardi trophy come February 6?

It will all come down to the offensive linemen protecting their leader in Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rogers.

Key plays for both QBs are going to be protecting the ball from the rush, quick snaps and throwing immediately, and being mobile.

If it comes down to that, I believe Aaron Rogers will lead the Green Bay Packers to victory as he knows how to look quickly and find his receiver, and even if James Harrison and the rest of the “fantastic four” linebackers for the Steelers get past the Packers line, Rogers knows how to hold onto the ball and not fumble.

He also seems to have a knack of knowing where to drop the ball perfectly into the hands of his receivers within three seconds after the snap, which is going to be a big difference maker Sunday.

On the Steelers side, Roethlisberger is a little bit more clumsy when hit, and with Clay Matthews dominance and the absence of Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers center) out due to high ankle sprain, the Steelers might find themselves in trouble when the Packers defense presses hard. Especially after a botched snap caused a fumble in the AFC championship game.

Don’t be too quick to overlook Big Ben, though; he also is extremely talented in being mobile on his feet and can change a play as needed and gets the ball down the field and in the endzone.

What are your predictions?

Check out my predictions for Super Bowl XLV on SeatGeek.  SeatGeek is the leading ticket search engine that enables fans to discover the best deals for sports and concerts — Check out SeatGeek next season when you are looking to buy your NFL tickets.

Ravens retired early, gave game away to Patriots in 23-20 loss

October 18, 2010

The Baltimore Ravens gave a lot of hope and excitement for this 2010 season based off of off-season actions, but so far, many fans have been none to pleased with the 4-2, 2-1 record.

Coming off two big games–one being a huge 17-14 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a touchdown throw to T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 32-seconds left in the game in week 4, and eating the Denver Broncos alive in week 5 winning 31-17—Baltimore fans should be more than happy with their team.

But nonetheless, every talk show Sunday afternoon and Monday morning was full of fans bashing the Ravens and their performance after the Ravens basically gave away week 6’s game against the Patriots as they fell 23-20 in overtime.

The first three quarters of the game, the Ravens seemed that they would walk away with the win as they navigated the field in uncharted territory–not an easy feat at Foxborough, one of the hardest fields to travel to.

The Ravens were ten up for at least half of the game and in the third, with the score 20-10, the game should have been a slam dunk.

Key words: should have been. In the fourth quarter, (more…)

Baltimore Ravens joins list of contenders for 2nd annual Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award

October 13, 2010

***NOTE FROM CCSPORTAHOLIC: this is a reposting of an article emailed from Tanya Rydners. Contact her for more inforation at Tanya.Rynders@mslworldwide.com *****

RAVENS OFFENSIVE LINE HELPS GROUND GAME POUND OUT IMPRESSIVE WEEK FIVE VICTORY OVER BRONCOS

Baltimore Wins Third Straight Behind Solid Protection From Offensive Line; Joins List of Contenders for 2ndAnnual Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award presented by Prilosec OTC

CINCINNATI, OH (October 13, 2010)– The Baltimore Ravens put up a season-best 415 yards on offense, including four rushing touchdowns and 233 yards on the ground in a convincing 31-17 victory over the Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon. By doing so, the Ravens offensive line has joined this year’s list of contenders for the 2ndAnnual Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award, presented byPrilosec OTC. The award honors the NFL’s best offensive line and will be presented during the week of Super Bowl XLV which will be played on February 6, 2011 in North Texas.

The Madden Most Valuable ProtectorsAward recognizes the fundamental role offensive linemen play in their teams’ success by providing consistent and reliable protection day in and day out, just as Prilosec OTC provides 24-hour heartburn protection when used as directed. Last year, the offensive line of the Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints was named first-ever winner of the award.  For more information on the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award presented by Prilosec OTC, visit www.MaddenProtectorsAward.com.

Baltimore running back RAY RICE (Rutgers) rushed for a season best 133 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Ravens ran out to a 17-0 lead and coasted to its third straight victory. The win allowed Baltimore to move past Pittsburgh into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.

The Baltimore offensive line was dominating throughout the game helping the Ravens pick up 17 rushing first downs while allowing just one sack and scoring touchdowns on three drives of 67 or more yards. As a result of the long drives, Baltimore dominated the time of possession (36:17 vs. 23:43 for Denver).  Providing the powerful protection up front for the Ravens were tackles MICHAEL OHER (Mississippi) and MARSHAL YANDA (Iowa), guards CHRIS CHESTER (Oklahoma) and BEN GRUBBS (Auburn) as well as 13-year veteran MATT BIRK(Harvard). The Baltimore offensive line has allowed just five quarterbacks sacks on quarterback JOE FLACCO (Delaware) all season, tied for 2nd fewest in the league. JOHN MATSKO, a 37-year coaching veteran, is in his third season directing the Ravens’ offensive line.

“I really liked what I have seen from the Baltimore offensive line over the last few weeks,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach JOHN MADDEN.  “Last week the Ravens line was extremely efficient in their pass protection in the win against Pittsburgh and this week their run blocking was exceptional allowing their running backs to pick up quality yards.”

Other offensive lines from around the league delivering powerful protection during Week 5 of the season included theDALLAS COWBOYS (370 net yards passing, and a 6.1 average yards per rushing attempt), NEW YORK GIANTS (414 total net yards including 117 yards rushing and 297 yards passing) and the SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (506 total net yards including 431 yards passing).

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…)

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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