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Why The Dallas Cowboys Will Win the Superbowl

Published: January 8, 2010

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It is, of course, impossible to predict the future.

And betting on a team tied for the fifth best record among the remaining contenders is not exactly maximizing your odds.

But when I ask myself “Who is the best team in this year’s NFL playoffs?” There is no question in my mind the answer is the Dallas Cowboys.

With a stellar passing game and running game, the Cowboys’ offense is ranked second in the NFL. Yet, I actually think the strength of the team is its defense. 

Officially ranked ninth in the NFL, the Cowboys defense is seriously underrated. They finished second in the NFL in points against, only 14 points behind the Jets. If the Colts and Bengals had actually competed full-tilt against the Jets, Dallas would undoubtedly have finished first.

The only team that scored more than 21 points against Dallas all season long was the NY Giants—twice. And luckily for the Cowboys, the Giants aren’t in the playoffs.

The Dallas defense is tough. It’s relentless. There are playmakers at the front, there are playmakers at the back.

Three weeks ago, they took on the NFL’s No. 1 ranked offense in the midst of a 13-game undefeated streak, fueled by impressive blowouts that had many predicting the Saints to finish 16-0.

The Cowboys defense dominated the Saints offense, crushing its confidence so badly that the Saints lost to a 2-12 team the following week and finished the season with three straight losses.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys defense followed up that performance with back-to-back shutouts in must-win games. The second came against a hot and dangerous Eagles team led by Donovan McNabb, who were playing for the division and a first-round bye.

Does anyone still question the caliber of this Cowboys defense?

Over the last few years, the Cowboys have always had good teams. Their problem has been consistency from week to week.

So far they proved their critics wrong by exorcising their December demons, but their own consistency will still be their biggest challenge in the playoffs. Particularly that of the offense. A 7-6 win like they had in Week 11 was probably a one-time offer.

Although Dallas dominated Philadelphia last week, the Eagles are no easy playoff opponent. Win that, and the ‘Boys earn the right to travel to the Metrodome to take on the awaiting Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. Another win, and the Cowboys face a guaranteed third dangerous opponent in either Green Bay, Arizona, or New Orleans.

An off-game against teams of that caliber and the Cowboys are likely done. But if they bring their best each week, I can’t see how those teams will defeat the complete package that is the Dallas Cowboys.

Now let’s turn our attention to the Superbowl.

I think the most complete team in the AFC is the Chargers, and I can’t see anyone making it out of the conference but them or the Colts.

How would a Cowboys-Colts Superbowl play out? I would guess similarly to Dallas’ win over New Orleans.

What about a Cowboys-Chargers Superbowl?

San Diego is the next-closest thing to the Cowboys, and would probably pose the toughest challenge. Indeed, they edged Dallas in a great game on Dec. 13, and may well do so again. But in the end, Dallas’ elite defense should give them the edge between two otherwise closely-matched teams, so I lean towards the Cowboys in a rematch.

Dallas may yet get bounced in the wildcard round.

But it says here the Cowboys are the team to beat. The only question is whether they beat themselves, or save it for their opponents and win their sixth Lombardi Trophy.

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Why The Philadelphia Eagles Wont Make The Superbowl

Published: January 8, 2010

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The Eagles, at 11-5 entering the playoffs, look like a team that could be a serious contender on paper, and some expect them to make it to the show.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, despite an outstanding season, the fun may be short lived.

Let’s consider that the Eagles losses can be very telling in two ways.

First, they lost to Dallas twice with one game being for the NFC East division title.

Other notable losses were to teams such as New Orleans, San Diego and Oakland.

With the exception of Oakland, the losses the Eagles compiled are very obvious markers of a team that struggles against premiere contenders.

In the two meetings against Dallas, the Eagles scored a total of 16 points while allowing  Dallas to total 44 against their defense. Additionally, the Eagles choked in a game where the NFC East crown was up for grabs.

If you look at the breakdown of there team rankings, the Eagles are very average in terms of defense, ranked 17th against the pass, and ninth against the run. In the playoffs they will be facing a Dallas team ranked second in overall offense.

The Eagles best chance to advance past the Cowboys and contend in the playoffs would be for a Cowboy’s collapse, which I don’t see happening in the this game.

The offense of the Eagles has shown bursts of greatness, but mostly been an average unit that lacks the consistency of a championship team.

Overall, while this team established an 11-5 record, they fall short in many key areas.

First off, the running game they posses is going to have a very hard time establishing themselves against the NFC defenses this year. This in turn will leave the passing game exposed, and with mediocre receivers playing against elite defenses, the offense is in for a long day.

The Eagles don’t have the dominating defense from seasons ago and they can’t afford to rely on them to bail out a sputtering offense. 

It should be a long day for the Eagles and their fans as Dallas clearly is the better team in this contest.

Overall, the Eagles should be a one and done team, losing a third time to the Dallas Cowboys, 34- 14.

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Why the New Orleans Saints Won’t Make the Superbowl

Published: January 7, 2010

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First, my congratulations to the New Orleans Saints for a well played season; and I’m sure there fans are excited, however, the hype and excitement that was the Saints’ season is about to close in January.

Although they have an explosive passing attack and the cannon-armed quarterback in Drew Brees, the Saints are a team that are dangerously close to falling short and here’s why.

Looking back at the Saints schedule, the opponent’s records combined were 97-127, 30 games under .500.

Early in Week Two, the Saints faced an early season Eagles team that has since revitalized itself and proven to be a competitor. 

Although the victory was dominating (the Saints won 48-22) the Eagles are not the same team they showed to be in September.

They played the New England Patriots, whom are not the same Patriots from years past, and decidedly beat them 38-17.

Despite an impressive victory, they nearly lost the next two games against Atlanta and Washington—the evidence that the offense wasn’t as consistent as they were early in the season.

And lastly, they played the Dallas Cowboys who were on the rebound and heating up at the right time, and lost…at home.

The rest of the schedule provided an array of teams that were either squeaking into the playoffs or jockeying for draft position.

The Saints’ season consisted of feasting on teams the likes of, Detroit (2-14), Buffalo (6-10), St. Louis (1-15), Tampa Bay (3-13), Washington (4-12), and Carolina (8-8). 

Together these opponents compiled a record of (24-72).

These teams provided the Saints with eight easy victories—pretty hard not to make the playoffs with that considered.

In the games against competitive teams, and those jockeying for playoff positions, the Saints’ average margin of victory was 15, not quite the dominating margin stats and records would lead you to believe.

Consider that in weeks 10 and 13, the saints barely escaped St. Louis and Washington with victories averaging a margin of four points with the two opponents going 5-27 combined.

From week 10 onward the Saints were not the steamroller that they were in the first half of the season as they won by an average of 12.6 points before dropping the last three games, in which Brees and co. played against Dallas and Tampa Bay.

Outside of the numbers, this team has become more exposed to defensive coordinators and seems to have become tunnel visioned on their game day approach.

It seems that if you examine the schedule, the Saints let their guard down against teams they feel are not on their level.  They can’t afford that in the second season.

At this point in time the NFC is wide open for any of the playoff teams to seriously make a run to the Superbowl. 

Instead of the NFC being a two-horse race between the Vikings and the Saints, teams like Green Bay and Dallas are knocking at the door and would be a legitimate adversary for the Saints.

The Saints also have some issues that need addressing, namely defense.

We all know the Saints can score, they rank number one in total offensive yards per game.

However, on the defensive side of the ball, the Saints rank 25th overall.  Specifically, 21st against the run and 26th against the pass.

The teams in the NFC playoff race consist of teams whom rank in the top 10 against the run and pass, with the exception of Arizona contending from the weak West division.

Green Bay ranks first against the run, averaging 83.3 yards per game, followed by the Vikings in second, Dallas in fourth, and Philadelphia in ninth.

The Saints cannot afford to become a pass only team against any of the above mentioned.  The ability to run must be established because without that, Drew Brees becomes average.

Simply put, I just don’t see the dots connecting for New Orleans.

The schedule they had due to the past two seasons being under .500 has given them a false sense of security, and that will cost them in the playoffs.

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Don’t Fill Out The Buffalo Bills’ Change of Address Cards Just Yet

Published: January 6, 2010

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There’s one phrase I’m sick to death of reading or hearing in the press, relative to the Buffalo Bills’ coaching search:

“The situation in Buffalo is too uncertain with the age of owner Ralph Wilson and the likelihood that the franchise will relocate after his death.”

I don’t know why it is assumed that the Bills are only biding time until Granddady dies so they can finally run away from home. There are several reasons, in fact, why I am convinced the Bills aren’t going anywhere, except perhaps to play an extra game in Toronto.

First of all, just because the Wilson family doesn’t appear willing or able to retain franchise ownership after the patriarch’s death, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t several potential suitors with local ties who could purchase the team and keep it right where it is.

Former Bills Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, Pro Football Hall of Famers from the Superbowl years, have continued to live in the area and stay involved in a consulting basis with the team, while also continuing their active involvement in civic life. It is obvious that both Kelly and Thomas, like many other former Bills, have established deep roots in the community.

It’s no secret that for the past few years, Kelly and Thomas have been exploring options for heading up an investors group with the objective of being in position to acquire a controlling interest in the franchise whenever Mr. Wilson or his heirs wish to unload the asset.  

Considering the sentimental status that Kelly has in the Buaffalo Niagara Region, and the success Kelly has had with fundraising for his charities, does anyone doubt he’ll succeed in raising the appropriate amount of mone?

But, lets assume for a moment, that when the time comes, local interests remain on the sidelines or are outbid by outsiders. There are still several reasons, strictly from a business perspective, why the NFL and any potential out-of-town owners will commit to keeping the Bills in the Buffalo area permanently.

First, of primary interest to the NFL, is the issue of branding, legacy, and continuity.

The Buffalo Bills are the AFC equivalent of the Green Bay Packers in NFC.  Perhaps more accurately, they are to the AFL’s legacy (which now belongs to the NFL) what the Packers are to the pre-merger NFL. They are an original franchise, storied and iconic, and an argument could be made that it’s essential to preserve the franchise in order for the league to maintain historical integrity.

No one would even suggest moving the Packers out of Green Bay, nor was it ever suggested, even before Brett Favre arrived and Lambeau Field was upgraded.  Nobody suggested it when the team suffered through decades of futility between Bart (Starr) and Brett.

You wouldn’t move the Packers out of Green Bay any more than you’d move the Gettysburg Museum off the Gettysburg battlefield. 

For the same reason, you wouldn’t move the Bills out of Buffalo. Like the Packers, and perhaps unlike any other franchise in the NFL, the Bills are a sort of living museum of what and where the AFL/NFL has been. Each team has made significant and unique contributions to league pathos, which make them uniquely geographically necessary. 

Putting the Bills franchise in a new stadium in L.A. would be just as disorienting as putting the Gettysburg museum in Philadelphia.

Regardless of what you build or where, the soul of the battle, its very reality—not only in historical context but in its timeless and ongoing reality—is one in the same with its physical place. A Gettysburg museum anywhere but Gettysburg is more than meaningless. It is spiritually and socially disruptive.  It is experientially dissonant.

The AFL Championships won in Buffalo by icons not only of the league, but of the nation— such as Jack Kemp, who went on to a political career of national impact but never apart from local heritage—become forever stripped of context if the Bills leave Buffalo. 

Even debunked heroes such as O.J. Simpson become shorn of context without the team in town.

What happens to rivalries? The Patriots vs. the Greenbacks (What happens to a Buffalo Bill in L.A.? It becomes a dollar bill) somehow isn’t as appealing.

Secondly, it doesn’t make economic sense for the NFL to leave Buffalo. There are several venues in the league that are weaker in terms of fan base, attendance, and media market than Buffalo.

Consider these little known facts:

-If you measure the actual viewership of the Buffalo TV market, including the Canadian suburbs and contiguous Canadian cities, Buffalo would be considered a large market team. In fact, the Toronto-Buffalo-Rochester mega-region is the fourth largest such region in North America, trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. 

-Unlike many larger cities, Buffalo, due to its uniqueness, has a passionate contingent of expats all over the country. The Bills are among the top teams in terms of viewership of nationally televised games and also in terms of satellite viewership. (Similarly, the number of Bills fans nationally is among the top in the league).

-The Bills continue to sell out one of the largest stadiums in the league (Ralph Wilson Stadium) without a single playoff appearance in the last 10 years. 

Certainly if there is a franchise that could be moved to L.A. with minimal negative impact on the league it would be Jacksonville.  Of all the league’s existing franchises, this one, expanded concurrently with Carolina, has not been able to establish itself under NFL standards from the beginning.

So, although I would favor making former L.A. Chargers a regional team for all of Southern California, if any team has to move, it should be, and I’m quite certain it will be, the Jaguars.

So, Bills fans, press, and pundits alike: get over it. The Buffalo Bills are going to continue to be a local and regional institution (Hello, Toronto!) And that’s a good thing.

Now, can we get back, in earnest, to our coaching search?

John is available as a speaker for any organization or event on sports topics or a variety of other topics. For more information see The Speaker page on his website: www.johnwingspreadhowell.com/theconsultant.

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Wild Card Weekend Predictions: Pats Have Something to Prove

Published: January 4, 2010

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It’s that great time of the year again. The football playoffs! This week, there are some great match-ups in wild card weekend, and there are many teams that have a lot to prove.

Now, let’s go over the matchups.

New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals got spanked by the Jets in the final week of the season, but they had little or nothing to play for. The Bengals rested many of their starters and should look much more fresh this weekend. The Jets roasted the Bengals with the wildcat formation, and if the Bengals can’t put a stop to that they will be in trouble. But, the Jets haven’t had to face Cedric Benson or Chad Ochocinco yet.

Prediction-35-27 Bengals

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

After losing to the Giants in the Superbowl two years back, the Pats have never been the same. With a season ending injury to Tom Brady, the Patriots were kept out of the playoffs. With a healthy Brady, they have been better this year and have managed to make it. The injury to Wes Welker certainly hurts, but this is a more than capable offense. Now, Baltimore is a team that heavily relies on their defense, and with Tom Brady running the show look for the Ravens to have problems.

Prediction-42-21 Patriots

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

After giving the Cardinals a whooping in Week 17, fans are counting on the Packers winning this one by a landslide. Let me tell you something: Don’t bet on it. This Cardinals team has been the “underdog” of the playoffs before, and last year went all the way to the Superbowl. With a healthy Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, the Cards are a very good team. The Packers have an excellent defense and a great running back in Ryan Grant, but do they have what it takes to really beat this team when it counts?

Prediction-28-24 Cardinals

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

To me, this is the best matchup on paper, out of all of the games. The Cowboys and Eagles are division rivals, and don’t seem to like each other too much. The Eagles didn’t put up much of a fight in Week 17 against the Cowboys. In fact, they failed to score a single point. Look for the Eagles to rebound, but will it be enough?

Prediction-21-17 Cowboys

I’m sure you are all looking forward to this weekend as am I. Be sure to read my next playoff predictions for the divisional round.

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Oakland Raiders: Finding Bright Spots in a Black Hole

Published: January 4, 2010

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Shortly before the 2009 NFL regular season, many Oakland Raiders fans, including myself, shared a sense of optimism about the team’s future. The Raiders closed out the 2008-09 regular season on a high note and seemed to be poised for a decent 2009 season.

Well, with the regular season now over and the playoffs in full-swing, Raiders fans are left scratching their heads as they look desperately for answers to a NFL mystery.

Since the Raiders’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Superbowl XXXVII, they’ve managed to win only 29 games and have suffered 83 losses during the course of the past seven seasons.

In 2009, the Raiders managed to win five games, matching last season’s total, but were outscored by opponents, 197-379, in a mostly disappointing season that was surrounded by controversy.

The dysfunctional silver-and-black renegade never quite found a leader over the course of the season—even though most thought JaMarcus Russell would lead the Raiders in the right direction.

But Russell’s raw talent and potential couldn’t outweigh his unpreparedness and lack of discipline. Russell’s ineffectiveness prompted head coach, Tom Cable, who was surrounded by controversy of his own, to bench him.

Russell eventually lost his job to Bruce Gradkowski, who was decent in the games he started. Gradkowski finished the year completing 82 passes of his 150 attempts (54.7%) with 1,007 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INT and a QB Rating of 80.6.

JaMarcus Russell, who was paid handsomely by Al Davis before even trying on a pair of NFL shoulder pads, finished with 120 completions out of 246 attempts (48.8%) with 1,287 yards, 3 TDs, 11 INT and a QB Rating of 50.0.

And as ugly as the Raiders were on offense, they did not go without having some bright spots on the field.

Tight end Zach Miller led the team with 805 yards receiving and finished the year with 3 TDs. Also a nice surprise was Louis Murphy, who finished with 34 receptions, 521 yards receiving and a team leading 4 TDs. Honorable mentions include Chaz Schilens (365 yards, 2 TDs), Johnnie Lee Higgins (263 yards) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (124 yards, 1 TD).

In the backfield for the Raiders were Michael Bush, Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden. I was sure that McFadden would have a breakout season, but he just couldn’t get any rhythm going over the course of his second season. Bush finished the year with a team leading 589 rushing yards to go along with three rushing scores. Fargas followed suit with 491 yards and three scores of his own. And finally, McFadden, finished his sophomore season with 357 yards one score and four fumbles.

On the defensive side for the Raiders, they struggled for most of the season and as a result ended up giving up 379 points. But as was the case with the offense, there were a few bright spots that made the defense somewhat watchable.

LB Kirk Morrison led the Raiders with 133 total tackles, and Tyvon Branch followed suit with 124 tackles of his own. Richard Seymour finished with 47 tackles and 4 sacks while Trevor Scott led the team with 7 sacks. Safety Michael Huff recorded 3 INTs and 43 tackles while CB Nnamdi Asomugha rounded out the defense with 34 tackles of his own to go along with 1 INT.

The Oakland Raiders were once “Committed to Excellence” and used to “Just Win Baby”, and though these old adages still cover the walls of the coliseum, their meanings are becoming more and more irrelevant.

And although the past seven seasons have been mostly painful to watch, Raiders fans can still find some “bright” spots in a mostly disappointing organization.

Will the Raiders somehow magically bounce back next season with an 11-5 record? No. But the hope is that they’ll make progress.

Al Davis and the rest of the organization should look at the bright spots and build upon them. Restoring that sense of commitment, dedication, and heart is the most important thing for this organization. Leadership is needed, and without it, these “bright” spots will begin to fade away, much like the once proud Raider Nation.

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NFL Playoffs: Who Is The Favorite In The NFC? Super Bowl?

Published: January 4, 2010

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The NFL Playoffs are one of the most gambled on sporting events in the world.

At the beginning of each season, 32 teams have a chance of playing on that last Sunday in February. After week 17, there are only six teams remaining from each conference. Four will wait until the Divisional Playoffs to make their Super Bowl statements, but the other eight will battle in either five or six days on Wild Card Weekend. The once undefeated teams (Vikings and Saints) remain the Super Bowl favorites according to Bodog.com, but have you ever wondered what those exact odds were?

For non-gamblers, the odds are really a non-factor, they usually base the best team based on record. In most cases, that’s how Las Vegas and the off-shore sites have put the numbers together.

As of Monday, January 4th, 2010 – 2:04pm CST

ODDS TO WIN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP

New Orleans Saints = 5/4 or (Bet $100 to win $125)

Considering the Saints lost their last three games of the season, this is a very low and risky number. They are the current betting favorite in the NFC, but taking this short of odds on a team that is not playoff tested would be throwing away your money.

Minnesota Vikings = 5/2 or (Bet $100 to win $250)

Personally, the Vikings should be the favorite in the NFC with their playoff experience at the quarterback position and across the board. Super Bowl teams typically either have a superb passing game or a dominating running attack. Minnesota can attack you with both, that makes them the most versatile team in the NFC. If they need to run they’ll run, if they need to pass they’ll pass. The key will be how well the defense plays. Jared Allen, The Williams Wall, and the secondary all need to step up, and they will be playing in the end.

Dallas Cowboys = 11/2 (Bet $100 to win $450)

The Cowboys are the most interesting Wild Card team playing in the NFC. The talent they put on the field can be considered just as good or better than the Vikings, Saints, or Eagles. If they can shed the playoff woes of the past decade and then some, the Cowboys can make a run at the Super Bowl. They would have a significant advantage over Minnesota. The Vikings offensive line has been their biggest problem, and Dallas’ defensive line is one of the best in the league. Dallas fans know the only team they can play in round two is Minnesota. If Anthony Herrera and Bryant McKinnie play like they have in Minnesota’s four road losses than the Dallas Cowboys will end the Vikings season in the Divisional Playoffs. The reason I don’t like Dallas is that Minnesota is 8-0 at home. The dome is loud and those two lineman have played like Pro-Bowlers in the Metrodome.

Philadelphia Eagles = 8/1 or (Bet $100 to win $800)

Considering that they just got dominated by Dallas in an important seeding game, this number is also a little low for my taking. Most people are relying on the fact that Andy Reid has taken the Eagles to the NFC Championship five times over the past seven years. They have only won one of those games. Tough number to risk $100 on after they just got dismantled by Tony Romo. The more troubling thing was how Dallas’ defense just handled Donovan McNabb and DeSean Jackson.

Green Bay Packers = 9/1 or (Bet $100 to win $900)

A lot of betting wonks love to ride the hot pony, and the Packers have to be considered exactly that. Green Bay has won six of their past seven, their only loss coming in Pittsburgh in their home finale. They also lost on a miracle last second pass. If you dismiss that game and the two losses to Minnesota. The Packers would be the number one seed in the NFC. Now you can’t do that because they did lose those games, but the most likely scenario would take Green Bay to New Orleans in the Divisional Playoffs. Because of the way in which both Green Bay’s offense and defense are clicking right now, they should be considered a legit contender to knock off Drew Brees and the Saints. Wouldn’t it be sweet to see another Green Bay-Minnesota matchup in the NFC Championship game?

Arizona Cardinals = 9/1 (Bet $100 to win $900)

The defending NFC Champs are the longest shot in the NFC for a reason. They have lost the ability to defend like they did last season. They also were destroyed by their Wild Card Weekend opponents. It would surprise me if they get by Green Bay. Even though they are at home, Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant have shown the ability to take their offense to new heights. Injuries to Anquan Boldin and some other starters are going to make it a very tough task. The odds of this team should be more like 20/1, I would not take less than that.

ODDS TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL:

Arizona Cardinals = 22/1

Dallas Cowboys = 10/1

Green Bay Packers = 22/1

Minnesota Vikings = 7/1

New Orleans Saints = 4/1

Philadelphia Eagles = 16/1

These odds favor the AFC opponent in the matchup in Miami. The Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, and New England Patriots would more than likely be favored over all of these teams in a Super Bowl.

ODDS OF POTENTIAL SUPERBOWL MATCHUPS:

Arizona Cardinals vs Baltimore Ravens = 100/1

Arizona Cardinals vs Cincinnati Bengals = 150/1

Arizona Cardinals vs Indianapolis Colts = 20/1

Arizona Cardinals vs San Diego Chargers = 20/1

Arizona Cardinals vs New York Jets = 200/1

Arizona Cardinals vs New England Patriots = 50/1

Dallas Cowboys vs Baltimore Ravens = 75/1

Dallas Cowboys vs Cincinnati Bengals = 100/1

Dallas Cowboys  vs Indianapolis Colts = 12/1

Dallas Cowboys  vs San Diego Chargers = 16/1

Dallas Cowboys  vs New York Jets = 125/1

Dallas Cowboys  vs New England Patriots = 35/1

Green Bay Packers vs Baltimore Ravens = 100/1

Green Bay Packers vs Cincinnati Bengals = 150/1

Green Bay Packers  vs Indianapolis Colts = 20/1

Green Bay Packers  vs San Diego Chargers = 25/1

Green Bay Packers vs New York Jets = 200/1

Green Bay Packers vs New England Patriots = 60/1

Minnesota Vikings vs Baltimore Ravens = 40/1

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals = 60/1

Minnesota Vikings vs Indianapolis Colts = 6/1

Minnesota Vikings  vs San Diego Chargers = 9/1

Minnesota Vikings vs New York Jets = 70/1

Minnesota Vikings vs New England Patriots = 20/1

New Orleans Saints vs Baltimore Ravens = 30/1

New Orleans Saints vs Cincinnati Bengals = 40/1

New Orleans Saints vs Indianapolis Colts = 7/2

New Orleans Saints  vs San Diego Chargers = 5/1

New Orleans Saints vs New York Jets = 45/1

New Orleans Saints vs New England Patriots = 13/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs Baltimore Ravens = 90/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs Cincinnati Bengals = 125/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs Indianapolis Colts = 16/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs San Diego Chargers = 20/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Jets = 175/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots = 50/1

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Minnesota Vikings On Top of the World or In the Pits of Despair?

Published: January 3, 2010

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Are the Vikings three hours from redemption or total implosion?
With a dominate win over the Giants they can put their fans at ease and assure them that everything is all right.
If the Vikings pull out another Dome Victory and finish the season undefeated at home there will be a sliver of hope.
They will need the Cowboys to complete the “comeback” by beating the Eagles. Then the road to the Superbowl will lead through the Dome.
That being either the MOA Field at the HHH Metrodome or the Superdome—inside the warm confines of artificially controlled conditions.
I fear the opposite is going to happen. At 10-1 the expectations for this team soared. There was nothing stopping this team’s march to Miami.
Nothing, that is, except going 1-5 through December that has Vikings fans fearing this is yet another season of futility.
The Cowboys and Eagles both still have a chance to secure the second seed and the coveted first round bye. Granted the road for the Cowboys is more tortuous relying on two road teams to win (Giants and the Packers at Arizona.)
With how the Saints have looked recently there is an even bet the NFC Championship game could be played in any of four cities. Even without the second seed available the Cowboys still have a chance to win the Eastern Division and host a Wildcard Game.

The Eagles, however, have more to play for and the momentum of a six game winning streak behind them.

Here’s how I see it:


Vikings 24  Giants 23
The Vikings win, but not convincingly. The ground games continues to struggle and the Vikes win it with a late field goal.
Eagles 38  Cowboys 22
One win in December does not erase Tony Romo’s late season woes. The Eagle defense forces a couple of early turnovers and the Eagles cruise to victory.
Eagles secure the first round bye and the Vikings host the Cowboys.

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Minnesota Vikings On Top of the World or In the Pits of Despair?

Published: January 3, 2010

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Are the Vikings three hours from redemption or total implosion?
With a dominate win over the Giants they can put their fans at ease and assure them that everything is all right.
If the Vikings pull out another Dome Victory and finish the season undefeated at home there will be a sliver of hope.
They will need the Cowboys to complete the “comeback” by beating the Eagles. Then the road to the Superbowl will lead through the Dome.
That being either the MOA Field at the HHH Metrodome or the Superdome—inside the warm confines of artificially controlled conditions.
I fear the opposite is going to happen. At 10-1 the expectations for this team soared. There was nothing stopping this team’s march to Miami.
Nothing, that is, except going 1-5 through December that has Vikings fans fearing this is yet another season of futility.
The Cowboys and Eagles both still have a chance to secure the second seed and the coveted first round bye. Granted the road for the Cowboys is more tortuous relying on two road teams to win (Giants and the Packers at Arizona.)
With how the Saints have looked recently there is an even bet the NFC Championship game could be played in any of four cities. Even without the second seed available the Cowboys still have a chance to win the Eastern Division and host a Wildcard Game.

The Eagles, however, have more to play for and the momentum of a six game winning streak behind them.

Here’s how I see it:


Vikings 24  Giants 23
The Vikings win, but not convincingly. The ground games continues to struggle and the Vikes win it with a late field goal.
Eagles 38  Cowboys 22
One win in December does not erase Tony Romo’s late season woes. The Eagle defense forces a couple of early turnovers and the Eagles cruise to victory.
Eagles secure the first round bye and the Vikings host the Cowboys.

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It’s Time To Keep The Faith New Orleans

Published: December 31, 2009

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If someone would have told you in August that the New Orleans Saints would have a record of 13-2 when we ring in 2010, you would have said what?

I’m sure you would have been singing the same old tired tune of how the Saints will never be able to do that.  They’ll never be more than a last minute add for a wildcard spot this year especially with a new defensive coordinator.   

Why not its been the usual way of thinking for the better part of 40 years.

But not this year, this year is different. For the first time in Saints history, we ring in a New Year as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. You would think everyone in the city, whether local or visitor, would be elated at such a feat and jubilant beyond belief.

And yet there are still those negative Nellies who have to find some way to throw water on the fire. Of course those same negative Nellies where/are the last to jump on the bandwagon andwill be the first to jump off.

Watch your step and good bye!

The rest of us are having too much fun.  An undefeated season and a Superbowl win would have been fabulous for all of the years of suffering.

Now it’s time for us,the true BELIEVERS, to not lose the Faith! 

Its gut check time for player and fan alike. Time to ask yourself if you have what it takes.

Time to make a statement.

As a fan, I say let’s show the boys just how much we believe in them and instead of waiting at the airport when they return be there as they fly off to their last battle of the regular season. They leave around 1pm on Saturday.

Thank them for the ride so far and wish them a safe return as they continue on their/our quest of the Lombardi Trophy.

Happy New Year!

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