Jets are Geno Smith’s team; for better or worse

genosmith

The New York Jets lackluster play is more frustrating than normal because this team has shown that they have talent. Behind all of the penalties, turnovers, and play calls that will make your head spin is a team that has managed to keep every game close. This is a team that was actually beating up on the Green Bay Packers 21-3 at one point.

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Cincinnati Bengals: your new Super Bowl favorite

marvin lewis

It seems early to already be down to just one undefeated team in the AFC, but the Bengals are playing like they could maintain that storyline well into November.

They’re led by a defense who is hungry for more. Aside from the Ravens making a game of it late during the fourth quarter, the Bengals have been almost untouchable. That defense is suffocating opposing quarterbacks and running attacks; while the offense continues to play simple, efficient football.

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NFL passing emphasis, rushing decline: by the numbers

peyton-manning-passing

It’s happening. The day has finally come where the play calling in the NFL resembles my own play calling from back when I first started playing Madden.

First and 10? Streak to the endzone. Second and four? Streak to the endzone. Third and short? Streak to the endzone.

Okay, it might not be that drastic. But if it hasn’t been apparent in the past decade or so leading up to this season, it should be clear to everyone now that the NFL is a passing league.

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The Numbers Behind the Bears’ Domination of the Titans

Urlacher_Touchdown

Lovie Smith’s message to the team this week was to “have a fast start”. They clearly got the memo.

In 2000, the Tennessee Titans pulled off the famous “Music City Miracle”. In 2012, the Bears stormed into Nashville and put on a performance that from this day forth should be known as the “Music City Massacre” (I’m trademarking this).

 

If they hadn’t done so already, the Bear’s firmly placed their names amongst the NFC’s elite with their 51-20 shellacking of the Titans.

 

At 7-1 (I told you!), the Bears hold a 1.5 game lead in the division over the surging Green Bay Packers and are tied for 2nd in the NFL in winning percentage with their week 10 opponents, the Houston Texans.

 

The way the Bears dominated the Titans on Sunday was almost comical. They forced so many turnovers that defensive end Corey Wootton was visually disappointed when a pass he tipped fell harmlessly to the ground instead of being picked off. It felt like the players on defense were expecting to come away with the ball on every play.

 

Even though the defense stole the show once again, the offense and special teams put on a clinic as well. A one sided affair like this one is a gold mine for statistical gems. So without further ado, I present to you the best “Fun Facts” from Sunday’s game.

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Chicago Bears Season Outlook: 3rd Quarter

Brandon-Marshall

With a 4-1 record, it’s been all smiles for the Bears so far. Can they keep it up through the 3rd quarter of games this season?

The Bears have taken full advantage of facing the weakest strength of schedule in team history over the first 5 games of the season. They’ve rode their dominating defense to a 4-1 record and now stand alone at the top of the NFC North after the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Washington Redskins this past weekend.

In my first 2 installments of “Quarter Previews” (1, 2), I correctly predicted the Bears would be 4-1 through the bye week. The next 3 games remaining in the 2nd quarter of the season remain to be seen, but the Lions, Panthers, and Titans aren’t striking much fear in me.

I have the Bears heading into the 3rd quarter with a 7-1 or 6-2 record. In either scenario, 6+ wins will likely be enough to have the NFC North lead at the midway point of the season.

But no matter how good the Bears play over the rest of the first half of the season, the 3rd quarter will prove to be their toughest test. The Houston Texans,San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks all rank in the top 6 in the NFL in overall defense, and the Viking’s Adrian Peterson loves to feast on the Bears.

But with 3 of these 4 games coming at home, I think the Bears have a few tricks up their sleeve that may lead to a surprise in the standings when the 3rd quarter is said and done.

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Indianapolis Colts make heartbreaking but necessary decision to release Peyton Manning

Nobody — nobody — wanted it to end this way.

Not you or me. Not Indianapolis Colts fans, who are sure to be divided — many of them irate — about the franchise’s decision to part ways with Peyton Manning. Not Manning himself. Not owner Jim Irsay, who undoubtedly will be the recipient of the aforementioned fan ire. Not Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, who was among the first (if not the first) to opine that parting ways with Manning was the only decision that made sense for the franchise and subsequently became an easy target for angry Colts fans as someone who was running the four-time MVP out of town.

Nobody wanted it to end this way.

But it must.

With the official announcement — a joint one — that the Colts will release Manning after 14 seasons with the club coming at noon today, the news we’ve been expecting really hits home. And it hits home hard — for many reasons. But as heartbreaking as it might be to see the departure of someone who essentially put football on the map in Indiana, there was just no way around it.

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Detroit Lions 2011 Season: Game by Game Breakdown

suh

I am tired of tv pundits and radio talk show hosts throwing around win totals and predictions without going into detail before throwing out their opinions. Sometimes a reaction from the audience seems to be more important than giving an informed take on things. In my previous Lions blog, I went into the high hopes surrounding the Lions for this upcoming season.

What follows is a game by game synopsis of why I believe the team will achieve a minimum of nine wins this season. If I were to move or up or down from that number, I would say that they are actually closer to the total of ten than eight.

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Indianapolis Colts Fall to New York Jets in Playoff Opener

And just as quickly as the Indianapolis Colts had risen, they have now fallen.

The Colts, who rode a four-game winning streak to the third seed in the AFC playoffs, fell 17-16 to the No. 6-seeded New York Jets in Saturday’s wild card matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium when Jets kicker Nick Folk hit a 32-yard field goal as the clock wound down to zero.

Just when everyone thought momentum had finally swung Indianapolis’ way, the Colts suffered their seventh one-and-done playoff appearance in 11 trips to the postseason during the Peyton Manning era. The team now has a 9-10 playoff mark in that time span, which dates back to January 2000 (for the 1999 season).

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