Category Archives: NFL

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings. Trouble in New Orleans

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The New Orleans Saints are struggling in the absence of their head coach Sean Payton (pictured above).

By Wesley Kaminsky

After two straight losses to non-playoff teams from a season ago, the New Orleans Saints look like a different team from 2011. That offense, which was so unstoppable under Sean Payton, is out of sync, and the defense is struggling without Gregg Williams. In an improved NFC, the Saints appear to be in trouble. Payton was that important to this team and it’s showing.

In this weeks power rankings, the Eagles and the Dolphins made the biggest leap, jumping seven spots, while the Bears and Redskins had the biggest fall, tumbling six spots. The Falcons cracked the top five, and the 49ers maintained their number one ranking.

Enough of me spoiling it, time for you to find out for yourself where your favorite team ranks. Continue reading

A different Romo

Photo courtesy of nbcsports.msnbc.com. Many remember when Tony Romo (pictured above) bobbled the snap in Seattle back in 2007. Expect to see a different Romo as he returns to Seattle Sunday.

By Josh Kramer

The date was January 6, 2007.  Dallas was taking on the Seattle Seahawks in a NFC Wild-Card round playoff game.  The Cowboys quarterback was a player who had replaced Drew Bledsoe as the starter earlier in the season.  Sound familiar (Tom Brady replaced Bledsoe in 2001)?   It was a memorable afternoon.  Just not in the way that Tony Romo or the Dallas Cowboys would like.  I am of course talking about the infamous “bobbled snap” that cost Dallas the game against the Seattle Seahawks.  And thus began the unrelenting criticism of Tony Romo.  That was then though and this is now.

Since that fateful day in Seattle, Tony Romo has established himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in football.  Unfortunately for Romo, people don’t forget.  The scrutiny of Romo’s supposed “inability” to win big games has lingered, despite all of the accolades he has acquired over the past six years. People always bring up that game at Qwest Field and how Romo’s blunder blew it for the Cowboys.  Romo has been invited to three Pro Bowls, set numerous franchise records, and won many games, but the sting of that loss still lingers. Continue reading

NFL Week 2 Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Many are talking about the Lions/49ers matchup. Unfortunately, much of the discussion revolves around the animosity between Jim Schwartz (left) and Jim Harbaugh (right).

By Josh Kramer

Week 1 of the NFL season was everything we could have hoped for.  Five teams scored 40 or more points.  Robert Griffin III performed like a Heisman Trophy winner is supposed to.  Peyton Manning showed that playing quarterback in the NFL is like riding a bike for him.  And the replacement referees, though far from perfect, did not directly influence the outcome of a game.

As has become the tradition, we are once again having “TheSportsKraze Pick’em Challenge.”

The participants this season are as follows:

BD-Brien Dulle: A life-long sports fan that has lived all of his life in Cincinnati. Growing up as a sports fan in a tough city for professional teams (Bengals and Reds), Brien never developed strong allegiances for any one particular team. This unbiased vantage point gives him a much broader range of the sporting world. His opinions from sports have been greatly influenced by the likes of individuals like Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt, Ryen Russillo, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wilbon whom he listens to daily.

CB-Craig Baker:  A former collegiate baseball player and current special education teacher.

CV3-Chad Vordenberge:  An elite high school wide receiver and a very successful business owner.

TSK (two-time defending champion)-Josh Kramer: Founder/Editor-in-Chief of “TheSportsKraze,” former ESPN intern, current Sunday columnist for the popular SNY Network Blog “It’s About The Money,” and writer for fantasy sports website DraftDay.com.

After Week 1, here is the scoreboard.

BD-11

CB-11

CV3-9

TSK-11

Week 2 Slate: Continue reading

Week 2 NFL Power Rankings: Robert Griffin III has arrived

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Alex Smith (pictured above) outplayed reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers as the 49ers got a huge victory in the opener at Lambeau Field.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Last season, it was Cam Newton who dazzled us all, throwing for 422 yards in his NFL debut. One year later, Robert Griffin III went into the Superdome, threw for 322 yards, two touchdowns, and beat the Saints. It took awhile Washington, but your quarterback has finally arrived. The Redskins will make some noise in the NFC East this season.

Griffin was just one of many stories through Week 1 of the NFL season. In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap.

Taking over this weeks number one spot in the power rankings are the 49ers, who marched into Lambeau Field and beat the Packers. Another team that made a statement was Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Manning finished 19-26 for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Steelers.

Ah, so much to get to. Where does your team rank after Week 1?

1. San Francisco 49ers (4): 1-0. That was a statement win for the 49ers in Green Bay. Alex Smith outplayed Aaron Rodgers. Impressive. (Next game: vs. Detroit on SNF) Continue reading

NFL Week 1 Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Peyton Manning (pictured above) will make his anxiously awaited debut as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos in his first real NFL action in over 20 months.

By Josh Kramer

The NFL is back in full force after Wednesday night’s opener between the Giants and Cowboys.  It is still odd to me that an NFL game was played on a Wednesday, but life goes on.  Keep in mind that the last three times the Giants and Cowboys have played each other in their opener, one of the two NFC East rivals has gone on to claim the Lombardi Trophy.  Let’s hope the real referees return by then.

Two seasons ago, I created a pick’em challenge with one of my good buddies (CV3).  Last year, we added two new players (CB and DC) to increase the competition level of the second annual “TheSportsKraze Pick’em Challenge.”  In year three, we have replaced last year’s cellar finisher (DC) with a new player (BD) that will surely be in the hunt.

The participants this season are as follows:

BD-Brien Dulle: A life-long sports fan that has lived all of his life in Cincinnati. Growing up as a sports fan in a tough city for professional teams (Bengals and Reds), Brien never developed strong allegiances for any one particular team. This unbiased vantage point gives him a much broader range of the sporting world. His opinions from sports have been greatly influenced by the likes of individuals like Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt, Ryen Russillo, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wilbon whom he listens to daily.

CB-Craig Baker:  A former collegiate baseball player and current special education teacher.

CV3-Chad Vordenberge:  An elite high school wide receiver and a very successful business owner.

TSK (two-time defending champion)-Josh Kramer: Founder/Editor-in-Chief of “TheSportsKraze,” former ESPN intern, current Sunday columnist for the popular SNY Network Blog “It’s About The Money,” and writer for fantasy sports website DraftDay.com.

Rules of the Game: This is how the game works.  We will pick every game each week (outside of the Thursday night games or dare I say Wednesday night games).  Whomever gets the most cumulative games right at the end of the regular season wins.  No spreads.  Just straight up pick’ems for the most parity filled professional sports league in America. Continue reading

From Pretender to Contender, and Vice Versa

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Could Robert Griffin III (pictured above) help transform the Redskins from a pretender into a contender? Our very own Jeremy Powers thinks so.

By Jeremy Powers

The football season is upon us. Put a smile on your face.

Tonight, the Giants travel to the Jerry Jones Dome to revive the rivalry that received plenty of media attention as is typically the case this offseason.

I can’t wait to see which teams will take a step back and which teams will rise from the ruins and contend for a playoff birth. Let’s look at a recent example, shall we.

Last season, Tampa Bay stepped back from a ten-win season in 2010 to a 4-12 record and a last place finish in the NFC South. Ouch, talk about the opposite side of the spectrum. The Bucs were a pretender last season.

Cincinnati, who won four games in 2010—reached the playoffs with rookies leading the way on offense. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green made a formidable duo and the Bengals defense was stout all season long leading the team to a 9-7 record. The Bengals were a contender last season.

This season I expect some of the same parity that we see every season in the NFL. I see a few teams emerging as playoff contenders and some teams falling straight into the depths of their respective divisions.

Contender:

The Washington Redskins were 5-11 last season. Drafting Robert Griffin III is a huge upgrade at quarterback over Rex Grossman and John Beck that will result in two more wins minimum. Not to mention the addition of Pierre Garcon as a big-play threat. Washington’s defense is quite impressive on paper as well. Playing in a 3-4 base defense, the Redskins linebackers will lead them as veteran London Fletcher powers a group that also starts second-year guy Ryan Kerrigan, and All-Pro Brian Orakpo. I think the Redskins get to 8-8 this season, which puts them in the hunt for a wild card spot. Continue reading

NFL Preview 2012-2013

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rob Gronkowski (pictured above) and the New England Patriots will redeem themselves on February 3rd with their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

By Josh Kramer

It has been 208 days since the New England Patriots and more specifically Wes Welker let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers. For those of you in need of a refresher, back on February 5th in the house that Peyton Manning built (Lucas Oil Stadium), the New York Giants once again shocked the New England Patriots in a very closely contested Super Bowl game.  That was then though and this is now.  America’s most popular sport is just five days away from its official kickoff.  Who is ready for some football?

AFC East Champion:  New England Patriots

I am sure you are all shocked at this pick.  New England has only won three straight divisional crowns and qualified for the playoffs eight of the past nine years.  People are already comparing this year’s squad to the greatest team to ever grace the gridiron, but fail to win the Lombardi Trophy (2007 Patriots).  With Brandon Lloyd added to the mix, it is hard to say these comparisons are all that far-fetched.  However, it should be noted that the defense has some flaws, and the offensive line will have its fair of struggles due to the absence of Matt Light (retirement), Brian Waters (possibly retirement), Logan Mankins (ACL tear), and Sebastian Vollmer (back injury).  Luckily for New England, the Jets appear to have taken a step backwards with the acquisition of “God” Tebow, and the Miami Dolphins appear to just be a horrible team (Hard Knocks has provided clear evidence of this).  Buffalo is improved, but does not have nearly the firepower to stick with New England throughout the duration of a grueling 17-week season. Continue reading