Tag Archives: Tony Pike

Quarterback conundrum in South Bend

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andrew Hendrix (pictured above) has real big game experience, but it does not appear he will get the start on September 1st.

By Josh Kramer

As always, despite their lackluster play over the past 20 years, Notre Dame is receiving probably more than their fair share of attention from the media.  Year three of the Brian Kelly era kicks off on September 1st at 9AM in Ireland against Navy.

Similar questions have surrounded the 11-time national champions out of South Bend for nearly a decade now.  Will this be the year the national championship drought ends?  Will the Fighting Irish at least win a bowl game (lost 10 of their last 12 bowl games)? Is a top-20 finish in the rankings attainable (hasn’t happened in five years)?  Lastly, will the coach running the show in the present still have his job next year?

This year, there is an additional question to add to the mix.  Who will be the starting quarterback for Week 1? Continue reading

“NFL Week 11 Predictions”

In the game of the week, Tom Brady (pictured above on the left) and Peyton Manning (pictured above on the right) go to battle in New England. Which super quarterback will lead his team to victory?

The NFL Season is nearing the final quarter of play.  No team has been a dominant force and most divisions are still up for grabs.  All of the insanity will begin to become clearer over the next couple of weeks.

The Bears continue to win behind an anemic offense.  The supposed best team in the NFC (the Giants), looks to redeem itself after getting smacked around by one of the NFC’s worst.  Michael Vick is playing like an MVP.  Plus the Oakland Raiders are tied for first place in the AFC West.  Wow is all I have to say.

Here is a look at the Pick’em Scoreboard.

TheSportskraze:    80                     CV3:  84

I still got a way to go to catch up with CV3’s expertise.

TheSportsKraze Picks:

Bills at Bengals:  Two of the AFC’s worst lock horns in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati is still kicking itself after another gut wrenching loss last Sunday.  The Bills are breathing a sigh of relief after finally joining the  one or more win club (not a very prestigious group).  Look for Cincinnati to demonstrate the potential that everyone envisioned this year with a brutal beating of Buffalo in front of the home crowd.  Also expect the Bengals to run all over Buffalo’s terrible run defense. Bengals by 13 at home.

Lions at Cowboys:  This is an intriguing game between a pair of 2 win teams.  The Lions have lost 5 games by 5 or fewer points this year.  They have shown big time potential and the Shaun Hill to Calvin Johnson connection is dangerous.  The Cowboys on the other hand played inspired football last Sunday under their new coach.  Look for more of the same this week as the Cowboys continue to show the League “What could have been.”  Cowboys by 9 at home.

Redskins at Titans:  Both of these teams are coming off getting whooped last week.  Both squads have been extremely inconsistent and hard to figure out.  Well the difficulty continues this week as I got to the Skins upsetting the Titans on the road by 3.  This will be one of the better games of the week, but expect Washington to stack the box and somewhat contain Chris Johnson.  Also expect Washington to  make the big play when they need it.  Skins by 1 on the road.

Cardinals at Chiefs:  The Cardinals are in the midst of a 4 game skid.  Well expect the streak to be at 5 after Sunday.  Arizona has been a mystery to me all season.  Sadly for the Cardinals, the Chiefs are coming off of two tough losses and plan on pounding the rock all afternoon against the Cardinal’s weak defensive unit.  Expect the Chiefs to run wild at Arrowhead on their way to a 8 point victory.

Packers at Vikings:  Before the season, this was definitely a date circled on most NFL fans’ calendars.  Another shot to watch two big time teams match up, with a plethora of underlying storylines.  Unfortunately, Minnesota has been an absolute circus this year and this game does not really hold a whole lot of meaning towards the playoffs.  Brett is struggling with injuries and the pass rush attack of Miss Jenn Sterger.  Expect the struggles to continue as the Cheeseheads complete the regular season sweep of the Vikes.  Packers by 6.

Texans at Jets:  These are two very quality teams.  Though the Texans do not have the most glamorous record, they are still a very dangerous team that will be in the playoff picture come Week 16 and 17.  The Jets are coming off a gut wrenching win in Cleveland where they had to pull out all the stops.  Good teams can win even when they do not play all that well.  The Jets are a very good team.  I expect their overall balance to be too much for Houston as the Texans stumble to 4 and 6.  Jets by 3 at home.

Raiders at Steelers:  Who would have foreseen this game in September involving two teams tied for first place in their divisions?  I will state that I definitely did not.  I would have expected to find the Raiders in the cellar and the Steelers clawing their way back into the AFC North race due to a rough start without their quarterback.  I was wrong.  These two teams are the real deal.  Oakland lives on running the ball with authority and doing a great job at defending against the pass.  The Steelers clog the run better than any team in the League and just flat-out win.  Well expect the Steelers to win this week by 6 at home.

Ravens at Panthers:  Baltimore heads to Carolina to take on perhaps the worst offensive unit in the League.  Well expect Carolina’s offensive woes to continue with Brian St. Pierre under center.  Who is Brian St. Pierre you ask?  Try a 30-year-old quarterback from Boston College, who has played in 2 total NFL games and attempted 5 passes.  Now I will state that 2 of these 5 passes were completions.  How is John Fox going to pass over Tony Pike to start this guy?!  Good luck playing with a stay at home dad against Ray Lewis and the Ravens.  I fully expect Baltimore to drill the Panthers in every facet of the game.  Ravens by 14 on the road.

Browns at Jaguars:  Cleveland has proven itself a team to be reckoned with over the past month.  Though they have only won 3 total games this season, they have beaten both the Saints and the Patriots.  Not to mention they had the Jets on the ropes last week.  Cleveland can play.  The victories will come behind their strong rushing attack.  Look for the Brownies to upset the Jags on the road by 3.

Buccaneers at 49ers:  The NFC’s “Best” team heads into San Francisco to take on the suddenly hot 49ers.  Tampa Bay is one of those teams that really does not do anything especially well.  They have just found ways to win.  And in all honesty, the W’s are the only stat that matters.  This week unfortunately, I do not see them finding a way to win.  San Francisco is finally beginning to gel like many thought they would, and will secure their first 3 game win streak of the season on Sunday.  49ers by 1 at home in a very exciting game.

Seahawks at Saints:  Seattle heads to NOLA to take on Drew Brees and the dangerous Saint’s aerial attack.  This is not an opportune time for Seattle to be heading to New Orleans.  The Saints look to be regaining their Super Bowl swagger from a year ago and are hungry to catch the division leading Falcons.  Expect Drew Brees to absolutely shred the Seahawks weak secondary on the way to a 10 point victory at home. 

Falcons at Rams:  Atlanta appears to be the NFC’s top team.  They have handled their business in a more consistent fashion than any other team in the conference.  Plus Roddy White has been absolutely exceptional.  Well expect that trend to continue against a much improved St. Louis team.  St. Louis normally is a great run stopping team, but sadly the Falcons also have a very strong passing attack.  Falcons by 6 on the road.

Colts at Patriots:  This is a matchup that I have anxiously been waiting to see for some time now.  Manning vs Brady.   You know you are in for a classic every time these two guys line up against each other.  This time will be absolutely no different as both look to make a statement to the rest of the AFC.  The difference in this one will be New England’s inability to defend against the pass.  Even though the Colts are beat up, I am giving them the nod over Brady and the boys by 3 on the road.

Giants at Eagles:  A big time NFC East battle in the Sunday Night Game.  Who will take sole possession of first place after this one?  Though the Eagles have looked much better in recent weeks, I got to go with the G Men.  New York was embarrassed last week in losing to the abysmal Cowboys.  Plus the Eagles  put on possibly the best offensive performance we have seen the entire season.  Vick will continue to play great, but after every high comes a low.  Look for the G Men to steal this one by 1 in the city of Brotherly Love.

Broncos at Chargers:  This is definitely not your typical Denver team.  They do not run the ball.  They do not defend against the run.  What is going on in Denver?  The Chargers on the other hand sport a very balanced offensive attack and also boast a very strong defensive resume.  Look for the Charger’s overall balance to be too much for Denver as Phillip Rivers leads San Diego to a 7 point win at home.

CV3 Picks:

Cowboys over Lions by 14 (New look Cowboys)
Titans over Redskins by 3
Chiefs over Cardinals by 10
Vikings over Packers by 3 (Home field Advantage)
Jets over Texans by 6
Steelers over Raiders by 4 (Slugfest)
Ravens over Panthers by 18
Browns over Jaguars by 4
Falcons over Rams by 1
Saints over Seahawks by 14
Bucs over 49ers by 6
Eagles over Giants by 3 (Michael Vick Experience)
Chargers over Broncos by 9
Bengals over Bills by 6 (Ugliest game of the week)
Patriots over Colts by 3 (Game of the week)

So there you have the picks for Week 11.  The week is highlighted by the outstanding quarterback duel in Foxborough between Brady and Manning, and  the Sunday Night Game matchup in Philadelphia.  This game should be an absolute thriller between the Giants and Eagles as they contend for NFC East supremacy.

Can I begin to catch CV3?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFL Week 7 Predictions”

James Harrison (pictured above) will be looking to bring the noise with some big hits this week. I expect many bone shattering hits at stadiums all across the country as players make a statement to League officials.

As with College Football, last weekend was also a very tough one for my NFL picks as well.  I am doing all in my power though to prove that last week was just a meer fluke. 

The Jets are appearing to be the real deal.  They were my preseason Super Bowl pick.  They have looked outstanding.  The AFC South has a 3 way tie at the top.  Could this be the end of the Colt’s near decade long reign?  And finally, both the Cowboys and the 49ers, two major favorites to win their divisions remain in the cellar spots.  You got to love the NFL.

The pick’em scoreboard after 6 weeks reads:

TheSportsKraze: 51                          CV3:  52

TheSportsKraze Picks:

Bengals at Falcons:  I am a homer and I got the Bengals waking up after a much-needed bye week.  Carson shreds the Falcons on the way to a big 3 point victory on the road!

Redskins at Bears:  Look for the Bears to redeem themselves after a shocking home loss to the Seahawks.  Donovan Mcnabb will need some Chunky soup after he deals with Urlacher, Briggs, and Co.  Bears by 6.

Rams at Buccaneers:  Both of these teams have been major enigmas.  For some reason my gut is telling me that Sam Bradford, Stephen Jackson, and the Rams are going to have a ball in Tampa.  I got the Rams by 3 on the road.

49ers at Panthers:  Look for Patrick Willis and the 49ers D to give Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen, Tony Pike and the whole Panthers quarterback depth chart fits.  I got the 49ers winning by 7 on the road.

Bills at Ravens:  This one could get ugly.  I got the Ravens by 14 coming off a very tough loss to the Patriots.

Eagles at Titans:  Have a day Chris Johnson in front of the home crowd.  The Eagles do not stop the run and Chris Johnson is going to run them out of Cashville.  Titans by 10.

Jaguars at Chiefs:  Both of these teams can really wreak havoc on the ground.  The only difference is KC can actually stop the run too.  I got the Chiefs by 3 at  home.

Steelers at Dolphins:  The Dolphins are a solid team.  But the Steelers defense can be flat-out nasty.  I got the Steelers behind Big Ben and the mighty D stealing a road win by 6.

Browns at Saints:  Last year this game would have been a joke.  This year, the Saints continue to struggle due to a lack of solid rushing options.  It won’t matter on this day in front of a big time NOLA crowd.  Saints by 10 at home.

Cardinals at Seahawks:  The Cardinals have been abysmal in nearly every statistical category.  Yet they are 3 and 2.  Also they have won 4 straight against Seattle.  Can they fly high over Seahawks on the road?  I think not.  The rain will stifle the Cardinals as Seattle takes the W by 3.

Patriots at Chargers:  San Diego is the best at throwing the ball and the best at defending against the pass in the League.  New England can’t run the ball.  I am taking the Patriots by 3 on the road.

Raiders at Broncos:  In a great rivalry game, I got the Broncos taking care of business at home by 7.

Vikings at Packers:  Will Brett Favre’s off field issues affect his on the field play?  It probably will, as the Vikings drop a “must win” on the road to the Cheeseheads by 3.

Giants at Cowboys:  The Cowboy’s lacking rushing attack will kill them in this one.  I got the Giants on the road embarrassing America’s team in front of all of America.  G Men by 6.

CV3 Picks:

Redskins over Bears by 4

Titans over Eagles by 3

Chiefs over Jaguars by 10

Steelers over Dolphins by 6

Saints over Brownies by 7

Rams over Buccaneers by 9

Carolina over 49ers by 6

Ravens over Bills by 17

Seahawks over Cards by 12

Raiders over Broncos by 3

Patriots over Chargers by 10

 

Vikings over Packers 1

Giants over Cowboys by 9

Bengals over Falcons by 1(Hopefully a bye gave them a little time to put things together)

So there you have the Week 7 picks.  I am looking to make up ground on CV3 this week and establish myself as a force to be reckoned with in the pick’em game.

Look for some hard hits as the players look to make a statement towards League Officials.  Let the boys play.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze