Tag Archives: AFC East

NFL Week 10 Predictions

Photo courtesy of boutsportsreport.com. Can Mark Sanchez (pictured above) help the Jets take control in the AFC East with a victory over Tom Brady and the Patriots?

By Josh Kramer

Last week was a wild one to say the least filled with nail-biters and crazy endings.  Tim Tebow once again found a way to win.  The Cincinnati Bengals continued their improbable run.  Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers continued to flex their defending champion swagger.  And Joe Flacco had his “One Shining Moment.”

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

The participants this season are as follows:

TheSportsKraze (TSK) (defending champion)-Josh Kramer-Founder/Editor-In-Chief of “TheSportsKraze” and former ESPN intern.

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

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

DC-David Clark-A dedicated sports fan who was coached by TheSportsKraze on his fraternity flag football team.  After playing for TheSportsKraze, he has developed a slow but steady motivation to show his coach who the real pick’em champion is.

After Week 9, here is the scoreboard.

CB-86

TSK-90

CV3-83

DC-82

Week 10 Slate: Continue reading

NFL Week 5 Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. All eyes will be centered on the AFC East tussle in New England between the Jets and Patriots. Who will prepare his team better to win this game, Belichick (right) or Ryan (left)?

By Josh Kramer

Week 4 ended up being the “Week of the comeback.”  This week appears to be the “Week of the primetime matchups.”  Talk about a great slate of games.  The Motor City is all smiles for the first time in a long time, as the Lions are one of only two remaining undefeated teams.  In addition, it appears to be a three team race in the “Andrew Luck sweepstakes,” as the three remaining winless teams battle it out (Minnesota, St. Louis, Indianapolis).  Lastly, bye weeks have finally begun.  And after an extremely physical battle against the Jets, I doubt the Ravens are complaining about getting this Sunday off.

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

The participants this season are as follows:

TheSportsKraze (TSK) (defending champion)-Josh Kramer-Founder/Editor-In-Chief of “TheSportsKraze” and former ESPN intern.

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

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

DC-David Clark-A dedicated sports fan who was coached by TheSportsKraze on his fraternity flag football team.  After playing for TheSportsKraze, he has developed a slow but steady motivation to show his coach who the real pick’em champion is.

After Week 4, here is the scoreboard.

CB-41

TSK-44

CV3-43

DC-40

Week 5 Slate: Continue reading

NFL Week 3 Predictions

Photo courtesy of indyposted.com. On this day 10 years ago, Tom Brady (pictured above) came in to replace an injured Drew Bledsoe. And the rest is history.

By Josh Kramer

Every team is done with an eighth of their games at this point and I can safely say that the first two weeks have been anything but predictable.  The Bills, the Redskins, and the Lions are all 2 and 0 (who saw that coming outside of Rex Grossman?).  Little known Harvard-gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick is gaining traction around the country, while Cam Newton is living up to all the hype and more.  Plus the Colts may be the worst team in the NFL.  Lastly, on this day ten years ago, little-known Tom Brady subbed in for an injured Drew Bledsoe. Talk about a crazy scenario.  I know that I for one am extremely excited to see what Week 3 has in store.

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

The participants this season are as follows:

TheSportsKraze (TSK) (defending champion)-Josh Kramer-Founder/Editor-In-Chief of “TheSportsKraze” and former ESPN intern.

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

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

DC-David Clark-A dedicated sports fan who was coached by TheSportsKraze on his fraternity flag football team.  After playing for TheSportsKraze, he has developed a slow but steady motivation to show his coach who the real pick’em champion is.

After Week 2, here is the scoreboard.

CB-21

TSK-23

CV3-22

DC-22

Week 3 Slate: Continue reading

NFL Preview 2011-2012

Photo courtesy of sports.popcrunch.com. Tom Brady (pictured above) has a great shot to capture the 4th Super Bowl Title of his career come February 5th in Indianapolis.

By Josh Kramer

After the longest lockout in NFL History, America’s most popular sport is back.  And luckily for all parties involved, no games were missed (outside of the Hall of Fame Game).  Last year was a year defined by storied franchises.  What is in store for the 2011/2012 season?

AFC East Champion:  New England Patriots

-Surprise, surprise right?  Teams that win a division are the ones that are able to maintain focus throughout the entire 16 game  (17 week) regular season.  The Patriots know what it takes to win a division title (they have won the East two straight years).  And though the New York Jets are going to be awfully tough this year, they still have not demonstrated the ability to maintain focus throughout the entire grind from September until February.  Could “Brady to Ochocinco” become a familiar catchphrase in Foxborough? Continue reading

Jets’ target Asomugha now a must-get?

Photo courtesy of nflgridirongab.com. Arguably the biggest prize of the free agent class, Nnamdi Asomugha (pictured above) should find a home in the very near future. Could it be with the New York Jets?

By Nick Craddock

Revis Island might become a part of a greater archipelago if the New York Jets are successful in their pursuit of one of the biggest prizes in this free agency bonanza.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who has spent the past eight seasons (seven of which were losing seasons, save for last year’s 8-8 mark) with the Oakland Raiders, is the prototypical shutdown corner and could be the last key to completing the Jets’ quest for a Super Bowl.

And the Jets’ hopes of landing Asomugha, a three-time Pro Bowler, were given a boost Thursday when the Houston Texans, one of Asomugha’s leading suitors and a team capable of offering the free agent about twice as much money as the Jets, opted to sign Johnathan Joseph instead. Continue reading

“NFL Divisional Playoff Roundup”

Can my Preseason Super Bowl Pick pull off the unthinkable and shock the Patriots in Foxborough? LaDainian Tomlinson (pictured above) will be a key to the Jet's success on Sunday.

Our very own Wesley Kaminsky has already given his predictions for this weekend’s slate of NFL games.  Now it is my turn.  Last week had some great football games, highlighted by the shocker in Seattle.  Marshawn Lynch’s run was arguably the greatest rushing attempt I have ever witnessed in my life.  After making a play like that, you had to believe that destiny was on Seattle’s side.

This week the matchups appear to be even better.  Lets take a closer look. Continue reading

“NFL Week 13 Predictions”

Welcome to Week 13.  We are entering the final quarter stretch.  3 of the AFC

Can Big Ben (pictured above) lead the Steelers to a huge victory over their divisional rival Baltimore on Sunday Night despite foot injuries?

Divisions have ties at the top.  The NFC West leader has a record of under 500.  Plus the Vikings and Cowboys, 2 of the preseason favorites have a combined 7 victories.  Parity.  The NFL has it.  And you got to love it.

Here is a look at the Pick’em Scoreboard.

TheSportsKraze:  103                         CV3:  107

I still got a ways to go to catch Mr. CV3.

TheSportsKraze Picks:

Saints at Bengals:  The defending Champs head to Cincinnati to take on a struggling Bengal’s team.  This team has self destructed, and all parties involved are already looking towards next year.  The Saints are perhaps involved in the best divisional race that the NFC has to offer.  Expect Drew Brees and the phenomenal Saint’s aerial attack to pick apart a depleted Bengal’s secondary.  Saints by 10 on the road.

Bears at Lions:  Da Bears head to Ford Field to take on the 2 and 9 Lions.  These are two teams heading in very different directions.  The Bears have won 4 straight games and appear to really be coming together both offensively and defensively, while the Lions have lost 4 straight.  In addition, the Lions have not even really looked competitive the past couple of weeks.  It may be freezing in Detroit, but the Bears are going to continue rolling behind their stellar defense.  Bears by 7 on the road.

49ers at Packers:  Green Bay is doing all they can to keep up with Chicago and remain in the playoff picture while the 49ers have vaulted themselves back into the NFC West race.  After starting out 0 and 5, the 49ers are now 4 and 7, and just 1 game out of 1st place.  The 49ers have not really wowed me any respect all season though.  And with Frank Gore going down for the season, they will struggle in the tundra that will be Lambeau on Sunday.  The Packers need a win in a big way to stay in the playoff hunt and they will do just that in front of the home crowd.  Packers by 3 at home in a freeze bowl.

Jaguars at Titans:  Who would have thought that the Jaguars would be sitting atop the AFC South come December?  I know that I did not.  Jacksonville has looked very sharp lately, despite coming off a tough 4 point loss in New York last weekend.  The Titans on the other hand have dealt with much inner turmoil and are currently on a 4 game losing skid.  Well that skid ends this week as Jeff Fisher gets his team hyped, and lights a fire under Chris Johnson, Nate Washington, Kenny Britt, and the entire Titan’s offense.  The race in the AFC South could involve 3 teams down the stretch.  Titans by 6 at home.

Broncos at Chiefs:  Times have changed.  And in a hurry.  The Broncos are now the AFC West bottom dwellers while the Chiefs sit at the top.  The Chiefs sport the best rushing attack in the League while the Broncos sport one of the worst.  In a cold weather atmosphere, running the ball efficiently is the key to success. The Chiefs are able to do this while the Broncos cannot.  Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones will be the difference in this game.  Chiefs by 7 at home.

Browns at Dolphins:  The Browns are playing good football.  Yes I said it.  The Browns are actually a team that can go out and beat most teams in this League.  Peyton Hillis, a former 3rd stringer at Arkansas (granted he was behind Darren McFadden and Felix Jones) is turning into one of the best backs in the League.  The Dolphins on the other hand are coming off a big time victory over a tough Raider’s team.  Conventional wisdom would point towards the Dolphins winning this game considering they are playing at home.  Oddly enough the Dolphins are just 1 and 4 at home this season.  Maybe the distraction of that South Beach Basketball All Stars has hindered their performance?  Whatever it is, I am taking the Brownies on the road by 3 in a great game.

Bills at Vikings:  The Bills have played very strong football lately and really should have beaten Pittsburgh last weekend.  The Vikings played better than they have played in a month in Washington last Sunday.  My gut is telling me to pick Buffalo in this one, but logically, I am thinking to go with the home team.  Expect Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, or whomever the Vikings throw in the backfield to have a field day.  Vikings by 3 at home.

Redskins at Giants:  This is a good old-fashioned NFC East throwdown.  In the division that sports the best rivalries in the NFL, there are no gimme games.  Sadly this year, the Giants appear to be far superior in every facet of the game.  I fully expect the Giant’s extremely balanced offensive attack to shred a Redskin’s defense that is lacking in all sorts of ways.  I got the Giants by 9 at home.

Raiders at Chargers:  After a very slow start, the Chargers leapfrogged the Raiders last weekend in the suddenly very competitive race in the AFC West.  Since a major victory in overtime over the Chiefs on November 7th, the Raiders have just looked abysmal.  The Chargers on the other hand have looked awesome since Halloween in winning 4 straight games.  And you better believe that the Chargers are looking for some payback from an October loss to the Oakland boys.  The Chargers will exploit a weak Raider’s running defense which will open up the pass for one of the best QB’s in football, Philip Rivers.  Chargers by 9 at home.

Panthers at Seahawks:  The Panthers are probably the worst team in  football.  They are in the midst of a 5 game losing streak, and do not appear to be making improvement in any facet of the game.  They can’t pass the ball.  They struggle running the ball.  And you better believe that they cannot stop the run.  The Seahawks on the other hand have not been much better in getting blown out the past two weeks. Call me crazy but I am taking Carolina on the road.  They are bound to win again sometime.  Panthers by 1 in Seattle. 

Falcons at Buccaneers:  Two of the NFC’s best will link up in Tampa this weekend.  The Bucs are coming off a tough loss to a very good Baltimore team and are looking to make a statement to the rest of the NFC.  And I will admit that their chances to pull off the upset improve dramatically in getting to play at home, but the Falcons appear to be just too strong all around to drop this one.  The Falcons are looking to remain atop the Saints in the NFC South and will put on a great performance in Tampa.  Roddy White will have a huge day against a weak Buccaneers secondary.  Falcons by 7 on the road.

Rams at Cardinals:  The Cardinals have lost 6 straight games and in the words of Derek Anderson, “This isn’t funny.”  Derek is right, but sadly for Arizona, they are playing a Rams team that continues to improve each week.  Even with Arizona at home, I got the Rams behind rookie Sam Bradford to keep rolling.  The NFC West is wide open folks.  Rams by 3 on the road.

Cowboys at Colts:  In September, this appeared to be a big time matchup where one of the NFC’s best would get to take on one of the AFC’s best.  Sadly, the Cowboys did not pan out the way people expected.  In addition, due to a plethora of injuries, the Colts have struggled more than people expected as well.  Well expect those struggles to end.  Peyton does not ever lose 3 games in a row.  Though I think this will be a very close and high scoring affair, I got Indy by 3 at home.

Steelers at Ravens:  What a matchup this will be.  It is almost as good as the Monday Night Affair.  The NFL got it right in scheduling the night games for this week.  This is probably the best combo of Sunday Night/Monday Night games we will get all year.  Both teams are rolling at the moment and are living large on their stellar defensive units.  Earlier this year, Pittsburgh fell in a very close game against the divisional rival Ravens.  You better believe that they still have that loss on their mind as they head into Sunday Night.  Expect the Steelers to play inspired football behind a banged up Ben Roethlisberger.  Steelers by 1 on the road.

Jets at Patriots:  This may be the best matchup of the entire season thus far.  These two teams realize the importance of this game in gaining a divisional title and possible home field advantage.  Both squads are extremely familiar with each other and have been rolling.  The Patriots have been winning behind an electric offense while the Jets have been relying on their great defensive unit and the timely big play offensively.  The Jets beat the Patriots at home earlier this season by 2 TDs.  Due to home field advantage and a chip on their shoulder from the earlier defeat, I got the Pats by 1 at home in a thriller.

CV3’s Picks:

Saints over Bungles by 16
Bears over Lions by 3
Pack over Niners by 10
Jags over Titans by 3
Chiefs over Broncos by 14
Dolphins over Browns by 1
Vikings over Bills by 17
Giants over Skins by 12
Chargers over Raiders by 2
Colts over Cowboys by 21
Rams over Cards by 7
Panthers over Seahawks by 8
Falcons over Bucs by 10
Steelers over Ravens by 10
Patriots over Jets by 14

This is just a great slate of games.  The AFC will be much clearer after this weekend.  The two night games are especially exciting though as both teams at the top of the AFC East and AFC North lock horns for divisional supremacy.  Can Rex Ryan outsmart the ultimate coach in Bill Belichick?  Who will survive the physical struggle that will ensue in Baltimore this weekend? 

He could go all the way..or could he?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Too Good to Be True?”

Joe Flacco (pictured above) and the Ravens gutted out a major Week 1 victory on the road against the highly touted New York Jets. Will Flacco play better next week against AFC North rival, Cincinnati?

  At the end of  Week 1 the Pick’em challenge scoreboard reads: 

TheSportsKraze:   8                      CV3:  9 (realize Chad picked the Ravens to win by 1 last night) 

The marquee matchup of this Week 1 of football was the Monday Night Showdown in New York between two big time contenders in the AFC, the Jets and the Ravens.  Both of these teams are considered favorites not only within their respective divisions, but in the conference as a whole.  Each team had outstanding off seasons, bringing in key acquisitions to squads that already made the playoffs last year.  The Jets picked up Antonio Cromartie, LT, and Jason Taylor.  While the Ravens brought in two big time receivers in TJ Houshmandzadeh and Anquan Boldin.  There is one major concern though in my eyes that could hold both of these teams back from Super Bowl glory…  

Isn’t there a show called Monday NFL Quarterback?  Last night was not an example.  

Mark Sanchez was absolutely horrific last evening.  Now I realize the Jets are generally a run first team.  A team that likes to play old school, smash mouth football.  Winning games with a strong rushing attack and superb defense.  And that is fine, even though the League is in the midst of the pass happy era.  A team could still win with an average passing game if they had a superb defense and rushing attack.  Well the Jets without question have the tools defensively.  I mean wow did they put on a show last night.  But how about the former USC Trojan in the pocket?  

Sanchez went 10 for 21 for 74 yards.  This is not pee wee football.  This is the NFL.  A quarterback should be throwing for nearly 74 yards a quarter.  Now I realize that he was playing against the vaunted Ravens defense and all of jazz.  But Mr. GQ was playing in front of a big time home crowd with many weapons at his disposal such as Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Shonn Greene.  He also has former Steelers number 1 receiver, Santonio Holmes at his disposal (hopefully soon).  Also, I realize that Mark is still just in his 2nd year.  Maybe he could be entering the Sophomore slump?  Well not really, considering he did not have a big time rookie year, so it would not be considered a slump.  My one major suggestion for Sanchez is to start throwing to his tight ends more.  I realize that Dustin Keller let him down on last night’s big 4th down play late in the 4th quarter in one of the most bonehead plays I have ever seen.  But give the guy a break.  He had just been summoned by Ray Lewis, the ultimate hitmaker.  A reliable tight end is a young quarterback’s best friend.  Sanchez better improve fast, or this team will not have a prayer at making a run deep into the playoffs.  They will be able to survive on their defense in most games, but against tough contenders like the Ravens, Sanchez will have to perform better than last night.  

Now speaking of young quarterbacks.  The Ravens have a young gun of their own at the helm in Joe Flacco.  Now I will admit, I was thoroughly disappointed by the former Delaware stud last evening.  When you look at Joe, you just feel like he has the look of a big time NFL quarterback.  He possesses that  big time NFL “swagger,” for lack of a better term, which is so hard to explain to somebody who is not a fan of the game.  Last night, Flacco went 20 of 38 (which isn’t horrible), for 248 yards.  He did throw an interception as well.  Now, by no means, was Flacco as bad as Sanchez.  But I along with most football fans hold higher expectations for Joe.  We expect him to do more out there each week than Sanchez.  Partially because he has to with an aging Ravens defensive core.  And in all seriousness, this guy has arguably the most weapons around him of any QB in the League.  He has 2 big play receivers in a Anquan Boldin (now a big play guy and no longer a possession) and Derrick Mason.  He has the 2nd best possession receiver in the game at his disposal in TJ Houshmandzadeh (after Wes Welker).  Todd Heap is a very seasoned tight end who has always been a major threat in the passing attack.  Plus he has a monster 3 headed rushing attack to fall back on in Rice, McGahee, and McClain.  The guy has no excuses.  And sure his team escaped last night against a very tough team on the road.  For this team to make a Super Bowl run, he will have to play much better.  I recommend Flacco develops a deep bond with his new possession guy in TJ Houshmandzadeh and continues to work on his chemistry with tight end Todd Heap.  

Both of these quarterbacks have the luxury of playing on teams with big time defenses and solid rushing attacks.  But in today’s game, you have to at least demonstrate a mediocre passing attack to advance deep into the playoffs.  Who would you rather have at QB, Flacco or Sanchez?  Which of these teams could make a run to the big game?  

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.  

-TheSportsKraze  

“NFL Week 1 Fun”

Arian Foster stole the show in Week 1 rushing for 233 yards and helping the Texans shock the Colts (Foster is now number 23).

The first Sunday of the NFL season is always unpredictable, wacky, fun all in one.  It is always a weekend filled with excitement.  Full of mysteriousness.  And most of all, full of people sitting on their couches all day.  Following this enigmatic day, the scoreboard reads: 

TheSportsKraze:  8               CV3:  8 

There were few storylines that really caught my eye on the weekend.  

-Who is Arian Foster?  

First of all the Houston Texans monumental upset of the Indianapolis Colts.  Going into the 17th matchup of these franchises, Houston was 1 and 15 all time against the defending AFC Champion Colts.  When was the last time you can remember Peyton and the Indianapolis offensive juggernaut losing in Week 1?  And how about the pass happy Texans getting the job done on the ground.  When looking at some initial statistics you would be astonished.  Matt Schaub, who threw for over 4700 yards last season threw for 107 today, not to mention he threw an interception.  Peyton Manning threw for 433 yards and 3 TDs.  But the real story of this game.  How about Mr. Arian Foster?  The guy just blew up rushing for 233 yards (2nd most all time in an opener behind OJ Simpson) and 3 TDs.  Foster is a 2nd year running back out of Rocky Top (Tennessee) that rushed for 257 yards and 3 TDs all year in his rookie campaign.  Well he just ripped the heart out of the defending AFC Champs on Day 1.  Could the Texans be on the verge of breaking the Colts stranglehold on the AFC South this year? 

-The Steelers take care of business without Big Ben. 

Pittsburgh won their first of four games without their starting quarterback today over a very tough Falcons team.  Rashard Mendenhall and Hines Ward came up big for the Terrible Towels and took care of Week 1.  I will admit that I thought that the Steelers would lose this one without Roethlisberger.  But with inspired play from Ward and Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball, and Bryant McFadden leading the charge on the defensive side of the ball (15 tackles today, 12 solo), this team could survive this month-long stretch in decent shape. 

-Welcome back Michael Vick? 

This was the best Michael Vick has looked in years.  The guy played inspired football and almost brought the Eagles back against a very tough Packers team.  Starter Kevin Kolb went down with a concussion in the 2nd quarter, and the electric Michael Vick came to the rescue for the fighting city of Philadelphia.  He rushed for over 100 yards and threw for 175.  Should Vick start over a healthy Kolb next week?  Coach Reid definitely has some thinking to do.  It was nice to see the playmaker back in action bringing back some of the memories of the old glory days (in a weekend where his alma mater took their worst loss in school history). 

-Are the 49ers a pretender? 

Many, including myself picked the 49ers to win the ultra weak NFC West.  Well today, they took a good old-fashioned butt whooping from a divisional rival.  San Francisco came out smoking but then had a rough end to the first half and continued to get worse as the game progressed.  Frank Gore’s rushing attack was non-existent.  Alex Smith threw 2 interceptions.  And I could go on.  Vernon Davis was the only bright spot on the day for the 49ers.  Where is that amazing defense we have been hearing about all off-season and theat newly improved offense?  Are the 49ers contenders or pretenders? 

-Blinded by the hype? 

Another team that thoroughly disappointed was the Cincinnati Bengals.  This team looked to still be playing a preseason game until the 3rd quarter of this one.  And a Patriots team, that definitely has a chip on their shoulder due to the talk of the Jets being the favorite in the AFC East, steamrolled Cincinnati.  The only bright spot for the Bengals on this day was Chad OchoCinco and glimpses of a big time aerial attack.  Sure Carson threw for 345 yards.  But what happened to the smash mouth, run first Bengals (now I realize they were behind so they needed to throw).  Palmer threw the ball 50 times today.  Cedric Benson only had 15 carries.  The real show in this game was the reunited amazing connection of Wes Welker and Tom Brady.  These guys picked up right where they left off following Welker’s knee injury.  The best slot receiver in football had 8 catches and 2 TDs.  Are the Patriots a Super Bowl contender? 

-Is Chris Johnson Superman? 

Chris Johnson picked up right where he left off at the end of last year.  On this day, he led his Titans to an easy victory over an overmatched Raiders team.  Johnson compiled 142 rushing yards and 2 TDs.  And once again broke loose for a big time run of 70+ yards.  The guy is outstanding and looks to only be getting better.  The rest of the League needs to beware of Chris Johnson. 

-Can Roy Williams catch a break in Dallas? 

So in one of the most sloppy games I have ever seen in my life, the Redskins began the Mike Shanahan/Donovan McNabb era with a victory over the rival Cowboys.  The Redskins went 0 and 6 in the vaunted NFC East last season and were ecstatic to get that monkey off their shoulders in Week 1.  Since the arrival of Williams in Dallas, things have progressively gotten worse as he went from being a big time pick up to a guy that fans in Dallas booed consistently.  Once again Roy had a modest evening, of 3 catches for 21 yards, but on the last play of the game, he had appeared to come up with the catch that probably would have won the game for the Cowboys (barring an extra point attempt).  Roy’s heart had to be pounding.  Then he and the rest of Cowboy nation saw a yellow flag on the field.  Alex Barron, the Cowboys 6th year (1st with Cowboys) offensive tackle out of Florida State, had done the unthinkable.  Against a weak, 3 man Washington rush, he blatantly held Redskin linebacker Brian Orakpo.  So Roy’s heroics are already all but forgotten.  Sorry Roy.  Mine as well jump on the Miles Austin bandwagon with the rest of America. 

So these are just a few stories from an amazing opening Sunday.  The NFL is back in the flesh baby. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze 

“NFL Overall Predictions”

TheSportsKraze has the Jets and Packers facing off in Super Bowl 45 on February 6th. Who do you have?

 Since Monday, I have been giving a somewhat in-depth (but not too in-depth) division by division breakdown for this upcoming year in the NFL.  It is never easy to pick the always unpredictable and parity filled League. But I am pretty confident in my picks and very excited for the first game come September.  

In summary, here are my NFL overall predictions: 

AFC East:  New York Jets, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills (in order of predicted finish) 

AFC East Champion:  New York Jets 

The Jets have had the best off-season of any team in the League.  They made a phenomenal run last year all the way to the AFC Championship game.  This team is better than last year’s squad and hungry to go all the way.  It all starts with capturing the AFC East Crown.  This team will be very fun to watch on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” television series. 

AFC West:  San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders (in order of predicted finish) 

AFC West Champion:  San Diego Chargers 

The Chargers have been holding court in the AFC West for well over 4 years now.  And why would it change this year?  Sure they need to figure out what the deal is with star receiver Vincent Jackson, but there is no reason why these guys should not capture a 5th straight West title.  The loss of LT may sting locker room morale, but look for the Chargers to possibly meet up with their old franchise player come playoff time. 

AFC South:  Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars (in order of predicted finish) 

AFC South Champion:  Indianapolis Colts 

Peyton Manning and the Colts have owned the AFC South for nearly a decade now.  This team is not only talented, but they are mentally tough, led by the game’s best quarterback.  Expect the Indy boys to make another deep run as they ride their star for yet another year. 

AFC North:  Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns (in order of predicted finish) 

AFC North Champion:  Cincinnati Bengals 

It is TO Mania at Georgetown College where the Bengals are holding training camp.  This team has both a strong offense and defense.  The Bengals possess the deepest and most talented team of the Marvin Lewis era.  Can they repeat as AFC North champs for the first time in my lifetime?  You better believe it as America gets to witness the “Ocho/TO Show,” aka  the  “Carson Palmer Show.” 

Wildcards:  Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots 

The Ravens in my opinion are one of the top few teams in the entire AFC.  They just unfortunately share a division with another one of the top couple of teams, the Bengals.  Finally, the Ravens have a receiving corps that makes this team have a solid offensive attack to go along with their always scary defense.  The Patriots are the Patriots.  They are not the most talented team this year, but they are led by the best coach in the game and the best big game quarterback in the game.  Expect these guys to have a solid year, but an early exit from the playoffs. 

AFC Championship:  New York Jets defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 

The Jets will knock the Bengals out of the playoffs for the second year in a row.  Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and the Jet’s secondary will be up to the challenge of stifling the Bengal’s very talented receiving corps. 

NFC East:  Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles (in order of predicted finish) 

NFC East Champion:  Dallas Cowboys 

So what if Dez Bryant does not want to be hazed by his teammates?  The guy has big time potential to help out an already strong passing attack led by Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Tony Romo.  Could the Cowboys make this Super Bowl a home game?  We will find out come February 6th. 

NFC West:  San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams (in order of predicted finish) 

NFC West Champion: San Francisco 49ers 

Okay, so this is one of the weakest conferences in the entire NFL.  But the 49ers look to finally be somewhat back.  Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and the entire San Francisco Bay area will be very proud to see these guys make the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade (8 years). 

NFC South:  New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (in order of predicted finish) 

NFC South Champion:  New Orleans Saints 

The party on Bourbon Street is still going on from last year’s Super Bowl Championship.  Luckily for the Saints, most of the team has been kept intact.  Expect Drew Brees to lead these guys to another outstanding season. 

NFC North:  Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions (in order of predicted finish) 

NFC North Champion:  Minnesota Vikings 

This division has two of football’s best at the top.  Brett Favre (if he returns), will get the better of his former team in the regular season.  All eyes should be on the dates of October 24th and November 21st as these two powerhouses go head to head.  But watch out for the Packers come postseason time as they steamroll their former franchise player. 

Wildcards:  Green Bay Packers, New York Giants 

The Green Bay Packers are in my opinion the best team in the NFC.  They just have to deal with the second best team, the Minnesota Vikings, before their quarterback gets tired.  So these guys will be ready to roll come playoff time.  The Giants participate in football’s best conference top to bottom.  I just feel like they are the team who will find their way out of the 3 team battle between Philly, Washington, and themselves for 2nd place in the East, and the 2nd Wild Card spot. 

NFC Championship:  Green Bay Packers defeating the New Orleans Saints 

Revenge will be sweet for the Cheeseheads as they see Brett once again come up short of making his first appearance in a Super Bowl since 1997.  Will Brett go for it again in 2011-2012?  This game though will be an absolute aerial assualt, but the Packer’s ability to defend will help them come out victorious in a nail biter over the defending champion Saints. 

Super Bowl Prediction:  New York Jets defeating the Green Bay Packers 31 to 28. 

This will just be an absolutely outstanding game in all aspects, as football’s two best teams battle it out in Cowboys Stadium.  Expect Darrelle Revis to come up with some big time plays and help stifle the Packer’s amazing aerial attack.  Rex Ryan will make the whole media aspect of this game quite entertaining.  New York will go nuts. 

So there you have it.  Those are the predictions from TheSportsKraze for the upcoming NFL Season/Postseason. 

Let me hear your thoughts on what should be an outstanding year in the NFL. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze