Tag Archives: Ed Reed

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

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2012 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championsh​ip Weekend Recap

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. It is going to be a very long off-season for Ed Reed (pictured above) and the Baltimore Ravens after letting a golden opportunity literally slip through their fingers on Sunday.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Before I get started, can you remember a better season of football than this one? Yes, we live in a sports world where we all happen to be caught up in the moment at times, but there is no denying the drama and heartbreak that took place in both the regular season and the post-season this year. Just in case you need your memories refreshed as to what happened on Sunday, here you go.

Game 1: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots:

It seems as though it’s rare that we see the top two seeds in the conference go at it in the championship game, but the NFL world was in for a treat on Sunday when the Ravens and Patriots clashed in Foxborough. This is one of the rare occurrences where you can legitimately make the argument that the better team didn’t win. With all the pressure on Joe Flacco leading up to the game thanks to comments by Ed Reed, the Baltimore quarterback had a lot of pressure on him. Some were even saying he was playing for his job, and if that was the case, then he indeed won it. Continue reading

Food for Thought 1-24-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Billy Cundiff (pictured above) is now the most hated man in Baltimore sadly.

By Josh Kramer

Championship Game Scapegoats

How would you have liked being Billy Cundiff or Kyle Williams on Sunday? New members have joined the exclusive club that features the likes of Bill Buckner, Dan Goodale, and Steve Bartman.  Okay maybe not Steve Bartman.  And maybe not even Bill Buckner for that matter.  But Billy Cundiff and Kyle Williams joined an exclusive club of “Choke Artists” on Sunday.  Now I am a person who firmly believes that all teams win as a team, and lose as a team.  It is never just one specific individuals fault.  But the common fan and the media love to portray losses squarely on the shoulders of a specific individual.  It is just the way our culture operates, especially in regards to sports.  The blame game simplifies things.  It keeps complex situations black and white.  This is the beauty of scapegoating. Continue reading

NFL Season 2012: Ranking the Remaining Playoff Teams

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tom Brady (pictued above) has not won a playoff game in four years. Can he regain his postseason swagger against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos?

By Wesley Kaminsky

The 2012 NFL playoffs are among us, and during Wild-Card Weekend, things started off with a bang. In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap of each game.

Game 1: Houston Texans 31, Cincinnati Bengals 10. If you had told me in the beginning of the season that rookie T.J. Yates would be hosting a playoff game against fellow rookie, Andy Dalton, I would have called you crazy. However, led by their strong defenses, both teams were able to find a way into the playoffs, with the Texans winning their first playoff game in franchise history. Arian Foster led the way for the Texans, rushing for 153 yards on 24 carries. Continue reading

NFL Week 11 Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ray Lewis (pictured above) is always excited to meet rookie quarterbacks. On Sunday, he will get his first introductions to Cincinnati rookie QB Andy Dalton.

By Josh Kramer

Everyone is more than aware that football is a rough sport and that the NFL is the pinnacle of physicality.  But last week was flat-out bad.  I cannot think of a week in recent memory where more guys went down.  Despite all of the injuries though, there were some great games.  San Francisco found a way to beat a tough Giants team in New York.  The Pittsburgh Steelers ripped the hearts out of their rivals in Cincinnati, ending the Who Dey’s first five-game winning streak since 1988.  And the Green Bay Packers continued their march towards perfection with a phenomenal showing on Monday Night Football.

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 10, here is the scoreboard.

CB-94

TSK-97

CV3-92

DC-90

Week 11 Slate: Continue reading

Food for Thought 11-8-2011

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton (pictured above) has been better than advertised thus far, leading Cincinnati to a shocking 6 and 2 start.

By Josh Kramer

This weekend was defined by making moves.  Some were positive.  And some were negative.  But football across the land at both the professional and collegiate ranks lived up to the hype and more.  Plus the owners finally put forth an ultimatum towards the players.  The following are the items that have really caught my attention.

Can you say Who Dey? Continue reading

Is it a rivalry?

Photo courtesy of cosbysweaters.com. Ryan Clark (pictured above) is already dishing out the trash talk with well over a month before Week 1.

By Josh Kramer

It is only the first week of training camp and already the trash talking is wide-spread throughout the League.  Despite a 132 day lockout, the players are already talking trash in heavy anticipation of Week 1.  In Pittsburgh, outside of James Harrison, Ryan Clark is by far the most outspoken member of the defending AFC Champions.  Ryan Clark, the Steelers hard-hitting safety gave the Ravens some great locker room material today.  Clark said the following:

“People try to make this game between the Ravens and Steelers as so much of a  rivalry, a fight. You can say it’s a rivalry if you like, but I really feel that  for a game to be a rivalry, it doesn’t have to just be physical. I think for  something to be a rivalry, both teams have to win equally. I think just the hate  between the fans doesn’t make the situation a rivalry” (courtesy of aol.sportingnews.com).

The Pittsburgh/Baltimore game set for September 11th is one of the most hotly anticipated Week 1 matchups as we get ready for the NFL fun.  But Clark’s quote, though probably just an attempt to stir the pot, got me thinking.  Is the Steelers/Ravens matchup a real rivalry? 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

“Food for Thought 1-11-11”

 

Former San Diego State and Ball State Coach, Brady Hoke (pictured above), is the new Head Coach at Michigan. Can he live up to the high expectations in Ann Arbor?

What a last 24 hours in the sporting world.  Major headlines galore.  It is a heck of a time to be a sporting fan.  And I pose the question to you.  When is it not a good time to be a sports fan in this day and age?

Here is a look at some of the main topics going on.

SEC Supremacy Continues

Most of you probably tuned in to  the BCS National Title game last evening.  From the record-setting TV ratings, it is very likely actually that you watched this game.  Well either way, you are aware that an SEC School brought home the title for an unprecedented 5th consecutive years. Though an entertaining game, it came nowhere near the 2006 National Title matchup between Vince Young’s Longhorns and the supposedly “unbeatable” (and cheating)” USC Trojans.  The game last night went somewhat as I expected.  The first quarter was a demonstration of both teams crapping their pants.  Neither team executed offensively the way they are capable of.  Consequently, neither team put up any points.  This is typical with the nerves that come from playing in a National Championship game.  Ultimately, the game came down to the wrist of Auburn’s Freshman Running Back, Michael Dyer.  What a game for the Freshman out of Little Rock.  But nobody wanted the game to come down to a call that is still very debatable in my eyes.  So it was a fun game to watch regardless of the sloppy play.  But here are some key takeaways.

-Number one, give me a playoff.  Neither of these teams had played a game in well over a month, and boy did it show.  That was not the Oregon offense that averaged over 49 points a game this season.  Now kudos to Mr. Fairley, and Auburn’s defense, which put together a stellar effort, but the time off hurt Oregon.  In addition, that was not the Cam Newton that we watched in the SEC Championship game against South Carolina.  Sure Newton played well, and did enough to win, but much of his momentum had been lost.

-Also, my apologies to TCU.  Sure they are acting like they do not care and are very happy with a year in which they got to win the prestigious Rose Bowl.  But you are going to tell me that they did not want or deserve some sort of shot at the title?

-I realize that the game was on the West Coast, but it went entirely too late.  Anybody who worked yesterday had to be struggling to stay awake for the 4th quarter. 

How does it feel to know that you were at best the 3rd choice for a job?

I will admit that statement above is a bit harsh, yet it is true.   Jim Harbaugh passed.  Les Miles passed (whether Michigan’s AD admits it or not).  And now Brady Hoke is the new coach in Ann Arbor.  Boy does he have a tall task ahead of him.  Yet, I have a good feeling about this guy for some reason.  Maybe it is the optimist in me, but the winningest program in NCAA history will eventually have to turn things around.  People will just have to be patient.  Former Wolverines like Charles Woodson, Tom Brady, and Lloyd Carr all rave about this guy.  Believe me, they are not being forced to hype this guy up.  They could always just give a “no comment” or an extremely generic answer.  These guys seem ecstatic to have this Hoke guy running things in the The Big House.  I just have one piece of advice for Mr. Hoke as he steps into his supposed “dream job.”  Make sure to put up an over 500 record in The Big House.  Or Hoke will be let out the back door inside of 3 years without questions asked.

The Closer Shuts the Door

It is hard to fathom, but the time has come.  Trevor Hoffman is finally hanging up the cleats.  Arguably the greatest closer of all time, Hoffman is calling it quits after 17 years.  He retires with 601 saves, the most in MLB history (41 ahead of Mariano Rivera).  Will the game ever see a closer hit 600 saves again? In an era where consistent relief pitchers are few and far between, Hoffman flourished over the better part of 2 decades.  The MLB will definitely miss this sure-fire Hall of Famer.  Cincinnati has to be kicking themselves for not keeping the kid that they drafted out of Arizona University in 1989. 

So I realize there are many other major headlines going on today.  Ron Rivera was hired as the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.  Ed Reed has returned to his 2nd family, the Baltimore Ravens, after tending to some family business.  And the NHL has revealed their All Star Roster in full.

Please steer any questions or thoughts you have to the comments section or shoot me an email at contact@thesportskraze.com

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Kaminsky’s NFL Wildcard Preview”

Today we are in for a special treat.  Over the Holiday Break, “TheSportsKraze” added a new writer out of Philadelphia.  His name is Wesley Kaminsky.

Wesley is a sports expert and journalist out of Philadelphia that writes for Bleacher Report.  You can check out all of his work at  http://bleacherreport.com/users/88810-wesley-kaminsky or follow his twitter @Wesley_Kaminsky

The 2010 NFL regular season is in the books, and it was one of the most interesting, unpredictable seasons to date. In the NFC, there is no clear-cut favorite as to who will be heading to the Super Bowl, unlike the AFC, where the Patriots appear to be on a mission.

Here are some questions for every game this weekend.

Can the Seahawks keep it close against the Saints?

Will Mark Sanchez out-duel Peyton Manning?

Can the Chiefs’ running attack beat the Ravens?

Our very own, Wesley Kaminsky, has Mark Sanchez (pictured above) and the Jets taking care of business against the Indianpolis Colts this weekend.

Will the Packers prove they are as good as people think they are?

Game 1: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks, 4:30 EST on NBC (Saturday)

The first game of the weekend features the 11-5 Saints traveling to Seattle to play the 7-9 Seahawks, who snuck into the playoffs thanks to their win over the Rams.

Yep, you are reading this correctly. A team with a losing record has made the playoffs, while the Giants and Buccaneers, both 10-6, are on the outside looking in.

Do the Seahawks have a chance in this game?

For the Seahawks to win this game, their defense will have to play its best game of the season, and either Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst will also have to play his best game of the season.

One big problem though: The Seahawks rank 27th in the league in total defense and 28th in the league in total offense.

It doesn’t matter which quarterback starts; the Seahawks will need a miracle to win this game.

As I’ve mentioned, the NFC is wide open, and the Saints have their sights set on a Super Bowl return. With an offense as explosive as theirs and a defense that forces turnovers, they have all the pieces to make a run to Dallas.

These two teams met in Week 11 in New Orleans with the Saints winning 34-19. It will be no different here—the Saints will cruise to victory.

Fearless Forecast: Saints 34, Seahawks 17

Game 2: New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts, 8:00 EST on NBC (Saturday)

The second game of the weekend is an AFC Championship Game rematch from last season between the Jets and the Colts. Last year, the Colts took down the Jets 30-17 on their way to the Super Bowl, but now it’s the Jets’ turn to get revenge.

Although the Colts won the AFC South, something just doesn’t seem right with them, and they are struggling to win games. They struggle in two major categories: running the ball and stopping the run. They rank 25th in the NFL in rush defense, giving up 127 yards a game, and 29th in the NFL in rushing, with just 92.7 yards a game.

Is that a cause for concern? Sure, it was in the regular season, but it’s a whole new season now, and remember 2006, when the Colts figured out how to stop the run on their way to a Super Bowl title?

From the offseason on, this season has been a circus for the New York Jets. Between Hard Knocks and Sal Alosi tripping Nolan Carroll, the Jets have become one of the most arrogant, hated teams in the whole league.

Are they good enough to win in Indianapolis? Sure they are. Just like they did last year in the playoffs to reach the AFC Championship Game, the Jets will pound the ball and try to wear you down with their defense. For them to win this game, though, Mark Sanchez is going to have to outplay Peyton Manning, and there are not too many people who believe he can.

I’ve been one of the biggest Jets haters all season long, and it pains me to say this, but I like the Jets’ chances in this one. The Jets win here and set up a rematch in New England with the Patriots.

Fearless Forecast: Jets 23, Colts 20

Game 3: Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 EST on CBS (Sunday)

To kick things off on Sunday, the Ravens’ scary defense will try to contain the Chiefs’ rushing attack of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.

Do I think the Chiefs will win? No. They have a chance though, and I’ll tell you why.

To win in the playoffs, you need to have a good rushing attack, which the Chiefs do have. They led the league in rushing in the regular season, averaging 164.2 yards per game.

This is highlighted by Jamaal Charles’ ridiculous stat of 6.4 yards per carry. He is as explosive a player as we have in the league today, and as long as the Ravens can stop him, they will be in good shape. That’s easier said than done, however.

In addition to Charles, Matt Cassel will need to play his best football for the Chiefs to have any chance in this game. Cassel is coming off his worst game of the season, in which he went 11-of-33 for 115 yards and two interceptions. Don’t let that fool you into thinking Cassel isn’t capable of leading the Chiefs to a win, because he sure is. This season, he finished with 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, hooking up with Dwayne Bowe not once, not twice, but 15 times for a touchdown.

The Ravens won’t be taking the Chiefs lightly; they know this won’t be easy. Similar to the Chiefs, the Ravens have a nice rushing attack, led by Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and a defense that is always scary. Would you want to be stared down by Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed? I didn’t think so.

The Chiefs may keep it close for a little bit, but I expect the Ravens to pull away and advance to the second round.

Fearless Forecast: Ravens 27, Chiefs 13

Game 4: Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:30 EST on Fox (Sunday)

The final game of the weekend is perhaps the one everyone is looking forward to. The Eagles and the Packers, two high-powered offenses, will square off in a rematch from Week 1. This time, though, things are a little different than the first time around.

When Kevin Kolb went down with a concussion thanks to a hit from Clay Matthews, the Eagles’ season was forever changed. Michael Vick came in, looking sharp and nearly bringing the Eagles back from a 27-10 deficit. That was enough for Andy Reid to see, and Vick was named the starting quarterback of the Eagles.

Now Vick gets his chance to do what the Eagles couldn’t do in Week 1: Beat the Packers in Philly.

The Packers come into this game having won their last two games and are being deemed the most dangerous team in the NFC. With Aaron Rodgers playing at a high level and a defense that ranks fifth in the league, this Packers team is scary. Vick has struggled to handle the blitz recently, and the Packers will try to swarm him like the Bears, Giants (for three quarters) and the Vikings did.

If the Eagles want to win this game, they will need to run the football more. The Eagles have strayed from the run, and it doesn’t make much sense why. LeSean McCoy is averaging 5.2 yards per carry but is getting just 13 rushes a game. To win in the playoffs you are going to need to run the ball, and the Eagles can do it, but don’t. Vick is hurting, and he won’t be able to do it all.

The Packers, since losing Ryan Grant in Week 1, have struggled to run the football as well; they rank 24th in the NFL with 100.4 yards per game.

The difference in this game, though, will be which defense can step up and make the big plays, and I think the Packers will do that.

It is tough for me to say this as an Eagles fan, but I think the Packers are simply the better team and will beat the Eagles for the second time this season.

Fearless Forecast: Packers 28, Eagles 24

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze