Tag Archives: Matt Hasselbeck

Food for Thought 8-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Jake Locker (pictured above) will be the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback in the season opener against New England.

By Josh Kramer

Preseason NFL football has turned into “Quarterback Gossip Central.”  Where is the media attention for the cornerback competitions?  Or how about the many wide receiver battles?  I guess it makes sense though.  There is no position of more importance to a football team than the quarterback.  Plus, there can only be one starter per team.  Let’s go around the League and delve into a couple of the current “Quarterback Controversies.”

Titans:

Recently, it was announced that Jake Locker will be the starter in Tennessee for opening night against the New England Patriots.  Is anyone really surprised though?  Sure, Matt Hasselbeck has been in the League since 1999, but Jake Locker was a first-round draft pick.  When a quarterback is selected in the first-round, they are expected to start within two years of being drafted.  It’s the way it is.  Hasselbeck can still play, but he is far past his prime at the ripe age of 36.  Plus, Locker is 24-years-old and oozing with talent. Continue reading

NFL Quarterback Competitions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Flynn (pictured above) is going toe to toe with Russell Wilson for the starting quarterback job in Seattle.

By Jeremy Powers

They say competition is healthy. When NFL training camps open, the hot topic always centers on who will win the starting job. Not at running back, not at wide receiver, but at quarterback of course.

There are several teams with quarterback competitions at full speed as the second week of preseason approaches. Ironically, quarterback uncertainty is plaguing the same franchises every season. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants, among others have had the quarterback position nailed down with their Pro Bowl throwers, making them oblivious to what it’s like to have a competition for the top spot on the depth chart. For other teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, and Miami Dolphins, the coaching staff does not have that luxury and all they can do is hope they make the right decision.

These four situations may not be black and white, so here is my analysis of which quarterback is the best fit under center for their respective teams.

4. Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll has one of the more interesting competitions to focus on in the NFL. Management went out in the offseason and signed free agent Matt Flynn to a nice contract after he showed unique abilities in Green Bay. The question becomes, is Flynn really a franchise guy, or was he only the product of an efficient system under Mike McCarthy? The only way to find out is to put him to the test this preseason. The other player in the mix is rookie Russell Wilson, who on paper doesn’t look like a viable option (Tarvaris Jackson seems to have faded out of the race for the starting spot). But the more and more you watch him you see what kind of athlete he really is, and he really makes you want to give him the reigns. My prognosis, start Flynn. I think his abilities are sufficient, and if he really does fail to win games, then go to Wilson. The Seahawks defense should win them games anyway. Continue reading

Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: Bears Win Fifth Straight, Lose Jay Cutler

Photo courtesy of bearsgab.com. Jay Cutler (pictured above) will likely be sidelined for the rest of the regular season. How will the Bears respond without their offensive leader?

By Wesley Kaminsky

Last week it was Matt Schaub who was lost for the season with a foot injury, just when the Texans looked like they were getting it all together. A week later, it’s Jay Cutler who will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand that will require surgery. This couldn’t come at a worse time for a Bears team who have five straight games and look like a legitimate threat to the Packers. Now, that talk will have to wait, as the Bears turn to Caleb Hanie, and pray he can lead them back to the playoffs.

1. Green Bay Packers (1, won 35-26): 10-0. Next up, the Packers get their biggest test of the season yet: In Detroit, on Thanksgiving. (Next game: at Detroit) Continue reading

NFL Week 1 Predictions

Photo courtesy of sports.popcrunch.com. The Colts enter Sunday without Peyton Manning (pictured above) under center for the first time since December 21, 1997.

By Josh Kramer

The NFL is back in full force.  After watching the Packers/Saints shootout last night, I know everyone is excited for the first NFL Sunday of this very anxiously awaited season.  Despite the longest lockout in the history of the League, the NFL’s popularity appears to be at an all-time high.

Last season, I had a pick’em challenge with one of my good buddies CV3.  This year, we have added two new players to the 2nd annual “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. Continue reading

Show me the money

Photo courtesy of inquisitr.com. Chris Johnson (pictured above) is in the midst of a major conflict situation with Tennessee Titans ownership.

By Josh Kramer

The Tennessee Titans are on edge. The state of Tennessee is on edge.  And most of all, Fantasy Football owners are on edge.  The Chris Johnson lockout continues as teams get ready for Week 3 of preseason football.  And sure, arguably the best running back in the game today, or at least the most explosive, will more than likely be suited up for the opener in Jacksonville on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

But what if CJ does not sign in the near future?  What if Mike Reinfeldt (Titans GM) and Chris Johnson cannot come to an agreement?  Opening night is less than three weeks away.  There were no OTA’s this year due to the lockout.  There was no extra reps for the majority of the guys.  Training camp and preseason games are of more importance this year than they have ever been.  Not to mention Tennessee will have a new quarterback under center this year (Matt Hasselbeck).

Well Chris Johnson is not taking part in any of it.  CJ has been hanging out with Mickey Mouse in Orlando. Continue reading

McNabb: Best grab thus far

Photo courtesy of sports.popcrunch.com.

By Josh Kramer

Today was easily the wildest day in sports all year.  Or at least it ranks right up there with the first couple of days of this year’s March Madness.  A call that may become as remembered in Pittsburgh as the unforgettable Franco Harris “Immaculate Reception” occurred during the wee hours of the night.  A no-hitter happened early this afternoon.  Major trade action has been going on all day in the MLB.  Butch Davis received the axe from UNC.  And of course, non stop football action as the craziest free agency period of all time trudges on.

Sure the Panthers re-signing of an overpriced DeAngelo Williams was nice for Carolina.  Tennessee adding Seattle’s best QB of all time in Matt Hasselbeck to their team was big.  The Jets bringing back Santonio Holmes was a major move.  And of course Sidney Rice heading to Seattle was very headline worthy.  Granted he will be running routes for the very up and down Tavaris Jackson who he is somewhat familiar with from his Minnesota days.  But one transaction caught my eye more than all of the others today.  And if you have not been living under a box, you are already more than aware of what move I am talking about.

Donovan McNabb to the Vikings. 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 Divisional Playoff Preview: Jets, Ravens, Packers, Bears Look For Revenge”

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 common theme of the divisional playoffs this weekend is revenge. Every game this weekend features rematches from earlier this season, but will the results be different this time around?

Here are some questions to consider heading into the weekends games.

Can the Jets keep it close in New England?

Which defense plays better, the Steelers or Ravens?

Will the Seahawks win in Chicago for the second time this season?

Can the Packers win in Atlanta? Continue reading

“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