Tag Archives: New England Patriots

Food for Thought 9-18-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Stepfan Taylor (pictured above) has officially entered the Heisman conversation.

By Josh Kramer

America, meet Stepfan Taylor.  He has officially taken over the role of the Stanford “Trojan” killer.  Anyone who did not know the Stanford running back should be more than aware of the Cardinal star after the show he put on Saturday night at the expense of the USC Trojans.  The senior running back out of Mansfield, Texas is a perfect 4 and 0 against the mighty USC Trojans during his collegiate career.

After spending three years in the shadow of stars such as Andrew Luck, Jonathan Martin, and David DeCastro, Taylor is shining bright in his senior year.  Taylor is really a jack of all trades.  He does everything well, but nothing great.  This leads to great results, but not too many highlight reel moments.  The Cardinal running back really reminds me of former University of Cincinnati and current St. Louis Rams running back Isaiah Pead.  A very good running back who entered his senior year as a likely second-day draft pick.  That is not the case anymore. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 9-17-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Brad Keselowski (pictured above) stole the show at Chicagoland Speedway yesterday and clinched his fourth win of the season.

By Josh Kramer

Saturday embodied exactly what college football is all about.  Hotly contested games with unpredictable finishes.  The NFL Week 2 was just as fun as Week 1 with an upset filled Sunday.  And the NHL lockout is on.  Talk about a shame.  Last week was fun, but this week will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Brad Keselowski stole the show as the Chase officially began at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.  It was Keselowski’s fourth win of the season, his seventh in the past two years, and a great start to the Chase for the man who drives the #2 car.  There are still nine more races to go and plenty left to be decided.  Next Sunday, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be the place to be in NASCAR. 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

Weekly Nickel 9-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Adam Jones (pictured above) has been a main reason why the Baltimore Orioles are in contention for their first AL East title since 1997.

By Josh Kramer

Labor Day typically means two things other than a day off of work.  First of all, the dog days of August are over.  Secondly, America’s favorite sport is back.  College football took over this weekend and guess what?  The NFL is right around the corner.  Last week was a whole lot of fun, but this week will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Richmond International Speedway will be the place to be next Saturday in terms of NASCAR.  This is the final race before the Chase for the Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway on the 16th.  In other words, Richmond is for all of the marbles.  Find a way into the top ten, or pray that you nab one of the two wild card spots.  I am looking at you Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards.

4.  The dog days are finally over.  Players are smiling from ear to ear due to the dog days finally ending, the expanded rosters, and of course the home stretch to the regular season.  We have learned a few things along the way.  The Baltimore Orioles are the real deal.  Crazy, I know.  Much of this is thanks to their star center fielder Adam Jones. 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

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Beware of the Chicago Bears

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Are Jay Cutler (pictured above) and the Chicago Bears poised for a big year in 2012? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky thinks so.

By Wesley Kaminsky

The NFL off-season always seems too long, doesn’t it? In an off-season dominated by Tim Tebow and the New York Jets, it’s that other team in New York who are the reigning Super Bowl champions. They shocked the NFL world a season ago, getting hot at the right time, beating the likes of the Packers, 49ers, and then eventually the Patriots. That takes guts.

With teams such as the Packers, 49ers, Bears, Saints, and Falcons, just to name a few, the NFC is becoming a powerhouse. I didn’t even touch on the NFC East.

In the AFC, the Patriots look like the clear-cut team to beat, as they added more weapons to an already lethal offense and revamped their defense.

Can the Ravens finally get over the hump? Will Peyton Manning return with a vengeance?

These questions will be answered in due time. Continue reading

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

NFL Games of the Week

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost an overtime thriller to the Denver Broncos back in January. Peyton Manning (pictured above) will do all in his power to get Denver another victory over the Black and Yellow in Week 1.

By Josh Kramer

Opening night is still well over a month away (September 5th), but anticipation for the 2012 NFL season is mounting.  With training camps, fantasy drafts, and more, people are all ears in regards to the 2012 NFL season.  The following is a guide for the upcoming season with a game a week to have circled on your calendar regardless of your fan allegiance.

Week 1:  Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos

Date/Time/Station:  9-9-2012/4:25PM/NBC

The Word:  What transpired on January 8, 2012 left a bitter taste in the mouths of Steeler Nation.  Tim Tebow may be gone, but Peyton Manning has arrived. Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer Beantown is not exactly the place to be these days.  At least when it comes to sports.  First, the Boston’s beloved Red Sox had arguably the worst breakdown in baseball history, blowing a seemingly insurmountable nine-game lead during the course … Continue reading