Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The New Orleans Saints are struggling in the absence of their head coach Sean Payton (pictured above).
By Wesley Kaminsky
After two straight losses to non-playoff teams from a season ago, the New Orleans Saints look like a different team from 2011. That offense, which was so unstoppable under Sean Payton, is out of sync, and the defense is struggling without Gregg Williams. In an improved NFC, the Saints appear to be in trouble. Payton was that important to this team and it’s showing.
In this weeks power rankings, the Eagles and the Dolphins made the biggest leap, jumping seven spots, while the Bears and Redskins had the biggest fall, tumbling six spots. The Falcons cracked the top five, and the 49ers maintained their number one ranking.
Enough of me spoiling it, time for you to find out for yourself where your favorite team ranks. Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged Aaron Hernandez, Alex Smith, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Brandon Weeden, C.J. Spiller, Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Eli Manning, Greg Schiano, Gregg Williams, Jake Locker, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Josh Morgan, Kevin Kolb, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, New Orlean's Saints, NFL, Norv Turner, Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, Sam Bradford, Sean Payton, Tim Tebow, Tom Coughlin, Tony Romo, Trent Richardson
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Robert Griffin III (pictured above) made things look very easy in the Big Easy on Sunday. Will he continue to play this way all season?
By Josh Kramer
Sports played a prominent role in helping our country cope with the unthinkable terrorist acts that occurred 11 years ago to the day. Our nation holds sports near and dear to their hearts on a daily basis. The USA has grown stronger as a nation since the horrific terrorist acts of 9/11 and sports are still doing their part.
RGIII was made for DC
Maybe Robert Griffin III is football’s version of Superman. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner put on a debut performance for the ages on Sunday, leading the Redskins to an opening day victory over the Saints. Now sure, one could argue that Matt Ryan put up slightly better numbers on Sunday. Or that Cam Newton threw for 422 yards in his rookie debut last September.
Let’s focus on reality though. Matt Ryan has far more experience and an outstanding supporting cast. Also, exactly one year ago, Cam Newton passed for an astonishing 422 yards, but he also tossed an interception, and his team lost the game. With five rookie quarterbacks starting on Sunday, I think much of America forgot just how hard it is to be a rookie quarterback in the NFL. By Sunday evening, everyone remembered after four of the quarterbacks went home losers and tossed a combined 11 interceptions (and just two touchdowns).
RGIII on the other hand made things look easy as he outplayed future Hall of Famer Drew Brees in front of a hostile Saints crowd. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged All England Club, Andrew Luck, Billy Gillispie, Brandon Weeden, Cam Newton, Denver Broncos, Drew Brees, French Open, Heisman Trophy, Jordan Tolbert, London 2012, Matt Ryan, New Orlean's Saints, NFL, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III, Roland Garros, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Serena Williams, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Tim Tebow, Troy Polamalu, US Open, Washington Redskins, Wimbledon
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Much will be expected from Mark Trumbo (left) and Albert Pujols (right) if the Angels want to make a playoff run.
By Josh Kramer
Football, football, and more football. How nice was it to have a Saturday and Sunday jam-packed with football action? Your weekends may be less productive, but more entertaining for the forseeable future. Not to mention we are nearing the end of the MLB regular season and the Chase for the Cup is on. Last week was fun, but you better believe that this week will be a good one in its own right. Here are the events to keep an eye on.
5. The Chase is finally on. After 31 races spanning over nearly seven months, the field has been whittled down to 12. There are ten races left starting at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. Who will take it home? We know that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won’t.
4. Strasburg is done. Teixeira could be done. The injury-bug has struck as the season nears the final twenty games. It is September and teams are doing all they can to land a spot in the postseason. The races of note are taking place in the AL East, the AL Central, and of course for the four wild card spots this year. My matchup of the week takes place in the friendly confines at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels: Who else envisioned the Angels participating in the Fall Classic this year? I know I am not alone. Well the clock is continuing to tick and currently, the Angels will miss the postseason entirely. Fortunately for them, they open up a four-game set tonight against the team they are chasing. Got to love how MLB scheduling works out at times.
It is make or break time for the Angels. There is no better way to track down the team you are chasing than to handle business against them head to head. The Angels appear to finally be clicking at the right time led by the terrific trio of Trout, Trumbo, and Pujols. Look for the Angels to close the gap by nabbing three of four in front of a very supportive home crowd. Also, expect the Angels to catch and pass Oakland when all is said and done. The remainder of the A’s schedule includes the likes of the Orioles, the Tigers, the Yankees, and lots of Texas. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged AL Central, AL East, Alabama Crimson Tide, Albert Pujols, Andy Murray, Arkansas Razorbacks, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Orioles, Cam Newton, Carl Edwards, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, Drew Brees, Florida Gators, Green Bay Packers, Kyle Busch, Los Angeles Angels, Louisville Cardinals, Mark Teixeira, Mark Trumbo, Matt Ryan, Michigan State Spartans, Mike Trout, MLB, NASCAR, New Orlean's Saints, New York Jets, New York Yankees, North Carolina Tar Heels, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Novak Djokovic, Oakland Athletics, Penn State Nittany Lions, Peyton Manning, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, San Francisco 49ers, Savannah State Tigers, Stanford Cardinal, Stephen Strasburg, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas Rangers, US Open, USC Trojans, Wisconsin Badgers
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
Posted in NFL
Tagged AFC, Andrew Luck, Arizona Cardinals, Art Modell, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Marshall, Buffalo Bills, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Christian Ponder, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, John Skelton, Julio Jones, Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Marshawn Lynch, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rob Horton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Tim Tebow, Washington Redskins
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
Posted in NFL
Tagged Aaron Rodgers, AFC, Alex Smith, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Marshall, Brandon Weeden, Buffalo Bills, Calvin Johnson, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Christian Ponder, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers, Greg Schiano, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jake Locker, Jamaal Charles, Jay Cutler, Jeff Fisher, Joe Flacco, John Skelton, Julio Jones, Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin Kolb, Leslie Frazier, Mario Williams, Matt Flynn, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Matthew Stafford, Maurice Jones-Drew, Miami Dolphins, Michael Vick, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Pete Carroll, Peyton Hillis, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Robert Griffin III, Roddy White, Russell Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Sean Payton, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Washington Redskins, Wesley Kaminsky
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
Posted in NFL
Tagged Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, David Garrard, Green Bay Packers, Jake Locker, Jeremy Powers, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Flynn, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins, Mike McCarthy, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, NFL, Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Seattle Seahawks, Tarvaris Jackson, Tennessee Titans
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
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
Posted in NFL
Tagged Aaron Rodgers, AFC North, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Green Bay Packers, Joe Flacco, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Peyton Manning, Pittsburgh Steelers, Robert Griffin III, San Francisco 49ers, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Washington Redskins