Tag Archives: Ray Rice

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings. Trouble in New Orleans

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

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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

Is there something in the water?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Elvis Dumervil (pictured above) was not all smiles this past Saturday.

By Josh Kramer

The first NFL preseason game is still 18 days away, but football is on the mind.  No sport these days even comes close to rivaling the popularity of NFL football (in the USA).  But with NBA free agency, MLB baseball, and The Open set to start tomorrow, one would think that the NFL would be an afterthought.  Unfortunately it isn’t.  I was happy to see Ray Rice and Matt Forte ink multiple year deals.  They are both very deserving.  Both of these major signings are not even the biggest news though.

NFL news is centering on Elvis Dumervil, Marshawn Lynch, and Dez Bryant.  Ever heard the expression no news is good news?  In this case, it would be.  Elvis Dumervil had a moment that could easily work its way into next seasons’ Jersey Shore script.  Marshawn Lynch turned beast mode into DUI mode.  And Dez Bryant, well he allegedly laid hands on his mother.  Is there something in the water?

Here are the three situations:

Elvis Dumervil first provided a little road rage.  I think we all have been guilty of some form of this at one point or another in our lives.  Then he provided a little shirt lifting.  I guess he is a very muscular guy.  Unfortunately, he had firearms on him.  This is where he crossed the line.  Why is an NFL defensive end going around waving a gun in broad daylight?  Finally, Dumervil then lied to the cops and tried to hide the gun.  Lying to the police is never a good idea.  Who else could envision this whole incident occurring on the next season of Jersey Shore? Continue reading

Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Giants Save Season With Comeback Win

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. It appeared all over in Dallas after Dez Bryant (pictured above) scored on a 50-yard strike midway through the 4th. Sadly for the Cowboys, the lead did not hold up and it is a whole new ballgame in the NFC East now.

By Wesley Kaminsky

On 2nd and 11, with 5 minutes and 52 seconds left, the Cowboys led the Giants 27-22. Then, Tony Romo connected with a wide open Dez Bryant for a 50 yard touchdown, as the Cowboys took a 34-22 lead with 5:41 left. The Cowboys were about to end the Giants season and take control of the NFC East.

Eli Manning had something to say about that though. Manning orchestrated two beautiful drives as the Giants did the improbable, and won in Dallas 37-34, on a Jason Pierre-Paul blocked field goal. Now, it’s the Giants division to lose, and it might just come down to Week 17 when they meet again, at the Meadowlands.

That wasn’t the only thrilling finish in Week 14 though. T.J. Yates, in just his second career start, threw the game winning touchdown pass to Kevin Walter with two seconds left to lead the Texans to the franchises first playoff berth.

And then of course, there were the Broncos, who overcame a 10-0 deficit with 4:34 seconds remaining. The Bears are just another team on what is becoming a long list, who have been “Tebowed,” which has become the most popular expression of the 2011 NFL season. It’s amazing how much this Broncos team believes in Tim Tebow and I can’t say enough about it. The guy is just a winner. 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

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

Photo courtesy of fantasyfootballhelp.com. Not too many people are talking about the lone undefeated team in the NFL after six weeks. Green Bay has been simply outstanding riding guys such as Jordy Nelson (pictured above) to easy victories.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Week six is in the books, and it consisted of drama–and lots of it. Some of it wasn’t even on the field itself. Following the 49ers comeback victory in Detroit, Jim Harbaugh was excited, and fiery. Apparently Lions coach Jim Schwartz didn’t like how Harbaugh shook his hand, as he continued to yell at the Niners coach all the way down the field. The two had to be broken up as they were heading into the tunnel.

Now, that’s drama.

If you don’t know anything about Jim Harbaugh, that’s just his personality. He does things his way and doesn’t care what people say about him. Remember while at Stanford when Pete Carroll famously asked Harbaugh, “what’s your deal?”  Do you think Harbaugh looks like the kind of guy who cares how he is perceived?

No coach has done a better job this season than him either. After inheriting a 6-10 49er’s team, and having a limited off-season due to the lockout, Harbaugh has brought football back in San Francisco. He has done with Alex Smith what neither Mike Nolan, or Mike Singletary was able to do; make him a quarterback.

There’s just something about this Harbaugh guy. 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

“Bengals vs Ravens In Game”

Mike Nugent (pictured above), the former Ohio State Buckeye star, came up big today for the Bengals with 5 field goals on the afternoon.

So today I have decided to try something a little different.  I am going to give you an “in-game” look at the marquee matchup of Week 2 in my eyes, the AFC North battle, between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals.  These are two teams that had very different types of opening games.  The Bengals got blown out by an upstart New England Patriot’s team.  While the Ravens came up with an outstanding defensive effort and took care of a business against a favored Jets team on the road. 

Marvin Lewis is 9 and 5 all time against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens.  And has a Bengals team, that went 6 and 0 against the rugged AFC North last season and is looking to win their 8th consecutive divisional matchup.  Can the Bengals rebound today?  Can Joe Flacco learn how to throw an accurate pass?  We will find out in less than 5 minutes, as the Ravens travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on the Who Deys in Cincinnati.

Today I will also have some esteemed guests contributing with their in-game thoughts.  We will have “DC,” David Clark and  Mr. “Beezy,” Chris O’Brien.  Let the games begin.

1st Quarter:

The Bengals have looked solid overall in the first quarter.  Carson is looking more and more comfortable as his offensive line is giving him ample time to get the ball out to his receiving weapons.  Minus a few inaccurate throws to TO, he seems to be looking like a big time quarterback.  In addition, Cedric Benson and Jordan Shipley have looked very solid.  Benson has made some crucial 3rd down conversions and Shipley continues to catch everything thrown at him.  I just wish Chad could resist talking trash at his opponents.

Joe Flacco continues to struggle and the Ravens offense looks in shambles.  0 of 4 for 0 yards sums it up for the former Delaware star.  Their defense is still laying out the big hits, but are beginning to not get the push that they got last week.  Could the short week be hurting them?

Mr. Breezy:  “The offensive line (for the Bengals) is day and night compared to last week.”

DC:  “My biggest surprise of this game is Joe Flacco’s inability to pass.”

2nd Quarter:

The only way to describe this one so far is, “Ugly.” Both quarterbacks are under 100 yards passing. Both teams are under 150 total yards (the Ravens are under 80).  It has been a defensive struggle.  The Bengals have blown some key Red Zone opportunities and only go into the half up 6 to 0.  But I will state this 1st half has been night and day compared to last weeks for Cincinnati. 

The Who Deys must cut down on the penalties.  6 is entirely too many and will come back to bite them if it continues.  Palmer also continues to struggle with his accuracy, though he has not been nearly as bad as Joe Flacco.  Should be a down to the wire finish in the 2nd half though with these two bitter rivals.

Mr. Breezy: “The Bengals would be winning by a lot more if they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot with penalties.”

DC: “Ravens are lucky to only be down 6 to 0.  If the Bengals keep shooting themselves in the feet with penalties, then they cannot expect to win this game.”

3rd Quarter:

Joe Flacco has woken up folks (somewhat).  Not good news for the Bengals.  The Bengal’s offense has looked like they are struggling with communication.  This is a major problem especially against a team with a defense like the Ravens.  TO continues to struggle with the physicality of the AFC North.  Palmer is continuing to be inconsistent.  Plus the Bengals lucked out with a tripping penalty on Ray Lewis to save this crucial drive.  I have a hunch this game  will come down to the final drive.

Mr. Breezy:  “The Bengals are just far too inconsistent.”

DC: “Bengals need to capitalize on a Joe Flacco interception.  This drive at the end of the 3rd quarter will decide the outcome of the game.”

4th Quarter:

Really just a back and forth battle between two teams that really wanted this one.  Neither team could really muster up any offensive fluidity.  Possession and field goal kicking were the name of the game.  And the Bengals took care of the ball, and hit their field goal chances.

Mr. Breezy: “This was a big time win for the Bengals.  Though it was ugly, a win is a win.”

DC:  “I will take the W, but Bratkowski has to develop a new game plan offensively.

Post Game Recap:

So there you have it.  It was not pretty by any means.  But the Bengals continued to exude AFC North dominance with a major victory in Week 2 over the rival Ravens.  Mike Nugent and the Bengal’s defense are Co-MVP’s in this game in my eyes.  Really, Joe Flacco could be considered the LVP (Least Valuable Player). 

The man had 0 passing yards in the entire first quarter.  Threw 4 picks.  And had a quarterback rating of 23.8.  Could it be time to consider giving Marc Bulger a go under center?  And though the Bengals got the win, Carson completed just 16 of 35 passes, and missed open receivers time and time again.  Can Palmer still play like the guy that we saw in 2005?

Taking care of the difference in this one.  4 interceptions to 0 gave the Bengals a big time win today.

Hope you enjoyed the first annual “In game” analysis.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze