Tag Archives: San Diego Chargers

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

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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

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

Five NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Leslie Frazier (pictured above) is one of many coaches entering the 2012 season on the hot seat.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Every year in the NFL, coaches get fired. There’s no way around it. When a team is struggling, the blame falls to the head coach.

Last season, Steve Spagnuolo, Tony Sparano, Raheem Morris, Tony Haley, Jack Del Rio, Hue Jackson, and Jim Caldwell were among those who were given the boot. No surprise, none of those teams made the playoffs.

Which coaches have a lot of pressure on them this year? Here is my two cents.

No.5: Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings

Since taking over as interim coach in 2010 for Brad Childress, the Vikings haven’t seen much improvement from Leslie Frazier. After going 3-3 in 2010, Frazier got his interim tag removed, becoming the head coach of the Vikings.

In his first full season in Minnesota, the Vikings had their worst season since 1984, going 3-13. After starting the season with Donovan McNabb at quarterback, the Vikings quickly fell to 1-5. Needing a spark, Frazier turned to rookie Christian Ponder. Ponder managed to go just 2-8 in his rookie season and will be the starting quarterback in 2012.

If Ponder isn’t the answer for the Vikings, that could also very well mean the end for Frazier. With Adrian Peterson coming off of a torn ACL and MCL, you have to wonder if he’ll be the same. If the Vikings start this season slow again, don’t be surprised if he gets fired. Be careful, Leslie.

Final Verdict: Leslie Frazier gets fired halfway through the season. Continue reading

Quarterbacks with the most to prove

Photo courtesy of thesportsvmi.com. Will Cam Newton (left) and Andy Dalton (right) be able to avoid the infamous “Sophomore Slump?”

By Josh Kramer

Last year was declared the “Year of the Quarterback.”  It easily could have been called the “Year of the Tight End” as well.  To be a contender these days in the NFL, it all starts with the quarterback position.  Without a solid player under center, a team can kiss the Lombardi Trophy goodbye before they even play a down.  Here are five quarterbacks that have the most to prove heading into the 2012/2013 season.

5.  Andy Dalton/Cam Newton

I have a tie at the five-spot.  While Cam Newton received the vast majority of the national media attention, there was another pretty good rookie quarterback in Cincinnati.  Both rookie stars not only met expectations, but they exceeded them.  This resulted in both booking a trip to the Pro Bowl.  In the NFL, it is widely speculated that there is a thing called the sophomore slump for quarterbacks.  Two recent quarterbacks that come to mind who were victims of this so-called sophomore slump are Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan.  Expectations are high in both Cincinnati and Carolina where most fans are saying playoffs or bust.  Will Dalton and Newton be able to handle the hype in year number two? Continue reading

Food for Thought 12-20-2011

Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com. The Philip Rivers (pictured above) that we all expected to be a frontrunner for the MVP has finally arrived.

By Josh Kramer

Tebow Time” finally struck midnight.  Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are no longer invincible.  Plus the Cincinnati Reds just made the blockbuster trade of the offseason thus far (Pujols, Reyes, and Wilson signing were free agent moves).  It has been a wild past few days to say the least.  Here are the items that have caught my attention.

Rivers has finally arrived

-Have you ever heard the expression “Too little, too late?”  In the case of Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers, this may be the case.  You better believe the franchise that had won four straight AFC West crowns before last season and has not experienced a losing season since 2003 is not going to go down without a fight though.  Many, including myself, had anointed Philip Rivers as “the guy” this year in the NFL.  He was going to take home the MVP honors and lead San Diego to a deep playoff wrong.  Many, including myself were incorrect. Continue reading