It has come to that time of year again when only a handful of fans still have joy in their lives. You now get to sit at home and watch twelve teams other than yours pursue a championship. Here are some thing to make that sting less.
You could root for other teams in your division or conference. It might be a little hard at first but if they are playing a team that crushed yours it can help the hurt stop.
You could switch over to another sport. Having just seen my first Arena Football League game in person this year I can tell you its quite fun. Why not give hockey a try? It's a popular choice to switch to, don't you wish that your favorite linebacker could go up and fight the opposing QB and only get a 15 yard penalty?
Football may be number one in your life, but now there is no reason to watch it. Time to move on to things like model making or stamp collecting!
One of my favorite pastimes, go play video games! Take your team all the way in Madden, that'll show em!
More realistically you will just go to work the next day and fester over the what ifs of the NFL season. Stay strong NFL fans, the draft and your team's hopes are not too far off.
With the end of the regular season upon us we now get to look back at all of the great moments that happened this season. Who was the best team though?
1. Seattle Seahawks (13-3, LW #1) The Seahawks clinch home field advantage and the NFC west with their win over the Rams. This team will be scary to play in the post-season.
2. Carolina Panthers (12-4, LW #2) The Falcons gave them all they could handle but the defense was on a rampage today sacking Matt Ryan 9 times. The Panthers take the NFC south and claim the 1st round bye.
3. Denver Broncos (13-3, LW #3) Manning just keeps on setting new records, this time his own TD record set last week and he also broke Drew Brees' passing yards in a season mark. Expect the Broncos to make a deep run in the playoffs.
4. San Francisco 49ers (12-4, LW #4) With a nail-biter in Arizona the 49ers pulled it out and become the 5th seed for the playoffs.
5. New Orleans Saints (11-5, LW #5) The Saints needed to win to get in and they did just that decimating a weak Buccaneer team 42-17.
6. New England Patriots (11-5, LW #7) New England keeps on rolling on even with all of their injuries. This team is going to keep getting in until Brady or Belichick retires.
7. Arizona Cardinals (10-6, LW #6) In a game that ultimately didn't matter, the Cards fell on a last second loss to the 49ers. This team has proven itself to everyone and the league is on lookout for next year.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5, LW #9) The Bengals showed their power again this time against the Ravens, They just need to harness it and keep it there or we will see them lay another egg.
9. Indianapolis Colts (11-5, LW #10) Beating up on the Jags doesn't move you up very much but they did show some promise again. Luck looked decent with his scatterbrained receivers.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6, LW #8) Good on the Eagles to make big plays when they needed them the most. Nick Foles has proven that he is the real thing at QB.
11. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5, LW #11) The Chiefs played backups and lost to the Chargers in OT. This team does not play well on the road, which they now have to travel.
12. San Diego Chargers (9-7, LW #13) What a great win in OT against the Chiefs. You can't take anything away from the Chargers today, pulling out all of the stops to make the post-season.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8, LW #16) With the easiest path to the playoffs out of all of the wild card teams the Steelers did their part against a weak Browns team but San Diego pulled out an OT win and knocked the Steelers out.
14. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1, LW #15) Aaron Rodgers came back just in time to guide this team into the playoffs. Green Bay is always a hard place to play in.
15. Baltimore Ravens (8-8, LW #12) All you had to do was win!
16. Chicago Bears (8-8, LW #14) The Bears had many chances to seal their division but never could do it. Now they are on the outside looking in.
17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8, LW #17) Kyle Orton played admirably right up to his season ending INT.
18. New York Jets (8-8, LW #21) Rex Ryan gets to keep his job and Geno Smith gets at least one more year to grow.
19. St. Louis Rams (7-9, LW #20) The Rams hung in their against Seattle and the 12th man. This is the best sub .500 team in the NFL and looks very dangerous. The Rams do however need to make a decision on their QB.
20. Detroit Lions (7-9, LW #18) If you were to look up disappointment in the dictionary you would see the 0-16 Lions followed by this years version. Stafford looks lost out there without Calvin Johnson.
21. Miami Dolphins (8-8, LW #19) The Dolphins blew their chance at making the postseason and need a serious make-over to get this team back to where it wants to be.
22. New York Giants (7-9, LW #23) Tom Coughlin should still have his job and one more chance to prove that this team can make it.
23. Tennessee Titans (7-9, LW #24) Always feels good to finish the season with a W. Here's looking towards next year.
24. Buffalo Bills (6-10, LW #22) Another team that played their hearts out this week but fell short. The good thing for the Bills is that they have a lot of upside and should be a dangerous team next year when Manuel figures everything out.
25. Minnesota Vikings (5-11-1, LW #25) A win is a win even against a faltering Lions squad. Matt Asiata looks decent and could be used as trade bait for a team in need. Leslie Frazier may have coached his last game with the Vikings also.
26. Atlanta Falcons (4-12, LW #26) Another gutsy performance against a quality team. The Falcons were just not good enough this year, the whole team fell apart at the seams. Replacing Tony at TE will be imperative but there are more pressing issues to fix first.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12, LW #27) The Bucs put up a valiant effort against the Saints but couldn't keep the pace up. Greg Schiano needs to look out for job opportunities with Pitt since they will most likely lose their coach to the Texans.
28. Cleveland Browns (4-12, LW #28) Get Josh Gordon a QB!
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12, LW #29) I actually impressed with how far this team has come this season. Everybody thought they would go 0-16 but even after a drubbing by the Colts they were still out there trying their hardest. Lots of good QB choices in the draft this year to replace Henne.
30. Oakland Raiders (4-12, LW# 31) Despite getting whooped on by the Broncos, the Raiders move up one spot just due to their record. This team started with a lot of promise and I still think they have enough talent to in, just got to put the pieces together like the Chiefs did.
31. Washington Redskins (3-13, LW #30) Shanahan is expected to be fired this week and Kirk Cousins didn't play exceptionally well in his outings. This team needs help on so many fronts it's hard to know where they will draft.
32. Houston Texans (2-14, LW #32) Securing the #1 pick with the loss to the Titans. Houston has decent quarterbacks though it's up to whoever takes control of the team to see if they take a QB or Clowney.
A very disappointing game today as the Cardinals just looked completely out of sync in the first half. Being that way and having a strangely slippery field created havoc. The defense played on its heels the whole first half but started to come together in the 3rd. The offense just never seemed to get it together and Palmer had many errant throws. I think the pressure finally overwhelmed this team, when your playing for your playoff lives every week since week 6 your going to break at some point. Now lets looks at some key points from todays game.
-With the first catch of the game Michael Floyd ended his streak of consecutive first downs at 25. Floyd also passed 1,000 yards on the season with an amazing catch in the middle of the third.
-More issues with Cason Palmer who continued to force balls into triple and quadruple covered receivers but he eventually settled down and started completing passes. Carson also became the first player with 4,000 yards on 3 teams(Cincinnati, Oakland and Arizona) and is now 3rd all time behind Kurt Warner for yards in a season in AZ.
-Jay Feely has missed 6 field goals the whole season, 3 of them have been huge.
-This game made me realize how much I liked watching Boldin play and what could have been if Whisenhunt hadn't forced him out.
-The offensive line has come together and played very well the last month or so. It'll be hard to break them up for next year when Cooper is healthy again.
-The defensive line played great even though they couldn't really get much pressure on Kaepernick for much of the game. They still destroyed the run game.
-Jake Ballard in his limited uses has been exceptional. The Cardinals should seriously consider re-signing him this offseason.
-Andre Roberts who has seen his playing time reduced all season made a absolutely spectacular TD catch in the 4th to tie the game at 17 all.
10-6 is respectable, especially for a first year coach and a team that was scheduled to go under .500 for the season. The losses that hurt are the week 1 matchup against the Rams and the Eagles matchup later in the season. If you don't lose those the Cards would have been 12-4 and in the 6th spot. I cannot wait to see this team play next year, The NFC West is a powerhouse and should be for years to come.
Notes: The Cardinals lose for the first time this season in all red which also stops the 8 game winning streak in them(14-4 in all red).
Earlier this season when the Cardinals visited the 49ers, Vernon Davis had 180 yards receiving. It's no surprise though as the defense has had troubles with tight ends all season. If they want to win and have a chance at playoffs they'll need to lock down Davis.
-Like Wilson and the Seahawks the Cardinals will need to keep Colin Kaepernick contained to just the pocket. He may have more offensive weapons at his disposal but this time, but this needs to be the primary goal for Todd Bowles.
-Frank Gore had 101 yards rushing. The only 100 yard rusher theCardinals have given up this year. The lock down run defense needs to step up again.
-Carson Palmer needs to play smart. The 49ers offense will destroy them if he gives up the ball 4 times again.
-Fitzgerald, Floyd and Ellington need to be really involved in the offensive game plan. To keep the aggressive 49ers defense on their heels Bruce Arians will need to change the speed of the game up and go to everyone, more so those three weapons.
It's been a fun season, whichever way their record goes (10-6 or 11-5) it surprised me. If Bruce Arians doesn't win coach of the year it will be a shame. That man has done more with less than any other coach in the league. I'm very proud to be a Cardinals fan this year, we are finally getting the respect that has been long overdue here in the desert.
Notes: The Cardinals will be wearing their all red uniforms for the 3rd time this season. they are 14-3 over all with an 8 game winning streak in these lets hope they make it 9 in a row.
Week 17 is here and many playoff spots are still up for grabs. In the NFC, the NFC West, North and East are all coming down to the wire, with two play in games.
For the East title the Eagles take on the Romo-less Cowboys. Nick Foles continues to look strong and having the NFL's leading rusher doesn't hurt very much either. On the flip side Kyle Orton will get the start with the ailing Romo being put on the IR. Earlier in the season Dallas won in Philadelphia 17-3 however the Cowboy's defense is one of the worst in the league and Matt Barkley was the starter for the Eagles at that time.
Prediction: Eagles over Cowboys 38-14
Over in the NFC North Aaron Rodgers is coming back just in time for the Packers and Bears game for all the marbles. In their last meeting the Bears went into the frozen tundra and pulled out the W. Many things have changed in just that short while, Jay Cutler is back, as well as Rodgers.
Prediction: Green Bay over Bears 24-21
The NFC West will come down too two games. The Rams travel to play the Seahawks who came off the year's biggest shocker against the Cardinals, while the 49ers travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals. Coming off such a big win I don't think the Cardinals will falter in this second game against the 49ers. Being embarrassed at home for the first time in two years I also don't think the Seahawks fall twice in the same year there.
Prediction: Seahawks over Rams35-7
Cardinals over 49ers 27-21
Seahawks win the west and clinch the #1 seed.
The Panthers need a win or a Saints loss to the Buccaneers to clinch the NFC south. If the Saints lose to the Bucs and the Cardinals beat the 49ers the Saints would be eliminated at 10-6. The Cardinals can still miss the playoffs at 11-5 if the Saints beat the Bucs.
Prediction for the NFC playoffs: #1 Seattle Seahawks
#2 Carolina Panthers
#3 Philadelphia Eagles
#4 Green Bay Packers
#5 San Francisco 49ers
#6 New Orleans Saints
Where the NFC is like the wild west the AFC is much more calm having just 1 spot left between 4 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers all have a shot at the 6th and last spot.
The easiest team to explain out of all 4 is the Steelers. They need to win and have the other three lose. San Diego needs to win or tie and have everyone else lose or tie. The Ravens are the only team that can lose and still get in. Lastly Miami gets in with a win or tie and losses by everyone else.
Prediction for the AFC playoffs: #1 Denver Broncos
#2 New England Patriots
#3 Indianapolis Colts
#4 Cincinnati Bengals
#5 Kansas City Chiefs
#6 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have the only matchup with a consistently weak team in the Cleveland Browns. The Dolphins would be my second choice since they are playing the Jets but you never really know what to expect in that team. The Ravens are playing the Bengals who are still trying to prove themselves and I do not think they lose that game. The Chargers play a tough Chiefs team who have been lighting up the scoreboard the last 2 weeks.
Todays article is a little bit different as I wanted to hit on a non-football related item.
One of my favorite parts of the sporting world is looking at uniforms and logos. To me almost nothing is more exciting than when a team roles out a new brand or look. Recently the Charlotte Bobcats rolled out their "new" look.
With the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA, Michael Jordan decided to bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte. a full synopsis can be found HERE in an article from my friends over at Uniwatch.
I for one really like all of the logo's that they came up with for the new Hornets. When I was young I used to love Tyrone Bogues and Larry Johnson running around in the teal and purple and now we get to see that again.
This is a massive improvement to the Bobcats logos and word marks. Hopefully it reinvigorates this franchise and brings them the same success the now New Orleans Pelicans had with the name.
December 28th, 1958 the greatest game ever played started the tidal wave that is the NFL as we know it today. With the help of NBC, who broadcasted this game nationally, an estimated 45 million people watched, even though the game was blacked out in New York, thus making the NFL a televised sport.
The game took place at Yankee Stadium where the Baltimore Colts took on the New York Giants in the NFL championship. Both team finished the 1958 season at 9-3 and was the fifth straight winning season for the Giants which included two prior championship appearances. For the Colts this was just the second time in team history that they had managed a winning record.
The game started off sloppy with a sack fumble of Unitas which New York recovered at the Colts 37 yard line. On the very next play the Colts had a strip sack and recovery of their own, taking the ball right back. This was a common theme throughout this hard fought battle.
The Giants struck first when Pat Summerall hit a early field goal late in the first. In the second quarter more messy football took place, another fumble by the Giants resulted in a 2 yard touchdown run by Alan Ameche of the Colts. Unfortunately for New York their running back Frank Gifford was having a hard time holding onto the ball and fumbled for the 3rd time in the game. This latest turnover resulted in the Colt's driving 86 yards for their second straight score. Taking a 14-3 lead into halftime the game looked comfortable for them.
The Giants first touchdown came after they stopped the Colts on 4th down at their own 1. After the stand Gifford led the Giants 95 yard down the field and eventually taking it in on an easy 1 yard run by Mel Triplett. The Giants scored again early in the fourth after a 46 yard completion that got them to the Baltimore 14 yard line.
Down 14-17 with under 2 minutes to go, Johnny Unitas ran a perfect two minute drill and the Colts scored the game tying field goal with only seconds to spare. This resulted in the first championship game that had ever gone into a sudden death overtime.
After the coin toss and rules were explained, the Colts kicked the ball off and the Giants return man fumbled but was able to recover the ball at his own 20. The giants had a quick three and out which resulted in a 80 yard touchdown drive by the Colts to win the game.
This game really should have belonged to the Giants but they fumbled the ball 6 times total and lost 4 of them totaling 5 turnovers where the Colts only had 2.
17 people who participate din this game ended up in the hall of fame, including the Giants offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi and also their defensive coordinator Tom Landry.
If you want to hear about a historical sports event let me know in the comments!
I hope everyone is having a exceptional Christmas so far. I want to give a sincere thank you to the people who read my articles and to my wife for inspiring some of them. Have a good holiday!
For the Pro bowl this year the NFL has decided to let Nike be Nike and have free range on everything. The result of this was what you see above. No longer do we have the red vs. blue, NFC vs. AFC. Now we have what looks like Oregon vs. Oregon state.
Nike has taken full advantage of the college football uniform frenzy and is trying to throw its weight around in the NFL, that for the most part has not given in. The uniforms are supposed to reflect the ever evolving futuristic style that the NFL wants for the future.
The uniform will feature stars for personal achievements on the nameplate and has all of the "lightweight" pads and vents that make it "better" than all other uniforms.
Another change this year is the Pro Bowl format. No longer do we have the AFC pitted up against the NFC. It is now a non-conferenced game, that means that anybody voted in can play on either team.
The teams will be coached and drafted by Jerry rice and Deion Sanders. Some of the wholesale changes in this years version include a two minute warning for every quarter not just he 2nd and 4th. No kickoffs, I believe this is due to prevent injuries in a game that is ultimately for fun. The coin flip will decide what teams starts with the ball at their own 25 and on every score the ball will be placed on the 25. A 43 man roster with the kick returner being replaced by an extra defensive back. There is a full list of changes HERE if you would like to read them.
The NFL is trying to salvage the Pro Bowl which for the last 10 years or so has been played in a nonchalant fashion. Aside from the horrific uniforms the game should take a step in a positive direction. The rule changes make the game more competitive and players that wouldn't otherwise have a chance to get there may be voted in by fans.
Notes: The NFC leads the AFC 22-21 overall. The first pro bowl was played in the 1938 season in LA at Wrigley field, no not that one. Attendance for the Pro Bowl game has declined steadily over the last 3 years in Hawaii.
With each week that has passed this year more and more exciting games have happened. We had the Seahawks lose at home for the first time since 2009. The Panthers upend the Saints and many teams clinching playoff spots.
1. Seattle Seahawks (12-3,LW #1) The Seahawks keep the top spot despite the loss to the Cardinals. The defense has had 9 ints in 2 games!
2.Carolina Panthers (11-4,LW #3) The Panthers are on fire losing only 1 game since week 4. Cam Newton is playing amazing and this team is scary.
3. Denver Broncos (12-3,LW #5) Manning did break Brady's record and this team is
also peaking at the right time.
4. San Francisco 49ers (11-4,LW #4) A poor showing against the Falcons almost resulted in a play-in game against the Cardinals in the finale. Good thing Navarro Bowman has good hands, the 49ers clinched a playoff spot and could end up the #1 seed with a win and a Seahawks loss.
5. New Orleans Saints (10-5,LW#2) A loss to the Bucs next week and a win by the Cardinals mean the Saints are out. They haven't been playing very well of late and that is a real possibility.
6. Arizona Cardinals (10-5, LW #8) The Cardinals beat the Seahawks in a must win game. The defense utterly controlled Wilson for all but one series. It will be a shame if this team misses the playoffs.
7. New England Patriots (11-4,LW #6) New England would have moved up if the Cardinals didn't take out the Seahawks. Really the lackluster play of this team is going to be their downfall. You don't know which version of them are going to show up each week.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (10-5,LW #9) Who could have expected Nick Foles to dominate the NFL like he has been. A lot of the credit goes to Chip Kelly and his system for the success of Foles.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5,LW #10) The Bengals finally came out and played like we all knew they could. The victims were the Vikings. Dalton's 4 touchdowns were expertly thrown.
10. Indianapolis Colts (10-5,LW #11) It looks like the Colts have finally figured out how to win again. They are playing at a high caliber at the right time and look to carry this into the playoffs.
11. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4,LW #7) It has become apparent that when the Chiefs play real talent they buckle and break. Just a few more pieces to the puzzle and this team will be going to the Super Bowl.
12. Baltimore Ravens (8-7,LW #12) Today you were not better than the Patriots, not by a long shot. Surprisingly though the weak AFC keeps the Ravens alive.
13. San Diego Chargers (8-7,LW #15) Luckily it didn't matter today that Rivers wasn't on the ball. The Raiders made the game easier on the Charger's than it should have been.
14. Chicago Bears (8-7,LW #14) After being thoroughly dominated by the Eagles in a game that would have clinched the NFC North the Bears now have a play in game with the Packers.
15. Green Bay Packers (7-7-1,LW #13) After getting some calls their way against the Steelers, the Packers and Matt Flynn just couldn't pull out the victory at home this week. This sets up an interesting battle against the Bears This Sunday for the Division.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8,LW #18) The Steelers were locked into a tough battle with the Packers in a game of fluky calls and wintery conditions. Mike Tomlin managed to stay off of the sideline this time and Le'Veon Bell ran the ball in for the winning TD.
17. Dallas Cowboys (8-7,LW #19) Romo actually managed to win a game in December, even if it was against the Redskins. Cowboys fans around the nation are pinching themselves.
18. Detroit Lions (7-8,LW #16) Matt Stafford is the most frustrating QB in the NFL. He is great one week and awful the next. Calvin Johnson deserves better.
19. Miami Dolphins (8-7,LW #17) Dear Dolphins, you have shown us flashes of greatness against the Patriots but then you go out against teams you should beat and implode... what gives?
20. St. Louis Rams (7-8,LW #20) The last place team in the NFC West isn't a slouch. Even with their starting QB out with an ACL injury Kelly Clemens has managed to rally this team to a near .500 record. Would Jeff Fisher have him start over Bradford just on results alone?
21. NY Jets (7-8, LW #21) Granted the Browns aren't the toughest competition in the NFL but Geno Smith really needed the confidence boost. He actually looked like a NFL QB in this game. Chris Ivory exploded also for over 100 yards. With Rex Ryan thinking he will be canned this team may take a step back next season.
22. Buffalo Bills (6-9,LW #24) Thad Lewis and Fred Jackson enjoy playing the Dolphins. I hear they are lobbying to only face them next season.
23. NY Giants (6-9,LW #22) The Giants would have stayed in the #22 spot if they would have been able to shut out the Lions. It was good to see the younger Manning bounce back. It truly shows how good Seattle's defense is.
24. Tennessee Titans (6-9,LW #25) The Titans only move up 1 spot this week after barely overtaking the Jaguars. A positive was both Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson having 90 rushing yards each.
25. Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1, LW #23) Absolutely nothing positive came out of the loss to the Bengals. AP didn't look right, Matt Cassel looked horrendous. This team has a lot of fixing to do if they want to be competitive again.
26. Atlanta Falcons (4-11,LW # 28) The MNF game showed that the falcons haven't quit. Matt Ryan looked decent and you cant really pin that interception on him.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11,LW #26) Mike Glennon still looks like the rookie that he is even this late in the year. I have to say that this team does show some fight unlike earlier in the year when the team was going through a lot of Strife.
28. Cleveland Browns (4-11, LW #28) The thing to look at here is Ray Horton if he doesn't get a head coaching job this year, Also you have Josh Gordon! The Browns should be contenders next year in a somewhat weak AFC North.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11, LW #29) The Jaguars continue to give an all out effort and fell short for the second week in a row. Chad Henne actually looked good against the Titans Defense.
30. Washington Redskins (3-12,LW #31) The Redskins move up this week due to what should have been a win against the Cowboys. Cousins to Garcon certainly sounds good doesn't it? Maybe they should trade Griffin III in the offseason instead.
31. Oakland Raiders (4-11, LW #30) Matt McGloin looked decent against a Chargers team that is still in the playoff hunt however the running game just wasn't there today. Here's looking towards Johnny Manziel in a Raiders uniform.
32. Houston Texans (2-13, LW #32) This long miserable season is about to end for the Texans. Matt Schaub continued to show the ineffectiveness that got him benched earlier this season and the Texan's never really got it going against King Manning. The key to the #1 pick is to not lose next week.