Archive for September, 2009

Felix Jones - my tip for Star of Week 3

Felix Jones - my tip for Star of Week 3

Another day another dollar. Well another week and another lowly 9-7 prediction score.

Two weeks gone and I am a rather abysmal 18-14. Lets hope Week 3 brings some stability to my crystal ball gazing skills.

My tip for performance of the week goes to Felix Jones of the Dallas Cowboys who I predict will go over 100 yards on the ground and 2 scores. Also look for Fred Jackson of the Bills to sign of his Week 3 game with another titanic performance.

KC @ PHI – Eagles to win 28-13 – Kolb gets his first big W as a starter, looks good

GB @ STL – Packers to win 19-13 – Rodgers has a quiet game but the contest never in doubt

SF @ MIN – Vikes to win 33-24 – Favre looks great in autopilot but the day is APs

TEN @ NYJ – Tenn to win 23-20 – The Sanchez bubble bursts here as wily vet Collins wins

ATL @ NE – Falcs to win 28-21 – Brady still not looking perfect, big day for Falcons D

JAC @ HOU – Texans to win 31-21 – Schaub in control, AJ off the hook, MJD bottled up

NYG @ TB – Giants to win 31-13 – Giants too strong on Oline to be denied the win, go 3-0

WAS @ DET – Redskins to win 21-20 – Campbell still looks awful, Clinton Portis has big day

CLE @ BAL – Balt to win 27-7 – Flacco will look exquisite, Quinn will look the opposite

CHI @ SEA – Bears to win 23-21 – Cutler is starting to settle in, Forte shows his skills

NO @ BUF – Saints to win 42-23 – Saints get another 40+ outing from Wizard Brees

MIA @ SD – Dolphins to win 27-21 – Fins will be mad from last week, capitalise on LT’s injury

DEN @ OAK – Broncos to win 24-14 – It just seems wrong but Broncos go 3-0 – a head scratcher

PIT @ CIN – Steelers to win 17-10 – Bit of a slugfest, Big Ben does it again with late heroics

IND @ ARI – Indy to win 33-27 – Manning just cant help himself, gets 4 td passes

CAR @ DAL – Cowgirls to win 29-13 – Felix Jones gets over 100 yards rushing and 2 tds

Agree? Or think I am wrong?

Buccs defenders young and old are Wembley ticket stars in 2009

Buccs defenders young and old are Wembley ticket stars in 2009

With a month to go until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New England Patriots it was with a great sense of relief that I was able to go to my local sorting office this morning to pick up my tickets.

As the game is being treated as a Buccs home game the tickets were always going to have Tampa players on them.

The decision to go with wily veteran five-time Pro Bowl and Superbowl winning cornerback Ronde Barber (who maybe playing his final season this year) and rising star inside linebacker Barrett Ruud is a wise one.

Barber has been there for the entire Buccs revolution, from the Orange days of woe to the Pewter Power champions of the NFL.

Ruud in my humble opinion should have made the 2008 Pro Bowl, yes he is that good. The former Nebraska star already has 18 tackles in just two games.

As you can see above I was also lucky to get Tailgate tickets for the Wembley game. The NFL are supposedly bringing some items from NFL legends for all of us fans to gawp at. I will be bringing my camera for sure.

The catalogue is also a nice move. I will not be buying any Buccs or Patriots gear but I think this catalogue is a genuinely good marketing tool. On the front is wide receiver Antonio Bryant (centre) defensive end Gaines Adams (left) and Ruud again (right). Unfortunately Bryant has been injured but I hope he is going to be fit for October 25.

Interesting to also see Pepsi Max as the sponsor of this International Series game. Pepsi Max are also sponsoring the Channel 5 NFL magazine show. It is a very encouraging sign to see one of the fizzy drinks giants putting money behind promoting the NFL.

The game ticket has some very smart silver embossing on the NFL logo, and where the teams are named on the top right hand side.

The tailgate ticket has all 32 team helmets on it which is a nice touch. The NFL marketing people have done a lot more thinking this year.

Lets just hope that there is no rain before or during the game this time, the rest seems pretty much in hand.

What are your thoughts on the tickets?

Is it me or is this what Jason Campbell looks like every week?
Is it me or is this what Jason Campbell looks like every week?

I’ve snapped.

Normally I remain optimistic as a Redskins fan until around November/early December, but in just two games I have concluded that we are doomed as long as Jason Campbell is Washington’s starting quarterback.
Jason Campbell, who played on an insanely talented Auburn team (with the Dolphins Ronnie Brown and the Buccs Cadillac Williams in the backfield supporting him) has failed to make that transition into a top 10 NFL quarterback.
He cannot shake that ‘deer dazzled in the headlights’ look, and that simply cannot inspire the rest of his team when he steps into the huddle.
After two weeks Campbell has thrown for, wait for it, ONE touchdown. He has the same amount of touchdowns as our goddam punter, Hunter ‘the punter’ Smith.
To manage three field goals against a poor St Louis Rams team is pathetic, and lets not forget that the one touchdown he has tossed in 2009 was in garbage time when down by 14 points against the New York Giants.
Talking of the Giants, their QB Eli Manning used to own a similar scared rabbit look, but he now owns a Superbowl winners ring, and he is without doubt a top 10 NFL quarterback (even if it is #9 or #10).
Watching Manning make Mario Manningham look like an All Pro is quite hard to swallow as a Redskins fan, but I do admire Eli for maturing into a top grade gunslinger. I would go as far as to say the Manning to Steve Smith combo is one of the most reliable and consistent hookups in the entire NFL.
Manning to Steve Smith is becoming as reliable as Brady to Welker.
I cannot say that for Campbell to Malcolm Kelly, Campbell to Devin Thomas or Campbell to Santana Moss.
The one Washington wideout who has stepped up is Antwaan Randle El, who is AT LAST being moved into his natural position as a slot receiver. After two contests Randle El has 11 catches fo 137 yards. If he averages 5 catches a game over 16 games that is 80 grabs. This will only happen if the two starters Kelly and Moss show up each week.
Is it all Campbell’s fault I ask myself? Well no it isn’t. Second year wideouts Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas are anonymous, just like in 2008.
Te Redskins face the winless Detroit Lions this Sunday. I shouldn’t be nervous, but I AM.
The Wee Man could have a BIG impact - Go Sproles !

The Wee Man could have a BIG impact - Go Sproles !

Well¬† I went 9-7 after week 1 – not exactly the stuff of legends, but hey it’s a winning record and in some cases 9-7 gets you in the playoffs as a wild card.

Week 2 has some fascinating games – the highlights being the Giants v Cowboys and the Eagles v Saints (minus McNabb). Also the Chargers get to bring out the pocket rocket Darren Sproles – that should be worth the admission fee alone.

Here goes with my Week 2 NFL predictions……

Sun, Sep 20

CAR @ ATL – Atlanta to win 27-10 – Ryan looking cool at home, but Turner is game hero

NO @ PHI – New Orl to win 33-27 – Reggie Bush looks like a world beater – anyone for Old man Garcia ???

STL @ WAS – Was to win 23-16 – Ugly win for the Skins, defense shows its quality with a score

HOU @ TEN – Tenn to win 24-20 – Kerry C tosses 1 td and the d does the rest, Slaton looks better

NE @ NYJ – Pats to win 31-21 – Brady’s bunch look like the team to beat, Moss is the boss

CIN @ GB – Pack to win 37-13 – Rodgers tosses 4 tds and the young d looks great

ARI @ JAC  РJags to win 21-19 РThe Cards look troubled РMJD has a monster game

OAK @ KC – Oak to win 24-17 – Russell the big oaf shows he can command a game, Mc Fadden gets the glory

MIN @ DET – Vikes to win 41-14 – Vikes purple people eat the Lions in one gulp, Stafford looks awful

TB @ BUF РBills to win 19-16 РBills eek out a W thanks to Freddie J and his legs and hands

SEA @ SF – Seahawks to win 25-24 – TJ goes off the hook with 12 catches, This is a terrific battle

PIT @ CHI – Steelers to win 21-20 – Bears look respectable but go 0-2, Cutler does his lemon sucking face

BAL @ SD – Chargers to win 23-14 – Sproles shocks the nation with a huge performance – UPSET OF THE WEEK

CLE @ DEN – Broncos to win 17-7 – This is one game I dont want to watch – yuk

NYG @ DAL – Giants to win 31-24 – Big bad Brandon dominates the Cowgirls but Romo keeps it close

Mon, Sep 21

IND @ MIA – Colts to win 31-21 – Manning in early season cruise control – look out for Garcon

Any thoughts out there?

My week 1 upset special - McFadden and the Raiders

My week 1 upset special - McFadden and the Raiders

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Yes its time to give my crystal balls a good old polish, remove the doom dust that has gathered over the past seven months, and get ready for some fooooootball.

One thing everyone loves to do is predict winners. Yes we all think we are experts, but I am prepared to put my money where my mouth (well my blog) is and give my weekly NFL predictions.

Here goes for week 1…………

Thu, Sep 10

TEN @ PIT 19-16 Titans. Titans to win a tight game with a last second fg (WRONG)

Sun, Sep 13

MIA @ ATL 21-28 Falcons. Matt Ryan shows he is more than a rookie phenom with 3 tds

KC @ BAL 03-23 Ravens. U-G-L-Y you aint got no alibi. Rice to score 2 tds.

PHI @ CAR 26-20 Eagles. McNabb shows after some 1st half jitters that he is MVP material.

DEN @ CIN 10-17 Bengals. Welcome back Carson, shame today is time to tune into Benson.

MIN @ CLE 23-13 Vikings. Favre throws an early INT but comes back smelling of roses.

NYJ @ HOU 16-31 Texans. Slaton does some serious damage with 160 total yards and two tds.

JAC @ IND 17-27 Colts. The Peyton by Numbers show looks awesome as Jax disappoint.

DET @ NO 10-31 Saints. Brees makes everyone look good, even Mike Bell.

DAL @ TB 24-17 Cowboys. Mr September Tony Romo starts season on fire with 2 tds.

SF @ ARI 19-28 Cardinals. Kurt is getting old but his supporting cast is hot hot hot.

WAS @ NYG 19-17 Redskins. Yep here is the upset, Giants to miss late fg for the loss.

STL @ SEA 27-26 Rams. You heard it here first, Rams score upset win with late Jackson td.

CHI @ GB 17-30 Packers. Rodgers may not be Superbowl bound but he looks great week 1.

Mon, Sep 14

BUF @ NE 10-29 Patriots. De ja vu – Brady again looks immortal, TO has a strop.

SD @ OAK 24-21 Raiders. The Chargers again start slowly as Raiders shock the nation.

Any thoughts????

My 2009 NFL MVP prediction - Up yours Michael Vick

My 2009 NFL MVP prediction - Up yours Michael Vick

I just had the latest USA Today Sports weekly arrive through my letter box, and upon skimming the first few pages I came across the ‘experts’ predictions.

To see how my predictions compare or contrast with these gurus of the gridiron I placed a magazine over the page and decided to make my own predictions before reading on.

Here goes – and standby for the barrage of insults in the comments box below

 AFC East Winner New England Patriots

AFC South Winner Tennessee Titans

AFC North Winner Baltimore Ravens

AFC West Winner San Diego Chargers

AFC Wild Card 1 Houston Texans

AFC Wild Card 2 Indianapolis Colts

NFC East Winner Philadelphia Eagles

NFC South Winner Atlanta Falcons

NFC North Winner Minnesota Vikings

NFC West Winner Arizona Cardinals

NFC Wild Card 1 Washington Redskins

NFC Wild Card 2 Green Bay Packers

AFC Championship Colts @ Ravens (Ravens win)

NFC Championship Falcons @ Eagles (Eagles win)

Superbowl Winner Philadelphia Eagles

Superbowl MVP Brian Westbrook RB Eagles

NFL MVP Tom Brady QB Patriots

Offensive MVP Donovan McNabb QB Eagles

Defensive MVP Mario Williams DE Texans

Offensive Rookie of the Year Mark Sanchez QB Jets

Defensive Rookie of the Year Rey Malauga LB Bengals

Comeback Player of the Year Tom Brady QB

Coach of the Year Gary Kubiak Texans

Now that's what I call bling !
Now that’s what I call bling !

It was with that sense of Santa Claus coming down the chimney bearing gifts aplenty that I just about managed to stay awake for the opening kickoff of the 2009 NFL season.

Bearing in mind that it was getting past 1.30am here in England when the Tennessee Titans Rob Bironas made the opening boot I like to think I did my bit for the international support of the NFL.
Everything was going well watching the game, a real defensive slugfest, when John Madden’s replacement, former Bengals wideout Cris Collinsworth muttered the immortal phrase
‘I spoke to Coach Fisher and he said he has not come to Pittsburgh to kiss the Steelers rings’.
Call me depraved but the image that phrase conjured up in my mind was only appropriate at around 2.30am in the morning after having eaten a box of Ritz crackers.
Wait a second I did have that thought around 2.30am this morning, and yes I has just eaten the majority of the contents of a box of Ritz crackers.
To cap the game off Willie was pretty limp, with a pathetic 19 yards on 13 carries.
Above all was the first game of the 2009 NFL season worth the months of non-football agony РHell yeah.
NFLFANINENGLAND’s observations from the kickoff 2009 NFL game
  • Kenny Britt the Titans rookie WR looked particularly hot – his 4 catches for 85 yards were an outstanding debut for a newbie, in a position that is notoriously tough for first year players to have a big impact on
  • The Titans defensive line looks like it can still do the business getting pressure on opponents qb’s after the loss of Albert Haynesworth to the Redskins. 4 sacks by the defensive line was very respectable.
  • Hopefully Superbowl MVP WR Santonio Holmes doesn’t catch Burress disease by gunning down one of his own limbs. His 9 catches for 131 yards and a score made him the biggest fantasy stud of the day (my god more innuendo)

Thank goodness we have NFL football back. Here in England we have no live MNF, but as for the weekend we have three live games to look forward to. I can’t wait.

I'm looking forward to plenty of funny handshake celebrations in 2009

I'm looking forward to plenty of funny handshake celebrations in 2009

Call me old fashioned but I do love a ‘Rudy’ style underdog overcoming adversity type story.

This particular episode involves the Washington Redskins 4th string running back who finally avoided a visit from the turk.

Marcus Mason has toiled hard over the past three seasons, bouncing from the Redskins to the Baltimore Ravens to the New York Jets practice squads before coming back to the Redskins late in April 2009.

Coach Zorn finally realised that what he had was a pocket rocket. Mason was a monster at Yougstown State when he ran for a team record 1,847 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior.

Mason was not as spectacular as he was in the 2008 NFL pre-season when he led the Skins and if I recall correcty the whole league. Mason deserves a chance to shine and this time I hope he remains on the active roster all season long.

More and more teams are moving towards the fantasy players nightmare of ‘running by committe’ and Washington cannot afford to put all their eggs in a Portis/Betts/Cartwright shaped basket.

I doff my burgandy and gold hat to the Redskins organisation for making a smart decision to keep Mason as one of the final 53.

Now when Mason breaks out for a fifty yard touchdown you know it was Nflfaninengland that told you about this guy.

I do wonder when Mason scores his first official regular season touchdown if a ‘funny handshake is part of his celebration routine?