Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Warner’

Like poo on a shoe I have a feeling the Cardinals will not be removed from the playoffs this week as Kurt gets busy through the sky

There’s nothing like starting my divisional playoff predictions with a Kylie Minogue song reference, but ‘I can’t get the Cardinals out of my head’ and as long as Kurt Waner hasn’t been concussed and is lying in a heap on the Superdome floor I smell an upset.

I got three out of the four Wild Card games right last week, with my only mistake being predicting an Eagles win against the Cowboys. I have to admit the only reason I went with Philly was because they were my pre-season Superbowl prediction, and I didn’t want to be a hypocrite.

Well now its time to dust down the Mystic Meg costume and sprinkle so prediction powder on the 2009-2010 NFL Divisional Playoff round;

NFC – Cardinals @ Saints

If you thought you saw an unforgettable fireworks display last week in the desert, this could be bigger, better faster and even higher scoring (seriously). Bizarrely this game will not come down to the quality of the QBs or WRs, it will come down to the team that has the most convincing running game. Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush versus Tim Hightower and Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells. Momentum is a funny thing and the Cardinals will have it in bucket loads after their electric game last week, whereas the Saints looked awful after they lost their unbeaten record to the Cowboys (and yes I know the Saints were playing scrubs Week 17). Both teams have dominant All-Pro safeties in the form of Adrian Wilson and Darren Sharper, but both team CBs (as a unit) are not the best in the league. Providing the Cardinals offensive line keeps up the work rate then they have the ability to push Arizona into a 2nd NFC championship in a row.

Prediction – Cardinals 38-33 Saints – Game MVP Kurt Warner 307 yards passing 3 touchdowns.

NFC – Cowboys @ Vikings

I have even having to type the word Favre, seeing as he should have retired in the last decade, but here I am again talking about Mr Wrangler. The Vikings and the Cowboys match up pretty well, and I have to say this is going to be the biggest game of the weekend, with two star studded squads that can boast remarkable offensive lines, excellent quarterbacks, and defensive studs – exemplified by the Cowboys DeMarcus Ware and the Vikings mullet wearing nut job Jared Allen. Both teams have receivers that have had bonanza breakout seasons (Miles Austin and Sidney Rice), and both have some depth and ability to change the gears with their running games. Now the romantics will want Brett to take his weapons to the NFC Championship but I have Dallas showing why they are no longer a team to be laughed at when it comes to the business end of the season. That and the fact Felix Jones is just about the only human being I know that could keep pace with Chris Johnson in a running race. Wait for Felix to do something jaw dropping and then let others know you read it here.

Prediction – Cowboys 27-24 Vikings – Game MVP Tony Romo 311 yards and 2 touchdowns

AFC – Jets @ Chargers

It doesn’t matter what you wear, what you smell like or whether you know your tango from your Foxtrot, providing you have a ticket to the dance you can do whatever you like on the dance floor. Take a bow the Rex Ryan led New York Jets. The Jets have the number one defense and the number one running game, but they now face a team that has the hottest winning streak in the NFL. We all have to admit that Ladanian Tomlinson is no longer the same 20+ touchdown monster that he has been, but he still has a nose for the end zone. The maturation of Vincent Jackson has countered the decline in LT’s skills, and Antonio Gates continues to remain at top three fantasy TE for San Diego. This should be the game that signifies the Philip Rivers era in the AFC, but Jets CB Darrell Revis is that good that he can kill off Jackson and force Rivers to make passes that he might not want to attempt. This game will be the lowest scoring and it could come down to the kicking game (both field goals and field position from punts). It could be a bit of magic from Darren Sproles that blows this game open but I see the Jets leaving California with their Superbowl dream still intact.

Prediction – Jets 19-16 Chargers – Game MVP Thomas Jones 103 yards rushing 1 touchdown

AFC – Ravens @ Colts

The Ravens blew past the Patriots from the first offensive play and then like a skilled surfer dude they rode the wave of momentum to build up a lead that even Tom Brady could not claw back. The Colts will simply not allow this to happen as Peyton Manning will lock and load time after time to help Indy create an early lead. The Ravens running game is pretty special and Ray Rice was rewarded for his show of skills by gaining a 2nd Team All-Pro selection earlier this week. With support from Willis McGahee the Ravens running game has been  up there with the best. This game is in my opinion the Colts to win, with their home fans, home turf and NFL MVP. If the Colts get a 21 point lead this game could get ugly. I would love to see the unfashionable Ravens get the upset and set up a defensive slug fest with the Jets for the rights to go to the Superbowl, but this is Manning’s time. The Colts have no Steelers or Patriots to face and they just have to much speed to be stopped. Reggie Wayne to have a beast of a game and Dallas Clark to cause headaches to the Baltimore D all day long.

Prediction – Colts 30-19 Ravens – Game MVP Reggie Wayne 121 yards and 1 touchdown

Any thoughts???????

Advertisements
My new Twitter homie Superbowl stud WR Larry Fitzgerald

My new Twitter homie Superbowl stud WR Larry Fitzgerald

This Twitter lark is getting crazier by the day.

On Friday I fired off a series of questions to Adam Schefter, the soon to be ESPN NFL top dawg reporter.

On Sunday just gone I went one better, and after various attempts with a range of NFL players to get them to respond to my direct Twitter messages I finally got a superstar response.

And when I say superstar I mean MEGA superstar. Yep I managed to fire off 10 questions that were ALL answered by none other than the best wide receiver in the NFL – Arizona Cardinals #11 Larry Fitzgerald.

To say I was excited when Mr F agreed to answer my questions would be an understatement, and it was only my wife going ‘who is he?’ that kept me from having a full on keg party in our living room.

From his answers I determined that Mr Fitzgerald is quietly confident for the Cardinals again in 2009 and if his worst sin is Vitamin Water then anyone who has (or plans to) draft Mr Fitzgerald in an NFL fantasy team draft has absolutely nothing to worry about.

By sheer coincidence after doing my Twitter interview with Larry Fitzgerald I had an NFL.com fantasy draft.

Yep you guessed it I picked Mr Fitzgerald in the first round (pick #7), I then went on to get Tom Brady in round 2 – so all good.

Here is the twitterview (my new idea where you ask a superstar on Twitter 10 questions and have 10 Twitter responses). I know this is not perfect as you are very limited to short answers but it was a real buzz seeing my Twitter account fill up with responses from a man who scored in the Superbowl under six months ago. 

How else could I be in contact with such an NFL mega star !

Lawrence Vos (LV): NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 How is training camp going? Are the Cards gonna win it all this time? I hope you have 30 secs to reply it would be superbLarry Fitzgerald

(LF): Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLAND we will be good again

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11Thanks Mr F – Can I interview you for my blog when you are available please http://nflfaninengland.word… NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11Would you be willing to do a twitterview with me (I created this idea – 10 questions asked and replied to on twitter) !!!!!

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLAND ask away

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 1) Do you think Santonio Holmes was actually in bounds for that late Superbowl touchdown?

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLAND I don’t talk about the superbowl anymore.sorry man.I look past that game

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@ Lfitzgerald11 2) Can you break any single season season receiving records in 2009? If so which ones are you targetting?

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLAND I’m just targeting making my team better & staying healthy 

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 3) How different is your life after you had that incredible playoff run in 2008-2009? Do you now get more endorsement deals?

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLAND yes I have more opportunities that were thrown my way after the run

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 4) What food or drink are your kryptonite? I know u train hard but what do you treat yourself to?Larry Fitzgerald’s kryptonite !

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLAND I’m a huge fan of vitamin water.love it

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 5) Regarding Anquan is he 100% staying with you in the desert? How much better does he make you as an NFL receiver?
 
LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLANDplaying with anquan really helps my game a ton.hes such a threat 2 opposing teams.I dont wanna play without him
 
LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 6) What is the hardest part of training camp and do you have any special trainers helping you?
 
LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLANDhardest part of camp is the 3 week gruel of running,cutting,& body aching.u have 2b able 2 give ur all in tough conditions

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 7) Are you for or against 18 regular season games? and why?

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLANDhaven’t really thought of it yet.im fine with the 16 games for now

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 8) Would you be excited or not if the Cardinals were selected to play an NFL game in London in 2010?

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLANDI wouldn’t mind it.but im also not gonna jump for joy if we were selected to play there

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 9) How much better has Kurt Warner made you? His experience and faith is huge in my estimation

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLANDkurt Is one of the smartest qb in the game.he makes me a better player everyday

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11 10) Final question in mt twitterview – Which Cardinals rookies are showing that they are ready to get gametime in 2009?

LF: WhiteLfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLANDbeanie is goin 2b a beast.he is so talented plus hes dropping weight.expect big things from him this year.

LV: NFLFANINENGLAND@Lfitzgerald11Mr F you are a superstar and a class act. Thankyou for taking the time out. I hope to get you now in my nfl.com fantasy draft

LF: Lfitzgerald11@NFLFANINENGLANDno doubt brotha.take care

Anything YOU would have asked Mr Fitzgerald?
Holt doing what he does best

Holt doing what he does best

In this world of wide-mouthed wide-receivers there are some that have better skills talking to the media than they do on the field. Recently acquired Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Torry Holt fortunately is not one of them.

Holt who owns a Superbowl winners ring is one class act who will hopefully get the opportunity to deliver a few good seasons in the Florida sunshine, and maybe even get a few playoff wins.

Holt  had a remarkable career in St Louis, with 869 (5th active in NFL, 11th all time in NFL) catches for 12,660 (5th active in NFL, 14th all time NFL).

So what is his secret? Is it his super human fitness? NO. Is it the fact he has missed just two games in 10 seasons of football? NO. Is it the supporting cast he had over that decade, including the likes of Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk? NO.

The answer is his mutant hand. Yes Torry Holt has a mutant finger that is capable of bending in any direction, and in his own words ‘the ability to scare little children’.

You want to last a decade being hit by crazy psycho safeties – the key is a mutant finger.

Don’t believe me? Check it out HERE .

I think Boldin will be the MVP

I think Boldin will be the MVP

It’s my favourite day of the year today. Better than my birthday, better than Christmas, even better than that feeling when you know you have just done your last shift at work before a two week break. It’s Superbowl Sunday.

It’s a day that is unlike any other as evey play on Superbowl Sunday becomes part of NFL folklore, every catch, every tackle, every kick, every block, all immortalised by the incredible people at NFL Films.

Over the past week here in England those who have a subscription to the Sky Sports satellite channels have had the privilege of watching every episode of  ‘America’s Game’.

Seeing the rags to riches tale of Kurt Warner in 1999, the dominating defenses of the ’85 Bears, the ’00 Ravens and the ’02 Buccaneers, along with the  legendary Dolphins, Steelers, Redskins, and Raiders teams (to name a few) of the past 40 years it makes you realise that this Sunday is more than just a game, it is a notch in the giant oak tree of history. A notch that is permanent, a notch that is there forever for all to see.

This game between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers sees one team that is historically a by-word for ineptitude, for losing and for afterthought against a team that boasts five Superbowl wins and five Superbowl trophies in their creaking trophy cabinet.

I think (as a neutral) I will have the same pre-game feelings as many of you out there. I want the Cardinals to win (I have even bet £10.00 on them to win by 7 to 12 points at 8-1) but I cannot look beyond the Steelers defense. The cliche is true ‘offense wins games – defense wins championships’. It’s true, and watching America’s Game just makes that statement bigger and bolder than ever.

I saw John Madden interviewed this week and he was asked for a prediction – he said no one predicts, we all just guess. I agree, and so for the record and so you can poke fun at me on Monday here are my guesses regarding Superbowl XLIII………..

Final Score – Cardinals 28-21 Steelers – I reckon Warner tosses three touchdowns (two to Boldin one to Edgarrin James) and Tim Hightower gets the Cardinals 4th. Ill go with a Roethlisberger run, a Hines Ward catch and a Heath Miller catch for the three Steelers touchdowns.

Game MVP – Anquan Boldin – Arizona Cardinals WR – (9 catches 111 yards 2 touchdowns)  My thought process behind Boldin is based on the fact that Fitzgerald will be the man who will have his #11 jersey followed around the Tampa Bay field like a sniper on a target. Boldin has had bad press for calling out his offensive coordinator, but we all know he has incredible hands and some pretty good speed. Boldin can get the MVP if the gameplan is aimed at getting him the ball, just like Deion Branch for the Patriots in Superbowl XXXIX (2005).

 Now lets see who you think will be MVP and why…………..

Timmy Smith (left) was so under the radar before Superbowl XXII that his blip did not register - 204 rushing yards later he became immortal

Timmy Smith (left) was so under the radar before Superbowl XXII that his blip did not register - 204 rushing yards later he became immortal

We all know that this is a game featuring two previos Superbowl winning quarterbacks (not sure how many times this has happened before  – maybe Superbowl XIII Roger Staubach v Terry Bradshaw) but we all like to root for players that have the potential to make the Superbowl the best game in their entire career that NOBODY would have predicted.

Examples of Superbowl ‘Under the Radar’ players who had amazing Superbowls include…..

  • Timmy Smith the Redskins running back who ran for 204 yards in Superbowl XXII (1988) against the Broncos. What isn’t so well known is that Smith went to prison in 2006 for trying to sell cocaine to an undercover policeman – unreal I know – see here Number 6.
  • Larry Brown the Cowboys cornerback who had two interceptions and an eventual MVP award in Superbowl XXX. What istn’t so well know is that Brown only had 14 career interceptions and has appeared in an episode of Married with Children – as himself.
  • Wide receivers Andre Coleman (San Diego Chargers) and Desmond Howard (Green Bay Packers) remarkably both have recorded 244 combined yards (rushing, receiving, returning) in the Superbowl (in separate games). Coleman’s achievement is even more special as he was a rookie when he took on the 49ers in Superbowl XXIX. Howard who was drafted by the Redskins and was a bust was immortalised forever when he returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against the New England Patriots.

So no pressure there then for some players that will not be household names but could have their names etched in Superbowl granite for the next 43 years.

Here goes then – five players that could have mindblowing games but no-one is talking about them right now…..

  •  Mewelde Moore– Pittsburgh Steelers – running back – If Willie Parker has the bad fortune of getting injured again early in the game (bearing in mind he has missed 5 games this season already) Moore could get his opportunity on a global stage. Moore racked up over 1,100 total yards in 2008 and his versatility in rushing, catching and returning and as an everyman he could have a monster game if fate deals his hand.
  • JJ Arrington– Arizona Cardinals – running back – Arrington actually tops Moore with over 1,350 total yards in 2008. As a kick returner Arrington has taken two kick returns ‘to da house’ in his career, and as miracles do happen what is the odds of him taking one back against the Steelers of all people. He could also find himself unmarked in the red zone and catch a touchdown that may turn the game, just like Tim Hightowed did two weeks ago against the Eagles.
  • Neil Rackers– Arizona Cardinals – kicker – With the Pittsburgh Steelers bringing their #1 ranked defense to Florida the Cardinals could be struggling in the red-zone so we could get to some bizarre situation when it comes down to Rackers having the game of his life with potentially six converted field goals. No kicker will ever get a Superbowl MVP award, but racking up something crazy like 18 points would be unforgettable.
  • Jerheme Urban– Arizona Cardinals – wide receiver – With Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin being salivated over by the American media and Steve Breaston being a new member of the 1,000 yard club Urban, the Cards 4th wideout, could be the straw that breaks the Steelers pass defense. Urban has great hands and is a Wes Welker ‘Lite’. If he is left alone, or seen as an afterthought he could get 8 catches for 100 yards and maybe even a score. It’s unlikely, but we know that any given sunday is a cliche with real bite.
  • Nate Washington– Pittsburgh Steelers – wide receiver – Washington is a pure and simple game breaker. He can get a 70 yard touchdown or be swept away by a lockdown CB. As a 3rd WR he will be overlooked in some situations and get his chance to shine. I know Big Ben likes to throw him a few bones every game – normally monster bombs – this could simply be the stage when he makes two catches for 120 yards and two tds.

Anyone elsoe got any ‘under the radar’ picks for the Superbowl? Please post in the comments section of my blog – I will be facinated to read them……….

supab-owl

I love statistics and I love watching Super Bowls. 

It will in fact be my 23rd consecutive Superbowl that I will be viewing on tv in England.

To celebrate the game and to make the week leading up to the Superbowl a bit more personal to you all I would like you to post answers to twenty questions below in the comments section of this post.

Whilst I cannot promise a cash prize to the most accurate I will do an email interview with the winner and do a post devoted to your favourite NFL team.

So how do you play this quiz – Well it has 10 questions which can be answered YES or NO and then 10 questions which require either names or numbers. All questions are based on Superbowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Round 1 – The YES or NO round (1 point per correct answer)

1) Will Kurt Warner pass for over 250 yards?

2) Will Willie Parker gain over 100 yards rushing?

3) Will Larry Fitzgerald lead all players (both teams) in recieving yards?

4) Will Troy Polamanu get an interception?

5) Will Steelers TE Heath Miller get a touchdown?

6) Will either Kurt Warner or Ben Roethlisberger get a rushing touchdown?

7) Will there be over 50 points scored in total (by both teams combined) in the game?

8) Will Cardinals RB Tim Hightower score a touchdown?

 9) Will there be 5 or more sacks (by both teams combined) in the game?

10) Will there be a touchdown (of any type) of 50 yards or longer?

Round 2 – The Name round

11) Who will be the game MVP?

12) Who will be the leading rusher in the game?

13) Who will be the leading receiver in the game by yards?

14) Who will be the leading receiver in the game by catches?

15) Who if anyone will get two (or more) sacks? (you can answer nobody)

Round 3 – The number round

16) How many interceptions will be thrown in the game (total by both teams)?

17) How many total touchdowns will be scored (total by both teams)?

18) Which quarter will feature the most points scored (combined)?

19) How many players will record a sack?

20) What will be the length of the longest field goal kicked?

Good luck – I look forward to the entries below in the comments part of this blog post.

This weekend belings to Ray Lewis and the Ravens - my upset special against an 'on paper' better team.

This weekend belongs to Ray Lewis and the Ravens - my upset special against an 'on paper' better team.

After two rounds of hitting and high fives I have managed to get six out of eight playoff winners correct, and this means I did predict the Ravens, Eagles and the Steelers to reach the final four.

Where I messed up and where I suspect the rest of the world messed up was not giving enough respect to the Arizona Cardinals. Yes the Arizona Cardinals – a team historically so inept they can talk long into the night with the Detroit Lions and still feel bad.

Say it in your head, or say it out loud – the Arizona Cardinals are JUST ONE game away from the Superbowl. It sounds like some sort of joke, or maybe something that you can only witness when playing John Madden on your console, but no this is real, and in about 30 hours the Cards HOST the NFC Championship game against the wily Philadelphia Eagles, so that is where my prediction will start.

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP – PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ ARIZONA CARDINALS

On the surface this is a battle between Donovan McNabb (one Superbowl played one loss) and Kurt Warner(two Superbowls played one won one loss) to show which veteran quarterback has the intestinal fortitude to lead their team to the promised land, but this game will come down to the brute strength and blocking power of the offensive and defensive lines – as they will be the guys pressurising or protecting Mc Nabb and Warner, and the ones making the gaps or shutting down the run.

Both McNabb and Warner were sacked an average of less than twice a game, so both offensive lines are solid but are able to be exploited.

The real key is that McNabb is more likely to take a sack and keep possession of the ball. Cardinals have looked awful at points this season when Warner has spilled the ball, and I think the Eagles will dial up the pressure throughout the game.

NFL FAN IN ENGLAND gives his KEYS to the game

1) The Cardinals need to get 120 yards rushing to stand any hope of winning this game, and this does not necessarily mean 100 from Edge – it could be 65 for Edge and 55 for Tim Hightower who looks to be swimming in shark infested water at the moment.

2) The Eagles WRs need to make a statement early that they can be difference makers. Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson can both have huge games but someone like Reggie Brown or Jason Avant could be the player to break the game open as they will get single coverage.

3) Neil Rackers needs to be there and come through in the clutch. He has gone from fantasy gold to an after thought, and this game could come down to a kick. David Akers has the NFL post season consecutive completed fg record. Rackers has never been to a championship game – will it overawe him or will he become a hero.

 4) Brian Westbrook . He has had a rather quiet post season, so is this the game he busts out of his funk? YES in my opinion it is. Westbrook has more talent than Edgarrin James but has so far not been the multi dimensional weapon that he has been in the regular season. Providing he has 15 touches each half this could decide the game.

5) This game comes down to the Eagles secondary beating up on the Cardinals wideouts, and despite the hype surrounding Fitzgeral and Boldin this is where I think the game will be won for the Eagles, who will pick off Warner three times.

Prediction – Philadelphia 27-17 Arizona – MVP Donovan McNabb 2 passing tds

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP – BALTIMORE RAVENS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Ravens have shown that the formula of Defense Defense Defense is enough to mask any offensive deficiences. Only one problem its exactly what the Steelers have in their very own test tubes also.

On paper he Steelers have the all round talent and also are the most recent of the final four to win a Superbowl, and the last time they did it they had Ben Roethlisberger who will again be under center for this bruising affair.

The 2008 season will be remembered as the Wild Card winners Superbowl as I think the Ravens will get revenge against a Steelers team that is going to be thinking it is the better team right now. I expect this game to be as ugly as the Titans v Ravens game last week – but for the defensive purist this will be a thing of beauty.

 NFL FAN IN ENGLAND gives his KEYS to the game

 1) Flacco has to be a handoff robot. If Joe Flacco wants to be the first rookie qb to start in a Superbowl then he needs to be disciplined and listen to his coaches instructions. This is what has got him this far, and despite a pass rush that will be scarier than being stuck in a lift with Plaxico Burress and an AK-47, if Flacco stays disciplined this could be his ticket to immortality.

2) The emotional impact of Hines Ward. Whilst the linebackers of the Steelers have been the highlight reel champions the Steelers go as far as Hines Ward’s catches. He is destined to go to the Hall of Fame (and I am no terrible towel waver) and he can ignite Heinz Field with a crucial 3rd down conversion or a touchdown. Take him out early – no – take him out late. When the game is on the line that’s when the Ravens need to cover every blade of grass that Ward does.

3) The Steelers offensive line protecting Big Ben. Its all very well saying Willie Parker is gonna have another huge game – but you cannot get the running game going unless the pass is successful early. Look for Big Ben to try and pass the Steelers out of the blocks with some screens and te hitches. I think the Ravens D will be ready for this and an early pickoff will get Big Ben nervous.

4) Can Mark Clayton please show up. Derek Mason is a stud and deserves respect (I said last week he would be huge and he was) but he cannot win the game by himself as a WR. Fans will have Clayton as an afterthought but he does have the talent to change a game, and this in my humble opinion is where he will do it.

5) Todd Heap. It seems the real Todd Heap hasnt shown up for about 2 seasons, but when it counts Heap can be dangerous. He may not be the Todd Heap of old – but he can get 5 catches this game. If he does the Ravens win.

Prediction –  Baltimore 21-20 Pittsburgh – MVP – Ray Lewis 12 tackles and 1 INT.

That leaves me with a Baltimore v Philadelphia Superbowl – Any thoughts ?????