Tuesday, May 27, 2014

NFL Preseason Outlook

With the 2014 NFL Draft over, most teams are pretty much set heading into the fall. That
means it is time to realistically make predictions as far as divisional winners and fantasy
football standouts in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks return plenty of talent from their
Super Bowl winning team, but no team has repeated since 2005. Here’s a short preview
of each division.

AFC East

New England has dominated this division for the last few years, and nothing should
change in 2014. The other teams have some young talent, but they aren’t ready to truly
compete just yet. Tom Brady struggled in fantasy football a year ago, but a better running
game and defense should make up for any holes in his play.

AFC North

The Cincinnati Bengals might disappoint once they get to the playoffs, but at least
they get there. Andy Dalton is probably going to get one last shot to be a franchise
quarterback, but they could make a change if they can’t win a playoff game. Watch for
Pittsburgh to possibly steal this division or at least get a wild card spot.

AFC South

Indianapolis ran away with this division in 2013, and they should once again cruise to
the title. Houston is going to be a lot better now that they are healthy, but they still do not
have a quarterback like Andrew Luck to build around. Jacksonville and Tennessee are
still at least a year away.

AFC West

Can anyone challenge the Denver Broncos? Kansas City sort of did in 2013, but they
are due for a slight regression. San Diego is actually the team most likely to pull off a
shocker, but a healthy Peyton Manning makes this division a no-contest.

NFC East

The most talked about division in football has no dominant team, so the race is wide
open. Most are picking Philadelphia to win the division again, but Dallas did enough in
the offseason to address their offensive line and defense issues at least a bit. Tony Romo
will take care of the offense with his new contract ironed out.

NFC North

Green Bay looks dominant on paper, and a healthy Aaron Rodgers-Eddie Lacy
combination on paper sounds deadly. Detroit and Chicago will challenge, but the Packers
have their eyes set on a title.

NFC South

Carolina’s lack of receivers could cost them this division. New Orleans went out and
added more weapons for Drew Brees, and their defense is underrated. Take the dynamic
bunch to prevail thanks to an efficient offense.

NFC West

The Super Bowl hangover can be tough, but Seattle seems hungry for more. San
Francisco will make the playoffs regardless, but they will settle for the wild card spot.
The Seahawks won’t slip into mediocrity like the Baltimore Ravens a year ago.

credit: Sam Larson

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Broncos Lose to the Seahawks

After pegging the best season in terms of offense, in NFL history, the Denver Broncos choke in a historic rout. Although Vegas gurus were obviously predicting a very close game, which can be determined from the spread of just 2.5, the Seattle Seahawks nearly covered the 2.5 point spread in the first series of the game, when an errant snap gave Seattle an easy safety and the ball back for the next possession.

After a series of Denver gaffes, the Seahawks front four were able to create an enormous amount of pressure on Peyton Manning, rushing all of his throws. As a result, Peyton's throws were picked off multiple times, resulting in a pick six and many stifled drives. The Broncos were held completely scoreless in the first half. During a few Denver drives, the Broncos had a chance to put points up on the board via field goals, but given the huge disparity in score, Denver chose to go for the touchdowns. This was a mistake because on both drives Peyton wasn't able to convert on short field touchdown opportunities. One of these resulted in an interception return for a touchdown, and the other resulted in a traditional Seattle interception.

Russell Wilson was nearly impossible to contain for the Denver defense. He broke contain on numerous occasions to keep drives alive. He found sideline receivers like Baldwin, Percy Harvin, and Golden Tate outside of the pocket numerous times. When Russell Wilson wasn't carving up the Broncos Defense, "Beast Mode" Marshawn Lynch was terrorizing the Denver defensive line. The victory was so lopsided that by the 4th quarter Seattle decided to rest Lynch, and even Wilson. Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson finished the game to allow the standouts to rest.

By the end of the game, Cornerback Richard Sherman, was on crutches. Kam Chancellor was also injured. Therefore this was far from a "clean" win for Seattle. Yet, this is an incredibly important victory for the city of Seattle. There has been no major sports victory for the city since the 1979-1980 season when the now defunct Seattle Supersonics last won a championship. You can rest assured. The people of seattle are going to be celebrating this Super Bowl win for a long long time to come. I, for one, can only congratulate the young team for knocking off the best offense historically in the history of the game!


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