Tag Archives: San Francisco 49ers

2017-2018 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

1. Chiefs (+0)

Kansas City follows a dominant win against New England with an impressive home finish against Philadelphia, who’s playing like a playoff team right now.

2. Raiders (+0)

Derek Carr lights up the Jets with Michael Crabtree hauling in three touchdowns.

3. Broncos (+10)

They looked very good in week one against the Chargers and followed it up with a dominant performance against the Cowboys. Was arguably the best game on Sunday. Trevor Siemian looks like more than a game manager and the No Fly Zone is alive and well.

4. Eagles (+0)

Hard for me to fault the Eagles when they played a competitive game against the Chiefs. Carson Wentz is far superior to Jared Goff and looks like a young franchise staple, though we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves just yet.

5. Patriots (+0)

I’m reluctant to move them after a concerning start last week, but the Saints gave the Patriots a chance to sure up their secondary. They were up to the task. Brady looked like himself.

6. Cowboys (-3)

Dallas got throttled. The best offensive line in football could not contain the Denver pass rush. Prescott played well despite a lack of a running game. Not well enough that he can beat a team like Denver by himself, but well. Cowboys defense looked out of sorts.

7. Lions (+0)

Stafford beats a dismal Giants team. Not much news here.

8. Falcons (+2)

After a head-turning score against Buffalo, Atlanta beats Rodgers at home.

9. Packers (-3)

They played Seattle and Atlanta in their first two games, easily the toughest slate thus far. Winning one of those games is still a good start to the season.

10. Steelers (-1)

Offense got some consistency against Minnesota but nowhere near the production of last season. Ben looks like the wheels are slowing down, though not enough to hit the panic button. Offensive line played much better against a top-ten front seven. Unsure how good Steelers defense is given their lack of competition (Kizer, Keenum).

11. Titans (+1)

Clearly the frontrunners in the South right now, Tennessee pulled away from the Jaguars in the second half. Neither Murray or Mariota are in fourth gear right now and they still put up 37 against Jacksonville.

12. Ravens (-4)

Offense is still unsteady. Capable defense has played weak competition (Browns, Bengals).

13. Seahawks (-2)

This team better find an offensive line fast. Right now, looks like Russell Wilson and the opposing team’s entire defensive line is playing a game of tag. Seattle is at risk of not making the playoffs despite the Legion of Boom, which would be a genuine travesty.

14. Vikings (+0)

Without Bradford and against a better team, the Minnesota offense was contained. Defense played admirably against a top-five O-line.

15. Buccaneers (+3)

Winston has all the tools he requires to have a top-ten offense. Doug Martin isn’t even back yet.

16. Jaguars (-1)

The Jaguars’ run, run, run tactic waned against Tennessee, who caught on as quickly as expected. Jaguars desperately need quarterback help. This issue will likely leave them out of the playoff race for the umpteenth time.

17. Chargers (-1)

The Chargers choke more than any team in football. Getting that monkey off their back will lead to a lot of wins. Rivers can lead this team.

18. Rams (-1)

Got straight run over by Washington, who had 229 yards on the ground. Wade Phillips is the coordinator in Los Angeles. Need to bounce back against San Fran.

19. Panthers (+1)

Carolina might be the least interesting undefeated team remaining. Wins against the 9ers and Bills don’t tell us much about the Panthers.

20. Redskins (+3)

Ground game looked great. Cousins looks like he misses McVay’s play calls.

21. Saints (+0)

Saints had trouble in the red zone in week one. Waiting for them to utilize Adrian Peterson in some meaningful way. Defense is still set for historic numbers.

22. Dolphins (+2)

Not getting excited about Cutler. Ajayi has to prove he’s for real this year.

23. Bears (-1)

After a strong showing against Atlanta, a meh one against the Bucs.

24. Cardinals (-5)

We’re learning how important David Johnson is to this football team. Defense will earn them wins but they got lightly carved by Jacoby Brissett.

25. Bills (+2)

Buffalo hung with Carolina. Let’s get Shady going, shall we?

26. Texans (+2)

Houston really needed this one. Deshaun Watson will have some growing pains but had a connection with Hopkins on Thursday. Watt stepped up.

27. Browns (-2)

Cleveland’s team is young. They will win games and should win against the Colts next week.

28. 49ers (+1)

Held Seattle in check, lost 12-9. Score a touchdown and that’s a W.

29. Giants (-3)

The line is a mess and McAdoo’s scheme might be worse. A team with as talented a receiving corps as the Giants have to suck this much is inexcusable. McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese need canned. They have a top-ten defense that likely won’t see the playoffs.

30. Jets (+1)

They hung with Oakland for a bit there.

31. Colts (+1)

Brissett showed us how truly awful Scott Tolzien is. This team could use some Luck right now.

32. Bengals (-2)

Andy Dalton is likely seeing his last year in Cincy. The offensive coordinator was fired following Thursday’s game. Marvin Lewis still has a job in the NFL, for some reason.

Biggest Climb: Broncos (+10)

Biggest Fall: Cardinals (-5)

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2017-2018 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

1. Chiefs

Kansas City had a historic night against the best team in football. Alex Smith played the best game of his career in a crucial game, not only because it was on the road in New England, but because draft pick Patrick Mahomes is now on the bench chomping at the bit for a shot. Kareem Hunt, after fumbling on his first NFL snap, exploded with the most fantasy points ever scored in a rookie debut in the history of the NFL. His stat line was quite impressive (17 for 148, TD; 5 receptions for 98, 2 TDs) and with Spencer Ware out for the year, was the type of game Kansas City needed to see from the Toledo product. Tyreek Hill looked like a star receiver. All this said, it’s important to put things into perspective. Tom Brady was clearly not himself on Thursday, two long touchdowns were scored off of blown coverages and again, Alex Smith has seen his best performance pass him by. It was the perfect start for the Chiefs, but just the start.

2. Raiders

Derek Carr looked fresh off his season-ending injury from last year and Marshawn Lynch looked like Marshawn. I’m hesitant to get too excited about the latter, just because it was one game, but I had no complaints. It was also against Tennessee, a likely playoff team. Finally, it was probably a fluke, but the Raiders didn’t allow a passing touchdown and DeMarco Murray didn’t get 50 yards rushing.

3. Cowboys

The second year matters a lot more to an NFL player’s career than the first because it shows whether or not he’s a one-hit wonder. Dak Prescott does not look like a one-hit wonder. Dallas has made a seamless transition at the quarterback position, found a running back that makes the absolute most of his offensive line and defensive coordinator Scott Linehan has done wonders with the Cowboys defense. Notre Dame star Jaylon Smith looked good.

4. Eagles

Carson Wentz looked improved with a valid receiving core and outperformed Kirk Cousins. The Philly defensive front looked insufferable.

5. Patriots

New England’s still my Super Bowl pick, but looked disorganized on Thursday. The Patriots defense set a record for most yardage allowed in the Belichick era and couldn’t get any pressure on Alex Smith. That element must change quick. However, New England fans shouldn’t panic. They face New Orleans on Sunday, the perfect team to face when you need to improve your defense and get your offense rolling.

6. Packers

Packers once again come out victorious against a powerful foe. Defense held Russell Wilson at bay, though that may say more about the Seahawks offensive line then the Packers defense. Still, a win against Atlanta in week 2 would be huge.

7. Lions

Matt Stafford started the first game following his bloated contract signing in the worst way, throwing a pick-six, but, as Stafford does, slinged his way to yet another fourth quarter comeback. However, as has always been the problem with Detroit, they still have no idea how to run the ball. Ameer Abdullah was nonexistent. This continual reliance on Stafford will come back to bite the Lions for the umpteenth time in a row.

8. Ravens

Yes, they played the Bengals, who are awful, as I expected. Yes, Joe Flacco was mediocre at best. Yes, the Ravens defense played way better than I anticipated in its opening game and yes, that alone is worth a top-ten spot after a rather mundane week 1 for the NFL.

9. Steelers

Ben looked frazzled, the offensive line struggled, Le’Veon Bell was clearly not prepared after his holdout and the offensive play calling was lacking. However, T.J. Watt and the defensive pressure on rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer was great, totaling seven sacks and Antonio Brown showed why he’s the highest-paid receiver in the league with an 11-reception, 182 yard performance. That is why Brown got the extension with the Steelers and not Bell. They play the Vikings on Sunday, which will give the offensive line a chance to redeem themselves against one of the best defensive lines in football.

10. Falcons

Nothing flashy. Actually concerning that they couldn’t beat Chicago until the last play of the game.

11. Seahawks

Russell Wilson needs help up front. Badly. He can perform insane athletic feats as he scrambles for his life, but he can’t be expected to do that every game. A running game would be a huge help, too. The Seattle defense is excellent, but if you hold Aaron Rodgers to 17 points and still lose, you need to take a real look at your offense.

12. Titans

Marcus Mariota wasn’t flashy and Murray didn’t thrill against the Raiders defense but it’s worth noting their defense held the Raiders to 26. They kept them in the game. Look to make a big step in 2017 and hopefully, a playoff spot.

13. Broncos

Trevor Siemian looked fine in his first start of the year. Broncos defense will give teams fits all season.

14. Vikings

Not going to get excited about Sam Bradford carving the worst defense in the league. Dalvin Cook looked good and one of the best defenses in football did great in the red zone against Drew Brees.

15. Jaguars

I had them ranked highly after they were able to contend with Green Bay in week one last year. We’ll see if something similar happens. Last year, following the Green Bay game, they went 2-11. Fournette looked good and Jacksonville looks content to run the wheels off of him, but that strategy won’t work against everyone. They’ll need to get more creative as the season progresses.

16. Chargers

A late rally nearly got the Los Angeles Chargers a W. They lost a lot of close games last year, a stat that needs to change if they want a postseason birth.

17. Rams

Not going to get excited about the Rams beating on Scott Tolzien. Rams defense will be good this year with Wade Phillips in town.

18. Buccaneers

Bye. Jameis should be a lot better with added weapons on the offense.

19. Cardinals

Loss of David Johnson will hurt this team tremendously. Carson Palmer looked washed up.

20. Panthers

Carolina won against the 49ers. Yay.

21. Saints

The defense is awful but if they performed in the red zone, they likely beat the Vikings.

22. Bears

Nearly pulled off an upset of an Atlanta.

23. Redskins

Ryan Kerrigan is really good and the defensive front will get some pressure. Offense looked stagnant.

24. Dolphins

Bye. Not thrilled to see Jay Cutler.

25. Browns

Looked like an actual football team. Offensive line should allow for a strong running game this year.

26. Giants

McAdoo needs fired. Offense, despite multiple weapons, is bottom five. Great defense will help them contend for a playoff spot but already regret picking them for a wild card spot.

27. Bills

Struggling to beat the Jets is nothing to be proud of.

28. Texans

Defense struggled with Jags. Hopefully Deshaun Watson can get the offense going.

29. 49ers

Kyle Shanahan should get some fresh energy in the locker room.

30. Bengals

Andy Dalton is approaching a cliff. Marvin Lewis has been off the cliff for years but continues to have a job.

31. Jets

Who would have thought the Jets wouldn’t be at the bottom of the power rankings after week one?

32. Colts

The defense is thin and without Andrew Luck, we get to see how awful Indy really is.

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

1. Patriots (+0)

New England is simply too good, railroading anyone who dares to get in their way. Brady is on pace to be the first player ever to win the MVP without playing a full season (can’t recall anyone who has ever done that).

2. Vikings (+0)

Vikings drop their first game of the year. Philly showed their vulnerable on the offensive line (Minnesota’s two starting tackles are both out with injury). With that said, Minnesota is going to have to drop another game before they lose command of this spot.

3. Falcons (+0)

The loss to Seattle is hard to penalize them for. San Diego in the last few weeks has shown they can be dangerous. That said, a home game vs. Green Bay is a must-win.

4. Cowboys (+0)

Bye. Pumped for DAL and PHI on SNF.

5. Broncos (+1)

Denver humiliated Brock Osweiler. Established dominance. C.J. Anderson’s injury will certainly change the offense. Curious to see how they adjust.

6. Eagles (+5)

Who would have thought we’d have two NFC East teams in the top-ten this year? Philly dropped their last two but silenced the doubters with a win over the Vikings.

7. Raiders (+1)

I’m still perplexed how this team sits here on my board but there just aren’t a lot of teams I’d take over Oakland.

8. Seahawks (-3)

What we witnessed on Sunday Night Football was torturous in every sense of the word. Every time Seattle has a change to put the division under lock and key, they give analysts a doubt as to how good they really are. With ten minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had yet to have multiple first downs on a possession. Russell Wilson is playing hurt and Seattle has decide how long they want to deal with that handicap.

9. Steelers (-2)

A Pittsburgh team led by Landry Jones lost to 11 to New England. Teams who were healthy and faced New England have lost by more. A well-deserved bye week for the Steelers should give them the recuperation time they need.

10. Chiefs (-1)

Shouldn’t have had troubles with New Orleans. AFC West is toughest division in football right now.

11. Lions (+7)

Consecutive wins over Philly, Los Angeles and Washington look pretty good, especially for a team near the bottom in rushing. Stafford hasn’t lost a step without Calvin and has looked better this year than he has in recent ones.

12. Redskins (+0)

Narrow loss to Washington doesn’t diminish their ranking this week.

13. Packers (+0)

A win over a Chicago team that had to play most of the game with Matt Barkley at quarterback is not astounding.

14. Bills (-4)

The foolish Bills started McCoy with a bum hamstring. McCoy promptly injured his hamstring further and is now unlikely to play against New England in a must-win game if they want any chance of capturing the AFC East. Foolish indeed. Oh and they got torched by Miami, too.

15. Bengals (-1)

Win a meaningful game. Please, for the love of all that’s holy, win a meaningful game, Cincinnati, or your fall in the rankings will continue.

16. Giants (-1)

OBJ saved this team last week. Case Keenum saved the Giants season this week.

17. Chargers (+7)

Wins over Denver and Atlanta in back-to-back weeks have saved San Diego’s season and shown, had it not been for failing in the clutch multiple times early, they could be the front runners in the West. As I said, West is the best right now.

18. Rams (-1)

Todd Gurley has the third-worst ypc (3.0) among qualified players. Keenum just threw four interceptions.

19. Cardinals (+1)

That game on Sunday night was a crime against humanity. David Johnson was the only entertainment to be had.

20. Dolphins

Jay Ajayi became the fourth runningback in NFL history to run for 200 yards in back-to-back games. He has single-handedly resurrected the Dolphins’ season.

21. Texans (-2)

Embarrassed. Brock Osweiler threw for the second fewest passing yards on 40 attempts in NFL history. $72 million for this guy.

22. Ravens (-6)

The Ravens skid continues, dropping their fourth consecutive game.

23. Panthers (+0)

Bye.

24. Saints (+1)

The offense is killer. Nearly beat Kansas City.

25. Titans (-3)

Should’ve beat Indy and grabbed the AFC South throne. They did not. The South is the weakest division in football, again.

26. Buccaneers (+0)

Beat San Fran. Yay.

27. Colts (+0)

Beating the Titans is nice and all. Show me more.

28. Jets (+0)

They beat the Ravens and ended their slip n slide but that doesn’t excuse said slide.

29. Bears (+1)

Cutler returns next week. That’s good.

30. 49ers (-1)

Own that six-game losing streak, San Fran!

31. Jaguars (+0)

This team is horrid despite the talent they have. Need changes in the staff if they want to move forward.

32. Browns (+0)

They’ve been close to winning a few times. I’m taking them against the Jets.

Biggest Climb: Lions, Chargers (+7)

Biggest Fall: Ravens (-6)

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

1. Patriots (+0)

The Bengals were no match. New England remains the king.

2. Vikings (+0)

The Vikings had a bye and maintain their spot. They play Philly next week, another tough test.

3. Falcons (+1)

Atlanta nearly pulled off the trifecta and if it weren’t for a blatant pass interference no-call, Atlanta wins in Seattle. Their strength of schedule and competitiveness in those games moves them up a spot.

4. Cowboys (+2)

Elliott is a bulldozer and Prescott the perfect game manager. I believe in the Cowboys this year.

5. Seahawks (+3)

Seattle gets a big win over Atlanta, showing they can compete with the big boys.

6. Broncos (-3)

Back-to-back losses drops Denver out of the top five but remain a dangerous team.

7. Steelers (-2)

Pittsburgh has another drastic collapse, flailing against the Dolphins. Ben is now out. Unless they’re competitive against New England, they’ll likely be out of the top ten next week.

8. Raiders (-1)

Oakland falls to Kansas City but have accomplished too much thus far to fall out of my select group.

9. Chiefs (+2)

The Chiefs strength of schedule will likely kick them out next week but an impressive return from the bye week can’t be ignored.

10. Bills (+4)

LeSean McCoy is having a great year and the Bills defense has shown up the last few games. LeSean is hurt and unlikely to be himself next week. How will the offense respond?

11. Eagles (-2)

Wentz was hassled all game and lose an inter-divisional game to the Redskins. I can hear people talking jumping off the Eagles bandwagon already. The team has been competitive in their last two losses. I’m not concerned yet.

12. Redskins (+9)

I have not given the Redskins the credit that they’ve deserved. This week, I make up for that and they give me a reason to, topping Philly at home.

13. Packers (-3)

Green Bay falls to Dallas. Their stats were bloating going into this game, especially on defense. The Cowboys set the record straight. Rodgers is not himself this year. Don’t sound the alarm, but their playoff hopes are shrinking.

14. Bengals (-2)

Cincinnati is 0-4 in meaningful games (PIT, DEN, DAL, NE). Wins against sub-.500 teams will not get you to the playoffs.

15. Giants (+2)

The media and the Giants organization have been giving Odell Beckham Jr. an earful. He may have just saved their season.

16. Ravens (-1)

The Ravens are now 1-3 in meaningful games and on a three-game losing streak. They need to beat the Jets next week.

17. Rams (-1)

As I said in my sports report last week, the Ram defense is not what it was. Todd Gurley cannot carry this offense. With that said, LA showed on Sunday that they can find a way to put up points if they need to. They put up 28 on Detroit.

18. Lions (+0)

Detroit had a tough streak of losses to Tennessee, Green Bay and Chicago but have bounced back with wins over Philadelphia and Los Angeles. They have Washington next week.

19. Texans (-6)

Houston’s offense looked dysfunctional versus Indianapolis. Imagine how they’ll play against Denver next week. Osweiler has not demonstrated he’s worth that contract.

20. Cardinals (-1)

Arizona has to do a lot to redeem himself. Beating a limping dog like the Jets is a small step.

21. Dolphins (+2)

Miami torched Pittsburgh. An injured Ben certainly helped but Jay Ajayi’s historic rushing performance was something.

22. Titans (+0)

Tennessee might be the frontrunner of the AFC South. I’m not calling it but it could happen. They’ve got the Colts next week.

23. Panthers (-2)

Carolina suffers a fourth-straight loss. They have a bye now. Hopefully they can regroup.

24. Chargers (+6)

Finally get a win and against Denver. Let’s see if they improve now that they have the monkey off their back. Bad news: they play Atlanta on Sunday.

25. Saints (+4)

The Saints top the Panthers at home. Believe in Brees, New Orleans. There ain’t no defense to believe in.

26. Buccaneers (+0)

Tampa Bay has the tools on offense that they could be higher than this. Still waiting for them to demonstrate it.

27. Colts (-3)

A blow lead by the Colts against a team they manhandled for almost an entire 60 just isn’t gonna cut it.

28. Jets (-3)

They’re bad.

29. 49ers (-2)

Kaepernick looked better than Gabbert but the team doesn’t have the talent to compete.

30. Bears (+1)

Narrow loss to the Jaguars. Brian Hoyer doesn’t look like a backup quarterback at least.

31. Jaguars (-3)

They have all the reason to improve. They just don’t.

32. Browns (+0)

The Browns.

Biggest Climb: Redskins (+9)

Biggest Drop: Texans (-6) 

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 5

1. Patriots (+1)

Tom Brady is back with no rust to show from his absence. The Patriots are healthy. The Patriots are lethal.

2. Vikings (+1)

I’m still amazed that Minnesota has accomplished what they’ve accomplished without Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson. Truly an astounding feat.

3. Broncos (-2)

Denver missed Trevor Siemian on Sunday. Paxton Lynch showed his potential but made some youthful mistakes.

4. Falcons (+3)

Over Carolina. Over Denver. Not only that, they’ve set a franchise record for most points through five games (175). Can they beat Seattle on the road and complete the trifecta? If they do, it’s likely they find themselves at number one next week.

5. Steelers (+0)

Pittsburgh maintains its spot at five after a dismantling of the Jets.

6. Cowboys (+11)

I hate the Cowboys but the team is good this year. There’s no denying that. While a lack of competition is a valid argument, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have achieved. Elliott is the third rookie to have 130 rushing yards in three straight games. Despite how high I have them ranked, I see an upset in the forecast. I have Dallas beating Green Bay at Lambeau. If they do that, I’ll know for sure they belong in this conversation. They also have Philly the following week.

7. Raiders (+2)

Oakland is a peculiar team. They’re dead last in yards allowed and near the bottom in every defensive category. They’ve allowed over 2,200 yards and 150 points through five games. They’re only the fourth team to accomplish that in NFL history. They’re also the only one to accomplish it and still have a winning record. That might be because, according to my rankings, they’ve played two top-15 teams in five games. As the schedule hardens, I don’t know if this team will be able to overcome its defensive failings but thus far, they’ve found a way, somehow, and that can’t be ignored.

8. Seahawks (+0)

Bye. Seattle’s defense is at the top in ypg, but they also haven’t played a top-15 team yet. Let’s see how they do as the game heats up. They’ve got Atlanta, their first true test.

9. Eagles (+1)

They lost their first game because of a late fumble. Can’t penalize them for that, especially when two other teams in the top ten did so much worse.

10. Packers (-6)

I’m fed up with Green Bay. Lacy is the best player on offense right now. Not Rodgers, not Nelson and not Cobb. That pass attack needs to figure it out. Rodgers told us to relax and played well against Detroit, but let’s not forget that was Detroit. They struggled with the Giants, a team that just built their defense this offseason.

11. Chiefs (+0)

Bye. Steelers crushed them. They come back and face another flying offense, Oakland.

12. Bengals (-6)

They’ve faced three top-ten teams and haven’t beaten any of them. If you can’t compete when it counts, you don’t belong in the top-ten or the playoffs. Of course, Cincy knows about the latter all too well. I’ve said it for years. Cincinnati needs a receiver opposite of Green. Last year, Sanu showed he could be that guy. They chose not to re-sign him. Right now, they’re asking Brandon LaFell to be that guy. That’s laughable.

13. Texans (+0)

Hard to penalize a team as limited on offense as Houston for having troubles with Minnesota but another loss won’t be overshadowed.

14. Bills (+9)

Buffalo had a rough 0-2 start. They’ve won their last three. I see no reason why they can’t make it four against San Francisco. If they don’t, expect them to drop. Not much of an aerial attack in Buffalo with Taylor’s inconsistency and Watkins’ absence, but the defense has come together. They don’t have tough competition until the middle of the season. That’s when we’ll know who this team really is.

15. Ravens (+0)

Narrow loss to the Redskins can’t be skipped over. My concern with Baltimore’s stats and record thus far was strength of schedule. I might have been right about that.

16. Rams (+0)

The Rams have a tough schedule. 3-2 three weeks in, with this offense, regardless of competition, is a feat. That said, LA is middle of the road, nothing more.

17. Giants (+1)

The defense impressed against Green Bay but that very well could have been Green Bay’s recent ineptitude. On offense, it’s a battle of who sucks more, Eli or the run game.

18. Lions (+2)

They grab a narrow win against Philly. I want to see more before I jump up and down.

19. Cardinals (+0)

No points for a win over Blaine Gabbert. None.

20. Panthers (-8)

No Newton. No Panthers defense. No Panthers win. A loss to Tampa Bay at home is very unsettling.

21. Redskins (+1)

They sneak past Baltimore. DeSean hasn’t lit it up. Cousins is hanging in there. Not much to say here.

22. Titans (+3)

I picked Tennessee over Miami even though ESPN Pick ‘Em had that as an upset. I didn’t think it was. I was correct.

23. Dolphins (-2)

The Dolphins are drowning. Get it? Because they’re fish, they’re not supposed to drown? I’m gonna move on now.

24. Colts (+0)

I couldn’t tell you what this team did on Sunday. Probably because a win over Chicago does nothing to change my mind about them.

25. Jets (-11)

The Jets suck. Who knows where the 2015 team went.

26. Buccaneers (+4)

Tampa Bay gets some valuable points for a road win against the NFC champs, though at this point, it seems like a disservice to the term to call them that.

27. 49ers (-1)

They lose a point not for losing to Arizona but for letting David Johnson steamroll them. Kap starts on Sunday. Looking forward to it.

28. Jaguars (+0)

Bye. Jacksonville versus Chicago. Oh boy.

29. Saints (+0)

Bye. We’ll get to see if they got a defense over the last week. Probably not.

30. Chargers (-3)

They blew another one. How can you blow this many games in a row?

31. Bears (+0)

Here the Bears are likely to remain for the 2016 season.

32. Browns (+0)

Here the Browns are guaranteed to remain for the 2016 season. Last week, I said the Browns would start five quarterbacks this season. They started Charlie Whitehurst this week after Kessler was knocked out. Four down, one to go!

Biggest Climb: Cowboys (+11)

Biggest Drop: Jets (-11)

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

1. Broncos

A 21-20 win showed us Denver hasn’t changed. The defense is still full of pressure cookers and once again, the Panthers couldn’t protect Cam in the Super Bowl rematch. C.J. Anderson warranted a top-five slot in my sports report and Trevor Siemian didn’t do half bad considering he was facing the second-best defense in the league.

2. Panthers

The Panthers still haven’t found an answer to the labyrinth that is the Broncos defense, but otherwise look to be a top contender for the Super Bowl.

3. Patriots

No Brady. No Gronk. On the road in Arizona. None of it mattered. New England remains the king of the AFC.

4. Steelers

Not far behind them is Pittsburgh, who put up an offensive clinic on the Redskins. Granted, it’s Washington but the Steelers manhandled the entire game.

5. Packers

Green Bay got it done against the Jaguars, who look like a real football team this year.

6. Bengals

A.J. Green desolated Revis Island and the Bengals defense held its own against the Jets. Cincinnati surrendered seven sacks, however, and were forced to quit on the run game halfway through, something that they can’t lean on in the future.

7. Jets

If it wasn’t for Revis not showing up to play and Fitzpatrick being Fitzpatrick and throwing a fourth quarter interception, the Jets could have won. The front seven looked especially lethal and Forte didn’t appear to lose a step in his first game in New York.

8. Cardinals

They looked bad. They struggled at home against a Patriot squad without Brady and Gronk. There’s no reason they should have lost. I have little faith in a Palmer-led offense when it comes to the postseason. Performances in big games like the one on Sunday night give me all the reason to doubt.

9. Jaguars

Most likely too high of a rating for Jacksonville, but they impressed me in their game against Green Bay. They didn’t just look like a football team. They looked like a good one. I’m interested to see how they fare against a more balanced team. Green Bay doesn’t have an exceptional defense.

10. Chiefs

It’s hard to rank after just one week of play but it’s hard to leave a team off the top-ten that came from 17 points down to win in overtime. Shows some determination, especially when they did it all without their best player, Jamaal Charles.

11. Raiders

The Raiders defense does not match with the hype. That said, the offense kept them in the game. Now we just have to see if the defense can do the same down the stretch.

12. Texans

Texans looked comfortable with Lamar Miller in the backfield and Brock Osweiler at quarterback. I just wonder how long that’s going to last.

13. Giants

Giants should have won the NFC East last year and had it not been for three losses because of bad time management, it’s likely they would’ve. I expect them to win it this year. One down and 15 to go.

14. Seahawks

The offensive line is weak. Russ can’t run forever, can he? There’s no Lynch to rely on behind him. There’s a lot of pressure on Russ this year, perhaps too much.

15. Dolphins

Gave Seattle a run for their money. Will the defense start performing the way it should have last year?

16. Lions

Stafford didn’t seem to lose a step against Indianapolis. Granted, not a tough defense to deal with.

17. Colts

Andrew Luck looked like himself but as with Stafford, not much competition.

18. Vikings

Without Bridgewater, the offense will struggle, but Minnesota was a top-ten defense last year and fifth in points against per game. I see no reason why they can’t reach similar numbers this year.

19. Buccaneers

A scoring fiasco it was yet again with the Bucs but will the ship remain steady or collapse midway through its voyage?

20. Chargers

It was so like San Diego to fall apart with a huge lead. I wasn’t even surprised. It just felt like something San Diego would do.

21. 49ers

San Francisco is trying to identify themselves again and time will tell if Chip Kelly is the head of that new dogma.

22. Ravens

Baltimore struggled last year and with Buffalo and Cleveland in weeks one and two, it’s gonna be hard to tell early on if they’re back to their old selves.

23. Eagles

I’m not high on Philly, not with that defense and a rookie quarterback. Against Cleveland, I didn’t learn much, aside from Cleveland is still Cleveland.

24. Redskins

Washington paid Kirk Cousins $20 million for a franchise tag season. Through game one, two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Not the type of production that you’re looking for. I thought tagging Cousins was a bad idea. It’s looking that way thus far. And let’s not talk about how bad the Washington defense looked against Pittsburgh and that Jay Gruden thought the best spot for highly-touted Josh Norman was not opposite Antonio Brown but on the whole other side of the field.

25. Cowboys

Dallas has a rookie QB and RB. I’m not expecting much.

26. Falcons

Matt Ryan? Check. Julio Jones? Check. Defense? Still looking.

27. Bills

That offense isn’t looking good and with Rob Ryan coaching the defense, it’s looking like a down year for Buffalo.

28. Saints

I don’t care how great Drew Brees is. The run game isn’t helping and the defense is aimless.

29. Bears

Bears are a team that’s hard to read. Sometimes I think they have potential and other times I don’t. I’m still surprised they let Forte leave but I’m interested to see how Chicago plays without him.

30. Titans

DeMarco and Derrick Henry in the backfield and Marcus Mariota behind center. Wide receiver is still a question and the defense isn’t exactly full of starlets but there might be a bright future for this team. In like five years.

31. Rams

This team looked bad. Real bad. Bad like a malnourished college team bad. Todd Gurley and nobody on offense and the defense was a no-show. Against San Francisco. No matter how you phrase it, it sounds awful.

32. Browns

Cleveland. RG3 on injured reserve already. Do I need to say more?

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Tim Sports Report for 2015 NFL Week 1

Top 5

1. Rams upset Seattle in opener, 34-31

2. QB Tom Brady 25/32 for 288 yards, 4 TDs, 143.8 QBR vs. PIT

3. WR Julio Jones 9 receptions for 141 yards, 2 TDs vs. PHI

4. RB Carlos Hyde 26 carries for 168 yards, 2 TDs vs. MIN

5. WR Keenan Allen 15 receptions for 166 yards vs. DET

Worst of the Worst

5. Injuries galore. Plenty of stars fell to injuries this week, including Dez Bryant, T.Y. Hilton, Andre Ellington, Antonio Cromartie, Luke Kuechly, Bryan Bulaga, Mike Iupati, Eugene Monroe and Reggie Bush.

4. Byron Maxwell, the new top corner for the Philadelphia Eagles, was destroyed by Julio again and again.

3. Colts dropped to Bills. Some experts have picked the Colts to make it to the Super Bowl. I laugh every time I read that.

2. The Vikings vs. 49ers game was easily the sloppiest game of the week. There were 13 penalties and plenty of miscues on both sides of the ball.

1. The New York Giants had the Dallas Cowboys give them the game multiple times on Sunday night but the Giants managed to give Dallas the game right back with some awful clock management. The Giants also apparently didn’t watch the last Super Bowl because they passed from the one-yard line on third and goal and Eli threw it out-of-bounds, leaving just enough time on the clock for Dallas to run down the field and score the game-winning touchdown.

Steelers Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers were what I expected them to be. The offense was dynamic and DeAngelo Williams had a great day in place of the suspended Le’Veon Bell, with 21 carries for 127 yards. The defense struggled heavily. Gronk was left open on multiple occasions and scored three touchdowns. Basically, the defense looked horrid compared to what we’re used to and we can only hope it gets better throughout the year. Today against San Francisco, the Steelers will face against Week 1’s leading rusher, Carlos Hyde. The result will depend on the Steelers’ rush defense. I believe against Kaepernick the Steelers can pull out a win.

Game of the Week: Seahawks @ Packers

A rematch of the NFC Championship game from last season is one everyone is looking forward to and deservedly so. In Lambeau, I’m taking Green Bay.

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2015-2016 NFL Preview: NFC West

NFC WEST

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

GET: TE Jimmy Graham, CB Cary Graham, CB Will Blackmon, RB Fred Jackson, DT Ahtyba Rubin

LOSE: CB Byron Maxwell, C Max Unger, DT Kevin Williams, OLB Malcolm Smith, OLB O’Brien Schofield, G Stephen Schilling, G James Carpenter, QB Tarvaris Jackson, TE Tony Moeaki

RE-SIGNS: RB Marshawn Lynch, FB Will Tukuafu, DT D’Anthony Smith

DRAFT: 2nd round: DE Frank Clark, Michigan     3rd round: WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State     4th round: OT Terry Poole, San Diego State     G Mark Glowinski, West Virginia     5th round: CB Tye Smith, Towson     6th round: DE Obum Gwacham, Oregon State     DE Kristjan Sokoli, Buffalo     7th round: S Ryan Smith-Murphy, Oregon State

SUMMARY: The Seahawks look primed to return to the Super Bowl for a third straight year. If they do, it will be the first time since Jim Kelly’s Bills that a team made it to the Super Bowl three consecutive years. With the play-makers and talent this team has, they come into this season as my favorite to win the Super Bowl. They signed a lot of their young talent over the offseason and re-signing Lynch was huge. Lynch comes into this season as the league’s top back and the Seahawks success hinges on him carrying this offense. With that said, the offensive line needs improved. Trading for Jimmy Graham may have been the biggest move of the offseason, but I remain skeptical of how he will be inserted into the offense. Graham isn’t known for his run-blocking and with the Seahawks being so run-heavy, I’m unsure how he’ll make an impact. The insane contract Seattle signed Russell Wilson to was a gross overpay. When Wilson has to be the star of the offense, he struggles. He’s a game manager, similar to Alex Smith, and making him one of the league’s highest-paid players is a move I think management will regret.

However, the only way Seattle loses their grip on the NFC is if Dan Quinn’s departure causes the defense to lose their identity and if the offensive line struggles to run block. If Lynch is stuffed, I have little confidence in the receiving tandem of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. Tyler Lockett looks like an exciting commodity though.

For fantasy, Lynch, the Seahawks defense and perhaps Lockett in deeper leagues.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 12-4

Week 1: @STL   Week 2: @GB   Week 3: vs. CHI   Week 4: vs. DET   Week 5: @CIN   Week 6: vs. CAR   Week 7: @SF   Week 8: @DAL   Week 9: BYE   Week 10: vs. ARI   Week 11: vs. SF   Week 12: vs. PIT   Week 13: @MIN   Week 14: @BAL   Week 15: vs. CLE   Week 16: vs. STL   Week 17: @ARI

ST. LOUIS RAMS

GET: QB Nick Foles, DT Nick Fairley, OLB Akeem Ayers, QB Case Keenum

LOSE: DE Alex Carrington, LT Jake Long, RB Zac Stacy, QB Sam Bradford, DT Kendall Langford, OT Joe Barksdale, QB Shaun Hill

RE-SIGNS: TE Lance Kendricks, WR Kenny Britt

DRAFT: 1st round: RB Todd Gurley, Georgia     2nd round: OT Robert Havenstein, Wisconsin     3rd round: OT Jamon Brown, Louisville     QB Sean Mannion, Oregon State     4th round: OT Andrew Donnal, Iowa     6th round: WR Bud Sasser, Missouri     G Cody Wichmann, Fresno State     7th round: ILB Bryce Hager, Baylor     DE Martin Ifedi, Memphis

SUMMARY: The St. Louis Rams may have the best defensive line in football. The Seahawks are great but the argument could be made that the Rams have surpassed them. Chris Long, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn, and Nick Fairley complete an undersized defensive line, but they make up for it with their speed. Few backs will surpass 100 yards against this defensive front. Alec Ogletree, the always reliable James Laurinaitis and Akeem Ayers complete what should be one of the best front sevens in football. The secondary will have room to grow with the buffer this front seven will deliver. On offense, 20th in rushing and 23rd in passing should improve considerably now that the offense is playing with starters instead of the second-stringers and in some cases third-stringers that had to start last season. The offensive line is still struggling. That’s got to change. If it does, the Rams will contend for a wild-card spot.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 9-7

Week 1: vs. SEA   Week 2: @WAS   Week 3: vs. PIT   Week 4: @ARI   Week 5: @GB   Week 6: BYE   Week 7: vs. CLE   Week 8: vs. SF   Week 9: @MIN   Week 10: vs. CHI   Week 11: @BAL   Week 12: @CIN Week 13: vs. ARI   Week 14: vs. DET   Week 15: vs. TB   Week 16: @SEA   Week 17: @SF

ARIZONA CARDINALS

GET: G Mike Iupati, DE Cory Redding, LB Sean Witherspoon, RB Chris Johnson, LB LaMarr Woodley, LB Darryl Sharpton, DT Corey Peters, CB Alfonzo Dennard

LOSE: CB Antonio Cromartie, DT Darnell Dockett, LB John Abraham, LB Larry Foote, S Adrian Wilson, DT Dan Williams, RB Jonathan Dwyer, DT Tommy Kelly, TE Rob Housler, WR Ted Ginn, Jr., QB Ryan Lindley

RE-SIGNS: WR Larry Fitzgerald

DRAFT: 1st round: OT D.J. Humphries, Florida     2nd round: DE Markus Golden, Missouri     3rd round: RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa     4th round: DT Rodney Gunter, Delaware State     5th round: DE Shaq Riddick, West Virginia     WR J.J. Nelson, UAB     7th round: TE Gerald Christian, Louisville

SUMMARY: Arizona was hot to start last year but once Palmer was ruled out for the year, Arizona’s future slowly crumbled. Palmer’s inability to stay healthy is a concern and the Arizona backfield is weak. Arizona is the only team in the NFC West that hasn’t boosted their backfield in recent years. Andre Ellington has great burst but also has suffered injuries in recent years, leading to the team finishing second to last in rushing in 2014. Larry Fitzgerald on almost any other team would be a top-15 receiver but has slowly disappeared into the background because of the continued setbacks in Arizona. He and Michael Floyd form an adequate receiving tandem and when Palmer’s healthy, the chemistry is there but injuries have plagued this team the last two seasons and I don’t see that changing because these players have just gotten another year old. The departure of some of the team’s franchise players, including Antonio Cromartie, Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson leaves Arizona with a young group and little veteran leadership. With the secondary the Cardinals have, there’s no excuse for their 29th ranking against the pass. I just don’t think Arizona is built for the long run.

If you have a solid backup, Palmer is a competent starter and I’ve been drafting Ellington despite his recent injury issues. I’d wait to see how the Cards’ defense does before I draft them.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 7-9

Week 1: vs. NO   Week 2: @CHI   Week 3: vs. SF   Week 4: vs. STL   Week 5: @DET   Week 6: @PIT   Week 7: vs. BAL   Week 8: @CLE   Week 9: BYE   Week 10: @SEA   Week 11: vs. CIN   Week 12: @SF   Week 13: @STL   Week 14: vs. MIN   Week 15: @PHI   Week 16: vs. GB   Week 17: vs. SEA

 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

GET: WR Torrey Smith, CB Shareece Wright, RB Reggie Bush, LB Philip Wheeler, WR Jerome Simpson

LOSE: G Mike Iupati, LB Patrick Willis, LB Chris Borland, LB Dan Skuta, DL Justin Smith, RB Frank Gore, CB Chris Culliver, CB Perrish Cox, WR Michael Crabtree, T Jonathan Martin, WR Steve Johnson, WR Brandon Lloyd, WR Trindon Holliday

RE-SIGNS: CB Chris Cook, S Craig Dahl, QB Blaine Gabbert

DRAFT: 1st round: DE Arik Armstead, Oregon     2nd round: S Jaquiski Tartt, Samford     3rd round: OLB Eli Harold, Virginia     4th round: TE Blake Bell, Oklahoma     RB Mike Davis, South Carolina     WR DeAndre Smelter, Georgia Tech     5th round: P Bradley Pinion, Clemson     6th round: G Ian Silberman, Boston College     7th round: G Trent Brown, Florida     TE Rory Anderson, South Carolina

SUMMARY:

The 49ers had quite possibly the worst offseason I’ve ever seen in my 21-plus years on this planet. Half of their team left shop. Four starting linebackers, (Willis, Borland, Skuta, Smith) gone. Three starting offensive lineman, (Iupati, Martin, Davis) gone. Two starting defensive lineman, (McDonald, Smith) gone. Both starting corners, (Culliver, Cox) gone. A starting running back and receiver, (Gore, Crabtree) gone.

Whether it was Jim Harbaugh’s brash coaching style or the fact that all of them felt like it was the right time to retire, I don’t know, but the 49ers that made two straight NFC Championship games are no more. They had one of the best defenses in the league for the last five years, but that train has left the station. Any 49ers fan that expects the same is being unrealistic.

Before the season has started, it seems fair to say the 49ers are back in the cellar of the NFC West. No stats from last year matter because this is a completely different team. There’s no way to determine how bad this team will be, but it’s not looking good. Kaepernick, as I originally predicted, was a one-hit wonder, and has shown to be an immature and not-at-all polished quarterback. With the offensive line San Fran has, it’s embarrassing that Kap found a way to get sacked 52 times last season, tied for third-most in the league.

The signing of Torrey Smith is interesting when you consider Kap’s inability to throw the deep ball and while I have a lot of confidence in Carlos Hyde, it seems unfair he’s expected to carry the whole offense by himself. Despite all of the losses on the defensive side of the ball, I could easily argue Frank Gore was the team’s biggest loss. Gore had been a stalwart in the backfield for a decade. He broached the 1,000-yard mark in eight seasons and missed 12 games in ten years, including none in the last four seasons. Frank Gore is the oldest starting running back in the league and while many consider that a cause for concern, I would argue it demonstrates his incredible ability to endure. Is his career coming to an end? Of course, but I think the signing of Gore should have been the 49ers’ top priority.

Next on that list should have been G Mike Iupati, one of the best guards in the league, but he was allowed to go to division rival Arizona.

The team just looks desolate. All of this team’s best play-makers have departed or retired. The departure of LB Chris Borland, who led the team in tackles last year, was especially painful. The team was hoping he could be their next franchise linebacker.

San Francisco’s secondary was weaker last year than it had been in the past and now has only fallen farther off the cliff. Safeties Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid will be expected to bail out its young corners. Thankfully, the Niners are deep at the safety position, with second-year safety Jimmie Ward ready to come in at a moment’s notice.

This team’s depth and starters have been cut in half and given their competition of the AFC and NFC North, San Francisco is looking at a down year for sure. It will give the young team a chance to prove themselves and show new coach Jim Tomsula what he has to work with, but little more than that. If the Niners expect to compete, these are the things that have got to happen:

  1. They’ve got to get pressure on the quarterback. Last year, San Francisco had a below-average 36 sacks. That won’t cut it.
  2. The secondary must hold. They led the league with 23 interceptions but there’s no way they can repeat that. The 86 passes defended, good for fifth in the league? That should be their goal.
  3. Hyde has to eclipse 1,000. With Kap’s imminent struggles ready to resume, Hyde must outperform him and make the transition from Gore as easy as possible.
  4. They’ve got to find offense. Last year, they averaged 19.1 ppg, 25th in the league. The teams below them? Washington, Cleveland, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Oakland and Jacksonville. Not the bunch you want to be with. The defense allowed 21.3 last year, good for tenth-best. That’s right, even with that highlight-reel roster, the team allowed more points than they scored.

Those are the four things that have got to happen if the Niners want to remain relevant, but I’d be surprised if two of those things happen let alone four. It will be an interesting year in San Francisco. We will know this team’s identity early on.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 6-10

Week 1: vs. MIN   Week 2: @PIT   Week 3: @ARI   Week 4: vs. GB   Week 5: @NYG   Week 6: vs. BAL   Week 7: vs. SEA   Week 8: @STL   Week 9: vs. ATL   Week 10: BYE   Week 11: @SEA   Week 12: vs. ARI   Week 13: @CHI   Week 14: @CLE   Week 15: vs. CIN   Week 16: @DET   Week 17: vs. STL

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2015-2016 NFL Preview: San Francisco 49ers

Everyone, this is my 300th post!!! I’m sorry I didn’t get to do something special for it. I just have too much on plate right now. I promise the wait will be worth it.

*Originally posted on SportsTalkFeed

The 49ers had quite possibly the worst offseason I’ve ever seen in my 21-plus years on this planet. Half of their team left shop. Four starting linebackers, (Willis, Borland, Skuta, Smith) gone. Three starting offensive lineman, (Iupati, Martin, Davis) gone. Two starting defensive lineman, (McDonald, Smith) gone. Both starting corners, (Culliver, Cox) gone. A starting running back and receiver, (Gore, Crabtree) gone.

Whether it was Jim Harbaugh’s brash coaching style or the fact that all of them felt like it was the right time to retire, I don’t know, but the 49ers that made two straight NFC Championship games are no more. They had one of the best defenses in the league for the last five years, but that train has left the station. Any 49ers fan that expects the same is being unrealistic.

Before the season has started, it seems fair to say the 49ers are back in the cellar of the NFC West. No stats from last year matter because this is a completely different team. There’s no way to determine how bad this team will be, but it’s not looking good. Kaepernick, as I originally predicted, was a one-hit wonder, and has shown to be an immature and not-at-all polished quarterback. With the offensive line San Fran has, it’s embarrassing that Kap found a way to get sacked 52 times last season, tied for third-most in the league.

The signing of Torrey Smith is interesting when you consider Kap’s inability to throw the deep ball and while I have a lot of confidence in Carlos Hyde, it seems unfair he’s expected to carry the whole offense by himself. Despite all of the losses on the defensive side of the ball, I could easily argue Frank Gore was the team’s biggest loss. Gore had been a stalwart in the backfield for a decade. He broached the 1,000-yard mark in eight seasons and missed 12 games in ten years, including none in the last four seasons. Frank Gore is the oldest starting running back in the league and while many consider that a cause for concern, I would argue it demonstrates his incredible ability to endure. Is his career coming to an end? Of course, but I think the signing of Gore should have been the 49ers’ top priority.

Next on that list should have been G Mike Iupati, one of the best guards in the league, but he was allowed to go to division rival Arizona.

The team just looks desolate. All of this team’s best play-makers have departed or retired. The departure of LB Chris Borland, who led the team in tackles last year, was especially painful. The team was hoping he could be their next franchise linebacker.

San Francisco’s secondary was weaker last year than it had been in the past and now has only fallen farther off the cliff. Safeties Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid will be expected to bail out its young corners. Thankfully, the Niners are deep at the safety position, with second-year safety Jimmie Ward ready to come in at a moment’s notice.

This team’s depth and starters have been cut in half and given their competition of the AFC and NFC North, San Francisco is looking at a down year for sure. It will give the young team a chance to prove themselves and show new coach Jim Tomsula what he has to work with, but little more than that. If the Niners expect to compete, these are the things that have got to happen:

  1. They’ve got to get pressure on the quarterback. Last year, San Francisco had a below-average 36 sacks. That won’t cut it.
  2. The secondary must hold. They led the league with 23 interceptions but there’s no way they can repeat that. The 86 passes defended, good for fifth in the league? That should be their goal.
  3. Hyde has to eclipse 1,000. With Kap’s imminent struggles ready to resume, Hyde must outperform him and make the transition from Gore as easy as possible.
  4. They’ve got to find offense. Last year, they averaged 19.1 ppg, 25th in the league. The teams below them? Washington, Cleveland, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Oakland and Jacksonville. Not the bunch you want to be with. The defense allowed 21.3 last year, good for tenth-best. That’s right, even with that highlight-reel roster, the team allowed more points than they scored.

Those are the four things that have got to happen if the Niners want to remain relevant, but I’d be surprised if two of those things happen let alone four. It will be an interesting year in San Francisco. We will know this team’s identity early on.

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Tim Sports Report for 2014 NFL Week 16

This one is really late and I apologize. Week 17’s will be out tomorrow as well as a regular season recap. Get ready for the playoffs!

Top 5

1. QB Russell Wilson 20/31 for 339 yards, 2 TDs, 122.9 QBR, 6 carries for 88 yards, TD vs. ARI

2. QB Ryan Tannehill 35/47 for 396 yards, 4 TDs, INT, 118.8 QBR vs. MIN

3. WR Odell Beckham, Jr. 8 receptions for 148 yards, 2 TDs vs. STL

4. RB Frank Gore 26 carries for 158 yards, TD vs. SD

5. TE Zach Ertz franchise-record 15 receptions for 115 yards vs. WAS

Worst of the Worst

1. 49ers drop to Chargers after 21-point lead

2. Colts smashed 42-7 vs. DAL

3. QB Joe Flacco 21/50 for 195 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 41.7 QBR vs. HOU

At one point, 4/22 for 80 something yards.

4. QB Peyton Manning 28/44 for 311 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs, 61.8 QBR vs. CIN

5. QB Andrew Luck 15/22 for 109 yards, 2 INTs vs. DAL

Steelers Recap

Despite the narrow win the box score may give those who didn’t watch Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, it was one of the Steelers’ best games of the year. The offense may have struggled against one of the best defenses in the league, accumulating only 282 total yards of offense, but the steel curtain came to play, limiting one of the league’s best running backs to 29 yards rushing and forcing a fumble. Six times the Chiefs entered the red zone and they left with four field goals, a fumble and a failed fourth down conversion. This defensive highlight was only more impressive when you consider that the Chiefs were second in the league in red zone touchdown percentage coming into the game. The Steelers are 7-2 since losing to the Browns and dropping to 3-3 in October.

In my week 13 Steelers Recap, I said I was disappointed with the team this year because of their lackluster play against substandard opponents. As we’ve been saying in Pittsburgh for the last three seasons, the outcome of Sunday’s game usually doesn’t depend on who we’re playing. It depends on which Steelers’ team decides to show up.

This season has been one of the most stressful seasons of Steelers football that I’ve watched but looking at the blooming talent the team has right now, including the B3 attack of Ben, Bell and Brown, the Steelers look to have a bright future right now, especially with the Bengals poor season this year.

The Steelers will win on Sunday night and will clinch the division. And they did by the way.

Game of the Week: Lions @ Packers

Week 17, aside from finalizing playoff spots, is the least exciting week in football, leaving for few big games. However, the Lions were looking to hold on to a NFC North division title and Aaron Rodgers is probably this year’s MVP. It was a game to watch, but as always, the Lions choked in December and the Packers maintain their dominance of the division.

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