Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bills Unfair Schedule??

This week the Buffalo Bills have talked to the league about the unfair schedule that they've been assigned, or so they say. Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon spoke out this week on a local radio program about the Bills schedule:
We lead the league in amount of games coming off of extra time or a bye week. It is a very, very tough job what they have in scheduling with all the different things that go into the formula and the stadium commitments and TV schedules, but it's certainly something that needs to be addressed.
Brandon continued on:
 We certainly have talked to the league about this because it's been disappointing where teams are coming off a bye or a long week,This (Sunday) is the second time we're playing the Jets coming off a Thursday night game and now we're playing them coming off a bye.
The league hasn't made a comment on the matter, but please allow me.Through 10 weeks the Bills are 3-7. 7 of the first 10 came against an opponent on regular rest. In those 6 games, the Bills are 2-5 and 2-2 at home. The remaining 3 games the Bills faced two teams coming off bye week and one week where a team had a Thursday game, all away from the familiar confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills went 1-2 in those 3 games, winning by 2 against Miami, and losing by 7 and 18 to the Jets and Saints respectively. In the two losses Buffalo allowed an average of almost 450 yards a game, while only gaining 313.5.

3 of the Bills next 6 games will come against opponents. The only game of those that the Bills have a little advantage is the Atlanta game. Atlanta does have the Thursday game the week before, but it's also the same week that Buffalo has a bye. Atlanta, actually is 2nd in the league with 4 such games (either bye week or thursday night game the week before). Buffalo is riding a 3 game losing streak going into this week against the Jets, who are coming off a, wait for it, Bye. If I were Mr. Brandon, I'd wait to see what this young team can do in their remaining 6 games before making a complaint to the league office.

Mike Vick 2.0?

For a QB that amassed over 6000 passing yards, 57 td's, & a passer efficiency rating of 144, graduating from college and entering in the NFL draft should have been a step towards a bright future. Unfortunately for Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor, the cloud of allegations he left under, over shadowed anything about his draft stock. For many college quarterbacks that are physical freaks, the speed and strength of NFL players seem to overwhelm them in the first couple of years. For Pryor, this was also the case. He admits that his athletic ability, lends itself to feelings of superiority. Before his professional career, he was constantly outperforming his opponents on just talent alone. His mind-set and playing style didn't transfer over to the NFL very well, where gifted athletes don't always outperform master tacticians. For the first two years of Pryor's NFL career, he sat on the bench as he tried to understand the game, it's pace, and how to make the "smart" play rather than the "big" play. The Raiders QB admitted that his first two seasons he spent on the bench simply "trying to understand how to play quarterback in the NFL." Those years as a back up seemed to be paying off for Terrelle. With Pryor admitting he is trying to give the team "that spark and enthusiasm our locker room needs", he has set himself on a path to becoming Oakland's solidified starter.  In 8 games this season he is averaging over 250 all-purpose yards and a completion rating of almost 60%. For anyone who is a Denver, New England, or New Orleans fan, these numbers will be scoffed at. But for Raiders fans, having a constant QB, is something they haven't had in years. This is a team that has only had one 2500yd passer since Kerry Collins in '05. A team that hasn't had a winning record, yet alone made the playoffs, since their SB loss in 2002. A team that has seen little success since the Gruden, Gannon days of the late 90's & early 2000's. For the Oakland Raiders fan base, all they can ask for is for some hope. Pryor might not be one of the top QB's in the league, but week in and week out, he definitely gives his team a chance to win.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Big Offense in the Big Easy

Sunday night two division leaders in the NFL met in New Orleans. The NFC East leading Cowboys come in off the back of a last minute win against the Minnesota Vikings. The Saints, coming in, were 1-2 in their last 3 games. Including a loss to the resurgence New York Jets team that ran all over the Saints to a tune of nearly 200 rushing yards. For the Cowboys, you could clearly see that the game plan was to hand the ball off to a healthy Murray as much as possible. While facing a New Orleans secondary that is giving up  less than 200yds passing per game, the Dallas passing game struggled to get going early. With Romo going 3-9 in the 1st half, they needed the defense to step up and hold one of the NFL's most explosive offenses to a premium in points. The Saints, however, had a different plan. At half time the score was already 38-10 with no sign of changing in the 2nd half. The Cowboys took a giant shot to their already injury crippled defense when starting MLB Sean Lee went down with an apparent hamstring injury. The fact that DeMarcus Ware was playing on 1 leg didn't hurt either. New Orleans took full advantage of this by amassing a record setting 40 first downs on their way to a 49-17 route. As impressive as the offense looked Sunday night, Brees was 34/41, 392yds, and 4td's, the story all year has been the revamped defense that has stepped on the field. With Rob Ryan at the helm, the Cowboys were held to only 193yds. Tony Romo had little choice of passing targets as they doubled Dez all night an played tight bump coverage on all pro TE Jason Witten. With Romo only completing 4 passes to his WR core, Dallas was never truly in this game after the first quarter. For the Saints, the road just gets harder from here on out. Their final 7 games, they will face 4 games against playoff teams. Don't forget the Nov 21st game against division rival Atlanta Falcons either. As for the Cowboys, after their bye next week, they will face opponents in 5 of their last 6 games who's offense, either rushing or passing, is in the top ten in the NFL. For a team that is leading their division and has hopes of a playoff run, their defense has to vastly improve in the next two weeks.

Game Highlights

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Giant win for the G-men

Ahmad Bradshaw got furious at himself, and took it out on the Cleveland Browns.Bradshaw fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, setting up a Cleveland touchdown. After that, he was unstoppable, surpassing his yardage on the ground for the season with a career-best 200 yards in a 41-27 victory Sunday. The Giants are 9-0 in games he has rushed for 100 yards or more. The passing game was there, too. Victor Cruz made a career-best three touchdown catches. Eli Manning hit Cruz for scores of 3, 7 and 28 yards, prompting Cruz's trademark salsa in the end zone after each touchdown. New York (3-2) also forced three turnovers, including Chase Blackburn's interception in the end zone midway in the fourth quarter to clinch it. That led to rookie David Wilson's first NFL touchdown, a 40-yard scamper, which Wilson celebrated with a flip in the end zone.The Browns are 0-5 for the first time since their return season to the NFL in 1999 and have lost 11 straight dating back to last season, matching the franchise record. Their inexperience as the league's youngest team could not be offset by the skills of third overall draft pick Trent Richardson, who ran for a touchdown for the fourth straight game.

Ravens D, is all they need

The Baltimore Ravens' hallmark for the better part of a decade has been defense. It's what has carried them to countless victories, playoff appearances and Super Bowl glory. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the rest of the guys in black and purple showed up at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. They shut down Jamaal Charles and the rest of the Chiefs' offense in the second half, and made a big fourth-quarter stand to depart Kansas City with a 9-6 victory. The Ravens had the NFL's second-ranked offense through the first four weeks of the season, but it faltered against an inspired Kansas City defense. Ray Rice ran for 101 yards, but Joe Flacco had just 187 yards passing and was picked off once. Matt Cassel threw for just 92 yards, was intercepted twice and credited with two lost fumbles before leaving in the fourth quarter with what the Chiefs described as a head injury. Charles had 140 yards rushing, but only 15 in the second half, when the game was to be decided. Kansas City has now committed 19 turnovers through its 1st 5 games, the most in history since the New Orleans Saints had 21 of them to start the 1997 season. Quinn, who was 3 of 3 for 32 yards passing on his only series, was greeted by applause from Kansas City fans when he entered the game. Quinn led the Chiefs downfield in the fourth quarter, but a pass interference penalty by Dexter McCluster negated what would have been a go-ahead touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe. After the Chiefs' late field goal, Baltimore took over. Flacco scrambled for 16 yards on third-and-15 with a couple minutes left in the game, and Rice plunged for another first down with just over a minute remaining to help run out the clock.

Colts Trot Over Pack

All Chuck Pagano asked the Indianapolis Colts to do was focus on football. Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne did that -- and a little more to honor their ailing coach. With his career-best 362-yard passing effort Sunday, Andrew Luck set a Colts rookie QB record. The 18-point comeback also was the best by a rookie quarterback since Matthew Stafford led a 21-point rally for the Lions vs. the Browns in 1999.
Interim coach Bruce Arians, nicknamed BA, acknowledged he was fighting back tears when he spoke to reporters. From the sounds of it, so were Luck and Wayne. The sometimes emotional team owner, Jim Irsay, sniffled as he spoke inside a silent locker room before dashing off to the hospital where Pagano is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Wayne finished with 13 receptions for a career-high 212 yards -- the second-highest total in Colts history behind Hall of Famer Raymond Berry in 1957. It was a wild finish to an emotionally-charged week in Indy. Green Bay (2-3) had a chance to force overtime with a 51-yard field goal. But Mason Crosby's attempt went left with 3 seconds to go, setting off an emotional celebration on the Colts' sideline. In the second half, the Colts dominated. Luck threw an 8-yard TD pass to Dwayne Allen and set up Adam Vinatieri for a 50-yard field goal to make it 21-13 midway through the third quarter. He then ran it in from 3 yards out with 18 seconds left in the third quarter to get the Colts within 21-19.With the clock ticking down, Luck converted two third-down passes to Wayne, then scrambled for a third third-down conversion before, fittingly, spotting Wayne for the go-ahead score.