Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Jamaal Charles has been on a tear as of late. Could Charles leapfrog Peyton Manning as the MVP favorite?

Jamaal Charles has been on a tear as of late. Could Charles leapfrog Peyton Manning as the MVP favorite?

With only one week away from the final week of the regular season, here are the current leaders of each division:

AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals ( 9-5), South: Indianapolis Colts (9-5), East: New England Patriots (10-4), and the West: Denver Broncos: (11-3). NFC North: Chicago Bears (8-6), South: New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panther are tied at (10-4), East: Philadelphia Eagles: (8-6), and West: Seattle Seahawks (12-4).

With two divisional leaders facing off this week (NO @ CAR and CHI @ PHI), and a slew of divisional matchups that will cause for more drama headed into week 17, this week will be a roller coaster ride for league and for fans.

Week 15 Predictions Results

Brooks: 10-6; Overall: 133-90

Perez: 9-7; Overall: 126-85

Wooten: 7-9; Overall: 120-101

Game Picks

Week 16 Game Picks Brooks Perez  Wooten
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills MIA(L)  MIA(L)  MIA(L)
Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals CIN(W)  CIN(W)  CIN(W)
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs KC(L)  KC(L)  KC(L)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ St. Louis Rams STL(W)  STL(W)  STL(W)
Cleveland Browns @ NY Jets CLE(L)  NYJ(W)  NYJ(W)
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington DAL(W)  DAL(W)  DAL(W)
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers CAR(W)  NO(L)  NO(L)
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars TEN(W)  TEN(W)  TEN(W)
Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans DEN(W)  DEN(W)  DEN(W)
NY Giants @ Detroit Lions DET(L)  DET(L)  DET(L)
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks SEA(L)  SEA(L)  SEA(L)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers PIT(W)  PIT(W)  PIT(W)
Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers SD(W)  SD(W) SD(W)
New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens BAL(L)  NE(W)  NE(W)
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles PHI(W)  CHI(L)  CHI(L)
Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers SF(W)  SF(W)  SF(W)

Brooks Bits’

Indianapolis Colts  @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Colts haven’t had a 3-plus game winning streak since defeating the 49ers, Jaguars and the Seahwaks in weeks 3 through 5. During that span, they were considered one of the league’s best. Now, the Colts are Jekyll and Hyde, alternating wins since week 9.

But after a 25-3 win over a Texans team that’s destined for the no. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Indianapolis will once flip-flop wins and losses. The Colts have developed a nasty habit of playing to the competition level of the opponent, but after embarrassing losses to formidable teams like Cincinnati and Arizona, not to mention the beat down they took from St. Louis, the Colts have  slim chance of winning at Arrowhead Stadium.

Led by MVP candidate Jamaal Charles, who is second in the league in yards per scrimmage (1,836), fourth in rushing yards (1,181),  and first in rushing touchdowns (11), the Chiefs would be tied for the no. 1 seed in the playoffs if the were not in the same division as Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

The Colts have averaged 14 points in its last four losses., and that’s all they might get against the Chiefs defense.

New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens

How fitting, a rematch of the AFC Championship game.

The Raves are winners of four straight after previously losing four of its last five games. The six field goal victory over the Lions Monday night wasn’t the least bit impressive, but the Ravens have a knack at figuring out the Patriots. The Ravens are on some sort of a fluke run that mirrors last season. The three wild wins in a row, first the Steelers, Mike Tomlin stepping on the field of play, the snow game against the Vikings, and Justin Tucker kicking a booming 61-yard field goal to beat the Lions.

I’m not saying Baltimore will take this run to the Super Bowl, but this run has that fluke feel.

The Patriots may have Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, which is a bright spot, but they won’t help the defense. New England has the 31st run defense, the perfect recipe for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce who have been struggling to get the ground game going averaging a pitiful 82.9 ypg (29th).

Eddie P’s Philosophical Take

Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks

Some people might not see it the same way, but this game will be a pretty good one. Seattle has one of the league’s best defense and a potent offense. Arizona boasts a top ten defensive unit as well, in addition to an offense with dangerous receivers.

The Cardinals might be without superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald who is dealing with a concussion. Seattle will be without two of their top three cornerbacks. Walter Thurmond is serving a four-game suspension and starter Brandon Browner is suspended indefinitely (a messy topic on its own). Seattle will most likely be without Percy Harvin as well.

Despite missing several key players, Seattle still poses more of a threat. Arizona is good, but not Seattle good.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a victory over divisional foe, the Cincinnati Bengal. Green Bay is coming off a close win, squeaking pass the Dallas Cowboys by one point.

Matt Flynn played good last week, throwing four touchdowns. Running back Eddie Lacy had a huge day as well, racking up 141 yards on the ground.

On the flip side, Pittsburgh’s defense stood up well against a good offense last week, only allowing 57 yards on the ground and 230 through the air.

Words From Wooten

New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers

Looks like we have us a rematch of a not so stellar game from a few weeks ago. I’m talking about Carolina, of course. Drew Brees is looking very good at this point in the season. The offense possesses a chemistry that almost no team had last season. Look for Brees to air it out against Carolina again.

For Carolina, they need to find a way to get to Brees. If they can’t then they can expect the same results from a few weeks ago. For them to have a top 5 defense, Drew Brees made it look like a bottom 5. All in all, Drew Brees is going in to Carolina hoping to win and he’s leaving Carolina with a win.

Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans

I feel so bad for Houston at this point of the season. JJ Watt isn’t playing on the same level as he did last season. I feel like no one is except for Andre Johnson. In fact, many of the major pieces they had last season are injured or their stinking up the place, like Matt Schaub. And speaking of Schaub, his days may be numbered in Houston now.

With a loss to Denver and a Washington win(which may happen if you know how the Cowboys operate) then they will secure Teddy Bridgewater… excuse me, I mean the number one pick in the 2014 draft. Denver is coming in Houston with no a worries at all. They’re playing Houston of all teams. I feel like they’re the new Jacksonville Jaguars now. Or at least for this season.

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington

One of the best rivalries in sports history go head-to-head again. On one side, we have a quarterback who can’t get the job done. And on the other side, we have a young quarterback who is hoping to get the job done.

When it boils down, I feel like this one is going to Dallas. Washington just isn’t looking good this season. Last season, they won the NFC East, for whatever that is worth, and now they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel with their beloved top-5 in the 2014 draft pick going to St. Louis. The only way they can build is through free agency and no one knows what that will look like this season. In the end, look forward to Tony Romo throwing a few TD’s and possibly a few picks as well, knowing Romo.

NFL-2012-Week-1

The NFL season is slated to start Sept. 5 in a primetime opener between the defending Super Bowl champions and the Peyton Manning-led Broncos.

Football fans everyone have been tirelessly waiting to see the promise of this year’s version of their team or prepare for an embarrassing and failed season. As the season approaches, I figured I should take another crack at it and predict division winners, MVPs, the Super Bowl winner and more. Here is what I did last year. You may have a clue of who my division winners are if you read my Best Teams In Each Division article, but without further ado, let’s get to it.

AFC North: 

cincinnatibengals1. Cincinnati Bengals: 11-5

Two postseason appearances in two consecutive seasons has given this team the confidence to overthrow the Ravens and Steelers. Equipped with the game-changing wide receiver A.J. Green, recently drafted tight end Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard–who has impressed in the preseason–Cincinnati may now have the offense to match their stellar defense. Their offense sputtered down the stretch in 2012 averaging 16.3 points per game. It’s time for quarterback Andy Dalton to show if he’s a game-changer or just another middle of the pack quarterback

2. Baltimore Ravens: 9-7

Joe Flacco was one blown coverage away from being labeled an average quarterback, but Cool Joe went on to become the Super Bowl MVP. Since then, a rash of changes and injuries have stunned the Ravens including key departures from Ray Lewis (retired), Ed Reed (signed w/ Texans), Anquan Boldin (Trade w/ 49ers)  and Dennis Pitta (hip injury) who was becoming Flacco’s most dependable target. The addition of sack master Elvis Dummervil is a plus on the defensive side of the ball, but the Ravens will find it hard to recover from the Super Bowl hangover. And not to mention Flacco having to live up to his $100 million contract.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers: 7-9

The Steelers defense is not as old as people say they are, their average age on defensive is 27. 6 years old, the same as the Ravens. What worries me about the Steelers is the depth of their offensive line and the countless amount of injuries to their running backs. Losing second-round pick Le’Veon Bell to a foot injury was a major blow and Ben Roethlisberger can’t throw all his passes on the run or from the ground is offensive line doesn’t hold up. Antonio Brown and Emanuel Sanders have shown they are capable of making plays on the outside at their wide receiver position, but aside from those two, the Steelers don’t have much to offer besides the aged Jerricho Cotchery.

4. Cleveland Browns: 6-10

The Norv Turner and Brandon Weeden  connection has created some buzz in the Dawg Pound, but the Browns still are ways away from becoming a serious threat in the North. A healthy Trent RIchardson will bolster the ground game and drafting Barkevious Mingo to pair alongside Paul Kruger  will add to an already rising defense. Cleveland is on the upswing, but 2013 won’t be their year.

AFC South:

5931. Indianapolis Colts: 11-5

The same record as last year, but the Colts are much improved, especially on defense. The two new starters up front in Ricky Jean Francios and Aubrayo Franklin will aid the Colts 29th-ranked rushing defense. They still have been gashed on the ground in the preseason, but that can be attributed to the play calling. As long as Andrew Luck is the starting quarterback, the Colts will again become a perennial playoff team. He may already be the best quarterback in the division.

2. Houston Texans: 11-5

On paper, the Texans are arguably the best team in the NFL. They were in the top-10 offensively and defensively, but what will continuously keep Houston in the same spot is Matt Schuab. Schuab is a very good quarterback, but nothing more. You wouldn’t put him in the class as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. He has the weapons in Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and now DeAndre Hopkins, but the Texans will be another first round exit.

3. Tennessee Titans: 7-9

Unlike others, I’m high on Titans quarterback Jake Locker. He suffered the proverbial sophomore slump missing six games because of injury and was knocked out of the week 4 matchup against the Texans. He showed a lot of inconsistencies with accuracy and held on to the ball too long trying to make a play. To make matters worse, Chris Johnson was not his usual explosive self. The emergence of rookie power guard Chance Warmack and prized free agent Andy Levitre will open up holes for Johnson and create passing lanes for Locker.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-13

This team has too many holes and are unsettled at the quarterback position. I can’t even say they are  in the rebuilding mode because they can’t rebuild as long as Blaine Gabbert is under center. Jacksonville finished 29th in offense and 30th in defense. The return of Maurice Jones-Drew is refreshing, but not even he can carry this franchise on his back.

AFC East:

new-england-patriots-logo1. New England Patriots: 12-4

The Patriots have had a tumultuous offseason to say the least, but wherever there is Tom Brady, there is life. He enters the season with five new receivers and two new tight ends. The only star receiver Brady has ever had was Randy Moss. If Amendola can remain healthy, which is a big if, he easy amass 100 receptions with Brady. New England will be more balanced on offense as Stevan Ridley hopes to have another 1,000 yard season. The Patriots are playing themselves for the AFC East crown.

2. Buffalo Bills: 7-9

I really like what I see out of the 6-foot-4, 237-pound E.J. Manuel. The Bills suffered a setback with his minor knee procedure, but he still hasn’t been officially ruled out for week 1. Seven wins may seem one the high end for a rookie head coach and quarterback, but Buffalo has one of the best running backs in the NFL in C.J. Spiller . Adrian Peterson single handedly took the Vikings to the postseason last year. I’m not saying Spiller is Peterson, but he did lead the NFL in yards per carry averaging six yards a pop. He can have that same affect on his team.

3. Miami Dolphins: 6-10

Miami has been way overhyped due to their flashy offseason acquisitions. Mike Wallace was a big pick up, but he isn’t a wide receiver that can take over a game. Ryan Tannehill has a strong arm with upside, but he played in the shadows of fellow rookies Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Luck. The departure of Reggie Bush isn’t too big of a blow with the elusive Lamar Miller taking over the reigns, but the lost of Jake Long may prove bigger.

4. New York Jets: 2-14

With the no. 1 pick, the New York Jets select Jadeveon Clowney. You can etch it in stone. With how poorly Rex Ryan has managed his team, he might not even make it through the season. Where do you start with this team? The ongoing quarterback saga is a mess with Mark Sanchez and  Geno Smith who has shown he’s not ready. Veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie has already called out top pick DeMarcus Milliner and last year’s top pick Quinton Coples is out with an ankle injury. The Jets are in for a long season. If only Tim Tebow was still there.

AFC West:

denver-broncos-betting1. Denver Broncos: 14-2

The prohibited Super Bowl favorite. I picked them to win it all last year. It’s hard to pick against Peyton Manning even more now that he has Wes Welker in the slot. The only problem lies on defense  with the loss of Dummervil because of a fax machine issue and Von Miller who will miss the first 6 games of the season because of suspension. But the Broncos might not need much help on defense with Peyton lighting up the scoreboard.

2. Kansas City Chiefs: 9-7

The Andy Reid and Alex Smith relationship doesn’t seem to mesh well as far as their style of play. Reid likes to have his quarterbacks chunk it up and down the field, but Smith is more of a dink and dunk guy. He is best fit to throw the ball between 20-25 times, but Reid is known for passing more that running. However, this 2-14 team sent six players to the Pro Bowl last season. The talent is their on the roster. Jamal Charles is one jump-cut away from a touchdown on every single play and Dwayne led the NFL in touchdowns two seasons ago.

3. San Diego Chargers: 6-10

San Diego has completely fell from the top ranks. It was only a few years ago when they were considered favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Their top wide, Danario Alexander, is out for the season and running back Ryan Matthews hasn’t come close to replacing LaDanian Tomlinson. Their offensive line is still in shambles and quarterback Phillip Rivers is steadily regressing. The Chargers may start to look for his replacement next season.

4. Oakland Raiders: 5-11

This is a whole new team on offense and defense. Giving them 5 wins is one more than they had last year. Credit that one extra win to Terrelle Pryor. It’s looking like Matt Flynn will once again lose the job handed to him. It’s Pryor’s job to lose. Their isn’t much to cheer about in Oakland, but letting Pryor loose is a risk that can turn into a reward.

NFC East:

new-york-giants-logo1. New York Giants: 10-6

The Giants have shown they are one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL, but they still have a two-time Super Bowl champion in Eli Manning. With RGIII and the Redskins garnering all of the headlines, this has the makings of a strong season by the Giants. They excel in the underdog role. They have been getting production out of last year’s top picks in running back David Wilson and three of their top picks in the 2013 draft will all make a significant impact (Justin Pugh/OT, Johnathan Hankins/DT, Demantre Moore/DE).

2. Washington Redskins: 9-7

It’s a lot riding on Griffin’s ACL, and that will slow down his production in the beginning of the season without taking a snap throughout the preseason. If RGIII is healthy, then the Redskins can once again repeat as division champs. Griffin wasn’t the only rookie sensation on his team. Alfred Morris was 2nd  in the NFL in rushing with 1,613 yards. Washington drafted two safeties and cornerback with their first pick to sure up their 30th-ranked passing defense.

3. Philadelphia Eagles: 8-8

A three win improvement in Chip Kelly’s track 15 seconds or less offense will be one of the top surprises in the NFL. In this offense, the Eagles will go as far a Michael Vick take them, that’s if he can stay healthy. Vick has vowed to run more and play to his strength. The only season Vick played a full 16 game season was the same year he ran for 1,000 yards.

4. Dallas Cowboys 7-9

A lot like the Texans, the Cowboys look good every year on paper. They have a game-breaking wide receiver in Dez Bryant and a reliable tight end in Jason Witten. Drafting the mammoth tight end Gavin Escobar has the potential to flourish under Witten’s tutelage. What worries me is their middle of their pack defense, but their defense suffered because of injuries. They also have problems at running back with often-injured DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys finished next to last in rushing averaging 79.1 yards per game. Quarterback Tony Romo has proven time and time again he breaks down in defining moments. The Cowboys won’t become more than what they are right now until Romo is no longer under center or when Jerry Jones steps down.

NFC West:

seattle-seahawks-logo1. Seattle Seahawks: 11-5

With all the pieces the Seahawks have added in the offseason, the Super Bowl favorites are looking even better than they did last year. The Seahawks secondary contains three Pro Bowl players who can force turnovers, deliver big hits and blanket wide receivers. The offense is led by second year quarterback Russell Wilson who led all rookies in passing touchdowns with 26. Adding Christine Michael’s speed to the power of Marshawn Lynch, the ground game will only get better.

2. St. Louis Rams: 10-6

Every year there is a team who comes out of no where and this year that team will be the Rams. Last year St. Louis went 4-1-1 in the best division in football splitting with the Seahawks and win and a tie with the 49ers. Their young defense was tied for first in the NFL with 52 sacks. The defense isn’t a concern for the Rams, it all comes down to Sam Bradford and the offense. With Tavon Austin and Jared Cook at his disposal, Bradford now has the weapons to put points on the board.

3.  San Francisco 49ers: 10-6

One of the biggest questions for this team is how Colin Kaepernick look in a full 16 game season. They are dominant on both sides of the ball, especially in the ground game behind Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James. I’m anxious to see how Aldon Smith plays this season after going six straight games without a sack to end the season. The loss of Michael Crabtree and the recovery of Mario Mannigham was a blow to the offense, but the 49ers have more than enough pieces to do without.

4. Arizona Cardinal: 6-10

There is no doubt the Cardinals will be better with last year’s coach of the year Bruce Arians calling the shots, but something doesn’t add up with this team. Carson Palmer has shown he can put up gaudy numbers. Now armed with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and rookie Stephen Taylor at running back, the Cardinals can surprise this season. They began the season 4-0 last year, then ended up losing 11 out of their last 12. Arizona will fair well outside the conference, but I don’t see them keeping pace with their division counterparts.

NFC North:

chicago_bears_logo_39901. Chicago Bears: 11-5

If we judge quarterbacks solely on arm talent, Jay Cutler is a top-5 quarterback. His gunslinger mentality gets him into worlds of trouble at times, but he has the skill set to throw out of harm’s way. The facts he’s in his contract year will only motivate him to perform. Rookie linebacker Jon Bostic looks to man the middle for years to come and the Charles Tillman-led defense is still the team strength. The Bears have four new starters on the offensive line including first-round pick Kyle Long. If targets other than Brandon Marshall show up, the Bears can become a dangerous team.

2. Green Bay Packers: 10-6

Drafting Eddie Lacy was a huge addition for a team that gave up 51 sacks NFL last season, but losing their best lineman in Bryan Bulaga spells trouble for Aaron Rodgers again. Lacy and Jonathan Franklin will provide the offensive balance the Packers have been lacking. Rodgers can win 8 games by himself, but the way they were physically dominated in the Divisional Round against the 49ers has labeled them as a soft team. It’s up to the defense if this team wish to make a deep playoff run.

3. Minnesota Vikings: 7-9

Adrian Peterson literally ran away with the MVP coming up 8 yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing mark. The defense is solid, but young with Shariff Floyd at defensive tackle and Xavier Rhodes in the secondary. Cordarrelle Patterson was one of the most explosive players in the draft, but rookie receivers seldom make an impact in their first year. Christian Ponder needs to step up and become the quarterback the Vikings drafted him to be, but I think this is the year he shows he is not. The Vikings overachieved at 10-6 last season,

4. Detroit Lions: 7-9

The Lions are one of the biggest head-scratchers in the NFL. They have arguably the best player in the NFL in Calvin Johnson and easily the best wide receiver. They have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and they have a top-15 quarterback in Matthew Stafford, but throwing the ball 727 times won’t lead to much success. Even with the signing of Reggie Bush, this offense still has no balance. Bush has never been a inside runner and is best used as a receiving option out the backfield.

NFC South: 

Atlanta-Falcons-Logo-300x300Atlanta Falcons: 12-4

The Falcons are also a trendy pick to represent the NFC acquiring the all-pro running back Steven Jackson and convincing Tony Gonzales to hold of retirement for one more year. However they still have many questions on the defensive side of the ball. How much does Osi Umenyiora have left in the tank? Can their two rookie corners along with veteran Asante Samuel stop the bleeding in their secondary? Who will step up and stop opposing rushers? The Falcons gave up 123. 2 yards per game last year.

New Orleans Saints: 10-6

New Orleans will welcome back coach Sean Payton with open arms this season as he returns from the Bountygate suspension. His presence in the locker room will lift the spirit of his players, but that won’t be enough o improve their defense. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is in charge of the reclamation project to improve the statistically worst defense in NFL history. The Saints gave up a total of 7, 042 yards on defense.

Carolina Panthers: 8-8

In the offseason, the Panthers general manager called out quarterback Cam Newton telling him “it’s time to win.” The former Heisman and no. 1 overall pick has all the tools to become a top quarterback in this league. He broke Peyton Manning’s passing record as a rookie and set the touchdown mark for quarterbacks with 14. As great as Newton is on the ground, he can’t continue to lead them in rushing (Newton: 741 yds; DeAngelo Williams: 737 yds). The Panthers are a talented team, but they’re not ready for primetime yet.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers : 6-10

A lot like the Lions, the Bucs’ have the necessary pieces to succeed, but they have to figure out how to blend them. Josh Freeman’s 39 interceptions over the past two seasons directly contributes to the team’s inconsistency. The have two studs at wide receiver in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, the muscle hamster in Doug Martin and they finished first in run defense. The passing defense was a difference story allowing a league worst 297. 4 yards per game. The acquisition of Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson–who will line up to last years stand out rookie Mark Barron–Tampa Bay could go from worst to first.

Award Winners:

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ziggy Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions

Comeback Player of the Year: Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs

Coach of the Year: Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints

MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

Offensive Player of the Year: C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills

Defensive Player of the Year: Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks

SUPER BOWL XLVIII

Broncos over Bears

Peyton faces the Bears for a second time in the Super Bowl to capture his second ring in Eli’s home stadium.

This video was shot earlier in the week.

UPDATE: Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Houston Rockets in 6 games. Series: 4-2

UPDATE: Golden State Warriors defeated Denver Nuggets in 6 games. Series: 4-2

UPDATE: New York Knicks defeated Boston Celtics in 6 games. Series: 4-2

I wanted to give you something informative and enjoyable to watch. As much as I love print, broadcast has also been calling my name. I’ll continue to work at it. I’m becoming more passionate doing on-camera work by the day. Follow me @BrooksWeekly and @DevynAire who also played a vital part in the photography and production. Check him out djonesum.tumblr.com

CONTINUE WATCHING FOR THE BLOOPER BREAKDOWN. You will get a nice laugh from it. Comment and like.

Curry

Can the sharp shooting Stephen Curry lead his team pass the uptempo Denver Nuggets?

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(1) Miami Heat vs. (8) Milwaukee Bucks: Heat 2 -Bucks 0

The Bucks’ sub .500 regular season record (38-44) alone shows how undeserving they are to even be in the playoffs, let alone on the same court with the defending champs. Outmanned, outmatched and outclassed, this is a warm up series for Miami. Have the “Heatles” even broken a sweat?

(2) New York Knicks vs. (7) Boston Celtics: Knicks 2 – Celtics 0

How cliche would it sound if I said, Melo on a Mission? Determined to advance to the second round, Carmelo Anthony will do all he can, even if he has to give his Knicks a piggyback ride to face Indiana in round two more than likely. The Celtics simply do not matchup well against this high-powered offense. In the words of Kobe Bryant, Boston looks “old and slow.” Paul Piece is a mere shell of himself, this may be Kevin Garnett’s last year and Avery Bradley just isn’t ready. The Celtics are much more dominant when Jeff Green plays more assertive. Doc Rivers has to get him going early.

Even though they lost the first game 85-78, Green scored 26 points in a relatively tight game with his penetration in the lane and adding constant pressure on the Knicks’ sometiming defense. The second outing was a different story. Green hopes to erase a pitiful 10 point showing going 3 of 11 from the field. His second game letdown led to a 16 point loss by the hands of Melo and the Knicks. Coincidence? I think not.

(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Atlanta Hawks: Pacers 2  – Hawks 0 

The Hawks are always in the middle/lower of the pack. They are just, well, there. The Hawks are just not good enough. While I like to improve play of point guard Jeff Teague and an underrated Al Horford, the Hawks never do enough. Nothing about them leaps off the page. Nothing is special about this team. Josh Smith is an all-star, not a superstar.

Indiana’s emerging Paul George is well deserving of the NBA Most Improved Player Award. His opening round triple-double cemented the honors. The Pacers true test will come against the Knicks in round two. Unless Larry Bird comes running through the tunnels of TD Bank Garden arena, Boston won’t see round two.

Deron-Williams-Nets-Playoffs

(4) Brooklyn Nets (5) Chicago Bulls: Nets 1 – Bulls 1

This matchup reels in my interest simply because of Deron Williams. When healthy, Williams is arguably the best point guard in the NBA. Before the playoffs began, he was looking like the Williams of the Salt Lake City days. His 22 pts and 7 ast performance in game one led me to believe the Bulls were in a world of trouble.

But silly me forgetting about Tom Thibodeau and Chicago’s suffocating defense. Williams did dish out 10 assist, but they hacked and corralled Williams to a 1 for 9 night. This series has the making to go the distance.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(1) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (8) Houston Rockets: Thunder 2 – Rockets 0

Poor James Harden. Having to play his former team in the opening rounds of the playoffs. He wants nothing more than get back at the team that shipped him coldheartedly out of Oklahoma City. What a great achievement it was to reach the playoffs in his first year in Houston, but they stand no chance against Kevin Durant and the Thunder. The only thing standing in the way of Oklahoma City is one of their own, Russell Westbrook.

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers: Spurs 1 – Lakers 0 (Now 2-0) 

Call me delusional, but I actually picked the Lakers to win in 7 games largely because of the injuries and deficiencies of the Spurs. I figured the aging Tim Duncan couldn’t continue drinking from the fountain of youth, Tony Parker’s gimpy ankles wouldn’t hold up and Manu Ginobili was essentially done because of his nagging hamstring injuries.

Can I get a mulligan?

Ginobili came out hot and hit 18 points in 19 minutes in game one. Parker looked like his old self totaling 18 pts and 8 ast in game one. And Duncan? The best power forward in NBA history? He took another swig from the mythical fountain compiling 17 pts 10 rebs and 3 stls.

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Golden State Warriors: Nuggets 1 – Warriors 1

Smooth? Silky? Butter? Feel free to use whatever superlative or adjective at your discretion to describe Stephen Curry’s shooting stroke. I’m a firm believer that superstars prevail and triumph. While Denver has a premier supporting cast and  talented roll players, no one on that team is a superstar. The Warriors have a legit superstar in Curry. The baby faced assassin has lived up to the billing in his first taste of playoff action. Curry easily can lead the league in scoring while arguably becoming the best point guard in the NBA.

This series is far from over, but with Curry and the rest of his poachers taking aim beyond the arch, this 6th seed has what it takes to upset the Nuggets.

(4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Memphis Grizzlies: Clippers 2 – Grizzlies 0

Dating back to my superstar logic, the Grizzlies do not have any. Yes, they have the league stingiest defense and the Defensive Player of the Year in Marc Gasol, but the Grizzlies can’t overcome Lob City. Last year’s playoff meeting between the two was brutal, but I had gut feeling the Clippers were not having that this year. They’re too talented and athletic for the Memphis. And did I forget to mention Chris Paul?

-Kelton

#BrooksWeekly

kobe2

If the Lakers make the playoffs, how will they fair without their fallen star?

They say time waits for no man, not even the competitive, driven warrior that is Kobe Bryant.

How can one fathom the thought of the Los Angeles Lakers without Bryant? In his illustrious 17 seasons of wearing purple and gold,  he has played in 1,239 of 1,346 possible regular season games and 220 of 223 playoff games. Besides his impeccable game winning step-back jumpers, sheer will to win and five NBA titles, his grit and durability belongs in a category of its own.

Due to the sad events that transpired April 12th against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers  will have to move on without Bryant because of an Achilles tendon tear. Throughout the turmoil of the Lakers season, Bryant “guaranteed” his team will make the playoffs. True, Kobe has been playing in a youthful manner as of late, but how long could his injury riddled body at the age of 34 sustain the grind of the NBA? Many analyst, commentators and experts say his increased minutes of play doesn’t coincide with the injury.

Come again?

In his last 7 games, he has played 48, 47, 43, 47, 41, 48, 45, and headed towards another 48 minutes of play.

And that doesn’t equals to an Achilles tendon tear of the battled, future first ballot Hall-of-Famer who constantly played through a slew of injuries?

According to WebMD, an Achilles tendon injury might be caused by:

  • Overuse
  • Stepping up your level of physical activity too quickly
  • Not stretching enough before exercise
  • Wearing high heels, which increases the stress on the tendon (Doubt Kobe wears heels)
  • Problems with the feet. An Achilles tendon injury can result from flat feet, also known as fallen arches or overpronation. In this condition, the impact of a step causes the arch of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.
  • Muscles or tendons in the leg that are too tight

You’re more likely to tear an Achilles tendon when you start moving suddenly. For instance, a sprinter might get one at the start of a race. The abrupt tensing of the muscle can be too much for the tendon to handle. Men older than age 30 are particularly prone to Achilles tendon injuries.

Bryant aims to return next year, and the timetable for his return is six to nine months. He would most likely miss the start of the 2013-14 season, but he could possibly return during the middle of the season. In the meantime, LA will have to find a way to play without him.

Not only will the Lakers miss his 27.3 points a game, but the Lake Show will be without  32.6% of the its points production, 31.4% of the team’s field-goal attempts, and 34.9% of their free throw attempts. While I understand Bryant’s increased minutes were fueled by the chances to make a playoff push, I’d hate to play the blame game, but how can the Lakers organization not be at fault?

They opted to bring in Steve Nash who is a shell of himself and his coach in Mike D’Antoni who Bryant respects, but I wouldn’t say listens to. Phil Jackson was the only coach who could get in the head of Kobe and force him to rest on the bench. They drove Kobe into the ground. However, I will admit that I’m curious to see the impact of Nash’s return when he has both 7-footers at his disposal in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

The Lakers have put out 41 different lineups this season with 32 of them including Bryant. While LA awaits for the return of Nash, if the playoffs started today, the starting lineup would be Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Earl Clark, Gasol and Howard. Not the scenario D’Antoni envisioned.

The obvious key factor for the Lakers survival, and their future, is Howard.

But in my opinion, Dwight cannot lead a team on his own. He’s too nice, not into the game at times, not the demanding, dominating, killer instinctive player like Bryant, but who is? And we can’t forget about the mess that went down in Orlando. While Howard unquestionably has the skill set, I can’t see him as the face of the franchise for the Lakers.

The Lakers will eventually have to part ways with the Black Mamba, but right now, the Lakers need Bryant. Especially going up against the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. Can they even make it a series against either team without Bryant if they make the playoffs?

That remains to be seen, but the loss of Kobe and his impact on the team and organization is huge to say the least.

MeloVino

More likely to lead his team to a championship in 2013, Carmelo Anthony or Kobe Bryant? 

Only 6 days away until the end of the regular season, teams are now resting players, fine tuning their roster or clinging on to everlasting hope as teams battle it out for the no. 8 seed.

As the playoff picture is quickly revealing itself, let’s take a look at the matchups if the playoffs started today:

EASTERN CONFERENCE 

No. 1 seed: Miami Heat

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vs.

No. 8 seed: Milwaukee Bucks

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The Heat are 3-1 against the Bucks this season. At times, the defending champs struggle with the speed and tenacity of the Bucks’ dynamic duo backcourt. Barring an unforeseen, all-time performance by Brandon Jennings and Montae Ellis, I don’t see why LeBron James and the Heat won’t pull out the broom against a sub .500 team.

Series Winner: Miami in 4

No. 2 seed: New York Knicks

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vs.

No. 7 seed: Boston Celtics

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The Knicks have reached 50 victories for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Carmelo Anthony is playing out of his mind and scoring at will right now. My only concern is what will happen to the Knicks when Amar’e Stoudemire returns to the lineup? When Melo doesn’t have to defer, is when he is at his best. Regardless of the friction between the two stars, New York’s onslaught of 3-pointers and athleticism will prove to be too much of a hassle for Boston.

Series Winner: New York in 6

No. 3 seed: Indiana Pacers

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vs.

No. 6 seed: Atlanta Hawks

Hawks

After this season, the Hawks are due for a major makeover. For the past couple of seasons, Atlanta is consistently in the middle of the pack. While teams are improving, they have either remained the same or gotten worse. I do enjoy the improved play of point guard Jeff Teague, but neither him nor Josh Smith are ready to endure Indiana’s physical style of play. They tied the season series at two games apiece, so the Hawks won’t go down without a fight.

Series Winner: Indiana in 6

No. 4 seed: Brooklyn Nets

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vs.

No. 5 seed: Chicago Bulls

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Unless Derrick Rose comes running out the tunnel of the United Center, the Bulls are destined for a one-and-done in the playoffs. In this league, superstars prevail. The Nets superstar point guard Deron Williams has been picking up steam as of late and looks to carry his performance into the postseason. The Bulls have a 3 games to 1 regular season record against Brooklyn, but I look for the Nets to flip the script in a long, fought series.

Series Winner: Brooklyn in 7

WESTERN CONFERENCE 

No. 1 seed: Oklahoma City Thunder

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vs.

No. 8 seed: Los Angeles Lakers

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Honestly, there is no clear cut favorite to come out the West, but this is a matchup the Lakers are hoping to avoid. The Thunder ran the Lakers off the court beating them in 5 games in the playoffs last year. Oklahoma has too much speed on the court for a team that Kobe Bryant called old and slow. Bryant guaranteed his Lakers will make the playoffs, but playing 40+ minutes a night with his recent rash of injuries? This future Hall-of-Famer may not have what it takes to shock the Thunder. My only concern with OKC is Kevin Durant’s passiveness. Night after night Durant is becoming second fiddle to Russell Westbrook as the charismatic point guard is taking more shots than arguably the best player in the NBA. Message to Kevin Durant: You are the best player on your team, demand the ball and become more assertive.

Series Winner: Thunder in 6

No. 2 seed: San Antonio Spurs

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vs.

No. 7 seed: Houston Rockets

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Nothing like a good ole Texas showdown. The Spurs need to get healthy, and quick. The absence of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have led the Spurs to a 5-5 mark in their last 10 games. Sharp shooting Danny Greene is taking full advantage of his increased time on the court, but the Spurs must lean on their stars for a deep playoff run.  Tim Duncan has taken a dip into the fountain of youth, but at this stage of his career, he can no longer carry a team by himself. James Harden has elevated himself to a top-10 player in the league as she shows he has what it takes as the main attraction. IF the Spurs are healthy, they will win this series, but if not, I’m taking Houston with the upset.

Series Winner: Houston in 7

No. 3 seed: Denver Nuggets

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vs.

No. 6 seed: Golden State Warriors

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The baby faced assassin will make his first appearance into the postseason and head coach Mark Jackson deserves coach of the year honors. This may be the most entertaining first round matchup we have seen in a while. In there four meetings, 100 points was scored in every game. The loss of Danilo Gallinari is a tough pill to swallow for the Nuggets, but Wilson Chandler is more than capable of picking up the slack.

Series Winner: Denver in 6

No. 4 seed: Los Angeles Clippers

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vs.

No. 5 seed: Memphis Grizzlies

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Another heavyweight bout in the making. Last year’s epic 7 game series proved to be memorable as both teams refused to yield. Lob City is more poised this year to challenge for a legitimate shot at the championship. The Clippers currently lead the regular season series 2-1 with one more game left between the two conference foes. Perhaps a statement game by the Clippers is in order to prove they are worthy to compete for a title.

Series Winner: Clippers in 6

Thanks for reading.

#BrooksWeekly

-Kelton

Sacramento Kings ship high first round pick to Rockets (Thomas Robinson)

Sacramento Kings ship high first round pick to Rockets (Thomas Robinson)

As we enter the second half of the NBA season, the NBA trade deadline has come and gone. All the wheeling and dealing has shedded expiring or lofty contracts, shipped role players to a more prominent status and sent headline names to plant their roots in new cities.

Big names were dealt, but not the names we expected. I find it a little puzzling that teams were not making offers to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo. Maybe it’s because of the injury, but a walking triple-double and floor general does not come around often in this day and age. Rondo has been known of a ball-hog with his excessive dribbling and alienating his teammates. Still, Rondo is a top-10 point guard, maybe top five.

And what about Josh Smith? The Brooklyn Nets were aggressively pursuing the versatile big man, as well as Phoenix, and Milwaukee. But I’m guessing the Hawks decided to keep their leading scorer and longest-tenured player for another playoff run and will re-evaluate their stance on Smith at season’s end.

No doubt the biggest prize whose name was swirling in trade speculations also stayed put, Dwight Howard. And he won’t be moved anytime soon as the Lakers view him the most dominant center in the league and their franchise player post-Kobe era. However, the Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak was a little less adamant about trading Pau Gasol in the future. Here is a quote from Kupchak on his appearance  on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” (via ESPN)

We’re not going to trade Pau today or tomorrow, but his name has come up in the past, and it would be misleading to say it won’t come up in the future- Kupchak

To me, the most surprising trade was between the Rockets and Kings (look below for details). These two are the overall winners and losers of the trade deadline. The Rockets received Thomas Robinson, the number five overall pick in the 2012 draft. Why would the Kings give up a lottery pick in his rookie season? Adding the likes of Aldrich, Douglas and Patterson does nothing to address the Kings’ fundamentally dysfunctional makeup. I always thought Sacramento had good, young individual talent, but they never could mesh as a cohesive unit.

Robinson was a dominant and disruptive force at Kansas with a high ceiling, if Houston decides to offer him an extension, he could immediately fill the void left by Patterson. Robinson’s potential easily outweighs Patterson’s realized status as a fringe starter/quality rotation player. This deal makes sense in no form or fashion for the Kings. The duo of DeMarcus Cousins and Robinson could have been the centerpiece for that franchise.

Hurry up and send the Kings to Seattle.

Houston just made themselves more formidable now and in the future. With Robinson’s potential matched with superstar James Harden and combo guard Jeremy Lin, this team can become a legitimate championship contender.

Trade Deadline  Winner: 

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Here is a recap of the new faces in new places:

             Phoenix SUNS ACQUIRE
Marcus Morris, forward
             Houston ROCKETS ACQUIRE
2013 second-round pick

Houston

ROCKETS ACQUIRE
Thomas Robinson, power forward
Francisco Garcia, small forward
Tyler Honeycutt, small forward

Sacramento

KINGS ACQUIRE
Patrick Patterson, power forward
Cole Aldrich, center
Toney Douglas, point guard

Memphis

GRIZZLIES ACQUIRE
Dexter Pittman, center
Second-round pick

Miami

HEAT ACQUIRE
Rights to Ricky Sanchez, center

Toronto

RAPTORS ACQUIRE
Sebastian Telfair, point guard

Phoenix

SUNS ACQUIRE
Hamed Haddadi, center
Second-round pick

Atlanta

HAWKS ACQUIRE
Jeremy Tyler, power forward

Golden State

WARRIORS ACQUIRE
Future draft pick

Philadelphia

76ERS ACQUIRE
Charles Jenkins, point guard

Golden State

WARRIORS ACQUIRE
Future draft pick

Dallas

MAVERICKS ACQUIRE
Anthony Morrow, shooting guard

Atlanta

HAWKS ACQUIRE
Dahntay Jones, small forward

Charlotte

BOBCATS ACQUIRE
Josh McRoberts, power forward

Orlando

MAGIC ACQUIRE
Hakim Warrick, power forward

Boston

CELTICS ACQUIRE
Jordan Crawford, shooting guard

Washington

WIZARDS ACQUIRE
Leandro Barbosa, shooting guard
Jason Collins, center

Oklahoma City

THUNDER ACQUIRE
Ronnie Brewer, small forward

New York

KNICKS ACQUIRE
Second-round pick

Portland

BLAZERS ACQUIRE
Eric Maynor, point guard

Oklahoma City

THUNDER ACQUIRE
$2.2 million trade exception

Milwaukee

BUCKS ACQUIRE
J.J. Redick, shooting guard
Gustavo Ayon, power forward
Ish Smith, point guard

Orlando

MAGIC ACQUIRE
Tobias Harris, power forward
Beno Udrih, point guard
Doron Lamb, shooting guard

-Kelton

LBJ

Can anyone dethrone the King?

Throughout the first couple of weeks of season, you couldn’t mumble MVP without saying “Melo.”

But this is an 82 games season.

The NBA season is filled with stretch runs, hot streaks and flat out dominance, but what LeBron James is doing is absolutely mind-boggling. The reigning 3-time MVP and NBA champion has catapulted himself to a level where he stands alone. James is on a historic six-game run that has transformed into the vocal point of him winning a fourth most valuable player award.

In this six- game stretch, James has become the only player in NBA history to score 30 points while shooting a prolific 60 percent from the field. Let me put this into perspective, King James has made 60 of his last 80 shots. He continues to showcase is uncanny ability to drive to the basket as he has made 42 of his last 50 shots in the paint. James is also scoring at an alarming rate from beyond the arch shooting 59 percent (10-17). Not to mention his efficient scoring has led the Heat to a six game winning streak.

Let that breathe for a second.

Now exhale. James is the ultimate stat-stuffer, I can throw a mass amount of numbers at you all day. Another stat to bring to your attention is that LeBron averages 27 PPG, 8.1 RPG & 6.9 APG this season. Who is the the last player to average 27-8-6 in a single season?

Not surprising that it’s Michael Jordan isn’t it? He did it in the 1988-89 season.

I’m not comparing LeBron to Jordan, but with MJ’s 50th birthday rolling around, these comparison continues to surface. Check out this side-by-side comparison by ESPN:

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With the elevation of his play this past season and throughout his career, the Jordan comparison will always arise, but why is it so hard to view LeBron on his own merit? To put LeBron’s stretch performance is Layman’s terms, he is  playing a game within the game. He is sort of impersonating  Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez by throwing the perfect game. Well, shooting 9-11 against the Clippers on Feb. 8 and 13-14 against the Bobcats is almost perfect.

Now I can’t recall too much about Jordan seeing that I am only 22, but I do remember Jordan having a few lingering labels. In the early stages  of his career, Jordan was “too much of a ball hog to win a championship.” Before he he finally won his first ring in 1991, no one had won a scoring title and a championship in the same year since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971, so it was apparent that he couldn’t achieve both, right? Well as we know,  MJ captured six rings. The NBA in this day and age is guard driven, but in the Jordan era, you couldn’t win a ring without a dominant force at center.

LeBron has the chance to do both.

He already has abolished the notion that he can’t win the big games. Perhaps LeBron will create a  new standard for a winning a championship. A versatile, dominant player who can bring the ball upcourt, posses an array of  low post moves, score anywhere on the court and guard all five positions. No one has ever done that, right?

see Erving “Magic” Johnson. I’ve always though James was more Magic than Michael, but that is an entirely different discussion. As we continue to marvel at LeBron’s greatness and historical run, it is still evident that he has much more to prove, but he is inching closer.

In a generation where social media is becoming a top news outlet, LeBron summed it up for all his criticizers in an 18 character tweet as they weighed in on the #MJvsLeBron comparison:

I’m not MJ, I’m LJ – LeBron James

QuintEvents-NFL-PRO-BOWL_NFL-On-Location-AFC-NFC

BY DELONTE WOOTEN

So, here we are yet again. The 2013 Pro Bowl. For those of you who may not know, the Pro Bowl has been around for quite some time. It all started back in the 1938 season where it was called the “Pro All-Star Game.” Here, the best of the best displayed their skills against, well, the best of the best.

Now, let’s get down to business. The NFC Pro Bowl is stacked with players that we all know and love. Of course, one in particular is Adrian ‘All Day‘ Peterson. Peterson tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament(ACL) on Christmas Eve 2011 against the Washington Redskins. As many of us thought, he was down for the count. Boy, were we wrong. Somehow, Peterson came back the following season. Not only did he play well, but he led the NFL in rushing yards, coming up short of Erick Dickerson’s rushing record of 2,105 yards. It is amazing to know that he did this only a year after tearing his ACL. Look forward to seeing ‘All Day’ in the runnings for MVP. Get it. Runnings?

Moving on *cues soothing Hawaiian music*

The NFC squad is stacked.

For QB’s, the NFC has Aaron Rodgers, Drew ‘Cool’ Brees, Matt ‘Matty Ice’ Ryan and Russell Wilson. These guys alone

In 2012, Drew Brees set an NFL for 54 consecutive games with a touchdown pass

In 2012, Drew Brees set an NFL for 54 consecutive games with a touchdown pass

combined for more than 15,000 passing yards and 75 passing touchdowns this season. Talk about aerial dominance. On the other hand, those who pounded the rock did good as well. Toting the ball, we have Peterson from Minnesota. From Seattle, we have one of the best in the west, Marshawn Lynch. Last but not least, hailing from the state of the sunshine, he is in the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Doug Martin.

Must I mention who’s at WR? Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones, Larry ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald and Victor Cruz.

Now to the other side of the ball. Unfortunately, the NFC squad lost majority of their defense because the San Francisco 49ers aka The Bullies of the Bay Area made to the Super Bowl. On the other hand, there are still plenty of guys who can stuff the run and play the pass. With that being said, let’s take a look at who is on defense:

On the defensive side of the ball, the NFC possesses athleticism all over the field. From the New York Giants, they have the young gunner Jason Pierre-Paul. Also, the veteran Julius Peppers and Jared Allen at DE. For interior lineman we have Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy and Henry Melton. At LB, the NFC has a plethora of tackling machines, particularly, Chad Greenway. Greenway is now a veteran and has a great nose for the ball. For the past few seasons, he has been top-5 in tackles, so he’s a great asset for the Minnesota Vikings defense. On the inside, they possess the upstart Paul Kerrigan who is playing along side teammate and ironman London Fletcher. Fletcher has yet to miss a game in his 15 seasons in the league.

Now last, but not least, we have the secondary. The NFC’s secondary contains of a slew of ballhawks and opportunist.

CT bears-lions44.jpgAt CB, the Chicago Bears’ Tim Jennings and Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman made their presence known this season. While Tim Jennings led the NFL in interceptions, Tillman stripped and deprived his opponents of the ball causing fumble after fumble. Though, this is an all-star game and everyone will be relaxed, just look forward to seeing a few turnovers. And at safety, Atlanta’s William Moore and Thomas Decoud.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff

Here are a few players to watch:

Russell Wilson – As a rookie, he shook the league. With his great arm and mobility, look forward to him throwing and running for one

Adrian Peterson – Does he know a second gear?

Calvin Johnson – Ok, we all know Larry Fitzgerald for making spectacular catches, but have we forgot about Megatron? He was only 52 yards away from becoming the first WR to post 2,000 yards in a single season.

Tim Jennings – Jennings has established himself as a ballhawk in the league.

As you can see, the NFC squad is stacked with a phenomenal talent. I’m just looking forward to who is gonna do what at tomorrow’s annual Pro Bowl game.

#WordsFromWooten

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Already a lock for the Hall of Fame, will Peyton Manning win a second Super Bowl ring?

T’was the season of giving.

A majority of experts expected great things from the prized number one and number two overall draft picks, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Named Andrew ‘Clutch’ by his teammates, 7 out 10 of the Colts’ victories were in comeback fashion. For a team that went 2-14 last season, Luck has led the Colts back to the playoffs. They say a team takes on the personality of their head coach. The Colts did just that. Head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia Sept. 26. The way he battled and fought through the deadly disease, his persistence  latched on to the Luck led Colts and they haven’t looked back since.

The dazzling and charismatic Griffin III has taken the nation’s capital by storm. He is number 2 in the NFL in QB rating (104.1) and has 20 TD passes to only five interceptions (A stunning low number for a rookie quarterback). Not to mention his 752 yards on the ground with adding six more touchdowns. With a win against the Dallas Cowboys, Washington is in the playoffs.

But, perhaps one of the best gifts offered to the NFL  is draped in action green, college navy and an accent of wolf grey. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches (if that much), Russell Wilson has broken loose of the notion that short quarterbacks can not exceed in the NFL. This third round pick (75th overall) has the NFL’s hottest team in contention to win the NFC West with a win against St. Louis and a loss by San Francisco. With a sound running game spearheaded by Marshawn Lynch and formidable defense, the Seattle Seahawks are poised for a post-season run. Russell Wilson is leading all rookie quarterbacks with 25 touchdown passes with one game remaining. (I selected Russell Wilson to win OROY in my 2012 Season Predictions)

This roller coaster of a season is far from over. Who is going to win MVP? Peyton Manning? Adrian Peterson? Either of the two could win both MVP and Comeback Player of the year. Will Aldon Smith of the 49ers or J.J. Watt of the Texans break the single season sack record? What about the hapless Jets? Nothing at all.

This week holds a ton of playoff implications, and I will get to them. However, I want to take the time to reflect on my 2012 Season Predictions.

In the AFC, I went 4 for 4  in predicting division winners (Ravens, Texans, Patriots and Broncos are all leading their division). The NFC was a different story.

The Chicago Bears, who were once considered the best team in the NFL, now stand at 9-6 after starting the season 7-1 clinging on to their slim playoff chances. The Carolina Panthers, one of the league’s biggest head-scratches was plagued by the sophomore slump of last year’s number one overall pick and OROY, Cam Newton. And the Philadelphia Eagles? Let’s just say there is a lot of lost love in the city of brotherly love.

I’m switching my pick of San Diego’s OLB Melvin Ingram as DROY to Luke Kuechly of the Panthers for DROY. Depending on what happens in Seattle, if the St. Louis Rams can knock off the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL’s most hostile stadium, I will change my Coach of the Year pick Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher over the Denver BroncosJohn Fox.

One thing is for sure, I am standing firm in my pick with the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl.

In Peyton I trust.

Moving along…

Brooks’ Bits

Baltimore Ravens (10-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)

As for playoff standings, this game doesn’t hold much implications. Cincinnati is locked in as the 6th seed, but Baltimore is still jockeying for position. The Bengals are looking to sweep the Ravens in divisional play after defeating Pittsburgh last week. This young team has to give the Ravens and Steelers nightmares. In the not so distant future, the AFC North will be dominated by the Bengals. Joe Flacco doesn’t have that it factor to lead Baltimore to the next level.

Green Bay Packers (11-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-6)

My pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, no one is talking about the Packers. And I bet they have no problem with that at all. With a win over Minnesota, Green Bay will clinch a first-round bye. Adrian Peterson ran through, over and around the Packers in their first match-up as Peterson galloped for 210 yards. On the heels of an ACL and MCL tear, Peterson needs only 102 yards to reach 2,000 and 208 to break the all-time mark of 2,105, set by Eric Dickerson. If Minnesota wins, they’re in. They are going to have to earn this one. I personally think reaching the playoffs is the only way Peterson can solidify the MVP.

Oakland Raiders (4-11) at San Diego Chargers (6-9)

This game has zero, zilch, no type of playoff scenarios. This game is must watch to me because all year long I have been screaming for the Raiders to start Terrelle Pryor at quarterback. Carson Palmer was never worth the contract. He is one of the worst quarterback in the NFL. His time is Cincinnati was highlighted off one, single year when he finally led the Bengals to the playoffs. It was unfortunate that he was injured during that game, but he shouldn’t have been playing quarterback anyway.

Words from Wooten

Well, from the looks of it, we have a week filled with divisional match-ups. Now, this is where it gets interesting. A lot of teams are in a “win and you’re in” situation. About half of the games played this week are meaningful to a lot of the teams because a win this week will result in a playoff berth. On the other hand, a loss this week will result in going home.

Dallas Cowboys (8-7) at Washington Redskins (9-6)

A playoff berth is on the line in the nation’s capital. If the Redskins win, they are in the playoffs. If the Cowboys win, they are in the playoffs. The problem is that a lot of people do not think the Cowboys will win. I am one of those people who think they won’t win. I look forward to this coming down to the nitty gritty. The best part is that this game is being played in my backyard of Washington DC, okay technically Landover, Md. Either way, this one will be a great one.

Chicago Bears (9-6) at Detroit Lions (4-11)

This game may get interesting. Here’s the deal, if Chicago wins they’re in the playoffs. If Chicago loses, well, you know what’s going to happen. Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson is 108 yards away from becoming the first wide receiver in NFL history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark. I want Chicago to win(and I am a die hard fan), but I want to see if Megatron can have a mega performance. That will be difficult seeing as though BOTH of the Bears starting CB’s are starting in the 2013 Pro Bowl.

121207.02

Will Calvin Johnson become the first WR in NFL history to eclipse 2,000 yards?

Houston Texans (12-3) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

We have yet another interesting game here. No matter the outcome, both teams are going to the playoffs. The interesting part is that Houston’s defensive end J.J. Watt is 2.5 sacks away from breaking Michael Strahan‘s record of 22.5 set about 10 years ago. He now leads the league in sacks(20.5).

St. Louis Rams (7-7-1) at Seattle Seahawks (10-5)

Now this game does not involve any playoff implications, but everyone is interested to see what Seattle may do to St. Louis. In their past few games, Seattle has averaged 50 points. Behind rookie QB Russell Wilson, the Seahawks are looking to possibly clinch the NFC West with a win and 49ers’ loss this weekend.

Brooks Wooten
Buccaneers vs Falcons Falcons(L) Falcons(L)
Jets vs Bills Bills(W) Bills(W)
Ravens vs Bengals Bengals(W) Ravens(L)
Bears vs Lions Lions(L) Bears(W)
Jaguars vs Titans Jaguars(L) Titans(W)
Texans vs Colts Colts(W) Texans(L)
Panthers vs Saints Panthers(W) Saints(L)
Eagles vs Giants Giants(W) Giants(W)
Browns vs Steelers Steelers(W) Steelers(W)
Chiefs vs Broncos Broncos(W) Broncos(W)
Packers vs Vikings Packers(L) Packers(L)
Dolphins vs Patriots Patriots(W) Patriots(W)
Raiders vs Chargers Chargers(W) Chargers(W)
Cardinals vs 49ers 49ers(W) 49ers(W)
Rams vs Seahawks Rams(L) Seahawks(W)
Cowboys vs Redskins Redskins(W) Redskins(W)

In other news, this season was filled with a lot of surprises. Records coming down, coaches fired in the middle of the season, Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano missing a large portion of the season battlling leukemia, Adrian Peterson having a monster season that no one could have possibly fathom, and to top it all off, Peyton Manning coming back from a year off to play and succeed at it once again. All in all, this has been such a marvelous and illustrious season for fans all over the world. It has been a pleasure partaking in brooksweekly.com.  I look forward to next week when we have playoff predictions, possible award winners and off-season moves. – Delonte Wooten (@_SirWu)

Thanks for reading.

#every7days

-Kelton Brooks