Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Robert Griffin III during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.

Is Robert Griffin III talking his way out of the nation’s capital?

By Kelton Brooks (@BrooksWeekly)

The worst division in football this year is the NFC South. At 4-6, the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are tied for first. That’s a winning percentage of .400 at week 12 in the 2014 NFL season. At the final quarter of the season, a division leader has a losing record.

The 4-6 Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams would be tied for first in the NFC South. With a record of 5-5, the Buffalo Bills would have sole possession.

In short, move over Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Came Newton. Say hello to Kyle Orton.


 

Week 12 Predictions Results 

Brooks: 9-5; Overall: 100-61

Perez: 7-7; Overall: 109-52

Wooten: 7-7; Overall: 89-56


 

Week 12 Matchups Brooks Perez Wooten
KC @ OAK KC(L) KC(L) KC(L)
CLE @ ATL CLE(W) CLE(W) ATL(L)
TEN @ PHI PHI(W) PHI(W) PHI(W)
DET @ NE NE(W) NE(W) NE(W)
GB @ MIN GB(W) GB(W) GB(W)
JAX @ IND IND(W) IND(W) IND(W)
CIN @ HOU HOU(L) CIN(W) HOU(W)
NYJ @ BUF NYJ(L) BUF(W) BUF(W)
TB @ CHI CHI(W) CHI(W) CHI(W)
ARI @ SEA SEA(W) SEA(W) SEA(W)
STL @ SD STL(L) STL(L) SD(W)
MIA @ DEN DEN(W) DEN(W) DEN(W)
WSH @ SF SF(W) SF(W) SF(W)
DAL @ NYG DAL(W) DAL(W) DAL(W)
BAL @ NO BAL(W) NO(L) NO(L)

 


 

Brooks Bits

Washington Redskins (3-7) @ San Francisco 49ers (6-4)

Three years ago, Robert Griffin III became the 77th recipient of the Heisman Trophy Award as a junior at the University of Baylor. A year later he was drafted No. 2 overall and threw for 20 touchdowns to five interceptions as a rookie. Griffin was crowned Offensive Rookie of the Year and thought to be in the running for the future upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.

Fast forward to 2014, plus a torn ACL and a broken ankle along the way, RG3 has become “RG-Me,” talking himself out of the nation’s capital. No matter what Griffin does, whether it’s side-stepping questions, saying “other guys have to step up,” or simply not performing, everything points to him.

He has played in only four games in 2014, throwing only three total passes in one. After head coach Jay Gruden scrutinized Griffin and players not backing the quarterback, the damage is leaning on a side of unrepairable in Washington.

It wouldn’t raise the slightest brow if Griffin was traded in the offseason. But in sports, winning cures all. A win on the road against the 49ers would deescalate the tension in Washington, but it won’t happen. Tempers will continue to flare.

San Francisco’s defense will capitalize off their five interception performance against Eli Manning and the Giants and disrupt Griffin all game long.

Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) @ Houston Texans (5-5)

The Bengals are the most frustratingly talented team in the NFL. After winning three straight to start the season, Cincinnati lost two and had a tie game against the Carolina Panthers.

Now, the Bengals have won three of their last four. The Bengals are faced with a positive problem in with rookie running back Jeremy Hill rushing for over 100 yard two of the past three games and starting running back Gio Bernard returning from hip and clavicle injuries.

AJ Green is returning to form since coming back from a toe injury that caused him to miss a couple of games, catching six passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Cincinnati prepares to take on Ryan Mallet who took over for a struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick in Houston. Mallet went 20 for 30 for 211 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in his first game as a starter in a 23-7 win over Cleveland.

I believe the former Arkansas star is the answer in Houston. Mallet will lead the Texans to a win over an unpredictable Bengals’ team.

Eddie P’s Philosophical Take

Arizona Cardinals (9-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

The Arizona Cardinals have the best record in the NFL at 9-1. The Seattle Seahawks (6-4) are not quite at a Super Bowl level this year, but are still a formidable team. While the Cardinals are the favorite to win the division – and a playoff spot – the Seahawks are in the hunt for a wildcard spot. Seattle, however, cannot afford many more mistakes. They need to win to return to the postseason.

The Seahawks boast a top ten defense and the highest ranked rushing offense. Marshawn Lynch is still on beast mode at running back. Russell Wilson, while not as dynamic in the passing game, is also a threat running the ball.

The Cardinals will not be able to muster enough offense to beat the ‘Hawks.

St. Louis Rams (4-6) @ San Diego Chargers (6-4)

Let the records show, this writer will be attending this game. It will be this writer’s first professional football game. The records also show the St. Louis Rams are this writer’s favorite team – hence, the writer’s motive for picking the Rams.

The rams are coming off a huge win over the mighty Denver Broncos. The defense played perfectly. The defensive line applied enough pressure on Peyton Manning to disrupt him and his throws. The offense played a balanced game and did not self-destruct.

If this same Rams team shows up in San Diego, the Rams will be victorious against the Chargers. And this writer will be a very happy fan.

Words From Wooten

Kansas City (7-3) @ Oakland Raiders (0-10)

Well, it just doesn’t get any worse for the 0-10 Oakland Raiders. Now they can look forward to the draft and the offseason to acquire new talent and a few weapons for Derek Carr as he develops. But on the other side, Kansas City has a little swag in their system beating the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks.

Jamal Charles is back to his old ways by finding holes and straight up torching defenders. Justin Houson and Tamba Hali are still at it with their strong side and weak side blitz schemes. All in all, this will not be a good one for Oakland. They’re inconsistencies will cause them the game.

Arizona Cardinals (9-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

This should be a good one.

Arizona is one of the very few teams to beat the Seahawks in Seattle over the past few years, so they’re going to Seattle expecting to do the same. Unfortunately for them, they are without their starting QB Carson Palmer. Who would’ve thought that Carson Palmer would have a football career after Cincinnati? Not me, but I love the competition he brings to the table.

Arizona has the best record in the NFL with just 1 loss on their record and Seattle is looking to add another loss to Arizona’s record. Marshawn Lynch has been in Beast Mode as of lately, running over just about anyone who’s in his way and scoring a few touchdowns.

In the end, it’s Seattle. I say Seattle because they’re at home and the Cardinals are without their field general in Carson Palmer. This may be a cakewalk for Seattle defense, but I know it just may be a struggle for Arizona’s front seven to stop Marshawn Lynch.

 

How far has Andrew Luck (12) become to compete against arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Tom Brady?

How far has Andrew Luck (12) become to compete against arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Tom Brady?

By Kelton Brooks @BrooksWeekly

After throwing 12 touchdowns in two games prior to last week’s head-scratching loss to the New York Jets, word to LeBron James, Ben Roethlisberger threw not four, not five, not six, but one measly touchdown against the abysmal Jets.

A loss to the Jets was baffling and quite frankly shouldn’t have happened, especially in a division where every team has a .600 win percentage or better. Roethlisberger is big time when showcased on primetime stages. A showdown against the 2-7 Tennessee Titans is a remedy that will cure the mysterious sickness came over Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium last Sunday.

But week 11 features a slate of games that could drastically alter both conferences in Buffalo @ Miami in the AFC and Detroit and Arizona in the NFC. Without further ado, let’s get to the predictions.


 

Week 10 Predictions Results 

Brooks: 9-4; Overall: 93-53

Perez: 9-4; Overall: 102-44

Wooten: 9-4; Overall: 82-49


 

Week 11 Matchups Brooks Perez Wooten
BUF @ MIA MIA(W) MIA(W) MIA(W)
MIN @ CHI CHI(W) CHI(W) CHI(W)
HOU @ CLE HOU(W) CLE(L) CLE(L)
SEA @ KC SEA(L) SEA(L) SEA(L)
ATL @ CAR ATL(W) CAR(L) ATL(W)
CIN @ NO NO(L) NO(L) NO(L)
TB @ WSH WSH(L) WSH(L) WSH(L)
DEN @ STL DEN(L) DEN(L) DEN(L)
SF @ NYG SF(W) SF(W) SF(W)
OAK @ SD SD(W) SD(W) SD(W)
PHI @ GB GB(W) GB(W) GB(W)
DET @ ARI DET(L) DET(L) DET(L)
NE @ IND NE(W) NE(W) IND(L)
PIT @ TEN PIT(W) PIT(W) PIT(W)

 


 

Brooks Bits

New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts

The last time these two teams played each other, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots sent the up-and-coming pup in Andrew Luck home with a 43-22 shellacking in the AFC Divisional game. Brady went 33 of 53 for 333 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the effortless performance.

The Luck versus Peyton Manning attracts the spotlight because it’s pupil versus the predecessor, but luck hasn’t been on the side of the Colts quarterback when facing Brady. Luck has a pedestrian 51.6 completion percentage with seven interceptions in two games against New England while Brady has thrown three touchdowns and no interceptions in those matchups.

Brady and Luck are top-3 in the MVP voting in my book, with both putting up staggering numbers to this point. Luck has a streak of seven consecutive 300-yard passing games heading into Sunday’s battle with the Patriots. New England is fresh off a bye week since dismantling Manning and the high powered Broncos. Manning still threw for 438 yards, which appears as a great day in the office.

Numbers never lie, but they don’t always tell the whole story. Manning was held to a season-low 80.9 passer rating and a season-low of 59.6 completion percentage. The Patriots defense will face a similar test in the Colts offense that leads the NFL with 32.2 points per game, (Denver 31.8). The offense is there for Indianapolis behind the league passing leader in Luck, but the defense is what sets these two teams apart.

Since shutting out the Bengals in week 7, the Colts have allowed a brutal 881 yards and eight touchdowns through the air. Nightmarish news for Indianapolis as Brady is on a stretch of 18 touchdowns to one interception over the Patriots last five victories.

Luck will undoubtedly become the best quarterback in the NFL, but not right now. Game, Patriots.

 Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals

Arguably the best game of the week as two NFC powers go head-to-head.

The marquee matchup is Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson who is fresh off a seven catch, 133 yard and one touchdown performance since returning from an ankle injury, versus the reigning NFC Player of the Week in Patrick Peterson who intercepted two passes and returned one for a score in the fourth quarter in a win over the St. Louis Rams.

The duel on the outside will sale tickets, but all eyes will be on Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton went 2-1 in the absence of Carson Palmer who was dealing with a shoulder injury at the time, but now, Stanton will take over on a full-time basis after Palmer tore his ACL last week.

The injury came only two days after the 34-year-old Palmer signed a three-year contract extension worth $50 million, including $20.5 million guaranteed. He also tore his left ACL in 2006, 10 days after signing a $118 million extension with the Bengals, according to ESPN Stats&Info.

Gut wrenching news for a Cardinals team with Super Bowl aspirations. If Arizona manages to capture a one or two seed in the NFC behind Stanton, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is a lock for the Coach of the Year Award. Mysteriously, the Cardinals passing defense ranks among the worst in the NFL statistically. Arizona is giving up 274.2 yards per game (29th). Matthew Stafford, Johnson, and Golden Tate—who’s having a career year—will test the Cardinals defense.

Detriots has been fool’s gold previous years, but a victory on the road in Arizona will put the league on notice.

Eddie P’s Philosophical Take

Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are the favorites going into this game. On the other hand, the reemergence of Mark Sanchez has the Eagles red hot.

The Eagles manhandled the Panthers on Monday Night. While the defense made life hell for Cam Newton, Sanchez effectively and efficiently led the highflying offense.

The Packers, however, are as potent as the Eagles on offense. The offensive weapons are pretty much on par to each other. The only difference is at quarterback. Aaron is definitely on a different tier than Mark. He will win this game for the Packers.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans 

Pittsburgh sits at 6-4. The Steelers are a team that has all the pieces to be the powerhouse of old. The defense is not the same, but it has young pieces that could step up. The team’s strength definitely is its offense. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had two back-to-back games with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. And then there are the games where the Steelers falter to lowly teams, like against the New York Jets.

This has happened before. The Steelers were supposed to beat Tampa Bay. The Steelers were supposed to beat the Cleveland Browns. This week, Pittsburgh is supposed to beat the Tennessee Titans. Lets see if the Steelers handle their business and do what they are supposed to do.

Words From Wooten

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

With Adrian Peterson’s NFL future still up in the air, the Vikings have been a different team without their star player. Marc Trestman is on the on hot seat in Chicago, you can expect him to come and make a statement vicariously through his team. The Bears need to get a win against the Vikings just to ease the flow of everything that is happening within the organization. Players are calling out other players along with horrible coaching. The Bears will hopefully get a win at home against their division rivals.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers

The Eagles looked very good against the Panthers this past Monday. In fact, I’m sure no one expected Mark Sanchez to come in and give a good performance.

It is as if Sanchez fits the system as well as Nick Foles because he’s leading his wide receivers with his passes, he knows how to read defenses a little better than Foles and he’s no longer showing his emotions on his sleeve. The receivers are looking very good in helping Sanchez as well.

Now to switch teams, Aaron Rodgers is straight up dismantling defenses. With a QBR of 120.1 on the season, you can assume that playing the Eagles will just be another game for him going against the Eagles’ 22nd-ranked pass defense.

All in all, you can expect for the Packers and his offense to have a field day against the Eagles in Green Bay Sunday.

Are the Detroit Lions (6-2) for real?

Are the Detroit Lions (6-2) for real?

By Kelton Brooks (@BrooksWeekly)

Is it too early to start talking about the playoffs?

If the postseason started today, the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions would both have first-round byes in the NFC, and the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos in the AFC. Both Denver and New England, we knew they would be in that position, but the Lions and Cardinals are poised to turn the tides in their conference.

The Cardinals failed to make the playoffs last season even with a 10-6 record, but now 7-1 heading into week 10—unless a historical collapse happens—Arizona is the class of the NFC led by a healthy Carson Palmer and coach of the year candidate Bruce Arians. If Arizona can hold off a defensively tough NFC West, the the Cardinals will waltz into the playoffs.

And it’s not out of reach to say the Cardinals will make their first Super Bowl appearance since a 2008 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.


 

Week 9 Predictions Results 

Brooks: 10-3; Overall: 84-49

Perez: 10-3; Overall: 93-40

Wooten: 8-5; Overall: 73-45


 

Week 10 Matchups Brooks Perez Wooten
CLE @ CIN CIN(L) CIN(L) CIN(L)
STL @ ARI ARI(W) ARI(W) ARI(W)
KC @ BUF BUF(L) BUF(L) BUF(L)
MIA @ DET DET(W) DET(W) DET(W)
DAL @ JAX DAL(W) DAL(W) DAL(W)
SF @ NO NO(L) NO(L) NO(L)
TEN @ BAL BAL(W) BAL(W) BAL(W)
PIT @ NYJ PIT(L) PIT(L) PIT(L)
ATL @ TB ATL(W) ATL(W) ATL(W)
DEN @ OAK DEN(W) DEN(W) DEN(W)
NYG @ SEA SEA(W) SEA(W) SEA(W)
CHI @ GB GB(W) GB(W) GB(W)
CAR @ PHI PHI(W) PHI(W) PIT(W)

 


 

 

Brooks Bits

Miami Dolphins (5-3) @ Detroit Lions (6-2)

The Lions are 3-0 without the best wide receiver on the planet in Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Even with their success without the All Pro receiver, Detroit will joyously welcome his return Sunday.

The loss of Johnson has been a blessing in disguise for Detroit as Matthew Stafford has spread the wealth amongst his receivers, tight ends and running backs. But the player reaping the most of Johnson’s absence is free agent acquisition Golden Tate. In his last three games, Tate has 24 catches, 349 yards and three touchdowns.

Detroit has always featured an air raid led by Stafford, but the Lions defense is a unit that no one is talking about as the league’s best. The Lions are giving up 74 yard on the ground (2nd), 216.4 through the air (5th), 15.8 ppg (1st) and have the No. 2 ranked total defense in the NFL.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill  set a career-best 125.6 passer rating as Miami chalked up a season-high 441 yards against the San Diego Chargers. Tannehill has been far from consistent since entering the NFL, but if he can duplicate his performance against Detroit, the New England may have a cause for concern in the AFC East.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) @ Buffalo Bills (5-3)

Like the Dolphins, the Bills are climbing the ladder in the AFC East. Buffalo has won three of their last four since making the switch from EJ Manuel to Kyle Orton. The Bills’ management paid close attention the the Patriots’ early season struggles and knew the division was up for grabs.

A strategic decision led to success in Buffalo, but the braintrust had to have known Tom Brady would shake off the rust and lead New England on a five game winning streak. Brady has catapulted himself into the MVP conversation with an 18:1 touchdown to interception ratio in those past five games.

The Bills don’t have an MVP candidate on its roster, but Buffalo does have a superstar rookie wide receiver in Sammy Watkins. The stud wideout has been limited in practice with a groin injury, but if he can muster through the pain, his services will be needed against a stingy Dolphins passing defense.

Both teams have had their ups-and-downs throughout the season, but both will look to extend its winning streak.

Give me Buffalo.

 

 Eddie P’s Philosophical Take

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The NFC South has been horrid this season. Its division Leader sits at .500, meaning the other three teams have losing records. At the bottom are the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 2-6 Falcons are a talented team that somehow managed to falter.  With receiving options like Roddy White & Quintorris “Julio” Jones, there is no problem scoring. The Falcon’s issue is their defense, ranking near the bottom in both pass and run defense.

Tampa Bay has struggled to pick up new head coach Lovie Smith’s defense. They, too, rank at the bottom in terms of defense. The Bucs’ offense hasn’t faired as well either.

Ultimately, the win goes to the team that’s better off, and that is the Atlanta Falcons. They have a legit passing offense.

 

Miami Dolphins @ Detroit Lions

The Miami Dolphins are on a three game winning streak. They just absolutely thrashed the San Diego Chargers. They are a team with a stout defense and a strong running game.

The Detroit Lions are also on a three game winning streak. They are also getting back the best receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson, from injury. The Lions have shocked everyone by fielding a top five overall ranked defense.

The Lions will just be too much for the Dolphins. Megatron will try to come back in a fury. It’s a scary thing for the ‘phins.

 

Words From Wooten

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers

Chicago is currently going through a rough patch.

With two consecutive losses to the Dolphins and a horrible performance against the Patriots, Brandon Marshall isn’t the only one who is frustrated at the team’s performance. The Bears have the pieces in
place to make it to the playoffs, but like many people believe, Marc Trestman isn’t using his offensive weapons like he should.

With a great wide receiver duo, tight end Martellus Bennett and running back Matt Forte, the offense should be unstoppable, but there’s an age old problem, and that problem is no one blocking on the offensive line. If they can fix that problem, then the Bears can improve.

The Packers are ready to play this weekend. Aaron Rodgers has been kicking their butts since he took over after the Bret Favre. Look for him to connect to both Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson as they breeze by the Bears this weekend.

Miami Dolphins @ Detroit Lions

This will definitely be a good game, or at least I like to think it will be. Here we have two teams whose defenses are respectively top-3 in the league. Both team’s offenses can hold their own against opponents as well.

At the end of the day, I feel like the Lions are going to take this W. They’re at home and it is always extremely difficult to go on the road and get a win, unless you’re the ’88 San Francisco 49ers who went on to win 18 straight games on the road. With Calvin Johnson’s status still unknown, you can assume that Golden Tate will produce like he’s been doing for the entire season.

Tate is currently fourth in the league in receiving yards, so Dolphins’ cornerback Brent Grimes needs to find a way to stop him if Miami wants to come into Detroit and get a win.

But all in all, I feel like the Lions will walk away with their heads held high after a close one here.

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning: Clash of the Titans. Who will win?

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning: Clash of the Titans. Who will win?

@BrooksWeekly

We have the AFC North—Bengals, Steelers, Ravens, Browns—with each team posting a record above .500. And then there is the surprisingly, awful NFC South that sent two teams playoffs last season in the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

This year?

No team in the NFC South has a winning record. The Panthers and Saints are both 3-4, a deep and talented Atlanta Falcons team in 2-6 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 1-6. The season is still young, especially for New Orleans with Drew Brees under center.

But sending a team to the playoffs with a .500 record or worse is an embarrassment, but if you win your division, you in, but it appears no team in this division wants to win.


 

Brooks: 7-8; Overall: 74-46

Perez: 13-2; Overall: 83-37

Wooten: 11-4; Overall: 65-40


 

Week 9 Matchups Brooks Perez  Wooten
NO @ CAR NO(W) NO(W)  CAR(L)
TB @ CLE CLE(W) CLE(W)  CLE(W)
PHI @ HOU PHI(W) PHI(W)  PHI(W)
NYJ @ KC KC(W) KC(W)  KC(W)
JAX @ CIN CIN(W) CIN(W)  CIN(W)
ARI @ DAL ARI(W) ARI(W)  ARI(W)
WSH @ MIN WSH(L) WSH(L)  MIN(L)
STL @ SF SF(L) SF(L)  SF(L)
DEN @ NE DEN(L) DEN(L)  NE(W)
OAK @ SEA SEA(W) SEA(W)  SEA(W)
BAL @ PIT PIT(W) PIT(W)  BAL(L)
IND @ NYG IND(W) IND(W)  IND(W)
SD @ MIA SD(L) SD(L)  SD(L)

 


 

Brooks Bits

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots 

The two future Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks have faced each other 16 times, dating back to Manning’s Indianapolis Colts days. The last time these two titanic quarterbacks met, Manning toppled his prolific counterpart in a 26-16 victory in the AFC Championship.

Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots went into the offseason with a mindset to derail Manning’s explosive offense by signing cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.

The Broncos added defensive stalwarts of their own in CB Aqib Talib, safety TJ Ward and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware who have all gelled.

Denver also added wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders who has excelled with Manning as his quarterback. Sanders is fresh off a nine catch, 120 yard, three touchdown performance against San Diego.

According to ESPN Stats&Information, Manning and Brady Manning each went 4-0 in October with their teams winning by roughly 18 points per game (Broncos +18.5, Patriots +17.8). They each completed 100 passes and had the top two QBRs in the league, while throwing 14 touchdowns.

The debate of who is the top quarterback of the century between Brady and Manning won’t come to a conclusion even after they retire, but on Sunday, Manning will come out on top on the road in Foxboro.

 

Indianapolis Colts @ New York Giants

That 51-34 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers had nothing to do with Luck.

No seriously, it had nothing to do with Andrew Luck. Ben Roethlisberger delivered the Colts defense one of the most masterful games in NFL history with 522 yards and six touchdowns.

In fact, Roethlisberger is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 yards two times in his career.

Luck too had himself a game with 400 yards passing with four touchdowns through the air, but he also added two interceptions. Like Roethlisberger, Luck faces another two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback from the 2004 NFL draft in Eli Manning.

The Giants have loss two straight after reeling off a three game winning streak. They’ve lost their star in Victor Cruz for the season and have a brutal schedule the rest of the way with San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas next in line. If New York (3-4), doesn’t pick up a win against Luck and the Colts Sunday, the Giants might be in for a downward spiral the rest of the way.

 

Eddie P’s Philosophical Take

Arizona Cardinals @ Dallas Cowboys

The Arizona Cardinals have the best record in the NFC at 6-1. They will look to keep it that way by going into Arlington, TX and pouncing on the Cowboys.

The Cards have a strong defense and a more than capable offense. Carson Palmer has three dangerous targets in receivers Michael Floyd, rookie John Brown, and the still lethal Larry Fitzgerald. Running back Andre Ellington ain’t too shabby either.

The Cowboys are among the conference’s top teams as well. Running back DeMarco Murray is a total beast, but he’s going up against a stingy run defense. Quarterback Tony Romo is also coming off a back injury, and nobody knows how well he will perform.

Cards win.

 

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots 

I’ve clamored about top quarterbacks battling it out before. I’m dead serious this time – Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are thee top signal callers of this generation.

Plain and simply, the Broncos have a few more offensive weapons than the Patriots. Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders. Who do the Patriots have, Rob Gronkowski?

Broncos got this.

Can the Seattle Seahawks bounce back from back-to-back losses?

Can the Seattle Seahawks bounce back from back-to-back losses?

We’re already at week 8, the halfway point of the NFL season. Time sure flies by, when you’re winning.

Quick Power Rankings of the top-5 teams in the NFL:

1. Denver Broncos (5-1) 2. Dallas Cowboys (6-1) 3. Indianapolis Colts (5-2) 4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) 5. Green Bay Packers (5-2)

No Tom Brady or MVP candidate Philip Rivers. Rivers has arguably been the best quarterback this season after tallying off five straight wins since the opening season loss to Arizona. Rivers is third in passing yards (1,961), fifth in completion percentage (67.4), and fourth in touchdown passes (17).

Coming off a disappointing loss against the division rival Kansas City Chiefs, Rivers faces a more daunting task in trying to keep pace with Peyton Manning who just became the NFL’s all time leader in touchdown passes with 509.


Brooks: 11-4; Overall: 67-38

Perez: 10-5; Overall: 70-35

Wooten: omit; Overall: 54-36

 


Week 8 NFL Matchups Brooks Perez Wooten
SD @ DEN DEN(W) DEN(W) DEN(W)
DET @ ATL DET(W) DET(W) ATL(L)
STL @ KC STL(L) KC(W) KC(W)
HOU @ TEN HOU(W) HOU(W) HOU(W)
MIN @ TB MIN(W) MIN(W) TB(W)
SEA @ CAR CAR(L) SEA(W) SEA(W)
BAL @ CIN BAL(L) CIN(W) BAL(L)
MIA @ JAX MIA(W) MIA(W) MIA(W)
CHI @ NE NE(W) NE(W) NE(W)
BUF @ NYJ NYJ(L) BUF(W) BUF(W)
PHI @ ARI PHI(L) PHI(L) ARI(W)
OAK @ CLE OAK(L) CLE(W) CLE(W)
IND @ PIT IND(L) PIT(W) PIT(W)
GB @ NO GB(W) GB(W) NO(L)
WSH @ DAL DAL(L) DAL(L) DAL(L)

Brooks Bits

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers 

A rematch of the 2013 divisional game isn’t the main attraction in the box office.

The Seahawks are losers of two straight and hoping to avoid its first three game losing streak in three years. The Panthers have had similar, but strange outcomes the past two weeks. Carolina and Cincinnati ended in a 37-37 tie and followed with a 38-17 loss at Lambeau Field in a game that was over in the third quarter. Cam Newton and the Panthers were 38-3 at that point.

Russell Wilson is coming off a career day throwing for 313 yards and adding 106 yards on the ground, albeit on a loss. The offense is averaging 26.5 ppg, but defense is surprisingly the low point on the season. Seahawks allowed 14.4 points last season during their Super Bowl run. But this year? They have giving 23.5. The Legion of Boom is losing its physical nature on defense.

Now turmoil is staring to creep into the locker room with reports of racial criticism towards Wilson. When everything goes well, not a whisper of doubt seeps out if Seattle. But when losses come piling in, locker room chatter is or more boisterous than the 12th man of CenturyLink field.

St. Louis Rams @ Kansas City Chiefs

Optimistic and hysteria is flowing through Rams’ nation. A trickery 28-26, special teams win over the defending Super Bowl champions has spectators wondering why St. Louis isn’t 4-2 instead of 2-4. Even retired, soon to be Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has taken a notice, a bias notice.

Since former Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis has taken over for the often injured Sam Bradford, Davis has passed for 1,517 yard, 9 touchdowns and posted a 94.3 passer rating. Davis broke all of Favre record at Southern Miss. Here’s what the future Hall of Famer said about Davis:

“Not to sound off my rocker, but [Davis] — in my mind — can be the next Tom Brady or Kurt Warner.

High praise for the underrated quarterback as Davis and Favre are the only two quarterbacks to start an NFL game from Southern Miss. I won’t go that far, but Davis has looked good in each of his start as he is also auditioning for next season as the Rams’ starting quarterback. After facing Seattle, Davis now travels to Arrow Head stadium to take a stingy 2nd-ranked Kansas City Chiefs defense.

If Davis can pull off a win on the road against the Chiefs defense, Favre might be on to something.

 

Eddie P’s Philosophical Take

Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals

The 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles fly into the desert for an aerial matchup versus the 5-1 Arizona Cardinals.

This writer has lauded the Cards as a legitimate playoff contender. The Cards are not overly superior in one facet of the game, but Bruce Arians’ team wins. Sure, Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald are a force, but Arizona is ranked 21st in passing yards.

Chip Kelly’s Eagles also win. Unlike the Cardinals, however, Philly has a high-octane offense. The Eagles are ranked 7th in the passing game. This will be the deciding factor in this matchup. The Eagles will be too much for the red birds to overcome.

Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints 

Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. These two quarterbacks going back and forth at each other should be reason enough for you to tune in to this game.

The Saints are amongst the league’s worst defending the pass, but they are ranked 11th against the run. The Packers are top 10 in pass defense, but that is due to their league’s worst run defense. Whichever offense is able to pick apart the opposing team’s weakness will win.

The Packers defense showed a knack at getting after the quarterback last week versus the Panthers. Julius Peppers & Co. will look to continue causing havoc for opposing QBs. Aaron Rodgers will air out the ball. I like the Packers on the road.

Words From Wooten

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals 

With AJ Green’s status still in the air, I’m going to assume that he isn’t playing this Sunday. Even if he was playing, I still don’t think the Bengals would beat the Ravens. The Ravens have been on a hot streak since they travelled to Tampa Bay and almost shut them out. All in all, this won’t be a pretty one for Andy Dalton. Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumerveil and Haloti Ngata all have a knack for getting to the quarterback.

New Orleans Saints @ Pittsburgh Steelers 

I’m not sold on the Saints defense. They do nothing when they are on the road. It is as if they don’t exist because they have yet to get a win on the road this season.

On the other hand, Roethlisberger loves how Antonio Brown can create space and get open. He uses his route running ability and speed to his advantage. With Le’Veon Bell back, we will see the Steelers running game improve against a struggling Saints defense.

Don't look now, but Tom Brady (12) and the New England Patriots are on a roll and back to their winning ways.

Don’t look now, but Tom Brady (12) and the New England Patriots are on a roll and back to their winning ways.

By @BrooksWeekly 

In the first three games of the season, you couldn’t tell apart Tom Brady from Mike Brady. But the 3-time Super Bowl winner and one-time MVP has found success in his reinvented tight end bunch.

When New England traded six-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, everyone reactions was, “who?” Wright caught 54 passes as a rookie in Tampa Bay and  displayed a knack for finding open seams on the field. After his breakout 5 reception, 85 yard and one touchdown performance against the Bengals, Wright had one catch for one yard. But Brady will continue to look for the athletic tight end.

If not Wright, Brady also has the option of tight end Rob Gronkowski who has combined for 13 receptions, 194 yards and a score in his last two games.

Thursday night football: Patriots over Jets, if you didn’t guess.


Week 6 Prediction Results

Brooks: 10-4; Overall: 56-34

Perez: 11-3; Overall: 60-30

Wooten: 11-3; Overall: 54-36


Week 7 matchups Brooks Perez
NYJ @ NE NE(W) NE(W)
ATL @ BAL BAL(W) BAL(W)
TEN @ WSH WSH(W) WSH(W)
SEA @ STL SEA(L) SEA(L)
CLE @ JAX CLE(L) CLE(L)
CIN @ IND IND(W) IND(W)
MIN @ BUF BUF(W) BUF(W)
MIA @ CHI CHI(L) CHI(L)
NO @ DET DET(W) NO(L)
CAR @ GB GB(W) GB(W)
KC @ SD SD(L) SD(L)
ARI @ OAK ARI(W) ARI(W)
NYG @ DAL DAL(W) DAL(W)
SF @ DEN DEN(W) DEN(W)
HOU @ PIT PIT(W) PIT(W)

 

 

Brooks’ Bits

Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars 

The Cleveland Browns are on the verge of a three game winning streak. It’s early, but the Browns are a contender.

At 3-2, the Browns have managed to beat Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans 29-28, which was the largest comeback in league history by a road team, and made quick work of the Pittsburgh Steelers (who they should’ve beaten twice).

Cleveland is winning with old methods compared to today’s fast-paced offenses in the NFL, smart quarterback play from Brian Hoyer and a 3rd-ranked sound running game led by the trio of Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. All three running backs have over 230 rushing on the season.

The 0-6 Jaguars are looking to pick up their first win of the season behind rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. As talented as the No. 3 overall pick is, he can’t complete passes laying on his back. Jacksonville has given up 27 sacks in six games. Bortles has been sacked 11 time since taking over as the starter.

With Baltimore facing a head-scratching Falcons team and Cincinnati taking on Andrew Luck and the Colts, Cleveland could soon find themselves atop of the AFC North.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts 

In six years, the Cincinnati Bengals have ended a game in a tie.

While those numbers may not scream a trending pattern, there have been five total ties in the NFL in the past 12 years, including the 37-37 tie this past Sunday between the Bengals and Carolina Panthers.

Now 3-1-1, the Bengals take their high wire act to the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Andy Dalton is missing his star receiver AJ Green with a toe injury, but WR Mohamed Sanu took his place at the top pass catcher in Green’s absence, hauling in 10 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers.

All three of Bengals QB Andy Dalton’s interceptions have come at home. Dalton has completed 64 percent of his passes for 505 yards, three touchdowns and 0 interceptions on the road. The Colts are tied for 12th in the league with six. But this game will come down to the arm of Luck, who is the league leader in yards per game, averaging 328.7.

Luck will dismantle the Bengals aggressive pass defense.

 

 Eddie P’s Philosophical Take

Arizona Cardinals @ Oakland Raiders

People have to start recognizing. The Arizona Cardinals deserve to be mentioned up there with the best of the NFC.

While the Cardinals do not have the vaunted offense the Denver Broncos boast, Carson Palmer has plenty to work with. Michael Floyd is an up and coming receiver, and Larry Fitzgerald is still a threat despite his age. What really makes the Cards a menace is their stout defense.

The Oakland Raiders are a mess of an organization. They have talent, but front office and coaching chaos can ruin anything.

Cards win this one, easily.

Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh has lost some head-scratchers. The Steelers lost to the Browns. Before that, they lost to the lowly Buccaneers.

The Steelers have a good running game with Le’Veon Bell. Ben Roethlisberger has a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Antonio Brown. They’re a force to be reckoned with on any given Sunday – or Monday. Or even a Thursday.

Houston (3-3) comes into the Steel City with the same record as the Steelers. But with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, I do not see them winning.

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.