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Key Cardinal Matchups

This weekends game will feature several match ups that may decide the conclusion to the game. Just to look back, last weeks matchup winners were Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Dansby, and DRC vs. Steve Smith, and the young-gun did what he was supposed to do. I’m not an expert but I’d say I called ’em last week. This week I will touch base with the current match ups…

  • Lyle Sendlein vs. Mike Patterson/ Brodrick Bunkley – Lyle will need to play his best game on Sunday. Not only will he need to spot the blitz, but contain these two, something New York was unable to do last Sunday.
  • Gerald Hayes vs. Brian Westbrook – I heard somewhere that when facing a star running back
    Can Larry take the Cards to the dance???

    Can Larry take the Cards to the dance???

    , Hayes only job is the rush the gap and make a tackle, nothing else. That may be what Gerald will have to do this Sunday.

  • Fitzgerald/Boldin vs. Samuel/Brown – This may be the match up of the game. If Arizona receivers can get off the ball and get YAC, that will put this offense in great field position. If Boldin plays throughout the game, that will also be an important factor. Philadelphia’s CBs will have their hands full but are very capable of containing these two pro bowl receivers.
  • Dominique Rogers-Cromartie vs. DeSean Jackson – They are both rookies with bright futures ahead of them. Jackson has been McNabb’s go-to man, while DRC has developed nicely into one of the few shut down corners. He’s not quite there but can improve if he contains the speedy Jackson on Sunday.
  • Darnell Dockett vs. Shawn Andrews – We haven’t heard much from Dockett lately, and that will need to change Sunday. Dockett will need to play with that same intensity that we saw in the Dallas game. He said he felt like it was a “playoff atmosphere” that game, and now it really is. If he is able to get passed Andrews, and disrupt plays/get to McNabb/Bat down balls, then it will make life difficult on McNabb and the passing game.  
  • The Cardinals need to come out with a tough mentality, and not get ahead of themselves. It’s pretty simple, If the Arizona Cardinals can win the majority of these match ups, expect the game to be over by the third quarter.

January 15, 2009 Posted by | NFL | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Are the Colts Perrenial Playoff Losers?

The Colts are king of the regular season.  They consistently win 10+ games every year.  Their coach has an even keeled demeanor and their team has some of the best collection of talent in the league.

Manning Contemplates his Playoff History

Manning Contemplates his Playoff History

With Saturday night’s loss to the 8-8 San Diego Chargers, however,  it must be asked…why do the Colts lose so much in the playoffs?

Here’s some playoff history of the Colts that dates back to 2000:

•Jan. 3, 2009 – AFC Wildcard – San Diego 23, Indianapolis 17

•Jan. 13, 2008 – AFC Divisional – San Diego 28, Indianapolis 24

•Feb. 4, 2007 – Super Bowl XLI – Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17

• Jan. 21, 2007 – AFC Championship – Indianapolis 38, New England 34

• Jan. 13, 2007 – AFC Divisional – Indianapolis 15, Baltimore 6

• Jan. 6, 2007 – AFC Wildcard – Indianapolis 23, Kansas City 8

• Jan. 15, 2006 – AFC Divisional – Pittsburgh 21, Indianapolis 18

• Jan. 16, 2005 – AFC Divisional – New England 20, Indianapolis 3

• Jan. 9, 2005 – AFC Wild Card – Indianapolis 49, Denver 24

• Jan. 18, 2004 – AFC Championship – New England 24, Indianapolis 14

• Jan. 11, 2004 – AFC Divisional – Indianapolis 38, Chiefs 31

• Jan. 4, 2004 – AFC Wild Card – Indianapolis 41, Denver 10

• Jan. 4, 2003 – AFC Wild Card – Jets 41, Indianapolis 0

• Dec. 30, 2001 – AFC Wild Card – Miami 23, Indianapolis 17 (OT)

• Jan. 16, 2000 – AFC Divisional – Tennessee 19, Indianapolis 16

As the record shows, over the past decade, the Colts have made the playoffs nine times.  In nine trips to the post season, they have won the Superbowl once, and went to the AFC Championship only twice.  They have lost in the wildcard round three times, while falling in the divisional round four times.  And in their AFC Championship win against the Patriots in early 2007, it must be noted that the Colts were down by 18 points.  One could argue that Manning and the Colts won that game just as much as the Patriots lost it.

So why is this the case?  No one really knows.  Some may want to blame Dungy, a laid back coach who often chooses (like last season) to rest his starters before the playoffs begin.  Compare that to what Giants coach Tom Coughlin did against the Patriots in week 17–where New York played as if the last game of the season was the Superbowl instead of a meaningless game for the Giants.  Does that have a genuine effect?  No one knows for certain.

Some want to blame Peyton Manning or the finesse offensive scheme.  Is Manning a poor playoff quarterback?  Are the Colts too much of a soft team during the regular season to compete with the tougher, more aggressive teams in the post season?

We’ll probably never know for certain.  But be sure to share your thoughts on why the Colts have so many problems in the playoffs.

January 6, 2009 Posted by | NFL | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wild Card Playoff Picture

Does Peyton have what it takes to make a playoff run??

Does Peyton have what it takes to make a playoff run??

The NFL Playoffs start this weekend and I’m more excited to watch the postseason unfold than I was for my high school prom. Mainly because I love football, but also because my prom date looked like Marshawn Lynch.

Now, the StatDragon isn’t one for tooting his own horn, but he’s not one to let his genius be overlooked either. Last year I predicted correctly on 8 of the 11 postseason games, including a NY Giant Super Bowl birth (I was embarrassed to have wrongly predicted the Pats as Super Bowl Champs).

Lets take a look at the wild card match ups this weekend:

#5 Indianapolis Colts @ #4 San Diego Chargers (AFC)

 

I used to be scared of LaDainian Tomlinson. Now I’m scared of anyone coming out of that backfield. Darren Sproles has added a lot to the offense in attempts to relieve LT and keep fresh legs out on the field and the Colts run defense is (capitol W) WEAK. However, the Colts are riding a hot streak with 2 months of consecutive wins in their back pocket. I can’t think of any other quarterback that I’d least like to face in the post season than Peyton Manning (yes, over Tom Brady). And keep this in mind; although there are questions regarding the Colts defense, they rank 8 better than they did the season they won the Super Bowl. StatDragon takes the Colts in this matchup, and likes the potential of longevity for them in the postseason.

#6 Baltimore Ravens @ #3 Miami Dolphins (AFC)

 

Don’t let the rankings fool you here. These teams share the same regular season record and are relatively, closely matched. While Miami has the home field advantage and a tricky ‘wildcat formation’ to boot, they only rank 12th in the league in offense this year, and 15th in defense. The Ravens will come into Miami with a hard-nosed 2nd ranked defense and (mediocre) 18th ranked O. Because I found myself so baffled regarding the Dolphins improvement this year I did some research. In the NFL a win is a win. However, I noticed that 7 of the Dolphin’s 11 wins were over teams that posted a .500 record or less. They also lost 2 out of 3 games to teams currently in the post season. Meanwhile 3 of the 5 losses that the Ravens suffered were by a margin of 4 points or less to Goliath teams (Pittsburgh and Tennessee). StatDragon takes the Ravens in this matchup…just look at the facts.

#5 Atlanta Falcons @ #4 Arizona Cardinals (NFC)

 

I would have bet my life savings before the season started that Atlanta would not play in the post season. I’m glad I didn’t. StatDragon takes the Falcons in this match up for the same reasons that he likes the Ravens. The Falcons consistently played and beat better teams this season than the Cardinals have. Atlanta proves that their place in the playoffs is well deserved with wins over Carolina, Minnesota and San Diego. Although Arizona has an impressive ariel attack with threatening wide receivers, they were one loss away (to the 49ers) from not playing in this game.

#6 Philadelphia Eagles @ #3 Minnesota Vikings (NFC)

 

 Let’s just put it out there. There’s no way the StatDragon is going to predict ALL upsets this week, right? Well, let me tell you something. I don’t believe in ‘upsets’ in the Wild Card round of NFL playoffs. So yes, I’m predicting Philly to take this game. Although McNabb has had as rough of a time this year as Lindsay Lohan, the Eagles come into the postseason with experience and the fire off a recent winning streak. Although the Vikings support a highly touted rush defense, Philly is right behind them ranked at 4th in the league and have managed a better pass defense than the Minnesota Vikings this season. Undeniably, Adrian Peterson is a monster in the backfield, but I really love Brian Westbrook when it comes to the clutch. I have a feeling that this game is the closest to a blowout (if there is one) favoring the Eagles.

Stop by the SportsFly Blog next week, as StatDragon corrects his mistakes from this week and looks into the Divisional Playoff Matchups.

December 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Christmas Card, from Andre Johnson

Happy Holidays, from Andre!

DEAREST FRIENDS AND FAMILY,

It’s the holiday season and while I’ve been busy spreading holiday cheer in Houston, I wanted to update everyone with what’s going on in my life and wish you’ all Happy Holidays on behalf of the Texans.  Also, a special shout out to all my Hurricanes out there in Miami…what what!!!

Some people would say that I have played like a stud this year, but I wouldn’t refer to myself that way. I’m way too humble. In a league where my colleagues were embarrassing the wide receiver position with their trouble making antics and selfish attitudes, I just did my thag. We still have half a month left of regular season to play; yet thus far I’ve reeled in 103 receptions for 1400 yards. Competing in an incredible conference this year (AFC) I was able to step my game up and tried hard to keep my boys in the running. We could potentially end the season with a 9-7 record, but we will be hard pressed to make the playoffs.  Although I am disappointed, progression as a team is what I strive for the most, and I am thoroughly happy with our advancement. Our team was blessed with the arrival of rookie sensation, Steve Slaton, who added a lot to the offense. His threatening presence in the backfield with 1,100 yards/ 8TDs (through week 15), made opposing defenses respect the run and, furthermore, gave me the opportunity to get open downfield. Also, I must give credit to where credit is due. Kevin Walter, my “brotha from anotha motha,” tormented opposing D’s with 57 receptions and 850 yards. This helped our team tremendously as we posted the 4th most offensive yards in the NFL.

A great honor came, this year, when NFL.com published some very kind words about me:

“While the league has been plagued with selfish personalities of Plaxico ‘have gun will travel’ Burress,  Anquan  ‘trade me’ Boldin, or the (always) volatile and emotional T.O., Andre Johnson is a giant of a man who takes the blame for his mess ups, but deflects credit for achievements to others.”  Wow! Thanks for the kind words, guys!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, I have some great news! This week my teammate Mario Williams and I booked tickets to Hawaii for February.  We are headed to the Aloha State with the intentions of sharpening our skills in body boarding, chowing down on some fresh Mahi Mahi and creating some havoc in the 2008 Pro Bowl.

The Andre Johnson Foundation, which I started in ’03, had two wildly successful events this year, one of which we donated approx. 1,000 bicycles to children from low income, single parent homes in the Houston and Miami areas.

My last two games will be at Oakland and at home vs. Chicago. If you have me on your fantasy team, I think I can produce for you. Their pass defenses are sharp, but have allowed 195 and 233 AYPG respectively. I know that my good friend , and sports blogger, STATDRAGON highly recommends starting me.

It is my great wish that all of you enjoy the best of holidays and have a happy and safe New Year.

Lovingly,

‘Dre

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Fantasy Football, NFL | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Congress Desires College Football Playoffs

President-Elect Barack Obama kept it real when he chanted “change is coming”, because the latest controversy surrounding Washington references his views on the BCS system. Apparently, Texas Rep. Joe Barton picked up where he left off and is planning on introducing a bill on Wednesday that will forcefully replace the current bowl system with playoffs.

BCS Bowl 2009

BCS Bowl 2009

As happy as I am about the bill, I don’t understand why Congress has nothing better to do than to quarrel over the BCS system – Wait, I do understand. This must be the Texas republican’s way of “supporting” Obama’s views on changing America. I guess there are no other obligations to our country. According to Barton, the bill will give opportunity to strong teams competing in non-championship bowls to play for the title.

As a result of this year’s outcomes, Florida (12-1) and Oklahoma (12-1) will fight for the championship title. Although that seems fair, there are many other teams who won’t get the opportunity, even though they too have only lost one game or are undefeated.

A playoff system isn’t only to support other teams but it creates other openings for society. It’s a great idea and here’s why, plain and simple:

  1. Extended College Football Season
  2. Perfect Setup for March Madness
  3. Opportunity for Undefeated Teams in Other Divisions to Compete
  4. Increased Advertising Spending
  5. Longer Fantasy Sports Tournaments
  6. Additional Funding for NCAA
  7. Constant Television Viewing/Ratings

The above mentioned would trickle down further to universities and local college town economies. What’s not to like about college football playoffs?

Skrybe – Keep it Fly

December 11, 2008 Posted by | College Football, Features & Opinions | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment