Archive Page 2

08
Jan
08

Early NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions

A quick, early look at the Yardsticks for this weekend’s NFL Divisional Playoff matchups reveals very few surprises, except for the closeness of FanYard user opinion on the Giants at Cowboys game. Up to this point, which is obviously a bit early in the week, the Packers are favored to win by six points over the Seahawks; the Patriots are favored to win by eleven over the Jaguars; the Colts are favored to win by nine over the Chargers, and the Cowboys are slim, one-point favorites to beat the Giants of New York.

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Last night’s BCS National Championship game was correctly called by FanYard users, as the LSU Tigers erased an early 10-point deficit to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes by a final score of 38-24.

07
Jan
08

Seahawks QB Hasselbeck’s Leg Must Hurt

I can’t remember who it was that laid the hit on Matt Hasselbeck on Saturday, as he was running with the ball, but I do remember that the helmet of the Redskins defender hit Matt’s right quad, directly in the meaty part of the leg, hard enough to spin the quarterback around in mid air. In slow-mo, you could see all the flesh move from the front of Matt’s leg, around the femur and almost spurt out the back of his leg before the combination of skin and uniform held everything intact so it could reverse back around the femur and settle in front of his leg once more.

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At the time, Cris Collinsworth remarked that he’d been hit like that before and, although he’d come back to play the rest of that game, the bruising on his leg got so bad in the days to come that he ended up in the hospital. Collinsworth says some silly things, but don’t be surprised if Hasselbeck at least misses a day or two of practice this week, football fans.

The early Yardstick for the Seahawks at Green Bay game is calling for a six-point win for the home team Packers, but that could grow substantially if Hasselbeck is indeed hurt in any way. A deep tissue bruise is nothing to shake a stick at, but the cold weather might actually help keep the swelling down. Of course, any associated muscle stiffness would be worsened, I would think. Then again, I’m no mathamocologist.

07
Jan
08

BCS Title Game: Ohio State vs. LSU

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When the Ohio State Buckeyes play the LSU Tigers tonight in New Orleans, the Tigers will have as close to what could be considered home-field advantage as possible in a national championship game. Probably to do with this, many are picking the Tigers to win, but not all.

Will LSU be able to take advantage of the ‘home’ crowd? To do so with maximum effect would be to jump out to an early lead, as not only would the crowd go crazy, but there would be the added effect of reminding the Ohio State players of last year’s debacle when Florida beat them in this same game. If the Tigers can get into the heads of those players whose psyches are still damaged from last year, it could be the difference in the game.

Last year, Florida used four and five wideout sets to spread the Buckeyes defense out and then executed a perfect game plan to perfection in beating the zone defense schemes that coach Tressel had his team playing. Florida did not win simply because they were faster, they won because QB Chris Leak played a very accurate passing game and hit his receivers almost flawlessly in the soft zones of the coverage. While Tigers QB Matt Flynn is more mobile than Leak was, he does not possess the same accurate arm and we’ll probably see Tigers coach Les Miles use backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux at times (especially in the red zone) to keep the Buckeyes defense on their toes.

The Yardstick for the BCS National Championship game calls for a five-point Tigers victory. Join FanYard now and become a piece of the Yardstick for this game today.

06
Jan
08

Sunday Wild Card Action

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The New York Giants got the playoffs off on the right foot, with a little thanks to Gruden and Garcia for being rusty in Tampa Bay, and beat the Buccaneers 24-14 in sunny Florida. That sets up next week’s NFC Divisional playoffs and means the G-men will have to go into Dallas and beat the Cowboys if they are going to make it to the conference game. In Green Bay, the Packers will play host once again to Matt Hasselbeck, Mike Holmgren and the rest of the Seahawks.

In the third quarter in San Diego, the Titans are ahead 6-3 and LT is being shown pouting on the sidelines. Some people think that is a good thing, as it means he cares. I think it makes him look silly, but hey – he’s the one making millions and winning rushing titles, so he can sit there on TV with his bottom lip hanging down like Eli’s and staring angrily into space if he wants. The Yardstick for this game calls for a Chargers seven-point victory.

05
Jan
08

Saturday Wild Card NFL Playoff Weather

The weather report for game time in Pittsburgh and in Seattle is almost the same report. The temperature at Heinz Field will be hovering somewhere just above freezing, while it should be a few degrees warmer in the Emerald City. Winds will be around 8-9 mph and it will be blowing SSW in both Wild Card games.

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According to meteorologists, there will be light rain showers for both games today, which should make for some interesting plays, especially on that thing they call a field in Pittsburgh.

The Yardsticks for today’s NFL Wild Card playoffs call for a slim Redskins road win and a field goal victory for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

04
Jan
08

NFL Playoff Predictions: Jaguars at Steelers

The common thinking in this game is that the Steelers are going to be too tough to beat at home. They don’t lose at Heinz Field. Their defense is too strong. Big Ben is leading a great offense. Jacksonville’s offense is pretty good, but mostly just OK, definitely not strong enough to beat Pittsburgh twice in a row at home, especially considering that the Steelers defense is one of the best – if not the best – in the NFL.

Hear that sound? It is a bubble bursting on every Steelers fan out there. I hate to do it, as I have two very, very good friends who are huge Steelers fans…but I have to.

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(Here, I tried to find a Steelers fan blog to link to, but it seems they all stopped typing sometime between the start of the 2006 season, and the realization that their team wasn’t going to make the playoffs last year. If the Steelers do anything in these playoffs, I’ll bet one could make a killing driving a bandwagon around full of Steelers blog URLs.) In lieu of Steelers fan blogs, I had to find a good piece about this Steelers / Jaguars game.

Myth 1) Steelers too tough to beat at home: In general, this is the case, yes. But this is no general. This is the playoffs, and it is very specifically Jacksonville that needs to be taken into account. Since the start of 2K, the Jags have played in Pittsburgh four times. Three of those games have been losses for the home team, including the past two.

Myth 2) Steelers defense is too strong: This should read “was” too strong, as the Pittsburgh defense has gone from being tops in the NFL to being ranked just 14th since Week 10. The Jaguars defense, meanwhile, is the sixth-ranked defense in the NFL since Week 10. Injuries have happened to both teams on this side of the ball, but Jacksonville’s depth is obviously greater.

Myth 3) Jaguars offense just OK: If you call being the best offense not quarterbacked by Tom Brady since Week 10 “just OK,” then that is just what the Jaguars offense is. Big Ben’s offense in that same span has been worse than 17 other teams in the NFL; at the midpoint of the season, they were fourth.

Truthiness: This game is the meeting of two teams headed in completely different direction over the stretch run of the season and, though anything can happen in a football game, the Steelers just don’t match up well in this game in many aspects.

Of course, Ben Roethlisbberger has pulled rabbits out of his arm before and surprised people and I know he can do it again. Same with Hines Ward. The man is simply amazing. These two are the reason I will be glued to this game and expect a close, hard-fought battle. Best of luck to both teams.

At FanYard, the Yardstick for this game is calling for a three-point Jaguars victory. And what do you think?

Join FanYard today and have your say on this game. Get your own Yard. It’s free, easy, fun and you can track your predictions over time, too, in football and basketball.

Gimme My Yard now!

04
Jan
08

NFL Playoff Predictions: Redskins at Seahawks

The Yardstick for the Redskins at Seahawks Wild Card playoff game favors the visiting team by two points at the time of writing this. To me, that points to the excellent knowledge of football that FanYard users possess. While both of these teams are good teams – meaning, better than average – neither is truly a great team by any stretch of the imagination and, while either team could win what should be a pretty close game, the Redskins are a slightly better overall team right now and should pull off the victory.

The Seahawks struggled to get to 10-6 in the weakest division in football with the weakest schedule in the NFL. The Redskins battled against all odds and one of the toughest schedules of the 2007 NFL season to get to the playoffs and are playing with a ton of confidence right now. Led by their desire to win for Sean Taylor – their slain friend and cornerback – and by Todd Collins, the veteran quarterback with zero starts in the previous ten years until a few weeks ago, Washington is making Fame coach Joe Gibbs look good again in the first time for a while.

While the Seahawks defense is getting tons of accolades these days, the Redskins defense is not too shabby itself and anyone can see that the Washington offense is better balanced than what Seattle is putting on the field. (I’m sure Seahawks ticket-buyer feels they deserve a free beer on Alexander’s tab for every game they attend, due to the lack of effort he has put into the season. Hell, I do just whenever I’mforced to watch one just on TV. Yes, I’m forced.) In general, the Seahawks offense just ain’t pretty. Prettier, perhaps, than the Chinese Olympic swimsuits, but that isn’t saying much.

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The x-factor, of course, is the weather and the Seattle fans, who are the loudest fans in the NFL when they want to be, and they will want to be on Saturday morning. The weather is calling for temperatures hovering near freezing and a chance of light rain. Any weather that negatively affects the passing game has to favor the Skins.

Join FanYard today and have your say on this game. Get your own Yard. It’s free, easy, fun and you can track your predictions over time, too, in football and basketball.

Gimme My Yard now!