Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tom Brady Leads Patriots over Peyton Manning’s Broncos

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Over the first few weeks of the 2012 NFL regular season, the New England Patriots and revamped Denver Broncos haven’t exactly lived up to expectations. The Patriots were considered legitimate Super Bowl title contenders with virtually the same team intact led by Tom Brady under center and the Broncos received a major upgrade in the form of four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning.

The addition of Manning in the Mile High City has greatly increased the Broncos’ chances of competing for a Super Bowl title with favorable odds. Click to here view odds.

The combination of Manning under center in Denver along with a formidable defense led by Von Miller was thought to be a step in the right direction this season and for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, the Broncos have gotten off to a rocky start with only two wins in three games.

There’s no question that the AFC West division title is still within reach with the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers nowhere near elite status this season, but the Broncos must find a way to turn it around before it becomes impossible to dig themselves out of their current hole.

As for the Patriots, Brady and company were able to bounce back in Week 4 with a huge win over the division rival Buffalo Bills, 52-28. The offense was firing on all cylinders and the Patriots of old started to emerge.

Heading into Week 5, the head-to-head matchup of Manning and Brady took center stage. These two future Hall of Famers have been in epic battles over the last decade, but this was the first time Brady faced Manning in a Broncos’ uniform.

In the first half, New England continued to light up the scoreboard with two touchdowns and a field goal heading into halftime. Manning countered the 17 points scored by the Patriots with a touchdown pass to tight end Joel Dreessen.

Once the second half got underway, Bill Belichick’s squad continued keep the offense flowing with a one-yard touchdown run by Brady and an eight-yard run by Stevan Ridley. Despite seemingly having the game in the bag, the Patriots witnessed Manning driving down the field to score two more touchdowns with throws to Eric Decker and Brandon Stokley.

Unfortunately for Denver, New England’s lead was too much to overcome with the Patriots pulling off the victory, 31-21.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cowboys' Jason Witten Willing to Sign Waiver Medical Waiver for Week 1

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America
The first game of the 2012 NFL regular season gets underway tonight with two of the most heated division rivals going head-to-head in the Dallas Cowboys and defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Want to know the odds for tonight’s matchup? Click to view odds

As usual, the top two teams in the NFC East division head into this matchup with very talented rosters from top to bottom. The Giants definitely have the edge in the Week 1 showdown playing at home in MetLife Stadium and coming off another Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. New York has lost a few players in the off-season with Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs signing with the San Francisco 49ers, but the team is still projected to do very well this season.

As for the Cowboys, America’s Team comes into the season-opener against their division rivals with a big question mark surrounding arguably one of the team’s best players in tight end Jason Witten. After sustaining an injury to his spleen during training camp, Witten has been inactive and questionable for Week 1.

In an effort to get on the field against the Giants, Witten is willing to sign a medical waiver that would not make the team liable for 7-time Pro Bowler if he re-injures his spleen. This is a big risk for both Witten and the Cowboys with another injury to the tight end potentially being devastating for the organization moving forward.

Obviously, the Cowboys are about as talented as any team in the league in terms of offensive firepower with quarterback Tony Romo, wide receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, and running back DeMarco Murray, but losing Witten definitely tilts the scales in favor of the Giants in Week 1 and in the race for the NFC East division title at season’s end.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

2011 Oakland Raiders Highlights

Even though last season ended without a playoff berth by the Oakland Raiders, the consensus in the Bay Area and around the country is that this team will become a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Despite the season-ending ankle injury to Pro Bowl-caliber running back Darren McFadden and the untimely death of longtime owner Al Davis, the Raiders were able to turn some heads around the league last year as it became clear that Oakland was a team on the rise in the NFL.

One of the major factors that makes the Oakland Raiders a playoff contender from here on out is the acquisition of franchise quarterback Carson Palmer. Even though he was rusty in his first few games of the regular season and still has many things to work on in order to get back to form as one of the best QBs in this league, the former Pro Bowler is a step in the right direction under center and might be the missing piece to the puzzle in Oakland.

Check out the highlights from last season and what the new-look Raiders might able to accomplish next season.

2011 Oakland Raiders Highlights

Raiders Trade for Running Back Mike Goodson

Last season was an absolute nightmare in terms of the Oakland Raiders trying to stay healthy in the backfield. With Pro Bowler Darren McFadden getting off to an impressive start last year, the consensus was that the Raiders were finally a force to be reckoned with in the AFC West division once again. Not only were they getting buzz for being a potential threat to the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos within the division, but they were almost guaranteed to make the playoffs with the way they were playing consistently well.

Unfortunately, the Raiders hit a bump in the road with yet another season-ending injury to Darren McFadden. At first, the ankle injury wasn't considered serious and something that he could return from last season, but it never healed in time for the potential Pro Bowler to get back on the field.

With McFadden out for the Raiders, Oakland turned to Michael Bush to shoulder the load. As the one player on the Raiders that actually benefited from McFadden's injury, Bush had a breakout season and ultimately became a valuable asset on the free agent market. Despite the Raiders needing the insurance in the backfield with Bush, Oakland failed to re-sign the four-year veteran as he signed a deal with the Chicago Bears.

Now that Darren McFadden is a constant injury concern and the Raiders were without a viable backup or potential starter, Oakland went out and traded offensive tackle Bruce Campbell to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for running back Mike Goodson. Smart move by the Raiders as it helps secure the running back position moving forward, but whether or not Goodson makes this team better remains to be seen.

Despite no carries and just one catch for four yards last season for the Panthers, Goodson has been a solid option in the backfield for Carolina with 125 carries, 501 rushing yards and three touchdowns in three seasons. Goodson also made an impact as a receiver with 43 catches for 329 receiving yards.