AFC Divisional Round: Broncos vs. Colts

Talk surrounding the deterioration of Peyton Manning’s skills from the “experts” is quite concerning and confusing at the same time. On one hand, Manning is still one of the best, but it’s doubtful that he is the same. Huh?!!  Anyway, I think it has far less to do with his supposedly diminishing skills at it does his less than stellar post-season performances that pale in comparison to his historical regular season accolades. As great as Manning is, there is cause for concern whenever his teams get to the playoffs. It’s no accident that many would hesitate to bet on a Manning-led Broncos squad that has home- field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Broncos vs. Colts:  Andrew Luck has what it takes to play QB in the NFL, but i’m not so sure he alone has what it takes this week against the Broncos. Any defensive unit with D Qwell Jackson on it is suspect to say the least. Colts running game is what wins this contest, not Luck. Averaging a paltry 100 yds per game in the regular season, the Colts are second behind the Carolina Panthers this post-season in the run department at 114.0 per game. As I mentioned earlier, Manning is not a sure bet at home; an vastly improved defense can be. Broncos were 3rd in total defense in the regular season. This game comes down to the Broncos D vs. Colts run game. PICK:  Colts

NFL 14: Week 9 Matchup Predictions

Now that we’re at the halfway point of the 2014 NFL season,  thing’s are going to get real serious; especially for those teams who are in contention. There really are no clear cut favorites after the Cowboys,  Ravens, Colts and Packers lost. Patriots seem to be hitting their stride, while Broncos have a much improved defensive unit. Which should be more than enough for ” The Great Manning.”  This week’s matchup predictions:

Saints @ Panthers:  Without a running game, Panthers are a one-man show with Cam; what a shame. Brees looks to be hitting his stride. Or is he?  PICK:  Saints

Buccaneers @ Browns:  Even in victory, Browns wins’ seem like an uphill battle; Lovie’s  D will be ready, but will his quarterback Glennon?  Home games are for establishing the culture. PICK:  Browns

Cardinals @ Cowboys: R-O-M-O-L-A-X!  Boys will be fine. Cleveland will really regret not gettin’  Bruce Arians if Cards pull this one out!  PICK: Cowboys

Eagles @ Texans:  Fitzpatrick is the only reason Texans are not SB  XLIX contenders. Depending on what Eagles team shows up, this could be a barn burner.  PICK:  Texans

Jets @ Chiefs:  Jets have the NFL’s version of Jim Buss;  Chiefs could win this one with Charles takin’ a spa day.  Countdown to Rex Ryan becoming a candidate for Browns D coordinator begins…

Jaguars @ Bengals:  As painful as it is for me to say, this is equivalent to a bye-week for the Bengals;  Jags are ” growing pains”  personified.  PICK:  Bengals

Chargers @ Dolphins:  Dr. Jeykell & Mr. Charger best describe the Bolts. One minute they look like a contender and the next minute they don’t LOOK at all. PICK:  Chargers

Redskins @ Vikings:  Is Colt a ” one trick pony?”  We’ll know after this one. Vikes are scrappy and poised – at the same time – behind Bridgewater.  PICK:  Vikings

Rams @ 49ers: All the thing’s that could go wrong, have gone wrong for the Rams. Niners flyin well beneath everyone’s radar. How ironic if they win SB XLIX  the year they’re not the favorites?!  PICK :  Niners

Broncos @ Patriots:  This is the game every NFL fan in America will be watching. Winner of this one is most likely to end up playing in the AFC Championship.  PICK:  Patriots

Raiders @ Seahawks:  In the NFL, anything is possible. Unless you’re the Raiders. PICK:  Seahawks

Ravens @ Steelers: Regardless of record, this rivalry lives on. A  ‘Purist’s Delight’ if I do say so myself. The ” In-Crowd” will be watchin’ Peyton and Brady, but I’ll be watchin ‘ this one. PICK: Ravens

Colts @ Giants: Colts would do better to stop wastin carries on Trent Richardson; Giants are no longer CRUZIN!!  PICK: Colts

Teams on a bye:  Falcons, Bills, Bears, Lions, Packers, Titans.

Read em’ and weep!!!!!   check us out at: http://www.theshopreport.com

NFL 2014 Teams to watch: AFC

With the 2014 NFL season just around the corner, here’s my take on which teams (by conf) to watch this upcoming season. I’ll throw in a “sleeper pick” for fun.  Up first, the AFC:

Patriots: We all know the Pats start and end with Bill, Brady, and Kraft. While the lore surrounding this team is most deserving, for all of who the Patriots are supposed to be, this squad having won 3 out of 7 Super Bowl appearances is paltry according to the ” Patriot way.” With Brady, Pats’ are a sure bet to get back to the playoffs, but I can’t honestly say the Pats’ are the sure bet they once were in winning it all.

Ravens:  Putting the unfortunate Ray Rice situation aside, Ravens are, and will always be a force in the (AFC) North. They don’t rebuild, they reload! A down year for the Ravens would be a season ticket sellout for the Cleveland Browns- unfortunately. The Ravens “infrastructre” is a rarity  shared by only a few teams in the NFL, which is why they seem to always be- without fail- in the post-season conversation. Although I’m still a Browns fan (for entertainment purposes only),  I believe the Ravens will come out of the allways tough AFC North. Even with the much maligned Flacco, Ravens are more than a solid pick to represent the AFC in this year’s Super Bowl.

Broncos: No doubt Peyton deserves the adulation for all his ” statistical accomplishments”, but it’s very alarming that said stats don’t measure up come post-season time. Twice during his tenure has he put up phenominal regular season numbers, only to have it all disappear when it it matters most. His lone Super Bowl victory is undeniable, but his 8-point offensive output against the Seahawks was deplorable! If he truly is as good as advertised. I don’t dislike Peyton, but too often have I seen him make gradeschool mistakes (throwing back across his body) that a palyer of his caliber just should not do. Can the Broncos’ get to another SB?  Yes.  Am I  thoroughly convinced because they have Peyton that they will? Absolutely not; Broncos’ title hopes for this season goes as Peyton goes.

Colts: Luck, Luck, Luck, AND MORE LUCK!  With Andrew, Colts’ have a legit shot if nothing else, on making the playoffs. This cat is a pro’s pro simply because of his work ethic and understanding of what it takes to play quarterback at the NFL level. With some quiet talent at the skill positions (Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, T.Y. Hilton), and possible return of the ” more often than not” reliable Reggie Wayne, this Colts squad is solid and durable. Besides, one can’t find a villanous reason to root against them. Don’t know har this team will go, but watching them this season will be worth the price of addmission.

Chiefs: It’s now, or never for the Andy Reid express down in the K.C.; There’s enough talent on this squad on both sides of the ball that last year’s playoff exit should’ve not only left a bad taste, but an eagerness to make amends. Time for Alex Smith to take the next step, and Anthony Fasano could end up being one of the top fantasy picks of the season.

Sleepers:

Jets: If Rex and co. can figure out the qb situation, Jets will be a tough out for just about anybody they play.

Dolphins: Now that the Incognito/Martin fiasco is in the rearview, Phins’ can get back to the business of developing the likes of Tannehill, Wallace, and Lamar Miller.

Jags: My favorite of the sleepers, I’m biased when it comes to Bortles; I feel the Browns (my team) should have found a way to get this guy instead.  Nonetheless, if Jags some how manage to come out on the plus side of their early season contests against Eagles, Skins, Colts, and Chargers, fans beware!

 

Those are my teams’ to watch, who are yours?  Let us know at http://www.theshopreport.com

UP NEXT: The NFC