Wild Card Weekend is upon us and it’s time to give some predictions for those games and more. This year’s wild card games are particularly interesting because three of the four games are rematches from games in Week 17. With that, let’s look at the games:
New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals – Saturday 4:30
The Jets had a big victory last week when they beat Cincinnati in New York to secure their playoff spot. The Jets were dominant last week, but Cincinnati didn’t exactly put out its top players. Cedric Benson will be back this weekend after missing last week and he is the main component of the Bengals’ offense. Carson Palmer had an abysmal week in New York, but a lot of that was due to the injury to Chad Ochocinco which occurred during warmups. A combination of exceptional coverage by Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis and the injury made Ochocinco useless. He got open rarely and when he did, dropped the passes. Jets QB Mark Sanchez will be making his playoff debut, which could prove costly if his inexperience shows. I think Revis will be the difference in the game. He shutdown the opponent’s top receiver week in and week out and the playoffs will be no different. This will allow the Jets to focus on stopping Benson and packing the line. The Jets offense won’t light up the board, but RB Laveranues Coles will push the Jets to a 21-10 victory.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots – Sunday 1:00
This is the only matchup that isn’t a rematch from Week 17. New England has a lot of injuries to deal with after losing Wes Welker for the season in a loss to the Houston Texans last week. The Ravens on the other hand held the Raiders to just 13 points last week in an eight point victory. Tom Brady has three broken ribs, a hand injury, and a shoulder injury, but will certainly be on the field come game time Sunday. The Pats are expected to get nose tackle Vince Wilfork back which will significantly upgrade their run defense. While QB Joe Flacco has struggled throwing the ball this year, RB Ray Rice has lead the offense on the ground. With Wilfork back, I expect Rice to struggle and Flacco doesn’t have the arm to carry his team to victory. New England also possesses homefield advantage which will lead the Pats to a 24-17 victory. Continue reading “2010 Wild Card Weekend Preview”→
Dolphins Bringing Back Williams: Based on a letter from the Dolphins, Ricky Williams’s agent said that Bill Parcells and Miami are going to renew Williams’s contract for the 2008 season. Williams has served multiple suspensions for failed drug tests and when he was finally allowed to play this year, he tore a pectoral muscle after only six carries. His rehab is supposedly going well though. It must be for the Dolphins to bring him back for another year. Ricky Williams is always a risk, because there is no way of knowing what he will do next. Yet, the Dolphins were 1-15 this season so even if Williams falls apart, they can’t get much worse
Roy Williams Replacing Taylor in Pro Bowl: The late Sean Taylor was elected to the Pro Bowl as a starter to honor his memory. Dallas Cowboys’ safety Roy Williams gets the honor of replacing Taylor in the Pro Bowl. It was a great move by the NFL to let Taylor be elected a starter and I’m sure they will remember him during the Pro Bowl. “I appreciate being the first alternate to go. We are going to do something special for Sean and his family. … It’s an honor to be going in his place” said Williams, who was the 12th Cowboy selected to the Pro Bowl, a league record. Though the Pro Bowl is never that entertaining of an event, it will be interesting to see how the NFL, Roy Williams, and the rest of each team handle Taylors’ absence.
Athletics Send Swisher to White Sox: The Oakland Athletics sent outfielder Nick Swisher to the Chicago White Sox for three minor leaguers. The A’s were hoping to compete next year in the AL West, but have completely changed routes. They sent ace pitcher Dan Haren to the Arizona Diamondbacks less than a month ago and now have dealt away their best hitter. They received 9 prospects for both of those players and have begun rebuilding again. If Oakland ever decides to put some money into their team, watch out. Billy Beane has already shown he is excellent at drafting prospects and building a farm system. Think of what he could do with some money. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/3/08”→
The Eagles will have Donovan McNabb back for their season opener, and still have Brian Westbrook at running back. The receiving core is solid, making the Eagles a constant threat on offense. Defensively, the secondary is also solid, but their 2006 run defense was horrible. A new linebacker core including Takeo Spikes should make the Eagles greatly improved in that aspect of the ball. This team is completely capable of a Super Bowl run. The Cowboys are returning an excellent offense with Tony Romo at QB Julius Jones and Marion Barber at running back, and Terrell Owens receiving. The Cowboys’ biggest weakness was their defense, and they are slightly improved this year in that category. With Bill Parcells no longer coaching, the player seem to be more confident, especially defensively where players were living in constant fear of failing Parcells. Unlike the Eagles and Cowboys, the Giants seem to be on their way down as Tiki Barber’s retirement leaves Tom Coughlin with no legitimate running back. That means the bulk of the offense will be on the shoulders of Eli Manning. Even if Manning has a breakout year, it still may not be enough without any kind of a running game. Defensively, the Giants are mediocre and did very little to improve over the off-season. Michael Strahan’s holdout did not help the team focus during camp either. This team has a possibility to be good, but it is much more likely that one thing will go wrong, distract the rest of the team, and then destroy the season. The Redskins have no real Quarterback, a depleted running game, and had the league’s worse defense last year. The offense will surely struggle, but the defense is more important to the Redskins. They completely changed their starters and brought in a bunch of new faces to try to reinvent their defense. The Redskins show very little promise and will not win many games until they can find a franchise quarterback and young defense. Continue reading “2007 NFC Preview”→