Bortles and Jags host Titans in Thursday Night Football Tonight

Jaguars at Ravens 12/14/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

When the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans tonight it will be an AFC south showdown between the number 3 and 4 ranked teams in that division. With the Colts and Texans both tied at 4-5 on the year. It is still anyone’s division for the taking. The Jaguars are 3-6 and the Titans are 2-7 proving that a solid winning streak could put any team atop this division. That is why this game is so big for both of the teams heading into this match up. The winner inches closer towards clinching the division while the loser falls back into the abyss that is defeat (a dark unpleasant place). Believe or not the Jaguars enter this match up with a little momentum on their side. They were able to achieve a 22-20 win over the Ravens last week and are slowly improving with Bortles at the helm. Just a couple weeks before that they were able to knock off Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills, so clearly these Jaguars aren’t the same Jaguars of the last seven years or so. The team hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2007 and truthfully with the division being so wide open. This is their best chance at doing so. They’ve been beating the teams that they should beat which is a good sign for this young team. When they face the Titans tonight it’s another team that the Jaguars should beat. It will be up to Blake Bortles, Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and the rest of the Jacksonville Jaguars to make that happen. Those three guys really make up the core group of this offensive attack. They will be going against a very sound Tennessee Titans defense who are ranked 5th in the league in yards surrendered. Will the potent Jaguars offense be enough to get by the outstanding Titans defense? Find out tonight on NFL Network.

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The end is near for Peyton Manning

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Photo credit: Jeffrey  Beall

Author: Joey Carr

We all knew this day would come; all good things must come to an end, and it looks as if the best Regular Season quarterback to ever play is finally near his end. For years, Peyton Manning has baffled us with his insane accuracy, ability to read defenses, and most of all the amount of records he’s shattered with ease. But now, the injuries are piling up, there is little to no zip on his passes, short and long, and a Hall of Fame career might be near the finish line.

Two years ago, none of us would have expected Peyton Manning to be leading the league in interceptions (17!!!). None of us would have expected his illustrious career to come to a breaking halt just two years after he had one of the best seasons by a quarterback in the history of the NFL. But that’s where we’re at, and we just have to deal with the fact that we probably won’t be seeing the Peyton Manning we’ve all come to respect anymore. Sure, he might come back once his torn plantar fasciitis heals up, but still, how effective could he be? If you’re a diehard football fan like myself, you probably either love Peyton Manning, or you hate him, but you know you respect him. It’s like if you’re a Red Sox fan and you’re watching Derek Jeter play; you hate the Captain with such a deep, burning passion because he’s so darn good but in the end, you absolutely need to respect what the man has done for the game of baseball, even if he did play for the Yankees. It’s the same situation with the Sheriff (unless you’re a Denver fan or a Colt fan that still roots for him). There’s no denying that he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer, just look at the records he holds: Most passing touchdowns, most passing yards, single season passing yards and touchdowns, and the list goes on. Yes, he has choked in the playoffs quite a bit (13 three and outs), but that’s not what most people will remember him for. He will be remembered as the guy who started the Chicken Parm jingle, the guy who made the word “Omaha” so famous, and the guy who dazzled the world with crazy game after crazy game.

Now, there is still an entire half season to go. Yes, Brock Osweiler is in at quarterback for the time being but Denver is 7-2 and still possesses a top tier defense that is capable of winning games by themselves so it is more than likely that we will see the Broncos in the playoffs. And if you don’t think John Elway will give Peyton Manning the chance to compete in perhaps his last playoff run, you’re out of your mind. Of course, this is all predicated upon whether or not Manning is healthy enough to give it a final go and if Brock Osweiler hasn’t pulled a 2013 Nick Foles and gone on a rampage through the final 7 games. But either way, let’s hope we haven’t seen the last of Peyton Manning because if we have, it’s a loss to the football and the football world.

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Week 11 Power Rankings:

Eagles at Redskins 10/04/15

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Joey Carr

Week 11 Power Rankings

1. New England Patriots

2. Carolina Panthers

3. Arizona Cardinals

4. Minnesota Vikings

5. Cincinnati Bengals

6. Atlanta Falcons

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Denver Broncos

9. Green Bay Packers

10. New York Giants

11. Seattle Seahawks

12. Kansas City Chiefs

13. Buffalo Bills

14. Oakland Raiders

15. New York Jets

16. Indianapolis Colts

17. Washington Redskins

18. St. Louis Rams

19. Miami Dolphins

20. Philadelphia Eagles

21. Houston Texans

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

23. Chicago Bears

24. Dallas Cowboys

25. Cleveland Browns

26. San Francisco 49ers

27. Detroit Lions

28. New Orleans Saints

29. San Diego Chargers

30. Baltimore Ravens

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

32. Tennessee Titans

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Whats happening around the league: Week 11

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Photo credit: S.P Ablab

Author: Jon Kuzma

Rob Ryan gets the boot in New Orleans

Rob Ryan was fired today by the New Orleans Saints after surrendering 47 points to the Redskins. The firing was no surprise to Saints fans because Ryan and Saints head coach Sean Payton have got into several sideline arguments. Payton told the press he had concerns with Ryan’s complex playbook. Which often caused players confusion and allowed big plays due to misalignments. With the Saints sitting at 4-6 they decided a change would be the best decision for this team. While that may be the case their playoff hopes likely went out of the window with that loss to Washington. Unless they can win out for the rest of the season. Not likely.

Patriots injury woes continue:

First the New England Patriots lost starting offensive tackle Nate Solder to a right bicep tear which sidelined him for the season. Then the team had to watch Dion Lewis who was emerging into star tear his ACL. He is also done for the season. Now the Patriots will be without Julian Edelman one of their top wide receivers for the rest of the regular season. Edelman broke a bone in his left foot and the injury will require surgery. There is optimism around Patriots camp that Edelman will be able to return this year maybe in the playoffs. Still this is a major set back for this team.

Romo will return to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday:

Tony Romo will return to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday to face the Miami Dolphins after being sidelined by a broken collar bone for several games. The Cowboys are 2-7 on the year and in ruins after losing both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant to significant injuries. One has to wonder if Romo coming back so early is the right move for the team. The season is lost sitting five games behind .500. Why rush Romo back and risk getting him hurt again when there is no playoff hopes in sight? Regardless expect Tony Romo to be under center Sunday and that will certainly improve the Cowboys chances of winning that game.

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Manning crowned all time passing champion and demoted all in the same night:

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Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall

Author: Jon Kuzma

Peyton Manning had a rough outing last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos lost to the Chiefs 29-13 and Manning threw four interceptions and was benched for Brock Osweiler. This is clearly the end for one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. Even if Manning had a great off-season in the weight room, at most he has one season beyond this year left. However at the level he is playing at right now it would be very unlikely that he does come back next year. Manning has already established himself as the single greatest passer ever in terms of passing yardage. He has nothing left to prove and with his body ailing it just feels like it’s time for Manning to shut it down. Osweiler has proved to be a competent replacement for Manning and at what point do the Broncos want to turn the page? Manning’s 9 touchdowns and 17 interceptions on the season aren’t going to win many games in Denver. While it is a very sad sight to see, don’t be too upset for Peyton. He still has a lot to hold his head high about. Never have we seen another quarterback do it with the command and style that Peyton did it with. In the generation before Peyton Manning it was all about Dan Marino. Peyton exceeded those expectations and propelled the NFL into a new direction of elite quarterbacks. The league benefited greatly from that move and games became more entertaining as QB’s such as Manning and Brady showcased their worth. Now with the end in sight don’t be surprised if Peyton gets into coaching. When he was suffering from the neck injury before he got to Denver. Old Miss offered him their head coaching gig. It will only be a matter of time before someone else does as well.

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All reigns must come to an end: good riddance Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks at Redskins 10/6/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Seattle Seahawks had another set back in NFL action when they lost to the Arizona Cardinals 39-32. After going to back to back Super Bowls and forming one of the greatest defenses the NFL has ever seen. It’s finally time to say good riddance to the Seattle Seahawks. It was awesome to be able to watch this team grow from that team that knocked off the New Orleans Saints in the 2011 playoffs. To a team we seen hoist the Lombardi trophy and look nearly untouchable on the football field. The team you are seeing now is a shell of that team however. Things started to take a bad turn for the Hawks when they tried to downsize Marshawn Lynch and sell the public Russell Wilson. It was Lynch’s hard nose approach that led Seattle on the terror that they were able to achieve. There were even rumors floating around the Seahawks camp that the team wanted Russell Wilson to be the star oppose to Lynch in Super Bowl 49. That is why the team chose to throw the ball on goal line instead of feeding beast mode. Apparently the Seahawks thought Marshawn Lynch’s rebellious attitude wasn’t a good fit for their future. The front office instead wanted to be led by Russell Wilsons’ All-American guy personality instead. This was evident when the Seahawks paid Wilson $87.6 million dollars oppose to Lynch’s $31 million. Yet Lynch has always been the heart and soul of this team while Wilson unjustly got the money and the spotlight. Even when the Seahawks were losing earlier this season did that stop Wilson from staying out of the public spotlight? Not at all, the quarterback was seen in number of tabloids out with his hi-profile girlfriend when he should of been staying off the grid and focusing on his game. The Seahawks gambled that the nice guy was the right guy for this team and they got burned. All while clearly further alienating beast mode from the situation. When it comes down to it the Seahawks should of known better than investing that much money into a quarterback who isn’t a traditional pocket passer. They also should of known the talent on their own roster better and promoted the people who deserved it. Now because of these costly decisions the Seahawks are fading back into NFL irrelevance.

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Week 10 Picks

 

Week 10 Picks revised

Endzoneblog.com staff picks

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If the Cardinals want to make a run at the Super Bowl, they have to get past the Defending NFC Champs first

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Author: Joey Carr

In a recent interview, Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann, “HoneyBadger” Mathieu said: “Those guys are kind of in our way… We want to go somewhere, and we have to go through those guys (Seattle)”. As of right now, Arizona sits at 6-2, while the Seahawks are holding onto dear life at 4-4. The thing is, however, the Cardinals have had monumental problems with their foes from Washington in years past. Take last year for example: the Cards were rolling along quite nicely until they had to play Seattle twice in four games near the end of the season. They got manhandled in both of those contests, blew their shot at a top 2 seed in the NFC, and went on to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the 7-9 Panthers. Now while they did have a rookie and Ryan Lindley at quarterback, their defense and running game completely evaporated. So should we expect the same thing to happen this year? Or can Carson Palmer finally get Arizona to the Promise Land?

Compared to last year’s team, the Cardinals this season are a much different unit overall. Their run game is revamped with the trio of Andre Ellington, David Johnson, and Chris Johnson; Carson Palmer has a plethora of weapons in the slot and out wide, and the defense doesn’t show many weaknesses besides an average linebacker corps. They boast a top 10 overall offense and defense and have one of the better football-minded head coaches in the league in Bruce Arians. Palmer is looking like a true top 5 quarterback and the receivers around him mesh together like peanut butter and jelly. On the other side of the ball, Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu form one of the better secondary’s in the league and the front seven have no problem whatsoever getting to the quarterback. It seems as though all the pieces all there for this Cardinal team, so why do we keep questioning them? Because they haven’t bested Seattle yet. The Seahawks have dominated the NFC West for a few years now and have made it known that they can beat Arizona any time they want (See Week 16 last year when Marshawn Lynch grabbed his crotch en route to a long touchdown run). However, these 2015 Seahawks are nowhere near similar to the 2014 Seahawks that were one play away from winning back-to-back Super Bowls. If there was a time that the Cardinals could pounce and prove to themselves and the world that they are a legitimate threat in the NFC, this would be that time. On the other hand, the upcoming showdown this Sunday Night between these two contenders is in Seattle, the home of the 12, and the Seahawks are in dire need of a win if they want to keep pace with the Rams and Vikings in the Wildcard race. So this ultimately comes down to which team wants to win it more, and to me, it seems like the Cardinals are in a better place right now to come out with another W in the win column. However, down the road, when these two teams meet again at the very same venue where Pete Carroll decided to throw instead of run, it could be a different story, and that game could be the difference in who walks away with the NFC West Title, assuming that Seattle can win out the rest of their schedule and Arizona stumbles here and there. Whatever the case, we’re in for a Sunday Night Showdown this weekend.

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Football predictions for Each Week 10 Game

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Photo credit: Erik Drost

Author: Joey Carr

Jaguars vs. Ravens

In a battle of underwhelming NFL teams, the only thing to look out for in this game would be the offense of Jacksonville that boasts a budding star in Blake Bortles and the weapons around him (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, T.J. Yeldon).

Prediction: Jaguars 26 Ravens 17

Browns vs. Steelers

Well folks, it’s Johnny Football Time yet again, and this time around might be a little easier for the former Heisman winner as he faces a subpar Steelers defense. This game will ultimately come down to if Big Ben can play or not; if he can’t, then the Browns have about a 40% shot at winning this game. If Big Ben plays though, it looks like Johnny will add another loss to his record.

Prediction: Steelers 28 Browns 20

Panthers vs. Titans

While this might look like an easy victory for the undefeated Panthers, the Titans are no easy matchup. Marcus Mariota has looked stellar for the most part this year, and presents matchup problems with his running ability as well as his accuracy. With the Titans strong run defense, I’ll put this game on Upset Alert, but the Panthers still hold the slight edge.

Prediction: Panthers 24 Titans 23

Bears vs. Rams

The Bears have been surprisingly adequate this season, but might be in trouble when they face off against a fierce St. Louis defense. Aaron Donald and company should have no trouble stopping the Bears offense. Oh, and also Todd Gurley is going to have another field day.

Prediction: Rams 30 Bears 16

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers

Before the season started, the Cowboys would have had no issues with this Tampa team, but with Matt Cassel at the helm, Dallas is in trouble. Jameis Winston might have some troubles but overall the Bucs should walk away with another W.

Prediction: Bucs 27 Cowboys 13

Lions vs. Packers

Detroit hasn’t won at Lambeau in over 20 years, and that streak should continue. However, the Packers have lost two in a row with Aaron Rodgers looking like a low tier quarterback, something we haven’t seen in a long time. But the Lions are the Lions, and the Pack are nearly unbeatable at home.

Prediction: Green Bay 31 Lions 21

Dolphins vs. Eagles

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this game, as both of these teams have been extremely inconsistent this season. This matchup will most likely come down to who has the more effective running game, and the Dolphins have allowed quite the bit of yardage to opposing backs over the last few games.

Prediction: Eagles 23 Dolphins 18

Saints vs. Redskins

Just last week, Tom Brady tore up the Redskins secondary, going for 299 yards while only throwing 30 times. With the way Drew Brees is performing, why should we expect anything different from this Skins defense?

Prediction: Saints 34 Redskins 19

Vikings vs. Raiders

Who would’ve thought that this matchup would be so enticing? Both teams are on the rise as legitimate playoff contenders, and as a whole, both squads are playing extremely well. In the end, this game is a toss up, as these teams matchup very well.

Prediction: Vikings 25 Raiders 24

Chiefs vs. Broncos

In his tenure in the AFC West, Peyton Manning has not once lost to the Chiefs. While impressive, the Broncos have shown many weaknesses this season, and it might be time for Kansas City to finally secure a win over the Sheriff.

Prediction: Chiefs 28 Broncos 27

Patriots vs. Giants

Probably the Game of the Week, this game should have every Patriot fan worried. The Giants seem to be New England’s kryptonite for whatever reason, and while New York possesses of the worst defenses in the league, the Patriots always seem to struggle with the Football Giants. However, Tom Brady is playing out of this world right now, and should remain undefeated.

Prediction: Patriots 38 Giants 21

Cardinals vs. Seahawks

This game could prove to be a giant factor in deciding who comes away with the NFC West Title, and both teams would very much enjoy a win. The Cardinals are trying to prove they are legitimate, and the only way to do that is to beat the defending NFC Champs. The Seahawks on the other hand need to avoid going 4-5, especially if the Rams defeat the Bears.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 Seahawks 24

Texans vs. Bengals

The only thing standing in the way of the Bengals 9-0 record is the scrappy Houston Texans. While they don’t present much of a challenge, never underestimate how bad Andy Dalton can be on Primetime television.

Prediction: Bengals 30 Texans 22

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Giants and Patriots are familiar foes with a deep history:

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Photo credit: Mike Morbeck

Author: Jon Kuzma

When the New England Patriots and New York Giants meet up this sunday for NFL action, both teams will tell you “it’s just another game” and there is no bad blood between the two teams. We certainly know the New England Patriots will be telling a little fib when they give the press that statement. The Patriots lost both Super Bowl XLII (2007) and Super Bowl XLVI (2011) to the New York Giants. In 2007 the New England Patriots were undefeated all the way up to the Super Bowl before the Giants were able to hand them their first loss. Both events certainly don’t sit well with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and nothing would be sweeter for the two than to hand Eli Manning and the Giants another loss which would drop that football team back down to .500. We are talking about a New England football team that plays chess while all the other teams are playing checkers. They certainly will make the necessary adjustments and try to find the best way to beat the Giants. That seems like getting pressure on Eli Manning and limiting the amount of time that he has to throw the football. Any time you are playing an elite level passer the recipe for success is getting pressure on that quarterback. Eli Manning has 19 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions on the season. So if you allow him to sit back in the pocket he is going to make the Patriots pay. Will Eli be enough to spoil another Patriots undefeated season? Only time will tell. The Giants are good football team. Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle are excellent weapons on the edges and could pose a threat to the Patriots defense. Still the Patriots have been outstanding at rushing the passer and while history is on the Giants side. The present is all in the Patriots favor as Tom Brady continues his march towards a 3rd NFL M.V.P award.

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