Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NFL Power 15 - thru week 8:

1. New England - The 8-0 Pats have just been rediculous on offense. They are on a record pace and have been virtually unstoppable. Last week against Washington, the defense stepped up and answered some questions that we had about them. Now for the big test - at Indy Sunday. Is the Pats offense more high-powered than the Colts? And can the defense stop Peyton Mannin & Co.? Fasten your seatbelts because Sunday afternoon's game should be one for the ages.

2. Indy - The 7-0 Colts are the defending Super Bowl Champs, they're undefeated, they've beaten the Patriots 3 straight times and they're at home. Yet, somehow, they're 4 point underdogs! Why, you ask? Because, unlike New England, they have not thoroughly dominated every opponent this year like the Pats. This is a chance for Indy to make a big statement. We'll see if they're up to the task.

3. Dallas - The Cowboys only hiccup was against the Pats. Other than that, they've been the most solid team outside of NE and Indy. Sunday's game at Philly should present a solid test for the 'Boys as they have had trouble winning in the City of Brotherly Love.

4. Green Bay - I must admit, Monday night's OT win at Denver made a believer out of me. The one question I had about them was the running game and rookie Ryan Grant rushed for 104 yards against the Broncos. But the best part about Monday night's win was that Brett Favre's performance got Bryan Morry to admit that he was WRONG when saying that he was all washed up last year.

5. NY Giants - The Gints outlasted the hapless Dolphins in the slop at Wembley Stadium in London. Brandon Jacobs is healthy and running like a bull. It was a tough day for the passing game, but the rain had alot to do with that. Circle week 10 when the Giants play the Cowboys. That will tell us where the Giants really are as a team.

6. San Diego - The Chargers are back! They're winning, and winning big! Should Pats and Colts fans put their AFC Championship plans on hold? Naaaaah!

7. Pittsburgh - Steelers beat the hapless Bengals on Sunday. They'll face a much better defensive team Monday night when Baltimore visits Heinz Field. The problem for the Ravens is that their offense isn't anything close to Cincinnati's.

8. Jacksonville - Big win for the Jags at Tampa Sunday. They'll have another good road test Sunday at New Orleans.

9. Tennessee - Vince Young has been horrible but yet the Titans are 5-2! They can thank the defense for that. Still, at some point, Young and the offense are going to have to do something more than what they done thus far.

10. Detroit - Okay! The lions finally got my attention by winning in Chicago. Granted, the Bears aren't the powerhouse they were last season, but the lions swept them and that is a trmendous accomplishment for an organization that hasn't been able to get out of it's own way.

11. Washington - We'll give the Skins a pass on what happened in Foxboro Sunday because the Patriots are doing that to everyone including good teams like Dallas and San Diego. They should be able to take care of business against Manginius "The Rat" and the Jets Sunday at the Meadowlands.

12. Cleveland - How about a little love for Romeo Crennell? RAC is a great guy and has done a good job with the Browns this season. What a find Derek Anderson has been for the Browns. Brady Quinn who?

13. Seattle - Seahawks visit Cleveland coming off the BYE week. Is Seattle still a legitimate playoff contender or a team on the decline?

14. Baltimore - A win in Pittsburgh could really help the Ravens establish themselves as a true playoff contender in the AFC.

15. Kansas City - As we all know, Herm Edward's teams "play to win!" Can they beat the Packers at Arrowhead Sunday?

Missing the cut: Tampa Bay, Carolina, New Orleans, Philly

Bottom Feeders: Miami, St. Louis and Atlanta. It's a battle for the #1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. My money is on the Dolphins.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NFL Power 15 - Week 7

1. New England - The only 7-0 team in the NFL continues to drill the opposition to the point where some question whether or not they are "running up the score" on their opponents. Bill Belichick denies that that's the case. Then again, if I had the whole world questioning my coaching ability and my team's accomplishments like he has following "videogate," I'd probably do exactly what he's doing and that is leaving NO doubt in anyone's mind how good he and his team really is!

2. Indy - An impressive Monday night win at Jacksonville against a team that has given them problems in the past. November 3rd remains the date we're all wating for when the Colts host the Patriots.

3. Dallas - Cowboys bounced back after the Pats loss by beating a good Minnesota team. Dallas is still the class of the weaker NFC.

4. NY Giants - I think that this is the team that will challenge Dallas for NFC supremacy, not Green Bay. The Giants have back-to-back BYE weeks with a game against Miami in London this Sunday and no game the following week.

5. Green Bay - The Pack was off this week and will travel to Denver Monday night. Can this team run the ball? In the end, that may hold the key to their success this season.

6. Pittsburgh - Losing to Denver wasn't good Sunday night but the Steelers are still a good football team. They should be able to beat the Bengals in Cincy this Sunday.

7. San Diego - The Chargers righted the ship a few weeks ago and are a very talented team. They WILL win the AFC West when all is said and done.

8. Washington - Can the Skins hang with and possibly upset the Pats this week? Naaaaah! But, they do have the best secondary that this high-powered passing offense of the Patriots has faced thru 8 weeks.

9. Tennessee - Are the Titans better with Vince Young or Kerry Collins at QB? Jeff Fisher says Young should be ready to go this week at home against the Raiders.

10. Jacksonville - They didn't look great Monday night but their performance as a whole hasn't been bad. We'll find out more about how good they are when they visit Tampa Sunday.

11. Tampa Bay - The Bucs suffered a tough loss at Detroit Sunday and need to beat the Jaguars at home this week if they want to be serious playoff contenders in the NFC. While Carolina leads the division, I'd be worried about New Orleans which has won 2 straight.

12. Chicago - I'm back on the Bears bandwagon after their win in Philly this past weekend. While they are clearly not as good as they were last year, I think that they, not Detroit, will challenge the Packers in the NFC North.

13. Detroit - Speaking of the Lions, that was a good win over the Bucs Sunday. Now go prove me wrong by winning at Chicago Sunday.

14. Baltimore - Losing at Buffalo is another indication that the Ravens are more of a flawed team than they were a year ago. They're still offensively challenged.

15. Seattle - An impressive win over the hapless Rams. Can this team re-join the NFC's elite this season. If they do, it's only because the conference is so weak.

Missed the cut: Carolina, Cleveland, Denver

Bottom Feeders: Miami and St. Louis will battle it out for the #1 draft pick in 2008. The Dolphins rate the edge not that Ronnie Brown is out for the season.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NFL Power 15 (thru week 6)

1. New England - The league's only 6-0 team dismantled previously unbeaten Dallas on the road and has blown out every opponent this year with their closest game being a 17-point victory over Cleveland. They couldn't lose to winless Miami this week, could they?

2. Indy - Colts bye week came at the right time as Addai, Harrison and others can rest a and recover from injuries. That Nov. 3rd game against the Pats is looming large on the horizon in just 3 weeks.

3. Pittsburgh - Steelers also had the week off but have looked impressive all year with the exception of a brief hiccup in Arizona. They shouldn't have a problem in Denver Sunday night against a struggling Bronco team.

4. Dallas - There were times when they played the Pats tough and were actually the more physical team. However, their secondary can be exploited and Romo will make a mistake or two that will hurt them. Other than that, Son of Bum has done a nice job taking over for the Tuna.

5. Green Bay - The Pack had a good test against 3-1 Washington Sunday and passed the test despite a down day for Favre. If they can win games when he doesn't play well, that's a good sign for Green Bay.

6. Jacksonville - Don't look now, but the Jaguars are quietly dominating teams on defense and their offense has been decent under David Garrard. Don't sleep on the jags!

7. NY Giants - I think that this might be the team to challenge Dallas in the NFC. Eli has arrived and Plaxico is a stud. Consistent play from their defense will make this a dangerous team.

8. Tampa Bay - Garcia and the Bucs are off to a nice start at 4-2. If they win at Detroit this week, they should be in the chase for a playoff spot in the NFC for the long run.

9. Baltimore - The 4-2 Ravens have played dominant defense the past 2 weeks as they are known to do. the problem is, it's still pretty much the same old Ravens offense.

10. Carolina - Any team that can win with a 43 year old QB signed off the street the week of the game gets love from me. I have to admit that I'm happy for Vinny Testeverde.

11. Tennessee - Titans lost to the Bucs this week and lost Vince young to a quad strain. Even when healthy, he wasn't playing well. He needs to be more effective for them to win consistently.

12. Washington - Lost a tough one at Green Bay but should bounce back at home this week against Arizona.

13. San Diego - The Chargers look like their back and should crack the top 10 soon. They have a bye this week.

14. Cleveland - Romeo Crennell's team gave the Patriots their toughest challenge and should be 4-2. By the way, who the heck is this Derek Anderson guy anyway?

15. Detroit - The 3-2 Lions need to beat Tampa to validate their belief that they have arrived this year.

Missing the cut: Houston, KC, philly, New Orleans, Seattle

Bottom Feeders: Miami and St. Louis are the worst of the worst. Case closed!

Sox lose game 3 4-2

Sharing some thoughts after last night's game 3 loss:

-In my opinion, the game was lost in the top of the 2nd when the Sox failed to score with the bases loaded and nobody out. Varitek popped out to shallow left and Crisp grounded into a double play in what was a pitiful display of hitting by the bottom of the Red Sox order. Boston's 6-7-8-9 hitters are awful!

-I just can't handle J.D. Drew anymore! The next time he comes up with a big hit for the Sox it will be the first! What a bust at 14 million per year!

-Ditto for Eric Gange who cost the team about 5 games in the regular season and made the division race with the Yankees alot closer than it needed to be. He also was the losing pitcher in game 2. What a disaster he's been!

-Another key moment for the Sox last night was in the 4th when Big Papi made a bonehead baserunning mistake by running into Manny's grounder to short. He was on 2nd with no outs and ran into the first out of the inning.

-Was it me, or did the Sox seem kind of dead last night? I just didn't see the fire or passion in them last night. It was more a look of frustration.

-Now for the rest of the series. There is no doubt in my mind that the right thing to do tonight is to start Beckett on 3 days rest. Even if Wakefield pitches a gem and the Sox win, I will stand by those comments.
It's very simple, for the Sox to win the series, they need to win 3 out of 4. If you can have Beckett pitch 2 of those 4 games (and only 1 game on 3 days rest) why wouldn't you do that?
Beckett has a solid history of pitching on short rest. He has over 20 innings of work and an ERA under 2.00.
I'd rather go down swinging with my best if I'm going to lose. I hope that this decision does not prove costly for the Sox.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bears Win!

Brown 33 Princeton 24

The Brown Bears got back on the winning track today defeating the Princeton Tigers on Homecoming day at Brown University. Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week Michael Dougherty threw for 360 yards and 2 TD's to lead the offense while Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week Steve Morgan booted four field goals while adding another league record to his impressive resume.

Dougherty hit WR Bobby Sewall (Portsmouth, RI) for his first TD of the game on a 12yd strike. He also connected with WR Buddy Farnham on a 43 yd TD in the 2nd quarter. Farnham finished with a team high 8 catches for 128 yards and 1 TD. Paul Raymond was next with 7 catches for 116 yards.

Morgan, who set the Ivy League record for career kicking points last week in the Bears' loss to Holy Cross added another record to his list of impressive accomplishments. His 3rd FG of the day from 22yds away gave him 46 for his career which is more than any other placekicker in league history. Morgan would add a 21yd Fg for his 47th career 3-pointer in th 4th quarter to seal the victory.

This was also a day for the Brown defense which had come off of two tough outings against URI and Holy Cross. The Bears D was stingy against the run yielding only 1 big play to Princeton - a 64 yd TD run by QB Bill Foran. For the rest of the game, the Tigers managed only 57 yards on 30 carries.

Brown evened it's Ivy League record to 1-1 with the victory and will travel to Ithaca, NY to take on the Big Red of Cornell next Saturday.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Power 15:

Here's this week's Power 15 in the NFL:

1. New England - The 34-17 win over the Browns was the shakiest of the season for the Pats which is saying something. You bring you "C" game and still win by 17! This just in: the Pats are good!

2. Indy - No Joeseph Addai. No Marvin Harrison. No problem! Maybe the Colts should be 1-A in the standings because they're dominating too!

3. Dallas - The only other unbeaten in the NFL and they shouldn't be. Buffalo let them off the hook Monday night. If Romo turns it over 6 times against New England, I guarantee the Cowboys will not win!

4. Pittsburgh - The Steelers righted the ship with their dominating win over Seattle Sunday. Are they as good as NE and Indy????? I don't think so.

5. Green Bay - Packers lost their first one to division rival Chicago on Sunday. Can the Pack bounce back vs. a good Washington team this weekend?

6. Washington - Why not? A battle between 5 & 6 has the Skins at Lambeau. After the hurting Washington put on Detroit last weekend, I'm starting to believe a little in this team.

7. Jacksonville - The Jags went to KC (a tough place for raod teams) and handled the Chiefs. I guess they didn't need Bryon Leftwich after all.

8. Tennessee - Vince Young played very poorly Sunday. Fortunately for the Titans, they were only playing the Atlanta Falcons and won anyway.

9. NY Giants - I am crowning the Giants as the best of the (3-2) team right now. Eli is playing well. Plaxico is a stud and Jacobs is healthy giving them a pretty good RB tandem with Ward.

10. Tampa Bay - Yes, they lost to the Colts. Now the question becomes, can they sustain the loss of another RB to injury? We'll see.

11. Seattle - Wow! After getting smacked in Pittsburgh, I am having some serious second thoughts about this being an elite team in the NFC.

12. Arizona - This is a BETTER team with Warner at QB.

13. Baltimore - They barely beat the undermanned and injury-riddled 49ers on Sunday. What happened to this team this offseason. Did the loss of Adalius Thomas hurt the Ravens that much?

14. Detroit - We'll give the Lions a mulligan for that performance at Washington Sunday. Especially since they have to chew on that loss for an extra week during their BYE.

15. San Diego - Something tells me that this team will be "Charging" up these standings fast. They're too talented not to.

Missing the cut: Houston, Philly, Chicago

Bottom Feeders: Miami, St. Louis, New Orleans...........A combined 0-14 for these three teams...........OUCH!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tribe Scalps Yanks!

Wow! Just watched the ass-kicking that was the Indians 12-3 win over the Yanks. I must say that I was shocked. Wang has been the Yankees most consistent starter and he got shelled! Sabathia lacked command of the strikezone and the Yankees were able to get his pitch count up to get him out of the game early, but they could not do enough dammage in the way of hits and runs against him. it was like role reversal. The Indians looked like the team with the best line-up in baseball.

Also, like most teams, NY must get quality starts because if you get to their bullpen before Joba and Mo they're in serious trouble.

Is game 2 a must win for the Yanks? maybe not, but it's pretty damn important.

Sox Roll! / MLB Playoffs

How good was Josh Beckett last night? The dude is a postseason stud a la Curt Schilling, Orel Herscheiser, etc. If the Sox win Friday with Dice-K, it's over. The Angels will not rebound from being down 0-2.

Yanks/Indians starts tonight and that should be a good one. 7 out of 10 ESPN "experts" pick the Tribe to win this series. Not me. Clemens has pronounced himself ready to go for game 3 so I'll take the playoff experienced Yankees over the inexperienced Indians. This does have the makings of an excellent series if Sabathia and Carmona can bring their A-games to the mound in games 1 & 2.

Colorado continues to roll as they beat the Phillies in game 1 of the NLDS. Francis pitched great! The Phillies need to take game 2 before heading to Coors Field.

I picked the D-Backs over the Cubs in the other NLDS because I love Brandon Webb. After watching him pitch last night, what's not to love?

MLB Playoffs in High-Def!

Check it out Rhode Islanders! With TBS now the home for all of the MLB Division Series and the NLCS, you can now get TBS in High Definition on Cox Ch. 736. You must be a Cox Digital subscriber to receive it. Baseball in HD is outstanding! And if you have an HD television but don't subscribe to Cox Digital cable for High Def, what are you waiting for? Watch the Sox/Angels and all of the Division Series on TBS HD on Cox Ch. 736.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

NFL Power 15: (thru week 4)

1. New England - They're kicking ass and taking names. But spare me the (16-0) talk until after they visit Indy on Nov. 4th.

2. Indy - Defending champs got banged up Sunday which could have an impact on them this week when they face Tampa. Still, I think that they are on top with New England right now.

3. Dallas - Impressive start for the Boys! I will admit that with a coaching change I wasn't sure how Dallas would respond. I guess I have my answer.

4. Green Bay - Brett Favre may or may not be the greatest QB of all-time, but he's right up there! And right now he's carrying the Packer offense which can't run the ball.

5. Pittsburgh - Their loss to Arizona not withstanding, the Steelers appear to be back this year and better than expected.

6. Seattle - Big game for old friend Deion Branch vs. the 49ers. Seahawks still one of the favorites in the NFC.

7. Tampa Bay - Are the (3-1) Bucs really this good? No more Cadillac for the rest of the year but it may not be a big loss the way he was running.

8. Tennessee - Titans have really impressed me this year and I'm starting to buy into the Vince Young hype! I loved what he did in the National Championship vs. USC a couple of years ago and he's proving to be a winner in the NFL as well.

9. Jacksonville - Excellent D. Suspect offense. Can David Garrard lead this team to places that Byron Leftwich could not?

10. Detroit - Break up the Lions. Like everyone's been saying for years, there's no GM I'd rather have than Matt Millen.

11. Washington - Still not convinced that the Skins are the real deal. We'll see.

12.-15 Insert your favorite (2-2) team here because I can't differentiate between them! Denver, KC, Oakland, Houston, NY Giants, Carolina, Arizona, San Francisco. I don't know who's better than whom!

Bottom Feeder: Miami (0-4) - I never, ever thought that this once proud franchise would sink to such depths. They look pitiful right now!
Fantastic NL Wild Card play-in game last night in Colorado. Although I have to admit that it left me thinking that MLB needs to consider adding instant replay to review crucial calls. Some say that it should only be used to determine homeruns and whether or not they were fair or foul or over the wall. I say that it should be expanded to any close call like the play at the plate in the bottom of the 13th. Holliday was out and McClelland got the call wrong! Replay clearly showed that his hand never crossed the plate because Barrett did a great job blocking the plate. As great of a finish that Colorado had to the season (14-1) in their last 15 games, are they really the team that deserves to be playing Philly in the NL Divisional Series? I'm not sure because I don't know if they would have won that game or not had the correct call been made at the plate in the bottom of the 13th. As for the "it will slow down the game too much to use replay," I say that there are ways to make sure that this doesn't happen. For instance, why not give each manager 2 challenges to use whenever he wants? I think that baseball at least needs to consider the idea of using replay this offseason.