2011-12 Midseason NBA Awards

The  NBA All-Star break is now wrapping up, and that means that it is time for my 2011-12 NBA Midseason Awards. We’ve had many breakout stars as well as guys who have been making plays for the past 15 years. Taking all of those players into account, I have compiled 2011-12 Midseason NBA Awards: (ALL GRAPHICS MADE BY SAM BRIEF)

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Kobe Bryant Is Underrated- It’s Not as Absurd as it Sounds

A bona-fide superstar, Kobe Bryant has become a household name--and then some.

Since his inception into the league in 1996, Kobe Bryant has been worldwide known and revered. He has won five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and a regular season MVP Award. He is a nine-time all-defensive team selection. He is a 14-time NBA All-Star and a four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP. He has an approximate net worth of $200 million and that’s not all from his nearly $30 million per-year contract with the Lakers. In fact, a large majority of it is from the endless endorsement deals he’s signed and the worldwide tours that he has embarked on. His jersey is the second best-selling in the NBA, and he is a worldwide phenomenon. How can someone this popular be underrated? As absurd as that does sound, Kobe Bryant is an underrated player.

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Super Bowl XLVI Preview

149 days, 3,576 hours, 214,560 minutes and 12,873,600 seconds ago, the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers kicked off the 2011-12 NFL

Graphic made by Sam Brief…

season with a bang. 149 days later, only two teams remain: The New York Giants and the New England Patriots. It’s Super Bowl XLVI, and it’s football’s biggest stage. Here’s my comprehensive preview of America’s most watched event complete with a prediction.

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2011-12 NFL Awards

As the NFL Season winds down, many stars have flourished under pressure, separating the best from the rest. Some others have shown their most glaring flaws when their teams needed them most. Some have grown before our very eyes, while others have regressed greatly. Taking into account of all these traits, I have compiled my list of the 2011-12 NFL Awards.

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What We’ve Learned from the NFL Playoffs So Far

We’re now marching into Championship Sunday. In these inciting, riveting and awe-inspiring playoffs, we’ve seen-and learned a lot. Here’s a look at what we’ve learned from the 2012 playoffs so far.

(To view my AFC and NFC Championship game predictions, click here)

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2012 NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTIONS

Last week, my Divisional Round predictions were a little shaky after my perfect 4-for-4 Wild Card Week. My pre-playoff Super Bowl pick Green Bay Packers were downed by the red-hot Giants, 37-20. Also, the Saints lost to the 49ers in the game of the year, 36-32. That leaves the current NFC Championship Game (Giants-49ers) the exact opposite of what I picked (Saints-Packers). Although my NFC Predictions are a bit shaky, I am still perfect on the AFC side, correctly picking all of the Wild Card and Divisional Round games. Let’s see if I can keep it up with my 2012 NFL Conference Championship Predictions: (For the first time in six posts, I will not say ‘Tebow’…oops ;))


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2012 NFL DIVISIONAL-ROUND PREDICTIONS

Last week, my wild-card predictions were AAACB (As accurate as can be). I went 4-for-4 including a successful upset pick (Broncos over Steelers). Forgetting the fact that I was 4-for-4, all of my descriptions and scores were precise. You can view them here.

Also, check out my overall 2012 NFL Playoff Predictions (made before the playoffs started) here.

After that juggernaut performance, we move on to the Divisional Round. With a week highlighted by high-profilie rematches, I’m hoping to keep my golden touch into the next round of Me vs. the teams I didn’t pick.

Enjoy and feel free to drop a comment by. I would love to hear all of your picks!

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New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers- This one is a classic example of an explosive offense v. a punishing defense. The Saints lead the NFL in four major offensive categories and the 49ers lead the NFC in five defensive categories. Drew Brees has been on an absolute tear of late, with 17 touchdowns in his last four games. The 49ers defense has been stellar. While they boast the best rushing defense in the NFL, their passing defense is

There is no doubt that Drew Brees will show up this Sunday against the 49ers, but it'll be the mini guy, Darren Sproles who can make all the difference for the 'Who Dat?' Nation

only 16th in the NFL. Look for Brees to penetrate the holes in the 49ers’ secondary, while Darren Sproles plays a huge role in the short passing game. The main issue for the 49ers in this game will be their inconsistent offense failing to keep up with an electrifying Saints’ offense.

Saints 27, 49ers 17

Difference maker: Darren Sproles

2012 NFL WILD-CARD ROUND PREDICTIONS

The NFL Playoffs are just about to begin, and there are sure to be some riveting match-ups as the playoffs progress.

Here are my 2012 NFL Wild-Card Round Predictions- With everything from Tebowmania to even more of it.

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Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans- This is a rematch of the Week 14 match up where T.J. Yates zipped a six-yard touchdown pass to put the

Uh-Oh: Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengals' offense has been stellar at times, but against playoff teams they are averaging a mere 16 points per game - The least by a team with a record of 5-11 or better.

Texans in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Andy Dalton’s touchdown-interception rate against top-five defenses is 4-7 (Texans’ defense is #1). The difference in this game will be the turnover ratio, and Dalton is a turnover-prone quarterback, while the Texans are second in the AFC in turnover differential (+7). The Bengals are having a surprising 9-7 season, but if you analyze their record, then you will see that that while they are 9-0 against non-playoff teams, they are 0-7 against playoff teams this year. Make that 0-8.

Texans 24, Bengals 13

Difference Maker: The young Bengals’ vulnerability to playoff teams.

2012 NFL PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

The NFL Playoffs are just about to begin, and there are sure to be some riveting match ups as the playoffs progress.

Here are my 2012 NFL Playoff Predictions- Everything from the first kickoff to the final snap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is surely going to be another action-packed playoffs with some surprises and some early exits. As you can see above, my Super Bowl pick is the Packers over the Ravens, 31-24, as the Lombardi Trophy stays in Green Bay for another year.

By Sam Brief

The Sports Blog Movement

Follow me on Twitter!! (@SamsSportsBrief)


WEEK 17 NFL POWER RANKINGS

The week 17 NFL Power Rankings are in and I am pretty excited to have two knowledgeable football analysts with me to help with the rankings. We have taken the average of the three analysts’ votes. Each analyst has ranked the teams as they choose 1-32 and we have added comments for each team. I am Sam Brief, of Sam’s Sports Brief, a 14 year old who created Sam’s Sports Brief to give you a refreshing new perspective on the wild world of sports. I hope someday become a sports broadcaster or a sports writer and am following my dreams, providing readers with a wealth of information and keen perspective.

Joining me today is JB Knox of 1313 Sports, who keeps readers informed with the latest news in the sports world, and provides us with opinionated analysis and has a very polished site. I highly recommend checking his site out to brush up on your sports knowledge through the eyes of JB Knox.

Also joining me today for the first time is Nik of The News of Sports, who brings readers the latest sports news, and has opinionated posts about the biggest sports stories. He has 2 other sites, which I recommend to all: Fresh Fantasy Help and Video Games Guide.

So without further ado, here are the NFL Week 17 Power Rankings. Comments and debates are highly recommended and encouraged on these websites!!! Hope You Enjoy!!!

Congratulations to Drew Brees- The NFL's single-season passing leader.

RANK TEAM RECORD TREND COMMENTS

1

Packers 14-1

Aaron Rodgers has a quarterback rating of 122.5 on the season and is on pace to break Peyton Manning’s 2004 record of 121.1. The defense is second with a +22 Turnover ratio and their 29 interceptions are more than all but five NFL teams total touchdown passes this season. That stat is flat out ridiculous. (Knox)

2

Saints 12-3

Drew Brees passed Dan Marino for the most single season passing yards, the Saints defense held Matt Ryan and the Falcons to 16 points. The Saints have locked up they NFC South. (Nik of The News of Sports)

3

Patriots 12-3 The Patriots eked out a 27-24 win over the Dolphins on Sunday. If they beat the Bills this week, then they will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Patriots can get their run-game going, then they will be a dangerous team in the playoffs. (Brief)

4

49ers 12-3 They have the least amount of turnovers in the NFL at ten, they have the best turnover ratio in the NFL at +26 and they lead the league in rushing defense at a paltry 75.1 yards per game. and they lead the NFC in Time of Possession at 31:47 per game. That’s a recipe for winning I’d say. (Knox)

5

Ravens 11-4

Their playoff spot is punched, but all they’re fighting for right now is the AFC North division title with the Steelers. Even if it was only a six point victory over the lowly Browns, a win is a win, is it not? (Nik of The News of Sports)

6

Steelers 11-4

Even though they were without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers still managed to shut-out the Rams, 27-0. That is a testament as to how loaded their offense and defense is, or to how bad the Rams really are. (Brief)

7

Lions 10-5

A very big game at Green Bay this week will decide the #5 or #6 seed. The #5 takes on the NFC East winner and the #6 meats at SF or New Orleans. I would take door #1. Can their one-dimensional offense continue to carry this team to victory in the playoffs? (Knox)

8

Bengals 9-6

The Bengals (The BENGALS!) are 9-6 after a seven-point win over the Cardinals, but the fact that they are in the AFC North hurts them, because it is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Still, rookie QB Andy Dalton continues to shine on the field, and the defense has been impressive as well. Kudos to them for holding up all season, unlike some teams (cough, Bills, cough). (Nik of The News of Sports)

9

Texans 10-5

The Texans became the second-straight team to lose to the Colts. Arian Foster had a great game, T.J. Yates did his job, and the defense only allowed 1 touchdown. How they managed to lose remains a mystery to me and the Texans coaching staff. (Brief)

10

Falcons 9-6

I think they have proven that their secondary is no match for teams such as the Saints and yet they refuse to eat the clock by running Turner even when they are trailing. I don’t care if you are down by two touchdowns your best bet to beat big time passing attacks if you have a weak defensive backfield is to run the heck out of the ball, not to try and throw with them. (Knox)

11

Giants 8-7 It all comes down to this. After a fantastic win over their cross-town rivals, the Giants have the upper hand and a win against the Cowboys this week will book them a playoff spot. But that’s IF they win. If the lose? See ya, they’re going home for what will be a long winter for Eli Manning and Co. (Nik of The News of Sports)

12

Cowboys 8-7

The Cowboys were downed by the Eagles, 20-7 in a game where they really never had a chance. With Tony Romo banged up with a bruised right hand, the questions are plentiful for the Cowboys, who are going in to a win-or-go-home game against the Giants this Sunday Night. (Brief)

13

Raiders 8-7

The Raiders are 25th in the NFL in third-down conversions per game. They rank dead last at 10.3 penalties per game. They also are 27th in 1st quarter pts/gm. You can’t expect this karma to keep going well for you, not when your defense is yielding 435 yards to a lowly offense like the Chiefs. Try that versus the Chargers and see what that final score looks like. (Knox)

14

Seahawks 7-8

Here come the Seahawks! From out of pretty much nowhere, Seattle could finish the season .500. They lost to the division leading 49ers in Week 16, but only by two points and they had the edge throughout the game before San Francisco showed them who was boss. Still, with a 3-2 record in their last five games, there is a rising confidence within the organization. (Nik of The News of Sports)

15

Broncos 8-7

It seems as if Tebowmania has taken a quick break, because Tim Tebow and the Broncos were exposed this week during a 40-14 loss to the Bills. Tebow turned the ball over four times, and two times in Tebowtime, when he’s at his best. With a win, the Broncos are headed to the playoffs, where both Tebow and their defense will be tested to their fullest. (Brief)

16

Eagles 7-8 Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. “Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent…” -Calvin Coolidge. There is more to this quote, but this is the part that should be read by all Eagles players and coaching staff. All skill and no heart. That is the definition of the 2011 Eagles. (Knox)

17

Cardinals 7-8

The first three quarters of their Week 16 game against Cincinnati were a disaster, being outscored by the Bengals 23-0. However, they showed resolve and gritty determination in the final quarter, shutting out Cincinnati and scoring all 16 points, falling just short by a touchdown. Things are looking upward as well for Arizona. A few things need to fall in place and they could be playoff bound in just a few short years. (Nik of The News of Sports)

18

Jets 8-7

The Jets lost to the Cross-town rival Giants this week. It seems as if the Jets talked the talk, but surely did not walk the walk. They now rest on a long-shot chance at making the playoffs. (Brief)

19

Titans 8-7

With a faint chance to still get in, this team needs to make changes and starting Jake Locker this week would be a wise move for them moving forward. They need to fix their offensive line’s ability to run-block and pass-protect. Another weapon at the wide receiver position is much needed as well. (Knox)

20

Chargers 7-8

Ah, the Chargers. The biggest disappointment, and also the most confusing team. They struggled throughout the season, but just when you thought they were turning the corner after winning three of their past four games quite handily, they laid an egg against the Lions, who are celebrating their first postseason appearance since 1999. The 38-10 game was ugly to watch, and even uglier to look at on paper. Matthew Stafford ran all over the San Diego defense, throwing for 373 yards, completing 29 of 36 passing attempts, and throwing for three touchdowns. Talk about a beatdown. (Nik of The News of Sports)

21

Chiefs 6-9

The Chiefs’ long-shot playoff chances were put to rest with a 16-13 loss to the Raiders. Romeo Crennel will most likely get the job as the Chiefs’ head coach, and when they are fully healthy, this is a team that could be a playoff threat as soon as next year. (Brief)

22

Bears 7-8

Mike Martz needs to be fired. If the starting QB is the only guy that understands your offense and even he seems confused half of the time, then it is time to go. Needed for next year: a contract extension for Forte and a wide receiver that can stretch the defense as well as a left tackle that can keep Jay Cutler upright. (Knox)

23

Panthers 6-9
In what was supposed to be a game that nobody would watch, Cam Newton made at least some people watch them thrash the worst team in the NFC South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, by a score of 48-16. The Panthers made the Buccaneers look like they weren’t even in the same league. If Raheem Morris was angry by his team’s performances before this game, I can’t imagine how furious he is now. (Nik of The News of Sports)

24

Dolphins 5-10

The Dolphins barely lost to the Patriots this week, but they showed that they meant business, as they lead 17-0 at one point. If they hadn’t started the season 0-7, this would be a playoff team right now. (Brief)

25

Bills 6-9

Honestly, I’m not mad at the Bills. They were overachieving early on, but once Fred Jackson went down and the defense stopped creating turnovers, reality struck. They have some talent, but need pass-rushers badly. 1.7 sacks per game isn’t going to cut it when Tom Brady is in the same division. (Knox)

26

Redskins 5-10

Can’t excuse a loss to one of the league’s worst teams, without their starting QB and definitely (not arguably, definitely) the best RB in the NFL, Adrian Peterson. 33 points? Are you kidding me? (Nik of The News of Sports)

27

Browns 4-11

The Browns nearly slayed the all mighty Ravens in Baltimore this week. Listen, the Browns are a mess. They are severely lacking in the talent department, and are not going to be a playoff threat anytime in the next five years. (Brief)

28

Jaguars 4-11

Yet another Pro-Bowl season for Maurice Jones-Drew!!! Congratulations to him. I want this man to get traded to a contender more than any other player in the league. If you average 14.9 points per game and you have the leading rusher in the NFL, it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to plan your off-season. If they select any player on the defensive side of the ball, the General Manager should be the first General Manager fired while still drafting in the 2nd round. (Knox)

29

Vikings 3-12

While they did lose their two of their best offensive players, the Vikings looked great against the Redskins. Toby Gerhart stepped up big time with the absence of Adrian Peterson. And also, four for five for 84 yards and two touchdowns? Can’t ask much more of Joe Webb coming in relief of Christian Ponder. All compliments aside, the real thoughts in the Vikings organization should be about Adrian Peterson, who should come back for Week 1 of next season with a torn ACL and MCL. (Nik of The News of Sports)

30

Buccaneers 4-11

The Buccaneers are officially out of control. They have dropped to 4-11, and are on a nine-game losing streak. This week, I ranked them #32, as they have 34 points per game during ‘The streak,’ which is worst in the NFL. I guess being outscored 304-150 over the course of 9 games is not the winning formula.(Brief)

31

Colts 2-13 Peyton Manning’s absence may have actually helped this team’s future for many reasons. 1) They realized that Jim Caldwell can’t coach. 2) It shone a bright light on the rest of the team’s defensive weaknesses 3) They need a running game to help keep Manning’s neck in order. The Colts have a lot to think about before the April draft. (Knox)

32

Rams 2-13

The Rams could be the new “Yo Mamma” jokes. Such as, “The Rams are so bad that Charlie Batch could beat them.” OK, not that good, but can you come up with better ones? (Nik of The News of Sports)

There's a new kid in town: The Rams are 2-13 and have claimed the bottom spot in our rankings for the first time all year.

Only four playoff spots remain up-for-grabs: The NFC East, The AFC West, and one more AFC Wild Card spot.

The winner of Sunday Night’s Cowboys-Giants matchup wins the NFC East.

The Broncos win the AFC West with a win over the Chiefs OR a Raiders’ loss to the Chargers.

The Raiders win the AFC West with a win AND a Broncos’ loss.

The Bengals clinch a wild-card spot with a win

The Raiders clinch a wild-card spot with a win AND a Bengals’ loss AND a Jets’ loss.

The Jets clinch a wild-card spot with a win AND a Bengals’ loss AND a Titans’ loss AND a Raiders’ loss.

The Titans clinch a wild-card spot with a win AND a Bengals’ loss AND a Jets’ win AND a Raiders’ loss.

(Click here for more)

There is a lot of variation in the individual rankings this week. Sam and JB both rank the Patriots, 49ers, and Ravens 3rd, 4th, and 5th while Nik changes up the order as his 3,4,5 order is 49ers, Ravens, Patriots. Nik ranks the Seahawks 10th, while Sam and JB both have them at 18th. Sam and Nik rank the Eagles 13th and 14th, respectively, while JB ranks them 17th. JB and Sam rank the Raiders 13th and 14th, and Nik ranks them 19th. One of the biggest shocks was that Nik ranks the Vikings 21st, while Sam and JB rank them 29th and 30th. Sam and JB also rank the Bears 22nd, while Nik has them in the trenches, 26th. Same with the Chiefs, Nik has them at 27th, while Sam and JB have them at 21st. One of the biggest challenges was how to manage the Colts, who lost their first 13 games, but have won their last 2. Nik ranks them 28th, Sam ranks them 30th, and JB ranks them 31st. So, who is the worst team in the league? JB and Nik say Rams, and Sam says Buccaneers.

By Sam Brief- Sam’s Sports Brief @SamsSportsBrief

By JB Knox- 1313 Sports @TheKnoxScore

By Nik- The News of Sports Fresh Fantasy Help Video Games Guide

The Sports Blog Movement