Sam Brief is a multimedia journalist based in Highland Park, Illinois. Here, you can enjoy his weekly sports broadcast, "The HP Sports Brief," in addition to his articles for the Pioneer Press/Tribune Publishing and independent columns. Feel free to send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESPN First Take personality Skip Bayless is known to be factually incorrect a surprisingly large percentage of the time. So I decided to find some of the most ridiculous statements he’s made over the years and prove him totally wrong. Enjoy.————————————————————————————————————
“I’ll say it AGAIN. Give me RG3 over Luck – any day, any night, and year, any career.”
RG3 career stats: 37 games, 14-21 record, 8,097 Yds, 40 TD, 23 INT
Luck career stats: 48 games, 33-15 record, 12,957 Yds, 86 TD, 43 INT
“One day Robert Griffin III will be a better QB than Aaron Rodgers.”
RG3 since statement: 22 games, 5-15 record, 4,897 Yds, 20 TD, 18 INT
Rodgers since statement: 25 games, 18-7 record, 6,917 Yds, 55 TD, 11 INT
“I would take Brandon Weeden in the top 10 before I would take Ryan Tannehill.”
Weeden career stats: 28 games, 5-16 record, 5,419 Yds, 26 TD, 28 INT
Tannehill career stats: 48 games, 23-25 record, 11,252 Yds, 63 TD, 42 INT
“The drafting of Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden will change the race in the division in the next few years.”
AFC NORTH STANDINGS BY YEAR
2011 (before Ricardson, Weeden are drafted)
2012 (Richardson and Weeden’s rookie seasons)
2013 (Richardson traded in September)
2014 (Weeden released in March)
“Wow, sensational move by Indy trading for Trent Richardson. Browns pretty much give up on this season, wait to use multiple picks in draft.”
Richardson since trade: 316 carries, 977 yards, 3.1 yards per carry, 6 TD, 5 fumbles
-Waived by Colts in March 2015, released by Raiders in August 2015
-3.33 career yards per carry is second-worst in NFL history
-The below pictures exist:
“Notre Dame 24, Bama 23. Manti plays with a Heisman-sized chip on shoulder pads, Golson makes one more play than A.J.”
Final score: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14
-Manti Te’o: 3 solo tackles, 0 tackles for loss, 0 sacks, 0 INT, 0 forced fumbles
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.
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.
The week 16 NFL Power Rankings are in and I am pretty excited to have a knowledgeable football analyst with me to help with the rankings. We have taken the average of the two 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.
So without further ado, here are the NFL Week 16 Power Rankings. Comments and debates are highly recommended and encouraged on these websites!!! Hope You Enjoy!!!
It was that kind of day for the Packers, who lost their first game in 364 days last Sunday. I guess perfection sure has its blemishes.
So, they finally had a hiccup. Being a Pats’ fan from New England, I can honestly tell you that it was the best thing that could’ve happened to them. Now they can regroup and worry about home-field & the playoffs. (Knox)
The surging Saints are currently living under the radar. With Tim Tebow and the Packers getting all of the attention, the Saints are continuing their 6-game winning streak, and Drew Brees is continuing his pursuit of Dan Marino’s passing yardage record. (Brief)
They seem to have more running backs than defensive backs yet they are 14th in points allowed and are 3rd in the NFL & 1st in the AFC with a +12 turnover ratio. Oh yeah, and Brady and Gronkowski are breaking records. (Knox)
There is no doubt about how big of a win the 49ers scored on Monday Night over the Steelers. The power outages at Candlestick Park did more than darken the stadium lights, they shut down the Steelers’ offense. The 49ers defense is the first since the 1920 Decatur Staleys to play their first 14 games without allowing a rushing touchdown. (Brief)
They yielded seven sacks against the Chargers last week on their way to getting routed. Their offensive line has some serious issues, and they aren’t giving Flacco nearly enough time to find his talented WR’s. (Knox)
The men of Steel missed a giant opportunity to not only take the AFC North division lead, but be the AFC’s first seed for the time being. Big Ben should rest his ankle this week, so he’s in top-shape for the playoffs. (Brief)
Get-well cards have been plentiful for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as the Texans hope he returns to the sidelines soon. Yates’ inconsistencies are allowing defenses to stack the box, creating third-and-longs and rushing the pocket. (Knox)
The Falcons embarrassed the Jaguars Thursday Night, winning 41-14 a week after the Jaguars beat the Buccaneers 41-14. So, if the Falcons played the Buccaneers, would the score be 81-7? One more win puts the Falcons in the playoffs for a second straight season. (Brief)
Suh is back and Megatron looks unstoppable, as always. If they can control their tempers and win one of their last two games, then they’re in the playoffs. Stafford continues to baffle me with his ability to throw TDs off his back foot. (Knox)
The Chargers continue their second-half surge, as they now are only one game out of first place in the AFC West. If Phillip Rivers & Co can squeeze into the playoffs, they’re a team that everyone should fear. (Brief)
A huge redemption game for the ‘Boys this week vs the Eagles. Romo has thrown 22 TDs/4 INTs in his last 10 games. Dallas is ranked 11th or higher in three of four major yardage categories. Too bad this isn’t a Fantasy Football League. (Knox)
The Tebowmania movement took a hit this week as the Broncos got pounded by the Patriots, 41-23, at Mile-High. Expect Tebow and the Broncos to rebound this week as one victory in their next two games puts them in the postseason–because Tebow never quits. (Brief)
The Bengals still are alive due to the electrifying talents of A.J. Green, but the late game loss to the Texans has to be haunting their rearview mirrors right now. The red hot Arizona Cardinals visit this week. Can they stay in the hunt? (Knox)
The Seahawks have finally come in to their own, as they have taken five of their past six games. Marshawn Lynch (A.K.A. Beast Mode) has been a force for the Seahawks with 100 yards or more in five of his past seven games. Sadly, it may be too little too late for the Seahawks, who need lots to happen if they want to make it to the postseason. (Brief)
Rex Ryan…stop it. Joe Namath…stop it. Let the men play the games. You’re in New York and there’s no need for unnecessary added pressure, with the playoffs on the line, and a game against your roommate, the New York Giants. (Knox)
The Cardinals are yet another team that has made a late-season charge. John Skelton & Co have won six of their past seven after starting the season 1-6. They are 2-6 with Kevin Kolb starting, and 5-1 with Skelton. (Brief)
Can we get these wide receivers some Stick ‘Em? How about some pine-tar? Wrap it in a bow and let them open it the day before Christmas. Hakeem Nicks looks like he’s catching knuckleballs out there, and the miscommunications between Eli and his corps is starting to hurt team morale. (Knox)
Believe it or not, the Eagles, after dismantling the Jets, have a chance at the playoffs. If they win out, the Jets beat the Giants, and the Giants beat the Cowboys in Week 17, the Dream Team is in the playoffs; and certainly is not a force to be reckoned with. (Brief)
Will the real Oakland Raiders please stand up? There will be heads rolling if this Carson Palmer thing blows up in your face. Heyward-Bey has been stellar; so has the running game. But the defense? C’mon, man! (Knox)
Why, Titans, why? This week, the Titans did the most embarrassing thing that an NFL team can do: they lost to an 0-13 team. That’s all I can say on that matter. (Brief)
Congratulations to both Romeo Crennel for the huge win and starting Kyle Orton, who looks as if he appreciated throwing to a real receiving tandem. Romeo…the job is yours to lose at this point. (Knox)
Since Jay Cutler broke his thumb, the Bears are 0-4, and are benching Caleb Hanie this week against the 13-1 Packers. Proven-terrible quarterback Josh McCown will give it a go, in what could potentially be one of the biggest blowouts of the season. (Brief)
The red-hot Miami Dolphins have Reggie Bush running between the tackles and look to have a huge morale victory in the hopes of finishing the season strong. This team may be just two players away from division contenders. A QB and a legit pass-rusher would mean a lot. (Knox)
The Redskins are actually playing good football. I repeat, the Redskins are actually playing good football. In the past three games, they played the Jets close, they nearly upset the Patriots and they shocked the Giants at the Meadowlands. (Brief)
The Panthers went into Houston and laid a whooping on the top ranked defensive unit. If they ever come up with some defensive talent next off-season, look out because there is no stopping Cam. (Knox)
What has happened to the Bills? Since starting the season 5-2, they have lost seven straight games, and with their remaining match-ups against the Broncos and Patriots, the Bills easily could end the season on a nine-game slide. In the event that you didn’t know, that’s really bad. (Brief)
With one win in their past eight games, a concussed QB, and a disgruntled RB, the lone bright spot has been the passing defense. As Sam Cooke once said, “A Change is Gonna Come.” Get your resumes ready people. (Knox)
The offensively-limited Jaguars got demolished on Thursday Night in Atlanta. The issue with the team’s offense is that Blaine Gabbert tries too hard (and fails) not to make mistakes. (Brief)
Honestly, you gotta give credit to Adrian Peterson for even trying to play, but why risk the injury with the season in shambles? Both sides of the line need help, and yes, a new head coach is mandatory. I’m sorry, but, Leslie Frazier just isn’t NFL material. (Knox)
The Buccaneers are a glum story. After starting the season 4-2, they’re on an 8-game losing streak. Their defense is the issue; the defense is allowing over nine yards per touch over ‘The Streak,’ the worst in NFL history. (Brief)
If the Colts win on Thursday, do the Rams tank their season and trade Sam Bradford for some picks to go along with the possibility of getting Andrew Luck? If not, I would seriously think about moving Steven Jackson for a boatload of help. He doesn’t deserve to be on teams this bad. (Knox)
Colts fans rejoice: the Colts have won a game! Yes. You. Can. (Brief)
On Sunday, the Colts tasted victory for the first time in 350 days. "Do you believe in miracles?"
As far as individual rankings go, there is a lot of diversity this week. Sam and JB flip-flopped the Patriots and 49ers, as Sam ranks 49ers 3rd and Patriots 4th, while JB does just the opposite. Sam valued the teams making late playoff pushes, ranking the Seahawks and Cardinals 14th and 15th, while ranking the Chargers 10th and the Eagles 16th. JB was less radical, ranking the Seahawks and Cardinals 17th and 18th, and the Chargers and Eagles 14th and 19th. Sam was tough on the New York teams, ranking the Giants and Jets at 17th and 18th, while JB ranks them at 16 and 13. JB solidified the AFC middle-class teams more than Sam, as he ranked the Bengals, Jets, Chargers, and Raiders all in spots 12-15. Sam has them all over the place, as they fall anywhere from spots 10-20. Both Sam and JB were very harsh on teams with major losing streaks, as they both put the Rams (5 games), Bills (6 games), Rams (6 games), and Buccaneers (8 games) at an average ranking of 29.
As you can see, most of the movement this week came in the middle of the pack (spots 10-24). The playoff spots are really wide-open right now, as there are 15 teams whose playoff fate has yet to be decided. Any team from the Falcons to the Chiefs can make it. Any team from the Lions to the Titans can make it. Every single team in the AFC West can win the division, and, at week 16, that is remarkable. There has never been a more bizarre end of the regular season in the NFL. There are teams on the rise (Cardinals, Seahawks), and there are teams on the fall (Bills, Buccaneers), but every team will be prying to close the season strong.
It has already been 6 weeks since the NFL season started. That means it’s time for my week 6 NFL predictions.
San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions- This is a very interesting game. The 49ers and Lions are two teams that have surprisingly great records. The 49ers are coming off of a 48-3 victory against the Bucs, and they are
If Frank Gore keeps playing well, the 49ers could give the Lions their first loss of the season.
on fire. Expect the 49ers to come out rolling and then hold off a late Lions comeback and give Detroit their first loss of the year.
Saint Louis Rams @ Green Bay Packers- This one’s no contest. The Packers are absolutely rolling, and at home against an 0-4 Rams team, we should see a Packers blowout. Sam Bradford will have trouble getting out of his “Sophomore slump” and Aaron Rodgers will take over.
Prediction: Packers 41, Rams 14
Difference maker: Aaron Rodgers
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons- Cam Newton has had a great start to his rookie season. Expect this game in Atlanta to be his first roadblock. This Falcons defense is looking to revive themselves after a defeat at the hands of the Packers. The Falcons have won 14 of their last 18 games at home. Expect nothing different on Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals- The Colts are 0-5 this year and have no Peyton Manning, they
Trouble, trouble, trouble: As long as Peyton Manning doesn't play, the Colts simply won't win football games.
seem to have no hope. The Bengals are surprisingly 3-2, and rookie receiver A.J. Green is having a great year with 3 touchdowns. With no Manning, there in no hope for Indy.
Predictions: Bengals 20, Colts 10
Difference maker: The Colts lack of Peyton Manning
Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants- Very rarely do we see an NFC West team go to the East Coast on the road and win. We saw it last week when the Seahawks beat the Giants at the Meadowlands. The Giants are angry, and expect their defense to be the difference led by a few Osi Umenyiora sacks as they defeat the Bills, who are 3-7 on the road with Chan Gailey leading the charge.
Prediction: Giants 24, Bills 17
Difference maker: Osi Umenyiora
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers- With Blaine Gabbert leading a struggling offense into Pittsburgh against one of the best defenses in the league, the Jaguars are no match. This will be a very defensive sided
Look for Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace to hook up for a big touchdown on Sunday.
game, as Pittsburgh’s offense is not healthy, but in the end, Ben Roethlisberger will find a way to win. Expect the only touchdown in the game to be a long bomb from Big Ben to Mike Wallace.
Prediction: Steelers 13, Jaguars 6
Difference makers: Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins- Things are looking very grim in Philly as the “dream team” Eagles are 1-4. Meanwhile, the Redskins are 3-1 and leading the NFC East. I think the inevitable will happen, and the Eagles will lose and go to a stunning 1-5. This is not because they are physically outmatched by the ‘Skins, it’s because psychologically, the Eagles are hurting.
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens- These are two 3-win teams, but are hardly equal. The Ravens have more firepower and experience on both offense and defense. Ray Rice should take over a Texans’ defense that has no Mario Williams. Also, the fact that this game is in Baltimore doesn’t help the Texans’ cause either. Expect to see an Andre Johnsonless Houston offense struggle.
Prediction: Ravens 31, Texans 13
Difference maker: The Texans’ lack of Andre Johnson and Mario Williams
Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders- Coming off of an emotional win in Houston rolling the tragic death of
Just win baby: The Raiders will still be playing for Al Davis, so expect to see a Raiders victory.
longtime owner Al Davis, the Raiders are still playing for Al. This is the Raiders’ first home game since his death. His spirit lives on in Oakland, and I’m sure he will be watching this game from heaven. Just win baby, just win baby.
Prediction: Raiders 28, Browns 17
Difference maker: Al Davis’ spirit
Dallas Cowboys @ New Englans Patriots- With Tom Brady and Wes Welker playing at full-throttle, it seems impossible for the Patriots to lose. Unnecessary controversy has been surrounding Tony Romo and the Cowboys. After Marcus Spears said this: “Yeah, we’re probably going to get killed. They’re the greatest team ever to play football.” The Cowboys confidence can’t be at an all-time high even though they do have Miles Austin returning from injury.
Prediction- Patriots 38, Cowboys 21
Difference makers: Tom Brady and Wes Welker
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Any team with Drew Brees starting at quarterback has an edge. The Saints should pile on the points against the Bucs, who are coming off of a 45 point loss to the 49ers.
If Drew Brees takes over the Buccaneers' defense, the Saints will win big in Tampa.
Look to see the Saints dominate in Tampa.
Prediction: Saints 34, Buccaneers 14
Difference makers: Drew Brees and the spirit of the Bucs 45-point loss.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears- The Vikings haven’t looked to sharp this year, but neither have the Bears. Their struggling offensive line has allowed Jay Cutler to be sacked 18 times, which is the most in the NFL. This is a must-win for the 2-3 Bears, and if they want to keep their playoff chances alive they absolutely have to win. Good thing they’re playing a horrendous Vikings team.
Prediction: Bears 24, Vikings 10
Difference makers: Matt Forte and the Bears’ desperation.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets- This is a matchup of 2 struggling teams. One of them is struggling more than the other, though. With Chad Henne out for the season, and basically no offense, the Dolphins will be crushed by the Jets, who are in a must-win situation. Also, Brandon Marshall announcing his plans to be ejected in the 2nd quarter don’t help his team at all. The Dolphins’ defense hasn’t been to sharp on Monday Night Football this year, as in Week 1, they allowed 517 yards to Tom Brady. Mark Sanchez, are you listening?
From Rodgers to Brees to Tolbert to Suggs from Newton to Urlacher to Janikowski to Brady, this first week of NFL play surely had no shortage of excitement.
On Thursday, the start to the 2011-12 NFL season was one to remember. Aaron Rodgers (27-35, 312 yds,
Drew Brees opened the season with an electrifying performance.
3 TDs) and Drew Brees (32-49, 419 yds, 3 TDs) had a quarterback duel for the ages. Randall Cobb and Darren Sproles both lit up Lambeau Field with kick return touchdowns. The Packers won at the last second, as Saints rookie Mark Ingram was stuffed at the goal line, and the Packers won in a thriller, 42-34.
As I said, the excitement department saw a lot of action this week.
On Sunday, the first day where almost every team in the NFL played, I was in pure disbelief at how great all of the games were. Usually only some of the results of games have significance, but on Sunday, every result was marking something significant. Here they are:
Panthers vs. Cardinals- Hello Cam! Cam Newton said hello to the rest of the NFL by throwing for a rookie record 422 yards against the Cardinals. The only other quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in their NFL debut: Peyton Manning.
Texans vs. Colts- Life without Peyton: The Colts marked chapter 1 of life without Peyton with a 34-7 loss to Houston. If he doesn’t come back this season, 0-16 in Indy? I sure hope not.
Eagles vs. Rams- The Eagles proved to the world that they might just be a “dream team” in a 31-13 whipping of St. Louis.
Bills vs. Chiefs- The Bills routed the Chiefs, 41-7. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 4 touchdowns. This exposed the fact that Fitzpatrick may be a sleeper top ten quarterback this year.
Bengals vs. Browns- The Bengals won, 27-17 over their fellow statesmen. This win gave life to Cincinnati, whose preseason expectations, to say the least, weren’t so optimistic.
Bears vs. Falcons- The Packers may have won the Super Bowl last year, put what people forget is that the Bears won the division. This is their reminder to those folks who have forgotten.
Could it be? The Lions have a great shot at finishing over .500 for the first time since 200.
Ravens vs. Steelers- In the extremely tight battle to see who is the best in the AFC North (Ravens or Steelers), the Ravens showed who’s boss in a 35-7 rout of the Steelers.
Chargers vs. Vikings- The Chargers “Charged up” San Diego, and may have erased the curse that has followed them for the past 5 years: They can never seem to start the season well. Is it over? Looks like it.
49ers vs. Seahawks- Rookie Head coach Jim Harbaugh a winner in his debut. Now that he has defeated the former division Champion Seahawks, he has created a renewed sense of hope in San Francisco.
Redskins vs. Giants- The Redskins have been the runt of the NFC East. A 28-14 win over the accomplished Giants may end the era of failure in Washington.
Jaguars vs. Titans- This one is more about the losing team than the winning one. Chris Johnson only got 24 yards and no touchdowns. Is he worth the money he got paid, or will he continue to struggle? Stay tuned to find out!
Jets vs. Cowboys- J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets! The Jets came roaring back from behind against the Cowboys, and could this be the year for Rex Ryan and the Jets? If they can close out games like this, the answer is yes.
This could be the year: The Jets cam back from behind against the Cowboys to give New York a lift on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The excitement didn’t end there, though.
Da, da, da, da, here comes Monday Night Football.
The 2011-12 Monday Night Football kick-off had two games. The first: Patriots vs. Dolphins.
This game was amazing. At the beginning, the Dolphins jumped out to an early lead. They proved as a challenge to the Patriots. But then came Mr. Brady. Tom Brady racked up a total of 517, yes 517 yards (a career high, and 5th best in NFL history) and 4 touchdowns. The Brady-led Patriots defeated the Dolphins 38-24, and even though the main story was Brady’s 517 yards, don’t forget about Chad Henne. Henne was under criticism, people said that he was not fit to start for the Dolphins, but in his first game this year, when he was on the quarterback hot seat, Henne racked up 416 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hands down, the game was amazing.
But wait, there’s more!
The Raiders took on the Broncos in the second game of Monday Night Football. The highlight of the game was that Sebastian Janikowski tied an NFL record with a 63 yard field goal. Only two kickers in NFL history have ever completed this truly amazing feat. The Raiders took the game, 23-20 in a thrilling
Sebastian Janikowski made NFL history by nailing a 63 yard field goal.
I compiled a list of offensive and defensive MVPs and LVPs for week one. Here they are: