Patriots:Embarrasing Loss to Bills

How can they lose to the Bills? The Patriots being a red hot 1st seed playoff team, even resting their guys, it was depressing to see them lose to a team who wasn’t made the playoffs in years. All the Pats could do was score field goals, but I liked Jimmy Garroppollo’s performance. Until he got sacked, it seemed as if he could get out of any situation. CJ Spiller was finally back at full health, but so was Chandler Jones, the Pats defensive end. After an upset win and the first season above .500 in a while, Kyle Orton, who could have played a longer career, officially annouced his retirement to end the NFL’s 2014 regular season. The Pats also lost Nate Solder in the game, already seeing wide receiver Julian Edelman and left guard Dan Connolly on the bench. Also, Tom Brady resigned with the Patriots for a little longer, so he’s not going yet. But he changed his deal to save money for free agents at the end of the season, cornerback Darrelle Revis, running back Shane Vereen, strong safety Devin McCourty and kicker Stephen Gostkowski. I doubted they would keep all four, but what Brady did might make me think otherwise. Besides, not many NFL players have a wife who makes more for a living then themselves, while Brady married a world famous supermodel, who shouldn’t make as much as they do. Well, hopefully by next gameday our Patriots can get back to business. Happy 2015, and go Patriots. I hope you’ve enjoyed viewing my blog for my first year, starting in March 2014, filled with 203 posts.

NFL Playoffs:What I Thought at 1pm and What I think now:Predicted Playoff Seeding and Playoff Picks with the seeds decided

Many playoff scenarios were decided today.  I’m late, but here was my 1:00 say.

AFC

x-clinched division

y-clinched playoff berth

z-clinched first round bye

*-clinched home field advantages

1.New England Patriots (won AFC East) xyz*             Thought:13-3   Actual:12-4

I said they would crush Buffalo, not neccesarily rest their stars.  Brady was benched early as Jimmy Garroppolllo quarterbacked New England, and Rob Gronkowski didn’t play a single play.  Also, injury recovering Julian Edelman and Dan Connolly sat, and Nate Solder injured himself too.  The offensive line is in huge trouble.  They got 1st seed though.

2.Denver Broncos(12-4 or 11-5,xy)/Pittsburgh Steelers(11-5 or 10-6/y)Cincinnati Bengals(10-5-1 or 11-4-1/y) (now only Denver)

Playoff Scenarios

1.If Denver loses, the winner of the Bengals-Steelers game gets the third seed.

2.With a win and Denver’s loss, Pittsburgh gets the No. 2 seed

3.Same as No. 2 for Cincinnati with their win

1.The Broncos will beat the Raiders, even after the Raiders beat the Bills last week.  They beat them in Oakland, I think it should be a 41-0 shutout and the game is my lock of the week and Fox Sports Survivor pick.

2 & 3.I talked about this game in my picks.  It’ll be close but Pittsburgh wins because of those home field advantages, even after their loss to them in Cincinnati.

3.Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos (see second seed for more team info)

Playoff Scenarios

1.If the Broncos lose, they get the third seed.

2.If Denver and Pittsburgh win, Pittsburgh gets the No. 3 seed.

3..If Denver and Cincinnati win, Cincinnati gets the No. 3 seed.

Analaysis

See same numbers of scenarios on the No. 2 seed to see my analaysis

4.Indianapolis Colts xy      Projected:11-5       Actual:11-5

They almost had a lock the way the Titans are doing.  They can’t do any better than this.  The AFC North winner will definitely be better, the Bengals tie boosting their record slightly, and Pittsburgh winning the tiebreaker over the Colts after the blowout, in Ben Roethlisberger’s 65 fantasy point game.  That’s when he became a stud.  I know that from laying fantasy, and remember it after his owner started the slumping Matt Ryan over him.  Well, he was then and after today’s embarrassing performance in a blowout loss, he’s in that mode again.  It doesn’t matter because they’re now out of it.

5.Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals (see second seed for records)

Playoff Scenarios

1.The loser of the Steelers-Bengals game gets the first wild card slot

See the second seed under 2&3 to read my analaysis on this scenario

6.Baltimore Ravens(10-6 or 9-7), San Diego Chargers,(10-6 or 9-7), Kansas City Chiefs, (9-7 or 8-8), Houston Texans, (9-7 or 8-8) (now Ravens)

Playoff Scenarios

1.If San Diego wins, they’re in

2.If Baltimore wins, they’re in with the loss of the Chargers

3.If Houston wins, they’re in with the Chargers and Ravens loss

4.If Kansas City wins, they’re in if the Chargers, Ravens and Texans lose

Analysis

1.Two close teams.  Charge. Chiefs.  THe home team Chiefs get the win.

2.I talked about the Chargers losing.  I still think in any AFC North regular season game, the home team, in this case the Ravens, will win.

3.Unless Baltimore loses, which won’t happen with the condition the Browns are in right now, the Texans are out.  Although I do think the Texans will make it halfway, demolishing the lowly division opponent of the Jaguars.  The matchups set up two blowouts since the Jags didn’t face Tennessee.

4.The Chiefs will win like Houston, but the Texans and Ravens wins are in the way, so I was right about Baltimore’s wild card slot, and picked all three of these games correctly.

NFC

1.Seattle Seahawks(12-4 or 11-5,xyz),Green Bay Packers,(12-4 or 11-5,y), Detroit Lions, (12-4 or 11-5,y)

Playoff Scenarios

1.With a loss and the Cardinals win, the winner of the Packers-Lions game take over the first seed

1.The Seahwaks should beat the Rams and with home field advantages, the Pack should too giving the ‘Hawks the seed.  I also think the Cardinals will lose.

2.Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals(12-4 or 11-5,y), Detroit Lions

Playoff Scenarios

1.The winner of the Packers-Lions game gets a top 2 seed-1st with Arizona win and Seattle loss and 2nd with Seattle win or Arizona loss.

2.With a win and the Seahawks loss, the Cardinals get the 2nd seed

Analysis
1 & 2.I’ve said that this was a tough match that the home team Packers will win. I also thought the Cardinals would lose and the Seahawks win so the Pack gets the 2 seed.

3.Dallas Cowboys Projected:11-5. Actual:12-4 xy

I couldn’t predict the Cowboys getting upset and I was so wrong about the Cowboys
My Prediction:4th, 4-12
Actual:1st, 12-4
I totally underestimated them along with the Lions and Bills.

4.Carolina Panthers (7-8-1 or 6-9-1) Atlanta Falcons (7-9 or 6-10)

Playoff Scenarios
1.The winner of the Panthers-Falcons game wins the division and gets the playoff slot.

Analysis
Both teams are close, so as I always say, the home team, in this case the Falcons, win. I was so wrong. Carolina won 34-3, getting their second playoff spot and second division title in a row being just under .500 for the second time in NFL history. Matt Ryan and his Falcons fell apart, bringing their record down to 6-10.

5.Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks (see first two seeds for further info)

Playoff Scenarios
1.The losing team of the Packers-Lions game gets a wild card slot, the seed depending on whether the other is the Seahawks or Cardinals.

2.If Seattle wins, Green Bay or Detroit gets the first wild card.

3.If Arizona wins and Seattle loses, Green Bay or Detroit gets the second wild card slot.

Analysis

1-3.I talked about these games, see the first two seeds. Arizona gets the seed because they have the tiebreaker over losing Detroit.

6.See 5th seed (same teams)

This is all the same as the fifth seed. I think Detroit gets this seed.

What Now?
The playoffs are decided. Here are my playoff predictions with the teams locked in. Although I have these, I will still do picks each week of the playoffs, ending with game previews, full articles for each game in the final two rounds. It’ll be as much as I do for my lock and upset each week.

Seeding
AFC
1.New England Patriots 12-4
2.Denver Broncos 12-4
3.Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
4.Indianapolis Colts 11-5
5.Cincinnati Bengals 10-5-1
6.Baltimore Ravens 10-6

NFC
1.Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2.Green Bay Packers 12-4
3.Dallas Cowboys(!) 12-4
4.Carolina Panthers 7-8-1
5.Arizona Cardinals 11-5
6.Detroit Lions 11-5

-See further analysis during this weeks playoff picks-
Wild Card Weekend
Carolina,27 over Arizona,24
Dallas,13 over Detroit,10
Indianapolis,34 over Cincinnati,27
Pittsburgh,27 over Baltimore,24

Divisional
New England,41 over Indianapolis,34
Denver,41 over Pittsburgh,27
Seattle,41 over Carolina,24
Green Bay,41 over Dallas,10

Conference
New England,41 over Denver,38
Green Bay,45 over Seattle,41

Super Bowl XLIX
New England,52 over Green Bay,48

Pats-Bills-Rest Or Try

The Patriots clinched everything going into a Week 17 Bills match. If the Bills and Browns win, the Bills can get a playoff seed. The Patriots don’t need it, but wouldn’t it be nice to be 13-3 for the first time since 2011 if you were Bill Bellichick? Bellichick has never even done that. I’d say to keep my stars active, but use them less than normal, mixing thngs up, even bringing Jimmy Garroppollo in if the Pats dominate. Also use Jonas Gray, Tim Wright, Michael Hoomanawanuui, Danny Amendola, Brian Tyms, Greg Orton, Brandon Bolden and special teams captain Matthew Slater more on offense as well as the offensive starters-and don’t rest the offensive line, they couldn’t produce anything with Dan Connolly out last week. They have a strong team this year, so no matter what they do, they still have a good chance at winning, especially at home, especially after beating the Jets in New York. They stink, but prepare extra when the rival Patriots come to town if they don’t have a chance at playoff berth that season.

I still believe that this is a super bowl champ worthy team. I made playoffs easily with my Madden Patriots, I expect dominanace in both Madden and reality for our Patriots here in New England. I expect them being 13-3 Super Bowl XLIX champs over the also hot Green Bay Packers, who defeated the Pats at Lambeau in a snow bowl, also being the Pats first visit to Lambeau since 2006, although the Packers came to Gillette Stadium in 2010. That was at Lambeau though. It’ll be very close as these two teams are to each other, probably the two best and hottest teams in the NFL and in a neutral matchup, the Pats should win by a nose. However, they have to beat last year’s Super Bowl teams who are cooling off, the Broncos in the Seahawks, although many predicted Denver to get their revenge of their embarrassng loss, I think the Pats can beat Denver at home again, as they did in the regular season. The Pack and Seahawks also faced off in Seattle, and the Pack embarrassingly lost, although that was before the Pats and Pack became red hot, now you don’t mess with them, and the ‘Hawks go down to them.

NFL Week 17 Picks

The final week of the NFL is here.  I lost my super bowl, and his week I don’t have fantasy football to worry about, I can just enjoy watching and trying to predict the games.  Everybody plays a division opponent, some fighting for it, others for a wild card, and some are just too bad to even have a chance and gave up, and others already clinched the division and are resting the good players on the team, although the home field clinching Patriots have never done that, and may still play their key guys.  But Denver has a better lock as they fight the lowly Raiders for a first round bye.  So, lets get to the games.  Want to see what the playoffs look like with my picks?  See my Patriots-Jets recap post, calculate it yourself or enter my picks into the ESPN Playoff Machine, but the easiest thing to do is just to go the playoff picture my picks create at the end of my post.

Lock Of The Week
Oakland, 0, Denver, 41
I can see a shutout coming here.   I think I can simply explain this extreme lock in just a couple paragraphs.  Oakland stinks, they’re playing for nothing, even after last week’s upset over the Bills, this week’s Pats opponent that I predicted.  But Denver is playing for a first round bye.  The  Colts are 10-5 and Denver is 11-4.  So if Denver loses and the Colts win, they both sit at 11-5.  Wait.  Never mind, he Broncos beat Andrew Luck and his men, in Week 1.  That means Denver clinched the tiebreaker.   I bet both teams will win today though.  Neither team has anything to play for, but trust me, even using underdogs Denver’s better. 
       The Broncos never run out of good players, at least not this year.  Some teams can beat them, but not at home and not a Raiders team that’s won less games than Denver’s lost.  I don’t even have to get into it.  Denver clinched it.  Trust me.  Can you name one healthy productor on Oakland?  I can’t.  But I don’t think I can name a starter on Denver who’s worse than any Raiders guy.  And they have Peyton Manning, CJ Anderson, DeMaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas on offense, even Montee Ball if he plays.  On defense, they have Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib, and had Champ Bailey.  So, I don’t think Oakland has any oppurtunity at winning, or maybe even scoring a single point.  

Other Locks To Note:New England over Buffalo, New Orleans over Tampa Bay, Indianapolis over Tennessee  

Upset Of The Week
Dallas, 20, Washington, 21
I know, I’ve been under rating this Cowboys squad all season, this is a whole new leaf for the Cowboys, they started over and became good again.  The Redskins have nothing to play for, yeah, neither does Dallas. 
        I could see the Redskins beating them again after their performance in Dallas.  I see DeSean Jackson having a monster game, even Pierre Garçon, Jordan Reed and Niles Paul could do something, because RG3 will pass, a lot, especially early in when they think they’re surely toast.  Alfred Morris should rush with the rock a little bit though, as they take the lead.  Besides, the Cowboys don’t have a trusting rush defense, and even their rating in pass defense is low.  I’d expect a good amount of offense from the Redskins.  
       The Cowboys offense is different though.  Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and even the recovering DeMarco Murray will star.  The Redskins defense cannot stop that, although Ryan Kerrigan might bug Dez Bryant a little though, then you just throw the ball to Jason Witten.               Witten, I’d say is almost like Romo’s second string receiver, over Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams.  So, although it doesn’t say so, it should be high scoring and close, but the ‘Skins should win by a nose.

Other Upset To Note:San Francisco(who I know now stinks), over Arizona(who is in a slump)

The Rest Of The Games
Buffalo, 10, New England, 41- New England has nothing to play for and the Bills do, but Brady and the Pats still have it locked in after the Bills’ embarrassing loss to the lowly Raiders
NY Jets, 17, Miami, 20- The Jets stink and are out and Miami still has something to play for!  The Dolphins won, and you’re crazy if you believe otherwise.
Cincinnati, 27, Pittsburgh, 31- In this now Sunday Night finale game, both teams come in strong fighting for a crazy good division, so the Steelers should win due to home field advantages.
Cleveland, 17, Baltimore, 27- Cleveland is beginning to stink again and especially in Baltimore, the Ravens should win.
Indianapolis, 31, Tennessee, 20-Even in Tennessee, the Colts should win as a division leader with the Titans now having the worst record in the entire NFL.
Jacksonville, 3, Houston, 20- Houston’s still in the hunt.  the Jags are out. Houston should win in this low scoring clash of defenses, the Texans having star defensive lineman JJ Watt, who may be having his best season of his career.
San Diego, 27, Kansas City, 31-Both teams are playing for a wild card, although neither of them could get one, but with home field advantages, the Chiefs should win a close game.
Philadelphia, 31, NY Giants, 27- The Giants are hot and still at home, and neither team has much to play for, but Philly was close, so they’ll win, even after losing to the Redskins, who are just as bad.
Detroit, 17, Green Bay, 41- It’s not a lock, especially after defeat in Detroit, but that was early when the Pack stunk.  After having a lock twice in a row, they have another decent chance at winning.
Chicago, 31, Minnesota, 20- I would normally say home team wins in a close meaningless matchup like this, but I actually believe in the Bears.  Better luck next year, which I think will be the year in Chicago, for all sports, from the Cubs to the Bears to the Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox.
New Orleans, 31, Tampa Bay, 17- Although I’d normally pick the home team in a meaningless game like this, as this whole division is this year, but I think the Saints, I mean the Aints have a good matchup, and should win,
Carolina, 21, Atlanta, 24- In this close division matchup, I say the home team, the Falcons should win, as Matt Ryan is improving again, although it’s a great matchup for opposing quarterback Cam Newton.  It’s a good one for any QB.
St. Louis, 14, Seattle, 41- This is almost a lock, but with St. Louis upsetting many teams, including the Broncos and Niners, even after last week’s embarrassing loss to the Giants, I can’t call it one.  I still call it a fair win for Seattle, even though the score is lock quality.
Arizona, 24, San Francisco, 38-I can feel a big upset coming, as the Cardinals continue to struggle, although the Niners stink too and don’t have a chance but the Cardinals are fighting for playoff berth.  

Playoff Picture With My Predictions
AFC
1.New England Patriots 13-3
2.Denver Broncos 12-4
3.Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
4.Indianapolis Colts 11-5
5.Cincinnati Bengals 10-5-1
6.Baltimore Ravens 10-6

NFC
1.Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2.Green Bay Packers 12-4
3.Dallas Cowboys 11-5
4.Atlanta Falcons 7-9
5.Arizona Cardinals 11-5
6.Detroit Lions 11-5

Patriots Defeat Jets By One Point

The Patriots clearly had a tough matchup yesterday in New York. They had LeGarrette Blount and Julian Edelman inactive. That gave Danny Amendola a chance to play after a quiet season. Amendola returned a kickoff to the opposing forty yard line and had many targets from Tom Brady. Early in, offense on both teams struggled, both gong 3 and out in their first drive. Sheldon Richardson sacked Tom Brady, and Vince Wilfork sacked Geno Smith. Rob Gronkowski was the first to score, before the Jets scored both a touchdown and a field goal. The Pats then scored a field goal, followed by another by the Jets. The game was becoming a field goal contest between Stephen Gostkowski and Nick Folk. The Patriots then squeezed in another touchdown using their second string running back for the day, Jonas Gray, who had been a touchdown machine in Indianapolis before LeGarrette Blount resigned with the Patriots. With him and Stevan Ridley still out, it was a similar running back situation to that game, with Shane Vereen moving from RB2 to RB1, making Gray the new RB2 and Brandon Bolden, the fourth string running back, temporarily 3rd string. That made it 17-13 Patriots, but the Jets squeezed in one more field goal, and there was still time left in the fourth quarter. Nick Folk missed one field goal and had another blocked. That meant that the Patriots held on to win. They took a knee three times to finish the game. The win puts the Patriots at 12-3. They had clinched a first round bye. With Cincinnati’s win over Denver, the Pats can clinch home field advantages. If you want to see the full playoff picture, see below.

Division Leaders
AFC
Seed Team Record Division Led Proj.
1st New England Patriots 12-3 AFC East W,W
2nd Denver Broncos 11-3 AFC West L,W
3rd Indianapolis Colts 10-5 AFC South W,W
4th Cincinnati Bengals 9-4-1 AFC North W,L
Wild Cards
5th Pittsburgh Steelers 10-5 W,W
6th San Diego Chargers 9-6 L,L
In The Hunt
Baltimore Ravens 9-6 L,W
Miami Dolphins 8-7 W,W
Houston Texans 8-7 W,W
Buffalo Bills 8-7 L,L
Kansas City Chiefs 7-8 L,W
NFC
1st Seattle Seahawks 11-4 NFC West W,W
2nd Detroit Lions 11-4 NFC North L,L
3rd Dallas Cowboys 11-4 NFC East L,L
4th Carolina Panthers 6-8-1 NFC South W,L
Wild Card
5th Green Bay Packers 11-4 W,W
6th Arizona Cardinals 11-4 L,L
In The Hunt
Atlanta Falcons 6-9 L,W

Division opponents Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are still in the hunt, but the Patriots have clinched the division. Next week is the last before the playoffs. There’s no Thursday or Monday games, and the Sunday Night game is unknown. I don’t know, but there might even be no 4pm games. Everyone plays a division opponent, some are fighting for a playoff spot.

Can Both The Patriots and Myself win a Super Bowl?

If you keep track, you probably don’t, but this is my 200th post on this blog.  So, I’m in the fantasy super bowl and since I started predicting the 2014-15 NFL season, I’ve named the Patriots my projected super bowl champs.  I still think the Pats can win it all, but it’ll be a little tougher for me, even though there’s a 50% chance of me winning it.  I once had a perfect lineup, Andrew Luck, Matt Forte, Alfred Morris, T.Y. Hilton, Brandon Marshall, Greg Olsen, Nick Novak and the Texans DST.  Now, first, I’m facing a team who’s lineup is Mark Sanchez, Mark Ingram, Steven Jackson, DeMaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Gates, Steven Hauschka, Eagles DST.  I’m already projected to lose 100-89, and Mark Sanchez got 28, overperforming by 8, the Eagles got 11, meeting their projection, and Antonio Gates scored a whopping 21 points, a ton for a tight end, overperforming by 11.  However, I did start 15 point Alfred Morris, a 6 point overperformer.  Now I’ll lose 119-95.  My lineup now:Luck, Forte, Morris, Hilton(will be Reggie Wayne or Hakeem Nicks), Steve Smith,  Olsen, Matt Bryant, Ravens DST.  So, fine, it’ll be 119-99 when I reset my lineup, but I’m still in huge trouble.

Patriots Missing Key Players in New York

The Patriots have a few key injuries on their way to New York today. They’re missing receiver Julian Edelman to a concussion and running back LeGarrette Blount with a shoulder injury. This gives running backs Shane Vereen and Jonas Gray plus receivers Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola an opurtunity to play. However, the situation is bad for tight end Rob Gronkowski. He’ll have extra defensemen on him, but it’s a good thing the Jets are missing Muhammad Wilkerson. Can the Pats still beat the Jets? Of course. The Jets stink. The Pats won’t lose to the lowly Jets after only 3 losses. However, the Jets don’t have an important matchup, Infact any left, so they want to be extra ready to beat their rival in New England at MetLife Stadium. They were able to do that last year, with an upsetting, embarrassing loss for the Pats, that happened at my Roller Kingdom birthday party last year, where they did have TVs for me to watch it happen live. But this year should be different as the Pats will most likely win.