Super Bowl Madness Podcast with Wonder

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Madness Podcast w/ Wonder

Hey all... Super Bowl Madness Podcast with Wonder is now posted. Sure it may be a little close to kickoff, but Rome wasn't built in a day!  All we will share in this post is Wonder's pick, the rest you have to hear with your own ears. They are all there for you to download and enjoy. You'll find the four part series posted right above this post also but in case you can't find them, they are all listed below...

Super Bowl Madness Podcast!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Super Bowl Madness

Friday, January 20, 2012

NFC Divisional Round Recap

Baltimore vs Houston- I was quite impressed by the effort that Houston gave. They hung in their despite rookie QB Yates. Their defense played unreal and kept Ray Rice in check. Foster ran like a monster vs the Baltimore D. If it wasn't for the Baltimore D getting some interceptions and turnovers and some ridiculous decisions by Houston starting with Jacoby Jones, moronic decision to pick up the bouncing ball for no reason. That's on the coaches. In any event is a force to be reckoned with. On the other side of the ball, Flacco (Bal was my pick before the year started, thought it would be NO or GB). They have got to play better on offense. Torrey Smith nowhere to be seen. Their line did not protect Flacco or run block. When you go up to New England if your o-line doesn't dominate physically, they got NO chance.

San Fran vs New Orleans- No one wanted to go to the dome and play the Saints (Giants fans). What was most impressive was that Smith brought them back from the grave not once but twice. We always knew Vernon Davis had that in him. But for Smith, he actually stepped up and WON them the game. As for the Saints, I don't know what to say. So unprepared. So not focused. It was amazing. Brees always tends to give you a little bit of a chance at it, but he just made some really bad decisions. Everyone but Sproles wasn't great. They can't play outdoors. Their defense was just horrible. Particuarlly when it mattered. They couldn't guard or tackle anyone.

New England vs Denver- Time for Tebow to show his true colors. So overwhelmed by the Patriots. Like a high school team vs a college team. Just embarrassing. Equally bad was the Denver defense. Where were they. Didn't even give Tebow a chance. Brady had all day to throw. All kinds of open receivers. Denver had to be ready for this, they had no game plan whatsoever. I know it's tough but they didn't even try. On offense it was just ridiculous. That being said the Patriots are a juggernaut and the Ravens will have their hands full. Just not sold on the defense. All going to come down to Ravens pass rush.

Green Bay vs New York- Giants not only outplayed and dominated the Packers, but I've never seen a team who was 15-1 to have a case of the drops like the Packers did. Dropped passes (6), fumbles (should have been 3) I mean it was amazing to watch. The Giants defense did put up a decent amount of pressure on Rodgers but if you look at the tape carefully he really had pretty decent protection. Whoever coaches that team should be embarassed. At the end of the first half, the use of the clock by McCarthy and the timeouts and not keeping Bradshaw in the field of play and then that last play. That wasn't even close to being defended. That wasn't one of these knock it down plays. He just went up and caught the ball, they didn't even have anyone in front of him!! As for the Giants I liked their game plan. One thing you should not try to do vs GB D is not run up the middle, so much else you can do to take advantage of their weaknesses. First two plays up the middle for two yards. What's with the onside kick. Green Bay had tied the game at that point and had the momentum and what do they do? Onside kick. I mean McCarthy must be out of his mind. You can tell in the second half the pressure on Green Bay was there, they felt it. The Giants handled it. Giants applied pressure on a few big plays against the banged up Green Bay OL. Rodgers missed some critical passes. Missed Jennings early, missed Finley several times. Giants are tough, defense played pretty well, Eli was great. Gotta give them a lot of credit.

NFC Championship Preview: Final Four

Baltimore going to New England. We know what the Ravens did last time in the playoffs. 24-0 after one quarter. Harrasing Brady. Ray Rice breaking it off for 80 yards on the first play. I just don't see it happneing again for one reason. I just don't feel the Ravens' O-line is playing at the level they need to play at in order to dominate the Patriots. They need to control the line of scrimmage. BIG TIME. That means at least 36 minutes of time of possession. They need to rush for 150 yards. That much pressure on the run game will open up the lanes for Flacco to keep the pass rushers at bay and also open up the short game to Ray Rice. They should at least try to stretch the field a few times. I don't think they have someone to stay with Torrey Smith deep if they hit it at the right time. That has to be Baltimore's main focus offensively. As for defense, I think Baltimore is not going to be able to dictate the terms with Brady. What they should instead hope to do is contain him. I don't mind if Welker or Hernandez or Branch escapes for a 70-yard bomb. What you don't want is him to be marching down the field with a methodical 12-play 80-yard drive. That is what you have to avoid. They should just ignore the run. They should just come with guns blazing and pressuring Brady. Up the middle! Let your corners play one on one press. You can't let Welker get off the line without paying the price. Hit him and hit him hard. Put him on the ground. Do the same to Brady. Just hit him. Let him know it's coming. That is the way to play the Patriots. I just hope that the Ravens have the guts to play the way they should.  As for the Patriots they need to protect Brady and they win. Simple as this. Keep him upright you win. Defensively they have to stop the run. You do that you win the game. That is it for them. It actually doesn't do the Patriots all that good to run the ball unless they are crucial 3rd and 5, 3rd and 2. Letting them run for five yards on first down isn't the end of the world. Just can't let Brady sit back there. For the tight ends: Gronk- hit him with a linebacker have a safety over the top. Can be done. Just can't give him a clean release. I think New England is gonna win the game. New England will feel pressure if Baltimore can get up on them. It's absolutely critical to get up right away. 24-17 NEW ENGLAND

Giants at 49ers- Still excited about the big win at Lambeau and about not going to New Orleans. I think its critical that the offensive game plan takes the weather into mind. Going to be tough to hit those 40, 50 yard passes. Need to have a game plan where you hit the short quick routes to Nicks (who is so good in short areas), Ballard, Bradshaw out of the backfield. Don't even bother running between the tackles. Ok once in a while to keep them honest, fine. Don't expect to run on them that way. The Giants' game plan should be to run wide; sweeps, counters, misdirection plays. Please, I'm begging you, let Bradshaw catch the ball. He can make huge plays for the Giants. On defense, it's simple: stop the running game. That is what needs to happen. If they can force Smith to throw the ball the Giants have a really good chance to win. As for the 49ers, they have to pound the rock, make third downs, get the ball to Davis. Most importantly, they need to scare the Giants. They have to at least try to throw the ball down the field to Crabtree or someone. At least let the Giants know they CAN do it. Again, their best chance of winning is power sweeps with Iupati pulling. Just a beast. A guy I've always hated, coming out of the draft is Smith. He can be had. Whether it be Osi, JPP, Tuck. They have to overload pressure on Anthony Davis and put Smith on the ground. He has good feet, so you have to contain him too. But he has to feel the pressure. This has to be dominant. Hunter is a good runner in addition to Gore too. Kendall Hunter is tough as well. The Giants need to deal with Davis obviously, I think Rolle can do a decent job on him and help with a LB on a release. In my opinion, the team that wins this game is the one that doesn't necessarily make the best plays, it is the one who doesn't make the worst plays. Someone is going to lose this game, not win this game. I'm talking fumbles, picks, penalties, bad snaps, things like that. Its incumbent upon the Giants to have at most one turnover. Two or more turnovers by the Giants and they probably lose this one. I think the Giants do it though. I am picking 27-20 GIANTS. The exact opposite of the regular season.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

WONDERful Wild Card Weekend

Giants vs Falcons- Biggest thing they have going for them is experience and Eli Manning and the fact that they are an outdoor team playing in the northeast. If they can get up on the Falcons the way they got up on Dallas. Not saying it has to be 21-0, but even 10-0. I don’t think Atlanta has the gumption the fight the toughness to come back. It is huge for the Giants to go out there from the whistle and get on the board ASAP. If the Giants can make the Falcons one-dimensional and be a passing team, I think Ryan may get frustrated and the coaches may get frightened and they could struggle. But, if the Giants allow Atlanta to build confidence and march the ball down the field in one of those long drives early, it’s a totally different game for the Giants and it’ll be a dog fight. The key is to take the fight out of the dog.  Punish them in the early going. Let’s see what the Giants are really made of. Let’s see what they can do.

Denver vs Pittsburgh- 3 problems for Pitt. 1- Ben still gimpy. 2- lost Mendenhall. 3-Ryan Clark can’t play because of the high altitude and his sickle cell disease. That being said the Pitt D is going to tee off on Tebow. It’s going to be a long day for Broncos fans.

Texans vs Bengals- This will be the best one of the week. I feel bad for Houston, as I’ve said before. I like Kubiak, Schaub to Johnson. It’s just not all there right now for them, big big losses for them. But they are still in there. It’s just not going to happen with Yates. They need Foster to get those big 45-50 yard runs to take the wind out of Cincinnati. But I think it’s going to be a real grind it out type of game on both sides. Whichever team does- 1. Avoid stupid plays—that means turnovers, dumb penalties, fumbles on returns, breakdowns in defense, etc. 2. Which team will make a big offensive play—a bust out run, a long pass to AJ Green, a great play by Arian Foster. You’ll be able to point to a few key plays to point to the reason for victory.

Saints vs Lions- Everyone expects the Saints to just kill the Lions. The line reflects that. I’ll say this, Stafford is a stud, Calvin Johnson is a beast. If they only hadn’t lost Leshoure and Best, I think they would be a really tough team to stop. But they are going to put points on the board and lets face it, New Orleans D isn’t great.  I think they can at least keep it interesting, 38-28, 35-31, one of those kinds of games. I expect Brees to be phenomenal but I think if the Lions aren’t overwhelmed by the moment then I think they can hang.

Week 17 Odds and Ends


Wonder’s back with a final wrap up for week 17.  Lets go first with one of the most exciting games

Lions at Packers- Rodgers sits but Flynn passes for 480 yards and six touchdowns…AGAINST A TEAM THAT WAS TRYING TO WIN.  So a little disconcerting for the Lions, but, they showed that explosive offense and it’s interesting to see how much money that performance is going to get Flynn as he probably pulls a Kevin Kolb, or a Matt Hasselback, to start for somebody. Whether it be Seattle, Washington, or Miami. The question is whether it is more Flynn or the system…we shall see

49ers Rams- 49ers Desperately needed this one, they go out to a 34-13 lead and then they let them back in the game which was amazing for their defense to do that and give up 17 points in the fourth quarter. I do think Harbaugh is doing great with keeping Smith under control but I will say that the 49ers offense still has question marks. Particularly- Frank Gore isn’t Frank Gore right now. As for the Rams-firing Spagnuolo, I think they should have given him one more year. They have had massive injuries this past year that gave them no chance. They need to focus on drafting offensive linemen and wide recievers.

Jets Dolphins- The Jets get embarrassed on national TV. To see the disgrace that is commonly referred to as Santonio Holmes, acting like a two year old on and off the field.  Just disgusting. Dolphins played ok the second half of the year but they need a big time head coach and they need an infusion of talent. Moore has been ok but he just isn’t the answer. I do know that Sanchez is not the answer for the Jets. You need an incredible defense and running game to win with him. It’s scary.

Bears Vikings- Totally meaningless. Except to Giants fans, to make sure Allen didn’t break Strahan’s sack record. As I stated before the draft Christian Ponder is not the answer and if he is the answer then I want to know what the question is. Bears had a lot of bad luck this year let’s face it. They were contenders. They couldn’t survive the losses of Cutler and Forte. It’s the NFL.

Bills Patriots- I don’t think in the history of football you have seen one team score three straight touchdowns and then see the other team score the next seven. It has never happened before (at least we don’t think so) and it will never happen again (we don’t think so).  It just goes to show you just how pathetic the Patriots defense can be to give up three TDs and 250 yards in the first quarter. I don’t think their defense can get them to a Super Bowl if they have to go through both Pittsburgh and Baltimore. If they get Cincinatti in round two then they are the favorites!!

Saints Panthers- I don’t know how you stop the Saints at home. It will be interesting when the host the Lions, it will be high scoring and there will be a lot of balls in the air. But I expect Stafford and Johnson to show up for that game. The Panthers they just gotta work on their defense. A lot of hope for the future with Cam, stinks that Smith will be a bit long in the tooth before they really hit their stride.

Redskins Eagles-Redskins show their true colors and the Eagles show a little bit of what their true colors could be. When the Eagles are at their best they are scary. It’s impossible to defend them. I think they made a big mistake keeping Andy. That’s not to say they won’t turn it around, I just think it was time for a change. They need to move forward and just get rid of DeSean Jackson and move along.

Colts Jaguars- As I’ve stated before it is so 1000% to draft Luck and trade Manning for whatever the market will bear.  Assuming that Manning can even play again or pass a physical, which I seriously question. As for the Jags, similar to Ponder, if Gabbert is the answer then I want to know what the question is.

Titans Texans- Titans needed to win and they won it. Texans needed to win it but they tried to anyway. I feel bad for the Texans. If they were healthy then they really really would have had a good chance of going the distance. Titans gave a good effort, just missed out on the tournament. Good job by Munchak. Well see if Locker can be the QB next year.

Bucs Falcons- Losing ten straight. Wow.  Way to go Rhaeem Morris. Couldn’t find a faster way out of Tampa Bay. Falcons are a tough team who can run. Jones is a beast. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with the Giants. Ryan has got a lot to prove in winning a playoff game.

Ravens Bengals- Ravens totally dominated the games. They are just a much better team then the Bengals, who were able to backdoor their way in. Good future though.

Steelers Browns- Pitt just hasn’t really looked in sync but somehow they have managed to win these games. I know Big Ben is hurt. Losing Mendenhall hurts. I still think the Steelers will crush Denver. The question is how they do the next round in either New England (presumably) or Baltimore (if CInci beats Houston). Baltimore then New England is a tough road. Much better for them if Houston wins. In Cleveland, Holmgrem is still suffering from his God complex. They are just not very good. I kind of like McCoy but he is just not big or strong enough to make it in the league. We shall see…

Chiefs Broncos- What an ugly game. Horrible to watch. As bizzare as it sounds, if the Chiefs had not lost the previous week in overtime (after having the game-winner blocked in OT) the Chiefs would have won the west. I think they are a better team then Denver with more potential. Tebow is showing his true colors now. His unbelievably lucky run has caught up with him.

Chargers Raiders- I can’t believe the Chargers kept Norv. How does beating the Raiders save his job. I do like Rivers, they have a lot of good playmakers, they seem to have gotten thin on both lines over the last few years. I don’t know if it is bad drafting or bad luck but the Chargers used to control the LOS over the last few seasons. That wasn’t the case this year. As for the Raiders—Hue Jackson had it right they didn’t even show up the last few weeks. Absolutely horrible. From 7-4 to 8-8. Losing McFadden hurt. And obviously losing Campbell hurt because he was doing a good job. Palmer, ugh. They do have a lot of talent and a lot of speed so we will see.

Seahawks Cardinals- First off let me congratulate Skelton on a great season. It is a true testament to his abilities. When I evaluated him I said he needed a few years coming out of Fordham to adjust to the NFL, but if you sit him on the bench and let him learn he has got an NFL arm. If he could ever get the mental part down he could be a steal. That’s why I said before the draft that he could be a good one. He was shoved into action a bit early but he certainly has shown a lot of potential. I’m not sure Kolb is better than John Skelton, especially with some seasoning. Seattle just needs a QB, if they can get one, that team could be OK for the next few years. Tate has shown he is the real deal. Rice and Lynch are darn good too.

Giants Cowboys- Well they certainly handed it to the Cowboys. Bottom line is the Giants played a weak game vs the Jets and managed to win. They did the same vs Dallas in the third quarter and still managed to win. They are headed to the playoffs. I think they beat the Falcons but I think it’ll be a close one. Can’t take Atlanta lightly. As for Dallas, Jerry Jones confirmed this week that he is not giving up his position as el jefe. It is absurd. He is destroying that team with his ego. I think its time that the NFL, Roger Goodell, steps in. This is an embarrassment to the league, to allow Jerry Jones to just make that franchise about him.

Friday, December 23, 2011

NFC Playoff Picture

It is officially crunch time. What do we see happening? Who do we predict is going to make the playoffs? Let’s take the NFC first.  

NFC East. The game of the year is not the Cowboys at the Giants. The bigger game is this week, Philadelphia at Dallas. Here's why. The Giants will PROBABLY win at the Jets. If the Jets win that game and if Dallas beats the Eagles this week, Dallas clinches the division. If both of them win, THEN it is for all the marbles. But that requires those two things to happen. Neither are locks. Tthere is at least a possibility that the Jets beat the Giants, which would eliminate the Giants, then Big Blue will probably pack it in on New Years Day against the Boys. The door would be open for the Eagles to sneak into the playoffs. The prediction is going to be the Cowboys for one simple reason—the Cowboys basically have the easiest route to the division title. Any result here wouldn’t shock me. 

Moving on to the NFC North. Obviously Green Bay is going to win this division. Everyone says the loss takes some pressure off of them and makes it even easier for them now— don’t know about that. We think they had momentum and desire to go undefeated and this may take a little bit of wind out of their sails. AND, their o-line is real banged up and could be a major roadblock for Rodgers and the offense.  

Now to the competitive NFC South. New Orleans is the team there, the only thing they have to be afraid of is a trip to Candlestick or Lambeau in January. Maybe this year’s team will be different. Can they win in both places? Doubtful but we will see.  

Let's take a look at a much better than expected NFC West. The 49ers have this one wrapped up and have two easy games to finish out the schedule but they are not done yet. THEY HAVE TO WIN OUT. They cannot go to New Orleans to try to win a game. They just cannot do it. But at home, on the turf, it’s a different animal. I think the Niners, coming off of the big win against the Steelers, run the table to make for an interesting playoffs.  

The wild cards have been wrapped up more or less. Detroit is in and Atlanta is in. Atlanta actually is playing very well, they have a good formula. They’re a dangerous team. Just not sold on them particularly if they have to go to the northeast to play the Giants or the Eagles in round one. They should be hoping for a match-up with Dallas. As for Detroit—they could make some noise if they can just get a little bit of production on the ground. The NFC is so much stronger than the AFC this year in terms of the depth of their teams and of course with Green Bay at the top.