NFL Thursday Night Football: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans

NFL Thursday Night Football: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans

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Two contenders will put their four game winning streak on the line tonight in a primetime Thursday night game. The Tennessee Titans visit Heinz Field to face off against The Pittsburgh Steelers. The Titans (6-3) come in tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars atop the AFC North and look to take a one game lead in the division while, The Steelers (7-3) has a three game lead and look to take a four game commanding lead in the AFC North Division.

 

Injuries will be a big part of tonight’s game in this short week 11 matchup. Titans star quarterback Marcus Mariota is dealing with ankle and shoulder injuries, so look forward to Tennessee leaning heavily on the running game. Stud running-backs DeMarco Murray(433 yards, four TD’s)  and Derrick Henry(409 yards, three TD’s) will look to carry much of the load tonight while Mariota battles through these nagging injuries. For Pittsburgh, most of their injuries are on the defensive side. 2x time pro bowler Joe Haden will be out for tonight’s game and will be sidelined for 5 to 6 weeks.

 

Linebacker James Harrison and Safety Mike Mitchell will be questionable for tonight’s game.
Defending AFC North Champions Steelers are 2-1 at home this season, winning tonight will better their chances of winning consecutive division titles. On the other side The Tennessee Titans are 2-2 on the road this season, Titans are trying to snap a eight-season playoff drought.
Look for Ben Roethlisberger to bounce back from a tough outing against the Indianapolis Colts Ben played well enough in the 4th quarter to sneak by the Colts with a 20-17 win but struggled most of the game.

 

I expect Le’Veon Bell who has 1,091 yards from scrimmage (840 rushing, 251 receiving) to lead the NFL entering week 11, and Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown (60 receptions, 882 yards)  to continue their amazing play on the field tonight. The Titans will have to keep a eye out on rookie wide out JuJu Smith-Schuster who is making great improvements every week, he is becoming one of Ben Roethlisberger favorite targets.
The Steelers rank No. 10 in total offense and No. 18 in scoring with an average of 20.8 points per game. They meet a Titans team that ranks 17th in total defense and No. 23 with 23.7 points allowed per game.
On the opposite side of the ball, Tennessee’s offense is No. 19 with 328.7 yards a game.

 

They will face a Steelers unit that boasts the No. 2 total defense and scoring defense (16.4 points allowed per game).
Look for both defenses to try to make their mark on tonight’s game, and I expect both teams to play very well on a short week. I believe this football game will come down to the final possession of the game in this great AFC matchup.

 

The last meeting between these two teams was The Steelers came out victorious in a 27-24 win look for the score to be similar tonight.
Prediction: 24-20 Steelers

 

 

Written by Mike Jones

Nov 16, 2017 No Comments
NFL Thursday Night Football: Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals

NFL Thursday Night Football: Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals

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After a surprising loss at home in a week 9 matchup against the Washington Redskins the Seattle Seahawks (5-3) go into Arizona and look to bounce back against the Arizona Cardinals (4-4) for a Thursday night week 10 matchup. After a slow start the Cardinals managed to get to .500 and look to come a game closer to the Los Angeles Rams for 1st in the NFC West, While the Seattle Seahawks look to be a half a game behind for the lead in the division. Head coach Bruce Arians is 3-1 against the Seahawks in Seattle but 0-3- 1 against them at home since becoming the head Cardinals coach in 2013. The Cardinals are looking to go on a 2 game winning streak after a 20-10 win on Sunday against San Francisco 49ers. Look for The Cardinals to attack a banged up Seattle secondary with safety Earl Thomas being doubtful, and cornerback Richard Sherman being questionable for tonight’s game.

Seattle would have to look to stop the running game of The Arizona Cardinals, after seeing veteran running back Adrian Peterson rush for 134 and 159 yards in two of his first three games with the team since being traded from New Orleans. Peterson looks to still be in his prime and not a washed up 32-year-old running back. If The Cardinals hope to beat the Seahawks, they would have to limit turnovers with the quarterback, Drew Stanton filling in for starting quarterback Carson Palmer. Cardinals expect to be near full strength for tonight’s game while The Seahawks are dealing with injuries to key players, but I still expect the Seattle Seahawks will be ready for tonight’s game, and expect a bounce back from a tough loss to the Redskins.

 

 

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 13

 

Written by Mike Jones

Photo: AP Photos

Nov 9, 2017 No Comments
Broken Arm Ends Carson Palmer’s Season And Possibly His Career

Broken Arm Ends Carson Palmer’s Season And Possibly His Career

NFL

Carson Palmer left yesterday’s game against the Rams in London with a broken left arm. The injury occurred in the second quarter, when he was hit by Alec Ogletree as he was in the process of throwing a pass that wound up being intercepted.  The Injury is another devastating blow to the Cardinals season but it could be the final blow that also ends Palmer’s career.

The injury is expected to keep Palmer out for eight weeks, so technically speaking, there is a slim chance he could play again late in the season. However, with the Cardinals currently at 3-4 and a couple of those wins being pretty lucky, you would have to assume that the team won’t be anywhere near playoff contention come late in the season. This is also thanks in part to the season ending injury David Johnson had in week one. The Cardinals were being talked about as legit contenders in the NFC and now it appears they are headed for a top 10 pick in the draft. Even after acquiring Adrian Peterson from the Saints, his addition is basically going to be useless for the rest of the season, although for him on a personal level I would expect to see his workload increase.

Palmer entered Sunday with some pretty decent success in throwing the ball. He was third in passing yards and tenth in yards per attempt. But with this season likely being Larry Fitzgerald’s last and head coach Bruce Arians also likely headed out of town, it’s easy to see that the chances of Palmer already playing his final game in the NFL are very strong.

Injuries have always came at the worst possible time for Palmer. There were the two brutal knee injuries that he sustained, one in Cincinnati and one in Arizona, when both of those teams had super bowl aspirations as well. It’s hard to not feel for the guy but he has always left it all out on the field.

If Palmer has indeed thrown his last pass, his finishes his career with some impressive numbers. He’s thrown for more than 46,000 yards, which leaves him currently as 12th all time, 294 touchdowns, which also currently ranks him as 12th all time, with a completion percentage of 62.5, which is good for 20th in NFL history.

Perhaps Palmer will still want to play next season but the odds are definitely against it. If he walks away after this season, he’s had a hell of a career that he can be very proud of and based on the stats of some other quarterbacks in the hall of fame, it’s possible that Palmer can eventually wind up there as well.

Written by Joe Casey. All Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

Oct 23, 2017 No Comments
Colts T.Y. Hilton Throws Entire Offensive Line Under The Bus After Ugly Loss

Colts T.Y. Hilton Throws Entire Offensive Line Under The Bus After Ugly Loss

NFL

Indianapolis Colts receiver, T.Y. Hilton, made the bad mistake yesterday of throwing specific teammates under the bus after a ugly, 27-0 loss at the hands of Jacksonville Jaguars. Hilton called out the offensive line after quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, was sacked 10 times by the Jags defense. Now nobody will say he was wrong because anyone watching that game could see the offensive line was completely overmatched. However, the way he went about calling them out will likely lead to some tension in the locker room.

Hilton called them out for not having pride and also added “What if we put them back there to take those hits?”, referring to the hits Brissett continued to take in the backfield.

Charlie Clifford of WISH shared Hilton’s response in full, which actually started with a question about how the receivers can help Brissett more.

Again, nothing is factually incorrect about what Hilton said but his teammates on the o-line aren’t going to be happy with him. That’s not the way to try and get better by calling people out publicly. I have seen Hilton drop passes over the past couple seasons that would’ve been big plays if he caught them and I don’t remember anyone on the offensive line getting mad at him for not making plays.

If anyone is to blame, Hilton should be looking up at the front office because the line has been an issue for years. They invested so much money in Andrew Luck and other positions that they basically ignored upgrading the line. Part of the reason Luck is injured now is because of the constant beating he took as defensive players feasted on him due to the lack of protection.

Hopefully if you’re a Colts fan or player, you understand this season is already over and you try and come together to look for positives to build on heading into next season.

Written by Joe Casey

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

Oct 23, 2017 No Comments
Eminem Goes Off On Donald Trump During BET Cypher, Lebron James & Colin Kaepernick Approve

Eminem Goes Off On Donald Trump During BET Cypher, Lebron James & Colin Kaepernick Approve

Celebs

In case you been living under a rock for the past 12 hours or so, you missed Eminem completely go off on President Donald Trump during “The Cypher” at the BET Hip-Hop awards.  It was the first time we heard from Em in quite a while and it was also the first time we really heard how he feels about the president and the current situation in our country.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, give it a watch below.

Em made it clear he is here to support guys like Colin Kaepernick and to support the social injustices that have been occurring in higher volumes since Trump took office. He even made sure to mention the love and respect he has for the military so nobody could try and twist his words about that. While you may or may not agree with the stance he is taking, Em is drawing the line with his fans who also support Trump, which I’m sure has plenty of them feeling conflicted.

Two guys who were definitely fans of what Eminem had to say were Lebron James and not surprising, Colin Kaepernick, who both took to twitter to show their support and thanks.

While I’m sure Em’s bars upset some people around the country, it’s also fair to say that many more athletes besides Lebron & Colin are in full support of him. It’s also fair to say he doesn’t care what anyone thinks and I wouldn’t have expected anything less from him.

Written By Joe Casey

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

Oct 11, 2017 No Comments
Where Do The New York Giants Go From Here?

Where Do The New York Giants Go From Here?

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Sunday, October 8th 2017 will go down as one of the worst days in the history of the New York Giants franchise. Even the biggest haters of the Giants couldn’t have dreamed of a worse scenario for the team and it’s fans. Not only did the loss to the terrible Los Angeles Chargers put the final nail in the coffin of the Giants playoff hopes with a record of 0-5 but they also lost four wide receivers in the same game, with surgery either already happening or on the horizon for three of them, most notably for Odell Beckham Jr. When a team has a day like that there is definitely going to be some questions and long looks in the mirror but it also can turn into a day that completely changes a franchise’s direction for the future. Hopefully the Giants front office does not panic and start thinking about going into rebuilding mode.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity of what happened this past Sunday. It was sickening as a Giants fan to see Sterling Shepard, Dwayne Harris, Brandon Marshall and Beckham all go down with injuries to their ankle or foot. It was especially brutal to see Beckham on the field, riving in pain from an ankle injury that you could tell he already knew was really bad. The Giants confirmed on Monday that Beckham, Marshall and Harris were all having season ending surgery, which obliterates the selection of weapons at Eli Manning’s disposal.  For the rest of the season, the Giants are basically playing for pride and will still likely end up with an embarrassing record, especially for a team that had legit Super Bowl aspirations but fear not, we aren’t far off from regrouping and making a run at the Super Bowl for the 2018 season.

As the G-Men head towards what looks like to be a high pick in the NFL draft, the words “rebuilding” or “clear house” are easy to come to mind but you must fight those thoughts. Let’s look at why the Giants were being looked at as contenders in the first place. First off, there is Eli Manning. A major reason the experts respected the Giants coming into the year was because of the franchise quarterback at the helm, who has been in every situation imaginable and has found a knack for coming up big when the Giants need him the most. Although the offense was pretty putrid in the 2016 season, alot of the hopes for an even better 2017 were because Eli is back there in the pocket. It obviously hasn’t worked out but there are a variety of reasons for that. He is only 36, will be 37 next year and appears to still be in great shape. He is the type of guy who can play well and produce up to age 40, as long as he stays healthy on the field. He is still a quarterback that can lead a team to the postseason and beyond. The Giants used a third round pick on Davis Webb as a possible quarterback of the future and I wouldn’t be surprised if they use another later round draft pick this year or next on another young quarterback but there is still plenty left in Eli’s tank and fans and management should understand that and be confident with him running the show.

Another reason the Giants were favorites this season was the receiving core. Odell Beckham Jr is already arguably the best wideout in the game and at the very least, he is top three.  Add him along with Shepard, Marshall and the rookie Evan Engram and the Giants were supposed to have weapons all over the field.  The problem with having weapons however is you need the time to use them and get to them and the Giants offensive line has not done their part in helping out the offense. Eli is constantly under pressure and it’s very difficult to go through progressions and find an open man when you are running for your life.  The line has been bashed enough this season so I won’t go too hard on them but it’s clear that with some off season improvements there, Eli would have more time to put the weapons to use, which would be a huge problem for defenses around the league. An improved line would also greatly assist in the running game, which has been among the worse the past couple seasons. It’s likely that Dwayne Harris has played his last game as a member of the Giants and I wouldn’t be shocked if Marshall also doesn’t return but even without them, the receiving core is very dangerous, even with Beckham coming off a serious injury.

Just having Beckham on the field is a game changer as defenses are forced to pay attention to him and double team him in most cases. While I expect the passing game to severely suffer for the remainder of this season, it can easily be among the best next year if we just have patience.

No Giants fan, player or front office person should make decisions about the future based on how the rest of this season goes. The defense, which was another reason the Giants were contenders, is still elite. Some folks may question that but when your offense routinely doesn’t give you any help and puts you in bad positions on the field over and over again, eventually you are going to give up some yards and points from being on the field so often. If the offense can get in a rhythm next year and actually score some points, the defense still has the pieces in place and can also be among the best in the league.

So, the question is, where do the Giants go from here? Well, it’s pretty simple actually. Nobody needs to lose their job, so coach Ben McAdoo should be safe, despite some horrific play calling this season. When your offensive line is as bad as it is however, sometimes play calls are going to look worse than what they really are. It’s not time to use a first round pick yet on Eli’s replacement, as he is still more than capable of being elite, given the right circumstances. The Giants first round pick in next years draft must be used on an offensive lineman and if not, then general manager, Jerry Reese, should be let go. He has done a solid job building up the defense, albeit with paying too much for certain guys but he has routinely missed in the draft over the years. He hit a homerun with Beckham and Landon Collins but the success of those two makes some people forget about all the picks he has badly whiffed on. He also had this entire past offseason to do something about the weak offensive line and he instead drafted a tight end in the first round and did nothing in free agency to bolster the line. If another draft and offseason goes by with that same situation, he must be removed from the GM position.

Other than that, the Giants are in good position to contend next year as long as they don’t overthink and do anything drastic after what will wind up being one of the worst seasons ever for the franchise. Odell will be back better than ever, Eli will still be Eli and his weapons will still be there for him. Hopefully an improved line will help guys like Paul Perkins, Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa in the backfield, which will in turn also make Eli’s life easier. I will end this with a one word message to Giants fans. Just have PATIENCE. This season is already over and really can’t get much worse but if you can stick it out and still be loyal, there is a high chance next season will be one of redemption.

Written by Joe Casey

Twitter : @IamJoeSports

Oct 10, 2017 No Comments