Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

NFL 2013 Season Week 1 Predictions

Posted: September 5, 2013 by fatz.maneli in Entertainment, Sports, Uncategorized
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nfl_dist-01

Tonight’s game between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens looks to be a great match up. The Ravens bounced the Broncos out of the playoffs on their way to a championship last season with a 70 yard bomb from Joe Flacco late in the game and an interception from Peyton Manning in overtime. I’ve waiting for the day football returned since Ray Lewis looked up into the sky after the clock stuck triple zeroes of the Super Bowl. Now to the business.

The Power Rankings have been released this week, and for the first time in a long time, the Redskins begin the season in the Top 10. The same Top 10 has been reported by both NFL.com and ESPN, although in a slightly different order. The Seahawks took the league by storm with a phenomenal balance of a bruising rushing game and one of the deepest defenses in the league in addition to the 49ers. This affirmation makes the NFC West which used to be one of the doormats of the league now one of its toughest with the rising St. Louis Rams and sleeper Arizona Cardinals. The NFC East is always pretty balanced, but this year can be a toss up. The Eagles are banged up and have Michael Pick under center. The Giants have lost a few pieces to injury and free agency. The Cowboys are surprisingly entering the season without hype which may work out in their favor. And the Redskins are throwing RG3 into the Monday Night opener without taking a single game snap since tearing ACL/MCL/PCL/URL/LLCoolJ or whatever. But, for now the ‘Skins look like the team to beat with a healthy Orakpo, an emerging star in Kerrigan and the ageless London Fletcher on defense. The NFC North is represented by 3 teams in the top 13 (most by any Division).

The AFC is a little tricky this season. Although Peyton and Brady are poised to lead their respective teams to the mountaintop this season, there are a couple of surprises. Mainly the new look Colts led by Andrew Luck with a damn near unrecognizable team from 2 years ago. Also the Bengals and their top notch defense and young and uber talented offense, followed by the Houston Texans and the depleted Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. One glaring omission from the top 15 was the Pittsburgh Steelers, ranked 16 and 20 on ESPN and NFL respectively. The AFC also boasts the 6 worst ranked teams in the league according to the Power Rankings making it the lesser of the two conferences. Four of those bottom teams have uncertainty at QB (Jaguars, Bills, Jets, Raiders), making it harder to trust them. Only one of those teams will be starting a QB who has experience as a starter.

League Awards:
MVP: Peyton Manning
Defensive Player of the Year: Aldon Smith
OFFensive ROY: Tavon Austin
Deffesive ROY: Tyrann Mathieu
Super Bowl Winner: 49ers

Week 1 Picks:
Baltimore at Denver – Denver
New England at Buffalo – New England
Cincinnati at Chicago – Cincinnati
Miami at Cleveland – Cleveland
Atlanta at New Orleans – Atlanta
Tampa Bay at NY Jets – Tampa Bay
Tennessee at Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh
Minnesota at Detroit – Minnesota
Oakland at Indianapolis – Indianapolis
Seattle at Carolina – Seattle
Kansas City at Jacksonville – Kansas City
Arizona at St. Louis – St. Louis
Green Bay at San Francisco – San Francisco
Philadelphia at Washington – Washington
Houston at San Diego – Houston

Seasons Greetings,
Fatz Maneli

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Tis’ The Season (Football Back!!!)

Posted: September 5, 2013 by fatz.maneli in Entertainment, Sports, Uncategorized
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Money Manziel

This is the day the Lord has made! Its definitely that time of year again for all that is Holy. I praise the Football Gawds for delivering me from the shadows of the Dead Zone that is none football season. I swear, I feel happier than Jean DeGrate in a club full of girthy women. He NEVER watches out for the big girl. the 2012 NFL season ended with Joe Flacco displaying one of the most efficient playoff runs (4 games: 11 TD’s, 0 INT’s, 1,140 yrds), leading the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl Championship against the San Fransisco 49ers. This performance propelled him to a six-year $120.6 million contract making him the highest paid player in NFL history.

Recap of 2012 NFL:
2012 was also the year of the young Quarterbacks. We saw record breaking/tie performances by some of the leagues rising starts at the most important position on the field. Whether it be Andrew Luck breaking the rookie record for passing yards in a season (4,374), RG3 breaking the rookie QB rushing record (815), or Russell Wilson tying Peyton Manning’s record as a rookie for TD passes (26). We also saw a bold move by Jim Harbaugh to switch to and stick with Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith mid-season which paid off with a Super Bowl birth. 2012 was filled with great individual performances from players that were thought to be suspect entering the year, including Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, who were both coming off of injuries the previous season. AD fell just 8 yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s NFL Single Season Rushing record finishing with 2,097 yards for the season and an MVP trophy. Peyton finished 2nd in the MVP race with 4,659 yards, 37 TD’s and 11 straight wins to end the season.

Off Season Moves:

This NFL Off Season was pretty tame compared to years past. There were a few moves that made a splash/ripple, but not many mountain moving shifts. Percy Harvin and his concussions moved from Minnesota to Seattle to add another weapon to that offense, only to then get injury the moment he arrived. Darrelle Revis moved his island from New Jersey to Tampa to take away half their defensive backfield. Alex Smith joins Andy Reid in Kansas City and their 6 Pro Bowlers and 2-win season from 2012. Ray Lewis ascended to the sports analyst chair and Ed Reed now patrols the secondary in Houston.

Off Season Headlines:
Well after the season was over we learned a few things about the NFL’s resident shoot’em up aficionado Aaron Hernandez. Apparently he was on the dipper’s and was noid all the time. After being charged with murder of a friend of his, he is now being connected to a double homicide in Boston from last summer. On top of that, earlier this year he allegedly he shot his man in the face in Miami after they got into an altercation with folks in a strip club. All of this to say, Aaron Hernandez ain’t playing no games.

College Preview;
The College football season started last week with controversy over my man Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny Cash, aka Money Manziel. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is all about not following the rules and I love it. Dude might be the best thing sports has to offer right now. He comes from money, pops bottles, had the greatest statistical year for a freshmen ever and does what he wants because he knows they won’t do anything. He was being investigated for receiving money for autographs that he signed, which the NCAA doesn’t allow. Some wanted him to lose his eligibility, but the NCAA suspended him for the first half of his teams first game. We also heard a lot about Jadeveon Clowney after that crushing hit against the Michigan RB last season. Some NFL scouts have tabbed him as the best Defensive line prospect in 2 decades. His performance against North Carolina left a bad taste in some observers mouths as he appeared to not be in game shape and seemed to take many plays off. He is believed to be the front runner for the #1 pick in next years NFL Draft along with Teddy Bridgwater as a strong candidate. Other players to look out for this season, De’Anthony Thomas (Oregon), Marqise Lee (USC), Jameis Winston (FSU), Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Braxton Miller (OSU) and Todd Gurley.

Here’s to a productive 2013 Football season.
Fatz Maneli

NFL Week 9 Review (Week 10 Predictions)

Posted: November 8, 2012 by fatz.maneli in Sports
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Another week in the books, and another review just in time for you to make your picks for the week. But before we get to Week 10, a recap of Week 9. In Week 9 we saw the once dominant NFC East continue to struggle to close out games. All four teams in the division lost. The Eagles were not able to capitalize against the New Orleans Saints, which has the worst defense in the NFL. Michael Vick continued to give the other team the ball in his own red zone. Vick was in trouble every time he dropped back to pass , which led to his younger brother, Marcus Vick to tweet a request for the Eagles to trade Michael because of the lack of protection he was receiving in the pocket. The was a Clown tweet, son. The Redskins lost to the one win Carolina Panthers at home, allowing two 90+ yard scoring drives in the process. Both the Skins and the Eagles have gone away from the running game which then allows the defense to stack the line adding more pressure to the QB. America’s Team lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night allowing Matty Ice to throw for 342 yards and Burner to run for over a Buck. And then there’s the only above .500 team in the Division, the New York Giants, who lost to Big Ben and the banged up Steelers. The Steelers D forced Eli to produce his worst performance of the season with a 41.1 QB Rating. At this point, it looks as only one team from the NFC East will make the playoffs.

The NFC North looks to be impressive, with wins from the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. The Packers seem to be back on the right track after a slow start at the beginning of the season. Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL in TD’s with 25 after 9 games. And he is doing so without Greg Jennings and limited play from Donald Driver. As of late, two emerging stars in James Jones and Randall Cobb have help Rodgers remain on his MVP pace of last season. Still a vulnerable spot the team is the defense, which needs to step up to help them remain contenders. A team that doesn’t seem to have a problem defensively though is the Chicago Bears. The Bears defense has 7 TD’s on the season through 8 games, including 2 from Sunday night. They also have 28 takeaways, (17 INT’s, 11 Fum Rec). At mid-season, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall look to be back to their old form when they played together in Denver. Marshall leads the team in yards ,797, and TD’s with 7. Besides the two of them, the Bears only have utilized one other weapon on offense, Matt Forte. If they plan to go deep into the playoffs, they must find other options if team key in on their playmakers.

Week 9 was not short of great individual performances and stories either. Adrian Peterson is putting up monster numbers still, as he leads the league in rushing all while not being completely 100%. Although the Vikings lost to the Seahawks on Sunday, it was not due to lack of effort on the part of AD. He ran for 182 yards and 2 TD’s, including a burst for 74 yards, proving that he hasn’t lost a step. In the last few weeks it looks as though we’re seeing a Chris Johnson that we somewhat recognize as well. He’s run a lot more consistent over the past four weeks and continues to get stronger. If he keeps this up, maybe he can reclaim his CJ2K nickname from a couple of years back. A guy who I am not surprised at all with that has been putting up monster numbers over the last few games is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Doug Martin. After putting up 214 total offensive yards and 2 TD’s in Week 8, Martin followed it up with 251 yards on the ground and FOUR TOUCHDOWNS in Week 9. The rookie out of Boise State became the first player in NFL history with 3 TD’s of over 45 yards in one game, one of which went 70 yards and another 67. That performance propelled him to third in the league behind only AD and Marshawn Lynch, and one yard ahead of fellow rookie Alfred Morris. But the story of the week was the presence of Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano, who is away from the team for the remainder of the season undergoing treatment for leukemia. The Colts have already surpassed their win total from a season ago which provided them with the number 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. They are further along than anyone outside of Indy could have imagined. During the game, Andrew Luck performed one of the best games by a rookie QB in NFL History. Reggie Wayne is out here performing like the Reggie Wayne we knew for years. He leads the league in receiving and still may be the best route runner in the league. After the Colts win against the Dolphins, Pagano addressed the team in the locker room to show his gratitude and pride in his young team. This week, many of the Colts players shaved their heads to show support for their coach as he recovers.

Week 9 Results – 10-4
I could have done better if I’d gone with my gut, but whatever.

Week 10 Predictions:
Colts over Jaguars
Giants over Bengals
Dolphins over Titans
Lions over Vikings
Patriots over Bills
Falcons over Saints
Bucs over Chargers
Broncos over Panthers
Ravens over Raiders
Seahawks over Jets
Cowboys over Eagles
49ers over Rams
Bears over Texans
Steelers over Chiefs

NFL Week 8 Review (Week 9 Predictions)

Posted: November 1, 2012 by fatz.maneli in Sports
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After 8 weeks of football, I am ready to give my mid-season awards to those players and teams performing on a high level. Offensive Rookie of the Year at the halfway mark goes to Robert Griffin III. Heading into last weeks game he led the league in completion percent, was in the top 15 in Rushing and was 2nd in the league in rushing TD’s. He also has done so with another rookie in the backfield in Alfred Morros who himself is third in the league in rushing and tied for third in TD’s. Andrew Luck has a chance to overtake Griffin if he continues win going into the second half of the season. Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chandler Jones. He’s playing with a high motor since the first game of the season. Athletic and versitile as a pass rusher and he already has 6 sacks on the season. Comeback Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson/Peyton Manning. Both players coming off of injuries and exceeding expectations by many. AD tore knee ligaments late last season and many thought he wouldn’t be ready to play until at the earliest mid-season. He leads the NFL in rushing with 775 yards after 8 games. As for Manning, who sat out the entire 2011 NFL season, he has performed at an MVP level the entire season except for the first half against the Falcons ealry on in the season. MVP of the League: Peyton Manning. Defensive Player of the Year: JJ Watt. At the moment, Watt is out here balling every down. He leads the league in sacks, and when he cant get to the QB he uses his massive wingspan to Swat the ball down or deflect it to a teammate for an interception.

My picks for last weeks games were pretty solid (11-3), but some of the games I was a little surprised. A few games that were closer than expected, and a few stand out performances by players trying to make a name for themselves. Last Thursday nights game between the Bucs and the Vikings was a coming out party for young Doug Martin of the Bucs. leading the way with 135 yards on the ground and 79 yards receiving. The Bucs dominated the entire game on both sides of the ball with the Vikings not having an answer for Josh Freeman or Martin.

The Redskins continued to struggle on defense against the Steelers, giving up points on the Steelers first 4 drives of the game. Entering the game, the Redskins were the only team that Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t thrown a touchdown against. At the completion of the game, he’d thrown 3. The Redskins offense struggled to get a ground game going which then took them out of their normal rhythm. What made matters even worse was the fact the Redskins receivers dropped a League season high 10 passes during the raining afternoon in Pittsburg. On another note, the Redskins hot head cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who has been burned deep seemingly every game this season was ejected late in the forth quarter for taking off his helmet and accosting the referee.

The game between the Bears and the Panthers was just another one of those games that make you want to tune in to the post game press conference to see what Cam is gonna say. Granted, he played a great game throughout and they led late, but that defense continues to blow it in the end. Being that Cam is the new face of that franchise, he gets the blame by more outsiders. He doesn’t appear to be a leader on the field or off of it. What the Panthers don’t have is a locker room General. A guy like a London Fletcher who will pull his young ass aside and tell him to look his teammates in the eyes like a man and command their attention. In addition to the Panthers cracking in the end, the Bears increased their win total improving to 6-1 on the season keeping their lead in the division.

More late game heroics by Andrew Luck take the Colts record to an impresive 4-3 on the season as they defeat the Titans. Luck has performed well with a mediocre rushing attack and few names outside of Reggie Wayne to throw to. The Dolphins beat the breaks off of the Jets, as did the Patriots against the Rams in London. Coming up on the trade deadline, talks of Tebow being traded to Jacksonville are swirling once again. The Jags ownership wanted to draft Tebow coming out of Florida, but was advised against it, so if that happens, what will be made of former first round pick Blaine Gabbert?

The Falcons remain undefeated after picking the Eagles defense apart. After the game, Mike Vick stated that Andy Reid was looking to make changes at the QB position which was confirmed later in the week although Vick is slated to start Monday night. This team needs a mid-season overhaul if they are going to turn things around. The game between the Giants and the Cowboys was the tale of two halves. During the first half, the Giants defense dominated the Cowboys, forcing Tony Romo to throw 3 ints, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Giants were forced to settle for several field goals early on which would come back to haunt them after the Cowboys stormed back in the second half to take the lead. After the Giants regained the lead in the forth, the Cowboys marched down the field with seconds to play and Tony Romo threw what looked to be the winning touchdown to Dez Bryant, only for the call to be overturned after a booth review. Cowboys fall to 3-4, but you still don’t hear rumblings of Romo being replaced even after yet another game throwing for 4 picks.

Week 9 Predictions:

Chargers over Chiefs
Redskins over Panthers
Broncos over Bengals
Ravens over Browns
Packers over Cardinals
Bears overs Titans
Dolphins over Colts
Lions over Jaguars
Texans over Bills
Buccaneers over Raiders
Vikings over Seahawks
Giants over Steelers
Falcons over Cowboys
Saints over Eagles

NFL Week 7 Review (Week 8 Predictions)

Posted: October 24, 2012 by fatz.maneli in Sports
Tags: ,

Week 8 of the 2012 NFL Season is upon us. Half way through the season and it looks as though we can already eliminate a few teams from playoff contention (Carolina, Cleveland, Jacksonville, K.C., Detroit, Tampa) unless they can somehow pull off a miracle mid-season. There are a number of teams that I would classify as “middle of the pack” teams (Philly, Washington, Dallas, St. Louis, Miami, NY Jets, Pitt, Cincy, San Diego, Indy, Tenn., Buffalo), that with a few adjustments at this point in the season could result in a huge push towards the post season. Many of these teams had a chance to win two or more of the games that they ultimately lost in the final minute of those contest. And now we get to the 11 teams with winning records at this point, 8 of which are from the much more competetive NFC (NY Giants, Chicago, Minnesota, Green Bay, Atlanta, San Francisco, Arizona, Seattle). The AFC (Baltimore, Houston, New England) has produced far less elite teams, although there seems to be more parody amongst teams.

This past weeks games produced a number of close games that were decided with the final play. A few outstanding indivudal performances, and more meltdowns by the usaul suspects. Another thing that was confirmed was the return of Adrian Peterson. AD racked up 153 yards and a TD on the ground while helping the Vikings improve to 5-2 in their win over the Cardinals and their better than average defense. He showed no signs of weakness and ran strong through out the game.

The Green Bay Packers continue to shake off the rust and let Aaron Rodgers air it out and lead them as he always has. And it looks as though he has found another young target to go with an already stellar group of wide receivers in Reggie Cobb. Over the last 4 games, Rodgers has thrown 16 touchdowns to bring him to a total of 19 in the first 7 games of the season. The Packer defense is still a liability and now they are even more vulnirable with the loss of Charles Woodson due to a broken collarbone.

The Steelers and Patriots both escaped the weekend with narrow victories against their division rivals, the Bengals and Jets respectively. Both Pitt and NE have struggled with their identites this season. Neither team looks like the dominant teams that we are used to seeing year in and year out. Pitt is still hurting from several team injuries on defense and the offensive line. Sunday night they displayed an aggresive rushing attack led by Jonathan Dwyer. With Rashard Mendehall finally healthy, the Steelers should look to become more balanced on the offensive side of the ball and allow Big Ben to throw the ball deep to speedy receivers Wallace, Brown and company. The Patriots on the other hand continue to struggle closing games against teams that they cleary should be considered superior against. The Jets nearly pulled off the upset by coming back and taking the lead late and required NE to make a FG at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.

The Chicago Bears are another team that is performing at a high level and improved to 5-1 with a win Monday night against the Detroit Lions. The Bears defense has been playing lights out the entire season allowing only 13 points per game and 21 takeaways so far. The Lions have not lived up to the hype and expectations placed on the team from their success of a season ago. Megatron has only 1 touchdown after 6 games and they are nowhere near close to having anything resembling a running game. The Lions are as good as dead in the playoff race playing in a division that is so competetive.

Now to swicth gears for a second and talk about the constant scrutany and criticism of Cam Newton. Some of which are valid, but for the most part are unwarranted jabs. Yes he was the #1 overall pick in the 2011 Draft. Yes, he celebrates nearly every positive play with his Superman pose. And yes, he was a Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion in College. But what he also is, is a 22 year old second year Quarterback in the NFL. He’s a young man that has gone through 5 Offensive Coordinators in 5 years. He is kid that before last year only knew success when he stepped on to a football field. But if one is to criticise Cam the way they do, why not do the same for the likes of Matt Stafford. Both players were #1 picks, both players had great seasons last year, and both have teams with losing records this year. Cam has a backfield that includes Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams yet he is the teams leading rusher. Whose fault is that? The person calling the plays. Stafford has a 8 foot receiver and hasn’t found him in the end zone. Cam’s numbers 1,387 yrd, 5 TD’s, 6 INT’s, 79.3 QB Rating. Stafford’s 1,759 yrds, 5 TD’s, 6 INT’s, 78.4 QB Rating.

To end on a brighter note, RGIII displayed another fantastic performance against the Defending Champs, throwing for 258 and 2 TD’s while running for another 82 yards. Despite turning the ball over in the second half, the Redskins were not out of the game thanks to 3 late fourth down conversions, but none better than the 4th and 10 conversion that came on the Skins final scoring drive in which RGIII scrambled to the left, stopped on a dime, made a move and completed the pass to Logan Paulsen. Later in the drive he made a read before the snap and exploited the matchup against Santana Moss and completed a 36 yard bomb for the touchdown with a little over 1:40 left on the clock. It’s over, right? Nah. That’s when it’s Eli Manning time. I’ve truly become a beleiver in Eli over the past few seasons, and this game stamped it for me. With a pocket full of time outs, Eli trick bagged the Skins into beleiving that they would just settle for quick plays to get small chunks of yards to move into field goal possesion. Nope. Second play of the drive, he goes up top to Victor Salsa for the go ahead score to torch the Skins pedestrian secondary. Game. Oh yeah, CHRIS COOLEY BACK!!!

Before I give my predictions for this week, I just need to remind you that I went 12-0 with my picks last week. Don’t expect those results all the time though. But yeah:

Bucs over Vikings
Bears over Panthers
Chargers over Browns
Lions over Seahawks
Packers over Jaguars
Titans over Colts
Patriots over Rams
Dolphins over Jets
Falcons over Eagles
Redskins over Steelers
Raiders over Cheifs
Giants over Cowboys
Broncos over Saints
49ers over Cardinals

Til next week,

Statz Maneli

2012 NFL Week 4 and 5 Review (Week 6 Predictions)

Posted: October 11, 2012 by fatz.maneli in Sports, Uncategorized
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Making up for lost time since I failed to produce a recap of Week 4’s games I’ll bundle a few of the bright spots in this week’s addition.

One of the first was the 4th quarter comebacks by the now 5-0 Atlanta Falcons. With the time ticking off the clock and the ball in the possession of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers fail to convert and are forced to punt the ball. They down it on the 1 yard line, and with the Falcons left with no more time outs it looks as though the game was over. But on first down, Matty Ice throws a 55 yard bomb down the field to Roddy White and the Falcons go on to drain the clock and kick a field goal as time expires. Also in Week 4, the New England Patriots come back from a 21-7 deficit against the Bills and score 45 points in the second half led by Tom Brady throwing for 340 yards and Steven Ridley and Brandon Bolden both running for over 100. Going into the game between the 49ers and the Jets we knew that we would see the Wildcat at some point in the game, but what we did not know is that it would be at the courtesy of the 49ers using Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers won this game easily, defeating the Jets 34-0 improving their record to 3-1. Also as of note, during Week 4, the Arizona Cardinals improved to 4-0 after defeating the Miami Dolphins in a comeback win in overtime behind Kevin Kolb throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TD’s, despite a Dolphin Rookie QB passing game of 431 yards by Ryan Tannehill. Not to be forgotten about Week 4 is the Monday Night Football Cinco Intercepciones night by a one, Tony Romo. Just gonna let that one not go into more detail.

Week 5 helped us see where some teams really are but also left us with more questions about others. Are the Green Bay Packers really that bad? Are the Cardinals who we thought they were? Can the Eagles really win with Mr. Glass at QB? Can the Texans run the table?

Now we all may believe that the Double Checks were robbed of a victory against the Seahawks in the “Touchception” game. But if you watched that whole game and you know football, you’d know that thats a slight reach. Those dudes were handled the whole game. But this past Sunday against Andrew Luck and the Colts? The Packers D made them look like they were playing madden on Rookie in the 2nd half. Reggie Wayne was out there Moss’n folks. Sure folks wanna say the Colts were out there playing inspired because their coach was diagnosed with cancer. But nah, those bamas just got molly whopped by Luck, Wayne and a dude named Donald at running back.

Although the Steelers won against the Eagles for the “Pride of Pennsylvania” or whatever foolishness them jokers were saying. Were you really impressed? I mean, it was the Eagles. Thats like them being boosted for beating the Chiefs. With that being said, Ben Roethlisberger is out there doing what he always does. One of the more clutch QB’s in the NFL on 3rd downs methodically picked the Eagles defense apart on the final drive after the Eagles drove down the field to take the lead. They are also doing this with countless injuries on both sides of the ball. You can never count them out with Big Country back there under center.

One of the biggest surprises of this short season so far has to be the resurgence of the NFC West. At this point (record wise), they are clearly the best Division in all of football. Both the 49ers and the Cards are 4-1 and the Rams and Seahawks are both 3-2. The 49ers are certainly the cream of the crop out there and are the most consistent, the other three are younger teams that are one dimensional right now. We saw Arizona get exposed by an improving St. Louis team last Thursday and the Seahawks squeaked out a victory against a struggling Carolina.

The week leading up to Sundays games, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints leadership reached out to Commissioner Roger Goodell to request permission that suspended Saints coach Sean Payton be allowed to attend the game on Sunday to potentially witness Brees break Johnny Unitas’ NFL record by throwing a passing touchdown in 48 consecutive games. The record had stood since the end of the 1960 NFL season. Going into the game, the Saints were 0-4;with already more losses than they had last season; found a way to win against Brees’ former team, the San Diego Chargers.

The game between the Broncos and the Patriots had a different buzz this year than it did for their matchup just a season ago. This year, Peyton Manning is in Denver, and as of late has returned to what we remember Peyton to be. Although the Broncos lost the game because their defense is atrocious, they have a lot to look forward to if they can turn things around within a year or two because Peyton isn’t getting any younger AND he also still has a janky neck.

Speaking of QB’s who’ve gotten their bell rocked. Robert Griffin III better start thinking twice if not three times when he’s rolling out that pocket thinking he’s not gonna get hit. It’s one thing when you’re doing this in high school and college and you’re opponents don’t particularly measure up to you in ability, but this is the NFL, where every team is equipped with extremely large humans that happen to run faster than normal humans and have mutant strength. My only advise to RGIII, “Stake Woke Dog”, literally.

Wrapping up Week 5 was the undefeated Houston Texans taking care of business against the New York Jets. The Texans may very well be the best team in the league right now. Matt Schaub is staying healthy, Andre Johnson is having a slow start so far but still productive, Owen Daniels and James Casey are a great combo at TE and FB receiving the ball. Now the running game is led by the man with a fat new contract in Arian Foster. Foster is 2nd in the NFL in rushing after Week 5 and became the 3rd faster player in NFL history to reach 5,000 yards. Even with an explosive offensive such as the Texans’, they sport one of the best defensive units in the league. And the star of that unit is none other than a young man I’ve been mentioning for a few weeks, J.J. Watt aka J.J. Swat due to his 8 pass deflections through the first 5 games, 3 of which leading to interceptions. Watt also leads the NFL in sacks with 8.5, making him a total package. This team is a clear cut contender to represent the AFC in this years Super Bowl if they can stay healthy and find a replacement for Brian Cushing who was lost for the season during Monday nights game.

Week 6’s games are a lot tougher to predict due to a heavy slate of evenly matched contests. But here they are, my Week 6 Predictions:

Steelers over Titans
Bucs over Chiefs
Colts over Jets
Bengals over Browns
Eagles over Lions
Falcons over Raiders
Dolphins over Rams
Ravens over Cowboys
Bills over Cardinals
Patriots over Seahawks
49ers over Giants
Vikings over Redskins
Texans over Packers
Broncos over Chargers

Til next week,

Statz Maneli

Bo Knew

Posted: October 1, 2012 by fatz.maneli in Sports
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He Knows

Do you remember your first memory of your childhood hero? Was he a fictional character like Superman or Batman? Was he the elderly negro doctor on NBC with a plethora of Coogi sweaters? Well for me, it was none of the above. If you were born from 75-85, you have a decent recollection of the accolades of one of the greatest athletes to ever walk this planet… Vincent Edward Jackson. Simply known as Bo.

Bo Jackson was a two sport(baseball & football) phenom coming out of Auburn University in 1985 after winning the Heisman Trophy in his senior year. Chosen #1 overall in the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but electing not to play for them because he saw himself as a baseball player first. That’s right, the best player in the country said football was just his hobby until baseball season started back up. In addition to his accomplishments on the gridiron and the baseball diamond, Bo was also a track star. He still holds the record for running the fastest time ever clocked for the 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine with an unreal 4.12. Listen, dude was 230 pounds and ran a 4.12. Oh, and the dude bench pressed 400 pounds just to see if he could, and well uh… he could.

There is a large collective of folk that ONLY know Bo as a football player that played baseball. When on the contrary, it was the opposite. After turning down the NFL in the 1986 Draft, his name was re-entered in the ’87 Draft, and the man that LOVES speed, Al Davis stole him in the 7th round and convinced him to sign by promising to pay him like a starting full-time running back but allowing him to play once baseball season ended. In the MLB, he made the All-Star game off of raw talent. He was the fastest outfielder most had ever seen, one of the strongest arms and when he connected on a hit it was curtains. All of that being said, he was still a raw and under developed specimen.

Bo’s legend and marketability grew more and more once he made his debut in the NFL, and on the leagues biggest stage during the regular season, Monday Night Football, he showcased his talents with a record breaking rushing performance against the Seattle Seahawks. Capping it all off was a run Bo made that ended with him scoring after hitting Brian Bosworth with the Truck-Stick at the goal line. Soon after is when Nike began its endorsement campaign “Bo Knows”. We all remember those commercials, that had Bo doing everything from playing hockey, tennins, race car driver and blues musician. He was larger than life, but yet seemed way too humble for a dude that could probably do everything better than anybody doing what they were great at. You didn’t see the ego. You never saw him bragging. He just played. And by time 1991 came around, the 10 year old me was high boosted to use the Raiders on Tecmo Super Bowl. I swear you could only move players up, down, forward or back on that game, but if you gave the ball to Bo, he was doing stuff other players couldn’t. Bo was a “Jack of all trades”. I remember waking up one Saturday morning to watch American Gladiators, and who did I see? Yup, Bo Jackson dominating in a competition that was way more physical and real than we remember if you look back on it now.

With such great performances on the football field, we sometimes forget that Bo’s career was ended after 38 games when he suffered a hip injury during the 1990’s playoffs. That’s the equivalent of 2 and a half seasons. Although Bo was never to return the the NFL, eventually he returned to baseball and won the Comeback player of the Year Award during his 1993 season with the White Sox. After retiring altogether the following season, we lost track of Bo. And thats just the way he wants it. He was never the one to crave attention. Most highly praised athletes don’t know what it is to be a regular person after their playing days are over. Many turn to broadcasting or coaching just so they can stay close. Bo is the opposite. He is arguably the most athletically gifted person I’ve ever seen in my life whose career was cut short but he seems to have no regrets or thoughts of what could have been. And now that ESPN has announced that it’s airing a piece about Bo apart of it’s “30 for 30” series in December, many folk my age will be tuned in to see what has become of our favorite Super Hero.

Bo Knew.

Statz Maneli