Ok, let’s start again

start

New Beginnings

I’ve been very quiet, I know. Time hasn’t been abundant of late and writing has suffered. Perhaps a slightly more less rigorous schedule will prove fruitful but I am getting back to it. Going to start again.

Truth be told it’ll be a different kind of content than what was previously a quasi imitation of sports news. That’s boring. Well I find it boring anyway. I don’t read sports news so I don’t know why I ever tried to write it. What I am going to attempt to do is write something that interests me, the meat and bones of football, the things that make football. Not the rehashed opinions on who did what in the offseason but more the building blocks of plays and what determined games. So this really should be the wordiest thing you read here. Hopefully everything else will be more about the actual game of football itself.

The game of football is made up of situations each with the possibility of an explosion. Where I find those explosions I’m going to try to show you what happened.

The National Football League

Obviously much of the content we can get, video etc will be the NFL. I can squish those into gifs handy enough and we can show you.

The Irish American Football League

This is going to be a little trickier. Given my place in the IAFL I don’t really feel it’s fair to comment on what goes on elsewhere on the other teams but if there’s something I can comment on and it’s of value I will, and you can give out if you’d like.

So what next…

Well, once a month I’m going to put something together. I hope you like it. I’m not going to do it if I don’t. Absolutely no news.

Mack

Week 11 Quick Hitters

Quick Predictions for NFL Games in Week 11

Thursday Night Football

Saints @ Panthers – Panthers, easy

Sunday  

Cardinals @ Vikings – Vikings, no win November ends!

Ravens @ Cowboys – Cowboys romp it.

Bills @ Bengals – Could be tight but Bengals shade it

Bears @ Giants – It could be the Little Giants and New York would still take it.

Jags @ Lions – Lions, Jags s*ck

Steelers @ Browns – Steelers, could have beaten the Cowboys, Browns couldn’t beat the Cowgirls

Bucs @ Chiefs – Bucs were good in Week 10, not that good. Chiefs

Titans @ Colts – Titans return to form after stuffing the Packers, and lose to the Colts

Dolphins @ Rams – A super boring win for the Rams

Patriots @ 49ers – Do you even have to ask?

Eagles @ Seahawks – Seahawks still the biggest bird in the sky.

Packers @ Redskins – Pack have been poor, will stay poor. Skins!

Monday

Texans @ Radiers – Raiders, NEXT!

 

 

Super Bowl 50 – Preview and Betting Selections

THE BIG PICTURE

The Carolina Panthers arrive in Santa Clara as the favourites to round off a memorable season and lift their first ever Vince Lombardi. Ron Rivera’s squad finished the season 15-1 and with probable MVP Cam Newton in control of the offence, they are well fancied to win Super Bowl 50.

sb 50

They carried their regular season form into the playoffs too. Against Seattle, Carolina raced out to a 31-0 lead, eventually holding on to win 31-24 after a sloppy second half. However against Arizona it was a complete blowout, a 49-15 beatdown of the NFC West Champions.

Denver meanwhile have had a rollercoaster ride to arrive in the big dance. Peyton Manning was very ineffective early in the season as seemingly his age caught up to him, throwing 17 interceptions against only nine touchdowns before he excited the starting lineup due to a foot injury. The defence however has carried the Broncos right through the year, with a dominant defensive line led by superstar pass rushers DeMarcus Ware and Vonn Miller. In their conference win against New England, Wade Phillips was able to deploy just a three-man rush against Tom Brady and even then they were still getting to the Michigan-alum.

The offensive problems are well documented for Manning and the Broncos in what could be the future-hall-of-famer’s final game on an NFL gridiron. The medium to deep ball power has extremely diminished for the former Colt, while his receivers had a bout of the drops last time out against the Patriots. Because of their dominant, top-ranked defence however, Manning has become a game-manager, looking after the ball and not forcing throws or turning the ball over. Field position will be a huge factor to this game and Denver have a very capable punter in Britton Colquitt.

16703_Cam_Newton_during_the_2011_NFL_season

POINT SPREAD

Onto the selections then and first up the spread. Initially the line opened at 3.5, but that is long gone and has now climbed to 5.5 as all the public money has come steaming into Carolina. The advice would be to wait till Sunday and hope for more support for Carolina. If the line reaches 6.5 or hopefully a straight 7, you’d have to take the points as it is. The best defence in the league shouldn’t be such a big ‘dog in such a huge contest.

TOTAL POINTS

When we talk of Denver’s fantastic defence, the Carolina squad is barely a step behind. Luke Kuchely’s name was certainly in the Defensive MVP talk and though Thomas Davis has a broken arm, he will still be lining up alongside Kuchely. We should get a good grasp on how the game is going to go early doors. If Denver can control the strong run game of Carolina (which I think they can) then the under 44.5 certainly comes into play. A scorline of 24-20 or 23-17 is in the realms of possibility here and that would see the under click.

TOUCHDOWN SCORER

More of a fun interest bet than anything else, this gives non-serious punters a way to cheer on one team or player so let’s select one per side. Before we do however, get a few quid on each Defence/Special Teams to score first. Given the strength of each defence and the possibility of early nerves we could get a run for our money. Add in the fact that Ted Ginn is one of the best returners in the game, then we have a number of chances. A defensive/special teams score in the game is also in play. Anyway for Denver, it was Owen Daniels who opened the scoring a fortnight ago and he is capable again. With Manning’s lack of arm strength he looked down the seam a lot and if he can get matched up with a banged up Davis he could come through. For Carolina, we’ll go with their tight end Gregg Olsen. He is Newton’s favourite target and outside of Gronkowski, has been the best player at his position all season.

PLAYER PROPS

You’re not going to get rich on the props market with most selections 10/11 but it does give you a player interest in the game. Let’s start with the Panthers and their rushing attack. Jonathan Stewart has tallied 19 rushing attempts or more in 10-of-11 games following Carolina’s Week 5 bye, including both playoff games, so take the over 18.5 attempts. SuperCam finished with double-digit rushing attempts in each of Carolina’s first two playoff games, while only three NFL teams allowed more yards per quarterback run than the Broncos this season, so the over 38.5 yards is in play. Passing-wise, Greg Olsen notched 6 catches in each playoff game so far and Hills have evens about 6 or more again on Sunday. With a tough pass rush Cam will be looking to get the ball out quick and given the tight matchups on the outside, Olsen should once again be his favoured target.

GAME WINNER

Another tough Super Bowl to pick after last year’s contest which started as a pick em. Much like the players for the Broncos, punters need to forgot the memory of the Super Bowl two years ago against Seattle if you are with Peyton Manning and co. That day the Broncos were favoured against the upstart Seahawks and were blown away. Many people are doubting Carolina and trying to crab the form so to speak but they feel eerily similar to that Seattle team two years ago. However that said, after seeing the Denver defence control Brady and learning off their past experiences of Russell Wilson, they will be able to control Newton enough to manage the game and send Peyton Manning into retirement with his second Super Bowl ring.

Denver, USA - JANUARY 19: Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots AFC Championship at Sports Authority Field. The Denver Broncos defeat the New England Patriots. Peyton Manning celebrates after the win. (Photo by Anthony J. Causi)

SELECTIONS (at time of writing):

Denver +6 pts @ 4/5 – Bet 365

Under 44.5 pts @ 20/21 – Ladbrokes

Denver D/ST 1st Touchdown @ 25/1 – Sky Bet

Carolina D/ST 1st Touchdown @ 22/1 – Sky Bet

Owen Daniels 1st Touchdown @ 16/1 – Ladbrokes/Coral/William Hill

Greg Olsen 1st Touchdown @ 10/1 – Paddy Power/Ladbrokes/William Hill

Jonathan Stewart over 18.5 Rush Attempts @ 10/11 – William Hill

Cam Newton over 38.5 Rushing yards @ 5/6 – Paddy Power

Greg Olsen Over 5.5 Receptions @ Evs – William Hill

Denver To Win @ 2/1 –Ladbrokes

Could Carolina Clinch Its First Super Bowl?

Following the New England Patriots loss against the Denver Broncos, the Carolina Panthers are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. The team had a solid season in 2014 with a 12-4 record but this year the Panthers are experiencing their best season in franchise history. With its Thanksgiving stomping of the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers have joined the elite club of a dozen teams in the history of the NFL that have started a season with a record of 11-0.

Despite releasing Pro Bowl defender Greg Hardy (for good reason), the Panthers have been unfazed. The team boasts one of the strongest defenses in the NFL this season with quality play coming from the likes of star Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Josh Norman. Now Sports Illustrated reports that the team has signed an additional cornerback in veteran Cortland Finnegan. He is best known for his fiery temper and had been punished multiple times for unnecessary roughness prior to retiring from the Miami Dolphins in March 2015. He will act as a replacement for Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman, who has been sidelined for the last two games as a result of a knee injury and is expected to take several more weeks to return to action.

The surprise success of the Carolina Panthers has also given the team it’s best shot at winning the Super Bowl since its only appearance in the big game back during the 2003 season. Those looking to make sense of this year’s absolutely insane NFL season can find some tips on Betfair Betting concerning the team’s potential for a championship. So far, the site has the team currently listed as the second favourites to win the Super Bowl, hot on the heels of the reigning champs, the New England Patriots. Given the current performance of both teams, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to see a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII this year.

The fact that Carolina is even in the discussion for the Super Bowl and that Cam Newton is being considered an MVP candidate has taken many by surprise. That’s especially true when you consider that despite the team’s unbeaten streak, the Panthers are statistically the worst team to ever achieve an 11-0 record. While the 2014 season wasn’t a bad year for the Panthers by any means, few fans expected the team to perform at the level they have, much less remain undefeated this late into the season.

The team has had a noticeably easy schedule and the only particularly tough games have been against the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. Add in the relatively weak competition coming from the NFC South, and you’ve pretty much got a guaranteed playoff spot for the Panthers. In fact, the only way that Carolina doesn’t win the NFC South outright would be if they proceeded to lose their next five games in a row. Even then, the worst that could happen could be a tie for first with the Atlanta Falcons.

Author bio: This is a guest post by Brian Evans. He’s an online freelance writer who can’t get enough of the NFL this year and hopes to see Carolina vs. New England in the Super Bowl