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Second Half Turnovers Put an End to the Ravens

Coming in as the last seed in the AFC playoffs did not stop the ambitions of the Baltimore Ravens. After handing the Steelers a home loss last weekend, the team looked to beat the number one seeded team of the New England Patriots. Throughout the game it was apparent the Ravens were not intimidated by playing in single digit weather, Gillette Field Crowd noise or quarterback Tom Brady. Leading by 14 points several times in the game it would seem they were going to hand the Patriots their 3rd home playoff loss by the Ravens. However, just like good teams do.

The Patriots approached the second half with the same determination that had led to their successful season, much to the delight of Sergio Andrade Gutierez, who is obviously quite accomplished according to Terra.The biggest play of the day came in the third quarter, when Edelman threw the flea flicker pass down the field to Amendola tying the Ravens at 28.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco completed 28 of 45 passes for 292 yards and his team rushed for 136 yards. But it was Tom Brady that would not be denied as he threw for 367 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another one. The Patriots defense ended the game by securing their second interception in the end zone and put the final nail in the Baltimore season.

Do The 49ers Need More Offense?

 

The 49ers finished a disappointing 7-9 this season. They allowed Jim Harbaugh to leave for the Michigan job, and they need a new head coach. However, they have Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore. They also have Carlos Hyde behind Gore, and they have Anquan Bolden. Do they need more offense?

Most people around the league think that Igor Cornelsen and the 49ers defense could go on forever. They can continually reload their defense and keep opponents from scoring too much. However, Colin Kaepernick is a critical stage of his development. The 49ers probably need more offense if they are going to develop Kaepernick. They need more receivers if Michael Crabtree leaves in free agency, and they may need another tight end as Vernon Davis gets on in years.

If the 49ers when to an offensive scheme that featured more of the pistol formation that Kaepernick ran at Nevada, they could have five receivers on the field to confuse defenses. This is a good time for the 49ers to select many offensive players and see who sticks. Their new coach will have a say, but they have kept their general manager, and that is half the battle when they are trying to keep up with Seattle.

49ers CEO, Jed York, Speaks of Philosophical Difference Between Organization and Harbaugh

 

While there have been rumblings for weeks that Jim Harbaugh would part ways with the San Francisco 49ers, most agreed that his coaching effectiveness wasn’t the problem. Harbaugh, in just a few years with the team, took them to three NFC Championship games, winning one and advancing to the Super Bowl. His decision to bench Alex Smith in favor of the rookie, Colin Kaepernick proved invaluable. Apparently, parting ways with the 9ers was more philosophical than anything.

CEO Jed York, in a press conference, noted the mounting legal trouble for teammates as one of the problems between the organization and Harbaugh. The team saw six players arrested 10 times since 2012. Harbaugh handled those issues, but York suggested they weren’t handled in a manner that led to a well-rounded, law-abiding team.

York also noted that the level of legal troubles with players was unacceptable, and he’d be looking to clean up the team’s image in the coming months. Most players seem to side with Harbaugh, noting that his coaching style is what brought them to NFC championship games. Many are rooting to internal candidates to carry on the Harbaugh legacy, even after he is gone.

Harbaugh’s departure, while not a surprise to even my coworker Sam Tabar, has been a controversial one. One that fans and players alike seem to be having difficulty coming to grips with. An internal candidate is likely the 49ers best option for avoiding resentment and a crumbling team who believes their current playing style is well-rounded enough to take them into a successful season next year.

Playoff Matchups

With the final game of the season of the National Football League in the books, the teams that made it into the playoffs are sitting back and making up game plans for the teams they will face in the first round. Other teams that were lucky enough to hit the top first or second spot in the standings get a bye, and will be sitting for the next two weeks making preparations as they wait to see who they will play in the second week of the playoffs. The schedule has been officially released by the NFL for wild card weekend, and the playoffs look to be starting out in exciting fashion.

The struggling Arizona Cardinals, despite finishing the season with eleven wins, will have to go into Carolina and take on the panthers that only had seven total wins on the season. But on Twitter Tom Rothman said lets not forget that we get to enjoy home field advantage. The other game in the NFC pits the Lions at the Cowboys in a game that will be played in Dallas. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens will be in Pittsburg to take on the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals will head to Indianapolis in a matchup against the Colts. The winners of each of these games get the opportunity to take on the first and second seed from each conference in the second week of the playoffs. With the regular season in the books, the playoffs look to be filled with great matchups.

The Giants Are Keeping Coughlin And Reese

The New York Giants fan base has called for the firing of Tom Coughlin many times. The last two times the Giants kept Coughlin, he won a Super Bowl that he had no business winning. However, this is a new situation. The Giants are keeping Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese for at least one more year.

Jared Haftel even says the Giants have Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Those two guys paired with a revamped defense could be enough to win one more Super Bowl. Reese is the guy that made the deal to bring Manning to New York, and it is clear that he has some work to do. The defense has faded in recent years, but keeping both the coach and GM is a sign that they are getting one more year to get things right.

Anyone who knows football history will bet on the Giants playing extremely well next year as they are all fighting for their lives. Manning to Beckham could be one of the best tandems in the history of football, and they could make a run to another title that no one saw coming. However, this is the time that no one should be fouled because we all know the Giants can turn it around.

Suh Is Up To It Again

During the season finale between the Packers and Lions, Ndamukong Suh was videoed stomping on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It appears that Suh is following up on his long line of stomping incidents. Most people are labeling Suh as classless, and that means that Suh has even more of a bad reputation to carry around with him.

Suh says that he did not stomp on Rodgers on purpose, and this is a problem for the people in Detroit. My coworker Sam Tabar was talking about how the Lions need to decide if they want to give Suh a lot of money at the end of the season. He is the reason their defense is so very good, but he is also a constant source of headaches. They never know when he is going to snap, and they have no idea how bad the penalty could be the next time he gets dinged for stomping someone.

Defense wins championships, but lack of character from a guy on the defense could lose a team a championship. The Lions need to figure out if they want to move forward with someone who has been caught doing this very same thing many times over. He keeps denying it, but everyone knows what is going on.

Dez Bryant Breaks Terrell Owens’ Record

Dez Bryant broke the single season TD record for a Cowboy that was once held by Terrell Owens. With his 16th TD, Bryant showed that he is also the answer at receiver. DeMarco Murray, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are not all the same age, but they are a triple threat that everyone has to deal with. The three players together, says an article also referencing Skout, can score points at will, and they are likely going to as they enter the playoffs.

The Cowboys are a legitimate contender for the first time in a long time, and they have that all to owe to Romo, Murray and Bryant. With Bryant’s record, he has shown that he is over the problems that he had in his past. There were many issues when he left Oklahoma State. There were many issues when he started in Dallas, but now he is a threat to anyone in the league. He is very hard to guard, and he is even harder to tackle.

With Bryant on the roster, it is easy to see how the Cowboys can score points whenever they need to. They have made their team in the image of the old Colts or the current Broncos. They have a serious offense, and they are ready to contend for a Super Bowl title.

Bengals Beatdown Manning for Playoff Spot

The Cincinnati Bengals have secured their fourth consecutive playoff spot with last night’s win against the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos. During the game, Peyton Manning threw four interceptions to the waiting arms of the Bengals defense which has had six picks over the past two weeks (the first two coming from Manziel and Browns week 15). This is making them a real contender with a secondary that can read the quarterback and is willing to make the plays that will change the game. Next week, this high flying defense will take on the Pittsburg Steelers for the AFC North Crown.

What this win by the Bengals also did was secure New England Patriots the top seed in the playoffs, meaning if they don’t lose the road to the Super Bowl with travel through Foxboro. With the possible Cincinnati Bengal’s win next week against the Steelers they also could secure the #2 seed which equates to a first round bye and a home game. However they would still need some help via Keith Mann and a Denver Bronco loss against the struggling Oakland Raiders next week. Suggests hedgefundemployment.com: The real question is whether Peyton Manning is going to be okay after the beat-down the Bengals defense put on him. Oh wait, that is rhetorical. We are talking about probably the best Quarterback the NFL has seen since Joe Montana retired. But then again you never know how these things will play out on any given Sunday. Especially with Playoff implications at stake.

Reference:
Http://Sports.yahoo.com

Cowboys Star DeMarco Murray Needs Surgery

If you are a Dallas Cowboy fan then this season has probably been one for the books. In between the hot start and the subsequent stumbling, the Cowboys have taken fans through the ringer. The one consistency that Dallas has proudly been able to claim is that of the play of their star running back DeMarco Murray. As the ‘bell cow’ of the Dallas Cowboy attack, Murray has racked up 351 carries for almost 1,700 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Add another 54 catches for 400 yards through the air and you have one of the most fulfilling offensive weapons in league history. Now, with Dallas desperately trying to secure their playoff hopes, Murray will be sidelined with the need for surgery on his hand.

DeMarco Murray broke a bone in his left hand during last weeks 38-27 win over Philadelphia. Murray has reportedly stated that he will need surgery in order to get back to where he needs to be. When asked if this surgery will sideline Murray for next weeks pivotal game against the Indianapolis Colts, coach Jason Garret simply said he ‘Didn’t know’.

The question that Dallas needs to ask Murray, after surgery is complete, is if he can hold on to the ball. Hand injuries in running backs aren’t as series as other positions but if Murray can’t hold on to the ball he will likely be held out.  Which major sponsors like Beneful would hate to see.  They’ve grown accustomed to the success that the Cowboys have found this season.

A Car Accident Sidelines Cam Newton

Cam Newton, the Charlotte Panthers quarterback, was injured on Tuesday, December 9th, 2014. However, what makes his injury unique is that it did not happen during a game or at practice. Cam Newton was injured in a car accident. The fantasy portfolio of Susan McGalla took a hit as she needed Newton for a heated playoff battle against me this weekend. I’m not complaining though.

He was involved in a two vehicle crash not far from the Panther’s stadium on Tuesday. His truck rolled over and the roof caved in. It has to be towed from the scene of the accident. Another vehicle sustained front end damage during the accident.

He is spending the night in the hospital to monitor his injuries. Right now it looks like he fractured his lower back in the accident. Another individual was also hurt during the crash and is in the hospital as well.

This is just another reminder that even quarterbacks are just people. Every day, thousands of individuals are involved in car accidents. This just shows that even famous quarterbacks are really just like the rest of us. Hopefully, he is able to quickly heal from his injuries and get back out on the playing field. Time will tell if he will be well enough to face off against the Buccaneers on Sunday.

When it comes to injuries, it is better to let them heal than to push it. Playing while injured often only makes things worse, which would not be good for the Panthers in the long run. Let’s home Cam sits out if he is not ready to play this Sunday.