Sunday, August 7, 2016

2011 NFL Draft: Tyron Smith Pros and Cons

Offensive tackle Tyron Smith was one of the University of Southern California Trojans’ most talented linemen. With his physical tools, he’ll likely begin his career at left tackle in the NFL. Smith is expected to be a late 1st or 2nd round pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

Here are some of the pros and cons to drafting Tyron Smith. All stats are courtesy of CBSSports.com and ESPN.com.

Pros
#1. Athleticism

Smith has outstanding physical tools. He flashes exceptional talent at times, particularly when he’s asked to pull. Smith can get out in front of a running back and clear a lane quickly, even when he’s asked to pull across the formation. He’s fast enough to move up to the 2nd level of the defense and clear out a linebacker. Smith is a capable blocker down the field, but he needs to improve his techniques when he’s on the move.

Smith can easily be one of the quickest linemen moving when the ball is snapped, despite playing at tackle where it’s difficult to see the center.

#2. Pass-Blocking
Smith capitalizes on his athleticism when pass-blocking. He’s quick to set up in his stance and can protect the outside edge of the pocket from speed pass-rushers. Smith mirrors his defender’s movements and has solid footwork to keep his balance.

His initial hand punch is good, but it’s not violent enough to stop a defender in his tracks. Smith has average strength in his upper body and needs to add muscle. His base is reasonably sturdy, but he can be caught off balance on occasion.

Cons
#1. Lack of Maturity

Coming into the NFL at only 20 years old, Smith still has some growing up to do. He received an academic suspension in 2009. Smith also needs to develop better film and weight room habits, particularly since he will need to add a fair amount of muscle to succeed in the NFL.

#2. Lack of Polish
Although Smith has the potential to play left tackle, he only had starts at right tackle while playing for the University of Southern California Trojans. He’s played minimal snaps as a left tackle.

With Smith’s lack of strength and weight, he doesn’t really have a fit anywhere on the offensive line except as a left tackle. Most pass-rushers will line up against the left tackle, which plays to Smith’s strengths.

#3. Poor Run-Blocking
Smith measures in at 6’5″ and 280 pounds. He’s a very lanky, lean prospect at tackle. His lack of bulk for the position clearly shows up when he’s asked to run-block.

Smith struggles to create a hole at the point of attack. Defenders can drive him backwards and make a tackle on the running back behind the line of scrimmage. At this point in his career, he run-blocks more on effort than solid technique or strength.

Opinion
Smith is a bit of a boom or bust prospect. He clearly has the talent to play a marquee position at left tackle in the NFL. But it remains unclear whether Smith has the drive and work ethic to fulfill his potential. He doesn’t have the strength to play right tackle, so if he doesn’t pan out at left tackle, any team that drafts him will be left with an undersized bust.

Because of his athleticism, an offensive scheme that primarily utilizes zone blocking concepts could use Smith’s athleticism most efficiently. Even if he’s able to add weight, I don’t see Smith as a good fit for a team that uses power man to man blocking on the offensive line.

Although Tyron Smith could sneak into the bottom of the 1st round, I think his best value is as a middle or late 2nd round pick. He could even slide into the 3rd round. Smith has a significant amount of talent, but he needs a lot of seasoning before he can be a reliable starter at the NFL level.

Sources
CBSSports.com Tyron Smith’s Player Profile. January 24th, 2011.
ESPN.com Tyron Smith’s Player Page. January 24th, 2011.

Tags:2011 NFL Draft: Tyron Smith Pros and Cons

2011 NFL Predictions Week 8

The NFL prepares to welcome Halloween with Week 8 of the 2011 NFL season by giving fans a series of interesting storylines.

Like how will Tim Tebow handle the pressure of the dominant Detroit defensive line. Or who is going to come out on top of top AFC contenders between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. One thing is for sure, when the games are done for the week, the Green Bay Packers will still be undefeated since this is their bye week.

Here are the NFL Predictions for Week 8 as I try to follow up the strong performance I had last week with a 9-3 record. See if I can maintain my pace in the NFL Pick’em contest.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans

To say the Colts were blown out last week by the New Orleans Saints would be an understatement. They will take their winless unit on the road to face the Titans who are in need of a win. The Titans highly paid running back, Chris Johnson, needs to break out of his funk and the Colts seem like the perfect opponents considering they give up 150.9 yards on the ground per game. The Titans will rebound this week with a home win.

Titans 24 Colts 13

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants

The winless Dolphins find themselves heading to hostile Giants territory after experiencing the Tim Tebow effect. The Dolphins will need to find a way to use their running game late in the game if they have the lead. Of course that is a big question mark since the Giants should be ahead with a comfortable lead.

Giants 31 Dolphins 21

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans

The Jaguars, who are fresh off a Monday night game with the Baltimore Ravens will be traveling to Houston to face the Texans who finally looked the part of playoff contenders in their most recent win. The Texans have to be relieved after the impressive performance by Arian Foster who had a slow start to the 2011 NFL season. The game is going to be closer than it should be but the Texans will come away with a narrow win.

Texans 21 Jaguars 17

Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Cardinals will be looking to add a second win this season when they head to the East Coast to take on the Ravens who looked sluggish at points on Monday night football. The Cardinals will hope running back Beanie Wells is able to return from the injury and give balance to the Cardinals offense. The Ravens defense is going to continue to dominate and show the NFL why they are indeed one of the best.

Ravens 31 Cardinals 10

New Orleans Saints vs. St. Louis Rams

The Saints, who are fresh off a game where they scored 62 points, will be licking their chops when they take on the Rams this week who allowed the Dallas Cowboys running backs to run wild through their defense. They Saints will continue to utilize running back Darren Sproles as he weaves his way through to a big day on the ground and in the air.

Saints 35 Rams 17

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

The Vikings did play the Packers close last week but it was not enough as they suffered another loss. There is promising news after the performance of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. Their defense will have their hands full against the Panthers and their rookie quarterback Cam Newton who has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Despite his ability to lead the Panthers, they will lose a close one.

Vikings 24 Panthers 20

Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos

Despite their recent losses, the fans of the Lions should not fear that the sky is falling. Especially considering they will be taking on the Broncos this week who managed to come back and win last week when all did look lost. Before everyone crowns

Lions 28 Broncos 17

Washington Redskins vs. Buffalo Bills

The Redskins are going to be looking to find a way to bounce back from the disheartening loss to the Panthers last week. They would love to even their 1-2 record but are going to have a hard time when they face the Bills and their explosive offense. The Bills should be refreshed from their bye week and will be ready to continue the losing streak for the Redskins with a win at home.

Bills 31 Redskins 21

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Bengals return from a bye week with a game against the Seahawks who struggled last week in their 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals will rely upon their rookie quarterback Andy Dalton to help take the wind out of the home crowd and help give the Bengals a hard fought win on the road in tough territory.

Bengals 21 Seahawks 20

Cleveland Browns vs. San Francisco 49ers

Meanwhile the Browns, the other contestant from the horrible 6-3 game will be venturing out to the West coast to take on the upstart 49ers who have bought into the motto of their new head coach and seem ready to take control of the NFC West. The Browns will struggle against the 49ers top ranked defense, scoring some points in garbage time before they head home with a loss.

49ers 24 Browns 14

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

In the premier game of the week, the Patriots will be taking on the Steelers to see who will be at the top of the AFC food chain. Tom Brady and company will be refreshed off their bye week and will be ready to take on a suspect Steelers defense. The big question is can the linebackers be able to seal off the middle and prevent any big plays by Aaron Hernandez. If the teams go score for score, the Steelers will come out on the short end of the stick.

Patriots 34 Steelers 24

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

When it comes down to it, both of these teams are in dire need of a win if they want to remain in the race for the NFC East title or even a shot at a playoff berth. The Cowboys will travel to Philadelphia and push the offense on the back of their rookie running back to blow holes through the Eagles questionable defense. Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick, will keep them close but it will not be enough as they lose a needed home game.

Cowboys 31 Eagles 27

San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chargers tossed away a win last week and will now need to rebound on Monday Night Football against one of their AFC West rivals, the Chiefs. The Chargers need to show the rest of the NFL that they can compete early in the season and will need to turn things around. If the Chiefs want to win, they will need to work past their emotions from the recent victory over the Raiders and focus on the current. The tale of this game will come down to turnovers and the Chiefs will give the ball back one too many times.

Chargers 27 Chiefs 21

2011 NFL Season Record 63-35

Tags:2011 NFL Predictions Week 8

2011 NFL Predicitions by the Headlines

Recently a friend of mine told me I should make predictions for the upcoming 2011 NFL season. I gave it some thought and decided I would do it, but I would take a little different approach then some people are used to. I started by picking every single regular season game. I took into account all the player movement as of August 9, 2011, as well as coaching staffs, trends I noticed last year as well as some of my gut. Then I grappled with how exactly to present my information. People really won’t be interested in simply reading that I think the Dolphins will be a sub-par 7-9, or that I think the Vikings will come up just short of the playoffs at 10-6. What I ultimately decided was to predict games week by week, completely unbiased of what I felt other teams were doing in the division, and not taking into account injuries, because that’s not too fun. After I predicted each week of games I created some headlines that would likely appear based on my predictions. You will notice that my headlines are devoid of mentioning many players by name. That was done because I simply wanted to predict based on how the entire team was constructed, and I did not want to go into outlandish individual statistics that seem more suited for a weekly fantasy football piece. And away we go:

Week 1

Supposed solid NFC South starts a combined 0-4; NFC North teams all win

Close games start off the year; Saints-Packers, Falcons-Bears, Steelers-Ravens all separated by 1 score

Jets and Giants both win to commemorate 9/11

Texans come out of the gate and surprise Manning and the Colts

After the offseason hype, Philly trounce all over St. Louis

Week 2

Bears lose pace in hot NFC North with loss to Saints

Surprise GMen are 2-0, as are Cardinals and Texans

Eagles follow up their huge win with disappointing effort in Atlanta

Seahawks make Steelers sweat at home, but come through at the end; 2-0

Week 3

NFC East- Who is number 1? Eagles and Boys catch upstart Giants

NFC North- Vikings undefeated; Bears, Lions and Pack all at 2-1

Jets and Pats both 3-0; What gives?

The Colts are sub-.500; Is their reign over?

Week 4

Time to talk undefeated: Minnesota and New England; 5 defeated remain: StL, TB, Oak, Jacksonville, Cin

NFC North is a combined 13-3; Will anyone pull away?

Saints, Chargers, Falcons and Ravens have all rebounded to tie for division leads

Can the Bills muster a .500 year as they sit 2-2; 1-3 Chiefs magic carpet ride over?

Week 5

Are the 4-1 Detroit Lions for real?

Something had to give between winless Cincinnati and Jacksonville; Jaguars 1-4

NFC West looks putrid again; Arizona and Seattle have 2 wins and division lead

Sexy Rexy and the Jets lose second straight, this time to New England; Pats 2 games up

Week 6

Bucs trip up Saints at home; Lose division lead

Texans drop one in Baltimore; Indy wins 3 straight to tie for division lead

Vikings finally lose as NFC North stays very tight; New England still perfect

NFC or AFC West: worst division in the NFL; 13-27 combined records

Week 7

McNabb plays in biggest home game in 2 seasons, but can’t step up; Packers roll

Saints take out their frustration on Colts; New Orleans still 1 game back of Atlanta

Pats don’t win and Bungles don’t lose; They both had byes

Chiefs take advantage of bye and beat Oakland; Climbing back in weak division

Week 8

Bye hurts GMen as they lose to Miami; Dolphins win 3 out of 5

Vikings end 2 games slide by crushing Carolina

High flying Philly, dominant Patriots, hapless Bengals and Niners all hurt by the bye

Steelers and Ravens will fight to the finish; 7-1 and 6-1 respectively

Week 9

Game of the week: Atlanta in Indy; Colts win a shoot out

Dolphins continue to win on the road; Beat KC for 4-4 record

Rams finally win as they beat Cards; Bengals are league’s last winless team

Baltimore gets even in Pittsburgh Sunday night; Close Monday night game as Philly gets by Chicago

Week 10

Believe it or not, Rams 2nd straight win puts them in contention in NFC West

Chiefs win 4 straight; Take the AFC West lead with win over Denver

Cardinals have not won since week 2; Philly finally takes lead in NFC East

Minnesota can’t beat Green Bay, lose 3 of 4; Jets split with Pats, tie for division

Week 11

Tampa’s magic of last season never showed up; 2-8

Dallas quietly in second place at 7-3; One game back of Eagles

Dolphins win 5 straight; Still find themselves 2 games back of New England and New York

Looks like the Raiders and Jaguars in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes; Both 1-9

Week 12

New England 2-3 after the bye, loses to Eagles; Jets in first

Giants crumbling; lose to Saints and more ground to Boys and Eagles

Vikings give it a good run, but fall to Falcons; Packers or Bears division

Texans crush the Jaguars; Keep pace with the Colts

Week 13

Texans hold on against Falcons, while Indy loses to New England; Texans in first in the South

New Orleans rout of Detroit has them tied atop the division with Atlanta

The Rams win 5 straight sweeping San Fran; St. Louis tied with Seattle

Arizona stuns Dallas; Dallas done?; Giants fall to .500

Week 14

Does anyone care to win the AFC West?; Chiefs lead at 5-8

Ravens beat Colts, 12-1, class of the AFC

Seahawks beat the Rams; Take a 1 game lead in a bad division

Colts suffer their 5th loss; Texans division to lose

Week 15

Green Bay stumbles in Kansas City; Loses 3rd game and drops into a tie for division lead

Bengals still winless; What went wrong under Marvin Lewis?

McNabb outplays Brees; Saints drop out of first in the division; Vikings too little too late

Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams (6-8) tied atop the division; 2 games left

Week 16

Dolphins swoon continues, lose to Pats, 3 straight; Patriots and Jets still tied on top

Washington shocks playoff hopeful Minnesota

Rams lose to Pitt on Christmas Eve; For Cards and Seahawks it all comes down to 1 game

Packers beat Bears; Retake the division lead

New Orleans and Atlanta split season series; All tied up with 1 to go

Eagles are the only runaway division winner

Week 17

Ravens beat up on Cincinnati to finish 15-1; Bengals lose ’em all

Steelers 14-2 record not good enough for division crown

Lions finish 9-7; Can’t stop Green Bay who wins the division

Colts beat Jaguars but too little too late for the division; Texans time

Jets and Pats both 13-3, Falcons and Saints both 12-4; Tiebreaker time

Cardinals beat Seahawks at home, win 6 out of 7 to finish 8-8; Take the division

Chiefs beat Broncos to secure division; Win 3 straight to win division at 8-8

Tiebreakers

Falcons better divisional record secures the 3 seed; Saints on the road at an 8-8 team again

Identical tiebreaker records for Jets/Pats; Pats better strength of schedule gives them division

Who is the 2 seed?; Texans have better common opponent record and earn bye

Pats hurt by tiebreakers, will now face Steelers; Jets get lucky, head to KC

The NFC Seeds

#1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-2)

#2. Green Bay Packers (13-3)

#3. Atlanta Falcons (12-4)

#4. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)

#5. New Orleans Saints (12-4)

#6. Chicago Bears (11-5)

The AFC Seeds

#1. Baltimore Ravens (15-1)

#2. Houston Texans (13-3)

#3. New England Patriots (13-3)

#4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)

#5. New York Jets (13-3)

#6. Pittsburgh Steelers (14-2)

Wild Card Weekend

Saints take advantage this year; Cardinals no match

The Bears make it fun for awhile but the Falcons protect their home turf

The Steelers are arguably the best 6 seed ever; Beat the Pats by 2 scores

Chiefs challenge the Jets but in the end the Jets prove to be too much

Divisional Round

Brees throws too many interceptions; Eagles don’t skip a beat

A hotly competed game in the tundra of Lambeau has the Packers moving on

A 1 versus 6 matchup like this will never be seen again; Ravens take the season series by beating Pitt

America’s team, the Houston Texans, fall just short; Jets go to 3rd straight conference championship

Conference Finals

The Eagles prove to have too many weapons; Vick can’t wait to get to the Super Bowl

The Jets lose their third straight appearance in this game; Can anyone beat Baltimore?

Super Bowl

Ravens get hot after week 1 and stay hot all season; win 18 straight

The Eagles were built to win this year; Do they have another year left?

Joe Flacco, the little guy that could; Guys from small name schools simply do better

Ochocinco tweets: My boy Ray Lewis deserved this one, way to go King Bird; Mason feels bittersweet

The unorthodox career of Ricky Williams reaches a climax; Ricky Williams timeline

Vick: “They were better today, but they won’t be better next year.”

And there you have it. The upcoming NFL season all done in headlines culminating in the all birds super Bowl. Congrats to the future champs, the Baltimore Ravens.

Tags:2011 NFL Predicitions by the Headlines

2011 NIT Championship Game: Wichita State Vs. Alabama for the Title

The 2011 NIT Championship Game is hosted by New York City Thursday night. The game will be Wichita State vs. Alabama, with both teams trying to prove something with a victory. It has been a highly interesting NIT, and we now move from 32 teams down to the final two.

This year’s brackets have yielded many great games so far, including the 62-61 win that Alabama squeezed out against Colorado in one of the Final Four games. That one went down to the very end between the No. 1 seeds from their respective brackets, and it was a game that could have gone either way. Alabama ended up on the right side of the outcome, and now they get to take on a No. 4 seed from the other side of the brackets.

Wichita State had to pull off a number of upsets in their path to the NIT Championship Game, and a win in the final would now also be considered an upset. After beating No. 5 Nebraska, WSU knocked off No. 1 seed Virginia Tech to get into the Elite Eight. A shooting match against College of Charleston came out in favor of the Shockers, sending them to the NIT Final Four. On Tuesday night, Wichita State really handed Washington State their lunch (75-44) and are now one step from an improbable ending to the tournament.

At this point in the year it is hard to predict which team is the favorite, especially when both schools proved that they belonged in the NCAA Tournament. Alabama won the SEC, and it was quite surprising to see them in the NIT. Wichita State had a great season of their own in the MVC, posting a 14-4 record in conference play. Now after four straight wins (each), they meet up for all the marbles in Madison Square Garden Thursday night.

Alabama has a 25-11 record and gets to play host to the 28-8 Wichita State Shockers because they are the highest seed left. The NIT Championship Game will tip off shortly after 4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST Thursday, March 31, and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. This should be a very evenly matched game, and it should prove to be a great one for fans tuning in. The tandem of JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell of the Crimson Tide should be tough for the Shockers to stop, but they proved against WSU that they are quite able to key in on the best players a team has to offer.

Tags:2011 NIT Championship Game: Wichita State Vs. Alabama for the Title

2011 NFL Mock Drafts Re-Shaping During Senior Bowl Practices, Cameron Jordan Stock Improving

2011 NFL mock drafts are going to be re-shaped by the Senior Bowl practices. Some 2011 NFL mock drafts are noticing Cameron Jordan for the first time as well. Jordan is a defensive end out of California, a player who should end up getting drafted on the first day. Many of the early mock drafts have Jordan ranked further down in the first round, but combining a good showing at the Senior Bowl and then the NFL Combine in February should help his draft stock get even better.

Mel Kiper’s last mock draft had Jordan listed as the No. 18 selection by the San Diego Chargers. If the Chargers can get Jordan to fall into their lap that far down in the first round, it would definitely be considered a steal in the 2011 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for the Chargers, the word is getting out that Jordan has an immense amount of speed that more scouts will notice at the NFL Combine. The question is whether Jordan can compare favorably to the numerous underclassman that will also be looking to make an impact on defensive lines around the NFL.

Another senior who is impressing scouts is Nate Solder of Colorado, but he didn’t really need to sell himself that much. Solder will be one of the biggest guys in the 2011 NFL Draft, coming in at more than 300 pounds and standing at more than 6 feet 8 inches. He is going to be a huge offensive lineman for someone very soon, and could possibly break into the top 10 selections if he continues to show his strength.

ESPN analysts already stated that Solder and Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi were proving their worth against some of the best senior defensive linemen out there. That will help Carimi as well, but the Wisconsin offensive lineman was already considered to be great as well. Carimi should also be a first round selection, expected to go somewhere in the range of the 20th to 30th selections. The reason it is worth noting how well both players are doing is that there are a number of other first round selections who could be used on offensive linemen. Some of those standouts include Anthony Castonzo of Boston College, Mike Puncey of Florida, and Tyron Smith of USC.

Pay attention to Jordan as the NFL Combine draws closer, because he will look to break into the group of underclass defensive linemen leading the way to the 2011 NFL Draft. Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus, and Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers are the guys leading the pack right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room in that group for one more elite prospect on the defensive side of the ball.

Pretty soon the 2011 NFL Draft is going to be called the best defensive draft the NFL has seen in quite some time. A lot of things could still change as the Senior Bowl and 2011 NFL Combine take place, but the excitement level is already growing for what’s possible.

Source:

NFL_Combine_Website

Tags:2011 NFL Mock Drafts Re-Shaping During Senior Bowl Practices, Cameron Jordan Stock Improving

2011 NFL Week 12 Point Spreads and Picks; Jay Cutler Better Than Ever, Hurt

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and that means football. The Detroit Lions, an NFL Thursday staple, are playing in a meaningful Thanksgiving game for the first time since I’ve been alive. If proof is needed that the Lions are a cursed franchise (see Matt Millen), they will be facing the undefeated Green Bay Packers.

We had a rough Week 11, and will quickly remind all of our 12-4 Week 10. 2011 Current “Point Spread Picks” Season Record: 90-70. You may still follow us as we make our certain comeback.

Thursday, November 24, 2011
Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions +6.5
Tampa Bay just covered against the Packers at Lambeau. Detroit just blew the Panthers out of the gym. Explains why Green Bay is giving less than a touchdown. There is no consistency in the 2011 NFL, unless it’s Green Bay slapping teams about. We are also not ready to trust in a Detroit home advantage.
Pick: Green Bay -6.5

Miami Dolphins v Dallas Cowboys -7.5
The Dolphins are winning here and there, and may be content, and stuck with Matt Moore at quarterback. They are still just the Dolphins, however, and Dallas covers at home on Thanksgiving. Or, has done since the whole Randy Moss incident.
Pick: Dallas -7.5

San Francisco v Baltimore Ravens -3.5
The 49ers’ brutal non-divisional schedule may eventually catch up with them. But Ray Rice is the only man playing on the Baltimore offense, and Ray Lewis may be missing from the D. Until the ‘9ers clinch everything, take points if you can get ’em
Pick: San Francisco +3.5

Sunday, November 27
Minnesota Vikings v Atlanta Falcons -9.5
Ten points is a lot, even considering Minnesota just lost Adrian Peterson. Now consider the Vikes are still without the services of Donovan McNabb, and the spread is ridiculous. Can’t see where Vikes get points. If Atlanta scores twice they cover.
Pick: Atlanta -9.5

Arizona Cardinals v St. Louis Rams -3.5
Arizona beat Philadelphia. St. Louis beat New Orleans. They both lost to Seattle and the Redskins. There is truly no consistency. Can you really give points in a game like this? You can when the team getting them must choose between John Skelton and Richard Bartel at quarterback.
Pick: St. Louis -3.5

Carolina Panthers v Indianapolis Colts +3.5
Carolina’s invisible defense meets Indy’s irrecoverable entirety. For Indianapolis to cover such a tight spread, they would have to risk winning this game. I just don’t see it.
Pick: Carolina -3.5

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets -8.5
Stevie Johnson, hurt. Fred Jackson, hurt. Ryan Fitzpatrick, average to bad. The Jets have not shown much in the past couple weeks. Bills have not shown anything in last couple months. Plus Jets defense is enough to beat the Bills missing their only real weapons.
Pick: New York Jets -8.5

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals -7.5
Aren’t taking any points this week. Certainly wouldn’t risk it here.
Pick: Cincinnati -7.5

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5
The Matt Leinart era begins Sunday. Lucky for Houston, and Matt, the Texans have a healthy Arian Foster. Jacksonville will see a healthy amount of Foster, notably crossing the goal line.
Pick: Houston -3.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Tennessee Titans -3.5
Unwatchable. Credit to Tampa Bay for covering against the Packers. Now try winning a game.
Pick: Tampa Bay +3.5

Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders -4.5
Since when is the absence of Jay Cutler bad news for his team? Naturally, he starts playing well, then is hurt for a game against the Raiders. No idea how Bear’s replacement will do. Gonna put faith in that defense.
Pick: Chicago +4.5

Washington Redskins v Seattle Seahawks -4.5
Would sooner take the Browns than the Redskins, and aren’t going to do that anytime soon. Problem is, earlier this year, Seahawks didn’t cover against the Browns. Don’t bet, or watch this game.
Pick: Seattle -4.5

New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles +4.5
The Patriots are again playing like one of those teams you can expect to see in the Super Bowl. These things rarely go as predicted, but you can expect them to face the Green Bay Packers. That would be quite a game. Wonder what kind of grey sweatshirt Belichick will wear.
Pick: New England -4.5

Denver Broncos v San Diego Chargers -6.5
The San Diego Chargers have not earned this spread. Tim Tebow is essentially taking the field on his own, but appears to have enough talent to win, much less keep within a touchdown of the Chargers.
Pick: Denver +6.5

Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs +10.5
Playing at Arrowhead has not made any difference for KC this year, but neither has the bye week for teams coming off it. Call that a wash, but Chiefs’ injury issues, and being awful issues will be too much to overcome against a team like Pittsburgh.
Pick: Pittsburgh -10.5

Monday, November 28
New York Giants v New Orleans Saints -7.5
The Giants are harder to figure than the Cowboys, and as hard to appreciate as the Raiders (see Eli Manning). New Orleans is eight points better than New York, and will show it at home.
Pick: New Orleans -7.5

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Did you notice the 90-70 record?

Tags:2011 NFL Week 12 Point Spreads and Picks; Jay Cutler Better Than Ever, Hurt

2011 Predicted Home Improvement Trends

We will see change in 2011 home improvement trends, although it will not be largely different from what we saw in ’10. What did we see during the past year? Reminisce on 2010’s home decorating and design trends with this article . Now, on to the future…from colors to styles, here are my predictions for this year’s home improvement trends.

2011 Interior Design & Home Decorating Trend: Spending Increase

I don’t foresee a dramatic improvement in the economy; however, it will slowly get better and consumers will be able to work with larger budgets. Spending will increase this year–but not on home building. People will likely continue to buy foreclosed homes and spend their money on fixing them up, and they will continue to remodel their existing ones throughout 2011.

2011 Interior Design & Home Decorating Trend: Color Changes

We will see slightly different color trends this year, as we do every year. Of course, color preferences vary from one person to another–depending on whether their personality is more vibrant and expressive or refined and elegant. Read this article to find out the trendy colors for 2011.

2011 Interior Design & Home Decorating Trend: Surface Trends

Curves and organic shapes are hot this year. This is good news for acrylic solid surface materials, like Corian. These types of surfaces can be molded and seamlessly curved into counter tops and more. Unfortunately, they are soft materials, so they can scratch easily. On the other hand, this means the scratches can be buffed out and made to look like new (since the color runs through the material).

2011 Interior Design & Home Decorating Trend: Superior Eco-Products

Green has been trendy for several years now. Unfortunately, it has become so popular that nearly everything is promoted as a “green” product, and it is hard to determine what is truly eco-friendly. This year, I predict that superior eco-products will be released to the market, making it easier for consumers to shop for items that are green.

2011 Interior Design & Home Decorating Trend: Mixed Styles

In the past, homeowners have chosen a preferred style or theme and stuck to it. This year, they are going to change it up. If you plan on redecorating in 2011, mix your favorite styles together to create your own, unique look. For example, you can create a transitional look by combining traditional and contemporary elements. Make your home your own–and have fun while you’re at it.

References

Kitchen Design Trends for 2011

Tags:2011 Predicted Home Improvement Trends

2011 RB Rankings - Fantasy Football Rankings

2011 Running Back RB Rankings for the 2011 Fantasy Football season are based on a standard mixed NFC/AFC single season redraft 2011 fantasy football league for the 2011 season. For additional 2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Tools, Lineup Advice, and Question & Answer Forum, check out my blog at: http://ift.tt/1SU8ZB5

2011 Running Back RB Rankings – UPDATED: August 20, 2011

1. Arian Foster – Hou —– The risk of Foster being a one year wonder should definitely lurk in the back of fantasy football managers minds entering the 2011 season, however with that said, Foster offers just too much talent and potential to pass over as anything but the #1 RB taken in nearly all fantasy football drafts to being the 2011 season. With the ability to not only be an excellent rusher out of the backfield, Foster boasts exceptional receiving skills, which make him a threat to tally 100 total yards on any given Sunday. Add in the fact that Foster is an excellent goal line option, and the odds of him tallying double digit touchdowns once again during the 2011 season is extremely high. So in terms of reliable stat production, Foster can offer any fantasy football team just that in 2011.
2010 Stats: 1616 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 604 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
2011 Stat Projections: 1200-1500 rushing yards, 400-600 receiving yards, 10-15 total touchdowns

2. Adrian Peterson – Min —– With Brett Favre out and Donovan McNabb in, Peterson should still remain the number one option in the Vikings offense this season. In terms of reliability from the RB position for fantasy football teams, Peterson is likely the safest option among all RBs entering the 2011 season. Another season of 1,000 plus rushing yards and 10 touchdowns is almost money in the bank for Peterson in 2011.
2010 Stats: 1298 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, 341 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
2011 Stat Projections: 1200-1400 rushing yards, 200-400 receiving yards, 10-15 total touchdowns

3. Jamaal Charles – KC —– While many people want to see Charles receive 300-400 rushing attempts in a season, the fact that the Chiefs have limited his carries over the past two seasons has no doubt been a blessing. After tallying a ridiculous 1,467 rushing yards on just 230 rushing attempts last season, which led to a 6.4 rushing yards per carry average, I think that we all need to understand that limiting Charles to no more than 300 rushing attempts this season is likely in everybody’s best interest. The only major downside to Charles in fantasy football leagues for the 2011 season, is that he has very little value as a goal line touchdown option, which was evident by his extremely low 5 rushing touchdowns last season. However in fantasy football leagues that value total yardage, Charles is an absolute beast and could easily top the 2,000 total yard mark for the 2011 season.
2010 Stats: 1467 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 468 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns
2011 Stat Projections: 1200-1500 rushing yards, 300-600 receiving yards, 5-10 total touchdowns

4. Chris Johnson – Ten —– The lingering contract situation in annoying, but Johnson is hard to pass up at this point among RB options in fantasy football drafts. After churning out 2,006 rushing yards in 2009, Johnson followed his history making season with a 1,364 rushing yard performance last year. At age 25 to begin the 2011 season, there is little reason to think that Johnson will not once again tally 1,000 plus rushing yards and 200 plus receiving yards, as well as being a solid touchdown option.
2010 Stats: 1364 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 245 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
2011 Stat Projections: 1200-1500 rushing yards, 200-500 receiving yards, 8-12 total touchdowns

5. Ray Rice – Bal —– After a phenomenal sophomore season in 2009 that resulted in Rice tallying over 2,000 total yards, many people expected Rice to explode in the stat department for the 2010 season. However that explosion was limited due to the emergence of Willis McGahee as the Ravens goal line option who swiped a handful of rushing touchdowns. Now entering the 2011 season with McGahee gone and Ricky Williams in, Rice could easily see a significant increase in goal line opportunities this season. In fantasy football leagues that score heavily on yardage, Rice should easily continue to be a total yardage beast in 2011 as he definitely has the ability to top the 2,000 total yard mark.
2010 Stats: 1220 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 556 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
2011 Stat Projections: 1200-1500 rushing yards, 400-700 receiving yards, 8-12 total touchdowns

6. Rashard Mendenhall – Pit —– *VALUE PICK*

7. Michael Turner – Atl

8. LeSean McCoy – Phi —– *VALUE PICK*

9. Darren McFadden – Oak

10. Frank Gore – SF

11. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jac

12. Matt Forte – Chi

13. Steven Jackson – StL

14. Shonn Green – NYJ

15. Ahmad Bradshaw – NYG

16. Peyton Hillis – Cle

17. DeAngelo Williams – Car —– *VALUE PICK*

18. Ryan Grant – GB —– *VALUE PICK*

19. LeGarrette Blount – TB

20. *Daniel Thomas – Mia —– *OVERRATED*

21. *Mark Ingram – NO

22. Ryan Mathews – SD

23. Marshawn Lynch – Sea

24. Knowshon Moreno – Den

25. Fred Jackson – Buf —– *UNDERRATED*

26. Joseph Addai – Ind —– *UNDERRATED*

27. Jahvid Best – Det —– *BREAKOUT*

28. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – NE

29. Jonathan Stewart – Car —– *OVERRATED*

30. Felix Jones – Dal

31. Beanie Wells – Ari

32. Cedric Benson – Cin

33. Mike Tolbert – SD —– *UNDERRATED*

34. *Ryan Williams – Ari —– *SLEEPER* (INJURED – OUT FOR SEASON)

35. Tim Hightower – Was —– *OVERRATED*

36. Reggie Bush – Mia —– *OVERRATED*

37. Rashad Jennings – Jac

38. James Starks – GB —– *SLEEPER*

39. Michael Bush – Oak

40. CJ Spiller – Buf

41. Danny Woodhead – NE

42. Thomas Jones – KC

43. Ronnie Brown – Phi

44. LaDainian Tomlinson – NYJ

45. Brandon Jacobs – NYG

46. *Roy Helu – Was

47. *DeMarco Murray – Dal

48. Pierre Thomas – NO

49. Donald Brown – Ind

50. Ryan Torain – Was

51. Darren Sproles – NO

52. Marion Barber – Chi

53. Willis McGahee – Den

54. Jason Snelling – Atl

55. Leon Washington – Sea

56. Bernard Scott – Cin —– *SLEEPER*

57. Toby Gerhart – Min

58. Justin Forsett – Sea

60. Brandon Jackson – Cle

61. Javon Ringer – Ten

59. *Stevan Ridley – NE —– *SLEEPER*

62. *Alex Green – GB

63. *Shane Vereen – NE

64. *Delone Carter – Ind

65. *Jacquizz Rodgers – Atl

66. *Jordan Todman – SD —– *SLEEPER*

67. Isaac Redman – Pit

68. Carnell Williams – StL

69. Ben Tate – Hou

70. Jerious Norwood – StL

71. Mike Goodson – Car

72. Montario Hardesty – Cle

73. Tashard Choice – Dal

74. Chris Ivory – NO

75. Keiland Williams – Was

76. Ricky Williams – Bal

77. Steve Slaton – Hou

78. John Kuhn – GB

79. Chester Taylor – Chi

80. Maurice Morris – Det

81. Deji Karim – Jac

82. Joe McKnight – NYJ

83. LaRod Stephens-Howling – Ari

84. LenDale White – Den

85. Anthony Dixon – SF

86. Jerome Harrison – Det

87. *Kendall Hunter – SF

88. *Dion Lewis – Phi

89. *Taiwan Jones – Oak

90. *Evan Royster – Was

91. *Johnny White – Buf

92. *John Clay – Pit

93. Kevin Faulk – NE

94. Le’Ron McClain – KC

95. Javarris James – Ind

96. Derrick Ward – Hou

97. Marcel Reece – Oak

98. Stafon Johnson – Ten

99. Thomas Clayton – Sea

100. Mewelde Moore – Pit

101. Aaron Brown – Det

102. James Davis – Was

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FREE AGENTS

Kevin Smith – Det (NA)

Laurence Maroney – Den (NA)

Ladell Betts – NO (NA)

Julius Jones – NO (NA)

Kareem Huggins – TB (NA)

Brian Westbrook – SF (NA)

Correll Buck halter – Den (NA)

Fred Taylor – NE (NA)

Mike Hart – Ind (NA)

*Mikel LeShoure – Det = INJURED – out for season

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2011 Running Back RB Rankings are based on a standard fantasy football scoring system:

Rushing Yards: 1 point = 10 rushing yards

Receiving Yards: 1 point = 10 receiving yards

Rushing/Receiving Touchdown: 6 points

Fumble Lost: -2 points

Passing Yards: 1 point = 25 passing yards

Passing Touchdown: 4 points

Interception: -1 points

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Player status’ include: SLEEPER, BREAKOUT, OVERRATED, UNDERRATED, VALUE PICK, BUST, based on their potential heading into the 2011 fantasy football season. ( * = rookie status)

Tags:2011 RB Rankings - Fantasy Football Rankings

2011 Oscar Countdown: In Memory of Stars Gone but Not Forgotten

In 2010, the world lost many beloved and talented stars. Tony Curtis, Lynn Redgrave and Leslie Nielsen are three of my favorite stars who have passed away and will be greatly missed. Each star stands out in my memory for their acting versatility, charisma and their ability to transform into any character they played. As the Oscars approach, it is time to reflect on the actors and actresses that we have lost and hold dear to our hearts.

Tony Curtis passed away on Sept. 29 at the age of 85. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. Curtis was known for his rugged good looks that could melt a woman’s heart. He played both dramatic and comedic roles, and starred in over 140 films. Curtis received an Oscar nomination for his role in the “Defiant Ones.” One of the most memorable and enjoyable movies Curtis and Marilyn Monroe starred in was “Some Like It Hot.” Curtis and his nutty sidekick, played by Jack Lemmon, witness the Valentine’s Day murders. In order to hide from the mobsters, Curtis and Lemmon dress in drag to star in an all-girl band to hide from the mobsters that are after them. There situation is further complicated when they fall in love with a band member and are pursued by suitors not aware they are men in drag.

Lynn Redgrave passed away on May 2 at the age of 67. The cause of death was cancer. Redgrave’s big breakout film was “Georgy Girl.” This film earned Redgrave an Oscar nomination, Golden Globe and the New York Critics Award. My favorite movie Redgrave starred in was the movie “Shine.” This movie was considered a comeback role for Redgrave. “Shine” is based on a true story about pianist David Helfgott, played by Geoffrey Rush. This movie highlights the trauma and turmoil of this pianist’s life. As the film progresses, he finally achieves the professional and personal love he so deserved because of the love a remarkable women, Gillian, played by Redgrave. Broadway was home for Redgrave who starred in many productions that got her nominated for three Tony Awards. Redgrave also made several appearances in TV shows including “Kojak” and “Murder She Wrote.”

Leslie Nielsen passed away on Nov. 28 at the age of 84. The cause of death was complications from pneumonia. Nielsen started as a serious actor starring in the movie “The Forbidden Planet,” but is best known for his comedic roles in the movies “Airplane,” and “The Naked Gun.” Nielsen’s silly expressions alone could make a person burst into laughter. Nielsen also made guest appearances as Lucas Hollingsworth, Blanche’s uncle on the “Golden Girls.” Lucas and Dorothy, played by Beau Arthur, pretend to fall in love on the show. They soon discover that their feelings are real, and a whirlwind romance begins. This romance leads to Lucas and Dorothy tying the knot.

For more Oscars buzz, go to Oscars.yahoo.com

Tags:2011 Oscar Countdown: In Memory of Stars Gone but Not Forgotten

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