Posts Tagged ‘colts’

That time of year again is here where NFL players have expired contracts and are either on the prowl for a new team or hoping to stay with their current team for a bigger contract.  Free agency can be a stressful for the fans, owners, and the players.  In the 2014 draft there were some players that were signed quickly because the team recognizes the value in keeping them, but we have also seen some high value players hit the free agency market due to either off field issues or cant afford them anymore.  What has been interesting is seeing how some teams have dived right into this and signed a bunch of players, and to see some teams sit back and let all the players slip through their fingers.  Some teams have had salary cap issues so it makes sense why they have been sitting back not doing anything; and they have been focusing on keeping their current players or waiting for the draft.  Some times the free agent period can make or break a team and its shaping up to be an interesting 2014 season.  Below are some of the big named receivers that have signed to new teams. 

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith – Went from the Panthers over to the Ravens.  The Ravens are giving him $11 million with a $3.5 million signing bonus for 3 years.  Even at the age of 35 Smith can still offer a lot to the struggling pass offense of the Ravens.  With Torrey Smith on the other side and Dennis Pitta across the middle it should be an open field for Steve Smith.  And we all know that Flacco could use another weapon in the offense.

2. Eric Decker – Went from the Broncos over to the Jets.  This was kind of surprising since he was in the best pass offense and he is now going to a team that had very serious pass issues.  Now Decker did hit pay dirt by signing a 5 year $36.25 million deal with $15 million being guaranteed money.  The Jets finally released Sanchez, but signed Michael Vick to replace him.  This is going to give Decker to shine now that he is out of the shadow of Thomas and Welker.

3. James Jones – Went from the Packers over to the Raiders.  I think this is a good move for Jones and his career.  The Raiders have added a lot of people to the roster already and with Jones being a deep threat it should add a lot of depth to the offense.  The Raiders added Matt Schaub and even though Schaub had a terrible 2013 campaign he should be able to connect with Jones.  We have to remember Schaub fed the ball to Andre Johnson for a lot of years so he should have no problem getting it to Jones.  Jones was bound to get picked up quick with how he has a knack for getting in the endzone. 

4. Golden Tate – Went from the Seahawks to the Lions.  I can see this going very well, or very bad.  Tate just helped the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl and now he is going to a team that has never been to the big game.  The plus is that the Lions is a pass happy team who has the best WR in the game in Calvin Johnson.  Now Stafford may not be the most consistent QB in the game, but he will have no problem getting the ball to both Tate and Johnson.

5. Hakeem Nicks – Went from the Giants to the Colts.  This is a great pickup for the Colts and I really think that Nicks needed to get away from the Giants.  As long as Nicks can stay healthy he should be able to have a fresh start with the Colts.  Andrew Luck is just getting better and better and Nicks could be a useful tool to help the team get farther in the playoffs.  Nicks was a big part of the offense in New York and when he was healthy he was almost unstoppable. 

Emmanuel Sanders – Went from Steelers to the Broncos
Andre Roberts – Went from Cardinals to the Redskins
Brandon LaFell – Went from Panthers to the Patriots
Devin Hester – Went from the Bears to the Falcons
Dexter McCluster – Went from Chiefs to Titans

Pretty much everyone can throw their “pre-season” predictions out the window because it has been a crazy NFL season so far.  The worst team in the NFL in 2012 is now undefeated, we have two teams that have only won one game, and we have teams that were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders just fall off the face of the earth.  But, thats whats fun about football; you never know whats going to happen.  We are now 10 weeks into the 2013 season and a playoff picture is now starting to form.  There are some teams that we can tell are playoff bound, and at the same time I really think we will have a crazy Wild Card race going into the playoffs.  So, with that being said here is the current NFL Power Ranking; along with some other interesting facts.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) – Ten weeks ago when it was Week 1 the Chiefs were ranked at #22.  People will make the argument that the Chiefs have not played a tough team yet, but the fact remains they are undefeated.  The Chiefs defense has really been a surprise and they have been holding opponents to under 18 points a game.  The Chiefs offense is not the best in the NFL, but Smith and Company have been doing something that most teams do too much of and thats NOT turning the ball over.  It is very rare that the Chiefs turn the ball over and when you add that to a stout defense it equals victories.  In the next 3 weeks the Chiefs will play the Broncos twice so we will really see what they are made of.

2. Denver Broncos (8-1) – Peyton Manning has been a thrill to watch this year and he is leading the NFL in pretty much every passing category.  Another surprise on the Broncos offense has been Knowshon Moreno, he has found the endzone 8 times this season.  The Broncos defense has suffered some setbacks, but when you get an offense that will score almost 40 points a game it really helps.  The 3-headed monster on the team is the combo of Welker, Thomas, and Decker and with those 3 running routes at the same time makes it almost impossible to defend.  The lowest the Broncos ranking has been this year was 4th; I dont see a way that the Broncos wont be deep into the playoffs.

3. Seattle Seahawks (9-1) – When the season started the Seahawks were ranked #1 and the lowest they have gone is 5th.  The Seahawks have had one of the best defenses in the NFL, not to mention a very high powered offense.  Lynch has already scored 7 rushing TDs and is second in the NFL in rushing yards.  Between Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas they have combined for 8 interceptions which makes it very difficult to pass on the Seahawks.  I really cant see anything slowing Seattle down between Russell Wilson, Lynch, Golden Tate, and a powerful defense it would not surprise me to see Seattle playing in the Super Bowl.

4. New Orleans Saints (7-2) – When the season started the Saints were ranked at 14 and had a terrible defense in 2012.  It has been a major turn around this season with Brees throwing 25 TDs already and over 3,000 passing yards.  Lets not forget Jimmy Graham who has been a dominating force with 10 receiving TDs and 54 receptions; which is more than most receivers on other teams.  Someone that gets overlooked on this offense is Pierre Thomas; with Sproles not being as productive as usual Thomas has been the primary running back to shoulder the load in the running game and he has made a bigger impact this year than he has in previous years.

5. New England Patriots (7-2) – The Patriots have had their struggles this year, but they have made the adjustments they need to still win games.  Brady has been doing his best to utilize the young receivers he has and the running game has almost been non-existent up until a few weeks ago with Blount and Ridley.  Now with Gronkowski coming back into the mix it has given Brady a reliable target in the pass game and the young receivers have been improving every week. 

6. Carolina Panthers (6-3) – Yes you are reading this right; the Panthers are in the top 10 in the Power Rankings.  Just 10 weeks ago they were ranked down in the 23rd spot and now with a 5 game win streak they have cracked the top 10.  Its mostly the defense that is making this possible by holding opponents to under 19 points a game for the last 5 weeks.  Obviously Cam Newton has been keeping the offense rolling, but the defense is their best weapon as of late.  Players like Charles Johnson with 8.5 sacks, Mike Mitchell with 3 interceptions, and Luke Kuechly with 75 tackles is keeping the Panthers in games.  Believe it or not, but the Panthers could make a playoff run this season which would be the first in almost a decade.

7. Indianapolis Colts (6-3) – Despite getting handled by the Rams this week the Colts are still looking pretty sharp.  They have the weapons in Luck, Richardson, Hilton, and Fleener but they need to utilize them more.  Everyone thought that Richardson would be the answer to the run game, but so far it has been a disappointment and with Reggie Wayne going to IR the load has fallen on Hilton and Heyward-Bey.  The Colts defense has stepped up when needed as well in tough games.  What fans are hoping for is that Luck and Company can continue to get the ball to the endzone and make another playoff run.

8. San Francisco 49ers (6-3) – Once again the 49ers defense is one of the best in the NFL; but the offense is not doing their part.  The 49ers have an incredible running game with Gore, Hunter, and James; but Kap is literally dead last in passing yards.  The Niners have weapons too in Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, and Mario Manningham.  Eventually Crabtree will come back, but its not going to matter if Kap cant get the ball to them.  It would not surprise me if the Niners still make a playoff run, but it will be short lived unless the offense steps it up soon.  The good news is that the defense is stepping up big time.  When you have players like Patrick Willis, Navarrow Bowman, and Justin Smith you are bound to have a solid defense, but the Niners cannot rely on them to get them to another Super Bowl.

9. Detroit Lions (6-3) – When I think of the Lions there are 3 names that come to mind; Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, and now Reggie Bush.  Between those 3 guys the Lions have become a very powerful offense.  Calvin has already found the endzone 9 times and is almost to 1,000 receiving yards already.  Reggie Bush has been a double threat by being the main rusher on the team and a safety valve for Stafford.  Picking up Bush was the best thing for the Lions and Bush has taken advantage of it by having 4 total TDs and almost 1,000 total yards.  Lets not forget about the defense, DeAndre Levy leads the NFL with 5 interceptions and Stephen Tulloch with 72 tackles.  The Lions actually do have a good chance at a playoff run with the Packers and the Bears both multiple games in the last few weeks.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) – The Bengals have now dropped 2 straight games; both in overtime, but dont count them out yet.  AJ Green leads the NFL in receiving yards and second in receptions; and between Bernard and Green-Ellis the running game has gotten a lot better.  To me, the issue is Dalton.  He is a good QB, but he is still making bad decisions in crucial times of the game.  When Dalton is hot he is almost impossible to stop, but when he is cold he is ice cold.  The Bengals have had an incredible defense this year and it is because of the defense that the Bengals are leading in their division.  If the Bengals can pull the offense together they should be able to take the NFC North with no problem.

11. Chicago Bears (5-4) – I had high hopes for the Bears after they came out of the gates with 3 straight wins, but recently they have been a bit disappointing.  Part of it was the fact that Cutler was injured, but you cant blame all of it on that.  The Bears main weapon is still Brandon Marshall, but Alshon Jeffery has been a nice compliment in the pass game.  Also, the emergence of Martellus Bennett has been a nice addition in the pass game.  My problem with the Bears is that they have re-vamped offensive line and a killer RB in Forte, but they are not giving him the ball enough.  Forte is almost to the 700 yard mark and a solid 7 TDs, but I feel he should be used more like an Adrian Peterson type back.  With Cutler back under center I think the Bears can give the Lions a run for their money, but only time will tell.

12. New York Jets (5-4) – The Jets were ranked dead last when the season began, but they have clawed their way up to #12.  The best thing that the Jets did was bench Sanchez; I am not saying Geno Smith is that much better, but it is definitely an improvement.  You cant blame everything on Smith though; the offensive line has given up a lot of sacks and the running game has not been too impressive.  So, how are the Jets 5-4?  Simple answer; defense.  The offense has stepped up in big situations, but the defense plays a full 4 quarters of football. 

13. Green Bay Packers (5-4) – Very rough season for the cheese heads.  The Packers have just been plagued with the injury big with key players going down, such as; Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, and Jermichael Finley.  The bright spot though has been the outstanding play of rookie Eddie Lacy.  The Packers have been searching for a franchise RB and they found it big time.  Lacy as a rookie is ranked 8th in rushing yards and 7th in rushing attempts in the league.  This may not be the year that the Packers do well, but this team is going to be extremely tough for years to come.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) – Its been an up and down season for the Eagles, but I think they are on the right track now.  I think its official that Vick is not going to have a job next year, but Foles has played very well in a short amount of time.  And when you add in LeSean McCoy to the mix it just makes the offense that much better.  The Eagles have also found a star in Riley Cooper who is playing for the injured Jeremy Maclin; who also may not have a job next year.  The offense is finally coming together and even with the NFC East being a sloppy division, the Eagles could take the division easily.

15. Dallas Cowboys (5-5) – Speaking of NFC East its time to talk about the Cowboys.  What bothers me with the Cowboys is that they have all the weapons they need on offense and defense.  You have a better Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and DeMarco Murray.  And on defense you have Sean Lee and Ware who are having Pro Bowl years.  So whats the problem?  With the schedule that the Cowboys have I really thought they would be 7-3 right now.  Everyone wants to blame Romo (because its a habit), but I cant say its all his fault.  The Cowboys are going to need to step up their game if they hope to win this horrible division.

16. Arizona Cardinals (5-4) – Another team that has an awesome defense, but a mediocre offense.  I dont see the Cardinals making a playoff push, but if they can get some better offensive players I think they could be a contender in the NFC West.  In my opinion it starts with the offensive line.  The Cards have a decent run game and they have weapons in Fitzgerald and Roberts, but if Palmer cant throw the ball they will be useless.

17. San Diego Chargers (4-5) – They have had some bright spots in Woodhead, Rivers, and Gates, but they are having a tough time stopping teams from scoring.  Rivers is having a Pro Bowl type year, but that wont be enough in their division to make a playoff push.  They are competing in the AFC West that has the Broncos and the Chiefs; so I dont really see them going to the post-season. 

18. Baltimore Ravens (4-5) – Even with the Ravens being this low they could still make the playoffs.  The AFC North has the Bengals (who the Ravens just beat), the Steelers, and the Browns.  Over the alst few weeks the Ravens have been playing like the defensing Super Bowl Champs; especially the defense.  The biggest difference in the Ravens offense has been the poor play of Ray Rice who is barely averaging 3 yards per carry.  But, its not all his fault either the pass game has been almost non-existent this season.  But even with that said the Ravens could slip into the playoffs as long as they keep pulling in the wins.

19. Cleveland Browns (4-5) – Obviously in a re-building year trading away Richardson and going through QBs like I go through underwear.  The two bright spots have been the emergence of Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon.  The Browns and the Ravens have the same record, but dont expect the Browns to be a playoff team.  There are a lot of holes in the offense, defense, and staff that will not benefit them for the remainder of the season. 

20. St. Louis Rams (4-6) – Sam Bradford is out for the rest of the year, the running game is finally working, and Tavon Austin finally had a breakout game.  There were some high hopes for the Rams coming into the season but they were quickly put to rest.  Up until last week the Rams didnt even have a rushing TD and we were just waiting for Austin to show why he was a first round pick.  The Rams could improve for future seasons, but I dont see them advancing for this season.

21. Tennessee Titans (4-5) – Even being ranked this low the Titans could push to be a Wild Card team.  In their division its the Colts, Texans, Jags, and the Titans.  Obviously the Jags and Texans have sealed their fate for this season, but the Titans still have a sliver of a chance.  You wont find any of the offensive players leading in any stats, but when you combine Chris Johnson, Jake Locker, Kendall Wright, and Nate Washington I think they could slide into a Wild Card spot if they get more wins under their belt.

22. Miami Dolphins (4-5) – Everyone was shocked when the Dolphins came out guns blazing winning 3 straight games.  But it has not taken long for the whole team to just crumble.  Since their 3 win start they have only won one more game which was in OT against the Bengals.  People thought having Mike Wallace in Miami would be an improvement and that has proven to be a disappointment, and most people listed Lamar Miller as a sleeper for fantasy players which has also been a disappointment.  Now with the Dolphins getting a lot of negative attention its only going to add to a growing problem for the franchise.

23. Washington Redskins (3-6) – I just dont understand this team at all.  Alfred Morris is probably one of the more reliable backs in the game, yet he is getting a lot less carries than his rookie year and more importantly, Morris is getting a lot less redzone carries which confuses me greatly.  I really cant tell what is going on with RGIII either.  One week he is unstoppable then the next week he cant do anything right.  It has been a treat to see Garcon play to his potential this season and I think he is one of the main reasons that the Redskins have won 3 games.  The Redskins have a long road ahead of them, but I still think that RGIII is the answer to most of the problems.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6) – Another team that just baffles me.  They are just letting games slip through their fingers.  Antonio Brown leads the NFL in receptions and has proven to be a reliable target for Big Ben, but he cant get in the endzone.  When it comes to the running game its literally hit or miss.  Le’Veon Bell is a good runner when he is healthy, but they do not have that reliable RB to back him up if something happens.  The “Steel Curtain” has not been up to par either this year and I cant tell what the problem is.  The Steelers are a good team and they have been for decades, but this has not been a good year and I dont see a playoff birth for 2013.

25. New York Giants (3-6) – Talk about a team that just fell right on their face.  It was mostly in the running game when they released Bradshaw, then Wilson played poorly, then Wilson and Brown got hurt, then Jacobs got hurt, then Hillis stepped in, and now Brown is back.  The defense has been really soft this year too by allowing well over 20 points a game which equals a lot of losses.  I know the Giants are a good team, but they got off on the wrong foot this year and they are paying for it now.

26. Buffalo Bills (3-7) – Between having a rookie QB and Spiller being a bust its just been one thing after another for the Bills this year.  People were really putting a lot of faith into Spiller and Manuel going into the season, but injuries put a stop to that quickly.  The Bills also have weapons that can add up tp wins, but they need to be able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  Eventually I could see the Bills being a playoff contender; just not this year.

27. Oakland Raiders (3-6) – It has been a treat to see how much Pryor has improved since the beginning of the season and I think Oakland finally has a QB they can groom to be a franchise QB.  One piece of this puzzle though is DMC needing to stay healthy for a full season.  McFadden has put up good numbers this year, but he is still plagued with the injury bug.  I gotta give the Raiders defense some credit because the few wins they have had this year have been won by the defense.

28. Houston Texans (2-7) – I really thought the Texans were going to be a solid playoff team this year; was I off or what?  It was very hard to watch Matt Schaub literally throw this team into the ground for the first 4 weeks, but its even tougher now with Foster being injured and the defense has fallen apart now that they are talking about cutting Ed Reid.  I am hoping this is just an “off” year for the Texans and they come back next year and get back on track.

29. Atlanta Falcons (2-7) – Roddy White, Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson, and Tony Gonzalez.  When you look at those names all you see is Pro Bowls, TDs, and great players.  The fact that they are all on the same team you would think that it would be an unstoppable offense; well its been a different story this year.  I was predicting the Falcons to make another deep playoff run, but between injuries and just poor play they find themselves searching for answers.  2013 was not kind to the Falcons, but they will be better next season that much I know.

30. Minnesota Vikings (2-7) – I can sum up this teams season in two words; QB issues.  I can seriously say that the Vikings can blame the majority of this crappy season on the poor play of all 3 of their QBs.  Adrian Peterson is playing well and carrying the team as best as he can right now, but the QB (no matter who it is) is not helping matters.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) – With the loss of Josh Freeman and Doug Martin the Bucs have been using inexperienced players to try and carry the team.   Its been a sad year for the Bucs, but its mostly sitting on the offense to pick up the slack for next season.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) – They finally got a win.  To be honest I dont really think too many people had high hopes for the Jags this season.

Three weeks of the 2013 NFL season is now in the books and it has already been a crazy ride.  There are teams that were supposed to do well that are not, teams that were not supposed to good who are, rookies making big plays, and crazy trades.  I made some predictions a few months ago about who I think was going to win their division and obviously I need to throw those out the window.  Below is some new predictions based on what has happened so far in the first three weeks thus far.

In the NFC East the big surprise for me is that the New York Giants are 0-3, while the Dallas Cowboys are 2-1.  Also, a lot of people had high hopes after the Eagles opening game, but after winning their first game they have dropped two straight.  I had some high hopes for the Washington Redskins, but I was way off on that since they have started their season 0-3.  With what has happened so far it would not surprise me to see the Cowboys take the NFC East; the only other team that might have a shot is the Eagles, but Vick needs to step his game up for that to happen.  As long as Romo keeps playing the way he has they should be able to roll through the rest of the season.  Romo in three games has had 6 touchdowns and only one interception which is a huge improvement since the 2012 season.

In the NFC North the Bears are on top with a 3-0 record behind their powerful defense.  The Bears are only allowing 88 yards per game on the ground and less than 300 passing yards a game.  The Bears are also passing the ball better and Marshall has already pulled in 20 receptions and two touchdowns.  The Bears offensive line is getting the job done as well only allowing 3 sacks so far this season.  On the other end the Vikings are 0-3 even with Adrian Peterson scoring 3 touchdowns so far this season.  The Detroit Lions have had some close games but they are at 2-1 behind a brutal passing game.  Stafford already has over 1,000 passing yards and 6 touchdowns, and with all the weapons the Lions have on offense this may be the year they make a playoff push.  The surprise here is the Green Bay Packer losing to the 49ers and to the Bengals.  Rodgers does have 8 touchdowns, but the Packers are pretty banged up when it comes to the running backs.  As long as the Bears and Lions keep playing the way they have been I think one of them could take the division.

In the NFC South the Saints are off to a big start at 3-0 behind the great play of Brees and Graham.  Jimmy Graham has already pulled in 4 touchdowns while Brees has thrown 6 touchdowns.  I am a bit surprised that the Falcons are 1-2, but with Roddy White and Steven Jackson injured it makes a little more sense.  Once the Falcons can get healthy they should be able to make a comeback from their terrible start.  The Panthers are being led by Cam Newton but the rest of the team is letting him down and they are 1-2 so far.  I am surprised that the Bucs are having this many issues already.  They are 0-3 and the defense is not playing up to the standard people had anticipated; and the offense is not getting the ball into their playmakers hands.  Vincent Jackson has 15 receptions and is yet to reach the end zone.  Doug Martin is doing his best to carry the team with 297 rushing yards, but he has only reached the end zone one time.  I think the Saints are going to be a strong contender this year and the will be tough to beat.

The NFC West has the Seattle Seahawks on top with a 3-0 record behind the outstanding play of Russell Wilson and the defense.  The Seahawks have only allowed 27 points in 3 games with is only a 9 point average.  The Seattle defense is also only allowing 146 passing yards a game which makes them the best defense in the NFL right now.  As for the 49ers, they are having some major struggles right now after a lot of people predicted them to be one of the best teams.  They have 3 key players out right now with injuries (Davis, Crabtree, and Manningham), but Colin is not playing well.  The 49ers can turn it around but they need to step it up in every aspect of the game.  The Cardinals and the Rams are both 1-2 which was to be expected from both of them.  I think the Seahawks will be the team to beat, but the 49ers could come back from this and be a contender.

In the AFC East the Patriots and the Dolphins are both 3-0.  Yes; you heard right, the Miami Dolphins are undefeated.  The Dolphins have been laying excellent defense, but Ryan Tannehill is becoming a leader for the team.  Tannehill may not put up the number Tom Brady does, but he knows how to win.  Speaking of Tom Brady, he is adjusting well to the young receivers around him while he waits for Amendola to heal.  The Patriots defense is making a huge contribution as well by only allowing 34 points so far.  They are only allowing 188 passing yards per game as well.  The surprise for me is the New York Jets; they are now 2-1 behind their rookie QB Geno Smith.  Even with Geno learning he has found a way to lead the Jets to victory with a dismal running game, and a banged up receiving squad.  The Bills are 1-2 behind their rookie QB EJ Manuel, but the Bills are having more issues than anticipated.  Spiller is not putting up the numbers people had expected so its putting a lot of pressure on Manuel.  I can see the Patriots making a playoff push, but honestly I think the Dolphins could be a Wild Card team as long as they keep pulling wins.

In the AFC North the Bengals are playing some good football which has made them 2-1.  Andy Dalton has already put the ball in the end zone 5 times and has been connecting with AJ Green for a lot of them.  The Bengals have an improved run game as well with Ben Jarvus Green Ellis and Giovani Bernard making them a difficult offense to slow down.  The Ravens are also 2-1 even with the absence of Ray Rice and Jacoby Jones.   The Browns have traded away Trent Richardson and are talking about trading Greg Little and Josh Gordan which has made them a 1-2 team.  No one is really sure why the Browns are getting rid of all their playmakers, but thats Cleveland for ya.  The biggest surprise here is the Steelers being 0-3.  Big Ben and company have had a lot of offensive struggles and has been putting too much pressure on the defense.  I don’t see the Steelers making a playoff push this year, but I do think the Bengals have a strong chance to take the division.

The AFC South is a race thus far with the Texans, Titans, and Colts all being 2-1.  The Jaguars are exactly what we thought with a 0-3 record.  The Texans offense has not been as deadly as last year but they are finding ways to win.  Arian Foster is only averaging 3.9 yards per carry and has only had one rushing touchdown so far.  The Titans running game is much of the same with Chris Johnson only averaging 3.7 yards per carry and is yet to find the end zone.  The Colts acquired Trent Richardson from the Browns and is splitting carries with Ahmad Bradshaw which gives the Colts a huge advantage in the back field.  Andrew Luck is throwing the ball well and finding all his receivers in crucial situations.  The Jaguars are struggling everywhere, Maurice Jones-Drew is yet to have a breakout game, and the defense has allowed 92 points already which averages 30 points a game for opposing teams.  With three teams having the same record its hard to say who will come out on top, but as of right now I think the Colts have the best chance.

Finally the AFC West its the Broncos and Chiefs who have 3-0 records.  It has been a shock with the Chiefs since they were the worst team in the NFL last year and now with a new head coach and new players they are undefeated.  Alex Smith is not going to put up Peyton Manning numbers, but Smith does have 4 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions.  Jamaal Charles is also stepping up by having 2 rushing touchdowns and averaging 4.3 yards per carry.  The Broncos are playing behind their veteran QB Peyton Manning who leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 12 and zero interceptions.  Manning also leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,143 and completing 73% of his passes.  The Raiders and Chargers are both 1-2, but the Chargers are showing life in Rivers.  Philip Rivers is second in the NFL in touchdown passes with 8 and only 1 interception.  The Raiders are struggling, but they have found a diamond in the rough with Pryor.  The Broncos will win the division, but the Chiefs could be a wild card team.

 

 

Andrew Luck is an NFL star already and it is only his second year in the league.  He took a team that was ranked dead last in 2011; and took them to the playoffs in 2012.  He is going to have a very long NFL career and he is set to be a Hall of Famer and is already being compared to some of the greats.  He is an incredible athlete and has nothing but a bright future ahead of him.

Andrew Austen Luck was born on September 12th, 1989 in Washington D.C.  His father Oliver Luck was a former QB at West Virginia University and played for the Houston Oilers.  When Andrew was a child his father moved them to London; he is the oldest of 4 children.  Being in London, Andrew came to be a soccer fan that still carries with him to this day.  In his teenage years his family re-located to Texas and Luck attended Stratford High School where he threw for an amazing 7,139 passing yards and 53 touchdowns which are both school records.  He also was a very good runner and rushed for 2,085 yards in his high school career.  Luck is also very smart he was a co-valedictorian from his high school and was ranked as the #4 college prospect in the country.  He was recruited by a ton of colleges including Virginia, Northwestern, Purdue, and Rice.  He chose a full scholarship to Stanford to play for Coach Jim Harbaugh.

At Stanford he became to first freshman QB to earn the starting QB position since 1996.  Luck led Stanford to the 2009 Sun Bowl and completed the season with 2,575 passing yards and had a passer rating of 143.5 (which is very high).  In 2010, Luck improved on his skills and was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and All-Pac First Team.  Luck led Stanford to the Orange Bowl where he earned MVP honors for his performance.  He led the conference in yards and threw for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns.  After that season he was approached to enter the NFL Draft, but he wanted to stay at Stanford longer to better himself.  In his junior year he led his team to the Fiesta Bowl and won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.  In his college career he set 3 conference records and 15 Stanford records, amongst numerous awards for his performances.

There was a lot of hype when Luck announced he would be entering the NFL Draft; he was known as the most NFL ready player to ever be drafted.  Before he was even drafted people were comparing Luck to Peyton Manning; and they were right.  In 2011 it was the Dolphins and the Colts you were the worst teams and the most likely to draft Luck.  The Colts ended up getting the first overall pick and wasted no time in drafting Luck #1 overall.

A lot of people felt bad for Luck since he was going to a team that needed a lot of help, but Luck proved everyone wrong and it did not take long for him to do it.  Like any rookie QB, he had some early season mistakes, but every week he kept getting better and was utilizing all the targets around him.  Luck made big plays when he needed to and launched the Colts into the playoffs against the Ravens.  Even though the Colts lost, it gave the Colts hope for future seasons.  Just in his rookie year he set 9 NFL/Rookie records.  By the end of the season he threw for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns. 

As a rookie he made the 2012 Pro Bowl, 3 Pepsi Rookie of the Week Awards, and is already being compared to greats such as Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, or Peyton Manning.  In the 2013 offseason the Colts have made a lot of additions to the team which is going to make the Colts a lot more dangerous.  I think that 2013 will be the season that Luck gets the Colts closer to a Super Bowl.

With the 2013 NFL schedules being released everyone is already analyzing how their teams are going to do.  Well I am no different; I just spent the last 24 hours going over each schedule to see who has a good chance at the playoffs and who has no shot at the playoffs.  I will go over each division and give a short description of their schedule then give a prediction of what I think their record will be.

+AFC EAST+
1. Patriots (14 – 2) – Patriots don’t have too hard of a schedule in 2013; they play the Jets twice, Bills twice, and the Panthers.  I do not see why the Patriots would not have anough good season.
2. Dolphins (10-6) – This was kind of surprising to me only because the Dolphins have a medium difficulty schedule this year and with the free agents they picked up they actually could have a good season.  The Dolphins will struggle in the beginning of the year with having to play the Colts and Falcons.
3. Bills (5 – 11) – Not really a shock because the Bills still don’t have a solid QB.  They are playing a lot of tough teams in 2013 like the Patriots, Bengals, and Falcons.  I do not expect them to be a sleeper team, I expect them to be the Bills and not do well.
4. New York Jets (2 – 14) – I really am not kidding with this prediction.  The Jets are really struggling and they have holes everywhere on that team.  The schedule they have does not help either; and to be honest the 2 wins I gave them are generous.

+AFC SOUTH+
1. Texans (13 – 3) – The Texans have a little tricky schedule, but they have really made an upgrade in the offseason so I think they can handle it.  They have a few easy games in the Titans, Rams, Jags, and Cardinals so I see another playoff berth in their future.
2. Colts (12 – 4) – The Colts are very similar to the Texans and there schedule has some difficult times, but with the additions they made I think they will be just fine.  In the beginning of the season the Colts might struggle with playing the 49ers, Seahawks, and Broncos before their bye week.
3. Titans (5 – 11) – The Titans are just like the Bills; they have some talent, but there are a lot of holes in the team.  They have a rough start to the season playing the Steelers then the Texans; and later in the season they have the 49ers and the Seahawks.  I am not expecting too much from the Titans
4. Jaguars (3-13) – Even with them getting the second overall pick I don’t see them making any drastic turn arounds.  It is going to be a long season for the Jaguars who play the Colts twice, Texans twice, Seahawks, and 49ers.

+AFC NORTH+
1. Bengals (11 – 5) – Some people may disagree with this, but based on the schedules it really could happen.  The Ravens and the Steelers are not going to be as dominant as they usually are; and with the Bengals having a great offseason they very well could win the AFC North.  I am betting the Bengals will be a huge sleeper team
2. Brown (9 – 7) – Once again I am sure people are wondering if I am crazy, but the Browns could be a lot better then they were in 2012.  They made some key pick ups in the offseason for their defense and I am sure they will add more in the draft.If Weeden steps his game up the Browns really could be a hard team to beat.
3. Steelers (8 – 8) – I am not really expecting a big performance from the Steelers this year since they lost a bunch of players in the offseason.  They have not made any offseason moves and they are relying on the draft to save them. 
4. Ravens (7 – 9) – With all the players the Ravens have lost they really do not stand a chance at a playoff run.  I know they picked some people up, but it will not be a contender team right away.  Plus they have some difficult games ahead of them.

+AFC WEST+
1. Broncos (14 – 2) – This is no surprise to anyone; as long as this team stays healthy they will be the team to beat in the AFC.  They do not have a hard schedule with playing the Raiders, Giants, Jags, Chiefs, and Redskins.  Even if they had a hard schedule the Broncos would still have a great season.
2. Chiefs (8 – 8) – The Chiefs are going to be a good team eventually, coming off a terrible season they will be better in the 2013 season.  There are a few games that could go either way for the Chiefs; so if they pull some close games out they might be a Wild Card team.  Plus the Chiefs have made numerous upgrades to the team that will make them much better than in 2012.
3. Chargers (6 – 10) – Charger have some good players, but they have not found a way to put it all together.  They still have a terrible offensive line and Rivers has been turning the ball over a lot.  I don’t see them making any drastic improvements in 2013.
4, Raiders (3 – 13) – Even with the signing of Flynn; the Raiders are still not going to be a contender for the playoffs.  They lost a handful of defensive players and the offense is still not a dominant force.  I don’t see them being any worse than 2012, but I also don’t see them improving in 2013.

+NFC EAST+
1. Cowboys (8 – 8) – The Cowboys don’t have a hard schedule, but the Cowboys are their own worst enemy.  The NFC East is full of sloppy teams, and the Cowboys have the best chance to win the NFC East.  The Cowboys have a lot of talent and young players, so if they can pull it together they will have a good season
2. Eagles (6 – 10) – The Eagles made some improvements on the defensive side, but there is still a huge question mark where the QB should be.  The Eagles could be a power house of a flop depending on who is leading the team.  For now I am assuming Vick will be the one under center and that can only lead to losses.
3. Redskins (5 – 11) – RGIII is a machine and he should be healthy for the start of the season.  Also, the Redskins have a dominating run attack and a pretty solid defense.  So why am I not giving them a better record?  The actually have a pretty tough schedule and most of the Redskins are still young and inexperienced.  They have to play the Packers, Broncos, 49ers, Falcons, and Vikings.
4. Giants (5 – 11) – The Giants in my opinion have fallen down quite a bit.  They have lost a handful of defensive stars and are having trouble keeping their current stars.  The Giants also have a tough schedule ahead of them so I do not think they will be having a good 2013 season.

+NFC SOUTH+
1. Falcons (14 – 2) – The Falcons have made a huge splash in the offseason by picking up some valuable players.  They have a pretty simple schedule to go along with it.  As long as they stay healthy they should coast into a playoff spot.
2. Bucs (9 – 7) – The Bucs picked up some defensive players to strengthen the secondary; and the offense has a lot of talent.  As long as Freeman can put the ball in the end zone; and not to the other team; then the Bucs should have a solid year.  They do have some tricky games with the Pats, Falcons, Seahawks, and 49ers though.
3. Saints (8 – 8) – The Saints had the worst defense in 2012 and I know they are working on that to make it better.  But this is the first season with their head coach back and I am sure it will take some time before the Saints get back to where they were before.  The Saints will have some challenges in their schedule as well so hopefully Brees and company have a few tricks up their sleeves.
4. Panthers (3 – 13) – The Panthers still need a lot of help and they have not really addressed them in the offseason.  Also, the Panther have a hard schedule which does not help their cause.  They have to play the Falcons, Vikings, Pats, 49ers, and Seahawks.

+NFC North+
1. Packers (11 – 5) – Eben with losing Jennings the Packers will still be an amazing passing team, which will win them a lot of games.  The secondary has some holes that need to be fixed, but the Packers will still have a tight defense as well.  The Packers have a medium difficulty in schedule, but they should handle it just fine.
2. Vikings (10 – 6) – The Vikings are going to surprise a lot of people in 2013.  They made some key offensive changes and are looking to add to an already stout defense.  The big question with the Vikings is Ponder; so if he can start playing better then the Vikings will have a great chance at the playoffs.
3. Bears (10 – 6) – The Bears had some good upgrade on the offensive side of the ball, but lost a big player on defense in Urlacher.  The Bears are going to have some close games this year and if they can pull those games out then they could win the NFC North.
4. Lions (7 – 9) – The Lions added a few players, but they lost some big time players in the offseason.  They still have weapons on offense, but the defense is going to be sloppy.  I get the feeling that the Lions will put up a lot of points, but also give up a lot of points.

+NFC WEST+
1. 49ers (15 – 1) – I am sure a lot of people are rolling their eyes at me by saying the 49ers will only lose one game, but you have to take a deep look at that team.  They just added another big time receiver, they have 3 solid running backs, a QB that can run and throw, and a stellar defense.  The Niners will have their challenges, but this team is going to be very hard to beat especially at home.
2. Seahawks (14 – 2) – The Seahawks had a very impressive offseason and picked up a lot of defensive players that will make it very hard to score on.  The offense also got a face lift and I imagine they will be putting up big offensive numbers.  For the first time in a long time the NFC West is going to be a power house and the Seahawks will have a great season.
3. Rams (3 – 13) – This is just another typical year for the Rams; they lost a bunch of players in the offseason and only added a few back.  The defensive secondary is very soft and I really don’t see any progress with the Rams in 2013.
4. Cardinals (2 – 14) – I know the Cardinlas have made a lot of pick ups in the offseason, but that doesn’t mean they are going to be good.  Palmer will have a learning curve and this will be the first time Mendenhall is going to be starting since 2010.  The defense lost Adrian Wilson, and they will struggle hard for that.