Posts Tagged ‘luck’

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

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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.