NFL Playoff picture gets more muddled

Same old Lions. Same old Ravens.

It’s been an unpredictable NFL season as many teams have been through wild ups and downs, but some things seem to remain constant. The Detroit Lions find ways to lose, and the Baltimore Ravens find ways to win. Last night’s Ravens victory over the Lions included a 61-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. We also saw Magatron drop several key passes. So the Lions seemed poised to make the post-season and earlier this season the Ravens were toast, but now things are changing. There’s a ton of football left to be played before fans and sharps try to place a winning bet on Super Bowl 2014, and there will be chaos with the NFL playoff picture with two games left.

This NFL weekend started out on Thursday night with the Denver Broncos getting shocked by San Diego. All of a sudden, the New England Patriots, who got a miracle win the previous week courtesy of the Cleveland Browns and the officials, were now in the driver’s seat. But then reality kicked in as the Gronk-less Patriots couldn’t beat the Dolphins. Yes, that’s the same Dolphins team that everyone thought was dead with the hzing fiasco.

Meanwhile, the Bengals now had a great opportunity to solidify their playoff position and possibly get the second seed, but they were literally beaten up by the Pitsburgh Steelers, another team we all left for dead. The AFC playoff picture is a muddled mess at this point, with a bunch of mediocre teams fight for a spot. Meanwhile, the question remains as to whether Broncos peaked too soon. The Chiefs are upping their game, so they still might have a say in things. Also, all the Joe Flacco bashers might have to watch him in the playoffs again.

On the NFC side, Seattle is king, and the Saints are suddenly struggling. Pathetic teams like the Cowboys still have a chance, and Green Bay might sneak in just in time for a healthy Aaron Rodgers to make another run.

This is just how the NFL likes it, though at some point the unredictable nature of the game and the subpar quality of play might start having an effect on fans. Some love it, others see a sub-par product. But betters will always love it.

  

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Plenty of surprises at mid-point of NFL season

Trent Richardson Browns Facebook 2

The NFL has become so unpredictable it’s become funny listening to so-called experts make definitive statements about what’s going to happen. So far the 2013 season has been one of the most unpredictable in years, and there have been tons of surprises. Last night’s Bengals/Dolphins game was one of many games that had to drive betters crazy, as the game ended up turning on a safety in overtime, which saved anyone who bet the under and killed everyone who bet the over. Of course these things happen all the time and that’s part of the fun (or agony) you know may be in store for you as you browse the lines each week with sites recommended by sites like SportsBettingPal.com, but the overall unpredictability of the NFL has added to the drama. Just consider some of these highlights:

- Who would have guessed that the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans could be this bad? The collapse of these teams has been stunning, even in a league that usually produces surprises.

- The Kansas City Chiefs are the last undefeated team in the NFL. Last year they earned the number one pick in the NFL draft by having the worst record in the NFL. Of course many predicted improvement with Andy Reid taking over for a team that was coached by the epicly inept Romeo Crennel, bit 8-0 is certainly a surprise. Now don’t let that fool you too much, as the Chiefs have been winning some close games against mediocre teams and have been very fortunate with turnovers, so the second half of the season could change this storyline quickly.

- The Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson, and then proceeded to win three straight after everyone had assumed that they tanked the season. Brandon Weeden played like a bust, but then Brian Hoyer came in and played like an All Pro. That’s the NFL.

- The New York Jets were left for dead even before the season started, but they’re 4-4. One week their defense look like the ’85 Bears, and the following week they give up over 40 points to Cincy along with five touchdowns for the erratic Andy Dalton.

All of this has added to the fun of picking games against the spread, but it also drives home the point that nothing is a lock in this league. Keep in mind that you’re playing probabilities, and that it can often pay to go against conventional wisdom.

  

RG3 in adidas commercial on eve of 2013 NFL season

RG3 Adidas

The 2013 NFL season kicks off tonight with the Baltimore Ravens traveling to Denver as the Broncos try to avenge their gut wrenching loss from last season’s playoffs.

One story line this season revolves around the return of Robert Griffin III as he tries to return from a season-ending knee injury. He’s slated to start game 1, and here he’s ready to roll with Adidas as the season gets underway.

  

Fantasy Football Draft Day Strategy: Bank Your Offense

Trent Richardson Browns Facebook 2

Building a well-oiled Fantasy Football engine, that will drive you to a year-end Championship, takes quality craftsmanship and a dedication to details. With another NFL Fantasy Football season coming at us with the speed of the Acela Express, the time to prepare is now! Fantasy football fanatic and online sports betting expert StatsGuru here with some commentary on the value of a “positional” draft strategy that’s often employed once the clock starts ticking on Draft Day. This advice is based on a standard scoring system that includes a one point per reception bonus.

Running Backs First Strategy: Still a path to Success

You could make solid argument that the National Football League has been stealing a few pages out of the Canadian Football League playbooks recently. That’s because the run twice, pass, and then kick strategy, that the NFL was once infamous for, has turned to a pass a lot and run later strategy – very similar to the CFL. Once dominated by Barry Sanders and Walter Payton, the running back focused NFL is now all about the quarterbacks. It takes willpower, but I personally like to target pass catching running backs with my first three picks on draft day.

RB Secured: Wide Receivers and Quarterbacks are next

No matter which position you draft from, you can usually secure three top tier starting running backs with your first three picks – if you resist the urge to dip into the quarterback and wide receiver pool. While 110 points separated the top QB from 12th overall in 2012, and just 90 points separated the top 12 wide receivers, the gap from top down to twelve for running backs was 131 points. With so many teams employing a pass happy offense, the quarterback importance gap is shrinking. Look at banking your wide receivers with your next three picks – then your QB.

Tight End position continues to gain importance

Once your everyday starting roster of QB (1), RB (3), and WR (3) is secure, you’ll be rolling into the eighth round of your draft. Like the wide receiver position, there’s a smaller drop off when it at the tight end position – in 2012 it was just 87 points. I always aim to reach the first plateau, which is having starters in place at the four offensive “skill positions” by the end of the eighth round. Your first TE pick can also be inter-changed with one of your wide receiver picks if you spot value in a particular TE. Now, with over half of your draft sill to come, you’ll have a solid starting roster.

As you surf around the internet, during the another thrilling NFL regular season, and right up to Super Bowl XLVIII, feel free to click here for additional NFL commentary. Good Luck & Enjoy your 2013 Fantasy Football Ride. It’ll be amazing – it always is!

Image source: Cleveland Browns Facebook page

  

Clear Men Scalp Therapy Interview with NFL All-Pro Tony Gonzalez

Paul-Eide-Tony-Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez is an NFL icon. A lock for the Hall of Fame when he retires, Gonzalez has the most receiving yards (14,268) and touchdowns (107) for a tight end in NFL history, and the second most receptions (1,242) all-time, trailing only 49ers legend Jerry Rice.

Recently, I spoke with the 17-year veteran about his partnership with Clear Men Scalp Therapy, “Marty Ball” and the evolution of the NFL. You can check out a transcription of the interview below, or just watch the embedded video of our discussion after the break.

Bullz-Eye: So Tony, what’s going on with you and Clear Men Scalp Therapy?

Tony Gonzalez: I teamed up with Clear Men Scalp Therapy because as you strive to be the perfect man, it starts with first impressions. And as a football player wearing a helmet all the time, we deal with flakes. They have flake free, dandruff free shampoo that really doesn’t dry your hair out and I love it. It smells great and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Bull-Eye: Speaking of flakes, how has the integration of social media in today’s world changed the way you interact with fans?

Tony Gonzalez: It’s a game changer; everyone has a voice. Let alone just athletes, anyone “famous” or whatever you want to call, everyone gets to voice their opinion. My 12-year-old son has a Facebook and Instagram and he’s like, ‘Dad why don’t you respond to me so I can get more friends?’ and all this stuff. As the professional athlete, it’s a blessing and a huge tool to reach whatever audience you want to reach. On the flip side of that, it’s a dangerous tool, if it’s used improperly and you see athletes putting stuff out there all the time. Once you push send, it’s on there forever; for the rest of your life and even when you leave the earth, people are still able to check out what you thought about a certain subject and it can be dangerous.”

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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