2014 Week 5 Powre Rankings


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2014 Week 5 Powre Rankings
M.D. Wright

One-quarter of the way through the season, and teams are starting to show who they really are. We will know more surely about most teams come the halfway point of the season, however.

1. Seattle Seahawks (2-1).
The Hawks will have a chance to either further solidify their reputation at Washington and at home versus Dallas in the next two weeks, and either expose (or further expose, in Washington’s case) what each team is about.

2. Arizona Cardinals (3-0).
The Cards have a date with Denver in Week 5. We will know how good they really are, regardless of whether Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton is QB.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0).
The Bengals can do similarly to Seattle by solidifying their stance in the rankings by traveling to Foxborough, and the Patriots will reveal a lot about themselves in that game, as well.

4. San Diego Chargers (3-1).
After getting their annual Week 1 choke out of the way, the Bolts picked right up where they left off last season.

5. Baltimore Ravens (3-1).
I still cannot understand how they are 3-1.

6. Denver Broncos (2-1).
The B-Men don’t get any relief from tough defense with the equally-rested Cards coming to town.

7. Detroit Lions (3-1).
Don’t you constantly wait for the other shoe to drop with this team? However, you cannot deny what they’ve done to this point against three very good defenses in their wins.

8. Houston Texans (3-1).
This just feels like a flimsy team with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB.

9. Dallas Cowboys (3-1).
Same thing with Dallas, although Romo has not been asked to do as much offensively. Yet. With DeMarco Murray on pace for 400 carries, you will see more Romo passing later in the season. And you know what December means to this team.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1).
Fly Eagles Fly turned into Die Eagles Die in San Francisco. Their offense mustered zero points against a defense missing four key starters.

11. Indianapolis Colts (2-2).
Granted, it was the Jaguars and Titans, but it may have been the elixir for the Colts’ offense AND defense.

12. Green Bay Packers (2-2).
People have overreacted to the Packers’ past two games. Their best barometer thus far has been Week 2. Week 1 they gameplanned around purposely avoiding one defensive player with their offense. Week 3 they lost to a hungry Lions team with a front seven that leaned on the Packers’ weak offensive line all game. Week 4 they beat a team led by an error prone QB who was due for a bad game and had one.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2).
If the Chiefs can continue integrating Knile Davis into their offense and make Travis Kelce into who they think he can be (a big body with excellent speed and athleticism), they will be tough to beat. Even with all their best defensive players (other than Hali and Houston) out.

14. New York Football Giants (2-2).
Eli Manning has found his groove the past three games, and will get Odell Beckham back to add to his stash of offensive toys in Week 5.

15. San Francisco 49ers (2-2).
Kudos to the 49ers for shutting down what many deemed to be an unstoppable offense, but they have a ton of issues offensively; most notably, QB Colin Kaepernick.

16. Atlanta Falcons (2-2).
The narrative about the Falcons is true: they are lights out at home, and the light goes OUT on them on the road.

17. Chicago Bears (2-2).
The Bears cannot be trusted to reel off long winning streaks (i.e. a playoff run) as long as Jay Cutler is QB.

18. Miami Dolphins (2-2).
Can the Fins be consistent offensively? Their defense is fine.

19. Buffalo Bills (2-2).
EJ Manuel isn’t the problem in Buffalo. They are kidding themselves if they think Kyle Orton is the answer. It appears that Doug Marrone is fearing for his job (with an ownership change lurking, it is likely justified on his part.).

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2).
The Steelers ought to be ashamed of themselves.

21. Cleveland Browns (1-2).
The Browns should very well be 3-0, and they will have a chance to reel off three in a row coming out of their bye. The Titans are feckless, the Steelers were fortunate to beat the Browns AT HOME, and the Browns have the Jaguars in Week 7.

22. Carolina Panthers (2-2).
The grumblings for Riverboat Ron’s job are going to get louder soon. He wasn’t the one who shipped off all of Cam Newton’s WRs — one of whom buried them as a member of the Ravens in Week 5 — although Kelvin Benjamin fell into their laps and they have been fortunate that he has continued doing what he did at Florida State.

23. New York Jets (1-3).
Reality stinks, doesn’t it? After a Week 1 bye, the Jets have done nothing but find ways to lose every single game since. They weren’t that good to begin with (barely eking out a win against the hapless Raiders), and have been put back into their place in terms of proclaiming who is the best team in the New York area.

24. Minnesota Vikings (2-2).
The Vikes are going places with Teddy Bridgewater. He will need to play Week 5 (Thursday) vs. Green Bay for the Vikes to have a chance to actually move to within a half game of the NFC North lead. They likely will not beat Green Bay with Christian Ponder.

25. New England Patriots (2-2).
They may have been ranked much higher before, but Week 4 showed the dearth that the Patriots have offensively, and that is not going to miraculously change before facing a Top 3 defense (Cincinnati) and two very tough defenses right afterward (Buffalo and Jets).

26. Tennessee Titans (1-3).
The Titans are trying hard, despite starting eternal backup, Charlie Whitehurst. They just do not have the horses on either side of the ball, both due to personnel decisions and injury.

27. St. Louis Rams (1-3).
Does Shaun Hill return as QB? In my personal, humble opinion, Austin Davis has more ability than Hill. Knowing Jeff Fisher, he will screw it up and put Hill in to lose five straight before finally going back to the rookie.

28. Washington Redskins (1-3).
Kirk Cousins remembered that he played for Sparty in Week 4, and played like it.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3).
The Bucs finally played up to their abilities defensively. Mike Glennon should have been the starting QB all along. No one knows what was in the mind of Lovie Smith to anoint Josh McCown without competition heading into training camp and the preseason. The good thing for the Bucs is that they are only 1.5 games back in the worst division in the NFL.

30. New Orleans Saints (1-3).
Have said it all year: the Saints miss Sproles’ intangibles and ability to read defenses/get yards after the catch more than anything. Their offense is missing a 4th or 5th gear. They were arrogant (Sean Payton’s major character flaw, which also bit him in the ass on a critical 4th down gamble) enough to think they could plug in any small, scatback type to fill Sproles’ role, and were cheap with Jimmy Graham in negotiations. Both cheapskate moves are coming back to haunt them every game. Had Teddy Bridgewater played the entire game in Week 3, the Saints would be 0-4.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4).
The Jags will be better with Bortles, but they are going to have to open up the offense and let him pass downfield if they are ever going to win a game. You cannot dink and dunk when teams are coming after a rookie QB and don’t respect your run game.

32. Oakland Raiders (0-4).
Although many (yours truly, included) felt that Dennis Allen was always in over his head in Oakland, he hasn’t been given anything to work with. His best defensive player is perpetually on IR (and is again, this year), their entire secondary is long in the tooth, and they can’t protect their QBs (one of which took an awful beating in London and is now injured).


2014 NFL Week 4 Bettor’s Guide


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2014 NFL Week 4 Bettor’s Guide
M.D. Wright

“If you are like me, you are sick and tired of the way today’s NFL has gone. Whether you are a hardcore fan of one team, an avid diehard who watches every game possible, a fantasy football geek, or a bettor, the officiating and rules changes have led to wild swings in games that often affect the outcomes of games in the last few minutes. We had four games like that this week, after several in Weeks 1-3. For bettors’ this is crucial; particularly when point spread, over/unders, money lines and other props are effectively blown as a result of dubious officiating.”

Last Week:
SU: 10-6
ATS: 9-7

SU: 29-19
ATS: 27-21

New York Football Giants vs. Washington Redskins
FedEx Field
Landover, Maryland
Washington Redskins 3

My Call: NYG +3.5
Over/Under: Over 46

The Redskins lost CB DeAngelo Hall during the game in Philadelphia Week 3. This will not help their pass defense. The Redskins are stellar against the rush, and the Giants know it. What the Redskins know, however, is that they are going to find themselves quite a few man looks on defense if their approach to getting pressure on Eli Manning remains consistent (multiple blitzes throughout the game). The Redskins’ secondary cannot afford to allow WR Victor Cruz to beat them deep with the quick passing scheme that the Giants now employ.

Kirk Cousins will have a few opportunities to make reads to Pierre Garçon and Desean Jackson. The Giants tend to do well against the run and should mostly bottle up RB Alfred Morris and Roy Helu. The biggest difference between Cousins and Robert Griffin III is Griffin’s ability to move consistently out of the pocket. This makes the Redskins somewhat easier to defend, but if the Giants are unable to get pressure (particularly from Robert Ayers at LE, as Jason Pierre-Paul will be matched up against LT Trent Williams for most of the game), Cousins will have time to find Jackson and/or Garçon downfield, along with TE Niles Paul. Given how Thursday games tend to go, this could be a shootout, with a few turnovers.

NY Giants                     27
Washington                  24

Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders
Wembley Stadium
London, England
Wembley Stadium 1

My Call: OAK +4
Over/Under: Over 41

The Raiders are due for a win eventually. And while the Fins are in a near-mutiny situation with their offense, the Fins may be ripe for the picking.

Miami                              17
Oakland                           27

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Bears 11

My Call: CHI +1.5
Over/Under: Over 50

Jay Cutler hasn’t been turning over the football this year (since Week 1), and he has faced three straight tough defenses. That is impressive. The Packers do not feature such a defense. However, the Packers are due to snap out of their offensive funk against the Bears. Ultimately, it will not be enough for the Packers to stop Marshall, Jeffery and Bennett, along with Forte.

Green Bay                               23
Chicago                                   31

Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans
NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
Houston Texans 3

My Call: BUF +3
Over/Under: Under 40.5

The Bills deserve one more chance to be trusted with points. They are getting 3 (virtual pick ‘em) in this match up. The defenses are pretty much even, and so are the QBs. Arian Foster should play, so the Texans have the edge there. However, Buffalo’s run defense is much better than the Texans’. The question will be which QB will minimize turnovers and other mistakes. If the Bills fail to cover and win this game, they will not be trusted for a while on the road.

Buffalo                                17
Houston                              13

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis Colts

My Call: IND -7.5
Over/Under: Over 46

Let’s just skip this one.

Tennessee                       17
Indianapolis                    31

Carolina Panthers vs. Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Ravens 3

My Call: BAL -3
Over/Under: Under 40.5

The Panthers are battered and bruised in the backfield. Cam Newton is not near 100% with ankle and rib woes, Mike Tolbert has a broken leg, DeAngelo Williams has a sore hamstring, and Jonathan Stewart has a knee contusion. The Panthers’ only healthy weapons are WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Greg Olsen. The Ravens’ defense is tough and swarming enough for the Panthers on the road even when healthy. This will not end well (although the Panthers will get to Joe Flacco a few times.)

Carolina                         10
Baltimore                       20

Detroit Lions vs. New York Jets
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey
New York Jets 4

My Call: DET -1.5
Over/Under: Under 45

The last thing Geno Smith wants to see is Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in his face, along with Ziggy Ansah. The Jets’ secondary is ill-equipped to handle Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, as well; along with Matthew Stafford’s safety valve, Reggie Bush. This won’t be a blowout, because the Jets will get to Stafford and stuff the run quite well, but the Jets can’t win without a near-perfect game. Smith has not shown a propensity to have such a game but once or twice in his 20-start career.

Detroit                           23
NY Jets                          15

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Steelers 4

My Call: PIT -7
Over/Under: Under 45

The Steelers will win, and handily. That is all that needs to be said here.

Tampa Bay                       10
Pittsburgh                        24

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego, California
San Diego Chargers

My Call: JAX +13
Over/Under: Over 44.5

The Bolts are good, particularly at home, but they are not to be trusted with their inclination toward playing down to competition.

Jacksonville                      13
San Diego                          24

Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, California
San Francisco 49ers 20

My Call: SF -5.5
Over/Under: Under 50.5

The 49ers cannot get out of their own way most of the time. Massive penalties, turnovers by Colin Kaepernick, an aversion to running the football (the only way they are going to beat most teams), and they find themselves 1-2. The Eagles aren’t asked to go West too frequently, and while the body start is at the same time, the 49ers will get after QB Nick Foles and keep the Eagles receivers (who struggle to get open minus blown coverages) in front of them.

Philadelphia                       20
San Francisco                     27

Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings
TCF Stadium
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota Vikings 12

My Call: ATL -2.5
Over/Under: Over 47

Teddy Bridgewater will be the Vikings starter for the first time in his rookie campaign. Other than WR Cordarrelle Patterson, the Vikes are irrelevant without RB Adrian Peterson. Despite the Falcons’ ways on the road, they will win this game handily.

Atlanta                           34
Minnesota                      23

New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
Dallas Cowboys--Cowboys Stadium

My Call: NO -3
Over/Under: Over 53

Two good offenses, two bad defenses. The Saints’ road issues notwithstanding, Drew Brees isn’t the choke artist that Tony Romo has proven himself to be to the NFL world. Despite Romo’s gloating about putting it all together against a woeful Rams’ team, the Saints’ offense presents all sorts of match up Dallas secondary that has had a now-benched starter (Morris Claiborne) walk out of practice because he was benched. The Saints test secondaries constantly. This will be a shootout, but the Saints will remain a step ahead for most of the game.

New Orleans                        38
Dallas                                   31

New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Chiefs 11

My Call: NE -3.5
Over/Under: Under 45

What an ugly game this will be in every facet.

New England                      17
Kansas City                         10

BYE: Cincinnati (3-0), Cleveland (1-2), Denver (2-1), St. Louis (1-2), Arizona (3-0), Seattle (2-1).



2014 NFL Week 3: What We Know


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2014 NFL Week 3: What We Know
M.D. Wright

We know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ problem wasn’t coaching, but a lack of discernible and deserving NFL talent. We found that out quite vividly last Thursday.

– We know that Bobby Rainey cannot hold onto the football to save his life.

– We know that Mike Glennon should have been starting all along.

– We know that Lovie Smith has a long track record of choosing the wrong QB to ride with dating back to his early years in Chicago as head coach.

– We know that Vincent Jackson probably wishes he was back in San Diego these days.

– We know the Falcons are explosive at home.

– We know the Falcons are atrocious on the road.

– We know that Julio Jones can do things that few players can, and he proved it yet again last week.

– We know that Steven Jackson is not a guy that most defensive players want to try and tackle with a full head of steam. He is not Jerome Bettis.

What ELSE do we know?

– Rashad Jennings.

– DeAndre Hopkins is the Texans deep threat. Andre Johnson is the Texans’ possession receiver.

– Eli Manning’s 70% goal is highly attainable.

– Victor Cruz can still dance.

– Larry Donnell continues to make a case to be the long-term starting Giants tight end.

– Philip Rivers continue to get it done even after losing starting RBs in back to back weeks.

– The Bills cannot play from behind.

– We know the Rams are as adept at choking as Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. Someone had to choke in that game, and the Rams out-choked Dallas.

– DeMarco Murray continues to own the Rams.

– Kirk Cousins is a better QB than Robert Griffin III.

– The “Douchesean” Jackson make-it-all-about-me act returned in Philadelphia.

– Nick Foles is a lot of things. Tough being one of them.

– Eagles receivers can only get open if there is a bust in coverage.

– LeSean McCoy is struggling mightily.

– The Teddy Bridgewater Regime is underway without controversy.

– The Saints still look mediocre through three weeks.

– AJ Green just shrugs off the pain and has another yawn-worthy 100-yard receiving game.

– How many RBs do the Ravens have?

– Steve Smith was the latest WR to (truly) expose Joe Haden.

– The Packers offense is very anemic.

– Blake Bortles better get some additional rib pads and flak jacket attire.

– The Patriots offense is very anemic.

– The 49ers are about as undisciplined as a convicted serial killer set free without supervision.

– So is their head coach.

– Drew Stanton?

– Seattle should have blown out Denver, had they been attempting to actually move the ball in the 2nd half.

– Marshawn Lynch is as clutch as a RB can be.

– Richard Sherman gives up one catch for 12 yards and a 2 point conversion, as he has been “exposed” in back to back weeks.

– Knile Davis.

– Joe McKnight arose from the dead to score two TD.

– Ryan Tannehill’s decision-making is about as shaky as the car thieves’ decision to steal a cop’s car in New Jersey Drive.

– Le’veon Bell.

– Kelvin “Tree” Benjamin continues to make several teams pay for not drafting him in the 1st Round.

– Jay Cutler has played two straight “clean” games. Not a soul can believe their eyes.

– The Jets have returned from their Week 1 bye to… well, playing Jets football.



OMW and Women

OMW and Women
M.D. Wright

One thing I learned early in adulthood while walking the streets back in the day in the city still proves to be true today:

Women who are involved, have a boyfriend, engaged/married are much more likely to smile, speak and engage in conversation than those who are completely detached from a guy or single.

And as always, there are no absolutes such as “all” here, so for exceptions to the rule, please keep it to yourself if you are itching to reply LMAO.


2014 NFL Week 4 Powre Rankings


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2014 NFL Week 4 Powre Rankings
M.D. Wright

You are starting to see teams show who they really are on both sides of the football, and it reflects in the standings.

1. Seattle Seahawks (2-1).
The game with Denver should have been another blowout, but Seattle sat on the football throughout the 2nd half. Like Richard Sherman said, the game shouldn’t have been close. Once overtime came, Seattle went right back to doing whatever they wanted offensively and scored the game-winning touchdown with absolutely no resistance from Denver’s defense.

2. Arizona Cardinals (3-0).
The Cards are legit, but people still doubt them; particularly 49er players and fans.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0).
The Bengals finally came out and played a complete game in Week 3.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0).
They still have not played a team with a good secondary.

5. Denver Broncos (2-1).
They did not lose 43-8 this time, but they very well should have, had Seattle actually been trying to move the ball to score in the second half of the game in Week 3, while up 17-3.

6. San Diego Chargers (2-1).
They should be 3-0.

7. Chicago Bears (2-1).
They keep losing players and somehow have won back to back games on the road against ferocious front seven defenses.

8. New England Patriots (2-1).
The Patriots do not look good offensively, but they know how to win.

9. Baltimore Ravens (2-1).
The Ravens are going to be in a lot of close games this year. Can you depend on Joe Flacco to get it done consistently?

10. Buffalo Bills (2-1).
The Bills have to open things up for EJ Manuel. They can only play close games or with a lead. They are catastrophic offensively when they are down by more than one score.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1).
The Steelers lost half of their starting LB corps in one night, along with one of their starting cornerbacks. They are going to be scrambling to repair an already creaky defense. The salve? They face the Buccaneers in Week 4.

12. Detroit Lions (2-1).
The Lions have not been explosive since Week 1, but they gutted out a tough win and shut down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the process during Week 3.

13. Atlanta Falcons (2-1).
The Falcons have a chance to seize first place in the NFC South with a win over the Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings in Week 4.

14. Indianapolis Colts (1-2).
The Jags are everyone’s salve this year. However otherwise, the Colts need to get off to better starts. Their defense isn’t good enough to consistently get stops just to give Andrew Luck an outside shot of bringing the team back every week.

15. San Francisco 49ers (1-2).
Aided by several self-inflicted wounds by Dallas, the 49ers’ are about as undisciplined as any team in the NFL, and thatclose from being 0-3. They have scored a whooping three (3) points total in the second halves of their three games thus far.

16. New York Football Giants (1-2).
The offense is finally coming together, and the defense was great until they took their foot off the pedal when the Giants were up 30-10 in the 2nd half. Eli Manning is hitting on 70% of his 67 pass attempts since Week 1, for those who scoffed at Ben McAdoo’s proclamations about Eli’s completion percentage in his offense.

17. Houston Texans (2-1).
The Texans aren’t as bad as they looked Week 3, and Arian Foster is not Adrian Peterson by any stretch of a sane person’s imagination. In other words, not having Foster is not why Houston lost, nor why Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted three times against a swarming Giants defense.

18. Carolina Panthers (2-1).
While the Panthers appeared to have a superfluous situation in their backfield, they can’t seem to have any of them healthy. Cam Newton is banged up, and it is affecting his passing ability, Mike Tolbert broke his leg on Sunday night, Jonathan Stewart is banged up, and DeAngelo Williams is still dealing with a hamstring injury.

19. New Orleans Saints (1-2).
The Saints still don’t have that extra gear offensively, yet.

20. Dallas Cowboys (2-1).
The Rams blew the game more than Dallas won it.

21. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1).
The Chiefs were very much dominant in Miami, while sticking with the run game, which was effective with Knile Davis in place of Jamaal Charles.

22. Cleveland Browns (1-2).
The Browns would be 3-0 if they knew how to close games and not get burned for big plays (Joe Haden).

23. Green Bay Packers (1-2).
The Pack better figure out what ails their offense and quickly (failed execution, lack of separation by WRs, inconsistent running game) before they fall behind too far in the NFC North.

24. New York Jets (1-2).
Now that the Jets are playing actual NFL teams, they are reverting back to being the Jets (after only beating the Raiders by 5, and were a desperation moment away from sweating away a Raiders game-winning drive).

25. St. Louis Rams (1-2).
The Rams just cannot get out of their own way when they had a game in the bag against a team that cannot stop anyone’s offense.

26. Minnesota Vikings (1-2).
It’s all on young Theodore Bridgewater now.

27. Miami Dolphins (1-2).
For those who were watching the Fins in the 4th quarter, they managed to blow a sure-fire first down, to attempt a play that had zero chance of being successful, then blew the following play, in what ended up being the play that swung the game for good. Endemic of the Fins’ playcalling woes offensively, and how it is costing them games.

28. Washington Redskins (1-2).
They have beaten Jacksonville and haven’t accomplished much else other than battering and bruising Nick Foles (with no sacks, somehow) in Week 3. They score points, but they still have issues in their secondary; particularly with DeAngelo Hall now out for season.

29. Tennessee Titans (1-2).
This team is just all sorts of inept. Baffling how they won Week 1.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3).
They did not want to get Blake Bortles killed behind a poor offensive line, but he is going to have to tough it out and take his lumps now.

31. Oakland Raiders (0-3).
The Raiders have fared decently against AFC East teams, and should have won both games vs. New England and New York, but they just aren’t ready to compete at an NFL level for 60 minutes. Derek Carr is legit, however. Dennis Allen may be fired within the week.

32. Tampa Buccaneers (0-3).
What in the world? The Falcons could have scored 70 if they were trying.


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