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Archive for January, 2011

Senior Bowl

January 29th, 2011 No comments

The Senior Bowl has been played every year since 1950 and usually is the top postseason bowl where the best college players from all over the country showcase their skills to NFL coaches and scouts. The players are assigned to either the North or South team according to where they played in college and are coached by NFL staffs. This year the coaches are from the Cincinnati Bengals (North) and Buffalo Bills (South).

Mobile has been the site of the game for every year except the 1st one where it was played in Jacksonville. The South leads the all-time series 29-26-3.

In todays blog I will give you each roster complete with heights, weights, and our Phil Steele post-season honors on all of the players participating.

I also included my unit grades for each position that take into account each players stats, experience, etc. The higher the grade the better the unit. Use each grade to matchup which team has the stronger unit for each position.

Check back tomorrow to get all of your coverage for this year’s Pro Bowl. Read more…

2011 Returning Starters!

January 26th, 2011 3 comments

We have already been working hard on the 2011 season and Today’s blog is the current list for Returning Starters for each team in 2011 broken down by offense, defense and special teams (kicker/punter). The * on the offense number denotes that the starting QB is returning. Below the list I broke down teams with the most/least returning starters.

I will be back later this week with all the Senior Bowl/Pro Bowl coverage you need to prepare you for this weekend’s games. On Monday I will expand on the Las Vegas odds to win the 2011 BCS National Championship and give you a breakdown of each of the 50 teams including key starters back/lost. Read more…

NFL Championship Forecasts

January 23rd, 2011 No comments
NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
3 NFC FINALS
SATURDAY JANUARY 23rd
3:00 PM FOX

GREEN BAY (12-6) at CHICAGO (12-5)

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
A.O.R
GREEN BAY 78
245
25
1.6
#24
98.8
CHICAGO
99
198
17
2.4
#4
97.8
Despite 181 previous meetings this will be only the 2nd time the Packers and Bears face off in the playoffs (1941 the only other meeting). GB is 4-2 in the Aaron Rodgers era splitting the series TY. CHI won the 1st game 20-17 on MNF in the 1st meeting. GB self-destructed with 18 penalties as a fmbl on their final drive set up a 19 yd FG by CHI for the win. In the 2nd meeting just 3 weeks ago, CHI played its starters the full game despite having clinched the #2 seed as they wanted to keep GB out of the playoffs. GB won 10-3 as they played sluggishly for the 1st 3Q. On the 3rd and 4th plays of the 4Q, Rodgers had 21 and 46 yd passes to set up the game’s only TD. CHI punted on its next 2 drives and went 66/15pl before being int’d at the GB11 with :20 left. CHI is 5-3 at home TY (no GB) with basically even ydg (-1 ypg) with -2 TO’s with a 22-22 avg score due to the NE blowout. GB is 5-5 on the road TY outgaining foes by 51 ypg (0 TO’s) with a 21-15 avg score. Vs common foes CHI is 9-3 being outgained 322-298 (+4 TO’s) with a 22-19 avg score. CHI faced CAR once and SEA at home twice outside of common foes. GB went 9-4 with a 350-326 yd edge (+10 TO’s with a 26-15 avg score. Outside of common foes GB faced PHI and ATL twice on the road while hosting SF.
GB and NO are the only teams to finish in the top 10 on offense in each of the L5Y. Rodgers is an elite QB ranking 4th in pass yds, pass TD and QBR since he took over as the st’r in ‘08. TY he was 78 yds short of being the 1st QB to throw for 4,000 in each of his 1st 3 yrs. He has had to cope with the loss of RB Grant (brkn ankle in opener) and TE Finley (knee, 5th gm) who was a huge loss for 3rd down pkgs. As a result GB used its run gm to set up the play action and serve as an extra pass protector. GB has 5 plyrs in the top 100 for rec’s with Jennings finishing in the top 10 rec yds (1st time in career). Unlike LY, GB has enjoyed stability on the OL as they’ve had the same lineup for 14 str after Bulaga was installed at RT. LY Rodgers was sacked once every 11 att and TY it’s once every 14 TY. GB has capitalized on pts off takeaways 124) which has helped them make up for a beaten up front 7. After starting 1 gm LY, Raji has been a beast as he’s the only DL with 18 sts and his 6.5 reg ssn sks are the most by a NT S/’90. Despite a nagging hamstring inj Matthews is the 1st in GB hist with 10+ sks in his 1st 2Y. However, GB is very thin at the other OLB spot having started 4 diff plyrs. GB has had good health in the secondary (#1 pass D) with 3 of 4 st’rs together for all 18. This will be the 4th time in 5 yrs that GB’s ST’s have finished 24th or lower in my rankings with the return units (7.9 PR, 20.1 KR) being the main culprit TY. Read more…

East-West Shrine Game

January 22nd, 2011 2 comments

Todays blog will give you each roster for the East-West Shrine complete with my unit grades (the avg of many scouting services grades), post season awards, and PS#’s.

The East-West Shrine game is the oldest annual post season all star game and has been played every year since 1925. Although the East won last years game 13-10 the West is still winning the series 45-35-5. The game features many future pros as 90% of last years participants were either drafted or signed on as a free agent in the NFL.

Even though the game is an American football competition, players playing Canadian university football have been invited every year since 1985. The Shrine game is the only game on either the Canadian or American college football schedules in which players from both sides of the border compete with or against each other.

Most importantly the game is played to raise funds for the 22 Shriners Hospitals around the country.

Make sure you check back on Sunday to get my forecasts for the NFL Conference Championship games. Read more…

NFL Draft Early Entries: Good Move/Bad Move

January 20th, 2011 2 comments

Last Saturday was the final date that underclassmen could declare for the 2011 NFL Draft. The NFL labor agreement seem to have no effect as a record 56 players declared for early entry for this year’s NFL draft, that number released yesterday by the NFL was higher than most projections.

Here are the number of players declaring early for the Draft the past 10 years.

Players that left ealry in 2011: 56
Players that left early in 2010: 53
Players that left early in 2009: 46
Players that left early in 2008: 53
Players that left early in 2007: 40
Players that left early in 2006: 52
Players that left early in 2005: 51
Players that left early in 2004: 43
Players that left early in 2003: 47
Players that left early in 2002: 38
Players that left early in 2001: 35

Out of the 56 players, 13 were DL, 12 RBs, 10 DB’s, 10 WR’s, 4 LBs, 3 QBs, 2 OL, 1 FB and 1 TE. Read more…

NFL Draft Early Entries: Teams Hit Hardest

January 17th, 2011 4 comments

Last Saturday was the final date that underclassmen could declare for the 2011 NFL Draft. In total 53 players declared early and while some teams were hit hard by the early entries others were more lucky with several players deciding to return for another year. Today I will break which teams were hit hardest and which teams have the best returnees that turned down the NFL.

In Wednesday’s Blog I will give my analysis of whether or not it was a good move/bad move for each player.

Teams Hit Hardest:

Alabama lost three of his best players as expected with DT Marcell Dareus, WR Julio Jones and  RB Mark Ingram announcing they would forego their senior seasons. Naturally Ingram’s replacement will be Richardson who has ran for more than 1,400 yds the last two years  and Nick Saban’s defenses seem to reload each year so finding a replacement for Dareus might not be a huge obstacle. The biggest loss might be WR Jones who had more rec (78) than the next two players combined. Read more…

Today’s NFL Divisional Forecasts!

January 15th, 2011 No comments
AFC SEMI-FINALS
SATURDAY JANUARY 15TH
4:30 PM CBS

BALTIMORE RAVENS (13-4) VS PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12-4)

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
A.O.R
BALTIMORE 64
163
15
1.6
#12
98.3
PITTSBURGH
98
288
19
1.8
#18
98.7
The Steelers own 19 division titles S/’79 with 4 in the AFC North since realignment. Mike Tomlin’s Steelers are 26-9 at home going 5-3 TY. PIT outgained foes by an avg of 47 ypg (6th) at home TY (+10 TO’s) with a 23.1-16.6 avg score. Counting playoffs, Tomlin is 6-3 vs BAL with a 21-16 avg score. They split the series TY with BAL getting a 17-14 win vs PIT without Roethlisberger in Wk 4. With Roethlisberger, the Steelers came away with a 13-10 win on the road. BAL had a 10-6 lead with 3:00 left but Flacco was sk’d and fmbl’d and it was ret’d to the BAL9. PIT scored 3pl later and forced BAL to go 3&out then ran out the clock. BAL is 6-3 on the road TY where they have outgained foes by 27 ypg (+1 TO’s) with a 22-16 avg score.

Read more…

Top Team Bowl Performances

January 14th, 2011 No comments
Top 10 Scoring
Pts
Tulsa 62
BYU 52
Miss St 52
Maryland 51
Alabama 49
Troy 48
Oklahoma 48
Texas Tech 45
LSU 41
N Illinois and Stanford 40
Bottom 10 Scoring
Pts
Utah 3
Georgia 6
Georgia Tech 7
West Virginia 7
Nebraska 7
Michigan St 7
Arizona 10
UCF 10
Virginia Tech 12 Read more…

Top Individual Bowl Performances

January 12th, 2011 No comments

Here are some of the top individual performances from this past bowl season. Tomorrow I will break down the top team performances.

Rushing Leaders (Top 10)
Player, School Att Yds YPC Long TD
Ronnie Hillman, San Diego St 28 228 8.1 37 3
Marcus Coker, Iowa 33 219 6.6 62 2
Da’Rel Scott, Maryland 13 200 15.4 91 2
Delone Carter, Syracuse 27 198 7.3 60 2
Adonis Thomas, Toledo 24 193 8 87 2
Mikel LeShoure, Illinois 29 184 6.3 24 3
Chris Polk, Washington 34 177 5.2 24 1
Shaun Draughn, North Carolina 23 160 7 58 1
Doug Martin, Boise St 17 147 8.6 84 1
Chris Thompson, Florida St 25 147 5.9 27 1

Read more…

Off-Season Blog Schedule Plus Final Bowl Contest Standings

January 11th, 2011 No comments

The Daily blog will be undergoing some changes in the next couple of days now that the college football season is complete. Tomorrow’s blog will give you the final conference standings from the bowls plus the top performances from all the bowl games both team/individual. Later on this week you will get my forecasts for the NFL Divisional games played that day including my computer’s projected box score of the games. Starting next week I will be going to a Monday, Wednesday and weekend blog format until magazine season is over in late spring/early summer. Next week may feature my projection of what the Preseason AP top 10 will be for 2011 and that will be coming after January 15th when juniors have to declare or not declare for the NFL Draft. I also will be updating you with 2011 NFL Draft and 2011 Frosh Recruiting updates. Read more…