• In Case You Missed It! In case you were either living in a hole or your significant other made you do something else, here are the highlights from the best playoff game of the weekend.
    By best, I mean action packed. So calm down Cowboy fans, I know its been a long time.

  • MVP HONORS NFThis year’s MVP talk boils down to two players, Peyton Manning & Chris Johnson. Philip Rivers & Drew Brees are certainly in the conversation. Philip Rivers led the S.D. Chargers to a division title & first round bye in the playoffs. Rivers engineered the Chargers unit in eleven consecutive victories. Manning, Brady, & Brees club anyone? Rivers is knocking at the door. Next year may be his time? Then there is Drew Brees. He led the Saints to an impressive 13-3 record. What hurts Brees’ chances is the way the N.O. Saints have played of late. They haven’t looked all that impressive since their week 12 (38-17) spanking of the Patriots. The Saints have dropped their last three games. Brees should be a shoe in for the running again next season.

    The crowning of Peyton Manning is the logical choice. Peyton was on the verge of inscribing the Colts as the third team in NFL history to go undefeated in the regular season. But, the organization had decided to bench their starters in favor of a playoff run.

    The Colts had two major offseason changes. Both came in the form of retirement. On January 12th 2009 seven year head coach Tony Dungy called it quits. In came first year head coach Jim Caldwell & question marks arose. But, it turned out to be a smooth transition. Then on May 6th 2009, Hall of Famer, & eleven year teammate Marvin Harrison followed suit. The two hold a number of QB-WR tandem records. Most completions (career): 953; most completions in a season: 143(2002); most passing/receiving yards (career): 12,756; & most passing/receiving TDs (career): 112. Peyton still had pro bowl receiver Reggie Wayne, one of the finest in the business, & pro bowl tight end Dallas Clark, also one of the best at his respective position. It didn’t take long for Peyton & incoming rookie WR’s Pierre Garcon & Austin Collie to click. What they accomplished over the course of the season was an exhibition of Peyton’s playmaking brilliance. The Colts defense had their share of adjustments due to injuries, placing more pressure on the offense. Peyton has led the Colts to a league leading (7) fourth-quarter comebacks, more than any team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Peyton was the best player on the planet for the 2009-’10 season.

    There is also cause for an argument that Chris Johnson deserves the crown. The second year running back out of East Carolina torched defenses on a weekly basis. Johnson was able to do it running for an abysmal Tennessee Titan offense. His numbers are incredibly impressive, considering opposing defensive coordinators identified Johnson as Tennessee’s offensive jugular. Neutralize him, & you have a stagnant Titan offense. How he was able to rack up 2,006 rushing yards is amazing. He is the 6th player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards. Johnson finished the season with 11 consecutive 100+ rushing yard games. He was able to rush for 150+ yards in four games. In week 8 he racked up 228 rushing yards vs. the Jaguars. His most impressive performance came in week 2; he had TD runs of 50+, 60+, & 91+ yards, becoming the first player to ever do this. Johnson also had three runs of 85 yards or more this season. No NFL player has ever done that in their entire career. Johnson also broke Marshall Faulk’s record of 2,429 yards from scrimmage in a single season, with 2,509 yards. Johnson totaled 503 yards receiving. The only 2,000 back to come close to that was Barry Sanders, in 1997, when he had 305 yards receiving. There’s also the holding penalty Ed Hochuli called, it negated a 62 yard TD run by Johnson with 11:53 to go in the 4th quarter in week 17. It was a terrible call. Those 62 yards would have given Johnson 2,060 yards at that point, only 46 yards away from breaking Dickerson’s single season record of 2,105 yards. It may not matter anyway. It is unlikely Johnson will be given the MVP. The reason being, the Titans aren’t playing in the postseason. Barry Sanders won the MVP award in 1997 when he had his 2,000 yard season. But, the Detroit Lions went on to the playoffs. Chris Johnson had as fine a season as any running back has ever had. Johnson was also the best player on the planet this year.

    Comparing these two players is absurd. They both had a phenomenal season in different situations, playing different positions. Giving the MVP award to one & not the other is ridiculous. It is comparable to one having to choose the Brazilian or French beauty for his queen. They both get the crown. Chris Johnson & Peyton Manning should be co-MVP’s!

  • CANTON BOUND New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, has dominated in his 2009-’10 campaign. Three years into the league he has established himself as one of the games elite. He has dominated every #1 wide receiver that has come his way. Andre Johnson (4 Rec, 35 Yds), Randy Moss (4 Rec, 24 Yds, week 2; 5 Rec., 34 Yds, 1 TD, week 10), Marques Colston (2 Rec, 33 Yds), Terrell Owens (3 Rec, 13 Yds, week 6; 3 Rec, 31 Yds, week 12), Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers; 2 Rec, 2 Yds), Roddy White (4 Rec, 33 Yds), Reggie Wayne (3 Rec, 33 Yds), & Chad OchoCinco (0 Rec, 0 Yds). These are some of the finest receivers to ever play; this is the resume of an all world cornerback.

    Revis is the equivalent of two defenders. His shutdown ability enables the Jets safeties to cover other players. The Jets defenders can then overload zones. Quarterbacks have no choice but to throw to his side. His league leading 31 passes defended is a result of this.

    Revis obviously possesses a ton of talent. But his recent success is also to be credited to his appetite for learning. He no longer watches game film; he studies it, of his upcoming opponents over & over. Studying a receiver’s body language is all about repetition. The key is to memorize their entire bag of tricks. What do they habitually do with their hands prior to running specific routes? How are their feet positioned? Every player has habits. It’s a matter of putting in the time to discover what they are. Then exploit it come game day.

    Every season Revis has improved, becoming more spectacular than the last. His offseason improvement is a testament to his discipline. His training regiment included; running up Arizona Mountains in the desert heat, pulling sleds, & repetitiously lifting monster truck tires. He meticulously studied every receiver he would face, fueling him in his workouts.

    When all is said & done, barring any major career ending injuries, Revis will go down as one of the greats. He will continue to dominate in his era, making pro bowl receivers look amateurish. He is doing this in an NFL that isn’t friendly to defenses. Defensive backs in particular, where penalty flags fly as if they are suppose to play two-hand touch football. Because after all offense sells tickets. Even as Revis, in his 2009-’10 campaign, has perfected the art of a lockdown corner when they are surely a dying breed. Mr. Revis is only going to keep improving if that is at all possible?

  • FANTASY IN FOCUS The New England Patriots defense continues to struggle. Credit that to their inability to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks. This is leaving their largely inexperienced secondary isolated and vulnerable. Opposing teams will continue to employ an aerial attack when facing them. This will only change provided their front seven can start generating pressure on a more consistent basis.

    The current scenario is bad for Patriot fans but bodes well for Tom Brady, Wes Welker, & Randy Moss owners. The Patriots are 7-5. They hold a fragile one game lead in the AFC east division. Their remaining games are playoff caliber games. They haven’t had a very effective running game this year. So expect this offense to continue to rely heavily on the arm of Tom Brady. The Patriots upcoming schedule: Carolina, @Buffalo, Jacksonville, & @Houston.

    Brady, Welker, & Moss are great options moving forward. Consider benching the Patriot defense if you have a better option.

    What is going to become of the Indianapolis Colts offensive unit? Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, & Joseph Addai have consistently produced. The Colts stand at 12-0. Head coach Jim Caldwell has said he will be resting his starters once they have clinched a playoff bye. Manning, Wayne, & Clark in particular may see reduced playing time. Owners need to pay close attention to this situation.

    The looming question is how playing time will be distributed amongst the backs? Maybe Joseph Addai will get fewer carries? Making way for Donald Brown & Chad Simpson to see increased reps? Watch this situation moving forward.

    The 12-0 New Orleans Saints are on a roll. Their QB Drew Brees continues to engineer the leagues top ranked offensive unit.

    In week 13 Brees hit WR Robert Meachem on a 53 yard bomb in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Meachem has emerged as this year’s Lance Moore. In recent weeks he has played like a #1 fantasy receiver, out of the #3 spot for the Saints. He has produced 6 TDs in the last 5 games. He is another receiver breaking out in his third year.

    The Saints were able to manufacture 33 points against the Washington Redskins. The NFL’s #1 ranked pass defense.

    Marques Colston Robert Meachem, & Devery Henderson remain Brees’ most dangerous weapons. I don’t see any of their remaining opponents being able to stop them.

    Pay close attention to the running back situation. Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, & Reggie Bush crowd their backfield. Thomas is the best starting option of the three. That could change if head coach Sean Payton decides to rest some of his guys. Even though he has said his players will be playing down the stretch, in hopes of going 16-0. Regardless of that statement stay tuned, to see what will transpire over the coming weeks.

    What happened to the Pittsburgh Steelers? They lost in week 12 at Arrowhead Stadium, to a terrible Kansas City Chiefs team. Pair that with a week 13 loss at Heinz Field, to an Oakland Raiders squad. A defeat that drops the defending champs to a meager 6-6 record.

    With the Cincinnati Bengals on the verge of wrapping up that division, the Steelers will be fighting for a wild card spot. This is good news for Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, & Rashard Mendenhall owners. Expect them to post solid numbers down the stretch.

    Heath Miller has been non-existent in this offense of late. Roethlisberger should find a way to get him re-involved in the offense.

    Like the Patriots it is the Steelers defense that has been their downfall. The impending scenario is how long will Troy Polamalu remain sidelined? He is the heart & soul of this defense. Polamalu’s absence has extinguished the defenses spirit. If he remains sidelined consider using another defense.

    The Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers & Donald Driver connection continues to roll. Rodgers remains the top fantasy scoring player in the majority of leagues. Donald Driver has served as a reliable safety valve for Rodgers all season. Driver & Jermichael Finley are Rodgers favorite targets, when his pocket prematurely collapses. But don’t make the mistake of leaving Greg Jennings out of the conversation. He has had a disappointing year to date. Poor blocking for Rodgers has hurt Jennings fantasy value. He is a lethal vertical threat when Rodgers is given the time. The Packers O-line has found some cohesion of late. They looked legit against a stout Baltimore Raven front seven. Owners have no excuses in not starting these guys.

    The Packers can still win the NFC north title. They need the Vikings to lose 3 out of their last 4, and they need to win outright. Every week is a big game.

    At times Dom Capers has been able to orchestrate this young defense into NFL elitism. Rookies Clay Mathews Jr. & BJ Raji have played extremely well. Mathews Jr. is a fun one to watch. He flies all over the field and has a knack for the ball. Raji has been able to plug gaps and get a solid push up front. Combine that with perennial ball hawk Charles Woodson and you have a formidable defense in the making. Don’t make the mistake of sitting this defense.

  • Can The Saints Go Marching In? The New Orleans Saints are hands down the best team in the NFL right now. They made the New England Patriots look mediocre. They handed the Patriots their worst defeat since their 38-13, week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins last season. Matt Cassel took over quarterback duties in place of Tom Brady due to his season ending knee injury. The Dolphins offense was invigorated by the newly found Wildcat offense. In some ways the outcome of that game wasn’t all that shocking. For one the Patriots didn’t have their pro bowl quarterback Tom Brady. Matt Cassel hadn’t started a game since high school. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to have started an NFL game without starting in college. The defense had personnel changes it was trying to accommodate as well.

    Teams don’t find their identity that early in the season. Suffering a demoralizing loss in week 12 is more alarming. Can the team psychologically recover from that loss? What type of character does this team possess? In order to be successful in this league you have to be able to bounce back. Have a short memory. Re-discover your swagger. It usually comes down to which teams are able to peak at the end of the season, most of the time. Last year the Arizona Cardinals looked terrible down the stretch. Their division, the NFC West, was equivalent to the AFC West division. The Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and Denver Broncos were all bad teams. The San Diego Chargers were the only respectable team to emerge from the AFC West last year. The NFC West had terrible teams in the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and St. Louis Rams last year. The Cardinals were the only one from that division to emerge as a respectable squad. They ended up winning the NFC West with a shoddy 9-7 record. Once the playoffs began the Cardinals defense played exceptionally well. Better than they had all season. Edgerrin James appeared to have reverted to the back he was three years prior to the actual calendar date. The passing game was firing on all cylinders. Larry Fitzgerald was having his best games of the season at the most crucial time. Everything was clicking for them. Hence Super Bowl XLIII hosted the Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers.

    If the New Orleans Saints defense continues to fly around the field and playing with a chip on their shoulders, watch out. Combine that with their offense and Congress should pass legislation deeming the Saints an illegal organization. They make it seem unfair that opposing defenses can’t field 12 or 13 defenders to contain them. I do mean contain them. Don’t confuse that with stopping them. Talk about a defensive coordinators worst nightmare come to life.

    Observing the Saints offense this year has been educational. It is a reminder that the game has evolved. Team speed has never been more essential. Gone are the days of the Lombardi sweep plays, physical bump ‘n run defenses, and Buddy Ryan hurling punches at fellow staffers on the sideline. The game resembles more of the AFL’s vertical passing style. To think, as fans we will be witnessing the three greatest offenses of all time, in the span of one decade. The 2001-’02 St. Louis Rams, 2007-’08 New England Patriots, and now the 2009-’10 New Orleans Saints.

    Drew Brees has to be revered as one of the game’s elite. He possesses unbelievable passing accuracy. He was hitting his receivers in stride 30 or more yards down field at will. He was able to consistently throw the ball in seemingly impossible spaces, which only his receivers could get to. The entire Saints team has been nothing short of spectacular. It will be interesting to see if they can keep performing at such a high level.

    The 2001-’02 St. Louis Rams lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI. The 2007-’08 New England Patriots, who entered the Super Bowl 18-0, lost to the New York Giants. The Giants were a 10-6 wild card team that year. The Two most dominant offensive teams in NFL history lost to teams that were considered to be inferior. To put it best, any given Sunday

  • CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP! Larry Johnson had his best game of the season in week 12. He ran for 107 yards on 22 carries. Even though he was running against a terrible Cleveland Browns defense, this performance displayed the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line has been effectively run blocking all season.

    Cedric Benson was able to gain 120 yards on the ground in facing a stout Baltimore Ravens defense in week 5. At that juncture the Ravens defense had only allowed three 100 yard performances in their prior 40 games. He ran for 141 yards in week 2, playing an impressive Green Bay Packer defense. His most productive game came against his former team, the Chicago Bears. He had 189 yards on 37 carries.

    Larry Johnson’s fantasy value should be high moving forward. Rookie running back Bernard Scott is listed as having turf toe. It’s an injury that hinders a running backs ability to cut. LaDainian Tomlinson had that same injury last year. It severely hampered his production. Cedric Benson is coming back from a hip injury. Will his body be able to handle his bruising running style? This could potentially become Larry Johnson’s backfield very soon. Let’s assume Cedric Benson remains healthy and the #1 back in Cincinnati. Come week 16 the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Cincinnati. Championship weekend for most fantasy leagues! Larry Johnson is going to be salivating at the opportunity to make a statement in this game. I’m going to bet the Bengals will give him the majority of carries that weekend. This matchup should have fantasy owners drooling.

  • SHOWDOWN IN THE FRENCH QUARTERS The (7-3) New England Patriots take the trip south to the Superdome, for a Monday night showdown with the (10-0) New Orleans Saints. The Saints are the only NFC team that remains undefeated. Only the Indianapolis Colts join them in a perfect season thus far.

    Can the Saints reel off an eleventh straight victory? Facing a New England Patriot team primed for a run. Tom Brady is back to his rare form. Wes Welker is coming off a career high 15 catch, 192 receiving yard performance. Randy Moss will be looking to post primetime numbers in a primetime game. Bill Belichick will be devising defensive schemes yet to be seen on film. Throw in New England’s heartbreaking week 10 loss to the Colts. Motivation couldn’t be any higher for this squad.

    The Patriots defense made a huge statement in week 11. They dominated the Mark Sanchez led offense of the New York Jets. Sanchez threw four picks. Three of those picks complimentary of Leigh Bodden. One of which he returned for a TD. Belichick defenses eat up inexperienced quarterbacks. Peyton Manning struggled for years before getting over the hump.

    Drew Brees is 2-0 versus the Patriots over his career. Both times he was sporting a Charger uniform. He played them in week 4 of 2002 and week 4 of 2005. In 2002 he threw for a meager 104 yards, 1TD. LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 217 yards, 2TDS. In 2005 Brees threw for 248 yards, 2TDS. L.T. had 134 yards, 2TDS. Brees has found some success when facing Belichick defenses. It didn’t hurt that L.T. was the best running back on the planet at that time.

    The Saints have a stable of dangerous wide receivers in Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson, and Lance Moore. Tight ends Jeremy Shockey and David Thomas have great hands. Running backs Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, and Reggie Bush are all capable of doing their share of damage. Sean Peyton has explosive offensive players capable of giving the NFL’s best defenses fits.

    This game is a chess match. The Saints Sean Peyton is regarded as one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. Then you have Bill Belichick who is one of the NFL’s more innovative defensive strategists. This is going to be a game of constant adjustments. A game when the momentum can turn on a dime.

    Will it come down to General Brady or General Brees, being summoned, to march their respective team down the field come crunch time? Expect this game to go down to the wire. Both of these teams have a ton of talent on their squads. Coaches and management included.

    The Patriots have won their last six games on Monday night football. Is there a seventh in the works? The Saints offense is averaging 36.9 points per game. The Patriots pass defense ranks 6th. The Saints pass defense ranks 16th. I’m giving a slight advantage to the Patriots. They find a way to win this one on the road, spoiling the Saints campaign for a perfect season.

  • More Trick Plays - Brett Favre Take Note! OK - So you guys like the trick plays! Here is more!

    We have seen many amazing Brett Favre Red Zone tosses. Here's one I don't think he has even pulled off.


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