Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Cardinal Rule (over USC)

On a day in which, mostly anyway, the teams that were supposed to win won, the Stanford Cardinal pulled off the biggest upset, over #2 ranked USC. The game was by no means a fun game to watch. Neither offense was very productive and it was a defensive slugfest throughout. Stanford QB Josh Nunes struggled mightily at times, bu the defense kept the Cardinal in the game and gave Nunes a chance to deliver when it mattered. And the result was absolutely spectacular.

The star of the game was undoubtedly Stepfan Taylor. His magnificent 1st half touchdown run in which he juked several would-be tacklers and took it to the house was a thing of beauty. His nimbleness and vision were on display for the entire game. And when Nunes struggled to make throws, Taylor was the one who kept the offense chugging along.

The defense played great as well. In fact, they were the star of the show until Nunes's heroics toward the end of the game. DE Ben Gardner was a terror in the pass rush, sacking Trojan quarterback and Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley on several occasions. DB Terrence Brown kept his composure despite several pass interference calls that went against him and kept the USC receivers, including starts Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, in check for much of the game. Overall, the linebackers wreaked havoc in the pass rush and in short yardage coverage, which helped the Cardinal force Barkley to throw the long ball on many occasions. Although the defense inexplicably gave up a first down conversion on a 4th and 19 that might have crushed the Cardinal's chance of winning, they held tight for the rest of the game to keep alive the upset-in-the-making.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Super Bowl Prediction

So, in my last two posts, I broke down the NFC and AFC and predicted the division standings for each division this season. And, my predictions came down to the Broncos and 49ers in the Super Bowl.

This would be a fascinating matchup if it actually came to fruition. Peyton Manning versus one of the other finalists that desperately wanted him to be their quarterback, the 49ers. I know that the Niners deny reports that they wanted Manning last offseason, but everyone knows that they did.

And if these two teams did indeed meet up, not only would it make a fantastic storyline, but also it would be a great game. The Niners' defense would try to neutralize the Broncos' offense and the Broncos' defense would try to stop the Niners' much improved offense. It would definitely be a defensive battle, and if you like that kind of game, you would be in for a treat.

The game would most definitely come to down to the execution of the offenses. And, in my humble opinion, despite the 49ers' offseason acquisitions, the Broncos' offense is slightly better than the Niners'. Therefore, the Broncos are my pick to win the Super Bowl this year.

That's right, I am picking the Broncos to win the Super Bowl. As long as they can sneak into the playoffs, they have a great shot at winning the whole thing, with their talented defense and their elite quarterback.

Have a great 2012 NFL season and keep visiting the Sports Vibe for opinions on the 49ers, Giants, and the rest of the Bay Area teams.

Friday, September 7, 2012

NFC Preseason Predictions

And I'm back, this time with predictions for the NFC. Here we go:

NFC East:
1. Dallas Cowboys (4)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (5)
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins

In what is probably the toughest division in all of football, I see the Giants falling flat after their Super Bowl season last year. I think the Cowboys will finally be America's darling after a return to form of Tony Romo and the addition of key members to the secondary (Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne). The Eagles will live up to their considerably lesser "Dream Team" hype this season, but Vick's injuries will prevent them from winning the division. The Giants will suffer from Super Bowl hangover and struggle, especially after the losses of Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, and other key players. Finally, I think the Redskins actually have the potential to surprise some pundits this year but they unfortunately play in a stacked division.

Monday, September 3, 2012

AFC Preseason Predictions

The NFL season is less than a week away so it definitely is time for my annual prediction of NFL division winners. Let's cut straight to the chase:

AFC East: 
1. New England Patriots (1)
2. Buffalo Bills
3. New York Jets
4. Miami Dolphins

We have grown accustomed to seeing the Pats at the top of the division and nothing should change here as their team actually got better in the offseason. The Bills are on the upswing and could be a surprise contender this season in their division and in the wild card. I really like what they've done this offseason, signing Mario Williams, keeping Stevie Johnson, and adding Stephon Gilmore in the draft. The Jets have all kinds of problems at multiple positions bu the most important question for them is at the quarterback position, where Mark Sanchez needs to step it up. Finally, the Dolphins have a young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill who has tremendous bust potential in my mind. The Fins will be at the bottom of the division.