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Posts Tagged ‘ Bears ’

NFL: Battle Of Texas Tops Weekend Schedule

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Week five of the NFL is coming at us this weekend, with a number of tantalising matches between potential contenders to choose from. The likes of Arizona, Cincinnati and Denver are coming off byes and return fresh, while still in a strong position in their divisions. At the other end of the spectrum, there are a number of teams who appear in early-season crisis mode. Whether it is a crisis of confidence, a leaky defense, an underwhelming offense or just a team struggling in transition, there’s still time to turn things around. Let’s look ahead to this weekend’s clashes.

Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos

You would think the Denver Broncos, playing at home and coming back from a bye week, would be comfortable favourites to beat just about any NFL team right now. This game will be no cake walk for them, though. The Broncos have struggled running the ball, ranking 27th overall in the league. This is an offense that can cope if they focus on the aerial game, with Peyton Manning still delivering at a phenomenal level. But, by his own admission, Demaryius Thomas is not “playing at my highest potential right now”, so a few extra yards on the ground would ease the pressure on Manning. Their pass defense also needs a lot of work, with only the Jacksonville Jaguars’ secondary giving up a higher average of yards through the air. The Broncos bye week came at a good time, and how effective their adjustments are may be seen on Sunday. Continue reading

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NFL: Chargers Face Tough Task To Earn First Win

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Week two of the NFL regular season is ahead this weekend, and if it can live up to the high standards of week one then we will be in for a treat. It is also a critical juncture for a lot of teams, and results at the end of this week may set the tone for the season. Start the season with two losses and it’s a long road back, with the words losing streak echoing around the camp. On the other hand, any team that can notch its second victory is already well-placed to make a run for a playoff spot. With so much on the line already, let’s preview five of the weekend’s most highly anticipated games.

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers were somewhat surprising week one winners, overcoming the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in spite of starting quarterback Cam Newton missing the action. Picking up a victory away from home in the NFC South could be telling come the end of the season, and it’s all the more impressive considering the Panthers secondary and wide receiver positions were decimated in the off-season.  Back-up quarterback Derek Anderson did well in Cam’s absence, but the 2011 first overall draft pick will be back under center this weekend. The Panthers vowed not to change the playbook with Cam out, but Anderson failed to supply the same running threat. Newton’s return should give Carolina’s running backs more room to run. Continue reading

NFL: Football Returns As Packers Seek To Topple Seahawks

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It’s back. That other kind of football. The American one, where they throw the ball, wear all those big pads and make tackles with the velocity of lorries in fourth gear. The NFL never really goes away, because the draft has developed into a huge event with build-up starting the morning after the Super Bowl, and then pre-season training starts months in advance of the regular season. It is remarkable how the NFL has managed to be a year-round sport even though they only play for four months of the year. Maybe that’s why it is such a relief to have regular competition back now.

Thursday night will see the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, kick the year off with a home game against the Green Bay Packers. No team has won successive Super Bowl’s since the Patriots in 2004/05, but the Seahawks were clearly the dominant side in the NFL last season. Although they have lost some talented guys, they look well positioned to reign once more. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Wild-card Round

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The regular season has now ended, and the twelve teams for the playoffs have been settled. While Denver, New England, Seattle and Carolina get a week to rest up, the other eight have to go straight into battle this weekend for the right to play one of them. Here, we examine the fixtures taking place this Saturday and Sunday, and try to predict (in a decidedly unscientific manner) who is likely to emerge, and who will be going home after a one-and-done showing. Continue reading

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