Posts Tagged ‘ Cleveland Browns ’

NFL: Seahawks And Steelers Gaining Momentum

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We have nought but three weeks left in the regular season, following the tumultuous end to week fourteen. Many teams suffered heartbreaking losses that put the playoffs beyond them, while several teams shot themselves in the foot when it mattered most. With so much still to play for in the last three weeks, we’ll analyse where those in the hunt went right and wrong with our recap of all the best week fourteen action from the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (24-14)

Another strong showing from the previously ailing Seattle Seahawks. The Super Bowl champs are now in the middle of a three game winning streak, getting hot at just the right time. The defense is playing lights out football, and they really shut down this high tempo offense, with Mark Sanchez finishing with less than one hundred yards passing, and only getting the ball to four receivers. They pressed hard at the line of scrimmage, and gave no separation to Jeremy Maclin and company. One of the touchdowns they gave up was the result of a short field off a muffed punt, so this could easily have been a bigger score. Russell Wilson is orchestrating the offense magnificently, and beat the defense through the air when they went all out to shut down Marshawn Lynch. Nobody wants to play Seattle right now. Continue reading

NFL: Crunch Time Across The Board

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Things change quickly in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals, for example, are now ensconced in a losing streak and are fighting for their lives in the divisional race, just two weeks after having the best record of any NFL team. With just four games left to decide who’s in and who’s out in the playoff race, as well as who’s in and who’s out of the race for the no.1 overall draft pick in 2015, there is a lot left to play for- including job security for the majority of people. Let’s look ahead to week fourteen of the NFL regular season.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles scored a huge divisional win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving to get some breathing room atop the NFC East. They did it by exposing an overmatched defense, wearing them down with furious and frenetic offensive series’. The Eagles defense showed up pretty well too and, with the number of chances their fast play gives the opposition, that will need to remain the case down the stretch. The Eagles three losses have all been against strong teams on the road, but they are facing one of the form teams in the NFL right now, and will need to be on top form to score another big win. Can Jeremy Maclin make big plays on the Legion of Boom? Can LeSean McCoy keep up his resurgent running? Can Mark Sanchez stop fumbling the ball? They need all three of those to be answered with a yes on Sunday. The fast pace won’t scare this team, like it spooked the Cowboys. Continue reading

NFL: Seahawks Gallant Stand

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Week twelve of the NFL season is now behind us, and the action will keep coming thick and fast, as the traditional Thanksgiving set of three games comes on Thursday. That will barely give us time to catch our breath and try figure out what happened on Sunday, with teams really jockeying hard for position.  The race is on in the AFC West and NFC East, somebody is going to feel hard done by in the AFC North and, eventually, someone will have to win the NFC South. But there are a lot of great games to come in the NFC West, so get ready for more titanic tussles to come. Let’s review the action.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (3-19)

This was undoubtedly a statement win for the Seattle Seahawks, who wore down their division-leading opponents by controlling the battle of field position. Only surrendering three points to a team that was previously 9-1 is a clear sign that the Seahawks are ready to rally down the stretch. It can’t have been hard to get fired up for this do-or-die battle in front of the Twelfth Man, but the Seahawks really stepped up on defense for the first time since the season opener. The defensive front got massive pressure on Drew Stanton, allowing them to play twenty of their twenty-five offensive snaps in enemy territory. That they only put up nineteen points is a slight concern, but the win was most important here. Next up- San Francisco on Thursday night. Another critical fixture. Continue reading

NFL: Cardinals Braced For Showdown With Seahawks

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We are now firmly headed down the stretch, as we enter week twelve of the NFL regular season. Several teams are just playing out the clock now, but guys on losing teams have to play for next year’s job, so expect a few more shock results this weekend. There are once again plenty of intriguing clashes between playoff hopefuls, and there are a few teams who have started to skid out of playoff contention in the last few weeks. Losing streaks need to end now, or the post-season will be gone. Let’s preview some of the upcoming action.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

This is the big game in the NFL this weekend. The reigning Super Bowl champions take on their divisions leaders in a must-win home game. The Seattle Seahawks are reeling, having been second best against Kansas City last weekend. They have struggled to find a coherent game plan on offense all year, while the defense has been ravaged by injuries. Important bodies have started to return, but others are now gone instead. The Seahawks defensive front, which was so boasted about on their championship run, hardly bothered Alex Smith last weekend, and didn’t come close to stopping Jamaal Charles.  If Seattle wants the chance to defend its crown in the post-season, then they simply have to take this game. But it is hard to see them pulling it off. Pete Carroll’s team need a spark. Continue reading

NFL: Cowboys Stun Seahawks To Maintain Winning Streak

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It was a weekend of statement games for a lot of NFL teams. Make or break time, with big divisional clashes, old rivalries and the new kids on the block stepping up to take on the established big teams. The order of power is forever on a revolving axis in the NFL, with the hot new things often becoming has-beens overnight.  There were a few examples of all these things in week six. With no shortage of talking points, we will get right to reviewing the action.

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks (30-23)

It is hard to accurately state the magnitude of this victory, but it was a colossal one for the Dallas Cowboys. Going to Seattle, playing in the face of “the Twelfth Man”, and then dominating from the start? It is a massive momentum boost for the Cowboys, and puts all the detractors back in their place. There had been legitimate questions about Dallas’ record so far. The calibre of the opposition was the biggest one. Well, they just went to the toughest venue in football, took the Super Bowl Champions on at their own game, and literally ran right over them. DeMarco Murray is headed for an MVP award if he can stay healthy. That, of course, has never been his strong suit. But if he stays fit, keeps making big yards and opening the passing lanes for Tony Romo, who knows how this ends? Continue reading

NFL: Seahawks Out To Halt Cowboys Winning Streak

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Week six of the NFL regular season is coming up this weekend, and it’s getting near panic stations for all teams with losing records. Teams who already had their bye week have as many as twelve games left to play, but a run of losses at this stage can be very hard to overturn down the stretch. With the Oakland Raiders having already fired their head coach, it is a clear reminder that plenty of people’s jobs are on the line already. Can any of the early-season strugglers catch up to the big boys? Let’s take a look at the action coming up this weekend and find out.

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks were relatively comfortable in their win over Washington on Monday Night Football, winning by two scores despite having three Percy Harvin touchdowns chalked off for infringements. It was a remarkable night for Harvin in that respect, but the Seahawks showed off their offensive diversity, coasting to victory on the back of Russell Wilson’s ground game this time. If the defense has dropped off marginally, the offense has picked up the slack. The three-headed beast of Wilson, Harvin and traditional running back Marshawn Lynch is so diverse that it is nigh on impossible to contain, and that is just the ground game. They face an interesting challenge this weekend, but gamblers rarely prosper by betting against the Seahawks in CenturyLink Field. Continue reading

NFL: Football Returns With Great Opening Weekend

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Week one of the NFL season is now in the books, after reminding us of all the things that make the game so engrossing. Frantic comebacks, hilarious blunders and kicks to the face were all to be found in the first week’s scheduled games, as well as a couple of impressive upsets. Here we’ll take a look back at all the action and see where things went right and wrong for all thirty-two teams.

 

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (16-36)

  • The Seahawks are going to be the team to beat this year. Marshawn Lynch and Percy Harvin both went over a hundred yards and the dual threat allowed Russell Wilson to toy with the Packers defense.
  • The Seahawks D is still the best in the land, and they hunted Aaron Rodgers, sacking him three times, including one strip sack that led to a safety.
  • Green Bay showed that you need to be at full strength to stand a chance against Seattle. They lost Eddie Lacy and Bryan Bulaga early, and could not protect Rodgers after that.
  • The Packers defense is still underperforming. Dom Capers’ job is really on the line now.

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: Runners And Riders

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With only two games left to play in the regular season, it seems time for a comprehensive overview of the runners and riders for the playoff berths that are still to be decided. We already have three teams who have secured some kind of playoff game for themselves in January, but this is one of the most interesting periods in the NFL season, with everyone who is still mathematically in with a shout trying to claw their way forward for a shot at the Superbowl. Continue reading

NFL Star Murders Partner Before Turning Gun On Himself

belcherAmerica and the NFL have descended into grief after a player murdered his girlfriend before turning his gun on himself. 

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra  Perkins, with whom he had a 3-month-daughter, on Saturday morning. After shooting Perkins at the home they shared, Belcher drove to the Chiefs’ stadium where he met head coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli in the parking lot and thanked them for their work with him.  Then as police arrived, Belcher shot himself in the head.

The murder-suicide was part of a traumatic weekend in the NFL, with the Cleveland Browns confirming that groundskeeper Eric Eudker had been found dead on Saturday — reportedly after hanging himself in a team maintenance shed. 

Belcher was no NFL hot head, nor was he a glamorous high-draft pick. After a good career at the University of Maine, a football dead end for most, Belcher earned his way into the NFL through tryouts and practice play. Both there and in Kansas City, where he’d started since 2010, he was known as an exemplary individual, who often found time for charity and others who are less well off.

Several reports said the couple became involved in an altercation when Perkins arrived home late Friday night after attending a Trey Songz concert, though no domestic violence has been reported in their relationship and USA Today even unearthed an anti-Domestic Violence pledge Belcher took in college.

The Belcher tragedy is neither the first murder-suicide between a Chief and a woman nor the only recent gun suicide by an NFL player.  1960s Kansas City star Jim Tyrer shot both his wife and himself in 1980. Two months ago at the Kansas City Royals baseball stadium, just adjacent to the Chiefs’ facility, a man shot a female employee, then killed himself. In 2010, Denver wide receiver Kenny McKinley shot himself and Hall of Famer Junior Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot last spring.  Seau’s death was the latest in a string of NFL deaths linked to the long term effects of brain injuries suffered from the game.

By midday Saturday, the NFL announced that the Chiefs-Panther game would be played despite the tragedy, a decision met with resigned agreement from most fans.

As the players took to the field on Sunday, a moment of silence was held in memory of Domestic Violence victims.  Belcher was not named showing that the club were already beginning the process of erasing him from their history.

The Chiefs took inspiration from tragedy to end an eight-game losing streak, beating the Carolina Panthers 27-21 to cap off a traumatic weekend in American sporting history.