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Posts Tagged ‘ Colts ’

NFL: Super Sunday Sends Patriots and Seahawks to the Super Bowl

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So there we have it, the line up for Super Bowl XLIX is set, with the Seattle Seahawks due to take on the New England Patriots on February 1st in the University of Phoenix stadium. After two very interesting (and very different) Conference Championship games were played out on Sunday, there is a truly fascinating clash of superpowers in the Super Bowl, but we should take a few minutes first to reflect back upon a truly stunning Championship Sunday.

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (22-28)

That was arguably the most stunning comeback in the history of American Football. The Seattle Seahawks were down 16-0 at half time, down by 12 points with four minutes to play, had suffered severe injuries to two defensive stars who remained on the field, had turned the ball over five times and had only scored off the back of a fake field goal touchdown pass. And they won the game. In fact, thanks to Russell Wilson’s Hail Mary that Luke Wilson came down with on a two point conversion, they led by three points with just seconds remaining. In getting to that point, Seattle got their old groove going. Marshawn Lynch ran like an unstoppable machine in the second half of a monster day when he notched 157 yards on the ground, 26 through the air and probably still left a play or two behind him. Russell Wilson shook off his worst ever NFL performance of four interceptions to show composure and great quick decision making to open up running options. And the defensive front battered Eddie Lacy into the backfield twice when he tried to run out the clock. They won on special teams with a recovered onside kick to go along with the fake field goal, and they simply went from zero to a hundred when the game was (if only in their minds) still on the line, and emerged victorious. Continue reading

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NFL: Packers And Seahawks Face Off On Championship Sunday

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We are down to the final four now in the race to the Super Bowl, with only three games left for the year. The AFC and NFC Championship games take place on Sunday and, with only the cream of the crop left, we can be sure of two top games coming up. With players and coaches knowing they are just sixty minutes of football away from the promised land of the Super Bowl, everything will be laid on the line come Sunday. Let’s look ahead to two of the most hotly contested matches of the year.

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks are now in a situation they are very familiar with, having been the host for the NFC Championship game last season. On that occasion, they overcame divisional rivals in the San Francisco Forty-Niners, who pushed them harder than any team on the Seahawks run to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks will be prepared for a frenetic bout against Aaron Rodgers and his troops. The game will be a classic encounter of strength versus strength, as the Seattle Seahawks and their immense defense prepare to face arguably the best quarterback and wide receiver pair the NFL has to offer. The ‘Hawks defense has went from good to unbelievable down the stretch, with the return of previously injured players like Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor returning to harden the core of this defense. The Seahawks gave up just under 16 points per game and 267 yards of offense per game in the regular season, and if they can replicate those numbers on Sunday they will be advancing to their second successive Super Bowl appearance. Facing a game but physically limited quarterback, the Seahawks will surely attack Rodgers early and try to unsettle him, with his mobility severely limited by a calf injury. If they can shut down the run game and force Rodgers to bob and weave in the pocket, they will create opportunities to put him on the ground. Offensively, the Seahawks will fancy their chances of exposing that defense, with Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson and Robert Turbin likely getting a large number of carries against a unit not renowned for stuffing the run. With Wilson throwing the ball better than ever in recent weeks, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse will likely get opportunities off of play-action, although Paul Richardson’s absence will be felt. Continue reading

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

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 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: Conference Championships

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We are one week further down the road in the NFL Playoffs, and are considerably lighter now, having let go of the collective bulk of the Panthers, Chargers, Colts and Saints. At this point, as you would hope by Conference Championship weekend, we are left with the very finest teams in the NFL. On Sunday, the AFC will be settled between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, while the NFC title will go to the winner of the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco Forty-Niners. As much as it’s great to win your conference and receive the trophy that comes with it, the Conference Championship really is just the final hurdle to get over on the road to the Super Bowl. Here is our preview of the Conference deciders. Continue reading

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