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Posts Tagged ‘ Indianapolis ’

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: 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

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

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Last weekend saw the elimination of the Packers, Bengals, Chiefs and Eagles from the race to the Super Bowl. It did go to show that the suggested changes to the playoff system in future years would be absurd, as it brought about two good games, one great one and one frankly absurd comeback win. Twelve top teams getting the chance to compete for the Super Bowl seems like the right fit, and it would be a shame to see the level of post-season games be diluted in years to come. Whether that matters if more money could be made with changes is an entirely different matter.

This weekend sees the winners of last weekend (Colts, Saints, Chargers and Forty-Niners) progress to the next round, where their reward is to play against the top two sides from their respective conferences. Scant reward, a game against one of the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks or Panthers, who will be coming off of a week’s rest. But everyone left standing is in with a shot of going to New York for Super Bowl XLVIII. Here, we review the games taking place this weekend, which will set up the conference deciders. 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

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

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