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Posts Tagged ‘ Miami Dolphins ’

NFL: Packers Toppled As Broncos And Patriots Clinch Divisions

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Can you believe we’re through week fifteen of the NFL season already? There are just two regular season games left, and yet it feels like it was only yesterday that the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks were in tremendous turmoil, and Philip Rivers was the favourite to become MVP. The New York Jets had a winning record, but that does feel like it was a long time ago. We’re right in the crunch of the action now, so let’s look back and see what happened in week fifteen.

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (22-10)

The Denver Broncos claimed the AFC West crown for the fourth consecutive year with victory here. They even did so with Peyton Manning missing a chunk of time in the first half, but Brock Osweiler’s zero completions from two attempts is unlikely to unseat the Hall of Famer any time soon. Instead, Denver ran and ran hard, with C.J. Anderson taking 29 carries for 85 yards. Sure, not huge yardage, but it allowed the Broncos to control time of possession and protect their lead, keeping the defense on the sidelines. Demaryius Thomas had 123 yards and a touchdown off just six passes. Remember when people thought he was in a slump?  That well rested defense is bouncing back, only giving up ten points on the road to a divisional rival with a winning record. The Broncos are now bracing themselves for the post-season, but winning out could yet secure top seeding in the AFC. Continue reading

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NFL: Tricky Games Ahead For Divisional Leaders

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With just three weeks left in the NFL regular season, a lot of teams have been officially and unofficially ruled out of the race to the playoffs. The cream has risen to the top in both conferences, and some very good football teams with winning records are going to miss out on the post-season. With the margins for success so narrow, nobody can afford to lose right now, meaning there are going to be plenty of big games to come over the next few weeks, with heroes and villains aplenty. Let’s look ahead to week fifteen. 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 Reign In London

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Week ten of the NFL season is now over, and it was a dramatic weekend dominated by fourth quarter comebacks. Perhaps that is to be expected when a host of games pitted contenders against contenders. There was plenty of back and forth games, as well as the few big shocks that are now to be expected with the end of the regular season in sight. Everyone is still jockeying for position, and the intensity is only growing. With the hits getting harder and each play more and more crucial, lets take a look back at the week ten action.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks ( 17-38)

The Seattle Seahawks move on to a 6-3 record, but they had to work for this one.  They were a little scatty in the first half, going in trailing 17-14 at the half. Yet they had seen, through a series of Russell Wilson keep-and-run plays that the defense wasn’t being disciplined in protecting the outside channels. Wilson gashed the defense for four big plays in a couple of first half minutes. This set the scene nicely for Marshawn Lynch to pummel that defense in the second half, as he ran for 140 yards and four touchdowns on just 21 attempts. Wilson also went over a hundred on the ground, but looked less sure throwing the ball, giving up two interceptions. The defense played ok, but is clearly missing the injured Kam Chancellor, amongst others. Continue reading

NFL: Final London Game of 2014

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We are firmly ensconced in the home stretch of the 2014 NFL regular season. Entering week ten, every team has now played at half of their games.  The playoff race is heating up, and with a number of divisions in both conferences having at least two strong teams, it’s quite likely that a big win total will be needed to play January football,  even as a wild card. The very best teams are also trying to cling onto the number one seedings, which would guarantee them home field advantage. Things are getting intense now. Let’s look ahead to this week’s action, which includes the third London game of the year.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have gotten back to winning football games. They are currently on a two game winning streak, having overcome the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders in recent weeks. Neither victory was by more than one score though, and those are not the amongst the strongest teams in the league this season. The Seahawks passing attack is ranked thirtieth in the league,  which is a big part of their offensive malaise. They are second in rushing, leaving Seattle with an offense that is totally off kilter.  Pete Carroll’s side like to run the ball, but they are not making the devastating play action passes that helped them succeed last year. Still, at 5-3, they are starting to build up some momentum, and that defense is playing tough once again. Continue reading

NFL: Patriots And Cardinals The Ones To Catch

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Another huge weekend has just whizzed by in NFL land. The big results just keep coming and coming and, as teams realise that they are already running out of fixtures, each win is more satisfying and each loss more damaging to the hopes of football in January. There were also some pretty stunning upsets, with the St. Louis Rams taking down the playoff chasing San Francisco Forty-Niners.  It is those kind of losses that can be pivotal come season’s end, especially with a multitude of teams chasing the wild-card berths in the NFC. Let’s review the action here.

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (21-43)

The people suggesting Tom Brady was over the hill look pretty dumb right now. The New England Patriots won this clash of the titans at a canter. Brady was immaculate, throwing 33/53 for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Admittedly there was a second half interception to slightly take the gloss off the numbers, but Brady was immaculate. With Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman taking off for just under two hundred yards between them, it is fair to say Brady had his way with the defense. But the narrative of Brady being better than Peyton Manning in colder conditions is probably unfair. The Patriots actually did most of their damage playing into the wind. Every home advantage is different, and you can make a case that New England benefits from playing in Gillette Stadium as Denver do playing in Mile High. That Pats defense should get a lot of credit too. They are banged up, but the new guys made a big impact, particularly Akeem Ayers, who sacked Manning on 4th and 6 when the game was still right in the balance. Continue reading

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