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Posts Tagged ‘ San Francisco Forty Niners ’

NFL: Dramatic Final Day As Steelers And Packers Playoff Bound

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The 2014 NFL regular season is now done. We know who the twelve playoff sides are, as well as who is on the clock first for the 2015 draft (think very carefully, Tampa Bay Buccaneers). It was a tumultuous final day of the season, with every side playing and the teams jockeying for position in the playoffs changing constantly. The wild card round of the playoffs begins next Saturday, but for now let’s go back and examine the action on the final day of the regular season.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (20-30)

The Green Bay Packers continue to prove unstoppable at home, securing the NFC North title and a first-round bye in the playoffs with the win here. It was not without tension, as Aaron Rodgers left the field injured while still managing to throw a touchdown pass in the first half. In his time off the field, Calvin Johnson brought in two touchdowns to tie the game, and leave the Packers fans on the edges of their seats. Rodgers re-emerged on the second drive of the second half, and proceeded to pick apart the opposition defense. Green Bay displayed the offensive cohesion and precision that their divisional rivals could only dream of, and Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and a huge effort on the ground from Eddie Lacy was enough to win out. The defense made big plays at crucial times, in particular recovering a fumble on the next play after suffering a blocked field goal attempt of their own, which was a huge momentum swing. They also forced Matt Stafford into an intentional grounding penalty that became a safety and two crucial points, earning their team and quarterback a much needed week off. Continue reading

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NFL: The Race To The Playoffs

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The final chances to impress for the best and brightest in the NFL in 2014 is here. Yes, we enter the final week of the regular season, with a handful of teams still in the shakeup to make the post-season. Division titles and wild card slots are still very much up for grabs. Beyond that, coaches and players at less successful organisations want to go away leaving their organisations with a good taste in their mouths, to hopefully ensure they return in 2015. With so much to play for, let’s look ahead to week 17.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

The NFC North is on the line in this one, as is home field advantage in the playoffs, for at least one playoff game. The Green Bay Packers have lost control over the first overall seed in the NFC, but if they can beat their divisional rivals here then they still could nab it. Green Bay are a very different team at home, overwhelming all comers with Aaron Rodgers seemingly impervious to mistakes. They suffered a bad case of the drops in their recent loss in Buffalo, but overall Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have given Rodgers the varying dependable targets he needs, with no one apparently capable of shutting both down on one day. The defense has been good, if not great, with a lot of the mid-season shuffling around, including moving Clay Matthews into middle linebacker, making the unit good enough to not get beaten. With Aaron Rodgers around, that’s all you need. Continue reading

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

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: Packers Rule The Roost

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Week thirteen of the NFL season is now in the books, and what a week it was. Thanksgiving week can sometimes disappoint, particularly as the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have struggled in recent times, but this year we got three cracking games to be thankful for. We also had a full slate of action on Sunday, due to the end of the bye weeks. With so much action to look back on, let’s get straight to our review. Continue reading

NFL: Thanksgiving Football Extravaganza

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Happy Thanksgiving! This week’s NFL preview comes to you a couple of days early, because week thirteen features the traditional Thanksgiving Football Extravaganza! Three huge NFC contests take place on Thursday, with two of them early enough to watch live in Irish time. This is one of the most tightly contested NFL seasons, both in terms of teams chasing divisional crowns and wild card spots. It seems certain that a few teams with good winning records will miss the post-season, making these final few encounters all the more vital. Let’s look ahead to the action. 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

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