Tag: Football

NY Jets – Chris Ivory

The New York Jets started off week 1 with a big win over Cleveland and much of it came from runningback number 33, Chris Ivory. We have all seen his powerful running style and no-quit attitude when he hits first contact, but not images-2we are seeing all that work come to roost. This year’s offense is a case study in best traits; QB Fitzpatrick has the Harvard educated brain, WR Marshall has the enormous wingspan, WR Decker’s instincts downfield are second to none and Ivory’s lack of self preservation is the straw that breaks the defense’s back. Chris has made his presence known by defensemen once he makes contact with them. After getting hit hard by a running back like Ivory, defensive players think twice before hitting him again.

Ivory is 6’2 and 222 lbs of anger running down the field. This helped him to run for 91 yards and two touchdowns vs the Browns this past weekend, 64 of those yards after first contact. This is the type of back that offensive coordinator Chan Gailey can, and did build a game plan around. He used the run to set up the pass and vice versa, but it all starts with a high yard-per-carry from Ivory.

The term “work horse” has started to get thrown around the film room lately to describe Ivory. The team watched as his bruising effect on the defense slowly wore the Browns down similar to body shots in a heavyweight boxing fight. The humble back will not be complaining to the press how he is not getting his touches either.

For years Ivory has been waiting to prove his multi-dimensional talent as he spent years behind the lead back in New Orleans, and after his trade to the Jets, he did not get many carries with marty Mornhinweg calling the plays. Chris can run hard, catch the ball well, and be a reliable health asset. Hopefully this season will prove to be a breakout year with 1,500 yards on the ground as the Jets impress!


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3 Most Improves Receiving Corps: NFL

Many teams are under a strong microscope as camp and preseason games loom over the NFL. With such dissection of early performance, there has been many proclamations to who has improved and gotten worse. The latest instance comes from NFL.com where they look at the most improves recieving corps across the league. Here are the most improved three units.

3) The New York JetsAri Kellen

Despite the latest drama in the locker room, the organization’s new coach and general manager have done a great job giving their starting quarterback a chance down the field. Last year the offense was akin to watching paint dry, in part due to QB play, but mostly from the lack of explosion in the receiving options. Brandon Marshall bring an instant spotlight to the field for any defense game-planning the Jets. His 5-time Pro Bowl resume demands attention no matter who is throwing him the ball. Eric Decker will return for his second year with the team bringing with him his excellent hands and field awareness. He is also well versed in playing beside a big receiver like Marshall, from his days in Denver with Demaryius Thomas. Look to the receiving numbers from this crew to be much improved from last year.

2) The Seattle Seahawks

Jimmy Graham joins the team with his enormous reach and red zone capability. He may very well be the main target for Russell Wilson when the ball is within their opponents 20 yard line. Standing at 6’7 he is a force to be reckoned with for any DB or Linebacker. The added attention in the middle of the field from safeties could open up the edges for Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse to break free for big gains this year. Rookie Tyler Lockett may also have an opportunity to make an impact after coming off a college career that had him as a two-time first teamer in the Big 12.

1)The Indianapolis Colts

Yes, the Colts were the top ranked passing offense last year, but that did not stop the front office from improving on their talent pool. This offseason they have added Andre Johnson, and Phillip Dorsett giving QB Andrew Luck more options than the rest of league would like to see every Sunday.


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NFL Legend QB Passes Away

Former NFL Super Bowl Champion and Oakland Raiders Quarterback Ken Stabler died recently at the age of 69. A report that travelled from the University of Alabama was confirmed by the Oakland Raiders organization stating Ken passes away as a result of his battle with colon cancer.Unknown-3

The “Snake” was a four time pro bowler always earned himself two national championship rings playing collegiate football for the University of Alabama. Notable contributors to the Raiders with Stabler include John Madden as head coach, one of the most iconic names in the game who said “.. he led us to a whole bunch of victories including one in Super Bowl XI.”

The Snake was atop the most accurate passers during the ten years between 1970-1980, and rivaled Steve Young as one of the best lefty quarterbacks in the history of the game. In two different seasons he led the league in completion percentage as well as touchdowns. Stabler has left his mark on the NFL outside of just his performance, he has also been a part of some of the games most iconic plays recorded. “The Holy Roller”, “Ghost to the Post” and “The Sea Of Hands” were all plays that involved The Snake. He was also robbed of a trip back to the Super Bowl by “The Immaculate Reception”.

Ken leaves behind a memory of his big personality and fun loving attitude. Always quick to offer an autograph, he leaves generous and good natured legacy that many of the league’s quarterbacks should emulate. Stabler was a true embodiment of Raider Football in the 1970’s. He always had a boyish nature about him during the week and was able to get the job done on Sunday’s.


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SEC Sensing Competition On And Off The Field

The SouthEastern Conference has long been considered a powerhouse in college football. World beaters, unstoppable, until of course this past year. The all-mighty SEC was taken down by a historic team from Ohio, OSU. From 2006- 2012 the conference won 7 straight national championships, and at each year’s following conference press day many yucks were traded. The scene of the SEC Media Days, a four day long pep rally of sorts for coaches, is much more somber than years past.BN-JJ641_sec071_P_20150714151336

Many seem to believe that SEC is feeling a little intimidated, humbled, and possibly scared. The consecutive years without a title has stymied the conferences seemingly unfaltering confidence. The top five teams in the conference went an unimpressive 0-5 in bowl games, quite a drop off from recent years.

For years coaches in the south have used certain camps to tour around NCAA rules, allowing them to get first dibs on the best recruits in the country right in their backyards. This year, new Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh announced he would be taking a tour through the south in an attempt to pick the pockets of the SEC. When coaches got word of this they quickly renounced the camps as recruiting tours. Oddly panicky behavior from the mighty men of the SEC.

The SEC has long kept a powerhouse brand of football. Pro style play is not often seen in other conferences but this worried the reigning champions of the decade little… until it stopped working. Now reevaluations of defensive schemes have been taking place and more than half of the defensive coordinators have been replaced in the SEC.

The major questions that remain for this upcoming season are, who will rise to the challenge, and how will this conference slow down the spread offense of the west?


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Mock NFL Draft Top 10

With the NFL combine finished, prospects have begun to work out at pro days located on their college campuses. The dissection of players will continue as teams and scouts weigh talent with potential and leadership qualities. Mel Kiper, is an expert in predicting draft rank for prospects through matching teams needs and draft class offerings. He uses a number of metrics to determine value of a prospect including but not limited to, physical measurements, medical exams, team interviews, and of course skills assessment. Kipers newest rankings of the top ten picks for the NFL draft is below with the assessments attached and reasoning for rank.

#1 Jameis Winston, Quarterback–Tampa Bay BuccaneersAri kellen Jamies Winston

Winston had a solid showing at the combine although showing up with a slightly frumpy figure. His powerful delivery of the football along with accuracy has him atop the passers in the 2015 class. His team visits will play a vital role in assessment for Jameis as he has a public image that can be viewed as immature.

#2 Leonard Williams, Defensive End–Tennessee Titans

Capable of stopping the run as well as rushing the passer, Williams has the potential to be one of the best in the game in a three point stance. The Titans sure do need a force like him, they came in 31st against the rush and 25th in rushing the passer. Thats out of 32 teams for those who do not realize the severity of the case.

#3 Dante Fowler Jr., Defensive End–Jacksonville Jaguars

Kiper fancies Fowler to Khalil Mack the breakout rookie for the Oakland Raiders this year. Fowler ran a 4.6 forty yard dash showing that he can close space in record time with a big body.

#4 Kevin White, Wide Receiver– Oakland Raiders.

Running a 4.35 forty yard dash leaves many defensive backs in the league shaking in their boots waiting for this rookie to hit the gridiron. The Raiders need a deep threat and if you let White run, he can leave defensives shaking their heads as he is dancing in the end zone.

#5 Shane Ray, Defensive End–Washington Redskins

The Redskins desperately need an upgrade all across the defense but most glaringly in the front 7. Ray had 14.5 sacks for Missouri last year ranking third in the country.

#6 Marcus Mariota, Quarterback– New York Football JetsMarcus MAriotta Ari Kellen

A pick that is near and dear to my own heart, New York needs a quarterback to lead them to a championship. Mariota has the intangibles that you seek in a leader but questions have risen about his ability to translate from Oregon’s spread offense to a pro style format, along with passing accuracy. This guy has the work ethic to prove the doubters wrong. If he does not get scooped up as a number 1 expect to see him on the Jets roster.

#7 Randy Gregory, Defensive End–Chicago Bears

Inverting their 3-4 to a 4-3 with new coach John Fox daaa Bears will need an edge rusher to disrupt passers and hold down the edge of the line. Gregory has it all, and it is desperately needed to help the Bears storied defense climb back to greatness.

#8 Vic Beasley, Linebacker–Atlanta Falcons

This guy ran a 4.53, jumped a 41 inch vertical and cranked out 35 repetitions of 225lbs bench press. In short he is an animal and will hunt down anyone holding the ball. Expect to see him in the starting lineup immediately, and making an impact.

#9 Andrus Peat, Offensive Tackle– New York Giants

At the heart of every team is their offensive line, which makes it worth investing in to protect your two-time super bowl winning quarterback. The best o-lineman in the class will add an anchor to the front 5 and hopefully give them push in the running game along with security in the passing game.

#10 Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver–St. Louis Rams

A solid defense in St. Louis calls for an upgrade to its offensive unit. Cooper runs great routes and has soft hands. Combine that with a body built to sprint and you have an all around great wide out.

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AFC Championship: Patriots vs. Colts

Its the most wonderful time of the year, playoff football in the college ranks and the NFL. With the first ever college playoff ending last night, we set our sights on the upcoming championship games for the NFL. In particular lets dive into the AFC where we have been denied our right to see the rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady continue. Who is the culprit? Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts with their dominant performance in Denver last week.

ARI KELLEN AFC Championship

The scrappy Andrew Luck will face off against the seasoned veteran Tom Brady who seems to attract winning games like mice to cheese. Historically, the Colts have not seen much success when Luck is starting vs the Pats, with three blowout losses. Luck accounted for 8 turnovers himself during those three games. Looking at this upcoming game optimistically, Luck just defeated a pro bowl pass rush and future hall of fame QB in a hostile Denver. Proponents say if he can do it there, he can do it in New England.

While the Patriots defense has great talent that needs to be navigated by the Colts offense, they showed they are, in fact vulnerable with their performance against Baltimore. The Ravens gained a total of 428 yards of offense and average almost yards per carry on the ground. The keys to holding up against this defensive front? Stay away from Revis Island, that guy still has it, that past knee injury is no longer a factor in his game. The Colts offensive line also needs to give luck time in the pocket the way they did in Denver. If he remains vertical and able to drive through his passing motion, they are going to see some success.

On the flip side of the ball, the Patriots offense have been averaging 48 points over the last three games. A tall task for the Colts defense to stand up to. With that being said, these Indy defenders looked extremely impressive against Peyton Manning and the Denver offense that is filled with weapons at his disposal. If they can find a solution to Rob Gronkowski’s caveman-like strength and ballerina-like ability to stay on his feet, they have a great chance to hold Tom Brady at bay.

Tune in to the game this weekend as these two teams meet in Foxboro for the chance to punch their ticket to the big show.

 

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College Football National Champion Buckeyes

Last night saw one of the most intensively anticipated climax to a college football season to date with the final of the first ever college football playoff. The Oregon Ducks were matched up and favored over the Ohio State Buckeyes who gathered in Texas at the Dallas Cowboys home stadium, AT&T Stadium.

BRUTUS-BUCKEYE-AT-MIDFIELD-ohio-state-football- Ari Kellen

The first quarter began with the to be expected, offensive blast from the season-long dominant Ducks. Up 7-0 after their first drive, Oregon fans were feeling optimistic. The Ezekiel Elliott checked in to the game.

Elliott was a honorable mention running back in the Big10, a fact that leaves this sports fan flabbergasted as he set a National Championship record for rushing in a game at 246 yards on 36 carries. Early in the game it seemed as though Oregon had him under control by stacking the box with 8+ defensemen. As the second quarter came around, Elliott took over and started lashing enormous gains open from his supreme vision and speed, coupled with poor gap control by the Ducks defense.

What is even more impressive is that this is not an anomaly from Ezekiel Elliott, this is the third game in a row that he rushed for more than 220 yards. It is not like he has played easy teams the past few games either, he has totalled 696 yards against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon, some of the best teams in the country.

Buckeye nation is not surprised at their national championship win as in the last three seasons, Ohio State has compiled a 38-3 record under the direction of former Florida Gators coach, Urban Meyer. This guy has a knack for winning as he picks up where he left off when he departed from Florida. This coach has turned a third string quarterback, and a first year running back into a national champion, and did so with some style points.

Oregon on the other hand suffers yet another postseason collapse after a stellar season. Some jitters were noticed early in the game as key third down passes were dropped on consecutive drives. In total three third downs were floundered from dropped passes. Other than those instances, Mariotta played strong, throwing two touchdowns and completing 24-37 for 333 yards with 39 rushing yards. With Mariotta departing this year for the NFL, who will take the reigns in the coming season? A better question will be, who will be able to give them as good a chance to make it to the national championship as this super efficient, high first round draft pick.

Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes, enjoy it!

 

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Giants Fans, Take It Easy On Tom Coughlin

New York Giants have had their share of ups and downs this season, but sitting at 5-9 their playoff hopes are all but delusional. While the season wraps up soon, many are looking to the activity that will pick up after the last whistle is blown. Coach Tom Coughlin finds himself on the hot seat once again this year as the Giants have not performed up to the standard they set for themselves. While winning and losing seasons are always the responsibility of the guys in charge, Tom Coughlin might not be the one who is screwing the pooch.Ari kellen | Tom Coughlin

Lets look at what he has accomplished over his tenure as not only a NYG coach but a football coach in general. Coughlin got his coaching career started in the NFL being assistant to Bill Parcells, an admired pedigree in today’s coaching world. He helped that Giants team win Superbowl XXV. Ring number 1. He later went on to become the head coach of Boston College, where he began as an assistant earlier in life, being the offensive coordinator for Doug Flutie. Then as a head coach, this guy turned BC into the storied winner that they are attempting to regrasp today. The highlight of that stint was beating #1 ranked Notre Dame in ‘93. Not too shabby huh?

He then got the chance to be a head coach of an NFL team, the brand new Jacksonville Jaguars. He took them to an AFC championship after TWO years in existence. He later finished his tenure there with two AFC championship visits. The most successful NFL expansion team in league history.

2003 comes along and the New York Football Giants hire this guy they’re so eager to get rid of today. Since coming on 10 years ago, he has made the playoffs 5 times, thats 50% for you math buffs. Of those 5 visits to the post season, they won 2 Superbowls, 40% boys and girls. All along the way Giants fans have been screaming bloody murder about getting rid of him. Giants fans, take it easy, your last super bowl was 4 years ago. And look at it this way, at least your not the Jets.


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Jets Frustration

ARI KELLEN | REX RYAN

Being a New Yorker born and bred I have had the opportunity to see many-a-football game. Attending both the Jets and the Giants play at the Meadowlands and now Metlife stadium was always a pleasure until my frustration set in. Neither have had a great year and in total, New York sports have taken a turn for the worst. Today I would like to highlight the ridiculous dog and pony show that is the New York Jets. I am a true Jets fan, defined by the fact that when the Giants and Jets play, I’m wearing Gang Green. But I have not taken out my lone green jersey (Curtis Martin) in years from the sheer embarrassment they bring to me. This year I have found that I am not alone in my depression regarding the guys in green, this is highlighted by an enormous push to have GM John Idzik fired from his current position, check out ( http://firejohnidzik.com ). The guy has made awful moves regarding salary cap, draft choices, and trades. He is not alone on the hot seat as Rex Ryan, who is a genuinely good guy has failed to develop talent and win games. I will give it to him though, it is hard to be above .500 as a coach with an arm tied behind your back. Gang Green has been playing hard despite their abysmal record and nonexistent playoff hopes. They managed to squeak out a win over the equally bad Tennessee Titans this past week, which might put them out of reach of a number one draft choice. This is a GREAT thing. If we had that #1 pick, we would either pick up a rookie quarterback and poorly transition him to the league like we have done the past two starters, or we would trade down for an older vet and then pick up another disappointment. This all might sound a bit pessimistic but what do you expect after two decades of losing, getting close to winning, losing, so on and so forth. The keys to victory for next year? Clear house, and hire some capable front office folk, who can hire a capable coaching staff.