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Monday, 31 December 2012

OLR Week 17: Pat And Go

Is it just me, or did the regular season pass by far too quickly, again? Week 17 saw playoff spots locked up, records broken (or missed by 9 yards), and the final regular season OLR scores recorded. For the third time in four weeks, it's the Patriots that top the pile in week 17, and with a big score as their rivals at the top of the OLR table falter, maybe they stand a chance of claiming this season's OLR overall title?

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Prediction League - + Games of the Week - Week 17

A huge 13-3 week 16 from Phil sees him enter the last weekend with a crucial 2 game lead. But with some teams likely to rest their starters, or perhaps watch their chances of bettering playoff standings disappear and thus take their foot off the gas, there's a lot of trapdoors to fall down in week 17.

And as we reach a tight final week, so to does the NFC. With 2 spots, including the NFC East championship, up for grabs and 5 teams to fill them, there will be a lot of fans finding themselves rooting for unlikely teams.

Minnesota need to beat Green Bay to ensure themselves of a wildcard spot. Should they slip up Chicago are the next inline provided they win in Detroit, meaning that for one week only, Bears fans are also Packers fans. If both of those lose then the door is open for the New York Giants to sneak in, but only if they win AND the Redskins beat Cowboys.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

OLR Week 16: Smashmouth in Seattle

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to get back to more important things. Like football. Now we've reached crunchtime in the 2012 season, and with one week to go it's time for the real contenders to step up. Enter the Seattle Seahawks. Whilst their offense has been exploding in recent weeks with scores of 58, 50, and now 42, it's no secret that they've been rolling, but big totals against Arizona and Buffalo aren't always something to write home about. When you put up 42 on one of the best defenses in the NFL, and a real Superbowl contender, then people really start to take notice. It's this big scoring win over the 49ers on Sunday Night Football that was won the Seahawks Week 16's OLR #1 spot, and as other top OLs falter around them, a shot at the 2012 OLR title.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Mark Hez-pick Prediction League - & Games of the Week - Week 16

If, like us, you're nursing a hangover after a heavy friday night, then grab a coffee, sit down and take a look at our picks and games of the week!

A 10-6 stalemate between Phil and Toby has allowed TomTom Sports to catch up and now sit just 1 behind Phil as well.

With just 6 games covering all our predictors, it's all to play for with 2 weeks left.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

NFC Wildcard Race

As things stand, Seattle and Minnesota will be the wildcard teams in the NFC.

In the pre-season no one was talking about these teams getting into the playoffs, especially the Vikings, but thanks to the performances of rookie QB Russell Wilson, and bionic man Adrian Peterson here they are. On the verge of getting into the final dance.

But sitting right behind them, ready to pounce are Chicago, Dallas, Washington and New York, all at 8-6 and all capable of putting a run together and ruining the party. So who gets in, and who goes home?

December Power Rankings

With 2 weeks left in the regular season here's what you've all been waiting for; our December power rankings!

Some teams have found themselves on huge winning streaks, but against soft opponents. Others have gone downhill faster than Bradley Wiggins on a bike. As ever, this isn't just a "who has the best record" list. We use on-field performance and future considerations as well as the final score board to rank the teams individually before putting them through the TPL calculator to get our number 1-32.

If you think your team is too high or too low, please leave a comment!!

OLR Week 15: A Patriot in a Pear Tree

Another week down in the NFL, another chance to look into the numbers behind the performances of the best and worst Offensive Lines in the league, and at this festive time of year it's the New England Patriots OL who earn extra presents from Santa and a bonus mince pie by topping the OLR rankings for a second week in a row. This, despite their SNF loss to the 49ers, keeps them fighting towards that top spot in the OLR season rankings, but are they closing the gap on the #1 elect unit, the New York Giants?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Nick Hard-pick Prediction League - & Games of the Week - Week 15

The early games of week 14 swung in favour of our picks leader Phil, but the 4.25 ET kickoffs resulted in another tied week for Phil and Toby, who continue to be separated by just 1 win, but don't think this is just a 2 horse race. Sneaking up on the outside, with the best record from week 14, is Thomas Moore from TomTom Sports. He now sits just 2 games from the lead, with Gur 3 games back. This thing is going down to the wire folks!

There are a lot of clinching and eliminating playoff scenarios this week, for the full list you can check here. So let's get into our game of the week, yet another titanic clash in Foxboro...

OLR Week 14: All Hail Pat!

That's right, everyone's favourite throwback mascot is to thank for the top OLR score from week 14. He may not have been on the side of their helmets (which, let's be honest, he always should be), but Pat Patriot and his Centres stance certainly inspired the guys upfront for the Patriots as they took apart the then 1-loss Texans on MNF recording a superb 42-14 win, despite JJ Watt's best efforts.

More on their performance, plus how the real cream of NFL Offensive Lines rose to the top this week, after the jump...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Pick-tor Cruz Prediction League - & Games of the Week - Week 14

A rocky week 13 has seen no change at the top of the league, but both Gur and 2nd City Fanatics have gained a game on Phil at the top and have a chance at overhauling his lead.

This week sees the pressure ramped up not just on our pickers, but also on the teams themselves and for different reasons. Some will scrap it out for playoff seeding, others for the chance to make it in, while those at the foot of the standings put forward their cases for being kept on into next season.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

OLR Week 13: A Purple Patch

With week 13 in the books, our Offensive Line Rating (“OLR”) series returns again. This week we have a new team that finds itself top of the pile in our stat that grades the blocking performance of offensive line units around the NFL, and their score comes despite losing a big divisional matchup this week which may put pay to their aspirations of playoff football. No, I don’t mean the Eagles (although they scored uncharacteristically well).

This week’s OLR top scorers are the Minnesota Vikings.

 And frankly, they are run-away winners.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Long Goodbye?

By Toby Durant

Jake Long's 5 year, $57.75 million dollar rookie contract, which came with $30m guaranteed and made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL before even playing a snap is coming to an end. And so, maybe, is his time in Miami.

The Dolphins have gotten a good return from Jake Long in that contract. He quickly became one of the premier left tackles in the NFL, rewarding the #1 draft choice that Miami used in the 2008 draft. However, for the last season and a half his play has plateaued, and even dropped off. Injuries to his back, shoulder and bicep have caused issues previously and now a tricep injury could sideline him for the reason of the season.

The cumulative effect of these injuries seems to have sapped some of Long's power, and as a result affected the way he plays and uses leverage. He's admitted himself that this season has been disappointing, particularly after allowing 1 sack, 3 QB hits and 3 QB hurries against Indianapolis recently, in what was perhaps the worst single performance of his career.

So, with his free agency looming, should the Dolphins bring back their franchise left tackle? Can they afford to do so or should they look to use their money elsewhere?

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Darkhorse For Offensive Rookie of the Year

By Toby Durant

For those who don't know, I love Russell Wilson.

The guy impressed me hugely during his time at Wisconsin. His athleticism, accuracy and cool head stood out not just in the Big 10, but nationally. I could understand the reservations NFL teams had about him coming into April's draft: He is smaller than even Drew Brees, he didn't have the arm strength of the other QB's in his class. And yet, I could see that if given a chance, he would do well in the NFL. And as it turns out, thanks to his work ethic and an open minded coach Wilson got his chance before many thought he would, and hasn't looked back.