Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gareth Bale to Madrid

Real Madrid forward, Gareth Bale
It is official, former Tottenham Hotspur forward, Gareth Bale, has transferred to La Liga's Real Madrid signing a 6 year contract worth 100 million euros (or 132,080,000 US Dollars) making him the most expensive footballer ever. But is this mega contract worth it? Don't forget Madrid already has many brilliant players such as Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Mesut Ozil, and Xabi Alonso among others. Personally, I believe Bale is that key piece to make Madrid the favorites in La Liga over rival, Barcelona. Bale is coming off a spectacular 21 goal (in 33 appearances) season in which he was the heart and soul of a 'Spur team that finished 5th overall in the Premier League. As much as I'm sad to see Gareth leave Tottenham and the Premier League, I'll be watching him closely in Spain and I'm sure he'll light it up over there. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 NFL Projected Standings

NFC

NFC East
1. Washington Redskins 11-5 (4-2)
2. New York Giants 9-7 (4-2)
3. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 (2-4)
4. Philadelphia Eagles 6-10 (2-4)

NFC North
1. Green Bay Packers 12-4 (4-2)
2. Chicago Bears 8-8 (3-3)
3. Minnesota Vikings 7-9 (3-3)
4. Detroit Lions 7-9 (2-4)

NFC South
1. Atlanta Falcons 11-5 (4-2)
2. New Orleans Saints 10-6 (4-2)
3. Carolina Panthers 7-9 (3-3)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8 (2-4)

NFC West
1. Seattle Seahawks 11-5 (4-2)
2. San Francisco 49ers 12-4 (3-3)
3. St. Louis Rams 6-10 (3-3)
4. Arizona Cardinals 5-11 (2-4)


NFC Playoff Projections
Wild Card Round
#3 Seahawks over #6 Saints
#4 Redskins over #5 49ers

Divisional Round
#1 Packers over #4 Redskins
#3 Seahawks over #2 Falcons

NFC Championship
#3 Seahawks over #1 Packers

Super Bowl
#1 Broncos over #3 Seahawks


AFC

AFC East
1. New England Patriots 11-5 (5-1)
2. Miami Dolphins 8-8 (3-3)
3. New York Jets 5-11 (2-4)
4. Buffalo Bills 4-12 (2-4)

AFC North
1. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 (4-2)
2. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 (4-2)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8 (2-4)
4. Cleveland Browns 6-10 (2-4)

AFC South
1. Houston Texans 12-4 (4-2)
2. Indianapolis Colts 10-6 (4-2)
3. Tennessee Titans 7-9 (3-3)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13 (1-5)

AFC West
1. Denver Broncos 13-3 (5-1)
2. Oakland Raiders 5-11 (3-3)
3. Kansas City Chiefs 4-12 (2-4)
4. San Diego Chargers 3-13 (2-4)

AFC Playoff Projections
Wild Card Round
#4 Patriots over #5 Colts
#6 Bengals over #3 Ravens

Divisional Round
#1 Broncos over #6 Bengals
#4 Patriots over #2 Texans

AFC Championship
#1 Broncos over #4 Patriots

Super Bowl
#1 Broncos over #3 Seahawks

2013 Denver Broncos Projections

Well, here they are, my projected winners of Super Bowl XLVIII. Peyton, Wes, and Champ are all in in 2013. Offensively, I think Montee Ball will become the starting back and dominate, I think Wes Welker will do absolutely magnificent aside Decker and Thomas and I think this defense, lead by veterans Champ Bailey and Shaun Phillips, picks up the slack for Von Miller in the time he is suspended. Which brings me to my next point. While Denver will struggle without Miller, he is only out for the first 6 weeks. He'll have a whole 10 weeks (and playoffs) to wreak his havoc which he owes to this team.

Projected Record: 13-3 (5-1)
Projected Finish: 1st in AFC West (winners of Super Bowl XLVIII)

Quarterbacks: Peyton impressed in his first year in Denver last season. He eclipsed 4,500 passing yards and tossed 37 TD's in route to the AFC playoff. This year, with an added weapon in Wes Welker, Peyton should post similar numbers. Brock Osweiler was drafted in the 2nd round last year. He'll serve as Manning's backup again in '13. 7th round pick, Zac Dysert, and undrafted San Diego State rookie, Ryan Katz, will vie for the 3rd QB role.
Grade: A+

RB Montee Ball
Running Backs: Montee Ball was drafted in the 2nd round of this years draft. He's a 5'10, 220 pound RB from the University of Wisconsin. Here's a rundown of his college accomplishments: All-American in 2011 and 2012. Finished 4th in the Heisman voting in 2011. 5,140 career rush yards. 77 career rush TD's. 33 rush TD in 2011 season. 6 career receiving TD. 1 career pass TD. And all against Big Ten competition. This guy is the real deal despite slipping to the 2nd round. He's considered the favorite in a RB battle against Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno who were both flustered by injury last year. Ronnie Hillman ran for 330 yards on 84 carries as a rookie last season. He'll contend with Lance Ball for a roster spot. Ball had 42 carries in 15 games last season. He's a smaller back who is clutch in short-yardage situations. FB Jacob Hester appeared in just 3 games last year. If he's 100% healthy, he will be a key part of this Bronco run game.
Grade: B

Receivers: It's hard to argue that there's a better WR trio then Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, and newly added Wes Welker. Last year alone, the 3 combined for nearly 300 catches, 3,850+ receiving yards, and 29 TD's (Welker of course with New England) Andre Caldwell, Tavarres King, and Quincy McDuffie will compete for the remaining WR spots. Caldwell saw action in 8 for Denver last year making just 1 catch. King is a rookie 5th round draft pick from the University of Georiga. As a senior last year, King caught for 950 receiving yards and 9 TD's. McDuffie is an undrafted rookie from the University of Central Florida. He finishes his career with over 4,000 all-purpose yards and 6 kick return TD's. He'll contest 5'5, 170 pound return specialist, Trindon Holliday, for the KR job. TE's Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme combined for 93 catches last season. They'll be pushed by Virgil Green and DeAngelo Peterson.
Grade: A

Offensive Line: The Broncos only gave up 21 sacks last season – good for 2nd in the NFL. But, this is a shaky o-line now that C Dan Koppen is on the injured reserve. Although Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin are two dynamic tackles, there isn't much depth inside. The Broncos will need players like Manny Ramirez (not the baseball player) to really step up.
Grade: C

Defensive Line: With Elvis Dumervil gone, Von Miller suspended till week 6, and Derek Wolfe out indefinitely, guys like Robert Ayers and Jeremy Beal are going to need to step up big time in rushing the QB. One guy I'm looking forward to watching is 5th round draft pick, Quanterus Smith, from Western Kentucky University. Over the last 3 seasons at WKU, Smith had a total of 24 sacks. In 2012, he won the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year award. He is a raw athlete but is coming off a nasty ACL injury. Terrance Knighton is a big DL who is projected to play alongside Sylvester Williams, the Broncos 1st round pick from UNC. The success of this group will be a big factor in determining how far the Broncos will go this year.
Grade: C+

Linebackers: Von Miller is the biggest hit to this unit, and this defense as a whole. With Miller out, Shaun Phillips could be plugged into the equation. Phillips joins the Broncos after a 9 year stint with division rival, San Diego. With Keith Brooking gone, Nate Irving will take over as full time MLB after playing SLB last season. Stewart Bradley comes over from Arizona. The MLB struggled in the Cardinals 34 defense but will look for a fresh start in mile high. Danny Trevathan and Lerentee McCrat are two young LB's to keep an eye on.
Grade: C

CB Champ Bailey
Defensive Backs: Chris Harris and Champ Bailey are a lethal tandem of CB's. Bailey allowed just 1 TD for the entire 2012 season and Harris lead the team in INT's for the 2012 season. Mike Adams and Rahim Moore round out the secondary. Both had good seasons last year until Rahim Moore misjudged a Flacco TD in the playoffs to secure a Ravens victory. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and rookies Kavyon Webster and Nigel Malone will compete with Omar Bolden and Mario Butler for spots as reserve CB's. David Bruton and Duke Ihenacho will do the same at safety. We know what these veterans can do but I'm very excited to see what these young have to bring to the table in 2013.
Grade: B-

Buy: Wes Welker
Sell: Willis McGahee
On the Hot Seat: Knowshon Moreno
Breakout Player: Quanterus Smith