Tag: football wagering blog
We all know that football is a dangerous sport. That sometimes players get hurt, and that because of this, sometimes you need to go deep into your reserves to try to find the players to keep the boat afloat. And that’s exactly what the Steelers did on Sunday night. It was looking very thought for a moment or two for this experienced squad to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh’s top two running backs were goners, so were two of their finest offensive linemen. Even their star safety, Troy Polamalu, was sitting on the bench. So one could only wonder what could Mike Tomlin, the Steelers’ head coach, put together for Ben Roethlisberger to figure out on the offensive end. At the end, with the help of a couple of reserves and with the big help that comes from a solid and determined defense, the Steelers took a 24-17 win on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Going into the game with a 2-3 record, a win here was of vital importance for the Steelers. Particularly because this was a win on the road, their first road victory of the season, and it came under very difficult and challenging conditions. Still, the big win moved them into second place behind the Baltimore Ravens (5-2), which lost to the Houston Texans 43-13 earlier Sunday. It was a good learning experience for the Steelers. For once now they know that their backups can actually play and work well under pressure. Fans were thrilled to see that never before heard players such as third-year running back Jonathan Dwyer could actually deliver. Dwyer made his first career start on Sunday night and ran for a career-high 122 yards, including a 32-yard gain in the final minute that seal the deal. Shaun Suisham kicked field goals of 42, 47 and 42 yards that made a big difference down the stretch. But big credit has to be given to the defense. They sure enough came up with a game-turning interception in the fourth quarter that shut down Andy Dalton as he was trying to get his team back in the fight.
The Cincinatti Bengals failed once again to make any impact against their division rivals. In the last two seasons the Bengals have lost all of their 6 games played against both the Steelers and the Pitsburgh Ravens. Andy Dalton’s finished the night with 14 of 28 passing for 105 yards and one touchdown. But his performance also included a slip-out-of-the-hand interception that would set up Big Ben’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller and a tying 2-point conversion to the tight end with 24 seconds left in the half. It got all uphill from there on for the Bengals.
Ben Roethlisberger, on the other hand, guided the Steelers efforts with 27 of 37 passing for 278 yards with 1 touchdown pass and one interception. He had to take on the leader role for this one, but at the end, he delivered. “On the road, which is big for us, in this hostile environment — I can’t say enough about it,” Roethlisberger said about betting the Bengals in Cincinnati. Let’s see if they can keep it up next week when they face the Washington Redskins on Sunday. As of press time the Steelers are a 5-point favorite in the spread.
Alex Smith was playing his first postseason game against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, a team that had just finished one of the most proficient regular seasons ever breaking records for most yardage in a single season, and having Drew Brees brake Dan Marino’s 27-year-old record for most passing yards in a season. Truth be said, there were very high expectations for the Saints. They had a brilliant team that relied heavily on the most efficient offense we had seen in over a decade, but the San Francisco 49ers proved once again that perseverance is everything and managed to close a thrilling 32-36 last minute game with a win.
It was an epic battle. For a moment there, it seemed as if the Saints were going to be able to pull of a comeback when Drew Brees completed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham with only 1:37 left on the game. It looked as if the Saints were going to get it together and recover from a 17-point deficit to keep on their winning run. That was until Alex Smith simply put an end to it all when, with only 9-seconds left of on the game, he connected a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis to leave the Saints stunned in the field.
At the end, the Saints have no one but themselves to blame for missing out on the Conference Finals. The Saints gave up five turnovers and the San Francisco 49ers just didn’t let that one slide. They practically capitalized on the Saints every mistake, and at the end, Jim Harbaugh’s squad proved that even in the modern, wide-open NFL, a team with a solid game plan and a bullet proof defense can overpower one of the league’s most fluid offenses.
The 49ers won their first playoffs match in 9 years, and now will have to face the New York Giants, who are coming off an impressive win over the most-favorite Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. It might be still a bit early to take a wild guess on how this game is going to evolve, but it seems that with Eli Manning and the Giants getting a powerful boost to the squad stamina, they are going to be a really though team to beat.
According to Stats LLC, Smith made the San Francisco 49ers the first team in NFL history to score two lead-changing touchdowns in the final 3 minutes to win a playoff game. For all we care, he was really the secret ingredient to make this one of the most thrilling and intense games we’ve witnessed in the last few years.
The Saints were coming into San Francisco with the motivation that an almost perfect season had given them. They were confident about their offense, and their star quarterback performance, but at the end, Brees just couldn’t deliver. The Saints starting quarterback had managed to link consecutive 600-yard games, but on Saturday’s afternoon he only completed 40 of 63 passes for 462 yards and four touchdowns and was sacked three times. And that’s when it all went down.
Records are made to be broken. The New Orleans Saints seem to be making that they personal motto for this season. They are looking as strong and as confident as one could wish and with this unprecedented run, they are looking more determined and focused than the 2009 squad that won the first ever Super Bowl for the franchise. And the best ingredients of that recipe for success are still here. It all comes down to Drew Brees and his extraordinary game and to Sean Peyton, a head coach that has managed to go all out and take risks in order to make every win, a very significant and boosting one.
New Orleans broke the postseason mark for total yards with 626, beating the record set 49 years ago. Brees lead an almost flawless offensive throwing for 466 yards, including two 40+ yards completions, in 33 of 43 passing, for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Just to get the record straight, that’s the most yards ever in a regulation time playoffs match.
The Saints offense, as it has usually been the case this season, chipped in plenty not only to pull a 28-45 win at the Superdome, but to prove that it was not a lucky shot that this offense set an NFL record for yards from scrimmage this season (7,474). And again, just to put this into perspective, consider that the Saints outgained the Detroit Lions on the ground 167 yards to 32.
Matthew Stafford threw for 380 yards and three TDs for the Lions. It would had been a good game for him, had he not also thrown 2 interceptions. But despite holding on tight during the first two quarters of the game, the New Orleans Saints simply blew the Lions defense apart in the second half.
Some out there have criticized the Saints coach, Sean Peyton, for taking too much risks and not knowing when to slow things down and rest his starters. Some of his detractors have insinuated that with this tendency, he is just looking at the smaller picture, rather than focusing on winning another title. On the press conference after the game, Peyton even took the time to say this: “We just focus on winning. We’re not focused on yards and records and I’m serious when I say that.”
The Lions put on a decent figth. All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson had 12 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns to take the best of the Lions highlight reel. This is quite a good mark considering that this is his playoff debut with Detroit. But despite his efforts it was too little and too late to hold off the Saints who not only were brilliant in attack. As a matter of fact, the Saints’ defense ended the game in tthe fourth quarter with two decisive interceptions by Jabari Greer.
Now the Saints will travel to San Francisco to face the 13-3 49ers in the second round matchup. As of press time the Saints are a -3 ½ point favorite on the spread for this game. The 49ers will take on the field at 4:30pm ET on Saturday January 14th.
The Seattle Seahawks are still alive for the postseason. Their chances are slim, but they have the momentum and the motivations to actually get themselves into the Playoffs. And perhaps what it is interesting here is that Seattle is actually pulling this off with a team that is filled with many players that were underrated and perhaps unappreciated by their previous teams. Seattle kicked off the season with a rather mediocre performance. On the other hand, this squad has managed to get their act together and on their latest Monday Night Football game they managed to dominate the St. Louis Rams to claim a 30-13 win at the Century Link Field in downtown Seattle.
This is currently the fourth win in the squad’s last five games. A good effort considering that at 6-7 for the season they need to make every win count, as there is still a slim chance of making it into the postseason, and winning is the only option left for these guys. The Seahawks now need to win every game left in the season, but considering their coming from a 2-6 start, I would say that they are doing quite well. And perhaps, this comeback has to deal with the up shift in Marshawn Lynch’s game this season. Considering his latest performances it really looks as if it’s two different players we are talking about. In Lynch’s first six games of the season, he averaged 43.8 rushing yards per game with 3 touchdowns. Now, in the latest six games, on the other hand, he´s been doubling that, recording 117 yards per game and with 25.2 rushes per game with 6 touchdowns.
A big part of the Seahawks revival has to do with Lynch. Despite the fact that Seattle fans recognize that this hasn’t been the season they had dreamed off, it is quite evident that Lynch has managed to win many fans over. It was somewhat of a bizarre spectacle, but Seahawks fans threw bags of Skittles into the end zone as Lynch celebrated his ninth rushing touchdown this season. With that score, that helped secure the breach over the Rams, Lynch also tied a franchise record with nine consecutive games with a TD.
Doug Baldwin was also responsible for stealing some of Lynch’s thunder. He had a great game. He has become Tavaris Jackson’s weapon of choice. Jackson finished the game with 21 of 32 passing for 224 yards and one touchdown pass with no interceptions, including six catches to Baldwin in the second half. He had a great game. For starters, he blocked a first-quarter punt that was returned by Michael Robinson 17 yards for a touchdown. As if that was not enough, he would then caught a 29-yard TD pass from Tarvaris Jackson in the third period as the Seahawks began to open up the gap over the Rams.
Once again, the Rams proved that they really don’t have the talent or the manpower to give their young quarterback, Sam Bradford, the backup he needs to prove his worth. Bradford has yet to prove this season that he has the talent to make it in the NFL. He finished the game with 12 of 29 passing for 193 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Not a brilliant performance, but not much backup from the rest of the Rams either.