Let's get this party started...try to keep up
Can you see Emmanuel Sanders having an impact Saturday?
No doubt. Really emerging and really gaining Roethlisberger's confidence. Can't see PGH pounding their head against that front seven with heavy O personnel. Balt's secondary is better than many thought it would be (myself included), but I do think you can still attack it with 3 WR sets.
Matty Ice, whats your predictions for this weekends games? Also, which have the biggest potential for a blowout or overtime?
Pats, Bears, Steelers and Packers...blow outs in New England and Chicago.
For the Bucs: IMO, rather resign Joseph than keep Faine, no?Dude's always hurt!
Younger too. I agree. Neither is irreplacable and I think they need to add an OLineman even if they kept both. But I do agree.
Lotta noise about Turner's performance against the Packers earlier this year. Packers run defense is looking a lot better than it did in November, especially with Cullen Jenkens back. What is your take on that match up?
No question. Pickett is really solid too. But Raji is an animal. Devestating player vs. run and pass. Plus, guys like Hawk and Bishop are really strong. Would also expect to see some of Woddson looming around the LOS and playing some man on Gonzo with Williams on White. I really like GBay's D.
Is William Moore, safety for Falcons, a stud in the making?
Stud is a big word. But I do like. Needs to show a lot more discipline, but I would think that would come. Playmaking instincts. Hitter. Athletic enough. Good player. Not a stud.
Guns & Roses marathon here btw...just in case you wanted to know my playoff mood.
any reaction to why Rex Ryan and some of his players continue to smack talk the Patriots? They should be embarrassed
That is my initial thought too. But...maybe I am a conspiracy theorist (big X Files fan here) and think that Ryan is deflecting the attention away from Sanchez. If you guys didn't notice, Sanchez played a horrible football game last week. He isn't very good.
So, Moore is comparable to Ryan Clark or someone like that?
Comparisons are tough and I would think Moore has a better career than Clark. Clark is quite disciplined though and his mind is one of his greatest assets.
At the end of the respective careers, who will be more highly regarded, Brady or Manning? Who is better in your opinion?
Well, I keep a running QB List. Peyton is #1. The list will be revised after this season though and Tom will claim that top spot. As for careers, both are phenomanal, but a losing record in the playoffs vs. all Brady's jewelry (including this year) is awful tough to ignore.
Why blowout in Chicago?
'Cause Seattle still stinks. No 12th man. Playing against a very good Bears' D that I think can squash Seattle's run game with 7 in the box...even if Lynch goes into "Beast Mode". BTW-why not always go into "Beast Mode"? Pull it out every game instead of once every three years. Unless Cutler implodes and Seattle dominates special teams (unlikely) I see Chi rolling the 'Hawks. I would worry about the Bears OTs vs. Seattle's DEs-similar to Saints OTs...not real good.
Matt why are most saying the Ravens have a great shot at beating the Patriots while the Steelers have no shot?? They are both similar teams who I think can pose problems for the Patriots
Because the Pats moved the ball at will against Pittsburgh. And Balt went up to Foxboro in last year's wild card game and spanked the Pats.
If you look at the Packer's D, it seems to me that they have 5 or 6 legit playmakers (Woodson, Raji, Matthews, Williams, Collins). Is this the best defense around?
Coin flip between GBay and PGH-still leaning towards the Steelers there. But GBay's secondary is much better, which gives them a lot of options. PGH with a healthy 43 is hard to argue with. Their D vs. the run this season is legend...(Wait for it)...dary.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Night Train right now....loud
Bears-Packers NFC Championship game would be epic. But I worry about McCarthy's in game decisions. Why let off the gas against Philly? They should have won that game comfortably, and not have relied on a end zone INT to resolve things.
No question. I worry about him as a game manager in general. They don't choke anyone out. Still, we can't blame McC for J Jones' awful drop. That would have changed things. But GBay plays in a TON of close games.
What do you think of Shurmur as a candidate for the Browns job?
I know he has a good reputation, but am I wrong or did STL rank in the bottom of the league in both running and passing O this year? Obviously their personnel is not outstanding...but neither is the Browns.
I feel more confident in Rodgers making plays than I do Ryan. I just think Rodgers is much better when the play breaks down. Your thoughts??
No doubt about it. And I am a big believer in Ryan-always have been. Rodgers is just better. He's amazing. Certainly better improv QB too like you mentioned.
What team wins the free agency lottery with Nnamdi Asmugha? Steelers?!
Really doubt it is PGH-they don't spend in free agency or at CB. How about Houston? Now you are talking.
Which of these rookies is most important to his team's success this weekend: Pouncey, Okung, Starks.
Wow...tough call. Okung has really gone under the radar because he was hurt so much, but he is going to be a true franchise LT. Squaring up against Peppers! Oh baby. Worth the price of admission. Pouncey is also great, but right now, he struggles vs. size more than quickness. He is going to see some serious size vs. Balt! I like Starks too, but he isn't the player the other two are right now.
Do you see Cutler putting up some decent #s or imploding this weekend?
Real good numbers. Chi will stay balanced but the real 'Hawks secondary will show up this weekend-and that isn't a good thing.
Is it safe to say that the Bucs 2010 rookie class is the best of the past decade? Top rookie receiver and rusher, started 10 rookies and finished above .500
Not sure about that! Not sure it was even the best in the league in 2010. The Raiders and Pats could have a serious arguement! But, it was excellent. I bet you are a lot higher on Blount than I am, but I really like McCoy and Williams for sure. Promising.
Any chance Philly in on the Nnamdi sweepstakes?
Could happen I guess. Might be the last piece that D needs. Make people throw at Samuel = a lot of turnovers. How about Dallas? Seems like a J Jones type of thing to do.
Are you doing writeups on each matchup for the weekend again and when will they be posted?
I did every game but the Bears/Hawks. Bet they are up any minute, but that isn't up to me. Turned them in on Monday.
hey Matt I got the 4 other teams buddy your gonna go 0-4, some analyst
Okay Darryl. You showed me.
Which is the Bears' easiest path: at ATL or home vs GB? Home game is nice...but isn't GB the better team? What you think?
I do think GBay is a better team than ATL. But if I were Chicago, I would rather get the Pack at home. Familiarity. Home field.
Will either Rice or Mendenhall have any room to run this weekend? If not, do you expect this to be a 14-10 game with Big Ben getting both TS's for Pitt?
Think you are dead on. Both teams will use the run-and maybe some short throws to their RBs. But I don't see much success on the ground. Balt's protection has been a real problem and while Flacco played great last week, he isn't Big Ben. But the Steelers' protection is much worse than Balt's. I actually give the edge on weaponry to PGH now.
Would you put Mendenhall among the best RBs in the game? I know it's a hard question for you to be unbiased on, but looking at the stats, he certainly makes a case to be right there along with Turner and Gore.
No question in the Top 10. I often say around here "Imagine this guy under Bill Cowher behind a FB and an OL with Hartings, Faneca, etc." Would then be considered elite. Huge fan of Mend though here obviously and would take him over Turner, but behind Gore. But Gore really does have durability issues.
Whether it was the NFLs best or not, I would take another draft class of similar stature for the Chiefs. If they do as well as they did last year it could set them up in the AFC west for a few yrs.
No question! And I should have mentioned KC's draft class too. Some great ones this past year. Love Moeaki.
Mike Shanahan has taken a lot of heat in DC, but look at that roster! There is almost ZERO talent on the Redskins... isn't it actually sort of impressive that he coached 6 wins out of that mess?
I suppose, but I blame him for the D not having any identity. Should have stuck with a 4-3, kept Big Al happy instead of flopping all year. Don't love how he handled McNabb either. But I am on board with what you are saying-their roster stinks.
How underrated are Johnny Knox and Matt Forte? Or do you think one or both are overrated?
Would say that Knox is underrated and Forte is overrated. But those are tough questions-as I really don't have the chart in front of me as to where every NFL player is "Rated" to begin with! But huge fan of Knox-bet Martz loves the guy. Real similar to those Greatest Show on Turf WRs. Best is yet to come. Forte is just a little above average to me. Solid in all areas, not great in any.
Matt, with all the talk the Jets are doing, how much motivation does it add for the Pats in a game they should already by amped up for? Does it have any impact at all for these guys?
Highly doubt it. Think it changes the way the left guard fires off the ball in the 3rd quarter? When the Pats are up big late in the game, BB might throw a bomb or two for fun...cause that is how he is.
Big Steelers fan. I'm ready for the game Saturday. Trouble is, it's Wednesday. Any suggestions on how to pass the time?
You could come over and shovel my drive way. Oh-you are in Indy. Just got off a radio hit in Indy a few minutes ago. Oh well. Watch Super 70s highlights.
Johnny Knox is not the underrated WR, Earl Bennett is! Great hands, will go across the middle. Know has some major drop problems at times...
Knox has had some drops and I see some inconsistencies with him right now, but remember, he isn't very far removed from playing at Alb Christian! Now he lines up against Charles Woodson. Bennett is solid for sure. Cutler obviously trusts him and yes, great hands. Doesn't have nearly Knox's ability though.
If Miami hires McDaniels, you think they should make a play for Orton?
Could live with Orton in Miami at the right price. Then I would use a high draft pick on a burner WR and a RB with bell cow potential. Still keep Henne around and see what happens under a guy like McD.
How shocked would you be if Hawks and Falcons won?
Would be very shocked if Seattle won, but ATL is a very good team, rested and at home. That wouldn't shock me.
If Mularkey stays do you think his offense will evolve with Ryan or will it stay conservative?
Will be run first. But, if I were ATL, I would really look to add a weapon or two for Ryan this off season. Dont see a ton of needs on this team, but getting someone to exploit coverage when it is rolled to White would be huge. So, then, I expect it to open up. But it isn't a simple O. They do a lot with personnel and formations-just usually use heavier personnel to do it.
What matchup do you think the Ravens will try to exploit most on O v. Pgh D?
Short passing game like they did vs. KC. PGH can have problems with that. The Steelers are great at taking away the long ball-but Balt doesn't have any speed to go deep. Out routes in front of Cover 3. Crossers. Heap. Rice out of the backfield.
Matt thanks for the response but follow-up to my initial question and your thoughts, if Forte was in a different system that it didn't take until game #9 to fully use him, would you view him differently?
Wouldn't change my opinion most likely. I think he can handle a lot of carries, but you also need to realize that the Bears will use his recieving skills more than this team X that you mention. Just isn't real elusive or overly powerful. He's fine. Again, above average.
Matt, you are the man so I can't argue, but when I look at Bears-Hawks, I can't get past the fact that Seattle already beat them in Chicago, and I wouldn't say either team has changed too dramatically since then (except for Seattle looking a ton better last week). You don't think that game revealed any matchup strengths for Seattle?
I disagree in that Chi has changed on O. WAY more called runs since that game. Balance. Not asking as much of Cutler-so fewer mistakes. Fewer 7 step drops (cause their OL isn't very good) and less hits for Cutler. It is really working. Martz deserves credit for understanding his personnel, city he plays in and adapting accordingly. And yes, I do think Sea played their best game last week and that is unlikely to occur again.
Do the Manning Dance, Matty!!!!
Not sure what that is, but right now I am swaying to Patience as I type.
games on the line you got the ball who do want at QB rodgers or ryan
Rodgers. Sorta got into this earlier. Love Ryan. Trust him. Don't have much bad to say about him at all. But Rodgers is just better. He's amazing.
Matt, I know you're not high on ATL's running game, but isn't the point to HAVE balance, not to dominate only one facet of the game? I mean, ATL scores plenty w/o many defensive TDs, so they must be doing something right...
They are doing a ton right! And I don't dislike their running game. It is extremely well coached and extremely physical. They stick with it and just bury people in the 4th quarter. But they don't get any big plays out of their running game.
Mdub-in their first matchup Okung neutralized Peppers for the most part. Do you see the Bears moving him to the opposite side to avoid this happening again?
Have thought about that-not sure. I think Peppers kills Locklear and forces them to use help to the O's right side. So maybe. But he prob starts opposite Okung-and if he starts winning, leave him there.
What are your thoughts on the Rivera hire?
I like him. Seems very ready. Can't complain. But...didn't anyone watch the Panthers' passing game last year? Don't they realize that they are going to be VERY young at the QB position? MUST find a QB guru to help this passing game.
wouldnt it be funny if McDaniels winds up being the OC in Miami? Marshall did all that he could to get away from McDaniels 2 years ago, and succeeded, only to be reuinted a year later!
Good point...and Marshall can be a tad volitile!
Can Clausen be a solid starter for Carolina and Rivera?
To be determined. If Luck comes to his senses and comes out I would draft him a heartbeat and not think twice about Clausen. Can't say I have seen much to get super excited about in Clausen yet. In the end, I see a bottom end starter or a great backup type. But-very early obviously.
Do you think Hasselbeck can be a decent QB in the right spot, or do you think he is done?
Cloesr to being done than decent. Brittle. But he still has the mind for the position. And he played great this past weekend.
I think the Bears D will dominate this weekend. Will Hasselback be forced to pass after getting down early? He isn't very mobile do you see a few sacks and a couple of Ints?
My thoughts exactly. Just seem them killing the run. Making the Hawks one dimensional. Then, trouble.
Carolina needs to put me in, Dubb. We'll win State. I just know it!!
Had to post this.
How successful will the Pats be running the ball this weekend?
Successful enough. When they get favorable matchups in the box-hand it off. But I do see it being a Brady Game.
If you're the Panthers do you try to move DeAngelo Williams for a pick or two, or do you hold onto him to make sure you have a solid ground game (w/Stewart) to help Clausen?
Have to Franchise him to trade him, which I would do. But I would have done the same thing with Peppers last year at this time instead of watching a tremendous asset walk away for nothing. But hey, what do I know?
Do you think the Saints just had a bad game vs Seattle or are there some underlying problems? Also do you think Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas will be back next year?
Some problems, but more than anything-a VERY bad game. No RBs. OTs got killed. But the D was horrific. I really think they were fatigued. Injured. Long road trip. Short week. They just had nothing in the tank.
Jennings or white with the bigger game this week?
I like all the starting CBs on GBay and ATL, but I like the Packers' CBs better. Jennings.
I think it would be a huge mistake to give Vick a big contract. Age, size, durability and I just don't think he is that good. What are the chances he is playing elsewhere next season??
Highly doubt he is elsewhere. At a min, you have to Franchise him and discuss this again one year from now. Your points are VERY valid, but good QBs do not grow on trees and Vick is def a good QB.
Earlier in the year, after NE drubbed the Stillers, you said it was simply a bad matchup for Pitt. Baltimore went to NE and should have won that game. Is it fair to say that, if it's NE-Pitt, is it NE hands down, but the Ravens may be able to give them another game?
I don't see anyone slowing down the Pats now. I just don't.
On a scale of 1-10, how happy should we be that Harbaugh is still applying his trade in the Bay Area?
8. Not many college coaches excel at this level, but he is great with QBs and certainly has strong NFL connections.
Seems like no one outside of Atlanta is giving the Falcons a shot.....The birds beat the Ravens, Saints, Packers and played Pitt close....... Why no love nationally....Then again if we beat the Packers, everyone will say the Birds were lucky......
Doubt that happens if ATL gets the win. I just think everyone is super excited about the Pack. Myself included.
Tomlinson or Greene will be the man this week?
LT will get some favorable matchups as a receiver vs. the Pats' LBs. But the Jets will try to be physical and give Greene a lot of interior runs. I would say pretty close to 50/50
Of the remaining teams, what would be your ideal SB matchup?
Pack/Pats...of the teams left, I give the Pack the best chance to score with Brady and Company.
Do you see Darren McFadden becoming an elite-RB or is he always going to be dogged by injuries?
Not elite. Too straight linish. Will take a ton of hits with his style. I actually thought he was going to be a bust, but gotta give him credit for what he did this year. Very impressive. Now hits it up in there. Runs lower.
Matt, what are your thoughts on Nick Fairley, and should the Panthers take a hard look a him now that Luck is staying in school, he looked pretty dominant to me on Monday night.
Not a draft expert yet, but he looks like a Suh-like prospect. Reminds me of Haynesworth-when Big Al is playing hard. If there isn't a great QB who emerges, Fairley seems like a great choice. Don't like Car's DTs at all and he would be more or less the last piece that D needed. Then-concentrate HEAVY on O.
Packers at Bears (possibly) for NFC title in Chicago...who ya got?
Pats over Pack in Super Bowl
Live November Rain
Matt, Thoughts on the Saints. Crumbled dow the stretch and now facing RB issues with Thomas and Bush. How do they do next year? Thanks
They won't go away. Ivory will be suitable with Bush at RB. Could use an OT for sure on O, but other than that, I would attack the D. Would love to see them add a big time playmaking OLB. More help on the DL too.
Forte effectively ran for 1,000 yards in 11-12 games this year. I don't know what he's "rated" but he's a good player.
Good player. Not great. Certainly don't love him.
Okay Folks, I am out. Lots to do. Great chat as always. I will be hoesting ALL FOUR Cover it Lives this weekend. Let's continue the chat there.