Thursday, January 27, 2011

NFL Films Shots of the Year

Here is a compilation from NFL Films featuring their most breathtaking shots from the 2010 season... Definitely worth a watch, they do such an outstanding job.

NFL Films: Shots of the Year 2010

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All Super Bowl Team

Made my picks for the All Super Bowl Team. Check out ESPN.com to make your selections. Among my choices are Gene Upshaw, Richard Dent, Jack Ham, Ronnie Lott, Joe Greene, and Jerry Rice.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Championship Round Picks

The Final Four. Here we go:

Game:                           Alex:                                 Chris:
GB @ CHI                    GB                                      GB
NYJ @ PIT                   NYJ                                   PIT

2010 Record:             164-102                             165-101

Be sure to follow NFL Reaction on twitter (@nflreaction) for fun game commentary all afternoon.

Picture: J-E-T-S?


Snapped this one with my iPhone. I must say, New York City looks ready for NFL Championship Sunday.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NFC Championship: History Loves Company













Talk about two teams that have a history. The Chicago Bears have played the Green Bay Packers a mind-numbing 182 times. That's a lot hits, sacks, passes, runs, and of course...touchdowns.

The NFC Championship matchup on Sunday adds one more game to the long standing dissension and, in this writer's opinion, is a perfect way to take this rivalry into a new era. On one side we have the Green Bay Packers, the mighty Cheese Heads, the historic descendants of Lombardi. Lead by almost-elite quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have struggled to make it anywhere in the post-season under this new regime...until now.

On the other side, the new Monsters of Midway, the Soldier Field soldiers...the Chicago Bears, and their (somewhat) new quarterback, Jay Cutler. The Bears have been up, down and everywhere in between in recent years it seems. Four years ago, current Head Coach Lovie Smith lost the Super Bowl. Last season they were 7-9 and looking on as their rival Packers and Vikings headed to the playoffs. This year they've looked as strong as ever, but have been constantly questioned along the way. Are they for real? Do they have what it takes? Well they're playing for the NFC Championship against their rival Packers tomorrow. Is anyone still wondering?

REACTION:
What a perfect way to round off the NFC half of the season, by having two of the oldest teams face off with their new prominence. The Bears are for real, and have silenced the doubters one game at a time. The Packers finally look like a Super Bowl ready-team, despite overwhelming injuries. They've both made it this far and to show for it, they have the championship game ahead of them. But who wins?

Sorry Bears fans, I think this team is good, no question, but Super Bowl good? They lucked out facing the Seahawks last round, and as everyone saw, that was barely a contest. The Packers have taken out serious teams (the Eagles, the Falcons) and are on a hot streak the likes of which grants players rings. This should be a great game, but I'm taking the Packers to edge their rival and send Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood to their first shot at the Lombardi Trophy.

Packers 23 - Bears 20

By the way, I picked the Packers to make it to the Bowl at the beginning of the season...just sayin'.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Front Seven in Pursuit of No. Seven


The Steelers have one of the best- if not the best - front seven in the NFL. With a stout line and the league's best linebacking corps, opposing teams have trouble running on the Steelers. In 2010, the Steelers led the league in run defense with the third lowest opposing run total since the NFL-AFL merger (Alex might remind you that the Ravens hold the No. 1 spot in that category). Where the Steelers sometime lack efficacy is in their secondary. Their safety tandem of Ryan Clark and some guy named Troy are tops but after No. 1 cornerback Ike Taylor, the Steelers pass defenders leave much to be desired. Not to mention, starting cornerback Bryant McFadden is nursing an abdominal injury. If the Jets are going to win on Sunday, they will need to send four or five receivers and attack this weakness. If not, the Steelers will be headed to their third Super Bowl in six years. And I believe they will.

Look for...
- Mark Sanchez to throw one pick, probably to Troy.
- Heath Miller to score a touchdown.
- Tomlinson to have 100 all-purpose yards.
- Lamarr Woodley to have at least one sack.
- Big Ben to be sacked by the Jets blitz two-three times.
- Emmanuel Sanders on third down.
- The Steelers to win 24-10.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Championship Round Rankings

We're down to the final four. Who's the most likely to win the Super Bowl? Let's see how they rank going in to the championship games.

1) Steelers - Could Peter King’s whacky Super Bowl prediction come true? (CL)
2) Packers - The Packers are playing better than anyone else in the league but the Steelers Super Bowl experience give them the advantage. (CL)
3) Jets - In August, Rex Ryan foresaw the Super Bowl for his team. Does he read palms too? (AB)
4) Bears - Playing like there’s no tomorrow because, well, there might not be. (AB)

High-Priced Super Bowl Tickets Not Even in the Stadium

NEWS:
The NFL is charging something in the range of $200 for seats outside Jerry Jones' Wonderland, so you can watch the game in the parking lot on a jumbo-tron. Sum that up in one word.

REACTION:
In a word? Arrogant. Or at least that was my reaction for ESPN's SportsNation when they posed the same question. Yes, the Super Bowl is arguably the biggest sporting event in America every year, to which people will pay exponential amounts of moola to attend, but would some consider this a sleazy move? Probably. Greedy? Most definitely.

But what about brilliant? Most of you are content with sitting at home on your couches enjoying the game in the comfort of your home, all the while thinking that spending lots of money to watch it on a bigger TV somewhere just outside the actual event is idiotic and foolhardy. The NFL, however, believes there are still plenty of fans who will shell out copious amounts of cash to enjoy said spectacle by getting as close to the action as possible, even if it means a spot on the grass (or asphalt) mere feet away from thousands of cheering fans watching the game sans commentary. And you know what, they are absolutely right.

This Ain't the Same Old Jets.

Over the last seven years, only three teams have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers.

This year, the New York Jets needed road victories against three AFC teams to reach the Super Bowl: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers. Wow, talk about trial by fire.

If the Jets make it past the Steelers on Sunday, they will have faced one of the toughest roads to a ring in the history of the NFL. The 2005 Steelers and 2007 Giants both advanced to and won Super Bowls as wild card teams and the three road games that come along with the territory. Even this year's Packers will need to beat the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the NFC for a trip to Dallas. However, I don't think anyone can argue that the 2005 Steelers, 2007 Giants or the 2010 Packers had a tougher playoff route than beating the only AFC teams to win Super Bowls in the past decade.

On top of their playoff schedule, the Jets are doing all of this despite microscopic media attention from big off-season acquisitions to Hard Knocks potty mouthing to sideline tripping to foot fetishes and not to mention a late season slump. On Sunday night, the Jets will test their mettle against one of the toughest defenses and most successful quarterbacks in the league.

But this ain't the same old Jets.

...Prediction tomorrow...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Divisional Round Picks

Well I already told you I'm taking Baltimore...shocking, I know. But here are the complete NFL Reaction Divisional Playoff Weekend selections, and records (incase you were interested):

Game:                           Alex:                                 Chris:
BAL @ PIT                  BAL                                   PIT
GB @ ATL                   GB                                      GB
SEA @ CHI                 CHI                                   CHI
NYJ @ NE                   NE                                     NE

2010 Record:             163-101                             163-101

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Divisional Round Power Rankings

This was a hard decision because we have such great match-ups this weekend. Only four get to advance, two of our top three...so much is at stake.

1) Patriots - Brady doesn’t take kindly to midweek insults from his opponents. (CL)
2) Steelers - Round 3 of the Bruise Bowl, can they survive the Ravens one more time? (AB)
3) Ravens - Can the red hot road warriors continue to roll? (CL)
4) Packers - Big win over Mike Vick and the Eagles has the Pack roaring toward Atlanta. (AB)
5) Falcons - Finishing in first place is much different than winning in the playoffs. (CL)
6) Bears - They lost to the Seahawks once already this year. (AB)
7) Jets - Only one team has ever beaten P. Manning and Brady back-to-back. (AB)
8) Seahawks - Cinderella, meet Pumpkin. (CL)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ravens-Steelers III - Armageddon

...Or that's what Terrell Suggs would have you believe. That's right Sports Fans, it's come down to round three of the brutal battle we see every year between two formidable foes; the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

So Chris Legentil told you why the Steeler's might win I see...well now I'm going to tell you how, and why the Ravens will win. Sure, everyone says defense, penalties, turnovers, mistakes, even refs (according to Trent Dilfer) will decide this game. Yes all of those things will matter, but (as Chris pointed out) it will come down to offense. These are two outstanding teams defensively, no question. The Steelers have been strong all season, while the Ravens are really hitting their stride late in the season and now in the playoffs. But the Ravens, especially Joe Flacco, have shown they can attack you with their array of weapons on offense, and present arguably the most balanced team in the post-season.

So why do I believe in the Ravens going in to Sunday's game?
1) Super Bowl Caliber Defense - thirteen turnovers in the past three games. Yeah, that's right. Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, and you bet Ray Lewis. These guys aren't just players, they're forces...elements to be reckoned with on the football field. They know the Steelers better than anyone in the league, and you can bet they're going to bring the intensity with them to Pittsburgh.

2) Dangerous Offense - Sure they've left everyone scratching they're heads several times this year. With the addition of recievers Boldin, Houshmandzadeh, and Stallworth, the Ravens should be one of the most potent passing threats in the NFL. But it all comes down to Flacco. Sure Ray Rice has been his saving grace in times of uncertainty, and he's had trouble dealing with pressure this season, but the young QB has shown that he's still growing. "Joe Cool" silenced many doubters on Sunday when he lead the Ravens to a dominating win over the Kansas City Chiefs. On Saturday it will come down to him again. He has all his weapons, including Todd Heap, who showed how valuable the veteran Tight End is to the offense with his 100+ yard performance in Kansas City. Did I mention he was out when the Ravens played the Steelers in December. Interesting.

3) History - These two teams have a lot of history. Ben Roethlisberger seems to have the winning edge over the Ravens as of late, but even he openly admits to hating playing them. And the head-head record stands at 9-8 since 2003, pretty darn even. But how about the fact that the Ravens are 7-3 in road playoff games. That's the best in the NFL...ever. How's that for some history.

Both teams are as healthy as they can be right now, so no real excuses there. We could go on all week, back-and-fourth about who's better but the war will never be over. The next battle will be won on Saturday, and the way I see it, the Ravens are looking as good as ever. It's time. The steel curtain has held its shadow over Coach Harbaugh, young Flacco, and the city of Baltimore long enough. It's time for a new order.

Ravens 26 - Steelers 17

See you Saturday...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jets Prepare For Patriots

I wanted to share some New York Jets practice footage that features some new experimental tactics for their upcoming divisional round matchup against the rival New England Patriots...


Powerful stuff. I don't think the Patriots will see it coming.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Steelers-Ravens III - Ouch

Let the $#!t-talking begin. As you know Alex Bente is a Ravens fan and I am Pittsburgh Steelers fan. As you also know, Steelers-Ravens III is scheduled for this Saturday at 4:30 ET. The Steelers will win because of their run game? No. Defense? No. Aerial Attack? Yes.

Before you accuse me of temporary insanity, I have three reasons for my assertion:
1) Ben is hitting his stride. In the final quarter of the season (which was the final third for Roethlisberger since he only played in 12 games due to suspension), Big Ben threw zero interceptions while tacking on another 1100+ yards in the air. He is also getting sacked less by hitting hot routes when he spots the blitz.

2) No More One Trick Pony. Defenses have started defending against Mike Wallace's deep routes. The only problem is that this pony is learning more tricks and now scoring long-yardage catch-and-runs just as often as long-yardage deep balls. Not to mention, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are two emerging rookies with little game film on them. With four solid receivers and Heath Miller, this is not the same team they were even six weeks ago.

3) History. Since Roethlisberger entered the league in 2004, the Ravens have only two wins against him. Both came in the Steelers Super Bowl hangover 8-8 season in 2006. Since then, the Ravens have only defeated the Steelers when Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon have been behind center.

More from Alex (I'm sure) soon...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wild Card Weekend tweeting...follow @nflreaction on twitter.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Emmanuel Sanders Live Chat

If you all remember, NFL Reaction recently interviewed one of the rising stars in the league, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Well now it's your turn. Sanders will be hosting a live chat on Facebook tonight at 7pm EST. Check it out here.

Wild Card Weekend Picks

Well, the playoffs are here and it's Wild Card Weekend. My Pre-Season Super Bowl picks were the Packers and the Ravens, but looking at the seeding and the season past, I might have to make some adjustments.

Eh, forget it. I'll stick with my picks. It's unlikely, but if Baltimore meets Green Bay in Dallas, I'll feel quite accomplished.

Anyway, here are my Wild Card Weekend Picks (in order of game time):

Saints
Colts
Ravens
Packers

Here we go!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Football Analysts: The Next Generation


Take a look at Inside the NFL's segment on amateur webcasters. Who knows, maybe you'll even see the NFL Reaction team on TV one day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Playoff Power Rankings

Well, I was going to tag-team this one with Chris, but he gave me some darn good commentary, and I couldn't have said it better myself. So with twelve teams left, who is most likely to win the Super Bowl... or at least get there? Here's our order:

1) Patriots – The NFL’s most dominant team only needs two home wins (where they are undefeated) for a trip to Dallas.
2) Steelers – After overcoming incredible obstacles, they’ll need to overcome one more for their seventh ring... most likely a win in Foxboro.
3) Ravens – If any team is used to playing the post-season on the road, it’s the Ravens. If any team can beat the Patriots and the Steelers, it’s the Ravens.
4) Falcons – No away games on the path to the Super Bowl. Go with the odds.
5) Saints – The road to this year’s Super Bowl will be more difficult than last year’s, but far from impossible.
6) Bears – A guaranteed divisional-round home game keeps the Bears in the top half of the list.
7) Colts – Depending on which Peyton shows up to the playoffs, the Colts could make a run.
8) Eagles – Michael Vick and a good road record give the Eagles an outside chance.
9) Packers – Aaron Rogers' hunger to win a playoff game will need to be stronger than the Packers’ road performance this season.
10) Jets – They started 2010 with a bang, but are no better off heading into the playoffs this year than last.
11) Chiefs – After the home loss to Raiders, don’t expect a different outcome against a better team in the Ravens.
12) Seahawks – C’mon. Really?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Week 17 Picks - Happy 2011

Well it's the last week of the season, and I promised myself I wouldn't cry...but the Ravens are in the playoffs so I'm not complaining. Is your favorite team in? Let's see if my final picks of the season will offer you some solace, or despair...

Patriots, Saints, Falcons, Eagles, Chiefs, Colts, Texans, Ravens, Packers, Lions, Redskins, Steelers, Jets, Chargers, Rams, 49ers.

Happy New Year everybody! Enjoy the games!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Playoff Sleepers: NFL Reaction featured on NFL Network's "No Huddle"

I asked the experts at NFL Network who they thought would be the biggest sleeper teams in the playoffs, meaning teams that have the best chance to surprise and upset the top contenders.

As luck would have it, the "No Huddle" panel of experts answered my question on-air. Check out the video clip here. Thanks guys!

As for my playoff sleepers:
NFC - Green Bay (if they make it in)
AFC - Baltimore (this team is built to win in the post-season)

Who are your playoff sleepers? Who are your favorites to take it all?

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