Posts tagged ‘Carolina Panthers’

NFL News: Panthers Tag Peppers, Raiders Pay Top Dollar For Asomugha

nnamdi-asomugha

Just when I thought Julius Peppers would hit the free agent market and possibly become a Redskin, the Panthers go and slap him with the franchise tag. It was earlier rumored that Peppers wanted out of Carolina, but now he doesn’t have a choice. The Panthers could trade Peppers if they wanted to but I don’t see that happening. They tagged Peppers and are now working on the contract of their other big-name free agent, guard Jordan Gross. So if you wanted your team to make a run at Peppers, consider that chance to be miniscule at best.

You may not have heard about a cornerback named Nnamdi Asomugha, or maybe you have. He plays for the Oakland Raiders, a reason why you wouldn’t know him, and he only had one lonely interception last year. So why on Earth is this guy the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history?

Make no mistake about it, Asomugha is the best cornerback in the league hands down. It does suck that he plays for the Raiders, but at least they’re taking care of him. Asomugha was given a new contract today: $45.3 million over 3 years with $28.5 million guaranteed. He only had one interception last year because teams simply do NOT throw to his side of the field…ever. He will literally take a wide receiver out of the game, you name it and he’ll cover it like a blanket. He’s 6’2, fast, big enough to tackle effectively at 210 pounds, and a major asset to any team. At just 27-years-old, Asomugha is getting treated like he should for a lockdown corner in his prime.

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February 20, 2009 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

Lucky Seven: NFL Power Rankings Wk. 12

All of the teams I put in my Lucky Seven last week won except for the DeadSkins. Here’s how I see it going into week 12, hard to believe we’ve come this far:

1.) Tennessee Titans (1) – They are still without a loss and Kerry Collins is doing it without alcohol, I like it. It may not be attractive, it may not get any style points, but the Titans are the real deal. No explanation necessary.

2.) New York Giants (2) – They are so close to moving up to number one on the chart after crushing such a good Baltimore defense. However, they lost to the Browns and the Titans have beaten everyone they’re suppose to. We’ll see when the head-to-head match-up arrives.

3.) Pittsburgh (3) – They won an ugly one in some really tough weather. They were also apart of a game that cost bettors an estimated $66 million, which is why I stopped betting on the NFL. I still don’t think they lost their intensity but Big Ben scares me at times (along with his $27M this year).

4.) Arizona Cardinals (6) – They may not have beaten a great opponent, but they beat the Seahawks that was reasonably staffed. And their offense is just so dominant. The other teams that may have been in this spot had dismal games or just are not yet deserving. Warner is still up for the Heisman and Boldin is the best receiver in the league.

5.) Carolina Panthers (5) – They won a ugly game against Detroit. They did have an absolutely unbeleivable game on the ground, racking up over 200 yards. However, my not-so-favorite Delhomme cannot pass right now to save his life. He had just 98 yards passing and it makes the overall outlook of the Panthers’ offense unknown. I still like the Cards’ over this Panthers team right now.

6.) Washington Redskins (4) – Oh how the mighty have fallen. Just a few weeks ago this team looked like it could really make some noise. Then people realized that their offense is the most hilarious thing to watch in all of football besides Al Davis’ reactions to reporters. If defenses lock down Santana Moss (which isn’t all that tough) then this offense is completely flat. Campbell has no protection and the 5-yard passes on 3rd and 12 isn’t going to get it done. The defense is getting turnovers but they have no pressure from their line. Serious issues need to be addressed on both the lines if this team has any hopes of doing anything.

7.) Tampa Bay Bucs (7) – They sit here behind the Skins’ because the Skins’ should still be able to beat these guys. Tampa Bay has been on a pretty solid roll and Jeff Garcia continues to impress the people that thought AARP couldn’t play football. Their receiver situation is a little shakey but I really like their defense and it could take them to the playoffs as a division-winner.

Atlanta may have dropped their game last week but they are destined to win the division, according to the crazy NFC South stat that says the team that finishes last in the division one year is the division winner the next. Ravens are still kind of on my radar but I am looking more at the other purple team, the Vikings. They dropped one but the NFC North is wide open.

November 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Lucky Seven: NFL Power Rankings Wk. 11

I take a little time away from the NFL weekly Power Rankings and some things have certainly changed. Here’s my opinion of the top seven teams in the NFL going into week 11:

1.) Tennessee Titans – They’re on the road to the Super Bowl; who could argue otherwise? Defense is dominant, running attack is balanced, and Kerry Collins controls the football games. My only concern is lack of wide receiver production, a problem that has plagued the organization for the past couple years. However, big-time play from the Titans’ tight ends have made up for the slack.

2.) New York Giants – They’re in the toughest (no arguments allowed) division in football. Their running game is the most balanced in the NFL, even more than the Titans. I don’t like Eli but he finds ways to get the ball to the unexpected. No-name guys are producing for this team and that’s why the Giants will go far. The whole team plays as one unit…minus Plexiglass of course.

3.) Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers are a beat up ball club right now and it still doesn’t stop them from being the most physical team in the NFL. Two of Pittsburgh’s key players (Roethlisberger and Parker) are out and they continue to find ways to win. I won’t count out Pittsburgh until they miss the playoffs.

4.) Washington Redskins – They dropped a tough one to Pittsburgh on national television and took it into the bye with them, hopefully they come out with a little more fire. The Skins’ problem is not scoring touchdowns and thinking it’s okay to score field goals. They have a chance to sweep the Cowboys on Sunday night and they need to take advantage of the opportunity. Portis is 50-50 on whether he’ll play Sunday night, and his health could possibly determine the Skins’ future.

5.) Carolina Panthers – Self-explanatory. I may not be a huge supporter of Jake Delhomme but he can definitely sling the football and that’s what seems to work in Carolina. Steve Smith is one of the top receivers in the league and DeAngelo Williams is having a good year on the ground thus far. But what is really winning ball games for the Panthers is their defense. The Carolina defense has given up only 133 points on the year, which is the lowest given up in the NFC. Carolina’s 7-2 record puts them in a prime spot to carve their own path to the playoffs.

6.) Arizona Cardinals – It seems like the Cards’ should be playing in the Big XII rather than the dismal NFC West. Kurt Warner has Heisman-like numbers (Fanzak article) and it looks like their running the spread offense with big receivers on each side. I like the Cardinals to win the division and do some damage in the playoffs using their high-powered offense.

7.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa is similar to the Carolina Panthers, and never did I think two teams from the NFC South would make the top seven teams in the league. In fact, the NFC South has proven to be quite a force in the NFL this season. Jeff Garcia is showing that he really isn’t that old and the defense continues to be their strong point. Tampa is a good ball club but they need to keep an eye out for Atlanta who is hot on their tail.

Watch out for teams like the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens. Both have rookie quarterbacks but have found ways to prove the early critics wrong. Atlanta’s offense is on fire right now while the Ravens’ defense continues to be the best in football. The scary part is that Flacco is turning the corner, or so it seems, and the team could possibly be just as good on offense as they are on defense. I also wouldn’t say anything about the Patriots. They have the best coach in the league and they have 98% of the undefeated team from last year.

November 12, 2008 at 9:57 pm 2 comments

Lucky Seven: NFL Power Rankings Wk. 6

Teams are now giving themselves a true identity after about five games. The mighty have fallen, the pawns have moved up on the totem pole, and the season could not be off to a better start. Here’s my updated rankings going into next week.

1.) New York Giants (1) – They didn’t do anything to lose their ranking from last week, they beat Seattle. However, this team has played nothing except a sack of marbles and some old baseball cards thus far. They did play Washington in Week 1 and they won by a slim margin. There’s no doubt that D.C. wins when the G-Men come to FedEx Field.

2.) Tennessee Titans (2) – Like the Giants, they won last week and did nothing to take away from their ranking. Although the win was far from pretty, did anyone expect different? The Ravens have an awesome defense and the Titans’ not-so-proven offense got it done when it needed to. Say what you want about the personal foul call on the last drive, the officials have been horrible so far this year.

3.) Washington Redskins (5) – They have taken care of all their division road games (2-1), they have beat the early SB favorite in Dallas, and they have all the confidence in the world. Their next few games will look like the start of the Giants’ first four games and they should be nothing less than 7-1. The Redskins are easily the hottest team in the NFL right now.

4.) Dallas Cowboys (3) – I know they won last week, but did you see the game? They allowed the Bengals to rally back and make a game out of it, in Dallas. The Cowboys should have easily beat the Bengals by 17 points, if you take into account the analysis on both teams. The Cowboys have had a rough couple of weeks lately.

5.) Pittsburgh Steelers (6) – Big Ben is the definition of Pittsburgh. The guy is a machine that still throws for 300+ yards on a seperated shoulder…try it sometime. The Jags may not be what everyone expected, but they are certainly no slouch. The Steelers defeated a good Jacksonville team and they continue to prove that they are a tough team that loves to get their nose in it.

6.) Carolina Panthers (NR) – They got their fire power back. Their backfield seems to be legit. And I really like the athleticism on defense. I didn’t expect the Panthers to be atop the NFC South at this point but they have shown some good stuff. We’ll have to track and see how they hold up.

7.) Denver Broncos (NR) – Their incosistency makes picking them a little wobbly, but they have an offense that kills. Selvin Young needs to pick it up a bit, but Cutler has the ability to throw HUGE numbers. Their defense needs to show some streaks of the old Denver. These guys have a chance to do big things in the AFC if they can get it together.

Denver and Carolina will have tough bouts this week as they take on Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, respectively. The Titans have a bye week and the Giants play Cleveland, I expect them to hold their positions along with the Redskins. Keep an eye out.

October 7, 2008 at 3:28 am Leave a comment

Lucky Seven: NFL Power Rankings Wk. 5

It was a crazy card for Sunday’s games last week, which means that my perceived power rankings felt a bit of a shakedown. Denver dropped out all together while the Washington Redskins broke into my top seven after being in the 13-18 range last week. Here’s what I got:

1.) New York Giants (3) – The G-Men moved up two spots without even playing last week. They are, however the defending SB champs. I have a problem believing that the Giants are as good as people think; they barely beat the Redskins in week one that should have been a lot worst and they had to take the Bengals to overtime in order to seal the deal. I even like Seattle to upset the Giants this Sunday.

2.) Tennessee Titans (5) – They may not have played a lot of good teams, but their defense is as physical as anyone’s in the league. Defense can win ball games, ask the 2000 Ravens. When you look at them in the long run, their receivers are average and Kerry Collins is there starter. No, Kerry’s not racking up DWI’s anymore. He’s guiding a pretty good Titans team. Wait for these guys to beat a quality squad, possibly Ravens defense this week.

3.) Dallas Cowboys (1) – They took a tremendous loss in a division where you cannot afford to do it. And please don’t say that they had an off-day, because you’re an idiot. Players get paid millions of dollars to play and believe it or not they want to win, they were simply out-played by a Washington team that perfectly executed their game plan. Washington proved that shutting down the Cowboy playmakers is the key to victory. Regardless, Dallas is still the best talent team in the NFL.

4.) Buffalo Bills (7) – They moved up a lot in my rankings because, even though their games are close, they prove week after week that they can pull it out when it matters. I like the Bills but they have the same problem that Tennessee does, they played bags of peanuts on Sundays so far. Wait for the quality team to visit them and see where they stand. Now that I think about it, jumping three spots for beating Oakland doesn’t sound right.

5.) Washington Redskins (NR) – They lose opening week to the defending SB champions by only nine points, shutting them down in the second half. They go on to beat two high-powered offenses in New Orleans and Arizona. Then they pull up the largest upset of last week when they demolished the Cowboys. The score made the game seem closer than what it was, and the Skins had plenty of opportunities to score without committing rediculous penalties. People may be sleeping on D.C. but they have yet to commit a turnover and they control the ball very well.

6.) Pittsburgh (4) – They barely beat the Ravens who started a rookie quarterback. I expected the Steelers defense to tear apart Joe Flacco limb by limb, with or without nose tackle Casey Hampton. Now factor in the health of the backfield and you get a 2-spot drop in the rankings after a hard-nosed win.

7.) Philadelphia Eagles (2) – They lose to the Bears in a game that they should have won. However, the game proved that the Eagles’ pass defense is suspect (Orton threw for 3 TDs). They can beat Pittsburgh but they can’t beat Kyle Orton? You have to beat the good teams to be the good team. I am tempted to put Carolina in the number seven spot, but I am a firm believer in the NFC East and I believe that any NFC East team would beat Carolina by atleast six.

I can’t wait to see what happens this Sunday. I expect to see the Giants lose, Tennesse has a tough game at Baltimore, and Washington is a 5-point underdog at Philly. I’ll catch up on the rankings next Tuesday.

October 2, 2008 at 5:47 am Leave a comment


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