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NFL Week 10 2009

By: Nick Popyack

[Have a comment? Click the title of this article and go crazy!]

       This week we get our first taste of Thursday Night Football with the 49ers going against the Bears. This week is also significant because it’s the last of all the bye weeks. The biggest news, however, is that the Rams are no longer the worst team in football. Which team has replaced them? Here’s week 10.

Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers
[Thursday 8:20]

       If ever there was a game to show that the new Bears are nowhere near as good as their Super Bowl team, it was last week against Arizona. In the first half alone, they were outscored 31-7. When you have a defense that’s regressed as much as Chicago’s has, you better have an offense that can get you out of trouble, but even with the addition of Jay Cutler, Chicago is having trouble scoring points, or at least when they matter. By the time Cutler threw for a second touchdown, Fox had already decided the Tampa Bay – Green Bay game was more exciting [They weren’t wrong, either]. Fortunately for them, the 49ers have looked equally as bad as of late. Alex Smith has done little to indicate he’s the right man to run the offense in San Fran. Did you know the last game he won as a starter was week 2 of the 2007 season? Yeah, it’s been that long. I actually think that will be the key to winning this game: The play of the quarterback. Even with their poor defense, I’m taking the Bears.
Chicago Bears

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
[Sunday 1:00]

       The Panthers are really fighting back in a tough division. They’ve gone back to the technique that got them to win the division last year: Tough running. Jonathon Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have averaged almost 175 yards together in their last five games, and are carrying this team. That is why I’m more confident with the Falcons winning this game. Early in the week, neither of the Carolina ‘Smash and Dash’ backfield has practiced. With a banged up backfield, they’re going to be relying on Delhomme more, and I don’t know if he’ll win in a shootout against Matt Ryan. Ryan only threw four incomplete passes when he last faced the Panthers this year. That’s why I’m going with Atlanta.
Atlanta Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins
[Sunday 1:00]

       Just when you thought the NFL couldn’t get any weirder, it did. Wearing their ugly throwback uniforms, the ones they wore during a 26-game losing streak, the Buccaneers won their first game of the season. Maybe the Packers’ eyes hurt from looking at them so much, and that’s how they won. No, in the end, it was rookie Josh Freeman and his three touchdown passes that won the game for Tampa, with a little help [Ok, a lot] from their defensive line. They still allowed almost five yards per carry, and that was against a passing team like the Packers. Imagine how many points they’ll give up to the Dolphins, a team that runs the ball more frequently than anyone in the league besides the Jets. Speaking of giving up points, the Dolphins have done just that better than a lot of teams in their last four games, allowing their opponents to score an average of 31 points. This is mainly due to their pass defense, which won’t get any help from Joey Porter being a question mark for this game. However, I still like them to run all over the Buccaneers in this Florida showdown.
Miami Dolphins

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
[Sunday 1:00]

       This one’s basically a no-brainer, with the Vikings coming off of their bye week, but I’ll point out some interesting stats for filler. While the Lions allow 4.7 yards per carry against them, teams haven’t actually been running very much. Teams have mostly been throwing against them, an average of 35 times per game. Why, you may ask? Probably with the success teams have been having. The Lions are allowing a league high 71.7 completion percentage against them, and, in this day and age of a pass-happy NFL, teams would rather pass themselves to victory instead of run the ball. Just an observation.
Minnesota Vikings

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets
[Sunday 1:00]

       You never know which team you’ll see after a bye week, but I think it’s safe to assume which one we’ll see here. The Jaguars, one of the most inconsistent teams in the league, nearly blew a game in which they were winning 24-6 with less than five minutes to go, and that was against arguably one of the worst teams in the league [Actually, I think I might have to change which team is the worst in the league, but that’s later]. The Jets have a very consistent offense in their run-based offense. In fact, the Jets run the ball more than anyone in the league currently. This is good for a rookie quarterback, and Rex Ryan is showing how much he learned from his experience with a rookie quarterback [Last year, the Ravens, Ryan’s old team, ran the ball more than anyone in the league] Anyway, after their bye week, you can expect the Jets to get back to running the ball, and the Jaguars haven’t stopped many people this season. I think you know which team I’m taking.
New York Jets

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
[Sunday 1:00]

       The battle for first place in the AFC North. This game is huge for both teams, and looks to be one of the more exciting matchups this weekend. The Steelers are coming off of a week in which they humiliated one of the best defenses in the league, and the Bengals are coming off of their fourth division win, obviously looking to make it 5-0. The thing that I noticed in the Steelers’ win was how much they ran the ball. They had a balanced 27 rushes against 29 passes, but it was apparent that Pittsburgh was favoring the pass. The Steelers are Ben Roethlisberger’s team now, and he hasn’t disappointed much this season. Conversely, the Bengals, known in recent years for their stellar passing game with Carson Palmer, have found an effecting running game with Cedric Benson, who’s leading the league in rushing attempts. The Bengals have been able to run over just about every team they’ve gone against, and are in such a rhythm right now, it’s hard to root against them. Though it’s a game that could go either way, I’m going with Carson Palmer.
Cincinnati Bengals

New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams
[Sunday 1:00]

       This is another no-brainer, so here are some more stats for filler. Drew Brees, though averaging 300+ yards in the past three games, has been less than unstoppable in those games. Since a near perfect game against the Giants, he’s thrown four touchdowns against five interceptions. He’s still pretty accurate, though, and he’s come through in some tough come from behind wins. Their defense has let in a bunch of yards and points, and they’re due for a loss soon, though it won’t be this week. Also, the Rams have gone from worst to second worst team in the league in my books. They’re bad, but someone is even worse.
New Orleans Saints

Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans
[Sunday 1:00]

       Chris Johnson may be the best running back in the league right now. He’s averaging 5.7 yards per carry, by far the best average in the league right now, and is leading the league in 20+ and 40+ yard runs. Johnson is having a great season when his team is not. Actually, the Titans have come out of their bye week firing, and have beaten up their opponents, scoring at least 30 points in their last two. The Bills haven’t scored more than 20 points since week 2, and they possess the worst run defense in the league. Vince Young or not, if the Titans run the ball, they will most assuredly win.
Tennessee Titans

Denver Broncos @ Washington Redskins
[Sunday 1:00]

       Another week, another game for the Redskins in which they can’t score more than 17 points. If Washington can’t score 17 points, their defense better be able to keep the other team out of the endzone. Unfortunately for the Redskins, they haven’t and a 2-6 record is what they have to show for it. Teams have run all over Washington, and you can expect Denver to do the same. At least, you could, before their bye week. The Broncos, after six weeks of undefeated dominance, have dropped their last two, losing by a combined 58-17. Their offense needs to get back on track, and what better team to do that against than the hopeless Redskins.
Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
[Sunday 4:05]

       This may be a worse game than the Browns-Bills game, infamous for its punting duel earlier this year. The Chiefs and Raiders have bad defenses and worse offenses, but I think the Chiefs have a better future in store for them. You see, they have Matt Cassel, who has thrown for ten touchdowns against five interceptions this year. JaMarcus Russell, on the other hand, has thrown only two touchdowns against nine interceptions this year, and he doesn’t seem to have improved much since coming into the league. Of quarterbacks that have started every game this year, he has a league low 48.3 passer rating. The Chiefs may be incompetent on offense, but the Raiders are worse. Neither of these teams are, in my opinion, the worst in the league. Read on if you want to find out who’s worse than both of these teams.
Kansas City Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
[Sunday 4:15]

       They are who we thought they were! It’s always good to see [in]famous press conference references, and Ken Wisenhunt did just that in his post game report last week after destroying the Bears, and it looks like more of the same this week. I’d like to give Seattle the benefit of the doubt, but they’ve been wildly inconsistent, and the last time Arizona played them, the Seahawks were down 14 points before their offense even got onto the field. Once their offense did get onto the field, they were only able to manage one field goal attempt. Sorry, Seahawks fans, but it looks like your team is due for its sixth loss.
Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers
[Sunday 4:15]

       I believe in Aaron Rodgers. I think he’s a great quarterback, and will be for years to come. I even think he has the talent to lead his team on a Super Bowl run, but there’s something that’s making me hesitant to pick them after they lost 38-28 to the league’s last winless team: Their offensive line. They haven’t been able to block anyone up front, and Rodgers and their team have suffered accordingly. Next year, if they fix their offensive line problems, they’re sure to be playoff contenders. This year, however, that seems unlikely, as Rodgers has been sacked 37 times in eight games, most in the league. The Cowboys, on the other hand, have found themselves a groove, offensively and defensively. Their defense is bringing the heat and their opponents are going down, scoring less than 21 points for six straight weeks. I expect the division leader to keep their winning streak going.
Dallas Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles @ San Diego Chargers
[Sunday 4:15]

       Awesome week, Philadelphia Eagles. As if losing to a division opponent wasn’t bad enough, Michael Vick says he doesn’t want to be a Wildcat quarterback anymore. While this is a really dumb move on Vick’s part, as the Eagles would, in my opinion, be better off without him, this shouldn’t fall onto deaf ears. The Eagles have not had success with their ‘Spread Eagle’ offense as of late, but if they have, I’m sure Vick wouldn’t be talking about how he didn’t want to be part of their team anymore. The Eagles should stick with their conventional offense, because the Wildcat hasn’t been effective for them at all. The Chargers, on the other hand, haven’t had much trouble on offense as of late. They’ve won three straight and are averaging 27 points per game. The only thing that isn’t working for San Diego is the running game. They’re currently last in the league at rushing yards per game [69.6] and yards per rush [3.1]. With Brian Westbrook on his way back after suffering a concussion, the Eagles should get a boost to their own running game, and face a Chargers defense that allows 130 rushing yards per game. In a toss up, I’m taking the running game of the Eagles, though don’t be surprised if they blow it.
Philadelphia Eagles

New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts
[Sunday 8:20]

       Ah, the game of the week. There’s always so much hype about the New England-Indianapolis game, and it always lives up to it. This ultimately goes down to Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady, and, though he possesses a perfect record, I don’t think his team will be able to pull out a win. The key to look for here is Indy’s secondary. Though they’ve played injured in the past, they lost two members last week, Marlin Jackson and Bob Sanders, for the season. New England’s defense has held its opponents to 17 points or less for the past three games, and Indianapolis has had a few close calls as of late. In a game full of hype, I expect Tom Brady and the New England defense to win this one.
New England Patriots

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
[Monday 8:30]

       The Browns. Yes, the Browns. They are the latest team to hold the dishonor of Nick Popyack’s worst team in the NFL, and deservedly so. Their organization is completely in shambles. Their leading rusher, Jamal Lewis, says he’s retiring after the season’s over. One of their more promising wide receivers, Dante Stallworth, was suspended for the 2009 season, and their top two offensive playmakers, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow, were traded. With their quarterbacks being thrown in and out of the starting position, there doesn’t seems to be much upside for being a Browns fan. Sorry, Cleveland, but you’re the worst team in the NFL. Enough said.
Baltimore Ravens

Recap:
Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons
Miami Dolphins
Minnesota Vikings
New York Jets
Cincinnati Bengals
New Orleans Saints
Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
Arizona Cardinals
Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles
New England Patriots
Baltimore Ravens

Bye weeks: Houston Texans, New York Giants

Last week’s winner: Nick [9]

Season totals:

Nick: 82
Kavik: 76
Pat: 76

Fantasy Football: The story of Team Nate Kaeding [2-7]

Dropped WR Josh Morgan for TE Jeremy Shockey. This was one of the worst moves I’ve made in my fantasy history, as I started him over Greg Olsen, who of course scored three touchdowns after four weeks of scoreless games. However, it was a bad week for me, and I couldn’t have won, even if I’d had all my best players. I lost, 43-106.

For those of you unfamiliar to my blog, I post every week on Eaglesmix and my Facebook page. Thanks for your support! Follow me here:

http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Nick-Popyack/158180878321?ref=ts



This week’s unfounded rumor: After Falcon’s head coach Mike Smith got into a fight with DeAngelo Hall last weekend, the league is looking into ways of turning it into a positive. The best idea so far is to, instead of flipping coins to decide who will take the opening kickoff, put coaches in boxing matches before the game. The winner would then get to choose if they want to kick or receive. My money’s on Tom Cable.

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff, man. Very extensive. When I wrote that week 8 report card article, it took me a while because my articles aren't always so long. But you do it a lot, I see. Nice job.

    ReplyDelete