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November 24, 2008

Playoff Predictions--Part 2--NFC

Hey guys,

As promised, here are my NFC Playoff Predictions. Take a look at the current NFL standings before you continue!

NFC Division Champions:

NFC East- New York Giants (10-1)

At 10-1, the Giants have the best record in the league and not by chance. They are the best team in football. They lead the league in rushing yards per game and points per game, and it wouldn't be smart to bet against the defending champs. Unless Eli Manning gets hurt badly, this team should be in the Super Bowl.

NFC North- Minnesota Vikings (6-5)

If the Vikings can establish their running game with sophomore MVP candidate Adrian Peterson, there is no stopping the Vikings' offense. While they are currently second in their division behind the 6-5 Chicago Bears, they both have the same record. The upcoming weekend's matchup between these teams will likely determine the division champion. Look for Gus Frerrote to step up at QB and deliver a sufficient performance in front of his home crowd.

NFC South- Carolina Panthers (8-3)

This is the best division in football. With two teams at 8-3 and one team at 7-4, this is also the tightest division in the NFL. Down the stretch, I see the Carolina Panthers with the divisional crown. The Bucs face divisional opponents in their next few games, which will present difficulties for them down the stretch. Also, veterans Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith have been playing together for years now, and they already one a championship.

NFC West- Arizona Cardinals (7-4)

It is not mathematically possible for any other team in this division to win the division at this point in the season. The next best team in this division is the San Francisco 49ers, and they are 3-8. This is not a prediction. The Cards are already division champions!

NFC Wild Card Predictions:

1. Tampa Bay Bucaneers (8-3)

An experienced, resilient defense combined with a smashmouth running game...these guys will be tough to beat in the first round.

2. Dallas Cowboys (7-4)

With Tony Romo back, this team is quite possibly the most dangerous team in the NFL. While they will barely make the playoffs, they will surely make a run for the NFC Championship!

Posted by nqadri at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2008

Playoff Predictions--Part 1--AFC

Hello NFL Nation!

Week 12 is OVER, and with just four weeks left in the season, it's time for some playoff predictions. Let's take a look at the current NFL standings after Week 12. In this two part blog, I will give you my playoff predictions for both the AFC and the NFC. Let's start with the AFC!

Here are my AFC Playoff Predictions:

AFC Division Champions:

AFC East- New York Jets (8-3)

Jets look like serious contenders. They have split the series between the Patriots, and they average a NFL's 2nd best 29.4 points per game. Led by veteran Brett Favre, the Jets' offense is nothing short of SCARY. Look for this team to dominate down the stretch and be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. They say the best defense is a good offense. Look no further than the NY Jets!

AFC North- Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)

Now, this is a close one. The Steelers have already beat the next the next best team in their division, the Ravens (7-4). But, their next three opponents are a combined 21-12. I still think they can get it done with their number 1 ranked defense and home-field advantage. Keep an eye out on Week 15's matchup between the Steelers and Ravens.

AFC South- Tennessee Titans (10-1)

At 10-1, do we really need to discuss this team? They will be in the postseason, and their stout defense and great running game will pose challenges to opposing defenses.

AFC West Team- San Diego Chargers (4-7)

With the Broncos up two games on the Chargers, this one's not over yet. If the Broncos keep losing to teams like the Raiders, who are 3-8, the Chargers will have a legitimate shot at the division title. I recognize that the Chargers' defense is in disarray after the firing of Defensive Coordinator Ted Cottrell, but I think that their offense, led by Phil Rivers and two-time MVP Ladainian Tomlinson, can carry them into the postseason. Also, I have an impressive statistic for you: the last 4 games by a combined 10 points! So, if the Chargers hang in their in the fourth quarter, they will be fine.

AFC Wild Card Predictions:

1. Indianapolis Colts (7-4)

How about the Colts? They are HOT right now. On a 4 game winning streak, their next 5 games feature two teams, the Bengals and Lions, who are 2-20-1! There is no way these guys won't be in the postseason, and with Manning returning to pro bowl form in the last few weeks, they should be able to win a few playoff games.

2. New England Patriots (7-4)

Matt Cassell > Tom Brady?

With the way Cassell has been playing, it can be argued that this team is the same team they were last year. If Cassell keeps up his play and the Patriots get their injured players back quickly, this team will do some serious damage in the playoffs. Upsets? You better believe it.

Posted by nqadri at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2008

Fines or Football?

Howdy NFL nation!

I hope you're all as excited as I am about Thanksgiving next week! I know I have a lot to be thankful for, but lately, I am finding it difficult to be thankful for the NFL. The NFL's fine of Mike Martz for his comments against NFL officiating is preposterous. It seems that the NFL now stands for the National Fines Association.

Like every NFL coach, Mike Martz wants his team to win. No official in white stripes should get in the way of this. Mike Martz is widely regarded as one of the most humble coaches in the league, and he was simply citing an injustice that his team faced. He used no vulgar language or malicious slurs. If a team loses, it should be because it played terribly or because the opposing team played better, not because the refs made an errant call. Apparently, the NFL wanted Mike Martz to smile when the refs cost his team the game!

I watched the game on Monday night. The NFL officials originally placed the ball at the 1 yard line, which is why Martz chose a run up the middle. When the officials moved it to the 2.5 yard line and started the play clock, Martz had not time to change the play. Had he been informed of the true position of the ball, Martz would likely have called a passing play. In a game of inches, Mike Martz and the 49ers did indeed get screwed by the referees.

$20K is not pocket change, it is a luxury sedan. The NFL is infringing on the free speech of its coaches. If anything, the NFL should be thankful that Mike Martz pointed out flawed officiating. Now, the NFL can dish out the proper consequences to the official that switched the ball spot as the play clock was winding down. Mike Martz's comments were not vulgar or malicious. He is simply a coach that loves the game of football too much to see his team lose because of bad officiating. If the NFL wants to restore its image, it needs to respect its employees and stop censoring them. If a ref makes a mistake, the ref should be punished, not the coach of the team that pointed out the mistake.

The NFL desperately needs a makeover. Out with the fines and in with the football!

" Above: Mike Martz directing the offense in practice prior to the showdown
between the 49ers and Cardinals

Posted by nqadri at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2008

Cowboys owner says suspended Jones reinstated by NFL

Howdy NFL Nation!

So I'm on break at work, and I figured I'd browse through the latest NFL headlines. To my disbelief, I come upon an article whose first line read, "The NFL is giving Adam "Pacman" Jones another chance." I asked myself, "How many chances are they going to give this moron?" I mean, Adam Jones has demonstrated that he poses more of a threat to society than he poses as a defender on the football field. Since 2005, this hooligan has been found guilty of assault, vandalism, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, misdemeanor assault, obstruction of justice, marijuana possession, and two felonies stemming from his connection to a Last Vegas strip club shootout. If committing crimes becomes a sport, Adam Jones will surely be the most valuable player in that league. I can't understand how a person with millions of dollars has nothing better to do than to commit crimes!

" Above: Adam Jones in court for his connection to a Feb 2007 shooting at a Las Vegas Strip club

I hope you guys understand why I am enraged that the NFL is letting Jones play again. This latest alcohol-related scuffle at the Dallas hotel should have been the LAST STRIKE for Mr. Jones, or should I say, the boy who cried wolf? It seems that this guy breaks the law every single day and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell lets him go each time with a one-game suspension! Mr. Goodell needs to revoke Adam Jones' reinstatement and expel him from the league. Verily, that will be a good first step in restoring the NFL's positive image.

Posted by nqadri at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2008

Giants DE Tuck fined for hit on Cowboys QB

Hello NFL Nation!

After watching the entire Giants-Cowboys contest on November 2nd, I was shocked a few days later when I came upon the headline, "Giants DE Tuck fined for hit on Cowboys QB." Anyone keeping up with the NFL this season will undoubtedly have noticed the increased frequency of fines NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been tossing at players for illegal hits. Apparently, Mr. Goodell thinks a "legal" tackle is one where the defender lightly places the offensive player on the turf, politely asks if he is ok, and then helps him to his feet. What has football come to? Defenders train just as hard as offensive players to perfect their craft, and then they get nailed for playing too aggressively!? I played varsity football in high school, and I'll tell you this--when coach tells you to go out there and lay the wood on a player, you lay the wood on that player. That is the beauty of football? I don't even want to know what Jack Tatum and Ronnie Lott, arguably the hardest-hitting safeties in NFL history, would say if they were to comment on the state of the game.

Initially, I tried to convince myself that Commissioner Goodell and the NFL's 5-figure fines of Steelers' Hines Ward, the Cardinals' Adrian Wilson, the Jets' Eric Smith, the Dolphins' Joey Porter, and the Patriots Vincent Wilfork were justified because Goodell and the NFL genuinely wanted to protect players, but the latest fine of NYG's Justin Tuck has led me to question the integrity of the NFL. It seems that there is a hidden motivation behind these fines. But, before I elaborate, let's take a close look Justin Tuck's hit on Cowboys' QB Brooks Bollinger.

An illegal hit is one that usually comes late and with no intent of disrupting the success of the offensive play. If you watch the video, you will clearly see that just as Cowboys' QB Bollinger releases the ball, Tuck makes contact with the QB. Tuck was perfectly on time with his hit, and he was clearly trying to disrupt the success of the offensive play just as a defender should. Furthermore, it is important to notice that Tuck was already running at full speed just as he made contact with Bollinger, who was stepping into his throw at that exact moment. It was impossible for Tuck to alter his momentum at that point, which is why he drove the QB to the ground. If Tuck had speared Bollinger AFTER the throw was made, the NFL's fine would be justified, but Tuck clearly delivers his tackle on time and cleanly.

Hopefully you've all seen the video by now and agree that Justin Tuck's hit was 100% legal. Do you see why I question the NFL's intentions with these fines? If the NFL is to maintain its reputation, it needs to stop unfairly punishing defenders for doing their jobs. If they want to "punish" anyone, they should punish the coaches for instructing their defensive players to lay the wood on the opposing offensive players. How can defenders expect to obey their coaches' demands when they have the NFL Commissioner breathing down their necks, waiting with pre-written checks of 5-figure amounts? These unnecessary fines leave NFL defenders in dilemmas. How can they be great defenders if they have to be scared of being fined every time they touch an offensive player?

I warn you, NFL nation! These fines are just a beginning. What's Goodell going to do next, outlaw tackling altogether? That sounds like a great idea to me! Maybe then Goodell can make the NFL players wear skirts and play flag! How awesome would that be!?

Goodell, if you're reading this, please, and I speak on behalf of all my fellow die-hard football fans, please don't strip football of its integrity. Fine people only when absolutely necessary, but don't fine players to raise extra revenue for the league. Football is predicated on hard work, teamwork, dedication, and discipline, not corruption, greed, and dictatorship.

Pictured below: New York Giants' defensive end Justin Tuck

Posted by nqadri at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2008

WELCOME to Nabeel Qadri's NFL Blog!

Hello NFL Nation! It has been an eventful season thus far, and the rest of the 2008-2009 season promises to deliver even more jaw-dropping hits, ostentatious TD celebrations (and the teacher salary-sized fines that accompany them), gut-wrenching upsets, and triumphant comebacks.

Q: How does this blog work?
A: In each entry, I'll bring you the latest in NFL news directly from NFL.com and provide my two cents on the headlines that particularly grabbed my attention. Fear not, I'll even post the links to the articles I am reacting to so that you can follow along. Also, as the playoffs approach, watch out for my playoff predictions!

As we all know, the 2008-2009 season has been nothing short of ridiculous! Tom Brady took an early exit, raising questions about the future of the "Patriots Dynasty." Peyton and the perennial powerhouse Colts have found massive leaks in their battleship, and teams like the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins have sparked what seems to be a shift of power in both conferences.

Thanks for tuning in! I hope all of you enjoy my blog, and if you don't, PLEASE let me know! The more feedback I get from all of you, the better I can make this blog. Remember, this blog is for YOU, my fellow die-hard NFL Fans.

Now, enough of that mushy gushy stuff. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

Posted by nqadri at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)