The Patriots chose not to tag cornerback Aqib Talib. (bostonherald.com)

Even though there are 12 Patriots scheduled to be unrestricted free agents, only two were ever really serious considerations for the franchise tag. Julian Edelman and Aqib Talib were all the buzz after New England’s season ended in January. Both were key to the Patriots’ success, yet both were still deemed unworthy of the tag.

Continue reading Game of Tags: Patriots Decline to Franchise Talib, Edelman »

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"Pro Wrestling," NES

The Super Bowl is over, as is the 2013-2014 season. The 2014 draft should provide plenty of exciting moments, with several teams needing a franchise quarterback and several available. But that is a consolation to the fans for what was one of the more lopsided Super Bowls in recent memory. Peyton Manning and the powerful Denver offense looked like a JV squad at best for most of the game, moving up to the 31st overall pick following a 43-8 loss to Seattle.

With everyone picking the Broncos, the touchdown total was where our panelists got most of their final points in a push for positioning. Peyton Manning threw for only 280 yards, limited by two picks as well, which limited our own chances to get points out of the passing yards total.

But with multiple panelists still close together and doubled points, who came out on top? Without further ado, the winner of the 2014 NFL Playoffs Pick ‘Em is… Continue reading 2014 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Super Bowl Results »

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With all the talent and hype going into Sunday's contest, competition is sure to be ultra fierce. (Animal Planet)

The Super Bowl is underway. The top-ranked Broncos offense takes on the top-ranked Seahawks defense. Wily veteran Peyton Manning takes on Sophomore sensation Russell Wilson. The game is full of storylines, and we’re here to bring you our selections for how the big game will turn out.

A blowout offense and stifling defense are averaging out our guesses for touchdown totals, while passing yards are predicted to be down somewhat. Naturally, quarterbacks have an advantage in MVP voting because they’re quarterbacks, though Denver’s receiving corps and both running games are pretty good too.

In addition to adding an MVP category to our predictions, all point values are doubled!! Otherwise, scoring is similar to before:

  • Picking the winner of the game is worth four points.
  • Picking the total number of touchdowns scored by both teams combined is worth two points if guessed to within one, or four points if guessed exactly right.
  • Picking the yards thrown for by the game’s top passer (one top-throwing quarterback only) is worth two points if guessed to within 50, or four points if guessed to within 10, or a whopping ten points if guessed exactly right.
  • Picking the Super Bowl MVP is worth two points.

So now that that’s out of the way, complete picks are below, and be sure to check back upon the Super Bowl’s completion for final results and standings. Continue reading 2014 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Super Bowl »

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Denver was firmly in control of time of possession en route to defeating arch rival New England. Now, their elite offense meets an elite defense for all the marbles. (http://simplepimple.com/)

The Super Bowl is set; the Broncos’ most potent NFL offense ever will face Seattle’s very gung-ho and powerful defense with everything on the line in New Jersey in two weeks. Each team defeated in its chief rival in order to get there, with New England and San Francisco each falling in a difficult road match-up.

Seattle and San Francisco was a defensive game for much of the time as we suspected, but the surprise was the low-scoring 26-16 final in Denver. Peyton Manning did a great job of limiting Tom Brady’s time on the field, which no doubt was a huge reason the Broncos were able to pull out the win.

In our picks, some suffered more than others, with an even mix of picks for winners. Most points were won or lost based on passing yards and touchdowns, especially in the game in Seattle, where a match-up of field goals and some touchdowns was expected.

So check below for the complete results, and come back in two weeks for the Super Bowl picks. Continue reading 2014 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Conference Championships Results »

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Seattle is as difficult to beat at home as anyone, but their prime rival San Francisco always has a shot. (http://cdn4.sportngin.com/)

The Conference Championships are upon us. Two elite quarterbacks power New England and Denver in the AFC, while two elite defense look to tear up young quarterbacks in the NFC. They’re two very different games, but two that are sure to be equally entertaining. The winners move on to the first cold-weather Super Bowl in two weeks, so let’s get on to the picks. Scoring will be as before:

  • Picking the winner of a game is worth two points.
  • Picking the total number of touchdowns scored by both teams combined is worth one point if guessed to within one, or two points if guessed exactly right.
  • Picking the yards thrown for by each game’s top passer (one top-throwing quarterback only) is worth one point if guessed to within 50, or two points if guessed to within 10, or five points if guessed exactly right.

It was an interesting pick set, evenly divided between assorted combinations of winners. Denver vs New England is looking to be a high-octane, high-scoring affair even with both teams having potent running games these days. Seattle vs San Francisco will be more tactical, and every touchdown looks to matter.

So with all that out of the way, check below for the complete pick sets. And when the games are complete, come back for the updated standings. Continue reading 2014 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Conference Championships »

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LeGarrette Blount runs for one of his four touchdowns, leading the Patriots to victory over the Colts. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This Sunday the Patriots are going to play in the AFC Championship for the third straight year, and the eighth time since 2001. In a league that preaches parity, the Patriots are the only team for the past 13 years that are a constant threat to have a shot at the Super Bowl. It truly speaks volumes about how well the organization is run, the coaching of Bill Belichick, and the consistency of Tom Brady. Saturday night was just another win in a long list for Brady and Belichick, and it was a performance that looked more like those early 2000′s teams than the teams of recent memory. One thing is apparent — this team is focused.

- The most amazing stat of the game on Saturday was there were six touchdowns, none of which could be attributed to Tom Brady. He handed the ball off about twice as often as he passed it, 46 and 25 times respectively. He only completed 13 passes for 198 yards — hardly eye popping statistics to say the least. However, he controlled the game and made zero mistakes, which is how a young Tom Brady orchestrated three Super Bowl victories in four years. It’s been said all along that the offense is at it’s absolute best when they establish and maintain a healthy balance of run and pass. The emergence of the rushing attack has taken a ton of pressure off Brady as well as turned the passing game into a compliment rather than the focal point. Continue reading Notes and Observations, Divisional Round: Patriots Run Past Colts, Into AFC Championship with 43-22 Victory »

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New England easily dispatched with Indy following a harsh running attack, and now faces the task of beating Peyton Manning in his own house. (http://images.starpulse.com/)

The NFL is down to its final four, and with two rivalry games for the Super Bowl slots, things couldn’t have been scripted better. Denver gained vengeance on San Diego, while New England rose to meet them by dispatching the still sloppy Colts. Seattle held back Drew Brees, while San Francisco finally cracked Carolina’s defense.

The Patriots had the best game of any of the winners, making sure not to repeat Kansas City’s mistakes against Indy. The other games were all close and low-scoring, especially with Carolina not being able to get anything going.

With so many similar picks, winners didn’t do much for our panel. Instead, touchdown and yardage totals produced many points, which did a little jostling with the leaderboard. Plenty of picks remain, though, so it’s still anyone’s game.

So check below for the complete results from the Divisional Round, and come back next Sunday for the Conference Championship selections. Continue reading 2014 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Divisional Round Results »

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