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Archive for December 26th, 2018

Tonight’s final bowl game has Cal playing TCU in the Cheez-It Bowl at 9 pm

(file photo)

 

Chase Field as viewed from the north 2011 photo By Cygnusloop99 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Most people that I had talked to about the bowl games before the post-college season began, was this bowl pitting California and TCU. Both teams have had offensive shortcomings all season and barely advanced to this game, the Cheez-It Bowl on grass at Chase Field, home of the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks.

TCU (6-6), had to score 31 points in its last game against Oklahoma State and win just to get bowl-eligible. The Horned Frogs scored 17 or fewer points in six of their previous eight games as they struggled to get by in the Big 12 Conference. TCU can move the ball by running or passing, but their major bugaboo was turnovers and finishing drives for scores. They tied for 122nd in red-zone offense effieciency at 75 percent.

TCU survived in the offense-happy Big 12 by playing decent defense. They led the league allowing just 344 yards a game. And another key was third down efficiency, 32 percent was also number 1.

The Golden Bears (7-5), finished last in the Pacific 12 Conference in total offense 350 yards and points per game 22.8. Cal scored 15 points or fewer in four of their last five games. But they too were able to stay in games and win due to an opportunistic defense that had a league-best 24 takeaways and allowed just 21.4 points per game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Quick Lane Bowl pits Minnesota against Georgia Tech

(file photo)

 

Ford Field inside 2006 photo CC BY 2.5, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon’s Quick Lane Bowl on the artificial turf of Ford Field in Detroit, will see the end of one coaching legend and an outdated offensive scheme.

Georgia Tech of the ACC will take on Minnesota of the Big Ten.

Coaching legend Paul Johnson, head coach for the Yellow Jackets will be retiring at the end of the game. His offensive scheme, the famous flexbone spread offense, which is basically extinct in college football these days, will probably retire with him. Georgia Tech is the only team in NCAA DIVISION I that still employs it.

End of the line as retirement calls for Paul Johnson 2008 photo By Gtphotographer, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Even with that outdated offense, Georgia Tech leads the nation in rushing. The Yellow Jackets (7-5), have run over everyone all season except for the Georgia Bulldogs in the regular season finale. They garnered five, 400-yard performances in averaging 335 yards per game. They led the Atlantic Coast Conference in time of possession averaging nearly 34 minutes per game.

The Golden Gophers have a rushing attack as well but not to the extent of the Yellow Jackets. They can manage the clock to the tune of more than 32 minutes a game.

Minnesota (6-6), surprisingly ran the ball for over 200 yards against two solid defenses in wins over Purdue and Wisconsin.

TaQuon Marshall, Ga. Tech QB rushed for 897 yards and 11 touchdowns this season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim had 936 rushing yards with 7 scores

 

Indianapolis at Tennessee, NFL Week 17 Sunday Night Football on NBC

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

NFL WEEK 17 SCHEDULE:
#GAME 256 - INDIANAPOLIS COLTS-TENNESSEE TITANS TO MEET ON
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ON NBC

The Indianapolis Colts will face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football on NBC, the NFL announced today.

The winner of the Indianapolis-Tennessee game will advance to the NFL playoffs.

If the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Seattle Seahawks in tonight’s game, Kansas City will host the Oakland Raiders at 1 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS.  If Seattle defeats Kansas City, the Raiders-Chiefs game will be played at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS.

A look at the Week 17 schedule (all times ET):

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM FOX
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM FOX
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants 1:00 PM FOX
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 1:00 PM CBS
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM CBS
New York Jets at New England Patriots 1:00 PM CBS
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs* 1:00 or 4:25 PM CBS
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM FOX
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings 4:25 PM FOX
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:25 PM CBS
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens 4:25 PM CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos 4:25 PM CBS
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins 4:25 PM FOX
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM FOX
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans 8:20 PM NBC

 

NFL announces AFC/NFC Week 16 Player of the Week honors

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BROWNS QB BAKER MAYFIELD, RAVENS LB PATRICK ONWUASOR &
RAIDERS PR-KR DWAYNE HARRIS NAMED AFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 16

Quarterback BAKER MAYFIELD of the Cleveland Browns, linebacker PATRICK ONWUASOR of the Baltimore Ravens and punt/kick returner DWAYNE HARRIS of the Oakland Raiders are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 16 (December 22-24).

OFFENSE: QB BAKER MAYFIELD, CLEVELAND

DEFENSE: LB PATRICK ONWUASOR, BALTIMORE

SPECIAL TEAMS: PR-KR DWAYNE HARRIS, OAKLAND

 

2018 AFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

 

Offense Defense Special Teams
Wk 1 QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City LB T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh WR-KR Jakeem Grant, Miami
Wk 2 QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City LB Darius Leonard, Indianapolis DB Dane Cruikshank, Tennessee
Wk 3 QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh LB Matt Milano, Buffalo K Justin Tucker, Baltimore
Wk 4 QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee DE Jadeveon Clowney, Houston WR-PR Dwayne Harris, Oakland
Wk 5 RB Isaiah Crowell, NY Jets LB T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh DB Denzel Ward, Cleveland
Wk 6 WR Albert Wilson, Miami LB Za’Darius Smith, Baltimore K Jason Myers, NY Jets
Wk 7

Wk 8

Wk 9

Wk 10

Wk 11

Wk 12

Wk 13

Wk 14

Wk 15

Wk 16

WR Emmanuel Sanders, Denver

RB James Conner, Pittsburgh

RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City

QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

QB Philip Rivers, LA Chargers

RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver

RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee

WR Mike Williams, LA Chargers

QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland

S Mike Mitchell, Indianapolis

LB Dee Ford, Kansas City

CB Desmond King, LA Chargers

LB Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee

LB Von Miller, Denver

DE J.J. Watt, Houston

CB Xavien Howard, Miami

DL Denico Autry, Indianapolis

CB Joe Haden, Pittsburgh

LB Patrick Onwuasor, Baltimore

LB Dont’a Hightower, New England

K Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis

P Matt Haack, Miami

K Stephen Hauschka, Buffalo

K Daniel Carlson, Oakland

PR Cyrus Jones, Baltimore

CB-PR Desmond King, LA Chargers

K Michael Badgley, LA Chargers

K Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston

PR-KR Dwayne Harris, Oakland

 

EAGLES QB NICK FOLES, RAMS DT AARON DONALD &
COWBOYS K BRETT MAHER NAMED NFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 16

Quarterback NICK FOLES of the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive tackle AARON DONALD of the Los Angeles Rams and kicker BRETT MAHER of the Dallas Cowboys are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 16 (December 22-24).

OFFENSE: QB NICK FOLES, PHILADELPHIA

DEFENSE: DT AARON DONALD, LOS ANGELES RAMS

SPECIAL TEAMS: K BRETT MAHER, DALLAS

 

2018 NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

 

Offense Defense Special Teams
Wk 1 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay S Harrison Smith, Minnesota K Greg Zuerlein, LA Rams
Wk 2 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay LB Danny Trevathan, Chicago K Robbie Gould, San Francisco
Wk 3 QB Drew Brees, New Orleans DE Efe Obada, Carolina DB Blake Countess, LA Rams
Wk 4 QB Jared Goff, LA Rams LB Demario Davis, New Orleans K Brett Maher, Dallas
Wk 5 QB Drew Brees, New Orleans DE Chandler Jones, Arizona K Graham Gano, Carolina
Wk 6 RB Todd Gurley, LA Rams DE Frank Clark, Seattle K Mason Crosby, Green Bay
Wk 7

Wk 8

Wk 9

Wk 10

Wk 11

Wk 12

Wk 13

Wk 14

Wk 15

Wk 16

QB Cam Newton, Carolina

RB Adrian Peterson, Washington

WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans

QB Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago

RB Saquon Barkley, NY Giants

WR Amari Cooper, Dallas

RB Todd Gurley, LA Rams

WR Amari Cooper, Dallas

RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota

QB Nick Foles, Philadelphia

DT Aaron Donald, LA Rams

CB P.J. Williams, New Orleans

DE Danielle Hunter, Minnesota

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas

LB Samson Ebukam, LA Rams

S Eddie Jackson, Chicago

LB Bobby Wagner, Seattle

CB Darius Slay, Detroit

DL Grady Jarrett, Atlanta

DT Aaron Donald, LA Rams

K Giorgio Tavecchio, Atlanta

P Michael Dickson, Seattle

P Bradley Pinion, San Francisco

P Tress Way, Washington

K Cody Parkey, Chicago

K Sebastian Janikowski, Seattle

K Aldrick Rosas, NY Giants

QB-ST Taysom Hill, New Orleans

K Robbie Gould, San Francisco

K Brett Maher, Dallas​​

 

NFL Week 17 Game Previews

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

IT’S ALL ON THE LINE IN WEEK 17

– 13 of the 16 games in Week 17 feature at least one team in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII –

It’s the final push for NFL teams as the regular season ends on Sunday, December 30. All 16 games are division contests and with one week to go, there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII.

WEEK 17: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30

GAME TIME (ET) TV
Atlanta at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX
Carolina at New Orleans 1:00 PM FOX
Dallas at New York Giants 1:00 PM FOX
Detroit at Green Bay 1:00 PM FOX
Jacksonville at Houston 1:00 PM CBS
Miami at Buffalo 1:00 PM CBS
New York Jets at New England 1:00 PM CBS
Arizona at Seattle 4:25 PM FOX
Chicago at Minnesota 4:25 PM FOX
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh 4:25 PM CBS
Cleveland at Baltimore 4:25 PM CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver 4:25 PM CBS
Oakland at Kansas City 4:25 PM CBS
Philadelphia at Washington 4:25 PM FOX
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM FOX
Indianapolis at Tennessee 8:20 PM NBC

Nine of the 12 playoff teams have been determined. Five of the eight divisions have been clinched. And there’s still plenty to play for in Week 17. For the full Week 17 playoff scenarios, click here.

In the AFC, four teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason: New England (10-5, AFC East), Houston (10-5, playoff berth), Kansas City (11-4, playoff berth) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11-4, playoff berth).

Baltimore (9-6) and Pittsburgh (8-6-1) are vying for the AFC North title. Indianapolis (9-6) and Tennessee (9-6) face off on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at 8:20 PM ET in a win-and-you’re-in battle. Houston can clinch the AFC South title with a win this week, but the winner of the Indianapolis-Tennessee game would take the division crown with a Houston loss.

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots, including all four division winners: Dallas (9-6, NFC East), Chicago (11-4, NFC North), New Orleans (13-2, NFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (12-3, NFC West) and Seattle (9-6, playoff berth).

Minnesota (8-6-1) and Philadelphia (8-7) are in contention for the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Vikings are in position to clinch a playoff berth with a win, while the Eagles need a win and a Minnesota loss to secure their postseason entry.

The Bears, who have clinched the NFC North division title for the first time since 2010, have completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons. If Houston clinches the AFC South on Sunday, it would mark the second consecutive season that two teams go from worst to first (Jacksonville and Philadelphia in 2017) – something that has never happened before in any other major US sport.

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

With one week remaining, five teams have already qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2017 – the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.  That number could swell to as many as seven if both the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts qualify for the postseason on Sunday.

A look at some of the key games in Week 17:

CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-9) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-2) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Saints have clinched the NFC South, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

DALLAS COWBOYS (9-6) at NEW YORK GIANTS (5-10) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Cowboys have clinched the NFC East and will enter the NFC playoffs as the No. 4 seed.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (5-10) at HOUSTON TEXANS (10-5) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Texans, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC South with a win. They can also clinch a first-round bye with a win and a New England loss, and can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win combined with losses by New England, Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers.

NEW YORK JETS (4-11) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-5) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Patriots, who have won the AFC East, can earn a first-round bye with a win or if Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee all lose.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-12) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-6) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Seahawks have clinched a playoff berth and will enter the NFC playoffs as the No. 5 or 6 seed.

CHICAGO BEARS (11-4) at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-6-1) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Bears, who have clinched the NFC North, can secure a first-round bye with a win and a Los Angeles Rams loss.
  • The Vikings can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Philadelphia loss.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-9) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-6-1) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Steelers can claim the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss.

CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-7-1) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-6) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Ravens can win the AFC North with a win or a Pittsburgh loss.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (11-4) at DENVER BRONCOS (7-8) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Chargers, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC West division title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win combined with a Kansas City loss.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-11) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Chiefs, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC West division title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win. A Los Angeles Chargers loss would also give the Chiefs the AFC West crown.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) at WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-8) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • ​The Eagles can secure a playoff berth with a win combined with a Minnesota loss.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-11) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (12-3) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Rams have won the NFC West and can clinch a first-round bye with a win or a Chicago loss.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-6) at TENNESSEE TITANS (9-6) (Sunday, NBC, 8:20 PM ET)

  • ​The winner of this game locks up a playoff spot.
  • The Colts can clinch the AFC South division title with a win combined with a Houston loss.
  • The Titans can clinch the AFC South division title with a win combined with a Houston loss. With a win and losses by Houston, New England and Baltimore, the Titans would secure a first-round bye. ​

 

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