New England Patriots get impressive win over the Pittsburgh Steelers

The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers have been two of the most successful teams in the NFL over the past decade or so, but coming into this NFL regular season it was pretty uncertain whether these two storied NFL franchises would be able to dominate the competition like they had done so easily in the past.

Fortunately, coming into their Week 10 matchup both the Patriots and the Steelers were sporting 6-2 records and were considered to be amongst the elite teams in the NFL this season, but only one team could come out on top with two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s squad having the edge in NFL odds with a -4 point spread.

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Despite being arguably the better team on the defensive side of the football and playing well over the last few weeks of the season, Mike Tomlin and company struggled all day long against Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots and Tom Brady put on a show with 350 yards passing and four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing).

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots at...
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Even though Tom Brady’s impressive performance overshadowed Ben Roethlisberger’s, Big Ben put up some pretty impressive numbers as well with 387 yards passing, three touchdowns and one interception. So even though Big Ben had a big game, it just wasn’t enough to lead his team to victory as the Patriots were able to hold on their lead all game long and come out with a 39-26 win.

One big problem the Pittsburgh Steelers had in this AFC Conference heavyweight showdown was the absence of go to wide receiver Hines Ward who went down with a concussion early in the contest, but fortunately young wideout Mike Wallace was able to step it up for the Steelers in place of Ward by finishing with 138 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

As for the New England Patriots, it was tight end Ron Gronkowski that became Tom Brady’s favorite target in the offense with five catches for 72 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. This came as a surprise to both the Pittsburgh Steelers and everyone watching as tight end Aaron Hernandez has been the number one tight end in the offense, but Gronkowski just happen to be who Brady was targeting this past Sunday.

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There was no question coming into this Week 10 matchup that the New England Patriots were legitimate Super Bowl title contenders and could compete with the New York Jets for the AFC East division title, but this big win over the Pittsburgh Steelers has convinced many people that Tom Brady and company are officially the real deal and arguably the best team in the league.

Even though the New England Patriots have proven that they are one of the league’s elite teams moving forward and could be headed for Cowboys Stadium in February, they will have their work cut out for them once again in Week 11 against an old rival in Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

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Can the St. Louis Rams win the NFC West?

The NFC West division has been dominated by the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks over the past decade or so, but with so many changes to these two dominant teams like the Seahawks rebuilding and the Cardinals losing former NFL MVP quarterback Kurt Warner to retirement, the division was wide open for change and this season the St. Louis Rams seem destine to change it.

Before this NFL regular season began, the St. Louis Rams were owners of the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and with so many disappointments at quarterback ever since Kurt Warner left town, the Rams had their eyes set on former Heisman trophy winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma.

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There was a lot of debate heading into the 2010 NFL Draft about the number one pick and whether or not the St. Louis Rams should take a chance on a quarterback that had multiple shoulder injuries in his last year with the Oklahoma Sooners, but despite everyone doubting the young quarterbacks ability to stay healthy and transcend his game on the NFL level, the Rams went with Bradford and haven’t looked back.

DETROIT - OCTOBER 10:  Sam Bradford #8 of the ...
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Last season the St. Louis Rams were arguably the worst team in the league as they had only won one game all year long and were thought to produce similar results this season, but that hasn’t been the case as Sam Bradford has been able to lead them to four wins and a first place standing in the NFC West coming into Week 10.

Obviously, there is still a lot of football to be played and the Seattle Seahawks (4-4), Arizona Cardinals (3-5) and maybe even the San Francisco 49ers (2-6) could potentially be a threat to win the NFC West division moving forward, but not one of these teams have played as well as the St. Louis Rams this season.

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There is no question that the Rams still have a ways to go before they can be considered a legitimate force to be reckoned with in the NFC Conference as they are pretty thin at wide receiver, especially with all their injuries this season, but they are definitely moving in the right direction as Sam Bradford is without a doubt just what the doctor ordered for this struggling NFL franchise.

Coming into Week 10, the St. Louis Rams will square off against the division rival San Francisco 49ers in what could be a very important game in terms of division position.

As of right now, the San Francisco 49ers are favorites to come out on top in this NFC West showdown with a -6 point spread, but I believe the St. Louis Rams will continue to play well this week and pull off the upset while maintaining their first place standing within the division.

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NFL Week 10: Ravens @ Falcons

Baltimore Ravens @ Atlanta Falcons Thurs. Nov. 11th 2010 8:20pm EST

The Baltimore Ravens came into this NFL regular season with high hopes of competing for a Super Bowl title and no one could doubt them as they were able to add a key player to the offensive side of the football in Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin, but even though they have gotten off to a good start this season with a 6-2 record and a first place standing in the AFC North division, Joe Flacco and company will have their work cut out for them in Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Much like the Ravens, the Falcons have been on the verge of turning the corner over the past few years, but have struggled to get into the playoffs as they have had to contend with the likes of the defending Super Bowl New Orleans Saints within the NFC South.

Last season Matt Ryan and company were ready to make another run in the playoffs, but fell just short as the Saints won the division and the Falcons were on the outside looking in on the NFC Wildcard.

Fortunately, this season has turned out to be much different as they are now the team to beat in the NFC South division and arguably the entire NFC Conference for the matter. With a first place standing in their division and their most recent win over the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Atlanta Falcons are flying high right now and will have no intentions of going down without a fight in Week 10 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Despite playing some impressive football over the past few weeks, the Atlanta Falcons will be outmatched in my opinion this weekend as they will be defending their home field against a very good Baltimore Ravens team that is being considered by some to be the best team in the league right now.

As of right now, the Atlanta Falcons are getting the advantage in this one in terms of NFL picks as they have a -1 point spread in their favor, but I believe it is just strictly due to home field.

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The Baltimore Ravens defense hasn’t played with the kind of dominance that they have in years past, but with the offense stepping up the way they have this season they really haven’t needed to in order to get wins. With that being said, the Ravens have been able to stay in contention in every single game this season with only two losses on the year so far.

In my opinion, this game should be the game of the week in the NFL as these two Super Bowl title contenders will not be giving up an inch to each other, but in the end I can’t see the Atlanta Falcons coming out on top as the Baltimore Ravens should get their seventh win of the season and maintain their first place standing in the AFC North division.

MLB Top Free Agents and Where They Might Land

1. Cliff Lee

His postseason mystique was shattered by the San Francisco Giants in the just concluded World Series. The Giants’ surprisingly heavy bats battered Lee. It’s not like it matters though because Lee is still the biggest free agent out there.

Destination: Obviously, buzz has been swirling that the Yankees will throw a load of cash Lee’s way. But after Yankee fans disrespected Lee’s wife during the AL championships Lee may think twice. Then again with the kind of money the Yankees are willing to spend you’d be stupid not to sign with them.

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2. Carl Crawford

Considered the top free agent position player in the market, Crawford will not be offered big money by the Yankees since they have Brett Gardner.

Destination: Crawford has stated his intention to stay with the Rays. But if the Red Sox, Angels and Tigers offer him a $100M multi-year contract it would be hard not to choose money over loyalty.

3. Jayson Werth

Werth is showing signs that he has no intention of returning to Philadelphia. He shortly filed for free agency after the conclusion of the World Series. Werth is likely in line for a payday worth $13 million or more per year.

Destination: ESPNBoston.com reports that the Red Sox have contacted Werth. The Angels are also ready to offer Werth a contract.

4. Rafael Soriano

The 30-year-old is one of the best closers in the game. He had 44 saves and a 1.76 ERA last season.

Destination: Nothing is certain yet for Soriano, but he’ll not be in a Rays uniform next season.

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5. Magglio Ordonez

Ordonez was a $15M-type of salary player until he fractured his ankle in July.

Destination: Ordonez will likely return to the Tigers. The 36-year-old can act as a leader-veteran type player to young players.

NFL Week 9: Jets @ Lions

New York Jets @ Detroit Lions Sun. Nov. 7th 2010 1pm EST

Coming into this NFL regular season, the Detroit Lions were thought to be on the verge of finally turning their struggling NFL franchise around. With players like quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and rookies Jahvid Best and Ndamkong Suh, the Lions seemed to have the right pieces of the puzzle to finally give teams in the NFC Conference and possibly in the NFC North division a run for their money.

Unfortunately, in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions suffered a bit of a setback as Stafford went down with a shoulder injury that would keep the up and coming quarterback out until Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.

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Despite not having their promising young quarterback under center for the first seven weeks of the season, the Detroit Lions were able to give some of the best teams in the league a run for their money, but were only able to come up with one win against the St. Louis Rams.

Fortunately, right when Stafford got back under center last week against the Redskins, the Lions were able to get their potent offense right back on track and 212 yards and four touchdowns later, Detroit had their second win of the season.

Even though the Lions seem to be able to get back on track offensively in Week 8, they will have their hands full in Week 9 against arguably the best defense in the league as the New York Jets will be looking to show why they are the best defense in the league by making it a long day for Matthew Stafford and company.

Last week the New York Jets hit a bit of a speed bump coming out of their bye week as they were unable to score against the Green Bay Packers defense. Fortunately, Darrelle Revis and company were able to hold the once potent offense of the Packers to just nine points, but that wasn’t enough to secure their sixth win of the season as they just seemed hopeless on the offensive side of the football and lost their second game this year.

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Coming into their matchup with the up and coming Detroit Lions, Mark Sanchez and company will be looking to establish their offense early and offense, probably by going to the ground game and having running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene wear down the defense. Along with getting their offense going, the Jets defense will be concentrating on stopping Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson in the air attack. When these two promising young players get going they are near impossible to stop and that was never more evident than it was last week against the Washington Redskins when they two players hooked up for three touchdowns.

As of right now, the New York Jets are favored to come out on top with a -4 point spread and even though the Detroit Lions can put up a lot of points quickly, Rex Ryan’s squad should get the win and cover the spread.

Randy Moss lands with the Tennessee Titans

This NFL regular season has seemed to be chalk full of drama as some of the league’s best teams like the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals have quickly gone from the cream of the crop to the bottom of the NFL. Along with all three of these teams struggling to get more than two wins coming into Week 9, they have all been in the headlines this season for the wrong reasons.

The one team above all that has frequented the sports headlines for all the wrong reasons is the Minnesota Vikings. Even though they came into the NFL regular season with high hopes of competing for the NFC North division title once again and making a run at a Super Bowl title with three-time NFL MVP quarterback Brett Favre back under center for one more season, the Minnesota Vikings have failed to live up to expectations and have had just as many problems off the field as they have on it.

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With Brett Favre dealing with all his off field issues and the whole “Jenn Sterger” ordeal, the veteran quarterback has been noticeably distracted and playing nowhere near as good as he did last season.

Fortunately, the Minnesota Vikings were able to make what was thought to be a great move by trading for superstar wide receiver Randy Moss from the New England Patriots. With Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice recovering from hip surgery and yet to play a game this season, Brett Favre has been without that downfield threat and it has really taken a toll on this offense.

Obviously, the addition of perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss was seemingly the perfect addition to an already potent offense, but after just four games with his former team, the outspoken wideout basically forced himself out of Minnesota as the Vikings decided to waive him.

This took everyone by surprise, including the superstar wideout, but apparently the Minnesota Vikings and head coach Brad Childress had enough of his antics and chose to move on without him.

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There is no question that without Randy Moss the Minnesota Vikings offense will take a severe hit, but with Sidney Rice coming back soon they aren’t all that worried about the future.

As for Randy Moss, the seven-time Pro Bowler became available to some of the worst teams in the league (record wise), but even though a lot of teams could have used a downfield threat like Moss, the Tennessee Titans were the team that decided to pick him up.

In my opinion, this was a smart move for the Tennessee Titans as it gives them that go to wide receiver they have always wanted, but whether or not Randy Moss will be happy with his new surrounding remains to be seen.

NFL Monday Night Football Recap: Week 8

Indianapolis Colts split season series with Houston Texans

In Week 1, the Indianapolis Colts started their campaign to get back to the Super Bowl against the division rival Houston Texans. Even though the Texans always give the Colts a run for their money every single season, Matt Schaub and company have been unable to beat Peyton Manning’s squad until this Week 1 AFC South showdown.

With an extremely impressive performance from up and coming running back Arian Foster (231 yards and three rushing touchdowns) in Week 1, the Houston Texans were able to torch the Indianapolis Colts secondary on every single possession and come out with the win 34-24.

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Once the game went final in Week 1, the Indianapolis Colts looked extremely flawed on the defensive side of the football and many people started to question whether or not they were the Super Bowl title contenders that everyone pinned them as before the NFL regular season began in September.

Fortunately, Peyton Manning and company were able to stay afloat heading into Week 8 where they would be given another opportunity to beat their division rivals in the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Even though some people believed that the Houston Texans may have finally figured out the Indianapolis Colts and how to beat them consistently, that wasn’t the case this past Monday for the Texans as four-time NFL MVP quarterback Peyton Manning wasn’t going to let the Colts lose this game.

Peyton Manning didn’t have the dominant performance he had in Week 1 against the Houston Texans when he threw for 433 yards and three touchdowns, but he did just enough to lead his team to victory as this time around the superstar quarterback threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

As he did in Week 1, running back Arian Foster had another solid performance with 167 total yards (102 rushing, 65 receiving) and a rushing touchdown, but despite being almost as elusive and as unstoppable as he was in their first meeting, it wasn’t enough to propel the Houston Texans to their second win of the season over the Indianapolis Colts.

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With this 30-17 victory over their division rivals, the Indianapolis Colts were able to leapfrog both the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans to become the first place team in the AFC South division once again. Not only was this win huge for the Colts because they are back in first place, but it could be the turning point in the season for Peyton Manning and company as they might be able to reclaim that dominance they had last season despite being riddled with injuries on the offensive side of the football.

Even though beating the Houston Texans was a huge step forward for the Indianapolis Colts, they will have their work cut out for them throughout the rest of the NFL regular season as they still have to face teams like the Philadelphia Eagles (Week 9), New England Patriots (Week 11), San Diego Chargers (Week 12) and the Tennessee Titans (Week 14 & 17) twice.

Brett Favre takes another hard hit in loss to the New England Patriots

The Minnesota Vikings may have only won two games on the season coming into Week 8’s matchup against arguably the best team in the league in the New England Patriots, but every single week they have been constantly in the headlines due to newly acquired superstar wide receiver Randy Moss’ reluctance to speak to the media and three-time NFL MVP quarterback Brett Favre’s troubles on and off the field.

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Fortunately, despite all the problems the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre has had this season, the team has been pretty optimistic about turning things around and ultimately getting back into the playoffs.

Unlike the Dallas Cowboys who haven’t been able to get anything going this season and basically have already been knocked out of playoff contention in the NFC Conference, the Minnesota Vikings have been able to give some of the best teams in the league a run for their money, but costly turnovers and an inability to close out teams in the fourth quarter have been their downfall.

Along with their struggles on the field, Brett Favre has constantly been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons as he is directly involved in a sex scandal with a former New York Jets employee and has been unable to play up to his potential this season due to multiple injuries.

Coming into Week 8’s matchup against Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, it was uncertain whether or not Brett Favre was going to be able to continue his remarkable streak of consecutive starts, but despite having fractures in his ankle the Ironman of the NFL suited up once again and made yet another start to keep the unbelievable streak going.

Despite playing pretty well with a fractured ankle, Brett Favre still finished the game without throwing a touchdown and throwing a costly interception. It seems no matter what Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings do they just can’t seem to pull it together this season and with the recent news that Randy Moss has been waived by the team, things might just get worse from here on out.

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Not only did the Minnesota Vikings lose their fifth game of the season to the New England Patriots 28-18, but Brett Favre took another huge hit this Sunday which resulted in sending him to the sidelines with a gash under his chin.

Ultimately, Brett Favre has said that he is fine and should be ready for next week, but the hit did take its toll on the veteran quarterback as he made it clear that the hit was one of the hardest he has ever taken and made him consider ending the streak.

Needless to say, the Minnesota Vikings are in trouble right now and in desperate need of turning things around or Brett Favre’s career will end on a sour note to say the least.

MLB World Series – Things We’ve Learned

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1. We have a series.

Many thought that the surprising heavy hitting of the Giants would doom the Rangers. Especially after the Giants worked postseason legend Cliff Lee. But after Rangers winning one in Texas and (at the time of this article) probably another one in Game 4 to tie the series, we could be in for a long ride. This year’s Series has brought a lot of unexpected events. First, there was the unraveling of Lee. Second were the heavy bats of San Francisco, which should’ve belonged to the Rangers. Now, it’s a former Japan pitcher who has given new life to the Rangers. Everything we thought would happen did not. Instead, it seems we’re headed towards an exciting ending.

2. Colby Lewis did was Lee couldn’t.

As many of us know, Lee suffered his first loss of the postseason in Game 1 of the World Series. What has gone overlooked is Lewis building his own postseason reputation. He is now 3-0 in the playoffs this year. Lewis beat the Yankees twice and saved the Rangers’ season by winning a critical game 3.

3. What happened to the pitching?

San Francisco’s bullpen gave opponents a tough time during this year’s postseason. So did the Rangers. You can’t help but ask where the itching has gone during the World Series. Probably a new theory is developing in this era. Pitching is overrated and the key to the playoffs is hitting.

4. Juan Uribe who?

Uribe was golden for the Giants in San Francisco. He had five RBIs in San Francisco alone, but all of a sudden Uribe was out of place in Texas. The right hander failed to generate any offense for the Giants in Game 3. No doubt he is the key for the Giants.

5. Who wins?

With both teams being pushed to the limit in the Series, it’s hard to discern who actually has the advantage. Momentum, apparently, is overrated. San Francisco was overwhelmed in their trip to Texas. So were the Rangers in San Francisco. Maybe home field advantage is indeed underrated in baseball.

NFL Week 8: Jaguars @ Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Dallas Cowboys Sun. Oct. 31st 1pm EST

No other team in the NFL this season has been more disappointing than the Dallas Cowboys. No matter what this team does to improve their franchise over the offseason and through the NFL Draft, they never seem to produce enough on the football field and this season has been a nightmare to say the least as they will head into their Week 8 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 1-5 record.

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As if having one win coming into Week 8 wasn’t bad enough for this team that was considered Super Bowl title contenders before the season began, the Dallas Cowboys will also have to play the rest of the season without their Pro Bowl quarterback and leader under center in Tony Romo. With a broken clavicle that he suffered last week in the loss to the New York Giants, Romo has been ruled out for at least six to eight weeks which is basically the rest of the season for this struggling franchise.

With that being said, the once potent offense of the Dallas Cowboys is going to look and play completely different from here on out as the starting quarterback will be Jon Kitna who really struggled against the New York Giants last weekend in place of Tony Romo.

So with Kitna taking the snaps, I see this season getting even worse for America’s team as they will almost certainly struggle even more to put points on the board with a veteran QB that was noticeably struggling to take over for his Pro Bowl counterpart.

Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys will be able to take advantage of a bad team in Week 8 as they will face the Jacksonville Jaguars who are having their own quarterback problems as well. A few weeks ago, starting quarterback David Garrard went down with a concussion and handed the team over to Trent Edwards who also went down and handed the team over to Todd Bouman.

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Even though Todd Bouman played somewhat decent against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, he will almost certainly struggle this week against a very desperate Dallas Cowboys defense that will do everything within their power to dominate the Jacksonville Jaguars offense.

As of right now, the Dallas Cowboys are favored and favored fairly big to come out on top in this one with a -6.5 point spread. This is kind of surprising to me as the Cowboys will be playing with Kitna behind center, but even though the spread is a bit high for this game, I still believe that America’s team should come out on top and cover.

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