Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Football Report Dec. 30

Buffalo vs. Atlanta: Atlanta WR Roddy White. This guy has to be the most underrated wide out in the NFL. Eight grabs for 139 yards and two scores. His touchdown on the first Atlanta offensive play was impressive. His 5-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter shows he can be a possession receiver, not only a big play guy.

San Diego vs. Tennessee: San Diego QB Phillip Rivers. He was 21 of 27 for 264 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with nine different receivers and completing seven passes of more than 20 yards before basically taking the 4th quarter off. The Chargers are now 18-0 in December with Rivers as their starter.

Jacksonville vs. New England: New England WR Wes Welker. With all due respect to Randy Moss’ three touchdowns, without Welker’s 13 for 138, Moss would not have been in a position to get the easy ones after Welker did all the heavy lifting.

Wild Card: Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell. A lot of people are banging on him for resting his players in lieu of a perfect season. If they win the Super Bowl, everyone that is hammering him better eat there words. I know it has not worked in the past but nothing sets you up for a big run in the playoffs than a healthy roster.

Buffalo vs. Atlanta: The Bills. Did they forget to get on the plane? I thought they would at least make a game out of it. They looked like they wanted to be anywhere but the Georgia Dome on Sunday.

San Diego vs. Tennessee: Tennessee offense. In a game where you are fighting for a playoff spot, you can’t give the game away early, but they did by committing two turnovers, which led to 14 Chargers points. They also had eight penalties for 61 yards during the first half.

Jacksonville vs. New England: Jacksonville QB David Garrard. Threw two picks and had less than 10 yards a completion. They needed to rely on the passing game after getting down early but less that 200 yards in the air won’t cut it.

NFL Power Poll
1. Indianapolis- Resting their starters led to the loss…they would have won otherwise.
2. San Diego- This team is scary. Don’t be shocked if they end up in the Super Bowl.
3. Philadelphia- They are playing the best football in the NFC. Donovan McNabb has got the Iggles on a roll.
4. New Orleans- A loss to a playoff bound Cowboys is ok, one to a crappy Bu
5. Dallas- Tony Romo is proving he can win in December.

AFC Championship:
Indianapolis 31 San Diego 27

NFC Championship:
Philadelphia 24 New Orleans 23

Super Bowl:
Indianapolis 28 Philadelphia 23

Football Report Dec. 15

Buffalo vs. Kansas City: Buffalo pass defense. KC’s last three drives ended with 2008 golden boy Matt Cassel getting intercepted by Paul Posluszny, Jarius Byrd and George Wilson in succession to secure a 16-10 victory. The last two picks occurred when it looked like KC might have a change to win the game.

Cincinnati vs. Minnesota: Adrian Peterson. A week after being shut down by Arizona, Peterson remembered that he is still the best rusher in the league with 96 yards and two scores.

San Diego vs. Dallas: Vincent Jackson. Jackson made a mint in the Dallas secondary with seven catches for 120 yards including one down to the one yard line that set up a field goal then another late in the fourth to set up Antonio Gates game-winning score.

Wild Card: Eagles WR DeSean Jackson. Jackson finished with 178 yards receiving, including a 60-yard touchdown catch. He also returned a punt 72 yards for a score. Jackson tied Crazy Legs Hirsch (1951) and Devin Hester (2007) for the most TDs of at least 50 yards in one season with eight.

Buffalo vs. Kansas City: Ryan Fitzpatrick. 12 of 20 for 86 yards with two premier WR’s is just not going to cut. Sigh, can we please see Brian Brohm play now?

Cincinnati vs. Minnesota: Carson Palmer. What? Does he think he is Ryan Fitzpatrick? Palmer could muster only 94 yards through the air as one of the best offensive’s in the NFL was completely shut down.

San Diego vs. Dallas: Dallas offense. The ‘boys converted on only one of eight third down tries. They also couldn't punch the ball into the end zone on a critical fourth-and-goal in the second quarter.

Wild Card: Carolina defense. They gloated post-game about shutting down Pats WR Randy Moss. Somehow they must have forgotten they got their behinds kicked by the other 10 Patriots on offense.

NFL Power Poll
1. Indianapolis- They have now won an NFL record 22 straight regular season games.
1. New Orleans- It is scary how they win blow outs and now have learned how to win the close ones.
3. San Diego- Have won eight in a row after a shaky start. May be the only team in the AFC that can go toe-to-toe with Indy.
4. Minnesota- Beating a very good Cincy team may be their most impressive win this season.
5. Philadelphia- Seem to be gelling at the right time.

Football Report Dec. 8

Buffalo vs. New York Jets: Darrelle Revis. I really didn’t want to hand out a game ball to anyone in this game but Revis had the game-clinching interception and held Terrell Owens in check for the first time since he got cozy with Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Tennessee vs. Indianapolis: Joseph Addai. Addai ran for 79 yards and put Indy up 14-0 early. He also added three catches for 17 yards and had five carries in the fourth quarter that helped the Colts run down the clock.

Minnesota vs. Arizona: Arizona run defense. The Cards held Minnesota to 62 yards on the ground. Adrian Peterson, the NFL's third-leading rusher coming into the game, had just to 19 yards on 13 carries. Arizona is playing some great football.
Wild Card: Robert Meachem. The Saints WR not only scored the tying touchdown in the final minute of regulation, but he also made the game's biggest play at the end of the first half. Kareem Moore picked off Drew Brees but on the return, Meachem ran Moore down, stripped him and returned the fumble for a touchdown to tie the game going into halftime.

Buffalo vs. New York Jets: Ryan Fitzpatrick. Wow. He came down from the cloud he was on really quick. He looked awful vs. a banged up New York defense. It may be time to take Brian Brohm out for a test drive.

Tennessee vs. Indianapolis: Tennessee. The whole team gets this one. How do you have more first downs, more yards, punt only twice and still find a way to get your teeth kicked in?

Minnesota vs. Arizona: Brett Favre. Tossed two second half interceptions when his team needed him to carry them on his shoulders. If he is going to get the credit for the big wins, he needs to take his lumps when he fails in a crucial game.
Wild Card: Shaun Suisham. The Redskins kicker shanked a 23-yard field goal with 1:56 to play in regulation that would have iced the game for Washington and in the process would have ruined New Orleans perfect season and may have saved his coach’s job. Ouch!

NFL Power Poll
1. Indianapolis- They easily put away the Titans, the hottest team over the last month of the season.
2. New Orleans- They struggled against the Redskins but as all good teams do, found a way to win.
3. San Diego- Hottest team in the NFL, winning seven in a row.
4. Arizona- Are finally starting to look like the team that went to the Super Bowl last season.
5. Cincinnati- Clinched a winning record for only the second time in almost 20 years.

My Heisman Trophy Ballot
I am not a Heisman voter but if I was, here is how my ballot would look:
5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State.
4. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama.
3. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas.
2. C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson.
And the winner….
Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford.
Analysis: Gerhart was the heart and soul of his team. They don’t win without his bruising, hard-nosed style of running. He single-handedly won games for the Cardinal. He was led the nation in rushing yards with 1,736 and had a whopping 26 touchdowns. More importantly, during the last month of the season, he was at his very best. Gerhart averaged 29 carries and 185.5 yards per game in his last four games. Ingram, McCoy and Spiller each had a letdown game down the stretch.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Game Balls & Penalty Flags

Week 3 of UB's college season is in the books as is week 2 in the NFL.


* WR Naaman Roosevelt- He went to UB wanting to be a QB and finally got to throw a TD pass as he connected on a beautiful play call of a double reverse pass to TE Jesse Rack.

* TE Jesse Rack- Career highs 5 receptions for 76 yards and two scores.


* QB Trent Edwards, Buffalo- Finally went deep and it paid off. A 32 yard score to Lee Evans and a 43 yarder to T.O.

* New York Jets Defense- Held the once mighty New England offense without a touchdown today for the first time since 2006.

* LB Ray Lewis, Baltimore- Lewis stuffed San Diego's Darren Sproles on fourth-and-2 with the Chargers driving for the winning score. Big road win for Baltimore.

* RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee- Scored three times and finished the game with 284 yards from scrimmage. His 91-yard touchdown tied a Titans franchise record set by Sid Blanks in 1964.

PENALTY FLAGS- For the lapses in judgment by today's NFL players.

* QB Kerry Collins, Tennessee- Trailing by 3, Collins fumbled, giving the ball back to the Texans with 1:32 remaining thus allowing Houston to run out the clock.

* QB Tom Brady & the Pats offense- Brady said talk is cheap earlier this week when they were called out by NY's Kerry Rhodes. Apparently, talk is not so cheap Tom, Rhodes and company had you figured out.

* Green Bay Packers- You really followed up an impressive win over Chicago last week with a loss to the Bungles? The Packers recovered their onside kick with 45 seconds remaining in the game. Five plays later they were at the Bengals' 10-yard line with a first down. But time had expired by the time Green Bay got to the line of scrimmage.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

UB-UTEP Game Balls

UB had to make this one a nail-biter, but the Bulls pulled out a 23-17 win last night in El Paso to open the 2009 college football season. Each week, I will hand out game balls to outstanding performers from UB.

* QB Zach Maynard- He said after the game he was very anxious and jittery at the hotel leading up to the game. He did not show it at all. Maynard was solid in his debut as a starter going 12 of 19 for 159 yards and a touchdown. The 42-yard strike to Naaman Roosevelt was impressive that he sucked the defense in and let the ball go right as he was about to take a hit. That play turned out to be the game winner.

* DB Domonic Cook- Took the free kick after the safety 62 yards to the UTEP 25 setting up UB's second touchdown.He also had four tackles and a team high two pass break-ups.

* Offensive line- The stats will show that they gave up one sack but that was only because Maynard slipped and fell scrambling. Overall, they did a great job in pass protection and were solid on the run helping UB to 150 yards rushing.

Up next...Pitt at UB Stadium, noon on Saturday.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Game Balls-Preseason Bills vs. Titans

Each week of the National Football League season, I will hand out game balls for outstanding achievements. Tonight, seen as there was only one game, the Hall of Fame game between the Bills vs. Titans, they get first honors.

1- NFL- They get a game ball for the great job they have already done to mark the 50th anniversary of the American Football League.

2- Titans rookie punter A.J. Trapasso- That was the coolest fake punt I have ever seen!

3-Titans tight end Alge Crumpler- An afterthought pick-up by the Titans looked good in the passing game.

4- Bills cornerback Reggie Corner- Provided the lone Bills highlight with a 26 yard interception return for touchdown.

Here's what we learned:

* The Titans have not lost a beat from their 13-3 season last year.
* The Bills offensive line has a LOT of work to do in the next month.
* If the Bills are going to use the no huddle this year, they need to leave the #1 offense out for more than one series to get into a rhythm.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Top 10 Things I Want From The Buffalo Bills

10. T.O.'s touchdown celebrations to be better than his reality show.
9. Trent Edwards to start looking like Joe Montana.
8. Lee Evans to have a 1,500 yard season and a Pro Bowl appearance.
7. Dick Jauron to show some kind of emotion on the sideline...even a fist pump will do.
6. Aaron Maybin to eat up QB's like it is 25 cent cheeseburger night at Fuddruckers.
5. To only see Rian Lindell on the field to kick after touchdowns, not because they can't score touchdowns.
4. To beat New England 96-3 on opening night as Tom Brady throws 5 picks leading his wife to think Leodis is not that bad of a name for their baby.
3. Leodis McKelvin to channel his inner Deion Sanders high stepping to the endzone for his NFL high 6 KO returns for touchdowns.
2. Any record other than 7-9..please and thank you.
1. Relevant football in January!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

They are not who we thought they were

With the recent death of Steve McNair and the legal troubles of Michael Vick and Donte Stallworth, not to mention the steroids debacle in Major League Baseball, it got me thinking. Charles Barkley is always right!

Now, I bet you are guessing how the Chuck Wagon and these troubled superstars all tie in (other that his short stint in jail for drunk driving).

Back in the 1980's Barkley did a infamous Nike ad which he declared, "We are not role models". He and Nike took a heap of flack from just about everyone whether or not athletes are role models.

They aren't!

They are flawed human beings just like the rest of us. Just because they make a lot of money and are on TV all the time does not mean we need to tell our kids to emulate them because the one thing I can guarantee, they will let you down.

Let's not be surprised that many professional athletes have flawed personal lives for one reason or another. They do. They are human, just like us. So, please stop treating them as elitists and putting them on a pedestal.

Athletes are not role models. They are skilled craftsman. That's all.

We, as parents, should be the role models for our kids. If you wouldn't trust Vick to dog sit or for Stallworth to take your car to get detailed, don't let them be responsible for influencing your child.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Far West Regionals LIVE on TWCS

Time Warner Cable SportsNet will carry the boys Far West Regionals from St. John Fisher LIVE on Tuesday, starting at 3:30. We will stay on the air until the end of the final game.

Coverage starts at 3:30 p. m., Silver Creek v. Penn Yan.

At 5:30 p. m., Orchard Park v. Webster Thomas.

At 8 p. m., Hamburg v. Canandaigua.

Join Howard Simon, Mark Collins, Dave Miller and myself for all the action. In Buffalo on channel 72 (ch. 13 has the Yankees) and in Rochester on channel 26.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Open Letter to Brett Favre

Dear Brett,

Please, for the love of god, leave us alone! Go away! Stop holding National Football League teams and fans hostage by your incessant need to be in the spotlight. It is time to hang it up!

I will be the first to admit, you WERE one of my all-time favorite players. You WERE must-see-TV. We couldn't get enough. Now, we've had it. Do you really think anyone is taking you seriously? Up until two years ago, everyone in America loved you. But, since then, you held a gun to our head all summer debating whether or not you should retire, un-retire, etc. (which by the way media folks, it only counts as retirement if you actually don't play. Saying you retire in March, but then show up to camp in July, when you played the final game of the previous season and play again in the first game of the next season, that is not coming out of retirement, most others call that an off-season...but I digress).

Let's be honest, the only reason the Jets wanted you was because my 4-year-old son is not as accurate throwing a spiral (but he will, colleges, watch out in 12 years!). I'm sure if Joe Namath was interested, they would have given him a tryout. Now, the Minnesota Vikings are just proving how pathetic they are at QB. They don't want you, they want the Brett Favre circa 1996, or even the Brett Favre of 2006. They already got turned down by Fran Tarkenton, Sean Salisbury, Randall Cunningham and Brad Johnson. I may be only half joking, I bet at least two of them got calls from the Vikes. All you are doing now is making yourself into a joke. Stop. Please! For your own good. You have already ruined what was once the legend of Brett Favre with last year's meltdown in the Meadowlands. Don't let us down again.

We know you can't give up the limelight, that's ok, we know it is not easy. We understand that, but as my good friend Kenny Rogers once sang, you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run.

Brett, please walk away because your former fans are running the other way!

Brendan McDaniels (and every other person in America without the last name of Favre)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Do you know these guys?

The best team in Western New York that you have probably never heard of is the Niagara County Community College baseball team. The Trailblazers, 32-7 overall, are ranked No. 8 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association poll and are headed to the Region III Final Four after a thrilling 12-4 win over Jamestown Community College today. NCCC poised to make a run at the Region III title this weekend in Herkimer with a possible spot in the Junior College World Series, which would be the first in program history.

Why don't you know about them? Just two years ago, NCCC baseball was what the Washington Nationals are to Major League easy win if you bring your bats in gloves.

What difference does two years make? A coach named Matt Clingersmith. He has spearheaded the rapid turnaround in Sanborn by keeping local talent here and heading up to Canada to compliment the locals. NCCC, Clingersmith and his players are a perfect example that dedication and commitment can take you just as far as talent!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't neglect them!

As we are on the eve of another Buffalo Bandits playoff run which may result in their fifth championship since their inception in 1992, let's not insult them by saying it is not a major championship.

What makes them less "major" than the Bills or Sabres?

The Bandits sell out their home games as do the Bills, but the Bandits average more per game than the Sabres. If you response is, the Sabres play 41 home dates to the Bandits eight, I challenge you to find any eight home dates this year from the Sabres and I'm going to guess the Bandits still out-drew them.

The best players in the world compete in their league and with less teams, it is not watered down which makes trying to win a title even harder. You have multiple superstars on each team. There are no nights off.

They are not whiny millionaires, like some other pro athletes, isn't that even more reason to applaud them? The average guy only makes about $15,000 a season, if that. The all have other jobs. John Tavares is a school teacher when not playing. Pat McCready is a cop. These guys are protecting us and teaching our young while allowing us to enjoy their athletic talent at the same time.

They don't play for the money, they play because they love the game!

If that isn't major, then what is?