Monday, December 27, 2010

JC's Take: WWE Week in Review 12/20-12/26

JC's Take: WWE Week in Review 12/20-12/26

Hello everyone and welcome back for my review of anything and everything WWE from this past week!

-With six weeks until the Royal Rumble, the WWE decided to take things slow this week. They are in no rush to build towards it. Instead, what we got this week was a conclusion to WWE TLC. I'm fine with that, no need to start building towards the Rumble yet. Instead, we got some very good wrestling on both shows this week. It's ashame that we can't get stuff like this every week. Even though it was only 5 minutes, we saw a very good Daniel Bryan/William Regal match. I hope it is the start of a program and not just a short one off match between the two. They worked a stiffer style than most of the WWE wrestlers, and you could tell the crowd was taking notice of it. I'd love to see these two get a good 15 minute match at the Royal Rumble.

-It appears that John Cena is finally done with the Nexus on RAW. The Nexus was nowhere to be seen this past Monday. Instead, Cena was in a confrontation with Dolph Ziggler and his girlfriend Vickie Guerrero. The beginning of that segment was amazing with the heat on Vickie. You could tell everyone involved was really enjoying it. After that, the insults from John Cena and Jerry Lawler on Vickie went a bit too far in my opinion. In an era where the WWE is trying to market to the kids, it doesn't look good having your top star making fat jokes about anyone, especially a woman. Considering Laycool was booed for doing the same thing to Mickie James earlier in the year, I don't see how Cena can get away with it. But as wrestling fans, we're not suppose to have long term memories like that. Cena had two good matches with Dolph Ziggler, but both times was attacked by C.M. Punk after the match. It'll be interesting to see where they decide to go with the Punk/Cena angle. Could it be dragged out to Wrestlemania? Possibly. Both men are good enough performers to make it work. But Punk needs to be built up as a credible threat to Cena. Some people know he can hang in the ring with Cena, but to the mark wrestling fan, Punk isn't in Cena's league. Also, the WWE has to know that Cena could get booed heavily, especially because the 20s and 30s internet crowd LOVES Punk. I'll be curious to see where they go with this over the next couple weeks.

-It appears that the WWE will be rolling the dice with a Miz/Morrison WWE Title program. Like I've said previously, I'm fine with that. The Rumble sells itself and it's nice to see the WWE give title opportunities to mid-card and lower main event guys. The more big guys in the Rumble the better. Morrison was ok in his shirt promo exchange with Miz on RAW Monday. I wish he would have been more involved in the finish of the main event. They need to build up Morrison a bit more for fans to take him as a serious threat to the Miz. Although that shouldn't be a problem, considering the Miz has looked kind of week in his first month as Champion. I understand the WWE wants people to look at him as a vulnerable champion, but he still needs to look strong every once in a while. It doesn't help that Alex Riley gets involved in all of his matches either.

-Lastly for RAW, it will be interesting to see what lies ahead for the Nexus. They are in reset mode. Cena pretty much took them out single-handedly, so they need to do something to get back some heat. They still have that whole "we're here for another purpose" thing, but at this point that reason seems to be a moot point. If they really see Barrett as a top star, they could have him win the Rumble and go to Smackdown to take on Edge for the World Title. It gives the entire Nexus a chance to feud with different guys, and it gives Barrett the opportunity to move to Smackdown and not look weak in the process. I think this might be the only way for the Nexus, Wade Barrett specifically, to get any heat back.

-On Smackdown, this past week appeared to be a potential star-making week for Dolph Ziggler. He had two very good matches with John Cena. He's been having quality matches recently on PPVs and can put on a solid match. His only problem is that like John Morrison, he needs to work on his promo work. But the good thing for him is that he has Vickie Guerrero with him. She is a heat magnet and it instantly puts heat on him. I think Ziggler will get a main event push sometime in 2011. Especially if he stays with Vickie. I'd love to see him get a title match at the Rumble. There's instant history with Edge and Vickie, so there would be no problem developing a back story.

-The only problem is that it looks like we may continue to get Edge and Kane fighting over the World Title. Hopefully now with Paul Bearer out of the picture, they will focus more on the World Title rather than Edge finding ways each week to try and kill Paul Bearer. I understand it was a way to manipulate and play mind games with Kane, but it was just a tad bit ridiculous. I'd much rather they have another match on Smackdown, then have Edge face someone new at the Rumble. I just think it's time for Kane to move on to something new, although what that is I would have no idea at this point.

-The WWE released Kaval this week. The guy goes from winning NXT Season 2 to being released. I'm actually not surprised. He just doesn't have the WWE look. He was being jobbed out left and right on Smackdown. Hopefully he has better luck on the indy scene, or TNA if they decide to bring him back.

-Right before I started this blog I read that Brock Lesnar is looking for a way to get out of UFC. Dave Meltzer says that he hasn't even trained for another fight after his loss to Cain Velasquez. The reason this is news is because it means that chance the WWE can land Lesnar for Wrestlemania grows. According to Meltzer, Lesnar really wants to do Wrestlemania. He would probably make a couple million dollars for doing all of 20-30 minutes of work at the show. That doesn't include appearences he would make on WWE TV in the weeks before. I still don't think Lesnar actually wrestles at Wrestlemania, especially against the Undertaker. I don't think Lesnar would do a job to Taker, and Taker wouldn't lose his Wrestlemania undefeated streak to a non-full time performer. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Lesnar and UFC over the next month, as it will have a heavy impact on the UFC as a business, as well as the build to Wrestlemania.

My time is short so that is all for today. With the NFL week being extended to Tuesday, my Week 16 Review will most likely come Wednesday. I'll probably have a "WWE Look Ahead to 2011" blog either tomorrow or Thursday.

Until next time,
Justin C

Thursday, December 23, 2010

JC's Take: NFL Week 16 Picks

JC's Take: NFL Week 16 Picks

Hey guys, welcome back for my Week 16 picks. I'm in a time crunch today so they'll be a little shorter than normal.

Carolina Panthers vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Even before the season, did somebody really think this would be a good game for primetime on Thursday night? This one is easy: Steelers in a route. Jimmy Claussen may not make it to Christmas.

Pittsburgh 38  Carolina 9

Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are coming off of their worst performance of the year by losing at Carolina. They have no answers at QB and need to address that in the off-season. The Cowboys offense is surging under Jason Garrett and Jon Kitna may have one himself a chance to start somewhere next year. The Cowboys still appear to be trying and will win here. This is another game that people won't be excited about come Christmas night.

Dallas 34  Arizona 14

New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills
The Bills have lost 14 straight against New England. The Bills have been getting closer and closer to beating them each year, but still haven't been able to pull through. I don't think they do it this week either. The Pats got a scare Sunday night from an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers team. Tom Brady and the offense continue to play well. I think i'tll be close, but the Patriots pull away late.

New England 35  Buffalo 27

New York Jets vs Chicago Bears
The Jets shocked everyone last week by beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh. They simplified the game plan for Mark Sanchez and didn't ask him to doo too much. The Bears clinched the NFC North last week against Minnesota. They're still playig for a first round bye. This should be a defensive struggle. I like Jay Cutler and the Bears offense to make one more play than the Jets.

Chicago 20  NY Jets 16

Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns
The Browns were playing hard mid-season but now seem to have phoned it in, especially after road losses to Buffalo and Cincinnati. Now they get a Ravens team coming off of a big win against New Orleans, and are back in a tie with Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The Ravens defense will be too much for Browns QB Colt McCoy, and Eric Mangini gets one step closer to unemployment.

Baltimore 24  Cleveland 13

Tennessee Titans vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are 6-0 at home this season. They have a game lead in the AFC West and can't slip up here. The Titans fond themselves last week at home against Houston, looking like the team they were earlier in the year. The Chiefs need to hope their defense plays as well as they did last week. This one will be close to the end, as I think the Titans are a bit re-juvinated after last week. In the end though, I'll take the Chiefs with their home field advantage.

Kansas City 23  Tennessee 20

San Francisco 49ers vs St. Louis Rams
The winner of this one pretty much has the inside track at winning the NFC West. The Seahawks are so bad I don't expect them to win another game. The 49ers are apparently going back to Troy Smith at QB. The Rams Sam Bradford has cooled down a bit late in the season. Both teams have adequate defenses so points could be hard to come by in this one. I think the Rams are a better team overall and I like them to win here.

St. Louis 19  San Francisco 17

Detroit Lions vs Miami Dolphins
The Lions finally ended their long road losing streak last week. Can they make it two in a row? They very well might. The Dolphins looked bad last week against Buffalo. Chad Henne, other than one drive, looked particularly bad. The Lions are playing hard and match-up nicely against the Dolphins. The Phins have only won one home game this year, and I think they stumble again here, pushing Tony Sparano closer to unemployment.

Detroit 26  Miami 24

Washington Redskins vs Jacksonville Jaguars
The Redskins are a mess. From Donovan McNabb to Albert Haynesworth to Mike Shanahan to Dan Snyder, nothing is working. You know what Dan Snyder will do in the off-season? Throw more money at the problem to fix it. The Jags lost their AFC South lead last week at Indy. They're still tied with them, however, which means one slip up by the Colts and they're back on top. I like the Jags here, and I don't think it's close.

Jacksonville 30  Washington 14

San Diego Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals finally won game number three last week at home against Cincinnati. They'll be without T.O. the rest of the year, but it's not like having him out there made much of a difference. The Chargers have had ten days of rest to prepare for this game, so I like their chances. They're only one game back in the AFC West, and their team is better all around compared to Cincinnati.

San Diego 28  Cincinnati 14

Houston Texans vs Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow didn't look half bad in his debut last week. At least he gave a new coach something to think about when it comes to keeping him on the team next year. The Texans just looked like they didn't even show up last week for their game against Tennessee. But their offense is so much better than Denver's defense that they should still be able to win.

Houston 35  Denver 30

Indianapolis Colts vs Oakland Raiders
The Colts took control of the AFC South race last week, but they can't be celebrating yet. They have to take on a very tough Raiders team. The Raiders will lean on Darren McFadden to run through a suspect Colts defense, even though they shut down Maurice Jones-Drew last week. Peyton Manning needs to keep doing what he's been doing recently: not too much. As long as he does that I expect the Colts to win here. The Raiders will keep it close but Peyton wins it in the end.

Indianapolis 27  Oakland 23

New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers
This game is huge. The winner has the inside track on the last NFC Wild Card spot. The Giants are coming off that horrific loss at home against Philadelphia. It'll be interesting to see how they regroup here. The Packers almost took care of the Patriots on the road, but poor clock management at the end of the game prevented them from doing that. Aaron Rodgers is suppose to be back, which gives the Packers a slight edge. I'm taking them here, and I think Tom Coughlin has to start worrying about his job security.

Green Bay 24  NY Giants 21

Minnesota Vikings vs Philadelphia Eagles
Why was this game moved to primetime? Oh yeah Brett Favre, who probably won't even play this week. The Vikings look like they've given up. The Eagles have all the momentum after last week's comeback win against the Giants. Mike Vick and DeSean Jackson look almost unstoppable, and that won't change this week.

Philadelphia 38  Minnesota 21

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons
Falcons win: they get home field (I'm already penciling in a home win agaisnt the Panthers next week). The Saints are coming off a tough loss at Baltimore last week. The Falcons offense is just too good for the Saints to stop at this point. I'm sure Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will try to come up with something, but Matt Ryan is just playing too well. I know he won't win it, but he should get some consideration for MVP. Falcons win a tight one.

Atlanta 28  New Orleans 24

That's all for this week. I'd like to wish everyone who reads my blog a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,
Justin C

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

JC's Take: NFL Week 15 Review

JC's Take: NFL Week 15 Review

Hey everyone! Welcome back for my review of the NFL from Week 15.

Team of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles
What else can be said that already hasn't been said? The Eagles were down 31-10 with under 8 minutes left and found a way to comeback and win. Mike Vick looked like the Vick you see in Madden. He was kind of like the Madden 04 Vick, the year he was on the cover and he was pretty much unstoppable in the game. He was finding open receivers late, and taking off out of the pocket like crazy. DeSean Jackson's punt return was a thing of beauty. He could have fallen on the ball after he bobbled it, but instead he found a hole and took off. This was a big win for the Eagles. They now hold the tiebreaker over the Giants by beating them twice, and only need one more win to clinch the division. I would not want to run into this team in the playoffs.

Game of the Week: New England 31  Green Bay 27
While the Eagles comeback was nice, they were getting dominated most of the game. The Packers/Patriots game was a back and forth affair. I thought for sure the Packers would get dominated without Aaron Rodgers, but they put on a nice performance. Matt Flynn looked capable of being a starting caliber QB in the league. The Pack didn't pull out the game, but they played well. It's just that the Patriots are such a good team that it was hard for Pack to overcome them. Tom Brady didn't have his best game, but he played well enough to win. And how about that return by Pats offensive lineman Dan Connolly? It would have been nice to see him score a TD, just for the celebration alone.

Dogs of the Week: New York Giants
This game just isn't on Matt Dodge. Did Dodge give up three touchdowns before that punt? No, no he didn't. Sure Dodge should have punted the ball out of bounds, but Jackson still bobbled the punt. Usually when a punt is bobbled guys from the other team are there either ready to pounce on it or make a tackle. But there was no one. The Giants entire team collapsed on Sunday. Now they have to go to Lambeau and win in order to make the playoffs. A loss there and they are on the outside looking in, and Tom Coughlin may actually be in danger of losing his job. This "Miracle in the New Meadowlands" could be a crushing blow to the entire Giants team.

Other Week 15 Thoughts:
-Chris Mortensen said on ESPN this week that Bill Cowher is ready to get back into coaching, and he has a list of three teams: the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, and Houston Texans. Before Sunday, it looked like the Dolphins and Texans jobs may be the only openings. Now, the Giants job could be in play. All of these owners are backing their coaches, but of course they will during the season. But Gary Kubiak is again missing the playoffs with Houston, Tony Sparano doesn't have Bill Parcells to protect him anymore, and Tom Coughlin just watched his team fall apart in front of him. Bill Cowher will coach again in 2011, and if I had to guess, I'd say he ends up in Houston. I think that is the only job of the three that is guaranteed to be open.

-The Colts finally looked like the Colts of old on Sunday. They took care of the Jaguars and now control their own destiny in the AFC South. This week they have to go to Oakland and beat a gritty Raiders team, which is no easy task at all. This doesn't take anything away from Jacksonville's season. They've played some good football this year, they just couldn't win this big one on the road. The Colts did an excellent job of shutting down Maurice Jones-Drew, and Peyton Manning didn't try to do too much. Their running game also finally came alive with Donald Brown getting over 100 yards. It may be a good thing for the Colts to be hitting their stride late in the season rather than early. They'll have to keep playing their starters for the rest of the year, and not rest them which could disrupt their rhythm. 

-Just when you want to leave the Jets for dead, they go on the road and take care of a very good Pittsburgh team. It seemed like they simplified the game plan for Mark Sanchez. They didn't ask him to doo a lot. He's still not ready to shoulder that much of a workload. They had to withstand a late rally attempt by Pittsburgh, but they did it just fine. You have to wonder if this is the win that finally rights the team. They've looked suspect all year, and a big win like this on the road could really turn things around. If they don't ask Mark Sanchez to do to much, they are a good team. Rely on your solid running game and strong defense to win you the game, not Sanchez.

-So how about that NFC West? All four teams in the division lost this week. The Rams and Seahawks remain tied on top with a record of 6-8. This means at best, an 8-8 team will win the division AND HOST a first round playoff game. I'm all for teams that win their division to make the playoffs, but neither of these teams deserve to host a playoff game. There should be a rule that if you don't have a record better than .500, you don't host a playoff game. More than likely the Saints will have to go play the winner of the NFC West, and they could finish with a 4 game better record than the NFC West winner. That's just wrong on so many levels. I think the Rams win it in the end. They have the most stable QB situation of the three and have the best defense. 

-It was quite the sight on Monday Night Football. That is how football in cold cities is suppose to be played. Not in some cushy dome, but outside in the elements. I don't understand why Brett Favre felt it necessary to go out their and play. Let Joe Webb go make an impression on the coaching staff. At this point, Favre is playing for nobody but himself. I really hope he doesn't comeback next year, unless he wants to tarnish his legacy even further. The Bears, meanwhile, rebounded nicely from their loss against New England. I for one did not think they would be alive this late. I didn't even think they'd make the playoffs. But now they are the NFC North Champions and are on track to get a first round bye. Mike Martz has done wonders with Jay Cutler.

1. Atlanta Falcons (12-2, #1 last week)- They can leave no doubters about being tops in the NFC with a win next week against New Orleans.

2. New England Patriots (12-2, #2)- Dan Connolly may become their new kickoff return man. I'm sure Bill Belichick will find a way to make it work.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4, #5)- They're a scary team, plus they've beaten the Falcons. I don't want to see them in the playoffs.

4. Chicago Bears (10-4, #7)- Why do teams punt to Devin Hester? They have a big test next week against the Jets.

5. Baltimore Ravens (10-4, #6)- They relied on Ray Rice in their win against New Orleans. He's their best weapon, and gives them their best chance to succeed on offense.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4, #3)- They're back in a dogfight in the AFC North. They can't slip up down the stretch. But with the Panthers and Browns down the stretch, it shouldn't be a problem.

7. New Orleans Saints (10-4, #4)- They didn't play bad against the Ravens, but they couldn't finish the job. They have a big showdown with Atlanta next week on MNF.

8. New York Jets (10-4, #12)- A nice bounce back win after two bad losses. And they didn't even need the help of coaches on the sideline to do it.

9. San Diego Chargers (8-6, #11)- They're playing well enough to deserve to be up here, but they still may not make the playoffs. They'll look back at their early season struggles for blame.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5, #14)- They took care of business on the road against St. Louis. They're in the driver seat in the AFC West. 

11. Indianapolis Colts (8-6, #15)- Are they back? It looks like it. They can't slip up this week on the road against Oakland.

12. Green Bay Packers (8-6, #10)- Matt Flynn was good, but that was some bad clock management at the end of the game. That's on Mike McCarthy.

13. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6, #9)- They're good luck streak ran out in Indy. Now they need even more luck to have a shot at the playoffs.

14. New York Giants (9-5, #8)- That collapse could cost the Giants their season, and Tom Coughlin his job. Huge game next week at Lambeau.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6, #13)- They finally slipped up against a cupcake team, and it probably cost them any shot at the playoffs.

16. Oakland Raiders (7-7, #18)- They keep winning, but now they need some help to stay alive in the AFC West. But they face a tough Colts squad this week.

17. Dallas Cowboys (5-9, #21)- Tony Romo finally went on IR today. Now he has time to plan his big wedding.

18. Miami Dolphins (7-7, #16)- Chad Henne looked like Trent Edwards on Sunday. A new coach probably wouldn't keep him around.

19. St. Louis Rams (6-8, #17)- They have the most stable QB in the NFC West, which gives them the best shot of winning it. 

20. Buffalo Bills (4-10, #27)- Sure it's a big jump, but they're 4-2 in their last six and playing better than anyone below them. They could be a good football team next year.

21. Tennessee Titans (6-8, #26)- It was a nice moment seeing Jeff Fisher give the gameball to Mike Heimendinger, their offensive coordinator battling cancer.

22. San Francisco 49ers (5-9, #20)- Thinking of starting Akili Smith at QB this week.

23. Cleveland Browns (5-9, #19)- Eric Mangini is now on the hot seat list.

24. Seattle Seahawks (6-8, #22)- Currently calling ESPN about the availability of Tim Hasselbeck. 

25. Houston Texans (5-9, #23)- How is a team with so many weapons on offense this bad?

26. Minnesota Vikings (4-10, #24)- Leslie Frazier doing everything he can to blow shot at a full time coaching gig.

27. Detroit Lions (4-10, #29)- They finally ended their road losing streak, and if they can stay healthy, they may end their playoff drought next year.

28. Washington Redskins (5-9, #25)- So about that Donovan McNabb contract extension...

29. Arizona Cardinals (4-10, #28)- The sad thing is, if the Seahawks and Rams didn't play each other in Week 16, they'd STILL be alive in the NFC West.

30. Cincinnati Bengals (3-11, #31)- T.O. is done for the year. Another failed experiment.

31. Denver Broncos (3-11, #30)- Tebow didn't look bad in his first start. These next two will determine if the new coach will keep him around next year.

32. Carolina Panthers (2-12, #32)- Jimmy Claussen may not make it to Christmas with his family after the Steelers defense gets through with him.

1. John Fox, Carolina
2. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati
3. Gary Kubiak, Houston
4. Jeff Fisher, Tennessee
5. Eric Mangini, Cleveland
6. Mike Singletary, San Francisco
7. Tony Sporano, Miami

1. New England Patriots 12-2: clinched playoff spot
2. Pittsburgh Steelers 10-4: clinched playoff spot
3. Kansas City Chiefs 9-5
4. Indianapolis Colts 8-6
5. Baltimore Ravens 10-4
6. New York Jets 10-4
7. San Diego Chargers 8-6
8. Jacksonville Jaguars 8-6

1. Atlanta Falcons 12-2: clinched playoff spot
2. Chicago Bears 10-4: clinched NFC North
3. Philadelphia Eagles 10-4
4. St. Louis Rams 6-8
5. New Orleans Saints 10-4
6. New York Giants 9-5
7. Green Bay Packers 8-6
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-6

Three Games I'd Like to See Next Week
1. New York Jets vs Chicago Bears: Jets are in with a win
2. New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers: Winner has inside track on Wild Card spot
3. New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons: Falcons looking to silence any remaing doubters.

That's all for today. Nothing tomorrow. Week 16 picks Thursday.

Until next time,
Justin C  

Monday, December 20, 2010

JC's Take: WWE TLC Review

JC's Take: WWE TLC Review

Hello everyone. As usual the Monday after a PPV I review that instead of the week that was in the WWE. So lets get right to it.

Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger in a Triple Threat Ladder Match to retain the Intercontinental Championship: (**3/4)

This was probably the best choice to open the show, and it did its job well of getting the crowd into the show early. There were some nice spots in this match. You could tell, however, that they did not want to overdue it with the big spots. There were still two ladder matches to go, and they wanted to keep the big spots in this one to a minimum. I wasn't a fan of Vickie Guerrero getting involved in the match. There seemed to be no point for her involvement, as nothing really resulted from it. I did like the finish, however. Apparently Dolph was suppose to be under the ladder to catch the belt when it fell. But he screwed up his timing, and instead had to crawl to it from the corner. I think it worked out better anyways. Dolph's reign as IC Champ continues, and now Swagger and Kingston are left to continue their chase to the title. Like I said, it was a fine opening match that served its purpose.

Beth Phoenix & Natalya defeated Laycool in a Tables Match (*3/4)

This was actually a better match than I expected it to be. Sure there were some slow and awkward spots, but that is expected in a women's match. I'm assuming the match was suppose to end with Natalya pushing Laycool through the table from the ropes, but the table did not break. Are McCool and Layla really that light that they couldn't break the table? But I liked this finish better. The crowd actually got into it when Natalya jumped off of the ropes onto Laycool. Does that show how much the crowd actually hates Laycool and wanted to see them get what they deserved? Probably. I thought Beth was actually going to turn on Natalya after the match. The way they kept showing shots of both of them after the match made me think it was going to happen. I thought Natalya kept lifting the Divas Title up so much that Beth would just snap, but that didn't happen. I really don't know what is next for Laycool, other than a potential break-up. Sooner or later that will happen, as will Natalya vs Beth. But this was a better than average women's match, so it gets a plus in my book.

Santino & Kozlov defeated Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater by Disqualification to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (*1/4)

This wasn't so much of a match as it was an angle. The point of this was to make Nexus look strong heading into Wade Barrett's match with John Cena. Of course in the process, it made the tag team division look terrible by having the champions beatdown. But the tag division is already a mess as it is, so that doesn't really make a difference. When this beatdown happened, I just knew in the back of my head that it meant Cena was winning later. There was barely any action here to make note of. I'm sure Santino and Kozlov will just be back to their normal goofy selfs tonight on RAW.

John Morrison defeated Sheamus in a Ladder Match to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship (***3/4)

This was definitely the match of the night. These two have a great chemistry together in the ring, and it showed in this match. Sheamus adapted to the ladder match quite well, and it just shows once again that he belongs in the spot he is in. Seeing him in that crown and cape still is a bit weird, but there is no doubt that the guy deserves his top spot in the company. I really liked some of the spots thay they used with the ladder. Seeing Morrison hung upside down in the ladder like that, then having Sheamus work on Morrison's leg/ankle the rest of the match was good. It's always nice to see some nice in-ring psychology in a match. Morrison also sold the injury to his leg really well, limping and having a hard time climbing the ladder. The spot to the outside with Sheamus falling through the ladder was nice. I thought for sure that the match was over at that point. But Sheamus got back in the ring and attempted to push the ladder Morrison was climbing over. Morrison was able to use the rope as leverage, and catapult himself and the ladder back to deliver a kick to the face of Sheamus. Morrison was able to climb the ladder and grab the contract to get the win. This was easily the Match of the Night. Now the WWE has just over a month to build John Morrison up as a credible threat to capture the WWE Championship.

The Miz defeated Randy Orton in a Tables Match to retain the WWE Championship (**1/4)

I was not a fan of this match and was very disappointed by the outcome. I understand that they want to make The Miz look vulnerable as champion, but the extent they went to in this match was just ridiculous. With the referee knocked out, Randy Orton put Alex Riley through a table set up in the ring. The Miz then came in and delivered a Skull Crushing Finale to Orton. Miz then removed Riley, and put Orton where the broken table was. He revived the ref and showed Orton by the broken table. The ref was convinced enough, and called for the bell. The ref saw the replay and called for a restart to the match. As Orton was trying to get back into the ring, Miz shoved Riley into him, and Orton went through a table set up on the outside. I know they want to protect Randy Orton, but the lengths they went to in this match were just unreal. The Miz needs to be made to look strong at some point. He can't continue to have Alex Riley get involved in all of his matches. At least Michael Cole didn't interfere. You would think Orton has a right to a rematch, and I'm assuming they'll have one either tonight or next week on RAW. The match was just ok. I know The Miz is a heel and heels use cheap tactics to win at any costs, but sometimes they have to look strong. Hopefully he gets a couple good TV wins in the coming weeks.

Edge defeated Kane, Rey Mysterio, and Alberto del Rio in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match to win the World Heavyweight Championship (***1/4)

Another quality match. The only problem? It was the third ladder match of the night. By this point, the crowd seemed almost numb to all of the normal ladder spots. That's why these gimmick PPVs are stupid. Not to say that there weren't good spots in here, because there were. Edge's jump onto Kane from the ladder to the table outside was good. Rey's jump off the stage was nice. And while it was dangerous, seeing del Rio fall off of the ladder through the tables set up on the outside was nice. After Kane pulled Rey off the ladder and gave him the Tombstone, he attempted to climb the ladder himself to get the win. Edge returned, however, and hit Kane with a chair, knocking him off of the ladder. He then speared Kane, with Kane landing on the outside through a table. Edge then climbed the ladder and grabbed the World Title, making him the winner and a Ten Time World Champion. That number just shows how much both world titles have been passed around in recent years. Edge won his first title in 2006. That means in five years, he's held a world title ten times. That is just nuts. Had this match been the only Ladder Match on the show, I think it could have been even better and been a great main event. Instead, it was the third one of the night, and that is just overkill. The four men put on a good match, but because of the PPV structure, their match lost a little heat and wasn't as over as it could have been. It also hurt that it wasn't the main event. But when you're on the secondary brand and not named The Undertaker, it's very hard for you to get the last match on a PPV.

John Cena defeated Wade Barrett in a Chairs Match (**1/4)

I had a bad feeling for Wade Barrett once I found out this match was going on last. The WWE usually likes to send the fans home happy, and that's bad news. It was weird seeing a chair match without any shots to the forehead. The rest of the Nexus was taken out earlier in the night by an unknown person or persons, which meant Barrett had to go this match alone. Cena dominated almost the entire match. The match ended with Cena giving Barrett an Attitude Adjustment into a row of chairs set up in the ring. As Barrett tried crawling up the ramp to the back, Cena continued to attack him. Some role model Cena is. Where is Jesse Ventura to tell us that? I loved watching old wrestling tapes and hearing Ventura call out Hogan for beating up defenseless managers, or guys after the match was over. Barrett was eventually put under a wooden cart by Cena, and Cena yanked down some chairs from the set, and they fell on Barrett. I take it this is the end of the Cena/Nexus angle. It just seems like in the last month they rushed through everything. I also don't like the fact that this match ended the show. It makes one man seem more important than the titles. I understand Cena is your top guy, but you need to make your World Titles seem important. Just a bad ending to a once great angle. It'll be interesting to see where both Cena and the Nexus go from here. I think they'll still go at it on TV for another month, but this just had the feeling of a blowoff match. Ok ending to an ok PPV.


This PPV was just an ok show. It is a prime example of gimmick overkill. I cannot say that enough. Had Morrison/Sheamus or the Smackdown World Title TLC Match been the only ladder matches on the card, they probably would have been looked upon better than they already were. They were still good matches, but if one of them were only on the show, they would have been better and could have expanded the arsenal of moves used. The WWE Title Match was a let down as was Cena/Barrett, especially because it was in the main event slot. The two opening matches were ok, with the Divas Match being slightly better than expected. Overall, I would probably give this show a 5. Just an ok ending to a less than spectacular year of WWE PPVS.

1. John Morrison: He delivered in his match. He sold his leg injury quite well and showed in ring wise he can deliver a decent match. Now he has a month to show WWE management that he belongs on the main event stage and can be a future star for them in 2011 and beyond.

2. Edge: The ladder match is his specialty, and he used it to his advantage to capture the World Title. Edge now becomes the face of a Smackdown brand that has been in need of a shake-up for a while. It'll be interesting to see if the WWE has enough faith in him to carry the Smackdown brand by himself, especially as a face.

3. The Divas: They were out of their element in a Tables match but performed very well. They showed that if given more than 5 minutes, they can do a good job in the ring. It's always nice to see them given some extra time in the ring when you know the ones in there can put on an ok match.

The RAW brand already has their next WWE Title program set up with The Miz and John Morrison. Assuming they are fighting at the Royal Rumble, the WWE has six weeks to make the fans interested in their program. There is history between the two, so there is no reason they can't. Unfortunately for them, I highly doubt Miz/Morrison will be the showcase feud on RAW. I'm sure John Cena will continue to be the focal point of the show, along with Randy Orton and Sheamus as we make our way to the Royal Rumble. The big question is what becomes of Nexus. It seems almost impossible for them to get any of their heat back now that Cena has taken out every one of them at some point. My guess is a trip to Smackdown in the very near future. It wouldn't be a bad thing for Smackdown. but it would again make them look weak. We couldn't get the job done on RAW, so now we're going to try on the B show.

Edge is the new World Champion. We can only hope that the Edge/Kane feud is over. Give Kane a couple weeks off, then have him come back and look dominant heading into the Royal Rumble match. My guess is that Edge starts a program with Alberto del Rio, but I think that may be rushing it. That should be something saved down the line. Since the Rumble can sell itself, I like to see upper mid card guys get elevated into the main event spot. I think a short program with Dolph Ziggler heading into the Royal Rumble would be a nice change-up on Smackdown. That way, you can have even more added power for Smackdown in the Rumble with Alberto del Rio, Rey Mysterio, and Kane all participating in the Rumble match.

So if I were booking the Royal Rumble, my card would look like this:
Divas Title: Natalya vs Beth Phoenix
John Cena vs Wade Barrett: Winner gets #30 spot in the Rumble match
World Heavyweight Title: Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
WWE Title: The Miz vs John Morrison
Royal Rumble Match

That's all for today. NFL Review tomorrow.

Until next time,
Justin C

Friday, December 17, 2010

JC's Take: WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs Preview

JC's Take: WWE TLC Preview

Hello everyone. Welcome back for my preview of WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. This PPV is example number one of gimmik overkill. Three Ladder matches in one PPV is just way too much. There better not be another ladder match for 4-5 months. It's just way too much for one PPV. The matches all look like they could deliver and be quality, but it'd be nice if some of these matches were just standard wrestling matches. But this is the last WWE PPV of the Year, and last year they surprised us with Sheamus defeating John Cena in a Tables Match to win the WWE Championship. I don't see as big a shock coming in this PPV, but as I said, there are some quality matches to be had. Lets get right to the preview.

 Divas Tables Match: Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs Laycool

I'll give the WWE this much. At least they are trying something outside the box with the Divas. It's a little change up from the normal women's stuff we see on PPV. I do fear for the safety of Layool though. They are so small and fragile that they could be broken in half being put through a table. But it is nice to now see two divas working together to get after Laycool. I think the WWE is attempting to plant the seeds for a Laycool break-up down the line. It gets going more here because I see Natlaya and Beth winning this match. But after, I think Beth turns on Natalya and puts her through a table. This gives a nice fresh match-up between Natalya and Beth. They should be able to put on some good matches. Meanwhile, Laycool will try to get involved but will end up getting on each other's nerves while they do it.

WINNERS: Natalya & Beth Phoenix

Triple Threat Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Kofi Kingston vs Jack Swagger

These three have had a nice program going on Smackdown for about a month. Dolph has had the title for awhile now, and I think it is time for a change of the guard, mostly because I think Dolph needs to be elevated farther up the card. With Vickie Guerrero, a heat magnet, with him he should be able to survive at least a month of a main event program. Plus, lets say Edge wins the World Title, there is history with Vickie and Edge. Plus Dolph can hold is own in the ring. The question is who do they put the title on. Kofi has had it before, so having it on him seems almost pointless. So that leaves Jack Swagger. Swagger has been floundering on Smackdown ever since his World Title run came to an end. He's looked better in recent weeks, but he could use the IC Title for a little bit to re-elevate himself. That's why I'm putting the belt on Swagger here. It gives him something to brag about and probably will re-push him up the card.

WINNER: Jack Swagger

#1 Contender for the WWE Title Ladder Match
Sheamus vs John Morrison

This is probably the most interesting match on the card, because it will tell us a lot about the future of the RAW main event scene. Sheamus and Morrison have had some good matches in their feud, and I don't see any reason why they can't have another good one here. Morrison is great with a ladder, and Sheamus seems like someone who can adapt to any type of match he is in. Sheamus seems to be getting the upperhand between the two recently. He won the King of the Ring Tournament, and he got the better of Morrison this past Monday on RAW.

But as I said, this match is the most interesting because it will tell us the future of the RAW main event scene. If Sheamus wins, it leads to a less predictable outcome of the Miz/Orton match. I don't really see the WWE wanting to do Sheamus/Miz, even at the Rumble. Plus they already did Miz/Orton at SummerSlam, and last year's Rumble. I think Sheamus winning would also mean we would get Sheamus vs HHH for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania. If Morrison wins, it means the WWE may finally be ready to get behind him as a main eventer. It would also lead to a nice short Miz/Morrison feud leading into the Rumble. The two have history so a backstory is not needed. But the WWE would need to do a good job of convincing us that Morrison belongs in a WWE Title match. He is good in the ring, but his promo work leaves something to be desired.

But it seems that at the Royal Rumble, the WWE is always willing to give somebody new a chane at the title. The Rumble match sells itself, and the more already made main eventers in it the better. Having Miz and Morrison in a WWE Title match at the Rumble is not the worst idea in the world, so I'm picking Morrison here. Plus the WWE doesn't have to worry about Miz/Morrison carrying RAW, because they still have Cena/Nexus and Randy Orton to carry the show.

Winner: John Morrison

Chairs Match: Wade Barrett vs John Cena

Remember when I gave this rivalry Feud of the Year. Yeah, I'm already regeretting that. This feud ahs quickly gone south. Ever since Survivor Series, the Nexus has been made to look absolutely horrible by John "Super" Cena. As I have said previosuly, it would have been so nice to have Cena off of TV for a month. It would give other people a chance to step up into the main event position. It could also make Cena's charater a bit more fresh once he did return to TV. Instead, Cena was back on TV a week after his "goodbye" speech after Survivor Series. It made Cena's speech, which seemed slightly believeable, look like an absolute farce. The quick hiring back of John Cena also essentailly spit in the face of everyone who bought Survivor Series to see the outcome of the "Free or Fired" match. Now it's back to business as usual for Cena and the WWE. It seemed like they were almost nervous to take Cena off TV, fearing a drop in ratings. But those are the risks you have to take to attract new viewers, build new stars, and make your product interesting again. But that's enough bashing of the angle, lets get to the match.

The problem with this match is that no matter who wins, I still see the feud continuing into the Royal Rumble, because neither man has an opponent waiting for them. Cena has been made to look good since after the Survivor Series. Usually when that happens, you can expect the opponenet to win. But that is not the case with Cena. Cena is made to look good almost all of the time, which is why him joining Nexus was something different, and made people actually sympathize with him. The Nexus, sans a beatdown on Cena mid-show last week, are slowly losing any heat they had left. A win here for Barrett would do him wonders in regaining his heel heat. I'm afraid to pick Barrett because this is Cena's PPV return match, but I think it has to happen. They can drag this thing out until the Royal Rumble and have the final blowoff there, which is why I see Barrett winning here. It would make no sense to have Cena win here, then again at the Rumble. But this is the WWE creative team, so logic is out the window. But I'm still picking Barrett.

WINNER: Wade Barrett

WWE Championship Tables Match
The Miz (c) vs Randy Orton

This match is simple: put your oppoenet through the table, win the match. I think the reason this match is a Tables Match is simple: to protect Randy Orton. They want Orton to take a clean pinfall here. They still want to attempt to maintain his "badass" face persona. The Miz has been a refreshing change atop the WWE. He doesn't look out of place one bit. It's also nice for the WWE to be getting all of this publicity out of Miz's title run. He's been doing interviews all over, including ESPN. That's alot of publicity for a title change. I think the Miz can hold onto the title until Wrestlemania, but it is all up to the WWE to keep faith in him as champ.

I think the outcome of this match is simple. The WWE shouldn't take the title off of Miz this early. It's not like he looks out of place with it. It would make The Miz look weak and leave him aboslutely no credibility. He has to have an extended title run, and by extended I mean at least a couple months, to make himself look good as champ. It didn't help that it took Alex Riley and Alberto del Rio to help him beat Rey Mysterio on RAW Monday. It would be nice to see him at least win a couple matches with no help. Sadly, I think that won't be the case here. I'm sure Alex Riley will attempt to get involved, and I can also see Michael Cole playing into the finish of the match. Either with their help or not, the Miz is walking away with the WWE Title here. Orton enters the Rumble, and Miz gets Morrison.


Fatal 4 Way TLC Match for the World Championship
Kane (c) vs Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Alberto del Rio

Sorry, but this is  a Smackdown spoiler considering I think I'll have this blog up about 30 minutes before the official announcement. Apparently, the word going around is that the two matches were combined because they were worried about running over time on the PPV. They also felt Kane was too limited to put on a good TLC match with Edge, so they decided to include Rey Mysterio and Alberto del Rio. I don't mind the move. Rey/del Rio and Kane/Edge have been the two top feuds on Smackdown all fall, so putting them together into one match isn't the worst idea. Mysterio and Edge should be able to pull off some good spots, and del Rio is no slouch so he should do well too. Kane is ok but a TLC match isn't his specialty, but he is more than capable of holding his own in this match. I feel like this match will go on last, especially if they want to space out the three ladder matches on the PPV.

Now, onto who wins. I think Kane is the first person you can eliminate. He's had a decent run with the title, and it was nice to finally see someone hold the title for an extended period of time. Yes, by today's standards, 5 months is extended. But it is defeinitely time for a change at the top. Rey Mysterio would be the next person I would eliminate. He doesn't need the title, and he is injured so much lately that putting it on him would probably have more risks than benefits. Plus both of his previous title runs have to be considered disappointments, so I don't see why a third is needed. That leaves us with Edge and Alberto del Rio. I think these two are starting a feud after this PPV, so it all depends on how the WWE wants to book it. Do they want Edge chasing the title? Do they want both of their champions to be up and coming heels rather than established main eventers? I don't know if the WWE wants to take that risk. I would, but I don't work for them. Surprisngly, Edge hasn't held a World Title since June 2009. He fought for it earlier this year, but never won it. That's why I think Edge wins here. The WWE will want to send the fans home happy, and this is their best opportunity to do it.


That's all for today and the week. I'll be back with a review of this PPV Monday.

Until next time,
Justin C

Thursday, December 16, 2010

JC's Take: NFL Week 15 Picks

JC's Take: NFL Week 15 Picks

Hey everyone, welcome back for my Week 15 picks. Lots of good games this week so lets get right to it!

San Francisco 49ers vs San Diego Chargers
Both of these team are coming off of big wins this past week. The 49ers took care of Seattle, and have come within a game of the lead in the NFC West, even at 5-8. The Chargers shutout the Chiefs 31-0 and are also a game back in their division. It seems like the Chargers may have gotten their traditional December swagger back. The 49ers, meanwhile, still have Alex Smith at QB. While he played well last week, I find it hard to bank on two straight solid performances from him. The Chargers still have one of the best offenses in the league, as well as one of the best defenses. I like the Chargers here to continue their run back to the top of the AFC West.

San Diego 31  San Francisco 17

Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Battle of Ohio is pretty much the Battle of Blah this late in the season. Probably nobody thought the Browns would have a better record than the Bengals this late in the season. I'm surprised it took this long, but the wheels are finally coming off in Cincy. T.O. is calling out the coaches and management for the bad season. Still no word from Ochocinco, but I think he knows better by now to keep his mouth shut. Colt McCoy should be back at QB for the Browns this week, and that's good news for them. Jake Delhomme is not a great QB, and should probably consider retirement at the end of the year. If McCoy starts, I like the Browns chances. Their still trying, where as I'm sure the Bengals packed it in three weeks ago.

Cleveland 20  Cincinnati 17

Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys
I'm sure people who love this classic NFC East rivalry thought this game would mean more this late in the season. Instead, both teams are floundering. The Redskins are in disarray, and Donovan McNabb may not even start this week. Just another great investment by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. The Cowboys are keeping games competitive, but fell short last week against Philadelphia. They were torched by Mike Vick and DeSean Jackson. Good news for the Cowboys is that the Redskins hardly have any weapons on offense for the Cowboys to worry about. The Boys win this one at home.

Dallas 30  Washington 20

Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans
This game could easily be called the Disappointment Bowl. The Texans came into this season with high expectations, but they've again faultered into mediocrity. The Titans were in first place in the AFC South at the midway point, but they've lost six straight and their seems to be a schism growing in the locker room. The Texans played hard on Monday night but couldn't finish the deal against the Ravens. The Titans almost cameback against Indy but couldn't pull it off. If I had to pick a winner, I guess I'd go with Houston since they seem to still be trying. And keep an eye out for Andre Johnson vs Cortland Finnegan Round 2.

Houston 23  Tennessee 16

Kansas City Chiefs vs St. Louis Rams
It's not time to hit the red alert button in Kansas City, but I might be worried if I scored zero points against San Diego, even with Brodie Croyle at QB. Now they have to go to St. Louis and play a young Rams team that is very good at home. Matt Cassel is back practicing with the Chiefs, and he is expected to play this week. That's good news for them. The Rams are still in first in the NFC West, but they need to keep winning to maintain that spot. They also need to hope Sam Bradford doesn't hit a rookie wall late, but I don't think he will. I like the Rams to step up here and attempt to take control of the NFC West race.

St. Louis 27  Kansas City 23

Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins
Just when you think the Dolphins are dead, they come back with a great defensive performance against the Jets. There offense still needs some work, and I think it will keep them out of the playoffs again, but their defense is good. Cameron Wake is an absolute beast and a nightmare for any coach to gameplan against. The Bills won an ugly game last week against Cleveland. They continue to beat lesser teams, so it will be interesting to see how they do in these last three weeks against three good AFC teams, all divisional rivals. Unfortunately, I like the Dolphins to win here. They know they need this win to keep playoff hopes alive. The Bills are without Lee Evans at WR the rest of the year, which will probably hurt their offense even though he hasn't been a factor recently. But the Dolphins win a close one.

Miami 26  Buffalo 21

Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
All the Bucs do? Beat lesser teams. Nothing wrong with that, especially if it gets you into the playoffs. The Bucs are right in the thick of things in the NFC Wild Card race. Josh Freeman is growing leaps and bounds this year at QB and looks to be a mainstay under center for the Bucs. The Lions upset the Packers last week in an ugly 7-3 contest. It was more of an abberation then anything. Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game, and the Lions dealt with the inexperienced Matt Flynn at QB. Either way, I like the Bucs to win this week and stay in the playoff race. They'll be in it until the end.

Tampa Bay 28  Detroit 14

Arizona Cardinals vs Carolina Panthers
Ugh. This is one of those games when you feel bad for the announcers calling it, because you know it means they are the low men on the totem pole. I bet the Panthers wish they had Jay Feely under center this season, because he looked better than any other Panthers QB this season. I feel bad wasting space on this game. Lets give the Panthers win number two on the year.

Carolina 17  Arizona 13

Atlanta Falcons vs Seattle Seahawks
Have you seen the Seahawks defense? In their last 5 losses, they've given up 33 points or more. That's not a good thing. Luckily for them, they play in the NFC West. So even with these numbers and a 6-7 record, they're still in a tie for first place. The Falcons are playing every bit like the best team in the NFC. You have to be worried like most teams are going on these cross country road trips. But the Falcons are too good of a football team to let that effect them. I think it'll be close because of it, but I still like the Falcons in the end.

Atlanta 31  Seattle 21

Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders
Could the Tim Tebow era soon be coming to Denver. He's getting more first team reps in practice. I think if anything, you have to give him a couple games under center to see if he is the real deal. The new coach will want to see some actual NFL game film of him. The Raiders followed up a big win at San Diego with a heartbreaker at Jacksonville. There not out of the AFC West race at 6-7, but they essentially need to win out and hope the Chargers and Chiefs faulter. Even if Tebow plays, the Broncos looked like a team that has already packed it in. Give me the Raiders in this one.

Oakland 35  Denver 23

Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings
No Metrodome again this week for Minnesota. Instead, they'll be playing at the University of Minnesota football field, which is rock hard and still covered with snow. And the Vikings have no idea who will be playing at QB. Tavaris Jackson has been put on injured reserve, and Brett Favre may not ne ready. That could mean Patrik Ramsey, who has been with the team all of four days, could start. The Bears are trying to regroup from last week's mess in the snow against New England. They're a better team than that, and I think they will show it this week.

Chicago 21  Minnesota 13

Now for the Big 5 of the week...

Green Bay Packers vs New England Patriots
Aaron Rodgers holds the keys to this game. If he plays, the Packers have a chance. If he doesn't, the Pats will roll. Flynn is just too inexperienced at QB, and I'm sure Bill Belichick will expose that during the game. The offense of New England looks every bit as good as in their Super Bowl years. They have to be considered the favorites in the AFC, especially if the defense keeps playing as well as they have been. I think even if Rodgers plays, he won't be 100%, which is why I'm taking the Patriots in this one. They've been on a role as of late and I don't see that stopping anytime soon.

New England 35  Green Bay 24

Baltimore Ravens vs New Orleans Saints
The Ravens have to be concerned with their defense after that game Monday night. By the 4th quarter, they looked gased. The Texans were driving down the field on them at will. Now, they get one of the best offenses in the league in New Orleans. Drew Brees won't show any mercy on them. I'm sure the Saints have looked at game tape all week and now the key to overcoming Baltimore's defense is long sustained drives. These next two games are big for the Saints. They've played some cupcakes on their current win streak, and now play Baltimore then on the road at Atlanta. Even still, I think the Saints take this one. Their offense will be able to overcome the Ravens defense in the end, and their defense should be able to do just enough to win. Lets just hope Darren Sharper doesn't get caught by Joe Flacco on an interception return.

New Orleans 28  Baltimore 24

New York Jets vs Pittsburgh Steelers
It doesn't get any easier for the Jets. Now they have to go to Pittsburgh and play in one of the toughest venues to play in in the league. The Jets offense just looks terrible, and it all starts with the "Sanchize" Mark Sanchez. He will face a heavy pass rush from James Harrison and the rest of the Steelers defense. That could mean a heavy dose of Shonn Greene for the Jets. The Steelers, meanwhile, seems to have everything going well for them. Ben Roethisberger looks to be back in normal form, and the defense is shutting down opponents. But they too will have to worry about a heavy pass rush. The Steelers o-line isn't the greatest in the world, and the Jets should use that to their advantage. In the end, however, I think the Steelers take this one in a low-scoring affair.

Pittsburgh 17  NY Jets 12

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants
This one is simple. The winner is in the driver seat in the NFC East race and a potential first round bye. Last time these two teams played, the Eagles rode the back of Mike Vick to victory. We also learned that Eli Manning can't properly slide. It helps the Giants that they have Hakeem Nicks back at WR. It also helps that their running game is back and they have a two-headed monster with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. But the Eagles an counter that on offense with Mike Vick and their big playmaker, DeSean Jackson. This is the hardest one for me to pick out of the Big 5. The Giants play well at home, but can also be beat there. I have to go with Philadelphia here. Mike Vick and DeSean Jackson make one more big play in the end.

Philadelphia 24  NY Giants 23

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis Colts
This one has the biggest implications of all of the Big 5. The Colts HAVE to win here, no ifs, ands or buts. If they lose, the Jaguars take the division and the Colts are golfing early for the first time in years. The Jags are playing some great football recently, and seem to have destiny on their side. They should be riding the back of Maurice Jones-Drew in this one, because the Colts can't stop the run. Peyton Manning needs to keep it simple this game. Don't try to do too much. Don't force anything. He should have Austin Collie back this week, which is big. It gives him another weapon to use on offense. The Jags defense is vulnerable and Peyton should be able to take care of that. It hurts that they don't have any type of solid running game to fall back on. I see this one being high scoring, and in the end, I'll take Peyton and the Colts. They're playing at home, and they have the experience on their side.

Indianapolis 38  Jacksonville 33

That's all for today. WWE TLC PPV preview should be up late tomorrow.

Until next time,
Justin C

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

JC's Take: NFL Week 14 Review

JC's Take: NFL Week 14 Review

Hey everyone, welcome back for my review of anything and everything from Week 14 of the NFL

Team of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars
-Yes, it is finally time to give credit to this team. They just keep finding ways to win. Down 24-10 at one point, the Jags came back to win 38-31 against Oakland and maintain a one game lead on the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South. They've been riding the back of Maurice Jones-Drew during this great stretch, as they should. The guy is one of the best backs in the league. David Garrard once again looks to have found his form. The defense, while still giving up big points and yards, is doing just enough to keep them in games and not cost the team anything. Next week they have a chance to seal the division with a win at Indy.

Game of the Week: Baltimore Ravens 34  Houston Texans 28 (OT)
-There really was no game that stood out as being good this week. This game wasn't good in the beginning. It was all Baltimore in the first half. But then the Texans fought back in the 2nd half, as they have been doing all year. The Ravens defense, as pointed out many times by Jon Gruden, looked gased in that second half, and that has to be a concern for them come playoff time. But in the end, it was the defense that won the Ravens the game with Josh Wilson picking off Matt Schaub and returning it for a touchdown in overtime. You have to feel for the Texans. This is the third time they've come from behind in the second half this year, only to lose in the end. That more than likely will cost Gary Kubiak his job.

Goat of the Week: Sal Alosi, New York Jets Strength & Conditioning Coach
-What else can be said that hasn't already be said. What Alosi did was just terrible. I'm glad he's suspended for the rest of the year without pay. There is absolutely no place for that in the game. I know you can get caught up in the moment at times, but tripping another player is taking that to the extreme. Imagine if the Jets would have ran that punt back for a touchdown. But with the way the Jets have been playing recently, I guess they'll try anything to win.

Other Week 14 Notes:
-If Aaron Rodgers is out for an extended period of time, or even just this week's game against New England, the Packers are in trouble. Matt Flynn does not have enough game experience to lead the Packers into the playoffs. And you have to think that Bill Belichick is just salavating at the thought of game-planning for Flynn next Sunday night. The Packers only managed 3 points against the lowly Lions Sunday. That's bad. And now the Packers are a full game pack in the Wild Card. Luckily for them, the Bears also looked bad in defeat against New England. Snow or no snow, you can't look that bad. The Patriots had no problem with it, so neither should the Bears.

-As much as I don't like the guy, I have to give credit to Brett Favre for his 297 consecutive games streak. It takes alot to play that many games in a row. You're more than likely going to be playing through an injury at some point. I think he has become too much of a drama queen the last couple years, but you can't take away from the impressive stats he has put up over the years. The guy definitely deserves his spot in Canton.

-The AFC West is an open race again. The Chargers shut out a Matt Cassel-less Chiefs squad, and are now a game back of the Chiefs. The Chargers have a very managable schedule in their last three, starting with San Francisco at home Thursday night. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have to go on the road to St. Louis, where the Rams play their best football. Even with Matt Cassel at QB, I think I'd still pick the Rams to win. I think in the end, the Chargers once again find their late December magic and find a way to win the AFC West.

-Houston, we have a problem in Jets land. Even at 9-4, they still may find a way to miss the playoffs. They have a tough remaining schedule, going on the road to play Pittsburgh and Chicago before returning home to play a Buffalo Bills team that is looking forward to playing spoiler. Mark Sanchez has looked absolutely terrible the last two games, and it looks like age may be catching up to LT late in the season. And now you have Santonio Holmes dropping wide open passes in the end zone. The Jets need to hope the three 7-6 teams behind them keep losing, because I don't see them winning the next two games.

-The Eagles are going to be a tough out in January. And teams better hope they win the division, because I wouldn't want to see them in the Wild Card round as a road oppenent. DeSean Jackson is a one man nightmare for opposing secondaries, and Mike Vick is finding him. Teams can double team him all they want, but it still doesn't seem to stop him. I'm not a fan of him celebrating before reaching the end zone, but it's not like he didn't have the right too.

1. Atlanta Falcons (11-2, #1 last week)- They looked like men against boys at Carolina. Until they lose they'll have claim to this spot.

2. New England Patriots (11-2, #2)- They have to be considered the clear cut favorite to reach the Super Bowl in the AFC.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3, #3)- What would happen if Troy Polamalu cut his hair? Would he lose all of his magical play making ability?

4. New Orleans Saints (10-3, #5)- The next two games will tell alot about this team: on the road at Baltimore and Atlanta.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4, #7)- Vick is playing so well I think I'd want his autograph too.

6. Baltimore Ravens (9-4, #6)- The defense allowed the Texans to comeback. That has to be a concern going forward.

7. Chicago Bears (9-4, #4)- They better hope that bad game was just becuase of the snow, because the schedule doesn't get any easier.

8. New York Giants (9-4, #11)- The extra day off helped them I guess. They'll be scary once the offense is healthy, because that running game is back and better than ever.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5, #12)- Huge game at Indy this week. They can sew up the division and finally put any doubters they have left away for good.

10. Green Bay Packers (8-5, #8)- Hoping Aaron Rodgers gets healthy. Fast.

11. San Diego Chargers (7-6, #16)- There's something about the Chargers and December. Maybe Norv Turner remembers he might actually lose his job if they don't start winning.

12. New York Jets (9-4, #9)- At least the Jets have the Yankees missing out on Cliff Lee as a temporary distraction this week.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5, #13)- Sending early Xmas gifts to the Eagles as motivation to beat the Giants this week. Also sending Xmas gifts to the giants as well.

14. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5, #10)- Hoping none of their other key components have to have any organs removed for the rest of the season.

15. Indianapolis Colts (7-6, #17)- It all rides on this week's game, otherwise Indy will be golfing early for the first time in years.

16. Miami Dolphins (7-6, #19)- They're lucky the Jets offense is struggling worse than theirs. They probably would have gotten smoked by any other team except Carolina.

17. St. Louis Rams (6-7, #14)- Seattle lost so they are still in first. They have two in a row at home, which plays to their advantage.

18. Oakland Raiders (6-7, #15)- Apparently there is unrest between Tom Cable and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. Hey, the offense just scored 31 points, it's not their fault they lost.

19. Cleveland Browns (5-8, #18)- After seeing him in person this week, I can safely say Jake Delhomme has no place as a starting QB on a football field.

20. San Francisco 49ers (5-8, #26)- They catapult up after a great offensive performance, with Alex Smith at QB. And now they're only a game back in the NFC West.

21. Dallas Cowboys (4-9, #21)- What's the point in bringing Romo back in Week 16? Just give the guy time to heal, and vacation early.

22. Seattle Seahawks (6-7, #20)- Matt Hasselbeck, even if they win the division, should be done next year.

23. Houston Texans (5-8, #23)- Bill Cowher rumors are surfacing. It was only a matter of time.

24. Minnesota Vikings (4-9, #22)- Well if that was Tavaris Jackson's second act, he better hope he has a good third.

25. Washington Redskins (5-8, #24)- That missed extra point has to be Albert Haynesworth's fault.

26. Tennessee Titans (5-8, #25)- Randy Moss's face is now appearing on milk cartons in the Tennessee area.

27. Buffalo Bills (3-10, #27)- Still playing hard, but losing out on the opportunity to get a top defensive playmaker in the draft.

28. Arizona Cardinals (4-9, #29)- Ken Wisenhunt considering allowing Jay Feely to start at QB next week.

29. Detroit Lions (3-10, #30)- That's one way to win, take out the other teams's starting QB.

30. Denver Broncos (3-10, #28)- Letting a kicker dominate you has to be the low point of the season.

31. Cincinnati Bengals (2-11, #31)- Carson Palmer having nightmares of Troy Polamalu, and Terrell Owens.

32. Carolina Panthers (1-12, #32)- With word Andrew Luck may stay in school, the future looks bleak. Hey, look at it this way Panthers fans, Jake Delhomme could still be your QB!

1. John Fox, Carolina
2. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati
3. Gary Kubiak, Houston
4. Jeff Fisher, Tennessee
5. Mike Singeltary, San Francisco

1. New England Patriots (11-2)- Clinched Playoff Spot
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5)
4. Jacksonville Jagaurs (8-5)
5. Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
6. New York Jets (9-4)
7. San Diego Chargers (7-6)
8. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
9. Miami Dolphins (7-6)

1. Atlanta Falcons (11-2)
2. Chicago Bears (9-4)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4)
4. St. Louis Rams (6-7)
5. New Orleans Saints (10-3)
6. New York Giants (9-4)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
8. Green Bay Packers (8-5)

Three Games I'd Like To See Next Week
Indianapolis vs Jacksonville- The Colts last stand.
Philadelphia vs NY Giants- Winner takes driver seat in NFC East race.
NY Jets vs Pittsburgh- It doesn't get any easier for Rex Ryan & Co.

That's all for today. NFL Picks most likely up late tomorrow.

Until next time,
Justin C