Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary – Atlanta Falcons Football Thursday Night Edition

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Here is one referee who really wants a playoff.

Bowl season officially begins for college football this weekend, with three games on Saturday. The afternoon starts with the Temple Owls taking on the Wyoming Cowboys in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Afterward, the MAC runner up Ohio faces Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. (fantastic name) In the nightcap, San Diego State plays Louisiana Lafayette in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. For some college football fanatics, these match-ups will be an interesting part of the college football bowl season. However, they could still take place before or during a playoff if there ever is one. Even if there is never a playoff system in major college football, hope springs eternal.

A look at key NFL match-ups

The National Football League is beginning to heat up because the pro game does have playoffs to look forward to. The Atlanta Falcons host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football tonight. The 8-5 Dirty Birds saved their season with a comeback victory over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers four days ago. A quick turnaround is not ideal, but the Jags are just 1-5 away from Jacksonville, and 4-9 overall. Atlanta can not afford a letdown at home after erasing a 23-7 halftime deficit last week.

The Falcons need at least ten wins to have a shot at the postseason in the crowded NFC. The Dirty Birds may need to win out, because 10 wins is not a sure playoff birth this year.  After tonight’s game the Falcons travel to New Orleans, before they host Tampa at home in the regular season finale. It is critical that the Falcons rise up and win on Thursday Night Football.



Tim Tebow Flavored Kool-Aid

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Tim Tebow kills his detractors with kindness.

If the Broncos win again this week then Kool-Aid needs to see if Tim Tebow wants his own flavor. Tebow mania has officially spread from college to the NFL.  Denver versus New England is being bet on five times more than a typical NFL regular season game. As a result the line for the Sunday afternoon game has moved up to 6.5, and then 7. Tim Tebow and the Broncos struck again last week, erasing a 10 point deficit late in the fourth quarter.  Bronco kicker Matt Prater deserves a ton of credit for his two long field goals, as does every Denver Bronco for believing in their unconventional offense. It will be interesting to see if Tebow and company can keep up if The Brady Bunch score early and often. The good news for the Broncos is that the Patriot defense comes into week 15 as the worst statistical defense in the NFL. Continue reading

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (Ocotober 28 – 30, 2011)

This Saturday is all about college football and the Georgia Bulldogs’ quest for redemption in Jacksonville.  But first, Major League Baseball takes center stage tonight for Game 7 of the World Series. Game 6 was fantastic, (I was fortunate enough to turn on my TV for what I thought would be the conclusion in the ninth inning.) Here’s hoping the Rangers have something left after losing in extras last night. Congratulations to both teams on a wonderful baseball season.



Tomorrow brings about a more serious tone. College Football enters its ninth week of regular season play. For the Dawg fans in Dixie, Georgia-Florida is not about having a good game, or may the best team win. Those cliches are out of the window. For Bulldog Nation, this Saturday is about winning at any cost. Georgia wide receiver  Malcolm Mitchell is doubtful for the game, but the Dawgs remain optimistic. If Georgia’s leading wide out can not play, it will be up to other receivers such as Marlon Brown, and Tavarres King to step up.

Although, the real key to success for the Dawgs is Isaiah Crowell. If the young tailback can get Georgia’s running game off to a fast start it would take a lot of pressure off of quarterback Aaron Murray. Georgia needs to pin the Florida Gators down early and make sure they don’t have a chance to get up. Defensively, the Dawgs need to prove that the Vanderbilt game two weeks ago was an aberration, and not a sign of things to come.

Elsewhere in college football there are a plethora of good  games throughout the day. Michigan State travels to Lincoln to take on Nebraska just one week after bushwhacking the Badgers. I’m not a fan of Taylor Martinez and it would be fun to see Michigan State and Wisconsin meet again at the end of the year. Look for the green and white to win a hard fought contest.

Among other intriguing match-ups is Baylor taking on BCS #3 Oklahoma State,while the Oklahoma Sooners try to rebound at Kansas State, and Stanford travels to USC to battle the Trojans.The BCS standings have helped bring more excitement to college football this year and week 9 will be no exception.

In pro football the Atlanta Falcons have a bye week following their big win in Detroit. While I will still pick five games in this blog there are only two games that look good on paper. First up, The Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to square off with the Steelers. After the Ravens lost to the Jaguars in a horrific Monday night game there is not a clear favorite in the AFC. The game between the Pats and Steelers will likely determine who the best team in the AFC is going into the second half of the season.

The Sunday night game features Dallas on the road at Philadelphia. Neither one of these teams have been able to live up to lofty preseason expectations, and they both need to win. If the Eagles lose they will be 2-5 and their season will be all but over. Andy Reid is too good of a coach for that to happen, the Eagles will fly at home.

Picks– College Football:

Michigan State won’t have a let down this week against Nebraska. Senior Spartan signal caller Kirk Cousins is determined to get Michigan State to a BCS bowl.



Michigan State 31, Nebraska 21

Baylor will attempt to burst Oklahoma State’s BCS bubble. The problem with that is Baylor’s defense has been dreadful. Oklahoma State wins again.

Oklahoma State 56, Baylor 31

Oklahoma may have watched their Bowl Championship Series title game hopes fade last week. This week, they play the role of dream crusher, ending the perfect season of the Wildcats.

Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 27

Andrew Luck versus Matt Barkley in prime time on Saturday night. Stanford wins as USC is still a year off probation away from becoming a Pac-12 powerhouse again.

Stanford 35, USC 21

The big Dawgs eat tomorrow afternoon. The main course? Gator.

Georgia 41, Florida 24

Picks–NFL quick picks this week due to falcons being off.

In a battle of rookie quarterbacks the Panthers beat the Vikings.

Carolina 34, Minnesota 24

Miami remains winless in their fight to get lucky.

NY Giants 28, Dolphins 10

Stafford beats Tebow just like in 2007.

Detroit 31, Denver 6

Big Ben and company out duel the Brady Bunch at home.

Pittsburgh 38, New England 34

Philadelphia wins at home to stay in the NFC playoff race.

Philadelphia 24, Dallas 20

Phenomenal weekend to be a sports fan. Enjoy. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!