Archive for the ‘Carolina Panthers’ Category

From their game earlier this year, but still so funny. Look at Peyton slowly turning into Archie and the maniacal stare on Brady’s face.

 

CHECK OUT THE 5th EPISODE OF THE PT SPORTS DEBATE now:

On the 5th episode of the PT Sports Debate we are talking NFL Playoffs! Specifically, we do a recap of all the games played this past weekend and give our predictions for the upcoming Championship games.  You can follow us and ask questions on Twitter @PTSportsDebate

Thanks for listening everybody, hope you enjoy.

Stiltz and Ush

Ush goes perfect on picks this week, getting to 7-1 on the playoffs. Check out his predictions from last Thursday here Divisional Picks

Here is an excerpt from that post:

USH (3-1 in the playoffs)

Seahawks over Saints

With the potential of HEAVY rains in Seattle Saturday, I’m taking the home team. The weather will affect Drew Brees, and although the running game for the Saints has been much improved the last few weeks, I think that the Seattle defense will be able to contain it without the threat that the NO passing game brings in a good weather game. I also think that the Eagles laid the blueprint for containing Jimmy Graham which is to be physical with him early and often. They hit him every chance they could, and it affected him to the tune of only 3 catches for 44 yards. I think that the Seahawks follow the same mold, and lean on beast mode and Russell Wilson’s legs to bring BIG BALLS PETE a chance to host the NFC Championship game.

Pats over Colts

I know we have been pumping up Lord Andrew over and over, and there is no doubt that he can go to Foxboro and get the W. At the end of the day however, I think Aqib Talib matches up on TY Hilton, and Belicheck decides to make the Indy running game beat them. Will I be shocked if Luck gets it done? Not at all, I just don’t think his team is quite good enough to go into New England and beat the Pats. This Pats team is not the Chiefs, and if the Colts start slow like they did last week, the home crowd and multitude of Chiefs errors will not be there to bail them out this week.

Niners over Panthers

Hopefully this game isn’t the snooze fest that the game a couple of weeks ago was. Both defenses are sick, and specifically the linebacking play in this game will be something to see. I see Cam and Kaep as similar QBs in their ability to take over games, I think that Kaep’s weapons are worlds better than Cam’s though. Now that Crabtree is back and Boldin can go back to being the complimentary zone killer that he has made his career on, the 49ers offense is picking up steam. I don’t see Cam’s supporting cast providing enough help to make that the case.

Broncos over Chargers

This one hurts me to say, and I have never hoped to be more wrong on a pick, but I don’t think my Bolts get it done in Denver for the second time in a month. The Bolts won their previous trip here by controlling the ball with a punishing ground game, and keeping the ball out of Peyton’s hands. This is clearly the ticket if they are going to try and pull off the upset again, but I think that Denver will make adjustments based on that previous matchup. For that reason, I think that if the Charger’s are able to pass to set up the run, and get pressure on Peyton early to get his footwork off, they can get it done. I just don’t think it happens. If the Bolts win, I will pick them the rest of the way, hopefully to the tune of my 40-1 Vegas odds I played when the playoffs started.

ATS Picks 15-4-2 last 4 weeks

Colts +8

Chargers +10

Below is the 4th episode of the PT Sports Debate podcast. My apologies on the fact that it is only on the Wild Card recap, we had some computer issues and the second half of the podcast(Divisional round predictions) was never recorded. Hope you guys enjoy the first half at least, and we’ll throw in our divisional round predictions as well.


You can subscribe and follow the podcast here:
PT Sports Debate

Divisional Round

Stiltz (3-1 in the playoffs)

Saturday Games:

Saints over Seahawks

I like the upset this week in Seattle. New Orleans is going to be playing with a lot of confidence after going up to Philly and shutting down that high powered offense. I think the Saints D is going to have another great game, partly because Seattle has had offensive line issues this season. Also, because Seattle really doesn’t have a ton of playmakers on offense. The X factor in this game has to be Percy Harvin, if he can play and do anything Harvinlike in this game the Saints would be in a lot of trouble. Drew Brees didn’t have a great game last week, he needs to play a clean game this week in order for the Saints to win. That means that they need to get that running game GOINGGGG!! Mark Ingram, Robinson, Sproles, and Pierre Thomas(If he plays) need to have another strong day on the ground. For as good as Seattle’s D has been this season, teams have been able to run up the middle on them.  Seattle hasn’t been playing their best ball as of late and they have looked vulnerable up there in Seattle, for once in a loooong time. New Orleans is going to get their revenge from that 31-7 drubbing and playoff loss from a 7-9 Seahawks team led by one Matthew Hasselback!

Colts over Pats

What? He is picking another underdog. The quick response is WHY THE HELL NOT?! It is now basketball season in my house due to the Pack being eliminated and I’m riding the Colts train to the Super Bowl. After that improbable comeback last week in Indy, I don’t know how you can bet against the Colts. They are playing their best football at the end of the year, Andrew the Giant is never phased and the Pats are beatable at home. Let’s face it, this is Tom Brady’s worst season statistically in a loong time. Before you say it’s because he doesn’t have insert WR/TE name here, Brady has put up big numbers without the marquee names at wideout for most of his career. Their offense just doesn’t look that great this year, and if Mathis can be a factor in this game the Pats will fall. Colts are a big underdog and I haven’t heard of many people picking the Colts, I just like this team’s resolve. I think Donald Brown and dare I say it, TRICH!, will have a nice game running the ball on a Pats defense that really can’t stop the run. Pep Hamilton sure as hell would love to run the ball the entire game, and dominate that Time of Possession. I think the Colts will go up to Foxboro this weekend, and make a lot of people believers in this team. One last note, be ready to hear a ridiculous amount of coverage on Luck if this does happen.

Sunday Games:

Niners over Panthers

Another road team? The insanity I tell you. I just watched this Niners team, live, go up to Lambeau and play in the coldest conditions I have ever experienced. They are a tough football team who wants to get back to the Super Bowl. I think they are hungrier than this Carolina team, who have little to no playoff experience. Jim Harbaugh is one of the top three coaches in all of football in my opinion, and I really don’t trust Ron Rivera. Cam Newton has not looked good towards the end of the season, almost like his play in the beginning of the year. Their offense is also lacking a lot of playmakers, the 49ers aren’t going to be worried about too many other guys besides #1. This is going to be a defensive struggle, but I think the Niners will have the better game plan. The X factor will be Michael Crabtree, who wasn’t in this last meeting when the Panthers won in a barn burner 10-9. Crabtree and Kap just have a nice chemistry and makes their offense watchable. Just having Crab out there will open up other wideouts and Vernon Davis. In this scenario, the Niners would then go on to host the NFC Championship against the Saints in what would be the last ever game played at Candlestick park. It would also be a rematch of a 2012 playoff classic!

Before I type it, would you be surprised at this point if I picked another ROOOAAADD DAWWWWGGGG. Warriors come out to play!!!

Chargers over Broncos

I don’t even know why the Broncos play for home field advantage when their style is clearly better suited in warm/dome weather. If you look at all of the games from last weekend, the only high scoring affair was the Colts/Chiefs which occurred indoors. People were saying the Saints/Eagles game was going to produce over 1,000 yards of offense and a ton of points….well it didn’t. This is playoff football, and it is freaking cold outside last time I checked. If it’s cold for a 29 year old who has zero surgeries, I wonder how cold and bothered #18 will be out there after being in the league for over 15 years and having multiple surgeries. I don’t like Peyton in this game, last year his numbers were pedestrian at best. He threw a couple of picks, the Broncos had two Special Teams touchdowns, and he couldn’t seal the game for the team. Granted, they still should have won against the Ravens this Broncos defense is a lot worse than last year’s team. The Chargers have a good offense, and that running game just owned the number 3 Defense in the league in Cincy. You think they are worried about one of the worst run defenses in the league stopping their three headed backfield of Matthews, Brown and Woodhead. I think Mccoy will rely heavily on the run game, and Philip Rivers will put up better number than Peyton. The Chargers winning would wrap up another wild weekend in the NFL, with all four road teams winning. Hey people, the only home team that one last week was the Colts and we all know how that game played out.

Super Bowl prediction right now:

NINERS over Colts

In my scenario, I think the Niners and Colts would advance on to the Super Bowl to battle in out in Jersey. I love the Niners in this matchup in a duel between Andrewson and his Mr. Miyagi(Harbaugh). I really think the Niners are the hottest team in football, one of the best coached teams and most importantly one of the deepest teams in the league. Aldon Smith is back playing like himself, they have all those studs at LB, healthy at the right time and ready to get that 6th Lombardi.

USH (3-1 in the playoffs)

Seahawks over Saints

With the potential of HEAVY rains in Seattle Saturday, I’m taking the home team. The weather will affect Drew Brees, and although the running game for the Saints has been much improved the last few weeks, I think that the Seattle defense will be able to contain it without the threat that the NO passing game brings in a good weather game. I also think that the Eagles laid the blueprint for containing Jimmy Graham which is to be physical with him early and often. They hit him every chance they could, and it affected him to the tune of only 3 catches for 44 yards. I think that the Seahawks follow the same mold, and lean on beast mode and Russell Wilson’s legs to bring BIG BALLS PETE a chance to host the NFC Championship game.

Pats over Colts

I know we have been pumping up Lord Andrew over and over, and there is no doubt that he can go to Foxboro and get the W. At the end of the day however, I think Aqib Talib matches up on TY Hilton, and Belicheck decides to make the Indy running game beat them. Will I be shocked if Luck gets it done? Not at all, I just don’t think his team is quite good enough to go into New England and beat the Pats. This Pats team is not the Chiefs, and if the Colts start slow like they did last week, the home crowd and multitude of Chiefs errors will not be there to bail them out this week.

Niners over Panthers

Hopefully this game isn’t the snooze fest that the game a couple of weeks ago was. Both defenses are sick, and specifically the linebacking play in this game will be something to see. I see Cam and Kaep as similar QBs in their ability to take over games, I think that Kaep’s weapons are worlds better than Cam’s though. Now that Crabtree is back and Boldin can go back to being the complimentary zone killer that he has made his career on, the 49ers offense is picking up steam. I don’t see Cam’s supporting cast providing enough help to make that the case.

Broncos over Chargers

This one hurts me to say, and I have never hoped to be more wrong on a pick, but I don’t think my Bolts get it done in Denver for the second time in a month. The Bolts won their previous trip here by controlling the ball with a punishing ground game, and keeping the ball out of Peyton’s hands. This is clearly the ticket if they are going to try and pull off the upset again, but I think that Denver will make adjustments based on that previous matchup. For that reason, I think that if the Charger’s are able to pass to set up the run, and get pressure on Peyton early to get his footwork off, they can get it done. I just don’t think it happens. If the Bolts win, I will pick them the rest of the way, hopefully to the tune of my 40-1 Vegas odds I played when the playoffs started.

ATS Picks 15-4-2 last 4 weeks

Colts +8

Chargers +10

Hey here are our picks for the week, you can listen to them on the latest podcast.

STILTZ: 13-3

Panthers over Falcons
Bengals over Ravens
Texans over Titans
Colts over Jags
Miami over Jets
Vikings over Lions
Giants over Redskins
Steelers over Browns
Broncos over Raiders
Pats over Bills
Saints over Bucs
Cards over 49ers
Chargers over Chiefs
Seahawks over Rams
Packers over Bears
Philly over Dallas

USH: 14-2

Panthers over Falcons
Bengals over Ravens
Titans over Texans
Colts over Jags
Jets over Miami
Lions over Vikings
Redskins over Giants
Steelers over Browns
Broncos over Raiders
Pats over Bills
Saints over Bucs
49ers over Cards
Chargers over Chiefs
Seahawks over Rams
Pack over Bears
Philly over Cowboys

ATS bets of the week:
Carolina -6.5
Jets +5.5
Detroit +3

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Listen to Ep. 2 NFL Week 17 picks now!

E-mail exchange the past couple of days

STILTZ:

Hey Ush,

What was your biggest surprise from yesterday’s games? We tied this week in picks regardless of what happens tonight since we both have the Niners.

USH:

I had three big surprises yesterday. First, was the Seahawks/Arizona game. Being able to go on the road to Seattle, and grind out a victory in spite of my man Heisman Palmer was very impressive. It’s no secret that the Arizona defense is one of the best and most physical in the league, but to see them absolutely bully the Seahawks at home was unexpected. The Cardinals exposed the Seahawks weakness, which is their WR corps. By being physical and being disciplined in their pursuit of Russel Wilson, they were able to prevent the Seahawks from getting into a flow completely.

Secondly, I was surprised with the Saints/Panthers game. Not with the outcome, it was sure to be a close game between two of the top teams in the NFC, but first, the damn near hurricane that it was played in for much of the game, and then the fact that Cam Newton was able to engineer a closing seconds game winning drive to end it. It seemed like a reversal of roles to me. Cam looked uncomfortable and out of sync all game, but like the gamer that he is started slinging it with the game on the line to propel his team to victory. Two additional things: jesus did Carolina’s stadium look like an absolute sh*thole. There were clips of the water just pouring through holes in the upper decks onto the seats below which would have had me PISSED if I was anywhere near those seats. Also, no way anything that allows that much water to pour through can be safe. Second, Carolina’s Defense, and specifically Luke Keuchly is a damn beast.

**EDITOR’S NOTE: USH’S DREAM SEAT FOR THE PANTHERS GAME**

Third, was the absolute no shows by Chicago and Ravens. Both teams with a lot to play for, and they got their asses kicked. Inexcusable.

What about you man? Remember to pour some out for Tony Romo today, bummed to hear about his injury, but as a non Cowboys fan I hope that the fans realize what an awesome QB they have in him and appreciate him a little more when he comes back

STILTZ:

Yeah, the Romo injury sucks for all football fans. Whether you like him or not, the guy is a gamer. As much as the Eagles want to win the division, you know they wanted to beat the Cowboys with Romo at the helm. For as much crap as everybody gives the guy, he keeps the Cowboys in every game and that’s saying something with that horrendous defense they have this year. He throws the game winning touchdown yesterday, but the only story out of that game is his injury.

The Cardinals are easily one of the hottest teams in football and they may end up watching the playoffs from home. Top three defenses in the league right now: Seattle, Carolina and Arizona? I just love the way they are playing football, even with an over the hill Palmer. One of my biggest surprises is how vulnerable all of the potential playoff teams are looking. Seattle has some serious o-line issues and Percy Harvin missing the year has hurt them tremendously. They are desperate for a playmaker on the outside. Do you trust any of these teams?
We all know Denver’s defense has had the benefit of one of the top scoring offenses in the history of the NFL, and with Von Miller sidelined with a torn ACL I don’t know how far they can make it in the playoffs anymore. I’m wondering which team is going to step up here and make a run. With all of the injuries, it’s going to come down to good QB play, defense, and coaching. Of course it sounds simple, but there just aren’t many good coaches in the league or QBs for that matter.
So let’s get a list of pretenders or contenders. Here are mine, so I’m going to just predict who will be in the playoffs or not.
Pretenders:
Chiefs- Alex Smith can only get you so far. This week proved once again if the Chiefs are down, they are not coming back. They just can’t get the ball down the field fast enough. I don’t trust that defense, and their pass rush has done nothing as of late.
Bengals- Andy Dalton isn’t going to get it done. With an average QB like Dalton you really need an elite defense to mask his faults. Look at the 2003 Bucs, Brad Johnson at QB but they had the best defense in the league. 2000 Ravens, one of the best defenses of all time but Dilfer at QB. The Bengals defense is good but they aren’t great.
Carolina- I like their defense but question marks at Coach and QB for me. It was nice to see Cam make a game winning drive after playing poorly the entire game but I don’t think he’s ready to make any sort of run in the playoffs.
New Orleans- They’ve done it in the past but they had home field advantage that year. Saints having to potentially win 4 road games is too much to ask.
Dolphins- I don’t trust Tannehill in a big game, the Dolphins secondary, or the coach.
Contenders:
Seattle, San Fran, Pats- No reason needed
Eagles- Chip’s done a great job this year, the players have bought in and they love playing for him. Once that offense gets going we saw what could happen. The only thing that concerns me is the same thing that worried me when he was in the NCAA. We all saw what happened when the Ducks played Alabama/Stanford. Philly vs Seattle/San Fran, might be tough to watch for Eagles fans.
Colts- Last year they won all the close ones, this year they find ways to come back. They can be dominant on both sides of the ball and I love me some Andrew the giant. Sneaky AFC champ pick here
Broncos- Close to being a pretender with me just based off Peyton’s play in the winter and playoffs. You compound that with their defense and they aren’t that great. Only reason I have him here is the fact I think the AFC is soft so they can at least make it to the AFC Championship game.
Packers- Of course they turn into a pretender if Aaron doesn’t return. However, if he comes back that whole team will be playing with new life. Cobb even has a shot at returning in the playoffs which would make their offense that much better. Their defense is their weak spot, but with ARod and Lacy controlling TOP I think they can make a run.
7 contenders, 5 pretenders… Not bad. Thoughts on your contenders and pretenders?
USH:
To me, there are far less contenders, and way more pretenders. However, as we’ve seen in the past few years, one of these pretenders can get hot and win it all.

Contenders:
Seattle, Broncos, Colts, Pats
I was tempted to add both Carolina and New Orleans to this list, Carolina has a championship defense that will keep them in any game, and New Orleans has Drew Breeeeeeees. Cam and the defense are capable of leading them to the championship, but they lack the playmakers necessary, so they just miss. The Saints just have not been playing their best football late in the year, and that, combined with the fact that they will have to win games on the road, keeps them off the list for me.
Seattle is a contender for me for the obvious reasons: Sick defense, great running game, great young QB, best home field advantage in the NFL. All of these are legitimate reasons, but one reason I think they are MORE of a contender this week than they were a week ago is their loss to the Cardinals. I think it was a big wakeup call for them, and will be sobering enough to drive them to a championship. Their aura at home, along with Russel Wilson’s undefeated record, was broken. I think that this makes them step back as a team and realize that their ticket to the super bowl does not get punched when they clinch home field, and that will refocus this team when they may not have been before the loss.
The Broncos losing Von Miller obviously hurts them. Their defense has just been “good enough” all year as it is, and losing his ability to play in space and pressure the QB won’t help things. With the offense Peyton has, they will be in every game however. Welker will be healthy, and I think their loss to the Pats will teach them something about winning games in bad weather. During that game, the Broncos didn’t flex their normal game plan of passes to the perimeter and shots downfield. Those throws are most easily affected by the elements, and need to be pin point passes most often. What the Pats do when the weather gets bad is run a lot of dig routes to the inside, and quick hitches that allow Touchdown Tommy to drive the ball short distances and put it on his receivers. When the weather gets poor, I look for the Broncos to start doing this as well.
The Colts might be a surprising pick here, but this is how much I love Andrew Luck. Their defense is underrated, and with the emergence of Donald Brown they have been able to maintain a level of balance that helps Luck dominate. This is my pick for that lower seed to make a super bowl run.
New England will be a contender as long as they have Brady and Belichek. It is amazing how they have been able to adapt and cope with their injuries this year. Their three headed running game has been very effective recently, and Edelman and Amendola have provided the shiftiness and break off the line necessary to get the quick 5-8 yards hits that move the chains. Combine this with one of the best shut down defenders in the league, their ability to go into any environment and play well, and the coldest mo fo in the league under center and you have a super bowl combination. New England is likely the only team in the playoffs (ok maybe the Packers if they get there) that will be COMFORTABLE if its snowing or below zero out. That is a HUGE advantage.
Well Stiltz, Merry Christmas brother. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our friends and troops downrange, as well as their families and friends at home.