Thursday, October 31, 2013

Michael Carter-Williams Flirts With Quadruple-Double In NBA Debut, Has Impressive Debut In Win Over Miami Heat

Wednesday in Philadelphia Allen Iverson officially announced his retirement from the game of basketball which garnered all the headlines and rightfully so, but a game was still scheduled to be played later that night. The Sixers kicked off the new season against Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Nobody (including myself) gave Philly any remote chance of winning the game but that’s exactly what they did. Fans came for Lebron but left talking about rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams as he collected 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 9 steals as the 76ers picked up a huge upset 114-110 victory over the defending champs. In addition to a great stat line Carter-Williams broke the NBA record for most steals in an NBA debut with his nine thefts.

First came Hal Greer, then Maurice Cheeks and not to long after that a guy named Iverson in the long line of great Sixers point guards, but is Michael Carter-Williams next? Maybe I’m a bit ahead of myself but Iverson was in the building last night and Carter-Williams had a debut that was better than Iverson, against the World Champions at that. Check the stats below.

Debut Stats (Iverson & Carter-Williams)

Iverson: 37 Minutes, 12-19 shooting, 30 points, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 rebounds
Carter-Williams: 36 minutes, 6-10 shooting, 22 points, 12 assists, 9 steals, 7 rebounds,

Now obviously I’m not sitting here saying he is better then Iverson, that would be insane to say right now, but you've got to be excited after last night if you are a Sixers fan. This guy was flirting with a quadruple-double. At 6-feet-6 inches the former Syracuse guard possesses the height and length that not only gives the Sixers great lineup flexibility but he also brings great defensive versatility as he can guard positions from point guard to small forward. He still needs to bulk up a little bit but his length will always allow him to get his hands on the basketball and create chances for him and his teammates on the fast break.

Management clearly believes in the kid due to the fact that they traded Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for him. After one game against the champs the Sixers are 1 for 1, now lets see how he plays for 81 more games. The true mark of any great player in this league is when teams game plan for you. Can you adjust back when that happens? Well if the new Sixers guard maintains a high level of play then he will be game planed for.

Keep ballin young fella!

The Informer's 2013-14 NBA Preview

Can LeBron James and the Miami Heat three-peat?

The 2013-14 NBA Season officially kicked off Tuesday night with the defending World Champion Miami Heat easily defeating the Chicago Bulls 107-95.

The Informer knows exactly what you are thinking right now: Didn’t the NBA season just end a month ago?

The answer is yes; however regardless of the shortened off-season LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant are all back in our lives for the next eight months.

Now obviously The Informer couldn’t let too much of the season begin without giving his predictions for the upcoming NBA marathon; so without “Freddy Adu” here is what The Informer knows will happen this season.

The Charlotte Bobcats will not be the worst team in basketball. That honor will go to the Philadelphia 76ers who have put together one of the most dreadful and least competitive rosters in recent memory.

(Editor's Note- The 76ers are 1-0 after beating the Heat on Wednesday night.)

Going from worst to first, the Heat will not break the Bulls record of 72-10, although they will finish with the NBA’s best record. Furthermore, Miami will win the Eastern Conference, thus reaching the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row.

Now the only question becomes: Will the Miami Heat three-peat?

The Informer promises he will answer this question, but in order to build the suspense we are going to move forward and answer this question at the end of the article.

Moving forward: Did you know that last year Kevin Durant became the first NBA player since Larry Bird to join the 50-40-90 club while scoring at least 28 points-per-game? The Informer actually thinks this season Durant will become the first player ever to join the 50-40-90 club while scoring at least 30 points-per-game.

Durant's season long scoring spree will be rewarded with his first regular season MVP award.

Speaking of great scorers, The Informer’s favorite player, Kobe Bryant, will make his 16th trip to the NBA All-Star game, he will be named to an All-NBA Team for the 16th time and finally “The Black Mamba” will lead the Los Angeles Lakers back to the playoffs while averaging 30-ppg.

Since The Informer is predicting both Kobe and Durant are going to average 30-ppg, we might as well take this a step further and say at least three NBA players will average 30-ppg this season.

If The Informer’s prediction is correct it would be the first time since 2006 (Kobe, LeBron and Allen Iverson) three players averaged at least 30-ppg in the same season.

Now for this prediction to come true The Informer needs one of four things to happen; Carmelo Anthony remains an unapologetic “Gunslinger”, Stephen Curry heats up for six months, James Harden's beard keeps driving to the basket, or LeBron finally gets bored with all the passing and making his teammates better.

The Informer truly believes any one of these scenarios could play out.

Did you know since 1982 when the first Defensive NBA Player of the Year award was handed out only five guard/wing players have won? Well, The Informer thinks this year will be the sixth time as LeBron will take home the honors of the game’s best shutdown player.

(The Informer noteSidney Moncrief (2x), Alvin Robertson, Michael Jordan, Gary Payton and Ron Artest are your five previous winners.)

Moving onto the playoffs, The Informer thinks the Western Conference will be represented (In order) by: Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Lakers.

The Eastern Conference will be represented by: Miami, Indiana Pacers, Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards.

You may have noticed The Informer did not include the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference playoffs. This would mean the Celtics will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

Never fear Boston; this season is not a total loss as your rookie center, Kelly Olynyk, will beat out Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo for the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

(The Informer note - This article was written on Wednesday  morning before 76ers rookie Michael Carter-Williams officially became The Informer's new favorite player (not named Kobe or Durant of course) and the most likely winner of the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year award --Sorry Boston fans. Hey at least you guys just won the 2013 MLB World Series.)

The Heat's backup center “Birdman-Birdman” will not win any awards this season, but he will continue to do “Birdman-Birdman” things.

(Yes, The Informer included the last sentence just so he could use the Shaquille O'Neal video on the right.)

Staying in Miami; Dwyane Wade will play in more than 70 games this season, but will average fewer points per game than Chris Bosh.

You know what, why don't we ramble our way to the finish with some quick hitters?

Wizards guard Bradley Beal will be the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

Pau Gasol will be named to the All-NBA Third Team. His brother Mark Gasol will be named to the All-NBA Second Team.

Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will lead the NBA in rebounding, his point guard Rickey Rubio will lead the NBA in assists and their teammate, Shabazz Muhammad, will lead the league in most times getting kicked out of the NBA Rookie Symposium for having a female in his room.

In Golden State, Steph Curry will break his own NBA record for three-point field goals made in a season.

Curry's three-point partner in crime, Klay Thompson, will also break Curry's record from last season as the "Splash Brothers" will become the first pair of teammates to both make over 600 threes in a single season.

Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans PF Anthony Davis, Sacramento Kings PF DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins and Pistons center Andre Drummond will all average double-doubles in points and rebounds.

Jeremy Lamb will average 14-ppg and fellow youngsters Perry Jones III and Steven Adams will end up playing valuable, and good, playoff minutes for OKC this season.

James Harden and Dwight Howard with lead the Rockets to the number three seed in the Western Conference. Howard will finish the season averaging 14-rebounds-per-game and 3-blocks while Harden will score close to 30-ppg while averaging 6.5-assists.

The Rockets will get knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by the Spurs.

Of course, the Spurs will win once again win over 60 games, Tony Parker will finish in the top five in the MVP voting and Tim Duncan will continue to defy all laws of aging.

The Informer has been rambling long enough: Let's wrap this thing up with who The Informer thinks will play Miami in 2014 NBA Finals and who he thinks will ultimately walk away with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

With a healthy Russell Westbrook, OKC will defeat San Antonio in six games to return to the NBA Finals for a 2012 rematch with LeBron and company.

Unfortunately for the Thunder, they will come up short as James will defend his throne and the "Heatles" will become the first team since the Shaq-Kobe Lakers to three-peat.

Once again we all will have to let the "Royal King James" be our NBA ruler.

Long Live The King.

The Informer's NFL Thursday Night Pick and Mid-Season Review

The First half of the 2013 NFL Season belonged to Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning.

 Week 9 of the 2013 NFL Season kicks off tonight with the Cincinnati Bengals traveling to face the Miami Dolphins. This means we have officially reached the halfway point of the year.

Where did the time go?

Honestly it feels like just yesterday The Informer was saying things like “Andrew Luck will be in the MVP race” and “the Kansas City Chiefs will only win seven games.”

Since we are at the midpoint of the season The Informer thought he would take a gander at some of his bold predictions from the beginning of the year and see if any of them are going to come true before finishing up this article by handing out his mid-season awards and giving his pick for the Thursday Night NFL game.

Before we start, The Informer would also like mention that we are going to keep things positive today, so we will not be talking about terrible predictions such as; the Atlanta Falcons will be in the Super Bowl, the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets will not win four games, Maurice Jones-Drew will be a fantasy stud, or the Seattle Seahawks will miss the playoffs.

We are just going to pretend like those predictions never happened.

Don’t worry; we will talk about one of The Informer’s bad predictions, because it really has become one of his worst predictions of all time.

On that note let’s get this train rolling.

5. The Kansas City Chiefs will finish 7-9

Considering Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs are 8-0, it is pretty safe to assume The Informer will be wrong with this prediction.

In my defense: Who would have known Alex Smith was going to turn into the best game manager in football and Reid would actually use Jamaal Charles correctly after years of misusing LeSean McCoy?

Now, The Informer has already written on several occasions that he is eating crow with this Kansas City Chiefs team, but it needed to be pointed out again that he was wrong.

And even though the Chiefs' wins have come against teams with a combined 17-38 record, the important thing to remember is it is not easy to win NFL games; especially eight games in a row.

So while the 7-9 prediction does not look good in hindsight, instead of making excuses for the pick The Informer will be man enough to admit that he is a moron and move on.

The Chiefs are a very good and consistent football team, with a tremendous defense and as long as Alex Smith keeps playing like Alex Smith they will have a chance to make some noise in January.

Just saying . . . Cold weather, great fans and a team that can run the ball and play defense; it is time to start getting excited in barbeque country.

4. Andrew Luck will finish in the Top 5 MVP Voting

The Informer has already read numerous articles claiming Luck is the MVP of the first half of the seasons. So as a charter member of the 'Andrew Luck is the greatest' bandwagon, The Informer is feeling pretty confident this prediction will end up coming true.

Now The Informer will say one thing about said prediction; Luck is not and should not win the award. Peyton Manning has been the first half MVP and as long as the Broncos make the playoffs Manning should be the full season MVP.

Again The Informer drinks more “Andrew Luck Kool-Aid” on a daily basis then recommended, but even he knows this season belongs to Manning.

Then again if Luck leads the Indianapolis Colts to the #1 seed in the AFC, after losing his best WR Reggie Wayne, maybe The Informer will have to reconsider his vote.

For now Luck is in the top five, which is exactly where The Informer said he would be.

3. The New Orleans Saints will win the NFC South

The Informer may have gotten it wrong when he said the Atlanta Falcons would represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, but one thing he is looking pretty smart on is saying the New Orleans Saints would be the NFC South Champions.

In hindsight, The Informer really should have just gone all in with this Saints team and he would have looked really smart.

At least the Saints will win the NFC South this year, so The Informer has that going for him.

2. Division Winners

Here is who The Informer predicted for division winners at the beginning of the season; the Colts, Broncos, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers.

At the halfway mark seven of those eight teams are leading their division. The Informer is not ready to “Crown their A**es” just yet, but he is feeling pretty confident in his preseason picks.

1. The Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl

The Informer is one hundred percent standing behind this prediction.

Some people are starting to waiver after the Donkey’s defense has looked mediocre over the past couple of weeks, but make no mistake about it The Informer is not one of those people.

This Denver Broncos team is going to finish the season with the best scoring offense in NFL history. Manning is going to break the record for single season passing yards and touchdowns. The Broncos will beat the Chiefs twice and earn home field advantage and best off all Manning will get to once and for all shut up the critics who say he can’t win in January.

Now that we have covered five of The Informer's preseason predictions, why don't we finish with one more prediction for tonight's game?

The Bengals will beat the Dolphins 31-14.

Happy Halloween everyone and happy birthday to Vanilla Ice --Kick it one time BOY!!!

The Informer’s NFL Mid-Season Awards:

MVP – Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning

Offensive Player of the year – Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles

Rookie of the Year – Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Defensive Player of the Year – Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston

Coach of the Year – Andy Reid

Best Team – Denver Broncos

Most Improved – Andrew Luck

Best Game – The Denver Broncos-Dallas Cowboys 51-48 shootout on October 6th

Worst Team Ever – Jacksonville Jaguars (No really The Informer heard on the radio that Vegas would actually make the Jags underdogs if they played the 0-16 Detroit Lions next week on a neutral field.)

Biggest Surprise – (Tie) New York Jets and Oakland Raiders

Best Division – NFC West

Worst Division – NFC East

AFC Best QB – Peyton Manning

NFC Best QB – Drew Brees

AFC Best WR – Wes Welker

NFC Best WR – Calvin Johnson

AFC Best RB – Jamaal Charles

NFC Best RB – Frank Gore

AFC Best TE – Antonio Gates

NFC Best TE – Jimmy Graham

AFC Best Defensive Player - Justin Houston

NFC Best Defensive Player – Ndamukong Suh

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NFL Week 8 Recap-The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

 As week 8 has now come to a close we can look back at possibly one of the best weeks so far this season. A week with numerous down-to-the-wire games, blowouts and great story lines is what really makes this week a very special one. Week 8 saw a heroic final minute drive to a victory (Lions over Cowboys), a quarterback breaking an NFL record in rushing (Terelle Pryor longest run by QB in NFL history), numerous exceptional performances by quarterbacks (three QB's threw for four touchdowns or more), and one team remain atop the NFL with an undefeated record at the mid way point (Chiefs move to 8-0 after win vs. Browns).

All in all it was another great week of football and one we will definitely remember as one of the best weeks in the 2013 season.
You know how we do our weekly NFL recap here on TSS!
First lets get right into our week 8 awards, then take a look at the scores and top performers. We will also look into the injury report for the week and what big injuries occurred throughout the games. Make sure before you read furthermore to check out my NFL week 8 review video on YouTube! I do this every single week so make sure to subscribe to my channel and check back here on TSS to watch and read my recap that I am 100% committed to doing every week of the 2013 season.

Week 8 Awards

MVP- Calvin Johnson
How could Megatron not be deserving of the week 8 MVP honors? There is no answer to that question because Johnson wins MVP by default after his unforgettable performance against the Dallas Cowboys. He raked in 329 receiving yards which was the second most yards in a game in NFL history. To go along with the great yard total Johnson also had 14 receptions and 2 touchdowns. He was the key factor and the main reason why the Lions were able to end up defeating the Cowboys. What an exceptional game and an unbelievable comeback by Stafford, Johnson, and the entire Lions squad. Crazy stat- Megatron had more receiving yards than 15 teams had TOTAL yards of offense in week 8.

Sleeper- Andre Ellington
Andre Ellington is a guy you probably don't hear too much about right? That might be a fact but take notice of him after his solid performance against the Atlanta Falcons in week 8. Ellington was only owned by about 19% of fantasy teams in ESPN before week 8, and if your one of those fantasy owners who is lacking a running back on your bench, then make sure to pick up Ellington. He is not starter worthy, but he may be able to get you several points in some weeks. The rookie ran for 154 yards on 15 carries and had 1 touchdown against the Falcons. An exceptional performance for a sixth round pick in this years draft, Ellington was the 187th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Best game- Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions (Lions beat Cowboys 31-30)
This intense game was close all the way down to the final quarter, then again the final minute. After three quarters the Cowboys led the Lions by a score of 13 to 7. But the fourth quarter knocked new life into both teams. The Lions scored 24 total points in the fourth while the Cowboys failed to preserve their lead and only put up 17 points. But what was the big story on this game? Why was this game just that big? Why was the game so good? With just under a minute left in the game Matthew Stafford and star receiver Calvin Johnson led a game winning drive to beat the Cowboys by just a single point. Stafford sealed the deal with a one-yard run that put the Lions up in the game with just under ten seconds left. If you think intense, down to the final minute games are the best games that the NFL has to offer, well then this was the game for you!

Worst loss- Jets lose to Bengals 49-9
After coming off a huge upset against the New England Patriots in week 7 you would think the Jets had a huge amount of momentum going into this past Sunday's game against the Bengals right? Did you? Did you think it would be another win Jets fans? Well Jets fans, week 7 couldn't have been any more forgettable. Maybe all their showboating and gloating about a game they barely won really backfired on them because they couldn't back up their big mouths (as usual). They were embarrassingly defeated by the Cincinnati Bengals 49-9 and failed to even get a single touchdown on the board.

Rebound team in week 9 - Atlanta Falcons
In all honesty I think the Falcons have been huge underachievers so far this season. Not only does the 2-5 record make them look bad but the huge expectations they were given in the preseason are just not matching up to what we have seen from them so far. Their rushing is worst in the league and both their pass and rush defense are struggling to make an impact. So, why are they my pick for rebound team in week 9? Its simply a claim of getting back on track, and after their upsetting 27-13 loss to the Cardinals in week 8, time is running out for the Falcons to make themselves contenders. A rebound win is needed in week 9 if we still want to look at them as a competitive team this season.

Worst Performance- Ryan Tannehill
 Not many horrible performances in week 8 but one player that was rather upsetting was Dolphins' quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Not the best performance, but not the greatest either. I don't blame the Dolphins second half collapse against the Pats all on Tannehill but a partial amount of the blame has got to go to him. One very costly interception that cost the Dolphins a huge possession and a much less impressive second half than first. He ended the upsetting loss with 192 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Tannehill was too inconsistent as he completed just 22 of 42 passes. Not to mention the Pats couldnt keep him off the ground as he was sacked six times.

Week 8 Scores and Top Performers

Panthers beat Buccaneers 31-13- (Cam Newton- 23-32 passing, 221 yards, 2 TD, 11 carries, 50 rush yards, 1 TD)

Patriots beat Dolphins 27-17- (Aaron Dobson- 4 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD)

Lions beat Cowboys 31-30- (Calvin Johnson- 14 receptions, 329 yards, 2 TD, second most receiving
yards in a single game in NFL history)

Chiefs beat Browns 23-17- (Josh Gordon- 5 receptions, 132 yards, 1 TD)

Saints beat Bills 37-17- (Drew Brees- 26-34 passing, 332yards, 5 TD)

Giants beat Eagles 15-7- (Josh Brown- 5-5 FG, scored all of Giants points, long was 46 yards)

49ers beat Jaguars 42-10 (game played in London)- (Colin Kaepernick- 10-16 passing, 164 yards, 1 TD)

Bengals beat Jets 49-9- (Andy Dalton- 19/30 on passes, 325 yards, 5 TD)

Raiders beat Steelers- 21-18- (Terrelle Pryor- 10/19 passing, 88 yards, 0 TD, 9 carries, 106 rush yards, 1 TD, 93 yard rush TD was longest run by QB in NFL history)

Broncos beat Redskins 45-21-(Peyton Manning- 30-44 passing, 354 yards, 4 TD)

Cardinals beat Falcons 27-13- (Andre Ellington- 15 carries, 154yards, 1 TD)

Packers beat Vikings 44-31- (Aaron Rodgers- 24-29 passing, 285 yards, 2 TD)

Seahawks beat Rams 14-9- (Golden Tate- 5 receptions, 93 yards, 2 TD)

Week 8 Injury Report

Sebastian Vollmer (Patriots right tackle)- Broke his leg in game vs. Dolphins, out for remainder of season

Brandon Gibson (Dolphins Wide Receiver)- Knee injury vs. Patriots, most likely out for remainder of season

Mike Williams (Buccaneers Wide Receiver)- Torn hamstring, put on IR, out for remainder of season

Michael Vick (Eagles Quarterback)- Left game vs. Giants with hamstring injury (Re-aggravated recent injury, Chip Kelly says he most likely will not play vs. Raiders in week 9)

Robert Griffin III (Redskins Quarterback)- Injured his left knee against the Broncos but will be fine. He still says his knee is "sore" going into week 9 but don't expect him to miss any time on the field.

 Thanks for reading and make sure to check back in on TSS next week for NFL week 9 review!

Dan J carney is a sports writer for 3 online sports websites. He writes for Tru School Sports, (covers the Charlotte Bobcats), and he also writes for the league Dan is also a YouTube sports talk show host where he talks on his channel (DanJcarney) about trending topics, questions, and breaking news about everything and anything regarding the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_jcarney, Subscribe to him on YouTube, or add him on Google+.

Kemba Walker Talks About Offseason, Al Jefferson, Favorite Point Guard Of All-Time & More

Last season Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker made a huge improvement. The team revamped the front court with the additions of Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller and no player looks to benefit more from it then Kemba Walker. Last season the former UCONN great placed in the top 10 among starting point guards in player efficiency rating with an 18.86.

A month ago I got a chance to talk with the Bobcats star and asked him about his off season, Al Jefferson, his favorite point guards of all-time and more.

Tru School Of Kicks: Air Jordan 1 "Charotte Hornets"

So, the other day I was looking at new sneaker releases for the Air Jordan brand coming up soon and then I came across this sweet Air Jordan 1 Silhouette in a Charlotte Hornets colorway. Now anybody who has been reading Tru School Sports for any significant amount of time would know that I love the Hornets. This version is part of the Jordan “formidable foes pack” to represent one of the teams the Michael Jordan and the Bulls had a rivalry with back in the 90's.

I love the 1's more than most people and these for me are in my top ten favorite of all-time because I think the teal and purple color scheme just goes well with the structure of the shoe. I know the Charlotte Hornets colorway has been done so many times on so many different sneakers from different brands but I think the Jordan brand hit the nail on the head with this one.

The purple base with the teal accents along with the legendary jumpman logo in all white make this shoe a hit with me. The Hornets are coming back next season and I might just be sporting these with my new Kemba Walker jersey. The sneaker is available for order at sneaker politics for $105.00. 

A Letter To The 2013-2014 Charlotte Bobcats

The video is self explanatory.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cody Zeller Discusses The Origins Of His Nickname, Playing His Brother, Kemba Walker & More

With the 4th overall in this years draft the Charlotte Bobcats shocked many fans and experts by passing up on Ben Mclemore and Nerlens Noel taking Cody Zeller. This caused quite a stir with the fans but since then Charlotte basketball have warmed up to Zeller. He was one of the most impress players in the Las Vegas summer league as averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 rebounds on 52% shooting. His high post ability coupled with the low post presence of Al Jefferson gives the Bobcats potentially their best front court ever.

I had a chance to speak with the former Indiana Hoosiers standout about playing with Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson as well as the origins of his nickname and more. 

Are The Dallas Cowboys Better Than 4-4?

Going into the season, the Cowboys are usually the favorite to win their division. But, as everyone likes to say, when the pressure is on Tony Romo, he tends to choke. This season, Romo shouldn't carry any of the blame. Dallas has the talent to win the NFC East, behind Dez Bryant, DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee and under the reigns of Jason Garrett. Dallas has played very well this season, despite their 4-4 record.

Offensively, they've been as good as they can get. There shouldn't be any complaints there, Romo has thrown for over 2,220 yards so far this season, with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions. Even though Dez Bryant is his number one guy, Romo does pretty well spreading the ball around. Bryant, has 45 receptions, Witten has 37 and the rookie, Terrance Williams has 24. Before suffering a knee sprain in Week 6, DeMarco Murray had been running the ball fairly well. With 428 yards, on 91 carries, averaging 4.7-yards-per-carry and three touchdowns. Through eight weeks, the Cowboys are tenth in total offense, eighth in passing yards-per-game, and 27th in rushing yards-per-game.

 Enough about the offense, lets talk about what the Cowboys like to call their "defense." They've been embarrassed in almost every game this season, outside of their performance in week one against the Giants. On average, they give up 315.4 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks (32nd in the NFL), giving up 23.3 points-per-game (20th in the NFL). In the four losses that the Cowboys have suffered this year, each game was within reach. The biggest margin of defeat was nine points, against the Chargers. Outside of San Diego, every other game was a one possession game, in order since their first loss: 1, 3, 1. When the defense does play well, they let it go down in the drain, in the final quarter. 

Dallas, is a better team then their record portrays, even though their defense says otherwise. Where Tony Romo is doing everything in his power to put them in position to win, the defense tends to let them down. Especially in the game against Denver. Yes, Romo did throw that interception on what could have been the game-winning drive. But he doesn't deserve all of the blame, the defense and Jason Garrett should get the bulk of it. When there was approximately 1:50 left on the clock, Jason Garrett should have made the suggestion to let Knowshon Moreno walk into the endzone, to get the ball back with 1:45, giving Tony Romo a chance to march up the field and tie the game.

 And although they've played well, the worst part is, where they've been awful, the Giants are only two games out of the division lead. Even with their 2-6 record. But, the rest of the division is struggling, and even though they are only 4-4 the Cowboys are the best team in this division. So yes, The Dallas Cowboys are better than a 4-4 team.

Dolphins O-Line Is The Key To Turning The Season Around

(3-4) Miami Dolphins will play against the (6-2) Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday at 8:25 pm.

The Dolphins started the season 3-0 and have lost four games in a row and are looking to get back to .500 with a win on Thursday. Furthermore, the offensive line has been a major concern throughout the early portion of the season. Starting right tackle Tyson Clabo lost his job to Bryant Mckinnie, as Jonathan Martin went to right tackle. Clabo wasn’t doing a good job at right tackle and was rated 66th by Pro Football Focus.

Clabo allowed Ryan Tannehill to get sacked eight times and allowed 18 hurries. The Dolphins’ offensive line allowed six sacks last Sunday against the New England Patriots, including two from Richie Incognito and one by Bryant Mckinnie. Through week eight the Dolphins offense has allowed 31 sacks and 59 hurries.

The Dolphins will need their offensive line to improve, because if not the season can start slipping away. Additionally, Ryan Tannehill would have to play better and stop staring down receivers. On the season Tannehill has thrown 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, including two touchdowns and two interceptions last week against the Patriots. Mike Wallace will have to be involved in the offense more and start helping stretching the field. Wallace against the Patriots had 3 receptions for 41 yards and that must change.

The Dolphins are in a must win situation this Thursday against the Bengals and need to get back to .500. As a team they have to do better, because if they don’t the 3-0 start is out the window and changes will be coming. The season can be saved but it all starts on Thursday against the Bengals and a victory will help the team gain momentum for the remaining eight games.

This is a big week for the Dolphins and a win will make everything a little better, but a loss will devastate the team with a 3-5 record.

Ramon Sessions Talks About Off Season, Big Men & Charlotte Hornets Name Returning

Last season the Bobcats signed South Carolina native Ramon Sessions to a one-year deal. He turned out to be one of the better players on the team averaging 14.4 points, 3.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds off the bench. The impressive thing about Sessions is his uncanny knack to get to the free throw line as he averaged just under six free throw attempts per game last season. Sessions also earned a 17.80 player efficiency rating which is almost as high as starting point guard Kemba Walker (18.86).

With the season on the horizon I got a chance to to speak with Sessions at media day about his off season, new additions to the front court and got some interesting perspective form him on the Hornets name coming back to Charlotte.

Red Sox Regain Control Of The World Series, Head Home to Fenway With 2 Chances At Baseball Immortality


      ??   OR   ??

  After another gem from Jon Lester and another postseason hitting clinic from Big Papi, the Boston Red Sox head back to Fenway Park with a 3-2 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. This series has been about as close as it can get, with the Red Sox having outscored the Cardinals 13-12 in the four games (Sox won 8-1 in Game 1). So far this series has been about great pitching and timely hitting, with the Red Sox having a little bit better of both in recent nights. Jon Lester has found his cutter at a great time and dominated the Cardinals in his two starts. David Ortiz is more likely to get a hit than not reach base, which simply isn’t how the game of baseball is supposed to work. Both bullpens have been spectacular for the most part, and both teams have looked sloppy in the field and on the bases. So, heading in to Game 6, and possibly 7, what is going to be the key to victory, and who has the horses to get it done? Well, I’ll tell you.

Allen Craig tripping over 3B Will Middlebrooks, he
was called out at home but safe on the obstruction
call, giving the Cardinals the win.
            As I have said from the beginning, playoff baseball is all about pitching and hitting with runners in scoring position. Now, one might think that the Boston Red Sox are looking like a lock to hoist the World Series trophy in front of their home town fans, 41 of 66 teams with a 3-2 lead have won the series, however, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Starting pitching is going to be critical for both sides, and I simply do not see the Red Sox having an edge in either game. Game six starters Michael Wacha and John Lackey have been great this postseason, but I would put my faith in Wacha’s stuff over Lackey’s any day of the week. If Wacha can quiet the Red Sox bats, then game seven would be Joe Kelly versus Jake Peavy; yet another mismatch for Boston. Kelly isn’t a frontline starter by any means, but he has the ability to give the Cardinals six quality innings. The more important thing is Jake Peavy, who has struggled mightily for the Red Sox as of late, and appears to struggle controlling his tempo and emotions in big situations, which I think it’s safe to say game seven of the World Series is as big as it gets. Lester did well to give his bullpen some rest in game five, but the off day should give Mike Matheny’s bullpen all the time it needs to prepare for two sudden death games in Boston.

David Ortiz & Carlos Beltran, two of the best postseason
hitters of all time. Who will guide their team to the title?

            In my World Series Preview article I predicted the Cardinals would win in seven, that Allen Craig would be the x-factor, and that starting pitching would be critical. Say what you will, but I’m sticking to my guns and my prediction. Heres a simple math equation to explain my thoughts:

 Wacha > Lackey + Kelly > Peavy = 
              Cardinals > Red Sox. 

       One thing is for sure, with baseball TV ratings having struggled in recent years, this World Series was exactly what commissioner Bud Selig and his league needed to get back into more homes around the world. Enjoy the final games everybody! Follow me on Twitter @SportsGeek02 or @TruSchoolSports and live-chat with me during the games. Stick around this off-season as well as I will be writing baseball business articles highlighting various front office moves, decisions, acquisitions, trades, etc.  

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