The Duke’s Picks – NFL Week 10

13 11 2011

1:00

CINCINNATI BENGALS +4 Pittsburgh Steelers

Denver Broncos +3.5 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Buffalo Bills +5.5 DALLAS COWBOYS

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS +3.5 Houston Texans

Tennessee Titans +3.5 CAROLINA PANTHERS

ATLANTA FALCONS even New Orleans Saints

CLEVELAND BROWNS -2.5 St. Louis Rams

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -12 Arizona Cardinals

4:00

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS +7.5 Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions +3 CHICAGO BEARS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers -3 NY Giants

8:20

NEW YORK JETS even New England Patriots

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Philadelphia Eagles Add Vince Young

29 07 2011

by Les Bowen on Philly.com

The NFL Network reported this morning that Vince Young has reached agreement on a one-year contract with the Eagles, and will sign the deal later today.

Young, 28, was the third overall pick in the 2006 entry draft by the Tennessee Titans, who released him yesterday. He has had an up-and-down pro career. That includes two Pro Bowl berths and numerous benchings. Young entered the NFL with a widely criticized sidearm throwing motion and unquestioned athletic ability.

He has not seemed to react well to scrutiny and criticism in Tennessee, but as Michael Vick’s backup with the Eagles, he might have a chance to retool out of the spotlight’s glare. Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was able to do a lot with Vick during the year that Vick backed up Donovan McNabb, and Mornhinweg probably relishes the opportunity to work with Young.

Of the available backup types on the market, Young certainly has the most upside, and as a starter, he is 30-17. Young has said he thought about retiring following his rookie year, even though he made the Pro Bowl.

“It was crazy being an NFL quarterback. It wasn’t fun anymore,” he said. Young later said these remarks were overemphasized. In 2008, he reportedly became distraught and depressed after having been booed.

Last season, he threw his shoulder pads into the crowd and had a loud confrontation with then-coach Jeff Fisher, when Young wasn’t sent back into a loss to the Redskins, fate leaving the game with a torn flexor tendon in his right thumb. The Titans decided to part ways with both Young and Fisher.

The Eagles traded Kevin Kolb Thursday, leaving second-year QB Mike Kafka as their only NFL-level QB behind Vick, who has been supportive of the notion of adding Young.





The Duke’s Picks: Season Kickoff!

10 09 2009

by Michael DeLuca

Pittsbrugh Steelers -6 1/2 Tennessee Titans

Great match up to kick off the NFL season tonight as the team with last year’s best regular season record, the Tennessee Titans (13-3) travel to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers team comes back largely in tact, while Tennessee lost DT Albert Haynesworth to free agency. In the 18 games Haynesworth missed due to injury between 2004-08, the Titans went just 4-14. The team ranked seventh overall and sixth against the run but the loss of Haynesworth will surely cause them to slip a bit in each category. The Titans did improve their receiving corps, adding Nate Washington from Pittsburgh and Kenny Britt of Rutgers through the draft. Washington is injured, however, and in the case of Britt, I don’t expect a rookie wideout to have great success against the league’s top defense. Pittsburgh should roll in this one and be able to handle the 6 1/2 point spread.

Pick:  Pittsburgh Steelers





NFL Week 7 Power Rankings

15 10 2008

by Michael DeLuca

Last week, these rankings were the only ones to have the balls not to jump the gun and throw Washington into the top 3 spots.  I took some heat for it, but was vindicated on Sunday.  This week, lots more shakeups with upsets galore over this past weekend.     

1.  Tennessee Titans (5-0) – With KC on the horizon, following a bye week, I can’t see this one changing.  Albert Haynesworth is a beast and Cortland Finnegan is gaining prominence as one of the league’s top cover corners.  Chris Johnson is a lightning bolt.  Kerry “Cocktail” Collins makes this offense more stable, allowing the defense to do what it do.

2.  New York Giants (4-1) – Cleveland was coming off a bye, was at home, and was due to break out of their offensive slump on Monday Night.  The G-Men were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Eli Manning looked terrible, but overall these types of games happen and by the end of the season, you’ll see that it was an aberation.

3.  Dallas Cowboys (4-2) – I’m going to take some heat for this one too, especially after the week from hell that Dallas has just been through.  First they lose to Arizona (which I predicted), then they find out Tony Romo will miss 4 week with an injured vagina (pinkie finger), and then to top it all off, Pacman Jones is suspended indefinitely.  They did finish on a high note by snagging Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions just before the trade deadline.  Brad Johnson will be able to hold down the fort until Romo returns and the offense has no choice but to be explosive.  Their secondary is now their weekness and we might see some shootouts in the weeks to come.  As I said, I may take some heat on this one, but let’s be honest…are you really going to take Pittsburgh or Buffalo on a neutral field against them?  Didn’t think so!  Read the rest of this entry »





Lendale White – The Backup?

30 07 2008
The Nashville Tennessean is reporting that Tennessee Titans first-round draft pick Chris Johnson is among the Titans top performers thus far in training camp.  In fact, he’s been so impressive that offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was quoted as saying, “I am just looking at him as a tailback.  What we do outside of turning and handing him the ball is a bonus. He can do a lot of things, but I want to find out if we can turn and hand him the ball and how many times we can do that. I look at it different than all the ‘experts.’ I expect to see him out there on first and second down.” 
Johsnon ran for 1423 yards in his senior season at East Carolina on 236 carries, good for 6.0 yards per carry average.  He had 17 rushing touchdowns and 37 receptions for 528 yards (14.3 average) and six scores.  He was the fastest player at the scouting combine and in a shocking move the Titans selected him with the 24th pick in this years draft.  Many felt that Johnson should be a second rounder and that the Titans had many needs to fill, running back not being one of them.

FANTASY IMPACTThis is a huge development in fantasy circles, especially for those of you who may have considered Lendale White a keeper in dynasty leagues.  If Johnson is out there on first and second downs, that makes him the primary back.  There’s a long way to go until the regular season, but this development is certainly worth keeping an eye on.