Author: Andy

2016 Hall of Fame Class unveiled

It reportedly took the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s voting board less than a minute to determine that Brett Favre would be a first-ballot enshrinee in the class of 2016. Favre headlines a class that also includes coach Tony Dungy, WR Marvin Harrison, DE/LB Kevin Greene, T Orlando Pace, contributor Edward DeBartolo Jr. and senior candidates Dick Stanfel and QB Ken Stabler. Voters started the day by whittling a group of 15 finalists down to 10. Those eliminated on the first cut were K Morten Andersen, S Steve Atwater, WR Terrell Owens, G Alan Faneca and RB Edgerrin James, meaning the five modern era candidates who made the final 10 but were not selected were QB Kurt Warner, T Joe Jacoby, RB Terrell Davis, S John Lynch and Coach Don Coryell. The group of 15 finalists was unveiled last month. Once the five modern-era finalists had been selected, selectors voted yes or no on each of those candidates and on Stanfel, Stabler and DeBartolo. Each needed 80 percent yes votes to earn enshrinement. The class of 2016 hits the max number of eight that can be inducted in any given year. Throughout the process, Favre’s election has been seen as just short of a guarantee. Harrison emerged as another strong candidate despite having dealt with some legal issues in the years since his career ended. Pace joins Jonathan Ogden...

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NFL Picks 2015: Super Bowl

Road teams ruled the wild card round, but home teams have come back with a vengeance. In the six games since they are undefeated. That means it’s number one versus number one in the Super Bowl – as it probably should be for the league’s 50th big game. Tony nailed the conference championship winners. He’s tied with John Vomhof for the entirety of the postseason. The rest of us split the championship games. Here are the standings heading into the Super Bowl. Conf Champ Postseason Tony 2-0 8-2 John Vomhof Jr 1-1 8-2 Anthony Maggio 1-1 7-3 Andy 1-1 6-4 And after 21 weeks of football, it all comes down to this. Two suffocating defenses and two great QB storylines – the young, brash rising star and the old, breaking down, hall-of-famer to be – squaring off for the Lombardi Trophy. Here’s how we see it: Andy Tony John Maggio Sunday, February 7 Denver vs Carolina Denver Carolina Carolina Carolina Maggio’s Take: Two premier defenses means a low scoring Super Bowl, and a low scoring Super Bowl means it isn’t likely to be a blowout one way or the other. That said, Carolina’s offense has the tools to attack many ways, led of course by Cam Newton. I don’t see Peyton Manning being able to guile his way through this one and emerge victorious. Fortunately, Nationwide will be by...

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Bet the Mortgage: Super Bowl 2015-16 – Best Bets

So what I’ve been doing wrong all season is betting on point spreads and money lines and not spending enough time betting over/unders. Well, it’s obviously not that simple, but I largely got it right in the conference championship games – though I would have gotten the spread wrong on Carolina/Arizona. I really thought the Cardinals were at least going to put up a better fight. Nonetheless, two big bets ran my season total back into the black, albeit only slightly. Here are the standings: Starting $$ Conf record Conf wk $$ Playoff record Current $$ Andy $6,472 2-0 +$3,722 4-5-1 $10,194 I have a hunch on this game, which I’ll share later in picks, but I’m not 100 percent sure that hunch is based on what I really think will happen or what I’d like to see happen. Doesn’t matter for the sake of this post, however. My leaning in this game is based on the idea that this will be a fundamentally sound, defense-dominated game. Here goes: $2,000 – Denver (+5.5) vs Carolina – Old Man Manning has been playing in the NFL since the year after I graduated from college. I’ve loved watching him for most of his tenure in the league and he’s won me a few fantasy football championships over the years. It’s hard to see him having a ton left for this game...

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Megatron’s Call From Canton Should Come Fast

Calvin Johnson reportedly has informed friends and coaches that he will retire after nine seasons in the NFL rather than rejoin Detroit for the 2016 season. While his quiet, low-key approach to announcing the end of his career would be fitting for the way he acted when he played, I hope this is not the case. Johnson has spent the last decade being one of the very few reasons to tune in to watch the Lions. If he is, however, serious about stepping away, he would first become eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2021. I think it’s just short of inarguable that he gets in eventually. I don’t think he should have to wait. You can certainly qualify Megatron’s impact by saying it’s a passing era, no question. He’s played in the most pass-heavy era of NFL football on mostly bad teams that had to throw the ball. Did that inflate his numbers? Perhaps. But I would argue that Johnson was also part of the reason Detroit should have been throwing the ball all along. Let’s look at some other accolades he has compiled over the years. In nine seasons, Johnson was selected for six Pro Bowls – each of the last six seasons. He’s been selected first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press three times, from 2011 through 2013 – and during that stretch, I think you’d...

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Pro Bowl Coverage

We here at Zoneblitz are a small crew. And we’ve taken a couple days off this week. But the Pro Bowl is this weekend and we wanted to make sure we gave it the ink it deserves. …   …   Well, now that we’ve gotten that taken care of, we’ll be back soon with some thoughts on the Super Bowl. Have a good...

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