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Pro Sports Wrap - by Sam Ruesler

Swatter of the Week

October 10th 2012 16:11

6'5, 295 lbs of get after the ball and quarterback; that is the definition of J.J. Watt. The Texans defensive end is just a flat out beast. His 8.5 sacks on the year are tops in the NFL, while he also has deflected/batted down/swatted 8 passes at the line of scrimmage. He had 3 of them in the Monday night win over the Jets to push Houston to 5-0. One of his deflections was the play of the game as it led to an interception as Mark Sanchez was trying to put it into the endzone.

Along with his 3 pass deflections Watt also had 6 tackles and one sack against New York. He is part of the NFL's best defense and is probably the leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. It is still really early so anything can happen, and now that the defensive leader in Brian Cushing is out for the year Watt is going to have to step up even more.

I don't see a problem with that happening; he is huge and as athletic as Clay Matthews while having a bigger reach than Gronk. In only his 2nd year out of Wisconsin, there seems to be nothing this guy can do. Don't forget about the Texan's offense that seams to be unstoppable. With the combination of Arian Foster running all over people and Watt swatting and sacking everything in sight could this be the year Houston is celebrating in February?

Week 5 in the NFL

October 9th 2012 17:33

Baseball playoffs have started and there have been some great games, but it is still football season. Sunday is dominated on the gridiron so missing the Stl Cardinals blow game 1 was ok with me; I did get to see them destroy in game 2 though. So what were the great moments from Week 5 in the NFL? Well it started Thursday night.

1) Rams D Dominates Cardinals- While Houston and Atlanta continued on their winning ways to 5-0, Arizona added a 1 to their loss collumn. It was suppose to be a close game that the Cardinals win but Chris Long had other plans. The Rams defense has been great this year (along with the rest of the division) and sacking Kevin Kolb 9 times lead to an impressive victory. Saint Louis now has more wins this year than all of last year and have a winning record for the first time in 6 years. Playoff birth back in the Gateway City?

2) Luck Drives the Colts Over the Packers- Aaron Rodgers hasn't looked great all year really. Going in Green Bay was only 2-2 and only ahead of Detroit in the NFC North. Up 20-3 at half Colts fans might have wanted to turn to another game. Well Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne came out and helped make an impressive comeback with play after play. They did it for their coach in the hospital, and who knows what else they can accomplish.

3) Patriots Run Again- The year was 1978, 10 years before I was born. That was the last time New England ran for 200 yards in consectutive games. Just like last week against Buffallo, Tom Brady turned around and handed it off to a multitude of running backs who sped through the Denver defense. If the Pats can continue to excel at running along with Tom Brady's arm it could be scary how good this offense can become.

4) Breese Passes Unitas in 1st Win- 48 straight games Drew Breese has now thrown a touchdown pass. This sets a mark that had been held for a long time by Johnny Unitas.What is more important is that the Saints pulled out their first W of the year. No one thought they would go 0-16 but we all questioned when that first victory would come. Now that it's over how will the rest of their season go?

5) Cheer for Injury- Matt Cassel has struggled mightily in KC. Obviously fans are passionate and want to watch good football. This doesn't mean you cheer for someone getting hurt. People that were at Arrowhead have been on both sides, saying they weren't cheering his injury but that they got to see Brady Quinn (not sure thats any better) whlie others say they heard many celebrating the injury. Even if it was only a few it was still too much.

Another Week to Remember

October 2nd 2012 20:41

With the real officials back everything was back to normal. Not every call was made but that was expected, and at least the ball was placed in the right spot every time and games didn't take forever. For the first time ever players embraced the officials while the fans cheered up until the first flag against the home team. A lot went on, including the Rams equalling their win total from last year and the Vikings staying on top in the NFC North at 3-1. Those were just a few of the stories from the NFL in week and here is what I took away from it.

1) 49ers still may be the best team in the league. They bounced back after a shocking loss to Minnesota. It was done in a big way; everyone knows the Jets offense is horrible but San Fran crushed them 34-0. It should have been worse but Alex Smith missed a few passes. Will we see more of Tebow soon? How bad will it really get for the Jets who lost Santonio Holmes to injury?

2) The 3 unbeatens move to 4-0 but in totally different ways. Houston faced a division rival in Tennessee but made it look way to easy once again. They alson knocked Jake Locker out of the game. Atlanta also had a division battle again Cam Newton and the Panthers. Once again Atlanta forced a fumble, by Newton, that forced a 4th down instead of a 1st to win the game. Then starting from their own 1 after a punt, Matty Ice threw a deep jump ball that White came down with leading to a game winning field goal. Then there are the Arizon Cardinals, probably the most surprising 4-0 team of the three. Going in it looked like an easy win against a Dolphins team with a rookie QB, but Kevin Kolb had to convert a 4th down touchdown to send it to extra time. Houston and Atlanta both have week divisions, but can Arizona keep it up in a much improved NFC West?

3) Detroit is bad and so are the Saints. The Lions finally made the playoffs last year and were an up and coming team, like the Texans. What in the world has happend to them this year? They probably should be 0-4 but they escaped in week 1 against Saint Louis. Matthew Stafford has not looked good at all and the "great" defense has been everything but that. Then there are the Saints. Even with all their trouble before the season 0-4 was not even considered. They finally lost to a team that had beaten someone else. Breese has not looked the same without Sean Peyton calling plays and that defense may be the worse in football. Good luck to both teams, you will need it.

4) The Patriots have a running game. They almost ran for 300 hundred yards against an improved Bills defense. Bolden had 137 on 16 carries with a touchdown, Ridley had 106 on 22 carries with 2 touchdowns, while Tom Brady also added a running score. Who would have thunk it? They are only 2-2 but if they can keep that up they are even better than we thought. Still no defense though.

5) Tony Romo makes things worse. I am not a Cowboys fan at all and they should not be considered "America's Team". Maybe back when they were good but not now, there are more people who dislike them than there are fans. Romo is a good QB but he always falls apart. Only down 3-0 close to half time miscommunication between him and Dez Bryant leads to a pick 6. What does Romo do? He leads a great drive to end the half only down 10-7. Just like the announcers I thought that he would bring that momentun into the 2nd half for a victory. Shocker, he did the complete opposite. 5 interceptions, another was taken to the house but that should have been called a fumble, before game was over and he was taken out. Everyone always wants to pick them for the Super Bowl and I cannot figure out why. This year people waited til after an impressive week 1 win over the Giants, but Dallas has not been good for a while. Not going to say good luck the them though, for one it wont help but also I don't want them to get lucky.

11/2011 Cornerback Rankings

November 12th 2011 15:43
1. Darrelle Revis- Revis is easily the best cornerback in the NFL right now, and he breaks up almost as many passes as receptions allowed.

2. Nnamdi Asomugha- Despite a poor 2011, I still believe in his ability as a pure cover guy. However, Nnamdi is awful in run support and can't tackle.

3. Champ Bailey- I bet this guy could still be a premier cover corner into his late 30's.

4. Tramon Williams- He was so beast last season that only a "decent" 2011 doesn't detract from how great he was in coverage in 2010.

5. Brandon Flowers- Flowers shows us that you don't need height to be an elite corner.

6. Charles Woodson- Has had a poor season this year against the run and as a pass rusher, but he's starting to come around. Woodson is still playing solid- as always- in coverage.

7. Ike Taylor- Only Darrelle Revis has been better in coverage statistically, but stats don't tell the whole story. However, this physical corner has still been very good in 2011.

8. Asante Samuel- Samuel can't play the run or tackle at all, but he is still a top corner in this league.

9. Antoine Winfield- He can do it all, and his top ten ranking is a result from some really good pass rushing- for a corner- and run stopping.

10. Jonathan Joseph- Joseph was one of the best free agent signings, and he is having a shutdown year and playing at the high level he did in 2009.

11. Carlos Rogers- Have you seen him this year? The best signing of 2011.

12. Leon Hall- I miss it when he and Joseph ruled the world in 2009.

13. Jabari Greer- When will he ever have an injury-free season?

14. Joe Haden- Haden is proving that he was the better rookie from last year's class.

15. Brent Grimes- You don't need to be tall to be an effective corner.

16. Charles Tillman- But this guy disagrees.

17. Chris Gamble- Has been one of the best corners this season.

18. Devin McCourty- I'm going to patiently wait for a bounce-back, but he won't move into the top 15 until he shows he can be consistently good beyond his rookie year.

19. Antonio Cromartie- He gets beat, but he's still a good corner.

20. Cortland Finnegan- He's starting to turn it up again this season.

21. Vontae Davis- He's having a down year, and this is the reason why he isn't in the top 20. But look for him to start climbing up in the future and possibly getting into the top ten one day.

22. Josh Wilson- Wilson was a terrific signing for the Washington Redskins, even though he has been a little bit disappointing this season after a really good year that went under the radar in 2010 with the Ravens.

23. Corey Webster- I miss his 2008 greatness, but he's still a solid player.

24. Aqib Talib- A great talent when he is at his best, but that's usually tough to come by.

25. Chris Houston- He's having a a breakout year and is one of the main reasons why the Lions are where they are at.

26. Ladarius Webb- Has taken the place of Wilson to become the Ravens best corner.

27. Alterraun Verner- Makes up one of the best trios in the NFL with Finnegan and Jason McCourty, and Verner is a 2010 rookie corner who is largely overshadowed by Haden and McCourty.

28. Captain Munnerlyn- Underrated speed demon who can definitely hold down the fort.

29. Chris Culliver- An extremely underrated rookie corner who combines with Rogers to make one of the better cornerback duos in the league.

30. Stanford Routt- Nnamdi's replacement is overpaid but is still decent.

31. Seth Smith- He is in the midst of an awful year, but Smith is still one of the better corners in the league.

32. Brandon Carr- Might be a little low, but it's because he doesn't really blow me away and is more of a solid player.

33. Chris Carr- Another solid corner who needs some more playing time.

34. Quentin Jammer- Physical corner who has been a little disappointing this year, but not as much as last year's breakout Antoine Cason.

35. Ron Bartell- Easily the best cornerback on the Rams roster.

36. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie- Loads of talent, but really nothing to show for it because he plays like he doesn't care.

37. Sheldon Brown- Doesn't give up many catches, but they end up being big plays when he does.

38. Leigh Bodden- I will never get why the Patriots released him, because he's an underrated player who is one of the best players in zone coverage; he was in the midst of a solid season amidst poor play from most of the other corners (McCourty).

39. Jason McCourty- Don't sleep on the "other" McCourty.

39. Terrence McGee- It's sad to see a perennially underrated corner going on the decline "thanks" to age and injury.

40. Sam Shields- He really impressed me last season and is one of the better slot corners in the league.

41. Patrick Robinson- Watch for him to shoot up the rankings soon, but I'm not totally sold on him yet.

42. Richard Marshall- He doesn't give up that many catches, but- despite his speed- gets a burned way too much.

43. Chris Cook- The off the field trouble mars some talent that isn't talked about quite enough.

44. Tracy Porter- Everybody remembers him for being a Super Bowl hero, but he has been struggling of late. However, Porter is still a decent corner who can make plays when needed.

45. Mike Jenkins- Jenkins is one of the most talented corners in the league, but he gets burned a lot.

46. Richard Sherman- I'm really starting to believe in this rookie, and he is an underrated player who is easily the Seahawks best corner.

47. Rashean Mathis- The veteran has really improved from an awful 2010 season.

48. Antoine Cason- I really can't take him seriously after what has happened this season, but he is another guy who is primed to move on up.

49. Nate Clements- Plays the run as well as any corner in the league, and he isn't terrible in coverage either.

50. Derek Cox- He has the potential to really shoot up this list with some more improved play.
His 2008 season was a wonder to behold

11/2011 Inside Linebacker Rankings

November 11th 2011 08:14
I have compiled a list of the top 15 3-4 inside linebackers in the NFL.

1. Patrick Willis- The dude can do everything at a high-level and is one of the best players against the run. Willis also more than holds his own in coverage, and he can even bring the heat up the middle; easily the best linebacker in football

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10/2011 RB Rankings

October 25th 2011 14:59
1. Adrian Peterson- And you thought I was going to put DeMarco Murray here. Seriously though, there is no back out there better than Peterson. He's everything you want in a pure rusher with his versatility in that he can blow by you, juke you out, and run you down 'till you fall flat on your face (the song is Madden 2003's "Suck It Up").

2. Jamaal Charles- The ACL tear sucks, and Charles is a monster who averaged only about six yards per carry last year

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10/2011 Defensive End Rankings

October 23rd 2011 15:28
1. Justin Tuck- Stout against the run and can bring the heat too. Just a monster who has also mastered the art of the strip sack.

2. Julius Peppers- Makes everyone around him that much better and does everything as a player. Peppers can even tip passes regularly on the line (9 PDs last season

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10/2011 Detroit Lions Top 20 Players

October 19th 2011 15:53
1. WR Calvin Johnson- Really the only reason why this offense functions. Stafford's fine, but he would be half the player with Johnson. Of course that goes with most QBs, but Stafford isn't really all that good. He's above-average- which isn't bad- but nothing more; he's overrated by a lot of guys.

2. DE Cliff Avril- Yeah, the underrated Avril is their second best player. To tell you the truth, the Lions aren't really that talented. You may think I am underrating Suh, but the young tackle has a lot to prove. For as great as he is as a pass rusher, Avril is better. One other thing, Avril isn't a liability against the run

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10/2011 Top 20 Players on the Patriots

October 12th 2011 13:48
1. QB Tom Brady
2. LG Logan Mankins
3. LB Jerod Mayo

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1. LB James Harrison- Does everything well.
2. S Troy Polamalu- Hey there, thanks for reading.
3. QB Ben Roethlisberger- Where would this offense be without him? Yeah, that was a rhetorical question buddy

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9/2011 Top 20 on Tampa Bay Bucs

September 30th 2011 16:58
1. QB Josh Freeman- Uh...the reason why they were above .500 last year. Talk about clutch performers, this guy can ball with the best of them in crunch time.

2. RB LeGarrette Blount- Elusive as hell, you gotta give this guy more credit. I mean, you've punched someone in the face before, right? I hope so, because you've devoided yourself of all manliness if not

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9/2011 QB Rankings

September 29th 2011 18:27
1. Aaron Rodgers- The NFL's version of The Machine
2. Tom Brady- Look past the four picks; he owned the Bills
3. Drew Brees- He rips up secondaries

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9/2011 WR Rankings

September 24th 2011 13:50
1. Larry Fitzgerald
2. Andre Johnson
3. Calvin Johnson

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9/2011 Colts top 20

September 14th 2011 15:29

8/2011 QB Rankings

August 24th 2011 14:50
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Peyton Manning
3. Tom Brady

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Sorry for not posting yesterday. My computer got all messed up when I just finished my post that reviewed the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft. The post didn't go through, my computer broke down for some reason, and it has all left me quite angry at technology. I'll kick off May by looking at the best 20 players on the Texans. I did a post on their top 20 in November, and we'll see if there was a change. That post was on my other site Next to the players are their change in ranking.

1. WR Andre Johnson (Same

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1. CB Johnathan Joseph
2. LB Keith Rivers
3. LT Andrew Whitworth

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3/2011: NFL Safety Rankings

March 10th 2011 15:58
1. Troy Polamalu- Do I even have to explain his impact?
2. Quintin Mikell- He is one of the most underrated players in the league. Mikell doesn't get appreciated much, and he is the best coverage safety in the league who also plays some nice run support D. Reed gets the picks, but Mikell is the true star in coverage.
3. Ed Reed- A pick machine

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2/2011 Top 75 Wide Receiver Rankings

February 26th 2011 14:29
1. Larry Fitzgerald- Still put up big numbers with nightmare QB carousel. Can catch absolutely anything. Has height, leadership, and athleticism.
2. Andre Johnson- Speed, height, and athleticism. Nuff said.
3. Brandon Marshall- If only he was reunited with Cutler

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2/2011 Linebacker Rankings

February 23rd 2011 15:59
1. Patrick Willis- A surefire tackler that is steadily becoming a force in coverage.
2. James Harrison- The man that is truly the best on Pittsburgh, and it might as well be a tie between him an Willis for first. There are so many good linebackers in the league. Harrison is an incredible pass rusher that is an underrated player against the run.

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