Posted by Barrie on Monday, 25 January 2010

The New Orleans Saints Reach Their First Superbowl

23 year old placekicker Garrett Hartley held his nerve in overtime to successfully kick a 40 yard field goal to change the history of New Orleans.

Their NFL team will be going to the Superbowl for the first time in their history in two weeks after beating the Minnesota Vikings 31-28.

The New Orleans done it the hard way after the Minnesota Vikings put the ball on the ground six times, only recovering three of them. However the Saints could not seal the game in normal time. They interception Brett Favre twice; the second his final play of the season, with the game tied and in long field goal range, leaving just 7 seconds on the clock at the end of the play. Noteworthy, Favre's final play as a Green Bay Packer was intercepted by Corey Webster in overtime of the 2007 NFC Championship Game from which the New York Giants went on to win and followed it up by winning the Superbowl over the New England Patriots.

His counterpart, Drew Brees completed 17 of 31 pass attempts for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns for the New Orleans Saints. The Saints got the big plays when they needed them in overtime, with Pierre Thomas narrowly jumping for a first down on a fourth down attempt, and Robert Meachem barely, if at-all-hanging onto an 18 yard pass to setup Hartley's winning field goal.

So much of the pre-game build up was on Reggie Bush after his performance last week against Arizona. He ran for 8 yards on 7 carries, caught 2 passes for 33 yards and 1 touchdown. He fumbled a punt return inside his own 15 just before half time. Fortunately for him and the Saints, the Vikings failed to capitalised as Favre and Adrian Peterson fumbled a handoff, allowing the Saints to recover.

Protecting the ball was a nightmare for the Vikings. Adrian Peterson fumbled twice himself, although both were recovered by the Vikings. Peterson ran for 122 yards and 3 yards on 25 carries. Errors ultimately cost the Vikings their place in the Superbowl, losing the turnover battle 5-1. At times you had to wonder if there was grease on the ball!

The Vikings put up 457 yards of offence to the Saints 257, and had the ball for over 36 minutes. They were made to pay for their mistakes.

Brett Favre took some big shots from the blitzing Saints defence towards the end of the 3rd quarter. At one point he had an ankle wrapped up on the sideline and limped back onto the field. He was clearly hurting in the final quarter; slowly moving around. Favre being Favre, didn't miss a play.

The New Orleans Saints will play the Indianapolis Colts in the Superbowl on February 7th in Miami after Peyton Manning lead his team to victory over the New York Jets prior to the Saints game kicking off.

A shout out to our NFL Betting Expert for correctly selecting these two teams to reach the Superbowl. Not just earlier this week, but earlier this season as he persuaded me at different points during the season to back them for success :) The Colts are early 3.5 point favourites.

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Posted by Barrie on Tuesday, 1 December 2009

2009: The Season of the Quarterback

Drew Brees produced a perfect quarterback passer rating as he threw for 371 yards and 5 touchdowns in just 23 pass attempts against the New England Patriots last nights, as the New Orleans Saints maintained their unbeaten start, now sitting at 11-0.

Brees narrowly has the highest average passer rating (112.6), and is one of five over the 100 mark, alongwith Brett Favre (112.1), Aaron Rodgers (104.9), Peyton Manning (102.5) and Philip Rivers (101.6). Rivers was the only quarterback to finish the season above 100 last season. Other star quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer haven't got those ratings through 12 weeks, but help make a case for one of the strongest quarterback seasons in NFL history.

Brees and Favre are early suggestions for the NFL MVP this season, with only Chris Johnson the only possible non-quarterback candidate, but playing for a team below .500, it's very unlikely he will get it. Brees and Favre are favourites to face each other in the NFC Championship game this season with their teams looking a level above the rest and putting in consistent performances.

Brett Favre is arguably having the best season of his career, leading the Minnesota Vikings to a 10-1 record so far and on course to set an NFL record for touchdown/interception ratio, having thrown 24 touchdowns to 3 interceptions so far, despite missing training camp.

Peyton Manning is a candidate for the MVP once again this season as he looks to lead his Colts to an undefeated season. Sacked just 10 times so far, only Brees (27) has thrown more touchdowns than Manning (24) so far this season. He is making his receivers look good, while Brees genuinely has a top group of receivers at his disposal.

Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers' performances are going a little unnoticed this season, but both may lead their teams to the playoffs this season. Rodgers rating, and 22 touchdowns have come behind the a poor offensive line that has seen him sacked a league high 44 times this season. Another slow start from Rivers and Chargers has seen them win their last 6 games, and a 1 game lead over the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.

This season, the NFL has a lot of top quarterbacks putting up big ratings and viewer numbers. Which one will lead his franchise to glory this season?

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Posted by Barrie on Monday, 2 November 2009

Brett Favre returns to Green Bay with a Win

Brett Favre's first return to Lambeau Field since leaving the Green Bay Packers in 2007 resulted in a 39-28 victory, throwing 4 touchdowns in the process.

It was a shame to hear Favre greeted with a loud chorus of boo's by the Packers fans after16 successful seasons in Green Bay which included 2 Superbowl appearances, winning the first one in January 1997 against the New England Patriots.

The Minnesota Vikings have now done the double over the Packers this season following their 30-23 victory in week 4. This gives the Vikings a 3-game lead in the NFC North.

The Vikings took a 17-3 lead going into half time with Adrian Peterson running in their opening touchdown in the first quarter after Mason Crosby had given the Packers a 3-0 lead. Brett Favre threw his first touchdown pass of the day to Visanthe Shiancoe. The game appeared to be heading out of reach at the beginning of the 3rd quarter following Percy Harvin's 51 yard catch and run touchdown with 3 Packers colliding in the process to allow Harvin to go in.

But with the Vikings pass rush slowing down in the second quarter, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offence got going with Spencer Havner making 2 catches, both for touchdowns in the 3rd quarter either side of a Minnesota fumble on a kickoff.

A Mason Crosby missed field goal in the 4th quarter at 31-26 ultimately cost the Packers as the Vikings drove the ball down the field with Brett Favre throwing his 4th touchdown pass, to Bernard Berrian on 3rd and 11 and the Green Bay 16.

Brett Favre, who's victory over the Packers in week 4 that made him the only player to beat all 32 teams in the NFL had helped lead the Vikings to a 7-1 start to the season. They are on the bye next weekend.

Defensively, the Green Bay Packers offensive line couldn't handle the Vikings pass rush again with Jared Allen notably recording 3 sacks in this game taking him to 10.5 on the season following his 4.5 on the same quarterback in week 4. The Vikings are deservedly amongst the Superbowl favourites now and it would take a momentous flop for them not to win the NFC North now, although it is worth noting Brett Favre and the Jets had a terrible second half of the season run and ended up missing out on the playoffs last season.

In other NFL news, the St Louis Rams got their first win of the season with a 17-10 victory in Detroit, ended a 17-game losing streak. The Tennessee Titans also won their first game of the season when they came off the bye with a 30-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars with Vince Young completing 15/18 for 125 yards and a touchdown pass to Nate Washington. Chris Johnson rushed for 228 yards on 24 carries, with touchdowns of 52 and 89 yards. The Baltimore Ravens handed the Denver Broncos their first defeat of the season; 30-7, the Dolphins won at the Jets and the Texans, Bears, Cowboys and Eagles all recording large victories.

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