Saturday, January 21, 2012

Corbitt Family Playoff Picks: Part III

The NFL had a crazy upset, a shocking upset and an expected blowout.  The Texans showed if healthy, could be a power in the AFC for years.  This week we have the conference title games.  Championship Sunday is one of the best days of football during the whole year.  After that we get a week to breath before the Super Bowl.

Here is the leader board after two weeks of competition.  We all missed on the Packers, and only Aaron called the Niners upset. Sadly for my Dad, he went 0-4.  Everybody is 3-5 except Aaron, and the whole family must team up to catch him.  Picking these games are rough.

Dad: 3-5
Mom: 3-5
Weston: 3-5
Sam: 3-5
Aaron: 6-2
Mary: 3-5

Here is the picks for this week, with only two games this week hopefully somebody goes 2-0.

Dad: Patriots, Giants
Mom: Ravens, Giants
Weston: Patriots, Giants
Sam: Ravens, Giants
Aaron: Patriots, 49'ers
Mary: Ravens, 49'ers

Friday, January 20, 2012

NFC Championship Game Preview: New York vs San Francisco. Party like 1989!

In a year with three 5,000 yard passers, running games that don't matter, and the two worst defenses in the league getting home field advantage, we see a retro NFC Championship match up featuring two teams who like running the ball and defense.

The Giants come into the playoffs barely making it again, having to win a playoff game in Week 17 against the Cowboys to get into the playoffs.  They were playing fairly well until that point, and carried that momentum into a dominating 24-2 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons in New York.  They beat the Packers by playing perfect (and catching some breaks).  They are built to win on the road.  They have a dominant defensive line (mostly Jason Pierre-Paul) and try to run the ball (they have been more successful in the playoffs) to create a perfect upset recipe.  Eli Manning has elevated his game all season, and is becoming an elite QB.

For the Giants to win: They need to get after Alex Smith and make him into the QB we all knew before this year.  JPP should do the trick.  If they can force him to play poorly, they can stop Vernon Davis and limit Frank Gore's runs.  They don't have a wide receiver to really worry about.  Against the 49er's defense, Eli will have to protect the ball and feed his talented collection of pass catchers.  They must run the ball to stay honest, but not expect results.  The Niners defense is really incredible.  The veteran offensive line must keep the pass rush down. 

The 49er's are a big surprise this year in Jim Harbaugh's rookie year.  They play tough, physical defense, that stops the run and gets lots of turnovers.  Their defense is young and awesome.  Its only going to get better.  Their offense is different.  Its young and has some elite players in Vernon Davis, and an aging Frank Gore.  Their offensive line for the most part is young and talented.  Its built to run and be dominant.  They have solid depth at running back, but only Michael Crabtree is (sometimes) their only good receiver.  Alex Smith has improved a lot and takes care of the ball.  He still isn't elite, but he can most likely get the job done.  Their special teams are also solid.  They played in an awful division, but stunned the Saints at home and looked impressive doing it.

For the 49er's to win: They need to play Niners ball at home.  They have to shut down any Giant running attack and make Eli force passes, which almost always lead to mistakes.  The offense needs to feed their playmakers and rely on special teams and field position to win the game.  Its simple.  Run and make timely passes, and make sure your defense stays awesome.

What will happen: This game was really tough to pick.  I can honestly see both teams winning.  When it comes down to it, I am going to have to go with the hot team.  I think the Giants can stop the Niner's offense more and they will make enough plays to win the game.  Both teams will be shut down offensively and it'll come down to what QB makes a big play.  Eli will make one more play than Alex Smith, and the Giants will be in the Super Bowl again. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Social Media Awareness (Spam) Blog

If you followed this blog before you know of my twitter account.  You can find it here.  I post a link to everything I write (including this one, which includes me talking about the twitter, which causes some sort of paradox) and I comment on stories happening live.  Sometimes, like with the BCS title game, I live tweet.  I had a ton of fun with that, and really want to do it again soon.  So its a good idea to follow my twitter if you like links to my blog, live tweeting during sporting events, reading tweets on events happening now, or padding your status as a true twitter master. 

I also hit enough followers on Facebook to name my own Facebook page.  You can find it here.  I also post everything there.  And you are a Facebook junkie, its a good idea to follow that page.

Also I added a new widget to my blog where you can follow me on email.  You can see it in the upper right hand corner under the logo.  I am on Google+ but who uses that?

Thanks again for reading and following, and thanks for the support.  Please share this website with your friends.  Thanks for the support!   

AFC Championship Game: Old School Ravens vs High Flying Patriots

In the title game this weekend that most people saw coming, the old school (1998) Ravens go into Foxboro looking to upset the offensive juggernaut New England Patriots.  This match up features the top two seeds from the regular season, and them being in the AFC is all they have in common. 

The Ravens choose to live in a time when running the ball and defense won Super Bowls when you didn't have a good offense.  Its funny to see a team like this in the final four, but they deserve it.  They won the AFC North, which featured 3 playoff teams, including the reigning AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers.  They have the same Hall Of Famers on defense, and Ray Rice running the rock on offense.

For the Ravens to win:  They need to slow down the Patriots on the road.  Getting to Tom Brady is a must.  They must disrupt his timing and try to get him rattled early.  They have to get turnovers to help slow the Pat's attack and to help out an offense that isn't the best at scoring a ton of points.  Probably the biggest obstacle for the Raven's defense is stopping the double tight end attack of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.  I am not sure how they can do that (since no one has been able to so far) but if they can, they have a great shot at going to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots come in riding an offense that has been electric all year.  Problem is that their defense can't stop anybody.  That hasn't set them back too much so far, as they only had to beat up on the offensively challenged Denver Broncos to get to this point (to be fair, the Ravens had to beat a third string QB).  The Pats have made up for a lack of Wide Receiver by using Tight Ends to gain incredible amount of yards and touchdowns.

For the Patriots to win:  New England can win a shootout with almost anybody.  They just have to score as many points as they have all year.  No defense has really been able to slow them down yet, but they face a legendary defense in Baltimore.  New England's defense just have to make enough plays to win the game, and show the NFL that Joe Flacco can't win a title.

What happens:  New England comes out firing but Baltimore slows them down.  It becomes a slug fest that the Pats wanted to avoid.  Baltimore doesn't make enough offensive plays to put New England away, and the Patriots make a late run and win the game.  New England goes back to the Super Bowl to try and win a fourth title.    

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tim Tebow: A Mom's Perspective

From time to time, my mom writes for my blog about something shes passionate about.  She truly loves football and loves some players more than others.  Tim Tebow is one of her favorites.  And because she hasn't written for me in a while, I thought why not now?  Here is her take on Tebow.  This week I will break down the NFC and AFC title games, and give the playoff pick blog of course.  But for now enjoy this great article from my awesome mom!

Google Tim Tebow and what do you find? His stats, Facebook, Twitter  and his official home page. I think it's more important what's not there. Stories of drunken parties and groping women, stomping another player then saying it was because he lost his balance or any reason for a mug shot. He's getting talked about because he handles himself with control and grace. Giving credit to others and takes more blame than his share. Perseveres and learns from his mistakes. And the worse thing they say, and they say it a lot, he prays. He seems to be optimistic even when behind. He and his team have been behind more than a few times this season, but with hard work and common sense they try hard and do their best. Is he lucky? Maybe. Don't we all hit a little luck from time to time? And I've heard some say that since he gives thanks to Jesus, Tebow believes God wants him to win. If you believe, do you believe God makes you do good or does He give you the opportunity to do good? He doesn't win because God wants him to, he wins wins because he has a talent that he believes God gave him. And he worked hard to develop his talent.

We all have talents no matter where they come from. What will you do with yours?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Corbitt Family Playoff Picks: Part II

Last week the NFL saw Tebow pull off another miracle in Denver, the Lion's season end with some fireworks in New Orleans, and a couple of blowouts separating the division winners from the wildcards.

And we saw another season of Corbitt family pick 'em underway.  Here is your leader board after one week:

Dad: 3-1
Mom: 2-2
Weston: 1-3
Sam: 2-2
Aaron: 3-1
Mary: 2-2

What jumps out at you right away is my poor record and everyone still having a shot to win this.  One of these years I'll have to do pretty well I guess.  Here are the picks for the divisional round of the playoffs:

Dad: Broncos, Texans, Saints, Packers
Mom: Broncos, Ravens, Saints, Packers
Weston: Patriots, Ravens, Saints, Packers
Sam: Broncos, Ravens, Saints, Packers
Aaron:Patriots, Ravens, 49er's, Packers
Mary:Broncos, Ravens, Saints, Packers

As you can see, some teams are more popular in the Corbitt household than others.  I will tell you this though, we are all rooting for Tim Tebow to beat up the Pats in Foxboro.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Lions: How Far Have They Come?

When I started this blog almost three years ago, the biggest concern with the Lions was picking who they would take with the first overall pick, and actually winning a football game.  Remember, the Lions at that point had lost 23 of 24 games and had another long road losing streak ahead of them.  They just had the worst season in the history of professional football.  They broke then rebroke their own record for road losses in a row.  The team had less talent than a expansion team and the team direction was in the ground.   The Lions had one great player, Calvin Johnson, and a good kicker.  That was about it.

Now winning on the road isn't a hurdle to worry about.  The Lions went 5-3 on the road this year.  Good enough for most teams to make the playoffs, as the Lions did.  From 2001-2010 the Lions won 8 road games total, (8-64) until they won two in Florida last winter.

Its also encouraging  to see how far the talent level has risen.  The Lions have one of the best pool of young talent in the league.  The group is led by Matthew Stafford, who has shattered every Lions record in existence, at the same time shattering the idea that he is injury prone and brittle.  The other side of the ball has seen improvements too.  Think about three years ago, who was the best player on the defense?  Ernie Sims, who has bounced around the league since being traded by Detroit?  Dwayne White?  Now the defense has talent and has an identity.  Honestly, I think the defensive line underperformed this year, and the linebackers as well. If they had done their job, we wouldn't be in the league cellar when it comes to stopping the run.  But for the first time since Robert Porcher and Luther Ellis played, there is hope the Lions defense could improve and not have to rely on pad level and shovels to stop someone.

Was this season a success?  Yes, that's an easy question.  The Lions made the playoffs for the first time since 1999, found their franchise QB and found what their electric offense can do.  But this season also showed how far the Lions have to go.  They have little to no running game and at times the passing offense struggled.  The defense has its own problems.  And now we have to worry about signing everybody under the salary cap.  Another off season as productive as the last two should lead to another playoff berth and possibly a deep run.  Two years from now, the sky is the limit. Before you get upset with how the season ended, remember how far the Lions have come, and remember that time when losing a playoff game was just a dream.  

Corbitt Family Playoff Picks

I went home this Christmas break as I always do.  Its something I really look forward to every fall, after finals week and work at everything wrapping up for the semester.  I just get to see my family and relax. While home my mom asked, "Whatever happened to your blog, you used to love it so much.  You should get back into it again."  I replied,  "I just don't have time anymore, I am always busy."

That is somewhat true, this semester I went to two Lions games, countless WMU hockey, football and basketball games, one MSU football game, and worked a good deal over the fall.  I was busy with a lot of school related activities and going to see my friends and family when I can.  I was busy, but my mom made a great point: "You have to make time for the things you like, and you really liked to write.  So get back into it!" And shes right.  I will make time for this website.  I don't know how many people will still read it, or will be around after my last post in August.  I won't have guest writers (outside of my mom, shes is really great at it), although they all did a great job filling in and providing great material.  I'll make an effort to do this more, because I do enjoy it so much.  So after fulling charging my batteries, and feeling passionate about doing this again, I will try this again in a new year with a new start.

Now enough of that, lets get to the Corbitt Family Picks!! (note: these picks were made before the playoffs began, you'll just have to believe me)

Weston: Bengals, Steelers, Saints, Falcons.  Super Bowl: Packers vs Patriots
Dad: Texans, Steelers, Saints, Giants. Super Bowl: Packers vs Patriots
Mom: Bengals, Broncos, Lions, Giants. Super Bowl: Lions vs Broncos
Aaron: Texans, Broncos, Saints, Falcons. Super Bowl: Patriots vs San Francisco
Mary: Bengals, Steelers, Saints, Giants.  Super Bowl: Patriots vs Packers
Sam: Bengals, Broncos, Lions Giants Super Bowl: Bengals vs Packers

Whoever wins the competition gets a blog dedicated to a subject of their choice.  The Super Bowl picks is purely for tie breaking (and smack talking) purposes.  Last year, my sister Mary won with only missing one pick all playoffs.  She got a blog written about the movie series, Twilight: The Saga.  I will get the other blogs out before the games begin next week.  Good luck to everyone in it!