Monday, October 20, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

Taylor’s NFL Picks: Week 7

by Taylor Hauck | October 13, 2014

New York Jets @ New England Patriots
The Jets have lost five straight games and this week wont be any easier. The Jets did play the Broncos well and gave them a run for their money. New England is coming off two straight wins after a slow start to the season. Expect Tom Brady to follow up his four-touchdown performance with another good outing in New England.


Atlanta Falcons @ Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco is having a good season after a down year last season. He has the Ravens in prime position to qualify for the playoffs this year. He threw for five touchdowns in the Ravens’ easy win Sunday against the Bucs. Atlanta fell to 2-4 with a loss to the Bears at home. The Falcons need to figure something out fast or they will miss the playoffs again this year. Expect the Falcons to put up a fight, but the Ravens should win.

Tennessee Titans @ Washington Redskins
Both these teams are having bad seasons. The Titans are coming off a win over the lowly Jaguars. Meanwhile, the Redskins are 1-5 and sit at the bottom of the NFC East. Expect this game to be sloppy on both sides of the ball. The Redskins should escape with the win.

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams
Seattle suffered another setback Sunday against the Cowboys. Seattle is normally unbeatable at home, and currently sits at 3-2 overall on the season. They look to get back to their winning ways, starting with the game against the Rams. St. Louis had a bye and should be well rested to try and pull off the upset over Seattle. Expect the Seahawks to come away with a win.

Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Cleveland is proving that they could potentially contend for a playoff position come December. They sit at 3-2 and have played well in most of their games. A win over the Jaguars would improve their chances. Their defense is ranked next to last, however their offense makes up for their lack of defense. The Jaguars are 0-6 and have the worst record in the league. Expect the Browns to win big in Jacksonville.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are back to playoff form after two tough losses to open the season. They are winners of four straight and Andrew Luck continues to rack up the touchdowns. He leads the league in touchdowns and passing yards. Cincinnati was involved in a tie Sunday, a rarity in the NFL. They failed to make field goal in the closing seconds of overtime. Expect a very good game between the first place teams in their respective divisions.

Minnesota Vikings @ Buffalo Bills
Buffalo sits at 3-3 and needs a win to keep pace with the Patriots in the division. The Bills will most likely go with Kyle Orton again after benching EJ Manuel a couple weeks ago. Minnesota appears doomed this year, especially playing in a tough division. Expect a close game between two mediocre teams.

Miami Dolphins @ Chicago Bears
Chicago looks to get over .500 with a win over the Dolphins. Jay Cutler has been playing well, sitting at eighth in passing yards on the season. Meanwhile, the Dolphins suffered heartbreak Sunday to the Packers. The Packers scored the go-ahead touchdown with less than ten seconds left. Expect the Dolphins to put up a fight, with the Bears winning.

New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions
Detroit leads the NFC North and looks to hold on to that lead with a win over the struggling Saints. New Orleans sits at 2-3, a surprising record for a team that usually wins a lot of games every season. The Lions are coming off a win over the Vikings and look to win their fourth game in their last five attempts.

Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers went with the fake spike to get the Packers close and eventually score Sunday in a last minute win over the Dolphins. The Packers are second in the AFC North by virtue of a tiebreaker. Green Bay has struggled at times but with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback they are always a threat. The Panthers were involved in a tie Sunday. They remain in the division lead despite the tie and hope to build on that lead with a win over the Panthers. Expect a good game with the Packers coming away with the win.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers
Kansas City is well rested after a bye week and will look to get back to .500 with a win. The Chargers have struggled despite winning the last few weeks. They need to regroup and start playing better defensively if they want to continue their winning ways. Expect a close game, with the Chiefs coming away with the win.

Arizona Cardinals @ Oakland Raiders
The Cardinals are probably the most surprising team in the NFL this year. They are 4-1 and lead the AFC West. They have a good record despite a mediocre offense and defense. They simply have been able to get ahead and hold on for wins. Look for them to get another win Sunday in Oakland. The Raiders played better Sunday against the Chargers behind Blake Bortles’ good day. However, they have yet to record a win this season. Expect an easy win for the Cardinals.

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are playing their best football in years. They are 5-1 and remain at the top of the NFC East with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys took down the Seahawks Sunday in Seattle. Whatever the critics were saying, they put behind them. The Giants looked awful on Sunday Night Football. They struggled to get anything going. Lots penalties did not help either. Expect the Cowboys to win easily in this division battle.

San Francisco @ Denver Broncos
Denver didn’t play all that well last week despite a win and scoring a lot of points. They struggled in the early parts of their win over the Jets. Look for Peyton Manning and the Broncos to fix any kinks in their game plan and come out strong against the 49ers. The 49ers have struggled at times but have been playing good football the last few weeks. Expect a great matchup on Sunday Night Football.

Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Houston is a game behind the Colts for first place in the AFC South. The Texans most likely need a win to keep pace with the Colts. Expect the Texans to come out strong after a long week due to their Thursday Night Football game last week. Houston will look to use their intimidating defense to shut down the Steelers. The Steelers can’t seem to find a rhythm. They have had a win one week, lose the next week pattern all season. Expect that to end as they will lose two straight after a loss to the Texans on Monday Night Football.

Taylor’s NFL Picks Week 6

by Taylor Hauck | October 8, 2014

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
The Colts have won three straight games and are now above .500 after starting the season off poorly. They are surging behind Andrew Luck’s stellar quarterback play. The Texans dropped to 3-2 with a loss, and now only lead the Colts due to a tiebreaker for the division lead. This game will be a pivotal turning point in the division. Expect a very competitive game.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Tennessee blew a 25-point lead to the Browns and will have to bounce back. They stand at 1-4 and desperately need a win to stay alive this season. They should pull out a win over the Jaguars, who have still failed to get anything going through the first five games of the season.

Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Ravens didn’t play well on offense Sunday against the Colts and settled for a loss. They look to get back to their winning ways against the Buccaneers. The Bucs almost beat the Saints Sunday, having had a lead for most of the game. Teams need to take the Bucs more seriously as they hope to play spoiler the rest of the season.

Denver Broncos @ New York Jets
The Denver Broncos looked very good against the undefeated Cardinals and were able to pull away for the win. Peyton Manning threw for his five hundredth career touchdown. Meanwhile, the Jets still haven’t won since the first week and need a major change at quarterback, coaching positions, or in the front office. Expect a blowout win for the Broncos.

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
Detroit stands at 3-2 after failing to hold on for a win against the feisty Buffalo Bills. The Lions need a boost in their offense if they want to compete for the division title down the road. Minnesota looked terrible on Thursday Night Football against the Packers. Expect the Lions to blow out the Vikings in Minnesota.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
The Patriots made a statement that they were still a relevant football team as they handled the previously undefeated Bengals. The Patriots will look to build on this win amid distractions. Buffalo is having a good season and is currently tie for the division lead with the Patriots. The winner of this game will take sole possession of first place in the division. This game should be close with the Patriots coming out on top.

Carolina Panthers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Despite the Bengals’ setback on Sunday Night Football, they are still a good football team and should be able to handle the Panthers. However, the Panthers lead their division by one game and hope to stay atop the division. This game should be close with the Bengals edging out a win.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
This game is a complete toss-up. Cleveland has played just about every opponent down to the wire and has come back a few times this season. Pittsburgh is coming off a loss to the lowly Buccaneers and just won by a few points over the Jaguars. Expect the Browns to win a close game in Cleveland.

Green Bay Packers @ Miami Dolphins
Green Bay is looking to win their third straight game. The Green Bay offense has been really good, scoring a combined 80 points in their last two games. If they continue that offense, there are not many teams that will stop them. Miami is coming off a bye week and will turn to their sixth ranked running game to try and beat the Packers. Expect the Packers to win, but not without a good effort from the Dolphins.

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
The Chargers continue their hot start and sit at 4-1, leading the tough AFC West. The Chargers are currently fifth in the league in passing yards per game and will use their pass game to handle the Raiders. The Raiders have yet to win a game this year and will desperately pull out any stops to try to get one in the win column. Expect an easy win for the Chargers.

Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons
Both these teams are coming off losses. The Bears have struggled and rank outside the Top 15 in passing and rushing yards allowed per game, which doesn’t fare well for the Bears since the Falcons have a good passing offense. Expect a close game, with the Falcons winning at home.

Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks
Seattle is just way too good at home to even pick against them at home. The Seahawks are poised for another long postseason run this year. However, Dallas has been impressive in the first five weeks and is hoping to silence critics after a tough last three years. Expect a close game with the Seahawks coming away with the win.

Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals
Washington has the edge in the game due to the uncertainty of the quarterback position for the Cardinals. Two of their quarterbacks are hurt and may need to start their third string quarterback. The Cardinals lost their first game Sunday to the Broncos, but look to bounce back. Washington is having another bad season, but could use this game to turn their season around.

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Despite the 4-1 and record by the Eagles, their season hasn’t exactly been pretty. Their running game has been poor, as well as their offense at times. The Eagles special teams has kept them around and in contention this year. The Giants are only a game back of the division lead and are coming on strong, having won three games in a row. This game should be exciting to watch.

San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams
San Francisco has found their winning way after a slow start. They can continue their hot streak when they face the Rams on Monday Night Football. Expect the 49ers to blow out the Rams. The Rams played a decent game against the Eagles last week, but have still struggled mightily this season.

Taylor’s NFL Picks Week 5

by Taylor Hauck | October 1, 2014

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers 

The Packers looked good in an easy win over Chicago. Aaron Rodgers came alive in their big win. Meanwhile, the Vikings played well offensively to get by the Falcons. Look for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to build on their win and roll over the Vikings at home in Green Bay.


St. Louis Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia played poorly on offense in their first loss of the season against the 49ers. The offense only had one drive where they got into opponents territory. Their special teams were the only bright spots in the game. The Rams are coming off a bye week and will need to be prepared for the Eagles. Expect the Eagles to bounce back with an easy win.

Chicago Bears @ Carolina Panthers
The Bears look to bounce back after a blowout loss Sunday to the Packers. Chicago sits at 2-2 and is tied with two other teams in the NFC North. The Bears need a win to keep pace in the division. Carolina is atop the NFC South, despite losing two straight games. Expect this game to be close, with the Bears emerging with the victory

Cleveland Browns @ Tennessee Titans
The Browns record doesn’t show how well they have started the season. They are coming off a bye week and hope to get by the Titans. Tennessee hasn’t played well since Week One. They have given up a lot of points on defense and haven’t scored a lot of points on offense so far this season. Expect the game to be close with the Browns pulling out a win.

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants
Atlanta has been inconsistent in their first four games. They have either scored a lot of points or given up a lot of points. However their offense has looked better than most teams’ offenses. The Giants have won two straight games after starting the season with two losses. Eli Manning has limited his interceptions during their current win streak. Expect a high scoring game with the Falcons winning.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints have failed to show that they are a contender this year. The first four games of the season have been a disaster for New Orleans. Expect them to rebound and gain some momentum over the Bucs. However, the Bucs have momentum of their own after getting an upset win over the Steelers for their first win.

Houston Texans @ Dallas Cowboys
Dallas has been impressive and is currently silencing critics. Both teams have a 3-1 record, but the Cowboys have the better team. The Cowboys’ rush attack is tough to stop. They currently lead the NFL in rushing yards per game. Expect the Cowboys to win easily.

Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions
Detroit pulled out another close win on Sunday and their 3-1 record shows their hard work. They hope to run their win streak to three with a win over the Bills. The Bills started the season with two wins but have lost their last two. They hope to put up a good fight against the Lions. Expect a close game with the Lions improving to 4-1.

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck and the Colts are coming on strong after a slow start to the season. Luck has thrown for four touchdowns in each of the last two games. Expect the Colts to continue their win streak against the Ravens. The Ravens are 3-1 and lead the AFC North, but they haven’t played an overly impressive team to date. Expect a competitive game in Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh has been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. They have played well some weeks and very poorly in others. They look to end their poor streak and rebound with a win over Jacksonville. The Jaguars looked improved with Blake Bortles at quarterback, but still need work. They are winless and look for their first win of the season. Expect Pittsburgh to come away with the much-needed win.

Arizona Cardinals @ Denver Broncos
Despite the Cardinals’ 3-0 record the Broncos have the better team. Both are coming off a bye and should be well rested. Peyton Manning is as good as other years and is tough to beat. Arizona is shaky at the quarterback position and doesn’t know who will start at this point. The Cardinals should compete but the Broncos will pull out a win in a tough, competitive game.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were able to end their losing streak Sunday against the Eagles. They played well on defense and moved the ball effectively on offense. They hope to build off their last game and beat the Chiefs. Kansas City isn’t off to the start they were last year. Expect the Chiefs to put up a good fight, but the 49ers should prevail at the end.

New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are 3-1 and off to their best start in recent years. Look for San Diego beat the Jets at home. The struggles of the New York Jets continue. Expect a major change in the coaching staff at the end of the season.

Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
The Bengals are having another good season and hope to become 4-0 with a win over the Patriots. Andy Dalton is leading the way for the Bengals. New England doesn’t look like New England teams of the past, but their defense has played well. They lead the league in opponent passing yards per game. This game should be close, with the Bengals escaping with a win.

Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Redskins
Seattle is coming off a huge win over the Broncos and a bye week. They are well rested and ready to start their stretch of games against NFC East opponents. Washington had a horrible Week Four, getting blown out by the Giants on Thursday Night Football. Washington has a little quarterback controversy, which they hope doesn’t come to a big distraction. Expect a Seahawks win on Monday Night Football.

Three Chargers Earn NFL Opportunities

by Charger Athletics | May 1, 2013

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – For the first time since the program returned to the gridiron, the University of New Haven football team had three student-athletes invited to NFL teams following the 2013 draft on Saturday.

Photo provided by Charger Athletics.

Wide receiver Jason Thompson (Indiantown, Fla./South Fork ) signed a three year contract with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent, while defensive lineman Raheem Stanley (Hartford, Conn./Weaver ) and quarterback Ryan Osiecki (Seymour, Conn./Seymour / Univ. of Louisville) were invited to rookie mini camps with the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, respectively.

“I’m very happy for them,” said head football coach Peter Rossomando. “They have committed themselves to getting better every day and I’m positive their NFL experience’s will be fulfilling. The entire Charger football family wishes them luck as they begin this chapter of their careers.”

Thompson’s career numbers included 36 touchdowns and 2,511 yards on 132 catches. He ranks among the top insecond in receiving touchdowns and receiving yards, while finishing fifth in receptions in the UNH record books.

Stanley finished his career with 141 total tackles, including 18 tackles-for-loss. As a senior, he was named the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year with 40 total tackles, nine tackles-for-loss and two sacks.

Osiecki, New Haven’s all-time leader in nearly every passing record, concluded his career with an amazing 91 touchdown passes, 9,572 passing yards and 754 completions.

Previously, New Haven’s had two players drafted in the NFL, Miles McPherson (1982) and Harry Boatswain (1991). Five players have appeared in a NFL regular season game, including the previous two, Fred DiRenzo, Roger Graham and Phil Bogle.

The Redskins will hold rookie minicamp this week, from May 4-6, while the Chiefs and Patriots host minicamps next week, May 11-13 and May 10-12.


Ray’s Last Ride

by The Charger Bulletin | February 20, 2013

By Mike Nicolini

Contributing Writer

On the verge of the 2012-2013 NFL playoffs, Ray Lewis made news that shocked the football world. Ray Lewis, one of the greatest linebackers to ever play, announced his decision that he would retire at the end of the year.

Ray is known as being one of the greatest leaders and motivational speakers in sports. Lewis was attempting to beat all the odds by coming back from a torn triceps injury in time to play what would be his last home game in the wild card round of the playoffs versus the Indianapolis Colts.

As expected, the atmosphere for this game was astonishing, as the 71 thousand fans roared from their seats. It was almost as if the viewers knew the Ravens were going to win the game as soon as Ray Lewis walked out of the Ravens tunnel for the last time and did his signature dance as his name was introduced.

Baltimore went on to win the game by a score of 24-9 and move on to the divisional round versus the heavily-favored Denver Broncos. However, going against all odds, Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens walked into Mile High Stadium in Denver and won one of the most exciting games in recent history. The excitement and thrill of the final drive led by quarterback Joe Flacco to bring the game into overtime cannot be matched.

With this miraculous win, the Ravens were set to face the New England Patriots, led by superstar quarterback Tom Brady. The Ravens, being the heavy underdogs once again, rolled over New England, shocking everybody with a final score of 28-13. It was at this point where every football fan took a step to acknowledge and appreciate the great run Ray Lewis was putting together in his final games.

Now, the stage was set for Super Bowl Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens faced the San Francisco 49ers in Ray Lewis’ last game ever. There was one thing for certain on game day, which was that Ray Lewis would give one of the most motivational and emotional speeches in his career before kickoff to get his team ready for battle.

After an exciting gridiron battle, the Baltimore Ravens finished their magical run and edged out the 49ers in an exciting 34-31 ballgame. No one could have written the script any better for Ray Lewis. He beat all the odds by coming back from an injury, quieted all the doubters who said he was too old and too slow, and finished his career on top of the world as a champion. Teammates of Lewis said his speech after the game left them all in tears, which sums up how much he meant to his city.

The Ravens brought the Lombardi trophy home to Baltimore in their celebratory parade, which was bittersweet to fans knowing they have seen the last of the irreplaceable linebacker, number 52, Ray Lewis.



Taylor’s NFL Picks

by Taylor Hauck | November 14, 2012

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

The Dolphins look to bounce back from a dreadful loss to the Titans. This AFC East showdown should result in a win for Miami.


Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

While the Packers haven’t lived up to expectations, they are hot. The Packers also have a quarterback named Aaron Rodgers.


Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons

Arizona started with four straight wins. They then lost five in a row. They will not compete against a Falcons team bouncing back from their first loss.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

The Bucs have been a surprise team this season under Coach Schiano and look to continue their success in a NFC South matchup with the struggling Panthers.


Cleveland Browns @ Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are coming off a win over the Eagles and look to put a winning streak together against the 2-7 Browns.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

The turnover-prone Eagles will handle RG3 and the Redskins. The Eagles need a win or Andy Reid could be ousted from Philly.


New York Jets @ St. Louis Rams

Both teams are struggling, but the Rams have momentum after competing with the 49ers.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are awful, and the Bengals are looking to stay alive in the division race with the Steelers and Ravens. The Bengals are also coming off a huge win over the Giants.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Houston is enjoying another good season and should blow by the young, inexperienced Jaguars.


New Orleans Saints @ Oakland Raiders

The Saints have been a disappointment after a rough offseason, but with Drew Brees at the helm, you can expect the Saints to continue their winning streak.


San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos

Chargers’ coach Norv Turner could be on his way out if the Chargers continue to fall apart year after year. Peyton Manning leads the Broncos to a victory in Denver.


Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

Andrew Luck has the Colts on the doorstep of the playoffs. However, Tom Brady and company are too powerful for the up-start Colts.


Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The same old Steelers are back after a sluggish start and should take down their division rival.


Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers

Two of the best teams in the NFC square off on Monday Night Football. The game should be close, but the Bears will prevail.

Sean’s Weekend Sports Summaries

by Sean Malone | October 10, 2012

Jets, week five preview at Houston: If you were to approach a Jets fan and ask them what time it is, you would get a lot of different answers. Some who are still committed to Mark Sanchez would say that Sanchez’s time isn’t up yet. Some Jets fans that are fed up with Sanchez’s mediocrity would say that it’s Tebow Time. Even some crazy, desperate Jets fans would say its McElroy time. According to Rex Ryan, however, it seems like Sanchez’s time will continue.

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns.

Now don’t go jumping the gun and saying that it’s the offensive line’s fault or the wide receivers fault for Mark’s lack of success. Sam Bradford has worse of both and is doing much better than Sanchez. Besides, we already saw that same song and dance from Jets fans putting the blame on Brian Schottenheimer, who is Bradford’s offensive coordinator now.

If you think that the Jets are going to bounce back and win this week because they will be motivated to make up for their performance, you couldn’t be more wrong. The Texans are good in every aspect of football. The Jets should play better than they did last Sunday against the 49ers. but not well enough to win. The Texans are arguably playing as well as any team. Watching the game won’t be pretty, especially watching the Jets offense take on the number one defense in the NFL, but it should be better than last week.

My Prediction: 27-6 Texans.

Giants 41, Cleveland 27: It’s amazing how one play can turn around a game. The Giants are coming off a heartbreaking loss at Philadelphia. This week, they are hoping to extract some revenge at home against the Cleveland Browns and, for about the first 28 minutes of the game, it did not seem like they were going to get it. A fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw led to an early 7-0 deficit for the Giants. Then, on the following drive, Browns rookie QB Brandon Weeden hit a bomb to wide receiver Josh Gordon.

The Giants showed some signs of life in this game for the first time, all game after that. They responded with a 92-yard drive that ran over six minutes. After back and forth field goals from both teams, the Giants picked off Weeden, and forced and recovered a fumble on Josh Cribbs on a kickoff return following the Giants touchdown. New York then drove down the field and scored another touchdown, all within two minutes.

After the interception, the Giants scored 24 unanswered points and outscored the Browns 31 to 10 for the remainder of the game. Bradshaw ended the game with 200 yards and a score, and Cruz had three touchdowns himself. However, the Giants did not have a single sack this game. The Giants’ pass rush has been below average this season and with San Francisco, Washington and Dallas coming up on the schedule, the pass rush will need to improve.

Patriots 31, Denver 21:

Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning has returned now that Peyton has returned to the field, and it was as good as it has always been. Brady vs. Manning 11 took place at Foxboro this time, as Peyton faced Brady as a Bronco and not a Colt.

Peyton Manning actually out-performed Tom Brady as Manning threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns compared to Brady’s 223 yards and one passing touchdown. Brady also had a rushing touchdown. The Patriot’s biggest advantage in this game was, surprisingly, their ability to run the ball. They had just over 250 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Despite this, Peyton Manning almost went vintage on them as they were driving late in the game, hoping to make it only a one-possession lead before a fumble by Willis McGahee on the New England 11-yard line. The Patriots would kill the clock for the remainder of the game.

So, Brady beat Manning again to move his record against him to 9-4 on his career. As good as this match up has always been, it never gets old. Even if the players are.


Seattle Names Russell Wilson Starting QB

by The Associated Press | August 29, 2012

Pete Carroll and John Schneider were overjoyed during the April NFL draft when the Seattle Seahawks were able to grab Russell Wilson in the third round.

Even they couldn’t anticipate that Wilson would be the Seahawks’ Week 1 starter.

Carroll announced Sunday night that the undersized, but highly successful rookie quarterback from Wisconsin will be the starter when the Seahawks open the regular season on Sept. 9 at Arizona. Wilson beat out Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson — in the process of being traded to Buffalo — for the starting gig.

“It’s been a very exciting competition that has gone on and Russell has taken full advantage of his opportunities and has done everything that we have asked for on the field and more than what you guys could know off the field in meeting rooms and with our players and how he’s represented. He’s earned this job,” Carroll said on a conference call Sunday night. “It was a legitimate competition as we said from the beginning and with the opportunity he’s taken advantage of he deserves to start.”

Wilson has been a dynamic star during the preseason. For the first two weeks, his performance came against backups during the second halves of victories over Tennessee and Denver.

But what Wilson displayed during those two halves were enough for Carroll to give him the start Friday night against Kansas City. Wilson’s response: 13-of-19 passing for 185 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 134.8. And if he didn’t show enough with his arm, Wilson added another 58 yards rushing.

His total preseasons numbers thus far are eye-popping: 35 of 52 (67.3 percent) for 464 yards, five touchdowns and a league-leading 119.4 QB rating. Wilson’s only preseason mistake was throwing a careless end zone interception against Tennessee.

Otherwise, Wilson’s been almost perfect.

“This isn’t just based on the quarters we’ve seen him play. This is based on the practice and the challenges that he’s undertaken here on the practice field,” Carroll said. “We’ve combined everything and with the circumstances that have been presented he won this opening challenge here.”

Wilson’s most recent performance had Seattle fans buzzing, with Twitter overrun with “Russellmania” comments Friday night as he picked apart the Chiefs. As the game progressed, most began accepting the idea that Wilson would be the starter.

Carroll said Wilson took the news in stride.

“He expects to be good and he expects to be successful and he expects to make plays,” Carroll said.

Wilson has been able to pick up the Seahawks offense quicker because of his experience playing in a West Coast offensive system in college. He spent his first three seasons at North Carolina State before transferring for his final year to Wisconsin. In Madison, Wilson led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl and was named the first-team, all-Big Ten quarterback.

“He is so prepared. He doesn’t seem like a first-year player,” Carroll said. “He seems like he’s been around. He gets it, he understands and he is a tremendous leader in that way. He doesn’t do anything but the right thing in all of his work and his preparation and his competitiveness has been demonstrated again.”

Wilson being named the starter leaves Flynn on the sidelines and according to Carroll understandably disappointed. Flynn was Seattle’s big free-agent splash in the offseason and the most highly sought after quarterback not named Manning after spending the last few seasons as Aaron Rodgers backup in Green Bay. But Flynn failed to show the same flashes as Wilson during his two preseason opportunities and sat out the game in Kansas City with a sore elbow.

Flynn’s injury isn’t considered to be severe, but sitting out against the Chiefs didn’t help his case for the job.

“Matt’s done a great job for us in every way, just the opportunities didn’t seem to come in as big a way as it did for Russell,” Carroll said. “He made the most of his.”

Week Two Total Recap

by Amanda Doerr | September 28, 2011

The season is still quite young, but we have seen some interesting performances thus far. The Detroit Lions demolished the Chiefs by 45 points week two. This team hasn’t put up a good fight in years, so it will be interesting to see how long this positive streak for the Lions will last. Will they appear in this year’s playoffs? The Jets walked all over the Jags, and yet again Kerry Collins proved to be no Peyton by giving the win to the Browns. Green Bay is continuing their winning streak and defeated the Panthers by a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Panthers are now 0-2. Sorry Carolina fans; it seems that you are off to a rough start. But no worries, the season is still young, and nothing matters until it gets closer to playoffs.

The Seahawks were up against their former rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers whom they had played in Super Bowl XL and lost (21-10) back in 2006. Yet again the Seahawks were no match for Big Ben during week two’s match up. The Steelers dominated and came out victorious (0-24).  Luckily for Dallas, the Cowboys came out on top by three points against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Patriots played the Chargers and were able to maintain a lead throughout the entire game and ended up winning by two touchdowns. There were a total of three interceptions. One of which was intercepted by none other than their Defensive Tackle weighing 325 pounds and making it 28 yards before he was tackled. Go Vince Wilfork!

The NFL season is flying by and who knows what the football gods have in store for us!

Start Bill-ieving: Buffalo 3-0 After Beating Pats

by The Associated Press | September 28, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — No matter how big the deficit, no matter which opponent, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills are proving they’re not the same old NFL pushovers.

One week it’s rallying to beat Oakland, the next it’s storming back to conquer an even bigger nemesis: AFC East rival New England.

Rian Lindell made a 28-yard field goal as time ran out to seal a 34-31 win over the Patriots on Sunday after the Bills erased a 21-0 second-quarter deficit. The win has Buffalo — a team which hasn’t reached the playoffs in 11 seasons — off to a 3-0 start and sitting alone on top of the division.

It’s early, sure, but maybe it’s time to start Bill-ieving.

“I know that there were probably very few believers going into this game,” Fitzpatrick said, a week after the Bills overcame a 21-3 first-half deficit in a 38-35 win over Oakland. “I think in terms of what this means for the city of Buffalo, it’s the biggest win since I’ve been here for sure.”

That’s not even the half of it for Fitzpatrick, a journeyman backup who signed with Buffalo in 2009. The significance of this victory goes back much further as the Bills snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Patriots that dates to the 2003 season opener.

Linebacker Chris Kelsay can provide the proper perspective, given he’s one of only four players left on the roster who played in that game.

“It’s the biggest win of my career. I can’t think of any bigger,” Kelsay said. “To beat these guys at home, in front of our fans, with the way they’re behind us despite being down early, it’s huge. I’ll never forget it.”

Fitzpatrick led an offense that produced 448 yards and scored 30 points for the third straight week. Fred Jackson had 74 yards rushing and a score, and 87 yards receiving, with his final 38-yard catch setting up Lindell’s field goal.

Buffalo’s opportunistic defense played havoc with the usually unflappable Tom Brady, who threw four interceptions — equaling the number he threw all of last season — and one of which Drayton Florence returned for a touchdown.

New England (2-1) had a 10-game win streak snapped while losing to Buffalo for only the second time in 22 meetings.

“We had too many penalties, too many scoring opportunities that we missed. That’s why we lost the game,” Brady said.

Then again, it’s not as if the Patriots have never lost before.

“It’s one loss, and it’s a long season,” Brady said. “Hopefully, we’ll learn from it, move on.”

Brady still went 30 of 45 for 386 yards and four scores — two each to Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski. He also set the NFL record for most yards passing (1,326) over a three-game stretch.

Welker had a career-best 16 catches for a franchise-record 217 yards.

Not that it mattered.

“You know, what should be a great fun day of breaking records and doing all those things, it’s totally the opposite,” Welker said. “I think it shows that we’ve got a long way to go.”

The Patriots were overwhelmed by a Bills team that’s gaining confidence and showing it’s capable of pulling out victories following last year’s 4-12 finish — three of those losses coming in overtime.

Dating to 1950, the Bills became the only team to overcome deficits of at least 18 points to win in consecutive weeks, according to STATS LLC. In fact, only five teams had previously won twice in one season when trailing by 18 or more points.

“It feels great, man,” said receiver Stevie Johnson, who had eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. “We know we’ve got a ton of games to go, but just for the fans to say, ‘We beat the Patriots,’ that’s something big.”

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