Saturday, November 29, 2014

Penguins Game 23 Preview - @ Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes

7:00 p.m., PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

The Last Penguins Game
November 28, 2014 - Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 2


Probables

Pittsburgh (15-5-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Jayson Megna - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Christian Ehrhoff
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Thomas Greiss

Carolina (7-12-3) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Andrej Nestrasil
Zach Boychuk - Jay McClement - Pat Dwyer

Defense
Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles - Ron Hainsey
Tim Gleason - Michal Jordan

Goaltender
Anton Khudobin


Season Series (Carolina leads 1-0)

November 28, 2014 - Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 2




Stats

Steelers Game 12 Preview - vs. New Orleans Saints

The Steelers are coming off a bye week in a division that is as close as any in football. Every team in the AFC North has seven wins and it is going to be a sprint to the finish starting this week. The Saints are coming into town and in years past that would have been a terrifying thing. That isn't to say they aren't a good team, in some respects, but they have struggled in a huge way.

While the Steelers are in a stacked division the Saints are part of just a brutal NFC South where the Atlanta Falcons are tied with the Saints for the division lead with a 4-7 record. Woof. Tampa Bay is only two games out of the division lead and they are just awful. The Saints are a weird team because they continue to have an outstanding offense but the defense has just been dreadful this year. It is fun to see that defense become awful if only because Rob Ryan is the leader of it.

Should be an interesting game.

Lets look at the Saints.

Here are the numbers for the Saints offense:

The Saints offense ranks 6th in the league with an overall DVOA of 14.1% that includes a passing game that is ranked 8th in the league (27.8% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 9th (1.3% DVOA)

Passing

Drew Brees
Completions: 325
Attempts: 462
Completion %: 70.3%
Yards: 3,491
YPA: 7.6
TD: 22
INT: 11
DVOA: 20.6% (6th)
DYAR: 1,009 (3rd)
QBR: 72.8 (6th)

Rushing

Mark Ingram
Attempts: 149
Yards: 645
Average: 4.3
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 3.4% (16th)
DYAR: 78 (15th)
Success Rate: 53% (6th)

Receiving

Jimmy Graham
Receptions: 65
Targets: 87
Yards: 670
Average: 10.3
Touchdowns: 9
DVOA: 22.6% (8th among TE)
DYAR: 184 (2nd among TE)
Catch Rate: 74%

Marques Colston
Receptions: 38
Targets: 64
Yards: 618
Average: 16.3
Touchdowns: 2
DVOA:
DYAR:
Catch Rate:

Kenny Stills
Receptions: 39
Targets: 51
Yards:  529
Average: 13.6
Touchdowns: 2
DVOA: 25.9% (7th)
DYAR: 157 (17th)
Catch Rate: 76%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 4.43 (2nd)
Power Success: 82% (4th)
Stuffed %: 16% (5th)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 17% (4.50 ALY, 8th)
Left Tackle: 15% (4.26 ALY, 9th)
Middle/Guard: 40% (4.77 ALY, 1st)
Right Tackle: 18% (4.49 ALY, 7th)
Right End: 10% (3.14 ALY, 23rd)

Here is a look at the Saints Defense. They rank 31st overall in terms of DVOA at 14.1% while they rank 30th in pass defense (23.1%) and 31st in rushing defense (3.9%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

Curtis Lofton
Total Tackles: 100
Solo Tackles: 69
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 1
Interceptions: 0

Rafael Bush
Total Tackles: 55
Solo Tackles: 44
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Junior Galette
Total Tackles: 35
Solo Tackles: 25
Sacks: 7.0
Passes Defended: 2
Interceptions: 0

Cameron Jordan
Total Tackles: 33
Solo Tackles: 25
Sacks: 5.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Corey White
Total Tackles: 45
Solo Tackles: 42
Sacks: 1.0
Passes Defended: 6
Interceptions: 2

Here is a look at the Saints special teams

Kicking

Shayne Graham
Field Goals Attempted: 18
Field Goals Made: 17
Long: 50
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 5-5
30-39: 8-8
40-49: 3-4
50+: 1-1
Extra Points: 31-32

Punting

Thomas Morstead
Punts: 35
Yards: 1,606
Average: 45.9
Long: 61
Inside 20: 13
Touchback: 3
Fair Catch: 9
Average Return Against: 2.9

Returns

Travaris Cadet
Kick Return Attempts: 11
Kick Return Yards: 261
Kick Return Average: 23.7
Kick Return Long: 34
Kick Return TD: 0

Brandin Cooks
Punt Return Attempts: 10
Punt Return Yards: 35
Punt Return Average: 3.5
Punt Return Long: 15
Punt Return TD: 0

Prediction: Saints 34, Steelers 27

Monday, November 24, 2014

Penguins Game 20 Preview - @ Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

7:00 p.m., TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

The Last Penguins Game
November 22, 2014 - New York 4, Pittsburgh 1


Probables

Pittsburgh (13-4-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Christian Ehrhoff
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Boston (13-9-0) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Milan Lucic - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron - Alexander Khokhlachev - David Pastrnak
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Simon Gagne

Defense
Dennis Seidenberg - Torey Krug
Joe Morrow - Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski - Kevan Miller

Goaltender
Tuukka Rask


Stats

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Penguins Game 19 Preview - @ New York Islanders

New York Islanders

7:00 p.m., Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

The Penguins Last Game
November 21, 2014 - New York 5, Pittsburgh 4 (SO)


Probables

Pittsburgh (13-3-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Christian Ehrhoff
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Thomas Greiss

New York (13-6-0) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Brock Nelson - John Tavares - Nikolay Kulemin
Mikhail Grabovski - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Anders Lee - Ryan Strome - Josh Bailey
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Defense
Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey - Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltender
Jaroslav Halak


Season Series (Pittsburgh leads 1-0-1)

October 18, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, New York 1



November 21, 2014 - New York 5, Pittsburgh 4 (SO)




Stats

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Penguins Game 17 Preview - @ Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens

7:30 p.m., Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

The Last Penguins Game
November 15, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Montreal 2 (SO)


Probables

Pittsburgh (12-3-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Patric Hornqvist - Evgeni Malkin - Nick Spaling
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Blake Comeau - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres
Christian Ehrhoff - Olli Maatta

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Montreal (14-4-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - P.A. Parenteau
Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher
Brandon Prust - Lars Eller - Jiri Sekac
Nathan Beaulieu - Manny Malhotra - Dale Weise

Defense
Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Sergei Gonchar
Tom Gilbert - Mike Weaver

Goaltender
Carey Price


Stats

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Penguins Game 16 Preview - vs. New York Rangers

New York Rangers

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game
November 14, 2014 - Pittsburgh 2, Toronto 1


Probables

Pittsburgh (11-3-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Patric Hornqvist - Evgeni Malkin - Nick Spaling
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Blake Comeau - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

New York (7-6-3) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin - Kevin Hayes - Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast

Defense
Marc Staal - Dan Boyle
John Moore - Dan Girardi
Matt Hunwick - Kevin Klein

Goaltender
Henrik Lundqvist


Season Series (New York leads 1-0)

November 11, 2014 - New York 5, Pittsburgh 0




Stats

Friday, November 14, 2014

Steelers Game 11 Preview - @ Tennessee Titans

Last week I talked about how the Steelers were coming off a really big win over the Ravens. They were in a stretch of winning their last three games and beating some good teams like the Colts and Ravens. Things seemed to be turning a corner for the Steelers and we were getting to the point where you could maybe talk about them as one of the best teams in the AFC. They were going up against a bad Jets team and in the back of my mind I thought about how awful they have been against bad teams and it was always a possibility that they lost that game. I didn't think they would, but they proved me wrong.

This week it is another bad team. Tennessee might not be as bad as the Jets, in my opinion, but they are still a pretty bad team that has only won two games on the season and one of those wins was against a pretty bad Jaguars team. Other than that win against Jacksonville you have to go back to week one to see their last win. Again, this is a game the Steelers should win by double-digits. If they want to make a serious push at winning the AFC North and being a serious contender in the AFC they have to win this game. They have to beat bad teams. They haven't been able to do that in the recent past but that needs to stop now.

Lets look at the Titans.

Here are the numbers for the Titans offense:

The Titans offense ranks 23rd in the league with an overall DVOA of -8.0% that includes a passing game that is ranked 21st in the league (3.7% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 18th (-7.2% DVOA)

Passing

Zach Mettenberger
Completions: 45
Attempts: 73
Completion %: 61.6%
Yards: 495
YPA: 6.8
TD: 3
INT: 3
DVOA: -30.3%
DYAR: -94
QBR: 24.8

Rushing

Bishop Sankey
Attempts: 91
Yards: 357
Average: 3.9
Touchdowns: 1
DVOA: 3.4% (16th)
DYAR: 42 (18th)
Success Rate: 48% (17th)

Shonn Greene
Attempts: 49
Yards: 199
Average: 4.1
Touchdowns: 1
DVOA: -15.8%
DYAR: -14

Receiving

Delanie Walker
Receptions: 38
Targets: 64
Yards: 512
Average: 13.5
Touchdowns: 4
DVOA: 4.2% (18th among TE)
DYAR: 46 (15th among TE)
Catch Rate: 60%

Kendall Wright
Receptions: 39
Targets: 60
Yards: 403
Average: 10.3
Touchdowns: 4
DVOA: 10.3% (55th)
DYAR: 11 (55th)
Catch Rate: 65%

Justin Hunter
Receptions: 21
Targets: 51
Yards: 368
Average: 17.5
Touchdowns: 2
DVOA: -6.9% (52nd)
DYAR: 23 (54th)
Catch Rate: 42%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 3.90 (20th)
Power Success: 69% (12th)
Stuffed %: 14% (3rd)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 11% (3.85 ALY, 17th)
Left Tackle: 14% (4.33 ALY, 9th)
Middle/Guard: 62% (3.98 ALY, 17th)
Right Tackle: 8% (3.89 ALY, 20th)
Right End: 5% (1.80 ALY, 29th)

Here is a look at the Titans Defense. They rank 27th overall in terms of DVOA at 8.5% while they rank 21st in pass defense (12.8%) and 31st in rushing defense (4.1%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

Michael Griffin
Total Tackles: 63
Solo Tackles: 47
Sacks: 3.0
Passes Defended: 2
Interceptions: 2

Wesley Woodyard
Total Tackles: 58
Solo Tackles: 34
Sacks: 1.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 2

Jason McCourty
Total Tackles: 47
Solo Tackles: 42
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 8
Interceptions: 2

Jurrell Casey
Total Tackles: 37
Solo Tackles: 24
Sacks: 4.0
Passes Defended: 0
Interceptions: 0

Blidi Wreh-Wilson
Total Tackles: 47
Solo Tackles: 41
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 8
Interceptions: 1

Here is a look at the Jets special teams

Kicking

Ryan Succop
Field Goals Attempted: 13
Field Goals Made: 11
Long: 47
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 2-2
30-39: 5-5
40-49: 4-6
50+: 0-0
Extra Points: 15-15

Punting

Brett Kern
Punts: 49
Yards: 2,292
Average: 46.8
Long: 69
Inside 20: 14
Touchback: 5
Fair Catch: 13
Average Return Against: 6.5

Returns

Leon Washington
Kick Return Attempts: 17
Kick Return Yards: 376
Kick Return Average: 22.1
Kick Return Long: 50
Kick Return TD: 0

Dexter McCluster
Punt Return Attempts: 13
Punt Return Yards: 95
Punt Return Average: 7.3
Punt Return Long: 48
Punt Return TD: 0

Prediction: Steelers 27, Titans 16

Penguins Game 15 Preview - @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs

7:30 p.m., Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Last Penguins Game
November 11, 2014 - New York Rangers 5, Pittsburgh 0


Probables

Pittsburgh (10-3-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Patric Hornqvist - Evgeni Malkin - Nick Spaling
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Blake Comeau - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltender
Thomas Greiss

Toronto (9-5-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Daniel Winnik - Nazem Kadri - David Clarkson
Leo Komarov - Peter Holland - Mike Santorelli
Richard Panik - Trevor Smith - Josh Leivo

Defense
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner - Roman Polak
Morgan Rielly - Stephane Robidas

Goaltender
Jonathan Bernier


Season Series (Pittsburgh leads 1-0)

October 11, 2014 - Pittsburgh 5, Toronto 2




Stats

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Penguins Game 14 Preview - @ New York Rangers

New York Rangers

7:00 p.m., Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

The Last Penguins Game
November 8, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, Buffalo 1


Probables

Pittsburgh (8-2-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Pascal Dupuis - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

New York (6-6-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin - Kevin Hayes - Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast

Defense
Marc Staal - Kevin Klein
Matt Hunwick - Dan Girardi
John Moore - Mike Kostka

Goaltender
Henrik Lundqvist


Stats

Monday, November 10, 2014

Steelers Game 10 Recap - Jets 20, Steelers 13

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The score at the end of the game said 20-13 but it was more like 56-3. The Steelers came in and laid a massive egg and the Jets took advantage of it. Coming into the game the Jets forced three turnovers all season, yesterday they created three turnovers.

During the Steelers three game winning streak they were forcing turnovers and making opposing defenses look foolish with their dangerous passing offense and strong offensive line play. All those things were nowhere to be found. The game was close but it was never close. If it wasn't Ben Roethlisberger badly under throwing passes it was always reliable Shaun Suisham missing a 26 yard field goal in the fourth quarter that would have made it a two score game with a lot of time left. Just a brutal game.

In the preview I said that if the Steelers wanted to be considered a true contender (in whatever scenario you want them contending in) then they needed to beat the Jets by double-digits. The Steelers folded. This isn't anything new though...



woof.

Roethlisberger wasn't good despite a decent stat line (30-43, 343 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) but he never looked to be in a rhythm all day. Antonio Brown made eight catches for 74 yards but he had two fumbles and a pretty good Steelers run attack was held to just 36 yards on 17 carries. Le'Veon Bell had all 36 of those yards.

The defense gave up big plays early and while they weren't helped out by three early game turnovers they still couldn't get a stop on third down. That being said the defense didn't do a terrible job over the rest of the game. After the first quarter the Steelers gave up only 66 total yards. Each of the Jets first two drives surpassed their yardage total from the last three quarters of the game. They made it hold up.

It is frustrating because the Jets aren't good. They do have a good front-seven but their pass defense is pretty atrocious. The Steelers could not take advantage. They didn't score a touchdown until it was too late (1:11 left in the game on an 80 yard Martavis Bryant catch and run) and after scoring over 90 points in the previous two games it is really frustrating and confusing on how the Steelers can't make SOMETHING happen.

I have no idea what to expect next week. Tennessee is 2-7 and while they are struggling big time it doesn't seem to matter as the Steelers do a great job at playing to the competition. A loss here would be just devastating, not that this week wasn't.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Penguins Game 13 Preview - @ Buffalo Sabres


Buffalo Sabres



7:00 p.m., First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

The Last Penguins Game
November 6, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Winnipeg 3 (SO)


Probables

Pittsburgh (9-2-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Pascal Dupuis - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Winnipeg (3-10-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Torrey Mitchell - Tyler Ennis - Chris Stewart
Matt Moulson - Zemgus Girgensons - Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers - Cody Hodgson - Drew Stafford
Johan Larsson - Cody McCormick - Brian Flynn

Defense
Josh Gorges - Tyler Myers
Mike Weber - Rasmus Ristolainen
Nikita Zadorov - Tyson Strachan

Goaltender
Jhonas Enroth


Season Series (Pittsburgh leads 1-0)

November 1, 2014 - Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 0 [Recap]




Stats

Friday, November 7, 2014

Steelers Game 10 Preview - @ New York Jets

The Steelers are coming off a huge win over the Ravens and they go from a big rivalry game to a game against a 1-8 team. To put it bluntly the Jets are not a good football team. They are a team the Steelers should beat and in the past games like this are always tough. The Steelers have lost to much worse teams.

If the Steelers want to be considered a good football team they need to win this football game. They need to win it convincingly. The Jets are a mess right now, even more than usual, and with the way the Steelers are playing there is no reason they shouldn't win by more than a score. Then again who knows what happens.

Lets look at the Jets.

Here are the numbers for the Jets offense:

The Jets offense ranks 28th in the league with an overall DVOA of -17.3% that includes a passing game that is ranked 30th in the league (-24.8% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 11th (-0.7% DVOA)

Passing

Michael Vick
Completions: 47
Attempts: 84
Completion %: 56%
Yards: 396
YPA: 4.7
TD: 1
INT: 1
DVOA: -37.3%
DYAR: -157
QBR: 19.8

Rushing

Chris Ivory
Attempts: 109
Yards: 497
Average: 4.6
Touchdowns: 5
DVOA: 10.0% (11th)
DYAR: 89 (11th)
Success Rate: 50% (13th)

Chris Johnson
Attempts: 78
Yards: 337
Average: 4.3
Touchdowns: 1
DVOA: -4.8% (26th)
DYAR: 12 (27th)
Success Rate: 45% (27th)

Receiving

Eric Decker
Receptions: 40
Targets: 66
Yards: 426
Average: 10.7
Touchdowns: 4
DVOA: 0.6% (37th)
DYAR: 67 (32nd)
Catch Rate: 63%

Jace Amaro
Receptions: 32
Targets: 39
Yards: 285
Average: 8.9
Touchdowns: 1
DVOA: 2.4% (20th among TE)
DYAR: 24 (19th among TE)
Catch Rate: 82%

Jeremy Kerley
Receptions: 26
Targets: 54
Yards: 237
Average: 9.1
Touchdowns: 1
DVOA: -33.7% (73rd)
DYAR: -89 (74th)
Catch Rate: 48%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 4.25 (7th)
Power Success: 83% (5th)
Stuffed %: 16% (4th)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 10% (2.44 ALY, 29th)
Left Tackle: 11% (4.81 ALY, 3rd)
Middle/Guard: 55% (4.43 ALY, 7th)
Right Tackle: 14% (3.76 ALY, 23rd)
Right End: 11% (5.04 ALY, 4th)

Here is a look at the Jets Defense. They rank 20th overall in terms of DVOA at -3.1% while they rank 27th in pass defense (19.9%) and 9th in rushing defense (-18.5%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

David Harris
Total Tackles: 68
Solo Tackles: 39
Sacks: 2.0
Passes Defended: 0
Interceptions: 0

Dawan Landry
Total Tackles: 66
Solo Tackles: 40
Sacks: 1.5
Passes Defended: 1
Interceptions: 0

Muhammad Wilkerson
Total Tackles: 43
Solo Tackles: 24
Sacks: 4.5
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Calvin Pace
Total Tackles: 25
Solo Tackles: 18
Sacks: 4.0
Passes Defended: 1
Interceptions: 0

Sheldon Richardson
Total Tackles: 44
Solo Tackles: 26
Sacks: 3.5
Passes Defended: 1
Interceptions: 0

Here is a look at the Jets special teams

Kicking

Nick Folk
Field Goals Attempted: 15
Field Goals Made: 16
Long: 55
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 5-5
30-39: 2-2
40-49: 6-6
50+: 2-3
Extra Points: 13-13

Punting

Ryan Quigley
Punts: 45
Yards: 2,139
Average: 47.5
Long: 64
Inside 20: 12
Touchback: 4
Fair Catch: 15
Average Return Against: 9.9

Returns

Sam Hakim
Kick Return Attempts: 13
Kick Return Yards: 279
Kick Return Average: 21.5
Kick Return Long: 44
Kick Return TD: 0

Walt Powell
Punt Return Attempts: 12
Punt Return Yards: 48
Punt Return Average: 4.0
Punt Return Long: 15
Punt Return TD: 0

Prediction: Steelers 23, Ravens 20

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Penguins Game 12 Preview - @ Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets

8:00 p.m., MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Last Penguins Game
November 4, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Winnipeg 1


Probables

Pittsburgh (8-2-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Pascal Dupuis - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Winnipeg (7-5-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik
Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perreault - Adam Lowry - Dustin Byfuglien
T.J. Galiardi - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Defense
Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba
Tobias Enstrom - Zach Bogosian
Grant Clitsome - Paul Postma

Goaltender
Ondrej Pavelec


The Stats

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Penguins Extend Marc-Andre Fleury

I am way late on this but earlier today this news dropped:



As you can imagine this lead to some joy and anger amongst Penguins fans. Well, the anger pretty much outweighed the joy, which is pretty much as expected. Marc-Andre Fleury is a polarizing figure

At first I wasn't overly excited about the deal. The term and the money really wasn't something I was all too excited about, but the more I thought about it the more sense it made. The four years still isn't ideal and I think it is probably a year too long but the money is right about where it should be.

When the deal kicks in for MAF next season he will rank 13th among all goaltenders in terms of cap hit after ranking 15th in the league with his current cap hit. Here is a look at the list via CapGeek:


MAF has widely been regarded as an average goaltender and he is going to be paid right around the middle of the pack. Not sure where the problem is here. There are some guys on that list who aren't overly good getting paid more than MAF. This is what the market is.

Of course all this changes with a good or bad playoff run this year but that would have put the Penguins in a really tough spot. There really isn't a guy in the Penguins system that they can turn to if they were to trade or let MAF walk and even the free agent market is pretty dry so this was the best of all possible outcomes, in my mind.

Again I am not thrilled about the fourth year but all-in-all this is a very workable deal. Good for MAF and good for the Penguins.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Penguins Game 11 Preview - @ Minnesota Wild

 
Minnesota Wild

8:00 p.m., Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN

The Last Penguins Game
November 1, 2014 - Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 0 [Recap]


Probables

Pittsburgh (7-2-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Pascal Dupuis - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltender
Thomas Greiss

Minnesota (7-3-0) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville
Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Thomas Vanek - Kyle Brodziak - Nino Niederreiter
Ryan Carter - Erik Haula - Justin Fontaine

Defense
Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella - Christian Folin
Nate Prosser - Mathew Dumba

Goaltender
Darcy Kuemper


Stats

Monday, November 3, 2014

Steelers Game 9 Recap - Steelers 43, Ravens 23

This was a route. In the first matchup against the Ravens the Steelers got beat down pretty handily but this game was pretty much the exact opposite of that. The Steelers started the game slow as Ben Roethlisberger was sacked three times and the Steelers offense gained only 29 yards in the first four drives. After that though the Steelers defense forced a fumble and the route was on.

The Steelers proceeded to score touchdowns in six of their last nine possessions of the game and all six of those touchdowns came off the arm of Roethlisberger. If you are keeping score at home that is the second straight six touchdown performance from Roethlisberger and he set a new NFL record for touchdown passes in consecutive games. It is true that the Ravens secondary is just awful but Roethlisberger hasn't played this well ever in his career. He completed 25/37 for 340 yards and didn't turn the football over. On the season he now has thrown 22 touchdown passes as compared to only three interceptions. That is silly. Dude is just playing great football.

Roethlisberger completed passes to eight different receivers but it was all Anotonio Brown all the time for the Steelers. He caught 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown and was targeted 16 (!!!) times. Brown has been targeted 103 times which blows away his next closest rival, Dez Bryant, who has 87 targets. Brown's fourth quarter touchdown broke open a somewhat close game as he jukes and jived and run away from what was the dead carcass of the Ravens defense. He just keeps getting better and keeps putting this passing attack on his shoulders.

Speaking of continuing to get better how about Martavis Bryant? Almost makes you wonder how he wasn't in the lineup earlier but maybe slowly working himself into the lineup was the way to go. A pair of touchdown catches for Bryant and while he isn't getting a ton of targets when the ball is going his way he's making something happen. Five touchdowns on 10 catches for Bryant. That is impressive.

The Steelers defense got after Joe Flacco. They registered 10 quarterback hits and sacked him four times. It really seemed like it was a lot more than that with how much they were in his face and it was a nice change of pace from the first game when Flacco wasn't hit once. Flacco was forced into turnovers and when he needed to step up the Steelers defense made sure it wasn't going to happen.

I wasn't overly optimistic when James Harrison returned to the Steelers. With the injuries and the depleted depth it was something where they needed someone familiar with the defense to come in and provide some immediate help but there wasn't much I was expecting from him. Last night he made the signing worth it all in one night. Harrison had a pair of sacks and had four quarterback hits and he honestly looked like the 2008 version that dominated opposing quarterbacks. He was a man possessed last night and it was certainly a fun thing to watch.

The Steelers running game was largely shut down. Le'Veon Bell has been as good as it gets through the first eight games but you could tell the Ravens wanted to try and neutralize him. He carried the ball only 10 times for 20 yards and made five catches for 38 yards that included a touchdown. LeGarrette Blount also carried the ball 10 times for 23 yards and no other Steelers player had more than one carry. Fortunately the Steelers didn't need the running game and to be honest I am not going to overly read into this. The running game has been really good all season and Bell has been one of the best in the league so one off game isn't going to change my opinion.

Another negative in the game was Jacoby Jones returning a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. It came right after the Brown touchdown and quickly took the momentum back.



Really nobody came close to touching Jones. Mike Tomlin wasn't even there to help trip him along the sideline. Poor coaching IMO.

The Steelers were able to keep pace with the Bengals and Browns who both won on Sunday and with the loss the Ravens now drop to last place in the AFC North. Things are about as tight as they get as every team is above .500 and nobody has really been able to pull away from the pack. The Steelers still have a pair of games left with the Bengals which will most likely go a long way in determining if the Steelers have a chance to win the division.

At the end of the day this is about the Steelers offense. They have been about elite as it gets over the last two weeks with 94 points in the last two games and there hasn't been much that teams could do to stop them. Earlier in the year it was all about the defense that couldn't create a turnover and the offense that was wildly inconsistent. Right now the offense looks like it can't be stopped like the defense is getting better every single game. I still don't think the Steelers are a true contender in the league but they are miles closer to that goal than they were even a few weeks ago.

That is really what it is about, giving yourself a chance. The Steelers have done that and a lot more recently. The Steelers now go on the road for a couple of winnable games against the Jets and Titans before returning home against the Saints. You can't count wins in the NFL but winning the next two weeks would put them in a great spot as they get set for the stretch run.

Pirates Extend Qualifying Offers To Martin, Liriano



Those qualifying offers will each be worth $15.3M to each player so the Pirates essentially have $30.6M of payroll sitting on the table for the 2015 season.

Now, as most people know, the players do not have to accept the qualifying offer. If they accept the offer they will play on the one year contract. If they do not they will become a free agent, with a catch. If they were to sign with another team the Pirates would receive a first round pick compensation of each player.

First thing is first, Russell Martin is not accepting his qualifying offer. He is going to make a boatload of money this season and seeing that he is the only viable option on the free agent market at the catching position a draft pick is not going to deter a team from signing him. The Pirates will most likely lose Martin and receive a draft pick as a "reward" for not signing him.

Francisco Liriano is a little different. Liriano has been a huge success story for the Pirates over the past couple of seasons but with injuries and some inconsistent pitching this year it probably puts him right around market value at the $15.3M. To be perfectly honest I didn't think the Pirates were going to extend the offer to Liriano, but I am glad they did.

I don't really think the Pirates can lose here. If he does accept the Pirates will have a top of the rotation arm for market value for a rotation that wasn't good last year. If he doesn't accept the Pirates will get compensation for him. I think that Liriano's value is going to take a hit thanks to the QO because teams won't be as willing to give up a draft pick to pay market value (or over market depending on how you value Liriano).

I think in the end someone does attempt to sign Liriano, because everyone needs pitching. Does he accept the Pirates qualifying offer? I have no idea. No player has ever accepted a qualifying offer and I honestly don't think Liriano is join got either. It does make it interesting though as Liriano is one of the few guys that actually has a shot of signing it. Either way I think it was a good move by the Pirates to offer.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Penguins Game 10 Recap - Penguins 5, Sabres 0

It has been some time since I have got to talk about the Penguins, but with a Saturday night at home this gives me a good chance to talk about how outstanding they have been and how dominant they were over a pretty bad Buffalo team tonight.

I mean I think we all understand how bad Buffalo is. They give up a ton of shots and they don't put a lot on net so they don't really give themselves a great chance to win on a daily basis. Coming into the night the Sabres had only 40 shots total in their last three games and tonight they managed only 18 shots. There isn't a lot to be excited about with this Buffalo team and while the Penguins gave them a chance to get back into the game in the first period they really piled it on over the final two periods to make this a laugher.

Over the course of the season the big duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been out of their minds. They are dominating every shift and against a team like Buffalo it really isn't fair what those two have done. Crosby set up the first goal by Chris Kunitz by undressing like three Buffalo players before Kunitz cleaned up a rebound:



Crosby is only going to get a secondary assist for that goal but he is the sole reason that goal happened and that is just a small taste as to what he has been doing over the first 10 games of the season. Just disgusting. He had three assists on the night and it almost seemed like he had an average game. That is how good he has been this year, where a three point game seems like just an alright game.

Malkin has been just as good as Crosby and tonight he was on top of his game. He registered three points including a power play goal while setting up this slick goal by Patric Hornqvist:



When Crosby and Malkin are playing like this the Penguins are a very tough team to beat and with how bad Buffalo has been it pretty much spells doom.

Kunitz has been on a roll too. Tonight he had a pair of goals and that marks the second straight game he registered a pair of goals and even though he is 35 years old he is still performing like a top-end player. Playing with Crosby absolutely helps that but he's making things happen both in 5-on-5 plays and on the power play and when he is on his hot streaks he's a fun player to watch.

For the first time in his career Marc-Andre Fleury has shutouts in back-to-back games. He only had to stop 18 shots but in a heavy workload (has started all but one game so far) he has put up a 2.13 goals against average and a .926 save percentage with a league-leading three shutouts. The talk with Fleury is always going to be his playoff success/failure but I think sometimes his play can get understated.

Really everyone is playing well for the Penguins. Kris Letang is running a power play that is converting at better than 40% of their chances, Patric Hornqvist is in front of the net and scoring a ton of goals (six so far this season), Olli Maatta is developing into a stud two-way defenseman, and Blake Comeau is sniping goals showing that he can play alongside Pascal Dupuis and Malkin.

The Penguins aren't always going to be this good in games but when they are you have to stack as many wins as you can. Losing streaks are bound to happen in an 82 game season and after losing back-to-back games the Penguins have won four straight and outscored opponents 19-3 with three shutouts. Just keep winning games.

Penguins Game 10 Preview - vs. Buffalo Sabres


Buffalo Sabres

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game
October 30, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Los Angeles 0


Probables

Pittsburgh (6-2-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Pascal Dupuis - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Christian Ehrhoff - Paul Martin
Olli Maatta - Kris Letang
Simon Despres - Rob Scuderi

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Buffalo (2-8-1) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Matt Moulson - Tyler Ennis - Drew Stafford
Torrey Mitchell - Zemgus Girgensons - Brian Gionta
Marcus Foligno - Cody McCormick - Chris Stewart
Nicolas Deslauriers - Sam Reinhart - Cody Hodgson

Defense
Josh Gorges - Tyler Myers
Mike Weber - Andrej Meszaros
Andre Benoit - Rasmus Ristolainen

Goaltender
Jhonas Enroth


Stats