By: Kevin Cottrell Jr. @SportsVentz
Just a Thought…LOST & FOUND…Have you ever had something taken away from you unexpectedly? Have you ever lost something that you felt was irreplaceable? How did it make you feel? Sad, low, violated, lonely, lost, all-of-the above? I’m sure we’ve all had moments in our life when something we cherished was removed and we were at a lost for words. Then that moment happens, when you realize the world hasn’t come to an end, the sun is still shining and there’s a way to not only get back what you lost, but get it back better than ever. I often become frustrated when I can’t find the remote, my favorite ink pen, or better yet my iPad (sigh), but in watching one of my favorite athletes, Derrick Rose, attempt to regain what he deems his “livelihood”, he makes me realize that things can always be worst. You see, just two years ago Derrick Rose was 22-years-old becoming the youngest player to ever be named MVP, now he’s a father with a gimpy knee and dreams of playing at a high level in the NBA. The difference between Derrick and many others, he won’t let the situation keep him down and at a lost for words. In fact, his voice has been louder than ever before sharing his journey back to the court in #thereturn. Just when I thought my world was over after losing some valuable items earlier this week, I ventured on to twitter only to find Episode 6 of Rose’s series and it made me take time to be thankful for my health and well-being. Whether it be sports or life, setbacks will take place and things will be lost but we have to find a way to pick ourselves up, learn from the situation and establish our on return to greatness, because what’s lost can and will be found.
NFL WEEK 13 PREDICTIONS: Week 12 marked my official bye week from the season. Like many of you I enjoyed the holiday, stuffed my face, relaxed and watched tons of football. Now that I’ve hit the reset button it’s time to get into playoff form. Here’s my week 13 Predictions!
(5-6) SAINTS @ FALCONS (10-1): The Falcons still have a bitter taste from the lone defeat at the hands of their rival Saints just weeks ago. New Orleans still has a fighting chance to make the postseason but the first step is a big one, knock off those bitter Falcons. Tonight the Falcons look to end the Saints’ playoff hopes with a win avoiding a fifth consecutive loss to the Saints. What will be the difference? The running game. The last time these two teams met, the Falcons were held to 46 rushing yards. I expect for the Falcons to have a more balanced attack to keep Brees & Company on the sideline allowing Ryan & Company to control the clock. The Saints will keep things very interesting and close but if they cannot force any turnovers it will be tough for them to defeat the Falcons for a second time this season. This will be a very exciting Thursday night game so be sure to grab your pizza on the way home from work! Prediction: FALCONS by 4
(6-5) SEAHAWKS @ BEARS (8-3): No matter the sport, no matter the teams, there’s always a match up where one opponent simply owns the other. For the past two seasons the Seahawks have traveled to Solider Field and knocked off the Bears. Last week Chicago got back on the winning track knocking off division for Vikings but the win came with a price, losing two starting Offensive Lineman, Devin Hester and Matt Forte. While the two lineman are out it’s likely Hester will sit out a game with Forte’s status up in the air. What does this mean for the Seahawks? We may see a heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch in an attempt to make the Bears offense one-dimensional. Look for the Bears defense to control the line of scrimmage forcing the young Russell Wilson to make plays with his arm. While Wilson is effective the Bears will do their best to force turnovers. Field position will be key as I expect this to be a very low scoring game. But with the Bears on a mission to win the division I look for them to find a way to win this game in the final minutes. Prediction: BEARS by 3
(6-5) VIKINGS @ PACKERS (7-4): The Packers are coming off one of their most lopsided defeats in recent history. Luckily for them they’re set to face a Vikings team that they’ve defeated four straight meetings. I expect for Rodgers to have his way with the Vikings secondary but the question is can the Packers wounded defense slow down Adrian Peterson. Green Bay will be the host in this match up and playing at home should place the odds in their favor. After watching the Bears dismantle the Vikings last Sunday I find it hard to believe that Minnesota will shake off the defeat and upset the Packers. With Green Bay coming off such a tough loss I’d advise fantasy owners to start all your Packers players, they will have a field day with the Lambeau Leap. Prediction: PACKERS by 10
(6-5) STEELERS @ RAVENS (9-2): Just in year’s past the final regular season match up for these two has playoff implications. For the Ravens they can clinch a playoff spot and possibly the division (with a Bengals loss). As for the Steelers they’re trying to shake off their 2-game skid to keep their spot in the push for the post season. With Roethlisberger likely to miss his third consecutive game, the Steelers only hope will be to force turnovers, as in more than two. The Ravens found a way to win in San Diego last weekend in overtime, while it may have not been pretty it was definitely a confidence booster heading into this tilt. The Ravens are 6-1 in games decided by 7 or less but something tells me that stat won’t play a factor in this one as they face a fading Steelers team. Big Ben isn’t walking through that tunnel and neither is Ray Lewis, problem is only one can positively effect the scoreboard for the guys in black and yellow. Prediction: RAVENS by 9
(6-5) BENGALS @ CHARGERS (4-7): This is a match up between teams headed in totally different directions. The Bengals are in the playoff mix seeking their fourth consecutive win while the Chargers may be seeking a new coach since they’ve dropped six of their last seven games. Last season the young Bengals clinched a spot in the postseason and experienced an early exit losing in Houston, moments like that should help shape their focus headed into a week 13 trap game. With the Chargers struggling to overcome injuries it’s easy for a young Bengals team to overlook this game, but I expect for Andy Dalton and company to attack the Chargers early and often placing pressure on the Chargers O to respond. Cincy is currently tied with the Steelers for the last Wild Card spot so look for them to play good sound football with the goal to reach the post season in mind. As for the Chargers, they’ll do what they can to finish the season strong, or better yet doing what they can to enhance the win column on Norv Turner’s resume. Prediction: BENGALS by 7
**GAME OF THE WEEK**
(7-4) GIANTS @ REDSKINS (5-6): Two QBs. One’s a two-time Super Bowl MVP. The other is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner vying for NFL rookie of the Year. One has completed 67.5% of his passes (16TD-4INT) while the other has completed 60.7% (15TD-11INT), but what may surprise you is the QB with the better stats has never played in the NFL playoffs let along the Super Bowl. RGIII has been impressive thus far and gained the respect of the champs in a 27-23 loss back in October. It was a game/highlights the NFL world watched in awe as the ‘Skins seemingly had the game in their hands off a beautiful pass from RGIII to Santana Moss, before Manning & Cruz quickly responded to win the game. Besides the QB battle these two NFC East teams are separated by 2 games with 5 remaining. Simply put if the GMen can pull out the road win they can all but seal up the division. I expect for the Giants defense to be better prepared for RGIII run/pass attack and for the Giants to play much better football on the offensive side of the ball. Keep in mind after that October loss, Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall said they pretty much let Eli walk down the field on the winning drive, something I’m sure the Super Bowl MVP has yet to forget. This game will be high scoring which is only fitting since it will end week 13 on Monday Night, this should be a very entertaining battle but experience tends to always win out. Prediction: GIANTS by 4
BILLS over Jaguars
49ERS over Rams
PATRIOTS over Dolphins
JETS over Cardinals
COLTS over Lions
TEXANS over Titans
PANTHERS over Chiefs
BRONCOS over Buccaneers
RAIDERS over Browns
COWBOYS over Eagles
I know you’ve been in the NFL abyss but don’t forget the NBA is a full month into their season. Here’s a few one-liners from around the league!
*Chicago Bulls (7-7) has a better record without Derrick Rose than the L.A. Lakers (7-8) do with Kobe, Dwight, Gasol, Metta….
*Speaking of the Lakers, former Lakers PG Derek Fisher is set to sign with the Dallas Mavericks…I too wonder why
*A prominent Point Guard that tore his ACL last season has been cleared to begin full participation in practice. No not Derrick Rose but Ricky Rubio (Wolves).
*The Miami Heat are quietly atop the East with a 10-3 record. However, the two New York residents, are loudly tied for second at 10-4….
*Just last season the Charlotte Bobcats set a record for futility with the lowest winning percentage in NBA History, with a 7-59 record. This season they’ve responded by matching their win total in 14 games.
*Meanwhile Sixers C Andrew Bynum has yet to suit up (in practice) for Philly. Who will suit up first, Derrick Rose or Andrew Bynum?
*Don’t look now but after one month of NBA Action the team with the best record is none other than….the Memphis Grizzles (11-2).
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