Posts Tagged: NFL

Badgering Harbaugh

Michigan fans have been waiting anxiously for a return to the upper echelon of college football’s ranks under coach Jim Harbaugh. The anxiety level was raised several notches when the Wolverines dropped their season-opener to Notre Dame. Five straight wins have calmed things a bit, but the Wolverines (5-1; No. 14 in Dunkel’s college football rankings) will get their first… Read more »

Fresh Brew

It certainly wasn’t the most noticed trade during the MLB season, but the Brewers acquisition of pitcher Gio Gonzalez from the Nationals may have been one of the most effective. After struggling to a 7-12 record in Washington, Gonzalez went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA down the stretch for the Brewers. His performance was good enough to earn him a… Read more »

Eagles Have Landed

It didn’t take long for the Philadelphia Eagles to come back down to earth after their surprising run to the Super Bowl last year. A loss to Tampa Bay in Week 2 was compounded by a defensive meltdown in OT last week against the Titans that resulted in a 26-23 defeat and left the Birds with a 2-2 record (No…. Read more »

Book On The Irish

While Notre Dame’s defense started off the season playing up to expectations, the offense looked to be shaky behind QB Brandon Wimbush despite some early season wins. But that has changed since coach Brian Kelly inserted Ian Book as the starter at QB. Book has thrown for 7 TDs and no INTs over the last two games and has the… Read more »

Home For Sale

It seemed inevitable months ago as both teams were on a path to reaching the century mark in wins that the Boston Red Sox (108-54; No. 1 in Dunkel’s MLB rankings) and New York Yankees (100-62; No. 3) were destined to meet in the postseason. That hunch becomes a reality tonight as the Red Sox and Yanks open their AL… Read more »

Power Through (and Through)

The Yankees a.k.a. Bronx Bombers were true to their nickname this year as they set an MLB record for home runs in a season with 267. They also became the only team to ever have 12 players with at least 10 HRs apiece as well as at least 20 HRs from all nine players in their starting lineup. Whether that… Read more »

Chicago Hope

The Chicago Cubs went from being tied for the best record in the NL as of yesterday morning to possibly facing elimination from the postseason tonight. After the Cubs lost the NL Central tiebreaker to Milwaukee, 3-1, they were forced to host tonight’s one-game, winner-take-all wild card contest against Colorado. Cubs fans are hoping it’s not more of the same… Read more »

Best Western

The battle for the NL West has come down to a one-game playoff this afternoon between the LA Dodgers and Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers are going for an unprecedented sixth straight NL West title, while the Rockies are still looking for their first. LA will send Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76) to the mound against Colorado’s German Marquez (14-10, 3.75). To… Read more »

Pitt Stop

The Steelers and Ravens are set to resume their bitter rivalry tonight at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. Nine of the last 13 games between the two teams have been decided by 4 points or less and there’s a fair amount riding on this early-season contest as the Ravens (2-1; No. 5  in Dunkel’s NFL rankings)  come in tied for first place… Read more »

Happy Days

Happy Valley is truly happy once again under the leadership of coach James Franklin, who has Nittany Lion fans believing this is the year they make the CFP playoff. But to do that, Franklin and his team will likely have to beat Ohio State tonight as the Nittany Lions (4-0; No. 5 in Dunkel’s college football rankings) host the Buckeyes… Read more »

San Francisco Treat

A Dodgers-Giants series is always an event. But when it’s the last regular-season set with playoff implications, that’s a treat. While the Giants have been long out of it, the Dodgers are still fighting for either an NL West Division title or a wild card spot as they head into the season-finale tonight in San Francisco against their old nemesis,… Read more »

Ram Tough

The LA Rams (No. 2 in Dunkel’s NFL rankings) have looked dominant while jumping out to their first 3-0 start since 2001. But if there’s one concern, it’s the tally of injuries that have hit the defensive secondary. Last week’s win over the Chargers cost LA Aquib Talib (high ankle sprain) and Marcus Peters (calf), forcing coach Sean McVay to… Read more »

Wild Guess

While the pairings for the AL wild card game are set — the Yankees will face the A’s a week from today — just which pitcher New York manager Aaron Boone will start has been the focus of much speculation. One of the likely possibilities is Masahiro Tanaka (12-5, 3.67), who will get the start today as the Yankees continue… Read more »

Fallen Angel?

Mike Scioscia is the longest-serving MLB manager by a full seven seasons and is the only manager the LA Angels have known since 2000. But there’s speculation that this could be the last season for Scioscia as his 10-year contract comes to an end and the Angels have made the playoffs only once in the last nine seasons. LA opened… Read more »

Fast Lane

The turnaround last season orchestrated at Florida Atlantic by new head coach Lane Kiffin was immediate. Taking a 3-9 team, Kiffin produced an 11-3 season that was capped off by a 50-3 win over Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl and had many prognosticators predicting the Owls would be playing on New Year’s Day this season. A 63-17 loss to… Read more »

Brown Spot

The Cleveland Browns have become the most hapless organization in perhaps all of professional sports. A rotation of coaches and QBs, combined with a current 19-game winless streak, has Browns fans wondering if the misfortune will ever end. But there have been some glimmers of hope in the first two weeks of the NFL season with a comeback tie in… Read more »

Something Fishy

The pace of play in MLB has been impacted in recent years by the number of pitching changes managers are making. That has only multiplied in September with all the minor league call-ups and got to the point yesterday in the Marlins-Phillies game where Miami manager Don Mattingly said something had to be done. The contest was just the fourth… Read more »

Ravenous

The Baltimore Ravens came into this season hungry to get back to the playoffs after missing the postseason last year because of a Week 17 loss to the Bengals. Based on Baltimore’s 47-3 thrashing of Buffalo last week, John Harbaugh’s team looks to be well on its way. Tonight, the Ravens will get the chance to exact a little revenge… Read more »

Sock It Away

The Boston Red Sox became the first MLB team to clinch a playoff spot last night with their 7-2 win over the Blue Jays. Alex Cora’s team will now begin the process of fine-tuning for the postseason beginning with today’s starter, David Price, who has been the team’s most consistent pitcher since the All-Star break (3-0, 2.30 ERA). Price will… Read more »

Hit Like A Mack Truck

The euphoria over Jon Gruden’s return to Oakland quickly dissipated into consternation when the Raiders decided to trade All-Pro holdout Khalil Mack. It probably didn’t help matters much that Mack played like an All-Pro last night in his debut with the Bears that included a strip-sack and pick-six. But the Raiders will have to put that in the past as… Read more »

Greener Pastures

Franchise QBs in the NFL are extremely hard to find, so the Green Bay Packers didn’t take it for granted in having arguably the best signal-caller of all in Aaron Rodgers. Last month, the Pack made Rodgers the highest-paid player in league history when they gave him a four-year extension worth $134 million. With that deal wrapped up, Green Bay… Read more »

Mo(n)d Squad

There’s excitement in College Station with Jimbo Fisher now at the helm of Texas A&M, but the Aggies (1-0; No. 42 in Dunkel’s NCAA Football rankings) will likely only go as far as sophomore QB Kellen Mond can take them. Last week, Mond looked sharp (17-of-25, 2 TDs) in A&M’s 55-7 whipping of FCS-opponent Northwestern State. But the competition gets… Read more »

Gray Matter

The Colorado Rockies have never won the NL West Division in the team’s 26-year history. But with a 1 1/2-game lead currently — the latest in a season that Colorado has ever been in first place — Rockies fans are starting to think this will be the season. Tonight, Colorado will open a big series at home against the second-place… Read more »

Hard To Bear

The Chicago Cubs threw a little gas on the fire of their rivalry with the Brewers yesterday when pitcher Cole Hamels suggested that the majority of fans at Milwaukee’s Miller Park were Cubs fans. If that in fact was true, it wasn’t enough to get Chicago a win as Milwaukee pulled out a 4-3 victory that cut the Cubs lead… Read more »

Burrow In

It’s no secret that LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is on the hot seat after a 9-4 season last year (No. 19 in Dunkel’s final 2017 rankings), which means that much of his future will rely on the play of new QB Joe Burrow. Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State, will be making his first collegiate start tonight as the… Read more »

Taylor Made

Last year, the Wisconsin Badgers rode the legs of freshman sensation Jonathan Taylor (1,977 rushing yards, 13 TDs) to a 13-1 record (No. 7 in Dunkel’s final 2017 rankings) and within a whisker of making the College Football Playoff. This year, Taylor is back along with an offensive line that boasts three returning All-Americans and QB Alex Hornibrook to give Paul… Read more »

Knight Shift

Taking over a college football program is never easy, but the most challenging job this year may fall to Central Florida’s Josh Heupel. Heupel steps in for Scott Frost, who left UCF after last season to head back to his alma mater at Nebraska. But before he left, Frost guided the Knights to a 13-0 record (No. 15 in Dunkel’s… Read more »

Brave Face

When Alex Wood and Mike Minor look across the mound at each other in tonight’s Dodgers-Rangers series finale, there will be a familiar look as both were part of the Atlanta Braves pitching staff in 2014. Since departing Atlanta, it’s been Wood who has had the better fortune as he helped pitch the Dodgers all the way to the World… Read more »

Line Of Credit

The Dallas Cowboys have generally been credited with having the best offensive line in the NFL. But that foundation has taken a hit this preseason with the recent injury to guard Zack Martin and the diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome for center Travis Frederick.  It will be a patchwork along the front tonight as the Cowboys play their third preseason game… Read more »

Old College Try

The college football season has a mini-package of games today to get things warmed up for next week’s action, including two pure FBS matchups starting off with the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors visiting the Colorado State Rams. Last year, Hawaii struggled to a 3-9 record (No. 117 in Dunkel’s NCAA Football Rankings), while Colorado State went 7-6 (No. 49) and has… Read more »

Major For Minor

Texas pitcher Mike Minor (9-6, 4.61) has been the Rangers most consistent starter of late, going 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA over his last 11 starts. But he’ll face a major challenge today as he tries to tame the red-hot Oakland A’s on the road. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full MLB schedule, click HERE. The… Read more »

Giant Hole

Lack of offense has been the San Francisco Giants’ nemesis of late and could end up costing Bruce Bochy’s club a return to the playoffs. San Francisco (61-64; No. 19 in Dunkel’s latest MLB Rankings) just finished getting swept in Cincinnati while being outscored by the Reds, 20-6, to fall 7 1/2 games behind in the NL Wild Card race…. Read more »

Texas Cage Match

Joint practices in the NFL usually have their fair share of fights and this week’s scrimmages between the 49ers and Texans were no different as San Francisco DB Jimmie Ward and Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins got into it.  After a week of getting quite familiar with each other, the two teams will take the field tonight in Houston as the… Read more »

Brock Solid

There looks to be no slowing down the Boston Red Sox. Even the heat of August has only made the team hotter as they’ve won 11 of their 12 games this month. Last night, the Bosox got a PH HR from Brock Holt to take the series opener against the Phillies, 2-1. Both teams will take the field again tonight… Read more »

Bote Show

Doubtful there are few MLB thrills bigger than a walk-off grand slam. That’s what Cubs reserve David Bote experienced on Sunday night in front of a national TV audience as he took the Nationals’ Ryan Madson deep with two outs and the bases loaded to deliver a 4-3 victory for Chicago. The win extended the Cubs’ lead over the Brewers… Read more »

Johnny Come Lately

Johnny Manziel finally looked like he had his shot at redemption when he was traded to the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and given his first start of the season last week. But the result couldn’t have been more disastrous as Manziel threw four first-half INTs and was benched in the second half of a 50-11 embarrassment at the hands of the… Read more »

Dunkel Premier

The English Premier League kicks off its 2018-19 campaign today with Manchester United facing Leicester at Old Trafford, and it also marks the first season that the Dunkel Index will be producing picks and rankings. For Dunkel’s pick in today’s matchup and all the Matchday 1 contests, click HERE. The NFL continues its first preseason week tonight with a pair… Read more »

Hey Nineteen

Braves announcer Joe Simpson has gotten into hot water this year for some of his on-air comments and did so again yesterday when he questioned whether Nationals phenom Juan Soto was really just 19-years-old. The comment drew the ire of Washington GM Mike Rizzo, who confronted Simpson about it, and Simpson later clarified that Soto is a “bonafide 19.” It… Read more »

Sinking Ship?

The Seattle Mariners have hit some choppy waters recently and just completed a homestand with only a 2-5 record that included five straight losses before finally snapping the skid yesterday against the Blue Jays, 6-3. Overall, the Mariners (64-48; No. 7 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) have gone just 6-13 over their last 19 games to fall 2 1/2 games behind… Read more »