Friday, September 17, 2010

Bolt Notes: Chargers/Chiefs Recap and Week 2 NFL Picks!

I knew there were a lot of question marks regarding the Chargers as well as many other teams around the league, but I made my picks and found out that my answers were not necessarily the correct ones. I started off this season with a very pedestrian 8-8 mark in week 1.

As for my Bolts.....ugh. Yes, I could use the weather as an excuse. Yes, I could brag about how the Chargers honestly beat the Chiefs statistically, with the exception of special teams, all night long. Heck, the Chiefs were a measly 1-11 for third down conversions and only threw for around 86 yards compared to the Chargers 298! All that may be true, but the fact is that the Chiefs out played the Chargers when it counted.

That's right, the Chiefs had to play in that weather too. Did they play well? NO! However, they made three big plays and the Chargers only made one. The Chiefs ran a punt back over 90 yards. The Chiefs had a touchdown run of over 50 yards. Finally, on the best run of the night for Chargers rookie running back, Ryan Matthews, the Chiefs stripped the ball and returned it to the Chargers 13 yard line from which they were able to score with ease on a Chargers missed coverage assignment.

The Chargers only huge play was a long touchdown pass to Legedu Naanee when Kansas City seemed to forget that he was an eligible receiver and allowed him to stroll down field and into the end zone.

Now, if the Chargers want to us to believe that they were hampered by the weather, or that it was just a fluke, they have to play better this week against the Jaguars. The weather will not be an excuse. The Chargers will have to make tackles, protect the ball, and be much more disciplined on special teams.

It would also be nice if Philip Rivers didn't stomp his feet and act like a spoiled brat who didn't get to eat his pudding because he refused to eat his veggies first. I normally defend Rivers and his competitive personality, but Monday night was embarrassing at times. He played fairly well, considering the conditions, but when things didn't go right, he melted down and had a tizzy. He would have spent some time in the naughty spot if the Super Nanny had been there.

Now, on to week 2!!!!!!!

Last Week: 8-8

Season Total: 8-8

Cardinals 13 @ Falcons 24

I was not impressed by the Falcons last week, but I think they are too much for the Cards. Arizona may have enough to beat the lower level teams, but not the big boys.

Ravens 20 @ Bengals 10

This could be a great game. I was a bit surprised how poorly the Bengals started out last week and I wonder if they have figured yet how to use their talented personnel. The Ravens have a beastly defense and their offense should improve as they get used to their new addition TJ Housmanzada.

Chiefs 24 @ Browns 13

I have to pick the Chiefs to show that the Chargers aren't that bad of a team. I was not impressed with KC's offense, but they do have play makers. The Browns are still a work in progress.

Bears 17 @ Cowboys 24

Not a big fan of either quarterback, but I think the Cowboys have to many players to lose to a team that almost lost to Detroit in week 1.

Eagles 31 @ Lions 6

The Lions will be playing like they have something to prove after the controversial loss to the Bears last week. Both the Lions and the Eagles lost their starting QB in week 1. The Eagles will bring back Mike Vick while the Lions will counter with Shawn Hill. Advantage Eagles.

Rams 24 @ Raiders 13

The effort by the Raiders was shocking to say the least last week. I really expected more from them this year. Until they show me that then can stop the run, and protect the QB, I can 't pick them. Look for a lot of Steven Jackson this week.

Bills 17 @ Packers 41

Terrible game. Packers all over the Bills. Even without their starting running back, the Packers will have no problem wiping the turf with the Bills.

Steelers 13 @ Titans 27

This is an interesting game. Can the Steelers defense stop the run well enough to force Vince Young to win the game for the Titans? If they can, I like the Steelers chances. If not, it will be a long day for Pitt.

Dolphins 20 @ Vikings 24

Favre was a bit rusty, to say the least last week. The Dolphins are a decent team and have the ability to pull off the upset. The problem is that I believe that if Favre is struggling this week, there will be a steady diet of Adrian Peterson and the Vikings will prevail.

Bucs 14 @ Panthers 28

I just can't see picking the Bucs at all this year. There are only a few teams who would even have to game plan for them and the Panthers are one of them. But I still don't see the Panthers losing to TB at home. Not to say that the Panthers are world beaters, but they out class Tampa Bay this year.

Seahawks 24 @ Broncos 10

If you tell me that you thought the Seahawks would play like they did last week, I'll tell you that you are a liar. Or that you are actually Pete Caroll. The Seahawks came out like gang busters and the Broncos were just busts. Honestly, the Broncos did move the ball, but they could not muster up enough to stop the Jags on the road.

Patriots 31 @ Jets 17

This could be a great game! I look forward to seeing Tom Brady and Wes Welker destroy Antonio Cromartie who was picked on last week by the Ravens. I will give Cro credit for the one pick and a nice return, but he looked like he was playing "The Weekest Link" and was about to get voted out. I also don't believe in Mark Sanchez as a leader yet. He has a lot of growing up to do. I can't see him out playing Brady, even if Revis shuts down Moss.

Jaguars 20 @ Chargers 31

This looks like the first regular season television blackout for the Chargers in the last 49 games. Its' a shame, but I can't see those last tickets being sold in time. I believe the fans are sending a few messages here. 1. Times are hard s and football is expensive. Why pay to watch the Jaguars when you can watch better teams later? 2. Disappointment from week 1. 3. Tired of the slow starts that the Norv Turner lead Chargers do year after year.

As for the game. It should be fairly close, if the Jaguars can establish a run game. The Chargers will work all week on fixing their special teams play and hope to do better in front of former Pro Bowler Kassim Osgood who they sorely missed last week.

In the long run, the Chargers offense will thrive in the beautiful San Diego weather.

Texans 20 @ Redskins 17

Another tough game to pick. McNabb looks five years younger and the Texans are riding an emotional high after beating rival Indy. I have to go with the upstart Texans in this one. Too much D for the Skins.

Giants 18 @ Colts 31

Ah yes, the Manning brothers face off again. Peyton is older. Peyton is at home. Peyton is pissed about last week. I don't like Eli. 'nuff said.

Saints 38 @ Niners 10

I was really looking forward to thins one until I saw the Niners play. What was that? Saints in a laugher.

Enjoy the games and feel free to comment.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bolt Notes and Week 1 NFL Picks!

2010 may be the best chance the San Diego Chargers have had for winning the Super Bowl in years!

That’s right! You did just read that this year is the best opportunity for the San Diego Chargers to win a championship in several years. I know that doesn’t make sense to most of you and I also understand that I am a “homer” and try very hard to find the silver lining in what could be a very ominous cloud hanging over the Chargers teams. So work with me a minute, read what I have to say, and see if it makes any sense to you, and let me know.

The main basis for my argument for the Chargers success this year is wrapped up in one word…EXPECTATIONS! I know what you’re thinking. The Chargers are expected to win the weak AFC West and then lose again in the first round of the playoffs. Most experts don’t think they have the defense and have gone through too many changes to win it all (See Antonio Cromartie, Kassim Osgood, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jamal Williams, Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson etc.)
That argument is exactly what makes me think this could be the Bolt’s year. For each of the past four or five years, many “experts” have picked the Chargers to win it all. “The best team on paper” was often the reasoning. Huge expectations, but each year, the Bolts would win the West and then lose in the playoffs. Some losses were due to injury. Others losses were due to a lack of execution (see Nate Keading).

That being said, I believe the number one reason that none of those years ended with the Chargers driving through the streets of downtown San Diego beneath a shower of confetti was the Chargers believed the hype. You see, the Chargers are very physically talented, but mentally…not the sharpest tools in the shed. Of course that does not include all players, but many players totally bought into the idea that they had the best team and that other teams shouldn’t even bother flying out to San Diego to attempt to beat them. When all you think you need to do is throw your helmet on the field and have the other team give up, you are in for a rude awakening (see the New York Jets).
Yes, Chargers fans, this year there are very few experts picking the Chargers to go all the way. Yes, most say they will win the West, but I have only seen a couple pick them to win the Super Bowl. Maybe this is the year when they take the field with a killer instinct and go out to punish opponents, rather than tickle them into submission. Remember, every team in the NFL has talented players. It’s the teams that can look past their talent, look at the other team as a danger, and play their best every week that wins rings.

Well, every long journey begins with one step and the NFL is no different. Week one is upon us and it is time to look at the matchups and decide who will start the year in first place. Will the Colts get off to one of their unbelievable starts? Will the Chargers get off to yet another poor start? Will the Jets be able to keep all of their egos in check? Will the Saints be able to perform at the incredibly high level that they performed last year? I can’t wait to find out the answers to these and many other questions throughout the year. Enjoy the season everyone!

NFL Week 1 Picks!

Vikings 20 @ Saints 31

I just can’t imagine Favre being ready to play at the level he would need to in order to beat the Super Bowl champs. Brett will do well to make it through this one healthy.
Dolphins 24 @ Bills 13

Even with the distraction of losing “The Tuna”, I think the Dolphins are a much better team than rival Buffalo.

Lions 17 @ Bears 20

The obvious pick is the Bears at home, but I don’t think much of Cutler and I believe the Lions are on the rise. The question is, are the Lions quite there yet?

Raiders 20 @ Titans 27

In Oakland, I may have gone with the Raiders this week. I personally think they will make a nice step forward this year as long as they stay healthy. However, I don’t see it happening on the road against a great ground game in Tennessee.

Bengals 28 @ Patriots 31
Should be a great game, but I see Tom Terrific passing to Welker and keeping the football away from the dangerous receivers on the other side. The Bengals will also have to find a way to keep their two divas happy. That could be a challenge as the year goes on.

Panthers 13 @ Giants 27

Honestly, I’m not that excited about this one. Giants are decent and the Panthers are rebuilding.
Falcons 21 @ Steelers 13

This is tougher than it looks on paper. On one side, you have the Steelers without their top two quarterbacks. On the other side, you may have an overconfident Falcons team going up against a determined Steelers team that doesn’t want to go 0-4 out of the gate.
Browns 20 @ Bucs 10


Broncos 27 @ Jaguars 24

This is a hard one for me due to my obvious bias against the Broncos. Many experts are predicting a horrible year for the Broncos. The Jaguars aren’t expected to do much either. The Jags are at home, and it’s a long trip for Denver. Hmmmmm. Flip a coin here.

Colts 24 @ Texans 20

This could very well be the year that the Texans make the playoffs. Their defense looks very good and their offense racks up a lot of yards. I just don’t like them against Peyton and his Colts in Week 1. Give them a few weeks and then I might pick them for the upset.

49ers 41 @ Seahawks 13

This is Pete Carroll’s first game as head coach of the Seahawks. That could work for them or against them. Getting rid of their number one receiver the week before the first game? That has to be a negative. The Niners are for real this year. Expect some very good things from San Francisco.

Packers 31 @ Eagles 27

Eagles could very well win this game at home but I’m drinking the Packers cheese flavored Kool-Aide until they prove me wrong.

Cardinals 16 @ Rams 20

My upset of the week! I don’t think the Cardinals have a quarterback. Also the Rams are home and playing with nothing to lose.

Cowboys 27 @ Redskins 20

Great week 1 matchup! I’m not sold on the Cowboys are being this year’s champs, as some are. But! I think they get off to a hot start and beat the dysfunctional Redskins on the road.

Ravens 20 @ Jets 13

Love this game for Monday night! Looking for the Ravens to show that their offense is much improved and that their defense can still play with the big boys. The Jets have a lot of talent, but I’m not sold on Mark Sanchez and as a Chargers fan, I think we will see that Antonio Cromartie is more potent off the field than on.

Chargers 31 @ Chiefs 24

This is not the sure thing that many Chargers fans think it is. The Bolts have a lot of question marks that need to be answered. Is the offensive line going to be able to protect Philip Rivers? Can the defense stop the run? Can the defense put any pressure on the quarterback? Can Norv Turner get the Chargers to play in week 1 as if it were week 14?

As for the Chiefs, they seem to lack on defense, but their offense can run the football and given time Matt Cassell will hit open receivers.

Thanks for the read and let me know what you think! Personally, I hate picking week 1, but it’s more fun than not taking a chance.

Enjoy the games!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chargers GM Tries "Inception" To Lure Players Back

Yes, I'm beginning to believe that San Diego Chargers general manager, A.J. Smith is actually Leonardo Di Caprio is disguise. If you have seen the latest hit movie, "Inception", you may know what I mean. Follow my logic and tell me if you think that Leo is filling in for A.J.

As you know, the Chargers have several key players who haven't signed their tender this season. Not just some third string tight end, but rather a starting left tackle (Marcus McNeil), a starting linebacker (Shawne Merriman), and a number one receiver (Vincent Jackson). Yep, that is three potential pro bowl players who are currently missing camp and have talk about lengthy hold outs.

Just in case you missed it, here are the players complaints, in a nut shell. Let's begin with McNeil, the Chargers Pro Bowl, left tackle. It seems that he would like a long term deal for an amount worthy of a person who is paid to protect the 92 million dollar investment at quarterback. The Chargers want him to sign his one year tender of about 3.5 million and get his large butt into camp. At this point, McNeil is talking about sitting all of camp and the first 10 games of the season. OUCH! That being said, I do believe there is hope in McNeil's case. I'll get back to that later.

Vincent Jackson would also like top dollar and several years, much like teammate Antonio Gates recently received. Smith is telling him the same thing that he told McNeil. Sign your tender and come into camp! Jackson is also holding out and my not be back until after week 10. The reason Jackson doesn't have as much hope as McNeil is that he is not the professional that McNeil seems to be.

Jackson has had two D.U.I. arrest and was actually cuffed and sited for driving on a suspended licence and blaring his car stereo, the morning of the Chargers/Jets playoff game last season. Not to mention that during the game, Jackson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and cost the Chargers critical yards. When asked about his behavior during the game, his response was, "I think it's comedical." Yes, I think that says it all.

Then there is Merriman who, in my humble opinion, should just sign and get into camp to prove that he is healthy and is able to return to his old form. He needs to become the player from before the three major injuries and the suspension for PED's. As Steve Martin, or John Belushi would say...."But noooooo!" Merriman says he wants to be assured that he will not have to worry about being traded during the season. Apparently, he forgot that he is a professional football player, not a short order cook somewhere.

Merriman claims to have abandonment issues that stem from when he was a child. Personally, I feel badly for Merriman, but I think he needs to sign and get into camp. He can use his millions to get some help for his problems. Okay, I don't feel that bad.

Now, why is A.J. Smith actually Di Caprio is disguise? The way he is using the media is much like Di Caprio attmepts inception during the movie. "Inception" is planting a thought in someone else's mind is hopes that they will do what you want them to do. You want it to seem like their idea, so they don't resent you. Smith is trying hard to achieve inception with his prodigal players.

Here is Smith's work in a nut shell:

1. Now that camp is open, the media has been reporting on how individuals look for the upcoming season. Much has been made about the Chargers moving offensive lineman, Brandon Dombrowski to left tackle (McNeil's position). The Chargers brass was talking him up and sharing how he is a natural on the left side of the line and they really don't think he is much of a step back from McNeil.

2. Boy has Buster Davis looked great in camp!!! Wow, you would think this is the second coming of John Jefferson or Charlie Joiner, the way they have been pumping him up. The fact is that he has never made it through a season healthy and I find it hard to believe that the Chargers are counting on him now.

And 3. Larry English is a beast this year! By all accounts, English is reeking havoc this preseason and spending most of his time in Philip River's space.

Well, there is the evidence. Three messages going out of one reason and one reason make McNeil, Jackson, and Merriman feel like they have no leverage and that they are in danger of losing their positions and a lot of money. With Smith's reputation of being a hard head, they have to already be worried that he would rather lose games on the field than lose them in negotiations.

Now, as I stated earlier, McNeil has hope. For one, he is an upstanding citizen. For two, he is a fine left tackle and keeps Rivers on his feet. Most importantly, if English is prospering, than Dombrowski is struggling and there is really no one else to play the position. Let's face it, if English is blowing away Dombrowski, imagine what other top pass rushers will do to him. It's not a pretty picture.

So with all the facts in, I believe that Merriman will sign after sitting out at least half of camp, because he has no leverage. Jackson will sit out and try to make up more words like comedical, because he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Finally, McNeil will get a new contract and get to play football in 2010, because even A.J. Smith will have to admit that his back is against the wall and he needs a stud at left tackle.

Enjoy the season!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Padres Need to Step Up to the Plate!

Okay, please let me begin by stating that I could not be more pleased with the effort that San Diego Padres have put fourth thus far. Here we are, almost to the All Star break, and my Padres are in first place by 3.5 games, in the NL West. If that isn't amazing enough for you, how about this? The Padres have the best record in the National League! Still need more? The Padres have, by far, the lowest ERA for any pitching staff in baseball, even though they do not have a single pitcher on the All Star team. How about this? The Padres lead baseball with 13 shutouts!Still not convinced? This should help...The San Diego Padres have the best record in the National League since last July! If you think they are doing it with mirrors, you are wrong.

So, how are they doing it? Pitching, defense, hustle and heart. Just take the recent series with Houston for example. Game one, the Padres fell behind early and fought back to tie it up at three runs a piece. Uncharacteristically, Luke Gregerson, could not find the plate, walked three guys, and gave up a bases clearing double to blow the game open and they lost 6-3.

Game two: Scoreless tie into the 8th inning. The Padres scratch and claw for three runs, and win 3-0.

Game three: Scoreless tie into the 8th inning and the Padres manage to score one run and win 1-0. Are you seeing a trend here? Every game was tied in the eighth inning and the Padres had the heart, and pitching to win three out of four.

Game four: The Padres were clinging to a 2-1 lead in the eighth and looked to be blowing the game. A lead off double, followed by a rare triple from Berkman, made it a 2-2 tie with a runner on third and no one out. With the Padres bats lacking pop, this could have spelled disaster. Sure enough, a strikeout, a ground out, and a fly out, ended the inning with the 2-2 tie in place. Move to the bottom of the ninth, the Padres scratch and claw their way for one run and with the game 3-2 and the series 3-1. That about sums up how the year has gone for the San Diego Padres. Close games, great pitching, great hustle on the bases and solid defense. The question is, will that be enough to hang on to first place?
Well, my short answer is, yes! I do think the Padres have what it takes to win the NL West. By the way, don't give me this, "The West is a weak division" garbage. Four of the five teams in the West are over .500, so they must be okay. My problem is, if and when the Padres make the playoffs, they are going to need to score a couple more runs a game if they want to challenge the big bopping teams like St. Louis, or Philly in the NL and New York and Boston in the AL.

So, what to do? I say the Padres need to become buyers, not sellers and go after a bat! Local radio personalities ask San Diego listeners, "When will San Diegans believe in their Padres?" The answer is, when the Padres management believes in them! When Jed Hoyer, the Padres GM says, "If we are contending at the trade deadline, we will look to become buyers." What kind of GM says that? If the GM doesn't believe yet, why should the fans? As far as we know, they still may be looking to get rid of Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell! If they do that, you may as well play your vacation trips for October because the Padres will not be playing.

I understand that the Padres do not have a lot of money to spend. They are going through an ownership change and the new owner did not plan to spend too much, too early. His problem is that the Padres are forcing his hand early by showing that they truly are a contender, not a pretender. The Padres must buy, and the sooner the better.
Here is my suggestion, and I can't believe I'm saying this. Bring in Milton Bradley to play left field and bat behind Gonzalez. Bradley has all the tools to play well at the spacious Petco Park and has a strong enough bat to give some protection to Gonzo. Even Bradley says that he was happiest when he was a Padre and the limited pressure from the San Diego media is a nice environment for him. He would just have to get over the fact that his last game as a Padre was ended when his manager, Bud Black, beat him up at first base and blew out his knee.

From the Padres end, Bradley will come cheap. Any other big named bopper will cost them someone out of their very talented bullpen. With runs being at a premium, they cannot afford to lose Gregerson, Adams, or Bell, their top three relievers. Also, there were no negative comments from the Padres regarding Bradley's earlier tenure with the club. "Model Citizen" is the most frequent comment made about Bradley in those days.

Will the Padres pull the trigger and show that they want to win? Will the new management act like the old management and say, "Hey, we're in first, we don't need to make changes." ? I say, buy now!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Ideas For Winter Olympics!

First of all, let me tell you that I really do like watching the Olympics. Winter, summer, doesn't matter, I watch many hours a day. I watch to the point where I walk around work like a zombie from the lack of sleep. That being said, I must admit that some of the sports could be a little more exciting to watch. After all, we are in the X Games era and it's hard to get people to watch some middle aged guy sliding stones down an icy surface, trying to get someone else's rocks off (so to speak).

With that in mind, I have thought about most of the Winter Olympic sports and tweaked them a little to make them more exciting to watch. Here is what I came up with:


This was a challenge to spice up. However, I think that having the "sweepers" for both teams actually battle with each other while the stone is sliding down the ice may make it better for fans. Picture the sweepers swinging their brooms at each other like pirates with their swords! That would be exciting! I'd watch it!


This sport combines cross country skiing and target shooting. The shooting helps, but not enough for most viewers. How about this? Replace the pellet shooting rifles, with paint ball guns! The skiers actually get to shoot at each other! If you get hit by a paint ball, you have to stand still for a 15 second penalty. That would inspire the participants to ski faster and they would have to shoot on the fly.

Speed Skating (long track):

First of all, we need to add more racers for each race. I would like to see 6 to 8 skaters per race. Then, change the shape of the race into a figure 8! This would increase the chances of crashes and near misses. After all, that is what many people watch this for in the first place.

Speed Skating (short track):

The only suggestion I have for this sport is to add a couple of racers since there are already a lot of crashes. Short track seems to know what we like already.

Figure Skating:

Have six competitors on the ice at one time! Assign one judge for each skater and have them all skate together. How hard would be be to land a "triple sow cow" with someone else doing a "Hamel Camel" in your landing spot?

Ice Dancing:

Just drop it.

Couples Figure Skating:

Only divorced couples can compete. Think how crazy the throws could be if the man owes child support woman.

Snowboard Half-Pipe:

Not much room to improve this exciting sport. So, let's pay a tribute to the original Olympics and have them perform naked! Those girls were pretty cute and they tend to be in better shape than the down hill skiers (Lindsey Vonn not included).


A good sport, but I want it to be held in the luge track!

Ski Jumping:

Alright, this is one that is already exciting, but the jumpers are getting so good that there are very few crashes. Therefore, lets combine ski jumping with the aerial competition! Just raise the angle of the jump at the end of the 90 meter hill! By the time they get to the bottom, they could have completed 12 flips and 15 full rotations! Land that and you deserve a medal!

Luge and Bobsled:

Already crazy enough for me.

Ice Hockey:

Pretty crazy already, but the Olympics tries to take away the fighting! I say, every penalty leads to a one on one, old style hockey fight in the middle of the rink. After a minute or so, judges decide who won the fight and the loser sits in the penalty box for five minutes.

Well, that's all I have for now. If you have an opinion, or some ideas of your own, just drop me a comment! I'd love to hear from you.

Enjoy the Olympic Games!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bolt Notes: Super Bowl Edition

Well, here we are on the eve of the Super Bowl and once again my Chargers are sitting at home (or in a strip club, knowing many of them) preparing to watch the big game. I would love to go on a rant about how the Chargers showed again that they are immature and don't get the responsibility that comes with the paycheck. I could go on and on about LaDainian Tomlinson asking for his release and how it seems star players never leave San Diego in a pleasant fashion, but rather they leave frustrated, angry, and disappointed (See AJ Smith and Norv Turner).

I could talk about those things, but I would rather just move on and focus my attention on the teams that had the talent, maturity, fortitude, coaching, and luck to make it all the way to Super Bowl Sunday!

Yes, the Saints and Colts will meet tomorrow to provide much of the world with something to watch between commercials. We have arguably the best quarterback of all time in Peyton Manning, versus one of the greatest emotional stories in the New Orleans Saints. This should be a barn burner to the end.

I must admit that I am having a hard time picking this game's winner. I have been successful so far in the post season with just three losses, but I think I have changed my mind on this game on a daily basis. Most days, I say, "I want the Saints and Drew Brees, but I expect the Colts and Peyton to win." Then other days it's, "The emotion of the Saints will take them to another level that the Colts won't be able to match. Not to mention, with Freeney being hurt, the Colts defense will be much more vulnerable to the pass and run. Hopefully, I will come to a decision by the end of this post.

Looking at the Colts, I see an excellent passing game, led by Peyton Manning. However, with the late week injury to Reggie Wayne, I could see that attack slowing down if the injury has much effect of Wayne's running or cutting ability.

The Colts have the worst running stats in the league. That is true, but I would not say they have the worst running game in football. That privilege goes to my Bolts thank you. The Colts don't run poorly, they just don't run often. Their reliance, and the success of their passing game, makes it hard to rack up too many yards for Indy running backs.

Defensively, the Colts are small and fast. With Freeney, they have a very good pass rush and with Bob Sanders, they have the ability to cover well and turn the ball back over to their offense. Without Freeney and Sanders, they are average at best.

Coach Caldwell, of Indy, has a ton of pressure on him this week. Not only is he a rookie coach, he is the coach who threw out a possible perfect season in order to rest up for the post season. If he wins, he is mostly vindicated. If he loses, his fans will regret missing out on the perfect regular season. Fortunately for Caldwell, he has a pretty good coach on the field in Manning.

As for the Saints, they have many things on their side. For instance, Drew Brees is no slouch in the passing game. He moves the ball down field with a strong vertical attack and has Reggie Bush to dump the ball off to if the defense shuts down the deep balls.

The Saints also can rely on a solid running game with Pierre Thomas and company. The Saints should try to move the ball on the ground in order to open up the passing game, slow down the rush of the Colts, and keep Manning off the field.

The Saints defense is interesting. They just gave up a little less than 500 yards to Brett Favre and the Vikings. That leads me to believe that the Colts should be able to carve them up for ridiculous yards and with Manning's ability in the "red zone", the Colts should be able to put points on the board. However, the Saints "D" also forced five turnovers against the Vikings. Every defender is trained to strip the ball from runners and the corners and safeties are not afraid to cut a route and try to intercept the ball. Manning has had days in the past where he gets a case of the picks, but not too often.

What it comes down to is, can the Saints D keep the Colts offense out of the endzone? Also, can the Colts D do the same to the Saints? I must admit that my mind says that the Colts will win this game with relative ease. My heart however, and that little voice in the back of my head, says that Brees and Co. will outscore Manning and the Colts and win the game by less that a touchdown. In fact, I see a last minute drive by the Colts actually falling short due to a Manning interception to secure the victory for the Saints. It will be the biggest play the Saints D makes all day.

Final Score: Colts 34 Saints 38

MVP: Drew Brees

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bolt Notes: Pro Bowl Edition

Here is my official take on the NFL Pro Bowl.....WHO CARES?

That's about it! Okay, as a Chargers fan, I would like to see the Chargers who made the team do well and have the AFC win the game. That being said, if they don't, I won't lose any sleep at all.

Now, when this game was played in Hawaii and it was after the Super Bowl, I still didnt care that much, but I was far more interested than I am now. This new way of running the Pro Bowl has to be one of the worst ideas in sports history. The NFL changed the location from Hawaii to the Super Bowl site. Result: Many players were not inspired to go (no offence South Florida). Next, the NFL decides that they should play the game before the Super Bowl (am I allowed to write "Super Bowl"?), instead of the week following. Result: None of the Super Bowl participants will be allowed to play. They get to show up to Florida a day before their team and wave at the crowd during pregame festivities. Sounds like fun to me! Further results: So many players have opted out of the Pro Bowl that it isn't even an all start game anymore.

The NFL says that this new Pro Bowl setup is already a success because the media is talking about the game more than ever! The problem is that the media, and Joe Blow on the corner, are only talking about it to say how stupid it is.

Prediction: AFC 38 NFC 31

MVP Chris Johnson (assuming he is going to play)

Enjoy the game.....if you bother watching.