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By Kelsey Miller

 

The NFL schedule was released last week and the fans are once again, ready for some football. Take a look at my must see games for the 2014 season.

The historic matchup between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 will be one for the books. The Redskins are finally looking to have an elite offense compared to other teams in the competitive NFC East division. Redskins Quarterback RGIII, running back Alfred Morris, rising tight end Jordan Reed, and newly added receiver Desean Jackson will help the Redskins become more of a threat. The Dallas Cowboys, who parted ways with defensive anchorman DeMarcus Ware, will need more leaders to step up to the plate. Neither Tony Romo nor Dez Bryant is current top seeds in their positions which make a hard example for teammates to follow. These two teams always show up in full force to play each other at the end of the season. The classic rivalry has much more meaning than the ability of the players themselves.

My next pick will be America’s Game of The Week. The Week 1 match-up between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos will certainly draw viewer attention. Peyton Manning ended the season with 55 touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 115.1. DeMarcus Ware joins the Broncos this season and will benefit from having Von Miller playing on the same side as him. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has big shoes to fill and veteran receiver Hakeem Nicks has an opportunity to pair up with receiver Reggie Wayne and be offensive weapons.

The Super Bowl rematch will be better than the last time these two teams met. Last year’s game did not go well for the Broncos and the Seahawks defense made Peyton Manning look like a rookie. Besides the monstrous Seahawks defense, Russell Wilson is charging in as the leader of the team and coming to make a huge name for himself in the NFL. He continues to prove the critics wrong by being one of the shortest at his position and remain elite.

In Week 8, the Baltimore Ravens will face the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore needs to come out strong in their first game with a division opponent so far along in the season. They are coming off of a season shy of making the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl the year before. Cincinnati receiver AJ Greene is looking forward to having another great season after finishing last season with 11 TD, 98 catches, and 1400 plus receiving yards.

Last but not least, the New Orleans Saints will face off with the Carolina Panthers in Week 9. Quarterback Cam Newton is entering the season after his first playoff appearance and Luke Kuechly was named the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. Without Darren Sproles in the backfield for New Orleans, the weight is going to be on Drew Brees shoulders to keep the offense afloat. This will be New Orleans second year back with Sean Payton following the bounty suspension. It’s safe to say, I cannot wait until the NFL show gets on the road.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

By Stefan Anderson

When Marshawn Lynch would not speak during this year’s media day, it made him like unprofessional and immature to the masses . But Lynch was certain in actions and had no second guessing as the Seahawks lived up to “Beast Mode” words in Super Bowl 48. The Seahawks dismantled the Broncos 43-8 in Sunday’s matchup.

Seattle’s as a whole came out from the start of the game and proved that they deserved to win the big game. Opening the game with a safety caused on a botched snap to repeatedly capitalizing on Denver errors. The Seahawks did what they did all season causing steady havoc on opposing teams offenses. After forcing nearly 40 turnovers this season, and with a 20 plus turnover to giveaway ratio this season, The Legion of Boom continued to their efforts. Initiating the record breaking Denver offense to have 4 turnovers in Sunday’s game. Forcing two fumbles and 2 Peyton Manning interceptions, including one taken the other way by Super Bowl MVP, Malcolm Smith. The Seahawks also reiterated the cliche that “Defense Wins Championships”.

On the offensive side of the ball, Russell Wilson led his offensive team on the offensive of the ball where he won the showdown that no one believed he could win against Peyton Manning. Wilson ended the game 18 for 25, 206 yards and passer rating of 123 for the big game. Russell Wilson did a great job of spreading the wealth by passes completed to 8 different targets. With the win, Wilson joins Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner as quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl in their second year in the NFL. The victory of the Broncos also propelled his coach Pete Carroll too. Carroll joined an exclusive club of coaches, being 1 of 3 coaches to ever win a Super Bowl and National Championship.

No one had Denver coming out looking like the young, inexperienced club that they had the Seahawks quoted as. Denver never at one point throughout the game showed any heart or tenacity toward playing in a championship game. This is another damper in Peyton Manning legendary career that will cemented as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and joining his rival Tom Brady, as one the greatest quarterbacks that made it to the big game lose twice and completing a fantastic season in horrible fashion. As good as the Broncos looked as the better team on paper with their record breaking season, the Seahawks showed and proved throughout the season they were the best team with their 6-2 record on the road and 7-1 record at home. Believing in Marshawn Lynch quote “I’m bout that action boss”.

Starting Point Super Bowl Picks

ImageCourtesy of Craig Kanalley 

With the big game coming up on Sunday, we have a great game with the NFC’s Champ , The Seattle Sehawks and the AFC’s Champ, The Denver Broncos. Us here at The Starting Point, have our predictions on the big game and who could win it all.

Greg Hudson – Broncos 20, Seahawks 16

 I think the Broncos defense stands a solid chance against Marshawn Lynch after shutting out Legarrette Blount and the Patriots’ running game in the AFC Championship game. My X-Factor is the weather. There’s been a lot of talk about Richard Sherman’s Legion of Boom against Peyton Manning’s all-star receiving core, but how much of an impact that battle has will depend on whether either team will be able to establish a passing game in the expected sub-freezing temperatures in the Meadowlands. A run-dominated game would be a very interesting showdown indeed.

Stefan Anderson – Broncos 28, Seahawks 20
The Broncos Rush Defense has ranked 8th in the NFL all season and only allowed 2 100-yd rushers all season. Although I believe that “Beast Mode” will earn his yards but the Broncos front 7 will contain him enough to force Russell Wilson to make plays versus Champ Bailey and that Broncos secondary. My X-Factor will be the Broncos Defense as well as Percy Harvin, who could give some that can cause damage to that Broncos secondary and change the outcome. With the temperature being the mid 20’s to 30’s for the Sunday evening matchup, I don’t see it being the “Snow Bowl”, ultimately it will be a classic grudge match between the two best teams and should be one of the best super bowls we have seen in years.
Maceo Lester – Denver 31, Seattle 27

It’s Peyton’s year, he’s been focused and determined all year he knows his legacy is on the line and he wants to go down as one of the greats. Nothing can stop him right now, he’s the x-factor he will have control of the game.
Kelsey Miller -Seattle 20 , Broncos 17
I choose Seattle because the defense is primarily the heart and soul of that team. gonna be tough to score on young healthy talent, and I feel the game will come down a field goal. Haushka has a good leg. Peyton’s gotta use Moreno because Seattle will heavily play the passing game and play option. My X Factor is Marshawn lynch. Broncos are without Von Miller so there’s a small gap in the pocket front line of the defense. Broncos secondary, Bailey and Rodgers-Cromartie will be playing the pass heavily so they have to run the ball.