Roger Bernadina, Cincinnati Reds Free Agent Signing #6

On January 31st, the Cincinnati Reds accounced that they’ve added Roger Bernadina to the club with an invite to big league camp.

More details on MLB TRADE RUMORS.

THE SPLITS

CLICK ON PICTURE FOR ZOOM

Roger Bernardina Splits

The Reds, mentioned on Wednesday, are signing players at small price. The invite is a good opportunity to make and prove that he is a quality bench player.

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Ramon Santiago, Cincinnati Reds Free Agent Signing #5

On January 29th, the Cincinnati Reds announced that they’ve added Ramon Santiago to the club with a roster spot at stake.

More details on MLB TRADE RUMORS

THE SPLITS

CLICK ON PICTURE FOR ZOOM

Ramon Santiago Splits

The Reds, mentioned yesterday, that they’re signing players at small price. The invite is a good opportunity to make and prove that he is a quality bench player.

Chris Nelson, Cincinnati Reds Free Agent Signing #4

On January 27th, the Cincinnati Reds announced that they invited and signed Chris Nelson.

More details on MLB TRADE RUMORS

Nelson is considered the 2013 Izturis, playing bench role and will give Brandon Phillips the day off when needed. Nelson has played most infield positions and is considered Utility.

THE SPLITS

CLICK ON PICTURE FOR ZOOM

Chris Nelson Splits

The Reds are doing what they can offer by signing players into Minor League Roles. The money is tight in the payroll and I expect it to be like this from the Reds for the next two seasons.

NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

Championship Game

The most anticipated week in January, the Conference round. The 4 teams that represent the Lombardi Trophy’s “Final 4”, and all of them have premier QBs. The AFC brings the historic matchup of (Peyton) Manning and (Tom) Brady. The NFC brings the future of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. The Conference round features 3 teams from the Division Round and Wild Card round, the wild card round features dark horse San Francisco 49ers.

TEAM-BY-TEAM BREAKDOWN

Patriots-Broncos

300 CBS (New England at Denver) (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson)

New England Patriots

Head Coach: Bill Belichick, 14th season (12-4) (1st in AFC East)

2012 Record: 12-4

The Patriots last week showed that they’re all too well in handling the playoffs. Good game plan lead to a blowout victory against the Colts. The Patriots have watched how the playoffs have fared and that the ground game has been a factor in victory. The Patriots both won offensively with Pass and Run, but its defense took advantage of passing failures of Andrew Luck. Luck’s interceptions was a factor in New England’s win. I expect Brady and Co. to have a good game plan for the Broncos and could still be my pre-season favorite to be the Super Bowl representative for the AFC.

GOOD WINS: Denver Broncos

BAD LOSSES: Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins

The Patriots have 4 players in the Pro Bowl

Denver Broncos 

Head Coach: John Fox, 3rd season (13-3) (1st in AFC West)

2012 Record: 13-3

Rest matters. Denver looked prepared for the divisional round and avoided an early exit. Peyton Manning performed well, but his receivers didn’t, dropped passes have hurt playoff teams. The receiving corp struggled, but the ground game did not. Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno cleaned up the offense, which led to victory. The defense was phenomenal in the 1st half, but slipped in the 2nd half with Philip Rivers comeback. The secondary will need to work on avoiding open routes to Patriots receiving corps.

GOOD WINS: Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs (2x)

BAD LOSSES: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers

The Broncos have 5 players in the Pro Bowl.

PREDICTION: DENVER 35-NEW ENGLAND 24

49ers-Seahawks

630 FOX (San Francisco at Seattle) (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews)

San Francisco 49ers

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh, 3rd Season (12-4) (2nd Place NFC West)

2012 Record: 11-4-1

After saying the 49ers are running hot, they are really running hot. The 49ers have won 8 straight and are looking for 10 (Super Bowl). San Francisco struggled with Carolina in the 1st half, but Colin Kaepernick went on an offense rampage in the 2nd half to beat Carolina 23-10. Kaepaernick and the 49ers will have a challenge in Seattle, but look to return to the Super Bowl.

GOOD WINS: Seattle Seahawks (home), Carolina Panthers

BAD LOSSES: Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints

The 49ers have 8 players in the Pro Bowl

Seattle Seahawks

Head Coach: Pete Carroll, 4th season (13-3) (1st in NFC West)

2012 Record: 11-5

The Seahawks and playing at home is something they like, a lot. Last Saturday, the Seahawks took Drew Brees and the Saints completely out of the game. Russell Wilson had a complete game and the ground game flatten the Saints Defense. The Seahawks could have a cakewalk to New York City, but Russell Wilson will be in my opinion be dueling with Colin Kaepernick.

GOOD WINS: Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints

BAD LOSSES: Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals

The Seahawks have 6 players going to the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: SEATTLE 30-SAN FRANCISCO 28

—————–

TEAM: (1-3 WC) (4-0 DIV) (5-3 OVERALL) DENVER, SEATTLE

OVER UNDER: DENVER (59), SEATTLE (58), NET PT (-24)

Next Post: February 2nd, Super Bowl

NFL DIVISIONAL ROUND 2013

Divisional

An all new week and the bracket is set. The Division round is the basic quarterfinal for the Super Bowl. Win division and you’re one step closer. The Division round includes 5 division winners (1 advanced in Wild Card) and 3 wild card teams (Two 6 seeds).

TEAM-BY-TEAM BREAKDOWN

Saints-Seahawks

435 FOX (New Orleans at Seattle) (Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch)

New Orleans Saints

Head coach: Sean Payton, 8th season (11-5) (2nd in NFC South)

2012 Record: 7-9

The Saints and Sean Payton return for redemption from their Week 13 loss against the Seahawks. The Saints weren’t particularly playing well on the road, but shook that bad habit by beating the Philadelphia Eagles last week with a game winning Field Goal. New Orleans will be coming in playing with a chip on their shoulder and hope to face the San Francisco-Carolina winner at their place.

GOOD WINS: San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers

BAD LOSSES: New York Jets, St. Louis Rams

The Saints have 5 players in the Pro Bowl

Seattle Seahawks

Head Coach: Pete Carroll, 4th season (13-3) (1st in NFC West)

2012 Record: 11-5

The Seahawks came into the playoffs with an impressive 2013 season. Their 13-3 mark is one of the reasons why they’re legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The last time the Seahawks had a 13-3 mark, they went to Super bowl XL. The Seahawks started the season 4-1 and had a 7 game win streak. The last 5 games, 3-2.

GOOD WINS: Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints

BAD LOSSES: Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals

The Seahawks have 6 players going to the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: SEATTLE 30-NEW ORLEANS 20

Colts-Patriots

815 CBS (Indianapolis at New England) (Greg Gumbel. Dan Dierdorf)

Indianapolis Colts

Head Coach: Chuck Pagano, 2nd Season (11-5) (1st Place AFC South)

2012 Record: 11-5

Behind by 28? Yeah, you’ll lose that one for sure. That last sentence is an understatement for Andrew Luck and the Colts. Somehow with the Chiefs leading 31-10 at halftime, the Colts came back and beat the Chiefs by 1. Oh. Nonetheless, being behind many scores could be an actual problem in New England. Colts will once again continue the New England-Indianapolis rivalry, but it has lost its touch because it’s been about Manning and Brady.

GOOD WINS: San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs (2x)

BAD LOSSES: Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals

The Colts have 1 player (Robert Mathis) in the Pro Bowl

New England Patriots

Head Coach: Bill Belichick

2012 Record: 12-4

The Patriots are doing what they usually do in the postseason, win the division and hope to have the 1st round bye. The first round bye has been working in their favor ever since Tom Brady took over at Quarterback. The first round bye is a big factor for Patriots because it allowed them to easily enter the Superbowl in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2011. The bye is in New England’s favor, can they still be my AFC champion when I picked them in the pre-season?

GOOD WINS: Denver Broncos

BAD LOSSES: Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins

The Patriots have 4 players in the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: NEW ENGLAND 30-INDIANAPOLIS 24

49ers-Panthers

105 FOX (San Francisco at Carolina) (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews)

San Francisco 49ers

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh, 3rd Season (12-4) (2nd Place NFC West)

2012 Record: 11-4-1

The San Francisco 49ers are hot and are taking care of business. The 49ers had the balanced 6-2 halves this season, but actually went 11-2 after starting 1-2 to start the season. The 1st win was against the Packers, whom they beat last week in the Wildcard. Nonetheless, San Francisco is hot and will give Carolina a game.

GOOD WINS: Seattle Seahawks

BAD LOSSES: Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints

The 49ers have 8 players in the Pro Bowl

Carolina Panthers

Head Coach: Ron Rivera, 3rd Season (12-4) (1st in NFC South)

2012 Record: 7-9

Speaking of hot, the Carolina Panthers have bode well this 2013 season. After starting 1-3, the Panthers went 11-1 to claim the South and earn a first round bye. The 11-1 stretch included a 8 game win streak, which is a franchise record. The Carolina Panthers are making their first playoff appearance since 2008.

GOOD WINS: San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots

BAD LOSSES: Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints

The Panthers have 5 players in the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: SAN FRANCISCO 30-CAROLINA 27

Chargers-Broncos

440 CBS (San Diego at Denver) (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson)

San Diego Chargers

Head Coach: Mike McCoy, 1st Season (9-7) (3rd Place AFC West)

2012 Record: 7-9

Someone needs to tell the Philadelphia Eagles not to schedule a playoff team as their home opener. For what it’s worth, the Chargers have been put in this unusual statistic. As much is to be said, Chargers looked good in Cincinnati and cold-weather doesn’t mean anything to them. The Chargers are playing rubber match against the Broncos and all they have to do is hope they play in either Indianapolis or New England. What a treat if it is Indy-San Diego, it’s like San Diego likes the Midwest for the 2013 playoffs.

GOOD WINS: Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs (2x), Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals

BAD LOSSES: Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins

Denver Broncos 

Head Coach: John Fox, 3rd season (13-3) (1st in AFC West)

2012 Record: 13-3

As odd as it seems, Denver did exactly what they did last year to grab the homefield advantage. Denver likes their chances for a Super Bowl this season (just like last year…), but must take care of business against San Diego and end the statistic. Quarterback Peyton Manning is likely to be the NFL MVP this season when he had the most TD in a NFL season (broke his 2004 record and beat predecessor Tom Brady) and passing yards with 5,477 (predecessor was Drew Brees in 2011). If Broncos avoid the Week 15 meltdown loss against Chargers, Broncos will enjoy another week at home facing either Indianapolis or New England. Manning will love the AFC Championship if they win this game.

GOOD WINS: Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs (2x)

BAD LOSSES: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers

The Broncos have 5 players in the Pro Bowl.

PREDICTION: DENVER 41-SAN DIEGO 24

—————–

TEAM: (1-3 Wild Card) SEATTLE, NEW ENGLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, DENVER

OVER UNDER: SEA (50), NE (54), SF (57), DEN (65) NET PT (25)

Next Post: January 19, Conference Championship

NFL WILD CARD 2013

NFL WILDCARD

It’s that time of year again, the NFL Playoffs. The First round, the Wild Card, which features 8 teams, 4 Division winners and 4 Wild Cards.

TEAM-BY-TEAM BREAKDOWN

Chiefs-Colts

Saturday, January 4th, 435 PM NBC (Dan Hicks, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan)

Kansas City Chiefs

Head Coach: Andy Reid, 1st season (11-5) (2nd AFC West)

2012 Record: 2-14

The Kansas City Chiefs improved vastly with a new coach and quarterback in Alex Smith. The Chiefs improved with 9 wins. The Chiefs started off the season 9-0 before finishing 2-5.  The Chiefs are 1-5 against Playoff teams (Eagles, Broncos, Chargers, Colts).

GOOD WINS: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles

BAD LOSSES: San Diego Chargers (2x), Indianapolis Colts

The Chiefs have 8 players in the Pro Bowl

Indianapolis Colts

Head Coach: Chuck Pagano, 2nd Season (11-5) (1st Place AFC South)

2012 Record: 11-5

The Indianapolis Colts are in the second season with the Pagano-Luck system. The Colts have faced opponents with a .525 winning percentage and winning the South by 4 games. The Colts are 4-2 against playoff teams (Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks)

GOOD WINS: San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs

BAD LOSSES: Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals

The Colts have 1 player (Robert Mathis) in the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: CHIEFS 31-COLTS 24

Saints-Eagles

 Saturday, January 4th, 8 PM NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

New Orleans Saints

Head coach: Sean Payton, 8th season (11-5) (2nd in NFC South)

 2012 Record: 7-9

The Saints and Sean Payton return to the playoffs after the 2012 Bounty Scandal. The Saints started off 5-0 and ended up 6-5, but did go undefeated at home this year. In the NFC South, the Saints and Carolina Panthers were in contention for division and 1st round bye. In the month of December, the Saints went 2-3 while the Panthers went 4-1 to take the Panthers out of division and bye. Saints were 9-2 and Panthers were 8-3 by the end of Week 13. The Saints went 2-3 against Playoff teams (Patriots, Panthers 2x, Seahawks, 49ers).

GOOD WINS: San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers

BAD LOSSES: New York Jets, St. Louis Rams

The Saints have 5 players in the Pro Bowl

Philadelphia Eagles

Head Coach: Chip Kelly (1st Season, 10-6) (1st NFC East)

2012 Record: 4-12

The Eagles are under new leadership of High-Offense Power coach, Chip Kelly. The Eagles started off slow at 3-5, but ended up finishing 7-1 in the 2nd half of the season, only losing at Minnesota. The Eagles and their hot 2nd half leads them another play in to the playoffs, which the East had to be claimed once again, the Dallas Cowboys can’t win that Week 17 game. The Eagles went 1-3 against Playoff teams (San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers)

GOOD WINS: Green Bay Packers

BAD LOSSES: San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings

The Eagles have 2 players in the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: EAGLES 24-17

 Chargers-Bengals

Sunday, January 5th, 105 CBS (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms)

San Diego Chargers

Head Coach: Mike McCoy, 1st Season (9-7) (3rd Place AFC West)

2012 Record: 7-9

The Chargers were led by rookie head coach Mike McCoy, who inherits Quarterback Philip Rivers and Tight End Antonio Gates. The Chargers managed to reach the playoffs by winning 4 out of 5 in December, their last loss was against the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 11, the Chargers were on a 3 game losing streak and playoff hopes were out of reach, they were 4-6 and were fighting for the 6 seed with many others. After Week 11, the Chargers went 5-1 to grab the last spot. The Chargers in Week 17 got help from the Bengals, eliminating the Ravens from the 6 seed and the Jets were in support of the Chargers run by beating the Dolphins on the road. As for the Chargers, they were nearly eliminated in Week 17, but Ryan Succop kick went wide right for the game winning field goal. The game went into overtime and beat the 2nd string Chiefs, who were resting starters because they had already locked the 5 seed. Overtime, Chargers took the lead by a field goal and had a defensive stop to win and claim the 6 seed. The Steelers were also paying attention to this game because a Chiefs win would of put them in. The Chargers went  5-2 against playoff teams (Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs)

GOOD WINS: Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs (2x), Denver Broncos

BAD LOSSES: Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins

The Chargers have 2 players in the Pro Bowl

Cincinnati Bengals

Head Coach: Marvin Lewis, 11th Season (11-5) (1st Place AFC North)

2012 Record: 10-6

The Bengals are led by Marvin Lewis, who is 2nd longest tenured coach and only behind New England’s Bill Belichick. The Bengals come in with lots of depth and drafted well in the 2013 Draft. The Draft included key players of: Tyler Eifert, Giovani Bernard and Margus Hunt. The depth of Bengals was so good, they lossed key stars in Geno Atkins, Taylor Mays and Leon Hall and still won the division. The Bengals were starting off hot in the 1st half of the season, going 6-2 with a perfect October (Week 9 game played on October 31, but stretches to November 4). The Bengals only had a 2 game losing streak and ended on 5-1 run to end the season and claim the division. The Bengals went 4-0 against Playoff teams (Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts)

GOOD WINS: New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts

BAD LOSSES: Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals have 2 players in the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: BENGALS 34-24

49ers-Packers

Sunday, January 5th, 440 PM (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver)

San Francisco 49ers

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh, 3rd Season (12-4) (2nd Place NFC West)

2012 Record: 11-4-1

After losing Super Bowl XLVII, Jim Harbaugh returns to the playoffs. Harbaugh could return to Super Bowl XLVII and won’t have to face his brother-John-and the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers had a balanced season, 6-2 1st half and 6-2 2nd half, but did end the season on a 6 game win streak.  The 49ers went 2-4 against Playoff teams (Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks (2x), Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints).

GOOD WINS: Seattle Seahawks

BAD LOSSES: Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints

The 49ers have 8 players in the Pro Bowl

Green Bay Packers

Head Coach: Mike McCarthy, 8th season (8-7-1) (1st Place NFC North)

2012 Record: 11-5

Mike McCarthy and the Packers return to another playoffs. The Packers were starting off hot and had to contend with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears for the NFC North. The Packers started off 5-2, but went 3-5-1 to finish the season. The 3-5-1 stretch included a 3 game losing streak, a tie and a loss. The losing stretch all occured in the month of November. To put in a run for the playoffs, they won 4 of 5 games in December and won the NFC North in Week 17 by beating the Chicago Bears. The Packers had luck and it will be hard to find that in the playoffs, they went 0-3 against playoff teams (San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles.

GOOD WINS: …

BAD LOSSES: Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Packers have no players in the Pro Bowl

PREDICTION: 49ers 27-PACKERS 24

—————–

TEAM: Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers

OVER/UNDER: 55 (KC), 41 (PHI), 58 (CIN), 51 (SF)

Next Post: January 11th, Division Round