MENU
  • NFL Playoffs: All-Out Blitz Staff Picks Conference Championship Games

    January 20, 2018 • Features, Front Page, Lists, NFL Playoffs, PreviewComments (0)

    Okay, I’ll be honest. We here at All-Out Blitz have truly struggled with game picks this postseason.

    But that’s what so great about the NFL playoffs, right?? Any given Sunday!

    Sunday afternoon’s Conference Championship match-ups feature three squads without any Super Bowl victories (Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Minnesota) and one squad searching with a legendary quarterback searching for his SIXTH Super Bowl championship (New England, obviously).

    This gives us about a 75% chance of seeing a team win its first Super Bowl ever. Exciting.

    Here are our championship round picks for this weekend.

    AFC: Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots (1:05 PM ET)

    Ben’s pick: Patriots 24, Jaguars 14

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see Jacksonville pull off the Conference Championship win and earn its first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. And I don’t believe a Jacksonville win would be very far-fetched, given what this Sacksonville defense has done this season. I just have a hard time picking against Tom Brady in a January playoff game at Foxboro. This will mark Brady’s 36th career postseason game, and he’s 18-3 in playoff games at Gillette Stadium. He has six touchdowns and zero interceptions, and a 2-0 record, against Jacksonville in the postseason. I’ll take my chances on Brady (while secretly cheering for a Jacksonville upset).

    Jordan’s pick: Jaguars 28, Patriots 23

    Many of you are going to pick New England rolling over Jacksonville, but not so fast. If Blake Bortles avoids turnovers and makes a couple plays down the stretch like he did last week, Jacksonville can keep this game close. If Bortles makes more than a couple plays and Leonard Fournette gets going, this game will be entertaining. If the aforementioned occur and the defense finds a way to slow down Tom Brady, Jacksonville will emerge victorious. That’s what I’m banking on. The drama surrounding the Patriots is going to be amplified immediately following this game, along with questions beginning to come to the surface about Tom Brady’s status for next year. Will the Patriots dynasty over? I’m not sure, but I think it’s going to be put on hold until next season, starting Sunday. I’m going out on a limb and picking the upset.

    Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles (4:40 PM ET)

    Ben’s pick: Eagles 21, Vikings 17

    Well, I guess the Eagles and their fan base are just fully embracing the underdog role at this point, even though I feel they should be favored in this one. Philly gets to host the Conference Championship after beating Matt Ryan and the Falcons last week, yet Vegas is favoring Minnesota (-3.0) for Sunday’s showdown. Quarterback Nick Foles truly stepped up in the second half last week and the defense shut down Atlanta’s high-flying offense, keeping them to just 10 points. Given Minnesota needed a last-second miracle to pull off the win over New Orleans last week, and the fact Philly has home-field advantage once again, I’ll take the Eagles in a close one at home.

    Jordan’s pick: Vikings 24, Eagles 14

    Minnesota is simply the better team out of the two playing in this game. Case Keenum is better than Nick Foles. Keenum has equal, if not better weapons at his disposal and has a top-two defense to alleviate some of the pressure when things get intense. Philadelphia’s defense won the game last week. If Foles can’t throw a touchdown against the Falcons, he’s in for a rude awakening against Minnesota. Whether Foles throws 50 times or hands it off 35 times, it’s not going to make a difference. It’ll be close, but the better team will win and advance to Super Bowl 52. Case Keenum vs. Blake Bortles. Who would have predicted that heading into the season? Nobody.

    Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    No Comments on NFL Playoffs: All-Out Blitz Staff Picks Conference Championship Games

    Read More
  • NFL Draft: Official 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl Rosters

    January 19, 2018 • Front Page, NCAA, NFL DraftComments (0)

    The 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl is right around the corner, with the game kicking off in Mobile, Alabama next Saturday, Jan. 27.

    Here are the official rosters for the North and South teams, coaching by Denver’s Vance Joseph (North) and Houston’s Bill O’Brien (South).

    North roster:

    https://www.seniorbowl.com/rosters-2018.php?squad=North

    South roster:

    https://www.seniorbowl.com/rosters-2018.php?squad=South

    Photo: Ryan Kang/AP

    No Comments on NFL Draft: Official 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl Rosters

    Read More
  • Remember When Calais Campbell Chose Jacksonville Over Hometown Broncos?

    January 18, 2018 • AFC, AFC South, Features, Front Page, Jacksonville JaguarsComments (0)

    Remember last off-season, when free agent defensive end Calais Campbell made the decision to sign with Jacksonville, rather than Denver?

    And … remember how all of the Broncos fans thought he was crazy for choosing the 3-13 Jaguars over their beloved Broncos?

    Well, that “take” did not age well.

    Denver went from a nine-win team a season ago to an AFC West-dwelling 5-11 team this season, while Jacksonville went from 3-13 to a 10-win AFC South championship and earned a right to play in the AFC Championship this coming Sunday.

    At age 31, the Denver-native broke double digits in sacks for the first time in his 10-year NFL career, recording a career-high 14.5 sacks for the Jags’ second-ranked scoring defense in 2017-18.

    So yeah, Broncos fans, it appears as though Campbell is getting the last laugh with this one. He’s already been awarded the Defensive Player of the Year award by the Pro Football Writers of America.

    Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    No Comments on Remember When Calais Campbell Chose Jacksonville Over Hometown Broncos?

    Read More
  • Press Release: Super Bowl LII Officials Named

    January 17, 2018 • Breaking News, Front Page, Predictions, Press ReleaseComments (0)

    Press release from NFLcommunications.com:

    Referee GENE STERATORE will lead the seven-person crew of on-field game officials selected to work Super Bowl LII on Sunday, February 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium, the NFL announced today.​

    The other members of the Super Bowl LII officiating crew are ROY ELLISON (umpire), JERRY BERGMAN (down judge), BYRON BOSTON (line judge), TOM HILL (field judge), SCOTT EDWARDS (side judge), and PERRY PAGANELLI (back judge). Collectively, the Super Bowl LII officiating crew has 127 years of NFL officiating experience and 101 combined playoff game assignments.

    Steratore, in his 15th season as an NFL game official, entered the league in 2003 as a field judge and was promoted to referee in 2006. He has officiated 11 playoff games, including two conference championships. He was the alternate referee for Super Bowl XLIV.

    Under the NFL officiating program’s evaluation system, officials must be rated in the top tier at their position to be eligible for the Super Bowl. They must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments.

    PAUL WEIDNER is the replay official.

    Steratore and Bergman are officiating in their first Super Bowl. Previously, both were alternates (Steratore in XLIV; Bergman in 50). Boston (XXXIV and XLVII) and Hill (XL and XLIX) will officiate their third Super Bowl. Ellison (XLIII), Edwards (50) and Paganelli (XLI) will work their second Super Bowl. Edwards was also an alternate in Super Bowl XLVIII.

    No Comments on Press Release: Super Bowl LII Officials Named

    Read More
  • Everson Griffen: Best Post-game Interview of the Postseason?

    January 15, 2018 • Features, Front Page, Minnesota Vikings, NFC, NFC North, NFL PlayoffsComments (0)

    Case Keenum’s “walk-off” 61-yard touchdown toss to wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ in Minnesota’s shocking 29-24 Divisional Round win over New Orleans Sunday night had everyone’s jaw on the ground.

    Even his own teammates were shell-shocked by the incredible catch and run by Diggs.

    The win would set-up one of my new favorite post-game interviews with his teammate, defensive end Everson Griffen just moments after the big play:

    Was that great or what?!

    Pure, raw, emotion from Minnesota’s 30-year old sack leader.

    Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    No Comments on Everson Griffen: Best Post-game Interview of the Postseason?

    Read More
  • Antonio Brown Appears to Be Ready to Go Sunday

    January 13, 2018 • AFC, AFC North, Breaking News, Front Page, NFL Playoffs, Pittsburgh SteelersComments (0)

    Good news for Pittsburgh Steelers fans: All-Pro wideout Antonio Brown appears to be good to go for Sunday afternoon’s Divisional round match-up against Jacksonville.

    https://twitter.com/AKinkhabwala/status/952213676676861960

    Brown, 29, is coming off his fifth straight regular season with 100+ receptions and 1,200+ yards, doing so in just 14 games. For the second time in his eight-year career, the six-time Pro Bowler led the league in receiving yards (1,533) and caught nine touchdowns.

    Brown missed the final two games of the regular season due to a calf injury suffered in Pittsburgh’s Week 15 loss to New England.

    The combination of a healthy Brown and rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster (58 catches, 917 yards, 7 TD in 14 games) should be enough for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to overcome his five-interception game against Jacksonville in Week 5 of this season.

    Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    No Comments on Antonio Brown Appears to Be Ready to Go Sunday

    Read More
  • Legendary CFB Broadcaster Keith Jackson Passes Away

    January 13, 2018 • Breaking News, Front Page, NCAAComments (0)

    Another sports broadcasting legend has passed away.

    At the young age of 89, long-time college football broadcaster Keith Jackson passed early this morning.

    Jackson called college football games in the broadcast booth from 1952-2006, with all but 10 of those years with ABC Sports.

    Rest in peace, to the legend.

    No Comments on Legendary CFB Broadcaster Keith Jackson Passes Away

    Read More
  • NFL Playoffs: All-Out Blitz Staff Picks the NFL Divisional Games

    January 12, 2018 • Features, Front Page, Lists, NFL Playoffs, PredictionsComments (0)

    The 2017-18 NFL postseason resumes Saturday afternoon, with the Atlanta Falcons looking to continue its hot streak in the NFC showdown at Philadelphia (4:35 p.m. ET). The Saturday slate caps with the defending champion Patriots playing host to the underdog Tennessee Titans (8:15 p.m. ET).

    On Sunday, the underdog AFC South champion Jaguars travel to Heinz Field to take on the No. 2-seeded Steelers (1:05 p.m. ET), who are seeking revenge for a loss to Jacksonville earlier this season. Minnesota hosts New Orleans Sunday evening (4:40 p.m. ET) to complete the weekend’s slate of playoff games.

    Here’s how the All-Out Blitz staff writers Ben Heck and Jordan Foote believe this weekend’s Divisional round playoff games will play out:

    No. 6 Atlanta Falcons at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (4:35 p.m. ET)

    Ben’s pick: Falcons 17, Eagles 14

    It’s not often you see a No. 1 seed listed as the Vegas underdog when facing the No. 6 seed in the Divisional round. That’s what happens when you lose your franchise quarterback to a torn ACL in December. While I have the Falcons pulling off the road win in Philly, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if the Eagles won this one and earned the trip to the Conference Championship next week. Philadelphia is 7-1 at home this season and still have a more than capable quarterback, with one playoff start under his belt already, and a top five defense. Slow Matt Ryan down, force a couple of turnover and control the clock, and you could see the Eagles surviving and hosting the NFC Championship.

    Jordan’s pick: Falcons 28, Eagles 24

    Nick Foles vs. Matt Ryan. The Eagles and the Falcons. Both of these teams have plenty of talent outside of the quarterback position and boast very intimidating rosters. There’s only one problem: Carson Wentz is not running out of the locker room and onto the field for the Eagles. Nick Foles is not a bad quarterback, but he’s no Matt Ryan. Atlanta played a very good game against a great Rams team last week and should carry that momentum into this contest. Expect another turnover or two to be the difference in the end and considering Matt Ryan is the better QB, Atlanta should emerge victorious in a close one.

    No. 5 Tennessee Titans at No. 1 New England Patriots (Saturday, 8:15 PM ET)

    Ben’s pick: Patriots 38, Titans 24

    Everyone seems to be claiming this one will quickly turn into a blowout, and I won’t completely disagree. On paper, this is certainly a mismatch. But we also said that about last week’s Tennessee-Kansas City game, didn’t we? I expect to see a vintage Belichick-Brady January playoff game, with New England putting up 35+ points on an out-manned Titans squad. But wouldn’t it be nice to see Marcus Mariota make another couple of big plays as he did in his playoff debut against Kansas City last week?

    Jordan’s pick: Patriots 34, Titans 20

    Tom Brady’s TD:INT ratio in his past five contests is… 6:5. That’s not very good and certainly not what you’d expect from a player many call the greatest in the history of the sport. I anticipate a big game from Brady, who’s just leaps and bounds better than Marcus Mariota. Tennessee had a resurgent second half last week against Kansas City but in reality, it was Andy Reid’s conservative play calling that lost the Chiefs that game – it didn’t have too much to do with the Titans going out and winning it. New England is a better team than Tennessee. It’s that simple. This won’t be close.

    No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET)

    Ben’s pick: Steelers 28, Jaguars 10

    Sacksonville already knows how to beat Pittsburgh following its 30-9 Week 5 beatdown of the Steelers. But let’s not forget that this is a much different Steelers squad than early October and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t be picked off five times this time around. With much colder weather in Pittsburgh this time around, Jacksonville may have to rely on quarterback Blake Bortles a little more than the Week 5 match-up — he tossed for just 95 yards and an interception on 8-of-14 passing in the first meeting. Rookie runner Leonard Fournette ran for just 2.7 yards per carry in Buffalo last week as he tends to struggle a little more in cold-weather situations. Pittsburgh gets its revenge on Jacksonville this time around.

    Jordan’s pick: Steelers 27, Jaguars 17

    This is an intriguing game. The Jaguars picked off Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger a whopping five times back in week five (the last time these teams met). Big Ben has thrown just seven interceptions in his last 10 games. It’s safe to say that early-season disappointment was an aberration. Jacksonville has the defense to compete with Pittsburgh, but it’s going to be so difficult to shut down Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, JuJu Smith-Schuster and the returning Antonio Brown for a second time in the same season. Blake Bortles is no Ben Roethlisberger, and I’m rolling with the Steelers in this one.

    No. 4 New Orleans Saints at No. 2 Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET)

    Ben’s pick: Saints 24, Vikings 14

    The Vikings are four-point home favorites against the Saints this Sunday, and for good reason as explained by MyTopSportsBooks.com. they already beat New Orleans, 29-19, in Week 1; they have the NFL’s top-ranked defense with game-breakers at every level; and they went 7-1 at U.S. Bank Stadium. However, New Orleans’ running back duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara were practically non-factors (19 carries, 45 rushing yards, 1 TD combined) in last week’s win over Carolina. A heavy dosage of the Ingram/Kamara tandem against Minnesota, and this is the Saints’ game to lose.

    Jordan’s pick: Saints 31, Vikings 24

    The second-best offensive attack in the NFL travels to Minnesota to face the best defense in the league. It’s a lot easier to pick the better quarterback to win in the postseason, which is what I’m doing again here. Minnesota has enjoyed a great season with Case Keenum under center, but all good things must come to an end. Yes, I know Drew Brees isn’t a cold-weather QB. Yes, I know Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram were shut down last week. I also know that Brees and Sean Payton have been here before and know exactly what it takes to get to the next round. I like Minnesota, but the Saints have too many weapons and a decent defense in their own right. New Orleans will come marching in and grab the W on Sunday.

    Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    No Comments on NFL Playoffs: All-Out Blitz Staff Picks the NFL Divisional Games

    Read More
  • Former Man of the Year Winners to Unite at SBLII in Minnesota

    January 9, 2018 • Breaking News, Front Page, Press ReleaseComments (0)

    Press release from nflcommunications.com:

    The legacy of former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners will be recognized at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota, the NFL announced today. In honor of their excellence on and off the field, former Man of the Year winners – and family representatives of those who are no longer with us – will come together during Super Bowl weekend for a series of special events and programs. Prior to kickoff of Super Bowl LII, former winners will be recognized on-field, as a testament to their contributions to the game and to their communities. The Man of the Year legacy pregame moment will culminate with the introduction of the 2017 recipient.

    Players spanning generations who belong to the exceptional Man of the Year fraternity will be honored in Minnesota, including the family of the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh Steelers Legend FRANCO HARRIS, Super Bowl Champions ELI and PEYTON MANNING, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Dallas Cowboys Legend ROGER STAUBACH and Pro Football Hall of Famer and San Diego Chargers Legend LADAINIAN TOMLINSON. A full list of past winners, which includes 28 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, can be found below.

    “For the first time in NFL history, Man of the Year winners will come together on the NFL’s biggest stage,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “The NFL is proud to host these remarkable leaders and recognize their impact on the community. From the family of the late Johnny Unitas to 2016 co-winners Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning, the most distinguished players on and off the field will share a platform in honor of their accomplishments.”

    An exclusive event for past winners and their families will kick off the weekend on Thursday, Feb. 1 and celebrate the legacy that Man of the Year winners have left on the game and in their communities. To further advance the legacy of Man of the Year winners and create impact in their communities, the event will also serve as a fundraiser for the NFL Foundation. Funds raised will be distributed among both the NFL Foundation and the nonprofit organizations supported by the Men of the Year.

    Considered the League’s most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field. The 32 nominees for the 2017 award were announced last month. Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award, renamed in 1999 after Walter Payton. Finalists will be announced later this month.

    The winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 PM (ET and PT) on NBC. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

    $500,000 dollars will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner. $250,000 will be donated to the winner’s charity of choice and $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All other 29 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.

    The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette began appearing in uniform elements this season to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. The five current players who have won the award – DREW BREES, THOMAS DAVIS, LARRY FITZGERALD, ELI MANNING and JASON WITTEN – will wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys in perpetuity to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2017 nominees wore a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field. This tradition will continue for future nominees and winners of the award.
    Earlier this season, the NFL announced the Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, a new initiative to surprise fans across the country with an invitation to attend Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. A total of 500 free tickets will be distributed under the program as a way to give back to dedicated NFL fans and provide them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each of the 2017 Man of the Year nominees received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to fans and community heroes.

    For more information on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.

    Photo:

    No Comments on Former Man of the Year Winners to Unite at SBLII in Minnesota

    Read More
  • Mariota Leads Titans to Incredible Wild Card Comeback Win

    January 7, 2018 • AFC, AFC South, AFC West, Front Page, Game Recap, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee TitansComments (0)

    In his first career postseason start, Tennessee Titans franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota put together an incredible second-half performance to complete a fourth-quarter comeback against 33-year old veteran Alex Smith in Saturday afternoon’s AFC Wild Card showdown.

    After trailing 21-3 at the half, Mariota and the Titans — without RB DeMarco Murray suited up — put up 19 unanswered second-half points to erase the 18-point deficit and walk away with the 22-21 road victory at Arrowhead.

    Mariota, now 1-0 in the postseason while Smith drops to 2-5 in seven playoff starts, finished with 205 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. Better yet, one of those touchdowns went to himself.

    With 6:31 to play in the third quarter, Mariota orchestrated a 15-play, 91-yard scoring drive that was capped with a six-yard touchdown pass to, yes, himself.

    After a deflection from K.C. cornerback Darrelle Revis, Mariota snagged the ball before it hit the ground and snuck inside the pylon for six. The Ryan Succop extra point pulled Tennessee to within 21-10.

    Fifty-two seconds into the fourth quarter, running back Derrick Henry scampered 35 yards for a touchdown. With the two-point conversion unsuccessful, Tennessee still trailed 21-16 but the momentum was on their side at that point in the game.

    Eight minutes later, Mariota threw his second TD of the night on a 22-yard toss to veteran receiver Eric Decker. Another unsuccessful two-pointer handed the Titans its first lead of the night, and it would be all they’d need to pull away with the shocking 22-21 upset.

    Mariota had a completed 180 in the second half, completing 12-of-18 passes for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters after he completed just seven of his 13 attempts for 82 yards and an interception in the first half of play.

    The key to the game, aside from Mariota’s TD reception and game-winning touchdown, may just be the fact that Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid abandoned the run in the second half and squandered the 18-point lead as a result.

    In total, the league’s leading rusher Kareem Hunt carried the ball just 11 times all game. Six of those carries came in the first half, which means, yes, Andy Reid held an 18-point lead in the second half yet only gave his star running back FIVE carries in the entire second half.

    Classic Andy Reid move, as he completed his fifth one-and-done in the playoffs while the Titans move on to face either New England or Pittsburgh next week.

    Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    No Comments on Mariota Leads Titans to Incredible Wild Card Comeback Win

    Read More