Tuesday, February 11, 2014

All Blue Thunder Team (Defense)

Yesterday I unveiled the All Blue Thunder Team starting with the offensive side of the ball. As great as that offense would be it is the defense that would scare me the most. The All Blue Thunder Team's defense is a 4-4 that features fear at every position. Running would be next to impossible...and if the QB could get the pass off with the ferocious pass rush he would likely be throwing to blanketed WR's that couldn't get open!

The defensive unit was not difficult to select. As with the offense I tend to favor players who played more recently as they are bigger, faster, and stronger. As you'll see there are still some players that are "throw backs" that are just too good to leave off this team. We may not see guys that match the tenacity and killer instinct that a lot of the older players had.

As usual...give a +1 if you like it, leave a comment and let me know what you think, and remember to follow Blue Thunder Sports to get the latest daily posts!

All Blue Thunder Team defense
Click to enlarge

Depth Chart - Starters in bold
Reggie White
Carl Eller

Bruce Smith
Gino Marchetti

Joe Greene
Warren Sapp

Deacon Jones
Alan Page

Jack Lambert
Dick Butkus

Mike Singletary
Ray Nitschke

Lawrence Taylor
Junior Seau

Derrick Thomas
Rickey Jackson

Dieon Sanders
Rod Woodson

Mel Blount
Darrel Green

Ronnie Lott

There you have it...the All Blue Thunder Team defense. Perhaps you disagree with the depth chart? Let me know! Leave a comment!

Check out some of the other posts on the right hand side of this page. Remember to give a +1 if you like it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

All Blue Thunder Team (Offense)

John Madden has his "All-Madden" team...we've all used them while playing Madden and thought to ourselves "Hey...where's (insert player)? He should be on this team!" Well...I've thought the same thing.

Blue Thunder Sports presents it's All Blue Thunder Team. This installment gives you the offense. The starting lineup is pictured followed by the rest of the offensive depth chart.  The biggest challenge was deciding on a base formation...3 or 4 WR's? Should there be a FB? I went with a 3WR, single back formation and left out the FB. There is a FB on the roster, but in today's pass-first NFL I opted to field the extra wide out.

So...without further ado...

The All Blue Thunder Team (Offense)
Click to enlarge

Head Coach
Bill Belichick

Depth Chart
QB1 Tom Brady
QB2 John Elway

RB1 Barry Sanders
RB2 Walter Payton

FB Jim Brown

WR1 Jerry Rice
WR2 Randy Moss
WR3 Terrell Owens
WR4 Steve Largent
WR5 Calvin Johnson

TE1 Tony Gonzalez
TE2 Shannon Sharpe

LT1 Anthony Munoz
LT2 Jonathan Ogden

LG1 Randall McDaniel
LG2 Gene Upshaw

C1 Mike Webster
C2 Jim Otto

RG1 Bruce Matthews
RG2 Mike Munchak

RT1 John Hannah
RT2 Art Shell

Do you see somebody that you think should have made the team? Would you adjust the starting lineup? Let me know what you think! I'll take this team up against any 11 on any given Sunday (no...Willie Beamen didn't make it)!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the defense!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fantasy Football Friday!

Its Fantasy Football Friday!

Its never too soon to prepare for the fantasy football season. This week, on Fantasy Football Friday, I'm bringing you some Blue Thunder Sports predictions for this next season. I'm usually right, but in the off chance that I miss one here or there we'll stick to calling them predictions rather than guarantees.

1. Ray Rice will be a top 10 fantasy RB - Rice fell off this last season putting up less than 1000 total yards and only 4 tds. He will rebound in 2014 and hit 1500 total yards and at least 12 tds.

2. Frank Gore will rush for under 1000 yds - Gore hasn't missed the 1000 yd mark since 2010. He'll be 31 by the start of next season and with a healthy Marcus Lattimore stealing carries Gore will miss the 1000 yd mark.

3. Johnny Manziel's ADP will be WAY TOO HIGH - Manziel may some day be a valuable fantasy weapon with the combination of his arm and his legs...but that won't be in 2014. Some nut in your league will draft him within the first 5 rounds....don't let that nut be you!

4. Rob Gronkowski will play the whole season - Gronkowski has been slightly injury prone over the last few years....in 2014 he will make one lucky owner VERY happy with a return to the class of TE elite...draft him (unless you can get Jimmy Graham)!

5. RG3 will be RG3 again - RG3 had a not-so-RG3 season in 2013, but let's not forget that he was coming off a torn ACL while playing for a terrible team and a coach who didn't properly use his skills. With a new coach in town and healthy legs RG3 will return to his old RG3 ways and be RG3 again.......RG3 RG3 RG3.

6. Peyton Manning will be the highest scoring fantasy QB - Duh.....

7. Eddie Lacy will be a top 3 RB - We all saw how talented Lacy was in 2013. There is no reason to believe that he will slow down. His numbers will only get better...I project 1400 yds rushing and 14 rushing tds. Draft him very early...he may even lead the league in rushing!

8. Matt Ryan will become the 6th QB to throw for 5,000 yards - Ryan will get Julio Jones and Roddy White back at full strength in 2014. Once Atlanta finds a RB in the offseason to replace the aging Steven Jackson they will have a ground game again...which will open up the field for Ryan to shred the defensive secondary (except Seattle).

9. The NFC West will have the top 4 defenses - Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona, and St. Louis will all be very, very good defenses in 2014. This division is full of dominant pass rushers, elite linebackers, and Super Bowl winning secondaries.

10. I will defend my 2013 fantasy title - This one is probably the most obvious on this list...you can take that to the bank!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Feed Your Football Addiciton

If you love football as much as I do then you know that you just can't get enough NFL action. The 2013/14 season may be over, but I'll be watching games all year!

Here is how you can get all the football action you want, from now, until opening kickoff of the 2014 regular season!

Do yourself a favor, if you haven't already, and go to NFL.com to purchase NFL Game Rewind. If you really call yourself a football fan then this is a must-have. For only $25 you get access to ANY regular season and post-season game all the way back to 2009! You can watch games on your laptop or tablet in either the full broadcast mode, condensed mode (which only takes 30 minutes for a whole game!), or via the all-22 game film that shows every player on the field...the same game film the experts watch!

......did you buy it yet?? I'll wait.............

Okay...now that you're on board with Game Rewind...here is an off season schedule of games and events that you can watch each week that will carry you straight into next season! Keep in mind...you could also just watch your favorite team every single week...you're in control!

Offseason Schedule

Week 1 - Feb 9th - GB 28 @ SF 34 (week 1)

Week 2 - Feb 16th - CAR 23 @ BUF 24 (week 2)

Week 3 - Feb 23rd - NFL Combine!!

Week 4 - March 2nd - KC 26 @ PHI 16 or GB 30 @ CIN 34 (both week 3)

Week 5 - March 9th - SEA 23 @ HOU 20 (week 4)

Week 6 - March 16th - NYJ 30 @ ATL 28 (week 5)

Week 7 - March 23rd - DEN 51 @ DAL 48 (week 5)

Week 8 - March 30th - NO 27 @ NE 30 (week 6)

Week 9 - April 6th - CHI 41 @ WAS 45 (week7)

Week 10 - April 13th - DEN 33 @ IND 39 (week 7)

Week 11 - April 20th - DAL 30 @ DET 31 (week 8)

Week 12 - April 27th - TB 24 @ SEA 27 (week 9)

Week 13 - May 4th - DET 21 @ CHI 19 (week10)

Week 14 - May 11th - NFL Draft!!

Week 15 - May 18th - SF 20 @ NO 23 (week 11)

Week 16 - May 25th - SD 41 @ KC 38 (week 12)

Week 17 - June 1st - PIT 20 @ BAL 22 (week 13)

Week 18 - June 8th - Wildcard Round - KC 44 @ IND 45

Week 19 - June 15th - Wildcard Round NO 26 @ PHI 24

Week 20 - June 22nd - Wildcard Round - SF 23 @ GB 20

Week 21 - June 29th - Divisional Round Playoffs SD 17 @ DEN 24

Week 22 - July 6th - Divisional Round Playoffs NO 15 @ SEA 23

Week 23 - July 13th - The annual Hall of Fame game should be on this date (not confirmed)

Week 24 - July 20th - AFC Championship - NE 16 @ DEN 26

Week 25 - July 27th - NFC Championship - SF 17 @ SEA 23

Week 26 - August 3rd - Super Bowl XLVIII...remind yourself how awesome the Seahawks were in 2013

And there you have it....an entire offseason schedule of games and events for you to watch...the best part is that you can change any game that you want and you don't have to sit through some terrible game that the networks were stuck on! I'll just be watching all of the Seahawks games though...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An Unofficial Fan Guide to the 2014 NFL Offseason

If there is one thing we've learned over the years from the NFL it is that there is NO off season! The NFL is a year-round sport that allows us to feed our football appetite all year long. Thank you, NFL, for turning what used to be "boring" off season events into great, football-infused, time-consuming, mind-bending television!

If you haven't checked the off season schedule of events...you can check it out right here! This is a good start to keep you entertained and your football thirst quenched until August.

FEB 17th - Teams can officially start designating players as "Franchise" or "Transition" players....this will give us a good idea which big name free agents will be testing the market.

FEB 19-25 - NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis!! You can melt your brain watching 40's, bench press, cone drills, vertical leaps, and position drills. This is the time when every one of us becomes the best pro football talent evaluator in the country!

MAR 8th - Teams can begin negotiating with UFA's. They can't sign players to contracts quite yet, but at least they are talking about it...which means we'll be talking about it!

MAR 11 - The 2014 League Year begins! Teams can sign free agents, and must also be under the 2014 salary cap by this date. Teams can also start to execute trades.

APR 7th - Teams that have a new coach can start the offseason workout programs...Jamarcus Russell can start working out again as well.

APR 21st - Everyone else can start offseason workout programs...Jamarcus Russell will need a break by now.

MAY 2nd - This is the deadline for RFA's to sign offer sheets

MAY 8th-10th - NFL Draft!! Here's the day where we all think our team just drafted the next franchise player to lead them to the promise land! Might as well just watch rounds 3-7 though...that's where all the talent is (see Seattle).

JULY 15th - Players tagged as Franchise players must sign extensions by 4pm otherwise they can only sign a 1 year deal with no opportunity for an extension until that team's season is over. It's also my birthday! Buy me something nice...

Mid-July - Preseason training camp begins! Finally...we can smell the season right around the corner!

August - The Hall of Fame game will kick off the preseason games for 2014. It's not a good game, but by this time we haven't seen a real NFL game in so long that we actually believe what we're watching is real quality. Afterwards...we can discuss the winner of this game going all the way!

THURSDAY SEPT 4TH - This is completely speculation on my part, but this could be the regular season opener! Last year it was on Sept 5th...so why not have it here again for 2014?? The opening kickoff will signal the arrival of the 2014 regular season and another long road to Super Bowl XLVIV!!

So there you have it. An entire off season schedule of events that can keep you busy from February until opening kickoff of 2014! Put it in your calendar and prepare yourself for another great year of football!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2014 Blue Thunder Sports NFL Power Rankings

Sadly, the 2013 season has come to a close. For those of you who do not subscribe to the NFL's Game Rewind product you are stuck watching replay's of the league's choosing on the NFL Network. If you don't have the NFL Network...well...I can't help you!

As we move beyond the monumental ass whooping that the Seahawks put on the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII we can begin to look to NEXT season! After all...that's what the GM's and NFL front offices have already started doing...shouldn't we be right there with them??

Without further ado...I have compiled my 2014 Blue Thunder Sports NFL Power Rankings heading into next season. Which teams will make it rain? Which teams will just drizzle all year long? Keep in mind that no draft picks have been made and free agency has yet to take it's toll on the league. Of course, the rankings will change as we move through the off season, but if the season started today (we can dream, right?) this is where I would rank the teams. So here we go...

Top Ten

1. Seahawks - The Super beat down that they laid on the Broncos and the #1 offense shows just how tough this defense really is. This team is primed for another run at the Lombardi trophy right now. Seattle was the youngest team in the 2013 playoffs and have a strong core of players that now have all that playoff and big game experience you could ask for!

2. 49ers - The OTHER team in the NFC West...the 49ers and Seahawks, some say, played the real Super Bowl in the NFC Championship. One of the strongest defenses in the league...a dynamic, play-making QB, strong running game, and a killer instinct....hmm...this sounds awfully familiar (see Seahawks at #1). The 49ers are Seattle's biggest obstacle in 2014 and these two teams will surely have some epic battles in 2014...and I project an NFC Championship rematch.

3. Broncos - Denver may have lost the big game 43-8, but let's not forget that they had the top offense...ever! With a strong core returning including a second year RB in Montee Ball, Knowshon Moreno, the Thomas', Welker the offense should be just as dominating. The defense will also be healthy with the return of Von Miller, and Chris Harris. Oh yeah...and there's that Manning guy.

4. Saints - Drew Brees and Sean Payton will have the Saints ready to play in 2014. Jimmy Graham is still the top TE in the game...and the Saints know how to win. They'll need to play better on the road, but assuming this year was sort of a fluke they should be just fine.

5. Packers - Let's not forget that the Packers were 6-2 with Aaron Rodgers in the lineup. Without Rodgers the Packers won only two games while dropping 5 and achieving a tie. Rodgers will be healthy and with the emerging of RB Eddie Lacy the Packers now have a strong ground game to support him. The Pack will be back in 2014.

6. Panthers - The Panthers defense is for real. Cam Newton is one of the most dynamic players to play in the league. Those two things propel the Panthers to the upper echelon of the NFC. They aren't quite on par with the Seahawks and 49ers, but these guys still know how to play football. Remember...they were a game away from being a game away from the Super Bowl....I know...I just had to throw that in there.

7. Eagles - Chip Kelly and the Eagles proved that their scheme can work at the NFL level. If Foles can keep it up then he and Lesean McCoy will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. They're vulnerable in the secondary, but the offense is capable of putting up points in a hurry. Maclin will return, and Desean Jackson has returned from the grave now that he has a QB who likes to throw before running.

8. Patriots - Will Tom Brady EVER get a receiver to throw the ball to? This team is one dynamic playmaker away from being a top 5 team, but Brady can't do it all on his own. Gronk needs to stay healthy, but the three-headed rushing attack may be Brady's new best friend. Belicheck and Brady will win games....they always do.

9. Colts - The Colts are still getting better. Remember...they're just two years removed from being in the dumps of the NFL. Luck continues to improve and with a little help could take this team even deeper into the playoffs.

10. Chiefs - The Chiefs got off to an astronomical start last season, but couldn't maintain and came back down to Earth. They still have one of the top RBs in the league in Jamaal Charles, and Alex Smith has proven that he can lead a team to victory. The talent is there...the question is whether or not they can put it together for an entire season. I moved them down on this list because they showed that they are beatable in the latter half of the season. I can see this team being a top 5 team, but I can also see this team in the 15-20 range...it just depends on which team shows up.

The Rest...

11. Cardinals - Playing in one of the toughest divisions in football doesn't help, but could be a playoff team.

12. Bengals - Let's not overreact to that playoff loss....it happens

13. Steelers - Should have been a playoff team last year...SHOULD get there in 2014, but we'll see.

14. Chargers - (See Bengals) Don't get too high on these guys...they're still just mediocre.

15. Bears - Nearly made the playoffs in 2013...will need to unseat the Packers to get in for '14

16. Cowboys - Hey! It's America's team! Remember the 90's?

17. Ravens - Ray Rice will return to his old ways in 2014, but is it enough to get back to the playoffs? No...

18. Dolphins - Too much movement in personnel will keep them out of the playoffs in 2014.

19. Rams - If it weren't for the Seahawks, 49ers, and Cardinals this would be a playoff team....needs a QB.

20. Falcons - They SHOULD bounce back...Thomas Dimitroff is a smart guy, but I'll need to "wait and see"

21. Lions - Could be a playoff contender...Bush, Megatron, Suh...come on Lions...get your act together.

22. Jets - Fortunately there are other teams that are worse, but the Jets still aren't any good.

23. Bills - Spiller will need to produce something...and Manuel really needs to take strides in 2014.

24. Giants - Such a huge question mark. Can Eli rebound? Or will he throw another 75 ints?

25. Titans - They're heading in the wrong direction...getting worse...not better.

26. Bucs - This team could improve drastically next season. Glennon could be a top 10 QB, but needs help.

27. Browns - One of these days Cleveland is just going to go off.....just not next year...sorry Browns fans.

28. Vikings - If it weren't for AP the Vikings would be 32 on this list.

29. Redskins - RG3 will be 100%...and that could mean the Skins move way up this list

30. Raiders - Let's face it...the Raiders need so much help...I don't see them surprising anyone

31. Jaguars - It's not getting any better in Jacksonville...they NEED a great draft.

32. Texans - Ew...gross...what happened in Houston?? I'm sure they'll be better, but they aren't yet!