Noonan: Super Bowl XLVI Prediction – New England vs. New York

Can Tom Brady earn his fourth Super Bowl ring on Sunday? (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Well, it’s time for me, (Matt Noonan) to deem a NFL champion for Noontime Sports.

It’s been a LONG season, and 32 teams have dwindled down to just two, New England and New York, and once the clock strikes zero in the fourth quarter, we’ll officially have a winner, right?

OK… there might be overtime or a second or third, but you get my drift.

Although, how bizarre is it that pigskin lovers get to watch a rematch of Super Bowl XLII?

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that New Englanders were crossing their fingers for Tom Brady to recover from his awful performance against the San Diego Chargers in the 2007 AFC title match?

Well, he didn’t do that well against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago, so should we expect déjà vu all over again? Who knows!

The Giants are a mediocre squad. Seriously, they’re 9-7, which means they’re OK, but not great, and as someone who is a true Dallas Cowboys supporter, it pains me to see Eli Manning leading his troops in the “big game” instead of Tony Romo. However, Manning certainly has taken a step forward toward the upper echelon of “elite quarterbacks” in the NFL, but now the question remains … can he beat Brady and the Patriots on Sunday, again?

I certainly think it’s possible, especially since New York has a variety of offensive weapons that can stretch the field, and attack Bill Belichick’s questionable and fragile secondary.

Also, I believe the Giants front seven will attempt to mimic their actions from four years ago when they recorded five sacks in Arizona. However, they never forced Brady to throw an interception, but this past November when the two teams met in Foxborough, the G-Men tallied two sacks and two interceptions, as well as a win, too.

New England hasn’t defeated New York since that epic clash in December of 2007, which was when the Patriots registered their 16th victory, and ended the regular season with a perfect record. Yet, ever since that night in New Jersey, the Giants have had their number in the championship and regular season matches, which probably means they’re better, right?

Hard to answer that particular question, but overall, I think these two teams are even. And yes, I know I labeled the Giants as “mediocre,” but all in all, I think we’re going to be watching a true heavyweight bout.

Super Bowl XLVI Prediction: The Giants rallied to beat the Patriots earlier this season, and it’s certainly possible that Manning could lead a last minute drive and hook up with Jake Ballard or Victor Cruz for the game-winning touchdown.

However, I believe in the motto, “In Bill, We Trust.” New England’s defense has ratcheted up their intensity over the past few weeks, and certainly defied the odds against Baltimore and Denver in the playoffs.

Although, shouldn’t every defense be able to stop Tim Tebow and the Broncos offense? I think so!

If New England can establish the run and maintain the time of possession, then I’m expecting the Patriots to win. Although, if Manning and his offense to can beat up the Patriots front seven and tear apart the secondary, then the Giants should win.

Overall, it’s a tough decision, but I going to stick with my gut and say… New England 20, New York 17

Mistakes, Penalties Hurt Dallas Against New York

10 Penalties and a fumble by Felix Jones were some of the reasons why the Cowboys lost on Sunday! (Photo Credit: Star-Telegram)

By Matt Noonan 

Against the New York Giants, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo tossed four touchdowns, and completed 21-of-34 passes for 321 yards. Yet, his team didn’t win, but instead, lost their second contest in a row.

The Cowboys are clearly in a funk, and something has to change immediately.

They may have exhibited one of the worst collapses on Sunday Night Football, but now they need to follow orders from head coach Jason Garrett, who often preaches to the media, “let’s put this behind us.”

Can Dallas recover? Can they overcome their dramatic two losses? I don’t know.

“I thought it was a hard fought game, and I think everybody on our football team put it out there, put it out there for four quarters,” said Garrett via his team’s website.

The head coach continued to dissect the loss by saying, “We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end. There were a lot of things that were disappointing within the game. I don’t think effort, intensity was an issue at all, [but] there were some execution issues down the stretch, and we got to get those cleaned up.”

One of the biggest factors in this particular game that clearly hurt the Cowboys chances were penalties. Dallas was flagged 10 times, both on offense and defense, which allowed them to lose all sorts of momentum, and practically hand the game to the Giants, literally.

Dallas’ defense also yielded 510 yards, as quarterback Eli Manning finished the game with 400 passing yards, while running back Brandon Jacobs tallied 101 yards on the ground.

“The nature of our team has been we’ve played a lot of close games and we’ve won probably half of them, and we lost some other ones,” said Garret. “And just because you’ve figured out how to do it once, doesn’t mean you’re going to do it all the time. I think that’s just the nature of the [NFL and] we’ve just got to keep finding ways to do much more often than we have [thus far].”

The Cowboys will have a short week before traveling to Tampa Bay on Saturday, so certainly, Garrett and his team will want to figure out their mistakes sooner than later, otherwise, they’ll be sitting at home in mid-January.

Rapid Reaction: Giants Stun Cowboys, 37-34

Giants QB Eli Manning tossed 2 touchdowns against the Cowboys, as New York snapped their four-game losing streak on Sunday in Dallas! (Photo Credit: CNBC.com)

By Matt Noonan 

This wasn’t supposed to happen, right?

The Dallas Cowboys were the bigger, faster and stronger team on Sunday, but in the end, déjà vu occurred, as rookie place kicker Dan Bailey once again failed to convert an end of the game field goal, which allowed the New York Giants to march off the grassy turf of Cowboys Stadium with a much needed conference win.

New York entered the contest on a four-game losing streak, but now, they’re three wins away from wrapping up the NFC East, which originally belonged to the Cowboys.

Yet, how could this happen?

Tony Romo provided a much-needed spark to his offense in the second half, as well as helped Dallas earn a critical 12-point lead. However, Rob Ryan’s defense surrendered 15-points in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, which helped the Giants steal all the momentum away from the Boys.

Quarterback Eli Manning lit up the Dallas secondary like a Christmas tree, as he tossed two touchdowns and completed 27-of-47 passes for 400 yards, while running back Brandon Jacobs rushed for two scores on 19 carries and 101 yards.

The Cowboys also suffered some serious injuries, as rooking running back DeMarco Murray limped off the field after his fifth carry, and was later diagnosed with a broken right ankle. Cornerback Mike Jenkins injured his shoulder and center Phil Costa was knocked out with a concussion.

Dallas has now lost two games in a row, and will look to snap their current trend immediately on Saturday when they travel to Tampa Bay to face an up-and-down Buccaneers squad, while the Giants will head home for three contests in New Jersey.

We’ll have more NFL coverage on this particular game, and other interesting moments from Week 14 later on Monday, so make sure to check back with us soon!

Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter @NoontimeSports

The Cowboys Grind Out An Important Victory Against The Fish On Thanksgiving

The Cowboys extended their winning streak to four games on Thursday against the Dolphins!

By Matt Noonan 

How would one describe the Dallas-Miami game on Thanksgiving Day?

Is there even a word other than “Wow” or “Amazing” that could be used to describe the ugly and epic outcome?

OK, we might need to rearrange the word to be something like, “thankful” or “lucky,” but if you’re a Dallas Cowboys supporter, I’m sure you’re breathing a little easier than a few hours ago, right?

The Cowboys are like the Boston Red Sox. They’re a good team on paper and should smoke their opponents, but instead, they like to lie down to underachieving squads like the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.

On Thursday, the Cowboys had no reason to lose to the Fish, and even though they won, it certainly seems like they lost.

“It’s hard to win in the NFL. Miami has been playing very well recently and had some big wins and they came in here and we knew it was going to be a 60-minute battle against those guys,” said Dallas head coach Jason Garrett via the team’s website.

“Well we’ve obviously been in that situation a few times this year and we’ve been successful a number of times now and we kind of know some of the things we like to do and depending upon what the defense is doing obviously, and when you need a field goal, it’s kind of be aggressive, be aggressive, and once you get in position, it’s time to throttle back a little bit and obviously give the o-line and DeMarco [Murray] a chance to just set it up, and they did a great job of that [on Thursday],” said quarterback Tony Romo via the team’s website.

Dallas did a great job of grinding out their seventh win, but a victory against Miami shouldn’t be a sign of greatness or something to boast about, right?

The Cowboys allowed the Dolphins to rally and take a lead, while Romo and the offense practically spent the entire third quarter on the bench watching Miami’s gunslinger, Matt Moore and running back Reggie Bush look like perennial all-stars against Roby Ryan’s defense. However, when the fourth quarter rolled around, the Cowboys miraculously mustered 10 critical points to secure the win, and Romo’s fifth victory on Thanksgiving.

“I thought a lot of guys just kind of hung in there, and as a quarterback, I thought Tony did a really good job just playing through this game. A couple turnovers early on in the game, a little bit of out of rhythm and he just kind of kept hanging in there,” said Garrett.

Perhaps this particular game was Romo’s coming out party or maybe it’s a sign that Dallas needs to be taken seriously for the remainder of the season? Hey, this is the Dallas Cowboys, “America’s Team,” and if we’ve learned something over the past two weeks, it’s that the Boys will battle for 60-minutes and grind out wins.

“[Thursday’s game], it’s a “W,” it counts in the win column, and at the end of the year, those things will add up, and that’s what will be talked about when the season’s over, these “w’s,” what your record was, what you did in the playoffs, what you did at the end of the year,” said Romo. “It’s about winning, [and] that’s what we’re in this job for is to go out here, play, [and] we’re lucky enough to do it and we’re blessed to be in this position, but what makes it really enjoyable is winning when you’re doing it and it’s fun right now when you’re winning a couple in a row.”

The Cowboys will certainly enjoy 10-days of rest before heading to the desert to face Arizona, another underachieving squad. If the Cowboys are who we think they are, then it’s expected to watch Dallas win against a bad team that’ll challenge their defense and force Romo to make mistakes. Yet, when the final whistle blows, expect Dallas to walk off the field with either a one, two or three point victory.

Dallas might be onto something and Romo may have officially found his mojo too.

Thanksgiving Football Prediction: Dallas-Miami

Can Tony Romo keep his "November to Remember" streak going against the Dolphins on Thursday?

By Matt Noonan 

On paper this seems like a dangerous matchup, but in reality the Cowboys should certainly win this game and extend their current winning streak to four games.

“What we’ve done the last three weeks really doesn’t mean anything in terms of this game [on Thursday] against the Dolphins. We’ve got to prepare the right way and then go play our best football,” said Dallas head coach Jason Garrett via the team’s website.

Quarterback Tony Romo hasn’t lost a Thanksgiving tilt since being named the starter mid-way through the ’06 season, and also hasn’t tossed an interception since his team fell to Philadelphia three weeks ago.

The emergence of rookie running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Laurent Robinson has helped the Cowboys offense dramatically, while second-year linebacker Sean Lee leads the team with 65 tackles, (43 tackles, 22 assists). Expect all three players to assist the team against the Dolphins, as well as play vital parts in a must-win contest.

As for the Dolphins, they enter Thursday’s game with a three-game winning streak. Quarterback Matt Moore recorded three touchdowns against Buffalo and Kansas City, while running back Reggie Bush recorded four rushing scores in the past three weeks. Miami’s defense ranks sixth in points against, and seventh against the run.

FUN FACT – The last time both teams met on Thanksgiving was in ’03, and yes, the Dolphins beat the Cowboys, 40-21. Jay Fiedler tossed three touchdowns to Chris Chambers, while Ricky Williams recorded 104 yards on 31 carries.    

PREDICTION – The Cowboys are the better team, and need to focus on protecting the football and Romo, as well as forcing Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore into making multiple mistakes. Dallas 31 – Miami 10  

NFL Week 11 – News and Notes

What's going on with the so called, "dream team?"

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s officially time to unveil our weekly “NFL News and Notes” post for Week 11. Here are some of the biggest news, and tidbits from around the league, enjoy!

* According to ProFootballTalk.com — Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid is quite irritated with the media asking him about Michael Vick‘s ribs. He is also annoyed with various members of the press asking about when the left-handed gunslinger broke his ribs too.

* After attempting to throw the ball 63 times through the air last weekend, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is determined to bounce back against the Carolina Panthers.

* Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is no long on the injury report, and is expected to keep his “November hot streak” going on Sunday against Washington.

* The New York Jets will look to rebound on Thursday, as they travel to Denver for a must-win contest against Tim Tebow. Here’s the breakdown of Gang Green’s schedule going forward via the Washington Post.

* San Francisco will host the Arizona Cardinals this weekend, but according to sources from the desert, they strongly believe head coach Jim Harbaugh has done quite well with the 49ers.

NFL Week 10 — Sunday Afternoon/Evening Scoreboard

By Brian Willwerth 

SAINTS 26, FALCONS 23 (OT) – We’ll start at the Georgia Dome for our Game of the Day: a huge NFC South matchup, a fourth-quarter rally, and a bold coaching move that did not pay off. Atlanta rallied from a 10-point deficit late in the game, tying it up on Matt Bryant’s 27-yard FG on the final play of regulation. Then in OT, Falcons’ coach Mike Smith decided to go for it on 4th and inches on his own 30-yard line. But Michael Turner was stuffed. New Orleans took over, and won it on John Kasay’s 26-yard FG. For all the New England fans out there, Smith’s decision brought back memories of Bill Belichick’s 4th down gamble against the Colts a few years ago.

RAMS 13, BROWNS 12 – Did St. Louis win, or did Cleveland just blow it? Browns kicker Phil Dawson made four FG’s, and had a chance to win the game. But he was partially victimized by a bad snap, and shanked a 22-yarder with just over two minutes to go. Stephen Jackson rushed for 128 yards in the Rams’ victory.

STEELERS 24, BENGALS 17 – This was another big divisional game, and it also lived up to the hype. At Paul Brown Stadium, Rashard Mendenhall rushed for two touchdowns. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton threw a pair of TD passes, but was picked off twice in the fourth quarter.

COWBOYS 44, BILLS 7 – This was blowout city. It was a spectacular day for QB Tony Romo. He was 23-of-26 for 270 yards and three touchdowns as Dallas improved to [5-4]. Buffalo, after getting off to such a good start, has lost three of its last four.

JAGUARS 17, COLTS 3 – For those of you who thought this might be Indianapolis’ best chance to get its first win, think again. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Jags. Colts’ QB Curtis Painter threw two interceptions, and was yanked for the second week in a row.  Indianapolis is [0-10].  The Colts have their bye next week.

BRONCOS 17 – CHIEFS 10 – Here’s the stat of the day. Denver QB Tim Tebow completed two passes in this game – TWO. But one of them went for a touchdown to Eric Decker. Tebow also ran for a score, as Denver pulled off a big divisional win on the road at Arrowhead. This is the first time in Broncos’ history they have won a game while completing two or fewer passes.

DOLPHINS 20 – REDSKINS 9 – In Miami, the Dolphins won their second in a row after losing seven straight to open the season. Reggie Bush rushed for two touchdowns. Washington QB Rex Grossman was intercepted twice.

CARDINALS 21 – EAGLES 17 – Arizona won its second in a row, coming from behind to win at Philadelphia. John Skelton threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Earl Doucet with 1:53 left. This is the fifth time this season the Eagles have blown a lead in the fourth quarter. Philly WR DeSean Jackson was benched for this game for missing a team meeting.

TEXANS 37 – BUCCANEERS 9 – This was another blowout city. On the first play of the game, Matt Schaub threw an 80-yard TD pass to Jacoby Jones, and that set the tone for the rest of the day. Arian Foster, Ben Tate and former Buc Derrick Ward all ran for scores. Tampa Bay turned it over four times. Houston is [7-3] and in great shape in the AFC South.

TITANS 30 – PANTHERS 10 – Charlotte was also blowout city. Tennessee’s Chris Johnson ran for 130 yards and a touchdown. The Titans’ defense also sacked Cam Newton five times.

49ERS 27 – GIANTS 20 – This was a terrific game in San Francisco, with possibly a first-round bye at stake. The 49ers scored 15 points in a span of 1:05 early in the 4th quarter, and then held off a furious rally by the Giants. It ended when Eli Manning’s fourth down pass inside the red zone, which was batted down by Justin Smith in the final minute. San Francisco is now [8-1] on the season.

SEAHAWKS 22 -RAVENS 17 – Here’s the upset of the day. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown as Seattle stunned Baltimore. It was the Seahawks’ defense – not the Ravens’ – that was the story, forcing three turnovers.

BEARS 37 – LIONS 13   — At Soldier Field, it was all Chicago, all the time. The Bears’ defense forced six turnovers. They picked off Matthew Stafford four times, returning two of them for touchdowns. Stafford threw a whopping 63 passes.  With the game out of reach, one of the interceptions ended with a big fight on the field between the two teams. Punches were thrown. Chicago’s D.J. Moore was ejected from the game. Think these two teams like each other?

PATRIOTS 37 – JETS 16   — In the night game, New England took sole possession of first place in the AFC East with a convincing victory at the Meadowlands. Tom Brady threw for 329 yards. Rob Gronkowski caught eight passes for 113 yards and two TD’s. Andre Carter had 4.5 sacks. Jets QB Mark Sanchez was picked off twice, one of them returned for a touchdown by Rob Ninkovich.

NFL Week 10 — News and Notes

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s hard to believe, but it’s officially week 10 in the NFL, wow! Here’s some of the latest news and headlines from around the league.

* On Tuesday, Dallas Cowboys legendary quarterback Roger Staubach chatted with the Huffington Post about his former team, and quarterback Tony Romo. Here’s the 1985 Pro Bowl’s thoughts on his former squad, enjoy.

* It became official early Wednesday morning that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will retire after the current season concludes.

* The Oakland Raiders have struggled the past two weeks against divisional foes, but hopefully Hue Jackson and his Silver and Black crew can rebound Thursday against the San Diego “Super” Chargers.

* The Detroit Lions have officially booked Nickleback to perform on Thanksgiving Day against the Green Bay Packers, but according to a MTV personality/author, they’re not too fond of this particular decision.

* On Tuesday, the New England Patriots cut ties with defensive end Albert Haynesworth, and on Wednesday, no news was reported about cuts or acquisitions. Yet, some believe it’s possible that the team might consider cutting Chad Ochocinco too.

NFL Week Nine – Afternoon Scoreboard

By Brian Willwerth 

In a change of pace, I’m going to recap the late games first, because they were just outstanding.

GIANTS 24, PATRIOTS 20 – My “Game of the Day” comes from Foxboro. This was a rematch of Super Bowl XLII. And for fans of these two teams, it was déjà vu all over again. Late in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady led his team down the field, hitting Rob Gronkowski on 4th down to put New England up by three. But the Giants came right back, with help from a pass interference call against Sergio Brown that put the ball on the one-yard line. With 15 seconds left, Eli Manning hit Jake Ballard with a one-yard TD pass to win the game for the Giants.

PACKERS 45, CHARGERS 38 – What a wild game this turned out to be. Aaron Rodgers is unstoppable right now. He was 21-for-26 for 247 yards and four touchdowns, much to the delight of all the Cheeseheads in attendance Qualcomm Stadium. Still, the Chargers came back with a Philip Rivers TD pass, a successful onside kick, and then another Rivers TD to cut the margin to seven points. Rivers threw four TD passes, but also threw three INT’s, two of which were returned for scores. Green Bay remains unbeaten at [8-0].

BRONCOS 38, RAIDERS 24 – In Oakland, the Broncos broke a 24-24 tie with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Eddie Royal returned a punt 85 yards for what turned out to be the winning touchdown. Willis McGahee ran for 163 of Denver’s 298 rushing yards and Tim Tebow threw two touchdown passes.

BENGALS 24, TITANS 17 – Is Cincinnati the NFL’s best-kept secret? Trailing 17-7 at the half, the Bengals rallied in the second half in Nashville.  Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes. Cincinnati is [6-2]. The Bengals have won five in a row – their longest winning streak since 1988. Oh, and the Bengals host Pittsburgh next week.

CARDINALS 19, RAMS 13 (OT) – This was a matchup between two woeful teams, but it had a crazy finish. Arizona blocked a potential game-winning field goal to send the game into overtime. In OT, rookie Patrick Peterson fielded a punt on his own 1-yard line. You’re not supposed to do that, right?  Well, a few moves and 99 yards later, Peterson and his teammates were celebrating a victory in the end zone at the other end of the field.

JETS 27, BILLS 11 – The Jets won a big AFC East game on the road at Orchard Park, NY.  New York rushed for 126 yards, 76 of them by Shonn Greene. Buffalo turned the ball over three times. Both teams are now [5-3].

COWBOYS 23, SEAHAWKS 13 – Dallas is back to .500 on the season. In Arlington, Texas, the Cowboys broke open a 6-6 game in the second half. Tony Romo threw for 279 yards and 2 TD’s.

FALCONS 31, COLTS 7 – What a day for Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones. The rookie only caught three passes, but two of them went for touchdowns of 50 and 80 yards as the Colts rolled at Indianapolis.  The Colts are now the only winless team in the NFL, because….

DOLPHINS 31, CHIEFS 3 – Miami – yes, Miami – has finally broken through. And the Dolphins did so in surprisingly convincing fashion at Arrowhead Stadium. Matt Moore threw for 244 yards and three TD’s in the upset. The loss snaps the Chiefs’ four-game winning streak.

SAINTS 27, BUCCANEERS 16 – At the Superdome, New Orleans bounced back from an awful loss to the Rams with a solid win over a division rival. The Saints rushed for 195 yards, and Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes. New Orleans remains in sole possession of first place in the NFC South. Tampa Bay has lost three of its last four.

49ERS 19, REDSKINS 11 – San Francisco improved to [7-1] on the season with its fourth straight road victory, winning at Landover, MD. Frank Gore rushed for 107 yards, and the 49ers’ defense forced three Washington turnovers.

TEXANS 30, BROWNS 12 – Houston ran wild over Cleveland. The Texans had two running backs rush for over 100 yards: Arian Foster (124) and Ben Tate (115.) The Texans have won three in a row, and remain atop the AFC South.

Daily Noontime – October 21, 2011

The Rangers rallied in Game 2 of the World Series to even the series against the St. Louis Cardinals, 1-1!

Good day to everyone and welcome to another Friday edition of the Daily Noontime! It’s the weekend, which means it’s time to kick-back, relax and have fun! 

Headlines: 

* The Texas Rangers evened the series on Thursday, as they rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series, 2-1.

* According to reports, the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are close to a new contract, which should make fans quite content, right?

* Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo apparently has recently defended his head coach Jason Garrett for his fourth quarter decision to run the ball against the New England Patriots.

* The NBA Labor talks broke off Thursday evening and according to the New York Times, as well as other reports, the league could be headed toward erasing all November games this season.

* Good news San Diego Charger fans –  New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan apologized for his comments about the squad from sunny California.

* Accord to reports on Thursday, Detroit Lions running back Jerome Harrison has a brain tumor, which isn’t good news.

Games to Watch: 

* San Jose at New Jersey (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern

* # 11 West Virginia at Syracuse (NCAA Football) – 8:00pm eastern 

* Dallas at Anaheim (NHL) – 10:00pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Here’s both the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers talking about who would star as them in a movie, enjoy!