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Sports Saturday: Cautiously Optimistic

On Saturdays I have decided to write about one of my other passions: sports. I enjoy basketball and football, but my life is not consumed by either one. I enjoy following teams and the teams I enjoy following are the Iowa Hawkeyes for college sports, the Denver Broncos of the NFL, and the Boston Celtics of the NBA. I don't really concern myself with what else is happening.

This weekend my two football teams are in very similar circumstances. Both the Broncos and the Hawkeyes have had disappointing seasons for the past few years, and both seem to be improved. The problem is that it is hard to tell just how improved since Iowa has played two inferior opponents (Maine and Florida International), and Denver has played an Oakland Raider team that is a mess. Even though things have looked improved I haven't gotten my hopes up very high yet.

Iowa vs. Iowa State

Big game for Iowa. It is a rivalry game and it is a game that the Cyclowns of Iowa State have won 7 out of the last 10 times (though the Hawks have won 3 of the last 5). ISU beat Iowa last year with five field goals, 15-13 was the final score. That was the beginning of a very disappointing year for the Hawkeyes after starting 2-0.

This year the game is in Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, so it is a home game. The offensive line seems to be improved, which was one of the problems last year and resulted in Iowa struggling to move the ball. Going along with improved line play, Iowa has a good running back, a quarterback that fits Iowa system, and more experienced recievers. With a better offensive attack the Hawkeyes defense, which was stingy last year, will be stingier, and will make it even tougher for ISU to move the ball.

My prediction is Iowa 24 and Iowa State 12.

Denver vs. San Diego

Huge game for only being the second game of the season. It is a division game, which means it has playoff implications, especially since the AFC West seems to be a two horse race at this point. The Chargers have beaten the Broncos the last four games and last year the games weren't even close: 41-3 and 21-3 respectively. The last game the Chargers openly mocked the Broncos, which means there is some bad blood between the two teams.

The Broncos' defense still has some question marks, but their offense seems to be improved. The offensive line seems to be blocking better than last year (it is basically an entirely new line), quarterback Culter seems to have regained his strength after playing last year with diabtes that was undiagnosed, it looks like they will finally have two play making receivers, and they have their usual stable of running backs.

It is my belief that an improved offense, that keeps the opposing offense off the field, will help the defense. The Chargers also have a few key injuries. I like the Broncos chances, especially playing at home. My pick is Denver 28 and San Diego 17.

Those are my picks, not that anyone else is interested, but I am. Lets see how close I am.


Paul said…
I just finished watching the Denver Broncos. Much closer than I expected with the Broncos pulling out the 39-38 victory. My player of the game is Brandon Marshall who had 18 catches.

The Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones yesterday in a game that was sloppy, weather wise, 17-5. Running Back Shonn Greene, with 120 yards rushing, is my player of the game.

Good weekend for my teams. Happy with the wins. Now we have a week to prepare the next games: Iowa at Pitt and Denver at home with New Orleans.

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