Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sports Saturday: Direction for the Season

Last week the Broncos and the Hawkeyes gave me reason to be optimistic about this year's football season. I want to make to observations. First, Iowa needs to be better offensively if they hope to accomplish something this season. Second, Denver needs to be better defensively if they hope to have success. Talent wise I think both teams have the talent needed to do good things, and so it comes down to execution.

This week the Hawkeyes travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pitt Panthers. It looks like Iowa will continue the trend of changing starters at quarteback. This week last year's starter Jake Christensen gets the nod again. I think this is a good decision. Jake makes good decisions, only having 7 interceptions all of last year, and has experience. Iowa's defense has yet to allow a touchdown, and so if the defense continues to play well (which I expect they will) Iowa will be in the game. So the offense needs to move the ball, avoid turnovers, and score touchdowns instead of fieldgoals. This is a critical game, and a win will give the Hawks momentum heading into the Big Ten season. My prediction: Iowa 24 and Pitt 13.

Denver was very fortunate last week. The missed fumble call at the end of the game gave the Broncos the time beat the Chargers. I think it is important to remember that while the missed fumble call prevented the Chargers from wrapping of the victory, it did not cause them to lose. The Chargers had two opportunities: on fourth down and the two point attempt to seal up the victory and they didn't do it. The human error is still part of the game of football.

This week the Broncos host the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are supposed to have one of the best teams in the NFC, but lost last week to the Washington Redskins. Their offense is banged up, including their top receiver. Denver's problems lie with their defense, but I think they have the talent on that side of the ball to be successful, but they need to get pressure. Winning home games is crucial, and beating back to back tough opponents will give Denver momentum moving forward. I like this match up. Denver's offense is very good and hopefully facing a banged up offense can breathe life into the defense. My prediction: Denver 31 and New Orleans 17.

Check into tomorrow to discover my players of the game.

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