San Francisco 49ers

Coming off of that Packer victory, pills I was confident that the Bears could pull off another win versus the San Francisco 49ers. Afterall, pharm the San Francisco 49ers were 0-5 on the road and ranked near the bottom for both the offense and defense in the NFL prior to yesterday’s game. Practically all signs pointed to a Bears W, viagra which should have been a huge hint that it wouldn’t pan out that way.

What was a pretty boring game took a strange turn as both teams became stagnant in the fourth quarter, unable to get anything going offensively to budge the score.  However, fourth quarter play has been a Chicago specialty this season, so I was expecting something explosive nearing the end of the game.  And then, something explosive happened…

Quarterback, Jay Cutler threw a pick-six. Cutler was intercepted by former Northern Illinois University star Jimmie Ward who ran it in for a huge TD.  Watch his flip in the end-zone for yourself here.

To make matters worse, our most reliable player on the team was anything but on Sunday.  Kicker Robbie Gould missed a key field goal attempt as the fourth quarter ended.  This was his second miss of the game and put the game into overtime.

In overtime, the 49ers won in a single snap.  A 71-yard throw by QB Blaine Gabbert to WR Torrey Smith clinched the game. Bears lose 26-20.

The wind has been completely knocked out of the Bears sails with this huge OT loss. Sadly, Jay also had one of his worst games this season with 18 of 31 passes for 202 yards.  He threw no touchdowns, one interception and had a season-low 64.2 passer rating. Ouch.

Next Up:

On Sunday December 13 the Bears take on the Redskins at 12PM Central. I would say that I foresee a victory but my predictions are too unreliable. Hey, they beat Green Bay (which I was positive they would lose) and then blow it to the 49ers (which I was positive they would win).  Regardless of my thoughts, the game should be worth watching but keep in mind, a victory won’t be enough to consider the Bears a potential play-off contenders either. Check back next week for the SDI recap.

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San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick is having the worst week (season?) ever. I won’t run down his stats but let’s just say that since week one, nurse no rx the number of interceptions he’s thrown is akin to the number of bottles of wine I’ve drank in the same time span. And I spent ten days in Italy. Yikes. Then stories came out about him not caring about mechanics. Oy.

Well after weeks of him sucking the life out of Niners fans everywhere, case they finally benched him. And that’s not even the most embarrassing part. Their backup? Blaine Gabbert. There’s really only one stat you need to know about him, pilule and that would be his record as a starter: 5-22.

I think my favorite part about this story is that the 49er’s front office is framing this not as a true benching, but as a “mental break” for Kaepernick. What the FRONT DOOR is that?! What’s the fix for this, a spa day? Are you going to check him into Promises citing “stress and exhaustion”? “No, no, we aren’t firing you! We’re giving you a mental break from the duties we hired you to perform that you can’t perform well enough to be successful” said no boss ever.

But guys – there’s more. The streets are talking, and they’re saying that the front office waited until this week to bench (or whatever?) him because they are playing the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Why is this relevant? Well because according to the Niners, the Falcons’ defense is weak and I guess they wanted to give Blaine the best chance to succeed which…five and twenty-two you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did the Falcons feel about this comment?

Photo credit: NESN

A MESS. All that’s missing is Kirk Cousins‘ screaming YOU LIKE THAT?! in the background because I am more than entertained. These Niners get the “better than cable” award.

Alright, here are your Chicago sports in 25 words, more or less. I had to change that from “25 words or less” because I got a little long-winded this week.

Chicago Bears
By all accounts, they don’t suck nearly as much as their record indicates (if there were any GREAT two-win teams, these 2015 Bears top that list amiright?!). I’m excited for next year – that’s right, I’ve officially checked out.

Chicago Bulls
They gave up 130 points to the Hornets last night. The been-around-since-1988-and-have-won-zero-championships-conference-or-division-titles Hornets. The perpetually-in-the-lottery Hornets.

RIP Bulls’ Defense, 2010-2015.

Chicago Blackhawks
Headline, verbatim: Woman who accused Patrick Kane of rape no longer cooperating with investigation. ?

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Pink's Pulse

This week’s Pink’s Pulse is dedicated to one of the best weekends in sports: the NFL Championship Weekend. Four teams remain in the race to Super Bowl XLVIII, buy cialis and Sunday’s doubleheader Championship match-ups are sure to be thrillers as two rivalries are rekindled.

This Sunday’s match-ups are a dose of old school – new school football.  First, levitra we have the 49ers and Seahawks: two teams who’ve had success building their organizations through their younger players. Then there’s the old school battle: the Patriots vs. the Broncos: a matchup between the two NFL royalty heavyweights.

Clear the schedule for Sunday, football doesn’t get much better than this.

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos – 2pm CT on CBS

The rematch that everyone had hoped for is here…Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning. These two teams clashed during Week 12 and the Patriots bested the Broncos late by a score of 34-31. But, things are a little different this time around.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady

There are almost too many story lines to count between Brady and Manning, far too many to list and stories you can find with a simple Google Search.  This is the fifteenth meeting between these two iconic quarterbacks and could be their last. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has nearly broke every record in the book this year, but history has predicated that those QBs don’t always go onto winning a Super Bowl after record-breaking seasons. While Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had a hard, long struggle to get to this point having no reliable wide receivers to count on this time around.

What you should be watching for in this game is the tight end position. The last time these two met the Patriots still had Rob Gronkowski and the Broncos were without Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas. Brady will need pass-catchers to step up in order to get points on the board throughout the game.

One last thing to note, the last time these two teams met the Broncos had to deal with Patriots five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. With Wilfork out of the season with an injury, it poses a concern for the Patriots defense in trying to stop Manning.

For a full preview, check out NFL Film’s video here.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks – 5:30 CT on FOX

Fans will get a double-dose of rematch mania with a new school rivalry between the 49ers and Seahawks. Last week we got to see the 49ers offense get tested against one of the better defenses in the Carolina Panthers while the Seahawks strutted their guns to the New Orleans Saints.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson are proving to be the more electrifying young quarterbacks to watch. If you haven’t figured out, Kaepernick seems to really have the playoff juices flowing. It definitely helps that his favorite wide receiver Michael Crabtree is back from injury. Since he’s been back, the 49ers have won their last seven game. Russell Wilson, on the other hand, has a canon of an arm to make you sit on the edge of your seat every play.

Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick

Keep your eyes on the matchup between the 49ers wide receivers and the Seahawks secondary. The Seahawks haven’t faced off against Michael Crabtree let alone the power of Crabtree, tight end Vernon Davis and wideout Anquan Boldin altogether. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has really been a force to be reckoned with along with his legion of boom (the Seahawks defense). It could get ugly out there folks.

If you haven’t seen the Madden 25 commercial featuring Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, it is a must watch before Sunday’s match-up. Watch it below.

My picks: I’m going to preface my pick by saying that my preseason Super Bowl prediction was that the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots would meet in New York. And, I’m sticking to my guns. Please, enjoy football this weekend.

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Pink's Pulse

We’re down to just the final seven games of the 2013 NFL season. This weekend we get the treat of having two games being played on both Saturday and Sunday, discount and I’ve got your preview guide for what to watch for this weekend.

New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks — Saturday 3:35pm CT on FOX

This game features a rematch of Week 13 when these two teams collided in Seattle. The result? The Seahawks spanked the Saints 34-7. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has only lost once at home in his entire NFL career, medicine but I believe Drew Breesand the Saints are back for revenge.

Russell Wilson

Saints head coach Sean Payton blew out two speakers during practice this week prepping for noise in Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks are looking to capitalize on one of the best seasons they’ve had in team history but they have to go through the Saints one more time to prove that. I don’t expect this game to mirror the first time they met, the Saints are in playoff mode and don’t think will go down without a fight.

Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots — Saturday 7:15pm CT on CBS

This is a game of Old School vs. New School quarterbacks. The two comeback kings, Colts QB Andrew Luck and Patriots QB Tom Brady,square off in Foxboro, New Jersey on Saturday night in a game that is not to be missed.

Andrew Luck vs. Tom Brady

The Indianapolis Colts pulled out the second largest comeback playoff victory as they came back from being down 38-10 against the Kansas City Chiefs to win and advance. Both quarterbacks don’t have elite wide receivers so the magic will truly be between the coaches and quarterbacks. Will Tom Brady be able to get his fourth ring or will Andrew Luck lead his team further into the playoffs? Fun fact: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri used to be on the Patriots, and the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since he left. Is there a curse of the kicker??

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers — Sunday 12:05pm CT on FOX

Out of all the weekend games, the match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers may be least appealing of the bunch. Both defenses are top notch and both quarterbacks are extremely similar, so it will be a true chess match.

Cam Newton, Photo Source: GQ

For the first time in his career, Panthers QB Cam Newton has taken the Panthers to the playoffs but getting further into the playoffs will definitely be tough. It’s important to keep an eye on the wide receivers from both teams. 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree made a late appearance to the season and hasn’t seen the likes of Carolina yet. On the other side, the Panthers might be without their Pro Bowl wideout Steve Smith has he’s trying to recover from a concussion.

The 49ers led by QB Colin Kaepernick, are looking to return to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year after beating Green Bay last weekend at Lambeau. Expect a close and exciting game.

San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos — Sunday 3:40pm CT on CBS

The monster of all games this weekend features the last two remaining teams from the AFC West. This will be the third meeting between these two teams this season. The first time they met, the Broncos won in San Diego and the second time being Thursday Night Football where the Chargers pulled the upset in Denver.

Peyton Manning

This time it’s anyone’s game. The San Diego Chargers have won their last five out of six games and are the hottest team in the playoffs right now. Will Broncos QB Peyton Manning finally get the monkey off his back and avoid being bounced early in the playoffs in his run for the Super Bowl as a Bronco? It’s definitely the game to watch this weekend seeing as the Broncos have been favored by many to win the Super Bowl.

My Picks: Seahawks, Patriots, Panthers, and Chargers.

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Ravens win Super Bowl

The Baltimore Ravens’ 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII will be remembered for 4 things: the lights going out, recipe the Harbaugh Brothers, Beyonce and Ray Lewis’ final game.  Not necessarily in that order.

We can only assume that you watched the game, but how much you were actually able to take in – depending on your surrounding environment – is the real question. Socializing, drinking and eating (while standing), sounding witty AND paying attention to the game and the commercials is no easy feat. Throw into the mix a loud, crowded bar and there’s a very good chance you missed a lot of football.  If that was the case, do not worry. In true SDI fashion, we’ve got the important take away pieces and talking points that you might have missed.  Read on.

What You Need to Know (or May Have Missed): 

    • The game really didn’t get competitive until the second half – after the power outing – but more on that later. In the first half the Ravens dominated the Niners and lead 21-6 by halftime. Ravens’ QB, Joe Flacco came out strong showing just how dangerous he can be with his laser-like arm and entourage of dangerous receivers. The Ravens’ defense looked sharp from the very start shutting down Colin Kaepernick and the Niners’ normally successful running game and holding them to only 2 field goals.

  • When Beyonce took the stage at halftime, the game was very lopsided on the Ravens’ behalf, but anyone familiar with the 49ers knew that there would likely be some sort of come-back in the 2nd half by Kaepernick and crew. Beyonce sizzled with her fierce all-girl band and the help of Kelly and Michelle from Destiny’s Child – but, we are assuming you caught all that – so back to the football.
  • In one of the most bizarre Super Bowl moments in history, with 13:34 minutes left in the 3rd, half the lights suddenly went out at the Super Dome. The play-by-play stopped and there was a long silence on TV as the camera panned shots of both Harbaugh brothers steaming up on the sidelines, particularly John Harbaugh as his Raven’s were about to really run away with the game at that point.
  • After a full 34 minutes – at which point Twitter was blowing up with jokes, predictions and advantageous marketers – the lights came back on and play resumed.

    Source: SBNation.com

  • The power outage seemed to kick-start the 49ers back into gear as the momentum certainly turned in their favor. The Niners scored 3 times in 4 minutes that included a 31 yard Michael Crabtree reception, a 6-yard Frank Gore run for a TD and a field goal. All of a sudden, it looked like it was the Ravens’ game to lose as the Niners’ charged back and brought the game to 31-29.
  • What really switched the momentum back for the Ravens was Jacoby Jones’ 109-yard kick return for a touchdown in the 4th. It was the longest kick return in NFL history.
  • In true dramatic Ray Lewis fashion, the last play of the game came down to the Ravens’ defense who were able to hold off the 49ers from getting in the end zone. In a controversial call – that will certainly be a topic of discussion today – Niners’ receiver Michael Crabtree failed to make a game-winning catch in the end zone in what looked like a missed passed interference call, causing Jim Harbaugh to go f**ing nuts.
  • Thankfully, for many of us, Ray Lewis did not do his modified funky chicken celebration dance, but instead used his time on the mic to thank the Lord and provide a few inspirational “Ray-isms” while the Ravens received the Vince Lombardi trophy.
  • After leading the Ravens on one of the most memorable post-season runs in NFL history, Raven’s QB, Joe Flacco – who went 22 of 33 with 287 yards and 3 touchdowns last night, was rightfully named MVP.

Your Take Away Piece:

“What a game! Momentum shifts, big plays, stealthy defense, and power outages. But at the end of the game, it was the Ravens who found a way to win, despite the Niners’ amazing second half comeback.”

What’s Next: 

Expect Joe Flacco’s new lucrative contract extension to be announced any day. Now that he is a Super Bowl MVP after an incredible playoff run, he is officially an ‘elite’ QB. The Niners will regroup and most likely come back even better next year. After one of the better NFL post seasons in recent memory, the rest of us will have to wait another seven months for the NFL to return.

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Super Bowl XLVII Cheat Sheet

If there’s one game in sports where your interest level and general knowledge is tested, generic it’s the Super Bowl. You may not care in the least bit about the Harbaugh brothers or about Ray Lewis’ swan song, mind but for 3 1/2 hours on Sunday, look February 3rd, as an American (or at least as a somewhat social being) you are expected to.

We’re pretty confident that if you are reading this, you’ve got Super Bowl plans. So why not show up to the party with more than just a fabulous 3-layer dip? Sure, your crafted sporty-chic look will impress them at the bar, but know what will guarantee you free drinks and a solid SB viewing experience?  Actually knowing the key components of this mega matchup, and that means more than knowing just about the Harbaugh bros.

There’s a ridiculous amount of info, analysis and story lines that go into the final match-up of the season, but we’re trimming the fat and giving you the critical details – the talking points that are sure to surface throughout the game. Not good at names? Print this sucker off and pop it into your bag to brush up during a bathroom break.

In order to be Super Bowl proficient, you need to have a decent understanding of both teams: the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams have ‘explosive offenses’ and stellar defenses, so rattling off one of those statements isn’t going to cut it.

The Baltimore Ravens

How they got here: The Ravens were the #4 seed in the AFC after finishing the regular season 10-6. They beat Andrew Luck and the Colts in the Wild Card round, then Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the Divisional Round and finally Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. This is the Ravens’ first time back to the Super Bowl since 2000 and QB Joe Flacco’s first.

Who you need to know/watch for:

Offense: 

  • Quarterback, Joe Flacco: The more experienced QBs of the two teams, Flacco’s got an incredible arm and can bomb long passes down field pretty accurately. Flacco has been playing at a much higher level during the post season with 8 touchdowns and zero interceptions.  Flacco will have to play an error-free game on Sunday though to get past the Niners. For more on Flacco, check out our QB profiles HERE.
  • Running back, Ray Rice: Rice will be in control of the ground game

    The Ravens’ RAYS: Ray Rice and Ray Lewis

  • Wide Receivers: Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin – both have been hauling in passes with amazing ability all post season.
  • Right Guard (from the Offensive Line): Marshal Yanda – the 2x Pro Bowler out of Iowa is a beast and is in charge of keeping Flacco upright

Defense:

  • Linebacker: Ray Lewis – if you remember ONE name from the Ravens, make sure it is Ray Lewis (and do not confuse him with running back Ray RICE). After spending 17 seasons with the Ravens, this is Lewis’ final season before retirement making this run on the Super Bowl that much more storybook for the flamboyant, outspoken, spiritual linebacker. Lewis was injured mid-season but since his return in the first playoff game, the team has been on a roll – and many attribute it to Lewis’ leadership and inspiration.
  • Linebacker: Terrell Suggs – actually more dangerous than Lewis, he’s the primary reason for the Raven’s stealthy defense.

The San Francisco 49ers

How they got here: After sitting out in the Wild Card round of the playoffs with a bye, the #2 seeded 49ers who went 11-4-1 (yes 1 meaning a tie game) beat the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional round and then the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. This is the 49ers first trip back to the Super Bowl since 1994. Up until last year, when Coach Jim Harbaugh took over and led them to the playoffs in his first season, the Niners were horrible.

Who you need to know/watch for:

Offense:

  • Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick– easily the most exciting player to watch on the field on Sunday, Kaepernick is only in his second year in the NFL and took over the starting QB job mid-season from starter Alex Smith. Kaepernick’s story is a MUST KNOW and will be one of the biggest story lines on Sunday. For the full scoop on this exciting QB, check out our Super Bowl quarterback profiles HERE.

    Colin Kaepernick

  • Running back:  Frank Gore –besides Kaepernick, this guy is the biggest threat on the ground for the Niners
  • Wide receiver: Michael Crabtree – Crabtree is having a breakout year and has been Kaepernick’s favorite target
  • Tight End: Vernon Davis
  • Wide Receiver:  Randy Moss – one of the best receivers the game has seen, this is probably Moss’ last season in the NFL and his last chance at getting a SB ring – after playing with New England in his prime, but never on a winning SB team.
  • Kicker:  David Akers – (technically special teams) – normally one of the most consistent kickers in the NFL, Akers is having a crummy season missing a league high 13 field goals.
Defense: The Niners have the best defense in the NFL, hands down, which many believe will be the key to winning on Sunday.
  • Defensive End: Justin Smith
  • Linebackers: Patrick Willis and NaVarro Bowman

Buzz-worthy story lines:

  • Ray Lewis and his comeback from injury this season to lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl. The future Hall of Famer Lewis ALAWYS gets the last word on camera and is known for his ceremonial celebratory dance. The story of Lewis leading his team in his final NFL season will be exhausted during the Super Bowl. This Tuesday on NFL Media Day, Sports Illustratedbroke a story that Lewis used a banned substance while rehabbing during his latest injury. Lewis and the Ravens deny it, but the story is still lingering and will be a topic of conversation on Sunday for sure.

    Ray Lewis and “the dance”

  • The Harbaugh Brothers: the first time in NFL history that two brothers have coached in the NFL at the same time and against one another in the Super Bowl. John Harbaugh, the older bro has been coaching the Ravens since 2008. Little bro Jim (they are only 15 months apart – !!!) took over as head coach of the Niners in 2011.

    Jim and John Harbaugh

  • Wide receiver Torrey Smith and the tragic motorcycle death of his little brother mid-season. Less than 24 hours after the tragedy, Smith came back to have one of his best games of his career scoring 2 touchdowns in the Raven’s win over the Patriots in the regular season.

Final notes: The Niners are favored but only by four points. San Francisco is given the edge because of their better defense, incredible offensive line, and the dual-threat of Colin Kaepernick. Expect a close and exciting game.

Download the PDF/printable version of this cheat sheet HERE.  Super Bowl XLVII CHEAT SHEET

Tell us how we did! Did this cheat sheet help? Success stories? Let us know! We love feedback – really, we do.

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