Posts Tagged ‘Top 10’

Top 10 Coaches in the NFL – Best Coaches in the NFL in 2012

September 8th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 Coaches in the NFL – Best Coaches in the NFL in 2012
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Tom Coughlin GiantsAs a part of our countdown to the 2012 NFL schedule, we here at Bankroll Sports are making our Top 10 list for the best head coaches in all of football. Join us as we break down the men that issue that X’s and O’s on a weekly basis on the sidelines of your favorite pro football teams!

1: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots: How can we argue with “The Hoodie?” He has won at least nine games in 11 consecutive seasons with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls and getting to two more. He came up just short of becoming the first coach to lead his team to a 19-0 mark, and he has a whopping 17 career victories in his postseason career. There’s no doubt that those terms are all good enough to make Belichick the top coach in our countdown of the Top 10 head coaches in the NFL.

2: Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers: Okay, maybe we should be giving Harbaugh a bit more time before calling him one of the best head coaches in the NFL, but we love what he did with the Niners last year. This was a man that pushed all of the right buttons at Stanford to take the Cardinal from a team that was a doormat in the Pac-12 to the verge of a National Championship, and now in just one year, he took the 49ers from a team that had a lot of talent but was never able to put it together to a team that was a play or two away from the Super Bowl. If Harbaugh isn’t the second best coach in the league right now, the argument could be made that he is right there in the discussion.

3: John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens: Oh, the sibling rivalry… This Harbaugh has had his Ravens in the playoffs just about every season since taking over, and that’s quite the task in the AFC North, where the games are brutal, and the competition is always fierce. QB Joe Flacco isn’t all that special of a quarterback, and to be able to win games with him as the quarterback of the team speaks volumes to what Harbaugh has been able to do with this team.

4: Tom Coughlin, New York Giants: We know that Coughlin isn’t liked amongst all of his players, but he has a pair of Super Bowl rings now, and that can’t go overlooked. Every time it seems like the G-Men are down and out of it, Coughlin figures out some way to get their heads to get back in the game, and the runs that these two Super Bowl teams have been able to go on have been epic. Remember that Coughlin not only beat the 18-0 Patriots, but he also beat the 15-1 Packers en route to his two rings. That has to put him in the Top 5 of our head coaches list.

5: Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers: McCarthy inherited a team on the rise and took it to prominence, winning the Super Bowl virtually right away. He was smart enough to surround himself with great assistants, and it is a real testament to his work that Joe Philbin is now with the Miami Dolphins and Dom Capers is considered one of the top candidates for a head coaching job for 2013. Again, this is a man with a Super Bowl ring, and there aren’t many out there that can say that.

6: John Fox, Denver Broncos: Any man that can figure out how to win a playoff game with QB Tim Tebow under center is a great coach in our eyes. Remember that this is also the man that brought the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme under center. Fox is one of the brightest coaches in the game, and he was smart enough to take a pass happy team and make it a running club with the triple option quickly last year when the ship was sinking. Now, he has a new quarterback in Peyton Manning, and he has been able to make yet another philosophical shift. Fox is probably the most underrated coach in the NFL.

7: Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers: Tomlin probably isn’t the greatest coach in the world, but what he definitely is, is a smart man. He kept his offensive philosophies intact at the beginning of his coaching tenure, taking over for the departed Bill Cowher, and he also retained DC Dick LeBeau. His next bright move? Getting rid of former OC Bruce Arians and replacing him with new OC Todd Haley. We really like what Tomlin has built here in Pittsburgh, and though the Steelers’ window of opportunity might be closing, there is no doubting that Tomlin is one of the Top 10 coaches in the NFL.

8: Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles: Reid might have never brought a Super Bowl to the City of Brotherly Love, and he very well could be fired at the end of this season, but we still think that he is valuable enough to be called one of the Top 10 coaches in the NFL. He has won at least 10 games eight times in 12 seasons, and he has been to the playoffs in nine of the 12 campaigns, going 10-9 in that stretch. Not everyone can win a Super Bowl, and of the coaches that haven’t that have been in this game for a long time, Reid is probably the best of the bunch.

9: Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams: Fisher put together a lot of mediocre seasons with the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans, but he also took a team that didn’t have much in the way of resources and turned it into a contender quite often. There is a reason that Fisher was one of the most highly sought after coaches in the league in the offseason, and it will show in due time in St. Louis.

10: Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers: It’s true that Rivera is just a 6-10 lifetime head coach, but he turned a god awful club into one of respectability last year. Now, the longtime assistant has a team that could make the playoffs behind the growing QB Cam Newton. There’s something brewing in Carolina, and whatever comes of it, we have to remember that it is Rivera that is behind it.

Top 10 QBs in the NFL – Best Quarterbacks in the NFL in 2012

September 8th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 QBs in the NFL – Best Quarterbacks in the NFL in 2012
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Drew Brees SaintsThe countdown continues to the start of the NFL betting season, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are focusing in on the Top 10 quarterbacks for 2012 and which ones we would want to be leading the biggest drive of the game if our season was on the line.

1: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: Brees isn’t the biggest guy in the world, but he is one of the smartest quarterbacks that the game has to offer. The Purdue Boilermaker essentially revived football in the Bayou, bringing a Super Bowl to a city that had just been through absolute tragedy just a few years before with Hurricane Katrina. Not only is his bond with TE Jimmy Graham as good as the bond that any receiver has with his QB in the league, but Brees can also say that he is the only man in the league’s history to throw for 5,000 yards twice in a season.

2: Tom Brady, New England Patriots: It’s only going to take a few throws into the 2012 season before Brady has 40,000 passing yards for his career, and he ended last season at a nice round 300 TDs as well. Brady just keeps getting better with age, and he put together yet another impressive year in 2011, throwing for 5,235 yards and 39 TDs. He has a great crop of receivers, including the best tight end duo in football, and as long as all of that stays intact and he remains upright, Brady is one of the best in the biz.

3: Eli Manning, New York Giants: What really impresses us about Peyton’s little brother is that he has the moxie to be able to win regardless of his situation. Manning’s biggest throw of his career went to WR David Tyree, who was basically nothing more than an average fourth receiver on most teams. When he lost WR Plaxico Burress and WR Amani Toomer in the same season, all he did was go out and make a Pro Bowler out of Hakeem Nicks and a big time receiving out of Mario Manningham. Baby Manning might not have the longevity or the career numbers of his brother, but those two rings speak awfully, awfully loudly.

4: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: We really might be screwing Rodgers over here, as he probably should be higher up on the list than this. After all, he took a team with no running game and no defense whatsoever to a 15-1 record last season, and it wasn’t his fault that his defense could stop the Giants in the playoffs. Rodgers easily led the league in quarterback rating last year at 122.5, smashing the NFL record in the process, and he is deserving of being called one of the Top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL.

5: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: Remember that this isn’t a fantasy football list. This is a list of quarterbacks that we would want leading our team in real games. Big Ben is as tough as they come, and assuming that his head is screwed on straight, there aren’t many quarterbacks that we would rather have down four with 80 yards to go. Roethlisberger is going to throw the ball more this year under new OC Todd Haley, and when he throws for upwards of 5,000 yards, it should be a reminder that the Steelers didn’t win two Super Bowls by accident under Roethlisberger’s direction.

6: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: We finally saw what Stafford was able to do when he was fully healthy. The former No. 1 overall pick threw for 5,038 yards and 41 TDs in 2012, and he proved that he can really lead a team. He chucked the ball a whopping 663 times last year, easily the most in the league, and he made up for a team that had no rushing game and no defense, just like the situation that Rodgers was in with the Pack. More importantly though, Stafford got the Lions to the playoffs, and the last man that was able to say that was Barry Sanders. If you’re in the same discussion with Barry, regardless of what the context is, you’ve done something truly special.

7: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers: This can’t possibly all be Rivers’ fault. The Chargers have had all of the talent in the world over the course of the last six or seven years, yet they perennial underachieve even though Rivers puts up some amazing numbers. Remember that this is a man that has thrown for nearly 25,000 yards already in his career. Still, the lack of big wins in big games and the fact that he has never sniffed the Super Bowl keeps Rivers out of the Top 5, but there is no denying his skill and the fact that he is a legitimate Top 10 quarterback in this league.

8: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: Mock Flacco if you must, but remember how many playoff wins that he has over the course of the last several years. It’s not like this is just a running team with RB Ray Rice either. Flacco threw the ball 542 times last year, and he had 3,610 yards through the air with 20 scores. Those are pedestrian numbers when you compare them to some of the other big names out there, but we have to remember that the Baltimore defense often shut down opposing offenses, giving Flacco the chance to hand the ball off more. He’s not a waste though, and we think that he is one of the Top 10 QBs in football.

9: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: One year definitely doesn’t make a quarterback, but when it is the best year that a rookie has ever had in the league, it definitely is worth noting. Newton looks like a bigger, stronger Michael Vick on the field, and that’s why Newton is on this list and Vick isn’t. We still want to see whether Newton can win games that matter at this level like he did at Auburn, but we have more confidence in him than we do in some of the other quarterbacks that you might think should be in the Top 10.

10: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: Sure, we hear the complaints right now over Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, and Matt Schaub, but how many playoff wins do those quarterbacks have combined? Zero. Plus, we know that the Colts gave up on Peyton Manning when the opportunity arose to get Luck in the NFL Draft. Manning has too many risk concerns with his neck and he is at the end of his career. Luck is considered an absolutely can’t miss, once in a generation type of prospect, and though we haven’t seen him throw a pass yet at the NFL level in a game that counts, we know that he has the goods to get the job done, and we would expect nothing but a smashing success of a career from the Stanford product.

Top 10 RBs in the NFL – Best Running Backs in the NFL in 2012

September 6th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 RBs in the NFL – Best Running Backs in the NFL in 2012
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Another day, another Top 10 list for NFL betting fans to enjoy here at Bankroll Sports. Today, our countdown to the 2012 NFL season continues with a look at the Top 10 running backs in the NFL for the upcoming season.

MJD1: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens: The things that Rice does for the Ravens are out of this world. This is a man that has played just four seasons in the league and has started for just three full seasons, yet he already has over 6,600 total yards from scrimmage. Rice has at least 60 receptions and at least 250 carries in each of the last three years, and he has accounted for at least 1,775 yards from scrimmage per season in that time. Forget about the touchdowns; others can do that. But no back moves the ball up and down the field like Rice does, and that clearly makes him the most valuable running back in the league.

2: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, Eagles: McCoy does a lot of the same things for the Eagles that Rice does for the Ravens, except this is a man that has a nose for the end zone as well. The Pitt Panther is a surprisingly bruising back even though he is just 5’11” and 208 lbs. He had 1,309 rushing yards and 17 scores last year in just 15 games, and he is clearly one of the up and comers that this league has at the running back position.

3: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars: We’ve heard him referred to as a “Little Ball of Hate” and the “Human Bowling Ball,” but whatever you want to call him, MJD is the real deal. He led the league in rushing last year on a Jacksonville squad that literally had no offensive line and zip for a passing game. We think that Jones-Drew is absolutely right to be holding out, especially knowing that he has run the ball an average of 20.7 times per game over the course of the last three years, accounting for a whopping 4,321 yards and 28 scores on the ground with over 1,000 more yards as a receiver in that stretch. If not for his holdout and the fear of a “Chris Johnson-esque” drop off, we would definitely have MJD rated at No. 1.

4: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans: There’s no way that Johnson can drop out of our Top 5. He had a bad season last year, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t one of the most feared backs in the league. It wasn’t a mistake that he had a 2,000-yard campaign two seasons ago. CJ2K is the real deal, and he’ll be back in the saddle this year as one of the best backs in the league now that he isn’t facing the pressure of living up to his new contract out of a holdout.

5: Matt Forte, Chicago Bears: Forte is another one of these running backs that does it on the ground and in the passing game. He was rewarded with a new contract in the offseason by the Bears, and it’s a good thing that they did that. This is a man that has accounted for an average of 103.6 total yards per game over the course of his four years in the Windy City. The Tulane product is coming off of an injury that cost him the final four games of last season, but we think that Forte is going to be primed and ready to go for a big time 2012.

6: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: The only thing that is keeping All Day out of our Top 5 running backs is that ACL injury that he is coming off of that might cost him the very start of the season. Peterson is as talented of a back as there is, but we are just very cautious over this knee injury, one of the many knocks that he has suffered in his career.

7: Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders: Here is another man that is capable of being the best running back in football if given the opportunity to do so. Run DMC, just like Peterson, has all of the talent in the world, and he was leading the league in rushing last year before suffering what turned out to be a season-ending injury. Of course, there is a question as to whether it is McFadden or the Oakland offensive line that made him look that good, knowing that Michael Bush was able to step into the fold and do basically all of the same things that Run DMC was able to do in the second half of the season.

8: Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns: We might not see it this year, but Richardson is going to be every bit as good of a back as any on this list. He’s big, he’s strong, he can run between the tackles, and that speed burst that he was able to show when he got into space in college was no mistake; he’ll do the same thing at the NFL level. The only question is whether Richardson can really do this game in and game out in the NFL right away as a rookie on a team that is still atrocious. We think that he will.

9: Arian Foster, Houston Texans: Sure, we hear you. Foster had 1,200+ yards last season in a year that he was injured, and he is perennially one of the Top 5 picks in fantasy football. So how can he be down at No. 9 on our list of the Top 10 running backs in the league? The same reason that McFadden is down so low. When Foster was out of the fold, Ben Tate was able to really do some damage, and in the end, both guys almost ended up being 1,000-yard backs. We still aren’t all that convinced that Foster, who was an undrafted rookie just a few years ago, is the more talented of the two backs, but we do recognize that this Houston offensive line is the real deal and is the best unit in the league.

10: Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons: Ryan Mathews, Marshawn Lynch, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, and Willis McGahee all want to know why they aren’t on this list at all, but we think that Turner has proven over the years that he is worthy of being called a Top 10 back in the NFL. Last year, he was third in the league in rushing 1,340 yards. Remember that this is a man that is only 5’10”, but he does weigh 247 pounds. He started as a bit of a scat back behind LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego before coming to Atlanta, and since that point, he has been awesome. “The Burner” has averaged 20.2 carries for 89.5 yards and 0.85 touchdowns per game as a rusher over the course of the last four years, and short of Jones-Drew, no back can say that. Still, Turner isn’t a valuable blocker in the passing game, nor is he a great receiver, which is why he is down on this list against some of the other more versatile RBs in the NFL.

Top 10 WRs in the NFL – Best Wide Receivers in the NFL in 2012

September 6th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 WRs in the NFL – Best Wide Receivers in the NFL in 2012
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Calvin Johnson MegatronThe wide receiver position in the NFL is one that has been growing quite a bit over the course of the last few years, as there are some legitimate stars that are really shining in this next generation. Here at Bankroll Sports, as a part of our countdown to the 2012 NFL season, we are taking a look at the Top 10 Wide Receivers in Football.

1: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Simply put, the Megatron is awesome. He led the league in receiving with 1,681 yards, and he found the end zone 16 times, tops amongst wide receivers. This is a talented specimen of a receiver that can burn you down the sidelines just as easily as he can go into traffic and catch a ball in a crowd or out-jump a DB in the end zone. Simply put Johnson is the best, and he is really the reason that Detroit has one of the most dynamic offenses in the league.

2: Andre Johnson, Houston Texans: The other Johnson really could stake a claim to being the best receiver in the league, but there definitely is a concern about injuries. AJ spent not just one, but two different stints out of the lineup last year with hamstring problems, and his groin has been acting up in the preseason. That being said, when Johnson is out there, there isn’t anything that he can’t do either. He put the nail in the coffin for the first playoff game in Texans history with his long touchdown catch against the Bengals in the playoffs, arguably the biggest play at this point in Houston’s brief history.

3: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: A future Hall of Famer, Fitzgerald has had a great career with the Cardinals. Last year was just another ho hum year for the former Pitt Panther, as he had 80 receptions, 1,411 yards, and eight TDs on a team that had nothing in the way of quarterback play. Fitzgerald was able to make both QB Kevin Kolb and QB John Skelton look good, and that’s hard to do. Can you imagine what he would be able to do if his team actually had a quarterback to count on that could get the ball down the field?

4: AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals: This is going to be probably the most controversial selection for our Top 10 wide receivers in the NFL this year. Green had a great rookie campaign, catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards with seven TDs, and we think that he is in for even more progress this year. This is a receiver that has huge hands, something that is tremendously important in a West Coast offense. Yards after the catch are something that Green prides himself on, and he is big enough and strong enough to get those yards. Don’t be shocked if he is in for a 1,400-yard season in 2012.

5: Wes Welker, New England Patriots: Welker just keeps on producing at the wide receiver position, and he is the most fearless receiver in the league. A slot man by nature, Welker does a lot of the dirty work for a New England offense that doesn’t run the ball all that much. Four and five yard passes to Welker are the equivalent of the running game for the Pats, and that has been the case for years. Now all of a sudden, Welker has 650 career receptions for 7,226 yards, and he might one day be considered for the Hall of Fame.

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6: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers: It looked like Smith’s career was basically over a couple of years ago when he and the Panthers were at odds over the fact that the team just didn’t have a quarterback. However, things are better now that QB Cam Newton is playing on Tobacco Road, and Smith is a happy camper again. He had 1,394 yards in what amounted to be one of the better years of his career, and the lifelong Panther is now in the elite 10,000-yard club after his last campaign.

7: Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons: Sure, there is a lot of clamoring for sure that Julio Jones is the best receiver on the Falcons, but we just don’t see it yet. Yes, Jones stretches the field a lot further than White does, but if you want a receiver to run the proper route for you and make the solid catch, White is your guy. The UAB product has put together five straight seasons with at least 1,100 yards and at least 80 receptions, and there are few in the league that can say that. He’ll be a force once again in the Atlanta offense, which is turning into quite the aerial assault as the years go on.

8: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: There aren’t many receivers that have made more out of less than Colston has in his career. The Hofstra product never figured to catch on as a receiver in this league, yet he has figured out how to become a stalwart with his play in the slot. Colston isn’t quite a Wes Welker type, knowing that he often does his work up the seam and not in the short passing plays, but he is the man that QB Drew Brees turns to first in one of the most talented offenses in the league. Colston is surely one of the best 10 receivers that the NFL has to offer.

9: DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles: Jackson had an awful year in 2011, catching just 58 passes, but he also had 961 yards and four scores as well. D-Jax is one of the fastest receivers in the league, and he routinely figures out how to get behind defensive backs for huge plays. There will be plenty of games where Jackson has just a few looks at the football, but when QB Michael Vick uncorks one down the field, you can bet that more often than not, Jackson is going to catch up to it. If he ever figures out how to catch 100 passes in a season, he might be good for over 2,000 yards and 20 scores.

10: Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs: The yelling is going to come from Victor Cruz, Mike Wallace, Brandon Marshall, Hakeem Nicks, and perhaps Vincent Jackson that they should be on this list, but Bowe is the significantly better receiver in our eyes. This is a man that is a huge target by the end zone, and that is undeniable. The quarterbacks in Kansas City have been downright bad over the course of the last several years, but Bowe just keeps putting up his numbers and his scores. He’ll reach 5,000 yards in his career right off the bat in 2012, and that’s huge for a man that has only been in the league for five years.

Top 10 LBs in the NFL – Best Linebackers in the NFL in 2012

September 3rd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 LBs in the NFL – Best Linebackers in the NFL in 2012
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Linebackers are always some of the most crucial players on the field, as they have to anchor their defenses, rush the passer, and figure out how to stop the run. No two linebackers are exactly the same, but here at Bankroll Sports, we are going to be making our complete list of the Top 10 linebackers in the NFL for the 2012 season.

1: DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys: You would figure that DC Rob Ryan would be able to take advantage of the fact that Ware is probably the best linebacker that the league has to offer. No one is able to get off of the line of scrimmage like Ware can, and he is just all over the place in this 3-4. Again, this is a very difficult linebacker from what we’re used to see, as Ware isn’t the best in coverage; nor is he a traditional run stopper. That being said, he had 19.5 sacks last year, and there is no denying just how special that really is.

2: Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers: Build a prototype linebacker on Madden 2012 and you have Patrick Willis.  Willis has amassed a whopping 692 tackles over the course of his career already, and he is just 27 years old.  Nobody has a nose for the football like Willis does and he is constantly all over the field with his sub 4.4 speed. The difference as of late, is that he has a heck of a lot of playmakers on the field with him and his group should continue giving running backs and offensive coordinators fits.  Regardless, the 49ers wouldn’t be the same without Willis, and many football fans think that he is the best linebacker in the game.

3: D’Qwell Jackson, Cleveland Browns: Normally speaking, the man that leads the league in tackles is on a bad team, and that’s no exception for Jackson. That being said, over the course of the last three years, Jackson has had at least 150 tackles twice, and he is one of the pieces to the puzzle that the Browns are building around for the future. He will once again be one of the rising stars at the linebacker position in this league this year.

4: Von Miller, Denver Broncos: Yes, we might be overrating the second-year Miller just a bit; as the 4th best linebacker in the league.  But, we really think that he is in for an even better season this year than he had in his rookie campaign; where he racked up 11.5 sacks and 64 tackles. Miller was truly the difference last year for this team (not QB Tim Tebow).  We expect to see that remain the case again this year now that QB Peyton Manning is in charge of the offense.

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5: James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers: Perhaps we are being a bit hard on Harrison putting him down here on this list. However, we just aren’t so sure that he hasn’t lost a step, especially after dealing with a knee injury that nearly had him on the PUP list at the start of the campaign. When he comes back, he’ll likely be the high motor, physical beast that he has always been.  At the same time, he still has to prove to us that he is still one of the Top 5 linebackers in the game.

6: Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens: Ray Ray obviously isn’t the linebacker that he once was, but he is still the emotional leader for one of the best defenses in the league. But, he can still fly all over the field, and there still isn’t a running back that wants to see this man coming right at him when he has the football.  With the injury to Suggs, Lewis will have to step up one again to anchor this Raven defense.

7: Brian Cushing, Houston Texans: There was a time that DeMeco Ryans was the highlighted linebacker for the Texans, but after switching to the 3-4, Cushing really became the middle linebacker to watch. He led the team in tackles last year and he has made just a ton of tackles in the backfield. Houston’s growth on defense is the reason that this team was able to get into the playoffs last year, and no question, the highly animated Cushing was the star of the show.

8: Rolando McClain, Oakland Raiders: McClain is one of the most underrated linebackers in the league in our eyes. He was drafted to the Raiders to be the anchor of the middle of this defense.  He has done just that. Yes, it hasn’t always been the best for the Oakland defense, but McClain feels like he is in the heart of every single big play that the team makes. He had 99 tackles, five sacks, and a whopping 13 pass deflections last year.  Expect the Raiders to improve on defense with McClain leading the charge.

9: Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs: As one of the fastest linebackers in the league, Johnson has a major positive on his side. There just isn’t a back or a quarterback in the NFL that can outrun Johnson, and there’s a good reason that he’s routinely one of the league leaders in tackles, just as he was in 2011 when he had 104 solo tackles and a total of 131 stops.

10: Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers: This is yet another one of these second year linebackers that really made a huge difference in his rookie year. 49ers fans may prefer to see Navarro Bowman in this spot (as Patrick Willis’s sidekick), but the Niners wouldn’t have been in the NFC Championship game last year if not for Smith’s 14 sacks and 2 forced fumbles as a situational pass rusher.  He came right in and became one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.  The 49ers are very likely to use Smith as an every down player this year, which will likely inflate his numbers even more.

Top 10 DLs in the NFL – Best Defensive Linemen in the NFL in 2012

August 31st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 DLs in the NFL – Best Defensive Linemen in the NFL in 2012
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Suh MonsterDefensive linemen in the trenches always have a tough job, as they know that they are going to get beat up play in and play out in the quest to take down the man with the football. Here’s our list of the Top 10 defensive linemen in the NFL in 2012 that can’t be missed here at Bankroll Sports.

1: Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings: It almost seems like it was really quiet last year when Allen had 22 sacks. It goes without saying that he is one of the best pass rushers in the game, knowing that he can get off the edge with a fury. Knowing how little teams really had to pass against the Vikes last year seeing how bad they were, it is amazing that Allen was able to get this many sacks. He clearly isn’t a one-trick pony either, as he had 66 total tackles, many of which came in the running game.

2: Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens: Being in the middle of a 3-4 is usually not a very sexy position, but Ngata plays it well and feels like he is always in the middle of the action. This is a huge monster of a man, and Ngata is a man that draws all sorts of attention from interior offensive linemen. Quite frequently, at least two of the three interior offensive linemen are thinking about Ngata, and that opens up the rest of the defenders in an aggressive defense to come in for pressure on the quarterback as well.

3: Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions: Suh might be overrated, but he is still a beast. He gets to the quarterback, and he has a massive mean streak about him. Sure, it gets him into trouble sometimes, but if he can ever just channel that rage on positives instead of all of the excess stuff, Suh will be the best in the game. He had just four sacks last year, but Suh is a game changer. And heck, he can even kick extra points for Detroit if needed, too!

4: Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants: Remember when George Selvie was considered one of the best pass rushers in the game, yet it was his teammate, Pierre-Paul that ended up being a first round pick in the NFL Draft? The Giants know that they got a steal with JPP, and he has really turned out to be a monster off the edge. Pierre-Paul has size and strength, and he is also a suitable run stopper along the defensive front as well.

5: Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills: For what the Bills are paying Williams, he had better turn out to be one of the best defensive linemen in the league this year. The former Houston Texan suffered a brutal injury after just five games last year and was never heard from again, but he is healthy now and should be as quick as ever off of the line of scrimmage. Williams is a terror in general, and he routinely was amongst the sack leaders in the league before getting hurt. There’s just no reason to think that that is changing any time in the near future.

6: Justin Smith, San Francisco 49ers: There are a heck of a lot of great defensive players on the 49ers, but this is one of the best of the bunch. Smith is a defensive tackle that can line up all across the 3-4 front and still be effective. He had 58 tackles last year and tied for the league lead for defensive tackles in sacks with 7.5. Smith is a veteran and knows what he is doing, and he was quietly one of the leaders for what turned out to be a remarkable defense in 2011.

7: Cliff Avril, Detroit Lions: Avril doesn’t get a lot of respect on this Detroit defensive line, but perhaps he should. He had 11 sacks last year, but more importantly, he forced six fumbles and had four pass deflections. Avril scored two touchdown as well, proving once again that he has a great nose for the football. Suh is the big name, but Avril gets the stats and is an incredibly talented lineman.

8: Jason Babin, Philadelphia Eagles: Here we do have a one-trick pony, as Babin really is totally useless against the run. However, he can get off the end in a hurry for the Eagles, and quite often, he is the fastest one into the backfield to get after opposing quarterbacks. Babin has been wildly inconsistent over the years, but he turned in a great campaign in 2011 with 18 sacks, and it is hard to leave him off of this list.

9: Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos: When we talk about linebackers, Von Miller’s name will come up for the Broncos, but here, we have a man in Dumervil that really has turned himself into a beast all over the defense. He can be a down linemen or an up man in a 3-4 outside rush and be just as effective either way. Denver knows that it has a real stud on its hands here with Dumervil, as he was the perfect man to start to build this defense around.

10: Chris Long, St. Louis Rams: Howie Long’s little boy had a lot of expectations in his career when he came out of the University of Virginia to the Rams four years ago. He only has 31 sacks for his career, but he had 13 of those last season and nine the year before. Long might finally be in a system in which he can succeed, and he has a nose for the football in general. He has a long way to go to really live up to that No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft that St. Louis spent on him, but Long is at least in the discussion as one of the Top 10 defensive linemen in football right now.

Top 10 TEs in the NFL – Best Tight Ends in the NFL in 2012

August 30th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 TEs in the NFL – Best Tight Ends in the NFL in 2012
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The tight end position has been one of the most talked about positions over the course of the last few years, especially in fantasy football. However, it takes a lot more than just pass catching abilities to be one of the best tight ends in football, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are taking a look at the Top 10 tight ends in the NFL for 2012.

1: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots: There is simply no denying just how good Gronk is. He has huge hands, he is quick off the line of scrimmage, and he is impossible to jam. He’ll be out in the route in a hurry, and if QB Tom Brady gets the ball anywhere near him, Gronkowski is going to get it. It can’t be expected that Gronk is going to be the league leader in touchdown grabs every single year, but as long as the rapport between him and Brady remains strong, there’s no reason that he shouldn’t be one of the best tight ends in the league.

2: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints: Graham has already told the media that he is never going to be catching passes from a quarterback not named Drew Brees in his career. That’s a bold statement to make considering just how much younger Graham is than his quarterback, but it is also a testament to just how well these two work together. Graham was one of the least heralded tight ends out of Miami in the most recent wave of tight ends to come from “The U,” but he has already eclipsed what any of the others have been able to do. This is one of the best receivers in the whole league, and he is built like a linebacker, not a receiver.

3: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: The big problem that Gates has in his career is that he just can’t stay healthy. However, he is a basketball player by trade, and he is still a true power forward when he is in the middle of the field. Gates has lined up on the outside as well at receiver, and he has the speed to be able to get the job done out there as well. With WR Vincent Jackson now gone, if Gates can stay on the field (and yes, we know that that is a big, big “if”), he could easily be a 1,200-yard receiver once again.

4: Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers: Finley is often overlooked as one of the best tight ends in football because of the offense that he plays in. Yes, Finley doesn’t get the looks of WR Jordy Nelson or WR Greg Jennings, but there are still plenty of passes that come his way. He had eight touchdowns and 767 receiving yards last year, but in terms of talent, the sky truly is the limit. There is no challenging what Finley can do for the Packers if QB Aaron Rodgers looks his way more.

5: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers: When Davis was drafted by the Niners, he was brought into be a physical monster. There have been moments that he has done some things that just make you go, “Wow!” He has had some spats with his coaches though, most notably the one with Mike Singletary a few years ago. However, Davis had 792 yards and six scores for the 49ers last year, and he was the favorite target at times of QB Alex Smith. In a safe offense, you need a good safety valve, and it doesn’t get much better than what Davis brings to the table with his huge hands and ability to leap out of the building.

6: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons: Gonzalez is the standard for what tight ends have to live up to in their career. He is a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer, and he is still producing, even at the age of 36. Gonzo has caught nearly 1,200 passes, and he’ll get to 14,000 receiving yards this year for his career in all likelihood, not to mention the 95 trips to the end zone. Even last year, Gonzalez had 80 catches, 875 yards, and seven scores, proving that he can still be a threat. His speed is down, and his leaping abilities aren’t what they once were, but Gonzalez is still an athletic freak of a tight end.

7: Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions: Part of Pettigrew’s success has been because of the offense that he is in, and part of the reason that the Lions throw the ball so much is because he can’t block. But as a receiver, we just can’t deny how good Pettigrew really is. He is a red zone threat because he is 6’6″, but more importantly, he is used as a short option in the middle of the field or on the sidelines when WR Calvin Johnson isn’t available for QB Matt Stafford. Pettigrew knows his role, and he knows it well, and he’ll have another 700+ yards this year for sure.

8: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots: Hernandez was picked in the same draft as Gronkowski was, and though he hasn’t quite paid the same type of dividends, he is a different type of player. Hernandez is a better blocker than Gronk is, and he is a better threat around the line of scrimmage. The former Florida Gator has no problems carrying the ball or being a lead blocker, and to top it all off, he has great hands and solid speed as well. Without Hernandez on his opposite side, Gronkowski wouldn’t be so open, because linebackers and safeties have to pay attention to Hernandez as well.

9: Owen Daniels, Houston Texans: Daniels fell off the face of the earth last year as a receiver in Houston, but what we have to remember is that QB Matt Schaub was out for quite some time, and TE Joel Dreessen and FB/TE James Casey stole a lot of his touches. Still, in Houston, they’ll tell you that this is a man that blocks like there is no tomorrow, and he has a tendency of just finding ways to get open for Schaub. There’s a certain knack to Daniels that we like, and he could be in for a great year in 2012.

10: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers: Apologies go out to Dustin Keller, Brent Celek, and Fred Davis, all of which were left off this list, but we still think that Miller is a tight end that is always overlooked. The former Virginia Cavalier set all sorts of records for receptions and receiving yards in college, and he came to the pros and became a vicious blocker as well. Miller can block in space, and on the line of scrimmage, and it isn’t his fault that he is utilized this way. Now that Todd Haley has taken over the offense though, we think that Miller could again become a big part of the passing game. Remember that this is a man that caught 76 passes just three years ago.