SportsNet - December 2012
Adrian Lopez, dubbed the "new David Villa," remains Arsenal's top January transfer target. Fresh reports in the UK press are linking Arsenal with a winter swoop for the Atletico Madrid forward.
The Daily Mirror states that Arsene Wenger is tempted by Lopez's near-£15 million release clause. The Gunners boss is also said to be pleased by his relatively reasonable wage demands. Lopez would be an excellent capture for Arsenal in the next transfer window. He is skilful, technically-alert and a classy finisher.
His addition would give Arsenal what they need most and that is a quick and crafty striker. Wenger's style of play better suits a mobile forward who can challenge defenses with pace. Lopez fits the bill. He is a shrewd attacker who utilises an intelligent range of movement to find space in and around the box.
The Chicago Bears, clinging to playoff life after two straight division losses, look to bounce back against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Arizona is hoping to gain momentum from its 38-10 rout of the Lions, a win that snapped a nine-game losing skid for the Cards.
In a battle of two atrocious passing games, which team will come out on top? These three factors will tell the tale:
1. Whose defense will score more points?
The Bears are accustomed to winning with defensive touchdowns, of which they have seven in 14 games this season. Arizona, though, has an opportunistic defense of its own to throw at a struggling Jay Cutler.
The Cards picked off Matthew Stafford three times last week, returning two for scores. Don’t be surprised if the big plays in this game all come from the defensive side of the ball.
2. How sharp will Matt Forte be?
With stalwart backup Michael Bush on injured reserve, Matt Forte gutted out a hard-fought 20 carries in last week’s loss to Green Bay. Add in five receptions, and Forte took an awful lot of punishment against the Pack.
OK, let’s run it down.
Temple topped No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday, a week after Butler bumped off No. 1 Indiana. Back around Thanksgiving, Virginia Commonwealth went on a Tour de Oh So Close against a trio of ranked teams in the Bahamas, taking out then-No. 19 Memphis before scaring the bejesus out of Duke and Missouri, ranked No. 5 and 13, respectively, at the time, before succumbing late.
Just what in the name of “national” programs is going on here?
It’s almost enough for the Big East’s Catholic 7 members to step away from preaching about their forever relevance in college basketball circles and take notice of what’s going on in that lowly Atlantic 10. You know, the conference Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette and their “our hoops are holier than thou” brothers about to break out on their own scoffed at for having the audacity to think its offer to join forces would be met with more than, well, some serious scoffing.
After all, that conference has no cachet, no substance. There is nothing “national” about it. That’s the general consensus, ain’t it?
Pardon me whilst I upchuck from the blinders-wearing BCS bigots out there …
New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys Preview And Where To Watch Online: The "Sean Payton Bowl" Could Be a Monster Shootout
Week 15 sees two under-achieving teams coming together under two completely different circumstances.
New Orleans has long been considered a throwaway for 2012 because head coach Sean Payton sort of poisoned the well with his selection of replacement coaches. The Saints have struggled almost all season, but last week they absolutely destroyed division rival Tampa Bay 41-0.
Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview, Where To Watch Online: Will Houston Clinch Home Field or Will Minnesota Stay in the Playoff Hunt?
If the playoffs ended today it wouldn’t be any sweat for the Houston Texans. Coming off a 29-17 victory at home last week against the feisty Indianapolis Colts, the Texans have already clinched their division and are completely in control of their playoff position. All any football team could ever ask for from a season is being in control of their destiny come playoff time, and that’s exactly where the Texans are.
If Houston wins today against the Vikings then they clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. If they lose, however, then they’ll have to wait for either the Patriots or the Broncos to lose.
It shouldn’t be a terribly difficult task, seeing as how Houston has been dominant as of late and has managed to run a steady course throughout the entire season. Facing the Vikings at home is a nice place to be this late in the season when you’ve gone 6-1 so far on your own field.Then again, this is the NFL, and this is crunch time.