Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Blog Location!

If anyone is lead here by some link on the internet, here is the new location for this blog as well as my contacts:


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Easy Way to Recognize any Monoclonal Antibody


Target System:
-b(a)- bacterial
-c(i)- cardiovascular
-f(u)- fungal
-k(i)- interleukin
-l(i) - immunomodulating
-n(e)- neural
-s(o)- bone
-tox(a)- toxin
-t(u)- tumor
-v(i)- viral

Origin Substem:
-o- mouse
-u- human
-xi- chimeric (human constant, foreign variable)
-zu- humanized
-xizu- chimeric/humanized hybrid


You're Welcome!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

My Superbowl Prediction Streak

So I'm on a pretty nice superbowl prediction streak.  Its been 2 years in a row I predicted the Superbowl matchup and winner, before the season began.  Here is my evidence, I created each of those topics. For fun I threw in the 05 and 06 Superbowls as well, that I predicted only days before the SB, not before the season, but both were accurate.


2005 Superbowl: Date posted - 1/30/2006

2006 Superbowl: Date posted - 2/6/2007

2012 Superbowl: Date posted - 9/10/2012

2013 Superbowl: Date Posted - 2/4/2013

Anyways, its time to pick my 2014 season Superbowl winner. I predict it will be San Francisco beating New England.

Patriots --  Most complete team in the AFC when healthy, have a reliable defense when healthy. Belichick will out scheme Manning given servicable talent on defense..which he should have next year. Von Miller isn't going to turn a complete ass of a defense into a decent one. KC doesn't have the testicular fortitude to win the AFC. Indy is too inconsistent although Luck will have a good regular season. Bengals have such a talented team, its a shame they are wasting it with their terrible playcalling. Regardless they'll get beat by KC, Den, or NE. The X-factor teams are Houston, Pitt, and Balt. If Balt can establish their running game better (near last in the league this year), they'll have a winning season. They have talent on defense still. Dunno whats the deal with Ray Rice, I know he was injured. If Rice can get 1700+ overall yards, they'll be a decent offense, Flacco is not bad. Pitt still has too many holes and isn't solid enough to make a legitimate run. Theres ZERO chance the Chargers make the playoffs. If Houston gets Manziel, and Manziel live up to expectations, which I think he can, they'll be a good team, with a similar record to Balt.

Niners -- Its pretty obvious its going to be either the Niners or Seahawks. Cam sucks. he's only good against crappy teams. Kaepernick will make the biggest improvement next year, more than Wilson and Cam. He'll be on par with Wilson, maybe slightly beneath. Both will be better QBs than Cam. They might not put up as many yards and TDs but they'll make more big plays in big games than Cam. No other team is balanced enough to compete. Saints D is overrated, Rob Ryan sucks ass. An improved Kaepernick will be enough for the Niners to beat the Seahawks. They might just lose both regular season games, but they'll win in the playoffs when it matters, doesn't matter where they play. This is the 2nd best defense in the league, in a close 2nd to Seattle. The SF offense has so much potential, it was being held back by an aging Gore and a struggling Kaepernick. I expect them to get fresh legs at RB, perhaps Lattimore can be the next guy, and I expect Kaepernick makes enough progress. Their defense is still severely underrated in the general publics eyes. Top 3 doesn't do them justice. They are clear #2 and carolina is #3. Niners will have the extra hunger and Seattle will have slightly less hunger.

And Niners should beat the Patriots just like 2012 regular season.   Here is my 2014 prediction of what will happen to Kaepernick.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction: Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos

One of the biggest things regarding a topic that makes me talk about it is my perception of a team compared to the general publics perception.  Its part of the reason I talk about the Niners, Seahawks, and Broncos so much.  They're the leagues top teams and as such, everyone seems to have an opinion about em.  Since the beginning of the season, I've held on to the belief that the Seahawks fit the superbowl blueprint better than any other team.  Infact, I think I believe they fit the superbowl blue-print better than any team I've seen in recent years.  The Broncos on the other hand are probably the best passing offense we've ever seen.  But best passing offense does not equate to best team, and its going to take a complete team effort to win the superbowl.   Here are the most important things I'm considering for this game:

Seahawks Defense vs Broncos Offense
Pressure on Manning is the key - I think this applies to most teams, but against Manning it will provide the greatest return.  The common theme every time the Broncos have lost or been close to losing is pressure on the QB.  The Broncos O-line did a great job of recognizing the Patriots' blitzes, but at the same time, if you need to send extra guys just to be able to get pressure, Manning will tear it apart.  But the talent of Seattle's defense is on a different planet compared to New England. They have the skills, talent, and speed to beat even the best offensive lines with a 4-man rush. You might not think much of it after the SF game, but a mobile QB changes the pass-rush game. Against a mobile QB, not only is the D-line's job doubled by having to spy the QB, but an extra linebacker needs to be used as a spy.  Against a statue like Manning, the 4-man rush can be much more effective at getting to the QB, and the linebackers' jobs become much simpler.  Combine that with the best defensive backfield in the NFL and its almost certain they will force mistakes.   This is the reason they lead the league in interceptions.   Players like Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers can always pick up the blitz and torch you for it. When you have an effective 4-man rush, you essentially leave no glaring holes for these great QBs to exploit.

Broncos Defense vs Seahawks Offense
Shut down the running game and don't give them any big plays over the time.  Those are the 2 keys to beating Seattle.   The engine of the team is Lynch.  As long as Lynch was getting shut down in the Niners game, Seattle struggled to move the ball.  Lynch's TD run was their first touchdown for the seahawks and that really established the run game.  When they pound the running game and the safties start to creep, thats when Seattle hits you with the long-ball.  If the front 7 of Denver can hold strong, and the back 4 and keep everything underneath, Seattle will have to change its gameplan, and thats when they will be backed up on their heels.   Denver had a great pass-rush against NE, but getting to Wilson alone will not win the game.  Wilson can make plays outside the pocket, so when Denver does bring the extra guy, Wilson can buy enough time to burn you.

I think ultimately, while Denver has one of the best passing offenses of all time, they aren't as complete of a team as Seattle.  I think this game will resemble the Colts-Broncos game, where Manning was pressured and made uncomfortable. On the other side I think Wilson's creativity will be enough to put up consistent points on Denver.    This defense is one of the best I've seen in a long time.     I'm picking the Seahawks by 4.

I would also like to note that I'm actually very confident about my pick, and even as a broke-ass student, I'm think I'm going to put down $100 on the Seahawks, which is alot for me.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

What to Do with Andy Dalton

While I'm not a huge fan of Andy Dalton, I think the bigger problem with the Bengals offense against the Chargers was their play-calling.  Dalton had 51 attempts, 57% completion, 1 TD, and 2 picks.  There is no reason whatsoever Dalton should be getting 50+ attempts.  If you break it down, the Bengals had their 2 best drives of the game in the 2nd quarter. The first was a run-heavy drive of 8 rushing attempts or dumps to the RB, 2 were passes. That was their lone TD of the game.  This set up the next drive, allowing them to drive another 60 yards, which looked like it would've ended in a TD had Bernard not fumbled.  Once the Bengals lost the lead, with 6:46 left to go in the 3rd quarter, they completely abandoned the run.  They ran 42 plays after that point, 5 rushing attempts, 36 drop-backs in shotgun formation.  At one point they ran 24 pass plays in a row in shotgun formation.  Even the best, most pass happy offenses like Denver or New Orleans, don't have that kind of play-calling.  It was abysmal and it will get overlooked because Dalton is the easiest target to blame.

Andy Dalton in loss to the Chargers - Taken from ESPN
What the Bengals need to do next season is commit to the running game.  Not only will this open up opportunities for Dalton, so he doesn't have to force it, but it will allow them to control the clock, tempo, and rest the defense.  After all, they are a defensive team.  With Atkins, Hall, Newman, and Gaethers all healthy, this will again be a top 5 defense in the league.  If Bernard and BJGE can be established as a legit dual-threat, this team can go deep into the playoffs.  If they going to continue to do their best 07-Patriots impression, they won't make it out of the 1st round.   Eli and Flacco have 3 superbowls among them.  They won those superbowls by having great defenses and run-games, and being the type of guys who aren't afraid to make the high-risk high-reward passes.  When their running games were going, the return tended to be more reward.  Now that they both have bottom of the league running-games, they are #1 and #2 in the NFL in interceptions.

I saw a few ESPN analysts criticize the Cincinatti defense, I think that's totally unfair to the Bengals defense.  If you take away the Ronnie Brown 58-yard TD run with 2 minutes left in the hopeless game (right after a turnover on downs which pretty much sealed it), the Bengals gave up 138 yards on 39 attempts, thats 3.5 YPC.  Yet these ESPN analysts are taking about how the Bengals D-line got manhandled up front? Get outta town.  At one point Cincinatti turned it over 3 times in a row, all 3 times in their own territory. The subsequent result was 2 FGs and a Punt.  To say it was a team loss is totally incorrect.  This was a loss on the Bengals offense - the play-calling, Bernard's fumble, and Dalton's mistakes. It was an offensive collapse that can't merely be labelled "fluke" plays.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

2013 NFL Playoffs - Round 2 Predictions

New Orleans at Seattle Seahawks
I've been saying all year long that the Seahawks are the best team in the league.  I predicted a Denver-Seattle superbowl since last years playoffs, and I still stand by my statements. It will be vitally important for New Orleans to put up touchdowns early in the game to not only quiet the crowd but build their own confidence, and take away Seattle's confidence.  If they get behind early and have to play catchup, they play right into Seattles hands.   Meanwhile its important for Seattle to have a balanced offensive attack.  Once they get the running game going, the passing game opens up, then read option, play action, trick plays, etc. all open up.  Like I said before the first meeting, I like the Seattle offense against the Saints defense over the Saints offense against the Seattle defense.  I think the Saints defense will step up and make it a close one, but Seattle has so few weaknesses and so many strengths, I'm taking Seattle by 6.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Andrew Luck is such a unique QB, he reminds me more of Aaron Rodgers than Manning.  While belichick is the ultimate mastermind, I think the Colts pass-rush will step up and slow down Brady just enough for Luck to win the game.  I think the Patriots and Colts have been the two toughest teams to predict the score.  The Patriots D has been banged up all season.  They've been involved in almost every flukey game this season.  They beat the Saints on a horrible non-holding call.  They lost to the Jets on a penalty.  They lost to the Panthers on a horrible non-PI call.  They beat the Browns on a horrible call. They beat the Broncos on a fumbled punt.   But they have had a very average to below-average defense all year long.  I just see the Colts as a more balanced team.  I dont trust this heavily 1-sided teams in the playoffs. I'm taking the Colts by 2.

San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers
The Niner defense has clear weak points that teams have been exploiting week after week, but all these teams seem to have had major flaws.  They've been scraping by alot of these teams, but one team they could not get lucky against is Carolina.  Kaepernick will struggle against the better defenses in the league.  Carolina might just have a better front 7 than San Francisco.  As much as I don't like Cam, I have to take him over Kaepernick.  He has proven multiple times this season he has the ability to lead a game winning drive.   Carolina has the speed at linebacker to keep up with Kaepernick.  It will be a heavily defensive game, just like the first game, but I think both offenses will look deep in their playbooks to score points.  Carolina by 2.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
This is one of the easier predictions of the post-season. Denver should have absolutely no problem taking care of business.  Had the Bengals not had 2 stupid interceptions and 2 fumbles in their own territory, they would have taken the game.  Playing a slow conservative game against the Broncos is simple not going to work unless they have a tough defense to compliment it.   The Broncos are hungry and you have to be a Superbowl calibre team to stop them.  Broncos by 10.

First Round Recap:
-I was 3/4 in the first round.  I was off by 1 in the Niners and Colts games, and off by 5 in the Saints game.  I really thought the Bengal defense would've been able to carry them, as long as Dalton didn't blow it.  I severely underestimated how inept he actually is.

-Andy Dalton is terrible, I'm officially off the Dalton bandwagon.  Last season what I saw in him was a good arm, ability to make all the passes, decent accuracy, good chemistry with many weapons, and average vision which I thought would improve.   Now what I see out of him is, a good arm, average accuracy, poor decision making, average vision that hasn't improved in 3 years, and decent chemistry with weapons. It sounds harsh but the Bengals lost solely because of Andy Dalton.  I hear Dilfer on ESPN saying it was a team loss, that the defensive line got owned all game long? If you take away Brown's 58 yard carry, which came after the Bengals just had a turnover on downs and it was pretty much a guaranteed loss, the Chargers had 138 yards rushing on 39 attempts, that's 3.5 ypc.  Compare that to the Bengals' 113 yards on 25 attempts for 4.5 ypc.  The Bengal defense came up with 2 critical stops in the 3rd and 4th quarter, holding SD to field goals, keeping the game close.  It really all came down to Dalton.

-The Saints didn't put up as many points as I thought they would against the Eagles, but when they needed to score points, they did, including a 5-minute time-killing drive at the end to set up the game winning field goal. A good point about Foles, one of the reasons he doesn't throw alot of interceptions is because he takes many sacks.  He took a few critical drive-killing sacks that really hurt them.

-Andrew Luck, wow.  Some people knock him for digging the hole in which they had to climb out.  Yes he made some dumb passes that were picked, but the 3rd one should've been caught, instead bounced out of the defenders hands.   His adjustments during the game are what separate him from other QBs, he can correct his own mistakes and make all the adjustments needed during the game.  A QB that can consistently perform in the clutch is a Superbowl winning QB.  I have no doubt he will win multiple Superbowls by the time his career is over.

-Niners barely sneak by Green Bay, the dropped pick on the flat or the FG that went through the defenders arms, both could've saved the game for the Packers.    I have great respect for the Niners defense, but I honestly feel like this is the luckiest team as of late.  The big frank gore run against Seattle, the Matt Ryan bobbled catch picked for a TD, the cardinals defensive collapse at the end, despite playing tough all game long, and now this.    I don't think the Niners can get lucky against the Panthers.  If they can get through the Panthers and Seahawks, then I will be proved wrong.  I wish the Packer D was healthy, it feels like Matthews is the only player on the Packer D that has the speed to keep up with Kaepernick.  If they want to get passed the Niners they need to draft another speedy outside linebacker or defensive end.  That's how Seattle and Carolina built their team and thats why Kaepernick struggles against them.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NFL Playoffs


San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers
The 49ers should be able to win this game without problem.  The Green Bay defense is simply too weak to keep up.  Not just the talent on the field but Green Bay will be thoroughly outcoached by Harbaugh and staff.  I don't think even Rodgers can bail them out of this one.    Niners by 4.

New Orleans Saints vs Philadelphia Eagles
I dont think the Saints will have too much problem taking care of the Eagles.   Eagles have the worst passing defense in the league.  Kyle Orton had 65% completion with 358 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 Ints.  Brees should have a field day.  While I don't trust the Saints run-d and their ability to stop McCoy, I'll take the Saints offense over the Eagles offense any day. Saints by 7


Kansas City Chiefs vs Indianapolis Colts
The Colts' success purely depends on the success of the pass-rush.  Their pass-rush is how they were able to beat all the great teams that they did.   If they haven't earned your respect after beating KC, Denver, SF, and Seattle, I don't know what else you want.  Luck is still developing but clearly he has the clutch gene.   I think the linebackers are fast enough to keep up with charles, and I think the pass-rush can obliterate Alex Smith.  I love the KC defense, but I simply don't think Alex Smith has it in him to perform in the clutch.  I think this will be a close game that comes down to the end.  Colts by 2.

San Diego Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals 
While the Chargers have upset ability, I don't think the Bengals will lay an egg at home.  People love to criticize Dalton but don't realize how good the defense actually is.   5th in the league in rushing defense, 5th in the league in passing defense.   Put Dalton's inconsistency up against the Chargers' 29th ranked passing defense, and he should be okay for this game.  Bengals by 4.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Madden-Dude's Guide to do Well in School

-Study to learn and understand - Comprehension is the most important thing. You should attack every class like, "This is my opportunity to master this subject".  If you follow no other piece of advice, at least follow this one and you'll be okay.

These are the steps I take in trying to master a class:

-Read the syllabus - Know what the teacher expects from the class, know the details of the class, know the resources the teacher recommends and look them up on Amazon reviews.

-Acquire my resources - Look up alternative books and websites I could use. Teachers sometimes recommend horrible overly dense books. Acquire the best possible resources that will work for you. Keep it limited. Ex: Teacher recommended a physiology book, way too much detail, would've taken me forever to read, especially since I'm a slow reader. I was recommended Costanzo - Physiology, read a chapter and loved it, that book got me a solid A in the class. Outside of your class notes, you have Wikipedia, and I think its a good idea to have at least 1 textbook that you would read.

-Plan out how to take notes - Does the teacher use power-point, does he write on the board, does he not give us his power-point presentation, do I want to use my iPad, pen and paper, do I want to go to class or podcast the lecture? All these questions can be answered within the first week of class. Usually I prefer FoxIt reader to annotate PDFs of the lectures on my computer in class. Some classes I prefer to listen to the teacher on podcast. These are all options for you to consider. But I think its important to listen to each lecture at least once. When they aren't reading off the slides, they give their own input and they are, after all, experts in their field. Much can be learned from their side-comments. I noticed when I prepare ahead of time, those side-comments tend to stick with me. When I go into class with no prior exposure, much of what the teacher says is in 1 ear and out the other, with no recall of him mentioning those things.

-Pre-Read - I briefly flip through the lectures for the upcoming week, then I read those topics in my textbook. I use Google/Wikipedia to clarify any questions. Then I read through the class-notes and compare what I just learned to what I need to know, and how that extra information helps fill in the gaps in the lecture slides. Pre-reading is the single best thing I've ever done in any class. You can't be a lazy bum about it. You have to prioritize getting it done. For example: Normally people study throughout the week and use the weekend to fill in the gaps and review what they learned. I used Sat and Sun to get ahead for the upcoming week, then I used Thur and Fri to review that week. I found this to be SO much more efficient.

-Frequent Quality Exposure - I think its good to aim for 5 exposures. My 6 were: 1) Pre-reading the textbook + Wiki 2)Reading class-notes 3) Paying attention in class 4) Reviewing at home on that day, comparing textbook with lecture 5) Reviewing thur/fri 6) Lab(Sometimes). I think equally important to exposure is the quality time you spend learning the thing. I treated each of my exposures as if they were my last and I would take the test the next day. When I pre-read the textbook, I told myself, I have to understand it now, there's no 2nd chance. By the time I even got to class, I pretty much knew everything. #3-6 were really just solidifying it. When you do that, you're able to be that guy who asks brilliant questions in class or that guy who sounds like he did research n this stuff, why does he know everything?!

-Practice Questions - From #4 and #5 in the above paragraph (reviewing at home), much of my reviewing would be doing practice questions. I cannot stress how helpful this really is. When you try to apply your knowledge you understand what you know and what you don't know. It really integrates your understanding with multiple topics. If you don't have practice questions, ask the teacher, or find a question book from Amazon.

-Personal Notes and Diagrams - Each time I sit down to study, I make a diagram or drawing of difficult concepts. I try to map out all the concepts to relate them to each other. This is essentially how I visualize it in my mind and its how I integrate my knowledge. I try to aim for 1 paper per lecture, I map out all the concepts, then I map out all the details. When I go back to study for midterms, or if I want to review the material in a future class, I just have to pull out my diagrams and it all comes back to me. Im super glad I started doing this early on in my education. I have so many diagrams, it keeps all my knowledge fresh. People wonder how I remember stuff in so much detail from so long ago, this is how. I'm a visual learner so this works for me. I don't usually do this until #2 when I'm reading through my class notes for the first time. The purpose is, everything I need to memorize, is mapped out on a piece of paper. It makes memorizing large amounts of information very easy.

-Research above and beyond - Once you know everything, take your knowledge above and beyond with Google, search professional journals, Wikipedia, you should be able to explain the topic for the layman to understand.

-Study for midterms very early - I try to aim to be ready for midterms 1 week before the test day. The last week is purely for review and group studying. I explain stuff to my peers and it really solidifies my understanding for long term.

Summary: The best piece of advice I can give is study to learn and understand. The 2nd best piece of advice I can give is, get ahead and build your foundation of knowledge very early in the class (I used a textbook to do this), that way any discussion, lecture, lab, homework, can all augment your knowledge. You don't be listening to the teacher like, "We don't have to know this." "Ehhh I'll look this up later." "What the heck, when did she teach that."

-Stay focused and study hard - Building "smarts" is much like working out. You cant walk into the weight room on your first day and bench 300 lbs, so don't expect to blaze through your material understanding everything. You might feel dumb at first, needing to read through very slowly just to understand it, and not getting it on your first try. Eventually you'll get so good that everything you learn sticks with you and automatically integrates with what you know.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

San Francisco Gameplan:
-Run the ball non-stop throughout the entire game.   Seattle's 1 weakness is its run defense.  They give up a solid amount of yards-per-carry.  Thats why Seattle's gameplan is to take shots and get ahead make the other team abandon the run.  Thats why Seattle ends up winning in so many blow-outs against good teams.   Seattle is built with speed up front.  Their speed makes for gang-tackles on every play, to make up for their lack of power.  Niners need to lineup in I-form and just pound it.  Use the power and strength of the O-line, dont be intimidated by speed. When they least expect it, take shots, and complete those big passes to Davis or Crabtree that we always see.  But immediately after, go back to the run.  Kaepernick should have 22 attempts, and 70% completion, and half of those should be 15+ yard first down passes.

Seattle Gameplan:
-Make SF play your game, not vice-versa.   Like I said, Seattle forces their game on other teams to cover up their weaknesses.  They look invincible on TV, but they do have weaknesses.

I still think Seattle is the better team because I dont particularly like Kaepernick's passing progression throughout the season.  I dont think Harbaughs done a good job of facilitating it.  If kaepernick got better at the same pace as Russell Wilson, the niners would be the clear number 2 team, borderline number 1, in the NFC.  I think the team is that good.   I also think Gore is not as good as he used to be.  He benefits from huge holes created by his O-line.  I dont think "home field advantage" or "extra effort" will be enough for the niners.  I'm still taking seattle by a large margin lol.

Seattle 28 San Francisco 13

Random thoughts about the game:

-Harbaugh likes to keep it conservative throughout the season, then towards the end he likes to open up the playbook in the passing game.  This does 2 things: It gets Gore fresh for the playoffs, and it doesn't let Pete Carroll to get too much game-film on his playbook.  Guys say he's the most paranoid coach in the NFL, and his biggest paranoia is Seattle.  The point: This IS the superbowl for the niners.  Harbaugh will bring out everything.  The players will be playing like its a playoff game.

-Seattle is cruising to 1st seed.  This game is essentially meaningless in the standings.  But it does two things: San francisco is essentially down right now....they've lost to every good team they've faced.  I can't imagine their confidence being too high.   Seattle has a chance to go for the kill.  If the niners lose this game, I dont see them having enough guts to come back and win again in the playoffs at seattle, I can even imagine a team like Detroit giving them trouble...they wouldnt be able to stop CJ, and the Detroit run-D will be able to shut down gore.    Its also personal for seattle.  But with very little playoff implications for them, I can't imagine seattle treating it like a playoff game, whereas SF will.

-Niners homefield is overrated, lets get that out of the way. Both Indy and Carolina were able to beat them at San Francisco.  But regardless of how dumb the email sounds, I think the fans will come out extra loud...but i just dont see it effecting the seahawks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NFL Power Rankings

The season is winding down and at this point, we've seen what most contending teams have to offer.  When making these power-rankings, I think in terms of head-to-head matchups, in other words, 'if both these teams brought their best, who would win'. Other things are balance, leadership, likelihood to advance in the playoffs, talant on the depth chart, injuries, and anything else.

Tier 1

1. Seattle Seahawks - As I've mentioned before, I think this is the best team I've seen in years.  They remind me alot of the super-bowl winning Steelers teams of the recent past.   Dominant defense, dominant running-game, creative playmaking QB.  When this team brings its best, they can beat anyone.   I can list a bunch of stats or I can link you to this article that does it for me.   Its just a matter of watching them play.  Every aspect of the team is balanced and exceptional.  They can win in so many different ways.  Their biggest challenge will be New Orleans.  Beyond that, I think they can convincingly beat Denver in the superbowl.

2.New Orleans Saints - I think there are two teams in the NFL who are elite on both sides of the ball, and both those teams I put at 1 and 2.   In a pass-happy league, they are the 2nd best passing offense and have the 3rd best passing defense.  The key-word is balance.  Head to head I think the difference between the saints and seahawks is the running-games.  I think Lynch would be the difference maker.   I would take the Saints O vs Den D as opposed to Den O vs Saints D.  Its really as simple as that.  People still have the image in their minds that the Saints defense is soft.  They are a completely different team this year.  Last year they were by FAR the worst defense in the league.  They gave up the most rushing yards a game, and 2nd most passing yards a game, as well as the 2nd most points per game.   This year they are the 5th best scoring defense.

3. Denver Broncos - Even though I think this is too much of a 1-sided team, this is one of the best offenses I've ever seen.  Its comparable to the 07 patriots.  But even the 07 patriots fell victim to a great pass-rush.  But the fact is, when trying to beat the broncos, you need to have some degree of luck, hoping that Manning makes mistakes and you play a flawless game.  I think the elite 4-man rush combined with the lock-down defensive backs of the Seahawks can slow the Broncos just enough to let the offense outscore Manning.

Tier 2

4.  Carolina Panthers - One of the best, if not the best defense in the league.  Combined with a solid run game, combined with a nice set of receivers, veteren leadership with the one and only Steve Smith, and a QB who continues to get better.  I'm not a fan of Newton, but I gotta give it to him, he's been playing better and better.   I think this teams weakness is its passing defense.  Brady was able to exploit it, and Brees will be able to as well.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Saints take both games versus Carolina.  But I think their defense will keep em in any game.  They robbed the patriots but what goes around comes around, the Patriots robbed the Saints, Saints robbed the Niners, Niners robbed the Packers.  The Packers' cheap victory is yet to come.  I feel like thats how they'll beat the Lions.

6. San Francisco 49ers - Its as if you have to be a niners homer or niners hater.  It makes no sense.  This is where they deserve to be.  Tier 2 of NFL teams.  A great defense no doubt, a good running game, and banged up receivers who are returning soon.  Davis, Crabtree, Boldin, Manningham should be an effective bunch when all healthy.  I'm not a big Kaepernick fan, I'll post about this later, but I think he's good enough in that offense, with that playcalling to put up more points than most opposing teams.  More points than KC, not as many points as carolina.  I think this is where they belong.

7. New England - Still an elite offense, especially with Gronk back.  The defense is just way too banged up.  They were playing scrubs against carolina.  But the fact is the Belichick and Brady combo is always a threat to win and always a threat in the playoffs.  They got robbed against Carolina, otherwise that would mean they'd have beaten the Saints and Panthers.  Brady's offense made the Panthers defense look weak.  Since about half-way through the 2nd quarter, the Patriot offense looked like they were going to drive at will.

8.  Kansas City Chiefs - Kind of the same reasons as the Panthers, great defense, good rushing attack, good coaching, good receivers, but I would take Newton and Kaepernick over Smith.  Simple as that.  I think Newton and Kaepernick's playmaking abilities would be enough to allow their teams to score points while their defenses hold solid.  I dont think Alex Smith would be able to move the ball effectively on any of the 6 teams above.  I trust the New England offense vs KC def more than I do the KC Offense vs New England D.

Tier 3.

9. Indianapolis Colts
10. Green Bay Packers
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Detroit Lions
13. Chicago Bears

Tier 4:

14. Arizona Cardinals
15. New York Giants
16. Philadelphia Eagles
17. Dallas Cowboys

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NFL Futures Predictions

I've recently started checking Bovada for their NFL lines. I think anyone can make bold predictions, but once you suggest putting money on it, people back down.    With the money factor, I realized the way I analyse the game changes.  I put all emotions aside and think as objectively as possible.  I will make a later post discussing what exactly I look for and how I judge outcomes, but for now I'm going to make a few predictions of my own.

Things I would put money on:

1. Giants win the division (+500)

The Giants have been a joke all year, but they've had a dysfunctional defense and the worst run game in the NFL.  As of late, their defense has been playing much better and they look like they've finally found the answer to their running problems in Andre Brown.  Its just a matter of time before the offense gets it together.  I think theres a higher probability of that than the dallas defense coming together.  With the loss of Sean Lee, I think Dallas is done, I believe the team is too one dimensional.  I have the same problem with philly.  Ultimately record and schedule aside, I feel like the Giants are the best team in the division, and thats why I feel like the 5/1 odds of winning the division are worth it.

2. Seahawks win the superbowl (+375)

I started watching the seahawks mid-way through last season and every time I see them bring their A-game, I just think wow, this is one of the best teams I've ever seen.   I dont see anyone beating them when they play their best.  Unfortunately they didn't show up to the falcons playoff game until half-time.   And in that second half, the seahawks scored a TD on every drive except 1.  Since right after that game, I've been picking the Seahawks to win the superbowl this year.  When I see em bring their best, I'm still amazed.  If you take away the garbage time TD with a minute something left, they beat the niners in their last 2 meetings with a combined score of 71-9 forcing a total of 7 turnovers with Wilson scoring 5 TDs and Lynch scoring 3.   Their biggest challenge will be New Orleans, I would guess in the NFC championship.   That will be a game of the ages.  Denver is much too one sided to win the superbowl, but I will talk about them next.

Things I would NOT put money on:

1. Denver winning the superbowl (+333)

They are much too one-sided to win the superbowl.  You absolutely need a balanced team to win it all.  They're so powerful on offense that they can get through the regular season with 3 losses maximum.  But from the NFC they will face teams with elite pass defenses like the Seahawks, Saints, Panthers, all of whom have top 5 pass-defenses. (Which is also the reason I feel the niners can't get through any of those teams, with an already weak passing offense, they are rendered completely inept against those teams.)

An elite pass-rush can take out any pocket quarterback.  That was the formula the Colts used to beat the broncos.  That was the formula the Giants used to beat the Patriots, which looked like one of the greatest offenses ever.   None of those games were flukes.  Bronco fans will be quick to mention the Hillman fumble at the goal-line, but even more fluky was Trent Richardson losing the first fumble of his NFL career right before that drive that gave them the ball.  As great as the offense is, I see too many flaws on defense, I see the loss of Ryan Clady hurting them big-time. Its what allowed Mathis to have 2 sacks and 4 QB hits, its why Mannings has been getting hit alot lately to the point where he's questionable every week now.  Its known that his ankles are weak, one bad hit could put him out for a week or two, which could lose them the division to the chiefs, forcing them to go on the road at Foxborough and Arrowhead.  I honestly believe they split 1-1 with the Chiefs this season.

2. The Niners winning anything important - SB (+1000), NFC (+550), Division(+400), Big Regular Season Games

I absolutely don't believe in the niners, and I absolutely don't believe in Kaepernick as a passing QB.   I need to see them pass the ball effectively before I pick them for anything.  They have a brilliant defense, a declining run-game, a decimated receiving corps, and a poor-vision passer who is as good as the playcalling.   Thats enough to keep them out of the top tier of teams.  I put them in the tier of Carolina with an elite defense and an offense that will dominate weak defenses and struggle against good ones.   I picked the Seahawks and Panthers to beat em, and I'm picking the Saints to beat em as well, and then the Seahawks to beat them again in San Francisco.


Theres a few teams I really believe in, including the Saints, Panthers, Chiefs, and Colts, in that order, to be contenders.   But I'm still weighing out whether its worth putting down the money or not.  Thats the only thing that holds me back.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

12 Study Tips for Doing Your Best in College

-I wouldn't follow this advice, its just random ideas that worked for me in the past, alot of em don't work anymore.  I'm making a new post about advice in school.


The general rule for every class is simply to listen to your teacher. Don't shortcut their methods and listen to the advice they give you. Do the homework and reading they recommend to you, and most importantly, do it on time. At the end of the day, they aren't trying to take you down because they hate you, as sometimes it would seem, they're trying to take you down to challenge you to achieve your full potential.

To rise up to this challenge, I modified and polished up my studying techniques. Every class I took in college taught me something different. I'm going to share with you all of what I learned. Now the advice I give primarily applies to Biology related majors, specifically something related to Molecular Biology, but try to think how this would apply to you.

I'm going to skim over the basics:

1. Always Attend Class
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not attending class. You might be dead tired, wanting to sleep in, hung over like your head is going to explode. You should man it out and go to class. As you hear things in class for the first time, whether you understand them or not, they will register in your head as things the professor said. When you go back and study the material, these random details will pop into your head and you'll be thanking yourself for going to class. You'll find it much easier to understand material the second time around, however half-ass the first time around was.

2. Make an attempt to listen
As I said, whether you understand the material or not, keywords and phrases will register in your mind, and you'll know later on that the professor mentioned it and so you should probably know it. Random phrases the professor says will pop into your mind as you study for your midterm as well. If you can understand the entire lecture on the spot, then it will probably cut the studying time outside of class in half, and it will make it so much less stressful.

3. Take Proper Notes
Write down everything on the board, anything the teacher says, and anything you're thinking. Don't rely on others for notes. You'll find that most people don't take good notes, and even if they do, it's hard to decipher other people's notes sometimes. If you write it down yourself, you're far more likely to remember what you're writing, and you'll have an easier time understanding the material.

Its important to build a note taking strategy that you are efficient with. I have found that the best note taking strategy for me is to be organized and color coded. By organized I mean, I write the date and lecture number before every lecture, I begin a new lecture on the right side of my notebook, and I take notes neatly leaving alot of space in my notebook. Don't squeeze things. The teacher might look to make a small diagram and it might turn into a 2 page drawing, you never know. If you think you'll run out of paper in your notebook, don't worry about it, you can just get another notebook and call it Part 2. I also color code all my notes with 4 colors. I will have black, blue, red, and green pens ready to go. Usually black is what the teacher writes on the board, blue is what the teacher explains, green is notes to myself, and red is if the teacher specifically says something is important.

Ok, all that is pretty obvious stuff, now these are the things that helped me in some class:

4. Podcasting
Most teachers will podcast, I recommend going back every weekend and listening to the podcast, while taking notes in your notebook. I usually write these extra notes in pencil. I'll usually write down all the details that the teacher explains that seem to be common sense on the spot, but end up being difficult and important. Always make time to podcast, you'll find listening to it the second time around makes it stick in your mind like glue. Many of my fellow pre-med students do this as well. These are the guys that set the class curves and take all the A+'s and A's away from everyone else. I recommend speeding up the podcasts, which you can do on Windows Media Player. Depending on how fast the professor speaks, you can speed it up anywhere from 1.5x to 2x the speed. I began to do this in my upper divison classes mostly, where reading the book was less important than listening to the teacher.

5. Wikipedia
This seems like common sense too, but you'll be surprised by how little people use the internet as a resource. Sometimes common words are not always what they seem. A really simple example is lets say your professor is talking about ADH and suddenly starts calling it Vasopressin, a word you've never heard before. If you wikipedia it, you'd know that they are the same thing. In one molecular biology class, I was literally using Wikipedia to look up every protein name. So when the teacher throws out a bunch of CDCs, CDKs, Cyclins, with random numbers associated, what seems like complete gibberish and confusion, can be broken down and organized simply by wikipedia. Out of all the times I've used wiki, it's been inaccurate on my a few times, usually only because it cites certain evidence that our professor overrules with the latest research, usually because he does the research. You can't really complain about that. I use this in mostly upper division classes where some of the nomeclature gets very complicated, but I wish I had used it throughout college in all of my classes.

6. No Study Groups, Yet
I've learned that its best to study everything on your own. If you don't understand something, power through it, do research, go to office hours, and figure it out. When you feel like you are done with all of the material, then join a study group and try to help others. If you can teach the information you self, it proves you really understand it, meaning you'll probably ace the test.

7. Go to Office Hours on Off Days
I have been on both sides of the table in office hours, as a student and as a TA. I can tell you this, from a TAs perspective, we wait there every day for students to come and ask questions so we can help you. We want to be good TAs and we want the students who actually come to us to do well. This means, if a student comes in and asks me a simple question, I'll give him not only the answer, but I'll explain the reasoning behind it better than the professor. Not only that but since I have most likely taken that class before, and TA'd it before, I know what type of questions are likely to appear on the test. We usually sit there bored for most of the days, until about a week before a midterm, then students rush in for practice test answers. At this point theres so many kids that its hard to give any single student full attention, but rather I have to give quick and concise answers to keep everything moving. So go to office hours on the first week of class, go on random days, go after the midterm.

8. Do All Homework and Practice Tests
This is the best indication of what information the teacher wants you to know and in how much depth. Theres many angles you can take at certain material, some teachers simply test for memorization, others tests critical thinking, and some take critical thinking a couple steps more and ask you to do some serious problem solving where you really need to know the information. Homework and Practice Tests get you in that critical thinking mindset that is necessary to do well on test day. Getting as many of these angles down is key to developing your critical thinking.

9. Study to Learn, Not to Pass Tests
This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give. It's all about understanding the material. If you study to pass tests, you're limiting yourself on test day. Teachers will always put curveball questions on tests to create a standard distribution. With proper understanding, you can take these questions down with ease. If you only studied to pass the test, these questions might be beyond your scope, leaving you complaining like most other students that it was unfair. At the end of the day, your complaints are probably useless. Beat the system at its own game, instead of trying to take the system down, because thats impossible. Plus this is your major, you should probably find it interesting.

10. Study Early
Start studying on day 1. There is always something to study. You can read ahead, read wiki, read extra, whatever it may be. Start as strong as you can. In the first 2 weeks of school, study every hour you can during the day. You might be the only fool in the library on the first day, but you'll be laughing once test day comes around. The average student will probably be playing video games, sleeping in, watching TV. Doing something productive during this day time will give you lee-way to free up your nights, as well as your weekend, and nights and weekends are the best social times. This way you can manage having a life and doing well in school, something thats becoming rare, especially with tougher majors.

11. Manage Your Supplements Wisely
Coffee, Soda, Energy Drinks, Adderall. All of these can help you stay awake and focus while you study. I can tell you this from personal experience, this is a slippery downhill road. Once you start coffee, you'll become dependent. Eventually you're going to need to increase your caffeine intake as your tolerance increases. This might lead you to energy drinks, and this might eventually lead you to adderall. Now most important here is your health, so I don't recommend any of these. Energy drinks are notoriously bad for you, I would stay away completely. But the day will come when you ended up slacking and become piled up in work, and need to pull an all-nighter. At this point, coffee and energy drinks are your friends. I would highly recommend going with the sugar free ones or black coffee. In my opinion, energy drinks from weakest to strongest are, Sobe Energy, Red Bull, Monster, Amp, Rockstar. My personal favorite is Rockstar Blue. Now if you're in a worst case scenario situation, and its the day before your final and you don't even know what your class is called yet, then you might want to consider Adderall. I will make another post later detailing how I would use it, and exactly how it effects you. But this is the easiest to become dependent on. Tolerance builds surprisingly fast. Most important with all of this stuff is, drink alot of water with it. For however much coffee or monster you drink, I would recommend drinking 3-4 times that much in water throughout the night. You'll be pissing every half an hour, but it will keep your body from turning into a raisin.
12. Its All About Your Mindset
College is about thinking outside the box, this is what your teachers are going to try to get you to do, its what you should do on your own if you want to reach your fullest potential. Your mindset while studying is one of the most important things. Approach the material with an open mind, map things out in your mind or on paper, and how they connect with each other. Always ask WHY, and make sense of everything you learn in a real life perspective. In Medical school, sometimes teachers will take the first lecture just to talk about this, because really, your Mindset will determine everything. So for example, A causes B, C causes D, now upon further research you realize B = D, now A causes D and C causes B, etc. And beyond that, why and how does A cause B? Etc. The connections might be different but you get my point. This is the path to truly understanding the material and having it stick with you forever, instead of it fading away after a year.

If all of this stuff seems obvious to you, at least understand why it is obvious, and understand why it is not as easy as it seems. That is the point I am going for in this article. Not doing well in school is one of the most stressful things for a college student. You will find that putting in the work to do well in school and not being lazy will pay off big.

The State of Oakland Sports

Oakland Athletics

After years of false promises, trading away our top players for prospects, believing in Billy Beane that one day things will turn around, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to become visible. Our rotation is one of the best in the league, featuring Cahill, Anderson, Gonzalez, Braden, and Mazzaro. The team ERA at 3.54 is the best in the American League, and 4th best in the Majors. Team WHIP at 1.26 is also 4th best in the majors. One option I've heard thrown out there was acquiring an experienced pitcher next year, and demote Mazzaro, not only to save his arm, but for injury insurance. This is not a bad idea, to have some experience, if we are serious about a playoff run.

The biggest question has been our offense. We are in the bottom half in nearly every batting statistic, including dead last in home runs. The foundation of our lineup needs some serious building, and not just patches from year to year as we have been doing. We need serious 3-4-5 hitters who can drive in runs. There has been talk to acquiring Carl Crawford in the off-season, but personally I don't think he is the answer. He's a fast guy who can get on base and get home, but he is more of a supplement to a primary hitter in the lineup. He won't drive in many runs or hit any out of the park. If we pair him with a power guy like Adam Dunn, then we're in business. The man has wheels though, he fits our small ball scheme perfectly.

As for now, we are 8 games back of Texas for the AL West. There are 39 games left in the season, 7 against Texas and 6 against Anaheim. Last week Texas lost 5 games, and this week they get the twins, who have been very hot this month. We get cleveland, before we start a series with Texas. This should give us momentum. This week should determine where we go from this point as a team, for the rest of the season.

Oakland Raiders

We have been the laughing stock of the NFL for most of the decade. But the atmosphere is finally changing. The biggest change has been new QB Jason Campbell. He's shown alot of intelligence on the field in making the right decisions. He moves well in the pocket to avoid the sack. He's very accurate on his short to mid range passes. My concern is his deep ball, I have yet to see a clean deep ball from Campbell, caught for a large gain. I have much confidence in Campbell though, I think he is someone we can put our faith in, someone we haven't had since Gannon. Also on the offensive side, the offense line has finally been coming into place, things aren't great, but they aren't bad either. Zach Miller has been a beast on the field. Now with a legitimate passer, he will come out onto the national scene as one of the premiere tight ends in the game. The offense will be exciting this year to watch, a bunch of guys who seem like they will play as a unit, and not just 'a bunch of guys.'

On the defensive side of the ball, we have 2 of our top draft picks Houston and McClain. McClain played under Nick Saban at Alabama, a defensive linebacker specialist. McClain is impressing the coaches at training camp, he should quickly rise as a leader on the defensive side by the end of this year, and he understands that role. The Defensive line looks exciting this year. Houston has already been making an impact in pre-season. Wimbley had a career game with 4 sacks in the first half against the bears. Tommy Kelly looks like he lost alot of weight, as he looks like he's taking his job seriously now. But in my opinion one of the biggest changes is losing defensive coordinator Ryan. This defense should have a completely new attitude of playing solid and aggressive.

Oakland was the 5th worst team in Offensive time of possession, that means the defense was always on the field. It was obvious from watching games that the defense was able to hold their own only for so long. But they couldn't hold both the defense and the offense up. It was an impossible situation. Yet under these circumstances the still kept us in games. We had 5 wins in 2009. Four of our loses were by a touchdown or less.

This year there is a change, this isn't the same patched up Raider team of the past. We have been trying for changes that give us instant success. But finally we have a young team who want to do something with this team. 2010 will be the turnaround year for the Raiders, how drastically we turn we will have to see.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pac-10 Football - Team by Team Commentary

Oregon - They were overachieving this whole year. They have a good team but their QBs are dropping like flies. You can't expect a team to compete for the conference title without a quarterback. They were eventually gonna go down, it was a matter of time. The advantage they have though is that the system really supports any young QB with limited passing skills. But thats not enough. I expect 3-4 conference losses.

Cal - One bad game, I still think we're gonna finish top 3 in the pac-10. Riley is good, the one pick was unfortunate, but he rarely throws picks anyways, its absolutely nothing to worry about. I review Cal after every game in my other topic, so I don't need to keep talking about em here. Long story short, alot of talent at many positions, a lot of veteren leadership, and hard lessons learned form the past, will all equal success. I only expect 2-4 conference losses. Our pass D is what needs to pick it up. Its not as bad as UCLA's, but its not good at all. We have enough support from everyone else though to make up for it partially.

Arizona State - Very good team with big exploitable weaknesses. They have a very experienced QB who can be effective when given time in the pocket, and a good RB in nance. But the O-line doesn't do **** for them. All teams have to do is what georgia did. Bullrush the O-line, bump the receivers, bring the saftey's up, and they are shut down. They also had some big injuries in the linebacker position. I'm not sure what their status is. They are clearly very well coached, but they can get beat. I expect 1-3 conference losses for them.

Arizona - This is an underrated team in the conference and could surprise a lot of people. Tuitama is a very good senior quarterback. The least his QB rating has been this season is 120, its at 151 right now, and he actually gets a good amount of attempts too. They put in a new offensive system starting last year, and once tuitama got used to it, they started winning. They were 3-1 in their last 4 games, and started 3-1 this year. Thomas, Turner, and Dean are all very good receivers. Grigsby has been a good runningback, but I dont know how he'll be against some better defenses. But this passing attack is one to be scared of. They'll finish at least top 5 in the conference, behind Cal, ASU, USC, and Oregon. They might even upset one of those teams. They could upset Cal, our pass defense is weak.

UCLA - They suck. They had 2 stud defensive tackles that stop the run by themselves, they have good linebackers, an experienced corner, and a 5 star freshman safety. Their run defense is decent but the pass defense is atrocious. When this team brings their A game, they might be decent, but they don't play hard, they have too many injuries, I dont follow them closely enough to predict a turnaround, but for now, they aren't gonna beat anyone with a decent QB, that means Fresno, U Dub, Cal, ASU, USC, and maybe Oregon. This is why they got torched by Max Hall and Tuitama.

Oregon State - Moevao is a decent quarterback. He makes a lot of mistakes, but he does a lot of good also. They should've beaten stanford in the opener, but **** happens. They could've easily been 2-1 Ovr and 1-0 in pac-10 before really starting conference play. I'm not gonna be quick to judgement about them yet, their biggest loss was to Penn State, I think they have a lot of hope, maybe even upset a team. I expect a middle of the pack finish, if not slightly better.

Stanford - They are definately in the lower half of the conference. I think they return more starters than any other team in the pac-10. The problem is, they are really that good. Gerhart is a solid runningback, but Pritchard at QB needs to get better for them to be succesful. I don't think he's at that level yet. They are going to get destroyed by the better teams in the conference.

Washington - In their defense, they played Oregon, BYU, and Oklahoma. Two of those teams are BCS caliber. They got screwed against BYU, so don't write them off so quickly. They are in the bottom half of the pac-10, but they might be able to compete against some of the top teams. They play against stanford, a team thats more at their level, we'll be able to better judge them after this game.

Washington State - The worst team in the pac-10 by far, at least other teams have a few guys to be positive about. They supposedly had a good defensive line, so I dunno. I dunno whats up with them, but they're not going to upset anyone any time soon, if they get a pac-10 win against a team thats not Stanford or Washington, they should be very happy.

USC - Saved the best for the last. I don't need to say anything about them, you all know. Best team in the country. The blueprint to beating USC is this: Aggressive D-line play that can run stop, confusing blitzing schemes, physical bump and run coverage, and smart safeties. In addition, you need to vary your defensive looks and play, even if its not what you usually do. A combination of all that can slow down USC. Slow em down enough to give your team a chance. Thats when your offense has to be firing on all cylinders. You need top of the line pass protection and a good passing quarterback, and you'll have a chance. No one stops the run as good as this team. Out of all the teams in the league, I'd say Bradford would do the best against USC. USC is too big for the UF O-line and too fast for Tebow. They are too good to run the option against. Georgia would have the 2nd best chance at beating USC, if not the same chance as OU. Stafford is a good QB with a really strong arm. Its hard to pick him because of that. I would say Missouri might give em a hard time, but they are too one dimensional. Its UGA, OU, or bust. And even then, those teams would probably get clobbered.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Madden 09 Brief Review and Guides

I have created two guides for Madden 09 for beginners trying to advance their skills to play like pros. One is for running the ball and the other is for passing. They can be found on my main website here.
Every year fans continue to get angry at EA for giving them basically the same Madden game with a roster update. This year EA decided to completely change things up. They advertised that there would be 80+ new features in the game. While some are very minor, the difference in the entire game is very noticeable.

The main biggest difference to all fans is the running game. EA has finally updated their broken running and tackling engine and it proves to be much better. Runningbacks can no longer make instantly change their direction at full speed, they can't stop immediately after sprinting. When the defender has engaged the runner in a tackle, the runningback can still make moves in attempts to break the tackle. Defenders can gang tackle the runningback to make sure he goes down, or when the runner is trying to get tackled forwards for an extra gain, extra defenders can come in and push him back. The main drawback is that the tackling is not entirely smooth, it looks and feels like lag, but whatever the case, it's not good. As a whole the running and tackling physics alone are reason to buy this game.

A large number of extra features were also added to the game. You can go to wikipedia for a long list of features and come back if you have any questions. The main theme though was polishing up the game. The stadiums, field, and weather look absolutely stunning. The atmosphere feels realistic. On rainy days, players' jerseys get muddy, some guys start slipping and dropping balls. The players on the field seem alive, they move around on their own, they aren't robots like in previous years.

I haven't been this excited for Madden since 05 when the hit stick was introduced. Even 2k Sports fans are admitting that this is the first decent Madden they've played and are beginning to transition over to Madden. While the game is more realistic and polished, it still captures the spirit of the old Maddens with its fast paced game and hard hits.

Overall: 9.3/10