2014 Dallas Cowboys Season Preview and Schedule

The Dallas Cowboys have been the NFL’s most average team over the last decade, and as they come of yet another 8-8 season the team is looking for a new identity. The 2013 Cowboys had one of the worst defenses in NFL history, giving up an obscene amount of passing yards including allowing Calvin Johnson to break the NFL record for receiving yards in a game. Even with the defensive woes, the season came down to Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles. QB Tony Romo was lost for the game after an injury the previous Sunday, and a Kyle Orton interception with two minutes left in the 4th quarter ended the Cowboys season.

This year the Cowboys go into the season without All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware for the first time in nine seasons, releasing the pass rusher before the cap hit. Ware joined the AFC champion Broncos and the Cowboys brougth in Henry Melton to help out in his absence. Miles Austin was also let go after a productive career thus far, though he might still be brought back with a smaller deal if the Cowboys decide not to pick up a wide receiver in the first couple rounds of the upcoming draft.

Will this ever be a winning combination? (USA Today)

Many of the fans complaints through the 2013 season came about the coaching staff, with Monte Kiffin’s defense playing a new system that did not work in any facet of the game. The blitzing that we saw in 2013 behind Rob Ryan was gone, with a more conservative approach being taken. On offense, Bill Callahan took over play calling duties from head coach Jason Garrett to middling success. The season began well, including a huge game passing from Romo against the Broncos in Week 5 that included 5 TDs and over 500 yards. As the season went on the offense declined, and the choice to call passing plays even with the run working baffled pundits and fans around the league.

The 2014 schedule is challenging, with home games against the 49ers, Saints, Colts and Cardinals. Those teams had a combined record of 44-20 in 2013, and the 49ers were one play away from a second consecutive berth in the Super Bowl. The Saints returned from suspension hell after the ‘Bountygate’ scandal, and were once again a force to be reckoned with — including their 32-point beat down of Dallas in Week 10.
On the road the Cowboys will see Chicago, Tennessee, and the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks. There’s no stadium in the NFL louder than Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, and the last time the Cowboys were at Soldier Field it didn’t work out too well for them. The Cowboys will also play the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on November 9, with the Jags losing the home game from their schedule.

The NFC East is always a wide-open race, and this year expect the Redskins to once again challenge the Cowboys and Eagles. The Cowboys went 1-1 against the Eagles in 2013, and will need to get through divisional play with a winning record if they want another shot at the NFL playoffs in 2014.

2014 New Orleans Saints Season Preview and Schedule

The New Orleans Saints were a cat among the pigeons with their “Bountygate” scandal, but they found a way to persevere. The losing season in 2012 was followed up by an 11-5 campaign that included wins over teams like the 49ers and Panthers in the regular season, before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Drew Brees returned to the elite status he had cultivated for himself amongst NFL quarterbacks, and the Saints defense ranked 10th in the league in points allowed.  The stage is set for New Orleans to take back its place at the throne of the NFC South in the 2014 season.

A familiar face in Lance Moore has been released after having only 37 receptions in 2013, his lowest total since 2009. Moore spent eight years in the Saints organization after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo. Kenny Stills looks to be the future Moore’s former position, with the 21-year old rookie hauling in 32 receptions for 641 yards and 10 TDs in 2013. The biggest signing of the off-season thus far is veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, who spent the last 10 seasons in Denver. The 35-year old made the league’s All-Decade team for 2000-09 and this will likely the last stop of his NFL career.

Sean Payton and Rob Ryan worked well together in 2013. (USA Today/Derick Hingle)

The Saints 2014 schedule is chalk full of interesting opponents, though we won’t know the dates until the April 22 release from the NFL. At home, New Orleans will host big non-divisional games against the Ravens, Bengals, Packers, and 49ers – who sported a combined record of 39-24-1 in 2013. The Saints beat the 49ers 23-20 in Week 11 last season with a field goal as time expired, so expect that one to come down to the wire once again. The last time New Orleans faced the Packers, Brees threw for 446 yards and 3 TDs in a 28-27 loss at Lambeau Field.

The road is a little friendlier, with the Saints traveling to cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Dallas. New Orleans went 3-5 on the road in 2013, and had trouble getting the offense going outside of the Superdome. Expect Brees to not have the same problems against a historically-bad Cowboys secondary and a weak Lions defense, but Heinz Field in Pittsburgh is no walk in the park.

The NFC South will be an interesting race to follow, with most pundits not knowing what to expect from the Panthers and Falcons in 2014. Carolina came out of nowhere to win 12 games last season behind one of the NFL’s best defenses, but the offense was shaky at best. The Falcons were picked by many to make the Super Bowl in 2013 before injuries and a nose-dive in offensive production dropped Atlanta to a 4-12 record. A healthy Falcons team will be back this season, and wins over these division rivals are key for the Saints to get back into the playoffs and get the all-important home field advantage.

 

Roger Goodell made $44.2 million in 2013

A-Rod made $27 million last year? That’s cute.

After his salary was reported to be over $44 million in FY 2013, if anyone should be doing commercials where he’s jamming out to a song that goes “i’m the man, i’m the man, i’m the maaaan” it should be the commish. That’s a lot of money, but he is the head of a league that made about $10 billion last year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Goodell, the son of a former U.S. Senator, began as an intern with the NFL in 1982 — rising to its highest position 24 years later.

Super Bowl Celebrations 101

On Sunday, 82,500 fans will pack in to MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII. While there’s no comparison to the experience of actually being at the game, we here at TicketCity have a few tips on how you can still have a great time taking it all in from home.

BlogPic_MO  Meredith:  Wings! Every Super Bowl party needs wings, they are the ultimate football food. Spicy, mild, boneless, BBQ; offer a variety and everyone will be happy!

 

 

Clark:  Be sure have a squares game, even if it’s just a couple bucks per square.  6256_117511376991_5117319_n
It gets everyone into the game and paying attention to the score. You can find directions and templates here.

 

6tag_061013-194207  Brandon:  Get the guests involved! Make up some yellow and red flags and give them to the guests as they arrive.  This way everyone can show their support or disgust with a particular call.

 

 

Ryan H.:  Bacon. Explosion.  Those two words together can only mean trouble; tasty tasty trouble.  A ‘Bacon Explosion’ is weaved bacon that is wrapped around 2 lbs of pork and, bacon1you called it, more bacon. You can find the original recipe over at BBQ Addicts website, but I guarantee it to be one of your most popular dishes at this party.

 

162803_486792519291_1291932_n  Randy:  Marshmallows!  It’s great to be prepared for a marshmallow fight just in case the game gets boring ;)

 

 

Now that you’ve had a successful and enjoyable Super Bowl XLVIII, it’s time to start planning for next year! Super Bowl XLIX will be held in Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 and you know where to go to score tickets!

Red Hot Chili Peppers to Cover Led Zeppelin for Super Bowl Halftime Show

The RHCP have been one of the best live shows for over 20 years.

 

The cat is out of the bag on what the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be playing during halftime of Sunday’s Huge Super-Important Mega Trademarked Football Game. It’s going to be a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused”, one of the greatest rock songs ever made. While Led Zeppelin may refuse to reunite for a tour (not a single tour since drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980), you can see “Dazed and Confused” live on the biggest stage in the world by one of the best bands of this era.

Even more interestingly, Flea has said there is a surprise involved. Could this be a collaboration with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones? If you like Zeppelin, you don’t want to miss this performance and game. Here’s the band playing “Dazed and Confused” live: