Super Bowl LI: Hotlanta Falcons or Beantown Patriots?

This Super Bowl could be the highest-scoring Super Bowl in the history of the glorious championship game, as these teams are so evenly matched on offense, and lately, also on defense. This game could also be the first to go to overtime, but here is who I believe will be the winner of this game.

How The Teams Stack Up

Atlanta has been hot of late, having won 6 in a row, and they sport the most efficient offense in the NFL. QB Matt Ryan has over 4,900 passing yards, 38 TDs, 83.3 Total QBR (QBR measures what the QB did in the game to try to lead his team to win), and 9.26 yards per attempt (highest in NFL history). WR Julio Jones averaged over 100 receiving yards a game for the 4th straight season, and they also kept a very balanced rushing attack with RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The Patriots QB Tom Brady’s number don’t match up, but considering he only played 12 games, he played phenomenal. 3,554 yards, 28 TDs, and a Total QBR of 83.0 in ONLY 12 games is amazing, and he did it without the help of Rob Gronkowski in the beginning, as well as towards the end of the season. Gronk will not be playing, although he will make the trip with the team to Houston, and backup TE Martellus Bennett did a nice job of replacing him, with 701 yards and 7 TDs. What really gave the Patriots the edge on offense this season was their run game. RB LeGarrette Blount has 1,161 yards rushing and a Patriots team record 18 rushing TDs. His big bulldozing ability helps keep drives alive for the Pats, allowing Brady to have lesser pressure on him and the defense to go after Blount. The defense of the Pats was ranked 7th overall, and 1st in scoring, as opposed to the Falcons who are 22nd overall. The Falcons haven’t needed big defensive performances to win their game this year, but they will need it if they want to be able to win a Super Bowl.

Who Wins and Why?

This game will come down to which team can come up with more defensive stops, and this game probably won’t really have much defense. This defense will be atrocious for both teams in this game, and the offenses will have a ‘walk-in-the-park’ type of game. The X-factor for each team will be their 2nd Wide Receiver, being Mohamed Sanu and Chris Hogan for the Falcons and Pats, respectively. Hogan had 180 yards on 9 receptions and 2 TDs, and Sanu, while he had just 5 catches for 52 yards and a TD, he did create problems in the formations for the Packers defense in their last game. Look for Hogan to have another big game, and CB Malcolm Butler, who will be covering Julio Jones, to be the defensive hero in a Patriot victory. Final Score: 51-48, New England

Super Bowl 50 Predictions: Pre-Media Day

I normally talk Super Bowl once and never come back to it, but this time, I feel I need to write after Opening Night. Opening Night begins Monday, February 1st, at 8:00pm, and then comes Media Day the next morning. I think that Media Day is always a good time to see and find out how the players and coaches plan to come in to the Super Bowl with in terms of their mindset (don’t get too carried away like Marshawn Lynch, though). Anyways, here are my predictions for Super Bowl 50, pre-Media Day:

The Players

Expect the players of the Carolina Panthers to come out and show their exciting side of themselves. The team is a bunch of party freaks, honestly, because that’s what the season has been like. The Denver Broncos players, on the other hand, know what it is like to face challenges, and they will come laser-focused and ready to go. I think Denver could use their ability to stay calm to their advantage.

The Coaches

Both Broncos Coach Gary Kubiak and Panthers Coach Ron Rivera have been part of a Super Bowl team. Kubiak was a backup QB and Offensive Coordinator for the Broncos during their Super Bowl runs in ’97 and ’98, and Ron Rivera was part of the ’85 Chicago Bears team as a linebacker, and that team may have been the greatest football team ever.

The Game

After Media Day, you can get an even better feel of what the teams want to do in the game, and how they will come out and pursue their goal. So far, if I had to make a prediction based on how I’ve seen these teams play, I would have to go with the Broncos, knowing they’ve come up big in many, many games this year. QBs Cam Newton and Peyton Manning will light up the field, but the Panthers defense, led by CB Josh Norman, won’t be able to stop the receiving core of WRs Demariyus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and TE Owen Daniels. Manning gets the MVP, and retires as the GREATEST OF ALL TIME! Final Score: 41-34, Broncos

 

 

The Divisional Round: Will The Powerhouses Fall?

Many of us are waiting anxiously to see what powerhouse teams like the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers can do after their extra week of rest and relaxation. Well, here I am to give you the record straight, with my predictions below:

AFC Divisional Round Predictions

(2) New England Patriots vs. (5) Kansas City Chiefs

TE Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots got a shot in the knee because of his recent knee injury from practice earlier this week. That causes a lot of concern because their offensive line is playing terribly right now and the Kansas City defense is hotter than hot right now. Their offense has figured out how to win without their big-time stars. Chiefs win. Final Score: Chiefs, 29-26.

(1) Denver Broncos vs. (6) Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh simply put has too many injuries. Broncos win with Peyton Manning returning to legendary form. Final Score: Broncos, 48-34.

NFC Divisional Round Predictions

(1) Carolina Panthers vs. (6) Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson vs. Cam Newton is turning into Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady in a rivalry sense, as the 2 QBs have nearly identical playing styles, and so the teams’ defenses. This will be one game that could get ugly and physical, and Carolina loves that. Final Score: Panthers, 28-23.

(2) Arizona Cardinals vs. (5) Green Bay Packers

Now 3 weeks back in the desert, Green Bay got manhandled and saw their QB Aaron Rodgers get sacked 8 times and picked off twice and fumbling twice, and backup QB Scott Tolzien got sacked as well, and the Pack scored just 8 points, so clearly, Arizona has a crazy good defense, and that was WITHOUT Pro Bowl Safety Tyrann Mathieu, The ‘Honey Badger’. The offense is number one in the league, with a balance in run and pass, scoring 38 points in that game. This game will be closer, but ‘Zona will still win. Final Score: Cardinals, 44-31.

 

Wild Card Weekend: It’s Finally Here!

Wild Card Weekend, the weekend in which a team with a losing record can upset a heavy favorite. It is finally here, and boy will it be one to remember. Anyways, all the hype shall be settled on the field, so here is how I see it all unfolding.

AFC Wild Card 

(4) Houston Texans vs. (5) Kansas City Chiefs

Both of these teams started terribly, and yet here we are seeing them in the playoffs. The Chiefs started 1-5 and have won 10 straight, and Houston started 2-5, and finished 9-7 for the year, winning the AFC South. Honestly, as great as KC has been, the Chiefs on the road in the playoffs is never something good for them. Houston wins. Final Score: 26-23, Texans

(3) Cincinnati Bengals vs. (6) Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s hard to believe that one of the most exciting teams in NFL history is the 6th seed in the playoffs, but unfortunately for Pittsburgh, that’s just how the season turned out to be. Now, Cincy could have been the #1 or #2 seed in the AFC, giving them a week of rest and letting that carrot-top QB Andy Dalton who can’t seem to spell the word playoffs right another week of well-deserved rest, but instead, they blew a lead in Denver and lost to the now #1 seed Denver Broncos. The new QB is that kid AJ McCarron that went to Alabama and won TWO National Championships as member of Nick Saban’s Tide, yes him, AJ McCarron gets the nod, but the NFL pressure has seemed to crack on him in big games (as seen in Denver). Steel City fans will be waving their Terrible Towels to victory. Final Score: 41-34, Steelers

NFC Wild Card

(3) Minnesota Vikings vs. (6) Seattle Seahawks

Get all the coats you own and wear them to this game, because a -15°F game is not fun for a football fan. Anyways, I think Seattle has a disadvantage because their passing game has been as deadly as Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, and it may continue, but this will be an exciting game. Minnesota did crazy things last week, with fake punts and suffocating defense that helped them stop the Green Bay Packers. Minnesota will win, but Russell Wilson will have the game of his life. Final Score: 41-36, Vikings

(4) Washington Redskins vs. (5) Green Bay Packers

Just when you thought the Packers were unstoppable, they turned bad. A 6-0 start ended as a 10-6 overall season including losing 3 games at home, something that you almost never saw happen. The Redskins, on the other hand, are seemingly unstoppable in terms of winning lately, on a 4-game win streak, 3 of those coming on the road. Captain Kirk and the Redskins will sure like to see themselves in the NFL Divisional Round, and they should. Final Score: 38-28, Redskins

NFL Predictions: How the Season Will End Through My Eyes

 
The NFL season has seen many surprises and storylines so far, with the Carolina Panthers going 14-0 trying to go 16-0, and teams like the Denver Broncos, who were Super Bowl favorites at one point this year, clinging to dear life for a playoff spot. Here is how I see the rest of the NFL season going down. 
The Washington Redskins WILL Win The NFC East

Some people may say that the NFC East is the worst division in the league, but clearly they have yet to see the Houston Texans and any other team in the AFC South play a football game this year. In my opinion, this is what football needs, one division in which good teams may or may not be playing to their standards and yet look like a legit playoff threat. That’s the case with the Washington Redskins, who are leading the NFC East right now, and should remain in that position the rest of the way. I think Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is a true game-changer in this league, whereas Sam Bradford, Eagles QB, won’t seem to reach that point.

The Denver Broncos Will Survive

Yes, they will make the playoffs. All the distractions about Peyton Manning will be put to rest, as all they need to do is win one game, and they are in.

The Panthers Will Go 16-0

People may say that the Arizona Cardinals will win the Super Bowl, but they won’t. Cam Newton will keep ‘Dabbing’, and will go undefeated for the year (19-0)!

Odell Beckham Jr. Does Not Deserve His Suspension

Why suspend the most exciting player in NFL history? Part of the game of football is getting scrappy and trying to physically beat your opponent, and that was what he was doing. Anyways, they ain’t making the playoffs, but Odell is Odell, and the Panthers have wrongdoing in this, too. They had ball boys holding baseball bats pregame and tried to beat up Odell. How did he lose the appeal?

The MVP Is…

Cam Newton. No questions asked.

The Final AFC Wild Card Spots Go To…

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs. Pittsburgh has some crazy fans waving yellow towels for 4 hours on game day, and the Chiefs haven’t lost in 3 months or something.

The Final NFC Wild Card Spots Go To…

The Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. The Seahawks’ playbook has no running plays now, and the Vikings somehow, and I mean somehow, with a terrible QB, just win (weird, huh).

Should The Washington Redskins Start RGIII or Kirk Cousins?

After seeing the smiles on the faces of many Redskins fans after this past week’s brilliant performance by Kirk Cousins, we saw that many Redskins fans, including myself, hate RGIII so much, and love Kirk Cousins. I think that this is a good move for this team, and we seem to be moving in a positive direction in all facets and positions, but I think that coach Jay Gruden needs to think about who he should have starting at the quarterback come Week 1.

So, RGIII or Kirk Cousins?

RGIII going to the locker room has been the image that every Redskins fan has been remembering for his entire NFL career so far. However, with Kirk Cousins, we’ve had great success. So, at least know that the 2012 Draft wasn’t a total waste for us. Anyways, there are upsides and downsides to each of these QBs. The upsides for RGIII are he has great arm strength and speed, and the downsides are that he gets injured without any apparent contact (he got a concussion, and his head was not anywhere near touching the ground), he takes hits, he cannot run without fumbling, he cannot read a defense, and he cannot throw the ball at all. For Cousins, there are MANY upsides and some downsides. His upsides are that he can throw the ball accurately; he can throw the ball deep, he can run out of pressure calmly, he can avoid hits, he knows when to take hits, he can run well, and he can throw LOTS of touchdowns. The downsides are that he does not have the speed that RGIII possesses, and Jay Gruden has trusted RGIII too much, which has meant a lack of snaps for Cousins in the Jay Gruden offensive system.

Who Is Better For Jay Gruden?

Now, this is actually a harder question than it seems because Gruden was the coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, and his quarterback, Andy Dalton, was a guy who had crazy arm strength, like RGIII, and turned Dalton and wide receiver AJ Green into one of the league’s best receiver. Cousins and RGIII are in a tight battle for this, but I think that Cousins should be the one leading the offense.

Who Should Be The Starter For The ‘Skins?

Kirk Cousins should be the starter, and there should be no debate about that. Last week basically sealed the case, because even if RGIII didn’t get injured he would have only had 8 YARDS PASSING ON 4 POSSESSIONS! THAT’S TERRIBLE! Cousins, on the other hand, had 93 yards on 8-12 passing on 3 possessions. Another big key will be the running game of the Redskins, because this team will be one of the best rushing teams in the league, and their defense is great, so lots of pressure will be taken off of Cousins. Now, RGIII’s shoulder injury isn’t serious, but the concussion could keep him out of next week’s preseason showdown against the Baltimore Ravens. Cousins has consistently shown that he can grow and adapt in any offensive system, and at the end of the day, he is going to be the one to deliver the Redskins a victory.

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots or Seahawks?

The controversy of the Deflategate surrounding the New England Patriots hasn’t seemed to effect the Patriots. Deflategate really makes no sense because there is no real punishment that New England can see. In 2007, they were involved in Spygate, and nothing happened to New England, so punishing New England 8 years later for something doesn’t even make sense and cannot exactly be proven is just messed up. The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, had a miracle happen against the Green Bay Packers 2 weeks back at CenturyLink Field. Literally, a miracle. If Brandon Bostick hadn’t dropped that onside kick, Green Bay would be playing New England (New England won fair and square over the Indianapolis Colts people, so they would be here). Chris Matthews, instead, got the 12th Man roaring like never before, as they forced OT, and won. But honestly, they need more effort if they want to beat New England. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup.

Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

As I said earlier, the effort by Seattle was not the typical type of effort that we normally see. Russell Wilson threw a career-high 4 interceptions, but threw the OT winner. Marshawn Lynch was great as usual, 25 carries, 157 yards, and the touchdown that put Green Bay down 22-19 in regulation. Aaron Rodgers was stellar for the Packers despite the torn calf. If Seattle can’t beat a one-legged quarterback who has won only 1 Super Bowl, how are they going to matchup with a 3-time champ (trying to make himself a 4-time champ)? New England has more weapons than last year’s Denver Broncos team on both sides of the football. On offense, you have Brady, then you have TE Rob Gronkowski, RB LeGarrette Blount, and WRs Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola who could both put the icing on the cake for New England. On defense, they have CB Brandon Browner, who won the Super Bowl last year with the Seahawks, CB Darrelle Revis, the best CB after the Seahawks Richard Sherman, you have LBs Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, and DE Vince Wilfork, who solidify your pass rush. Seattle has just Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and WRs Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse on offense, who aren’t known as great receivers, and defensively, CBs Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell, SS Kam Chancellor, and FS Earl Thomas III, but LBs Bruce Irvin, Cliff Avril, and last year’s Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith cannot matchup with Gronkowski, and neither can Sherman, Maxwell, Chancellor, or Thomas III. Along with that, Seattle struggles with power runners such as LaGarrette Blount, and Edelman and Amendola come up with big, game-deciding plays. Brandon LaFell is another wideout for New England who is key. Also, there have been 12 Super Bowls with a pick-6, and teams with more pick-6’s than the other team are 12-0. Expect Revis, Browner, SS Kyle Arrington, or Collins to take one to the house. This game will be decided by the final drive.

Final Score: 35-28, New England Patriots

MVP: Tom Brady, New England Patriots