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Patriots Talk: Teams To Watch Out for In 2017



New England Patriots Talk: Teams To Watch Out for In 2017 In The AFC Include Familiar Enemies

Many people will say that the Patriots are already the best team heading into the 2017 NFL Season. But let’s not forget that there are plenty of teams in the AFC who are building up there rosters every week.

Right now, there are teams who will be gunning after the Patriots as they are the defending Super Bowl Champions. And understanding which ones to look out for is critical to their success.

As the old saying from Sun Tzu’s Art of War ‘Know Your Enemy’.

Oakland Raiders

One of the teams going into next season will be the Oakland (soon to be Los Vegas) Raiders. The team has done alot of work this offseason. First their Head Coach, Jack Del Rio (whom the team signed to a 4 year extension on February 12th) was a coach who within only two seasons, managed to get this team out of the playoff drought it had been stuck in since 2002 (when the team’s quarterback was Rich Gannon, seriously!) after the team let go of former Head Coach, Jon Gruden in 2001 who proceeded to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl 37 and defeated the Raiders 48-21.

Not only that, but the Raiders coach was awarded the Earle ‘Greasy’ Neale award by the Maxwell Football Club for NFL Coach of the Year. While not quite as prestigious as the Official NFL Coach of the Year award given out by the Associated Press. It doesn’t mean that Del Rio didn’t deserve some recognition for taking the Raiders to a 12-4 record but rather that the team has final become a legitimate team that can make the playoffs.

Next of course, the off season signings. The Raiders obvious signing was of course former Seattle Seahawks [Running Back] Marshawn Lynch (A.K.A BeastMode). Considering in the 2015 off-season, his retirement was a sad departure for NFL fans, but his sudden return to the league is a welcome one. However, many analysts wondered why he wanted to play for the Raiders. Shockingly, it was because he was an Oakland native and wanted to play his final years on his home team. This took the Seahawks to let go of his restriction rights to the team in a trade agreement that would allow the Raiders to sign Lynch to a new two year  contract worth nine million.

While Lynch is still only 31, he is coming back into the league for the first time since early 2016 so he has had over a year to recover from any damage and he will likely be healthy before Week 1 of this season. Beast Mode will likely be back in full shape and behind an improved offensive line, he will be the #1 threat in the backfield.

Not only that, we need to talk about their leading [Quarterback] Derek Carr. He proved last year that he is a legitimate franchise QB, and the fact he was in the running for NFL MVP proves it. Carr’s unfortunate injury before the playoffs killed any chance of them succeeding because its clear they needed him to run the offense. Carr returning brings alot to the team especially for the wide receiving core consisting of Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and newly acquired [Tight end] Jared Cook. There are many options on the offense for the Raiders and that is what will make this team on defense so deadly, especially with the recent signings for the Patriots on defense (re-signing Dont’a HighTower, or signing Stephon Gilmore in free agency)

And while their defense is not on the same level of damage as the offense, they have the NFL Defensive player of the Year in [Defensive Lineman] Khalil Mack. The guy is a playmaker who can put severe pressure on any offensive linemen in the league and shouldn’t be discounted. Overall, the Raiders have the key pieces to make a serious attempt in 2017 if everyone stays healthy.

Pittsburgh Steelers

This one is a no brainer really. The Steelers are a team with possibly the best overall offense when they are healthy. The Steelers offense has been hauled by [Quarterback] Ben Roethlisberger, [Wide Receiver] Antonio Brown (Who just this off-season has now become the highest paid receiver in the NFL) and [Running Back] Le’veon Bell. The so called ‘Killer Bees‘ are a dangerous combination when all three are on the field. They are an offensive unit that can very well be the team to beat in the AFC.

However, the main problem lies with the Quarterback Big Ben himself. He has been in the NFL for well over 13 years now, starting since he was only a rookie coming out of the Quarterback Class of 2004. Ben isn’t getting any younger and he will likely be reaching retirement sooner than many expect. In terms of injuries, he has taken a massive number of hits over the course of his long career. (His overall numbers could very lead to him being part of Canton later on after retirement)

And as for Antonio Brown‘s apparent lack of self-awareness when it comes to filming during team meetings, its clear he is a distraction for the team. But instead of trying to punish the player, they decide to try to the method of making sure he stays put and retire a Steeler as the current highest paid receiver in the league. I will be honest, what Brown did was not only foolish but straight up selfish on his part. Going into 2017, he will need to make sure his attitude is in check or he will just be another head case for the Steelers (which works better for the Patriots in the long term)

Then of course, we need to start focusing on Le’veon Bell’s apparent issue with staying on the field. I will admit Marijuana shouldn’t be considered punishable by the NFL, but rather should be just fined and not suspended. It’s led to players all across the league to be out of games that otherwise could have been won. But Bell seems to not want to change despite being given the franchise tag by the organization and we likely work out a new deal with the team. (Once again, a problem that could lead to more loses, which is all the more favorable but that is of course if Bell doesn’t get injured then he can change the game…or so he has said)

Then of course, the defense which is mostly young with new players like JJ Watt’s younger brother; TJ Watt. (drafted by the team with the 30th overall pick). Alongside players, James Harrison, who seems to not want to ever retire despite being in the league almost as long as Tom Brady (went undrafted in 2002 and yet is still playing even at the age of 39). The Steelers shockingly have a very well built team all around but they have clear flaws that the Raiders don’t have.

But the Steelers are a much better run organization overall, led by the helm with cheerleader Head Coach Mike Tomlin who has been coaching the team into his 10th year now after replacing long time coach Bill Cowher, who won the team’s fifth Super Bowl in 2005. (Cowher was the one who replaced legendary coach Chuck Null all the way back in 1992) The organization with the recent loss of long time Chairman Dan Rooney, will likely go into 2017 with the expectations to make his passing an after thought with a  Super Bowl victory (which won’t be easy)

That will conclude this addition, but there are other teams that were very mediocre last year that could be very be surprising in 2017. But, that is for another time. Hope you all have a good day!

New England Patriots

NFL Week 15 Picks



NFL Week 15 Picks

The last three weeks will be long and stretched out for sure. The NFL will be having two games for today, Saturday, Dec. 16th. I will be going over all the games in order, per usual. Though I will say this, I am glad I broke my losing streak of getting Thursday night games wrong with the Broncos winning against the Colts. As for what the NFL will provide us with this week, we will have to wait and see. Just hope that it’s better than Thursday night’s game it was the lowest rated game by far for Thursday night football.

Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts: Winner – Broncos (Correct)

I already knew the Colts were finished for the season. This game was kicking them while they were already down. Just seems like the Broncos need a new QB in next year’s draft. Osweiler had the best game of his career on Thursday. Does’t mean he is the future. We all saw that in Houston.

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions: Winner – Lions

The Lions have been a disappointment for this season from where they started. The Bears have shown quite a bit of upside but the Lions have the better overall team though the Bears have been flying under the radar for some. 9th in Passing yards per game (216.6 per game) and 14th in run defense (108.9 per game). At the end of the day, can the Bears pull an upset here? I frankly don’t believe it, the run game is excellent thanks to Jordan Howard but the truth is Matthew Stafford is still a great QB. Give me the Lions to win 24-17.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs: Winner – Chargers

When the Qb on your team throws 4 TDs in a game against the New York Jets and you still lose, you are a terrible team. There are no excuses about it. Even with a  win over the Raiders, that was still a closer game than most wanted. The Chargers have been a team that has been on a hot streak and I see them continuing it here. The Chargers have the 3rd best passing defense in the NFL but the 28th worst run defense. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have the 29th worst run defense and 28th worst passing defense. The better pass rush is the key here and the Chargers have it. Chargers should win 28-21.

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Patriots Football Talk: Patriots Lose to Miami



You could feel it coming on a mile away in the 4th Quarter.  The Patriots were going to lose.  It was disheartening to say the least!  They just didn’t play well.  They couldn’t find a rhythm and they couldn’t convert on 3rd Downs.  It wasn’t the same team that we saw last Sunday.  I got a text saying that they were playing horribly and I texted back, “Yep.”  It was that kind of game.  And for the fans we just watched them, “Suck.”

Well where do we begin with this one?  How about the beginning of the game, not Kickoff, before Kickoff.  Quarterback Tom Brady looked like he was the perpetual “Deer in the Headlights” look to him.  Yeah in my opinion he was nervous.  Call it a “gut feeling” or a “sixth sense” but something bothered him.  Maybe it was because it was a Monday Night game, I don’t know but what I do know is that he had the same look during the first Drive for the Patriots.  In that same Drive he threw an Interception on 3rd Down.  Yikes!  That was a pass that Brady and Cooks weren’t on the same page with.  The defender just undercut it and got the INT.

Believe it or not, that INT set the tone for the entire game.  I mean seriously Brady couldn’t get a 1st Down on 3rd Down.  He went 0 for 11 on the night.  Talk about bad!  I mean I love TB12 and all but you have to wonder what was he thinking out there.  Was he nervous to throw a pick?  Or was he nervous about the pass rush?  Or was it like I said before “Primetime” nerves?  Whatever it was, it effected him all night.

I mean I can see how the pass rush could effect him.  They were hurrying and blitzing every down.  Mostly because the Patriots got down on points.  The Dolphins kicked two early Field Goals to make it [6-0].  The Patriots had to pass a lot to gain yardage.  But the rhythm of the game felt like the Patriots were playing from behind, which actually wasn’t completely true.  They scored a Rushing TD by Red Burkhead in the Red Zone, making it [7-6].  That right there could have been the turning point that they needed to rally together and play better.

Sadly that wasn’t the case.  Jay Cutler would find Jarvis Landry for a TD Score on the Goalline, regaining the lead and chewing up a lot of clock.  That was the other thing about Monday Night’s game.  The Patriots couldn’t get their Offense on the field.  They were stiffled by these long Miami Drives.  And the Pats D gave up way too many yards.  There were also some missed opportunities, that being Sacks and INTs.  Cutler looked good out there and so did Kenyan Drake, who had an amazing game.  The Defense couldn’t stop him.  And Landry made them pay with his second TD of the game.

Before all that though you have to remember that the Patriots did cut the lead to just 3, [13-10].  And they did get the ball back after Halftime.  Brady threw another INT once again to Cooks and once again it was on 3rd Down.  Wow they made a lot of mistakes this game!  Turnovers came back to bite them both times as Miami scored a TD making it [20-10].  “Yep” was the answer to my text, about how bad they were playing.  This play stood out as the most crushing play of the game.  It made a real comeback improbable.  The game would end [27-20] Miami and the Patriots would go to 10-3 on the year.  No “Hat and Tee Shirt” Night Monday, it will have to wait!

Now here comes the biggest game of the Season.  Patriots at Pittsburgh, Sunday December 17th at 4:25 pm on CBS.  If the Patriots Win they get the tie breaker for the Number 1 Seed and a playoff birth.  If they lose they give the Steelers’ Home Field advantage in the playoffs.  They will be playing for the playoffs so this has quite a lot riding on it.  Rob Gronkowski will be back from suspension, hopefully this will get them fired up!  Come on Guys, “Let’s Go!”

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NFL Week 14 Picks



Sadly had a lot to do this week so my apologies for the lateness. As far as my NFL predictions for last week, I was 12-4 (131-61) Right now I am 0-1 to start the week as I predicted the Saints to win on Thursday.

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons: Winner – Falcons

I hate Thursday night football. I always seem to to struggle with getting these games correct on the first attempt but they usually go in the other direction. It is what it is. The Sainst collection of injuries sadly were a huge factor in the game despite the Saints keeping the score close. Losing Alvin Kamara was a huge lose for the team as he is placed on concussion protocol for this week.

Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Packers

The Browns decided to let go of Sashi Brown bu as long as Hue Jackson continues to fail with the QB situation, they ain’t winning Sunday. Give me the Packers to win 31-21.

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Winner – Lions

This game is a pick-em game mainly due to Matthew Stafford’s wrist injury. If he plays, the Lions should win. He doesn’t play then they will most definitely lose. But Stafford is one of the toughest QBs in the league so I doubt that this holds him back. The Bucs with Winston are still having issues and will likely have their season over with a loss on Sunday. Lions win 27-21.

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs: Winner – Chiefs

The Raiders are a team that are going to be tough t beat but with their loss against the Jets, the Chiefs are literally hanging by a thread. A win against the Raiders would help keep them in the playoffs but with the Chargers gaining momentum it will be tough. Their 4th consecutive loss, Andy Reid will need to have everybody on all cylinders. Chiefs win in a close game 24-21.

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers: Winner – Vikings

Can’t believe it but Case Keenum is playing the best football of his entire career. If he keeps this hot streak alive, the Vikings might make a playoff birth unless Green Bay gets Aaron Rodgers back in time. The Panthers are a team that are hot and cold this season as usual. The Panthers have a great defense but so does the Vikings. This will come down to who has the better offense and you don’t believe me now, but its the Vikings. Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs are possibly the best WR duo in the NFL right now and Kyle Rudolph ain’t bad either. Give me the Vikings to win 27-24 over the Panthers.

San Fransisco 49ers @ Houston Texans: winner – 49ers

Coin flip but I am picking the 49ers just for more Jimmy G highlight reels. Sorry Texans. 49ers win by 21-18.

Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills: Winner – Bills

I want to believe in Brisket but I believe that the season has weighed him down considerably because of Chuck Pagano’s play calling. The Bills have a better overall roster and have a shot of making the playoffs. The Colts are banged up pretty good and I see Buffalo keeping Tyrod in as his knee injury shouldn’t be bad enough to keep him out for Nathan Peterman. Bills getting a win here 21-18.

Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals: Winner – Bengals

Marvin Lewis vs. John Fox? Which Head Coach will get fired faster? Probably Fox because Lewis clearly has some serious blackmail to have kept his job for so long. Bengals win 24-17 because John Fox is continuing to limit Trubisky’s production.

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants: Winner – Cowboys

The Cowboys will have Sean Lee back this week which is huge. Eli Manning is back in the game but his consecutive streak is gone now and that is ultimately on Ben McAdoo who is now gone along with Jerry Reese. Cowboys have something to fight for, the Giants don’t. Give me the Cowboys 27-20.

Tennessee Titans @ Arizona Cardinals: Winner – Titans

This game is honestly a toss-up. The Titans are underwhelming and the Cardinals have talent that can’t seem to win games. Adrian Peterson’s status is still out for now. As of now, the Titans are the team I would rather take Delanie Walker wants respect but he will only get if he scores a TD in this game. I will take the Titans 27-25 in a close game.

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos: Winner – Jets

Man, the Broncos really are screwed. Vance Joesph has completely lost this team. the defense doesn’t seem like the No-Fly Zone anymore. The fact that the Jets are actually playing good speaks volumes of how different the head coaches are different. Also Robbie Anderson, an undrafted player is likely one of the biggest deep threats in the NFL. Gotta give credit where it is due, the Jets have stopped up and the Broncos have fallen off. Jets win 27-21.

Washington Redskins @ Los Angeles Chargers: Winner – Chargers

The Redskins banged up offensive line vs Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram? RIP Kirk Cousins. He will not like that game. I will go with the Chargers as Keenan Allen is having a incredible comeback season and I will say that he does well in this game. Chargers win 31-21.

Seattle Seahawks @ Jacksonville Jaguars: Winner – Seahawks

The Seahawks may not have a great overall team, but they have, in my opinion, the front runner for the NFL MVP this year in Russell Wilson. He has put this team on his back and he truly is a better QB than Blake Bortles. The Jaguars defense will keep this game close, but I don’t believe for a second that it will stop Wilson’s play-making and scrambling on the field. Seahawks win 17-14.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams: Winner – Rams

That is right, I am picking Goff over Wentz. And its not because the Eagles lost last week to a more desperate team. They lost in a way that showed they are still a flawed team like everyone else this year. The Rams are a team that has an arguably better offense and their defense is set up where they generate pressure similar to the Seahawks. This game will be the game of the week but I have the Rams winning 31-28.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Winner – Steelers

Baltimore will cover the current spread of +4 but I have a feeling that the Steelers will still win regardless. The Ravens are a better overall team but this team is unified with Ryan Shazier’s loss last week and his current circumstances (prayers are with you Ryan, from a Patriots fan). Give me the Steelers to win 27-24 against the Ravens.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins: winner – Patriots

The Patriots always play bad in Miami weather. But its Tom Brady vs. Jay Cutler. Give me the Patriots to win 34-24. And that will settle my shotgun analysis for this week.

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