Sunday’s Wild Card Predictions

Buffalo Bills Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars will win this game. Their defense is too tough and the Bills are too weak on offense. The Bills are playing on the road and their “happy to be there” attitude defined by their celebration last Sunday tells me all I need to know about them. There season was a success and it is over. They aren’t a very good team and there best player isn’t at 100%. Their only chance is if Blake Bortles gives them defensive points and the Jaguars fall behind. The Jaguars have the 2nd best defense in the league and beating Buffalo’s 29th ranked offense is a no brainer. But, then again, Mariota throwing himself a TD and the Chiefs ability to squander an 18 point lead at home reminds me that nothing is absolute.

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

This matchup is the hardest for me to pick. My inclination is that the Saints will win. They have a better running back, a better and more consistent quarterback, and a better coach. Their defenses are almost identical in terms of points per game, Carolina allows fewer yards, but both teams could win this game. The main question I have is how well will Cam Newton play?

Cam Newton at his best takes over games and is sensational; bad Cam is irrelevant and ineffective and I expect bad Cam. The Saints have played him plenty of times and can prevent Cam from taking over and winning. Sean Payton will scheme Cam into a bad game and will stifle him. Without an elite Cam the Panthers will lose this game.

Also, the 2013 postseason was a long time ago and Brees isn’t about to waste a home playoff game losing to a team he has beaten already 2x’s this year. Bree’s now has a balanced offense, and though he doesn’t have the gaudy total yard numbers like previous years, he is in the playoffs. Bree’s wait is over and I expect the Saints to make it to the NFC Championship game at least. I’ll take the Saints. I a not willing to lay money on this game, which tells you my confidence in a Saints cover, but I think you should.

BYU Prediction for 2017

Finally! It has been a long time since Brady came back and buried the Falcons like the New York Times buries a retraction. The football drought finally ends this Saturday. This is kind of a college football appetizer, but I am so hungry I am not being picky. Football is back!!!

What are the experts expectations?

Phil Steele, by his own admission, is the most accurate predicter of college football. I’ll touch on his two different ratings. His first ranking is where he predicts the final rankings at the end of the year. He has BYU ranked #27. Meaning that after the end of the bowl games, he thinks BYU will be ranked #27. Notables on BYU’s schedule is Wisconsin #10, LSU #13, Boise St. #45.

In Phil Steele’s power poll, which ranks best teams, not according to where they will rank, but how good they are. BYU is ranked #33. Other notables are Utah #43, LSU #13, Wisconsin #11, Boise St. #56, Utah St. 104.

In the AP poll BYU is #38 with Utah and Boise being ranked higher at 27 & 29 respectively. The coaches poll has BYU #42 with #25 Utah, #29 Boise St., and they even have Mississippi St. #35.

Their strength of schedule is #84. Similar to other years they have about 5 good games, and the rest are cupcakes. The tough games are: @LSU (technically neutral) Utah, Wisconsin, Boise State, @Miss St. (only because they are SEC). They have Utah, Wisconsin, and Boise St. at home. They are scheduled for 13 games.

BYU 2017 Prediction: 11-2

The main reason I believe that they will win 11 games is because of Tanner Mangum. Mangum is an elite QB and will carry this team to a great season. They will be closer to winning 12, then winning 10. This is Mangum’s 2nd year under Coach Sitake, with Detmer as his offensive coordinator. He played great when Taysom Hill was hurt, and I am expecting results as good or better than Max Hall and John Beck.

So, yeah, I believe they will beat Utah. I understand that none of my kids have ever seen a BYU win over Utah, but c’mon, Utah’s running a high tempo offense? Utah is a punch-you-in-the-mouth type of team, and trying pretend their something else won’t work. My only concern is that BYU’s receivers and running backs aren’t like last years, a good QB will equalize it out, which is why I trust Mangum to lead them to an 11-2 season.

Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch knelt during the National Anthem in the Raiders first preseason game. This was Jack Del Rio’s conversation with Lynch about this.

“[Marshawn Lynch] said, “This is something I’ve done for 11 years- it’s not a form of anything other than me being myself.” Del Rio responded, “So you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m gonna respect you as a man. You do your thing, OK, and we’ll do ours.”

People get far too upset, so I’m not calling for outrage. But, I think it is far worse to sit during the Anthem because you are too lazy, or can’t be bothered, than to sit without reason. This is a good litmus test to drill down people’s true reasons for hating Kaepernick. Those that are outraged, why are they outraged? Are they outraged because Kaepernick didn’t stand for the Anthem, or the reason why he didn’t stand? Those that were outraged, because he wasn’t showing proper respect to the troops, should have the same level of outrage, for Lynch who sits without reason.

If the real reason people are upset over Kaepernick is because of his political position, which is what I think it is, this will blow over without much fanfare. There is much doubt on whether Lynch has sat down for 11 years during his career, but nonetheless. I find Lynch’s dismissal of the anthem without reason, worse than Kaepernick’s reason for black social justice.

Clippers Get Trashed!

Hayward's hair is explained.
The Utah Jazz just sent the Clippers home in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.  How?  The Clippers on paper seem to have a big three:  Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan.  Each are arguably one of the best 3 guys at their position in the whole league.  How they managed to lose in the first round to Gordon Hayward and an aging Joe Johnson still baffles me.  They should be competing for titles, but instead they are dumpster diving, yet again.

So should the Clippers break their nucleus and start over?  The truth is the Clippers don’t have an option.  Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin  have player options and can return if they want to.  The Clippers themselves may not have a choice.  But aside from that, I think they should keep their core together and at least be good.

I understand that everyone wants to think they are striving to put together a championship team, but only one team wins.  Being a Jazz fan, they never won a championship, but 18 years of being really good was still a ton of fun.  Blowing up the Clippers and starting over sounds good, but in reality they will be mediocre bottom feeders.  The Clippers are putting together fifty win seasons and because of injuries haven’t had that many great chances.  The choice between winning 50+ games with an outside shot of making the Western Conference Finals, sounds a lot better, than 5-6 years of trying to rebuild and sign a Chris Paul and Blake Griffin type player.  Also, don’t forget one big fact:

The Clippers are the Clippers

If you think you are going to rebuild this team into a winning team think again.  This is by far and away the most success they have ever had and I doubt they get back to this level anytime soon.  You have the Donald Sterling curse, karma, plus your owner is a bafoon who couldn’t even realize the iPhone was going to be a success.  Stick it out and until you only win 40 games a year, enjoy them as long as you can.

Ranking Patriots Super Bowl Teams


Charles Curtis for USA Today:

7.  2003 (against Carolina Panthers)
“they just barely eked out a Super Bowl win over Jake Delhomme (he had a pretty great game, to be fair) and the Carolina Panthers.”

6.  2001 (against St. Louis)
“The first team of the dynasty obviously sits toward the bottom because Brady was a rookie pushed into action when Drew Bledsoe went down.

5.  2011 (Giants)
“Another team that caught fire at the end of the season, only to run into the New York Giantsfor a second time in the Super Bowl. But the defense was just average, finishing 15th in points allowed that year.”

4.  2016 (Falcons)
“Are they really that good or is the competition weak? That explains why they’re smack dab in the middle of this list.”

3.  2014 (Seahawks)
“…Yes, they were one play away from losing the Super Bowl. But it’s hard to argue with a defense that could do it all”

2.  2004 (Eagles)
“When I think of the Patriots dynasty, this is the team I’ll think of.”

1.  2007 (Giants)
“If the 16-0 Pats hadn’t run into the Giants’ pass rush and the Helmet Catch, this squad would be in the conversation for greatest team in NFL history.”

Going back over these Super Bowls you realize that the Patriots have never won an “easy” Super Bowl.  All of these Super Bowls were games late into the 4th quarter, being decided by 4 points or less.  The endings of the last 3 Super Bowls were some of the best Super Bowl finishes, in terms of excitement.  All three had unbelievable catches in do or die situations against the Patriots.  Luckily for the Patriots, Pete Carroll refused to use Marshawn Lynch and Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson.  This has been an amazing run for Belichick and Brady and they have given us great games, lets hope that Sunday is no different.

Brees 5:4 Blessed are they that Mourn

At Brees 2014-206 Grave
Mourn with those that mourn

Brees Chapter 5 verse 4  says,

“Blessed is he that puts up 5,000 yards in vain, he shall get nothing.”

Can we all take a moment for Drew Brees?  He continues to be a top quarterback in this league, but his team is awful.  It would be like if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was stuck on The Power Rangers.  He has been so consistently good, we see his 5,000 yards and we collectively sigh, “meh”, it’s Brees.  Like he is some how given 5000 yards every season by the football gods and it should go without note.  I say we take the time to look at his season compared to the odds on favorite for MVP.

Drew Brees vs. Matt Ryan

Take a look at Drew Bree’s numbers and compare them to MVP favorite Matt Ryan’s and you won’t see a stark difference.  People are heralding Matt Ryan’s season epic.  So, let’s compare the two.  Touchdowns?  Matt Ryan threw for 38 and Drew Brees threw for 37.  Yards?  Drew Brees threw for 5,208 averaging 314 yards per game.  Matt Ryan threw for 4,944 averaging 7.7 yards.  Sacks?  Matt Ryan was sacked 37 times and Drew Brees only 27.  Interceptions?  Matt Ryan threw for 7 interceptions with a int% 1.3, while Brees threw for 15 with a int% of 2.2.  Their ratings were 117.1 to 101.7 for Matt Ryan.  It should be noted, Drew Brees was the whole team.

Their numbers aren’t that different, but their seasons were the difference between The Godfather and Mickey Blue Eyes.  Brees went 7-9 while Matt Ryan finished 11-5 on his way to his first Super Bowl.  The Saints have good coaching, a top quarterback, consistency in the organization, and still can’t put together a winning season. They are 31st in the league in points allowed per game.  Not even Brady could drag his team in the post season with that defense.  (He really would though, but then again he is the g.o.a.t for a reason)

Something needs to change, or Brees needs to get out of town and go  to a team in contention that lacks a quarterback.  This leads us to the Texans, the Broncos, or even the Chiefs.  Those teams need a quarterback and Brees would make them contenders immediately.  I am sure contractually it isn’t an option, but the NFL would be better off if that happened.  Seeing, Brock Osweiler, Alex Smith’s 16 points and Matt Moore in the playoffs isn’t good for anyone.

Brees last 3 years have been wasted on a terrible team.  I feel for the aging statistician.  He deserves more than a defense built like the French.  So take a moment and mourn Brees last 3 seasons today before we completely lock onto the Super Bowl.

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