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Weekly Pickem for week 2

So I missed posting my first week of pickem. Yea, I know, not a great way to start the season. I did make my picks in my actual fantasy league pickem and went 10-6 last week and got the Thursday night game right for this week. I’m sitting at 11-6 and I’m going to make sure I submit my picks weekly this time. Just keep in mind that the scores or just for bragging rights, who I pick to win the game is where the points come from. That being said we have a strong slate of games this week so let’s get right down to it.

BENGALS @ BEARS

Yahoo has 57% picking Bengals and I gotta follow the crowd on this one. Burrow looked very precise, poised, and methodical against the Vikings last week. The deep ball to Chase was perfect, he was playing smart, and he has some weapons to utilize. This team is better than expected on offense and Chicago doesn’t have the offensive firepower to expose the mediocre Bengals defense. The only way for Chicago to have a shot here is too, say it with me now, PUT FIELDS IN. I think Fields is talented and he’s ready. This team wants him to play and they really have a decent chemistry already with the rookie. Nagy is stubborn and Dalton plays again and his 5 yard chip passes keep them from winning another game.

CIN 30 CHI 17

TEXANS @ BROWNS

This pick isn’t as easy and safe as many people think. Am I saying Cleveland gets upset? Dear lord no, they have one of if not thee most loaded roster in the league. Am I saying the Texans will put up a decent fight, yes. Tyrod Taylor had this offense looking decent against the Jaguars. Houston also gave Lawrence and company fits on the other side of the ball. Cleveland is a whole different animal though and Baker and this offense are a well oiled machine. I think Baker finds a strong rhythm and the defense keeps Houston from controlling the game like they did last week against the Titans. I’m giving this game to the Brownies.

CLE 27 HOU 21

RAMS @ COLTS

I’m fairly comfortable with this pick. Wentz and the Colts didn’t play bad on offense at all last week. They put up solid numbers and really only struggled to convert key 4th downs and in the redzone. The defense simply ran into the phenom that is Russell Wilson. Wilson can’t really be stopped by anyone and he really whooped on the Colts defense. They won’t get much of a break here either. Stafford may not be as dynamic as Wilson, but he’s got a great arm and has solid touch. He really has a special offense and a pretty stout defense on the other side of the ball. This won’t be a huge blowout, but the Rams will win this relatively comfortably.

LAR 34 IND 20

BILLS @ DOLPHINS

Last week, the Bills got upset by the Steelers. The Steelers defense was next level good in containing Diggs and virtually shutting down Allen. The Bills were under constant pressure and could do next to nothing to score aside from that second quarter TD. Buffalo looked really rough on offense and their defense was the only reason it was close. I think they fix that this week and Miami poses less of a defensive threat. Tua is a solid player but he’s young and is still finding himself as a player. The Buffalo defense is going to give him trouble and Allen and company are going to find a little more success against this Dolphins defense. Give me Allen and the Bills this week.

BUF 24 MIA 16

PATS @ JETS

The Mac Jones era has begin and he looks promising. He was accurate and showed strong leadership and pocket presence. He was moving the ball and making some plays. He was still finding his footing and they really only lost because the team couldn’t hold onto the ball as his RBs fumbled 3 times and lost 2 of them. Granted he fumbled as well, but without those two turnovers, they very likely win the game last week. The Jets had a different story. Wilson looked rough and was literally running for his life on almost every play. They couldn’t get the run going at all and they put all the pressure on Wilson’s shoulders. Once they adjusted, he found his footing and started making plays, but it wasn’t enough. Jones is solid and New England has a decent defense. I think New York’s offensive line is just too abysmal to overcome and Jones finds his first win as a pro.

NE 23 NYJ 13

49ERS @ EAGLES

This is one of the good games to watch. Two teams who could go either way in terms of success. You have people that think these two teams could be a flop and finish at the bottom of the division and people who think they’re strong and can really compete in the division. Both teams looked strong in their first games, but to be fair both teams played against mediocre at best defenses. Still though, Hurts looks like a solid dual threat QB and made something out of his lack of weapons. He used the trio of Smith, Goedart, and Ertz to find success and used some smaller role players to fill the gaps. The 49ers opened up a can of whoopin on the Lions before they stopped trying and let the Lions offense race back into it. Both teams showed us their best last week. I give the 49ers the slight edge this week.

SF 20 PHI 17

RAIDERS @ STEELERS

This is my other 1:00 game to watch. Both teams just knocked off 2 of the leagues top teams and surprised everyone. For Pittsburgh it was an elite defense that stymied Allen and company, that very few teams have managed to do. This defense, led by Watt and Fitzpatrick, is top of the league and they just continue to dominate in the trenches and make game changing plays. However, we’re seeing some weakness from the offense without a solid offensive line and a Raiders defense that had Lamar Jackson running for his life, Pittsburgh could be in trouble on offense. Oakland forced pressure and a few costly turnovers on a Ravens offense still finding it’s identity without half it’s offense. Oakland also had success making chunk plays on command as they managed to keep the pocket clean for Carr. Pittsburgh front 7 has a bit more strength and depth than Baltimore, but I think Oakland has just enough on both sides of the ball to grab the win this week.

LV 26 PIT 24

SAINTS @ PANTHERS

In our second divisional matchup this week, we have a good game from some surprise teams. I think people had some trust in Winston finding success with New Orleans after his lasik surgery, but nobody expected him to make Rodgers and the Packers look foolish. He was slinging it all over and built some strong chemistry, especially with his speedsters. The Saints looked good and they finally found the long ball they’ve missed with Brees the past couple years. Carolina on the other hand brought in the ghost seeing QB in Darnold and hoped to turn him around a bit to get a fresh start with a new team. He went against his former team and looked comfortable and efficient, like the old Darnold was just gone. The whole offense was strong and moved the ball well. I think the Saints end up taking this game but it’ll be a shoot out.

NO 38 CAR 30

BRONCOS @ JAGUARS

Let’s give Trevor Lawrence some credit, he took the helm of a bad team with an interesting head coach and gave it his all. He had his struggles like any rookie QB is expected to, but he had some solid moments and plays. You can see there’s something solid for the Jags to build on with this young man. They still have a lot of work to do to build a strong team again, but selecting him was a good first step. The Broncos made a good step this offseason too however by grabbing Bridegwater. The Broncos really established a strong running game last week. Their defense held their ground and the team did pretty well converting on 3rd and 4th down. Facing off against a rebuilding Jags team, I like Bridgewater and the Broncos to tally on another W this week by a couple scores.

DEN 27 JAX 13

VIKINGS @ CARDINALS

Last week Murray and the Cardinals went into Nashville and lit up a strong Titans team on both sides of the ball. Murray threw for 290 and 4 TDs and rushed for one as well. They have plenty of offensive weapons and Hopkins proved he’s still a top 5 WR if not top 2. The defense was even scarier. Chandler got to the QB 5 times last week…you read that right, Jones alone had 5 SACKS. They ate Henry on the ground, eliminated the play action and crushed Tannehill in the pocket. Their opponent this week runs a fairly similar offense. Minnesota also uses a top 5 RB to establish a play action pass. The main difference is that Minnesota has a more efficient QB with better touch. Cousins is sneaky effective in passing and even in the loss last week to the Bengals, Cousins put up 350 yards and completed 74% of his passes. If they can get Cook going a little more, they stand a pretty solid chance. However, I think Arizona’s defense will dial up the pressure again and Murray will have another solid game.

ARI 24 MIN 18

FALCONS @ BUCCANEERS

This is the big blowout of the week. TB12 and the Bucs have the most complete offense out there. They work the whoe field, they move the ball, and they score at will. They also tend to defend well against anyone that isn’t Dak Prescott. Tom Brady is the GOAT for a reason and proved that much against the Cowboys as they marched down field and did pretty much whatever they wanted. Atlanta had an average and young Philly team roll in and absolutely work them over. Matt Ryan couldn’t get anything going and the run game was stale. Philly did just as much damage on the other side as Atlanta had no answers for Hurts and the offense and I can’t imagine they’ll fair any better against a top Bucs offense helmed by the best of all time. This will be a laugher.

TB 41 ATL 13

COWBOYS @ CHARGERS

This game is gonna be a slugfest. You have two teams that are really solid on offense with average defenses. I think LA stands more of a chance than people wanna admit. LA out worked a strong Washington defense and stymied a potent Football Team passing attack. Granted they were adjusting to losing Fitzmagic and bringing in Heinick, but we saw just how solid and poise he can be on Thursday. Herbert is proving to be a solid and efficient QB and I think they will put up a solid fight. However, this Cowboys offense is stacked with weapons and Dak is capable of slinging the ball all over the place. I think the key to this game for the Cowboys will be getting Zeke more involved as he was flat out just not used by the Cowboys. I think they’ll use him more this week and grind out a competitive win over the Chargers.

DAL 27 LAC 20

TITANS @ SEAHAWKS

If you watched Tennessee and Arizona last week, you saw a monster upset beat down by the Cardinals. They took Henry away from the offense and just overwhelmed and abused Tannehill. The defense played just as poor, letting Murray do whatever he wanted. They looked so out of character and lost. The competition doesn’t get any easier this week as they head to the legendary 12th man to battle Russ and the Seahawks. Russ whooped on the Colts defense just the same way Murray did to Tennessee. The Seahawks arguably have a better defense too so I won’t be surprised if this thing turns out the same way. I love Henry and Brown and it’s fun to watch this scrappy Titans team, but I think they’re roundly mismatched against Seattle this week.

SEA 37 TEN 23

CHIEFS @ RAVENS

This is the matchup we all need and can’t wait to see for week 2. Mahommes vs Lamar, Reid vs Harbaugh, it should be fun and exciting to watch. Last week we saw the Chiefs come out slow against the Browns. The Browns showed up ready to fight and actually went into half beating KC 22-10. Mahommes and the Chiefs came out after half though and made it rain on the Browns. He was exceptional in the second half and really displayed why he’s the best in the league. On the other side, Lamar had a very solid game prior to the fumbles, even though he spent half the game running for his life. Lamar faced pressure on 56% of his dropbacks but still managed to have the Ravens on top for most of the night. Eventually the pressure caught up to him and he had a few costly turnovers. This team has had horrible luck with 15 injuries already this season. I think a healthy Ravens team beats the Chiefs, since the Ravens are 15-2 in primetime home games. I’m going to have to give the Chiefs the edge though here with an injury riddled Ravens team, but it will be close.

KC 34 BAL 31

LIONS @ PACKERS

If you all watched or at least followed the Packers game last week, you’ll see that Rodgers and the Pack just flat out forgot to show up. They were absolutely brutalized and embarrassed by the Saints and Jameis Winston. Rodgers is not about to let the Lions do the same thing. Rodgers has a solid amount of weapons and is also a top 10 QB all time. He’s going to shake the cobwebs out, have a talk with Adams and they’re going to find their swagger again. The Lions were getting totally demolished by the 49ers last week, at one point down 38-10, and managed to fight back into it after the 49ers let off the throttle. The Lions defense looks very rough and, now having lost Okudah, they will be easy pickens for Rodgers and company. I think Rodgers reminds everyone who he is and just why people thought they would be competing for a title this season.

GB 31 DET 20

There you have it, my week 2 pickems and summarized breakdowns are written and recorded, hopefully my good luck for pickem keeps rolling. We have a pretty solid slate of games to look forward to and plenty of enticing matchups. Good luck to everyone’s teams, leave plenty of likes and comments, and see you all next week. And as always, thanks for reading!

Fantasy Hot Takes/Bold Predictions for 2021

Ok everyone, it’s here, a fresh season of football is upon us. With Covid and a whole lot of other craziness over the past year and a half, the long awaited return of a normal(as normal as NFL football can be) football season is here. For some of us, football season is something we eagerly wait for many months for. Football Sunday, Thursday Night Football, Monday Night football, they’re like Christmas for us. Part of this beautiful season is fantasy, bets, and personal competition and comments of all kinds. Well who am I to not take part in this tradition. As you all know, I do a pickem every season and I’m heavily involved in fantasy as well. This season I wanted to start out with a bang and do my own personal hot takes and predictions for the season. I’m even gonna risk embarrassment by breaking one of my personal rules and predicting the 4 teams to make it to the Championship games this season. So, lets get right down to it.

FANTASY PREDICTIONS

Lamar Finishes as the top fantasy QB and passes for 4,000 yards

I know this seems like a homer pick, but the pieces are there and the proof is in the pudding. Lamar completes a very fair amount of deep passes and is very good over the middle. Lamar is 2nd since starting back in 2018 in effectiveness in pure passing situations. He also is in the bottom half of the league in passes off target. He’s a better passer than he’s given credit for and spent all offseason working on passing, specifically outside the hash marks and down field. The Ravens also beefed up the offensive line this offseason and brought in a handful of new weapons. Plus Lamar also happens to be one of the most electrifying and gifted running quarterbacks in NFL history. Lamar has finished top 6 in his 2 full seasons as a starter and he gets better every year and has newer and better weapons this season. Look for him to prove the doubters wrong again.

Baker finishes top 7 in fantasy QBs

This Cleveland Browns team has the highest ceiling out of any team in the league. They had a great season last year as they beat the Steelers in the playoffs and gave the Chiefs all they could handle. What more they do to improve you ask? Oh I don’t know maybe just build the best offensive line, with 4 of their 5 starters ranking 1 or 2 in their positions. They also have the strongest RB duo in the league. They have very strong receiving weapons and they added a plethora of defensive talent this offseason. This team looks very strong and if they can mesh well and Baker takes another step forward, this train may have enough steam to go farther than they’ve ever gone before. I like Baker to be a top fantasy QB and maybe even be an MVP candidate this season.

Nick Chubb finishes as the leagues top rusher

Speaking of the Browns, lets address the oh-so-talented Nick Chubb out of the backfield. He finished 7th in rushing last season and that was after rushing only 190 times. He average 5.6 yards per carry, had he rushed closer to 250 like most of the other top rushers, he’d have been up towards the top. He’s a very special and talented runner and the O-line starters have returned and I look for him to get plenty of opportunities to prove me right. Kareem Hunt will take some carries away, but Chubb is too good to keep out of the game. He’s going to go off and have a huge season.

Zeke Elliott finishes out of the top 10

This one is going to catch some flak from football minds. Everyone loves Zeke, hell, I love Zeke. He’s a very gifted and consistent runner and athlete. Last year was his lowest season rushing however, failing to break 1,000 yards. With Dak back, I surprisingly think that keeps things from changing much along with more growth from Tony Pollard. Dak is back and will be aggressive and strong. Dak was on fire before his season ending injury and will prove to be the same talent again this season. They have a lot of mouths to feed on that offense, but not everyone gets to eat as much as they’d like. Zeke will do better than last season, but he won’t have the resurgence that people have been anticipating with Dak’s return.

Jalen Hurts won’t make top 15 in fantasy

Plenty of people are on the Hurts hype train in fantasy. I mean why not? He’s proven to be a gifted athlete and a dependable winner. He’s a solid dual threat option, how can a running QB not break top 15? It’s simple, he’s young and has very little weapons. Sure he has a solid line, but he’s young still. It takes guys time to become good or even solid QBs. Hurts just looked too shaky with what we saw from him last season. Factor in the fact that he has no dependable weapons outside of his TEs and RB, and his inexperience and it’s a bad recipe for the season. This team isn’t strong on paper and he’s just not in a good place to have success this season. Look for him to struggle to find his footing this season.

Jameis Winston will finish in the top 10

Let’s not pretend that Winston didn’t just finish the 2019 season with 5,000 passing yards and 33 TDs. Sure he threw 30 INTs, but lasik eye surgery could be the difference between season of stats that are all over the map and a consistently efficient season. I know that seems like a joke, but don’t give up on old Jameis yet. The sample size we saw in the preseason was small and it’s preseason so it has to be taken lightly, but he showed a different Jameis then we’re used to. We saw a QB with poise, readability, precision, and smart decision making. He looked like an old broken down toy given a repair and a new sense of fight and motivation, setting the stage perfectly for a comeback we won’t forget.

Julio Jones has the best season of ANY Titans weapon

See when i say ANY offensive weapon, I mean any. He will have a better season than Brown, Firkser, Henry, any Titan player for Tannehil to get the ball to, he’ll overshadow them. Julio Jones was unanimously considered the best WR in the league hands down just a couple of years ago. Granted this offense isn’t as gunslinging as Atlanta’s, and he’s definitely not the same young buck he was, but he’s still more than capable of posting solid numbers. He did just have 1,200 yards and 10 TDs 2 years ago. He has a system where the defense can’t put all focus on him and a QB who has perfected using the run to open up play action to make space for his receivers. Look for Jones to remind us of why he was once considered the best in the league.

Bold Predictions For The Season

AFC champions will be from the AFC North

As much as I love what the Chiefs and Bills have put together, it’s so easy to get lost in their success and power, that we forget to remember the next tier or even the surprises to come. KC and Buffalo are top dawgs in the conference and rightfully so. They prove the past few seasons they’re here and it’s going to take some strength and discipline to take them down. Enter in Baltimore and Cleveland. Baltimore is one season off from going 14-2 with the MVP under center. The team they’ve assembled this season has the few pieces that 14-2 team was missing. Maturity, more weapons for Lamar, and a more diverse pass rush. They added some bodies to the defense that are capable of getting in the backfield in a hurry, and they’ve added a couple of weapons that fit the scheme very nicely. Harbaugh may have something special that’s capable of stringing together a few playoff wins. Let’s not forget though that last year’s Browns made the playoffs and knocked off the favored Steelers. That Browns team looked strong and hungry, but they just fell short at the hands of the Chiefs. They ended up adding even more pieces on both sides of the ball and have even more chemistry amongst them this season. This team looks incredibly stacked and tough, maybe tough enough to dethrone the kings of the AFC.

NFC Champions will be one of the old rival QBs

Just last season, Stafford and Rodgers faced off twice a year as divisional rivals. Rodgers had the fortune of representing the stout and strong Packers, while Stafford had the misfortune of representing the comical and sluggish Lions. This season, the script has flipped for Stafford as he finds himself on an already established and strong Rams team lead by a hell of a coach in Sean McVay. They will finally have strong and proven quarterback play this year. They will have to outduel a Green Bay team that looks to maximize what could be the final season of Rodgers and Adams together in Green and Gold. Rodgers wants to go out of Green Bay on top though in one last prove it all effort. The only problem is, they have to usurp the GOAT with 7 rings to make it there. I believe either Rodgers or Stafford will be the one to finally take Brady down and make it to the Super Bowl.

Lamar will win his second MVP

You can call this a homer pick all you want, but I’ve seen the offseason development, the added weapons and the joint practices. Lamar has made some solid improvements in his passing. This notion that the NFL has “figured him out” is silly. There’s nothing to figure out when the guy who throws the ball, also happens to be the fastest and most skilled player on the field. They’ve given him some new weapons, added to the offensive line, and his passing, poise, and vision seem to have strongly improved. You will no longer see a QB who will struggle when forced to throw outside or downfield as you all claim. We will see a QB who can just do whatever it is that he damn well pleases on the field. He’s not going to be perfect, but he will make a sizeable jump in his passing ability to accompany his ever skilled and dangerous feet. I think he sets the league on fire to the tune of 4K passing and 1K rushing. Call me a homer all you want, that’s just how I see it.

Brady and the Bucs get knocked out of the playoffs early

We all know Brady is the goat. It’s an accepted ideal at this point, we can all be adults about it. Last year Brady and company burned the league left and right on their way to that sweet Lombardi trophy and his 7th ring. They brought back much or even all of the same starters. So how could I possibly justify a hot take like this? Well I’ll tell you how, the rest of the league is maturing and getting stronger. The next generation is here and it’s adding wisdom and strength every season. Mahommes, Lamar, Allen, Baker, Herbert, etc., they’re the future of the league and the QB position as a whole. At some point, Brady’s reign will end and the baton will be passed completely. Nobody is saying that that is happening now, but this may be

There you have it, some bold fantasy projections and some hot takes for the season mixed in. I know I speak for us all when I say this time of year is like being a kid walking into the world’s largest candy store. The familiar pre-game jingles, the pre game analysis, the fanfare, the predictions, the tailgates, it all adds up to a truly magical time of year and it’s now just around the corner. With that, I thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and just supporting in whatever ways you do. Good luck in your fantasy leagues, good luck to your NFL teams, and let’s all enjoy yet another glorious NFL season.

Week 1 NFL Breakdowns and Predictions

So I missed my promised deadline of noon Friday, sorry Covid makes life crazy. It’s here now and I’m just excited to write the first Breakdown article in months. Football season is in the air and we all need our fix of it. The world has been full of uncertainty and wild cards this year and the return of football gives us a taste of normalcy and real hope. With that said we have a good slate of week 1 games and I wont stall any longer.

SEAHAWKS VS FALCONS

This matchup pins two teams against each other that are all too familiar with one another. They have met 5 time in the last 5 years and they both bring a roster and coaching consistency that leaves both teams feeling as prepared as any team can be with no preseason and cut down camps. The Falcons flash new weapons in Gurley and Hurst as they hope to return to the same offensive firepower we’ve seen in years passed. The Seahawks boast a strong offense and defense though on the other side. The Hawks added Jamaal Adams and Quinton Dunbar to its secondary, while the Falcons hope to have rejuvenated their pass rush with Dante Fowler Jr. I think this game is a very good game that should be close. For the Falcons to win they need to pressure Russ, but having only racked up 28 sacks last season, i don’t think that will happen.

SEAHAWKS 24 FALCONS 20

RAVENS VS BROWNS

This game should be more fun than people realize. The Ravens set the league ablaze last year with a very strong defense and a historical rushing attack. Lamar had an MVP season where he led the league in passing TDs while also setting the season QB rushing record. They finished 14-2 and looked poised for the Super Bowl. Then they met the Titans in round 1 where Derrick Henry exposed their true weaknesses in the rush defense and middle linebackers. They got blind sided and now the whole team has returned with a chip and with Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, and Patrick Queen bolstering those weaknesses. The Browns added a stud TE in Austin Hooper and have the talent to have a good season ans flirt with breaking their postseason draught. Can a new coaching staff and rejuvenated Baker Mayfield bring this team into the limelight they’ve been fighting the past few years for? They can, but this game is in Baltimore and Lamar is hungry to prove doubters wrong again. I think this is a decisive Ravens win.

RAVENS 34 BROWNS 23

BILLS VS JETS

This is a game that is going to have people buzzing when its over. The Bills snagged a weapon for Allen in Stefon Diggs and he’s put in a great camp and looks very eager to play. The Bills have plenty of talent and look to build off their playoff season from last year. The Jets on the other hand, oof. Thats the best thing I can think to say. They have little to no weapons for Darnold. Theyre extremely thin at WR, so all pressure falls on an aged LeVeon Bell and TE Chris Herndon. They’re also gonna be hurting with Mosley out this season. This Jets team looks poised for another rough season. This game wont be close, at all, ever.

BILLS 41 JETS 13

PANTHERS VS RAIDERS

I can actually see this being a good game as well. The Panthers let their incumbent Cam Newton go and welcomed in Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is a good game manager and plays with a high IQ. He has Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson, Ian Thomas, and DJ Moore. Oh and a guy by the name of Christian McCaffrey. This offense is sneaky strong and could pose some problems for many teams. The Raiders have some weapons of their own. They have a plethora of guys on offense to move the ball and keep the defense guessing. The defense is decent all around but they have one red flag, and that is their secondary. It’ll be decent game but the Panthers will get McCaffrey involved in both aspects and take advantage of that secondary.

PANTHERS 20 RAIDERS 13

LIONS VS BEARS

This division matchup highlights the QB battle between Foles and Trubisky, and the ever burning hot seat of Matt Patricia. Trubisky has won the job for now, but can he hold on to it. The Bears added a couple guys on both sides and look like theyre working to improve. The Lions last year did a major dive bomb at the end of the season. The Lions turned a seemingly promising start to the season, into a tragic disappointment. They added Swift and AP to their backfield and a few names to the defensive side of the ball. If they’re going to save Patricias job, they need this to be the season they turn things around. I give the Bears the edge this time in a close one.

BEARS 27 LIONS 23

JAGUARS VS COLTS

I think this is our second blowout of the day. This one likely comes as no surprise. The Jags may have Minshews Mustache Magic, but that’s about all they have. This team has a couple guys he can use as weapons but with a mediocre defense and average at best offense, they seem to be a sure thing to snag Trevor Lawrence in the spring. The Colts are coming in with Rivers at the helm and a handful of weapons to play with. Rivers has actually won 7 of his last 8 against Jacksonville. They have a stronger offense and a much stronger defense. This game speaks for itself

COLTS 38 JAGS 17

VIKINGS VS PACKERS

A rivalry as old as the game itself, this one always brings us good football. This rivalry always bring us good football and the Kirk vs Rodgers rivalry has become the latest chapter in the storied rivalry. The Vikings are very young at secondary, they have all their starting corners under the age of 23. Make no mistake though, they’re still bolstered by a tough front 7 and one of the best safety tandems in the league in Smith and Harris. The Packers had great success with just a 3 man rush last year. They saw great production from Smith and Smith and are hoping their WRs can take a step forward after failing to add any names in the off-season. For a fun change of pace I consulted my fellow analyst and football afficionado Kaylee Aaron for this breakdown and the score prediction is 100% hers. Feel free to consult her for any football or fantasy football talk or tips, she really knows her stuff.

PACKERS 30 VIKINGS 24

PATRIOTS VS DOLPHINS

A game that was once a sure thing for Belicheck and his crew is now more uncertain than ever. Not only with the end of the Tom Brady era, but also the recent games against Miami. Fitzmagic has shown up in full swing lately in these matchups and having lost a handful of guys, including TB12, could make that even more likely. The Pats brought in Cam Newton, and the Dolphins strengthened both sides through the draft and free agency. This game is no longer an easy win for the Pats and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Cam settles into this new offense. I’m going to give the Pats the edge but just barely

PATS 17 DOLPHINS 16

FOOTBALL TEAM VS EAGLES

I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to typing that. The first breakdown of the Washington Football Team. They come into this game at home and hope that gives them an advantage. The main story for the Redskins is the arrival of Rivera and how he can help this team. They have to hope Haskins has taken a step forward in his development. He has minimal weapons on the field but will surely lean heavily on a packed backfield and Scary Terry on the outside. The Eagles on the other hand have a new look on defense to feature. They bring in Darius Slay, Mills has moved to cover for the departed Malcolm Jenkins, and they add Nickell Roby-Coleman. They still have a strong offense, so long as Wentz stay healthy. I look for the Eagles to pull out a comfortable win.

EAGLES 30 FOOTBALL TEAM 16

BENGALS VS CHARGERS

This game has 2 new faces at QB for each team. The Bengals look to keep the legend of Joe Burrow rolling on a strong note, while the Chargers try Tyrod Taylor out and hope he can provide that playoff push that Rivers couldn’t. This game also sees Chris Harris debuting as a Bolt for the first time. He’ll be matching up against once again healthy AJ Green. It will be a game of question marks but this Chargers defense is stout and the Bengals hope a new face at QB will be enough to open up all that talent on the offensive side of the ball. I think the Bengals surprise everyone here.

BENGALS 26 CHARGERS 20

SAINTS VS BUCCANEERS

This is the premiere, highlight game of the week. The 2 GOAT candidates come face to face in their first matchup as divisional rivals. Tom Brady has his biggest arsenal of weapons to date, Brees has only the best WR in the league and a top 5 RB. This game is poised to be a very good game. Expect this game to be very high scoring. These 2 teams both finished in the top 10 in offensive output last season and Jameis Winston led the league in yards. No offense to Winston but Brady is the GOAT so he should have no problem making use of these weapons. The main question is, have the Bucs managed to build chemistry in one short and corona crazy offseason? This the GOAT we’re talking about, but with Evans slated to sit this one out, I give Brees the nod.

SAINTS 41 BUCS 31

49ERS VS CARDINALS

Another solid and anticipated game. There’s a lot of pressure on San Fran to make another deep playoff run behind that amazing defense. On the other side Kyler Murray has high expectations from fans, experts, and probably teammates and coaches to take a massive step forward. The Cardinals snagged Hopkins in a blockbuster trade and he now has lots of strong weapons. He has Nuk, Fitz, Kirk, Drake, Arnold, and Isabella. There’s a lot for Murray to work with and hopefully he can make those weapons work because this 49ers defense is scary good and Bosa will be breathing down his neck all game long.

49ERS 26 CARDS 17

RAMS VS COWBOYS

This game wont be too close and will be high scoring. There’s been a ton of hype around the Cowboys this season. They have an elite o-line, Dak, Zeke, Lamb, Cooper, Gallup, Jarwin, and hell even Pollard. This offense will finish at the top of the league and this Rams attack will not be stopping them. They will keep up a little but not nearly enough. Don’t get me wrong the Rams are no offensive slouch, but they are missing Gurley and we don’t know what to expect from Henderson and Akers. I’m going to keep this one short and just say coach McCarthy gets his first win with Dallas.

COWBOYS 48 RAMS 28

GIANTS VS STEELERS

The Steelers could not be happier to have Big Ben at the helm again. The loss of Ben caused a downward spiral for the Steel City last season. Without Ben, Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph tried to pick up the pieces but just couldn’t make it work. They bring back Ben and their high powered defense and hope he has enough left to lead them to the playoffs. But don’t sleep on the Giants. Jones did pretty decent last season and Barkley isnt injured anymore. Their WRs are sneaky good and they could be looking up, but can they make up for that defense. Not against a Hall of Famer like Big Ben.

STEELERS 27 GIANTS 18

BRONCOS VS TITANS

Wrapping up the first breakdown of the season with the team that shocked the football world by upsetting the Ravens in the playoffs last year. They bring back all their major pieces aside from Logan Ryan but they’re going to lean on King Henry and Tannehils play action game managing. The Broncos have one big question to answer on their end. Will Drew Lock bw good enough to utilize all this talent? They have Sutton, Fant, Hamler, Jeudy, Hamilton, Gordon, Lindsay. It seems like too much for one team. Luckily they have a smart coach, and they will ease Lock into things. Put me down for Drew Lock with the upset.

BRONCOS 27 TITANS 16

Well there we have it, the first breakdown and prediction of the season. I had my first pick collaboration with analyst and friend Kaylee Aaron and I couldn’t be more pumped for the season. Good luck to everyone and their fantasy seasons, and please share, comment, and let me know what you think. Thank you!

NFL Divisional Round Analysis and Predictions

Well I went 2 for 2 last weekend, and I’m hoping I can do better this weekend. This weekend has some solid matchups and if the games are as exciting and suspenseful as last weekend, it’ll be way worth the watch. Can the Titans slow down the Ravens offense? Can Mahommes light up the Texans defense and suppress the Watson magic? Can Rodgers pull another miracle against the depleted Seahawks? Can the Vikings pull of another shocking upset against the 49ers? Let me break things down for ya

VIKINGS (10-6) @ 49ERS (13-3)

Many have given the Vikings little to no chance to win this game. The 49ers have been amazing this season and have been one of the top teams in the league. The 49ers have had nothing but close games to finish out the year though. Their last 5 games were decided on the last play of the game. Their hoping things wont come to that this week. Both teams have top 10 rushing offenses and they both are tied for 5th in sacks this season. This game will see two very evenly matched teams look to establish the run to feed off of play action while getting plenty of pressure on the other side of the ball. The Vikings are coming off an upset win over the Saints and are lethal with Dalvin Cook in the backfield. These Vikings do so well in adjusting their defensive game plan from week to week, and this week they have a strong chance of pulling another upset if they can stop the run and nullify the Niners play action offense.

BOLD PREDICTION: Dalvin Cook runs for more yards than the 49ers pass for. This game will see a tough time for passing. Both teams rely heavily on the run to establish the pass. They both will see some success in this game running but Cook will be the biggest success story on the ground in this one. The Niners defense is 17th against the run and he’s coming off a 94 yard and 2 TD game against the 4th ranked Saints defense. I think he’ll rush for more than the Niners pass for and will do way more than enough to open up their passing game a bit.

SCORE PREDICTION: VIKINGS 23 49ERS 20

TITANS (9-7) @ RAVENS (14-2)

The Lamar led Ravens are playing back in the spotlight again as the red hot Henry and his Titans come into town. This game will see some heavy running and some great success doing it. Derrick Henry is an absolute menace outside the tackles and we all know the Ravens will look to continue their historic offensive rush attack in the playoffs. Tannehil has been sensational this season against the blitz, sporting a 120 passer rating against it, and he’ll need to tap into that as he’s facing a defense that blitzes more than any other team. Henry will get his touches and have his success as the Ravens major defensive weakness is tackling in space, and we know the Ravens cant be contained on offense for long. The key to this will be the QBs. Lamar has to go vertical downfield to keep the defense guessing and Tannehil will have to convert the run success into some passing success. The question will be which QB can make the most of the run and perform the best in the spotlight.

BOLD PREDICTION: THERE WILL BE A COMBINED RUSHING TALLY OF OVER 300 YARDS. A stat like that would be nothing new to a Ravens team that averages 200 yards a game. Henry is a beast in his own right, and remember what I said earlier, he thrives outside the tackles and the Ravens defense struggles in space. He will get over 25 touches and turn in a 150 yard game and the Ravens multidimensional rush attack will have well over that. Which run heavy unit will prevail?

SCORE PREDICTION: RAVENS 34 TITANS 20

TEXANS (10-6) @ CHIEFS (12-4)

This game features two of the most electric young QBs in the game. The Texans will get back Fuller after getting Watt back last week. Watt’s return paid dividends for Houston, as he and Mercilus combined for 13 pressures. The only area where Watt looked shaky was against the runs outside. That wouldn’t bode well against some faster opponents, which the Chiefs have plenty of speedy options. Look for the Chiefs to runs plenty of outside pitch plays and WR sweeps. The Texans are going to have to open up the run game and let Watson work his magic. Watson has easily one of the most dangerous passing weapons in the league, and gets his 2nd option back this week. They average more than 5 points more a week when Fuller is in the lineup. Fuller relieves pressure from Hopkins and opens up the threat down field. Watson will certainly play well having all his options, so long as his line can hold up this week. Against Buffalo they missed many assignments in the blocking scheme and Watson was forced to run a season high 14 times. They need to win the battle upfront and allow Watson to utilize the return of Fuller.

BOLD PREDICTION: WATSON AND MAHOMMES COMBINE FOR OVER 700 YARDS AND 8 TDS. This game will be a shootout with these special gunslingers at the helm. Watson gets his full WR group back so he should be looking to exploit the secondary and make his energizing brand of magic. Mahommes is a bit of a magic man himself and has one of the fastest WR groups at his disposal. Look for him to try and take the top off this defense.

SCORE PREDICTION: TEXANS 38 CHIEFS 34

SEAHAWKS (11-5) @ PACKERS (13-3)

The matchup of Rodgers vs Wilson is sure to be a chess match up wits, crazy passes, and playmaking finesse. This will prove to be another exciting dual in this playoff rivalry. The Seahawks are coming off a game where they looked rough blocking with Duane Brown and the d-line didn’t get consistent pressure against a shaky Eagles team. This time around they are facing a strong o-line that protects one of the best playmaking QBs in history. They need to slow down the Packers’ run game, and Russ needs to be the best player on the field once again. The Packers are going to have to get to Russ. Russ has a tendency of playing not up to his standard against Green Bay. A unit that has added the QB menace Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith. They also need to use their superior run attack. The Packers run game has the advantage over the Seahawks who rely on an old Beast Mode and the rookie in Homer.

BOLD PREDICTION: RODGERS AND WILSON COMBINE FOR 5 TOTAL TURNOVERS. This game has 2 solid pass attacks backed up by solid coaching regimes. They will game plan to attack and throw the two hall of fame QBs off their game. Look for both sides to rush often and contain the scrambling passers and force turnovers in any way possible.

SCORE PREDICTION: PACKERS 20 SEAHAWKS 16

There we have it, I’ve made my picks and bold predictions and I hope to build on a better week last week. If things work out like I have predicted, we will see an exciting Championship round of a regular season matchup where Jackson destroyed Houston, and a divisional battle between the Pack and Vikings for a hell of game. Thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts. Be sure to share with any football fans you know. Check in next week for my Championship round predictions.

NFL WILD CARD PICKS AND ANALYSIS

Ok so I’m a bit late and I’m pushing very close to game time. Better late than never though. This week sees some good matchups. Brady faces a tough, physical Titans team, we have a rematch of the Minneapolis Miracle, the Bills and Texans face off with the return of Watt, and the depleted Eagles face off against the also depleted Seahawks. Lets get down to it and break down wildcard weekend.

BILLS (10-6) @ TEXANS (10-6)

I see this game being a tough contest between the Bills formidable defense and the Texans dynamic offense and the QB battle of Allen vs Watson. The Bills are a very stout defense with a ok at best offense. They play their best when they can get Allen good field position to move down the field, grind out the clock, and put up just enough points. They finished in the bottom half of the league in most offensive stats aside from rushing. Lucky for them Houston’s defense lower than 24th in most key defensive stats like total defense, pass yards allowed, and rush yards allowed. I think the key difference maker in this game is the absence of Will Fuller. Fuller takes pressure off of Deandre Hopkins and spreads out the defense as a huge deep threat. With him on the field they average over 25 points, but without him they average less than 20. The injury report lists him officially as out. I see Tredavious White making things difficult for Hopkins, and the Bills win a close, grind it out defensive contest.

PREDICTION: BILLS 23 TEXANS 17

TITANS (9-7) @ PATRIOTS (12-4)

This has been a hot upset pick for many experts. The key to beating the Patriots has proven to be to run with power and success. Well, it just so happens that the Titans have the top RB of the season and the strongest one at that. They have run the play action offense to pure perfection and will look to do the same against the Patriots. This team presents a bad matchup for the Pats and will hope to use their run game to overcome Brady and Belicheck on a stage where the Pats are really tough to beat. This Patriots defense this year has been top 3 and mostly number 1. They may have to battle with Baltimore, Buffalo, and San Fran for that honor, but they’ve been great nonetheless. They are the best in forcing key turnovers and making key plays when they need them. Theyve overshadowed the average at best offense of the Pats this season, but as we have seen in years past, defense on the big stage can lead to trophies. The Titans bring in a favorable matchup against New England and they have shown weakness this season, but until I see proof that they can be stifled in the playoffs, I won’t pick against a team that shines in January and is lead by the greatest coach and QB tandem ever.

PREDICTION: PATS 27 TITANS 21

VIKINGS (10-6) @ SAINTS (13-3)

We’re being graced with a rematch of the Minneapolis Miracle and I love it. The Saints have been red hot lately and Brees is playing lights out. Plus he has Michael Thomas, who is easily the league’s best receiver this season. The Vikings are only 4-4 on the road and road contests dont get much more difficult than the Superdome. Plus Cousins doesn’t seem to play well in the spotlight games. However, Cook is back and healthy and will let the Vikings tap back into their strong play-action offense. If the Vikings will actually let Cousins use the run to branch out the passing game and throw down field to his strong WR duo, they can put up big points. When Cousins gets the ok to throw down field to Thielen and Diggs, this team thrives. Its in games where they abandon that play action game, where they struggle and look sloppy. Brees and company will surely put up over 30 points and for Cousins and this offense to keep up, they need to utilize the play action to open up their passing attack. I actually like the upset here as the Vikings get a big game from Cook and allow Cousins to use that to attack downfield. I’m taking the Vikings in the shootout in the Superdome.

PREDICTION: VIKINGS 38 SAINTS 34

SEAHAWKS (11-5) @ EAGLES (9-7)

This game would have no business being close, unless the Seahawks were injury riddled and the Eagles were playing at home….oh wait that’s exactly the story in this one. The Seahawks lost most of their backfield to injury and many others as well, having to call in the next man up mantra and call up Beast Mode to help. Despite being depleted, they made a very exciting game against the stout defense of San Francisco. The key will be to get good production from Homer and Lynch out of the backfield, and open up Metcalf to do his thing. Metcalf is a beast and a good run game can open up the pass enough to let Wilson work his magic and use Metcalf as his leading man. However, this Eagles defense is no joke and Wentz always seems to perform at home. The Eagles are a mixed bag that you never know what you’re going to get. They have come in and lost to bad teams like Miami and Detroit, but have also won big games like Green Bay and Buffalo. They have showed up in key games but have also been absent in key games. They can’t afford to fall asleep against a playoff show out like Wilson. This Seahawks team has a similar affinity for the playoff stage like Brady and the Pats. The Eagles need to get Miles Sanders off and running and hope Wentz can make magic with his no name receivers again and hope Goedert can fill some of the shoes of Ertz. I think playoff Russ will make more magic this week in a close game in Philly, sorry Philly hopefuls.

PREDICTION: SEAHAWKS 20 EAGLES 16

There you have it folks. Thats my picks and breakdowns and if this shakes out as I think it will this will lead to the Divisional matchups of Baltimore vs Buffalo, Kansas City vs New England, San Francisco vs Minnesota, and Green Bay vs Seattle. There’s some great, exciting matchups and storylines to be had with the potential for some awesome conference championship matchups. Can we see Brady vs Jackson? Or maybe an inter-divisional matchup of Buffalo vs New England? We could see another inter-divisional matchup of Minnesota vs Green Bay, or even another inter-divisional game of SF vs Seattle. Many exciting storylines and exciting potential. Please read my breakdown and predictions, let me know what you think and share with any other sports fans you know. And check in next week to see what breakdowns and storylines we can disect in the Divisional round. Thanks for reading and happy playoff season everyone!

Week 14 Analysis and Predictions

Ok so of course the week i start doing blogs for my predictions and analyses is when I have my worst week of the season. Many teams made me look like a pick em fool last week. Its ok though because I’ve never had back to back bad weeks and I don’t intend to start now. This week is when the playoff puzzle pieces are falling into place and the picture of the postseason is becoming clearer. The Ravens have proven for yet another week why they are a force to be reckoned with and the Bengals finally chalked up a W. The Seahawks have usurped the 49ers as the strongest team in the NFC but the Saints are doing their best to make the Seahawks share the seat. Many stories are playing out right now and this is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’ll be an exciting week of action and I’m excited to watch it all unfold. With that being said, let’s get down to it.

COWBOYS (6-6) @ BEARS (6-6)

The Thursday night matchup is an interesting one for sure. The Cowboys have been a standout offense this season but have lacked the ability to win close games against solid and mediocre teams alike. When the moment has called for heroism or a game breaking play, they’ve fallen short. The offense has been phenomenal, as they’re ranked 1st overall. Prescott is playing well and they’re rushing attack is top 10. They just havent been able to convert that key first down in crunch time or make the key defensive stop when they need it most. The Bears have been a rather different story. The Bears defense has been rather impressive. They rank 7th overall and are 4th in points allowed per game. The offense however has been far short of good. They rank 29th overall and have sorely missed guys like Howard and Trubisky has taken a step back in his growth. He was a solid game manager capable of putting up enough points and killing time at the end of games. This season he’s been struggling to make key throws and find a rhythm. You can’t be a skilled game manager if you can’t move down the field and put your team on top. The Cowboys are solid on both sides of the ball and I look for them to be playing with desperation as they try to stay on top of the NFC East. Give them the win here in their much needed redemption game.

PREDICTION: COWBOYS 20 BEARS 16

PANTHERS (5-7) @ FALCONS (3-9)

This game is a consolation game for two teams just looking to wrap up the season. The Panthers have seen the enigma that is Christian McCaffrey do enough to help overshadow their lackluster passing attack. McCaffrey has put up a remarkable season and has placed himself right in the middle of the MVP race. However, a lack of talented receivers and a mediocre offensive line haven’t helped much and the defense has been disappointing enough to help drag the team down to a sub-.500 record. The Falcons havent looked much better either, currently having them ranked 28th in the league. They’ve lacked any hope in their ground game ranking only 30th in that category. They’ve been just as mediocre on the other side of the ball ranking 23rd in overall defense and 27th in points allowed. They also ranked as the second worst team in getting to the QB. If they cant generate pressure on Allen, they wont be able to make the Panthers one dimensional and McCaffreys fingerprints will be all over this game. The Panthers are league best in sacks and that pressure will bother Ryan all day, and without a running game to speak of, I think they’ll lose this one badly.

PREDICTION: PANTHERS 27 FALCONS 10

BENGALS (1-11) @ BROWNS (5-7)

This game is much like the Panthers-Falcons game. Two teams who have underwhelmed this season to say the least. The Bengals have the worst record in the league and have been hurting without AJ Green and a formidable QB under center. Dalton is a solid game manager and can make some throws, but he’s clearly not the Franchise QB the Bengals need. At this point, theyre likely looking to secure the 1st overall draft pick and start their rebuild. The offensive line needs bulked up for Mixon and they need to look for pass rushers and a Franchise QB. They rank 29th in rushing, 31st in scoring, and 30th in sacks. This team needs help across the board. The Browns have all the pieces to be a formidable team, they either are lacking the coaching or just have yet to put together the chemistry and haven’t learned to play together yet. The Browns have been overshadowed by slightly below average play and lots of negative drama. They’re hungry to prove they can play well and are looking to bounce back from a frustrating loss to a depleted Steelers team. I think they will do just that as Baker is decent QB with time and the Bengals are severely lacking in the pass rush.

PREDICTION: BROWNS 23 BENGALS 13

REDSKINS (3-9) @ PACKERS (9-3)

I’m sensing a recurring theme this week as I’ve only covered 1 game of the last 3 that I think will be close. This one will be one more that I think might be a comfortable win. The Packers are a solid team with a decently well-rounded offense but a lack-luster defense. Luckily for the Packers theyre facing the worst offense in the league. Haskins has had a rough debut season, but we can likely chalk it up to a rookie that just wasnt ready to start. He struggles to push the ball down the field and they are the worst in percentage of drives that end in touchdowns and can’t put up points to save their life. To a Packers defense that only ranks 28th, that’s music to their ears. They can do enough to keep the Skins out of the end zone and we all know Rodgers and company can put up points. I see this one being a blowout for the Pack.

PREDICTION: PACKERS 37 REDSKINS 13

RAVENS (10-2) @ BILLS (9-3)

This is the strongest test the Bills have faced all season. The Ravens have won 8 in a row and are looking to keep the streak going. They have put up a historic season on the ground, led by their one of a kind playmaker Lamar Jackson. They’ve torn through some of the best defenses in the league, but Jackson did show signs of his football humanity against the 49ers daunting defense last week. The Bills also have a formidable defense. The Bills defense ranks 3rd overall and does well with getting pressure on the QB. They have a talented roster all around and have the potential to pose a very tough challenge for the Ravens. For Lamar and the Ravens, the key has been unpredictability and solid rushing. When the passing game gets rolling and they begin to open up the field, that’s when the running game is at its best, and that best has been historically great this season. Lamar is on pace to shatter Vick’s single season QB rushing record and the team is on pace to break the team single season rushing record. With Lamar sitting pretty at the front of the MVP race, they need to use his arm to help open up the run on this tough defense and keep the clock rolling and stay on the field. The Bills need to take away the passing game and force all the pressure on the run. This game will be a close game for the Ravens again amd will show that they’re beatable yet again, but they wont fall this week. I see them pushing their winning streak to 9 wins in a close game.

PREDICTION: RAVENS 27 BILLS 23

BRONCOS (4-8) @ TEXANS (8-4)

This game is gonna put a bit of a shock in the Texans. The Broncos aren’t a huge threat, but with a QB with very little game film to study, it’ll be difficult to game plan against. The Broncos have Lock starting in just his 2nd career start and 2nd career game played. He managed the game well last week against a less than formidable Chargers team. He looked sort of comfortable, and found ways to move the ball downfield and put points on the board. He converted well on 3rd downs and kept making plays. They looked like a decent table that is actually capable of winning some games. This week they have a much more daunting opponent, facing a strong Texans team that just beat the very strong Patriots. Watson has been very good this season and they have found much success on the offensive side of the ball. Their big weakness is their pass defense. They allow the 5th most passing yards and are also only ranked 27th in sacks per game. With a lack of a pass rush to frustrate the young Denver QB and a poor season against the pass, can the Texans avoid the trap game against the putrid Broncos team? I say yes, but it’ll be close. If youre betting on this, dont take the Texans with the 9.5 point spread.

PREDICTION: TEXANS 23 BRONCOS 20

LIONS (3-8-1) @ VIKINGS (8-4)

This game is your typical division rivalry that will be close only because thats how divisional games tend to go. David Blough made headlines for the Lions last week as he stood out with a big game against the Bears. He made big plays and kept the ball moving downfield. Despite their putrid record they have the 7th best offense in the league. Their big struggle is on the defense. They struggle all across the board. They’re 29th in total defense, 25th in scoring defense, and 31st in red zone defense. This Vikings offense can catch fire in an instant and could easily abuse this revolving door defense. The Vikings have a top 10 offense and can put up points in a hurry. Diggs is one of the most elusive players with the ball in his hands and has game breaking speed. Of course, they also have Dalvin Cook who has the 5th most rushing yards and is tied for 1st in rushing TDs. The defense is decent and will surely be looking to put pressure on Blough in this one. They are 11th in points allowed and 14th in sacks. I look for them to put plenty of pressure on Blough and to let Cook produce on the offensive side to establish a rhythm. The Lions need to keep Cook from making plays and try to keep the Vikings off the field if they can. I dont think this game will be super close but Blough will make a solid effort in keeping up with the Vikings.

PREDICTION: VIKINGS 34 LIONS 24

49ERS (10-2) @ SAINTS (10-2)

This is definitely the game of the week. The Saints are the top seed in the NFC and the 49ers just were the top seed last week prior to a close loss to the Ravens. The 49ers have been one of the biggest surprises this season and a team very worthy of their top 5 power rankings spot. The 49ers have the 6th ranked offense and the top defense in the league. They’re 2nd in both points allowed and sacks. They have a lethal front 7 and were the first team to make Baltimore look human and beatable. They bring constant pressure and are capable of making even the top passing offenses look average. Bosa, Buckner, and Armstead have anchored a defensive line that gets constant pressure and are a huge nuisance. The QB theyre facing however is one of the best passers of all time. Brees is part of the GOAT conversation and is very calm, collective, and can make all the throws. They’re a top 10 passing attack and are top 10 on defense as well. The X Factor in this one will likely be Taysom Hill. When Hill gets involved in multiple aspects of the game, its keeps defense on their heels and opens up the game for Brees and company. Lets not forget either that Michael Thomas is in the middle of a potential record breaking season. This will surely be a good game and it’ll be close, but I see Brees and the Saints coming through in a close one.

PREDICTION: SAINTS 30 49ERS 28

DOLPHINS (3-9) @ JETS (4-8)

This is a battle of the most inconsistent teams in the league. The Dolphins were once the embarrassment of the league, but have followed an 0-7 start with a 3-2 stretch. They have beaten the Jets once already and are coming off of a shootout game against the Eagles. Fitzpatrick has played rather well the last 3 weeks or so and they’re starting to not be so embarrassing. They’re starting to balance out their putrid defense, but still find it very tough to keep up with the troublesome 30th ranked defense. They have practically no run game and can’t keep offenses out of the end zone. Lucky for them their opponent is 1 of 2 teams that is worse on offense. The Jets have been close to just as bad this season, having lost to both laughing stocks this season in the Bengals and Dolphins. We’ve seen Darnold come out and look like a reliable QB, and we’ve seen him come out and look terrible and unable to sense pressure. We never know what to expect when the Jets take the field. The difference maker in this one will be LeVeon Bell against the Dolphins 31st ranked run defense and the Jets 6th ranked defense. I look for the Jets to do just enough to outlast the Dolphins.

PREDICTION: JETS 38 DOLPHINS 30

COLTS (6-6) @ BUCCANEERS (5-7)

This is another game that is hard to predict and pin down. The Colts once had the makings of a good team, capable of making the playoffs. They’re not out of the playoff race, but just have looked like a shell of their former selves lately. They’ve lost 4 of their last 5 and just have seemed to struggle without Hilton. They are more or less middle of the pack in most stats aside from rushing and converting 3rd and 4th downs. The Buccaneers do very well against the run and in stopping offenses on 3rd down. The one game breaking piece that Tampa Bay struggles with that is a strength of Indy is those pesky 4th down attempts. They give up the 6th most 4th down conversions per game. I think this game could easily come down to that part of the game and it can be a huge difference makes. The Colts will keep Winston from scorching them, and will force a key turnover or 2, as well as converting 1 or 2 key 4th downs. Give this one to the Colts close.

PREDICTION: COLTS 27 BUCS 24 OT

CHARGERS (4-8) @ JAGUARS (4-8)

We have finally gotten the Minshew Mania return that we’ve all been hoping for. The Mustached Enigma has returned and we’re all so thankful and here for it. He returns after being benched following Foles’ recovery from an injury. Foles has played the last 3 games and all 3 games have been heavy losses. Foles just hasn’t had the same magic in Jacksonville as he did in Philly. The Jaguars are about middle of the pack in almost all stats except scoring. They’re 29th in scoring in the red zone and 22nd in keeping their opponents out of the red zone. They can only hope the return of Minshew can spark some life into this offense and change their scoring problems for the better. The Chargers have been possibly one of the most disappointing teams this season. Many teams thought them capable of making a playoff push and even contending with the Chiefs this year. That has been far from the case though as they’re a measly 4-8. They have ranked 12th in total offense and 4th in total defense. So whats the issue with this Chargers team? Their biggest flaw is their turnovers, they rank 28th in turnover margin. They can’t seem to not throw picks and can’t really force them themselves. This game will come down to Minshew and Fournette. Can they capitalize on LA’s inability to force turnovers or generate pressure? Or will LA find a rhythm and get Gordon and Ekeler rolling? I say the Jags find a way to use Minshew’s return as a spark and ride the momentum to a win.

PREDICTION: JAGS 17 CHARGERS 13

STEELERS (7-5) @ CARDINALS (3-8-1)

This game is more predictable than expected. I think people see this as a close game. Murray is a solid dual threat, Fitzgerald is ole reliable, and they can make plays, but this season they’re 23rd on offense and have the worst defense in the league. They fail to generate alot of pressure amd don’t really force turnovers. Connor has a small chance to return for the Steelers this week and that can help bring more stability to Duck Hodges. The Steelers have been solid, winning 6 of their last 7. They’re fighting for a playoff spot and are looking to keep the ball rolling against the Cards this week. The Cards have one monumental weakness that gets the spotlight in this one. The Cards have lost big in games against teams that have top notch pass rushing groups and are very solid at forcing turnovers. It just so happens that Pittsburgh is 3rd in sacks and 2nd in Ints. Look for Pittsburgh to make Murray extremely uncomfortable and create some turnovers. They win by a very comfortable margin in this one.

PREDICTION: STEELERS 31 CARDS 9

CHIEFS (8-4) @ PATRIOTS (10-2)

We have another big, primetime matchup here. This game features a matchup that was some extremely exciting, must-see football. The Pats this year have had a historically great defense. They lead the league in interceptions, are 4th in sacks, and have only allowed 12 points per game. The other side of the ball has been a flip of what we’ve seen from the defense. Brady has looked far less than the GOAT we’ve seen in years passed. He’s made mistakes and missed throws. They struggle in the running game and rank just 27th in red zone scoring in their last 3 games. This offense finally has weaknesses that arent quite capable of being overcome easily. The Chiefs rank 3rd in passing and have only thrown 2 interceptions this season. The Chiefs havent been quite as electric as they were last season but Mahommes and this offense have still thrived since his return from injury. Hes still a special QB and they can win games against some of the strongest teams in the league. I look for Mahommes to limit their offense to either 1 or 0 turnovers and continue to put nicks in the Pats armor.

PREDICTION: CHIEFS 23 PATS 17

TITANS (7-5) @ RAIDERS (6-6)

This is the meeting of 2 teams that have made strong play off pushes lately. The Raiders had a solid stretch before getting blown away in the last 2 games. They’ve been average across the board this season and have seen quite a performance from possible offensive Rookie of the Year favorite Josh Jacobs. Hes ranked 4th in rushing yards and has been a big difference maker on that side of the ball. The Raiders also rank 6th in red zone TDs at home. They have the 11th ranked run defense and that will be a huge factor if they hope to win as they’re facing the 3rd ranked running back in Derrick Henry. Henry has been reliable this season and has been on fire lately. They have lost their last 3 matchups against the Raiders and look to change their luck in this one as they’re fighting with Pittsburgh for that 6th spot in the wildcard. The key matchup in this one is Jacobs vs Henry. Both run defense rank 10th and 11th and it will come down to which RB will be able to have the biggest effect on the game and help open up their average passing attack. I look for Henry to prove why is the bigger game breaker as he runs over the Raiders defense in this game.

PREDICTION: TITANS 20 RAIDERS 6

SEAHAWKS (10-2) @ RAMS (7-5)

We have a solid divisional game that could promise some solid football. The Rams this season have been missing something on offense that just has been causing them to fall short. They’ve struggled against divisional opponents but, put up a very close game against the Seahawks in week 5. The Rams have done well at scoring in the red zone and the Seahawks have been average in preventing red zone TDs. They have been mediocre at home though this season and the Seahawks are 7-0 away. The Seahawks have been very good on offense this year. Russ has put up an MVP caliber season, Carson has been very solid, and the receiving group has been more than reliable. They force turnovers and even have the 3rd best turnover margin on the road. This game will come down to if they can force turnovers and frustrate Goff. I think they can win this game by more than one score.

PREDICTION: SEAHAWKS 31 RAMS 20

GIANTS (2-10) @ EAGLES (5-7)

I know last week I said the Giants would upset the Packers last week, and ended up getting absolutely crushed. Last season we saw Barkley run all over the Eagles, but now this team is led by Daniel Jones and Barkely has not looked anywhere near the electric player we saw last year. Daniel Jones has shown some good flashes in a season of suckery from the Giants this year. They havent won since week 4 and we’re likely to not see Jones play this week and Eli will get the start. Eli hasnt played since week 2 so we’ll see what happens. Just keep in mind Barkley since to play better and have much more of an impact with Eli in the game. That could be trouble for the Eagles. The Eagles will be looking to stay alive in the fight for the NFC East. Theyre only one game behind the Cowboys for the division and have to avoid a loss at such a critical point in the season. Wentz has looked rough this year and has raised questions about the chemistry and relationship with his receivers. The big bright spot for Philly is their stout defense. Capable of stifling offenses of all kinds, this defense could cause the Giants alot of problems if they can apply pressure on Eli. The Giants have lost 8 straight games and I dont think a divisional game against a desperate Eagles team in Philly is not the time to start.

PREDICTION: EAGLES 26 GIANTS 16

Ok so here’s to hoping I can recover from last week’s bad pick em week. I had my worst one, of course with my first blog post of the season. The playoff picture is becoming clearer and things are shaking out to be an exciting season conclusion. Lets see what this week brings and as always, I hope you enjoy this article. Please read, comment, and share with friends and family that love football. Thanks for reading and good luck to your favorite team this week.

Week 13 Analysis and Predictions

We witnessed some big moments in week 12. We saw the ugly defensive matchup between the Eagles and Seahawks, the recurring dominance of the 49ers and Ravens, and Derrick Henry continue to remind us all to quit sleeping on him. I brought my pick em record up to 117-58 on the season. This week in the Thanksgiving games and the chance to get a post game turkey leg. Lots of team hungry for a playoff spot, some trying to fight for first round bye and even home field advantage, and some trying for the first overall draft pick. That being said, let’s jump right in to this week’s matchups.

BEARS (5-6) @ LIONS (3-7-1)

This is a matchup of teams that can pretty much start looking forward to next year. The Lions have had injury troubles and could never seem to find an answer. They looked good a while back, but now just look like a hollow shell that just kind of gave up. They have lost 7 of their last 8 and are ranked 29th in total defense. They’re ranked 27th in sacks, which is a key component in stopping Trubisky. If Trubisky has time he’s a decent QB and can manage the game well. The Lions are also down Stafford again so the usually solid offense cant be counted on much either. With Chicago having the 4th ranked defense, but the 29th ranked offense, this will be a defensive game seeing the Bears come out on top of our first Thanksgiving day matchup

PREDICTION: BEARS 16 LIONS 10

BILLS (8-3) @ COWBOYS (6-5)

This game will be a better game to watch than the defensive bore we just covered before this. The Bills have a top 5 rushing attack and the 3rd ranked defense as they have proven one of the biggest surprises this season. Allen and company have done pretty well thus far in the season. I can’t not mention though that 7 of their 8 opponents beaten have 4 wins or less. They have a true test this week against the Cowboys and their number 1 offense before taking on red hot Baltimore in Buffalo. This is their chance to prove themselves against a solid playoff team. The Cowboys will be looking to shrug off a tough loss to the Pats and even some coach firing rumors. The Cowboys have the top offense in the league and even the 6th ranked defense in the league. Will they be able to get back on track and show why they’re the favorite to win the NFC East? Or will they crumble under the distractions and drama? I say they overcome the drama and easily handle the Bills on Thanksgiving day.

PREDICTION: COWBOYS 27 BILLS 13

SAINTS (9-2) @ FALCONS (3-8)

This is the matchup to watch on Thanksgiving. The Saints have the 3rd best odds of winning the Super Bowl and Michael Thomas is now pushing into the MVP race. The Saints have a team that ranks top 15 in both offense and defense this season. They have Drew Brees back and he’s looked pretty solid this season. They’ve beaten some solid teams, including the Cowboys, Texans, and Seahawks. However, their most recent loss, with Brees under center, was a blowout at the hands of the Falcons. This Falcons team is so terribly inconsistent. They’re decent on offense but very poor rushing the ball and on defense. They just can’t seem to bring Ryan the backfield or defense he deserves. The talents of Ryan, Jones, and Ridley are being wasted on a team that can’t seem to break .500. This game will be competitive but I see the Saints keeping pace with SF in the NFC race for a first round bye.

PREDICTION: SAINTS 34 FALCONS 24

49ERS (10-1) @ RAVENS (9-2)

This is undoubtedly the game that everyone has their eye on. The 49ers have been beating up on the NFC and proving that they’re for real. They’ve boasted the top ranked defense and a top 10 offense. They have few flaws in their team and even have tallied the most sacks in the league up to this point. The one area where they seem to struggle a bit, however, is their rush defense. They rank 19th in that area and are only facing an offense thats on pace to shatter the record for most team rushing yards in a season. The Ravens have come in every single week and proven doubters wrong. The comments that Lamar is simply a running back have turned into MVP chants as he finds himself as the current favorite for the award. Theyre averaging 40 points over their last 5 games. Those games were only against the defending NFC champs, the defending Super Bowl champs, the Wilson lead Seahawks, and the Texans. They have put up the top scoring offense thus far and have been a top 3 defense since its addition of Marcus Peters in week 7 and some additional key pieces since then also. This is going to be an exciting game and will be fun to watch. I still see this as a 2 score game in favor of the Ravens.

PREDICTION: RAVENS 34 49ERS 23

REDSKINS (2-9) @ PANTHERS (5-6)

This game is going to be just what you would expect. The Redskins have become the butt of all the jokes this season. Haskins can’t even beg his O-line to help him as they find themselves ranked dead last on offense. This team hasnt put up more than 20 points since week 2. Theyre only hope this season has been that they can use defense to let Haskins at least manage the game and squeak out a win. I just can’t their defense, that ranks 22nd against the rush, slow down McCaffrey. The Panthers have a RB involved in MVP talks and is a powerhouse running and catching. The Panthers are an average team ranking 19th on both sides of the ball, but they have moments where they shine and those moments usually involve McCaffrey or DJ Moore. Still, that should be more than enough to secure a comfortable win.

PREDICTION: PANTHERS 30 REDSKINS 13

JETS (4-7) @ BENGALS (0-11)

This game is very unpredictable. Normally when we see the Bengals playing anyone, its safe to chalk up a win for their opponent. However, the Jets have had some bad games against some mediocre teams this season. They havent been as promising as some thought they could be and Darnold has been all over the place. However, they do rank at the top in run defense and have averaged 34 points in their last 3 games. They come in against a team that has yet to get a win, has the worst rush defense by far, have just been all-around awful this season. If they can’t bring back Green, this team can only be staring down another harsh loss against a team they just cant matchup up against.

PREDICTION: JETS 26 BENGALS 10

TITANS (6-5) @ COLTS (6-5)

This should be another good game to watch. We see two division rivals fighting to keep play off hopes alive. They’ll both be battling to save their season and fighting to prevent being labeled a disappointment again. The Colts had looked pretty promising, boasting the 3rd best run game thus far and were sitting ahead of the Texans for the first half of the season in the AFC South. Having lost 3 of their last 4, theyre hoping to climb back into the saddle and regain some of that momentum against a surging Titans team. The Titans have won 4 of their last 5 and Henry has put up 410 rushing yards and 5 TDs in the last 3 games. Indy boasts a top 10 rushing defense and Brissett will find his rhythm again this week. I going Colts in this one but it’ll be close.

PREDICTION: COLTS 23 TITANS 20

EAGLES (5-6) @ DOLPHINS (2-9)

This game is another game that should be no surprise to anyone. The Eagles offense has looked anything but solid and consistent this year. They’ve had massive amounts of dropped passes and Wentz has seen his fair share of pressure this season. They just cant seem to get things rolling in the passing game. The defensive side of the ball for them has been a different story. Last week’s game against Seattle couldve been a huge blowout had it not been for Philly’s stingy defense. They can surely stifle Fitzpatrick if they can stifle MVP candidate Russell Wilson. Miami was a laughing stock to start the season, but following a pair of wins and Cincy taking on that role lately, theyve been mediocre more or less. They have struggled to find any form of consistency on either side of the ball, and playing a stout Eagles defense and an offense expecting to get some key pieces back, is not the week to expect them to either.

PREDICTION: EAGLES 30 DOLPHINS 10

PACKERS (8-3) @ GIANTS (2-9)

This game is going to be a bit of a surprise. The Giants can put up some decent numbers despite only being ranked 25th in overall offense. The records are miled apart but rankings-wise they’re roughly the same. Rodgers might have an affinity for not turning the ball over, but he hasnt been the same game breaker he has been in past seasons. The Packers have been more mediocre this season than in years past and I think that may begin to catch up with them. The Giants have the surprisingly reliant Daniel Jones and the surprisingly lack-luster Saquan Barkley. Barkley hasn’t been the same this season and that has a lot to do with injuries. I think this is the game we see him have a solid outing and the Giants will surprise the Packers with an upset at home.

PREDICTION: GIANTS 31 PACKERS 26

BROWNS (5-6) @ STEELERS (6-5)

This game is the second game of a series that saw one of the most horrible incidents in NFL history. The drama was swirling following Garrett bringing Rudolphs helmet down on his head and Garrett accusing Rudolph of calling him a racial slur. This game is swirling with drama and will be a tense game full of animosity and desperation. Both teams really need a win and both teams are missing some star power. The Steelers have a strong defense that ranks in the top 10, but their offense is 28th overall. Cleveland is about middle of the pack on both sides of the ball and looks to build off a win against Miami. Look for Landry, Chubb, and Mayfield to expose the Steelers and punish their lack luster offense.

PREDICTION: BROWNS 23 STEELERS 17

BUCS (4-7) @ JAGS (4-7)

This game will feature some fairly solid offenses going at it. The Jaguars had taken the league by storm at the beginning of the season with Minshew-Mania. The man behind the mustache was making magic happen and getting wins under his belt. Since the return of Foles, the offense has been relatively lack-luster and underwhelming. DJ Chark and Leonard Fournette are having very solid seasons and could possibly be enough to stay ahead of this high speed Bucs offense. The Bucs are the same team this year that they are most years. They’re high powered offense that throws a plethora of interceptions and fumbles regularly, counter balances their streaky and mediocre pass defense. Godwin and Evans are both putting together Pro Bowl caliber seasons and will look to find holes in this Jaguars secondary. I see the Jags putting together enough stops and putting enough points up to squeak by.

PREDICTION: JAGS 34 BUCS 30

RAMS (6-5) @ CARDS (3-7-1)

This is a recovery game for the Rams. The Rams are coming off an ugly game against the Ravens and are going to be desperately fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. They are the defending NFC champs, but they just havent been able to piece the ground game together this year. They rank just 24th on the list and the absence of Anderson to help Gurley shoulder the load seems to be taking a toll. Luckily for them they’re playing a Cardinals team that is 31st in total defense and is dead last in passing offense. Look for Goff to find his rhythm and keep pace enough to beat Murray and the Cards by a comfortable margin.

PREDICTION: RAMS 20 CARDS 10

RAIDERS (6-5) @ CHIEFS (7-4)

This is a big game as well as the two teams are battling for the AFC West crown. The Chiefs have been the favorite all season having the reigning MVP and gunslinging phenom Mahommes and a plethora of offensive weapons around him. They’re the 3rd ranked offense and they do the most damage through the air. When Mahommes and company get on a roll theyre impossible to stop and nearly impossible to keep pace with. Then theres the surprise Raiders. They started slow, but came to life recently as they’ve won 3 of their last 4. They’re not as prolific as Mahommes and the Chiefs offense, but when Gruden and his staff get creative and get Carr and Jacobs moving, they’re nothing to scoff at. They’re very capable of getting ahead in a hurry and staying there. I actually look for them to surprise the Chiefs in this one and create a bit of AFC West drama.

PREDICTION: RAIDERS 27 CHIEFS 23

CHARGERS (4-7) @ BRONCOS (3-8)

Another AFC West matchup on the card this week and it’s not necessarily a big one. Don’t think that means it’ll be boring, it just doesn’t carry much weight as both teams aren’t entrenched in the playoff hunt. The Chargers have just not found any footing this season with their rushing attack. They rank 26th in rush offense and theyre also prone to turnovers as have the 6th most giveaways in the league. They have a multitude of offensive talent, they just cant seem to get everything to mesh. The Broncos dont have the same fortunes. They fare well against the pass on defense, ranking 5th, but they dont pass well on offense ranking just 29th. They took a chance on Flacco and it hasnt paid off at all. They’ve had to turn to Brandon Allen in Flaccos absence, and it hasn’t been much better for them. It’ll be close as the Broncos defensive strength against the pass counteracts LA’s offensive passing strength. I just give the Chargers the slight edge in a tough fought game for both teams.

PREDICTION: CHARGERS 17 BRONCOS 12

PATRIOTS (10-1) @ TEXANS (7-4)

This is another matchup I’m looking forward to. The Patriots are the front runners in the AFC. They have had a historic defense this season and have been doing things on that side of the ball that no other team has done. They’re 2nd in overall defense and have only allowed 10.6 points per game. The defense has overshadowed the average offense. The ageless wonder that is Tom Brady just doesnt look like the same dangerous GOAT we’re used to. This offense looks vulnerable and more or less non-threatening. The Texans have looked like they can hang with the best, aside from the Ravens that is. They are the flip flop of the Patriots. They have a mediocre defense and a strong offense. Watson is an MVP candidate and he has solid talent around him, including the most sure handed receiver in the game. This game will come down to whether or not Watson can find the same weaknesses and holes in the Pats defense that Jackson and the Ravens did. I honestly think they can just not as powerfully. I think they squeak by with an upset in this one.

PREDICTION: TEXANS 24 PATS 23

VIKINGS (8-3) @ SEAHAWKS (9-2)

The Monday night matchup is another great matchup. We have two teams fighting to win their divisions and will both be looking to this game as the key to accomplishing that goal. The Vikings have been riding their awoken passing attack and the reinvigorated Dalvin Cook. The passing attack has done well following the first half struggles and Cook ranks 3rd in rushing yards and is 2nd in TDs. The Seahawks are riding a 4 game winning streak. Russ is having an MVP caliber season, only trailing Lamar Jackson in the MVP odds. The team has found gems in Lockett and Metcalf, and Carson has become a stud as well. This team is very solid and is a tough matchup for anybody. This game comes down to defense. The Seahawks defense isnt as strong as Minnesota’s, especially against the pass. Unlucky for them this Vikings offense has a multitude of receiving weapons. This is a shootout going to the away team.

PREDICTION: VIKINGS 38 SEAHAWKS 34

That wraps up our pick em this week. The first long blog in a long time and it felt good. Lets hope we can kick things off with some success. I hope you enjoyed the post and most importantly I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and watch plenty of football while stuffing yourselves to the fullest with great food. Please share with all the fellow sports fans in your lives and please leave some comments. Thank you!

Ravens vs Rams: analysis, key matchups, and prediction

So this is my first story in a while. Its been far too long and it’s great to be back. Couldn’t be a better time than the heart of the 2019 NFL playoff race. We’re breaking down the Monday night matchup between the Rams who are desperately trying to piece together their offense to cling to a playoff bid and the Ravens who are red hot and sporting the most creative offense in the league. Lets get down to it.

KEY MATCHUPS

Marcus Peters vs His Old Team

Marcus Peters has torn offenses apart since the Rams shipped him off the Baltimore just prior to week 7. He’s been a key piece of the Ravens defense that helped them really come together as one of the league’s top defenses over the last few weeks. Peters will look forward to this matchup just as Earl Thomas did with Seattle. Peters was a gem for this Ravens defense and they’ll surely be looking to him as he looks for revenge against his former team.

Ravens Defensive Front vs Todd Gurley

This is a key matchup for the Rams to win this game. Goff feeds off the running game and essentially needs the running game to have a successful passing attack. Gurley needs to have a solid game for the Rams to win this game. The Ravens have made key front seven additions and it’s worked wonders in meshing the defense together. Gurley has to find holes in the defense and power the ball down the field. The Ravens thrive at controlling the tempo and clock, if Gurley can control the clock and the tempo, the Rams have a shot.

Aaron Donald vs Lamar Jackson

So this is the big matchup of the game. Donald will surely be a problem no matter what line he faces. Donald is a physical freak and will find a way to break through. Jackson is a master of reading defenses and making plays accordingly. He’s revolutionized the RPO in the NFL and does it better than anyone. Donald will need to find a way to keep Jackson from having time to read and Jackson will have to read quick enough to keep Donald from blowing up the strength of the Ravens offense.

ANALYSIS

This matchup could pose problems for both sides. The Rams have Gurley, a once great pass attack, and Aaron Donald. They have solid pieces and the solid coaching to be a solid team. They just havent been able to pull everything together. The Rams are 13th in overall offense and 11th on defense. They have what it takes to be good team, they just cant seem to figure out the puzzle. Could this be the game where they pull it together and make a statement or is the Ravens dynamic offensive attack too much to overcome. The Ravens have been the story of the season. Mark Ingram, Mark Andrews, and Hollywood Brown have been key for this offense this season. They are averaging 39 points a game over the last 4 games and those 3 of those teams happened to be all be entrenched in the playoff race. They’re making mince meat of bad teams and some of the top teams. Can they keep this streak going or will the Rams lull them into a trap game?

PREDICTION:

The Ravens offense will find a way to keep Donald and the defense from making a big impact and will look like the same offense we’ve seen in weeks prior. The Rams offense will lean too heavily on Gurley and inevitably come up flat against a Ravens defense that seems to be coming together strongly.

RAVENS 34 RAMS 13

Super Bowl Breakdown

Here is is, the best time of year for NFL football fans around the world. The Super Bowl is every die hard football fan’s second Christmas. It’s a special time of year when the league’s best men standing face off for one of the most coveted trophies in all of sports. I’m extremely excited to break this down so I’ll jump right into it.

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS LOS ANGELES RAMS

Tom Brady vs Jared Goff, Bill Belicheck vs Sean McVay, Michel vs Gurley. This game is shaping up to be very exciting. Can Brady and company make the Patriots 6 rings strong and write another page in the history books in the Patriots favor? Or will Goff and Gurley usher in a new dynasty? Goff has faced so many questions about just how good he is. He was once thought to be a total bust, now he’s on the verge of being considered a top QB in this league. Gurley is looking to prove he’s the best in the league, while Michel is looking to prove he’s not just another cog in the Patriots crowded backfield. The Rams have an awfully impressive offense capable of running away with any game. Goff has a multitude of weapons in Gurley, Anderson, Cooks, Woods, Higbee, and much more. This offense is just flat out dangerous, having the 2nd best offense this season and one with balance at that. The rushing offense finished 3rd and the passing game finished 5th. This offense is scary and thrive off the play action attack. The Patriots have Brady and that seems to be more than enough for them. Brady has been picking defenses apart with quick routes over the middle, then taking shots when the defenses leave things open deep. This team has a variety of weapons, boasting the leagues 5th best offense. They also have a very balanced team, with the 8th ranked passing attack and the 5th ranked running attack in the league. They thrive on tempo control and quick crossing routes. The Rams defense isn’t the best in terms of yards allowed but they certainly make up for that with turnovers and physicality. They also happen to have one of the best defensive minded coaches in the league on their staff in Wade Phillips. He’s known for creating physical defenses that force turnovers. They rank 3rd in the league in turnovers and will lean on that tomorrow for sure. The Patriots have a similar defensive blueprint, as they struggle on defense but are better against the run than the pass and create a lot of turnovers. In terms of what the teams each need to do to succeed, the Pats need to force Goff to play well by shutting down Gurley and Anderson. The run game helps give Goff confidence, time, and unpredictability. The rush is their spark and ignites the offense to the point that they become almost unstoppable if they have ground success. The Rams key to this game is the defense. Not only do they need to pressure Brady, most importantly they need the corners to be physical. Brady relies heavily on his mental clock. He has the timing of his receivers’ routes on a mental stopwatch, if that timing is thrown off, he tends to struggle and will hold the ball a little longer, leaving him open to the pass rush. If the Rams can jam the Pats receivers and be physical, the Rams can very well win this game.

PREDICTION: When it comes to the keys of the game, i see the Rams defensive physicality disrupting Brady’s timing being more likely than the Pats run defense shutting down Gurley and Anderson. The Rams offense is just to dangerous and diverse for the Pats to slow down enough to make a difference. The Rams corners already play physical, in your face defense so that will come naturally. So long as the Rams cover Gronk with the right personnel (Mark Barron/Dante Fowler Jr w/ safety help), the Rams should take this in a close one. RAMS 27 PATS 23.

MVP: Michael Brockers – With the Pats receivers getting jammed at the line, Brady’s mental clock will be rendered useless. The Pats o-line will do focus on stopping Donald and Suh from causing too much trouble, and let Brockers slip in one too many times. Brockers will make a few clutch plays and the one that seals the win in Brandon Graham like fashion.

Thank you for reading my posts and supporting my page, please like, comment, and share to get this story around. If you have a Super Bowl prediction, feel free to comment and let me know. Be on the lookout for NFL offseason news, college prospect news, NBA stories, and college basketball stories to come.

NFL Conference Championship Picks

This weekend is bitter sweet, because all football fans are excited that the Super Bowl is just a couple weeks away, but that means the NFL season is coming to an end. If your team is still playing, great job, best of luck to your team, and quit rubbing it in. So far up to this point in the season, my pick’em record is 151-111. Not bad, but still short of what most ESPN analysts have for records. Let’s get right to it though and break down the two games this weekend. Please share, like, comment and spread this post around so i can get my name out there. Thank you in advance for reading and sharing.

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS VS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

This game is a classic match-up of old school GOAT vs new school up and coming stud. Mahommes vs Brady, Gronk vs Kelce, Reid vs Belicheck. The battle is a great one in the history books and on paper, let’s hope it plays out that way tomorrow. I love what Mahommes brings to the table, and I believe he’s at the top of the next generation on great QBs. He’s playing Brady for the second time this season, but on a much bigger stage. The first game went to TB12 43-40 in a shootout contest. Mahommes has shown all season long that he is the real deal and that life without Kareem Hunt is nothing to be sacred of. This offense is extremely lethal and Mahommes just has a knack for making plays when they’re needed. He’s unorthodox and that actually plays into their favor as it’s almost impossible to know what he’s going to do. Brady has been to this game 13 times in his career and has brought this team to the AFC championship the last 8 years in a row. Are we still seeing the same Brady that is capable of anything in the playoffs, or is his downslide starting now? I can’t wait to watch this game and see these two juggernauts in action. I give the young QB the edge this time around. CHIEFS 27 PATS 23

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS LA RAMS

This is the game I’m more excited for this week. I think this game is going to be very good, it’s going to have offensive and defensive balance, and it’s a young stud of a coach facing off with one of the league’s better coaches. Another young QB vs a future HOF, the best RB vs a top 5 RB, and one decent defense vs another. This game is full of big names and big aspirations. The Saints are looking to get Brees his ring to walk into the sunset, and the Rams are trying to prove that they’re real and that Goff is better than people pegged him to be after his tough first season. This Saints team is dangerous and they’re looking to correct the glaring mistake they made last year in the championship game. They have all the right pieces and all the drive to get it done. The Rams are trying to prove they can hang in the playoffs a push Goff a little closer to that coveted elite QB status. I think this game is going to be a show on both sides of the ball is going to be the kind of show people really hope playoff football can be. I like the Rams in this one by a field goal. RAMS 23 SAINTS 20

 

Alright the season is almost coming to a close and things are getting good. Hope you all like this post and please feel free to leave some comments and critiques. Thanks again for reading and sharing and be on the lookout for more posts on all things football and hopefully some basketball soon.