The best offense will be facing off against the best defense at the Meadowlands? Will Peyton Manning lead his team to victory or will the Seattle defense and running game make the difference…what do you think? Vote and tell us why at the comment section below…
If you’re a football fan then this AFC Championship matchup will bring much happiness to your life. Arguably the 2 greatest quarterbacks to ever throw the pigskin are facing off in what will definitely be a game for the ages. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have built a pretty storied rivalry during their tenures in the NFL. Brady has dominated the head-to-head matchups winning 10 of the 14 battles the two have endured. This game has even more excitement behind it because of how Manning just broke Brady’s single season touchdowns record that he had set back in his near perfect season in 2007 (I imagine that every Giants fan will be chuckling after reading that line). In their one matchup this season, Brady led the Patriots to an impressive 24-point deficit comeback to win 34-31 in OT in what was my favorite game of the season…although I would have preferred to see a different result. Based on the history of their rivalry and Brady’s playoff dominance year in and year out, there is no logical explanation why I should be picking the Broncos to win but here are my 5 reasons why they will.
1. Denver’s receiving core is one of the greatest ever: Denver has assembled a receiving core with talent that hasn’t been seen since the greatest show on turf. With Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas, it is near impossible to double team anyone. Add that in with the fact that the best quarterback ever is throwing to them and I don’t even see how this team lost 3 games this year. With a secondary ranked in the bottom half of the league, the Patriots can expect to see Manning throw for at least 350 yards in this one.
2. Peyton needs this win more than Brady: As a die-hard Jets fan, I find it very hard to write anything positive about Tom Brady, but I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t the best playoff QB I’ve ever seen. When Mo Lewis ended Drew Bledsoe’s career and started the career of a no name kid from Michigan there was no looking back. Tom Brady has proven time and again that he is clutch in every sense of the word. Peyton on the other hand has had record-breaking season after record-breaking season but outside of his one Super Bowl win, he has been a pretty disappointing playoff QB. That won’t be the case this year because Peyton knows this will be one if his final chances to match his little brothers ring total.
3. Home field advantage means a lot: While Brady and the Pats got the best of the Broncos in a big overtime comeback this season, that game was played in Foxborough. This AFC Championship game will be played in the Mile High Stadium. Denver fans are rowdy and will be doing their darndest to get in to Brady and his minions heads. Peyton will have the calming and quieting respect from the fans so he can audible all fucking day if he wants to and when he has that power he is an unstoppable force keeping defenses on their toes. While the temperatures aren’t favorable for Peyton’s reputation, he has recently shown that he can put up Manning-esque numbers even in the worst of weather.
4. Rush defense trumps rush offense: Who would have thought that the Patriots could put up the type of performance they did last week without Brady throwing even one TD? Bill “spy gate” Belicheck has found himself in control of a very solid 3-headed running attack with Lagarrett Blount, Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen giving opposing defenses a lot of different looks. Unfortunately for the Pats, the Broncos have a better than average Rush D that ranked 8th in total yards allowed this year. With the Broncos front 7 and the fact that Peyton will be running up the scoreboard, Brady will be forced to throw a lot more than he probably would like too and unfortunately for him, he does not have nearly the type of offensive weapons that Peyton has at his disposal.
5. Knowshon Moreno is going to go off: This is simple; the Patriots have the 30th ranked rush defense in the NFL and Knowshon Moreno has been showing off his talents that none of us have seen since his years in Georgia. With the amount of spread formations and 4 wide receiver sets that the Broncos offense presents, Moreno will find himself in a very favorable situation quite often. I am expecting Knowshon to go off for over 120 yards in this game and in my mind he will be the ultimate deciding factor for the Broncos to get that W.
Are you ready for some football?! For those fans who appreciate a smash-mouth brand of football that leads to head injuries and broken bones, the NFC Championship game is for you! The NFL fan who doesn’t watch too intently is going to get all moist for the AFC Match-up between Brady and Manning. That’s because they don’t understand that the NFC Championship will be featuring the two best teams in the NFL, two teams that know each other incredibly well and hate one another. Yankees- Red Sox, Duke-UNC, Ohio State-Michigan…this is the modern NFL version of these great rivalries. Head Coaches Pete Carroll of the Seahawks and the 49ers Jim Harbaugh can’t stand each other, which dates back to their Pac-12 Rivalry between USC and Stanford. Both coaches are highly competitive, wear their emotions on their sleeves and are universally disliked around the NFL. However, each coach has done wonders with their current teams, as their two successful programs will butt heads for the third and final time this weekend, with a trip to the Super Bowl on the Line. Even though Harbaugh will have his boys ready for battle, here are five major reasons that Carroll’s Seahawks will prosper in a close one…
5 Reasons that the Seattle Seahawks win the NFC Championship Game
1. Century Link Field was built for this weekend: The Seattle Seahawks have the best home field in the NFL. The 49ers know this fact better than most. In the 49ers last two appearances in Seattle, the Seahawks have outscored the 49ers 76-16. In his early career, Russell Wilson has posted a 15-1 record on his home turf, which is the best in the NFL in that span. The credit to the record noise levels can only be given partially to the fans, and much of it needs to be given to the architects of Century Link Field. Architect James Poulson explains that “When choosing between sound absorbing materials and hard surfaces they went with hard surfaces. Those hard surfaces are positioned perfectly to deflect the crowd noise back onto the field.” I have seen many veteran QBs have a hard time thinking while playing in Seattle due to crowd noise, and the young Colin Kaepernick has already succumbed to the crowd noise twice in his young career.
2. Kaepernick’s history in Seattle: Personally, I love Colin Kaepernick. If this game was being played in San Francisco, or any other city in America, I believe he would have a huge game and probably lead his team to the Super Bowl. However, Kaepernick has shown in his past that he can’t compete at Century Link Field. In his two career starts, Kaepernick has never thrown for more than 200 yards. His 49ers have only posted 16 total points and Kapernick has only 1 TD to 4 INTs. His passing rating of 45.1 is his lowest in any stadium, which can be direct cause of the crowd noise and the Legion of Boom (aka Seattle’s Secondary). To have a chance, Kaepernick is going to have to use his legs and quick passes to Michael Crabtree and Anquin Boldin. However, Seattle’s defense just shut down the New Orleans Saints 2nd ranked passing attack so I doubt that Kaepernick’s 30th ranked attack will fair much better!
3. Marshawn Lynch is much better at this stage than Frank Gore: Thank god I’m not a fan of the Buffalo Bills, because if I was and I watched Marshawn Lynch develop into the most dynamic combination of speed, power and agility this side of Adrian Peterson. Frank Gore has been a stud in his career as well, though his game is much more of a pounder, as he grinds away at defenses with 4 yard rushes until he finds a seam in the second half. Unfortunately for 49er fans, Gore is on the backend of his career, has been battling through injuries all year and the Seahawks defense is young and hungry. Though San Francisco’s defense was second in the league against the run, Lynch has lit them up each of the last time he’s faced them in Seattle. In the last two games at Seattle combined between these two teams, Lynch has rushed for 209 yards to Gore’s meager 44. Also, if you add the second RBs production and the legs of Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, while San Fran has averaged 91 yards in each game, Seattle has exposed the 49ers for 174 per game. The Seahawks are not afraid of running at the 49ers and they will utilize their best weapon all game long.
4. In a Battle of Great Defenses, Seattle is Better! For some reason, many of the NFL “experts” have said that the 49er defense is better than Seattle’s all week. I’m a big proponent of the line that numbers never lie. At lease they aren’t lying when you look at the Seahawks defense. Seattle is ranked # 1 in the league in both points and passing yards against. Those numbers are even scarier when you look at just their home games. Their secondary is the best in the game, with Earl Thomas leading the way for the “Legion of Boom.” Thomas, the best safety in the game, just held Jimmy Graham to one garbage time catch last week and will now look to take out the 49ers biggest weapon, TE Vernon Davis. Richard Sherman is among the best CBs in the game and will be used to shadow Anquan Boldin, which might be the best trash-talking battle of all-time. In their 9 home games this year including the playoffs, the Defensive Ends Michael Bennet, Cliff Avril and Chris Clemens have combined for 10.5 sacks and 5 forced fumbles. The Seahawks feed off the energy of their home crowd, have shown their ability against the 49ers in the past and will do it one more time with the stakes as high as can be.
5. The Eye Test Shows that Russell Wilson is a Winner: Last year’s draft produced unbelievable QB talent. Everyone and their mother knew who Andrew Luck and RG3 were, debating about who would have the better career. Russell Wilson was drafted with the 75th pick in the 3rd round and was expected to back up free agent pick-up Matt Flynn, while Luck and Griffin went 1 & 2 and were given their respective franchises from Day 1, Wilson impressed his teammates with his leadership immediately and earned his job. He beat out Flynn for the starting job and took his over-achieving Seahawks to the playoffs in his first season. In the Wild Card Round against the before-mentioned RG3, Wilson lead his team to a playoff victory on the road in Griffin’s building. Now Wilson has his team in position for a Super Bowl Berth, while both Luck and Griffin are watching from home. Wilson won’t impress you with his huge stats, but from a leadership standpoint, this QB will do all of the little things that is needed to win football games. His 15-1 home record in Seattle speaks for itself, as he routinely picks up 7 or 8 yards on 3rd and 6. Though Kaepernick is the much better athlete of the 2 QBs in this game, I’ll ride with Russell Wilson’s heart and character every day of the week.
SEATTLE WINS THE GAME 24-17
As I sit here and look at my bank account to determine if it is time for a microwaved dinner or if I can actually afford some decent food, I can’t help but feel utter rage over what I just read. In recent years, Major League Baseball players have been setting record contract deals almost every other day. The Los Angeles Dodgers just signed Clayton Kershaw to the highest pitching deal in MLB history. Kershaw’s new 7-year $215 million deal with Dodgers is the cherry on top of this insane baseball tradition.
Just one month after Robinson Cano signed the 4th largest contract ever with the Seattle Mariners, pissing off every Yankees fan by the way, Kershaw agreed to an astonishing $31 million a year deal for 7 years. This makes Kershaw now the 12th Pitcher in MLB history to sign a contract worth over $100 million dollars. Yes you read that correctly, there are now 12 different pitchers that have signed contracts for playing a sport that demands them to work no more than 40 days out of the year. When you look at it that way it really makes you wonder if any of these players are actually worth it.
I still remember when Kevin Brown signed the first ever $100+ million dollar deal and how absurd that sounded when it happened. Now it has just become absolutely disgraceful. To keep it in perspective, it isn’t just pitchers that are paid with these exorbitant deals. In 2013 alone, there were 20 different players that made at least $20 million dollars and only half of those were pitchers. The amount of money these “athletes” are making is unfathomable. If you don’t like my quotations on the word athletes take a look at the image below.
There is no denying that baseball is the overall least athletic of America’s 5 major sports (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey and Soccer). I just don’t understand how some teams can justify paying a single player this much money. With Kershaw and Cano’s new deals there are now 6 players in the MLB that will make more money next season than the entire Houston Astros team (Houston’s 2013 teams total salary was slightly over $24,000,000).
So I ask everyone reading this, is there any justification for paying someone this much money? Sure, Kershaw has been the best pitcher in the National League, and arguably all of Baseball over the last 3 years, but even so is he worth $30+ million a season. In his first 6 seasons, Clayton has only hit the 20 win mark once (21 in 2011 when he won his first Cy Young). So let’s say that he is going to have a career year next season and win 25 games for the Dodgers; that would mean that LA paid Kershaw alone $1,228,571.43 for each of those wins. That’s not even taking into account the games he might lose. This is clearly a preposterous amount for any player no matter how good he may be.
All in all, my point is that Baseball needs to come up with some salary cap rules similar to those of the NBA to regulate what these players are making. At this pace, players around bound to be making close to $40,000,000 a year by 2020. That is just laughable!
After a great weekend of NFL games last weekend in which 3 out of 4 Wild Card games came down to a field goal, this week was a little more disappointing in terms of intrigue. Not one of the four games was really in doubt during the course of the weekend, as all four favorites handled their business and are now going on to play Championship Weekend in which might be the best Final Four in NFL History. Next week we will have the legendary QB matchup that we all wanted in Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady and the NFC West Blood Bath Part III, as the Seahawks and 49ers battle it out for NFC Supremacy. Before we begin breaking down these incredible games, let’s take a look as to how we got here.
Seattle Seahawks 23 – New Orleans Saints 15: Even though the final score shows a one score loss for New Orleans, anyone watching the game witnessed a one-sided Seattle win, despite New Orleans tacking on some points in the closing minutes. Marshawn Lynch went into “Beast Mode” with 140 yards and two touchdowns. His second TD run came with 2:40 left in the game and the 31 yard dash to end zone pretty much ended the game. Although Russell Wilson had a shaky game, the Seattle defense and running game more than made up for it. The best TE in the game, Jimmy Graham was held without a catch until there was 41 seconds left in the game, and his eight yard reception did nothing other than erase the zero on his stat line. Although Drew Brees ended up with 309 yards, he was only 24 of 43 in earning those yards and a big chunk of them came in the 4th quarter when Seattle began playing a prevent style of defense. Overall, the Seahawks took care of business and will now host the NFC Championship game in a building that provides them with the past home field advantage in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers 23- Carolina Panthers 10: In what was expected to be a low scoring defensive affair, the San Francisco 49ers kept their hopes of a second consecutive Super Bowl trip alive by beating the Carolina Panthers on the road. There was a debate about who the more reliable QB heading into the game would be, Colin Kaepernick who has done nothing but win in his career but doesn’t bolster the sexiest numbers; or Cam Newton, the #1 pick from three years ago who has the stats to backup his game but he was making his playoff debut. While Kaepernick didn’t wow anybody with gaudy numbers, he stayed true to form and got San Francisco into the end zone once with his arm and once with his leg. Cam Newton let the playoff nerves get to him a little bit and ended up throwing 2 picks along with only one touchdown. Twice in the game, Carolina had the ball inside the 49ers 3 yard line with first and goal. Both times, the stingy 49er defense stopped them from getting into the end zone, as Carolina settled for one FG and turned the ball over on downs. Frank Gore had a solid game as usual, running the ball 17 times for 84 yards. The veteran WR Anquan Boldin, whom the 49ers picked up from the Champion Ravens for moments like yesterday had a huge game, catching 8 balls for 136 yards. The 49ers stamped their ticket to Seattle where they’ll look to carry on their Road Warrior ways in what should be an epic battle.
New England Patriots 43 – Indianapolis Colts 22: This was the only game I got wrong in my predictions last week. Though I also felt that Andrew Luck was overhyped at this early stage in his career, I believed that the injury plagued Patriots would be vulnerable to the Colts. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was traveling to a bar to catch the game and by the time I reached my stool at 8:30, the Colts were in a 14-0 hole. Andrew Luck played like an Andrew Luck type of game, throwing for a lot of yards but combined his 2 TDs with 4 INTs. This is a recipe that will always lead to a loss, especially when going against a Bill Belichick coached. I never thought I’d see the day in which the Patriots score 6 TDs and Tom Brady was responsible for none of them, but that is exactly what happened. LeGarrette Blount tied the Patriot postseason record with 166 yards on the ground, adding 4 TDs to an incredible stat line. Stevan Ridley added 52 yards and 2 scores of his own as he attempted to redefine what has been an extremely disappointing season. With the run game in high gear and Brady still at the helm, the Patriots played their way into their 3rd straight AFC Championship game.
Denver Broncos 24 – San Diego Chargers 17: If you told the San Diego Chargers that they would hold Peyton Manning and the Broncos high power offense to 24 points, I guarantee you that they would have felt really good about their chances of winning. In a season in which all of the talk in Denver has been about the offensive weapons at Manning’s disposal, it was the much aligned defense which stepped up and lead the Broncos to victory. The Chargers were unable to get onto the score board until the fourth quarter, as Phillip Rivers only completed 18 passes for a meager 217 yards. San Diego has been living with it’s running game in recent weeks, but the Denver front seven only allowed the Chargers 65 yards on the ground. I couldn’t believe all of the chatter I heard this week in which the “experts” felt as if San Diego had the Broncos number. The fact that Phillip Rivers was 6-2 in his career in Denver and that Peyton Manning was 0-3 in his last 3 postseason games provided the fodder for this misconception. Peyton was efficient, threw for 230 yards and 2 TDs and most importantly, helped the Broncos convert 3rd downs at a 9 of 13 clip. Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball combined for 133 yards on the ground for Denver who controlled the game and will now be reward by hosting the AFC Championship game next week.
We will be breaking down each matchup in detail later this week and give our picks for the games…next week will be unbelievable as the four best teams in the NFL are alive and all four of them are candidates to win the Super Bowl this year. Stay tuned and enjoy the hoops and puck until the weekend arrives…
Performance Enhancement Usage Rampant!
The assumption that Mike Pizza used PED’s due to the visible “clues” of his increased size has lead to a massive investigation into the use of steroids and other performance drugs by formerly designated “clean” athletes.
Just take a look at the visual evidence below, and then you decide!
When it comes to being a New York Mets fan, there really isn’t too much to be proud of. Since becoming a franchise in 62′, the Mets have only won 2 World Series, one of which the Boston Red Sox let roll through their legs. With the lack of accomplishments, Mets fans cherish every moment of greatness they have more than most people normally would. I mean Mets fans still talk about making the 2000 World Series, in which they lost, more than Yankees fans talk about it and they won. Whenever the Mets have a player that is of the Hall of Fame caliber, they become an idol to every one of their fans. Mike Piazza is arguably the greatest Mets player of all time as well as the greatest hitting catcher in MLB history. Piazza’s latest snub from the Hall of Fame is a travesty that has every Mets fan in the world up in arms.
Let’s start with Piazza’s career stats. Mike was the 1,390th pick of the 1988 MLB draft and was originally a First Baseman. His first coach, Tommy Lasorda, told him to learn to play catcher if he planned on ever making it in the Big Leagues. It was a good choice as Mike went on to hit more Home Runs than any other catcher in the history of the game. On top of his HR’s, Piazza won the 1993 Rookie of the Year award and went on a 10 season run from his rookie year to 2002 where he was named to the All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger all 10 years. That alone should have been enough to put him in the HOF. He did make it to another 2 All-Star games giving him a total of 12 and he was named the MVP of it in 1996. Mike had a career batting average of .308, 427 Home Runs and 1,335 RBI’s. How the hell has he been overlooked for two straight years now.
In his first HOF eligible year, Piazza only received 57.8% of the votes and that number was raised this year when he got 62.2%. Unfortunately, you need 75% of the votes to make it into the Hall of Fame. Even though everyone and their mothers know that this overlook is bullshit, Piazza still played the roll of the bigger man when he gave props to the 3 people who did make it this year. After the announcement he tweeted, “Big Congrats to Mad Dog, Tommy and Big Hurt! Well deserved Guys!” He was referring to Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, all deserving might I add. Classy move from Mike but I’m sure he would have liked to tweet some other things to the voters who have their heads up their asses.
In a statement released by the Mets, COO Jeff Wilpon called Piazza “a true Hall of Famer…We proudly display his plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame, and we’re hopeful that he’ll soon have one hanging in Cooperstown.” All Mets fans agree Wilpon!
There is some speculation that the reason Piazza had so many people not vote for him was because of his supposed use of PED’s. This is what really pisses me off. Piazza has never tested positive for any illegal drug use and the fact that he has been accused because of the era he played in is complete horse shit. If that is in fact the case, shouldn’t Frank Thomas be given that exact same treatment? In Piazza’s book he even goes on to say that he never used any PED’s, so what are we basing these suspicions on?
Whatever the case may be, the 571 voters better get their shit together next year because the Hall of Fame will lose all credibility by letting obvious inductees like Piazza slip through the cracks.