Debut radio show, featuring Mike and Bobby…missing Matt but the show had to go on!
Q: What do the Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans all have in common?
A: They could have had Odell Beckham Jr. on their team, and they all did something the Odell never does…they dropped the ball!
Now if you ask some of the GMs in the before-mentioned teams how they view their drafts from May 2014, I’m sure some will express confidence in their decisions. Though Jadeveon Clowney has been hurt part of the year and hasn’t been dominant, his upside was raw talent was too much to pass up. Khalil Mack has shown Raider fans that he will be their defensive center piece for years to come and the Falcons are extremely happy with their pick of Jake Matthews to sure up their O-Line and protect their franchise QB. Also, receivers like Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans has shown promise as well as being stars for a long time in the league. However, all of these players will be on the list of players taken before the best talent to come out of 2014, the Sam Bowie to the Michael Jordan of NFL WIde Receivers.
The New York Giants have had by their standards a down year. After today’s victory against the Minor League Washington Redskins, the Giants find themselves at 5-9, 5 games behind their two biggest rivals, Dallas and Philadelphia. As the Cowboys and Eagles fight it out for the NFC East crown, the Giants are left sitting at home thinking pondering their future. Will Tom Coughlin, two-time winning Superbowl Coach be back to lead the team next year as missing the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive year? Will Jerry Reese, the GM who brought in the players which have lead the Giants to 2 titles in 4 years in the not so distant past, be charged with turning the franchise around? What does the situation at QB look like, as Eli Manning looks far removed from wearing the title, Two-Time Super Bowl MVP? However, as bleak as the current situation might be, a huge building block is in place and can give Big Blue Faithful a reason to assume that brighter days are on the horizon.
Everyone has seen the unbelievable catch Beckham made on Sunday night against the Cowboys, when he leaped 8 feet in the air, grabbed a pass one-handed as if he had stick-em on his hand, ignored the fact that he had a defender pulling him down, and landed his body just in-bounds. It was called the “BEST CATCH EVER” by many experts who have been around the game for decades. We’re also all seen the video of Odell making one handed catches, diving, leaping and damn-near doing back-flips in pre-game warm-ups and practices. He can throw the ball 60 yards on the line and also spin the all to himself and kick a 40 yard field goal. He’s an athletic freak and by far the best receiver the Giants have possibly ever had on their team, no offense to Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress.
The real story is told by his numbers on the year. He missed the first 5 games of the year with a hamstring issue, but his rookie numbers would give you no indication that he hasn’t played every down of the season. 972 yards on 71 catches, 9 TDs and his 97.2 yards per game as second behind Antonio Brown and Demayrius Thomas, two veteran receivers who are having career years. Beckham’s 9 TDs puts him only 3 behind the NFL leader, but considering he missed 5 games, his average of 1 TD per game is by far the best in the league. In less games, he has more yards than Calvin Johnson, Alshon Jeffery, Desean Jackson and many other NFL veteran pro-bowlers. Did we mention that we’re talking about a ROOKIE with LESS THAN 10 GAMES!
As a Jets fan, I am jealous but as a New Yorker, I’m excited to be able to watch a young legend make his name on the greatest stage in the world, especially in a year in which Derek Jeter gave up the New York City sports throne. The sky is the limit, as the combination of speed, size, hands and pure athleticism is unmistakably special. Though there are many questions to answer in Giants nation in the next few months, their is no need to worry about who the main target will be for the next decade, as Odell Beckham Jr. is ready to take the NFL by storm.
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…
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
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…
As I watched the Colts come back from dead and overtake the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night in Indianapolis, I was impressed by Andrew Luck’s ability to keep his team motivated and lead them down the field over and over again. In this day and age, in a sports landscape filled with prima donnas, Andrew Luck has the makeup to be a true leader of men and he showed his ability as such in Saturday’s Wild Card matchup. However, I have also never heard a player walk away from a game with the type of kudos and hype that this player has surrounding his name after he almost cost his team a victory. He put his team in a 28 point hole and was fortunate to help lead them back.
After the game, his head coach Chuck Pagano said “There’s been some great ones…but he’s gonna go down as probably one of the best, if not the best, ever to play this game when everything is all said and done. We’re very, very fortunate to have No. 12 on our side.” The best to ever play the game!? After one playoff win over Alex Smith?! One playoff win in which Andrew Luck threw 3 interceptions and allowed his team to fall behind by 28 points in the second half!? Are we really ready to call him one of the best, if not the best ever?
Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson said “He’s always been a different animal in the fourth quarter, his whole life, and just even hearing the story from his uncle. He relishes those moments. It’s like Jordan when he’d take that last shot — he wants the ball. This guy, we’re so blessed, he wants the ball in those situations.” He’s like Michael Jordan? Who are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning like then, two players who have won Super Bowls and done it all in their careers? Last year people were talking about how Andrew Luck wasn’t even the best QB drafted in his class (anyone remember RG3). He’s still done less than Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick have in their comparable playing careers. However, it’s always fashionable to break out the Michael Jordan comparisons after a player wins one playoff game.
Let’s look at the numbers from Luck’s second season. His 87.0 QB rating was good for 20th best in the league, behind the likes of Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Josh McNown and the before mentioned Alex Smith. His 23 TD passes on the season were less than both Carson Palmer and Ryan Tannehill. He finished 17th in Yards/Game, behind Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin and many others who would never be mentioned in the same breathe as Michael Jordan or the words “best ever.” He’s 1-1 in his postseason career with 4 TDs and 4 INTs, which to the naked eye reflects mediocrity instead of the Hall of Fame.
If Andrew Luck doesn’t get one of the luckiest bounces in the history of football, he would be watching the Divisional Playoffs on the couch this weekend and the experts would be talking about his 0-2 postseason record and 3 INTs against the Chiefs. We’d be hyping up Alex Smith and Andy Reid and the Colts would be an afterthought. We’d be saying that Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are the future of the QB position in the NFL. The Colts brass might be wondering what things would be like if they had Peyton Manning in uniform. However, the ball bounced the right way, Luck made a great play to leap into the end zone and the comeback continued. Luck took advantage of his good fortune but does that make him the greatest QB ever?
I think Andrew Luck could end up being great. I expect him to win in a serious manner in the NFL during what should be a long career. Almost any team would want him to lead their franchise into the future and the Colts still made the right move letting Peyton go, even if they are a bit weaker in the immediate future. As a Jet fan, I would trade Geno Smith for Andrew Luck in a heartbeat. With all that said, everyone needs to let him create his own legacy. He does not need to be compared to every great QB to ever strap on a helmet, nor to possibly the greatest athlete ever in Michael Jordan. His numbers have been solid but not special, his potential is excellent and he possesses a lot of the intangibles that lead us to believe he’ll be a star. Enjoy watching him play this weekend (I believe he’ll beat Tom Brady), but keep the expectations to a reasonable level. He can’t win 6 championships in less than 2 full seasons and if the G.M. is expecting legendary player, Andrew Luck will most certainly disappoint even with an All-Pro career.
Hello Sports Debaters fans! Part of the New Year Resolution is to make a strong comeback and deliver the content that the millions of our fans have been missing and asking for. It’s been a while since we spoken but that’s because we’ve been waiting for the right time to reenter your lives…The NFL Playoffs!
The games this weekend were excellent. We had the future of the NFL, Andrew Luck lead the Colts in a huge comeback over the Chiefs. After that, 34 year old Drew Brees taught 24 year old Nick Foles how a grown ass All-Pro QB wins playoff games on the road in a nail biter in Philly. Today’s games reminded us that Andy Dalton is an obstacle that the Bengals will never overcome as Phillip Rivers outplayed him and lead the San Diego Super Chargers to a playoff win over Cincy. Last but not least, Colin Kaepernick took his 49ers north of the wall to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and the better team came out on top by a FG..SF 23, GB 20.
So we head into next week and I wanted to be the first to tell you how the games will turn out. The Divisional Round is always the best as the big boys come off their bye weeks and host the survivors from the first round. The QB’s next week will feature an unbelievable combination of Super Bowl Winners (Brady, Manning, Brees), an all-pro veteran trying to make his mark (Rivers) and the youngest, best talent in the league (Newton, Kaep, Wilson & Luck). I think it’s safe to say that 7 of the best 8 teams from the season will be playing next weekend (not quite buying the Chargers yet!)
With that said, here are the picks:
Denver Broncos will get revenge on the San Diego Chargers for beating them in Denver in early December. Peyton Manning will be too much for the San Diego defense and not give the ball away as much as Andy Dalton. Denver wins fairly easily: DEN 35 SD 24
New England will host the Colts who are coming off the second best comeback in playoff history. The Patriots have been up and down all season long and were blessed with a weak division and easy schedule. I like the Colts to go into Foxborough and take out the Patriots in an extremely close game, setting up a Manning-Luck matchup in the Championship game: IND 28 NE 27
While I love the Saints and what they did against Philly, Seattle is a much more complete team and near impossible to beat at home. The Saints travelled there on a Monday night and got destroyed in the regular season and while I think they’ll put up a better fight this time around, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle vaunted defense will be too much for the Saints: SEA 27 NO 21
Even though the Carolina Panthers have had an impressive year, winning their division and clinching a first round bye, I still need to see more from Cam Newton. This will be his playoff debut and though I know he has all the tools to get the job done, the 49ers are more complete and Kaepernick has shown his ability in a big spot often in his young career. I love this defensive matchup and I believe this will definitely be a low scoring blood bath. In the end, the more complete team wins: SF 17 CAR 13
Like I said, we are back for 2014 and look forward to dropping knowledge on you once again…enjoy the college pigskin tomorrow night and we’ll talk later this week…