Monday, January 30, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

Why You Should Watch The Final(s) For The Australian Open

            Of the four Grand Slam majors in tennis, the Australian Open tends to be the one that's most overlooked. It might be because it's the first Grand Slam major of tennis season. Or it could be because you'd have to stay up until (or wake up at) 3:30 AM in America just to watch. However, this Australian Open has been entertaining due to its exciting action and numerous upsets. Here's a couple reasons why you should make reservations to watch both the men's and women's final in the "Land Down Under".
            The men's side offers a classic rivalry between Switzerland's Roger Federer and Spain's Rafael Nadal. These two have played each other 34 times, with Nadal leading the all-time series 23-11. Both Federer and Nadal are the only pair of men to finish in the top two ranked players on the ATP Tour for six straight calendar years. If you want another reason to watch, check out this tie-break between the two at Wimbledon in 2008.
            Now if you want a reason to watch the Women's Australian Open Final, it's between the Williams sisters. The dominant Serena Williams will face off against her older sister Venus in what will simply be known as a 'sibling rivalry'. The ageless American sisters have combined for 120 women's singles titles (71 won by Serena) and 29 Grand Slam titles (22 won by Serena). Both sisters have been ranked as the world's No. 1 at some point in their career and have exuded their dominance among the women's field. The Williams sisters have won 21 doubles titles together, which includes 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles and three Olympic gold medals. The Williams sisters are the only two women during the "open era" to play each other for four straight Grand Slam finals. Serena holds the edge in the rivalry, 16-11.
            Now I know that there aren't many tennis fans in America (especially when being compared to baseball, basketball, and football). However, if you're willing to commit some time to watching both finals of the Australian Open, you shouldn't be disappointed. Two great tennis rivalries should be enough to sway you to stay up until 5:30 in the morning just to watch these two matches.

Photos Courtesy of CNN and

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beasts of the East

            Everyone loves a tight race. After all, that's what makes baseball a fun sport to be engaged with. The whole concept of a pennant race is an endearing idea of its own. Right now, you're seeing the hockey equivalent of that.
            With less than three months left in the regular season, every Eastern Conference team in the NHL is either in a playoff spot or at most four points out. There are some surprising teams like Toronto (who has the hockey wunderkind Auston Matthews) and Columbus (who went on a 16-game winning streak at one point) that are holding onto playoff spots.
            Even disappointing teams like Florida (50 points) and Tampa Bay (49 points) aren't out of contention and could easily have a playoff spot with a nice winning streak. In fact, every Eastern Conference team is at .500 or above with regards to their regulation records. What's more, every team in the Atlantic Division has at least five overtime losses, which constitutes for a good amount of points in the standings.
            On the flip side, the Western Conference is just as competitive with only two teams (Colorado and Arizona) completely out of the playoff picture. The 11th-ranking teams, Dallas and Winnipeg, are only three points out of a playoff spot.
            Going into the All-Star Break, almost every team will be in the hunt for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The question is this: Which team will rise up and seize a playoff spot? Can the Maple Leafs do it with their young lines? Can the Lightning turn things around? Can Jack Eichel and the Sabres sneak in? It'll be an interesting race down the stretch, but it'll be one that hockey fans will be delighted with.

Photo Courtesy of the Daily Hive

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What's On My Mind

             I got so much on my mind right now. Trying to balance school, life, and work out while having to listen to a lot of background noise. I've been thinking about these things this week:

  • The traits and fallacies of the American customer
  • What my parents are yelling at me about (I still don't know)
  • How busy my week will be
  • My work and how much I'll miss my co-workers
  • My vacation in late April. Can't wait to get out of the state
            Also, what the hell is this?

             That has got to be the scariest thing I've ever seen. Apparently, this was made as a silent movie 110 years ago. Interesting.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Who Wants The Eighth Seed In The Western Conference?

            The NBA's Western Conference for the 2016-2017 season can be divided up into tiers: You got the "elites" (that would be Golden State, San Antonio, and Houston), the "greats" (Clippers and Jazz), the "goods" (Grizzlies and Thunder), and the "terribles" (everyone else). The Western Conference landscape is quite different from its Eastern Conference brethren (Cleveland's the only Eastern Conference team worthy of being considered "elite"), but it doesn't have a good team suitable for the eighth seed in its conference. In other words, a team will likely win the Western Conference's eighth seed merely by default.
            Let's take some time to consider the candidates for who'll get blown out and likely swept by Golden State in the first round. Portland has one of the best (if not the best) backcourts in the NBA, but offer nothing else. The Sacramento Kings rely on a bipolar Demarcus Cousins as their superstar. The Timberwolves were supposed to be kind of like the Jazz and emerge as a good team thanks to Tom Thibodeau becoming their head coach, but have sputtered while lacking a deep bench. The Pelicans are relying on Anthony Davis to win all of their games instead of giving him some quality assistance. The Nuggets can score, but can't defend. Finally, the Suns, Lakers, and Mavericks are all too painful to watch.
            So which one of these "terribles" will emerge for a chance to get whipped like a government mule by the Warriors in the first round? Portland has the best chance to get ahead based on their backcourt alone, but they'll need a defensive specialist to come in and help them. Denver will need some defensive help as well. New Orleans needs to find another player for Anthony Davis to help out (maybe take a flier on Reggie Jackson or Ricky Rubio before they get traded?). They should just look at scoring help so that Davis doesn't have to do all the work. Either that or just get Buddy Hield more playing time. I don't know. Just get Anthony Davis some help for once and make it snappy. Minnesota could use a veteran on the team to help with the younger players, i.e. Jason Terry. The Kings need to either find a veteran who can mentor Cousins and calm him down or shop him. As for the Suns, Lakers, and Mavericks, just compete for lottery balls. Your seasons are already lost, so it's best if you rebuild for the future.
            Again, it probably won't matter who makes it out of the first round because the Warriors have too much talent (most of it offensively) for any of these aforementioned teams to handle. Still, we live in an age where handing out participation trophies is the norm and we feel the need to hand out awards to mediocre teams for making a tournament only to get obliterated by a much stronger opponent. Anyways, may the best "terrible" win!

Friday, January 20, 2017

How Did Russell Westbrook Get Screwed Out Of A Starting Spot In The All-Star Game?

            How does a player who's threatening to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double in a season get left off the starting line-up for the Western All-Stars? That is the dilemma that Russell Westbrook is facing after getting rejected from the starting line-up in the 2017 All-Star Game.
            The Oklahoma City point guard's stat line for the 2016-2017 season consists of this: 30.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG, and 10.4 APG. That's a stat line that deserves recognition for the NBA MVP, especially since he's the only superstar on a Thunder team that just lost Kevin Durant over the summer. Ironically enough, Durant is a starter for the Western Conference whereas Westbrook will be riding the pine to start.
            There's no doubt that Westbrook will get in the All-Star Game; averaging a triple-double in a season is a hard feat to accomplish. However, how did Westbrook not get in the starting line-up with the season he's having? Stephen Curry is a popular choice and a recognizable face among NBA fans. However, he's not having the type of season Westbrook's having; 24.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 6.1 APG aren't great numbers compared to Westbrook's. In fact, you can say that none of the Western Conference starters have the stat lines that Westbrook has this season. Just take a look at what the Western Conference All-Stars are averaging this season:

  • Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs: 25.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.1 APG
  • Curry: 24.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 6.1 APG
  • Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors: 26.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 4.7 APG
  • James Harden, Houston Rockets: 28.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 11.6 APG
  • Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: 28.8 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 2.2 APG
            James Harden is the closest guy you have who can touch Russell Westbrook's triple-double average this season. The rest of the starters don't really come close. 
            Does the fan vote issue reinforce the idea that fans can't make sound decisions regarding the NBA All-Star Game? Adam Silver and the NBA tried to remedy the situation by appointing players and the media to chip in to the voting process with 25% each having an influence. However, it backfired immensely, leaving Westbrook out of the All-Star starting line-up.
            By the way, let this sink in if you need another reason for Westbrook to be a starter for the Western Conference. 

Photo Courtesy of NutsAndBoltsSports

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Championship Picks!!

           Last week was an interesting week regarding picks. The difference between a win and a loss was determined by an Aaron Rodgers pass and a holding penalty on a two-point conversion. How will this week shake out?

Green Bay vs. Atlanta: Aaron Rodgers proved once again that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, beating the Cowboys with little time left in the game. On the flip side, the Falcons have the best offense in the NFL and are stellar at home. However, considering that Atlanta's defense is a lot worse than Dallas's defense, Rodgers and the Pack should make fairly easy pickings of the Falcons.
Packers 38, Falcons 24
Pittsburgh vs. New England: Everyone will be glued to this game due to the pre-game drama stemming from Mike Tomlin and Antonio Brown. How fired up will the Patriots be after seeing the video from Brown and Tomlin's speech? Ben Roethlisberger, LeVeon Bell, and Brown will test the Patriots defensively. But the Patriots will still be overwhelming for the Steelers thanks to Bill Belichick's 'game-planning' along with Brady and crew. Patriots 30, Steelers 21

Record: 6-2

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Watching The Australian Open Right Now

            It's such a surreal experience seeing a sporting event go on after 1 AM (excluding overtime games). But with the Australian Open being one of the four "majors" of tennis, it's quite an awesome experience to watch on television. It's dark outside and I should be sleeping, but I'm watching a tennis player from Luxemborg with the last name of Muller take on an American named Thomas Fritz. That game is switching between that and a Brit named Heather Watson versus an Australian named Heather Stosur. It looks like it's hot down there. I wonder, are there any wild animals that make their way onto the tennis courts in Australia? I wonder how Serena Williams is doing in this tournament so far? As I look up the result, I find that she just beat someone named Belinda Bencic in straight sets. Awesome. I hope it isn't too hot for the players down there. Not there's anything wrong with having a lot of heat. It sure beats having a frigid temperature right now (which is what I'm experiencing right now). It looks like I'm not getting a lot of sleep tonight.

Photo Courtesy of

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A "Farewell" To Chris Berman

            Recently, longtime ESPN anchor Chris Berman stepped down from his role as ESPN's head NFL host. His career goes "BACK-BACK-BACK-BACK" to the 1970s, when ESPN originated in Bristol, Connecticut. However, that doesn't mean he's retiring from the gig altogether; he will get to call events like the Home Run Derby and the Masters. Anyways, here's a look at some of Chris Berman's finest moments and images. "DEUX DEUX DEUX!"

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Winner Of The Chargers Relocating To Los Angeles? San Diego.

            If you want a summary of what the Chargers have been for the past few years, this is it. This tweet is a microcosm of the various failures that have happened under owner Dean Spanos's watch. I mean, this is the ONLY NFL team this season to lose to the lowly Cleveland Browns. In a tough AFC West division, they limped to a 5-11 season. Therefore, there really isn't a whole lot for the city of San Diego to fret about in spite of having 56 years of San Diego football halted.
            For starters, the Chargers are relocating to a 27,000-capacity soccer stadium in Carson, California. Granted, this is a temporary home and Qualcomm Stadium was getting outdated. However, the StubHub Center is barely bigger than the United Center in Chicago and the Rose Bowl would've been a better option. By the way, give fellow LA-newbie Stan Kroenke credit. At least he put his team in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which seats 93,000 and is legendary (don't forget Kroenke's paying for his own new stadium in Inglewood). Dean Spanos doesn't seem to get the whole relocation matter.
            Another reason why San Diego emerged as a winner in this ordeal is the fact that the voters rejected a measure that would've geared taxpayer money towards a new NFL stadium in November. For years, the Chargers organization has tried to convince the city to publicly pay for a new NFL stadium. Some of their ways included trying to get the city to raise their hotel bed tax. This was opposed by hotel outliers within the city because it would hurt their business. If you're wondering why this is significant, consider this. Nevada just approved $750 million worth of public funding for an NFL stadium that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson wants to build. The Ilitch family's "Little Caesar Arena" in Detroit is near completion and is built on taxpayer money. The trend of publicly funded stadiums is a disturbing one, especially when billionaires are crying "welfare" when they have the money to build the stadium themselves.
            Besides, Los Angeles is getting another shitty NFL team when it already has one. The Rams moving to Los Angeles was a great idea since it would bring back interest to a sport that a market hadn't seen for a couple decades. While the Rams are a dumpster fire to watch on the field, it had the feel of an expansion team arriving to town. Now? It's just overkill. Granted, people will likely fill the tiny stadium known as StubHub Center. However, Dean Spanos and the Chargers better turn things around quickly before the new stadium in Inglewood's built. Otherwise, it'll be similar to what the San Francisco 49ers are experiencing right now: No fans coming to a new stadium to see a piss-poor product.
            What I expect to happen down the road is a couple things. One, expect organizations to try and get their stadiums built in the suburban areas (like the Atlanta Braves did), most likely using taxpayer money. There will be some less populated areas who will be willing to give this a nudge instead of the big cities themselves. Two, expect organizations like the Chargers to straight up leave when the cities and its citizens stand up to this "corporate welfare". Cities like St. Louis are starting to hit back at the billionaires and teams are starting to flee. The cities are tired of having to take many years to pay off a stadium.
            As for why the city of San Diego wins in the end of this debacle? This reason is the cherry on top. Imagine if the Tampa Bay Lightning relocated to Los Angeles and one of the interns had to think up a logo on the fly. You'd get something like this:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Postseason Picks Part Deux

            So the postseason has been boring for the NFL so far. Here's hoping that the match-ups are a lot better and closer than they were last week.

Houston vs. New England: Honestly, this should be a pushover for New England. The Patriots beat the Texans pretty badly in their regular season match-up... with their third-string QB. How many points will the Pats rack up here? New England 42, Houston 3
Seattle vs. Atlanta: Last week, the Seahawks faced a Lions team that was horrific at stopping the run. Defensively, Atlanta's no better. However, the Seahawks secondary will have their hands full, especially without Earl Thomas. In week six, the Falcons racked up 310 passing yards against Seattle. However, a good chunk of those came in the third quarter (along with a good chunk of the points). This game could be a shootout. Seattle 41, Atlanta 39
Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City: This game will come down to whether Ben Roethlisberger shows up or not. He's currently injured, but he says it's no big deal. Historically, the Steelers are good against the Chiefs in the playoffs. I'm banking on this trend to continue. Pittsburgh 24, Kansas City 21
Green Bay vs. Dallas: This game also has the makings of a shootout in place. However, the Packers haven't faced an offense (or an offensive line) as dynamic as the Cowboys'. The Packers' edge rushers may have a hard time getting around to Dak Prescott all game. Dallas 30, Green Bay 19

Postseason Record: 4-0

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Who Can Stop Golden State?

            Once again, the Golden State Warriors are on a solid run this season. They've only scored fewer than 100 points twice this season and have proven plenty of critics who thought a team of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green wouldn't work because there's "only one ball". However, they're not immortal. Keep in mind that the Warriors are allowing 105.4 PPG this season. Here's a group of teams that can give Golden State fits.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies are one of only two teams to hold Golden State to under 100 points in a game this season. Memphis ranks third in PPG allowed, yielding 98.60 PPG. Memphis is also stingy around the arc, yielding .347% of 3-point shots made. Memphis is also the only NBA team who has more than one win against Golden State this season. 
  2. Houston Rockets: Like the Warriors, the Rockets love to shoot the 3-ball. The Rockets are sixth in the NBA in 3-point percentage, making .376% of their shots. James Harden and company won in a shootout in Oakland on December 1st as Harden got a triple-double in that game. He grabbed 15 rebounds while racking up 13 assists and 29 points. Ever since, the Rockets are 19-2 and are 2.5 games back of the top seed. Houston's secret weapons are Trevor Ariza, who's averaging 2.05 steals a game, and Clint Capela, who's making .640% of his field goals this year.
  3. San Antonio Spurs: A few reasons why San Antonio can beat Golden State? One: Gregg Popovich is the coach of the Spurs. As long as he's in San Antonio and the team has some form of depth, San Antonio will be a threat. Speaking of depth, that's the second reason why they're a threat to Golden State. Lots of bench depth with the likes of Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, and David Lee. Then there's MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who's averaging 24.1 PPG. You also have to like the Spurs picking up Pau Gasol to attack the boards.
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers: They have LeBron, Kevin Love, and Kyrie. They also just added catch-and-shoot expert Kyle Korver, who'll fit in nicely with the Cavs. There's also that whole "Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead" thing as well that permeates through Golden State's heads...
  5. Los Angeles Lakers: Believe it or not, the Lakers have actually been surprisingly tough for the Warriors to play against. The Lakers handed Golden State one of their nine losses last season and are one of six victors against Golden State this year. It's hard to believe, but Julius Randle loves pulling down rebounds against the Warriors. 
Photo Courtesy of The Indian Express

Monday, January 9, 2017

The NFL Weekend Was A Snoozefest

            27-14. 26-6. 30-12. 38-13. This weekend stunk in terms of quality play for the NFL playoffs. The wild card weekend consisted of nothing but blowouts and teases. Can we #MakeTheWildCardGreatAgain? Probably not. But we can hope for more appealing match-ups than the Raiders-Texans. Let's try that.

Photo courtesy of CBS Boston

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Tale Of Two Cities

            The Los Angeles Rams just completed their first season in Hollywood. Granted, it was with average Jeff Fisher as their coach and they ended up with a 4-12 season. But the Rams are hoping for bigger things with Jared Goff at the QB helm and players like Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald to lead the way. The Rams made their move from St. Louis, a city that they moved to from... the Los Angeles area (namely Anaheim). Let's take a closer look at the close history between St. Louis and Los Angeles.

  1. The Rams' Relocation to St. Louis: The Rams have experienced a lot of relocating as a franchise. Originally based in Cleveland in 1936, they moved to Los Angeles in 1946, then moved to Anaheim in 1980. Later, then-owner Georgia Frontiere moved the team to St. Louis due to an "outdated stadium" and "withering fan support" in the LA area. Although the owners initially blocked the move, Frontiere countered with a lawsuit that eventually caused the owners to cave in. The move initially worked, with the Rams as the "Greatest Show on Turf" while winning a Super Bowl in 2000 and nearly winning another in 2002. But when Stan Kroenke took over, the attendance and quality play had dropped in St. Louis, prompting Kroenke to purchase some land in Inglewood and move the team to Los Angeles. 
  2. Cardinals Versus Dodgers: The Cardinals have faced off against the Dodgers plenty of times in recent memory. These two franchises have faced off six times (including the three-game tiebreaker in 1946) with St. Louis winning five of six series against the Dodgers. 
  3. Playoff History and "The Great One": The St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings have also faced off in recent memory. However, it was Los Angeles who's had the upper hand, winning the playoff match-ups in 2012 and 2013. These two also have a "Great" connection with each other: Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky played with Los Angeles from 1988 to 1996, when he was eventually traded to St. Louis for Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, Craig Johnson, and two draft picks. 
  4. The Olympics: Both cities have also hosted the Olympics. St. Louis hosted the global event in 1904, whereas Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1984.
Photo Courtesy of LA Times

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Feeling Blue

            Columbus, Ohio: It's well known for its collegiate football team, the Buckeyes. Producing countless Heisman Trophy winners and many championships, Ohio State football has been the pinnacle of sports in Columbus.
            However, there is another team in town that is emerging as one of the best. Their name is the Columbus Blue Jackets. They're currently on a 16-game winning streak dating all the way back to November 29 of last year and hadn't lost in the entire month of December. As it stands, they only have five regulation losses as of January 5th. How in the world is this once-hapless franchise bowling over the competition?
            For one, Columbus has plenty of depth. Nine Blue Jackets have hit double digits in assists, with Alex Wennberg leading the way with 26 assists. Overall, Cam Atkinson leads the team in points (38) and goals (18). The Blue Jackets are second in the league in goals scored, averaging 3.4 goals per game. John Tortorella's teams are known for getting the puck to the net and this Jackets team is no different. Tortorella's squad is averaging 30.3 shots per game.
            Which leads to the next point: Columbus is opportunistic when it comes to the power play. Leading the league in power play percentage with a 28.3% success rate, the Blue Jackets are getting power play goals from Atkinson (eight PP goals), Nick Foligno (seven), and Sam Gagner (six).
            Another area where the Blue Jackets are strong in is not letting the puck in. Sergei Bobrovsky has an astounding record of 25-5-2, along with a save percentage of .934 and 1.92 GAA (both second in the NHL only to Minnesota's Devin Dubnyk). The Jackets are only yielding two goals per game, best in the NHL.
            So what's the best way to beat Columbus? Well, Columbus's team isn't the best at killing off penalties on their own, ranking 17th with a 81.6% success rate. The only problem is that the Blue Jackets don't really go to the penalty box that often; they're 23rd in the NHL with 122 minor penalties this season. In other words, when the Jackets do go on the penalty kill, it's best to make most of every opportunity. Same goes for when they're even strength. Pepper Bobrovsky shot after shot until one goes in.
           When is it that Columbus will fall? Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals stand in the Blue Jackets' way of NHL history as Columbus is one win shy of tying the NHL record of 17 straight games won. After that, it's eight straight games of mostly Eastern Conference opponents that have been disappointing this year. They play at home versus an again Rangers team and play against a sliding Flyers team the next game. After that, it's three games against Carolina in a six-game span with games against Florida, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay sandwiched in between. The Senators are probably the best bet to usurp the Jackets if Columbus's win streak continues to January 22nd. In the meantime, let's just hope that Columbus keeps up this streak.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Get Edgar To The Hall!!

            One of the bigger debates in baseball is whether a designated hitter deserves to be enshrined into Cooperstown or not. The designated hitter doesn't partake in any fielding duties unless he's assigned to another position. This is a interesting debate especially when it concerns Edgar Martinez.
            While David Ortiz's name will be brought up--and eventually put on the ballot--for the Hall of Fame, Martinez's name is already on 67% of public ballots. Although first-time names like Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez are favorites to get in, Martinez still has plenty of time ahead of him.
            The former Seattle Mariners DH made the position significant during his time with the M's. While Martinez doesn't have that many career homers (309), he does have a career batting average of .312 along with 1,261 RBIs, a career OBP of .418, an OPS of .933, and a slugging percentage of .515 to his name. His 162-game averages consist of this: .312 BA, 24 homers, 99 RBIs, 41 doubles, 293 TB. Not bad, eh? Martinez was also a seven-time All Star, a five-time Silver Slugger, and was in the running for AL MVP five times (best finish was in 1995 when he finished third). Martinez amassed an oWAR of 66.4 and had 687 runs above replacement level along with an adjusted OPS of 147. Edgar won two batting titles (1992, 1995) and even has an award named after him!
             Getting Edgar into the Hall of Fame won't just do the game justice regarding the DH position. It'll also help Ortiz as well. Ortiz, who has 541 homers and 1,768 RBIs to his name, will benefit from having a fellow DH get in before him. It'll also help the ten-time All-Star that he has a World Series MVP to go with his resume, but he'll benefit even more if Edgar gets in to set a precedent for designated hitters.
             Whatever the case, Edgar Martinez deserves to be in Cooperstown. It'd be a shame to see one of the best pure hitters of the 1990s go to the wayside like Lou Whitaker did regarding the Hall of Fame vote. After all, it wasn't just Ken Griffey Jr. that made the M's fun to watch during that time period.

Photo Courtesy of The Sports Quotient

Postseason Picks!!!

            The NFL regular season is in the books and now only 12 teams remain. This year's field is dominated by NFL blue bloods such as Dallas, New England, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh. Who will take home the ultimate prize, the Lombardi Trophy? Let's take a look at who won't be going to Houston come February.

Oakland versus Houston: A battle between two teams with injuries at the quarterback position. For Houston, a relegated Brock Osweiler will take the reins. For Oakland, it's going to reportedly be rookie Connor Cook. This game could have the best potential for a road team winning. Whoever doesn't screw up the most will win here. Houston 13, Oakland 10
Detroit versus Seattle: The Lions backed their way into the postseason thanks to a generous gift from the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon. However, they have to travel to Seattle, a place that is never easy for road teams to win. The Seahawks don't have Earl Thomas for the postseason, but the Lions don't have any deep threats that can exploit Thomas's absence. Expect Russell Wilson to pick apart the Lions' defense in the second half, if not earlier. Seattle 27, Detroit 10
Miami versus Pittsburgh: Like the Raiders and Texans, the Dolphins are missing their starting quarterback. Enter Matt Moore, who will be making a start in frigid Pittsburgh weather at Heinz Field. Expect the Dolphins to hand the ball to Jay Ajayi quite a bit in order to try and open up the passing game. But expect Pittsburgh to counter with the Roethlisberger-to-Brown combo. Pittsburgh 35, Miami 17
New York Giants versus Green Bay: Green Bay is riding a winning streak of six games into the playoffs, New York has one of the best rush defenses in the NFL and will test the Packers' run game quite a bit. However, this Giants team has a hard time scoring outside of Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Rodgers will exploit holes in the Giants secondary. Green Bay 24, New York 21

Bonus Pick: Alabama 35, Clemson 28

Final Regular Season Record: 73-35-2 (+13)

Photo Courtesy of

Monday, January 2, 2017

Why Your Team Won't Make The Super Bowl

            The NFL playoffs are here and the match-ups are set, so let the excitement commence!!! Just remember that your team isn't a shoo-in to make the Super Bowl (that goes for you as well, Patriot and Cowboy fans). Here's a list of why your team isn't going to make it to Houston.


New York Giants:
No Offense... Seriously.
            New York averaged 19.4 points per game of offense during the regular season. Only Houston averaged fewer points per game than the Giants this year. While the Giants have one of the best defenses in the NFL, it won't mean a thing if they can't score. Odell Beckham Jr. (1,367 receiving yards) has been an exciting part to the offense at least. However, he can't be the only part of that offense that functions. Considering that the NFC is plastered with high-flying offenses like Dallas and Atlanta, that could pose a problem for New York if they can't score. 
Detroit Lions:
They're Lacking in All-Around Talent.
           Name me one solid player on the Lions right now. You got Matt Prater, who is a solid kicker, and a solid punter in Sam Martin. But nobody knows those two. You got Matt Stafford, who's led the Lions to eight comeback wins this season and has looked like an MVP candidate. However, Stafford has thrown three touchdowns and five interceptions in his past four games. Calvin's gone and all of their running backs are injured. The offense runs on Stafford and the defense wilts in the second half. While Seattle might be missing Earl Thomas, the lack of a deep threat will hurt the Lions immensely.
Green Bay Packers:
Get Ready For A Shootout.
             Green Bay is the hottest team in the NFL right now, having won six straight. However, that doesn't mean that they can't be beat. The Packers were 19th in the regular season in opponent's first downs, allowing 329 first downs. Granted, Green Bay does very well in the give/take ratio department (+8). But for the most part, that's because their offense doesn't turn the ball over a whole lot. Beating Green Bay means that you exploit their passive secondary as well; the Packers were next-to-last in passing yards, allowing 4,308 yards. Basically, if you got an offense, you can hang with Green Bay.
Dallas Cowboys:
Passing Through "Big D"
           Like the Packers, the Cowboys are prone to a solid passing game. While the Cowboys are slightly more bearable with their coverage, it's not by a whole lot. They ranked 26th in the regular season, allowing 4,167 yards through the air. At least Green Bay picked the ball off, getting 17 interceptions compared to Dallas's nine. You won't get past Dallas on the ground (league-best 1,336 rushing yards yielded), but you can beat them through the air.
Seattle Seahawks:
Too Many Injuries.
            Losing safety Earl Thomas for the season has hurt the Seahawks quite a bit. They were in the driver's seat for a first-round bye, but ultimately fell to the third seed with a home loss to the Cardinals and nearly fell to the fourth seed against lowly San Francisco. Injuries have been a big narrative for Seattle this season, with players like Thomas Rawls and Russell Wilson being banged up from start to finish. As for the Earl Thomas injury, his absence leaves Seattle exposed to the deep ball, meaning that the likes of Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers can easily exploit Thomas's absence at will.
Atlanta Falcons:
Air Or Ground?
            Atlanta has the scariest offensive set-up among the playoff teams. But they're more likely to get involved in a shootout since they can't stop anybody. The Falcons ranked 25th in total defense with 5,939 total yards allowed. If you can go point for point with the Falcons with a few defensive stops of your own, you can possibly beat the Falcons.
New England Patriots:
No Gronk, No Problem?
            The Patriots do look unbeatable from a glance. They're better defensively and Tom Brady is back after missing the first four games of the regular season due to the Deflategate suspension. However, that doesn't mean they're immortal. Rob Gronkowski's absence means that the Patriots don't have a big body to throw to in specific situations. This leaves teams like Houston and Kansas City to breathe a sigh of relief with regards to their defensive plans.
Houston Texans:
The Quarterback Problem.
             Tom Savage suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Titans, which means the Houston QB situation is muddled once again. Whether it'd be overpaid Brock Osweiler or Savage, the Texans will need to find a solution quickly. Considering that they can't generate anything with the ball, they'll be hard-pressed looking for any luck.
Miami Dolphins:
In Matt Moore We Trust?
            The Texans aren't the only team facing quarterback troubles. Miami has to go with Matt Moore against Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger versus Matt Moore? Doesn't seem like a fair comparison to me. Granted, Miami does more damage on the ground than they do in the air (25th in passing yards with 3,500 yards compared to being ninth in rushing yards with 1,824 yards). However, the Dolphins will have to go with Jay Ajayi almost the entire game against the Steelers, leaving Pittsburgh to plan for Ajayi. 
Pittsburgh Steelers:
They're Just Too Average
             Pittsburgh has one of the most exciting QB-to-WR duos in the NFL in Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. However, the Steelers are just average in every other department, with the exception of punting (bad). There is one detriment to the Pittsburgh QB name, though. While the Steelers don't fumble the ball away often (three fumbles in the regular season), Steeler quarterbacks have thrown 15 interceptions in the regular season. Pittsburgh should have an fairly easy time with the Dolphins and are historically good against the Chiefs in the playoffs. But they'll have a hard time with the Patriots if the AFC Championship rolls around... if they get there.
Oakland Raiders:
Carr Trouble.
            When the Raiders lost Derek Carr to a leg injury, what looked like a promising season turned into one that was lost. Now their back-up quarterback Matt McGloin is questionable for Saturday's game against Houston with a shoulder injury. On top of that, they have to go up against one of the best defensive teams in the Texans. If that wasn't enough, there's a good chance the Raiders will have to go to Foxboro if they win. 
Kansas City Chiefs:
Third Time's The Charm?
            Kansas City is one of the sleeper teams in the AFC playoff picture (considering that nearly everyone is picking New England to win) and rightfully so. They have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL and the best linebacker core in the game. However, it won't help these units a whole lot if the offense can't convert on third down. Kansas City ranked 23rd in converted first downs with 305. Considering that the run game hasn't been what it was in recent Chiefs memory, this could pose a problem.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

On the Playlist

            Here's another edition of "On the Playlist"!! I show you what is bumping on my playlist. Some songs you'll enjoy, some you might not lie. Enjoy!!!