The Everyday Man's Sports Blog

Follow Mike Patton aka The General as he puts his thoughts in on sports.

Archive for the month “October, 2015”

The General’s NFL Proclamations- Week 8

(photo courtesy of www.fansided.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.fansided.com)

Week 8 is here and the rough days of the season are upon some teams. And while some can handle it, there are others that wilt under the pressure. Now we come to the part of the season where the cream rises to the top and the bubbles fizzle on teams that were thought to be potential playoff contenders. The great part about all this action is there is no telling which team will show up and when. Someone may surprise us this week in the NFL. And others may surprise us in an unexpectedly bad way. We are all witnesses to this madness we call the NFL. Without any further wait, here are the proclamations for Week 8 in the NFL.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

  1. The Miami Dolphins will score over 25 points in this game. The offense has been excellent the last two games for Miami although it has been against weaker competition than the Patriots. But in this game, the Dolphins offense will show that they are better than they were at the beginning of the year and they will test the Patriots.
  2. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been connecting on the regular on the field. And in this game, the Dolphins will try to take him away. But look for him to at least get one big catch in this one as he and Brady will connect for one touchdown. Although he will score, Gronk will not get more than five receptions.
  3. Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones has been making plays over the last two weeks and in this game he gets Tom Brady at least once. However, this week it will not go back for a touchdown. But you better believe that Jones is going to make something happen versus New England.

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs

  1. Matt Stafford and the Detroit offense are without their offensive coordinator due to him being fired recently. And with interim offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, the Lions will go back to slinging the rock all around the yard. Look for Stafford to throw the football at least 40 times and watch him connect on at least two touchdowns, with one going to Calvin Johnson aka Megatron.
  2. The Kansas City Chiefs have been known for their “dink and dunk” offensive style. Well, this week they take a few shots up top with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. And one of these shots will end up paying off for the Chiefs as Maclin will go after a questionable Lions secondary.
  3. The Lions and the Chiefs will end up getting at least five pass interference calls combined. Both teams have issues when it comes to defending the pass and both teams have weapons that can cause problems for the other’s defense. And as a result, there will be some flags flying in the secondary.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

  1. The Falcons have recently slowed down a little bit. But in this game, they will get it reeved back up again. Look for the Falcons to put up 35+ points against the Bucs defense in this one. And for the icing on the cake, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will get at least two touchdowns.
  2. Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin will get 100 yards rushing in this game. The running back formerly known as the Muscle Hamster has been good at times and bad at others. Something tells me Atlanta brings out the best in him this game.
  3. Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant will nail a field goal of 50 yards or more. Although he is getting up there in age, the dome does not present much of a distraction in regards to the weather and the wind. When he makes this one, he will make it with ease.

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns

  1. The Cardinals ran the ball very well on Monday night versus the Baltimore Ravens. And in this game, they pick up where they left off. Veteran running back Chris Johnson will rush for over 100 yards and a touchdown. The speedster out of East Carolina has had a great time reviving his career in the Desert and he will continue to do so versus the Browns.
  2. The Cleveland Browns have a decision to make. Do they start Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel at quarterback? Well, in this game it may not matter because both will be looking up at the sky trying to imagine what shape the clouds are in. The Cardinals bring tremendous pressure and they will get to the quarterback at least four times on Sunday.
  3. Cleveland has a speedy wide receiver/return man in Travis Benjamin. And in one play, he will show how speedy he is. He will return a punt for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. And with that, the crowd will be electric.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams

  1. The St. Louis Rams have been tearing folks up on the ground behind rookie running back Todd Gurley. And in this one, he will eventually get the 49ers. Look for him to get at least 120 yards rushing and one touchdown.
  2. The San Francisco 49ers have been struggling offensively this season. Some can be pinned on the offensive line and some can be pinned on quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Well, this week the receivers help out Colin and make plays. Look for the 49ers to have at least six different players catch a pass this game.
  3. Both the 49ers and the Rams will not score over 20 points. This will be one physical football game, as it always is. And both teams will show their strengths and their limitations.

New York Giants at New Orleans Saints

  1. The Giants will have at least four sacks this game. The pressure and different looks Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo can create combined with the issues the Saints can have on their offensive line will lead to a long day for Drew Brees.
  2. Running back Mark Ingram had a really good game last week running the football for New Orleans. Well, this week he gets around 60 yards and scores one touchdown. And when he scores, maybe he does Drake’s dance again.
  3. Giants’ running back Shane Vereen has been dynamite out of the backfield this year. And in this game, expect him to pick up where he left off. Look for Vereen to get at least five receptions and three of those will be for first downs.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

  1. Stefon Diggs has been dynamite for the Vikings at wide receiver. It seems like he and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater have found something on the field. And the Bears will get to witness the next performance of these two as Diggs goes for two touchdowns and at 100 yards receiving on Chicago.
  2. The Chicago defense has not had much to cheer about this year. Well, in this game they will have at least one thing to rejoice about. The Bears will get at least one turnover in this game. That would be huge for defense that can struggle.
  3. Quarterback Jay Cutler has been solid since he returned to the team from injury. But this game he is about to have Sunday will remind those that were not fans of his why they don’t like him much. Cutler will end up with at least three interceptions, with one going for a touchdown.

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens

  1. The San Diego Chargers were pretty embarrassing last week versus the Oakland Raiders. They will definitely be looking to redeem themselves this week versus Baltimore. Look for them to put up at least 24 points against the lowly Ravens defense.
  2. Steve Smith Sr. has been a warrior for the Ravens this season. And he will continue to do so versus the Chargers. He will have at least seven receptions for 90 yards in this one. The Chargers have issues in their secondary as well.
  3. Tight ends will be huge in this game. And with that being said, the Ravens will have two touchdowns from the tight end position. Both Crockett Gilmore and Nick Boyle have been good for Joe Flacco and will continue to do so in this game.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. The Bengals are still waiting on running back Jeremy Hill to get it going like he did in 2014. Well, this game may be the one he starts getting it going. Look for the young running back to get at least 80 yards rushing and a touchdown.
  2. It isn’t looking like Ben Roethlisberger will make the start this Sunday versus the Bengals. If that is the case, then the Bengals will be having a meeting at the quarterback. Look for Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap to get at least two sacks in this one and the Bengals to get five total.
  3. The Bengals have not had a return for a touchdown in a while defensively. Well, that changes in this game as Cincinnati cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick picks off a pass and runs it back for a touchdown this week.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

  1. If Marcus Mariota plays, there will be some fireworks from the Titans offense. Look for the Titans to get at least three touchdowns this week through the air, with at least two going to tight end Delanie Walker and wide receiver Kendall Wright respectively.
  2. Houston has had one consistent bright spot this year and his name is DeAndre Hopkins. The exciting wide receiver will receive a lot of attention this weekend. But like other weeks when he received a lot of attention, he will find a way to produce. Look for another 100 yard game from the emerging star wide receiver.
  3. There will be a couple inexplicable turnovers in this game. And of course you can expect those turnovers to come from someone that you would not expect. And it will leave you scratching your head.

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders

  1. The Raiders were on fire last game versus the Chargers. But in this game, the fire will be consumed by a blizzard. Look for the Raiders to score 13 points or fewer against the Jets stifling defense.
  2. The Jets have a bull in a china shop at running back in Chris Ivory. When he gets going, he makes the Jets a tough team. Expect him to bring his hard-nosed style to this game and go for at least 100 yards rushing.
  3. Amari Cooper has been excellent this season. But in this game, he will be locked up at Revis Island. Cooper will not get more than three catches this game.

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

  1. The Seahawks got a little mojo back last weekend. And expect them to come out again ready to go. With Matt Cassel at quarterback for the Cowboys, expect them to get at least two interceptions in this game.
  2. The Dallas offensive line now has a main back to block for. Darren McFadden has been named the starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys and will get the lion’s share of the carries. Look for him to go for 100 yards behind this massive Cowboys offensive line.
  3. The Dallas defense is in for a challenge this game containing Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Well, with the shape of the Seahawks offensive line, they will at least make it home a few times. Greg Hardy will have at least two sacks and the Cowboys will have at least 4 sacks this game.

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos

  1. The Packers have been surviving without wide receiver Jordy Nelson this year. Well, in this game they will feel the loss of him some. Expect Aaron Rodgers to throw at least one interception in this one and feel the pressure that Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and crew can bring.
  2. The Broncos have had some issues getting the running game going. And in this game, it will sputter yet again. The Packers will be solid in their play up front and make Peyton Manning have to beat them.
  3. Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews will have at least two sacks in this game. The Denver line is not very good at this point and the Packers can bring pressure from all angles. That is a dangerous combination for the Broncos.

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers

  1. The Colts have been sputtering offensively and this game will be no different. They will be facing one of the toughest defenses in the NFL and Luck appears to not be very healthy. That does not bode well for a team that likes to put the ball in the air. Expect them to not score more than 16 points.
  2. Cam Newton had a little rougher outing last week versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Look for the exciting Panthers quarterback to clean up the mistakes and make it happen for his team. He will not have an interception and will have three touchdowns total (one running and two passing).
  3. The Panthers’ linebacker duo of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis will combine for 20+ tackles. Both these guys fly all over the field and make a great impact. Expect them to star on Monday Night Football.

Week 8 is here and the excitement has arrived. Who takes advantage of the moment provided to them?

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

Advertisements

The Dan Campbell Effect In Miami

(Photo by Hector Gabino/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

(Photo by Hector Gabino/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

The Miami Dolphins started the season started off with high expectations and dreams of the playoffs as they won in ugly fashion in DC in Week One. Even though the win was not visually appealing to watch, there were some that expected the Dolphins to build on the win. Well, after going 1-0, the Dolphins dropped three in a row under then-head coach Joe Philbin. After the dreadful 1-3 start and being outscored 91-48, the Dolphins parted ways with coach Philbin and named tight ends coach Dave Campbell interim head coach. The former NFL tight end stepped right in during a bye week and inherited a team that was not playing well and that also seemed to have lost some of its fight. Immediately when he came in, he stopped practice and broke out the Oklahoma drill. Now for those that don’t know what that is, it is a physical drill that some feel is crazy to even do in games because of its physical nature and potential exposure to head trauma. Well, something about the switch of coaches and the physical tone has changed the Dolphins. They have won two in a row and have outscored their opponents 82-36. It seems like a rhythm has been found and the team is starting to get back on track. But what have been the keys to this one on both sides of the ball?

The Dolphins offense before the season was going to be built around quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The young quarterback from Texas A&M signed a very lucrative deal and the Dolphins were willing to put the offense on his shoulders. Well, it did not work under Philbin’s regime and Tannehill totaled seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Ever since Campbell has taken over, the interceptions have gone down but the touchdowns have remained at a consistent level. He has even back-to-back season-high QBR numbers. Tannehill has thrown six touchdowns to only two interceptions. One thing that is noticeable about him is he has shown improvement in his decision-making. He seems to be trusting his eyes more. Once a quarterback starts to trust what he sees, then the offense can run smoother and the ball gets out quicker, as shown in the last two weeks. Another big deal is the Dolphins passing game has been shortened up. That makes it easy for Tannehill to ease into the game instead of having to throw complicated routes all game long. It should be interesting to see if he can keep himself along this path the Dolphins laid out for him should he decide to take on some additional experience.

Tannehill has been impressive under Campbell, but so has Lamar Miller. In Weeks 1-4, the 4th year player out of the University of Miami totaled 131 yards. But in the last two weeks, Miller has run for 306 yards total. That type of production is something that many were not sure would happen for Miller, especially after the first four games. But just like Tannehill, he has turned it around. Miller just seemed to be not as aggressive to start the season. He would not hit the holes with any explosion as much as he is capable of. Fast forward to the last two weeks and Miller has been pressing the line of scrimmage. The explosion seems to be there and he is hitting the holes with reckless abandon. Miller’s play can also be attributed to the play of the offensive line as well. They are giving him holes and he is making the most of them. And with Miller making the most of his opportunities, the team is finding balance they never had with Tannehill and Miller. The more balance can come into play from Tannehill and Miller, the better the offense for the Dolphins will be.

But the changes have not just been seen offensively, but on defense as well. The Dolphins were thought to be a team that would get after the quarterback. But after the first three weeks, the Dolphins were one of the worst teams in getting sacks. With the insertion of Campbell as the coach and a more physical style being assumed, the defense morphed into what it has become now. The Dolphins have now become a team that brings constant pressure. They have collected 10 sacks in the last two games, led by defensive end Cameron Wake. The veteran defensive end did not have any sacks heading into Week Five. Well after two weeks, Wake has really upped the ante. He has six sacks in the last two games and looks like the dominant pass rusher everyone expected him to be this year. Previous to these last two games, it seemed as if the Dolphins were just not finding a way to get it done. When in all actuality, the front four were capable of making things happen, but they just did not. With the pressure picking up from the Dolphins, offenses could find the pressure suffocating. And if that is the case, then turnovers are sure to follow. Or better yet, getting a turnover and scoring off them could happen too.

Speaking of turnovers, the Dolphins are coming up big in the last two weeks scoring. Through Week Four, the Dolphins did not have a defensive touchdown. But with the change came some big plays from Reshad Jones. The Dolphins’ safety has been a ball hawk the last two games, returning two interceptions for touchdowns. Those two touchdowns represent the dynamic that is changing for Miami. No longer will they settle for an interception. But they will try and turn the interception or fumble that could happen into a touchdown. And for a team that had trouble scoring before the head coaching change, an opportunistic defense is welcomed. The more aggressive approach is evident in the chances players are taken to make things happen. Now it may not always lead to a score, but it will lead to great field position for an offense that is kicking on all cylinders right now.

Dan Campbell has the Dolphins looking better than they to start the year and now they have the challenge of facing the New England Patriots this weekend. In the past, the Dolphins may have wilted under the pressure of playing New England. But with the way they are currently playing, they could come out and surprise some people. The Dan Campbell era is an instant success so far, but this weekend’s game will go a long way towards seeing if the Dolphins are for real.

For more sports talk, fee free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

Ranking The NFL’s Five Undefeated Teams

The NFL has had a lot of inconsistencies this season. One week a team can look like a contender and the next week they look like they don’t even belong in the playoffs. But there have been five teams that have escaped unscathed so far despite the ebb and flow of the NFL. Those teams are the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. All five teams have managed to take care of business despite sometimes being in tough situations. All of these teams will more than likely not go undefeated, but which of them is the stronger team of the undefeated? Let’s take a second to rank each undefeated team. Let’s start with number five.

Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

5) Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are undefeated this season and it has become a usual feeling to see them doing well. Defensively, the Broncos are scary good with two lockdown corners, two incredible pass rushers and a linebacker crew that underrated. Offensively, the Broncos are making a transition to Gary Kubiak’s offense and that has been painful to watch at times. But even with that, they have found a way to make it happen when it matters the most. The Broncos have employed the Orange Crush and some think they will get better as the weeks go on. But there has to be some concern about Peyton Manning and the offense. Manning has made big throws when his team needs them, but he has also made some inexplicable mistakes unbecoming of Manning. And as the season goes on, it gets cold in Denver. And we all know that Peyton is not the best performer when it gets cold. Couple that with the Denver running game still trying to get it figured out and that could mean some issues for the Broncos come playoff time. If indeed this is Peyton’s last season, he will need to pick it up if he wants to end it on a high note. For now, they have to be the last-ranked undefeated team in this grouping.

Photo courtesy of The Charlotte Observer

Photo courtesy of The Charlotte Observer

4) Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have started 5-0 for the first time in their franchise history. Defensively, the Panthers survived the loss of superstar linebacker for three games and did not miss a beat. Defensive back Josh Norman has been spectacular in coverage for them in a contract season. And offensively, Cam Newton is making the plays for his team to win games every single week. They are playing very well on both sides of the ball, but the offensive limitations for the Panthers could hurt them. The loss of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to a knee injury before the season was a huge blow to the Panthers offense. With him gone, the only weapon in the passing game that scares teams is tight end Greg Olsen. The veteran tight end has been excellent despite receiving extra attention from defenses. That may be something they can get away with in the regular season. But in the postseason, the Panthers will need someone to step up. Rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess has all the tools to step up and be that other target Cam needs, but he has been inconsistent catching the football. Other than the Panthers passing game, all other aspects on offense and defense are solid. It will be interesting to see how they grow throughout the rest of the season.

Photo courtesy of Democrat And Chronicle

Photo courtesy of Democrat And Chronicle

3) Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have come out with some fire this season. Quarterback Andy Dalton is playing like he has something to prove this season. And to go along with the offense, the Bengals are also holding their own defensively. The most impressive moment of the season for them had to be the comeback in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks. And the thing that is interesting about this team is they are not dependent on AJ Green to have big games every week. It is hard to find holes in this team with the way they are playing. But like all teams, there is something they are missing. The Bengals have given up the second-most points of the undefeated teams. In the past, it was very hard to make it happen versus Cincinnati. This year teams have been finding a little bit more success. The Bengals defense is talented, but they have to make sure and tighten it up as the season goes on. Offensively, running back Jeremy Hill has been struggling to get going. The Bengals are surviving without him producing a lot, but they will need him to get going in December and January to fulfill their championship aspirations and win that first game for the combo of Dalton and head coach Marvin Lewis. Time will tell if they can get these issues resolved. But this team has some work to do.

Photo courtesy of CBS Sports

Photo courtesy of CBS Sports

2) Green Bay Packers

Green Bay has come out this year just as impressive as they ended the season (despite the loss in the NFC Championship game). The defense has been better at all levels, led by linebacker Clay Matthews and his versatile play. And offensively, Aaron Rodgers is again playing like a MVP. Even with the loss of one of his best wide receivers, he still is making it happen and the Packers are still over 27 points per game. But even with all the great things, there are some things they need to work on. One noticeable thing is the offensive line. Too many times, Rodgers has had to be creative and avoid the rush. Some of that can be attributed to the pressure that comes. But other parts of that are linked to protection breakdowns. The Packers may face some issues if they don’t get that taken care of come playoff time even though Rodgers is their quarterback. Another issue offensively is health at the wide receiver position. They lost Jordy Nelson in the preseason for the year and many of their receivers have been dinged up. Rodgers makes it happen still in spite of that, but you need your best wide receivers on the field when the time comes to make a run. But even with these issues, the Packers have been able to look great this season. However, in order to win the title they must work to shore up those weaknesses.

Photo courtesy of The Boston Jam

Photo courtesy of The Boston Jam

1) New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have come out like a team possessed. They have scored the most points of any team in the NFL and they have been very solid defensively in each and every win. Some would say they are primed for a great run at repeating as champions. With Gronk in a groove catching the ball, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman running their short routes to perfection and the rotation of running backs playing well, there is no reason to think this offense will slow down anytime soon. Add to it the fuel that Tom Brady is playing with (Deflategate) and it looks like the defending champs are out to make a statement. But defensively, there lies one issue. The Patriots did not want to pay their starting cornerbacks from last season, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. As a result, Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan have been holding it down at the cornerback spots. Both have been doing their best, but they are not the best set of corners. In the playoffs, expect these two to be attacked and that could harm them. But with the offense they have and the defensive mind in Belichick pulling the strings defensively with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, they can cover them up with the pressure they bring and the disguises they make. Overall, it looks like the championship is theirs to lose.

These ranking could change as time goes on, but the Patriots are handling business. Each one of these teams has a great shot at making the championship game, but there are some things that both have to sure up or learn how to hide well. Whatever team does so will have the best chance at winning the trophy. It shall be interesting to see what the rest of the season holds for these five.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

The General’s Top Three Candidates To Be The Next Coach At The U

Al's out at Miami. Who's up next? (photo courtesy of Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Al’s out at Miami. Who’s up next? (photo courtesy of Wilfredo Lee/AP)

When the Miami Hurricanes hired Al Golden away from the Temple Owls, many considered it a slam dunk of a hire. The young coach was spirted and had made Temple a better squad. And with the history of the Miami program and his knowledge of it, many thought they would be competing for a national title under him in three years. Well, things did not work out as planned. Golden recently lost embarrassingly to the Clemson Tigers 58-0 and was officially fired Sunday. In his stead, the Hurricanes will have tight ends coach/run game coordinator Larry Scott take over on an interim basis. Over his four plus years at Miami, Golden was 32-35(17-18 in the ACC), 0-5 against rival Florida State, 0-2 in bowl games and 3-11 against ranked opponents. In the end, he just could not get the job done. He brought in some talent, but not to the level that was expected there. And with the talent he got, he just could not get them to perform at a high level all the time. What was once one of the most sought after positions in football is open yet again. But the question there isn’t who they will bring in next but who is interested in the position? While it is yet to be established who Miami wants and who wants the Miami job, there is three coaches that would fit perfectly at Miami to succeed Golden in my opinion.

One candidate that could make it happen at Miami is current Texas head coach Charlie Strong. He is a no-nonsense coach that is trying to revive the Texas program. And although he has struggled mightily for most of his time at Texas, he has always had a good history with the state of Florida. Even when he was at the University of Louisville, he was pulling players right and left out of Florida. For example, he plucked Teddy Bridgewater out of the backyard of Miami. And Teddy was a star at Louisville. Strong has tremendous ties to coaches in Florida and with him at Miami, that would open those floodgates once again. And as he has shown at Louisville once before, he can make it happen when he can get who he needs from Florida. But of course things would not be easy to get Strong to Miami. The one big hurdle for Miami will be the buyout in Texas Strong has. Strong is being paid at Texas $5 million per season. After this season, he would have completed two of the five year deal he signed with Texas and have three years left. That would be $15 million left over from the contract that he would be breaking to sign with the University of Miami. Surely Miami would probably negotiate it down some, but that would still be a hefty price to pay for a coach. Would Miami be so desperate for his services that they would pay a huge buyout for him? Only time will tell what will happen there.

Strong is an interesting name for the Miami job, but so is currently Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Of course many have had thoughts that he would be back in college shortly and with the history of the University of Miami, Chip could be looking a job that he just could not turn down. Another thing that may make him jump back to the college game is the results of his current team. Kelly had two back-to-back 10 win seasons and a playoff appearance in his first year. But this year, the team has struggled to find consistency. Couple that with the many changes he made as the new general manager of the Eagles and Chip could be looking at a mess when this season ends. The Eagles are 3-4 and still in the running in the NFC East, but that could easily change in a few weeks. And if it happens that the Eagles fall out of the running for the playoffs and winning the division, the Eagles will have missed the playoffs two years straight. Along with missing the playoffs, the fans of the Eagles would be unmerciful in their criticism of Kelly and the job he has done. And with that being said, leaving Philly for a sunny state and a historic program does not seem so bad. Chip would be a hit there in Miami because he has had success at the professional and college ranks. He has produced plenty of professional players at Oregon and he has also been very good at coaching players up at the collegiate ranks. But what is even better than Strong is that he does not require a buyout from his current job. With him being there, the recruits in Florida would have his undivided attention. But the thoughts of Kelly at Miami are null and void should the Eagles turn it around. It would be highly unlikely Kelly would leave should the Eagles make the playoffs again. If he were to make that move after turning this season into a success, then it would surprise a lot of people. But there is still the thought that he will go back to college eventually. You just have to wonder if the time for him to go back is now.

Strong and Kelly are big-name candidates, but there is always a candidate that no one thinks about. Memphis head coach Justin Fuente inherited a Memphis football program that was struggling mightily. And through his first two seasons, he 7-17 as a head coach there. But in the last two seasons, Fuente has turned it around. He has a record of 17-3 in his last 20 games, including a perfect 7-0 record this season. And with the win over Ole Miss recently, his team finally made it into college football’s Top 25. The job he has done isn’t getting unnoticed because there are several programs probably looking his way. And one of those teams that may be looking his way is Miami. With the hire of Fuente, the Miami offense would definitely get a boost. He currently has constructed a Top 10 offense that puts up 48.9 points per game. Of course his defense gives up its fair share of points, but with a good defensive coordinator hire, that could all be resolved there. But the questions come with Fuente and his recruiting. At Memphis, he has gotten many players that people have overlooked. And to his credit, he has coached them up and made them better. But he has never really recruited at a bigtime level throughout his coaching career. And another thing that may bother University of Miami fans is that Fuente is not a big-name coach. The Hurricanes are used to getting guys that are brand names in households or that are connected to the program. Fuente is neither and that could have some questioning what he is even doing there and if he can get the job done.

All three potential candidates have things they could add to the University of Miami. But all three potential candidates could turn a cold shoulder or not even hear from Miami as well. A lot can happen between now and the end of Miami’s season. It should be interesting to see who is the next coach to try and revive The U.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

The General’s NFL Proclamations- Week 7

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are looking to stay on a roll versus the Philadelphia Eagles (photo courtesy of Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are looking to stay on a roll versus the Philadelphia Eagles (photo courtesy of Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Week 7 has come and we are almost to the halfway point of the season. Some pretenders have shown themselves while others are still putting up a facade. And going into this week, there are some players that have shown to be better than they were thought to be. Unfortunately, there are some that have not lived up to the hype up to this point. Add it all together and we have one interesting season unfolding right before our very eyes. But there is more that is left for this season. More excitement, big plays and big blunders are left for us to observe as fans of the game. And week 7 starts it all in motion once again. With that being said, let’s get started with the General’s Proclamations.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

  1. Seattle and San Francisco both have offensive lines that have been susceptible to sacks. In this game, expect that to come to fruition as both teams will combine for at least six sacks. We will definitely get to see which quarterback can play Whodini best.
  2. Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham had a good game last week versus the Panthers. But in this game, expect him to go missing in action. He will have only three receptions and will not have over 50 yards receiving.
  3. San Francisco running back Carlos Hyde and Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch will both have 50 yards or less rushing. This is not indicative of the players they are but of the lines that they run behind. Both will have one run that will look like it will go a long way, but something will happen to negate that run.

Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars

  1. Blake Bortles had some issues last weekend at quarterback for the Jaguars. And this week, those issues will continue. The young quarterback will throw at least one touchdown, but he will throw at least two interceptions and one of those will be him channeling his inner Matt Schaub while throwing an interception for a touchdown.
  2. The Buffalo Bills may be without Tyrod Taylor again at quarterback. And if that is the case, expect them to lean on running back LeSean McCoy. The veteran running back out of the University of Pittsburgh is getting healthier by the week and this time out he will get his first 100 yard game of the season while scoring a touchdown.
  3. The Bills will keep the Jaguars under 300 yards of offense this week. The Bills are still smarting from the loss to the Bengals and the Jaguars will bear the brunt of that frustration.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Redskins

  1. The Bucs have not been great defensively this season. Well, Kurt Cousins is about to come to their rescue. The Redskins quarterback will throw at least two interceptions this game as he is again underwhelming as the starting quarterback in Washington.
  2. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston has had an up and down rookie year. Well, this one will be an example of that rollercoaster. He will have at least one touchdown pass and will throw one interception that will have you scratching your head. And to top all that off, he will get a rushing touchdown.
  3. The Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will both score defensively in this game. I don’t know if that is a product of good defense or a product of inconsistent and inept offense at times. We shall indeed see.

Atlanta Falcons at Tennessee Titans

  1. The Atlanta Falcons are still smarting from last week and their loss to the Saints. Well, this week they get healthy versus the Titans. Look for the Titans to allow 30 points or more to the Falcons this weekend. And with that being said, the boobirds will be out again at Nissan Stadium.
  2. Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota showed everyone how tough he was last week, playing through a knee injury. This week he will again tough it out and throw for at least two touchdowns (one to wide receiver Kendall Wright and one to tight end Delanie Walker).
  3. Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman has been dynamic this season. And he will continue to do so against the Titans. He will rush for 100 yards and he will also have one touchdown running the ball. But don’t forget, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Expect him to get at least four catches for 50 yards there.

New Orleans Saints at Indianapolis Colts

  1.  Drew Brees has been hot and cold for the Saints this season. And in this game, expect him to run cold. The veteran quarterback will have two interceptions and one touchdown as he tries to maneuver through the Colts secondary.
  2. Andrew Luck has been inconsistent as well as the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. In this game though, he will be have the mojo going. Look for him to throw for three touchdowns and no interceptions against a Saints defense that can be taken advantage of.
  3. The Saints will miss at least two extra points in this game. The change of extra points has made it more difficult on kickers and it will show even more in this game.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

  1. Teddy Bridgewater has been interesting as the quarterback of the Vikings this season. He has yet to really have a breakout game this year. Well, unfortunately for the Lions, this is the game he has a big one. Look for Bridgewater to have three touchdown passes and no interceptions while leading the Vikings offense.
  2. The Vikings offense has been sparked by rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs. And in this game, he will continue to be that spark. Look for him to have 100 yards receiving and one touchdown catch.
  3. Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford have not really gone off as the dynamic duo and done damage together. In this game, they go off just a little bit. Expect them to connect on two touchdown passes and both will be over 20 yards.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

  1. Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell will not rush for over 100 yards. The young running back out of Michigan State will have some effect on the game, but the Chiefs will be tough on him in the running game.
  2. Alex Smith and the Chiefs have not been that great offensively this season and this game will not help that at all. The veteran quarterback has been a checkdown machine and will continue to be so in this game. He will have at least 20 completions, but those completions will not be over 200 yards.
  3. The Chiefs secondary has been bad all season long. And with Michael Vick not being out there, that means Landry Jones could be at quarterback for the Steelers. If that is the case, look for him to torch the Chiefs secondary and get at least three touchdown passes.

Cleveland Browns at St. Louis Rams

  1. The Rams have been tough this season versus the run. Look for them to continue to do so as they keep the Browns to under 100 yards rushing.
  2. Running back Todd Gurley has been special as the Rams feature back. Look for him to continue to be special as he rushes for over 100 yards and gets at least two touchdowns.
  3. The Browns will be in comeback mode again this game and that means that quarterback Josh McCown will be racking up the yardage again in this game. Look for him to rack up at least 300 yards rushing as he tries to pull the team back in the game.

Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins

  1. The Miami Dolphins were fantastic last weekend defensively against the Tennessee Titans. Look for them to continue that momentum as they hold the Texans to under 16 points this game.
  2. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has not been the guy the Texans are used to this season. Well, in this game his struggles will continue. He will score a touchdown, but he will not reach the century mark on the ground again this week.
  3. The Miami running game got going last weekend, but expect the passing game to get some things going as week. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry will have at least 100 yards receiving and at least one touchdown as the Dolphins raid the Texans through the air.

New York Jets at New England Patriots

  1. The Patriots have been on fire offensively this season. Well, this game they meet the team that cools them down. The Jets will hold the Pats to under 20 points.
  2. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been more than adequate as the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. In this game, he will continue to be solid as he throws at least two touchdown passes and stays away from the interceptions.
  3. While the Jets defense comes to play, so will cornerback Derrelle Revis as well. He will intercept Tom Brady once in this game.

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers

  1. Raiders’ wide receiver Amari Cooper has been good at some moments and invisible at others. In this game, he will definitely come out and show the skills that made him one of the top receivers in the 2015 NFL Draft. Look for him to get at least 100 yards receiving and 1 touchdown.
  2. San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers threw for over 500 yards and still lost the game. Well, he will not throw for 500 yards in this one, but he will get at least 300 yards passing and three touchdowns.
  3. There will be no running backs that score rushing touchdowns in this game. Look for the running backs to score more through the air than on the ground in this one.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

  1. The Giants were flat offensively last weekend and no one bore the brunt of that more than quarterback Eli Manning. Expect him to come back this week and make up for that game versus the Eagles with 300 yards passing and three touchdown passes. And as for those touchdown passes, one will be to special wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
  2. The Dallas Cowboys will be starting Matt Cassel at quarterback this weekend. And with that, the veteran will show the world that he is not the answer either when it comes to holding it down for Tony Romo. He will throw at least one interception that will make you scratch your head and he will also have one fumble that will help the Giants.
  3. The Giants will hold the Cowboys to 13 points or less in this game. The Cowboys are a shell of themselves offensively without some of their key ingredients. And with a backup quarterback in there, Dallas will not be very good offensively again.

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers

  1. The Eagles played sloppy but got the win on Monday night versus the Giants. But this week the mistakes will catch up to them. Look for the Eagles to have at least three turnovers as they get off to another slow start.
  2. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton has been solid all season long. Look for him to have a little fun with the Eagles’ secondary in this one. Cam will throw for two touchdowns and run for one as the Panthers get it rolling offensively.
  3. DeMarco Murray has started to run the football better for the Eagles the last two weeks. Well, all that stops when he sees the Carolina Panthers. Look for him to be held to under 40 yards rushing as the Panthers play physical up front with the Eagles.

Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals

  1. The Cardinals have sputtered some offensively as of late. Look for the Ravens to be the medicine their offense needs. They will score at least 30 points in this one and get back on track.
  2. Joe Flacco has made some head-scratching plays this season as the quarterback of the Ravens. And in this game, he will be running for his life as he faces a pass rush that will be after him all game. Because of that pressure, look for the veteran quarterback to throw at least three interceptions in this game.
  3. The Cardinals have not had much excitement in their return game this season. Well, in this game they will score on special teams and from at least 70 yards away.

Week 7 is upon us and the games are here. It should be interesting to see how all the games come out and who comes up big for their teams.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

What Happened At Louisville Is Nothing New In College Sports

Rick Pitino could be on the hot seat after details of strippers and more at Louisville. (photo courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Rick Pitino could be on the hot seat after details of strippers and more at Louisville. (photo courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Rick Pitino has been one of the greatest coaches in college basketball. He took an undermanned Providence College team to the NCAA Final Four. He revived the University of Kentucky program after NCAA punishment tore their program down. And after a brief stint in the NBA coaching the Celtics, he has made the Louisville program one of the best in the country. But the recent news that came out about his program in Louisville is something that does not put him in a good light. Currently there is a lot of talk about a former assistant at the University of Louisville. Andre McGee reportedly paid strippers to come to parties on campus to entertain recruits and players. And it is reported that McGee also paid some of them extra to sleep with some of the players. Five former players and former recruits told ESPN’s John Barr and Jeff Goodman about McGee’s deeds while there at the university on the condition of anonymity. And these claims will all be published in a book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen”. The escort, Katina Powell is also writing in her book all about the payments she received and all the things that McGee did in terms of getting the monies to her for the strippers to attend the party. The immediate reaction from most has been one of horror and disgust. The immediate reaction is “How can this be happening on the campus?” The other reaction then goes towards Pitino. He says that he does not know, but according to some, he actually knew what was going on. And for that, some are asking for the university to get rid of him at this time. It seems really bad for Pitino and the university, but there is a little something that many looking down on Louisville may want to understand.

Pitino and Louisville are not the only universities that have probably done something like this. In fact, there are many universities that go all out for their recruits. Just to give you an example, I was once a young athlete getting ready to go to college. I was on a recruiting visit to a school that will remain unnamed to prospectively play football for them. On the trip, there was a woman that they purposely put me with. And it was like she on me from the beginning of the trip until the end. Now nothing physical happened between me and the woman. Besides, my mother and sister were there with me. But it isn’t like the woman lacked for trying. She would say things to me like “The football players get much play down here.” For those that don’t know what that is, she was saying some sexual innuendo when speaking to me in that way. And the crazy thing is she did not care if my mother and sister were there. Of course, my mother did not like that among other things about the specific university. And of course, I never attended that school. Plenty may not believe this happens at universities, but it is actually something that happens all the time. Plenty of universities have groups of women that they put together for the specific reason to get players to come to school. And plenty athletes that are reading my story are probably thinking that is light compared to what happened on their visits to a prospective school. The reality is that the colleges and universities really don’t care what happens in these instances. The main thing they care about is what student-athlete gets in the school to help the program make money.

So being that this is something that happens everywhere, many may watch what happens a little more closely. And just like fans are watching this one, there are many programs that are as well. Plenty fans may like to think the programs they watch are clean and do things the right way, but the reality is that many sweep things under the rug and the head coach acts oblivious to something he or she does not want to know about. If something happens and Pitino gets fired, there will definitely be some repercussions. Many will wonder if their programs have that one skeleton in their closets that can come out as a result of this one. Others will continue to live in the shock that this actually happened, oblivious that this could be happening at a university right near them. The fact of the matter is that this issue is something that just did not come out of nowhere. Of course, the Louisville issue is something that is to the extreme. But there will be some acts that will be similar if not worse that will be done in the pursuit of a recruit by a college or university. And in the coming days and weeks, there will probably be many former college athletes that come forward with their recruiting visit stories.

Rick Pitino is the face of the school and he is also the face of this scandal. Regardless if he knew about it or not, he will definitely be under fire for this fiasco. But this incident is similar to things that happen on college campuses all across the country. The sad thing about this whole scenario at Louisville that captures many is that Powell had two underage girls, her daughters, involved in this. Essentially she pimped her own daughters to the players/recruits at Louisville . That in itself is unsettling for many. And the fact that she could do this without thinking it over is even more appalling. Louisville is definitely in some hot water over this one, but there are also some universities sweating bullets over their recruiting practices potentially being exposed. Pandora’s Box has been opened. Let’s see if something comes out of it.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

Jadeveon Clowney Is Approaching Bust Status

Jadeveon Clowney may be frustrated, but so is Houston.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jadeveon Clowney may be frustrated, but so is Houston.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Houston Texans won the lottery when they lost enough to get the 1st overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. They had their choice of who they wanted to get. Coming into this draft, the consensus was that South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney would be who they selected. His sophomore year in college was highlighted by this play:

And with this play, he became a star before his junior season. Jadeveon knew he was a star and wanted to protect himself his junior season so he could be the top draft pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. And in his play it showed. He was not as aggressive as he normally was and he nursed some injuries as well. But even with the injuries and lack of aggression, the Texans still considered the extremely athletic big man (6’5”, 266 pounds) too good to pass up with the first pick. So against the thoughts of some, the Texans selected him with the 1st overall pick and put together what they thought would be a good combo of Clowney and JJ Watt. Well, two years in the Texans are wondering if they made the right choice.

The Texans selected Clowney with the 1st pick despite them needing a starting quarterback (team could have traded down in the draft with the many offers they had for the pick). They were expecting a guy that would cause havoc and take pressure off JJ Watt. What they have gotten is someone that is always injured. Clowney was pretty healthy through his college career expect for his junior year. And there was some concern when he had some surgery before the draft. The foot that he had surgery on has not been the issue, but other things have. He ended up missing most of the 2014 season after having arthroscopic knee surgery and then microfracture surgery on his knee. He was only able to be on the field for five games. And even though he has played in five games this season, he seems to still be slowed by the microfracture surgery he had towards the end of the 2014 season. Along with the recovery from the knee, he is also fighting through an ankle injury that caused him to miss the last game. Combined he has not even played ten games in his career.

Clowney has not been healthy for much of his time in the NFL, but there are many players that are playing through injuries and are still productive. He has been on the field five games this season but produced zero sacks (also had zero sacks in the 2013 season). When he was drafted by the Texans, it was thought his size and speed would allow him to get at least ten sacks a season. Instead of those ten sacks a year, he has not made even averaged ten tackles per season he has played up to this point. It seems as if he is a player that is on the field but invisible at the same time. At 6’5” and 266 pounds, there is no way that this should be happening. And the interesting part is he is getting favorable matchups because of the attention that Watt is receiving. Clowney clearly has been slow to pick up the NFL game and even slower to make an impact. And it is because of that, this Houston defense can be easier to gameplan for. Maybe their defense would be better if he lived up to the billing he had coming into the professional ranks. But for now, their defense is up and down and Clowney is not a factor at all. And the sad thing is they could really use his presence.

Clowney is proving that the hype he had coming into the NFL was just that: hype. He has not come close to reaching the level many expected he would reach coming out of South Carolina. And with each passing day, he creeps closer and closer to becoming a bust in the eyes of many. Hopefully he finds it within himself to make some things happen. But as of right now, it is looking like he cannot be the player he was thought to be and the hype was too much for him. And to think, the Texans could have traded down to potentially draft a quarterback. Instead, they have Tom Savage there just twisting in the wind and have had highly uneven quarterback play from Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer at the helm. Maybe the Texans are thinking their selection of Clowney over these days because he surely has not been worth the fuss.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

Rules Are Rules Cameron Heyward

Cameron Heyward fought a losing battle in honoring his late father. (photo courtesy of www.deadspin.com)

Cameron Heyward fought a losing battle in honoring his late father. (photo courtesy of http://www.deadspin.com)

Cameron Heyward is a force along the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line. And he is also the son of a former NFL player. His dad, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, was an eleven-year NFL veteran that played for five teams during his time in the NFL. Unfortunately, he passed away at the age of 39 in 2006 due to brain cancer. This season, Heyward decided to honor his father by wearing his father’s nickname on his eye black tape. Unfortunately for him, he did not get this cleared to do by the NFL. Recently, Heyward was fined $5,787 for wearing the message on his eye black. The NFL has a policy against personal messages on eye black. Heyward said he plans to appeal the fine, but there are no guarantees that he can win this one. And like was pointed out, he just did not start doing this. He apparently has been doing this from the beginning of the season and is just now getting fined for it. When this fine was announced, many fans were outraged that the NFL would even fine Heyward for doing this. And especially since his father died of cancer, some thought the league would be sympathetic towards Heyward and allow him to wear the message on his eye black. But little do folks know about the business that is the NFL.

The NFL has made many rule changes that fans have not liked. One that comes to mind that caused the most scrutiny was when the touchdown dances got curtailed. Many fans love the celebrations because it adds more entertainment to the game. But apparently the NFL thought it needed to go. With the Cameron Heyward situation, the NFL is probably very sympathetic to what happened to his dad. And of course it is very noble of him that he thought to put a message to his dad on his eye black. But unfortunately for him, his tribute was not within NFL guidelines. And as the NFL sees it, there is no exceptions that can be made. If they make an exception for Heyward to do this, then the NFL opens a Pandora’s Box of people who may want to have a message on their eye black too. And if they are denied wearing the message on their eye black, the first case they will look back at is the case of Cameron Heyward and how the league made an exception there. This is somewhere the league does not want to go and unfortunately for Heyward, he will have a tough time winning this one. He also knew that he was breaking the rules that were set forth by the NFL by wearing the message he had. And each game that he was out there with it was a risk in itself for him to get fined. Many have asked why he was not fined earlier for wearing the eye black, but we all don’t know the circumstances. The NFL may have warned him or they may have not said anything at all. But no matter if it is the first time or not, he was accepting responsibility when he did it and should just accept the responsibility now for it. And if he feels so strongly about it, why not even complain about the fine when you knew the rules ahead of time? Just pay the fine and keep it moving.

It seems like every year someone has some bone to pick with the NFL and their sets of rules. Of course everyone does not agree with them, but they are the rules that are set forth. And in the end, the changes that happen don’t come about because a few feel differently. If you have an issue with this ruling on Heyward and the eye black, then let’s take this ruling over to corporate America. In a corporate setting, there is a certain dress code that you have to follow per the office rules, handbook, etc. And when you sign up for that job, then you agree to follow those rules set forth for you. So let’s say you disagree with one and decide you will not follow it anymore. At that point, you are subjecting yourself to punishment and or termination. Now you may get by with what you do for a minute, but eventually you will have to answer to what happened. And at that point, you are basically at the mercy of the job that you do. Fortunately for Heyward, his issue he had does not lead to termination. But in corporate America, it could lead to termination quickly. So just like some fans work for a corporation, Heyward works for a corporation as well. And the corporation has rules that you have to follow. Simple and plain, he did not. So he subjected himself to the punishment.

Heyward can complain all he wants about this ruling and thinking that he should not get fine. But in the end, he may just be crying upon deaf ears. I definitely understand him making a tribute to his dad each time he goes on the field, but he also has to abide by the rules given. And if he feels like he cannot and has to display his tribute every week, then he better get ready to see that money missing from his check every week because it will be happening. I understand the heartwarming tribute, but the rules say Heyward is wrong unfortunately.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

The General’s NFL Proclamations- Week 6

Eli Manning is leading his Giants potentially to the NFC East crown. But the next step is to take on the Eagles on Monday night. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Eli Manning is leading his Giants potentially to the NFC East crown. But the next step is to take on the Eagles on Monday night. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Week Six has the race for the playoffs shaping up a little bit more. Many teams have had their moment to show they are for real. And others are just waiting to see if they even have that moment or know they time has passed. With that being said, there are many players that are looking for that moment to shine still while others have officially arrived. In Week Six, there will definitely be some performances that come out of nowhere while others disappear in the big moment. With that being said, here are the General’s Proclamations for Week Six in the NFL.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

  1. Wide receiver Julio Jones will not top 100 yards receiving in this game. The dynamic wide receiver has been dominating the NFL this year. But with the lingering hamstring issues that he has and the short week of rest before this game, it would not be surprising if he did not have a huge impact on this game. Despite his numbers and the Saints defense not being that strong, Julio’s hamstring will keep him from exploiting them.
  2. Mark Ingram will have under 40 yards rushing. The Saints re-signed Ingram to be their starting running back, but he has had some issues getting going. With the frenetic Falcons defense after him in Week Six, Ingram will not get it going in this one. He may score one touchdown, but he will not be dynamite in the running game.
  3. Falcons’ running back Devonta Freeman will rush for at least 130 yards and will have a rushing and receiving touchdown. The second-year running back from Florida State has been on fire the last few weeks as the Falcons starting running back. And with the weakness of the Saints defense getting exposed every week, Freeman will keep on churning out the yardage.

Washington Redskins at New York Jets

  1. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will not have over 200 yards passing. The Jets defense is tough on quarterbacks and with Revis Island there, look for the passing game to take away the best weapons the Redskins have at wide receiver. That will leave Cousins forcing passes into tight windows and using his tight ends. That will eventually lead to not only under 200 yards passing, but an interception or two.
  2. New York Jets running back Chris Ivory will have 100 yards rushing and a touchdown. The hard-nosed veteran running back has been making a living of hitting the hole full speed with aggression. The Redskins gave up yardage to Devonta Freeman last week and this week’s running back adversary is big, strong and definitely more physical than Freeman could ever want to be. That spells trouble for the Redskins front seven and safeties in the run game.
  3. The Washington Redskins and the New York Jets will combine for at least five sacks. Both defenses will have chances to make some things happen with their pass rush. And both will definitely have a few meetings at the quarterback in what should be a physical game.

Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. The Arizona Cardinals will not score over 20 points. The Cardinals have gotten better offensively and they torched the Lions last week. Well, this week’s opponent brings more thump than they did. And because of that, the Cardinals will not score over 20. The Steelers pressure defense will take a little of that air out of their offensive sails.
  2. Pittsburgh quarterback Michael Vick has been erratic as a passer. Quite frankly, he has missed quite a few open receivers. In this game, he will continue to do so. Look for him to connect on only 50% of his passes in this game.
  3. Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown has reportedly been frustrated with his production due to the change at quarterback (Michael Vick stepped in for an injured Ben Roethlisberger). In this game, he will definitely get his chances. Look for him to get 100 yards receiving and a touchdown in this one.

Kansas City Chiefs at Minnesota Vikings

  1. Minnesota wide receiver Mike Wallace will go for 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. The Chiefs secondary has not exactly been great. Combine that with a burner at wide receiver in Wallace and that is a scary combination. One that will definitely allow Wallace to excite the Vikings crowd on Sunday.
  2. Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith will throw for zero touchdowns. The veteran quarterback has had his struggles this season at the helm of the Chiefs. In this game, he will continue to have those same struggles. When you only have one wide receiver that teams have to gameplan for, it makes things hard on your quarterback.
  3. Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson will not rush for 100 yards in this one. Peterson has had his moments this season so far. But the Chiefs front seven is very capable of getting the job done and they will surely be focused on making other members of the Vikings’ team beat them not named Adrian Peterson.

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills

  1. The quarterback position is uneasy in Buffalo. It is being reported that Tyrod Taylor may not play due to a sprained MCL in his knee. If he is able to go, then he will account for one touchdown rushing and one thru the air. If he does not play, then his backup EJ Manuel comes in to man the team. If he has to run the team, look for the backup quarterback to throw at least two interceptions.
  2. Cincinnati has not got it going in the running game yet with running back Jeremy Hill. He was dynamic last season. But this season, he has struggled to gain traction. This game will be the same story as last game. He will have under 50 yards receiving and no touchdowns.
  3. The Bills will rush for 200 yards as a team in this game. This may seem crazy to some, but the Bills can run the ball at you over and over again. And I would imagine they would do that this game considering they are on schedule with their running game.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

  1. Quarterback Jay Cutler has been pretty solid the last two weeks for the Bears, leading them to back-to-back wins.  Some are expecting him to fall back and stumble, but this isn’t the week that happens. Expect him to throw for at least 300 yards and two touchdown passes against a Lions defense that has not been getting it done.
  2. The Lions will score under 20 points. The offense of the Detroit is talented, but they just cannot get on track for some reason. This game would seem to be one that they could, but it just will not happen. For some reason or another, the struggles will continue for them in this one.
  3. There will be no interceptions in this game. I know many are probably not believing what they just read. But these defenses have not been great all year and they will probably force some turnovers this year, but just not interceptions in this one.

Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns

  1. Peyton Manning has not been dominant like he usually is at quarterback this season. But in this game, he wakes up and has a very good game. Expect him to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns for the Denver Broncos.
  2. Running back Isaiah Crowell has been solid for the Cleveland Browns. And in this one, I expect him to have an impact yet again. Look for him to have 110 total yards in this one along with one touchdown.
  3. The Denver defense has been carrying the Broncos this season and this game will not be any different. Look for the Broncos to have at least five sacks as a team in this one. And one of those sacks will end up being a strip sack for a touchdown for the Broncos.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

  1. Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles has been solid this season. And in this game, he will be solid and then some. He will account for over 300 yards passing and two touchdowns, with one going to wide receiver Allen Robinson.
  2. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been excellent this season. He has been torching defensive backs this season and he will continue to do so in this game. Expect at least 150 yards receiving from him and a touchdown.
  3. Both teams will be over 25 points at the end of this game. Both offenses have had their moments, good and bad. But they both will do enough to make this affair at least appear interesting down the stretch.

Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans

  1. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will rush for a touchdown, throw two touchdowns and throw for 225 yards. The former University of Oregon quarterback is facing a defense that plays uninspired a lot. And despite the coaching change, the uninspiring play defensively will continue.
  2. Dolphins’ wide receiver Jarvis Landry has been the only offensive player playing with energy this season. And in this game, that will be on display again. Expect him to have 100 yards receiving and at least one touchdown.
  3. Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Brian Orapko will have his first multi-sack game in this one. He has not had the affect he was thought to have so far and it is time for him to break out. And this game is the perfect one for him to break out.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

  1. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch will be back this weekend and fortunately he will be at home. The veteran running back will rush for 100 yards on his return and will score at least one touchdown. Rain down the Skittles Seattle fans, Beast Mode is rumbling to an endzone near you.
  2. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been special this season. Look for him to continue to shine as the quarterback of the Panthers as he runs for one touchdown and throws for two more.
  3. The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks will combine for only three sacks. Both quarterbacks are mobile and can make defenders miss. But both defenses will get to the opposing team’s quarterback at least once.

San Diego Chargers at Green Bay Packers

  1. The San Diego Chargers got a jolt offensively from the return of tight end Antonio Gates. Unfortunately in this one, he will be watching the tight end on the other side starring in this one. Richard Rodgers of the Packers will have at least one touchdown catch and will have 70 yards receiving.
  2. Phillip Rivers is firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback of the San Diego Chargers. He has had some good moments and some bad moments this season. Well, this game will show a little of the bad Rivers. He will throw at least two interceptions in this game against the Packers defense.
  3. Linebacker Clay Matthews has been excellent this season so far. And the Chargers are about to see how excellent he is. He will show up and get at least two sacks along with seven tackles. And with this one, it will help booster his claim for defensive MVP this season.

Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers

  1. The 49ers have been struggling in the passing game most of the season, but they looked better this past Sunday night in the loss to the Giants. And given the state of the Ravens defense, I think this week will help them take another step in growing together. Colin Kaepernick will have another two touchdown passes and will not throw an interception this week either.
  2. The Ravens offense has Steve Smith back. And even though he is not exactly the perfect picture of health, he can still cause some issues. This week he will definitely cause some problems for the 49ers defense as he gets at least five catches and scores at least one touchdowns.
  3. In this game, expect Carlos Hyde to rush for at least 100 yards in this game. The Ravens aren’t exactly the best tackling team out there and that will play right into the physical nature of Hyde, especially if he gets to the second level of the defense.

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts

  1. Tom Brady has been thinking on Deflategate for a while now. And now he gets to face the team that began the rumblings of it. Brady will no doubt be focused and that will lead to him going for 300 yards receiving along with four touchdown passes. The Colts better get ready
  2. Andrew Luck is expected to return at quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. He and wide receiver TY Hilton have been a very solid pairing. But in this game, they will go silent against the Patriots. And once again, Hilton will not break his slump against a team that apparently has his number. Expect Luck to have 300 yards passing but to have two interceptions or more and Hilton will not get over 70 yards receiving nor will he get a touchdown.
  3. The Patriots will be out for blood in this game and with that being said, they will put up 40 points on the road against Indy. Forget all the Deflategate talk, the Patriots are just a better team and they will flex their muscles on the Colts.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

  1. Eli Manning has been getting it done the last few games to help the Giants right the ship. And in this game, the Giants have a big opportunity to take over the East for right now. With all that is at stake, expect Eli to have at least three touchdown passes and one interception. And yes, he will throw for over 330 yards against the Eagles secondary.
  2. Philly got the running game going last week against the New Orleans Saints. Some think that could be the springboard for more to come. But unfortunately, that was a mirage. DeMarco Murray will not get over 30 yards rushing in this game. And just like that, he will go back to struggling.
  3. The Eagles will have at least two explosive plays for touchdowns. Last week they put it in the air and had a few big momentum-capturing plays. Expect this week that they score at least two touchdowns from over 40 yards out.

Week Six is upon us and they proclamations have been made. Some may come true and some may not, but it sure will be fun seeing what happens.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

We’re About To Find Out What Ronda Rousey Is Really About

The two UFC fighters are now officially confirmed as a couple. But what challenges does this relationship pose to Rousey? ( photo courtesy of Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

The two UFC fighters are now officially confirmed as a couple. But what challenges does this relationship pose to Rousey? ( photo courtesy of Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey is one name that draws a lot of attention. She is one of the most popular fighters in UFC male or female. Her brand of domination inside the ring has captivated men and women all over the world. And outside the ring, it seems her popularity is just as high. She has been featured in movies along with having features on television. She is essentially carrying Dana White’s corporation on her shoulders while trying to make a name for herself in Hollywood. But one other thing that has made her popular is her shots at Floyd “Money” Mayweather. The often-criticized boxer seems to be one of the main people that she is focused on when the camera is in front of her. The main thing she does each and every time is talk about the domestic violence past and seemingly challenge him through the media. And most times, Floyd ignores her. But when he does respond from time to time, it seems like Rousey is right there ready for a comeback. Floyd is not the most likeable guy, but it seems like Rousey goes out of her way to point out things that happened in his personal life. And for her fans, they love that she stands up for domestic violence and challenges the biggest star in the world of boxing.

Rousey, over time, has gained fans for her comments at Floyd and she knows it. But does she really detest domestic violence as much as she makes everyone believe? Recently, it was confirmed that Rousey is now dating UFC heavyweight Travis Browne. The two have had pictures taken of them by paparazzi and finally came out to everyone that they were together. But let’s look a little further into the guy she is dating. Travis Browne is a mammoth guy, standing at 6’7” and weighing in at 254 pounds. He has done well and has garnered many big fights in the UFC. But he also gained some attention for something that he was involved in outside the UFC. In July 2015, Browne’s estranged wife, Erin, posted photos on Instagram showing multiple bruises on her body allegedly caused by Browne. And as a result of the bruises, Browne was removed from UFC International Fight Week events pending the investigation. In August 2015, he was reinstated when the UFC’s independent investigation found “inconclusive evidence” in the inquiry. But Browne is not out of the woods just yet, as his estranged wife is going to press charges with the police since she feel she has no other choice. To many, the decision by the UFC proves that he was innocent. But what many have to understand is this was not a police investigation. And since it is headed that way, it could get worse before it gets better for Browne.

Things could not only get interesting for Browne, but for Rousey. For a long time, Rousey has taken her shots at Floyd for his domestic violence past. She seemingly goes out of her way to mention him in instances where a camera is around. And on a few occasions, it seems as if she is calling Floyd out to fight her. So what would happen if this case does indeed land in court and Browne is proven to indeed have put the bruises on his estranged wife? Will Rousey stand up for him or will she leave Browne alone? If she is to leave if the claims are true, then some can chalk this one up to being blind to the situation. But if she decides to stay, then her character will be in question. No longer will she be looked at as a woman who stands up for domestic violence victims but she will be looked at by many of her supporters as a hypocrite. And not only would she be looked at as a hypocrite, but a person who was using Floyd to advance her own career. Floyd, whether folks like him or not, is a magnet for attention and that draws people in. Her career in UFC would not be over, as it is not her that was involved in this domestic violence incident. But her popularity among her fans would definitely take a hit because of their perception of her. And with her currently trying to make an even bigger splash in Hollywood, this situation could bring down the demand to see her.

In the end, the decision is up to Rousey and what she wants to do. After all, it is her personal life. But in this situation, she is definitely placing her skyrocketing fame in harm’s way. Is she really standing up for domestic violence victims when she speaks against Floyd Mayweather or is she just taking advantage of an opportunity? We should know our answer soon based on her boyfriend’s situation. And for her, it could have a bad ending.

In case you have not seen the pictures in question from Erica, here they are:

(Photo courtesy of www.bloodyelbow.com)

(Photo courtesy of http://www.bloodyelbow.com)

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

Post Navigation