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Archive for the tag “Philadelphia Eagles”

Doug Pederson Has Some Immediate Decisions In Philadelphia

(photo courtesy of Eric Hartline/US Presswire)

(photo courtesy of Eric Hartline/US Presswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles had back-to-back ten win seasons in 2013 and 2014 under Chip Kelly. The prevailing thought was the team would make a few adjustments that would put them over the top. What they actually got in 2015 was something they did not expect. First, no one thought that Chip Kelly would be given the power to move personnel. But when he was given it, he went a little crazy. He made a few questionable decisions like trading away their leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, to the Bills. And in return, Chip got a linebacker that stayed injured and did not produce in Kiko Alonzo. But Chip was not done there. He signed running back DeMarco Murray from the Dallas Cowboys and cornerback Byron Maxwell from the Seattle Seahawks with the money freed up from McCoy’s contract. And unfortunately for him, they were not successful signings in his system. And to top it all off, he also let the leading receiver on the team leave in free agency for Kansas City (Jeremy Maclin). Needless to say, when all these moves did not pay off and the Eagles did not make the playoffs, someone had to pay for it. And when Eagles brass decided to pull personnel power from Kelly and he balked, they had no choice but to let him go. The Eagles fired Chip Kelly right before the last game of the season and have since been on their search for a head coach. Plenty had speculated who they would get, but in the end they chose a former assistant in Philly to lead the team. Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson has accepted the head coaching position with the Philadelphia Eagles and will be the next head coach there.

Coach Pederson comes into an interesting situation in Philly. The team has a starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, is a free agent. The free-agent-to-be was traded for by Kelly from the St. Louis Rams for their starter in 2014, Nick Foles. If the Eagles decide to pay Bradford to stay, then they are taking a big risk. Bradford has had an injury-riddled past and they could be paying him to not play potentially. Another option is to start Mark Sanchez at quarterback. The Eagles and their fans saw what that could look like when he was subbing for an injured Nick Foles in 2014 and the results were not pretty. He would make a play that would make you think he was ready to start and take over for the Eagles. And then he would make a play that is inexplicable and so bad it would make you think it was a bad dream. If the Eagles fans have their way, he stays in a backup role. But there is also the scenario of the Eagles drafting a quarterback. As unlikely as it may seem, there could be a quarterback they like that drops to them. And if that is to happen, they would snatch that quarterback up as quick as possible. That would allow for them to keep Sanchez in a backup role and would also give Peterson his own quarterback to groom. Of course, there has to be a few things go their way for a quarterback they love and think can start to drop to them. But anything and everything is entirely possible.

Another thing that has to be solved is the defense. There has been no decision made on who will be the defensive coordinator. Billy Davis was the coordinator under Chip Kelly and his defense was predicated on pressure and man-to-man defense. Unfortunately, the defense got worse as the game went on. The main reason for that was the offense that Chip Kelly ran. He wanted his offense to run so fast that he did not pay attention he was tiring out his defense. And with the amount of three-and-outs his offense had, the defense was not allotted much rest at all. Even though not all the defensive struggles to close games out was not on him all the time, Davis will not be back more than likely in Philly. It is being reported that former Lions head coach and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is going to be the new defensive coordinator. If Schwartz is named the defensive coordinator, then that means the Eagles will be switching defenses from a 3-4 to a 4-3. If that is to happen, then one personnel decision has to be made with outside linebacker Connor Barwin. He had a great season in 2014 with 14.5 sacks and declined this season, only tallying 7 sacks. But with that being said, he is their best pass rusher. Unless they have plans to replace him with someone that is out there, then they need to keep him around and figure out how they are going to use him. He is not a natural fit at outside linebacker or defensive end in the 4-3 defense. So in keeping him around, he is going to have to adjust what he does to be effective. If they let him go, then it will be interesting to see if Brandon Graham becomes that guy for them as an edge pass rusher.

As far as what we all can expect Pederson to bring, look for the West Coast offense to return to Philadelphia. The tight end will become more of a focus in this offense along with there will be short routes as well. The funny thing about that is there were some that criticized Andy Reid for the routes his team ran and they are going to an Andy Reid assistant to be your head coach and to put you in a system you once did not want. It will be interesting to see what happens with Pederson becoming the head coach there where he once played and coached. The Eagles have started a science experiment that fans will have to witness. Whether it works or not depends on the defensive coordinator he brings in and also the offense and how effective it could be. Congratulations to Coach Pederson and good luck in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Chip Kelly’s Second Chance In San Francisco

(photo courtesy of Slant News)

(photo courtesy of Slant News)

The San Francisco 49ers had a season to forget in 2015. After all the unexpected retirements, the departure of players to other teams and the parting of ways between the organization and head coach Jim Harbaugh, there stood a team that had been through a turbulent offseason. The guy they hired to replace Harbaugh an assistant on the team the previous year, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. He proceeded to lead the team to a 5-11 record, their worst in a long time. Even though some slippage was expected going into 2015, ownership was not happy with what they saw. And in response to their unhappiness, Tomsula was fired after his lone season as head coach. Plenty wondered what direction the team would go in to replace Tomsula. Would they go with an up-and-comer, or would they go with an established coach? One coach that reached out to the team again was former Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers coach Mike Holmgren. Unfortunately for him, the team never returned the interest he had. After doing a few interviews, news spread that the coaching search was down to two men: Mike Shanahan and former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly. And in the end, the 49ers went with the guy that just recently coached the Eagles. Chip Kelly was announced on Twitter by 49ers CEO Jed York as the new head coach in San Francisco. And thus begins a new era in 49ers football. But what can you expect from Chip this time around?

Chip Kelly had a record of 26-21 as the head coach of the Eagles, but what many cannot forget is his last season with the team. The Eagles were 7-9 and failed to capitalize on a down NFC East. And to top it all off, the Eagles were not as good of a product as they once were. Before the 2015 season, the Eagles gave Kelly personnel power. And with that, he began to make some questionable decisions. He traded his leading rusher (LeSean McCoy) , leading passer (Nick Foles) and let his leading wide receiver leave via free agency. And to replace them, he got an oft-injured quarterback (Sam Bradford), a running back that did not fit his system (DeMarco Murray) and the linebacker he received back in the McCoy trade did not really make a big impact. Chip Kelly the GM essentially sabotaged Chip Kelly the coach. And with that, the Eagles tried to correct the mistake they made. Kelly did not want to give up that power and he was jettisoned as a result of it. With San Francisco, the good thing is that he will not have that type of power within the organization. If he did, then San Francisco would be worried. So the good thing about Chip is now he can focus on just being a coach and coaching the players that he is given. Of course Baalke will consult with the coach, as it is only right to work in concert with your coach on draft picks and acquisitions. But Kelly will not have the final say in the calls as he did in Philly this past season and that will be a good thing. It will be interesting to see what all Baalke can do this offseason with the projected $50 million in cap space this offseason.

One person that may be excited to be working with Kelly is quarterback Colin Kaepernick. After last season, plenty expected him to be released before April 1st, when his contract becomes guaranteed. Merchandise of Kaepernick was even put on the clearance rack in the 49ers team store. But with the new hire of Chip Kelly, Kaepernick’s career in San Francisco gets new life. Chip had reportedly been keeping a close eye on Colin’s situation in San Francisco, thinking he would make a run at him if he was still the Philly head coach and general manager. Needless to say, Colin has been a guy that Chip wanted on his team. So with him being hired as the new 49ers head coach, he gets his wish to work with Kaepernick. Many forget that Colin ran a very similar style offense that Chip ran when he was at Oregon and the Eagles. And if he buys into Chip Kelly, then he may be able to reverse course on his career track. With Colin, Chip has the best running threat at quarterback he has ever had in the NFL. And the other great thing about this offense when it comes to Colin is quick decisions that can be made. Many times it looked like Colin was indecisive when dropping back to pass. And as a result, there were bad decisions made and there were throws missed. With Chip, there will be clear reads and that will allow for Colin to play with more confidence when on the field. And unlike in the past, the focus of this team will be on the offense, which has needed some adjusting for some time now.

There are some things that could turn into positives there in San Francisco, but there are some things that are still in question. One of those things is the ability to adjust offensively for Chip. Over his coaching career, Chip Kelly has been known for tempo offense. He likes to run as many plays as possible and tire out the opposing defenses. But what happens when his offense is not as efficient as he wants it to be? Well, the Eagles gave everyone a preview of that last year. The result was a tired defense in the second half of games. With this second chance in the NFL, Chip is going to have to mix the speeds with which he runs his offense. It is not known who will run his defense at this time. But with whoever Chip chooses to run the offense, he must allow his unit to have a chance to be successful. If he does not mix speeds and work in concert with his defensive coordinator, he runs the risk of burning this defense out halfway through the game. And that will end up making them less effective when the time comes to finish games. The running game with Carlos Hyde will be imperative in allowing Chip to slow down the game at certain times, but most of this is up to Kelly and his preferences. He must learn from the issues he had in Philly.

Another thing that has to be talked about is the issues that were reported between Kelly and some of the players there in Philly. Between the trades of players and them coming out and saying things about Chip to the reported cold way he was around players in the facilities, it seems like the relationship between Chip and his players was not the best. That only got highlighted even more when offensive tackle Jason Peters pulled himself out of a game and said “he was not going back in for that”. Although it was unclear what Peters meant by that, it was taken by some as a shot at the head coach. In San Francisco, he hopefully learns that there has to be a better relationship between he and his players. If he does not have a solid relationship with his players, then this will not work in San Francisco. The one thing that you always heard about Tomsula when players were talking about him is how much they liked him. Of course more than your players liking you is needed to be a good coach. But Kelly has to be able to relate to his players in order to get the best out of them. If he does not and has not learned that from his Philadelphia days, then he will not get the most out of his players there.

With $50 million projected in cap space and plenty of draft picks, the 49ers and Chip Kelly have much to work with to upgrade that roster. Whether many like it or not, Kelly got a second chance quicker than some expected. It will be interesting to see what he has learned since being fired in Philly. The 49ers are betting on him getting them back to competitiveness with the focus of this team switching to offense.

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Chasing Unicorns

(photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

(photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

Unicorns are mythical creatures. Pictures depicted of them show them looking like a horse but with one single horn on its forehead and they are even talked about as being able to fly. The creature, although mythological, is spoken of in regards to good luck. For a creature that has so much good luck attached to it, you would think that it is real. But no one can actually claim to have seen one living, although many have tried to prove the existence of them. That sort of thinking seems to happen around the end of the football season when it comes to coaching searches. Two names are mentioned each and every year with any coaching search that happens: Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher. Each and every offseason, teams convince themselves that these coaches are interested in coming out of the booth and out of commentary to get back into coaching. And each year, the false hope is shut down. This offseason, the rumors have already started about both. The idea of Bill Cowher being interested in the New York Giants head coaching job has been talked about in some circles without him even saying he did or did not want the job. And as for Gruden, his name was mentioned when there was a report that he reached out to the Philadelphia Eagles about their job opening. Gruden quickly shut that rumor down, but it did not stop fans of that team from thinking on what it would be for him to coach their favorite team. When going after these guys, it seems as if they are chasing unicorns. We will never see Gruden or Cowher ever coaching again.

Gruden and Cowher are essentially unicorns. Folks continue to want to convince themselves that they are coming back, but these two are done coaching and who could blame them? They are enjoying what they are doing. Besides, if they wanted to come back, they would want a ton of control. In the NFL, coaches having to wear two hats just does not work. The exception to that rule is Bill Belichick in New England, but many have failed at being coach and general manager. And in the case of Cowher and Gruden, they have not ever worn the hat of a personnel guy. It would be something that could end in a disaster for both of them. But being that they are always mentioned and they feel they have earned it, they could make a ploy for that type of power if they wanted to. Would a team give them that type of power thought? That would essentially not happen. But for them to come back and be NFL head coaches, they would want to have that type of power. And that is one of the reasons they would not be coming back.

Another reason both have not come back is the lack of stress that is involved in their current jobs. With coaching, Cowher and Gruden would go back to a life that is unforgiving on their families and their time. During the season, they would be in the office 60 hours a week during the season, working on gameplans and breaking down footage. And in the offseason, they would be putting in a ton of work breaking down players and running mini-camps. Looking at that type of schedule is way more stressful than what they currently do. Both are very busy during the season, but they do have an offseason they have never had before. Gruden runs his quarterback camp show on ESPN, but that still leaves him the summer to spend time with family, travel and do whatever else he wants to do. As far as Cowher, as soon as the season is over, he is free to do whatever he wants. And for the jobs they do, they get paid very well. The money may be good in coming back to coaching, but the time would be something that would drive both crazy at this point, especially since they have discovered this avenue in their careers.

Eventually teams will stop chasing Cowher and Gruden. Both are the unicorns of coaching at this point. They are done as coaches at this point. But yet teams still continue to speak their names up like they are coming out of the booth or television to do so. This is almost as believable as any of us seeing a unicorn in real life because it will not happen. Maybe teams and fans will want to focus on the coaches that want to coach instead of trying to convince a coach that their team is the team for them to come back to. If both wanted to coach, they would. But that time has passed. They are entrenched where they are right now and that is where they will continue to be.

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The General’s NFL Proclamations-Week 17

(photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)

(photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)

The last week of the NFL season has finally arrived. There are some teams that are glad that it is finally here. At last some can put an end to a season that was a lot less successful than they thought it would be. There are some teams that are trying to get it together for the postseason. Whether some are still trying to get themselves into the postseason or others trying to better their position, the urgency has arrived as the seasons have changed. It should be interesting to see how the end of the year effects the play on the field. Will some coast into the playoffs or will they button down the hatches and bring it for the last week? We shall indeed see on Sunday but for now, here are the General’s NFL proclamations for Week 17.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

  1. The Jets are trying to ensure being in the playoffs, so expect them to play hard in this game. And with that being said, look for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Brandon Marshall to connect at least two times for touchdowns.
  2. The Bills have found their quarterback in Tyrod Taylor. And he will cement that he is their quarterback by throwing for a least one touchdown and 200 yards and running for one touchdown as well.
  3. The winner of this game will not score more than 24 points. Although the Jets may be capable of scoring over 24 points, the game will have some sloppy moments and that will slow down the pace of the game.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

  1. The Patriots are playing for the first seed in the playoffs, but they will still be resting some guys here. With that being said, expect them to eventually take Tom Brady out of this game.
  2. The Dolphins have not met expectations them and their fans had this season. And one guy that did not play as well as they expected is big free-agent signing Ndamukong Suh. Look for him to do his usual thing, and that means taking plays off and just being a bystander in this one. He will do more watching than making plays in this game.
  3. The Patriots, although they will take players out of this game, will still put up points against the hapless Dolphins. But they will not do it in the way that most expect. Look for them to use the ground game to the tune of running for 200 yards on the Dolphins this weekend.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

  1. The rivalry is still there although both will be out of the playoffs this year. Expect at least three or four scuffles in this game. There is no love lost between these teams.
  2. The matchup between Matt Ryan (Falcons) and Drew Brees (Saints) are always good. And in this one, Brees comes in a little banged up. That nagging foot injury will harm him in this one as he throws at least two interceptions and looks less like the Drew Brees we know.
  3. The Falcons will finish the season with an offensive flurry. That flurry will definitely include wide receiver Julio Jones. Look for him to have at least 120 yards receiving and two touchdowns to cap off his spectacular season.

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

  1. The Bears are trying to finish the season strong after the bad start to the season. And if they are to finish this season off right, they must get good play from quarterback Jay Cutler. Look for him to get at least 250 yards passing and at least two passing touchdowns.
  2. The Lions will also be trying to finish the season off strong. And in doing so, they will follow their leader, quarterback Matthew Stafford. The veteran quarterback will be looking to cap off a solid finish and he will have at least 300 yards passing and one touchdown.
  3. Both teams will commit at least two turnovers. Both teams have been bad for a reason and that will show in this game.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

  1. The Eagles have not scored at the clip they wanted to this season. And in this game with rumors abound that Tom Coughlin will be retiring as head coach of the Giants, the scoring will be even tougher. The Eagles will not score over 17 points in this game.
  2. The Giants want to send out Tom Coughlin with a solid performance if this is his last time on the Giants’ sideline. With that being said, look for Odell Beckham Jr to make up for missed time and score not one but two touchdowns in this game.
  3. The Giants will score over 30 points in this game. They are due for a big game and the Eagles are ripe for the picking in this one.

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

  1. The Redskins have won the division and are going to the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to take it to the Cowboys. Look for quarterback Kirk Cousins to have at least two touchdown passes and throw for at least 250 yards.
  2. But not only will Cousins get it going, but so will wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Look for him to have at least three receptions for a total of at least 100 yards receiving and one touchdown.
  3. The Cowboys offense has been struggling. And most of that has to do with uneven quarterback play. Look for this game to continue the bad play offensively as the Cowboys will not score more than 16 points in this game.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

  1. The Indianapolis Colts will be starting Josh Freeman at quarterback. No that is not an early April Fool’s Day joke. The fact that he will be starting says something about the ability of the Colts’ offensive line to protect their quarterback. And in this one, Freeman will see what Matt Hasselbeck, Andrew Luck and Charlie Whitehurst saw. He will be sacked at least four times and will be lucky to escape this game unscathed.
  2. The Titans are not going to be the only one getting after the quarterback though. They have not exactly protected the quarterback well either. And with Mariota out, Zach Mettenberger will be sacked at least four times.
  3. Seeing that both quarterbacks will be under duress the entire game, look for this game to have no flow at all. And that means that there will be little scoring in this one. The first team to 20 will win this game.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

  1. The Ravens jumped up and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend at home. That win may have made the Ravens look good, but it also caught the attention of the Bengals. Look for Cincinnati to come out focused and that means they will be putting up at least 35 points in this game.
  2. In those 35+ points, look for the Bengals to raid through the air. That means AJ Green will be having a good time toasting the Ravens’ secondary. Look for him to get at least 140 yards receiving with two touchdown catches.
  3. The Ravens will have at least one highlight in this one and that will be Kamar Aiken. The young Ravens receiver needs 132 yards to get his first 1,000 yard season receiving. Look for him to get that in this game, as the Ravens will be playing from behind all game long and having to pass the football.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

  1. The Steelers’ offense looked asleep at the wheel last weekend and they lost the game they needed badly. Although it may be too little too late, the Steelers offense will come out and follow the lead of their leader, Ben Roethlisberger. The veteran quarterback will throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
  2. The Browns will be starting backup Austin Davis in this game versus the Steelers. And for a defense needing a break, they just got one. Davis will throw at least two interceptions in this game versus a defense that has struggled this season.
  3. The Steelers will put up at least 30 points in this one. Even though it may not even matter in terms of their playoff hopes, this game will help get the bad taste out of the Steelers’ mouths after last week’s game.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

  1. The Texans have come back from the dead to push towards the playoffs. To cement it, they need a good win versus the Jaguars. And that all comes down to the defense and how they play. Look for the Texans, behind JJ Watt, to get at least two sacks and one interception in this game.
  2. The Jaguars have been explosive in the passing game. And knowing the situation that awaits them, expect them to try and play the role of spoiler in this one. Look for Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson to connect on two huge plays of more than 30+ yards.
  3. The Texans will have multiple running backs touch the football in this one. Look for them to have at least two of those running backs score touchdowns in this game.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

  1. The Raiders have been dangerous offensively this year. But in this one, the only danger will be Carr throwing interceptions in the direction of defensive back Marcus Peters. The opportunistic defensive back will get at least two interceptions in this game, as he continues his ball-hawking ways.
  2. The Chiefs have been impressive offensively over the last couple of months. And in this one, look for them to take advantage of the Raiders secondary (minus Charles Woodson of course). Jeremy Maclin will have at least 100 yards receiving and one touchdown. He has been everything they have needed in Kansas City this season.
  3. The Chiefs will score at least 30+ points in this game. The Raiders have gotten better, but this game they are running into a Chiefs team that is looking to finish strong.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

  1. The Broncos clinched their playoff berth last week, but they still have work to do. Winning this game could help them, so expect them to come out with energy on both sides of the ball. And being that the Chargers have had protection issues all season, look for the Denver defense to tee off on the Chargers offense. With that being said, the Chargers will probably be giving up at least 4 sacks in this game to Denver.
  2. Denver offensively got on track last game. This time, they started slow and ended fast. That trend will more than likely continue this week, as Brock Osweiler will finish with two second-half touchdown passes in this one versus the Chargers.
  3. The Broncos will not only terrorize Phillip Rivers by sacking him, but they will make him pay for errant throws. Look for the Broncos to take one of Rivers’ mistakes back to the house for a touchdown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

  1. The Carolina Panthers took their first loss last weekend and many came down on them. Well, this week will show that it only thickened their resolve. The Carolina Panthers will come out and score at least 28 points this week as they recover offensively from one of their worst games of the season.
  2. The Bucs have been up and down all year long. But in this one, the stock will be pointing down. The Panthers will be fired up defensively and that will lead to the Bucs committing at least three turnovers in this game.
  3. The Bucs will not score over 10 points in this game. It may be the end of the year for the Panthers, but they will be fired up.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

  1. The Seahawks and Cardinals will both be in the playoffs. Expect some players to make early exits because both are already in the playoffs.
  2. The Cardinals will not score more than 24 points in this game. The Seahawks will be as aggressive as they always are, but they will start shutting it down and that will change the outlook of this game.
  3. The Seahawks need to see what they have in their running game. And after this one, they will be glad to have Marshawn Lynch coming back next weekend. Christine Michael will not do much in this game. He will have only around 30 yards rushing and will not score a touchdown.

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers

  1. The Rams had a big win versus the Seahawks in Seattle last weekend. And in this one, they will try to finish the season strong. Look for them to come out and put it to the 49ers to start the game. The Rams will score at least 20 points in the first half in Santa Clara.
  2. The 49ers will be trying to finish the season strong as well. And the main guy that will be trying to leave a lasting impression is quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Look for him to come out and throw for 200+ yards and one touchdown along with one interception.
  3. The Rams and 49ers will have at least one scrum in this one. Both teams are physical and that can end up spilling over beyond the whistle too.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

  1. The Packers and Vikings will be playing for the NFC North title. With that being said, look for Aaron Rodgers to get it going to the tune of 300 yards passing and 3 touchdown passes.
  2. The Vikings have been playing well, but there is always the legend of Lambeau that happens to get teams. And in this one, the Vikings will come out offensively and not play to their standards. Look for the offense to score under 17 points.
  3. The Vikings and Packers will both give up at least three sacks in this game. Both defensive front sevens will have a good time trying to make things happen in this one.

The season ends on all these division games. The intensity will be high in a lot of them, but in some there will be no energy at all. The end of the season is finally here and the postseason is now coming up quickly.

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The General’s New Year’s Resolutions In Sports

(photo courtesy of Kelly L Cox/USA Today Sports)

(photo courtesy of Kelly L Cox/USA Today Sports)

A new year is upon us and like usual, there are many that have made New Year’s Resolutions. You see some of the usual ones that involve working out posted everywhere, but what if teams and professional athletes had resolutions and we all had access to them? No one knows if some of these professional athletes made some resolutions for the year, but if they were to make them, this is what they could have been. Without further ado, here are some New Year’s Resolutions the General has for some people, teams and players.

Chicago Bulls-Remember Who You Are

A lot was made of Jimmy Butler’s comments in regards to his coach, Fred Hoiberg, and him needing to coach them harder. But one other thing the star guard spoke about was the team needing to play harder like they have in previous seasons. And he could not have been more correct. The Bulls have no identity at all this season and the effort seems to not be there on both ends consistently. For them to even compete in the East, they need to get back to the basics. Of course there is a new coach there, but the same pieces remain. For their sake, they better hope some things get better soon for them.

Markieff Morris- More Patience and Composure

The talented forward for Phoenix has had an interesting season. He watched his twin brother get traded to Detroit this offseason and it has seemingly had an adverse effect on him. He wanted to leave and demonstrated so during the offseason but that cooled down once the season started. But even now, he has had temper tantrums like throwing a towel at the coach. And like any player that has issues with a coach, he has been in and out of the doghouse. One thing he may want to realize is he is not making himself look any better with these tantrums. Other teams are watching. And eventually the talent-trouble formula will not be in his favor. Get it together Mr. Morris. Of you could be calling it a career quicker than you want.

Los Angeles Lakers-Atone for your mistakes

The Los Angeles Lakers have been employing Byron Scott for almost three years now. And with this team as young as they are, it seems like Scott hasn’t got the memo to play the young players so they can get better. So since he seems to not get the memo, why not let him go now? Kobe is about to exit Byron. Lou Williams is not a starting point guard in the NBA. Larry Nance Jr is not a starter in the NBA. The Lakers’ brass needs to end this science experiment with Byron as head coach and do so as soon as possible.

Dwight Howard- Find out who you are

Dwight Howard has had the potential to be one of the best big men in the NBA for some time now. But he has never lived up to it. Instead, he has been known as an unhappy big man. Dwight has visions of himself being more involved in the offense in Houston just like he had in Los Angeles for his one year there. But in each situation, he has yet to realize that he is the not the focal point of his team. It was Kobe in LA and now it is Harden in Houston. He will not be the main weapon on this Houston team because he does not have a consistent offensive game. Maybe if he had that, he would have a gripe. But right now, Dwight may want to focus on just being a rebounder, dunker and defensive presence because that is what he is.

Cleveland Browns- Take control of your situation

The team seems to be in disarray yet again. There seems to be no direction there and the front office and management seem to be on two different pages. The talk has been that general manager Ray Farmer will be done after this last game. But with the Browns, you never know. This one reads like a soap opera, so maybe one day they will get some direction and move forward. But it all starts from ownership. Ownership here has never asserted itself and taken control of the situation. And this mess will continue if Haslam and company do not do so.

Detroit Lions- See things clearer

The Detroit Lions had a rough start to the season. They were 1-6 out of the gate and there were many disappointed fans of that team. But the team righted the ship and played well down the stretch after they fired their offensive coordinator and members of their front office. Some saw this optimism and have thought that it is time to give Jim Caldwell more time. Well, those that don’t want that better hope that does not happen. Detroit fans and ownership, don’t be fooled by the finish of that team up there. They still have a ton of issues there and keeping Caldwell is not going to help fix those issues at all.

Chip Kelly-Learn how to play well with others

Chip Kelly almost completed his third year of coaching the Philadelphia Eagles when the plug was pulled on him by the organization this week. Aside from some of the questionable moves he made as the general manager this season, it was his icy relationship with people around him that helped get him fired in Philly. He reportedly would not even speak to players in the building, often leaving them feeling uncomfortable. He more than likely will receive another shot at some point (at the college level or in the NFL). But in order for him to succeed, he has to learn to value the people around him. He apparently did not in Philly. If he is able to learn that along with other things, then he could be successful in his next go round.

San Francisco 49ers- Change your course

The team has had issues all season long. Of course most of those were linked to the departures of their head coach after the 2014 season and the loss of players to retirement. But even more than that, the team just seemed like it just could not get any form of consistency all year long. For them, the consistency needs to start with what direction they will be going in. This was obviously not what the 49ers expected and this was unacceptable in their eyes. The stability starts from the top and it will be interesting to see what they do to stabilize this team and get better.

Chicago Cubs-Seize the opportunity

The Chicago Cubs were a team that many expected to not be ready to achieve until the 2016 season. But they surprised everyone this past season and made it to the National League Championship Series. They lost the game, but they were ahead of schedule. And this offseason, they acquired a few pieces to help take them to the top. The thing that Cubs fans have been waiting on forever is a championship. And this year is their best chance to do it. The best thing for them to do is take advantage of this opportunity when it presents itself. If not, this chance could pass them by quickly.

Pete Rose and Major League Baseball-

Time and time again we hear about Pete Rose and whether or not he should be in the Hall Of Fame. Well, he was denied again and the argument ensued as to why he should or should not be in the Hall. Well, both sides need to come together and make this happen one way or the other. Rose has to come clean about everything and Major League Baseball has to value an all-time great before he passes away. At some point, Major League Baseball has to let him in. And while Major League Baseball is trying to take the moral ground, they may want to take a look at how they conveniently looked the other way during the Steriod era. I bet that would change some viewpoints there on all those taking that moral compass out involving Major League Baseball.

 

2015 has come to an end and 2016 is now upon us. And all of us have great dreams of making things happen in this new year. And some of us even made resolutions. Hopefully for these teams, players and people, they make some changes within themselves to make this year a great one for themselves.

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What’s Next For Chip Kelly?

(photo courtesy of Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

(photo courtesy of Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Chip Kelly era is over in Philly. The former University of Oregon coach took over there in Philadelphia three years ago after the team parted ways with longtime coach Andy Reid. When they hired him there, plenty wondered if he could make the transition from college to the professional ranks. Well, he answered those questions immediately with a 10 win season and a playoff berth in his first season. He followed that up with another 10 win season although he did not make the playoffs in his second campaign. But going into his third year, Kelly took on another role, controlling player personnel as well as being the head coach. That move led to Kelly moving his leading rusher (LeSean McCoy) and leading passer (Nick Foles) via trade. He replaced those two with quarterback Sam Bradford (whom he traded Nick Foles for) and free agent running back DeMarco Murray. Murray along with cornerback Byron Maxwell were the two big free agent acquisitions for Kelly and were expected to be bigtime contributors for the team. But instead of them being bigtime contributors, both seemed to not live up to the hype and the contracts they signed. And instead of being smart moves by Chip, those moves ended up looking pretty bad. Add in that the linebacker that Chip acquired in the LeSean McCoy trade (Kiko Alonso) was not as impactful as Chip thought he would be and the Eagles were not very thrilled with what he had created in this team. The team, coincidentally, did not do so well this season and was 6-9 going into the last game of the season. Eagles owner Chip Lurie decided he was going to take away his personnel power this offseason and Kelly decided he did not want to do so. So when Lurie got that response, he decided to let Kelly go. And now Kelly has gone from a mad scientist to an unemployed coach in the matter of three seasons. He is a talented coach, but there has been some question as to where does he fit. Does he stay at the professional level or does he go back to college? He has said that he wants to stay in the NFL, but there will be plenty of offers out there. So what does he do next?

One place that has been mentioned numerous times is the Tennessee Titans. Even before he was fired, there had been mention of the Titans taking a look at him because of him being the former coach of the Titans 2015 1st round pick, quarterback Marcus Mariota. Before the 2015 NFL Draft, Kelly tried to put a deal together to get the talented quarterback to Phily. But that deal was balked at by the Titans and they drafted him to be their franchise quarterback. If Kelly comes here, he would get probably the most talented quarterback he has had in his NFL coaching career and someone he is very familiar with from his Oregon days. And along with him being the coach, he more than likely would be able to come in with a new general manager in Tennessee that fits more with his personality. If that happens, then we can see if Chip has learned from his mistakes in Philly in terms of player relationships. One thing he would be wise to do is keep the defensive coaching personnel he has here now, which includes Hall Of Famer Dick LeBeau. The good thing about coming to Nashville would be he would be coming to a team that needs many things and that would buy him at least three years or more to get it right here.

But Tennessee is not the only option for Chip Kelly. Cleveland is another place that is on shaky ground right now. Head coach Mike Pettine and management seem not to be on the same page and that relationship seems to be heading towards an end after this season. Back when Kelly was hired as the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles three years ago, he had a choice between heading to Philly and going to Cleveland. He took the Philly job and the Browns decided to hire Rob Chudzinski, who was the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator at the time. Chudzinski was fired after one season and the Browns then hired former Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to follow him. And ever since he has been there, there just seems to be some kind of issue with him and management, mainly general manager Ray Farmer. Both have things they want to get done and players they want to see on the field and their agendas just don’t seem to be the same. So what more than likely will happen is Pettine will get fired in Cleveland as soon as Monday. And if that happens, the Browns will likely pursue Kelly. In going there, Kelly would have a team that is in worse shape than the Tennessee Titans are. The team still does not have a solid quarterback they can depend on and the defense is not very good either. Chip would be walking into something that could take a while to get back to respectability. But the challenge would be something that Chip could like. He could come in there and potentially make Johnny Manziel a solid quarterback in his system. But in terms of winning, he would be in a worse position than he would be if he came to Tennessee. And if he signs there, he would be facing the possibility of being unemployed again very soon based on the disarray there.

Those two options could be there, but there is also the option of Chip to sit out a season. After all that has happened in Philly with him, that could be something that he does. The Tennessee and Cleveland jobs are not something that are guaranteed and all the colleges that may have been interested in him have hired their coaches already or decided to keep their current coach. So taking a year off may make him even more in demand, especially at the college level, which is where he could land next. For example, his name was mentioned as a potential replacement for Les Miles at LSU if he would have gotten fired. But Miles is safe heading into next season per the athletic director there. If Miles is to stumble next season there, then the noise will start again for Kelly to be brought in. And with his style of offense and the athletes that LSU has, Kelly would be right back to his winning ways at the college level that he was in Oregon. Of course, Kelly has said that he wants to remain at the professional level, but that does not mean he will balk at a collegiate job that opens up if the fit is good for him.

Chip Kelly learned hopefully learned some lessons in his three years in Philly. One thing he has to do is make sure he does not fill his plate with too many things like he did in Philly. If he focuses on just the coaching aspect of the team should he stay in the NFL, he will set himself up for success better than he did in Philly. But if he wants more power over things, then he needs to go back to college where he can be given what he wants. And in that instance, he would have to wait until next season. We shall see what Chip decides to do next. But for now, he is an unemployed mad scientist.

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The General’s Top Three Candidates To Replace Chip Kelly

(photo courtesy of www.philly.com)

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

The Philadelphia Eagles entered this year under total control of Chip Kelly. The former University of Oregon head coach took over the general manager duties in his third year with the Eagles after back-to-back ten win seasons. But after some head-scratching trades and signings along with some underwhelming play, the Eagles now sit at 6-9 going into the last game of the season. The Chip Kelly experiment did not turn out as it was expected going into year three and with that, there was some blowback. Per ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, Eagles president Jeffrey Lurie wanted to strip Kelly of his personnel control. After all, Chip traded away running back LaSean “Shady” McCoy for banged up linebacker Kiko Alonso, let dynamic wide receiver Jeremy Maclin walk in free agency and signed cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and running back DeMarco Murray. Besides the trade of quarterback Nick Foles for quarterback Sam Bradford (which was somewhat successful), all of his other moves were not successful. Chip apparently did not want to give up the personnel control. And when he did not do that, Lurie called his bluff. Chip Kelly is now out as the head coach of the Eagles and the team that thought they had their successor to Andy Reid is looking for a head coach again. There are many candidates that are out there, but here are three that could be on their radar.

The first call Lurie could make is to Cincinnati. No, he is not going to be speaking to Marvin Lewis and trying to bring him to Philly. The man he should be looking to speak to there is offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. Under Jackson’s tutelage, the Bengals are averaging 26 points per game this year. And each year he has been there, they have gotten better and better offensively. The good thing about Hue is he has head coaching experience and his offenses have been known to be versatile. His addition in Philly would be huge for DeMarco Murray. Hue likes to run traditional running formations with a fullback and that would allow Murray to run more downhill like he is accustomed to. But along with the traditional formations, Hue can also bring in the explosive formations with three or four wide receivers and is also used to having wide receivers that he can flex out in the slot (Philadelphia has Zach Ertz that he can use that way). Whatever he has offensively, he makes it work and gets the most out of it. And most of all, he would cut out some of the empty possessions that the Eagles had all this season. The one question mark about Hue would be who he would bring in as defensive coordinator. That would be huge for the Eagles due to them being in a 3-4 for the last three seasons.

But Hue is not the only offensive coordinator out there that people are going to be looking at. Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase was the hot name on the coaching circuit last season when he was calling plays for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos’ offense. But unfortunately for him, he did not land a head coaching gig and ended up following John Fox to Chicago. Some thought some of the shine would wear off, but he has still been solid as an offensive coordinator in Chicago. The best thing he has done in Chicago is coaching Jay Cutler. The veteran out of Vanderbilt is having one of his best seasons (interception-wise) in four years. Gase would instill an offense that would be similar to the one that Chip Kelly ran in terms of pace and getting rid of the ball quickly. But the one difference is he uses the running game better than Chip does. That would help utilize DeMarco Murray more and also help the offense and whoever is quarterbacking that team next season. And the defense more than likely would stay in a 3-4 since that is what he is used to having. The one question always about Gase is how smart is he and did the quarterbacks he had make him look better than what he is? Are the Eagles willing to hedge their bet financially that he is the creator of the system? Only time will tell.

The Eagles had problems offensively this season, but they did have some issues defensively, especially with their defensive backs. Teryl Austin is a former defensive backs coach in his career and he also is the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. The defense was excellent last season under him when he had defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and crew running wild up front. This season, they got off to a rough start, but they were able to get it going this season down the stretch. One thing that Austin would bring to the Eagles was a sense of urgency at all times. His defenses always hustle and play at breakneck speed. Adding him to this organization would mean a switch of defenses (from the 3-4 to the 4-3), but it would also mean that there would be a former defensive backs coach there to maybe help bring the Eagles defensive backfield, which has struggled the last two seasons. If he could solve that and then keep the rest of the defense on par, then the Eagles may be solid there. The one question (along with who will be playing quarterback next season in Philly) will be what will the offense look like? Will he run more of a power offense to support a physical defense or will the offense be something of a wide-open offense. The offensive ideas that he could potentially tell the Eagles brass (should he get the call for an interview) could make or break his candidacy for the Philadelphia job. But either way, he would be a solid hire due to his infectious energy and his accountability he holds players to.

These three candidates would fit in Philly. Of course there are some question marks about them, but there are also some positives that they will bring to the Eagles organization. And most of all, each hire has something that will help the prized free agents the Eagles signed last offseason. The reality is Murray and Maxwell are not going anywhere anytime soon. You may as well bring in a coach that can help maximize their abilities instead of letting them waste away and having to eat all that guaranteed money. It should be interesting to see who they hire next. But as far as the Chip Kelly experiment, it all went horribly wrong once they gave a man that had won nothing absolute power.

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The General’s Christmas Gifts To NFL Teams

(photo courtesy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(photo courtesy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time and kids around the world are unwrapping gifts from under their Christmas tree. Some got gifts they were hoping for while others got unexpected surprises. All in all, the gift of giving was in full swing. In that spirit, every NFL team is in need of something. So why not gift them a few things that they need? Here is the list of gifts the General would give to NFL teams going into the end of the regular season.

Arizona Cardinals-A healthy Tyrann Matheiu

The Cardinals are a dangerous team heading into the playoffs. They have multiple weapons on offense and their defense can put pressure on you from all angles. Unequivocally, their best playmaker was defensive back Tyrann Matheiu. But unfortunately, the third-year defensive back tore his ACL in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cardinals are a still a threat to win the NFC, but that threat is less without Matheiu. If only they could be gifted a healthy playmaker like him at this time.

Atlanta Falcons- Better decision-making for Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan has always been said to be one of the great young quarterbacks in the NFL. But this year, he has definitely struggled. He is near the top in interceptions thrown in the NFL and he has just been off ever since the hot start by Atlanta. If he had some better decision-making, then maybe the Falcons win some of those games instead of taking a loss.

Baltimore Ravens- Health

The Ravens have struggled this season. They have also been hit with key injury after key injury. They have lost their top pass-rusher, wide receiver, quarterback and running back this season. Not many teams can overcome that one. Maybe they would have been better with some of their key pieces healthy. But all of that is pure speculation at this point.

Buffalo Bills- Some consistency

The Buffalo Bills are definitely a talented team. But their issue is they show up inconsistently. If they were a solid team, they would have been in the playoffs at this point. But instead, they are on the outside looking in. The key word is consistency with them and they have yet to find it all season long.

Carolina Panthers- A healthy Kelvin Benjamin

The Carolina Panthers have had a storybook season so far. They have won scoring a ton of points and won scoring very little. It just seems like they have the “it” factor. Cam Newton has stepped up as a passer and that is huge for Carolina. But he would probably much rather be throwing the football to Kelvin Benjamin than Ted Ginn Jr. The speedy veteran is having a career year, but he still has questionable hands and Benjamin was the closest thing they had to a sure thing at that position. Hopefully that does not catch up to them in the playoffs.

Chicago Bears- More defensive playmakers

Looking at the Bears, they are not badly set up offensively. Jay Cutler has not played bad this year for the Bears and Alshon Jeffrey has been solid this season. But on the defensive side of the ball, there are not many playmakers there. Besides Darnell McPhee, not many playmakers you can speak of there. Hopefully for them, they are able to bring in some defensive playmakers this offseason. They need them sorely.

Cincinnati Bengals-A postseason win for Marvin Lewis

The Bengals have been great in the regular season for a while now. That used to be something that could never be uttered ever. But now, the Bengals are a perennial participant in the playoffs. Making the playoffs is not enough anymore for the Bengals, as they have lost every playoff game they have had since Lewis has taken over there. For him, it is imperative that they get a win in the playoffs soon. If he doesn’t, he could potentially get the ax.

Cleveland Browns- A moment of clarity

The Browns have not been relevant ever since they reappeared in the NFL in 1999. And the most recent edition is a group that is much in disarray. It seems the front office and the coaching staff cannot ever get on the same page. So for them, a moment of clarity is needed. Maybe with that moment can come some people that actually can be on the same page and build that organization. If that moment never comes, they will continue to be known as “The Mistake By The Lake”.

Dallas Cowboys- A healthy Tony Romo

The Cowboys seemed like they never could get it going this season offensively. They had star wide receiver Dez Bryant get injured early and quarterback Tony Romo was injured early also. He meant a lot to that team because they have only won one game since he has been injured. The Cowboys are now on their fourth quarterback and they would do anything to have their star QB back. Alas, the Cowboys will go from division champs to potentially the cellar dwellers in their division in one year.

Denver Broncos- Consistency offensively

The Denver Broncos were one of the most potent offenses in the NFL last season. They could get it done whether it be Peyton Manning throwing touchdown passes or their running attack chewing up yardage. But John Fox and his coaching staff were let go after the season in favor of former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. Ever since he has been there, he has changed the offense and not for the better unfortunately. The offense has not been consistently firing on all cylinders all year and if it were not for their defense, the Broncos would be in trouble. And no matter if it were Peyton Manning or Brock Osweiler, there is just that learning curve that it takes to get comfortable in a new offense. Maybe Denver will get consistent one of these days offensively.

Detroit Lions- Some sense of direction

The Detroit Lions had a tumultuous start to the season. They lost six straight games and then there was a shakeup in their coaching staff and their front office. In all that, the Lions have played better since the changes have happened. But honestly, this franchise has no direction at this present time. Maybe with the next hires in their front office and coaching staff they will find some direction and be able to move forward.

Green Bay Packers- A consistent offensive line

The Green Bay Packers have had their issues offensively this year. Some would pin those issues on the loss of wide receiver Jordy Nelson. But their issues are much deeper than the loss of a veteran wide receiver. The offensive line has not been what it usually is. You can consistently see quarterback Aaron Rodgers running around trying to make plays while avoiding defensive players coming for him. A quarterback like Rodgers deserves to have someone consistently block for him. And if the line could block more consistently and the running game show up every week, the Packers may be a more consistent team.

Houston Texans- A consistent defensive playmaker opposite of JJ Watt

The Houston Texans are sitting in first place and much of the credit (at least defensively) should go to JJ Watt. He has fought through all kinds of things to still have an impact on the game. But the thing that is amazing is he has had no consistent threat opposite him most of his career. If they could only find someone to consistently be a threat along the defensive line with Watt, the defense would be even better than they are right now.

Indianapolis Colts- Offensive line help

The Colts have paid many people along their offense. They brought in veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Frank Gore. They even gave an extension to wide receiver TY Hilton. But they have never really addressed their offensive line. And because of that, they now sit with two banged up quarterbacks and an offense that has been very inconsistent. Maybe they should look at the guys up front when it comes to spending money next offseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars- A defensive pass rush

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made some strides this season. Their young players have stepped up. Allen Robinson has become the receiver they thought he would. Allen Hurns has been excellent in his first two years. And quarterback Blake Bortles has taken a giant step forward. Defensively, they have the pieces, but they are missing one crucial element. The Jaguars need a consistent pass rusher that strikes fear in the opponent. Maybe this offseason, they will be blessed with one.

Kansas City Chiefs- Another wide receiver

The Kansas City Chiefs were known as a team that ignored their wide receivers when it came to the endzone in 2014. Last year they did not have one touchdown to their wide receiver. Coming into this season, they acquired wide receiver Jeremy Maclin from the Eagles to bolster that wide receiver corp. Maclin has done well for Kansas City. But for the Chiefs to get better, they need another wide receiver to expand their offense. If they are able to find that playmaker opposite Maclin, then watch out for what Andy Reid can do with them.

Miami Dolphins- A redo on the Ndamukong Suh contract

Let’s be honest. Ndamukong Suh has not had the impact that he was thought to have when he signed that megadeal in Miami. He has been seen loafing on plays and there have been reports that he has “gone rogue” a few times on the field. I don’t know what the Dolphins thought was going to happen when they signed him, but they have been utterly disappointed and are wishing they had a warranty on Suh so they could trade him in.

Minnesota Vikings-Another playmaking wide receiver

The Vikings have started to make strides towards getting it back on track there. They got Adrian Peterson back and he returned to form. But unfortunately for them, their wide receivers have not panned out like they thought. The trade for Mike Wallace was not as profitable as they thought and rookie Stephon Diggs has turned out to be their best playmaker. The team obviously needs another guy there to help Teddy Bridgewater and that passing game. If they get that added weapon, then the Vikings could be even better offensively.

New England Patriots-Health

The Patriots are always a perennial title contender. But this year, the team has had some health issues. Julian Edelman is currently out injured (although he is practicing now) and running back LaGarrette Blount is out for the year with a hip injury, joining third-down back Dion Lewis (torn ACL) on injured reserve. If the Pats were fully healthy, the team would probably still be undefeated and even more dangerous. But now they are not as dangerous offensively and they need some players to step up.

New Orleans Saints- A redo on Brandon Browner’s contract

The New Orleans Saints have not exactly been where they thought they would have been this season. The team has struggled and they will not be making the playoffs again. One piece that was supposed to make them better was cornerback Brandon Browner. He was brought in from New England to bolster their secondary, but he has nothing but create drama. The veteran corner set a record for most penalties in a season this year and has been a disruption for the team. If only the Saints could have seen the future before they signed him.

New York Giants- Holding on to leads

The New York Giants appear to be heading to another season sitting at home instead of being in the playoffs. They had a bunch of chances to make the situation better for themselves, but they just could not close the deal. If the Giants just could have held on to the leads they had in fourth quarters this season, they would be talking playoffs right now. But instead, they invented ways to lose in football’s most important quarter.

New York Jets- A redo of the Eagles game

The Jets are in the playoff race this year and could make the playoffs. And when you’re in that situation, there is always the thought of what games got away from you. The one that got away from the Jets was the game versus the Eagles earlier this season. They just seemed to be not in the game and when they tried to make a comeback, it was too late and the Eagles had the game at hand. If they had won that game, they would not be in the predicament they are in right now, scratching and clawing for a playoff spot.

Oakland Raiders- Defensive backs

The Oakland Raiders are trying to get it right. The progress is there. Khalil Mack is a wrecking ball defensively and the offense has definitely got the right pieces, led by quarterback Derek Carr. But as far as defensive backs, the Raiders need help there. Safety Charles Woodson was the lynchpin back there and took care of a lot of mistakes that were made. But he is retiring after this season and they will need someone to replace him. Along with that, the pieces they have there are not ones that prove to be a solid secondary. The Raiders may be shopping for cornerbacks this offseason.

Philadelphia Eagles-redo on the contracts of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell

The Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of issues going on that have affected their season. Two of them happen to be players they brought in to make them better. Byron Maxwell was paid handsomely to be their shutdown corner. He has proven not to be that shutdown corner. And although he has had some good moments, he has had others that make you wonder whether it was him or the Seattle defensive scheme. Offensively, Murray never fit the offense that Chip Kelly ran and it showed. He is more of a North/South runner in a scheme that does not cater to that at all. If they could have saw the future, they surely would have avoided these two in free agency.

Pittsburgh Steelers- Late-game adjustments and decisions

The Steelers have a high-octane offense and they have a defense that is growing with each week. But unfortunately, some of the adjustments and calls down the stretch from the coaching staff leave things to be desired. For example, the Steelers had the game won versus the Denver Broncos when offensive coordinator Todd Haley inexplicably called a pass play that was intercepted by the Broncos’ Brandon Marshall. Denver ultimately lost the game and could not capitalize on the gift, but these sort of gaffes and inexplicable coaching decision have happened a lot this year. If the Steelers could clean these decision up and continue to grow as a team, they would give some team fits come playoff times.

San Diego Chargers-A resolution to the stadium issues

It seems like the Chargers and the city of San Diego have been fighting over a new stadium for decades at this point. News is out that the team may be moving to Los Angeles with them getting the new stadium that they craved so much. The move still has to be voted on by the owners in Houston in January, but it seems like the stadium questions may finally be coming to an end for the Chargers and the city.

San Francisco 49ers- An end to the nightmare

The San Francisco 49ers season has been painful. They lost a few players to retirement and others to free agency. And all the while, the team did not really replace those players who left. And this season has some remembering the days when Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary were coaching the team. It is an endless nightmare that seems to have no end in sight currently. For the sake of the 49ers and their fans, they are hoping it ends soon.

Seattle Seahawks- a rebirth of the Legion Of Boom

The Seahawks are soaring right now and their offense is the one leading the way. Russell Wilson is playing at a level he has never played at before. However, the secondary needs to get it together like they have in years past. There have been some breakdowns that normally did not happen in past years. If they can get that together for the playoffs, then all is well. But that has to be alarming though. And it has to be fixed when crunch time comes around.

St. Louis Rams- Consistent quarterback play

The Rams thought they solved their quarterback issues when they traded for Nick Foles from the Eagles. But unfortunately, he has not been what they thought he would be and has been benched in favor of Case Keenum. But let’s not be fooled here, Keenum is not the answer either. If this team had a solid quarterback to depend on, then they would be ready to take the next step. Until then, they will continue to be pretenders.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Consistent pass rush

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made some improvements this season. The offense has become more solid and the running game has gotten better. Defensively, they have had games where they have looked solid and others where they have been missing in action. One thing that would make them more solid is a consistent pass rush. If they are able to add that and maybe more cornerback help, then the progression of this team can continue.

Tennessee Titans- Offensive line help

The Titans drafted quarterback Marcus Mariota with their first round pick this season and he made some headway as a starter. But he also was taking a lot of hits this season behind a makeshift offensive line. In order to protect their investment, the Titans need to invest in the offensive line and that starts in the offseason and in the draft. Once they do that, then maybe the offense will get better.

Washington Redskins- Defensive pressure

The Redskins have been surprisingly good this season. Many did not expect this, including me. But they are in control of their own destiny. If they continue to win, then they will be in the playoffs. But one thing they have overcome this season is consistent pressure up front. If they had that this season, they would be better. But going forward, that would be an investment worth making for them.

Merry Christmas to all and hopefully your NFL teams accept the gifts that await them. They sure could use them.

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The General’s NFL Proclamations-Week 16

(photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)

(photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)

Week 16 is upon us and many teams have called it a season at this point. There are some that will be sitting players, trying to position themselves for draft position. And while some teams will still play their regulars, we all know they are trying to get that best draft position available. On the flip side, there are some other teams that are trying to clinch a playoff spot this weekend. And while some may lose, there will be some that land in the playoffs because of what another team does. The difference between who wins or loses could be one play of ever one player. Without further ado, here are the General Proclamations for Week 16 in the NFL.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders

  1. The Oakland Raiders took a loss last week, but they stuck around with the Green Bay Packers. Thanks to quarterback Derek Carr, they will be in this game from the jump as well. Expect Carr to have at least 300 yards passing and at least two touchdowns.
  2. The Chargers got an emotional win last week in what some expect to be their last game in San Diego. Look for them to have an emotional letdown this week, as they score 17 points or under versus the Raiders defense.
  3. There will be a fight in the stands between Raiders fans and Chargers fans. Both are repping California and if these fans get rowdy like Raiders fans do when they see 49ers fans, then this may not be a pleasant experience for those that are not involved.

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

  1. The Redskins have been getting consistent offensive play as of late from quarterback Kirk Cousins. Well, look for him to take a make some shots in this one as well. Expect him to have at least 250 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
  2. The Eagles have been inconstant all season. And in this game, they have a chance to strike back against the Redskins. Unfortunately for them, they will be mentally exhausted coming into this one and it will cost them.
  3. The Redskins will have at least three sacks in this one. It seems like they have not had any consistent pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. That must change for Washington as I have an idea.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

  1. The Steelers showed the Broncos Lethal Weapon 3 with their wide receiver corps. In this one, the Ravens better put on their track shoes. Big Ben will throw for over 315 yards two touchdowns.
  2. The Ravens are depleted offensively and that is not good going up against the Steelers. Look for the Ravens’ offense to have at least two turnovers against Pittsburgh.
  3. The Ravens will score less than 14 points in this game. There is simply nothing there that scares the Pittsburgh defense.

Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills

  1. The Bills and Cowboys are essentially done when it comes to the playoffs. So all bets are off as to what will happen. But one thing we can look forward to seeing is Dallas quarterback Kellen Moore throwing at least two interceptions.
  2. The Bills offense has been in good hands this season under quarterback Tyrod Taylor. In this one, look for him to throw for over 200 yards and run for a little under 100 yards.
  3. The Bills and Cowboys will combine to score around 40 points.

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  1. The Bucs were looking solid until last week’s game versus the Rams. In this one, look for them to get back to having some success and that will start with the running game. Doug Martin will run for 150 yards and one touchdown in this game.
  2. The Bears have had success this season when throwing the football in the direction of wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey. In this one, look for the Bears to throw his way early and often to the tune of 7 receptions for at least 115 yards and one touchdown.
  3. The winner of this game will win by at least 15 points. Both of these teams have not shown consistency when coming from behind.

San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions

  1. The Lions have been playing a lot harder since they made their changes organizationally and coaching-wise. And in this one, look for their defense to have a good game to the tune of at least one interception and holding the 49ers to under 250 yards of offense.
  2. Linebacker NaVarro Bowman has been very good for the 49ers this year. Expect that to continue in this one, as he will have double-digit tackles in this one, including a tackle for loss.
  3. The Lions will be out to at least a 14 point lead at the end of the first half. The Niners have shown a propensity for getting down big at halftime recently and there is no indication that trend will be changing anytime soon.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

  1. Roddy White had something to say about Panthers cornerback Josh Norman this week. The veteran wide receiver spoke on Norman and it was not glowingly at all. Well, Norman paid attention and responded, but let’s not look for White to respond on the field. Roddy will not have three receptions and he will not have over 30 yards at all.
  2. The Panthers have been making it happen all year long in different fashions. But in this one, look for the Panthers’ defense to come out strong in this one. They will not allow the Falcons to score over 14 points.
  3. The Panthers have got a career year out of wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. In this one, look for him to have another two touchdown catches and go for over 100 yards receiving again. He and Cam Newton have been special through the air this year.

Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins

  1. The Colts’ season is on the brink, as they have fallen out of first place in their division and there is no guarantee they will recapture it from the Texans. In this one, expect them to play desperate, especially offensively. Look for them to put up at least 25 points on offense this week.
  2. The Dolphins looked sad last week versus the Chargers. One of their major things that has hurt them is not giving the football to running back Lamar Miler. In this game, look for him to get at least 20 carries to get a good lather going.
  3. The Dolphins have been horrible in stopping the run this season. Look for that to continue as veteran running back Frank Gore goes for at least 100 yards rushing against the Miami defense.

New England Patriots at New York Jets

  1. The Patriots have been making it happen despite losing pieces week after week. Look for Brady to make it happen again this week with the running game. Brandon Bolden will get at least 100 yards rushing against the Jets.
  2. The Jets have been efficient offensively this season and that comes directly from the quarterback play of Ryan Fitzpatrick. In this one, look for him to have a good game to the tune of 250 yards passing and 2 touchdown passes.
  3. Expect this game to go down to the wire between these two, as the Jets have gotten better since their last meeting.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

  1. Marcus Mariota will not be playing in this game. With him out, Zach Mettenberger will get the start. And like usual, he will be a statue back there for the Texans to topple. Expect them to get at least five sacks of Mettenberger in this game.
  2. The Titans may have had issues offensively this year, but they have not been bad defensively. Look for them to get at least four sacks of their own against Houston and quarterback Brandon Weeden.
  3. This game has the potential to be ugly. And by ugly, I mean a low-scoring bore of a game. Get other activities ready during this one. It could be more boring than watching grass grow.

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

  1. The Browns have been letting Johnny Manziel start at quarterback. The premise is they have to see what they have. And against the Chiefs, they will see what they don’t have. Manziel will throw at least two interceptions and will fumble the football once.
  2. Kansas City has been rolling, but this one will be a little tougher for one reason or another. Look for them to have struggle to reach 20 points in this game.
  3. The Chiefs will go back to being the Chiefs in this one. They will not have a touchdown scored by a wide receiver in this game.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints

  1. The Jaguars lost a close one to the Falcons last week. But in this one, expect them to play a little better offensively. The tandem of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns at wide receiver along with quarterback Blake Bortles will have the Saints putting up at least 30 points in this game.
  2. The Saints offense may have some issues this week with Brees reportedly having a foot injury. Look for the running game to be given more chances. But even with that, the Saints will not rush for more than 150 yards.
  3. The Saints will get booed this week at home. This game has the potential to get ugly for them and it just might do so by halftime.

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals

  1. The Packers have been sporadic for the most part this last few games. Expect them to be inconsistent again this week, as the Cardinals’ defensive line will be hard for the Packers’ offense to handle.4
  2. The Cardinals’ offense has been dynamic this season with the multitude of weapons they have. Look for their newest weapon, running back David Johnson, to take center stage yet again. Twenty touches for 150 total yards and one touchdown is not out of the question for him in this one.
  3. The Cardinals will be missing safety Tyrann Mathieu. And although the Cardinals’ secondary is still tough without him, they will get hit up by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a big play.

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

  1. The Seattle Seahawks played the Rams in the first game of the season and they were beaten in overtime. The Seahawks have gotten things back on track as a team but they can still be susceptible to the running game. Look for Todd Gurley to get at least 100 yards rushing and one touchdown.
  2. Russell Wilson has been on fire, throwing touchdowns right and left. In this one, look for him to throw at least four touchdowns while not throwing an interception.
  3. The Seahawks defense will show a little glimpse of the past in this game, but that flicker will go away pretty quickly. Look for the Seahawks to give up at least 20 points in this one.

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

  1. The Vikings have been an interesting team this year. They have played good against the bad teams and been inconsistent against the good teams. Look for them to play well against New York, putting up at least 30 points against the New York secondary.
  2. The Giants will be without star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. following his suspension for an incident last week. With him gone, look for the Giants to find their one mismatch they have on the field, tight end Will Tye. The young tight end has shown his ability to make plays and catches and will do so in this game to the tune of 5 receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown.
  3. The Vikings and Giants will both have at least two turnovers in this game. More than likely it will be chilly in this one. And the cold weather tends to produce a slippery football.

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos

  1. The Broncos played well in the first half week and disappeared in the second half. The Bengals were paying attention and will bring pressure all game, trying to confuse Brock Osweiler. And in this one, they will also confuse the Denver offensive line to the tune of 4 sacks.
  2. The Bengals stalled a little out of the blocks but recovered enough to win against the hapless San Francisco 49ers. But in this one, if they stumble, this one will not end well. The Broncos’ defense is for real and will be holding this offense to 16 points or less.
  3. The winner of this game will not score more than two touchdowns. Both defenses are tough and will give each offense fits all game long.

This completes the General’s Proclamations for Week 16 in the NFL. It should be a fun week to watch some NFL action.

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

The General’s NFL Proclamations-Week 15

(photo courtesy of Getty Images)

(photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Week 15 is upon us and that means there is three weeks for teams to show what they are made of. A few divisions are already sewed up, but others are still wide open. These next three games will go a long way towards showing who wants to be in the playoffs and who is ready for an offseason vacation. For a lot of these teams, the games are division games, which mean a lot. And for others, there is a chance to make a powerful statement. Without further ado, here are the General’s Proclamations for Week 15 in the NFL.

Tampa Bay at St. Louis

  1. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is on the big stage for once this season. And many will get a chance to see what he can do. Look for him to throw for at least 250 yards with one touchdown throwing and running.
  2. The St. Louis Rams have been good when Todd Gurley has been running the ball effectively. Look for him to get it going I this game to the tune of 125 yards and one touchdown.
  3. Tampa Bay and St. Louis have not exactly been lighting it up on the scoreboard this year. Look for both of them to score under 25 point in this game.

New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys

  1. The Jets have been riding high under the quarterback play of Ryan Fitzpatrick. In this one, look for him to have fun at Jerry’s playhouse with at least 300 yards passing and two touchdown passes.
  2. Wide receiver Dez Bryant is the next contestant on Revis Island. This season, Revis Island has not been has treacherous this season, but neither has Bryant. Expect Dez to end up with 3 receptions and less than 40 yards receiving.
  3. The Dallas defense was dominating last year. But this year it has not been the same. Expect them to give up at least 450 yards in total offense. Amazing how things can change in one year.

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants

  1. Carolina has been rolling behind the star power of Cam Newton offensively. In this game, his eyes must have lit up seeing the Giants secondary. Look for Newton to have at least four touchdown passes in this game. And of course, there will be four souvenirs for some lucky kids in the stands.
  2. The Giants offense will have to keep the Panthers in this one. And if the Saints proved anything, it’s that the Panthers can be scored upon. Of course the main weapon the Giants will try to use is Odell Beckham Jr. He and Josh Norman should be a good one. But expect Norman to continue to shine bright when he is matched up with Norman, holding Beckham to only two catches on him. The Giants will have to scheme to get Beckham Jr some good matchups this week.
  3. The Panthers defense will score a touchdown this week. Eli and the Giants offense have been known to give up some turnovers and this defense is one that will make them pay.

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots

  1. The Patriots lost running back LeGarrette Blount for the year with a hip injury. But this just opens an opportunity for running back Brandon Bolden to step up. Expect Bolden to have 40 yards receiving and at least 60 yards rushing.
  2. The Titans have had one consistent offensive player this season: tight end Delanie Walker. Look for the veteran tight end to have at least five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
  3. Tom Brady has to be licking his chops looking at this defensive secondary. And with tight end Rob Gronkowski back, look for the future Hall Of Fame quarterback to throw for four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins

  1. Buffalo has been inconsistently showing up offensively. They lost in an emotional game last week in Philly. But in this one, they will put up at least 30 points.
  2. The Redskins have one of the most dangerous weapons on the field in wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Look for him to get loose one time and score a touchdown from at least 50 yards out.
  3. The Redskins finally won a road game last week and showed some toughness doing so. Look for Washington to come out lackadaisical in this one and let the Bills get out to a big lead.

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

  1. The Chiefs have been on fire and have even scored touchdowns with their wide receivers this year. Look for Alex Smith to throw two touchdowns to two different wide receivers in this game.
  2. The Ravens have been struggling this season and have lots of injuries as well. Look for them to continue to struggle and not even put up 13 points.
  3. The Chiefs have been solid without their starting running back, Jamaal Charles. But the running game has continued to be solid. Look for not one of the running back crew in Kansas City to stand alone. But look for them to combine for at least 150 yards rushing.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

  1. Houston defensive lineman JJ Watt has been having to do things for himself this year mostly. He needs someone to step up and take some pressure off him. Jadeveon Clowney stepped up last week and made a little noise. Look for him to continue to build upon that game last week in this one with one sack, three tackles and one tackle for loss.
  2. The Colts are reeling after big loss to Jacksonville last weekend. In this one, they will not give up 50, but they will give up at least 28 points in this one versus Houston.
  3. Andrew Lucks is expected to be out again and Matt Hasselbeck will be the starter once again. Look for him to have a solid game with one touchdown pass along with 225 yards throwing. But he will have one crucial mistake due to the pressure that Houston will bring.

Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars

  1. Jacksonville has a talented duo at wide receiver in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. These two guys can cause serious damage. And in this one, look for both to go over 100 yards receiving and have a touchdown apiece.
  2. Quarterback Matt Ryan has been struggling the last six weeks. Look for his struggles to continue versus Jacksonville, as he will throw two touchdowns, but have at least two interceptions.
  3. The Jaguars will put up at least 38 points in this game. It seems like quarterback Blake Bortles and crew have it going offensively and this game will be an extension of the last one in which they scored 51 points.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

  1. The Bears almost came back and beat the Redskins at home last week, but they came up short. Look for them to hang with the Vikings in this one, led by quarterback Jay Cutler, who will throw for 275 yards at least and two touchdowns.
  2. The Vikings need to feed Adrian Peterson this one a lot. And if he is able to get 25 carries, the veteran running back will run for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Minnesota would be smart to feed him as much as possible.
  3. The Bears have been learning defensively all season under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Look for them to have some hiccups in this one, as they give up at least 30 points.

Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders

  1. The Green Bay Packers got their running game back last week with running back Eddie Lacy. Look for them to continue to feed him this week and Lacy will continue to pay them back. Lacy will get at least 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.
  2. The Raiders have been led defensively by Khalil Mack. He had a monster game in Denver where he had five sacks and in this one, he will be after Rodgers all day long. Look for him to have at least three sacks in this game. The kid has been a monster this season.
  3. Green Bay has a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. But in this one, he will get outperformed by Derek Carr. The younger Carr will throw for more yards and throw for one more touchdown than Rodgers in this one.

Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks

  1. Johnny Manziel was solid at quarterback last week versus the 49ers. But the defense he is facing this week isn’t the 49ers. They are tougher. Look for Manziel to be sacked at least four times and he will throw at least one interception.
  2. The Seahawks offensively have been carried by quarterback Russell Wilson. Look for him to throw for at least three touchdowns in this one as he continues to try and throw his name in the MVP talk.
  3. The Seahawks will put up over 40 points on the Cleveland Browns. There are not many things that Cleveland has going for them. Quite honestly, the best thing going for them is they don’t see Seattle much because that would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers

  1. The big question this week for the Bengals is how will AJ McCarron do? For those that don’t remember, Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton injured his thumb and is out for the rest of the regular season. In this one, the young quarterback will have a tough time adjusting to starting. He will throw one touchdown pass, but he will also throw at least two interceptions.
  2. The 49ers have been pleasantly surprised by running back Shaun Draughn. Look for him to get at least 70 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving in this one. And he will score at least one touchdown.
  3. Cincinnati will not score over 20 points in this game. The 49ers defense has been tough at home and that trend could continue given the circumstances in this one.

Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers

  1. The Chargers have been reeling this season. And this game will continue that slide. The Dolphins will score at least 30 points against San Diego/
  2. San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers has escaped a lot of criticism over the years. But in this game, he will get some criticism. Look for him to throw two interceptions and not throw for over 215 yards.
  3. This game will not be a fun one to watch. Both team have yet to figure themselves out and it isn’t happening anytime soon for both either.

Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. The Broncos had a rough one against the Oakland Raiders and in this one it could get ugly for a minute too. Look for the Steelers to get at least three sacks versus the Broncos offensive line.
  2. The Steelers have the best wide receivers corps in the NFL. And the Broncos have the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Three versus two leaves one guy open in this equation. With that being said, look for third wide receiver Marcus Wheaton to get loose in this one for at least 100 yards and a touchdown.
  3. After this game, there will be rumblings loud that Manning should be the quarterback again in Denver. Osweiler will not play bad, but he will not be outstanding either in this one.

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles

  1. The Eagles got a gritty win last week. But this game will be tougher than the last one because the Arizona defense is tough. Look for the Eagles to score under 20 points in this game as Arizona’s defense travels to Philly.
  2. Carson Palmer has been solid and some are even giving the veteran quarterback some MVP consideration. In this one, he shows why he has been receiving so much praise with at least 300 yards passing and two touchdowns.
  3. The Cardinals will force a huge turnover late in the game. The Eagles have had moments where they make the big play and they give up the huge turnover. This week the Cardinals deliver the backbreaker to them late.

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

  1. Both teams can score. And with that being said, both will have over 30 points in this game.
  2. Quarterback Drew Brees will definitely try and do his thing in this one. He will throw at least two touchdown passes. But he will also toss a key interception.
  3. The Lions have had solid play from quarterback Matt Stafford recently. Look for him to keep it up this week by throwing for no interceptions versus New Orleans.

The General’s Proclamations are in folks. Let’s see how they pan out in this week’s games.

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