All posts by Brian Brigham

What you might have missed?

The past weekend has been crazy. Rumors are swirling in the NBA, Super Bowl Media week started, two tennis legends are back on the mountain top, and the NHL and NFL all star game ensued.

NBA

BASKET-GBR-USA-NBA-MILWAUKEE-NY : News Photo

Rumors continue to swirl about Carmelo Anthony, but just how true are they? Well…unfortunately, for Anthony, it looked like his stock is way down and the Knicks are looking to get rid of him for next to nothing for the caliber of player he is. The Clippers, Celtics, and Cavaliers have been linked as potential suitors for Melo. The Celtics have come out and said they weren’t interested, but they might be interested in being the third team  in a deal to help the Knicks and Clippers complete a trade. The stumbling Cavs are likely out as well as the combination of Lebron, Kyrie, and Melo would probably sour in Cleveland very quickly.

Chicago Bulls - Miami Heat : News Photo

The rumor mill is also firing up with Jimmy Butler’s name in the center of it. Rajon Rondo’s comments about the Bulls on his Instagram page didn’t go unnoticed. Tempers are flaring and what was thought to be a contender in the East, has fallen a long way off. NBA analysts have talked about the Bulls calling the Celtics in regards to a trade between the two teams involving Butler.

NHL

2017 Honda NHL All-Star Tournament Final - Pacific vs. Metropolitan : News Photo

The NHL All star skills competition and game took place this weekend in Los Angeles. The Atlantic came out on top in the skills competition with 9 points, but the highlight of the night was when Ryan Kesler’s son took part in the final shootout competition. Kesler’s son took the puck down the ice and dangled Montreal goalie Carey Price and slid the puck 5-hole, then followed it with an even better celebration.

The All Star game took place Sunday afternoon in the new 3v3 format. The Metropolitan division took the crown with a 10-6 victory against the Atlantic, with Wayne Simmonds getting the MVP award.

Tennis

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Roger Federer and Serena Williams made history this weekend in Australia taking home the men’s and women’s title in the Austalian open, the first major championship of the year.

Roger won his 5th Aussie open title and 18th major championship overall, the most in the open era. Federer took on his longtime rival Rafael Nadal and took him down in an epic 5 set match.

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Serena Williams cruised through the competition winning her 7th Aussie Open title and her 23rd major championship overall, a record in the open era. Williams took on her sister Venus for the first time in a final since 2009. Serena coasted to a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

NFL

Pro Bowl : News Photo

The NFL held their first skills competition since the mid 2000’s and it was an extreme waste of time. If you didn’t watch it, you did not miss out. The Pro Bowl however was a much more entertaining game with the AFC edging out a victory 20-13. It was a rare defensive battle where there was multiple turnovers and somewhat entertaining football, something we have not seen a lot from in past Pro Bowls.

NFL: JAN 30 Super Bowl Opening Night - Patriots : News Photo

On top of the Pro Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots made their way to Houston. Media week is under way and the rest of our NFL coverage including predictions will be posted later this week so be on the look out!

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NBA All Stars: Who should the starters be?

The NBA All star voting concluded on Monday leaving some people with questions as to how legitimate the voting system has become in the NBA. Golden State Warriors Center Zaza Pachulia has racked up enough votes to possibly become the Western Conference stater at the 5 position. Over 21 million votes have been cast in this years voting, which is a 142% increase from last years game. The starters are determined by voting that is combined from the fans (50%), players (25%), and the media (25%). The starters for the All Star game will be chosen tonight on TNT on a special edition of NBA tip off. We pick who SHOULD start the game.

Eastern conference:

Guards:

NBA: DEC 23 Knicks at Cavaliers : News Photo

Kyrie Irving

Irving is averaging 23.6 points per game along with 5.6 assists. During the season, Irving has put Lebron in the backseat for some clutch moments including the dagger on Christmas day against Golden State. One of the best young players in the game, Irving is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.

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Isaiah Thomas

Thomas is averaging 28.7 points per game combined with 6 assists. This season, Isaiah has put the team on his back which has garnered him the nickname “King of the Fourth”. Thomas has taken over games time and time again averaging the most points in the 4th quarter in the NBA.

Frontcourt:

Washington Wizards vs Cleveland Cavaliers : News Photo

Lebron James

James is obviously a shoe in to be an all star because he is the BEST player in the league, no questions asked. James is averaging 25.6 points, 8.1 assist, and 7.8 rebounds per game. James can do anything on a basketball court, he has great court vision and superior athletic ability making him the most dangerous player in the game.

Milwaukee Bucks v New York Knicks : News Photo

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak jumped onto the scene last year with some impressive highlights, but this season he has really turned into a fantastic player. Giannis is averaging 23.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 8.7 rebounds per game. He has shown is freakish athleticism time and time again this year with highlight reel dunks. The 22 year old has a very bright future.

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Joel Embiid

Embiid is the first draft pick to somewhat look like he is going to pan out like they planned. Embiid is leading the Sixers, averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. “The Process” is dominating the game down low.

Western Conference:

Guards:

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James Harden

Harden is my favorite for MVP right now. He’s taken an average Rockets team and made them one of the best teams in the league. Harden is averaging 28.9 points, 11.6 assists, and 8.3 rebounds per game. The former backup to Russell Westbrook has moved past him for best point guard in the Western Conference. Harden controls the game and limits his turnovers making everyone around him better.

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Russell Westbrook

There are really no words to explain what Russell Westbrook is doing to the league this year. Although his turnover numbers could be much better, you can’t ignore his stats, 30.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.6 rebounds per game. Averaging a triple double has been damn near impossible in the NBA. But if he continues down this road, it could go down as one of the best statistical season ever.

Frontcourt:

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Kevin Durant

Durant has received a lot of hate for he offseason move to the Warriors. It has not gone as well as some people imagined, but Durant’s play has been consistent as he had a 40 point outburst last night against his former team in the Oracle. On a team with a ton of scorers, Durant is still averaging 26.7 points per game on top of 4.7 assists and 8.6 rebounds.

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Kawhi Leonard

Arguably one of the most underrated players in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard has become THE guy in San Antonio. He is the complete package, an excellent defender, paired with ability to score at will. Leonard has become a top tier player in the West. His stats aren’t indicative of how important he is to the team, with 24.8 points, 3.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game.

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Anthony Davis

Davis is a premier player in the NBA. He is the best center in the NBA and is carrying an awful team down in New Orleans. Davis is averaging 28.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. If you could start your franchise with one player, this guy has to be close to the top of the list because he is a fantastic talent in the NBA.

Tune in to NBA Tip off on TNT tonight to see which players receive the honor of starting in this year’s All Star game.

 

Divisional Round Playoff Preview

Saturday 4:35 PM

Cleveland Browns v Atlanta Falcons : News Photo

Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons

In this weekends first student v. mentor match up, former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will take on his former boss Pete Carroll in what should be a very interesting game. Matt Ryan and the high octane Falcons offense will look to attack the “Legion of Boom” head on without star free safety Earl Thomas. Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and the two headed monster at running back, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, will lead the charge in unlocking the elite secondary and front seven of the Seahawks D. On defense, NFL sack leader Vic Beasley will be the key to containing Russell Wilson from breaking out of the pocket and making the big play.

The Seahawks will look to channel some of the offensive outburst they had last week against Detroit. Wilson will look to target number one receiver Doug Baldwin and newcomer Paul Richardson to keep the ball moving. This paired up with a strong performance from Thomas Rawls and the Seahawks could be looking at an upset. Defensively, Seattle just needs to keep doing what they have done all season, get to the quarterback, make him uncomfortable and let the talented secondary make plays.

Matt Ryan is 1-4 in his career in the playoffs, but that changes today.

Atlanta Falcons 27- Seattle Seahawks 24

Saturday 8:15 PM

AFC Championship - Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots : News Photo

Houston Texans @ New England Patriots

With what started as a 14.5 point margin, has now risen to 16 points in some Vegas spreads. With that being said, the Patriots are heavy favorites in this game. Student Bill O’Brien will be taking on his former mentor Bill Belichick in our second student v. teacher match up of the Divisional round. Belichick will take his league leading scoring defense into this playoff run with high hopes to get another Lombardi trophy. The Patriots offense featuring Tom Brady’s 28 TD’s- 2 INT’s ratio will make it tough on the Texans defense combined with an explosive running game with Legarette Blount.

The Texans come into this game with nothing to lose and a lot of knowledge of how the Patriots operate. Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel, Linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, and Special teams Coordinator Larry Izzo were members of the Patriots organization for many years. This knowledge could give Brock Osweiler some much needed knowledge after a disappointing performance earlier in the year in New England. For the Texans to have a chance, they need to unleash Deandre Hopkins on some deep routs and get to Brady early and often on defense and maybe, just maybe, they will have a shot.

It has happened before, but I don’t think this 14-2 New England team will lose in the Divisional round.

New England Patriots 34- Houston Texans 14

Sunday 4:40 PM

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys : News Photo

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys

No quarterback in the NFL has played better than Aaron Rodgers these past few weeks. He has had time to sit in the pocket and diagnose everything about the defense. And when things break down, they go to their “backyard offense”. However, Rodgers will be missing his favorite target Jordy Nelson in Jerry’s World on Sunday. But Davante Adams and Randall Cobb should be enough to keep the Packers offense rolling. On the Defensive side, they need to find a way to get through Dallas’ excellent offensive line to slow down Ezekiel Elliott and force Dak Prescott to make some throws.

Dallas is coming into this game off of their best season in almost a decade, with two rookies at the helm. This is the only thing that would give me pause to say Dallas is a surefire winner in this football game. Their defense is much better than people give them credit for and you will see that this Sunday. If Dak can calm his nerves early, make a few throws here and there, and let Elliott do his thing, they can keep Rodgers off the field and come away with a long awaited playoff W for Jerry Jones and Co.

Elliott channels his Ohio State v. Alabama days and has himself a day leading the Boys to victory over the Pack.

Dallas Cowboys 24- Green Bay Packers 20

Sunday 8:20PM

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos : News Photo

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest places to play in the NFL, which has given many teams problems communicating on offense. With this weather that delayed the game from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (for the first time in NFL History for a playoff game) it could hurt the attendance. On top of that, the first round bye has been more of a curse for the Chiefs who are 0-3 in first round byes since the current format has been in place. However, Alex Smith along with Travis Kelce and Tyreke Hill should light up Arrowhead for a couple spectacular plays on Sunday. The Chiefs D has to capitalize on the Big Ben’s inability to hold onto the football and turn it into some points.

The Steelers need to keep doing what they’re doing on offense with the triple threat of Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell. If they can hold onto the ball on offense, they should have no trouble. Defensively, they need to contain Alex Smith because he is a sneaky good runner. Along with that, they need to keep Tyreke Hill and Travis Kelce from making big plays. They cannot play like they did last week and expect to win, they will need to step up big on D.

KC fans will brave the elements and Andy Reid, who’s teams are 16-2 coming off the bye, will find a way to semi contain Bell and AB, and sneak away to Foxboro for the AFC championship game.

Kansas City Chiefs 31- Pittsburgh Steelers 27

NFL Preview Week 15

The hunt for the Lombardi Trophy is in full force. December games are always ones that can make or break a franchise’s playoff hopes, and there are still 23 teams eligible to make it into the playoffs. There are a number of games this week that could be critical to a teams playoff chances. Let’s take a look at week 15’s top 5 match-ups.

Sunday 1:00

Baltimore Ravens v New Orleans Saints : News Photo

Philadelphia Eagles @ Baltimore Ravens

After settling with a tough loss last Monday night to the New England Patriots, tempers flared this week at Ravens practice as veteran WR Steve Smith slammed his helmet in frustration and walked off the practice field. It will be interesting to see if the many veterans on the team can settle the squad and move to this week’s matchup with the Eagles. Philly looks to rebound from their four game losing streak and douse Baltimore’s hope at sneaking into the playoff picture. This game will definitely have a playoff atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow. Ravens will use some of that old magic and Coach John Harbaugh will have his troops ready, Ravens win.

Ravens 28-Eagles 17

Washington Redskins v New York Giants : News Photo

Detroit Lions @ New York Giants

The Giants are coming off  a huge win last week against the division leading Dallas Cowboys. Their defense seems to be firing on all cylinders and offseason acquisitions Janoris Jenkins and Olivier Vernon seem to be worth every penny. Detroit currently has a two game lead in their division, but Aaron Rodgers seems to be getting back into his old self and the Packers are rolling . And trust me, Detroit does not want to let them back into the picture. This is a must win for both teams. Although Detroit is in better position to make the playoffs, my senses tell me that when Giants are in the playoff hunt, they’re probably going to win.

Giants 24- Lions 17

4:25

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Denver Broncos : News Photo

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

Mile High has never been a friendly place for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots as it is one of the only places they have a losing record in the Belichick era. However, this is a much different Broncos team than what we saw in January of last year. No Peyton Manning and no CJ Anderson means that it is a whole new ball game and the advantage goes to the Patriots. Brady seems to have found comfort in rookie Malcolm Mitchell and newcomer Chris Hogan. The Pats also have Dion Lewis and Legarette Blount in the backfield this time and Denver can’t stop the run. Advantage Patriots. Although you can never predict what will happen in Mile High, I still think it’s pretty clear. Pats win

Patriots 31- Denver 14

8:30

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints : News Photo

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys

At the beginning of the season, no one would have guessed that the Bucs would be in the playoff hunt and the Cowboys would be at the top of the NFC. But they are and this is going to be a FANTASTIC football game. Dak Prescott vs. Jameis Winston. Two future star NFL QB’s squaring up for their first real December football game with playoff implications. If you look at the standings, this game on paper is needed more by the Bucs to keep their playoff hopes alive as they sit 6th in the NFC.

As we have heard from Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, he loves his quarterback situation and he sees both as potential Super Bowl winning players. This might give pause to Dak Prescott, making him feel as if he is on the hot seat after losing to the Giants in New York. If he loses again, Tony Romo might get the nod to go for the rest of the season. It will be very interesting to watch. I love Dak Prescott and I think his future in the NFL is bight, but the Bucs are on a roll and I think they keep it going Sunday Night in Jerry’s World. Bucs win.

Buccaneers 27-Cowboys 24

Monday Night 8:30

Pittsburgh Steelers v Washington Redskins : News Photo

Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins

Another good Monday Night match up will leave NFL fans happy as the Washington Redskins look to keep their playoff hopes alive with a big win at home against the reigning NFC champions Carolina Panthers. This game has A LOT more implication than that. Former Carolina Panthers CB Josh Norman will be suiting up with the Redskins in his first game against his old team. He has shown a lot of animosity towards them due to this past offseason when they chose to part ways instead of making Norman the highest paid CB in the NFL. This would be a great way for him to show his old team what he’s worth. With a big victory as well as kicking the Panthers while they’re down after their abysmal season. Redskins get the W.YOU LIKE THAT!

Redskins 34- Panthers 24

 

 

NFL Week Two Breakdown

Week Two in the NFL left a lot of fans wondering if their teams were ready for the long haul as a myriad of big time players went down with injuries. This week, the running back position took a huge hit with six factor backs falling to injury including, Adrian Peterson (MIN), Doug Martin (TB), Thomas Rawls (SEA), Johnathan Stewart (CAR),  Arian Foster (MIA), Danny Woodhead (SD), and Ameer Abdullah (DET). The extent of there injuries are for the most part unknown, so keep checking for more updates throughout the week.

Thursday Night

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills : News Photo

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills

After two bad losses last week, both teams looked to this division match-up to gain ground in the AFC East. The Jets came in with great performances from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who threw for almost 400 yards and RB Matt Forte who had another strong performance in Week 2 finding the end-zone three times.

Although the Bills put up 31 points, no one really stood out in what was a poor performance on both sides of the ball. The second straight loss resulted in a shake up within the coaching staff as the Owner and a number of offensive players had a meeting which resulted in the firing of Offensive coordinator, Greg Roman.

Jets 37- Bills 31

Sunday

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots : News Photo

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

The Patriots started week 2 on fire as Jimmy Garoppolo put 21 points up on the board in the blink of an eye firing a couple TD’s to Danny Amendola and new TE acquisition Martellus Bennett. Tom Brady fans were starting to get nervous that Jimmy might never let TB12 back on the field again. Unfortunately, late in the second quarter, Jimmy G rolled out to his right and completed a huge third down pass to rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell. In the process, Kiko Alonso crushed the QB and he landed awkwardly on his shoulder. The injury was first reported to keep him out six weeks, but later test show he could be back for week 4 against the Buffalo Bills. In his replacement, rookie QB Jacoby Brissett controlled the game and hang on for a narrow victory with the help of RB Legarette Blount (29 Car, 123 YDS, 1 TD)

Patriots 31- Dolphins 24

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers : News Photo

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

In what is a commonly known as a dogfight among AFC North powerhouses, the first bout of 2016 was more tame than last years final match-up. The usual suspects Antonio Brown and AJ Green remained quiet for a majority of the game. The running backs Deangelo Williams (94 YDS rushing) and Giovanni Bernard (100 YDS and TD receiving) were the offensive leaders for both squads, but the Steelers were able to squeeze out the narrow victory at home.

Steelers 24- Bengals 16

Tennessee Titans v Detroit Lions : News Photo

Tennessee Titans @ Detroit Lions

In a game between mediocre teams that was mostly capped by a six second vine of Matt Stafford running through a Titans linebacker, the game was actually one of the more entertaining ones of week 2. The Titans scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to snag a narrow one point win at Ford Field in Detroit.

Titans 16- Lions 15

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns : News Photo

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

What came as a surprise to about everyone watching on Sunday was the Browns 20-0 lead over the Ravens after the first quarter. Outstanding performances from RB Isaiah Crowell and WR Corey Coleman had Browns fans hoping for the first W of the 2016 campaign. Fast forward 45 minutes later and the Browns were held scoreless through the next three quarters and Joe Flacco led the Birds to victory.

Ravens 25- Browns 20

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins : News Photo

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins

In another fierce division match-up, the Cowboys ponied up against the Redskins utilizing there talented RB to the fullest of their abilities. Ezekiel Elliot and Alfred Morris sunk the Redskins hope of winning this game with great days on the ground. That added with Dez Bryant’s 7 grabs; the Cowboys sealed there fate with a late 4th quarter TD run from former Skin Alfred Morris, who capped the TD off with his classic home run celebration.

Cowboys 27- Redskins 23

New Orleans Saints v New York Giants : News Photo

New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants

Last year, this was a high scoring match-up where both teams combined for over 1000 yards. This year it was slightly different, both teams were driving up and down the field, but they had trouble finding the end-zone. Eli Manning was a spectacular 32 of 41 for 368 yards. He used that accuracy on the final drive finding all his weapons and putting the Giants in position to kick the game winning field goal as time expired, causing the Saints to lose there second heart breaker in a row.

Giants 16- Saints 13

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers : News Photo

San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton set the Panthers franchise record for TD passes after throwing all over the 49ers secondary. Greg Olsen ( 5 REC, 122YDs, 1 TD) and Fozzy Whitaker (16 CAR, 100 YDs) helped the offensive explosion for the Panthers who, beginning to end wiped the floor with the 49ers defense.

Panthers 46- 49ers 27

Kansas City Chiefs v Houston Texans : News Photo

Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans

The Texans finally showed their defensive prowess, shutting down the Chiefs offense all day. They did a fantastic job containing Alex Smith and RB Spencer Ware, holding the Chiefs to 13 points. Texans QB Brock Osweiler continued to build his repertoire with his receivers Deandre Hopkins and Will Fuller who each had over 100 yards receiving.

Texans 19- Chiefs 12

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams : News Photo

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams

In the Rams return to LA, a defensive battled ensued. The Rams stopped Russell Wilson and ended his streak of 17 consecutive games with a TD pass. Other than that stat, this game was a snooze fest. No one had a standout performance and Jeff Fisher may be the first coach in NFL history to under utilize one of the best RB’s in the NFL. However, the Rams are 1-1 but the only problem for them is they still haven’t found the end zone.

Rams 9- Seahawks 3

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals rebounded strong after a tough loss to the Brady-less Pats in week one. The defense showed what they could do nearly shutting out the Bucs and forcing 5 turnovers on top of scoring a defensive TD. Carson Palmer and David Johnson added TD’s in the Cardinals rout over the Bucs

Cardinals 40- Buccaneers 7

Jacksonville Jaguars v San Diego Chargers : News Photo

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers had himself a day with the Chargers offense connecting with Travis Benjamin for 2 TD’s. Melvin Gordon also added a score and 100 yards on the ground for his second straight week. On the flip side, Blake Bortles and the Jags offense struggled for the majority of this contest failing to reach the end zone until mid way through the fourth quarter.

Chargers 38- Jaguars 14

Atlanta Falcons v Oakland Raiders : News Photo

Atlanta Falcons @ Oakland Raiders

It was a day for QB’s in Oakland as Matt Ryan led the Falcons offense to a victory going 26 of 34 for 396 yds and 3 TD’s. Derek Carr also had a solid day throwing for 300 yards and 3 scores. The Falcons used tandem backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to seal the Raiders fate, as they hung on to a tight victory.

Falcons 35- Raiders 28

Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos : News Photo

Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos

Broncos RB CJ Anderson led the offensive charge running for 74 yds and a TD. The star for Broncos was on the other side of the ball and it was the usual suspect, Von Miller. Miller recorded 7 tackles and 3 sacks along with a forced fumble. The strong defensive performance was capped off by Aqib Talib’s 46 yd INT return for a touchdown.

Broncos 34- Colts 20

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings : News Photo

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

It was the first game in the new stadium for the Vikings and it went as well as it could have. Newly acquired QB Sam Bradford led the Vikes on offense along with star wide out Stefon Diggs. The pair combined for 9 completions for 182 yds and a score. The defense did the rest of the work keeping Aaron Rodgers guessing and holding the potent Packers offense to 14 points. The victory may have come at a huge cost for the Vikings though as they lost there star RB Adrian Peterson to a knee injury.

Vikings 17- Packers 14

Monday Night 

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Rookie QB Carson Wentz lead the Philadelphia Eagles by defeating the Chicago Bears last night. Jordan Mathews had 6 receptions for 71 yards as the Eagles soared to a 2-0 record to start the season.

Eagles 29- Bears 14

 

 

 

 

NFL Week One Breakdown

It was a wild week in the NFL. A few nail bitters and upsets throughout the league sure too keep you on your toes. Sunday didn’t start off well for ESPN fantasy owners as the app crashed and left fantasy players in the dark of how there teams were doing. But it did not stop the majority from watching the first full football Sunday of the 2016 season.

Thursday Night Football

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Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos

Tipping off the NFL season was a rematch Thursday Night between the Carolina Panthers and the SuperBowl Champion Denver Broncos. Carolina was coming into the game with the loss of Josh Norman in their secondary, but the addition of Kelvin Benjamin off of an knee injury last year. Benjamin came back to form catching 6 passes for 91 yards and a TD. His counterpart Cam Newton however, struggled throughout the game getting hit often and only completing 54% of his passes while throwing an INT.

On the other sideline was second year QB Trevor Siemian, who managed the game well completing 18 of 26 passes for 178  a TD and 2 INT’s. Although Carolina forced the young QB to turn over the ball a few times, Siemian looked calm and collected in the pocket for the majority of the game.

The game ended in less than spectacular fashion for the Panthers as Graham Gano lined up for a 50 yard field goal for the win and pulled it left. Broncos sneak away with the victory.

Broncos 21- Panthers 20

Sunday Games

1:00

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Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

What to some was a closer game than expected, the Jaguars held up with perennial NFC North powerhouse Packers well into the fourth quarter. However, Aaron Rodgers dazzled us with his arm strength and mobility inside the pocket completing an incredible 29 yard TD strike to Devante Adams to give the Pack the 2nd half lead.

Packers 27-Jaguars 23

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Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens

Rex Ryan returned to Baltimore once more with former Ravens backup, Tyrod Taylor. The Ravens are looking to put their injury laden season last year to rest with starters Joe Flacco, Steve Smith Sr., and Terrell Suggs all returning to action. It was a good start for them as free agent acquisition Mike Wallace hauled in 3 passes for 91 yards and score. The Bills offense was stifled only putting up a single rushing TD up in the second.

Ravens 13- Bills 7

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Chicago Bears @ Houston Texans

The new look Houston offense turned out a great performance for a few of their newcomers. QB Brock Osweiler threw for 231 yards and 2 TD’s, Lamar Miller racked up 106 yards on the ground and rookie wide receiver Will Fuller caught a fourth quarter TD pass to put the game out of reach for the Bears.

Texans 23- Bears 14

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Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles

The Browns demise continued Sunday in Philly as RGIII got hurt diving instead of sliding. Eagles QB Carson Wentz added to their trouble having an impressive game throwing for almost 300 yards and hooking up with Jordan Matthews on a number of different throws. One being an impressive 19 yard corner route.

Eagles 29- Browns 10

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

It was a shootout down in Atlanta where both QB’s were trying to break their team into the win column. For Tampa, the sophomore slump is not applicable to Jameis Winston after week one where he threw for 281 yards and 4 TD’s. Matt Ryan also had a great game connecting with newcomer Mohamed Sanu and long time number 1 WR Julio Jones for a pair of TD’s.

Buccaneers 31- Falcons 24

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Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans

It was the Vikings defense that came through on Sunday recording to defensive scores in the second half to propel them to the victory. The rest of the players on the Vikes were pretty average as all pro RB Adrian Peterson averaged under two yards per carry. Demarco Murray might have been the only bright spot for the Titans scoring twice.

Vikings 25- Titans 16

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Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets

Todd Bowles was looking for the Jets defense to slightly improve after last season and they did for the most part recording 8 sacks of Andy Dalton through the course of the game. But miscommunication would be the downfall of the secondary who surrendered 180 in the air to AJ Green. A late Mike Nugent field goal broke the Jets back, who would drop game one of the season in heartbreaking style.

Bengals 23- Jets 22

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Oakland Raiders @ New Orleans Saints

It was a high scoring affair in the SuperDome where Derek Carr and Drew Brees traded punches for a majority of the game. The final blow however would come from Derek Carr as Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio decided to go for two and take the lead rather than settle for the extra point. His decision paid off as Michael Crabtree made a sensational catch in the corner giving the Raiders win number 1 on the season.

Radiers 35- Saints 34

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San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Another game that came down to the wire as the Chiefs scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime. This is where Alex Smith took over and ran the ball in from 2 yards out for the score and KC comes out on top in this AFC West Clash.

Chiefs 33- Chargers 27

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Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks

What may have come to a surprise to some the Seahawks-Dolphins battled for a large part of four quarters until a Doug Baldwin TD put the Seahawks out in front late. The game might have come at a major cost to the Hawks as Russell Wilson appear to suffer from an ankle injury and his status has not yet been updated for next weeks game.

Seahawks 12- Dolphins 10

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Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck played his heart out throwing for 385 yards and 4 TD’s but it was not enough to keep Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions from pulling the early season upset. Matt Prater sealed Detroit’s victory when he nailed a 43 yard field goal with 33 seconds left in regulation.

Lions 39- Colts 35

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New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

What is now becoming a familiar sight at Jerry’s world a QB other than Tony Romo was starting for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott who had a solid game for America’s team could not seal the deal. Eli Manning found his old dancing partner, Victor Cruz, in the end zone as the salsa returned to its rightful place. Poor clock management by the Cowboys at the end of the game cost the Cowboys a chance to win it with an FG.

Giants 20- Cowboys 19

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New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals

An unfamiliar sight at QB for the Pats as Jimmy Garoppolo was the starter. Jimmy G went 24 of 33 for 264 and a TD, while the Pats also had some help on the ground from Legarette Blount who had 77 yards and a score. On Arizona’s side, it was Larry Fitzgerald who led the way catching 8 passes for 81 yards and 2 TD’s. This effort was not enough however as Cards K Chandler Catanzaro missed a 47 yard field goal for the win. Patriots sneak out of AZ with a huge W without Brady.

Patriots 23- Cardinals 21

 

 

 

Tiger…Who?

Arguably one of the most polarizing athletes in the last two decades, Tiger Woods’ agent announced Tuesday that Woods will miss the PGA Championship next week at Baltusrol and the rest of the 2016 PGA tour season. This is sad news for Tiger fans as the golfer hasn’t played since the Wyndham Championship last August.

The question surrounding Woods this past year was when will he come back and even will he comeback at all?

Since Woods has been on tour in 1996, he has been one of the most competitive athletes out there willing to do anything to be the champion. Whether it is hitting thousands of golf balls a day or working out hours on end, Tiger has always been willing to do anything to be the best. Knowing Tiger’s attitude, I bet that he will return sometime during the 2017 season. Analysts have talked about Tiger returning at the Hero World Challenge, a low stakes tournament Tiger founded a few years back. It would create great publicity for the tournament and Tiger’s foundation would benefit greatly from this widespread press. The tournament is set to start on November 29th, which will be 13 months post-surgery.

Tiger’s return will create of a lot of buzz around the PGA Tour when it occurs, but it shouldn’t. Tiger has been the face of golf even before he reached the PGA Tour and he was deserving that title until about 2013, when he lead the PGA Tour in wins. Since then, Tiger’s golf game has been nonexistent and fans are now getting excited simply when he makes the cut, which is crazy to think about after the streak of tournaments he previously had making the cut. All those major titles and victories, the richest most recognizable athlete on the planet…and it all fell apart one weekend, 7 years ago.

Golf hasn’t forgotten Tiger, but maybe it should. He will never be what he was; he might create some stir here and there. His twilight years may get him one magical weekend where he takes home one more major title, but he is no longer the face of golf nor should he be.

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It’s time to focus on the new crop of ultra-talented golfers topped with guys who can drop 300 yard bombs with ease like Dustin Johnson or no look putts like Jordan Spieth. The PGA Tour has a new crop of young individuals who have taken the torch away from Tiger and led golf to a better place. Casual fans need to realize this, the fans that used to tune in strictly to see Tiger can get the same level of entertainment, maybe even better if they just tuned in now. Critics said the game of golf would die without Tiger, well it hasn’t.

Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day. These are the new faces of golf; we should focus on their bright futures, instead of what’s left of Tiger’s diminishing one.