How Super Bowl LI can be the greatest of all-time

The Patriots-Falcons Heavyweight has the potential to be one of the greatest championships in not just the league, but in all of sports. The No. 1 defense-vs.-No. 1 offense matchup in this year’s Super Bowl gives the possibility of becoming one of the most entertaining title games of all-time.

The hype from Super Bowl LI is reminiscent to the College Football Playoff Championship, the star-studded matchup: No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson, featured the best defenses as well as offenses in the league. The CFP Championship certainly had lived up to the hype with going down to the wire, proving that they were the two best teams in the league.

The football world was spoiled with an incredible rematch and one of the greatest title games in the history of sports, will we be blessed with another crowd-pleaser?

Super Bowl LI also has implications that are similar of the Alabama-Clemson matchup. Winning for New England means more than just glory, it means greatness.

The Patriots’ seventh Super Bowl appearance reflects Alabama’s dominant College Football Playoff run under the Nick Saban, with their fifth BCS title appearance in since 2009.

If the Falcons win, it would mean an entirety of things – more than just satisfaction or praise, rather with honor. For many, it would be well deserved if the Atlanta defeats all odds in defeating England, as they should.

Whether fans are rooting for Matt Ryan and company because they are underdogs, or they just simply hate the Patriots, this showdown has significances that could be destined for either team. The underdog position could work in favor for Atlanta, being a sleeper with the best offense in the league might not be so bad.

Can Matt Ryan pull off a Deshaun Watson-like performance this Sunday?

The Patriots and Falcons matchup well with their high-artillery of offensive/defensive weapons. It will hard to see that many mismatches, even with Julio Jones on the field, because New England has some of the best defensive backs in the NFL.

The Patriots defense will definitely have double coverage on Julio Jones, hell maybe even triple-team coverage. The next question is if New England will be able to slow him down, and if they do, Sanu and Gabriel will have step it up.

The good news for Atlanta is, if Julio Jones is completely blanketed, they will look to their high-flying running backs for help. All season long, New England has yet to face a two-running back set in the backfield like the Falcons have.

If the Falcons utilize the talents of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in someway, shape or form, they will be very hard to stop. Tom Brady will have to play ‘catch up’ in order to keep up with Atlanta’s high-flying pace.

I suspect Matt Ryan will have a good game along with Julio Jones, but Atlanta’s running back duo will be the X-factor of Super Bowl LI.

Photo by Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA (Tom Brady) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Why the Chargers’ new relocation is the masquerade that is in San Diego

After 55 years in San Diego, CEO Dean Spanos stuns Charger fans with an impulsive decision to relocate the team to Los Angeles for the 2017 season. The Chargers are moving back to Los Angeles, since the team’s first inaugural season in 1960.

While there was the sense of drama and rumors throughout the 2016 NFL season, Spanos’ announcement to move the San Diego Chargers to L.A. still awe Bolts’ fans as well as the league itself. The reaction across the league was universal, for the decision not only felt sudden, but strange.

San Diego Radio host of Mighty1090AM, Scott Kaplan, expressed an emotional, but real perspective of the hasty move.

“There is zero appetite for the Chargers in the Los Angeles market,” Kaplan said. “Getting it right for Los Angeles, was bringing back the Rams.”

The downpour emotions of heartbroken San Diego fans, are justifiable, and too felt in the city of Los Angeles. Being a Los Angeles native myself, the general consensus is that it would make more sense if it were the Raiders, not the Chargers.

The Raiders have a huge fan base in this city, and for many of us in the “City of Angels”, the initial thought would be the Raiders and the Rams. Well, it looks like we were wrong after all.

The Chargers will be held in a much different hiatus now that they are now in Los Angeles. The Chargers have always had support for their team no matter what, win or lose, but not anymore.

Kaplan highlighted earlier that Lost Angeles has a must- win mentality, “You either win in Los Angeles or you don’t.” This is definitely true, and the Ram’s 2016 season at the
Coliseum is a great example of this.

While the Rams set the U.S. preseason attendance record of nearly 90,000 fans in their opener in Los Angeles against the Dallas Cowboys, the final game of the season did not even record half of that number of people.

With a game nothing to play for, it was expected to see a bleak attendance in the final home game of the Rams – well, somewhat expected.

When you stop winning games, people stop showing up. That’s just how it is in LA, but also in most fan bases throughout the world.

The Chargers and Rams have much to prove, for these organizations have proved to be dysfunctional at times, but are looking to make a redemption in their second chance in Los Angeles.

Photo by Bspangenberg (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Clemson-Alabama rematch is why we love college football

The 2017 BCS Championship appeared to be destined long before the 2016-2017 regular season had even begun as No.1 Alabama and No.2 Clemson dominated not only the season, but also the College Football Playoffs, reiterating that they are the best two teams in the nation.

Clemson’s chance for redemption against Alabama in this year’s title game is why we love college football; fans get to relish on the opportunity to see the best two teams in the country go head-to-head, even if it’s a rematch.

It is only fitting that the two best teams in College Football are going to the championship back-to-back years, and headlining the first ever national title rematch in BCS/playoff era. This could be a game for the ages or just perhaps another ‘Roll Tide’ Takedown’.

This year’s BCS Championship could feature drama-like implications of a Giants-Patriots Super Bowl Rematch, giving it potential to be one of the greatest title games in sports history.

Judging by Quarterback Deshaun Watson and his Tigers’ incredible effort in the 45-40 prize fight just one year ago, college football fans can be confident that this will be another classic. It even adds to Clemson’s favor that their offense is on fire, after shocking the nation by shutting out No.3 Ohio State 31-0.

Not even the great offensive-minded Urban Meyer could overcome Clemson’s raw talent, as he was shutout for the first time ever in over 15 seasons as a head coach. The shutout should give the Tigers momentum and perhaps ‘more juice’ carrying forward.

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney believes that his team is even better than it was last year, and he may be right. Clemson’s dominant offensive and defensive performance at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl certainly validates Swinney’s belief, for they look more impressive than ever.

Can Clemson take down the Crimson Tide this year?

It may be one difficult task, but it could be possible for this Tigers’ team. If it is possible for any team to take down the Tide, it would be the Clemson Tigers.

On the flipside, Alabama is thinking about making history once again along with Nick Saban, as they continue to strive for greatness year after year. The Tide stay focused and dominate in each and every possible way – but starts with the defense, of course.

Saban is on pace to tie the legendary Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant for recording over six national championships, and on his way to being one of the prolific head coaches in sports. This title could really elevate him to being the elite coach.

Photo by Jim Ferguson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gotigersjf/251002843/) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Destination Dak: Cowboys win 10th straight game under rookie sensation

The Dallas Cowboys continue to shock the football world with their 31-26 win over the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day, setting a franchise record of winning their 10th straight.

Dallas’ rookie duo continues to put people in awe; Dak Prescott continues to improve each week at the quarterback position, creating a new sense of chemistry for the Cowboy’s offense with his veteran-like leadership.

Ezekiel Elliot’s early dominance somewhat overshadowed the development of Dak Prescott, but now with a 10-1 resume, the rookie quarterback’s success certainly
has been noticed. Prescott won the starting job over Tony Romo, but certainly didn’t happen over night.

Jerry Jones and Dallas Cowboys’ front office was torn on their quarterback controversy; Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had to remain unbiased in his decision to finally give the nod to start Prescott over Romo.

With years and years of accumulating a well endured player/owner relationship, Jones’ endearment for Romo was well-known, and many thought it would be a problem of interrupting the momentum under the rookie sensation – but it wasn’t. Jones finally learned to think with his head, and not his heart.

Wherever the work place is, sometimes in life, it can be hard to separate business from emotions.

While there is sadness, and yet grief for Jones, there is also excitement. On behalf of Jones, there has to be great optimism in his team; the Cowboys have the highest ceiling in any team in the NFL and their potential has been best in over two decades.

What does this success mean for Tony Romo?

Just a week past Romo’s incredible speech, his desire and passion to be a starting quarterback was well-acknowledged, and perhaps, “received”. Regarding the teams in the NFL that received Romo’s signal, was the Denver Broncos.

While Romo made his heart-felt, emotional speech, he also was sending an ‘open-ended’ invitation to teams around the league that: he’s still ready to compete for a starting job. His interest to play for another team next year is evident, as the Denver Broncos are reportedly Tony Romo’s team of interest for the 2017 NFL season.

Tony Romo and the Denver Broncos: seems like a perfect fit, right?

NFL rumors continue to hit the fan with trade talks of moving Trevor Siemian for Romo, and many believe this to be substantial truth, especially for Denver’s lack of fire power generating from the quarterback position.

A veteran quarterback backed up by a Super Bowl defense, could make the Denver Broncos one of most dangerous teams in the NFL. The Tony Romo/Denver Broncos idea could be a great one, but will have to be put to rest for now as Romo’s current team is on pace to be Super Bowl worthy.

Each week people are tuning in to see the rookie sensation, and see them to continue beat all odds. The Cowboys’ dangerous duo, Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott, account for over half of the offensive snaps per game – dominating playing time on offense.

It’s hard not to watch the new exciting chemistry that it is now of the Dallas Cowboys. NFL had stated Friday morning, “Yesterday’s Dallas-Washington game was the most watched NFL regular season game since 1995.”

I know the Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Team,” and everything, but that statistic really is newsworthy. Will Prescott and his Cowboys be able to keep this momentum ongoing to Minnesota?

Photo by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Dak Prescott) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

NFL Week 9 preview: truths or trends?

The 2016 NFL season is already halfway through, and with Week 9 being the legitimate anchor, the analysis and projections so far reflect either truths or trends.

Rather than analyzing each team’s personal, many projections in the NFL tend to be based on early trends or “fan favorites”. Some of the trending teams in the NFL right now, might just drift the wrong direction.

There is only a handful of real topflight quarterbacks in the NFL nowadays, and this makes it easier for such picks or predictions to fall into the mix of trends.

The Atlanta Falcons
certainly do have a top-tier quarterback they can count on, and that is Matt Ryan. Atlanta’s arsenal of weapons led by ‘Matty Ice’ and the No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones, make the Falcons a dangerous team in the NFC.

The Philadelphia Eagles
are another interesting team in the NFC, and is currently a legitimate sleeper under the new rookie sensation Carson Wentz. The No.2 overall pick shows poise,
ability, and toughness in his early success as a rookie – which has to make Eagles fans excited, or at least optimistic.

Philly is also sparked by a tenacious defensive front-seven, recording over two sacks a game followed by a total of six interceptions. This well-rounded team is accredited to the new chemistry under Doug Peterson, giving this Eagles team new energy.

Another legitimate truth this NFL season is the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have proved that they are a team to be deal with, certainly with their tough
defensive front, under rookie sensation – Joey Bosa. San Diego is bolstered also with great quarterback play once again, and Phillip Rivers is more than ready to lead his team to one more playoff run before his retirement questions comes into play.

Despite being 5-0, and having one of the best defenses in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings appears to be a mere trend.

After a ‘Halloween-like’ performance against the Bears Monday night, Minnesota showed its weakness as the top trend in the NFL. The Vikings revealed
their flaw on the offensive line, failing to protect Bradford, and the running game – giving up six sacks and only recording 58 yards total on the ground.

Their injuries on the running game are proving to be a concern, as Bradford appears to looking for more options on offense in his humble 200-yd effort.

The NFC favorites have a long road ahead of them, especially with the Cowboys currently rolling.

Derek Carr certainly inspired his young and talented Oakland Raiders last year as rookie, and plans to continue his roll, leading the AFC West with a 6-2 record.  With the help of star receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, Carr’s passing trio looks to be a dangerous one.

The elite offense of the Raiders is accompanied by a variety of running backs who can efficiently carry the rock, but are dealing without their top tier running back for the time being. With Latavius Murray set to return soon, it will be up too DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard, and Jamize Olawale to produce valuable yards to keep their offense stay well-balanced.

Though Oakland’s running backs are filling in the void for Murray, their offense still lies more heavily on the passing game. The Raiders need to stay healthy and well balanced as a team to be one of NFL’s truths rather than
trends.

Photo by Joe Bielawa [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A Hollywood ending: Dodgers advance to NLCS in a 4-3 thriller over the Nationals

The Los Angeles Dodgers lived up to the challenge Thursday Night at Nationals Park: beating all odds in a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals, the all-time classic NLDS Game 5 resembled a Hollywood-like ending for Dodger Nation.

The Dodgers had finally hurdled their playoff-obstacle in a “dreamlike” fashion, and got the NLDS monkey off their backs.

Los Angeles has an opportunity to put an end to their playoff droughts, and it starts in Chicago. The MLB Postseason 2016 headlines are surreal, so surreal, they could not even be scripted: Dodgers’ magic vs. Cubs’ miracle NLDS series victory.

The Dodgers proved Thursday night that the Cubs are not the only team aiming to end championship droughts. The road to Chicago will be one to remember, for the Dodger-Cubs NLCS matchup is as good as it gets.

Photo by Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

NFL’s quarterly review: why Prescott, Beckham, and Watt headline Week 4 

Within a quarter into the 2016 NFL season, the league has already experienced a dramatic sense of highs and lows, from season-ending injuries to season-saving prodigies.

The Houston Texans have announced that JJ Watt is officially out for the remainder of the season after receiving back surgery on Thursday. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been placed on the injured reserved list, according to ESPN.

This organization was optimistic starting off the season with a full-arsenal at defense, a personal they planned for when drafting Clowney back in 2014. Texans’ Head Coach, Bill O’ Brien, again will need to address both sides of the ball.

What will the Texans look like without Watt?

Concerns on offense as well as defense really do give Texans’ fans a reason to think, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Just four weeks into the 2016 NFL season, injuries have
already have become a detriment to teams, some even are playoff-doubtful; the Dallas Cowboys will have to deal with the obstacle of missing their star
quarterback Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.  For Cowboy fans, 2016 just looks like a mirror image of last season, until Dak Prescott emerged.

Leaving on a good note during the preseason, Cowboys nation was optimistic of Prescott’s success, but remained questionable if it would carry over to the regular season, and it most certainly did.

The Prescott hype is real, and it is thriving in Dallas.

While the rookie remains humble, and consistent through out his work, Prescott fans around the league are anything but modest. Some believe he would be legitimate starter over Romo if he was healthy today, according to foxsports.com, Terry Bradshaw told Collin Cowherd he would bench Romo even if healthy in favor Prescott.

The journey of the Cowboys continues through destination Dak; they will need to achieve their goals under the rookie sensation. The Cowboys are carrying momentum in their 2-1 record, and are favored on their road trip to San Francisco on Sunday.

Following the loss to the Redskins last week, Odell Beckham finds himself somewhere in the middle of NFL’s highs and lows by expressing his emotions on his sleeve. Beckham’s temper-tantrum on Sunday, was just a mere distraction to his New York Giants personal, rather than a detriment – as he certainly was
a factor in helping them win a tough fought game.

Beckham, 23, is one of the most electric wide receivers in the NFL and his personality is a big part of it. The young superstar is starting to remind some folks of Terrell Owens, extreme talent but also with extreme antics.

Of course there is some animosity towards the young superstar, but for most cases the cards are in his hands to become the next superstar in New York.

Photo by Dusannrt4714 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons