Could there be two LA teams in Super Bowl LIII?

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The two teams representing Los Angeles, the Rams and now the Chargers, could make an all-L.A. Super Bowl this year for the first time in NFL history.

The Rams and Chargers are both the most dangerous and talented teams in the NFL.

Starting with the red-hot Chargers, and their Sergeant General Phillip Rivers, who is displaying some of the best quarterback play in his career. Rivers threw for over 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns in another impressive season, and hopes to keep the momentum going in the playoffs.

The Chargers have a tough Divisional Round matchup against the New England Patriots this Sunday, In Foxborough. To make matters worse, Rivers is 0-7 against QB Tom Brady and his Patriots in the playoffs.

It is hard to count out the Patriots in the playoffs, but I think the Chargers have more firepower to deal with New England.

Chargers’ Head Coach Anthony Lynn will make sure to utilize Melvin Gordon, and the running game to keep a well-balanced attack against the Patriots’ defense. Rivers will be up to the challenge, knowing that, he will need to play smart football in a very hostile environment.

Since the start of the season, the Rams have always been the team to beat, and now they are here postseason. Jared Goff and teammate Todd Gurley certainly have matured, along with their Head Coach Sean McVay.

Goff, and his team are favored against the Dallas Cowboys this Saturday, but could be an interesting matchup based on the opponent’s skilled defense. The Rams will certainly have to do more than just simply pound the rock in order to score on Dallas.

While I think Dallas defense is dominant, I think the Ram’s offensive will be too much for the Cowboys to deal with.

There is a great chance that both of these LA teams advance in the next round, and even after that…which means Super Bowl LIII.

Photo by Jeffrey Beall [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A Dez Bryant-Patriots signing would be Randy ‘Moss-esk’

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With just a month left before the 2018 NFL season begins, Dez Bryant still has yet to sign with a team, but is rumored to be meeting with a contender.

There is little news about Dez Bryant or any of his potential suitors in free agency, except for his dis-interest in the Cleveland Browns. The Browns commented yesterday that Bryant didn’t really seem attracted to the idea of signing.

Bryant, recently just told the media that “he wants to play for a contender”, even after failing to sign with a team with just weeks away from regular season. He is basically limiting his options in free agency, but is sticking to his Owens-like character, wanting to win now.

Rumors have it that the Bryant’s next destination could be in New England, as the Patriots would make perfect sense for the Pro-Bowl wide receiver.

The Patriots reportedly have not contacted Bryant, which is the vintage “Patriot way” to not release any information to the media. The gossip starts with Tom Brady and his like for Bryant, many believe he is recruiting the former Dallas Cowboy.

The buzz continues after recent news that Patriots are releasing wide receiver Malcom Mitchell. Sources around the league speculate that New England is clearing a path to sign Dez.

New England needs help at the wide receiver position to say the least; with the Brandon Cooks trade to the Los Angeles Rams, and Julian Edelman still recovering from the ACL injury, Patriots might just have to roll the dice with Dez. While there is the “baggage” that comes with Bryant, the talent is still there, and derives a strong passion for the game – something key to spark the Patriots’ offense.

Tom Brady, 41, is most likely going to retire after the end of the 2018-2019 NFL season. It looks like this is a do-or-die season for the Brady-Belicheck era.

Could Dez give the Patriots the boost they need to make it another Super Bowl?

Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Ezekiel Elliot eligible to play, for the time being

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Ezekiel Elliot is fully dialed in after hearing news he’ll be able to return to the field for Dallas Cowboys’ game opener on Sunday against the New York Giants.

The Cowboys are also locked and loaded – now that they have Ezekiel Elliot at their arsenal, who is eligible to play in Week 1 according to Ian Rapport, via ESPN.

The Rookie of the Year candidate had been training all summer camp long as if he was eligible to play every game, according to sources. He is already focused, and ready for the Dallas – Giants rivalry this weekend.

While the ruling for Elliot’s six-game suspension is still in limbo, he is keeping football solely on my mind.

The Cowboys and their star running back, both had the mindset on playing Week 1; Head Coach Jason Garrett and staff did a great job of keeping Elliot, as well as the team, away from distractions. Especially when the Cowboys are completely surrounded by distractions everyday with the label, “America’s Team”.

From the perspective of a Cowboys’ fan, and having Elliot on my fantasy team, Cowboys Nation is getting a huge boost this Sunday. You can imagine the confidence added to their locker room, “Ezek the Beast” is back, so let’s roll.

In a game that is decided by a touchdown or less years after years, especially in a rivalry game like this, Elliot will help the Cowboys chances of winning tremendously. It’s definitely something to get excited about, if you’re a Cowboys fan or a fantasy owner at least.

Ezekiel Elliot back in the lineup for the Cowboys is huge, but doesn’t necessarily mean this rivalry game will be any less than unpredictable.

Photo by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

NFL Training Camp 2017: August is here and football season is just around the corner 

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Training camp is underway, and is already jolting its way through to the NFL Preseason, which is set to begin on Thursday – which means football is on the horizon fellas.

The best season of the year is coming, and no it is not winter. The NFL is coming, and its time to get pumped!

With preseason set to begin in just a couple days, that also means college football is here to satisfy our football fanatic needs as well.

The 2017-2018 NFL season will be filled with parody and more fluidity than recent past with key veteran trades, and high-risk, high-reward draft acquisitions. Premier NFL Rookies like Deshone Kizer, Leonard Fournette, and James Conner are already turning heads during this offseason.

The dumpster fire, that is the Cleveland Browns, has had an offseason to remember with accumulating some of the best players in the draft – starting with the no.1 overall pick, Myles Garrett. These new acquisitions will help this team finally go in the right direction, and actually give them some kind of relevancy.

Myles Garrett will give this franchise the biggest impact it has seen in years, because he’s a straight up beast.

Standing at 6’4’’, 270 pounds, Garrett is one hell of a force to deal with. His gifted stature, added with his freakish athleticism and ridiculous amount of power, makes him a scary opponent for any offensive line to face.

Garrett and Quarterback Deshone Kizer were seen running 100-yard sprints shortly after the Browns’ practice ended, showing the team the extra drive they need in order to be successful. This is good news for the Cleveland, for their draft pick acquisitions are already showing progress and flashes of their self-worth.

If any player were to live up to the hype, it would certainly be the monster defensive end from Texas A&M, that is Myles Garrett.

The Browns other two key 1st round picks: safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku, were some of the most athletic players in the draft. Many NFL draft experts and league sources say that Peppers was a complete steal with the 25th overall pick in the first round (could have easily been top 10 overall).

Peppers, the most versatile player in the entire draft, showed the nation last year his athleticism could be shown in three, four different positions. According to ESPN, Peppers had over 355 snaps at defensive back, 324 at linebacker, 29 at quarterback, 12 at wide receiver, and 10 at running back.

The star defensive player from Michigan also returned 21 punts and 10 kickoffs – now that’s versatility for you.

Cleveland’s logical decisions with this year’s draft will help turn the franchise around in the 2017-2018 season. Now that the Browns are building pieces to the puzzle on defense, it is now up to the quarterback rotation to take them to postseason.

Could the Cleveland Browns really be a playoff team in the next two, three years?

Right now there are teams on the brink of either turning things around, and or finally living up to their potential, like the Dallas Cowboys. Winning 10-straight games under the NFL Rookie of the year, Dak Prescott, the Cowboys looked like a serious threat last season – until that wasn’t the case.

The Cowboys won 10 games in a row under Prescott, finishing 1st in the NFC East with 13-3 overall. Many people believed that fellow star rookie Ezekiel Elliot would win the award, showing promise at running back with over 1,631 yards.

Being a huge Cowboys fan for years, I am not really sure how to feel about last year’s success, because let’s face it, their still the Cowboys. The hype with Cowboysnation was through the roof, much of the incentive coming from their star rookies (And maybe from no Tony Romo).

There are still many questions on the defensive side of the ball with this team, especially after star cornerback Morris Claiborne taking off to the New York Jets. Even with the Cowboys’ priority to improve their pass rush, their will still a huge focus on the new group of defensive backs.

This Cowboys team will need to find chemistry with the new faces on defense, especially if they want to live up to the hype train that is in Dallas. Will they be able to live up the hype with all said and done?

The NFL this year will feature drama, hype, and promise – the question is which teams will fit in these categories. After all, the Cowboys are the Cowboys, and the Browns are the Browns – can this year be different for teams like these?

Photo by Erik Drost (Deshone Kizer) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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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

2016-2017 NFL Predictions   

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Football is just around the corner, so that means there will be conversation, analysis, and predictions – the 2016-2017 NFL season is already underway.  The high draft pick acquisitions certainly upgraded a few team’s roster, and thus give a higher ceiling for the teams that are on the playoff-bubble; here is my breakdown and projections for this upcoming NFL season.

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys

2. Washington Redskins

3. NY Giants

4. Philadelphia Eagles

Cowboys under Tony Romo, being that he is at 90-95% healthy, will lead a Cowboys team with an elite passing game and along with a fully-reloaded running game. Along with their quarterback, the impact of Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas should have the strongest attack in NFC – however my prediction could be in jeopardy with the recent breaking news Saturday, NFL.com stated that Tony Romo broke a bone in his back once again.

There is no official timetable for Romo’s injury, but NFL.com reported an estimated return will be mid-season – a similar situation to last season, except the season hasn’t even officially started and he already injured.

With Tony Romo set to be out for weeks, it looks like another predictable outcome for Dallas; Elliot and the prestigious O-line will need to help carry the load for Romo’s absence. The Redskins have the chance to win the NFC East once again with their recent upgrades on both sides of the ball, they will be a hard team to beat in the NFC.

The New York Giants’ roster is similar to the Dallas Cowboys, they always have the potential to go playoff bound and further, but the question is if they will allow themselves top do so. The Giants always have a shot to be threat in the East with Manning as their QB, the concern will be if they can expand their full-potential.

NFC West

1. Seahawks

2. Cardinals

3. Rams

4. 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals are deservingly in the conversation to win the NFC West, but I give a slight edge to the Seahawks because of their versatility at quarterback. It is well known based on last season, that the 49ers have to prove a lot, certainly with the QB battle still being discussion with Kaepernick and Gabbert. Yeah, Blaine Gabbert.

NFC South

1. Panthers

2. Buccaneers

3. Saints

4. Falcons

New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons remain questionable, and with the respect to Drew Brees, Saints get slight favorite over Falcons. Tampa Bay, yes Tampa Bay, is one of my sleeper teams this 2016-2017 NFL season.

NFC North

1. Packers

2. Bears

3. Vikings

4.
Lions

Vikings are improving under Mike Zimmer, and if it weren’t for a 27-yd missed chip shot, they would’ve gotten out higher on this list and gained more respect throughout the league. For the Vikings, unfortunately this is a tough division, and they find themselves just a fraction away.

The Lions remain the most questionable in the NFC North, especially with the retiring of their superstar Calvin Johnson, someone will need to help fill the wide-receiver vacancy.

Packers have their secret weapon back – Jordy Nelson, and always are in the Super Bowl discussion with Aaron Rodgers. Their division rival, Bears are improving under John Fox, and will be interesting to see how Kevin White along the emerging wide receivers will compliment their defense.

AFC East

1. Patriots

2. Jets

3. Dolphins

4. Bills

Despite Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, Patriots’ 11-consecutive winning seasons under the Belicheck era speak for itself.

Jets are starting to come up with the new identity under Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall had Montana/Rice-like chemistry last year, and are considered one of the best pass duos in the league.

I give the Dolphins a slight, slight edge over the Bills – Miami may as well be tied with Buffalo. Tannehill is rising and has been productive, but still has a lot to prove in my perspective.

Bills could surprise the league with a better record than Jets and the Dolphins, but remain suspect with their young quarterback-tandem and rigorous schedule.

AFC West

1. Raiders

2. Broncos

3. Chiefs

4. Chargers

Probably the biggest surprise in this year’s prediction is: Raiders winning the AFC West, partly due to the suspect QB situation in Denver, but Oakland’s captain Derek Carr gives the team potential with great quarterback play. Broncos still have a Super Bowl defense, but again questions remain on the offensive end.

The Chargers have young talent and great prospects for the future, however under Rivers’ recent decline, San Diego remains under-construction.

AFC South

1. Colts

2. Jaguars

3. Texans

4. Titans

Andrew luck is due for another breakout season, and will be reminiscent to the Andrew Luck we are accustomed to seeing. The Jaguars’ re improving each year, and now are taking huge strides for success with the potential from Bortles & company, along with their recent high draft picks.  Not much has changed for Titans this offseason, Mariota has high ceiling but team is suspect.

AFC North

1. Steelers

2. Ravens

3. Browns

4. Bengals

Roethlisberger is aging, but the Antonio Brown chemistry is still there, and remain one of the elite passing threats in the league. Ravens remain a consistent all-around, physical and experienced team with another shot to make a run to the playoffs.

Browns are another sleeper team with great potential, with higher ceiling under Robert Griffin III leading the offense and their superstar Josh Gordon to make his long awaited return.

Photo by Pete Sheffield (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons