It’s April 20th…and the first weekend of football is 21 Sundays away but it’s still fun to project how teams might far based on how their schedule shapes up. Obviously these projections will likely be affected by draft picks, free agency moves, trades, and injuries come Labor Day Weekend but here’s my first crack at how I could see things playing out this Fall.
Is it wrong to admit that I believe Super Bowl LII was the most entertaining in my lifetime? Off the top of my head it was one of the most compelling games from start-to-finish that I can remember. Here are three leftover (and probably somewhat crazy) thoughts from the day after the game:
1. Doug Pederson coached circles around Bill Belichick.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Philadelphia deserved to win this game. On offense, the Eagles’ play-calling was superior from beginning to end. I figured that Belichick, a defensive genius and the best-NFL coach I might ever see in my lifetime, would find a way to slow down Nick Foles, especially with two weeks of prep time. Didn’t happen. In fact Foles arguably played just as well as he did against the Vikings two weeks ago in the NFC Championship Game. I’m a firm believer that defense wins championships – however in this case, coaching and game-planning were significant factors in Philadelphia’s first ever Super Bowl championship. Pederson, in only two seasons as an NFL head coach, now belongs among the current NFL coaching greats.
I think it’s well-documented on this blog that I like to make predictions. While I may not be entirely accurate all-the-time, they’re fun to write and hopefully to read. With only one meaningful game left in the NFL season (sorry, Pro Bowl), here’s a recap as to how I did making picks and predictions from last Summer through last weekend. Enjoy!
In honor of Labor Day…here’s a super-sized column highlighting my (official) NFL predictions for 2017 and plenty of thoughts on college football’s awesome first weekend.
What did I really think of UofA’s 62-24 win on Saturday night? Is my national championship pick toast after Week 1? And why didn’t I include Liberty or Howard in my Best Bets from last Friday? Those topics and more in the second half of the blog.
But first let’s talk NFL. Remember my pre-preseason predictions? Time to revise those in a major way. No more Jaguars winning the AFC South. Downgrade the Bills after their preseason sell-off. And I’m adding a surprise playoff team in the NFC.
Training camps are underway which means the NFL preseason is almost here! Before the Cardinals and Cowboys get things started on Thursday night, here’s a four-pack of what I think will happen in 2017-18. I’ve probably mentioned at few of these in previous blogs but here I’ll go in-depth:
FIRST DOWN: The New England Patriots will once again go undefeated in the regular season.
Hey they did it in 2008, why not again this season? After battling back from a 28-3 third quarter deficit to win Super Bowl LI in overtime, I have to believe the Pats’ momentum will continue into the regular season. In the offseason they made some key personnel changes:
RB: Mike Gillislee (from Buffalo) and Rex Burkhead (from Cincinnati) for LaGarrette Blount (went to Philadelphia)
WR: Brandin Cooks (from New Orleans)
TE: Dwayne Allen (from Indianapolis) for Martellus Bennett (went to Green Bay)
DE: Kony Ealy (from Carolina)
CB: Stephon Gilmore (from Buffalo) for Logan Ryan (went to Tennessee)
To sum it up, they acquired more running back depth, an elite wide receiver, a very solid backup tight end, an underrated defensive end, and a shutdown cornerback.
Oh yeah…and New England gets the best tight end in the league, (former UofA standout) Rob Gronkowski, back after missing the last half of the 2016 regular season and playoffs.
This roster is EASILY the best in the league and I’m not sure anyone else’s is close.
A round-about of what’s happening in the sports world + some 2nd half of 2017 predictions for you in today’s quick hitters:
-So the latest rumor in NBA circles is that the Suns will meet with free agents Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap this weekend. Griffin is the more flashy name but considering his injury history, I’m all for Phoenix bringing in the steady, yet under-appreciated Millsap instead.
-Speaking of wacky NBA moves, Chris Paul to the Rockets? James Harden had an MVP-type season as the point guard so let’s bring in arguably the best ball distributor in the league? I don’t get it at all for Houston. This doesn’t make them closer to beating Golden State…let’s be honest. Continue reading “Friday, 6/30 Quick Hitters”→