2017 NFL Mock Draft

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This year, I’ve decided I have to jump on the NFL Mock Draft train. I can never recall a year in which every Mock Draft is almost completely different, showing how talented this draft class is and how no one really knows what’s going to happen on draft day.

Take a look at my predictions (without trades, which I believe there will be 2-3 of in the first round):

1. Cleveland Browns

Myles Garrett, DE

This is the only no-brainer in this draft class. Garrett has unparalleled athleticism and can be considered more of a lock than DE Jadeveon Clowney was when he came into the league. By pairing Garrett on the D-Line with DT Danny Shelton, LB Jamie Collins at the next level, and CB Joe Haden in the secondary, the Browns would have the makings of a strong defensive unit.

 

2. San Francisco 49ers

Mitchell Trubisky, QB

There is only one quarterback in this draft that I deem worthy of a first round selection, and that is not Trubisky. However, new coach Kyle Shanahan will want to draft a signal caller he can develop and mold into the player he wants. Trubisky has very limited experience at the NCAA level, and would most likely sit for half the season behind veteran QB Brian Hoyer. And yes, I am assuming that QB Kirk Cousins stays in Washington.

 

3. Chicago Bears

Solomon Thomas, DE

Thomas is one of those players that I didn’t hear about too much during the season, but once the workouts and projections began, he flew up draft boards. Now, he’s a projected Top-5 pick. Bears’ coach John Fox loves to build a strong defense, and there is no better way than to start in the trenches.

 

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Leonard Fournette, RB

Yes, the Jaguars will make a splash and take the first running back off the board at the NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Louisiana StateNo. 4 spot. Jacksonville hasn’t had a consistent rushing attack since Fred Taylor donned the uniform, and QB Blake Bortles is just a year removed from a Pro Bowl caliber season. By adding Fournette, the Jaguars gain an immediate starter and power running game that will set Bortles up to succeed in the passing game. While Fournette is not the best option through the air, he is still the best running back in this class.

 

5. Tennessee Titans

Malik Hooker, S

Hooker is one of the top defensive back prospects in the draft. Coming from Ohio State, Hooker has the experience and playmaking ability NFL teams need in the secondary. The Titans boasted one of the league’s worse defensive backfields last season, and recently just cut CB Jason McCourty. The team needs reinforcements in the worst way.

 

6. New York Jets

DeShaun Watson, QB

At the No. 6 spot, the Jets could end up walking away with the draft’s best quarterback. Watson has the most experience and playmaking ability of any of this year’s signal callers, and would be a Day One starter for NY. Pairing Watson with WR Eric Decker could make for some highlights in what should be yet another tough season for the Jets.

 

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Mike Williams, WR

QB Philip Rivers time is running short with the team, and he needs weapons on offense. Last year after WR Keenan Allen went down, Rivers was left with an aging TE Antonio Gates in an otherwise stagnant offense. Williams would provide the big target that Rivers has never had on the outside, and would open up the passing game with three legitimate threats down the field.

 

8. Carolina Panthers

Jonathan Allen, DL

If there’s one team that values the defensive line heavily, its the Carolina Panthers. At the No. 8 spot, the team can pick Allen, who was once projected to be one of the top two picks in the draft. Allen can immediately start at either a defensive tackle or defensive end, depending on where the team views him as the best fit.

 

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Reuben Foster, LB

Foster is the best linebacker in the draft, and the Bengals love to add dominant linebackers. Plus, the team recently released LB Rey Maulaluga, a mainstay in the middle of the defense. By adding Foster, the team would pair him with LB Vontaze Burfict, to give them a solid duo in the middle of the field for the next few seasons.

 

10. Buffalo Bills

Cam Robinson, T

If there were a team that I believe would trade down in this draft, it would be the Buffalo Bills. This team has a lot of holes, and by adding some picks later in the draft, they can fill them with young players. However, if they were to stay at 10, Robinson is a great choice to plug in as a Day One starter on the offensive line, to help protect QB Tyrod Taylor.

 

11. New Orleans Saints

Corey Davis, WR

I believe Davis is the best all-around wide receiver in this draft. Despite playing at a smaller school, Davis’s all around package of size, speed, and playmaking ability makes him an ideal fit for the NFL. QB Drew Brees only has a few years left in the league, so bringing in Davis gives them an immediate weapon while also providing a target for the QB of the future.

 

12. Cleveland Browns

O.J. Howard, TE

Assuming that the Browns don’t trade this pick, they will need to provide their signal caller some weapons in the passing game. My predictions have the Browns missing out on their QB of the future in the first round, but adding a young stud like Howard provides pieces for down the road. Howard is the unquestioned top tight end of this draft, and can be a Day One starter in the NFL. His size and athletic ability give Howard the potential to be a perennial Pro Bowler.

 

13. Arizona Cardinals

Derek Barnett, DE

The Cardinals defense has been a nasty, tough unit over the past few seasons. The team has relied on its defensive front getting pressure on the quarterback and stuffing the running game to gain the advantage on defense. Barnett fits right into the nasty, tough mold, and gives the Cardinals a much needed edge rush presence.

 

14. Philadelphia Eagles

Gareon Conley, CB

The Eagles biggest need is cornerbacks, so it should be no surprise that the team will 74715_hjump on the chance to select one with its first round pick. Conley has shown that he has everything necessary to be a solid starter in the NFL, and would be immediately thrown into the fire with this Philadelphia team.

 

15. Indianapolis Colts

Ryan Ramczyk, T

The Colts have struggled protecting QB Andrew Luck. In the past few seasons, Luck has been forced to miss time with injury. By adding Ramczyk to the O-Line, the team has the tackle positions covered, which should create some depth for the interior of the line.

 

16. Baltimore Ravens

Tre’Davious White, CB

The Ravens are lacking in the secondary. Outside of S Eric Weddle and CB Jimmy Smith, the Dirty Birds are rather pedestrian in the defensive backfield. White would immediately become a starter on the opposite side of Smith, and would form a formidable core for the future.

 

17. Washington Redskins

John Ross, WR

After losing both WRs DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to free agency, the Redskins brought in WR Terrelle Pryor as a replacement. However, with just one year of receiving experience under his belt, and with WR Josh Doctson basically redshirting his rookie season, QB Kirk Cousins will need some targets. Adding Ross gives the Redskins a deep threat and dangerous slot option as that group of receivers could grow together over the next few seasons.

 

18. Tennessee Titans

Marshon Lattimore, S

This is my big drop prediction for the draft. Teams have concerns about Lattimore’s ability to stay healthy, but no one doubts his potential to become a solid defensive back. In this draft, with so many players that seem to be safe picks, you want to nail your first rounder. It’s all about finding a team willing to take a bet on Lattimore. After all the problems the Titans have had in the secondary, I’m sure they would be thrilled to get Lattimore near the bottom of the first round.

 

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dalvin Cook, RB

florida-state-dalvin-cook-1000Cook is a no-brainer to the Bucs. To me, it’s amazing that he would fall this far, but this is what many are projecting to happen on Draft Day, and I don’t see it being out of the realm of possibility. Of course, the team already has concerns at the position with RB Doug Martin facing a PED suspension, and Cook would give the team an all-around back with fresh legs in the league. Plus, Cook could reunite with QB Jameis Winston to keep the Florida State connection going.

 

20. Denver Broncos

Forrest Lamp, G

Lamp is coming from a smaller school in Western Kentucky, but has shown scouts what they need to believe he is one of the best interior lineman of this class. The Broncos need to bulk up on the line to protect whoever they have start at QB.

 

21. Detroit Lions

Haason Reddick, LB

The Lions have a hole at LB that has been there since Stephen Tulloch left and grew now that the team released DeAndre Levy this off season. Reddick can step in to start in the middle of the defense, and is athletic enough to make plays all over the field. This is a good fit for both sides.

 

22. Miami Dolphins

David Njoku, TE

The Dolphins are in need of a tight end to be QB Ryan Tannehill’s safety blanket. This would help the Fins’ offense, creating room for WR Jarvis Landry on the outside while opening up space for the running game.

 

23. New York Giants

Garett Bolles, T

The Giants need to add an offensive lineman, and I have Bolles as the best available left in the first round. It will be interesting to see where the G-Men would slot Bolles and T Ereck Flowers, but Bolles gives them a strong option along the line.

 

24. Oakland Raiders

Kevin King, CB

The Raiders’ defense is almost complete, and adding to the secondary is the best way to get there. King would be able to step in and start on the outside or at the nickelback position.

 

25. Houston Texans

Taco Charlton, DE

The Texans need to bulk up on the defensive line as DEs Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt are injury prone. Adding Charlton to the group creates some depth and a potentially dominate pass rush for Houston.

 

26. Seattle Seahawks

Malik McDowell, DT

The Seahawks are at there best when the defensive line is the primary source of a solid pass rush. Adding McDowell to the middle of a defensive front with ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett frees them up to get pressure on the outside and to the quarterback.

 

27. Kansas City Chiefs

Christian McCaffrey, RBChristian-McCaffrey

Many have McCaffrey higher on their draft boards, but not too long ago, he was slotted to go in the back of the first round. There are a few that compare McCaffrey to former Eagles’ RB Brian Westbrook, and Westbrook’s former coach leads the Chiefs. I’m one that believes McCaffrey is a part time back, but can still be a dynamic playmaker.

28. Dallas Cowboys

T.J. Watt, OLB

Another Watt to the state of Texas. The Cowboys need to add a pass rusher, and Watt would be able to play a little bit of end in 4-3 sets.

29. Green Bay Packers

Charles Harris, OLB

Harris has been flying up some draft boards, but I think he drops and fits in well with the Packers, who need to add pass rushers as well. With many concerns in the secondary, rushing the passer may be the best way to limit big plays for the Pack.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Jarrad Davis, LB

Another linebacker for the Steelers. Davis is a player could play well in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, and should fit in well next to MLB Ryan Shazier.

31. Atlanta Falcons

Takkarist McKinley, DE

The Falcons, like so many teams, need to add pass rushers. McKinley should slot in at an end spot, and provide a well-rounded game for Atlanta.

32. New Orleans Saints

Patrick Mahomes, QB

The Saints get their quarterback of the future in Mahomes. While he may have tools to be an NFL quarterback, he definitely needs development. Now, he can learn from QB Drew Brees and sit for quite possibly the next two full seasons behind him. That would give Mahomes time to develop (think Aaron Rodgers) before getting the chance to start.

On the bubble: Marlon Humphrey – CB, Jabrill Peppers – S, Jordan Willis – OLB, Adoree’ Jackson – CB

 

Why A Johnny Manziel Trade To The Cowboys Is Best

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Less than two years removed from being selected with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL Draft, it appears QB Johnny Manziel‘s career with the Cleveland Browns is over. After a highly publicized up and down ride with the team that has resulted in benching and ultimately disapproval from

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Johnny Manziel (above) has had a less than successful tenure with the Cleveland Browns.

the coaching staff, it appears that the Browns are ready to move on from Manziel and his antics. Frankly, I think that is the best thing for Manziel and the Browns.

First off, I’m going to take the unpopular stance and defend Manziel. Obviously, he enjoys partying, but don’t many other professional athletes with millions of dollars at their disposal? In fact, I believe it is only publicized because Manziel is such a polarizing figure, and media outlets and companies know he’s a walking headline. I would be willing to bet that a Super Bowl winning quarterback has gone out with some teammates at some point this season, and not had it make national news.

Second, when Manziel has seen the field, he has been the best Browns’ quarterback in the past decade, and simply has not seen enough consistent playing time to build any sort of rhythm or overpowering results. Simply put, I believe the Browns have mishandled Manziel (and the team in general).

So, when you move passed all of the media headlines, I see a quarterback that is less than two years removed from being a first round pick that needs a fresh start and opportunity to learn a system, and get consistent playing time before being written off.

This is where the Cowboys come in. Owner Jerry Jones made comments to the media recently about being willing to acquire a quarterback to back up QB Tony Romo even if it took some “considerable risk.” Just a guess based

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Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones (above) has never been afraid to make headlines or bold moves.

on history (Jones is reported to have wanted to draft Manziel in 2014) but I figure that Jones is referencing Manziel. At this point, it probably wouldn’t cost the Cowboys more than a fifth round pick to acquire a player with high upside, which is definitely worth the risk.

All in all, I think a Manziel trade to the Cowboys would be a perfect scenario and environment for him to succeed (and trust me, it burns to say that for an Eagles’ fan). First, Manziel is rumored to be interested in going to Dallas, as he is from Texas and went to college at Texas A&M. This may be a better environment for him, as he would be able to be surrounded by family and friends. Although, that could be a double-edged sword, as it is possible that the same people Manziel surrounds himself with are also part of his off the field issues. However, I’d be willing to bet that Manziel would be gracious enough to have an opportunity to play at home that he would be an “outstanding” citizen of sorts, simply making less headlines and being known more for his play on the field.

Second, Manziel would be able to settle into a backup role and learn the system behind oft-injured QB Tony Romo. With an off season, training camp, and a few regular season games to sit, watch and become comfortable, I think Manziel would be ready to go when called upon.

Third, the Cowboys offense has transformed in the past couple of seasons to rely on the running game first behind a tenacious offensive line. If Dallas were to add a dynamic running back, the passing game would play second fiddle, and be able to become more explosive once the defense is drawn into the box to play the run. This would benefit not only Manziel but Romo, who had his best season in 2014 when RB DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing. Not to mention that Manziel provides a dual-threat at quarterback, and would add another dimension to the Dallas offense to cause opposing defenses headaches.

Finally, by shipping a low draft pick to Cleveland for Manziel, the Cowboys would be making a low risk, high reward move that could net them their quarterback of the future. If it didn’t work out for some reason, be it more off the field issues or simply lack of talent, the Cowboys would be able to move on and draft a quarterback better suited for them.

Overall, I believe this is a move that needs to happen, and could result in a dynamic offense in Dallas for years to come.

Top Choices for Eagles’ Head Coaching Search

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After what could only be described as a disastrous year run as head coach and final decision maker on player personnel, the Philadelphia Eagles and owner Jeffrey Lurie decided it was time to remove Chip Kelly from his post.

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Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie (above) decided the franchise needed to go in a different direction.

Kelly made a number of questionable roster moves in the off season prior to 2015, trading the franchise’s all-time leading rusher LaSean McCoy, allowing WR Jeremy Maclin to leave via free agency, and releasing Pro Bowl G Evan Mathis in the summer.

Overall, Kelly shipped out All-Star talent and was not able to replace it, and his demeanor and overbearing “control everything” style did not sit well with the players, or other members of the Eagles’ front office.

Now, the team embarks on a coaching search to find Kelly’s long term replacement, with a few key attributes in mind. The Eagles want the next coach to be a strong personality, someone who can represent the players and front office in the media, and not “turn off” so many people in the way that Kelly did.

Next, the coach must be a better communicator and have more of a cooperative style with his players, which is an area that Kelly really lacked a skill set in. Finally, the coach must be in it for the long haul, and have the belief of the team and staff that he can truly lead them to a Super Bowl victory.

While a number of names have been floated around in the past week, I believe there are only a few names that fit this criteria, and would make a good hire for the Eagles.

In order of preference, here are my choices for next head coach of the Eagles:

1. Sean Payton – current New Orleans Saints’ head coach

Until Payton has met with GM Mickey Loomis and owner Tom Benson, this

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Sean Payton (above) could be considered a top candidate for several coaching jobs if the Saints part ways with the coach,

is nothing more than a dream. However, if the trio meet and decide it is best to part ways, Payton would immediately become the top candidate. After reviving the Saints’ franchise and winning a Super Bowl title, Payton and the team have been hamstrung by large contracts, taking away their ability to acquire the proper talent to put a winner on the field. That being said, Payton’s track record and favor-ability with players speak for themselves. The icing on top of the cake is that Payton is already familiar with Philadelphia and the franchise, having coached here previously. Essentially, hiring Payton would be a complete 180 from Kelly, and instantly breathe new life into the franchise, as well as attract free agent players to a new and enticing landing spot.

2. Adam Gase – current Bears’ offensive coordinator

Gase is probably best known for his work with Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning, as the two teamed up to put up two of the most prolific seasons for an offense in the history of the NFL. Gase was a popular candidate last off season and interviewed with a few teams, and is already scheduled to speak with the Cleveland Browns. Overall, Gase would provide a much more traditional NFL-style offense, youth, and a breath of fresh air. He is the type of coach that could be the leader of a franchise for 10+ years, and continuity is important to Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie.

3. Steve Spagnuolo – current New York Giants’ defensive coordinator

Another assistant coach under Andy Reid, Spagnuolo has already had a head coaching job in the NFL, struggling through a couple seasons with the St. Louis Rams. After returning to a role as defensive coordinator, Spagnuolo has shown that he is still a valuable member of a staff in the NFL. Having a familiarity with the Eagles should give him a step up on his competition, but the fact that he is a defensive coach may also benefit him, as the Eagles may be looking to transition in that direction after experimenting with an offensive coach in Kelly.

4. Doug Pederson – current Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator

Pederson has direct ties to the Eagles, playing quarterback for the team in the late ’90s, and being a former coach under Reid. When Reid was axed and left for Kansas City, Pederson followed and gained a position as offensive coordinator, and has led a Chiefs’ offense without All-Pro RB Jamaal Charles to 10 straight victories and a postseason victory. Like some of these other candidates, Pederson’s familiarity with the team should benefit him, and his success this season is definitely something that will interest the Eagles.

After these candidates, it is difficult to imagine a higher that will truly make a large impact on the Eagles. Other rumored candidates, such as Pat Shurmur or even Mike Shanahan, both fizzled out as head coaches in their last positions, and are better left in coordinator roles or retired (as Shanahan had been).

Super Bowl Recap

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WOW. I think that’s the best way to summarize the Patriots’ 28-24 comeback victory over the Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday evening. Just wow.

This Super Bowl will definitely be remembered, but for a number of different reasons. The most notable may be the decision to throw the ball when the Seahawks were within 5 yards of the end

Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick (above, left to right) won their fourth Super Bowl together.

Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick (above, left to right) won their fourth Super Bowl together.

zone with 20 seconds on the clock and a timeout in hand. The result of the play was an interception that clinched the Super Bowl title for New England.

This play call will be the most second guessed call in NFL history, and is something that coach Pete Carroll and QB Russell Wilson are going to be haunted by for a very long time. I have to believe that the Seahawks thought they could catch the Patriots’ defense off guard by calling the pass in an obvious running situation, but the risk of throwing that interception in that situation would have been too much of a risk for my taste. However, the most questionable part of this move is that Seattle has arguably the best running back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch, but they decided to take the ball out of his hands when it was the biggest moment. That decision could be regretted for a long time.

For the Patriots, this could be the beginning of another dynasty. The team’s core is relatively young, and the defense is the best that New England has ever had. QB Tom Brady is entering his final years, but gives the Patriots a window of opportunity for about the next 3 years. Overall, this fourth Super Bowl victory essentially cements Brady and coach Bill Belichick’s legacy as the greatest coach-QB duo in NFL history, and they still have time to add onto their records.

On the other side, the Seahawks are still one of the best teams in the NFL and should have a great shot at making a deep run in the postseason next year. However, with a Super Bowl loss often comes much change, and Seattle is already losing coordinator Darrell Bevell, as he becomes the Atlanta Falcons next head coach. Its possible that Lynch doesn’t return to the team next season, as it has been rumored that he could possibly retire or move onto another team who is ready to deal with his antics. Another challenge Seattle will face is resigning many of its major players, such as CB Byron Maxwell, who is an unrestricted free agent. The team will also look to resign QB Russell Wilson and S Earl Thomas, who are entering the final seasons in their contracts. Of course, the future is always more hazy after a loss, but the Seahawks’ future is still bright.

It has been another unpredictable and entertaining NFL season, capped off by the grand finale this evening! Now, it’s time for baseball season, am I right?

Super Bowl Prediction

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After a month of exciting NFL Playoff action, the Super Bowl is finally upon us. A mere five days away, the teams are putting the final touches on their game plans, and trying to get mentally prepared for what may be the biggest game of their lives.

This year’s match up gives us the defending champion Seattle Seahawks against the veteran-laden New England Patriots. Both teams are extremely experienced in postseason play, and I wouldn’t Patriots vs. Seahawks Super Bowlexpect the pressure of the moment to get to anyone on either team. That being said, I do believe this has the potential to be one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory. These teams are very equal, and have different strengths and weaknesses that will make the game extremely close and entertaining throughout.

Seattle

What can you say about the Seahawks? They are the defending Super Bowl champions, and have hit their stride at the exact right time. They come into this game off a dramatic OT victory against the Green Bay Packers, despite injuries that slowed defensive stars S Earl Thomas and CB Richard Sherman. Both players will be ready to go for the big game of course, and they will need to be on their A-Game against Patriot’s QB Tom Brady.

On offense, Seattle’s strength is running the football. RB Marshawn Lynch ranked 4th in the NFL with 1306 yards on the ground, while QB Russell Wilson led all quarterbacks with 849 rushing yards. If the Patriots can stop Seattle’s running game, they will have a much better chance to win because they will force the Seahawks to win the game through the air.

Despite winning with a long TD pass last game, the Seahawks passing game isn’t exactly stellar. Yes, Russell Wilson is an amazing decision maker and his mobility allows him to extend plays and give his receivers more time to get open down the field. However, the receivers Wilson is throwing to aren’t exactly the best playmakers in football. The core is lead by WRs Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, who combined for only 4 TDs in the regular season. Yet, Wilson has a way of making his receivers better, and their powerful running game keeps opposing defenses on their toes, allowing the play action passing game to develop nicely for the Seahawks.

The defensive side of the ball is Seattle’s strength. Their secondary is the best in football, they have one of the best linebackers in Bobby Wagner, and a strong defensive line. Wagner matches up well with Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski, who is their best receiver. As was the case with most of their opponents this season, Seattle matches up well defensively against New England, leaving the Patriots’ lone hopes to be stopping Seattle’s running game and having Tom Brady produce a heroic performance through the air.

New England

The Patriots are the definition of consistency. Coach Bill Belichick and Brady have combined for the most playoff victories in NFL history, and have been a fixture in the playoffs for over a decade. New England is riding high after destroying the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game, sporting a strong running game and defense on the way to victory.

New England can come at you different ways offensively. On the ground, they have a power running attack, led by RB LeGarrette Blount, who has really surged in the playoffs each of the past two seasons. However, New England’s real strength may be through the passing game, in which future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady is still able to move the ball all over the field. His best targets are Gronkowski and WR Brandon LaFell, who is having a career season after signing with New England this past off season. Overall, they are better offensive group than the Seahawks because they can do more in the passing game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Belichick is coaching the best group he’s ever had. The secondary is led by CBs Darrelle Revis and former Seahawk, Brandon Browner. The team also features solid linebackers that will be pivotal in stopping the run, such as Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. They will face their toughest test on the ground this season on Sunday night.

If Seattle wins…

This is the beginning of a dynasty. They would be back-to-back champions with one of the youngest

Russell Wilson (above) eludes New England defenders in a previous matchup.

Russell Wilson (above) eludes New England defenders in a previous matchup.

and talented rosters in the NFL. It would only be a matter of time until contract prices and salary cap casualties would break the team up, but they could possibly still have a two-year window with this current group to really be competitive. Of course, they have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Russell Wilson, who will become one of the highest paid players no matter whether he wins or loses. Wilson would become an immediate favorite to become one of the greatest players ever, especially after capturing two titles in his first three seasons. Coach Pete Carroll would also enter the conversation for one of the best coaches ever, as he would become one of the only men to win multiple championships at both the professional and NCAA level.

On the other hand, Tom Brady and Belichick would combine to become 3-3 in Super Bowls, which I think would significantly tarnish their legacy. Yes, they have been the model of consistency in the NFL, but they weren’t always able to finish the job consistently. Despite that, they would still be considered one of the best duos in history.

If New England wins…

Brady and Belichick become the greatest QB-Coach duo of all-time, and will probably be untouched in that category forever. 4 Super Bowl victories would be hard for any other duo to match. Yet, unlike the Seahawks, this wouldn’t be the beginning of a dynasty for New England. In fact, this victory would probably be the beginning of the end to the Tom Brady era. Players such as Revis and Browner would greatly benefit from a Super Bowl victory in free agency, which would make it harder for the Patriots to extend their contracts, and keep this core group together. Plus, Brady and Belichick and other veterans would become another year older, and the Patriots are a much older team than the Seahawks would be.

For the Seahawks, losing wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Obviously, Wilson and many of the players are still very young, meaning that their window of opportunity would still be open. Also, losing the Super Bowl could hurt players like CB Byron Maxwell in free agency, which would possibly enable Seattle to re-sign him for next season.

PREDICTION

Seattle beats New England, 28-24

This should be one of those memorable games that comes down to the final drive. I expect that Seattle’s defense is able to keep Brady at bay, while the Patriots aren’t as successful at containing Russell Wilson’s ability to extend plays. I figure that the Super Bowl will come down to one of those memorable last drives in which Wilson makes a big play to seal the victory for his team.

Make sure to tune into FOX at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday for the Super Bowl!

NFL Regular Season Recap

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Overall, it has been another unpredictable and exciting NFL Regular Season. Now, the field has been trimmed, and the playoff picture has come into focus. Let’s recap my preseason predictions, and see how I measured up against the final results:

Cale’s Picks

NFC Playoffs

  1. Seattle Seahawks (14-2)
  2. New Orleans’ Saints (13-3)
  3. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
  6. Chicago Bears (9-7)

Actual Playoff Standings

  1. Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
  2. Green Bay Packers (12-4)
  3. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)
  4. Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)
  5. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
  6. Detroit Lions (11-5)

I think it’s safe to say that I messed this one up pretty badly. I shared the opinion of many that the

The Cowboys will travel to Lambeau Field to face the Packers this weekend

The Cowboys will travel to Lambeau Field to face the Packers this weekend

Saints were ready to make a Super Bowl run, not lose the division to a team with a record under .500. Obviously, you can’t predict injuries, which is what went wrong with my Eagles’ prediction, despite accurately calling their record. After that, I couldn’t have imagined Jim Harbaugh’s situation deteriorating the way it did in San Francisco or the Bears’ offense being so futile. Not to mention that I didn’t believe in either of the Cowboys or Lions holding up in pressure games down the stretch. Overall, I still nailed the top two seeds in the NFC (Seahawks, Packers) and my prediction for the NFC representative in the Super Bowl remains alive (again, Packers).

AFC Playoffs

  1. Denver Broncos (13-3)
  2. New England Patriots (11-5)
  3. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
  5. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
  6. San Diego Chargers (10-6)

Actual Playoff Standings

  1. New England Patriots (12-4)
  2. Denver Broncos (12-4)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
  4. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
  5. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1)
  6. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)

I did much better at predicting the AFC Playoffs, almost accurately predicting most of the team’s

The Ravens will look to continue their success against the Patriots in the playoffs.

The Ravens will look to continue their success against the Patriots in the playoffs.

records and standings in the playoffs. It was hard to imagine three teams making the playoffs from one division, but the Chargers faltered down the stretch allowing the AFC North to be heavily represented in the playoffs. Of course, my Super Bowl pick from the AFC (Patriots) is still alive, helping validate my predictions of the season.

The beginning of the NFL Playoffs provided a lot of excitement and controversy this past weekend, and the divisional round will provide even better match-ups and drama. Watch and enjoy the rest of the playoffs, and keep updated on my posts!

NFL Season 3/4 Mark

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WOW! It’s already fantasy football playoff time, as we are entering Week 14 of the NFL season. With only four games left, its time to see where the contenders are, and who still has a shot at making the NFL playoffs.

AFC East

1. New England Patriots (9-3)

T-2. Buffalo Bills (7-5)

T-2. Miami Dolphins (7-5)

4. New York Jets (2-10)

Since the last update, the Patriots continued to extend their lead atop the division, while the Bills and Dolphins are dueling it out for second. As for the lowly Jets, they are already looking forward to their top 5 draft pick, and their upcoming coaching search that should begin early next month. The AFC East is a pretty straightforward division, and expect Brady to add yet another division title to his resume.

AFC North

1. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1)

T-2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

T-2. Baltimore Ravens (7-5)

T-2. Cleveland Browns (7-5)

Johnny Manziel (above) may be named the Browns' starting quarterback for their late season playoff chase.

Johnny Manziel (above) may be named the Browns’ starting quarterback for their late season playoff chase.

This is the most competitive division in the NFL and continues to surprise fans around the league. It’s still possible that three teams from this division make the playoffs, while a team that could finish .500 or above could miss the postseason. Now, the Cleveland Browns are thinking of starting rookie QB Johnny Manziel in the midst of their playoff push. Could this division get any crazier? If I had to guess, I’m going to say that Cincinnati will win the division, much in part to the tie they have in their record. However, I still believe the Steelers and Ravens have a good shot at making the AFC Playoffs, while I expect to Cleveland to crumble under the pressure late in the season. This should be fun to watch.

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts (8-4)

2. Houston Texans (6-6)

T-3. Tennessee Titans (2-10)

T-3. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)

Not much has changed with this division. The Colts are the clear favorites, the Texans are stuck in mediocrity during their new head coach’s first season, and the Titans and Jaguars are in the midst of rebuilding projects. This continues to be the most predictable division in the NFL.

AFC West

1. Denver Broncos (9-3)

2. San Diego Chargers (8-4)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)

4. Oakland Raiders (1-11)

This division has gotten tighter, as both the Chargers and Chiefs are waiting for the Broncos to stumble and take advantage of their mistakes. However, QB Peyton Manning is as steady as anyone, and will help lead his team to the postseason again. Although, the Chargers and Chiefs will definitely be battling it out for a playoff spot against the bottom three teams from the AFC North. It should be an interesting race down the stretch. Oh, and Oakland won a game. Woo.

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-3)

2. Dallas Cowboys (8-4)

T-3. New York Giants (3-9)

T-3. Washington Redskins (3-9)

The Philadelphia Eagles have shown that they are the class of this division and one of the best teams

The Philadelphia Eagles (above) are looking to secure their postseason spot in the coming weeks.

The Philadelphia Eagles (above) are looking to secure their postseason spot in the coming weeks.

in the NFL. So far, the Eagles are a perfect 3-0 in their division, with three of their last four games coming against those same division opponents. I fully expect them to be a top seed heading into the playoffs. The biggest question is how the Dallas Cowboys will respond to their Thanksgiving Day blowout at home against the aforementioned Eagles. While Dallas was a surprise for much of this season, it will be interesting to see if they are able to rebound and make a push for a Wild Card spot. The Giants and Redskins are already looking forward to the changes they will make during the off season.

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers (9-3)

2. Detroit Lions (8-4)

T-3. Chicago Bears (5-7)

T-3. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Of course, QB Aaron Rodgers has helped lead his Packers back to the top of the NFC North. However, the Detroit Lions are right on their heels, and have the makings of a playoff team. Lions’ coach Jim Caldwell has truly gotten the most out of his players, and has them in position to at least challenge the Packers. While the Bears are immensely talented on offense, QB Jay Cutler has played awfully this past month, and the defense has matched his effort. The surprise of the division may be the Vikings, who are only two games under .500 while starting rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. The future is now for Minnesota!

NFC South

T-1. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

T-1. New Orleans Saints (5-7)

3. Carolina Panthers (3-8-1)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10)

Currently, the winner of this division could finish the season with a record of 5-11…. 6 games under .500. Obviously, that would be a record, but it’s something I can’t imagine. While every team in this division has been disappointing, the New Orleans Saints have taken the cake, after being picked by many to pick the Super Bowl during the preseason. Both the offense and defense have looked lost this season, and yet, the Saints are still the best team in this division. The Atlanta Falcons hurt themselves too often late in games to trust them, and the Panthers and Bucs are already looking forward to adding pieces to their rosters this off season. I’d expect the Saints to take this division, but with a .500 record at 8-8.

NFC West

1. Arizona Cardinals (9-3)

2. Seattle Seahawks (8-4)

3. San Francisco 49ers (7-5)

4. St. Louis Rams (5-7)

The Cardinals are continuing their surprise run, but for how much longer? The entire division has gained ground on Arizona in the past month, which has seen them lose QB Carson Palmer to an ACL injury. The Seahawks’ defense is hot again, and looks as if it is coming into form just in time for the postseason. I’d definitely expect both of this teams to be in the post season. On the other hand, the 49ers are struggling with injuries, and it’s showing on the field. There are many rumors that coach Jim Harbaugh will be moving onto a different team after this season, and so far, the performance is matching the reports. At the bottom of the division, the Rams are showing why they are a team on the rise, after beating Oakland down 52-0 this past Sunday. St. Louis isn’t technically out of it yet, but this season is more about gaining experience for the upcoming seasons, when they should be good enough to make a playoff run.


It’s hard to believe that the NFL season is moving by so quickly, but there are already only four games left! Watch and enjoy as we watch the playoff picture take form during this last month of the regular season.