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While we have gotten through a little less than a third of the season we have seen some crazy things happen already. We have had injuries upon injuries which is normal for the most part in such a violent sport but what we could not have imagined is where some of these teams would end up at this point. The NFC East in the NFL is truly the NFC “Least” at this point with all of the teams combining for a 4-15-1 record. That’s right, the Dallas Cowboys (who are Dak-less at this point) are at the top of the division with a 2-3 record. While I have some faith that Andy Dalton can fill some of the void that was left when Dak Prescott went down last weekend with what looks to be a career-altering ankle injury, Zeke is ultimately going to have to carry the load if this team hopes to make the playoffs this season. This is great because I have him in one of my fantasy leagues but a shame because it just means more wear and tear on his body throughout the season.

In College Football everything seems to be going fairly normal for the SEC and ACC while the Big 12 looks completely upside down. The only thing crazier at this point would be if Kansas was at the top of the conference. Instead you have Oklahoma and Texas losing two out of their first three conference games and out of the Top 25 polls. The Big Ten finally gets to start playing this weekend after they vowed to cancel their season which adds the final 6 Top 25 schools that we have potential to watch. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this. Let’s take a look at what’s in stored for this weekend:

Thursday, October 15th College Football TV Schedule

6:30PM – Georgia State @ Arkansas State – ESPN

Friday, October 16th College Football TV Schedule

5:00PM – #17 SMU @ Tulane – ESPN
8:30PM – #14 BYU @ Houston – ESPN

Saturday, October 17th College Football TV Schedule

Time (CT)AwayHomeChannel
11:00 AM#1 ClemsonGeorgia TechABC
11:00 AMPittsburgh#13 MiamiACCN
11:00 AM#15 AuburnSouth CarolinaESPN
11:00 AMKentucky#18 TennesseeSECN
11:00 AMNavyEast CarolinaESPN+
11:00 AMTexas StateSouth AlabamaESPNU
11:00 AMSouth FloridaTempleESPN+
11:00 AMLibertySyracuseESPN3
11:00 AMKansasWest VirginiaFOX
12:30 PMArmyUTSACBSSN
12:30 PMWestern KentuckyUABFSN
1:30 PMLouisville#4 Notre DameNBC
2:30 PMDukeNC StateESPN3
2:30 PMUCFMemphisABC
2:30 PMOle MissArkansasSECN
2:30 PMEastern KentuckyTroyESPN3
3:00 PM#11 Texas A&MMississippi StateESPN
3:00 PMUMassGeorgia SouthernESPN2
3:00 PMVirginiaWake ForestACCN
4:00 PMNorth TexasMiddle TennesseeCBSSN
5:00 PMMarshallLouisiana TechCBSSN
6:30 PM#5 North CarolinaFlorida StateABC
6:30 PMSouthern MississippiUTEPESPN2
7:00 PM#3 Georgia#2 AlabamaCBS
7:00 PMBoston College#23 Virginia TechACCN
7:00 PMFlorida International Charlotte ESPNU

Sunday, October 18th NFL Football TV Schedule

Time (CT)AwayHomeChannel
12:00 PMHoustonTennesseeCBS
12:00 PMCincinnatiIndianapolisFOX
12:00 PMAtlantaMinnesotaFOX
12:00 PMDenverNew EnglandCBS
12:00 PMWashingtonNew YorkFOX
12:00 PMBaltimorePhiladelphiaCBS
12:00 PMClevelandPittsburghCBS
12:00 PMChicagoCarolinaFOX
12:00 PMDetroitJacksonvilleFOX
3:05 PMNew YorkMiamiCBS
3:25 PMGreen BayTampa BayFOX
7:20 PMLos Angeles San Francisco NBC

Monday Night Football

4:00PM – Kansas City @ Buffalo – FOX/NFL
7:15PM – Arizona @ Dallas – ESPN

College Football Week 5 Looks AMAZING!

This is what College Football is all about. This is the reason that I get super upset that I work on the weekends now. There are several games that you should be watching this weekend but might not be able to like me because of this thing called a job. Luckily with Sling I can record as much as I want and will definitely be watching a majority of these games once I get off. Friday doesn’t really have much to offer except that it’s football and there is one Top 25 team playing so might as well watch it right? With everything that has been going on in the College Football world it’s a wonder how we are even at this point right now.

Week 4 in College Football brought nothing but carnage to the rankings. Texas was able to somehow pull off a comeback win against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech but even they fell in the rankings this week. They should be able to bounce back at home against TCU but we will see how injuries are starting to add up on the Longhorn sideline. The Boomer Sooner nation walked away stunned as Kansas State dismantled them in the end. Oklahoma never looked exactly in control of the game with turnovers being a huge factor but it’s interesting that they were not able to pull out a win. Week 4 saw 20% of the Top 25 teams losing: #3, #6, #22, #23, and #24 all losing. Here is the schedule for this weeks games:

Friday, October 2nd
6:00 PM – Campbell @ Wake Forest – ACCN
8:00 PM – Louisiana Tech @ #22 BYU – ESPN2

Saturday, October 3rd
11:00 AM – South Carolina @ #3 Florida – ESPN
11:00 AM – TCU @ #9 Texas – FOX
11:00 AM – Missouri @ #21 Tennessee – SECN
11:00 AM – NC State @ #24 Pittsburgh – ACCN
11:00 AM – East Carolina @ Georgia State – ESPNU
11:00 AM – Arkansas State @ Coastal Carolina – ESPN2
11:00 AM – Baylor @ West Virginia – ABC
11:30 AM – UTSA @ UAB – Stadium
12:00 PM – North Alabama @ Liberty – ESPN3
12:30 PM – Abilene Christian @ Army – CBSSN
2:30 PM – #13 Texas A&M @ #2 Alabama – CBS
2:30 PM – #12 North Carolina @ Boston College – ABC
2:30 PM – South Florida @ #15 Cincinnati – ESPN+
2:30 PM – #17 Oklahoma State @ Kansas – ESPN
2:30 PM – #25 Memphis @ SMU – ESPN2
2:30 PM – Texas Tech @ Kansas State – FS1
3:00 PM – Charlotte @ Florida Atlantic – ESPNU
3:00 PM – Virginia Tech @ Duke – ACCN
3:00 PM – Ole Miss @ Kentucky – SECN
3:00 PM – Jacksonville State @ Florida State – ESPN3
4:00 PM – Western Kentucky @ Middle Tennessee – ESPN3
5:00 PM – Navy @ Air Force – CBSSN
6:00 PM – Georgia Southern @ UL Monroe – ESPN+
6:30 PM – #7 Auburn @ #4 Georgia – ESPN
6:30 PM – Tulsa @ #11 UCF – ESPN2
6:30 PM – Arkansas @ #16 Mississippi State – SECN Alt
6:30 PM – #18 Oklahoma @ Iowa State – ABC
6:30 PM – #20 LSU @ Vanderbilt – SECN
6:30 PM – Southern Mississippi @ North Texas – Stadium
7:00 PM – Virginia @ #1 Clemson – ACCN

After Week 1, Injuries Play A Big Part With Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are in my opinion, one of the worst teams when it comes to injuries for some reason. It could be that because I pay closer attention to them than I do most other teams (because they are my local team) that maybe I just notice it more? I don’t really know but what I do know is season after season there are players who get injured early and often. This season appears to be no different. Injuries just from Week 1:

Leighton Vander Esch – Collarbone (Out for several weeks at least)
Blake Jarwin – ACL Tear (Out for the years)
Cam Erving – MCL Sprain (Placed on IR Tuesday)

I get that NFL Football is in itself, a dangerous sport to play but there has to be a way to protect these guys from non-contact injuries. Blake Jarwin is out for the entire year. This particularly hurts because I took a major chance by drafting him into both of my fantasy teams. I have had to replace him in both obviously and I doubt anyone left can get it done like he was supposed to. Both Vander Esch and Jarwin are huge losses to the Cowboys while Erving has had a history of not showing up on every team he has played on since being drafted in the first round by the Browns. He is still a big loss as he was filling in for La’el Collins after he was placed on IR before the season started. That brings the total number of Cowboy’s players on the IR list to 6 after Week 1:

Ventell Bryant (WR)
Blake Jarwin (TE)
Cameron Erving (RT)
La’el Collins (RT)
Azur Kamara (WLB)
Leighton Vander Esch (MLB)
Sean Lee (SLB)

As you can see both the offense and defense are taking huge hits this season already. This does not bode well for the rest of the season if this keeps up. One can even wonder if not having a Preseason this year was the smartest idea by the NFL. The next few weeks are going to be a tall tale sign for how the Cowboys might end up at the end of the year. Right now Washington is leading the division as they are the only team with a win so far.

Football Is Back! What’s On Tap For This Weekend?

That’s right boys and girls, FOOTBALL is back! Whether you are watching American Football or the “Rest of the World’s” Football it’s back starting this week! Much like most College Football seasons there really isn’t a great game for the first weekend but who cares right? The NFL is a different story. We already had a great game Thursday with the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes taking on the Houston Texans. The two highest paid players in the NFL going head to head in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. The Chiefs ended up on top but it was still a pretty good game. Right now I am watching #18 North Carolina and Syracuse go head to head which isn’t the best game in the world but getting to see Mack Brown coach my favorite basketball school is still pretty special to me. Tonight I get to watch my Texas Longhorns go up against UTEP at home. This game is going to be interesting to me because most Texas games are sold out or close to it and this one is apparently only going to be 25% capacity.

So I know I haven’t written in a few months and that is going to change. You would think being stuck inside would mean I would be writing more often but honestly with my new position at work, the depression of having no sports on TV, and just everything else going on in life I have had no time or energy to write anything. Football has reinvigorated me and I will not let you down again. So how should you spend your weekend? I recently purchased SlingTV with all the sports channels they have available on their network. Outside of NFL games which I use a different website for, this gives me access to pretty much all sports available on TV. Let’s see what the options are going to be:

College Football TV Schedule

11:00 AM – Syracuse @ #18 North Carolina – ACCN
11:00 AM – Louisiana @ #23 Iowa State – ESPN
11:00 AM – Charlotte @ Appalachian State – ESPN2
11:00 AM – Eastern Kentucky @ West Virginia – FS1
11:00 AM – Arkansas State @ Kansas State – FOX
12:30 PM – UL Monroe @ Army – CBSSN
1:30 PM – Duke @ #10 Notre Dame – NBC
2:30 PM – Georgia Tech @ Florida State – ABC
2:30 PM – UTSA @ Texas State – ESPN2
2:30 PM – Campbell @ Georgia Southern – ESPNU
3:00 PM – Austin Peay @ Pittsburgh – ACCN
6:00 PM – Missouri State @ #5 Oklahoma –
6:00 PM – The Citadel @ South Florida – ESPNU
6:30 PM – #1 Clemson @ Wake Forest – ABC
6:30 PM – Tulane @ South Alabama – ESPN2
7:00 PM – UTEP @ #14 Texas – LHN
7:00 PM – Western Kentucky @ Louisville – ACCN
7:00 PM – Houston Baptist @ Texas Tech – BIG12|ESPN+
9:00 PM – Coastal Carolina @ Kansas – FS1

NFL Week 1 TV Schedule

Sunday, September 13th
12:00 PM – Seattle @ Atlanta – FOX
12:00 PM – New York @ Buffalo – CBS
12:00 PM – Chicago @ Detroit – FOX
12:00 PM – Green Bay @ Minnesota – FOX
12:00 PM – Miami @ New England – CBS
12:00 PM – Philadelphia @ Washington – FOX
12:00 PM – Las Vegas @ Carolina – CBS
12:00 PM – Indianapolis @ Jacksonville – CBS
12:00 PM – Cleveland @ Baltimore – CBS
3:05 PM – Los Angeles Chargers @ Cincinnati – CBS
3:25 PM – Tampa Bay @ New Orleans – FOX
3:25 PM – Arizona @ San Francisco – FOX
7:20 PM – Dallas @ Los Angeles Rams – NBC

Monday Night Football
6:15 PM – Pittsburgh @ New York Giants – ESPN
9:10 PM – Tennessee @ Denver – ESPN

Belichick or Brady…Who Deserves More Credit?

One of the most controversial questions in NFL history will most likely be answered over the next couple of seasons. Who deserves more credit for the six Super Bowl championships in New England…Bill Belichick or Tom Brady? Is it the game plan and defenses that were created by the coach or the leader of the offense that deserves more acclaim? My gut tells me to go with Tom Brady only because he is actually on the field making plays and keeping them in the game but there are plenty of people who would argue that the coach deserves most of the praise in this case. That question will now be answered as Tom Brady has officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So, how does this question get answered? The short answer is really whoever wins a Super Bowl first. A much longer answer will most likely be answered by Bill Belichick. Unfortunately Tom Brady is put between a rock and a hard place.

Tom Brady Is A Buc Now

The Tampa Bay Bucs have honestly not been that great since 2007 when they made the playoffs last and lost to the New York Giants. You could argue that they may have been better in 2010 when they went 10-6 but missed the playoffs. Tom Brady has his work cut out for him competing with the likes of the Panthers, Saints, and Falcons twice a season.

2019 Regular Season Tampa Bay Bucs
WeekOpponent (Record Last Season)Result (Score)
1San Francisco 49ers (13-3)L (31-17)
2Carolina Panthers (5-11)W (20-14)
3New York Giants (4-12)L (32-31)
4Los Angeles Rams (9-7)W (55-40)
5New Orleans Saints (13-3)L (31-24)
6Carolina Panthers (5-11)(L 37-26)
7BYE WEEK
8Tennessee Titans (9-7)L (27-23)
9Seattle Seahawks (11-5)L (40-34 OT)
10Arizona Cardinals (5-10)W (30-27)
11New Orleans Saints (13-3)L (34-17)
12Atlanta Falcons (7-9)W (35-22)
13Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)W (28-11)
14Indianapolis Colts (7-9)W (38-35)
15Detroit Lions (3-12)W (38-17)
16Houston Texans (10-6)L (23-20)
17Atlanta Falcons (7-9)L (28-22 OT)

Their opponents went 127-127 which puts them in the middle of the pack in terms of strength of schedule. I would say that considering they played three games this past season where the opponent would eventually win 13+ games it makes the schedule look a bit harder. Any time you have to play the New Orleans Sains twice a season though it’s going to be rough. The potential Drew Brees vs. Tom Brady match-up is going to be one epic journey this next season and I am anticipating some great games. Honestly from an offensive perspective this Bucs squad is in this writer’s opinion a much better option for Brady who is getting older by the minute. They should be investing more in the offensive line though. The official schedule comes out on April 17th but honestly look for it to not change a whole lot this season. It would be cool to see Brady come to the Cowboys Stadium again and would be much easier for me to see him play that way.

At the same time Bill Belichick has a pretty easy road every season. He plays in a much easy division so he will be more likely to make the playoffs on a regular basis. The next two seasons are really going to show just how important Tom Brady was to the team and less about how good the game plan is. If he is able to plug and play a Quarterback into the game plan like he did with Jimmy Garoppolo then it’s more likely that Tom Brady loses some luster to his name.

The Case for Bill Belichick

Honestly this is not a hard case to make in some respect. Belichick is a mastermind when it comes to football and defense’s especially. There have been several instances when Tom Brady has suffered from an offensive perspective Belichick has been able to pull them out of the grasp of defeat with his defensive schemes. When it comes to personnel decisions there is no one better in the game at this point. He turned football into a science.

You need not look further than the 2008 Football Season for the New England Patriots to try to make a case for him. In the season opener Tom Brady suffered a torn ACL which put him out the rest of the season. This enabled Matt Cassel to take charge of the Quarterback position. It was a scary moment for Patriots fans but Belichick was able to take them to an 11-5 season with a back-up Quarterback. They did not make the playoffs because it just so happened that they ended up losing to the Miami Dolphins by like 5 more points than they beat them by. The Dolphins also ended up 11-5 which put them slightly ahead in the standings. The point is that even with a back-up Quarterback the Patriots still managed 11 wins in a season.

Combine that with the fact that ever since Matt Cassel left New England for the Kansas City Chiefs he has produced basically nothing. He has been to the playoffs once with the Chiefs losing to the Ravens in the Wild Card round 30-7. Since then he has bounced around the league playing for several teams including: Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, and the Detroit Lions. This would be the biggest argument for Bill Belichick deserving more of the credit for the success in New England.

The Case for Tom Brady

To me, this case is quite easier to make a this point. While Bill Belichick had a successful season in 2008 when Tom Brady went down, his overall record without Brady is not good. I mean honestly Bill Belichick was 36-44 before Tom Brady was even a though. Albeit this was in Cleveland which by today’s standards might actually be considered good, but it’s not the stuff of legends like everyone would have you believe now. Tom Brady is 136-39 when starting in a game for the New England Patriots. That’s a 75% winning percentage compared to Belichick’s 45% (54-66) record of coaching without Tom Brady at the helm. So while the 2008 season seemed to be a successful one without Brady starting as Quarterback, you can see that Belichick has some major issues without him starting.

The accolade’s and highlights for Tom Brady are endless as well:
6 Time Super Bowl Champion
4 Time Super Bowl MVP
3 Time NFL MVP
14 Pro Bowl Selections
3 Time First-Team All Pro
2 Time Second-Team All Pro
2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year

74,571 Yards Passing (2nd)
97.0 Career Passer Rating (5th)
283 Games Started (4th)

The intangibles that Brady brings to the table cannot be overlooked as well. His ability to think quickly on a higher level than most coaches enables the players around him to shine brighter than they would with a mediocre leader. His leadership has never been questioned and every single player who has ever played with him consistently talks about his work ethic. I mean he is still playing at a high level post 40 which very few Quarterbacks have been able to achieve in their career. He will likely play another two seasons at least and will instill a work ethic in players at the Tampa Bay facility that they have unlikely seen in their career.

Conclusion

While Bill Belichick’s career will most likely extend far past Tom Brady’s people 20-30 years from now (assuming the NFL is still around) won’t remember him as easily. Tom Brady will be the new Bart Starr, Montana, Namath, etc that people continue to talk about for decades to come. There will likely never be another Quarterback that will rival how many Super Bowl appearances, or wins for that matter, that he has been able to achieve. Brady also makes all the players around him better every season. You can see this with his ability to take no name receivers and make a name for them. He has had all star players in the past like Rob Gronkowski, Randy Moss, and others but for the most part he gets more done with less. My personal conclusion is that it’s not really a question at this point and that Tom Brady deserves more of the credit. I believe the facts support that conclusion as well.

XFL Ratings Are In Decline But Not Horrible

The XFL might be down in ratings but honestly weren’t we all kind of expecting that? The real question is whether or not this means a lack of survival for the league overall. I feel like the current numbers are just settling in what the actual numbers will be looking like overall. There will most likely be a spike during the playoffs as well with a larger spike for the Championship game. Oh, but wait, there won’t be a Championship game anymore. There won’t even be playoffs. Possibly the worst case scenario happened to the XFL in it’s inaugeral season. Covid-19 has taken its pound of flesh from every sport in the industry but I fear that the worst hit will end up being the XFL.

Let’s take a look at the ratings on a week by week basis first so you can see what we are talking about.

Week 1
DayChannelGameViewers (Mil)Rating
Sat. Feb 8thABCSeattle @ DC3.32.07
Sat. Feb 8thFOXLos Angeles @ Houston3.291.91
Sun. Feb 9thFOXTampa Bay @ New York3.3852.10
Sun. Feb 9thESPNSt. Louis @ Dallas2.4951.43
Week 2
DayChannelGameViewers (Mil)Rating
Sat. Feb 15thABCNew York @ DC2.1461.35
Sat. Feb 15thFOXTampa Bay @ Seattle2.3241.47
Sun. Feb 16thABCDallas @ Los Angeles2.3971.52
Sun. Feb 16thFS1St. Louis @ Houston1.3590.76
Week 3
DayChannelGameViewers (Mil)Rating
Sat. Feb 22ndABCHouston @ Tampa Bay1.9141.23
Sat. Feb 22nd FOXDallas @ Seattle2.0511.30
Sun. Feb 23rdESPNNew York @ St. Louis1.4730.90
Sun. Feb 23rdFS1DC @ Los Angeles1.0040.57
Week 4
DayChannelGameViewers (Mil)Rating
Sat. Feb 29thABCLos Angeles @ New York1.5581.01
Sat. Feb 29thFOXSeattle @ St. Louis1.8021.11
Sun. Mar 1stFS1Houston @ Dallas1.1130.64
Sun. Mar 1stESPN2DC @ Tampa Bay1.0300.63
Week 5
DayChannelGameViewers (Mil)Rating
Sat. Mar 8thABCSeattle @ Houston1.5471.05
Sat. Mar 8th FOXNew York @ Dallas1.4970.94
Sun. Mar 9th FS1St. Louis @ DC.8330.54
Sun. Mar 9th ESPNTampa Bay @ Los Angeles.7670.48

So as you can see the ratings really start to suffer right off the bat. This wasn’t a huge surprise as we all kind of expected such but the obvious issue is that they were unable to complete a full season. They will continue to pay the players even though there are no more games, but this makes you start to wonder just how much longer the league can stay afloat. Luckily with the TV deals there won’t be a serious lack of ratings in the future but it just doesn’t seem as though this league will be able to maintain the revenue stream needed to be a success. My assumption at the beginning of this season was the following two ideas:

1) This league could be essentially a farm league for the NFL
2) That this league would be the perfect opportunity for the NFL to use potential rule changes in a real world setting before voting to make changes in its own league.

I would say that the latter is definitely true. The league got a large enough sample size to see some of the rules and how they might affect game play, attendance at games, and public opinion. Whether or not it’s able to become a successful farm league is still yet to be seen as the quality of play was poor in my opinion. There were times where it was almost hard to watch. With the teams located in larger markets, I do believe that this league has the potential to last a much longer time than previous leagues. We will see just how much longer.

On the other hand it could be a blessing in disguise that the season ended when it did. The ratings were slumping so low Vince McMann might have had a hard time gathering new investors for next season if they had dipped much lower. Football is football so there will always be someone interested in watching it. It’s all about that break-even level. When you are only having to pay players an average of $45,000 per season the number you need to hit goes down significantly. However game ticket prices are so cheap (starting at $20 per ticket) that it makes it actually worth it if you live in the area and need something to do for the day. The truth is that only time will tell if this league is able to continue to succeed and prosper.

So You Are Telling Me There Is A Chance?

With six games and ten days left in the ACC Conference season, there is still a slight chance that the North Carolina Tarheels can make the tournament. They need to basically win out or win all but one game in order to make it, but they still have a shot at it. According to TeamRankings.com the Tarheels have a 98.7% chance of making the tournament if they get to 18 wins, 100% chance if they get to 19 wins. It get’s a bit sketchy once they get lower than 18 wins though. They would need quite a bit to happen for all of that. Considering they are on their highest win streak (3 games) since the beginning of the season I am beginning to have a little faith in my team again.

Total WinsNCAA Bid %
19100.0%
1898.7%
1746.4%
1616.6%
151.4%
140.0%
Overall5.0%

So what does all of this mean? Basically this means that not only does North Carolina need to beat Duke today but they also need to make a decent run in the ACC tournament. Basically if they win tomorrow and win 3 games in the conference tournament, they have a little less than 50% chance of making the big show. The further they go the larger the chance obviously. If they win out it means they win their Conference Championship with means they get an automatic big anyway. The good news is that they still have a chance even if they don’t make it that far. Say they end up playing in the Championship and end up losing. This still means they have a better than not chance (98.7% chance to be exact) of making the NCAA Tournament. It’s looking more and more likely that they will end up getting something like a higher seed in the NIT Tournament but I still hold out hope that they can play in the big show during March Madness. How sweet would it be if Cole Anthony and Garrison Brooks were all that was needed to make the tournament.

The rest of the schedule looks pretty dire for the Tarheels at this point though. The ACC might not be the strongest Conference in the land but it’s still holding it’s own in terms of rankings. If the ACC Tournament started today, this is how it would shape up:

So as you can see the Tarheels would end up playing Virginia Tech in their first series, if they won that they would move on to Georgia Tech. In the Quarterfinals they would end up with their third match up of the season against Duke. From there the road gets super tough. It would most likely be nothing but Top 10 opponents once they get to the Quarterfinals.

They just have to get past Duke first. They play at 5:00PM Central time tonight on ESPN. They are playing at Duke which is usually quite a bit harder to win but I have faith in my boys.

There Is Still Football On TV!

So normally every year after the Super Bowl is over, I go through this period of sports withdrawal and I become kind of a jerk. I am forced to watch NBA and College Basketball (which by the way all of my teams are HORRIBLE this season). This was going to be especially bad this offseason because Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) have been injured, Cole Anthony (North Carolina Tarheels) got injured early and is just now returning, and the Cowboys missed the playoffs. So this season from the end of the Super Bowl (February 2nd) to the start of the Hall of Fame Game (August 6th) there won’t be NFL football on at all and College Football won’t start until August 29th of this year. Insert the XFL!

Less than a week after the Super Bowl a new (well sort of new) football league enters into the equation…the XFL. Now, this isn’t your WWF smash mouth train wreck we saw in the early 2000’s. I would like to reiterate that, this is NOT the old, failed, dumb, dangerous XFL. This is a carefully thought out league run by Oliver Luck and Vince McMahon that will end up looking more like a farm league for the NFL more than anything else. This is a place where young guys can get better and more prepared for the NFL and older guys can still play football in hopes of getting picked up in the offseason. The season starts tomorrow and ends on April 26th with the Championship game. Every team plays each other and each team plays every team in their division twice. This is how football scheduling should be but we would need far more games in the NFL for this to happen. There are a total of 8 teams and 10 weeks of football.

Rule Differences

RulesCollegeNFLXFL
Point After AttemptsKick – 3yd line (1pt)
Offensive Play – 3yd line (2pts)
Kick – 15yd Line (1pt)
Offensive Play – 2yd line (2pts)
No Kicks
Offensive Play – 2yd line (1pt)
5yd line (2pts)
10yd line (3pts)
PassingLaterals/Backwards passes are allowed as well as one forward pass. Laterals/Backwards passes are allowed as well as one forward pass. Double forward passes are allowed as well as lateral/backwards pass with two forward passes.
What is a catch?One foot in bounds with control of footballTwo feet in bounds with control of the ballOne foot in bounds while controlling the ball
Who gets the ball first?Coin Toss Determines Possession Coin Toss Determines Possession Home Team always has the first choice
TouchbacksTeam starts on 25yd lineTeam starts on 25yd lineTeam starts on 35yd line
ChallengesEach team gets one with a second if the first one worksEach coach gets two challenges with a third added if the original two are successfulNo Challenges
TimeoutsThree per halfThree per halfTwo per half
Punt TouchbacksGoes to the 20yd lineGoes to the 20yd lineGoes to the 35yd line
KickingPlayers move once ball is kickedPlayers move once ball is kickedPlayers move once the ball is caught or first touched

There are plenty of other changes that we haven’t covered that we will continue to write about over time. The point is that the game is still the same but there are some real differences between the three levels of football. I watched the first weekend of games and have to say that I was not only impressed at the quality of play, but am excited to see the future for the league.

Other Differences

It’s really not just the rules that are different in the XFL. The way the games are set up are the way football should be broadcast. You hear into the booths all the time and there are interviews with the plays and coaches throughout the game. Usually after one player scores a touchdown they will interview them after the touchdown. It’s actually pretty interesting. It definitely seems like there could be a future for a lot of these changes in the NFL as well.

Does Antonio Brown Deserve A Fourth Chance?

Steelers at Ravens 12/27/15

At the beginning of the regular season Antonio Brown was the biggest topic of conversation having ended his relationship with the Steelers after a tumultuous time there. A lot of people were wondering whether or not it was actually Antonio Brown’s fault that he there were so many issues. The Steelers agreed to trade Brown to the Raiders in exchange for a third and fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. This was a steal for the Raiders from a talent perspective but questions about Brown’s mental health began to loom over the whole situation. Nevertheless, with Antonio Brown’s numbers and talent it was hard to pass up on such a bargain. There were also rumors swirling around at the time that the Steelers were coming close to closing a deal with the Buffalo Bills. Let’s take a look at his performance stats with Pittsburgh.

YearGamesTgtRecYdsTDLngFum
2010919161670261
2011161246911082790
201213106667875604
20131616711014998561
201416181129169813632
201516193136183410593
201615154106128412510
20171416310115339574
201815168104129715780

You can see how productive he was with the Steelers and why they were willing to take such a chance with him. The bold numbers are metrics that he was able to lead the entire league in. He played in a majority of games, the issues were mainly internal although there were times in which he made mistakes that made it to the public eye. I guess the Raiders felt like they could handle him if they needed to. They sure did pay him enough to say so. They soon realized the mistakes they had made picking him up though.

August 3rd, 2019 – The public finds out that Antonio Brown had heavily blistered feet on his Instagram account. This would later be revealed to be the fact that he did not wear the proper footwear while doing a cryotherapy session. This would force him to miss 10 out of the 11 training camp practices with the Raiders. This is the first time that the Raiders Organization was starting to see there were going to be issues with Antonio Brown.

August 9th, 2019 – Just six days later Antonio Brown filed a grievance with the NFL in order to continue wearing his old helmet that he had been using his entire career. This was denied even though he kept pleading his case to the NFL. He eventually found a replacement helmet but this also did not meet the standards set by the new NFL rules. He filed a second grievance with the NFL after not practicing at all with the Raiders team. This was also denied. He finally decided to wear the Xenith Shadow helmet for the season.

September 4th, 2019 – So now he has missed a ton of practices because of his feet issues and then the helmet issues. This forced the General Manager Mike Mayock to fine him $54,000 because of unexcused absences and missing two team practice sessions. Instead of falling in line, Antonio Brown decided to post these fines on his Instagram account which opened up a whole new set of criticisms across the NFL. The very next day he got into a verbal argument with his General Manager and allegedly called him a “cracker” which he still denies. He also threatened physical violence against Mayock and was held back by several teammates at the time. He then decided to punt a football and said, “Fine me for that” to the General Manager.

Image of the letter that Antonio Brown received from Mike Mayock which led to the altercations that eventually led to Brown’s departure from the Raiders organization.

September 7th, 2019 – Antonio Brown demands his release from the Oakland Raiders after they voided the guaranteed money in his contract. The next day, just hours before his 2019 salary would be guaranteed he was released but not before the Raiders fined him $215,000 for his altercation with Mike Mayock.

So this concludes his time with the Oakland Raiders organization. He ended up in the hole $269,950 during his time with them. I don’t think he ever made a dime from the organization. He never produced a single yard, touchdown, or even a completion. He never played a minute of football for the Raiders. I think Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock felt like they dodged a giant bullet with the entire situation. What gets me is what happens next in this guys career. He goes from pariah in the league to going to the best team in the league. The same day he gets released from the Oakland Raiders the New England Patriots picked him up. Not only did they pick him they signed him to a one-year contract worth up to $15 million with a signing bonus of $9 million. Two days later they added a second-year option of $20 million if he ended up playing the next season.

Sexual and personal misconduct allegations were being levied against him yet he continued to practice with the Patriots. He ended up making his debut with the Patriots during their Week 2 victory against the Miami Dolphins. He caught 4 passes on 8 targets for 56 yards. On September 20th, two weeks after getting to the Patriots, he was released after allegations kept coming in along with threatening text messages sent to one of the accusers surfaced. These text messages were sent after he got to the Patriots. After this happened he was pretty much shunned from the NFL.

After all of this he has made a statement today on ESPN about his remorse for everything that has happened and has made his apologies in an interview with Josina Anderson.

The question becomes whether or not he deserves another chance in the NFL. If he doesn’t play next season then he will find it much harder getting back into the NFL. There have been other receivers who have had to deal with this in the past. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco being two of the more famous examples. Diva wide receivers are really just a thing of the past at this point. I say that but Antonio is a perfect example of a current diva and time will only tell whether or not he is able to come back into the NFL.

So my personal opinion on the matter is that there are enough wide receivers in the league already that I am not sure I would take a risk on Antonio Brown. There are six receivers projected in the first round of the upcoming draft. There were 24 receivers last season who had over 1000 yards receiving. With a few receivers in the waiting its a wonder why anyone would take a risk on him at this point. Honestly, I think someone will take a risk and that’s the sad state of the NFL in a nutshell. There are several teams that need a number 1 or 2 receiver on their team. Like I said most likely he will get another shot somewhere else. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone and even though he has caused destruction for teams in the past his numbers will entice someone to take chance on him. I can promise you that this is not going to be a story of redemption, this is not going to be one of those comeback stories you hear about. This is going to be a tragedy in the making. He doesn’t deserve another chance. He has had too many already.

Super Bowl LIV – 49ers vs. Chiefs

In two weeks the San Francisco 49ers will be taking on the Kansas City Chiefs for the Super Bowl (NFL’s Championship Game). This is quite possibly the most prestigious award in American sports. The prices for tickets will definitely prove that to be true this season. The game will be in Miami, Florida at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (Home of the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Marlins). The average ticket price for a Dolphins home game is around $84.51 with the ability to find tickets as low as $17. The cheapest ticket currently available is $3,200 over on SeatGeek and honestly that probably won’t last very long. The most expensive tickets tend to be in the $25,000 range. When you add in flights, hotel rooms, alcohol and food, this makes attending a Super Bowl event almost exclusively a business outing. Unless you are either very wealthy or just an insane supporter of a team in the game this prices 99% of the population out.

So how did we get here? Well, last night the Chiefs did what the Chiefs do best and that’s come back from an early double digit deficit to win by double digits. In both of their games this postseason, Patrick Mahomes was able to avenge two of his losses from the season. The Titans were unable to get their rushing game going and it fell on Ryan Tannehill to get it done (and we all know how that goes when that happens). We also know that the Chiefs won’t be as lucky if they try to do this with Jimmy Garoppolo. There really is no comparing those two Quarterbacks in terms of their capability. Garoppolo doesn’t have to do much when their rushing game gets going but he can if he needs to. I would say that the Chiefs got lucky but I think we all know that it’s just not fact.

Honestly the same goes for the 49ers. They did what they do best which is win games. They hit the gas pedal from the beginning and never really looked back. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers gave a valiant effort trying to get back into the game but it was too little, too late. So on one end we have Jimmy Garoppolo (Bill Belichick’s choice to replace Tom Brady at one point) and Patrick Mahomes (quite possibly the most exciting Quarterback in NFL history). How does one go about choosing who is going to win this game? Let me try.

QB Comparison

PlayerPass YardsINTComp %Tot TDRush YardsFumQB RateSk
Mahomes4,646565.9%373245115.8219
Garoppolo4,1861468.8%29611095.3639

If we were strictly comparing these teams by Quarterback you can see where the results lay. Patrick Mahomes being compared to really anyone in the NFL this season outside of maybe Lamar Jackson would be a mistake. You might be thinking that those numbers look closer than you really thought they would be but keep in mind that Mahomes missed week’s 8, 9, and 12 due to injury.

Stadium Distance Comparison

So let’s see how far the stadiums are from each other. Maybe that will be a factor.

Arrowhead Stadium to Hard Rock Stadium seems to be pretty long trek for a football game.
On the other hand, you have Levi’s Stadium which is on the opposite side of the country from Florida. Will be interesting to see how many people travel this distance on a Sunday with work the next day.

Team Comparison

Finally, let’s finish by doing an overall team comparison. Every team is going to obviously be different but understand how each team operates can kind of tell us how the game will play out. They did play this season during the Pre-Season but honestly, I don’t put any stock into that game because 1) not all the players play and 2) the starters usually play just one or two series.

StatisticKansas City ChiefsSan Francisco 49ers
Passing Yards4,4983,792
Rushing Yards1,5692,305
Total Yards6,0676,097
Passing TD3028
Rushing TD1623
Total TD4651
Int. Thrown513
Fumbles2019
Penalties107 for 1,029 yards105 for 939 yards
Pass Yds Allowed3,5432,707
Rush Yds Allowed2,0511,802
TOT TD Allowed3534
Takeaways2932

So what does all of this really tell you? It shows that both teams are fairly balanced on offense and defense which is a little surprising considering the differences in playing style over the past couple of weeks. The Chiefs are a completely different team than when they started the season. The list of players on IR or Questionable for the Super Bowl is pretty astounding:

Players on the Injured Reserve List or listed as “Out”

Kansas City ChiefsSan Francisco 49ers
Spencer Ware (RB)Marquise Goodwin (WR)
Felton Davis III (WR)Shawn Poindexter (WR)
Marcus Kemp (WR)Jalen Hurd (WR)
David Wells (TE)Trent Taylor (WR)
Greg Senat (LT)Andrew Lauderdale (LT)
Martinas Rankin (LG)Weston Richburg (C)
Alex Okafor (LDE)Shon Coleman (RT)
Breeland Speaks (LDE)Ronald Blair III (LDE)
Tim Ward (RDE)D.J. Jones (LDT)
Emmanuel Ogbah (RDE)Kentavius Street (RDT)
Darius Harris (MLB)Julian Taylor (RDT)
Michael Hunter (LCB)Damontre’ Moore (RDE)
Juan Thornhill (FS)Tim Harris (LCB)
Keith Reaser (RCB)Jason Verrett (RCB)

The good news is for the Chiefs that the 49ers are struggling just as much at this point in the season. I would expect there to be a few injuries but this seems like a bit much. You will notice a lot of those names from the impact that they have had on the field. The names you don’t recognize are because either you aren’t a die hard fan of the team or they don’t play a position that you follow closely. Just know that most of those players have had a major impact on each team this season. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out and how each team will learn to exploit the weaknesses created by the injuries on this list.

Our Prediction

Kansas City Chiefs – 32
San Francisco 49ers – 27

The legend and legacy of Patrick Mahomes is about to take off.