WEEK THREE ROUNDUP AND WEEK FOUR PREVIEW

by

Terri Bey

Tonight, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears kick off Week Four of the 2017 NFL Season. Time flies, for sure. This should be a very interesting game, considering that the Bears surprisingly defeated the favored Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, though. Nonetheless, it is a rivalry game, between two long time rivals, and I think this can be a good game worth watching.

However, Week Three in the NFL has been interesting, to say the least. This past Friday, before an Alabama rally, President Donald Trump reignited the relatively dormant issue of players, who were protesting against racial Injustice and inequality by kneeling during the National Anthem. During his speech, he said, in essence that a player doing such an act should be”fired,” and he referred to the Black players as “sons of bitches.” This act triggered 200 plus NFL personnel, including players, coaches, owners to either kneel, stand with locked arms, stand for the Anthem, or not come out at all, in response to the President’s blowing his dog whistle to his base.

The NFL’s response was most unfortunate, because between the NFL wasting their time responding to Trump and his trolling, and having to hear from false fans burning their jerseys and tickets, and the media falling for Trump’s plot to distract American’s from his failures as President, what wasn’t reported much was what happened in the games. I will address the entire controversy in a separate blog. I am going to discuss what happened in Week Three, and preview Week Four.

THERE WAS SOME GREAT FOOTBALL

The first two weeks of the season started a bit slow coming out of the gate. There wasn’t a ton of offense from many teams. However, here is Week Three, and the games got so much better. There were a little bit of everything. There were blowouts, like the Jaguars dominating the Ravens in London, and Washington dominating the Oakland Raiders on the Sunday Night Game. There was a huge upset, like the aforementioned Chicago Bears over the Pittsburgh Steelers in OT. There were two amazing come from behind wins, when both Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady brought their respective teams back to win over the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans, respectfully. Of course, there was controversy, when the Detroit Lions thought they scored a game winning TD against the Atlanta Falcons, only to have it taken away, as the runner had his knee down before the ball went over the goal line, and the refs called for the 10 second run off rule. There was 8 seconds left in the game, so the Falcons held on to win. Sadly, all this got lost, because politics got shoved into the game.

ODELL BECKHAM, Jr.: GROW UP

Odell Beckham, Jr. is a good wide receiver for the New York Giants. What am I saying, the man is a great wide receiver for the New York Giants. Now, I have been clamoring for the celebration rules to be relaxed. I admit that. I am glad they did relax the rules, and for the most part, the players are pretty good about it. However, Odell Beckham needs to grow up. I don’t want to sound like one of “those people,” but that was a terrible celebration. I mean, getting down on your knees and pretending to pee like a male dog? I understand that the President calling the players as “SOBs.” I get that. However, you can’t stoop to his level. You also can’t cost your team 15 yards against a Divisional opponent, and now your team is 0-3. Grow up.

TOM BRADY IS DEFYING FATHER TIME

I am still not believing what I just saw on Sunday from Patriots QB Tom Brady against the Houston Texans. The Texans we’re battering him around all day. Brady lost a fumble that went for a touchdown. The man was sacked about five times. However, Tom Brady, with pressure in his face, threw a gorgeous pass to WR Brandin Cooks, who caught it for the game winning touchdown, with about 23 seconds to go in the game. Brady leads the NFL in passing yards, touchdowns, and is second in passer rating. This is amazing for a quarterback, who at age 40, should not be able to produce this kind of out put, but here is Brady doing it. Sports fans should be sitting back and enjoying this, while it lasts.

PREVIEW AND PICKS FOR WEEK FOUR

You know the drill by now. The winner will be in BOLD. Hope you enjoyed the blog. Feedback is appreciated

Last week: 7-9

THURSDAY NIGHT

KICKOFF at 8:25PM, EST

Chicago Bears @ the Green Bay Packers:

The Bears upset a possibly distracted Steelers team. The Packers will be ready.

PACKERS

SUNDAY GAMES:

9:30AM, EST

New Orleans Saints @ Miami Dolphins:

Dolphins coach Adam Gase was beside himself over his team’s “garbage” performance. With a young Saints defense, I think his Dolphins team might turn his frown upside down.

DOLPHINS

1:00PM, EST

Carolina Panthers @ New England Patriots:

The New England Patriots have to face another team with a mobile QB in Cam Newton. The Patriots defense has to improve. Hopefully, MLB Donte Hightower will return soon. The Panther defense is formidable. However, Newton is not 100%, and neither is Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin.

PATRIOTS

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens:

The Steelers were one of three teams who stayed in the hall during the Anthem, except for offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, who walked out to the side of the field, and put his hand on his heart. Villanueva later said that he “threw his team under the bus unintentionally.” Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger took the blame, and noted that the Anthem controversy was a distraction. Well, they are going to Baltimore, and they better be focused. The Ravens also better not take the Steelers lightly either, or they may be blown out again. In this rather personal rivalry between these two teams, the home team tends to hold serve at home.

RAVENS

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets

This will be a test for Jaguars QB Blake Bortles. Can he put two good performances back to back? He and the Jaguars just obliterated that tough Ravens defense. The New York Jets have a good defense, but not as good as the Ravens. Can the Jets win two games in a row?

JAGUARS

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans:

This should be a good divisional game. The Titans ran all over the Seahawks, and the Texans nearly upset the Patriots. This should be a low scoring defensive game.

TEXANS

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns:

Someone is going to win this “Battle of Ohio.” Both are 0-3, so one of them will have won their first game of the year.

BENGALS

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

Even though the Lions lost in a controversial manner, this is a team to take seriously. They have a potent offense, led by QB Matthew Stafford, who is earning every penny of that new contract. The defense is outstanding. It will be interesting who will be quarterbacking the Vikings, who defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for Sunday’s game.

LIONS

Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys

The Los Angeles Rams are on the upswing. I like what I see in all three phases of the game. Despite the slow starts by the Dallas Cowboys offense, I expect them to win this.

COWBOYS

Buffalo Bills @ Atlanta Falcons:

The Buffalo Bills are playing better than expected. I am suspecting they will keep the Falcons’ high flying offense grounded for awhile. However, I still think the Falcons, who could be 1-2, find a way to win this, as they have too many weapons.

FALCONS

4:05PM, EST

Eagles @ Los Angeles Chargers

Eagles fly out to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers. Knowing how the Chargers always find a way to lose games, I suspect that the Eagles will fly back with a win.

EAGLES

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals have the ageless and loyal WR Larry Fitzgerald, but that team is mess. They look old, especially at the QB position with Carson Palmer. The San Francisco 49ers are a young team, and put on a show in a loss against the Rams last week. If the Cardinals can’t bear the 49ers, they’re in big trouble.

CARDINALS

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This is a do or die game for the New York Giants, if they want to even have a slight shot at making the playoffs. In the current playoff format, I seriously doubt there is a chance the team would make the playoffs, if they went 0-4. With Tampa Bay’s excellent defense and very good offense, I am not confident in the Giants’ chances of winning.

BUCCANEERS

4:25PM, EST

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos

The Raiders got slapped around by Washington on prime time by Washington, last week. Now, they go into Denver against a tough defense, and at a tough place to play.

BRONCOS

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

KICKOFF: 8:30PM, EST

Indianapolis Colts @ Seattle Seahawks

Colts QB Jacoby Brissett recently stated that the Seahawks crowd will be “loud and drunk.” That is true. The fact that the “12th Man” is so loud is part of the reason why the Seahawks have such an amazing home field advantage. That being said, the Seahawks offensive line have to protect QB Russell Wilson, and open holes for their running game, or the defense will not be happy about once again having to keep winning games for the team, even at home.

SEAHAWKS

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

KICKOFF: 8:30PM, EST

Washington @ Kansas City Chiefs

Washington goes into Arrowhead Stadium, a tough place to play, to face the 3-0 Chiefs.  The Chiefs have been excellent, out of the gate. Washington is coming off of a blowout of the Raiders.  Both teams have momentum.  I still think that the Chiefs hold serve.

CHIEFS

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NFL Week 2 Wrap Up, and Week 3 Preview

By

Terri Bey

Well, dear readers. We are at Week 3, and tonight, we will be treated to a real barn burner of a game. The Los Angeles Rams (1-1) will be visiting the San Francisco 49ers (0-2), and viewers can see this game on the NFL Network. I am sure NFL fans can’t wait for the matchup between Rams QB Jared Goff and 49ers QB Brian Hoyers.  These two will certainly put on a show. If my readers can’t tell, this is heavily laden with sarcasm. If the NFL wonders why some viewers are tuning out, they need to look at matchups like this one. That is all I have to say about that.

Now, that I have talked about the game for tonight, let’s go ahead and discuss all the fun stuff that happened in Week Two, and preview Week Three. I hope you enjoy this blog, and feedback is welcome. There is much to discuss, so let’s get to it.

PROBLEMS IN CINCINNATI

Two weeks have gone by in the season, and no touchdowns from the Cincinnati Bengals offense. Who’s fault is that? The team has changed Offensive Coordinators already. Will there be a quarterback change next? Will QB Andy Dalton lose his job to backup A.J. McCarron? If Dalton doesn’t play better, I am guessing that’s what will happen. I have thought for a long time that head coach Marvin Lewis needs to be replaced. For the past several years, the team will get to the playoffs, but can’t win a playoff game. Lewis’ conservative play at the wrong time doesn’t help his cause, either. I thought for sure, after last year’s debacle of a season, Lewis would be gone. However, thanks to Browns ownership being frugal, Lewis keeps his job.

A GIANT HOLE IN NEW YORK

Can Giants Jerry Reese get some decent offensive line players to protect QB Eli Manning, please?  I hate to sound like Stephen A. Smith from ESPN’s “First Take,” but the game is won mainly in the trenches. The Giants looked awful in both of their Prime Time games, mainly due to poor offensive line play. Eli Manning didn’t play well, either.  I am not giving him a pass, but he can’t play, with his body on the ground, either. Olineman Eric Flowers is a human turnstyle.  I know that Giants head coach Ben McAdoo put a lot of the blame for the loss on Eli Manning. I feel that McAdoo needs to look in the mirror. I honestly don’t think he has this team ready to play at all.

PATRIOTS AND TOM BRADY REDEEM THEMSELVES

As if anyone was REALLY worried about Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the team answered their detractors, and easily defeated the New Orleans Saints, 36-20.  Tom Brady threw three touchdowns in the first quarter, and threw for 447 yards.  Brady was awarded the AFC Player of the week for the 28th time, besting Peyton Manning’s amount of 27.  The game was essentially “over” in the first quarter. There were a few offensive injuries to WR Chris Hogan (knee),  RB Rex Burkhead (ribs), TE Rob Gronkowski (groin), and Phillip Dorsett (knee).  The big concern was Gronkowski, who said his groin injury was “minor.” At Wednesday’s practice, even though he was seen during the media portion of practice doing drills, the team listed Gronkowski as a “non participant.” This bears watching, leading into their matchup against the Texans.

Tom Brady’s long-awaited book, “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.” was released on September 19th.  I am on Chapter 3, and I will give a review, when I am finished with it. So far, I like what I am reading. I don’t want to go too much into it.  I looked through the book, and there are lots of things that I think anyone can use to help themselves.

WEEK THREE PREDICTIONS:

Last week, I went 11-5.  I didn’t do too badly. I should have stuck with my initial gut feeling that the Lions would win against the Giants.  Oh, well.  Here are my predictions for Week 3.  The winner will be in bold.  Enjoy.

Thursday Night Football. Kickoff at 8:25:  Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers:  For some reason, the 49ers have the Rams’ number. I won’t go against that trend.   49ers. 

Sunday Games:

9:30AM, EST

Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars: This is one of the games being played in London this year. I don’t care where the game is being played, the Ravens are the better team. Ravens.

1:PM, EST

Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts: The Cleveland Browns, for the first time in years, are favored in this game on the road.  I am not so sure I believe in them.  Colts.

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets:  I am not a huge fan of QB Jay Cutler, but the Jets will wish they were the ones, who got him out of retirement.  Dolphins.

Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills:  This will be a defensive struggle at first, but the Broncos will pull away by open lengths.  Broncos.

New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers:  This will be a tough one to call.  Panthers QB Cam Newton is beat up, and in a bit of a slump. TE Chris Olson is out for awhile.  I think the Saints take this.  Saints.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chicago Bears: This is a no brainer.  The Steelers defense had their way with Vikings backup Case Keenum. I wonder what they will do with Bears starter Mike Glennon. If the Steelers offense gets going, it will be a long day in the Windy City. Steelers.

Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions:  Both teams are 2-0. Someone will be losing, and with the Falcons looking like the team to beat in the NFC, I don’t think it will be them.  Falcons.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have a tough defense, which will slow down Bucs QB Jameis Winston, but who will be playing QB for the Vikings? Will Sam Bradford be feeling up to playing, or will Keenum be under center.  I will go with the Bucs in a close one.  Buccaneers. 

Houston Texans @ New England Patriots: Here are two teams, who are familiar with one another, through their coaches and assistants. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has yet to defeat his mentor, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Even though the Texans will give Tom Brady and his offensive line fits, especially with J.J. Watt and that tough Texans defensive line, the Texans don’t have a great offensive line, and Belichick usually has his way with rookie quarterbacks. The Patriots defense must be sure to contain Texans QB DeShaun Watson.  I am going with the home team. Patriots.

4:05PM, EST

Seattle Seahawks @ Tennessee Titans:  The Seattle offensive line needs to protect Russell Wilson, or this will be a long day for Seattle. The Titans dismantled Jacksonville.  This is not Jacksonville they will be facing.  Seattle.

4:25PM, EST

Cincinnati Bengals @ Green Bay Packers: The Green Bay Packers should win this game. Unless the Bengals make a complete turnaround in 10 days, the Packers should win this game.  Packers.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers: I would not worry about the Chargers’ much maligned kicker screwing up this game. This game won’t be close.  Chiefs win this handily.  Chiefs.

Sunday Night Football. Kickoff at 8:30PM

Oakland Raiders @ Washington Team:  This is another game, where the road team should take this.  The Raiders are the better team. Washington is a mess in all three phases of the game.  I have seen stranger results, but the Raiders are the pick.  Raiders.

Monday Night Football. Kickoff at 8:30PM, EST:

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals:  Dallas got curbstomped last week by Denver. There is not a better description for what happened. NFL Network commentator and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ladanian Tomlinson said that Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott “quit,” during that interception run back.  That is strong words, indeed. Well, they are facing an Arizona team, with an aging Carson Palmer, who has been called out by his coach Bruce Arians, who said of Palmer, “He has to play better.” I am going to guess that both teams will be better, but Dallas gets the win.  Cowboys.

 

 

 

 

 

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NFL 2017 WEEK ONE WRAP UP and WEEK TWO LOOK AHEAD

by

Terri Bey

Well, the first week of the NFL 2017 season is in the books. There was a huge massive upset, right out of the gate, and many of the games were overall sluggish, and uninteresting. I hope that all the sluggishness is just pre-season jitters, and Week Two will be better. Let’s review the main headlines from Week One, and then let’s see how well I do in predicting the outcome for the games during Week Two.

HEADLINES FROM WEEK ONE:

Kansas City Chiefs Pull Shocker in New England in Season Opener.

Being that Thoroughbred Racing is my all time favorite sport, pardon me for using some racing jargon here, but Kansas City came out of the clouds with this huge upset of the highly favored defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. When the Chiefs were announced as the Patriots’ Opening Night opponent, I got a sick feeling. I remembered the last time the Patriots faced the Chiefs in the Home Opener in 2008, Brady got hit by then Chiefs Safety Bernard Pollard, and had to have knee surgery. Well, what happened on Opening Night wasn’t nearly that bad, but the Chiefs walloped the Patriots by a score of 42-27. The Chiefs dominated in all three phases of the game. Chiefs QB Alex Smith was no “Checkdown Charlie,” either. He threw bombs, and had command of the game. The Chiefs defense deserved praise for keeping Patriots QB Tom Brady way off his game, and keeping his weapons pretty quiet all night. I have seen some updated Power Rankings, and I think the Kansas City Chiefs have made their case for being ranked #1, but some disagreed. ESPN, for example, had the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked #1.

Ding. Dong. NO, the New England Patriots are NOT Dead, after One Game.

Almost as soon as the game clock ticked 0:00, on Friday, September 9th, there were two sets of people overreacting to the Patriots’ surprise loss. One group was the gleeful Patriots haters, who somehow are obsessed over a team they claim they “hate.” The other group was the Patriots fans, who were used to easy success, and had a hard time dealing with the shocking, and crushing loss. Of course, there were those in some outlets, both in Boston and outside of Boston, at the ready with their “hot takes” of “Is this the end of Brady?,” “Should Garappolo start,” “Is Brady already old?,” etc.” Yes, Tom Brady had the worst completion percentage of all the quarterbacks in the NFL for Week One. The man had a terrible game. Folks are acting like it’s Week 10. Belichick and Brady will turn this around. I think there was some very bad coaching and playcalling in that game against the Chiefs from both Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia and Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels, also. The injuries during the game to MLB Donta’ Hightower and WR Danny Amendola didn’t help either, as they are thin at LB, and WR Julian Edelman is gone for the season. People need to stop being “prisoners of the moment,” every week.

Where was the Offense?

I was at my local Buffalo Wild Wings for the majority of these Week One games. I watched a few at home, as well, such as the Sunday Night Football contest between the Dallas Cowboys vs the New York Giants, and some of the Monday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings vs the New Orleans Saints. I missed the Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers game, but I saw the highlights. The one common denominator between the majority of these Week One games was the sluggish offense. Where on earth was the offense? I know that early in the season, the defenses are usually ahead of the offenses, but this was horrendous.

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 20-0, but the Bengals offense was horrid. QB Andy Dalton threw 4 interceptions. Ravens QB Joe Flacco is coming off a back injury, and looked a little better. The Indianapolis Colts with QB Scott Tolzien better pray that QB Andrew Luck heals in one quick hurry, or they are in trouble. They got crushed by the Los Angeles Rams by a 37 point margin, and they can’t blame it on the footballs. The Pittsburgh Steelers BARELY got by the hapless Browns by 3 points. They better hope that RB Le’Veon Bell gets into football shape quickly. They can’t depend on WR Antonio Brown to bail them out. The Seattle Seahawks could not score more than double digits. The Los Angeles Chargers can’t win close games to save their lives. I know the New York Giants did not have superstar WR Odell Beckham, due to injury, but there was no excuse for them looking absolutely horrendous on Sunday Night Football. They looked awful. QB Eli Manning looked out of sorts. The offensive line was, well, offensive. They could not protect Manning. Ironically, the opening game between the Chiefs and the Patriots was the game that had the most excitement, in my opinion.

My plea to the NFL teams is to please get some offense. I love defensive games, but not all of them.

Now, here are my predictions for Week 2. I am not an expert, but I am going to take a shot at it. Enjoy.

Thursday Night Football on 9/14: Kickoff at 8:25PM, EST:

Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals- Winner: Bengals

Sunday Games:

1PM, EST Kickoff:

Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens- Winner: Ravens

Chicago Bears vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Winner: Buccaneers

Minnesota Vikings vs Pittsburgh Steelers- Winner: Steelers

New England Patriots vs New Orleans Saints- Winner: Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs- Winner: Chiefs

Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars- Winner: Titans

Arizona Cardinals vs Indianapolis Colts- Winner: Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills vs Carolina Panthers- Winner: Panthers

4:05PM, EST Kickoff:

New York Jets vs Oakland Raiders- Winner: Raiders

Miami Dolphins vs Los Angeles Chargers- Winner: Chargers

4:25PM, EST Kickoff

San Fransisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks- Winner: Seahawks

Washington Team vs Los Angeles Rams- Winner: Rams

Dallas Cowboys vs Denver Broncos- Winner: Broncos

Sunday Night Football: Kickoff at 8:30PM, EST

Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons- Winner: Packers

Monday Night Football: Kickoff at 8:30PM, EST

Detroit Lions vs New York Giants- Winner: Giants

Those are my picks. I hope you enjoyed this blog. Feed back is welcome. Contact below:

Twitter: @GioPontiFan Email: Alydace@yahoo.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/missedgehead

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2017-2018 NFL Season Preview and Predictions

by

Terri BeyBrady

Well, here we are again with yet another NFL Season upon us. On September 7, 2017, the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots will open the 2017-18 NFL Season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. The game will air on NBC. The Patriots will drop their fifth Super Bowl Banner, with all the pomp and circumstance, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be in attendence. This will be the first time Goodell will be at Gillette Stadium for a game that counts, since the now infamous 2014-15 AFC Championship Game against the Colts, which launched the investigation-turned-witch hunt, called “Deflategate.” Roger Goodell did appear at the Patriots’ first pre-season game this past summer, but that game doesn’t count. Regardless, I am sure this Thursday, the New England fans will give Mr. Goodell a warm and friendly welcome.

Before I get into making my predictions for the 32 teams, and such, I am going to briefly discuss some of the storylines going into the season. Let’s start by discussing the legal mess that is brewing between the NFLPA and the NFL over Dallas Cowboys star RB Ezekiel Elliott’s six game suspension for domestic violence. Elliott allegedly abused his girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson, by attacking her three times near the Ohio State Campus. The NFL investigation took nearly a year, and came to the conclusion that Elliott should serve a six game suspension. I am not going to go into a ton of detail, but from what I have been reading, the evidence against Elliott appears to be pretty shaky. One of the NFL Investigators, Kia Roberts, recommended no suspension for Elliott, because she did not find Miss Thompson credible (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/08/31/report-nfl-lead-investigator-recommended-no-suspension-for-ezekiel-elliott/ ). This past week, there was a three day appeal hearing in front of Harold Henderson, who is acting as arbitrator. One of the objections from the NFLPA is that Miss Thompson, the alleged victim, was not called at the appeal hearing. This goes to the “fundamental fairness” of the process to unfairly suspend Elliott, as well as not having access to NFL attorney Jeff Pash’s notes.

If any of this sounds familiar to my readers, these arguments were used in front of the Second District Court judges in the Brady Case, during “Deflategate.” This was why Tom Brady was fighting his ridiculous suspension in court, so this kind of nonsense would not happen to ANOTHER FUTURE player. Well, here we are again. Ezekiel Elliott and NFLPA attorney Jeff Kessler, yes, the same attorney, who defended Brady, filed a suit in a Texas Court to block the suspension. What the NFLPA is doing is called, “Forum Shopping.” The NFL will be doing this, also, should Henderson, as expected, upholds the suspension. Ezekiel Elliott wants to avoid the Second District Courts, where the NFL eventually won its case against Brady. The reason is that a Second District judge is more likely to obey the Second Circuit’s ruling against Brady, and force Elliott to serve his six game suspension. As a reminder, the Second Circuit ruled in the Brady Case that per Article 46 in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which the players agreed to, even though the Commissioner may have the facts wrong, the Commissioner, as arbitrator, can still hand down punishment as he sees fit. My advice to Cowboy fans, who may be reading this, get used to hearing the terms, “Article 46,” “forum shopping,” and be prepared for a two year legal battle.

Another storyline is the issue of concussions, and player safety. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen made news this past Spring, when she revealed that her husband, Patriots QB Tom Brady suffered from concussions. Of course, being that it was the Patriots, the keyboard warriors were calling for suspensions, and all that nonsense. Concussions aren’t easy to diagnose. Did Brady likely hide concussions from the team? Sure. Is he the ONLY player to EVER hide a concussion from his team, like the Gary Meyers’ of the world were trying to make it sound? No. I think that perhaps we need to do away with some ideas, like “No pain. No gain.,” or how about not making fun of children, who play sports, boys, in particular, if they don’t want to play in pain. How about guaranteed contracts in the NFL? Guaranteed contracts, in my opinion, would help encourage players to report concussions, instead of feeling like they have to play through it.

There is also that latest study, where of 111 brains from deceased football players, 110 had C.T.E., or Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Despite all the research, and despite all the continuing research that connects the hits from football to diseases like CTE, dementia, Althemiers, and ALS, the NFL is still in denial. Commissioner Goodell, and many of the Owners completely ignore the science. I am not surprised, as they ignored the science of the Ideal Gas Law, which debunked Deflategate. Why should anyone be surprised that Goodell would ignore science connecting his sport to C.T.E? The NFL and their lawyers are giving families a hard time with the Concussion Settlement, as well. Here is a link to a story about former NFL player Rickey Dixon, and his wife’s struggle with collecting from the settlement: http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/page/enterpriseNFLWives/wives-former-nfl-players-left-navigate-concussion-settlement

The NFL is pushing all these new safety rules, like Big Tobacco with the so-called “safer cigarette. The hypocrisy by the NFL. is when a dangerous player, like Cincinnati Bengal LB Vontaze Burfict’s five game suspension is reduced to three. Last year, thanks to his actions, he served a three game suspension. So, what is his serving another three game suspension going to teach him? His team doesn’t seem to care that he is a dangerous player. The NFL doesn’t seem to care, either. Yet, they talk about how they are making the game “safer.”

I know that some readers may think that I am a hypocrite in making some of these criticisms of the NFL and doing a prediction column. However, I love this sport, and the players that play it. I care about the safety of these men, and I just want the NFL brass to be transparent with the general public and fans concerning concussions and player safety. The NFL would have a lot more credibility with the general public, if they delved into player safety and concussions with the same fervor they had concerning PSI levels in footballs.

My final note, before we get onto my predictions for the upcoming season concerns Tom Brady, and his age. This will be a story-line throughout the season, because it is Tom Brady, and ESPN, and other outlets have to have something to discuss about the Patriots. Before I continue, I do not think the Patriots, or ANY OTHER team for that matter, are going undefeated, so let’s get the 19-0 talk out of the way. I don’t know, if it is just my observation, or what it is, but I grew up with always admiring greatness, and wanting to see greatness last as long as possible. I notice “experts,” like ESPN’s Max Kellerman trying to make a name for himself, by saying earlier last season, “Tom Brady’s going to fall off a cliff when he is 41.” I see former QBs like Chris Simms constantly taking shots at Brady, and so on, and so forth.

Why can’t we admire greatness, and enjoy it while it lasts? Yes, I know Father Time is undefeated. Everyone knows that. See Peyton Manning, Brett Farve, and many other top athletes. Who knows how long Brady will play, despite his wanting to play until 45. God/Fate only knows. I think people should just enjoy the ride, while this lasts. I think it will be very interesting to see if Brady can win another Super Bowl, and play at a high level at age 40 and beyond. His playing at a high level at his age has inspired others, such as Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers and New York Giants QB Eli Manning, who both had said they want to play at 40. I think Brady’s playing at 40 at a high level is good for the sport.

Now, that I have discussed several of the main story-lines for the 2017-18 NFL Season, it is time for my predictions for each team’s records, Division winners, Wild Cards, AFC Champions, and Super Bowl winner. I hope you have enjoyed this blog, and will enjoy my picks.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE:

AFC EAST:

Prediction: Well, this division is not the hardest to call. The defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots have won this division 9 straight times, including last year. That joke of a scandal, called “Deflategate” failed to stop them, as the NFL hoped it would. The defending AFC Champs made some good moves in the offseason, like trading for WR Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately, the Patriots lost WR Julian Edelman, due to an ACL tear, and that is huge. A huge part of their offense is gone, but I am sure that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and coach Bill Bellichick will have some sort of plan. As for the rest of the AFC. let’s see. The New York Jets are in rebuilding mode. They traded away Sheldon Richardson, arguably their best defender. Josh McKown is going to be their quarterback. Is Christian Hackenberg ever going to get a start? He could not even get the backup role. The Buffalo Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999, and have an entire new GM and Coach. Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase got former Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler out of mothballs, as QB Ryan Tannehill had to have surgery for his partially torn ACL, that he should have had a long while ago. Miami does have some playmakers on both sides of the ball, but I think they overachieved last year.

Division Winner: New England Patriots.

Team Records:

  1. New England Patriots: 14-2
  2. Miami Dolphins: 8-8
  3. Buffalo Bills: 6-10
  4. New York Jets: 2-14

AFC SOUTH:

Prediction: This has been a topsy-turvy division, to say the least. I can only see two teams winning this division, the defending division winners, the Houston Texans, or the up and coming Tennessee Titans. The returning DE J.J. Watt gives Houston’s already formidable defense a huge boost. Before I continue, the NFL needs to give its Walter Payton Man of the Year to J.J. Watt right now. He has been a godsend to the people of Houston, during Hurricane Harvey. Watt has now raised upwards of $18 million dollars for those affected by the flooding. I am certainly glad he didn’t “stick to sports.” As for the effect of Harvey on the team itself, that will be hard to predict, as many of the players and staff were adversely affected by Harvey. Will local fans want to come to home games after dealing with the aftermath themselves? Will the stadium be in shape to host the opener? Harvey could either inspire the team, or discourage them. I do think that this team has enough talent, and leadership in head coach Bill O’Brien, and J.J. Watt to overcome adversity, as the rest of the division is in a bit of disarray. I do admit that I am not too crazy about Tom Savage as QB, but the Texans have WR DeAndre Hopkins, as a great weapon, and that excellent defense to carry them through.

The Tennessee Titans have a very good team, but I will be keeping my eye on QB Marcus Mariotta, who is coming off a broken tibia suffered near the end of last season, when the team was making a playoff push. Will he be the same player? If he can return to that level, I think the Titans can possibly challenge the Texans for the division. The Indianapolis Colts are a total mess. QB Andrew Luck is not quite ready, due to his shoulder surgery, hence QB Scott Tozien likely getting the start, and the trade for New England Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett in exchange for WR Phillip Dorsett. The Colts fired GM Ryan Grigson, famous for getting the Deflategate ball rolling. The team is in total rebuilding mode, pretty much thanks to Grigson’s mistakes in drafting, and dealing. I really don’t expect much from the team. Perhaps the team should stop being the land of excuses, and accept a 38 point beatdown, next time. The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be a dumpster fire. Do they even have a quarterback? Blake Bortles has been a disaster in pre-season. The man has thrown INT after INT. The problem is that Chad Henne was not much better. Even though Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan would have no objections to hiring the blackballed and unemployed QB Colin Kaepernick, Tom Coughlin, Executive Vice President of Football Operations, said he would not hire him, with no explanations. This is like the Titanic refusing help. I don’t see many wins for the Jaguars. Rookie Leonard Fournette may be a bright spot, but that’s it.

Division Winner: Houston Texans

Team Records:

  1. Houston Texans: 10-6
  2. Tennessee Titans: 9-7
  3. Indianapolis Colts: 7-9
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-12

AFC WEST

Prediction: There’s a ton of intriguing story lines in this division. Can Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr bounce back from his broken leg, that derailed a potential deep playoff run for the team? Will the team be distracted by their eventual move to Las Vegas? Can the Kansas City Chiefs make a deep playoff run with Alex Smith as quarterback, or will it be time for the rookie Patrick Mahomes? The team has an excellent defense, lead by LB John Houston and DB Eric Berry. Tight End Travis Kelce is the main weapon on offense. Alex Smith is very good, but he doesn’t put the fear of God in anyone as a quarterback.

Can the Denver Broncos regain their dominance with Trevor Simien as quarterback, along with their excellent defense? Backup QB Paxton Lynch, who’s a first round pick, will be out a few weeks, due to injury, evidently could not beat Simien out for the starting job. Former Broncos QB Brock Osweiller took a circuitous route back the Broncos via the Texans and the Cleveland Browns. The Broncos also cut defender T. J. Ward, which did not go over well with the locker room. Ward, now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, called the move, “unprofessional.” Funny how a player like Ward, who knocked out Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski for the year with a low and late hit, and cost his Broncos team a possible win against the Patriots with a late hit that was flagged, has a nerve to call anyone “unprofessional.” Vance Joseph is the new head coach for the Broncos. The now Los Angeles Chargers are dealing with a name change and a relocation. They have a new coach, Anthony Lynn. Team stalwarts QB Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates are still looking for that elusive Super Bowl.

Division Winner: Oakland Raiders.

Team Records:

  1. Oakland Raiders: 11-5
  2. Kansas City Chiefs: 11-5
  3. Denver Broncos: 8-8
  4. Los Angeles Chargers: 7-9

AFC North

Prediction: This is one of my favorite divisions in the NFL. The four teams are the toughest in the league, in that they pretty much beat each other up. The rivalries between division foes are the best, even among the fans. That being said, the most intriguing team is the Baltimore Ravens. Despite the contract extension, will coach John Harbaugh be on the hot seat, if the team falters again? Will QB Joe Flacco’s back injury suffered during the preseason flare up during the season? Will the team have enough players, as so many players have been lost during training camp?

As for the rest of the AFC North, can the Cincinnati Bengals bounce back from their poor season last year? Will coach Marvin Lewis still have his job? The Cleveland Browns are going with DeShone Kizer, their first round pick as starting quarterback. They have a young team, so good luck to coach Hue Jackson. The defending division winner, the Pittsburgh Steelers, may or may not be playing with QB Ben Roethlisberger in his final season. Right after the loss to the Patriots in last year’s AFC Championship Game, Roethlisberger seriously thought about retiring. Well, he returned this year, and it appears that he is taking it year by year, as he “wants to be able to play with his kids,” when he retires. The Steelers have a forbidable offense, with wide receivers Antonio Brown, and Martavius Bryant, and RB Le’Veon Bell, who returned to team practice, after a contract dispute. The key will be the defense.

Division Winner: The Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Records:

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4
  2. Cincinnati Bengals: 9-7
  3. Baltimore Ravens: 8-8
  4. Cleveland Browns: 5-11

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

NFC EAST

Prediction: The availability of Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott for the team is up in the air. All this depends on when Harold Henderson makes his decision concerning Elliott’s appeal of his six game suspension. As of this writing, Henderson has until 4pm, EST on Tuesday to rule. If he fails to rule, Elliott is eligible to play against the New York Giants. If he rules to uphold the suspension, then the NFLPA has to try for a restraining order from the court in Texas.

All this will effect the race for the division crown. Can QB Dak Prescott improve from last year? Will the loss if key players on defense hurt Dallas? Will fighting a scandal in court exhaust Elliott, like it eventually did Tom Brady in 2015?

The New York Giants appear to be the best challenger to Dallas. They have an improved defense. Hopefully, they can keep QB Eli Manning upright. Washington is a mess. QB Kirk Cousins has virtually no weapons. The defense doesn’t look great, either. The Philadelphia Eagles did look good in preseason. Eagles QB Carson Wentz looked like the Next Big Thing during the first part of last season, but when the second half of the season rolled around, he took a nose dive.  There are high expectations for Wentz and WR Alshon Jeffery, but I am not too crazy about the Eagles either.

Division Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Team Records:

  1. Dallas Cowboys: 12-4
  2. New York Giants: 10-6
  3. Philadelphia Eagles: 8-8
  4. Washington: 7-9

NFC SOUTH

Prediction: This is the division, where the teams take turns winning. I know that the “wise guy” team, that the experts are picking, is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but I just do not trust QB Jameis Winston. He keeps making that back breaking interception too many times for my liking. RB Doug Martin is suspended for a few games. I know the team just added T. J. Ward on defense, but count me out.

Can the defending division winner, and NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons recover from the Super Bowl collapse? This will be a real test. I don’t trust the Carolina Panthers to do much, as QB Cam Newton only threw two passes in preseason games, due to off-season shoulder surgery. I will say this. The officials need to protect large QBs like Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger, just like they do guys like Brady, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Saints QB Drew Brees, etc. In speaking of the New Orleans Saints, the team needs a more balanced attack, with the newly acquired RB Adrian Peterson, and not depend on Brees to bail them out.

Division Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Team Records:

  1. Atlanta Falcons: 11-5
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-7
  3. New Orleans Saints: 7-9
  4. Carolina Panthers: 6-10

NFC WEST

Prediction: Much like the AFC East, this division is an easy call. The Seattle Seahawks have owned this division, pretty much, and I don’t see anyone beating them this year. Yes, much has been written about their not getting over the loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl 49. However, I think they are focused, and ready to go. With QB Russ Wilson healthy, and the “legion of boom” ready, I am expecting a deep run in the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Rams are a mess. They can’t even make a deal with their top defender, Aaron Donald, so he will get back to practice. QB Jared Goff is not near ready. The once mighty San Francisco 49ers have a new coach and GM. Did I mention that they’re also rebuilding? Can the Arizona Cardinals bounce back from their subpar 2016 year? Will this be WR Larry Fitzgerald’s last season? Can the aging QB Carson Palmer have a great season?

Division Winner: Seattle Seahawks.

Team Records:

  1. Seattle Seahawks: 12-4
  2. Arizona Cardinals: 9-7
  3. San Francisco 49ers: 5-11
  4. Los Angeles Rams: 4-12

NFC NORTH

Prediction: This is another easy call. The Green Bay Packers have been improving their secondary through the draft. They fortified their defense by signing free agent LB Ahmad Brooks. Of course, they have QB Aaron Rodgers, and that high powered offense. The Minnesota Vikings are still without QB Teddy Bridgewater, and I am not all that crazy about their team from looking at them, this preseason, either. The Chicago Bears will have QB Mike Glennon starting, even though their 2017 first round pick Mitchell Trubisky showed some potential during preseason games. I don’t see anything special about the Bears. The Detroit Lions signed QB Matthew Stafford to the NFL’s largest contract for a QB. Will that translate to the Lions going to the playoffs? We will see.

Division Winner: Green Bay Packers.

Team Records:

  1. Green Bay Packers: 11-5
  2. Detroit Lions: 8-8
  3. Minnesota Vikings: 7-9
  4. Chicago Bears: 6-10

Playoff Seedings and Wild Cards (WC):

AFC:

  1. New England Patriots
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Oakland Raiders
  4. Kansas City Chiefs
  5. Houston Texans (WC)
  6. Tennesse Titans (WC)

NFC:

  1. Seattle Seahawks
  2. Dallas Cowboys
  3. Green Bay Packers
  4. Atlanta Falcons
  5. New York Giants (WC)
  6. Arizona Cardinals (WC)

Super Bowl 52 Match-Up:

New England Patriots vs. The Green Bay Packers

Super Bowl 52 Winner: The New England Patriots

Regular Season MVP: New England Patriots QB Tom Brady

Super Bowl MVP: New England Patriots QB Tom Brady

Coach of the Year: Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Defensive Player of the Year: Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt.

Hope you enjoyed this.  Feedback is welcome.

Email: Alydace@yahoo.com

Twitter: @GioPontiFan

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/missedgehead

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My Review of QUEEN and Adam Lambert at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena on July 21, 2017

by

Terri Bey

QUEEN sings the classic anthem, “We Will Rock You,” and rock Cleveland they did, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2017. Two of the remaining and surviving members of QUEEN, along with 2012 “American Idol” runner up Adam Lambert, and their backing band put on a brilliant show, full of QUEEN hits and a couple of surprises. The concert included a fantastic array of strobe lights, and computer graphics. The stage was also shaped like a guitar.  When. I saw them three years ago in Chicago, I didn’t think they could top themselves, but they did.

Overall, QUEEN and Adam Lambert were incredible. Musically,  the entire band was tight. Lambert is a wonderful frontman. Is he Freddie Mercury? No. Lambert even admitted it. He joked  about wearing a “gay suit.” Adam talked about how he was a fan, and all this was a tribute to Freddie. However,  Lambert is excellent for his role. What I liked, was at the end of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” he and Freddie Mercury, who was on the screen, traded lines, with the brilliant Mercury singing the final line. I loved Lambert’s costume changes. He interacts with Brian May and Roger Taylor beautifully.

Freddie Mercury was featured, of course. They showed him on screen singing the “Daaaayyyyoo,” and like Pavlov’s dogs,  we all gave him was he wanted. It was awesome. He got the biggest cheers, of course. What a frontman and lead singer. What command he had of an audience.  Freddie Mercury was the best ever

The entire band was very energetic onstage. They got the crowd going. Brian May is a living legend. What a great guitarist. May is also a really good showman, as well.  I loved his guitar solo. I loved how he still plays that solo to “Stone Cold Crazy” so well.  Of course, he sang, “Love of My Life,” as only he can, with Freddie Mercury on screen singing the last lines.

Roger Taylor had his drum battle. That was really good. Taylor is an underrated drummer, in my opinion. He was excellent, last night. Taylor has an excellent singing voice, and sang “I’m In Love With My Car,” and a brilliant version of “Under Pressure,” with Adam.

There was some really awesome special effects. In the beginning of the show, the screens show “Frank” the robot, which is on the cover of the band’s “News of the World” album” appearing to lift up the screens on the stage, revealing the band. During “Bicycle Race,” Adam Lambert has a pink bicycle with flowers, and on the screens above the stage, there are outlines of women bicycling. During “Killer Queen,” Adam Lambert is sitting on the robot’s head, which comes from under the stage. I don’t want to spoil the entire concert for anyone who has yet to see the show, so I will just say that the special effects are just phenomenal, as well as the music.

In closing, this was brilliant concert.  I highly recommend going to see QUEEN and Adam Lambert. I have seen a ton of concerts, and a ton of acts, and this is the best act going today.

Set list

We Will Rock You (Intro)
Hammer to Fall
Stone Cold Crazy
Another One Bites the Dust
Fast Bottomed Birls
Killer Queen
Two Fux
Don’t Stop Me Now
Bicycle Race
I’m In Love With My car
Get Down Make Love
I Want It All
Love of My Life – Brian
Somebody to Love
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Roger Drum Solo
Under Pressure
I Want to Break Free
You Take My Breath Away (Intro)

Who Wants to Live Forever
Brian’s Guitar Solo
Radio Ga Ga
Bohemian Rhapsody
Encore
We Will Rock  You
We are the Champions
God Save the Queen

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Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson Need to be Remembered

by

Terri Bey

Anyone reading this blog already knows this story by now.  On June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman were murdered by the alleged perpetrator, former Buffalo Bill RB O.J. Simpson, Nicole’s ex-husband. Now, before I continue, I am using the term “alleged,” because of obvious legal reasons, as Simpson was acquitted by the jury in October of 1995.  I don’t agree with the verdict, not at all. I just don’t want to get into legal trouble.  As I said, after a circus of a trial, the jury did bring back a rather stunning verdict of acquittal.

What is so unfortunate about the entire thing is that Ronald Goldman, and Nicole Simpson, the VICTIMS, got the shaft. They really did.  I heard very little about Ronald, in particular. I wish prosecutor Marcia Clark had talked about him a bit more.  The prosecution didn’t do as well a job, as I thought they should have, but that isn’t what this is about. In my opinion, the case was lost, when the decision was made to move the case to downtown Los Angeles.  Who cared about all the media outlets? This was about getting justice for the victims. The trial should have been kept in Brentwood, where the crime happened, so Simpson would have been tried in front of a “jury of his peers.”

Anyway, we need to remember Ron and Nicole on this, the 23rd year of their passing to remind people, that there were two human beings killed. We need to remember that two beautiful, young people, with their lives ahead of them, were snuffed out.  This was about what the trial should have been. This trial should NOT have been about “racist and corrupt cops,” or the corruption in the L.A. District Attorney’s Office.  I am NOT saying that those issues do NOT exist, but the trial was not the time to bring them up.  Two people got killed, and one of them, was a domestic violence victim.  THAT is what the trial was about.

As for that jury, I wish there would have been ONE person with some integrity to stand up, and not be blinded by O.J. Simpson’s charm and celebrity. I wish that person would have been like Henry Fonda’s  “Juror #8,” in “12 Angry Men,” except unlike the Fonda character, whose lone vote changes a sure guilty verdict to a not guilty verdict, this person would have changed the “not guilty” verdict to “guilty.” I wish that person would have stood their ground, no matter how long it took.

Ronald and Nicole are real the victims here, not a once privileged NFL star. Please remember Ron and Nicole. If you see or know someone in an abusive relationship, please get them help.

 

 

 

 

 

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How I Lost at Patriotism – And How We All Lose

This is an outstanding article. Sadly, NFL QB Colin Kaepernick is paying the price for “patriotism.”

The Angry Staff Officer

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

  • America: a Poem for July 4th (1911)

A few years ago, I traveled back to my Ohio hometown for Memorial Day weekend. It’s a small community, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in the eastern part of the state, and has seen some better times. The death of steel has hit the community hard – really hard. Fifteen to twenty percent unemployment is the norm. Every presidential candidate since Clinton has come through campaigning on the promise of bringing back the steel jobs – and none of them ever have.

But I wasn’t there to talk economics, I was there specifically to talk at the community’s memorial day event, which I was…

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