NFL 2016-17 Preview and Predictions

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Tomorrow, September 8, 2016, starts the brand new season for the NFL.  The defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos open the season against the team they defeated in Super Bowl 50, the Carolina Panthers.  This should be a fascinating game. Will Panthers Cam Newton choke again, and pout after the game? Will Denver’s defense be as good as last year?  The Broncos are handing over the team to rookie QB Trevor Siemian, who’s never thrown a pass in the NFL. This should be very interesting. I think the Broncos take it, by a score of 24-10.

I normally would be very excited about the new season, but not this year. Unless you have been living under a rock, QB Tom Brady of the New England Patriots started his 4 game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate, the dumbest sports scandal ever. I am absolutely disgusted. For nearly two years…

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NFL 2016-17 Preview and Predictions

Tomorrow, September 8, 2016, starts the brand new season for the NFL.  The defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos open the season against the team they defeated in Super Bowl 50, the Carolina Panthers.  This should be a fascinating game. Will Panthers Cam Newton choke again, and pout after the game? Will Denver’s defense be as good as last year?  The Broncos are handing over the team to rookie QB Trevor Siemian, who’s never thrown a pass in the NFL. This should be very interesting. I think the Broncos take it, by a score of 24-10.

I normally would be very excited about the new season, but not this year. Unless you have been living under a rock, QB Tom Brady of the New England Patriots started his 4 game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate, the dumbest sports scandal ever. I am absolutely disgusted. For nearly two years, the NFL pursued Brady over such a minor infraction. I thought I was observing a real life version of Les Miserables. This suspension is a travesty.

The purpose of this blog is to preview the upcoming 2016-17 NFL season. I will give you my playoff teams, and Super Bowl LI pick. Hope you enjoy the blog.

American Football Conference

AFC EAST

Analysis:  Can Brady’s suspension open up the Division for the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills?  If backup QB Jimmy Garappolo struggles, and costs the Patriots games, yes. Since Tom Brady will regain his starting job Week 5, I don’t think so. Brady will be playing with a huge chip on his shoulder. Bill Belichick hasn’t forgotten how to coach, and this Patriots defense has the look of something special. That’s bad news for the division, and for the NFL.  The Bills are dealing with a desperate head coach,  and suspensions of their own. The Miami Dolphins have yet, another new coach. QB Ryan Tannehill better improve under new coach, Adam Gase. New York Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has “bet on himself,” but in all the years he’s been in the NFL, he’s never lead a team to the playoffs. I wouldn’t bet on him to do that this year, either, based upon his past performances.

  • New England Patriots: 12-4
  • New York Jets: 8-8
  • Miami Dolphins: 7-9
  • Buffalo Bills: 6-10

AFC SOUTH

Analysis: This division is ggoing to be hard to handicap. The Indianapolis Colts made QB Andrew Luck the highest paid QB in the NFL.  The Houston Texans paid former Denver QB Brock Osweiler $78 Million. The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans both improved their rosters. In my opinion, the Texans look really good, even though I am not sold on Osweiller. Fortunately, star defender J.J. Watt will be available Week 1, so that will boost their defense. The Jags have improved, but they need to stop falling behind by 20 points. I think the Colts will return to the playoffs, but Luck has to play better, and slide. That offensive line must be fixed.

  • Houston Texans: 11-5
  • Indianapolis Colts: 10-6
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: 9-7
  • Tennessee Titans: 8-8

AFC WEST

Analysis: This will be a very interesting divisional battle between the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs, and according to several experts, the Oakland Raiders. The Oakland Raiders are what we horse racing fans would call the “Wise Guy horse,” or in this case, team. In other words, the Raiders appear to be the team picked by the experts to come up big this year. All three looked pretty good this preseason. I was very impressed with the Chiefs.  I expect the Denver defense to once again carry the team. They do have a rookie QB, so I expect some growing pains. The Chargers are a mess. QB Philip Rivers is awesome, but the uncertainty of the future location of the team will hover over them.

  • Denver Broncos: 11-5
  • Kansas City Chiefs: 10-6
  • Oakland Raiders: 9-7
  • San Diego Chargers: 7-9

AFC NORTH

Analysis: This is the hard knocking division, literally. Can the Baltimore Ravens rebound after a disastrous season last year? Can the Cincinnati Bengals finally make the playoffs? Can the Pittsburgh Steelers keep QB Ben Roethlisberger upright? Can the Bengals AND the Steelers BEHAVE when they play each other? Can the Cleveland Browns win a few games for new coach Hue Jackson? Can Robert Griffin, III and Ben Roethlisberger both stay healthy for their respective teams?  Can Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell stay off the weed? We shall see.

The Ravens looked like their old selves, especially on defense, this preseason. QB Joe Flacco is coming off a torn ACL, so we will see how much his mobility will be limited. The Steelers look very good on offense in the third preseason game. Their defense is up and down, and their backup QB situation is not all that great. The Bengals look to have another fantastic season, but they have to shake that playoff bugaboo. The Browns are the Browns.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5
  • Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6
  • Baltimore Ravens: 7-9
  • Cleveland Browns: 5-11

 

National Football Conference

NFC EAST

Analysis: This is the most enjoyable division to analyze. There is so much drama amongst these four Drama Queens, it’s not funny. We have Washington, with their offensive name. They couldn’t even make a long term deal with Kirk Cousins, their QB. We have the Philadelphia Eagles, who dumped that Chip Kelly, and had to undo all his damage, by getting rid of various players. Heck, you have former Eagles executive Joe Banner taking shots at the New England Patriots over the Eric Rowe trade. I wonder if Banner is still mad about Super Bowl 39? You have the New York Giants and their wife-beating kicker, Josh Brown, to whom King Roger Goodell handed down a one game suspension. Finally, you have the Dallas Cowboys. “America’s Team.” Holy cow. QB Tony Romo, who I genuinely like as a QB, and as a person, goes down again with a back injury. Now, a rookie, Dak Prescot, has to take over. Oh, Lord.

From looking at these teams in preseason, the Eagles look about these best. Did I also mention that they traded away QB Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings for a 1st and a 4th, due to Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater’s injury? Did I mention that 16 1st round draft pick Carson Wentz will be starting? The Eagles defense looked good. Dan Prescott looked good in the preseason for the Cowboys. Let’s see what happens in the regular season. The Giants look horrible on both sides of the ball. That offensive line looks especially bad. Washington looks pretty good.

  • Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6
  • Dallas Cowboys: 9-7
  • Washington: 8-8
  • New York Giants: 7-9

NFC SOUTH

Analysis: From the looks of things, it appears that Saints QB Drew Brees and the team are closing in on a new deal, per Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. I do wonder if it is wise to give a ton of money to an aging player like Brees, age 37, as great as he is. The team has made some minor changes. Atlanta didn’t look all that impressive in the preseason.  Tampa Bay looked fine, but I think they’re a year away from contention. Even though the Panthers looked pathetic offensively in the 3rd game in preseason, I still think they win the Division.

  • Carolina Panthers: 12-4
  • New Orleans Saints: 8-8
  • Atlanta Falcons: 8-8
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-10

NFC WEST

Analysis: This division is a two team race between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals. The Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers have very little to no chance to win the division, at least based on their past performances. I saw a Seattle Seahawks team , this preseason, that looks like it could go all the way to the Super Bowl, as much as I am tired of the prospect of seeing there. Arizona looked good, as well. However, from looking at Carson Palmer in the third preseason game, I’m not sure if I’m seeing the continuation of Palmer’s poor performance in the NFC Championship game from last year.  With the 49ers engulfed in the Colin Kaepernick situation, and the Rams in a new place, but the same team, I think the Seahawks take the division.

  • Seattle Seahawks: 12-4
  • Arizona Cardinals: 11-5
  • Los Angeles Rams: 8-8
  • San Francisco 49ers: 6-10

NFC NORTH

Analysis: It is really a shame that instead of preparing for the season opener, Sunday, September 11th, on Thursday, Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater will be in surgery to repair his dislocated knee, torn ACL, and other damage he suffered during a recent practice. I think that it would have made for a great battle for the division between the Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. After all, the Packers were getting WR Jordy Nelson back from a torn ACL. Now, the Vikings have traded for San Bradford, who has a terrible history of staying healthy, himself. I know it’s a “win-now” league, but I think the Vikings gave up way too much.

That being said, I do think the Vikings still have a shot to make the playoffs as a Wild Card. After all, the team does have RB Adrian Peterson. I don’t see the Lions doing too much, especially since their top WR Calvin Johnson retired. They didn’t do much with him on the team. The Chicago Bears still have Jay Cutler as QB, so that’s not going to change. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is going to do his thing, and hopefully, the playcalling doesn’t get in the way.

  • Green Bay Packers: 12-4
  • Minnesota Vikings: 10-6
  • Chicago Bears: 7-9
  • Detroit Lions: 6-10

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PREDICTIONS

AFC: New England Patriots defeating Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC: Seattle Seahawks defeating Green Bay Packers

SUPER BOWL LI PREDICTION:

New England Patriots defeating Seattle Seahawks

Feedback at @GioPontiFan or Alydace@yahoo.com

 

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Was There Really A Winner In Deflategate?

By Terri Bey

 

After a meandering, and rather wasteful 545 days, since a controversy called “Deflategate, “which emerged after the 2014-15 AFC Championship game in Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 45-7, I am here to announce that the dreadful affair is over. On July 15,2016, Patriots QB Tom Brady ended his legal battle with the NFL, and accepted his four game suspension for his alleged involvement in one of the dumbest scandals in the history of sports. Those close to the Brady camp say that the decision by the Second Circuit Court to deny an en banc review was “demoralizing,” and he didn’t want to risk a suspension later in the season, and wanted to “move on to football, “per Mike Reiss of ESPN. ( http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4793883/demoralizing-decision-from-court-helped-spark-tom-bradys-decision )

Now, that this sordid mess is over, onto this blog. There have been so many “hot takes.”  Many of the experts and fans have chimed in on “who won,” and all.  I have read discussions about Brady’s legacy, and Goodell’s victory. I wonder if there are any winners, at all in this mess.
ROGER GOODELL
Did Roger Goodell “win?” Yes. He won the public relations war against Tom Brady,  and the legal war. After all, how did ESPN’s Chris Mortensen get the information that contained the two main LIES that started the “Deflategate” narrative, way back in January of 2015? The first one said that “11 of 12 Patriots balls were substantially under the 12.5. legal limit,  and Mortensen confirmed that 11 of the 12 balls were 2 pounds under the limit. The second lie was that “All 12 of the Colts’ balls were within range.” Not only was Mortensen fed lies, but the NFL KNEW they were lies. Four and a half months later, if anyone read the charts in the very faulty “Wells Report,” only ONE of the Patriots’ footballs was 2 pounds under 12.5 PSI, per one of the gauges.
They also only tested FOUR Colts balls.  How could the NFL claim in January,  that all 12 Colts balls were within range, when they knew they only tested four? The NFL KNEW that only ONE of the Patriots footballs were 2 lbs under the 12.5 PSI, but yet, they LIED. Goodell’s office leaked all this, and other lies to make Brady and the Patriots look guilty in the public eye. Goodell has the nerve to talk about “integrity of the game.”  Is assuming the Patriots are guilty, and making up the story as you go along, your idea of “integrity,” Commissioner? The Patriots had no chance to defend themselves against the NFL.
 When this nonsense got to court, after Roger Goodell denied Tom Brady’s June, 2015 appeal of his suspension, it appeared that Goodell just had to win. After all,  he messed up so many scandals, like Ray Rice,  Greg Hardy, BountyGate, etc. I guess,  with the Second Circuit Court in his back pocket,  Goodell felt he had to show the owners that he was the strong-armed, tough Commissioner, they hired. I mean, to punish the NFL’s star player over a minor violation, that the NFL knows they couldn’t prove, just to show the rest of the players how powerful the Commissioner is, just screams pettiness and desperation. Especially when several owners want to get back at Kraft, and feel that the Patriots got off easy for “Spygate.”  So-called “makeup calls” may make some feel good, but it’s not justice.
I don’t think Roger Goodell will be seen in a positive historical light.  He is the modern-day version of Kennesaw Landis. Had he, Troy Vincent and Mike Kensil known anything about how a football worked, and about a simple Law of Physics, called the Ideal Gas Law, this dumb controversy would have,  and should have never gotten started. These people,  who are supposed to be intelligent, acted as if they had never been in a foul weather game before that AFC Championship game.  Had these people used common sense in that locker room at Gillette Stadium, they should have told Colts owner Jim Irsay that the footballs deflated naturally, due to the weather.  However, the NFL just had to make this an issue, because of their messing up the Rice Case, and making the 31 other NFL owners happy.
TOM BRADY
Tom Brady’s image took a hit, when “Deflategate,” took off.  There were people, who acted so piously and self-righteously, when his name was mentioned. People need to take a step back,  and realize that this was not the big deal that the NFL made it out to be. Will “Deflategate” and the suspension be on his record? Absolutely,  but we are not talking about Lance Armstrong, or Barry Bonds. I think this nonsense will be a blip on his record, as time passes. He will get past this episode, and continue his legendary career. Upon retirement,  Tom Brady is going to go down as one of,  if not the greatest quarterbacks to ever live.
THE LOSER- SCIENCE AND CRITICAL THINKING
There is a “loser” in this mess, and it’s science and critical thinking. There’s a saying, “A lie can go around the world twice, before the truth can put its boots on.” It is so true. As I said, the NFL controlled the message, concerning “Deflategate,” right from the start. I didn’t know what was true or not. It didn’t help that ESPN and the mainstream media blew this story up, and turned it into a cottage industry.  All viewers saw and heard were these “hot takes,” mainly Brady-bashing, especially on ESPN, which has an anti-Patriots bias anyway, with some exceptions.  It didn’t matter to people, when scientific professors from Carnegie Mellon,  Columbia University, and the University of Chicago said that the footballs deflated because the atmosphere and the weather (Ideal Gas Law). People still parroted the nonsense that came from ESPN and the mainstream media.
When I tried to show people that the footballs deflated naturally, I was blown off as a Patriots fan. I read plenty of articles, criticizing how Goodell handled “Deflategate,” particularly Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, and she was accused of being a Brady fan.  What has happened to critical thinking? I am very saddened to see that a Commissioner’s power has trumped science, and the ability to think for oneself.
People were too blinded by their biases to see that the Brady court fight was about the CBA. It’s always about the CBA. When Adrian Peterson took his case to court, it was also about the CBA. When Ray Rice took his case to court, that was about the CBA. One other thing. Just because Brady ended his legal battle, it doesn’t mean he admitted his guilt. It means that he wanted to move on with his life.
The reason I bring this up is that I see so many myopic fans telling Brady to “shut up, and take the punishment,” or “The players agreed to the CBA.” Well, one can see from the aforementioned examples that you can easily say those things to those players, as well. One could have told the BountyGate players to “Shut up, and take the punishment.” I think these people are saying this, because of their blind hatred of Brady. While I agree that the players signed on to the CBA, and such, fans can’t pick and choose which player should “shut up, and take the punishment.”
As for the science,  most people know that science is under attack, mainly by the Conservative Right. So, it’s another reason why “Deflategate” was allowed to prosper.  Also, jealousy is a strong emotion. Therefore, many people don’t like Brady regardless, therefore it’s a lazy way to incorrectly call him a cheater, than to accept the scientific evidence that clears not only him, but the Patriots.  It’s a shame that the NFL didn’t understand the fairly simple science behind what happened.  Yes,  I know about the “circumstantial evidence.” It goes back to the ignorance of science. Had Goodell, Kensil, etc. known that footballs deflated naturally in cold and wet weather, this entire investigation would have never gotten started, and it should never have gotten started.
CONCLUSION
Now, that this adventure is over, we all know that Goodell has the power to destroy any player he wants. If his investigators want your phone, hand it over. If the NFL needs to look at your computers, just give them the password. The NFL is now allowed to lie, and misrepresent stuff. Now, they will go easy on you, if you cooperate to their satisfaction. In other words, Roger Goodell is allowed to move the goalposts, and there is nothing the players can do about it.
I hope you enjoyed this blog.  Feedback is welcome.
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The Chick-Fil-A Controversy, and the Freedom to Choose

The Chick-Fil-A Controversy, and the Freedom to Choose.

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The Chick-Fil-A Controversy, and the Freedom to Choose

Hi. My name is Terri Bey. This is my first blog here at WordPress. I live in Kentucky, and as of now, I am looking for work. I own a 15-year-old beagle named Ace Frehley, named after the original lead guitarist of KISS. He is a hoot. I like to write about sports, mainly NFL, wrestling, and horse racing. I also like to write about human interest stories, politics, and entertainment. I hope you will enjoy my writings.

I will start my first blog with the controversy over the fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A, and the outrage over their stance on same-sex marriage, as the owners are Conservative Christians, and feel that according to the Bible, homosexuality is an “abomination.”  As a result, the LGBT community has called for a boycott, and Jim Henson’s company has pulled its endorsement of Chick-Fil-A from the fast food chain.

On the other side, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee started a movement which culminates on Wednesday, August 1st, called “Chick-Fil- A Appreciation Day,” which asks for people who share the views of the company to eat at the beleaguered restaurant.  The restaurant has received support from those on the Christian Right, and former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Fox News even implied that those who support the boycott of the restaurant are “un-American.”

This is what I have to say about the entire controversy. I was under the impression that in the United States of America, we as Americans had a right to the Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Expression. That is one of the many components of what makes this country great.  One of the restaurants’ supporters arguments is that the restaurant is being punished for using their “Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion.”  I disagree.

I am an Episcopalian, which is the American version of the Church of England (Anglican). The Church of England was founded by King Henry VIII when the Roman Catholic Church would not let him divorce his wife.  As a  member of the body of Christ, I do not interpret the Bible the same way as other denominations do. That is my right under the Freedom of Religion provision of the United States Constitution. That being said, and this is where the main part of my argument comes in, I fully SUPPORT Chick-Fil- A ‘s right to have their beliefs concerning same-sex marriage. The restaurant, and their owners have every right to have their beliefs. If customers want to go to the place, and have a meal, they should go right ahead. Everyone is entitled to their feelings and opinions, and interpretation of the Bible.

On the contrary, if people, such as myself, do NOT agree with the beliefs, and actions of Chick-Fil- A, they have a right NOT to eat at the restaurant as well.  The Bible is up to interpretation, and not every denomination interprets it as strictly. My Priest always says that the Bible is a “but/and,” rather than an “either/or.”  If people do not have issues with same-sex marriage, and do not agree with Chick-Fil-A,  they have a right to eat somewhere else.  I support their rights also.

I live by the age-old concept: If you don’t like it, don’t partake in it.  Therefore, I do not understand why supporters of the restaurant are acting like it is un-American, or an attack on marriage, or an attack on Christianity.  How is it “Un-American?” Is it “Un-American” because people who are moderate/liberal are boycotting the restaurant?  Conservatives seem to forget that THEY have boycotted things themselves, so they are being very disingenuous with this argument.  Do people who boycotted Ben and Jerry’s ring a bell? Do people who protested Dixie Chicks concerts, and destroyed their CDs ring a bell? How about protesting KISS concerts?  If you are going to use that kind of an argument, be honest, unless the Constitution is for Conservatives only. That is NOT what I learned.

How is not going to c an attack on marriage?  I never heard such a goofy thing.  Is Chick-Fil-A the bastion of marriage protection or something? I mean, if you don’t support same-sex marriage, fine. That is cool. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t see why two people who love each other can’t get married. God is love. God made people what they are.  God made people straight, gay, lesbian, etc. I don’t see why they should not get married.   I don’t see how Christianity is under attack either. Like I said earlier, not everyone interprets the Bible so strictly.

I just feel that even though Chick-Fil- A has a right to their opinions, and values, and such. I have a right not to go to their establishment. Simple enough.

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