The final edition of JBD’s worst bad beats of 2021 is here.
Editor’s Note: When you’re losing money gambling on professional athletes, it’s always a smart move to turn to our brilliant college students playing in the NCAA.
Honorable Mention: Gonzaga-St. Mary’s 1/16:
My worst college basketball beat came early in 2021. I worried that Gonzaga would put in their scrubs. They were up by 17. I might have used another term to describe the lesser players. A late three pulled St. Mary’s within 14. The Bulldogs had one final chance to cover. A missed dunk (not contested) ended up costing me.
My top 5 college beats were all from football.
5. Western Kentucky-Army 9/11:
How could you not take Army when they have a September 11 game at West Point? The line was just under a touchdown. Army went ahead 35-14 with 10:31 remaining. This quickly became 35-28. A late field goal made it 38-28, but left the back door open. Army’s prevent defense allowed Western Kentucky to drive down and score a touchdown with just 22 seconds to go.
4. Oregon-Stanford 10/2:
The Ducks were favored by more than a touchdown. I went with the substantial but seemingly safe ML. Unranked Stanford’s injured quarterback returned to throw a touchdown with no time on the clock. Stanford was given an untimed down after a holding penalty with zeroes on the clock, and the undefeated Ducks would end up losing in overtime. Three Oregon penalties aided Stanford’s late drive in the final 1:59 of regulation to tie the score.
3. Penn State-Iowa 10/9:
Both teams were ranked in the top 5. Iowa was a small favorite. It went up to 2.5. I probably would have bought Penn State to 3.5, but it was lower at the time of my bet. With the score 14-3 Penn State, it looked like the Nittany Lions were driving for a 21-3. They ended up getting just a field goal, and lost their quarterback to an injury. Sean Clifford’s replacement missed numerous open teammates, but threw passes to some open Iowa defenders. Penn State fell 23-20.
2. Colorado-Oregon 10/30:
Another Ducks game involved snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. At least where the point spread was concerned. I bought the line down one point to 23.5. It was a 45-14 lead for Oregon. Colorado converted twice on fourth down to keep a drive alive, including on their touchdown to pull within 24. Oregon’s quarterback threw an interception on the next drive.
Another touchdown followed. Once again, Colorado was able to keep the drive alive with a conversion on fourth down. The math says to go for two, and Colorado pulled within 16. Oregon answered with a touchdown, but only won by 23. Guess I should have bought two points instead of one.
1. Wyoming-Boise State 11/12:
I had been haunted by the Broncos all year. Their blown lead against Oklahoma State narrowly missed this list. It seemed like I was not on them when they played well. This debacle made SVP’s weekly Bad Beats segment. Wyoming seemed to have no sense of urgency. Boise had a 23-7 lead as the final seconds were ticking away.
A long pass was not only caught, but inexplicably taken in for a touchdown of 74 yards with just 4 seconds left. Wyoming had no timeouts remaining. If the tackle had been made inside Boise’s 5, the clock would have restarted after stopping temporarily. There would not have been time for any more plays. It was without a doubt my worst bad beat of 2021.
The state of New York rushed to legalize gambling in early 2022 because of bettors like Joey.
Editor’s Note: Even though the calendar flipped to 2022, Young Joey still has plenty of bad beats to get to. We’re now onto what was a rocky NFL season for J Baby and rumor has it his betting tendencies played a major role in New York’s push to legalize sports gambling come January.
5. Falcons-Cowboys 11/14:
Dallas entered their game against Atlanta off a home loss. Denver inexplicably hammered the Cowboys. I thought Dallas would be a good teaser pick, but got cold feet and settled for the over. Most of my losses will be blamed on what is said by somebody on WFAN, and a shootout was expected. My bet needed 49 points. It was 36-3 at halftime. Dallas scored a third-quarter touchdown. I needed 3 more points. I’m still waiting.
4. Niners-Bears 10/31:
Maybe Chicago should have worn orange for their Halloween game. This bet was definitely a trick. No treat. Despite predicting victory for San Francisco, I decided to tease against them. This was a multi-faceted disaster. I only teased 6.5 because the line was 4. I’m unable to do 10-point teasers in my current situation. 11 would have been a push. The line later went to 4.5, so teasing 7 would have given me 11.5 and a winner. Most of my teasing is with 7 points. Chicago missed a PAT. San Francisco late field goal came shortly after a long run and pushed their lead to 11 points. So many things had to go wrong, and they did.
3. Bills-Titans 10/18:
The first of two Tennessee appearances on this list falls into a familiar category. When in doubt, take the over. There were several times in this group when I could have done that but got suckered in by the favorite instead. Buffalo settled for a pair of early field goals. I worried that this would cost them, and me. Buffalo was ahead 31-24 in the fourth. Tennessee went up 34-31. With only seconds remaining, the Bills faced a fourth and short at Tennessee’s 3. This time, Buffalo didn’t kick a field goal. That would have tied it. Buffalo went for a first down with hopes that a touchdown to win it would soon follow. Josh Allen slipped on a quarterback sneak. Buffalo fell short, literally.
2. Titans-Seahawks 9/19:
I debated between the Titans and Seahawks to complete my teaser. Tennessee plus a bundle was tempting, but Arizona had just won by 25 in Tennessee. The second week is always tough. You don’t really know who is good yet, and the tendency is to overreact after openers. Seattle won comfortably at Indianapolis. I thought they should find a way to win at home. This was Seattle’s first game at home with fans in attendance since before the pandemic. They were up 24-9 at halftime and 30-16 in the fourth.
A missed extra point helped open the door for Tennessee’s comeback. The Titans tied it up with under 30 seconds remaining before winning on an overtime field goal. This was Seattle’s first loss when leading by 15 or more at halftime since 2004, and only their fourth such loss in franchise history. It was a tough way to close the late afternoon window, but my worst NFL beat of 2021 actually happened about four hours later.
1. Chiefs-Ravens 9/19:
My first thought was that Baltimore needed this win. They have had a bad history against Kansas City, but this time the Ravens were home. Baltimore had a horrific loss in their opener against the Raiders (a game that narrowly missed this list). I initially thought that Baltimore might actually be favored or even. Kansas City didn’t look great against Cleveland, but came in 1-0 and figured to be less desperate. Another thought was to just take the over, or maybe go big on that in addition to something else. The talk on WFAN was that Baltimore’s defense could not contain Kansas City’s offense. I put all my faith in Kansas City to win. Baltimore trailed 35-24 after three quarters. Live odds on Kansas City winning must have been quite high if they were even offered at this time.
The Chiefs actually had possession up 11 late in the third, and took over in Baltimore territory after a punt return. Mahomes was picked. Baltimore scored a fourth quarter touchdown to get close, but didn’t convert the conversion attempt. It was 35-30. Kansas City punted. The Ravens went ahead, but again failed on the conversion. Kansas City drove down into field goal range, and appeared headed for a win. Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumbled. Kansas City still was not done. Baltimore faced a fourth down in their own territory. If Kansas City stopped Baltimore, the Chiefs would have probably been about 5-10 yards from field goal range and victory with about one minute remaining.
Lamar Jackson gained two yards for a first down. He needed one. Baltimore hung on. I could have teased Kansas City with the over, taken a live bet with the over, or just hit it for the second half. There were 33 points scored after halftime, so it obviously went over 27.5 second half points. So many chances to win. I missed them all.
LordTreeSap, Brian Trainor and Coach T break down the NFL Draft with our official 2021 first round mock.
It’s April again, so you know it’s draft time. LordTreeSap is here along with his fellow NFL gurus Coach T and Brian Trainor to help you guys out with an official first round mock draft.
While Coach is preparing the gameplan of a lifetime this week, it’s not for the State Championship, our boy — a member of the historic 1,000 yard rusher club — is getting married on Saturday and he took some time out of ordering his Yorktown Football-themed wedding cake to give us a mock so shouts to the best offensive coordinator in the tri-state.
Trainor’s spent so much time in the gym this year, you’d think he was one of the NFL prospects preparing for the combine. With a torn labrum ruining that dream, F-45’s own skipped a couple sets of burpees and box jumps this week to give us his Mock 5.0 and he does not disappoint.
As for me, I’m just waiting for the fucking Portland Trail Blazers to win a game so I can keep a roof over my head.
Without further ado, the mock draft of a lifetime.
Here We Go – 1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Coach T: Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
Genius pick, right? Lawrence is going to be a stud. Doesn’t take a perfect IQ to figure that out. This is the last time I’ll ever say it, why couldn’t the Jets tank properly for my boy @lordtreesap #JetsHorrorStories.
Trainor: Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
LordTreeSap: Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
2. New York Jets
Coach: Zach Wilson QB, BYU
Chill with the Patrick Mahomes comparisons. Zach Wilson looks like the little brother of one of my players playing youth football. He happens to also have some really impressive tape. Let’s see what happens…at least Gase isn’t developing him.
Trainor: Zach Wilson QB, BYU
The kid is a winner on and off the field.
LTS: Zach Wilson QB, BYU
When the Trevor Lawrence dream died in Los Angeles, (Thanks again Sean McVay) my attention immediately turned to our new king Z-Dub. His stock has soared since the season ended and the Hawaiian-Mormon surfer bro has become one of the draft’s darlings. Now, the Jets screwed over Sam Darnold in every possible way, so I’m just praying we learned from our mistakes and give this kid the best environment possible to learn and grow. He’s already off to a good start with Saleh’s offensive staff led by Mike LaFleur replacing the GOAT Adam Gase.
Called it on the first day of the year.
3. San Francisco 49ers
Coach: Mac Jones QB, Alabama
This is where the world has him going, so I guess I do too. Now based on what I know about Kyle Shanahan, (best play-caller in the NFL) and what I’ve heard Trey Lance’s strengths are, I’m surprised there’s not more traction there. I think Shanahan wants a QB that he can connect intellectually somewhat with, and Mac provides that. Insane #’s this year, competitor, should come in and be able to run that offense right away. Jimmy G, you have some competition bud.
Trainor: Mac Jones QB, Alabama
LTS: Mac Jones QB, Alabama
4. Atlanta Falcons
Coach: Kyle Pitts TE, Florida
Chill with the HOF talk, but this dude is an absolute freak. A QB’s best friend is a TE, and new Coach Arthur Smith sure love’s TE’s. Atlanta can draft Pitts and have a huge big 3 with Jones, Ridley, and Pitts. OR can draft Pitts, trade Jones for capital, and go forward with their young weapons.
Trainor: Kyle Pitts TE, Florida
LTS: Kyle Pitts TE, Florida
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Coach: Ja’Marr Chase WR, LSU
I’ve seen all of this Chase and Pitts talk to the Bengals and I’m sorry, for their own sake, IT SHOULDN’T HAPPEN. You saw what a putrid O-line did to their FRANCHISE STUD QB. Go protect that man. Get the best OT in this draft and lock stud to protect your investment. Joe Burrow is a DUDE and if he’s protected, he’ll give the Bengals a shot year in, year out. Oh and Higgins/Boyd ain’t to shabby. However, Joe wants his stud WR. The Bengals went out and got 2 tackles (none of which can do what Penei can do). At this point, all signs pointing to Chase.
Trainor: Ja’Marr Chase WR, LSU
LTS: Penei Sewell OT, Oregon
6. Miami Dolphins
Coach: Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama
The more tape I watch on Waddle, the moreI like him. He’s dynamic in so many ways, and I think the Dolphins pair Tua with a deep threat that can make a huge impact right away.
Trainor: Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama
LTS: Ja’Marr Chase WR, LSU
7. Detroit Lions
Coach: *Trade* New England Patriots – Trey Lance QB, ND St.
WOW!!! This is probably crazy, but Bill has realized in order to win in this league, you need a QB. Plain and simple. There are no QBs next year. Yes Jimmy G may be available. But c’mon, you’re not winning with him. Bill may not have many years left, and if he strikes gold, ya never know. Trey Lance to the Pats. Sap, thoughts?
Trainor: *Trade* Los Angeles Chargers – Penei Sewell OT, Oregon
LTS: Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern
8. Carolina Panthers
Coach: Penei Sewell OT, Oregon
Penei Sewell is a beast. The Panthers go out and get an absolute savage in this draft.
*Trade* New England Patriots – Trainor: Justin Fields QB, Ohio St.
LTS: Trey Lance QB, ND St.
9. Denver Broncos
Coach: Justin Fields QB, Ohio St.
The Broncos have Drew Lock and DumpDownTeddy, and well they both stink. Justin fields was 1B with Trevor Lawrence at one point, and John Elway goes up and gets his guy (we’ve heard that one before).
Trainor: Micah Parsons LB, Penn St.
LTS: Justin Fields QB, Ohio St.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Coach: Jaycee Horn – CB, South Carolina
Jerry loves the “sexy” pick, and Horn provides that on the defensive side of the ball for the Cowgirls. Son of a former pro, he should be a plug & play week 1 starter.
Trainor: Patrick Surtain CB, Alabama
LTS: Patrick Surtain CB, Alabama
11. New York Giants
Coach: Micah Parsons LB, Penn St.
F the Giants. Okay, I’m done. Parsons is an absolute freak, plain and simple. Rushes the passer, plays sideline to sideline, can do it all for a team that goes with the best player on the board here.
Trainor: DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama
LTS: DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama
12. Philadelphia Eagles
Coach: Patrick Surtain Jr. CB, Alabama
I struggle with what the Eagles should do here and my mock has changed a lot (although 15 less times than Trainor to be exact). The Eagles have MANY needs, but I’d say Corner, WR, and LB are most important. If Parsons is there, TAKE HIM. If not, I’m good with Waddle/Smith or Horn/Surtain. I’m very confident it will be one of these 5 guys. As it pertains to this Mock, let’s go with Patrick Surtain, son of a former NFL corner who is ready to play and contribute right now. Any Nick Saban DB is NFL ready, and this kid could be special.
Trainor: Jaycee Horn CB, South Carolina
LTS: Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama
13. Los Angeles Chargers
Coach: Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern
Trainor: *Trade* Detroit Lions – Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern
LTS: Jaycee Horn CB, South Carolina
14. Minnesota Vikings
Coach: Christian Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech
Trainor: Alijah Vera-Tucker OG, USC
LTS: Micah Parsons LB, Penn State
15. New England Patriots
Coach: *Trade* Detroit Lions – DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama
Trainor: *Trade* Carolina Panthers – Christina Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech
LTS: Alijah Vera-Tucker OL, USC
16. Arizona Cardinals
Coach: Jaelen Phillips Edge, Miami
Trainor: *Trade* Chicago Bears – Trey Lance QB, ND St.
LTS: Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech
17. Las Vegas Raiders
Coach: Alijah Vera-Tucker OG, USC
Trainor: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame
LTS: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame
18. Miami Dolphins
Coach: Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma St.
Trainor: Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma St.
LTS: Kwity Paye DL, Michigan
19. Washington Football Team
Coach: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame
Trainor: Zaven Collins LB, Tulsa
LTS: Christian Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech
20. Chicago Bears
Coach: Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech
Trainor: *Trade* Arizona Cardinals – Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech
LTS: Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma St.
21. Indianapolis Colts
Coach: Kwity Paye Edge, Michigan
Trainor: Kwity Paye Edge, Michigan
LTS: K’Darius Toney WR, Florida
22. Tennessee Titans
Coach: Greg Newsome II CB, Northwestern
Trainor: Greg Newsome II CB, Northwestern
LTS: Gregory Rousseau Edge, Miami
23. New York Jets
Coach: Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss
Trainor: Asante Samuel Jr. CB, FSU
LTS: Greg Newsome II CB, Northwestern
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Coach: Najee Harris RB, Alabama
Trainor: Najee Harris RB, Alabama
LTS: Travis Etienne RB, Clemson
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Coach: Trevon Moehrig S, TCU
Trainor: Trevon Moehrig S, TCU
LTS: Christian Barmore DT, Alabama
26. Cleveland Browns
Coach: Zaven Collins Edge, Tulsa
Trainor: Azeez Olujari Edge, Georgia
LTS: Jamin Davis LB, Kentucky
27. Baltimore Ravens
Coach: Terrace Marshall Jr. WR, LSU
Trainor: Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota
LTS: Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota
28. New Orleans Saints
Coach: Jamin Davis LB, Kentucky
Trainor: Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss
LTS: Terrace Marshall Jr WR, LSU
29. Green Bay Packers
Coach: Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota
Trainor: Christian Barmore DT, Alabama
LTS: Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss
30. Buffalo Bills
Coach: Travis Etienne RB, Clemson
Trainor: Travis Etienne RB, Clemson
LTS: Najee Harris RB, Alabama
31. Baltimore Ravens
Coach: Azeez Olujari Edge, Georgia
Trainor: *Trade* New York Giants – Jaelen Phillips Edge, Miami
This weekend’s XFL was…okay. That is exactly what was wrong with it. Nothing special. A mixed bag. People are going to check in out of curiosity, but I didn’t see anything that would keep bringing people back for sustained success. The football seemed to be better than what we saw in 2001, but that’s not saying much.
There were two main problems. One is the gambling talk. It’s crazy to think how dramatically different sports coverage is today in terms of mentioning spreads. The announcers went way overboard. First of all, we get an over/under graphic (and Dallas -9.5) on the score bug. It was so forced and awkward. When people bet on games, they usually know what the bet is. You don’t have to keep reminding them about totals. Again, viewers had a graphic of the total to inform them anyway. If your game announcers aren’t talking about how there hasn’t been a lot of scoring, the sideline reporter is.
That brings me to Pat McAfee. This guy was awful on numerous levels. At least twice he mentioned that every XFL game of the weekend went under. That was strange and uncomfortable. Also, inaccurate. Los Angeles and Houston combined for 54 points. The closing total was listed at 51. Line movement indicated only a slight difference. Nothing more than 52. Already we have annoying, plus wrong. One or two things can be overlooked. However, you know what they say in commercials and infomercials. But wait…there’s more! One would think that the former kicker could at least pronounce a punter’s name correctly. Well, one would be incorrect. Marquette King should have corrected him to his face when they spoke. I definitely think somebody should have corrected him about the Houston game going over.
They had plenty of time before he reiterated the thought later on. Just read my tweet to him. Then, another mistake. Also on special teams, ironically. Dallas muffed a late punt but was able to get back on the football. McAfee proclaimed that it was game over before finding out that the punting team didn’t recover. Nothing like declaring the game over when it’s not. One of his partners even spoke about this and said he hoped that people didn’t change channels. Maybe ESPN knows what they are doing. I might have to catch McAfee next weekend to see how many more mistakes will be made. Still, that figures to get old in a hurry. Perhaps next weekend we can get the odds on this league coming back for a second season. Talk about that, Pat.
Here are the trade terms: Giants recieve a first-round pick in 2019 (No. 17 overall), the Browns' second third-round pick this year and S Jabril Peppers, source tells ESPN. Browns get Odell Beckham Jr.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I hate this trade. What the hell is Dave Gettleman doing? WHAT IS HE DOING? He is Phil Jackson with the Knicks. It’s his last job and he’s doing whatever the hell he wants because he’ll collect a pay check at the end of the day.
With the NFL’s tampering period beginning at noon ET on Monday, look for the Jets to be active with an excess of $80 million in cap space to spend on prized free agents. Remember, nothing can become official until the new league year begins on Wednesday at 4 pm ET.
Jets fans have been waiting for this day for a long time, really since the roster purge began two winters ago, ridding the team of veteran staples like Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, and David Harris.
Expect general manager Mike Maccagnan to be very busy, as I assume we’ll hear about the Jets being “connected to” many of the big names free agents, especially in positions with a major need that should be addressed.
The Jets got off to the right foot on Sunday, acquiring former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele from the Raiders. Gang Green hasn’t had a mauler like that inside since bringing over Alan Faneca back in 2008. Without further ado, here is who I’d like to see NYJ sign this week.
LeVeon Bell: The 26-year-old made the polarizing decision to sit out the entire 2018 season unless the Steelers met his steep long-term contract demands. Pittsburgh decided to pass with John Conner in the wings. The Jets should be major players for Bell along with the Ravens and Colts, as the former Michigan State Spartan would immediately revolutionize a Jet offense with a dual threat playmaker we haven’t seen since the days of Curtis Martin. I’d expect his contract numbers to be in the ball park of Todd Gurley’s 4/$60 million extension. Other options: Tevin Coleman, Mark Ingram
Golden Tate: It’s no secret slot receiver is a huge void on the Jets’ depth chart, along with not having a true No. 1 on the outside. This crop of free agents at WR should allow the Jets to fill the need in the slot and get by with a core of Enunwa, Anderson, and Herndon at TE. Golden Tate fits the bill perfectly, as a veteran who knows how to move the chains efficiently. I could also see the Jets going with a cheaper, younger option as well with Tate turning 31, like Adam Humphries,Cole Beasley, or Jamison Crowder.
Trey Flowers: Maccagnan better do whatever he can to plug the gaping hole at edge rusher, which the Jets have been without really ever since dealing John Abraham to Atlanta over a decade ago. Trey Flowers had an awesome year up in New England, who fittingly opted not to pay the 25-year-old. Flowers became an analytics darling and should earn himself one of the most lucrative contracts cut this week. Other options on the Jets board should include the recently released Justin Houston and Anthony Barr.
Matt Paradis/Mitch Morse: The Jets quickly realized their grave mistake of signing Spencer Long to play center last free agency, who was eventually benched by the mid-point of the year, as he seemed to botch multiple snaps to Darnold just about every game.
As Jets fans, admittedly, we’ve been a spoiled bunch with Nick Mangold and Kevin Mawae captaining the ship for the better part of my childhood. Maccagnan can right his wrong by going out and paying either of the top centers on the market with the Broncos moving on from Matt Paradis or ex-Chief Mitch Morse.
Bryce Callahan: Bryce Callahan might not have been the most well-known player on the vaunted Bears defense, but opposing quarterbacks always had him in mind. Callahan posted one of the best grades as a corner, according to PFF in 2018. With Skrine (thank god) and Claiborne’s departures looking likely, Callahan would fill the void left at slot corner quite nicely, especially with Trumaine Johnson’s struggles on the outside last year. Other options: LaMarcus Joyner, Kevin Johnson, Jason Verrett, Ronald Darby.
Tonight, the season kicks off with the Falcons traveling to the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles. Can the Eagles repeat? Are the Patriots still the kings of the AFC? Will Le’Veon Bell ever play? There are a lot of great storylines and the season has not even begun.
Another season means it’s another year for predictions from the (so-called) experts, myself and LordTreeSap. In last season’s preview, I nailed the Cowboys taking a step back, but looked silly with the Raiders to the Conference Championship (RIP Khalil Mack). LTS had a little more success than me, nailing the Panthers as a dark horse as well as not riding the Jay Cutler train in Miami. However, the Chargers and Philip Rivers hate the first two months of the year so LAC did not make the playoffs.
How will we do this year? Let’s check out the predictions.
Team To Take a Step Up
DG: Houston Texans
Houston was decimated by injuries a season ago with the biggest ones happening to JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson. Both stars are healthy and both are expected to have monster years. DeAndre Hopkins is still a beast last time I checked. Remember the name D’Onta Foreman. The running back is currently on the PUP list, but if he returns from injury, there could be a competition in the backfield with Lamar Miller. I would not be surprised if the Texans go into New England this week and leave with a victory.
P.S. The obvious answer is the Packers, but that’s a no brainer. *Justin Bieber voice*
LTS: Baltimore Ravens
After just missing the playoffs at 9-7 thanks to a crushing week 17 loss to Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco returns with Lamar Jackson breathing down his neck and a totally revamped offense. It’s now or never for Joe Cool. Adding Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead should help rework a putrid passing game with a strong offensive line returning to help. Pair that with a potential top 5 defense and a weak AFC and Baltimore isn’t a team you’re going to want to face down the stretch.
Team To Take A Step Back
DG: Seattle Seahawks
I used to believe in the saying, “Death, taxes, and the Seattle Seahawks.” That’s how confident I was in Pete Carroll and the Legion of Boom. Now, it’s the legion of Earl Thomas (who just showed up to camp, by the way) as Richard Sherman went to the 49ers and Kam Chancellor hung up the cleats. The offense still has Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and one of the best QBs in the league with Russell Wilson. However, with question marks at running back and on the offensive line, the ‘Hawks will struggle to reach .500.
LTS: Buffalo Bills
I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident in a team regressing than this year’s Buffalo Bills. They’re in no rush to see Josh Allen with Nathan Peterman under center. A dearth of weapons outside of an aging Shady and a horrid offensive line should make for a recipe for disaster. At least the Bills Mafia finally ended their playoff drought last season.
DG: Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, but every expert under the sun predicts that the Chargers will finally win the division this year. Did Andy Reid, a top 5 coach in the game, die? The answer is no. Why is there so much disrespect for the Chiefs? The answer is Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs decided to trade veteran Alex Smith in the offseason in order to turn over the keys to Mahomes. Mahomes can flat out spin the pigskin. The kid has a rocket arm and he’s mobile within the pocket. Mahomes will throw a good amount of interceptions, but they will be off of downfield throws, which is something they were missing with Alex Smith. There will be no disrespect out of this guy because the Chiefs will win the division.
LTS: Los Angeles Chargers
I loved the Chargers last season, but bad luck and poor late game execution plagued LA on the road to a 9-win season. Rivers and co. should separate themselves as the class of the AFC West with no true juggernaut. Opposing QBs are going to have nightmares going against a pass rush featuring Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Now, if a couple kicks go their way along with Rivers avoiding the dagger interceptions, the Chargers should find themselves back in the post-season.
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
OPOY: Antonio Brown
DPOY: Joey Bosa
O-Rookie: Saquon Barkley
D-Rookie: Derwin James
Comeback: Deshaun Watson
Coach: Bill O’Brien
Wildcard Round: Jaguars over Chargers
Chiefs over Texans
Divisional Round: Patriots over Chiefs
Steelers over Jaguars
Conference Title: Steelers over Patriots
Wildcard Round: Chargers over Chiefs
Ravens over Jaguars
Divisional Round: Patriots over Ravens
Chargers over Steelers
Patriots over Chargers
Wildcard Round: Saints over Falcons
Vikings over Packers
Divisional Round: Rams over Vikings
Saints over Eagles
Conference Title: Saints over Rams
Wildcard Round: Saints over Packers
Falcons over Eagles
Divisional Round: Saints over Rams
Vikings over Falcons
Conference Title: Saints over Vikings
Super Bowl LII
DG: Saints over Steelers
LTS: Saints over Patriots
Note: Sap and I did this separately. We did not see each other’s picks until we combined them for this article. We have 11/12 playoff teams and the same Super Bowl champion. That’s the DMR brotherhood.
If this was a tryout, Stephen A Smith passed with flying colors. That speech gave me chills. Who knew that Stevie Smith (as I like to call him) was a master of motivation? Syracuse football needs all the motivation they can get after last season. In fact, there last four seasons…not great!
Maybe Stephen A is missing link to Syracuse football. Step aside, Dino Babers. Stevie Smith is the new head honcho. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Stephen A is electric. Say what you want about First Take, but Stephen A outside of the studio is instant entertainment. I need more of it. Get this man to L.A. right now. WE LOVE IT! *air guitar solo*