Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
We are now getting through the heart of each team's schedules where every games become more crucial! Players and teams are going to and have to step up if they want to put themselves in a good position down the stretch. Here are my studs and duds through the halfway mark of the season.
Arguably the best Wide Receiver in the NFL, Brown is on pace to exceed 1,700 receiving yards on the season. Which would be the 2nd most of his career. While he may not reach double digits in touchdown receptions this year, it is easy to see he is a huge factor in the Steelers offense and leads the league in receiving yards!
While the Dallas Cowboys are off to a slower start this season, one bright spot has been Defensive End Demarcus Lawrence. Lawrence currently leads the league in sacks with 10.5 and also has forced three fumbles. A pro bowl appearance sure looks like it will be in the cards for the 4th year DE out of Boise State.
One of the headliners of the 2005 NFL Draft was Alex Smith. It took him a while before he really got a chance to prove himself. While he may not be the flashiest or most dynamic Quarterback in the game, he has proven to be reliable. 2nd in passing yards (only trailing Tom Brady for league best) Smith has 16 touchdowns passes and an unbelievable ZERO interceptions through the team's first 8 games. Very solid and one of the reasons why Kansas City is in first place in the AFC West.
Had them as duds in the first quarter of the season, still have to consider and repeat that this team has under performed. Derek Carr got hurt again and put the Raiders in a tough position again and were not able to adjust very well without him once again. While they were able to defeat Kansas City, they were not able to beat Buffalo and were rather handled easily in that game by a score of 34-14 and drop to a record of 3-5. Again, this team was probably considered a Super Bowl contender by some and definitely primed for a playoff run. Unless something changes quick, all that may be gone out the window.
Yes A.J. Green is still a big time threat to secondaries. Yes he still can and does make big plays. But so far through 7 games, Green has not been very consistent. He only has had two games where he reached the 100 yard mark in receiving and only has 4 touchdown receptions to go with it. Although he is not living up to what is expected of him, teams will still not take him lightly. Lets see if Green can have a better second half to the season.
The Carolina Panthers are in a good spot right now. Already a big improvement from last season, they are sitting good with a 5-3 record and only a half game out of first in the NFC South. But quarterback Cam Newton has struggled at times. He is tied for the most interceptions in the league and has lost a fumble. If the Panthers want to make it back to the playoffs, they are going to need Newton to limit the turnovers.
Feel free to let me know what you think and who some of your studs and duds are at the moment!
Thursday, October 19, 2017
The Cleveland Indians came off a World Series berth in 2016 and came into 2017 as favorites to go back to the fall classic. The 2017 season was a historic one for the Indians as it was only the third time the franchise reached the 100 win mark and set an AL record 22 game win streak. Unfortunately despite all the accolades and some great individual performances, Cleveland once again could not come away with a World Series and were outed in 5 games against the New York Yankees in the Divisional Series. With that said, here are 5 things the Indians need to do for the 2018 season.
1. Go After Another Potential Starter In The Offseason
The Cleveland Indians appear to bet set with 1, 2, 3 parts of the rotation, (Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer), but the 4 and 5 spots are not necessarily locked. While Josh Tomlin had a remarkable 2nd half in 2017 and Danny Salazar along with Mike Clevinger provide good competition, you can never have enough pitching. They may need to find someone who needs a change of scenery like Scott Kazmir did in 2013 or a veteran who can provide both depth and experience. Perhaps Jake Arrieta, but only if Cleveland is willing to shell out some cash.
2. Get Another Bat
Cleveland got Edwin Encarnacion to solidify the cleanup spot for the near future. However, having another powerful bat in the lineup that also drives in runs is essential as evident as the New York Yankees showcased in the divisional series. As mentioned above, you can never have enough good pitching, but baseball seems to become a hitters game as of late, so adding another solid bat to the line up is a must. Perhaps Melky Cabrera or Curtis Granderson could be options if the Indians can not re-sign Jay Bruce.
3. "Youth Movement"
You're probably thinking "But they are not in a rebuild mode!" Cleveland has enough talent to make it to the playoffs but now they need to start bringing some of the guys in the system to provide depth and give them experience along with a shot of young life to the roster. With Carlos Santana's status up in the air, and possibly as well as Lonnie Chinsenhall's, it is time to start playing Greg Allen, Yandy Diaz, and Francisco Mejia on a regular basis and get them some reps.
4. A New Look
This kind of expands a bit on the previous point, but in many scenarios. It is possible it is time to part ways with Carlos Santana and dare I say even Michael Brantley (who has had issues staying healthy the past two years) and bring up the young talent like I mentioned above. It could also mean with Mejia emerging, that maybe Yan Gomes or maybe Roberto Perez could be replaced. Also, the Indians will need to make moves and or let people go in order to retain Francisco Lindor for the long-term future. Along with going after other potential free agents targets whether it be pitching or batting, money is going to be key and the Indians will probably need to make some moves in order for the roster to be filled accordingly.
5. Terry Francona Must Remain Manager For The Foreseeable Future
Terry Francona has two World Series rings and is a sure hall of famer. Despite not living up to this years expectations, (even with 100+ wins and the obtaining the AL win streak record) Francona now has the task of humbling his players after leading them to a World Series berth just a year prior. If anyone can do it, it is Francona! He has already turned the club around in a short period of time and and with Cleveland being in a "win now" mode, not keeping him around for the near future would put the Indians back to square one and a potential rebuild.
BONUS! Keep the Chief Wahoo logo
Nothing more needs to be said, the headline says it all!
Friday, October 6, 2017
Hard to believe were are already a quarter of the way through the 2017 season. And while a main topic and focal point for this season so far has unfortunately been politicized, lets take a look at some of the players and teams who are off to a great start and those who have hit a speed bump and need to get back on a smooth path.
The G.O.A.T continues to age like fine wine! After a rough start in Week 1, Brady has so far compiled and leads the league with 1,702 yards through the air and has 11 touchdowns and only 1 interception (this is including their 5th game they played on Thursday). While the Patriots are not quite playing as a whole as many expected entering the season, Tom Brady continues to prove that age is just a number.
Going from young to old, Kareem Hunt is living up to expectations and proving himself as an elite NFL caliber player. Only a rookie, Hunt leads the league in rushing yards thus far with 502 yards and has 4 touchdowns to go along with his season totals. Hunt has done a nice job taking over the reigns that current Denver Broncos running back Jamaal Charles was doing when he was healthy in Kansas City. Safe to say that Hunt has been a key part to Kansas City's early season success
Kansas City Chiefs
Speaking of Kansas City, they are arguably the hottest team in the NFL right now and the only undefeated team left. On opening night they got pressure on Tom Brady and would not allow him to get into a groove as he barely completed 50 percent of his passes and had no touchdown passes. Combined with an offense that leads the league in rushing yards (thanks in large part to Kareem Hunt) and a sound defense that is 2nd in the league with forced fumbles (6), the Chiefs are sitting pretty and hope to keep this momentum up moving forward throughout the rest of the season.
Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott
After tremendous rookie campaigns, both Dallas Cowboys stars, Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott have seemingly been plagued with the "sophomore slump." Elliot (who has been dealing with off the field issues as well) only has 277 yards on the ground, which is still good for 9th best currently in the league. But at just 3.6 yards a carry, this a concern for the Cowboys. As for Prescott, he's been about average (ranks 15th in passing yards and has 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions). If Elliot and Prescott want to turn their seasons around, it's going to have to be now especially with Green Bay coming into town. And with the heartbreak the Packers caused for the Cowboys last year in the playoffs, One would think they have a chip on their shoulder.
Say what!?!? You have arguably Tom Brady's number one go to guy (outside of Gronkowski) as a dud? Allow me to explain. After so much success as Drew Brees number one target and coming over to New England, I thought Cooks would lighting up the score and stat sheets. Yes he is third right now in receiving yards, but only has two receiving touchdowns to show for it. In my opinion, I think he has under performed a bit considering all the hype and talk about how being Brady's new go to guy would have him putting up huge numbers.
Considered a Super Bowl contender by some as well as a favorite to win the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders now find themselves at 2-2 after winning their first two games. What's troublesome is that Derek Carr went down with an injury and there's no telling how serious it may be or how much effect it could cause Carr should it linger. But if Carr isn't 100% we already know that this is a complete different Raiders team without him as evident as last year's AFC Wild Card round loss to the Houston Patriots.
So those are my studs and duds thus far for the 2017 season. Feel free to let me know what you think and who some of your studs and duds are as of right now!
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