Patriots’ World Domination (AKA AFC EAST Preview)

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I’m so excited for football I may wet myself. With the NFL turning the corner toward Week 3 of the Preseason, teams are starting to take shape. Rookies are becoming acclimated with the speed of the NFL, while most veterans are simply going through the motions, attempting to avoid injury. Injuries, however, continue to mount, potentially changing the landscape of each division. Over the final 2 weeks of the Preseason, I will be dissecting each division, giving predictions for every team in the NFL. Today, we start with the most predictable division in the NFL; the AFC East.

Last Season’s Standings:

New England Patriots: 14-2

Miami Dolphins: 10-6

Buffalo Bills: 7-9

New York Jets: 5-11

 

Let’s start with my least favorite team in the NFL:

New England Patriots

I can respect and appreciate their dominance, even though they have been a thorn in my side for the past 16 years. Yes, I am a Jets fan. A dejected Jets fan who is impatiently waiting for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to retire. Everyone will have to wait AT LEAST 1 more year for that. 2017 will be no different than 2016, and 2015, and 20…well you get the point. The last time the Patriots didn’t win the AFC East was 2008 (they went 11-5 that year). Despite being 40 years old, Tom Brady will be at the helm, driving on cruise control to another AFC East Division Title.

Key Additions: Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore, Dwayne Allen

Key Losses: Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, Rob Ninkovich (retirement)

Miami Dolphins

The revolving quarterback door is at it again in Miami. After Ryan Tannehill went down with a knee injury, the Dolphins pulled Mr. Jay Cutler out of retirement to call plays under center. Hey, Miami, just because Cutler will be reuniting with Adam Gase, doesn’t mean this will end well. Expect Cutler and the Dolphins to do what they do best, define mediocrity.

Key Additions Jay Cutler, Lawrence Timmons, T.J. Mcdonald

Key Losses: Dion Jordan, Earl Mitchell, Jordan Cameron 

Buffalo Bills

It’s not a good sign when a kicker headlines your offseason additions. The Bills decided it was time to part ways with oft-injured, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, as they traded him to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines. I’m sure this didn’t have quarterback Tyrod Taylor jumping for joy. The Bills did sign Anquan Boldin on August 7th….only to watch him retire 13 days later. Good stuff!! Maybe Bills and Jets’ fans will get along this season. Misery does love company — right??

Key AdditionsSteven Hauschka, Vlad Ducasse, Micah Hyde 

Key Losses: Sammy Watkins, Stephon Gilmore, Mike Gillislee 

New York Jets

Boy, oh boy!! Where do I begin?! Taking this season in a vacuum, this will be the longest, most frustrating season Jets’ fans have ever endured — ever!! And that’s saying a lot. The offense the Jets will be running onto the field every Sunday is the result of a Tank Job for the ages. See, the Jets are like a car you want to rebuild. Any old, rusty parts that can be scrapped are taken to the junkyard. And any new, shiny parts will replace the old ones..only the new parts are on back order..for a YEAR. Buckle up Jets’ fans, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Key AdditionsDemario Davis, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum 

Key Losses: Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Darelle Revis, Nick Mangold, David Harris, I could keep going, but let’s just agree the Jets are TANKING 

This Season’s Predictions:

New England Patriots: 12-4

Miami Dolphins: 7-9

Buffalo Bills: 5-11

New York Jets: 2-14

How do you think the AFC East will play out?? If you see it differently than I do, you may want to change your prescriptions. Just sayin’.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

One-Liner Fridays!!

espn 8 the ocho

Happy Friday sports fans!! It isn’t a mirage. Friday is actually here. I’m going to get your weekend started a little early with an oldie but a goodie. This is a segment I like to call, One-Liner Fridays. Today, I give my take on the week of sports in One Line and One Line only. “We’re gonna to skate to One song and One song only!” Enjoy!!

 

“Pudge” Rodriguez has taken his nickname, and apparently his eating contests, too seriously.

Voting Tim Raines into the MLB Hall of Fame, after 10 years, is like that bad decision you make right as the lights come on at last call — I get it, she was the only girl left in the bar.

Putting Bud Selig in the MLB Hall of Fame is like asking Adrian Peterson to babysit tonight.

Nothin’ says, “Welcome to New York Sonny Gray” like the Yankees committing 3 errors behind him, in the 1st inning.

I know Pete Rose isn’t in the running for Humanitarian of the Century, but did a woman really come out of the shadows, and accuse him of a crime from 30 YEARS AGO?!

Nice try lady.

Stephen Curry took some time out of his busy, make fun of Lebron James schedule, to play in his 1st professional golf tournament (Ellie Mae Classic).

It appears, Steph Curry (who shot a 74) is now better than Tiger Woods at golf.

House, no — Cars, no — Travel the world, no — Put my kids through college, no — Invest, no — Purchase Neymar Jr., YES!!

I literally couldn’t think of a better way to spend $262 Million either.

I love how Dolphins fans are distraught today after seeing Ryan Tannehill go down with a knee injury in practice yesterday — Yeah, because NOW your season’s over.

At least it’ll keep the Colin Kaepernick conversation going, so we’ve got that goin’ for us.

We saw more punches thrown on the 1st day of New England Patriot’s Training Camp than we will see in the entire Mayweather/McGregor fight.

Thank you Paul Malignaggi, for leaving the “Circus”, as you called it, of McGregor’s camp, and daring McGregor to go public with their sparring video — which would allegedly show what really happened.

And in case you somehow didn’t notice, yesterday was Tom Brady’s, not to be confused with Jesus’, 40th birthday….

At least ESPN didn’t replay every minute of every game of Tom Brady’s career….

Speaking of ESPN, fantasy will become reality when ESPN U morphs into ‘ESPN 8, The Ocho’ for one day, August 8th.

That’s awesome!!

Cotton McKnight:
“In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I’d seen it all, folks, but it looks like Peter La Fleur has actually blindfolded himself.

Pepper Brooks:
“He will not be able to see very well, Cotton.”

 

If you have a One-Liner of your own, please post it below in the comment section.

Enjoy your weekend everybody!!

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

First Openly Gay Player Drafted in the NFL

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On Saturday May 10th, 2014, The St. Louis Rams made history by drafting Michael Sam.  Michael Sam made headlines back in February, by announcing to the world that he was gay.  At the time, Sam was projected as a 3rd round pick in the NFL Draft, so most expected Sam to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.  After a poor showing at the NFL Combine in late February, Sam’s stock price dropped drastically.  Did some General Mangers use his poor combine as an excuse to drop him in their rankings?  Or did these General Manager’s look at Sam strictly as a football player and nothing more?  I hope the latter is true.  While I understand the General Managers in the NFL put an unreasonable amount of value on Combine results, I don’t know if Sam deserved to drop all the way into the 7th round.  Sam was selected with the 249th overall pick.  The St. Louis Rams may be the biggest beneficiary of Sam’s draft stock dropping, as I believe they got Sam about 2 or 3 rounds later than his abilities dictate. 

 

Immediately following the selection, the camera flipped to Sam’s home as he received the call from The Rams.  His house was filled with family and friends who were there to share in this joyous occasion.  Most notably Sam’s boyfriend was right there by his side.  Sam was visibly overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry.  Sam’s boyfriend stood by his side the entire time and when Sam hung up the phone, the two kissed and embraced each other.  This display of affection between two men has drawn quite a reaction, and is currently one of the top stories in the sports world.  Most people are fine with this, for they understand that the world has changed and this is a personal choice that every person is entitled to make.  Others, however, are not as tolerant of Sam’s relationship, and some have gone as far as to publicly speak out negatively toward Sam.  Don Jones, of the Miami Dolphins, tweeted “OMG” and “horrible” in reaction to Sam and his boyfriends televised displays of affection.  Jones has subsequently been suspended and fined an undisclosed amount for his comments.    

 

I believe that every one in the world has the right to do what makes them happy.  If being gay is a choice that makes Sam happy, then who are we to tell him he is wrong?  Ignorance, unfortunately is everywhere, but the best thing Sam can do is ignore the negativity and stay focused on the game he loves.  Now, when it comes to football, I believe he should be judged solely as a football player and a teammate.  All the other stuff shouldn’t play a role in his place on The St. Louis Rams or any other team.  This is why I believe Sam unfairly dropped in the draft, but nonetheless, he was drafted.  He now has just as good of an opportunity to make the roster and receive playing time as anybody else.  You would think that despite his poor showing at the combine, his game will translate to the NFL.  He was only an All-American and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season.  That sounds like a 7th round pick to me!  In all seriousness, we should be happy for Sam and every young man that was drafted this year.  They each have a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the NFL, and they should give it their all.   

 

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Thank you for reading and leave a comment in the section below.

 

I’d Ask, But I Know You Are Ready For Some Football!!

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Your birthday? Nope. Your anniversary? Nah. That day you randomly find a $20 in your jacket that you haven’t worn in 3 months? Almost, but no. So what is the best day of the year? It is today; Opening Day of the NFL Season. It is the day you’ve been waiting for ever since the unbelievably annoying Ray Lewis hoisted The Lombardi Trophy over is head in February. Well, the wait is over. You can have a snickers bar and you can watch some football. You can finally see how your fantasy picks will pan out. And, you all have a reason to sit on the couch and do nothing. Enjoy what should undoubtedly be made a National Holiday.

The 2013 NFL Season kicks off tonight, Thursday September 5th, with the defending champion Baltimore Ravens taking on the Denver Broncos (I think we all remember what happened the last time these teams met). To say The Broncos will be looking for revenge would be an understatement. The Broncos enter the season with extremely high expectations. Some have them in or winning The Super Bowl this year thanks to the additions of Wes Welker and others. Even with their best defender, Von Miller, suspended for the first 4 games of the season they are still looked at as the favorites in the AFC. On the other hand, the defending champion Ravens enter the season with a handful of question marks. How do they replace Ray Lewis and Ed Reed? Will Joe Flacco live up to the astronomically high contract he was given last year? Can you really win with just 1 wide receiver? That last one was a joke, but seriously how are you going to win with Torrey Smith and me at wide receiver? Despite his impressive Super Bowl performance and his wonderful (haha) showing on Dancing With The Stars, Jacoby Jones is actually not very good at football. These are some of the questions that will certainly be answered once the season gets under way. You can catch tonight’s opening game on NBC at 8:30 P.M. Who do you like to win this game? I have Denver (at home) winning a relatively close game 24-17.

The rest of Week 1 will be played on Sunday and Monday. So, clear your schedules for the weekend, find that ass groove in the couch that has missed you so dearly, and lets get ready for some football. I am now ready to give you some of my thoughts and predictions on the upcoming season. Everyone has an opinion on their own favorite team and who they think will win, but football more than any other sport is incredibly unpredictable. Players get injured at a very high rate, and every year we seem to have a completely unknown player climb out of the woodwork and land right in the limelight. Nonetheless, lets make some predictions. I shall start with my favorite “team”, The New York Jets. Their team can be summed up in one word: Joke. They are a complete and utter joke. I see them winning 4 games at most, but most likely will only pull off 3 lucky victories. With that being said, I still believe it is not fair for ESPN to rank the Jets as the worst team in the NFL. That distinction clearly should be held by The Oakland Raiders (Chris Berman voice). Anyway, I see the Raiders, Jets, and Jaguars all being very very bad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these teams wound up as the worst team in the league. And now, I will provide you with the Division winners, Wild Card teams, and Super Bowl Champion that will make up the 2013 playoffs.

In the AFC East, I don’t see how any other team will come out of that division than The New England Patriots. Everyone can talk about how much better The Miami Dolphins will be, but I’m sorry Ryan Tannehill, I’m just not buying it. The AFC West is also a pretty easy division to figure out. The Denver Broncos will handily win this division. Most people are eager to hop on the Kansas City Chiefs bandwagon, but I’m also not prepared to do that either. Will they be in a hunt for the Wild Card with 3 games to go? It’s very possible, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they were 4-9 by then either. Oh, they have Alex Smith? Well then, that changes everything, they’ll probably win The Super Bowl. What was I thinking? The AFC North and South are a little tougher to figure out, and will probably provide the playoffs with the other 4 teams in the AFC this year. The AFC North will be a tightly contested division, but I feel that The Cincinnati Bengals will prevail. I also believe that The Ravens, not The Steelers will land a Wild Card spot this year. The Steelers have no running game, and Big Ben just isn’t good enough to win without a good supporting cast and top 10 defense. The AFC South is a fun division and should also bring 2 playoff teams to the mix this year. The Indianapolis Colts will win this division behind the strong play of Andrew Luck (he is the real deal and will be the best 2nd year QB in the NFL this season). The Texans will land the other Wild Card spot this year.

    AFC Playoff Picture

1.) Denver Broncos
2.) New England Patriots
3.) Indianapolis Colts
4.) Cincinnati Bengals
5.) Baltimore Ravens
6.) Houston Texans

I envision The Denver Broncos beating The New England Patriots in the AFC Championship (and giving everyone that one last Peyton Vs. Tom showdown everyone was looking for last year).

As for the NFC, I see this as the much harder conference to predict. The NFC East by itself is like flipping a 4-sided coin. But, here goes nothing. In the NFC East, as much as I hate them and love watching them crumble under pressure, I see the Dallas Cowboys narrowly pulling out the division title this year. I think The New York Giants will be in the fight for a Wild Card spot all season but will fall just short of the playoffs yet again this season. The NFC West, which is seen as the strongest division in the NFL should definitely bring 2 teams to the playoffs this year. I have The San Francisco 49ers winning the division, and The Seattle Seahawks winning a Wild Card spot. The NFC North should be a battle between 2 long time rivals; The Packers and Da Bears. I see The Packers edging out the Bears for the Division while Jay Cutler will once again be watching the playoffs from home this season. Last, but certainly not least, there is my favorite division in football, The NFC South. This division should also produce 2 playoff teams this season. The Atlanta Falcons will once again win the division while the New Orleans Saints will land the final playoff spot this season.

    NFC Playoff Picture

1.) San Francisco
2.) Atlanta Falcons
3.) Green Bay Packers
4.) Dallas Cowboys
5.) Seattle Seahawks
6.) New Orleans Saints

Let me repeat how unpredictable the NFC is going to be this season. Don’t be surprised if the Wild Cards consist of The Bears, Redskins, Giants, or Redskins. However, based off my predictions, I see The San Francisco 49ers beating the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship in a rematch of last year. As for the Super Bowl, I see Peyton Manning prevailing to win his 2nd Lombardi Trophy, while Colin Kaepernick suffers his 2nd straight defeat in the Super Bowl. And that my friends, is how I see the NFL season playing out this year. It is a long road, and it all starts tonight. However it plays out, enjoy it!!

Please leave me your predictions for the upcoming NFL Season below in the comment section. Thank you.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

To Leave Or Not To Leave, That Is The Question (Either Way It’s All About The Benjamin’s Baby!!)

Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. marked the beginning of free agency in the NFL. It didn’t take long for teams to start signing and resigning players shortly after the 4 O’ clock hour. There were many moves that happened right away, and there are many moves that are still going to take place. I will give you a recap of what moves have been made and where your favorite players will be suiting up next season. I will also give you a quick rundown of some key players who have yet to sign a new deal. Some of these moves make you scratch your head from a football standpoint, but you need to remember these moves are about one thing and one thing only; money. With that being said, let’s take this thing for a ride.

One of the biggest signings so far has surely been Mike Wallace. Tuesday afternoon, the former Pittsburgh Steeler, signed the dotted line to play for the Miami Dolphins. The deal is reportedly for 5 years and 60 million dollars (30 million of which are guaranteed). It appears that the Steelers only offered Wallace 10 million per year, however Wallace was looking for a minimum of 12 million per year (cha ching). Another significant signing that occurred on Tuesday was the Cleveland Browns signing former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger to a 5 year, 40 million dollar contract. This is big money for a pretty unproven player in Kruger. He is a good linebacker but does not have the track record that would merit a contract of this magnitude. Only time will tell if the Browns made a smart move by signing Kruger (considering we are talking about the Browns I’m sure this move will backfire). There were a couple of moves at the tight end position Tuesday with Martellus Bennett and Anthony Fasano both on the move. Bennett, the former New York Giant, inked a 4 year, 20 million deal with the Chicago Bears, giving Jay Cutler another legitimate option other than Brandon Marshall. Anthony Fasano formerly of the Miami Dolphins signed with the already very busy Kansas City Chiefs. The deal is reportedly for 4 years and 16 million dollars. The Chiefs continue to improve their roster, and dare I say that the Chiefs might sniff at a winning record this season? Yeah you’re right, probably not. The biggest news at the tight end position by far was the decision by future Hall-Of-Famer Tony Gonzalez to come back to play one more season with the Atlanta Falcons. This season will be Gonzalez’s 18th, and based on his production from 2012, I’m sure the Falcons are giddy at the news of his comeback.

On the defensive side of the ball there hasn’t been as much noise, but there have been some moves that will impact the New York teams next season. The Giants had released Chris Canty who is now a member of the defending champion Baltimore Ravens. In his place, the Giants have brought in Cullen Jenkins formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles. The New York Jets made some noise a day prior to the free agent frenzy with the earth shattering signing of David Garrard, however they made a couple moves Tuesday as well. They restructured Santonio Holmes’ and Antonio Cromarties’ contracts and they can wave bye-bye to Mike Devito as he is off to the most popular place to live these days (apparently), Kansas City. Another noteworthy move from the defensive side of the ball was that the Eagles released Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha is one of the worst free agent signings in recent history (don’t worry Albert Haynesworth, your’e still #1 in my heart). Another notable release was Ryan Fitzpatrick being let go from the Buffalo Bills. At least they didn’t wipe their butt with all that money (haha). William Gay, formerly of the solid Arizona Cardinals defense will add some depth to an aging Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Also, Dunta Robinson, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, signed with the new and improved Kansas City Chiefs.

At this point there are still some big names hanging out in free agency that have yet to sign somewhere. Most notably Wes Welker, Reggie Bush, Ahmad Bradshaw, Greg Jennings, Rashard Mendenhall, and Steven Jackson. All of these guys will find a home in the coming days, it is just a matter of where. You also have Victor Cruz in waiting as a restricted free agent. For those of you who don’t know what it means to be a restricted free agent allow me to explain: A restricted free agent can negotiate with any team until April 19th. If another team presents said free agent with an offer, the original team has an opportunity to match or exceed the offer. If the original team decides not to match the offer, they will receive draft compensation based on the qualifying offer. While I like Victor Cruz as a player (and I’m sure the Giants like him too), it’s not about the player, it’s about the money. Can the Giants keep Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz? I highly doubt it.

Let us move on to the other New York “team”, the Jets. The New York Jets are going to be one of the worst teams in the league this year. They have two quarterbacks who are both completely useless, and they are losing players in bulk this offseason. They already released Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Erik Smith in February. As I mentioned earlier, they lost mike Devito to free agency, they waived Sione Po’uha, and it is likely that Darrelle Revis will be traded before this years draft. It is safe to say that they are in rebuilding mode.

All in all it has been a busy couple of days in free agency, and the fun has only begun. As it stands so far, you’d have to say that the Kansas City Chiefs are the big winner so far. There are big names still left to sign so that may change in a heartbeat. Stay tuned for the rest of the moves around the NFL.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!