All Roads Lead To The Super Bowl

Many different paths often lead to the same place. For some, that place is familiar. For others, it’s folklore. That place is the Super Bowl. To understand how the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles’ paths led to Super Bowl LII, we must look to Championship Sunday: 1 part same old story, 1 part shock and awe….

What Else Is New?!

No Gronk, no problem.

The New England Patriots deserve praise. Hell, they deserve their own holiday on the calendar. What the Patriots continue to do, against the toughest of odds, is incredible. The Jets fan inside dies a little bit every time I compliment the Patriots.

Tom Brady received stitches on his throwing hand just days prior to the AFC Championship. It didn’t matter. The Patriots were down 14-3 in the 1st half. It didn’t matter. The Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski (concussion) for the game just before halftime. It didn’t matter. The Patriots were down 10 points, with 9 minutes to play. It didn’t matter. No matter the adversity, they persevere.

In any significant Patriots’ victory, there’s always a play that stands out. A play you can point to, and say, there it is, NOW they’re going to win. Most teams wouldn’t understand. 3rd & 18, down 10, with 10:49 to play, Brady connected with Danny Amendola for a 1st down (21 yards). It sounds simple, but it embodies the Patriots’ spirit. This is why scoring a game-winning touchdown, with 2:10 to play, is not as dramatic as it sounds. A Patriots’ victory was never in doubt.

amendola_danny_patriots

The Jaguars, however, deserve credit (sort of). They played a near perfect 1st half, carrying a 14-10 lead into the locker room. The offensive play calling was perfect, easy throws for Blake Bortles and plenty of rushing attempts. Bortles impressed, completing 17 of 23 passes (73.9%) in the 1st half. But then, Bortles turned back into a pumpkin, going 6 for 13 (46.1%) in the 2nd half. And that, as they say, was all she wrote.

With their 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New England Patriots will play in their 8th Super Bowl in the last 17 years (10th appearance in their history). They’ll look to win back-to-back Super Bowls for the 1st time since 2004, when they defeated the Eagles (24-21). For New England, the cast of characters are practically the same. As for Philadelphia, it’s a lifetime ago.

I Did Not See That Coming!!

The Philadelphia Eagles entered the NFC Championship as underdogs. They left as champions. Despite being underdogs in consecutive games, the Eagles have overcome. Doubt. Injury. Public perception. They overcame it all and find themselves in their 3rd Super Bowl in franchise history.

If you tried to adjust your television set during yesterday’s game, you weren’t the only one. I thought there was a Tom Brady sighting in both games too. Yes, Nick Foles played that good of a game. Foles, who finished with 352 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, tore up a stringent, Vikings defense. This was a Vikings defense who ranked top-5 in nearly every statistical category during the regular season.

After a dramatic win over the Saints in the Divisional Round, it appeared the Vikings were simply happy to be here.

The Vikings marched down the field on the opening drive for a touchdown. Then continued to force a punt on the Eagles’ 1st possession. The city of Philadelphia was probably collectively hurling things at their TVs. But after an interception returned for a touchdown, it was all Eagles. With 14:10 left to play, the Eagles took a 38-7 lead, and I, turned off my TV.

 

Did you doubt the Patriots yesterday?? Did Nick Foles play the best game of his career?? Tell me the truth in the comment section below.

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: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

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Welcome To Tom Brady’s Playground (Aka Championship Sunday)

tom brady 2

And then there were 4.

Wellllll, there’s really only 1, but technically 4 teams can still win the Super Bowl. With just 2 days left until Championship Sunday, final preparations are being made by 3 guys still trying to figure out how they arrived at this moment — and Tom Brady. Blake Bortles, Nick Foles, and Case Keenum are living proof you can ride someone else’s coattails to the promised land.

(3) Jacksonville Jaguars @ (1) New England Patriots – 3:05 P.M. EST (CBS)

All those who were excited to watch the Steelers take on the Patriots, we have an excellent consolation prize for you….

Blake Bortles.

No, you can’t return your prize!

Blake Bortles is getting ready to play in the biggest game of his life. Hopefully he bought his coaching staff, defense, and running game something nice, for without them Bortles wouldn’t be in the NFL anymore, let alone in the AFC Championship. The question this Sunday is:

Can this Jaguars defense follow the “beat Tom Brady blueprint”??

Listen, the Patriots are not losing, at home, to the Jaguars. But, if, and that’s a big IF, they lose, it’ll be under very specific conditions.

Here are the conditions (all of the below must happen):

1.) The Jaguars must sack Tom Brady at least 5 times

2.) The Jaguars must intercept Tom Brady at least once

3.) The Jaguars’ defense must score at least 7 points

4.) Blake Bortles must throw 0 interceptions

If the world finds itself in an alternate universe on Sunday, and ALL of these things occur, Blake Bortles will play in a Super Bowl.

Until then, I’ll confidently pick Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots to play in their 8th Super Bowl in the past 17 years. And for all my gullible fans, Tom Brady IS NOT HURT!! His hand is fine. This is a typical, very simple, Belichick mind game. We’ve been watching this same channel for nearly 2 decades now.

Prediction: Patriots 30, Jaguars 20

(2) Minnesota Vikings @ (1) Philadelphia Eagles – 6:40 P.M. EST (FOX)

The Minnesota Vikings are still riding high after the most dramatic playoff victory in NFL history. The question is:

Will that help or hurt them come Sunday??

The Vikings are looking to become the 1st team in NFL history to host a Super Bowl. But first, they must escape from a hostile Philadelphia environment with a victory. This is a very even matchup. Both teams play very solid defense. Both teams have an above average rushing attack. And both teams are well coached.

While both quarterbacks aren’t being confused with MVP candidates anytime soon, it’s safe to say the Vikings have an advantage under center. The Vikings also have the edge on defense, as this is as good a defense as the NFL has seen since the Seattle Seahawks “Legion of Boom”. The Eagles’ home field advantage offsets all of the above, making this game a “pick ’em” in my mind. Sit back, relax, and enjoy another tight one.

Prediction: Vikings 20, Eagles 19 

Final Thought: Why the hell do these games have to start so late?!?! What, because it’s Championship Weekend, the games need to be played at “special” times?!?! I don’t understand. It’s Sunday. I’ve been watching football games at 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. EST all year. Why must I stay awake until 11:00 P.M. to watch this game?!?!

On that note, enjoy the games!!

 

Who do you think will play in the Super Bowl?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

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: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

Alright NFL, Show Me What You’ve Got

drew-brees

I’m in a forgiving mood.

I’m going to give the NFL another chance. A chance to redeem itself after the least entertaining Wild Card Weekend I can remember. Despite the little voice inside my head screaming, “this is a bad idea!”, I’m going to prepare the couch for Divisional Weekend. Join me….

Atlanta Falcons (6) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1) – Saturday @ 4:35 P.M. EST (NBC)

The Philadelphia Eagles are about to do something that’s never been done before. No, not bring a Super Bowl to Philadelphia. Start the playoffs, as a #1 seed, as an UNDERDOG. The Eagles finished this season with a 13-3 record, in large part to a fantastic sophomore season from Carson Wentz. Thanks to Wentz’ Week 14, torn ACL, Nick Foles calls under center home. That’s why the peaking at the right moment, Atlanta Falcons are 3-point, road favorites.

This is the toughest game to call. Nick Foles is the ‘x-factor’. Will we see 2013 Nick Foles (64%, 27 TDs, 2 INTs), or 2015 Nick Foles (56%, 7 TDs, 10 INTs)?? Secret door #3 is probably the way Foles’ day will go. On the other hand, can the Falcons continue their strong play and get 1 step closer to returning to consecutive Super Bowls?? If they do, Falcons’ faithful will be thanking Matt Ryan’s right shoulder. However, I don’t think the Falcons are destined to follow in the footsteps of the 1990’s Buffalo Bills.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Falcons 21

Tennessee Titans (5) @ New England Patriots (1) – Saturday @ 8:15 P.M. EST (CBS)

There’s not much to talk about here. The Tennessee Titans didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs, and they certainly don’t deserve to be in the Divisional Round. With their annual, playoff bye week behind them, the New England Patriots are well rested and ready to put that scoreboard to work. Expect this game to get out of hand. Oh, and not that the Patriots needed any extra motivation, but Titans’ safety, Kevin Byard, thought it was a good idea to poke the beast. Byard said, “I want to make him (Tom Brady) look like Blake Bortles.”

That’s not the smartest thing I’ve heard this week.

Prediction: Patriots 45, Titans 17

Jacksonville Jaguars (3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (2) – Sunday @ 1:05 P.M. EST (CBS)

Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5 of the regular season, 30-9. Ben Roethlisberger threw NO touchdowns and 5 interceptions (2 were returned for TDs). But that was a dress rehearsal. This is show time. As good as the Jaguars’ defense is, returning 2 interceptions for TDs, in the same game, is an anomaly. Do you know what isn’t an anomaly?? Blake Bortles throwing for less than 200 yards and committing a turnover.

Bortles threw for less than 200 yards 7 times this season (including 87 yards last week). He also had 19 total turnovers in the 17 games he’s played. That’s not a recipe for success. A well rested Ben + a healthy Brown + Bell in the backfield = success.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Jaguars 19 

New Orleans Saints (4) @ Minnesota Vikings (2) – Sunday @ 4:40 P.M. EST (FOX)

For consecutive weeks, the NFL has saved the best for last. Drew Brees, who turns 39 the day after this game, is looking to make 1 last Super Bowl push. He still has the arm. He has the offensive weapons. And for just the 2nd time in his life, he has a defense worth talking about (last time he had a good defense, he won the Super Bowl). But he must get past a tough, Minnesota Vikings defense, on the road, before he can set his sights on another Lombardi Trophy.

The Vikings’ defense, overshadowed by the Jaguars, may actually be the best defense in the league. They rank 1st in total yards and points allowed per game. And they rank 2nd in passing and rushing yards allowed per game. And just like the Eagles, they have an ‘x-factor’; Case Keenum. While Keenum has had a consistently good season, regression to his previous 4 seasons mean seems likely at any moment.

If the Falcons beat the Eagles, the Saints and Vikings will be playing for the right to host the NFC Championship.

If the Vikings reach the Super Bowl, they’ll become the 1st team in NFL history to play the ‘big game’ on their home field. They’ll have to get past Brees and the 2-headed monster in his backfield first.

Prediction: Saints 23, Vikings 21 

 

Who do you think will win this weekend?? Post your predictions in the comment section below.

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: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

Listen Man, That Right There Is A Good Contract Man

jon gruden

A lot has changed since Jon Gruden last coached in the NFL. iPhones have ridiculous, nonsensical adapters. Apparently you just swipe left and another picture comes up. And the Patriots are no longer a dynas….oh wait, that one hasn’t changed. But 1 thing remains constant: Raiders’ owner, Mark Davis’ freaky hairdo. I mean seriously, what is that thing?!

mark davis

 

 

 

 

Anyway….

Tuesday, Jon Gruden was introduced as the new Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders. This will be his 2nd stint with ‘Raider Nation’, as he was the head coach from 1998-2001. He went 38-26, including 2 trips to the postseason in his first tenure with the team. Hey opposing coaches, all you have to do is say “Tuck Rule”, and Gruden will cower into a corner somewhere.

In 2002, Gruden was traded to the Tampa Buccaneers, where he infamously beat his former team in Super Bowl XXXVII. Let’s fast forward to Tuesday….

Did you catch Jon Gruden’s introductory press conference???? You didn’t?! Ohhhhh boy.

You can check it out here. Watch the 1st 4 minutes, then come back so we can talk….

Does Mark Davis not make your skin crawl???? He looks like he’s 63 going on 6. And not the cute kind of 6. The creepy, no one hangs out with me kind of 6. He looked nervous. He took way more deep breaths than I’m comfortable with. And apparently, every woman in the Gruden family, is his biggest cheerleader. And then, there was the video montage. Ohhh the video montage. Was this supposed to give Raiders’ fans goosebumps?? Listen, I get that the Raiders want to return to their winning ways. They’ve only had 1 winning season in the past 15 years, and Jon Gruden was successful with the Raiders. But Davis is acting like the best coach in the history of sports is walking through the door.

Davis even went as far as saying, and I quote, “Raider Nation, this is a big effin’ deal!” Wow Mark. Just wow. In terms of dollars and cents, this is an enormous deal. In fact, Gruden’s 10-year, $100 Million contract makes him the highest paid coach in American professional sports history. And now, ‘Raider Nation’, the NFL, and the sports world will see if Gruden can live up to such expectations. I’m interested to see if Gruden, now 54, can adjust to the numerous rule changes that have taken place in his 9 years away from the sidelines.

 

Is this a good hire by the Oakland Raiders?? Will Jon Gruden win a Super Bowl in Oakland?? Post your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

Tua Brings Bama Back From The Brink

Alabama-National-Championship

I don’t doubt Nick Saban.

Throughout my years covering sports, I’ve learned many things: It’s all about the money, I don’t doubt Tom Brady, and I don’t doubt Nick Saban.

Nick Saban is the best college football coach of all-time — and it’s not even that close. What he’s accomplished at Alabama, winning 5 National Championships in 9 years, is eerily similar to the success Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots have had. And that’s what allows Saban to make questionable, bold, even controversial moves.

Monday night was no different.

Down 13-0 at halftime, Saban’s squad was struggling offensively. They had amassed 21 yards through the air and converted just 4 first downs. That’s when Saban handed the ball to true-freshman, Tua Tagovailoa. Until that moment, the Hawaiian native had only appeared in mop-up duty in lopsided Alabama victories. Pegged as a “gunslinger”, Tagovailoa played well in his 7 brief appearances, throwing 8 touchdowns and just 1 interception.

But Monday night, it was time to sink or swim, on the world’s biggest stage. Oh did he swim. Tagovailoa, aka Alabama’s savior, made the 3 biggest plays of the game:

1.) On his 2nd drive, Tagovailoa faced a 3rd & 7. He scrambled right, nearly getting sacked. After breaking not 1, not 2, but 3 tackles, Tagovailoa bounced back to the left, gaining 9 yards for a crucial 1st down. This changed the complexion of the entire game. It kept Alabama from going ‘3 & out’ on consecutive drives. It gave Tagovailoa confidence. And it led to an Alabama touchdown, pulling them within 1 score (13-7).

2.) Fast forward to 3 minutes and 56 seconds left in the game. Imagine being under center, down 7 points, on 4th & 4 from the opponents 7-yard line. Now imagine throwing an absolute strike to Calvin Ridley for the game tying touchdown (20-20). Now wake up, because that wasn’t you. It was Tua Tagovailoa, and he’s living the dream.

Watch the play here.

3.) And last, but CERTAINLY not least, the final play of the game. After Georgia’s kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, nailed a 51-yard field goal, Tagovailoa and Alabama found themselves down 23-20. Fail to score and go home. Kick a field goal and head to a 2nd overtime. Score a touchdown and win the National Championship. After an atrocious sack, Alabama was staring 2nd & 26 in the face. Have no fear, Tua is here. As he dropped back, the world could see DeVonta Smith inexplicably get behind Georgia’s secondary. Tagovailoa hit Smith, in stride, for a 41-yard, game winning touchdown.

Watch the play here.

Tagovailoa only had to pull off that miracle because his kicker came down with a case of the ‘shanks’. With 3 seconds left in regulation, Andy Pappanastos had a game-winning, 36-yard field goal attempt. Trust me when I say this was the worst field goal attempt I’ve ever seen — ever. This was Pappanastos’ 2nd missed field goal of the night. Clearly he wasn’t on his game. Luckily for Nick Saban, and Alabama, Tagovailoa was.

 

Was this the best National Championship you’ve ever seen?? Did you even stay awake long enough to see it?? Tell me in the comment section below.

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: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

The Jets Make My Soul Hurt

todd-bowles-coaching-jets-sunday-patriots-hospital-1-768x432

Painful.

That’s probably the best word to describe being a Jets’ fan. With another season in the books, it’s time to watch other teams play football in January and February — again.

5, 5, 10, 4, 8, 6, 8. Those would be the Jets’ win totals over the past 7 seasons. 1 of these things is not like the other. You’ll notice just 1 winning season (they still missed the playoffs) over that time span.

The Jets are stuck in NFL purgatory. Never bad enough to possess the #1 overall pick in the draft. Never good enough to make the playoffs. Their 5 wins earned the #6 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. If they don’t draft a quarterback, I will literally rip the hair out of my head!!

The world will collectively sit at the edge of their seat, awaiting general manager, Mike Maccagnan’s, draft choice. Maccagnan, as well as head coach, Todd Bowles, fresh off contract extensions, will remain at the helm through the 2020 season. Which brings me to my next point….

Everyone and their grandmother kept telling me the ONLY reason Todd Bowles refused to play Christian Hackenberg was because Bowles didn’t have job security beyond this season. And without job security, Bowles HAD to continue running the players onto the field who gave the Jets the best chance to win. Well if that’s true, what does it say when Bowles received a 2-year contract extension, and continued to walk the plank with the same old, tired strategy????

With the season in the rearview mirror, and the Jets trailing the Patriots 21-3 at halftime (OF THE FINAL GAME OF THE YEAR), how is it possible Christian Hackenberg doesn’t play in the 2nd half?!?! There is no logical, reasonable, rational explanation Todd Bowles, Mike Maccagnan, or any other genius in the world can give me that will ease my mind. I don’t care if Hackenberg is the worst practice player in the history of the NFL, PUT HIM ON THE FIELD!!!!

Apparently, the Jets plan to move on from Hackenberg without ever playing him in an actual game. That’s the definition of head-scratching. And the biggest indictment against the Jets’ current regime.

**Which is worse: Drafting a kicker in the 2nd round (Mike Nugent, 2005) or drafting a quarterback in the 2nd round and NEVER playing him????

Yeah. We should extend these geniuses for 2 more years. Sounds smart.

The Jets continue to boggle the mind, toy with emotions, and ruin Sundays.

Why is it again that I’m a Jets’ fan????

 

What do you think of Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan’s contract extensions?? Am I insane for remaining a Jets’ fan?? Tell me how you feel in the comment section below.

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: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

Remember When The NFL Revolved Around Running Backs??

todd gurley

What does it mean to be valuable??

I’m valuable to my family, my friends, and the company I work for. And I’m sure you’re valuable to somebody, or something, somewhere….

But what does it take to be the most valuable player in the NFL?? Stellar transition I know. Let’s answer that question with a question. What would your team be without you??

The book is about to close on another NFL season. As teams make their final push for the playoffs, individual players continue to earn next year’s contracts. A select few, however, look to hoist the NFL’s MVP Trophy. In my estimation, it’s a 3-man race:

1.) Tom Brady (who else?)

2.) Russell Wilson

3.) Todd Gurley

Tom Brady

Everyone knows Tom Brady is really good at football. He’s the best quarterback of all-time, and it’s not even that close. And that’s his problem. The NFL, and every sport, refuses to give the MVP Award to the same player every year. Michael Jordan, could have, and should have, won the MVP Award every year. Same with Lebron James. Brady, at 40, is playing some of the best football of his career. His 67.5 completion percentage is the highest of his career, and he’s set to top 4,500 yards passing for the 5th time in his career. Oh yeah, and his New England Patriots are 12-3, just 1 win away from clinching home field throughout the playoffs. With alllllll that said, Tom Brady is not this season’s MVP.

Tom Brady’s Stats: 4,387 yards, 30 TDs, 8 INTs, 67.5 Completion %

Russell Wilson

Is there anyone doing more with less this season?! The Seattle Seahawks, at 9-6, are in contention for the playoffs. Despite having the worst offensive line known to man, no running game to speak of, and a defense living in the infirmary, the Seahawks are still breathing. All thanks to Russell Wilson. Wilson has an incredible ability to extend plays with his legs, neutralizing an opposing team’s pass rush. This also gives his wide receivers time to find holes in opposing secondary’s. Wilson has figured out how to make Paul Richardson look like a real receiver….

Oh yeah, Wilson is also the team’s leading rusher — by a lot. He’s still not this season’s MVP.

Russell Wilson’s Stats: 3,762 passing yards, 32 TDs, 11 INTs, 61.3 Completion % (550 Rushing Yards)

Todd Gurley

And then, there’s the running back. The NFL’s leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, Todd Gurley. From breakout rookie season, to sophomore slump-and-a-half, to MVP candidate. Put Gurley’s ridiculous rushing statistics to the side for a moment. Let’s look at Todd Gurley, the complete player. If Gurley was solely compared to wide receivers, he’d still be having a solid season. Here’s where he stacks up against the rest of the league through the air:

Receptions: 64 (T-26)

Receiving Yards: 788 (T-28)

Receiving TDs: 6 (T-21)

Yeah, I was impressed too. The NFC West Champion Los Angeles Rams (11-4) have a lot to be thankful for this year. For without Gurley, who knows where they’d be. Todd Gurley is this season’s MVP.

Todd Gurley’s Stats: 1,305 Rushing Yards, 13 TDs/64 Receptions, 788 Receiving Yards, 6 TDs

Stop looking at me like I’m crazy. I know this is a passing league. I know the running back position isn’t the most important on the field. However, running backs winning the MVP Award is not unprecedented. Adrian Peterson won it just 5 years ago. And 3 have won it in the past 12 seasons. And this year, there’s value in the running back position around the league. Look at Ezekiel Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys. The second Elliot served his 6-game suspension, the Cowboys lost 3 games in a row. Sorry Russell. Sorry Tommy Boy.

Todd Gurley is the NFL MVP.

 

Who is this season’s NFL MVP?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

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 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

If Only The NFL Knew What A Catch Was….

Jesse-James-TD

Good morning sports fans, and welcome to another episode of What’s A Catch?! In this controversial episode, the NFL has its fingerprints all over the outcome of Week 15’s ‘Game of the Week’. The New England Patriots took their talents to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. A game with major playoff implications in the AFC could only be called by the one, the only (broadcaster who doesn’t know how to shut up), Tony Romo!!

Through the cold and rain, the 1st quarter remained even. After Rex Burkhead dove in for a 1-yard touchdown, the Steelers marched down the field, tying the game at 7 on an Eli Rogers touchdown. The energy at Heinz Field was intense, as this game lived up to the hype.

Despite carrying a 17-10 lead into halftime, the 2nd quarter was a living nightmare for the Steelers. With just over 13 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Ben Roethlisberger attempted to hit his favorite target, Antonio Brown, in the end zone. Brown was unable to hang on to the 25-yard touchdown pass, as his leg was slammed between 2 Patriots’ defenders. Brown fell to the ground clutching his left calf. Early reports indicate Brown has a partially torn left calf muscle. To see the play, click here.

Without Brown, the other B stepped up; Le’Veon Bell. Bell had 165 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. He walked into the end zone from 3 yards out with 1:33 left in the 3rd quarter, giving the Steelers a 24-16 lead. That would be the last time the Steelers would score. Football fans over the past 15 years know that’s not a recipe for success against Tom Brady. 1 Patriots’ field goal and a Steelers’ 3-and-out later, Tom Brady had the ball, down 5, with 2:06 remaining.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it??

Brady targeted Rob Gronkowski 4 times during this 2-minute drill. Gronk would haul in 3 of those targets for 69 yards. It was like there was no one else on the field, and Brady and Gronk were playing catch in the backyard. In UnBradyLike fashion, the Patriots scored with too much time left on the clock (56 seconds). 1 play later, Big Ben and the Steelers were on the Patriots 10-yard line. Here’s where it gets interesting….

After the Steelers burned their final timeout, Big Ben connected with tight end, Jesse James, for a 10-yard touchdown. Heinz Field erupted. Jesse James and company celebrated. And Jim Nantz and Tony Romo saw nothing to suggest the play was in question. And then the review (every scoring play is reviewed) started to take a minute. 2 minutes. 3 minutes. A line from Cinderella Man instantly popped into my head:

“I’ll tell you this much, when they take this long to make a decision, they’re gonna decide to screw somebody.”   

Obviously, the touchdown was overturned. Watch the play, then we’ll talk….

I don’t care that the NFL says a player must maintain possession of the ball through the entire motion of a catch (including contact with the ground). That silly rule doesn’t apply here. Jesse James scored a touchdown yesterday. He caught the ball while hitting the ground, THEN turned up field and reached for the end zone. After crossing the plane, and theoretically already scoring a touchdown, the ball jars loose from his Kung-Fu Grip, barely touching the ground.

Sooooo, the Steelers dusted themselves off, and took 2 more shots at the end zone. After a completion to the 7-yard line, the Steelers hurried back to the line. Big Ben faked a spike (that faked out 2 of his own receivers), and threw into traffic. A Patriots’ defender batted the ball up in the air, and it was intercepted. No touchdown. No field goal. No overtime. The Patriots stole another one against the Steelers, 27-24.

Home field, in the AFC, goes through Foxborough — for now.

 

Was it a catch???? Tell me in the comment section below.

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 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

Pull Up A Chair — An Epic NFL Weekend Is Upon Us!!

Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots

Take the night off.

Since the NFL decided to put the worst football game in the history of football games on Thursday night, take the night off. Go finish your Christmas shopping. Go cook a nice meal. Go to bed early. And gear up for a FANTASTIC weekend of football.

Week 15 is poised to be historic. The amount of games with major playoff implications is staggering. Don’t forget, Saturday football starts this week as well. Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Yes, the NFL is taking over the calendar.

Here are the top 4 games of Week 15:

4.) Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-6), Saturday @ 8:25 P.M.

Can I get some Saturday Night Football here?? Not only can you stay home and watch football on Saturday night, but you’ll be blessed with an AFC West showdown. That’s 1 part serious, 1 part sarcasm. Bad or not, this game may determine the winner of the AFC West. Philip Rivers is playing some of the best football of his career. Melvin Gordon is on his way to the 1st 1,000 yard season of his career. And the Chargers pass rush is as good as it gets. I don’t care that the Chiefs finally won a game, I’ll stick with the team playing as well as anyone in the league; the Chargers.

Prediction: Chargers 27, Chiefs 24

3.) Green Bay Packers (7-6) @ Carolina Panthers (9-4), Sunday @ 1:00 P.M.

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The Baaaaad Man is back!! Aaron Rodgers has been medically cleared to play, and will be under center this coming Sunday. Rodgers hasn’t played football since he broke his collarbone against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6. Let’s give Brett Hundley credit for the job he did over the past 8 games. He led the Packers to a 3-5 record. It’s not easy to fill Aaron Rodgers shoes, but Hundley kept the Packers afloat. Now, Rodgers must do the improbable — run the table. I think we’ll see some rust from Rodgers, but ultimately he’ll be the best player on the field.

Prediction: Packers 24, Panthers 18

2.) Los Angeles Rams (9-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (8-5), Sunday @ 4:05 P.M.

Talk about an important game. A potential playoff berth, and the lead in the NFC West hangs in the balance. Despite the level Russell Wilson is playing, football is not a 1-man sport. The Rams are a more complete team. One of Jared Goff’s favorite weapons, Robert Woods, will return to the field this week after missing 3 straight games with a shoulder injury. This will be a close, hard fought game. But Jared Goff, Todd Gurley III, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp will prove too much for this stripped down, Seahawks’ defense.

Prediction: Rams 28, Seahawks 24

1.) New England Patriots (10-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2), Sunday @ 4:25 P.M.

You wanted the game of the week. You got the game of the week. Sunday afternoon, the class of the AFC, will throw down at Heinz Field. The Patriots and Steelers are the only 2 teams in the AFC with double-digit wins. The Steelers offense is firing on all cylinders. Big Ben has turned back the clock, and Leveon Bell and Antonio Brown are the best, at their respective position, in the league. But the Patriots play well everywhere. Duh! It’s noteworthy when you handle the 2nd best team in the AFC (for the past 15 years), year in and year out. The Patriots are 5-2, including playoffs, at Heinz Field since 2002.  Plus, since the start of the 2003 season, the Patriots are 40-5 following a loss. THAT’S INSANE!! That means they’ve only lost consecutive games 5 times in nearly 15 seasons.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Steelers 20

 

What is the most exciting game of Week 15?? Post your predictions in the comment section below.

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 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

Week 14 Had It All

bills-colts-600

That throw.

How many can make that throw?? Click here to see the spectacular precision only a handful of men on the planet possess (it happens at the 2:00 mark of the video). That’s “Big Ben” doing what “Big Ben” does.

Instant Classic

Ben Roethlisberger has been a really good quarterback for a really long time. His performance on Sunday Night Football is a microcosm of his career. With 6:44 left to play, the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed their division rival, Baltimore Ravens, by 9 points. Roethlisberger, poised as ever, drove his team 68-yards for a touchdown in just 3 minutes and 15 seconds. After a 3 and out that lasted just 1 minute and 4 seconds, Roethlisberger went back to work.

See, it’s not just the throw. It’s the moment. When the moment calls for a perfect, 34-yard pass that looks like it was gently placed into the hands of Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger produces that throw. On that play, Roethlisberger not only clinched the game, but became the only quarterback in NFL history with 3 career 500-yard passing games. 39-38 Steelers. If you didn’t catch this one live, go find a replay. It’ll be worth it.

Do You Want To Build A Snowman??

Football in a blizzard is awesome!! It’s unique. It’s different. It draws eyes to the TV. Eyes that would otherwise be glued to an iPhone, iPad, or videogame. It also gave us a wildly entertaining football game. The Indianapolis Colts struggled in the elements in Buffalo, scoring their 1st points with just 1:16 left in the game. With 40-mph wind gusts staring Adam Vinatieri in the face, the Colts opted to go for 2. It worked!! The Colts went up 8-7 in the most improbable of comebacks….until they didn’t. In came a flag, 45 seconds after the play, nullifying the conversion. Vinatieri would be forced to attempt a 43-yard extra point. He nailed it!! To overtime we’d go. As the 1st tie of the NFL season was staring each team in the face, the Buffalo Bills did the impossible. 3rd string quarterback, Joe Webb, hit Deonte Thompson for a 34-yard bomb. This would set up a Lesean McCoy scamper from 21-yards out for the 13-7 overtime victory!!

What A Weird Season

The New York Jets beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-20 in Week 4. The New York Jets lost to the Denever Broncos 23-0 in Week 14. Make sense of that….

Overshadowed By Injury

The Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Los Angeles Rams was supposed to be the game of the week. The battle for NFC supremacy. Carson Wentz vs. Jared Goff. What could be more exciting??

While it was an entertaining game, it was marred by Carson Wentz’, season ending torn ACL. Wentz was sandwiched between 2 Rams as he dove into the endzone in the 3rd quarter. Check out the play here. Down 28-24, he hobbled back to the huddle after the touchdown was called back on a holding penalty. Wentz, left immobilized, stayed in the game long enough to throw a 1-legged touchdown!! The Eagles would hold on for a 43-35 victory, clinching the NFC East Division Title. However, Wentz’ MVP hopes circled the drain hand-in-hand with the Eagles’ Super Bowl dreams….

Last Time I Checked, You Can’t Do That

Reminiscent of the “Malice at the Palace”, a Seattle Seahawks’ player tried to fight a fan.

Let me repeat that: A SEATTLE SEAHAWKS PLAYER TRIED TO FIGHT A FAN!!

Watch Einstein here.

Quinton Jefferson, unhappy that some of his teammates are dirty players, and that his team lost, decided it would be a good idea to try to climb into the stands and fight a fan. Yes, of course fans should NEVER throw objects on the field. But, a player, no matter the circumstance, should NEVER EVER try to climb into the stands to assault a fan.

I thought that was understood….

 

What was the most exciting part of Week 14?? Tell me in the comment section below. 

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 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!