You’re Only As Good As Your Superstar

I’m going to start by doing something I’ve NEVER done before….

 

I WAS WRONG.

 

That was a lot harder than I thought it’d be, but I feel better now. I thought the “new look” Cleveland Cavaliers would lose, on the road, to the Oklahoma City Thunder. While this game remained LeBron James‘ to lose, his new supporting cast provided balanced scoring off the bench (Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, and Larry Nance Jr. all scored in double-digits).

On the other hand, only 6 Thunder scored Tuesday night. Granted, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams all scored 20 or more points, but that’s not a recipe for success. Do you know what else isn’t a recipe for success?? Allowing Carmelo Anthony to lead your team in field goal attempts (22). Knicks’ fans know what I’m talkin’ about….

With his renewed exuberance, LeBron’s impressive February rolls on. Over his last 5 games, LeBron is averaging 29 points, 11.4 assists, and 9.6 rebounds.

The good: The Cavaliers have won 4 games in a row.

The (sort of) bad: LeBron has played 40+ minutes in 3 of his last 5 games.

LeBron is actually tied for 2nd for the most minutes played per game (37) this season. The ultimate question is: Will this finally effect the 33-year old version of LeBron James come playoff time?? It never has before, but father-time is undefeated for a reason (despite rumors that Tom Brady is immortal). All of those minutes didn’t slow LeBron down last night, as he dropped 17 points in the 3rd quarter en route to a 120-112 victory over the Thunder.

James_-37-Lead-Cavaliers-Past-Thunder-120-112

Prior to the game, LeBron was asked about collegiate superstar, Trae young. Because, ya know, everything LeBron James says is the most important thing anyone says all day. As a reporter began to ask about Trae Young’s decision to go pro, LeBron interjected, simply saying, “Decision?! What Decision?! He better go pro!!” LeBron also hinted that there may be some acting in his future….

Check out what LeBron had to say here.

trae young 2

Trae Young and LeBron James have something in common. When Trae Young struggles, the Oklahoma Sooners struggle. Over his past 12 games, Young has failed to shoot at least 39% from the field 8 times. Yup, you guessed it, the Sooners have lost 8 of their last 12 games. The Sooners now stand at 16-9 and should fall out of the top-25 after their 88-78 loss to Texas Tech Tuesday night. Young and company will look to get back on track when they take on Texas Saturday afternoon. Despite Young’s most recent struggles, he still leads the nation in scoring, and assists per game (29.1 points, 9.3 assists, and 4 rebounds).

The question is: Can Trae Young’s 6’2″, 180 lb frame succeed in the NBA??

 

Will the “new look” Cavaliers finish as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference?? Will Trae Young succeed in the NBA?? 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!!

 

 

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Who Needs Defense When You Have Nick Foles??

That was the greatest football game I’ve ever seen.

Despite NO defense being played by either side, Super Bowl LII was highly competitive and wildly entertaining (and the Patriots lost!!). 74 total points. 1,156 total yards (most in any NFL game — ever). And 1 trick play you have to see to believe.

Did I mention the Patriots lost?!

1st Quarter

The Philadelphia Eagles set the tone with a 67-yard, field goal drive that lasted just over 7 minutes. The Patriots followed suit, also driving 67 yards to tie the game at 3. The rest of the quarter didn’t go as well for the kickers. After the most impressive drive of the game by the Eagles, rookie kicker, Jake Elliot missed the extra point. The Patriots, continuously trying to 1-up the Eagles, missed a kick of their own….

2nd Quarter

Just 42 seconds into the 2nd quarter, the usually sure-footed, Stephen Gostkowski, banged a chip-shot field goal attempt off the left upright. In his defense, this was the holders fault (Ryan Allen). But then, the craziest thing happened. A PUNT!! The Eagles would go 3-and-out and execute the only punt of the game. The next play would end Brandin Cooks’ evening.

Watch the play here.

I hope Cooks makes a full recovery, but next time, catch the ball, run forward, and go down!! There’s a reason why Marvin Harrison played 1,432 years.

The football world knows Eagles’ head coach, Doug Pederson, is super aggressive. So, I wasn’t surprised when he went for 2, midway through the 2nd quarter, as he tried to turn 15-3 into 17-3. Chasing points in the 1st half, however, is never a good idea. And it almost cost him a Super Bowl.

And then, the game turned into a video game. 7 of the next 9 possessions resulted in a touchdown, including the aforementioned trick play at the end of the half. If I had a camera, this is the part when I’d take my glasses off, and stare into the world’s eyes.

Decisions and results are not the same thing. 

Asking your backup tight end to throw a touchdown, on 4th & goal, to your quarterback, is not a good decision. In hindsight, it was one of the greatest play calls in Super Bowl history. But that doesn’t make it smart!!

The Eagles took a 22-12 lead into the locker room.

3rd Quarter

Touchdown. Touchdown. Touchdown. Like I said, video game.

Tom Brady began to spread the ball around. Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and Danny Amendola all went over 100 yards receiving. Anyone who’s watched the NFL over the past 17 years has seen this movie before….

4th Quarter

After Brady and the Patriots scored 21 points in 14 minutes and 53 seconds, they took their 1st lead of the game. Down 33-32, with under 10 minutes to play, it was time for backup turned starter, Nick Foles, to bring his team to the promised land.

Foles remained poised throughout the entire game.  

After a methodical, 7 minute and 1 second drive, Foles hit Zach Ertz for an 11-yard touchdown. Despite announcer, Cris Collinsworth’s, best attempt at talking the world into believing this obvious touchdown was a fumble, or incompletion, or something else, the touchdown stood. And the Eagles took a 38-33 lead.

zach-ertz-td

Down 5, with 2 minutes and 21 seconds to play, is familiar territory for the great, Tom Brady. However, Brandon Graham, would force a fumble, effectively ending the game.

Tom Brady did not win another Super Bowl. The world can rejoice!!

Let the madness in the streets of Philadelphia commence!!

Final Thought: Bill Belichick coached a piss poor game. There were no in-game adjustments, and Malcolm Butler, one of the Patriots’ better defenders, was benched. No explanation. Just Belichick claiming he does what gives his team the best chance to win. Nice work Bill!! As for Matt Patricia, Patriots’ defensive coordinator, enjoy the bearded “genius” Detroit. His defense was repeatedly thrashed all season. The only reason the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl was because of Tom Brady’s greatness (Brady threw for 505 yards yesterday).

And now, the world should stay at least 30 miles from the city of Philadelphia for at least a week. Ya know, for the sake of the human race’s survival….

 

Was this the best NFL game you’ve ever seen?? If not, please 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 Best Day Of The Year Is ALMOST Here!!

I feel like a little kid.

You remember that feeling….

Something special would come up, like your birthday, making those last 3 days impossible to sleep — or sit still. With just 3 days until Super Bowl LII, that feeling is coursing through my veins. Just in case you live under a boulder, kick-off is set for 6:30 P.M. EST on Sunday, February 4th, on NBC.

The Philadelphia Eagles, in search of their 1st Super Bowl victory, will look to tackle the Tom Brady led, New England Patriots. Some “experts” are hoppin’ on the Eagles’ bandwagon, touting their knowledge of the Eagles’ defensive game plan. They believe the Eagles will follow the only game plan known to man to stop, or slow, Tom Brady. Pressure up the middle. Early, and often.

The Eagles front-4 may get pressure on Tom Brady. Hell, they may even sack him 3 times. But they won’t be the over the edge the Eagles are looking for. Brady will still complete his 12-yard crossing patterns all night. And, he will drive the field when it matters most. And if all else fails, he can always rely on his safety blanket, Rob Gronkowski.

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“But Dave, Gronkowski is in the concussion protocol. What if he doesn’t play?!”

If you think there’s even a 1% chance Gronkowski isn’t playing in this game, I have a bag of garbage to sell you.  Yes, the Eagles possess a top-10 defense, but that’s because they ranked 1st overall in rushing yards allowed per game (79.2). Through the air, not so much. They finished the regular season ranked 17th against the pass (227.3 yards per game).  The ONLY WAY the Eagles win is if Nick Foles duplicates his performance from the NFC Championship (352 yards and 3 TDs). While the Patriots’ defense is nothing to bring home to mama, they’re not going to be systematically dismantled by Nick Foles.

Come Sunday night, if you’re still awake, you’ll have the displeasure of watching Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hoist the Lombardi Trophy — for the 6th time. Gross!!

For all my degenerate gamblers out there, the spread, which opened at 5.5, is now 4.5. The line has moved due a handful of grandiose, 7-figure bets placed in favor of the Eagles. The Patriots will win. I have little doubt in that. However, I don’t know if they’ll cover. IF I was a gambler….I’d bet the Patriots on the Money Line (-198). In layman’s terms, bet 300 bananas to win 151 bananas.

Score Prediction: Patriots 27, Eagles 24

 

Who wins Super Bowl LII?? 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!!

 

 

 

I’m The Greatest — No, I’m The Greatest!!

I am the greatest athlete of this generation.

No, not me. There are 4 gentlemen who’d have a legitimate argument if they said that aloud, and 3 of them were in action Sunday. The 4th, is preparing to launch himself to an unprecedented level of greatness this coming Sunday….

1.) Roger Federer

2.) Tiger Woods

3.) Lebron James

4.) Tom Brady

Roger Federer

The accomplishments of Roger Federer, at 36 years, 173 days old, are like nothing we’ve seen before. After experiencing a Grand Slam title drought of 18, Federer has now won 3 of the past 5 (2 Australian Opens and 1 Wimbledon). That’s just flat out ridiculous.

Did I mention Federer is old?! 36, in men’s professional tennis, is ancient. In fact, upon winning the Australian Open, Federer became the 2nd oldest man to win a Grand Slam (Ken Rosewall – 1972 Australian Open). Still not impressed?! The only 2 sets Federer lost the entire tournament were against Marin Cilic on Sunday. Federer would drop the 2nd and 4th sets, forcing a sudden-death, 5th set for the Australian Open Title. Federer, steam rolled, winning 6-1. And with every Grand Slam victory, Federer continues to break his own record. He’s now won 20 Grand Slams.

The question isn’t if he’ll win #21, but when??

Tiger Woods

Woods_Cut_1120_Getty

Tiger Woods is back!! For real this time. Playing in his 1st PGA Tour event in a year, and just his 5th in 2-and-a-half years, Tiger Woods impressed. He didn’t win the tournament, nor will he win a tournament anytime soon, but he made the cut and played through the weekend.

He finished 23rd (-3), playing 4 consecutive rounds without injury (which should be Tiger Wood’s main focus). So, while he won’t compete with Jason Day and Alex Noren in Monday’s playoff of the Farmers Insurance Open, Tiger Woods should have a smile on his face.

He should also spend his free time at the driving range, because he hit a career low 17 of 56 fairways (30%), including 3 of 14 on Saturday. No, I can’t shoot 3-under over 4 consecutive rounds, but I can hit more than 3 fairways.

Lebron James

lebron yesterday

Lebron James went about his business Sunday:

25 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists, and 1 steal in 38 minutes.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won 121-104 over the Detroit Pistons. As crazy as this sounds, the Cavaliers can use every win they can get. At 29-19 on the season, they are currently the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference, however, they’re closer to the 7-seed than the 2-seed. This also sounds crazy, but another NBA Championship would do Lebron James’ legacy wonders.

As talented and accomplished as he is, Lebron is chasing a ghost. And ghosts tend to be hard to catch. As with every all-time great, I will never doubt Lebron James. Not until the clock hits double-zero and his team is on the wrong side of history.

Tom Brady

Tom-Brady

Tom Brady doesn’t often land on the wrong side of history. I don’t foresee that changing this coming Sunday. As Nick Foles continues to figure out how he got here, Tom Brady sleeps soundly. Super Bowl Sunday has become as regular an occurrence for Tom Brady, as a trip to the food store is for you and I.

With his (12) stitches removed, Brady is set to capture his 6th Super Bowl Ring. And like Roger Federer, will look to break his own record. When 2nd place is so distant, I guess you become your only competition.

 

Who is the greatest athlete of this generation?? 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!!

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!!

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!!

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!!