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.


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 Facebook Page: .

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

You Should Be Ashamed Of Yourself!!


It was all bad.

The quarterback play was bad. The coaching was bad. Even the referees were bad. Those who thought the level of play would rise because the word Playoffs was added to this machine were sorely mistaken. Oh no, I’m included in that. No need to throw stones at my glass house.

There are a handful of people that probably had a hard time sleeping this weekend. I figured I’d add fuel to the fire by constructing a list, in order, of those involved in Wild Card Weekend, who should be ashamed of themselves:

5.) Everyone Who Dropped A Pass

Have you ever seen so many dropped passes in your life?!?! I’m not talking about well-defended, tough catches. I’m talking about straight-up drops. What started with a drop by the Tennessee Titans, Eric Decker (possibly the worst drop of the weekend), ended with a dropped touchdown by the Carolina Panthers, Kaelin Clay. Last time I checked, wide receivers have 1 job; CATCH THE BALL!! It ceases to amaze me when professional athletes, making millions of dollars, drop wide open passes. It also makes me hurl things at my television because I can catch 100% of those passes — 8 deep in the parking lot after a game….

4.) The Jaguars And Bills’ Offenses

You know a game was hard to watch when the leading receiver had 48 yards (Dede Westbrook). Yup. That was the Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Buffalo Bills game in a nutshell. Allow me to preface my next statement with concern for Tyrod Taylor’s health. Taylor has been placed in the concussion protocol after his head smashed into the ground, knocking him unconscious. With that said, the quarterback play in this game was as bad as it gets. Tyrod Taylor, (Nathan Peterman), and Blake Bortles’ combined stats were as follows:

30 for 63, 235 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. 

Last time I checked, completing 47% of your passes is not good. Maybe that’s why Blake Bortles rushed for more yards (88) then he threw for (87). But hey, who doesn’t enjoy a 10-3 game??

3.) Tony Romo

Tony Romo is REALLY annoying. Despite his insight into the NFL, and the quarterback position, he doesn’t possess the ability to shut up. This was never more evident when Tyrod Taylor was injured with just under 2 minutes left in the game. Tyrod Taylor was driven to the ground, slamming his head into the ground, by Dante Fowler. Taylor, was sprawled out on his back, unconscious, in the middle of the field. For 99% of human beings, this naturally brings a moment of silence. Not for Tony Romo. Instead, Mr. Romo felt that was the appropriate time to carry on, and on, and on, and on about a 10-second run-off.

Yes Tony, in the NFL, when play is stopped in the final 2 minutes due to an injured player, the referees are required to take 10 seconds off the game clock (WHICH THEY DID). However, reminding millions of viewers of this inane rule at the most inopportune time isn’t what I’d call becoming of a man, Mr. Romo.

2.) Jeff Triplette

Jeff Triplette has been an NFL referee since 1999. However, Triplette hasn’t officiated a playoff game since 2013. The world can see why….

Known around the NFL as the worst referee in the league, Triplette officiated his final game Saturday. Well, I guess if you’re gonna go out, you might as well go out on bottom(?). Shame on the NFL for allowing Triplette’s final game to be of this magnitude.

The Kansas City Chiefs were potentially robbed of a playoff victory by Triplette. Of the 5 glaring mistakes made by Triplette and his crew, none was bigger than the final blunder. After taking a 22-21 lead, Marcus Mariota and the Titans attempted a 2-point conversion. Mariota was sacked, and fumbled at the Titans’ 42-yard line. Daniel Sorenson picked up the ball and ran 58 yards for what should have been a 2-point conversion for the Chiefs. However, Triplette inexplicably whistled the play dead, claiming Mariota’s forward progress had been stopped. Trust me, it hadn’t been.

If I’m the Chiefs, I’m playing this game under protest.

1.) Sean Payton

Sean Payton is 1 of the better coaches in the NFL. He’s been the head coach of the New Orleans Saints since 2006, winning Super Bowl XLIV (2009). Despite his success, and reputation, he did something REALLY IDIOTIC on Sunday. The Saints found themselves with possession, with a 31-26 advantage, with just 2 minutes left in the game. With 4th and 2 looming, from the Panther’s 47-yard line, all the Saints had to do was pin the Panthers within their own 20-yard line. This would have required Cam Newton and company to drive 80+ yards, in under 2 minutes, with no timeouts. That’s a tall order for any quarterback. Instead, Payton forewent conventional wisdom, and sanity, and went for it on 4th and 2.

This is the dumbest decision I’ve seen on a football field in a looooooong time.    

Drew Brees’ pass attempt, fortunately, was intercepted. The Saints’ defense stood tall, and the Saints clung to victory. While the majority will remember a Saints’ victory, I will remember Payton’s brain fart.

Not that it can get any worse, but let’s hope next weekend’s games don’t make me want to gauge my eyes out….


Was this the worst weekend in NFL Playoff history?? If not, please enlighten 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 Facebook Page: .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at 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….


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 Facebook Page: .

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


What’s A Zeke?? (AKA NFC East Preview)


No one will be paying attention to football in the NFC East this season. Well, at least for the first 6 weeks. All eyes will be glued to the Ezekiel Elliot situation. Elliot has been suspended by the NFL for 6 games due to violation of the personal conduct policy. ‘Zeke’ as his friend calls him, has decided to appeal the suspension. The appeals process started Tuesday, and ahhh who cares!! Don’t be a bad guy, and you won’t get suspended. Anyway, let’s talk about the NFC East….

Last Season’s Standings:

Dallas Cowboys: 13-3

New York Giants: 11-5

Washington Redskins: 8-7-1

Philadelphia Eagles: 7-9

You know how this works by now. Worst-to-first….

Philadelphia Eagles

Expect regression. Yes, their offensive line is pretty good. Yes, Carson Wentz has a few new weapons to play with. Yes, they still have ugly uniforms. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be good this year. I don’t think Wentz is going to be an elite quarterback. Their defense is nothing to write home about. And expect to be extremely disappointed with their latest running back acquisition, LaGarrette Blount. He will be the bust of the year. And the Eagles will call 4th place in the NFC East home. Sorry Philly. Beautiful city. Amazing cheese steaks. Bad football team.

Key Additions: Alshon Jeffrey, Jordan Matthews (Trade), LaGarette Blount

Key Losses: Bennie Logan, Conor Barwin, Leodis McKelvin

Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins seem to be stuck in purgatory. Never good enough to make a run in the playoffs, but never bad enough to get the top pick in the NFL Draft. After an offseason of playing hardball with their own quarterback (smart!), the Redskins can look forward to another season of average. They will be the definition of average this season. Like last year, they will have a good passing attack, but their running game will plod it’s way down the field. Outside of their left tackle (Trent Williams), their offensive line is not very good, and their defense is eh.

Key Additions: Terrelle Pryor, D.J. Swearinger, Brian Quick

Key Losses: Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Kory Lichtensteiger

Dallas Cowboys

Last season was no Tony Romo, no problem. This year it’ll be No Ezekiel Elliot, big problem. Listen, their offensive line is so good I could run for 1,000 yards back there, but potentially missing Elliot for 6 games is not a recipe for success. No matter how many games Elliot plays this season, expect regression across the board. Last season’s record of 13-3 (2 of their losses coming by way of the Giants) was the result of a perfect storm. Their defense will take a BIG step back this season. While they will make the playoffs this year, I don’t see an NFC East Division Title in their near future.

Key Additions: Nolan Carroll, Stephen Paea, Taco Charlton (Draft)

Key Losses: Ronald Leary, Brandon Carr, Rolando McClain  

New York Giants

The New York Giants are always an interesting team, right?? They have spectacular regular season’s, and fall short of expectations. And then they turn around and run the table, as an underdog, twice. All while simultaneously having stability. Curious, isn’t it?? I expect the former this season. They will have a very good regular season en route to their 9th NFC East Division Title, but they’ll lose in the 1st round of the playoffs. Pencil in more of the same from Eli Manning, decent numbers with too many turnovers. Their running game will be bad, but their defense will be top-10 in the league.

Oh, and expect to see Eli Manning on his back more than you’re accustomed. This offensive line is REALLY BAD!!

Key Additions: Brandon Marshall, Rhett Ellison, Evan Engram (Draft) 

Key Losses: Ronald Leary, Johnathan Hankins, Rashad Jennings, Marshall Newhouse


This Season’s Predictions:

New York Giants: 10-6

Dallas Cowboys: 9-7

Washington Redskins: 7-9

Philadelphia Eagles: 6-10

This is a well-balanced, healthy, nutritious meal. No, this is a well-balanced division. Expect entertaining football when the NFC East is on TV.

Who do you think will win the NFC East?? If you have a different opinion than me, you’re wrong, but you can still post it 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 Facebook Page.

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

NFL Divisional Playoffs Kick-Off Saturday

nfl divisional playoffs

This is the best weekend of the year.  If you had somewhere to go, cancel your plans, because that groove on the couch misses you.  I know it’s been hard to stay “into it” since your fantasy team was officially eliminated from contention, but it’s time to gear up for playoff football.  The schedule is as follows:

Baltimore Ravens vs. *New England Patriots – Saturday @ 4:35 P.M. (NBC)

Carolina Panthers vs. *Seattle Seahawks – Saturday @ 8:15 P.M. (FOX)

Dallas Cowboys vs. *Green Bay Packers – Sunday @ 1:05 P.M. (FOX)

Indianapolis Colts vs. *Denver Broncos – Sunday @ 4:40 P.M. (CBS)

* – Indicates Home Team

If the Ravens and Patriots matchup is giving you deja vu, you are not the only one.  This is the fourth time in six years that these teams will face each other in the postseason.  And while the Patriots have the best postseason record of any team since the turn of the century (18-8), the Ravens have been Tom Brady’s kryptonite.  Joe Flacco and the Ravens have beaten the Patriots in two of their last three trips to Foxboro.  As much as I would enjoy seeing that trend continue, I believe the Gronkanator and the Pats will be too much for the Ravens to handle.

Prediction: Patriots 27 – Ravens 21        

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will look to keep their momentum going as they venture to CenturyLink Field on Saturday.  The Panthers are looking to become the first team ever to advance to the Conference Championships after having a losing record during the regular season (7-8-1).  The Seahawks were 7-1 at home this season, and will look to continue that trend with their usual formula: ground and pound + violent defense = more points than the other team.  If the Panthers are going to have any chance in this game, they’ll need Cam Newton to do his best Superman impression.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.  Expect a defensive struggle in the first half, and then the Seahawks should pull away late in the game.

Prediction: Seahawks 26 – Panthers 17  

As we transition to Sunday, expect the best game of the Divisional Round to come from the frozen tundra; aka Lambeau Field.  This is a product of matchups.  Demarco Murray, if healthy, should run all over the Packers less than stellar defensive line.  However, Aaron Rodgers, if healthy, should have a field day with the Cowboys secondary.  This matchup marks the first time in NFL Playoff history that an undefeated team at home (Green Bay 8-0) will host an undefeated team on the road (Dallas 8-0).  Murray is the Cowboys only chance at victory, because as good as Tony Romo is, he is not winning a shootout against his counterpart.  The soon to be MVP (Rodgers) should be able to will his team to victory with or without a torn calf.  I see the Packers edging out the Cowboys in a thriller.

Prediction: Packers 28 – Cowboys 27

And to wrap up a great weekend in football, Andrew Luck will march in to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  Everyone can talk about how ordinary Peyton has looked over the last month, and how bad he is in the playoffs, but I am not ready to give up on the first family of football.  Andrew Luck is a phenomenal talent, and I expect him to be great for 10 more years, but this is not his year.  This Colts team is not strong enough defensively to stop Peyton Manning, and their running game has simply crumbled.  They have left Andrew Luck on an island.  I hope this game is close, but I see Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders being too much for the Colts to handle.

Prediction: Broncos 34 – Colts 24

What do you think?  Who do you have advancing to the Conference Championships?

Let me know in the comment section below.

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