Super Bowl LI

Yes, you read that right we are back to Roman Numerals for Super Bowl numbering. This year we have Tom Brady and the New England Patriots going into like their tenth (it’s only been seven) Super Bowl this century. This is the Patriots 9th Super Bowl and they have split their previous appearances last winning in 2014. Tom Brady is looking for Super Bowl ring number 5 and Super Bowl MVP number 4. On the other side of the field we have the Atlanta Falcons in their first Super
Bowl since XXXIII, when they lost to John Elway in his final game. I and most of America would love to see Atlanta win for their first time. Sure the odds are stacked against them, however the Patriots are only favored by 3 points. Atlanta has done a lot of scoring during the season and my only hope is that that game is competitive and not a blow out since that just make the game harder to watch. The game is on Sunday and Lady Gaga doing the Halftime show. It’s on FOX so we’ve got Joe Buck and Troy Aikman doing commentary.

NFC/AFC Championship games

This Sunday we have the big games the ones that matter and once again they are rematches from earlier in the season.

In the NFC we have the Packers traveling to Atlanta once again this time hoping to avenge an earlier loss where the Falcons squeaked by with a point win. This will be the last game ever played at the Georgia Dome as their new Stadium will open in July, so emotions will be high in Atlanta. The Falcons have the high powered offense, while the Packers have Aaron Rogers who seems to do just about anything. Over in the AFC we’ve got the Steelers traveling to New England now the week 7 game which the Patriots won was a long time ago and Big Ben wasn’t playing . This will only be the ninth meeting between Brady and Big Ben. This will be a challenge for New England as they face a team that has a chance to beat them, but also for Pittsburgh as they will need to score more than field goals to win.

It seems likely that both of these will be a good games whoever win. As for my picks it would be wonderful if Atlanta could make it to the Super Bowl for the second time and this time win, or the Packers and Aaron Rodgers taking home a second Super Bowl Title, or Pittsburgh bringing back another championship bringing their total to 7. In the NFC I’d call it a toss up as to who will win the game but over in the AFC since it’s a New England home game they have the slight advantage added to the fact they they been in every AFC Championship game since the 2011-12 season however they have only won two of those game so perhaps Pittsburgh should have the advantage. Vegas odd currently have Patriots by 5.5 and Atlanta by 4.

Divisional playoffs

This weekend the NFL reaches the Divisional round in the playoffs and all the teams who had a bye last week play this week. This year all these Divisional games are rematches from earlier in the season.

The weekend starts off with Seattle traveling to Atlanta where they will try to sneak by the Falcons once again. However, the set up is reversed Seattle will be traveling to Atlanta and Atlanta will be coming off a bye week. This was a close game during the regular season with Seattle falling behind only to come back and win by two. Saturday night we have New England who will beat the Texans again, this was a shutout in week 3 when New England was forced to use a third stringer QB, as Brady was out with his suspension, and his replacement was out with a concussion. Will the Texans has a shot to score any points or will it be another shutout?

Sunday begins with The Steelers going to Kansas City, now Kansas City hasn’t fared well in the playoffs as of late, sure they beat the Texans last year but the Texans were a mess at QB where they used three interchangeably. This seems like to be another year where the brand name teams will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Later that afternoon we will have the most compelling, exciting game of the weekend as Green Bay travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. During the regular season the Cowboys outplayed the Packers but Green Bay has been on a winning streak as of late and they are the hot team entering the game.

As it looks right now the Steelers and Patriots will be playing in the AFC Championship game, and the NFC is up in the air I am hoping that Green Bay and Seattle can will so there is a chance for some snow in during the Championship game.

News Roundup

NFL on TV: According to Engadget watching NFL RedZone saves fans 35 hours of commercials a season. This is sort of ridiculous as to how many commercials are being aired during an average game. The ads account for a third of what is being broadcast during a game, this added to the fact that football contains according to the Wall Street Journal, about 11 minutes of action. There is some talk about the NFL considering fewer ads but in the age of instant streaming through the likes of Netflix or Hulu where there are no or only a couple of ads per show. I have found myself watching more of the NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Live which is basically RedZone or not even watching another football game on Sunday. The NFL has got to see this dip in people watching football and try to figure out how to make a better experience for people watching at home.

Stranger in a Strange Land: Syfy is working on adapting this book into a new series. Would it be a great show, that really is the main question but it is nice to see Syfy going into the Science Fiction catalogue and finding another book to adapt for the screen as they are already working on adapting Brave New World into a series. If this works it would be a wonderful change for the network which as of late has rested on face off, ghost shows and shows from Canada. Sure Heinlein’s book is a great work but it seem like the one that has the most problems with it, the whole religion and sex aspect might cause some problems with some audiences.

Pope Francis: Four Cardinals have asked Francis to clarify Amoris Laetitia for them specifically Chapter 8. It is interesting to see that even after eight months there are people who are not sure what all was said in this Apostolic Exhortation. Now let us remember that an Exhortation isn’t a doctrinal document and is used to encourage a community to do something. In Amoris Laetita, the focus is on the family as the Synod on the Family had wrapped up and this is the document which summarizes and coalesces the ideas in one place.

 

NFL Season begins

It is that time of the year again the National Football League begins a new season today with a rematch of last season’s Superbowl the Denver Broncos play the Carolina Panthers. This year we have a team in LA for the first time since 1994 as the Rams have moved back to Los Angeles. Over the post season we’ve had some big retirements as Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson all hung up their pads. Tom Brady won’t be playing for the first four weeks of the season and it seems likely that this might be Brady’s last season as well.

On to the predictions:

AFC East: Patriots and Jets will still contend and the Bills and Dolphins will both try to make up ground. Although not sure what to think about Miami with a new head coach.

AFC North: As usual this will be a three team race between Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati. Cleveland with RGIII might be better but it is a very young team.

AFC South: Looks like it will be the Texans or Colts who will win the division with the Jaguars and Titans lagging behind.

AFC West: Here it is a big difficult to predict anything with the Broncos with a new QB and no one has seen much from him against actual competition. So the Chiefs might win the division and who knows what else will happen.

NFC West: With the Rams moved back to LA this division make sense again, but the move isn’t going to help the Rams win anymore neither did drafting a QB at number one. Look for Arizona and maybe Seattle to actually do something not sure what to make of Chip Kelly being hired by the 49ers.

NFC South: Carolina seems like the team to beat and the Saints look likely to rebound. It’s the last season for Atlanta in the Georgia Dome perhaps they will do better because of this and Tampa Bay still exists.

NFC North: Green Bay and Chicago look like the favorites to do anything as the Vikings have a fresh QB just joining the team as Bridgewater tore his ACL in the final preseason game. Perhaps the Lions will do something but it seems unlikely as they’ve lost their best wideout.

NFC East: This division has been the hardest to predict since no team has won back to back division titles since 2004. This season it seems even harder since there are new head coaches in New York and Philly, so either team could have a good season because of this. Washington seems to be able to compete for a division title. It looks like the Cowboys season is all but lost as Romo went out in the preseason with a back problem and is likely out for 6 -10 weeks.

Super Bowl matchup

Well it’s that time the NFC and AFC Champions have been crowned and the waiting game begins itis about 14 days until Super Bowl L (50) and Peyton Manning and the Broncos will be facing Cam Newton and the Panthers. Judging from the games this past couple of weekends it will be an interesting game to watch as we have experience Denver against these upstarts from Charlotte. The Broncos have a high powered defense who sacked Tom Brady 4 times and caused 2 interceptions while and the Cardinals defense is also really good they caused 8 turnovers against Arizona.

As of right now it would be nice to see Manning win his second Super Bowl matching his little brother Eli and go out as a Champion, but it would also be nice some one new win the Super Bowl. Since it seems like Cam Newton is the future of the NFL and most likely the MVP of this season.

NFL Playoffs: Championship

Next Sunday is the NFC and AFC Championship games this year it’s pretty boring though as they are match ups between the top two teams in both conferences. Panthers and Cardinals in the NFC and Broncos and Patriots in the AFC.  The game between the Broncos and Patriots will be the 17th and perhaps final match up in the historic Manning/Brady rivalry. However over the past six meetings the home team has won and Denver is the home team. Earlier this year Brock Osweiler was quarterback when the two teams met in Denver where the Broncos came out with a win and this looks like it will be the more exciting of the two games next Sunday. In the other game we have the Panthers who haven’t been to the Championship game in a decade against the Cardinals who haven’t made it either since 2008. They didn’t play each other this season so  One of the things to like is that there is a good chance this will be a unique and original Super Bowl match up since combined both Carolina and Arizona have been to two Super Bowls. Early odds makers are pointing towards a rematch of  Super Bowl XXXVIII, but I really hope that doesn’t happen.  The AFC game is the first game next Sunday starting around 3 on the east coast and the NFC game begins around 7pm or so.

News Roundup

The biggest story is President Obama’s final State of the Union address. I didn’t sit around and watch it but I will get a rundown of what all was in it on like The Daily Show and Colbert

In the world of football there are two large stories Alabama winning another College Football National Championship by defeating Clemson in a shootout on Monday night, now Alabama just needs a dozen more championships to tie Princeton for the most all time National Championships. I doubt Nick Saban will be around that long, some have even speculated that he might be ending his time on the Alabama sidelines. On the Professional side the Rams are moving back to Los Angeles. This has been something that seems like a 20 year long error, moving the team to Saint Louis was a foolish idea since it left one of the largest media markets without an NFL team.

NFL Playoffs: Divisional

The first weekend of the NFL Playoffs didn’t end well for the home teams as for the first time none of them made it out of the Wild Card game. This upcoming weekend there are 4 games. We begin with Kansas City at New England and Green Bay at Arizona. The Chiefs and Patriots didn’t play this season and depending on the health of Tom Brady, it looks like the Patriots will be making it back to the Championship game unless the powers that be want the potential of a rematch of the original Super Bowl. Green Bay returns to the place where they were humiliated two weeks ago sure they will use that as motivation to triumph against the Cardinals.  On Sunday we have Seattle and Carolina in a rematch of last year’s Divisional game, as well as from earlier this year where Carolina went into Seattle and beat the Seahawks at home. Hopefully, Carolina will come out on top this year. The AFC features a match up between Denver and Pittsburgh, and it seems highly likely that Peyton and Denver will easily make it past Pittsburgh and from many reports an injured Big Ben.

So Championship games In the AFC It looks like it might be the final installment of Manning/Brady or the Chiefs facing rival Broncos. Over in the NFC it seems like the Panthers can send the Seahawks back home and face the Packers in the Championship game.

NFL playoffs: Wild Card Weekend

The regular season is now officially over and boy was it an exciting finish it is time for Playoffs here are some predictions for the Wild Card games next weekend.

AFC: We have Peyton Manning and the Broncos leading the way with Tom Brady’s Patriots as the two seed. This is followed by the Bengals who won the AFC North and Houston who took the South  mostly due to the absence of Andrew Luck in Indy. As for wild cards we have Kansas City and Pittsburgh. This will be an Interesting Wild Card weekend since Pittsburgh will be facing their AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City will be traveling to Houston to play the Texans. This both are rematches for games earlier this season The Steelers and Bengals split the two games with the home team losing.  The Texans and Chiefs met way back in week 1, with Kansas City winning, but both teams are so different since the first week. The AFC games are on Saturday and It seems like any team could win these Wild Card games. As for the next round with the Broncos and Patriots joining in there will still be a chance for a final installment of Manning Brady rivalry match up but who knows who the Broncos will have playing Quarterback and who can tell if the Patriots will be able to really do anything this post season as they sort of limped into the playoffs and this could only happen if they both made it to the Championship game.

It would be nice to see Marvin Lewis finally win a post season game so pulling to the Bengals to beat the Steelers for be ideal. As for the other game it would be interesting to see the Texans win so they could go up against their former coach Gary Kubiak, but even if they played the Patriots it still would be an interesting story since Bill O’Brien, the Texans coach was an assistant for the Patriots.

NFC: We have the Panthers who were almost perfect followed closely by the Cardinals who managed to win the West. They are followed by the Vikings who took the NFC North and Washington who won the East for the first time since 2012.  As for the wild cards we have Green Bay and Seattle. This leads to some unique match ups Green Bay will be traveling to face the Redskins and the Seahawks will go to visit the Vikings. This second game is a rematch from earlier in the season when Seattle came to Minnesota and dismantled the Vikings. Most people are saying that Seattle will likely get through and that they have a chance to go to a third Super Bowl in a row. The Packers haven’t been looking like the Packers lately, sacks have been a problem, but who know how it will end up Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have been hard to beat at home this season. As for the Divisional Round I don’t have a clue as to what will happen when the Panthers and Cardinals join in the mess.

I would be nice to see the Redskins make it past the Wild Card game, thankfully they will not be playing the Seahawks who they’ve lost to the past three times they made it in the postseason. However the Redskins and Seahawks  could face each other yet again in the Championship game, but that is wishful thinking.