Sunday, January 26, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction

It's Super Bowl week. The two best teams in the NFL all season meet up for the first time since the preseason where it didn't matter. Well now, it matters more than ever and a certain somebody picked these two teams before the season started to make it to this game Click Here!

I think this game will be very difficult to predict from the perspective that the Broncos are the best offensive squad ever and the Seahawks have one of the best Defenses since the 2002 Buccaneers and the best secondary since the Carolina Panthers in the mid-2000's.

I'll be breaking down each major matchup and who has the edge, X-factors, making a case for both teams to win the Super Bowl, choosing key factors to look out for, and finally a prediction of who wins and how the game will go quarter by quarter. Let's start with the matchups in this game which are all intriguing.


Seahawks Secondary vs. Broncos Passing Attack

This is will be the "get your popcorn ready" matchup and maybe the only matchup that even all the way around. The best passing offense in NFL History, vs probably the best Secondary in NFL History. Considering how well Peyton played in his last game and how much he controlled the ball, if he can find a way to take the air out of the ball (take time off the clock) and find a couple of holes in the secondary throughout the game, then the Seattle Secondary won't really matter because Peyton will dissect them just enough to keep the Seattle offense on the sideline. On the other hand, if the Seattle Secondary can prevent Peyton from getting long passes down the field on critical 3rd and long plays, or just the random shot down the field on 1st or 2nd down early on, then the Broncos will be pressured just to get to 3rd and short situations throughout the rest of the game. I'm going to give the edge to the Broncos Passing Attack on this one because of their ability to spread out the defense weather it's vertically or horizontally throughout the field, I think they can find a couple holes and keep that secondary on their toes the whole game. As much as I like the Seahawks Secondary, giving Peyton 2 weeks to prepare, he's going to find holes if he's upright in the pocket.
Edge: Broncos Passing Attack

Seahawks Front Seven vs. Broncos Offensive Line

I tell you what, with how classic the matchup between the Seahawks Secondary and the Broncos Passing Attack, it may not really matter because of how rarely the Broncos will be able to get the ball off. Peyton Manning does not have mobility and if there is one thing the Seahawks can do when given two weeks to prepare, it's get after the QB. With the lack of mobility that Peyton Manning has, and considering the Broncos are generally a first half team, the Seahawks may not allow Peyton to get anything going in the second half and the secondary may not have to perform the way they would have in the first half. Although, if Peyton can figure out how to get the ball out quickly and confuse the front seven of the Seahawks, the offensive line may not get as destroyed later on throughout the game as people might expect. That is only if Peyton can find a way to help them out with successful screen plays, run plays, slant routes, and can make his reads screaming whatever Omaha means in this game. The one thing this team Seahawks haven't seen is a serious Peyton Manning where he will do what ever it takes to win, and if Peyton can put together a scheme to keep the front seven off balance and keep his linemen fresh heading into the fourth quarter, then the Broncos should be sitting pretty in this one. But with how the Seahawks have made adjustments in the 2nd half in the playoffs, I just don't see how the Broncos can figure it out. The Seahawks definitely can get to Peyton in the 2nd half and make the secondary's job a little easier down the stretch.
Edge: Seahawks Front Seven

Seahawks Run Game vs. Broncos Front Seven

I know, it's very vague, but I think you know where I'm getting to when I bring up this matchup. Beastmode. Can he get it going in this game after how well that Denver defense shut down LeGarrette Blount and that Patriots run game? Remember, the Patriots ran the ball very effectively in the Divisional Round against the Colts and went into Denver and couldn't sniff 100 yards. Granted, the way Denver played in the AFC Championship game was all ball control and the way they were playing wouldn't allow New England to get any sort of traction on the ground. But that being said, there still needs to be some credit given to the Denver defense for shutting down the likes of Tom Brady and that balanced offense from a week before. This Seahawks Offense is predicated on running the football to set up the long pass down field and to give Russell Wilson time to dissect plays in the backfield. If their run game cannot get any traction to set up 3rd and shorts, Seattle will have a very difficult task at hand and will have to ask Russell Wilson to carry this team which he has shown since the loss at San Francisco in early December he has been incapable of doing. If it comes down to his play making ability, I would have some serious doubts if I were a Seattle Seahawks fan. This game could ultimately come down to the ability to gain the 3-4 yards per play to get the Seahawks to manageable 3rd downs so that they won't have to rely upon the arm of Russell Wilson when they need him the most. I'm not saying Russell can't make big plays (because he has made some huge plays this postseason) but when it comes to his total effort throughout the past 2 months, I would be weary of his ability to carry this team solely on his back. I think Beastmode and Turbo (Turbin) can get this offense going in the right direction and help them get into 3rd and manageable's. But if they can't, I'm shaking in my boots as a Seahawks fan.
Edge: Seahawks Run Game

Seahawks Special Teams vs. Broncos Special Teams

As much as we forget about special teams, they are still a major factor in the outcome of football games. This game will be no different as I see this being a completely one sided affair. The Seahawks have one of the best special teams units in a long time with 4 legitimate returners in Harvin, Tate, Baldwin, and Kearse. All 4 of these guys can step in and make an impact returning kicks out to the 40 yard line if Prater isn't booming kicks into the back of the endzone. If the Seahawks are given a short field, their running game may not be as necessary as it would be with a longer field. With a shorter field, a couple of long passing plays can put you in scoring range where if you had a longer field to work with, a couple long passing plays will only get you to the other side of the field maybe. Taking a shot down field closer to the 50 is way less risky than taking a shot down field at your own 20 yard line. It makes the field position game way more important and with special teams setting up the Seahawks for a great 60+ yard drive will make the play calling much simpler than if they start at the 20 every series. This will all be predicated on weather. If there is one thing weather can affect, it is the way the ball moves on special teams plays. Kicking field goals, punting the ball, the speed of the runners covering the kicks, weather will play a huge part in all of that. The field conditions could impact foot planting, kicking distance, when the ball lands on the field after a punt will it bounce or die, can returners make those couple cuts to get to closer to the endzone. The special teams unit that can be more prepared for the weather (which both these teams should be with one coming from frigid conditions and one coming from rain) will definitely be more lethal on Super Bowl Sunday. I think the Seahawks take it by a landslide.
Edge: Seahawks Special Teams

Russell Wilson vs. Broncos Passing Defense

We mentioned this earlier in an earlier matchup above, but I wanted to reiterate it's importance. Russell Wilson has not played great football the past couple months. With him heading into this game, he should be prepared and ready to make the smart plays he has been making all season long, but can he make more than just a couple big plays with his arm and legs? He has made a couple crucial plays in the last couple playoff games, but he also has been slacking more with ball control. He had a fumble in the first play of the 49ers game and after he made that mistake he was very timid to make a mistake the rest of the 1st half and even in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. If Russell Wilson wants to put his team over the hump, he cannot play timid one bit in this Super Bowl. He has been a very conservative QB, which is what his team has asked of him all season and he does a great job overall of protecting the football and trudging down the field with his team, but with who's facing him on the other sideline (Peyton Manning) he will need to have a bigger game than just 12 of 17 passing, a shade over 200 yards passing, and 1 touchdown. He'll need to boost those numbers to around 20 completions, 275+ yards passing, and at least 2 maybe 3 touchdowns. A pick won't hurt in this game considering his newness to this kind of spotlight and the potential nerves he may feel, but he also may need to force a couple throws just to get his team on a roll and to also put some momentum on their side. He needs to get out of the conservative mindset a little in this game (kind of like at the end of the 49er game when he made a couple of risky throws). If Russell doesn't get a little risky, then the Seahawks stand less of a chance of winning this game. Granted, I could be completely wrong, because he's also won his last two playoff games looking like pure dog poop for the most part. I give the edge to Denver in this one, but that doesn't mean they necessarily have the edge everywhere else.
Edge: Broncos Passing Defense


Denver Broncos: Monte Ball

This guy hasn't really played a ton this season because of how effective Knowshon Moreno has been in the backfield. But considering his role in the AFC Championship game as a step-in running back for when Knowshon needed a breather (14 carries, 59 yards) he came up with a productive day himself (12 carries, 43 yards). The Broncos didn't need to run the ball all that much with the way Peyton Manning was carrying the team with his arm. The reason why Monte Ball may put the Broncos over the top is because if Knowshon does get gassed throughout the game and the Broncos need a deception in the backfield, Monte Ball needs to be that guy and what better guy to carry the load than a guy who just came out of Wisconsin with the most touchdown runs in school history. If he plays his role to a tee, he'll put the Broncos over the top.

Seattle Seahawks: Percy Harvin

Isn't this the easiest answer for this team? Percy has only played in 2 games all season and he played in limited roles in both of them. If Percy Harvin can stay healthy in this game and bring 60% of what he normally is, he automatically makes this team unbearable on the offensive and special teams side of the ball. His presence out of the slot, what he can do in the backfield, the fear he presents back waiting for kicks will only make the Broncos shake in their boots. The only real question is (as a Vikings fan I know this quite well) will he be "ready" for game time? Normally when he plays weather he's hurt or not, he is spectacular, but will he have "headaches" a couple days leading up to kickoff limiting his play? He's a lot like the weather for this game on February 2nd in East Rutherford, he's unpredictable. But if he is on and can show up the way he has throughout his career, he is a huge X-Factor in this matchup for the Broncos, especially since they have very limited game film on him this season.

Making the Case

The case for the Denver Broncos:

Denver plays in cold weather consistently and the way they can put together an offensive game plan could put a fear into any defense weather it's the '85 Bears, or the 2000 Ravens. With who they have lost to this season (@Indianapolis, @New England, and vs. San Diego) they really had off nights especially on the defensive side of the ball. I don't expect a let down after 2 weeks of preparation for the biggest game of the season, but as we've seen this season (when Peyton took his first step into Indy this season as an opponent) when it comes to venues that he has an emotional connection with (his brother plays in MetLife Stadium all the time) Peyton tends to crumble under the pressure and crumbles relatively hard. He didn't do that these past couple of weeks in the playoffs, in fact, he played some of the best football of his career where he controlled the clock, made perfect reads at the line of scrimmage, and was so precise and economical in the pocket that the people on Wall Street were taking notes. With the game he just came off of with how he stoned New England and controlled the clock in the 3rd quarter, if he does anything remotely similar in this Super Bowl, the Seahawks will be in for a world of hurt. In addition to the domination of Peyton Manning last week, the Run Defense was sensational as they held New England to 64 yards rushing when the week before New England dominated on the ground with 234 yards. If Peyton can keep the ball, and the defense can stifle the run game and keep Russell Wilson off balance, the Broncos have more than an opportunity to get Peyton his 2nd ring of his Hall of Fame career.

The case for the Seattle Seahawks:

Seattle plays in rainy, muggy weather most of the time and with their style of play it generally revolves around pounding the rock. With the way the weather is going to play out in New York, that style will win more than throwing 20+ yard passes down field for a majority of the game. In Seattle's three losses this season (@Indianapolis, @San Francisco, and vs. Arizona) they showed a massive weakness in the passing game where Russell Wilson had an average QBR of 42.23. The Seahawks have also had a problem of playing with their opponents this season instead of beating them with the matchups they clearly have over other opponents (Examples: @Houston in week 4 they had to come back in overtime to win that game, and vs. Tampa Bay in week 9 when they were down 21 points to beat them in overtime as well). Granted, that was in the regular season and both those games were a while ago, but it should also explain how the Seahawks lost to Arizona at home in week 16 of the regular season. Arizona was a team that got left out of the playoffs this season with 10 wins, but the Seahawks still managed to hold up that idea of playing with their competition instead of beating them down consistently throughout the season. The positive to that statement though, is that they have been in close games relatively all year which will make it much easier to not get rattled when they are down like they were for most of the 49er game a week ago. All of those close games (even if they were against terrible opponents) helped this team through adversity and helped them understand that every ball game is won in the 4th quarter (not that Pete Carroll doesn't preach it enough) but with that mindset heading into each game, as long as it's close heading into the 4th, you really can never count the Seahawks out except for the 3 losses they had during the regular season. If they keep it close, they have a chance, and if they can run the ball, Denver will have a big mess on their hands because the more the Seahawks can establish the run game, the more room Russell Wilson will have to work.

5 Key Factors to Watch

1. Time of Possession: Who ever holds the ball the longest will win this game and will have the edge going into the 4th quarter. If it's an even affair going into the 4th, then don't bother with who will have the advantage.

2. 3rd Down Situations: The team who can convert the most on 3rd down will get the edge in this game in the mental aspect because of how critical 3rd down is on the defense. The more 3rd and short situations (3rd & 5 or shorter) a team will be in, the better off they will be to converting 1st downs and moving the chains. The team with the more 3rd and longs will be the team more often walking away without a Super Bowl Trophy.

3. Turnovers: The only team out of these two that thrives most off of Turnovers is the Seattle Seahawks, but if Denver can find ways to get the ball back, Peyton will make them count. Who ever starts turning the ball over or is nervous out the gate with the hot potato, don't be shocked if they get down early.

4. Running Game Efficiency: Who ever can pound the rock up the middle for 3-4 yards in this game with the most success will ultimately be holding the trophy, Unless Peyton has 600 yard passing, or Russell Wilson decides to make it a one man show like we know he can. Other than that, the Run Game is going to be very important in deciding this game for both teams.

5. Special Teams Play: In most Super Bowls I wouldn't say the Special Teams should be something to look out for but considering the style of both these teams and how field position really will dictate the outcome of the game, who ever can win the field position battle will hold the upper hand on the opponent. The weather also will be a huge factor in determining the outcome of this key factor.

Prediction Quarter by Quarter

1st Quarter

Both teams come out and get their feet wet. I think the Broncos get on the board first and the Seahawks stumble a bit freaking out everybody in the Northwest. The refs will be strict in the first quarter, Richard Sherman will have a pass interference called on him and all Seahawks fans will reminisce on what happened in Super Bowl XL back in 2006 where the refs screwed over the Seahawks. Peyton will look sharp, but look hesitant as well, as he too will be figuring out how to play in the unpredictable conditions at East Rutherford. Peyton will control the ball, get his team into the endzone near the end of the 1st Quarter, and the Seahawks will look flat. End of 1st Quarter: DEN 7 SEA 0

2nd Quarter

The refs don't let up and the Broncos start to throttle Russell Wilson. Broncos get the ball back and Peyton gets throttled too (for the first time in a while). Seahawks get the ball back and finally start getting the Beastmode involved and they get some points on the board via a short field goal. Peyton comes back and gets a great drive going that will make the entire northwest freakout on Twitter as everybody does during the game. Seahawks get the ball back and answer with a redzone field goal when they should have punched it in for a TD. Broncos get the ball back with little time and knee it so they can get Bruno Mars ready for the frigid Halftime show. Halftime: DEN 14 SEA 6

3rd Quarter

Seahawks score a touchdown first in the quarter with a great drive by Russell Wilson to get within one point. The Broncos have a 3 & Out and the Seahawks get the ball back and really start handing the load to Marshawn Lynch as he helps them get into field goal range on a long methodical drive. The Seahawks take the lead and everybody in the northwest finally cools their jets about the referees. The Broncos come back with a long drive of their own but it creeps into the beginning of the 4th quarter as they are threatening in the redzone. End of 3rd Quarter: SEA 16 DEN 14

4th Quarter

The Broncos have a huge turnover in the redzone, but the Seahawks only settle for a field goal as they just can't quite cap the win. Seahawks have a 19-14 lead with 10 minutes to go. Peyton Manning gets the ball back and makes an epic 4+ minute drive and gets the Broncos into the endzone for the touchdown. They go for two and fail making it a 20-19 lead with around 5 minutes left in the game. Matt Prater kicks the ball off and Percy Harvin makes his contract worth every penny till the end of time as he brings back a 100+ yard kick return for a touchdown. The Seahawks go for two and fail making it 25-20 with 5 minutes to play. Peyton Manning gets the ball back and only gets his team into field goal range at the 2 minute warning. They make the field goal, and it's 25-23 with less than 2 minutes left in the game (Broncos have all three timeouts) and they kick the ball away to Seattle who has a touchback and starts their drive at the 20. The Seahawks get a three and out, but Denver uses all three timeouts and gets the ball back with 1:28 left on the clock. Peyton starts his drive at his own 35 yard line, knowing he has the best long range kicker of all time at his disposal. He gets the team to the Seahawks 28 yard line, setting up for a 45 yard field goal to win the game with 3 seconds left. The Seahawks Ice Matt Prater right before they set up to kick, Seattle has a heart attack because he misses the kick (similar to what happened in the Falcons game in 2013 when they Iced the kicker and he missed, than made it on the actual attempt). The Broncos snap it again, Prater's kick is up, it looks really really good, then out of no where... the New York gust blows the ball at a 30+ mph wind gust to the left... Seattle wins the Super Bowl and it goes down as one of the best moments in Seattle Sports history.

Final: SEA 25 DEN 23

Percy Harvin wins MVP with his legendary kick return that sends Seattle into a tizzy, and in the only game he has a large impact on, he makes the difference in the game with some big plays along with the kick return.

I picked Seattle before the season to win 24-23. What is one extra point going to do? I might as well go out with a bang and add on one more for good measure. Enjoy the Super Bowl everybody, this should truly be one of the best.

Listen to my radio show I do with Host Marty Elm this Monday and Wednesday as we talk Super Bowl all week long! 8 PM pacific time (it's only 30 minutes long) and we have podcasts up already if you want to hear our predictions of past football games, and other sports stories! Here's the link! CLICK HERE!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Replaying America's Pastime

"The one constant through all the years, has been baseball."

A memorable quote in the greatest baseball movie of all-time, Field of Dreams, by James Earl Jones where I get shivers every single time. It's the one "constant," the stopping of the motion of the game shouldn't be decided by replay or the re watching of what happened in the split second by taking a second look or another angle. The game was predicated on the split second decisions of what was the right call. Mistakes happen in life and what happens in baseball should emulate what happens in life. Baseball is the game of life; not everything is going to go your way even though some things are clearly terrible, but that is life.

On January 16th, Major League Baseball instituted a rule where managers will be allowed to challenge potentially two plays throughout the course of a game (guaranteed one, but two if they get the first one right). This will be instituted as a one year trial for major league baseball, but could be expanded for more years if it goes well this upcoming season. Plays that can be challenged will be Home Runs, Ground Rule Doubles, Fan Interference, Boundary calls, Force Plays, Tag plays, Fair/Foul (outfield only), Trap Plays (outfield only), Hit by pitch plays, Timing Plays (Runner scoring before 3rd out), Touching Base with appeal, Passing runners, and Record keeping (Ball-strike count, outs, score, & subs).

Thank god they are not allowing the strike zone to be challenged or foul balls on the infield, but the one that gets to me the most, the Force Plays. How can you have a play that is in the essence of the game challengable? So many force plays will be challenged this year you won't know what to do with yourself. Granted, I think it's a step in the right direction to help umpires get the call ultimately right, it's going to take away from the tradition of the game and slow down the process the game takes to matriculate through time. Baseball is a game based upon the human element and the more that is structured through instant replay and the more technology is implemented into the game, the less value the game will have over time.

I know I'm supporting the old man argument here in saying that the game is going to whittle down into a game where robots determine the strike zone, but that's the path we are heading towards with the way technology is today. I want to emphasize to people who read this blog that baseball truthfully blossoms when the game has less technology, hence why it's hard to watch on TV half the time because it is not the same than it is in person. When you watch the game in person, you notice the bad calls, but you're not bombarded with instant replays showing them constantly, you move on and keep a mental note. When watching baseball on TV, you get constantly reminded and shown all that could have been, then what is laid out in front of you. Keeping the game simple and how it's been since the 1800's isn't what I'm asking for, I just don't want the game we love to turn into this "need to get it right" mentality because the design of this sport was not built upon perfection. It was built upon the mold that the human element has it's flaws and baseball does too.

I just don't want instant replay ruining that notion that this game was built to be perfect. The flaw of baseball and the way of life have always been a "constant" to go hand in hand. Hence why James Earl Jones's quote should be kept in the lure of baseball history forever. CLICK LINK!

Don't let this game turn into robots making the calls. Let the human element speak for itself.

I'll see you all next week with my Super Bowl 48 Prediction Blog! Listen to the Radio Show that Martin Elm and I do on Mondays and Wednesday (Speed Hump Sports) at 8 PM Pacific Time. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Peak of the NFL

If you're a business man in this scheme called the NFL, you really can't ask for anything more than what is lined up on January 19th 2014:

3 pm/et Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots & 6:30 pm/et Seattle vs San Francisco

The cliches, the quotes, the drama, the ratings. The money that will be raked in this upcoming weekend will be beyond remarkable and both games should shatter the record 47.1 million viewers that witnessed this decades version of the Ice Bowl two weeks ago with Green Bay and San Francisco.

Let's set out the platter for Sunday shall we?

In the AFC (the non smoking section):

- [Hors D'Oeuvres] Both teams have a combined 12 Super Bowl appearances between them (7 for New England, 5 for Denver) and 5 championships combined (3 for New England, 2 for Denver). These are two of the best AFC teams over the history of the entire league.

- [Salad] This will be the second matchup between the two this season (Week 12) where New England won in comeback fashion as they had one of the best 3rd quarters in NFL history and made one of the biggest comebacks in sports history against the best offense in NFL History.

- [Main Course] Brady vs Manning (4th ever meeting in the post season, 3rd in the AFC championship game where both are tied at one win a piece heading into this matchup).

- [Dessert] Both teams are clearly the best two teams in the NFL (Denver #1 seed, New England #2 seed) and Denver has shown no sign of slowing down, while Brady has finally got a running game to help his arsenal around him even though he doesn't have Gronkowski heading into this game.

In the NFC (the smoking section):

- [Hors D'Oeuvres] Both teams have a combined 7 Super Bowl appearances between them (6 for San Francisco, 1 for Seattle) and 5 championships combined (all San Francisco). This lopsided stat clearly means nothing heading into this matchup, but it is something to think about as San Francisco has an opportunity to jump Dallas in the overall history department for the most championships, potentially tying them with Pittsburgh. The Seahawks have also been the best team in the NFC all 2013 while the San Francisco 49ers have been the best team in the NFC in the since 2011.

- [Salad] This is the third matchup between the two teams this season and the fireworks should be more than powerful. In Week 2, the Seahawks won in a blowout in Seattle, while in Week 14 San Francisco won in a drag-down knock-out game in San Francisco. The game will be in Seattle where the home team has won in this rivalry the past 2 seasons but the last time a team won on the road was the 49ers in 2011 on Christmas eve.

- [Main Course] This is currently the best Rivalry in the NFL by a large margin. Both teams are heading into this matchup tied against one another all-time (15-15) and there will be no shortage of love lost between the two fan bases as they both absolutely hate each other. In fact, they hate each other so much, that people with California addresses won't be allowed to purchase tickets to the game at CenturyLink field. If you can't get up for this game as an NFL fan, you truly need to re-think your sporting preferences because there will be some serious spit spewed and some checks heading towards the league office that will need to mailed after this game is finished Sunday night.

- [Dessert] The two best young QB's in the NFL will be playing each other once again. Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson are both two of the most impressive young guns this league has to hang onto once Manning and Brady fade into the sunset, and they will quickly become the face of the league along with Andrew Luck. Colin Kaepernick will be heading into this game with a 4-1 record in the postseason and Russell Wilson will be heading in with a 2-1 record. The fact that this 6-2 record combination will be playing each other in the postseason, for the third time this season, in the NFL's currently biggest Rivarly in the sport, seriously couldn't get any sweeter.


With these 2 full course meals, you truly can't go wrong weather you like smoking or not. Either meal is going to be an instant classic and are going to get very high ratings.

With these two matchups, the anticipation of championship week, where the NFL sits in the status of health in this country. Is the ultimately the peak of the NFL? The two best QB's of this generation, the best rivalry the sport has seen since Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the late 2000's, how much higher can this sport get after this weekend and the Super Bowl on Groundhogs day 2014. This weekend culminates what the NFL wants and the matchups they dreamed of in August when the sun was still shinning brightly on the rest of the country. All 4 teams have 12+ wins, all teams have a form of swag that no other teams can match, this is the best final four the NFL has probably ever seen. So where does the bell curve drop when it comes to the NFL? I hate to burst people's bubble before this upcoming weekend, but I think it will be this offseason.

After this weekend, no matter what happens in the AFC matchup, one of these legendary quarterbacks will soon be contemplating retirement and wondering how much longer they can contribute. Peyton Manning is heading into the offseason speculating the status of his neck and may have to make an early decision to step down from the game in the next 12 months while Brady will be 37 by the time next season starts and we'll all be wondering how much he'll have left in the tank until his contract is up in 2017. Either way, one of these players will be gone very soon, and this matchup can't get any more hyped than it will be this weekend and maybe ever again.

In the NFC, we have the future, but with the amount of players in Seattle still on rookie contracts, the likelihood of that team staying together is highly doubtful as Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson will be looking for serious paydays along with other big named players on that roster. The 49ers may be the only team that can sustain their greatness with the players they have down the road, but even they might stumble as they have been at such a high level of success for such a time frame that maybe they will fall off the map here within the next couple of seasons. And, if they fall off the map with such a high energy coach such as Jim Harbaugh, the likelihood of him staying on the team could slip because I can see players falling out of love with him (when losing) very quickly.

Let's also factor in the state of the NFL. Yes, it is the most popular sport in America by a landslide, but how much longer can it stay at the top with where the rules are forcing the players to play at a powder puff level? QB's are beyond protected, Concussion protocols are ridiculous, tackling can only be between the numbers, and offseason two-a-day workouts while trying to expand the playoffs & regular season may only extend the league to having more leg injuries down the line (ACL, MCL, LCL, etc.) which could put the superstars of the league to rest relatively quickly. Also lets look at the status of the AFC and how bad their competition was this past season, they almost had an 8-8 team make it to the playoffs and were very close to seeing the San Diego Chargers go to the AFC Championship game instead of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

I'm just stating what is real and what could seriously hold up this league and how it's popularity could drop drastically over the next 2-3 years. With where the rules committee is going, and with the potential expansion of the season and postseason, players will be coming in less prepared (as they now have less practice time in the offseason), and injuries will be more prevalent making the slowly less and less enjoyable by the year.

As excited as I am going into this weekend, I dread the future of professional football and where the safety and rules could collide to turn this league potentially into a flag football division by 2020. Hence, why the peak of the NFL could be this weekend.

See you next week, and enjoy the unbelievable games!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

This BCS is OVER!

The final BCS National Championship after a 15 year run, ends with one of the best games in college football history as Famous Jameis Winston becomes the greatest Freshmen in college football history.

This game had so many headlines: 7 straight BCS Titles for the SEC heading into this game, can FSU play as dominantly as they did throughout the season, can Jameis Winston play to the same level he did all year against the best SEC opponent? Everything was answered and then some with the way Winston played. That final drive will go down in history as one of the greatest moments in college football history. Jameis needed a touchdown to win the game after FSU had taken the lead on a 100 yard kick off return then Auburn responded with a drive leaving Winston less than 90 seconds left on the clock. With how great Winston had been all season, all the pressure was on him to come through and he did, helping FSU become the first None-SEC school to become National Champions since Vince Young did it in 2005.

As we say goodbye (and good riddance) to the BCS, we must remember all the good times it gave us. About how Hawaii played Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, how Boise State played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, or how Notre Dame got pummeled in last years National Championship. The countless times undefeated squads got ousted by a one loss SEC team, or a team with a better "strength of schedule." I think anybody who wants to keep the BCS really wants a fat wallet because it has defied the essence of who a true champion should be for almost 15 years. Yes, it had some perfect matchups (2005 USC/TEXAS is the perfect and best example) but they also found a way to still have split National Championships where a playoff was clearly needed. This season wasn't really the case, nor was it needed in 2005. But how would we have known how Boise State would have done (after they beat Oklahoma and went undefeated) if they would have played the eventual National Champions that season? Nobody knows.

That is what the new system should bring about. It should open our eyes of who should be playing in the title game, not who we think deserves the opportunity. This is only the beginning of what people really want to see college football evolve towards which could hopefully become a similar circumstance as the NFL where we have an entire month of playoff football when it comes to the National Championship hopeful. They could easily still have the bowl games, but they could (and should) still incorporate a way to have a 4 week setup leading up towards the true national championship. I think America would fall in love more with the college football landscape and the money would pile in so much more than it already is, but considering the corporate sponsors won't have it, my dream may never come true.

For now, we start a 4 team playoff tradition starting in January 2015. Let's enjoy it till it gets better, and good riddance SEC and BCS. Both of your times are up.

I'll see y'all next week!