If you like football this show is for you. Check it out at the link below.
Enjoy and follow us on Twitter @endzonepod
If you like football this show is for you. Check it out at the link below.
Enjoy and follow us on Twitter @endzonepod
A wild week 10 is in the books, let’s see what we learned.
1. The Saints rushed for a franchise record 6 touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills. If you needed proof that the Saints are a true contender this was the game that gave you that. The Saints utterly dominated the Bills on the ground. On the other side of the ball the Saints only gave up 198 yards and 10 points as they demolished the Bills. I’m done beating around the bush the Saints have a top 5 defenses. They may not have the turnover numbers but week in and week out they are able to shut teams down. They remind me of what the Patriots defense is at its best, a team that will bend but not break. The Saints are better than that though because they don’t allow teams to get yardage on them.
2. The Packers broke their three game skid with a 23-16 comeback win over the Chicago Bears. Let’s focus on the Bears here because this was not an awful game for them. Mitchell Trubisky showed up threw 35 passes 297 yards a touchdown and didn’t turn the ball over. It must be a transitive property though in Chicago, if Trubisky doesn’t show up the rest of the team will carry themselves, if Trubisky has a great day the ground game will completely disappear only putting up 55 yards and the defense will be gashed by Packers running backs. Chicago gave up 160 yards on the ground and let Brett Hundley eviscerate them in the fourth. This is the game John Fox will look back on when he is in his cozy cabin in Carolina and say, this is what got me fired. For peat sake the guy challenged a touchdown, what are you doing?
3. This was what we envisioned the Browns offense could theoretically be in the off season. A team that stayed close in games and had a fun QB to watch. This was Deshone Kizer’s best performance since week 1. Yet somehow the Browns lost this game. Now let’s look at the Lions, they are not a real contender. A real contender does not give up 201 running yards to the Cleveland Browns. A real contender does not let the Browns put up 24 points and a real contender doesn’t have to comeback against the Browns. The Lions have no shot contending for the NFC North especially after we saw what the Vikings did on Sunday.
4. The Bengals bungle a fourth quarter lead and lose to a mediocre AFC team, what’s new? In a 24-20 loss to the Titans the Bengals ended any talk of them squeaking in as a playoff team. The Titans on the other hand got their running attack going putting up 180 yards on the ground. Marcus Mariota looked unflappable in his final drive to win the game. Are the Titans AFC contenders? No. Down the stretch this team is going to play some exciting football though.
5. The Steelers last second field goal lifted them to a 20-17 win over the Colts. Showing us that this team is still the same old Steelers. The most bogus take in all of football right now is that the Steelers are the best team in football. How does the best team in football get shut down for 3 and a half quarters by the Colts? A team lacking any semblance of defense after cutting Vontae Davis. The Steelers found a way to win this game as they often do but it should not take a comeback to beat the Colts. Again Jacoby Brissett showed why he can be a top passer throwing for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns.
6. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like a better Starter than Jameis Winston and the Jets looked about as lifeless as they could be in a 15-10 loss. The Jets may not go 8-8 that is the biggest takeaway from this game, 2 teams going nowhere.
7. The Vikings beat down on the Redskins, but two late interceptions gave Washington a chance in a 38-30 Vikings win. This was Case Keenums case to the world that he should be the starter in Minnesota. Keenum also showed why he could be a dumpster fire with three terrible throws two of which ended in interceptions. However for most of the game Keenum dominated throwing 4 touchdowns to 4 different wide receivers. The Redskins lost this game because when they got to the red zone they refused to take shots into the end zone. The Vikings on the other hand looked to the end zone as they marched down the field. Minnesota should be considered a very real threat in the NFC.
8. The Jaguars defense once again won the Jaguars a game as they beat the Chargers 20-17 in overtime. On a day where the running game didn’t show up for Jacksonville and Blake Bortles had a fourth quarter break down this was a win the Jags needed. However, we learned our lesson yet again we got sucked in by Blake Bortles and once again were shown just how bad he can be. Bortles nearly lost this game for the Jags however the Chargers lack of ability to close let them off the hook. The Chargers are done.
9. The Rams 33-7 win over the Rams showed us once again the Rams are for real. Fun fact, Jared Goff has 16 touchdowns three less than Tom Brady. If Goff continues at his recent pace he should be considered a real threat for MVP or offensive player of the year.
10. As the 49ers eviscerated the Giants we learned two things. 1, the Giants need to go into full rebuild mode. new coach, new gm, new QB. It was a good run for the Giants, but the Super Bowl window is no more. Don’t reload, rebuild. 2, this is what the 49ers can be at their best a team that makes CJ Beathard look like a franchise QB. They could do without playing Jimmy G right now especially with the way that O-line looks.
11. Dak Prescott didn’t fare well without Zeke. That wasn’t the Cowboys problem though, the Cowboys couldn’t protect Dak who got sacked 6 times by Adrian Claiborne 6 times. The Cowboys line needs to get healthy. Meanwhile the Atlanta Falcons stay alive for one more week, talk to me if you beat the Seahawks. In my mind this is still a non-playoff team that took advantage of a bad Cowboys defense.
12. Truly an era has ended in Denver. This team is built to win with defense and that defense is no longer top 10. It has given up 92 points to two of the league’s best offenses granted, still this feels like the end of a winning franchise. This team has so many issues. Their strength is Emmanuel Sanders who is ten times the receiver Demaryius Thomas is. Brock didn’t play awful but isn’t a solution at QB get Paxton Lynch in there. As far as the Patriots, what do you want me to say? Super Bowl here they come.
1. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the best team in hockey and it might not even be close. The Lightning routed the streaking kings 5-2 Wednesday night as Nikita Kucherov scored his sixteenth goal of the year for Tampa. Yes, Saint Louis is playing well right now as well but I truly believe the Lightning are the number one team in the NHL especially when you can punish a good all-around team like the Kings the way they did. Not to mention that was with backup netminder Peter Budaj.
2. The New York Rangers have recovered from an early-season stumble and regained balance. It doesn’t hurt that Kevin Shattenkirk and Rick Nash have really started heating up over the past week. Not to mention depth scoring gained by players like Jimmy Vesey who had two goals against the Bruins on Wednesday. Though Henrick Lundqvist has given up 9 goals over the past 3 games that is less an indictment of him then it is the way the league is in 2017. It is rare to see a goalie with a GAA below 2.50 anymore just because right now it truly is a scorer’s league.
3. The Oilers have saved their season with back to back OT on their road trip. Connor McDavid’s beautiful OT Winner against the Islanders and his fantastic pass to Leon Draisaital to be the Devils in OT on Thursday night have been the difference. The problem for the Oilers though has been finding scoring from other players not named McDavid. Anton Slepyshev got off the snide against the Devils scoring his first goal of the season. Milan Lucic has three goals but is old and slow, a great grinder but no longer a playmaker. The Oil need to make a move this season to get another depth piece, a name that comes to mind is Mitch Marner who has seemingly been shelved in Toronto.
4. After a brief stumble, the Leafs are playing well and winning with depth Scoring. Over the past two games, Nazem Kadri has 3 goals. Not to mention Connor Brown who has 7 goals this year after being promoted to the third line. The Leaf’s are finding new ways to win, something the great teams find a way to do.
5. The Jets are suddenly a surging team in the central. You could talk about Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, and Nikolaj Ehlers who have a combined 50 points but the credit has to go to Connor Hellebuyck. The Jets brought in Steve Mason so Connor could develop and Mason massively flopped. Now Hellebuyck is the starter and the kid has put up fantastic numbers 2.12 Goals Against Average and a 93 save percentage. Pair that with 8 wins and no regulation losses, and 2 OT losses, Winnipeg is soaring.
6. Of course, we can’t forget the blockbuster deal that went down this week. Let’s break down who went where first: Defenseman prospect Samuel Girard to Colorado
Forward prospect Vladislav Kamenev to Colorado
Forward prospect Shane Bowers to Colorado
Goaltender Andrew Hammond to Colorado
2018 first-round pick from Ottawa to Colorado (with a condition!)
2018 second-round pick from Nashville to Colorado
2018 third-round pick from Ottawa to Colorado
Kyle Turris to Nashville
Matt Duchene to Ottawa
Now some winners and losers in this trade. Winner, the Colorado Avalanche, Joe Sakic Fleeced the Predators of two draft picks for nothing in return. Andrew Hammond another big winner in this trade Hammond is a great goalie, in my opinion, had that great playoff run a few years back and here is a bold prediction, the rebuilding Aves trade Varlymov next. Loser, the Senators, yes you got Matt Duchene but only for a year before his contract expires. You also gave up your future for the next three years. The Sens have to win the cup this year or next for this trade to be considered a success.
7. The top 5 teams of the week
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Toronto Maple Leaf’s
3. Saint Louis Blues
4. New York Rangers
5. Edmonton Oilers
1. The Buffalo Bills are a good home team. In fact they are 4-0 at home, while in recent years the Saints have been bad on the road. That is in the past though. This game will truly tell us what each of these teams are. If the Bills win we should consider them a real threat to win the AFC East. Meanwhile if the Saints win it will prove they are not the team that gets trounced on the road. These are not the road struggle Saints though, this is a ball control offense that limits the number of times Drew Brees throws the ball. The Saints lean on their top ten, that’s right top ten defense and win this game.
2. The Packers travel to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears coming off their bye. The Packers are coming off an embarrassing loss in Green Bay which showed the world just how much of an asset Rodgers is to that team. He hides the glaring deficiencies of a Packers team that cannot protect and will have a hard time running the ball against a sharp Bears running defense. Not to mention the fact tackle Bryan Bulaga is out for the season for the Packers with a knee injury. This will be grit and grind old school NFC North football I expect a close win from the Bears.
3. Cleveland remains one of two teams without a win this NFL season and they will play Detroit this Sunday. Fresh off a bye perhaps Hue Jackson has figured out his QB situation, however that seems unlikely. The Lions seemed to find their offense against Green Bay and Cleveland is an excellent morale booster to play a week after getting on your feet.
4. The Titans are a middling team that could win a middling division. The Bengals are a bad team that got to middling but dropped back to awful. The answer here is the Titans, but this is the NFL, so it would not at all shock me if the Bengals ran all over the Titans. The Titans did only score 12 points against the Browns.
5. The Steelers have found their groove, or so we think. The true test will be if they can beat a bad team on the road in November. So basically, this is a trap game for the Steelers, however it wouldn’t shock me if the Colts got blown out. If the Steelers win, take them seriously, if they drop this game they’re the same old Steelers. Jacoby Brissett has his work cut out for him though against a Steelers defense that is one of the best in the league.
6. Jets Buccaneers this game should be a pickem, and here is why. I love the Jets I think they can go 8-8 and I get the Buccaneers suck and are playing Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, these are the New York Jets a team that has dropped games they should win before. I think when your starting QB gets yanked it is a wakeup call to the rest of the team to show up and play. It would not shock me at all if Ryan Fitzpatrick (who has played well this year) came in and put up a three-touchdown day and won the game. That being said I’m taking the Jets.
7. Teddy Bridgewater will most likely not see the field in this game. I however have a bold prediction that we will see him for at least a drive or two in this game. This games in Washington and Washington is playing off an all-time high after winning in Seattle. I think the momentum carries over and Kirk Cousins has a good day against an elite defense.
8. Chargers Jaguars is really my last stand. I’m all in on the Chargers but if they lose this game hope pretty much runs out the door. The game is in Jacksonville, I think the Jags have a sneaky awesome home field advantage right now, I know crazy.
9. Oh what a difference two weeks makes, two weeks ago Rams Texans was a matchup of the leagues to best young Quarterbacks, now it just looks like a blowout of the Texans.
10. No Zeke for the Cowboys but they will still beat the Falcons because: A. Matt Ryan is average (last year was an illusion) B. Julio Jones is having one of his worst years in recent memory and C. Dak is playing just about as well as he ever has.
11. The debut of Jimmy Garoppolo? We don’t know but someones got to win this game. Remember just 5-6 years ago this was one of the league’s premier rivalries? oh how far it has fallen. Someone has to win this game and I think it’s the G-men.
12. Speaking of crumbling rivalries, Broncos Patriots. Now this game might be interesting if anyone but Brock Osweiler were starting this game. Also I think the Broncos defense may have given up in Philly the ship is quickly sinking in Denver.
13. Why are the Dolphins in prime time, someone needs to lose their job for putting out back to back to back Dolphins primetime games.
We are eight weeks through the Season and guess what the power rankings have changed from week four. So how do I get these rankings? I developed a formula with four categories in which teams can score from 1-5, offense, defense, eye test, intangibles. What are the last two? The eye test is basically how watchable you are you could be 4-3 but by pure luck and a total eye sore, cough cough, Dolphins. Intangibles are what a team should be in my mind. Even if a team gets a great score they may not rank exactly in that position. The scores are mainly to provide a point to start the Ranking process at, it’s all purely opinion feel free to @ me. Enjoy week 4 positions are in parentheses
Eric Jensen @Eric18utah
1. Philadelphia (11) 19.5
2. New England (8) 16
3. Seattle (12) 16.5
4. Minnesota (13) 16.5
5. Kansas City (1) 15.5
The contenders. These are the teams that really have the best shot at winning the Super Bowl right now even though there is, so much football left to play. The Eagles are all around a perfect team right now, hence the best score I have ever given a team in power rankings this year(the Chiefs got an 18.5 in week 4). New England’s defense has figured out how to be average and that is all they need. Minnesota can win a Super Bowl, even with Case Keenum at QB, Keenum is playing well enough to score 20 points again and then let the defense shut the game out. Kansas Cities defense has really hurt them but after Mondays dismantling of the Broncos they look back on track.
6. New Orleans (20) 15.5
7. Pittsburgh (17) 15.5
8. Los Angeles (3) 14.5
9. Buffalo (4) 14.5
10. Jacksonville (28) 16
Old names and teams of the future. The Saints have the best team they have had really since the last time they won the Super Bowl. The defense is winning them games and Drew Brees and the passing game hasn’t even hit its stride yet. Pittsburgh had a wakeup call against Jacksonville and now look like the team we expected them to be, just in a different way, with defense leading the way. The Rams offense has slowed down a little bit but they are winning in different ways now. That is usually a sign of a team that can make a playoff run. The Bills were probably too high in my last power rankings, but they are certainly a top ten NFL team. The Jaguars have a defense that can win games and Blake Bortles hasn’t been awful this year. So, they grab the ten spots. Also because they are the best AFC South team even with the Texans offense surging.
11. Houston (10) 15
12. Dallas (19) 13.5
13. Washington (9) 13
14. Carolina (16) 12.5
15. Los Angeles Chargers (22) 12.5
If things break right. If things break right for these teams, then they can make a massive difference in this NFL Season. The Texans are almost a top ten team, but they need to string some wins together to really be taken seriously. The Cowboys lost Zeke Monday night but up to this point they were playing lights out. Washington is really struggling right now but if they can get it together they can be right back in the race. Carolina is in dire need of a winning streak and a running game. The Chargers are just hanging on.
16. Atlanta (5) 11.5
17. Cincinnati (24) 10.5
18. Green Bay (2) 12
19. Detroit (6) 10.5
20. Denver (7) 8
Barely breathing. Atlanta has struggled mightily throughout this entire season and got a big win against the Jets Sunday. The Bengals are better than their record shows. Green Bay well I mean no Aaron Rodgers gives them an excuse we’ve only seen one game of Hundley so we cant really make a judgement quite yet. Detroit can’t protect Stafford, or score in the red zone, or pick up short yardage. The Broncos are a tire fire, fueled by a lack of quality weapons and a rash of offensive line injuries plus the fact Trevor Siemian isn’t that great a QB apparently.
21. New York Jets (25) 11
22. Chicago Bears (27) 11.5
The Best bad teams. New York and Chicago are just that, two teams that are going to be entertaining every week but ultimately lose most of the time. The Jets have a surprisingly dynamic offense and the Bears have a top ten defense but the Jets defense holds them back and the Bears offense keeps them limited.
23. Titans (15) 7.5
24. Ravens (26) 8.5
25. Raiders (18) 7.5
26. Giants (30) 8.5
Teams disappointing their fathers. All these teams were supposed to be frisky playoff caliber teams none of them are fun to watch right now. Yes, when Mariota gets healthy the Titans will get better, but their running game has really slowed down recently. The Ravens are a head scratcher week in and week out. The Raiders and Giants as the title of this group suggests are disappointments.
27. Miami (31) 6
28. Indianapolis (32) 5.5
29. Arizona (21) 5.5
Meh teams, with meh expectations, that are meh. Not much more to say here.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14) 5
Totally and completely disowned by their parental figures after colossal failure that damages family name. Well for a team with such high expectations the season couldn’t really be going any worse.
31. San Francisco (23) 4
How haven’t you won a game yet? Well you get close and then lose. Hey you scammed the Pats and grabbed Jimmy G though you’ll be back in the playoffs within the next 2 years, guaranteed.
32. Cleveland (29) 4
The Browns. A hopeless pit of despair with no hope. All is lost, abort the mission. Sail into the night and embrace the tears of the fallen. Row row forward. Fight the Ohio winds and battle to the never coming morning. You are the storm you are fighting so desperately against.
We are now ten games through the NHL season so instead of a what we learned this week instead here are the top ten teams after ten games.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning: There really cannot be any debate about the one spot. The lightning night in and night out put up fantastic performances and the league’s leading point scorer, Steven Stamkos (21) and the league’s leading Goal scorer Nikita Kucherov (12) both have spots on this team. The Lightning have a tough stretch of games to start November, the Kings, Blue Jackets and Sharks but the lightning have already played some of the league’s toughest competition early. Right now there isn’t really a weakness on this team.
2. Los Angeles Kings: Johnathan Quick is the best goal tender in the league again after a fluke 2016. Quick has a 1.88 goals against average and 2 shut outs. The Kings offense is there too. 36 goals for and a smoking hot Anze Kopitar who has 7 goals leading the team. However, while Kopitar’s stats don’t stand out they exemplify the tremendous depth on this team. 11 different Kings players have goals and 3 have five or more.
3. Vegas Golden Knights: Do I expect this team to be in this spot ten games from now? No. They fully deserve this right now though the Knights are 8-1-0 one of the greatest starts for a first-year franchise in NHL history. Their doing it without their number one goaltender Marc Andre Fleury who has been out since game four of the Season. There are no all-stars on this team, but James Neal is an NHL vet and a fantastic leader. This team has chemistry and some time that can make up for lack of talent in the NHL.
4. Saint Louis Blues: Coach Mike Yeo has taken the success from the last half of the 2016 season and translated it into instant success in 2017. Jade Schwartz is the non Lightning NHL points leader with 17. Not to mention the fantastic early play of Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pitrangelo, both have 12 points. Jake Allen continues to be one of my favorite goalies to watch week in and week out. Colton Pareyko and Vince Dunn head up a solid defensive core for the Blues.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins have a major problem at goal tender. Specifically their back up Antti Niemi who seemingly only gives up 6 goal games. A backup with some 7.50 goals against average is a recipe for disaster if Matt Murray gets hurt. However, the offense looks just as good as ever so the Penguins plug into the five spot, but there are weaknesses this year.
6. Ottawa Senators: 41 goals and a top 5 pk in the league plus a high-flying Craig Anderson equal a team with promise. Not to mention they won 3 in a row without Erik Karlson that doesn’t happen most years.
7. Toronto Maple Leaf’s: The most fun, fastest team to watch in hockey has major defensive problems. The Leaf’s only regulation losses this year have come by a score of 6-3 that is a major problem. However, they are the second highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference right now. So, they can hide their deficiencies from the depth scoring of Connor Brown and William Nylander.
8. New Jersey Devils: Another team no one thought would start this hot also has big defensive problems. Yesper Bratt has been a surprise though and the Devils are winning games so they grab a top ten spot.
9. Columbus Jackets: Sergei Bobrovsky has another hot start. Sonny Milano is suddenly a semi star in the NHL with 6 points.
10. Nashville Predators: There was a Stanley Cup hangover and then they woke right up.
Honorable Mentions: Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks.
We are eight games nearly through the NFL season so what’s next for what has already been a crazy NFL season? Here are eight bold predictions for the second half of the NFL season.
1. The New York Jets will go 8-8 and be in the mix for a playoff spot in the beginning of December: The Jets are a frisky great team. They lack the ability to close games, which will hurt them long run and keep them out of the playoffs, but guess what they’re good enough to upset teams like the Chiefs, Raiders, Saints, Panthers and maybe even waltz into Foxboro in a meaningless game in week 17 and beat the Pats. Josh McCown isn’t a franchise QB but he’s making a case for why he could be a 2-3-year option in New York as the Jets rebuild around him and wait for a franchise QB.
2. The Steelers will give Leveon Bell 400 touches: Yes, that’s crazy. Look at his touches thus far though he already has 169 touches this year. At this rate 400 touches isn’t that crazy. The Steelers can’t do that though, you drafted James Connor who has played well for a reason. Split the touches and save Bell for the playoffs. The last thing you want is another injury in the first quarter of the Divisional round or Conference finals that completely derails your game plan and ruins your season as it has in years past.
3. The Jaguars: What I mean by that is, the Jags will not only win the division, they will also finish with ten wins, and this is the boldest of bold, they will win a home playoff game. The Jaguars have the recipe to win games get a lead with your running game and close with defense. Also the fact that Blake Bortles can be a deep threat QB when you stack the box. Bortles isn’t awful he’s a situation QB. If he has to throw 30+ times a game he’s an awful QB. If its 10-15 times he can be dangerous.
4. The Chargers will make the playoffs: I’m back in on a Chargers team that could easily be 5-2 if two kicks had gone there way. Philip Rivers is moving the ball and they have a top ten defense that is playing the best it ever has over the last two years. The Chargers will only lose two more games and finish 10-6 good enough to grab a wild card.
5. The Cowboys will win out: This is an extra bold prediction because it has moving parts. This prediction counts on the fact that Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension will not come during this regular season. Right now the Cowboys are playing the best offensive football they have all year it is finally looking like the Cowboys team of last year. The Schedule for the Cowboys minus the Eagles twice is incredibly winnable for them. Dak Prescott is playing out of his mind right now and though the defense is bad they were able to shut down a bad offense in San Francisco which is a good sign.
6. The Vikings will get the number one seed in the NFC: This may not seem that crazy but a lot of things have to go right for this to happen. The Saints have to stumble, the Eagles probably have to lose 3 games and the Cowboys can’t suddenly get good and run the table. Case Keenum also has to keep playing better than he ever has in his career. Maybe Teddy Bridgewater comes back though and maybe he’s just as good as he was before his injury. Remember we were talking about Teddy Bridgewater as a QB that could make a huge jump going into the 2016 season.
7. The NFC South will produce only one playoff team: Not that bold actually. For a division we thought would be one of the best in football the most complete team is the Saints a team we completely dismissed in the offseason. The Panthers can’t run the ball, the Falcons can run the ball but can’t score, and the Buccaneers can’t play defense. Double bold prediction the Saints get a first-round bye.
8. The Seattle Seahawks win the division and the Rams make the playoffs: Not super bold but I think that Seattle has figured it out and now has the recipe. Dominant defense and decent running back plus top ten QB equals division winner.
The MLS playoffs start later this week and you should watch them. Why? Because it’s the only important American Soccer well have for a year. The US failed to make the world cup and embarrassed this country. So this country must fall back on its farm system for international play. MLS a league with young talent and old-world stars is really in its golden era right now. So, give it a try it’s like baseball for non-baseball fans. The regular season is long and arduous, but the post season is worth the wait so give post season soccer a try here’s everything you need to know.
The Front Runners
Toronto has the man who is the current face of MLS! Sebastian Giovinco, the atomic ant has slowed down in the second half of the season, but he can be a difference maker in this post season. Pair that with tremendous depth and defense and you get one of the toughest rosters to play in the post season.
Speaking of faces of the league, David Villa. A 20 goal year has Villa in a dead heat for the leauges MVP award although what makes this team special is it’s depth. A young Englishman by the name of Jack Harrison is one of the best young talents in MLS. He has 10 goals this year and playoff experience now as he was on this club’s roster last year when they made the playoffs.
Coming in hot
The Timbers have the man in my opinion who should be MVP. Diego Valeri has 21 goals and 11 assists. The Timbers have won 3 of there last four games coming into the playoffs they are a dangerous club. Pair that with the playoff experience of players like Fernando Adi and Diego Chara and you have the recipe for a team that can make a run.
San Jose Earthquakes
Last second. A last second goal vaulted the Qaukes into the playoffs for the first time in a long time. It’s a young roster headed by an MLS legend in Chris Wondolowski.
Though KC lost on closing day they have so much playoff hope. Its not because of who they have on the field there is not a manager id rather have on my team than Peter vermes. Let’s get to predictions.
Wild Card one game elimination
Chicago FC vs New York Red Bulls: Two very different teams. Chicago once a perennial bottom feeder has the league’s leading goal scorer with 24 goals in Nemanja Nikolic. While during the transfer window they brought in one of the greatest German footballers of all time and world cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger. That being said I’m taking the Red Bulls. Why? They are always the consensus to make it as the one seed and always falter. This year they are the 6 seed and I believe that the psychie completely changes. A statistical reason, Sacha Klejstian and Bradley Wright Phillips. BWP has 17 goals and a new emerging face in Daniel Royer had 12 goals this year. Louis Robles is also one of the better GKs in the playoffs this year the post season offense will show out to back him up.
NY 2-1 over Chicago
Atlanta vs Columbus
Atlanta is the most successful first year team in MLS history part of that is due to the fact they have former Barcelona coach Tata Martinez at the helm. Another reason, Joseph Martinez 20 goal season. Columbus is in the midst of the first major move in modern MLS history. Due to lack of funding for a new stadium they will most likely move to Austin over the offseason. They have a lot to play for and I predict a win away from home, there is a feeling in the locker room reportedly to win one for Columbus, they will do just that in this game. It will take penalties though.
Columbus 1(2)-1 Atlanta (in PKs)
Vancouver vs San Jose
Vancouver has the talent in place for a playoff run. Freddy Montero and Yordy Renya are vets who believe in this team. I will be honest I haven’t watched a lot of Vancouver, but this pick is really more against San Jose an uber inconsistent team who barely squeaked in. This game is a toss-up but I’m taking Vancouver.
Vancouver 3-1 San Jose
Houston vs Sporting KC
I love Kansas Cities depth but two things worry me about this team. Their lack of success away from home and there lack of a true veteran number one striker after the departure of Dom Dwyer mid-season. I like hot teams and Houston just demolished the hottest team in the league Atlanta 3-0 on closing day. I’m taking Houston. It will take a fight though.
Houston 2(3)- Sporting KC 2 (in PKs)
Round 2 Aggregate series a home and home the team with the most goals at the end wins.
Toronto vs New York Red Bulls
Drawing on closing day at home did not help Toronto. A team that was one win away from holding the MLS cup will be hungry. However the Red Bulls have more to prove and more experience. It will be a fierce battle New York will take the first match in New York but struggle in Toronto. Ultimately I take the Red Bulls in extra time for the game in Toronto.
New York 2-1 Toronto aggregate in extra time
NYCFC vs Columbus
There’s no easy way to put this. Valor does not win championships; fire power and determination do and the scorned NYCFC have both. They run away with it.
NYCFC 5-2 Columbus aggregate
Portland vs Houston
Houston may be able to beat a stumbling KC team on the road but the big boys of the west have a point to prove. Portland takes care of Houston.
Portland 5-1 Houston aggregate
Seattle vs Vancouver
The reigning MLS champs did it without Clint Dempsey last year. This year they have him and they have playoff experience and a team which everyone is doubting. If there is one thing that propels the Sounders, it is low expectations. When they are the favorites they lose, they are not the favorites in this conference they play angry and they win.
Seattle 4-3 Vancouver aggregate
NYCFC vs New York Red Bulls
The best matchup in the playoffs, the rivalry. I’m taking the Blue boys from Yankee stadium.
NYCFC 2-1 New York Red Bulls aggregate
Portland vs Seattle
Another rivalry. Portland is due to make a cup appearance which means they won’t because it is the MLS playoffs.
Seattle 4-3 Portland
MLS Cup Final, one game for all the marbles
NYCFC vs Seattle
NYCFC has more fire power and more defense and though Seattle will be the story line. Jack Harrison will be the hero.
NYCFC 3-1 Seattle
So, week 7 eh? Time to mix things up usually this is a bunch of loosely correlated points hanging in the balance of space from game to game, boring! We need some fire in here we need some hot takes. So here is one hot take every talk radio show and football podcast will have after this week of action. Mix it up a little more well pick the games too.
1. Buccaneers at Bills: Jameis Winston should be benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick after throwing 5 interceptions. That’s right starting it with true fire, listen Jameis is hurt and he hasn’t played well at all this year. This Bills secondary is so underrated in my opinion they are the fourth best defense in the league according to PFF and more importantly according to the eye test. I think this game gets out of control fast for the Buccaneers 28-10 Bills.
2. Panthers at Bears: Cam Newtons shoulder is not right, and the Bears should be taken seriously. I’ve said it all week, Cam Newton is hurt. I think diving for the pylon against the Eagles he looked to land awkwardly and then throughout the rest of that game proceeded to look as bad as he had in the first two weeks of the season before he got hot. Meanwhile for the Bears this is a real test, the Panthers have one of the best run defenses in the league and chi town will need to lean on the passing game. I think Trubisky comes through and opens peoples eyes to the player he could be, that includes me I see the potential but I want to see more and I think he provides it this week. Bears 24-10.
3. Titans at Browns: Derrick Henry needs to replace Demarco Murray. I mean this is already a hot take brewing it has been since week 3 really. I think Henry will get a majority of touches in this game and really have a break out performance. Here’s the hot take he runs for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. Titans 35-10.
4. Saints at Packers: We should respect the Saints defense. This point is more aimed at my podcast cohost Chris Chastain (check out the endzone podcast here………….) the rest of the football media has already recognized that this Saints defense isn’t a bottom feeder anymore. Not only is the Saints defense not losing them games, there forcing turnovers to help the offense win games. PFF has them ranked as a top 15 defense and I’ve been preaching that since the pre-season time to get on board sheeple! Second hot take Brett Hundley isn’t going to play awful I think he throws for 2 touchdowns and an interception. Saints 35-17.
5. Jaguars at Colts: Jacoby Brissett is the real deal. The way it sounds right now we won’t see Andrew Luck this year, that’s fine with me because I love watching Jacoby Brissett. If Jack Doyle and Donte Moncrief don’t drop passes Brissett has a 4-touchdown game against the Titans last Monday. Colts 35 Jaguars 17.
6. Rams Cardinals in London: This was the game of the week and the Cardinals are officially trending towards the playoffs. The Rams get off to a hot start Jared Goff looks unstoppable in the first quarter in the first quarter and the Cardinals look dead in the water going to the second down 17-0. In the second Adrian Peterson explodes and scores a touchdown and the score at half is 17-10. Then during the third there are 3 lead changes. The fourth is just as topsy turvy but in the end Carson Palmer comes through with a last second touchdown drive as the Cardinals win 41-38.
7. Jets at Dolphins: The Jets are in real danger of losing a top 3 pick. Josh McCown walks up and down the field on the Dolphins and the Finns offense looks lifeless. Jets 30-13
8. Cowboys at Niners: CJ Beathard is the answer at QB for the Niners. Go watch Bethard march up and down the field on the Redskins off the bench and tell me he isnt a starter. Sure, he’s a product of Kyle Shannahans offense which looked like Kyle Shannahans offense with Beathard under center. That was with about 4 really bad drops from wide open receiver’s. Who cares if he’s a system QB if your putting up numbers and fun to watch you’re a good QB in my book. Niners 35-24.
9. Seahawks at Giants: The Giants are a week to week proposition but there more competitive. Seahawks 24 Giants 17.
10. Bengals at Steelers: The same old hot take. We get it both these teams literally want to kill each other Vontez Burfict is guaranteed a boneheaded play every time these teams meet. It will be close but in the end the Steelers will pull away because it’s the Bengals. Steelers 17-14.
11. Patriots at Falcons: The Falcons were still rattled from the Super Bowl so they lost. First of all they’re over the Super Bowl, its week 7 for god sake. Two they will lose this game because they’re back to what they were before Shannahan, a good team that won’t ever blow you away but you can’t call a bad team. A wildcard team who might make some noise as an upset team in the playoffs but ultimately play down to their competition and lose some games they should win but win some games they should lose. Patriots 42-35.
12. Eagles at Redskins: The Eagles aren’t a lock to win the division yet. Kirk Cousins balls out in primetime as he often does both primetime games the Skins have been involved in this year have been showing outs for Cousins. The Skins take this game but it’s a close one and Jake Elliott wins it. 24-21 Skins.
1. Nikita Keucherov and the Lightnings hot week: There may be no hotter team in the league right now than the Tampa Bay lightning. The Lightning have won two of their three games this week and there only loss came while picking up points in a shootout with another red hot eastern conference team in the New Jersey Devils. The Lightning are winning with everything. Nikita Kuecherov is the hottest scorer in the NHL right now with 8 points in his last five games. Andrei Vasilevskiy has a shutout and a 2.57 GAA through 7 games played making him one of the hottest goalies in the league right now.
2. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the best offensive team in hockey right now with 34 goals over two weeks. Its incredibly impressive you start to worry about them cooling off at the wrong time but with Auston Matthews and newly promoted center Connor Brown the Leaf’s look unstoppable. Fredrick Anderson also looks to be figuring things out and had a shutout against the Capitols this week.
3. The New Jersey Devils are a fast young exciting team to watch: Nico Hischier scored his first 2 NHL goals against the Senators late this week, boy the Sens sure do like giving rookies big debuts against them, the Devils Yesper Bratt and Taylor Hall are just two more hot players this team has right now. It also helps that they have Corey Schneider in goal who has four wins in 6 appearances. This team is going to lean hard on the offense and though it may not work down the stretch in the beginning it sure is fun to watch.
4. Struggles in the old guard: To move to the new you must discard the old. The New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins are off to rough starts. The roughest of which is the Canadiens 1 win 6 regulation losses and 1 overtime loss does not bode well in one of the most hockey hungry markets in the league. Everything is going wrong for this team and I’ve been preaching a steep decline for years. If you lean on Carey Price this heavily and get no scoring pieces on your team eventually Price will break down. The Stats speak to that 33 goals against in 8 games. Perhaps its time for a rebuild in Montreal, that Starts with trading Carey Price for a king’s ransom for a team that feels they are a goal tender away. What about Calgary?
5. So much excitement in the east but don’t forget the west: The front runner right now is Saint Louis. Over the last week the Blues have two wins over two key division opponents. A 5-2 smoking of the Black hawks that featured a Jaden Schwartz hat trick and a 4-3 win on Thursday over the Avalanche who suddenly look like the team we thought they would be. The Blues are a top the central and cruising.
6. The Nashville Predators are back to the Nashville Predators: After a rocky start for the Stanley Cup runner ups this week everything really started clicking for the Preds. Who have won two straight and stole a point away from the Blackhawks in an overtime loss. The Puck movement is so much better looking this year and Pekka Rinne is silently having a Vienza year start.
7. The top five teams of week 2:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Toronto Maple Leaf’s
3. Saint Louis Blues
4. New Jersey Devils
5. Los Angeles Kings
1. The Great eights nine goals: In just the first week of the season Alexander Ovechkin has 9 goals and one assist. Ovechkin is off to one of the hardest starts of his career and if he keeps his current pace could score over 150 points. A long way to go but it’s a good start for the Russian whose team is now 3-1-1 and has the second most goals for (21) in the Eastern conference.
2. Toronto kids putting up all kind of goals: The Leaf’s have the most goals in the east currently with 22. The Leaf’s are averaging 5 goals a game, the best in the league. Leading the way is Auston Matthews with 3 goals and 3 assists. The Maple Leaf’s have had the hottest start in the Eastern conference as far as team goal scoring goes, 13 different Leaf’s players have goals and 19 Leaf’s players have assists. Frederick Anderson hasn’t had the best start to the season however allowing 16 goals in 4 starts thus far. That can partially be blamed on a defense that allowed a 3 on 5 shorthanded goal against the Devils, how? It’s one of the craziest things you’ll ever see in hockey.
3. The Black Hawks of Stanley cup 2010s dynasty are back: Throw out a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota wild and the Blackhawks had the best first week of the NHL by far. The Hawks have a league high 23 goals and 10 of them came during a waxing of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Patrick Kane is playing some of the Best hockey of his Career right now. The Kanester gangsta has 7 points (2 goals 5 assists ) in 5 games. The Way he plays is so fast and precise look no farther than the spinorama assist to Nick Schmaltz or his beautiful no look backhand behind the net assist to Ryan Hartman and don’t forget his full speed beauty of a backhand snipe into the far-left corner from the bottom of the right faceoff dot. That was all in one game, against the penguins, come to think of it Patrick Kane loves the backhand.
4. Edmonton’s hot start and then collapse: The Oilers played their best game of the last two years against the flames in a 3-0 white wash. Then they collapsed, hard a bad 3-2 loss to the Canucks in which Cam Talbot was pulled in the early second when he let in the 3rd goal. A loss to the Jets where Nichola Ehlers scored a hat trick in a 5-2 win for Winnipeg was the nail in the coffin of an awful start for the Oilers. Side note here Connor Hellebuyck has played wonderfully for the Jets who were embarrassed by Steven Mason letting in 7 goals in the first game of the season. Hellebuyck has earned the Job in Winnipeg.
5. The Colorado Avalanche are out preforming expectations early: Former first overall pick and widely regarded draft bust Nail Yakupov is proving everyone wrong. Yakupov has 5 points in five games and along with Matt Duchesne the Aves have started 4-1 impressive for a team some didn’t expect to win even 30 games.
6. A great start for the Golden Knights and a great story for Vegas: After the awful tragedy earlier this month the Knight’s have played with an emotion of an entire city driving them forward and are 3-1. James Neal has been the driving force for Vegas as far as scoring is concerned with 6 goals in 4 games and Marc Andre Fluery has carried the Goaltending load starting every game thus far, as he may be asked to do this season wouldn’t shock me if he started 64 games, with a 92% save percentage and 2 goals against average. It’s an awesome story and hopefully the Knights can continue to be successful and bring their community together.
7. Top 5 teams of the week.
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. Washington Capitals
3. Toronto Maple Leaf’s
4. Colorado Avalanche
5. New Jersey Devils