Happy Halloween SFE fans!
NFL teams across the league were trick or treating themselves to an extra spooky trade deadline that came to an end at 4 pm ET earlier today. Continue reading
Happy Halloween SFE fans!
NFL teams across the league were trick or treating themselves to an extra spooky trade deadline that came to an end at 4 pm ET earlier today. Continue reading
Week 7 was a slightly more predictable week for the NFL, with less crazy upsets and general madness. It was a nice bounce-back week for me.
OAK 31 – KC 30. One of the games I did get wrong was this one. The Raiders saved their season in epic fashion, and I truly enjoyed staying up to watch this game, even if I got the pick wrong. This is the kind of primetime matchup the NFL needs, great plays, crazy finishes, and maybe a bit of drama mixed in (I’m looking at you, Marshawn).
MIN 24 – BAL 16. The Ravens offense continues to not be good enough, and they’ve now lost 4 out of their last 5. Pittsburgh already appears to be running away with this division. And is Case Keenum the guy for Minnesota, at least this year? We’ll see.
NO 26 – GB 17. The Packers seem to win almost every game at Lambeau… when they have Aaron Rodgers at QB. Unfortunately for Packers fans, this is life without him, and going up against a hot Saints team, they took an L. The good news is that doctors say Rodgers might be back at the end of the season, and he can possibly be there for a Packer playoff run if Brett Hundley does a good enough job.
MIA 31 – NYJ 28. Picking the Dolphins really helped elevate my picks, as the Jets blew a 28-14 lead. Backup QB Matt Moore helped lead Miami to victory (is he going to be starting ahead of Cutler now?). The tank might be back on schedule for the Jets, whereas the Dolphins look to be legitimate contenders for the AFC Wild Card, or dare I say, the AFC East?
CHI 17 – CAR 3. It was a disgusting offensive performance for both teams. Good job, Eddie Jackson.
LA 33 – ARZ 0. Carson Palmer is out for about 8 weeks, and so it’s now officially a 2-team competition for the NFC West crown. The Rams continue to look good, and are 5-2. Eventually, I think they’ll win the “Battle for LA”. Their 3-1 start last year was a fluke. This ain’t a fluke though.
BUF 30 – TB 27. In another pick that helped me rebound, I took the Bills at home to narrowly beat the Bucs. And they did just that. They have now won 3 out of 4, and appear to be legitimate contenders for the AFC Wild Card, or dare I say, the AFC East? Wait… that’s the same thing I said about Miami.
JAC 27 – IND 0. Jacksonville’s defense shut down Jacoby Brissett, and Bortles had a decent game, throwing for 33o yards and no interceptions. Jacksonville is now 4-3, and with the way the Titans looked against Cleveland, they have a very legit shot at getting the AFC South crown. Speaking of the Titans…
TEN 12 – CLE 9 (OT). Last week, I called the Titans winning the closest thing we have to a “sure pick” this season. And sure enough, they won, but barely! This was an ugly win for Tennessee, as their offense continues to find inconsistencies. As for the Browns, I… I just don’t know what to say. They’re messing up Deshone Kizer (it’s not Deshone’s fault they’re 0-7).
DAL 40 – SF 10. Well, that was a blowout. Zeke went insane, and the thoughts of a possible Niners upset vanished pretty early in the game. I picked Dallas, but I thought it could’ve been a trap game for them. Nonetheless, San Fran is 0-7, and the Cowboys are back on track with a 3-3 record.
PIT 29 – CIN 14. There’s the usual drama inside the Steelers’ locker room, now with the whole Martavis Bryant saga… but they keep on winning. Pittsburgh is 5-2 and look like they will win the AFC North with ease. Also, JuJu Smith-Schuster looks nice. As for Cincy, they have locker room drama of their own with Joe Mixon. He does need to get some more carries.
SEA 24 – NYG 7. And my stupid pick of the week was my homerism pick of the New York Giants. I should’ve realized they weren’t ready to make some miraculous run, as their season is NOW officially over. It’s time to tank for Saquon. This offense was completely dead, and although the wide receivers were injured, let’s not kid ourselves. The Giants receiving corps was mostly healthy when they were 0-4. This is a BAD team. As for the Seahawks, they’re 4-2… but boy are they overrated. They trailed the Giants 7-3 at halftime, and I still like the Rams to win the NFC West.
LAC 21 – DEN 0. So… picking Denver was a mistake. Their offense continued to embarrass themselves, as September Trevor Simeian appears to be long gone. At the end of the day, the Chargers look to establish themselves as a legit AFC Wild Card contender. Despite their 0-4 start, they’ve won 3 in a row, whereas Denver has lost 3 out of their last 4.
NE 23 – ATL 7. I thought Atlanta would win this game if they were hungry enough, but I just trusted the Pats more. And sure enough, they humiliated the Falcons again in the Super Bowl LI rematch that didn’t quite live up to expectations. The Falcons were too gutsy on fourth down, leading to a minuscule 7 points on the scoreboard. As for the Pats, they’re 5-2, and their defense appears to be back on track.
PHI 34 – WAS 24. Well, even Giants fans like myself must now admit it; the eagles are currently the NFL’s best team. Losing Jordan Hicks and Jason Peters will be tough, but the truly great teams have the “next man up” mentality. If the Eagles are to continue winning, that’s what they must do. Carson Wentz is an absolute monster, and looks like an MVP candidate. Kirk Cousins and the Skins will bounce back, and are still very much in the Wild Card race.
So after those decent 11-4 picks, can I improve?
MIA @ BAL. Maybe this is an upset pick, but I think Matt Moore will bring some new life to the Dolphins. The Ravens are ice cold, whereas Miami has won 3 in a row. I will trust the team with the hot hand, and pick Miami to win 24-20 in my upset of the week (Baltimore is a 3-pt favorite).
MIN @ CLE. Don’t screw it up, Vikings. Minnesota wins 27-13 in my lock of the week.
LAC @ NE. The Chargers may have won 3 in a row, but playing in New England will do them no favors. The Patriots have gotten their defensive problems figured out, and Tom Brady is Tom Brady. The Pats will win 34-24.
CHI @ NO. The Saints are marching in with 4 straight victories. They don’t want to be the next Rams, going 7-9 every year. They make it 5 in a row against the Bears. Chicago’s defense has looked good and they have a nice run game, but I definitely trust Brees over Mitch. Saints win 30-23.
CAR @ TB. The Bucs are now 2-4, and are likely desperate to save their season. At home against another struggling team in the Panthers, they will win 28-24. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if Cam Newton gets his swag back and the Panthers get the W.
IND @ CIN. Unfortunately for the Colts, Andrew Luck is still out. The 2-4 Bengals will be desperate to save their season, while Indy’s season already appears to be over. I’m picking the home team here, and Cincy should get it done by a 27-17 score.
OAK @ BUF. The Raiders will be jump-started by their win last week, which many people thought saved their season. The 4-2 Bills are nothing to sneeze at, but I definitely trust Derek Carr to beat Tyrod Taylor. Oakland will win 30-24.
SF @ PHI. Philly wins 40-10. Next.
ATL @ NYJ. I’ve talked about teams that are desperate to save their season a lot in this article. Well, guess what? The Falcons have lost 3 straight, and need a win to get things back on track. The Jets, meanwhile, will probably begin a serious losing streak. I expect Atlanta to win 30-21.
HOU @ SEA. Deshaun Watson and the Texans are fresh off the bye week, but it’s going to be hard for them to beat a more experienced Seattle team on the road. Despite my assertion that Seattle is overrated, their home field advantage and stout defense will help them win this game 24-16.
DAL @ WAS. The Cowboys may have dominated the 49ers last week, but I think Washington will get it done at home. It will be a close game, as Dallas is good on both the offensive and defensive lines. But Kirk Cousins will propel Washington to a 31-24 win.
PIT @ DET. The Lions are fresh off their bye week, and Pittsburgh isn’t a very good road team. I think Matthew Stafford will lead Detroit to a W at home, by a score of 31-20.
DEN @ KC. The Chiefs and the Broncos are both on a bit of a losing streak, but I trust KC to break theirs. They are playing in Arrowhead against a team that has struggled mightily on offense. Give me the Chiefs to win 27-13.
My Pick Record This Season: 59-48 (Things are back on track)
My Lock of the Week Record: 4-3
My Upset of the Week Record: 2-5
Participants: Munya “MJ” Jumbi, Daniel Hutchinson-Kausch, Brian Ingamells, Scott Riley, Alan Huston, Jon Schinker, Kevin Vicinus, Harun Muhammed, Brandon Morales, Caprio “Caps” Michel
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens, 8:25 p.m.
Dolphins: MJ, Caps, Alan, Jon, Brandon
Ravens: Scott, Daniel, Brian
Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns (London), 9:30 a.m.
Vikings: MJ, Scott, Caps, Daniel, Alan, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills, 1:00 p.m.
Raiders: MJ, Scott, Alan, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Bills: Caps, Daniel
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m.
Bengals: MJ, Scott, Caps, Alan, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots, 1:00 p.m.
Chargers: Scott, Alan,
Patriots: MJ, Caps, Daniel, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m.
Saints: MJ, Scott, Caps, Daniel, Alan, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m.
Falcons: MJ, Scott, Caps, Alan, Jon, Brian
Jets: Daniel, Brandon
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.
Eagles: MJ, Scott, Caps, Daniel, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.
Panthers: Daniel, Jon
Bucs: MJ, Scott, Caps, Alan, Brian, Brandon
Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks 4:05 p.m.
Texans: Daniel, Brandon
Seahawks: MJ, Scott, Caps, Alan, Jon, Brian
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins, 4:25 p.m.
Cowboys: MJ, Caps, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Redskins: Scott, Daniel, Alan
Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions, 8:30 p.m.
Steelers: MJ, Scott, Alan, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Lions: Caps, Daniel
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 p.m.
Chiefs: MJ, Scott, Caps, Daniel, Alan, Jon, Brian, Brandon
Byes: Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, L.A. Rams, N.Y. Giants, Tennessee
Could Martavis Bryant’s days as a Pittsburgh Steeler be numbered?
There have been numerous reports saying Bryant is unhappy with his workload. He has defended his talent when some said that rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster is better than him, claiming he was the better receiver. Regardless of who is truly better, one thing is certain: Bryant needs to go.
After serving a one year suspension for violating the NFL’s substance use policy, Bryant was fortunate enough to stay on Pittsburgh’s roster. Since he had a strong 2015 campaign, it was understandable that the Steelers did not release him. However, coming into this season, he was on thin ice with his teammates and the Steelers’ front office. So far, he has eclipsed 18 receptions for 234 yards and 1 touchdown. This lack of production is due to the Steelers’ stacked receiving depth chart. This group includes: Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eli Rogers.
Bryant’s frustration may be justified since his impact is not nearly what it was in 2015. However, him being public about his frustrations is creating hostility in the Pittsburgh locker room, which can quickly divide a team.
The good news for the Steelers is that Bryant is a decent receiver who can make an impact on any other team in the NFL. Pittsburgh won’t have a hard time trying to trade him for a mid round draft pick or acquiring a position of need. In the unlikely event that they cannot trade for him, there is always the option of releasing him.
Although there might be factors the public does not know about this dilemma, there seems to be a theme that Bryant wants his position given to him and that although Smith-Schuster is playing better, Bryant has a sense of entitlement. If this is true, Bryant should go.
The great players always have a chip on their shoulder and they always believe someone is about to take their job, and this is where Bryant is failing. Just because he was a key figure to Pittsburgh’s offense two years ago, it does not mean he should not fight for the amount of reps he gets in practice. As an example, look no further than his teammate Antonio Brown; a sixth round draft pick out of Central Michigan who worked his way into becoming a top three receiver in the NFL. Brown has that mentality everyday and that is what makes him great. In order for Bryant to achieve what he wants, he must work harder and not believe that is entitled to anything, otherwise he might as well leave the Steel City.
With future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers likely out for the rest of the regular season, the Packers turn to Brett Hundley. So, what can we expect from Brett Hundley?
In the 2015 NFL Draft, the quarterback class had two studs in Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. After that, no one was considered to be a franchise quarterback.
Among critics, UCLA QB Brett Hundley was considered to be one of the better QBs in this class, yet fell to the fifth round where the Packers found their backup QB.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein outlined his strength and weaknesses while at UCLA in his draft report, saying that he has athletic talent, but his style of play and decision making skills made him more of a project QB. For these reasons, Hundley being drafted by the Packers was a match made in heaven.
We all remember when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers late in the first round to sit behind Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre. That decision paid dividends for Green Bay, considering Rodgers is considered to be one of the top three quarterbacks in the league. Although drafting a QB in the fifth round is not nearly as big of an investment as snagging one in the first round, the act of drafting Hundley and letting him learn from Rodgers shows that Hundley is more than just a backup for the Packers.
Since there is limited footage of the current Brett Hundley play, it is hard to dissect how his play style has developed since college, but his Week 7 game against the New Orleans Saints showed that he still has some flaws. Completing 12/25 of his passes for 87 yards and 1 interception, it wasn’t an impressive outing for Hundley.
There is still hope, however, as one shaky game is not a fair assessment of his play. Through film study and practicing certain concepts, Hundley can collect himself after the Packers’ Week 8 bye and have a strong performance on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions in Week 9.
If Hundley finishes this season on a high note and guides the Packers to the playoffs, the Packers will have a few options which bode well in their favour. Of course, they can keep him and have a solid backup QB who knows the system. Hundley can become trade bait for QB-needy teams who would be willing to trade draft picks.
So, what can we expect from Brett Hundley? Well, if he learns from mentor Aaron Rodgers and can break down defences better, Hundley can lead Green Bay to the Packers. If he does poorly, the Packers will have to wait for star QB Aaron Rodgers to come back to full health.
The Patriots are back on top of the division, but can they sustain their command?
The New England Patriots were thought to go undefeated in their quest for another Super Bowl title. That dream ended in the season opener against the Chiefs. The Patriots defensive struggles had the team looking like a shell of itself, and whether or not Tom Brady could overcome the defensive shortcomings remains a cause for concern.
With the surging Buffalo Bills, the surprising Miami Dolphins and the “tanking” New York Jets all playing well, New England has been unable runaway with the division as they’ve been accustomed to doing in season’s past.
The Patriots are still the favorites to wear the AFC East crown, but it will not be as easy as predicted prior to the season. If New England’s defensive deficiencies continue to force Brady to play out-of-his-mind football, could a staggering Patriots team be knocked off their throne?
New England Patriots (4-2) – The Pats dropped two games to Kansas City and Carolina, but they could have lost two more. The Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and division rival Jets all could have beaten New England. The Texans were seconds away, the Bucs were a kicker away and the Jets were a controversial call away from trading L’s for W’s. The Patriots win against New Orleans is their only dominating victory this season. Nonetheless, a win is a win. Bill Belichick will find a way to stop the bleeding and Brady will continue to be the life-jacket keeping this team afloat. The next four games for New England are all winnable and can give the Patriots a sizable lead heading into three consecutive division games. At worst, the Patriots will split the next four games with both losses coming on the road.
Next four games: Atlanta, Los Angeles (Chargers), @Denver and @Oakland.
Buffalo Bills (3-2)– The Bills are in a better position than many anticipated after shipping pieces of their roster across the league in trades. With Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby and Stephen Gillmore (among others) wearing different uniforms, Buffalo has proven addition by subtraction can be beneficial. Tyrod Taylor has been playing well, throwing six touchdowns to just two interceptions on the year. Micah Hyde is having a sensational year in his first season circling the wagons. The former Green Bay Packer leads the league in interceptions and has been a welcomed addition to the new look Buffalo defense. The Bills face an ailing Jameis Winston, who tends to turnover the ball when healthy. Hyde could make it miserable for Winston and add to his pick total on the season. The Raiders looked like the Raiders-of-old in a win against the Chiefs. The Jets will be tough and Drew Brees’ Saints also field a team whose strength has been on the defensive side of the ball. The Bills next four games are winnable, but the gritty Buffalo Bills have to be the team that shows up and shows out.
Next four games: Tampa Bay, Oakland, @New York (Jets) and New Orleans.
New York Jets (3-3)– If this is what “tanking” looks like, someone needs to advise the Jets they are doing it wrong. New York looked like a one win team in the first two weeks of the season, but are now playing really good football. After being destroyed by Oakland, the Jets went on to win three straight. Granted, two of the wins were over the Dolphins and Browns. New York shocked Jacksonville in overtime and nearly knocked off New England. The Jets must continue to surprise and play us-against-the-world football. Even if they don’t make the post season, they can spoil other teams’ playoff chances.
Next four games: @Miami, Atlanta, Buffalo and @Tampa Bay.
Miami Dolphins (3-3)– The Dolphins are an interesting team. Looking lethargic in the first few games, Miami has managed to win the past two games over Tennessee and Atlanta. Both the Titans and Falcons are considered contenders, but both teams weren’t 100% and it showed. The Dolphins will have a chance to prove the last two weeks were Miami winning, not their opponents losing. If Miami loses today, they’ll be swept by the Jets in the division. The Ravens have been streaky. Oakland and New England could be games Miami won’t stand a chance in. It could be a rough four week stretch for Jay Cutler’s ‘Phins.
Next four games: New York (Jets), @Baltimore, Oakland and @New England.
The Buffalo Bills will give New England a run for their money. Ultimately, the division title will either stay in Foxborough or head to Buffalo. The Bills have to find a way to maintain their success and avoid losing games they should win. Neither the Bills nor the Patriots can afford digging themselves in a hole, but New England is more probably to find their way out of one if it comes down to that. Miami will not stay hot and will likely finish last in the AFC East. New York will continue to play tough, slug-fest football, but whether or not the Jets can pile up wins is uncertain. Expect New England to stay atop the AFC East, but the Bills won’t be too far behind.
New England – 7-3
Buffalo – 6-3
New York- 4-6
The first game of Lonzo Ball’s NBA career could be historic.
The “Magic” Johnson era begins tonight. The legendary Lakers first pick makes his debut in Staples center against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ball played in two of the Lakers six preseason games, missing some time due to injury. In two games, Ball averaged 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 6.5 points per game.
Healthy and looking to make his presence felt, Ball takes the court in front of 21,000 filled seats. Millions will be glued to their television sets, smartphones, iPad or whatever device is available to witness the next generation Lakers star.
Ball is praised for his unselfish play and ability to get his teammates involved by facilitating the basketball. His skills in the passing game have been compared to Jason Kidd. Ball’s self-less play could carve his name into the Lakers record books tonight.
Nick Van Exel hold the rookie debut record with 8 assists, a record that has stood firm since the early 90s. Ball is not focused on breaking the record, but is capable of achieving that feat without altering his game in any way.
There are tremendous expectations set for ball. Odds are in his favor to win rookie of the year. Is it possible? Of course it is.
Lonzo could help restore the Lakers to relevance. If his contagious play and infectious energy can have his teammates play to their potential and beyond, Los Angeles could be a dark horse to make the playoffs.
LaVar Ball has emulated Nostradamus with his predictions prior to his oldest son being drafted by Magic. Ball exuded confidence when he predicted Lonzo would be picked by the Lakers and lead the Lakers to the Summer League championship.
Could his prediction of the Lakers making the playoffs come to fruition?
It won’t be easy as the level of competition in the Western Conference is ferocious. Some believe the Lakers will be good, but won’t contend in the West for another year or so. Lonzo and the Lakers aren’t listening to any outside noise and are focused on winning basketball games.
It will be interesting to see how the chips fall in the Western Conference. If Lonzo is instrumental in orchestrating a playoff push for the purple and gold, LaVar’s premonitions could be taken a little more seriously.
Stats referenced at FoxSports.com