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Super Bowl Thoughts – Eagles 41, Patriots 33

The Eagles did it! It’s been almost a week since Philadelphia won their first Lombardi Trophy and I must admit it was a fantastic ending the 2017 NFL season. I don’t think I’ve seen a Super Bowl as amazing as the one we just witnessed and next year certainly has a huge bar to hurdle if it wants to come close Eagles/Patriots! Here are a few thoughts regarding the Super Bowl & its outcome:

1. Are we on the verge of an Eagles dynasty? That might be a bit premature & that reasoning is probably borne more out of the moment of just watching Philadelphia win a Super Bowl, but to be the man you have to beat the man, and the Eagles did. New England has had a stranglehold on the NFL for what seems like the past 20 years. For a league thought to be built on parity, the dynasty that New England has maintained almost defies credibility, but is Philadelphia on the verge of something similar? The NFC is loaded going forward. The Rams & 49ers with their young QBs and head coaches aren’t going anywhere soon. I think Mike Zimmer is an excellent head coach who needs a QB to go along with a world class defense. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees & Matt Ryan are still around. Even in New England’s most daunting years, the biggest threats they had were Peyton Manning’s Colts teams and Big Ben’s Steelers squads. The Eagles have the Packers, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, 49ers & Rams! This list doesn’t include the Seahawks, Lions or Cowboys! I think a lot of it boils down to Doug Pederson. The man proved that he might be the best coach in the NFL right now! If he can keep that moniker for the next 15 years, the Eagles could be the beneficiaries of 4-5 Super Bowl titles!

2. Speaking of young quarterbacks, you can’d find better guy that Nick Foles, but if everyone was right about him, what does he performance in the Super Bowl mean for roster management going forward? This is always a trick proposition because good QB play can cover up a significant lack of talent throughout the roster. Look no further than what Aaron Rodgers has been dealing with in Green Bay & how poorly the Packers play when #12 goes down. If Foles’ performance was more in line with him executing what Doug Pederson wanted to perfection, then it would seem going forward that teams would be looking for QBs who can work within a system that the head coach wants to implement rather than a QB who can create and make plays himself. I think the distinction is subtle, but given the contract we just saw Jimmy Garoppolo ink with the 49ers, how can teams hope to compete if all of their cap money is tied up in their QB? Sure the QB is the most important position on the field, but teams still need other talent in order for that QB to put the team in its best position to win. The Patriots model has been to underpay Tom Brady for his entire career. It matters.

3. I think we might have witnessed the end of the Patriots dynasty. New England has problems on defense. Sure their points allowed looked great during the season, but advanced metrics never really did like their D. Brady gets a year older. The coaching staff is breaking a part. Rob Gronkowski is thinking about making the jump from football to Hollywood. There is enough coming back to allow New England to win the East again in 2018. There also might be enough for them to get back to the Super Bowl, but I think the days of Belichick/Brady winning Super Bowls has finally come to an end. If Doug Marrone had called a game like Doug Pederson did, then Jacksonville would have been playing Philadelphia in Minnesota & not the Patriots. Ultimately you have to start thinking about age. Brady is already 40 years old. Gronkowski is pushing 30. So is Dion Lewis. Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman & Chris Hogan will all be 30+ next season. Brandin Cooks will only be 25, but this is old team. The Patriots need to figure out a way to get younger & they don’t have the draft capital to do so. As great as Bill Belichick is, does he want to go through an entire retooling of the roster on the fly to take advantage of Brady’s last 1-2 years as an elite level QB? It seems like too much.

4. The sun may be setting on an entire era of professional football. The Peyton Manning-Tom Brady-Ben Roethlisberger era might finally be coming to a close. Manning left a couple of years ago and you have to wonder if Tom Brady isn’t thinking that 2016 should have been his last season. He could have went out as the only QB with 5 Super Bowl rings. Instead the season ends with a wave of questions about both Brady & his future. Ben Roethlisberger seemingly hints at retirement every off season. Luckily for us he has already stated he’s coming back for 2018. Brady & Roethlisberger could stick around for another year or two, but the writing is definitely on the wall. The NFL is going to enter a new phase of its history, and it’s going to enter it without 3 of the most recognized faces in NFL history! That’s incredible when you think about it.

What a year. It seemed like it went so fast and now we’ll wait until September for more meaningful football. Each year seems to go faster and faster……..


February 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Computer Hope Super Bowl XXXIX rematch! We can talk about a lot of the easy topics such as Bill Belichick?Tom Brady or the fact that Nick Foles is starting a Super Bowl in place of the injured Carson Wentz, but as always with the Patriots, this game is going to turn on whether or not the Philly D can get to Brady & make him uncomfortable in the pocket which is exactly how the Giants beat #12 twice on the biggest stage. I think the real story is Jim Schwartz v. Bill Belichick & how Schwartz is connected to Belichick from their Browns days. If Philly gets pressure they’ll make it a game. If not? Pats roll. I think New England wins #6. Computer Hope

February 2, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is There a Limit to Active Super Bowl Winners?

Back in December of 2017 I wrote a post about the 5-year rule to championships. The original article written by Scott Kacsmar basically laid out a rule that a coach/quarterback pairing had to win a championship within their first 5 years together or it wasn’t happening. Something that I have kept track of over the years is how many active quarterbacks and head coaches have Super Bowl titles. For example, heading into the 2017 season, the following active coaches and quarterbacks had won Super Bowls.

Head Coaches (6)
Bill Belichick
Mike Tomlin
Sean Payton
Mike McCarthy
John Harbaugh
Pete Carroll

Quarterbacks (6)
Tom Brady
Ben Roethlisberger
Drew Brees
Russell Wilson
Joe Flacco
Eli Manning

If you are wondering why Aaron Rodgers is not present under the QB listings, it is because Rodgers didn’t play in half of the Packers games this season and therefore ineligible by my quite arbitrary rules for being listed as an active player with a Super Bowl title. Next year Rodgers will once again be on the list provided he’s healthy, but in retrospect, Green Bay’s #12 wasn’t much of a factor in the 2017 NFL season & thus was omitted from consideration. I would apply the same metric for a coach. If Mike McCarthy had been fired after Week 1, then the head coaches in 2017 that were active with a Super Bowl win would have been reduced by 1.

The first Super Bowl was played for the 1966 season, thus I have only gone back to track this from 1967 to the present day. In 1967, the only player & head coach to be active that had won a Super Bowl were Vince Lombardi & Bart Starr of the Green Bay Packers. You might think that the number of active head coaches & quarterbacks with Super Bowl titles would steadily rise with more teams winning the ultimate prize, but careers of both QBs and HCs are finite so at some point those numbers do dwindle because careers end. Here are the two rules that we can see when looking at both QBs and HCs.

Rule #1: The High Mark for Active Head Coaches With Titles Seems To Be 6 to 8.

The number of active head coaches with a Super Bowl reached 5 as early as 1973 after Don Shula won the 1972 Super Bowl with the Miami Dolphins. The 5 active HCs for 1973 were Shula, Tom Landry, Weeb Ewbank, Hank Stram & Don McCafferty. The number reached 5 after just 7 Super Bowls. The number would increase to 6 in 1983, to 7 in 1986, and to 8 in 1987! It would never get higher than 8.

After the 1987 season Tom Flores left the game. After 1988 Tom Landry & Bill Walsh left the game. By 1995, the number of active head coaches who had won Super Bowl titles had shrunk to just 3 coaches: George Seifert, Bill Parcells & Don Shula. It would take a decade before the number of active head coaches with Super Bowl rings would make it back to 8 when in 2004, Joe Gibbs came out of retirement to coach the Washington Redskins. The number would remain at 8 through 2006, but after the 2006 season, Bill Parcells & Bill Cowher left the sidelines while Tony Dungy won the Super Bowl putting the number of active championship winning coaches at 7 going into the 2007 season. The 2006 season was the last season we’ve had 8 active head coaches with Super Bowl titles.

What Does This Mean for Super Bowl LII & Beyond?

Assuming Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, Pete Carroll, Mike McCarthy & John Harbaugh all come back for 2018, we’ll have 6 head coaches with Super Bowl titles. This year we have Bill Belichick v. Doug Pederson going after the Lombardi Trophy. Because we don’t have 8 active head coaches scheduled to come back for 2018, Pederson joining their ranks would not be out of trend. Pederson would only increase the total number of head coaches to 7. If Belichick wins his 6th title, then the number remains at 6 although I suppose there is a slim chance the Patriots HC could ride off into the sunset seeing how he’ll have won his 6th Super Bowl title and will be losing both of his coordinators with a QB who is scheduled to be 41 next season. Could Belichick decide to go out on top? What about Pederson? What would it mean if Pederson were to win his first title?

Here are the ages of the current head coaches with championships for 2018:

Pete Carroll: 67
Bill Belichick: 66
John Harbaugh: 56
Mike McCarthy: 54
Sean Payton: 54
Mike Tomlin: 46

If Doug Pederson were to win the Super Bowl, he’s enter 2018 at the age of 50. Given their ages, it’s entirely plausible that Carroll & Belichick could retire soon opening a window for a couple of more head coaches to join the rank & file which would keep the number at a maximum of 8. But could this trend be heading upwards?

The relative youth of new head coaches makes it plausible that the number of active head coaches with Super Bowl titles will expand to a degree. Will it go to 9 or 10? It’s difficult to say. It could also remain at 8 with coaches coming in and out. Mike Tomlin is the interesting example. He’s only 46 years old, but already has 11 seasons under his belt. Being a HC for 20 years is an extremely long career, but another 9 years makes Tomlin only 55 which is 11-12 years younger than both Belichick & Carroll respectively. At this rate, Tomlin could seriously push for 30 years as an NFL head coach. Only Don Shula, George  Halas & Curly Lambeau have lasted longer than 30 years! Could younger coaches increase the number of head coaches with championships?

What seems more likely is that some teams are set up to dominate the NFL for the next decade or so. A quick look around the league has all signs pointing to the NFC starting to destroy AFC opponents led by the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles & San Francisco 49ers. Those 3 have young & exciting coaches and QBs. The rest of the NFL is aging. While we can speculate if Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold & Josh Allen are the next wave of young QBs that will come in and lead their teams to wins, we can say right now that Jared Goff, Carson Wentz & Jimmy Garoppolo look poised to take over the NFL in much the same way we saw earlier versions of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger & Peyton Manning dominate the NFL since 2001!

If the Eagles win the Super Bowl, it certainly seems like it won’t be Philadelphia’s last if trends hold. If the Patriots get their 6th title, it will seem like business as usual.

Sidenote: Jon Gruden returning the NFL makes this group increase to 7 assuming Pederson doesn’t win. If the Eagles win a title and Gruden is back, the NFL will have 8 active head coaches with Super Bowl rings going into 2019 assuming one of the 2018 actives doesn’t retire. If the number is static then your 2018 Super Bowl winners will come from this pool of squads: Patriots, Steelers, Raiders, Ravens, Packers, Seahawks, Eagles or Saints. That’s actually not a terrible bet.

Rule #2: The High Mark for Active Quarterbacks With Titles Seems To Be 6 to 8.

Rule #2 looks a lot like Rule #1 for obvious reasons. When franchises win titles with a head coach/quarterback combination, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the combination is going to stick together. There are exceptions of course. Jerry Jones got rid of Jimmy Johnson & won a Super Bowl with Barry Switzer while having Troy Aikman as the QB. Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy in Indianapolis and got his 2nd in Denver with Gary Kubiak. For the most part however, QBs are going to follow the same rule as the head coaches.

The one caveat that is odd about QBs is that I adjusted their inclusion based on their health. Tom Brady didn’t play in 2008. Peyton Manning didn’t play in 2011. This might artificially lower the QB participation, but I think it is important to adjust for injuries within the matrix. It took until 1974 for the number of active QBs with Super Bowl titles to get to 4. It would remain at 4 or less all the way to 1993 when the number ballooned to 6! It would drop to 3 the following year in 1994! The number reached 5 in 2005 and hasn’t dropped lower since. The high mark for active QBs with Super Bowl ring reached 8 in 2014 & 2015, but dropped to 7 in 2016 and 6 in 2017. How will this number change moving forward? Let’s look at the ages of our current Super Bowl winners going into the 2018 season:

Tom Brady: 41
Drew Brees: 39
Eli Manning: 37
Ben Roethlisberger: 36
Joe Flacco: 33
Russell Wilson: 29

Wilson will hang around for awhile longer but we’ve already heard retirement rumors concerning Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger & Manning. If Brady gets his 6th title, then nothing changes here assuming all 6 QBs are healthy in 2018. Aaron Rodgers should return to the list in 2018. If Nick Foles gets a Super Bowl win, nothing might change either if Foles isn’t a starting QB in 2018 which seems likely at this point. This is all to say that the number of Super Bowl winning QBs might be in short supply the next 2-3 years especially if some of the old guard keep winning while the new young guns aren’t quite ready to take over. Being a “winner” or “clutch” might not be entirely measurable, but there does seem to be something to it.

Combining QB/HC Trends with the 5-Year Championship Rule

The trick to the combination is looking at the head coaches. Let’s assume that all 6 of the current active head coaches with a Super Bowl title coach another 5 years. If the trend of having a maximum of 8 active head coaches at any one time sticks then the following teams have serious work to do:

Josh McDaniels/Andrew Luck: The 5-year clock starts in 2018. I actually think there is some merit here. McDaniels is pretty young and Luck is a superstar talent. The AFC looks thin especially if Roethlisberger, Brady & Rivers are on their way out & Alex Smith finds himself in the NFC. Don’t forget the Gruden effect either.

Bill O’Brien/Deshaun Watson: They enter 2018 in Year-2. The Titans & Jaguars look incredible. Can the Texans make up that much ground in 4-years time & win finish the job by hoisting the Lombardi?

Mike Vrabel/Marcus Mariota: Like McDaniels, Vrabel is a first year head coach, but unlike McDaniels, he inherits a much better set up with the Titans who reached the divisional round this year. Can Vrabel loosen the reigns on Mariota? Can Mariota stay healthy? Will he let Derrick Henry carry the ball 23-25 times per game?

Doug Marrone/Blake Bortles: 2018 will be Year #3 and the Jaguars are coming off a conference championship loss that should have been a win. In fact, it’s hard to think the Jaguars aren’t the best team in football playing without an ELITE level QB. If this marriage stays together, they are running out of time.

Anthony Lynn/Philip Rivers: Next year will be Year #2 for this marriage. Time is running out on Rivers who will be 36 for the 2018 season. I love this Chargers team and I’m a big Rivers fan. I’d love to see him get a ring, but bad luck follow the Bolts like I’ve never seen!

Jason Garrett/Dak Prescott: The 2018 season will be Year #3 for this duo and I don’t see it. I bleed Cowboys blue & silver, but I almost get the feeling that Garrett is a Andy Reid-lite and the Cowboys are just wasting time. I also don’t see Prescott as a Super Bowl winning QB which is the worst of both worlds for Cowboys fans. Garrett & Prescott might be good enough to routinely keep you in that 9-7/11-5 area where it’s hard to fire your coach/QB but neither are good enough to win a Super Bowl.

Jay Gruden/Kirk Cousins: 2018 will be year #4 for this pair assuming Cousins returns to the Redskins. I almost get the feeling that it would be better if Cousins left & then both coach & QB get a new lease on the 5-year rule.

Doug Pederson/Carson Wentz: Next year will be year #3 for these guys & this is why I have the sneaking suspicion that the Eagles are going to win 2-3 Super Bowls in the near future regardless of outcome this season.  The set up is entirely too good and from top to bottom, the Eagles might be the best organization in the NFL.

Matt Patricia/Matt Stafford: This one is interesting. The Lions aren’t that bad off and with a couple of moves could become the dominant force in the NFC North assuming the Vikings can solve their QB issues and the Packers never really solve their lack of talent outside of Aaron Rodgers issues. Could the Lions get a Super Bowl in the next 5 years!?

Sean McVay/Jared Goff: The Rams won the NFC West in McVay/Goff’s first season. I think this team only gets better meaning they are legitimate threats to win multiple Super Bowls in the near future. In fact, it certainly seems that the Rams are set up for titanic battles with the 49ers and the ever tantalizing storyline of Wentz v. Goff.

Kyle Shanahan/Jimmy Garoppolo: As a starter, Garoppolo has never been defeated. He’s 2-0 with the Patriots & 5-0 with the 49ers. He only played in 5 games this past season so in theory next year will be the first year of Shanahan & Garoppolo together. The NFC is simply amazing when you consider how the 49ers, Eagles & Rams are set up! It’s incredible.


The NFL is headed towards a shift. The QB shift away from Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning & Eli Manning is already underway. Peyton retired a couple of seasons ago and these QBs are getting too old. The shift might not happen this season. It might not even happen next season to be honest, but it’s coming. The shift is also coming with the head coaches. Belichick & Carroll can’t stick around forever & I think it’ll be interesting to see how things play out with Sean Payton, John Harbaugh & Mike McCarthy. I’m not sure those are guys who are going to coach into their late 60s.

If the trends are correct, expect the Patriots to win another Super Bowl. I’d also expect the old guard to continue to win in 2018 and maybe even 2019. The face of the NFL will start to dramatically change for sure in 2020. It could definitely happen sooner, but 2020 looks to be a turning point where we’ll see a big paradigm shift in which active QBs and HCs will have Super Bowl rings.




January 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Computer Hope I wouldn’t expect Jacksonville to score 45 points on the Patriots. New England’s defense isn’t very good, but they aren’t giving up 45 points to Jacksonville. The key to beating the Patriots is getting pressure on Brady. The problem with that is when New England goes to their hurry up offense, it’s almost impossible to get to him. The Jags couldn’t get to Big Ben last week & that is an ominous sign. The Jags have to play tight press coverage on the edges and get pressure or else they’ll lose. And lose badly. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Case Keenum v. Nick Foles! The aspect of this game to keep an eye on is Minnesota’s passing ability against the Eagles secondary. Minnesota was able to exploit some holes last week with Stefan Diggs & Adam Thielen against a Saints DB crew that is pretty good. Philly’s DBs aren’t as good as New Orleans’ so it’ll be interesting to see how if Case Keenum can take advantage. I also think the Vikings are going to be a MUCH tougher defense than Philly saw last week against Atlanta. Vikings have a huge edge. Computer Hope

January 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


#1 Computer Hope So the committee did get it right by including Alabama in the 4-team playoff seeing as how the Crimson Tide took down Nick Saban’s 5th national title in Tuscaloosa & his 6th overall which makes him the unquestioned greatest college football coach of all time. This was Saban’s most talented team & if you believe some of the more critical assessments, Alabama played the season with a RB at QB until Tagovailoa took control in the 2nd half of the last game of the season. Scarier still is that with Tagovailoa returning, Alabama could be even better in 2018! Get ready!
#2 Computer Hope Georgia took Alabama to brink and almost won their first national championship since 1980 with it being HC Kirby Smart’s second year on the job! The fact that Smart got the Bulldogs to the championship game is more than Mark Richt ever did, and I believe this season is a harbinger for things to come. I would have liked to have seen Georgia focus a lot more on Sony Michel in the 2nd half of the championship game, but second guessing is easy. Georgia won the SEC East. They won the SEC & made it to the title game. Best year since 1980. Incredible season.
#3 Computer Hope Oklahoma got out to a 21-7 lead over Georgia and also had a lead of 31-14 late in the 1st half. The Sooners would wind up scoring 45 points in 4 quarters of football, but the defense couldn’t hold up in the 2nd half. Georgia forced overtime & OU couldn’t keep scoring TDs indefinitely hoping the defense would get a lucky stop. Finishing #3 after losing an OT playoff game has to feel disappointing & Sooner Nation is still waiting for their first title since Bob Stoops won it in 2000. At the same time, you have to feel good about Lincoln Reilly’s first year. Now it’s life without Baker.
#4 Computer Hope The Buckeyes got out to a 24-0 lead over USC and cruised to a 24-7 win. Sure the Trojans defense toughened up, but the game was decided early & USC had absolutely no answers for Ohio State’s defense. The Buckeyes made a strong case they should have been one of the four playoff teams, but losses to Iowa & Oklahoma precluded that from happening. It’s odd that Ohio St. had arguably the best defense of any team in college football, but it was this unit that abandoned them in their loss to  both the Sooners & Hawkeyes. Big 10 champs & 12-2. Great year but empty.
#5 Computer Hope Losing Deshaun Watson was going to catch up to Clemson at some point & it’s amazing that it finally caught up to them after they won the ACC & made the playoffs. That’s not an indictment of Clemson. The ACC turned bad this season. Louisville wasn’t that good. Florida St. imploded. NC State wilted down the stretch & Miami-FL was somewhat exposed as an exploiter of a bad schedule. That doesn’t discount what Clemson accomplished. The Auburn win was great, but now that the dust as settled, Ohio St. was the better team. The Tigers will be better in 2018. Bank on it.
#6 Computer Hope UCF beat Auburn. Auburn beat both Georgia and Alabama when both teams were ranked #1 in the nation. UCF finished the season a perfect 13-0. I don’t think I can put UCF above the top-5 teams in the country because those teams proved to be ELITE level squads, but how do the Knight finish worse than #6? What a year QB McKenzie Milton had! The sophomore QB passed for 4,000+ yards with 37TD to 9INT. He also rushed for 600+ with 8TD. No, he shouldn’t have beaten Baker Mayfield for the Heisman. Yes, he should have been a finalist. Best Season Ever for UCF.
#7 Computer Hope Saquon Barkley didn’t disappoint as he rushed for 137 yards & 2TD in his final college game as Penn St. upended Washington 35-28 in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn St. finishes the season 11-2 with their losses coming by 1 point on the road to Ohio St. and by 3 points on the road at Michigan St. in back to back weeks. The year seems empty as the Lions didn’t win the Big 10, they didn’t win the national championship & Barkley didn’t win the Heisman, but it’s hard to think an 11-2 season is a failure. What makes it odd is the manner in which PSU lost. Those were brutal losses.
#8 Computer Hope Historically, Wisconsin’s 13-1 final record was the best record the Badgers have had since 1912 when Wisconsin went 7-0 under HC William Juneau! That’s over 100 years ago! I was happy to see the Badgers beat Miami-FL in the Orange Bowl. I think the Wisconsin was exposed a bit in the Big 10 championship game & beating the Hurricanes validated their record to a degree. The Badgers put up 34 points on a solid Miami defense & Wisconsin has practically their entire offense coming back next season. Jonathan Taylor will get huge Heisman hype heading into 2018. Great year.
#9 Computer Hope A little disappointing that Auburn couldn’t get it done against UCF, but it is worth pointing out that UCF had a great game while Auburn pretty much didn’t show up & yet War Eagle still only lost by 7 points 34-27. It was an interesting game to watch because Auburn couldn’t get their running attack going which was a big surprise for me. The Tigers end the season at 10-4 & SEC West champs. That isn’t a bad year & it took heat off of HC Gus Malzahn for a minute at least. Auburn’s losses were to LSU, Clemson, Georgia & UCF. Those teams had a combined record of 47-8. Crazy.
#10 Computer Hope TCU finished the season with a great 39-37 win over Stanford showing just how resilient this team was all season. The Horned Frogs can argue they were a top-5 team if you believe in Oklahoma, because the Sooners were the one team TCU couldn’t beat. I think the bowl season showed just how good the Big XII was in 2017 & definitely established the conference as the 2nd best behind the SEC. TCU finishes the year 11-3 & now Gary Patterson is 40-13 in his last 4 years in the Big XII with 3 seasons of 10+ wins. This is an elite program & has potential to be a playoff team.
#11 Computer Hope Of all the teams that needed a win in bowl season, none needed it worse than the Fighting Irish. At 9-1, Notre Dame had a playoff spot all but guaranteed as long as they kept winning. Instead, the Irish fell flat going 1-2 in their final 3 games with blowout losses to both Miami-FL & Stanford. The Irish still drew a solid team in LSU and ended up with a 21-17 win & potentially saw the future at QB with Ian Book leading Notre Dame to victory. The Irish finish the year 10-3, but you have to wonder if this is as good as it gets with Brian Kelly as HC? I think it might be which is uninspiring.
#12 Computer Hope USC showed in the first half of their 24-7 loss to Ohio St. in the Cotton Bowl just how far away they are from rejoining the truly elite teams of college football. Then in the 2nd half, the Trojans defense started to play exceedingly well & you got the feeling that USC is right on the cusp of being back to competing for national championships. The loss to the Buckeyes leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but the Trojans did finish the year at 11-3 & Pac 12 champions. The road loss to Wazzou was key. If they beat the Cougars, USC is 12-1 & Pac 12 champs. They would have been a playoff team.
#13 Computer Hope I’ve written this a few times, but it was appropriate for Washington & Penn St. to meet in a bowl game given that they pretty much had the same season with the same pre-season expectations. The Huskies were coming off a  Pac 12 championship & a playoff spot. Penn St. should have been in the playoffs in 2016 & were coming off a Big 10 championship. Both teams had playoff aspirations. Both teams lost close road games which precluded them from winning their division. UW lost to Penn St., but still finished 10-3. Great season but feels extremely empty.
#14 Computer Hope It was going to be darn near impossible to beat UCF’s Scott Frost for coach of the year, but this season was the finest coaching I’ve ever seen out of Mark Dantonio. The Spartans had nobody returning from their 2016 squad. They dealt with a lot of offseason distractions before the season started. They still went 10-3 with wins over Michigan, Penn St. and Iowa & ended the season with a win over Washington St. in the bowl game! QB Brian Lewerke proved to be a game changer. The Big 10 is changing with Ohio St., Michigan & Penn St., but Dantonio proved Sparty isn’t going away!
#15 Computer Hope It’s easy to be just a smidge disappointed with Miami-FL season as they ended with back-to-back losses to Clemson & Wisconsin, but it’s good to remember the process. The Hurricanes finished 9-4 last year which was the best season they had since 2004. The year THE U finished 10-3 & won the ACC Coastal which is the best year they’ve had since 2003! Miami was also ranked #2 at one point in the season. Mark Richt has done an amazing job in Coral Gables, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can do at Miami-FL what he couldn’t do at Georgia. The process is working here.
#16 Computer Hope INCREDIBLE performance by the Bulldogs defense against Louisville in leading Mississippi St. to a 31-27 win in the Taxslayer Bowl. QB Keytaon Thompson was outstanding passing for 127 yards & rushing for 147 & 3TD. Aeris Williams chipped in 88 of his own showcasing a Bulldogs running attack that Louisville couldn’t stop. Hail State played incredible defense against Lamar Jackson turning him over 4 times! Losing QB Nick Fitzgerald was brutal. The rumors & eventually loss of HC Dan Mullen was tough. The Bulldogs still finished 9-4 with 3 losses coming to Georgia, Auburn & Alabama!
#17 Computer Hope The Cowboys had no answer for Virginia Tech’s rushing attack, but the defense made stops when it had to and the offense still posted 30 points on an average day & Oklahoma St. finished the season 10-3 with a  30-21 win over the Hokies. Ten win seasons are great, but you have to start wondering if Mike Gundy can take the Cowboys to the playoffs or if this program is capable of it. OK State drew Oklahoma & TCU at home and lost. Their other loss was to Kansas St… home! The Cowboys were 3-3 in Stillwater and 7-0 on the road. When exactly will OK State make the jump?
#18 Computer Hope Pac 12 North champs that came up just short against a very good TCU squad 39-37 in the Alamo Bowl. The Cardinal were easily the best 5-loss team in the nation & if you watch them in a vacuum, it’s impossible to think they should be ranked this low, but 5 losses are 5 losses. Stanford didn’t quite have the season that Penn St. & Washington did but there are parallels. All of their losses came on the road & like TCU with Oklahoma, the Cardinal couldn’t beat USC. Losses to  San Diego St. & Washington St. also look odd in retrospect. Their record doesn’t match their overall talent level.
#19 Computer Hope Losing to Notre Dame 21-17 to end the season 9-4 instead of getting to 10 wins is a major disappointment & you have to think that HC Ed Orgeron is going to be facing some heat. What is going to happen to Orgeron is exactly what happened to Les Miles. He’s not a bad football guy, but he’s not a great head coach. The SEC West already has Nick Saban & Gus Malzahn. Now Jimbo Fisher is going to Texas A&M. Chad Morris is now at Arkansas. Matt Luke did a great job at Ole Miss & I think Mississippi St. nailed it with Joe Moorhead. Does LSU have the worst HC in the SEC West?
#20 Computer Hope Incredible season for Northwestern who ended their year on an 8-game winning streak & finished the season with a 24-23 bowl win over Kentucky. The Duke loss was ridiculous & precluded the Wildcats from an 11-2 finish, but they’ll take 10-3. Two of their losses came against Wisconsin & Penn State. They beat Michigan St., Iowa & Purdue so they weren’t entirely a creature of schedule. Pat Fitzgerald did a TREMENDOUS job & you could even argue this was Northwestern’s best season since Gary Barnett took Northwestern to the Rose Bowl in 1995! Great squad. Great head coach!
#21 Computer Hope Different year, same story for Boise St. who finished the 2017 season with an 11-3 record, a Mountain West championship and a bowl win over Oregon that was over before it even began. Boise St. could have given Central Florida a run at a New Year’s 6 bowl if not for odd losses to Washington St. & Virginia early in the season. They would have had to have beaten Fresno St. late, but an 11-0 Broncos team going into Fresno would have been different. What’s impressive about Boise St. is their discipline. They weren’t overly great, but they don’t beat themselves with penalties and turnovers.
#22 Computer Hope An amazing come from behind victory over Michigan in the bowl game put an exclamation point to a great season that ended 9-4. The loss to Kentucky shouldn’t have happened & it cost the Gamecocks a 10-3 season, but Will Muschamp improved from 6-7 to 9-4 in his 2nd season & has SC poised to be even better in 2018. I think you have to look at South Carolina the way you do Miami-FL. The process is working. Two of SC’s 4 losses came to Georgia & Clemson! One was a 24-17 loss at Texas A&M. It might be another season or two to establish but 10-wins should be the norm here.
#23 Computer Hope Quinton Flowers put on a clinic against Texas Tech as South Florida bested the Red Raiders 38-34 in the Birmingham Bowl to finish out the season 10-2. Flowers passed for 311 yards & 4TD while also running for 106 yards & a TD. USF’s 2 losses were close affairs against UCF & Houston. The Bulls were overshadowed by UCF all season long & if they had beaten UCF they would likely be AAC champs & would have gotten the New Year’s 6 bowl instead of the Knights. Great season for USF. Their 2nd best season in school history & a fantastic debut for Charlie Strong as HC.
#24 Computer Hope Iowa finished their season by blowing out Nebraska & then beating Boston College 27-20 in the Pinstripe Bowl. Despite finishing the year 8-5, Iowa was probably just as tough as any football team in the nation. They HAMMERED Ohio St. in Iowa City but lost close games to Penn St., Michigan St., Northwestern & Purdue. The loss at Wisconsin was legitimate but this was a squad that was THIS CLOSE to 12-1. That’s the story with Iowa. On any given Saturday they can beat anyone, but getting them to play that way consistently is what seems to flummox Kirk Ferentz on an annual basis.
#25 Computer Hope Maybe too high, but the Owls finished the season on a 10-game winning streak & absolutely DESTROYED Akron 50-3 in the bowl game to finish 11-3 and Conference USA champions. Lane Kiffin has an interesting past coaching at USC, Oakland & Tennessee, but there is no denying the guy can coach & is an offensive mastermind. It’s also amazing that Kiffin didn’t get a huge job after this season, but it will be completely outside the realm of imagination to see Kiffin coaching at FAU in 2019. Is FAU a top-25 team? Maybe not, but I’m not sure anyone wants to play them either.


#19 MICHIGAN WOLVERINES: Not good. Michigan ended the season losing 3 straight & failed to beat Michigan St., Ohio St. or Penn St. en route to finishing 8-5. I’m not sure Jim Harbaugh is ever going to feel heat in Ann Arbor but he needs to get a win over the Buckeyes & push Michigan back into the national landscape. He’s recruiting exceptionally well, but he need to figure out his QB issues immediately if not sooner. The Wolverines defense was incredible this season & the only thing separating them from 8-5 & 13-0 seem to be QB. Shea Patterson might fix these problems as soon as 2018. We’ll see.

#22 MEMPHIS TIGERS: That was a tough 21-20 loss to Iowa St. in the Liberty Bowl. Memphis finishes the year 10-3 which is great. They had 2 losses to UCF so you can’t really say they blew any games they should have won. Iowa beat Iowa St. so I couldn’t very well justify putting the Cyclones ahead of the Hawkeyes in my final rankings. That left the #25 spot open and I couldn’t very well put Memphis head of Iowa State. Memphis had a great year and I think they along with UCF, South Florida, Houston & Navy showed that the AAC is A LOT better than they are getting credit for.

#23 WASHINGTON ST. COUGARS: Mike Leach got it right during the early part of the season with the Cougars, but Wazzou fumbled the last 7 games finishing 3-4 to end with a 9-4 mark which was a major disappointment. The Cougars had a chance to win the Pac 12 North, but were blown out by in-state rival Washington. They followed that up with a loss to Michigan St. in the Holiday Bowl. Wazzou looked great at times this year but something always felt off. Luke Falk seemed to be in the dog house all season long while losses to Cal & Arizona had to be demoralizing.

#24 VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES: There are worse fates than losing to an amped up Oklahoma St. squad 30-21 in the Camping World Bowl. What killed all of Virginia Tech’s momentum was their 28-10 loss to the Hurricanes in Miami-FL. That essentially eliminated Virginia Tech from ACC Coastal contention & the team seemed to lose their edge. They followed up that loss with a loss to Georgia Tech. VT barely got by Virginia & Pittsburgh to finish the season & then lost to Oklahoma State. They finished 2-3 in their last 5 and 9-4 overall. I wouldn’t argue if you want to claim them a top-25 team, but their finish wasn’t good so I have them finishing just outside.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Computer Hope It felt like Atlanta controlled LA last week in the wild card from start to finish. That was because Atlanta’s defense had arguably their best game of the season & looked like the fastest defense in the NFL. That will be important this weekend with Nick Foles under center for the Eagles who plays particularly slow. The Eagles D will keep them in the game, but the speed of the Falcons D & Foles ability is what gives this game to Atlanta. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Titans can stay in this game if the Mike Mularkey & Terry Robiskie free up Marcus Mariota and allow him to play sandlot football out there. Mariota is a different QB when the leash is off & he’s able to use his legs. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Derrick Henry breaks through with a big game. All of these are reasons why Tennessee could potentially pull off the upset. They won’t. KC isn’t New England. The Pats will score too much. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sure it was Buffalo, but Jacksonville put on a clinic defensively last week. Both defenses in this one are going to have great games, but the limiting factor here is Blake Bortles. Against the Bills, Jacksonville did just enough to win, but the Jags aren’t going to be able to keep Pittsburgh out of the endzone the entire day. I’d guess Pittsburgh is at least good for 17-20 points. The question becomes whether or not the Jaguars can match. I don’t think so. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Imagine if this game were being played outdoors? The temp in Minneapolis is supposed to be around 7 degree at game time with wind chills at -10 with snow on the ground! How effective would Drew Brees be in those conditions? Instead, the Saints get a dome & Brees should be as great as ever. These squads are the most complete teams in the playoffs. The question is whether or not Case Keenum can step up when the lights are brightest. Computer Hope

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NFL POWER 32 – 2017 WEEK 17

#1 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Jets 26-6. People complained a bit about the Patriots starters playing the entire game against the Jets, but to be fair, New England couldn’t have counted on Cleveland beating the Steelers so they needed a win to secure homefield advantage. The emergence of Dion Lewis at the right time is going to be problematic for the opposition. Hard to think Brady & Belichick don’t win #6.
#2 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Browns 28-24. Pittsburgh didn’t even play their starters & yet they still won a vintage 2017 Steelers game by pulling out yet another close, ugly win. The Steelers are amazing 8-2 in close games this season yet are only +2 in TO margin. At some point winning close games is a skill & it seems like Tomlin & Co. have it in spades. That breeds confidence in times when it matters the most.
#3 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Bears 23-10. The Vikings needed to win to ensure their #2 seed. Minnesota played before New Orleans, Carolina & LA so if they wanted to cement their status as the #2 team, they needed to win. Turns out, they could have lost, but 13-3 sounds pretty nice! Case Keenum has had a monster year as the starting QB. He can cement his status as a franchise QB with a deep playoff run.
#4 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Bucs 24-31. Losing to TB isn’t fantastic, but I’m not sure New Orleans even cares. I do think it interesting that if the Saints really didn’t care about this outcome, they really didn’t care who they were playing in the wild card. To me that shows tremendous confidence on the part of this team, and you have to like their chances moving forward. If experience counts in January, Brees is nice to have.
#5 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to 49ers 13-34. The Rams rested their starters & thus took a loss. I think what the Saints & Rams did was interesting. In the Rams case, they assumed the Vikings would win so they were playing a wild card game regardless. To them, seeding didn’t matter as much as rest so in some ways the Rams could have cared less who they played in the wild card. Does rest matter more than match up?
#6 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Panthers 22-10. Atlanta needed a win to get into the postseason & got it behind solid QB play from Matt Ryan & a tremendous defensive effort that saw the Falcons force 3 turnovers. Atlanta has been inconsistent all year, but people forget just how fast this defense is and the veteran leadership of Matt Ryan & Julio Jones can’t be understated. If things start clicking, this team is dangerous.
#7 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Raiders 30-10. The Chargers made mincemeat of the Raiders in their season finale. Unfortunately, LA needed the Jaguars to upend the Titans for LA to get in & that didn’t happen so arguably the hottest team in the AFC is on the sidelines for the playoffs. The Bolts were 9-3 in their last 12 games. The only AFC teams better? The Steelers at 10-2 & Patriots at 11-1. They should be a force in ’18.
#8 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Falcons 10-22. Not a good look for Cam Newton to throw 3 picks in game that could have given Carolina the #3 seed & a home game in the wild card round had the Panthers beaten the Falcons. Carolina is always going to be interesting because they are in a conundrum offensively. The team is better when Can Newton runs, but the team also wants to keep his injury risk at a minimum. Tricky.
#9 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Broncos 27-24. Patrick Mahomes got a start & didn’t look particularly good but Kansas City played well enough & Denver made enough mistakes to give the Chiefs a win to finish the year with 10 victories. I think double-digit win seasons matter so this is a big win for Kansas City. Even bigger is that the Chiefs get their starters some rest & they go into the playoffs with quite a bit of momentum.
#10 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Cowboys 0-6. There was no incentive for the Eagles to beat Dallas in the season finale & most of the Eagles starters didn’t play much, but losing is losing even if it is only 6-0. I think the loss of Carson Wentz is huge obviously, but I almost wonder if it wouldn’t have done the Eagles well to try & gain momentum with Nick Foles by playing hard going into the playoffs? We’ll see how it goes.
#11 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Titans 10-15. On the one hand, this was a meaningless game for the Jaguars who were locked into the #3 seed. On the other hand, the Titans were a team playing terrible of late & the Jags played their starters yet still lost & Blake Bortles was terrible. Jacksonville ends the season losing back to back games against the 49ers & Titans? I guess the good news is they avoid the LA Chargers.
#12 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Bengals 27-31. A last minute 49-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd ruined the season. Really Baltimore? Worst case scenario for New England & Pittsburgh was for the Ravens & Chargers to make the playoffs. Instead of Joe Flacco & Philip Rivers, the rest of the playoff teams have to deal with Marcus Mariota & Tyrod Taylor. I hate when the best teams don’t get into the playoffs.
#13 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Rams 34-13. Is this a wild card team!? With Jimmy Garoppolo under center, the 49ers are on a 5-game winning streak and won 6 of their last 7 games. The 49ers are in the playofffs if you use only the last 7 games! And it wasn’t like the 49ers didn’t beat anyone. They won their final 3 games against teams who will be playing in the playoffs. You have to wonder what is going to happen in 2018.
#14 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Cardinals 24-26. Beating Arizona wouldn’t have mattered because Atlanta beat the Panthers, but I’d be willing to bet a significant amount of money that Blair Walsh is not kicking for Seattle in 2018. How ruthless is the NFL? The Seahawks don’t make the playoffs for the first time since 2011 & rumors circulate that Pete Carroll might be too old to keep coaching! That’s ridiculous.
#15 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Eagles 6-0. To little too late. At least Dallas’ loss to Seattle was rendered pointless because the Falcons beat Carolina in their finale. Sure the Cowboys didn’t make the playoffs which is disappointing, but their young players were flashing at the end of the season & following up 13-3 with a 9-7 mark isn’t terribly considering Elliott missed 6 games & some regression was due for Prescott’s play.
#16 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Dolphins 22-16. Bills fans will forever be Andy Dalton fans now that a Dalton pass propelled the Bills into the playoffs for the first time since 1999! A lot of credit needs to be given to HC Sean McDermott. He got rid of a lot of players this year and the Bills were still able to win 9 games & backdoor their way to the playoffs. The kicker? I think Buffalo has a decent shot at beating the Jaguars! 
#17 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Jaguars 15-10. They had quite a bit of help from Blake Bortles but the Titans played a game that should have the Chiefs worried. With DeMarco Murray sidelined, the Titans will be forced to feed Derrick Henry the ball. That didn’t work out THAT WELL against the Jaguars defense, but Henry can go off at any time. I love that he got 28 carries against Jacksonville. That is winning.
#18 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Packers 35-11. Like with Dallas & Seattle, Detroit’s loss last week to the Bengals doesn’t look like much in retrospect because they wouldn’t have made the playoffs anyway. The Lions did the right thing by firing Jim Caldwell. He might be a great guy, but Caldwell isn’t going to win a championship and Matt Stafford is the kind of QB who should be competing for championships. They’ll be better.
#19 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Seahawks 26-24. It’s pretty amazing to think the Cardinals had everything go wrong that could & still managed to finish 8-8. The downside is that Bruce Arians is retiring as is Carson Palmer so the Cardinals will start with a new HC & a new QB for 2018, but the rest of the team turned out to be pretty good so I could see Arizona making a 1-2 win jump in 2018 which could make them 10-6.
#20 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Giants 10-18. The Jay Gruden criticisms of Kirk Cousins are ridiculous. In his 3 years as a starter, Cousins has completed 67% of his passes and has averaged 4400 yards & 27TD per season. In some ways I hope Cousins bolts Washington so Gruden is forced to get another QB and then deal with 4-12/5-11 seasons while he simultaneously loses his job & wonders what went wrong. Crazy.
#21 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Ravens 31-27. Marvin Lewis saved his job for another 2 seasons with back to back wins over the Lions & Ravens, but this was worst case scenario for Cincinnati if you believe in the 5 year rule to championships. Unless the Bengals get rid of Andy Dalton, Cincinnati can expect more of the same mediocrity going forward until wholesale changes are made. That’s tough because this team has talent.
#22 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Chargers 10-30. The a disappointing 30-10 loss to the Chargers marked a very disappointing end to a 2017 Raiders campaign. Jack Del Rio lost his job and now it appears that Jon Gruden is finally leaving the booth to back to Oakland & then Las Vegas. Derek Carr took a step back & the offense wasn’t as explosive as we expected this year. Can Gruden change that with this system in 2018?
#23 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Lions 11-35. That was ugly. There was clearly no incentive for the Packers to play, but 35-11? These guys are professionals aren’t they? I think what has been apparent all season is how much the presence of Aaron Rodgers covers up the deficiencies of this squad. Green Bay needs to get quite a bit better on defense for them to be a factor. It’s crucial because age is starting to creep up on #12.
#24 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Bills 16-22. Miami didn’t even bother to play Jay Cutler in the final game of the season, instead going with David Fales who wasn’t horrible. This season was always going to be an uphill battle with Ryan Tannehill going down with an injury. Jay Cutler seemed like a solid decision given his history with Adam Gase, but Cutler’s inconsistency was too much to overcome. Will he find a job in 2018?
#25 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Saints 31-24. Jameis plays poorly and the Bucs get a win! Sure there wasn’t much meaning behind it and Winston did throw 3 picks, but Tampa Bay needed a win in the worst way if nothing else so they can go out on a high note. It looks like Tampa is bringing back Dirk Koetter & Jameis Winston for another go around. That’s extremely tough. How will it be any better in 2018 than in 2017?
#26 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Texans 22-13. Colin Cowherd’s comments about the Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick & Tom Brady triangle are interesting to Colts fans as they relate to Jacoby Brissett. You almost get the feeling that Brissett had quite a bit of value which makes me wonder about Brissett’s long term value to Indianapolis. This is a QB who did only throw 7 picks all season. The Colts have issues but QB isn’t one.
#27 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Redskins 18-10. Eli Manning quite possibly end his tenure with the Giants with a win. Eli is an interesting case. Sure he has 2 Super Bowl victories, but he’s also a QB with a career completion % of less than 60% and a TD:INT ratio less than 2. Eli’s career record is 111-103 so he’s basically a .500 QB. His counting stats are pretty good, but is this really a Hall of Fame QB? I don’t know.
#28 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Patriots 6-26. The Jets were a good story but they end the season losing 4 straight & 6 of their last 7. Could Josh McCown have made a difference in the last 3 games? Maybe against the Chargers but there isn’t much difference between 5-11 & 6-10. There aren’t moral victories in professional sports, but if the Jets can get a franchise QB, they have enough young talent to be a factor.
#29 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Vikings 10-23. The Bears didn’t stand much of a chance against a motivated Vikings team who completely shut down Chicago’s running attack. Mitch Trubisky doesn’t have any weapons on the outside so taking away Cohen & Howard spelled disaster. John Fox was fired, but the good news is that Vic Fangio might stick around as head coach. Keeping Fangio in house would be a good move.
#30 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Chiefs 24-27. The season finally comes to a merciful end in Denver after Vance Joseph guides the Broncos to a 5-11 record in his first year on the sidelines. Denver isn’t that bad of a squad, but their QB issues are significant. The Broncos might be a significant player  in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes to be fair. I don’t get a sense that Cousins is rightly appreciated & Denver could use him.
#31 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Colts 13-22. Losing at Indianapolis is tough but Bill O’Brien is coming back next year and presumably with a healthy Deshaun Watson. That could change everything for the Texans. Throw in a season in which JJ Watt & Jadeveon Clowney are playing together & the Texans could easily go from worst to first. On the other hand, can Watt stay healthy? Is Watson really as good as he showed?
#32 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Steelers 24-28. Ugh. Cleveland joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only NFL teams in history to go 0-16. The Lions would win 2 games in 2009 so if the Browns replicate that feat in 2018 & Hue Jackson really does keep his job, Jackson will have a 3-year total of 3-45! The 2011 Lions went 10-6 and made the playoffs. Maybe the Browns get back to the playoffs in 2020? It’s possible!

January 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Computer Hope Incredible game! I think this game is going to come down to experience, fatigue & the run game. It’s one thing for Nick Chubb & Sony Michel to run over Oklahoma. They don’t play defense in the Big XII. It’s entirely different running over an Alabama D that looked incredible against Clemson. I also think it’s going to be more difficult for Georgia to recover after a brutal game against OU. Now throw in a true frosh QB against Alabama. Overcoming all of those obstacles will be too tough for UGA. ROLL DAMN TIDE! Computer Hope

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Computer Hope The Titans didn’t end the season well losing 3 of their last 4, but this is a game they can win if they can stick to their running game. The Titans have played excellent rush defense this year & the Chiefs haven’t done well when Kareem Hunt doesn’t succeed. If Tennessee can keep playing solid rush D and rely on Derrick Henry for a full game, they can go into Arrowhead & get a win. If those things don’t happen, I think KC rolls here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think this is going to be the best game of Wild Card weekend. There is a lot going on here, but ultimately I think this comes down to the experience of the Falcons against the inexperience of the Rams. Can Los Angeles overcome their youth & establish themselves as a force in the NFC for the next decade, or do the Falcons use last year’s run as motivation to get back to the Super Bowl? The key is Todd Gurley. Can he be stopped? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Buffalo gets back to the playoffs for the first time since 1999! LeSean McCoy looks like he is going to be ready to play, but on paper this looks like a huge mismatch. Jacksonville’s defense is SO GOOD on all 3 levels & Buffalo offense is terrible. What gives the Bills hope is the very real possibility that Blake Bortles loses the game for the Jaguars. If the Bills can win the turnover battle then there is hope Taylor makes enough plays to win this. Computer Hope
Computer Hope In their 14 games against opponents not named the Saints, the Panthers allowed 18.7PPG with an 11-3 record. Against the Saints, Carolina allowed 32.5PPG and went 0-2. The Panthers were carved up by Drew Brees in both games & Alvin Kamara & Mark Ingram got in on the fun in the 2nd. If Carolina has any chance they need to slow down this offense. It’s very difficult to beat a team 3 times in one year. Carolina’s D will be key. Computer Hope

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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NFC EAST: Nothing was to be gained in the East. The Eagles had already secured the NFC East division title & the #1 overall seed. The 6-0 loss to the Cowboys was meaningless. Speaking of the Cowboys, because Atlanta beat Carolina on Sunday, it wouldn’t have mattered if Dallas had beaten Seattle in Week 16. They couldn’t have made it in without Atlanta losing.

NFC NORTH: Minnesota clinched the #2 overall seed with a win over the Bears. The Vikings could have lost & still secured the #2 seed because both New Orleans & Los Angeles lost their season finales. I think what’s most interesting about the final seedings is that the Lions wound up the #7 seed, just outside of the playoffs. The Lions are in the same boat as Dallas. The loss in Week 16 to the Bengals doesn’t really mean that much. Detroit needed Atlanta to lose to Carolina. They didn’t so even if Detroit had beaten Cincinnati, it wouldn’t have mattered in the end.

NFC SOUTH: It makes sense the South got 3 teams into the playoffs. I think New Orleans, Carolina & Atlanta showed they were 3 of the best 6 teams in the NFC this season. I also think the Saints winning the division worked out as well. The Saints beat Carolina twice this season. It would have been odd to see the Panthers win the division despite never beaten New Orleans.

NFC WEST: The Rams settle in as the #3 seed even with losing the 49ers to end the season. Los Angeles rested all of their players so they clearly weren’t playing to win & were choosing a week of rest in order to get ready for the playoffs. The Seahawks couldn’t get a win over the Cardinals, but it hardly mattered because the Falcons didn’t lose. Beating Arizona might not have led to any consequence, but how in the world does Blair Walsh keep his job?



No changes from last week. These games should be fantastic. We have the defending NFC Champions going up against an up start team in LA. The Rams have had a home playoff game in Los Angeles since December 31st, 1989 when Jim Everett & Greg Bell led the Rams over the Eagles 21-7! In the other wild card game we have a NFC South rivalry game between the Saints & Panthers for the 3rd time. Can the Saints beat Carolina 3 times in one season!? It’s really kind of interesting. When you think about the quarterbacks involved, you could easily see the Falcons & Saints meeting up in New Orleans in the NFC Championship game pitting Matt Ryan against Drew Brees. The Saints would have to win in Minnesota and the Falcons would have to in in Philadelphia, but those seem like winnable games. The one team that could upset the apple cart is the Minnesota. Everyone might be underestimating Case Keenum, and I’m of the opinion that Mike Zimmer is the best head coach in the NFL not named Bill Belichick.

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AFC EAST: The Patriots had to play their starters against the Jets because you had to assume Pittsburgh would beat Cleveland, but as usual, New England played their starters the entire game. It’s kind of risky but you really can’t argue with the Patriots methods after winning 5 Super Bowls and appearing in 7. The amazing thing about the East is that the Bills got into the playoffs. They needed a 44-yard last minute TD pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd which put the Bengals ahead of the Ravens, but that’s what they got & the thank you cards to Cincinnati should be coming any day now!

AFC NORTH: The Steelers needed to beat Cleveland and have the Jets upset the Patriots to get the #1 seed. New England won so the Steelers clinched the #2 seed. The big news is Baltimore giving up the late TD to the Bengals which demolished their playoff hopes as Buffalo beat Miami to clinch the #6 seed. That’s a tough way to go out to be sure. I think it’s interesting that when you look at the final seedings, you see 3 AFC North teams in the top-9 seeds. That’s more than any other division. To a certain degree it feels as if the North has been a disappointing division. The Bengals finished 7-9. The Browns went 0-16 and the Ravens didn’t get into the playoffs, but for the most part this was a competitive division.

AFC SOUTH: The Jaguars were locked into the #3 seed regardless of outcome in Week 17 so I’m not overly concerned that they didn’t play at 100% against the Titans. To be fair, if I had to pick one team to play in the wild card round between the Titans, Ravens & Chargers, I’d take the Titans. The Jaguars held up their end of the bargain. The Ravens didn’t. It sort of works out though because the Jaguars will play Buffalo in the Wild Card instead of the Titans. I think Jacksonville could give Pittsburgh or New England some trouble in the divisional round, but I also think the Jaguars could use the confidence of winning a playoff game before playing the Steelers or Patriots. I think, despite losing to Tennessee, Jacksonville actually got fairly lucky because they’ll avoid the Chargers & Ravens in the wild card. The Titans got a win when they most needed it. They also slip into the #5 seed and will travel to Kansas City for their wild card game. Who knows with Tennessee?

AFC WEST: The Chiefs beat Denver to finish up the season & KC has won their last 4 contests. Kansas City actually enters the playoff on the biggest winning streak of any AFC team. In fact, the only better winning streak than Kansas City’s at the moment is the 49ers streak of 5 wins! Is Kansas City peaking at the right time or are they simply taking advantage of a schedule that hasn’t been all that difficult in the final quarter of the season? The Chargers were able to win but came up just short. LA needed the Jaguars to beat the Titans to get into the playoffs. Jacksonville didn’t deliver so the Chargers will head home despite finishing the season 6-1 in their last 7 games. LA has to be kicking themselves after this season. The Bolts lost their first 6 games by a combined 32 points. Los Angeles finished the season 9-7 but they were THIS CLOSE to being 14-2. That would have been the best record in the NFL.



Football is a crazy sport. The AFC sent home QBs such as Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers, Derek Carr & Andy Dalton while QBs like Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles & Tyrod Taylor all have a shot at reaching the Super Bowl! There is no question that QB is the most important position on a football field, but it’s always good to remember that it’s not the ONLY position. The AFC Wild Card games got a lot more interesting when the Chargers & Ravens failed to get into the playoffs. I think LA & Baltimore would have won their games easily to advance to the divisional round. The games we have? Who knows. Jacksonville should be able to beat the Bills on talent alone, but Blake Bortles really can’t be trusted fully and I don’t think anyone would be surprised should Bortles throw 3 picks & Buffalo escape to get a third game with the Patriots. The Titans & Chiefs could be really good if the Titans commit to running Derrick Henry 30-35 times. Henry is a horse who gets better and better as the game goes on and I could see Henry wearing out the Chiefs defense behind a solid offensive line. On the other hand, the Titans could get cute and allow Kansas City to dominate the game with Travis Kelce & Kareem Hunt. It’ll be interesting to see the Vegas lines on these games because anything can happen.

December 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment