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2017 NFL FOOTBALL – CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PREVIEW

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
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
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January 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NCAA POWER 25 – 2017 FINAL

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#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…..at 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.

DROPPING OUT

#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

2017 NFL FOOTBALL – DIVISIONAL GAME PREVIEWS

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
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

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#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

2017 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
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

2017 NFL FOOTBALL – WILD CARD GAME PREVIEWS

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
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

2017 NFL PLAYOFF SEEDINGS – FINAL

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13 14 15 16
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NFC ANALYSIS

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?

WILD CARD GAMES AFTER WEEK 17

#6 ATLANTA @ #3 LOS ANGELES
#5 CAROLINA @ #4 NEW ORLEANS

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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13 14 15 16
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AFC ANALYSIS

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.

WILD CARD GAMES AFTER WEEK 17

#6 BUFFALO @ #3 JACKSONVILLE
#5 TENNESSEE @ #4 KANSAS CITY

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

NFL DRAFT STRATEGY: HOW PLAYERS AFFECT FIRST ROUND

A the bowl season starts winding down, it’s now time to start focusing on the NFL Draft and all that it entails! The NFL Draft is one of my favorite aspects of football, and it is easy to go down the rabbit hole when diving into draft strategy, but I wanted to go over the idea that 1st round players affect the 1st round. In the next few months we’ll be looking at mock draft after mock draft after mock draft. Heck Mel Kiper has made a successful career out of it! Those mock draft experts would have you believe they have some magic formula or super secret inside sources that help their accuracy about which teams will choose which players.

But it isn’t that complicated.

First round players will essentially affect the first round. This isn’t that far off from fantasy drafts all of us participate in when August rolls around every summer. When building an NFL roster, you would never start with a receiver. Building NFL rosters require you to go all in on a franchise QB and then start working on edge rushers & cornerbacks. If all of those positions are taken care of you can start making headway with your defensive tackles & offensive line. Once you get the core of your team build with your QB, pass rush, pass defense & the trenches, you can then start working on your skill players. Knowing all of this isn’t going to keep someone with using their first round pick in a fantasy draft from taking Antonio Brown!

Antonio Brown is a 1st round player when it comes to fantasy drafts. It doesn’t matter whether or not he plays to that level or if he is deserving of that pick in the long run. He’s a 1st round player regardless. You want your first round players to end up like Peyton Manning and not Vernon Gholston, but both were first round players regardless. If you want to try your hand at accurate mock drafts, first try to figure out which players are 1st round material. We don’t have all of our information yet, but let’s take a look at who may be first players players at this point in time. We’ll look at it by position.

QUARTERBACK
Sam Darnold/USC
Josh Rosen/UCLA
Baker Mayfield/Oklahoma
Josh Allen/Wyoming
Lamar Jackson/Louisville
Mason Rudolph/Oklahoma St.

This list is fungible because QBs are always highly thought of when it comes to the NFL Draft. In fact, all of these guys could return to school if they really wanted to outside of Rudolph & Mayfield. I think Rudolph is a stretch to sneak into the first round to be honest, but you sort of never know when it comes to QB. There are a lot of aspects to Rudolph’s game that will cause pause with NFL GMs, but he’s also a QB who has passed for 13,000+ yards with 90TD and a completion percentage north of 63%. He’s also started almost 40 games in his career which is also important. Mayfield is also a tricky one

RUNNING BACK
Saquon Barkley/Penn St.
Derrius Guice/LSU

I think Barkley is the only no doubt 1st round RB at the moment. Guice probably goes as well & he’ll be a no doubt pick should he blow up the combine. Barkley is arguably the best player in the draft & has a solid case to go #1 overall especially when you consider the impact rookie RBs like Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott have made in the last couple of seasons. There have been some comparisons to Barry Sanders so some team picking high that doesn’t need a QB is going to get very very lucky. Other RBs like Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Royce Freeman, Bryce Love and Rashaad Penny probably don’t go in the first round although I think the team that ends up with Sony Michel is going to be very happy. I hope Michel gets 52 in the bowl game so he can get a 1,000 yards on the season.

WIDE RECEIVER
Calvin Ridley/Alabama
Courtland Sutton/SMU
Christian Kirk/Texas A&M
James Washington/Oklahoma St.
Marcell Ateman/Oklahoma St.

I’m not THAT high on spending massive draft capital on a receiver. I think these 5 guys are the most likely of all WRs to go in the first round although I could see some fall through depending on the other players that teams target. Ridley is definitely going in the first round. I think that is the only 100% guarantee although Sutton & Kirk are practically locks as well. Receiver is a big need in the NFL. You need a lot variation within the position itself so depending on what teams need, it makes sense to get a receiver who can bring a unique skill set to the table.

TIGHT END
Mark Andrews/Oklahoma

If there is a TE worth the first round it’s Andrews. TEs are tough in the first round. Remember that even Rob Gronkowski went in the 2nd round!

OFFENSIVE LINE
Mike McGlinchey/Notre Dame
Quinton Nelson/Notre Dame
Billy Price/Ohio State
Orlando Brown/Oklahoma
Kolton Miller/UCLA

This list is by no means exhaustive. O-Linemen are somewhat tricky to figure out for me, but I do think Nelson, McGlinchey & Price are definite first round talents. It is worth noting that football is always moves and counters. The emphasis on the defense for interior lineman with superior pass rush ability has caused offensive to value interior O-linemen a lot more which is why Nelson & Price are considered no question 1st round players. McGlinchey & Brown might find better homes in the NFL at right tackle than left, but with so many defenses having left edge rushers, the right tackle has evolved to almost mirror the left tackle in speed & athleticism.

EDGE RUSHERS
Bradley Chubb/NC State
Arden Key/LSU
Sam Hubbard/Ohio State
Harold Landry/Boston College
Clelin Ferrell/Clemson
Austin Bryant/Clemson
Marcus Davenport/UT-San Antonio

These 6 are the most likely edge rushers going in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Bryant maybe falls to the 2nd round, but his physicality alone probably moves him to the 1st. If you want a reason why Clemson could easily repeat as national champions, look no further than their D-line! The thinking with the Bryant is the same as it is with Sam Hubbard. Hubbard hasn’t been overly dominant this year for the Buckeyes, but his physical traits & athleticism put him in the first round by a decent margin. Davenport is an interesting name on the list. He’s 6’7/260lbs which shows you how much size is taken into consideration!

DEFENSIVE LINE
Vita Vea/Washington
Da’Ron Payne/Alabama
Maurice Hurst/Michigan
Christian Wilkins/Clemson
Taven Bryan/Florida

Vea, Payne & Wilkins are all going in the first round for sure. It’s just a matter of fit. Given the emphasis on interior D-Line play I wouldn’t be shocked to see all 5 guys go in the first round. The best DL in the nation might be Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence, but he’s not draft eligible. He should be a top-5 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

LINEBACKER
Roquan Smith/Georgia
Rashaan Evans/Alabama
Malik Jefferson/Texas

LB is tricky. Only 4 LBs were taken in rounds 1 & 2 of last year’s draft. Smith is a no doubt first round guy & is getting some comparisons to Rueben Foster who went late in the first round last year to the 49ers. Smith is a little undersized at 6’0/225lbs, but his athleticism is outstanding and he could be a pro bowl WIL in short order. Evans is another big Alabama LB at 6’3/240lbs that screams SAM. Alabama produces so many LBs it’s hard to attach too many superlatives to Evans. He’s great. What else did you expect? Jefferson had a very good year for the Longhorns this season.

CORNERBACK
Denzel Ward/Ohio State
Josh Jackson/Iowa
Mike Hughes/Central Florida
Carlton Davis/Auburn
Isaiah Oliver/Colorado

Corner is always going to be a highly coveted position. Ward & Jackson are no doubt first rounders. Hughes, Davis & Oliver could all sneak in depending on need in the back half of the first round. I don’t know if we have any Marshon Lattimore’s in this group but Ward & Jackson do have some tremendous upside to their games.

SAFETY
Derwin James/Florida State
Minkah Fitzpatrick/Alabama
Marcus Allen/Penn State
Ronnie Harrison/Alabama
Justin Reid/Stanford

James & Fitzpatrick are going in the first round no question. Both could easily be top-10 picks and both could be top-5 picks depending on how the QB situations play out at the very top of the NFL Draft. Allen, Harrison & Reid are intriguing & could fall into the back half of the 1st round.

CONCLUSIONS

I’ve listed 44 players for 32 slots. The rest is merely academic. Nobody is going to predict a draft that is 100% accurate but you can get pretty close & this is how people come up with grades for a draft. Will 32 of these 44 players end up in the first round? Probably not. There is a lot of football to be played, a lot of offseason moves still to happen, and an NFL Combine to get through, but I’d expect at least 25-27 of these players to get into the 1st round.

Let’s take a look at a simple mock of the first 10 picks of the draft should the season end today. Here is how it could play out:

#1 – CLEVELAND BROWNS – SAM DARNOLD/QB/USC

Darnold is going in the top-3 if he comes out. It’s that simple. Josh Rosen has made it clear he doesn’t want to play for the Browns and it stands to reason that the Browns don’t want him either. That leaves Darnold who’s working class background fits in better with the Cleveland faithful. Darnold has said he’d be honored to play for ANY team in the NFL which is diametrically different than Rosen’s statements. With a new GM, Cleveland is sticking with DeShone Kizer as their QB. It’s Darnold and the Browns will hope they’ve found their franchise QB for the next 15 years. WARNING: What if Darnold doesn’t come out? I think there is reason to think Darnold might stick around USC for another season. If that is the case, expect Cleveland to potentially trade out of this pick or take Josh Rosen with the selection & then trade him.

#2 – NEW YORK GIANTS – JOSH ROSEN/QB/UCLA

Rosen’s political ideology won’t be a problem in Gotham and this is a situation I think he’d rather be in than Cleveland. The Giants need an heir apparent to Eli Manning and Rosen should be the answer. I’m not entirely sure Rosen is going to be a massively successful QB in the NFL (he reminds me a bit of Jay Cutler) but I think the Giants will roll the dice & try to hit a grand slam with this pick. I think Rosen actually has this backwards. When you look at overall team roster, I think the Browns are a lot closer to competing for a playoff spot than the Giants. New York has no run game & a terrible O-Line. How is Rosen supposed to operate with no protection & no help from his runners?

#3 – INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – BRADLEY CHUBB/EDGE RUSHER/NC STATE

Chubb has been an absolute MONSTER the past couple of seasons racking up 20 sacks and 46.5 tackles for loss. Before the season I would have wanted Arden Key at this position and there is a big part of me that has a hard time not taking Key because I think he’s a physical freak, but if you are the Colts you have to take Chubb. He’s proved to be more healthy & I think his size gives you some options. Chubb is 6’4/275lbs who can bend. He obviously works as a 4-3 DE but I think Chubb also gives a defensive coordinator some options because you can slide him inside as you want. He could hold up as a 3-4DE in different looks or even just an inside guy in the 4-3 when Indy wants to have more pass rushers out there. The Colts have only totaled 23 sacks thus far this year and are -32 in sack differential! GOOD GRIEF. That needs to change. Chubb is an incredible start to that change.

#4 – CLEVELAND BROWNS – SAQUON BARKLEY/RB/PENN STATE

The Browns tried to find a franchise RB a few years ago with Trent Richardson. That didn’t work out well. It’ll work out well this year with Saquon Barkley. Barkley is another reason Rosen gets it wrong on not wanting to go to Cleveland. The Browns have a solid O-Line. They have Corey Coleman & Josh Gordon at wide out. That have David Njoku at TE. Throw in a Saquon Barkley & it is an offense that literally has no weaknesses. Barkley is a monster with a big strong body that can cut on a dime and give you nine cents change. The Browns are getting ready to destroy the 2018 NFL Draft. And keep this in mind. If Houston loses to Indianapolis, this would turn into the #3 pick!

#5 – TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – MINKAH FITZPATRICK/ALABAMA

This is not a good football team. The Bucs have big time needs at RB and EDGE RUSHER as well, but I think putting a guy like Fitzpatrick in the middle of a defense is a solid move. Fitzpatrick is a naturally gifted leader and his overall ability and twitch will allow him to be a huge force in the middle. Think about the impact guys like Jamal Adams made with the Jets this year for how well Malik Hooker was playing for Indianapolis before he missed the season with an injury. Fitzpatrick started at Alabama as a corner so he has great cover skills as well. I think Tampa would be lucky to grab him with the #5 pick. I would be upset to see the Bucs take an egde rusher her either, but I think Arden Key is the next possibility and his injury history is too risky for me at #5.

#6 – DENVER BRONCOS – JOSH ALLEN/QB/WYOMING

Allen didn’t have a particularly good rJR year for the Cowboys but he also wasn’t playing with much of anything either. Allen had to deal with losing his top 3 receiver & his leading rusher & the results weren’t fantastic. Still, the skill set is there & Allen’s size (6’5/240lbs) and arm strength will have teams salivating. John Elway & the Broncos have to believe they are a QB away from competing for Super Bowls. The defense is still championship worthy & the only thing really missing from the offense this season was QB play. Allen is very raw & will need developmental time. That is the one hang up with this pick. I think the Broncos don’t really have 2-3 years to break a starter in & you wouldn’t want to kill a QB confidence early & that could happen in Denver. There is some thought that a guy like Baker Mayfield & Lamar Jackson might be better fits here, but the comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger & Allen’s size will have teams salivating. John Elway & Peyton Manning are the two QBs who have led the Denver Broncos to Super Bowl wins. Both were big pocket QBs when they won. Allen fits this mold.

#7 – NEW YORK JETS – BAKER MAYFIELD/QB/OKLAHOMA

The Jets were led to their only Super Bowl victory by a very confident & brash QB named Joe Namath. The Jets nab a controversial pick at #7 overall by going with Mayfield. I don’t think the Johnny Manziel comparisons are accurate in the least. Mayfield plays with a HUGE chip on his shoulder & I think he’s going to carry that with him his entire career. I think that will be play well with the Jets fanbase & the organization as a whole. If Mayfield is more Drew Brees & Russell Wilson then the Jets are going to feel as if they got a steal. There is some thought that the Jets could nab Lamar Jackson with this pick, but I think Jackson is an even riskier pick than Mayfield. Drafting Mayfield at #7 overall would be extremely aggressive, but I think it’ll pay off.

#8 – SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – ARDEN KEY/EDGE RUSHER/LSU

The 49ers need an edge rusher & Key could be a very dominant NFL defensive end in SF’s 4-3 base. I thought hard about popping for Calvin Ridley here because San Francisco has used so much recent draft capital on the defensive side of the football. Jimmy G has proven to be the answer for the 49ers at QB & it would now be a good time to start surrounding Garoppolo with some pieces to help him succeed, but edge rusher is the 2nd most important position on the field behind quarterback and the 49ers are hurting at the position. I don’t think Derwin James would be a bad pick here either to solidify the 49ers secondary. However, with Solomon Thomas struggling this year, the 49ers go back to their D-Line and nab Key. The 49ers would probably rather have Bradley Chubb at #8 but I think Indy prevents that from happening. If the Colts go with Key or even Saquon Barkley at #3, the 49ers get Chubb at #8.

#9 – CHICAGO BEARS – DERWIN JAMES/S/FLORIDA STATE

Would be VERY DIFFICULT for Chicago to pass on Calvin Ridley given the needs at receiver, but the opportunity to pair Eddie Jackson with James as Chicago’s safeties of the future reminds me a bit of Seattle’s locking down their safety positions with Kam Chancellor & Earl Thomas. James has drawn comparisons to Sean Taylor which is INSANE! If James is any kind of players like Taylor, then Chicago is going to be in FANTASTIC shape with their secondary’s ability. You could make a very good argument that the Bears have other bigger needs, but this almost feels like a no doubt pick. Getting James at #9 would be tremendous for the Bears. Giving James a DC like Vic Fangio is only icing on the cake.

#10 – CINCINNATI BENGALS – QUINTON NELSON/OG/NOTRE DAME

The Bengals need help on their O-Line in a bad way. Nelson is the best O-Lineman in the draft so the Bengals will nab the Notre Dame product & use him as a first piece in rebuilding their O-line. Cincinnati probably isn’t as bad as their record would indicate & they definitely have a couple of valuable pieces on offense in AJ Green & Joe Mixon. Nelson is the type of player they can put into their interior O-Line and then watch him make the pro bowl for the next decade. It’s not the sexiest pick in the world to make, but it’s a pick that shows the organization is serious about winning & will get the players that allows them to do so.

There you have it. The top-10 picks in a mock draft. It certainly won’t turn out the way I’m describing, but it’s worth knowing that the players that are first round worthy will generally determine outcome of the draft. We’ll hear a ton about team needs and specific fits, but always remember that “best player available” is almost always king.

December 30, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NFL POWER 32 – 2017 WEEK 16

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Bills 37-16. How much of a difference maker is Rob Gronkowski? In every game that Gronk gets at least 5 receptions this year the Patriots are 8-0. In Gronk’s career, the Patriots are 44-9 in the regular season when he catches at least 5 passes. In the playoffs New England is 5-1 when he gets 5 catches. Can you beat New England when Gronk is on? Sure, but it’s exceedingly difficult.
#2 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Texans 34-6. Sure it was Houston, but Pittsburgh bounced back well after losing to New England last week. Losing Antonio Brown is a blow, but the Steelers have enough weapons in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant & Le’Veon Bell to withstand Brown’s absence. The Steelers are a win away from 13-3 which would be their best regular season record since 2004 when they went 15-1.
#3 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Packers 16-0. Incredibly historic win for the Vikings. The last time Minnesota shut out the Packers was in 1971 when the Vikings beat Green Bay 3-0 in Minneapolis. The Vikings have never shut out Green Bay on Lambeau Field….until Saturday night! You start to get the feeling that the Vikings are a team of destiny. Historical things start happening for teams making history. Skol!!
#4 Computer Hope Last Week Beat the Titans 27-23. Todd Gurley was unstoppable against the Titans rushing for 118 yards & racking up 154 receiving yards & 2TDs. Gurley is establishing himself as the best RB in the NFL. He leads the league in rush yards with 1,305. He leads the league in rushing TDs with 13. He has over 2,000 all purpose yards & 19 total TDs. I get Tom Brady, but isn’t this guy the real MVP?
#5 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Falcons 23-13. Beating the Falcons this past week showed how dangerous the Saints can be. The running attack wasn’t on fire & Drew Brees, while efficient, wasn’t bombing away with TD passes. The key to the Saints win over Atlanta was defense. New Orleans sacked Matt Ryan 5 times & hit him 12 times. They created a couple of turnovers & completely stopped the running game.
#6 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Bucs 22-19. The Panthers needed a late TD by Cam Newton to get a win over Tampa Bay & clinch a playoff berth, but 22-19 over the Bucs? Tampa did play hard for Dirk Koetter with the writing somewhat on the wall for the HC, but the Panthers needed to show more than that. The offense sputtered all game long relying on the defense to do most of the heavy lifting. We’ll see.
#7 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Raiders 19-10. I was glad to see Philly’s D get back to playing well holding Oakland to 10 points. If not for that incredible cut by Amari Cooper, the Eagles might have held the Oakland to 3 points. On the other hand, that offense didn’t look so hot & this could have been a game that showcased how Philadelphia might have problems in the postseason with no Carson Wentz at QB.
#8 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Dolphins 29-13. Are the Chiefs peaking at the right time? The Chiefs went 5-0 in their first 5 games. Then they went 1-6 in their next 7. Now they’ve won 3 straight games & they seem to have gotten back to pounding the rock with Kareem Hunt, hitting Tyreek Hill for some big plays, find Travis Kelce at the right times & the defense has allowed 17.8PPG over the last 6 games. Look out.
#9 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Colts 23-16. That was way too close for a team that likes its chances in January. The Colts played Baltimore tough which should have played right into Baltimore’s running attack, yet here we go again with Joe Flacco throwing the ball almost 40 times! Flacco isn’t losing games lately, but he’s going to see the defensive intensity ratcheted up huge in the playoffs. They have to run!
#10 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Saints 13-23. Julio Jones went off catching 7 balls for 143 yards on 11 targets. You wonder sometimes why the Falcons simply don’t throw it to him on every play. Jones on the year has 83 catches for 1,364 yards, but only 3TDs! That seems crazy! I’m not sure Jones can catch Jerry Rice, but I think he winds up 2nd on the all-time yards list. He’s the best WR in the NFL right now.
#11 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Cowboys 21-12. Fantastic win for the Seahawks going on the road to a highly motivated Cowboys team & still pulling off the win. The Seahawks can be a dangerous team when things are going right. The defense held the Cowboys to just 12 points & the O-Line held up reasonably well. They need the Falcons to lose to Carolina to get into the playoffs so they need help.
#12 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Jets 14-7. The Bolts got a must win, but giving up 145 rushing yards to Bilal Powell? If Josh McCown were under center for this game I think LA might have lost. The Chargers are +24 in sack differential & +10 in TO margin meaning they are going to be an extremely difficult team to handle in the postseason should they make it. The Chargers have enough to win the Super Bowl.
#13 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to 49ers 33-44. It would be easy to hammer Blake Bortles in this one because he did throw 3 picks, but the Jags defense gave up 44 points to the 49ers for crying out loud! They also allowed 131 rushing yards & asked Bortles to throw the football 50 times! Jacksonville has everything you want in a football team. Yes the QB position is weak but the overall strategy here is just bizarre.
#14 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Seahawks 12-21. The last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl was back in 1995. Jerry Jones wanted the credit that everyone game to Jimmy Johnson, but Jimmy has been gone for quite awhile & Jones has still yet to win anything. Dallas might be waiting even longer because while Dak Prescott seems like a good QB, he doesn’t look like a Super Bowl winning quarterback either.
#15 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Broncos 27-11. Kirk Cousins throws for 300 yards & 3TD. Ryan Kerrigan picks up a couple of sacks & 4 QB hits and the Broncos improve to 7-8 on a wild season. Cousins could wind up with 4,000 yards & 30TD this season playing with no running game, a bunch of no-name receivers & a battered O-Line. He has a chance to be the best QB in Redskins history, and Washington might lose him.
#16 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Jaguars 44-33. That’s 4 straight & Jimmy Garoppolo is now 4-0 as a starter. How high can you rank the 49ers if they beat the Rams next week? San Francisco’s last two wins have come against the Titans & Jaguars who have a combined record of 18-12. The wins are meaningful at this point & SF could finish 6-10 after starting the season 0-9! That would be 6-1 in their final 7 games!!!
#17 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Patriots 16-37. The Bills can still make the playoffs which is a testament to the resiliency of this team along with HC Sean McDermott. The loss to New England this past week showed just how far Buffalo is from competing for AFC titles, but staying competitive for this long says something. The Bills finish up on the road to Miami. There is potential for some letdown there.
#18 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Eagles 10-19. The loss to the Eagles dropped Oakland to 4-9 in their last 13 games in what has to be considered a HUGE disappointment of a season. At this point it looks as if everyone has regressed. The Raiders will enter the draft season with quite a few needs especially at RB, LB and along the D-Line. For a team that looked close last year, they seem pretty far away now.
#19 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Bengals 17-26. Keep in mind that over the last 2 weeks the Bengals have lost to the Bears & Vikings 68-17. Also keep in mind that 2 weeks ago the Bears went into Cincinnati & beat the Bengals 33-7. This week, Detroit needed a win to stay alive in the playoff race against a team that has basically quit & still couldn’t get a victory! The Lions will never win with Jim Caldwell. N-E-V-E-R!
#20 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Vikings 0-16. Mike Holmgren spent 7 years as HC of the Packers & won a Super Bowl with Green Bay in year #5. Mike McCarthy won a Super Bowl in year #5 in Green Bay as well, but he’s in his 12th season with the Packers. Since the Super Bowl, McCarthy has gone 5-6 in the playoffs with arguably the best QB on the planet. Not saying change, but isn’t that a bit disappointing?
#21 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Chiefs 13-29. If Jay Cutler played a couple of more seasons, he could probably reach 40,000 career passing yards and close in on 280TDs. The 40K yards would put him in the top-20 and the 280TDs would put him in the top-15. He doesn’t have a winning record as a QB which is pretty unique given his statistics. Cutler has also been to the playoffs just once in his career. Very odd.
#22 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Rams 23-27. When a football team uses a high pick on a franchise QB, it’s almost impossible to get away from that pick & it’ll set the team back a solid 10 years. I think the Titans are finding this out with Marcus Mariota. It’ll be hard to get away from him, but he’s at this point not a guy who can win you a championship. It also doesn’t look like he’s going to grow into one.
#23 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Giants 23-0. Bruce Arians has done an outstanding job this season getting this team to 7-8 without their QB for over half the season & without their best player for the entire season. The defense hasn’t been that great either & outside of Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona hasn’t had many skill players who are threats. How does a team like that win 7 games & potentially 8 games? Not a bad year.
#24 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Chargers 7-14. If Josh McCown plays in this game then I think the Jets would have stood a good chance to upset the Chargers. Instead the Jets fall to 5-10 & are just 2-8 in their last 10 games. Bilal Powell had a great game rushing for 145 yards & a TD despite the losing effort. That was the 3rd highest of Powell’s career. He ran for a career high 163 yards earlier this year against the Jags.
#25 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Browns 20-3. John Fox said, “NOT ON MY WATCH!!!” as Chicago hammered the Browns to avoid becoming Cleveland’s first victim of the 2017 season! The Bears didn’t play very well on offense, but they didn’t turn the ball over & kept the penalties low while playing solid defense. That’s not a bad recipe to win games & you get the sneaking suspicion that Fox is returning in 2018.
#26 Computer Hope Last Week Beat the Lions 26-17. Congrats to the Bengals for a win in what is probably the last home game for Marvin Lewis as HC in Cincinnati. Lewis can’t go out a winner with a title, but he can at least know that he went out a winner in his last home game. The same might be true for Andy Dalton as well. Giovani Bernard & AJ Green had big games as this was a big win for the Bengals.
#27 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Redskins 11-27. The Broncos scored first to take a 3-0 lead and then the Redskins scored 27 unanswered to take a 27-3 lead late into the 4th quarter. Denver didn’t play terrible football. They had no answer for Kirk Cousins, but the Broncos ran the ball well for the most part. They were killed on 3rd down & committing 3 turnovers. The Redskins are also better than 7-8.
#28 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Bucs 19-22. At 4-11 the Bucs aren’t quite as disappointing as the Giants, but they are pretty close. Losers of 4 straight games, Tampa Bay is a disaster waiting to happen especially after watching Jameis Winston’s histrionics at the end of last week’s game against Carolina. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tampa burn the entire thing down & get rid of Winston & Dirk Koetter.
#29 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Ravens 16-23. There is obviously going to be change in Indianapolis this coming off season, but one guy I hope sticks around is DE Margus Hunt. A freak of nature at 6’8/300lbs, he was a bad fit in Cincinnati’s 3-4 scheme, but I think he could excel in the right 3-4 format with his physical ability. He jumps off the tape sometimes when you watch the Colts play D.
#30 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Cardinals 0-23. Eli Manning is an interesting case study. When you look at his stats, he’s actually have a better season than his career averages note. He’s no different now than when he was winning Super Bowls, but because the Giants are 2-13 & Manning is going to be 38 next year, there is lots of talk about his possible retirement. Riddle me this, who has he had to throw to this year?
#31 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Steelers 6-34. At what point does it become embarrassing? It seems absurd that this team could be -21 in sack differential & you have to even wonder if Bill O’Brien even cares anymore & can’t wait to get out of town. There is entirely too much talent on this football team to be sitting at 4-11 & a loss to the Colts away from 4-12. I think O’Brien bolts regardless of Deshaun Watson’s return.
#32 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Bears 3-20. I know his situation isn’t great but DeShone Kizer has started 14 games for the Cleveland Browns. He’s 0-14. He’s thrown 9TDs to 21INT! If you think the Browns aren’t using the #1 pick on Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold, you’re crazy. I’d also be shocked to see Hue Jackson come back. The Browns aren’t beating Pittsburgh next week meaning they are going 0-16 & Jackson is 1-31 in 2-years!

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2017 NFL FOOTBALL – WEEK 17 BIG GAMES

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope This game would have been a lot more interesting had the Lions beaten the Bengals last week & had something to play for. It would have been doubly interesting if Aaron Rodgers was playing & the Packers had won their last 2 games. Both teams would be 9-6 and in the thick of the wild card. Instead this game virtually has no meaning because regardless of outcome, the Lions will finish in 2nd and the Packers in 3rd in the North. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oddly enough this game does have some meaning. If the season ended after Week 16, the Colts would have had the #3 pick in 2018 NFL Draft while the Texans would have the #4 pick. Houston’s pick goes to Cleveland & what makes this game interesting is that if Houston loses to Indy, Houston would move up to the #3 spot meaning the Browns would get the #1 and #3 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft! But the Colts want to lose too! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Vikings still have something to play for as a loss could cost Minnesota the #2 seed in the NFC. The key for the Vikings is trying to get this one over with quickly to give the starters even more rest than the extra week they’d have for being the #2 seed. The Bears currently have a top-10 pick in the ’18 Draft & that could be at risk if they won. I do think Chicago will play hard. John Fox could potentially be coaching for his job. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I don’t think the Jets have much of a chance & New England does have to play well because a loss combined with a Steelers win would cost New England the #1 seed in the AFC. It’s worth noting that Jets WR Robby Anderson needs only 61 yards to get past 1,000 receiving yards on the year. Anderson developed a solid chemistry with Josh McCown but has struggled a bit with Bryce Petty. I think the Patriots have little trouble. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think the Giants simply want to get the season over so they can start playing for next year while guys like Kirk Cousins & Ryan Kerrigan aren’t going to let the Redskins take a week off. If Washington win, they’ll finish the year 8-8, playing the most difficult schedule of any NFL team this season. Given their injuries, it’s remarkable how well the Redskins have played this year. I don’t think the Giants want to lose that #2 pick in the draft. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Dallas blew it last week with their home loss to Seattle so this game has pretty much no meaning at this point as the Eagles have already clinched the #1 seed in the NFC and the Cowboys can’t make the playoffs even if they win their season finale. It’ll be interesting to see how the Cowboys play in this game. Dallas is a team that needs to make some changes in the offseason, but will Jerry Jones actually make those changes? Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Steelers have something to play for in that if they beat the Browns & the Patriots lose to the Jets then Pittsburgh would win the #1 seed in the AFC. If Pittsburgh doesn’t think the Patriots lose, the Steelers could choose to rest their starters an additional week, but I think there is something more here. I don’t think the Steelers want to be the only team Cleveland gets a win over this season. It matters, but it doesn’t matter. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s simple. Atlanta wins & they win the last wild card spot. Carolina has already clinched a wild card spot, but there is something for the Panthers to play for. Should Carolina win while both New Orleans & Minnesota lose, Carolina could vault from the #5 seed to the #2 seed in the NFC! That would be an incredible jump. Carolina could also jump to the #3 seed if New Orleans loses. This should be the best game of the week. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A meaningless AFC West game which is too bad because the AFC West rivalries are so intense. The Chiefs can’t do any better than the #4 seed so a win or loss doesn’t much matter. I think what could matter is Denver’s spot in the NFL draft. The Broncos currently are sitting at #6 in the NFL Draft & a loss could push them even higher. The Broncos should be looking hard at a franchise QB in the draft so a loss could be beneficial. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Jaguars are locked into the #3 seed and that makes this game somewhat interesting because the Titans need to get a victory to get into the playoffs. Should Tennessee win, they’ll be the #6 seed. Should they lose & the Chargers win, LA would then slip into the #6 seed. If you are the Jaguars, wouldn’t you rather face the Titans at home in the Wild Card round then have to face a very dangerous LA Chargers team with Rivers? Computer Hope
Computer Hope You better believe that Sean McVey wants to get to 12-4. The Rams have a lot to play for as they currently are the #3 seed, but that could change to the #4 seed if they lose & the Saints or Panthers win. It’s significant because I think the Rams would rather avoid either the Saints/Panthers in the Wild Card given how they’re playing. On the other hand, the 49ers can’t lose with Garoppolo under center. The Niners will play to win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Dolphins can play big time spoiler here & if Miami is motivated to play & Jay Cutler avoids turnovers, Miami could easily end their season with a home victory & finish 7-9. I think the Bills getting into the playoffs would be interesting. They’d be the #6 seed which means a date with Jacksonville. If Blake Bortles is terrible then the Bills could win which would set up a game in New England in the divisional round. Interesting. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Chargers are basically the unluckiest team in the NFL, but they get a home game this week to get to 9-7 & possibly get a wild card spot. They’ll need the Titans to lose, but that could be the case considering Tennessee isn’t playing very well & the Jags would rather not enter the playoffs on a 2-game losing streak. If there is a team that could potentially beat the Pats, it’s LA. Beat the Raiders & Jaguars, and they”ll get the chance. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Seattle didn’t play particularly well against the Cowboys last week but managed to get a win. Seattle needs Atlanta to lose to Carolina to get into the playoffs, but it’s possible. Seattle is a very dangerous team. Their defense looked really good against the Cowboys & the O-line held up reasonably well. The Seahawks are an experienced playoff team that could be a very dangerous out once in the tournament. That experience matters a lot. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Saints have clinched their playoff spot but they’ve still got quite a bit to play for. A loss to the Bucs combined with a Panthers win would cost New Orleans the South & force them to go on the road in the wild card. A win combined with a Rams loss would elevate New Orleans to the #3 seed. That matters. If the Saints get the #3 then they’d potentially play the #2 in the divisional round. That’s an indoor game against Minnesota. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I can’t imagine the Bengals ending their season with back-to-back wins over Detroit & Baltimore so the Ravens should be in good shape. The Ravens can still make the playoffs even if they lose, but the Ravens could miss out entirely if they lose and the Bills & Titans win. I’d love to see the Ravens dominate Cincinnati with their running attack. It’ll be interesting to see how the Ravens play when it gets to playoff time. Will they run more? Computer Hope

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment