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The Detroit Lions are considering signing Ray Rice

Blogged under Big Football News,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 23 September 2016 at 12:35 am

The Detroit Lions have just lost starting RB Ameer Abdullah for the rest of the 2016 season due to injury.  That leaves them with Theo Riddick, rookie 7th round pick Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner at RB.  With that in mind, the Lions have reported interest in signing 29-year old RB Ray Rice.  Rice last played in the NFL back in 2013 for the Baltimore Ravens.  Rice has played in 92 games (80 starts) during the regular season in his first six years in the NFL and he has carried the ball 1,430 times for 6,180 yards (4.3 ypc) with 37 TD runs.  He has also caught 369 passes for 3,034 yards (8.2 avg) with 6 TD grabs in his NFL career.  Rice has also played in 12 games (10 starts) in the playoffs so far in his career and he has 201 carries for 750 yards (3.7 ypc) with 5 TD runs.  He also has caught 37 passes for 296 yards (8.0 avg) with 1 TD grab in the playoffs.  In the 2012 Super Bowl (won by the Ravens 34-31), Rice rushed for only 59 yards on 30 carries (2.0 ypc) and he caught 4 passes for 19 yards (4.8 avg).

Rice has been a Pro Bowl back 3 times in his first 6 years in the NFL.  He has had at least 1,143 rushing yards in a season in four of his first six years in the NFL.  He has also caught at least 58 passes in all but one of his years in the league.

I wouldn’t take a chance on Ray Rice due to the backlash that the Lions or any other team would take that signed him.  His career should be over after knocking his wife out on an elevator two years ago.

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Some teams started to rise up in College Football on Saturday

Blogged under Bloglockers,College Football,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Sunday 18 September 2016 at 6:50 am

It’s still a couple of weeks too early for me to rank College Football teams.  That being said, there were some very impressive wins yesterday.  Here is a look at the ones that caught my eye:

Alabama over Mississippi – The Crimson Tide had lost to Mississippi two years in a row.  So traveling to Mississippi and coming out with a hard fought 48-43 win was impressive!

Houston over Cincinnati – A quick turnaround and a road game at Cincinnati led to a slow start and a fast finish for Houston.  Houston prevailed 40-16 in this game!

North Dakota State over Iowa – This is the perfect reason why you should never rank teams in College Football before October.  Some bozos had Iowa #13 in the country coming into this game!  Not even pink locker rooms could slow down Carson Wentz’ old team!

Louisville over Florida State – Here is the most impressive win of the day!  Louisville totally pummeled the visiting “#2″ Florida State Seminoles!

Ohio State over Oklahoma – The Buckeyes finally ventured on the road to play a team their own size and they blasted Oklahoma 45-24 last night.

Michigan State over Notre Dame – Michigan State built a big lead at Notre Dame and then they held on for dear life late in it.

Nebraska over Oregon – Nebraska got the biggest win in recent history by beating the visiting Ducks last night.

Stanford over USC – Stanford pushed USC further into the toilet by pushing them around 27-10 in this game.

California over Texas – The Bears popped the Longhorns’ bubble by outscoring them 50-43 last night!

Akron over Marshall – Akron rebounded from a pasting at the hands of Wisconsin to pummel Marshall 65-38 on their own field.

Army over UTEP – Army improved to 3-0 by smoking UTEP 66-14 on their field!

LSU over Mississippi State – LSU was in need of a big one and they got one at home last night.  It wasn’t easy though as the final score was 23-20.

Oklahoma State over Pittsburgh – Oklahoma State needed to get back on the right track after losing a heart breaker at home to Central Michigan last weekend.  That they did as they outscored visiting Pittsburgh 45-38!

Texas A&M over Auburn – Texas A&M is starting to surge after winning 29-16 at Auburn.

South Florida over Syracuse – The South Florida Bulls are the best team no one knows about!  They destroyed Syracuse 45-20 in their building yesterday.

Virginia Tech over Boston College – Virginia Tech needed a rebound after getting pushed around by Tennessee last weekend.  They did that by pitching a 49-0 shutout against Boston College!

UCLA over BYU – UCLA got a nice road win, but it wasn’t easy, as the final score was 17-14!

Western Michigan over Illinois – Western Michigan is now 2-0 in the Big Ten!  They pummeled Illinois 34-10 on their own field!  They beat Northwestern on the road in the season opener!

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Joel Peralta is retiring from baseball

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Saturday 17 September 2016 at 12:16 pm

40-year old righty reliever Joel Peralta has decided to retire from baseball.  Peralta pitched in 31 games (0 starts) for the Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners this year in which he was 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.  He gave up 30 hits (an amazingly awful 9 homers) and 8 walks while whiffing 33 batters in his 27 1/3 innings.  So Major League batters let Peralta know that it was the right time for him to hang up his cleats.  Peralta pitched in 620 games (0 starts) in his 12 years in the show and he was 20-35 with 15 saves, a 4.03 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.  He also pitched in 7 games (0 starts) in the playoffs in this career and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.  Peralta’s best year came back in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays.  Peralta pitched in 71 games (0 starts) for the Rays in 2011 and he was 3-4 with 6 saves, a 2.93 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.  He only gave up 44 hits and 18 walks while whiffing 61 batters in his 67 2/3 innings for the Rays in 2011.

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Should the Miami Heat let Chris Bosh play for them in 2016-17?

Blogged under Basketball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 16 September 2016 at 10:52 am

32-year old power forward Chris Bosh want to play for the Miami Heat in 2016-17.  But, he has had blot clot issues that have cut short his last two seasons.  I don’t want to see another tragedy like the ones that befell Hank Gathers (who died on a basketball court) and Reggie Lewis (who died way too soon while still playing in the NBA.  What more does Chris Bosh have to go in the NBA….except make more money?  He was already won two NBA Championships as a member of the Miami Heat (in 2011-12 and 2012-13).  Bosh has played in 893 games (881 starts) in his first 13 years in the NBA (6 with the Heat and 7 with the Raptors) and he is averaging 35.8 minutes, 19.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocked shot per game.  He has also played in 89 games (85 starts) in the playoffs in his NBA career and he is averaging 35.2 minutes, 15.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocked shots per game.  Bosh is the Toronto Raptors‘ all-time leader in points scored (10,275), offensive rebounds (1,369), defensive rebounds (3,407) and total rebounds (4,776).  Chris Bosh’s legacy is secure as he is one of the best players in two franchise’s histories (the Raptors and the Heat), so what does he have to really prove by continuing his NBA career.  Chris Bosh should just call it a career and be healthy for his family!

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Quarterbacks making their first NFL starts were 3-1 last weekend

Blogged under Big Football News,Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General,Stepping Up by joelapinski on Wednesday 14 September 2016 at 9:24 am

Four young QBs were making their first NFL starts last weekend and they looked good for the most part, leading their teams to a 3-1 record.  Here is a look at them:

Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots – 24-year old Jimmy Garoppolo looked like a seasoned veteran in leading the Patriots to an impressive 23-21 road win over the Arizona Cardinals!  He completed 24 of 33 passes (72.7%) for 264 yards with 1 TD pass and 0 INTs (106.1 QB Rating).  He also carried the ball 4 times for 12 yards (3.0 ypc) last Sunday Night.  He is by far the most experienced player of this quartet and it showed on the field!  Garoppolo has now played in 12 games (1 start) in his first three years with the Patriots and he has completed 44 of 64 passes (68.8%) for 452 yards with 2 TD passes and 0 INTs (99.2 QB Rating).  He has also carried the ball 19 times for 16 yards (0.8 ypc) so far in his career, but to be fair, most of those were kneel downs.  The Patriots look like they are in good hands until Tom Brady is ready to return from his suspension.

Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos – The Denver Broncos won their season opener 21-20 over the visiting Carolina Panthers in spite of the play of 24-year old QB Trevor Siemian.  Siemian is the longest shot of this quartet to succeed in the NFL.  He was a 7th round pick out of Northwestern in the 2015 NFL Draft.  He only played in 1 game last year for the Broncos and he had one kneel down at the end of that game.  He didn’t throw an NFL pass until last Thursday.  Siemian completed 18 of 26 passes (69.2%) for 178 yards with 1 TD pass and 2 INTs (69.1 QB Rating).  He also carried the ball 5 times for 20 yards (4.0 ypc) last week against the Panthers.  Siemian has a very weak throwing arm and he didn’t protect the ball last week.  If he wants to hold off rookie Paxton Lynch and veteran Austin Davis, he is going to have to play better starting this Sunday against the visiting Indianapolis Colts.

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles – 23-year old rookie Carson Wentz was playing with a chip on his shoulder last Sunday against a Cleveland Browns’ team that traded the #2 overall pick to the Eagles, so that they could take him.  Wentz looked like a star against one of the worst defenses in the NFL last Sunday.  Wentz led the Eagles to a 29-10 win over the Browns.  Wentz completed 22 of 37 passes (59.5%) for 278 yards with 2 TD passes and 0 INTs (101.0 QB Rating).  He also carried the ball 2 times for 1 yard (0.5 ypc) in this game.  Wentz is going to face a tougher challenge in Week #2, when his Eagles travel to Chicago to play the Bears on Monday Night Football!

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys – 23-year old Dak Prescott was the only guy of this bunch to lose on opening day weekend, as the Giants beat the Cowboys 20-19.  Prescott completed 25 of 45 passes (55.6%) for 227 yards without a TD pass or INT (69.4 QB Rating).  Prescott also carried the ball 2 times for 12 yards (6.0 ypc) in his NFL debut.  Prescott was a 4th round pick (#135 overall) in last June’s NFL Draft.  He was not supposed to be the starting QB, but Tony Romo got hurt again and it opened the door for him.  I think they didn’t let him throw down the field too much against the Giants, but I have a feeling that the Cowboys are going to open up the offense this week when they visit the Washington Redskins.

 

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Week Two of College Football didn’t have a lot of good matchups

Blogged under Bloglockers,College Football,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Sunday 11 September 2016 at 9:15 am

Week Two of College Football could have been called cupcake week, as no teams in the top 25 played each other.  As I have said before, there should be no rankings in college football until October, as no one really knows who will be good or bad until then.  With that in mind, here is a look at the most impressive wins of Week #2:

Arizona State over Texas Tech – Arizona State won 68-55 in a shootout at home against a solid Texas Tech football team.

Arkansas over TCU – Arkansas had the guts to travel to Fort Worth to play TCU and they beat them 31-28 in OT!

Army over Rice – I know, I know.  You think I’m going to put Army on this list every time they win.  They have not been to a bowl since 2010.  Army defended their home turf in prevailing 31-14 over Rice.

Boise State over Washington State – Boise State held off Washington State 31-28 on the blue turf!

Central Michigan over Oklahoma State – It took a miracle play that never should have happened, but Central Michigan took out Oklahoma State 30-27 on the road!

Cincinnati over Purdue – Cincinnati pushed Purdue around on their own field 38-20 yesterday.

East Carolina over North Carolina State – East Carolina nipped North Carolina State 33-30 yesterday.  It was a big home win for the Pirates!

Florida over Kentucky – The Gators looked like they were sleep walking last week.  But, that didn’t happen yesterday at the Swamp, as they pummeled Kentucky 45-7!

Georgia Southern over South Alabama – Georgia Southern ambushed South Alabama (who beat Mississippi State 21-20 last week) 24-9 yesterday!

Louisville over Syracuse – Louisville battered Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, 62-28!

Mississippi State over South Carolina – Mississippi State rebounded from a disaster last weekend (a loss at home to South Alabama) as they beat South Carolina 27-14 last night.

North Carolina over Illinois – North Carolina rebounded from their loss to Georgia last week by punishing Illinois 48-23 on their field.

Pittsburgh over Penn State – The rebirth of a rivalry turned into a fantastic game yesterday at Heinz Field.  The Panthers won 42-39 over the Nittany Lions yesterday.

San Diego State over California – San Diego State defended their home turf holding off California 45-40 in this game.

Tennessee over Virginia Tech – The Volunteers got challenged by Appalachian State last week.  But, last night at Bristol Speedway in front of over 150.000 people, they hammered Virginia Tech 45-24.

South Florida over Northern Illinois – USF pummeled a Northern Illinois team that has been a bowl game eight years in a row.  They thumped them 48-17 at Raymond James Stadium last night.

Utah over BYU – This is a bitter rivalry and Utah prevailed by the slightest of margins, beating BYU 20-19.

Wake Forest over Duke – Wake Forest is now 2-0 on the season as they whacked Duke 24-14 on the road yesterday.

 

 

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Baseball fills up a lot of leaves on the Alou family tree!

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 9 September 2016 at 3:32 pm

Righty swinging OF/1B Felipe Alou, righty swinging outfielder Jesus Alou and lefty swinging outfielder Matty Alou were all good hitting brothers.  Righty reliever Jose Sosa was their cousin.  Righty swinging outfielder Moises Alou is Felipe’s son and Jesus and Matty’s nephew.  Righty reliever Mel Rojas is the Alou brothers’ nephew.  Here is a look at the clan individually:

Felipe Alou – Alou played in 2,082 games in his 17 years in the show and he was 2,101 of 7,339 (.286 avg, .761 OPS) with 985 runs scored, 206 homers, 852 RBI and 107 stolen bases.  He also played in 8 games in the post-season in which he was 7 for 27 (.259 avg, .656 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 0 homers and 1 RBI.  Alou’s best year in the majors as a player came back in 1966 with the Atlanta Braves.  Alou played in 154 games for the Braves in 1966 and he was 218 of 666 (.327 avg, .894 OPS) with 122 runs scored, 31 homers, 74 RBI and 5 stolen bases.  Alou was a National League All Star three times in his Major League career (1966 and 1968 with the Atlanta Braves and 1962 with the San Francisco Giants).  Alou led the Major Leagues in hits in both 1966 (218) and 1968 (210) and he led the Major Leagues in runs scored in 1966 (122)!  Alou also managed for 14 seasons in the Major Leagues, compiling a 1,033-1,021 (50.3%) record during the regular season for the Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants.  He was also 1-3 (25%) in the post-season (for the 2003 San Francisco Giants) in his career.  Alou’s best season as the manager came back in 2003, when he led the Giants to a 100-61 (62.1%) record.

Jesus Alou – Alou played in 1,380 games in his 15 years in the show and he was 1,216 of 4,345 (.280 avg, .658 OPS) with 448 runs scored, 32 homers, 377 RBI and 31 stolen bases.  He also played in 13 games in the playoffs in which he was 6 for 27 (.222 avg, .474 OPS) with 0 runs scored, 0 homers and 4 RBI.  Alou’s best season came with the San Francisco Giants in 1965.  Alou played in 143 games for the Giants in 1965 and he was 162 of 543 (.298 avg, .715 OPS) with 76 runs scored, 9 homers, 52 RBI and 8 stolen bases.

Matty Alou – Alou played in 1,667 games in his 15 years in the show and he was 1,777 of 5,789 (.307 avg, .726 OPS) with 780 runs scored, 31 homers, 427 RBI and 156 stolen bases.  He also played in 21 games in the playoffs in his career in which he was 16 of 69 (.232 avg, .612 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 0 homers, 3 RBI and 2 stolen bases.  Alou helped the Oakland A’s win the World Series in 1972.  Alou was an All-Star in 1968 and 1969 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He won the 1966 batting title when he hit .342 for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Alou’s best season came in 1969 for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Alou played in 162 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1969 in which he was 231 of 698 (.331 avg, .780 OPS) with 105 runs scored, 41 doubles, 6 triples, 1 homer, 48 RBI and 22 stolen bases.  Alou led the Major Leagues in both hits (231) and doubles (41) in 1969!

Jorge Sosa – Righty reliever Jorge Sosa was the Alou brothers’ cousin.  He pitched in 34 games (2 starts) in his two years in the show (1975 and 1976 for the Houston Astros) and he was 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

Moises Alou – Alou is Felipe Alou’s son.  Alou played in 1,942 games in his 17 years in the show and he was 2,134 of 7,037 (.303 avg, .885 OPS) with 1,109 runs scored, 332 homers, 1,287 RBI and 106 stolen bases.  He also played in 34 games in the playoffs in his career and he is 37 of 134 (.276 avg, .752 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 5 homers, 24 RBI and 2 stolen bases.  Alou helped the Florida Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.  His best season (and there were many good ones), came in 2000 for the Houston Astros.  Alou played in 126 games for the Astros in 2000 and he was 161 of 454 (.355 avg, 1.039 OPS) with 82 runs scored, 30 homers, 114 RBI and 3 stolen bases.  Alou was a six time All-Star and he won 2 Silver Slugger Awards in his career.  He hit at least 30 homers three times in his career.  He also scored at least 100 runs in a season twice and he had at least 100 RBI in a season five times!

Mel Rojas – Rojas is the Alou brothers’ nephew and Moises’ cousin.  Rojas pitched in 525 games (0 starts) in his 10 years in the show and he was 34-31 with 126 saves, a 3.82 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.  His best year came back in 1992 for the Montreal Expos, when he worked in 68 games (0 starts) in which he was 7-1 with 10 saves, a 1.43 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.  He gave up 71 hits and 34 walks while whiffing 70 batters in 100 2/3 innings for the Expos in 1992.  Rojas also had a really solid season in 1996 for the Expos, working in 74 games (0 starts) in which he was 7-4 with 36 saves, a 3.22 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.

The four Alous (Felipe, Matty, Jesus and Moises) combined to play in 7,071 games in the show in which they were 7,408 of 24,510 (.302 avg) with 3,322 runs scored, 601 homers, 2,943 RBI and 400 stolen bases!  They combined to go to 11 All-Star Games and they won 2 Silver Slugger Awards (both by Moises).  The Alous also played in 76 games in the post-season in their careers and they were 66 of 257 (.257 avg) with 21 runs scored, 5 homers, 32 RBI and 4 stolen bases.  Sosa and Rojas combined to pitch in 559 games (2 starts) in which they were 35-34 with 126 saves, a 3.88 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

The Alou family left quite a legacy in Major League Baseball!

 

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Colin Kaepernick should just shut up and play football

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Thursday 8 September 2016 at 1:58 pm

By not standing up for the National Anthem, 28-year old QB Colin Kaepernick has set off a firestorm.  He better watch himself.  Where in the world could Kaepernick make money like he is in the United States by playing football?  Argentina?  Nope!  Italy?  Nope!  Germany?  Nope!  Canada?  Nope!  So maybe he should thank God that he was born in the United States!  If the Niners ever let Kaepernick go, his NFL career is over!  The only reason that they have not cut him loose is because of the guaranteed money on his contract, as he has been beaten out for the starting job by the immortal Blaine Gabbert.  Lets’ take a longer look at the guy that beat him out:

26-year old Blaine Gabbert played in 8 games (all starts) in his first year for the 49ers in 2015 and he completed 178 of 282 passes (63.1%) for 2,031 yards with 10 TD passes and 7 INTs (86.2 QB Rating).  Gabbert also carried the ball 32 times for 185 yards (5.8 ypc) with 1 TD run.  Gabbert has now played in 37 games (35 starts) in his first five years in the NFL and he has completed 595 of 1,066 passes (55.8%) for 6,426 yards with 33 TD passes and 31 INTs (71.9 QB Rating).  He has also carried the ball 108 times for 376 yards (3.5 ypc) with 1 TD run so far in his NFL career.  Gabbert is a completely awful 8-27 (22.9%) as a starting QB in his career in the NFL so far.

Now let’s take a look at what Colin Kaepernick has done so far in his career with the San Francisco 49ers:

28-year old Colin Kaepernick played in only 9 games (8 starts) after injuring his shoulder last year and he completed 144 of 244 passes (59%) for 1,615 yards with 6 TD passes and 5 INTs (78.5 QB Rating).  He also carried the ball 45 times for 256 yards (5.7 ypc) with 1 TD run last year for the 49ers.  Kaepernick has now played in 57 games (47 starts) in his first five years with the Niners and he has completed 815 of 1,361 passes (59.9%) for 10,030 yards with 56 TD passes and 26 INTs (88.4 QB Rating).  He has also carried the ball 306 times for 1,832 yards (6.0 ypc) with 11 TD runs.  Kaepernick is #8 in passing yards in 49ers’ history with 10,030 of them.  He is also #8 in TD passes (56), #17 in rushing yards (1,832) and he is tied for #29 in TD runs (11) in 49ers’ history.  He is 27-20 (57.4%) during the regular season as the 49ers’ starting QB.  He has played in 6 games (all starts) in the playoffs in which he has completed 94 of 162 passes (58%) for 1,374 yards with 7 TD passes and 5 INTs (87.3 QB Rating).  He also has carried the ball 51 times for 507 yards (9.9 ypc) with 4 TD runs for the 49ers in the post-season.  Kaepernick is 4-2 (66.7%) as a starting QB in the post-season for the 49ers and he got them to a Super Bowl, in which they lost a close game to the Baltimore Ravens.

Personally, I think if Gabbert got hurt, the 49ers might put Christian Ponder in over Kaepernick.  The 49ers have been trying to move on from Kaepernick ever since head coach Jim Harbaugh left to coach the Michigan Wolverines.  The 49ers tried to deal Kaepernick to the Browns and Broncos, but they couldn’t get rid of him.  It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, as I will be surprised if Kaepernick if with the 49ers for the entire 2016 season.

 

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Here is the way I see the NFL shaking out in 2016

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General,Season Previews by joelapinski on Wednesday 7 September 2016 at 1:32 pm

The NFL is the nation’s most popular sport right now and I am taking a look into my crystal ball for some predictions!  Here we go:

AFC EAST:

1. New England Patriots – Sure, they are starting Jimmy Garoppolo for the first four games of the 2016 season.  But then a pissed off Tom Brady will be playing the last 12 games.

2. Miami Dolphins – New head coach Adam Gase will get Ryan Tannehill going in the right direction in 2016.

3. New York JetsRyan Fitzpatrick proves in 2016 that his performance in 2015 was a total fluke!

4. Buffalo Bills – Injuries and suspensions hurt the Bills early this year and it will wind up too big of a hole to dig out of.

AFC NORTH:

1. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are healthy and ready to rebound, as Joe Flacco will be back with a vengeance in 2016.

2. Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals won’t be as good as they were last year, but they will still nab the second wild card in the AFC.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers – No defense, losses in free agency and due to suspensions and an awful defense conspire to sink the ship in Pittsburgh in 2016.

4. Cleveland Browns – The Browns are in a complete rebuilding mode, as they are starting from the bottom.

AFC SOUTH:

1. Houston Texans – The Texans have a solid defense and they added some nice weaponry on the offensive side of the ball.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars loaded up on defense this off-season and they will barely miss the playoffs in 2016.

3. Indianapolis ColtsAndrew Luck is going to be beaten up like a pinata again in 2016.

4. Tennessee Titans – The Titans will play much better this year, but they are still going to lose a lot of close games in 2016.

AFC WEST:

1. Kansas City Chiefs – Look for Andy Reid to take the shackles off of Alex Smith in 2016.

2. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders have loaded up on defense in the off-season.  I see them snaring a wild card spot in 2016.

3. Denver Broncos - Trevor Siemian?  Seriously?  8-8 will be a miracle this time around for the defending Super Bowl Champs.

4. San Diego Chargers – The Chargers will be better in 2016, but this is a tough division that they play in.

NFC EAST:

1. New York Giants – Improvements on the defensive side of the ball and an outstanding 2016 season from Eli Manning put the Giants back atop of the NFC East in 2016.

2. Washington Redskins – The Redskins prove that they weren’t a fluke last year, but a small step back causes them to miss the playoffs in 2016.

3. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys were built around Tony Romo Dak Prescott could have a rough time going against NFL Defenses when the games count.

4. Philadelphia EaglesCarson Wentz is going to have a lot of growing pains in 2016.

NFC NORTH:

1. Green Bay Packers – With Jordy Nelson back in the fold, look for the Packers to take off!

2. Minnesota VikingsSam Bradford is actually a better QB than Teddy Bridgewater, so the Vikings will be good again in 2016.

3. Chicago Bears – The Bears appear to be stuck in neutral for 2016.

4. Detroit Lions – Will Matthew Stafford be the same without Calvin Johnson?

NFC SOUTH:

1. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers get Kelvin Benjamin back in 2016!  They are the team to beat in the NFC South.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers loaded on defense and special teams in the off-season.

3. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons will be about the same as they were last year.

4. New Orleans Saints – The Saints’ D still stinks!

NFC WEST:

1. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have made enough improvements in the off-season to stay at the top of the NFC West.

2. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks are going to be a wild card team again in 2016.

3. San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers are going to show improvement under Chip Kelly in 2016.

4. Los Angeles Rams – Unrealistic expectations sink the Rams in 2016.

PLAYOFFS:

FIRST ROUND:

Baltimore Ravens over the Oakland Raiders

Houston Texans over the Cincinnati Bengals

Seattle Seahawks over the New York Giants

Carolina Panthers over the Minnesota Vikings

SECOND ROUND:

New England Patriots over the Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs over the Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers over the Seattle Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals over the Carolina Panthers

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES:

Kansas City Chiefs over the New England Patriots

Green Bay Packers over the Arizona Cardinals

SUPER BOWL:

GREEN BAY PACKERS OVER THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS!

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Rick Porcello has been a savior for the Boston Red Sox in 2016

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Stepping Up by joelapinski on Tuesday 6 September 2016 at 9:57 am

When the Boston Red Sox signed righty starting pitcher Rick Porcello to a 4-year, $82.5 million dollar deal two winters ago, the “experts” thought they were nuts.  In his first year with the Red Sox, the “experts” looked right.  He pitched in 28 games (all starts) for the Red Sox in his first year with the team in 2015 and he was 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.  But, he is one of the biggest reasons why the Red Sox are back in the playoff hunt in 2016.  Porcello has pitched in 28 games (all starts) for the Red Sox so far this year and he is 19-3 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.  He has given up 163 hits and 28 walks while whiffing 145 batters in his first 186 2/3 innings for the Red Sox so far this year.  Porcello could win the Cy Young Award this year, as he has been downright awesome in 2016.

Porcello has now pitched in 240 games (236 starts) in his first 8 years in the show and he is 104-81 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.  He has only had one season (2015 with the Red Sox) in which he has not won at least 10 games.  Porcello started out young with the Detroit Tigers, as he is only 27 years old and it looks like his best years are ahead of him.  So, the Red Sox are vindicated this year for the contract that they signed Porcello to a couple of winters ago.

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