NFL Top 10 Players of 2017

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I realized that the NBA Awards are not the only interesting sports awards happening tonight because NFL Network‘s Top 100 Players of 2017 concludes tonight at 8 pm ET on (you guessed it!) NFL Network. Although the NBA Awards are a little more official and have flashier trophies that come with them, the NFL’s list of the Top 100 players is always interesting to see because it gives an inside look at what NFL players think of their peers. Today, the list of names in the Top 10 was released in alphabetical order, so let’s reorder them in order of greatness as a guess for how the ranking will shake out this evening:

  1. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (16 games: 69.9 completion % for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 3 fumbles for a 117.1 passer rating)
  2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (16 games: 65.7 completion % for 4,428 yards and 40 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 104.2 passer rating)
  3. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos (16 games: 78 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles with 0 fumble recoveries, 0 interceptions and 0 touchdowns)
  4. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants (16 games: 101 receptions on 169 targets for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  5. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (15 games: 106 receptions on 155 targets for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  6. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (15 games: 322 carries for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns with 5 fumbles; 32 catches on 40 targets for 363 yards and 1 touchdown with 0 fumbles)
  7. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (14 games: 83 receptions on 129 targets for 1,409 yards and 6 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  8. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (12 games: 67.4 completion % for 3,554 yards and 28 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 112.2 passer rating)
  9. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (12 games: 261 carries for 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns with 3 fumbles; 75 catches on 94 targets for 616 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  10. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders (16 games: 73 combined tackles, 11 sacks, 5 forced fumbles with 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 1 touchdown)

Explanations:

  • I have Khalil Mack ranked last because all the Derek Carr fans seem to think that Carr does everything by himself on CARR’S team. Apparently, despite statistics indicating the contrary, Carr outperformed Dak Prescott last year just because the Raiders have a lesser RB, O-line, and defense. If the Raiders have a lesser defense, so be it. So, I ranked Mack pretty much solely on resentment for all Oakland Derek Carrs (I mean, Oakland Raiders) fans, Derek Carr fans, Fresno State fans, and people from the city of Oakland.
  • You’ll notice that the other 9 players are first organized by number of games played. For those of you who read my NBA Awards post last night, you’ll remember that I said I value most the players that stay injury and suspension free to be there for their team when their team needs them. That rings true for the NFL, too.
  • Tom Brady is ranked above Le’Veon Bell in the “12 games” category because Brady once again led the New England Patriots to their most thrilling Super Bowl victory yet.
  • In the “15 games” category, I ranked Antonio Brown over Ezekiel Elliott because Brown didn’t have any turnovers. The two most important things for an offensive player are holding on to the ball and scoring. Brown was +5 in the holding on to the ball category and Zeke was +4 in the scoring category. 5>4, so Brown edges Zeke.
  • The “16 games” category was the trickiest because there were four players (not including Khalil Mack, of course) who fell into that category. Ultimately, I put the two QBs at the top because QBs are the most valuable players for a franchise. The two Super Bowl teams were both led by QBs on this Top 10 list (Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons and Tom Brady for the New England Patriots), while the teams without definitive starting QBs include the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Rams, etc. The one anomaly was the Houston Texans, who got to the playoffs (and defeated the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs, by the way!) on the arms of Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage.
  • So, 3 and 4 were between Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. I chose Miller over Beckham because, although I love OBJ as a fan of Big Blue, a defensive player usually manages to crack the top 3. Also, OBJ’s stats dropped off this year from last year. Also-also (yes, I meant to put two “also”s there), 13.5 sacks in the NFL is very impressive, especially on a defense that almost carried the Denver Broncos to the playoffs despite Trevor Siemian (don’t get me started on Northwestern) starting at QB.
  • 1 and 2 were easy from there. Matt Ryan a higher completion %, more yards, fewer fumbles, and a higher passer rating than Aaron Rodgers. Oh, Ryan also won the MVP award and led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, so there’s that.

That’s all for TheHaysWay for now, please leave a comment with your thoughts on my Top 10 ranking and/or on your own Top 10 ranking and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always welcome to help me improve my blog. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to improve your greatness ranking (and mine, too) 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!

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NFL Franchise Tags (and Lack Thereof)

Just typed in the old domain out of habit. Lol. Anyway, in honor of the new domain that took the “nfl” part out, I’m going to start out talking about the NFL. Today was the deadline for teams to use their annual franchise tag, so here are the players who were franchise tagged, and some players who weren’t franchise tagged who maybe should have been:

Players With Franchise Tag

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  • Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers– This was an easy decision for the Steelers to make. Bell is the top RB in the NFL and many have claimed that he has created a new running style. He does everything asked of an NFL RB: runs, catches passes, blocks, etc. I also think it was smart not to give him a long-term deal YET because he has had a couple of substance-related suspensions. The tag is telling him, “Hey! You are an AMAZING RB, but you’ve got to take the right path.”
  • Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins– I was disappointed to see this as a New York Giants fan because Kirk Cousins is an above average NFL QB. The Washington Redskins eventually have to cave and just give Kirk Cousins his long-term deal. He has yet to perform in the clutch, but Kirk Cousins is a capable starting NFL QB, and that’s hard to come by in the NFL.
  • Melvin Ingram, LB, Los Angeles Chargers– Between Melvin Ingram and DE Joey Bosa, the Los Angeles Chargers have a scary young pass rushing duo. Great decision, and I think Melvin Ingram will get his long-term payday once QB Philip Rivers decides to retire (which will free up cap space for the Los Angeles Chargers).
  • Trumaine Johnson, CB, Los Angeles Rams– The Los Angeles Rams are lost. Trumaine Johnson is good and young, which is why the Los Angeles Rams felt compelled to tag him. From that Los Angeles Rams perspective, I understand the decision. After all, they don’t have too many good players to pay.
  • Chandler Jones, LB, Arizona Cardinals– This was a decent decision. Chandler Jones is a very good player, and he’s still on the right side of 30 (27 years old). Chandler Jones gives the Arizona Cardinals a quality pass rush. I look forward to seeing Chandler Jones team up with a healthy (hopefully) DE Robert Nkemdiche (who was oft-injured this season) next season. That will be another scary, young pass rush duo.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants– I was thrilled when I read about this one. JPP was the reason that the Big Blue defense worked last season. His excellent pass rush ensured that the secondary wouldn’t get out of position due to opposing QBs having too much time. It’s just too bad the G-men decided to give DE Olivier Vernon a MASSIVE deal last offseason because that will make it more difficult to give a similar deal to JPP, who deserves it more.
  • Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers– Kawann Short is the second most important player on the Carolina Panthers defense behind MLB Luke Kuechly. Kawann Short is the run-stuffer in the middle of the d-line, which is very important. Of course, with the Carolina Panthers lackluster secondary, opposing teams can afford to be forced to pass.

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Key Players Without Franchise Tag

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  • Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills– OK, WHERE IS THE BUFFALO BILLS MONEY GOING?! Stephon Gilmore may not be the best CB in the NFL, but he is still a great CB. Seeing as the Buffalo Bills refuse to pay QB Tyrod Taylor, I don’t know why they wouldn’t ensure that Stephon Gilmore doesn’t go anywhere else (which they should’ve been able to afford to do).
  • Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots– I get it…the New England Patriots are paying A LOT of players to get them to the Super Bowl on a consistent basis. That said, Dont’a Hightower is the heart and soul of the New England Patriots Super Bowl-caliber defense, and his play inspired the Pats comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Also, Dont’a Hightower is one of the best pass-rushing inside LBs in the NFL. Of course, Bill Belichick could play LB himself for the New England Patriots and he’d still be the best LB ever because that’s just how the system always seems to work…:(
  • Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears– The Chicago Bears need to focus on paying a QB to be able to get the ball to receivers like Alshon Jeffery. Plus, Alshon Jeffery has missed something like 11 games in the last two seasons. With the MANY areas of need that the Chicago Bears have, they can’t afford to pay a player who misses that much time.
  • Dontari Poe, DT, Kansas City Chiefs– Dontari Poe was outperformed by rookie DT Chris Jones. Great move by the Kansas City Chiefs to choose the younger and less expensive player in Chris Jones. I’m sure Dontari Poe is also thrilled because he’s one of the best DTs available in free agency this offseason, so he should make bank.
  • Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns– The Cleveland Browns are in a similar situation to the Chicago Bears with WR Alshon Jeffery: they need to focus on paying a quality QB who can get the ball in the vicinity of talented WRs such as Terrelle Pryor. Here’s the difference: Terrelle Pryor used to play QB, and he’s probably better than the current Cleveland Browns QBs. The Cleveland Browns should have payed Terrelle Pryor WR money to move back to QB!
  • Brandon Williams, DT, Baltimore Ravens– I’m really not sure why the Baltimore Ravens opted not to tag Brandon Williams, who is a great player on the right side of 30 (28 years old). Who else are they paying? FS Eric Weddle…MLB CJ Mosley…Is there anybody else that I’m missing?

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That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the players who were franchise tagged and/or on the players who were not franchise tagged and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower of the newly-renamed thehaysway.wordpress.com. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

An Unexpected Journey, Music in Science, and Multiple Football Stories!

Say what you will about life, it never ceases to surprise. For example, you might think Chick-Fil-A is colossally overrated. But, that doesn’t stop you from making a half-hour trek to the nearest one for free 8-piece chicken nuggets. (By the way, if you haven’t tried their chocolate chip cookies, you need to. They are dynamite.) Another example, sometimes your ex-girlfriend’s best friend will start hitting on you. And when you turn her down the first time, she turns into a total Star Wars nerd to attempt to impress you and tries again six months later. And even one more example, sometimes the Trail Blazers lose. (OK, that last one really isn’t surprising 😦 Oh well.)

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Anyway, I got this brilliant idea today of incorporating more music into science. Frankly, I think science sucks. It is INSANELY boring, to the point where I had no idea one subject could be so boring. Though, in science’s defense, it really includes a multitude of individual subjects. Seriously, though, what if we could cure diseases with music? Scientists have been looking for elements to cure diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, but have they tried rhythm as one of those elements? Or major or minor tonalities? This probably sounds ridiculous, but I think they should give it a shot. Music is so powerful on an emotional level already so I don’t see why it can’t also be powerful on a physical level. Plus, that would make science WAY more entertaining.

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In unrelated news, Madden Mobile got a new update today.

In football news, I read an article about what QB-needy teams should do during the offseason. I didn’t read the specifics because I already know exactly what they should do: Play for the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Seriously, the top trade option at the position is Tony Romo. He’s a solid QB as long as you don’t mind using your backup for the majority of the season and having absolutely no ability to win games that actually matter. I also saw a list of the top QBs in the draft this season. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer topped the list. You know this draft is doomed when the top option is a guy who led Notre Dame to its worst season in recent memory BY FAR. Also, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wasn’t even in the top 5. And Clemson’s DeShaun Watson was #2. AND DESHONE KIZER WAS #1! WHAT THE ABSOLUTE….!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!!??!?!?

In other football news, the Green Bay Packers have officially fixed the hole that New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr created in their locker room wall. So, no more memes of different people’s faces inside the hole.

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OK, One more

Also, I just want to say for the record that the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be hard-pressed to beat the New England Patriots this weekend with all of the controversy surrounding the events that occurred in their locker room after their Divisional Round game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Between head coach Mike Tomlin’s profanity and WR Antonio Brown’s Facebook live video, the Steelers seem far too distracted to be a Super Bowl team. In fact, I seem to remember things going poorly for a Wild Card team this season that had their WRs distracted by a trip to Miami…

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In contrast to the distracted Steelers, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media today. One reporter asked him about the importance of home field advantage. “I don’t know, ask Kansas City and Dallas.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, you know, as much as I hate Belichick for saying things like that, I love Belichick for saying things like that. I’m sure the fact that he doesn’t give a **** about so called “advantages” is why he is the greatest head coach of all time. I also admire the fact that he can say things like that with a straight face.

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That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on life’s surprises and/or on music in science and/or on football, lots of football, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower (you may do so with a Belichick straight face, if you like. Though, I will be smiling, regardless) 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

#22: Headaches, AFC North, and More

I wanted to post earlier, but I had a splitting headache and a paper to write. Luckily, I slept them off. Yeah, I slept off the headache, and that made the paper WAY easier to write. Also, that paper was a professor profile story for my Newswriting & Reporting class, so, once I finalize it, I’ll ask for permission from the professor to share it on here. Right now, I technically only have permission to use it for my class assignment. She is a pretty chill professor, though, so you can expect to see it soon.

I found a new YouTuber today, thanks to my sister. His name is Prince Ea, and his videos contain very inspirational and motivational messages. This is the video that my sister sent to me, today. It’s my favorite because it supports my distaste for the school system. (On a side note, President Trump has said in the past that he wants to get rid of Common Core. I REALLY hope he will follow through on that. I don’t want kids in the future to go through what I had to.) Anyway, I’ve watched a few more of his videos, and they all seem to be worth watching, so I would recommend checking them out. Feel free to tell him TheHaysWay sent you because, why not?

1…
…2…
…83, because…Common Core Math! I wouldn’t beat you all over the head with my hate for Common Core if Common Core hadn’t beat me over the head with its hate for me.

The Cleveland Browns dropped to 0-10 tonight in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. This game actually has huge implications. For the Browns, this game was their chance to salvage their season. The Ravens held the AFC North division lead at 4-4 going in, so a win for the Browns would have kept them in the hunt for the division crown. Now, those hopes are effectively dashed. There is still a SMALL statistical probability that the Browns could take the division, but it is HIGHLY unlikely. Furthermore, the Ravens have increased their record to 5-4. The Pittsburgh Steelers sit at an even 4-4, with a game against the 7-1 Cowboys on the schedule for this weekend. In all likelihood, the Cowboys will win that game. If they do, The Ravens will be sitting atop the division with a one game lead and the tiebreaker over the Steelers. That bodes well for a team looking to come back from last season’s 5-11 finish.

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Philadelphia Eagles

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Founded: 1933

All-Time Winning Percentage: 48.1%

All-Time Record: (516-557-25)

Ugh! I’ll try to keep this brief. The Eagles have been to two Super Bowls, and they lost both. They’ve had QB Donovan McNabb and DE Reggie White. Most recently they’ve had Head Coach Chip Kelly…Things are looking up for the Eagles (unfortunately) with QB Carson Wentz in town, who has shown some serious promise as a rookie, this season. That said, their defense will have to figure out how to not suck for an entire season if they want to be a serious contender. Go Giants!

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on headaches and/or on papers/stories and/or on the AFC North and/or on the Philadelphia Eagles, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to despise the Eagles with me. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: September 8, 2016

“If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.” -Jesse Jackson, Activist

I chose this quote because I just watched the Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos game. I’ll talk about that more in depth in a little bit. Anyway, I wanted to bring up my level of inspiration for you guys, following my down day yesterday. Today was day 3 for me at DU, and it was a fantastic day. Once you actually start to hang out with many other people, you realize what a special community college is. I registered for classes today, and my schedule is quite favorable. Anyway, the point is that I fell behind in personal inspiration, so I ran faster (hopefully, that will be literal soon because my exercise routine has gone through the window since I arrived on campus). I encourage you to do the same. If there is one thing I’ve learned in the very short time that I’ve been on campus, it’s that you should never count yourself out. It doesn’t matter how far you fall, you can always and WILL always, pick yourself up. That said, allow me to go more in-depth on my main inspiration for choosing this quote, with some NFL news:

  1. I sincerely hope that you ALL had the privilege of watching the Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos game. I watched it with many other DU students, and we were all yelling at the end of the game. If I had to use one word to describe it: WOW. The Broncos won, 21-20. With 9 seconds left on the clock, Carolina Panthers K Graham Gano lined up for a 50-yard field goal attempt to win the game. Before the snap, the Broncos called a timeout. Gano still completed the kick and made the meaningless, warm-up, 50-yard field goal. So, following the timeout and with a successful practice kick under his belt, Gano lined up for a 50-yard field goal attempt to win the game, with 9 seconds on the clock. WIDE LEFT. I, along with the other 25-ish DU students who had gathered around the TV, started screaming in joy and disbelief. Of course, being in Denver, my fellow students were all cheering for the Broncos, as was I. The quote came in because the Broncos were trailing, 7-17, at the beginning of the 4th quarter. But, through running faster, the Broncos never gave up, and rose up against the odds. I couldn’t imagine a much better start to the 2016 NFL Regular Season.
  2. Although he lost (again), Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton set 2 NFL records during his team’s game against the Denver Broncos. He is now the all-time leading TD-rusher among QBs (44), and he also now has the most games with both a passing and rushing TD. Congrats Cam!
  3. In more Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton news, Cam was spotted flossing on the sidelines during his team’s game against the Denver Broncos. Yeah, FLOSSING.          ?
  4. The Denver Broncos backfield was very interesting during their game against the Carolina Panthers. RB CJ Anderson had more than 100 total yards. Rookie RB Devontae Booker fumbled the ball away on his first NFL carry. Rookie FB Andy Janovich scored a 28-yard TD on his first NFL carry. Just another day at the NFL office.
  5. The Pittsburgh Steelers have extended the contract of OG David DeCastro. He is now signed through the next 6 years, for $58.07 million. Great resigning. DeCastro is the best player on the Steelers o-line (because C Maurkice Pouncey can’t stay healthy).

I wanted to thank all of you for the wonderful support that you showed me yesterday. I asked for words of inspiration, and I received them. You guys are all wonderful. Remember that I write this blog for you, not just because I want to make you all happy, but because I want you guys to make me happy, too. So, again, thank you.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or on the daily news and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you like what you read and you are not yet a follower, become a follower to prove that you can rise up from falling behind on keeping up with my posts. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily News: August 31, 2016

So, before I begin, I want to say that I’ve decided to split the daily news apart from the daily quote because the posts were getting WAY too long with the game analysis, now that football is back. Also, I want to start with the game analysis, but the game isn’t over yet, so I’m going to start with the general news:

  1. The expectation is that the 2017 NFL Draft will be in Philadelphia. It has not been officially announced yet, but it sounds like the city of brotherly love has won the sweepstakes for “most popular city in late April/early May”. Obviously, as a Giants fan, I don’t like the verdict. But, the draft was in New York for a LONG time, so I don’t have much room to complain. Oh well.
  2. The legacies of LBs James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers), Clay Mathews (Green Bay Packers, and Julius Peppers (Green Bay Packers) are safe, for now. All three were cleared following the NFL’s probe into accusations of PED usage. Thank goodness. I always hate to hear that great players cheated to be great. It’s good to know that these three did not. Harrison, apparently, even made a cool, celebratory collage!
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown has had his contract restructured with the team. He is still signed through the 2017 season, but he will make $10.25 million this season, instead of his original $6.25 million. Well deserved; Brown is the best receiver in the NFL, and a staple in the Steelers offense. I’m sure this excited him, Steelers nation, and QB Ben Roethlisberger.
  4. Speaking of the Pittsburgh Steelers (they’re popular today), they signed QB Zach Mettenberger, today. The QB was released by the San Diego Chargers earlier this week, and I said that he should call the Minnesota Vikings, following the injury to QB Teddy Bridgewater. But, he wasn’t a free agent long enough to make that call. Now, he will backup QB Ben Roethlisberger (who usually misses a game or two each season). To make room for Mettenberger, the Steelers placed QB Bruce Gradkowski on injured reserve, with a hamstring injury. Good signing. Mettenberger will be a MUCH better fill-in than Landry Jones, who hasn’t found ANY traction since he entered the league. Honestly, I don’t know why the Steelers are still keeping Jones on the roster.

The game is now over, so moving on to game analysis:

  1. Washington Redskins 20 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13– Noteworthy: For Washington, RB Mack Brown (19 CAR, 149 YD, TD) had a HUGE game. That’s great news for the Redskins, as they are leaning on RB Matt Jones to start for the first time in his career. If Jones struggles, they can turn to Brown. For Tampa Bay, their defense REALLY struggled. They had no TO. Against an offense that is as lackluster as Washington’s, that’s definitely something to worry about for the Bucs. They only need average play from their defense this season to allow QB Jameis Winston, RB Doug Martin, and WR Mike Evans to keep the offense ahead in points.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily news and/or on the game analysis and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you read this before the daily quote, don’t worry, just scroll down a little. I posted the daily quote first, today, so it’s still there. If you like what you read and you are not yet a follower, become a follower to continue to get both the daily news, and the daily quote. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: August 28, 2016

Friday

  1. New England Patriots 19 @ Carolina Panthers 17– There were many varying levels of QB play in this game (QB Joe Webb CAR had the most passing TDs (2) and passing YDs (123), QB Jacoby Brissett NE led the way in completion % (100%) by going 9-9. He had a passing TD, and QB Tom Brady NE did as well. QB Cam Newton CAR had 2 INTs and QB Derek Anderson CAR had 1 INT. QB Jimmy Garoppolo was the most non-descript QB in the game (9-15, 57 YDs).). Both starting RBs had nice games in the limited number of carries they got (Legarrette Blount NE (5 CAR, 26 YDs) and Jonathan Stewart CAR (3 CAR, 23 YDs)). The top scoring receivers were not the usual suspects (WR Chris Hogan NE (5 REC, 62 YDs, TD) and TE Marcus Lucas CAR (2 REC, 32 YDs, 2 TDs)). Carolina’s LBs came to play (Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson both had FF), while, for New England’s defense, it was the secondary that came to play (1 INT each for S Duron Harmon, S Devin McCourty, and CB Logan Ryan). Overall, I expected Carolina’s starting offense to perform better than their starting defense (which lacks a quality secondary now that Josh Norman is gone and the starting CBs are both rookies), and that was not the case. That was likely why the Panthers lost this game. Clearly, the Patriots starters were better on both sides of the ball with the defense intercepting QB Cam Newton twice, and QB Tom Brady scoring a TD in limited playing time on offense.
  2. Buffalo Bills 16 @ Washington Redskins 21– QB Kirk Cousins (12-23, 188 YDS, 3 TDS, INT) outshined all of the other QBs in this game, as no other QB passed for a TD. Only 1 rushing TD in the game (courtesy of RB Jonathan Williams BUF), though both starting RBs (LeSean McCoy BUF and Matt Jones WAS) didn’t play. Buffalo had a quiet receiving night, as their second leading receiver was RB Daniel Herron (5 REC, 49 YDS), while Washington’s receivers were lighting it up (WR Ryan Grant (1 REC, 38 YDS, TD) and TE Vernon Davis (3 REC, 42 YDS), notably took advantage of their opportunities.). Buffalo’s defense came up with 1 TO (CB Corey White had an INT), and Washington’s defense came up with 2 (CB Will Blackmon had a FF, and CB Kendall Fuller had an INT). Overall, I was surprised the game was this close. The stat sheet heavily favored Washington, but they often failed to take advantage of opportunities. Nevertheless, they did get the victory because Buffalo’s offense was relatively non-existent, as K Dan Carpenter (10 pts) was their leading scorer. Based on what Buffalo’s offense showed, I would say my current season outlook for them is correct. That also means that coach Rex Ryan could, once again, find himself out of a job at the end of this season.
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers 27 @ New Orleans Saints 14– The starting QBs (Ben Roethlisberger PIT (12-17, 148 YDS, 2 TDS) and Drew Brees NO (9-12, 78 YDS, TD)) looked very sharp. The running games were disastrous, as the leading rushers for both teams (RB Le’Veon Bell PIT (3 CAR, 21 YDS) and RB Tim Hightower NO (8 CAR, 27 YDS)) were held under 30 YDS. WR Sammie Coates PIT (2 REC, 66 YDS, TD) finally came to play, meaning he MIGHT save himself from getting cut. For New Orleans, rookie WR Tommylee Lewis (2 REC, 41 YDS, TD) surprised. Pittsburgh’s defense was sensational, accumulating 2 FF (LBs Vince Williams and Lawrence Timmons) AND 2 INT (LBs Steven Johnson and Tyler Matakevich). New Orleans defense was lousy (as expected) with just 1 FF (CB Delvin Breaux). The receiver situation was REALLY noteworthy. Coates really struggled in the previous two preseason games. While his performance in this game likely won’t lift him above WR Marcus Wheaton for the WR2 spot due to the suspension of WR Martavis Bryant, it could solidify another shot at the WR3 spot for him. New Orleans likely wishes they could find defenders out of thin air the way they have managed to find WRs. WR Brandin Cooks is a lock for the WR1 job, Willie Snead likely will take the WR2 spot with his continued emergence, Michael Thomas and Brandon Coleman have been giving each other a run for their money for the WR3 spot, and now Tommylee Lewis is coming out of nowhere to stake a claim for a roster spot as the WR5. Brandon Coleman is the oldest of those five, at just 24 years old! The Saints are loaded at WR! Also, Pittsburgh needs to give some serious thought to their LB situation. They’ve been looking for good LBs to team up with Lawrence Timmons, and they appear to have too many good options in their hands. Vince Williams likely will get the MLB2 spot next to Timmons due to his strong preseason performance. LB Bud Dupree will be injured to begin the season, so it has looked as though LBs James Harrison and Jarvis Jones will be starting at both OLB spots. After this game, however, the Steelers may want to look more closely at LBs Steven Johnson and Tyler Matakevich, because Harrison is old, and Jones has not lived up to his first-round draft selection from a few drafts ago.
  4. Cleveland Browns 13 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30– Strong performances from the starting QBs (Robert Griffin III CLE (8-14, 119 YD, TD) and Jameis Winston TB (16-25, 259 YD, 2 TD)). Nothing special came from any RBs in this game. Just as WR Terrelle Pryor CLE was starting to build a good reputation with RG3, WR Josh Gordon (2 REC, 87 YD, TD) has picked up where he left off. Also, WR Mike Evans TB (5 REC, 115 YD, TD) is ready for the regular season, now. Boring game defensively, with just 2 FF (DT Danny Shelton CLE and DE Robert Ayers Jr TB). Noteworthy: WR Josh Gordon has come back strong, and RG3 continues to look like he is capable of getting his career back on track. How funny would that be if Gordon and RG3 challenged each other for comeback player of the year? That looks like it’s in the cards. Wait, does that mean Cleveland will be the comeback team of the year? Not likely. Stick with the Cavaliers for now. But don’t worry Cleveland, things are looking up for the Browns. Also, K Robert Aguayo (3-3 FG) FINALLY showed up!
  5. Green Bay Packers 21 @ San Francisco 49ers 10– Instead of analyzing this game, I’d like to rant against QB Colin Kaepernick. Remember how I said that (San Diego Chargers) DE Joey Bosa is my least favorite NFL player of all time? Well, I lied. It’s Crapernick. He made the 49ers highlight reel for the first time in a while, but not for spectacular gameplay. Instead, he made it because he refused to stand for the national anthem. What a(n) (Insert profantiy here)! This guy is UNBELIEVABLE, so much so, that ‘guy’ probably isn’t the correct word to use for him. I would use ‘rat’ or ‘cockroach’, but I don’t want to insult rats and cockroaches for no reason. His reasoning for sitting during the national anthem: He believes the country stands for anti-black racism. REALLY?! ENOUGH WITH POLITICAL CORRECTNESS! Unfortunately, racism is still present, but it is present in INDIVIDUALS now, NOT the ENTIRE COUNRTY! Also, this country has given him the opportunity to make the ABSURD amount of money that he makes (despite the fact that he SUCKS, no less). If you are going to be stupid and blame the country for racism in individuals, LEAVE! Crapernick has absolutely NO RIGHT to disrespect this country! PLEASE, San Francisco, FIRE HIM! Rid yourselves, and all of us football fans from his STUPIDITY! I conclude by repeating: WHAT A(N) (INSERT PROFANITY HERE)!!!

Saturday

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 23 @ Chicago Bears 7– Surprisingly, the standout QB in this game was the Bears’ 3rd-stringer, Connor Shaw (5-6, 68 YD, TD). The Chiefs’ leading rusher was QB Alex Smith, and the Bears’ second-leading rusher was QB Connor Shaw=WOW. WR Cameron Meredith CHI (4 REC, 64 YD, TD) was the leading receiver, and the only receiver to score a TD. The starting DTs (Dontari Poe KC and Eddie Goldman CHI) both had a FF. CB Deiondre’ Hall CHI had an INT. Overall, a very boring game from two boring teams. Neither team is currently known for being splashy in terms of big plays. Although, clearly, boring works much better for Kansas City, even in the preseason.
  2. Detroit Lions 9 @ Baltimore Ravens 30– QB Matthew Stafford DET (14-23, 95 YD, INT) played a very Stafford-esque game, while QB Ryan Mallett BAL (10-15, 112 YD, TD) played a very UnMallett-esque game, and he also had a rushing TD. RB Theo Riddick DET (3 CAR, 35 YD) seems to be running away from fellow DET RBs Ameer Abdullah (4 CAR, 16 YD) and Zach Zenner (3 CAR, 13 YD) in the RB competition, and he is also an elite pass-catcher out of the backfield. Meanwhile, the Ravens RB competition continues to remain cloudy, as RBs Terrence West (7 CAR, 43 YD) and Kenneth Dixon (6 CAR, 41 YD) are playing well, while previous starters Justin Forsett (2 CAR) and Javorious Allen (8 CAR, 15 YD) are struggling. WR Jeremy Butler BAL (4 REC, 43 YD, TD) was the game’s leader in REC, REC YD, and REC TD. The two teams combined for 6 SAC; Detroit had 2 (DT Haloti Ngata and DT Khyri Thornton); Baltimore had 4 (CB Anthony Levine (also had INT), LB Matt Judon (also had FF), DE Timmy Jernigan, LB Victor Ochi). Detroit also a FF (DT Anthony Zettel). The RBs definitely surprised me the most. I’m not surprised to see Theo Riddick taking the lead in Detroit, but I am surprised to see Terrence West taking the lead in Baltimore. I am SHOCKED that Justin Forsett hasn’t come to play at all, and he could be facing his release from Baltimore.
  3. New York Giants 21 VS New York Jets 20
  4. Philadelphia Eagles 33 @ Indianapolis Colts 23
  5. Tennessee Titans 27 @ Oakland Raiders 14
  6. Los Angeles Rams 9 @ Denver Broncos 17

Sunday

  1. San Diego Chargers 10 @ Minnesota Vikings 23
  2. Arizona Cardinals 24 @ Houston Texans 34
  3. Cincinnati Bengals 21 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 26

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on this weekend’s games and/or on my rant against Piece of Crapernick and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. I will continue my in-depth analysis of the above games in tomorrow’s post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a follower, please become a follower because that will guarantee that you will be able to find tomorrow’s post with further game analysis. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Weekend Update: July 31, 2016

“If nothing else in life, I want to be true to the things I believe in, and quite simply, to what I’m all about. I know I’d better, because it seems whenever I take a false step or two I feel the consequences.” –Peyton Manning, Future Hall of Fame QB

I wanted to put this fantastic new commercial in my post today. I didn’t really have a topic of discussion in mind for today, so I went with the purely entertaining route. DirecTV has fantastic commercials. This one is so good, I found a video that plays it twice. Plus, it has Manning AND Lionel Richie in it. That’s what I call a win-win. For more entertaining Peyton Manning-related content: 2016 ESPYs-Peyton Manning Tribute. But, to be a little philosophical about the quote, I agree with him. If you believe in something, stick with it because it will pay off. For me personally, my life is pretty great. In fact, it’s almost perfect. I credit that to the fact that I try to be as selfless as possible. It seems as though the few things that prevent my life from being totally perfect are things that resulted from moments of selfishness. So, I also agree with the ‘feel the consequences’ part. This blog is one way that I do my best to be selfless. I write the quote of the day and the following philosophical analysis because I want to inspire people. I want to inspire as many people as possible to believe in themselves. In my experience, the only better feeling than believing in yourself, comes from helping others believe in themselves. Plus, I truthfully believe that everybody has, within them, whatever they need, to accomplish whatever they want. I believe that I can inspire many people to believe in themselves, and not just via this blog. I also believe in myself as a writer, and as a sports fan. That’s why I write the daily NFL news:

  1. Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins began a contract holdout during the previous week. I guess he realized how ridiculous that was with two years left on his rookie contract because his holdout has already ended as of today. That’s good news for QB Brock Osweiler, because he could use as much practice as possible with the team’s top receiving threat.
  2. I, along with every other New York Giants fan and team member, received a massive scare today when WR Odell Beckham Jr was carted off the practice field. Luckily, he’s okay. He collided with CB Janoris Jenkins during practice, and Jenkins’ cleats left Beckham with a couple of minor cuts on his left leg. Head coach Ben McAdoo told the media today that, “He’s (Beckham) probably going to be sore for a couple days.” In essence, crisis averted.
  3. In other WR news, Antonio Brown is itching for a new contract in Pittsburgh. While he isn’t holding out like Hopkins, he is gently nudging the team by speaking about the situation with the media. Brown is entering year 5 of a 6 year deal, and makes just north of $6 million this season. His new deal will likely be worth A LOT more than that, whether it is with the Steelers, or another team. Regardless, the Steelers don’t have to start worrying about a new contract for Brown until next season.
  4. Houston Texans DE JJ Watt had back surgery this offseason. He is currently on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform List, and is unsure if he will be ready to go week 1. Should Watt sit week 1, (which isn’t likely with his love for the game) the team’s newly-revamped offense will be tested to keep pace with a breach in their defense’s containment.
  5. Carolina Panthers DE Kony Ealy is in the league’s concussion protocol after a helmet-to-helmet hit during Saturday’s practice. Ealy is in line for a bigger role in Carolina, so the team (and obviously, Ealy) is hoping he can come back quickly.
  6. Los Angeles Rams RB Tre Mason is trying to follow QB Nick Foles out the door. The RB has decided not to report to Rams camp. He has not spoken to the team since last season ended, and he has had five, police-involved incidents in the last four months. Foles left because of the young QB Jared Goff, Mason is leaving because of the young RB Todd Gurley.
  7. San Francisco 49ers OT Anthony Davis has been reinstated by the NFL, officially ending his retirement. Davis isn’t a lock to start, but likely will prove to be effective for a 49ers team that is DESPERATELY looking for talent. Even with Davis back, the 49ers season outlook is bleak.
  8. The Dallas Cowboys. They have been in the news recently for their troubled front seven on defense. Ironically, the team has now decided to change their entire outlook. With many Americans against the police right now, the Cowboys have requested, and received permission to wear a “Arm in Arm” decal on their helmets during preseason games, to show support for the police. This may be a tactic by owner Jerry Jones to deflect the negative feedback that he’s received over his front seven’s problems, but regardless, it is a very nice gesture.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote, and/or the daily news, and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: July 28, 2016

And yet, you were the one who said fear was necessary for command.” -Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Star Trek

Chris Pine is a phenomenal actor and the franchise reboot was done masterfully (albeit with an excessive amount of lens flares, Abrams). Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything from Star Trek: Beyond for you guys. In fact, I won’t even give my opinion on it right now. You’ll have to go watch it yourself. Anyway, this is one of the more interesting themes from the 2009 original reboot (yes, that’s an oxymoron): Fear. Fear is a large aspect in life. A lot of what people do is in relation to how they feel about fear. That’s what sets the bold apart from the complacent. The bold face their fears, and the complacent, do not. I agree with Spock (Kirk is referring to him when he says ‘you’), fear is necessary for command. The greatest of leaders are the ones who are able to overcome their fears to perform when the group they are leading needs them to do so the most. As this is a sports blog, I will give a sports example. In sports, those great leaders are typically considered ‘clutch’. I’m sure Cleveland was terrified when the Cavaliers were down 1-3 against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals this year. LeBron James overcame his fear of falling just short again and led his team to the amazing comeback that I use as a frequent example for things in my blog, now. So, fear is necessary for command because fear is what builds those commanders and teaches them to be able to lead, no matter what situation they are facing. To be perfectly honest, I am absolutely terrified of bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets (and any other flying, black-and-yellow insects with stingers). I am also afraid that I will encounter a hopeless situation. I live my life with total belief that I can accomplish anything, if only I find the correct approach. But, I recognize that it is not possible to have COMPLETE control of every situation. Sometimes, I can’t accomplish something because key choices involved in the accomplishment are not mine to make. It sucks when a situation doesn’t work out because of the doing of someone else. It’s like working in a group when a group member doesn’t do what they are supposed to for the team to run smoothly. Fear drives us. However, I write the NFL news without fear:

  1. Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain did not travel with the team to California for training camp. An explanation for this has yet to be delivered to the public, but it IS possible that McClain could be headed out the door soon in Dallas. He is already suspended for the first 10 games of this season, and this certainly doesn’t make it seem like he is committed to football.
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell plans to appeal his four-game suspension for violating the league policy on substances of abuse. Much like New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, I doubt the appeal will amount to anything for Bell. Honestly, I’m getting really tired of NFL players appealing their suspensions. If they hadn’t made mistakes in the first place, they wouldn’t be suspended. So if they want to avoid suspensions, they need to stop doing stupid things that they know they aren’t supposed to do!
  3. New York Jets WR Brandon Marshall challenged Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown to a high-stakes bet today. If Marshall ends the season with more receiving yards, he wants Brown’s Rolls Royce. If Brown ends the season with more receiving yards, Marshall has offered to get him a Porsche. Brown has yet to accept the bet, saying, “He [Marshall] don’t really wanna do that.” That’s a lucky statement for Marshall, who likely won’t come close to Brown’s receiving totals, despite having QB Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the building. Back out while you can Marshall! Brown is just more productive than you.
  4. The Minnesota Vikings have extended the contract of head coach Mike Zimmer. The length of the contract has yet to become available to the public, but I think it’s a great deal for both parties. The Vikings really don’t need too much more talent to get to the Super Bowl, the team is really good right now and has the youth to compete for many years to come.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote, and/or the daily news and/or anything that’s on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Weekend in Review: July 10, 2016

(Very minor language in the following scene)”When life gives you lemons? Don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad!” -Cave Johnson, Founder of Aperture Science

For those of you who have played Portal 2, you likely remember the EXACT moment this was said in the game. It is a FANTASTIC rant. For those of you who haven’t played Portal 2, I HIGHLY encourage you to give it a shot. It is a very well-done game and it’s loads of fun. I actually have played through the solo campaign AT LEAST 15 times. I once played it so many times in a row, that I memorized it, and finished the whole campaign in about 3 hours. (Hey, I’m proud of it! I don’t care how nerdy it is! It’s fun!) Even for those of you who aren’t gamers, you will likely find something fascinating throughout this game. I LOVE this rant. He’s SO right. Life throws a lot of crap at us that we don’t want, and we don’t deserve. Don’t just take it. Fight back. It’s like bullying. If you are the victim, the best way to stop the bully is to fight back and beat him/her. So fight back against life. Show life that the crap it throws at you is beneficial for you. There is a positive for every negative, and all you have to do is find it and embrace it. For example, the death of my beloved television was one instance of life giving me lemons. But I didn’t just take it. I fought back with a NEW television. A BETTER television. So my Madden, Portal 2, and Star Wars (I got an AWESOME new Kylo Ren lightsaber over the weekend!) marathon experiences now have a sharper picture! Take THAT life! Getting mad isn’t even the best way to do it. If you can beat the crap that life throws your way without letting it get to you, you are even better off. Again paralleling bullying, the bully (life) wants to affect you to hurt your self-esteem. If you don’t let it affect you, it will stop bullying you. There is always a way to succeed. Life will NEVER beat you when you STOP it. Now the news:

  1. Former NFL QB Michael Vick posted a photo-shopped picture of himself wearing a Golden State Warriors jersey today. I really only have one word for that: No.
  2. University of Oregon WR Devon Allen has booked his flight for the Rio Olympics. He placed FIRST in the US qualifying finals of the 110-meter hurdles yesterday night. INCREDIBLY impressive for a college athlete. Good for him, and best of luck at the Olympics. Bring home the gold for the US!
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell has been injured since tearing his MCL and PCL in Week 8 of last season. He believes he is on track with his rehab, and claims he will be ready for training camp. Though most players exaggerate how well they are doing in rehab, this is GREAT news for the Steelers. Bell is one of the best RBs in the NFL today, and the Steelers are FANTASTIC when their big three of Bell, QB Ben Roethlisberger, and WR Antonio Brown are all healthy.
  4. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley came out and said that he “couldn’t ask for better QB” of rookie Rams QB Jared Goff. Goff appears to be doing all the right things so far in gaining the support of prominent teammates like Gurley. How well he performs as a QB at the NFL level won’t be displayed until he hits the field in REAL games. If Gurley is right, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks will need to watch their backs in the NFC West sooner, rather than later.
  5. There has been a lot of controversy lately regarding which WRs are the best in the league due to some questionable rankings in the “Top 100 Players of 2016” list. Personally, I believe Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is the top dog in that group due to his consistent production every season. The next two are (supposedly) WR Odell Beckham Jr (duh) and WR Julio Jones? Beckham has the best hands in the league by far, so I believe he should be number 2 over Jones. I don’t believe Jones is number three. Who is, then? Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery? Definite possibility because he has been putting up big numbers with JAY CUTLER as his QB. He was also good enough to push WR Brandon Marshall and TE Martellus Bennett out of town. Cincinnati Bengals WR AJ Green? He has been the lone wolf receiving threat in Cincinnati (until TE Tyler Eifert’s emergence last season) and has put up big numbers. Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant? Played well even in the absence of starting QB Tony Romo. Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas? Has played VERY well despite receiving from QB Tim Tebow, and past-prime QB Peyton Manning. Okay, for last season ALONE, Jones definitely has a shot at the number three spot. However, personally, I would go with WR AJ Green. He really allowed for the emergence of both QB Andy Dalton and TE Tyler Eifert last season. Why did I bring this up? I bought an awesome statuette of New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr over the weekend! If you haven’t heard of McFarlane Figures, check them out because they make a lot of NFL player statuettes. So, I now have my OBJ one on my desk next to my New York Giants WR Victor Cruz one. Hopefully, the New York Giants starting offense this season will have the same duo.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news and/or anything that’s on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like (quick shout-out: my last post received quite a few likes, so thank you all VERY much for that and PLEASE tell me what you liked so much so that I can continue to improve like count 🙂 ). Have a pleasant tomorrow.