Final Thoughts from Super Bowl LI

tom-brady-super-bowl

At this point, people have said everything there is to say about the New England Patriots coming from 25 points down to win Super Bowl LI, their fifth Lombardi Trophy. Therefore, I just wanted to give some of my thoughts on the game and what it means for the future.

  1. Revenge Complete – Tom Brady was unfairly punished by Roger Goodell for something he did not do, and responded with the one of the best regular seasons and one of the best postseasons of all time. Brady won, Goodell lost, and the world is a better place because of it.
  2. Better comeback? – The Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, so a popular question in Boston now is which was better: Super Bowl LI or the 2004 ALCS? I still think I give the edge to the 3-0 comeback against the Yankees, but man that football game was epic.
  3. Brady/Belichick #5 – Tom Brady has now universally established himself as the greatest QB of all time by breaking the record for Super Bowl wins and Super Bowl MVP’s. Bill Belichick also broke a tie with Chuck Noll by winning a fifth Super Bowl as a head coach, also solidifying him as the greatest coach of all time.
  4. Boston Titletown – The Patriots championship makes ten overall for Boston pro sports since the Patriots first Super Bowl title in 2001. Boston has not gone more than three years without at least one championship since 2001.
  5. Three out of Four peat? – The Patriots open as the favorite to win Super Bowl LII in Vegas. A win in Super Bowl LII would mean the Patriots would have won three Super Bowls in four years for the second time.
  6. Tom Brady turns 40 – Tom Brady will be 40 at the start of the 2017 season and has showed no signs of slowing down. How long will he actually be able to perform at a high level? I think two more years but wouldn’t be surprised if he went beyond that.
  7. Offseason –  Now that the season is officially over, what will happen during the offseason. Will Jimmy Garoppolo get traded? Could Gronk get traded? Will the Patriots give Hightower a big contract? Will Martellus Bennett take less money to stay? Who should the team be looking at in the first round of the 2017 draft?

The Patriots season truly was incredible and winning the Super Bowl this year truly was the most satisfying of all the championships. I’m looking forward to enjoying this offseason as champions and competing for another trophy again next year.

Posted in NFL, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Isaiah Thomas is the First Half MVP of this Season

isaiah-thomas-nba-charlotte-hornets-boston-celtics-850x535

Isaiah Thomas was taken with the 60th and final pick in the 2011 draft out of Washington by the Sacramento Kings. After making no impact in Sacramento and Phoenix, Thomas was traded to the Celtics at the 2015 trade deadline and has been a crucial part of the Celtics’ success ever since. Boston made a run at the playoffs during that season and finished 7th in the East in large part thanks to Thomas. The following year Isaiah Thomas took over the role as starting point guard and led the team to a 48-34 record and the 5th seed in the playoffs.

king-of-4th

Despite high expectations for Thomas and the Celtics this season, Isaiah has been able to once again take it to another level and launch himself into the NBA’s elite. Not only has he been lighting it up from a scoring stand point (29.9 PPG – 2nd in NBA), but he has been scoring when it counts the most. Thomas is averaging 10.5 PPG in the fourth quarter alone, including four 20 point fourth quarters, which is on to pace to shatter the highest fourth quarter PPG in the last 20 years. Thomas’ 29.9 PPG is tied with Larry Bird in 1987 for the highest scoring season in Celtics’ history. If Isaiah can catch Russell Westbrook for the scoring title, he will be the first franchise player in history to do so. Thomas is also approaching John Havlicek’s records of 40 straight 20 point games (he currently has 34 and counting).

Thomas is also challenging several Celtics franchise records this season.

The biggest case for Isaiah Thomas for MVP this year is the Celtics’ record with him on the court. Since he returned from injury in mid-December, the Celtics are 19-6 and have risen all the way to the #2 seed in the East with a 32-18 record, sitting only 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas has averaged 33 points per game since coming back from injury, and has scored 60 points over the last three games in the fourth quarter alone. The little guy turns 28 years old on Tuesday and shows no signs of slowing down. I think no player is more valuable to his team at this point in the season right now than Isaiah Thomas.

Posted in NBA, Sports | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: La La Land (2016)

La La Land tells the story of two young people aspiring to make it big in the extremely competitive entertainment industry in Los Angeles. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz pianist whose passion is to make jazz popular again and start his own jazz club. Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress trying to land TV or movie roles but also wants to star in her own play and her write her own script. Sebastian and Mia keep running into each other coincidentally, either at a restaurant or a coffee shop or a party, until it becomes only a matter of time until they fall in love with each other. This movie examines the joy and hardships of these two young people as success in their respective careers forces them to make difficult life decisions about their relationship.

If you have paid attention to the movie world at all during the last few months, than it shouldn’t be surprising that I think this movie is nothing short of phenomenal. This is also coming from someone who is big into the horror movie genre and tends to dislike romance/musical type movies in general. The perfect word to describe this movie is beautiful. The cinematography was outstanding and the musical tracks throughout this entire movie did a great job at complementing the emotions portrayed by the main characters throughout. The acting from Gosling and Stone was outstanding because they really did an excellent job at portraying the real life struggles and emotions that occur when you are forced to decide between your career and someone you love. I thought the ending was brilliant and really tied together the entire theme of the movie by examining the consequences of the choices that young people, who have their whole lives ahead of them, can make.

IMDB: 8.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
My Rating: 9.5/10

This is one of those movies that everyone should see regardless of demographic or movie preference. I highly recommend it.

Posted in TV/Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super Bowl LI Preview and Prediction + Bonus Prop Bet Picks

sb51

pats-falcons

The NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons and AFC Champion New England Patriots travel to Houston to face off against each other in Super Bowl LI on February 5th. The Patriots will enter the game as 3 point favorites while the over under of 59.5 is the highest in Super Bowl history. The stakes for this game are pretty clear: Atlanta is seeking it’s first Super Bowl in team history while Tom Brady is seeking an NFL record 5th Super Bowl trophy while being able to exact revenge on corrupt commissioner Roger Goodell.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones lead a high flying offense with a multitude of weapons up against a Patriots defense that led the NFL by giving up just 15.6 points per game in the regular season. I expect the Patriots primary focus will be taking Julio out of the game by double teaming him with a combination of Logan Ryan or Malcolm Butler and a safety covering him at all times. The Patriots linebackers will have their work cut out for them trying to stop a dynamic duo in the Falcons backfield of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman who can be deadly in the screen game.

On defense, the Falcons have improved throughout the year and their speed has consistently caused turnovers for the opposing offense. However, even without Gronk, the Falcons will have their hands full trying to slow down Tom Brady and his multitude of weapons. I think the Patriots can use the ground game with Legarrette Blount and Dion Lewis to expose the smaller size of the Falcons defensive front. Tom Brady will look to utilize his go to weapons in the playoffs with Edelman and Hogan to carve up the Falcons secondary.

At the end of the day, this is a matchup of one team that consistently knows how to win against another team full of newcomers to the big stage. I think Belichick has a coaching advantage over Dan Quinn and I think the Patriots want this game more than the Falcons for a chance to get revenge over Deflategate and establish themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in the history of professional sports. New England beats Atlanta 31-26.

 

BONUS PROP BET PICKS

  • PATRIOTS -3 (obviously)
  • UNDER 59.5 total points scored (also obviously)
  • DION LEWIS (+2000) for MVP
  • TAILS for the coin flip
  • UNDER 2:20 for the national anthem
  • OVER 1.5 times Trump mentioned during broadcast
  • ANY OTHER COLOR (5/2) than blonde for Lady Gaga’s hair
  • UNDER 1.5 times deflategate mentioned during broadcast
  • UNDER 1.5 times Gisele shown during broadcast
  • BLUE (15/2) color of gatorade for winning team

Let me know your thoughts on the game in the comments down below!

Thanks,

Jeff

Posted in NFL, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 NFL Conference Championship Previews and Predictions

nfl-cc

Sunday, January 22nd at 3:05 PM: #4 Green Bay Packers @ #2 Atlanta Falcons (-4)

packers-vs-falcons-preview-green-bay-aaron-rodgers-to-duel-with-atlanta-offense

The NFC Championship may feature the best quarterback battle in recent playoff memory as red hot Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers fly south to Atlanta to take on MVP candidate Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ #1 scoring offense. Green Bay got off to a hot start in Dallas before barely hanging on at the end, while the Falcons were rarely tested in a blowout of Seattle. This game may come down to which defense makes a play during the final drive, as I expect both teams’ offenses to tee off on the opposing defense. I think the Packers’ defense has been very vulnerable and Matt Ryan, who is one of the bests QB’s when playing on his home turf, will make big plays to Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu. The Falcons defense does have a decent pass rush and if they can stall one or two key packer drives with a sack or negative play, Atlanta will have a great chance to move on. However, Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind and will carry the Packers to a 38-34 win.

Sunday, January 22nd at 6:40 PM: #3 Pittsburgh Steelers at #1 New England Patriots (-5.5)

pats-steelers

Arguably the two most successful franchises and quarterbacks in recent memory will clash on Sunday as Big Ben and the Steelers take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. These teams have combined for 10 Super Bowl titles while the quarterbacks alone have combined for  6 rings. The winner of this matchup will set an NFL record with their 9th Super Bowl appearance. The key to this game will be each team’s gameplan on defense. The Patriots will have to figure out how to stop Antonio Brown and Leveon Bell while the Steelers will have to pass rush Tom Brady and game plan for a myriad of offensive weapons that includes Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis. Tom Brady has had great success against the Steelers throughout his career including two victories over them in the AFC Championship, and has never lost to current Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. The Patriots will play a hard fought game and Bill Belichick will ultimately outcoach Mike Tomlin while Malcolm Butler contains Antonio Brown and the Pats run defense steps up. Patriots advance to Super Bowl LI 27-23.

Let me know your predictions in the comments down below!

Jeff

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 NFL Divisional Round Previews and Predictions

nfl-divisional

Saturday, January 14th at 4:30 PM: #3 Seattle Seahawks at #2 Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)

jones-sherman-011017-getty-ftrjpg_y6spnw2xg4se1i2za81sdwwze

The Seahawks travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons in a regular season rematch won by Seattle 26-24. Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman lead a Seahawks team that will be without Earl Thomas who suffered a season ending injury mid-season. Meanwhile, the Falcons are healthy and rested and Matt Ryan will be looking for his first playoff win since he beat the Seahawks back in 2012. The Falcons offense has been outstanding all season long as likely MVP Matt Ryan and superstar Julio Jones lead an offense that averaged an NFL best 34.8 points per game and only used one starting offensive line combination all season. However, the veteran Seattle defense will not be intimidated as they are no stranger to big playoff games. I think Atlanta’s defense will play well in this game and contain Wilson while the offense goes to work and puts up points in a 30-17 Atlanta win.

Saturday, January 14th at 8:15 PM: #4 Houston Texans at #1 New England Patriots (-16)

pats-texans

Houston travels to New England as the biggest playoff underdog since 1998. These teams met back in Week 3 where a Jacoby Brissett led Patriots team throttled them 27-0. Now the Patriots have Tom Brady and a much improved defense that has rested and had two weeks to prepare for a Texans team without their best player in JJ Watt. The Patriots are simply far superior in every aspect of the game: offense, defense, special teams, and coaching. Jadaveon Clowney will have to have some monster hits on Tom Brady or a major injury will have to occur for this game to even be close. Patriots advance 34-10.

Sunday, January 15th at 4:40 PM: #4 Green Bay Packers at #1 Dallas Cowboys (-4.5)

cowboys-packers

The red hot Packers roll into Big D to take on rookie sensations Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, and a Cowboys team that finished with the best record in the NFC a year after going 4-12. The Cowboys won the regular season matchup by Green Bay has won 7 straight games after steam-rolling the Giants last week and will be looking for revenge. Aaron Rodgers won’t have Jordy Nelson this game but has been incredible during the second half of the season and into the playoffs. The Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot easily led the NFL in rushing as a rookie behind a dominant offensive line and Dak Prescott will try to take advantage of a Green Bay secondary that has shown flaws by getting the ball to the trio of Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Cole Beasley. The Cowboys may be the more talented team but Green Bay is on a roll right now and knows how to win in the playoffs. Packers win it 28-24.

Sunday, January 15th at 8:20 PM: #3 Pittsburgh Steelers at #2 Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5)

kc-pitt

The closest matchup in terms of the spread is also a game that was the biggest blowout of the 4 rematches from the regular season. The Steelers steamrolled the Chiefs 43-14 early on in the season but Kansas City played very well down the stretch, stealing the division from Oakland in the last week to earn a bye and home playoff game. Pittsburgh has been hot as well winning 8 straight behind their star trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Leveon Bell, and Antonio Brown. However, the defense has been very bad at times and I think Kansas City’s offense can make big plays with receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Justin Houston and KC defense will do enough to slow down Big Ben as the Chiefs win 27-21.

Let me know your predictions in the comments down below!

Jeff

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 CFP National Championship Preview and Prediction

alabamaclemson

Monday, January 9th at 8:00 PM: #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-6.5) vs. #2 Clemson Tigers

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

The rematch is set as Jalen Hurts and Alabama face off against Deshaun Watson and Clemson for the second straight year in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Clemson got off to a slow start early but hit their stride late as Deshaun Watson made a run at the Heisman trophy. The Tigers lone loss was to Pitt but they rolled to the ACC title including a big win against Louisville along the way. After steamrolling Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, Clemson has all the confidence they need to avenge last year’s 45-40 national championship loss. Meanwhile, Alabama destroyed USC to start the season and cruised to the SEC title and Peach Bowl behind rookie quarterback sensation Jalen Hurts and a legendary defense led by national defensive player of the year Jonathan Allen. A relatively easy win over Washington in the Peach bowl gave the Crimson Tide it’s second straight championship appearance.

2234454-2

Alabama has dominated all season long and is clearly the best team in the country this year. However, if there’s a team out there that can pull the upset, it’s the Clemson Tigers. Deshaun Watson thrives in the spotlight and has championship experience while coach Dabo Swinney has the brains to go to head to head with Nick Saban. I think Clemson’s defense can make enough plays to rattle Jalen Hurts and grab an early lead, which is critical to having any chance against Alabama. Deshaun Watson will make clutch plays down the stretch and the Tigers will play like the team that just wants to win it all a little bit more than the defending champs. Clemson defeats Alabama 31-30 and Watson wins the MVP as the ACC defeats the SEC to win it all for the second time in four years (FSU over Auburn, 2013).

Let me know what your prediction is in the comments down below!

Thanks,
Jeff
Posted in NCAA, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment