Five NFL stats you shouldn’t let fool you

Stats can tell you a lot, and most of the time they’re accurate. However, sometimes stats tell lies. Sometimes stats tell you teams or players are better or worse than they actually are. Through five weeks of the NFL season, that’s been the case. Here are five NFL stats you shouldn’t let fool you as the season goes on. 

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DSC_0048” by Brian J. McDermott is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1. New England Patriots – 6.8 points allowed per game

Through five games, the New England defense has allowed an average of 6.8 points per game. This number has put them in the conversation with some of the best defensive units of all-time. While the Patriots are a good defensive team, they shouldn’t be in that conversation.

In their first five games, the Patriots have played the Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, Bills and Redskins. The only team on that list with a winning record is the Bills (4-1), but they have the interception prone Josh Allen as their quarterback. Between the other four teams, there’s a combined one win. To this point in the season, the Patriots have had the easiest schedule in the NFL.

There’s not one offense the Patriots have played that’s averaging more than 20 points per game right now. The best offense they’ve faced was the Steelers’, who are averaging 19.8 points. Three of the other four teams are averaging 15 points or less and are currently the three worst offensive teams in the league (Redskins, Jets and Dolphins).

Basically what I’m saying is, the 6.8 points allowed per game average won’t last through the season. The last team to average less than 10 points allowed was the 1977 Atlanta Falcons, who averaged 9.2 points allowed per game. Since then, the closest team to doing it was the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. They averaged 10.3 points allowed.

New England will likely keep their points per game average below 10 points per game over the next few weeks, as they play the Giants, Jets and Browns in their next three games. After that, the Patriots take on the Ravens, Eagles, Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs in five straight weeks.

I’ll give the Patriots credit for what they’ve done, because averaging 6.8 points allowed per game isn’t easy, regardless of who you play. However, this number makes the Patriots seem way better than they actually are.

 

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Von Miller, Kirk Cousins” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Von Miller – 2.0 sacks

We’ve all been a little surprised by the lack of sacks Von Miller has totaled through the first five game of the season. It’s not often we see a player of Miller’s caliber with just 2.0 sacks in five games. It has been a rough season for Miller and the Broncos’ defense so far, and it’s even tougher now that Bradley Chubb is out for the year.

We shouldn’t worry too much about Miller though. There has only been one time in Miller’s career he’s had less than 10 sacks. That season came in 2013 when Miller played in just nine games. Every other year of his career, Miller has finished with 10.0 sacks or more.

Bradley Chubb being out will definitely make things harder for Von Miller, but there have been years when Miller’s been the only real sack artist on his team. Most recently was in 2017 when the second leading sack artist had 5.5 sacks. Don’t expect Miller’s sack total to stay this low.

 

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Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Redskins” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3. Baker Mayfield – 68.5 passer rating

If there’s ever been a sophomore slump from an NFL quarterback, it’s Baker Mayfield’s 2019 season so far. Mayfield finished his rookie season with a passer rating of 93.7 after completing 63.8% of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

So far in his second season, Mayfield has a passer rating of just 68.5. One of the biggest reasons for that is Mayfield’s completion percentage. Through five weeks, Mayfield has completed 55.9% of his passes. He’s also thrown twice as many interceptions (eight) as he has touchdowns (four).

Being an inaccurate passer has never been who Baker Mayfield is. In college, Mayfield completed 68.5% of his passes. He completed more than 70% of his passes in his last two seasons at Oklahoma.

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with Mayfield, but it seems like he’s trying to do too much. As the season goes on, expect him to calm down and start playing like who he really is.

 

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DeAngelo Hall, Adam Thielen” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Minnesota Vikings – 191.0 passing yards per game

As things currently stand, the Minnesota Vikings rank 29th in passing yards per game, averaging 191.0. That number is down from the 252.2 per game they averaged last season, which ranked 13th.

It’s no secret the Minnesota wide receivers have been frustrated with the passing game so far. They’ve made it clear the Vikings need to pass the ball more. That’s exactly what they did last week against the Giants. In that game, Kirk Cousins threw for 306 yards. 130 of those yards were to receiver Adam Thielen alone.

I think the Vikings’ coaching staff may have got a little too excited about the 111 yard game running back Dalvin Cook had on the ground in their first game of the season. That game was followed up by 154 and 110 yard rushing performances in their second and third games.

With Cook running so well, the Vikings thought they didn’t need to pass the ball. That was until the Bears held Cook to 35 yards in Week 4. The Vikings found a balance against the Giants, leading to Cook having another rushing performance over 100 yards and the passing offense looking good.

The 191.0 passing yards per game the Vikings have averaged through five weeks will quickly go up. This is a much better passing team than they’ve shown so far, especially with one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league in Thielen and Diggs.

 

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Dallas Cowboys” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Ezekiel Elliott – 77.2 rush yards per game

With 386 rushing yards in five games, running back Ezekiel Elliott is currently ranked 8th in the NFL in rushing. The lowest he’s finished in his career is 10th, and that was in a season in which he missed six games due to suspension.

The biggest reason why Elliott is further down on the rushing list this season than we’re used to seeing, is because he’s averaging 77.2 rushing yards per game. Prior to this season, the lowest rushing yards per game Elliott has averaged is 95.6, which happened last season when Elliott led the NFL in rushing for the second time in three seasons.

I wouldn’t expect this current pattern to continue as the season goes on. The Dallas Cowboys have relied heavily upon the run game for years, and I don’t see any reason why it’s going to stop now. Dallas hasn’t had much opportunity to run the ball over the last few weeks because they’ve dug themselves into early holes. That should change against the Jets, and then moving forward.

Running the ball is what the Cowboys do best, and they must get back to that if they want to have another successful season. Rookie running back Tony Pollard may be another reason why Elliott’s numbers have taken a hit, but when it comes down to it, the Cowboys should soon realize they have to rely on their best offensive player to carry them.

2019 NFL Season: Week 5 picks

Week 5 NFL
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 39-23-1

Aman: 37-25-1

Dan: 43-19-1

Joel: 37-25-1

Rahim: 38-24-1

 

Rams @ Seahawks (Thursday night)

Not sure what happened to the Rams last week on defense, but it was a poor effort. That was against Jameis Winston. If they play that poorly against the Seahawks, Russell Wilson will crush them. I believe their defensive effort will be much better in this game. The Rams and Seahawks always seem to have close games, and I expect this to be another one.

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Rams

Rahim: Rams

 

Jets @ Eagles

The Eagles dominated the Packers last week offensively, and I believe they’ll do the same against the Jets. With Sam Darnold still out, the Jets don’t really stand a chance. The Eagles looked good, and the Jets aren’t.

Predictions

Adam: Eagles

Aman: Eagles

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Eagles

 

Jaguars @ Panthers

The Minshew magic is real! I’m not sure how Minshew continues to do it, but he does. He’s been fun to watch this season. Another quarterback who has been fun to watch is Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, who has two wins in his two starts this season. Will Allen be able to manage the game enough for the Panthers against a tough Jaguars defense, or will Minshew’s magic continue?

Predictions

Adam: Jaguars

Aman: Panthers

Dan: Jaguars

Joel: Jaguars

Rahim: Jaguars

 

Vikings @ Giants

The Vikings by far have the toughest defense Daniel Jones has faced up to this point. Last week Jones got the win, but he didn’t look great along the way like he did the week before. Despite the Giants not allowing the Redskins to do much on offense last week, I don’t believe their defense is that good. The Vikings will have a much better day against this defense, especially with Dalvin Cook seeking to rebound from a poor showing on the ground.

Predictions

Adam: Giants

Aman: Giants

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Vikings

 

Falcons @ Texans

The Falcons continue to struggle because they get off to slow starts and can’t catch up later in the game. The Texans continue to struggle because they continue allowing Deshaun Watson to be under pressure and take sacks. Which team will overcome their weakness?

Predictions

Adam: Texans

Aman: Texans

Dan: Texans

Joel: Texans

Rahim: Texans

 

Buccaneers @ Saints

It’s obvious the Saints have built their team to succeed past the Drew Brees era. They dominated defensively last week. They have a tough matchup against the Buccaneers this week, especially after the 50+ points they put up against the Rams a week ago. Can they slow down a hot Buccaneers offense like they did against Dallas last week?

Predictions

Adam: Buccaneers

Aman: Saints

Dan: Buccaneers

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Saints

 

Bills @ Titans

Josh Allen showed his true self against the Patriots last week, throwing multiple interceptions and completing less than 50% of his passes. He may not even play in this game because of an injury, so we’ll have to wait and see there. If he’s out, Matt Barkley will take over. He didn’t look good last week either. Regardless of who plays quarterback for the Bills, their defense can keep them in this game, especially against a Titans offense who has been very inconsistent all season long.

Predictions

Adam: Titans

Aman: Titans

Dan: Bills

Joel: Bills

Rahim: Bills

 

Cardinals @ Bengals

One of these teams will get their first win of the season. I’m leaning towards the Cardinals because they’ve been the more competitive team between the two so far, but the Bengals have been competitive at times this season too. Expect a good game between two teams seeking their first victories.

Predictions

Adam: Bengals

Aman: Cardinals

Dan: Cardinals

Joel: Cardinals

Rahim: Cardinals

 

Patriots @ Redskins

The Redskins have yet to win a game, and now they play the Patriots. They’ll be waiting at least one more week for their first win.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Patriots

 

Ravens @ Steelers

The Steelers got their first win of the season last week, but it was against the winless Bengals. Will they be able to keep up with the high powered offense of the Ravens? After the Ravens have lost two straight games to the Chiefs and Browns, they’ll likely come out ready to score a lot of points and get back in the win column. The Steelers will have to play almost perfectly offensively to keep up with what Lamar Jackson might do.

Predictions

Adam: Steelers

Aman: Ravens

Dan: Ravens

Joel: Ravens

Rahim: Ravens

 

Bears @ Raiders

You already know Khalil Mack can’t wait to destroy the Raiders! The Bears dominated defensively last week against the Vikings, and I don’t see any reason why they won’t do so again this week. The Bears may be without Trubisky due to injury, but if the defense can put the offense in good spots, they won’t need him to win this one.

Predictions

Adam: Bears

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Bears

Rahim: Bears

 

Broncos @ Chargers

The Chargers are the easy choice here because the Broncos have yet to win a game, but this is a division game, so the Chargers should already know it’s not an easy win. The Chargers do get Melvin Gordon back, but how much will he play? With the way Austin Ekeler has been playing, they could take their time to get him all the way back.

Predictions

Adam: Chargers

Aman: Chargers

Dan: Chargers

Joel: Chargers

Rahim: Broncos

 

Packers @ Cowboys

Both teams suffered their first loss of the season last week and will be looking to rebound in this one. After both taking a loss, a win here is very important for each team because of who plays in their division. Both teams are leading their divisions right now, but it may not be the case for long if they lose.

The Packers were good offensively last week for the most part, but their defense gave up a ton of points. On the other side, Dallas had their worst offensive outing by far, scoring just 10 points. However, their defense didn’t allow a touchdown and gave up just 12 points. Who will rebound in this game, the Packers’ defense or the Cowboys’ offense?

Predictions

Adam: Cowboys

Aman: Cowboys

Dan: Cowboys

Joel: Packers

Rahim: Packers

 

Colts @ Chiefs (Sunday night)

Considering the fact that the Colts lost to the Raiders last week, I can’t pick them to beat the Chiefs. The Chiefs are just too good.

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Chiefs

Joel: Chiefs

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Browns @ 49ers (Monday night)

The 49ers are one of the few undefeated teams left, but now they play a Browns team who all of a sudden turned it on and is now leading their division. Having played the Buccaneers, Bengals and Steelers, the 49ers haven’t really been tested yet. Now they play a Browns team who hung in their with the Rams and beat the Baltimore Ravens. Can the Browns keep this up? Can the 49ers prove they can beat a team who isn’t at the bottom of the league?

Predictions

Adam: 49ers

Aman: 49ers

Dan: 49ers

Joel: Browns

Rahim: Browns

NFL Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week Five

We are now a quarter of the way through the 2019 NFL season and we are getting a closer look at how our teams are looking.

“D.J. Swearinger, Jack Doyle” by KA Sports Photos licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

I hope you have continued to find the right pieces to make your team better. Were you able to drop guys like RB Wayne Gallman and TE Will Dissly and they helped lead you to victory.

Let’s see what players could help you do that this week as we check out the waiver. 

Quarterbacks

  1. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts, 67.9 percent availability
  2. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings, 71.4 percent availability
  3. Gardner Minshaw II, Jacksonville Jaguars, 85.7 percent availability
  4. Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers, 87.2 percent availability
  5. Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos, 96.2 percent availability 

Brissett continued to show us that he’s not bothered by the players around him. Despite not having WR T.Y. Hilton last week, Brissett still had a nice game finding both TEs for touchdowns, but it was on a losing effort.  This week will likely be another loss,  but he and the Colts are going to have the tough task of going up against the Kansas City Chiefs and we hope to see Hilton return and help Brissett try to beat the Chiefs in a potential shout out. 

Cousins will be looking to rebound from a tough outing against the division rival, Chicago Bears.  Cousins and the Vikings WR need to get things going again of they plan to win games and make playoffs.  This week against the Giants we should expect to see more of an offensive game for Cousins.

Minshaw has lead his team to another impressive win.  He has given everything he could in the final game winning drive against Denver.  This week,  he has the shaky Panthers defense to worry about. And let’s be honest,  it’s going to be a huge load of the running backs again.  I think Minshaw will use RB Leonard Fournette to set up the passing game.

Rudolph continues to show us improvement on a week to week basis.  But this week it was the heavy load for both RBs in the Steelers playbook. We hope to continue to see success in the passing game and hopefully you can add him to play alongside the WR that no body wants in JuJu Smith-Schuster. For the sake of my team and many others,  Rudolph needs to find JuJu more targets. 

Flacco will likely be on here weekly as many people sleep on what he is able to do for the Broncos offense.  Look to WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton to help bring Flacco’s value up. In a divisional match up this week against the Chargers, Flacco could look to continue to find a connection with his receivers as they try to pick up their first win of the season after having lost by a game-winning field goal in each of the last two weeks.

Running Backs

  1. Wayne Gallman, New York Giants, 38.1 percent availability
  2. Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles, 44 percent availability
  3. Darrell Williams, Kansas City Chiefs, 55.7 percent availability
  4. Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 58.8 percent availability
  5. Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers, 80.8 percent availability

Gallman is a must add if he is still available to do so. We saw how big of a role he had in the Giants offense with the absence of RB Saqoun Barkley. I have to admit, I love the young guys on the Giants team out here balling out. Gallman has been trying to prove himself worthy of a spot in the rotation and with Barkley out, he’ll be shining bright. Look for him to continue to find a strong connection with QB Daniel Jones as they look to surprise us all and continue to bring back the explosive offense we all missed.

Howard may or may not have as great of a game as he did last Thursday night against the Packers, but he has certainly given himself the lead in the Eagles backfield. I am literally shooting myself in the foot because I drafted Howard and used him as a trade asset to only find out that he was on the waivers and I’ll probably not be able to get him, but you should jump on him when you can because I can continue seeing him doing much of what he did as a member of the Chicago Bears. 

As long as Damien Williams is out, Darrell Williams should be an option for your team. Darrell did a great job in week four as he was splitting snaps with LeSean McCoy. He added two more touchdowns in his season. Keep an eye on the status of Damien before making this addition. 

Jones is slowly having himself a nice season, it’s a bit surprising to be honest because of how the offense is playing. Coach Bruce Arians has really helped the Buccaneers get to a 3-1 record early on and they look like a team that has a real chance. Jones looks like the RB that the Buccaneers drafted last year from Southern Cal and he is slowly getting more and more carries from starting RB Peyton Barber.

Samuels and Conner were the highlight of the Steelers first win of the season and I could honestly see Samuels continue to have a similar role in the future weeks. Like I said before with the addition of Rudolph, until the WRs get figured out with him, Samuels will be a key role to the Steelers future success. 

Wide Receivers

  1. Golden Tate, New York Giants, 48.3 percent availability
  2. John Brown/Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills, 40.9/79.4 percent availability
  3. Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers, 72.8 percent availability
  4. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers, 93.8 percent availability
  5. A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans, 96 percent availability
  • Tate signed with the Giants this offseason as they were looking to find another piece to catch the ball after trading Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland. Tate was dealing with a suspension for the first four weeks of the season and he is set to make his season debut. With the new energized offense, Tate could be a nice sneaky addition to your team as we look to find somebody to help us find bye week replacements. 

    Brown and Beasley have continued to be a big part of the Bills success along with QB Josh Allen. I do think that they will continue to be in the big role as they have been this season. The Bills ability to run the ball is also a bonus for this team as they look into the position of being a playoff team.

    Allison had a rocky start to the NFL season, but Davante Adams likely out for their game against the Cowboys with a turf toe, Allison becomes more valuable. Allison was expected to be the WR2 for the Packers when the season started, but it’s been a mixture of him and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. I expect to see Allison have a lot of success within the next few weeks. 

    Johnson is the only Steelers receiver that is having success and I don’t think of it too much, but I do think that Johnson could continue to be a part of the Steelers passing game, especially with the recent struggles of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Johnson was the fourth WR on the depth chart coming into week three and he is now WR2 behind JuJu. Johnson has grabbed a touchdown in each of the last two weeks and he could see an increased role.

    Brown had a breakout game against the Falcons where he scored his first two career touchdowns and this could be a bright spot for him and his rookie season as the Titans look to continue to get things right on the offense side. Add Brown and keep an eye on him as a good sleeper in the league. 

    Tight Ends

    1. Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks, 32.7 percent availability
    2. Jack Doyle, Indianpolis Colts, 78.2 percent availabilty
    3. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills, 96.3 percent availability
    4. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 99.6 percent availability
    5. Chris Herndon, New York Jets, 91.9 percent availability

    For the third week in a row we have a Will Dissly touchdown catch. It looks to be healthy and he will have an even more important role now that the Seahawks traded Nick Vannett to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m excited to see him do this all year long. 

    Doyle was having some early success on Sunday in their loss against the Raiders and he is looking like he’ll have another successful season. I think that the Colts will continuously use Doyle and Ebron alongside WR T.Y. Hilton. 

    Knox is another piece to the young Bills offense that we could see have success as the weeks go on. With Josh Allen at Quarterback, the Bills offense looks like it could make some noise this season. 

    Brate is part of the Buccaneers offense that we expect to see continuing to have success. The Buccaneers are surprisingly having a strong start and we are not going to expect the big numbers every week, but Brate is becoming a better addition to our lineups.

    Herndon has one more have
    game left on his four game suspension and he could be a nice addition to your team as the bye weeks come. Herndon might be able to help the Jets offense move the ball more with his presences as a pass catcher. Of course,  we don’t expect him to outshine RB Le’Veon Bell but it could help Bell get more receptions too. Add Herndon has  bye week replacement and see how he does because you won’t need to worry about his bye either.

    ______________________________________

    Let’s make week five better than the last and hope that you pick up the right players to help you win as we start hitting the ground running.

     

    Thank you, Joe Maddon

    Joe Maddon
    “Billy Bean, MLB’s VP of social responsibility and inclusion, wilth Cubs skipper Joe Maddon on #SpiritDay.” by Arturo Pardavila III is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    At the end of the 2014 season, the Cubs were 73-89, another losing season mired amidst a team in the middle of a rebuild.

    Rick Renteria was the manager back then, hired only a year prior and promised by team president Theo Epstein that he would be back as skipper of the Lovable Losers.

    Long story short, Renteria was given the boot and Joe Maddon, the highly successful and slightly unorthodox manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, was in.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

    471 wins. Four consecutive postseason berths. Three consecutive NLCS appearances. One massive, end-all World Series title.

    That, folks, is the resume of a manager who will go down as one of the best Cubs skippers in a long time. Or maybe ever.

    All good things must come to an end unfortunately. Maddon, the pragmatic skipper who helped end the Cubs’ 108-year World Series drought, ended a fabulous five-year run at the helm of the Chicago Cubs last Sunday, with a bottle of Corona in his hand as he talked to reporters one last time. Classic Joe style.

    It ended an unremarkable season in which the Cubs failed to reach the postseason for the first time under Maddon, finishing with a 84-78 record. A season in which the Cubs’ bullpen blew 28 saves, tied for third-most in MLB. Hell, even if they notch half of those saves, they win 98 games. But I digress, this is about Joe.

    Joe had an unorthodox style when it came to setting a roster, rarely using the same lineup on back-to-back days. Maddon may not have used the same lineup all season for that matter. Regardless, it seemed to work for the past five years, and the players didn’t seem to mind–that was Joe’s way.

    Joe brought with him a different kind of culture rarely seen by current MLB managers, one that seemed to fit the mold of the youthful roster the Cubs presented him when he signed on to lead the Cubs back in November of 2014. Costume parties for road trips. Bringing in a magician to help lighten the mood amidst a losing streak in 2015. Yearly team slogans, including maybe his best “Try not to suck” line from the magical 2016 season. This was, and still is, the way Joe operates and connects with his players.

    Maddon was the one who told Javy Baez to just be himself. Baez had struggled as a 21-year old highly touted prospect in 2014, striking out a ton and nearly quitting the game of baseball. Four years later, Baez was MVP runner-up and is a major piece of the Cubs roster.

    It was Maddon who told Kris Bryant his door was always open for him, another highly regarded hitter out of the Cubs’ farm system. Kris Bryant won rookie of the year in 2015 and was the MVP in 2016.

    Anthony Rizzo became one of the best first basemen in the game while under Maddon. Rizzo has seen both extremes as a Cub, playing on 100-loss teams and then on the 100-win team in 2016. Rizzo–a young player himself–became a leader for the youthful Cubs, being one of the most tenured players on the squad. “Joe has changed my life, changed my career,” Rizzo said after learning Joe would be moving on. “I love him like a dad.”

    This is just a snippet of what Joe Maddon brought to the Cubs. The common theme? He let the players be themselves. There were more good times than bad under Maddon, but even in the bad times, morale was high. The Cubs were a tight-knot group under Joe. They were allowed to be themselves and have fun.

    I’m not sure what the next manager will bring to the Cubs. 2020 is going to look different in Wrigleyville. Maddon won’t be there, standing on the top step of the dugout, laughing and smiling with the group of kids he has mentored, many of them the only manager they have ever known. A definite father figure.

    Will that affect the chemistry that many of them have grown accustomed to? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure: Joe Maddon changed the culture of the Cubs for the better. As a fan, one can only hope it stays that way, no matter who they decide to bring in.

    Five years ago, Joe Maddon signed up to become manager of the Chicago Cubs. The same Cubs that had not won a championship in an eternity and then-some, the same Cubs that were in rebuild mode, but had a plethora of unproven young up-and-coming stars. It was Joe who took a risk to be the person that could go down in Cubs lore as a savior, or as many had done before him, just another notch on the Cubs managerial belt of mediocrity and disappointment. In the end, it was Joe who took that chance and it was Joe who delivered.

    As a fan, I’ll never forget game seven of the 2016 World Series, when Joe pulled starter Kyle Hendricks in the fifth inning. Hendricks had been cruising and was arguably the top pitcher for the Cubs that postseason. I cursed Joe for that decision, screaming at the TV in my living room thinking Joe was overthinking things. It wasn’t the first or last time I questioned a Maddon decision, but it felt like at that moment Joe had panicked and the chance of a Cubs title in my lifetime had gone down the drain yet again in the biggest moment I had ever experienced as a Cubs fan.

    But the rest, as they say, is history, and Joe said it best, standing in the hallway holding his Corona after his final game managing the Cubs: “If anyone wants to denigrate what we’ve done over the past five years, come see me at some point.” Touche, Joe. Touche.

    And as he stood there, in that hallway in Busch Stadium for the last time in Cubbie blue, Joe left Cubs fans with a lasting impression of the man that we all got to know over the past five seasons: “For those that say those critical things, if you were in the other dugout, I would kick your ass,” he said. “That’s pretty much how this whole thing would work out, so just know that. Your ass would be kicked.”

    Classic closing line. Thank you, Joe. Cheers.

     

    College Football Games to Watch: Week five

    Okay, I did not see that coming! I mean who really did? The number of top 25 teams that lost this week surprises me, but it’s not that shocking because we get it every year. How many will lose in week five? How about them bouncing back?

    5216854806_fee2993d07_o
    IMG_5573 by John Martinez Pavliga is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Of those eight teams that lost was the Central Florida Golden Knights who had the longest active winning-streak in the regular season snapped in their 35-34 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers.

    We also saw Arizona, Utah, TCU and Washington State loss to unranked opponents.  Michigan, Texas A&M and Notre Dame lost tough games against ranked opponents.

    This makes for an interesting rest of the season as most of teams likely knocked themselves out of the playoffs already. Despite Michigan losing, they could still make playoffs if they do what they are suppose too.  But let’s see about the rest of the teams as we take a look at this week’s top games.

    Top 25 vs. Top 25:

    10 Notre Dame versus 18 Virginia

    Notre Dame fought hard to try to upset the No. 3 team in the country, Georgia. They looked to have the Georgia Bulldogs beat early in the first half with their tough defense until Georgia found a way to open up the run game and take over. 

    Unfortunately, with that loss, Notre Dame’s chances of making the playoffs are very slim despite still being a top 10 team.  A win against an undefeated ranked opponent like Virginia might help them a little bit,  but I could also hurt them. 

    See Virginia isn’t expected to finish in the top 25 anyways.  They still have to play some of the better competition in the ACC like Clemson, so this game is important if they want to stay relevant! Can the Cavaliers fight the Irish and knock them out for good?

    17 Washington versus 21 Southern Cal

    It’s interesting the type of impact BYU has on the PAC-12 this season. I three of their first four games,  BYU has played Utah, Washington, and USC.  BYU has lost to both utah and Washington, but beat USC. 

    Why is that important? Well because USC might have lost to BYU,  but they have beaten Utah and Stanford. If you think about, USC might be able to beat Washington too.  But Washington crushed BYU after their loss to California and QB Jacob Eason showed why he’s the best in the PAC-12.

    Who will come out on top in a very important game that could decide who wins the PAC-12?

    Bounce Back Games:

    Arizona State versus 15 California:

    If their win over Michigan State a few weeks ago,  Arizona State looked to take advantage of their own destiny.
    Unfortunately, they lost to a nail-biter to Colorado and have been knocked out of the top 25.

    This week isn’t going to be any easier as they have to face a ranked Cal team that has already beaten Washington and made a big statement with their defense and it could be the same this weekend.

    20 Michigan versus Rutgers:

    Michigan took a huge loss to Wisconsin in a big conference game that raises major concern for the Wolverines.  They were one of the favorites to win the Big Ten, but this loss has set them back.

    They will need a big win over Rutgers to bounce back which we all hope should happen. Despite the loss,  Michigan isn’t eliminated from playoff contention yet. They have plenty of more tough games to go, but they can’t let this one get away from them.

    22 Central Florida versus Connecticut

    Central Florida did something they haven’t done since 2016 and isn’t nothing good.  Central Florida lost their first regular season game since 2016 after finishing top 10 in each of the last three years.  Central Florida had the nation’s longest winning streak in the regular season snapped against the Pittsburgh Panthers of all teams.  It was a late touchdown that put the Panthers ahead 42-41 and beat the Golden Knights.  The Golden Knights will look to get back on track with a win over Connecticut as they start to enter conference play.

    19 Utah versus Washington State

    Like I mentioned above,  Utah lost to USC and this put them out of the possible chance at the playoffs. I mean honestly speaking,  the only team in the PAC-12 that may have a chance in the PAC-12 is Oregon. But the Utah Utes are looking to bounce back from their loss against the Trojans with another tough game against a conference opponent.

    23 Texas A&M versus Arkansas

    Texas A&M will definitely not be in the playoff hunt as they have already lost to Clemson and Auburn.  They also have games against LSU, Alabama  and Georgia, so they will be more focused on trying to be bowl eligible by seasons end.

    This game against Arkansas should help them bounce back from a rough start to the season as we continue to go through this season’s journey with them.

    Games of Interest:

    8 Wisconsin versus Northwestern

    After a huge win over Michigan, Wisconsin has joined Ohio State as the favorite in the Big Ten and this could be a good season for them.

    This game is a trap game for Wisconsin as they lost to Northwestern last season and everything went down hill from there.

      If Wisconsin gets by Northwestern they only have a few more tough opponents left before being able to find themselves in the conference game and possibly battling Ohio State for a playoff spot. 

    6 Oklahoma versus Texas Tech

    This is expected to be an offense shootout like most games in the Big XII are. With both teams coming out of a bye week, they have had enough time to prepare for each other and we are looking at forward to see Jalen Hurts lead the Sooners to another win as they look to make their third straight playoff appearance. 

    But can Texas Tech really pull off this upset, they honestly don’t look the same without coach Kliff Kingsbury.  They are still a good team,  but that energy isn’t there and maybe they will find it against Oklahoma, but still look forward to having a good game here. 

    7Auburn versus Mississippi State

    Auburn’s test of the tough SEC started last week and we expect them to continue their battle throughout the whole season as we watch QB Bo Nix continue to do great things with his arm.  This is a trap game for Auburn and could ruin their whole season if it was a loss. Will Mississippi State be able to pull off the upset? Let’s watch this weekend and see what’s in story for us!

    ————————————————————
    Who will get upset this week? Can we see  Notre Dame and Michigan battle their way back into the top 10 before they kick off against each other? Will Washington take the lead in the PAC-12 or will USC once again beat a top 25 ranked conference opponent? Let’s see how all these games play out and what changes will be made?

    2019 NFL Season: Week 4 picks

    NFL Week 4 Picks.png
    Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

    Current Standings

    Adam: 32-15-1

    Aman: 29-18-1

    Dan: 35-12-1

    Joel: 30-17-1

    Rahim: 31-16-1

     

    Eagles @ Packers (Thursday night)

    The Eagles have too many injuries right now. We’ve seen how big of an impact those injuries have made over the last two weeks. Those injuries will likely continue to play a big role against the Packers. Even at full strength it would be tough to beat this Packers defense, which is currently one of the best in the league. Aaron Rodgers and a tough defense might be too much for the Eagles with all those injuries.

    Predictions

    Adam: Packers

    Aman: Packers

    Dan: Packers

    Joel: Packers

    Rahim: Packers

     

    Redskins @ Giants

    This game will solely be focused on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. He led a comeback last week against the Buccaneers, totaling four touchdowns. He looked good last week, but can he do it again? The Daniel Jones hype train is moving full speed, and we’ll see if he can keep it going against the 0-3 Redskins.

    Predictions

    Adam: Giants

    Aman: Giants

    Dan: Giants

    Joel: Redskins

    Rahim: Giants

     

    Chiefs @ Lions

    The Lions have had a nice start to their season, but now it’s time to really put them to the test. Patrick Mahomes looks like he’s even better than he was a season ago, which is scary for not only the Lions, but the entire league. We’ll see how the Lions play against one of the best offensive teams in the league.

    Predictions

    Adam: Chiefs

    Aman: Chiefs

    Dan: Chiefs

    Joel: Chiefs

    Rahim: Chiefs

     

    Titans @ Falcons

    I feel like neither of these teams are playing to their potential right. For one team, that will continue in this game, but the other will get a confidence boost after this win. Which team can put it all together offensively to get their team a win?

    Predictions

    Adam: Falcons

    Aman: Falcons

    Dan: Falcons

    Joel: Falcons

    Rahim: Falcons

     

    Browns @ Ravens

    Despite being one of the most hyped up teams in the offseason, the Browns still have a lot of holes to fill on their team. They hung in there against the Rams last week, but they still couldn’t overcome their problems. Lamar Jackson is not a quarterback to have problems against, and neither is this Ravens defense.

    Predictions

    Adam: Ravens

    Aman: Ravens

    Dan: Ravens

    Joel: Ravens

    Rahim: Ravens

     

    Raiders @ Colts

    Despite not having Andrew Luck, the Colts are playing pretty well right now. They’re still a competitive team, which shows how well they’ve been built. The Raiders are still the Raiders, meaning they’re still bad. I expect a still competitive Colts team to get the win over a still bad Raiders team.

    Predictions

    Adam: Colts

    Aman: Colts

    Dan: Colts

    Joel: Colts

    Rahim: Colts

     

    Patriots @ Bills

    Even though the Bills are one of the few 3-0 teams in the league, I can’t help but feel that they’re the worst of the group. Wins over the Jets, Giants and Bengals aren’t really that impressive. The Patriots are obviously their biggest test yet, and I can’t help but feel the Bills will fail this test. In this league, you just never know.

    Predictions

    Adam: Patriots

    Aman: Patriots

    Dan: Patriots

    Joel: Patriots

    Rahim: Bills

     

    Panthers @ Texans

    Kyle Allen looked awesome last week against the Cardinals. He looked much better than Cam Newton has this season. Now that he’s had a breakout performance, can he sustain it? The Texans are not an easy team to play against, especially for a young and inexperienced quarterback like Allen.

    Predictions

    Adam: Texans

    Aman: Texans

    Dan: Texans

    Joel: Texans

    Rahim: Panthers

     

    Chargers @ Dolphins

    The Dolphins…………. Yeah, I’ll go with the Chargers.

    Predictions

    Adam: Chargers

    Aman: Chargers

    Dan: Chargers

    Joel: Chargers

    Rahim: Chargers

     

    Buccaneers @ Rams

    The Rams continue to be one of the best teams in the league. The Buccaneers on the other hand, continue to be the Buccaneers. The offensive fire power of the Rams will simply be too much for Jameis Winston to keep up with.

    Predictions

    Adam: Rams

    Aman: Rams

    Dan: Rams

    Joel: Rams

    Rahim: Rams

     

    Seahawks @ Cardinals

    This game is interesting because it’s Kyler Murray against Russell Wilson. Murray has been compared to Wilson several times. Now we’ll get a chance to see just how similar they really are. Obviously, Wilson is the better quarterback right now, but it’s not just the quarterback position where the Seahawks have the advantage. They’re a better built overall, while the Cardinals are still building. They have been able to give us some interesting games so far though, so hopefully this one’s interesting too.

    Predictions

    Adam: Seahawks

    Aman: Seahawks

    Dan: Seahawks

    Joel: Seahawks

    Rahim: Seahawks

     

    Vikings @ Bears

    The Bears finally looked like the Bears we saw last season with a win over the Redskins on Monday night football. However, they were playing against the now 0-3 Redskins. You have to give them credit for doing what they did against an NFL team, but the Vikings will be much tougher. The key for the Bears will be to stop the run. If they can do that, they’ll force Cousins to beat them. The Vikings don’t want that, so they have to get Dalvin Cook going early.

    Predictions

    Adam: Bears

    Aman: Bears

    Dan: Bears

    Joel: Bears

    Rahim: Bears

     

    Jaguars @ Broncos

    Gardner Minshew has looked really good in his short time as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback. He’s making a lot of nice plays without doing too much. I believe the Jaguars’ defense will continue making big plays and getting stops, which will continue to put Minshew and the offense in good spots. The Broncos are seeking their first win of the season. Can they pressure Minshew enough to make him turn the ball over? If they can do that and give their offense good position, the Broncos might take this one.

    Predictions

    Adam: Broncos

    Aman: Broncos

    Dan: Jaguars

    Joel: Jaguars

    Rahim: Broncos

     

    Cowboys @ Saints (Sunday night)

    The Dallas Cowboys have looked explosive on offense this season, with Dak Prescott being a top MVP candidate right now. This week they play the Drew Brees-less Saints, but don’t count them out. Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints proved they’re not out of it yet after beating the Seahawks last week. This one is at home for the Saints, and this team will be seeking revenge for the loss the Cowboys handed them last season. This will be a hard fought game.

    Predictions

    Adam: Saints

    Aman: Saints

    Dan: Saints

    Joel: Cowboys

    Rahim: Cowboys

     

    Bengals @ Steelers (Monday night)

    Despite getting another loss and moving to 0-3, the Steelers looked much more competitive against the 49ers last week. Mason Rudolph made some nice throws, but now it’s time to build on them. Can he keep this offense moving? A game featuring two 0-3 teams isn’t usually exciting, but this a divisional game, so it should hold at least some interest.

    Predictions

    Adam: Bengals

    Aman: Steelers

    Dan: Bengals

    Joel: Steelers

    Rahim: Steelers

    NFL Fantasy Waiver: Week Four

    What a crazy week of fantasy we saw in week three. I mean it’s already week three and we have seen some huge performances. This week the focus was on how teams will play with their back up quarterbacks.

    1139px-Eagles_2017_jeffrey,_agholor,_Ertz

    “Eagles 2017 jeffrey, agholor, Ertz” by Keith Allison is licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

    So how did it go? We had a total of six new starting QBs in week three and they went 3-3 in their debuts. All these QBs are still available on the waiver, but there’s only two that could be worthy of adding.

    Of the three losing teams: the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, and the Miami Dolphins, only Steelers’ Mason Rudolph should be thought about. As for Jets’ Luke Falk and Dolphins’ Josh Rosen, don’t even think about it.

    For the winners, I think all of them have a chance to be added to teams as value, but let’s wait on one of them. Below I will talk about which two should be added to your rosters.

    But before we get there let’s talk about the big performances by several WRs this past weekend. There were even some RBs and TEs with big days, I mean I never thought my first win of the season would come off a near 200 point performance. Fortunately, I am some good trades that helped my team with it’s weakness. If you can’t find a trade that works for you, the waiver wire is your best option, and let’s see what’s available at each position.

    Quarterbacks

    1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 53.4 percent availability
    2. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts, 81.6 percent availability
    3. Daniel Jones, New York Giants, 87.3 percent availability
    4. Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers, 99.4 percent availability
    5. Gardner Minshaw II, Jacksonville Jaguars, 94.8 percent availability

    This is the most important part of your team and it’s success. Several of you might have lost games in earlier week’s for not having a QB with a good game. Last week, we spoke of the injuries to certain QBs like Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Cam Newton. There was also the benching of Eli Manning and there’s where we start our list.

    But first, we have to add Jamies Winston if you haven’t already because he and WR Mike Evans crushed it Sunday has the two connected for three touchdowns. Winston is getting more and more comfortable in the Bruce Arians scheme, so grab him well he still available.

    Brissett is showing that je is ready to take over as the primary QB in Indianapolis. I mean he doesn’t have any body to take his job, but they are looking like they haven’t lost a step with Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement. The Colts are 2-1 early in the season, and Brissett could look to have another good week against the vulnerable Oakland Raiders defense.

    Jones has saved the New York Giants. He is their “savior” and they will be leaning on him all season long. Unfortunately, RB Saqoun Barkley got hur and is set to miss 4-8 weeks. This means that more pressure will be on Jones, but he handled it well against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and could do the same this week against the Washington Redskins. Grab him now before he’s no longer available.

    Allen filled in nicely for Cam Newton in week three, and we know he could do it again in week four. Ironically, this seems more like a revenge tour for Allen. You see despite having a great NFL debut, Allen grew up in the Arizona area and went to school at Texas Tech before transferring. He transferred to Houston and got benched.

    You see where I’m coming from? Allen left Texas Tech where Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray was his successor and Allen beat Murray this pat week. Week four is the Houston Texans, and he’ll be making an appearance to another familiar city as he attended the University of Houston. I think Allen has the right mindset to pull off the victory over the Texans with another big performance.

    Minshaw was thrown in as a starter in the NFL after a half of the first regular season game. But he is showing improvements weekly and as the season goes on, he’ll be a more valuable piece to the owners who have him especially if he continues to share the ball amongst all his wide receivers.

    Running Backs

    1. Frank Gore, Buffalo Bills, 55.7 percent availability
    2. Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots, 85 percent availability
    3. Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers, 97.3 percent availability
    4. Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers, 85.5 percent availability
    5. Darrell Williams, Kansas City Chiefs, 97.5 percent availability

    Gore may be 36 years old, but he is showing he still has plenty left in the tank. With rookie Devin Singletary out nursing an injury, Gore took over the primary role at RB for the Bills. Whether Singletary plays in week four against the Patriots is still unknown, but those who add Gore should still expect him to have a big role.

    Burkhead is outshining both Sony Michel and James White in the New England Patriots backfield. In their week three victory over the New York Jets, Burkhead put up more numbers than Michel and this has Michel owners frustrated. If you have the availability, add Burkhead as a handcuff to Michel and see which one along with White progresses as the season goes on.

    Wilson is on a bye this week, but this could be the best time to grab him off the waivers before anyone does. We have seen Wilson go two straight weeks with two rushing touchdowns an we hope to see this a lot more. Of course, the San Francisco 49ers will likely have Tevin Coleman back after the bye and they have Raheem Morsert and Matt Brieda ahead of Wilson, but he’s still worth a stash on the bench for the future weeks.

    Jamaal Williams has been in the mix a lot for the Green Bay Packers. In week three, he had 61.7 percent of the snaps and he should be able to get more snaps as this new Packers offense looks to get both RBs involved.

    Darrell Williams did a great job in week three as he was splitting snaps with LeSean McCoy. Williams lead the team in rushing and really helped open things up early for the Kansas City Chiefs who were without starter Damien Williams. If Damien or McCoy aren’t set to go, we will see Darrell have another big role.

    Wide Receivers

    1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers, 50.1 percent availability
    2. Demarcus Robinson/Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs, 37.6/55.7 percent availability
    3. DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars, 59 percent availability
    4. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles, 63 percent availability
    5. Phillip Dorsett, New England Patriots, 94.8 percent availability

    Valdes-Scantling is having a break out year so far and I think we will continue to see him have a successful season with QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams continuing to have a difficult time connecting due to the opposing defenses. Valdes-Scantling is becoming the second option for Rodgers and he should be added to your rosters as the Packers continue to face tough opponents. Plus, you have to start him against the Philadelphia Eagles secondary that gives up a ton of big plays.

    After questioning which one to add last week, the Chiefs answered it and decided that it’s both Robinson and Hardman. They both had big play touchdown in week three and as long as Tyreek Hill continues to stay out we should see them both get a lot of targets.

    If I told you that DJ Chark, not Dede Westbrook, is the top receiver on the Jacksonville Jaguars would you believe me? Chark has found a real connection with Minshaw and the two look to start turning their season around after struggling the first two weeks. Look for Chark to get another touchdown in week four as he continues to led this Jaguars team in receiving yards and receptions.

    Agholor showed why he is the top choice on the Eagles offense to pick up because of the unknown status of WRs Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Despite the dropped catches and fumble in week three, Agholor got two touchdowns and helped give the Eagles offense a chance to win the game. With a short week, we hope that Jeffery or Jackson will return, but either way Agholor will be an option, so add him now before he’s gone.

    Dorsett’s value goes up with Antonio Brown no longer on the New England Patriots. In weeks that Brown didn’t play. Dorsett found himself in the endzone for a touchdown. We look for this to be an every week thing as Dorsett takes over as the deep threat guy which is good for him and owners of QB Tom Brady.

    Tight Ends

    1. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts, 54.0 percent availability
    2. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys, 58.0 percent availability
    3. Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks, 75.7 percent availability
    4. Jordan Akins, Houston Texans, 99.7 percent availability
    5. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills, 99.7 percent availability

    Ebron didn’t found his way into the end zone in week three, but he had some big plays for the Indianapolis Colts. If WR T. Y. Hilton is not able to go Sunday then Ebron will definitely be the top target for Brissett along side TE Jack Doyle, so add him to your roster before he’s no longer available.

    Witten didn’t find the end zone in week three, instead it was the running back show as the Dallas Cowboys handled the Miami Dolphins. Despite going touchdownless, Witten is still a top target for QB Dak Prescott and we could see him used a lot in their week four showdown with the New Orleans Saints.

    Dissly has back to back weeks with a touchdown catch, and if he stays healthy we could see this all year long. He looks like he is finally back into form and will continue to be a big role in the Seahawks offense because we know how much QB Russell Wilson loves using the TEs in the red zone.

    Akins and Knox are both rookies that made some noise in their week three games. Could this be a good sign of things to come for them this season? As the team’s WRs struggled mildly for both the Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills, their QBs had to rely on them to get the wins this weekend. How often will they see targets and touchdowns though? That’s something we’ll have to keep an eye on as the bye weeks approach us.

    ______________________________________

    Let’s make week four better than the last and hope that you pick up the right players to help you win as we start hitting the ground running.

    Collge Football Games to Watch: Week Four

    After a week of bounce back games for many teams, we start to get into the more important games of the season and this is where team’s start to eliminate themselves from playoff contention.

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    “IMG_5817” by MGoBlog is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    I spoke about Clemson and their easy road back to the playoffs as they look to go undefeated again and run the table in the ACC. But let’s see how things will look for the SEC and Big Ten as they have top 25 match ups this week. Let’s take a look.

    Top 25 vs. Top 25:

    3 Georgia vs 7 Notre Dame

    This was a game that was played two years ago when Georgia QB Jake Fromm first took over from then-Georgia QB Jacob Eason, who got injured. Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs pulled away with a tough fight and won 20-19 after a late defensive stop by Georgia

    This season both teams have their eyes set on the playoffs as they look to make it back there again. The winner of this game keeps their chances alive and the other will likely be eliminated for contention, especially if it’s Notre Dame since they don’t belong in a conference.

    11 Michigan vs 13 Wisconsin

    This game is a conference game that could be a rematch for the conference title if things go right for each team. Unfortunately, one team has to lose and hope that they can bounce back and continue their run all season.

    Michigan has the biggest spotlight on them as they have repeatedly failed to win the the Big Ten title. They haven’t even been able to make it to the title game under coach Harbaugh and this season is full of expectations for the Wolverines.

    For Wisconsin, it’s about getting themselves back to the title game as well after having a rough couple of seasons. A loss for either team could likely ruin their chances at a playoff look, but could likely meet again.

    8 Auburn vs 17 Texas A&M

    Auburn is ready to beat Georgia and Alabama this year again, but before we get there they have to beat Texas A&M. The loser of this game like the first two will likely be eliminated from playoff contention.

    Auburn had a tough battle in week one against the PAC-12’s Oregon Ducks as they comeback and won 27-21. Quarterback Bo Nix doesn’t seem to be a bad option for Auburn. But let’s see how they do against the stronger opponents in the SEC and eight of the nine remaining games will be against conference opponents including four of them as top 10 matches.

    Texas A&M has an even tougher match up and a lot more to prove after losing to Clemson a few week again. They want to be the top team in the SEC, or at least show that they are better than where they will likely end up.

    Bounce Back Games:

    Southern Cal vs 10 Utah:

    I thought we were going to see a better USC team this year after they found a way to beat conference rival, Stanford, with a new QB. The Trojans offense looked great against the Cardinals, but looked like the same Trojan team we’ve been seeing over the past several years.

    This is an important game because despite their loss to BYU, the Trojans are still in the race for a PAC-12 title and a major win over a top 10 Utah Utes team will definitely help their case.

    Unfortunately, the Utes are for real this year and they could run the table in the PAC-12 and maybe, just maybe save the PAC-12 a spot in the playoffs. All eyes will be on this game Friday night.

    Michigan State vs Northwestern

    For the second year in a row, the Michigan State Spartans have lost to the Arizona State Sun Devils. And ironically, it was the same way with a bit of a twist. The twist came off the missed field goal penalty against the Spartans.

    But this game against Northwestern is their first important of the Big Ten conference. Northwestern was last year’s runner up to Ohio State and they are out to prove that they can do it again. Fortunately for the Wildcats, they won’t have to worry about the tough task of Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State like the Spartans. Who comes out on top though?

    9 Florida vs Tennessee

    Florida won their game against Kentucky after their loss to them last year and this should be an easy game for them this week.

    So you must be wondering why they are on the bounce back list this week even if they won. That’s because of the loss of their QB. I think the Gators will be fine against the Volunteers this week, but let’s see how the QB rotation works as they get into more tougher match ups on the season.

    Games of Interest:

    23 California vs Mississippi

    California is surprising us all early this season as they have already taken down Washington in a nail-biter. But this game against Mississippi, despite not being ranked, will be a tough one.

    I honestly think every match up between the PAC-12 and SEC is a tough one because of how history has been repeating itself. Can California continue their surprising run or will this be the first fall?

    22 Washington vs. BYU

    As mentioned above, Washington has already lost to California and BYU has lost to Utah, but they beat USC. BYU is an independent team and don’t belong to any conference, but they play their third team from the PAC-12 in as many weeks.

    This is a must win for the Washington Huskies as they don’t want to fall in the standings and have to play catch up the rest of the season.

    15 Central Florida vs Pittsburgh

    Central Florida continues their statement season as they plan to play at least one team from each power five conferences. They took down Stanford last week and they should honestly not have a problem with Pittsburgh.

    Can Pittsburgh make a statement though? Can they make noise in the early part of the season and get attention from the bigger teams in the ACC? Let’s see how it works out for both teams.

    16 Oregon vs Stanford

    Oregon and Stanford have both lost a game so far this season, but Stanford has lost back-to-back games and we are hoping to see them bounce back with a nice upset over the Oregon Ducks. Oregon looks to be one of the favorites in the PAC-12 and they could very well take the title this year.

    But Stanford is looking for an reason to be talked about in the conference again, and this win will do some justice for them. Can the Cardinals get the upset?

    12 Texas vs Oklahoma State

    Texas bounced back nicely against a Rice team and was honestly no match. We expected to see that from Texas and I expect to see more this week against the Cowboys.

    But there is still the possibly of the Cowboys hooking them horns and possibly ending whatever slim chance the Long Horns have of making the playoffs! Can we see this Big XII match up be a nail-biter?

    24 Arizona State vs Colorado

    Arizona State is looking good again early this season and they hope to keep the momentum going as they head into conference play.

    I mean yeah a second straight win over the Michigan State Spartans is nice, but the Colorado Buffaloes aren’t a team to take lightly. We should see a good PAC-12 match up in this two teams. But can the Sun Devils continue their hot start? Or will the Buffaloes knock them out the top 25?

    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    Will we have a better week this week than we did last week? Can Texas A&M and Notre Dame upset their opponents? How will other teams rebound from what we saw last week? Let’s stay tuned for week two of the College football season!