NFL Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 2

Welcome to this season’s NFL Fantasy Waiver Wire list. Each week, we’re going to give you the top five options to pick up off waivers from each position, helping you add some extra points and wins throughout your fantasy season!

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“Mariota to Murray” by Brook Ward is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Quarterbacks

  1. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers, 33.5 percent availability
  2. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions, 83.7 percent availability
  3. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans, 93.8 percent availability
  4. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 95.8 percent availability
  5. Case Keenum, Washington Redskins, 98.8 percent availability

I don’t know how Rivers is still available in 33.5 percent of ESPN leagues. Despite not having RB Melvin Gordon, Rivers is still one of the top options at quarterback this season. He has a lot of offensive weapons, such as receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to pass the ball to. The returns of running back Austin Ekeler and tight end Hunter Henry from injuries last year is also another boost for Rivers, so make sure you pick him up if he’s somehow available in your league.

Stafford looked a lot better in his week one performance than he did all of last season. Unfortunately, the running game looked like it did over the past several seasons. It’s good for Stafford and those who plan on adding him. He seems to have a good feeling and quick connection with added weapons T.J. Hockenson and Danny Amendola. If he’s on the same page with them, he could put up big points for your fantasy team.

Mariota has always been an off and on type of quarterback. He and the entire Titans team was on in their week one game. Mariota has a strong connection with both Derrick Henry and Delanie Walker. If the three of these guys are healthy enough to play every game together, they could put up a ton of points. Mariota also has a nice set of receivers to throw the ball to, which could lead to a more consistent year for him.

Dalton and Keenum were both impressive in their first games, despite not having a lot of their talented players on the field with them. Dalton had to play without receiver A.J. Green, but that didn’t stop him from having a big game with receivers John Ross and Tyler Boyd. For Keenum, it was a chance to prove he is certainly the guy to go to at quarterback in Washington. Keenum made an offense with not many weapons look good in the first half of their season opener. Let’s see if he can continue his hot start against the Dallas Cowboys.

 

Running Backs

  1. Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers, 59.6 percent availability
  2. Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals, 67.7 percent availability
  3. Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans, 60.6 percent availability
  4. Chris Thompson/Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins, 81.1/73.7 percent availability
  5. Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers, 89.4 percent availability

As we look at the running back situation of many teams, a lot of factors come into play. For Jackson, it’s about him sharing carries with Ekeler in the Chargers’ backfield. We haven’t seen him get much work yet, as it was the Austin Powers show, but we do expect Jackson to get more and more carries as the season goes on.

Bernard will be looking to get a lot more of the workload while Mixon nurses his ankle back to full health. If Mixon is expected to miss any time, Bernard will be the main guy to get in this week’s waivers. Bernard is a great addition to have on your roster, as the Bengals are dealing with a lot of injuries already.

Houston is going with the running back by committee approach, as we saw from their game Monday night. Hyde had a lot of touches and made good progress with them. He was traded to the Texans after running back Lamar Miller went down with a season ending injury. He is expected to have a bigger role as the season goes on.

Thompson and Peterson are both part of the running back by committee in Washington along with Guice. However, Guice may be missing time and Adrian Peterson is returning from injury. Peterson will look to be the rushing back, as Thompson continues to be the pass catching back for the Redskins. Thompson has that role with the team and would be a nice addition to your team if you’re in a PPR league.

Williams is a stretch on this list because he and his counterpart, Aaron Jones, didn’t have any success in week one. Based off the passing success of the Green Bay Packers, Williams might be more valuable this season. Add him now while he’s still available in 89.4 percent of leagues.

 

Wide Receivers

  1. Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders, 36.5 percent availability
  2. John Brown, Buffalo Bills, 64.7 percent availability
  3. John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals, 95.2 percent availability
  4. Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens, 71.8 percent availability
  5. Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions, 96.6 percent availability

I expect everyone on this list to be added this week after their big performances.

Williams’ stock rose after all the Antonio Brown drama settled for Oakland. He found himself having a nice game on Monday night, as he had 150 yards and a touchdown in their win over the Denver Broncos. Look to add Williams in all leagues where he’s available before he’s gone. He’ll be the number one target for Derek Carr all season long.

John Brown had a lot of flashes as the top receiving option last season, and expectations were high for him heading into this one. Brown is the deep threat for quarterback Josh Allen, if he has enough time to get the ball down field to him. Brown should consistently give us 15 points in the standard PPR league, whether it just comes from touchdowns or receptions and yards.

Ross was questionable to play week one, so that’s probably why he was available in so many leagues. I know I failed to add him this week, and I’ll be trying to sneak him in this week. We expected to see this from him early in the season, as receiver A.J. Green is out with an injury. Ross has moments where he could be great and moments where we could regret adding him, but right now it seems more like greatness, so pick him up if you can.

There was a show in Miami this weekend, and the Baltimore Ravens brought “Hollywood” along. No one expected QB Lamar Jackson to get five passing touchdowns. We didn’t expect receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to score two of them. We knew he was a speedy receiver, but didn’t know the arm strength of Jackson. I think Brown will have a successful season if he can find ways to keep getting open for Jackson.

Amendola joined the Lions after a rough year in Miami, and he’s out to prove he’s still got it. He had a nice week one, as he found the end zone with a pass from Stafford. As you might have read above, I’m expecting a better year from Stafford than we saw last season, and Amendola could be a huge part of that success.

 

Tight Ends

  1. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens, 49 percent availability
  2. Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers, 52.4 percent availability
  3. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions, 70 percent availability
  4. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders, 73.2 percent availability
  5. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys, 85 percent availability

Andrews still being available in 49 percent of leagues is ridiculous! He’s been talked about as one of the tight ends with a high ceiling this year. If the Ravens’ offense does anything like it did in week one, we should expect to see Andrews continue to put up numbers for our teams, so pick him up now before he’s not available anymore.

Graham showed us he’s healthy and ready to get back to the touchdown scoring tight end we’re used to seeing. I don’t think he’s an every week starter, but it’s nice having him on the bench when your starter is on bye or when you need an extra guy.

Hockenson is one of the most talked about rookie tight ends in a long time, and we expect him to continue having success after last week’s performance. With all the pieces on the Lions’ roster, he could be one who stays a consistent weapon for Stafford. I expect him to average 15+ points weekly.

Waller will be playing the Jared Cook role in Oakland this year, and we got to see a small sample of it on Monday night. Waller didn’t score a touchdown, but he did record several catches. He led the Raiders in targets, and we should expect that to happen more often. Don’t miss your chance to add him, because that 73.2 percent availability will likely turn into 73 percent owned.

Witten came out of retirement because he knew he still had something left. The Cowboys also struggled to have success with their tight ends last season. With Witten back, that’s another weapon for the Dallas Cowboys offense, and we saw that early, as he scored a touchdown in week one. Look for Prescott to turn to him a lot in the red zone this year.

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I hope you pick up the right players to help you win in week two if you fell short last week. Good luck, and happy picking!

2019 NFL Predictions: AFC East

Now it’s time to look at the division that has probably made the most changes throughout the offseason. The Jets, Dolphins and Bills have all made several moves this offseason with one goal in mind. That’s to unseat the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. 

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“Miami Dolphins Mario Williams – Buffalo Bills Mike Gillislee” by Jack Kurzenknabe is licensed for public domain.

In case you forgot, the New England Patriots won another Super Bowl this past February. It was probably one of the uglier Super Bowls in history. Nonetheless, that’s not the biggest thing everyone is talking about with the Patriots.

There’s been a lot of news on the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins lately too, but they’re going in opposite directions this season. I’ll explain that more in each section. I think all eyes are on the New York Jets and their newest RB Le’Veon Bell. They seem to be the top contenders to unseat the Patriots. Can they do it?

 

1. New England Patriots

 Last season’s record: 11-5 

Postseason Result: Won Super Bowl (13-3) against the Los Angeles Rams

Offseason Acquisitions:

Signed:

  • DE Michael Bennett (Philadelphia)
  • DE Mike Pennel and S Terrence Brooks (N.Y.  Jets)
  • TE Matt LaCosse and RT Jared Veldheer (Denver)
  • TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Jacksonville)
  • TE Benjamin Watson (New Orleans)
  • WR Demaryius Thomas (Houston)
  • WR Cameron Meredith (New Orleans)

Drafted:

  • WR N’Keal Harry (32nd)
  • CB JoeJuan Williams (45th)
  • DE Chase Winovich (77th)
  • RB Damien Harris (87th)
  • QB Jarrett Stidham (133th)

Offseason Departures:

  • Retired TE Rob Gronkowski
  • DE Trey Flowers (Detroit)
  • OT Trent Brown (Oakland)
  • DT Malcom Brown (New Orleans)
  • WR Chris Hogan (Carolina)
  • DE Adrian Clayborn (Atlanta)
  • WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson (Chicago)
  • TE Dwayne Allen and CB Eric Rowe (Miami)

The Big Question:

When you win six Super Bowl titles in 19 years with the same QB-coach duo, there’s not much you need to question about your team. However, given three factors, the Patriots even have some questions. One factor is the age of QB Tom Brady and how much longer he’ll continue to play. Factor two is the injury to C David Andrews and the offensive line. The final factor is the retirement of TE Rob Gronkowski.

Despite all these factors, the Patriots will likely still finish atop the division and have one of the best records this year. I think they have plenty of offensive weapons, so they don’t need to worry about who to get the ball too, so let’s look for them to make another run at a Super Bowl.

Prediction: 12-4

 

2. Buffalo Bills

Last season’s record: 6-10

Postseason Result: N/A

Offseason Acquisitions:

Signed:

  • C Mitch Morse (Kansas City)
  • WR John Brown (Baltimore)
  • WR Cole Beasley (Dallas)
  • TE Tyler Kroft (Cincinnati)
  • G Spencer Long and WR Andre Roberts (N.Y. Jets)
  • G Jon Feliciano (Oakland)
  • OT Ty Nsehke (Washington)
  • RB T.J. Yeldon (Jacksonville)
  • CB Kevin Johnson (Houston)
  • OT LaAdrian Waddle (New England)
  • RB Frank Gore (Miami)

Drafted:

  • DT Ed Oliver (9th)
  • OT Cody Ford (38th)
  • RB Devin Singletary (74th)
  • TE Dawson Knox (96th)
  • LB Voseasn Joseph (147th)
  • CB Jaquan Johnson (181th)

Offseason Departures:

  • RB LeSean McCoy (Kansas City)
  • G John Miller (Cincinnati)
  • TE Charles Clay (Arizona)
  • RT Jordan Mills (Miami)
  • TE Logan Thomas (Detroit)
  • RB Taiwan Jones (Houston)
  • RB Chris Ivory (Free Agent)

The Big Question:

This defense proved they’re worthy of being amongst the top in the league. This defense led the Bills to a Wild Card spot two years ago, despite their struggles on offense. The offense continued to struggle a lot last season as well. With a new QB in Josh Allen and an offensive line that could not protect, it was hard for Allen to get things going.

The Bills spent a lot of time this offseason trying to improve their offense. They drafted another OL in Cody Ford and signed a young RB to work with Allen. They also got two WRs who are proven veterans to help control the game on offense. With all these changes that have been made by the Bills, I really like Josh Allen’s chances to became an elite QB this year. He could likely help lead his team to a playoff spot again.

Prediction: 9-7

 

3. New York Jets

Last season’s record: 4-12

Postseason Result: N/A

Offseason Acquisitions: 

Signed:

  • RB Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh)
  • ILB C.J. Mosley and Ty Montgomery (Baltimore)
  • G Kelechi Osemele
  • WR Jamison Crowder (Washington)
  • C Ryan Kalil and K Chandler Catanzaro (Carolina)
  • WR Josh Bellamy (Chicago)
  • G Tom Compton and QB Trevor Siemian (Minnesota)
  • CB Brian Poole (Atlanta)
  • TE Ryan Griffin (Houston)

Drafted:

  • DT Quinnen Williams (3rd)
  • LB Jachai Polite (68th)
  • T Chuma Edoga (92nd)
  • TE Trevon Wesco (121th)
  • LB Blake Cashman (157th)
  • CB Blessuan Austin (196th)

Offseason Departures:

  • CB Morris Claiborne (Kansas City)
  • QB Josh McCown (Philadelphia)
  • WR Jermaine Kearse (Detroit)
  • G James Carpenter (Atlanta)
  • CB Buster Skrine (Chicago)
  • K Jason Myers (Seattle)
  • RB Isaiah Crowell (Oakland)
  • C/G Spencer Long and WR Andre Roberts (Buffalo)
  • DE Mike Pennel and S Terrence Brooks (New England)
  • TE Clive Walford (Miami)
  • OLB Jeremiah Attaochu (Kansas City)

The Big Question:

The Jets have improved themselves in a huge way at the RB position with Le’Veon Bell. We hope to see him help the young Jets offense win more games, but we also don’t really know what to except from Bell after he was sitting out a year due to his holdout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Will Bell be able to get himself back into the form he was with the Steelers in 2017? He’s the key to the success of the Jets’ offense. He came to New York for a new beginning, and he has the abilities to be the best RB in the league when he has his head straight.

Having a young QB and WRs like Sam Darnold, Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa, the Jets could put up some solid offensive numbers. It’s the questionable play calls and defense that worries me about this team, but hopefully they get a few more wins than a season ago.

Prediction: 7-9

 

4. Miami Dolphins

Last season’s record: 7-9 

Postseason Result: N/A 

Offseason Acquisitions:

Signed:

  • QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tampa Bay)
  • TE Dwayne Allen and CB Eric Rowe (New England)
  • TE Clive Walford (N.Y. Jets)
  • QB Josh Rosen and DE Robert Nkemdiche (Arizona)
  • RT Jordan Mills (Buffalo)
  • WR Allen Hurns (Dallas)
  • G Chris Reed (Jacksonville)
  • WR Ricardo Louis (Cleveland)

Draft:

  • DT Christian Wilkins (13th)
  • G Michael Deiter (78th)
  • LB Andrew Van Ginkel (151th)
  • T Isaiah Prince (202th)
  • RB’s Chandler Cox (233) and Myles Gaskin (234)

Offseason Departures:

  • QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Cameron Wake (Tennessee)
  • OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills (Traded to Houston)
  • LB Kiko Alonso (Traded to New Orleans)
  • RT Ja’Wuan James (Denver)
  • RB Frank Gore (Buffalo)
  • WR Danny Amendola (Detroit)
  • DE Andre Branch (Arizona)
  • DE William Hayes and G Josh Sitton (Free Agent)
  • TE A.J. Derby and DT Sylvester Williams (New Orleans)

The Big Question:

Do I need say more… The Dolphins have traded away their best chance to win games this year. They went from having a nice looking offensive team, to a “let me hang out in South Beach for a year” team. The Dolphins traded QB Ryan Tannenhill away and got QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen in return. That doesn’t do anything if you don’t have anyone to protect or catch the ball. 

That’s why the offense is going to be one of worst in the NFL, despite having Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage in the backfield.  I can’t see much coming from the Dolphins offense. That’s why I have them as the worst team in the league. After trading OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills, my decision was made.

Prediction: 4-12

 

Predicted Division Standings

  1. New England Patriots (12-4)
  2. Buffalo Bills (9-7)
  3. New York Jets (7-9)
  4. Miami Dolphins (4-12)
QB Tyree Jackson

Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson is this year’s Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen became the No. 7 overall pick because of his athletic ability, powerful arm and potential. This was despite being a QB who played college football against inferior competition and completing just 56.2% of his passes over the course of his college career. 

Everything that got Allen drafted seventh overall was what we saw during his rookie season, but we also saw everything that made scouts question his transition to the NFL. While Allen was trying to prove himself as an NFL QB, another Buffalo QB was trying to follow in Allen’s footsteps. That was Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson.

QB Tyree Jackson

QB Tyree Jackson is an interesting prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s got a big arm, great athletic ability, and is just simply a huge man. However, he doesn’t have the accuracy NFL teams look for, having completed just 55.8% of his passes throughout his college career at Buffalo. To make that number look even worse, Jackson played against inferior competition.

This all sounds oddly familiar. Are Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen and Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson the same person? No, but their strengths, weaknesses and overall abilities are awfully close.

 

QB Comparison

To give you a more accurate sense of just how close these two QBs are, let’s take a look at their stats from their college careers.

Passing Stats

QB

Completion % Passing Yards Yards per pass attempt TDs INTs Passer Rating

Josh Allen

 56.2% 5066 7.8 44 21

137.7

Tyree Jackson 55.8% 6999 7.3 49 24

129.3

In pretty much every passing category, QB Tyree Jackson and Josh Allen are extremely close in their stats. Jackson has significantly more passing yards than Allen had, but everything else is a close contest. In the most important category, completion %, Allen and Jackson are separated by just 0.4%. Neither QB excelled in this area in college.

Once again, their completion percentage numbers already look bad, but they look even worse when you consider the level of competition they played against. It was obvious in Josh Allen’s rookie season that he continued to struggle with his accuracy against higher level competition. Allen completed just 52.8% of his passes.

In all likelihood, Tyree Jackson will struggle with his accuracy if he sees the field in the NFL during his rookie season. That assumption is based on how Josh Allen performed. Both QBs were so similar in college that it only makes sense for Jackson to have a similar rookie season to Allen if he plays.

Rushing Stats

QB

Attempts Rushing Yards Yards per attempt

TDs

Josh Allen 237 767 3.2

12

Tyree Jackson 201 757 3.8

16

We saw their passing comparison, which was extremely close, but those weren’t the only areas where they were similar. Just like both QBs struggle with accuracy, both of them are big, athletic players who can make plays on the ground.

Josh Allen relied on his athletic ability a lot during his rookie season, which resulted in him rushing for 631 yards and eight TDs. Based on the comparisons above, it’s safe to say QB Tyree Jackson would put up similar stats during his rookie season if he saw the field.

 

Josh Allen’s rookie season hurts QB Tyree Jackson

Despite the lack of accuracy and experience against higher level competition, Josh Allen’s big arm and athletic ability got him drafted No. 7 overall. If QB Tyree Jackson compares so well to Josh Allen, why isn’t he even being considered in the first-round of the 2019 NFL Draft?

Tyree Jackson is likely a third-round QB at best, but why? It’s simple. NFL teams saw Josh Allen struggle as a passer in his rookie season. Again, his completion percentage was 52.8%.

Accuracy is hard to teach, and Josh Allen simply doesn’t have it. That was, and will be one of his biggest struggles in the NFL. Accuracy is something Tyree Jackson doesn’t have, which means it will probably be one of his biggest struggles in the NFL.

Because Josh Allen struggled in one of the most important areas for a QB, teams don’t view Tyree Jackson as a first-round draft prospect. Instead, they view him as a developmental QB with athletic ability and a big arm. That’s how Josh Allen should have been viewed last year, but somehow was elevated all the way to No. 7 overall.

The jury is still out on Josh Allen as an NFL QB, and we don’t know what kind of QB Tyree Jackson will be in the NFL, but the two QBs are very similar. If Tyree Jackson sees the field during his rookie season, expect him to struggle and excel in similar areas where Josh Allen did in his rookie season.

Breaking down the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

Le’Veon Bell will finally become a free agent! After watching their star RB sit out last season because of his contract, the Pittsburgh Steelers are moving on. Reports are that Bell will become a free agent after the Steelers say they won’t use any tags on him. Le’Veon Bell will soon be able to choose where he’d like to next play football.

Best landing spot for Le'Veon Bell
-Pittsburgh Steelers Le’Veon Bell” by Jack Kurzenknabe is licensed under Public Domain

As an RB who’s obviously demanding a lot of money, Bell’s options are somewhat limited on where he can go. Because of his high salary demand, many have cited the following list in reference to Bell’s name. Why? This list holds the names of the top 10 teams with the most cap space this offseason. Chances are, Le’Veon Bell’s next destination is somewhere on this list.

Just because these 10 teams have the most cap space, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell. Not only is Bell wanting a high salary, he’s likely looking for a place where he can dominate carries, and more importantly, win football games. That limits the options on the above list. We’re going to break down this top 10 list, ultimately coming up with the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

 

Round 1: Winning (Potential)

Of the list of top 10 teams with the most cap space, how many teams can really offer Le’Veon Bell a winning situation? The Colts, Texans, Seahawks and Cowboys were all in the playoffs this past season, so they automatically make it on to the next round.

Just because a team wasn’t in the playoffs last season, it doesn’t mean they can’t offer a winning situation. The Cleveland Browns were much improved this past season, and will likely continue their upward trend after a string a great moves last offseason. They’re an intriguing option, so we’ll move them on to round 2. The Jets only won four games a season ago, but Sam Darnold showed why he’s the next franchise QB for the Jets. They should be much improved next season, and Bell could help them get there, so we’ll include them too.

If I’m including the Jets, I have to include the 49ers. They were also 4-12 last season, but that was without their starting QB for most of the year. With Garoppolo back and some good moves this offseason, they should be much more competitive next season.

That leaves us with the Bills, Raiders and Bengals. Does anyone want to play for the Bills? No. Raiders? Definitely no. Bengals? I don’t think so. These three get eliminated, while seven teams move on in their quest to be the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

 

Round 2: Bulk of the carries 

We’ve got the Colts, Texans, Seahawks, Cowboys, Browns, Jets and 49ers left. Let’s get rid of some easy eliminations in this round. Which teams already have a featured RB?

  • Cowboys: Dallas has Ezekiel Elliott. I think Le’Veon Bell could fit in with this offense if used correctly, but he’s not going to want to share time with Zeke.
  • Browns: They’ve got a young RB in Nick Chubb. They also just signed RB Kareem Hunt. Not enough room for Bell in this backfield.
  • Texans: Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue make a pretty good combination. I don’t see room for Bell here.
  • Seahawks: Seattle has a 1,000 yard rusher in Chris Carson. They also have Mike Davis and Rashad Penny, who both ran for over 400 yards last season. Russell Wilson with Le’Veon Bell would be dangerous, but I don’t see it happening.

One could argue the Colts could be eliminated, but I’m not sure Marlon Mack is a true starting RB. I think he’s more of a really good backup. Four more teams have been eliminated, leaving us with the Colts, Jets and 49ers as the potential teams to be named the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

 

Round 3: Best QB

The third and final round is too easy. The Colts have Andrew Luck, the Jets have Sam Darnold and the 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo. Going back to round 1, I gave the Jets and 49ers a pass because of their potential to win, but that heavily depends on how well Darnold processes and how well Garoppolo comes back from his injury.

If Le’Veon Bell wants to play with the best QB available, picking the Colts is the easy choice. An Andrew Luck and Le’Veon Bell combination would be lethal. Throw in T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron. Don’t forget about Marlon Mack being the backup RB. That’s quite the combination.

The Indianapolis Colts are the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell. They can give him everything he wants. They’ve got the most money to spend, a place where he can dominate carries, one of the best QBs in the league, and a place where he can win football games and have a real chance at competing for a Super Bowl title.

It’s not my decision to make, but if I’m Le’Veon Bell, the Indianapolis Colts are the team I’m pushing to play for.

Top 10 Head Coach-QB duos of all-time

By now, you have all been given a week full of Super Bowl memories that involve both the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams before they get set to kick off Super Bowl LIII tomorrow.

Along with the best of the Rams and Patriots Super Bowl history are a list of the most memorable moments and most mistakable moments in Super Bowl history.

But now it’s time to see who the greatest of all-time really is. Who’s the greatest quarterback? How about greatest coach-QB duo? In the next set of articles, we will be telling you exactly that.

Brady’s back!” by Andrew Choy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

First, we will look into the coaches that helped these QBs become great. Just keep in mind that not all coaches or QBs are on their individual list, so you will have to return back on Sunday to find out who the greatest QB of all-time is.

Until then, let’s get right into the list of coaches and QBs. Know that not all duos won Super Bowl titles, but still deserve to be recognized.

 

10. Mike Shannahan and John Elway, Denver Broncos (1995-1998)

These two made the most of their four seasons together. Shannahan could possibly be the main, if not only reason Elway was able to win two Super Bowls. They moved on from a defensive-minded head coach in Wade Phillips to focus more on the offense and QB John Elway.

It’s not that the Broncos were bad with Philips, but after failing to win two previous Super Bowls and Elway getting older, their time was running out. In their four years together, they won back-to-back Super Bowls. Elway did whatever he had to to get the first one, including a helicopter spin late in the game.

 

9. Joe Gibbs and Doug Williams, Washington Redskins (1986-1989)

These two were also together for a short four seasons and had success early. They only managed to get one Super Bowl title, but that one was history making, as Williams became the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. He also picked up MVP honors in the game after battling back from injury.

Williams had the capability to win games, but it wasn’t until he came to Washington to Gibbs where he started get the wins. One of which was against John Elway’s Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Gibbs coached the Redskins to three total championships. One before and one after Williams was with the team. Had Williams came earlier in his career, there is no saying how many titles the two could have won.

 

8. Jimmy Johnson and Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys (1989-1993)

The ’80s was full of greater QBs. That will explain why there’s several of them on here. However, Aikman was part of a transition into the ’90s. The short time he was with coach Johnson, they had a lot of success, as they won two titles in four years. Aikman also had the Hall of Fame running back Emmit Smith running wild with him and Johnson. Had they all stayed together for a longer time, they might have already had the franchises 6th title.

 

7. Marv Levy and Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills (1986-1996)

This was a great duo, as they dominated their division by winning it six out of 10 years. They even won four conference championships to get them into the Super Bowl four times, but they came up short in each one. The one that has to hurt the most is the one against Bill Parcells’  New York Giants, as they had a chance to kick the game-winning field goal, but it was wide right off the foot of K Scott Norwood.

They just simply couldn’t find themselves on the winning side of a Super Bowl, but that shouldn’t discredit them as one of the top duos, because it’s never easy to win the big one.

 

6. Don Shula and Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins (1983-1995)

Speaking of winning the big one, or failure to do so, the Miami Dolphins of the ’80s had several chances to get there. They, like the Bills, won their division five times. What makes it interesting is that both the Bills and Dolphins were in the division then as they are now. They combined for 11 of the 13 divisional titles.

But the Super Bowl appearances and titles is not impressive. Despite having coach Shula and Dan Marino together for 12 years, the Dolphins only made it to one Super Bowl in which they lost. But the individual success of Marino himself had helped the Dolphins be successful. It wasn’t without the coaching of Shula to get him there.

 

5. Tom Landry and Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys (1969-1979)

The earlier stages of the the Super Bowl era featured a lot of the Dallas Cowboys and Roger Staubach. Staubach and coach Landry won several division championships in the 10 years they were together. At which time, they had made it to the Super Bowl five times, winning it twice. If Staubach hadn’t left for the military during the middle of his playing career, we might have been able to see more from this duo.

 

4. Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers (1970-1983)

One of the teams that beat the Cowboys in the Super Bowl was this Steelers team. They did it twice in back-to-back seasons. In fact, the Steelers won it four times during Bradshaw and Noll’s time together. Both of which were back-to-back over a six year span.

They also won the division eight times, as they were one of the more dominant teams earlier in history. That explains why they are the only team to have a record six Super Bowl titles. Had Bradshaw thrown less interceptions, they could have been way ahead in number of titles, but with his mediocre play the Steelers still managed to have success.

 

3. Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers (1959-1967)

The first ever Super Bowl winners have to be on the list, because without Lombardi, there wouldn’t be a Lombardi trophy. But that isn’t the only title they have. They won the first two Super Bowls and an additional five league championships.

If league titles counted back then, the Packers would have the most wins in terms of championships. Both Starr and Lombardi would be the most winningest coach-QB duo of all time. Let’s not forget about the fact that they won these seven titles in eight years of being together. They could easily be the No. 1 duo of all-time.

 

2. Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers (1979-1988)

Unfortunately for the Packers, Montana and Walsh came along 20 years later and helped change the way the game was played. If you were to compare the stats, you would see why. But we won’t get into that, because Montana had one of the best, if not the best wide receiver to pass the ball too. That is what helped the Niners be successful during all of the ’80s.

Remember when I told you the ’80s was full of great QBs? Montana might be the greatest from that decade, as he and coach Walsh won six division titles on their way to winning three Super Bowls together. Now, if it wasn’t such a stacked position back then, we might have seen him win even more Super Bowls.

 

1. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, New England Patriots (2000-present)

The best coach-QB duo has got to be these guys. When you look at where all the other QBs were drafted, their success would be a mirror image of that. Brady wasn’t a top QB in his draft class. In fact, he was drafted 199th overall by the Patriots, which made him the seventh QB drafted in that class.

But with Belichick, Brady looked like an elite quarterback. That has been something they continue to prove, as they have won 16 divisional titles and have made it to their ninth Super Bowl. As of now, they sit with five Super Bowl titles, looking to add their sixth, which will give them a tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most titles. Brady and Belichick will be the first coach-QB duo to get six titles together in the history of the NFL. There’s no question these two are the best pairing in NFL history. What they have done will never been done again.

 

Honorable Mentions:

With only 10 spots available for the top duos, there were bound to be some duos left off. That is where the honorable mentions come in.

  • Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts (2002-2008)
  • George Seifert and Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (1989-1996)
  • Bill Parcells and Phil Simms, New York Giants (1983-1990)
  • Bud Grant and Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings (1972-1978)
  • Sean Payton and Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (2006- present)
  • Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2009)

Will Brady and Belichick get their 6th title? Or will they be stuck at five and hoping for Brady to get one more before he turns 45 and retires?

We’ll talk more about Brady and some of these QBs in our next article the morning of Super Bowl LIII, but tell us if we got it right!

Where is your favorite coach-QB duo ranked? Are they in the top 10? Do you think they deserve to be there if they aren’t already? We’re interested in hearing your opinion, so don’t forget to comment below!

Top five Super Bowl mistakes

Top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time

As we approach Super Bowl LIII, our team has been sharing some of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all-time. Well, instead of looking at some more great moments in Super Bowl history, today we’re going to look at the top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time. These are plays, or sequence of plays, are some of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl history, but for all the wrong reasons.

Top five Super Bowl mistakes
0 Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan” by Jack Kurzenknabe is licensed under Public Domain

Top five Super Bowl mistakes

5. Leon Lett celebrates too early

Despite playing in a game with a score of 52-17 in favor of his team at the time of this mistake, Leon Lett’s mistake in Super Bowl XXVII will always be remembered. Bills QB Frank Reich drops back to pass, but is then nailed by a Cowboys defender and fumbles the ball. Leon Lett picks up the ball and starts running toward the end zone. It appears Lett is going to make an easy score. At least that’s what he thought….

Leon Lett is almost to the end zone when he starts celebrating by sticking the ball out. Don Beebe, who doesn’t give up on the play, comes up behind Lett after chasing him down and knocks the ball out of Lett’s hand. Instead of being a TD for the Cowboys, it was a ruled a touchback. Lett is lucky this play didn’t have any impact on the outcome of Super Bowl XXVII. If it had, this mistake would definitely rank higher on the list of top five Super Bowl mistakes.

 

4. Jackie Smith drops easy TD

In the third quarter of Super Bowl XIII, the Dallas Cowboys trailed the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14. The Cowboys then drove down the field into scoring position. QB Roger Staubach found his TE Jackie Smith wide open in the end zone. The score was about to be all tied up. As the ball is about to land in Smith’s hands, he starts to slide. The ball bounced off his chest and was incomplete. Instead of scoring a game tying TD on what should have been the easiest catch ever, the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal to make the score 21-17. They went on to lose 35-31, by the amount of points they lost due to Jackie Smith’s famous drop. Jackie Smith is a Hall of Famer, but he also holds one of the top five Super Bowl mistakes in history.

 

3. Scott Norwood kicks it wide right

With 2:10 left in Super Bowl XXV, the Buffalo Bills were down 20-19 with the ball at their own 10. They were able to drive all the way down to the Giants’ 30 with eight seconds left on the clock. What happened next has to be the most disappointing moment in Bills history. K Scott Norwood came out to kick the game winning FG. The ball was snapped and Norwood kicks the ball. He pushed it wide right, giving the Giants the Super Bowl win.

We’ve seen a lot of missed kicks over the years, but none of them as bad as this one. To make the missed kick even worse, the Bills could have opted for a short play to get the ball out of bounds to move the kick a little closer. Instead of doing so, the Bills handed Norwood a 47-yard kick that obviously didn’t go too well. This missed kick started the Bills’ streak of losing four straight Super Bowls.

 

2. Falcons allow huge comeback

This top five Super Bowl mistake isn’t just a play. Rather, it took place over the sequence of two quarters. Going into halftime of Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons had built a 21-3 lead on the New England Patriots. Falcons fans had to be feeling pretty good about things. To make things even better, the Falcons went up 28-3 with about 8:31 left in the third quarter. At this point, Falcons fans had to be sitting back, relaxing and thinking, “We’ve got this in the bag.” Not so fast.

With 2:06 left in the third quarter, the Patriots made the score 28-9. The Falcons were still up three TDs heading into the fourth quarter, which you would think is a sure fire victory. Well, the Patriots made the score 28-12 with 9:44 left, 28-20 with 5:56 left and 28-28 with 0:57 left. How were they able to do this? The Atlanta Falcons got nothing going on offense after their third quarter TD.

All the Falcons had to do was keep the clock moving by running the ball. Run the ball, move the chains and keep the clock ticking. They failed to do that, allowing the Patriots to come back and send the game to OT. We all know what happened next. The Falcons’ offense didn’t the see the ball in OT because the Patriots drove all the way down the field. That’s when RB James White ran the ball in from two yards out for the game winning TD.

 

1. Seattle’s INT at the 1-yard line

With 26 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX, everything looked perfect for the Seattle Seahawks to beat the New England Patriots. Just a couple plays before this iconic mistake, QB Russell Wilson had completed a pass to WR Jermaine Kearse, who made arguably one of the greatest catches of all-time. Everything looked perfect for the Seahawks to win their second Super Bowl in two years. Then the worst play call ever happened.

It was 2nd and goal with 26 seconds left. Russell Wilson makes a quick pass to Kearse on a slant, but Patriots CB Malcolm Butler intercepted the pass just outside of the end zone. Why on earth would the Seahawks pass the ball at the 1-yard line with RB Marshawn Lynch in the backfield? To make this even worse, it’s not like it was 4th down. It was 2nd and goal! The Seahawks had 26 seconds and one time out left at the 1-yard line with three downs to get in the end zone.

Instead of a pass, the Seahawks should have given the ball to Marshawn Lynch three straight times if that’s what it took. If he didn’t get in on 2nd down, they could have either stopped the clock or got back to the line for a quick snap. If he didn’t get in on 3rd down, they could have done the same thing. Had it been 4th and goal and they had tried to run it in on the previous two plays, a pass play wouldn’t have been as bad. That’s the thing though, they had three chances to run it in with one of the most powerful RBs in the NFL. Big mistake by Seattle in their Super Bowl XLIX loss.

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For the sake of the Patriots and Rams, hopefully we don’t see any major mistakes that will go down in history as one of the top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time.

Didn’t see your favorite mistake on our list of the top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time? Comment below and let us know which great Super Bowl mistake we missed!

 

Top 15 Super Bowl moments of all-time

After taking the time to look back at some of the best Super Bowl moments for both the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, we turned our attention to the best moments of their first Super Bowl match. As we prepare ourselves for another encounter between the two teams, we will look back at some of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all-time.

Source: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=230127&picture=posterization-of-joe-namath

There are several different moments in the 53 year history we could call great. Narrowing it down to just 15 makes it even harder, but we at Fourth Quarter Sports have come together to make it the best we can. So let’s take a look at the top 15 Super Bowl moments of all-time.

 

15. Max McGee’s Touchdown, Super Bowl I

Many people may not think of this as one of the best moments in Super Bowl history, but most of us probably don’t even know who Max McGee is or what team he payed for. He played for the Green Bay Packers in the first ever Super Bowl. His touchdown was the first ever touchdown scored in a Super Bowl. It was a 37-yard pass from QB Bart Starr to open the game. The Packers never looked back.

What makes this moment more special, is that McGee wasn’t even suppose to play after he missed curfew. It’s not like he was the superstar WR on that team. He only caught four passes in the 1966 season. But on that day of Super Bowl I, he was the hero with seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, as the Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.

 

14. Joe Namath’s Guarantee, Super Bowl III

How could you not put a moment like this on the list? This is known to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The best part about it was when quarterback Joe Namath publicly guaranteed a Jets victory. He walked off the field with one finger pointing to the sky as he did what he said he would do. Namath made the guarantee three days prior that the Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts. He did it with a balance of passing and running plays, as running back Matt Snell totaled 121 yards and a touchdown.

Namath and Jets had a 16-0 lead heading into the second half, where the Colts made the decision to change quarterbacks and go back to Johnny Unitas. He led them to a scoring drive. However, it was too late for Unitas and the Colts, as Namath and Jets won the game for the first time in the AFL after the Green Bay Packers won it the past two years in the NFL.

Hear more about how Namath felt after they won here.

 

13. Devin Hester returns opening kickoff against Colts, Super Bowl XLI

It was Super Bowl XLI when we saw the Chicago Bears against the Indianapolis Colts. It was also the first Super Bowl game that featured two African American head coaches (Bears’ Lovie Smith and Colts’ Tony Dungy), which means there is a historical fact to this moment as well. But this was likely the worst moment of the game for the Bears, as they lost to the Colts 29-17 after leading 17-3 at halftime. So why is Devin Hester on the list? Well, he did something that has never been done. That was taking the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. It went down in history as the fastest TD in the Super Bowl, scored in just 14 seconds.

Let’s keep in mind that Hester was just a rookie returner who led the league in both kickoff and punt returns with six total. This kick return was the first ever opening kickoff return for a TD in a Super Bowl. There were eight other guys who were able to return a kickoff for a TD in a Super Bowl, but none were as special as this one.

Check out the return here.

 

12. John Riggins’ big score, Super Bowl XVII

Riggins was known as “The Diesel” during his time in the NFL. It was moments like this that gave him the name. In the Redskins’ first ever Super Bowl, they were down to the Miami Dolphins 17-13 with 10 minutes left to play. They faced a 4th-and-1 situation on the Dolphins’ 43-yard line. Riggins ran over Dolphins DB Don McNeal for the decisive score that put the Redskins ahead for good. He was the workhorse for the Redskins’ first Super Bowl win, carrying the ball a record 38 times for 166 yards in a Super Bowl. The touchdown run at the moment was the longest run from scrimmage in the history of the Super Bowl.

Check it out here.

 

11. Montana, 49ers win in Bill Walsh’s final NFL game, Super Bowl XXIII

If you thought the Niners were the team in the 80’s, you thought right. That was mostly because of the coach-QB duo of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, who had a lot of success together, including three Super Bowl titles. This is the most memorable Super Bowl moment, because this was the last game Bill Walsh coached in the NFL.

This Super Bowl was the closest of the three they won together, and the second against the Cincinnati Bengals. This was a Niners team that was down 16-13 with three minutes remaining in the game. The ball was at their own 8-yard line. The Niners were not worried, as they had “Joe Cool” ready to lead the drive, which he did as they capped off a 92-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to WR John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining. That’s the way to end a coaching career. Let’s not forget that Montana and the Niners made it back to the Super Bowl without Walsh and crushed the Denver Broncos 55-10.

Take a look at the game-winning drive of Super XXIII.

 

10. John Elway “Helicopter” Spin, Super Bowl XXXII

Elway and the Broncos struggled to win Super Bowls. In fact, Elway had lost his first three Super Bowl appearances until this Super Bowl, where he pulled out all the stops to get his first Lombardi Trophy. It was Elway’s determination that helped the Broncos pull off this win against the defending Super Bowl champion Packers. Elway took us all on a thrill ride, as he gave us one of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl history.

The Broncos and Packers went back and forth all game, as the Broncos ultimately came out on top 31-24. It was the third quarter drive that was 13 plays and 92-yards that gave the Broncos the lead back in a tied game. One of those plays was an 8-yard scramble for a first down by Elway, in which he dove and got hit by multiple Packers defenders while spinning through the air like a Helicopter. The Broncos followed that up by getting a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Terrell Davis.

Want to watch Elway fly like a Helicopter? Look here!

 

9. Redskins’ Williams becomes first African American QB to win a Super Bowl, Super Bowl XXII

From one successful Broncos Super Bowl to one of the Elway losses. It was Super Bowl XXII when Elway and the Broncos built a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter. But what would happen next is something that none of us would’ve predicted.

It was a second quarter full of touchdowns, five to be exact. All five were scored by the Washington Redskins and their QB Doug Williams. Williams and the Redskins scored 35 points in a quarter which was the most points ever in a single postseason quarter in NFL history at the time. The first touchdown was an 8-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Ricky Sanders, which tied a record for the longest pass in a Super Bowl game. Sanders and rookie running back Timmy Smith both set Super Bowl records: Sanders for receiving (193) and Smith for rushing (204).

Williams also made history, as he was the first African American QB to win the Super Bowl. He also put himself in the record books with all his success in that one game alone.

Watch this great performance by the Washington Redskins and Doug Williams here.

 

8. The Fridge’s TD, Super Bowl XX

Is your refrigerator running? Maybe you should want it too? That’s what the Chicago Bears did in Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots. It was already a 34-3 lead with three minutes left in the third quarter, so why not have some fun? Bears coach Mike Dikta made the decision to go with his 300+ pound defensive linemen to run the ball for a 1-yard touchdown. That linemen was rookie William “The Refrigerator” Perry, who lived up to his first-round draft status. Perry became the first 300 pound guy to score a touchdown, and Bears Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton loved it.

Check out the run here.

 

7. Swann is sensational, Super Bowl X

It’s not everyday you can be sensational, unless your name is Lynn Swann and you played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in ’70s. In this Super Bowl, Swann earned MVP honors, as he played the best game of his career. In this game, he made two sensational catches. The first was a juggling catch while falling to the turf for a 53-yard gain, and the other catch was a score on a 64-yard touchdown. It would help the Steelers win their second consecutive Super Bowl, and first of two against the Cowboys.

Check out the catches here.

 

6. Bills’ Norwood missed FG, Super Bowl XXV

When you’re down one point with 2:16 remaining, you have no real pressure on you besides getting into field goal range. That is actually what the Buffalo Bills QB did against the New York Giants, as they were down 20-19. Bills’ QB Jim Kelly marches the team down the field and gets to the Giants’ 29 with eight seconds left. What happened next was part of a long losing streak in the Super Bowl. The Bills had a losing streak in the Super Bowl that will always be remembered. This play is the worst of them all. Bills’ kicker Scott Norwood set up for a game-winning 47-yard field goal, but he misses wide right and their streak continued.

Watch the missed kick by Norwood here.

 

5. Desmond Howard’s 99-yard return, Super Bowl XXVII

In another Super Bowl the Patriots lost, it came down to the speed of one man. That man was Desmond Howard, as he stopped the Patriots momentum from completing a comeback. It was a late score by New England in the third quarter to close within 27-21. That was until Green Bay’s Desmond Howard returns the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the Packers’ 35-21 win.

Howard was a nearly unstoppable force as a return specialist, like we saw from his college days. He led the NFL in punt return yardage and touchdowns in 1996, along with the Super Bowl MVP award when he finished with 244 total return yards.

See Howard’s phenomenal run here.

 

4. James Harrison’s 100-yard pick six, Super Bowl XLIII

From a great kickoff return touchdown to an even greater interception returned for touchdown. It was a memorable Super Bowl for the Steelers, as they had two unforgettable plays to help them clinch their 6th Super Bowl (tied most in history). This play was the first one, where James Harrison grabbed an interception off of Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner late in the first half to give them a 17-7 lead. He took the interception 100 yards for a touchdown with seconds remaining in the half. It was the longest play in Super Bowl before it was broken by Jacoby Jones’ 109-yard kickoff return touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII.

Watch the big boy run down the sideline for a score here.

 

3. Dolphins complete perfect season, Super Bowl VII

There is nothing like having a perfect season. There is only one team ever in the NFL who has won all their games. That team was the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The closest team to come to that was the 2010 New England Patriots with their 18-1 record. But the Dolphins were too good and had no worries about their record, besides ruining the chance to shut out the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl. The only real mistake they made in the game was trying to make something out of an already broken play, when kicker Garo Yepremian attempted to throw a forward pass after a blocked kick and Redskins cornerback Mike Bass would get the team’s only touchdown of the game.

What the Dolphins complete their perfect season here.

 

2. Santonio Holmes goes toes in for the victory, Super Bowl XLIII

This is the second part of an amazing Super Bowl by the Steelers. As you previously read, Harrison made a clutch interception at the end of the first half to put the team ahead by 10 points. But after watching Kurt Warner ledd his team back, the Steelers found themselves down by three with little time left. That was just enough time for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to find WR Santonio Holmes in the end zone.

This final drive was all Holmes, as he had four catches for 73 yards. Despite being in tight coverage, Holmes catches the ball and somehow nabbed a game-winning touchdown pass on the tips of his toes, just barely staying in bounds with less than a minute left on the clock.

Don’t miss that great catch here.

 

1. David Tyree helmet catch, Super Bowl XLII

This was the Super Bowl the New England Patriots were supposed to be undefeated in, as they were up 14-10 late in the fourth quarter. It looked like things were going in that direction for the Patriots, until this happened…

New York Giants QB Eli Manning escapes two tackles and launches a pass down field on 3rd-and-five. Giants WR David Tyree jumped and pinned the ball against his helmet for a 32-yard catch that will go done in history as one of the greatest catches of all-time. But that wasn’t game-winner. The Patriots had one more chance to stop the Giants march, until four plays later when Manning connects with Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown, as the Giants shock the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

 

Honorable Mention

As amazing as all these plays have been, there will certainly be many more plays left off. Some of which are in the honorable mentions find below.

Honorable mentions:

  • Jacoby Jones’ 109-yard kickoff return touchdown – Super Bowl XLVII
  • Dyson 1-yard short against Rams – Super Bowl XXXIV
  • Malcom Butler’s goal line Interception- Super Bowl XLIX
  • Adam Vinatieri’s FG for Patriots first Super Bowl win – Super Bowl XXXVI

Others have yet to be determined. Going into this, I wanted to focus on some of the records and first ever moments that led to some plays making it in over others. I couldn’t ignore the first ever Super Bowl with Vince Lombardi as the coach. I mean, the title is named after him. What memorable moments will this year’s Super Bowl bring?

And also don’t forget to return this weekend for some more Super Bowl talk. Please share your thoughts about the top moments in Super Bowl history!

New Year’s resolutions for every AFC team who missed the playoffs

A new year has come, and with it the many resolutions we swear to. Each year we promise we are going to go to the gym more, or see the world more. Some short lived, some we actually see through.

NFL teams have New Year’s resolutions just like us. Below I’ve provided you with the resolutions for every AFC team who did missed the playoffs. I decided to keep the playoff teams out, because it is pretty obvious what their resolution should be. Win a Super Bowl.

Gregg Williams” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Just like ours, some are probably not going to be seen through, while others I think have a chance of happening up to the kickoff of 2019. Along with the teams, I also provided resolutions for each division and what they hope to accomplish for 2019.

Part two, the NFC resolutions will come out early next week.

 

AFC East

Resolution: For any team but the Patriots to win the division next season

New England has had a stranglehold on the crown for ten years straight. I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s getting pretty old. No one has seemed to come close to the top. It really has made the division a laughing stock in the league. One has to assume the Patriots’ success has to be tied to the fact that New England plays the Bills, Jets and Dolphins twice a year. This year the Patriots’ road to clinching the division was through Buffalo and the Jets at home. The NFL will be a better place if just one team decides to be consistently competitive in the AFC East.

New York Jets

Resolution: Get Jim Harbaugh/No sophomore slump for Darnold

The Jets’ resolution is two parts. The first, the Jets have to do whatever it takes to ensure Sam Darnold does not go through a sophomore slump in 2019. They cannot afford to have Darnold regress in 2019 with a new coach. Darnold did not have an overly impressive rookie season. Though he had a bunch of bright spots, the Jets need Darnold to have a coming out party in 2019 to show 2018 was not a waste. Something good has to come out of this miserable season.

The second part of this resolution is in regards to the recent reports the Jets are pursuing Michigan’s Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Though the reports have been refuted by Ian Rappaport, Jets ownership has been supposedly going to make the Michigan man an offer he can’t refuse. One that is well north of his already lucrative seven million a year contract. If that part can happen, you can almost guarantee Darnold is going to take steps in the right direction in 2019. They just  may be able to take over as the Kings of New York, at least for one year.

Buffalo Bills

Resolution: Spoil Josh Allen

The Bills’ resolution revolves around taking care of their prized possession, Josh Allen. I am fairly confident Allen has proven to most he has all the tools and intangibles to be a productive quarterback. The issue is, he did not have the ability to display those skills on a consistent basis. He is not good enough to make bad receivers look good. Throwing the ball to the likes of Robert Woods or Zay Jones did not help out Allen at all. No offense to them, but they are not clear cut number ones who can change the course of a game. The Bills have struck out as of late trying to get viable weapons at the Wide Receiver positions. Drafting Sammy Watkins, who ended up being a bust. Making a trade for Kelvin Benjamin, which showed the front offices incompetency. They need to do better for Allen. If they can’t get someone to throw to, then write a big check on the insurance policy and revamp the offensive line. Do something that will help Josh Allen carry this franchise to success, not make it harder.

Miami Dolphins

Resolution: Hire a coach with the intention of keeping them for more than three years

The Dolphins magically were on the cusp of a possible playoff birth with a few weeks remaining in 2018. The most inconsistent team in the NFL this year, the Dolphins looked like a dangerous playoff team one week, only to look like a team with no identity the next. The quick flashes of great play though were not enough to keep Adam Gase’s job, as he was fired a few days after their embarrassing 42-17 loss to the Bills.

The Dolphins are starting another off-season in the all to familiar position of finding a new head coach. They yet again let go of another coach after three seasons and mediocre numbers. Gase was 23-25 with one playoff appearance in three years. Wins matter, and owners have zero patience when it comes to waiting for them, so I get the move. 2019 has to be different for the Dolphins though. Thus their new year resolution has to be the either finding the right man for the job, who brings them back to the winning culture of the past, or they grow enough patience to at least give their new coach the time to get it right. I am not talking Marvin Lewis kind of time, but maybe four years, especially if they show some kind of promise. No Dolphins coach has lasted more than four seasons since Don Shula left in 1995. 2019 needs to be the year that changes.

 

AFC North

Resolution: The Browns win the division next year

This resolution is pretty easy for me. The North has long been dominated by the Steelers and Ravens. There needs to be a change, since the Steelers are looking more like a circus than a football team and the Ravens are too boring for the NFL’s liking to be the face of the North. Enter Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. The North needs the Browns and Baker Mayfield to win the division in 2019 in a big way.

Cincinnati Bengals

Resolution: DO NOT HIRE HUE JACKSON

So the Bengals already accomplished my resolution for 2019, which was to fire Marvin Lewis and just start over. I honestly didn’t think that it would actually happen, so I am kind of surprised. I figured the only way he was to leave was if he just resigned. But the Bengals finally decided they are better than being mediocre every year.

I naturally felt good for the city of Cincinnati and all of their fans. That was until I remembered they hired Hue Jackson earlier in the season. There is a big possibility of him being their next Head Coach. Jackson saw great success while he was their offensive coordinator, enough success that landed him the job in Cleveland. Judging by the fact Bengals ownership allowed Lewis to stay their head coach for 16 years, they just may pull the trigger on a familiar face and name.

So now my resolution for the Bengals has transformed into them NOT HIRING HUE JACKSON. If they were to do that, you can bet they would be winless against the Browns and probably every team during the duration of his tenure there. Based off of the Bengals’ track record, that may be a long time!

Cleveland Browns

Resolution: Keep Gregg Williams as their Head Coach

The Browns are in unfamiliar territory. They are coming off one of their most successful seasons in recent memory and for once are going into an off-season with a lot of expectations. None of that will matter though if they decide to go in a different direction and get them a new head coach not named Gregg Williams.

The Browns clearly transformed once Jackson was let go and Williams took over. They adopted his demeanor and played with a relentless drive to win. Besides that, Williams, along with his offensive coordinator Eddie Kitchens, were able to harness Mayfield’s talent and bravado and turned it into a style that led men on and off the field. Williams is the perfect fit at head coach because his attitude matches his starting quarterback. No nonsense, “not here to make friends” mentality, that done right can result in many wins for a team and fanbase that has not seen many.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Resolution: Hope Ben Roethlisberger retires

It is time. The Steelers need an obvious shot of life right now. One of the most historic, iconic NFL franchises is being viewed as a joke right now. To many Steeler faithful, that is unacceptable.

Julius in Remember the Titans said it best when he told captain Gary Bertier that “Attitude reflects leadership, captain.” The Steelers have a mixed bag of personalities, egos and talent that have brought them a long way, but the name that leads them all is their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The team goes as far as he does. Recently, though putting up gaudy numbers, his attitude and questionable leadership skills have been dragging down a proud organization and fanbase. From him putting everyone on retirement watch to him blowing his injuries out of proportion, to calling people out on radio shows, Big Ben’s attitude is rubbing off on the rest of the team finally and the Steelers need him out.

They need 2019 to be the year he exits the league on his own, because the Steelers will never let him go, so in turn they will continue to get worse.

 

AFC South

Resolution: Prove they are a strong division

The South once again has two teams in the playoffs. An underrated division going into the season, the South has once again proven that in a dogfight, they will win. They need this momentum to carry forward into 2019 and make sure what we saw in 2017 and 2018 was not a fluke. Their division as a whole needs to be more competitive outside their own and prove the only reason why two teams represent the south for the second year in a row is not that of the fact that they have a weak division.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Resolution: Make people forget how bad the 2018 season was

I do not care what the Jaguars have to do, but they need to do something that makes their fans forget just how disappointing the 2018 season was for them. Very similar to when the Raiders went 6-10 in 2017 after going 12-4 with a playoff appearance the year before, the Jaguars came into 2018 with a tremendous amount of hype and expectations. Not only did they fall short to the lofty expectations, but they also managed to make 2018 into a train wreck, where there are more questions than answers.

Bortles was their answer, but now he is not. Fournette was poised to be the next great NFL running back to start 2018, but it ended with his future as a Jaguar in question. Jalen Ramsey was more worried about other teams’ quarterbacks other than his own. Their elite defense crumbled under the pressure of carrying their team once again to the playoffs.

The Jaguars need something to happen. Anything to happen to make everyone talk about something else and not how bad 2018 was in Jacksonville. From either firing their coach to making a big signing or trade, Jacksonville needs some kind of reprieve from the madness and aggravation.  

Tennessee Titans

Resolution: Make Marcus Mariota the main man

The Titans are a well-disciplined football team. They play smart fundamental football and take away a gutsy failed two-point conversion call late in the fourth because they did not want to tie against the Chargers, then I may be writing about the Colts right now instead.

Just like the Dolphins, the Titans played inspired football, only to follow it up with dismal performances which make you question which team is the real Titans. Part of their success is that they finally got Derrick Henry moving. He provided a jolt to the team and put an identity to them. The issue is though, Henry is not the answer. Mariota is. Until they provide him the weapons he needs, Tennessee will find themselves in this situation more often than not. They need to make sure that going into the 2019 season, Delanie Walker is not their number one weapon in the passing game. They need to make a big but smart splash in either free agency or the draft that builds Mariota’s confidence to see if he is the franchise quarterback they all thought he would be a couple of years ago.

 

AFC West

Resolution: Their two playoff teams right now need to make it to the Super Bowl

This resolution is more for the teams who are in the playoffs right now, the Chiefs and Chargers. The West needs to have one of their two teams in Super Bowl, and at the very least make the AFC Championship. The Chiefs for the past couple of season have been on top of the division, only to be bounced out in their first playoff game. That cannot happen this year as the top dog in the AFC. The Chargers are riding the coattails of Philip Rivers in what could be his last chance of a Super Bowl. The Chargers have disappointed the West way too much in the past and could use a run from the second-best team record-wise in the AFC, but the fifth-ranked team in the playoffs.

Denver Broncos

Resolution: Build around Phillip Lindsey

When the Broncos have been successful, there has always been a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback behind it. When the Broncos made the Super Bowl, it was with either Elway or Manning under center.

Denver will not find that with Case Keenum. He is a game manager, not a game changer. There is nothing wrong with that though, as long as you have a good running back who can carry the load. The Broncos have struck out in recent memory with drafting running backs, so it is pretty ironic that the one they found success with is one they did not draft. Phillip Lindsey is a dynamic multi-faceted running back who played more of a role in Broncos’ victories than Keenum did.

Elway needs to realize this and bring in a coach who will build a system around him who will run first to set up the pass, which I think is the exact system Keenum will excel in. The question is, will Elway do this or try to sign a big-name quarterback?

Oakland Raiders

Resolution: Settle on any place to play their home games this year that is not in San Francisco

It is well known the Raiders most likely played their last game in Oakland Coliseum. Yes, it is sad, but long overdue. The Raiders are the only NFL team who was still playing their home games on a converted baseball field. Though it helped win two of their games this year, they deserve a lot better. One of the solutions that was suggested was to have their home games played in Levi Stadium, which is the home field for the 49ers.

That is like recommending Michigan play its home games in Ohio State’s stadium. It is just a bad idea. The Raiders hate the 49ers and the Niners hate the Raiders. It is just how it is, and I do not see good things happening if the Raiders and Niners shared a field for 2019. Though it is not ideal, I would rather see them play at UNLV or even Bishop Gorman High School in Vegas (before you question my decisions just Google them and you will see their facilities rival those of top Division 1 football programs.)

Yes, I get the Raiders have a lot more problems than where to play, but if they want their loyal fans continuing to come, then they need to provide them with a better solution than playing at their rivals home.