Cancer Changes Everything




I know that many people have reached out to me recently asking for an update so here it is.

I guess I’ll apologize for keeping people in the dark but I just needed some time. Between all the MRIs, scans, and medications, it really takes a toll on my body. I was able to share news with my family but I wasn’t able to reach out to the few that reached out to me. I first want to say thank you to everyone, family and friends, who have sent prayers, well wishes, and participated in the Go Fund Me that my wife’s family set up.

Anyways, on to the good news: the MRI revealed that the tumors in my brain, spine, lung, and liver are all shrinking. Which means that my body is responding to the medication and treatment positively.

Despite the good news, I’m still dealing with the pain in my hips and lower back. It seems like ever since the doctor gave us the good news, my pain has been more constant but I’m still doing well in terms of moving around and such. Physical therapy is going well and my weight is starting to stabilize. I still have a long road ahead of me in terms of my being able to return to work, unfortunately. But I’m feeling much better than I did months ago. I will be re-evaluated in a month or so but the goal remains to be able to work this fall.

Being down here in Virginia has been tough for my family and I. The doctors, co-workers, and friends we have met down here have been more than fantastic. But for the most part, we’ve been down here by ourselves and it’s been tough, especially for my wife, taking care of our newborn daughter Eva and myself.

Having cancer changes everything. That’s one thing I’ve learned through all of this. Priorities change and you realize how important family is. It’s not like I didn’t know that before all this happened but the way everyone back home has reached out has really been touching.

So, Asha, Eva, and I are moving back to Pittsburgh this month. This move makes the most sense, as we will be close to family and will be able to have the help and support that we need. Unfortunately, this means that I’m resigning from my job at WV Radio Corp and I’ll be taking a bit of a hiatus from my career. It is disappointing but I know that this is the right move for my family and I.

As my fight continues, the goal still remains to return to a place physically where I can work again. I just want to thank everyone for the support and prayers. I’m excited to be returning home to be with my family. This journey has been tough and sometimes unpredictable but it is teaching me a lot about patience and it helps knowing that God has a plan and is still in control.

I just want to thank everyone again for the support as my family makes this transition.



Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Not too many spoilers, I hope)



By: Elias McMillan

Today is National Superhero Day, so I decided to do the nerdish-thing possible off the heels of seeing “Avengers: Endgame” and give my rankings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ll promise to try to not have too many spoilers. But really, who HASN’T seen these yet? Right? I dunno. Again. I apologize in advance. Let’s start from the bottom to the top.



  1. Thor: The Dark World – This is one where I legit took a nap in the theater. I remember this one starting out with an epic battle scene but this one easily the worst in the series. The end-credits scene was just Thor returning to Earth to make out with Nat Portman. I remember thinking, “I waited after the credits for that?!”. I know that their were things in the movie that were important to the entire timeline such as the stuff with Thor’s parents and Loki’s “death” (He never dies) and an Infinity Stone. But mainly, it was a forgettable movie.


  1. The Incredible Hulk – This is unfair to have this one 2nd to last. I don’t even think I saw this one in theaters. Maybe it’s because of the actor change in the series from Ed Norton to Mark Ruffalo. The final fight with Abomination was dope though.


  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is based off of goofiness and campiness. So, I understand why people enjoy that stuff so much. In this movie, they really turn that aspect on and it was kinda forced and annoying to me at times.


  1. Captain Marvel – I really wanted to give this one a chance. But I felt that Captain Marvel was mainly pointless. I didn’t hate the movie but it was boring. Brie Lawson was boring. Her character was boring. There was no conflict in this movie. The villain caused no threat. I wish the movie would have explored Brie Lawson’s character on Earth more to make her more interesting. I’ll never buy into the plot device that Captain Marvel leaves for 30 years and when the “snap” happens, Sam Jackson, randomly had a pager on TOP of his duffle bag, ready to contact her. 30 YEARS LATER? It was just sitting there? It just came off as a random plot device. Because Marvel wanted to make $500 million on a female-led movie similar to Wonder Woman. Which is cool to me. I support the pro-female led theme in the movie. But mainly, it was boring. The post-credits scene was literally a cat puking.


  1. Iron Man 3 – Most Marvel fans reacted negatively to this one when released but as time has gone on; they have changed their tune. I remember the trailers leading up to this one were epic because everyone was excited about seeing the powers and how they would pull off of the “Ten Rings” and the ever-popular villain “The Mandarin”. Instead, we got a joke Mandarin, a revenge story stolen from “The Incredibles”, and campy comedy plot devices that were over done.


  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – Out of the Avengers series this one was the weakest. At the end of the day, it was the Avengers just fighting robots for two hours. Looked cool. The performances and comedy weren’t bad. We needed Vision to be introduced. And it set up the events for Civil War. Why introduce Quick Silver and immediately kill him off?


  1. Doctor Strange – The visuals in this movie made the movie. I felt that Dr. Strange didn’t really “learn” or that he “learned” alittle too quickly. He was a jerk and after the story, he still kept that “I’m better than you” attitude. Again, the visuals were dope and I really like the end-credits scene with Mordo.


  1. Guardians of the Galaxy – Enjoyable, campy family movie with a cool soundtrack. I understand why this one would probably be higher on other lists. It was just a little corny for my liking. The ending with the dance-off. Ugh. C’mon man.


  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming – This one will probably lead the future of the new-MCU. It wasn’t a bad movie but ultimately, I’m not a big fan of the direction of this new Spider-Man. I’m probably biased because I’m forever loyal to the two Sam Raimi films. But I hate how sloppy this Spider-Man is. I know that they are trying to sell that he is a kid but I hate how loose he is with his identity. The action and villain and the story were all really great and all. And I was legit excited to see Spidy included in the MCU universe.


  1. Ant-Man and the Wasp – Not as good as the first one but enjoyable one to watch after the events of Infinity War. And that post-credits scene………..


  1. Thor – Maybe I should have this one higher because Thor is one of the original characters in this universe. But that not a mark on how good of a movie it was. I like the Foo Fighters song they used too.


  1. Iron Man 2 – People usually rank this one lower than Iron Man 3 and I’ll never understand why. This is one that I always leave on if it airs on FX or whatever. Loved the introduction of Black Widow. Sam Rockwell killed it. People hate on the Whiplash villain but I didn’t mind him. War Machine was awesome. The shootout scene in the garden with the drones is probably my favorite in the entire series.


  1. Thor: Ragnarok – After the disaster that was “The Dark World”, director Taika Waititi really pulled off a fun movie and made every love Thor again. The bright world that was created, the return of the Hulk, and Tessa Thompson shined as Valkyrie.


  1. Ant-Man – What made Ant-Man so great is that no one could have expected them to make a good super hero movie from someone not considered a major character from the MCU. Ant-Man was a fun, heist film. The Michael Pena scene stole the show. Paul Rudd proved to be a great fit. Really the cast and the plot were all surprisingly good.


  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – On first view, I didn’t like the whole “Hydra was hiding under Shield’s nose” storyline. I just didn’t but it or thought that Nick Fury and the good guys would be smarter to realize what was going on. But the movie as a whole was one of the strongest in the MCU. Solid action. The elevator scene was top notch. Black Falcon even proved to be a solid addition.


  1. Black Panther – This one should probably be higher. Black Panther provided a great origin story that was relatable to today. Great action. Great villain. Loved seeing Andy Serkis having so fun wit his character. Black Panther also featured probably one the strongest cast in the entire series. Angela Basset, Forest Whitaker, Winston Duke. Really all the female characters killed it. Great soundtrack. People try to complain about the final fight scene or the CGI or how it probably shouldn’t have been nominated for a Best Picture award. But the bottom line is that was just a really good movie. Wakanda Forever!


  1. Captain America: The First Avenger – In the same line as Black Panther, the first Captain America was the quintessential Marvel film that really continued to set the tone for the MCU. Great origin story. Excellent CGI. The old school feel of it. I wish Hugo Weaving had stuck on as Red Skull though. Tommy Lee Jones was also awesome in this.


  1. Captain America: Civil War – The airport scene. Giant-man. The debut of new Spider-Man. Almost forgot that Black Panther also debuted in this movie. A solid addition to the Captain America series that featured so many iconic images ripped from the comic books.


  1. Iron Man – The very first film in the series that set the tone for the entire franchise.


  1. The Avengers – Not sure what to say about the movie that ended Phase One of the MCU. But because of the superhero team-up movie was never done so well before, this one definitely deserves to be in the Top 3.


  1. Avengers: Infinity War – After the events of Thor: Ragnarok, this is the film where the MCU finally “gets to the real stuff”.


  1. Avengers: Endgame – No spoilers here. Just see the movie if you haven’t already. I’ll say this though, I knew going in, after Infinity War that the “happy endings” would happen here. But I was unbothered. By everything. Because Marvel absolutely pulled it off. Just go see the movie. I was completely enthralled during the movie. I couldn’t believe my facial expressions. I don’t think it was because of the medications I was on. I loved the heist aspect in the movie. The emotional scenes. Everything, man. As much as I hated on how boring and convenient the Captain Marvel character was to me, she didn’t even bother me. She did her thing. And it was awesome. The entire thing was AWESOME. MARVEL NAILED IT. SEE THE FILM. THE END. NO SPOILERS.

2019 NFL Draft: No Mock. Just Random Thoughts.


Where will Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray land? I say, not in Arizona.

By: Elias McMillan


Alright. Unfortunately, I did not do a NFL mock draft this year. But I’ve always loved this time of year to research and pretend to know what I’m talking about based on minutes upon hours and hours of watching highlights on YouTube. So, again, no mock, but here are just some random thoughts about how I think this weekend will go down in Nashville.

  • What is Arizona going to do with the first pick? Well, I think it is NOT going to be Kyler Murray, the standout QB out of Oklahoma. I’m not a believer in this year’s QB class but Murray is probably the top signal caller in this draft. I just think that’s not saying much. I don’t see Murray as a NFL caliber passer like Mayfield “appears” to be. He’s indeed a talented player. He can throw. He can run. He can be a playmaker. But the HOPE is that he can be Russell Wilson. Can be. Sounds too risky. Wilson is Wilson. But for every Wilson, there’s been 5 or 6 guys with similar skill sets and ran similar, fast, wide open offenses in college that just haven’t panned out. Bottom line is that Murray could be the next great thing in this league but I don’t see it right now as a sure thing. He is going to need work. Arizona DRAFTED a QB in the first round last year. Arizona was a bad team last season. They need to build that team up, put better players around that QB (Rosen) and not muddy the situation further. Arizona should take the best player available at 1 and that player is Ohio State Defensive End Nick Bosa.


  • So, where does that leave Murray? I predict that a big trade will happen. I think Arizona, San Fran, the Jets, or Oakland will be the ones to receive the “King’s Ransom”. Which team will pull the trigger? My first thought was maybe the New York Giants. They need to face the facts in the first place about Eli Manning and work on replacing him. If the Giants were crazy enough to trade away OBJ, maybe they would do the same in terms of finding a new QB. But now, I’m hearing a more logical option: Washington. It would be such a Dan Snyder move. Despite that fact such a trade would echo the disaster that was the RG3 situation, Washington is in desperate need for a QB. Freak accidents to Alex Smith and then Colt McCoy completely wrecked their 2018 and the signs are pointing to both of those guys not being back. Ever. Washington NEEDS a QB and I believe that they can convince themselves that Kyler Murray can be their “Russell Wilson”. I can only imagine the trade package they dream up but it will have to be ridiculous.


  • Again, I think Murray is the best QB in this draft. From what I’ve seen, I’m not impressed with Dook’s Daniel Jones. I don’t understand the whole “I’ve worked with David Cutcliffe and he knows the Mannings so that means he knows quarterbacks” angle. He might be a better passer but not nearly in the same class of a playmaker. Ohio State quarterbacks have burned me before (I really liked Cardale Jones) but I’m kind of rooting for Dwayne Haskins to fall into a good situation. I think he’s better than Jones and he’s a guy who has shown improvement during his time in college. I think it means something that he’s been able to show improvement as his college career went on. It shows that he’s coachable. I’m not a big fan of this QB class but other passers that intrigue me are West Virginia’s Will Grier and Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson.


  • As for the rest of the draft, ehhhhh, I don’t know. Let’s talk the AFC North because there’s been so much talk within that division this offseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers have replaced the Dallas Cowboys in terms of being in the news every week for some unimportant, social media back and forth or whatever. Despite all the talk about AB and Bell and the “Killer B” era ending without a championship, I hope the Steeler faithful realize that the real reason why that era ended the way it did was because of the opposite side of the football. The Steelers have had multiple draft misfires on defense during that time and THAT’S what held them back. I think Pittsburgh will probably look for help on the defense side again. They need to. Inside Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety, Pass Rusher. They are all options. They just need someone to really pan out. Either way, I’m excited about what is about to happen in that division. Because I believe that a changing of the guard is about to happen. You can place your faith in a 37-year-old QB and yes, Ben is still supremely talented. And yes, offensive talent can be replaced and reloaded and blah, blah, blah. But I believe that they will truly miss the production from those guys because they were really, really, good. Especially AB. Ben lead the league in passing last season, I know. But, Father Time is undefeated. So, Pittsburgh really needs a strong defensive draft to finally pan out. I’m not saying that I’m buying into all the Cleveland hype either. But I believe that they will at least be there. I won’t say that the Browns are automatically “contenders” because of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. They certainly have the talent to maybe be an 8-win team. The AFC North schedule will be tough for all 4 teams in 2019. The Steelers COULD be an 9-10 win team. That’s not far from 8. I think the division will be a dogfight into December. I feel that even Cincinnati could be there. I’m excited to see what they can do now that they finally have a new regime. I wonder if they’ll take a new QB in Round One to really signal the end of the Marvin Lewis/Andy Dalton era. Too bad Baltimore’s defense was gutted in free agency. They now need as much defensive help as Pittsburgh. Either way, the changing of the guard is coming to the AFC North and personally, I can’t wait……


  • Let’s talk about my Cowboys finally, who do not have a first round pick. Which I’m not upset about. I guess the Amari Cooper trade “worked”. Dallas went on a run. Won the division. And now they at least have reasonable hope going into 2019. But that hope usually does not translate with this franchise for whatever reason in recent years (23 years to be exact). Especially following a “successful” season. What is a successful season for Dallas anymore? A playoff win? Sad. Anyways, I think Dallas can still find the help they need with their late round selections. A run stuffing DT could be an option. A young safety or tight end prospect could be in play as well. I really want to see which young running back they select because as good as Ezekiel Elliott is, he is still a RB. And watching him last year, I saw a guy who was TIRED. Because they are running him into the ground. Because he is Dallas’ greatest weapon on the entire team. You can’t really say that about any other team where the Running Back, the most expendable player in football, is THE guy who makes it work. PSU’s Miles Sanders, Stanford’s Bryce Love, and Trayveon Williams out of Texas A&M are runners that could be a nice fit.



By: Elias McMillan


March 11

“The toughest thing about this has been feeling weak and not being able to be close to my daughter. Feeling the weakness in my legs and throughout my body. Seeing all the weight I’ve lost even though I’m back to eating regularly. I just don’t understand….”

Doctor: “Well, yeah. It’s because of the cancer.”



Last October, I started to notice some back pain. I didn’t think much of it until one morning where I could not bend over. Finally, that prompted me to seek treatment. That treatment ended up turning into weeks and then months of different medications that offered some relief but the pain really never left and continued to bother me. They took x-rays. Did blood work. Doctors told me what it could be. But no one really could provide me with any answers. All I knew is that I wasn’t feeling any better. The pain started to effect my appetite, where eating became a chore. That started the weight loss. Everything in my daily routine just started to take longer. All this was going on while my wife was preparing to give birth to our first child.

The pain really started to affect my lower back where I had shooting pain that extended into my thighs and hips. Finally, it was time to see my doctor and get a referral for a MRI. And that’s when everything kind of came to a head. As I climbed out of my car in the parking lot at the doctor’s office that morning, the pain shooting into my hips became too great and I fell. At least that fast tracked my goal to get the MRI in the first place.

I remember later that morning sitting in the hospital room after a MRI and the doctor just walking in and saying so bluntly, “Yeah. You have a broken back. It’s due to the cancer.”

“……uhhhhh. What?” This is two weeks after my daughter was born.

So, they discovered that I had compression fractures in my lower spine due to bone deterioration from tumors that are also in other parts of my back. Additionally, they also found tumors in my liver and my lung, where this probably originated.

They diagnosed me with low-grade Neuroendocrine Tumors. The doctors have told me that the good news is that with the treatment plan that I’m currently on (radiation, hormone therapy, chemo pills, etc.) I will be able to resume my normal life without the pain, eventually.


UPDATE: Doctors also discovered tumors in my brain after another MRI. Last week, I finished up radiation treatment on my brain and lower back. The radiation will come with the hair loss, fatigue, etc.IMG_6847

This is the mask they stretched around my head for the radiation treatment for the tumors in my brain.


The bad news is that while this isn’t terminal, this is a cancer that I’m going to have to live with. The tumors in my upper body cannot be treated in the way like the ones in my back. The hope is that they either shrink or that they stop growing/spreading with help from the medications.

Since being home, I do feel like I’m getting better but at the same time, I realize that I have to just deal with some hard truths right now. This is going to take time. There are days where I feel like I’m better and I just want to go and test myself. But, there are other days where my body reminds me that I’m just not there yet. But I will get there.

Since I’ve finished up the radiation and as the treatment continues, I feel better than I did weeks ago. I have good and bad days but overall, I’m making progress and I can feel my back feeling better.

Throughout this entire process, I believe that I will be back to my normal self soon. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in prayer to my family and I. I believe that God is with me and we will fight this together. I will beat this. I will win.

Thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers sent my way and please continue to send them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Thank you.






NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship Predictions

Divisional Round - Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots

Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.


By: Elias McMillan

Divisional Round: 2-2

Playoffs: 4-4

Conference Championship Sunday

NFC Championship Game

Los Angeles Rams @ New Orleans – I’m sure the Saints can play better than they did last week. New Orleans didn’t look impressive coming back from 14-0 at home against the Eagles but it’s still better than not surviving. Los Angeles on the other hand, looked really impressive at home against Dallas. They physically beat up the Cowboys at the line scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Rams really unleashed their rushing attack last week and I think this is a theme they will aim to repeat this Sunday in New Orleans. And the Saints may be vulnerable against the run Sunday without DT Sheldon Rankins who suffered an injury last week. The Saints secondary played well for the most part against Philadelphia and I don’t know the Rams being able to attack them through the air as they’ve done a lot to other teams this season. I think the Rams will be looking to run to set up Jared Goff to pass. RB’s Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram might have a tough time with LA’s front four, especially Aaron Donald who will probably be the best player on the field. I don’t think much of LA’s secondary and I could see them having trouble containing WR Michael Thomas. The Saints were my pre-season pick to make it out of the NFC so; I’m going to stick with them. Prediction: Saints 36 – Rams 30

AFC Championship Game

New England @ Kansas City – The Kansas City Chiefs are a better football team right now than the New England Patriots. Their offense is younger and more explosive. Their defense isn’t great but neither is New England’s. The Chiefs even have the edge on special teams with what Tyreek Hill brings to the return game. Despite all of those things, you should know who I’m picking to win this game on Sunday. It’s the playoffs. It’s the AFC Championship Game. And it’s the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, again. Once again, everyone was ready to proclaim the Patriots to be over and dead but here they are again, on the footstep to another Super Bowl. I also think the freezing temperatures will serve in New England’s favor. The Patriots have an impressive stable of running backs healthy right now and they’ll have a big role on Sunday if conditions don’t allow Brady to throw it around. I’m sure the Chiefs will be able to function in the cold but no one has done it better around this time of year than Belichick’s boys. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives. Prediction: Patriots 28 – Chiefs 21


NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Predictions

Wild Card Round - Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts

Can Andrew Luck and Colts upset the AFC’s top seed on the road Saturday?


By: Elias McMillan

Wild Card: 2-2

Playoffs 2-2

Divisional Round

Indianapolis @ Kansas City – Last weekend’s win in Houston went kind of like I expect it would for Indy. The Colts looked impressive on both sides of the ball. The defense limited Houston to just 7 points. Andrew Luck looked like himself passing the ball around and the Colts even ran the ball well. The Colts have the momentum going into a showdown with the AFC’s #1 seed. Kansas City jumped to the top the AFC this season behind the production of MVP candidate, QB Patrick Mahomes. Even with the suspension of RB Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs offense hasn’t missed a beat all season. On Saturday, the Colts will have to account for the speed of WR Tyreek Hill and the physicality of TE Travis Kelce. I think Kansas City will find success offensively in this matchup. The question for the Chiefs all season has been about their defense. The Chiefs can score a lot but they can also give up a lot as well. The team with the ball last may end up winning this one. There’s a narrative out there about Andy Reid’s teams in the post-season always coming up short. I bet this Chiefs team wants to be the group that bunks that trend. I also think the home field advantage will play a part in this one. Prediction: Chiefs 38 – Colts 33

Dallas @ Los Angeles Rams – Dallas’ victory last week at home against Seattle wasn’t as impressive as they wanted it to be but they got the job done. Now, they will be looking to enter uncharted territory when they travel to LA to face the Rams. Dallas hasn’t advanced to the conference championship round in 20 plus years and they haven’t won a playoff game on the road in about the same time frame. But this is a Dallas team that believes they have it in them. In their case, I believe they have the best defense left in the NFC. The Cowboys did a great job limiting Seattle’s run game last week. I am a bit worried about the secondary, as Seattle really didn’t press the issue until the game was out of the reach. This probably won’t be the case on Saturday night. Even with Todd Gurley returning from injury, the Rams know that they big play offense has been depended on what Jared Goff can do in the passing game. The Rams offense lit up scoreboards for most of this season but they have cooled off significantly heading into the post-season. Maybe losing WR Cooper Kupp to injury has something to do with that. I don’t really believe the Rams have a game breaker at the WR position. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks are nice players but they don’t demand the entire defense’s attention. If they can’t get Goff going, I think their best bet is to force feed Gurley who is bound to make a big play as a runner or receiver. The Rams have well known players on their defense but as a unit, they just haven’t been that good. DT Aaron Donald is beast and is capable of possibly winning this game himself. Despite having him up front, the Rams are pretty average against the run. Dallas will continue to run the offense through Ezekiel Elliott and he will eventually put the Cowboys in scoring positions. CB’s Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib have a history of making big plays but they are also risk takers. If QB Dak Prescott can stay away from Donald, he’ll be able to find his receivers downfield for some big plays off a double move or play action. The moment I feel that the Cowboys may do something worth talking about is the same moment when they usually disappoint me. Knowing this, I’m still going with my gut on this one. The Rams are not the offensive machine they were earlier this season and usually, a good defense can beat a good offense in January. This will be close but I’m taking the road team in the upset as the Cowboys fans will probably take over the stadium as well. Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Rams 24

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England – Despite Baltimore’s late push last week, the Chargers were fairly in control in that game. Now, they’ll make another long trip back to the east coast to face playoff staple, New England. This isn’t the same Patriots team that we are accustomed to seeing in January. The Patriots were able to win their division and gain a first round bye in the post season but this is probably their weakest playoff team during the Bill Belicheck era. Tom Brady is still a very good QB at his age but the Patriots have had receiver issues all season. Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan have both been banged up and they don’t have much waiting in the wings. The big play guy in the passing game has been TE Rob Gronkowski but even he doesn’t look like his normal self. The Patriots do have a plenty of options at RB but they are a team that just can’t depend on the run. The Chargers proved last week that they can handle a run first offense and it will also help that they have the pass rushers to get after Brady. New England has been known for years recently to have a less than impressive defense. I think this will allow QB Phillip Rivers to really push the issue in the passing game. Rivers has never beaten Brady in the post-season but I think this is his best shot. The Chargers are capable to out-physical New England on both sides of the ball. I like the Chargers in an upset that really shouldn’t be an upset. Prediction: Chargers 29 – Patriots 20

Philadelphia @ New Orleans – As much as I hate to admit, the Eagles actually matchup well with the Saints. I know this is the same team that was blown out by them on the road but a lot has changed since then. The Eagles don’t have a run game so they are forced to unleash the full capability of QB Nick Foles. The play of Foles during this last month are becoming the stuff of legend as he looks to help the Eagles make a return trip to the Super Bowl. I think the play of the Saints secondary plays in favor to the Eagles as that unit isn’t a strength for the home team. Philadelphia has also received great play out of their offensive line.  Knowing that they are a pass-first offense, they are going to need another great performance from that unit as New Orleans has an impressive front four on defense. But I think this game will have to turn on QB Drew Brees exposing the Eagles defense. This was something that the Bears failed to do last week. The Eagles will have to account for RB’s Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram but they should be okay with what they have in their front seven defensively. Philly’s weakness in the secondary and Brees must be able to exploit that. I think the Eagles will be able to do damage and score points in this one but I think Brees will be the one to set the tone causing Philly to play catch up for most of the game. Prediction: Saints 41 – Eagles 31

NFL Playoffs: Wild-Card Round Predictions


QB Russell Wilson marches an impressive Seahawks team into Dallas this weekend.


By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 12-4

Final Regular Season Record: 150-104-2

Wild-Card Round

Indianapolis @ Houston – These interdivisional playoff matchups are usually really competitive so I’m expecting a close matchup here between AFC South rivals. The Colts and Texans split their meetings in the regular season with the road team winning in each matchup. In their first meeting in Houston, plenty of points were scored as the Texans escaped by a field goal. A lot has changed with both teams since then. More so with Indy. The Colts caught fire late this season and they’ve been able to ride their current wave they’re on into the post season. With Indy, you know what you’re getting with their offense. QB Andrew Luck is a candidate for comeback player of the year. At receiver, they don’t have much outside of T.Y. Hilton but TE Eric Ebron has been a breakout player after a disappointing start to his career in Detroit. In the second half of the season, the Colts found their running game as Marlon Mack has emerged as a difference maker along with rookie Nyneim Hines. But what has really been impressive about the Colts this season has been the toughness they’ve shown on the defensive side of the ball. Rookie LB Darius Leonard led the league in tackles this season and he sets the tone for this “bend but don’t break” defense. Houston will present a lot of challenges offensively. QB Deshaun Watson is a playmaker with his arm and legs. It helps that he has an all-Pro WR to go to in DeAndre Hopkins. RB Lamar Miller has also quietly had a nice season. I think this game will hinge on if the Houston defense shows up and makes big plays. The Texans do defend the run well up front with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. But they also have the tendency to give up big plays in the secondary. I think the Colts will be able to attack through the air for some big plays if Luck can avoid the Texans pass rush. Despite having Hopkins, I don’t think Watson will be able to out produce Luck especially with how well Indy’s defense has been playing. Despite winning 11 games, Houston really hasn’t beaten a quality opponent this season outside of that early season victory against the Colts. I think Indy is playing better football right now and they’ll get the win on the road Saturday. Prediction: Colts 34 – Texans 24

Seattle @ Dallas – The Seahawks hammered Dallas at home back in September but in this rematch, I expect them to see a different Cowboys team. After starting the season 3-5, Dallas saved their season by trading for WR Amari Cooper, leaning on their defense, and allowing the other teams in their division to collapse. Seattle has had an impressive regular season that no one really saw coming. Without the Legion of Boom, Seattle stuck to their guns and now they look like a team that no one in the playoffs wants to see. QB Russell Wilson continues to lead this offense efficiently while at the same time having the potential to create a big plays after each snap. RB Chris Carson has been a big part of Seattle’s offense as he is one of the top rushers in football this year. Seattle’s wideouts still have that underrated label on them but defensive backs across the league know how dangerous Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett can be. Yes, the Legion of Boom is gone but this Seahawks defense is underrated. LB Bobby Wagner is a guy that Dallas will need to key on as he is always around the ball. Seattle’s defense ranked in the middle of the road this year against the run and the passing game. I think Dallas can really present some issues for them on offense. As usual, everything for Dallas will run through RB Ezekiel Elliott. But Seattle can not completely write off what QB Dak Prescott can bring to the table. Dallas allowed Dak to gain extra reps last week in a meaningless game in New York. I wouldn’t be surprised if that experience left him with more confidence so we could see him take more chances down the field to Copper and the other receivers. Dallas’ turnaround this season was heavily aided by the play of their defense. DE Demarcus Lawrence has solidified himself as one of the top pass rushers in the game. Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are basically what Carolina had a few years ago with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. And CB Byron Jones is having an all-Pro season in his first year in that position. The Cowboys on defense will have to focus on preventing the big plays from Wilson but they also have to account for Seattle’s running game. Dallas ranks in the top five for run defense but then I remember what the Colts did to them in their last defeat. I think Seattle is capable of using the run to set up the big plays from their QB. Dallas created a lot of big plays on their own last week but that was against the Giants. These teams are almost equally matched. I guess we also have to consider that Seattle has a knack for under performing on the road. But they are more experienced in these situations. My heart is with the home team but I think Wilson will lift Seattle to victory. Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Cowboys 23

Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore – The Ravens really bullied the Chargers a few weeks ago. I think experience will prove to be a great teacher as LA travels up to Baltimore looking for revenge. Baltimore was able to dominate LA in their first meeting upfront on offense and defense. The Ravens collapsed that offensive line and made it tough for QB Phillip Rivers to create in the passing game. I think LA will be better prepared for what Baltimore brings to the table. For starters, the Chargers are healthier on offense. RB Melvin Gordon will be ready to go and big play TE Hunter Henry will also be returning from injury. Baltimore has a tough front 7 on defense but their secondary can give big plays. The key for the Chargers will be to keep their QB away from pressure so he and WR Keenan Allen can attack this secondary. LA’s defense has been shaky but they have some great individual talent. I’m a big time believer in edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Rookie safety Derwin James is another young player who makes plays on this defense. The Chargers will have to focus on stopping what Baltimore can do in the running game. Rookie QB Lamar Jackson has been a killer with his running ability during Baltimore’s run to a division title. RB’s Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon have proven to be more than serviceable recently as well. LA shouldn’t dare Jackson to throw but they do have to account for Baltimore’s strength, which is the run game. If the Chargers can better protect Rivers this time around, I really like their chances on the road. Rivers is at the end of his career. These opportunities for him are not guaranteed. Knowing this, I think the Chargers will make the best of it and score the upset. Prediction: Chargers 29 – Ravens 24

Philadelphia @ Chicago – Finally, a game that is not a rematch from earlier this season. The Bears eliminated Minnesota last week in the final game of the regular season, making this matchup possible. Philadelphia defied odds late in this season, scoring upsets in LA and against Houston to spring them into the postseason conversation. The Eagles, much like last year, are rallying around QB Nick Foles. Foles didn’t start the 2018 season great but he has really come on recently. The Eagles are going to have to lean on Foles and the air attack in this game. The Eagles don’t have a run game to talk about and they’re facing a defense that is tough upfront and in the secondary. I expect to see LB Khalil Mack and company to set the tone in this game at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield pressuring the QB. I also believe that Philly’s defense will not be able to account for Chicago’s many weapons on offense. QB Mitch Trubisky has a great cast around him in the backfield with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and at wideout with Allen Robinson and rookie Anthony Miller. The way the Eagles got into the post season was a nice story but it will end in Chicago on Sunday. Prediction: Bears 27 – Eagles 13