Tag Archives: Super Bowl

NFL Playoffs: Super Bowl LI Prediction!

Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show Press Conference

“I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk awaaaaaaaaaaaaay….”

 

By: Elias McMillan

Conference Championships: 0-2

Playoffs: 4-6

Super Bowl 51 from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas

New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, or Lady Gaga as you may know her, has had a long road to music super stardom. Early in her life, music was a huge part of who she was and who she eventually wanted to be. She began to play the piano at the young age of four and was playing open mics around NYC by the time she was 14. At 17, she was allowed early admission into the top school for the arts at NYU. Two years later, she dropped out of NYU to focus on finding her sound as a professional musician. After creating a cult like following in the NYC Underground music scene, she was signed and then quickly dropped from Def Jam. The experience was heartbreaking but it encouraged her to begin experimenting further with her sound as a performer and with her overall image. Soon after, she found herself on an imprint of Interscope Records where R&B superstar, Akon, recognized her abilities and featured her vocals on one of his albums. Akon then told Interscope executives that Gaga had the potential to be a “franchise player” and a year later, her debut album began production.

“The Fame” debuted in August of 2008 and included mega dance-pop hits like Just “Dance”, “Poker Face”, “LoveGame”, & “Paparazzi”. The debut was a monster success for Gaga who went on to win multiple awards at the Grammys. “The Fame” was named one of the 100 Greatest Debut Albums by Rolling Stone magazine. A year later, “The Fame” was reissued as “The Fame Monster” and included new hits like “Bad Romance” & “Telephone” featuring Beyoncé.

Gaga’s official second LP was “Born This Way” and it proved to be an excellent follow up to her debut. The electric rock & techno influenced record continued Gaga’s streak of massive hits with songs like the title single “Born This Way”, and “The Edge of Glory”.

Gaga’s third studio album “ArtPop” featured hits “Applause” and “Do What U Want” featuring R. Kelly but was considered lackluster by many music critics. Soon after that release, she left her long time manager and began a new chapter to her career. She collaborated with long time friend and music legend Tony Bennett and released “Cheek to Cheek”. The joint album reintroduced Bennett to a younger audience and was received well by critics, winning at the Grammys that year.

After exploring some ventures in front of the camera as an actress, Gaga returned with a brand new album last October. “Joanne” was released as a much softer version of Gaga’s previous’ works but still featured her incredible vocal ability and her unique sound that creates hit records. Singles “Perfect Illusion” and “Million Reasons” have already shot to the top of the charts and now, Gaga is preparing for her biggest and greatest stage yet, the Super Bowl 51 halftime show.

Prediction: Patriots 34 – Falcons 24

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NFL 2016: Preseason Awards & Playoff Predictions

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In Super Bowl LI, I think we’ll see a rematch that is 8 years in the making.

By: Elias McMillan

 

First, here are my picks for the 2016 post-season awards:

MVP: Aaron Rodgers – QB (Green Bay Packers) – The MVP award is such a sham. It is really the “best QB of the season” award. But I think that guy in 2016 might be Aaron Rodgers. With his receivers now back and healthy, we will see that Packers passing attack that we were used to seeing a couple of seasons ago. Rodgers will put up great numbers and because of the Teddy Bridgewater injury, the Packers might overtake in the NFC North this season as well.

Offensive MVP: Antonio Brown – WR (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Now, I know that this could easily be the MVP as well but I know that would never happen. Either way, Antonio Brown is probably the best offensive weapon in football. The guy is unstoppable and is showing no signs of slowing down. Because of the suspension situations in Pittsburgh, the Steelers will be leaning on Brown even more this season.

Defensive MVP: Khalil Mack – LB (Oakland Raiders) – Khalil Mack is on the cusp of NFL stardom and I think his play will elevate this Raiders team into the postseason in 2016. I still don’t have a clear answer of what type of defense will the Raiders run in 2016. Will it be a 4-3 or a 3-4? All the clues tell me that it will be a 3-4, which will give Mack even more opportunity to get after the QB. I think we will see Mack as the league leader in sack this season.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Ezekiel Elliott – RB (Dallas Cowboys) – This will be everyone’s answer to this question. But I honestly was going to go another way until a couple of things happened. 1) The Darren McFadden injury is much more serious than originally indicated. I was thinking that Dallas would do the whole “running back by committee” thing with Zeke, Alfred Morris, and DMC. But it is clear that Zeke will be the lead back and will get most of the carries this season. And 2) I really liked WR Laquon Treadwell to help Teddy Bridgewater to become a more down the field threat. But with the current state of Minnesota’s QB situation, I’m not sure about his impact in his first year. It is pretty much set in stone that Elliott behind this offensive line will do some serious damage in his first year.

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Robert Nkemdiche – DT (Arizona Cardinals) – With Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones doing damage on the outside, Nkemdiche is going to have a lot of opportunities to be an impact rookie in the trenches for this Cardinals defense.

Comeback Player of the Year – DeMarco Murray – RB (Tennessee Titans) – Philadelphia brought over Murray from Dallas in order to short change their division rival. That had to be the only reason because once Murray got to Philly, they didn’t have a plan on how to use him or they just didn’t know how to use him. Now that he is no longer a pawn in Chip Kelly’s game, Murray will get to do what he does best in Tennessee. Murray is a physical downhill runner and he’ll be behind a power offensive line in Tennessee. I think that rookie Derrick Henry will “vulture” away some touchdowns for him but we will see the 2014 DeMarco Murray make his return in 2016. Prediction: Murray will have more yards this season than Philadelphia will have as a team.

Coach of the Year – Jack Del Rio (Oakland Raiders) – The Raiders are young, hungry and they have the right leadership at the coaching position. The Raiders will be a playoff team in 2016 under coach Del Rio who will offers a wealth of experience for this young team.

And now, here is my forecast for the playoffs this season. As a reminder, here are the teams I see qualifying in 2016:

AFC

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – 12-4 (AFC North)
  2. New England Patriots – 11-5 (AFC East)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs – 11-5 (AFC West)
  4. Houston Texans – 9-7 (AFC South)
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – 10-6 (Wildcard 1)
  6. Oakland Raiders – 9-7 (Wildcard 2)

NFC

  1. Arizona Cardinals – 12-4 (NFC West)
  2. Carolina Panthers – 12-4 (NFC South)
  3. Minnesota Vikings – 11-5 (NFC North)
  4. New York Giants – 9-7 (NFC East)
  5. Seattle Seahawks – 10-6 (Wildcard 1)
  6. Green Bay Packers – 10-6 (Wildcard 2)

Wild Card Weekend

AFC: (3) Chiefs over (6) Raiders, (5) Bengals over (4) Texans

NFC: (6) Packers over (3) Vikings, (5) Seahawks over (4) Giants

Divisional Round

AFC: (1) Steelers over (5) Bengals, (2) Patriots over (3) Chiefs

NFC: (1) Cardinals over (6) Packers, (2) Panthers over (5) Seahawks

Conference Championship Sunday

AFC: (1) Steelers over (2) Patriots

NFC: (1) Cardinals over (2) Panthers

Super Bowl LI from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas

Arizona Cardinals over Pittsburgh Steelers

Recap: In the AFC, I see the Steelers being the clear-cut favorites and I don’t see that changing as the season goes on. Its not like I see the Steelers as some type of great team or anything. It is more because the other top teams in the conference failed at getting better in the offseason. Denver will not be better. New England did not improve. Who does that leave? Houston? Cincinnati? Please. If the talent on the Steelers roster is as good as everyone thinks it is, the Steelers should be able to win the conference. I know that the Steelers are a team dealing with multiple suspensions but they are equipped with talent to help lessen that blow. The Steelers also don’t have a great defense but that same defense over achieved last season and I think they’ll do the same this year. The Steelers dealt with a lot (injuries, suspensions, etc.) in 2015 and they were still oh-so close to beating the eventual Super Bowl Champion Broncos. I think that will serve as motivation as Pittsburgh will advance to its ninth Super Bowl. The competition in the NFC is a lot tougher than it was a couple years ago. Carolina, Seattle, and Arizona will all be serious contenders in 2016. I thought Minnesota would join that conversation this year but they lost their starting QB in a tragic non-contact injury in practice. Green Bay could sneak in and win that division but I don’t see them on the class of those first three NFC teams I named. The reason I like Arizona so much is that I think they have a dynamic defense this season so match their offense. RB David Johnson will continue to improve. The Cardinals passing game will continue to light up the scoreboards. And now the defense will have an improved pass rush with Chandler Jones and an improved secondary with a now healthy Tyrann Mathieu. So in this Super Bowl XLIII rematch, I have Arizona flipping the script and allowing Larry Fitzgerald to walk off into the sunset.

NFL 2015: Awards & Playoff Predictions

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I have two of the league’s top young QB’s facing off in Super Bowl 50.

By: Elias McMillan

First, here are my picks for the post-season awards:

MVP: Andrew Luck – QB (Indianapolis Colts) – The Colts are loaded for a Super Bowl this season and the spotlight will be even brighter than before on their star QB Andrew Luck. And I think Luck will rise up under the pressure and lead this team to a great regular season. With the talent surrounding him, Luck should be able to put up the numbers that would rival Peyton Manning’s or Tom Brady’s MVP seasons.

Offensive MVP: Adrian Peterson – RB (Minnesota Vikings) – Adrian Peterson should be well rested going into this season and he’ll be hungry to remind everyone of the player that he was before he was put on the exempt list last season. Peterson will put up big numbers and could be the reason why the Vikings may contend for a playoff spot.

Defensive MVP: Justin Houston – LB (Kansas City Chiefs) – Houston ended his 2014 season on a crazy streak. I think he’ll be able to ride that momentum into another crazy productive season in 2015.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Jameis Winston – QB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Is has been awhile since a top pick has won this award especially at QB. So why not Winston? Winston will definitely have the opportunity in Tampa when it comes to playing time and the weapons that he will be able to go to in his first season. Winston may not put up monster numbers in his first season but I think that he’ll be impressive enough to win this award.

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Vic Beasley – DE (Atlanta Falcons) – Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn is going to need Beasley to play at a high level early in his career. Beasley will be a walk-in starter on this defense and his job will be simple enough: chase the QB. Beasley has the chance to make the biggest impact out of any other defensive rookie this season. Beasley has raw pass rushing ability and he’ll be a nice start for Quinn when it comes to rebuilding that Falcons defense. Other candidates could by Dallas’ Randy Gregory or New York’s Leonard Williams.

Comeback Player of the Year – NaVarro Bowman – LB (San Francisco 49ers) – The 49ers maybe awful this season but they’ll receive a huge boost from the return of Bowman. Bowman has been out for longer than a year from a gruesome leg injury suffered in the 2013 NFC Conference Championship game. Bowman is now healthy and judging from what we have seen in training camp, he will back to his old self in 2015.

Coach of the Year – Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings) – Success as a head coach has come a long way for Zimmer but he’ll finally get some this year in Minnesota. Zimmer and his staff has done a great job bringing in young talent and now that Adrian Peterson is back, the postseason is a real possibility. Zimmer’s true mark on this team will be how well the defense performs. If the defense is improved, the league will take notice and Zimmer will win this award.

And now here is my forecast for the playoffs this season. As a reminder, here are the teams I see qualifying:

AFC

  1. Indianapolis Colts – 13-3 (AFC South)
  2. New England Patriots – 11-5 (AFC East)
  3. Denver Broncos – 11-5 (AFC West)
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers – 10-6 (AFC North)
  5. Baltimore Ravens – 9-7 (Wildcard)
  6. Kansas City Chiefs – 9-7 (Wildcard)

NFC

  1. Green Bay Packers – 13-3 (NFC North)
  2. Seattle Seahawks – 12-4 (NFC West)
  3. Dallas Cowboys – 11-5 (NFC East)
  4. Carolina Panthers – 8-8 (NFC South)
  5. New York Giants – 9-7 (Wildcard)
  6. Minnesota Vikings – 9-7 (Wildcard)

Wildcard Weekend

AFC: (3) Broncos over (6) Chiefs, (4) Steelers over (5) Ravens

NFC: (3) Cowboys over (6) Vikings, (5) Giants over (4) Panthers

Divisional Round

AFC: (1) Colts over (4) Steelers, (3) Broncos over (2) Patriots

NFC: (1) Packers over (5) Giants, (2) Seahawks over (3) Cowboys

Championship Sunday

AFC: (1) Colts over (3) Broncos

NFC: (2) Seahawks over (1) Packers

Super Bowl L (AKA Super Bowl 50)

Indianapolis Colts over Seattle Seahawks

Recap: The AFC is going to be interesting this season because when I look at the top teams, I don’t see strong defensive teams. Which could mean good news for the Steelers. The Patriots wont be able to ride Tom Brady’s and Bill Belichick’s rage so far. Besides, New England’s losses on defense will be too great. But if you think about it, New England didn’t have a great defense last season. Denver’s defense has notable names but they massively under performed last season. Wade Phillips will have that defense right and they might have a bigger chance to make the Super Bowl than what people think. Indy’s defense was really bad last season too. But they’ve also made improvements. Its time for the young superstar QB to finally go on his playoff run, so I have the Colts making it out of the AFC. The NFC is wide open again this season. Once again, I think there isnt many strong defensive teams in this conference other than Seattle. Dallas will be the wildcard. The defense is improved I think and if they are, they’ll be serious contenders this season along with Seattle and Green Bay. It’s a big question mark so I’ll need to see prove before believing in that. Another big question mark that needs to be answered: the Cowboys’ running game. Green Bay will be good again but they’ve already been affected by injuries. Seattle has the same team from a season ago pretty much plus all world TE Jimmy Graham. Seattle on paper this season looks better than the teams they were able to take the Super Bowl in the last two seasons. I have Seattle making its third straight Super Bowl but they’ll far short to Andrew Luck’s Colts.

Super Bowl XLIX Prediction!

USP NFL: SUPER BOWL XLIX-HALFTIME SHOW PRESS CONFE S FBN ENT USA AZ

Katy Perry will easily be the fan favorite nation wide on Sunday.

By: Elias McMillan

Conference Championships: 1-1

Playoffs: 7-3

Super Bowl XLIX from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

Katy Perry rose up to the top of the pop music scene in 2008 with her first single “I Kissed a Girl”. That would be just the beginning of a career that would see Perry become one of the biggest, most selling pop artists in the last 7 years. Oh. Did you think I would be breaking down the matchups between the Patriots and the Seahawks? Naw. Sorry. Ok. Maybe later. But lets be real, who wants to talk about either of these teams in the Super Bowl outside of Boston and Seattle? In terms of national appeal, Katy Perry is probably the more interesting and most popular figure performing on Sunday. So, yeah. Later for all that football talk. Time for some more about Ms. Katy Perry and the halftime show.

Katy Perry has been included in the Forbes list of top-earning women in music for four straight years now. Throughout her career, Perry has sold over 11 million albums and 81 million singles worldwide. That’s impressive but not all that surprising once you run down her long list of hit records. Hot n Cold, Waking Up in Vegas, Teenage Dream, Last Friday Night, California Gurls, Firework, E.T., Part of Me, Roar, Birthday, and Dark Horse. That’s a murders row of hit records that have ripped and rampaged through the Billboard top pop music charts in the last 7-8 years. The only other female artists that can rival her success in that same time period would be Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga. That’s really good company to be in. And now, this Sunday night will be the pinnacle of her career as she will perform in front of a sold out stadium with over 100 million watching worldwide. With Lenny Kravitz by her side, its going to be exciting to see what song she opens with, which of her hit records will be in the set list, and which surprise artists will join her on stage. The rumors surrounding that last point are at an all-time high now with names like Kanye West, Missy Elliott, and Juicy J being mentioned. Two more things to consider going into this historic halftime performance by Katy Perry: will she debut a new song and how many wardrobe changes she will go through during the performance. Oh yeah, there’s also going to be a football game sandwiched around the concert, which is kind of weird but hey.

“Last Friday Night” (Well, almost Friday night really), the Patriots held a press conference to discuss the ongoing controversy that is “Deflate Gate”. I feel that every second spent thinking about “Deflate Gate” by New England has hurt their preparation for this game vs. Seattle. The controversy has been way over blown from the start and is pretty much a non-factor. If people want to seriously discredit the achievements of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady once their careers are over then so be it. Let idiots be idiots. I see the Patriots offense performing well on Sunday. Seattle’s strength is their defense but they aren’t nearly as dominant as they were last season. They are vulnerable against the run and key members of the “Legion of Boom” are fighting injuries going into this game. New England is the type of team that blatantly looks for any advantage to take so I can see them attacking this defense from the start to set the tone. Seattle can still bring pressure up front so protecting Brady will be key for New England. Getting the ball to TE Rob Gronkowski will get the Patriots to light up the scoreboard like “Fireworks”. Defenders trying to tackle Gronk often feel like “Waking Up in Vegas” afterwards. Are these Katy Perry puns doing anything for you? People in the media might not understand Seahawks RB Marshall Lynch and try to paint him as an “E.T.” But Lynch is just simply a football player and he will be key for Seattle’s success on Sunday. New England is short handed at the LB position and they are known for their struggles stopping the run. I can see Russell Wilson and the Seattle rushing attack playing ball control football, keeping Brady on the bench, and hammering this Patriots defense. I don’t like the matchup between Seattle’s receivers and the New England secondary. Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are two of the league’s best corners. Seattle’s group of receivers are under rated but I’m learning that the term “under rated” really means “not that good”. Doug Baldwin can continue to have these “Teenage Dreams” about being an elite receiver in this league but he is simply not. I think Wilson will be able to get around New England’s pass rush and make some plays outside of the pocket on Sunday. But more importantly, this game will be about Lynch imposing his will in the 4th quarter. Beast Mode will most definitely “Roar” as he will make the difference in this game and earn MVP honors. It will feel like Pete Carroll’s “Birthday” as the confetti and “the big, big balloons” fall upon the field when the clock reaches triple zero. Prediction: Seahawks 31 – Patriots 24

NFL 2015: Conference Championship Sunday Predictions!

Divisional Playoffs - Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos

Chuck Pagano and his Colts are this postseason’s Cinderella.

By: Elias McMillan

Divisional Round: 2-2

Playoffs: 6-2

NFC Championship Game

Green Bay @ Seattle – No matter how they won last week, you have to give Green Bay credit. I didn’t think Aaron Rodgers was that hurt going into the game but you could clearly see that he wasn’t at 100%. Despite that, his offensive line did a great job against a weak Dallas pass rush and in the second half, Rodgers appeared to be much sharper. That was a nice moment for Rodgers next week but unfortunately, that did nothing to prepare him for what he is going to face this Sunday. The Seattle front seven will get after Rodgers in a way that Dallas couldn’t do last week. They will hit him. They will hurt him. Rodgers and the passing game will have a tough time. Not to mention that Seattle’s secondary is also a beast. If Rodgers doesn’t come out sharp, those bad throws will turn into interceptions against L.O.B. I think the Seattle defense will have great chance at stealing the early momentum in this game and not giving it back. Green Bay will have a chance if they feed the RB Eddie Lacy. Green Bay should at least try to ride the running game and try to tire out the Seattle defense. The Seahawks defense is vulnerable against the run so this might not be a bad idea. Green Bay’s defense is underrated but they don’t have enough playmakers. Clay Matthews was invisible last week except for a couple of times where he hit Romo late (no flag, of course). The one guy that did supply the Packers with some big plays last week was the veteran Julius Peppers. Peppers may be older but he might be athletic enough to keep tabs on the elusive QB Russell Wilson. I don’t think the Packers will have an answer inside for RB Marshawn Lynch. As always, Seattle’s passing game will be about Wilson making plays and not about any of the receivers. Wilson will lead the offense and play a masterful game in front of a raucous home crowd. Green Bay is not the team that can match up well with Seattle in Seattle. The team in the NFC that could do that is at the crib. Prediction: Seahawks 31 – Packers 17

AFC Championship Game

Indianapolis @ New England – The award for most unlikely run in January this postseason goes to Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts. Going into the playoffs, the Colts didn’t have much of a defense or a running game. Two things that usually breed success in the playoffs. But despite that, here they are playing in Foxboro this Sunday against the Patriots for the right to play for a championship. Andrew Luck and passing game has been enough to get the Colts this far. And I think that unit can find success this Sunday. New England has two great CB’s in Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis but they are still not impossible to pass on. The real question in this game is if the Colts defense can play as tough as they did last week. Honestly, I don’t see why they cant. New England has been the most consistent team in the AFC this season but really nothing about them puts them head and shoulders over a lot of teams in the conference. The Colts front seven is playing great right now. New England isn’t able to play ball control football with their running game. When they played Indy earlier in the season, it was a coming out party for RB Jonus Gray but we haven’t seen much of him since that game in November. Pagano is a great defensive mind and he’ll find a way to get after Brady. The key will be limiting New England’s scoring chances. The Colts are playing with great confidence right now especially on the defensive side of the ball. I’m going out on a limb here but I think we’ll see an upset in New England this weekend in a classic, close ball game. For the second straight year, we’ll see the league’s top passing offense in the Super Bowl facing the league’s top defense. Prediction: Colts 35 – Patriots 33

Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction!!

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Can Peyton Manning and Broncos come up huge against Seattle’s defense for the Lombardi trophy?

By: Elias McMillan

Conference Championships: 1-1

Playoffs: 5-5

Super Bowl XLVIII from Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

So, we enter the last football weekend of the season with an old school AFC West matchup at the Super Bowl. Both of these teams have been the odds on favorite in their respected conferences this season. It is rare to see a matchup of this magnitude for the pro football championship because usually, there would be some type of huge upset in the playoffs. That isn’t the case this year as Denver and Seattle were able to survive to the last game of season. A lot of the talk this week has been surrounded by Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense. Their high-powered passing attack has been one of the best in league history. That sets the stage up for Seattle and their “Legion of Boom” defense. Seattle’s secondary is really good. Richard Sherman is a shutdown corner in this league and he is playing with supreme confidence right now. Safety Earl Thomas can fly to the ball and cover TE’s quite well. Kam Chancellor is the big hitter in the secondary that does a great job in run support. This unit greatly missed Brandon Browner who is out due to suspension as Byron Maxwell is easily the weak link in their secondary. If Sherman matches up with Broncos’ WR Demaryius Thomas and with Wes Welker lined up in the slot, the matchup between Maxwell and Eric Decker could be a huge difference maker. Decker is an underrated playmaker and Manning should be able to exploit that matchup vs. Maxwell. Unfortunately for Denver, they will have to deal with a lot more than just the Seahawks secondary. Seattle’s secondary is largely a factor due to their defense’s front four. Seattle has the ability to cause pressure without blitzing due to the number of great players they have on their front four. They have spent a lot of draft picks and some free agent signings building up that unit and I expect them to make a difference on Sunday. I don’t see Knowshon Moreno being a huge difference in this game unless he gets some goal line carries. I don’t think the Seattle secondary scares Peyton Manning one bit. He wont be gun shy. He’ll make throws to Sherman’s side of the field. He’ll make throws anywhere there is a play to be made. Manning biggest worry should be his offensive line and if they cant keep him clean for 4 quarters. They’ve done a good job of that in this post season but San Diego and New England don’t have the pass rush that Seattle has. Seattle’s offense has done just enough to not lose games for the team. Russell Wilson hasn’t had to win a game for Seattle this post season but he has by making minimal mistakes in the 2nd half of games. If you wanna talk about “sorry” or “mediocre” receivers, Sherman should of just looked at the ones on his own team. Now, Seattle’s WRs are not really that bad but they truly don’t have a game breaker at that position. Tate, Kearse, Baldwin, and Harvin are all decent targets but none of those guys are elite. Denver’s defense has over achieved in this post season, as despite their many injuries, they’ve been able to shut down the rushing attacks of San Diego and New England. They will have their hands full on Sunday with RB Marshawn Lynch. Lynch is the type of runner that you can only handle for a short matter of time. But eventually, Lynch will bust a huge run on your defense and it usually happens during a big moment in the game. I can see that happening on Sunday where Lynch might begin as a non-factor but then in the 2nd half, he’ll really begin to make a difference. Denver’s pass rush has really over achieved this entire season without Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. Despite the emergence of Shaun Phillips and Terrance Knighton, the Denver defensive line might have trouble chasing down the mobile Russell Wilson. Most of the recent Super Bowls have been close and I think we’ll see another classic this Sunday in New York. I don’t think weather will be a factor but it will be interesting if something unexpected happened, as there is no snow in the forecast. I don’t think the crowd will be a factor either. Seattle has a rep for not playing so well on the road but this is also a road game for their opponents. I think this game will come down to Seattle’s defense and if they can pressure Manning into some mistakes. That defense got to Kaepernick two weeks ago and caused some turnovers but it should be much tougher for them to rattle Peyton. Another factor will be Lynch and when not if he breaks a huge run in this game. Personally, I couldn’t stand Seattle’s cocky attitude for this entire season and I do want them to lose. But usually, the team I want to lose ends up winning. So, I’m taking Seattle to score the upset in this Super Bowl, as this post season hasn’t seen an upset happen yet so, we’re due for one. I think Denver will have the best player on the field on Sunday and he’ll show it. But Seattle will be the ones with the best team on the field. Prediction: Seahawks 27 – Broncos 24

My Take on Richard Sherman

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I commend Michael Crabtree for holding back at this moment.

By: Elias McMillan

Alright. So, I’m guessing that everyone saw what happened at the end of the San Francisco – Seattle game last weekend. What really happened was one of the most exciting endings to a championship game in NFL history. But unfortunately, the actual football play that was made was not the talk of this past week. I’m doing this post today to just break down what happened and why many others and myself had the reaction that we had. A lot of ridiculous stuff has been said on tv, print and other modes of media and this will probably go along with the other two cents that have been thrown around this week. You might agree with me. You might not. But this is just my opinion on topic that has been way over blown this week and in all honestly, doesn’t really matter that much. But it has been the dominant topic in sports talk this week so, here’s my take on it.

With a chance to throw the go ahead score in the last seconds, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick decided to give his receiver, Michael Crabtree, a chance to catch the game winner as he had the one-on-one match up against his defender, Richard Sherman. In hindsight, if you look at the replay, Kaepernick probably could of went with a different option there but Crabtree had the one-on-one match up. As a QB, you want to have the confidence in yourself and in your receiver in that situation that your guy will make the play. Well, he didn’t. Sherman was able to make an incredible play on the ball by tipping it away from Crabtree right into the arms of his teammate, sealing the interception and the ball game for Seattle. The ball could have been thrown better from Kaepernick but still. It was outstanding coverage but Sherman and an outstanding play made but him. Sherman wasn’t tested much by Kaepernick in this game and that play showed why. If Sherman’s rep as a “shut down” corner wasn’t solidified before, it currently was after Sunday.

Now that the actual play was over, it was time to move on to the more exciting stuff. Sherman celebrated with his teammates, as he should of as the game was sealed for Seattle. It was official. They were heading to the Super Bowl. Once Sherman was done celebrating with his teammates, he must have realized that his rival, Crabtree, was making his long walk back the 49ers bench. Sherman, with quick thinking, sprinted over to Crabtree to give a “celebratory” smack on the behind, extended his hand for a handshake, and said “Hell of a game”. Crabtree extended his hand as well but not for a handshake but to shove Sherman’s face away. Now, it was obvious that Sherman was looking to shove it in his opponent’s face by approaching Crabtree. I can admit that it is kinda funny to think of the concept that Sherman was really reaching out to Crabtree in all-honestly to congratulate him on a well-fought effort. But anyone who has competed in anything in life could tell what Sherman’s intentions were. Kinda funny but ultimately showed zero class. Apparently, Sherman and Crabtree have had a back-and-forth grudge going on even before the kickoff. But for Sherman, getting the best of his rival on that huge stage wasn’t enough for him. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that he approached Crabtree after the play. If you knew anything about Sherman before Sunday, you would know that he plays with a lot of emotion and is a major trash talker on the field. So, I really wasn’t surprised that he did what he did there but I still went back to thinking that it was a completely classless move on his part. Also note, he was flagged by the official after the play for “taunting”.

After confronting Crabtree, Sherman decided that he wasn’t done acting like a classless punk. He runs over by Kaepernick and the 49ers offensive line and starts flashing the sign for choking. Hilarious, I know. But really, that was what really crossed the line for me. I mean, confronting Crabtree was something I could of bet on happening but then running over to the QB and shove it in his face? That was kinda shocking and a major douche move by Sherman. A couple days ago, NFL Films revealed that Crabtree and Sherman were both “mic’d up” during the game and released the audio. I watched that footage and really didn’t find out any thing new from what I already knew. The public’s reaction kinda puzzled me as many were like, “Ohhh! So Crabtree was really the bigger jerk!” Audio released through NFL Films really didn’t reveal the trash talk between Sherman and Crabtree so who knows what was really said. I sure that Crabtree probably could of said some really crazy stuff but for some reason, that audio wasn’t released. But I bring up NFL Films because I wonder why the footage of Sherman flashing the choking sign to Kaepernick wasn’t released. He clearly did so after confronting Crabtree. But, no footage from the NFL except for what we all saw caught by the FOX cameras.

So then, the game ends and Sherman delivers what is now his famous rant during his interview with Erin Andrews. I honestly didn’t find much wrong with the interview. The game just ended so we got a raw, honest, emotional moment from a pro athlete. It was something that was rarely shown in professional sports so it was kinda refreshing to see. It was very much like a pro wrestling promo and I thought that was hilarious, honestly. But I did have an issue with one thing he said. Moments after offering an “honest” handshake to Crabtree, Sherman proceed to say that his opponent was “sorry” and “mediocre”. Once again, that crosses the line from celebrating over your opponent and being a complete douchebag. I know now that him and Crabtree had a beef even before the game but after that hard fought contest, you want to go ahead and completely trash your opponent? Classless and all the above. It’s too bad that his rant took away the attention from his teammates and placed the national spotlight on him. Even though that was another douchy move, I realize that this wasn’t Sherman’s intention. The ones with the mics and cameras were only doing their jobs when they caught Sherman during his episode. Later on this week, Sherman apologized for that and it was the right thing for him to do.

Sherman also wrote a column after the game to “explain” his actions but ultimately, he didn’t really explain anything. He confronted Crabtree after the play because he was “talking about him”. I guess he must have been saying some really awful stuff for Sherman to completely lose respect for him as an opponent. The reason behind flashing the choking sign to Kaepernick? Because “he decided to try the guy that he was avoiding all game”?! I mean, this guy is so high on himself that he didn’t even acknowledge that he was flagged for holding Crabtree earlier in the game. He can apparently do no wrong on the football field as he called the earlier penalty “BS”. Really?! Seriously? Once again, douche.

Now unfortunately, there were people (cowards) who decided to hide behind their screen name on twitter and on other social networking sites and say awful, racist things towards Sherman. If you know anything about how these social networking sites work, you know that these cowards exist and that they always wait until these moments to spew their hate and to try to gain attention from it. That doesn’t excuse the action of course but I’m just saying that I wasn’t surprised to see so many racist comments coming at his direction. Anytime any black person or any other person from any other minority group gets the type of attention that Sherman got at the end of the game, you’re gonna find these morons online who will say racist things. It’s just a sad fact. But now this week, people are taking this fact and turning it into “Ohhhh! They are only attacking Sherman because of his race!” And that is complete bullcrap. Just because those moronic, cowards were going to attack Sherman, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he acted like a douche at the end of the game. That entire narrative of “Ohhh! Sherman is talented, arrogant, and black so that’s why people hate him so much!” is such bull crap. This isn’t a race problem. This is a “Richard Sherman was acting like a douchebag problem”. It’s really not that out of the ordinary to see pro athletes like douchebags so I’m trying to figure out what the big deal is. Kobe Bryant acts like a cocky douche all the time on the court. And the same goes for Ole Miss basketball player Marshall Henderson. When Tom Brady chased down officials to curse them out after a loss on MNF vs. Carolina, he was acting like a douche. So once again I ask, what’s the big deal? Why is it a problem to say that Sherman is talented, arrogant, black, and a douchebag? And then I see this article reposted online a bunch of times this week with the title “What Richard Sherman taught us about America” as if no one knew that these racist cowards didn’t exist online before Sunday. Please. Open your eyes.

Listen, I don’t hate Richard Sherman. Okay, maybe I do hate Richard Sherman. But it’s only because of his pattern of douchy behavior that he chooses to engage in. Being a douche helps him to have that confidence to be the best he can be on Sunday and I cant really fault him for that. He’s a smart guy, a hell of a football player and probably a nice guy off the field. He’ll never change the way he is but I commend him for at least apologizing for his actions.

Okay. Now for some good news: next week, I’ll write about an actual game! Good luck against Peyton, Sherman!