Super Bowl LIII Preview:

New England Patriots:

The Patriots are headed for another super bowl, for the third straight season. Winning the AFC championship against the Kansas City Chiefs was huge considering the Pat’s road struggles this season. Tom Brady and company has had a dominating post season so far. Both sides of the ball has stepped up in both games against the Chargers and Chiefs. The offensive line has not allowed a sack these playoffs leading up to the big game. I’d say that’s pretty impressive playing the two best regular season records from the AFC. Bill Belichick and his staff will be ready to go on Sunday after the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles just one season ago.

Los Angeles Rams:

The Rams will be most remembered for the play that helped them win the NFC Championship and get into the super bowl. It all came down to the pass interference call heard around the world and the NFL. Clearly the refs did not call it at the time, but admitted after that it was a big mistake. Not taking anything away from Los Angeles because they have a great coach in Sean McVay and good quarterback Jared Goff. Also lead out of the backfield Todd Gurley, defense has the mighty beast Aaron Donald with 20.5 sacks on the year. Brandin Cooks will be seeking revenge against his former team.

Super Bowl outlook:

The game is held in Mercedes Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons.  Both teams will feature high flying offenses and stellar defensive play. It should be one of the better super bowls. Another intriguing spotlight is the age gap in the head coaches. Who would of known that Bill and Sean text each other after every game? More story lines will be told after the game on Sunday. People around the world and U.S. will have something to talk about for a long time after the clock hits zero in this one.

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NFC Championship Preview:

Los Angeles Rams:

Led by second year offensive minded coach Sean McVay, the Rams had another great year. LA was (13-3) and won the NFC west. Rams ended up getting the second seed with that record which was good enough for a first round bye. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley led the way on the season by producing week in and week out. Who would of thought that the Rams who were at the bottom of the NFL for years would be the next big thing? With McVay being so young and teaching his team how to win games is very impressive. Brandin Cooks was a good addition to the team in the off season via the New England Patriots in a trade. They will look to continue its success in the run game this championship Sunday.

New Orleans Saints:

Sean Payton had his team playing well from beginning to the end. Saints ended up being the first seed in the NFC with a (13-3) record. New Orleans won the Week 9 match up against the Rams. Drew Brees (40) had a great year top to bottom and not letting his age stop him. Alvin Kamara led the Saints in the backfield, also with Mark Ingram. Micheal Thomas one of the top wide receivers had a great season. Saints has one of the most potent offensives in the league, they can beat you on the ground and in the air. Coach Payton already teased his players with money and the super bowl trophy in a glass case before the playoffs even started. Motivation is key this time of the year.

NFC Championship:

This game should exciting and a back and fourth battle with both teams having great offenses and solid defenses. Keys to look for will be establishing the running game and who gets it going early in the passing game. Making adjustments as the game goes on will be pivotal. What will Brees, Goff, KamaraGurley do against the opponents defense? How will you stop Cooks or Thomas ( two former teammates with New Orleans)? Will Marcus Peters and Sean Payton back up the smack talk for one another? A lot of questions heading into this game, just have to wait and see how all of this unfolds.

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New England Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs – AFC Championship Game

Background:

On Sunday afternoon the New England Patriots were playing against the Los Angeles Chargers in a divisional round match up. The Chargers ended up having a better record than the Patriots on the regular season. Philip Rivers career record heading into this week was (0-7) now (0-8) career against Tom Brady. I understand that the game wasn’t going to be easy looking at it on paper. Los Angeles has it all around with a good offense, stellar defense and are well coached.

Recap:

New England started hot out of the gate, firing on all cylinders. Patriots scored on the first drive and didn’t look back from there. The Chargers quickly responded with a touchdown of there own from Keenan Allen on a bad coverage play by Stephon Gilmore. That was all for not as New England had everything going in their favor. Rookie running back Sony Michel had three touchdowns on the day also adding 129 yards on the ground. James White had 15 receptions. A feat that tied the most receptions in a playoff game. Last accomplished by Darren Sproles, who done it with the New Orleans Saints, back in 2011. Tom Brady threw for 343 yards and 1 touchdown, but it was all about the running game. Final score NE 41, LA 28. Eight straight seasons that Patriots will be headed to the conference championship game.

Next Opponent:

AFC championship comes down to playing the electrifying Kansas City Chiefs. The game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium, one of the loudest places to play. Earlier this season it was a shoot out in Foxboro with the Patriots winning a late field goal 43-40,  in a back and forth game. I understand this will be a totally different ball game the second time around. Being a road game and seeing how New England will handle the crowd noise and maintain focus.

Keys to the game:

Patrick Mahomes, arguably had the best season a QB has had, well since, Brady threw for 50 touchdowns or Peyton Manning hit 55. Containing Patrick will be an important key if New England wants to pull the upset. The spotlight will be on the young man that’s for sure. Let’s see how he handles the pressure. Tyreek Hill is a guy you have to focus on, if not he will beat you with his legs down field on any type of route or play. We will see what happens next Sunday, down in K.C.

 

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Josh McDaniels Staying With New England Patriots

Staying put for now:

Report surfaced out of New England this week that offensive coordinator Josh Mcdaniels is staying with the organization for now. Last week he interviewed with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers chose Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt Lafleur earlier this week. Josh said that the “book has closed” on the interviewing process and turns the focus on the Pats. It seems like every off season its something with Josh.

Turn Back:

Take it back a year ago, the Patriots offensive coordinator came up several times during media week prior to the Super Bowl. McDaniels interviews with the Indianapolis Colts, agrees to a contract and then backs out. Wouldn’t that move have teams second guessing his validity? Its crazy when you realize he is paid like a head coach in the NFL, as a coordinator. According to reports, the deal makes McDaniels the NFL’s highest paid coordinator, with one of the years worth more than $4 million. Does he really want to leave and have his own authority? Look here, not being bias at all, personally I wouldn’t want to interview a guy that has a track record of not winning as a head coach. Don’t get me wrong, Josh is one of the smartest coaches in the league and his offense schemes are outstanding.

Next for Josh:

With McDaniels staying what does this say about the future? Will he become the next head coach of the Patriots or leave for another organization? All assumptions fans and most likely his colleagues are that he become the Patriots Head Coach. It appears like he will assume the role of taking over the team when Bill Belichick decides to retire. I get that these coaches want whats best for them and there families but when your pulling the same stuff every single year it gets old and tiring. Obviously we are happy seeing Josh get interviews and trying to get better opportunities. He already was a head coach once in the league and that didn’t pan out. Better luck next time! Patriots Nation will have to wait and see what the future holds for Josh McDaniels and New England’s NFL team.

Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

 

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Buffalo Bills have their QB of the future – Josh Allen

Josh Allen:

Buffalo Bills selected Josh Allen out of Wyoming in the 2018 NFL draft with the seventh pick. Josh is still young and developing. However, he saw some promise during this past season that may play out well in the near future. Injuries did plague Allen throughout the year. When healthy he proved he can perform well. Josh was one of the better quarterbacks coming out of college and he sure did live up to the hype.

2018 Rookie Season:

Oct 14, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) warms up before the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Limited to 12 games this season, Josh had 10 passing touchdowns and 8 rushing. Granted he throw 12 interceptions, obviously that needs to be worked on. I anticipate with more time, practice and better health, that INT stat will improve. Firstly, Allen didn’t have much of supporting cast to throw to. Zay Jones, a second year player out of East Carolina, came on strong towards the end of the season. He seemed to be a good target for garnering receptions. With some help Buffalo can contend for years to come. Secondly, with more offensive fire power type of additions, Josh may have a bright future. Head Coach Sean Mcdermott is a smart head coach. He has to focus on signing key players in the off season after this disappointing year.

Future is mighty bright:

A full season of  Josh playing all 16 games is a must if the Bills are looking to get back to the playoffs. If LeSean McCoy sticks around ( rumors are that he will be back for 2019) that gives Josh a comfort zone.  Having a veteran running back to carry some of the workload will be key for him. Upgrades at the wide out position is a must. The Defense is one of the best in the NFL. Bills fans have a bright future with Allen, as long as key pieces of the puzzle get added.

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